Let A Thousand Honkies Bloom

When I was at the American Renaissance conference, the striking thing to me was the number of smart and level headed people I met. Just about everyone I met had some college, read books and was familiar with the Western canon. Not everyone was a scholar, but everyone I met was refreshingly open minded. Even the young guys were genuinely curious about the world and our times. I mentioned to Audacious Epigone that it was like an academic conference, except everyone was smart and a heretic.

The fact is though, most everyone there was from the same cultural and philosophical place. If you are a fan of American Nations, the crowd was mostly Midlanders, but there were a good number of people from Yankeedom. If I had to guess, the Tidewater was the third most represented nation. My bet is the least represented region of the country was the Appalachia. I did not quiz all 400 people at the event, but I I have a good ear for American regional accents and I did not hear too many hill people or Southerners.

When I cruise around social media, the one thing that strikes me about the alt-right is its Yankee vibe. It is a very northern honky phenomenon. It’s also a very suburban phenomenon too. I’ve made the point for years that libertarianism was a suburban white boy ideology. Most of the guys calling themselves alt-right grew up in the suburbs and started out in life as libertarians. It’s why the alt-right has a greater focus on the JQ than the race issue or even immigration. Jews are simply more numerous in the North.

America is a big place though and there are lots of places where the bourgeois burgher is the weirdo. You see that with the divide between guys like Hunter Wallace and some of the alt-right people over optics. Posts by Wallace here and here, if you are interested in the topic. The gist of it is the alt-right guys think the Southern Nationalists are embarrassing, because they remind people of the old school Southern racists. The Southern Nationalist think many of the alt-right are LARP’ing poseurs or hypocrites.

The thing with whites in the South and Appalachia is that race and heritage are the towering issues, which is not something people from Yankeedom understand. They won the Civil War and got to impose their culture on everyone else to their satisfaction. People outside of Yankeedom care deeply about preserving their culture, which is a unique subset of America. They are also far less concerned about the JQ stuff, as the only Jews they see are on television. It’s just not an issue for them.

It’s not just a North-South thing. People in the Midwest, the hilariously named “cuck belt”, have their own issues. The effects of globalism probably score higher with them than race or ethnicity. Immigration, on the other hand, is the symbol of globalism and resonates more with honkies in Ohio, than with alt-right guys in New York. It’s in the Midwest where the sense of alienation is strongest. Popular culture, politics, and economics are controlled by people who no longer look familiar to the average white Midwesterner.

Of course, the West and Southwest are ground zero for immigration. It’s not an accident that the three most important voices on the issue are based in California. Steve Sailer, Victor David Hanson and Mickey Kaus are Californians. If you have spent your life in Los Angeles, race is not an issue that concerns you. Immigration, on the other hand, is all consuming. It is the most important issue in California politics for over three decades. The same is true to a lesser degree all over the West and Southwest.

The reality is that the emerging identity politics will inevitably have a regional character to it. It’s also going to have a class character. Richard Spencer gets some grief for being a snob, but he’s just a guy from the gentry class. Steve Sailer is white bread middle-class, because he is from the white bread middle class. The Southern Nationalists are going to be working class guys. America has never had a rigid class system, but class still exists and every American is a product of their social class to some degree.

The point of this is that we are on the cusp of a new era. We have had identity politics for a long time, but whites have not been a part of it. That’s changing as the nation’s demographics change. Even as we lurch into majority-minority status, America is a big country with lots of regional differences. It is a land of nations, with unique local cultures, that persist despite the efforts at homogenization. The white identity that emerges will reflect the local culture. That’s just going to be another feature of the new America.

That means the people talking about this stuff will have to respect this reality in order to understand it. More important, the guys into the advocacy side of things are going to have respect the fact that what works for them may not work everywhere. There’s also the fact that cultural movements are inevitably lots of trial and error. Like memes that go viral on-line, for every good protest idea there are thousands that fizzle. In the fullness of time, these regional white identity groups will figure out what works for them or they go away.

We live in an age of firsts. We are the first country to be ruled over by people desperately trying to commit cultural and demographic suicide. We are the first people, with a significant element that celebrates the extinction of our race. These are events so outside the norm of human history, there are no examples in the past to rely upon for guidance and solutions. No one knows what a majority-minority America will be like. No one knows if it is sustainable. What’s coming this century is entirely new.

Let a thousand honkies bloom.

The Deadend Men

When I was a young man, starting out in the world, I took a graduate class on proto-Marxism. I was just a freshman, but the professor was satisfied that I could handle the material, so I was waved into the class. My main interest in taking the class was to get a look at real communists. The Cold War was in its denouement, so I thought I’d better get a look at some real Marxists before the whole thing collapsed into a carnival of finger pointing and embarrassment. It was one of the best courses I had in college.

The two big lessons I carried away were that ideologues always believe their thing transcends time and space. They cannot imagine that there will be a time when their tool set of ideas is no longer relevant. The other thing that seemed obvious, is that observable reality is not enough to shake someone from their ideology. The professor was well aware of the problems inherent in Marxism, but he had committed his life to it. To abandon Marxism, to even seriously question it, would be like erasing himself from life.

I’m reminded of that every time I scan conservative sites like National Review, the Federalist or even The American Conservative. They continue to talk about what they call conservatism as if it is a timeless set of truisms that are universally applicable. The fact that the conservatives of today would have been viewed as alien weirdos by the conservatives of just 30 years ago, is completely lost on them. The fact that the world is an entirely different place than 30 years ago goes unnoticed.

Read a post like this one from National Review, and the thing that jumps out is the fact that these guys still don’t know what’s happening to them. Conservatives have convinced themselves that Trump is Nixon and the current tumult is just a replay of the years between LBJ and Reagan. Rather than look at what is happening in the world, they are treating this period as an interregnum. The Progressive tide that peaked with Obama is receding. Next comes the conservative wave to carry them to the promised land.

There’s no mention of immigration or the changing demographics of America in the article, so that means there is no mention of race either. Look through the source document and it reads like a policy paper put out by people who have been asleep for the last 30 years. It also is written in the grad school jargon that sounds convincing to men who have had no exposure to the dreaded private sector. Apparently, conservatives are convinced that the “way forward” for their thing is to pretend that nothing has changed since 1988.

Conservatives keep getting up on the same horse, an image of Reagan on their shield, prepared to dash into the nearest food co-op, in the name of ordered liberty. The fact that the food co-op closed down years ago and their horse and shield are paid for by a 501(c)(3) tax shelter, supported by a billionaire oligarch, makes no difference. Even the fact that their trusty side kick, the libertarian Sancho Panza, is now hanging out on Gab, posting identitarian and Pepe memes, has had no effect on them.

When Prophecy Fails is a classic work of social psychology, from which we get the concept of cognitive dissonance. It is the study of a UFO cult in the 1950’s led by a charismatic named Dorothy Martin. She predicted the end of the world would occur on December 21, 1954. That did not happen, obviously. The study is about how the group handled this reality. One of their observations is that the group drew closer together and became more committed. They even began to proselytize about their beliefs being correct.

Conservatives seem to be going through something similar. They went into the final years of the Obama presidency with a narrative about how the next phase of their thing would unfold. Their “principles” said they needed to embrace multiculturalism, globalism and open borders. That was the future. Then Trump came along running on the exact opposite of those things. His victory was the nullification of the narrative. Instead of accepting it, they seem to be committing themselves to an renewed version of the narrative.

It’s tempting to write off Conservative Inc as just a bunch of cynical grifters. There’s certainly an element of that to it. Guys like Jonah Goldberg are living one percent lifestyles peddling outdated nostrums and ideological nostalgia. Most, maybe even all of them, don’t see themselves as useful idiots of the donor class. They really believe the conservative jibber-jabber. They think the world has not changed a bit and it is the same old fights over the same old issues. All they need to do is repeat the magic words one more time.

Conservatives, like the dinosaurs seeing the comet streaking across the sky, do not understand what is happening to them. Even as the signs of change become more obvious, they cling to the old ideology. They have a lot in common with those old Marxists of the previous generation. Even when the futility of Cold War conservatism is explained to them, they just can’t accept it. To accept that politics and economics are downstream from culture, means erasing themselves from the ideological map. They just can’t do it.

So, it will be done for them.

Mencken Club Diary Part II

There were three reasons I decided to attend Mencken. One was just curiosity. I’ve been a reader of Paul Gottfried since I was a kid, so I was curious about the sort of people who follow his work. I also wanted to meet Derb again. I’ve been a big fan of his for decades now. I also wanted to hear his views on the alt-right. He was part of a panel devoted to that topic on Saturday. Of course, the normal social stuff was a motivation, as well. You always end up meeting fellow travelers at these sorts of things.

The session on the alt-right is what I was most interested in seeing. John Derbyshire is one of the few in the older generation who seem to get that the alt-right is not a club or even a defined movement. At this point, it is mostly a collection of aspirations, observations and critiques. The second speaker was Keith Preston, who was unknown to me. I was very interested in what Professor Gottfied had to say about the alt-right. He has spent his life in right-wing politics and philosophy so his opinion is important.

John was first up and he used Vox Day’s 16-points blog post as the framework for his talk. He made the point that Vox is by no means the leader of the alt-right or the voice of it, but a representative sample that is useful for analyzing the movement. His comments about item number eight were laugh out loud funny, to the empirically minded. What John was doing was introducing the general ideas of the alt-right to a crowd that is not spending their evenings in the meme war. He did a good job presenting the broad strokes.

The next guy up was Keith Preston and I think it is fair to say he is not a fan of the alt-right, but he is not dismissing it either. He took some shots at some of the crazier elements flying the flag, but he gave a good long overview of all the different groups that get lumped into the category alt-right. Preston reminds me of Fred Reed, before Fred went crazy. There is an almost forgotten tradition of Southern populist skepticism that works very well when critiquing political ideologies. As a result, his review of the alt-right was well done.

The final speaker was Professor Gottfried. His talk was interesting for a number of reasons. One is he does not like Richard Spencer very much. He thinks Spencer is just playing make believe and is a bundle of unforced errors. He also said Spencer hates working class people. This is not the first time I’ve heard someone say some version of this. Gottfied did not say it, but the accusation is that Spencer is a dilettante. Having been around enough trust fund guys, I get why people think that, but I don’t share that opinion.

Gottfried’s main theme about the alt-right is that they are not well run and not good at presenting themselves on main stream media outlets. He used, as an example, someone who either writes for Spencer now or used to write for him. Gottfried said the guy was a racist and therefore an embarrassment. He got quite worked up over this point and said you can’t have a political movement without moral standards. Purging racists should be the absolute minimum standard for any political movement.

Gottfried is trying to replay the purges that landed him and the rest of the paleocons outside the institutions. He wants a do over. That’s something you hear from the older crowd a lot and I understand it. There’s a lot of bitterness as to how things played out in conservative politics over the last half century. I don’t blame a guy like Gottfried for looking at a guy like Jonah Goldberg with contempt. Gottfried wrote the book on fascism, but Goldberg got rich off the crackpot idea that Progressives are the real Nazis.

The truth of the matter though, is mainstream conservatism failed to conserve anything, other than the some well paid positions in Progressive media. The reason is they lost the culture war. In the 1960’s, when the Progressives decided to finish what they started in the 1860’s, the Official Right buckled. Instead of fighting to the last man, they agreed to the new moral paradigm, with regards to human relations, that the Left wanted to impose on the rest of the country. When racism became a sin, conservatism became one two.

That’s what the paleos don’t get. There’s no stopping the white replacement project and the systematic erasure of our culture, until the Progressive moral framework is brought crashing down. I’m no spring chicken, but I fully endorse the youthful antics employed by the alt-right. Putting up posters like Identity Europa does on college campuses, helps build a counter culture and draw in young people. The ad hoc guerrilla marketing campaign of placing “It’s OK To Be White” signs is lethal to the people in charge.

Sure, some of it backfires. Despite what anyone says, Charlottesville was a clusterfuck for all involved. In this sort of movement though, you have to take risks and accept some losses. Let’s also not forget that Charlottesville is why the Hispanic KKK ran that hilariously stupid ad in the Virginia governor’s race. It’s not always easy to know if an action worked. Going off the hot takes of Sean Hannity is a good way to keep losing, like the generation of paleos now carping about the alt-right.

One of the crazier things Gottfried said, is that the alt-right is creating a war between whites, when it is claiming to defend whites. He then went onto say that the reason things are such a mess in America is that Christians did it to themselves. I’m a heretic on the JQ issue, but man, that was hard to take. Anyone vaguely familiar with the arguments of the alt-right would know exactly what the response would be to that. I’ll just say it is an example of the vast cultural divide between the Old Right and the alt-right upstarts.

I have a lot of respect for guys like Paul Gottfried, so this should not be read as a condemnation of him or the paleocons. I think in the fullness of time, they will be remembered fondly for having kept the fires burning, despite having been un-personed by the Buckleyites and neocons. The alt-right owes everything to these old guys, even though many of them made the trip from libertarianism. Richard Spencer got his start because of guys like Gottfried and Taki Theodoracopulos,

The difference is the new guys categorically reject the current moral order. If that upsets the Fox New types, so be it. Politics is a pointless enterprise, if rooting for your own team is expressly forbidden. Taking over institutions does nothing, if the price is embracing the morality of the Left. The Old Right always defined itself as defending the existing culture and institutions. That made sense when those things were worth defending. Today, those things are a cancer on our people. They must be replaced or we will be replaced.

Mencken Club Diary Part I

I got to the hotel hosting the Mencken event a little early, so I went to the bar to have a beer and kill some time. This was my first Mencken event and I was having second thoughts about the whole thing. I figured it would be an older crowd, which is fine, but I suspected it would a very libertarian crowd too. I don’t have a lot of patience for libertarians, under the best of circumstances. It had been a very busy week for me so I was especially cranky and I feared I would be something less than my charming self.

As I had my second beer, I was thinking about how best to say “the non-aggression principle is for pussies.” I noticed a middle-aged women at the other end of the bar. She had been at a table, tapping away on her tablet. She relocated to the bar and was making an effort to get my attention. She was sporting a Mao cap, which is popular with cat ladies, so I ignored her, had another beer and played with my phone. Maybe if she had been better looking or I had a few more drinks in me, I would have done her the favor.

The reception was a little like God’s waiting room, assuming the Jews really are the chosen people. The room was old and very Jewish. There was a youngish guy over in the corner, who looked relieved to see me walk in, as that meant there were two people in the room paying FICA taxes. We chatted for a wile and I learned he is a devout libertarian and came to the Mencken event primarily to see Tom Woods. He seemed earnest, so I resisted the temptation to tell him about my plan to send libertarians to work camps.

The formal reception was a sit-down affair with a dinner and drinks. I was relieved to meet some younger people, who share my politics. They were mostly millennials, but one guy was gen X. We were the kiddie table. Keith Preston was at our table and he is an interesting guy. I don’t share his politics, but he is not one of those doctrinaire ideologues, who thinks he has figured it all out and now has to spread the gospel. He’s genuinely curious about what’s going on in the dissident right. He’s a good dinner companion.

That is the value of these events. Going back and forth with strangers using fake names on-line has its value, but meeting and talking in real life has value too. I only had some vague notion about Preston, based entirely on his site. Chatting over dinner and then hearing him speak, I now have a new appreciation for what he is doing. At the same time, I saw him nodding more than a few times as I was making my case for the new counter culture. If not for sitting at the same table, we would remain strangers to one another.

Another big benefit to these things is that you find out that there are more of us out there than is reported. Two of the guys at the kiddie table are college professors. Another is an attorney at a big firm. I know from the comments here, and the e-mails I receive, that a lot men in the professional ranks are “our guys” but they keep quiet about it. That’s a necessary thing, but it also means it is easy to feel like a stranger in the world. Having dinner with a gang of smart, like minded professionals is an antidote to the sense of doom.

At the same time, spending time with a bunch of old guys is an eye opener. Most of us experience our politics on-line, through blogs, social media and videos. The people at the Mencken event experience their politics from network news, the cable chat shows and paper magazines. A lot of what we take for granted, they don’t know exists. What they do know about the emerging counter culture, they don’t fully understand. It’s not simply an age thing. Its that there is a necessary bit of self-ghettoization on out side.

Age is a part of though. Paul Gottfried kicked off the evening with a speech about the state of the Right. He made the point that the average age of Fox News viewers is 60-something and National Reviews readership is around 70. Then he made the error of assuming that reflects the demographics of the Right. The fact is, Stefan Molyneux has vastly more resonance with people under the age of 50 than a Sean Hannity. Sites like 4chan and Reddit have greater political reach than all of the cable shows combined.

Tom Woods, the featured speaker of the night, actually tried to make that point. He talked about how he has built a business on new media, but I don’t think he won any of them over. He also spent a lot of time trying to differentiate between left-libertarianism and right-libertarianism. There’s always been warm relations between paleos and Rand Paul style libertarians and he was well received by the Mencken folks. He’s a good speaker, so I did not run out of the room screaming, even though the whole thing had a 1980’s vibe to it.

Finally, the most important benefit to attending these real life gatherings is that you get to socialize with other like minded people. The kiddie table ended up in the bar, drinking and telling stories. I learned that one of the college professors is connected with a bunch of people in this thing. I also learned that a couple of the others are readers. That’s always an interesting experience for me. I often forget that real people read this stuff. For me at least, the camaraderie and brotherhood is motivating. It gives purpose to my efforts.

I’ll get into the event itself in another post, but people in dissident politics should begin to embrace these events. Co-opting existing institutions is how the New Left won the culture war 50 years ago. It’s a good model to follow. If alt-right people start populating local clubs and organizations, even If it is in a low key way, it helps build the movement. The first step is meeting people at events like Mencken. Two of the guys at my table are local to me, so now we can socialize and conspire locally. That’s how movements grow.

Christianity, Patriotism and The Alt-Right

Can you be a Christian and Alt-Right?

That’s a question the TRS guys were debating the other day. It comes up a lot, mostly because the leading lights in dissident politics are not religious. Some appear to be outright atheists, even if they don’t make a big deal out of it. Of the old guys, I can’t think of any who are Evangelical. Most were Protestants, but have long ago drifted from their churches. I don’t think any of the next generation are religious. Some grew up going to church, but abandoned it as soon as they left home.

The thing with the Gen X and Millennial leaders of the alt-right is most of them are disinterested in religion and its role in human society. It’s not something that occupies space in their mental framework. Just because the leadership and intellectual elements of the alt-right are non-religious, it does not necessarily follow that the alt-right is hostile to the religious. They spent their youth marinating in Progressive dogma and as a result, they see culture through a secular lens, rather than a spiritual one.

There’s a lot more to this so there will be many more posts on the topic, but a good point of entry is the simple question at the start of the post. The alt-right makes race the primary identity. Christians, and I’m thinking primarily of non-denominational Christians, place their relationship with Jesus Christ as their primary identity. That’s an obvious conflict, as nothing in Scripture backs the primary arguments of the alt-right. Even the most expansive reading of Scripture cannot arrive at a pro-white position.

There’s also the fact that many Christians are fanatical supporters of Israel. They have incorporated unconditional support for the state of Israel with their Christian identity. That often extends to Jews in the United states. For many Christians, antisemitism is the worst sin imaginable. That’s an obvious problem with the alt-right. Then there is the egalitarianism that many Christians have internalized as part of their relationship with Jesus Christ. They believe they are called to treat all men as children of God.

None of this is necessarily a deal breaker for Christians and the alt-right, but it creates some rather obvious complications. What it means is the alt-right is going to have to get better at understanding how to talk to and appeal to this type of Christian. Simply making the pro-white argument is not going to have much appeal to people who root their identity in something that transcends race. The alt-right, if it is going to make inroads into the Christian community, is going to have figure out how to engage these folks on their terms.

What about Patriotism?

Strangely, the alt-right may have an easier time engaging with Christians, than the hard core Civic Nationalists. Christians have been oppressed in American for generations and they have learned the hard way that they cannot vote themselves to freedom. That’s not the case with Civic Nationalists. The narcotic of patriotism keeps them forever optimistic that one more election and the nation will return to the 1950’s, except with a lot more brown people, who magically embrace white middle-class sensibilities.

As with Christians, the folks listening to Glenn Beck or Ben Shapiro, as they drive around suburbia, root their identity in something that transcends race and ethnicity. Civic nationalism is a religion and a primary identity. They are Americans, no hyphen. More important, these people look at things like taxes and regulation as primary markers of fidelity to their civic religion. To them, guys like Richard Spencer sound like communists, because he doesn’t seem to care all that much about tax cuts or regulatory reform.

The thing is, the patriotic normie is sure he is working from facts and reason when investing all of his energy into the current political arrangements. In reality, gentry conservatism and libertarianism are a different implementation of the Progressive moral frame work. The ends are different, but the assumptions are the same. You don’t talk people out of their moral sensibilities with facts and reason. In order to sway patriotic normies, the alt-right is going to have to appeal to them in moral terms.

Most of the alt-right seems to think this is a self-resolving problem. Mass immigration and the war on white people will beat the patriotism out of these people. They will inevitably come to accept identity politics. Maybe, but it would be preferable to win over these people before America becomes Brazil. At that point it may not matter. The alt-right is going to have to think about how to offer something to these folks that rivals the narcotic power of flag waving patriotism. That means constructive engagement, rather than mockery.

These are just two facets to a very big topic. Racial politics in America has always been about the two sides of white America debating how to best deal with the blacks. That’s made identity politics two dimensional. In order to move past that, it means creating an alternative moral framework. That cannot be conjured from thin air. It must happen in relation to and in reaction to the current claims on the identity of whites. The alt-right will have to be reconciled with religion and patriotism, or it will fail.

The Future of White Nationalism

At American Renaissance, I was introduced to an old guy from VDare, who seemed to experience the world strictly through the search functions of his phone. Someone told him about my site and the first thing he did was search for the site name and “white nationalism” to see if I had opinions on the subject. His first hit was a post where I called white nationalism the dumbest thing going. He tried giving me the business about it and I gave it right back to him. I will forever be off the VDare Solstice card list as a result.

In fairness to him, he was a good sport about it. In fairness to me, my criticism of white nationalism is mostly about aesthetics. The term is not a new one. That means it comes with baggage and that baggage is not easily overcome. When most Americans hear “white nationalism” they think of snaggle-toothed rustics, wearing wife beaters and jorts, complaining about the coloreds. Getting modern whites to overcome the cult of anti-racism is hard under ideal conditions. Having Cletus as your sales rep makes it impossible.

That’s something the white identity people need to accept. For generations, Progressives have tightly associated racism with the South. The good white/bad white thing that John Derbyshire discusses is based entirely on this image. Bad whites shop at Walmart, like domestic beer and hate black people. Despite the fact that blacks have been moving back to the Old Confederacy for decades, black culture holds that the South is still aggressively racist. It’s at the core of the statue toppling and confederate flag burning manias.

Even if you can somehow get past the image problem, white nationalism is not some new concept developed by the alt-right. It has a history and it has a lot of veterans of its prior iterations. Those people are still kicking around. The web site Storm Front, in addition to being an FBI honey trap, is the home of the old White Nationalist guys, who used to follow guys like David Duke. If you borrow the language and symbols of these guys, you are inviting them and their ideas into your new version of white nationalism.

There are two problems with this. One is many of these guys were not the best people or the most stable people. Stepping way outside the moral framework is never easy, but it is a lot easier if you’re crazy. It’s also easier if you have nutty ideas that no one takes too seriously. Even the most generous evaluation of White Nationalism 1.0 says it was mostly a reaction to the cultural revolution of the 1960’s. It never came up with a plausible way forward politically or culturally. It was mostly old racists who just liked to complain.

Again, even if you manage to rehabilitate the language and symbols, you can’t get past the fact that prior efforts were a failure. A pretty good rule of life is that failure is assured if you follow in the footsteps of previous failures. It’s why adopting Nazi symbols is stupid. The Third Reich was most notable for being a disastrous failure. Associating your thing with failure is just bad marketing. It also tends to attract people who find some sort of satisfaction in losing. New Movements need need language and new symbols.

Putting all of that aside, prior iterations of white nationalism always suffered from the fact they were reactionary. At their very best, they could only offer a critique of the prevailing order. They had nothing to offer as an alternative, beyond demands to wind the clock backwards. Reactionary movements always fail in the long run for the simple reason that yesterday can never follow tomorrow. Even if everyone agrees the current arrangements are not working, what comes next is never a return to the old order.

There’s something else that prior white nationalists movements never got right. They assumed that a majority white nation was a given. If they could just get a majority of whites on their side, they would win the political battles over race. America is 70% white at the last census and will be majority-minority in a few decades. The issue today is not about keeping America white. That horse has left the barn. The question before us today is how whites will survive as a minority population in a majority-minority country.

That means the math is not about 50% plus one. Whatever comes to define white identity in the age of identity politics will have to appeal to and serve the interests of the vast majority of whites. That can’t just be a visceral hatred of non-whites. Whites in America are mostly from west of the Hajnal line, which means low clannishness. Old fashioned tribal signalling against the next tribe is not going to work. What comes next has to be an ideology that promotes a positive identity offering a promising future.

That’s probably the most encouraging thing to come out of the Charlottesville protest over the summer. The people involved began to appreciate the need to build new symbols and use new language. Even guys like Andrew Anglin are pushing his people to drop the Hitler images, beyond obviously satirical stuff. Mockery of taboos and irreverence for social norms has a place, but it can’t be the focus of a political movement, if it is going to draw in the skeptical. The white identity people seem to get that now.

The irony here is the New Left went through a similar problem. Before they were able to start the cultural revolution, they existed as an ad hoc counter-culture. The old commies from the CP-USA days tried to glom onto it, but the new radicals correctly saw that as a bad idea. They eventually purged their ranks of the old guys and their old ideas. Now, the cultural movement that seeks to destroy the New Left and the Baby Boomer culture is going through a similar process as it organizes itself.

Myths Die Slowly

Back in the summer, I was riding with a friend, up the north shore of Massachusetts, and we were talking about Trump and the alt-right. My friend is not into my type of politics. He remains a generic conservative, the sort who thinks Ben Shapiro is great and Gavin McInnes is edgy. I don’t fault him for it. Most white people are in that camp, unless they are a Progressive. The Dissident Right is still small and the alt-right is even smaller. The tide is running our way, but it has a long way to go before we have big numbers.

Anyway, one of the things we discussed was what Trump could or would do regarding the big issues. My buddy truly believes that all that needs doing is to cut taxes, cut spending and crack down on illegal immigration. Then America will begin to look like the 1980’s again. He was a bit surprised when I told him that I disagreed. To be honest, I was a bit turned off by his optimism. The truth is, these guys stubbornly cling to the old ideas and old politics. We need to turn them, but it will not be easy. They won’t let go easily.

That is the biggest challenge facing the Dissident Right and it is a massive challenge for the alt-right. White people in America have been marinating, for their whole lives, in the stew of multiculturalism and the conventional conservative reaction. They still view the world through the lens of the Cold War. That means accepting the Left’s moral framework, while longing for the Right’s promised ends. The result is a collection of American myths that our people stubbornly embrace, despite the evidence.

The biggest one is probably the fetish over the Constitution. The people who love Ted Cruz and Glenn Beck are the best example. They talk about the Constitution like it is a holy relic. It is their magic talisman. They are sure that all we need is a majority of Constitutional Conservatives on the bench and more of them in Congress. When you point out that the Constitution currently requires Christian bakers to celebrate homosexual weddings, they dismiss this as if it is a lie. They just can’t let go of the dream.

These are usually the same people who go on about our Judeo-Christian principles. There is no such thing. It is just something nice white people thought was a good thing to say, so the Jews would feel included. Jews think the idea is ridiculous and very conservative Jews find it insulting. The formulation gained popularity in the Eisenhower years, probably in reaction to the Holocaust. Despite the ridiculousness of it, most constitutional conservatives are convinced America is built on Judeo-Christian values.

The great black hope is another one of those myths that conservative whites cannot let go of, even after eight years of Obama. For example, the mulatto meathead, Dwayne Johnson, was saying nice things about generic conservatives for a while last spring. This set off a round of hero worship in Conservative Inc. National Review did a special issue on him. Most whites still believe the dream of racial harmony, so gaining the approval of a guy like Sheriff Clark or a Dwayne Johnson is like being blessed by the Pope.

This is because whites largely accept the blank slate egalitarianism the Progs have been preaching for the last half century. White people are so afraid of being condemned as racist, they will believe just about anything to avoid it. The most hard boiled right-winger will break out in hives when race is mentioned. The insist that all blacks need to do is act like middle-class white people. It’s why they carry guys like Sheriff Clark and Allen West around as conquering heroes. Whites still cling to the myth of egalitarianism.

This spills over into the immigration debate. Listen to the garden variety talk radio conservative and they will fall all over themselves praising legal immigration. They completely buy in the myth of the propositional nation. They don’t always use that language, but they accept it. Whites may not think all people are the same, but they think they can be the same. Therefore, the non-whites wishing to settle in America can prove this by following the rules, like a white person would. It’s Magic Rule Theory.

Many alt-right people like to flatter themselves by insisting that the JQ is the hardest red pill to swallow, but in reality, patriotism is the toughest. People can accept that blacks are incapable of living with whites. People can even buy off on the idea that Jews have a disproportionate influence on society and maybe that’s not a good thing. The one thing you cannot get anyone to accept is that patriotism is anything but an honorable quality. If you dare question the idea, whites will condemn you as a some sort of commie.

That’s the biggest challenge for the alt-right. They don’t couch it in these terms, but theirs is a post-national movement. Their brand of identity politics puts racial identity ahead of all other group loyalties. That includes what Americans call patriotism. If the black NFL players all stand this week, hands over hearts, singing the anthem, whites around America will be sobbing and hugging one another like it is the rapture. Talking Americans out of this sort of over the top love of country is the great challenge for the alt-right.

Beliefs and customs have a way of transforming into something different when they lose their salience. Many conservative whites have started to abandon their party loyalty, realizing it was a sham. Increasing numbers of whites are coming to terms with the realities of race. Still, they do so with the hope that, with some tweaking, the republic can be set right again. Maybe that’s the process. We’re now seeing more people talk openly about ending immigration entirely. That’s a big step for white people.

The fact is, things like patriotism and a love for ordered liberty are features of white Americans, not bugs. Most whites get that and will stubbornly cling to those ideas, even when they are an impediment to preserving civilization. Sacred beliefs don’t go away without a fight. it does not happen after one speech or one good YouTube video. The great challenge for the insurgency is to re-purpose these attributes toward better ends. Appeals to people’s better natures always works better than challenging their deeply held beliefs.

The Media Wall

The “fake news” phenomenon could turn out to be the most important turn of events in the Trump era. The simple reason is it has awoken millions of normies to the realities of mass media in America. Most white conservatives accepted that the news was real, but biased in favor of one side, the Progressive side. They never stopped to think that maybe the news was not even real, that the Prog news outlets were making stuff up. Now, most white conservatives assume the news is fake.

That’s a positive development, one that our side can certainly exploit. It’s a handy tool for whenever the megaphones start blasting the latest propaganda from our rulers. Simply yelling “fake news” has become a useful way to prevent the Progs from framing the debate, at least with regards to politics. The other aspect of the fake news stuff that is useful is that the mass media is no longer capable of doing real news. Mass media is no longer a feedback loop for the ruling class. It’s just agit-prop.

The origins of fake news lie in the New Journalism that emerged in the 1960’s. Telling a story around the facts of a news event turned out to be a good way to go from ink stained wretch to rock star. Guys like Truman Capote and Nornan Mailer were stars, because they made the news compelling. Why stick to old fashioned reporting, when telling a colorful tale, with colorful portraits of the main players, based on real events, was the road to fame and fortune? The result was New Journalism became the default.

An instructive anecdote in the book Banana Sunday, by the old Telegraph reporter Chris Munnion, is about the the new breed of reporters from America arriving in Africa. These “reporters” would show up and spend their time in the hotel bar, picking up tidbits from the real reporters, who went into the field to gather news. They would then salt their pre-written stories with these facts. As a gag once, the real reporters made up crazy tales to tell around the Americans. All of them fell for it, but they were never called on it.

That seems to have been the lesson American media people figured out over the decades. There was never going to be a penalty for faking their stories, just as long as it was not too egregious. As long as the “reporting” fit the prevailing narrative, the copy would be accepted without question. That’s how Bob Woodward allegedly interviewed Bill Casey, while Casey was in a coma. It’s why Stephen Glass was able to sell whoppers to the New Republic. It’s why Rolling Stone fell for the Virginia rape hoax.

Fake news is just one result. The other is the media no longer has the ability to do real news. From top to bottom, the business is staffed with people trained to tell stories. The “journalists” are tasked with taking what is given to them and spinning a colorful tale around it. That means cultivating cozy relationships. It’s why close to 200 journalists went to work in the Obama administration when he took office. The line between reporter and subject no longer exists. It’s just one big story factory.

A good example of this is what is happening in college sports. The Feds have arrested five coaches and half a dozen others in a bribery scandal, involving Addidas, a major sneaker company. Read the filings by the prosecutor and it is clear they have a lot more information that they are withholding. This is already a huge case involving famous people. Rick Pitino is one of the biggest names in the sport. This will probably get much bigger and alter the economics of American sports forever.

Of course, anyone the least bit familiar with college athletics has known it is dirtier than boxing and it always has been. The sneaker companies bribe youth coaches, college coaches and college administrators. The recently fired Athletic Director of Louisville had his daughter on the payroll of the sneaker company doing business with his school. At high school camps and tournaments, runners and street agents are there “advising” kids and their parents, with handfuls of cash. It is dirty from top to bottom.

This is something that everyone has known for years. Yet, the people tasked with “covering” college sports never bother to report on this stuff. The “hard hitting investigative teams” are always too busy looking for white supremacy to notice outright bribery going on in the sport. All a sports reporter had to do was hang around the AAU circuit for a summer and he could have a book’s worth of stories. But, that would mean mixing it up with the dirt people and why do that when the pay is the same for selling the narrative?

This was the situation with the steroid scandal in baseball. The beat writers for baseball spend their whole lives with the players. They travel on the road with them and they hang out with them in the locker room. The one time a reporter mentioned that Mark McGuire had androstenedione in his locker, the reporter got in trouble. It’s why sports reporters are the most oblivious people in the business. Noticing is so dangerous to a career that only the oblivious survive. The result is nothing but safe fake news.

This inability and unwillingness to do real news has been a boon to the Dissident Right. We saw that in the election. The fake news was so sure Hillary would win, they had magazine covers pre-printed and ready to go in advance. It’s why their attempt to censor alternative media has been a failure. They simply don’t understand what they are up against as they don’t know anything about us. The clever boys on social media easily subvert the narrative and turn it against the fake news media.

For a long time, the media was a weapon the ruling class could use to keep the public in line. Newspapers would sell the claims of each faction in the political class, thus defining the bounds of political discourse. Then television became the voice of the ruling class in the living room of every home. The internet was supposed to be the voice on everyone’s desktop. While that remains true, the loss of credibility and the lack of intellectual capital is now turning the mass media into an expensive wall between us and them.

That’s a useful metaphor. The media used to inform the ruling class on trends among the Dirt People. Instructions from the rulers flowed through the press to the Dirt People. The responses flowed back up through the media to the Cloud People. Now, the media is a wall between the two. The people in the media face in toward their masters, rather than looking out over the wall at the rest of us. For those involved in dissident politics, this is useful as it makes it more difficult for the people in charge to respond to the threat.

Judicial Anarchism

Russell Kirk argued that there are three cardinal ideas in Western civilization. There is the idea of justice, the idea of order, and the idea of freedom. Justice is the process that protects a man’s life, property, natural rights, status and his dignity. Order is the principle and the process to ensure that a people will have just leaders, loyal citizens, and public tranquility. Freedom is the principle that a man is made master of his own life. These three great concepts are the cement of American society.

Some nations have order without justice or freedom. China is a modern example of a tyranny where order is maintained, but there is no justice or freedom. Somalia is an example where there is freedom, but no order or justice, the libertarian ideal. There can be no justice, of course, without order and freedom, which is the point of the American experiment. Our society is a regime of ordered liberty, designed to give justice, order and freedom all their due recognition and respect.

Most everyone in the American chattering classes, takes order for granted, In fact, they never think much about it. Instead, they spend their energy fretting over liberty and justice. That has been the basis of the political divide in our ruling class since the end of World War II. The Left has largely been focused on justice, particularly the ideas of status and dignity. The Right has focused on liberty, particularly with regards to property. Both sides of the political class have always assumed order was a given.

Of course, order is not a given. The Roman Republic is a good example of what happens when order breaks down in the ruling class. The elites slowly stopped enforcing its own rules on the ruling class. Whether out of necessity or convenience, order slowly broke down. By the time Marius and Sulla came along, playing by the rules was a sucker’s game, if you were in the ruling class. That set the stage for a strong man willing and able to ignore custom and seize control of the state.

The other way in which order breaks down is the example of Weimar Germany. The political class lacked the means and the moral authority to impose order. The chaos on the streets is commonly blamed for the rise of you know who. The disorder following the collapse of the Soviet union is blamed for the rise of the oligarchs. History is full of examples where the ruling class either lost control or lost the moral authority to maintain control. Every revolution in history follows this model to some degree.

What we are seeing in modern America is a strange combination of how order breaks down in a society. The American ruling class is coming to the conclusion that the rules really don’t work for them. They don’t have the will or ability to simply toss them aside and impose a new order, but they refuse to allow the old rules to limit their power. That’s what’s happening with the chaos we see in the courts. Judges, who are members of the ruling class, are willy-nilly overthrowing the constitutional order.

As Daniel Horowitz wrote last month, the Federal judiciary is claiming power for itself, that it has no constitutional basis. Judges are just making things up so they can overturn laws and thwart the constitutional power of the President. The Founders contemplated rogue judges, so there are provisions for removing a judge from the bench. That’s fine for one judge here or there, but no one has ever thought about what happens when the whole judiciary goes rogue. The remedy may be too dangerous to attempt.

Take a look at the list of suggestions in that article. Having states ignore Federal courts is not a small thing. it is a click away from secession. If a state legislature elected to go this route, they would be placing themselves in legal jeopardy. A federal judge could order the arrest of the speaker of the state house or the governor. Would the governor respond by having the judge arrested? It is not hard to see how this can get out of control, pitting the political class against itself, but also against factions in the public.

In a rational, liberal society, there should be debate and division, within the context of an agreed upon set of rules. What the court is doing in America is questioning the very idea of rules. They are claiming for themselves the right to make up whatever they feel like in the moment, in whatever incoherent fashion they choose. This is not judicial activism, so much as it is judicial anarchism. The founders never contemplated such a thing and our political class is based on the assumption that this is impossible.

Ultimately, a break down in civil order always ends the same way. Whether it is the result of civil war in the ruling class or a war between the ruling class and the people, there is a collapse in moral authority. Everyone loses respect for the old rules, which kept the old order. What comes next is also predictable. A man on a horse rides in and has the will and the means to impose order. That’s what comes next if the political class does not suppress what looks like a revolt from the bench. Otherwise, someone else will.

Clarity and the Written Record

One thing that has stuck with me from the American Renaissance conference is something Jared Taylor said in his speech to open the show. He talked about how for the longest time, he was a lonely voice in the wilderness. His events were lightly attended and ignored by the media. He was sure that he was merely keeping a record. He said this while pointing out how quickly things had changed. A few years ago his event got fifty attendees and now it had hundreds with hundreds turned away.

It resonated with me because it brought to mind the life of Cicero. Marcus Tullius Cicero was one of Rome’s greatest orators and writers. No writer in the history of the West has had greater influence. Well into the 19th century, European writers were influenced by his style. He was also an immensely important politician. He was consul during the Catilinarian conspiracy, having the conspirators executed. During the dictatorship of Julius Caesar he agitated for the return of traditional republican government.

Following Caesar’s death, Cicero became an enemy of Mark Antony, attacking him in speeches. For his trouble, he was proscribed, as an enemy of the state, by the Second Triumvirate and consequently executed in 43 BC. His severed hands and head were displayed in the Roman Forum, as a final revenge of Mark Antony. Petrarch’s rediscovery of Cicero’s letters is often credited with initiating the Renaissance and inspiring political theorists like John Locke to embrace the republican form of government.

Cicero is relevant to our age for the simple reason that he kept a record during the last days of the Roman Republic. Fifteen hundred years later, educated men in the emerging West, would be inspired by and cautioned by the writings of Cicero. There was a record of what was happening in the late stages of the Roman Republic and a record of those who tried to prevent it. Without that record, without the thoughts and words of those ancients, who fought the coming darkness, there may have never been the West.

This is why Rome was of great interest to the men of the Enlightenment. The American Founders were all students of Greece and Rome. They understood that when Rome fell, the West was plunged into an intellectual, economic and cultural darkness. These were men aware of the fact that they were coming out the other side of what happened at the close of the Republic. They naturally looked to Rome for clues as to how they could avoid the same fate, when coming up with new forms of government.

As we enter the late stages of the American Republic and the last days of what we have always known as the West, keeping a record may be the best we can accomplish. The fight will be fought, but only a delusional optimist can be blind to reality. Whether it is citizens being hunted down for heresy or weird looking foreigners demanding the disenfranchisement of natives, for the crime of hate speech, the signs are all there. The ruling elites of the West no longer have any faith in liberal democracy or the rule of law.

That may seem overly pessimistic, but just look at the immigration debate. Trump won the most improbable of victories on the promise to reverse decades of insane immigration polices. His position is actually the moderate one. A large percentage of Americans would shut down all immigration. Trump has merely promised to crack down on illegals and do something about the visa rackets. In the case of DACA, his position is to enforce the law, rather than perpetuate Obama’s policy of flouting the law.

Despite his moderation, the ruling elite is fighting him at every turn. His own party in Congress is not just blocking him on immigration reform. They are proudly attacking him over it. Politicians are cautious by nature, which means they live in fear of being on the wrong side of voters. Yet on this and other issues, they boast about giving their voters the bird. It’s tempting to say they are bought by moneyed interests, but this looks more like insanity than corruption. Our political class is suicidal.

That’s just one example. The broad appeal of populist polices on trade, taxes and social issues should have resulted in a wave of populist politicians. Trump is a terrible politician and his many quirks make him ill-suited for politics. Imagine a polished professional running on the same issues as Trump. Yet, we don’t see anyone picking up on these issues. It’s as if the entire political class has been infected with a virus that makes them act against their own interests, by alienating their own voters.

Debating the causes of what’s happening is part of keeping a record, just as doing what can be done to arrest it. One has to have hope that the fever will break, but if it doesn’t and we continue on the current path, documenting the insanity of our age is an important part of the fight. We may lack a Cicero to shape the way in which we think of our age, but Julius Caesar and Mark Antony are not showing up either. In an age of mediocre tyrants, we’ll have mediocre chroniclers of our age. Keeping a record is all that can be done.