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Some Thoughts on Nationalism

Abbott Handerson Thayer, Stevenson Memorial, 1903

1,713 words

Essential elements of modern nationalism existed in early times in the form of tribalism. In fact, modern European nationalism is often excoriated by critics as a form of tribalism or racism. According to English anthropologist Sir Arthur Keith, in prehistoric times man everywhere lived in small, isolated bands. Yet by the dawn of history, small tribes had become “welded by war and conquest into bigger and bigger units.” The ancients often gravitated to city-states (Athens, Sparta) as means of social organization. Later, the city-state of Rome expanded into a mighty empire throughout Europe.

The Middle Ages witnessed territorial devolution. “Those large communities, which we call nations,” political scientist Francis Lieber wrote in 1868, “were gradually formed on the continent of Europe out of the fragmentary peoples left by the disintegration of the Roman empire.”

Though elements of nationalism persisted among people with similar languages, customs, and traditions, during the medieval period loyalty was submerged into a pan-Christian identity: “Christendom.”

Thirteenth-century Western Christianity was, ideally at least, a societas christiana: “All of society came to be viewed as an organic unity, whose raison d’être consisted of striving for and ultimately realizing the perfect unity of Christ on earth.” Christianity had become “a single social organism”—unified under the pope, substantially independent of secular power, and with a high level of religious enthusiasm and commitment at all levels of society. The group, not the individual was paramount, and every aspect of behavior was evaluated according to its effect on the harmonious organic whole. (Kevin MacDonald, Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism, 1998, 119)

Nationalism assumed its modern form in the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries with the rise of the European nation states.

By 1946 in Europe, “in place of a thousand independent tribes we have some twenty-six [white] nations,” wrote English anthropologist Sir Arthur Keith. (Today there are fifty-two, the embattled white components of which are slipping into minority status.)

Keith uses Germany to illustrate the overall process of national consolidation in Europe. He estimates that in the fourth millennium BC, Germany’s 1946 territory was divided among 150–200 local tribes. In the century preceding the Christian era, some 40 independent tribes, “warring with each other and with the outside world,” occupied the same territory. By the 1600s there were 250 independent states within the frontiers of modern Germany, in 1814 thirty-nine, and in 1871 twenty-five. Finally, “in 1933, Germany suddenly emerged as a unitary state—a single tribe or nation numbering over 80 million, with a single leader and a central government.” Over this entire span of time (not just WWII), Keith says, “War, force, terror, and propaganda were the evolutionary means employed to weld the German people into a tribal whole.”

In sum, there has been a fluctuation in the number and size of white national units in Europe—whether tribes, kingdoms, principalities, or nations—but with a marked consolidating trend over time. And consolidation has been accomplished by means of violence.

The Apogee of European Nationalism

German-American Columbia University (then Columbia College) political scientist Francis Lieber, also a founder and editor of the Encyclopaedia Americana, provided the following definition of nationalism:

What is a Nation in the modern sense of the word? The word Nation, in the fullest adaptation of the term, means, in modern times, a numerous and homogeneous population (having long emerged from the hunter’s and nomadic state), permanently inhabiting and cultivating a coherent territory, with a well-defined geographic outline, and a name of its own — the inhabitants speaking their own language, having their own literature and common institutions, which distinguish them clearly from other and similar groups of people, being citizens or subjects of a unitary government . . . and having an organic unity with one another, as well as being conscious of a common destiny. Organic, intellectual and political internal unity, with proportionate strength, and a distinct and obvious demarcation from similar groups, are notable elements of the idea of a modern nation in its fullest sense. (Fragments of Political Science on Nationalism and Inter-nationalism, 1868)

This passage clearly conveys the common understanding (and reality) of the historical continuity and ethnic homogeneity of a “nation” that prevailed until 1962–1973.

It was undoubtedly this same understanding and reality that informed English anthropologist Sir Arthur Keith when he wrote in 1946:

My second theme relates to the current conception of race and of nation. Most of my colleagues regard a nation as a political unit, with which anthropologists have no concern; whereas I regard a nation as an “evolutionary unit,” with which anthropologists ought to be greatly concerned. The only live races in Europe today are its nations.

While the close association between race (more precisely, ethnicity or sub-race) and nation was still valid when Keith wrote, it vanished soon after.

The strength of classic political nationalism was that it combined a variety of factors that contributed, at least within nations, to the preservation and expansion of white racial subpopulations. In the past, nationalist ideology dictated a de facto congruence between political identity and racial and cultural identity.

The weakness of historic nationalism was that even in its heyday white nations allowed centrifugal secondary forces to nullify the centripetal unifying force of race. Nations developed mutual enmity via natural mechanisms examined by social identity theory in social psychology.

As a result, white nations grew so far apart linguistically, culturally, and politically that they repeatedly demonized fellow whites in other countries as “foreign,” regarding them as significantly more alien even than their own Jewish, Negro, or Amerindian residents! Time and again countries butchered one another’s white populations in internecine wars on a colossal scale.

Today the unifying force of ethnicity has been completely extinguished by anti-white elites. Everywhere, white racial interests and national interests are mutually antagonistic.

Whites are a diaspora scattered across an array of darkening anti-white states whose boundaries no longer reflect the ethnic, linguistic, cultural, or religious makeup of their historic populations. These states are intensely hostile to indigenous populations, and intentionally pursue biologically and culturally destructive policies.

As white populations and fertility plummet, developed nations have implemented “replacement migration” to supplant white citizens with non-whites.

Under such conditions, it is senseless for whites to identify with, or feel love or loyalty for, nations whose governments, cultural institutions, and elites hate them, discriminate against them, steal from them, oppress them, and commit genocide against them.

Three Choices

Whites appear to have three alternatives:

Devolution: the breakup of existing nations into mini-nationalist ethnostates.

Reconquest of erstwhile white nations, in line with William Pierce’s dictum, “It’s time to take it back—all back!”

Or, “upward evolution” into more encompassing pan-nationalisms blending numerous white ethnicities and nationalities into a handful of unitary, large-scale ethnic-linguistic-cultural polities: Nordic, West Central European, East Central European, Southern European, and “Pan-Angle” (English-speakers on four continents). These polities would in turn unite via federation or confederation but retain a large degree of autonomy.

For the time being, the alternatives should be evaluated without regard to their seeming impracticality or impossibility. All three seem equally likely—or unlikely—of attainment. We are at the early stage of visualization.


Contemporary mini-nationalisms, below the level of nation states, include the Scottish, Welsh, and Breton (Brittany, in France) independence movements, and the Québécois (French Canadians). None of these mini-nationalisms are ethnically based. In fact, they are anti-white.

The Confederacy and the United States at the time of its formation were mini-nationalisms. Every secessionist movement is a mini-nationalism.

Irish nationalism, the most powerful and violent of the twentieth-century European nationalisms, was a mini-nationalism prior to the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, but not after. Now it is irredentist.

One can also imagine tiny white micro-communities — racial counterparts of, say, Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa (Transcendental Meditation), Unity Village, Missouri (Unity School of Christianity), or the Hutt River Principality (a micronation) in Australia. Irish-American H. Hamilton Barrett’s Pioneer Little Europes are proposed micro-nationalisms in this vein — small, local white enclaves. However, PLEs do not aspire to formal legal status.

Even if restricted to a unitary white political unit, mini- or micro-nationalisms signify devolution, diminution, and diminishment of racial, political, and economic power, together with linguistic, cultural, and political fragmentation leading to intra-white “foreignness,” genetic division, and likelihood of future intra-racial conflict.


The great historical model here is the reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula from the Moors in the 1400s, followed ultimately by the expulsion of Moors, Jews, and Moriscos.

The one contemporary statement of this viewpoint I’m aware of, at least off the top of my head, is Sam Francis’s in an article in American Renaissance (“Prospects for Racial and Cultural Survival,” March 1995). His Gramscian core idea is that whites must make “a cultural and intellectual reconquest,” “a long march through the dominant apparatus of power by which the incumbent elites exercise control over the state, the economy, and the culture.”

Unfortunately, the position is so sketchily presented, insufficiently elaborated, and inadequately thought out that it does not provide meaningful guidance. Nevertheless, Francis said the word “Reconquest,” the ultimate sense of which is clear enough. Again, in William Pierce’s formulation: “It’s time to take it back—all back!”

The idea is no more outlandish in principle than the other approaches.


As already noted, future white ethnostates can be imagined on a scale from very large to very small.

In The Dispossessed Majority (1981), Wilmot Robertson proposed a “Northern European ingathering” (“European” can be substituted for “Northern European”), “a genetically based intercontinental federation,” a “world order whose geographical frontiers matched its racial frontiers, once the minority elements were separated out and either sent back to their homelands or established in new ones.” This is a pan-national vision.

Pan-national movements—macro-nationalisms—provide historical examples of early attempts to build loyalties and political institutions across existing national boundaries. They might suggest ways to consolidate genetic and cultural resources and create more inclusive identities while preserving key elements of ethnic and linguistic particularity firmly rooted in history.

Because large geographic and demographic size means power and room for population expansion, larger political units seem inherently preferable to smaller ones. The smaller the state, the less likely it will remain viable over time due to vulnerability to racial attack. There should also be a reduction rather than an increase in the number of political units with potential for creating future intra-racial friction.

In sum, racial amalgamation seems preferable to division, other things being equal.


  1. Razvan
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    Ethnic-linguistic-cultural polities:
    2.West Central European,
    3.East Central European,
    4.Southern European,
    5.“Pan-Angle” (English-speakers on four continents)

    Unfortunately there are many characteristics differentiating the peoples within these units. Especially 2, 3, and 4. Any classification error within such entities might trigger wars.

    The two pan-nationalism movements, the pan-slavism and southern-pan-slavism had their share in the catastrophes of WWI and Yugoslavian civil war.

    Even the conclusion seems to be right one thing should never be forgotten. Two thousands years everything was done to ensure that the “white racial interests and national interests are mutually antagonistic”. Any injustice, or any propagandistic lie is a deal breaker.

    • Andrew Hamilton
      Posted May 3, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      As you note, there are many differences between the peoples in the proposed pan-national entities. However, there were enormous differences in the European nationalities that migrated to the United States as well. Nevertheless, genetically and culturally they have largely melded into a single unit. This would also be the objective within the perhaps more broadly similar units mentioned (more similar than the disparate groups who came to the US).

      The historical pan-nationalisms are merely suggestive. Two dangers to be guarded against are their hijacking by a large political entity like Russia (as happened with Pan-Slavism) and, of course, that they genuinely be race-based.

      • Razvan
        Posted May 4, 2011 at 1:57 am | Permalink

        Regarding the danger of hijacking; thank you Mr. Hamilton. It is of the utmost importance.

        It worked well in the US because there was an ethnic group with a large majority capable to start an ethnogenetic process. Beyond the racial homogeneity it was probably a certain psychological profile of the colonist, transcending the ethnicity. Still their antipathies from the Old World followed them in America (Civil War).

        Beyond everything it was a success, and no one would deny the merits of the American Civilization and its fantastic capacity to exploit the similarities and polishing off the asperities to create a great people in such a short time.

        Now this capacity has been abused in US, by bringing in people with no connection with the Americans (ethnic, racial, cultural, ethical, moral), bringing in people in a country already full.

        Probably some Europeans envied America for this capacity. And EU is a symptom of this. Also there was a certain idea of a European Empire and people since Napoleon I.

        The EU followed trend without discernment. European countries are even fuller, yet bringing people from outside Europe, and moving chaotically Europeans from country to country. What’s even more dangerous (already used by the hostile propaganda) is a certain tension between European peoples on emigration matters. Emigration is destroying everything, all the countries and all the peoples alike. I think that here resides another danger.

  2. Alfred Rosenberg
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    “Because large geographic and demographic size means power and room for population expansion, larger political units seem inherently preferable to smaller ones. The smaller the state, the less likely it will remain viable over time due to vulnerability to racial attack. There should also be a reduction rather than an increase in the number of political units with potential for creating future intra-racial friction.

    In sum, racial amalgamation seems preferable to division, other things being equal.”

    This sounds right but in practice it’s how we ended up with the mess we’re in. The smaller the state (within reason, i.e. defensible) the more energetic, devoted and dynamic the polity. The larger the state is the less representative it is and the less participation and allegiance there is to it. Don’t discount the absorption of lessons of recent history that weren’t available to pre-Roman Europeans. Take the US as an example. If all of the states seceded separately an intense house cleaning would happen in most if not all, in appreciative competition, rather than warfare, with each other.

    You can’t go in either direction until you remove or effectively weaken the prevailing regime. Do you know how easy it would be for re-takers to suffer a double-cross or for a small group at the top to suddenly acquire greed? That’s not going to happen in smaller states. Even if it did it wouldn’t defeat us all! What would happen is a surge of patriotism – to one’s local turf. No Floridian would want to take Georgia, for example, he would want good relations with them. But he’d be primarily enthused by the idea of participating (once again) in the cleaning, defense and maintenance of “his state” (or however it’s divided up), because it’s something he’d have his fingerprints on. What goes on in Michigan, for example, would generate nothing but apathy in the Floridian, as we see from the current experiment.

    • Andrew Hamilton
      Posted May 3, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know. Germany during the NS period was a large state with a racialist identity characterized by a high degree of participation and allegiance. So was Great Britain at the height of its Empire, or the United States until 1965.

      The United States until 1865 was akin to what you envision: “the sovereign States, united,” rather than the unitary, “United States” entity it became after the Civil War.

      As for the points raised in your second paragraph, I was excluding practical aspects of the matter from consideration. Your points are valid (though there may be good counter-arguments, too), but it’s useful to begin from a high-level perspective that momentarily ignores practicalities or presumed likelihoods. It’s an exercise in visualization.

  3. Stronza
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    You mentioned the Quebecois in the section on mini-nationalisms. It appears it isn’t what it used to be; in the space of 2-1/2 years, their representation in Parliament (Bloc Quebecois) plummeted from 48 seats and 10% of the popular vote, to 4 seats and a popular vote of 6% in the Federal election of May 2/11. Even the party leader Gilles Duceppe lost his seat. This is odd and it’s just my opinion but maybe this downfall can be attributed to the increase in immigrants in Quebec.

    At the provincial political level, the ethnic composition in 1995 was somewhat different from today, but give the following a read, nevertheless. The point is that even back in 1995 political correctness was so severe that poor M. Parizeau, sovreignist premier of Quebec, knew he had to hightail it out of there.

    “Money and the ethnic vote” is a phrase that is part of a speech by Jacques Parizeau. On October 30, 1995, Parizeau, then-Quebec premier, walked onto a Quebec City stage and gave what remains to this day the most infamous concession speech in Canada’s history. The pro-sovereignty camp had just narrowly lost the 1995 Quebec sovereignty referendum — 50.58 per cent to 49.42 per cent. Everything seemed to be going normally. Parizeau’s top aide, Jean-Francois Lisée, was standing near the back of the hall with his press secretary when he heard the premier veer off track. Lisée would later tell CBC documentarians that he heard Parizeau use “nous,” the French word for “us,” in reference solely to French-Canadians, and he knew they were in trouble. The anglophone media regarded Parizeau’s speech as highly antisemitic, asserting that “money and ethnic vote” was an attempt to target Jews.[1]

    Tsk, tsk, some people are so brittle. 16 years have passed, and everybody in Kanada is still made to remember the infamous speech by Premier Parizeau.

    • Armor
      Posted May 5, 2011 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Stronza: “their representation in Parliament (Bloc Quebecois) plummeted / maybe this downfall can be attributed to the increase in immigrants in Quebec.”

      It’s interesting that the nationalists of the Bloc Quebecois now have a Haitian as their vice president. It means that they are no longer nationalists.

      • Greg Johnson
        Posted May 5, 2011 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        They are merely Francophone chauvinists now. Sad.

        • Stronza
          Posted May 5, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

          They do indeed hate everyone west of Quebec, according to an informant of mine who lived there. But with all the immigration, the waters are muddied. Hard to know who stands with whom anymore.

          When the small-towners and country folk expressed open anti-Moslem sentiment a couple of years ago, they had hell to pay, same as Jacques Parizeau. I recall how they were openly ridiculed on TV. It was rather ugly and shocking – to me, anyway.

          Re the Haitian, Barbot, she lost her seat to Liberal Justin Trudeau. Frying pan or fire.

  4. Fourmyle of Ceres
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Sam Francis is an interesting choice for citation.

    He learned what Oliver learned: Conservatism is a useful facade, an operational hoax, and Real Power will not tolerate being clearly defined, racially, much less challenged, racially.

    Alive, and younger, he’d call Covington moderate.

    The kinder, gentler, counter-Gramscian approach is “Lucy’s Rules Football”; entertainment over effectiveness.

    You can not sneak up on the Enemy.

    You need not address them directly. That tactic certainly worked for them, didn’t it?

    Address what they DO, explicitly acting racially, while offering better alternatives, implicitly acting racially.

    This Time, The World

    Focus Northwest.

  5. Alfred Rosenberg
    Posted May 4, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Andrew, Germany was never anything like the continent-wide US in size (The Soviet Union WAS, however). At its biggest it was smaller than Texas in territory. And the Germans had every good reason to consolidate, including the imminent necessity of defense. The Brits didn’t fare too well with their far-flung arrangement either, if I recall. Not much longer than the US has lasted, any way, in far healthier racial times.

    I understand that you’re visualizing. I just wanted to make sure you looked at that side of the vision. I’m envisioning the intensity of a fireball vs. a big sheet lain over a continent.

  6. Formyle of Ceres
    Posted May 5, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Further on Francis:

    Sam confused cause and effect; yes, whites “conceptually surrendered their will and identity,” but he did not identify WHO was responsible for this Racial War (masked as Cultural War), or WHERE the renewing of Will and Identity would come from.

    The example of the centuries-long battle in the Iberian Peninsula misses the critically important metapolitical conflict, and how it was resolved.

    The battle was RACIAL, won by fulfilling Christian duties, for Faith and Family.

    Our counterpart?

    CONQUEST, by uniting Christianity and Tradition, offering Masculine Force, and fulfilling the Dominion Covenant.

    This Time, The World

    Focus Northwest

  7. Andrew Hamilton
    Posted March 1, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    In 2011 I articulated my (personal, not any group or organization’s) overarching racialist framework as that of “Pan-nationalism,” described in this article and a related essay called “Some Thoughts on Nationalism.” I retain these views today.

    Briefly discussed are several historical examples of Pan-nationalism that remain relevant. One is “The Pan-Angles” (see the subheading above). Very little has been written about this concept, which I first learned about through Sinclair Kennedy’s book The Pan-Angles (1911). However, Kennedy’s focus was primarily geographic, linguistic, and cultural rather than racial. Andrew Fraser has since articulated a version of the same idea in The WASP Question (2011) and related writings.

    However, I have become aware of a 1980 (or possibly 1979) article by Englishman John Tyndall (1934-2005) called “In the Cause of Anglo-Saxondom” that is easily the best expression of the Pan-Angle idea I have seen—clear, uncompromising, unapologetic, and non-prevaricating.

    At the time it appeared John Tyndall was head of Britain’s National Front. Subsequently he founded and led the British National Party (BNP).

    This major work was reprinted prominently by Wilmot Robertson in his outstanding underground American magazine Instauration in February 1980. I have not been able to find another copy of it online, and do not know if the original article bore the same title.

    There exists an archive website containing selected articles from Spearhead, not all of them by Tyndall, called Spearhead Online, but it only goes back to August 1999.

    Although I have read and listened to a great deal of Tyndall’s work, I had not previously been aware of this key aspect of his underlying worldview.

    I strongly urge anyone interested in or committed to the Pan-Angle or Pan-National idea to read this major work by Tyndall. It is the best expression of the idea I have seen.

    The Anglo-Saxon (and White) demographic, political, and social situation has changed enormously in the 40 years since 1980. Nevertheless, the underlying principles remain valid.

    Warning: I had difficulty getting browsers to open Instauration. I tried three different ones, but only one worked—after a delay. Hopefully interested readers will be able to access the article.

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