I’m working on an article on right-wing nationalist movements in Ireland, focusing on Anti-Corruption Ireland, the National Party, and Identity Ireland, with a historical background of the Citizenship Referendum of the early 2000s. These parties employ rhetoric and tactics associated with fascism. Political scientists don’t typically agree on all of the ideas that define fascism, but they do agree on a couple: (1) Pro-natalism and anti-abortion policies that oppress women while simultaneously idealizing them as keepers of the “home”; women thus have the responsibility of raising the next generation of X nation; (2) Extreme nationalism that rejects immigrants and other “races” as inferior and as defiling the purity of the nation; this type of nationalism also looks to the nation’s mythic past and wants to restore the nation’s bygone greatness; (3) corporatism that tames capitalism, and attacks powerful/wealthy companies (and labor unions, sometimes).

I posted about my research on Twitter, with a little joke about Justin Barrett and Gemma O’Doherty having an excellent ouija board with which they communicate with Benito Mussolini.

This was an excellent lesson for me in Internet cultures, and how such groups operate. First, a supporter of Gemma O’Doherty asked me a question about alleged fascism in Israel–a response to a tweet that had literally nothing to do with Israel. This person started by saying: “Weinstein. Interesting name, that,” followed by a question about the Israeli government. The implication here was clear: Because my last name is Weinstein, I’m (1) Jewish, and (2) harbor loyalty to Israel. The person seemed to have been attempting to induce me to defend Israel.

First, this tweet was overtly antisemitic. The deployment of my surname in this way is definitive proof of that. Second, this person invoked the antisemitic trope that Jews have dual loyalty to Israel. I pointed out that I’m American and sometimes live in Ireland, but the person–eventually people–involved in this was not moved. Finally, I noted that while I think Israel engages in a variety of human-rights violations, I’m not an expert on Israel/Palestine, and so I don’t feel comfortable commenting further.

Before I blocked the offending morons, I realized a couple of things about how the supporters of far-right nationalism work:

(1) They operate in online gangs in attempts to bully people into backing off of their positions, or, in my case, research.

(2) While I don’t believe all criticism of Israel is antisemitic, in this case, their use of conspiracy theories to attack Israel stank of anti-Jewish ideas.

I have no interest in engaging with gobshites on Twitter, so I just blocked this person. But, he gave me excellent fodder to open my article when I have enough research to write it. A personal anecdote is always a good way in, right?

For reference, here’s my original Tweet:

My original tweet about my research.

And here’s a small selection of the insanity that I received in response:

A sampling of the bullshit response to my simple statement that I’m researching fascist movements in Ireland.


These boneheads have also suggested that I’m aiding and abetting paedophiles. Seriously:



Armchair historian · September 21, 2019 at 3:06 pm

You don’t know much about Fascism, or Irish culture. In that regard you have a great deal common with more than half the academics and intellectuals in Ireland.

Fascism is characterised as radical authoritarian nationalism, forcible oppression of opposition via a police state, state alignment with industry and commerce, and a hatred of Judeo-Christian morality in favour of neopagan practices such as euthanasia of people with disabilities + total disregard of human life. Sound familiar? It describes many Irish people today, but not ACI or the NP. The only thing the NP and ACI have in common with Fascism is nationalism.

The soul of Ireland is Christianity, and all the left-wing gnostic verbiage in the world will never extinguish that. Fintan O’Toole, Gene Kerrigan, Kitty Holland, Sinead Gleeson, Roisin Ingle, Matt Cooper, and the multi-billion euro NGO industry are not, and never will be Ireland. How extraordinary that you can spend so many years studying this country yet still not have any idea who the people really are, yet fashion yourself an expert. Mother of Jesus, as they say in real Dublin.

Your columns are good for entertainment value, in a black humour kind of way. Enjoy the show in Washington, by the way. Real Irish Americans are disproportionately represented.

    Laura Weinstein · September 21, 2019 at 8:04 pm

    Your anonymity with your comment is typical of fascist trolls on the Internet.
    It seems that it is you, my friend, who knows nothing about fascism. I recommend that you read the following books:
    Anatomy of Fascism by Robert O. Paxton
    How Fascism Ruled Women by Victoria de Grazia
    Fascism: A Warning by Madeleine Albright

    Authoritarianism and fascism actually aren’t the same, so I disagree with your characterization of fascism as “radical authoritarian nationalism.” Authoritarians typically prefer that the masses of people are passive, while fascists work to energize the masses, usually against a common enemy–anyone who is an “outsider,” which can mean non-nationals or outsider nationals (such as communists in fascist Italy, or Jews in Nazi Germany). Fascists don’t hate Judeo-Christian morality as a matter of principle: first, fascists don’t have principles as such, other than pursuit of power; second, both bona fide fascist regimes in Italy and Germany forged agreements with the Church. Finally, the “Judeo” in Judeo-Christian is only there to make people who whine about Judeo-Christian values seem something other than antisemitic, which they usually aren’t–yourself included, I’d guess.

    I obviously disagree with your claim that “the soul of Ireland is Christianity.” This is an absurd contention for a multitude of reasons, not least of which is the paltry church attendance. Has that gone beyond your notice? Ireland has come a long way since the days when Eamon de Valera was talking about the “laughter of comely maidens.” People who try to hang on to that vision of the country–dreams of the mythic past–and oppose immigration, especially in the form of Islamophobia, are definitely the embodiment of a fascist movement. I hope you folks never achieve power.

Armchair historian · September 22, 2019 at 9:37 am

Giving out about anonymous political discourse and characterising it as “fascist”? You really don’t know much about Irish history, which makes your attempts at revising it to suit your political agenda even more transparent. I’m surprised you don’t have some big tenured job at an Irish university or NGO given how much you seem to despise Ireland. I imagine that will happen soon.

Why are you citing a book by a woman who characterised half a million dead Iraqi children as “worth it”? What does that say about your value system? Are human lives – including dead children – a means to an end to you?

Judeo-Christian morality – otherwise known as the Decalogue, and the Western civilisation built upon it – is a very real thing and the foundation upon which all that you and your friends love – freedom to travel, speak your mind, buy what you want, read what you want, eat at interesting restaurants, vote for whom you want, marry whom you want – is based. Those who love the West and the Bill of Rights understand this, which is why they (including 90% of Orthodox Jews) voted overwhelmingly for President Trump – the most pro-Western, pro-Israeli president in living memory.

Oh yes, Fascists hate Judeo-Christian morality and seek to destroy it, in part by infiltrating it’s institutions – just like the Nazi dark occultists and their propaganda machine which spewed vile smears against rabbis, priests, and nuns in order to stir up hatred against traditional Judeo-Christian morality to destroy it and replace it with pagan morality. They planned to reign for a thousand years but succeeded for only a brief time. Speaking of pagan morality, please comment on the beating hearts procured in abortions and sold for research.

Since you are concerned with anti-semitism, you should write an article about the vile anti-semitism on the Left. Phyllis Chester is an expert in this area and even wrote a book on it. Have you read it? Have you ever written about the vile anti-semitism of so many Ireland’s heavily funded establishment left?

With regard to Church attendance in Ireland – this country was Christian for 1,500 years. What was mass attendance in Ireland in 1890? In 1930? In 1970? Yes it’s fallen off a cliff in the last 20 years. Curiously, however, it held together for the previous 15 centuries – where so many spilled their blood and lived lives of deprivation beyond contemplation IN DEFENSE OF THEIR CATHOLIC FAITH. Unless you are cursed with such myopia that you think that only you and your jet-setting mates with REPEAL jerseys matter – or that you are all so much better and more enlightened than the ancient generations of Irishmen and Irishwomen who came before you – how do you justify spitting on their graves? Oh I forgot – it’s so fashionable and “edgy” to despise the Catholic Church in Ireland today lol. Do your mates fly a Pali flag outside their office doors? Lol.

You underestimate both the intelligence and the Christian memory of Irish people, and their ability – suppressed at the moment for a variety of reasons – to reason morally, and to understand how and why they have been targeted and manipulated by the same neo-pagan forces that sought to destroy Europe in the 1930s and 1940s. It’s all about money and power for the Left, and never about the God of Abraham that the Irish revered and tried their best to serve through centuries of oppression and hardship. Keep spinning lady, you really think we are stupid don’t you.

    Laura Weinstein · September 23, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    You’re a nationalist & Catholic ideologue. Good for you. I know lots of people like you, although they are mostly Americans in defense of Trump. My Irish friends are doctors and social workers who live in 2019. No amount of reality will persuade you that I’m right. Ad hominem attacks such as you deploy seem to be aimed at making me stop writing–will not happen. While I’m well aware of how long Catholicism reined in Ireland–even the so-called “devotional revolution” following the Famine, as described by Emmett Larkin–that’s not the state of affairs at present. For some reason, there are people out there who want to deny reality and impose their own version of it. But, you don’t own reality; you cannot bend it to your will.

    I therefore find debating with ideologues, particularly ones who deploy ad hominem attacks, to be a waste of my time. It’s like an atheist debating a devout believer, or trying to change the mind of an antisemite who believes Jews are engaged in a conspiracy to control the world–no ground is gained.

Armchair historian · September 23, 2019 at 7:48 pm

You decline to answer my questions about (a) why you would cite the academic work of someone who calls half a million dead Iraqi children “worth it,” (b) the ubiquitous Jew-hatred found on the Irish establishment Left, or address the REALITY that Ireland – which you point out (correctly, in my view) is not presently Christian – was Christian for over 1,500 years, having been non-Christian for say only the last ten years (approximately .006% of its history since it was evangelised). Yet you somehow claim that the soul of Ireland is something OTHER THAN the very thing that defined its people and its culture unbroken for 99.994% of the last 1,550 years.

You call me a “jerk” and an “arsehole” on Twitter – apparently for daring to challenge your ideology – then get into a strop about ad hominems. Lol. I can’t determine whether you’re (a) cute, (b) a hypocrite, (c) unable to reason logically, or (d) lacking in self-awareness. My money is on c, since your articles suggest that you cannot distinguish mainstream conservatism and the centre-right from the far-right and fascism.

You write, “My Irish friends are doctors and social workers who live in 2019.” Well, if they are alive today, when would they live? In 1919?? Moreover, are you implying that their opinions about Irish culture and history are somehow more valuable, insightful, and accurate than those of an Irishman who drives a taxi, paints houses, solves trouble tickets, or delivers bread for a living? Because that’s how it comes across in your writing – as elitism.

And by the way – I’m not Catholic (although I do love Trump, as do many Irish social conservatives. Many are afraid to say so, however – or to openly express any political view whatsoever that diverges from the dominant Dublin 4 far-left champagne socialist narrative – for fear of being shouted down and smeared by some of Ireland’s fascist left-wing bullies – up to and including having their employers contacted by some of these leftist operatives in the hope of getting them disciplined, or even fired, for their political views).

Finally, you’re right – this discussion is a waste of time. But thanks for letting me set the record straight about Ireland’s soul, which is – and will always remain – its Christian heritage.

    Laura Weinstein · September 24, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    I’ll bite one more time: Centuries of history do not dictate how something “has always been” or “always will be.” Countries change. Saying that because Ireland was a Catholic country for centuries, it will always be one–or its “soul” is Catholic–is ahistorical. There was, after all, millennia for which Ireland was not Catholic, right? The people had to accept Catholicism and integrate it into their lives; there’s no reason why the reverse process can’t happen. That’s like saying that because France was a feudal society for centuries, it will always be a feudal society. That type of analysis makes no sense.

    History is a process of change: great powers rise and fall, like the Roman Empire and, in my opinion, like the United States. We had an age of absolutist government in Europe that gave way to the Enlightenment and ideals of natural rights and philosophy. It seems in many parts of the world that the ideals of the Enlightenment are currently being challenged–much to my personal dismay, but that’s reality.

    So what I’m wondering from you–whoever you are–is why you don’t acknowledge the evolutionary process that happens throughout history?

    To address some of your comments and the questions you pose that I believe aren’t entirely rhetorical:
    (1) I cited the work of Madeleine Albright because she has a particular set of first-hand knowledge that most people don’t have, even other respected academics. She acquired that knowledge as secretary of state, when she met with many of the figures she discusses in her book. Have you read her book? In cases such as these, I think we can separate what she may have done in that position from her work as a scholar. That said, I also don’t think having done what you’re alluding to negates her authority or anyone else’s. I’ve also read books by Gerry Adams, Ian Paisley, and Hitler. There is value in their work, regardless of what they have done. (Before you ask: I also don’t personally have a problem with anyone performing, listening to, or enjoying the music of Richard Wagner, despite is odious antisemitism when he was alive.)
    (2) I have not personally encountered antisemitism on the Irish left. If you would like to point me to some evidence of that, I would actually love to see it. Honestly. The Left has never been immune to antisemitism, and certain lefty American politicians exhibit it from time to time (see also: Ilhan Omar), but I haven’t found it in Ireland. Can you show me?
    (3) I call you an arsehole on Twitter because I understand how social media operates. I don’t know if you’re actually an arsehole, although I find your messages here to be belligerent at best. How could I otherwise interpret a message that calls me clueless from the start? You disagree with my perspective, but I know what I’m talking about. I always wonder: why do right-wingers hate knowledge-producing institutions such as the free press and the academy?
    (4) I’m sorry you feel like you can’t openly admire Trump at your job. I think that’s wrong, and I think the Left is wrong to punish people for any legitimately held conservative views. Now, I don’t think all views are legitimate. For example, Republicans want to lower taxes on the rich; Democrats want to raise them. That’s a reasonable policy difference. What to me is NOT reasonable is fear-mongering that Muslims want to institute Sharia law (either in the US or in Ireland)–that’s not a policy disagreement, that’s a conspiracy that stokes hatred against a specific group of people.

    I’m not going to post this one to Twitter. But since I’ve attempted to address some of your questions, I hope you’ll answer mine.

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