One dictionary defines skinhead as a “racist young Caucasian man: one of a group of young Caucasian men with closely-cropped or shaven hair who often have racist or fascist beliefs, and are sometimes violent.”
The word “Caucasian” is incorrect as a synonym for white Europeans, though that is what is meant. Presumably here it implicitly excludes Jews as well, since everyone knows Jews can’t be racist or fascist.
A Scary New Subculture
A “subculture” is an ethnic, regional, economic, or social group exhibiting characteristic patterns of beliefs, behavior, lifestyle, or appearance sufficient to differentiate it from others within the larger society.
Skinhead subculture emerged within a controlled, consumerist environment in the UK associated with commercialized white idealization of black culture (e.g., Jamaican music and thuggery), a distinctive hairstyle (close-cropped hair or shaved head with absence of beard or moustache), mode of dress (boots and “braces”—suspenders—T-shirts, jeans, bomber jackets), tattoos, and, particularly, certain genres of popular music.
The skinhead practice of setting members apart by eye-catching physical identifiers—shaved heads, distinctive clothing, and so on—is worthy of mention. Such identifiers are conspicuous, for example, among the Amish, Orthodox Jews, and, formerly, hippies.
External markers are important in delineating subcultures, but a paradigm shift also occurs in the ideological and psychological realm when skinhead recruits veer from an “artificial world” they hate to join an exciting, new, and completely different one.
For perhaps the first time in their lives they experience real camaraderie with people who share their most basic convictions (even if previously only latent, inchoate, and unconscious), and no longer feel required to conceal their true feelings. After years of searching for a just cause, they suddenly feel liberated, empowered, and happy. Their identity has shifted: they became explicitly white.
Racial consciousness and identity are keys to what it means to be a skinhead. That’s why the dictionary succinctly defined the term by listing six salient features: youth, maleness, shaven hair, belonging to a group, combativeness, and Aryan racial beliefs. The only thing missing was the music.
One would think that a similar phenomenon among contemporary “Goths” would, as with skinheads, call forth some degree of racial consciousness, but it has not. For one thing, there has been no charismatic leader to catalyze and channel it.
Without Ian Stuart, skinheads themselves probably would have resembled Goths in terms of non-racialist ideology, if they had coalesced at all. Like Goths, skinheads might have remained a far more marginal social phenomenon, since the movement would not have tapped into the genuine, deep-flowing stream of suppressed racial consciousness coursing below the surface of mass society and individual consciousness.
Loss of Control
At a certain point in the late 1970s and early ’80s the Establishment inexplicably lost control of the domesticated movement as the subculture underwent a sudden, spontaneous transformation. It quickly became associated with a militant, non-Jewish racial identity among white working class youth as it spread like wildfire across Europe, North America, and Australia.
As one head-scratching racist academic asked rhetorically, without apparent irony, “What accounts for the seemingly-paradoxical transformation of the [white English youth] skinhead subculture from one organized around appreciation [actually, guided adulation] for black cultural forms to one organized around white and frequently racist forms?” (Timothy Scott Brown, “Subcultures, Pop Music and Politics: Skinheads and ‘Nazi Rock’ in England and Germany,” Journal of Social History 38 [Fall 2004]: 157–78.) (Note that some commentators contend claims of affinity between early punks, skinheads and blacks have been exaggerated.)
Back With a Bang!
Music was an essential component of skinhead identity.
Credit for placing a militant, extreme racial stamp on skinhead culture that subsequently made it famous (or infamous) is due to the outsized personality and influence of Ian Stuart Donaldson (1957–1993), the lead singer of Skrewdriver.
As Brown noted, “London’s Skrewdriver was the earliest and most influential of the ‘Nazi rock’ bands. Its leader, Ian Stuart Donaldson, did more than anyone else to forge connections between right-wing rock music and the skinhead scene, and between the skinhead scene and the radical right.”
By comparison, the contemporaneous German band usually cited as Skrewdriver’s counterpart on the continent, Böhse Onkelz, was not explicitly pro-white, and rapidly back-pedaled from its original mild stance as its fame grew. Indeed, from 1985 until its disbandment in 2005, it was essentially anti-white politically.
In England as in Germany enormous pressure was brought to bear to destroy the white skinhead movement. As Ian Stuart related in an interview:
Most of our mates that came to our gigs [during Skrewdriver’s initial 1976–79 punk rock manifestation] were political, they were either NF (National Front) or BM (British Movement) and in the end what happened was the press ordered us along with Sham 69 [a successful English punk band that’s still in existence] to denounce those people in the audience, or get banned. We refused and Sham 69 said OK. So Sham 69 became very big and we got banned from everywhere, they banned all of our adverts from the music papers and everything. All this was in 1977.
After the band broke up in 1979, Stuart resurrected the Skrewdriver name with different musicians and its now-classic nationalist, skinhead format in 1982. The new band lasted until his death in an automobile accident in 1993, with two dozen or so musicians other than himself passing through it over the years.
A Skrewdriver song celebrating the band’s rebirth at this precise moment in time, called “Back With a Bang!,” denotes the pivotal point when the Establishment lost control of the skinhead movement, which publicly assumed the explicit, militant, pro-white form imparted to it by Stuart. Subsequently, Skrewdriver transmitted the new style to Germany and beyond.
A good audio track of this song illustrated with contemporary film footage and photos exists. Although the video images have become washed out over time, the music, lyrics, and photographs together constitute a key historical document.
Because most of Stuart’s recordings suffer from poor technical quality, his words are often difficult to make out, so I’ve printed the lyrics below.
Back With a Bang!
Skrewdriver, “Back With a Bang”/”I Don’t Like You” (12″ EP, 1982) 3:45 mins.
Back with a bang now!
Do you remember in the summer
Back in 1978?
When they reckoned that the skinheads’ days were numbered
And the papers dripped with liquid hate
Being patriotic’s not the fashion so they say
To fly your country’s flag’s a crime
Society tried its best to kill you
But the spirit lives until the end of time
Back with a bang, now!
Back with the gang, now!
Back with a bang, now!
Back with the gang, now!
Reckoned every skinhead was a bad man
Enough to make an honest man be sick
And they filled the papers with this rubbish every day
Never missed a dirty little trick
What did I say . . .
And still today they keep on lying
Four years on and they still ain’t learned
That the skinhead way of life is getting stronger every day
And we are never gonna turn
Back with a bang now!
Back with a bang now!
Back with a bang now!
Back with a bang now!
The words “Skrewdriver Security” can be seen on the T-shirts of some of the men. This was necessary because of violence, both threatened and actual.
In general, European whites appear to grasp more readily than their American counterparts the need for organized, disciplined private security. Americans no doubt still trust the police. (George Lincoln Rockwell had faith in the FBI!)
I’m aware of one major exception to this rule, though there may be others. How this individual acquired a sophisticated grasp of the problem from such an early age I don’t know. Even so, he has been subjected to never-ending harassment, threats, violence, and at least one attempt on his life. He has also been arrested and jailed on several occasions.
“It’s a Hard Road” as Ian Stuart sang.
The Importance of Non-Print Media
The centrality of music to skinhead culture highlights the vital importance of cultivating non-print media. Such media reach a majority of whites who don’t read, or wouldn’t encounter pro-white publications. Moreover, they activate and deeply engage non-rational, emotional centers in the brain in ways that print cannot.
The means of production required to create white power music itself generated a revolutionary development. It forced skins, whose songs the recording industry refused to produce because of their pro-white content, to develop an underground “mass” medium of their own.
To date, music is the only such medium whites have partially cracked, except for the Internet and, to a limited extent, novels. Motion pictures, television, and video games still remain off limits.
Political organizations or individuals who have produced white power music include England’s National Front, Resistance Records, owned successively by Canadian singer George Burdi (the company’s founder and former lead singer of RaHoWa), Willis Carto, William Pierce, the National Alliance, and a recording company owned by Jean-Marie Le Pen in France that released songs by the Choeur Montjoie St. Denis, founded in 1979 to record and preserve traditional European and French military, naval, Christian, peasants’, and workers’ tunes.
In an anti-white TV news report [3:00 mins., 1999] broadcast over a Cleveland, Ohio station shortly after William Pierce’s purchase of Resistance Records, Mark Potok, Jewish spokesman for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a powerful group that guides law enforcement and security agency initiatives to suppress white First Amendment rights and initiates private civil suits to attain the same objective, stated, “I’ve heard testimonial after testimonial of people who’ve been in this white supremacist movement and have come out later, who’ve said, “Believe it or not, the music was the single most important thing to me.”
William Pierce told the reporter, “For many people the music has a subliminal message. They’re not paying attention to the message, but it is reaching them nevertheless.” He added, “I identify with these young people. I may express myself differently, but I identify with them. They are my people.”
A bane of white activism has been the absence of support within the general population, the lack of a white “sea” within which pro-white activists and intellectuals might swim. Skinhead culture generated an aggressive, spontaneous, explicit white identity within a significant segment of European youth for the first time since WWII.
Because its constituency was so young, it held future promise. At least its demographic structure did not consign its members’ beliefs to the grave within 2–3 decades, as is ordinarily the case with conservative and right-wing groups. Due to this age situation, whites cannot generate historical continuity in values, beliefs, behavior, or organizational structure over time.
The English and European Establishment quickly responded to the sudden explosion in white consciousness by persecuting skinheads through the police and judicial apparatus, deployment of violent domestic terrorists, public demonization in the mass media, and economic boycotts denying bands access to recording studios, ads for concerts, and shutting down record shops that wouldn’t censor the music. (So much for private enterprise and “free markets.”)
It established an “anti-racist” skinhead movement as a front for organizing and recruiting thugs, and to attract youth who might otherwise join the forbidden scene.
The mass media confronted the phenomenon in print, movies, and television, insinuating “appropriate” responses to audiences. This was the era of movies such as American History X (1998) and Romper Stomper (1992-Australian) starring a young Russell Crowe.
There is no question but that the original movement—a spontaneous, grassroots phenomenon—got way out of hand from the Establishment’s perspective. Brutal resort to the usual tactics rendered skinhead identity moribund, or at least less dynamic, after the 1980s and ’90s.
As simple yet widespread a phenomenon as making shaved heads fashionable alternatives to unsightly toupees or prohibitively expensive hair transplants for balding men had an enormous impact.
Today the most paranoid anti-white fanatic would not blanch at the sight even of James Edwards’ shaved pate.
Yet I can recall watching a TV interview with a young Hollywood actor at the peak of the skinhead craze who’d been required to shave his head for a role having nothing to do with skinheads. Chuckling, he vividly described how he’d stepped onto a crowded elevator and everyone aboard instinctively backed away from him in fear!
Such is the power of symbolism.
Negative Aspects of Skinhead Culture
Perhaps the most serious shortcoming of skinhead culture was the lack of discipline and proclivity for aimless drinking, fraternizing, socializing, casual sex, shouting, fighting, and loud music. Among many participants there was no serious, deep-seated commitment to our race or its survival.
Moreover, a criminally-inclined element was also attracted to the scene and lifestyle.
As a consequence, some racist skinheads committed unjustifiable acts of violence, including vicious murders. Such people are the white counterparts of society’s non-white criminals, multiplying colored gangs, Mossad assassins, Israeli and “Russian” (Jewish) organized criminals, US and European torturers and soldiers, and other pathological elements so prevalent inside and outside of government.
Rag-tag criminal dregs such as these have no place within white nationalism. They should join a gang, become policemen, or enlist in the military, where their innate sadism and viciousness would find a ready outlet.
What is required for the movement are people eventually capable of displaying exceptional toughness, determination, social courage (social more than physical, I should think), imagination, creativity, independence, and self-discipline.
For example, in Germany a (now-banned) skinhead group from the Dresden area, Skinheads Saxon Switzerland (SSS, Skinheads Sächsische Schweiz), affiliated with the National Democratic Party (NPD, Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands), provided protection for party meetings.
The Abominable No! Men
The default position of WNs, or at least the strong conservative strain within white nationalism, is reflexively anti-skinhead.
Joe Owens, a prominent British WN, has expressed this position in a number of C-C posts, though I regard him as more radical than conservative.
A Scandinavian, “Henrik Onarheim,” likewise expressed anti-skinhead views here.
There is logic to this way of thinking. As Brown, the anti-white academic, expressed it,
The origins of the skinhead phenomenon in a youth subculture organized around fashion and music makes recruitment [by right-wing racialist organizations] problematic, and not just because it is inherently difficult to bind disaffected and frequently alcohol-besotted young men into a disciplined regimen of rallies and demonstrations. Youth subcultures–organized as they are around an internal logic that reconfigures select commodities or elements of style into symbolic weapons against the dominant society–are inherently unstable.
Still, members need somewhere to go as they age.
Furthermore, no objective observer can ignore the critical role played by hippies, Yippies, anarchists, domestic terrorists (antifas, Weather Underground, Black Panthers, Symbionese Liberation Army, Red Brigades, JDL), and other “inherently unstable” youth subcultures in advancing the agendas of Jews, governments, and the anti-white ruling class generally. It would be disingenuous to pretend otherwise.
The Other Side of the Coin
One should not expect a subculture like skinheads to be, or become, a focused racialist movement.
Rather, its function is to shift the societal paradigm, and possibly serve as an initiation and proving ground for a minority of individuals possessing unusual ability that is masked, squandered or dead-ended under prevailing social conditions.
Some hard-working, capable activists have emerged from the skinhead movement.
If we truly believe that “dumbing-down” is a real phenomenon—that white people are systematically and seriously disadvantaged and degraded by the present system—it logically follows that significant human potential lies fallow within (some) people who otherwise appear to be dregs or failures. “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
A rough analogy would be the old saw about military school, the Army, or the Marines—or Christian witness or a perceptive mentor—salvaging good-for-nothings, turning their lives around, and occasionally calling forth exemplary qualities in people otherwise utterly lost.
Actor Richard Burton was saved from a life of obscurity, and possibly hard labor in the coal mines, by a sensitive Welsh schoolteacher who somehow recognized his great gifts when he was a boy. And Hitler made the interesting observation in his Table Talks that “Probably none of us is entirely ‘normal.’ How many men of our Party were regarded in their families as black sheep!”
The more relentlessly and methodically our race is degraded and discriminated against, the more common this phenomenon should logically become. As time passes, there should be more and more disguised talent and character available in unexpected places than was the case when we were masters of our own societies.
The fact that the skinhead subculture produced such individuals as Ian Stuart and Saga (the stage name of a female singer) suggests as much.
Saga, for example, displays an enormous amount of hard work, self-discipline, personal motivation, and spectacular talent combined with radical, long-term dedication to our race under trying circumstances.
Racially, her native Sweden is a totalitarian hellhole. As long ago as 1972, Roland Huntford, the Scandinavian correspondent for the Observer (UK), pilloried the country’s ruling Social Democrats as The New Totalitarians.
Sweden’s elite is unqualifiedly evil. It surreptitiously funneled billions of dollars into the coffers of murderous Black-Jewish-Communist terrorists in southern Africa, determined to violently destroy the white race in those countries. It has the blood not only of its own citizens but of thousands of white South Africans and Rhodesians on its hands.
That a questionable, teenage Swedish skin girl hanging around a record shop with her skinhead boyfriend (who introduced her to the music) could evolve into the professionally talented underground performer active today is almost mind-boggling if judged according to simplistic received stereotypes. And it was Skrewdriver’s records that inspired her.
It has long seemed to me that Jews are far better than whites at recognizing raw talent and not being put off or sidetracked by superficial qualities such as social background or surface appearances.
In response to attacks on skinheads by previous C-C commenters, one poster, “DR,” wrote, “Stop bashing the skinheads, they are the first to have the guts to go on the streets when other WN hide in their houses and wait the messiah.”
Here is DR’s clip of a torchlight vigil and parade in Milan, Italy in April 2010 in commemoration of Sergio Ramelli:
Ramelli (1956–1975), a trustee of the Youth Front of the MSI (Movimento Sociale Italiano, Italian Social Movement), was brutally beaten to death in a sickening assault by anti-white thugs in 1975. The murder occurred after a long period of racial harassment at school and work.
I can’t confirm that the people shown in the videos represent, or formerly belonged to, the skinhead movement as DR contends, but if such is the case they can’t simply be shrugged off.
The spectacular rise of the skinhead phenomenon is thus noteworthy on a number of counts.
1. Skinhead identity was explicitly white. It generated an intimate, race-based sense of “groupness” unheard of among whites since WWII and the cultural revolution of the 1960s despite the radical, state-backed racialization of non-whites.
White people are the obsession of the ruling class. Whites are perceived by non-whites and government as white, stigmatized as white, vilified, demonized, and hated as white, degraded and humiliated as white, discriminated against as white, and yet, for some reason, do not psychologically or emotionally identify as white. This is an unlikely stunt to pull off, yet it is demonstrably the case.
2. The movement was non- and anti-Jewish. In other words, members were not vague about Jews, did not confuse them with their own race because of skin color, physiological resemblance, or social convention.
3. It was spontaneous, authentic, populist, from below.
4. It was heavily male.
5. It was young—an eternal emphasis in Jewish propaganda, media, and power-seeking that conservatives and whites never grasp the significance of. This failure is primarily due to race-based variations in time horizon. Jews exhibit a much longer time horizon than whites, who in turn display a longer time horizon than blacks. Always observe the age distribution of any audience or movement, pro- or anti- white. It’s of utmost importance.
6. It was militant, non-docile, anti-Establishment, and anti-authority. It took a dim view of cops and the deeply discriminatory legal system.
7. Its members were willing to push back against the habitual violence employed by domestic terrorists and police: they were willing to repay violence with violence.
8. Through popular music it developed a powerful new means for generating, articulating, communicating, and expanding shared identity, values, and interests, particularly among the young.
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(August 4, 1859–February 19, 1952)
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Alternativa di Destra: The Story of the Italian Right’s Music
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What’s Really at Stake in Ukraine