Beyond Trump and Putin: The American Alt-Right’s love of the Kremlin’s policies

Casey Michel writes: While the phenomena of fascistic, hard-right support for Moscow within Europe has been well-documented elsewhere, most especially by Anton Shekhovtsov and Alina Polyakova, among others, the parallel networks and linkages within the United States have seen depressingly little coverage. Indeed, while “praise of Putin by [Europe’s] far-right leaders” becomes “commonplace,” as Polyakova wrote, so, too, has the pro-Kremlin fealty from far-right leaders in America, almost all of whom uniformly back Trump.

It doesn’t take much work to follow a trendline threading the Kremlin, most especially under Putin’s third term, directly to the leading far-right figures undergirding Trump’s candidacy. Take, for instance, Matthew Heimbach, tabbed by ThinkProgress as the “most important white supremacist of 2016.” The founder of the Traditionalist Worker Party and an unabashed anti-Semite, Heimbach espouses views not even Trump has deigned to offer, including the removal of birthright citizenship and the creation of white ethno-states. (The Southern Poverty Law Center has described Heimbach as “The Little Fuhrer.”) Heimbach has become one of the leading voices behind the expansion of the “alt-right” Clinton detailed. In a recent rundown of the “alt-right’s” main proponents, Yahoo! offered Heimbach top billing.

While Heimbach has offered vocal support for Trump this year — he was cited in a violence-related lawsuit, stemming from his actions at a Trump rally in Kentucky — there’s one leader he appears to admire more than the rest. As Heimbach, who has expressed support for the Kremlin’s “Novorossiya” project in Ukraine, recently told me, “Putin is the leader, really, of the anti-globalist forces around the world,” adding that Putin’s Russia has become “kind of the axis for nationalists.” Citing the creation of a “Traditionalist International,” a far-right counterpart to the Soviet-era “Communist International,” Heimbach also noted that Alexander Dugin, the neo-fascist ideologue behind the Kremlin’s push toward “Eurasianism,” gave a (recorded) speech at the 2015 unveiling of Heimbach’s party. And as Heimbach told Al Jazeera, “Russia’s our most powerful ally.” [Continue reading…]

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