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Statement on Allerseelen Tour

Statement on Allerseelen Tour

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Published by: RoseCityAntifa on Dec 14, 2010
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Austrian Far-Right Musical Project on West Coast Tour,Playing Support to Northwest Heavy Metal Act
“That is the power of an invisible order. Its members know that they are members. Those who are not members are aware that they do not participate.”
-Romanian Legionary propagandist Ovidiu Gules, quoted by Gerhard Petak in interview
1
“If the mythical and irrational, as well as the desire for anti-Enlightenment introspection and livingtranscendence, find a voice in youth culture, the aesthetic consensus of the West will be broken.”
-From the German New Right newspaper
Junge Freiheit 
, 1996
2
“Folkish is today a dangerous word. Like the words home, roots, loyalty it is situated in the cross wiresof an omnipresent brainwashing. Those who use this word are pushed close to the Third Reich. But theforeign policy of the Third Reich was not folkish at all. The principle that the peoples were different, but equal of birth, was not taken into consideration.”
-Gerhard Petak, as quoted by the “Tasmanian National-Anarchists”
3
“Separate but equal.”
-Policy underlining Jim Crow laws in the American South
Allerseelen on Tour
This December, the Austrian far-Right “post-industrial” and martial music project Allerseelen is set togive a series of performances on the US West Coast. Allerseelen is the project of Gerhard Petak (AKAKadmon and Gerhard Hallstatt) who also incorporates other performers into the act when playing live.
4
Several of the Allerseelen shows are scheduled to take place in larger venues supporting the prominentPortland, Oregon “dark metal” group Agalloch, who will be touring to promote their new album. Thehitching of Allerseelen onto the tour of a larger heavy metal act will provide new outlets for Petak’sextreme-Right messages. Agalloch, the group which Allerseelen will support, is at present crossing overfrom underground cult status to something nearer the mainstream, the group’s latest album even beingpromoted with a write-up and “exclusive first listen” on National Public Radio’s music webpage.
5
 It istroubling that the act Agalloch chose to expose to its growing audiences has a long history of far-Rightinvolvement and propaganda, and is attempting to make aspects of fascist discourse acceptable.Agalloch’s decision to further link itself to Petak / Allerseelen by appearing on a new compilation CDreleased by Petak’s label
6
 is likewise of concern to anti-fascists and is of similar poor judgment.The dates of Allerseelen’s tour are:Waldteufel + Allerseelen:15 Dec 2010 Portland16 Dec 2010 Salem (+ HELL, Barghest)Agalloch + Allerseelen:17 Dec 2010 Portland OR Berbati's Pan (+ Aerial Ruin)18 Dec 2010 Seattle WA Neumo’s (+ Alda + Waldteufel)21 Dec 2010 Los Angeles CA Ultra Violet Social Club (+ Winterthrall)22 Dec 2010 San Francisco CA Great American Music Hall (+ Dispirit)
7
 
Petak’s Politics and Associations
Gerhard Petak has been releasing music under the name Allerseelen since the end of the 1980s.
8
 Duringthe 1990s, the extreme-Right nature of Petak’s politics became increasingly evident, through his writingand publishing as well as his musical releases. Before explaining how Petak promotes far-Rightdiscourses, we must first provide a thumbnail sketch of what his politics actually are. While Petak has hadcontact with some people who could be fairly described as Nazis or neo-Nazis, Petak has also criticizedthe Third Reich in print, and we do not describe him personally as a Nazi. We will discuss Petak’sattitude towards historical Nazism later.We place Petak’s viewpoints and advocacy on the terrain of neo-fascism and the far-Right, especially thatof the European New Right. Some other ideological influences will be discussed in passing. If at timesPetak’s viewpoints appear as a jumble of varied and even opposing influences, it is worth noting thatfascism has always been a syncretic ideological movement—one that attempts to fuse differing elementsinto a single whole. Indeed, this syncretic nature has given rise to one of fascism’s primary qualities, thatof simultaneously being “A and not A” and often harboring diametrically opposed impulses, such asattempting mass political mobilization while also vocalizing contempt for mass society.
9
 Thesecontradictions unfortunately do not render fascism or fascist politics harmless.
The European New Right
As well as his own self-produced pamphlets, Petak’s thoughts have also been printed in publications ofthe European New Right, such as
Staatsbriefe
and
Junge Freiheit 
.
An understanding of this EuropeanNew Right (ENR hereafter) is crucial for an understanding of Petak and Allerseelen. The European NewRight stems from an attempt to rethink fascist politics in light of the failure of its mid-20
th
Centurymanifestations. While the ENR now contains many voices, its primary ideologue is Alain de Benoist, whohad been a member of the French neo-fascist organizations Jeune Nation and its successor Europe-Action,before founding the GRECE think tank in 1968 at the age of twenty-five.
 (The French word “Grece”means Greece, suggesting the glories of ancient Europe; the acronym GRECE stands for “Research andStudy Group for a European Civilization” as written in French.) In the words of one account, GRECE“became the institutional pivot of the
 Nouvelle Droite
(New Right), the name bestowed upon de Benoist’sParis-based circle by the French media.”
One significant aspect of much ENR discourse, is its break from biological determinism and racismphrased in such biological terms, which de Benoist in his younger years had argued for. In the place ofbiological racism, the New Right began to present itself as a defender of cultural diversity and “ethno-pluralism.” What this amounts to is a form of cultural racism expressed as difference: when cultures cometogether, this apparently breeds homogeneity, and therefore the ENR argues for a plurality of culturesprecisely through separation and the cessation of pluralism
within
cultures. While renouncing at least intheory any authoritarianism and conquest between different cultures, in practical terms New Right politicswould necessarily lead to neo-Apartheid and bloody Balkans-like carve-ups. (It is telling that Petak /Allerseelen was “impressed” by Slobodan Milosevic.
) Within the ENR framework, the United Statesand the cultural Americanization of Europe are seen as primary opponents, as these are “melting pot”efforts which the New Right sees as homogenizing (paradoxically because they are not homogenizing.)The celebration of lack of difference within cultures, now defined as difference itself—and the impositionof internal homogeneity, described as the “right to difference”—is typical of the transvaluation thatoccurs within New Right discourse. Similarly, the New Right can even adopt the language of democracywhile arguing for purging internal difference: “Direct democracy need not be associated with a limitednumber of people. It is primarily associated with the notion of a relatively
homogenous
people consciousof what makes them a people.”
 
 
Two other aspects of the European New Right are important to note, especially as they relate toAllerseelen: the ENR’s pagan aspect and its stress on fighting a cultural war. In contrast to the AmericanNew Right of the time, which was generally a Christian movement, the ENR’s identity was stronglypagan and anti-Christian. Christianity is presented as an alien force that imposed itself on indigenousEuropean peoples; the universalist aspect of Christianity is seen as a major enemy.
The ENR also seesthe capitalist market as spreading the pathogen of universalism, and hence adopts a sort of fascist “anti-capitalism.” In terms of strategy, the European New Right borrows from the Italian Communist leaderGramsci, who argued that lasting political and economic change would have to be preceded by a majorshift on the cultural terrain.
The ENR therefore focuses on creating a cultural environment favorable totheir political ideas flourishing—especially culture that popularizes (imagined) “indigenous” Europeancultural / ethnic identities and lashes out at universalism and Enlightenment values.While Gerhard Petak does not generally reference de Benoist or GRECE—and it is possible that Petakhas theoretical quibbles with some of de Benoist, just as de Benoist himself does not like Petak’s musicalgenre
 —Petak’s ideas and output are nevertheless infused with ENR influence. This influence is alreadyapparent by Petak’s statements being carried in ENR journals, and the influence becomes especially clearwhen examining Petak’s attitude towards the Third Reich. Some of this influence may have arriveddirectly through Petak reading specific ENR theoreticians, while some may stem from the broader far-Right cultural / political milieu which Petak works within. Even if he has never thought much of deBenoist’s work, Petak has certainly been presented by third parties as having something to do with theEuropean New Right. In the second volume of the book-sized American “Radical Traditionalist” journal
Tyr: Myth-Culture-Tradition
, an interview with Petak is one of the longest of the issue, only shorter thanthe extensive interview with de Benoist.
There is also an Allerseelen track on the journal’saccompanying CD; one of the editors of
Tyr
is Petak’s friend Michael Moynihan, more about whom later.
The Iron Guard (Romania)
Petak / Allerseelen contribute to the ultra-Right culture war through his attempts to circulate andrehabilitate classical fascist ideas and imagery. Petak is especially keen on the Romanian fascistmovement the Legion of the Archangel Michael, also known as the Iron Guard. This movement, led byCorneliu Codreanu (1899 – 1938) “displayed all the characteristics of fascism”
and “was an extremelyviolent organization”
noted for its anti-Semitism, aiming for “not just the purification of Romanian lifefrom Jewish influence but also the ‘moral rejuvenation’ of Romania on a Christian as well as a nationalbasis.”
While the Iron Guard’s outer embrace of Romanian Orthodox Christianity may appear as at oddswith Petak’s paganism, it is the esoteric and mystical elements of the movement that most fascinate Petak:the Legionaries had their own mysticism and internal rites, including members of its death squads rituallydrinking each other’s blood.
Such a combination of violence, fascism, blood, and the occult isirresistible to Petak, who claims that “The Iron Guard [still] exists, of course” in terms of an eternal idealand motivating myth. Petak then quotes with approval Ovidiu Gules,
who edited the
Gazeta de Vest 
publication that promoted the Legionary tradition. (This publication was further linked to the fascistInternational Third Position organization.
) Gerhard Petak not only issued a pamphlet about Codreanuand the Iron Guard in his
 Aorta
pamphlet series,
but also in 1998 issued a set of two 7” vinyl records ofLegionary music, with the fourth side containing a speech by Codreanu.

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