The short answer to that is an affinity for the writings of paleoconservative William S. Lind. If you do a search on “by William S. Lind” on the Counterpunch website, you will come up with 16,500 hits. It should be understood that many of these hits refer to the same article, but clearly we are dealing with someone who was at one point as much of a presence there as fellow paleoconservative Counterpuncher Paul Craig Roberts is today.
Last October Alexander Cockburn defended this orientation to the right in an article that referred to me as an “old Trotskyist lag” in light of my unaccountable inability to appreciate the Tea Party:
Contrary to a thousand contemptuous diatribes by the left, the Tea Party is a genuine political movement, channeling the fury and frustration of a huge slab of white Americans running small businesses – what used to be called the petit-bourgeoisie…
Who says these days that in the last analysis, the only way to change the status quo and challenge the Money Power of Wall St is to overthrow the government by force? That isn’t some old Trotskyist lag like Louis Proyect, dozing on the dungheap of history like Odysseus’ lice-ridden old hound Argos, woofing with alarm as the shadow of a new idea darkens the threshold.
Who really, genuinely wants to abolish the Fed, to whose destruction the left pledges ever more tepid support. Sixty per cent of Tea Party members would like to send Ben Bernanke off to the penitentiary, the same way I used to hear the late great Wright Patman vow to do to Fed chairman Arthur Burns, back in the mid-70s. Who recently called the General Electric Company “an opportunistic parasite feeding on the expansion of government?” Who said recently, “There are strains in the Tea Party that are troubled by what they saw as a series of instances in which the middle-class and working-class people have been abused or hurt by special interests and Washington.” That was Barack Obama, though being Obama he added, “but their anger is misdirected.”
As has been revealed not long after it made its appearance on the worldwide web, Anders Behring Breivik’s 1500 page manifesto is pretty much a copy and paste job from other authors, including the Unabomber whose references to the hated “leftists” was replaced with “cultural Marxists”.
Breivik also borrowed liberally from William S. Lind. I first learned about Breivik plagiarizing from Lind in an email to the PEN-L mailing list by Tom Walker who blogs at Ecological Headstand where he wrote:
UPDATE: Plagiarism alert Breivik’s text on “Political Correctness” appears to be lifted almost entirely from a screed called “Political Correctness: a Short History of an Ideology,” by William Lind, “Director of the Center for Cultural Conservatism at the Free Congress Foundation.”
I was so struck by Breivik’s rant on “political correctness” that I posted it on my blog the day before yesterday. When I subsequently learned that the words were Lind’s and that he was a frequent contributor to Counterpunch, I decided to do some poking around there.
To Counterpunch’s credit, nearly all the articles by Lind are strictly anti-war affairs of the sort that might have been written by Justin Raimando. It is not as if there were anything particularly wrong with them, only that they were unexceptional and mostly of interest perhaps because they were written by a paleoconservative.
But there’s one that’s more than a bit troubling. It appeared on July 12, 2007 and is titled “Old Bottles for New Wine: Not Fourth Generation Warfare“. Lind, who is an expert on Fourth Generation Warfare, warned Counterpunch readers:
On Friday, July 13, a Boyd Conference at the Quantico Marine Corps Base will devote a day to the subject of Fourth Generation war. As a panelist for one session of the conference, I have been asked to answer the question, “As one of the original authors and principal proponent of the 4GW concept, how well is it understood and acted upon by the West? By our adversaries?”
I will leave the second part of this question until Friday. As to how well the West grasps the concept of 4GW, the news, sadly, is bad on every level.
At the level of national governments, Western states not only do not grasp 4GW, they avert their eyes from it in horror, pretending it is not happening. In part they do so because they are the state, and the state does not want to admit that its own legitimacy has come into question. As Martin van Creveld said to me a decade or more ago, “Everyone can see it except the people in the capital cities.”
In larger part, they ignore the reality of 4GW because it contradicts their ideology, commonly known as “multi-culturalism” but actually the cultural Marxism of the Frankfurt School. That ideology says that all the world’s cultures are wonderful, happy, peaceful cultures except Western culture, which is oppressive and evil and must be destroyed. In fact, Western culture is one of only two cultures in human history that has succeeded over millennia (the other is Chinese). 4GW theory warns that we now face a world of cultures in conflict, that we must defend Western culture and that many, perhaps most, other cultures are threats, especially when they flood Western countries with immigrants. Cultural Marxism welcomes immigrants who will not acculturate precisely because they are threats to Western culture.
To start with, why is it the worry of Counterpunch’s editors or its readers whether 4GW is “understood or acted upon by the West”? As it turns out, Lind co-authored a book with two-time presidential candidate Gary Hart titled “America Can Win: The Case for Military Reform.” Look, I don’t quite know how to put this, but I don’t want America to win. There, I said it.
The wiki on 4GW states:
The simplest definition includes any war in which one of the major participants is not a state but rather a violent non-state actor. Classical examples, such as the slave uprising under Spartacus or the assassination of Julius Caesar by members of the Roman senate, predate the modern concept of warfare and are examples of this type of conflict.
Not being up to speed on Julius Caesar, I am not sure what the Marxist position would be on this but I am damned sure that I would have been for the Spartacus-led slave revolts. And the last thing I would have been interested in is advising the military on how to defeat 21st century versions of such revolts.
But the thing that really sticks out is this:
4GW theory warns that we now face a world of cultures in conflict, that we must defend Western culture and that many, perhaps most, other cultures are threats, especially when they flood Western countries with immigrants. Cultural Marxism welcomes immigrants who will not acculturate precisely because they are threats to Western culture.
Was Alexander drunk when he read this article by Lind and gave it the green light? How in god’s name does one of America’s most well-known radical journalists fall asleep at the wheel and let such racist crap pollute a website that he has many reasons to be proud of.
Perhaps he published it as an example of the kind of sickness that pervades a certain sector of the American right. If that was the case, I would only ask that he include a brief introductory note the next time he favors us with such an item—something along the lines of this:
Dear Counterpunch readers
This article from regular contributor William S. Lind is not the sort that we usually include from him. It is not worthy of the kind of praise that his antiwar articles merit. We include it because it gives you an idea of the kind of nativism that affects a wing of the American conservative movement that could ultimately lead some of its furthest reaches—either here or abroad—to take violent action against its perceived enemies.