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A Rival Viking Coalition:
Did a Booklet from the 1980s Predict the Alt Right?

2,788 words [1]

Glaister A. Elmer, Ph.D. & Evelyn E. Elmer, Ph.D.
Ethnic Conflicts Abroad: Clues to America’s Future? [2]
The American Immigration Control Foundation, 1988

In the 1980s, the problems of economic stagnation and Communism were being solved by the generation which had grown up with them. The economy boomed in the Golden ‘80s, and by 1989, the Communist Empire retreated from much of Europe. However, a generation can only solve the problems of its day. For example, in America, the Abolitionists who drove away slavery were grey-bearded men on the edge of retirement when they finally triumphed after a lifetime of effort. As the old men who sought social change see their life’s work culminate, the next struggle is beginning, but it is normally too small for most to take notice. In this thin, softcover booklet, the Elmers describe the American struggle that would follow the Cold War. This is the struggle of American whites resisting people from the Third World residing in, and moving to, the First World. In the 1980s, immigration was still a far-off blip on the radar of American politics although its problems were then starting to be felt.

The booklet comprises three parts. The first outlines the principles of ethnic relations, the second describes various ethnic conflicts around the world, and in the third, the Elmers apply the principles of ethnic conflict[1] to the situation in the United States. “This monograph,” the Elmers write, “’spills ink’ in an effort to indicate the degree of likelihood that a widespread ‘spilling of blood’ looms in the American future.”[2] The monograph also predicts the rise of white racial consciousness which is currently being expressed in the movement known as the “Alt Right.” It is a good idea to look at this booklet from the Golden ‘80s and see just how their predictions concerning future ethnic trouble in the United States have been playing out.

The principles of ethnic conflict aren’t defined in bullet points in the first part of the booklet. Instead, the authors explain them in paragraphs. However in the third part, they do emphasize the principles in bold face when looking at America’s domestic situation.

The principles they first describe in Part I and emphasize in Part III are:

  1. Conflict is the rule wherever two or more well-defined ethnic groups inhabit the same territory.
  2. Ethnic affiliations are powerful, permeative, passionate, and pervasive.
  3. Demands made by one ethnic group spur demands by others.
  4. Ethnic identity permeates formally unrelated areas.
  5. Major goals of ethnic groups include cultural and institutional dominance.
  6. Unranked ethnic groups produce more conflict than ranked ones.
  7. Long-term ethnic peace is almost unattainable in an unranked system because perquisites are measured relatively rather than in absolute terms.
  8. Omnipresent ethnic friction creates a widespread “walking on eggs” syndrome.
  9. Long-continued ethnic friction often brings demands for drastic solutions.

However, in Part I they included several other principles which are not emphasized in Part III. To summarize:

  1. “. . . identity has more lives than the proverbial cat . . .” Fear of subordination or extinction can create a powerful revival.[3]
  2. Ethnic conflict is not necessarily motivated by rational considerations in pursuit of economic gain.
  3. Support for ethnic movements is often stronger among well-educated individuals with high incomes and high-status occupations than among those from lower socioeconomic levels.
  4. Ethnic conflict creates “tribal ethics” where the in-group supports its own and cares little about cheating or doing wrong to another group.

All of these principles are clearly shaping the Alt Right in the United States. The latter four principles in particular are strikingly true. It is remarkable that the Alt Right managed to succeed after the mainstream media for years had been triumphantly insisting that, now that a black man was President that whites would soon be replaced by non-white “New Americans.” The Alt Right’s leaders and authors are certainly intelligent, well-educated men who either are in high-status jobs, or could be in them, and the report of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department [3], as well as the Obama administration’s response to the Michael Brown incident in Ferguson, Missouri, certainly underscored the importance of “tribal ethics” in contemporary America.

Part II is the longest section of the booklet, and it is mostly a sad tale of man’s inhumanity to man, arranged alphabetically by nation from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. Three of the ethnic conflicts which they describe should be mentioned. These are Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union, and Switzerland. I emphasize them because the two former nations were still Communist at the time, and as such denied the importance of ethnic and racial divisions with a sort of religious fury. (There were also many people in the 1980s who thought that Communism was a good idea, “at least on paper.”) The latter, Switzerland, is a modern democratic state, with no appearance of ethnic problems.

“In Yugoslavia,” the Elmers write, “the country’s leaders are concerned that the unrest in Serbia, the largest constituent republic, could encourage nationalist sentiments in other republics, as well as touch off serious violence in Kosovo. Ethnic allegiances have always been the greatest internal threat to Yugoslavia, a country in which six major nationality groups and several ethnic minorities live under a federal government.”[4] In a few short years, their statements proved to be bloodily prophetic. Kosovo became the birthplace of a revived independent Serbia when the former high-ranking Communist politician[5] Slobodan Milošević gave his famous “Field of Blackbirds” speech in Kosovo [4]. The speech was a symptom of the rising ethnic tensions in Yugoslavia and helped to spark the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s. The Elmers were absolutely correct about unrest in Serbia breaking apart the Socialist Republic of the United Southern Slavs.

They also showed that the Soviet Union was a basket case of ethnic troubles, and predicted great troubles, though they failed to predict how quickly and severely the Red Empire would collapse along ethnic lines in the early 1990s. The booklet states that “Solzhenitsyn [5] contends that the nationality problems are far more acute in the Soviet Union than they were in the old empire.”[6] They likewise describe Ukraine in depth: “In recent years, Ukrainians still constituted 40 percent of the Soviet Union’s political prisoners, a number more than twice their proportionate population size.”[7]

We now know that the Nordic Balts initiated the unraveling of the Soviet Union when they seceded in 1991, and President Gorbachev was unwilling to fight to keep the Union together. Strangely, the Elmers only mention Chechnya in passing. We now know that the Chechens revolted several times in the 1990s. During those conflicts, the Chechens revived traditional Islamic cruelties with a modern flourish – the posting of beheading videos online was originally an innovation of the Chechen tribesmen. Ukraine was granted independence, retaining the borders of the Ukrainian SSR, in 1991, but even that polity was not immune to ethnic conflict. As we now know, Ukraine lost huge chunks of its territory when ethnic Russian majorities in Crimea and the Donbass effectively joined Russia in 2014.

Even orderly Switzerland has been overwhelmed in the past by ethnic conflict, and it carefully manages its internal divisions today. After describing the bloody origins of the Francophone-Catholic Canton of Jura in the 1970s, the Elmers remark, “The current accommodation in Switzerland emerged only after several violent centuries. The First Civil War began in 1443, and thereafter internal hostilities erupted often enough that it is difficult to determine exactly how many additional civil wars followed. For three centuries after 1531, one historian writes, ‘religion so divided the Swiss people that cooperation was hardly possible.’ Armed conflict over religious issues broke out in 1712. The Catholic rural cantons rebelled in 1847 against the growing influence of the Protestant cities over the federal government and formed a separate union named the Sonderbund. After the Sonderbund War, the new constitution of 1848 reunited the country, but contained an unusual provision specifically excluding the Jesuit religious order.”[8] Therefore, even Switzerland cannot be seen as a utopian example of a harmonious multicultural society.

The third part discusses ethnicity in America. The authors lead off with the well-known frustrations in America following the 1960s, with its legacy of political corruption, public debt, unfocused economic policies, crime, and a slapdash, defeat-ridden foreign policy. “Brainpower, energy and funds needed to maintain economic and political leadership are increasingly devoted to internal conflict, often related to ethnic issues either directly or indirectly through discordant, ethnically-defined value systems.”[9] Drawing examples from the current events of their time, they focus on American policy in Nicaragua. American support for the anti-Communist faction in that nation was resisted fiercely by some quarters and it is impossible to ignore the significance of the ethnic component. For example, Ed Asner, a Jew, was quite vocal in his opposition to American support for the Contras [6]. This must be contrasted with the more coherent foreign policy in America’s “Near Abroad” that existed in the early twentieth century, when America occupied Vera Cruz, intervened in Central America, administered Haiti, and built the Panama Canal with little domestic opposition.

The booklet then describes the racial issues of the 1980s, many of which are still applicable today:

  1. The racial tension surrounding the Bernhard Goetz [7] case.
  2. “Black power” demands, leading to similar demands by other groups.
  3. Racialized juries – they could have easily predicted the results of the O. J. Simpson murder trial.
  4. The coalition of minorities growing within the Democratic Party, which made the Democratic Party the de facto party of non-whites and the Republican Party that of whites. (The GOP’s leadership didn’t seem to notice this until 2016.)

They also describe the academic clash where “[a]n undercurrent on the American intellectual scene for at least half a century has been cultural warfare directed toward the history, traditions and values of the WASP founders of the country. Contributions and achievements of minority individuals and groups have often been exaggerated while majority history has often been distorted and majority heroes denigrated. Traditional values are labelled derogatorily as ‘middle class morality’ with an implication that they are ridiculously outdated. These attacks, often led by minorities in academia and the mass communications media, have succeeded remarkably well in disarming the majority, creating anomie, confusion and mass guilt feelings about the past (frequently in whites whose ancestors did not arrive in the U.S. until after the reviled behavior had occurred and almost always among whites whose ancestors were not personally responsible).”[10]

All of the above are well-known problems of which even run-of-the-mill conservatives are aware. The Elmers identify the truth that in the 1980s, non-whites were aware of themselves as a group and were beginning to act hostile, while whites were only slowly coalescing an ethnic consciousness. They didn’t expect white apathy to last, however.

They predicted the following:[11]

  1. Ethnic conflict in the United States will intensify rather than diminish.
  2. Non-Hispanic whites will begin to show less sympathy for minority demands.
  3. Americans of North European descent will gradually become a self-conscious ethnic group, increasingly aware of and concerned about its own cultural heritage.
  4. Ethnic conflict will increasingly permeate formally unrelated areas.
  5. Inflamed ethnic sensibilities will create a more widespread “walking on eggs” syndrome which will interfere with rational discussion of ethnic-related issues.
  6. Anomie, alienation and individual selfishness will remain much in evidence because no consistent and accepted value system will emerge to replace the now eroded traditional American ethos.
  7. The ethnic factor will be ever more pervasive in politics.
  8. Ethnically-based value conflicts and lack of unity will continue to contribute to governmental gridlock, economic stagnation and cultural incoherence.
  9. Separatist movements will attract more adherents, although their eventual impact is still unclear.
  10. White flight will continue from areas with sizeable minority populations, increasing the visibility of ethnic enclaves locally and nationally.
  11. Too preoccupied with internal conflict to follow principled and consistent foreign policies, the United States will face further deterioration of its once secure position of world political and economic dominance.
  12. The United States will slowly take on more and more of the typical characteristics of a Third World country.

One can easily see that all of the above is beginning to play out. The Black Lives Matter movement has upped tensions across the board (Point 1). Donald Trump’s election brought about the return of ethnicity and race as a subject in American politics (Point 7). The Trayvon Martin affair was met with white indifference, and pro-white and Alt Right bloggers and pundits outmaneuvered the mainstream media’s take on the matter. Additionally, anti-Muslim sentiment is rampant; a “Muslim database” would have been unthinkable in 1988, but is now being seriously discussed by top-tier politicians (Points 2 & 3). There is an increasing interest in America’s past among whites, including the donning of old-style clothing. During the height of the Tea Party movement in 2010, some whites dressed in Revolutionary War-era clothing at protests and meetings. At Trump rallies in 2016, some whites did likewise, while in the South, young women wore antebellum dresses. There is also a lively Civil War reenactor movement (Points 3, 4, & 7). Obamacare turned out to be a disaster, with whites resisting transfer payments for non-white healthcare (Points 4-8). America’s policy in Syria, as well as in the Arab Spring, has not been principled or consistent unless one sees America as doing the bidding of foreign lobbies, especially the Israel lobby.[12] The resulting debacles have clearly weakened America’s global position (Point 11). The response to Hurricane Katrina was a Third World-style disaster (Point 12). There are several secession movements. Less serious movements are led by conservative Anglos in Texas and liberal Anglos in California, while there is a serious and potentially bloody secession movement brewing among native Hawaiians (Point 9).

Clues to America’s Future is much like Rome’s Sibylline Books, the prophetic works regarding its future that were said to be written on grape leaves, and which were finally destroyed because they were being used to attack the Roman government. What is striking is that, in the midst of the peace, prosperity, and white apathy of the Golden ‘80s, the Elmers nevertheless predicted that there would be a resurgence of white racial activism, which is now coalescing in the Alt Right. “The eventual response to a rainbow coalition will very likely be a rival ‘Viking coalition’ of descendants of North Europeans, embracing most major groups of Nordic and Celtic peoples, including the English, Scots, Germans, Scandinavians, Belgians, Dutch, Austrians and Swiss. Two very important but less predictable groups are the Celtic Irish and the Poles, who probably would finally opt for their racial rather than religious kin . . .”[13] By the look of things, the Irish and Poles[14] are now part of the “Viking Coalition.”



1. In the term “ethnic groups,” the Elmers include different races, linguistic groups, and religious groups. There is certainly a genetic component to all of this, although recent DNA findings show that religious tensions can violently divide an otherwise genetically similar group, such as Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/05/science/05cnd-brits.html [8]

2. Ethnic Conflicts Abroad, p. 5.

3. On page 9 they also add, “In fact, a fear of group extinction frequently triggers a cultural revival after much of the culture has been submerged, often under foreign occupation. Such a cultural renaissance typically unfolds over half a century or more, and under appropriate circumstances may lead eventually to political autonomy for a previously submerged minority. An example is Bohemia’s cultural revival, which arose in response to the attempts of its Hapsburg rulers to hasten its total absorption into the Austrian Empire. Even the Czech language had to be revived through the compilation of dictionaries and grammar books and the publication of newspapers and periodicals. Such efforts by Bohemian nobles and intellectuals gradually stirred nationalist feelings and led eventually to independence.”

4. Ibid., p. 90.

5. See Point 12.

6. Ibid., p. 84.

7. Ibid., p. 85

8. Ibid., p. 81.

9. Ibid., p. 91.

10. Ibid., pp. 97 & 98.

11. Ibid., p. 101.

12. In a footnote in a chapter on America’s foreign policy being “denationalized” and controlled by minority interests, Wilmot Robertson writes, “June 8, 1915, when William Jennings Bryan resigned as secretary of state in protest against the first real signs of the Wilson administration’s bristling interventionism, is as good a date as any to mark the end of nationalism as the guiding light of American foreign affairs.” Wilmot Robertson, The Dispossessed Majority (Cape Canaveral, FL: Howard Allen Enterprises, 1981), p. 459

13. Ethnic Conflicts Abroad, p. 104.

14. It is curious that the Elmers thought the Catholic Irish would not go along with a “Viking Coalition” when the Irish Catholics were the backbone of the Democratic Party during its “racist” phase in the early twentieth century. On the whole, the Irish have been wholly supportive of America, even to the point of being more loyal to their region than to their ethnic kinsmen, as in the Union’s Irish Brigade, which made a famous charge against a Confederate unit also made up of Irishmen during the Battle of Fredericksburg. I can only conclude that the Elmers mistook Senator Ted Kennedy’s support for Immigration in the 1980s to apply to the whole group.