Radix Journal

Radix Journal

A radical journal

Category: Politics

The Case of George Will

Few writers who apply the label “conservative” to themselves have acquired so prominent a position in establishment media as George F. Will. A regular columnist for *the Washington Post* and *Newsweek*, a future on national television discussion programs, and a winner of the Pulitzer prize, Will has traveled a long way since he wrote articles for *the Alternative* in the early 1970s. With the possible exception of William Buckley and James Kilpatrick, it is difficult to think of any other self-described conservative publicist who has so strikingly “made it.” 

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in Modern Age, Spring 1986

Few writers who apply the label “conservative” to themselves have acquired so prominent a position in establishment media as George F. Will. A regular columnist for the Washington Post and Newsweek, a future on national television discussion programs, and a winner of the Pulitzer prize, Will has traveled a long way since he wrote articles for the Alternative in the early 1970s. With the possible exception of William Buckley and James Kilpatrick, it is difficult to think of any other self-described conservative publicist who has so strikingly “made it.”

The secret of Will’s success is only in part attributable to his many merits-his willingness to explore controversial areas of public life in a manner remarkably free of cliches and conventional wisdom, his learning in the literary and philosophical classics, and his habitual articulateness. His success is due also to the general thrust of his distinctive formulation of conservatism and the way in which he applies his ideas to public matters, for it is evident in much of his writing that Will is at considerable pains to separate himself from most Americans who today regard themselves as conservatives and to assure his readers that there are important public institutions and policies, usually criticized by conservatives, with which he has no quarrel.

Statecraft as Soulcraft(1) is George Will’s first real book, as opposed to collections of his columns, and its purpose is to develop in a rather systematic way his political beliefs and to explain how these beliefs — “conservatism properly understood — are different from and superior to the ideas to which most American conservatives subscribe. The most distinctive difference, he tells us in the preface, appears to be his “belief in strong government,” and he says:

My aim is to recast conservatism in a form compatible with the broad popular imperatives of the day, but also to change somewhat the agenda and even the vocabulary of contemporary politics. To those who are liberals and to those who call themselves conservatives, I say: Politics is more difficult than you think.

Despite Will’s assertion that today “there are almost no conservatives, properly understood,” the principal line of argument of Statecraft us Soulcraft will be familiar to most and largely congenial to many American conservative intellectuals. It is Will’s argument that modern political thought from the time of Machiavelli has ignored or denied the ethical potentialities of human nature and has concentrated on passion and self-interest as the constituent forces of society and government. Modern politics therefore seeks to use these forces, rather than to restrain or elevate them, in designing social and political arrangements in such a way that passion and self-interest will conduce to stability, prosperity, and liberty. “The result,” writes Will,

is a radical retrenchment, a lowering of expectations, a constriction of political horizons. By abandoning both divine and natural teleology, modernity radically reoriented politics. The focus of politics shifted away from the question of the most eligible ends of lie, to the passional origins of actions. The ancients were resigned to accomodating what the moderns are eager to accomodate: human shortcomings. What once was considered a defect — self-interestedness — became the base on which an edifice of rights was erected.

The Founding Fathers also subscribed to the modernist school of political thought, particularly James Madison, whose “attention is exclusively on controlling passions with countervailing passions; he is not concerned with the amelioration or reform of passions. The political problem is seen entirely in terms of controlling the passions that nature gives, not nurturing the kind of character that the polity might need. He says, ‘We well know that neither moral nor religious motives can be relied on.’”

The result of political modernism and its concentration on the lower elements of human nature has been the loss of ideals of community, citizenship, and the public moral order. With its emphasis on “self-interest” and the proper arrangement or equilibrium of passions and appetites rather than on their reform and improvement, modernism has opened the door to the privatization of politics, distrust of public authority, the pursuit of material and individual self-interest, and the proliferation of individual rights in the form of claims against government and society.

Once politics is defined negatively, as an enterprise for drawing a protective circle around the individual‘s sphere of selfinterested action, then public concerns are by definition distinct from, and secondary to, private concerns. Regardless of democratic forms, when people are taught by philosophy (and the social climate) that they need not govern their actions by calculations of public good, they will come to blame all social shortcomings on the agency of collective considerations. the government, and will absolve themselves.

Contemporary American conservatism, in Will’s view, as well as contemporary liberalism, are both derived from political modernism.

They are versions of the basic program of the liberal-democratic political impulse that was born with Machiavelli and Hobbes. Near the core of the philosophy of modern liberalism, as it descends from those two men, is an inadequacy that is becoming glaring. And what in America is called conservatism is only marginally disharmonious with liberalism. This kind of conservatism is an impotent critic of liberalism because it too is a participant in the modern political enterprise. . . . The enterprise is not wrong because it revises, or even because it revises radically. Rather it is wrong because it lowers, radically. It deflates politics, conforming politics to the strongest and commonest impulses in the mass of men.

For Will, then, the proper corrective to the degeneration of democracy and the substitution of private indulgence for the public good is the restoration of ancient and medieval political and ethical philosophy and its vindication of the role of government in constraining private interests in deference to the public moral order and in inculcating virtue — in other words, “legislating morality”:

By the legislation of morality I mean the enactment of laws and implementation of policies that proscribe, mandate, regulate, or subsidize behavior that will, over time, have the predictable effect of nurturing, bolstering or altering habits, dispositions, and values on a broad scale.

He goes on: The United States acutely needs a real conservatism, characterized by a concern to cultivate the best persons and the best in persons. It should express renewed appreciation for the ennobling, functions of government. It should challenge the liberal doctrine that regarding one important dimension of life — the “inner life” — there should be less government — less than there is now, less than there recently was, less than most political philosophers have thought prudent.

Despite Will’s predilection for putting down contemporary conservatives, the theoretical dimensions of his argument will come as no great shock to many of them. It has been articulated in one form or another by a number of American writers since the 1940s — Russell Kirk, Leo Strauss, and Eric Voegelin, to name but a few. Will is quite correct that the libertarian and classical liberal faction of American conservatism will dissent vigorously from his thought and that they are not conservatives in the classical sense of the term. Yet many prominent libertarians have resisted and rejected being called conservatives, and it is hardly fair to criticize them for not adhering to a body of ideas with which they have never claimed any connection. Nor is it fair for Will to categorize all conservatives or even the mainstream of American conservatism as libertarian. Although this mainstream has been oriented toward the defense of the bourgeois order as expressed in classical liberal ideology, its principal exponents have generally been aware of the moral and social foundations of classical liberal values and have accepted at least some governmental role in the protection and encouragement of these values.

American conservatism is in effect a reformulation of the Old Whiggery of the eighteenth century and has sought to synthesize Burke and Adam Smith, order and liberty, in what was ascribed to its most representative voice, Frank S. Meyer, as “fusionism.” There are of course serious philosophical problems in effecting this synthesis, and the problems have never been satisfactorily resolved; but the efflorescence of conservative thought around these problems in recent decades shows that American conservatives are neither as simple-minded nor as illiterate as Will wants us to believe. In the last decade conservative political efforts have increasingly emphasized moral issues in campaigns against pornography, abortion, and the dissolution of the family and community, and in favor of public support for religious faith. It is therefore simply a gross error to claim that the American Right, old or new, is oblivious to the role of government in sustaining morality.

Will, moreover, knows this, because he is himself a well-informed man and because he was at one time an editor of the National Review and has had close intellectual and professional connections to the conservative movement. Yet at no place in Statecraft and Soulcraft is there any acknowledgment of the richness or variety of contemporary conservative thought, any appreciation for the intellectual and political contributions of serious conservatives to sustaining and reviving premodern political ideas, nor indeed any reference at all to any contemporary conservative thinker. There is only a constant barrage of patronizing and often contemptuous generalization about “soidisant conservatives,” “something calling itself conservatism,” and “‘conservatives.’” Although the traditionalist and most antimodern orientation within American conservatism will probably experience little discomfort at Will’s development of his ideas, it may have problems with some of his applications of his philosophy to contemporary policy. Although Will is consistent in his strong support for the illegalization of pornography and abortion, he also tries to use premodern or classical conservatism to endorse the welfare state and to justify the civil rights legislation of the 1960s, which are the principal creations of modern liberalism and which constitute revolutionary engines by which the radicalizing dynamic of liberalism is built into contemporary American government.

Although Will acknowledges that the “almost limitless expansion of American government since the New Deal . . . was implicit in the commission given to government by modern political philosophy: the commission to increase pleasure and decrease pain,” he also believes that “the political system must also incorporate altruistic motives. It does so in domestic policies associated with the phrase ‘welfare state.’ These are policies that express the community‘s acceptance of an ethic of common provision.” He cites Disraeli and Bismarck as conservative architects of the welfare state and regards as the conservative principle underlying welfare the idea “that private economic decisions often are permeated with a public interest and hence are legitimate subjects of political debate and intervention.”

Will is certainly correct in his assertion of this principle, but the centralized, redistributive welfare apparatus created by liberalism and resisted by conservatives is not legitimately derived from the principle. The classical conservative vision of society as an organic, hierarchical, and authoritative structure of reciprocal responsibilities implies a social duty to the poor, but it also implies a responsibility on the part of the poor that the liberal “right to welfare” denies. Moreover, the virtue of charity endorsed by classical conservatives presupposes an inequality of wealth and an ideal of noblesse oblige that the architects of liberal welfare states abhor. Nor is the classical conservative ideal of public welfare necessarily or primarily restricted to a centralized apparatus or even to government, but rather allows for social provision of support through family, community, church, and class obligations as well as at local levels of government. Finally, the classical conservative welfare state usually developed in nondemocratic societies in which the lower orders who received public largess did not also possess electoral control of the public leaders who dispensed it. The mass democratic nature of the modern welfare state ensures the indefinite expansion of necessary and desirable public provision into a socialist redistribution of wealth that reduces the public order to a never-ending feast for the private interests and appetites of the masses while destroying their families and communities, ingesting them within the cycles of mass hedonism of bureaucratized capitalism and enserfing them as the political base of the bureaucratic-political complex in whose interests the welfare state is operated. At the same time, the administrative apparatus of the centralized welfare state subsidizes a bureaucratic and social engineering elite that devotes its energies to the further destruction and redesigning of the social order.

Will offers some suggestions “for a welfare system that supports rather than disintegrates families” and which “will use government to combat the tendency of the modern bureaucratic state to standardize and suffocate diversity.” It is frankly not easy to see how this can be accomplished, since governmental welfare replicates, usurps, and thus weakens the functions of the family and community and must necessarily proceed along uniform legal and administrative lines. lndeed, Will’s defense of the welfare state suggests no awareness of the important differences between the concept and the actual functioning of the classical conservative welfare state and those of modern liberalism. An important part of his case is the pragmatic argument that conservatives must accept the welfare state or find themselves consigned to political oblivion. “A conservative doctrine of the welfare state is required if conservatives are even to be included in the contemporary political conversation,” and the idea of the welfare state “has now come and is not apt to depart.” “Conservatism properly understood,” then, is to accept the premises and institutions of contemporary liberalism and must not challenge them if it is to enjoy success and participate in dialogue with a dominant liberalism. Hence, any discussion of the very radical and unsettling reforms that would be necessary to construct a welfare state consistent with genuine classical conservatism, as opposed to the abridged, expurgated, and pop version presented by Will, would defeat his pragmatic purpose by alienating and frightening the liberal and establishment elites he is trying to impress.

Similarly, Will’s defense of the civil rights revolution in terms of classical conservatism is an erroneous application of a traditionalist principle. “But the enforcement of the law,” he writes, “by making visible and sometimes vivid the community values that are deemed important enough to support by law, can bolster these values.. . . Of course, nothing in a society, least of all moral sentiment, is permanent and final. Indeed, there have been occasions when the law rightfully set out to change important and passionately held sentiments, and the law proved to be a web of iron.” One such occasion was the abrogation of the rights of owners of public accommodations to deny service to blacks, enacted in the civil rights legislation of the 1960s. The exercise of this right became “intolerably divisive” and therefore had to be abridged by congressional action.

The most admirable achievements of modem liberalism — desegregation, and the civil rights act — were explicit and successful attempts to change (among other things) individuals’ moral beliefs by compelling them to change their behavior. The theory was that if government compelled people to eat and work and study and play together, government would improve the inner lives of those people.

“Moral sentiment” does indeed change, but absolute moral values do not, and only if we believe that egalitarian values are superior to the rights of property can we accept the legislation Will is defending as legitimate. Nor it is clear that the civil rights revolution has really improved our inner lives or even changed our external conduct to any great degree, and if it has, the change has derived not only from government but also from social and nonpublic sanctions as well.

That “stateways” can make “folkways,” that coercive imposition by an apparatus of power can eventually alter patterns of thinking and conduct, is true. The Christian emperors of Rome after Constantine certainly did so, as did Henry VIII and his successors in the English Reformation. What the conservative wants to know, however, is by what authority a state undertakes such massive transformations and whether what is gained adequately compensates for the damage that is inevitably done. In the case of the suppression of paganism and its replacement by Christianity, Christian conservatives will have little doubt of the authority and ultimate value of the revolution. The processes by which the civil rights revolution was accomplished are more questionable. It is not clear that they have led or will lead to more justice and tolerance or to greater racial harmony. They certainly did damage to the Constitution by allowing the national legislative branch to ovemde state and local laws. They also damaged the political culture by popularizing and legitimizing the idea that every conceivable “minority” (women, sexual deviants, and all racial and ethnic groups) may use the federal government to satisfy its ambitions at the expense of local jurisdictions, the public treasury, and the social order. Nor is it clear on what authority Congress overrode traditional property rights to impose new rights. The exploitation of the national government to abrogate and create rights by which the ambitions and private dogmas of a faction may be satisfied is no less an instance of the degeneration of modernism than the abuse of government by the constituencies of the welfare state. The civil rights revolution and the welfare state are not, then, reactions against the tendencies of modernism as Will presents them, but rather their fulfillment.

Indeed, for all his expostulations in favor of the high-minded and aristocratic enforcement of virtue, Will repeatedly expresses his deference to the conventional and the popular. The rights of proprietors in 1964 “had become intolerably divisive,” so conservatism properly understood accepts the will of those who initiated the division. “An American majority was unusually aroused,” so authority must follow the majority. The welfare state is an idea whose time “has now come,” so conservatives must accept the idea and must not resist the times. “If conservatism is to engage itself with the way we live now,” it must adapt itself to current circumstances, and perish the thought that we might really change the way we live now by rejecting the legacies of liberalism, dismantling its power structure, and enforcing and protecting the real traditions of the West rather than indulging in Will’s elegant pretense that that is what he is doing and expressing open contempt for the only force in American politics that has ever seriously sought to do it.

Throughout Will’s articulation of what he takes to be conservatism there is an ambiguity or confusion between the respect for tradition and a given way of lie that animates genuine conservatives, on the one hand, and the desire to impose upon and “correct” tradition by acts of power, on the other.

The primary business of conservatism is preservation of the social order that has grown in all its richness — not preserving it lie a fly in amber, but protecting it especially from suffocation or dictated alteration by the state. However, the state has a central role to play. The preservation of a nation requires a certain minimum moral continuity, because a nation is not just “territory” or “physical locality.” A nation is people “associated in agreement with respect to justice.” And continuity cannot be counted on absent precautions.

Will says that “proper conservatism holds that men and women are biological facts, but that ladies and gentlemen fit for self-government are social artifacts, creations of the law.” Once again, his idea is unexceptionable, but there is no clarification of what the role of the state, government, and law might properly be. The state is certainly not the only agency that enforces morality, and while it is true that “ladies and gentlemen” are indeed social artifacts, it is untrue that they or many other social artifacts are “creations of the law.” Will is again correct that “the political question is always which elites shall rule, not whether elites shall rule,” but elites do not always rule by means of the formal apparatus of the state. They also hold and exercise power, provide leadership, enforce public morality, and inform culture through nongovernmental mechanisms in the community, in business, in patronage of the arts and education, and in personal example. Only in the managerial bureaucratic regimes of modernity have elites relied on the state for their power, and they have done so only because the roots of their power and leadership in society have been so shallow that they possess no other institutions of support.

That government has an important and legitimate role to play in enforcing public morality no serious conservative will doubt; but it is nevertheless a limited role and one that is performed mainly not by government but by the institutions of society. Will defines no clear limits either to how far government may go in enforcing moral improvement or how much man can be improved and on more than one occasion he appears to confuse the legitimate role of the state in protecting the moral order with a kind of environmentalist Pelagianism. Thus, he speaks of “the ancient belief in a connection between human perfectibility and the political order,” although few ancients, pagan or Christian, and no conservative of any time or faith ever believed in the perfectibility of man. By failing to clarify the limits and precise functions of the state in enforcing moral norms, Will fails to define classical conservatism adequately or to formulate a theoretical basis for distinguishing the legitimate and proper role of the state that conservatism justifies from the statism and social engineering of the Left.

Will’s embrace of the modern bureaucratic state as a proper means of encouraging “soulcraft” is neither realistic nor consistent with the classical conservatism he espouses. It is not realistic because the bureaucratic state of this century is predicated on and devoted to a continuing dynamic of moral and social deracination and cannot merely be adjusted to protect and sustain the moral and social order. It is inconsistent with classical conservatism because classical conservatism flourished in and upheld an aristocratic and limited state that operated on predicates completely different from those of its bloated, abused, alien, suffocating, and often ineffective modern descendent — “bureaucracy tempered by incompetence,” as Evelyn Waugh described modern government. Will’s ideology is consistent, however, with the agenda of liberalism and the structures that cany out its agenda, and his self-professed aim “to recast conservatism in a form compatible with the broad popular imperatives of the day” is in fact an admission of his acceptance of and deference to the liberal idols that modem statecraft adores.

Although Will is sometimes called a “neo-conservative,” he is not one. Neoconservatives typically derive more or less conservative policy positions from essentially liberal premises. Will in fact does the opposite: he derives from more or less unexceptionable premises of classical conservatism policy positions that are often congruent with the current liberal agenda. It is because he accepts, and wants to be accepted by, the “achievements” of modern liberalism that he ignores or sneers at the serious conservative thinkers and leaders of our time who have sought to break liberal idols and that he voices no criticism of the powers that support liberalism. It is therefore not surprising that his commentary is welcomed in and rewarded by liberal power centers. They have little to fear from him and his ideas and much to gain if his version of “conservatism” should gain currency. He enjoys every prospect of a bright future in their company.


(1)Statecraft as Soulcraft: What Government Does, by George F. Will, New York Simon and Schuster, 1983. 186 pp. $13.95.

No Comments on The Case of George Will

The Priests of Weakness

An attempt to encourage reporters to be more fair-minded and accurate when it comes to guns has led to one of the more startling admissions from a journalist. Rachael Larimore, a token Republican at Slate of the Rick Wilson variety, urged journalists to become familiar with firearms and conduct interviews with gun owners which don’t come off like an anthropologist studying the bizarre customs of some isolated tribe. 

An attempt to encourage reporters to be more fair-minded and accurate when it comes to guns has led to one of the more startling admissions from a journalist. Rachael Larimore, a token Republican at Slate of the Rick Wilson variety, urged journalists to become familiar with firearms and conduct interviews with gun owners which don’t come off like an anthropologist studying the bizarre customs of some isolated tribe.

She wrote:

The mainstream media lobbies hard for gun control, but it is very, very bad at gun journalism. It might be impossible ever to bridge the divide between the gun-control and gun-rights movements. But it’s impossible to start a dialogue when you don’t know what the hell you are talking about…

If the media wants to work toward actual solutions for gun violence, to do right by the people who are senselessly murdered, they need more than righteous indignation. They need to be better informed and more willing to engage honestly with their opponents.

Many of the comments interpreted her position as an “apology” for gun owners. To admit gun owners even have a position and a rational basis for their beliefs is too much. A Muslim terrorist is inspired by “root causes” which have nothing to do with his religion and must be understood. There’s nothing to understand about White American gun owners. They are simply to be disarmed and crushed.

Yet Larimore’s advice is actually more revealing than the usual inchoate rage emitting from progressives.

First is the characterization of the media as political actors who already have “actual solutions” in mind and “lobby” for them.

Second is the implicit admission that to “bridge a divide” or “start a dialogue” means to facilitate a left wing advance on a particular issue. (Why can’t we “bridge the divide” by having gun control proponents leave us gun owners alone?)

Finally, there is the blunt admission that gun owning Americans are simply “opponents” of journalists.

As Paultown might say, “What did she mean by this?”

She could have meant it simply as analysis. Alternatively, she might be doing the traditional cuckservative job of helping leftists achieve their goals by perpetuating the illusion right wingers should engage them in good faith.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter. As she implicitly admits, reporters and commentators are simply political activists. Talking to one or expecting fair treatment from a reporter is as foolish as welcoming “antifa” into a meetup and then being surprised when they try to hurt the people inside. They aren’t open to being convinced and they aren’t there to observe the facts. “Journalism” is simply a political tactic, no different than street protests. And if reporters were less clumsy in their agitprop, they would be even more effective.

Though she didn’t make the comparison, contemporary reporting on guns is similar to much of the reporting on immigration. The leftists have slogans and an aggressive sense of moral self-righteousness but they don’t really know what they are talking about when it comes to specifics. It’s the restrictionists who can tell you whether E-Verify works, the relevant statutes, or what powers the President of the United States actually has to ban the entry of undesirable foreigners. However, in the eyes of the media, this knowledge is somehow damning. Just as it’s somehow dangerous and weird to know the specifics of the AR-15, it’s immoral to know anything about immigration other than a vague belief that national borders should be abolished.

If journalists listened to Larimore, they would be more effective. But her analysis will go unheeded. The lying press cannot conceal the rage and hatred it feels toward European-Americans or the contempt it has for dissidents on issues like guns, immigration, and sovereignty.

The 2016 election is not Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton. It’s Trump supporters versus the media. And one of the many benefits of the 2016 campaign has been the exposure of the press as hostile enemies. Trump has thrown down the gauntlet to the lying press, calling them “scum” and “dishonest.” In return, journalists have abandoned even the pretense of objectivity, conspiring openly against Trump and his voters.

There is no greater enemy to freedom of speech than contemporary journalists. Far from serving as a check on power and conduit of information, journalists deliberately protect our rulers from criticism, hunt down dissidents, and misinform us. We see the consequences in the constant threat of violence directed against European-Americans as the media constantly incites hatred against us, usually on the basis of hoaxes.

The media complex directed against us offers snark in lieu of information. And snark is, after all, simply an expression of perceived status. The purpose of the profession is to prevent the audience from finding out the truth about issues like race, crime, and terrorism. It’s no coincidence the most effective leftist thought leaders (and the figures endlessly signal boosted by journalists) are “comedians” such as Samantha Bee, John Oliver, or Seth Meyers. Indeed, progressives now beg these figures to “save them” from Trump and what he represents. Such figures can emote and snark at us, then put on the clown nose if someone challenges them. They can’t argue with the Alt Right because they’ve already determined engaging with us is automatically illegitimate.

Much of the media’s hatred has an ethnic motivation, as we’ve seen with the reaction to the “echo” meme. The spectacle of NPR hosts solemnly declaring parentheses around people’s names as “a modern day burning cross” speaks to a profound sickness, a shrieking chaos concealed within the ostensible thought leaders of our media-saturated society.

Jew or Gentile, those who thought they were untouchable and unaccountable find themselves on the receiving end of the Alt-Right’s own Callout Culture. Many of these content generators make less than the European-American truck drivers, plumbers, or construction workers they hold in contempt. Yet they are reacting to even this harmless online name-calling with the rage of medieval German princes receiving news their peasants are in revolt.

The media’s reaction to Orlando encapsulated this hatred, as a terrorist attack on Americans was followed by frantic calls to disarm and punish Americans. For all intents and purposes, ISIS and the press are on the same side.

But there’s a logic to it. The United States is under threat from terrorists motivated by a “caliphate” enabled by our government’s foreign policy, and carried out by hostile Muslims frantically imported by the feds at our expense. One member of this leftist client group then turned its guns on homosexuals, another leftist client group, showing the contradictions inherent within the Coalition of the Oppressed. And Donald Trump is now making it clear he wants to split that coalition.

The only way to keep the show going is to double down on anti-White hatred, the binding agent for the entire progressive project. What else can they do?

There’s also something deeper. The weaker, more pathetic, and more cowardly Americans become, the more the media’s power grows. Guns allow Americans, especially Whites, to exist outside the managerial state’s system of control. Therefore, they must be taken away.

Consider one Gersh Kuntzman, who was recently “terrified” when he fired an AR-15. In most cases, taking someone to the range creates a lifelong passion for firearms. But Kuntzman said it made him literally ill:

I’ve shot pistols before, but never something like an AR-15. Squeeze lightly on the trigger and the resulting explosion of firepower is humbling and deafening (even with ear protection.)

The recoil bruised my shoulder, which can happen if you don’t know what you’re doing. The brass shell casings disoriented me as they flew past my face. The smell of sulfur and destruction made me sick. The explosions – loud like a bomb – gave me a temporary form of PTSD. For at least an hour after firing the gun just a few times, I was anxious and irritable.

Kuntzman was, quite appropriately, shamed for this. Yet much like some cuckservatives tried to claim the “cuck” label for themselves, Kuntzman actually bragged about his weakness. To bring it all full circle, he wrote:

I wear it as a point of personal pride that conservative darling Erick Erickson posted a story on The Resurgent with the headline, “My 10 Year Old Daughter Is Tougher Than Gersh Kuntzman, Author of the Stupidest Thing on the Internet Today.”

That right goys, this guy was essentially called a low T pussy by none other than Erick Erickson.

Kuntzman says: “This weapon scared the crap out of me… An AR-15 is a weapon of mass destruction, a tool that should only be in the hands of our soldiers and cops… I don’t think that there’s anything unmanly about pointing out this fact.”

It makes me weary to remind a supposed writer that his whining about the need to disarm Americans isn’t a “fact,” but just his opinion. A “fact” is something that is objectively true regardless of the biases of the author, like racial differences in IQ or the disproportionally high crime rate of blacks.

Of course, to put on the bow-tie for a moment, one has to bring up the invisible gun in the room. Violence is Golden. What Kuntzman wants is men with guns to use force to take guns away from other men whom he doesn’t like. Traditionally, in Germanic societies, all free men who could bear arms had a voice in the state. Now, it is precisely those who have nothing to contribute, who are actually incapable of using force, who claim the right to direct power and violence against their enemies.

But even though Kuntzman is an idiot as well as a weakling, his point here is important. The power of the press lies in its ability to construct the Narrative and promote a certain vision of morality. Few religions, oaths, or bonds of friendship or loyalty can stand in the way of a determined media offensive. But this power is dependent on the moral weakness of the population. It’s dependent on people believing that they are incapable of protecting themselves, uncomfortable with upholding their own identity, and unwilling to sacrifice their “reputation” in the eyes of people who hate them anyway.

One of the best things about the Alt Right is the aesthetic of strength and achievement. Conservatives have often been mocked (accurately) as “too cowardly to fight, too fat to run.” In contrast, the Alt Right, broadly speaking, talks about the need to lift, train, and become prosperous. Some people are even looking to Trump as a kind of self-help guru. It’s important because a worldview shouldn’t be something that is simply abstract or that exists online but something you actually live out.

But there’s a drawback. In a media-dominated culture, achievement is actually a vulnerability. Strength is a weakness. However tough and independent you think you are, even if you can deadlift 600 pounds and have your jujitsu brown belt, if your livelihood and social life are dependent on the opinion of your transgender human resources director, you’re xir bitch.

Kuntzman’s braggadocio about being a weakling actually increases his power. Though he is holding The Microphone, Kuntzman is declaring he is under threat from uppity Whites with guns and for his safety and security, we must be disarmed. If Kuntzman had actually enjoyed firing the gun and become comfortable with it, his political power would have decreased. He would have less of an ability to enforce his will on us.

In a “victimhood” culture like ours, power comes from the ability to claim oppressed status and successfully demand the resources of others as compensation. Strong, accomplished men are easily destroyed if the fall under the Eye of Sauron that is the media. Other “elite” figures can get away with it.

Ultimately, it is the journalists and the reporters who serve as the clergy in this new creed of decay, the Priests of Weakness who determine who is to be spared and who is to be hunted down and sacrificed. More importantly, they, in partnership with their antifa allies (or really, co-workers), are the ones who seek out those who are trying to build an alternative to the status quo and work to actively destroy them.

In the end, the shriveled creatures produced by post-modernity aren’t even people with identities or values of their own. They are simply content to be farmed on social networking, their views, friendships, and values utterly dependent on whatever is spat out by an algorithm. The reporters are the enforcers, weakness is the aim. In the end, we are to be reduced to simple products.

The battle to save our race isn’t just about building a future for ourselves and our posterity. It’s to prove that we are, in fact, human. That we have a real identity and an existence worth fighting for, that we’re something more than another account on Netflix. That we will resist the collective downgoing of our entire species. It’s a refusal to become The Last Man, to Start the World and undo the End of History.

No Comments on The Priests of Weakness

Got Metapolitics?

With FN’s latest defeat, and Trump’s likely coming one, it is time to be serious about metapolitics and “Gramscism.” That is, really serious.

So there was no Grand Soir finale. By joining their forces in the two regions that the Front National was about to win, the phony Left and Right ensured that FN got none. The “Fascist Menace” was defeated; Democracy was saved! Everybody can now tune out and get ready for Christmas foie gras, undisturbed by the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.

Ahead in six of the twelve mainland regions after the first round, FN lost everywhere after the second.

Pink: Socialist Party and its allies; blue:

Pink: Socialist Party and its allies; blue: “Les Républicains,” Nicolas Sarkozy’s party, and its allies

The same scenario happened last March for the departmental elections (on the difference between the départements and the régions, read this). FN was leading the first round with 43 départements out of 96 in its favor, and finally got none, even in Marion Maréchal Le Pen’s Vaucluse where she lost by a whisker.

The One-Party State

Last week, I warned about a possible “Houellebecquian Moment,” in reference to Michel Houellebecq’s last novel, Submission, in which all parties vote the Muslim Brotherhood into power to avoid Marine Le Pen’s victory at the 2022 presidential election.

But why take a fictional scenario in the future when you just have to look at what’s actually happening in Europe right now?

To prevent the “Swedish Democrats” party from threatening the government’s stability, the mainstream Left and Right formed an alliance by which they ensured that Swedish Democrats will not be allowed to disrupt the majority, whatever the election result might be.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has been in office for more than 10 years now. At first leading a Left-Right coalition, she’s now freewheeling, with few complaining about the absence of alternative.

The situation we’re in now is that of the One-Party State. Even when there is a party outside the mainstream, it is, despite itself, the unifying force of the regime, with the “menace” it represents forcing the other parties to gather and form a permanent, immutable ruling class.

What this means for Donald Trump

It’s important to look at different countries at the same time, because there’s a discernible pattern in all these situations.

In February, the Republican primaries will begin, with a growing gap between the popular support for Donald Trump and the rejection of his candidacy by the Republican establishment.

Trump’s adversaries seem to think that they can tame The Donald and, one way or another, finally defeat him before July, if necessary by having only one last candidate running against the 69-year-old, golden-haired Bruce Wayne.

But what if he gets the nomination anyway? Well, it’s hard to imagine that Jeb, Rubio, Rand et al. will kindly step aside, swallow their pride and all make common cause with Trump to avoid a third Democratic victory in a row. Actually, it’s much easier to think that they will do all they can to sabotage Trump’s campaign, even if it means supporting Hillary.

If he doesn’t get the nomination and decides to go full independent, it is unlikely that he will manage to defeat two adversaries at the same time, despite his Roman centurion allure.

As entertaining as Trump’s campaign has been so far from my side of the pond, I find it unlikely that the establishment will let something as unexpected as that to happen, especially in light of Trump’s recent statements, which Marine Le Pen herself found excessive.

Do elections matter that much anyway?

Yesterday, in a Facebook statement, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen declared that there was no plafond de verre (glass ceiling) and that next time, FN will get the 50 percent + 1 that is necessary.

"Mes amis,Merci infiniment et bravoMerci à nos électeurs.Merci aux centaines de milliers d’électeurs de Provence, des…

Posté par Marion Maréchal-Le Pen sur dimanche 13 décembre 2015

It’s not as if FN was exactly a new party. It was founded in 1972 by Marion’s grandfather, only one year after the modern Socialist Party, and exactly 30 years before Jacques Chirac’s UMP, which was renamed this year by the man who hijacked it, Sarkozy.

In modern democracy’s history, there is, to my knowledge, no case of a party that finally managed to take over after half a century of repeated failure. It’s like with a girl: if it doesn’t happen reasonably fast, it never will.

Sorry Marion, but there actually is a Glass Ceiling, and it is descending everyday as a result of demographic and cultural change. The more time flies away, the less likely it is that FN will finally step into office, even with a better turnout rate (it was almost 60 percent for this second round, a little less than ten points up from the first round… and still, it was not even close).

The question is: does it really matter?

Last September, I sent Counter Currents’ editor Greg Johnson a 1888 Le Figaro column by French writer Octave Mirbeau. Ann Sterzinger translated it, and it is now available for English-speaking readers (for some reason, Greg didn’t credit me; I have an idea why, but it’s fine, as long as good ideas spread).

The key passage, in my opinion, is this one:

Above all, remember that the fellow who seeks your vote is, by that fact alone, a dishonest man. Because in exchange for the job and the fortune you push him up toward, he promises you a heap of marvelous things that he will never give you, and which aren’t in his power to give you anyway.

The visionary importance of this 127-year-old statement shouldn’t be underestimated.

There is, in most right-wing movements, a naive belief — to be charitable — in representative democracy. As I noted two years ago when criticizing Marine Le Pen’s mainstreaming, I asked:

One can wonder what the next step in this normalization process is before Front National can not only have a candidate in the second round, like Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2002, but in the presidential palace, and whether the party will still be remotely national when it happens (if it does).

That, of course, is if one believes that actual power lies in public office. Ironically, right-wingers seem to be the last democrats. Only on the Right can one still find this naive belief that the President, or Prime Minister, has a kind of control panel in his office where from everything bad in the country can be solved with a simple tap of the finger.

Where are the Gramscians?

Since the beginnings of representative democracy, the parties and politicians that stood on the Right won many times, and in some cases managed to retain power for decades.

But in retrospect, this was largely an illusion. In 1789, the Right, in the French Revolutionary Constituent Assembly, consisted of men who wanted to uphold absolute monarchy. In 2015, right-wing politicians and parties simply argue that they would do a better job than the Left at maintaining what yesterday’s Left established.

On the other hand, radical left-wing movements like the Trotskyites and the Maoists never won a single election. But their influence on culture, and as a consequence on politics, has been absolutely tremendous.

Most ideas that are considered self-evident now, including by people who see themselves as die-hard right-wingers, were fringe positions at first, but those who pushed them forward managed to capture the minds and hearts of philosophers, novelists, filmmakers, singers, journalists, advertisement creative directors, until everybody, including right-wing politicians, thought they were as natural as breathing air and drinking fresh water to live.

In the New Right in continental Europe and the Alternative Right in the Anglosphere, there has been much talk on “right-wing Gramscism,” i.e. the need to first wage the metapolitical battle before winning the political war. But these praiseworthy intentions have been muted everytime there was an election around. (And with the perpetual campaign that is modern democracy, that meant most of the time.)

I often compare this cognitive dissonance to the situation of a desperate guy who claims that “he doesn’t care about this girl” but rushes to his phone whenever she sends him a lame SMS (did I hit too close to home?). Laudable statements such as “We’re not going to vote ourselves out of our current predicament” don’t hold long before a call to “get down in the arena” is made.

Meanwhile, the radical Left keeps pushing its pawns on the checkboard, regardless of the elections’ results. The radical Left cares about elections of course, as we should (firstly because it gives more audience to alternative ideas, as Trump’s campaign indicates), but it doesn’t let elections define its agenda.

So it seems that with FN’s latest defeat, and Trump’s likely coming one, it is time to be serious about metapolitics and “Gramscism.” That is, really serious.

Getting the “Culture War” right

Does it mean that we should stop being interested in politics at once and pick up a guitar and a mic to start “nationalist” rock bands? Should we write “traditionalist” novels? Should we sing along the “right-wing” equivalent of “We are the world?”

Well, not quite. Everyone has to do what he’s good at, and stick to it. I’m a journalist and a political analyst, and if I tried to write a novel, there would be embarrassing passages like “While sipping his mocha latte, he was contemplating postmodern decadence.”

When I think of how Alex Kurtagic’s work inspired me, what comes to mind is more his “Masters of the Universe” speech at the NPI 2011 conference than his novel, Mister.

There is actually a misconception in right-wing circles about how culture influences politics. Art and culture are efficient in changing politics when they are pursued for their own sake, and not when they’re political propaganda reframed in an artistic, or more often pseudo-artistic form.

That was the problem pointed in some comments to a Radix piece praising a French all-female band of questionable artistic quality, Les Brigandes.

In a long comment, one of our readers noted:

Some of this is fun, but it’s not art. It’s counter-propaganda. It’s Alt-Right acting like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Moore.

Les Brigandes are okay, but their songs are formulaic.

Btw, we need to remind ourselves that the Libs won the ‘culture war’ not because they were BLATANTLY political. Most people tune out obviously political stuff.

Notice that nearly everyone in communist nations got tired of commie propaganda and were really listening to Western pop and watching Hollywood movies. It’s like even Christians prefer entertainment to church stuff. And in Nazi Germany, most Germans could take only so much of propaganda. Propaganda can be effective but once in a while, not 24/7. Too much makes one bored and even allergic to that stuff. Propaganda gets dull fast.

The reason why Libs were effective in culture was not because they were blatantly PC and propagandist but because they won over the hearts and minds of the most talented writers, film-makers, musicians, etc. Therefore, the fans of such artists came to associate talent with ‘leftism’.

It was by INDIRECT MEANS that so many young people came to lean toward the ‘Left’.

For an intellectual and political movement, the task is neither to get obssessed about elections, nor to create so-called “culture” that anyone outside the movement will instantly reject as propaganda.

It is, rather, to develop an inspiring, positive and forward-looking worldview that will, with time, attract thinkers, artists, scientists, journalists and eventually politicians on our side.

It is this worldview, not electoral cheerleading or half-baked songs, that will bring talent and creativity aboard.

Vote if you feel the need to, write poetry if you’re so inclined, but by all means, have a vision that addresses the six basic questions I asked at NPI’s last conference:

  • Who are we?
  • What do we want?
  • Why?
  • Where are we headed?
  • How are we going to attain our goals?
  • And when will we be able to attain them?

If you do that, intelligent and creative people will eventually notice, and take interest. They’ll sing your songs and write your novels for you.

No Comments on Got Metapolitics?

The Front National and the Regional Elections—Just the Facts

So yesterday was the *first round* of the French regional elections. The second round will take place this Sunday.

Before analyzing the results, it seems necessary to explain what a _région_ is in the French electoral context . . . and even to explain the context itself.

So yesterday was the first round of the French regional elections. The second round will take place this Sunday.

Before analyzing the results, it seems necessary to explain what a région is in the French electoral context . . . and even to explain the context itself.


The last presidential and législatives (general) elections were held in April-May and June 2012. On 2012, May 6th, François Hollande, the Socialist candidate, defeated the incumbent president, Nicolas Sarkozy (centre-right), at the second round of the presidential election.

On 2012, June 17th, the socialist candidates won the législatives elections and formed a majority at the National Assembly, which enabled the Socialist Party to establish a government. It was led from June 2012 to March 2014 by Jean-Marc Ayrault; it has, since then, been led by Barcelona-born Manuel Valls.

In 2013, there was no election in France. Starting in 2014, Richard and I have recorded podcasts on every direct election that took place:

  • The municipal elections, concerning the communes (cities and villages), in March 2014 (“The Fascist Menace”); our podcast’s title was of course ironical, since Front national (FN) and its allies won 14 communes… out of the 36,500+ communes in France;
  • The European parliamentary election, in May 2014 (“The Brussels Bogeyman”); FN won 24 seats out of the 74 French seats at the European Parliament and became, for one day, “the first party in France;”
  • The departmental elections, concerning the départements, in March 2015 (“The Glass Ceiling”); FN got none (0) of the 96 départements.

The first thing that might be difficult to understand for a non-French reader is the difference between the département and the région.

The départements were established in 1790 by the Revolutionary Constituent Assembly. They were created to replace the former royal provinces and break them down into smaller, geometric units; their purpose was not to be new provinces but simply to make the nation easier to administer by the center, Paris. In every département, there is a préfet, appointed by the central government to uphold the State’s authority locally. This quasi-military function is complemented by a conseil départemental (or conseil général, as it used to be called), which consists of representatives elected at the local level. They vote on local policies, although said policies depend on laws voted by the national Parliament and decrees taken by the central government.

The régions are more recent; created in 1982, they were supposed to revive the former royal provinces, with, in some cases, historic or even ethnic significance: Alsace, Aquitaine, Auvergne, Britanny, Burgundy, Champagne, Franche-Comté, Languedoc, Limousin, Lorraine, Normandy, Picardy, Provence, etc. This cryptic “identitarian” nature of the régions was undermined by a new regional organization decided by the government, effective in 2016. From the 22 régions established in 1982, only 13 will survive, with the dissolution of peculiar régions like Germanic Alsace into greater geographical areas.

Those two territorial levels are not disconnected. Actually, a région is a group of départements.

Thus, this year’s regional election doesn’t happen at the regional level, but at the département‘s level. In every département, there is a number of seats to win. The party that will run the région will be the one that will get the highest number of the départements‘ representatives.

Here is France’s new regional map (the régions‘ inner borders are those of the départements; a région being a group of départements and not a historic province having a peculiar culture, this explains the extreme hyphenization of some régions‘ names):

Here, now, is the same map colored according to the political party that finished the first round at the first place (pink: Socialist Party and its allies; blue: “Les Républicains,” Sarkozy’s party, and its allies; purple: Marine Le Pen’s FN).


Now, it is really important to understand that this is only a first round. In all these régions, the three main parties have obtained the 10 percent threshold that allows them to go to the second round this Sunday.

Out of the 6 régions where FN has managed to finish the first round at the first place, only two are likely to be won:

  • Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie, with departmental lists led by FN’s president, Marine Le Pen; her lists finished first in every département, with over 40 percent of the vote on average, and will likely garner a majority of the seats this Sunday;
  • Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, with the lists led by Marine’s niece, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, and a similar favorable scenario.

In the four other régions, the lists that didn’t get the 10 percent threshold but got substantial support are either of the mainstream Left or the mainstream Right; most of their votes will probably go to either one of the two mainstream lists, allowing them to defeat FN, even if an FN victory there is possible.

The Houellebecquian Moment

Notice that I used “likely” and not “certainly” to describe the outcome of the second round in the two “winnable” régions.

Right after the official results were known, the Socialist Party decided to withdraw its lists wherever it finished third. The purpose is for them to make sure FN won’t get any région by supporting the mainstream Right’s candidates, even if it means, for them, losing all their seats in the process. For all their superficial differences, the mainstream Left and Right are hand-in-hand when it comes to opposing what they call the “Far Right.”

The reverse scenario happened in 2009, in a municipal by-election in Hénin-Beaumont (located in Pas-de-Calais, one of the départements where Marine Le Pen is presenting her lists). Sarkozy’s party, which was then in office, supported a left-wing coalition against FN, in spite of the rampant corruption of the local political class.

This year, for some reason, Sarkozy is refusing to follow the same strategy. But if his two candidates opposed to Marine Le Pen and Marion Maréchal Le Pen eventually win on Sunday, they will de facto become the Left’s champions, as was Jacques Chirac when he defeated Jean-Marie Le Pen at the second round of 2002 presidential election.

This systematic opposition of the establishment (mainstream parties but also the media, big companies, judges, trade unions, public servants, NGOs, which have been quite vocal against the aforementioned “Fascist menace” since the beginning of the campaign) to FN, is what made Richard and I use, ironically, the “Glass Ceiling” phrase to describe FN’s prospects. With universal suffrage, you need half of the votes plus one to get elected. And with a turnout rate of only 50%, it indicates that many voters who could wish for a true alternative to the current ruling class don’t see FN as being this alternative.

Even as Marine Le Pen is increasingly popular in France, a scenario like that of Michel Houellebecq’s Submission, where a vast coalition against FN readily votes the Muslim Brotherhood into power, is quite possible in the future, though not as soon as Houellebecq predicted in his last novel (2022).

That said, we’re still in 2015, and there’s the second round on Sunday. I’ll give you a quick update as soon as the results will be public, and we’ll record a podcast the day after.

Stay tuned!

No Comments on The Front National and the Regional Elections—Just the Facts

The State Inverted

Like many on the dissident Right, I viewed the news out of the Ukraine with anger. Once I removed the media’s distorted lens from what has happened in that part of the world, I realized the root- the radix- of the clashes speak to the natural truths we have been saying all along. That is that different people cannot live under the same government forever, and that forcing them together leads to crisis after crisis.

In late February 2014, the world looked on with jubilation or shock, depending on their region or political point of view, at the fleeing of the Ukraine’s embattled President Yanukovych from Kiev. Only days following a deal brokered between the government and opposition, steps toward stability after months of protests centered in the capitol deteriorated into a power vacuum quickly filled by the president’s opponents.

Western media hailed this as a victory of “the people,” that ever so nebulous platitude that propels useful idiots towards their martyrdom in hails of government gunfire. Russia and its sympathizers, along with those on the dissident Right, saw this is as the victory of the mob over the rule of law and an elected government. Both are mistaken, however. The state has, in fact, triumphed. The reasons for this lie in what a state is, and how it acts (or does not).

Famed German sociologist Max Weber defined the state as “a human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory.” Recall the weeks and months leading to the recent change in Kiev. “Protesters”, protected by shields, gas masks, and that false label, and armed with Molotov cocktails, clubs, petrol bombs, bulldozers, and guns attacked police in a manner that warranted deadly force in response. Not only was deadly force not met with deadly force, but in most cases riot police simply stood their ground and acted as punching bags for their tormentors. Force would have been legitimate, but it was not applied.

A “peaceful protester”  

A “peaceful protester”  

Perhaps President Yanukovych was listening too closely to his opponents’ chief enabler. “We hold the Ukrainian government primarily responsible in making sure it is dealing with peaceful protesters in an appropriate way,” Obama told his media. Condemnation of the opposition’s actions is practically nonexistent, while every swing of a police baton in response was considered a human rights violation. It was one thing to put up with the propaganda of the opposition, but to allow it to use force for so long and to contest it so little was to invite legitimacy into the ranks of those who wanted the president gone or dead. Had Max Weber came to life in the tent camps of the opposition, he would look at the Ministry of the Interior troops as rebels against the regime in power.

Outside the Ukraine, the opposition was busy at work. International relations were established with the US, the EU, and several of its member states including Poland, Germany, France, and the UK. It did not matter to them that the opposition had associations with groups they themselves consider unsavory, such as neo-Nazis. After all, a sovereign often has to work with such people in order to achieve its ends. Examples abound, such as the US support of the contras, cannibalizing al Qaeda-linked rebels in Syria, and the mujahedeen of 1980s Afghanistan. Were the opposition truly a protest movement and not a state-in-waiting, associating with neo-Nazis would have led to their assets being frozen by Western powers, not those of the President and his staff.

The state in-waiting meets its future collegues  

The state in-waiting meets its future collegues  

Offices of the government throughout Kiev and western Ukraine were taken by an actual Occupy movement, whose agents could travel wherever they please. This new state had complete freedom of movement in its own territory, and was going to show this to its opponents just as Germany demonstrated to Britain and France that it could place the Wehrmacht in the Rhineland. As that government and every other before or since has shown, it can break its own laws and agreements as the Ukrainian opposition did. The truce reached shortly before the opposition’s power went from de facto to de jure is now gone and will not be remembered outside Russia or our circles. “Sovereign is he who decides on the exception.”

Throughout the conflict, President Yanukovych’s government showed the world it was not a true state, as his opponents did the opposite. When I watch footage of an opposition bulldozer pushing against police barricades, I am reminded of the NYPD removing Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan. Though all deaths in this chapter of the Ukraine’s history are unfortunate, the force used so far by the opposition has been proportionate for what their real aim was: the overthrow of the government and its replacement with their own.

How a real state handles insurrection  

How a real state handles insurrection  

What do we as whites take away from this?

Like many on the dissident Right, I viewed the news out of the Ukraine with anger. Once I removed the media’s distorted lens from what has happened in that part of the world, I realized the root- the radix- of the clashes speak to the natural truths we have been saying all along. That is that different people cannot live under the same government forever, and that forcing them together leads to crisis after crisis.

As the opposition and now the government in the Ukraine has accomplished, so should we emulate. Before we can have a state, we must have a state-in-waiting. Established leadership and alliances abroad are necessary, and luckily we are in the mature stages of this step. What we lack are the heartlands out of which a demos can grow into a state. It has been said that we are the ultimate cosmopolitans, jetting around the world to attend conferences and drink champagne with other elites as we talk politics, science, and culture. This however is exactly what our leadership should be doing as elites, though it is not enough. We must have that connection to folk and soil should we ever hope not just to lead, but to govern.

Do not fret then over this crisis. The short-term gain by Washington and the short-term loss by Moscow are of little concern to men of archaic virtues with eyes on the cosmos. What we have witnessed is a reaffirmation written in blood of our eternal principles. Hearken close, listen well, and when it comes time for us to push the pretenders aside, remember the lessons taught here.

No Comments on The State Inverted

The Tragicomedy of the UN

If you thought the “pigeon posture” was the latest dance fad amongst ironic hipsters, you’re mistaken. In reality, it’s one of the many mindboggling tortures inflicted upon the hapless inmates of North Korea’s gulag system.

 

If you thought the “pigeon posture” was the latest dance fad amongst ironic hipsters, you’re mistaken. In reality, it’s one of the many mindboggling tortures inflicted upon the hapless inmates of North Korea’s gulag system.

Crude illustrations reveal the horrors of the torture and are the cornerstone of the UN’s report on North Korea’s extensive human rights violations.

The Commission on the Inquiry of Human Rights condemned the abuse and said that this was the worse case since…wait for it…the Nazis!!

Yes, the ultimate evil has been invoked and is out of the bag. The Smithsonian even had a headline that made it seem like the ultimate putdown.

“The United Nations Just Compared North Korea to the Nazis.”

Take that Kim Jong-Un!

Considering we’ve all been taught that if the West had invaded Germany before 1939, we could’ve averted the Holocaust, you kinda wonder what response the UN has in mind for North Korea.

Nuclear strike? Joint US-China Invasion? A Google Doodle denouncing the state?

Well, Kim Jong-Un must be shaking in his booties because he’s getting referred to the United Nations International Criminal Court. That’s a punishment any kindergartener might fear.

What’s the likelihood anything might happen to North Korea? About the same chance any of the prisoners might start enjoying the “pigeon posture.”

China has already denounced the report and is expected to ensure that it doesn’t go any further than being merely a piece of paper.

Here’s Forbes on the matter:

That’s because, contrary to the report’s recommendation, neither the report nor the evidence presented within its 372 pages will ever be presented to the UN’s International Court of Justice or the International Criminal Court, both in the Hague, or any other judicial body.

China, North Korea’s ally, the source of most of its fuel and half its food, emphatically refused to endorse the report on the grounds that “issues concerning human rights should be solved through a constructive dialogue on an equal footing.” As one of five nations, along with the U.S., Britain, Russia and France, holding veto power in the UN Security Council, China can block the report from going anywhere.

Well that blows, but maybe we can still hope something will be done because the Nazi menace has been invoked:

A central issue is the need to act against North Korea as soon as possible. Kirby likened the DPRK’s transgressions to the slaughter of millions of people in Nazi Germany’s concentration camps during World War II. Although conditions had become known well before the war ended, Germany’s foes did nothing about them until Germany’s surrender. Kirby stopped short of saying that foreign forces should free the prisoners rather than wait for the regime to collapse, but the inference was plain: something must be done, hopefully by legal action.

It’s quite laughable that a body that was created to prevent so-called human atrocities, proves a nation commits those atrocities beyond a reasonable doubt, and then can’t do a tangible thing about it.

In the words of Bashar al-Assad: “Who said that the United Nations is a credible institution?”

No Comments on The Tragicomedy of the UN

Is H.H. Hoppe’s Idea Of Monarchy Spreading?

It is said that the first step is to be ignored, the second to be laughed at, and the third to be fought. It seems the idea of Hoppean monarchy now is at the third stage. The American Conservative is not that mainstream, but it is something.

 

Over at The Week, Matt K. Lewis is apparently frustrated at an “obsession” in the U.S. with monarchies.

Noah Millman of The American Conservative is apparently a bit angry at American monarchists (and that for him perhaps includes those who favor monarchy over democracy but do not identify as monarchists).

Mr. Millman says:

There’s a common argument that monarchies are more likely to have limited governments. I don’t see any evidence of that; rather, two hundred and fifty years ago, nearly all governments were monarchies and, at the time, all governments were much more limited than they are now. Medieval Iceland had very nearly no government at all, and it was not a monarchy. Meanwhile, the Scandinavian monarchies are not generally known for their parsimonious welfare states.

The argument is that monarchies are more likely to have limited government – or as the argument also goes; that monarchy tends to give more limited government than democracy. Attempting to disprove this with medieval Iceland and contemporary Scandinavia is rather unconvincing.

Medieval Iceland existed in a mostly monarchical world. There was no “We are the Government” illusion to the extent we have it now. Also, the parallels with modern democracy are limited at best, as Iceland had a system of chieftains. With the transition from monarchy to democracy in the world, we seem to be stuck with the confusion of the ruled and the rulers, a confusion which leads most people to believe that they participate in the rule. Hence, they allow themselves to be ruled to a much larger extent (yes, there is more to it than that, but that’s an important part of it).

As for Scandinavia, the monarchs there are very emasculated, and in this context it would be more correct to call them crowned democratic republics than monarchies. That being said, there are advantages of the typical constitutional monarchy of Europe, such as the Scandinavian monarchies and the British monarchy. I would mention the separation of the “worship of the head of state” and politics. However, you cannot have that to a large extent while still having a monarchy that substantially, in paraphrasing the Emperor Franz Joseph, protects the people from their government. This separation is what Michael Auslin of the American Enterprise Institute suggests when he proposes a First Citizen.

Monaco and Liechtenstein are the only monarchies of Europe that are relevant to the argument of monarchies producing more limited government. Granted, they are small in area size and population as well. They are still those that are relevant, and Mr. Millman chooses contemporary Scandinavia as one of only two specific examples in the entire history of the world to refute a theory of likelihood. Indeed unconvincing!

It could be that Noah Millman seriously believes that the argument is that monarchy as formal form of government per se likely gives more limited government. If so, I’d say he’s confused.

I suggest Mr. Millman has a read of Martin van Creveld’s The Rise and Decline of the State, Bertrand de Jouvenel’s On Power and Sovereignty, Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn’s Liberty or Equality, and Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s Democracy: The God That Failed. It seems he could have read none of them.

Mr. Millman goes on to, apparently, ranting against American monarchists (and other Americans favoring monarchy?) for their not understanding that monarchy is not viable in America. A lot of them do understand this. So is Noah Millman confused?

Although a monarchy for those United States is probably not viable, there are still mistakes in the Union’s history that are worth pointing out. In American mythology, George III gets a lot of the blame. However, W.E.H. Lecky wrote in his Democracy and Liberty:

The disruption of America from the British Empire was largely due to the encroachments of Parliament on the ancient prerogative of the Crown[.]

H.L. Mencken wrote (collected in A Mencken Chrestomathy):

Even the American colonies gained little by their revolt in 1776. For twenty-five years after the Revolution they were in far worse condition as free states than they would have been as colonies. Their government was more expensive, more inefficient, more dishonest, and more tyrannical. It was only the gradual material progress of the country that saved them from starvation and collapse, and that material progress was due, not to the virtues of their new government, but to the lavishness of nature. Under the British hoof they would have got on just as well, and probably a great deal better.

Mencken wrote in his Notes on Democracy:

What is too often forgotten, in discussing the matter, is the fact that no such monarch was ever actually free, at all times and under all conditions. In the midst of his most charming tyrannies he had still to bear it in mind that his people, oppressed too much, could always rise against him, and that he himself, though a king Von Gottes Gnaden was yet biologically only a man, with but one gullet to slit; and if the people were feeble or too craven to be dangerous, then there was always His Holiness of Rome to fear or other agents of the King of Kings; and if these ghostly mentors, too, were silent, then he had to reckon with his ministers, his courtiers, his soldiers, his doctors, and his women.

One of the most recent contributions to the challenging of the wisdom of the American founding is a new novel by LRC contributor Becky Akers, Abducting Arnold.

It is said that the first step is to be ignored, the second to be laughed at, and the third to be fought. It seems the idea of Hoppean monarchy now is at the third stage. The American Conservative is not that mainstream, but it is something.

No Comments on Is H.H. Hoppe’s Idea Of Monarchy Spreading?

Nation-States, the European Union and the Occident (2/3)

Below is the second installment of a three-part series on how we get from stato-national feeling to Pan-Occidental awareness. In the first part we discovered how Nation-States can be seen as “stepping stones towards globalism.” The third and last one will be about “reclaiming the Occident,” since there’s a misconception in New Right circles about Europe and the West being antagonistic.

Below is the second installment of a three-part series on how we get from stato-national feeling to Pan-Occidental awareness. In the first part we discovered how Nation-States can be seen as “stepping stones towards globalism.” The third and last one will be about “reclaiming the Occident,” since there’s a misconception in New Right circles about Europe and the West being antagonistic.


Before we get started for this second part, I would like to insist on something that isn’t always clear in nationalist movements: discarding Nation-States and emphasizing racial and civilizational kinship doesn’t mean believing in “some mythical Whitemanistan,” to borrow Matt Parrott’s phrase at Occidental Dissent, in the bygone days when that website was worth reading.

As I demonstrated in my article, Nation-States don’t only negate what is above themselves (the West & the White race) but also what is beneath them (ethnicities). What is really mythical is this vision of a homogenized nationhood that could be embodied by a State built on abstract and uprooted grounds.
But there is a more serious criticism in nationalist movements about White identity being “shallow” compared to national identities. I believe, however, that this idea, repeatedly asserted by Andrew Fraser (here and there, for example), is completely wrong.

Webzines like this one are precisely here to help people reconsider their false conceptions. If it is true that people keep defining themselves as members of nations rather than as members of a race or a civilization, then what are they actually talking about when they complain that “Britain/America/France/etc. is under attack”? Quite simply it is their racial and civilizational identity, period. They may not be aware of it, but the content of what they rightly say is threatened is purely racial and civilizational. Identical claims are made throughout the West that “our nation is under siege,” with the same phenomena denounced: third-world mass immigration, anti-White policies, multiculturalism, etc.
These phenomena are affecting the West as a whole, and must therefore be analyzed from a Western perspective. As Richard said in a speech he delivered in London in 2012 (from 27’00” to 27’30”): “Clearly, vis-à-vis the colored world, the third world, we are White people much more than we have ethnic identity.”

The problem now is that White identity is only acknowledged by enemies of Whites. When there are flashmobs in America, it is officially Whitey that is attacked, and not ‘Yankee.’ Our enemies know who we are, because they know who they are. More and more, they define themselves by race, because it is what matters today. Only Whites seem to refuse to accept this fact. I think this Pan-Occidental awareness is there, and it is just crying out to be given a name. This should be the role of people like us: White identity cannot only be a negative one, given by our enemies. It has to become a positive one, and only we can achieve that. As I told an American friend: if you go to a North African neighborhood in Paris, you won’t be seen favorably just because, being non-French, you’ve not colonized Maghreb. We have to throw our ‘national’ glasses away, for they prevent us from seeing reality.

Now we have to disprove a second misconception, common in nationalist circles, that the European Union is, by definition, “our enemy,” and that the remedy to its unproven threat would be more emphasis on Nation-States. As we’ll see, even if the EU was an actual threat, Nation-States would be of no help, since the EU is effectively run by its constituent States.

The European Alibi

In European nationalist movements, even those which stress the prevalence of European identity over national identity, the European Union is most of the time blamed for contradictory things: it is accused of being a “new Soviet Union;” of advancing “ultra-liberal” (in the continental, classical sense) economic policies; of being the first step toward a Global Government; and of being a kind of new Carolingian Empire dismantling Nation-States for the benefit of Europe’s main power, Germany. While political socialism and economic laissez-fairism are perfectly compatible, and this mix describes well Europe’s situation, the idea that “Brussels,” where the European Commission is located, is responsible for Europe’s plight is not serious, and I will show why here.

Clarifying this is all the more necessary, since there have been threats, mostly coming from the UK, to leave the EU, given the Union’s current situation. It would be, according to Britain’s ascendant UKIP a way for Britain to recover her sovereignty. But is Britain really dependent on the EU?
To answer this question, we have to analyze the European Union’s structure of power.

The EU is run by the States

• The highest political body of the European Union is the European Council (not to be confused with the Council of Europe, a mistake often made by stato-nationalists due to their ignorance of European institutions). The European Council is composed of the heads of state or government (presidential regimes send their president, while parliamentary regimes send their Prime Minister or the equivalent). It meets four times a year to define the European Union’s agenda.

• Then comes the Council of the European Union (again, not to be conflated with the Council of Europe, which has nothing to do with the EU), which shares legislative and budgetary authority with the European Parliament (more on that “august body” below). The composition of the Council of the European Union depends on the topic discussed: for example, when agriculture is discussed, it is composed of the 28 ministers of Agriculture of the member-States. The presidency of the Council rotates every six months between the States.

• The European Parliament is the least national of all the EU’s political bodies. However, even if its MPs seat according to the transnational groups they belong to (social-democrats, conservatives, environmentalists, etc.),they are still elected on a national basis. Thus, every important party of each member-State sends its own delegation to the European Parliament. National politics being still much more prestigious than European politics, national parties usually send second-rank figures. It is also a way to get rid of politicians who fell into disgrace at home. Unlike the European Commission, the Parliament has no legislative initiative.

• The European Commission, which “Euro-skeptics” often describe as the government of the European Union (which it is not), is simply the executive body of the Union. It executes the decisions taken by the Council of the European Union or the Parliament, knowing that these decisions stem from the European Council’s strategy. The members of the European Commission are nominated by the States.

As we can see, the European Union has no more power than what the States give it. But could a State be constrained or have its interests overridden by a majority of the Nation-States coalescing against it? In theory, yes, except that most delicate decisions of the Council of the European Union, those concerning foreign relations or security, require the unanimity of the States. Most other decisions require a qualified majority, knowing that a vote has to get a sufficient proportion of the States and of the European population to pass. Eastern European countries usually side with UK when it comes to restrictions of “sovereignty.”

And even when a decision is taken and it contradicts the will of one or several States, national governments often overlook European decisions. Much is said, in Europe, about national laws being mere transcriptions of European laws. It should be said, however, that even when European legislation is integrated into national constitutions, it is often disrespected.

Let’s take an important example: States which have adopted the Euro currency have in theory to respect “convergence criteria” to ensure the stability of the Euro zone. These criteria include inflation lower than 1.5% a year, a public deficit of less than 3% a year, and public debt restricted to 60% of GDP. Only Finns (Finland and Estonia) and Luxembourg comply with these criteria. In theory, States that don’t respect these criteria have to be punished; yet they aren’t, which tells us that when European politicians come back from Brussels and tell their constituency that they’re powerless in front of the “Eurocrats,” they’re not telling the truth. The truth is that European policies are pretty much what national politicians want them to be.

If the EU is really responsible for Europe’s current demise, how come that Norway, which doesn’t belong to the EU, is invaded to the point that 100 percent of the rapes, in Oslo, are committed by non-Whites? Would Britain really be better off if UKIP took power and managed to get the UK out of the Union? One of the arguments for leaving the EU is immigration restriction, but the European treaties on the matter were ratified by the States, and can be undone the same way (or, simply, not applied; the EU has no serious means to constrain a State to comply.)

And it should be noted that mass immigration began long before Europe was politically integrated. When Enoch Powell delivered his “Rivers of Blood” speech, in 1968, Britain wasn’t even a member of the ancestor of the EU, the European Economic Community (that occurred five years later, in 1973). If the UK left the EU, the problem would be unchanged. The EU is an alibi for national failures. Thus, petty nationalists are either ignorant of how the EU works or simply dishonest. I leave the choice to their responsibility.

Could the EU become a White Superstate?

During American Renaissance’s 2013 conference, France’s Bloc Identitaire’s president, Fabrice Robert, gave a speech on the future of Euro-American relations. After the speech came the time of questions and answers. The first question was raised by Richard, who had delivered a speech in the afternoon about the Ethno-State project.

Richard asked Robert if the EU could become a kind of White Superstate. This question was related to his own speech, in which he considered the idea of White Americans simply “going back to Europe,” as the ‘antifas’ outside the room were asking them to do.

I think this provocative question’s aim was twofold: first, to remind the American audience that White Americans have to get closer to Europeans, who are confronted with the same dangers as them, and second, to point out the benefits that Europeans could gain from a structure that embodies their common civilization.

The politicians and bureaucrats currently ruling the EU are globalists, and they see Europe’s unity as a mere step towards a World Government, but the tool they’ve created could be used in a radically opposite way: if a European awakening occurred, this tool could indeed be useful in shaping common policies actually halting immigration from the Third World, for instance.

This seemingly counter-intuitive idea that “globalists are doing a part of our job” will be the basis for the third and last part of this series, “Reclaiming the Occident.” There, we’ll see that the New Right is wrong when it tries to oppose Europe and the West, or the Occident. “West” or “Occident” is simply how Europe was called before the 16th century, when the term “Europe” took over. More recently, “Western Civilization” as a geopolitical concept has been used by Neo-Conservatives to push forward their globalist agenda. But they might not be aware of the forces they have actually unleashed in doing that. What I will suggest in my next article is merely to hijack their notion and use it to our own purposes.

This article was originally published at AlternativeRight.Com.

No Comments on Nation-States, the European Union and the Occident (2/3)

The Intellectual Vacuity of the Old Right

“The Right has been the great vanquished of history. It has virtually lost every struggle it has engaged in. The history of the last two centuries for the Right has been one of continuous defeat. Such a succession of failures suggests that the superiority of its adversaries is merely based on the Right’s own weaknesses.”

This article first appeared at AlternativeRight.com. It was translated from French into English by Roman Bernard, with edits by Colin Liddell. It is a selection from Alain de Benoist’s responses to an interview on the French Right that appeared in the quarterly review Éléments at the end of 2005 (#118).The failure of the mainstream Right is well-known, and often commented on. But the failure of the “real Right” is more difficult to deal with, as the men concerned (one thinks of Enoch Powell in Britain) were most of the time well-meaning, courageous men, yet they failed. Most of the references to French history were removed so as to make this text understandable to a Pan-Western audience. This text, thanks to a remarkable psychological analysis of the “right-wing mind,” is first and foremost a way for us to question our own way of thinking, thus making us more “fit and brisk” for the battle of ideas. It is the ideal complement to William Pierce’s “Why conservatives can’t win.”

*** 

The Right has never been fond of intellectuals. Little wonder then that the phrase “left-wing intellectual” has for a long time been a tautology. For many right-wing people, intellectuals are just unbearable. They visualize them sitting on a chaise longue, of course, and view them as “sanctimonious types” who sodomize flies, split hairs and publish books invariably described as “indigestible” and “boring.”

This idea is to be found in very different backgrounds. For libertarians, intellectuals are inevitably “disconnected from reality.” For activists, intellectuals quibble while we face a “state of emergency” demanding action.

I have heard things like this my entire life. Granted, there’s a positive side to this attitude. Right-wingers show a real concern for concrete facts, a genuine wariness of useless abstractions or pure intellect, a desire to assert the precedence of the soul over the spirit, of the organic over theoretical “dryness,” the hope (always disillusioned) to go back to a simpler life, etc.

The Right is more sensitive to human qualities than to intellectual capacities. It likes to admire more than to understand. It asks for examples more than for lessons. It likes style, gesture, and panache. And it is not wrong in doing so. A society entirely made up of intellectuals would be unbearable.

But the problem is that when this attitude is systematized, it leads to the avoidance of any doctrine, to the rejection of any work of the mind.

The intellectual can be defined as the person who tries to understand and make others understand. The Right, very often, doesn’t try to understand anymore. It ignores what the work of the mind can accomplish. The result is that right-wing culture has today almost entirely vanished. It only survives in restricted circles, marginal publishing houses, and newspapers that only rightists believe are actual newspapers. The ostracism that it has suffered is not the only factor in this.

One can only be struck by the way the Right lost the habit of intervening in intellectual debates. If one takes the hundred books that have been discussed the most over the last half-century, one realizes that the Right hasn’t published a single review of these. It doesn’t interest the Right or concern it. The Right is uninterested in any author outside its landmarks. It doesn’t discuss or refute any of them.

On the dialectic of modernity, the evolution of the social dimension, the forces behind mercantile logic, and symbolic Imaginary, the Right has nothing to say. Why wonder, then, that it has been unable to formulate a critique of technoscience, a theory of localism or of social connection, a philosophy of ecology, or an anthropology of its own? It is simply unable to do that anymore. There have always been hundreds of theoretical debates on the Left, some insignificant, others very deep. Who can cite one single intellectual debate that has marked the history of the Right in the last half a century? On the Right, as far as thought is concerned, it resembles the Tartar Steppes or a flat-lining encephalogram signal.

Most right-wing people substitute convictions for ideas. Ideas can of course engender convictions, and convictions stem from ideas, but the two terms are different. Convictions are things in which one believes and which, because they are the objects of a belief, cannot undergo any critical examination. Convictions are an existential substitute for faith. They help living without the need for one to question their logical structure, their value relative to various contexts, or their limitations. Right-wing people make it a point of honor to defend their convictions in the manner of bible study.

The Right likes answers more than questions, especially if these are pat answers that abnegate the need for a philosophical outlook, as one cannot philosophize when the answer is preconceived. The work of the mind requires the learning of one’s mistakes. The right-wing attitude is rather to avoid considering its mistakes, and thus it never tries to correct these so as to go further; hence the absence of self-criticism and debate. Self-criticism is seen as a weakness, a useless concession, if not a betrayal. Right-wing people flatter themselves that they “regret nothing,” including the errors they have made. Debate, because it implies a contradiction, an exchange of arguments, is generally seen as an aggression, as something that one does not do.

The right-wing man proceeds with enthusiasm or indignation, with admiration or disgust, but not with reflection. Instead he is reactive; hence his almost always emotional reaction to events. What is striking is his naïve, if not puerile way of reacting, of always contenting himself with the upper layer of things, with the news anecdote, of taking a narrow point of view on everything, without ever going deeply to the causes. When you show them the Moon, many right-wing people look at the finger. History then becomes incomprehensible — what on Earth is Providence doing? — even if right-wing people constantly refer to it. Hence simplistic conspiracy theories, which can lead to real lunacies, abound. Social problems are always explained by shady manipulations of an “invisible conspiracy,” a “dark alliance,” etc.

As the Right is very little interested in ideas, it tends to bring everything back to people. Right-wing political movements are first and foremost associated with their founders, and rarely survive them. Right-wing quarrels are chiefly quarrels of individuals, with basically the same gossip, and the same slanderous accusations. In the same way, its enemies are never systems or even genuine ideas, but human categories presented as scapegoats (Jews, “metics,” “bankers,” freemasons, foreigners, “Trotskyites,” immigrants, etc.). The Right has a hard time apprehending a system devoid of a subject: the systemic effects of the logic of Capital, the constraints of structure, the genesis of individualism, the vital importance of the environmental threats, the forces unleashed by technology, etc. The Right doesn’t understand that men have to be fought, not for what they are, but in so far as they embody and defend harmful systems of thought or values. By preferring to take it out on individuals, disliked for what they are, the Right veers towards xenophobia or something even worse.

T
he Right has been the great vanquished of history. It has virtually lost every struggle it has engaged in. The history of the last two centuries for the Right has been one of continuous defeat. Such a succession of failures suggests that the superiority of its adversaries is merely based on the Right’s own weaknesses.

In the beginning, what was the best that the Right had to offer? I would briefly say: an anti-individualist and anti-utilitarian system of thought, together with an ethic of honor, inherited from the Ancient Regime. Thus it was opposing head-on the ideology of the Enlightenment, whose driving forces were individualism, rationalism, self-evident individual interests, and the belief in progress. The values that the Right claimed were aristocratic and popular at the same time. Its historic mission was to fulfill the natural union of the aristocracy and the people against their common enemy: the bourgeoisie, whose class values were precisely legitimized by Enlightenment thought. But this union was fulfilled only during very brief periods.

For the Right, Man is naturally social. However, it never forged its own consistent theory to explain community or social connectedness. Nor did it seriously explore opposition to the ideal liberal types, the autonomous individual and the “social man.” It has never been able to formulate a genuinely alternative economic doctrine to the mercantile system, either.

Instead of supporting the workers’ movement and nascent socialism, which represented a healthy reaction against individualism that the Right was also criticizing, it all too often defended the most dreadful human exploitation and the most unjustifiable political inequalities. It sided with the wealthy, objectively participating in the class struggle of the bourgeoisie against the would-be “redistributors” and the “dangerous classes.”

There were exceptions, though rare ones. The Right’s theoreticians were more often led by their audience than leading it. Defending the nation, the Right rarely understood that the nation is above all else the people. It forgot the natural complementariness of aristocratic and popular values. When the workers’ right to an annual holiday break was passed into law, the Right railed against the “vacation culture.” It always preferred order to justice, without understanding that injustice is a supreme form of disorder, and that order itself is very often nothing but an established disorder.

The Right could have developed a philosophy of history founded on cultural diversity and the need to acknowledge its universal value, which would have led it to support the struggles in favor of autonomy and liberty in the Third World, whose peoples were prime victims of the ideology of progress. Instead of that, the Right ended up defending the colonialism that it had once condemned, while complaining about being colonized in turn.

The Right forgot that its only true enemy is Money. It should have considered everything opposing the system of money as its objective ally. Instead it gradually joined the other side. The Right was better equipped than any other force to reframe the anti-utilitarian values of generosity and selflessness, and to defend them. But, little by little, the Right acceded to the logic of interest and the defense of the market. At the same time, it fell in line with militarism and nationalism, which is nothing but collective individualism, something that the first counter-revolutionaries had condemned as such.

Nationalism led the Right to the metaphysics of subjectivity, this illness of the spirit, systematized by the Moderns. This estranged the Right from the notion of truth. It should have been the party of generosity, of “common decency [1],” of organic communities; but it all too often became the party of exclusion, of collective selfishness, and resentment. In short, the Right betrayed itself when it began accepting individualism, bourgeois lifestyles, the logic of money, and the model of the market.

Christian Socialism occasionally played a useful role, but it chiefly fell under paternalism. The social achievements of the “fascisms” were discredited by their authoritarianism, their militarism, and their aggressive nationalism. Corporatism led to nothing. Revolutionary syndicalism was killed by the “Fordist compromise,” which resulted in the integration of larger and larger parts of the working class into the bourgeois middle class. Most importantly, this kind of concern was never associated with a deep analysis of Capital. The condemnation of “Big Money” is insignificant when it refrains from analyzing the very nature of money and the anthropological impact of a generalized market system, with its reification of social relations and its effects of alienation.

As for the “Real Right,” it hasn’t ceased marginalizing itself and wasting away. More and more oblivious of its own past, all of its implicit system of thought can be summed up in a single phrase: “It was better before” — whether this “before” refers to the thirties, the Ancient Regime, the Renaissance, the Middle Ages or Ancient History.

This conviction, even when it is occasionally correct, nurtures an attitude that is either restorationist, which condemns it to failure, or purely nostalgic. In each case, the “Real Right” contents itself with opposing the real world with an idealized and fantasized past: the fantasy of the origin, the fantasy of a bygone age, and the irrepressible nostalgia of an original matrix revealing the incapacity to reach adulthood.

The aim is to try to conserve, preserve, slow, or hold back the course of events, with no clear consciousness of the inevitable historical sequence of events. The great hope is to reproduce the past, to go backward to the time when everything was so much better. But, as it is quite obviously impossible, the “Real Right” settles for an ethical attitude in order to make a statement. Politically, this “Real Right” has no more telos of its own to fulfill, as all its models belong to the past. It has reached a point where it doesn’t even know clearly the type of political regime that it would like to establish.

History becomes a shelter: idealized, reconstructed in a selective way, and more or less fantastical. History provides the reassuring feeling of having a stable “heritage,” of bearing significant examples that the Right can oppose to the horrors of present times. History is supposed to give “lessons,” although one never really knows what they are. The Right has not understood that History, which it reveres so much, can also be crippling. When Nietzsche says that “The future belongs to those with the longest memory,” what he means is that Modernity will be so overburdened by memory that it will become impotent. That’s why he calls for the “innocence” of a new beginning, which partly entails oblivion. People never have a greater hunger for history than when they are incapable of making it, and when history is happening without them or against them.

Hostile to innovation, the “Real Right” is unable to analyze the unseen situations of the future with its obsolete conceptual tools. It judges everything according to the world it once knew, which was familiar and thus reassuring, and confuses the end of this world with the end of the actual world. It faces the future with its eye in the rear-view mirror. The Right is unable to analyze historic events, to step back from the consequences and examine distant causes. It cannot establish the genealogy of the phenomena it deplores, nor detect the fault lines of post-modernity. It cannot understand anything in the current world any longer, the evolution of which it dismisses as an endless “decadence.”

The fact that it has constantly been vanquished often elicits a peculiar mix of meticulous irony, emphatic derision, bitterness, and con
niving snicker, so typical of the long reactionary lament. It also presents the mediocre apocalyptic motto “We are doomed!” With such a vision, we are always in “a state of emergency,” it’s always “one minute to midnight.” Before the “catastrophes” which face us, we are waiting for a “surge,” an “awakening.” The “silent majority”, the “real country” is being summoned. But all of this had already been said in 1895. During all this time, history has nevertheless kept going.

The most distinctive feature of the “Real Right” is a political and moral narcissism, founded on an immutable worldview, with two sides (us the good, them the evil), which is a simple projection of a fault line inside any of us. This dichotomy of “Us vs. the Others,” given as the explaining factor for everything, comes actually under this metaphysics of subjectivity that I have already mentioned, which legitimizes all forms of selfishness and exclusion. The Right talks a great deal about defending its “identity,” but it generally has a hard time defining this. Most of the time, its identity is about not being what it condemns. It is the existence of its enemies that defines the Right’s own existence, a negative existence, a contrario. The Right’s marginalization nurtures an obsidional mentality, which in turn sharpens its rejection of the Other. There’s something Cathar-like in this obsidionalism: the world is bad, let’s close the ranks of the “last square.” The titles of the Right’s bedside books are also telling: by the accursed, the heretics, the reprobates, the nostalgics, The Camp of the Saints; in short, the Last of the Mohicans. In a world of tribes, for which it has no sympathy, the “Real Right” is nothing more than a tribe of survivors, which lives in connivance and isolation. It has rites and passwords of its own, slogans and resentment, and every day sees itself being more and more isolated from an “outside” world that it rejects and demonizes, with no possibility of changing the course of events. What is left for it is to commemorate its own defeats, which it does with such perseverance that one is forced to wonder whether it secretly cherishes these defeats, as defeats are always more “heroic” than victories.

The Right has never prioritized the struggle against the system of money, which was its main enemy. First it fought against the Republic at a time when it had become obvious that a monarchy of divine right would never come back. After 1871, the Right devoted itself to the condemnation of the “Boches” (and even the “Judeo-Boches”), which led it, in the name of the “Sacred Union,” to legitimize the atrocious carnage of 1914-18, which engendered all the horrors of the 20th century. In the aftermath of the First World War, it committed itself to the fight against Communism and its “pagan savagery” (as Marshall Pétain expressed it). At the time of the Cold War, for fear of this same Communism, which it should have considered as a rival rather than as an enemy, the Right sided with the “free world,” thus giving its blessing to the American hegemony, the power of the bourgeoisie and the worldwide supremacy of predatory liberalism — as if the horrors of the Gulag justified the abominations of the mercantile system. This led the Right to support “Atlanticism,” to approve of the slaughter of the Vietnamese people, to show solidarity with the most pathetic dictatorships, from the Greek colonels and the Argentinean generals to Pinochet and his “Chicago Boys” [2], not to mention the torturers of Operation Condor, specializing in the assassinations of “subversivos” who were mostly only asking for more social justice. When the Soviet system collapsed, making globalization possible, immigrants providentially took over the statutory role of the “threat.” Conflating immigrants with Islam, then Islam with Islamism, eventually Islamism with terrorism, it now does that again with Islamophobia, a truly suicidal approach, and, what is more, absolutely inconsistent from a geopolitical perspective.

The “Real Right,” at the end of the day, is fundamentally unpolitical. The very essence of politics is foreign to it. In fact it confuses politics with ethics, the same way the Left conflates politics with morals. The Right believes that politics is a matter of honor, of courage, of sacrificial virtues, of heroism, that is to say, in the best case, of military qualities. It sees politics as the continuation of war by other means, which totally reverses Clausewitz’s aphorism. It doesn’t understand that politics is only an occupation, an art, something that aims to carefully define the best but not the ideal way of serving the common good — a good, by the way, that can’t simply be shared out. It doesn’t understand that politics is a way to arbitrate between contradictory aspirations stemming from human nature, to arbitrate between the needs of civic coexistence and the necessities of self-interest.

As for me, it has been more than a quarter of a century since I stopped considering myself belonging to any family of the Right, and since I stopped showing solidarity with it. There’s no mystery here: I have said it and written it many times. But for all that, I don’t consider that the Right is an uninteresting subject. Nor do I think that it is a despicable subject. When I criticize it — and I always hesitate before criticizing it, both because it is not fitting to shoot at such an easy target and because I don’t want to get involved with the mob — I am forced to generalize, and when one generalizes, one always risks being unfair. But I don’t ignore its merits. In the same way that its qualities have shortcomings, its shortcomings also have qualities. On many occasions, the Right was (and remains) admirable for its courage, its persistence, and its spirit of sacrifice. All these qualities, yet they have achieved such meager results!

I’ll add that I don’t recognize myself as belonging to any family of the current Left, which spares me the desire of wanting to be “admitted.” One can undoubtedly define me as a “left-wing right-winger,” or a man who has left-wing ideas and right-wing values. It allows me to agree equally well with left-wing men and with right-wing men every time they assert ideas that I consider fair. But, actually, I haven’t cared about labels for a long time.

I care all the less, since the Left-Right duo gets more and more ineffective as an analytic tool. What is the “right-wing position” on the American occupation of Iraq, and what is the “left-wing position?” There is simply none: on the Right as on the Left, this occupation has opponents and supporters. It is the same for all the problems of our times: European integration, geopolitics, ecology, the coming oil crisis, etc. The only thing that matters is what people think of a precise question, no matter how they position themselves (or refuse to) on the traditional political spectrum.

 

[1] In English in the original text

[2] In English in the original text

No Comments on The Intellectual Vacuity of the Old Right

Type on the field below and hit Enter/Return to search