It’s a long way from Amarillo to Washington.
Kevin Williamson knows the road well. Going from the heartland to the heart of darkness in the BosWash corridor is practically a rite of passage for any aspiring “serious” voice.
From its inception, the Conservative “movement” has taken its cues from the “smart set”—if only at five-year belated intervals. They long to become People Who Matter™ and see their byline in the New York Times the way 60’s rock bands coveted a Rolling Stone cover.
In his latest screed “Father-Führer,” Williamson shows exactly what Conservatism Inc. is, and why it will continue to fail. Williamson begins by mocking, what he terms as, the alt-right’s notion of what Mencius Moldbug referred to as “the Cathedral”. The Cathedral is, of course, just another name for the managerial elite consensus that drives our so-called “elites” and its organs, which exercise narrative hegemony in our society.
Williamson, I’m sure, likes to view himself as a member of this set. Having an “opinion that matters,” and being a “voice of reason” on the right. Getting attaboys and links from the Washington Post to the New York Times, he must go to bed satisfied that his voice has been heard and that it matters.
The truth is, Williamson and others like him over at Conservatism Inc. are just part of the Synagogue of sanctimoniousness that acts as, dare I say, the trumped up hall-monitors of the right.
Always on the lookout for heresy, it fell to Williamson to denounce (the rather moderate) Michael Brendan Dougherty for insufficient fealty to the shibboleths of Irving Kristol and William F. Buckley’s reanimated corpses. Williamson wants his readers to re-think Dougherty’s defense of the white middle class that has been hammered in this country since well before this author has been born.
In doing so, Williamson is just reversing the “othering” he says the alt-right and Dougherty are doing to our managerial elites. By doing this, he reveals the way conservative movement luminaries really think about middle America. To Conservatism Inc. the large space between America’s coasts exists only as a vast fundraising farm of small business owners, frightened bigots, and belligerent babbitts who don’t know their place.
These are the people Sam Francis once called Middle American Revolutionaries (MARs). The group he hoped would rise up in revolt against elite consensus and dismantle the globalist power structures destroying the nation-state. When Francis was writing in the 90s it seemed like that might happen. Pat Buchanan rode that wave in 1996, but ultimately came up too short.
Francis argued, correctly, that Buchanan’s weakness was that he could not bring himself to divorce from “conservatism.” Enter Trump, who has broken out of the box of orthodox movement conservatism and has embraced a type of full-throated civic nationalism that is undermining all of the delicate smoke and mirrors they have set up over the years to keep the MARs from understanding their own dispossession.
But what is today’s message from MARs?
The majority of them have rallied behind Donald Trump’s slogan to “Make America Great Again.” His slogan captures many of the real anxieties they face. Especially for older and middle-aged White Americans, there is a great confusion as to what happened to “their” country. They have memories of a different time, a time when they and their children huddled before a television set to watch Neil Armstrong land on the moon and literally set the sky as the limit. Nostalgia, as it’s said, is potent. Trump taps into this.
But for the young—especially for my generation, Millennials—there is no great past we remember. Only every year seeming to grow more and more bleak. All many have to hold onto is the thrill they had winning on an SNES as children when now they can no longer win in their lives.
Williamson did point out something that was true. The Middle America is plagued by rising dependency rates on drugs. This is especially pronounced among the MARs. When coupled with a declining population and increasing economic unease, the dream of a massive counter-revolution from MARs, in Francis’ original view, looks more unlikely.
Of course, where Williamson shamefully errs is in asserting that all of this social anomie just appeared, as if by fiat:
Nothing happened to them. There wasn’t some awful disaster. There wasn’t a war or a famine or a plague or a foreign occupation. Even the economic changes of the past few decades do very little to explain the dysfunction and negligence—and the incomprehensible malice—of poor white America.
This is a lie.
White America has been dispossessed economically and culturally since at least the middle of last century. From the Immigration Act of 1965 to today’s Hollywood, there has never been an easier target than White America, especially working class White America. Williamson says that these communities “deserve to die.”
Can you imagine if a “conservative” pundit dare say something like “Detroit deserves to die” or something similar? The outrage and calls for resignation would be heard within the hour. But going after White Americans is just fine, especially when you need to virtue signal just how much of a part of the in-crowd you really are.
Back to the message from MARs. Today what we are seeing are calls to “Make America Great Again,” but will that be enough to cure what is really ailing White America? Sadly, the answer is no. The civic nationalism of today must give way to the ethnonationalism of tomorrow.
Williamson wants us to believe that American “conservatism” and by extension America itself is made up of abstract ideas, not the nasty Blut und Boden of European nationalism. He claims that we ask of economics to do what it never can, to define human wants in his words.
But, as Sam Francis pointed out, economics, coming from the Greek οἰκονομία means roughly “household management.” A household is based on those two very real things, the blood of its family members and the soil of the house stands on. As a people, we have either forgotten or have been brainwashed into forgetting that.
The conservative movement today is just a pathetic marketing scam, that allows for practice trials for future Daily Beast reporters and rousing up the heartland for the Israel Lobby’s latest folly. We don’t need to conserve anything, we need to remember who we are and what we can be.
White America must divorce itself from conservatism and marry itself to White consciousness if it wants to survive.