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.

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118 Comments on "Mencken Club Diary Part II"

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Jim
Guest

What ever happened to James Fields of the Charlottsville car mishap. Is he in jail or out on bond ? The large woman supposedly died of a heart attack.

Matt
Guest

The MSM has been way too silent on this one. I’ll double down on Jim’s question. What happened?

Wilbur Hassenfus
Guest

Safe bet: The poor jerk panicked and put his foot to the floor when the peaceful protesters started beating on his car with clubs. His fine motor coordination was shot and the only thought in his head was “escape”.

Then by the time he processed the presence of the people in front of him, it was too late to stop the car.

No ill intent at all, is my bet. I’ll further bet that he’s wracked by remorse.

Member

Nonsense. He drove at a considerable rate of speed towards the marchers, who filled the street, for more than a block. Nobody hit his car until the very last moment, and then again after he had come to a halt. He obviously intended to run into the crowd.

Joseph
Guest

He and the girl-friend of the Las Vegas shooter are doing tequila shooters at a bar in Cabo.

Member

He’s in jail and charged with 2nd degree murder, as well as a bunch of other felonies for the 15-20 non fatal injuries he inflicted with his car. After a little research, I found that the defense and prosecutor asked for a delay of the preliminary hearing until December. Probably to allow the investigation to continue, and to get this out of the media circus. The lynch mob would’ve helped no one.

The guy sounds like a real ass hat, whether he “meant” to drive into the crowd or not.

Anonymous White Male
Guest
Anyone that rails about “racism” to the degree Gottfried did should be asked to define what they mean by this. What you usually get is some pompous assertion that anyone that uses race at all to evaluate any situation is beyond the pale. Which, of course, is absurd. The definition of racism includes anything from believing that a race is a biological entity to anyone other than my race should be killed. And, invariably, those that use it accept the left’s view that it only applies to Whites. Even those things that many people raised in the public school system… Read more »
james+wilson
Guest

Racism is the condition that persons suffer who are in the grip of the belief that races and ethnic groups are similar by birth in intelligence, talents, tastes and habits.

joey+junger
Guest

Weird that the author of “Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt” is railing against racism. He used to laugh off such accusations when they were lobbed at him. What makes him think he’ll get a different reception.

Member
Joey. This doesn’t surprise me at all. Some people are able to compartmentalize these things. On a personal level I am probably one of the most tolerant people you could meet. My understanding is that Anglin is, too. For me racism is something that is practiced by the other side and projected upon us. Our problem is that reaching our goals necessarily entail recognizing race differences, making it easy to attach the negative connotations that the left has successfully attached to recognition of that kind, in part because they did a good job of making their form of racism socially… Read more »
Member

In other words we are all racists now.

Christopher S. Johns
Guest
Spot on. Ranting about racism is what the left does, because everyone knows that it means “whitey, just shut up and take it.” Gofffried refuses to understand this: the left has defined the future in terms of identity politics and uses charges of racism as a way to deligitimize and discourage whites from participating in a game where, once again, the left has defined the rules of the game. I can understand why Gottfried doesn’t like identity politics – frankly, I don’t like identity politics either – but, as instigated by the left, our society has been transformed by mass… Read more »
TomA
Guest

I don’t think the Paleocons lost the culture war, nor do I think that the Progressives won it. For more than half a century now, we have been an exceptionally affluent society that has made hardship nearly extinct. It is the loss of an existentially competitive environment that has degraded the human animal into dependent parasites rather than the self-reliant survivors of life’s harsh gauntlet of yesteryear. Our real enemy is not the deranged Liberal horde, but the missing fitness competition that formerly made us stronger in each succeeding generation.

Member
I think you need to take that one step further. As individuals and as members of a society, you have to be able to demonstrate emotional fitness… e.g recovering from a brutal raid from another tribe or seeing your brother ripped to shreds by a predator. The SJWs/progs have demonstrated that they are not fit emotionally to even compete socially and sexually (not to mention my earlier examples). That’s why you see the safe rooms and hear about “triggers.” That also explains the multiplicity of genders they have created since they are not in competition for mates. They cannot cope… Read more »
cerulean
Guest

” That’s why you see the safe rooms and hear about “triggers.” That also explains the multiplicity of genders”

I don’t think they actually believe that crap. It’s narcissism with the added benefit of irritating the squares.

Member

Could narcissism have a genetic component? Might someone with an excessive self-regard be less likely to brawl on the village green?

Maybe we are really saying the same thing?

Dutch
Guest
I am married to an SJW, and she is really trying to figure it out. She loves the medieval style fantasy books with swords and tribes and fighting, yet the idea of gun ownership is appalling to her. She buys into just enough of the media crap to think they describe reality. She had no idea that Trump and the Republicans are two different things and are not allies, in a conversation we had just last night. The concept of the “Uniparty” eludes her. She cannot comprehend the propriety of the proposed tax law that would penalize us, because she… Read more »
Ursula
Guest
This is so true, I’ve spent my life around Lefties. They really believe it and mean well. They think they’re making the world a better place. Of course, the Lefties closest to me are now mostly Trumpies, Alt Right, Dissident Right. These people can be considered brainwashed, as Dutch said, the product of decades of our nation’s successful propaganda/psyop program. They didn’t get this way overnight, and it’s not going to be undone overnight. The temptation for those of us impatient for change is to consider absurd White Shariah-type ideas but, of course, we don’t win by adopting the ways… Read more »
Karl McHungus
Guest

Have to disagree, strongly. People don’t change, they just spend more energy blocking out the disagreeable truth. Recovery as a nation will only occur as the boomers, then the gen-x’rs die off and are replaced by un-indoctrinated youngsters. Your wife has a much higher probability of reporting you to the government, than of being red-pilled.

Tinidril
Guest

The Boomer generation dying off is going to be crucial. Especially all the radicals infesting Hollywood, journalism, and academia. X’ers have a duty to provide a vision for the way back, as we remember a little of the society and mores they threw away. Also as the global power edifice starts to fail then our elites will be forced to detach from it and represent local interests again. The faster the EU fails the better. Soros’ death will help too, assuming his heirs won’t be as political with the trust funds.

Anonymous White Male
Guest

You have to differentiate between those that articulate and promote the various “progressive” lies and those that believe in the Emperor’s New Clothes. Those that are the leaders in injecting liberal poison into society are interested in power for themselves and their tribe and destruction of their enemies. They know that what they sell are lies. The masses are just cannon fodder and useful idiots that do it for narcissistic reasons and may deceive themselves that they actually do see the Emperor’s Clothes.

TomA
Guest

In our current political-economic environment of extreme borrowing & welfarism, whining is both a survival and a social success strategy. The notion that you can talk a parasite into being less whiny is insane. These people will not stop being whiny until it no longer works to get them more stuff. And that won’t stop until politicians are no longer able to buy votes with tax dollars.

Vinteuil
Guest

“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…”

Are we by any chance talking about that guy – can’t remember his pseudonymn, now – but he was pretty much explicitly neo-nazi – way back in the days when Spencer got me & Mangan, briefly, to write for his new alt-right website?

We immediately agreed that we didn’t like the company we were keeping, and jumped ship.

Bruce
Guest

What happened to Mangan? I liked that guy.

Tarl
Guest

Mangan is focused on health issues now. Blogs at roguehealthandfitness.com. On Twitter @Mangan150

Bruce
Guest

Thank you, sir!

Member

“That’s very white of you”.

The “current moral order” is SJW insanity. Anyone that doesn’t reject it is stupid, insane, or both. The “new guys” obviously reject it because they are neither.

Eclectic Esoteric
Guest

The left will never recover from the beating it’s getting from 4Chan.

Vinteuil
Guest

“…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…”

…this is good.

Member

Reminds me of meeting Larry Schweikart. I asked him what could be done to replace liberal professors and reform the university. His reply was that the university shouldn’t be reformed but destroyed.

Occasional Commenter
Guest

And one way to start on that is to take over the accreditation mechanisms. Start pointing out that certain courses at a given college are merely day-care and lack academic rigor. Hold their degrees at risk of being declared worthless. When a bachelor’s degree at one college is deemed insufficient preparation for entry into a master’s program at another, things will change.

I await the day that a California high school diploma is deemed inadequate preparation to entry into any college in the other 49 states.

Member

Nope, start with the money, it’s easier. Remove the tax breaks for indebtedness. Collapse the funding structures of the schools. Require them to privatize their Division I athletic programs in the way that investment and conventional banking are separate.

Don’t waste your time in an ideological struggle. Take their money. It’s faster.

Andy Texan
Guest

‘Progressive moral order’ is the distillation of the great issue of our day, namely, will it complete the conquest or be overthrown. Well done.

Issac
Guest

Gottfried disappoints in so many ways. Oh well, at least we still have Miller.

Dave
Guest

Since Zman mentioned it, the “It’s OK to be white” meme is brilliant. Of course, the institutional Left has wildly overreacted, and further exposed themselves as the childish monsters they really are.
Charlottesville was a disaster, but memes, like the one above, are golden and serve a real function in the culture wars.

TBoone
Guest
The meat. Part One was amusing and informative. This is Intelligent(as was Part 1. I was less so for failing to note said fact). And provides useful Intelligence. Historical background and ‘structure’. Previous (and ongoing) failures and logical framework to build upon. All stout meaty substance to chew and perhaps gnaw upon. Much has begun and vastly much more lies ahead of us. It is good and useful to have some history and names of people who have tried and come up short. Names of people who are/have failed. Names of bat-scat crazies who seek attention and adulation. Well written… Read more »
joey+junger
Guest
The “It’s Okay to be White” campaign was brilliant, for one simple reason: The smarter element of the right always says “X will lead to Y,” the left laughs and says “That’s nuts” and then X leads to Y as sure as night follows day. Gay marriage sounded insane to almost all liberals until recently. Everyone from Bob Dylan to Molly Ringwald used the word “fag” without any consequences. Now gay marriage is a sacrament, rather than a joke. The smarter, younger fraction of whites is saying that this critique of white privilege, embrace of diversity, etc. is a stealth… Read more »
Bill Mertz
Guest

Mass shooting in Texas by a white male Christian

No comment? Just because it doesn’t fit your narrative doesn’t mean it didn’t happen

Alzaebo
Guest

He arranged Russian deals for Trump, too.
Plus, he was an NRA member! And an alt-right shupershtar!!

Boy, Mueller and Hillary really, really want those headlines to go away.

Saml Adams
Guest

The early returns this morning seem to indicate a militant atheist loser who was court-martialed (for beating his wife and child) and dishonorably discharged from the Air Force. Also a “double” prohibited person in terms of firearms ownership. I expect more and more accurate information will come out, but he’s currently shaping up as belonging more on Prog/Panty-fa side of the spectrum.

Dorf
Guest

Atheist…….

Christopher S. Johns
Guest

Sorry Bill, you don’t even merit a consolation prize in the “can I even get my facts straight before I make a complete ass of myself” sweepstakes.

The murdering Texas scumbag was an avowed, even pathological atheist, Bill. Atheist. Say it Bill, I know you can.

So Bill, as my mentor Willy Wonka, was fond of saying, “You lose! You get nothing!”

Peter
Guest

Something odd about Gottfried calling for policing of racists as that is what got many paleocons drummed out of the movement.

Member

Maybe that’s why they lost the fight in the first place. They weren’t really fighting, only protesting.

Toddy+Cat
Guest

Personally, I’d be very interested to hear what John Derbyshire had to say about Vox’s point number eight. Derbyshire is great intellect, a fantastic writer, and has enough moral courage for several men, but he (like all of us) is a product of his Time, and sometimes has way too much respect for “science” and the “scientific community”. He sometimes does not seem to realize just how politicized “science” has become in our day. As much as both he and I might regret it, this ain’t 1955.

Deplorable Black Man
Guest
I think a clue to where Gottfried is coming from is in his essay “Saturday in Charlottesville”. He wrote: “According to white nationalist protocol, am I supposed to ally with white cultural leftists against the very black African Cardinal Robert Sarah…” He’s asking can we decide who’s an ally on the basis on race alone. If the answer is yes, what do we do with a traditionalist like Cardinal Sarah? Admittedly, men like Cardinal Sarah, or like Justice Thomas, are rare and don’t have many black (or white for that matter) allies. But they’re on your side. So I think… Read more »
Member

In a sea of choices, race is at most a tie breaker. Or, put another way, a lot of the alt right spends huge amounts of energy finding people to kick out of the club.

Glen Filthie
Guest
To understand Paleocon Man, you have to understand the times in which he was forged. He was literally in the same boat the dinosaurs were when the asteroid hit. It’s old stuff to us, the feminism, the Marxism, the idea that all races and cultures were equal, and all the other claptrap proggies base their ideology on. But to Paleocon Man – back in the 70’s this was new stuff that he did not understand. Literally overnight he was plunged into a political ice age where all his traditions and values broke down. Because he was brought up to be… Read more »
TomA
Guest

Yes, the future belongs to those who will fight for it. Those who drop out or remain on the sidelines are still part of the problem. The old Paleocons that backed away from this battle will not likely step up until they have no room left to retreat. As such, I would not count on them to join ranks and contribute much. Desertion is a soul killer.

A.T. Tapman
Member

Well stated Glen, thank you.

Alzaebo
Guest

Concur- and I was rude to Glen yesterday, taking out my ire against something else. Let me apologise.

This was a good comment that engendered much thought.

Pimpkin\'s Nephew
Guest
You paint with a very broad brush, Mr. Filthie. It would be fun to watch you discuss these points with an actual person who belongs to the group you have just so patronizingly credited for the kindergarten origins of your own brilliant assessment of “the actually existing situation”. But first you would have to give examples, and then set their outmoded and precious ideas against your own better, sharper ideas, or “ours” I guess, those of us who “SEE”. And really, what do you mean, that “we can associate actions with consequences where as they can’t”. Come on, now: Not… Read more »
Pimpkin\'s Nephew
Guest
Forgive me for sounding hostile; I don’t mean to be. We’re on the same team and you write very well. * Reading these posts by the Z man, it struck me that I’d never actually read anything by Mencken. So, going to the Gutenberg library I grabbed ‘The Defense of Women’ yesterday morning, and read it. Based on that alone, I’m not sure what the HL Mencken Society is committed to, unless it be brutal and offensive frankness in the service of truth as seen by the writer. Here’s a text that essentially concedes that women are smarter and more… Read more »
LFMayor
Guest

I don’t need all the whites and this dovetails pleasantly with my sure as hell not wanting anything to do with the terminally useless among them.

Member

So was Derbyshire a no show? Very little about him.

Member

I agree that the “it’s okay to be white campaign” is lethal. It’s just such an innocuous statement that is being misidentified as reactionary. But the more times it’s repeated the more obvious the error will be. I hope it’s spreads and spreads and spreads.

Joseph
Guest

When did Fred Reed lose his mind? His latest articles have been pretty good. Are you just upset that he’s race-mixing in Mexico, now that you have come out of the closet as a white nationalist? (Insert favorite nasty “coal-burning” or “mud-shark” comments here)

Mark Auld
Guest

Fine post on an interesting evening. Made me think alot about voices from the past. And that is you’re final point: it really is time to pick a side.

Blue hat
Guest

A summation

Progressives = The Left
The Left = Marxists
Marxists = Communists
Communists = Atheists
Atheists = Humanists
Humanists = Love of Self
Love of Self = Lucifer
Lucifer = Destruction of all

ronehjr
Guest

I know this is a place for looking at the issues in a mainly rational and intellectual manner, and I am sure the Mencken club people consider that to always be their way of operating, I despite being of average intelligence I try to do the same. But if I had been listening to Gottfried’s speech I would have told him to get the stick out of his ass and then to go f’ himself with it.

MichiganWave
Guest
Gottfried needs to distinguish Racism from Race Realism. He was clearly sympathetic to Jared Taylor’s “Paved with Good Intentions” and P Brimelow’s “Alien Nation” so he surely sees the big picture, and sees what is at stake in the demographic question. If he thinks that a sizable element of the Alt Right have signed up for some diabolical program of Exterminationism, well that is just absurd. The key issue is whether the relatively more homogenous demographics of the USA from 1925-1970 are morally acceptable or not. The Alt Right says yes (that White supermajorities are fine), but the ruling Elite… Read more »
MichiganWave
Guest
Zman, Thanks for this post. Hopefully the Mencken Society will post the talks, but by your assessment, it almost seems as though some of the speakers are still seeing our predicament as though it is 1991. When I talk to folks over 75 about the dire state of western nations & the treason of our Elites, many are resigned to a ‘too bad, so sad’. Most of the shitstorm is coming in the 2024-2030 period when they’ll probably be passed on. If you still have more than half your life to live, this is going to preoccupy us & be… Read more »
Songef
Guest

Why do you say Fred Reed went crazy? I don’t know him, just like his writing.

Alex
Guest

I think you should permanently post the last para of this post somewhere in the header of the blog.

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