THE WHITENESS OF GOTH
In “Psychology and White-Ethnocentrism,” Kevin MacDonald discusses groups he calls “implicitly exclusionary” on race, and explores how these groups may be used to foster greater community among Whites. Examples he gives include NASCAR, Country and Western Music, and—somewhat ironically—the GOP. He writes how such groups intuitively segregate themselves, but dare not to mention what they are. In these “implicitly exclusionary” social groups, Whites often outwardly entertain leftist ideas about multiculturalism and diversity, but remain strikingly racialist on an intuitive, instinctual level, both because of evolutionary psychology and because of repeated observations of society, social interaction, and different ethnic groups.
Precisely because such social groups are “impotent in [effectively] opposing the forces that are changing the country in ways that oppose [our] long-term interest,” these implicit White communities are simply “enclaves of retreating Whites rather than communities able to consciously pursue White interests”—that is unless and until these groups blossom into a more “explicit White culture legitimizing White interests.”
Something I have pondered for a very long time is to what extent the so-called “Goth,” Industrial, post-punk, EBM and synth-pop scenes are implicitly—or even at times explicitly—exclusionary on a racial basis.
Having listened to a variety of different artists and subgenres that fit in this larger cultural rubric for over 25 years now, I have outgrown this “scene” only to some small, limited extent. I love this music to this day, although I am far more selective of many of the later artists and subgenres. Admittedly, I have not adhered to the more outlandish fashion statements in a very long time. I usually wear black slacks, black dress-boots, and a dress shirt of some sort. In the summer time, I wear t-shirts or polos. Having also taking to weight-lifting for many years, I stand in stark contrast to many of the men in the “scene” who are underweight, and often times overtly androgynous.
Despite the modest ambivalence towards the scene that has increased with age, a cursory review of this scene and its history indicates this “implicit exclusion” seems to be its very hallmark. Go to any goth, alternative, industrial, or EBM venue, and you will see that 95 percent of the patrons are lily White. Most all of the artists are too, with the majority hailing from Europe. Several persons I have met at these venues or interacted with online are expressly racialist. One woman I know of in Seattle, who used to work as a Dominatrix, is a bona fide true believer. There are countless others.
At the most basic level, the attraction to this music and this scene, which almost invariably takes hold during early adolescence, stems from an instinctual desire to reject the status quo of the modern world. This desire seems to stem from the existential ennui that modern life, rootless bland, and often quite vulgar, can afflict on the more sensitive among us. It was not long after my purchase of Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me in the seventh grade that I learned that Robert Smith of The Cure was lauded by one critic as ”the thinking teen’s pinup.” In “Paint a Vulgar Picture,” Morrissey laments, in his characteristically sullen and melancholy fashion, “What makes most people feel happy /Leads us headlong into harm.” Indeed, outside of perhaps some of the later martial-industrial and aggrotech works discussed later, one cannot imagine a better antithesis to “Me So Horny,” “O.P.P., (Yeah You Know Me)” or “Fuck tha Police” than the Cocteau Twins romantic anthem “Love’s Easy Tears,” or “Marian” by Sisters of Mercy, or even the commercially successful “Just Like Heaven” by The Cure.
This basic rejection of modern life, in America as well as post war Europe, among the goth-alternative set is further signified in its unstated dress-code, when that code is distilled to its most basic, rudimentary essence. Rather than sneakers, jeans, sweatshirt or tshirt and a baseball cap, which loosely signify affinity for rap and mainstream American culture, men’s attire is basically boiled down to some variation of black leather shoes, either quasi dress shoes or Doc Marten style boots, black pants and, if not a tshirt featuring a favored band, some sort of dress shirt with a black wool coat or leather jacket. Indeed, Ian Curtis and other members of Joy Division dressed quite similar to their fathers and grandfathers.
The lady counterpart, not usually wearing black pants, often wears a dress or skirt sometimes, very often quite frilly and effeminate, often matched with black nylon or other stockings: all in such a way that harkens back to times past. In many cases the lady, more than her male counterpart, embraces a sort of neo-Victorian or neo-Romantic aesthetic. Admittedly, many folks, particularly during younger, more formative years, sport aggressive piercings, outlandish eye and facial makeup, as well as, in some instances, very risqué, revealing attire that at times is best described as “fetish gear,” sometimes even for the gents. And yet at the most basic, intrinsic level, the attire—in principle—is a throwback to greater times of greater formality and decorum than is seen in an age where cargo shorts and sneakers are the often the norm.
In conjunction with this aesthetic and this code of style, almost all of the musicians that compromise the many variations and sub genres of this subculture hail from Europe. Many artists, from Joy Division to Sisters of Mercy, from Das Ich to the Virgin Prunes, tackle deep, heavy subject matter that has been the hallmark of Western Culture for centuries. In a very profound way, they are an important continuation of this Western tradition. Among many other excellent works, with masterpieces such as Trees in Winter by Sol Invictus, The Corn Years by Death in June, The Moon Looked Down and Laughed by the Virgin Prunes, First Last and Always by the Sisters of Mercy as just a few of some very honorable mentions, two albums in particular hold their own against the greatest poets, writers and artists of our civilization, at least in terms of lyrical content: Closer by Joy Division and Pornography by The Cure.
A quick review of my favorite songs among two truly extraordinary albums that never cease to captivate or inspire, from start to finish, reveal a wide array of deep, heavy subject matter: “Means to an End” touching upon feelings of loss and ultimate betrayal from the end of friendship; “Atrocity Exhibition” and “Colony” exploring the dark, intrinsically brutal nature of humanity as seen throughout history; Robert Smith doggedly exploring the depths of lust, lost love and lost innocence in “Siamese Twins,” “Cold” and “Figurehead” and the existential dread, misery and ennui that invariably ensues; and songs like “Eternal,” and “Decades” on one hand and “One Hundred Years” and “Short Term Effect” together exploring the themes of the fleeting transience of youth and life itself, as well as the inescapable imminence of mortality and death. All deep, heavy themes entirely absent from most pop music, particularly from the likes of the aforementioned rap ditties talking about other people’s pussy and killing white cops. As a critical review of these masterpieces is beyond the scope of this article, readers who are not familiar with these two works can only be urged to introduce themselves to these two masterpieces that define this subculture.
To be sure, many of these artists have avowed leftist sentiments, some of them explicitly disavowing any racialist message or undertone, just as MacDonald describes in the difference between the conflicting explicit and implicit views about race in most Whites today. Despite that, the music—which has been the foundation of this subculture and its many variations—is nevertheless at its very core a uniquely Eurocentric cultural expression; a cultural expression that stands in great contrast to a greater mainstream culture which has implicitly and explicitly marginalized European culture. Indeed, several artists, from the well-known Dead Can Dance to the far more obscure The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath a Cloud, to much of the Apocalyptic Folk subgenre, draw heavy influence from Classical and folk European traditions in music, replete with motifs concerning the Medieval age and other periods in European history.
As a blatant expression of European culture, many prominent artists among the various sub-genres use a uniquely European gestalt as part of their image, with many of the more attractive artists using their classical European features to advance a distinctly idealized image all their own. Perhaps the very God-mother of this subculture is Siouxsie Sioux herself, born Susan Ballion. Born with the natural beauty of an English Rose, she embraced her fair complexion and expressive blue eyes to become a cultural icon of the age. Her trademark eye makeup harkened back to many of the glamorous starlets of yesteryear, with a distinct homage to Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich.
Patricia Morrison, of Sisters of Mercy fame among other acts, is another pale queen and goth vixen who champions this definitively European look and style.
Another more obscure, less celebrated figure is Constance Rudert of Germany. Embodying Germanic beauty and sex appeal, her alabaster skin, lovely long legs and her angelic visage with expressive blue eyes and lush full lips create a unique vision of European woman—and more particularly German womanhood—as the romantic and erotic ideal bar none.
Many of the men similarly capitalize on such distinctly European features, from Ian McCulloch, to Andrew Eldritch, VNV Nation and Funker Vogt, to Morrissey himself, who of course caused a bit of controversy by expressing concern that “immigration was washing the face of Britain away.”
These images, these looks, comprised of distinctly European traits and a distinctly European sense of style, in their own way provide a source of inspiration to millions of people of European descent. Whereas rap and hip hop artists and other sorts of degenerates convey a decidedly negative role model for youth, this sense of style, thoroughly European in its essence, offers a unique vision for youth and adults alike to which they can both aspire and relate to.
Going beyond this implicit and yet still quite blatant European identity of almost all musicians and subgenres that comprise this subculture, some bands—particularly industrial and aggrotech subgenres, as well as the more notorious apocalyptic folk subgenre—convey messages as well as imagery that, although only at times explicitly racialist, embrace a sort of fascist aesthetic that signals this very “implicit racial exclusion” in unparalleled fashion. One of my all-time favorites, Feindflug exudes these fearsome qualities, with many explicit references to the Third Reich in imagery and sound samples. While also indulging in far fewer Soviet themed images, the overall impression of Feindflug, in both sight and sound, is strikingly Germanic, but also militaristic, energetic, and even tribalistic.
Having seen them at the Kinetik Festival in Montreal in their only North American appearance so far, this author can attest to this first hand. Performing “Stukas im Visier” in front of historical footage of Stukas in action, including one scene zooming in on the swastika on one of the plane’s tails, the boys of Feindflug, while certainly never endorsing or condoning some of the more unfortunate Reich policies, at least seem proud of their nation’s military history and tradition. Of course, in tandem with another song critical of the death penalty as implemented in the United States, there were also clips of blacks being brutalized and executed by the US criminal justice system. What I took from it was a criticism of the hypocrisy of the United States, as if to ask: who are you Americans to criticize us? But I digress.
Although not nearly as controversial as Feindflug, another aggrotech act from Germany, Funker Vogt, also comes to mind. Most of their lyrics leave much to be desired lyrically, and yet, obviously written with less than perfect command of the English language, there is something uniquely Germanic about them, with a Teutonic charm all their own, particularly with the shouting, cookie-monster vocals in a German accent and bombastic electronics featuring layered, sophisticated percussion sets. Many of their lyrics touch upon issues of war and violence and destruction, in a mildly admonitory tone to those who bother to sit down and read them. Such mild, dubious anti war messages are more than muted however by the hyper-energetic and militaristic style of the music and the way Jens Keastel shouts into the microphone like an enraged staff sergeant, or at least as he used to in their early stuff. As a part of this overall trend of breaking politically correct norms and trends, some of Funker Vogt’s songs are deeply sympathetic to the German side in the aftermarth of World War II and the Cold War, such as Black Market Dealers and Cold War. “Vorwaerts!” Also has a bit of a Third Reich ring to it, reprising the refrain “Voerwarts,” a prominent motif in marching songs and propaganda pieces of the period, such as Baldur von Schirach’s Hitlerjugend lied “Vorwärts! Vorwärts!”.“White Trash” also seems to be explicitly racially conscious.
Other bands with such motifs include Wappenbund, Der Blutharsch, Death in June, Boyd Rice, as well as early Sol Invcitus, as the suspected leanings politics of each of these save for the last have been hotly contested subjects for well over a decade or more. Also of note is the fare more obscure but excellent Above the Ruins (fronted by Tony Wakeford as a predecessor project to Sol Invictus) which had a Joy Division like sound set to themes of neo-Paganism and European nationalism. This was when Wakeford and friends were members of Britan’s National Front.
With the additional exception of the very obscure Wappenbund, Von Thronstahl, and Arditi among a few others, any fascist sympathies held by these and other artists is, as stated before, admittedly hotly debated. But the mere indulgence in such motifs without blatant and over the top disavowal breaks politically correct norms and taboos, and thus in many ways renders these cultural and artistic messages fair topic for discussion and debate.
And some select favorites do more than just dabble in disapproved images and lyrical content. A very obscure favorite of mine seems to do more than just tug at naughty allusions to fascist aesthetics; “Sons of God” by Arditi sets a salient sound sample taken from Hitler’s Mein Kampf to martial-industrial percussion and an almost Wagnerian synth-pop musical score.
Even more inspiring is this live rendition of “Jugend Marschiert” by Coinside of Hoyerswerda, a project in close association with Wappenbund.
With the title and refrain “Jugend Marschiert” (youth marches) itself a notorious slogan used quite often during the Third Reich and to a lesser extent the GRD, the song opens by addressing the Fatherland as “You land of the poet, you land of the thinker,” as they make explicit note of the fact that Germany is on the brink of no return, and rejects the prevailing rule of capitalism and liberal democracy in the current Bundesrepublik, specifically censuring how so many youths lose themselves in “television and consumption of drugs.” To counteract these trends the song implores the youth “to march forward as Dawn breaks,” to take a stand against “false leaders” who “do not stand us for,” promising a good future as indeed “all the powers of capitalism are no temptation to us.”
Of course the lyrics, let alone the bombastic, militaristic music style only form part of the milieu, as the dress and style of the strikingly homogenous crowd provide additional ambience to this most inspiring venue, not to mention other details such as the logo on the upper left corner featuring a Stahlhelm logo representing what was once adorned by the vaunted Wehrmacht.
These more overt, more militaristic cultural expressions demonstrate that, at least on the fringe, certain subgenres within this vast subculture are already becoming explicitly exclusionary, explicitly and blatantly nationalist, with lyrical content expressly addressing the Zeitgeist of Europe in the West as it languishes in decline and, if present course remains unabated, eventual fall.
This is not to suggest that such displays, so shocking to the ruling elites, are completely widespread or that the scene is not without its disadvantages. While far from a majority, homosexual and bisexual elements seem overrepresented a great deal in many venues, as is to a much greater extent, androgyny in men. Indeed, such venues are often fraught with sexual exhibitionism of one sort or another. Additionally, it is not uncommon to come across cross-dressers, transgenders, and other freaks at some of these venues. The documentary “Goth Cruise” featured a black male in the scene who would dress up as a woman. Most troublesome of all, I have seen a few interracial couples at these venues during my day, but still far less than in venues that cater to more mainstream culture.
Additionally, a lot of bands are quire libertine. Take for example the overt sexual themes of Die Form, whose lyrical content routinely delve into the depths of sexual deviancy and depravity and whose lyrics, as well as albums and live performances often explore motifs surrounding BDSM and other fetishes.
Beyond such examples of decadence in Die Form and many other artists besides, a lot of bands have expressed far-left sentiments, including unequivocal denouncements of National Socialism. Such artists include Das Ich, who have at expressed at times feelings of shame and war-guilt typical of far too many post-war Germans, such as in “Von der Armut.” Again however, this is exactly as MacDonald has described in his discussion between the current paradox of conflicting explicit and implicit views held by most whites today.
Of course, in many ways much of the sexual exhibitionism, decadence, and libertinism that can be so pervasive at times are in many ways a natural release stemming from the intrinsically dysfunctional nature of modern society, as part of a bid to live for today and suck the marrow from the bone of life while young and alive, for there is no afterlife. One on hand, like the rest of modern civilization, critics can contend that it suffers the same sort of radical individualism that bears all sorts of unpleasant consequences, from the societal ills stemming from the rise of single motherhood, lowered fertility rates, and so forth. In another sense, however, such libertinism in many ways embodies the neo-Pagan spirit, freeing itself from the dysfunctional prudery that has plagued Christianity, with even greater adverse affects in the unfortunate puritanical legacy that exists to this day in the States. Not to mention of course the radically inclusive universalism upon which Christianity is founded upon that partially explains why so many Whites are not more resistant to the tide of multiculturalism, the coming demographic crisis, and the assured annihilation that awaits if we continue to sit by and do nothing. In many ways, this tension between tendencies towards the romantic ideals of Europe’s past on one hand, and some of the more libertine elements on the other is simply a testament to our own complexity.
Despite some drawbacks, the scene, composed of so many different sub-genres and variations, is a net benefit to European culture, and remains an incredible subculture in which the Sons and Daughters of Europe can commune, have a few drinks, listen to good songs, make friends, and in some instances fall in love. It offers a surprisingly expansive and ever-growing palette of different sub-genres of music that, in all its many variations, is uniquely European in its identity, with at least some of the lyrics, album artwork, and stage presentations touching upon some of the greatest themes of European Culture. With the exception of Country music, which is actually only a White American phenomenon, rather than a European one, it is one of the only contemporary subcultures with a blatant European identity. Aside from offering a lot of good music that resonates with those estranged from an increasingly distasteful, vulgar and downright ugly world, the scene kindly offers a uniquely European artistic expression in a world otherwise deluded by the assorted band of miscreants and multi-culti mousketeers pushing an increasingly Afrocentric, mongrelized culture.
Indeed, we find ourselves in an age that has largely supplanted the blonde, Nordic ideal of starlets of yesteryear with a new, definitively multiracial or black “update” far more in tune with the prodding of the multi-culti delirium running rampant: a new multiracial, multicultural gestalt as personified by distinctly “ethnic” figures such as Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, and Jessica Alba. In this milieu supplanting the very faces of Europe in both overt and subtle fashion, sensibilities as those offered in this subculture, which are uniquely and unmistakably European in every way and indeed almost fetishize such exclusively European traits, is a welcome and necessary deviation and respite from the insanity of the modern age. Presently we languish in a bankrupt, vapid “culture” that dares to allow Jay-Z to present himself as a modern Frank Sinatra. A defiant, even deviant subculture deeply entrenched in our increasingly marginalized European cultural traditions offers a most welcome sanctuary indeed. In many ways, this dark wave could be the once and future voice of the Sons and Daughters of Europe in this era of imperial decline.