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Learning from the Left:
Douglas Hyde’s Dedication & Leadership

1,406 words

Translations: Czech, Greek

White Nationalism is at present confined largely to the political Right, i.e., the people who have been on a losing streak since Stalingrad. European Rightists do, of course, have much practical wisdom to impart, even if they failed in the end.

But American Rightists have not even managed to learn what they can from the losers, much less take an interest in learning from the winners: the left, which has now established ideological hegemony up and down the political spectrum, defining the Limbaughs and libertarians of the “respectable” (viz., ineffectual) opposition as surely as the liberals they huff and puff about.

For those Rightists who want to learn from the winners, Douglas Hyde’s Dedication And Leadership (South Bend, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1966) is a good place to begin. Hyde was a 20 year veteran of Communist activism, serving as news editor of the Communist London Daily Worker, until 1948, when he resigned, renounced Communism, and announced his conversion to Catholicism.

Although Hyde rejected the ideals and aims of Communism, he thought that the party’s highly effective organizational techniques should be emulated by those who wish to change the world for the better. Dedication and Leadership is a 150-page distillation of his experiences and insights.

Communism has killed more than 100 million people world-wide and is still racking up victims. Thus it is hard to think of Communism as anything but evil. But even evil is an accomplishment, and prodigious evil is a prodigious accomplishment.

How did tiny minorities of Communists accomplish so much? Because they worked harder and smarter than their opponents. They were particularly effective in mobilizing important moral qualities: idealism, dedication, and self-sacrifice. (One tends to feel licensed to kill for causes that one is willing to die for oneself.)

The fact that these moral qualities were bent toward evil ends does not make them any less praiseworthy.

How does one find and mobilize idealism, dedication, and sacrifice? Hyde advises the following.

First, recruit people who are already idealistic.

Young people tend to be idealistic, so special efforts should be focused on recruiting them.

Second, if you want to get a lot from people, demand a lot from them.

Communists inspired tremendous efforts simply because they asked for them. Communists were taught not to ask what they party can do for them, but what they can do for the party. The Marine Corps has no shortage of recruits for the same reason: their recruitment propaganda emphasizes sacrifice and discipline, not the perks of membership.

I was particularly impressed by one example of the dedication and self-sacrifice that was routine in Communist circles. Hyde and his fellow party employees took 8/14 of their income—more than 50%—and tithed it back to the party. They did this every payday, not just on special occasions.

How many White Nationalists are willing to tithe any percentage of their income to the cause they claim is sacred to them?

There are legions of professional Jews and Blacks. But there are fewer than ten full-time White Nationalists in the entire United States, and most of them make so little from the cause that it would be inconceivable that they could tithe anything back to it. Poverty is their sacrifice.

It is not that money is lacking. There are individual White Nationalists whose wealth runs not just into tens, but hundreds of millions of dollars. Something else is lacking: the qualities of character that give rise to real, effective idealism, dedication, and sacrifice.

The truth is on our side. But truth is not enough to win if it remains locked in our hearts and heads, without consequences in the real world. When the first White Nationalist pledges 8/14 of his income to securing the existence of our people and a future for White children, I’ll believe that we will win.

But beyond asking for 8/14 of an employee’s income, Communism asked for 100% of each member, body and soul. And they got it.

Yes, demanding heroic dedication did make some hesitate before joining the party, but when they did, they were prepared to give their all. It also kept out lukewarm sympathizers and fellow travelers. But the party still had ways of utilizing the talents and resources of those who were unready or unable to take the plunge.  

Third, aim high.

If one is going to ask for everything, one has to have a good reason. The Communists asked everything of their activists because they had a world to win. Grandiose aims are only a problem if there is nothing concrete one can do in the here and now to realize them. But if one can forge that link, then even the humblest drudgery suddenly takes on a deeper and higher meaning.

I once asked an audience at a meeting on White community organizing why they were there. There were many answers: meeting new people, networking, seeing old friends, even learning about White community organizing. All of these were good enough reasons to get people there.

But then I offered a better reason: to save the world. Make no mistake, White nationalists are not just struggling to save the White race, since the welfare of the whole world depends upon our triumph. If we perish, the other races will breed recklessly and despoil the planet unchecked, and the one place in the universe where we know there is life will end up nothing but a burnt out cinder in the vastness of space.

So the next time you attend a White Nationalist gathering, remind yourself that you are saving the world. It will make the commute a little easier, parking less of a hassle.

The Communists realized that demanding heroic dedication to a higher cause does not drain people but energizes them. It does not hollow out their personalities but deepens them. Those who live for themselves alone have less meaningful lives than those who dedicate themselves to a higher cause.

Fourth, be the best.

The Communists taught that there is no contradiction between being a good Communist and being good in every other area of one’s life. The same should be true of White Nationalists. If you are going to be a good White Nationalist, you also have to be a good student, worker, employer, artist, spouse, parent, and neighbor.

One is a more credible and effective advocate for White Nationalism if one is well-regarded in other areas of one’s life. The Communists found that personal relationships with exemplary individuals were more important than ideology in recruiting new people to the cause.

Also, if one finds that one’s political commitments are interfering with excellence in other areas of one’s life, then one needs to scale back and regain balance. This prevents activists from burning out and keeps them in the fight.

Fifth, activism is essential.

Most individuals who joined the Communist party were immediately required to engage in some form of public activism. (A few with important social connections were trained as Communist secret agents.)

Public activism came before ideological instruction. By acting publicly as a Communist, one makes one’s commitment open and irreversible. By acting before one receives ideological instruction, one learns in a very personal and sometimes painful fashion the necessity of such instruction. Such activism also helps one weed out people who lack moral and physical courage before anything is invested in indoctrinating them.

Activism has a twofold purpose: to change the world and to change the activists. Since the party must act until the world changes, it must be organized for perpetual activism. Campaigns should be designed to (a) demonstrate that the party cares about its constituency, (b) to heighten the conflicts between the system and the party’s constituency, and (c) by building character, skills, and camaraderie among activists.

Hyde illustrates these and many other points with vivid anecdotes. His discussion of Communist cadre indoctrination techniques deserves an article of its own. I have not read many books that pack as much food for thought into so few pages.

Some White Nationalists might find Dedication and Leadership a depressing read, since it highlights the truly primitive, pathetic, unserious nature of the movement today. But that is the wrong way to look at it.

One does not need to read Douglas Hyde to see that White Nationalism in America today is full of kooks, losers, and dilettantes. One needs Hyde and authors like him if one is serious about creating a movement that can win.

The Occidental Observer, June 8, 2010




  1. Sam Davidson
    Posted June 16, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    I mean this in the absolutely kindest way but you shouldn’t be talking about better activism while disparaging your own movement. Kooks? Losers? Dilletantes? Yes – it’s true that we have our share of these but so does the Left. So do the Republicans. Remember the Republican politician who tried to solicit sex in a public restroom… with another man?

    Regarding activism, there are a few things that should be said about the Communists of the 20th century and today. Their intense approach to activism leads to a high turnover within their ranks. They push their ideology too fast, too hard, and people get burned out.

    At this stage in the game it’s most important to develop cadres of men who intellectually understand our struggle. All the facts are on our side. We have racial differences, crime statistics, and plenty of research on the Jewish Question. This knowledge must be systematically imparted to those who can understand it. This cadre building is slow but necessary for permant progress. From what I understand this is what the National Alliance was trying to accomplish when Pierce was in charge.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted June 17, 2010 at 12:37 am | Permalink

      I don’t think one can talk about improving White Nationalist activism without mentioning the elephant in the room: the host of unserious, ineffectual, and mentally defective people who are attracted to this cause. They are not the only reason we are going nowhere, but they are a large part of it.

      Saying that the enemy have their share of such people is not enough, because we still need to explain why Jews, for instance, who are massively over-represented among the mentally ill, still manage to create effective organizations that make our efforts seem like pathetic jokes.

      I think the left are far better at avoiding burnout than we are. But time is running short, and we all need to start asking ourselves: What are we saving ourselves for?

      It is important to have well-informed cadres, but even better to have people who know how to lead men and realize that it takes more than just an appeal to sound research on IQ, the JQ, and crime.

      • Rec
        Posted June 23, 2010 at 4:00 am | Permalink

        “we still need to explain why Jews, for instance, who are massively over-represented among the mentally ill, still manage to create effective organizations that make our efforts seem like pathetic jokes. ”

        That’s easy. They control almost the entire macroeconomy of the USA via the FED, the investment banks, major Depts. of Economics at most major unis, and other important financial/economic institutions. It’s easy for the Jews to create effective organizations when they can print as much money as they need to support them and also pay an endless army of far-left Jews, recent college grads usually, a decent salary for a few years to staff such orgs.

  2. Sam Davidson
    Posted June 17, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Regarding the mental defectives – what would you do about them? The only solution I can see is to simply avoid them, and that’s what all of the sane people are already doing.

    I don’t think we disagree on the leadership issue. I see a good ideology as a means of building the conviction of potential leaders and keeping them from experiencing burn-out. Last year I had a talk with some members of the International Socialist Organization. They’re a Trotskyist group that has many, many active chapters around the country. They don’t view themselves as a political party but rather as an association dedicated to cultivating a nucleus from which such a party could arise. That’s what we should be doing right now. The mass support does not yet exist for a major White Nationalist movement.

    Here’s some good examples of burn-out due to the Left’s cargo-cult mentality:

  3. Kate
    Posted June 19, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    The movement seems to be in a catch-22 in terms of money: People would want to give money if there was more going on, but it takes money to do more. I think people are tired of giving money to websites, but would start giving more for real activism efforts and propaganda campaigns.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted June 20, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      I agree. SOME people do need to contribute to websites, though, because it does take money to sustain them and pay for editors, writers, web designers, etc., yet most people who read the internet want the content to be free.

  4. GT
    Posted June 26, 2010 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    “That’s easy. They [jews] control almost the entire macroeconomy of the USA via the FED, the investment banks, major Depts. of Economics at most major unis, and other important financial/economic institutions.

    Part of the solution to jewish control is to rediscover the concept of family and establish alternative, non-exploitative social, economic, and educational networks apart from the mainstream judeo-system. We could not sever our ties entirely, of course, but blue and white-collar families in rural and suburban settings can cooperate in this endeavor. The first and most important step in this direction is to promote and practice the development of functional (as opposed to dysfunctional) personal relationships necessary to create and sustain tightly knit families, friendships, and communities. This would lead to the establishment of informal and formal (intentional) communities, cooperative labor, the creation of knowledge databases, education, bartering, alternative currencies, energy and food production, manufacturing and distribution – all outside and largely independent of the mainstream.

  5. Posted June 28, 2010 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    My friends and I like the call to learn from the left, and the next step is to act from the left. A simple example is to delegitimize the dreadful poem attached to the inside wall of the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty on grounds other than its bad poetry, its arrogance in claiming the symbolical meaning of the statue, or a reasoned rebuttal of its themes.

    We trash it from the left by portraying anyone upholding it as anti-immigrant for calling them “huddled masses” and “wretched refuse.” Inasmuch as the urban-coastal class members have imbibed the wonderfulness of immigrants with their mother’s milk, this stops them (and the poem) cold. I think we could even get it removed from the statue if we wanted to with that approach.

    Dr. Johnson is correct to identify five themes from the Hyde book that mark the activity of lefties who seek to deconstruct our nation, history, traditions, and values. There are a couple of additional aspects of hard left behavior that may be good to mention.

    1) There was a futuristic sense amongst Communists that history was unfolding automatically along the lines that dedicated Communists believed. From Communists I have known, it appears that they sustained a sense of inevitability that fueled their actions. Something like Christians’ belief in End Times and an Eternity spent in the company of God.

    2) There were three special characteristics of the vanguard ethnicity in the Communist movement: a radically I-Thou viewpoint; a more-than-slightly paranoid view of outsiders; and an overly developed willingness to believe in a highly abstract body of ideas.

    The diverse white American peoples these days do not possess such a radical I-Thou viewpoint, a paranoid view of outsiders, or a willingness to believe in a highly abstract body of ideas outside of the circumlocutions to be found in Christian circles. Conservatism, constitutionalism, and libertarianism are somewhat complex, but nothing like the mysteries zealously guarded by Marxists, Leninists, and Stalinists.

    So that calls for the tailoring of method if we assume, for example, that white liberation will depend on those characteristics. Still, the comparison and contrast are very useful.

    My friends and I believe that breaking the taboo on speaking from a white voice is the real beginning point, vastly more important than organizations and ideologies. Once European Americans start to claim their identity by speaking out as white persons then the other ideas will follow. Until then, we will be engaged in a bland contest of ideas the pit conservatism against libertarianism, and so on, never arriving at the scoring zone.

    We believe that the best way to break the taboo is to convert every sentence possible into something like “As a white American, I insist…” or “As a European American, the best thing to do is…” And the best way to generate a lot of sentences like that is to bicker, quibble, and fight in public about our proper name and label. Simply contest every reference in public discourse to us by protesting and denouncing anything at all said about us by the Other, especially names, labels, definitions, and descriptions.

    It’s fun.

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