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Why I Write
Putting the Pieces Back Together

1,092 words

Ezra Pound: “Make it new!”

The great monologist Jean Shepherd used to remark, “In four thousand years, no one will know that you ever existed.” This statement is shocking for modern man, who — while not believing in an immortal soul — is convinced that technological advances will soon grant immortality to his physical being. Mortality might come as a shock to deracinated modern man — who is never more than a few feet away from a hand sanitizer or a “safe zone” to protect him from the challenges of bacteria or differing opinions — yet this was not always the case. Death haunts the poetry of Emily Dickinson, not because she was of a preternaturally morbid disposition, but due to the simple fact that more than half of the students with whom she began grammar school died by the time of their high school graduation.

Like human beings, civilizations, those organic structures of collective human agency, experience growth and decay, often leaving behind only skeletal remains. Although Western civilization is founded upon the civilizations of Greece and Rome, we possess only a small fraction of our cultural inheritance. There is perhaps nothing more depressing than to come across a reference in Aristotle’s Poetics to the title of a play that is no longer extant. Of the some eight hundred plays of Athenian Greece for which we have titles, only around forty — that is, five percent — survive.

In the aftermath of the physical and spiritual devastation of the First World War, the High Modernists, especially Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot, saw about them a civilization in ruins and a supercilious new ruling class that prided itself on its disdain for tradition, hierarchy, aesthetic quality, and intellectual integrity. The program of the High Modernists was quite simply to take the remnants of Western civilization and put its pieces back together to make an organic whole. Pound’s mantra, “Make it new,” was not a call for mindless novelty, but was instead a yearning for a restored Western tradition for the twentieth century.

In many ways, the situation we face in the current year is even more dire than that faced by Pound and Eliot in the 1920s. Academe is actively hostile to Western civilization, and dumbed-down, negro-level academic standards have become the norm even in the most prestigious institutions of higher learning. Truer words were never spoken than when Joseph Sobran remarked, “In one hundred years, we have gone from teaching Latin and Greek in high schools to teaching remedial English in colleges.”

Christian churches, both High and Low, have largely abandoned Christianity, substituting smugly sanctimonious social justice virtue-signaling in place of virtue based on faith and humility. Even corporate capitalists nowadays seem less interested in making money than in seeking the approbation of the glitterati and chattering classes. Andrew Carnegie and Henry Frick may have been robber barons, but at least they put their ill-got gains to good use. It’s hard to imagine Mark Zuckerberg putting on a clean T-shirt, let alone endowing a library or art museum.

Once again, Western civilization is in tatters, a thinly-layered shell that surrounds fragments that obscure a core containing, essentially, nothing. This needn’t be the case. Civilizational rebirth is always within our reach. Truth is on our side, and the truth of our positions can cause our opponents to abandon their false claims in utter humiliation, not unlike the Emperor whose fantasies were shattered after he was forced to confront the fact that he was not wearing clothes. All it takes for our side to be successful is will and the desire to be — as my ancient namesake put it — “vir bonus, dicendi peritus” — that is, “a good man speaking well.”

And that is why I write.

* * *

Counter-Currents cannot function without donations from our readers. Although we have more than 150,000 unique visitors every month, fewer than 400 people donate to Counter-Currents in a given year. The rest are free riders. I want to thank those donors who have made Counter-Currents possible. If you are not (yet) a donor, the best way you can thank those who made Counter-Currents possible is by becoming a donor yourself. Pay it forward, so that others can enjoy Counter-Currents in years to come.

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We are profoundly grateful for the outpouring of generosity from a large number of readers. But we need to hear from all of you. Especially from our monthly donors. Please renew today.

Winter is coming for white advocacy. We must be industrious ants, building up capital and bracing ourselves for further attacks and deplatforming. We can no longer be happy-go-lucky grasshoppers, depending on the kindness and fair play of capitalists. Fear not, we will never quit. But we need to build new institutions, an integrated electronic ethnostate offering everything from domain registration to webhosting to DDOS protection to mailing list management — all controlled by our movement. This is a huge task, and we obviously should have started building it years ago. But when you donate, you are helping us build it today.

Thank you for your loyal readership and generosity.
Greg Johnson


  1. Jud Jackson
    Posted December 6, 2017 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    Thanks for mentioning Jean Shepherd. He is the most famous resident ever of my home town, Hammond, Indiana. “The Christmas Story” based on Christmas in Hammond, is one of the most watched Christmas movies of all time, perhaps second after “It’s a Wonderful life.”

  2. Posted December 6, 2017 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    If only 400 of 150,000 visitors to these pages is willing to contribute, the game is up and we shall have to brace ourselves, or anyway our descendants, for a life that won’t be worth living. We’re halfway there already.

    • Pietas
      Posted December 6, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Yeah, we are all just on the deck, watching the ship go down, fecklessly complaining about the management.

  3. Jez Turner
    Posted December 6, 2017 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Bullseye! The Ancient Roman Quintilian, whose aim in writing was the same as our aim, would approve of Counter Currents, would approve of this article and would approve of its writer.

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