Dead Guy (2): Richard Hunt

Joining dead guy Jonathan Bowden is fellow Englishman Richard Hunt. Fascist websites report Richard as having shuffled off this mortal coil on May 2, aged 79. Hunt was a mad bastard with an inheritance, who played a key role in developing national anarchist ideology in his capacity as one of the founding editors of the zine Green Anarchist (and later Alternative Green). His principal work was a self-published book titled To End Poverty – The Starvation of the Periphery by the Core (1997). Richard’s efforts to reconcile left and right, anarchist and green politics, big ideas and little villages met with an increasingly hostile response from anarchist critics, especially as right-wing, racist and fascist elements were welcomed into his organising projects in the name of a kind of political ecumenism.

Richard Hunt and Alternative Green

Southgate’s espousal of Evolian Traditionalism underwent further ideological morphology through his contact with the anarcho-primitivist ideas of Richard Hunt, the founding editor of Green Anarchist who had been forced to resign over his support for the Gulf War. Southgate was exposed to Hunt’s ideas through the pages of Perspectives, the journal of the Transeuropa Collective that eventually merged with his new publication Alternative Green. Hunt’s ideas found their fullest expression in his book To End Poverty (1997), which argues that poverty in the ‘periphery’ is caused by western trade demands on a developing world that is starved to feed the core’. This ‘progress’ represents an extension of the taxation and wage slavery that encourages the growth of an increasingly urbanized and ‘biologically unhealthy’ population, creating poverty and crime as society hurtles towards ‘total social breakdown’. Hunt’s panacea is to return to ‘the original affluent society’ of the self-sufficient hunter-gatherer living in rural communes, protected by armed militias (evoking the murderous post-apocalyptic tribalism of the Mad Max trilogy) and regimented by a ‘peck order’ of ‘respect and influence’, bound by ‘kinship’, that would reestablish family values and foster a primitive communalism immune to capitalism…

More here.

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7 responses to “Dead Guy (2): Richard Hunt

  1. ramon mercade[r]

    Demonising people whose ideas you disagree with only insults your readership. But it is routine practice in the mainstream media and most of the various ideological camps. As far as I’m aware Richard Hunt was not diagnosed with a primary mental health problem. His particular ideology was not fascist nor was it influenced by fascism. His ideas were radical, his solutions in my view undesirable and probably unworkable. But all of this does not make him markedly different from other anarchists (and he was an anarchist) – whom most of the public incidentally also consider to be a bunch of ‘mad bastards’. His big mistake, which finally catapulted him into the political wilderness forever, was to liaise with a small group of racial separatists whose political and cultural beliefs actually had been influenced by fascists. But is it really that difficult to predict that Richard Hunt would work with people who took his ideas seriously? The mainstream anarchist movement (stuck fast in its own political wilderness) never really bothered to enter into a serious dialogue with him about his ideas. Of course it subsequently worked very hard to demonise him when others eventually did (like one half of some dysfunctional broken marriage) but that’s also tediously predictable. Being virtually brain dead for the last ten years, Richard Hunt never endorsed the oxymoron of National Anarchism. But on record he does reject, racial separatism, capitalism, coercive authority and the state. Over the years Richard Hunt also produced lots of written material challenging the orthodoxies of both state and capitalist economics. This is in my view his legacy. National Anarchism on the other hand is at least in part a failure of the mainstream anarchist movement to manage dissent constructively. An indicator of its failure to develop ideas which are relevant to ordinary people. In other words basically, its complete and utter failure to present anarchism as a coherent political phenomenon.

  2. Briefly, the reference to Richard as a ‘mad bastard’ should not be taken literally.

  3. ramon mercader's favourite axe

    Or seriously? Are you withdrawing the reference? Or do you you mean ‘mad bastard’ in the sense that you think his ideas were daft? What kind of concerns me as well is the implicit warning beneath the name-calling: Don’t go near this material if you don’t want to be tarred with the mad-fascist brush. He’s dead. We’re glad. No discussion. Forward the revolution.

  4. “…in the sense that you think his ideas were daft.” I don’t know the state of Richard’s mental health at the time of his death or his medical history, nor do I care. I also don’t believe that anyone with an interest in reading what Richard wrote during his lifetime will be deterred by my reference to him as a ‘mad bastard’, though such an appellation should suggest, I think, the degree of seriousness with which this blogger believes his ideas should be taken. Otherwise: I’m not especially glad Richard is dead, I merely make a note of it given his status and the purpose of this blog.

  5. Your lack of interest in actually paying attention to facts, or to people’s genuine concerns, only does harm to the process of discrediting the insidious ideology of national anarchism, which I do not believe is your intention. This kind of approach is not new for conventional anarchists as I stated earlier. Until they are able to reflect upon their own chronic dysfunctional methods of communication and behaviour and actually start to think independently, anarchists as a potent political force, are likely to remain buried within the dustbin of history. Ironically, I’m off to buy Richard Hunt’s book. Cheers…

  6. Nonsense. What facts? Which concerns? What’s the difference between an anarchist and a conventional anarchist? What dysfunction? …You obviously have an axe to grind but why you’ve chosen to sharpen it on the body of Richard Hunt I do not know.

  7. RM's Favourite Axe

    That’s exactly what I’m talking about. The RH book arrived by the way. It turns out that he may have been mentally ill after all. Interesting read though!

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