As antifascists have been warning for some time now, there's a whole grift industry built around selling this bullshit bothsides-ism to LEO and especially "anti-terror" feds, so they can target leftists even as Nazis are the ones actually doing deadly terror.
Light Upon Light is largely discredited outside of the bullshit LEO "terror expert" lecture circuit (in large part thanks to antifascists like @AntiFashGordon and @Antifagator), but this is and was their entire profit-making enterprise.
Their deeply dangerous product is and was spending like two days with famous white supremacist grifters who'd ended up on the outs with other Nazis, declaring them "cured" formers, and immediately putting them on a *very* well-paid Nazi golden parachute lecture circuit.
Now, there are formers like @cpicciolini who are public figures because they have spent a lot of time doing reparative work, and they are very clear on the fact that there's no "cure," only an ongoing process of reconciliation.

LUL grifts off the opposite of that notion.
As you will be probably not that shocked to hear, those LUL "formers" have a tendency to find their way to other far right extremist projects WHILE STILL ON THE LUL LEO LECTURE CIRCUIT, shit like the virulently anti-Muslim Clarion Project.
Organizations like LUL use the term "extremism" both because LEO will pay to hear both sidesism (it gives them cover for beating up antiracists at protests) and because it lets them spin their anti-antiracism shit as "anti-extremism."
Last year, LUL launched an effort that was literally them trying to put their grift agents "undercover" in left spaces as infiltrators to "de-radicalize" leftists.

In other words, to undermine legitimate protest and inform on antiracists to cops.
And, remember, LUL recruits people from Naziville and does zero actual de-radicalization before declaring them cured.

So there's a very good chance that project (also DOA thanks to antifascist reaearchers exposing it) would have secretly put actual Nazis into our communities.
*All* of this is done under the name of "combatting extremism."

The anti-Muslim hate group Clarion Project bills itself as "countering Islamic extremism."

The antiracist infiltration project was supposed to "counter leftist extremism."
Paying Nazi fake-formers big bucks to go and tell LEO to go beat up their rivals (both rival Nazis and antiracists) was supposed to be anti-extremist.
And academia is in on this grift, too.

It has been for years.

CVE-- "countering violent extremism"-- is an unproven and now entirely-discredited de facto domestic spy strategy grift that major universities got in on big time after 9/11.
The thing is, terrorists don't actually tend to be active in their communities.

They aren't going to weekly Jummah prayer at the local mosque.

They aren't serving up soup to the homeless with Food Not Bombs or warning their communities about Nazi marches.
We've known this for a very long time.

We've known it with every "he was a quite boy, kept to himself" narrative we've seen around all the many white supremacist shooters the media forgot to mention the racism of and portrayed as lonely, mixed-up boys.
We knew this with the 9/11 hijackers.

We knew they were angry and alienated young men who were alienated and angry long before they found martyrdom as an outlet.

They weren't especially political or religious.

They were alienated and looking to lash out.
We saw this in Dayton with the shooter they tried to cast as Antifa.

The guy turned out to have no strong connection to politics; he looked at and then stopped bothering with Antifa BECAUSE antifascism is community organizing and he despised women and communities we're in.
We see it with incels, one of the most consistently successful terror movements outside of outright overt Nazism.

It's literally a terror movement based on not getting laid and deep anger at women for not submitting to their desire to sexually dominate and humiliate us.
We see it in Pizzagate/QAnon space, where loners look for grandiose bullshit theories to justify Rambo missions to do things like taking pizza parlors hostage.
We saw it in Gamergate violence, and we're starting to see signs of it in the uglier corners of dirtbag "leftism," where incels and post-Gamergate "anti-idpol" guys congeal together around ever-darker nihilisms & have started making overt rape and death threats against women.
We've most certainly seen it in online Nazi terror communities, where young men swap tales of alienation and ideas about how to punish society and especially Black/brown people and women for their supposed victimhood.
The lie of CVE is the idea that that "violent extremists" participate in community.

They don't.

Terrorists don't have communities.

They have toxic spaces where they issue litanies of hate and swap fantasies of and tips for executing violence.

Those are not communities.
Communities are spaces where people build together around shared meaning and values, creating relationships and planning for a sustained future.

Terrorists do not do that.

Terrorists have toxic spaces dedicated to death.

Those are not communities.
You can't talk about terrorist communities or infiltrate them, because folks have come to realize that they simply do not exist.

So if you're a grifter and want to keep selling your broken CVE shit, you have to rebrand.
That's what "extremism" does.

It's a rebrand of the disproven idea that terror is a product of community.

We know there's no such thing as "terror community," so they invented "extremist community."

And "extremist" is, as Evan says, a nonsense word.
We live in a militarized security state and have spent 19 years passing post-9/11 legislation that gives law enforcement extraordinary, unconstitutional power, just as long aa they can wiggle their way to calling the people they're deploying it against "terrorists."
"Extremism" is an effort to expand the definition of terrorist to anyone kind of passionate about anything, especially anything anywhere outside the political mainstream, and-- increasingly-- just outside the GOP.

There's a broad grift apparatus going full-speed on this project.
That includes more obvious grift operations like Light Upon Light, but it also includes the MANY "extremism" centers that have received wads and wads of fed and cop money to provide academic cover to bullshit CVE and its spinoffs through "extremism studies."
. @jjmacnab is another grifter who was quoted extensively and falsely during the recent BLM uprisings as saying that the Boogaloo meme-- a very popular Nazi meme about race war-- was "movement" with no relation to Nazi terror.
"Movements" are political communities.

There's no such thing as a "Boogaloo movement."

Gun chatrooms do not a community or a movement make.

Macnab used that false narrative to whitewash white supremacists and push "extremism" discourse across mainstream media.
Macnab has long sought to group together disparate political trends and movements under the banner of "extremism" in order to justify "terror" policing against political outliers on the left while whitewashing the far right.
She's now best-known (and considered discredited) for telling queer folks to stop complaining about the Trump campaign using the Nazi pink triangle genocide symbols in its campaign ads, but this has been an ongoing grift for her even before the triangle and boog controversies.
This is an "extremism expert" who circulated a ludicrous conspiracy theory about a secret KKK/BLM/Antifa/Nazi kiss-and-make-up summit with outlaw biker security guards, and asked people to email her with tips about where/when it would be.

That's "extremism" scholarship.
If this sounds like trade gossip, it shouldn't.

Trump and Barr already have a project well-underway to classify Trump's political opposition as "BLM and Antifa extremists."

Liberal Democrats who showed up casually at George Floyd memorial marches are getting FBI knocks.
"Extremism" scholarship has little to no basis in reality.

It's the product of two decades and billions of dollars in LEO/military spending trying to find ways to combat a target that doesn't exist.

It's a whole industry built around getting money to make shit up about terror.
In what used to pass for normal times, this industry was largely only a concern for the leftists and religious minorities it continuously sought ways to get paid to demonize.
Now, though, that "extremism" label is extremely useful for a certain despot who is extremely eager to criminalize, arrest, disenfranchise, and imprison his political opposition in advance of, during, and very likely after an election he'll need every advantage to win.
So, let's be very clear:

LEO industrial complex "extremism" discourse is now being used to criminalize legal, First Amendment-protected protest.

Soccer moms in Portland are being called "Antifa" and BLM, then getting gassed and shot by cops.
States are passing sweeping unconstitutional legislation that makes constitutionally-protected protest a felony, ensuring that protesters can be imprisoned & stripped of the right to vote.

They only need that to stay on the books through the first Wednesday in November.
As leftists and civil rights advocates have been screaming since the passage of the Patriot Act, it only takes one despot to turn security state civil rights arrangement from a niche issue to a totalitarian dictatorship.

Well, that despot is president, now.
Decades of unconstitutional "anti-terror" legislation and profitable "anti-extremism" thrift have created the perfect storm for totalitarianism.

Our understanding of "extremism" is so broad that it can and is being used to brutalize and criminalise political opposition to Trump.
"Extremism" is a deliberately vague term, which allows state-funded grifter "experts" like Macnab and LUL to pretend that Trump Nazi symbol use, boogaloo stochastic terror, & anti-Muslim hate groups aren't "extreme," while painting anyone they're paid to dislike with that brush.
That vagueness has been weaponized against antiracists and Muslims-- and used to protect deadly white supremacists and misogynists.

After all, misogyny and white supremacy are very much mainstream in these United States.

They can't be "extreme" by definition.
Antifascism and BLM are the scapegoats Trump is using to justify mass unconstitutional crackdown on free speech across the country right now.

We aren't violent.

We aren't terrorists.

So instead, we're "extreme."
Never mind that our "extreme" views that cops and Nazis shouldn't be allowed to go around murdering Black people without consequence are 1) constitutionally protected and 2) not actually that far outside the mainstream.
To win this election, Trump needs to fire up his base's sense of persecution & end times thinking.

He needs to brutally suppress his mainstream opposition, and to do that he needs to make people too scared to leave the house to protest/vote & be able to jail those of us who do.
If you're paying attention and mad, you're Antifa now.

If you're thinking about protesting racism, you're BLM now.

If you just live in a major Democratic city at this point, you're one or both.


Welcome to life as an "extremist."
Does it seem unfair to have that identity of "extremist" forced upon you?

Does it seem totalitarian that your political views are now being used as a justification to pin bullshit implications of terrorist tendency onto you and criminalize you?

Well, welcome aboard.
That's the point of "extremism" discourse: to take the idea of being other or weird or wrongthink and equate it with terrorism.

And then, allow law enforcement to treat it legally (or, much more often, extra-legally) as a justication for repressive violence.

That's the project.
If you aren't Trump, you're wrongthink.

The FBI are knocking on all kinds of doors, now.

Soccer moms and teachers and leafblower dads are getting called "Antifa" and BLM and gassed and shot.
This was always what "extremism studies" was designed to do.

It was designed to expand the notion of "terror" to political wrongthink and provide LEO with a justification for going after the wrongthinkers and our communities.
If you're anti-Trump and willing to act on it, Barr now has you in his "extremism" sights.

This is what makes security & surveillance statism so dangerous, even to folks in the mainstream.

It only takes one fascist to launch you on the world's shittiest cruise.

Welcome aboard.
The end.
You can follow @gwensnyderPHL.
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