The Way of Frat

Every narrative needs a villain, and rape culture is no exception.

The devils of this apparent phenomenon—gripping American feminists and inspiring hundreds of screeds about the imminent danger posed by college campuses to young women—are historically White fraternities.

A traditional feature of American college life, fraternities are facing increased scrutiny across the country in the wake of a growing chorus of rape advocates who see the all-male brotherhoods as an incubator for sexual predation. Not only are they male, but they are predominantly White and known for embracing reactionary norms and politics. Throw into that mix an image of elitism and power and you have a perfect caricature of how feminists imagine our “patriarchal” society.

During the maelstrom that was the gang rape scandal at the University of Virginia last year, fraternities nationwide were castigated for encouraging a culture that would senselessly brutalize women; calls were issued for the banishment of Greek organizations (meaning the White ones of course) from all university life. UVA suspended fraternity activities for the remainder of the semester and forced every organization to agree to stringent terms upon returning for the spring semester—despite the whole gang-rape episode turning out to be a hoax.

But narratives easily trump the truth, and we were instructed that this fable reflected a real problem within higher education. To deal with the imagined crisis of frat boys gang raping mentally ill leftists, solutions were proposed that included treating fraternities like street gangs and banning parties at frat houses . . . so they could be hosted at sorority houses. Because, you know, binge drinking is liberating for women and doesn’t lead to sexual assault; empowering frat boys, on the other hand. . . Hosting parties at sorority houses would put the men in their place and transfer sexual power to women, which all sounds grand to the feminists leading the charge against rape culture. As Jack Donovan has noted, rape culture is all about power, and the response to the UVA rape hoax affirmed it.

And if serving as the villains for rape hysteria wasn’t enough, fraternities are also attacked for their lack of racial progress—an assault that is extended to sororities as well. Just this weekend, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter at the University of Oklahoma was expelled after video surfaced of members yelling a “racist” chant. The chant, which apparently kept OU’s president from sleeping, was simply, “There will never be a nigger SAE.” That same president, in response, declared, “Real Sooners [the school’s mascot] are not racist. Real Sooners are not bigots. Real Sooners believe in equal opportunity. Real Sooners treat all people with respect. Real Sooners love each other and take care of each other like family members.”

Not only was the chapter removed, but all members who lived in the SAE house were evicted and couldn't expect help finding replacement living quarters, as the school apparently doesn’t “provide student services to bigots."

This is only the latest high-profile instance of Greek organizations getting lambasted for racism. Nearly two years ago at the University of Alabama, two Black girls failed to receive bids from any of the traditionally White sororities due to their race. Naturally, this sparked a national outcry that forced a couple of the sororities to extend membership to nearly a dozen Black females. A few months later, at the University of Mississippi, another firestorm erupted after a noose and Confederate flags were found around the statue of the school’s first Black student. The suspects turned out to be fraternity men, and Ole Miss’s Greek system had to declare it was serious about overcoming its race problem.

This convergence of sex and race has made for one hell of a shitstorm for Greek life. Couple this with major insurance liabilities, and you have a recipe that could transform these majority White fraternal organizations into all-inclusive social service units. Sororities are already emulating that model to some extent, and it seems only a matter of time before the men follow suit.

For fraternities, it is amazing how long implicitly White organizations with restrictive membership and politically incorrect values have managed to survive at the modern university. To bring Jack Donovan up again, you can view these organizations as upper-middle-class versions of his “gang of men” concept—with all of the positive and negative associations that moniker implies.

But what does their survival mean to White Identity?

Unlike many European student fraternities, there was never a mandated ethno-cultural component to these groups, even though many fraternities had White-only clauses up until the 1960s, and some founded in the former Confederacy maintain strong ties to the region. For example, the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity was renowned for hosting Old South Balls where the gentlemen would dress as Confederate officers and the ladies as Southern Belles. This practice was only recently eliminated, but the Balls still carry on—sans Confederate garb. In addition to the lack of an ethno-cultural aspect, American fraternities—in spite of the vast amount of GOP boosterism on frat sites—have never had the explicit right-wing political associations that are a hallmark of Germanic fraternities

Fraternity traditions and rituals base themselves on an interesting mix of Freemasonry, America’s old Anglo-Protestant culture, and classical literature. Rituals are typically paired down imitations of Freemasonry and verses from the King James Bible, while mottos are often pulled from Greco-Roman sources. For example, Sigma Chi takes the line spoken by the angel to Constantine before the battle that convinced him to accept Christianity: In Hoc Signo Vinces (By this sign, you will conquer). That organization’s symbol is that of a crusader’s cross and further cements its affinity for Roman civilization by adopting titles from the Republican era for its officer positions: President is called Consul, Treasurer is called Quaestor, etc. Nearly all fraternities base themselves off similar themes from European history. (The previously mentioned Kappa Alpha bases itself off medieval knighthood and chivalry.)

Historically White college fraternities have also maintained their racial status despite the elimination of White-only clauses and the increase of diversity enforcement on American campuses. This is due to these groups retaining their belief in freedom of association, which allows them to choose members that they relate to and believe are worthy of membership. Their mostly White membership (and at large Southern schools like the University of Alabama, it’s entirely White) is a testament to the argument that racial communitarianism is natural. When freedom of association is not impinged (and schools haven’t yet infringed upon it), we end up with exclusively White fraternities that want to keep their culture intact. Thus, they refuse membership to non-Whites who will threaten the traditions that define these groups.

Fraternities also constitute male-only clans that embrace tribalism and group exclusivity. These are traits sorely lacking among Whites and the organizations they associate with. This tribal mentality is what makes fraternities resemble bourgeois Mannerbunde. Fierce loyalty to the in-group, distrust bordering on hate for outsiders, elaborate rituals reinforcing camaraderie, deep rivalries with fellow fraternities/tribes, high demands on members, and strict policing of member actions and behavior lead these groups to operate on levels that transcend the drinking-club reputation. And they also function as initiatic societies, which leads to the high demands for those selected for pledgship and for pledging itself.

To be a part of the fraternity, you have to earn it and demonstrate your obedience to senior members and the laws on which the group was founded upon. Not everyone is guaranteed membership, and the initiated get to decide who is allowed to undergo ritual. Pledging solidifies notions of hierarchy and loyalty to the group in prospective members and is supposed to cull the unworthy from the process. This is also the basis for the strong bonds between members and the organization itself, as it is an honor earned through struggle and overcoming.

Now, to be honest, this struggle and overcoming might not come off as Nietzschean (chugging alcohol and embarrassing costumes rarely do), but the point is that they are obstacles that have to be surmounted to earn the confidence of brothers that a pledge is worthy of membership. It treats membership as something more than a piece of paper and is a status given reverence and respect.

The tribal character of the organizations allows fraternities, along with sororities, to create an alternative culture that is almost exclusively White, resists liberal values, and constitutes a real community, in opposition to the atomistic environment of the modern campus. Even more than that, frats make racialism and traditional gender norms cool, and presents them as a rebellion against the boring, politically correct establishment.

But there’s a downside to Greek culture, and it derives from its bourgeois character.

While Greek life does present itself as a safe haven for healthy White people, its community is more like a private country club than a serious counter culture. It doesn’t seek to challenge the prevailing orthodoxy, it just tries to shield itself from its depredations. Like the country club gentlemen who publicly support integration but prays no Blacks move into their gated community, fraternities tacitly approve of the progress surrounding them—they just don’t want it in their frat castle. It’s no wonder that this suburban mindset isn’t holding up well on an increasingly radicalized campus. Making sure that there will never be Black SAE, Sigma Chi, or KA is unfortunately the extent of their racialism. They know that non-Whites can’t fit into their in-group, but that’s it.

The very culture itself is in many ways shallow. As previously mentioned, the ethno-cultural element of European verbindungen is absent, and what takes its place is the obsession with the nice things of life: fancy cars, fancy clothes, and fancy gizmos are what take center stage in Greek life, and the bourgeois lifestyle is inculcated at a young age. In order to gain the status and money coveted by the culture, you have to play by the rules (of society, not college administrators) and not rock the boat. Comfort and security are the highest values of the bourgeoisie, and publicly challenging racial or sexual dogmas jeopardizes a man’s chance of attaining these two goals. Thus, fraternities are unlikely to form any meaningful resistance to a campus culture that hates them. “We just want to be left alone!” summarizes their reserve.

Perusing the holy grail of Greek culture, TotalFratMove, will reveal other questionable qualities of this culture. Namely its bizarre appreciation for Black athletes and Black rappers. Both of these African-American types are frequently hosted at otherwise all-White frat parties, presenting the opportunity for outsiders to fuck White sorority girls. And frats' affection for Blacks isn't limited to such parties, it also entails a slavish worship of their favorite ball players and an unhealthy embrace of Black culture.

Fraternities also have an avowed support for classism. This petty mindset was encapsulated by a TFM column written in the wake of the controversy engulfing Alabama’s sorority recruitment scandal. In a pathetic post that called the move a “goddamn joke” and ridiculed the sororities for exercising freedom of association, the writer, Bacon, argued these Black girls should’ve received bids because they “came from BIG TIME families, probably bigger than many of yours.” The same writer also once wrote that fraternities aren’t racist, just classist, and that’s fine by him. The placement of material pride over ethnic pride leads these organizations to remain open to wealthy non-Whites who don Vineyard Vines and Chacos, but show contempt for the Whites who actually have to live with the depredations of the System fraternities are able to isolate themselves from.

In the end, no matter what the positives or negatives of fraternity life are, its days are coming to an end. In an atmosphere that commands tolerance and diversity, there’s little chance these institutions will survive into the near future. The calls for abolishing Greek life continue to mount, while national organizations plead for mercy. The latest incident at OU (or, as TFM called it, “a pathetic display of inhumanity”) might serve as the impetus for drastic changes to the culture. Some schools have already implemented measures, that terminate free association for student organizations and while fraternities and sororities have so far been exempt from these policies, it could only take one racist chant for it to be applied. Add in growing opposition from other students who are essentially funded by the school through multicultural centers and women’s studies departments, and you’re looking at a doomed institution.

Which is a good thing.

Preserving private clubs, like Greek organizations, only convinces Whites that this is still their country and everything is just fine. They can ignore the racial chaos and degenerate culture safely nestled in their fraternity house and gated neighborhood. Why try to change the world when it’s so great for me?

But change is coming, and they can no longer hide from it.

The campus radicals wanting to abolish fraternities think they’re striking a blow at White Identity, but they’re probably wrong. The majority of men who make up fraternities won’t become good eunuchs and sign up for courses on gender theory and “white privilege” once their organizations cease to exist. The reason for pledging, for many, is to escape the anomie and alienation of the modern campus. They don’t want cultural Marxism, and they certainly don’t feel a kinship with the assertive Blacks attending their university free of charge. These young men seek camaraderie and a culture free of transsexual freaks and effeminate losers. The problem with fraternities is that it directs these men, ripe for radicalization, away from meaningful activity. Fraternity culture amounts to little more than drunken debauchery and college football. There needs to be something more.

Throughout history, colleges have served as the incubators for radical politics—both Left and Right. These days, the American college student is defined by apathy and a desire solely tuned towards pleasure. Greek life helps encourage this mentality with a life filled with fun where all the problems of the world can be zoned out for four years. We can no longer afford this luxury. If fraternities are castrated over the next few years, colleges will offer the opportunity for recruiting young men (and women) to the Identitarian cause.

Certainly, not every potential fraternity member will want to embrace our Weltanschauung—probably not even a majority. But there would be enough potential residing there to form a counter culture that would oppose the orthodoxy, not retreat from it. These potential groups could still retain the brotherhood and earned membership of Greek life, but they would be directed towards larger causes and inculcate members with the spirit of our folk. They already exist in Europe and can set an example for us in North America.

With the concern over rape culture, it’s likely that universities will start to clamp down on the pleasure cruise that is the modern college experience. It’s not hard to imagine the future college as a cross between a White Privilege conference and a Benedictine monastery. When the fun ends, students will turn to other, more meaningful outlets.

Identitarianism will be one of them.