For One Democratic State
in the whole of Palestine (Israel)


FOR One Man, One Vote




Our good friend Noel Ignatiev, one of the editors of Race Traitor magazine, visited Palestine, and we had a chance for long and exhaustive conversations. Later Noel wrote an ‘unofficial report’ of his journey, including some presentation of my ‘controversial’ views (see extracts at the bottom). It is a basically fair and well-intentioned presentation; Noel had to justify his contact with me to his comrades and he did it well. As always happens, certain misunderstandings have occurred; I wrote this correction to present my views to you.


Dear Noel,

Thank you for your long exposition of our talks. Probably it makes sense to point out some misunderstandings:

·        You write: “Shamir is pro-black. He believes that black people historically constitute the most progressive sector of U.S. society.” Though I understand it is a compliment coming from you, my friend, but I must reject it. I am not overly concerned with blacks, a small and particular minority of ex-slaves who have not integrated fully into mainstream of American society. Their problem is rather distracting you, and your American friends, from carrying out the more important battle against your power elites. Instead of fighting the Power (you may describe it as Capital, though my vision is different) you keep fighting ‘racists’. This is a minority problem, like the problem of gay marriages or that of AIDS sufferers. You make a mistake (a bourgeois-liberal one, in the Marxist parlance) of attaching yourself to a minority problem at the expense of the main struggle. Sure, minority problems vary from small ones (such as the quality of service at your gas station) to the much larger one of racial discrimination, but they are still minority problems in your country (as opposed to Israel/Palestine, where discrimination and inequality is a majority problem). In my view, we have to change the main thing, to smash the Power, nothing less than that.

·        Not for a second do I think that “the black people are the most progressive sector” and that Salvation will come through them. I am neither ‘pro- nor contra-Black’. I admire Cynthia McKinney, not because she is black, but because she stood bravely for the right cause. I am not colour-conscious; I am not even sure that the ex-slaves’ problem of assimilation into American society is due to their skin colour, but perhaps to their historically low social position. Indeed, upper-class African Blacks have told me they experience no racist treatment in the US. We have the example of the Buraku in Japan, who made up a social minority of extremely low status in pre-Meiji society, and are still discriminated against in Japan – though they are racially indistinguishable from other Japanese. Then there is the problem of the untouchables in India who are not all that racially different from other Indians. Such problems should be attended to slowly and patiently, while taking into account local conditions. Discrimination should be banned; but after that, a society may proceed slowly.

·        This is connected with your biggest misunderstanding: “the best label for [Shamir’s] politics is national socialism”. Now, I am not horrified by your suggestion. Indeed, I live in a country of National Socialism triumphant. Israel was a National Socialist state, and it still has some remnants of this regime, though now its Socialist tendency is mainly undone. But I oppose Israeli National Socialism, and any other NS for the following reasons.

·        I share with national-socialists the belief in the existence of ‘organic units’, but I do not consider the ‘nation’ to be the basic organic body, nor ‘race’ as the building element, nor ‘blood’ as a defining factor. In my view, the organic unit is a much smaller territorial unit than the present ‘nation’ is. For instance, in the US I would envisage New England, Dixie or the Mid-West – as organic bodies. Maybe I am mistaken, and even smaller units – states, regions – are also organic in your country. In France, the provinces like Bretagne and Provence are organic bodies; in Germany – Bavaria, Saxony and other federal 'lands' (ie, länder).

·        National Socialism was a quasi-Judaic movement for it preferred ‘blood’ to ‘soil’. For NS, a German is a German wherever he lives, like for Jews, a Jew is a Jew even on Mars.  That is why NS was a movement for the unification of all German-speaking people from the Volga to Alsace; I stand for the full individuality of separate units, against Ein Reich, ein Volk, indeed, for the ideal of the State and Revolution. That is why (and not because of ‘blood dilution’, as is the case with NS), I am against migration between organic units: for instance, a Parisian’s migration to rural Bretagne is as bad as a Virginia Black’s migration into Montana. Your racial problem is mainly a problem of migration between organic units.

·        Why are ‘organic units’ important? It is not only because of their beautiful variety and the intricate mosaic of the world. The existence of Nantucket or Normandie has an intrinsic value not to be given up for the false coin of ‘the right of free movement’. But the main reason is even heftier. Human beings have a real need for unity, as real as their need of sexual union. This unity, or solidarity, in its ideal form is the unity in God, of people united in the Church. But in order to function together, people should be shaped by territory as well. Territory is not an empty space, but a unique unit of terrain, with its own climate, agriculture, flora and fauna, tame and wild. Living together for a very long time, the people of a given territorial unit come to share similar characteristics/qualities, and thus they are able to reach unity easier and faster than in a heterogeneous society. That is why they express ‘xenophobia’, ie, the normal desire in relatively homogeneous societies to have no strangers in their midst who will slow the drive towards unity-in-God.

·        In the Jewish tradition, a stranger who agrees to sleep in a room with a married couple is considered to be ‘a killer’, for because of his presence the couple is forced to avoid sexual union. Likewise, we should be careful not to hinder the sacred union of an organic unit by enforcing ideas and paradigms that interfere with it. For instance, a civil-rights-conscious Jew who fights the erection of a Nativity scene on public property acts like a stranger sleeping in a married couple’s room.

·        Organic units have rights, just as human beings – or even companies – have. In the neo-liberal paradigm, societies have no rights; only individuals and companies have rights. Probably the only exception is the collective rights of Jews; this forces us to give more thought to the centrality of Jews to the Neo-Liberal World Order.

·        As I consider these units ‘organic’, their ‘xenophobia’ is not any different from a biological immunity mechanism which rejects a foreign body or a transplant. Naturally, the units have some capacity to absorb foreign elements, but this capacity is limited. Intra-unitary migration undermines immunity and creates a sort of “acquired immunodeficiency syndrome” leading to the death of the organic unit. A dead unit is one that has no solidarity between its members. It can be assessed in terms of its social gap or by its intensity of exploitation. It is not by chance that two immigrant, anti-native societies – those of the US and Israel – have the highest social gap in the developed world and the worst conditions for their indigenous workers.

·        Death is not forever; there are forces in action that try to bring a dead unit back to life. If the bombardment by migration comes to a stop, these forces will win the day. For instance, the Normans conquered England; they killed the old organic unit and created a Chimera of ‘horse and rider’. But the supply of Normans ran out pretty soon; the Normans in England were eventually absorbed, as Spaniards in Ireland were or Huguenots in Sweden. In the absence of intra-regional migration, the regions of the US will have a chance to become alive again – that is if they fight alienation and promote solidarity.

·        Economically, I stand at the opposite pole of NS, for I support Communism as the highest form of solidarity, an earthly projection of the Church. Communism with the Church is invincible. In the USSR, the Party tried to act as the Church, with some success. But the Church without God is like coitus interruptus; it leads to frustration and the break-up of the union. Thus atheistic godless communism failed, but it does not mean communism is impossible. It will come back after connecting itself with the Church. National Socialism was even more anti-Church, and anti-God than Communism or Neo-Liberalism. For me, the Church and God are not some add-ons easily removed by Occam’s razor, but the most important elements of existence; thus I really must decline the title of National Socialist. If a label is necessary, that of Christian Local Communist would fit me better.

·        However, even happy couples need some space for their individualities; likewise, we can accept some individualist dissent, including economic dissent (= free enterprise) within organic communities. People should be entitled to some minor independent economic activity, provided society removes excesses of their income in order to discourage greed. Thus, I am in favour of extremely high (over one hundred per cent) taxation for the wealthy, zero taxation for ordinary folk and of the total non-enforceability of debts.

·        My attitude towards Jews is quite different from NS. While NS is concerned with the ‘Jewish race’, thus fully accepting Jewish self-vision, I stand on the Orthodox Christian position and deny the existence of a ‘Jewish race’, for nobody has to be a Jew. I fully reject ‘the Judaic tendency’, that is, in Marx’s terms, anti-solidarist, antisocial tendency of “turning alienated man and alienated nature into alienable, sellable objects’. The fight against alienation is the most important fight, in my view; and here I follow Simone Weil who was as anti-Judaic as possible. My attention to ‘organic units’ is what Weil called ‘l’enracinement’, ‘the need for roots’.

·        Saying that, I see in the fight against Jewish privilege an important direction in the fight against the Power. For historic reasons, the Jews have become a dominant group in the Neo-Liberal World Order, as it is witnessed today in Jerusalem by the mass pilgrimage of world leaders, including Kofi Annan, to the Holocaust Museum. Since every Jew may cease being (= behaving like) a Jew, we are at war with those who do not use this opportunity. The fight for ‘liberating Jews by liberating the world from Jews’, in Marx’ words, was an important part of the Left's ideology; it should be renewed and not be left in the hands of NS.

·        We may extract the grain of reason and truth from every evil idea. Behind the paranoid, sadistic descriptions in the Turner Diaries one can see the desire for a solidary society, where people are one. But in the godless universe of Pierce, such unity can be achieved only by mass killing. If Pierce were aware of God, he would know of a different way to reach unity, that is of communion. While you are horrified by his racism, I feel compassion towards a lonely man who seeks solidarity and knows not where to find it. Surely his dreams of the ‘rope days’ are quite revolting – until one remembers the revolutionaries whose dream it was to ‘hang the last king on the gut of the last priest’.

·        It is possible that I am less horrified by the Diaries than you are, for it reads like a paraphrase of a Zionist book for youth written in 1946-48. Just replace ‘British’ for System, and ‘Arabs’ for Blacks, remove references to nuclear weapons and you will end up with a standard Israeli juvenile text of that time. The terrorist acts read like the usual glorification of Lehi attacks on British police stations and Arab markets. The expulsion of Blacks and the writer’s joy in seeing a purely white collective working the fields reads like the actual diaries of Joseph Weitz, the head of Jewish Agency Settlement Department: he enjoyed travelling the 'purified' (from Arabs) lands of Palestine and observing the purely Jewish kibbutzim with a similar joy. Thus a person horrified by the Diaries and still collaborating with Zionists may be accused of duplicity, at best. 

·        I hope I have clarified the main points of misunderstanding.

With comradely regards


From Noel Ignatiev’s Report:

Last December I sent Shamir the following letter (edited to eliminate repetition and personal references):

            Your claim that Russia under Stalin was a workers’ paradise is absurd. Mere mention of Orwell and Solzhenitsyn should be enough to jar you back to reality…. The greatest proof of the character of Stalin’s regime is the ease by which the Brezhnevites and later the gangsters came to power. For thirty years Stalin made war on the Russian workers, broke up their organizations, killed or forced into exile every independent thinker among them, and so exhausted and demoralized them that they were an easy mark for anyone (e.g. Vlasov) who offered them hope of escape…

            My second difference with you is over the historic importance of the Jews… Even if no such people as the Jews had ever existed,… the world would be pretty much as it is…. Nineteenth-century capitalist society brought with it poverty, disease, and ignorance for the wage slaves of Europe and America, not to mention the Irish famine, the poisoning of the Chinese people with opium, [and] the reduction of the population of the Congo by ten million over fifteen years¾and no one has ever suggested that nineteenth-century capital was dominated by Jews or that it had a neo-Judaic character. In Capital and the Grundrisse Marx analyzed and forecast with amazing accuracy the development of society from his day to ours , and while he was certainly not soft on the Jews he had no need for them as an element in his study. Even if every Jew were a capitalist and every capitalist a Jew, I would still be anti-capitalist, not anti-Jew, because capital is the force driving the planet to destruction, and “the Jew” is at most its personification.

            I recall someone reproaching you for being soft on David Duke. You replied that in all likelihood the one reproaching you would have been willing to overlook Duke’s white supremacism had Duke not also been against the Jews. If so, it were a grievous fault. It is also wrong to overlook Duke’s white supremacism because he is against the Jews. Duke, the National Alliance, and other advocates of White Power are no friends of ours, notwithstanding their anti-zionism….


Shamir never replied substantively to my letter… As I expected, I found him to be a warm host and a considerate travelling companion, able to discuss knowledgeably and intelligently a wide range of human activity, including history, philosophy, literature, music, film, painting and sculpture, architecture, and the physical and natural sciences. He enjoys good food and wine and a good story. He likes women. He is a good partner in conversation, able to listen as well as to contribute—except when it comes to a few areas. Nevertheless, I must report that I made not the slightest progress on any of the topics I raised in my letter or others that came up. I shall now outline our talks.


1)     Shamir knows his Marx, including the 1844 Manuscripts. He claimed to have been influenced by the currents of 1968, and to have worked with groups in Russia comparable to Praxis in Yugoslavia, Cahiers du communisme in France or for that matter ourselves in the U.S. He told me he regarded State and Revolution as Lenin’s most important work. When I asked him how he squared his appreciation of that work with his positive attitude toward Stalin, he replied that times were different then, that Stalin faced a difficult task, that he had tried conscientiously to raise the cultural level of the workers and peasants, including increasing the proportion of persons of proletarian and peasant origin in the institutions of higher education and especially in the Party, that the purges of the mid-1930s were directed toward eliminating a layer of old Bolsheviks (many of Jewish origin) who had come to regard the country as their personal property, and that the circulation of State and Revolution in the millions was a token of Stalin’s commitment to the ideal of proletarian democracy. In response to my saying that Stalin’s historic function was to industrialize Russia, bring about universal literacy, emancipate women formally, and in general establish the conditions for capitalist accumulation, and that today’s gangster republic was the outgrowth, he accused me (in a humorous tone) of sounding like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. To my comment that I had not read the Protocols and that I was not talking about a conspiracy of Jews but about the logic of capitalist development, he made no reply.


2)     Shamir is unequivocal in his writings and in private conversations that he is against what he calls the Judaic ideology and Jewish interests, not against people of Jewish origin. He genuinely admires Marx, Trotsky, Rosa Luxemburg, Simone Weil, and others of Jewish origin who refused to identify as Jews, and also Isaac Deutscher, Chomsky, and others who did not go quite so far. There is nothing racial in his attitude. I suggested that Jews were at most the carriers in Europe and North America of an ideology that would have existed without them, and brought up the cases of China and Japan, capitalism without Jews. I said that targeting “the Jews” rather than capital was dangerous because it made room for favoring one sector of capital (“productive”) over another (“speculative”). He admitted that Jews could not be held accountable for Japan and China. He also admitted that he found industrial capital, with all its defects, preferable to the present phase, which he identifies as “neo-Judaic.” Given the reality of global parasitism, the tendency to prefer the former is understandable; in Shamir’s case it may explain his positive evaluation of Stalin’s regime, which was nothing if not “productive.”…


3)     We had our most difficult and acrimonious discussions on the subject of whiteness in the U.S. Shamir is pro-black. He believes that black people historically constitute the most progressive sector of U.S. society. He has published odes to Cynthia McKinney (the Afro-American Congresswoman from Atlanta who was defeated by AIPAC et al for opposing U.S. mideast policy). At the same time, he thinks racial oppression is no longer the policy of the ruling class, and that it exists only as a legacy, unable to do much harm. He thinks we place too much importance on color, and that we should develop programs that represent “the majority” rather than “ten percent.” I made the arguments you might expect, to no avail. He seemed as deaf on the subject as the white leftists we have been arguing against for thirty-five years. Even after I explained that our aim was not to fight for “ten percent” but to confront the principal barrier preventing white workers from acting as part of a class, and that we would be glad to forget about color as soon as the white workers did, he went right on accusing me and RT of fighting only for a “minority.” Some specifics: he sees the New York Teachers’ Strike of 1968 as a response to ruling-class (“Jewish”) efforts to restructure the educational system using the demand for “community control,” and argues that instead of supporting community control people like us should have tried to find a position that could unite black and white. He pointed out that Jews do not send their children to urban public schools. He also made no reference to the fact—which I know he knows—that Jews made up a majority of the NY Teachers’ Union and all of its leaders. Unfortunately I let him get away without addressing the paradox that the main enemy of “Jewish” efforts to destroy public schools was the “Jewish” Teachers’ Union…. His view of the 1973 Boston busing crisis was consistent with his view of the NY strike, namely that the ruling class (“the Jews”) used busing as a way of destroying public schools, and that instead of supporting it people like us should have searched for a way that united black and white.

4)     Like anyone who takes history seriously, Shamir reads it backwards: he has his own interpretation of “Birth of a Nation,” characterizing the American abolitionists as the forerunners of U.S. imperialism. I tried to give him a history lesson (He knows some of DuBois’s work, but not Black Reconstruction.), describing the efforts of the former slaves to carry out a revolution within the revolution. I conceded that the activities of the slaves and their allies ultimately led to the triumph of industrial capital, but said the responsibility lay not with them but with the failure of white labor to recognize a labor movement when it appeared in a black skin. He listened and said, “Times have changed since then, and the struggle for racial equality does not have the same potential as before.” A reasonable position, I thought, and congratulated myself on a small breakthrough, until the next day when he described Wendell Phillips as “one of those people who would rather fight for the slaves elsewhere than for the laborers under his nose”—as if he had not heard a word I said.

5)      Shamir opposes massive immigration, on the grounds that it is harmful both to the immigrants and to the society receiving them. His opposition is not motivated by racial sentiments, and it is not absolute: he believes that a small number of people entering a society from outside are beneficial. To prevent massive population shifts he favors a combination of economic transformation of the South and restrictions in Europe and North America. When I expressed opposition to his view, on the grounds that if the workers of Europe and North America agreed to restrict immigration they would never be able to constitute themselves as part of a global class, and therefore there would be no transformation of the South, he accused me of attaching no importance to traditional cultures. I denied the charge, saying I agreed with him that change happens best when it happens gradually, but said that I thought the damage caused by building walls was greater than the damage caused by tearing them down…. Just as Israel had done more than Hitler to destroy whatever was of value in Yiddish culture, so the exclusion of immigrants would do more than their unrestricted admission to destroy whatever there was of value in the American tradition, part of which was its openness to newcomers. He listened politely and then said, “Well, you place no value on traditional culture.”…. Charitably, he added that there must be room in the world for my opinion as well as for the opinion of those who valued tradition above all.

6)      Shamir said that since racial equality had largely been achieved, we need not concern ourselves with the past of people like David Duke, who was these days talking more against zionism and the Iraqi war than he was against black people. He advised us to find a way to make common cause with him against the federal government. I replied that even if he had dropped his explicit white supremacy, and even if he was sincere, it was necessary, given American tradition, to bear in mind the potential for white solidarity as a rallying basis for a movement. So long as the economy held up more or less, no explicitly white supremacist movement could pose much of a threat, but if the dollar collapsed and took with it the daily lives of ordinary whites, it was likely that many would seek to solve their problems at the expense of black people, as they had in the past, not excluding genocide, and that it was not out of the question that such a movement could come to power in the U.S., either alone or in coalition with a sector of capital. This he called “Judaic thinking,” a continuation of the habit of Jews to see themselves always as the target of persecution. That was the other occasion I got angry with him—accusing me, of all people, of “Judaic thinking.”


            I left Shamir with copies of State Capitalism and World Revolution, Race Traitor, and the speeches of Wendell Phillips, and urged him to read the Turner Diaries, but I am not optimistic. Based on my talks with him and my reading of his published works, I would say that the best label for his politics is national socialism. For Americans brought up on Steven Spielberg movies and Hollywood images of monocled Nazis saying “Ve haf vays to make you talk,” I hasten to add that the national socialism of today is not the National Socialism of 1933. (Moreover, Shamir’s Russian sympathies prevent him from identifying unreservedly with Hitler.) Shamir’s politics are not ours (if “ours” can still be said to exist), but neither are the politics of social-democracy, green localism, third-world nationalism, individualist anarchism, or liberalism, and I don’t see how these days national socialism represents a greater problem than any of the others…. In a talk he made before the House of Lords, Shamir said that whoever supports Israel should apologize to Rhodesia and South Africa. I agree with him, and in like manner say that no one who maintains relations with two-staters or anti-NAFTA protectionists has the moral right to attack me for opposing efforts to oust Shamir from an anti-zionist organization.