Letter from a Reader

QAnon: Cultivating Lunacy in the Service of Fascism

| revcom.us


On August 11, a QAnon believer1 won a Georgia Republican congressional primary. On August 19, Trump praised her as a “future Republican Star” and went on to praise the QAnon movement as “people that love our country.” And Trump said that if QAnon wants his help “to save the world from problems, I am willing to do it. I’m willing to put myself out there.”

QAnon is a movement of people who follow and sometimes act on2 a conspiracy theory that is being elaborated in thousands of posts from “Q.” Q claims to be a high-level U.S. intelligence operative close to Trump, but Q’s actual identity is unknown publicly. It is quite possible that “Q” is not one person, but a team, or that one person started as “Q” but was then replaced.

Q began posting in October 2017—since then QAnon has grown to at least hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of “true believers,” and has much broader influence, with millions viewing QAnon pages or videos on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and other social media.

The “Cabal,” “The Storm” and Why Fascism Needs QAnon

Q’s posts are often cryptic, and part of the “life” of the QAnon movement is people gathering in thousands of chat rooms to discuss their meaning. So there are a range of interpretations. But the unifying core is that an evil international cabal controls the government, the media and the culture and runs an international network that traffics in young children who are raped and perhaps murdered by “depraved elites” so they can drink their blood.

QAnon adherents are fanatical Trump supporters who believe that Trump was selected (maybe by top military officials, maybe by “God”) to lead the fight to expose and vanquish these “elites,” and in so doing not only “save the children,” but also bring about renewed American “Greatness.” The culmination of all this is “The Storm”—when Trump will move decisively against these “elites.”

And Q is clear on what must be done with them: “These people need to ALL be ELIMINATED.” Q supporters post things like this about Hillary Clinton: “I want to see her blood pouring down the gutters!” and “The buzzards rip her rotting corpse to shreds.”

Many people’s first thought on reading all this is “These people are bat-shit crazy!” And they are. But this is not just lunacy, it is fascist lunacy—and extremely dangerous.

Journalist Adrienne LaFrance studied QAnon and made this important point: once you strip away the “sex trafficking” part, “the core beliefs are really Trumpist…. Anything that Donald Trump says you can find echoed in what Q posts about. And so it's this anti-establishment, anti-democratic, very violent rhetoric, certainly anti-free press, anti-media. It really reads like, you know, the note cards from a Trump rally.”

QAnon’s list of “evil pedophiles” is largely a cross section of powerful, prominent and influential people who in one way or another oppose Trump. That’s not an accident! QAnon targets “the Deep State”; Democratic Party leaders like the Clintons and Barack Obama; “international bankers” like George Soros; and cultural figures like Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks and Ellen DeGeneres.

Let’s dig into this further—why is the “Head of State” (Trump) and his most fanatical followers attacking the “Deep State”3? Why this intense hatred of people like Oprah Winfrey? Why, rather than “reaching across the aisle” to work with Democrats (as U.S. presidents have historically done), do these forces target them for imprisonment or execution?

As BA points out, fascism is one form of rule for the system of capitalism-imperialism that has caused so much suffering for billions of people around the world. But it is “a qualitatively different form of rule, based on brutal repression and violation of what are supposed to be the most basic rights.”

But in order to do this, to impose this rule, along with suppressing the masses in opposition, these fascist forces have to shatter the power of those sections of the ruling class and government apparatus who think this fascist transformation will be a very bad thing—first and foremost, bad for the functioning of capitalism and the empire. The main vehicle for that “mainstream” section of the ruling class is the Democratic Party, and many of these forces are also entrenched in the government bureaucracy, civil service, and the military, and are resisting and blocking Trump and the fascists in various ways—including impeachment, law suits, leaks, etc. And the cultural establishment and much of the mass media also is more supportive of the U.S. continuing to have a democratic form of government and multi-cultural society as they understand aiming for equality of peoples and genders, and especially is opposed to the racism, misogyny, ignorance and general cruelty of the regime.

All this is to say that the fascists need to crush the opposition of these forces in order to consolidate their own rule. And QAnon—which is made up of a section of the masses that also feels extremely threatened by the great changes of recent decades—is being developed as a crucial part of the forces that fascism needs to carry out the destruction of their enemies.

As I read more about QAnon, it seems this is part of what “The Storm” is more fundamentally about.

Christian Fascist Fantasies of Armageddon and Real-World Plans for Fascist Violence

QAnon is made up in large part of Christian fundamentalists.4 LaFrance points out that “The language of evangelical Christianity has come to define the Q movement.” So QAnon envisions this fascist onslaught and massacre in apocalyptic terms, as “the final battle between good and evil, between God and Satan,” and leading to the “Great Awakening.” 

And what better way to prepare your followers to take part in reactionary slaughter than to paint your enemies as child-rapists? This cry of “save the children,” combined with religious fanaticism, has already proven effective for Christian fascist anti-abortion forces to “justify” murdering dozens of people by claiming that abortion (a fundamental right of women!) is “killing millions of babies.”5 And in 2016, Edgar Welch, a deeply religious father of two, went into a crowded Washington, DC pizza parlor and fired his AR-15 because he thought Hillary Clinton was operating a child sex ring in its basement. Welch said it was necessary to sacrifice “the lives of a few for the lives of many” and to fight “a corrupt system that kidnaps, tortures and rapes babies and children in our own backyard.”

What Q is ideologically training and preparing millions to support and participate in—is quite “earthly,” though draped in religion. In one of Q’s earliest posts (November 1, 2017) he gives a sense of what “The Storm” will look like:

[W]e are taking back our great country (the land of the free) from the evil tyrants that wish to do us harm and destroy the last remaining refuge of shining light…. On POTUS’ order, a state of temporary military control will be actioned and special ops carried out.… Organizations and/or people that wish to do us harm during this time will be met with swift furycertain laws have been pre-lifted to provide our great military the necessary authority to handle and conduct these operations (at home and abroad).… The spill over in the streets will be quickly shut down.… stay alert, be vigilant, and above all, please pray. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Love is patient, love is kind.” God bless my fellow Americans. [Emphasis added.]

And as the crisis in the U.S. intensifies and QAnon grows, its military dimension has become more open. LaFrance reports that over the 4th of July, “We saw a bunch of videos online in which QAnon followers started saying that they were taking the oath. And what that meant is sort of promising to be part of Q's army.” One of the people who did this was General Michael Flynn (ret.), Trump’s former national security advisor and still a close ally!

Who Is Behind QAnon?

No one knows what connection Q may or may not have to the Trump/Pence regime. But Q was prompted to start his posts by Trump’s comments at an October 5, 2017 White House meeting with military leaders. Trump said the meeting was “Maybe the calm before the storm.” Then he repeated it. When asked by a reporter “What storm?” Trump replied “You’ll find out.”

Since QAnon began, it has been promoted by a host of fascist luminaries and organizations, including Fox’s Sean Hannity, radio host Alex Jones, and the anti-abortion group “Operation Rescue.” For people who’ve had to distance themselves from QAnon’s lunacy, The Epoch Times6 developed “Spygate”—a sanitized version of QAnon without the child sex trafficking—which is also more “acceptable” for Fox News to publicly promote.

But most importantly, Trump himself has found many ways to support QAnon—including retweeting QAnon followers at least 201 times. And now he is all-but-openly supporting them.

What all this adds up to is that QAnon is a movement through which millions of (mainly) Christian fascist fanatics are being prepared and oriented to be shock troops for a showdown with anti- or non-fascist forces. That they are now taking “vows” to be part of Q’s army, and being openly embraced by Trump, should serve as an urgent wakeup call of the need for those who oppose this fascist lunacy to themselves mobilize and take to the streets in massive, sustained non-violent protest demanding OutNow to this dangerous fascist regime.


1. Marjorie Taylor Greene—one of 50 congressional candidates who supported QAnon, though only one other won her primary. [back]

2. QAnon supporters have been charged with killing a reputed Mafia boss, threatening Joe Biden, hijacking a train, and numerous other crimes. [back]

3. The “state” refers to the three branches of government and the armed forces they command, along with the many agencies (CIA, FBI, DEA, Homeland Security, Department of Justice, etc.) that have been set up to implement and enforce laws and policies. The “Deep State” is a term developed by right-wing conspiracy theorists to refer to just the agencies and especially their leadership. These agencies have developed over many decades, and much of the leadership and rank and file are steeped in a culture and outlook that is at odds with fascist transformation. [back]

4. Believers say things like “God led me to Q. I really feel like God pushed me in this direction.” [back]

5. Since 1993 there have been 11 murders and 29 attempted murders of doctors, nurses and staff at abortion clinics; 10 bombings; 45 arsons; one stabbing and dozens of other acts of vandalism. [back]

6. The Epoch Times is a right-wing “news” outlet; it has an associated YouTube channel that reaches tens of millions. Published by Falun Gong supporters (a Chinese religious cult that is suppressed in China), it situates “SpyGate” in a struggle to “save all sentient beings” in a forthcoming divine battle against communism. [back]


October 5, 2017, Trump tells reporters that this meeting with military leaders could be "the calm before the storm." Three weeks later "Q" posts his first thread titled "The Calm Before the Storm."

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