I chose the image of the Scarecrow, because I think that Matt has set up several straw men in his reply.
Baking a Bigger Pie
First, I wish to put to rest a canard Greg raises, the insidious notion of scarcity in White Nationalist fundraising. He claims that, “for the amount of money that goes out of the movement to attend the annual American Renaissance conference, the movement could employ a full-time activist with a decent salary and benefits package for 2 years.” While this is superficially correct, what it implies couldn’t be further from the truth.
Virtually none of the money invested in attending AmRen was going to go to employing an activist with a decent salary. It was going to go toward the attendees’ personal business. While the amount of money invested annually in attending AmRen is a considerable chunk of the White Nationalist pie, it’s merely a sliver of the personal income pies of the individual attendees and potential donors. We’re looking at the wrong pie, and inclining ourselves to a destructive zero-sum perspective on movement financing which resents the fundraising success of others as if it’s detracting from other hypothetically useful work.
First of all, if a person spends $1,000 to go to AmRen, he is spending $1,000 on a movement event.
Second, I do not object to the $150 of that sum that goes to AmRen. I am objecting to the $850 that goes to airlines, hotels, etc.
I congratulate Jared Taylor for being able to motivate a couple hundred people to spend $150,000+ to attend an annual conference. But I would like to suggest that Jared and the rest of us put our heads together to figure out ways to put all of that money to work for the movement, not just a small percentage of it.
The Importance of Full-Time Activists
I also have to object to Matt’s dismissal of the idea that if we could persuade movement people to stop wasting money on conferences and put it into paying full-time activists, that this money would just be wasted on mainstreaming, third parties, lobbying, and other buffoonery.
If I had $120,000/year to spend on staff (pay + benefits), the first people I would hire are a professional fundraiser and a professional office manager/assistant for both me and the fundraiser. Then, as revenues grew, I would hire a full-time video and audio producer, a full-time marketing and publicity person, a full-time editor, and a full-time IT person. The purpose of all these people would be to propagate New Right ideas through every medium to every white constituency. That would be money well-spent.
The Problem of Networking
Matt admits that the primary reason he goes to AmRen is to meet people. But I have suggested that there are cheaper and better ways to have summit conferences for movement writers and activists, and more effective ways to encourage local networking and activism.
Yes, meeting people locally can expose you to kooks, but so can AmRen. Indeed, the biggest and most destructive kooks I knew in the Bay Area also attended AmRen.
* * *
I don’t claim to have all the solutions, but the first step toward figuring out a solution is to realize the existence of a problem, which is the purpose of my essay. My hope is that solutions will emerge when other people start discussing the problem. Matt has taken the first step. I hope others will follow.
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