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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 [2], 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 [3] 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 [4]” 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 [5], Iowa (Transcendental Meditation), Unity Village [6], Missouri (Unity School of Christianity), or the Hutt River Principality [7] (a micronation) in Australia. Irish-American H. Hamilton Barrett’s Pioneer Little Europes [8] 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 [9],” 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 [10] (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.