(with apologies to Frederick Douglass and the rhetoric of his century)
He who could address this audience without a quailing sensation has stronger nerves than I have. I look over a people in its multitudes, and it seems presumptuous to take upon myself the responsibility of expressing communal feelings. After all, if the white population of this country is characterized by anything, it is characterized by its refusal to consider itself as a people, even capable of collective action and identity. Nonetheless, it is the Fourth, and so it behooves me to at least attempt to give some meaning and organization to this auspicious event.
The fact is, ladies and gentlemen, the distance between the present and the occasion we aim to commemorate is considerable, and the differences in culture, interpenetration, and circumstance are by no means light. The fact that the Fourth is still celebrated in any matter at all is, to me, still a cause for astonishment, as well as gratitude for those generations that preserved the country bequeathed to us by those we once called the Founding Fathers.
Certainly, the passage of years and the inevitable alterations in technology, environment, and social conduct could have severed the connection between ourselves and our revolutionary forebears, and the sheer existence of this nominal union between our revolutionary past and communal present speaks to a fortitude and determination that stands us in good stead among the nations of the earth.
This is the Fourth of July. It is the birth day of our National Independence, and of our political freedom. It was once, to us, what Passover was to those who claim to be the people of God. It carries our minds back to that day, to the act of our deliverance from British tyranny, and to the wonders associated with that act, which, upon revisiting, never cease to amaze even after the passage of centuries. The stand at Bunker Hill, the victory at Saratoga, the crossing of the Delaware, the immortal Washington’s final triumph at Yorktown – looking around at what our country has become, this land of shopping malls and broken families, it’s hard to believe that such men existed, that such events took place, that such heroes trod the very land we stand upon today.
Our country is no longer young. Our political life as Americans has lasted for centuries, and the patterns are deeply rooted. The waves rise and fall, occasionally a flood breaks over and seemingly washes everything before it. But it always returns, and this pattern of destruction has achieved a kind of regularity. Indeed, talk of “reform” or “change” takes on a wearisome quality, as the cry for change itself is now part of the established order of things.
America is in a constant process of self-destruction, perhaps even defined by it, and what little sense of continuity remains owes its existence to a kind of benevolent hypocrisy. Real Americans know instinctually who they are and what makes them a distinct people, but they lack the vocabulary to define it. After all, even our independence as a people had to be defined in universalist terms, so that we were not fighting for ourselves but to “begin the world anew.”
The contradictory and confused set of assumptions that cluster about that summer day plague us still. We were British subjects who sought independence and sovereignty because it was the only way for us to secure the rights of natural born Englishmen. In retrospect, it is so obvious to say our revolutionary forebears were right, but at the time they were threatened with hanging. They pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to a cause that had no guarantee – indeed, little chance – of success.
Nor was the break with the mother country something approached causally, in retrospect, the Revolution was the result of a series of blunders and misunderstandings, pushing both the Crown and the Congress into a conflict neither really wanted. And now, with the passage of time, this mistake is concealed beneath the trappings of glory, an unnecessary conflict transmuted into a sacred cause, revolutionaries turned into gods amongst men.
Yet what was really unleashed? The Revolution that even today can inspire the sublime stirrings of pride in the heart of every American contained within it the seeds of its own destruction. The Tories of the time warned of the breakdown of order and authority, the dangerous spirit of malicious “leveling” that the English knew all too well from the excesses of their own bloody civil war. Whatever the high minded defenses of “ordered liberty,” there were those who knew that ideas follow a terrible course of their own, that the heirs in spirit to those rebels who killed a king would not stop there but tear the world down around them rather than let one be above another. Paradoxically, this mania for leveling would lead to a tyranny more absolute and unforgiving than anything that could be contemplated under the House of Tudor or Stuart.
But amidst all the protest against it, overcoming each rebellion against it, “the alarming and revolutionary idea moved on, and the country with it.” Thus the agitators of a foreign race could condemn Americans for having betrayed their revolutionary forefathers. Thus, armies could be raised to destroy constitutional government in the name of a higher egalitarian ideal that was henceforth to be identified with the very existence of the nation and its democratic form of government. Thus cities could be sacked, thousands butchered, the treasure of generations squandered, and traditional liberties and rights of citizens dismantled in the name of an imperishable ideal of equality that we are told if surrendered constitutes the abandonment of the United States itself.
And so here we are, and it behooves us to ask, what do we celebrate today?
Is it our independence as a people from the British Crown? The United Kingdom is ruled by forces all but indistinguishable from those who govern our continent, and the royal house of Windsor is but a symbol, long bereft of lordship. Americans indeed enjoy certain liberties denied to British subjects, but only because the British, perhaps motivated by centuries of more overt confrontation with reaction and aristocracy, have internalized American ideals better than Americans themselves. It is Britain where the mobilization of class against class has reached a greater pitch, Britain where the protection of the alien is even more fanatical than in Washington, Britain where subjects are not allowed to practice self-defense lest criminals from protected classes be denied their “inherent” rights. The restrained autocracy of the British Crown has been dismantled, even in its homeland, to be replaced with a basically American creed that has led to a tyranny even more absolute.
Do we celebrate some conception of political freedom? Fundamental issues of identity, equal justice, and the traditional family have been removed the people’s consideration and given to unelected and unaccountable representatives of a contemptuous ruling caste. Local governments are legal fictions, powerless administrative units to implement decisions made elsewhere. No tyranny in history would have meddled with the established liberties of family and faith as freely as do the chieftains appointed by universal suffrage.
Rather than the majesty and dignity of a Crown, however oppressive, we are ruled by small men governing Last Men, bound with a thousand invisible chains that penetrate local governments, churches, schools, homes, and even our consciousness. We know to restrain our tongues, artificially limit our free expression, lest a terrible retribution be unleashed against us. To live in our country is to surrender daily and be denied even the honorable rebellious death that the tyrannies of the past could afford us.
Do we rule ourselves? Do most of us even have the right to see who rules us, if only to fight back? Has there ever been a tyranny so devious that the masters conceal themselves, taking upon themselves the mantle of democrat while grinding the soul of a people into a pitiable nub?
What is the people? It is a myth, a lie, a ghost. The logic of the Revolution eventually unmade the people itself, setting as policy what an East German poet proposed as exaggeration – the dissolution of the people, and the election of a new one. The Anglo-Saxon founding stock of the American polity has no sense of itself, and the acronym WASP is used as a slur in the nation that they created. The larger white racial family of which it is a part similarly lacks coherence, identity, and direction. While America has a white majority objectively, this majority does not exist in a political or even cultural sense. The national core is a deracinated mob, throwing itself into desperate indulgence and intoxication to escape what has become of the country it carved out of the wilderness.
Even the broken remnants of a people are hunted down and persecuted in an insidious tyranny imposed by the state. White communities are deliberately targeted for demographic destruction by powerful bureaucracies against whom there is no appeal. The government hunts for aliens to occupy our land with the deliberate purpose of dispossessing us. Even the ability to leave property or maintain a family home for more than one generation is a luxury undreamed of by Americans, as they flee desperately from cities to suburbs and back. The endless retreat from the government’s non-white clients who devastate communities and schools as they follow reads like a monstrous tale of Gothic horror.
What is liberty? What is independence? What is sovereign? Is it not the right of a people to govern themselves? Is it not the ability of a nation to perpetuate its own existence? Is it not the freedom of a family to labor for its own improvement through the generations? Is it not the capacity of an individual to achieve what he can so long as he fulfills the basic responsibilities of a citizen?
Who can say we have any of these? What is a government that actively seeks to exterminate its own national population? It is worse than the tyranny. It lacks even the crude, brutish honesty of a genocidal conqueror. It is the kind of evil that can only be associated with a disease, a virus, a filth born of rats and swine conveyed through the sewers to devastate a people from within their very homes. Would that they would just shoot us – that fate would be more honorable than the slow extinction of a folk, like cancer eating away the flesh of a once strong man.
What do we celebrate? The independence of a nation requires that the nation still exists as a meaningful entity. It requires that it has a core of identity recognized and defended by those who consider themselves members of that community. It requires that that community has control to determine its collective destiny, the internal unity to determine such a destiny, and the will to defend it against those who would take it away. None of these conditions are present.
Looking to the past, it seems so inevitable. How can a nation with such false foundations have been expected to endure? Our forebears possessed wisdom and courage, deep political skill and philosophical subtlety. But in their elevated state, they lost sight of the very things that shaped them, the deep reservoirs of Tradition they could take for granted, the kinship of racial community, the morality of self-preservation and upward development.
This most conservative of “revolutions” unleashed the most unlimited forces of destruction, as ideas were taken to their logical conclusion by pygmies who followed in the footsteps of giants. Like children playing with rifles, we were subverted by sniveling upstarts aspiring to fulfill creeds they did not understand and attaining glories they did not deserve. Perhaps even worse, we were also subverted by those who did understand those egalitarian principles and what they implied – and who used them as a weapon against us.
By failing to spell out the essentials, by assuming that the core of culture, kin, and Tradition would always exist, our forebears betrayed us, and the Republic betrayed the Nation.
And yet, the spirit lingers, and this does us a certain credit. The flag of our fathers flies over the continent, from ocean to ocean, seemingly forever. Nor is the polity itself weak, whatever its degeneracy and corruption. No nation can project military power to every corner of the globe, save our Republic. No other economy can generate such innovation and productivity, even that which is directed from the towers of Wall Street and the grim fortresses of the Federal Reserve. Defying all predictions of collapse, all prophecies of decline, the power of United States of America endures, even as its soul has been taken away.
But what of it? An Empire can survive on accumulated treasures for a time, even centuries. The glory that was Rome was long extinguished when madmen and thieves took up the purple. Nonetheless, the legions marched forward, animated by their faith that once was could be again, that they still somehow preserved something essential of what their fathers left them.
It does our people honor to sustain the United States. Yet only to a point. The iron law of history decrees that before rebirth, there must be destruction. The gods will not be mocked, what is sown shall be reaped, and every debt shall be paid in the end. Make no mistake, our country endures, because we allow it to and because we still believe in it. Such sacrifice can be respected, but we must admit with a terrible grief that we are priests of a dead god. Has not the world grown colder? To pretend otherwise is simply to deceive ourselves, and make the reckoning that much more tragic.
What do we celebrate today? We celebrate the dream that was America, a Republic built by our people that was to be free of the dead hand of reaction. It was a Republic that could unleash all that was best within us, and for many years it did, taking our race to the stars themselves. We created it, we sustain it, we fund it, we continue to fight and die for it. It was a beautiful dream. But one must eventually wake from even the sweetest dreams.
The Negro Frederick Douglass protested on a July 4 long ago, “What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence?” What indeed. For though officialdom now orders that the creed and power of America speaks solely to the non-white others suffered to live among us, it is only our people who ensure the Great Experiment endures.
For how long? We long boasted of our “love of liberty,” our “democratic institutions,” the tantamount value of all men to society. How else could we live, other than by lies? How could it have to led to anything other than this? How could we finish otherwise than in self-hatred and self-flagellation, doomed to disparage better men while living off the fruits of the sacrifices? How could a society founded on equality give us anything other than Last Men among the ruins? How could a society that survives only through a saving hypocrisy lead to anything other than alienation and suicide?
Friends, I concede the charges of critics and cynics. Let us admit that our “republicanism [is] a sham, [our] humanity as a base pretense” because we are not fully egalitarian. Let us confess that America can never live up to its founding idea of perfect equality. Must we continue to destroy ourselves because of this? Is the country simply one giant farcical attempt to pursue an impossible dream, a massive empire dedicated to a cause of consummate meaninglessness?
Let it be said clearly. Let it be said plainly. Let it be said loudly, aggressively, pleadingly – equality is a lie. All men are not created equal. Even Jefferson did not really believe this. How can anyone believe it without condemning himself and his society to self-annihilation? To truly profess equality is to confess oneself not just as foolish, but evil.
The American people – the real American nation derived from European stock that built this country, created its accomplishments, and hold it back from the abyss – has no moral obligation to destroy itself to defend a lie. We have no moral duty to die for the Other. We do have a duty to ensure the survival of our people, and a future for our children.
And that can no longer be done through this system, under this state, and with this foundation.
Independence? Let Americans proclaim it once again, for the real America is in the blood and souls of the authentic American nation. It is not in the corrupt citadels of corporatism and degeneracy. We have had enough of their wars, their taxes, their bureaucrats, their tyrannies, and the Third World masses they inflict upon us. America belongs to us.
The flag is ours. The Constitution is ours. All that made America great and could make it great once again is ours. But this time, it must be spelled out that we are a nation founded on the liberty to be great, not the embrace of degeneracy, the right to achieve the best within us, not the empty “freedom” where we are pushed to indulge the worst. We remove the dead hand of reaction to reach for sublime heights, not to dig even lower.
To break with the filth who rule us is not to break with our sires and our country. It is to redeem them. It is swear entirely hostility against the lies that destroyed it.
“When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands that have enslaved them to another . . .”
We are not free. We are not independent. We are not even a country anymore. But the nation still exists, and it can achieve whatever destiny it wills. But first – the nation must once again rise to itself.
A Robertson Roundup: Remembering Wilmot Robertson (April 16, 1915 – July 8, 2005)
Remembering Dominique Venner
(April 16, 1935 – May 21, 2013)
Remembering Jonathan Bowden (April 12, 1962–March 29, 2012)
Remembering Emil Cioran (April 8, 1911–June 20, 1995)
The Man of the Twentieth Century: Remembering Ernst Jünger (March 29, 1895–February 17, 1998)
The Power of Myth: Remembering Joseph Campbell (March 26, 1904–October 30, 1987)
Remembering Jean Raspail (July 5, 1925–June 13, 2020)
Remembering Flannery O’Connor
(March 25, 1925–August 4, 1964)