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Fourth Generation Warfare & White Preservationism

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So far in 2015 the issue of racialized political violence has been front and center. The White Preservation movement specifically has been thrust into the headlines in the aftermath of the Charleston massacre committed by Dylann Roof.

In Europe, the publication of One Of Us, a non-fiction recounting and analysis of the Anders Behring Breivik killings written by Asne Seierstad, has shone a light on similar issues in Norway and brought those events back into the forefront of that country’s dialogue.[1]

In July Counter-Currents published an excellent piece by Patrick Le Brun [2] analyzing a number of recent acts of violence that have been linked (sometimes quite erroneously) to ideas many of us as White Preservationists share.[2] This analysis by Le Brun includes discussions of Roof and Breivik, as well as a litany of other individuals who displayed varying degrees of idiocy, ignorance, and depravity in the perpetration of their crimes. Le Brun does an excellent job of showcasing just how poorly their actions served the respective “causes” these men wished to be fighting for.

In his article Le Brun cites the noted military theorist Colonel John Boyd’s famous “OODA Loop”– the decision-cycle theory of Orientation, Observation, Decision, and Action. Boyd’s formulation has affected our understanding of everything from fighter piloting to military theory to business, and new papers and books are continually being written delving into and building upon this concept.[3] While the OODA Loop is just as important to modernity and the existential crisis of White identify/White survival as it is to anything else, an even more relevant area of Boyd scholarship to apply to these events and questions would be his “Levels of War” – specifically the three levels Boyd added and which help explain modern “4th Generation Warfare.”

Boyd postulated that in addition to the “tactical,” “operational,” and “strategic” levels of war that have been a part of conflict throughout human history, there are also what he dubbed the “moral,” “mental,” and “physical” levels of war. These are the levels of crucial importance to modern 4th Generation Warfare (4GW). 4GW is characterized by conflicts between nation-states (such as the U.S., France, Egypt) and non-state actors (e.g., al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, even Mexican drug gangs), as opposed to past conflicts which typically pitted nation-state against nation-state. In such conflicts the interplay of these three additional levels of war takes on outsized importance. To quote William S. Lind, noted military theorist and Boyd expert: “[State] armed forces focus on the single box defined by tactical and physical, where [they] are vastly superior. But non-state forces focus on the strategic and the moral, where they are often stronger, in part because they represent David confronting Goliath. In war, a higher level trumps a lower, so [nation-states’] repeated victories at the tactical, physical level are negated by [their] enemies’ successes on the strategic and moral levels, and [the nation-states] lose.”[4]

In 4th Generation Warfare the objective of non-state actors is thus not to militarily overpower their nation-state opponents, but rather to delegitimize them, and hasten their downfall. Such downfalls fit within the broader historical context as part of the continual erosion of nation-states that will define the 21st century.

This is extremely relevant to the White Preservationist movement. It ushers in the most fundamental and basic question that we must ask ourselves, which is: are we part of the “us” of nation-states, or the “them” of 4GW, non-state actors. If we view state-based solutions to our aims as feasible, and believe that current North American and Western European governments are capable of preserving our lives, blood, culture, and heritage, then our focus must be on political solutions as part of the democratic process.

I personally do not feel this is the case however. In Europe the demographics have changed so rapidly, and the political process is so inherently paralyzing, that the idea of political solutions materializing in time is unrealistic. The governments of Western Europe, at this point, are neither capable of nor interested in preserving the lives and cultures of their native citizens. Societal breakdown, racial extinction, and cultural Islamization are rapidly approaching in nations such as France and Sweden and their neighbors, and trusting in those nations’ governments to prevent this seems to go past optimism into delusion.

With this being the case, the only valid conclusion is that White Preservationism must become a 4GW, non-state force for it to have any hope of success. Therefore, any writing, organizing, or other action on our part is by definition “revolutionary” (for lack of a better word). It must aim not for victories in the Clausewitzian sense, in which progress is made within the broader political framework, but rather for progress outside and against this political framework. These aims are therefore based around delegitimizing the state and hastening its extinction (at least in its present incarnations).

Such 4GW progress can be gained in a variety of manners, which I will synthesize into four basic tactical areas. These are: 1) the delegitimizing of the government through the implication that it is no longer able to protect its citizens; 2) education/proselytization–in that the actions or statements of the 4GW actors bring awareness to others in society and facilitate their becoming “conscious” and more inclined towards the 4GW aims and beliefs; 3) delegitimizing the host society through showing other citizens that their interests are no longer being represented by the state; 4) gaining the moral high ground through showing the state as evil/Goliathesque and the perpetrators as victims and as heroes for standing up to the Goliaths.

Rather than through the Clausewitzian lenses that Le Brun grades them on, these are the lenses through which the actions of men such as Roof and Breivik must be judged. Their actions are equally ineffective (and equally wrong) through these lenses, but such an analysis can be helpful in examining Boyd’s three layers of war and their significance in our struggle.

My analysis of these two specific incidents is as follows. (Note: I am discussing Roof and Breivik only, rather than including the additional individuals from Le Brun’s article.)


  1. Regarding area number one–delegitimizing the government through showing that they cannot protect their citizens–Roof could conceivably have made a small amount of progress, but this was at most tangential to his goals and to the broader situation. Americans are used to lone gunmen killing large numbers of people, and Roof’s crime would merit at best a D in this regard.
  2. As far as area number two and “education,” I would give him a C. Roof’s tract was published widely, and I definitely met white people in the wake of the shooting who had read it and felt that it made sense, despite its somewhat juvenile and coarse nature.
  3. In a similar manner he also succeeded to a very small degree in area three, in that the fallout of the Confederate Flag witch-hunt in the wake of the massacre did indeed show many white Americans just how unwelcome they and their heritage have become.
  4. In terms of area four–gaining the moral high ground–Dylan Roof scores an F. Killing black parishioners in church was barbarous, cowardly, and stank of evil-mindedness. The pictures he took of himself and posted on his website were puerile and in some cases quite repulsive. Roof gained nothing from society but well-deserved enmity and dismissal, and wholly failed in catalyzing a sympathetic lens among those for whom he sought to fight.


  1. In terms of area number one–delegitimizing the host society’s government by showing that it cannot protect its citizens–I would give Brievik a C. I don’t think Norwegians are shocked that lone attackers can kill large numbers of people, as it has never been a high-security type of society, and terrorism is now a part of life in Europe, but on the other hand, Breivik’s action was of a monumental nature, and surely shone a spotlight on the vulnerabilities inherent in the feel-good Scandinavian social system.
  2. In terms of area number two and the measure of “education” that resulted from his actions, I would give Breivik a D. He had obviously read somewhat widely, but his treatise was too long and disjointed to be read by many people in turn. Some of his ideas were also a little ridiculous, and his leaps of faith or delusions about the “Knights Templar” made it unlikely for anyone to take him seriously.
  3. In terms of area number three–showing fellow native Norwegians that their interests are no longer being represented by the state–I would give Breivik an F, for his attack did nothing to draw attention to the ways in which this is quite obviously the case.
  4. In terms of area four, and forcing the government to act in an un-sympathetic, Goliathesque manner, I would give Breivik a monumental F. The fact that he was captured alive, and is most known since his arrest for complaining about his lack of up-to date video game consoles, has done little to cause people to view him heroically, and indeed if anything has shown the benevolence of a Norwegian government that has treated him in such a humanitarian fashion.

The biggest and most obvious problem with both Breivik and Roof is that their actions were horrific and wrong. Furthermore they were wrong not only when judged through the lens of “modern” society, but would be equally so through any lens that their ostensible brothers or compatriots might apply. Breivik killed both women and underage teenagers. These actions fly in the face of those very qualities that we as White Preservationists are fighting for.

The actions of Breivik and Roof were clearly depraved. With that said, however, I think it is a logical fallacy to extrapolate from that the conclusion that all violence in the name of White-Preservationism is wrong or depraved. In a 4th generation world, violence is manifold and varied. There are as many different types of violence as there are situations, and no matter what kind of violence it is, it will have political implications. To totally disavow political violence in the name of any revolutionary movement is impossible, at least without implicitly rejecting violence itself (e.g., Gandhi, etc.).

The United States still seems, in my mind, to be far away from complete civic breakdown. In Europe however, civil war seems not just possible but likely. As the situation in Europe, and possibly in the United States, comes to a head, violence will become increasingly omnipresent. Each of us, both as individuals and as members of this nascent movement, will need to make conscious decisions regarding how to respond. One choice, the aforementioned one, is to only seek state-based solutions, and to write and organize politically to achieve our aims through conventional means. A second choice would be to oppose our governments, but to embrace pacifism and similarly eschew all violence. Any other choice would leave some form of violent action on the table.

If violence does occur then it must be judged upon two axes. Axis one involves questions of right and wrong and what is morally correct. For instance, the majority of us will agree that killing women and children is wrong. The second axis is what is effective. While some violent actions can be wise strategically when looked at through Col. Boyd’s three modern levels of war, other forms of violence will irreparably harm us, as Patrick Le Brun eloquently illustrated in his article.

For the sake of argument, I think it valuable to posit hypothetical examples of violence that are as close as possible to ones which might be considered both morally acceptable (or at least neutral), as well as effective when viewed through the lens of the moral, mental, and physical levels of war.  Most importantly, these hypothetical examples would not by my definition be “depraved,” à la Roof and Breivik.

Questions of violence such as these will be increasingly relevant as the West descends into greater 4th Generation fracturing and warfare. Just as our ancestors struggled and fought for long generations, defending their tribes and their families from outside aggression, so too are we entering another phase where we must focus on survival. This will take place in various ways, but for good or ill it will involve manifestations of violence. It is our duty to ensure that our actions are consistent with the legacy we have inherited from those great men we are descended from, and the honor codes that define our noble heritage. Just as our emerging struggle for survival should be our top priority collectively and as individuals, so too should an honorable course of action be the top priority within this struggle. Anything less, on both fronts, would dishonor that lineage. While the existential struggle into which we as a people are entering is of a monumental nature, it is conversely a privilege, and one which we should strive to meet with both intentionality and honor.

About the Author

Julian Langness is the author of the upcoming memoir Fistfights With Muslims In Europe: One Man’s Journey Through Modernity, Culture, Masculinity, and Violence, coming out in the fall of 2015. To receive excerpts and updates, please email [email protected] [4] to be added to Julian’s mailing list.


Buruma, Ian. “One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway by Asne Seierstad- Review,” The Guardian, February 26, 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/feb/26/one-of-us-the-story-of-anders-breivik-massacre-norway-asne-seierstad-review [5]

Le Brun, Patrick. “Analyzing the Effectiveness of Politically-Motivated Mass Murder in the US”. Counter-Currents,  July 24, 2015, https://counter-currents.com/2015/07/analyzing-the-effectiveness-of-politically-motivated-mass-murder-in-the-us/ [2]

McKay, Brett and Kate McKay. “The Tao of Boyd: How to Master the OODA Loop,” The Art of Manliness, September 15, 2014. Web. 17 Aug. 2015. http://www.artofmanliness.com/2014/09/15/ooda-loop/ [6]

Lind, William S. “John Boyd’s Art of War: Why our greatest military theorist only made Colonel,” The American Conservative, August 16, 2013, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/john-boyds-art-of-war/ [7]

Cameron, David. “What I learnt from my stay with a Muslim family,” The Guardian, May 13, 2007, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2007/may/13/comment.communities [8]