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Attack of the Paleosaurs
or The Dangers of Sectarianism in Politics

Graphic: Voivode Wingate

Graphic: Voivode Wingate

1,737 words

It appears that polemics against “white nationalism” have become quite the trend at Chronicles, the flagship publication of paleoconservatism. A couple weeks ago I responded to Aaron Wolf’s article “Incidentally White” at, and now I discover that only a month earlier, editor Chilton Williamson, Jr. had produced a broadly similar piece under the title “White Like Me.” On the very same day, executive editor Scott Richert managed to slip some strictures against “white nationalism” into an article ostensibly devoted to the rock band Cheap Trick (“The Cheap Trick of Whiteness”).

What’s all the excitement, guys? Afraid of losing your readership to Radix, Counter-Currents, American Renaissance, or The Occidental Observer? (I’m forced to speculate here, as it is a common fault of Chronicles writers not to make clear precisely whom they are criticizing.)

In the interests of full disclosure, let it be known that I read Chronicles regularly from 1997 until the passing of my favorite contributor, Sam Francis, in 2005. I am well disposed to the people working there, even more so since the departure of the magazine’s ursine former editor. Moreover, I have no special attachment to the label “white nationalist,” which I think a clumsy term that should not be necessary to describe people who are doing the most natural thing in the world, viz., resisting their own dispossession. But since many of those I write for or associate with are designated “white nationalists,” whether by themselves or by others, I shall once again try to say a few words in our collective defense. As should go without saying, this is not intended as a defense of everything every skinhead gang in the world has ever said or done.

In fact, there exists no catechism anywhere telling “white nationalists” what they must believe in order to maintain their right to that moniker. “White nationalism” refers to a broad political tendency with blurred boundaries. The term would seem, therefore, to require some care in handling, but the usual practice of Chronicles’ editors has been to place “white nationalists” on the side of the goats along with ideology, abstraction, Enlightenment, and various other devil-terms, while assuming that they themselves are safely on the side of the lambs with conservatism, tradition, Christianity, and flesh-and-blood people and communities.

This conceptual sloppiness is unfortunate, as Chilton Williamson in particular says a number of things which will resonate powerfully with readers of the present website. He recalls a moment spent in a particularly attractive corner of old London and describes how he

felt a sudden access of fury, struck by the thought that . . . all this storied historical loveliness is on the verge of being inherited by barbarians who did not create it, know nothing of the civilization of my people from whence it sprang, and have neither interest in knowing it nor attachment to it.

Somewhat farther down he adds:

[I]n  the present crisis of Islamic jihad, the conclusion that Islam and the West are  wholly incompatible things, and that immigration from Muslim societies should be denied altogether, is an humane as well as a culturally and politically sensible  one. Indeed, it is simple common sense. So is a discriminating immigration policy that, though rejected by liberals as “discriminatory,” is the only one any sane government that takes seriously its responsibility for the present national welfare and a consistent and coherent future for the country it is entrusted with would think of adopting.

Given this essential agreement with those he is criticizing, what exactly are Mr. Williamson’s objections to “white nationalism?”

1. Firstly, he devotes a lot of space to a silly remark by some unnamed internet troll that “the Italians are not really a white people” — without, alas, explaining why this should be taken as an authoritative expression of “white nationalism.”

2. Similarly beside the point is his allegation that “white nationalists begin by defining as ‘white’ people who look like themselves and work backward from there to determine who is, and who isn’t, ‘white.’” This appears to be a variant of the charge that racialists are interested in skin color or other physical traits rather than in the people for whom those traits are a (rough) marker. Clyde Wilson has not found this line of argument beneath himself either. Relax, Chronicles — if “white nationalists” are that stupid, you need not worry yourself about them.

3. Like Aaron Wolf, Mr. Williamson associates “white nationalism” with ideology and abstraction. By calling it an ideology, he means that white nationalism “claim[s] to provide the key to history by revealing its end in the dominance of the white race.” Here I can only challenge him to name a single “white nationalist” — or indeed anyone at all — who has ever made such a claim. These first three lines of argument are all forms of the straw man fallacy; no “white nationalism” exists such as Mr. Williamson describes.

4. Mr. Williamson’s most interesting objection is that “white nationalism is not a political concept at all,” which he seeks to justify with the following reasoning:

[W]hile many predominantly white countries are known to history, no white-nationalist one has ever existed. . . . There were indeed white tribes in premodern times, but no white nations built up from exclusionary, pseudoscientific principles. No such project has ever, indeed, been contemplated up until recent times.

This is, of course, true. But is it really due to a baseless fascination with biological taxonomy on the part of some eccentric “white nationalists” who recently appeared on the scene for no reason? Is it not rather because there exists today, as there never has in the past, a large and powerful political movement united by little more than hatred of the people of Europe, the desire to marginalize them and ultimately — taking the tendency to its logical conclusion — to destroy them? If you really want to understand “white nationalism,” Mr. Williamson, look to its enemies: e.g., Noel Ignatiev, George Soros, the tenured “critical theorists,” the Southern Poverty Law Center, etc., etc.

John Derbyshire recently said something insightful bearing on this matter (Radio Derb, December 18, 2015):  A few decades back one could get a pretty good idea of someone’s overall political stance by finding out how much he hates rich people; the equivalent today is finding out how much he hates white people.

Derbyshire is correct. A sea-change has occurred in political alignments throughout the Western world, and the folks at Chronicles are stuck in the company of white lefties as the last to take cognizance of it. “White nationalists” are not responsible for this shift; it was brought about by those for whom nationalists, conservatives, and the European and American working class are but a single indistinguishable mass of “white racists.” These people do not hate conservatives, Christians, constitutionalists, or Chronicles subscribers: they hate persons of European descent. And as I have written elsewhere, it is the prerogative of the aggressor to choose where a battle shall take place; we must meet them on the ground they have chosen, and that ground, it is increasingly obvious, will be race and nothing else.

There is a place for debates about the precise limits of biological inheritance as an explanatory factor in human behavior, but that place is not in the midst of a political battle. When the enemy is no longer at the gates but actually ruling over you, you can no longer afford the luxury of refusing to fight alongside anybody who disagrees with you about speculative or philosophical matters.

There is even a word for those who make this type of mistake: sectarians. Burke famously defined a political party as “a body of men united for promoting by their joint endeavors the national interest upon some particular principle in which they are all agreed.” A sect, on the other hand, is defined in my dictionary as “a group adhering to a distinctive doctrine” (My emphasis). A doctrine is something broad, containing many different and interconnected principles.

Sects tend to be small, for it is not easy to get a large group of men to agree to a detailed and comprehensive doctrine; in practice, they usually coalesce around acceptance of some type of religious authority. Politics, on the other hand, is about alliances among men who may disagree on everything apart from the principle which defines the alliance. Sectarianism in politics is a recipe for ineffectiveness because it deprives one of allies necessary to the success of political battles.

This brings me to one last claim of Mr. Williamson concerning “white nationalism,” or at least what goes by that name in his own imagination: viz., that it is hostile to most religions “and especially to the Church Universal,” and that “it is a heresy that cannot be reconciled with Christianity in any form.”

Some persons described as “white nationalists” are indeed hostile to Christianity, while others are practicing Christians. Those with whom I associate generally de-emphasize religious differences — not because we think religion unimportant, but because ours is a political struggle, and we are determined not to endanger its success by falling into the trap of sectarianism. The principle around which we have joined to do battle is the defense of European Man and his civilization; it would not be rational of us to reject allies over theological disagreements (which can never be settled in any case).

Mr. Williams, as stated above, specifically denies that “white nationalism” is a political idea. But if the defense of a people and civilization is not a “political” task, I do not know what the word means. What such a defense can never provide is precisely the sort of comprehensive belief system or substitute religion Mr. Williamson takes “white nationalism” for. We have a battle to win, not a doctrine or system to agree upon—and young people first coming to the movement would be well advised to keep this distinction in mind.

I am aware that Chronicles is “a magazine of American culture” rather than an exclusively political magazine, and that is all to the good: I, too, believe that the highest values transcend politics. But even they will be lost to us if we fail to defend our European, Christian — and, yes, white — civilization from its enemies. It is as momentous a struggle as we have ever faced, and sooner or later, Chronicles’ readers — or the best of them — are no longer going to be held aloof from it by the editors’ ill-informed sectarian polemics against the bugaboo of “white nationalism.”



  1. B.B.
    Posted February 5, 2016 at 5:03 am | Permalink

    [W]hile many predominantly white countries are known to history, no white-nationalist one has ever existed

    Why wouldn’t the United States, which in its first naturalization law restricted citizenship to “free white persons” not count? The terminology may not of existed at the time, but for all intents and purposes as long as that law was in effect the United States was as a matter of policy a white nationalist country.

  2. inspector general
    Posted February 5, 2016 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Brilliant — contradicting Chronicles in a style that recalls the earlier days of that publication. I am sure that the late, great Sobran and Francis are with Devlin 100% on this.

  3. Cassandra
    Posted February 5, 2016 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Would there be a way to credit my husband and myself for this graphic? We are the creators. You may find him everywhere as Voivode Wingate.

    This symbol has been used for over 17 years.

    You may contact me directly through email if you would like, and remove this comment from this article.

  4. Thaddeus
    Posted February 5, 2016 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    So these palecons agree with NR that Christianity demands anti-white universalism.

    So why, exactly, as we to be faulted for being anti-Christian? It seems to be, by our own critics’ statements, a major part of the problem.

    • Sandy
      Posted February 5, 2016 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      So why, exactly, as we to be faulted for being anti-Christian? It seems to be, by our own critics’ statements, a major part of the problem.

      Because you are diverting people’s attention from the true powers. The cultural guiding lights today are the secular school teachers, universities, trade unions, secular government and of course the media with a special emphasis on today’s films and popular music.

      You seriously believe that the churches which can’t stop abortion, premarital sex, shopping on Sundays or children behaving badly are the driving force in multi-culturism?

      • Glen
        Posted February 5, 2016 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

        No, but modern Christianity’s love of jews and opposition to racialism is influential among whites who would rather walk streets of gold in heaven than preserve their race on earth.

        • Sandy
          Posted February 6, 2016 at 3:04 am | Permalink

          Not to be overly picky but the modern Christian would rather walk the streets paved with gold in the here and now than wait until Heaven. They see financial success as a blessing. Modern Christianity is indeed up the spout but there are too many good Christians potentially on our side for us to be overly harsh on them in this time of proto politics. Its a tricky one.

          • Glen
            Posted February 6, 2016 at 7:19 am | Permalink

            The majority of xtians, financially unsuccessful, speak of camels passing through the eyes of needles. I would not rely upon the so-called “good” xtian to “have my back,” for he “follows the Word” of an immortal entity who “sacrificed” himself by temporarily dying and values the soul of a saved Negro over that of my own (presuming I have one). He worships and tithes at a zionist or post-vatican II church, and sees his peers of egalitarian persuasion as mistaken, but “brothers in Christ” nonetheless. Racialist non-believers are fools to disarm themselves of the intellectual weapons necessary to defeat their enemies, xtian or atheist, merely because xtian “racialists,” weak kneed cucks, and women think it expedient for them to do so.

          • Walter
            Posted February 6, 2016 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

            Just as there is now a Living Constitution there is now a living New Testament. Hence, Christians will alter their perception of Good. Also, the Catholic Church under the recent leadership is rapidly reverting to Old Testament teachings and the emptying of its churches of anything that have made Catholicism an example of a strict, sound, inspiring and worthy, dignified Theology. To put hope in the support of Christians in the Cause of the Right of White Man to his own Destiny is a waste. There are such people amongst Christians, but individuals are not the institutions. If anything is to be hoped for, there will be another schism with a new Pope leading at least Catholicism from its course towards Worship of the great World Spirit and the consequent melting pot of humans into a light brown individual, led by the Jewish aristocracy, as Coudenhave-Kalergi in his Practical Idealism desires.

  5. Posted February 5, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    No idea where you found this, but I made the ceratosaurus flag image you are using here, and I call it the Draconian flag. I have been using this image as my online icon for almost 15 years, from Livejournal to Myspace and recently on Facebook. Hundreds of nationalists/occultists/misanthropes can attest this image is mine. I made it years ago in microsoft paint, and only recently my wife vectored it in illustrator. Considering this is my personal online icon, it’s a bit revolting it’s being placed withing infection range of any sort of corosive paleoconservative miasma. You want to use an appropriate image for a post on paleoconservatives, find an awful pre-1950’s bloated brontosaurus image, up to its shoulders in a swamp. Something that would make any paleontologist retch. This flag represents a cunning draconian enthusiasm for primordial blood-lust. The Draconian flag shouldn’t be anywhere near an aging, short-dicked, ball game watching, excuse ridden, corpulent, obese, gentrified, hot-wing sucking, spick (or chink) military wife, conservative, pax-Americana anything.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted February 5, 2016 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      It is a great image. I used it because it was ironic.

      By the way, I want Donald Trump to make Jurassic Park real.

      • Posted February 5, 2016 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        Ok, I’m satisfied.

      • Cassandra
        Posted February 5, 2016 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        Thank you so much Greg!

        We are grateful for your interest in the iconography.

    • Glen
      Posted February 5, 2016 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

      Devlin’s article was good but imagining a bloated brontosaurus up to its shoulders in shit, retching paleontologists, and “The Draconian flag shouldn’t be anywhere near an aging, short-dicked, ball game watching, excuse ridden, corpulent, obese, gentrified, hot-wing sucking, spic (or chink) military wife, conservative, pax-Americana anything” had me laughing so hard I’m still aching. Thanks for that comment, Chris Wingate!

    • Proofreader
      Posted February 8, 2016 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      When I first saw the Draconian flag, I was reminded of the National Bolshevik flag. Was it an influence?

      • Greg Johnson
        Posted February 8, 2016 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        Why stop there?

  6. Tenet
    Posted February 5, 2016 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Very good article. It seems Williamson is doing the same as the Left, building a strawman of the people to the Right of him. Not Christian? I’m an unbeliever myself, but there are also many WN Christians. Exclude Italians? I wouldn’t want mass immigration of Italians (or people from many other countries) to my country, but there are Italian WNs and no one tries to bar them. Williamson is counting on his readers not knowing the truth about those he demonizes. Just like the Left when talking about “racists”.

    What is White Nationalism? Race-aware conservatism. White Nationalism is conservatism with a spine.

    The reason for the name White Nationalism is this: That in the U.S. the word patriotism was hijacked by the establishment. Because Americans were so patriotic, not having had their patriotism crushed by being invaded in WWII, it was hard to stop them. Easier to corrupt them. Tell them they could wave the flag, but they’d have to accept Blacks and Latinos standing next to them, dressed in uniform and gazing at the ol’ Stars & Stripes, at least in Hollywood TV shows. “You’ll always have the Constitution!”

    Therefore, unlike Europeans, Americans who opposed mass immigration didn’t want to call themselves “nationalists” only, which too easily could be seen as just another word for the hijacked “patriotism”. They needed to make it clear that they stood for Whites, with a name that stopped any corruption of that message. Thus the name White Nationalism.

    Then of course you get forum jockeys who love to build big theories more than they like working for the cause, who take the word White Nationalism and run with it for miles. “Since it’s nationalism for Whites, that must mean one big country for all Whites!” Etc. Typically you hear this from those who want to bring in their brethren to Western countries.

    White Nationalism is in fact not very doctrinaire, except that it has a few basic principles which must not budge. History has taught us that if you give them up, soon the movement will be corrupted. The axiom is this:

    1. Whites must survive.

    All else is negotiable. If we’d have to suffer through, say, a communist dictatorship or Hindu theocracy, we’d do even that if that was the only way for Whites to survive, as everything else can be changed with time. As long as the White race survives. Stopping mass immigration to the West is the one and overriding issue.

    But we have learned that we must speak of other factors in order for Whites to survive. Namely:

    2. Oppose Jewish dominance in media, Hollywood, academia, and thereby politics.

    ….Because this is the reason why there is mass immigration in the first place. If you are unaware of this, and if you try to endlessly come up with excuses when you hear the facts, then you simply can’t be a White Nationalist. Those who first used the name White Nationalism were clear on this, and it has been clear ever since.

    3. Oppose Cultural Marxism.

    ….And economic Marxism, though that is less of a threat now.

    4. Promote conservative values.

    ….But there is room for a great deal of nuance in this. Here is where White Nationalism is more flexible than paleocons. Since so many paleocons avoid the issue of race, they have to reduce conservatism to being about the Constitution and a set of cultural policies in order to have something to talk about. WNs talk about these policies too, and most agree on the most basic ones, but again, nothing of this will remain unless mass immigration is stopped.

    • Whites Unite
      Posted February 5, 2016 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      “White Nationalism is conservatism with a spine.”

      Exactly. White Nationalists are to Cultural Marxism what Burke was to the Jacobins or what Yeats was to the Bolsheviks.

  7. Danby
    Posted February 5, 2016 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this. Is there any political movement more cucked or more White than Paleoconservatism? Even White Nationalists have some Indians and some Asians along for the ride. Paleos are just swpl with conservaive instincts. You’d hope they get it. But the programming runs deep.
    And despite the gratutious assertion in the source article, there are more than a few Christian White Nationalists. Mr Devlin is right, this is a political movement, not a sectarian one.
    I miss Sam Francis.

    Tip sent.

  8. Posted February 5, 2016 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    They won’t even be able to keep their Christianity as they recognize it in a post-white country. It will be replaced by a synthesis of the all too familiar Abrahamic ecumenicalism promoted by the Obama administration (Muslims and Jews privileged, Christians tolerated) and the marxist liberation theology of Latin America.

  9. c
    Posted February 5, 2016 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    One very effective trick in the US media is to call Evangelicals, Neocons or wealthy Libertarians ‘the right-wing’ of politics. Elsewhere in the world, right-wing politics means revolutionary nationalism or some extremely reactionary version of monarchy. The media have completely reduced the political spectrum. (In fact, this was started by leftist academics as early as the 1940s, who characterized Nazism as an Establishment, white-collar movement.)

    Last year (2015), we saw the White House decorated in all the colors of the spectrum. To all the conservatives who don’t want to be ‘indecent’ in their politics: at least have the guts to defend the fullness of the political spectrum. The next time you hear someone call the Bush or Koch families ‘right-wing’, contradict them. Tell them who the real Right in America are.

  10. Alexander
    Posted February 6, 2016 at 2:18 am | Permalink

    I subscribe to Chronicles, and for the most part their perspective is still solid. National Review takes pains to distance itself from populism, while Chronicles differentiates itself from white nationalism; it’s that much closer.

    Devlin struck the right tone by not being too harsh. Taki, Derb, and Derek Turner all chime in there, and most of the other writers are down with Trump. Chronicles is already the best monthly publication out there, ; may take a few years, but I think they’ll get closer to us.

    • maxsnafu
      Posted February 6, 2016 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      A “few years” we do not have.

  11. Junghans
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    This is a great article exposing the snooty cucks at Chronicles. Most of the comments here are excellent as well. White people of their “conservative” stripe will have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the White Nationalist racial revolution by circumstances beyond everyone’s control, as the racial environment continues to deteriorate. Unfortunately, many White people like them simply have to learn the hard, up-close, brutal Negro way. Racial awakening takes many forms, and as for the ‘cucks’, the harder, the better.

  12. Posted February 7, 2016 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    After reading the current issue of Chronicles I was getting ready to write to them and take them to task for their intellectually dishonest essays on “white nationalism.” However, Mr. Devlin has – here and at Radix – done an excellent job of rebutting them. I have to wonder what prompted this concerted attack? Their writing seemed very contrived – as if they were students given a topic (and conclusion) and told to write on it. Disappointing.

  13. Posted February 7, 2016 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    It is one of life’s great mysteries that otherwise intelligent people don’t yet understand this:

    Yet anyone can see the probable fate of a group that refuses to promote its own interests in the face of other groups ruthlessly promoting theirs: first, to be taken advantage of; in the long run, probably, to be entirely destroyed. Even a disinterested concern for fairness would suggest that whites ought to begin considering the interests of their own group, and the sooner the better.

    From Devlin’s “Response to Aaron Wolf.”

  14. Edmund Connelly
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    Yet more evidence of why I so respect Mr. Devlin. This is excellent writing. I hope to learn from it.

    And I do hope more and more Whites will come together — finally. For decades I’ve been waiting for it to happen, and have been disappointed again and again.

    As for Chronicles (and NR): Good riddance. The better writers have already left those realms and come to this site, TOO, Radix, etc., as Mr. Devlin said.

  15. Bernie
    Posted February 15, 2016 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Paleos are more or less defunct. But Chronicles was a great magazine for a number of years. It got me thinking about issues of race, immigration and taking on the leftist narrative. I even went to one Randolph Club event (1996). All white , of course. The people I spoke to knew the score on race.

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