The following is the text of Gregory Hood’s opening statement in the “Ethnonationalism vs. Imperialism” debate with Greg Johnson that was held at the recent Counter-Currents Spring Retreat. Dr. Johnson’s opening statement, which preceded this one, can be read here.
It’s not a question of whether you want to live in an imperium or not. You’re going to live under an imperial rule of some kind. The only question is whose it’s going to be.
There is no sovereignty that states have right now because there is someone who can say “no” — and that someone is America. Until that problem is dealt with, it’s very difficult to talk about any European country being fully sovereign in any real sense, at least in the way that nineteenth-century nationalists would have taken for granted.
The fact is, there’s always going to be an empire that sets the tone for a particular civilization. Now, what do I mean by empire? An empire isn’t just something that governs multiple nations. An empire is something that governs from a divine or a moral ideal. It has a purpose. It sees itself as having a purpose.
The entire post-war world is built on the ideas of certain myths about the Second World War. Fundamentally, everything that we have comes out of that: the belief that Nazism wasn’t just about the defeat of the Germans, but was about defeating the inner racists that lie within all white people. That is why we have to have a government which is constantly looking for racism and combating ethnocentrism, because if that gets out of control, we’ll repeat the Second World War. That’s what they believe, and this belief has only grown stronger with time. More people are fanatical about punching Nazis today than there were in the 1950s — than the guys who actually fought the Nazis.
In fact, I’ve always said that this is something of a religion, but now it’s literally becoming a religion. Happy Pride Month, everyone. We even have our own liturgical calendar. If you actually add up all the special holidays that go with intersectionality, I think we have more holidays than the Vatican.
More than that, we even have our own imperial banner. You know what I’m talking about: the intersectional flag. And I’ll tell you what: From Washington, DC to the Netherlands and to Germany, it’s still flying proudly. All the national sovereignty and states in the world have done nothing to stop a flag that didn’t even exist two years ago. But that imperial banner flies high — and I think it means more to a lot of average people than their so-called national flags do. That’s disgusting, but it’s the truth. And that’s a testament to the power of media, which is the most powerful tool the regime has. So if we’re going to talk about convincing people, we have to deal with that problem: How do we convince the masses? Control the media. And we can give them whatever we want. If you don’t believe me, go protect trans kids. Try telling that to somebody two years ago.
The entire system is inherently anti-white. That is what it’s built on. That’s where it gets its moral foundations from. But more than that, there’s also a bureaucratic impetus. And this creates the kind of global non-governmental organization (NGO) class that we see, which is more powerful than sovereign states. For example, we have a “nationalist” government in Italy. But what has happened in Italy recently? Migration has increased. Why has migration increased? Because there is a vast apparatus of judges and activists and NGOs that can work against the government. So who is sovereign, and why did they do this? Because every migrant who is brought in is worth thousands of dollars to these NGO workers.
You have to deal with that apparatus — let’s call it the imperial apparatus — before we can talk about anything regarding sovereignty. You have to replace one imperial order with another.
Just declaring your independence is not going to cut it, because we’ve seen countries try to do that before. How many nationalists have been elected so far? How many coalition governments have we had? What’s happened? At best, you slow things down.
There is a time limit here, friends, and if we don’t actually reverse it, this is all for nothing.
Let’s be honest about decentralization, too. What was the great populist triumph? Brexit. What happened after Brexit? Non-European immigration increased dramatically. Let’s say plainly that Brexit was a complete disaster. And this came under the Conservative government that has ruled for more than a decade. So much for entryism. So much for proceduralism.
Let’s look at the secessionist movements that are being advocated right now, such as in Scotland or Catalonia. These aren’t Scottish or Catalonian nationalist movements in any way. Why do they want to secede? So they can bring in more migrants than even the governments that control them now want to bring. Thus, decentralization in and of itself has no value whatsoever, especially because what they want is to actually move closer to the imperial ideology. They’re mad about the remnants of the unitary states that they have to deal with.
This brings up another question concerning the idea of ethnonationalism. Where does it start? Every people gets their own nation. Okay, well, does Cornwall get to secede? Does Wales? Does Northumbria? These are all secessionist movements that really exist. But if you actually believe in your ethnic nation, at some point you’re going to want to draw the line, because in any such order, the country that can prevent the most secessionist movements and control the most territory is going to be the strongest.
You can say you want independence for your own nation, but if you’re willing to let groups within that nation break away, especially in marginal cases where you don’t have something like a 90% majority, I suggest you don’t actually love your nation all that much. You don’t want it to be powerful. You don’t want it to be strong. So do you really want it? And what’s the point of it?
What’s going on with the European Union? I would submit that the national populist movement of 2015-16 has completely faded. Marine Le Pen had to run away from her support for France leaving the European Union because it was killing her electorally. There used to be some talk of the Netherlands leaving the European Union. That’s gone away. The fact is that most people want the European Union. Saying that you want to pull out of the European Union is a vote loser. The question we have to deal with is not the European Union; it’s that it’s not a European Union. It’s an anti-European Union.
What do we have going for us, at all? There are two things right now. First of all, we have the fact of white identity. This is the basis — the moral basis — of the post-war order, albeit in a negative sense. They’re actually doing the work of defining it for us in a positive sense.
There’s a reason why, when you walk around Europe, all the magnificent statues are essentially ruins — remnants of an older, greater time. What’s created now is of no worth. Why? Because it’s designed to have no worth. It’s designed to demoralize. It’s designed to beat you down.
What are the values that are preached? Dependence, victimhood. These are the things that give more power to the imperial regime. These are the things that give more power to the transnational NGO class.
When you see some guy who has been psyopped into essentially sexually mutilating himself and crying about how somebody didn’t recognize what gender he is, and how that scarred him forever — that is the model democratic citizen. That is the model imperial citizen. A person like that has no country. But they are in every country. They comprise possibly the majority in a lot of these countries. And we’re going to have to deal with them at some level.
We have to overcome that ideology. We can’t preach an ethnic loyalty that exists on paper, but which these people have no part of, because they don’t feel it at all.
The second thing we have going for us, other than the idea of white identity being important, is that we do have the fact that there is no current conflict between Western European and Central European nations — say, between France and Germany. This is something that would have once been unthinkable. Now, again, the problem is that if you really believe in ethnic nationalism, you have to ask questions such as: Who should own Alsace-Lorraine? Who should own South Tyrol? There’s not necessarily a right answer to this. There’s just us and them. So, unless you have a compelling answer for why one people or another should own a particular place, you end up retreating to the ground of saying, “We’re just going to have a referendum,” or, “We’ll poll people on that.” But does national territory change depending on how the referendums go? And what are the referendums, after all, except contests over who has more media power? Isn’t that the root of our problem to begin with? And unfortunately, for a lot of these regions, if we asked them about what flag they want to put up, they’d probably put up the intersectional flag rather than any national flag.
Greg Johnson said that nationalist governments, or conservative nationalist governments, might be the ones who are most willing to help out other pro-white forces, or at least other pro-nationalist forces. Well, my boss, Jared Taylor, is on your side, you’ll be happy to know. But it wasn’t the liberals or the antifa who prevented Jared Taylor from going to Tallinn. It was the conservative nationalist government of Poland. And why did the conservative nationalist government of Poland ban him from Europe — first for three years, and then when that expired, extending it to five years, and moreover not offering any reason or even telling him about it? It was because he made a speech supporting the current government of Poland. And the last time I was in Hungary, I was running around like a lunatic cleaning up everybody’s messes. Why? Because there was a nationalist government there that didn’t want any part of it.
And the fact is — and this is a tough question — if you say, “I don’t have an interest in white identity, I only have an interest in my own particular ethnic group, or my own particular nation-state, ” why are you even talking about this? Why are you talking about white identity? That’s the last thing you should be doing, especially if you’re worried about elections. You should be running away from this stuff. You shouldn’t even be watching this debate. You know why: Because the best you can hope for, if that’s what you’re doing, is carrying out a holding action against forces far more powerful than you. That’s why we have to deal with this at some level.
We have to have an ultimate goal. This isn’t a game. We’re talking about identities and saying, “Oh, we can pick this identity or that identity.” If you have to think about what your identity is, it’s not all that real, is it? You should simply know. And identity, fundamentally, is not just about your self-image. It’s also how people see you.
How do the people in power see us now? They see us as white. And that holds true in whatever country you are in. When they come after you, it is not because you’re Polish, or Hungarian, or German, or whatever else. It’s because you’re white, and it’s only because you’re white. That identity means more than the identity you share with your fellow citizens of another race within your country. And it means a heck of a lot more with those in power.
Imperial order can only be replaced. It can never be repudiated. We’re not talking about empire or independence. We’re talking about which empire, full stop. White identity is emerging now from the circumstances of this time. It’s not asserted as something that could be or once was, and then we work backwards. It’s something we have to deal with every single day.
Ultimately, there are many tactics we can use to get to where we’re trying to go. You could have tribes where you’re trying to work on a small level to have some sort of independence from the system. You could have secession efforts that would allow you to throw up barriers between you and the empire — but again, that’s a bit of a holding pattern. You could have what I think could be the model going forward, where you have what I’ve called the Bismarck solution: some sort of a nation-state that leads an international effort to overturn the current empire, the current imperial order. Or, you have a vanguard of whites who, acting as whites, establish a white homeland to protect the physical existence and ensure the upward development of the white race. This is the identity that matters right now, especially in the United States, which, for better or worse — and again, as an American, I’m sorry — mostly for worse, determines the international order.
Sometimes, some extremely online guys will think of some creative ethnic differences between American whites. That’s fake. There are no real ethnic differences that white Americans get upset about and fight amongst themselves over anymore. And if you’re not getting upset and fighting about them, then frankly, they’re not part of your most important identity. The important identities are the ones you actually want to fight for. Ethnic identities that aren’t a return to bad old nationalism aren’t that strong to begin with. And it’s certainly not something people are going to sacrifice for. But that doesn’t mean that cultures can’t continue to exist. And it’s certainly only those with a strong white racial consciousness who care about the continuity of specific cultures.
But ultimately, from an American point of view, you have to talk about White Nationalism, not ethnic nationalism. And fundamentally, unless you solve the American problem, everything else we’re talking about is just fantasy, because they are the ones — the ones in DC — who can say “no” to every single project that has been mentioned.
Ultimately, what we’re talking about is more than just calling for a white homeland. And ultimately, what we’re talking about is something even more, something even greater than calling for a white homeland that will unite all whites. I’m positing that as an ideal. But I’m saying that as a dream, as something people can always be working towards. Something like what the Communists used to say about the classless society, the Sorelian myth that drives us forward. The sacred myth, in fact.
But we also have to have identitarianism as a philosophy, as a way of looking at the world, as a historiography, as a system of analysis. We do not have that now. And if you have something where you say, “How can these circumstances be interpreted for the defense of my [ethnic] group?”, that can be useful, but it’s not a way of understanding the world. It’s not a way that’s going to mobilize people around the world to work for a common cause. And I have news, friends. We aren’t a majority in those 52 nations. And I don’t think we’re ever going to be a majority, or even a sizable minority, in those 52 nations. But you have a lot of racially aware white people in those 52 nations. If you could somehow unite them behind one thing, there’s a lot that could be accomplished with that.
Why even talk about something so idealistic as a white homeland? As a place where we will be safe as whites, where our common culture as Europeans will be defended, where white Americans for once can do something that’s actually productive instead of standing in the way of our European friends? Because right now, we’re in a system where the soft totalitarianism that everybody talks about is rapidly becoming hard totalitarianism. America is not a free country.
And certainly in Europe, I don’t need to remind people about the certain speech laws and the restrictions on political organization that I have to deal with every day. People are going to have to start going to jail. They are going to get beaten up. They are going to be facing hard repression. And it’s not because they’re accelerating their tactics. It’s because liberties that were once taken for granted are rapidly becoming illegal as the system tries to hold on, and as the imperial faith becomes ever more fanatical. We have to have something that is higher, that we will cling to no matter what, and that we are willing to suffer everything for.
This is one struggle. We are one people. We are moving toward becoming one people. And that is the only thing that can justify what has happened over the last century, and everything that we are going through. I am not willing to say that anyone won the First or Second world wars, or that it was anything other than two tragic civil wars where people butchered each other instead of focusing on the enemy that matters, and the only enemy that ever matters.
The West works best at a time of unity, from the Greeks fighting off the Persians to the Crusades. That is our destiny. We have to have a vision of that elevation, and we have to have a system of analysis that profound if we’re going to ask people to sacrifice everything for it.
So this is an ideal: the empire that was and will be, the imperium that comes from above and is directed from above. And I say that a people who has a holy mission and a state which will protect them — that is the only thing worth striving for, worth suffering for, and worth dying for.
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 In May 2023, Jared Taylor was barred by the Polish government from entering the European Union’s Schengen Zone while he was on his way to speak at a conference in Tallinn, Estonia. Mr. Taylor wrote about the affair here.
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