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**Open Letter Concerning Nina Power** <img alt="February 28, 2019" src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7900/32403981687_04bd8739c5_b.jpg" /> To all who oppose fascism: On February 28, 2019, Nina Power took part in a livestream on YouTube, titled “Hate Speech, Feminism, & Paganism”. The broadcast was conducted from Nina Power's living room, with neo-reactionary YouTube host Justin Murphy and esoteric fascist Daniel "DC" Miller. Many will know Nina Power from her feminist and Marxist credentials, and as an author, columnist, and academic. Justin Murphy is perhaps best known as a disgraced academic, who was recently investigated and suspended by the University of Southampton for public comments that likened abortion to necrophilia, as well as making further derogatory ableist comments on his social media. More recently he has attempted an alternative career conducting YouTube interviews with a variety of neo-reactionaries and dark enlightenment figures, giving his IQ-obsessed views full throat. Daniel Miller made the news in 2017 in a minor fashion, as the lone counter-protestor at far-right gallery and neo-Nazi organising space LD50, in Dalston, London. Shortly after, he attempted to give a talk at Topics 'magic' bookstore in Neukölln, Berlin on the subject of Julius Evola. The talk was cancelled following complaints and the bookstore then closed after a local boycott. More recently in 2018 Miller and Power gave a joint performance in Athens, in which Miller anonymously performed as Evola and Nina Power gave a talk titled, "Edgelords and Edgeladies". The content of the video is disturbing, and what was framed as a discussion of feminism and radical truth-telling is in actuality a promotion of extremist right-wing talking points, under the guise of 'free speech' unfettered by political correctness; in the video this is referred to as 'radical honesty'. Whilst much of the content of the video might seem to be a general discussion of cosmological pagan practice and unconstrained individual expression, we identify some themes below that are prominent in contemporary fascism. In particular, we find a Third Positionist tenor - the dominant iteration and most 'creeping' form of contemporary fascism. Third Positionist crypto-fascism uses existing subcultural beliefs and lifestyles to promote pan-Europeanism, ultra-nationalism, and neo-colonialism, while cloaking its most unacceptable tenets. Yet, more worryingly, much of the esoterica discussed in the livestream also serves as the metapolitical backdrop and spiritual inspiration for some of the most violent far-right tendencies we've recently seen in Europe, the UK, and the US. Such beliefs are an ad-hoc amalgam of convictions that serve as radical instruction to the Evola-inspired, white power warrior cults, such as those behind the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017, as well as self-styled National Socialist militarised groups such as Atomwaffen and National Action in the UK. We, the signatories of this letter, object to the manner in which Nina Power still presents as both a Marxist and feminist, and is engaged as an academic speaker on this basis. We object to her involvement in hosting neo-reactionaries from her home and to her support in arranging for secretive and private lectures by the same individuals. Considered in the whole, her adoption of many aspects of contemporary fascism, and proximity to known fascists, is incompatible with the manner in which Nina Power publicly poses. We have analysed and summarised the video below, and provided context for the talking points presented within; while these fragments may appear inconsistent in their allusions if taken one by one, in concert they advance a worldview that is hierarchically elitist, antisemitic, and espouses violence – in short, in no way emancipatory. Further, Power and her co-hosts belie the toxicity of the ideology they advance by leaning on Power’s history with left academia to maintain a false sense of authority: - Power is declaratively introduced as a feminist of "unquestionable" radical leftist credentials, while later repudiating contemporary feminism and evading the question of whether she still considers herself to be a communist, stating she is more interested in pre-Christian paganism. - Murphy's introductory remarks include the statement that the left's disagreement with Power was over "uncontroversial facts of reality", presumably a reference to the bigoted anti-trans statements she publicly made on more than one occasion. - Power inverts the dynamics of the patriarchy under capitalism by asserting that asymmetric power structures do not create victims, that contemporary feminism is based around the idea of women as victims, and that the real victims of capitalism are men, in any case. She uses Men's Right Activist (MRA) talking points in relation to her forthcoming book, which is in her words, "very pro-men". She repudiates feminism's foundations by stating "society is anti-men", using the phrase "so-called patriarchy", and implying that only men are victims of war - "it's men who are sent to war to die". - Power expounds a specious argument using the rhetoric of anti-work politics to argue against women's inclusion in waged work, arguing that feminism resulted in the depression of wages through the destruction of the one-income household. Following this, Miller identifies feminism as a strategy of capital to undermine wage rates, to which Power offers no criticism. This argument is an example of Third Positionist metapolitics which uses the concepts of the left to argue for socially reactionary conclusions. We find a similar blaming of feminism for wage depression in Richard Spencer's rhetoric, for example, lamenting that white families require two incomes to break even as an argument against feminism's denaturalisation of gendered labour roles. - Murphy indicates Power and Miller have arranged to hold a secret/private talk on "radical honesty" somewhere in London, directing viewers to contact him via DMs in order find out the undisclosed location. - Power does not object when Miller and Murphy come to the conclusion that "not everyone can have freedom or handle freedom" and that "not everyone wants freedom". - Miller and Power respond to a livestream comment by making the Grey Wolves hand gesture (middle two fingers and thumb together with index and little fingers stretched out). This is the salutation gesture of the Grey Wolves, an ultra-nationalist pan-Turkic organisation that has been described as a 'death squad' for its political executions of leftists in 1970s Turkey. It is often described as neo-Nazi and has been known to parade Nazi flags with Turkish phrases on them at demonstrations. The Austrian government proscribed the hand gesture in February 2019 as a neo-Nazi hate symbol, and the German government is currently attempting to follow suit. The Grey Wolves and their supporter networks are known by anti-fascists to have bases in community centres and businesses in North London, as well as links to British Nationalist neo-Nazis. - The broadcast incorporates sustained allusions to neo-pagan and Evolan spiritual practice (the Kali Yuga, etc.), that serve as the inspiration for contemporary neo-Nazism. During the discussion, Power indicates that she has visited the "Mithraic Temple", a statement which Miller hurriedly cuts off and dissuades Power from mentioning again. Mithraism and the Roman-pagan Sol Invictus Cult (the cult of the "Unconquered Sun") is heavily referenced by contemporary public Neo-Nazis. Richard Spencer infamously referred to his followers in 2016 as the 'Children of the Sun' in a speech about the coming race-war. These motifs are the common currency of the extreme far right, most notably invoked by Augustus Sol Invictus and other white power revolutionaries who fetishise strength, hierarchy, power, and the establishment of a pagan Imperium modelled on Ancient Rome, as mentioned by Miller during the interview. - Throughout the video there are many instances of a rationalisation and praise for human sacrifice - "I can think of no more glorious death than to be sacrificed to the sun", "there is no paganism without human sacrifice", and that contemporary society already commits human sacrifice in a hygienic, unacknowledged way; this in our opinion closely plays to the esoteric obsessions of the Order of the Nine Angles (ONA/O9A), which incorporates aspects of Mithraism, and for whom human sacrificial murder and acts of extreme abuse are initiatory rites. Among the instructions of the O9A is the injunction to practice what is known as an 'insight role' to achieve self-transformation, that is a public role far removed from the practicant's previous life; recommended roles include joining the armed forces or the police. - In a portion of the video, DC Miller remonstrates that Richard Spencer has done nothing wrong: "What is he even on trial for?" - During the livestream, references to the KKK were made and racial remarks used in the live comments section (now hidden), and met with nervous laughter from the participants. From this, and Miller's concern about Power's mention of Mithraism, it is evident that the livestreamers are keen to maintain an air of 'plausible deniability' in their public output - a concept that is later criticised at length with regard to the Alt-Right. - Murphy uncritically quotes G.K. Chesterton - an outspoken anti-Dreyfusard in the Dreyfus Affair - widely considered to be the first iteration of Fascism in France. - Power at one point defends Death in June, praising the neo-folk band for creatively playing with the 'ambiguities' of signifiers (the swastika) and pushing the limits of hate-speech, particularly in regard to the advocacy of genocide. This is resonant with Richard Spencer's 2016 statement, that the far-right aren't "meant to beg for moral validation from some of the most despicable creatures to ever populate the planet." As Power asks when the discussion turns to this moral line: "Who sets the line?". In our opinion, the intention of the 'fascist creep' is to provocatively redraw social taboos around the holocaust and hate-speech. In Power's view, the 'weakest people' draw the line in an act of what Miller calls 'moral blackmail'. - When asked if he is Based, Redpilled and not-Woke, Murphy says he doesn’t object to that description, and he clarifies by defining 'based' as "good". These are all prominent in the alt-right lexicon and are used to distinguish between people and things that are in line with alt-right views, and those it opposes. Some may say that this is this merely unsophisticated role play, yet as one of the largest antifascist political action groups in the UK Hope not Hate state, this type of nervous and edgy LARP-ing, "has the potential to inspire [...] extreme acts of violence". Moreover, this YouTube fireside chat constitutes a 'heel turn' on many of the campaigning and public stances Nina Power is best known for, especially within the academic milieu, where she has until recently enjoyed the status of celebrated theorist of feminist Marxism. From her comments about her new book on the subject of masculinity, we recognise an attempt to create an academic Trojan horse in the field of popular theory, one that will advance the open discussion of a chauvinist and supremacist argumentation, and thereby normalise these talking-points with impressionable students and the public alike. For us, it is with perplexity and consternation that Nina Power is currently still accepting speaking engagements on socialist and feminist platforms – while perceived to be holding extant Marxist positions – yet at the same time advancing exactly opposing views live from her candle-lit living room. In light of this, we would ask that any forums that have publicly engaged her to speak reconsider this decision, since our concern is that these platforms will be used to promote veiled far-right talking points. In solidarity, the undersigned. Anti-Reaction Research Group (ARRG) *List of upcoming speaking events:* 8 March 2019 Lecture, Nina Power: Women's Strike, a step towards equality? https://www.facebook.com/events/1177710915738460/ 21 March 2019 The Harriet and Helen Memorial Lecture: Dr Nina Power https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-harriet-and-helen-memorial-lecture-dr-nina-power-tickets-57409597652 The Harriet and Helen Memorial Lecture is an annual lecture held by the UCL Philosophy Department on topics relating to underrepresented groups in the discipline. The lecture is named is in honor of John Stuart Mill's wife and step-daughter who contributed to John Stuart Mill's work both by conducting the domestic labour required to sustain his work, and by significantly influencing the content of Mill's thought. In its various chapters around the world, including at UCL, MAP aims to examine and address issues of minority participation in academic philosophy. The name of this lecture is a reminder that there have always been invisible minority philosophers; people contributing to philosophical inquiry and debate, even when their names and contributions are obscured. 17 May 2019 IAS Turbulent Laughter: The Laughter that Silences the Law: Confirmed speakers: Laura Mulvey (Film Studies, BBK), Carey Young (Slade, UCL), and Nina Power (Humanities, Roehampton). Chaired by Tamar Garb (IAS, UCL). https://www.ucl.ac.uk/institute-of-advanced-studies/events/2019/may/ias-turbulent-laughter-laughter-silences-law