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Early Reactions to Imperium

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Francis Parker Yockey

4,295 words

Editor’s Note:

Kerry Bolton’s ongoing research for a new and definitive biography of Francis Parker Yockey and a complete collection of Yockey’s shorter writings and correspondence continues to turn up new and previously-thought-to-be-lost materials, including issue no. 4 of Yockey’s Frontfighter newsletter, containing one of Yockey’s lost works, which is included in the following article.

When Francis Parker Yockey, Anthony Gannon, and Guy Chesham of Union Movement’s overseas liaison office, and over 140 others, departed from Sir Oswald Mosley’s movement in bitter circumstances, Chesham had written to Mosley that Imperium had already been accepted among advanced political thinkers. Imperium did appeal to advanced thinkers. Major Gen. J. F. C. Fuller, father of modern tank warfare, who had been Mosley’s military adviser in the British Union of Fascists; and Captain Basil Liddell Hart, official British military historian of World War I, who had been involved in the pro-Mosley milieu before the war in the June Club, both gave Imperium enthusiastic endorsements. Fuller called Imperium the most prophetic book since Spengler’s Decline of the West. Liddell Hart referred to it as “a work of genius.” Gannon states that Yockey met Fuller and Hart in person and “emerged well from such meetings.”[1]

Imperium was endorsed by German air ace Hans-Ulrich Rudel; by Giorgio Almirante, veteran of Mussolini’s Salò Republic and leader of the post-war Italian Social Movement (MSI); and by Princess Maria Pignatelli Cerchiara, war-time Fascist heroine and founder of a post-war Catholic aid society for Fascist veterans. Maurice Bardèche, the Fascist intellectual, translated Imperium into French. Other accolades came from Oswald Pirow, who had served as South Africa’s Minister of Defence, Justice, and Commerce. Major General Otto Remer and world war air ace Heinz Knoeke, both leaders of the Socialist Reichspartei, banned by the post-war occupation authorities because of its electoral success in Lower Saxony, endorsed Imperium. The Secretary-General of the Argentine movement, Union Cívica Nacionalista, Emilio Gutierrez Herrera, who had been offered a position in the Perón regime but had declined, endorsed Imperium.[2] Adrian Arcand, leader of the popular National Unity Party of Canada, met Yockey in 1951 and promoted him among the Francophone intelligentsia as the pre-eminent philosopher of the “Right” who had given “the next two hundred years the new political gospel.” Arcand a decade later wrote to Yockey’s American colleague H. Keith Thompson that he knew “from the first reading [of Imperium] that it was THE book.”[3]

Arnold Leese [2]

Arnold Leese

Apart from the followers of Mosley, there was a survival of more orthodox National Socialists after World War II around Arnold S. Leese, a veterinary surgeon who made his name during World War I as an expert on camel diseases. Leese had been leader of the pre-war Imperial Fascist League (IFL), which had expounded “racial Fascism,” and adopted as its symbol the swastika in the centre of the Union Jack. Although Leese had been mentored in 1926 by Arthur Kitson, a prominent banking reformer,[4] his exclusive concentration on the “Jewish issue” prevented the development of an IFL ideology.[5] When former junior Labour minister Sir Oswald Mosley called for the unity of Fascists in 1932 and founded the British Union of Fascists, Leese was one of the few who rejected the call. Leese maintained that Mosley’s was “Kosher Fascism.”[6]

It was Kitson, a successful inventor and businessmen, whose pioneering work on financial reform has been overshadowed by Major C. H. Douglas’ Social Credit, who introduced Leese to The Britons Society, founded by Captain Henry H. Beamish,[7] in 1919.[8] The Britons focused on publishing and lectures, their views being quite typical of the Conservative British middle and upper class suspicion of the crassness of Jewish business and social habits, a suspicion extended often in the early days after World War I to German interests in the theory of a “German-Jewish conspiracy.” With the founding of the IFL leading members of The Britons joined Leese, including Beamish, who served as a vice president,[9] Kitson, Anthony Gittens, and some ex-military notables such as Brigadier-General R. B. D. Blakeney.[10]

One might expect, superficially, that there would have been much in common between Leese, The Britons, and Yockey. In fact there was far less common ground than between Yockey and Mosley, who at least both advocated European union, while Leese and Gittens considered it to be a Jewish plot. Gittens served as secretary to The Britons from 1949 to 1973. Both he and Leese reacted vehemently against Yockey. Gittens wrote of the “Varangeites” and of Imperium:

When the late pioneer anti-Jew fighter Henry H. Beamish founded The Britons in 1918 it was not to criticise but to help those who had similar ideas but who preferred to work on their own. When however the ideas behind a Group or Book are based on a fundamentally wrong premise and the sponsors are anonymous, it is our duty to warn all Jew-wise patriots.

Such is the case when the book “Imperium” (2 vols. 12/6 each Westropa Press) written by an American lawyer of unknown origin with the alias “Ulick Varange” who claims to interpret the “Soul of Europe” to the Europeans. Based on the inflated philosopher Oswald Spengler, “Imperium” gives long paraphrases of Spengler’s eulogies on the “will to power”, but is aimed at a new public.

Spengler preaches Prussian domination of a type gratifying to those elements in Germany whose egoism and narrow class feeling was worked up to prevent race consciousness among the Aryan population. Varange’s philosophy attempts to adapt Spengler’s to present day politics – to build up a spurious “aristocracy” irrespective of race or creed. Even here Spengler pointed the way in his later works on the “stupendous game” for world power.

Varange’s Hollywood version is a “mammoth” creed intended to appeal to those who feel frustrated in the genuine and very necessary efforts to cleanse their own countries of the present corrupt system. “Imperium” accentuates Spengler’s arrogant, ignorant and fatuous rejection of racial truths. Just as World Jewry found a useful and possibly unexpected ally in Spengler, Varange would today be most useful to World Jewry by condemning the racialist movement as “materialistic” and false, and by opening the way for an arrogant “aristocracy” of mixed blood.

Spengler clung to his theories obstinately in face of all the scientific discoveries of such men as the English Galton, the Americans Grant and Stoddard, the Germans Günther, Bauer, Fischer and Lenz, the Frenchman Gobineau; and the Law of the Augustinian monk, Gregor Mendel. Varange following in the footsteps of the discredited Spengler resurrects his crazy ideas in order to destroy nationalism and create a Super State stretching from the Urals to Europe. Already there are Varangeites who tell us that “the soil of Europe will change the shape of a man’s skull” (and presumably his brains!) and others who mistake Military Band records worked by some Jew from a Moscow Radio station for the “march past of anti-Jewish storm troops”!

Our advice to patriots is therefore – not to accept this unknown “Imperium” on its face value but to apply a simple test: – Any project in Europe should be judged according to the policy of: “One-People, Many Nations.”[11]

Gittens was an expert on subversive movements and had infiltrated, for the British Secret Service, Communist groups at the time of the General Strike in 1926. He had been a researcher for Nesta H. Webster, whose books Secret Societies and Subversive Movements, The French Revolution, and World Revolution, became seminal classics of the genre at a time when it was possible to discuss the Jewish issue in influential circles.

However, Gittens was a die-hard conservative with Hitlerite leanings, and like the group around Arnold Leese, was motivated primarily by the Jewish issue. Like most of the Right in England, and in the USA, he could not see the bigger picture presented by Yockey, who was drawing on a European legacy, heralding the new Zeitgeist, which happened to appear first and foremost among the German Idealists such as Fichte, Herder, and Goethe. Gittens confused Spengler’s and Yockey’s observation that the new Zeitgeist for the 20th century and beyond would change focus from 19th-century English economics to German ethos. He assumed superficially that Spengler and Yockey were referring to German or Prussian supremacy, whereas Spengler in The Hour of Decision, no less than Yockey, called for white world unity. The “Prussian” ethos was something that might be found as much in a German as in an Englishman, Frenchman, or American, if attuned to the new Zeitgeist.

This was dismissed by Gittens and others as a betrayal of the “racialist movement,” because it gives a metaphysical foundation to race beyond the measurement of head shapes and angles.

Gannon said of Leese:

I am sure that Yockey never met Arnold Leese. Leese detested FPY without ever having known him.

For Leese, vertical race was everything; for FPY horizontal race was the deciding issue.[12] Perhaps, Leese was too old to and too rigid in his thinking to ever be expected to grasp such a new approach to race. After all, he was born in the 19th century, which for FPY was, almost, a total disqualification for a true understanding of his thinking. Anyway, Leese abused FPY in his propaganda and accused him of being all sorts of mongrel, even a Yaqui Indian […] To which FPY replied in Frontfighter citing Leese as ‘Leese or Louse’. Guy Chehsam and I once met two of Leese’s collaborators to see if any kind of co-operation were possible, but it was not.[13] It puzzles me to observe that FPY is now so widely acclaimed by vertical race merchants, and it occurs to me that they have accepted Imperium without having read it, and FPY without ever having known him. FPY, and I, never did indulge in fratricide with our old-fashioned ‘comrades’, but merely defended our position when under attack. We both regarded vertical race as having significance and value, for aesthetic reasons and others, but also KNEW that only horizontal race could explain the situation. After all, if every blue-eyed blonde was a friend, and every dark-eyed brunette an enemy – how simple life would be. Life is otherwise, and all history proves it![14]

The issue of Free Britain came out the same time as Leese’s Gothic Ripples, where the grandfather of British National Socialism denounced Yockey in the same terms. Leese entitled his anti-Yockeyan article “Lysenkoism Comes to Town.”[15] This was a reference to the Soviet Russian biologist T. D. Lysenko,[16] who declared that characteristics acquired through changes wrought by the environment on an organism would be inherited by the next generation. Critics see seminal US anthropologist Franz Boas’ theories that virtually founded modern cultural anthropology, as being analogous to those of Lysenko and as having similar Marxist motives.[17]

Leese called Imperium “the “doctrinal basis” of a “world propaganda drive.” Identifying Varange as Yockey or “Jockel,” a U.S. lawyer “of unknown mixed races and equally unknown past,” Leese states that Yockey was being funded by Mrs. Alice von Pflugl, “who is reported to have a Jewish grandfather.” The possibility of the Baroness having a Jewish grandfather would have meant for Leese that Yockey was being financed by the Jews as part of a misinformation campaign to disrupt the Right. Leese had always been dismissive of Mosley, referring to the BUF as “kosher fascism.”[18] Furthermore, Alice von Pflugl was reported to be “a von Paulus devotee favouring an Eastern Zone mentality.” Here again was an association between Jews and the USSR, as von Paulus was the German General who had gone over to the USSR when a POW during World War II. Leese stated that “the European Liberation Front, as the drive is called in Britain, dallies with the Jew Menace as Mosley did to attract Nationalists but the main object is the Jewish one of a European Superstate.”

Indeed, it could be contended that anyone who sought to achieve anything other than to be rid of Jews, was “dallying with the Jew Menace.” After World War II Leese subtitled his newsletter Gothic Ripples “an occasional report on the Jewish question issued for the jew-wise by Arnold Leese’s Anti-Jewish Information Bureau.” His pre-war Imperial Fascism League developed very little on doctrinal Fascism. Of a fighting creed or a fighting organisation he had very little to show after several decades.

Leese wrote that “the ridiculous doctrine, which is the foundation of Imperium draws largely on the discredited anti-racial philosopher Spengler resembling the theories of Soviet Prof. Lysenko. Spengler always sought to belittle racial science and to discredit Nationalsocialism, earning the gratitude of World Jewry.”[19] How Spengler received the gratitude of World Jewry is not explained. Leese claimed that it was symptomatic of Spengler’s anti-racism that in Prussianism and Socialism he praised the sound political instincts of the Jew Disraeli as prime minister. In Spengler’s last book, The Hour of Decision, he alludes in passing to Disraeli as among those conservative prime ministers who served as a defensive reaction against the renunciation of the state by Liberalism.[20] It seems predictable that Leese should dismiss Spengler with a quip on Disraeli as a Jew, and found no other significance. Leese concluded: “That this Lysenkoism should deceive any that understand race or the spelling of the word JEW is tragic. ‘What does it matter?’ say Lysenkoists ‘if the Russians overrun Europe since they will absorb Culture?’ – Aryan, get your Gun!”[21]

Leese would seemingly have had “Aryans” fight for the alien Occupation regime in Germany and over Europe, for the sake of keeping out Russians. However, the Germans themselves were not as enthusiastic, as indicated by the popular campaign launched by Remer et al. that demanded “neutrality” during the Cold War. As for the “European superstate,” while the concept, true enough, was promoted by Freemasons as a prelude to a world superstate, and funded by Jewish and other plutocrats, no National Socialist should have needed telling that Italy, Germany, and their many allies and foreign volunteers had fought for a new European order of a totally different type.

What Yockey rejected as outmoded and divisive, was what he called “vertical race;” precisely what Leese was promoting in dividing Europeans into sub-races: Nordic, Mediterranean, Dinaric, Alpine, and East Baltic. Only the Nordic has created civilisation, wrote Leese, concluding; “Can the Nordics recover Europe? That is in the laps of the Gods. But through no other channel can Europe itself recover.”[22]

The fourth issue of Frontfighter was devoted to answering the attacks of Gittens of The Britons, and Leese. The newsletter’s editor P. J. Huxley-Blythe, described the attacks by Leese and Gittens as “loathsome,” stating that the attacks opened with a letter to him by Leese. “He gave me the poisoned-ivy and I threw it back in his face.” “Lying attacks made on any one member of the FRONT is an attack on the entire FRONT. That is our order-code.”[23]

Frontleader Anthony Gannon opened in characteristic candor: “Arnold Leese is an old heel. He should be knitting socks instead of spending his senility lying about and smearing men whose boots he isn’t fit to black, and in smearing organisations in which he would not be accepted as an office janitor. Gannon notes the similarity and timing of Gittens’ attack on Varange in Free Britain. Gannon stated that Leese had written to him accepting that the ELF “is sincerely anti-Jewish and that he cannot accuse us of pulling-our-punches against the Jews; then he writes to my Editor saying that the FRONT is part of the Jew Plan. He writes to me saying that there will be no fratricidal strife between the FRONT and him; and then he smears the FRONT with lying insinuations in the Ripples.”[24]

In answering Leese’ main criticism that Yockey’s attitude towards “race” is Lysenkoism, Gannon replied that “Lysenko is a materialist like Leese. He does not believe in the human soul.” “The FRONT rejects materialism in toto,” whether coming from Lysenko or Leese. “It believes in the supremacy of the spirit. When we talk about environment we refer to spiritual environment. For example the spiritual ghetto which the Jew carries everywhere within him and which makes Jews even in Eskimoland. The Jew, like Blacks and Asiatics, “is a TOTAL CULTURAL ALIEN. We state that very many Gentile traitors with fair-hair, blue-eyes and long heads who have been subjected to a Jewish environment, spiritually, behave exactly like Jews.” For practical purposes, “and we are REALISTS always, these types must be “considered as Jews.” “That is what we term HORIZONTAL RACE – total race. The Jews could only have reached their represent power with the help of such Gentiles who are “in many cases more Jewish than the Jews.” Gannon stated that Leese had never read Spengler or Imperium, and if he had would never understand. “Leese and his ilk should stick to works containing words of not more than one syllable – that way they will not overtax their microscopic brains.” “This flea-bitten, nasty old buzzard did not know what a Jew was until he was heading on for 50 years of age. He is not quick to see the obvious, you will admit.” In an allusion to his joining the British Union of Fascists at a young age, ending up as Manchester organizer, Gannon said, “I was fighting Jews at the age of 13 years. I have dedicate my life to this fight – not my retirement like Leese.”[25]

Of Gittins (sic) or “The Git,” like “his master,” Leese, he could not read Imperium or Spengler.

I remember having a conversation with this poor fellow in a railway tea-room. I tired to talk to him about real things and, in particular, about Spengler. He tried to pretend to me that he had read Spengler then. Every word he spoke proved that to be a lie. Being a kind hearted fellow I did not try to show-him-up, but he knew that I knew that he had never read Spengler in his entire life.[26]

Despite the repudiation by Mosley, Leese, and Gittens, Imperium sold between 1,000 and 1,500 copies, mostly in Britain,[27] which is to say, most of the copies that were published, a considerable achievement for a fringe of the fringe operating a few years after the World War.

Varange Speaks!

Yockey’s response to Leese was characteristic of the contempt and impatience he had for the “leaders” who did not match his intellect but sought to ridicule ideas they could not understand. He wrote:

A curious tirade by a certain leese[28] has been drawn to my attention. His name comes back to my mind as the author of a letter, in my possession, in which he says that he could not read Imperium, the book which he is attempting to attack despite a total lack of comprehension of its thesis. He widens the attack and brings in Oswald Spengler, the greatest European thinker of the 20th century. Strangely, he tries to make Spengler into an agent of the Jew, although the American Jewish press in 1945 repeatedly said that if Spengler were alive they would try him as a War Criminal.

To leese the idea of Europe constituted as one Culture-State-Nation-People-Race is also a Jew idea. This was the great leading idea of Adolf Hitler, and is the Destiny of the Western Culture, clearly portended by the present inner development of Europe, an Idea so universal and irresistible that even the churchills, the carping little enemies of Adolf Hitler, have adopted the Idea and are presently presenting their perverted and distorted version of this Idea to the world in the hope of riding this great, superpersonal, European, Hitlerian Idea. Thus, in the “logic” of leese, Adolf Hitler becomes an agent of the Jew, as well as Spengler and Mussolini.

It is obvious this man leese has never read Spengler any nor than he has ever read Imperium, which is written entirely in the spirit of Spengler and which is dedicated to the Hero of the Second World war – Adolf Hitler.

The counterpart of leese in the race with which he is obsessed is the New York Jew Walter Winchell. Both are evil-minded slinking snakes who think that they have achieved something when they unearth some trivial fact of a personal nature. Thus, leese crows like a cock on a dung-hill when he discovers my passport name, a name known to everyone with whom I am well acquainted. This he chooses to call my “real” name, although a pen-name is just as real as any other. The determining thing about a name is whether one can be proud of it or ashamed of it. The name leese can only be ashamed of it, for he has made it synonymous with the lowest king of prurient Jew obsession.

Never has he fought the Jew politically, never has he struck a blow for White European Civilization – while others fought the Jew he sat on the side, interrupting constantly to say: That one’s great-great-grandfather was a Jew – that one has a Jewish mistress, and other idiocies.

He says that I am a man of unknown mixed races whereas my race is perfectly clear and definite, whereas the race of leese is a matter of grave doubt. I have been told that the man leese has mongoloid and negroid ancestry, but it is not upon this point that I based my determination of his race.  I note that his entire old-age has been spent in a Jew-obsession, but without any attempt to defeat the Jew politically, or to REALLY injure him in any way. He has never been known to espouse any positive cause or idea, but has contended himself with shadow-boxing with his beloved Jews. When a man devotes himself to a negation thus, he inevitably turns into a carbon-copy at which he is supposedly resisting. All the world to him is simply the Jew. If there were no Jews in the world, leese would lose his reason for existence. He has now been driven into the arms of Hollywood Bolshevism, and is angry because FRONT rejects Washington and Hollywood along with Moscow.

In truth, race is a horizontal classification of men, and not a vertical one, and in this meaning of race, leese must be classified as a Jew, since his life is devoted to Jewry. He attacks all REAL opponents of the Jew, but never effectively attacks the Jew. It is little import that he prefers the Frankfurter[29] branch of his Jewish world to the Kaganovitch[30] branch, for his world-outlook is exclusively Jewish in either case.

Whenever anyone announces and formulates an Idea which expresses the Spirit of the Age, an Idea which cuts across all older classifications and theories, he may expect the petty-raceless dim-wits from the day-before-yesterday, survivals form the previous century, will fail to understand, and will greet with greet hatred that to which they are not equal. However, none of that alters our course. The Liberation Front will continue to resist the Judaization of the West, and to fight for the sacred soil of Europe from Jew, Russia, and America.[31]


[1] Anthony Gannon to Keith Stimley, September 7, 1980.

[2] Anthony Gannon, “Argentine Enigma?,” Frontfighter, No. 11, April 1951, p. 2.

[3] Arcand to Thompson, July 16, 1961.

[4] See Arnold S. Leese, Out of Step: Events in the Two Lives of an anti-Jewish Camel Doctor (1946, reprinted by Sons of Liberty, Hollywood, California, n.d.), p. 48.

[5] Leese, Out of Step, p. 49.

[6] Leese, Out of Step, p. 52.

[7] Leese, Out of Step, p. 50.

[8] G. C. Lebzelter, Political Anti-Semitism in England, 1918–1939 (London: The Macmillan Press, 1978), p. 49. Beamish met Mussolini in Rome in 1923, and Hitler in Munich. He addressed a Hitler meeting on January 18, translated by Dietrich Eckart, which was received enthusiastically, although in 1918 he had stood for parliament on an anti-German platform. (Lebzelter, ibid., pp. 5051). The year previously The Britons had already started reprinting publications from the German National Socialist party. (Ibid., p. 64).

[9] Richard Thurlow, Fascism in Britain (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1987), p. 70.

[10] Lebzelter, Political Anti-Semitism in England, p. 76.

[11] Anthony Gittens, “An unknown authority,” Free Britain, London, no. 69, July 23, 1950, p. 2.

[12] In Yockeyan terms “vertical race” means Darwinian, biological taxa; “horizontal race” means a “race” of the spirit, of the soul, and of culture.

[13] One of the Leese’s collaborators was A. F. X. Baron, who worked with Natinform, another vehemently anti-Yockey entity, based on Cold War anti-Soviet rhetoric.

[14] Gannon to Keith Stimely, September 7, 1980, Stimely Collection, University of Oregon.

[15] Arnold S. Leese, “Lysenkoism Comes to Town,” Gothic Ripples, No. 66, July 15, 1950, Guildford, Surrey.

[16] Zhores A. Medvedev, The Rise and Fall of T. D. Lysenko (New York: Anchor Books, 1971).

[17] Gary Bullert, “Franz Boas as Citizen-Scientist: Gramscian-Marxist Influence on American Anthropology,” Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, Washington, Vol. 34, No. 2, Summer 2009, 208–43.

[18] Leese, Out of Step, p. 52.

[19] Leese, Gothic Ripples, op. cit.

[20] Spengler, The Hour of Decision ([1934] New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1963), 118.

[21] Leese, Gothic Ripples, ibid.

[22] Leese, Racial Inequality in Europe (ca. 1950).

[23] P. J. Huxley-Blythe, “Attention!,” Frontfighter, No. 4, August 1950, p. 1.

[24] A. Gannon, “There’s no fool like an old fool,” Frontfighter, No. 4, August 1950, p. 1.

[25] Gannon, “No Fool,” p. 1.

[26] Gannon, “No Fool,” p. 2.

[27] FBI report, February 20, 1956, p. 10, file no. 105-2889 – 2.

[28] Yockey habitually gave lower case to the first letters of names of those he held in contempt, such as churchill, et al.

[29] Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, a leading Jewish adviser in the USA, with Zionist and Bolshevik backgrounds.

[30] Lazar Kaganovich, one of the few Jews in the Soviet hierarchy not purged by Stalin. Yockey was writing a few years prior to the epochal treason trials against Jewish-communist leaders at Prague that were to have a seminal influence on his thinking in regard to the USSR.

[31] Ulick Varange, “Varange Speaks!,” Frontfighter, No. 4, August 1950, pp., 3–4.