Thursday, August 31, 2017

On white nationalism

The alt right is made up of a number of different political movements, such as traditionalism, identitarianism, orthodoxy and neoreaction. Arguably the most influential element, at least in the U.S., is white nationalism. Given its prominence I thought it useful to try to delineate the politics of white nationalism.

There is clearly some overlap in the political positions taken by traditionalists and white nationalists. But one clear difference is that many white nationalists take as a starting point the principle that politics is an expression of racial self-interest.

There is, of course, some truth to this. Racial self-interest does sometimes lie behind the political positions that people take. And the aim of many white nationalists is the perfectly reasonable one of wanting white Americans to remain the historic majority and to avoid the negative consequences of falling into minority status.

The idea that politics is organised around racial self-interest does, however, have a more problematic side. It means, for instance, that politics will be seen less as a contest between political movements (say, traditionalism vs liberalism) and more as a contest between races or ethnies. So there is considerable emphasis amongst some white nationalists on the Jewish question - on the idea that the core battle line is one between white Americans and Jews.

It is undoubtedly true that Jews in America have a disproportionate influence in the media and that secular Jewish intellectuals are often committed to leftist causes that harm the white American majority. However, seeing politics as a racial or ethnic conflict has its limitations.

First, it often underplays the agency of the class of white intellectuals who are also committed to leftist causes. If politics is about racial self interest, then why aren't these white intellectuals promoting the interests of their own race? A WN might answer that they have fallen under the sway of Jewish influence, but this is of dubious historic accuracy, given that the WASP elite in the U.S. was committed to open borders for much of the 1800s or that serious traditionalist intellectuals like T.S. Eliot thought that English culture was hopelessly liberalised as long ago as the 1930s. You would have to argue that a tiny number of Jews had captured the minds of vast numbers of non-Jewish intellectuals for some hundreds of years. I know quite a number of white intellectuals and I don't believe that their problem is that they have been "captured" by a foreign influence - there are better explanations for why they are committed to a transgressive politics.

Second, although it is true that secular Jewish intellectuals often set themselves against the historic white majority, they are not alone in doing so. I have already mentioned our own white intellectual class, which has swung hard left for generations. But you could add to the rainbow coalition the women's movement, the LGBQT movement, the BLM, unmarried females, the greens, the trade unions and so on. So the dividing line is not just a racial or ethnic one, but also one organised around sex, sexuality and family status amongst others. (You could also add to all this the role of the big economic corporations and the managerial class.)

A third problem with organising politics solely around the idea of racial self-interest is that it hinders the establishment of political alliances. They may be a minority within their groups, but there do exist black conservatives and Jewish conservatives who do recognise the harm done by leftism, both to their own groups and to the larger society. The distrust of Jewish conservatives is especially marked amongst some WNs.

Also, if politics is thought to be organised around racial self-interest, then it opens the way for the idea that a future state should be organised around race rather than around the historic regions or nations or peoples. In other words, it can lead to a belief that the traditional ethnostate is too limited in scope, compared to a new pan-racial state. Richard Spencer seems to have gone down this path:



Then there is the issue that there are no moral limits to a politics based on racial self interest. In theory, if something is in the interests of your race it is morally justified. Nor is there a basis in principle for extending the goods you claim for your own race to other races. If there are moral limits they would have to come from elsewhere, for instance, from a religious tradition existing within the racial group or from the personal character of those upholding the focus on racial self-interest, but the principle itself does not set limits.

Finally, and most controversially, there is some potential overlap at the edges between white nationalism and national socialism. On the one hand, few WNs seem interested in ideas of racial supremacy or superiority, which sets them apart from the national socialist tradition. However, both movements do have a focus on the Jewish question and on organising politics around race. And there does exist a corner of the alt right where there is an interest in national socialism, though it is hard to tell how serious this is and it is sometimes described as "larping" (live action role playing), i.e. as more playing around with it rather than a serious commitment. Nonetheless, it is a pity to observe an interest in a failed politics from the past.

In trying to draw out the differences in the principles of white nationalism and traditionalism I have had to make a number of criticisms, so I'd like to restate more positively that there is much that we agree on, including a support for ethnonationalism rather than civic nationalism.

Which raises a question. If traditionalists do not start with the idea of politics as the expression of racial self-interest, on what grounds do we then support ethnic community?

The answer is that it is our understanding of the nature of man and the nature of the good that leads us to support a traditional ethnic nationalism.

We would argue that the ties of ethnic community form a deep part of human identity and provide a deep sense of belonging. That it connects us to generations past, present and future and also to the land and to the urban and rural landscape we inhabit. That it powerfully motivates our social commitments, including a willingness to commit to a stable family life.

We would also see these ethno-national traditions as having an inherent good in representing a unique expression of humanity. Solzhenitsyn put it this way:
In recent times it has been fashionable to talk of the levelling of nations, of the disappearance of different races in the melting-pot of contemporary civilization. I do not agree with this opinion, but its discussion remains another question. Here it is merely fitting to say that the disappearance of nations would have impoverished us no less than if all men had become alike, with one personality and one face. Nations are the wealth of mankind, its collective personalities; the very least of them wears its own special colours and bears within itself a special facet of divine intention.

Individuals often have a sense of this transcendent good embedded within their ethno-national tradition and it can inspire a love of country, culture and people and a desire to serve the tradition by adding positively to it. It can also lend a certain kind of enchantment to life, as well as a "rootedness" - of having what the Germans call a "Heimat" - a place that is felt to be one's home.

It is not just traditionalists who have knowledge of this. Professor Robert Manne described himself as belonging to "a group that I would call the pro-Labor social justice liberal intelligentsia." He defended the existence of traditional Aboriginal communities in terms similar to Solzhenitsyn:
... if the traditional communities are indeed destroyed, one distinctive expression of human life - with its own forms of language, culture, spirituality and sensibility - will simply become extinct. Humanity is enriched and shaped by the diversity of its forms of life. It is vastly impoverished as this diversity declines. If contemporary Australians allow what remains of the traditional Aboriginal world to die, we will be haunted by the tragedy for generations.

It is thought permissible within the terms of left-liberal social justice to recognise this truth for Aborigines. But logically if it is true for them, it is true for us as well.

28 comments:

  1. The fall of Communism sent the left training their guns on a new target, the culture and it worked really well. My high distinctions in Uni daughter would have no idea who Mozart and Kaiser Wilhelm were or where the River Seine and Warsaw are. And the TAFE enrolment form for my other daughter asks which gender she identifies with. It looks like a war against European culture to me and I think labels like White Supremacist, White Nationalist and racist are just moves in the war. To me, and I'm Jewish, people like Jared Taylor and John Derbyshire from Vdare look like they're anti anti-white or pro European culture and why not? Everyone wants it's fruits, wants to live in countries where European culture thrives particularly those on the left who vote with their feet and postcodes when it comes to European culture. My friends on the left while demanding the bringing in of Syrian refugees into Sydney wouldn't live near them and while hating capitalism they watch their super like hawks.
    On the Jewish question we ask it of ourselves often. On the Jewish role in political movements the obvious answer is the same one explaining their role in music, business, medicine and movies. Passion and drive come with the territory and whatever they focus on they do it with passion and drive. But why do they lean left? Scarily left, there's a joke that if Adolf Hitler stood as a member of the Democratic Party in New York the Jews would vote for him. It's not such a joke, during the war US Jews wouldn't press Roosevelt to bomb the camps because of their loyalty to him. The theory explaining it is that 100 years ago Jews were all religious and now they're not, well the ones on the left aren't and they've got a new religion. Their passion, their hope, their faith goes into Liberalism and equality. And like everything they do they put everything into it. Not all of them but sadly enough.

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    1. Passion, drive, ability & cohesion. >:)

      On leaning left, I recall US polls indicating that most US Jews were only slightly to the left of other whites, but the elites were much further left and indeed elite Jewish organisations were reported as lamenting the poll findings, that eg most Jews favoured immigration restriction.

      Here in the UK, where the typical Jew is much more religious than in the US, most Jews in recent years have a centre-right political orientation; the Tories' "Liberal Conservatism" suits them better than Labour with its reliance on the Islamic vote.

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    2. The Chosen People have been gifted by God with many talents. These can be used for both good and evil but, as you say, they are generally used to great effect. It has been said that at the time of the Bolshevik Revolution that one tenth of Jews were revolutionaries and that half of revolutionaries were Jews.

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  2. Whew, a lot to digest there. My first response would be to say that Traditionalism and National Socialism have nothing whatsoever to do with each other. National Socialism is a form of right wing Progressivism.

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  3. To give the SJ segment of the Left the most credit, I would say that they take universalist morality to the utmost extreme -- beyond what Jesus expressed. In fact, if pressed, I would bet that they would say that they see morality more clearly than Jesus.

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  4. It seems to me that leaving aside morality, Nazism & Neo-Nazism is a failure on its own terms because it is a victory cult that is doomed to lose. It picks a fight with some of the most powerful ethno-racial groups on the planet, especially Jews but also frequently Slavs, and forces them into an existential kill-or-be-killed battle for survival. It cuts off possible alliances and multiplies enemies until it is inevitably crushed; the reverse of any successful grand strategy.

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  5. "We would argue that the ties of ethnic community form a deep part of human identity and provide a deep sense of belonging. That it connects us to generations past, present and future and also to the land and to the urban and rural landscape we inhabit. That it powerfully motivates our social commitments, including a willingness to commit to a stable family life."

    This certainly fits my view.

    I saw Spencer speak once, back in 2012 - he's very charming in person but I remember his stated commitment to a pan-European 'white empire' even back then, I remember finding it chilling especially considering the implications - I guess I'm a 'cuck'. :D - but the effects on whites of having our nations obliterated, as well as the expulsions it would presumably require.
    I guess it's a good thing the National-Socialist Alt Right/Alt Reich has separated off from everyone else now, although it has left an energy vacuum. It would be better if moderate white nationalists could avoid getting involved with the Neo-Nazis, and there have been cases of that eg Jared Taylor & Peter Brimelow disavowing Spencer after 'hailgate', but the youth tend to go looking for whatever's Edgiest.

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  6. That matches my experience. My US relatives are all gasping in their outrage and disgust for the right, ahem, the pro Israel right while friends in the U.K. uniformly try to stay objective, analytical and in the centre. I assumed it was different situations causing different responses but I suspect that my friends in the U.K. are smarter.

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    1. "friends in the U.K. uniformly try to stay objective, analytical and in the centre."
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      Surely you know that "objectivity" doesn't exist? Check any physics textbook to learn what happened to that theory.

      Our website is to the right and is also pro-Israel. We have a number of Jewish readers and donors, but even more Brits who are most unhappy with the situation in their cities and towns.

      Based on the coming problems due to the UK's massively dystopian immigration reality, I don't see Brits as "smarter" than Americans. Brits just face a different reality. Probably the same future, though.

      This explosive problem in the West - too many hostile immigrants - may well find its first real conflagration in the UK. I discount 9/11, which was an outlier to which we failed to respond well. In the intervening years there has been far more conflict in Europe, culminating in the formation of numerous no-go zones.

      Our no-go zones in America can be traced back to the 1930's massive migration of rural black people looking for a better life and jobs in Northern and Midwestern urban areas.They were herded into ghettoes, and then bought off by the deliberate destruction of their family structure by FDR and LBJ's massive entitlement programs. IOW, the source of our problems is different but the outcome will be much the same because the same people are in charge.

      For the West in general, the source of middle class discontent is the increasingly large disconnect between the general populace and the huge, permanent bureaucracies which have us hemmed in quite effectively. Dissent is growing but as long as people like May, Macron, Merkel, and Baby Doc Trudeau are making national policy, we are doomed. The permanent bureaucracies which support them make sure we don't step out of line; that's why they are working to destroy Trump.

      Since they are determined to stay entrenched, the importation of large numbers of hostile, entitled immigrants will continue to serve their ends. Not to mention the socialist entitlement programs for the underclass which increase both a lack of concern about anything beyond the immediate moment and deep resentment toward the hand that feeds them.

      The price we pay for all of these mistakes will be, to coin a word, YUGE.

      It is simple hubris to believe your friends in the UK are smarter. They're fodder, just like the rest of us.

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    2. I think the US Left has a higher proportion of really simple-minded maniacs; Brits tend to be a bit more diffident.

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    3. No, the Brits are equally mindless. Theodore Dalrymple can tell you all you want to know about the ignorant underclass and their pride in being so "tolerant"...seems a bit unethical to make his living from their dysfunctional lives for so many years and then turn around to tell tales on them...bad karma.

      Meanwhile as for the "Leftist" maniacs here, many of them make a good living at demonstrations. The antifas and the Black Lives Matter crowds arrived in Charlottesville VA on the same buses. Probably hired here: https://crowdsondemand.com/

      Ah the soulless genius of American entrepreneurs: you have a 'need'? They'll fill it.

      IOW, those "Leftists" are the young, unemployed looking for a job, any job. And declaring for the side that controls the media, academia, government, etc., is a no-brainer. Go with the strong horse.

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    4. By "really simple-minded maniacs" I meant the College Left, the Cultural Marxist lumpen-intelligentsia. Not that they are great here, but the US version seem more numerous and more vicious. Brits are often embarrassed to show too much conviction and this hinders the Red Guard types, Antifa et al.

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  7. Saying that white nationalism shouldn't be treated as true because it is in some sense "bad-think" doesn't go very far. The basis of white nationalism is the idea that, when push comes to shove, race matters. This is true.

    This video takes four minutes and nine seconds to demolish the false idea that it doesn't matter what race someone is, it only matters whether they are "conservative" or not.

    Non-White Conservatives STILL Vote Democrat

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    1. Race matters, but outside the US context it generally seems weird to see it as the only significant component of our existence. Most Kikuyu and Luo in Kenya, most Chinese and Japanese care a lot more about their tribe or nation than their race in black/white/yellow terms. It takes an unusual situation for race to become overridingly important. And even in the US, historically the most important distinction was black/not black, rather than white/not white - the latter frame was created principally by the cultural Marxist deconstructionists as a way to attack whites.

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    2. Race is not the only significant component in the US. We live in an integrated community and my black friends give us venison (we don't hunt but we allow people to use our woods for that purpose), they plow our driveway, and we go to their church at Homecoming (a strictly Southern Protestant tradition as far as I know). In fact, they allowed us to use their church for our wedding.

      Please stop generalizing; it's not accurate. In the last decade, I have had to delete many a racist Brit comment from our website. And many an anti-Semitic jibe from all over. That's how I learned what ((( ))) means. And 888.

      The Japanese make no bones about the necessity for full, 100% Japanese ancestry. The Chinese only count the Han as "real" Chinese. In America, among blacks there is a long history of letting the lighter-skinned go to the head of the queue. In New Orleans, they have it down to a science. Now there's a move afoot among BLM members to shun the cafe-au-lait "blacks" because of their privilege. I fully expect the powers that be will eventually come after us freckled folk.

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    3. "Race is not the only significant component in the US."

      Yes, and I have had friendly interactions with US blacks (in the South), but the racial hatred I experienced from black airport staff in Detroit and (slightly less) Chicago was amazing by British standards. There is far more racial hatred in the USA.

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    4. The British euphemism "Asian" for Pakistani immigrants puts paid to your assertion. There is indeed much racial hatred in the UK, it's just less open because of Britain's illiberal "hate speech" laws.

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    5. Brits who say Paki hardly ever go around attacking South Asians the way US blacks often attack US (& visiting) whites.

      Although it is true there is more anti-Pakistani than anti-black hostility here from whites. This is because the Pakistanis and some other groups are seen as a hostile group, Afro-Caribbeans are not seen as hostile despite high crime rates.

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  8. I think the fundamental difference between the traditionalist and the white nationalist is that the traditionalist understands the purpose of nation and government is the Good (e.g Aristotle and Aquinas). The question then is ethnic solidarity a positive good. That it is good is a conclusion based on historical and scientific evidence; it's a matter of practical judgment. On the other hand the white nationalist understands the purpose of government is the ethnostate. This is held as a fundamental principle. There is no higher principle than racial self-interest. This is problematic for the traditionalist as it appears to be a radical form of racial utilitarianism.

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    1. Excellent differentiation. I would simply add that two qualifiers: not only the Good, but the True (and to some extent, the Beautiful). I would call "practical judgment" by its old name, the faculty of Discernment (without which we cannot tell what is Good, or True, or Lasting.

      Your point about the ethnostate describes Japan and China; there are others. For the West, with its entirely different cultural history, an ethnostate is a regression. It excludes on an arbitrary basis. Not that it wasn't a reality; the many internecine European wars are proof of that. And if France has its way, Brexit will never happen. The French are already angry that English is the international business language and that London is Europe's financial center. Watch France.

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    2. The healthiest states have a strong core ethnicity. They don't need to be 100% one ethnicity.

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    3. the many internecine European wars are proof of that.

      Most European wars have had little or nothing to do with ethnic differences, or even cultural differences. Language differences were mostly irrelevant. Even religious differences were only a major factor in a handful of wars.

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  9. White nationalism would lead to domination by the US of the Angloshere & Weetetn Europe. We already have this and it is basically bad. It would just have different leadership & talking points but it would effectively become corporatism even if they claim socialist views.

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  10. Sadly, the version of corporatism you describe already exists. Look at the censorship power of Google, YouTube and Facebook for examples. They have deleted some of my videos for showing images of Islamic violence. No editorial comment attached, just images of the violence inflicted on non-believers.

    Nationalism doesn't have to lead to "white nationalism"; it is simply the case that whites are in the majority in the West. Merkel is working to change that, however.

    I know many blacks here who are glad to be Americans. But urban blacks are another story: they are often rude and resentful, even to one another. Their attitude is inculcated in their communities and even those who don't agree are forced to go along. Just as white Americans are forced into silence by the Left's overwhelming ownership of the media, academia, and the permanent bureaucracy.

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  11. You have missed the boat here.

    Any time you argue that Whites have no interests as ethnic and racial groups, no right to demand those interests and be organized to ensure they are promoted, you have gone of course.

    You are basically justifying by clever rationalization the past 40 years of anti-White policy. That leads to White genocide in action

    Clever rationalization and arguments don't matter if it puts us in a world without White ethnicities with their own nations.

    This has been common sense UNTIL the post WW2 era. Wake up.

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  12. A politics that emphasizes either racial segregation or racial integration is antithetical to the traditions that can help transcend this ancient antagonism. The harmony that now escapes us has been attained in times past, if only briefly.

    Rule of law and the "proposition nation" of the neoconservatives come to mind again:

    http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/010857.html

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  13. If BLMs or a WNs are asked whether or not their attitude towards whites or blacks is principled politics or race based, I don't believe that either could convincingly nuance it as an expression of a purely principled political position.
    In a similar discussion at VFR a few years ago, [http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/017955.html#nov23] I asked "Who or which group in America currently votes from broad principle or philosophy?" I concluded that it doesn't matter. When it comes to the current, demographic trends, whites lose. Politics, schmolitics. Whites are a shrinking ten percent of the world's population. It's academic.

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  14. If, magically, the remaining Aborigines suddenly exploded their population growth, while the majority white population rapidly declined to minority status, would the distinctive expression of Aboriginal life; its language, culture, spirituality and sensibility still be seen by the former majority - now a minority - just as romantically enriching or as divine? Would Professor Manne welcome such a change in his neighborhood, living next door and on both sides of his daughters and granddaughters? Would he quietly seek to find a white neighborhood to move to?
    "Boy, the character of that neighborhood has really changed!" What does that always mean?
    Neighborhoods go through transitions; new, decline, to renewal. There is almost always a direct relationship to the change in the racial/ethnic makeup of a "changing" neighborhood. No honest person is blind to the racial/ethnic makeup of familiar neighborhoods. It's human nature.
    So-called civic nations, loosely defined as having an existing rule of law, had an authoritative ethnic majority. America was white European, mostly English, and Western Europe was obviously white European. It seems, I may be wrong, that what might be an actual civic nation is created by the same peoples splitting up politically. America's Civil War would be an example of an attempt. North and South Korea and Vietnam.
    There are exceptions, but ethnic/racial divisions seem natural and organic. Civil divisions mostly artificial, either forced or by a delicate, temporary agreement, and almost always troublesome when multicultural or "diverse". The majority of the strife in our world is between different peoples. What's the mystery is this? Who doesn't get that?
    After the horrific natural disasters have passed, the remarkable human harmony being witnessed and celebrated (it is real) in Texas, people will settle back in to their comfort zones, just like the water that will seek its own level.

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