A Glimpse of the Post-American Future:
The National Policy Institute Conference of 2013
When I think of my favorite cities in the United States, Washington, DC is not high on the list. I’ve had to go there, for various reasons, several times over the years, but, except for the time I came as a tourist, it’s never been a place I would imagine spending any more time in than absolutely necessary.
But in stepping off the plane as I was arriving for the recent National Policy Institute (NPI) conference there, and catching sight of the Capitol gleaming in the distance from Ronald Reagan airport, I did enjoy the irony of the fact that this had been chosen as the meeting place for those of us who are in opposition to nearly everything that America has come to stand for in recent history. We were gathering there, and we were refusing to be ignored, airing what is unquestionably the most radical political positions that exist at the present time (more on that later) in the shadow of the very institutions that are doubtless hoping that our views remain forever as marginalized from mainstream discourse as they are today.
The idea explored by this conference was one which questioned the very foundations upon which Washington rests: that America as we have known it is drawing to a close, and that if we, as both individuals and as a people, are to survive its end, we must rediscover our authentic identities.
The conference, which was held on Saturday, October 26, 2013, took as its theme “After the Fall,” and all of the speakers dealt with this idea in different ways, focusing their talks on themes related to the long-term unsustainability of the present, American-led state of global affairs, both domestically and globally, or else discussing what implications its end will have for those of us who care about the future of Western identity and civilization.
It took place, as did the NPI conference in 2011, in the Ronald Reagan Building in central Washington, which was an inspired choice on both occasions by Richard Spencer, NPI’s President and Director, given the airport-level security which it has, and also by virtue of the fact that, as a federal facility, the building authorities cannot deny NPI the right to hold its conferences there, in spite of any pressure or threats made by those who oppose it, without denying the organizers and participants their rights under the First Amendment. As such, NPI has been able to avoid the tragic fate of so many American Renaissance and similar conferences that have been called off in recent years due to such harassment.
Undaunted, however, a handful of protesters did make wholly unsuccessful attempts to disrupt the proceedings. I won’t discuss this in great detail, since videos of their activities are available online and Matt Parrott has already written about them for this site. I was left blissfully unaware of them by virtue of the fact that I had arrived over an hour before the start of the conference in order to set up a book table for my company, Arktos Media, and likewise ended up staying until several hours after the conference’s end – on both occasions, they were absent (no doubt fortifying themselves by smoking a bowl or whatever). A few of them made an appearance before the conference had actually begun, when everyone was simply having breakfast and getting coffee. When Richard demanded to see their admission passes, one of them, a White neo-hippie male youth, began shouting, “How can anyone in the 21st century have a bullshit nationalist identity . . . ” His thought was left incomplete as he was hustled out of the room—a great loss to the annals of political commentary, no doubt. A few others milled about the lobby outside the conference proper at various times throughout the day, perusing the book tables. I can’t know what they made of the books, but I hope that just maybe they came to realize that what they thought we stand for, and the reality as shown by our publications, are two very different things. Wishful thinking, perhaps.
This brings me to the point I mentioned earlier, about those of us who spoke at NPI, and those around the world who share our perspectives, being the REAL radicals. After all, what do these neo-Marxist protesters, using tactics and rhetoric that already seemed old hat in the 1960s, really have to offer? Nothing. While thinking themselves to be rebels against “the establishment” – which, oddly enough, they believe we represent (I’m still waiting for my check from the racist plutocrats who secretly control America to arrive in the mail) – they really embody nothing but a shabbily-dressed offshoot of the very system that they claim to oppose, and a slightly more extreme form of the ideas that have defined the United States and Europe for the last half-century. As Richard pointed out in his introductory remarks at the conference, these protesters aren’t the real enemy – they’re just sad. The only people who are actually developing a paradigm that challenges the dominant one in any meaningful way are those of us on the “radical Right” (for want of a better term). As such, WE are the genuine radicals – those who consider themselves to be our enemies are nothing but throwbacks to an earlier age.
As for the conference itself, it seemed to me that there were more people in attendance than there had been in 2011. Even more promising was the fact that there were many more young people among them, no doubt because of the significantly reduced price of the student tickets that Richard had made available. And, unlike 2011, there were even a few women in attendance, some of whom came of their own volition rather than reluctantly accompanying a spouse or boyfriend – a rare sight, at such an event in America, and hopefully a sign of an increasing trend.
Richard opened the proceedings by introducing the speakers and setting the tone for the day, which was one of daring to think beyond the parameters of Left and Right, and beyond any idea of “saving America” and toward imagining a new and better world to follow, as well as how it might work.
The first speaker was Piero San Giorgio, a Swiss citizen of Italian descent whose presentation was entitled “The Center Cannot Hold.” His talk was an extremely good overview of the many factors that are contributing to the decline of the present world order, particularly peak oil. He expressed his belief that all the signs indicate that a collapse of the economic system that will dwarf that of 2008 is not far off – a time most likely measurable in years rather than decades. Piero emphasized that capitalism was always a system destined to ultimately destroy itself, resting as it does on fantastical ideas of perpetual growth and the commodification of the entire planet and everything in it. For Piero, however, the coming collapse is not something to be feared, but rather an opportunity for revolutionary thinkers such as ourselves to refashion the world. To do this, we must be prepared by knowing how to survive on our own skills and resources, and Piero suggested a number of practical ways by which this can be accomplished. A very witty, well-written and thorough exposition of these threads is given in his book Survive the Economic Collapse: A Practical Guide, which was launched by Radix, an imprint of Washington Summit Publishers, in conjunction with the conference. This is a book that has been greatly needed by the “Right” for some time – both a summary of the evidence for an imminent collapse and a handbook for what one needs to in order to ensure that one can ride out the chaos rather than become caught up in it. As participants in a movement which is preoccupied with the idea of the collapse, it is nice to see someone take it up as a concrete phenomenon with definable features rather than treat it as a misty deus ex machina that will magically deliver us from all our problems.
The next speaker, Sam Dickson, identified himself as a “racial communitarian activist.” Under the provocative title of “America: The God that Failed,” he set out what he saw as the fundamental flaws at the heart of America which have existed since its conception. In Dickson’s account, it was America’s roots in the British Isles, with its strong tradition of individualism that came about through its unique historical circumstances, as well as the individualistic tendencies of immigrants from other parts of Europe who came to America later, that led to the birth of the United States as a nation in which freedom was seen as an absolute value. This is an error, according to Dickson, since the individual can only attain meaning as a part of a community, and it was this elevation of freedom as an absolute value that led to Americans losing their sense of connection to a specific ethnic identity. In questioning freedom, Dickson hastened to add, one should not assume that those who do so are against freedom, as he sees himself as being against all forms of totalitarianism. Rather, one must question the view that sees freedom as an absolute value above all other concerns. Dickson says this was not just a problem that developed over the course of America’s history, but was implicit in the Declaration of Independence, which established equality as an absolute value and its associated sense of rights as something inalienable. A true community cannot be established solely on the idea of freedom, he claimed, and therefore America cannot be seen as an authentic nation. He went on to say that conservatives today are incapable of transcending this worship of freedom as an absolute and cannot surpass the notion of America as it is presently constituted. The only solution, he concluded, is to realize the limitations of the American conception of the nation, and to work toward a new nation based on the values of community and upon a renewed connection back to our European heritage.
This was followed by a panel discussion in which I participated, along with Richard, Andy Nowicki of Alternative Right, and Alex Kurtagić of Wermod and Wermod Publishing, concerning “Publishing and the Arts.” Richard kicked off by posing the question of how the new world of publishing that has emerged in recent years has impacted those of us engaged in “Right-wing” publishing. Andy spoke about the excitement of being part of a dissident form of media, and how satisfying it is to be in “the crest of an ever-growing wave” of alternative media. He also addressed the importance of avoiding getting too caught up in the day-to-day minutiae of the headlines and to instead to take a longer view, which leads to enduring rather than merely topical works, as well as the need to fund and encourage the arts of the dissident Right, which is a budding and much-needed component of the overall struggle to establish a new culture in keeping with our principles.
Next was my turn, and I discussed how a number of factors, including the birth of print-on-demand publishing, the growth of the Internet and social media, and even globalization – in the sense that my colleagues and I have outsourced ourselves to India for the past several years – have made Arktos possible, in a manner that would have been unthinkable even 20 years ago. In a sense, of course, we in Arktos are turning the very tools of the globalized world against itself in pursuit of an alternative. A gentleman from the audience expressed the view that the books that we publish only appeal to a small percentage of very intellectual readers in an age when books are allegedly on the decline, and that more direct, populist activism is what is really needed today. I replied that, while I would never discourage anyone from pursuing other courses of action, and in fact I am hopeful that such activities will take place, at the same time we should not dismiss the power of books. Not all books are intended for an exclusive audience, and I offered as an example the recent publication of our book, Generation Identity: A Declaration of War Against the ’68ers by Markus Willinger, which serves as a manifesto of the worldview of the identitarian youth movement which has accomplished many things in Europe in recent years, as an example of something which has proven to be very popular among young readers who are new to the “movement.” Besides which, it is my view that revolutions, whether they are political, cultural or intellectual, are always led by elites, and in this way books are still indispensable for training the elite that will lead our revolution in these fields. The European New Right, for example, would never have materialized were it not for the metapolitical efforts of Alain de Benoist and others who laid the groundwork in their books, something which could not have been achieved in any other medium.
Alex Kurtagić described what he is doing as an effort to engage with the space where “art, bibliophilia, and the counter-culture intersect,” and expressed his wish to bring out beautifully-produced editions of classic texts that have been neglected in recent years, as a sort of dissident Penguin Classics, which he has already done with Francis Parker Yockey’s Imperium and other books. Kurtagić believes the value of these books lies in the fact that they will lead to the development of a new body of theory, and also outlast any collapse scenario which we may face in the near future, unlike the products of the mass media and electronic culture.
Following this was lunch, and after this, there was a conversation between Sam Dickson and William Regnery. Regnery discussed his journey through the conservative movement of the time and how he later came to reject conservative politics in favor of the sorts of perspectives offered at NPI. Dickson then reflected on the fact that, while the America he grew up in during the 1950s and ’60s was better than it is today in some respects, it was also very closed-minded, and the dissemination of information was dominated by a very few organizations, which rendered alternative points-of-view such as those represented by NPI and similar groups very difficult to find or disseminate. Therefore, in a sense, Dickson said that there are actually greater opportunities for revolutionary movements in America today than there were previously. Regnery professed his belief that the ostracism that Rightists encounter in America today is much more intense than anything that was experienced by Leftists under McCarthyism.
Next up was Alex Kurtagić once again, whose talks in various venues in recent years, including NPI in 2011, always cause them to be greeted with eager anticipation. His talk was on the theme of “The End of the World as We Know It.” Kurtagić explained that, since the financial meltdown of 2008, the idea of a collapse has percolated beyond its origins in the radical Right and into the mainstream, as expressed in the many books and novels which have dealt with the theme in recent years. The most distinguishing feature of these works, Kurtagić contended, is that they are primarily concerned with the idea of preserving America and its egalitarian, libertarian ideals. As such, they ultimately miss the point – egalitarianism is never questioned, and the issue of race never enters into the discussion.
The other common feature of such works, according to Kurtagić, is that they depict the collapse as something that happens suddenly and which is severe. This is not necessarily the way that it will actually happen, he pointed out – it is just as possible that we are already experiencing a gradual collapse, which will only be recognized by those looking back retrospectively at history at a later time. What must distinguish the “radical Right’s” idea of the collapse must be a willingness to see it through the lens of a transvaluation of values, rather than as an attempt to restore what will be lost when America as it is presently constituted finally falls. For Kurtagić, the key to this transvaluation is the idea of egalitarianism. Egalitarianism is the key to the liberal worldview because it is the tool that enables them to dismiss distinctions, hierarchy, meaning, and tradition. This is why the Right was ultimately forced to retreat from any meaningful opposition to liberalism, according to Kurtagić, because once egalitarianism was ensconced as the inviolable ideal of Western society, the Right was forced to oppose its enemies on their own terms, thus losing any ability to oppose them in a meaningful way.
Kurtagić called on his audience to dare to “think the unthinkable.” This means, according to him, questioning the very foundation upon which the radical Right in America has based itself in recent decades. The Anglo-American Right, according to Kurtagić, sees itself as a bastion of reason in a world of unreason. As a result, it has taken a scientific approach to its problems, which in turn is reflective of the bias towards empiricism inherent in the Anglo-American worldview. Speculative philosophy, in this tradition, is always viewed with suspicion. As a consequence, Kurtagić believes that the Anglo-American Right has failed to answer the issue of why egalitarianism cannot be questioned. The answer, he says, is because the Left succeeded in framing the issue of egalitarianism as one of an absolute good opposed to an absolute evil, and this is an idea that has spread throughout every facet of our society. Kurtagić claimed that it is not enough to try to prove the egalitarian ideal false through empirical data, but rather to depict it as an evil in turn, by pointing to the many injustices that have resulted from its pursuit, turning modern liberal democracies into near-totalitarian surveillance states in an effort to patrol the society and ensure that it is acting in accordance with this ideal.
What the game of egalitarianism is really about, Kurtagić said, is power – it is an instrument being used by those who want power to advance themselves, irrespective of whatever lofty goals initially inspired it. As such, it is mere arrogance masquerading as humility by the powers-that-be. What is needed to counter them is a moral critique of egalitarianism, which Kurtagić believes will undermine the moral legitimacy that supports the ruling classes. But it is not sufficient merely to tear down, says Kurtagić; something new will be needed to replace egalitarianism. This new ideal must surpass the merely biological view of life, because such a stand will merely render us as moral particularists, believing that what is good for our own group alone is what is best. But Kurtagić believes, along with Kevin MacDonald, that one of the distinguishing features of Western thought is universalism, and that the type of thought that we use to deal with a collapse scenario must be inherently Western in nature if we are to survive, and thus address the needs of all groups.
Unlike some, Kurtagić does not see the collapse as guaranteeing a reawakening of the racial spirit in Whites. We have come to focus on race, he said, because the Left decided to make an issue of it. But by countering them only on this level, we have only succeeded in dragging ourselves down to their level. Race is meaningless without taking into account whatever is built on top of it – therefore, we should focus our efforts on those higher, nobler aspects of our civilization rather than only upon its biological foundations. Kurtagić concluded by stating that he would rather live in a world full of differences than a homogenized one.
Following Alex Kurtagić was Roman Bernard, a Frenchman who has been active with the French organization which has been making headlines, Génération Identitaire – the same which brought identitarianism as a phenomenon to the attention of all Europe. His theme was “The Children of Oedipus.” He described his journey from more mainstream conservatism to the “radical Right,” in part as a result of his reading of English-language outlets such as Alternative Right, Counter-Currents, and Arktos. He explained that the youth of France are more and more beginning to question the ideals that they inherited from the radical Leftists who came to prominence after the strikes of 1968, and they are coming to see that all Europeans around the world are facing a common struggle. He pointed to Generation Identity as a portent of things to come: in its famous occupation of a mosque that was under construction in Poitiers, the site where Charles Martel drove back Muslim invaders in the eighth century, and in their occupation of the offices of the Socialist Party in Paris last May, the identitarians have given birth to a form of street activism that was unknown on the Right previously. Roman felt that these developments were indicative that a new and more vigorous Right, with much greater appeal to youth, was on the rise in Europe. Matt Parrott, the well-known activist from the Traditionalist Youth group, reinforced his message, emphasizing the need for continuing street-level activism to go along with more ideological or metapolitical efforts.
Mark Hackard, who writes for Alternative Right, then followed up with a discussion of the state of geopolitical affairs, in particular how the recent crisis in Syria, which led to Vladimir Putin’s frustration of Obama’s plans for military intervention, demonstrated that the era of American hegemony was already beginning to give way to a multipolar world in which other, opposing forces were coming into play. Just as critically, on the ideological front, the Russian President has begun to articulate a defense of national identity against the universalist materialism enforced by the Pax Americana.
Following this was Jack Donovan, who has been promoting the values of tribalism and a restoration of masculinity in his writings. Donovan pointed out that the collapse may come soon, or the system as it exists could limp on for quite some time; the one thing we can be certain of is that America, as it currently exists, will never change even as it declines, and the values which those of us on the “Right” hold dear will continue to be opposed by the establishment, as keeping people dependent on the liberal state is the key to their continuing power. Donovan said that, to the powers-that-be, we are only barbarians, condemned to be forever ostracized from the mainstream, but that rather than viewing this as a problem, we should embrace our barbarian identities.
Donovan said that the key to embracing this identity is to see ourselves as outsiders within our own homeland. What this means is to change the way we relate to the state, and see ourselves as something separate from it. He suggested four ways this could be accomplished. The first is to separate “us” from “them,” seeing ourselves in tribal terms and refusing to identify with America as a whole. The second is to stop getting angry because what is happening in society doesn’t make sense to us. The reason this is the case, Donovan said, is because what is being done is happening because it benefits those in power – not us. Therefore we shouldn’t expect things to seem sensible from our point of view. His third point is to de-universalize morality. Men, and White men in particular, he claimed, see themselves today as being on a mission to ensure that everyone in our society is being treated fairly. The problem is that this idea only works when everyone is interconnected as part of a cohesive community; in America today, many Whites have difficulty coming to terms with the idea that others do not have this same idea of universal justice in their hearts. No one cares when White men are excluded from anything today, Donovan pointed out. His fourth point is to encourage us to become “independent but interdependent” – to quietly establish a community somewhere of like-minded individuals who can jointly develop an alternative lifestyle, dissenting from the prevailing culture, and ensure that its members can provide for themselves by possessing the necessary skills. Land belongs to he who can hold it, Donovan emphasized, and while there is little chance that we can reclaim America from those who currently own it, it is still possible to establish a tribe that one can call one’s own.
Tomislav Sunić next took the podium. He is an author and translator who is frequently a sought-after speaker at Right-wing events around the world. He spoke on the idea of “Beyond Nationalism, or the Problem with Europe.” Sunić began by reminding us that prophecies of the imminent end of the world are nothing new in human history. The prevailing ideology of the modern West, he said, is that of progress, and the belief in an endless upward development of civilization. Sunić said that he sees himself as being among those who reject this belief. Believers in progress, he noted, have a tendency to want to impose their plans on society as a whole, and as a result have led to some of the greatest political atrocities of modern times. Our European ancestors, Sunić noted, were more accustomed to the idea of an inevitable fall, as can be seen in the myths of an apocalyptic end – and cyclical rebirth to follow – which predominated throughout Europe. For Sunić, this tragic sense, which he believes has been perpetuated up to the present day, as seen in great European writers such as Ernst Jünger and Emile Cioran, is part of what unites our civilization, in addition to its racial aspect. This indicates that the notion of our identity must go beyond the merely biological, in terms of being “White,” and we should look for our roots in our common historical memory. He also contended that defining ourselves solely in terms of what we oppose, such as in being against immigration or Islam, is also insufficient to form a complete identity.
Sunić claimed that we must embrace this European sense of the tragic, not as something negative, but rather as an opportunity to see history as an endless flow which will offer us opportunities, if only we can grab them. In order to do this, we must forge something new. This means creating a new, pan-European identity which will guarantee that we do not repeat the bloody mistakes that came between our various peoples in the past. Sunić offered many historical precedents for this idea, showing that when threatened by outside forces, Europeans have always demonstrated their willingness to put aside their differences to confront a greater threat. Sunić’s last point was that we must not ignore the issue of character when evaluating who is worthy to be a part of our new ethnostate – simply being of a common racial background is insufficient on its own. Sunić reminded us that both our movement and others, such as the Catholic Church, have been plagued by those with bad intentions who prey on such groups only for their own personal benefit. Such individuals must be rejected. Sunić believes that the only way forward is to establish a new European identity and rediscover our pride in who we are.
The final speaker of the day was the deliverer of the keynote address, Alain de Benoist, who more than anyone present has been responsible for giving birth to the trends which have culminated in the appearance of organizations such as NPI and the North American New Right. Benoist was the ideological founder of what came to be termed – against their own wishes – the “New Right” in France, and which later spread throughout Europe, and he has published dozens of books in French, several of which have now been translated by Arktos. Benoist’s project has always been to create a new type of political thought in Europe which will allow Europeans to defend and retain their identities while avoiding the intellectual and ideological pitfalls which befell similar efforts in the past. Thus, the subject of his talk was aptly named, “The Question of Identity.” He began by apologizing for his poor English, although it was my impression that everyone in the room was able to understand him with ease.
Benoist said that the question of identity is the most important question we face today, but also pointed out that it is a very modern question as well, since traditional societies never have the need to question their identity. He explained that identity in Europe became an issue with the rise of individualism in the wake of Descartes, who first described the notion of the individual as something independent of his community. Likewise, we have seen the division of the individual into various identities, such as one’s professional, sexual, ethnic identity, and so on.
The problems which prevail today in thinking about identity derive from the fact that we have come to think that it is a product only of how we think of ourselves. Benoist said that, from the communitarian perspective – which he also identified as his own – identity is dependent on how others see us, which means that identity can only be understood in terms of a social bond. This means that all notions of identity are ideological in nature. Furthermore, we tend to see identity as something immutable, whereas Benoist said that identity cannot exist without transformation, even if we remain, in essence, ourselves throughout such changes. The notion of identity is an interpretive act – when we perceive something, we do not just see it but also assign meaning to it, which gives our notions of identity a narrative character, in terms of a story which develops further every time we come back to it.
When it comes to mass immigration, Benoist said, while it is responsible for great social pathologies, those who oppose it miss the point by ignoring its actual causes. What is really behind it is “the system that kills the peoples,” namely the global system of capitalism that is attempting to destroy all differences in an effort to impose a universal world order. Benoist does not believe that our identity is primarily threatened by others, but rather the greatest danger we face is from the lack of respect for the identity of others that prevails everywhere today, in which Americanization is the order of the day and the highest value is money. We must wonder whether the world will continue to develop along unipolar lines, with America as the sole dominant force trying to bring about a monolithic world, or whether we will see the emergence of a multipolar world in which many identities will be allowed to play a role.
How this came about can only be understood by examining the roots of modernity in the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment, by its nature, was opposed to the very idea of identity, opposing tradition, rootedness, and ethnic solidarity. Benoist said that mainstream American conservatives repeat this mistake when they defend the myth of the individual against the rights of society as a whole. Continental Europeans, he said, have had less of a problem with this, since they have always recognized that capitalism is a destructive force. Capitalism is the opposite of real conservatism, he said; it believes itself to be universal and endless. Benoist pointed out that even Marx had identified capitalism as the system which stands for the abolition of all traditions and the feudal order. Capitalism relies for its survival on perpetual growth, and can thus only exist if it dismantles everything that stands in its way. This is why capitalism proved itself to be much more effective than Communism, Benoist said, since as a system it is even more universalist and materialistic than Communism ever was. Capitalism is ultimately responsible for the problem of immigration because it relies on a continual increase of its labor pool for a continuing increase in productivity, and thus it is the natural setting for the concept of “global citizenship.” But capitalism can only offer a caricature of a social bond, he said – in reality, all it can do is carry out the commodification of humans that is inherent in its logic. Benoist concluded by saying that identity will always remain under threat as long as the lifestyles inspired by capitalism remain unquestioned. He apologized to the audience if anyone had found his talk to be a deliberate provocation to Americans; he said he was only offering his opinion, but knew that it was difficult to convey in a country which valued the ideals of progress, individualism and capitalism above all else.
A very interesting question-and-answer session followed. Benoist further explicated his views on America, saying that one of the most fundamental problems with it is that it is the product of a land which already had its own culture being co-opted by another culture, which led to an inherent sense of alienation within it. He also noted that America was not alone in its responsibility for the present global order, admitting that the American and French revolutionary projects were linked by a similar ideology. Interestingly, he said that, in spite of their claim to stand for the rights of everyone, these revolutions had only possible as a result of massive bloodshed – in France, through the violent suppression of the ancien régime, and in America by the suppression of the Indians. He said that addressing these problems in America is always problematic, since a genuine Left and Right, as known in Europe, is absent here, “which is strange.” Benoist also invoked Carl Schmitt in reminding us that those who fight in the name of humanity only do so in order to deny the humanity of their enemy, rendering him into an absolute evil that must be destroyed.
After this was a very pleasant reception, during which I manned the Arktos book table. As inspiring as the speakers at the conference were, this is always my favorite part of any such event, since it gives me the opportunity to meet and speak with people who usually only know me through the Internet, or through my work for Arktos. It is always very invigorating to experience firsthand how many intelligent, interesting people find value in the work that we do, and I always greatly appreciate the many expressions of thanks for our efforts that were extended to me over the course of the weekend. I give my most heartfelt gratitude to anyone who did so.
I will conclude by saying that there were no problems of any significance at the conference, and both the speakers and the audience that the organizers managed to assemble were truly top-notch. I hope that NPI continues to hold such events with regularity in the future, as they are absolutely essential to the growth of a genuinely radical school of thought on the Right in America today – something that is desperately needed, as the impoverishment of the ideals underlying our society become more apparent by the day. Whether an actual collapse is imminent or not, what cannot be denied is the already ongoing collapse of America as a culture and as a society. Those of us on the “New Right” are the only ones capable of developing the right sorts of solutions. We need to get to work.
Are Americans Europeans?
The Man of the Twentieth Century: Remembering Ernst Jünger (March 29, 1895–February 17, 1998)
Žluté vesty zviditelnily tu nejfrancouzštější část Francie
A “Novel” Approach to the Understanding of Evil
The Roald Dahl Controversy
Forgotten Roots of the Left: Fichte’s Moral & Political Philosophy, Part II
The Populist Moment, Chapter 12: Liberty — Equality — Fraternity: On the Meaning of a Republican Slogan
The Eggs Benedict Option
Has anyone bothered telling Alex Kurtagic that his “beautifully-produced” books are anything but?
Let’s start with the cover art, most of which is by Kurtagic himself. Such art might be appropriate for fiction works, like Mister. It was fine for Mister. But for Lothrop Stoddard and Madison Grant? Do both authors cry out for Planet of the Apes parodies on their jackets? I thought the point was to get these books taken seriously.
It is not like there is a shortage of beautiful paintings in the world. Why not just use a real Rackham painting for the cover of his recent edition of Houston Stewart Chamberlain’s The Wagnerian Drama? Comparing the original to Kurtagic’s version is a cringe-inducing experience. Click here http://cdn.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/rackham_valkyrie.jpg for the original and here http://shop.wermodandwermod.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/t/p/tpp011hb_-_medium_1.jpg for the copy. Among other things, we can conclude that Alex is definitely a tit man.
Kurtagic must be a wonderful person, because now his dreadful art is spreading to other alt-right presses, such as Arktos and Nine-Banded Books (on the covers of Tito Perdue’s novels).
Then there are the covers’ often muddy color schemes and unreadable fonts.
Since I judge a book by its cover, I have only actually read one of Kurtagic’s editions, and I found it to be riddled with typesetting and proofreading errors.
Ugly books are one of the curses of Right-wing publishing. Wermod and Wermod and Ostara are, unfortunately, carrying on that tradition. Again, why try to raise the status of our views by commissioning introductory essays by people like Jared Taylor, Michael O’Meara, Kerry Bolton, and Kevin MacDonald — and then put “nigger” caricatures on the covers? Has ANYONE protested this?
Arktos, Counter-Currents, and Washington Summit are doing much better in terms of cover designs, although even they are mixed bags. At Counter-Currents, the excellent covers are all by Kevin Slaughter. The others are merely above average. (Those would be yours, Greg.) Black House Publishing in the UK does consistently above average covers, but none of them are really top drawer.
My recommendation: all alt-right publishers agree to give their business exclusively to Kevin Slaughter so he can quit his “day job” (if he has one) and focus entirely on giving our books covers worthy of their messages.
Sutton, although you get a BIT carried away, I basically agree with you.
1. I am particularly uncomfortable with Kurtagic’s Negro caricatures, which do not, in my view, raise the status of our discourse. The same with the Planet of the Apes covers.
2. I think his paintings work well on the covers of Mister and The Node. I don’t think much of the cover of Morning Crafts.
3. I also agree with you about our covers: the best ones are by Kevin Slaughter, and yes, when somebody this talented comes along who is willing to work with us, we should send all our business his way. But you have to understand that he isn’t always available and we can’t always afford him. Also, I believe Slaughter designed the cover of The Node with Kurtagic’s painting. So they don’t exactly belong in mirror universes.
4. Beyond attractive images and readable texts, all covers today need to make sense as small images on a computer screen, which is how most people encounter them. Our best covers can be read that way. The worst ones can’t.
The Lothrop Stoddard covers have been misunderstood. Revolt Against Civilization’s is meant to represent primitive, urban rabble; they are not meant to be representations of blacks, as some (understandably yet irritatingly) have been quick to assume, but of regressed humans—hairless chimpanzees have that grey skin-tone. My inspiration was Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, Cesare Lombroso’s Criminal Man, and fossils of early humans.
The French Revolution in San Domingo‘s was inspired by patriotic Haïtian murals and other artwork—only I made it gory because of the events described in the book.
They are, of course, humorous, but that is what came to mind at the time. When requested to do covers for other publishers, I ask for a brief.
I buy Kurtagic’s books for the art covers. I think they are ironic and very funny. Most female opera singers are BIG and not dainty little girls. After all the book is about Wagner’s operas. I loved the use of the runes on the cover of The Passing of the Great Race. Yup, it’s gone. No Nordics here. All Alpines and other degenerates. Of course I like Franz Marc too and Otto Dix, two of Hitler’s degenerate artists. I don’t think Hitler like Dali or Klimt either. My, my, I am going to have rethink this national socialism stuff.
Non-Nordic Whites are likened to “degenerates”? Interesting. I didn’t think this kind of sentiment existed in our circles any longer.
Yes, I agree. But I was not sure if Rhondda is making fun of Grant or not.
I hope not. It smacks too much of outdated Chamberlain/Rosenberg rhetoric. Tone is often difficult to discern here.
Yes it’s a bit much really. The Nordic subrace should just die quietly with a stiff upper lip. No need to lash out at others. It’s not cricket. That’s what matters after all. How silly men like Grant and McCulloch were to ever care.
Grant indeed has a hierarchy of whites. He is quite specific. So yes, I was poking fun. I wish he was alive as I have all sorts of questions.
Even as we reject the System we pay homage to it by rejecting Race. The average person on an average day will not be inspired by something as abstract and Universal as Identitarianism, but they sure could show loyalty to those who look and act like themselves. Leave something for ordinary people or is this just to be more elitism? Have fun being heads without bodies.
What was the dress code, suit and tie? The uniform of our oppressors. We have to move away from this somehow. Perhaps James can lead us back into wearing robes of emerald and burgundy. Or Jack back to leather and furs.
You are right. I have never been able to figure out the MAJOR differences between these ideas and American paleo-conservativism.
For example, consider the following list comparing major themes and ideas in identitarianism/Traditionalism to American paleo-conservatism. As I understand it from 3 years of studying CC and related materials, identitarianism/Traditionalism are:
– against fascism. So is paleo-conservatism.
– against multiculturalism, egalitarianism, and democracy in its current forms. So is paleo-conservatism.
– against capitalism and globalism. So is paleo-conservatism.
– for de-emphasizing race as a central or top priority in the scale of values but without entirely [they say] dismissing it as unimportant. So is paleo-conservatism.
– for ignoring the Jewish question. So is paleo-conservatism.
– for “traditional” social arrangements and sex roles. So is paleo-conservatism.
– for the notion that all social values should not be subordinated to economics, and for the notion that society’s top priority should NOT be profit. So is paleo-conservatism.
– for making spiritual growth, nourishment and religion central to human life. So is paleo-conservatism.
– for the decentralization and re-localization of government and the economy. So is paleo-conservatism.
– for small local communities governing themselves so that peoples can preserve their identities. So is paleo-conservatism.
– for returning to hierarchical ways of achieving one’s position and status in society such as warrior-traditions and spiritual-master traditions. And here we get to the only major, substantive difference that I can discern.
So other than one having theoretical roots in Europe rather than America, some semantic and labeling differences, and some MINOR differences in application, these ideas are damn near indistinguishable from American paleo-conservativism.
Here is Chilton Williamson:
I hate to anonymously throw cold water and gripe at good and talented people who are doing so much and better than I could ever hope to do it. But facts are facts. In point of fact, these ideas because of their similarities to paleo-conservatism don’t strike me as nearly as radical as they are often made out to be.
I’m open to being corrected on any misunderstandings and errors in this comment.
Lew, I will not address all your points (at least not at the moment), but I feel I should provide a different perspective to clarify things. Identitarianism is, first of all, a very general group, and thinkers within it can disagree on certain matters even though they share certain key values, especially the idea that ethnic and cultural identity and community is of key importance. Also, Identitarians may or may not be Traditionalist; it is actually possible for an Identitarian to be anti-Traditionalist and anti-Conservative (just as it is possible for an Identitarian to be a Fascist, an anti-Fascist, or neutral on the matter). Concerning the issue of race, I think that most people who can be classified as Identitarian place some value on racial differences; for some it is a secondary matter, for others race is as important as it is for typical White Nationalists and even National Socialists. Finally, I would suggest that you read or re-read the works of Pierre Krebs, Faye, and Sunic (and I suppose Benoist and O’Meara count too), since these people are considered to be some of the most important New Right and Identitarian intellectuals who are available in the English language. When you read the writings of these people, you will a very distinct line of thought which, even though it has certain ideas comparable to paleo-conservatism and traditionalism, it is very unique and also revolutionary.
I like Paleo-Conservatism as far as it goes – which of course isn’t far enough. I used to subscribe to Chronicles Magazine. They’re Catholics and as such completely incapable of dealing with the invasion on our border or the horror of our inner cities since they don’t believe race is real.
What troubled me about the article was the some vague similarities to Neo-Conservatism. Kurtagic warning about moral particularism and quoting MacDonald. Well, that’s true we do tend to Universalism and that’s been our undoing. We have to get “our better angels” tethered and even locked up while we do a little thing like securing our own existence and a future for White Children. You know guys, that. But it’ll be a cinch, right? Right?
As David Duke says we now face the greatest Crisis of our entire history. Anyone talking like this is now is leading us astray. Sure we can respect other races. And the greatest form of respect is imitation. They are already ruthless Identitarians and we must become like them if we wish to survive. There I can do it too. That’s also a Universalism. Perhaps sometime in the next century we can start thinking about charity to other races again – this time in a sane self and other respecting way.
Perhaps sometime in the next century we can start thinking about charity to other races again
It’s we who need their charity, and now. Where is it? Is it anywhere on their agenda? They can k. my a.
Additionally, to expand upon what I previously said, I am going to address your list of points comparing Identitarianism, Traditionalism, and Paleo-Conservatism. Firstly, these three groups are far from being identical, even though they have many points of convergence (and you should also remember that ironically Fascism and National Socialism also have points of convergence with these three).
Identitarianism (exemplified in the thought of Krebs, Faye, Benoist, etc.) is a generic group which holds as its central idea that ethnic, cultural, and racial identity and community are some (certainly not all) of the key values upon which human societies should be built; Identitarians oftentimes, although not always, agree with other key ideas of the New Right since they are related to it. Tradionalism is represented best in the thought of people like Evola and Spann while Paleo-Conservatism is represented by the thought of people such as Paul Gottfried and William Lind. The differences between these is actually rather obvious when you read their works.
Now, I will address your points more directly, and you will have to forgive me for some of the more brief portions because I am composing this comment very quickly:
“against fascism. So is paleo-conservatism.”
Many New Rightists and Identitarians are against Fascism (such as Benoist). However, some are sympathetic to Fascism even if they do not espouse it, such as Sunic, while others are actually classifiable as Fascist, such as Armin Mohler.
“against multiculturalism, egalitarianism, and democracy in its current forms. So is paleo-conservatism.”
Yes, this is entirely correct. However, paleo-cons tend to want to revive a previous form of democracy that existed in the earlier 20th century, whereas Identitarians (that is, the ones that are democratic to begin with) want an entirely new democratic system, one which is more revolutionary and visionary.
“against capitalism and globalism. So is paleo-conservatism.”
Not necessarily, because certain people from both groups actually propose a kind of modified and limited form of capitalism, which we can see for example in Faye, Mohler, and Kaltenbrunner. Although, I must say, Paleo-cons generally tend to be very pro-capitalist from what I have seen.
“for de-emphasizing race as a central or top priority in the scale of values but without entirely [they say] dismissing it as unimportant. So is paleo-conservatism.”
Some de-emphasize race, but I hardly think it is fair to say this for strongly racialistic thinkers like Faye, Krebs, Venner, or many of the Neue Rechte thinkers.
“for ignoring the Jewish question. So is paleo-conservatism.”
They don’t ignore the Jewish question, they merely understand that Jews cannot be seen as being the sole source of our problems, but rather that there are a number of other important factors, some much more important than Jewish influence. I have already argued about this issue in the past and do not feel like discussing it in any more depth.
“for ‘traditional’ social arrangements and sex roles. So is paleo-conservatism.”
This is hardly the case. Maybe some Identitarian thinkers who are more influenced by Traditionalist thought espouse the revival of old social and sex roles, but there are a lot of them who actually advocate a middle-ground position and others who even support gender equality (although they all recognize the reality of gender differences in any case).
“for the notion that all social values should not be subordinated to economics, and for the notion that society’s top priority should NOT be profit. So is paleo-conservatism.”
You are correct on this.
“for making spiritual growth, nourishment and religion central to human life. So is paleo-conservatism.”
Considering that there are some thinkers in the New Right who are atheists, I would not necessarily say this is true for everyone, even though it tends to be true for most.
“for the decentralization and re-localization of government and the economy. So is paleo-conservatism. … for small local communities governing themselves so that peoples can preserve their identities. So is paleo-conservatism.”
This is incorrect, because there are a variety of different positions on what kind of government is preferred (as I mentioned above) as well as how to structure societies among Identitarians.
“for returning to hierarchical ways of achieving one’s position and status in society such as warrior-traditions and spiritual-master traditions.”
This sounds like a very specifically Traditionalist idea (in the line of Evolian thought), although it is very vague to begin with. I should only say that it is important not to confuse Traditionalism with Identitarianism – even some people in the latter group are inspired by the former – because some identitarians are less traditionalist than others.
In general, Lew, I will say that I think you are mixing up a lot of things in your mind because all of these ideologies or viewpoints can be found expressed on Counter-Currents and sometimes they are also expressed in a combined form because certain authors are influenced by all three ideologies. Thus you seem to have begun to equate them; it is important to remember that they all have different views and can be seen as entirely the same.
I made a bit of a mistake in the last words there. The last part of the last sentence was meant to say that the views cannot be seen as entirely the same.
Thank you very much. That was a very fine exposition. Very clear. You are an asset to the counter currents project. I still have a lot to learn about both identitarianism and traditionalism.
Great re-cap Mr. Morgan. As I read it, I felt almost as inspired and challenged as when I was at the conference.
For future reference for future conferees, if you use a side entrance at the Reagan Building you are not likely to see any protesters.
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