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In Their Hearts They Know We’re Right

14217995_888963517900533_1882688838_n2,128 words

A few years ago I realized I did not know what I believed. A great deal of this had to do with the fact that I was a philosophy major. If you ask a philosopher if he believes in X he mentally translates that question into “can I prove that X is true?” And then he answers that question rather than the one you actually asked. 

For example, if you ask him “Do you believe in God?” his mind makes that “Can you prove that God exists?” and he answers no. Then — classic situation — two hours later he receives word that his wife has been critically injured in a car accident and he finds himself praying on the way to the hospital. By this I mean that he does not set out to pray. He does not choose to do it. It is not the result of a rational calculation. He just does it, and then notices himself doing it and is surprised — or worse.

As they say, actions speak louder than words. And the philosopher’s actions belie his words. In fact, he does believe in God. It was some shallower part of himself that answered “no” when you put the question to him. It was a much deeper and authentic part that took over on the way to the hospital and spoke with a voice of real sincerity.

The truth of the matter is that beliefs are not chosen. The philosopher in my story does not consciously choose to pray, and he did not consciously choose to believe in God. It is only his pseudo-beliefs that are chosen, including his pseudo-atheism. We believe in what we think is true, and we have no choice in the matter. Or perhaps I should put this in stronger terms: we truly believe in what we really, really think is true.

I feel inclined to put it this way, owing to our seemingly infinite capacity for self-deception. My imaginary philosopher thinks that he doesn’t believe in God, because he thinks he doesn’t think that “God exists” is a true claim. And it takes a personal catastrophe to crack open his hard head and teach him what he actually believes. Though I will wager that he will forget the fact that he prayed in the car, especially if he reaches the hospital and finds that his wife is going to pull through. One form our self-deception takes is the disconcerting tendency to deny evidence that doesn’t cohere with what we think we already know, especially when it concerns ourselves (“I was drunk. Besides, everyone experiments in college. Everyone.”)

So, when I speak of belief I mean those things we really, truly, and deeply hold to be true, regardless (sometimes) of what our conscious convictions may be. Now why is it the case that we have not chosen those beliefs? Belief is our response to what we recognize as truth. Once the mind has accepted something as true, it has no choice but to believe. Indeed, we might simply define belief as the acceptance of (what we regard as) truth. But here again we must be careful. For “the mind” weaves all sorts of fantasies. My imaginary philosopher’s “mind,” after all, tells him there is no God. So it might be preferable to refer to the heart. Once the heart has accepted something as true, it has no choice but to believe.

Admittedly, this is awfully vague. But it is also defensibly vague. “The heart” is the organ of knowing we refer to when we want to warn our listeners that we are not talking about that fantasy weaving, superficial, facile “mind” that tells us things we don’t truly believe. There is a profound epistemological distinction in our vague language of “mind” and “heart.” Famously, Barry Goldwater’s campaign slogan was “In your heart you know he’s right.” (Trump could use this, to great effect.) Imagine if it had been “In your mind you know he’s right.” This would have been immeasurably weaker, because we all know that it is in “the heart” that we truly believe, whatever our minds may say. Yes, it’s all very vague. But in your heart you know exactly what I mean, and that I’m right.

14193766_888963421233876_83139747_nNow, I have said that once we recognize the truth we have no choice but to believe. This claim will be resisted, because we can all think of many instances where we recognized the truth but denied it. But what is going on in cases of “denial” is that the mind is reacting against a deeper-level recognition of truth. Suppose our philosopher gets to the hospital and finds that his wife was not alone in that car. A man was with her, one with whom she’d been having an affair. As the course of her day is pieced together, all the evidence points to this. “It’s not true,” says our philosopher, “it can’t be true.” But he knows that it is; that’s why he protests so much. And six months later he’ll be saying to a bartender, with perfect sincerity, “The truth is that I knew it all along. I just didn’t want to admit it to myself.”

14171901_888963384567213_1715836770_nThe word “belief” is Anglo-Saxon. Old English geliefan meant “to be dear to” and “to trust.” This is highly significant. I have often immediately trusted or distrusted someone. Even if I “came to trust” a man, once that trust was established it was closer to an emotion than to the conclusion of a chain of reasoning. And the same is true, obviously, of loving another. I don’t come to love as the result of a process of thought. Sometimes I love when, rationally, it may seem foolish to do so. Sometimes I love for reasons that defy rational explanation entirely. I love family members even when I have to admit that I don’t really like them. This wasn’t, again, something I chose.

To believe — really and truly — is like trusting and loving. The part of “the heart” that “knows” pulls me in certain directions, and I have no choice but to follow. In my “heart of hearts” there are certain things I believe, and other things I can never be made to believe. Just as there are certain people I love or trust, and others I cannot be talked into loving or trusting. Our hearts love and trust the truth: and when we recognize the truth we are smitten. There is no choice in the matter. The only choice exists in “the mind,” and its ability to affirm that we believe, or to deny it.

Socrates in the Theaetetus toys with defining knowledge as “true belief with an account.” This has created a veritable cottage industry in Anglo-American philosophy, with rivers of ink spilled over the question of what “justified, true belief” really means. Much of what has been written on the subject is actually hilariously funny, but unintentionally so. This literature has fostered the idea that if we can’t provide a justification for our beliefs then we don’t know anything. But we have all had the experience of truly, deeply believing something, without being able to provide an “account” for why we believe — and then finding ourselves vindicated. We knew all along. Therefore, knowledge does not have to be justified true belief.

Certainly, knowledge has to be true. We cannot say “I know that Rudolf Hess is on Mars” — the kind of thing Miguel Serrano claimed. Well, we can say this, but it has no legitimate claim to being knowledge, since it is false. We have sent probes to Mars, and there was no sign of Hess. So what we have to conclude in this case is that Serrano believed that Hess (the real Hess, not the double locked up in Spandau prison) was on Mars, but he believed something that was false. However, did Serrano really, truly believe? I’m guessing that the answer is no. Nevertheless, we must face the fact that it is possible to believe things — deep in our heart of hearts — that aren’t true. As I have said: once the heart has accepted something as true it has no choice but to believe. But the heart can be wrong about truth.

I would maintain the following, however: when the heart believes, most of the time it is right. Most of the time it is a reliable guide. There have been countless instances in my life when I followed my head rather than my heart. And in almost every case I have regretted my actions. Lest we lose sight of the point here, what I mean is that often in my life I have not consulted what I truly believe. Instead, I have actively denied or repressed my beliefs. I have seldom acted on the basis of wishful thinking — but I have often acted based on spurious “reasoning.”

I would say that discovering what I truly believe has been one of the great efforts of my life, one that is a continual struggle. And as a White Nationalist, one of my major tasks, as I see it, is helping others to discover what they truly believe.

As I have pointed out many times, it is our views that are in accord with the facts of reality, and with nature. (See, for example, my essay “The Invisible Ideology.”) As I have said, it is possible to believe — deep down — things that are completely false. And yet I don’t think that many white liberals believe, deep down, that they are right. Recall my earlier example of the cuckolded husband, our philosophy professor, who confesses to his bartender “I knew it all along.” What kind of evidence had been staring him in the face for months, or possibly years?

I had a cousin in a similar situation. Her husband was cheating on her. He had to “work late.” The phone would ring at odd hours, and only once (a signal). The archetypal blond hair was found on the lapel of his Brooks Brothers suit, etc. Yet, when the affair was finally exposed, my cousin was aghast. Several years later, however, she confessed that she “knew it all along.” What had horrified and angered her at the time was not the fact of the affair, but being confronted with it in such a way that denial was no longer possible. And this is a key, I think, to understanding the rage some white liberals direct toward our kind.

When white liberals are confronted with the facts about race, immigration, and the sexes, their rage is not just due to having their cherished beliefs challenged. It is due to having their doubts confirmed. More than that: it is the result of having their worst fears confirmed. For if we are right, dear reader, then everything is very, very wrong. You would think people would appreciate being told that they are teetering on the edge of an abyss. Alas, no.

My father and I have had an uneasy relationship for many years. I have always given him credit for intelligence and nonconformity, so I naively shared my views with him more than a decade ago. To my shock he exploded in rage, shouting “I think you’re sick!” Hard to bounce back from a thing like that. So, we now try to avoid politics. And yet it creeps in occasionally and the impression I get from time to time is that he agrees with me, but won’t admit it.

I felt sympathy for him when I finally realized that the man is terrified. Like a lot of old people (he’s in his 80s) he’d like to believe that things are going to go on after he’s gone, and that they’re going to be okay. But everything I have to offer him screams that things will not be okay, that they’re coming apart at the seams. And that the country he served for years in the military is headed for the dustbin of history.

My father knows what the truth is. He sees it all around him. At least, on a certain level. What makes him mad as hell is when somebody forces him to acknowledge it. I don’t see much of a point in continuing to argue with my father. But when the forbidden subjects come up he seems calmer now. And I often say, gently, “I know that you know this.” Or “I know that you see this.” He gets a funny look on his face. He’s uncomfortable, but he’s almost smiling. It’s a look I’ve seen on the faces of others, since I now increasingly try this tactic.

Really, we’re not telling them anything that they don’t already know. We’re helping them to discover what they already believe. In their hearts, they know we’re right.



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  1. Dan O'Connor
    Posted September 6, 2016 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    This article reminds me of a quote I fell over from Tom Wolfe’s reference to the 60’s

    ” The Great Unlearning ”

    ” The jetisoning of centuries of wisdom, large amounts of tacit knowledge and intuitive
    knowing–stuff everyone knows without explicit reasoning ”

    One of the best definitions of political correctness I have come across is that it is ….
    ” The war against White people noticing things ”

    The reason that the unlike in the former Soviet Communism, razor wire and labour camps are not necessary in the West, is because in the West we have become our own willing censors and jailers.

    • Jaego
      Posted September 9, 2016 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      From the Chuang Tzu: a centipede was walking along and someone asked him how he could manage all his legs. Not only could he not answer, he couldn’t even walk anymore. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing – and by nature that’s all most people are capable of. The Left has just as much contempt for people as any of the Old Masters. They just lack their compassion and weaponize natural, normal, healthy human ignorance.

  2. AE
    Posted September 6, 2016 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    I was reminded of this quote by Pascal: “The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.”

  3. inspector general
    Posted September 6, 2016 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    A really good meditation, Jef. In my heart I think you’re right. But CC does a good job of providing the “account” we owe our rational souls.


  4. Hermes Diaktoros
    Posted September 6, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    While it may be true that in our hearts, we all know Trump is right (i.e., Coulter is right that without a wall, it’s adios, America), the Leftbused Goldwater’s milquetoast slogan to great advantage. They turned it into, “In your guts, you know he’s nuts.” They dug deeper than “heart,” and struck a note of deep, deep fear.

    The Left had grown tremendously powerful over the prior 30-40 years, since the 1920s, when they perfected their propaganda.

    The Left has enjoyed Propaganda Superiority from then until now. Now that the Left is the establishment, they’ve gotten stale and complacent and boring.

  5. Walter
    Posted September 6, 2016 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    This is really interesting. I have given the question of motivation a great deal of thought: Why are certain things interesting to me, why do I spend time trying to understand or learn them, also, why can’t I let go of Roman Catholicism and formally renounce membership (which I would have to do in Germany by informing the diocese) even if I reject what is happening with the Church more or less completely and haven’t been to church for years, and why does the idea of the people of one blood and the community they create have such real presence for me? I think that the people who can’t accept nature in general and human being in particular as mere machines tend to also have a leaning to being ethnonationalists and are at the same time not depressed about being a mere object that is helplessly tossed around by the powers that shape the world. So I also came to the conclusion that motivation more clearly: the motive force is a thing that is quite inexplicable but lies at the heart of things.
    A lot of political programs are quite silly and the choice about one’s fate is reduced in election campaigns to questions about a tax increase of a percent or other triviality. Politics is not perceived as the hand of fate. That’s the result of the ceaseless creation of a substitute reality in the media and lead-on machinery. That’s why leftist thought can thrive and with levity proclaim the virtues of mass dislocation of human beings all over the globe and promise to turn such an uncontrollable event into a blessing by eradicating differences and increase food production to feed everyone-which in reality just enlarges the problem into a more chaotic form. It is a kind of non-committal life, the idea that letting things happen, and only checking counter forces which hinder progress of goodness, something good will automatically result.

  6. Randall Roark
    Posted September 6, 2016 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Great article.

    That deeper sense of belief, the kind that comes from the heart, it has been caged since the middle of the twentieth century at least.
    That essential and intrinsic knowing is the virile fire of the heroic spirit in man. Once, when this force was trusted and followed as a guide, men who had not yet defined their reality away into an encyclopedia saw the universe with wide-open eyes. Carlyle described this early vitality as simultaneously child-like and manly.
    Of course, that fire when taken as a guide never leads one into comfort or stability. The path of the fire is never boring- it can often lead to death or despair, but it is the only path towards the heroic.
    Born out of the primal hunger for comfort, Man’s docile side appears throughout most of history as a shadowy object of great inertia, dragging the masses down towards a mediocre, simple and sensual existence. It is only the few great men who decide to keep that spiritual flame burning, no matter the cost to their material existence.

  7. Ross Alexander
    Posted September 7, 2016 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    “In your guts you know he’s nuts”, was the way the 1964 LBJ campaign turned that one around.

    Nicely done article.

    Dave Cohen has several long blog posts on rationalizations at his site (DOTE; Decline of the Empire). Pretty much everything we wind up explaining as rational is no more than after the fact rationalization. Commentary on brain science. Dave’s take is that we’re pretty much hopeless. Live in a place he aptly describes as “Flatland”. We trapped by our limitations.

    Trumps appeal, rightly, isn’t open to persuasion. More take it or leave it.

  8. Opting Out
    Posted September 7, 2016 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    “Like a lot of old people (he’s in his 80s) he’d like to believe that things are going to go on after he’s gone, and that they’re going to be okay. But everything I have to offer him screams that things will not be okay, that they’re coming apart at the seams. And that the country he served for years in the military is headed for the dustbin of history.”

    Excellent piece. My late father-in-law, too, served for years in the military and that made it that much harder for my spouse to accept the America his father served is gone, that its founding was flawed (not, as GWBush’s magic negro claimed, by slavery, but by a constitution imbued with Enlightenment falsehoods), and that we owe its present iteration no allegiance.

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