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Tag: Greg Johnson

Alt Right Jane: Pride and the Prejudiced

Over at The Chronicle of Higher Education a rather hyper-sensitive blogger seeks to take the Alt Right to task. But not for the usual reasons.

You see, this time it has to do with appropriation, no not of internet memes or 80s New Wave bands, instead it focus on a famous English author: Jane Austen. It seems as if The Chronicle blogger has uncovered a nefarious scheme of internet racists who are using Jane Austen to further their “White supremacist” agenda of crafting an “ethnostate”.

Over at The Chronicle of Higher Education a rather hyper-sensitive blogger seeks to take the Alt Right to task. But not for the usual reasons.

You see, this time it has to do with appropriation, no not of internet memes or 80s New Wave bands, instead it focus on a famous English author: Jane Austen. It seems as if The Chronicle blogger has uncovered a nefarious scheme of internet racists who are using Jane Austen to further their “White supremacist” agenda of crafting an “ethnostate”.

From The Chronicle:

This view of Austen as an avatar of a superior bygone era is linked not only with fantasies of female retreat from the sexual whirl, but also with calls for white separatism. On the popular blog of the alt-right publisher Counter-Currents, the world of Austen’s novels is extolled as a prototype for the “racial dictatorship” of tomorrow. One commenter wrote, “If, after the ethnostate is created, we revert back to an Austen-like world, we males ought to endure severe sacrifices as well. … If traditional marriage à la P&P [Pride and Prejudice] is going to be imposed, again, in an ethnostate, we must behave like gentlemen.”

Yet if shared heritage is the key to incentivizing gentlemanly comportment, why are there so many cads in Austen’s world? Also, Austen’s protagonists express little of the populist boosterism and preoccupation with ethnic heritage that foster an ethnostate. Fervent patriotism is invoked sardonically rather than earnestly proclaimed: Upon his first visit to his father’s estate in the small town of Highbury, Frank Churchill archly states that he will prove that he “belong[s] to the place” and is a “true citizen.” Emma playfully replies, “I do admire your patriotism,” and Churchill parries by saying that Emma has witnessed “the very moment of this burst of my amor patriae.”

Other alt-right partisans pay backhanded compliments by emphasizing Austen’s singularity as a celebrated female novelist. In a post that debuted in 2012 on Alternative Right and has since been lauded as an alt-right “classic,” the “manosphere” blogger Matt Forney mentioned Austen as an outlier from the norm of female mediocrity: “Virtually all great leaders, thinkers and artists were men. Aristotle, Galileo, Michaelangelo [sic], Napoleon: all men. Not to say that all women are incapable of artistic, scientific or military talent; every so often, we get a Marie Curie, a Jane Austen or a Joan of Arc.” Here the alt-right finds common ground with the literary gatekeeper Harold Bloom; in his best seller The Western Canon (1994), Austen is one of four women on a list of 26 most influential authors. According to this formulation, Austen is not a trailblazer for the female authors who followed in her wake, but rather a rebuke to women who have not reached her level of achievement.

What an intensive conspiracy. In fact, it’s fevered anger like this that brings to mind one of Austen’s earlier novels, Northanger Abbey which plays which pokes fun at the popularity of “gothic” novels its time by having its protagonist see murder and danger around every corner, much the same way progressive bloggers vent about the comment sections of Alt Right articles.

Indeed, the Jane Austen outrage didn’t just stop with The Chronicle but has now penetrated into other elite purveyors of liberal discourse via The New York Times and The Paris Review.

From The Times article “Jane Austen Has Alt-Right Fans? Heavens to Darcy!”:

But it has prompted the most sustained chatter among Austen scholars, a more reliably liberal bunch who, like Ms. Wright, emphatically reject white nationalist readings of her novels.

“No one who reads Jane Austen’s words with any attention and reflection can possibly be alt-right,” Elaine Bander, a retired professor and a former officer of the Jane Austen Society of North America, said in an email.

“All the Janeites I know,” she added, “are rational, compassionate, liberal-minded people.”

That’s right! Rational, liberal minded people! We all know those Alt-Right buffoons aren’t reading books. Just look at how few references to Harry Potter they make!

Further:

In recent years, scholars have tried to find diversity in the seemingly all-white world of Austen, digging into subjects like Miss Lambe, a character in her unfinished final novel, “Sanditon,” described as a “half mulatto” heiress from the West Indies. (Yes, there is a scholarly paper with the title “The Silence of Miss Lambe.”)

But Ms. Wells said scholars teaching Austen at schools with “substantially multicultural students” still wrestled with a truth that must, perhaps, be uncomfortably acknowledged.

“Her characters are white, and her world is white,” she said. “What do you do with that?”

Of course Jane Austen comes out of a White world. This is why the commentary on the original Counter Currents article were so relevant. Because Jane Austen as a European writer speaks to peculiar conditions of European man, the same way Langston Hughes and Chaim Potok speak to their respective black and Jewish readers. All of Austen’s work takes place in a world where European identity, and in particular, regency English countryside identity, were presupposed.

The Paris Review, not to be out done, rehashes many of the same points, but includes the fact that we have also appropriated Barbour jackets (welcome news to me!):

First the white nationalists took that haircut—you know the one, an arty variant on the Marine’s high-and-tight buzz, endemic to white guys in gentrifying neighborhoods circa 2013. Then the white nationalists took Barbour field jackets, depriving a whole generation of the joys of waxed canvas. Now the white nationalists have come for Jane Austen, in whom they mistakenly see a love of tradition, and it is up to us to say: enough. Let them claim some other, lesser Regency writer—an E. T. A. Hoffmann, maybe, or even a Sir Walter Scott—and leave us to read Persuasion in peace, the animals. Jennifer Schuessler writes, “Some alt-right admirers hail Austen’s novels as blueprints for a white nationalist ‘ethno-state.’ Others cite her as a rare example of female greatness … A post on the website Counter Currents called ‘The Woman Question in White Nationalism,’ for example, includes a string of comments debating how the vision of marriage in Austen’s Pride and Prejudice fit with the ‘racial dictatorship’ necessary to preserve Western civilization. ‘If traditional marriage à la P&P is going to be imposed, again, in an ethnostate, we must behave like gentlemen,’ one commenter wrote.”

This kvetching brings to mind a line from Whit “WASP Woody Allen” Stillman’s movie Metropolitan, which has its earnest young socialist protagonist Tom Townsend debate the merits of Jane Austen with conservative young debutante’ Audrey Rouget. Upon pronouncing the concerns of Austen to be ridiculous for our times, Rouget caustically responds with “Has it ever occurred to you that today from Jane Austen’s perspective would look even worse?”

No one knows this better than the Alt Right.

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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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