These fought, in any case,
and some believing, pro domo, in any case. . .
. . .some in fear, learning love of slaughter;
Died some pro patria, non dulce non et decor. . .
walked eye-deep in hell
believing in old men’s lies, then unbelieving
came home, home to a lie,
home to many deceits,
home to old lies and new infamy;
— Ezra Pound, from Hugh Selwyn Mauberley.
There is a formulaic and trite insult directed at men of my age and younger about how back in the day, 18-year-olds would charge into machine-gun fire at D-Day whereas the current crop of young people are such special snowflakes that they [insert pet peeve youthful behavior]. Well, we are nothing if not self-critical thinkers, and we detect a glaring absence of heroic charges towards yonder machine gun nests on our part, as well as an altogether arrogant abuse of the royal We. Therefore, let us examine the act of charging into machine-gun fire.
To charge into machine-gun fire is almost certain death. Indeed, while the modern battlefield holds many nasties to surprise the eager young blood out for glory, the machine gun stands out as emblematic and characteristic of industrial warfare. At the pull of a trigger, hundreds of lives may be extinguished, “cut down.” The sound of a machine gun is chilling, too; nothing quite like it exists in nature. A grinding, barreling, clanking of a single lethal act repeated ad infinitum, or at least until the gunner or whoever is charging him is gone. Unlike the deep rumble of an artillery field gun, which channels our ancient, thunder-wielding gods, the machine gun produces an entirely unnatural sound which is all man, just the humble bullet repeated many times, too many to counteract. In a grim echo of the beginning of the industrial revolution which begot it, the MG42, of the kind which was fired on the beaches at D-day in particular, produces a sound which is more akin to the tearing of fabric than of a weapon firing. This ain’t your grandpappy’s boomstick.
And yet, men charged these human disassembly machines. Men made of flesh and blood, eminently perforable men, with putty just as soft as yours covering their brittle bones. Mortal, frightened men with shit rolling down their trouser legs still found the courage to charge these instruments of doom. Sometimes they lived. Sometimes they overtook the machine-gun nests. Blessed fate saw fit to have courage defeat bullets. So, how can you, from the comfort of your home, sitting at a computer, reading these words on a screen, with your every creature comfort met, refuse to do something as trivial as stand up for your people?
You have to ask yourself, though, are the soldiers charging a machine gun nest and the dissident standing up for his people operating under the same conditions?
The kind of heroic charge into the maw of the death-dispenser that we see in the movies and in our minds’ eyes is normally led by the figure of the self-effacing officer. In the British case, he is an erstwhile scion of a noble family, dating back to the Norman conquest. He was educated at Eton and later one of the great universities. He is a man of culture and wealth, and yet shares a connection with the common men under his command. He speaks of Horace and how it is good and beautiful to die for one’s country. From across No Man’s Land, his counterpart of no less noble stock is the descendant of Junkers, educated at one of the finest military academies in the world. This man with a heart of steel leads from the front, projecting Preußentum outwards. His Rheinland and Bavarian charges can only stand in awe at this man born for the bloody business of war.
Both figures are emissaries to the common soldier, who is expected to follow the leftenant and lieutenant into the hail of bullets. They are emissaries from the nation’s ruling class, and parts of it. Not only are the two at the helm because they are the best (aristos), but because the common man must be reassured that yes, your king has skin in this game. Only then can the king genuinely ask the common man to throw his life away; otherwise, what cares this man for the squabbles of kings, of who will rule over what province? But much more than that, the warrior-aristocrats leading the charge are in that blessed moment the nation personified, exhorting her men of good character to do their best for her, to ensure the existence of their people and a future for their children, though it may come at the cost of their own lives. The life of the nation, of that greater body, is not only of greater importance, but depends on the self-sacrifice of men, on courage and tenacity, on unrelenting will in the face of certain death.
If the man who charges towards a machine gun nest lives to tell the tale, captures the nest, kills or captures his enemy-the machine-gunner, he has served his country well. What awaits him is a hero’s welcome back home, medals, promotions, status. In the years that follow, he can expect to convert his status into attraction amongst the women of his homeland, and therefore get married, father children and grandchildren and have for those young ones a tale of valor about grandpa charging a machine gun nest, scars to show off, maybe even the machine-gunner’s sidearm which he liberated and still keeps as a trophy and reminder. And as grandpa sinks in his armchair, wistfully remembering his glory days and the brave, good men that wait for him in Heaven, the young ones dream of their own glory yet to come, of the chance to prove their valor and manhood. And even if — even if he were to fall and never rise from the mud, the man who charges towards a machine gun nest understands at some level, even as terror grips his heart, that he will be remembered, that he will be given a hero’s funeral, that his sacrifice makes possible the survival of his nation, of his family. With his dying breath, the man who was cut down by a machine gun sees his victorious comrades raising their glasses in his honor, and silently shedding tears at his grave, for there rests a man of valor, a man of honor, a friend.
The man who charges towards a machine gun nest has the full backing of his society. He is honored if he falls, rewarded if he succeeds. The only wrong thing to do is to run away, which is punished severely, not only by death, but by shaming: in the most extreme case, damnatio memoriae, which strikes terror into the heart of men. Far more terrible than death, to be forgotten, to disappear, as if one has never existed, to be no more than a fart in the wind. Men will whisper “remember me” with their dying breath, and we do. No one is hated more than the deserter, the traitor, the coward, he who values his own skin over his country and comrades. Compared to the shame, the sting of cowardice, what terror can the bullets unleash? Death is momentary, but to live inglorious and defeated is to die daily.
Indeed, the man charging into machine-gun fire is, for all the unenviable dangers of his situation, exempted from the uncertainty and neuroses of modernity. The constant detective work one must employ to distinguish between friend and enemy isn’t present in such a case — the enemy is the guy firing at you, the friend is the guy standing next to you. There are no deep philosophical conundrums about the purpose of existence or even moral ones about what is right and what is wrong. Your purpose is to charge the machine gun nest and disable the machine gun. That is right. Stopping, hiding, running away, deserting, cowardice; that’s wrong. Most men who have faced bullets will speak of the refreshing “clarity” of combat. They get so wistful about it, too; their eyes attain a strange, longing glow, as if imagining the youthful body of a forgotten lover. And indeed, clarity would be a drink of fresh water in our world of shadows, treason, and half-measures. At least a bullet through the brain is something, as opposed to not-that-something. And here we are, in our comfortable armchairs, envying men being shot at with a machine gun. They are alive in ways we cannot even begin to contemplate.
And what of us? What are the conditions under which we operate? What are our worst and best-case scenarios? The earnest dissident takes his arguments and his racial crime statistics, and his visions of a nice, white country and faces. . . damnation. He stands up for the truth, because he has been taught that there is such a thing and that it is worth fighting for, but learns to his horror that those bloody postmodern neo-Marxists were right and that truth doesn’t exist, or at least doesn’t matter, which is the same thing at the level of analysis where we have to live. He clasps his hands over his heart and tries once again, to appeal to reason, to appeal to compassion, to shock into understanding his unbelieving friends and relatives, only to see himself abandoned, thrown to the SJW mob, unemployed, deplatformed, demonetized, spied upon by people whose job is to fight terrorism and treason, disinvited from family functions, ostracized from polite company.
But what is this compared to the machine gun? Not nothing. At least the man who charges the machine gun nest doesn’t have to do it alone. Whom do we have? Each other? How do I know that you’re not a federal agent out to sell me an unregistered firearm, or an opportunistic sociopath looking to become a cult leader, or merely a dysfunctional reject from society desperate for acceptance? And even if you are yourself an erstwhile dissident cloaked in courage and armed with the truth, what power have you to help me when I am in trouble, and indeed, what power have I to help you if you yourself are cut down by the metaphorical machine guns of modernity?
Man was not meant to stand alone; against machine guns or against his own society. I will take this moment to admire the courage of those who still stand athwart the enemy even at this hour, even though everything opposes us and our cause, even though we’ve been denounced by our people, by our friends and our closest family. Our struggle is not only political, but personal. If we fall, precious few will weep for us. As things get worse and more real, many of us will lose conviction, waver, and scatter. Others yet will take the purple pill and remove themselves from the hard edge of the struggle.
There’s your answer. Young white men in the West do not have the support of their society. They aren’t inspired to heroic deeds because they know, deep in their heart, that their deeds will be scorned no matter what they do. In fact, the ruling class, rather than inspiring these young men, would rather they checked out completely, became a fatality of the opioid epidemic, or better yet, cut off their dicks, became transgender, and called for the death and castration of even more young white men. No reward if you win, no one weeps if you fall. Under those conditions, it becomes difficult for a man to go to the corner store, let alone charge into machine-gun fire. And yet, what choice do we have?
The Dissident Right is often accused of constructing a fantasy world, of being LARPers. We are told that the reality is such and such and that we’re ruining our lives by engaging in dissident politics. I guess we are. And yet it is this fantasy world which keeps so many of us going, the now-memetic nostalgia for the place we’re not sure even exists, the dreams of a better future which seem less likely with every passing second. And yet the history of our people is a history of the impossible being willed into being, of the Live-Action Role-Play being played out in reality. In the fantasy world we build, we are not hated and scorned, but respected for our courage and valor. We are not “throwing our lives away” but sacrificing them for the greater good. In truth, this world we build isn’t fantastic. It is very real, but appears fantastic because nothing of the sort should exist in modernity, which is the age of irony, of selfishness, and of passivity. To charge a machine-gun nest is so outside modernity that any ethos which even attempts to resurrect the philosophy of self-sacrifice seems fantastic.
The man talking about sacrificing his life for his people is to be taken as seriously as the man claiming to be a noble prince rescuing the elven princess from the orcs. It’s a LARP; you don’t really believe that. You can’t really believe that. If you really believe that, then I’m the selfish prick who’d throw his friends under the bus for a few more months of life. No, you’re lying, you’re pretending, you’re a LARPer, you’re throwing your life away, can’t you see you’re throwing your life away? Your life! My life!
The postmodernist will screech at you for constructing a world where meaning still matters. He will likewise hate you for having people to share that world with. The Dissident Right, the white nationalist and white-positive sphere, we form a community. At the core of this community is this shared dream of a world where there exist things more important than a man’s life. My great fear is that we cannot will our dream into being, but let it never be said that it is not possible, that it cannot be done, and if we fall, at least tales will be told that men got together to share a dream, that they fought with honor and valor; and though they were defeated in the last, their courage was seen by all.
Once more into the beach, dear friends.
If you liked this article & want to support our work, read Greg Johnson’s “All Hands On Deck!“
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