The Way of the Gang

White Riot

A battle between One Percenter motorcycle gangs in Waco, Texas left nine dead, eighteen wounded, and thousands chortling about “White on White” violence on Twitter. Of course, all of the “victims” were members of the MCs, whereas at least 40 people, some of whom were simply walking down the street, were shot over the same weekend in Chicago. But as the Joker tells us, Chi-raq is part of the plan, whereas tribes of mostly White outlaws merrily slaughtering each other in Red State America isn’t something law enforcement is prepared to accept, especially in Texas. People need to feel safe when they order their fried food at the family restaurant next door.

It’s worth noting how eager the police were to use force in this case. While progressives are saying the biker battle somehow proves police officers are less willing to use force against Whites, police reports acknowledge a response within 30 seconds. While police charge bikers turned their weapons on law enforcement, the head of the Bandidos is giving interviews denying that outlaw biker gangs (!) want a “criminal” reputation. Some publications targeted at bikers are even charging there was a “massacre” and police attacked first.

It is enlightening, if nothing else, to see how Texas law enforcement is detaining 170 people with $1 million bond each, how the press is openly encouraging White bikers to be denied service, and how the restaurant hosting the biker meeting has had its franchise agreement revoked. And the sneering contempt for mostly White outlaw bikers and the oft-expressed desire they feel the Iron Heel is the majority position among Whites of all political stripes. This weekend’s festivities for “Black Bike Week” in Myrtle Beach should prove a useful contrast, as businesses that refuse service to Black bikers because they want to avoid trouble swiftly become the targets of civil rights lawsuits.

The obvious reality is this is simply a reflection of identity politics, as African-Americans “own” their outlaws and most Whites despise theirs. As Commander George Lincoln Rockwell put it in one of his typically direct propaganda pieces, “We need a national White gang!” to combat other races who operate as a collective. Wildly misinterpreting the presence of SS bolts and swastikas among the most famous One Percenter gang, the Hells Angels, Rockwell offered to make them the American Nazi Party motorcycle division. He found that Sonny Barger and his friends were only wearing them to shock the “squares” Rockwell so desperately wanted to bring to his side.

A group that is united even to the point of irrationality can win concessions and respect from competitors. Thus White outlaws are cast into the outer darkness, while Blacks build memorials to Michael Brown. Blacks get paid off to keep from rioting; Whites are the ones who pay the bills.

The downside of course, is that a culture of “Us Against Them” and “No Snitching” also leads to communities coddling the living liabilities among them. In purely numerical terms, though Whites suffer disproportionately at the hands of Black crime, its Blacks themselves who suffer the most from the various thugs and criminals who plague their communities. It’s also true they don’t care. Black lives only occasionally matter, even to themselves. They generally obtain significance only when they become useful to White liberals.

No matter how high the cost of social dysfunction, Blacks would prefer to be victimized by their own kind than “saved” by the hated White man. If Zimbabwe has taught us anything, it’s the futility of making patronizing arguments that White rule is better than self-rule for Blacks, even if the argument is completely true.

And yet, even though we can objectively say this leads to a worse existence for Blacks in terms of quality of life, irrational loyalty gives them political power. They fight amongst each other, but they are united against the White man. As the noted African-American scholar Keenon Daequon Ray Jackson (better known as YG) put it in his definitive explanation of his people’s political philosophy, “Fuck them other niggers ‘cause I’m down for my niggers, I’ll ride for my niggers, fuck them other niggers.”

In contrast, as Steve Sailer noted, most White Americans don’t want to act like non-Whites, they want to act like White Americans. And they aren’t being irrational, just bourgeois. Given a certain level of public safety and expectation of objective justice, why should White Americans, or any Europeans, operate as part of a tribe when they already can expect the state to protect their lives and property, enforce contracts, ensure peaceful transfers of power, and avoid exploitative corruption? As Vito Corelone put it to Bonasera, “You found paradise in America, had a good trade, police protected you and there were courts of law. You didn’t need a friend like me.”

The problem here is that these “normal” expectations of bourgeois society are astoundingly rare in history. The reason La Cosa Nostra even exists is because they can’t even be called normal in all of Europe, only in northern European (and northern European derived) societies. And this is relatively recenteven the Icelandic Sagas contain accounts of multigenerational feuds among various families.

Corruption is low precisely in those societies where “tribalism” is weak as shown by low rates of cousin marriage, low attachment to extended families, and a general lack of “clan” groupings that operate above the immediate family. In societies where you don’t have to haggle and cheating people is generally frowned upon, you can build strong institutions that allow you to create more successful societies. There’s a reason Fukuyama called it “Getting to Denmark.”  

Unfortunately, the very traits that make Northern European societies so successful are the ones that make it vulnerable to pathological altruism. The assumption that everyone is the same, individuals are interchangeable, and that kinship doesn’t really matter has led to the left-wing insistence on forcing the round peg of identity into the square hole of multiculturalism. Thus, the reason Muslims are unhappy and rioting even in famously generous nations like Sweden isn’t because they are unsuited for life in European society, it’s because Sweden and every other European society is so insidiously racist and oppressive. As we saw in Rotherham, England, a strong tribe defeats a weak nation, and we may look back on the expectation of relatively competent administration and an absence of corruption as simply a phase in European history.

Tribe and Its Limits

What comes next? Older patterns will emerge, notably extended patterns of kinship, the formation of tribes and gangs, and the creation of mutual support networks to compensate for the inability of the state to deliver public goods. These kinds of social systems are built upon “honor” as opposed to “rights” and legality, and to Traditionalists (or just men generally), they can serve as a welcome return to noble and heroic virtues.

Yet, there are also serious problems. A tribe is the beginning of any political order, but it can only by a beginning. By its very nature, its loyalties are arbitrary, its continuity uncertain, its organizational capability limited.

From the Cherokee to the Cherusci, tribes were conquered by more highly organized states and armies as bureaucracy triumphed over heroism. And as a casual glance at the history of “Indian scouts,” “barbarian axillaries,” or “tribal allies” will tell you, the petty loyalties of extended kinship groups make them relatively easy to buy. Formal discipline is a better guarantee of loyalty unto death than a “heroic culture.” And Nietzsche’s “coldest of the cold monsters,” the state, can command loyalty more surely than any warband guided by a charismatic leader.

Indeed, those societies that mostly highly value “honor” seem to have the greatest histories of disloyalty. A history of the honor obsessed cultures of ancient China or feudal Japan are an often tedious record of betrayals, murders, and intrigue among various officers and samurai constantly boasting about how honorable and amazing they all are. Perhaps the greatest warlord of feudal Japan, the famous Oda Nobunaga, only met his end when he was betrayed by Akechi Mitsuihide. Throughout Roman history, sworn allies become bitter enemies with startling speed and legion is inevitably sent against legion on the basis of greed and ambition. The “private governments” of feudal Europe also lend themselves to a casual sense of loyalty and emphasis on conspiracy, even when cloaked in piety.

But because a culture of honor is undeniably more idealistic than a culture of bureaucracy, “rights,” and “law,” the person who consciously operates outside the system, the outlaw, is a romantic figure precisely because he operates in a world of “honor.” The most famous fictional portrayal in recent years, in the news again for obvious reasons, is the fictional “Sons of Anarchy” motorcycle club in the eponymous FX series.

“Everything I do in this club is for this club”

After the fifth season, Jack Donovan used the series to explore the conflict between the “Happy Valley” life of the First World and the more authentic, limited, and passionate sense of identity and meaning derived from the tribal brotherhood of the gang. At some point, he writes, you have to decide whether you are “all-in or out.” Yet the protagonist, Jax Teller, never really does. He splits the difference even until the end, unable to reconcile his conscience and his love for his children with his loyalty to the cut.

The great love of Jax’s life, Tara, is murdered by his own mother, whom he goes on to kill himself in the penultimate episode. As the story is loosely based on Hamlet, Jax earlier killed his adoptive father figure Clay, the former head of the club, after learning Clay killed his real father. Jax goes on to order the deaths of members of the club, he kills people who helped the club in the past, and by the end of the series he is just as opportunistic and ruthless as the villainous Clay.

The one difference is that Jax is self-aware about what he has become. He takes steps to ensure his sons will never know “this life of chaos” and indeed, will growing up “hating” his memory if that is what it takes. For all the talk of family and authentic loyalty throughout the show, every bond of authentic family even the most bourgeois “square” enjoys with a wife, a mother, or son is perverted and destroyed. It’s a strange form of “family” which ensures the most moral decision a father can make is to ensure his sons never really know him.

Though the show profitted off the romantic image of motorcycle gangs (notably featuring Hell’s Angels founder Sonny Barger in a guest role), Jax’s conclusion at the end of the series is that he is not a good man, but “a criminal, and a killer.” He judges one can’t be a good man and a good outlaw at the same time. The most he can do is sacrifice himself to create a way out for his sons. And yet a shot of his older son absently fingering a “Sons” ring shows his dreams of a normal life for his children may go unfulfilled.

At the same time, Jax never betrays his brothers in SAMCRO. His final actions are a series of murders and carefully planned deceptions to protect the club and ensure its survival. He is able to make a proper farewell to his surviving brothers, all of whom watch him ride off with sadness and respect and will undoubtedly remember him as a hero. He dies in the same manner as his father, welcoming his fate, wearing his cut, a loyal Son until the end.

The original vison of the Sons, as laid out by Jax’s father J.T., was for it to be a kind of anarchist commune guided by the ideals of Emma Goldman among others. It’s implied that Clay perverted this vision by getting the club into gun running and that Jax’s sacrifice will allow the Sons to move closer to the way it was supposed to be. Yet without gun-running and the conflict with other MC’s and the law this necessitates, there would be no danger, violence, or necessity to work together. If it’s just a bunch of lazy druggies, what exactly would have bonded the Sons of Anarchy? The glorified shitposting of an adulterous hippie based on the half-baked scribblings of a dead Communist Jew?

Like Jax himself, the show seems to want to have it both ways. The Sons of Anarchy are portrayed as a somewhat “good” criminal organization by liberal standards. Even under Clay, they run guns but they keep meth out of town and fend off villainous developers. They are usually fighting with White supremacists in one form or another, who are either dumb, meth dealing, unattractive proles (who wear wifebeaters instead of cuts) or hypocritical and smarmy elitists. One of the most important members of the Sons, Bobby, is a Jew wearing a Chai necklace. And in one of his final actions, Jax has the club patch over the member of a Black MC who helped the club, without even having him prospect. You can murder, run guns, and unleash chaos all over the state of California without anyone being too upset, but God help you if you don’t have any diversity.

At the same time, the Sons are “cool” precisely because they are willing to get their hands dirty. They murder those who get in their way, they earn their money either through skilled labor or various exciting schemes rather than by staring at a screen all day, and they have a bond of brotherhood sustained through conflict and the danger of violent death.

“Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a solider, or not having been at sea,” said Dr. Johnson. And perhaps today every man thinks meanly of himself for not daring, if only for a day, to live as his ancestors did, to live truly as a man, outside the golden straitjacket of the modern state, blade in hand instead of a computer mouse. Even as this is written in a Starbucks, a chubby man of curiously indeterminate age strolls by, wearing camouflage shorts and a “Sons of Anarchy–California” T shirt. Nothing says frustrated masculinity than wearing the “colors” of an outlaw motorcycle gang (and claiming a local chapter!) that doesn’t even really exist. Sons of Anarchy, a soap opera for men, spoke to people who wanted to vicariously indulge in the fantasy of being an outlaw while still enjoying life in Happy Valley.

Gang, Tribe, State, and Imperium

Many criminal brotherhoods can be as materialistic and bourgeois as any corporation. The earnings may be quicker and the dangers more severe, but the primary motivation is still money. And when brotherhood interferes with business, someone is getting whacked. Yet every organized group of men, every “gang,” from the Hell’s Angels to ISIS, is a proto-state and a challenge to authority. It’s an attempt to substitute “our” system for “their” system. Every anarchist is, as Mussolini observed, simply a baffled dictator. Given sufficient resources, every gang will eventually make the transition into a ruling authority or some kind of a state. After all, Rome was founded by a gang. And the difference between taxation and extortion is, like the definition of treason, a matter of dates.

As a comment on the return of street crime to Central Park under New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Matt Drudge recently used the image of the 1979 film “The Warriors.” Loosely based on the novel (itself based on Xenophon’s The Anabasis and the famous journey of the Ten Thousand), the film follows the dangerous journey home for members of a multiracial TV gang (including White people) after a disastrous attempt for the city’s gangs to unite.

In the novel, minority gangs have a vague scheme to challenge “the Man” (the White state) for control of the city; in the film, it’s a more cartoonish plot for outlandish gangs of all races to start “taxing” residents because “we got the streets, suckas!” Of course, the gang leader who speaks grandly about each tribe forgoing “our little piece of turf” in service to greater goal gets murdered, not for any reason, but because one gang member simply “likes doing stuff like that.” The Warriors are blamed, and have to fight their way home. In the end, most make it, but the larger status quo and the petty battles of gang against gang remain.

By their very nature, gangs and tribes are given to conflict and wars over issues outsiders would consider petty or even absurd. And the short-sightedness of such groupings often frustrates activists of all stripes who see in the internal “barbarians” of the state a potential ally for social change. After all, every Black activist worth his government handout has tried to broker a “gang truce” as a precursor to a larger reform effort, only to watch it fall apart because someone inevitably “disrespects” someone else. In Waco, police mocked the source of the conflict among the gangs as “stupid stuff.”

Yet in a larger sense, the conflict made perfect sense. One gang (in this case, the Bandidos) was attempting to impose its will on smaller groupings (the Cossacks), demanding taxes in exchange for allowing a group the freedom to operate. In its own small way, the Bandidos were state building and smaller groupings were resisting. We can see the same kind of process in cities like Raqqa and Ramadi today. Tactically, it seems obvious that launching the great Biker War of 2015 in full view of heavily armed SWAT teams was an act of astonishing stupidity. But for those personally engaged in the contest, to back down in sight of competitors could have led to far worse consequences than some jail time.

Most “gangs” are simply purveyors of various forms of degeneracy, whatever their mythos or what symbols they cover themselves with (come the Revolution, meth dealers who cover themselves in runes or Germanic symbols will be flayed after being given a hit of Slo-Mo). But as the state collapses, Whites, especially working class Whites, will be forced to clan up or die out and the very traits of individualism, fairness, and universalism that have enabled us to build successful societies will transform into liabilities. Tribes or what will be called “gangs” are an inevitability, though those which will be most successful will resist the latter label even as they fulfill the form.

There’s a vague consensus developing among Identitarians that Whites should focus on building independent communities, tribes, and other groupings that can improve their own lives and serve as mutual aid societies in the troubled times to come. Yet the strong bonds of tribe can fuel mutually destructive conflicts. The groups that have the strongest bonds of loyalty will be those who have been forged together in the harshest circumstances, those who have walked closest to the edge of annihilation. And as history has shown, it will require ideology, spirituality, and even bureaucracy for such groupings to endure.

To look back to the Roman example, a founder of the Eternal City just as important as Romulus was the legendary second king Numa Pompilius. Numa created the religious rituals and orders that bound the polity together and helped forged together the opposing tribes which comprised the city’s population. The Männerbünde can conquer or destroy a state, but it cannot truly found one by the sword alone.

The deracinated European masses already exist outside the protection of the states they themselves founded. And while some may seek identity and meaning in the fierce bonds of an “outlaw” gang, a militia, or a religion preaching the End is near, the groups that can actually create something will have a higher purpose than simply rebellion for rebellion’s sake or a desire to “opt out” of mass society. As Traditionalists attempt to take the revolution offline, they will need a larger guiding ideal than plunder. After all, bourgeois society offers enough outlets for “rebellion” and ways to profit off degeneracy.

What is that ideal? I have my answer, as does everyone reading this. And none of those answers matter so long as they remain solely within books or on websites. Those who are actually trying to build something in the real world alone can determine what is willing to fight for, to suffer for, and if need be, to die for. I can offer suggestions, but it remains to the reader to decide on his own answers and live for his ideal in the real world. As any “tribe” understands, it is in conflict that bonds are forged, not with words. And the existential struggle that will justify the existence of Western Man is already taking shape before our eyes.

Strength for strength’s sake, or “brotherhood” as an end in itself isn’t enough, as ideologies, nations, and states endure even as “tribes” and “gangs” fade away or are bought off. Members of outlaw MC’s may be authentic badasses (as opposed to #badasses) who live a more “authentic” life than cubicle monkeys. Yet as we see in Waco, the triumphs and failures of these tribes are devoid of any larger meaning, justified only as a kind of experiment in existential nihilism, fodder for contemptuous LEO’s looking to increase their budgets and giddy SJW’s happy to find dysfunctional Whites.

It’s hard not to see it as a waste. But even this failure is enough to tug at the soul of the Last Man, tempting him to dream of a life unrestrained by convention, and a world where he is more than a debt slave in a suit.