Passing on the right
April 5, 2007 10:12 PM   Subscribe

That's a fascinating story... The extreme right-wing seems to have a long history of attracting people who could be classified as "self-haters" (people who advocate against other people of their own race, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation)... I wonder why that is?
posted by amyms at 11:18 PM on April 5, 2007

A small but prominent minority of revolutionary socialists are (at least originally) from the capitalist or landowning class, too.
posted by stammer at 11:21 PM on April 5, 2007

Amusing how potent cheap shame is.
posted by Dizzy at 12:31 AM on April 6, 2007

Raised by mulattos, actually black, he was in fact the leading intellectual fascist

Finally, the famous retroactive one-drop rule in effect.
posted by pwedza at 12:53 AM on April 6, 2007

Dennis was undoubtedly antisemitic - "I am no friend of the Jews," he once wrote - but his antisemitism was no more pronounced than that of most Wasps in the US at the time and less severe than that of the Nazis. "Hitler says the Jew cannot be a citizen of Germany. I consider that position to be unsound nationalism," he said. "As for any persecution or organized violence against Jews in this country, I consider it unthinkable."

Not surprisingly, perhaps, his racial politics were the most peculiar. He kept company with some of the most extreme white supremacists of his day, but despite the views of most of his friends and backers, Dennis managed both to champion fascism and subtly to maintain a distance from racist polemic.

While in Berlin, he asked Karl Boemer of Hitler's Propaganda Ministry: "Why don't you treat the Jews more or less as we treat the Negroes in America? You can practice discrimination and all that, but be a little hypocritical and moderate and do not get in conflict with American opinion." As the years went on he opposed segregation, branding the "the case against integration in the schools" as one "based on odious comparisons".
posted by orthogonality at 3:56 AM on April 6, 2007

Man, people are weird. Great story—thanks for the post!
posted by languagehat at 5:22 AM on April 6, 2007

Fascinating post, atchafalaya - what a way to live a life! I found this picture of him with his adoptive mom in 1905 - "boy evangelist." Amazing he was able to keep his secret with such prominence in his youth. Today, he'd be outed in a cyber-second.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:54 AM on April 6, 2007

Calls to mind The Human Stain.
posted by billysumday at 6:02 AM on April 6, 2007

See also Frank Collin, born Cohen.

And Dan Burros, Davis Wolfgang-Hawke, and of course, Leo Felton.

Then of course there's this.
posted by dhartung at 6:19 AM on April 6, 2007

Great story, scooped by Dave Chappelle in his first season, of course...

In a way, though, I find a bit of intellectual honesty in self-hating bigots. Rather than simply hating others for being different than themselves, they hate particular groups even if they happen to be a member of that group!

I mean, it's pretty damned convenient that, say, non-white people are shiftless, lazy, whatever, and you happen to be white. Hmmm. Or that gays are immoral, evil, blahblah, and you just happen to be straight. Hmmm. Or the U.S. is the greatest country in the world and you just happen to live here. Hmmmmmm.

It's just *cough* amazing that most bigots happen to not be members of the inferior groups.

That said, you gotta wonder what was going through this guy's head on a daily basis.
posted by LordSludge at 7:49 AM on April 6, 2007

I read the last link first, which is charmingly wacky. I didn't get the full impact of Dennis's beliefs until I hit this paragraph, almost at the end:
The prescience of Lawrence Dennis was a constant throughout his extraordinary career, he predicted the Vietnam War in 1950 - before the outbreak of the Korean War. And although Appeal To Reason never had more than 900 subscribers, they included some of the greatest exemplars of the struggle to come after him, such as Harry Elmer Barnes, the father of modern revisionism, and Willis Carto, the founder of Liberty Lobby who has been in the forefront of the revival of classical progressivism ever since the disgrace marked by the Great Sedition Trial.
As it says, Willis Carto is the founder of Liberty Lobby, which is the center of gravity for Holocaust revisionism in the US. Once I hit that, my understanding of the whole article just flipped around.
posted by scalefree at 8:38 AM on April 6, 2007

Great story, scooped by Dave Chappelle in his first season, of course...
My personal favorite representation is from Mr. Show (YouTube). Plus, you get some pro-NAMBLA sketch action in there too, as an added bonus.
posted by Brak at 8:43 AM on April 6, 2007

Wasn't there some deep dark rumor like this about Bob Barr's ancestry?
posted by pax digita at 9:51 AM on April 6, 2007

Terrific read atchafalaya. Great post.
posted by nola at 11:23 AM on April 6, 2007

These works remain controversial today, especially within the old right. Thomas DiLorenzo has maintained that Dennis was in fact the "leading intellectual fascist", smeared by the partisans of the New Deal. Justin Raimondo has argued that Dennis was a disinterested student of phenomena to which he was opposed, anticipating with far superior execution the later work of such authors as James Burnham. Others, including Raimondo, have suggested that Dennis' writings are far closer to the ideas professed by the modern anti-globalist left than are those of the New Left.

posted by Gnostic Novelist at 12:36 PM on April 6, 2007

Nifty post. Weird guy.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:28 PM on April 6, 2007

That photo should be captioned "Essay Contest Winner Oscar Wilde, Aged Twelve, Escorts Cream of Wheat Spokesperson To The Cross-Dressers' Ball."
posted by Dizzy at 3:40 PM on April 6, 2007

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