Earlier this month, I received an official notice, packaged in an intriguing manilla envelope labeled “On Her Britannic Majesty’s Service.” The words reminded me of my favorite James Bond film . . . and gave me a foolish hope that I had just received a royal invitation for afternoon tea or perhaps been called into M’s office for an assignment.
In reality, I had been banned from yet one more European country.
That makes 27.
Countries in which Richard Spencer is banned.
The good news is that 26 of these bans will be automatically lifted next year, as tey resulted from my Hungarian experience in 2014. That fall, I was arrested and declared a “National Security Threat” by the Hungarian government for the crime of attempting to host a conference. My punishment was a weekend in a (not-so-brutal) prison and a thee-year ban from the Schengen zone, the passport-less travel area in the heart of Europe.
In the case of Britain, my ban might get reviewed in three years, but ultimately there is “no statutory right of appeal.” Thus, quite a bit has to change in British political culture for me ever to set foot in the country again.
Who is responsible? None other than the then-Home Secretary and newly minted Prime Mistress, Theresa May. A “staunch conservative,” no doubt.
The woman herself is a mystery, much in the way that Angela Merkel is a mystery. Both are childless, frumpy, and lacking entirely in charisma, but then strikingly Machiavellian and effective. Certainly, Angela hasn’t maintained the German chancellorship for more than a decade by being a pushover. May, for her part, opposed Brexit and yet has benefited the most from it, more even than Nigel Farage, who made leaving the EU his life’s crusade.
During last summer’s refugee crisis, Merkel proved to be a self-loathing German of the highest order, even to the point of madness. May, on the other hand, has been hawkish on immigration and made clear that “Brexit means Brexit”; that is, there will be no second referendum under her leadership, and freedom of movement within the European Union will end.
Perhaps, as Matthew Tait suggested on a recent podcast, May’s office banned me as a way of balancing the scales of exclusion: for every 100 or so Muhammads, she’ll ban a couple of Richard Spencers, to signal she’s not “racist,” just an iron lady preventing “foreign influence.”
Her letter reads as follows,
Dear Mr Spencer
I am writing to inform you about the British government’s measures for excluding or deporting extremists under the Unacceptable Behaviour policy. The list of unacceptable behaviours covers any non-UK national whether in the UK or abroad who uses any means or medium including:
- writing, producing, publishing or distributing material,
- public speaking including preaching,
- running a website,
- using a position of responsibility such as a teacher, community or youth leader
to express views that:
- foment or justify terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs,
- seek to provoke others to terrorist acts,
- foment other serious criminal activity or seek to provoke others to serious criminal acts,
- foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.
Quoted are some choice passages from my speeches over the past five years in which I call for a European Ethno-State:
The ideal I advocate is the creation of a white Ethno-State on the North American continent. Vis-a-vis most contemporary states that are putatively based on the “rights of man” and “democracy,” our project would be a new kind of political and social order. It would be a state for the 21 century—or 22nd: reflecting advances in communication and transportation, it would be a home for Germans, Latins, and Slavs from around the world. On one level, it would be a re-constitution of the Roman Empire. The Ethno-State would be, to borrow the title of a novel by Theodor Herzl (one of the founding fathers of Zionism), an > Altneuland> —an old, new country.”
To sum up, I am banned from the UK for thought crimes. (No other accusations were made).
Whatever one thinks about that morally or practically, the claim that I would incite “inter-community violence” has actually already been put to the test. I’ve travelled to London many times over the past decade and spoken at two public events. To my knowledge, no neighborhoods were burned down, no adolescents were kidnapped, and no bombs were set off as a result.
And my ban can teach us two important things.
The first is. . .
The Dominance of left-liberal norms
Liberalism is fundamentally about How and What, that is, it is about “rights,” “procedures,” and “mechanisms,” with elected representatives tasked with making judgement calls. In this worldview, there is no difference between my discussion of an Ethno-State, which would protect European peoples and our shared myths and civilization, and, say, a Muslim calling for an ISIS-style Caliphate. Both are “illiberal” or “extremist.” That one is motivated as a defense of European identity, while the other is an explicit attack on it, is immaterial.
Furthermore, a true liberal ultimately has no way of opposing the transformation of a society—from an English one to an Islamic one, for example—so long as it is done socially and culturally, no laws are broken, and all the forms are filled out on time.
Nationalism and identitarianism, on the other hand, are fundamentally about Who (and not How). How a society is to be governed—whether it be a parliamentary democracy, dictatorship, constitutional monarchy, or any other form—is of secondary importance.
The second thing we learn is. . .
The need for skepticism of “conservatives” and petty nationalists
Hungary’s Viktor Orban banned me for reasons similar to those of “Aunt May.” Yet I still consider him to be the most promising politician in Western and Central Europe. His act of outlawing a conference I had organized and jailing me brought him nothing, to be sure. But I see in Orban a man who loves his people and has a sense of greater Europe.
The Brexit referendum, as so many polls have demonstrated, was fundamentally motivated by Orban’s concerns: mass immigration, cultural and physical displacement, and Islamic terrorism.
The most powerful piece of propaganda issued by the “Leave” campaign was the one called “Breaking Point,” which showed hordes of barbarians at the gates of Europe.
And yet what exactly has been accomplished by this miraculous referendum?
UKIP’s leaders, along with the Tory Brexiteer Boris Johnson, have explicitly stated that they are not interested in curtailing immigration—and, indeed, that they support amnesty and more immigration. Boris, before his Brexit apostasy, was once a vocal supporter of brining Turkey into the European Union!
The way the Brexiteers square the circle is to claim, not that they want Britain to remain White, but that they want to “take back control.” In other words, they want to dispossess their nation on their own terms. How Burkean!
For decades, it’s been convenient for British conservatives to blame Brussels for national decline. And certainly the current EU—a soulless bureaucracy, staffed by nerds, issuing arcane regulations, and incapable of confronting existential crises—is very difficult to love. But in fact, leaving the EU seems to represent little more than entering a smaller concentric circle of left-liberalism. By going back to Britain, Brexiteers will find an even larger bureaucracy per capita, one also staffed by unelected globalist liberals.
In this way, identitarianism and nationalism, properly understood, are not matters of decentralization (or secession in the U.S. context), greater democracy or parliamentarianism, or petty nationalism. Identitarianism and nationalism are about consciousness before they are about anything else. Meta-politics precedes politics; it does not come after (as the term implies). And without meta-politics, any political reform is meaningless; it is just one more loop-de-loop within the current paradigm.
And it is when this essential psychological change takes place—when we rediscover who we are—that I will proudly announce to Theresa May, I’ll be back, bitch!