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On March 4-5, the Clinton Township, Michigan-based Foundation for the Marketplace of Ideas (FMI), will hold events in Michigan, near and apparently on the campus of Michigan State University (MSU). The two-day conference is billed as “an opportunity for Identitarian and Alt-Right activists and leaders to discuss the future of their movement and to coordinate their activities at this fun and inspirational extravaganza.”

MORE: What is the Foundation for the Marketplace of Ideas?

Sunday’s event will feature speeches by FMI’s Kyle Bristow, National Policy Institute head Richard Spencer, Traditionalist Worker Party leader Matthew Heimbach and Cameron Padgett. A Monday event is billed as taking place at MSU to be hosted by Padgett, announcements stressing that FMI is “unaffiliated with Padgett’s MSU event, but Padgett has invited the attendees of FMI’s conference to attend it.” Richard Spencer is also an FMI board member.

“Confirmed speaker” Matthew Heimbach roots this campus drive in the nationalist socialist wing of the movement. The leader of the Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP), Heimbach has most recently been engaged in a “National Socialism or Die” campus speaking tour.

Matthew Heimbach

The Traditionalist Worker Party makes no bones that its creed is national socialism:

“The guiding principle of the Traditionalist Worker Party is fighting for the rights and self determination of Whites in America. The Fourteen Words, ‘We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children’ best exemplifies the mission of our movement, to work to create a sustainable Homeland for our culture, identity, families, and blood…The Traditionalist Worker Party shall establish an independent White ethno-state in North America. This nation will be a Homeland for Whites, governed and built by and for our people…We declare war on colonialism, capitalism, communism, international Jewry, and neo-imperialism… Our revolution is governed by the principles of National Socialism. Only members of the National Community may be citizens of the State. Citizenship in the ethno-state must therefore be limited to White persons, and White persons alone. Non-citizens may live in our nation only as guests (at our sole discretion) and must be subject to laws for aliens… We demand a National Socialist government, economy, and society for our people.”

National socialism, of course, is the ideology of Nazi Germany under Adolph Hitler; the framework put forward by TWP could justify ethnic cleansing to secure a racially purified nation-state. The “Fourteen Words” referenced by TWP were infamously penned by Klansman David Lane. A leader in neo-Nazi terrorist group, the Order, Lane died in federal prison in 2007 while serving a life sentence for his role in the murder of Jewish talk show host Alan Berg. TWP also counts among the movement’s “POWs” [Prisoners of War] James Fields. After the August 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Field was charged with second-degree murder for allegedly driving his car into a crowd of anti-fascist protesters and killing Heather Heyer.

Traditionalist Worker Party Propaganda

TWP’s promotion of white nationalism as a counter to both communism and capitalism echoes the “Third Position” ideology of FMI board member and American Freedom Party leader William Johnson. TWP also attacks the LGBT community, declaring that, “Those suffering from drug addiction or other antisocial behaviors such as homosexuality will be offered extensive opportunities and support to overcome their addictions…Refusal to receive treatment and work to overcome addiction however, will be dealt with justly, for the sake of the nation and the future of our people…Grooming of youth, whether by homosexuals or other degenerates, will be decisively addressed, up to and including capital punishment.”

The Traditionalist Worker Party aspires to fill the role of a full-blown national socialist political party. On the one hand, the group has emerged as one among several nationalist socialist outfits supplying street fighters in conflicts with anti-fascists at rallies from Virginia and Kentucky to California.

On the other hand, Tony Hovater, who hosts a podcast with Heimbach, ran unsuccessfully for city council in New Carlisle, Ohio in 2015. Heimbach is also a leader of the Nationalist Front, a coalition of national socialist and neo-Confederate groups that includes leaders of Vanguard America, the National Socialist Movement and the League of the South. The racist coalition’s goal is to “unite pro-White organizations…to achieve the main objective: The creation of a white ethno-state for White people in North America.”

Chuck Tanner

Author Chuck Tanner

Chuck Tanner is an Advisory Board member and researcher for the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights. He lives in Washington State where he researches and works to counter white nationalism and the anti-Indian and other far right social movements.

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