Interviews on Politics and Culture From a Radical Bent: Tim Swan (2011)

This interview is the second on a long series on culture and politics. The focus is on radical and marginalized politics and the cross-section of culture. Sometimes the interviews are from the left, but some will be from libertarian or even certain kinds of the right-wing thought. Most of those I interview consider themselves in some sort of radical tradition opposed to contemporary politics. Some of these people have opinions close to mine. Some are diametrically opposed.

Tim Swan is an anarchist with what some would consider a rather strange strike of social conservatism. I have had talks with him over the past few months in various forums and found him to be an amiable person whose views I couldn’t quite entirely reconcile with my own. The fact we had almost diametrically opposed social values but almost always ended up on the same side of economic and political questions fascinated me, so I decided to interview him.

C Derick Varn: Would you like to describe your political beliefs and how they have changed over the years?

Tim Swan: I consider my political beliefs similar to that of Bakunin. Pro-IRA, pro-Basque, Catalan, for breaking up the autonomous communities of Spain. Not a fan of Capitalism or Marxism. So I’d say on paper, an Antifa Anarchist. Years ago I was drawn to Nazi hooligans in high school and was friends with a few. I guess they were just racist nationalists really. We never hurt anyone. But I was hateful and changed my ways after I finished high school five years ago. I used to also hate Jews a lot. Now I learned to work together with Israelis and Palestinians who want true peace.

Skepoet: What moved you away from racial nationalism?

Tim Swan: The fact that many nationalists I met were more concerned with hating other nationalities instead of preserving their own.

CDV: Can you give me a few examples of this?

Tim Swan: Sure. They would talk about preserving their own race and then go on and on about how a racial war is necessary to secure white people’s existence. Hating black people, calling them slurs like the N word and blaming Jews for the immigration ‘crisis’. They actually blame Jews for everything from the gay rights movement to the civil rights movement. Also talking about putting troops on the Mexican border to kill ‘illegals’ on site.

CDV:  What are you particular objections to Marxism?

Tim Swan: My views on Marxism are similar to Bakunin when he said: “They [the Marxists] maintain that only a dictatorship—their dictatorship, of course—can create the will of the people, while our answer to this is: No dictatorship can have any other aim but that of self-perpetuation, and it can beget only slavery in the people tolerating it; freedom can be created only by freedom, that is, by a universal rebellion on the
part of the people and free organization of the toiling masses from the bottom up.”

CDV:  Are you aware of Troy Southgate and National Anarchism? I have heard them advocate similar things.

Tim Swan: I am and used to be friends with him on Facebook. I think the National Anarchist movement is thinly veiled Fascism personally. The concept of ‘Nationalizing’ Anarchism seems like an oxymoron.

CDV: What do you think about his notion of traditionalism?

Tim Swan: I think much of the ‘radical traditionalism’ movement is also thinly veiled Fascism.. Some traditionalists like in Historical Revisionist group you and I both belong to are generally good people though. I’m suspicious of the radical Catholics who want to restore the Roman Empire, however.

CDV:  What do you think is the appeal of such traditionalism?

Tim Swan: Nationalism I’d say and the traditions of their ancestors brings them back to such Euro-centric beliefs.

CDV:  What inspired your interest in Bakunin?

Tim Swan: I started reading about Bakunin after becoming interested in Russian revolutionary thought. I found his disagreements with Marx interesting.

CDV: How did you get drawn into Nazi Hooliganism?

Tim Swan: Through people I met at school who were into Nazism.

CDV:  So you are basically advocating something like non-state tribalism?

Tim Swan: Not really tribalism. I’m for equality and working together. I think the concept of separating people based on ethnic lines is trivial. We have more important things to worry about.

CDV:  So where you would differ from most anarchists then is that you are socially or culturally conservative?

Tim Swan: I’d say the slight differences would be on various issues. Like I’m pro life in regards to abortion. Not a fan of the death penalty where most agree it’s wrong. I do like some bits of traditionalism regarding
family, etc.

CDV: What appeals to you there?

Tim Swan: I like the idea of a traditional working class family. I guess that’s just how I was raised.

CDV:  Do see conservatism as doing anything to preserve that in actuality?

Tim Swan: Not really. I think its more talk at this point. Traditionalists realize that we’re on a sinking ship as a whole society so there might not be much to preserve in the coming decade or more.

CDV:  Anything you’d like to say in closing?

Tim Swan: Thanks for inviting me to your survey. I enjoyed it!

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