An interview with Welf Herfurth, who is a key organiser for the New Right and National Anarchist movements in Australia. This continues our series of interviews with people from different political movements and organisations.
1. What motivates you in politics?
Politics is something that always interested me and I feel a sense of belonging to my community, and also a sense of responsibility. That entails my taking an interest in current events, and, especially, what our liberal democratic politicians are doing. To me, our liberal democratic politicians who win office do not see their appointment as a duty, as a means of helping the people: they just see it as a job with perks. Liberal democratic politicians are mainly involved in internal party politics, internal power games, and seem to be interested only in satisfying the lobbyists who financed their last campaign. Most of the politicians do not serve their constituents, but only the party they belong to.
What is more, the political agenda of the liberal democratic system is not the interest of the local communities and the average person on the street, and their identity and culture; instead, it is globalism, political correctness and social engineering. The politicians today are economic managers, technocrats, not leaders of the people – for the people. They claim to be democrats, but they are really master manipulators.
So, to me, the main concerns are the future of my people, and my children. I like travelling in countries outside of Australia, because I like to experience different cultures and people. To me, globalisation is threatening to deform existing cultures; it wants to create a world monoculture to replace existing diversity. Which is why I am a National-Anarchist: it is the radical answer to globalisation and the tyranny of liberal democracy. I believe in social justice for all people, including the people of European heritage.
I take a can-do approach to activism: I can’t expect other people to do the dirty work if I am not prepared to do it myself.
On a personal level, the people who inspire me – my political heroes – include Che, Hugo Chavez, Julius Evola and Troy Southgate.
2. How do you see your movement developing?
Firstly, National Anarchism and the New Right as a whole are not organisations that one can join as a member in the usual sense. In that respect, we are different from the political parties. So we try to create a mass movement out of which a political party can grow organically. That, the movement, needs to be taken care of first. Look at One Nation and how it failed because it didn’t have the fundamentals right.
As for my own experience, I became involved with the National Anarchists nine years ago, via the Internet. It took me a long time understand what it all meant. In 2006 I started my own little blog (www.newrightausnz.blogspot.com) and advertised the ideology of National-Anarchism to the broader political community. Because we National Anarchists have a completely different approach to politics, it takes time to change people’s perception of what National-Anarchism is and what we National-Anarchists want. But we are slowly getting there, and more and more people accept us.
At the moment we in the New Right Australia/New Zealand have active groups in Sydney, Newcastle, Canberra, Melbourne and Perth. And, since the New Right Australia/New Zealand blog started 2 ½ years ago, we have a New Right website (www.newrightausnz.com). Several followers of the New Right and National Anarchism have started their own national Anarchist blogs. We are working on a National-Anarchist magazine, and have our own line of New Right and National-Anarchist merchandise like shirts and books.
We have supporters that are from the traditional Left, and one of our strategies is to spread the word at universities – and amongst the ‘middle class’, as they have the most to lose.
3. What are your movement’s goals and how do you hope to achieve them?
Well, there are two different hats I myself am wearing – one as a National-Anarchist and one as a follower of the New Right.
The goals of the New Right are to teach the people to think outside the political box they are in; to reach out to intellectuals; to form discussion groups; to act as a leading nationalist think-tank in Australia; to break down the divide between Left and Right, and start a dialogue between all political groups; and, in general, to educate people politically.
In my view, the National-Anarchists are the activists of the New Right. At least here in Australia. The goal of the National-Anarchists is to engage in street activism (e.g., the APEC demonstration at Sydney in 2007; local community work) and confuse the so-called traditional Left, including the mainstream anarchists, with our message and our conduct, so that they will start to think beyond their dogmas. Ultimately, National-Anarchism aims at an Australia of autonomous communities which are self-sufficient. That might sound like an unrealistic goal, but nothing is impossible when the people are strong enough and have a will to want it.
4. Are you open to the idea of politics outside the ballot box, e.g. demonstrations, local community politics, cultural festivals etc.?
Most definitely. I come from a tradition of German nationalist activism which emphasises demonstrations, community activism, cultural festivals and the like as a means of carrying one’s message to the people. One of the advantages of community work is that breaks down people’s misconceptions (implanted in them by the liberal democratic media, Hollywood, etc.) of what nationalism is and what sort of people nationalists are. It is propaganda of the deed, so to speak. So I am engaging, with my fellow National-Anarchist activists, in volunteer work for my local community, and so far, it has been a big success. We see local community work as the corner stone of our success in the future.
5. Do you see co-operation between patriots as a way we can all move forward together?
At the moment, the so-called patriotic movement is its own worst enemy. The problems are infighting; too many chiefs and not enough Indians; people and groups being too busy arguing on what separates them and not what unites them; nationalists not being lateral thinkers; large numbers of nationalists thinking only in liberal democratic terms (political parties, ballot boxes); and nationalists being patriotic and nationalist in an emotional sense only, i.e., they don’t have any real ideology aside from that feeling of patriotism.
My solution is: nationalists need to concentrate on what they have in common; and, they have to throw their political dogmas away and start thinking in politically-inclusive terms. Too often do I hear that as Nationalists you have to hate the ‘Left’ without even knowing what the left is or what they want. And look at the ‘Left’ – they hate everything what is ‘Right’ or ‘National’ without any knowledge of what they stand for. If these two sides would try to understand a bit more about each other they would be surprised to find out how much they have in common and that the real enemy is the liberal democratic system and not each other. They also need to stop being keyboard commandoes and to get active in their communities, e.g., join the SES or other volunteer organisations. Too many ‘Nationalists’ have too much time on their hands, otherwise they wouldn’t spend so much time behind the PC and insult each other in all the different Forums.
My motto is, ‘Live what you believe in, be true to your core values and respect other opinions’.
6. Would you and other key personnel in the movement be interested in attending and being guest speakers at meetings of parties and groups that are part of the overall movement?
We in the New Right talk to everybody, and not only to the groups that are so called ‘Nationalist’. We see politics as inclusive and not exclusive: therefore, there are no boundaries as to who we talk to. I think that political dialogue is important to overcome today’s social problems. So we talk to people from every political orientation, from the union movement, ‘Left’ groups, ‘Right’ groups, people of all religious faiths… I will even talk to the pigeon club if it gives me an opportunity to spread the word of National-Anarchism and New Right.
We don’t want to limit our message to one segment of the community. Only through political education can we spread our message and break the media smears and public perception against the New right and National Anarchists.
7. What is your vision for the Australian Nation?
What is the Australian Nation and what is the Australian way of life? By law everybody is an Australian if they have an Australian passport. I disagree with that ‘civic nationalist’ view, of course.
Ideally, what I would like to see is an Australia which is a country with many autonomous communities that control their own local affairs. That means no state government, but one needs a federal body that controls foreign affairs. I want a country of free people who can determine their own destiny and future.
Realistically – that is, for the time being – I want to see a society that rejects liberal democracy. We should form our own groups of friends and associates, and interact with them, and exchange labour and goods within those groups. By doing that, we will form a parallel society. That is, we have a National-Anarchist system within a system.
8. Any last words?
Be open-minded but never forget your own core values. Stop bickering and keep in mind what is at stake. And never forget what Mao once said: “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.”
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to explain what National Anarchism is and what the New Right tries to achieve. If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to visit our websites or to contact us.