Radix Journal

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How a society becomes extreme

Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from the author’s forthcoming book “American Extremist: The Psychology of Political Extremism”. Extremism is a top-down phenomenon, meaning that it is something that originates among…

Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from the author’s forthcoming book “American Extremist: The Psychology of Political Extremism”.


Extremism is a top-down phenomenon, meaning that it is something that originates among the powerful and then floats downstream through the various institutions of power and influence. It is a widely held belief that political change arises organically from the bottom, but many a great scholarly work (C.A. Bond’s ‘Nemesis’ and Christopher Caldwell’s ‘The Age of Entitlement’, for example) utterly demolish this faulty perception.  Nothing has ever occurred, whether we speak of the American Revolution, the Bolshevik Revolution, Mussolini’s or Napoleon’s rise to power, to use some recent examples, without the patronage of the upper classes.  The extremist capture of the United States is no exception.  Before we may begin, I must credit some of these insights to the work of Polish psychiatrist Andrzej Lobaczewski, who, after collecting several decade’s worth of work studying the psychology of totalitarian regimes (in particular the USSR), published them in 2006 in a book titled ‘Political Ponerology: A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes’.

In his book, Lobaczewski described a ‘hysteroidal cycle’ whereby the privileged classes transmit maladaptive attitudes and behaviors over the course of multiple generations, the final result of which is a phenomenon he termed ‘macrosocial dysfunction’.  Put succinctly, the dysfunctions of the few (the privileged classes) become the dysfunctions of the many (everyone else).  These hysteroidal cycles consist of alternating durations of ‘happy times’ and ‘unhappy times’, where, in the former, moral and psychological knowledge pertaining to issues of psychopathology is suppressed, while the latter represents an excavation and exploration of this previously forbidden trove of knowledge.  The subsequent recovery of this knowledge is then used to rectify problems created by the hoarding of this information.

Lobaczewski views social injustice as integral to the perpetuation of mass psychological dis-ease, seeing as, in his view, the upper classes necessarily exploit the lower classes in order to attain (and preserve) their wealth and good fortune (The happiness and prosperity of this first phase of the cycle itself may be predicated on the suppression and persecution of some minority group, or the under classes more broadly).  Through conversive and hysterical reasoning, these privileged classes selectively perceive information in such a way that they can more easily justify profiting from their ill gotten gains and marginalizing the moral, mental, and labor values of those they exploit.  Each subsequent generation suffers from a progressive “atrophy of natural critical faculties” (p. 170) which ultimately culminates in the censorship, persecution, and even genocide of those underprivileged classes, whose very existence challenges the pathological worldview of the privileged.

Control of the psychologically normal is achieved first by the embedding of a “pathologically hypersensitive censor” (p. 177) within the citizenry themselves.  These are in effect, ego defenses deployed by the upper classes who seek to preserve their own positive self-image.  It is these defects of the ego, in the form of “egoism, egotism, and egocentrism” (p. 177) which are the root psychological causes of what he terms characteropathic failings.  Moreover, not only will these privileged classes adopt pathological – and ultimately violent – attitudes toward those they rule, but they will even develop contempt and antagonism toward competing nations that adhere to a healthier and more psychologically integrated approach in their governance.  (We may easily look at the present day United States and see a manifestation of what Lobaczewski describes; the American upper classes regularly castigate their constituents for their moral failings, their lack of sophistication, et cetera, all the while decrying other nations which, however imperfectly they may be achieved, work far more diligently to protect and provide for their people.  Countries such as Hungary, Poland, Russia, Iran, and China come to mind immediately).

In Lobaczewski’s ponerological model, a society is comprised of two essential psychological types: The characteropathic and the normal.  Characteropaths are those individuals who suffer some biological condition (such as brain trauma) or genetic predisposition (for example, a personality disorder) and are thus given to a psychological disposition of evil.  Whether they are the progenitors of such evil or merely the lackeys who happily execute the evil will of others is of little consequence.  We may call these types maladapts.  The ‘normals’ are greater in number than the maladapts, and have an innate moral character in addition to a well-adapted psychological profile, but are often incapable of recognizing (or even properly resisting) this psychology of evil due to their naïve condition.

Any institution can find itself infiltrated by maladapts who then work to bend that institution to their will, which in turn signals a fertile ground for other maladapts and pathocrats to gain entry (pathocrats being defined as any political actor given to a psychology of evil).  It is the nature of the characteropath to exploit structural weaknesses in an organization so that he may overtake it, turning it to his own diabolical purposes.  Should he fail it would be his death; if the characteropath cannot ascend to the role of pathocrat, he would either wash out of society due to his own weakness and lack of social utility or be driven out by those members of polite society who have become wise to his game.  We may say then that subversion and domination are among the defining traits of the characteropath.  They are a biological type who cannot thrive under normal conditions – they must destroy what is good and healthy in order to live.  Fortunately for us, Lobaczewski argues that “the pathocracy’s dominance will weaken imperceptibly but steadily, finally leading to a situation where in the society of normal people reaches for power. This is a nightmare vision to the psychopaths. That the biological, psychological, moral, and economic destruction of the majority of normal people becomes, for the pathocrat, a biological necessity.” (p. 208).  The essential civilizational struggle, in Lobaczewski’s view, lies between ‘the normal people’ and the pathocrats; it is a conflict which has occurred in every civilization for as long as human societies have existed and will persist for as long as our species draws breath.

As I have noted already, Lobaczewski looks to the sciences of biology and genetics to find the origin of the characteropath.  It is of interest to note that Lobaczewski was among the last class of psychiatrists to be trained in these disciplines before the Soviets censored them and restricted the discipline to the study of Pavlovian concepts.  (Here we see a clear bit of historical proof for Lobaczewski’s argument).  While the science of psychopathology has progressed a great deal since Lobaczewki’s time as a student (and there still remains a great deal of disagreement over the proper diagnostic criteria for many of these conditions), I will reproduce his findings as he described them so that the reader may appreciate them in their full and unadulterated context.  Primarily, Lobaczewski connects the biological dimension of the characteropath’s psychopathology to a condition of schizoidia.  The schizoid is recognized by an acute hypersensitivity and characteristic distrustfulness; they are inattentive to the emotions of others, quickly adopt extreme positions, and retaliate harshly (and immediately) for perceived slights against them.  Typically eccentric, they are prone to projecting (“superimposing” in Lobaczewski’s words) “erroneous, pejorative interpretations of other people’s intentions” (p. 123).  In simpler terms, they are quick to malign others without sufficient reason for doing so.  They are drawn to moral causes, although they “actually inflict damage upon themselves and others” (p. 123).  Owing to their impoverished worldview, they are overly pessimistic and misanthropic with regards human nature.  Schizoids have a “dull pallor of emotion” and “consider themselves intellectually superior to ordinary people” (p. 124).  Interestingly, Lobaczewski points out that, demographically speaking, schizoids are represented most numerously among Jews (elsewhere, and repeatedly, Lobaczewski observes the overrepresentation of Jews among these pathocratic types).

However, we should not limit our concern to these dysfunctional individuals alone.  Exposure to these types who exhibit dysfunctional personalities can twist the minds of a normal person, capturing them in the vortex of their mental illness, not unlike a starship caught in the tractor beam of some intergalactic warmonger.  Proximity to characteropaths, then, is as great a risk to the average person as their mere existence is.  The pathocrat is a natural parasite who can only thrive in an environment that is explicitly hostile to the needs and demands of the average person.  As such, characteropaths frantically work to pervert the organizations they join by manipulating and distorting language so as to provide cover for their true intentions.  The characteropath sets himself up as an integral member of the institution, enshrining himself as a necessary priestly type who may then provide the ideological weight for the yet-to-be-adopted belief system.  Where these individuals (to use Lobaczewski’s phrase, “spellbinders”) are unable to directly influence and redirect the energies of a given organization, they will form alliances with more charismatic types who may themselves be less pathological, or simply possess an earthier charm and personal magnetism that allows them to capture the imagination of a people, even without any kind of intellectual or ideological acumen to support his campaign.

Often, these pathocrats are able to attract less dysfunctional types (Lobaczewski calls them “skirtoids”), who dutifully execute their dictates and assist in maintaining the new moral infrastructure.  These skirtoids “are vital, egotistical, and thick-skinned individuals who make good soldiers because of their endurance and psychological resistance.  In peacetime, however, they are incapable of understanding life’s subtler matters or rearing children prudently.  They are happy in primitive surroundings; a comfortable environment easily causes hysterization within them.  They are rigidly conservative in all areas and supportive of governments that rule with a heavy hand.”  (p. 136).  These psychopaths (pathocrats), often being physically incapable of enacting the methods they propagate through oral and written sophistry, are heavily reliant on these skirtoids and a third type, which he calls “jackals”.  These individuals are “hired as professional and mercenary killers by various groups and who so quickly and easily take up arms as a means of political struggle; no human feelings interfere with their nefarious plans.” (p. 136).   But Lobaczewski stops at the point of categorizing these types as fitting within either the skirtoidal or psychopathic dimensions of psychopathology, but rather suggests that “we should assume this type to be a product of a cross between lesser taints of various deviations.” (p. 136). Furthermore, he states “mate-selection psychology produces pairings which bilaterally represent various anomalies.  Carriers of two or even three lesser deviational factors should thus be more frequent.  A jackal could then be imagined as the carrier of schizoidal traits in combination with some other psychopathy, e.g. essential psychopathy or skirtoidism.” (p. 136).

It is critical for these pathocratic spellbinders to nudge the normal majority away from what Lobaczewski calls its “congenital instinctive infrastructure” (p. 60).  He repeatedly emphasizes the necessity for the “common sense” (p. 188) of the normal majority to prevail in order for a society to maintain its moral center and to thrive intellectually, creatively, economically, and spiritually.  To separate the majority from their common sense, the spellbinder employs the use of doubletalk as his chief strategy for nudging people away from their natural instincts.  The process of ponerization (the overcoding of a society’s moral structure from moral to immoral) necessitates a dual semantic layer, wherein the outer layer is used rhetorically against the target while the inner layer reinforces membership among those psychopaths embedded within the power structure.  In effect, these differing meanings serve to re-stratify the classes of a ponerogenic culture.  The spellbinders (and their collaborators) immediately recognize its hermeneutic meaning; it is only after prolonged exposure (and great labor on the part of the masses) that the targets of this ponerogenic speech are ever availed of its true meaning.  To put this in our current context, we may look at certain phrases (e.g., “Diversity is our strength”) and understand how the meaning differs depending on who utters it (diversity may be a strength for the spellbinder, but as Robert Putnam argued in his 2000 publication, “Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community” it proves to be a problem for those outside of the spellbinding class).

I have made this point already but it bears elaboration: Innately these spellbinders are people who cannot function in a healthy society, and moreover, feel wronged by it.  As part of their paranoid ideations, they perceive themselves as marginalized and persecuted (although in a certain sense they are correct, given their predilection for manipulation and harm, the natural response is one of ostracism).  The narcissism and self-absorption of the psychopath leads him to create a kind of hero myth that justifies his own actions (if not to himself than to those he seeks dominion over).  By necessity, the characteropath casts himself as a savior – as one who has graciously taken up the causes of liberation and nobility.  This approach proves advantageous for him if he operates within a society where actual injustice is present and easily identifiable (which is usually the case).  Lobaczewski points out that these types construct ideological unions which are predicated upon 1) the exaltation of a wronged other, 2) the radical redressing of that wrong, and 3) the higher values of the characteropathic individuals who have usurped the organization.

Individual psychological failings (be they psychopaths, or abnormal and deficient in some other way) are then moralized into a revolutionary credo that gives them just cause for retribution, thus providing sufficient motivation to deny any self-examination.  Were this technique not so repugnant, one could admire its ingenuity; the moral wickedness of their conduct (which would surely be apparent to any outsider, were it stripped of its romanticism and paramoralisms) is neatly excused and then expelled.  Such a practice is especially important for counteracting the functional conscience in those with a more typical psychological profile.  The fact that true injustice does exist, and that this new ideology claims to resist it means that inductees into this new culture will be more easily swayed into rationalizing the spellbinder’s doubletalk, and never question its truer esoteric meaning.  Naturally, there is more to this story – and 21st century America is very different from the Soviet Republic of the last century.  I will address these differences in a moment.  For now, let us look once more at this phenomenon of spellbinding.

For the skeptical reader, we can dispel with the fanciful terminology and simply look to the very real circumstances we observe in our current situation.  Take the language of victimization and its myriad expressions – racism, sexism, xenophobia, transphobia, homophobia, islamophobia, ableism, to name a few.  Let us begin with the use of the term ‘racism’: Initially, the word was used to describe an irrational and seething hatred of other races.  Those noble of heart and sensitive to the plight of, say, African-Americans, knew in their souls that they did not harbor animosity toward Blacks and therefore willingly acclimated to the changing cultural and political dialectics.  But as per the hermeneutic tradition of the spellbinder, the term came to take on a new meaning – that of power and privilege.  The eternal revolt against racial discrimination required a new meaning for a new time, against a new generation of foes.  Now, to be racist no longer means being an unsophisticated bigot, full of hatred; instead, it means to enjoy the privilege of cultural, historical, and political continuity.  To be a racist in 21st century America is to hold power, unearned power, over the dispossessed other.   In one sense, that power is one of an unbroken continuity of being – but in a more immediate and political sense it is about institutional hegemony.  Whites, being privileged, now find themselves swimming in a racist undercurrent, where every action, every errant glance, each thoughtless utterance is actually a demonstration of sinister, unjustifiable power and racial superiority that must be deconstructed.  As the usage of this term and the ability to affect political and cultural change based on the desire to annihilate racism grows, more Americans find themselves scratching their heads at the new power this term wields.  “How is that racist?  That doesn’t make sense.  I don’t hate Blacks or Hispanics.”  And likely they don’t.  Only one no longer has to hate non-Whites in order to be racist, one merely has to exist in order to be racist.  The jargon of pathocratic psychopathy has thus emerged from its cocoon different, changed, and now more powerful than when it first appeared.

Sexism worked in this way too; the willful discrimination and marginalization of women meant something far different a few decades ago.  Whereas any social role that was denied to women was understood to be sexist, now any circumstance which affects women differently is evidence of sexual discrimination and oppression.  With such an elastic definition, instances of racism and sexism now explode with regularity.  Similarly with homophobia, islamophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and the like, the spellbinding hermeneutics of prejudice grant more power to the characteropath and further oppress the normal and the psychologically fit.  Of particular insidiousness is the use of the suffix ‘phobia’; the use of a clearly understood medical and psychiatric terminology, ‘phobia’ has been grafted to a sociopolitical system of linguistics that overcodes an entire range of cognitions and affects, reducing them to a singular phenomena – fear – the use of which now paints anyone who demonstrates anything other than unflinching support (and submission) towards an underprivileged group could be considered fearful, despotic, and mentally ill.

A new meaning for millennia old biological and evolutionary normalcy’s was created to psychologically wound average people who are not nearly as Machiavellian and sinister as those spellbinders responsible for creating this new moral-linguistic landscape.  A whole range of emotional responses (e.g., disgust, confusion, reticence, self-preservation, et cetera) are no longer legitimated for anyone outside of the spellbinding class, and especially for those unwilling to subjugate themselves to it.  It is difficult to overstate the effect this has on the mind – by constantly changing the moral language and rules of social engagement, consciousness is split, and new sub-personalities are created which now exist in a constant state of conflict.  Not only do these terms create a new moral, linguistic, and affective landscape, but they also radically redraw the sociopolitical structure, creating new castes of privileged and unprivileged members, and allotting people to these new classes based on their willingness to conform to an ever-changing set of demands.

Another example would be the constantly evolving charge of anti-Semitism.  Clearly, it was once understood that claims of anti-Semitism were intended to characterize attitudes and conduct that were explicitly (and perhaps even implicitly) discriminatory or hostile toward Jewish people.  Presently, (and much like the plastic definition of racism) it is now used to designate any othering of Jews, be it negative or positive.  And so, folded into the original meaning of these terms (hatred and fear) is any impulse toward differentiation (another ‘common sense’ instinct as Lobaczewski would say).  Interestingly, the very use of the term is curious because it creates a cleavage in the Gentiles understanding of who precisely is a Semite.  Anti-Semitism is fundamentally about anti-Jewish sentiment, but the term Semite is a cultural, linguistic, ethnic, and racial designation that encompasses a far broader grouping of peoples than simply that of the Jewish individual.  Once more we see how spellbinders use language to fracture and limit the cognitive abilities of the average person.

The originators of these spells create the circumstances by which a healthy society is carved up under the new rules of engagement.  But as I have already pointed out, their progeny merely inherit this system of rules and logic, often without any insight into its genesis.  This phenomenon is not unlike the transmission of rituals and taboos, whereby people unthinkingly inherit these dictums but are oblivious to their intention, and so merely act on them in rote, unconscious fashion.  This is how psychopathic tendencies are transmitted intergenerationally – at first as an intentional means of control, and then merely as a commonplace and thoughtless habit, not unlike how one washes up after themselves.  The situation becomes far worse for the inheritors of this system, as they merely acquire these attitudes through the mechanisms of conditioning and modeling.  They are indoctrinated into a pathological worldview which dictates every relationship they enter, every career they take up, each choice and each breath.  Children don’t just inherit the material or biological traits of their parents, but also their ideological ones (particularly the farther one goes up the socioeconomic ladder, where the stakes are higher).  Of course, these conditions are guaranteed to degenerate over time, as the inheritors of this system possess none of the insight, none of the self-awareness of their forbears, and are subsequently left with fewer psychological tools with which to manage themselves or their pathological reactions.  While they may acquire their power second-hand, it comes with a litany of irrational and hysterical impulses which can neither be contextualized nor dissipated.  Heavy indeed is the head that wears the crown.  Naturally psychopaths wound themselves with their psychological contortions, ego defenses, and general anti-social conduct.  We understand very easily as well that they wound those who are made the targets of their pathology.  But what is less well understood is how those around them, their wives, husbands, children, nieces and nephews, too, are victimized by their pathological and misanthropic outlook.  Their impoverished psychological worldview becomes a mental prison that their kin rarely, if ever, escapes.  Worse still, those that do escape become permanent outcasts, as they – not unlike cult members – have broken out of an inter-generational cycle of psychopathy only to find little in the way of community outside of it.  However, it should be said that they often end up worse than cult members.  In many cases, these individuals lose affiliations of race, religion, social class, and more personally, blood relations.  It is difficult to quantify just which is worse for such individuals – the spellbinding that keeps them in a state of conformity or the ostracism they suffer as a result of breaking free.  Each outcome is tragic in its own way.

It is not uncommon to come across people (even in the online dissident sphere) who believe that the upper classes are made up of individuals with relatively typical psychological profiles.  This is not to say that they are just like us, but it is a kind of reflexive unwillingness to entertain the possibility – neigh, the existence – of evil.  Such individuals may rationalize away the failures of leadership or even identify with their plight.  There are some who believe in the existence of a One Weird Trick For Solving Political Strife, whereby all that is required to solve the problems confronting the over-class is to provide them with a better system or a better deal.  I cannot in good conscience endorse this worldview.  We simply know too much about the nature of the psychopathy and its prevalence among the leadership classes (Robert Hare and Hervey Cleckley have both written extensively on the over-representation of psychopathy among corporate and political leadership).  All of this is not to say that every leader is a dastardly, mustache-twirling loon, or even that every psychopath presents a clear and present danger to the social order (psychopathy is defined by a variety of traits, and it is not necessarily the case that the psychopath is malevolent; often they merely lack that positive social feeling more commonly found among the normal population), but what I am saying is that these individuals are not, by and large, a class to be reasoned with.  A sober analysis (such as the one I have provided) puts us in a superior position to organize and develop effective strategies for advancing our political aims, and not the aims of those who view us with contempt.


References:

Andrzej Łobaczewski, Political Ponerology: A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes, (Grande Prairie: Red Pill Press, 2006), 60, 123-124, 130, 136, 170-177, 188, 203

C.A. Bond, Nemesis, (Imperium Press, 2019)

Robert Putnam, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community (Touchstone Books: Simon & Schuster, 2001)

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Antifa: An Obituary

If you listened carefully enough to the din of broken glass and shrill Leftist lamentations, you’d have heard another sound this weekend: the death rattle of Antifa.

“What’s equality? Muck in the yard,
Historic nations grow, from above to below”
W.B. Yeats Three Songs

If you listened carefully enough to the din of broken glass and shrill Leftist lamentations, you’d have heard another sound this weekend: the death rattle of Antifa. The cheap assault on Richard Spencer, along with the damage wrought in Washington DC, does not mitigate the fact that so-called ‘anti-fascism,’ in all meaningful respects, has been dying since the mid-1990s. What we witnessed in the weekend that has just passed was the desperate actions of a spent force. What occurred was disgraceful, and we should challenge it, but we shouldn’t be unduly disturbed about future prospects. Nor should we exaggerate the threat these people pose, or our response to it. In its death agonies, Antifa has been as noisy as it was in life, and this noise may have caused the less well-informed to conclude that there was vitality yet in this old hag. The perceptive, however, will have noted that this noise only slightly masked the increasing senility of an obsolete movement that has struggled, staggered, and gasped its way to the pyrrhic victory of a cheap-shot and a few burnt trashcans. In this new era, the age of Trump, Brexit, Nationalist murmurings across Europe, and the rise of the Alt-Right, anti-fascism is politically dead.

No autopsy is required. ‘Anti-fascism’ was born with the defect that would ultimately carry it off; a deformation of its vital systems that for long periods rendered it heavily dependent on its adversaries for political oxygen. Part of this deformation arose from its internal divisions. On the one hand, a substantial element of Antifa activity consists of the peaceful, democratic type. These are the misguided vicar’s daughters and soccer moms who are inveigled into organizing, attending, or donating to ‘anti-racist’ demonstrations, music concerns, or similar public events. We witnessed much of its constituency in the Women’s March that followed Trump’s inauguration. This element has always been ideologically lightweight, and participates less out of ideological convictions than it does out of vague moral twinges and panics. The other element of Antifa has always been smaller, but is the one we are perhaps more familiar with. This is the revolutionary anti-fascist or crypto-Bolshevik wing, consisting of Trotskyists, Marxists, Anarchists, and Jews. Its members possess a tangled mess of often conflicting ideologies that are nevertheless set aside in the name of confronting the perceived fascist threat. The latter element has always frightened and disillusioned the former. The tensions between the two have marred the history of anti-fascism, which witnessed several fractures, and failed attempts at even the most basic form of ideological unification, from the 1970s to the 2010s.

The pathology of anti-fascism, present from its birth, is that it has all the hallmarks of a particularly weak parasite. Here is an entity that is conceived purely as an anti-ideology. Its stated primary foe was ‘the Fascist,’ who was understood to lie behind all societal ills. Since actual Fascists were difficult to find after 1945, and organizing explicitly against them was thus liable to have one regarded as a paranoid eccentric, ‘anti-fascists’ hastily added ‘the State’ as a secondary, quasi-substitute for the real thing. If ‘Fascists’ couldn’t be found, they would have to be invented. Language about ‘the Fascist State’ thus became ubiquitous in these circles. Eventually, this mode of language became endemic on the Left. All political movements to the right of modern liberalism were perceived, and labelled, as quasi-Fascistic, and ‘anti-fascism’ would thus provide itself with something to mobilize against. The problem, of course, was one of linguistic economics. As the Left flooded the verbal ‘market’ with its currency, this currency underwent a dramatic deflation in emotive value. The Left’s incessant invocation of ‘Fascism’ led to the term’s precipitous and irreversible decline. Anti-fascism, in the fulfilment of its pathology, began undermining the strength of its own propaganda.

The in-born pathology of anti-fascism extended to its tactical capacities, which were also stunted and retarded from birth. Anti-fascism’s founding tactical principle was that it would oppose with violence any attempts by ‘fascists’ to organize at street level. For a time, there was some vitality in this tactical emphasis. From the 1960s to the early 1990s Antifa was sporadically engaged in violent activity against Nationalist groups throughout the West and, particularly when one considers running battles with Britain’s National Front, one could argue that there was a kind of ongoing ‘battle for the streets.’ However, by the early 1990s Nationalism became aware that it had allowed itself to be relegated to the fringes of political discourse where, along with its opponents in Antifa, it became trapped in futile turf wars that made little impact on national political trajectories. There was an internal revolution in Nationalism that led to the influx of greater numbers of ‘quality’ people, and the adoption of policies, aesthetics, and approaches that began to cut into the ‘mainstream.’ Nationalists began winning electoral victories, appearing on television, and creating their own media.

Anti-fascism at first claimed a kind of victory. With much aplomb it claimed to have conclusively ‘won the streets’ and, according to many an Antifa screed, the spineless fascists had fled the field. It was only during the late 1990s that Antifa realized that it hadn’t won anything, and had been caught on the wrong foot. If the primary weapon in your tactical arsenal is street confrontation, and your opponent is enjoying unprecedented success precisely because they have abandoned street confrontation, one might expect that a tactical change would be necessary. However, anti-fascism’s stunted development led instead to stagnancy and confusion. Nationalism had gone places that anti-fascism couldn’t or wouldn’t follow. Anarchists, a sizeable proportion of the Antifa cohort, were ideologically and temperamentally disinclined to participate in parliamentary and traditional politics. Militant Antifa was thus even more starkly contrasted with its non-violent allies, and even less likely to find acceptance in mainstream society. Antifa tactics were redundant. It was thus symbolically significant when, in 2001, England’s Anti-Fascist Action (AFA) formally disbanded.

Other factions limped on, of course. In these foul residues, problematic ideological abscesses continued to fester. The movement continue to posture itself as being opposed to a ‘system’ it perceived as reactionary, ultra-conservative, and anti-working class. It escaped many on the far-Left that anti-fascism was itself reactionary by nature, being entirely dependent for stimulus on the actions or moves of its opponents. Indeed, this was the conclusion of Nigel Copsey, scholar of fascism and anti-fascism, who described Antifa as a “reactive phenomenon” that could only manifest in accordance to stimulus. Further, while Nationalists, and others labelled as fascists, began advancing structured programs for social and economic change, Antifa could advance no vision, no position beyond reactive opposition. The assertion that Nationalists and others were ultra-conservative also began to ring increasingly hollow in an age when the far-Left influenced political outcomes to a greater extent than it has ever openly admitted. Marxism, in its cultural expressions, went mainstream. Mass immigration obliterated the efficacy of national borders. Social engineering led to the slow destruction of the family. In this context, the goals of Antifa and the ‘the State’ it claimed to oppose became indistinguishable. Antifa, more than Nationalists, had more to gain from ‘conserving’ the status quo. Nationalists, the alleged ultra-conservatives, increasingly distinguished themselves by their open desire for cultural revolution; a destruction of all that is, a revisiting of what once was, and the planned construction of what might be.

But perhaps the greatest of Antifa’s internal incoherencies was its claim to support the cause of the working-class. To be sure, Antifa was from its inception a diseased protrusion of the neurotic middle-class. In particular, it drew its lifeblood from pathological or alien elements in the upper middle-class. Always directed by middle-class intellectuals, who were frequently Jewish, Antifa was staffed by a motley of materially spoiled, attention-seeking youngsters, who sought in their Jewish or Russian gurus what they could not find from disinterested, career-minded parents. These spurned children would seek to destroy the material assets and values of the world of the hated parents, substituted now with the ‘Fascist’ or ‘the State.’ It goes without saying that the real world of the worker played no part in this drama. Bernd Langer of the Autonome Antifa, Germany’s largest anti-fascist organization, once admitted: “Most of the political activists have a middle class background, few workers are involved in the movement. They are rather the exception. The working class plays no role in the anti-fascist struggle.”

Similarly, when the Sydney Morning Herald sought out members of Australian Antifa for an inside look at the movement there, the journalist might have been persuaded by Leftist propaganda to expect to find a young dock-worker or manual laborer. Instead, and more predictably from our perspective, he found dialogue with a young, “gluten intolerant,” activist who had grown up in the wealthy suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne, had been sent to an expensive university by his parents, and had developed a love affair with ‘Marxism’ at the behest of guru professors. Our young Anarchist apparently proceeded to explain his moribund political philosophy between sips of rose tea at a fashionable cafe, as he peered over a pair of designer spectacles. Antifa is the bastard child of Marx and Goldman Sachs, conceived in the Hamptons, and nursed on the psychiatrists couch.

These yawning gaps between Antifa’s proclamations of class war and the reality of its staffing, led in many instances to friction between the duped and the deluded. Particularly during the 1990s, there were conflicts between those who saw themselves as old-school class warriors and those who came from, or drew ideological succor from more newly emerged victimhood narratives. Unlike Nationalists, with their almost obsessive care for statistics, facts and news analysis, the far-Left was bogged down in barely penetrable theory and a reliance on emotional responses to perceived slights. Thus, even the most committed economic Marxist couldn’t prevent the inevitable descent of Antifa into what Nigel Copsey described as “a multicultural, middle-class mind-set, in which the deification of difference (race, gender, and sexual preference) had replaced class equality.” Anti-fascism thus found it increasingly difficult to posture as a movement with even tangential mass appeal, instead pigeon-holing itself as a mere movement of ‘victims.’ The middle-class ‘daddy issue’ set now found themselves joined by those with other resentments; the homosexuals wanting ever more attention and acceptance, the feminists seeking revenge on an explicitly male form of political expression, and the minorities nursing ethnic grievances and possessing an interest in weakening White identity politics.

Resentment can provide a certain amount of energy. But this energy is not inexhaustible, and is certainly not comparable to the drive that can arise from the pursuit of a higher vision. Once Nationalism largely ceased its public expression in the form of marches, anti-fascism switched its focus to the disruption of conferences and meetings. This is a tactic we were all familiar with. There has rarely been a major meeting of American Renaissance, the National Policy Institute, or the London Forum that has not in some form been protested against or otherwise disturbed by Antifa intrusion. However, the cost-benefit outcome of such actions have always been negative for Antifa. In a pattern very likely to have been replicated elsewhere, Copsey found that German militant Antifa comprised only around five thousand individuals who amplified their impact by travelling non-stop around the country to disrupt meetings. It goes without saying that a large amount of time and resources would be required to maintain such an effort, and this time and resources was most often wasted. While Nationalist meetings may be disturbed to some extent, this disturbance has rarely been serious. Few meetings have had to be cancelled. Nationalism has continued to grow, both in terms of numbers and political victories. While Nationalists maintain a focus on the ‘main event,’ Antifa has remained a side-show; a kind of half-time entertainment during conferences.

Another area which Antifa neglected, and which Nationalists have exploited to an unprecedented extent, was the sphere of the ‘counterpublic.’ Having abandoned the streets, and remaining excluded from mainstream media, it was Nationalism that truly embraced cyberspace. Here the limits of “physical space,” and hence “physical confrontation,” were truly thrown into sharp relief. As the internet grew, Nationalism expanded into new forms of intellectual space, pioneering both the political forum and systematic, alternative media. Increasingly, Antifa reliance on countering mostly non-existent marches, and holding concerts for migrants and other ‘victim’ classes, began to look dated. Meanwhile, by the close of the first decade of the new millennium, Nationalism was pioneering TV channels, publishing outlets, intellectual and mass-appeal webzines, and a plethora of podcasts ranging from the high-brow to the comedic. Antifa inherently lacked the creative power of its opponents, and its main expression turned to endless sober warnings to the mainstream that here was ‘fascism’ in new clothing. First they came in suits, then with cartoon frogs.

By contrast, Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin hold little comedic appeal for the masses. Nor do such figures even evoke the kind of edgy discomfort that can be elicited by a gothic bogeyman of the type that Hitler, the ultimate Fascist, had been crafted to be. Since Communism eked out its last days with sputtering cars, and against the background scent of chemicals and stale soup, it is neither darkly attractive nor particularly intimidating. Like Antifa itself, explicit radical socialism is an anachronism; a joke perhaps, but one where the punchline made sense only in a prior age. Anarchists can sport t-shirts promising “An Ice Pick for Every Trot,” but this is a weak gallows humor. As Trotsky himself might have testified, jokes and even light dissent cost lives in the ‘worker’s paradise,’ and Leftists are notoriously thin-skinned when it came to the dogma of Marxist-Leninist theory. The Anti-fascist environment is one in which everything is taken seriously, and nothing more so than the anti-fascists themselves.

It is this extremely high level of self-obsession that gave rise to such tremendous shock when, in 2016, the Antifa’s proverbial sky began to fall. With great self-assurance, the radical Left and its fellow travellers in academia and the media asserted that Brexit would never happen. What the Left failed to realize was that, as long as the principle of the secret ballot remains, and as long as Nationalists or their ideas have any means whatsoever to influence the opinions of voters exercising that secret ballot, their monopoly of the media, the colleges, and ‘the streets’ will never be enough to end our politics or assure the victory of theirs. Having failed to learn from the Brexit experience, the same smugness asserted itself on the eve of an allegedly ‘inevitable’ win for Hillary Clinton in the US Presidential elections. We now live in the age of President Trump.

The outburst of juvenile violence which accompanied the Trump inauguration should not be taken as indicative of the health of Antifa. This is not a robust movement. It is floundering tactically, and its biggest mistake has been its misguided portrayal of Trump and his voters as fascists. The Left wins when the Alt-Right and the Antifa remain on the fringes of mainstream discourse and the mainstream remains under Left-liberal ideological control (via academia, the media, and political tunnel-vision). However, in its shock and rage at Trump’s victory, the Left has been unable to move away from a discourse that paints Trump and his very substantial bloc of voters as belonging to a homogenous Far Right. What the Left risk doing by pursuing such a strategy is reshaping the mainstream, essentially splitting it in two. Trump voters will be forced by Leftist hostility into buying into the narrative that they belong with the Alt-Right. In this scenario, Antifa and the Left do our work for us. Thus, while I agree that the assault on Richard Spencer was a huge story that deserves our attention, the bigger story from the inauguration weekend was the assaults that took place on Trump supporters unaffiliated with the Alt-Right. In scenarios like these, Antifa will act as recruiting sergeants for our cause. This is the definition of a movement that has failed in every possible sense.

To conclude, I might caution against the advice given by some in our movement that we should ‘take the fight’ to Antifa, or attempt to engage them once more on the streets. By doing so, we would validate their existence once more, and run the risk of again placing ourselves on the margins. Without compromising our values, we should continue to push as deeply into the mainstream as we can, and especially focus on forging links with Trump voters, Brexit voters, and right-leaning citizens throughout the West. As the Left continues to wail at its losses, it will continue to lash out indiscriminately. This will be to our benefit. For our part, we should focus on improving our security, while allowing the Left to show its true face to the people. Our priority is winning cultural influence and political power, not confronting small numbers of social effluent. And, rest assured, we will one day be in a position to drag this fading nuisance into the light and deliver to it a long-overdue coup de grâce.


[1] N. Copsey, ‘Crossing Borders: Anti-Fascist Action (UK) and Transnational Anti-Fascist Militancy in the 1990s,’ Contemporary European History, 25 (4), 707-727.

[2] Ibid. 

[3] Ibid. 

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What You Can Do

There is one element necessary to ensure Identitarianism can grow as a movement in America—we need committed people who can devote themselves full-time to the cause.

 

“What can we do?”

This is a common refrain heard from our corner of the Right. What can we do to start changing the world?

Should we get involved in electoral politics? Should we do street activism? Should we drop out and form independent communities?

All these suggestions are endlessly discussed. There’s no broad consensus on what direction our movement should take and we at RadixJournal have sparked intense debates with our own ideas on the matter.

But there is one thing that is beyond dispute. There is one element necessary to ensure Identitarianism can grow as a movement in America—we need committed people who can devote themselves full-time to the cause.

Without men and women able to devote all of their time to the cause of White identity, there is no chance that our movement will grow. Every successful political movement has depended on full-time workers to manage its operations, produce literature, and recruit new members.

And the only way we can have these full-time operatives is to ensure they have the funding to support themselves.

Not every person can write. Not every person can give stirring speeches. But every person can make money.

Every reader of Radix can make a difference with a donation. Giving what you are able to makes it possible for us to continue publishing and supporting our writers.

Some of you are atheists or are estranged from your church. For centuries, men and women have tithed a significant portion of their income to their churches–believing that it was for a higher purpose.

If you have taken up Identitarianism, will you support it with your deeds?

Communist organizations and activists were able to endure public opprobrium through their ability to convince their adherents to dedicate a major portion of their income.

They acted because they believed in the virtue of their cause. With action, their ideas changed the world.

With your action, you can help us change the world.

We believe in the virtue of our cause and we are asking you to invest in it. Will you join us?

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New Right Versus Old Right

For those who are wanting these questions tackled with philosophical soundness, clear reasoning, and accessible prose, Greg Johnson’s latest book New Right Versus Old Right offers that and more with sober analysis of the predicaments our movement faces.

For a movement so small and on the fringe, we certainly have our fair share of debates and opposing viewpoints. Some call it “infighting,” others call it healthy debate. Whichever way your eye beholds our internal quarrels, the one thing we can all agree on is that there are many unresolved questions for those who are interested in preserving White identity.

For those who are wanting these questions tackled with philosophical soundness, clear reasoning, and accessible prose, Greg Johnson’s latest book New Right Versus Old Right offers that and more with sober analysis of the predicaments our movement faces.

Many stateside books with a racialist focus are primarily intended for the uninitiated and are designed to convince the reader that the problems plaguing are world are not going to be resolved by budget cuts or mandated healthcare. [New Right Versus Old Right is not one of those books, and is intended for those who have already accepted the righteousness of White identity and have already immersed themselves in dissident thought.

Don’t expect to find any breakdowns of minority crime levels, evidence of alien group subversion, or essays detailing the IQ levels of every racial group–the book assumes the reader has already accepted these points and is wanting to educate themselves on theory and strategy instead.

Composed of previously published essays, New Right offers readers a chance to digest the thought of Johnson in a more traditional setting of reading–which, in my opinion, it’s more suited for. Reading any article on the internet requires a certain kind of breeziness and lack of attention due to the nature of the web. I also think man likes reading the traditional way and a physical book in his hands can never be replaced by words on a screen.

So don’t be bristled at the thought that you might have read these essays before. I certainly had read many of them before, but the print edition allowed me to better comprehend the finer points of Dr. Johnson’s theses and find new details that I had previously overlooked.

The essential article of this collection (and what gives it its namesake) is “New Right Versus Old Right” and it constitutes a theme that is repeated throughout the work.

The Old Right is defined by the totalitarian and national-populist ideologies that flourished during the middle of the 20th century and have since become the devils of today. With the New Right, Johnson argues that we should adopt Jonathan Bowden’s adage to “step over” the hurdles left by the Old Right and forge ahead in the fight to preserve Whites as a distinct people.

The former philosophy lecturer even conjures up his own maxim for defining the relationship between the perceived evils of the Old Right and the progress of the New Right: “The North American New Right, like the European New Right, is founded on the rejection of Fascist and National Socialist party politics, totalitarianism, terrorism, imperialism, and genocide.”

But both the New and the Old are defined by a similar ideology. In Johnson’s words:

The New Right and the Old Right share the same goal: a society that is not just hierarchical but also organic, a body politic, a racially and culturally homogeneous people, a people that is one in blood and spirit, a people that is politically organized and sovereign and thus in control of its own destiny.

The difference comes from rejecting the tactics and aspirations that led to the downfall of the Old Right and led to the casting of its associated ideologies as the work of pure evil.

It is not pure evil to want to defend your own people, further their own interests, and establish a society where healthy values can take root. The main objective of the New Right, according to Johnson, is to step over the wreckage of the Old Right and establish a new, metapolitical view that puts the future of White Identity first.

And what Johnson primarily argues for those wishing to fight for White interests is to focus on metapolitics. Johnson defines metapolitics in the essay “Metapolitics and Occult Warfare”:

Metapolitics deals with the underlying causes and conditions of political change. Metapolitics operates on two levels: intellectual and organizational. Metapolitical ideas include moral systems, religions, collective identities (tribal, national, racial), and assumptions about what is politically possible. Metapolitical organizations propagate metapolitical ideas, bridging the gap between theory and practice. Examples of metapolitical movements include the European New Right and North American New Right.

It is Johnson’s opinion that Whites cannot hope to win without first articulating an effective metapolitical outlook and creating outlets for promoting that worldview. Activism and electoral politics are fruitless without it and we cannot hope to achieve anything without sound theory to guide our cause.

The Weltanschauung that dominates the West today will never allow us to survive. It only cares about profit and material comfort. Hoping that if we just stay within the confines of classical liberalism that we will be able to win back our lands is no longer a viable option. We must advance metapolitics that counter liberal metapolitics. Plain and simple.

The rest of the essays that comprise New Right Versus Old Right are equally lucid and enlightening.

“The Moral Factor” argues for the New Right to adopt a moral seriousness that is desperately lacking in the movement and to begin to argue for the moral case for White Nationalism. Too often our side attracts psychopaths and those wanting to shock society, which we shouldn’t accept. Our side is naturally good and we should not be tainted by accusations of evil and immorality. Standing up for one’s people is noble and is far worthier than standing up for the desire of more gratification.

“Dealing with the Holocaust” is a sober and reasoned analysis of the role the Nazi persecution of the Jews plays in modern society and how it is used to cowl those promoting White Identity politics. Rather than engaging in pointless debates about the facts of the Holocaust, Johnson argues for us to overcome the harmful guilt that results from fixating on it and once again step over it.

“First, Do No Harm” should be mandatory reading for anyone who wishes to become an activist. While not condemning any specific forms of activism, Johnson merely acknowledges the obvious fact that nationalists are prone (especially in the US) to engage in acts that serve no purpose outside of undermining our cause and depicting those involved as a bunch of loony troglodytes. While activism should want to promote good work rather than just doing no harm, we are not at a point where that would no longer be an issue. Thus, everyone should always live to the principle of doing no harm.

New Right contains several more fascinating essays on a variety topic ranging from the process of conversion, women in the movement, the relationship with violence, dealing with mainstream politics, and many more.

I have to admit that I agree with the vast majority of points that Dr. Johnson makes in his work–especially with the critical point of adopting a metapolitical focus to our cause. But I personally believe Johnson is a little too focused on the Jewish question and he does not adequately stress the role of ideas and values that were created by Whites in causing our decline. I would also argue that we would need to put more distance between ourselves and the Old Right and not pen odes to figures who are no longer relevant to the situation we face today (except for our enemies to browbeat us with of course).

Still, those are only quibbles and I appreciate Greg’s willingness to engage and discuss these topics in an intelligent and reasonable manner.

I cannot recommend this book enough and I would rank it as one of the most important collections of writing available to Identitarians today. We must engage ourselves in the world of ideas and culture before we can set ourselves on the path to power. Here’s to the future of making that a reality.


 

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The Conferences of the Future

Conferences are important.  As we know, the Internet has been a godsend for dissidents; however, it is vital that we don’t solely interact in the anonymous, virtual realm of the Web.  We should gather together, network, share ideas, and have fun in the real world.

Dear Friends, 

Conferences are important.  As we know, the Internet has been a godsend for dissidents; however, it is vital that we don’t solely interact in the anonymous, virtual realm of the Web.  We should gather together, network, share ideas, and have fun in the real world.

One of NPI’s most important tasks is to organize conferences, and we are interested in your thoughts on the matter.     

Please take the time to fill out the following questionnaire. It should take less than five minutes and would help us in the coming years create memorable and rewarding experiences.   

Thanks!

Richard Spencer 


3. Which of these potential speakers interest you most?
Please pick three.
4. Where would you like to see a future conference take place?
One of the chief reasons we’ve held national conferences in Washington, DC, is that it is a major travel hub and is accessible to Europeans.

Please choose two.

5. Why do you attend conferences?
Please choose two.

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The Folly of the ‘White Man March’

The St. Patrick’s Day weekend event was intended to show that “the old stereotypes about pro-white activists are false.” There turned out to be perhaps a few dozen participants and they mostly confirmed negative stereotypes.

Is misguided a codeword for white activism?

Last week, anyone who glanced at a left-wing news site probably saw an article about the “White Man March.” According to its organizer, Kyle Hunt, the March was supposed to feature “thousands” of demonstrators all over the world out to “make a statement that white people are united in their love for their race and in their opposition to its destruction.” The St. Patrick’s Day weekend event was intended to show that “the old stereotypes about pro-white activists are false.” There turned out to be perhaps a few dozen participants and they mostly confirmed negative stereotypes.

Left-wing media loved the story. Their headlines could have been written months ago when the event was first announced:

• Gawker: White Man March Happens, Nobody Cares

• Jezebel: Brave White Men Are Marching Tomorrow for White Male Freedom

• Salon: Here Are Some of the Best Tweets Mocking the White Man March

• Raw Story: Worldwide ‘White Man March’ Draws 10 People and ‘Diversity = White Genocide’ Signs

• Talking Points Memo: Some White People Tried to Rally for Their Race Today

• PolicyMic: There Was a Worldwide ‘White Man March’ This Weekend–No One Showed Up

• Wonkette: 10 Guys in Kentucky Turn Out for Worldwide ‘White Man March,’ Narrowly Avert White Genocide

The two local news reports were more objective, but, as a result, no less embarrassing:

• Cincinnati Enquirer: ‘Pro-White’ Group Hosts Rally in Florence

• AL (Birmingham): Birmingham Police Remove Banners Stating ‘Diversity = White Genocide’ Along Interstate

In Florence, Kentucky, two Klansmen made an appearance.

Klansman photo

In Portland, Oregon, 200 activists turned out . . . to protest the White Man March.

Portland photo

The Overton window has shifted beyond the point where pro-white ideas are subject to debate. Such ideas have instead been cast as “unthinkable.” Those who hold them are considered freaks—eccentrics at best, but more likely backward and low-class reprobates. This status quo is maintained by ignoring sensible proponents of our ideas—hence the scant coverage of the AmRen and NPI conferences—and instead focusing on the likes of Craig Cobb, who the New York Times was happy to feature on its front page.

There is a place for activism, but execution is everything. A proper “march” event is effective only if it demonstrates broad public support. Hundreds of thousands of blacks turned out for the 1995 Million Man March. A simple rally for our side should at least be the size of a typical Tea Party rally. Roadside demonstrations could be smaller. Several dozen members of the League of the South recently held one in Tallahassee that was a success. There is no reason groups of two should be holding demonstrations of any sort.

Of course, sufficient group size is a bare requisite for out-front activism. Simple and effective messaging is crucial. The White Man March’s “Diversity = White Genocide” slogan was so over-the-top and inflammatory that it only confirmed the consensus view of white advocates as delusional oddballs. By contrast, the League was protesting Marco Rubio’s support for non-white immigration because “it’s wrong to replace us.”

Part of effective messaging is choosing proper spokespeople and allowing only them to speak to the media. The decentralized White Man March could not accomplish this. Further, Kyle Hunt, the event’s organizer, gave a lousy interview to Vice. When he finally deviated from his canned “Bugser” answers, he suggested “I very well may be president of the United States in 2020, but for right now I am supporting some pro-White candidates from the American Freedom Party.” When asked a reasonable question about a statistic he cited, Mr. Hunt replied: “Sorry, but I am very busy.”

If a small group is set on doing activism, they should start by reading Rules for Radicals and think in terms of guerrilla strategies that yield outsized results. James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas is a good model.

I sympathize with people who fathom the depth of our race’s plight and feel compelled to “do something.” I, too, want to “sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world,” but our approach must be more subtle. Our society is impossibly complex and the sort of direct action that would have overthrown a hostile clan leader or a feudal lord is not within our reach. Instead, we have to focus on building an infrastructure equal to the gravity of our cause.

Of the 314 million people living in the US, I can count the number working full time for the advancement of our race on one hand. Working an extra shift or canceling the cable may not be as glorious as pitched battle, but that is precisely the sort of sacrifice we need.

With enough support, we could hire a full-time development team to raise funds for our movement. From there, we could create a site that generates news from our perspective, similar to what Glenn Beck has done with The Blaze and Glenn Beck TV (now called The Blaze TV). We could also begin considering involvement in the political process when we gain a mass following, but that is a topic for another time.

Activism can be done, and with some good effect, but we need to think bigger.

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