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This is the final installment of the opening essay of a forthcoming anthology called The Alternative Right.
White Nationalism 1.0 & 2.0
In 2015, when the new Alt Right became more comfortable with the idea of White Nationalism, most of its members had only the vaguest acquaintance with an earlier generation of White Nationalist figures. Lawrence Murray, for instance, claimed, “I myself had never heard of [William] Pierce and [David] Duke . . . until becoming involved with the Alt-Right.” Murray’s experience is typical of Millennial and Gen Z Alt Rightists.
The Alt Right began calling the White Nationalism of their fathers’ generation “White Nationalism 1.0.” The dubbed the Alt Right “White Nationalism 2.0.” Built into this framework was a dismissive attitude toward White Nationalism 1.0 and an assumption that the Alt Right was a marked improvement. I agreed with the latter judgment. But more often than not, Alt Rightists dismissed figures like Pierce and Duke based simply on impressions gleaned from the mainstream media. I thought it was shameful to parrot enemy propaganda. Thus when such attitudes appeared in various private forums, I urged Alt Rightists to become better informed and learn what they could from White Nationalism 1.0. As a movement, it was largely a failure, but learning from failure is part of success. Unfortunately, some people learned the wrong lessons.
By the beginning of 2017, I began to notice a definite shift toward 1.0 ideas and attitudes:
- The assumption that German National Socialism is the only authentic form of White Nationalism
- Advocating the mass extermination of non-whites, race-mixers, and homosexuals, straight from the pages of The Turner Diaries
- A marked upsurge attitudes toward women that can legitimately be labeled misogyny, including the toxic “white sharia” meme and a push to bully female voices into silence
- A revival of the skinhead subculture of binge drinking and hard drugs
- The return of costumed demonstrations and street brawls with Leftists
The entirely negative consequences of these attitudes and behaviors were easy to predict. But they were nevertheless tolerated, given platforms, and even advocated and encouraged by leading Alt-Right voices. (It should be noted that, although David Duke is routinely lumped in with White Nationalism 1.0, he shares none of these ideas and attitudes.)
First and foremost, WN 1.0 ideas are self-marginalizing and self-defeating.
The best possible way to advocate White Nationalism is to emphasize that it is a political philosophy based in human nature, confirmed by social science and political experience, and rooted in the political traditions of all white nations. The worst possible way to advocate White Nationalism is to claim that every form of ethnonationalism is fake—except the German form that was defeated in 1945 and has been execrated continuously ever since.
As I argue in The White Nationalist Manifesto, the white race is currently being subjected to genocide, and White Nationalism is the best political system to end white genocide and restore healthy white communities. The worst possible way to rally our people against the genocide directed at us is to advocate genocide against others.
One of the self-evident axioms of politics is that a movement has a better chance of winning if more people fight for it and fewer people fight against it. There are two ways to do this. First, we must rally our own people to our banner. Second, we can try to split the enemy bloc by converting some of them to allies, sympathizers, or simply neutral parties.
But if we have exterminationists among us, our own people will not side with us, because such morally repugnant positions only attract psychopaths to the movement while repulsing normal people. Indeed, exterminationists actually reinforce the white guilt propaganda that asserts that whites are a uniquely evil race whose disappearance would not be a great loss to the cosmos. Furthermore, exterminationists ensure that the enemy bloc will be larger and more unified simply because no non-white in his right mind could sympathize with or be indifferent to our movement—much less aid it.
Just as egalitarians label simple realism about racial differences “hate,” they label simple realism about the differences between the sexes “misogyny,” i.e., the hatred of women. That said, however, there are quite a few race realists who genuinely hate other races, many of them gleefully, without reluctance or reservations. Likewise, there are quite a lot of people in our circles who simply hate women.
Many of the race haters don’t understand that the fundamental purpose of our movement is to drain the multicultural swamp in which racial hatred breeds, rather than to self-indulgently wallow in it. Indeed, the more the movement is simply a platform for expressing hate, the less likely it is to actually create a society that is free of racial hatred.
Likewise, many of the woman haters don’t understand that another fundamental aim of our movement is to drain the cultural swamp that breeds distrust and hatred between the sexes, rather than just to provide a platform for misogynists to vomit bile into the void. Indeed, the more the movement is simply a safe space for damaged people to vent, the less likely it is to actually create a society with healthy families and sexual norms.
Politics is not therapy. The more our movement resembles a group therapy session—with the lunatics running the asylum—the less likely it is to achieve its political goals.
The idea of “white sharia” took wholesome and salutary truths about the differences between the sexes and their appropriate roles in the family and society at large and self-defeatingly packaged them in terms that bring to mind child brides, arranged marriages, rape gangs, sex slavery, polygamy, clitoridectomies, acid attacks, purdah, and dressing in dropcloths.
Again: the White Nationalist movement has a better chance of winning if more people fight for us and fewer people fight against us. Thus it is self-defeating for a movement that is already small and marginal to launch bullying campaigns against entire classes of white people who want to help—including the more than 50% of the white race that happens to be female.
As I argue in my essays “Redefining the Mainstream” and “Against Right-Wing Sectarianism,” White Nationalism will win when it becomes the common sense of the whole cultural and political mainstream. There is nothing inherently Right-wing about the essential ideas of White Nationalism: for instance, that being white is a necessary condition of European identity; that the white race is being subjected to slow genocide due to policies that promote low white fertility and non-white immigration; that creating sovereign white homelands with pro-natal, pro-family values is the solution to white genocide; and that Jews have played a leading role in promoting white genocide and blocking whites from stopping it. At present, though, White Nationalism is a movement of the Right. But that presents us with a tricky problem.
To transform the mainstream in a White Nationalist direction, we need to let our message emerge from its current Right-wing cocoon and spread its wings. It would be self-defeating to change any of our essential principles to conform to the mainstream. The whole point is to get the mainstream to conform to us. Thus the only thing we can change is how we package and communicate our message. We need to craft versions of the essential White Nationalist message that can convert every white constituency. We even need to convert some non-whites into allies and sympathizers, or at least convince them they have nothing to lose from our victory.
That is a tall order, and we are just beginning to figure out how to make it work. It is, however, easy to determine what won’t work, namely insisting that the White Nationalist idea must be accepted with a long list of Right-wing add-ons. Right-wing sectarianism is the path to self-marginalization and self-defeat, and in this game, White Nationalism 1.0 is the undisputed champion.
But we know that victory is possible, because it was not too long ago that pro-white ideas were culturally and politically dominant. Furthermore, the present hegemony of anti-white ideas was created through the exact same metapolitical strategies by which we aim to reverse it. The sooner we stop doing things that don’t work—and start doing things that do work—the sooner we win.
We need to take a nuanced stance on drinking, drugs, and other unhealthy habits. On the one hand, our movement aims at the creation of a better society. On the other hand, the people in our movement are the products of the profoundly sick society that we wish to overcome. Thus young audiences find it real and relatable to watch Millennial Woes chain-smoking his way through his YouTube videos, or to listen to the countless podcasts whose hosts and guests are obviously drunk or stoned.
But imagine tuning back in ten years from now and finding them doing the exact same thing. Obviously, something would have gone terribly wrong. Obviously, an important opportunity would have been lost. For the whole point of being real and relatable is to establish a connection to one’s audience in order to lead them. Not just to lead them, to better them. But we cannot better people if we do not better ourselves. Thus an ethos that celebrates or merely tolerates chemical dependencies is self-defeating. It turns the movement into just another dead-end of modern decadence rather than an exit from it. How can we overcome the downward plunge of the whole modern world if we can’t even overcome the downward pull of our own petty vices?
Imagine, for a moment, that the movement adopted Harold Covington’s General Order Number 10: for the duration of the struggle, no White Nationalist will use alcohol and drugs. We would gain much and lose nothing. First, drugs and alcohol impair judgment and effectiveness, leading to bad decisions and clumsy execution with predictably self-defeating consequences. Second, drugs and alcohol get people into trouble with the law, which is one way they are turned into informants and saboteurs. Third, drugs and alcohol consume time and money that could be better spent on the cause. Fourth, demanding people give up drugs and alcohol communicates that our cause is serious and demands personal sacrifices but also makes us better and nobler people. Finally, adopting a zero-tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol weeds out unserious people who prize personal self-indulgence over racial salvation. Now imagine if the Alt Right had adopted this sort of ethos at the beginning of 2016. Think of everything we could have avoided.
We also need to take a nuanced stance on the return of costumed protests and brawls with Communists. The Old Right began by battling Communists in the streets of Europe. For a while after Trump’s election, it looked like those days were back as masked Communists (“antifa”) attacked Trump supporters in the streets. Naturally, Trump supporters, including White Nationalists, wanted to fight back. It was only natural to test the waters and see what was possible. At a certain point, however, caution and prudence were tossed to the winds. People got giddy and grandiose. The result was the catastrophic Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the costs and consequences of which are still mounting to this day.
Charlottesville offered valuable lessons that many of us took to heart. Don’t hold rallies in enemy strongholds. Don’t announce our events months in advance, giving the enemy time to prepare. Don’t trust the enemy media to convey our message. Don’t trust police to enforce the laws if they benefit us. White Nationalists will be fired from their jobs, demonized by the press, deplatformed from the web, and prosecuted by the anti-white establishment, while antifa will be coddled. We don’t have the numbers, money, institutions, and public sympathy to engage in demonstrations like Unite the Right. The Left has effectively bottomless reserves of lawyers and money to harass us with frivolous lawsuits, the aim of which is to exhaust and bankrupt us and to expose the identities of our activists and donors though the “discovery” process. But we don’t have comparable resources to defend ourselves.
The great lesson of Charlottesville was simply to take stock of the strengths and weaknesses of both the establishment and our movement, then focus on doing what works. The enemy’s strengths include vast numbers of people, effectively infinite amounts of money, and control over the leading institutions of society. The same can be said, however, of any establishment right up to the point that it was overthrown. The enemy’s chief weaknesses are promoting morally heinous and socially destructive policies based on lies, as well as being corrupt, decadent, vicious, and silly.
Our weaknesses are the mirror image of our enemies’ strengths. Our movement has tiny numbers and scarce funds. We control almost no institutions of our own and are at the mercy of the institutions controlled by our enemies. Again, this is true of practically every revolutionary movement at one time or another, including those that go on to win.
Our strengths too are the mirror image of our enemies’ weaknesses. They are promoting policies based on lies about human nature that are leading to hatred, conflict, and eventually genocide. We promote policies based on truths about human nature that will minimize ethnic conflict, hatred, and genocide. They promote bad arguments and double standards, and we are masters of deconstructing them. They are laughable, and we are masters of mocking and shaming them.
As long as we attacked the enemy’s weaknesses from our strengths, we were making remarkable metapolitical gains. But as soon as some attacked the enemy’s strongest points from a position of relative weakness, they were destroyed. Those of us who are still in the struggle either never got involved with street activism or have returned to doing what works: metapolitics—which means community organizing and the propaganda war, including the low-risk, high-reward propaganda of the deed strategies pioneered by the Identitarian Movement and adopted by Identity Evropa in the United States.
* * *
Is the story of the Alt Right over, or will there be a next chapter? At this point, we shouldn’t really care. Even if the Alt Right is dead, White Nationalism and white identity politics are very much alive, and it is the issues not the symbols that really matter. The Alt Right was just a brand. It was a useful umbrella term that created a discursive space in which White Nationalists could network with and convert people who are closer to the mainstream. But Richard Spencer collapsed that discursive space with Hailgate. The much-reduced Alt Right movement that Spencer created under his leadership met its Waterloo at Charlottesville. At this point, the Alt Right movement is dead, and the brand has been irreparably tarnished. There will always be some people who will choose to call themselves Alt Right, just as there are people who call themselves Nazis, but it will be little more than a defiant gesture of self-marginalization. Those who are serious about creating a future for white people need to look beyond the Alt Right toward a new nationalism.
 Quoted in Hawley, Making Sense of the Alt-Right, p. 80.
 See Greg Johnson, “Birth of a Nation,” a review of Harold Covington’s first four Northwest novels, and “Drug Legalization in the White Republic,” a libertarian position that I have abandoned because of the catastrophic consequences of drugs on white communities.
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