I went into the event not knowing if it was for me. The stuff I do here does not fit neatly into the general categories of the Dissident Right. I’m a race realist and a biological realist, but I don’t do much on white identity. As I told Jared Taylor, I thought that AmRen was an older crowd who wanted to go back to the 50’s. On the other hand, I also went into it prepared to be wrong in ways I could not imagine. The event sold out so it had to be more than old guys telling war stories, but what that actually meant was a mystery.
Well, I was amazingly wrong. The age of the crowd was the first thing I noticed. There were many people there in the under-30 age bracket. There were lot of guys in their 40’s and 50’s too. The average age was probably early 40’s and there were quite a few women in attendance. Most important, the crowd was smart. AmRen is full of smart, well read people, more interested in the right answer than anything else. I’ll get into more detail later in this post, but AmRen is a gathering of the best minds on the Dissident Right.
The reason for this is Jared Taylor. Some men are impressive for what they have done and others impress for who they are. Taylor is both. He has worked tirelessly for a quarter century promoting pro-white ideas, often at great personal cost. He is also a man of great decency, integrity and accessibility. He has a presence. Spend a few minutes talking to Taylor and you get the sense you will be telling your grandchildren one day, about the time you shook the great man’s hand at the conference he founded…
The most exhilarating part of the trip was meeting John Derbyshire. He will be embarrassed for me after reading this, but having the great man say, “I am a big fan of your work” was the thrill of a lifetime. It’s like having the Pope say, “I envy your piety.” Many men have made the intellectual journey to this place because of the writing of John Derbyshire. There is a long list of imitators, like me, who came into this thing because we’ve read and understood his stuff. It was an honor to meet you, John…
I am not Derb’s #1 fan. J’onquarious Williams holds that title, in addition to the title of “second greatest quantitative blogger.” He’s also a brilliant and charming guy. Most quantitative guys are terrible conversationalist, but JW is an exception. There’s a genuineness to him that is striking. Within five minutes of talking to him, you feel like you have known him for decades. It also helps that he knows his stuff and he is a super smart guy. There’s something to say for getting the right answer and then embracing it.
I think both of us came away understanding that a lot of people are reading us and therefore, we have a duty to be good at what we do. JW told Derb that he was thankful that guys like Sailer and Derbyshire were there when he was ready for it. I think he hit the nail on the head. We both now see that one day someone will be saying the same thing to us. That means we have a duty to do our best work. Speaking only for myself here, I find that incredibly humbling and motivating. It’s good to have a team again…
On a slightly different note, I walked into the Friday night reception, hoping to see one of the famous guys and maybe buy them a drink. Instead, someone stopped me to say he was a fan. Then someone else did the same. That’s flattering, of course, but it takes getting used to. I watched guys like Richard Spencer spend hours getting his picture taken and shaking hands with admirers. He is incredibly accessible and he seems to enjoy talking with the young guys who look up to him. That’s hard thing to do well.
He invited me and some others to a late dinner and he was just one of the guys, debating the topics and soliciting opinions. There are some big differences between the two of us on philosophical matters, but he was very interested in discussing them. My take away is he is a guy fully aware that he has to keep growing into his role as the movement grows, so he is eager to sound out people on these topics. Not a lot of people can do that. I came away with considerably more respect for who he is and what he is doing…
I was at dinner with Spencer, because of a fellow I’ll just call the International Man of Mystery. This mystery man introduced me to all the big hitters at the conference. It seems that he knows everyone and they think it is important to know him. In addition to being the most connected guy in the universe, he is a wonderful conversationalist and an extremely intelligent man. Walking through the darkness to a party, feeling one another out about our politics, I sensed more was going on that meets the eye.
Every cultural movement needs people, who know how to put people together and put people at ease. Otherwise, they fall into factionalism and petty jealousy. Guys, like our International Man of Mystery, keep everyone working together. Of course, conspiring in the Tennessee darkness with an International Man of Mystery makes doing this a lot more fun. On the other hand, if I step out of line, I’ll have to hire someone to start my car in the morning. But, life is full of trade-offs…
Our International Man of Mystery put us at dinner on Saturday with Greg Johnson of Counter-Currents Publishing. I must admit I’m not as familiar with these guys as I probably be, but that speaks the wealth a breadth of content coming out of the Dissident Right. The banquet had a lot going on so I did not have nearly enough time to talk with Greg, but my first impression is that he is a very smart guy, who has spent a lot of time thinking about his set of issues. I came away thinking I need to make a point of reading his stuff…
At lunch on Saturday, JW and I were joined by a young guy, a teenager I think, who made us feel a little dumb. The kid is very smart and he has read a lot. He asks great questions. What struck me about the conference is that the Dissident Right is now the place for smart white males and not just old guys. Young guys are coming into this because they can be smart without someone screaming at them for noticing things or their toxic masculinity. Having a bunch of smart guys on our team is encouraging…
Regular reader Rurik was kind enough to buy me a beer and make a point of impressing upon me how much people enjoy what I’m doing here. I truly appreciated the kind words…
I met a brilliant young guy, who is emblematic of what I observed at the conference. He had a sense of race realism, but only after watching a Jared Taylor video did it all come together for him. This is a common story. The conference, at some level, had the feel of a group of people coming out from a cave to see the stars. That’s encouraging as it means something is genuinely happening. He posts under the handle “scotty” so if he starts turning up in the comments here, bring your A-game….
I’ll be doing some more posts on the conference. I don’t want to go too long, so I’ll stop here for now…
“I thought that AmRen was an older crowd ”
Older than who? These are relative terms.
How old are you, Z Man? It would certainly make parsing your frequent comments on age and generations simpler.
I’m 50. The guys featured on AmRen are all late 60’s and 70’s. That does not sound like a big gap, but it really is a huge leap from Gen X to Boomer.
The Baby Boom years are usually considered 1946 to 1964, there are obviously big gaps between those born in 1946, the true kids of the returning war vets, and those born in 1964. Assuming you were born in 1967 you are sort of on the cusp of the boom itself.
Of course some demographers and sociologists have gone further and broken out Generation Jones from the Boomers. This seems pretty smart to me; in 2000 election Jones’ers were far more conservative in voting patterns than either Boomers or X’ers. You might find it a useful mental construct if you continue to view things using generational filters, as is a little trend on the Alt Right at the moment.
Leaving aside the ideal of Jones, you are left with the fact that Late Boomers and early X’ers have a lot more in common with each other than with Millennials, which starts with those born in the mid 1980s till about 2000. If you had kids when you were 25 to 30 they would be millennials.
There are more millennials than boomers now, they are the biggest cohort, and they will all be eligible to vote in 2018
At first I was offended by Zman’s focus on age.
However, there is an important point underlying those observations.
A movement has to be comprised of thinkers and doers. JT, et al, are the thinkers. Not that others are not smart, but wisdom – experience – is essential for crafting the leading principles.
The doers are the young. Full of passion and energy, but also a bit clumsy.
The last year has seen the bringing together of the two. The young-uns are maturing rapidly, becoming cohesive and disciplined. The oldsters are smiling warmly and watching the wobbly legs strengthen and stretch.
It’s amazing and inspiring.
Nice to hear your take on AmRen. Really wanted to get to this one, but my grandchildren came to visit, so everything shuts down for that.
You are greatly appreciated out here, Z.
Let’s hope that International Man of Mystery doesn’t turn out to be an FBI informant taking names. I know some (very paranoid) people who believe the left is only biding its time before going full Bolshevik on us. Please tell me they’re wrong.
That’s not a bad suspicion about the IMM. No healthy movement should be so dependent upon one person.
It’s btw that leftists are always on the lookout for opportunities to go full Bolshevik. Even the piecemeal communism of “progressivism” is just a makeshift bundle of strategy and tactics for biding time until circumstances favor a revolution for totalitarianism. The alarming popularity of Bernie Sanders last year among children should have reminded everyone of this important truth about “progressives”. It’s also no secret that governement schooling is a vast left-wing indoctrination racket into which millions are dragooned in anticipation of making them comfortable with the idea of the expected Bolshevik moment. So I don’t think that your aquaintances’ fear of commie revolution is unjustified. Rather, their paranoia, as you call it, is motivated by self-evident facts.
Spent some time on the TRS boards, have you? There’s healthy paranoia and then there’s autistic paranoia. Many people give the left altogether too much credit. It’s not that they lack the desire to round us all up, it’s that the vast majority of them are so up their own asses, it’s nigh impossible for them to even formulate the plan.
For a movement that “gets too much credit”, the left has completely had their way for an entire century, and a lot of people who got in their way had their careers ruined, or simply died untimely deaths.
Is it paranoia when they really ARE out to get you? The body counts racked up by Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot speak for themselves.
You are awesome. It was great to meet you and some many others at Amren!
I puzzled out for myself that libertarianism is stupid and self-defeating, but Derbyshire started me down the path to being an actual renegade.
Thanks for this Zman, I have often wondered about the AR. Great info. also really love the podcasts. I look forward to yours more than any other, except for the primitive technology guy 🙂
Thanks. So far the podcast is confirming something I’ve always suspected. There’s some overlap between podcasts people and blog readers, it is not the same crowd. I’ve had a few people tell me they found the podcast and then went to the blog, never having heard of it. This means I am trying to poison the minds of a whole new set of people!
Z is a polymath. I assume there is a topic he has yet to study and does not have a thoughtful perspective on. That assumption is based entirely on an understanding that no man is omniscient. I’m entirely lacking any empirical evidence to back up my assumption, though.
He’s even more accessible in person than he is in written form. I didn’t think it was possible, either, but it is.
“I see bigger things for Zman.”
So do I.
Ha. Our mystery man said that a few times.
Did you meet Jew Among You?
Maybe. A big thing there is respecting anonymity, for obvious reasons. I did not make any effort to notice anyone’s name, real or otherwise. That makes it easier to avoid mistakes.
In the past he’s written his own excellent AmRen diaries. We’ll see if he does this time.
Years ago Cass Sunstein, Obama’s “legal scholar” par excellence wrote an article for Bloomberg titled (and I’m not making this up), “Could Bowling Leagues and the PTA Breed Nazis?” Reading this article was the moment I realized that it wasn’t enough just to “meet” online, like here: a physical presence and encounter is an important act of defiance and scares all the right (left) people. Manlet Rick Wilson wants them to believe we’re “mostly childless single men who masturbate to anime.” It’s harder to believe this when we meet in public.
Everyone I know who’s been to the conferences says Sam Dickson is usually the best speaker there. Greg Johnson’s “Waking up from the American Dream” is the best, most important and most accessible of the dissident right books I’ve read not by Taylor or Sam Francis.
Sunstein was just insulting the people he considered the enemy. In reality the Left given how it radicalizes young females into feminazis ensures that most male Lefties have very little chance for sex or a healthy relationship with a female.
The only way most Lefty whites can reproduce is by converting others to their cult.
Excellent comment, but my upvote is for “manlet Rick Wilson.”
From Cass Sunstein’s bowling alley “Nazis,” to Robert Putnam’s “Bowling Alone,” one has to wonder, what’s the deal w/lefties and bowling?!?
This article makes me jealous that I don’t live in the USA. Never thought I’d say that.
When you hear people complaining about the USA it is because we can envision how much better things can be. But we would not want to live anywhere else. I’ve been and lived in various corners of the earth and like them very much. The USA has always been home base, and when coming back always appreciate the peace and freedom we enjoy and realize that we have more of these things than any other people.
I notice the word smart seems a bit over used here today. Not because I have any particular insight about the IQ of our host, readers or the AmRen attendees, but rather I’ve learned to be very cautious when too many people at the edge of any distribution think they have things figured out about or for the rest of us. Even more so when I seem to be getting exactly the messages that resonate so well in my particular personal echo chamber. Nonetheless, I will figure out a way to explore Jared Taylor’s work on your recommendation.
The easiest way is a quick YouTube search. His interviews with mainstream media figures are concise and informative. He was raised in Japan and benefits from the standoff distance and the experience of being a foreigner in Japanese culture.
“Smart” can be used badly or well. Badly when it is used as a proxy for intelligence, well when it is meant to convey that someone is being smart.
Smart implies the opposite of “think they have things figured out” on this site.
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wise people so full of doubts.”
“I am wise because I know nothing.”
“The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”
caution. always good idea. however. consider. it is much more difficult to live in a echo chamber on the right than it is if you are on the left, as the former is under constant attack, while the latter is endlessly reenforced. not sure how much of your “caution” is due to guilt you feel for having thoughts that big media and academia has trained us to be shameful.
My suggestion-the YouTube video he did w/Stefan Molyneux. It’s a great introduction to Jared.
I see bigger things for Zman.
The rest of the comments make the serious points, and I agree with nearly all of them. What Z has – that very few do – are the Hidden Gems he tucks away….
“…..On the other hand, if I step out of line, I’ll have to hire someone to start my car in the morning………”
I did a spit-take. A spoon full of laughter helps the serious medicine go down. =)
Your point on smart White guys is spot on. A commenter on Sailers’ notes that being smart is now considered White Privilege or something, from InfoWars. https://www.infowars.com/not-being-stupid-is-cognitive-privilege-now/ .
Essentially smart White guys are being chased out of everywhere. Even Silicon Valley is under assault, to replace Smart White dudes with various Oprah watching women, racial grievance mongers, and the like. Per Heartiste’s showcasing of the latest research, women while ovulating value social dominance and aggression the most and find intelligence and warmth the least attractive traits in men; we can see what the sex market does when women suddenly find all the power balance tilts their way. Not just from sexual marketplace power but consumerist purchasing power.
I think the story of the 21st Century will be that of Smart White guys making themselves enough of a pain point that endless female-driven SJW jihads pass them over, for fear of retaliation and payback which can be considerable. I am not optimistic about the continuance of the American nation state, other than a giant melange of Muslims, Africans, and the rest; but I do think as only the Alt-Right or whatever you want to call it will be the home for smart White guys that rabble can be persuaded by spectacular examples to refrain from pursuing us into the weeds.
Certainly the party and status quo of Oprah, various Kardashians and rappers, Allahu-snackbar, and the like have little attraction for smart White guys who are waking up to the fact that they are on the menu as the main course.
The information cascade is well underway. Good to know.
Read Jared Taylor’s book ‘White Identity’ when it came out in 2011. I felt like I was walking alone in a wasteland until then. Big turning point for me. Glad you are able to experience this, Zman. Looking forward to hearing more.
Probably the only thing that could make it better is if Joe Sobran was still with us.
And Sam Francis and Jonathan Bowden. All great mean who willingly paid the price for telling the truth.
After all of your great output, you deserve to be in the vanguard of what I call the Realism Movement.
Excellent post. Glad you had a great time. Look forward to more updates.
Zman,your post gives me genuine hope, thanks from my family and I.
A day all smiles.