The photo that made Nathan Damigo leader of the alt-Right

Summary: America has entered an age of revolutions. This year the counter-revolution by the Right began. It is as ugly as the Left’s revolution; perhaps worse. Unless we act soon, the struggle between our mad extremes will decide America’s fate.

“Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.”
— Attributed to Harold Geneen (CEO of ITT).

A leader of the alt-Right in action, confronting the Left.
Read this post to see the moment when he became famous and a leader of the alt-right.

Nathan Damigo at Charlottesville
Nathan Damigo at the Berkeley riot, 15 April 2017. Noah Berger/The Chronicle.

One of the emerging leaders of the alt-right is Nathan Damigo. He  founded the California-based white nationalist group Identity Evropa. Motto: “We are the future.” He was prominent at the Charlottesville riot. He was, as others have been, further radicalized in prison — where he read David Duke’s racist screed My Awakening: A Path to Racial Understanding. See his action-packed bio, and an even less flattering bio by the SPLC.

What brought him to public notice and a leadership in the alt-Right?

“Fortune sides with he who dares.”
— Attributed to Virgil.

Leaders are sometimes made by being the first to break rules that are no longer respected. That makes them outlaws and leaders. On 1 December 1955 Rosa Parks refused a bus driver’s order to surrender her seat to a white passenger and move to the back of the bus. The next phase of the Civil Rights revolution had begun.

A generation of young men watched women hitting men in films and on TV — sometimes in anger, in pique, or to demonstrate righteous indignation Women hit men, hurling them across the room. Guys can only accept these displays of grrl-power, since hitting back would be wrong. See examples here.

Hollywood has acted as the national teacher of morality for over 50 years, instructing the peons about the new morality. But the lessons learned were not always what they intended. Showing chivalry as the behavior of fools and sexists changed some fundamentals in relations between men and women. Young men were ready for someone to lead them into a new era of gender equality with a transformative act.

At a Berkeley riot on 15 April 2017 Nathan Damigo boldly crossed a line and made himself famous by his attack on Louise Rosealma. Note she is holding a bottle by the neck, ready for throwing.

Nathan Damigo hits Louise Rosealma
Stephen Lam/Reuters.

He then hit her again (the sequence is unclear) in this video by Luke Rudkowski, founder of WeAreChange. Start at 30 seconds to see him running up to and hitting Louise Rosealma. Why was he not prosecuted for this?

It is not a conventionally inspiring moment. But all systems must be sustainable, both ecological and social. Girls being esteemed for hitting guys white guys are unable to hit back is an unstable equilibrium. Someone was eventually going to refuse to stay in the back of the gender bus. Avalanches restore equilibrium, but have no morality.

Update: a look at the neo-Nazis on the alt-Right.

See this VICE video about the horrific neo-Nazi alt-Right at Charlottesville. Of course VICEs gives no parallel look at the Antifa thugs. This is a similarity of recent US riots and Weimar — political violence on the streets, with Left and Right each cheering their side. Very Weimerica.


Sigmoid curve

Our age of revolutions.

America has entered a time of revolutions. Like all such, they follow an “S” curve, slow at first — slowly accelerating, than a rise to a climax, then return to a new normal.

The first rounds were fired by the Left at the dawn of the 21st century. Acceptance of gays, then transgendered, then a war on the concept of gender (probably with horrific results for the young children used as guinea pigs for the Left’s experiments). The war on the (fake) rape culture (details here, here). The often violent war on free political speech at colleges (e.g., Edgewood College, Middlebury College, the Berkeley riot, Evergreen College). Their enthusiasm about their use of political violence (e.g., “punching Nazis“). The restructuring of America’s schools in ways that substantially reduced boys ability to thriven in them (e.g., abolishing recess play time, enrichment programs for girls that exclude boys).

Every revolution gets a counter-revolution. Sometimes noble, like Britain’s Glorious Revolution of 1688. Sometimes ugly, like the South’s counter-revolution after Reconstruction, reimposing oppression of Blacks for a century. The Right appears to be choosing to follow the latter path, marching under a flag of white nationalism. See this AP story about its arrival at America’s colleges, using the mob tactics the Left has so long enjoyed.

Sometimes the revolutions begun by extremists determine the fate of nations, if the middle majority allows it. By ancient law and the harsh workings of nature, silence means assent — with America’s future determined by the clash of extremists. That was the way of the Weimar Republic, as its passivity gave a choice between Stalin (communists) and Hitler. This did not end well for Germany.

Our passivity might give us an equally ugly choice between a mad Left and mad Right. That would not end well for us. But we can strike our own path. The political machinery bequeathed to us by the Founders remains idle without us to power it, but still decisive when engaged.

See Reforming America: Steps to New Politics for three score ideas about ways to a better future. Or imagine and execute your own ideas.

For More Information.

If you found this post of use, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Also see all posts about the far-right, about the far-left, about political violence, and especially these…

Our history can help us understand what we can do.

John Adams by David McCullough. The cover shows Adams at 80, not the fiery young man who helped drive the Revolution or the mature man who led America through some of its vulnerable early years.

American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House by Joe Meacham.

John Adams by David McCullough
Available at Amazon.
An American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House
Available at Amazon

25 thoughts on “The photo that made Nathan Damigo leader of the alt-Right”

  1. Great post, FM. The US seems very much in tune with the hapless Weimar Republic, but, as you say, there is still time to change the course using the tools of the Constitution.

    Another thing to consider, if we fail and the US becomes some sort of ultra-left or ultra-right nation, the new government is probably going to try to export its particular brand of madness to the rest of the world. This is likely to make the government look powerful in the eyes of its supporters and (at least temporarily) stimulate the economy which will get buy-in from the fence-sitters.

    Typo: “thriven in them” was probably meant to be “thrive in them”

    1. pluto99: “…the new government is probably going to try to export its particular brand of madness to the rest of the world.”

      Don’t you have the flow backwards?

      Imperialism, and the United States is by far and away the greatest empire to ever grace the face of planet Earth, is an ugly business.

      That much-feared boomerang effect of the “government of subject races” can come back home with a vengeance. When the English empire was already well along the pathway of imperial decline, Lord Cromer warned that “the rule by violence in faraway lands would end by affecting the government of England, and the last ‘subject race’ would be the English themselves.”

      Henry Steel Commager likewise warned that, “If we subvert world order and destroy world peace we must inevitably subvert and destroy our own political institutions first.”

      And then there was the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without first having spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.”

  2. Reaction is not revolution. The “alt-right” (far right, radical right) did not elect Trump. I say this as a complete independent (and I voted Democrat for President from 1976 through 2004). Focusing on the “alt-right” now is avoidance behavior on the part of the out-of-control Left (I have called them The Insane Left ever since the Democrats herded the country into Obamacare, based only on continuous and outrageously blatant lies (and a political, suborned Supreme Court).

    1. Harry,

      “Reaction is not revolution.”

      First, a small definitional point: reaction would be a counter-revolution, not revolution. Second, sometimes it is (e.g., the South’s reaction to Reconstruction). Sometimes it is not.

      “The “alt-right” (far right, radical right) did not elect Trump.”

      I agree. Trump got 63 million votes (46%). How many voters are “alt-right”? Oddly, I can’t find a poll about this. But I’ll bet most are straight-line hard-core GOP voters, not “in play” during 2016.

      “Focusing on the “alt-right” now is avoidance behavior on the part of the out-of-control Left”

      I disagree. This is a potentially powerful movement still in its early inchoate phase. It deserves attention. Also, it illustrates with unusually clarity how America’s extremes have turned against the rest of us.

    2. Editor said: “But I’ll bet most are straight-line hard-core GOP voters, not ‘in play’ during 2016.”

      Maybe so, but it was not any change in the white vote, but the swing in the Black and Hispanic vote, that put Trump in the White House. I have heard Trump, speaking in a taped interview, acknowledge that he could not have won without the uptick in support from Black and Hispanic voters.

      Trump made a great many promises to improve the material wellbeing of Blacks and Hispanics, and it looks like some took him up on his promises. These voters chose material self-interest over ethnic or racial solidarity (identity politics). It’s still too soon to see how this works out for them, but his support amongst Hispanics doesn’t seem to be waning:

      — Trump approval at 45%; Support among Hispanics, western and union voters jumps double digits —

      1. Glenn,

        “but it was not any change in the white vote, but the swing in the Black and Hispanic vote, that put Trump in the White House.”

        The game of finding the specific change that put Trump in the White House is silly. A change of 80 thousand votes would have given Hillary the win. We could like scores of factors that shifted such a tiny fraction of voters from one column to another.

        Re: Zooby poll

        Don’t take that seriously. A poll of 1300 people cannot give reliable information about attitudes or trends of minorities. The sample size is too small, and the margin of error for that sub-sample is probably larger than the effect reported. Also note that Zooby’s results are different than those of better known pollsters, such as Gallup. See here, showing a stable slow decline in Trump’s approval rating.

  3. According to British historian and author Laurence Rees, the essential ingredients for the rise of an authoritarian leader are:

    1) Delivering salvation to the followers
    2) Giving redemption to the followers
    3) Providing a victim that caused (1) and (2) above.

    Right now what we see are public confrontations between the “Antifa” and “Alt. Right” groups. Both groups are small but municipal and state governments seem unable to control the disruptions that they cause. Social media tends to amplify the significance of these groups out of proportion.

    The danger remains that if general population comes to believe the establishment cannot maintain order and offers no relief to the massive economic dislocations that are coming, we may be in for real trouble.


      The desperate barons of the duopoly think they have the perfect victim in Donald Trump. They should be thinking more carefully about what comes after they liquidate their disturbing loose cannon (they still haven’t begun to get over the surprise). They and their public relations branch the legacy media are doing all they can to cast him in the role of HItler, but he’s really more like one of the several failed chancellors before Adolf managed to flimflam Hindenberg and the German MIC aristocracy into giving him the keys to power. The populace still needs some further conditioning in the habits of living under rule by decree before the final leg irons are welded on.

      1. Desierasmus,

        “They should be thinking more carefully about what comes after {Trump}”

        That’s the essential insight to our current political situation — in two ways. First, Pence will replace Trump when the GOP finally moves. A hard-right, competent leaders. The Left will be wishing Trump was still in office.

        Second, we passed a milestone in 2016 with Trump’s easy take-over of the GOP nomination, despite its institutional opposition, and election despite wide opposition by major US power centers. It revealed the hollowness of our political parties and political system. I’m certain that powerful people — not clowns like Trump — have taken notice. There was a somewhat similar milestone in Rome’s history. What followed wasn’t pleasant.

        The face of Tacitus

        “Although Nero’s death had at first been welcomed with outbursts of joy, it roused varying emotions, not only in the city among the senators and people and the city soldiery, but also among all the legions and generals; for the secret of empire was now revealed, that an emperor could be made elsewhere than at Rome.”

        — From The Histories by Cornelius Tacitus (~56 – 117 A.D.).

    2. Terry,

      “The danger remains that if general population comes to believe the establishment cannot maintain order”

      Yes, that is a concern of mine as well. This emboldens the extremists and disheartens the middle majority. It’s very Weimar.

      “offers no relief to the massive economic dislocations that are coming”

      I see no unusual signs of any such things (there are always some signs, just as there are always risks of cataclysmic natural events).

      “According to British historian and author Laurence Rees”

      I haven’t read his work, but that summary does not well fit most authoritarian leaders. Neither typical Third World tyrants nor garden-variety tyrants in history.

    3. Editor said: “Pence will replace Trump when the GOP finally moves.”

      This from the same guy who lower in this same thread says, “I don’t believe inspired guessing is helpful”?

      Editor said: “…not clowns like Trump…”

      So now we get a glimpse of what your true opinion is. Something tells me that any evidence that challenges this opinion will be deemed as “silly,” not to be taken “seriously,” or “cannot give reliable information.”

      1. Glenn,

        (1) Trump will be replaced.

        That’s a prediction, made on the basis of ample evidence of Trump’s incapacity for the job and falling public support (e.g., CEO defections from his advisory council, criticism by senior GOP leaders, and falling public approval numbers).

        (2) “Something tells me that any evidence that challenges this opinion will be deemed as “silly,”

        You are not ready to take the trials, padawan, as your command of the Force is weak. That’s not a guess, it is factually wrong. As shown by anyone reading these comments.

  4. Editor: “Why was he not prosecuted for this?”

    That is the question I am asking too.

    My answer: He was not prosecuted because people in high places (the “ethnopolitical entrepreneurs,” as Rogers Brubaker calls them) have an economic and political interest in fomenting and inflaming division, violence and strife amongst the American people.

    Where is the Rev. Martin Luther King when we need him?

    1. Editor,

      Hopefully the victims of these ethnopolitical entrepreneurs in Virginia will sue them, so during the discovery phase of the trials some light can be shone on their motives.

      This is already happening in San Jose, CA:

      — Federal Judge Green-Lights Lawsuit Against San Jose For Failing To Protect Trump Supporters Against Anti-Trump Mob —

      And in Berkley:

      — UC Berkeley Faces $23M Suit for Yiannopoulos Speech Riot —

      The ethnopolitical entrepreneurs who “live ‘off’ as well as ‘for’ ethnicity” — off of group conflict and violence — must be held accountable for their actions.

    2. “Where is the Rev. Martin Luther King when we need him?”

      James Earl Ray made sure we wouldn’t have the option.

  5. One correction: Apparently the top photo was taken at the Berkeley rally, not at Charlottesville, per the linked Chronicle article. Unless that Canadian Tuxedo is just his “go-to-riot” suit . . .

  6. Editor,

    In the recent past I recommended the book Victoria: A Novel of 4th Generation War by William S. Lind. He wrote it under the nom de plume “Thomas Hobbes”. It is a novel of 4GW. Go to Amazon and look at cover. I won’t describe it.

    The book is about America’s 2nd Civil War.

    It is very important you read it because I believe Damigo is using it for his strategy to create a White Homeland in Idaho! Why Idaho? There is a large NeoNazi presence scattered all over that state. Note the demographics.

    I suspect Damigo is using “Victoria” as his strategic blueprint. He may have been exposed to it in USMC. Any militant “Race Supremacist” of any breed who is a USMC Vet may have been exposed to it.

    That book is a weapon like Atlas Shrugged. I believe Ayn Rand was a KGB plant. ;-)

    Kind regards

  7. “The political machinery bequeathed to us by the Founders remains idle without us to power it, but still decisive when engaged.”

    What if that machinery is part of the problem?

    1. John,

      “What if that machinery is part of the problem?”

      That’s possible. But since we can’t be bothered to work the machinery, that seems an unlikely conclusion. Only 60% of eligable voters made the absolute minimum requirement of citizen to vote in 2016. Most measures of political involvement are at multi-generational minimums. We don’t have good data further back, but there is anecdotal evidence showing that we’re at rock bottom levels of action vs. previous generations of Americans.

      We’re not in a strong position to blame the machinery.

  8. Very good article. I was also disturbed by the tribal cheering-on of Damigo, and was copped a fair bit of flak for questioning the narrative. Neither of the two in this fracas were heroes. It’s a sad indictment of the tribalism of the times that each “side” immediately rushed to make each an unquestioned martyr and icon.

    With regard to “Why was he not prosecuted for this?”,- that also occurred to me. Playing at Bush Lawyer, my understanding of self defense law is that his claim that he stopped her from throwing a bottle at the crowd would be fairly shaky, given that she is clearly not holding a bottle in the video. As I understand it, self defense applies to actions that are imminent, rather than what the defendant merely supposes someone might do. I stand to be corrected by actual lawyers, of course.

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