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Enigmatic to the End

665 words

“I shall write no messages which I know will never be delivered — only this, which will be: You will never discover who helped me, for he is to be found in your multitudinous ranks, at least outwardly.”

— Francis Parker Yockey’s suicide note (June 16th or 17th, 1960)

I think it was the black and white image of Yockey on the back of the Noontide Press’s paperback edition of Imperium, exiting the Federal Building in San Francisco handcuffed and surrounded by US marshals, that first caught my attention. Suave and dapper in his jacket and tie, the prisoner seemed to be sweeping out of the doorway, his jaw set for battle and dark hair swept back in a brilliantine coiffure. Deputy Marshal Alex Koenig’s raven-black eyes were drilling into the back of his neck.

The book’s front cover, featuring the Sword of Truth being thrust by a pair of clasped hands into the dark cloud of unknowing, is quickly followed by Willis A. Carto’s introduction:

Dimly, I could make out the form of this man — this strange and lonely man — through the thick wire netting.  Inwardly, I cursed these heavy screens that prevented our confrontation. For even though our mutual host was the San Francisco County Jail, and even though the man upon whom I was calling was locked in equality with petty thieves and criminals, I knew that I was in the presence of a great force, and I could feel History standing aside me.

These are feelings akin to those I sense when I stride along the windswept dunes of Cuan an Bhriotais or Brittas Bay, a scene Yockey would have once gazed out upon while drafting his magnum opus — a five-kilometer stretch of powdery white sand in the parish of Dunganston in the barony of Arklow in the southwest corner of County Wicklow.

Brittas’ peaceful rhythm had, a millennium and a half ago, witnessed the pagan Irish driving the Gallic Saint Palladius and his zealous missionaries back into the sea, and a seventeenth-century pirate, Captain Jack White, intercepting British merchant ships to the growing annoyance of the Crown from the fastness of his secluded cove known as Jack’s Hole.

Here, secluded and undisturbed, Yockey wrote frenetically, conjuring up a philosophical text without notes that would forever secure his place alongside Nietzsche and Spengler in the annals of our movement. The preface to Imperium proudly declares:

Imperium presents unique and almost esoteric political, social, and historical definitions and explanations which shall become more widely known — indeed commonly understood — if our West survives. . . is probably the first book to advocate European unification — to dogmatically predict it — in terms other than the crassly materialistic. . . the first comprehensive and profoundly constructive alternative to the Marxist-Liberal degeneracy surrounding us. . . the creation of a man who believed in his own destiny — and in this book — so thoroughly that he became a martyr to it.

This makes his sudden and inexplicable loss some six decades ago even more of a tragedy.  Few among us today can match his insight and piercing intellect — he was a visionary who has, through his seminal works, recalibrated a small coterie of our best thinkers. Yockey was a man inspired by Nietzsche’s famous aphorism of 1885:

The time for petty politics is past; the next century will bring the struggle for the dominion of the world — the compulsion to great politics.

Yockey, in life as in death, not only proved himself to be equal to the challenge but sufficiently committed to our cause to be willing to die for his beliefs — which rather presupposes the question: are we?

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  1. Denim Wearer
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Hmm, I’m not the Yockey scholar I should be, but I would like to know more about his suicide. Why did he do it, and why did he see it as so lucky he was “helped.” Passport fraud would not have resulted in anything like a life or even a long sentence. Was he one of these people the Js were after and was afraid of getting the Pound treatment, zonked on psych meds, lol? It’s enigmatic to me. Do you scholars have any specific info or insights?

    • Hermann
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      There’s a really great Counter Currents podcast with Kerry Bolton discussing his book about Yockey where they go into possible reasons for the suicide. Highly recommended.

      • Denim Wearer
        Posted September 18, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        vielen dank herr Hermann!

  2. Alexandra O.
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    When I read this tribute to Yockey, I looked on my bookcase to make sure I had a copy, and saw I had two, one full of bookmarks, and the newer, CC printing. I opened at random, and where fate directed me, to this passage, massively intense for our current upheaval this summer:

    “Race is the material of History, it is the treasure which a population brings to an Idea. The stronger the racial instincts of the population, the greater its promise of victory. Consequently anything which strikes at the strength of these instincts is the enemy of the highest significance, and even of the very existence of the race. These instincts are self-preservation, fruitfulness, increase of power. Without these, there is no Idea, no History — there is only the collection of human grains of sand — and later a pyramid of skull erected by outer barbarians.”

    Counter Currents is wise to have printed this book, for it is full of random gems of unforgettable importance throughout. This was page 282 — I could quote all of 282 and 283, opened randomly — but I’ll leave that pleasure to you.

  3. SRP
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I first read Imperium in 1970-71. A very tough read for anyone not well-versed in Spengler, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, and European history. I got versed but it took years before I understood the book. Had my first copy confiscated by a Jewish high-school sociology teacher, which taught me a lot in and of itself…

    One problem with Yockey is that he was “a thorough Spenglarian”, and Spengler’s thesis of cultural morphology is a real stretch to apply to the complex mosaic of human history.

    Also, he rejected the genetic definition of race, and held that anyone could be a “Westerner” if they felt Western “in their soul”. Well, I suppose that “anyone” can be down with the Western cause, but the Western cause may not be down with them.

    The vast majority of people we need to reach are not going to get past page 6 of Imperium. The basics of mass-communication still hold: keep it simple, or lose your intended audience.

    • Fenek Solere
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      Dear SRP,
      Although it is true FPY was steeped in Spengler et al his work did however go beyond ‘Decline’s pessimism’ and offers positivity as per Alexandra O’s quote above from Imperium. Also, I would be careful to go down the Arnold Leese line of charging Yockey with Lysenkoism. I think his racial thinking was far more complex than a simple blood and soil interpretation and did allow for other natural organic and environmental factors but look at the dedication at the front of Imperium – it leaves no doubt as to his position on who and what constitutes the Western genetic, cultural and philosophical tradition.

    • Hermann
      Posted September 18, 2020 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      “ The vast majority of people we need to reach are not going to get past page 6 of Imperium. The basics of mass-communication still hold: keep it simple, or lose your intended audience.”

      Very true, but it is expressly stated that the book is not meant for the masses. Only for what Yockey refers to as the “Culture-bearing stratum”.

      Or they can just listen to the audio here:

  4. Francis XB
    Posted September 20, 2020 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    One thing fascinating about White Nationalism 1.0 is how Francis Parker Yockey and many more voices in the wilderness understood, way back when, was where things were going given the racial-cultural situation in the West. And Yockey was writing at a time when America was still c 90% White, when the cities were centers of culture and industry, when the Hollywood Code was in force, and even before the borders had been thrown open to third world mass migration.

    Mighty prophetic, when you think about it.

    But even at the highpoint of American power all the signs of decay were there, and we have seen them play out over the last six decades even though the facade is propped up today by global US military-technology and the simulacra of mass media.

    I first came across Imperium about the time the Cold War was ending (the paperback edition with the sword on the cover). Even with the apparent victory of what used to be known as the Free World over Communism, there was a sense of unease among the day’s not-so-dreaming dissident rightists, an anomie over unfinished business.

    It was as if the dust rising from the fall of the Berlin Wall and the ensuing US military victory in the Desert Storm desert war was obscuring the growing disintegration of the home front. The fact that no serious defense could be raised for White rule in South Africa was one symptom. Another was the rising tide of cultural marxism on the campuses, then only in the incipient stage but with many more acts to be played out. The “contraction of the West,” as Burnham termed it in his Suicide of the West, was proceeding apace.

    What Yockey did in Imperium was provide a structure to the many vague sensibilities held among the dissidents, and turned them into a political thesis. Even if you didn’t agree with a theme or two (like his apparent anti-Americanism) you could see where he was going on the metapolitical front. Yockey was “your guy.” The Western world still had a destiny or two to fulfill in a greater Europa.

    And in that Yockey provided a path for those who would follow.

  5. WWWM
    Posted September 23, 2020 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    Three books are of great significance to my reasons for supporting race realism:
    Which Way Western Man by W. G. Simpson

    Camp of the Saints by Raspail

    Imperium by FPY

    I think each appeal to a different kind of audience, but contain the same message.
    Strength and honor,
    Courage and conviction.

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