Nations are defined through war. Phony nations are defined through phony war – namely sports. And in a time devoid of meaning, a corporate spectacle with flags is the closest the modern world can come to providing most people with a sense of identity.
Most nations are less a creation of peoples than a creation of armies. The multinational, multilingual monarchies of the Middle Ages slowly transitioned into the national armies unleashed by the French Revolution, who were gathered by conscription to spill the “impure blood” of the foreigners. “Us” and “Them” were determined on the battlefield.
However, the postwar world saw the end of “blood and soil” nationalism in the West. Nations transformed into units of economic competition, vaguely linked by international finance and watery doctrines of “human rights.” Mass immigration further complicates the process, as citizenship no longer reveals anything about a person’s race, religion, cultural heritage, or even language.
Yet nationalism persists – largely because we have nothing else to fall back on. Race is socially unacceptable and religion (at least Christianity) is dead as an organizing force for society. And so even as it is unimaginable that European youth will soon be drafted and sent forth to fight for their country, a rudimentary patriotism is still required to link the masses in the developed world together in a more or less orderly fashion. The flag and some vague concept of “values” usually serves, but underneath, the ghosts of Blut und Boden still linger. And this needs an outlet.
Enter the World Cup. The players sing the anthem of their fatherlands, echoed by hundreds of thousands of screaming fans. Fans dress in their national colors. The game itself has a kind of mythic quality (outside the United States anyway), as fans will casually speak of games that took place decades ago or even refer to a single incident (like Maradona’s “Hand of God” goal). Rivalries, heroes, and cultures develop in a dull echo of the warlike past.
Absent war, concepts such as “national honor” are identified with the outcome of soccer games. Sometimes, it is almost equivalent to war, with Argentina’s victory over England in 1986 interpreted as “revenge” for the Falkland Islands.
Germany’s crushing 7-1 defeat of Brazil (with the Netherlands putting the boot in 3-0 in the third place game yesterday) is seen as a national disgrace in the host country. Pictures of Brazilian fans giving rise to guttural cries of despair and horror could be mistaken for something coming out of Gaza.
Of course, these nationalist impulses are smoothly sublimated into the global governing census. The stadium is festooned with appeals to “Say No To Racism.” FIFA investigates fans for chants that cross the line into politically incorrect territory. And frankly, it’s a good thing they did not see the danger of “offensive” WWII humor on Twitter during Brazil vs. Germany – though the Parasitic Class is whining about that now too.
Many of the players from historic European nations are non-White. Some of the players on the American team have almost casual connections to the United States, and even the coach is a German who formerly represented his real country both as a player and as a coach. As with professional sports in America, most players have nothing to do with the community they are ostensibly representing racially, culturally, or even geographically. The pageantry and patriotism of a World Cup is equivalent to the usual penalty in the Beautiful Game – it’s a big showy fake.
The flag waving is consciously used as a way to reconcile the White West to making peace with demographic dispossession, and the need for “us” to “win” is used as justification to dilute identity. The tactic has already been used successfully with rugby in South Africa and college football in the American South.
After France won the World Cup in 1998, the heavily non-White team was used as an argument to promote more immigration into the Republic and portrayed as a triumph of assimilation. Today, American politicians such as Nancy Pelosi argue that we need immigrants – because otherwise, we would have a terrible soccer team. And reporters attack the – as of yet –unassimilated nations of Eastern Europe where players still have something to do with the country, and their fans haven’t learned that patriotism is supposed to be ironic.
Faux patriotism is even used to keep countries together. Spain’s World Cup victory in 2010 presented a problem for Catalonians who wanted independence. Belgium, the soulless husk at the center of the European Union, uses its soccer team as a club to beat Flemish nationalists and promote the continued existence of the phony kingdom. And the reason Brazil has been hit so hard by its soccer defeat is because soccer was all they had to show to the rest of the world. The country is the very exemplar of the multiracial nightmare White advocates have been warning against for decades, plagued with crushing social divisions, crime and inequality. No wonder they care so much about kicking a ball around.
And yet, even people who should know better fall for the appeal of faux nationalist pageantry. Websites from around the racialist right rejoiced at the German defeat of Brazil, as if the Bundesrepublik of Merkel was still the Fatherland of Bismarck, or as if winning the game meant that Turks would have to leave. White racialists can even tell themselves that soccer possesses a more “White” and European sensibility than American basketball, and therefore give themselves approval to identify with certain teams.
Despite it all, faux nationalism tells us something, speaking to the deep roots of identity that can’t be explained, defended, or even described—only felt. It means something that Mexican-Americans still can’t bring themselves to root for the American team. It means something that Algerians in France riot after the Algerian team plays a game, even with the historic prominence of Algerians on the French team. And it means something that many Europeans, especially Germans, feel it is permissible to be proud of their ethnicity in a sporting context—although they are ashamed of it in other circumstances. Indeed, already the opinion monitors are cautioning people that Brazil feeling “national humiliation” because of a soccer loss is only a short jump away from countries adopting fascism, or something.
Nationalism remains. The old symbols still speak to the hearts of the masses. What they mean to different people will always be fought and argued over but they have not lost their power. The World Cup is a safety valve and a corporate scam – but it is also an expression of a force that is not yet spent.
This is a problem for a Dissident Right which is already moving beyond the old borders and identities of the past. The Dissident Right in America has practically reached an intellectual consensus on an un-American position, from those who think the American Revolution was a mistake to White advocates pursuing the Sorelian vision of the ethnostate. European Identitarians are working hard to transcend the national rivalries of the past. And secession movements, in many cases supported by right wingers, are challenging the very existence of some of the most established and prominent countries in the world –from the United Kingdom to Italy.
However, most people opposed to the status quo are still nationalists, fighting to defend a romanticized past based on an already existing national institution. The Americans opposing their own government in Murietta, CA wave the Stars and Stripes or even the flags of the military. Parties like UKIP and the National Front pledge to defend the UK and France from a grasping European Union. And Eastern European nations such as Hungary or Poland still have strong patriotic movements with mass constituencies that define their goals in terms of national independence, rather than some sweeping ideological revolution in the West.
Sports fandom is often expression of that peculiarly pathetic race cuckoldry that many White males seem comfortable with. And it’s easy to simply say “Don’t watch the World Cup.” But the faux nationalism of the World Cup is as much a reflection of the suppressed identity of the European peoples of the world as a perversion of it. And it reflects the political and emotional reality that God may be dead in a historical sense, but the Nation lives.
Unfortunately, the nation-state of the modern West is as much an enemy of White people as a political expression. We are supposed to believe that a country is somehow still the same even if the entire population is replaced – so long as the new population waves the same flag. Yet at a gut level, one senses that people know what it is to be a real German, a real Frenchman…and even, (with apologies to Hulk Hogan) a real American.
The problem we face goes beyond either surrendering to soccer hysteria or congratulating ourselves for ignoring decadent mass culture. It is about whether the Dissident Right can somehow build off populist patriotism and transform it into a true ethnonationalism, or whether the nations themselves should be discarded as reactionary debris obstructing the development of a new vision. The former is largely the approach taken during the past six decades of failure. But the latter, although more intellectually compelling, is likely to produce a “movement” with no resonance among the larger population.
The answer may be found in your own reaction over the last few weeks. When you see a crowd overwhelmingly of your own race, waving the flag of your country, you may feel pride. You may feel sickening disgust, knowing how your country is being betrayed, or how it betrayed you. Or you may, like me, feel some kind of combination. But the Dissident Right needs to make sense of that confusion because it’s not words or even philosophies that govern the world, but symbols and identity.
Their power is terrible. Despite despising the values of the Bundesrepublik, despite raging at the weakness of the Last Men of the former Fatherland, despite my disgust for the whole politically correct spectacle… I can’t help but cheer for Die Mannschaft. And hate myself for it.
And that’s not the worst of it. I’m glad Team USA didn’t make it to the finals. Because if they did, I know I’d be pulling for them even more.