From speaking to a great many people in the community it isn’t too much of a stretch to say that the idea that the LGB Alliance are a fascist organisation is a popular one.
I believe this categorisation is wrong when it comes to the LGB Alliance itself. It may be valid when it comes to other anti-trans groups, anti-trans individuals and even supporters of the LGB Alliance but when it comes to the organisation itself?
Nope. Here is why:
Fascism has been defined many times since it was made mainstream by Giovanni Gentile and Benito Mussolini in the 1930’s. They outlined their ideas (solely under Mussolini’s name because BENITO DOESN’T SHARE CREDIT) in “THE DOCTRINE OF FASCISM” which made the point that fascism is a rejection of new fangled ideas like socialism, liberalism and democracy and was entirely about the importance of tradition, a rejection of egalitarianism and instituting nationalist totalitarianism.
That just isn’t what the LGB Alliance are. Have you ever seen them argue or imply that democracy is bad? Ever seen them argue that all people should be extensions of the state?
Cultural theorist Umberto Eco knew a hell of a lot about fascism. He was born into Italian fascism, molded by it…
He is Bane in The Dark Knight Rises when it comes to fascism, except he went on to write a lot about why the darkness was bullshit.
In his essay ‘UR-FASCISM’ he outlines 14 ideas that are key components of fascism. Not every fascist organisation or government will adopt all of these, but they will adopt most of them:
“The cult of tradition” – Old ideas are the best, we have figured everything out already! NEW THINGS BAD
“The rejection of modernism” – I SAID NEW THINGS BAD
“The cult of action for action’s sake” – Thinking is for GIRLS! Men act! Do something now! NOW!
“Disagreement is treason” – Disagreeing means THINKING, thinking is what bad intellectuals do! TRAITOR
“Fear of difference” – Look at THESE PEOPLE. They are intruding by existing near you!
“Appeal to social frustration” – Your life sucks! These people over here are why!
“The obsession with a plot” – These bastards who totally exist want to destroy you! FIGHT BACK!
“The enemy is both strong and weak” – These people are pathetic AND THEY ARE COMING FOR YOUR KIDS
“Pacifism is trafficking with the enemy” – Not being at war is just giving our enemies a foot-rub. LIFE IS A FIGHT FOREVER
“Contempt for the weak” – The people are weak and pathetic. They don’t deserve to rule themselves
“Everybody is educated to become a hero” – DIE FOR YOUR NATION! THAT IS BEING A HERO! EVERYONE CAN BE ONE IF THEY DIE!
“Machismo and weaponry” – MEN MAKE BABIES WITH THEIR GENITAL WEAPONS, nobody is as good as men!
“Selective populism” – These few people represent everyone! Because they care about the nation LIKE EVERYONE ELSE DOES
“Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak” – Let’s change the meaning of the word ‘bacon’ to any meat so people have a tougher time buying bacon in shops or even talking about it!
At best, if we really stretched out these ideas, maybe 3 or 4 of these could be attributed to the LGB Alliance. They do try to appeal to some magical time before the damned-dirty trans people started screwing everything up. They absolutely do portray trans people as being part of some ‘institution capturing’ plot and they absolutely attempt (very poorly) selective populism. But beyond that…it is hard to argue that the LGB Alliance hits most of these points. Whilst Eco himself says that just one of these characteristics is enough to ‘allow fascism to coagulate around it’, that isn’t the same as the LGB Alliance being fascist itself. However, that does explain how a striking number of neo-nazi types appear to like what the LGB Alliance has going on.
But what about today’s most up-to-date takes on what fascism is? Maybe the LGB Alliance fits into more modern fascist frameworks?
Jason Stanley is a professor of philosophy at Yale University whose family fled the Nazis in the late 1930’s. As such he has spent a lot of time studying and thinking about fascism. In his book: “How Fascism Works” he outlines 10 fascistic techniques:
“The mythic past” – Wasn’t this representation of the past (that we just made up) great?
“Propaganda” – No, that obviously terrible thing isn’t bad. Please read/watch/listen to this!
“Anti-intellectual” – Stop listening to experts! Listen to US!
“Unreality” – Up is down! Carrots are lizards! Bacon is cheese! Do you even know what is real anymore?
“Hierachy” – We are better than them. We should be in charge!
“Victimhood” – We may have all the power but WE ARE THE REAL VICTIMS
“Law and order” – Those people are bad! Lock them up! PUNISH THEM! HATE THEM!
“Sexual anxiety” – Your manhood is at risk because GAYS! Your heritage is at risk because RACE MIXING!
“Sodom and Gomorrah” – Cities are full of sin. The countryside is PURE!
“Arbeit Macht Frei” – Work is the only solution for THESE lazy people!
Again, only maybe 3 or 4 of those things could be techniques used by the LGB Alliance. The mythic past could be how they portray LGBT history as being without the T until fairly recently. Propaganda could be what they utilise through their social media and possibly even what they are granted by various UK news outlets. But beyond that…have you ever seen the LGB Alliance actively arguing for trans people to be locked up more than they already are? Have you ever seen the LGB Alliance argue that city’s are dens of decadent degeneracy? Have you ever seen the LGB Alliance intentionally creating an ‘unreality’ by making 17 different ridiculous arguments in a day to destabilize people and cast doubt on reality itself?
It is pretty obvious that the LGB Alliance are not exactly fascists when you compare them to governmental regimes. They aren’t standing people in elections, they aren’t seeking total power over the United Kingdom and it is pretty clear that they aren’t seeking to overthrow democracy. You can’t even argue that they are trying to take over the LGBT community because they haven’t exactly gone around any LGBT area in any city demanding that trans people are thrown out on their arse.
But how much does the LGB Alliance have in common with modern fascist/far right groups?
Not a whole bunch.
Hope Not Hate are a charity that specialise in researching and responding to far-right extremism in the UK. Every year since they began they have released a report called “The State of Hate” and this years edition can shed some light on how fascists groups actually work ‘on the ground’ instead of ‘in theory’.
One thing appears to unite almost every group, individual, influencer, ‘citizen journalist’ and publishing house referenced in the report: Extreme nationalism. Whether it is Katie Hopkins, Britain First, what’s left of old school Neo-Nazi group Combat-18 or UKIP, intense nationalism is the cornerstone of their whole thing. Reading through the document is like watching the words of Eco and Stanley spring to life in front of your eyes. Most of those included in the report come with British flags. When is the last time you saw the LGB Alliance rock up with British flags and rely on nationalistic rhetoric?
The UK’s far right organisations also act differently when it comes to their day-to-day actions. Many are nothing more than jumped up street gangs who march against measures to protect people from COVID-19 in an attempt to co-opt that movement and recruit from it. Fascist groups appear to be more interested in fighting each other or sending a bunch of bellends down a high-street to inevitably be met by anti-fascist activists. Online radicalisation and recruitment into straight-up terrorist organisations is a factor, and I don’t think anyone can argue the LGB Alliance are any kind of terrorist group. The populist, less extreme groups making up the UK’s far right actively field candidates in elections, something the LGB Alliance is unlikely to ever do themselves (in fact, those with charity status cannot be a political party).
But the biggest difference between the LGB Alliance and any of the groups featured in the Hope not Hate report is that every far-right group has multiple shitty angles that can summed up as ‘hating everyone who isn’t a British white man.” They campaign against anything that would result in the perceived ‘persecution’ of British white men. Everything stems from this and branches off into a number of different areas including anti-Semitism, anti-Black Lives Matter rhetoric and action, anti-abortion activities and the never ending obsession with the ‘Islamification’ of the UK.
The LGB Alliance has one angle: “Trans ideology” is bad.
That is the absolute centre of everything they do. They do not march in the streets, they don’t have ideals that their members are encouraged to live by beyond vague illusions towards second wave feminism. They don’t show up outside trans events like members of fascist groups have shown up at various immigration centres. They are not likely to do much ‘on the streets’ like almost all of the groups mentioned in the Hope Not Hate report.
What makes the LGB Alliance distinct from these groups is that they are not relying on membership numbers to generate ‘foot soldiers’ and voters. Their artificially inflated numbers are only cited to give the group legitimacy when it comes to their main goal.
To be seen as a major ‘stakeholder’ when it comes to government policy on LGBT issues.
For those who are unaware, the UK government categorises a ‘stakeholder’ as groups or individuals who have a stake in certain policy areas. Examples of stakeholders when it comes to LGBT issues includes Mermaids, Stonewall, Brook, the LGBT Foundation, the LGBT Consortium and many, many others.
The LGB Alliance want a seat at the table. And seeing as how they have had meetings with the head of the Government Equalities Hub and Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch, they are well on their way.
This is what makes the LGB Alliance dangerous. They are doing the one thing that fascists do not tend to do: they are trying to get influence over policy THROUGH the government. Not through voters or ‘foot soldiers’ on the streets.
This organisation are not fascists in what they believe ideologically or how they carry themselves. They are not above using fascistic means to spread their message nor are they against fascists supporting them and using them. For evidence of that, check out our report on far-right hack Andy Ngo being given a press pass to their conference.
So our response cannot be based on anti-fascist techniques. It just wouldn’t work. How do you disrupt public meetings by a group who don’t hold any? How do you fight back against violent LGB Alliance street gangs that do not exist? How do you stop them recruiting when their numbers are an easily inflated tool only used to gain access to government officials and ministers? How do you cut off their finances when their overheads are basically just a PO box, a website and the odd booth at a political party conference or their own (hopefully not) yearly conference? Things they can easily crowdfund for based on the history of incredibly successful anti-trans fundraisers that happen almost every day?
You don’t. In fact, not only would very few tactics from the anti-fascist playbook actually do anything, they would make trans people look totally ridiculous. It isn’t exactly hard for the LGB Alliance to spin a picture of trans people playing black-block cosplay into something sinister that validates the nonsense claims they are making to government officials. They don’t even appear to have trouble painting the most mild protest action as something to fear.
We have to stop thinking of the LGB Alliance as a fascist organisation. The LGB Alliance are to fascism what Christian Concern are to fascism.
Christian Concern are a right-wing group who operate very similarly to the LGB Alliance. They raise money from their members to fund court challenges and actively seek a seat at the table when it comes to everything from LGBT rights to abortion. Whereas the LGB Alliance underpin their anti-trans ideology with vague radical second wave feminism, Christian Concern are underpinned by an almost far-right interpretation of the Bible. But that is where the differences end. Christian Concern are a hate group for sure, but they are not a fascist group even though some of their tactics are fascistic and there is significant ideological overlap with the far-right in the UK.
The LGB Alliance are the Christian Concern of the LGBT community. They rely on the image that they speak for a large portion of the LGBT community just the same as Christian Concern rely on the image that they speak for Christians.
To combat the LGB Alliance you have to get them in the same place it would also hurt Christian Concern: you have to totally disprove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are a valid ‘stakeholder’. That means public protests against everything the LGB Alliance attempts to do. That means every LGBT organisation showing up in person as much as they can to these protests. That means taking every single opportunity to point out that this group are not a valid stakeholder in anything.
It means more people from as many walks of life as possible showing up in person so it doesn’t look like the only people who give a shit about the LGB Alliance are bunch of 20-somethings itching for another Cable Street.
It means that we as a community have to start emailing government officials and requesting meetings. It means every single group, organisation and chess club who aren’t already lobbying government and the press needs to start doing so right now.
Thinking that the LGB Alliance are a fascist organisation is a terrible mistake that does nothing to stop them achieving what they want. The only way to stop them is to prove the obvious: that they are a marginal voice in our community.
We have to make it totally embarrassing for anyone to claim that the LGB Alliance are an LGB rights group. You have to make it embarrassing for anyone to take them seriously as a stakeholder on LGBT issues. And you can only do that by telling the truth as loudly as you can, as often as you can.
Here are some email addresses to get you started:
Minister for Women & Equality Liz Truss MP – email@example.com
Minister for Women Baroness Deborah Stedman-Scott OBE – firstname.lastname@example.org (Specify in the email that it is for Baroness Deborah Stedman-Scott OBE)
Minister for Equalities Mike Freer MP – email@example.com
Minister for Equalities Kemi Badenoch MP – firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of the Government Equality Hub Marcus Bell – email@example.com
(All these email addresses were found publicly on https://www.parliament.uk/ or https://rocketreach.co/. Feel free to use those to search for others who you believe could do with knowing about just how much the LGB Alliance suck)