By Brandon Smith and originally published at alt-market.com
The definition of “extremist” is a rather ambiguous issue primarily dependent on opinion rather than fact. That is to say, it is generally the people in power and their propaganda mouthpieces that determine who is an extremist and who is not. There is no set or fair standard.
If you are a quiet and passive sort of citizen with no political deviations and no thoughts outside of what is considered “mainstream,” then you are probably considered a non-threat to the establishment. If, however, you promote an ideal that is opposed to the establishment agenda and display a potential to actually ACT to fight for that ideal, then you will eventually be labeled an extremist.
So who sets the standard for extremism in America today? The responsibility of enforcement has been undertaken by the Department of Homeland Security. But, the initial profiling of extremism and the engineering behind the farcical talking points that the DHS often uses and spreads to local law enforcement agencies is the work of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The SPLC’s profiling guidelines on extremism and terrorism tend to end up in DHS and fusion center reports that are usually not meant for the eyes of the public. A more well-known example would be the exposure of the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) Report back in 2009 which listed Ron Paul supporters as being potential terrorists. The SPLC complained widely that the MIAC report should not have been abandoned after the uproar from conservatives, but instead, should have been pursued.
The SPLC lists “active anti-government groups” on their website with a nicely made but meaningless graph which would have you believe that such groups have exploded in number since 2008. How the SPLC designates groups as “anti-government” is entirely dependent on their own baseless opinions rather than any discernible or practical method. They could easily make their graph say anything they want it to say and pretend there is some kind of science to it.
Hilariously, the SPLC lists my own website, Alt-Market, as an “anti-government group” under Pennsylvania, the state I lived in when Alt-Market was first established. Apparently, they consider a website a “group,” and I suppose I should be flattered that my individual efforts have been effective enough to constitute a group-sized threat in their minds.
I am also not “anti-government.” I am anti-corrupt government, but the SPLC does not seem to care at all about this kind of distinction.
I can say that Alt-Market is certainly not a group. While I do promote the formation of private barter groups as well as mutual aid and community security groups, these groups are in no way under the control of Alt-Market. If the SPLC considers me, all by my lonesome, as an anti-government group, then I question the validity of their list. If they had some confusion as to what Alt-Market was, all they had to do was ask me, but they never have.
I addressed the SPLC directly and outlined the corruption inherent in their institution years ago in my article ‘A Message To The SPLC From A Montana “Extremist.”’ To summarize, the SPLC’s goal is to promote Cultural Marxism while incessantly demonizing the opposing belief system — true conservatism. They do this through the use of an old propaganda ploy called ‘false association.’
If you examine the SPLC’s list of people they consider prominent extremists in the U.S., you will find a mixture of liberty movement proponents with their photos pasted right next to white supremacists and Klu Klux Klan members. This is not an accident. The strategy is to associate liberty activists with racists in the minds of the SPLC’s gullible readership without risking lawsuit by defamation.
For example, the SPLC has never (as far as I know) directly labeled liberty voices like Stewart Rhodes or Chuck Baldwin as “racists” or supremacists. However, they will work very hard in various media including their magazine ‘Intelligence Report’ (equating “intelligence” with the SPLC is a laughable premise) to influence the public to attach ideas of liberty to racial supremacy as if they are part of the same ideological movement.
Now frankly, I do not care if an individual or group “hates” another individual or group. As long as they do not harm anyone, invade their privacy or impede their constitutional rights, then it is none of my business. This does not mean I agree with them, but they have a right to believe whatever they want to believe.
The SPLC, along with the “extreme left,” though, does not think that people have a right to believe what they want to believe, and this is where problems start to emerge. The movement to criminalize “hate speech” may be a paper tiger, it may not. According to some polls, 41 percent of Americans and over half of Democrats support the criminalization of hate speech.
Again, if such speech is criminalized, then who gets to determine the definition of what hate speech is? Yes, most likely it will be social justice think-tanks like the SPLC.
That which constitutes “hate speech” and that which constitutes “extremism” is invariably conservative in nature… according to the SPLC and the DHS. Though you will see far more race-hate related speech from groups like Black Lives Matter, you will probably never see them listed on the SPLC’s website.
Conservative opposition to illegal immigration, to the medieval tyranny of Islamic sharia law, to government enforcement of transgender ideology on private property, along with conservative support of 2nd Amendment rights of firearms ownership and 1st Amendments rights in the face of “hate speech” legislation have all been categorized as extremism or racism by the SPLC. This is not simply a battle of ideas with no tangible consequences outside of the academic. The poison of cultural Marxism championed by the SPLC is leaching into everyday life.
I was sent this example recently; a story out of Washington D.C. in which a man in a wig entered the women’s bathroom at a Giant supermarket (private property). A female security guard at the establishment forced “Ebony Belcher” (see photo below) to leave the bathroom according to store policy after the man refused to heed verbal warnings. The security guard cited that there was no law allowing transgenders to violate the store's bathroom policy.
Belcher then proceeded to file a complaint with D.C. police. Instead of shrugging off the incident as a matter of private property as they should have, police arrested the guard pursuant of “hate crime” charges.
This is merely one incident, yes, but it is now one of MANY examples of government force backing cultural Marxists, and is representative of where the entire nation is headed if the SPLC and the federal government get their way.
The position that private property owners have the right to restrict a person who has the genetics and biology of a man to male bathroom facilities in order to protect the privacy and safety of their female customers is now being called a hate crime. That which is entirely practical and sane today will be labeled dangerous “extremism” tomorrow.
Therefore, I would submit to you that there is no “surge” in conservative extremism. Instead, normal longstanding conservative principles, along with conservative groups and individuals are being increasingly and arbitrarily labeled as “extremists.” We are not necessarily becoming more dangerous than we were before, more of us are just being targeted as dangerous by well-placed political minorities in a war of cultural dominance.
That said, conservative individuals and groups that are targeted will of course move to defend themselves. The orchestrated demonization and sublimation of conservatives on the part of cultural Marxists is the very definition of true extremism, and when one group decides to implement an extremist methodology in order to attain power over others, it is inevitable that they will invite an equal or greater opposing reaction.
The Washington Post recently warned of this reaction in an exposé titled Primed To Fight The Government.
The article begins in typical establishment propaganda fashion by immediately working to inoculate readers against conservative or liberty movement viewpoints. The SPLC is, of course, brought in to repeat their standard list of lies and half-truths while noting that their list of extremist groups has skyrocketed ever since 2008 — when America’s first black president was elected. This is surely intended once again to associate liberty activists with racism.
There is no mention of the numerous groups and individuals on their list (myself included) who started their work long before 2008 and have been as consistently critical of white republicans as they have been of Barack Obama.
The Post then finally allows the primary subjects of the article, B.J. Soper and his Central Oregon Constitutional Guard, to give their voice on the matter. Soper comes off as even handed and solidly grounded, with views easily supported by verifiable evidence; he did not appear as “extreme” as the SPLC might prefer.
If The Washington Post and the SPLC are truly curious as to the source of the supposed surge in conservatives “ready to go to war” with the government, I would challenge them to set aside their bias (or ignore their corporate handlers) and look more closely at the behavior of the government today as well as the extremists on the “Left” side of the political spectrum.
Perhaps they should take a more mathematical approach to their views on the socialization of America and its clear negative effects on our economic future.
Perhaps they should take a closer look at the UN’s “Strong Cities Network,” which is a program in collaboration with governments around the world including the U.S. to weaponize local communities against any behavior considered "extremist"; promoting a world of self-policing and self censoring towns and cities while instituting anti-extremist (mostly anti-conservative) policies on an Orwellian scale.
Perhaps they should examine how free speech is being progressively eroded with legal “exceptions” in the name of protecting people’s tender feelings or protecting the public from “dangerous ideas.” True conservatives understand that NO ONE has the right to limit the speech of everyone in the name of personal comfort for an overly-sensitive few, and for some reason this makes us extremists.
Perhaps they should re-think their accusations of “racism” against the tens of millions of Americans of all ethnicities who stand against illegal immigration. Perhaps by ignoring the fact that the vast majority of people who oppose illegal immigration do so based on realistic economic and social dangers is pressuring conservatives to see armed preparedness as the only avenue left to them.
Or perhaps the establishment should acknowledge that they have been militarizing local police forces and indoctrinating them with assertions that conservatives are a menace, a racist, fascist ticking time bomb ready to explode and that must be contained or re-educated. Conservatives are not going to simply stand by idly forever while this kind of fourth generation warfare continues unchallenged. Obviously we are preparing for a fight. When one is attacked, defense is natural.
As I point out in my article The Weirdest Possible Outcomes For The Strangest Election In History, the potential for violent divisions within the U.S. over the course of this election year is very high. In fact, the stage is pretty well set for conflict regardless of who becomes president.
The mob actions and growing madness of the extreme left, instigated and in some cases funded (Ferguson, Missouri) by elitists like George Soros is going to force conservatives into a position of armed reaction. It is only a matter of time. And perhaps this is what the elites prefer — Americans fighting and killing other Americans while they sit back and enjoy the show. After all, the failure of America is a perfect justification for the greater influence of globalism to stem the tide of “nationalist fervor.” And in a totally globalized and collectivized world, conservatism has no place.
Conservatives are called “extremists” because the establishment needs an excuse to get rid of us. We are a threat, yes, but only to power mongers and their collectivist hordes. More and more of us grow awake and aware of the program each day. As a result of this awakening, we end up becoming more extreme by mainstream definition in order to protect ourselves and our values. Ultimately, to be an extremist conservative is not a crime against humanity as some would have us believe. To be an extremist conservative in the face of open conflagration against the principles of freedom is to be on the right side of history.