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Radix Journal

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Category: Culture

Politics in the Grand Style

Nietzsche, the Judeo-Christian Legacy, and European Unification Note I first wrote this essay in the winter of 2007, as part of my graduate study at Duke University. The course was…

Nietzsche, the Judeo-Christian Legacy, and European Unification


Note

I first wrote this essay in the winter of 2007, as part of my graduate study at Duke University. The course was “Nietzsche’s Politics,” taught by Michael Gillespie in the Political Science Department. I have maintained the essay substantially as it was when I handed it in. Much honing has taken place, for clarity, flow, and depth, but the structure is unchanged.

I had first encountered Nietzsche’s writings in the year 2000 in my extracurricular readings while an undergraduate at the University of Virginia. Reading him marked a turning point in my life; indeed, I find it hard to imagine what my approach to thinking about society, politics, and religion would be without Nietzsche as educator. Writing isn’t just a form of communication, but a process of discovery for the author. Composing this essay some 10 years ago, I was moving beyond a raw, youthful understanding of Nietzsche’s critiques of Christian morality, democracy, and the modern age, and towards his deeper, in many ways, hidden vision for the transformation of the world. Everybody knows that Nietzsche said “God is dead”; few recognize why and how this catastrophe occurred; what the consequences will be; and how European man can overcome this event.

This essay is about politics. Nietzsche, of course, never put forth any straight-forward “political program,” though his works are littered with sharp opinions on the passing scene. He does, however, develop a meta-politics. This is not “political science” in the sense that it is used today, but politics understood from the standpoint of the transcendent. It is the European crisis—the end game of the Judeo-Christian legacy, the death of God—that births the “good Europeans” and “artist tyrants” who, Nietzsche expects, will rule the continent

Revisiting this essay now, it strikes me as unfinished. There are many tantalizing threads that should be followed further and more flesh put on the bone. I’m in the process of expanding it as part of a book, which will result in its doubling in size. I thought it would be appropriate, however, to publish the original essay as is, so as to give readers an understanding of my thought-process and development.

The Ethno-State has just now entered the popular lexicon, sparking predictable outrage, some productive debate, and no small amount of confusion. The term itself, along with many of its components, I borrowed from the American writer Wilmot Robertson. The deeper character of the Ethno-State, as I view it, is Nietzschean at its core. I hope this essay makes that clear.


Today the Christian can feel anti-Jewish without realizing that he himself is the ultimate Jewish consequence

~The Anti-Christ

As a Saxon, [my mother] was a great admirer of Napoleon; it could be that I still am, too.

~Ecce Homo


Introduction

1. From Athens to Rome

The imperium Romanum . . . this most admirable work of art in the grand style was a beginning; its construction was designed to prove itself through thousands of years: until today nobody has built again like this, nobody has dreamed of building in such proportions sub specie aeterni. This organization was firm enough to withstand bad emperors: the accident of persons may not have anything to do with such matters—first principle of all grand architecture. But it was not firm enough against the most corrupt kind of corruption, against the Christians (AC §58).1

In this selection from one of the concluding aphorisms of The Antichrist (1888), Nietzsche’s most familiar tropes are fully mobilized: here we find his grandiose, shocking admiration of the powerful master-class . . . his aristocratic distain for Christians as rabble . . . his inhuman perspective in which the cultural achievement in Rome is worth a few “bad emperors” (and countless deaths) . . .

But while the passage might be characteristically “Nietzschean,” there is also much about it that is surprising. The Antichrist was conceived by Nietzsche as the first book of his planned three-volume Revaluation of All Values, what was to be the definitive statement of his philosophy. The fact that Nietzsche chose to image Rome—and specifically not Athens—in what is ultimately a kind of “political testament” goes against much that is taken for granted in Nietzsche scholarship.2 There is, of course, good reason for this. In Nietzsche first book, The Birth of Tragedy (1872), he posited the tragic age of Aeschylus and Sophocles as the unreachable standard of cultural achievement. Even if he later came to view many of his claims in this volume as “embarrassing” (BT P (1886)), it seems reasonable to assume that Athens remained for him a political icon.

Nietzsche’s most important writings on Greek culture came at a point in his life when he was most overtly politically engaged, and his attitude towards 5th-century Athens should be understood within that context. The Birth of Tragedy was written in the wake of German national unification, which occurred months before its publication. And at this time, Nietzsche was, effectively, a German nationalist; he distanced himself from militarism and was critical of the state, but he was a nationalist nonetheless. Nietzsche imaged Germany’s rise to greatness not only through military victory over the French but through a revived cultural spirit. He (in)famously claimed, “[F]or it is only as an aesthetic phenomenon that existence and the world are eternally justified”(BT §5); and for him, the political achievements of both 5th-century Athens and 19th-century Germany would be measured though their cultural output. In this line, it was Kant and Schopenhauer who were, in Nietzsche’s eyes, courageous enough to “critique reason,” to adumbrated aspects of existence outside Socratean rationality. They thereby introduced “an infinitely profounder and more serious view of ethical problems and art which we may designate as Dionysian wisdom comprised in concepts” (BT §19). They were, in this way, able to approach the tragic wisdom of Aeschylus. This new Weltanschauung would find expression in Wagner’s music-dramas—the combination of the Apollonian heroic outlook with Dionysian “infinite melody”—to be performed publicly at the annual Bayreuth festival.

On all levels, Nietzsche understood this new cultural project to be ethno-nationalist in character:

[W]e have the feeling that the birth of a tragic age simply means a return to itself of the German spirit, a blessed rediscovery after powerful intrusive influences had for a long time compelled it . . . being attached to the lead strings of a Romanic civilization (BT §19 [emphasis added]).

Anticipating the deification of German Kultur at the expense of Western, French Zivilization in the 1920s and ‘30s, Nietzsche here imagines the triumph of the German spirit as specifically anti-imperial in character; it would be a great throwing off of the legacy of Rome, Christianity, and the supra-ethnic, supra-national institutions that had defined “Europe” for two millennia.

By Nietzsche’s middle and late periods, much had changed. Far from being an ethno-nationalist, Nietzsche filled these writings with numerous barbs and insults against all things German. In terms of philosophy and culture, Nietzsche claims that the “origin of the German Spirit” is not Kant and Schopenhauer but beer-guzzling and “distressed intestines” (EH II: §1). Wagner and Bayreuth become an expression of decadence—an opera festival for philistines and the nouveau riche, not a rebirth of tragedy. Politically, he came to reject unequivocally Bismarck, Wilhelm I, and the Reich. In turn, Nietzsche’s stance towards the Greeks also changed. Although a deep admiration never waned, Athenian culture no longer served as a touchstone and cultural model in these writings. By his final productive years, Nietzsche had become almost disenchanted: with the exception of Thucydides, Nietzsche reports to have lost interest in the literature of ancient Athens. Historical models were dramatically redefined: “[The Greeks] cannot mean as much to us as the Romans” (TI X: §2). On one level, Nietzsche’s turn from Athens (and Bayreuth) to Rome is indicative of an interest in moving beyond the polis and ethnos (the two most fundamental concepts of Greek politics and cultural identity) in favor of imperial hegemony and a synthesis of European ethnicities. In a way, Nietzsche’s imperialism can be seen as an outgrowth of his earlier cultural nationalism: dreams of German unification were morphing into dreams of a German empire.3

On another level, Nietzsche’s transformation marks a move from art to politics—or rather a view that politics was the grandest genre of art of them all. A culture cannot be justified solely by culture, whether Attic Tragedy or Wagnerian music-drama; instead, Nietzsche begins to view culture as arising in the shadow of the state. The state itself becomes the centerpiece of all cultural, social, and intellectual development. Nietzsche remarks that “the grand style”—that is, the imperial political structure—is “no longer mere art but [has] become reality, truth, life” (AC § 59). Not Athens . . . not Bayreuth . . . but Rome.

2. Nietzsche and the Unpolitical

It is not difficult to cull sundry political opinions from out Nietzsche’s texts and discover what he thought about public intellectuals like David Strauss and Heinrich von Treitschke, not to mention Bismarck and the Kaiser. But then Nietzsche famously called himself the “last anti-political German” (EH I: §3), and he did not formulate anything resembling a political program or “pragmatic” agenda. Reconstructing such things risks wishful thinking or forgery. Where Nietzsche does sustain a discussion of politics, his “political philosophy” is often grandiose bordering on the fantastical. Unconcerned with the vagaries of parliamentary majorities or policy-analysis, Nietzsche instead focused on “Cesare Borgia as Pope” and the creation of a new aristocracy. At other times, when Nietzsche discusses politics, he seems to actually be concerned with something else. As Tracy Strong observes, “The one attempt Nietzsche makes at providing a unified perspective explicitly on politics . . . to our confusion, is essentially a discussion of music” 4. Still, as the above discussion of Athens and Rome reveals, politics are extremely important to Nietzsche and inform, if always subtly, his wider philosophy.

Throughout the 20th century, interpretations of Nietzsche’s political thought have, generally speaking, shifted between two poles—1933 and 1968. First, there is the Nietzsche of “will to power,” “the overman,” “the blond beast,” “the anti-Christ,” a thinker who is an opponent of democracy, the herd, and modernity itself.5 But on the other hand, there is the Nietzsche of immoralism, self-creation, “life as a work of art,” a thinker who becomes the forefather of Foucault, Derrida, and much of the postmodern Left.6 Both of these political interpretations seem equally right and wrong. The main problem is that associating Nietzsche with political movements with which he was never involved blocks consideration of his political philosophy on its own terms. Not coincidentally, these kinds of interpretations have also blocked serious consideration of what Nietzsche explicitly—though always elliptically—claims to be the “politics of the future”—Europeanism.

By 1887, Nietzsche was already speaking of himself and his equals as “good Europeans, Europe’s heirs, the rich superabundant, but also abundantly obligated heirs of two millennia of the European spirit” (GS V: §377).7 A year earlier, his disenchantment with nationalism was explicit and he had already formulated the basis of a supra-national project:

Owing to the pathological estrangement which the insanity of nationality has induced, and still induces, among the peoples of Europe; owing also to the shortsightedness and quick-handed politicians who are at the top today with the help of this insanity, without any inkling that their separatist policies can of necessity only be entr’acte policies; owing to all this and much else that today simply cannot be said, the most unequivocal portents are now being overlooked, or arbitrarily and mendaciously reinterpreted—that Europe wants to become one. (BGE VIII: §256)

German ethno-nationalism was expunged from Nietzsche’s consciousness. While in The Birth of Tragedy, he speaks of German particularism breaking out from under the “servitude” of “Romanic Civilization,” by his mature period, he stresses the need for a new supra-national order. Nietzsche discounts ethnicity and goes as far as to imagine the possibilities (and dangers) of a “new synthesis”—the mixing of the European races. During the writing of The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche was a prominent member of the ideologically anti-Semitic “Bayreuth Circle” surrounding Richard Wagner (though it is not clear that Nietzsche ever shared all of their views). After his break, Nietzsche began to praise the Jews a ripe for the “mastery over Europe” and as powerful precisely through their “nomadic,” international culture (BGE VIII: §244, §251).

But even if it is uncontroversial that in Nietzsche’s mature thought he embraced a kind of Europeanism, the question remains of exactly why. Without doubt, Nietzsche did not support “Europe”—and reject ethno-nationalism and anti-Semitism—out of a sense of “liberalism,” “tolerance,” or “multiculturalism.” To the contrary, Nietzsche wanted the opposite of these things and even described the potential leaders of Europe as “tyrants” (BGE VIII: §242). Nietzsche was first and foremost a philosopher, and he adopted a political philosophy out of philosophic necessity. “Politics in the grand style” did not emerge from an ideology (at least in the simplistic sense of the term) nor from blind pragmatism. Instead, as I hope to demonstrate, Nietzsche forges his politics in the realm of the transcendental, as a response to a cultural and spiritual crisis on the continent—a crisis that affects not only politics but theology, epistemology, and aesthetics.

3. Politics of Crisis

In Ecce Homo (1888), Nietzsche mentions that his mother, Franziska Oehler, married his father in Eilenburg in 1813, the “great war year” in which Napoleon entered the city. Nietzsche relates that, “As a Saxon, she was a great admirer of Napoleon; it could be that I still am, too” (EH I: §3). It is certainly not a stretch to say that the empereur and his attempted unification of Europe represent for Nietzsche a manifestation of the imperial politics he most admired; and, in many ways, Nietzsche’s view of Napoleon encapsulates the way “great politics” functions within his philosophy. It is important to note that Nietzsche’s esteem for Napoleon should not be viewed as mere “hero worship” or as an example of “Great Man history.” Nietzsche never admired Napoleon for his skill in getting to the top, that is, for his “will to power” in the most individualistic and simplistic of meanings. Napoleon instead represents for Nietzsche a culmination of cultural energies: “The history of Napoleon’s reception is almost the history of the highest happiness attained by the whole century in its most valuable human beings and moments (BGE V: §199). As the French Revolution inaugurated the zenith of democratic leveling (and popular ressentiment), Nietzsche viewed Napoleon as a kind of “signpost to the other path,” that of the great and terrible aristocracy of antiquity and the Italian Renaissance. Napoleon was not important for Nietzsche as a “French patriot” and less so as a great individual; he held meaning as a realization of the spirit: Napoleon was “the problem of the noble ideal as such made flesh . . . the synthesis of the inhuman and the superhuman (GM I: §16).

Just as Napoleon embodied a cultural problem, Nietzsche formulates his definition of “great politics” around what he perceives as a European-wide spiritual and cultural crisis. In describing “why I am a destiny,” Nietzsche imagines “politics in the grand style” as encompassing both the terrible truth that Nietzsche’s philosophy announces to the world and the “war of spirits” that must follow:

For when truth enters into a fight with the lies of millennia, we shall have upheavals, a convulsion of earthquakes, a moving of mountains and valleys, the like of which has never been dreamed of. The concept of politics will have merged entirely with a war of spirits; all power structures of the old society will have been exploded—all of them are based on lies: there will be wars the like of which have never yet been seen on earth. It is only beginning with me that the earth knows great politics. (EC IV: §1)

This is a particularly pregnant passage, and it is related to a number of concerns of this essay. For now, it is important to recognize that Nietzsche views “great politics” as emerging directly from a crisis of his age. In announcing the demise of the basic structures of European society, Nietzsche sees himself as unleashing “great politics,” a kind of combination of actual war and a contestation of value.

What Nietzsche views as comprising his “truth” against “the lies of millennia” is, at its core, his announcement that “God is dead.”

Those who only know one thing about Nietzsche usually know the half-truth that he loathed Christianity and was a militant atheist. While it is true that Nietzsche did present himself as “the Antichrist,” to say that Nietzsche was writing polemically against Christianity—like some proto-Christopher Hitchens—is to misconstrue him entirely. Nietzsche hardly thought that the Europeans of the future—perhaps led by a few “overmen” who had read Thus Spoke Zarathustra—could recognize the faults of Christianity and then simply “get rid of it.” To think so is to vastly underestimate the complexity—and, indeed, the ambivalence—of Nietzsche’s critique. Nietzsche did not view Judeo-Christianity8 and its legacy as mere “lies”—as the “opium of the masses” in Marx’s language or the “God Delusion,” to borrow a phrase from the self-styled “New Atheists.” He viewed Christianity much like a traditional conservative—as the most basic grounding of what has come to be called “The West.” To actually oppose Judeo-Christianity—as Nietzsche imagines himself as doing in the passage from Ecce Homo—is not only to risk catastrophe but also all assurance of a future. As I will demonstrate below, Nietzsche questioned the very ability of Europeans to think outside the confines of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Simply exiting Christianity, or transcendent thinking in general, was not an option.

Europeans had not simply “lost faith.” God is dead because the “the belief in the Christian God has become unbelievable” (GS V: §343). Put into other words, the Human and Natural Sciences (“Enlightenment” in the broadest sense) pursued its “will to know” to the point that it shattered the religious basis of European societies. What remains most important about this conception is that Nietzsche specifically does not view Enlightenment and the “will to know” as emerging from a system of knowledge and values outside or alien to Judeo-Christianity. Nietzsche would never deny that the Sciences were often set opposed to the Church (and vice-versa); however, for him, the “will to know” lies at the center of the Judeo-Christian tradition.9 Moreover, as I will discuss below, “truth” functions within Judeo-Christianity in a way that differs in prominence and quality from other historical religions.

In this line, Nietzsche’s supra-nationalism—his Europeanism—is directly linked to his expansive view of the influence of Judeo-Christianity. It is specifically Europe’s struggle with its Christian legacy that generates “great politics” and the need for a radical transformation. Nietzsche claims that the Judeo-Christian tradition has “created in Europe a magnificent tension of the spirit the like of which had never yet existed on earth: with so tense a bow we can now shoot for the most distant goals” (BGE P). It is this “tension”—Europe’s turning against itself—that can launch it into greater heights.

But even if Judeo-Christianity’s tension with the Enlightenment generates the European crisis, Nietzsche does not believe in the least that Enlightened politics—specifically nationalism, democracy, and liberalism—are well suited to address the problem. For Nietzsche, when a culture is in crisis, it must turn to “the grand style” in order to “unbend the bow.” Nietzsche seeks to construct a new kind of aristocratic politics that would not simply be “anti-Christian” but mark a transformation of the tradition. The “good Europeans”—the new masters and tyrants of the continent—will rise to power, not in polemical opposition to Judeo-Christianity, but by embodying the productive contradictions and antagonisms of its legacy.

I. Falling Apart / Coming Together

1. Shadows over Europe

Few thinkers have been as self-consciously hostile towards their age and milieu as Nietzsche. Fewer still have felt themselves to be so out of place, to have been literally born at the wrong time. In Ecce Homo, Nietzsche presents himself as an epigone, as the (presumably last) “disciple of the god Dionysius.” This contrasts sharply with the forward-orientation in many of his other writings in which he claims to be a John the Baptist of “the philosophy of the future.” Perhaps Nietzsche is most honest when he critically admits that he is a product of his own age: “I am a decadent” (EH I: §2).

Without doubt, Nietzsche’s profound alienation from late 19th-century European culture had many personal causes: his various health problems, rejection by his peers, and the absence of adequate companionship being but a few. But far more importantly, Nietzsche’s particular animus towards European society resulted from the fact that he felt he knew his age all too well. More specifically, he believed himself to be fully aware of a cultural crisis beyond comparison, the consequences and implications of which would change utterly all facets of Europe. Being born both too early and too late, Nietzsche saw himself “stretched in the contradiction between today and tomorrow” (GS V: §343). As Cassandra, he foresees the coming catastrophe; as John the Baptist, he glimpse a new dawn.

An exact and concise description of the European crisis is difficult to put into words simply because Nietzsche develops this theme in a wide variety of manifestations. For the purpose of this essay, it is useful to look at a particularly poignant image of the crisis from the middle of Nietzsche’s career—his announcement of the “death of God” and the formation of “shadows over Europe” (GS V: §343).

It is of great importance to understand that Nietzsche’s famous announcement that God is dead is actually far more anthropological and phenomenological than it is theological. In Werner Dannhauser’s words, Nietzsche practices “historical atheism”: “The saying that God is dead implies that God once existed. God existed while one could believe in God; God is dead because belief in God has become impossible.”10 The vital questions thus become: Why did God die? and Who killed him? Nietzsche’s full formulation is that “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him [emphasis added]” (GS, §125). We killed him not simply through our loss of faith, for fervency comes and goes and can be lost and regained. Saying “scientists” or “atheists” killed God is equally unsatisfactory; for science as mere technical mastery does not touch the soul. God died over the course of the series of tumults that cut off European man from the transcendent. Copernicus removed him from the center of the cosmos . . . Galileo discovered that natural laws hold in the celestial spheres just as much as they do on Earth . . . Darwin demonstrated that man emerged from out of brutality and death . . . Individuals and specific discoveries are not important, as no single person killed God. And Nietzsche does not posit an aggressive “atheism” as a motivating factor; to the contrary, the scientists mentioned above were inspired by Christian faith. But to go on believing in the Christian God in the face of the modern experience was, for Nietzsche, a sign of childishness, denial, and cowardice. Nietzsche does not view natural “Enlightenment” as the highest form of wisdom, but he never underestimated its immense, catastrophic power.

Though the bad news has not yet been heeded by all, Nietzsche (and a select few) grasp that the death of the Christian God will be followed by the collapse of “the whole of our European morality.” Furthermore, the end of faith will instigate a “sequences of breakdown,” culminating in the destruction of the institutions and values based upon the Judeo-Christian moral system. The 20th century will witness nothing less than the eclipse of the sun.

In making such claims, Nietzsche might seem to have much in common with the pessimism of many conservatives of the late 19th century (and today), who viewed the end of faith as equally disastrous, and sometimes in equally grandiose terms. Yet Nietzsche’s perspective on the death of God is wholly different than that of such figures. Firstly, Nietzsche viewed the coming catastrophe as necessary; even if all of Europe does not yet recognize it, there is no hope for a Christian revival, for such a thing would inherently ring hollow. Nietzsche would not have been surprised by the decent of mainstream Christianity into self-esteem doctrines or community organizing.

Secondly, while the death of God is a disaster, Nietzsche sees it as containing great potential benefit. As stressed by Michael Allen Gillespie, what Nietzsche most opposed in Christianity is that it leads Europeans into believing that, after the collapse of Christian morality, life in general would have no meaning. But Nietzsche instead envisioned other types of men who, although disturbed by the death of God, accept the dilemma and learn to view it as an opportunity for a cultural transformation.11 In this line, Nietzsche’s tone in this aphorism moves from despairing to rhapsodic. The “shadows over Europe” lift to reveal a “new dawn,” and Nietzsche shifts to a new set of metaphors, imaging the “death of God” as a starting point for great new voyages of the spirit. Writing as one of the “free spirits” who understands the positive aspect of the collapse, Nietzsche ironically entitles Aphorism §343 “The Meaning of our Cheerfulness.”

Such passages deserve serious criticism on many levels.12 First and foremost, as pointed out by Gillespie, one might counter that Nietzsche vastly overrated the degree to which the European world would sink into suicidal, nihilistic despair. Although the years 1914-1945 might seem a fulfillment of Nietzsche’s prophecy, “If the intervening years have proven anything, it is that bourgeois society can weather the death of God without collapsing into either passive or active nihilism.”13 But for the purpose of this essay, it is of greatest importance to stress that Aphorism §343 only represents one aspect of Nietzsche’s conception of the European crisis, and by no means does it express the great complexities and ironies surrounding the death of God. Indeed, as Nietzsche begins Book V of The Gay Science with an apocalyptic vision, he follows it immediately with Aphorism §344 in which he stresses the long-term continuity of Judeo-Christian culture. While “The Meaning of our Cheerfulness” images a “new dawn,” Nietzsche juxtaposes it with an aphorism that reminds one of the presence of the past. Nietzsche approaches this recognition of the long duré of culture through a discourse on epistemology.

2. Piety and the Will to Truth

In Aphorism §344, “How we, too, are still Pious,” Nietzsche first observes that the “scientific spirit” of rational inquiry is one of testing and scrutinizing established convictions: for example, “does a heavier body actually fall faster than a lighter one?” Science is ultimately a process in which “convictions” are destroyed; those that crumble under scrutiny are discarded, and those that hold are no longer mere convictions but “knowledge” and “truth.” In describing this spirit, Nietzsche, no doubt, has in mind Descartes objective in his Meditations on First Philosophy (1641/47) to bring into question every single idea, perception, and premise in order to arrive at a firm ground for knowledge. This is certainly not anything that Nietzsche takes lightly; far from being an “irrationalist,” Nietzsche views the breaking down of conviction as the heart of any great philosophy:

[G]reat spirits are skeptics. Zarathustra is a skeptic. Strength, freedom which is born of the strength and overstrength of the spirit, proves itself by skepticism. Men of convictions are not worthy of the least consideration in fundamental questions of value and disvalue. Convictions are prisons” (AC §54).

But if science strives to knock down convictions, Nietzsche discerns a deeper, unspoken conviction undergirding the entire enterprise; it is one that is so pervasive and indispensable to science as a system that it can never be confronted directly: “We see that science also rests on a faith” (GS V: §344).14 This conviction is that “truth has value.”

The “value” of truth might seem self-evident; however, being that it is often the great liars and manipulators who come out on top, one should ask seriously: Why not deceive? Moreover, Why not allow oneself to be deceived? This is hardly facetious. Throughout his oeuvre, Nietzsche connects the acquisition of greater knowledge with pain.15 Some knowledge might have pragmatic value, and certainly Nietzsche would see “wonder” and “curiosity” underlying the “will to truth”; however, he views knowledge of the highest quality to be that which destroys the foundations of a culture and paralyzes an individual’s will to action. In his major treatise on historiography, Nietzsche associates knowledge with “the historical sense,” that is, scholarly historicism and boldly concludes that ignorance, forgetfulness, and the denial history is of great value to a people or culture:

No artist would ever paint a picture, no general would win a victory, no people would gain its freedom without first having longed for and struggled towards that end in such an nhistorical condition. Just as the man of action, in Goethe phrase, is always unscrupulous, so he is always ignorant too” (HSDL §1).

The man of profound knowledge might achieve a kind of power, but he is also prone to becoming a “Hamlet,” a man nauseated by knowing and thinking too much (see BT §7).

In Nietzsche’s mind, ”the value of truth” has a distinct origin, which I will discuss in the next section. Before this, it is useful to make some preliminary conclusions. Among these is the recognition that Nietzsche might not be as “postmodern” as is often thought. The idea that Nietzsche’s perspective on science is a refutation of truth and thus an assertion of “relativism” is doubtful. Zarathustra does not bring “relativism” to the world down from the mountaintop, but the terrible truth that God is dead. Any kind of defined system—whether it be Science, Christianity, or Buddhism—is based upon, in Walter Kaufmann’s words, “a number of primary assumptions from which [one] draws a net of inferences and thus deduces [the] system; but [one] cannot from within [the] system, establish the truth of his premises.”16 Nietzsche attempts a bold new experiment in which he turns the “will to truth” against those most fundamental assumptions—even against itself—and tests whether the whole system might hold, or not.

In that the search for truth is only rarely practical and usually proves deleterious, it can only acquire meaning through a system of value outside itself. It is Nietzsche’s radical conclusion in Aphorism §344 that it is the Judeo-Christian tradition that gave birth to the “will to truth—at all costs.” In a characteristic dialectical flip, it is Judeo-Christianity that birthed the sciences. It is in this way that Nietzsche ironically derives the title, “How we, too, are still Pious”:

[E]ven we seekers after knowledge today, we godless anti-metaphysicians, still take our fire, too, from the flame lit by a faith that is thousands of years old, that Christian faith . . . that God is the truth, that truth is divine. (GS V: §344)

It is thus exactly that which is most harmed by the will to truth that brought it into the world.

How religion would become so audacious as to value truth is a complicated story, and one that emerges from Nietzsche’s view of history and the place of the Jews, Christians, and national politics in the ancient world.

II. Peoples, Nobles, Slaves

1. Nations and their Gods

Whatever Nietzsche eventually thought of the German nation-state, all of his texts evince a certain esteem, even nostalgia, for ancient “peoples,” that is, historical races with their own culture and religion. As mentioned above, the Athenian ethnos was of central importance, but Nietzsche has similar reverence for other peoples of the ancient Mediterranean world and many across Europe and Asia. Nietzsche’s exact concept of a “people” is difficult to pin down. Obviously, the term is defined ethnically, and Nietzsche often uses “race” interchangeably with “people.”17 However, for Nietzsche, a “people is far more than a mere biological entity. Although never made explicit, Nietzsche’s anthropology was greatly informed by a kind of “theory of the inheritance of acquired characteristics.” In the words of Menahem Brinker, “A race is for him primarily a group of people united by their common life-experience which is interiorized and passed on from one generation to the next as cultural heritage and as inherited traits of character” 18. “National character” was forged over time.

Nietzsche’s concept of a people also had a prominent theological component: “A people which still believes in itself retains its own god. In him it reveres the conditions which let it prevail, its virtues—it projects its pleasure in itself, its feeling of power onto a being to whom one may offer thanks” (AC §16). Under a national god, a people would construct a formal morality and system of values that was informed by the conditions for their well-being and position in the world. As Zarathuatra exclaims in his speech “Of Self Overcoming,” “What [a] people believe to be good and evil betrays to me an ancient will to power” (Z II: 12). In the figure of the Hindu law-giver Manu—his thought expressed in his law book, Manu Smriti (circa 200 B.C.)—Nietzsche offers a concrete example of the legislator-cum-chief-cum-priest who forges a great people. Manu, who became revered in Hinduism as the forefather of the entire human race, succeeded in Nietzsche’s mind by raising his people to kind of cultural and religious perfection. After a long era of fragmentation and chaos, Manu took the best that was achieved in this period of “experimentation” and codified a single, timeless religion and system of values. Nietzsche describes Manu’s culture as reaching an “automatism of instinct” in which values had become unconscious. He created a “second nature.”

2. National Epistemology

Just as “peoples” are at the center of Nietzsche’s concept of theology and value, so are they of great importance to his major discourses on epistemology. More specifically, “a people” is directly connected in Nietzsche’s mind with his concept of the “will to truth” and the ways that this has manifested itself. Nietzsche’s most basic conclusion in this line is set down in Zarathustra in the aphorism “On the Famous Wise Men” (Z II: §8). Here, it is the “famous philosophers”—beloved by their communities—who, in claiming to have reached “truth,” have actually transformed the prejudices and superstitions of a people into dogma or philosophy. As he does throughout Zarathustra, Nietzsche encapsulates this idea in a striking image, and in this case, it is one that is highly satirical: the “famous wise man” is an ass pulling a cart. The “cart,” of course, represents “the people,” who are grateful to their ass-philosopher for his tireless efforts.

The sentiment that philosophers (or at least “famous” ones) are basically sophists and demagogues who “tell the people what they want to hear” is hardly new. However, this notion functions idiosyncratically within Nietzsche’s thought as a whole. Despite the obvious satire of the image, Nietzsche is not wholly opposed to “famous wise men.” As discussed above, Nietzsche has an irrepressible nostalgia for peoples who could write their “tables of good and evil” and were confident in themselves. For this, “famous wise men” and their “truths” were indispensable. In many ways, Nietzsche views the decadence and cultural barrenness of Europe as expressed by their inability to invent a new theology. In reference to the “strong races of Northern Europe,” Nietzsche laments that they never rejected the Christian God foisted upon them in the late Roman Empire, but instead allowed themselves to be defined by Judeo-Christianity: “[a]lmost two thousand years—and not a single new god!” (AC: §19).

National philosophers might have served their purpose; however, Nietzsche’s nostalgia has its limits, and he unequivocally rejects “national philosophy” as a worldview for Europe’s future. Nietzsche makes no effort to tell his age a quaint bedtime story or become Europe’s latest (or last) “famous wise man.”

Nietzsche’s sense that “national religions” (at least within the confines of Europe) are both impossible and undesirable has much to do with his understanding of the Judeo-Christian legacy. On one level, Christianity is for Nietzsche “just another religion,” and it shares much in common with the national religions. In this case, it is an expression of the will to power of the down-trodden within the imperium Romanum, and one can criticize it as such (as Nietzsche does at length in the Genealogy). But Nietzsche views this sociological insight as only of partial importance in assessing Judeo-Christianity and its impact on Europe.

From the beginning, Nietzsche claims that Christianity was, at heart, never a national religion, and its dynamic was always expansive and supranational in character. In Nietzsche’s words, Christianity was “not a function of a race—it turned to every kind of man who was disinherited by life, it had its allies everywhere” (AC §51). From this broad base of support in the ancient world, the Judeo-Christian legacy surfaced, in a variety of manifestations, and came to inform all peoples and classes of Europe (and beyond). Christianity thus lacked completely other religions’ basis in the sustenance of a distinct group, with its good and evil, high and low, sentiments and attachments.

But beyond this matter of scale, Nietzsche viewed Christianity as different in character from national religions. Much of this is expressed in the fact that Nietzsche views Christianity as possessing an epistemology radically different from the “national epistemologies” described above. More specifically, Judeo-Christianity has a “will to truth” like no other. In Nietzsche’s mind, much of this results from Judaism’s place in the ancient world. In order to properly understand Judeo-Christian epistemology, one must turn to the story of the Jews.

3. Judaism and the Jews

It is well known that Nietzsche was a fierce anti-anti-Semite. It was not particularly difficult for Nietzsche to take this position in the latter part of his career. Anti-Semitism was indelibly linked in his mind with Wagner and the Bayreuth circle, his sister’s poor choice in husbands, and pompous German nationalism—that is to say, everything which Nietzsche found most distasteful and felt that he had to overcome in himself. Nietzsche’s hatred of anti-Semitism culminated in his letter sent to Franz Overbeck, at the onset of madness in January of 1889, announcing that he was “having all anti-Semites shot.”19 But then, being an anti-anti-Semite doesn’t quite mean that he was a philo-Semite, nor does it quite tell us what Nietzsche thought of the Jews. Examined closely, Nietzsche’s depictions of Judaism and the Jews reveals that he was intensely ambivalent about both—a certain anti-Semitism and penchant for double-edged compliments are combined with an enduring admiration. In his view, the Jews are, at the same time, a strong heroic people, a slave-race most responsible for the decline of aristocratic values, and potential “good Europeans.”20

Nietzsche unequivocally admires the Biblical Jewish people, and uses rapturous language to describe the “Homeric” world of the Pentateuch: “great human beings, a heroic landscape, and something of the very rarest quality in the world, the incomparable naïveté of the strong heart; what is more I find a people” (GM III: §22). At this point in time, Judaism was a healthy and powerful national religion. Being that Jews and their political order were “in the right, that is, natural relationship to all things,” they were able to create their own table of good and evil and invent a God that expressed their strength: Yahweh in his original form “was the expression of a consciousness of power, of joy in oneself, of hope for oneself: through him victory and welfare were expected” (AC: §25).

But as the Jews began to experience defeat and subservience—recast in historical terminology, in the period following the destruction of the First Temple (6th Century B.C.)—Yahweh began to lose his luster. In a striking admonishment, Nietzsche claims, “they should have let him go” (AC §25). That is, once Yahweh ceased to be a god of power and victory, the Jews should have been creative enough to make a new one. This was, of course, common practice throughout the Roman Empire, as gods were ordered, created, and destroyed within the federalist Pantheon.

Instead, Jewish political life began to be dominated by a priestly class, and Yahweh was re-imagined. If the Jews could not experience power in the real world, they claimed that “the good” was not found there but only in a new “higher” realm of morality. The god of the Jews became, in turn, an abstract demand, an “evil-eye,” a “morality.” The situation was made worse by the fact that the priestly class transformed the Jewish historical consciousness, empowering themselves and devaluing the Biblical age of heroes which Nietzsche so admired:

[I]n the hands of the Jewish priests, the great age in the history of Israel became an age of decay; the Exile, the long misfortune, was transformed in to an eternal punishment for the great age—an age in which the priest was still a nobody” (AC §26).

Judaism was further affected by the Jews’ conflicts with the Roman Empire, culminating in the destruction of the Second Temple (1st Century, B.C.). It is, indeed, this confrontation through which Nietzsche generates one of his most characteristic opposition, “Rome against Judea, Judea against Rome: Rome felt the Jews to be something like anti-nature itself, its antipodal monstrosity as it were: in Rome the Jew stood convicted of hatred for the whole human race” (GM I: §16). “Judea against Rome” is the depiction not of too rival nations and national religions but of two completely opposed Weltanschauungen and moral systems: on one side, there is the aristocratic master-class, conscious of its own power, and able to subordinate and integrate rival nations into a stable, productive hierarchy; on other, there is a small, wretched tribe of people claiming no national power (as they had none), but then making a grasp for universal dominion.

4. Morality in the Grand Style

In Nietzsche’s reading, the Jews are “the most catastrophic people in world history” (AC §24), but not merely because they created a religion of ressentiment directed against the aristocratic Romans. For as a religion of a weak people, Judaism would hardly be unusual in this respect and would never have gained world-historical significance. The Jews were truly catastrophic in that they transformed the nature of religion itself.

In order to understand the new metaphysics created in Judaism, it is useful to turn to Nietzsche’s description of the formation of the conscience and the sense of guilt. Drawing on the fact that the German word “Schuld” refers to both “debt” (in the monetary sense) and “guilt” (in the moral sense), Nietzsche claims that, in the prehistory of mankind, the moral conscience emerged as an internalization of the punishment one received for failing to repay loans. The feeling of guilt is a means for man to punish himself by reproducing the fear and loathing of indebtedness in other contexts. Obviously, this had a class-dimension, for it is primarily the lower orders and weaker nations who experienced chronic indebtedness, and thus were more likely to develop the internalization. The Jews underwent an intensification of this process in that not only were they constantly in a position of subservience vis-à-vis “master” nations, but their culture became dominated by a priestly class that eagerly transformed “guilt/debt” into a exaltation of their weak and downtrodden state, the “ascetic ideal.”

Nietzsche relates that, as this process ensued, this painful internalization of guilt became simply too great for the slave to bear, and he and his society sought a means of discharging it. This could take many forms; Nietzsche views the primary one as entailing a grand reversal, a projection back of the feeling of debt onto the “creditor,” that is, the master. The Jews thus formed an entire metaphysics based upon ressentiment. The “transvaluation of all values”—that is, the valuing of the weak, shameful slaves as “good”—and the powerful, conscienceless rulers as “evil”—operated through this process in the latter days of the ancient world.

This great “reversal of guilt,” so to speak, is directly related to the Jews’ development of monotheism and a universal religion. In Nietzsche’ reading of history, it is the Jews and the original Christian slave-classes throughout the Empire that achieved the “maximum feeling of guilty indebtedness [des Schuldgefühl] on earth.” Nietzsche views this as expressed by a universalist theory and “the maximum god attained thus far” (GM II: §20), the one, true god—Yahweh. Not only did the Jews and Christians divorce their god from the attainment of worldly power, but in imagining a higher realm, they grasped at a kind of grand coup d’état. The refashioned Yahweh was above the gods of Rome and all other deities, indeed, he superseded them. The Jews were the inventors of what Nietzsche calls “the grand style in morality” (BGE VIII: §250). In this way, Nietzsche imagines a great clash of universal religions: on the one hand, Judeo-Christian monotheism, and on the other, the Imperium Romanum and its Pantheon.

In the struggle of “Rome against Judea,” Judea won. Nietzsche views this as happening mostly on a psychological level; put simply, the all-encompassing Judaic (and later Judeo-Christian) system entrapped the nobles and made them feel guilty about themselves, about their power, beauty, and dominance. Beyond the Roman aristocrats, Nietzsche sees the pre-Judeo-Christian world as replete with a host of figures who, “imbued with faith in their own perfection, went about with the dignity of a great matador”; these were the great masters who had confidence in their ability to achieve power and, it should be mentioned, were unafraid to be cruel. “Moral Skepticism”—that is, the “evil eye” and the unflagging criticism of the Judeo-Christian system—succeeded in drawing into question all of the noble man’s great strengths—pride, ruthlessness, ambition—and in “accusing and embittering him” to the point that he lost faith in himself (GS III: §122).

Nietzsche views this great “loss of nerve” as lamentable, for there is little doubt that he felt the great, cruel master-class to be the foundation of high culture in the ancient world. This being said, Nietzsche recognizes that the “transvaluation of all values” is at the heart of the sciences and the modern systems of knowledge. Indeed, Nietzsche views Judaism and Christianity as the first religions to fully systematize the potential of doubt and skepticism. The ancient Jew and Christian might originally pursue “truth” out of ressentiment, in the sense of “bringing the great down to size” or “looking up the skirt” of the Queen. But this is transformed into a call for knowledge for its own sake. As Nietzsche points out, it is no coincidence that the great philosophers have been social outcasts—Heraclitus, Socrates, Epicurius, Nietzsche (BGE I: §6). Ressentiment is the secret, guilty origin of philosophy. Moreover, with the expansion to universalism, the acquisition of knowledge becomes a duty, a painful binding of the self to achieve knowledge “for its own sake” and “at all costs.”

Furthermore, it is with man’s “turning against himself” that it becomes possible to enact a great transformation of values. In this line, it is the dynamic of Judeo-Christian ressentiment that gives substance to Nietzsche’s metaphor (quoted above) of the “taut bow.” “Turned against himself,” Judeo-Christian man is a strange, seemingly “unnatural,” being, but as such he begins to view himself no longer as an end but as a stage in a grand transformation:

[T]he existence on earth of an animal soul turned against itself . . . was something so new, profound, unheard of, enigmatic, contradictory, and pregnant with a future that the aspect of the earth was essentially altered. . . .[M]an . . . gives rise to an interest, a tension, a hope, almost a certainty, as if with him something were announcing and preparing itself, as if man were not a goal but only a way, an episode, a bridge, a great promise.—(GM II: §16)

In describing the development of the systems of knowledge, Nietzsche returns to the image of the “taut bow” and “great politics.” Judaism gave birth not only to the universalism and value of truth that characterize European societies, but also to the capacity to transfigure radically these values.

As explored in the following section, this aspect of Judeo-Christian legacy is of particular importance in informing Nietzsche’s discussions of 19th-century European politics and his hope for supra-national integration.

III. Super-Nationalism

1. The New Idol

Publishing in the latter third of the 19th century, Nietzsche couldn’t help but comment on the most important political development of his time—nationalism. In his mature period, Nietzsche’s stance towards the nation-state was almost uniformly hostile. (This might come as a surprise to those who associate him with German National Socialism.) In these discussions, Nietzsche is not interested in sovereignty or the state in themselves so much as their modern “republican” and “national-democratic” variations. In this line, the central political problem for Nietzsche is one of representation. Nietzsche (or Zarathustra to be exact) claims that the state exists through a central lie: “I, the state, am the people.” It is this equation and promise of representation that, after the collapse of “divine right” and absolutism, became the fundamental source of legitimacy.

Whereas healthy peoples are able to write their own tablets of good and evil, Zarathustra calls the modern state “the death of peoples” and, in an ironic reference to Hobbes “Leviathan,” “the coldest of all cold monsters” (Z I: §11). While a great legislator like Manu was a “creator”—he brought order to his culture—the modern state is an “annihilator.” It simply “takes,” its managers exist by taxing those below them. And it is a cold monster in that it “bask[s] in the sunshine” of the allegiance and men of actual achievement. And, to Zarathustra’s dismay, it has seduced the “great souls” of every nation. Here, Nietzsche certainly has in mind a figure like Wagner: after the events of 1848-49 he was a nomadic artist who radically rethought the operatic form; by 1876 and the establishment of the Bayreuth festival, he was “nationalized” and thus became “respectable” and “palatable.”

Keeping in mind Nietzsche’s esteem and nostalgia for the age of peoples, it is important to note that his critique of the modern state functions around a nation/state opposition. As mentioned above, Nietzsche’s mature work is filled with barbs against all things German; however, the moments in which he criticizes the German state are exactly those in which he allows himself to recognize the cultural achievement of the German people—even if he does this in the form of his signature double-edged complements.21 While in other works Nietzsche depicts Germans as lugubrious beer-guzzlers, vis-à-vis their state, they are a people of ponderous depths, fixated—perhaps to a fault—on a vision of the future (BGE VIII: §240). Germans famously have an identity crisis—“It is characteristic of the Germans that the question, ‘what is German?’ never dies out amongst them” (BGE VIII: §244)—but then this makes them philosophical. In light of Nietzsche’s political ideal of the good European, it is certainly significant here that he depicts the German soul as disposed to “cosmopolitanism” (BGE VIII: §241). In 1888—18 years after the founding of the Reich—he exclaimed: “‘German spirit’: for the past eighteen years a contradiction in terms” (TI I: §23). In a clear reference to the leader of the new Germany, Otto von Bismarck, Nietzsche speaks of “a statesman” who convinced the Germans to sacrifice their great virtues for the sake of a “novel and dubious mediocrity” (BGE VIII: §241). Bismarck was able to seduce the Germans through, in Nietzsche’s exact words, “Great Politics.” Far from being the merger of politics and the war of spirits that Nietzsche foresaw in Ecce Homo (EC IV: §1), Bismarck’s “great politics” is little more than pomp and circumstance, a parody of actual greatness. The great chancellor “piles up for [the Germans] another tower of Babel, a monster of empire and power,” and willing citizens “grovel on their bellies before anything massive” (BGE VIII: §241). Nietzsche holds his nose at this spectacle and refers to the process as the “spiritual flattening” of a people. In becoming citizens of the Reich, Germans forgo their spiritual boundlessness and learn “politicking.”

2. The Herd and the Tyrants

Like most critics of nationalism, Nietzsche is quick to place national formation within a particular historical context and deconstruct any claims the nation-state might have of being an organic outgrowth out of an ancient community. Far from representing an eternal Deutsch, Nietzsche views the Reich as a part of a European-wide spirit of secular republicanism. And despite Kaiser Wilhelm’s claims of divine sovereignty, he views the Reich as part of “Europe’s democratic movement” (BGE VIII: §242). In this line, Nietzsche generally criticizes the nation-state in much the same way that he criticizes the Enlightenment’s political offspring, democracy and liberalism. Democratic and republican politics seek to oppress the great individual exemplars of the human species and mark the lowering of tastes to suit the herd. Nietzsche takes this point very far, even speculating that democratization was actually a “physiological process” in which Europeans were quite literally getting flatter and flatter and more and more boring. Europeans are no longer a collection of peoples, but a homogenous mass.

This being said, Nietzsche is not merely an aristocratic conservative, lamenting the dumbing-down of tastes (though he certainly did lament the dumbing-down of tastes). Just as with the discussion of “shadows over Europe,” Nietzsche views this “mass-ification” of peoples as inevitable and irreversible; indeed, he attempts to glimpse a potential transformation taking place through (not against) the “democratic movement.” Indeed, Nietzsche provocatively imagines that the great leveling will eventuate in a “result which would seem to be least expected by those who naively praise [the process of democratization], the apostles of ‘modern ideas.’” For the new “democratic man”—in the form of either the “last man” described in Zarathustra (Z I: P: §5) or the “garrulous worker” in Beyond Good and Evil (BGE VIII: §242)—shall be, in status if not name, a slave. Slaves, of course, need Masters, much like cattle need cowboys. And this means that “in exceptional cases the strong human being will have to turn out stronger and richer than perhaps ever before.” The democratization of Europeans will be the opportunity for the “cultivation of tyrants.”

3. Who Leads Europe?

In the wake of 20th-century totalitarianisms, Nietzsche’s call for the cultivation of tyrants is undoubtedly unwelcome. As Jacob Golomb and Robert Wistrich observe, Nietzsche is not a proto-Fascist or -Nazi, but he is most definitely a kind of “godfather” of these movements. In their words, he was a “prophet of the spiritual vacuum that gave birth to the totalitarian abysses of the twentieth century. As such he remains profoundly relevant to our time.”22 But then, perhaps one could push Nietzsche’s “totalitarian” connection much further than Golomb and Wistrich would like. Both Hitler and Stalin might even seem to be an excellent candidate for the “artist tyrant” in that both sustained their dictatorship by replacing politics with the spectacle of power. Nietzsche, of course, never discusses things like a “one-party-state” or the “Führer principle”; however, in his unpublished writings, which were collected as The Will to Power (1901), he did specifically speak of “international racial unions whose task will be to rear a master race” (WP §504). Furthermore, in stressing the need for fearless new conquerors, he rhetorically asks, “Where are the barbarians of the twentieth century?” (WP §465).23

Nietzsche never published any statements like this in his lifetime, and it is irresponsible to treat them uncritically as definitive components of his philosophy. Nevertheless, the questions that such a statement evoke are serious and invariably color any reading of Nietzsche’s political philosophy. Without doubt there is a certain racial, eugenicist component to Nietzsche’s vision of the new Europe; however, it is of vital importance to look very closely at exactly how Nietzsche depicts his projected tyrants and masters of Europe. Nietzsche might be notorious for writing positively about the “blond beast” and the “noble races” (GM I: §11),24 but ultimately both of these figures are part of Nietzsche’s vision of “pre-history,” of the half-forgotten memory of man. They are not the Masters of Europe, who will arise after the death of God.

Nietzsche ultimately never details who the Overman (Übermensch) is, much as Marx remained poetic and elliptical when he described communism. That said, he offers glimpses . . .

Nomads

It is useful to begin this discussion with the figure of the “good European.” Nietzsche is most explicit about what he means by this term when he discuses the role of the Jews in modern European society. Nietzsche’s portrait of the Jewish people is, in many ways, familiar: he writes of them as wandering without a home, still alienated from the European national communities even after the wide-spread liberal reforms improving their treatment. Their alien status has certain benefits, however, for in being excluded from national life, the Ashkenazim maintain their own distinct cultural traditions and remain, in Nietzsche’s words, a people “aere perennius,” more enduring than bronze.

With this in mind, Daniel Conway has suggested that the European Jews stand for Nietzsche as a kind of political alternative, a living critique of his grand vision of a renewed Roman Empire: “Despite his bold, Europhilic swagger, he feared that they [the Jews] may have succeeded in formulating the optimal strategy for promoting cultural advancement in late modernity.”25 This claim is highly useful in that it is, in my view, a misreading of Nietzsche’s position towards the Ashkenazim, but then it brings to the fore an important point. It is certainly true that Nietzsche saw the value in being the outsider; all great philosophers are outsiders, including Nietzsche himself. Furthermore, Zarathustra speaks directly to the lonely and disposed in his call for the creation of a new spiritual order: “You that are lonely today, you that are withdrawing, you shall one day be the people: out of you, who have chosen yourselves, there shall grow a chosen people—and out of them the overman” (Z I: §22). It might seem that here Nietzsche is calling for a kind of “Jewish” good European, the Good European as a wandering nomad. Those who have “chosen themselves” will form an ironic “chosen people.”

Nietzsche undoubtedly desires to empower those who stand against the modern world; however, in this scheme, they are not to remain “free spirits” for long. In the above quotation, Nietzsche does not imagine the alienated as forever standing apart, but as ultimately triumphing, as giving birth to a higher stage of humanity, and thus laying the foundations for rule. Similarly, what Nietzsche admires in the Jews’ “optimal strategy” is not their apartness in itself, but their potential to achieve “mastery over Europe” (BGE VIII: §251). Indeed, Nietzsche scolds the Jews for trying to assimilate into national cultures. Were these indestructible, nomadic people not capable of much more, for better and for worse? In making such claims, Nietzsche does not reveal himself to be a kind of “Jewish supremacist,” so to speak. The Jew, who has survived persecution and attempted annihilation—survived even national assimilation and who has built international networks—are an image, at least in part, of what a “Good European” might be.26 But the Ashkenazim’s international culture and “morality in the grand style,” which has been developed into a variety of ethical philosophies, make them particularly well suited for the governance of the continent.

In no better way does Nietzsche express that his political project amounts to a “transvaluation of all values,” for it is the wanderers and nomads who were, as physical types, those to whom Christianity would most likely appeal in the ancient world, and furthermore, those who would most likely succeed in crafting a religion of ressentiment against the nobility. The lonely and dispossessed are poised to become a new master class.

Tyrants

Immediately following his paean to the imperium Romanum quoted at the beginning of this essay, Nietzsche offers a glimpse of his ideal of the man who might sit on the throne. His language here is grandiose and deserves to be quoted at length:

I envisage a possibility of a perfect supraterrestrial magic and fascination of color: it seems to me that it glistens in all the tremors of subtle beauty, that an art is at work in it, so divine, so devilishly divine that one searches millennia in vain for a second such possibility […] Cesare Borgia as pope. Am I understood? (AC §61)

The imagery is meant to shock, and Nietzsche’s effusiveness expresses his glee in blasphemy. But then Nietzsche intends “Cesare Borgia as pope” to be taken seriously, and such an image connects to many components of his wider political thought. In installing Borgia in Rome, Nietzsche means to attack the Judeo-Christian tradition “in the decisive place, in the very seat of Christianity, placing the noble values on the throne”; going further, he seeks to bring these values “right into the instincts, into the lowest needs and desires of those who sat there” (AC §61). A polemical or merely blasphemous opposition to Christianity—in which case he would image a “sultan in Babylon” or the like—is nowhere to be seen. To the contrary, Nietzsche seeks to re-constitute the entire Judeo-Christian legacy. The “instincts” and “lowest needs and desires” of the Jew or Christian are transformed into the foundation for a new aristocratic order. Just as the “good European” marks a kind of reversal of the tradition of Jewish ressentiment, so Nietzsche imagines the coming tyrants as an upside down version of the greatest of all priestly classes.


References

Bergman, Peter. 1987. Nietzsche, “the Last Antipolitical German.” Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Brinker, Menahem. 2002. “Nietzsche and the Jews.” In Nietzsche, Godfather of Fascism?: On the Uses and Abuses of a Philosophy, edited by J. Golomb and R. S. Wistrich. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.

Conway, Daniel W. . 2002. “Ecce Caesar: Nietzsche’s Imperial Aspirations.” In Nietzsche, Godfather of Fascism?: On the Uses and Abuses of a Philosophy, edited by J. Golomb and R. S. Wistrich. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.

Coudenhove-Kalergi, Richard Nikolaus, Graf von. 1925 [1920]. Adel, Praktischer Idealismus. Wien and Leipzig: Pan-Europa Verlag.

Dannhauser, Werner J. 1987 [1963]. Friedrich Nietzsche. In History of Political Philosophy, edited by L. Strauss and J. Cropsey. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.

Gillespie, Michael Allen. 1999. “Nietzsche and the Anthropology of Nihilism.” Nietzsche-Studien (28):141-155.

Golomb, Jacob, and Robert S. Wistrich. 2002. Introduction. In Nietzsche: Godfather of Fascism?: On the Uses and Abuses of a Philosophy, edited by J. Golomb and R. S. Wistrich. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.

Kaufmann, Walter. 1974 [1950]. Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist. 4th ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Middleton, Christopher (ed.). 1996 [1969]. Selected Letters of Friedrich Nietzsche. Indianapolis: Hackett.

Nietzsche, Friedrich. 1967 [1901]. The Will to Power. Translated by W. Kaufmann. New York: Vintage Books.

———. 1974 [1882/87]. The Gay Science. Translated by W. Kaufmann. New York: Vintage Books.

———. 1982 [1881]. Daybreak. Translated by R. J. Hollingdale. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

———. 1982 [1883-84]. Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Translated by W. Kaufmann. Edited by W. Kaufmann, The Portable Nietzsche. New York: Penguin Books.

———. 1982 [1888]. The Antichrist. Translated by W. Kaufmann. Edited by W. Kaufmann, The Portable Nietzsche. New York: Penguin Books.

———. 1982 [1888]. The Twilight of the Idols. Translated by W. Kaufmann. Edited by W. Kaufmann, The Portable Nietzsche. New York: Penguin Books.

———. 1990 [1873]. “History in Service and Disservice of Life”. In Unmodern Observations, edited by A. William. New Haven: Yale University Press.

———. 1992 [1872]. The Birth of Tragedy out of the Spirit of Music. Translated by W. Kaufmann. Edited by W. Kaufmann, The Basic Writings of Nietzsche. New York: Modern February.

———. 1992 [1887]. On the Genealogy of Morals: A Polemic. Translated by W. Kaufmann. Edited by W. Kaufmann, Basic Writings of Nietzsche. New York: Modern Library.

———. 1992 [1888]. Ecce Homo: How One Becomes What One Is. Translated by W. Kaufmann. Edited by W. Kaufmann, Basic Writings of Nietzsche. New York: Modern Library.

Salaquarda, Jörg. 1996. “Nietzsche and the Judeo-Christian Tradition”. In The Cambridge Companion to Nietzsche, edited by B. Marnus and K. M. Higgins. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Schrift, Alan. 1995. Nietzsche’s French Legacy. London and New York: Routledge.

Strong, Tracy B. 1988 [1975]. Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of Transfiguration. Expanded ed. Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press.

Wolin, Richard. 2004. The Seduction of Unreason: The Intellectual Romance with Fascism, from Nietzsche to Postmodernism. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.

Yovel, Yirmiyahu. 2002. “Nietzsche Contra Wagner on the Jews.” In Nietzsche, Godfather of Fascism?: On the Uses and Abuses of a Philosophy, edited by J. Golomb and R. S. Wistrich. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.


Footnotes

  1. Throughout this essay, I use standard parenthetical documentation for all of Nietzsche’s works. An abbreviation of the title is followed by the section and paragraph number (when available). A Preface to a volume and the Prologue to Thus Spoke Zarathustra are both signified by “P.” Nietzsche is a writer fond of the italicized stress, and, unless otherwise noted, all emphasis in selected quotations is identical to that in the original.The works referenced are as follows: The Antichrist, AC (Nietzsche 1982 [1888]); The Birth of Tragedy, BT (Nietzsche 1992 [1872]); Daybreak, D (Nietzsche 1982 [1881]); Ecce Homo, EH (Nietzsche 1992 [1888]); The Gay Science, GS (Nietzsche 1974 [1882/87]); On the Genealogy of Morals, GM (Nietzsche 1992 [1887]); “History in Service and Disservice of Life,” HSDL (Nietzsche 1990 [1873]); Twilight of the Idols, TI (Nietzsche 1982 [1888]); The Will to Power, WP (Nietzsche 1967 [1901]); and Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Z (Nietzsche 1982 [1883-84]).
  2. In the critical literature, there are countless volumes detailing Nietzsche’s relationship towards the Greeks of the 5th century; there is no single monograph dedicated to Nietzsche’s view of Rome and the Imperium.
  3. Peter Bergman. Nietzsche, “the Last Antipolitical German” (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1987), 90.
  4. Tracy B. Strong, Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of Transfiguration, expanded edition (Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 1988 [1975]), 202.
  5. Much of this can be directly linked to the fact that Elizabeth Förster-Nietzsche, Nietzsche beloved sister, was in charge of Friedrich’s literary estate after his death and was the moving force in establishing the Nietzsche Archive in Weimar. To Friedrich’s dismay, Elizabeth had married a one Bernard Förster, an anti-Semite equal parts German Nationalist and proto-Hippie. (He actually took Elizabeth to South America to found a utopian Commune, “Germania,” beyond the reach of Jewish greed.) During the 1930s, Elizabeth assiduously tried to gain the favor of the Nazi regime and rather brazenly misrepresented Nietzsche’s views on Jews, Germans, and German nationalism.Still, this is far from the whole story. That Mussolini read and admired Nietzsche and generally thought of his politics—even in his Socialist days—as “Nietzschean” is indisputable. There is no evidence that Hitler ever read Nietzsche even though he publicly praised him. Other Nazi theorists, most notably Alfred Rosenberg, were clearly well versed in Nietzsche’s writings.
  6. Alan Schrift offers an overview in Nietzsche’s French Legacy (London and New York: Routledge, 1995.
  7. The Gay Science was first published in 1882; however, Nietzsche added Book V, in which this quotation appears, in the 1887 expanded edition.
  8. Throughout this essay, I use the term “Judeo-Christian” to signify that, far from viewing Christianity and Judaism as divergent or even opposed, Nietzsche perceived Christianity specifically as the consequence of Judaism and the means by which Judaism expanded globally. Nietzsche specifically referred to Christ as the “seduction and bypath to precisely those Jewish values and new ideal” (GM I: §8); he saw Judaism as having influenced Christianity and the Churches so deeply that it had become imperceptible: “today the Christian can feel anti-Jewish without realizing that he himself is the ultimate Jewish consequence (AC §24).It is worth noting that here I specifically disagree with Walter Kaufmann’s views on “Judeo-Christianity” in his Nietzsche. Kaufmann sought to distance Nietzsche from Nazi and proto-Nazi thinkers, specifically Alfred Rosenberg and Houston Stewart Chamberlain, who denounced Christianity on account of its Jewish origins. In attempting this, Kaufmann misreads Nietzsche in claiming that he viewed a great separation between the religions in the sense that “Christianity is envisaged as the dross of Judaism” (Kaufmann 1974 [1950], p. 299).
  9. In claiming that Nietzsche viewed that Enlightenment and Science as emerging from the Judeo-Christian tradition, I have relied on Jörg Salaquarda’s “Nietzsche and the Judeo-Christian Tradition” (Salaquarda 1996).
  10. Werner J. Dannhauser, “Friedrich Nietzsche” in History of Political Philosophy, edited by L. Strauss and J. Cropsey (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1987 [1963]).
  11. Michael Allen Gillespie, “Nietzsche and the Anthropology of Nihilism,” Nietzsche-Studien (28) 1999, 141-155.
  12. At least in The Gay Science, Nietzsche’s “new dawn” seems to lack all semblance of content. While Nietzsche might hope for a life after God to be ruled by “overmen,” a society ruled by philistine “last men” seems just as (if not more) likely. Although such a comparison is intrinsically unfair, Nietzsche’s “new dawn” seems similar to Lenin’s belief that, after the fall of the bourgeois-Christian world, a radical elite could construct a new “socialist man.” Millenarian dreams of a Tabula rasa seem always to crash on the rocks of durable institutions and a persistent human nature.
  13. Gillespie, op cit.
  14. In his discussion “On the Prejudices of Philosophers,” Nietzsche reiterates the point: “What in us really wants ‘truth’? […] Suppose we want truth: why not rather untruth? and uncertainty? even ignorance?” (BGE I: §1).
  15. Nietzsche associates not just knowledge but the even more basic concept of memory with pain. For “learning,” pain is indispensable: “[T]here is nothing more fearful and uncanny in the whole of prehistory of man than his mnemotechnics. ‘If something is to stay in the memory it must be burned in: only that which never ceases to hurt stays in the memory”—this is a main clause of the oldest (unhappily the most enduring) psychology on earth” (GM II: §3).
  16. Walter Kaufmann, Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist, 4th edition (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974 [1950]), 79.
  17. It is important to remember that Nietzsche does not use “race” in its modern supra-ethnic meaning, e.g. “the white race.” As correctly pointed out by Brinker, Nietzsche’s “race” clearly indicates an ethnic-cultural population: e.g. the Jews are “the purest of the European races.” (BGE VIII: 251) (Brinker 2002).
  18. Menahem Brinker, “Nietzsche and the Jews,” Nietzsche, Godfather of Fascism?: On the Uses and Abuses of a Philosophy, Edited by J. Golomb and R. S. Wistrich (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 1999).
  19. Christopher Middleton (ed.), Selected Letters of Friedrich Nietzsche, (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1996 [1969]).
  20. Yirmiyahu Yovel: “When Nietzsche attacks the anti-Semites or defends the Jews, he was aiming at real people—the actual community of the Jews, and anti-Semitism as a contemporary movement. By contrast when dealing with ancient priestly Judaism, Nietzsche treated it as a psycho-cultural category latent in the Protestant Christian Church of his day, which Nietzsche, as a “genealogist” of this culture, wished to expose. Contrary to many anti-Semites—and also to the trend of Jewish apologetics—Nietzsche did not project his critique of ancient Judaism into a political attitude against the Jews of his day. This break allowed him to be at the same time—and with intense passion—both an anti-anti-Semite and a critic of ancient priestly Judaism, the fountain of Christianity (Yovel 2002).”
  21. Nietzsche’s reconciliation is expressed by the fact he even allows himself to once again wax poetic about the majesty of Wagnerian music (§240), something surprising in light of the vitriolic attack in The Case of Wagner (1888) just two years later. In the following aphorism (§241), he actually calls this a “sample” of the good European’s “relapse” into “some hearty fatherlandishness,” “old loves and narrowness.”
  22. Introduction, Nietzsche, Godfather of Fascism?: On the Uses and Abuses of a Philosophy, edited by J. Golomb and R. S. Wistrich (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2002).
  23. Both of these selections from The Will to Power are quoted and discussed at length by Richard Wolin in The Seduction of Unreason (55-56), in which he generally argues that Nietzsche was far more than a “godfather of Fascism” and that he anticipates the obsessions with race and power-politics of Fascist and Nazi ideology. Postmodernists who were inspired by Nietzsche are, in Wolin’s mind, guilty by association (Wolin 2004).
  24. Walter Kaufmann discusses these terms and their misreading and misuse in his translation of On the Genealogy of Morals (pp. 476-77, footnote 3).
  25. Daniel W. Conway, “Ecce Caesar: Nietzsche’s Imperial Aspirations,” Nietzsche, Godfather of Fascism?: On the Uses and Abuses of a Philosophy, edited by J. Golomb and R. S. Wistrich (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2002).
  26. Count Richard Nikolaus Coudenhove-Kalergi, the founder of the “Pan-European League,” who sought to unite Europe and was inspired by Nietzsche, described Jews as a “core around which a new spiritual nobility would group itself” (Coudenhove-Kalergi 1925 [1920], 51, my translation).
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Why I Can’t Stand St. Patrick’s Day

I’ve always instinctively disliked St. Patrick’s Day. Growing up in the ‘80s and ‘90s, I was inured to the multicultural calendar of ethnic holidays I didn’t resonate with or understand….

I’ve always instinctively disliked St. Patrick’s Day. Growing up in the ‘80s and ‘90s, I was inured to the multicultural calendar of ethnic holidays I didn’t resonate with or understand. But no one ever expected me to actually celebrate Rosh Hashanah—or wear T-shirts that read “I’ve got a little Jewish in me” or pinch anyone not donning a yarmulke. At one point, I started wearing Orange on March 17 . . . though the message was seemingly lost on most everyone I encountered.

Much like Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day has emerged as an excuse to get dressed up, get drunk, and get laid. The same goes for the German festival of Oktoberfest, which is growing in popularity. But Ocktoberfest retains a connection to authenticity and tradition, which I find totally absent in the spring festival of idiots wearing Guinness novelty top hats and obnoxious women screaming while making group selfies.

We moderns, who are living out the End of History, think that cultural festivals are something for those other peoples. The Day of the Dead, the Thai Pongal, and Carnival are for those who haven’t quite entered modernity, who lack our self-consciousness, rootlessness, and irony. In this way, we don’t consider St. Patrick’s Day to be a real holiday at all. But truly, what we celebrate and how we celebrate it reveals who we are, and the shared assumptions amongst Americans of many races.

In The Good Shepard (2006), Robert De Niro’s flawed but fascinating drama about the origins of the CIA, there is a quotable exchange that might be a fitting epigraph for the tombstone of the Anglo-Saxon Protestant elite. It occurs when the blue-blooded Yalie Edward Wilson (Matt Damon) visits the home of an Italian mafia boss, Joseph Palmi, played memorably by Joe Pesci.

Joseph Palmi: Let me ask you something. . . We Italians, we got our families, and we got the church; the Irish, they have the homeland; Jews, their tradition; even the niggers, they got their music. What about you people, Mr. Wilson, what do you have?

Edward Wilson: The United States of America. The rest of you are just visiting.

It’s all too easy to read that last line as an expression of arrogant WASP supremacism—or as Hollywood’s smear of the now-defunct American elite—and overlook its tragic dimension.

Edward Wilson is equal parts “company man” (dutiful, anonymous upper-level manager) and patriotic samurai. He has dedicated himself totally to his agency and to the Cold War, which was imagined as a titanic, all-or-nothing battle for the world. At the end of his life, Wilson is so estranged from his wife and son, he barely seems to know them; his only passion appears to be building model boats in bottles.

Wilson here is an intense example of a general tendency among WASPs to dissolve their ethnic and racial identity into a corporate entity, the United States of America. Wilson is America . . . and isn’t at the same time. The USA is the vehicle for WASP power and identity, but its real essence is that of a mass, managerial bureaucracy and geopolitical administrator. Ultimately, Wilson and his class were also “just visiting”; they were just one more people to occupy the U.S.A.’s upper-levels management positions, and were easily replaced by Liebowitzs, Chens, and even O’Reillys.

St. Patrick’s Day is the celebration of the Underdog—not only the Irish themselves but the perennial, mythic Underdog that is always “just visiting” the United States. What is characteristic about the U.S. is that there is no celebration of the Overdog. There is no St. George’s Day festival, memorializing the people that defined America. In this way, America has no culture. And St. Patrick’s isn’t even about the Irish anymore.

Editor’s Note: This blog post first appeared on St.Patrick’s day of 2015.

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The God of White Dispossession

“MLK Day” has become the high holy day of the American liturgical calendar. No other statesman, not Washington, Jefferson, or Lincoln, is deemed worthy of a holiday all to his own. And no other national holiday seems to carry such relevant, pressing *meaning* for Americans as the third Monday in January.  The 4th of July has become an excuse for a backyard barbecue. The MLK anniversary, on the other hand, inspires Americans to ask who we are and what our higher ideals should be.

“MLK Day” has become the high holy day of the American liturgical calendar. No other statesman, not Washington, Jefferson, or Lincoln, is deemed worthy of a holiday all to his own. And no other national holiday seems to carry such relevant, pressing meaning for Americans as the third Monday in January.  The 4th of July has become an excuse for a backyard barbecue. The MLK anniversary, on the other hand, inspires Americans to ask who we are and what our higher ideals should be.

NPI’s co-founder, Samuel Francis, who was active in the debates about the institution of the holiday in mid-’80s, recognized then that the significance of Martin Luther King Jr. stretched far beyond the legal and political technicalities of the Civil Right Act.  The celebration of the man represented a great change in how Americans understood their nation.

[T[he true meaning of the holiday is that it serves to legitimize the radical social and political agenda that King himself favored and to delegitimize traditional American social and cultural institutions — not simply those that supported racial segregation but also those that support a free market economy, an anti-communist foreign policy, and a constitutional system that restrains the power of the state rather than one that centralizes and expands power for the reconstruction of society and the redistribution of wealth. In this sense, the campaign to enact the legal public holiday in honor of Martin Luther King was a small first step on the long march to revolution, a charter by which that revolution is justified as the true and ultimate meaning of the American identity. In this sense, and also in King’s own sense, as he defined it in his speech at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, the Declaration of Independence becomes a “promissory note” by which the state is authorized to pursue social and economic egalitarianism as its mission, and all institutions and values that fail to reflect the dominance of equality — racial, cultural, national, economic, political, and social — must be overcome and discarded.

By placing King — and therefore his own radical ideology of social transformation and reconstruction — into the central pantheon of American history, the King holiday provides a green light by which the revolutionary process of transformation and reconstruction can charge full speed ahead. Moreover, by placing King at the center of the American national pantheon, the holiday also serves to undermine any argument against the revolutionary political agenda that it has come to symbolize. Having promoted or accepted the symbol of the new dogma as a defining — perhaps the defining — icon of the American political order, those who oppose the revolutionary agenda the symbol represents have little ground to resist that agenda.

Sam is all too correct that “MLK writ large” has become the foundation of American identity; in many ways, the situation is far worse than the one he depicted in 1998.

At the time, Sam described a pitched battle between MLK’s egalitarian “Dream” and “traditional American social and cultural institutions,” which he describes, in Cold War language, as “anti-Communist foreign policy,” free-markets, and the Constitution.

What Sam might not have grasped in 1998, but understood fully later, is that by the turn of the 21st century, the MLK counter-culture was (and is) the Establishment. There are precious few “traditional American social and cultural institutions” that do not honor MLK or treat “The Dream” as informing their missions.

And this is not solely the case for the more overtly liberal ones like the Department of Education. No less a putative bastion of conservative values than the U.S. Army is led by men like Four-Star General George Casey, who in 2009, in response to a Muslim Army Major who murdered 13 of his fellow soldiers as an act of jihad, averred,

What happened in Fort Hood was a tragedy. But I believe it would become an even greater tragedy if our Diversity becomes a casualty. And it’s not just about Muslims. We have a very diverse Army; we have a very diverse society; and that gives us all strength.

MLK unites the Left (tactical disputes between Malcolm X and the pacifist reverend have long since gone by the wayside). And in a strange way, he unites the Right as well. “Judged By The Content Of Their Character” is the central (if not sole) argument against multiculturalism and affirmative-action offered forth by self-styled “conservatives.” And King is counted as an American icon and hero not only at left-wing and liberal gatherings but at those of the “Religious Right” and Beltway Republicans.

Glenn Beck—who, in his radio and television programs and mass rallies, has created a kind of religion of MLK—might actually turn Sam’s polemic on its head and claim that MLK is the hero of American foreign policy and Constitutional government. And he would, in a sense, be correct—even in the matter of foreign affairs. Washington’s violent incursions into the Middle East are invariably accompanied by promises that all shall vote, women shall attain undergraduate educations, and minorities shall be empowered.

Despite conservatives’ wishful thinking, The Dream—in all its manifestations—is the antithesis of a free society. Government’s enforcing that all people and businesses make judgments non-racially is, in itself, a totalitarian notion and has, in fact, resulted in a massive interventionist infrastructure and bureaucracy. (Rand Paul tepidly hinted at as much during his 2010 Senate campaign.) The costs of the industry of “civil rights” and “diversity training” in the workplace can be measured in the hundreds of billions, if not trillions, per year. (And pace conservative revisionism, the actual Martin Luther King Jr. unequivocally advocated most all of the measures done in his name.)

More deeply, “non-discrimination” as a value is the enemy of all tradition, not just the Anglo-Saxon American society it has helped destroy. The version of The Dream that conservatives like—that of interracial hand-holding and vague libertarianism—is ultimately a vision of race-less, family-less, class-less, history-less individuals, happily experiencing equality with other individuals of various shades, all integrated by the marketplace and government. Tradition is, at its root, about being a part of something larger than oneself. The Dream is about becoming a self-contained atom.

Conservatives might think it cute to quote some of King’s more libertarian utterances back at liberals, as a form of “PC Judo.” But in the end, they will be the losers of such a gambit.
Martin Luther King Jr., a fraud and degenerate in his life, has become the symbol and cynosure of White Dispossession and the deconstruction of European civilization. We shall overcome!


This essay was first published on January 20, 2014, at RadixJournal.com and NPIAmerica.org.

 

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America—A View From The French New Right

No one likes to be the object of criticism, Americans no more than any other people. And when someone is the target of criticism, he should not be expected always…

No one likes to be the object of criticism, Americans no more than any other people. And when someone is the target of criticism, he should not be expected always to agree with it. It is important, however, to comprehend that criticism, to take it seriously on its own terms, and not just dismiss it as inspired by malice, jealousy or ignorance.

The criticism that the French New Right (NR) has leveled at America has earned it an unjustifiable label of being inspired by some kind of hidden French chauvinism or “anti-American” phobia. And too often the New Right’s criticism has been poorly understood. Some Americans—who are themselves critical of what their country has now become and the way it has evolved—assume that the criticism is aimed primarily at the America of today. This is not true. The criticism the NR addresses against America is aimed, in fact, at the very foundation of what we call the “American ideology”—an ideology going back to the Founding Fathers. Or to put it differently, this is not a criticism of multiracial (or “multicultural”) America of modern and postmodern times, but primarily a criticism aimed at the America created by Whites and Anglo-Saxon Christians.

As a way of adding some final touches to Tomislav Sunic’s book, I’d like to outline the general thrust of this criticism.


Europe has never declared war on the United States. It is clear, however, that from its very beginning, the United States of America has had a score to settle with Europe. America was born out of desire to break up with Europe. What immigrant communities in the New World first and foremost desired was to dispense with the rules and political principles that prevailed in Europe. The American nation was born in a contractual form during the era of modernity, evoking largely the “primal scene” as imagined by Sigmund Freud: the children get together in order to kill their father and afterwards they draft a contract sanctioning the relationship between equals.

Evidently, the father in that scheme was Europe. It was necessary to make a clean break with the past in order to create a new humankind. Thus, in the Federalist Papers we read:

Had no important step been taken by the leaders of the Revolution for which a precedent could not be discovered,no government established of which an exact model did not present itself, the people of the United States might, at this moment have been numbered among the melancholy victims of misguided councils, must at best have been laboring under the weight of some of those forms which have crushed the liberties of the rest of mankind. Happily for America and we trust for the whole human race, they pursued a new and more noble course. They accomplished a revolution which has no parallel in the annals of human society. They reared the fabrics of governments which have no model on the face of the globe.[1]

Likewise, it was against Europe that in December 1823 James Monroe stated the central tenet of his famous “Doctrine,” that is, that no European intervention should be tolerated at any point whatsoever on the American continent. “We have listened too long to the courtly muses of Europe,” exclaimed for his part the poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th century. “In many respects,” as Dominique Moisi and Jacques Rupnik remark,

America is anti-Europe. It was born out of desire to create a “new Jerusalem” on earth in order to overcome the limitations and errors of the European history.

Given that U.S. citizenship is founded on a contract between immigrants of diverse origins, it follows that all cultural idiosyncrasies must be relegated into the private sphere, which means that they must be temporarily held outside the notion of citizenship. This requirement perfectly matches with the individualist philosophy of the Founding Fathers. It was in America, for the first time ever, that a society was construed composed exclusively of individuals and not of groups, just as capitalism itself presupposed a brand of individualism oriented first toward the property possession.

Sometimes the indifference of the Americans toward history is explained by a relative short duration of the existence of their country. This explanation does not sound convincing. After all, two centuries is a long stretch of time. In fact, the problem is not so much that Americans “have no history” but rather that they do not wish to have one. And they do not wish to have one because, for them, the past is reminiscent of their European roots, which they once attempted to discard. “This is the only people without any roots and genealogy,” wrote, quite fondly, the liberal author Guy Sorman. Thomas Jefferson expressed the same idea by saying that each generation forms a “separate nation.” “The dead,” he said, “have no rights.” Daniel Boorstin, the former director of the Library of Congress, wrote that “the notion of hyphenated Americans is un-American.

I believe that there are only Americans. Polish-Americans, Italian-Americans, or African-Americans are an emphasis that is not fertile…. Americans prefer to be called by their first names and abandon the names of their heritage. The same applies to objects, the trend being toward the unsustainable and the disposable.

The same observation was made by Christopher Lasch, who wrote that in the U.S. “the removal of the roots has always been seen as the prerequisite for increased freedoms.” Hence, America can be described as a civilization of space and not a civilization of time. Its founding myth is not the origin, but the frontier, which in 1893 Frederick Jackson Turner interpreted as the most representative notion of the American ideal, that is, the aspiration toward “the conquest of space.” “What other people experience as history,” observes Jean-Paul Dollé, “the Americans perceive as a sign of underdevelopment.”

And the Americans did not wish to break up with only Europe. They also wanted to create a new society that would regenerate mankind. They wanted to create a new “promised land” that would become the model of the Universal Republic. This Bible-inspired theme, based on the idea of the “chosen” America, has, from its outset and by a purported divine choice, constituted the foundation of a “civil religion” and of American “exceptionalism.” It has kept resurfacing as a leitmotif throughout American history, ever since the days of the Pilgrims, as for instance when the Massachusetts Bay theologian John Cotton suggested the adoption of Hebrew as the official language for the former British colonies. John Winthrop, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, which was founded in 1629, asserted:

We must always consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill—the eyes of all people are upon us. Today the eyes of all people are truly upon us—and our governments, in every branch, at every level, national, state and local, must be as a city upon a hill.[2]

Similar statements were made by William Penn, the chief of the Quaker colony of future Pennsylvania, only to be echoed by the settlers of Virginia. As early as 1668, William Stoughton exclaimed: “God sifted a whole nation that he might send choice grain over into this wilderness.”[3] For Daniel Webster, the United States is a “promised land,”

if indeed it be designed by Providence that the grandest exhibition of human character and human affairs shall be made on this theatre of the Western world.[4] Thomas Jefferson defines a single set of individual and collective rights for all men. Influenced by the doctrine of natural rights, these rights were held to be universal and valid in all times and places. On November 13, 1813, John Adams exhorted the Americans to “our pure, virtuous, public spirited, federative republic that will last forever, govern the globe and introduce the perfection of man.”[5] Even in 1996, the “conservative” U.S. Senator Jesse Helms exclaimed, “The United States must lead the world with the moral torch… and serve as an example to all peoples.”

The goal is not just welcoming the poor and the outcast, as proclaimed in the inscription on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty:

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she [Mother of Exiles]
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”[6]

The goal is also to enable the newcomers to take revenge against the country of their origin. And also to continue to proceed in a manner that would eventually lead the whole world to impregnate itself with the idea that the American society is the perfect society and that the descendants of the Puritans are God’s elect. Besides, it is the Puritan theology of the “covenant” that inspired the doctrine of Manifest Destiny, as put forward by John L. O’Sullivan in 1839:

Our national birth was the beginning of a new history, the formation and progress of an untried political system, which separates us from the past and connects us with the future only; and so far as regards the entire development of the natural rights of man, in moral, political, and national life, we may confidently assume that our country is destined to be the great nation of futurity…. Who, then, can doubt that our country is destined to be the great nation of futurity?[7]

In other words, if God had chosen to favor the Americans, they should be entitled to convert other peoples whichever way they see best and most expedient.

Hence, on the one hand we are witnessing isolationism—America must separate itself from the outside world, which is seen as corrupt. On the other hand, there is a need for the “crusade”—the world must gradually be penetrated with the universal values of the American system. In economics, free-trade policies have never prohibited the use of protectionism, whenever this was deemed necessary; similarly, in foreign policy, isolationism, coupled with the spirit of “crusade,” can march hand in hand. These are the two sides of the same messianic vocation and a typical example of how political universalism is just a mask for ethnocentrism, that is to say, a peculiar model with planetary ambitions.

This underlying certitude explains the extraordinary stability of the U.S. system. In the course of its history, the United States has known only one important political model, a model which has virtually remained unchanged ever since the days of the Founding Fathers. The Constitution, largely inspired by Locke, and generally speaking by the philosophy of Enlightenment, and vetted through Puritanism, has become a sort of sacred monument that makes of Americanism a genuine religion. Be they on the right or on the left, all Americans are in agreement that they have a mission to spread “the word” to mankind. Even the most frenzied utopians do not call into question the authority of the Constitution or the superiority of individual initiative. The system can be tentatively improved or reformed, but it must be remain fundamentally unchanged, insofar as it meshes with the very existence of the country. Whereas in Europe it is still possible to refer to some of the countless political models that existed in the past, the political debate in America reduces itself to discussions about the relative merits of Hamilton, Jefferson, Washington, et al. Fascism and Communism have never had any real impact on the United States, nor has the idea of counterrevolution, nor critical Marxism, nor revolutionary syndicalism, nor anarcho-syndicalism, situationism, etc. At universities, Political Science courses often evolve around long discussions about the work of the Founding Fathers, who are portrayed as people of unsurpassable legacy. Even the eternal debate between Federalists and Anti-federalists, between the Hamiltonians and the Jeffersonians, is, in fact, a family feud, which never calls into question the underlying political consensus.

American domestic politics is often reduced to a competition between the two major parties, which in the eyes of the Europeans say more or less the same thing. Electoral competitions, with their conventions organized as circus shows, are entirely dependent on money. “Democracy” in America equals financial oligarchy. The elections are financial effusions of the billionaire class. For the Americans, it is considered natural that politicians must be rich—in my view, society should be extremely skeptical of anyone who is rich and powerful at the same time—just as it is natural for the politicians to exhibit their wives and children in public meetings, while multiplying religious slogans in their speeches. In continental Europe, a head-of-state addressing his constituents with “God bless you!” and inviting the parliamentarians to a day of prayer and fasting would be viewed by many as a person ripe for the mental asylum. . .

The flip side of this institutional paralysis is formidable conformism and extraordinary monotony of a society that, decade after decade, asserts, with the same docile conviction, that America is a “free country,” while adhering to the same modes, abiding by the same conventions, repeating the same slogans, and, of course, wearing the same uniforms (jeans and T -shirts with a logo of a university that one never attended or a baseball team of which one is not a member). This monotony was already described by Alexis de Tocqueville, who noted that the sequence of commotion and fleeting fashions never augur anything new in America. About the same time the Countess of Merlin also remarked that life of the Americans is “an eternal course in geometry.”

The same messianic certitude inspires American foreign policy, whose main principle is that what is good for America must also be good for the rest of the world—which, in turn, must allow America to expect from its allies financial contributions and applause. As a secularized guise of the Puritan ideal, foreign policy is based on the idea that only the lack of information or the intrinsic evil of foreign leaders explains the reluctance of people around the world to embrace the American way of life. As Jean Baudrillard wrote, the United States is a society

whose naiveté can be described as unbearable and whose fixed idea is that America is the perfect completion of everything that others dream about.[8]

“International relations” is nothing but a global diffusion of the American ideal on the planetary level. Since they assume that they represent the model of perfection, American do not feel obliged to get to know others. It remains for others to adopt the American way. “The tradeoff is uneven,” observes Thomas Molnar, “because America has nothing to learn but everything to teach.”[9] And indeed, everything that happens in America must eventually happen elsewhere in the world. In other words, foreign policy has for a goal the creation of unified humanity no longer in need of any foreign policy. Under such circumstances one must not be surprised that setbacks encountered by the United States in the international arena are often the results of America’s inability to comprehend that other peoples think differently than they do. In fact, for the Americans, the external world (“the rest of the world”) simply does not exist, or rather it exists in so far as it becomes Americanized—a necessary precondition to become comprehensible.

Many observers have noticed the importance of religion in the American society. “In God we trust” is written on all banknotes, and since 1956, it has become a national motto. In the United States, almost all official ceremonies are preceded or followed by a prayer. As of 1923, the Reverend J.B. Soames declared in Washington, during a solemn blessing of the military equipment: “If Jesus Christ came back to Earth he would be white, American and proud of it!” Tocqueville already observed,

It is the religion that gave birth to the Anglo-American societies. One must never forget this; in the United States, religion is therefore intermingled with all the national habits and all the sentiments to which a native country gives birth.[10]

Religion is often redefined in an optimistic sense, consistent with the requirements of practical materialism and aspirations of the people who has never ceased to believe in the virtues of technology and who spontaneously assume–given that the sense of the tragic is alien to it—that somehow things will always sort themselves out in the end. The well known American professor Thomas L. Pangle, in his study on Montesquieu and his influence on the Founding Fathers, suggests the adoption of liberal, commercial republicanism and the spirit of commerce as the best regime

fundamentally opposed, not only to insecurity, but also to both the austere civic virtue of republican antiquity and to religious self-transcendence or otherworldliness.[11]

The bottom line is the reconciliation of religion with optimism inherited from the Enlightenment and embedded in the direction pointing toward the future and the mystique of progress. From John Winthrop to George W. Bush and Barack Obama, the Americans have never given up on the belief in progress, which often leads them to the conclusion that material and technological developments will also bring about the betterment of mankind. In this world of ours, only through the hoarding of material goods can a person be saved. Hence the idea of “redemption” through the conversion to the American way of life. Calvinism had already tried to solve this problem of “predestination” by interpreting material success as a sign of divine election. The glorification of individual performance, the spirit of capitalism, the pacifying virtues of “smooth trade,” all of this nurtures hopes that the accumulation of wealth will someday erase all evil. Evil becomes a “mistake,” a state of imperfection that must be eventually surpassed by increased trade and economic “development.” From now on, it is no longer ethics that justify interests but interest that attempt to justify ethics. In his letter of 1814, addressed to Thomas Law, Jefferson wrote: “The answer is that nature has constituted utility to man the standard and best of virtue.”[12] One hundred years later, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes added,

the best test of truth is the power of thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out.[13]

It seems that in America truth has become a commercial issue.
Televangelists preach the “prosperity gospel”—getting rich is a sign of getting saved—before making their constant fundraising appeals.

The Puritans had retained from Locke the idea that all other human rights derive from “natural right of property.” For Madison, “the first goal of the government” is to ensure the acquisition of property. In 1792, he said: In a word, as a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights.”[14] Rights are interpreted as inherent attributes of human nature, something that individuals possess because of their membership to the human species, and it is those rights that governments are bound to “ensure.”

The New Right totally rejects this notion of subjective rights, which are absolutely opposed to the traditional notion of objective law. In this view, law is an equity relationship, enabling everyone to get what he deserves. Similarly, the New Right rejects the idea that private property must be an absolute.

Such an idea of man was inherent to the foundations of a society, aptly described by Ezra Pound as a “purely commercial
civilization.” His words echo Tocqueville’s:

The passions that agitate the Americans most profoundly are commercial passions and not political passions, or rather, they carry the habits of trade into politics.[15]

America is certainly not the first commercial republic in history, but it is the first one to have posited that nothing whatsoever should limit economic activities, as it is the cherished means of achieving the betterment of all mankind. Being on his own, the individual counts in so much as his external activity keeps growing. Naturally, only his economic performance will properly measure his worth. “In America,” wrote Hermann Keyserling, “people really believe that the rich are superior simply because they have money; in America, having money creates, in fact, moral rights.”

Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno observed from their perspective:

Here in America, there is no difference between a man and his economic fate. A man is made by his assets, income, position, and prospects. The economic mask coincides completely with a man’s inner character. Everyone is worth what he earns and earns what he is worth.[16].

Capitalist competition represents the most ethical tribunal: the rich are the “winners,” and the “winners” are the righteous. This is the primacy of civilization of having over the civilization of being.

Such traits do not lend themselves to meditative thinking and inner reflection. When the link to others is solely nurtured by the respect for material goods and the Dollar Almighty, the result is alienation with no bounds. For the Americans, notes Anaïs Nin in his diary, “it is a sin to have an inner life.” These words may sound excessive, yet they reflect the same conclusions made by the American Christopher Lasch. In the United States there is a consistent trend to believe that intelligence must be reduced to technical knowledge and that the fixation on economic matters should help dispense with the world of pure ideas. Whoever attempts to express an original and profound idea runs the risk of encountering the answer: “Don’t be so negative. Keep it practical! Stay positive!

For the Founding Fathers, the purpose of the government was to ensure the “inalienable rights” of individuals who were “created equal.” Thusly, political life was reduced to morality and law. The American dissident HL Mencken quipped that the very opposite was true:

The worst government is the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top, there is no limit to oppression.[17]

In the United States, political action must always begin with a sudden surge of moral awareness (“Something must be done about it!”), which invariably leads to a “technical” examination of the subject matter under consideration. The law itself is a mode of expression that sets legal forms of moral characteristics inherent to the ideology of human rights. Hence, the extraordinary importance of lawyers in American politics, which Michel Crozier calls the “delirium of the proceedings” and “legal madness.” Meanwhile, the intrinsic superiority of private over public life must be loudly declared everywhere; “civil society” over the world of politics, business and economic competition over the common good. “An American, be he a government official or man on the street,” writes Thomas Molnar, “is convinced that politics as such is a bad thing and that people need to find something else in order to communicate and establish peaceful relations.”[18] As I stated above, the Americans are inclined to think that evil could disappear and that it is possible to remove the tragic trait of human existence. That is why they want to abolish politics, while at the same time bring history to an end. “America was constructed in order that it can exit history,” wrote Octavio Paz. The American “neoconservative” Francis Fukuyama believed to be
able to announce its end.

Waging war has always meant for the Americans a morality “crusade.” This is why it is not enough for them to obtain military victory only. They must also annihilate the enemy, who is invariably depicted not as a leader or state that happens to be an adversary but as the incarnation of evil. Under the guise of “humanitarian intervention” or battles against “terrorists,” American wars are always “just wars,” that is to say, justa causa wars—and not wars against a justus hostis (“just enemy”). Hence, the enemy must be invariably described not just as the enemy of the moment (who could eventually also become an ally in the future), but as a criminal who deserves punishment and re-education.

The differences seem to be profound between the political thought in the continental Europe and the American mentality, marked by an economic, commercial and procedural view of the world, by the omnipresence of biblical values, as well as by technological optimism, contractualism, the language of “rights,” and the belief in progress.


I think I know the United States well, as I have sojourned there on many occasions. I have travelled in all directions, from Washington, DC, to Los Angeles, from New Orleans to Key Largo, from San Francisco to Atlanta, from New York to Chicago. I have, of course, come across a number of things that I enjoyed very much. Americans are friendly and welcoming (even if human relationship is often superficial). They have a tangible sense of community. Their biggest universities offer working conditions that the Europeans could only dream about. I can’t forget the influence that American movies had on me at a time when they were not limited to special effects or superhero nonsense. Especially impressive for me were American literature figures such as Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, William Faulkner, et al. But I also detect the reverse side of the “American way of life”: culture viewed as perishable commodities, or as “entertainment,” a technomorphic conception of human life designed to transform people into extended remote controlled terminals or computers, fake gender relations, automobile civilization and commercial architecture (there is more genuine sociability at an African local market than at an American supermarket—a prime symbol of Western nihilism), obese children groomed by television, glorification of “winners” and the obsession with consumption, fast food, a mixture of Puritans decrees and hysteric transgressions, hypocrisy, corruption, etc. Yes, I am aware of the risk of being accused of bias. But I must admit that for the America of “golden boys,” of “rednecks,” of “body-builders” and “bimbos,” of the “American dream” and cheerleaders, of “money makers” and “brokers” on Wall Street, I have no sympathy at all.

Is globalism today synonymous with Americanism? One is tempted to answer in the affirmative. The fact is that the United States has never stopped exporting its problems to the rest of the world, starting with Europe. In the opinion polls, hostility towards globalization is often accompanied by the rejection of American hegemony. Politically and culturally, globalization largely means a process of Americanization, as the dominant superpower continues to exports its merchandise, its capital, its services, its technology, but also its “industry of the imaginary,” its culture, its language, its standards of living and its own worldview.

But instead of Americanization, should it not be more appropriate to speak of “Westernization?” Many Americans consider themselves “Westerners”—with some of them even using the term “The West” as a synonym of the “white world” (politically a meaningless expression).

Etymologically, “The West” is a place where the sun sets, a place where things perish, and where history comes to an end. In the past, this term designated one of the two empires (pars occidentalis) born out of the dismemberment of the Roman Empire. Subsequently, the term became synonymous of the “Western civilization.” Today, like many other terms, it is in the process of taking on an economic aura as Western countries are primarily designed as “developed” countries. This is not a term, however, that I myself use in a positive sense. In my view, “The West” has now become the vehicle—in contrast to Europe—of a social model that has become a mirror image of nihilism. During my travels around the world, I have witnessed what happens to rooted cultures when they are affected by “The West”: traditions quickly turn into folklore for tourists, the social bond is undone, the folkways become utility oriented, the American language and the music permeate the mind, and the passion for money becomes overwhelming.

It is often understood by the expression “The West” the aggregate composed of the United States of America and Europe. But this aggregate, provided that it has ever existed, is already crumbling, as was noted some years ago by Immanuel Wallerstein.[19 The transatlantic gap widens every day more and more. Globalization, while exacerbating competition, reveals profound divergences between European interests and American interests. On the geopolitical level, the divergences are even more glaring—the United States is a maritime power, whereas Europe is a continental power. As was shown by Carl Schmitt, the logic of Land vs. Sea represents the two conflicting logics.[20] The Land is opposed to the Sea just as politics is opposed to commerce, the boundary to the wave, the telluric element to the oceanic element. Therefore, I do not identify as a “Westerner.” I am a European.

Seen from the angle of economics, capitalism was not born across the Atlantic, although it was there that it became incorporated into the national ideology: the primacy of contract, the downsizing of the state, the criticism of the “big government,” the advocacy of competition and free trade, etc. It is also in the United States that the concept of “governance” was born—firstly applied to business and then to political and social life. It must not come as a surprise that since 1945, the U.S. economy has become the central stage of the international financial system. It was the United States that established in 1947 the Internatioanl Monetary Fund (IMF) and General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), succeeded in 1995 by the World Trade Organization (WTO.) Those were the institutions that liberated capital movements in 1974 in order to finance America’s deficits. In the realm of financial capital, America still retains a much higher share compared to its industrial sector. It sets the rules for international trade, whereas its monetary policies remain the chief mechanism of regulating the financial accumulation across the globe.

Just like many Europeans, I am amazed that America’s self-titled “conservatives” defend, almost without exception, a capitalist system whose expanded methodically destroys everything that they supposedly wish to conserve. Despite the structural crisis that the capitalist system has experienced over the last couple of years, American conservatives continue to celebrate capitalism as a system that allegedly respects and guarantees individual freedom, private property, and free trade. They believe in the intrinsic virtues of the market, whose mechanism they cherish as a paradigm of all social relations. They believe that capitalism has something to do with democracy and freedom. They believe in the the necessity of perpetual economic growth. They think that consumption equals happiness and that “more” is synonymous with “better.”

Capitalism, however, is not “conservative.” It is the very opposite of it. Karl Marx already observed that the dismantlement of feudalism and the eradication of traditional cultures and values are the result of capitalism, which, in turn, drowns everything in the “icy water of egotistical calculation.”[21] Today, the capitalist system, more than ever before, is poised toward the over-accumulation of capital. It needs more trade outlets, more and more markets, and more and more profit. Well, such a goal cannot be achieved unless everything that stands in its way is dismantled, starting with collective identities. A full-fledged market economy cannot operate in a sustained manner unless people first internalize a fashionable culture, consumption, and unlimited growth. Capitalism cannot transform the world into a vast market—which, to be sure, is its main objective—unless the planet is flattened and all people renounce their symbolic imaginations and continues to indulge in a fever for the endless accumulation of something new.

This is the reason why capitalism, in its attempt to erase borders, is also a system that has turned out to be far more effective and far more destructive than Communism. The reason for this is that the economic logic places profit above everything else. Adam Smith wrote that the merchant has no homeland other than the territory where he makes the biggest profit. It is this logic of the commodity, inspired often by the United States of America, which the New Right firmly opposes.

March, 2016
Paris, France

Translated from the French by Tomislav Sunic


  1. Federalist Papers , No. 14, November 30, 1787. ↩︎
  2. John Winthrop, A Modell of Christian Charity (1630), Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society (Boston, 1838), 3rd series 7:31-48, accessed June 15, 2016, http://winthropsociety.com/doc_charity.php. Winthrop delivered this sermon on board the Arbella en route to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. “A city upon a hill” is a reference to Matthew 5:14; Jesus tells his listeners, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” ↩︎
  3. Election Sermon at Boston, April 29, 1669. ↩︎
  4. The Character of George Washington, Speech at a Public Dinner, Washington, February 22, 1832. ↩︎
  5. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, November 15, 1813, ↩︎
  6. The Statue of Liberty was given to the United States by the government of France and established in its current site off Manhattan Island in 1886. Emma Lazarus’s poem, “The New Colossus,” was written in 1883; in 1903, it was engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the lower level of the
    pedestal of the Statue. ↩︎
  7. John L. O’Sullivan, “The Great Nation of Futurity,” The United States Democratic Review, Volume 6, 1839. ↩︎
  8. Jean Baudrillard, America. ↩︎
  9. Thomas Molnar, L’Américanologie. ↩︎
  10. Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Volume II (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 405-6. ↩︎
  11. Thomas L. Pangle, The Theological Basis of Liberal Modernity in Montesquieu’s “Spirit of the Laws” (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2010), 100. ↩︎
  12. Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Law, Esq., June 13, 1814. ↩︎
  13. Abrams v. United States, 1919, dissenting opinion. ↩︎
  14. James Madison, “Property,” National Gazette, March 29, 1792. ↩︎
  15. Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Volume I, 273. ↩︎
  16. Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments, Gesammelte Schriften: Dialektik der Aufklärung und Schriften 1940–1950 (Frankfurt am Main: S. Fishcher Verlag GmbH, 1987). ↩︎
  17. H.L. Mencken, Minority Report: H.L. Mencken’s Notebooks , §327 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1956), 221. ↩︎
  18. Molnar, L’Américanologie. ↩︎
  19. Immanuel Wallerstein, “Does the Western World Still Exist?,” Commentary, No. 112, May 1, 2003. ↩︎
  20. See Carl Schmitt, Land und Meer: Eine weltgeschtliche Betrachtung (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 1942); Land and Sea: A World Historical Meditation (Candor, New York: Telos Press, 2015). ↩︎
  21. Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto. ↩︎
No Comments on America—A View From The French New Right

Americanism and the Jewish Experience

This essay serves as the Introduction to Tomislav Sunic’s Homo Americans: A Child of the Postmodern Age (Second, Revised Edition), published in December by Radix. Available from Amazon.com here. Perhaps…

This essay serves as the Introduction to Tomislav Sunic’s Homo Americans: A Child of the Postmodern Age (Second, Revised Edition), published in December by Radix. Available from Amazon.com here.


Perhaps because of America’s role as the world’s lone international “superpower,” Americans live in a rather self-absorbed, egocentric universe in which the opinions of non-Americans really don’t matter much. This is unfortunate, because, just as in one’s personal life, it’s wise at least to know how others see you, and especially so if the other is a keen observer.

Tomislav Sunic is such an observer. As someone who has lived under Communism and has seen first-hand the workings of state terror, he is in a unique position to describe the current slide of America into what he aptly terms “soft totalitarianism.” This regime is maintained less by brute force than by an unrelenting, enormously sophisticated, and massively effective campaign to contain political and cultural activity within very narrow boundaries. Dissenters are not trundled off to jail or beaten with truncheons, but are quietly ignored and marginalized. Or they are held up to public disgrace and, wherever possible, removed from their livelihoods.

The regime is maintained by a consensus that has become part of the furniture of life, repeated endlessly in the major media and reassuringly affirmed by wise-looking professors at prestigious universities. To dissent from this consensus removes one from the mainstream and stigmatizes one as immoral and quite possibly suffering from a psychiatric disorder. One immediately thinks of attitudes on immigration. Even the most fearless mainstream opponents of immigration restrict their opposition to illegal immigrants and are careful to couch their arguments in economic or cultural (but never ethnic or racial) terms.[1] One simply cannot mention in polite company that the end result of this massive influx of peoples into the traditional homelands of European peoples will be displacement, a decline in their power, and ultimately, perhaps, their disappearance as an identifiable people. But there are a host of other issues that are at least as untouchable as immigration.

Soft totalitarian regimes can only be maintained by a sense of moral and intellectual legitimacy—the willing assent of the vast majority of the people. Without this legitimacy, the entire apparatus of cultural control either disintegrates or transforms into hard totalitarianism—the truncheons and the gulags. But here there is a major difference between Communism in Eastern Europe and the current cultural regime in the United States. As Sunic notes, “Behind the Communist semantics in Eastern Europe, there loomed a make-believe system nobody truly believed in and which everybody, including former Communist party dignitaries, made fun of in private. In America, by contrast, many serious people, politicians, and scholars, let alone the masses, believe in . . . the message of the media.” The people who dissent from the American consensus have been successfully relegated to the fringes. The gods are still worshiped.

Sunic sees quite clearly that this moral and intellectual legitimacy is fundamentally the result of the triumph of the left as a result of World War II. This transformation occurred first in Western Europe, which has now mostly moved well beyond soft totalitarianism to the beginnings or a gulag system where there are formal legal sanctions for thought crimes. The thought crimes, enforced by liberal and conservative European governments alike, are designed to enforce the dogmas of leftist orthodoxy, most notably everything related to multiculturalism, race, immigration, and the Holocaust. Even in England, the font et origo of American democracy, academics are removed for stating their beliefs on scientific evidence on race differences in intelligence or criminality. (For example, in 2006 Frank Ellis of the University of Leeds was suspended for statements supporting race differences in intelligence.[26]) Legal sanctions enforce orthodoxies in the area of multiculturalism and anything having to do with the fascist past.

In searching for the origins of this phenomenon, one must begin, as Sunic does, by describing the forcible imposition of leftist ideology and institutions in Germany and France after World War II. As a psychologist, I am always tempted to see the origins of leftist ideological hegemony solely in psychological terms—to wonder what incredible psychological defect would lead to a whole people to adopt an ideology in which they were cast as having a grave moral or psychiatric defect. But first and foremost, the triumph of the left in Europe was accomplished via a purge and re-education of intellectuals, educators, and media figures.

As Sunic notes, the most obvious beneficiaries of this sea change were the major leftist ideologies of the 20th century: Marxism, psychoanalysis, and the Frankfurt School. Since much of my writing deals with Jewish issues, I can’t help noting that these ideologies have in common that they are all part of the “Culture of Critique”: Intellectual and political movements originated and dominated by Jews and intended by their Jewish participants as advancing Jewish interests, such as ending anti-Semitism.

Any claim that an intellectual or political movement is or was a “Jewish” movement immediately raises all kinds of red flags for most readers. Just as the ethnic interests of Europeans cannot be mentioned in discussing the effects of immigration, the Jewish identifications and commitments of the people who originated and disseminated these ideas has been moved to the fringes of intellectual discourse.

But research in the ethnic motivations of people is perfectly respectable. No one would be surprised if Mexican activists proudly and explicitly advocated the interests of Mexicans in immigration and affirmative action. Nor are we surprised if Jewish activists promoted the interests of Israel. By the same logic, we shouldn’t be surprised if Jewish social scientists are motivated by their ethnic interests. It is an empirical question that can be investigated like any other question in the social sciences, and I think that the data confirms the hypothesis that the Jews who were central to the origins and influence of these movements had a strong Jewish identification and were motivated by their ethnic interests.

As usual, there is a double standard here. It is a routine for scientists like Arthur Jensen, J. Philippe Rushton, or Richard Lynn to be called “racists” when they call attention to the biological roots of race differences in intelligence or criminality. And my writing on how Jews have pursued their ethnic interests in the intellectual and political arena has been termed “anti-Semitism” on more than one occasion.

Implicitly, the charge of racism or anti-Semitism assumes that these writers are nothing more than ethnic activists and that their claims of scientific truth are nothing more than a fig leaf covering their ethnic interests—exactly the claim that I am making about the role of Jews in the triumph of Marxism, psychoanalysis, and the Frankfurt School.

Unfortunately, the people making these charges of “racism” and “anti-Semitism” typically feel no need to dispute the scientific accuracy of the theories they are trying to discredit or even try to provide evidence of ethnic motivation of the scientists involved. Simply making the charge is sufficient. Such is the power of the Left.

The Frankfurt School’s Program of Ethnic Warfare

Sunic is quite correct in directing most of his attention to the Frankfurt School. The Frankfurt School developed a devastatingly effective ideology that continues to reverberate in the contemporary world, even after the fall from grace of Communism and psychoanalysis.

Fundamentally the Frankfurt School attempted to develop an ideology that pathologized National Socialism. National Socialism was, first and foremost, a movement of ethnic cohesion; because of this fact, the Frankfurt School called into question all sources of cohesion of Western societies: Family, religion, culture, and race/ethnicity. From the beginning, there was a rejection of value-free social science research (“the fetishism of facts”) in favor of the fundamental priority of a moral perspective, in which Western societies were to be transformed into utopias of cultural pluralism.

According to the Frankfurt School ideology, Europeans who identify with family, nation, or race suffer from a psychiatric disorder. In the ideal Frankfurt School world, Western nations would become therapeutic states. They would be dedicated to rooting out the remnants of adherence to traditional cultural forms of family, nation, religion, and race in their citizens. And they would do so in the interests of promoting mental health, not to mention moral rectitude.

The basic logic pursued by the Frankfurt School stemmed from the fact that positive attitudes toward church, community, nation, and race tend to result in negative attitudes toward people from different religions, communities, nations, and races. As a result, successful families that inculcate family pride in their children were seen by the Frankfurt School as sources of pathology. For example, The Authoritarian Personality—a major work of the Frankfurt School intended for an American audience—claimed that expressions of family pride were “a setting off of a homogeneous totalitarian family against the rest of the world.”

In this upside-down world, families that are proud of their ancestors, concerned with moving up socially, or even having biological heirs are viewed as pathological.In fact, one might conclude that the real agenda of The Authoritarian Personality is to pathologize adaptive behavior in general. Those who value highly committed marriages and cohesive families, who are upwardly mobile and seek material resources, who are proud of their families and identify with their parents, who have high self-concepts, who believe that Christianity is a positive moral force and a spiritual consolation, who strongly identify as males or females (but not both!), and who are socially successful and wish to emulate paragons of social success (e.g., American heroes) are viewed as having a psychiatric disorder.

On the other hand, those who are socially isolated, who have negative and rebellious attitudes toward their families, who are ambivalent and insecure in their sexual identities, who have low self-esteem, who are filled with debilitating insecurities and conflicts (including insecurities about whether their parents loved them), who are moving downward in social status, and who have negative attitudes toward high social status and acquisition of material resources are viewed as the epitome of psychological health.

Psychoanalysis—that other pillar of 20th century leftism and the culture of critique— was obviously an ideal vehicle for creating the upside-down world of Frankfurt School ideology. A central feature of psychoanalysis is the idea that surface appearances can often overlay deep unconscious desires and conflicts. And since psychoanalysis never required any empirical evidence for such claims, it essentially allowed the Frankfurt School authors to make up any story they wanted. If the family relationships of ethnocentric subjects were very positive, Frankfurt School theorists could interpret them as surface affection, masking deep, unconscious hostilities toward their parents. Any shred of negative feelings by ethnocentric subjects toward their parents then became a lever they could use to create an imaginary world of suppressed hostility masked by surface affection.

Yet when another volume of Studies in Prejudice found that anti-Semites had poor relationships with their parents, the results were taken at face value.[2] The result was not science, but it was effective in achieving its political goals.

It is not difficult to suppose that the entire program of research of The Authoritarian Personality involved deception from beginning to end. This is suggested by the authors’ clear political agenda and the pervasive double standard in which ethnocentrism and involvement in cohesive groups are seen as symptoms of psychopathology among non-Jews, whereas Jews are simply viewed as victims of irrational Gentile pathologies and no mention is made of Jewish ethnocentrism or allegiance to their own group.

Although it is difficult to assess the effect of works like The Authoritarian Personality on the culture of the West, there can be little question that the thrust of this work, as well as other works inspired by psychoanalysis and its derivatives, was to pathologize adaptive behavior in general. Good parenting, upward social mobility, pride in family, religion, nation, and race were all suspect.Many of the central attitudes of the 1960s countercultural revolution find expression in The Authoritarian Personality, including idealizing rebellion against parents, uncommitted sexual relationships, and scorn for upward social mobility, social status, family pride, Christianity, and patriotism.

Viewed at its most abstract level, the fundamental agenda
of the Frankfurt School is to influence European peoples to view concern about their own demographic and cultural eclipse as irrational and as an indication of psychopathology. People who do not identify with the basic social categories of family, religion, nation, or race would not be concerned with their demise.

The Jewish Intellectual And Political Infrastructure

In the aftermath of the Second World War, many values akin to those of The Authoritarian Personality were imposed on Germans though the U.S. military and occupying powers. However, the success of the Frankfurt School, and other varieties of leftist orthodoxy, do not stem solely from their adoption by governments and authorities. After all, this forcible imposition did not happen in the United States or other areas of Europe.

In the absence of a conquering army, another important source of influence, at least in America, is what one might term the Jewish intellectual and activist infrastructure of the post-World War II era. Despite its scientific weakness, the ideology that positive attitudes about family, nation, and race resulted from disturbed parent-child relationships was promulgated by the most prestigious institutions throughout the West, and especially by elite universities and the mainstream media, as the essence of scientific objectivity.

One aspect of this effort was the production of a great many other writings that reinforced the basic ideas found in The Authoritarian Personality and other works of the Frankfurt School. This general intellectual onslaught is important because it produced a zeitgeist that was far more effective than one or two works by isolated authors.

A good example is The Politics of Unreason (1970). This volume was part of the Patterns of American Prejudice series funded by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith and written by Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab. (Raab and Lipset also wrote Prejudice and Society, published by the Anti-Defamation League in 1959.)

First and foremost, we see the close relationship between Jewish activist organizations and academic writing on ethnic relations. In the same way, the Studies in Prejudice series that produced The Authoritarian Personality was funded by the American Jewish Committee. Obviously, there is a link between academic research on ethnic relations and Jewish activist organizations like the AJC and the ADL. Raab’s career has combined academic scholarship with deep involvement as a Jewish ethnic activist. He was associated with the ADL and is Executive Director Emeritus of the Perlmutter Institute for Jewish Advocacy at Brandeis University. He was also a columnist for the San Francisco Jewish Bulletin.

The Politics of Unreason analyses political and ideological expressions of ethnocentrism by European-derived peoples as irrational and as being unrelated to legitimate ethnic interests in retaining political power. Movements aimed at retaining or restoring the power of the European-derived majority of the United States are labeled “right-wing extremism.” Their politics is “the politics of despair.”[3] For Lipset and Raab, tolerance of cultural and ethnic pluralism is a defining feature of democracy, so that groups that oppose cultural and ethnic pluralism are by definition extremist and anti-democratic.

The Politics of Unreason may therefore be seen as an argument that the European peoples in the United States and other areas of the Western world should not resist declines in their cultural and demographic dominance. (Analogous arguments rarely seem to surface among Jews contemplating whether Israel should remain a Jewish state.) Attempts by majorities to resist the increase in the power and influence of other groups are contrary to “the fixed spiritual center of the democratic political process.” Extremism is anti-pluralism. . . . And the operational heart of extremism is the repression of difference and dissent.[4]

“Right-wing extremism” is also condemned because of its populist tendencies—its distrust of institutions that intervene between the people and their direct exercise of power. Indeed, in the post-World War II era, The Authoritarian Personality was an important ideological weapon against historical American populist movements, especially McCarthyism.[5]

[T]he people as a whole had little understanding of liberal democracy and . . . important questions of public policy would be decided by educated elites, not submitted to popular vote.[6]

The conclusion of this analysis is that democracy is identified not with the power of the people to pursue their perceived interests. Rather, government is to be the province of morally and intellectually superior elites who have no commitment to the ethnic interests of the European majority; in an Orwellian turn, “democracy” is defined as guaranteeing that majorities will not resist the expansion of power of minorities even if that means a decline in their own power.

The moral and intellectual elite established by these movements dominated intellectual discourse during a critical period after the Second World War and leading into the countercultural revolution of the 1960s. As a result, college students during this period were powerfully socialized to adopt liberal-radical cultural and political beliefs. These effects continue into the present era.

The importance of the intellectual infrastructure can also be seen with other intellectual and political movements. Neoconservatism illustrates the common features of this intellectual infrastructure: It has been championed by a well-defined group of mainly Jewish authors writing with shared assumptions, a common institutional base in universities and think-tanks, access to major media, and mutual admiration.[7] The power of the movement comes not from the work of a few individuals but from its dissemination in the media, its legitimacy in the universities, its promotion by Jewish activist organizations, and its constant repetition in slightly different forms and for different audiences by like-minded intellectuals and writers.

However, this intellectual infrastructure did not occur in a political vacuum. Also of critical importance was the “intergroup relations movement,” which was dedicated to passing legislation and disseminating these ideas in the schools. The Frankfurt School was a critical part of the intellectual justification for the “intergroup relations movement” in its effort to “eliminate prejudice and discrimination against racial, ethnic, and religious minorities” in the period following World War II.[8] The intergroup relations movement was a multi-faceted effort, ranging from legal challenges to racial bias in housing, education, and public employment; legislative proposals and efforts to secure their passage into law in state and national legislative bodies; efforts to shape messages in the media; educational programs for students and teachers; and intellectual efforts to reshape the intellectual discourse of academia.

As with the other movements with strong Jewish involvement, Jewish organizations, particularly the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, and the Anti-Defamation League, were the leaders. These organizations provided the major sources of funding, devised the tactics, and defined the objectives of the movement.

As was also the case with the movement to open up the United States to immigration from all areas of the world, a conscious aim of the intergroup relations movement was to prevent the development of a mass anti-Jewish movement in the United States: Jewish activists

saw their commitment to the intergroup relations movement as a preventive measure designed to make sure “it”—the Nazis’ war of extermination against European Jewry—never happened in America.[9]

A consistent theme emphasized the benefits to be gained by increased levels of intergroup harmony. But there was no mention that some groups, particularly European-derived, non-Jewish groups, would lose economic and political power and decline in cultural influence.[10]

Based on the writings of the Frankfurt School, the intergroup relations movement disseminated the ideology that ethnocentrism and discrimination against outgroups was a mental disease and thus literally a public health problem. The assault on negative attitudes toward other groups was likened to the medical assault on deadly infectious diseases. People with the disease were described by activists as “infected”[11] and terms like “virulent anti-Semitism” were invented. Negative attitudes toward groups were viewed not as the result of competing group interests but rather as the result of individual psychopathology.[12]

The story of the Frankfurt School and the intergroup relations movement are paradigmatic examples of Jews producing formidable, effective groups—groups able to have powerful, transformative effects on the peoples they live among. In the modern world, these traits of Jewish groups have resulted in great influence on the academic world, the political process, and the world of mainstream and elite media. In my book The Culture of Critique and monograph on neoconservatism, I have identified several influential Jewish intellectual and political movements: Boasian anthropology and the campaign against the concept of biologically based racial differences; Jewish involvement in the political Left; psychoanalysis; the Frankfurt School; the New York Intellectuals; U.S. immigration policy; and neoconservatism.

The end result of the triumph of these movements has been a tremendous increase in Jewish power and influence, and a concomitant decrease in the political and cultural power of European-derived peoples—ethnic warfare by any other name. In general, this body of work is decidedly on the left, but a Left that is now fundamentally concerned with the dispossession of Europeans, rather than the classical Marxist emphasis on the class struggle. At the base of this activism is an understanding that the way to achieve their ethnic goals is to be able to control the culture. In reading the views of the Frankfurt School on the importance of cultural control, it struck me that those of us attempting to preserve the traditional peoples and culture of the West are in a similar situation to the Frankfurt School and the New York Intellectuals. Their complaints about the American culture of the 1930s through the 1950s are mirror images of the complaints that we have now.

Whereas the New York Intellectuals and the Frankfurt School felt alienated from the culture of the West, now we are the ones with feelings of alienation from the culture that has been so strongly influenced by these Jewish intellectual movements.
We are dismayed at the failure of the media to properly address White interests or even to allow expressions of White identity to be seen or heard in the mainstream media.

We are well aware that when there is a failure of media self-censorship, there are powerful campaigns to punish the guilty parties and get them to recant.

Just as the Frankfurt School theorized, the West has come under the control of soft authoritarianism. But now the shoe is on the other foot: Power resides in the soft totalitarianism of the multicultural, multi-racial, anti-White Left.

Prior to their ascent to power, these intellectual movements decried the passivity, escapism, and conformity of American culture. Indeed, Tom Sunic mentions “the often stated European cliché about the alleged American conformism.” Looking at the present situation, I would have to agree that Americans are conformists. Those of us who are White advocates are horrified that the vast majority of White Americans passively accept media messages filled with distorted images of Whites and their history. We are appalled that so many White Americans are far more interested in escapist entertainment, ranging from sporting events to sci-fi thrillers, than the future of their people. And we are dismayed by the conformity of the great mass of White Americans who are terrified of being called a “racist” or in any way violating the current taboos of political correctness. We deplore the pathetic conformists striving to uphold the rules of a society deeply hostile to their own long-term interests.

But is it really any different in Europe? Quite clearly we see the same conformity to the moral imperative of mass Third World immigration, multiculturalism, and the ideology that the traditional peoples and cultures of Europe have no legitimacy. For example, in Sweden there is enforced silence on any criticism of multiculturalism in the above-ground media. Discussing the cancellation of a talk because it was sponsored by a politically incorrect newspaper, Swedish journalist Ingrid Carlqvist comments, “That’s the way it works in the New Sweden, the country I call Absurdistan. The country of silence.” Violating the silence is met with moral outrage intended to produce shunning and ostracism:

The situation in Sweden is far worse than in Denmark. In Sweden NOBODY talks about immigration problems, the death of the multiculti project or the islamisation/ arabisation of Europe. If you do, you will immediately be called a racist, an Islamophobe or a Nazi. That is what I have been called since I founded the Free Press Society in Sweden. My name has been dragged through the dirt in big newspapers like Sydsvenskan, Svenska Dagbladet and even my own union paper, The Journalist.[13]

In Sweden, as in America, having a non-conforming opinions immediately results in ostracism as a moral reprobate.
Rather than see a culture controlled by the “late capitalist” media,” White advocates see the culture of the West as controlled by a hostile media elite that advocates multiculturalism, the displacement of Whites, and the culture of Western suicide.

There is thus a common thread between these Jewish intellectual movements and those of us attempting to preserve the traditional people and culture of the West. We all agree in the importance of media control. Paraphrasing a Bill Clinton campaign slogan, “It’s the culture, stupid.”

Control of the media is critical. If there were strong media messages advocating White identity and the legitimacy of White interests, things would turn around rather dramatically and rather quickly. This is because the psychological power behind a movement of ethnic defense is far greater than the motivation that can be mustered for a multi-racial, multi-ethnic communist revolution.

Such media messages would be able to tap into the natural wellspring of ethnic feeling. There is a deep psychological attachment to one’s people and culture—even among us individualistic White people—that can easily motivate a mass movement of ethnic defense.

Often these feelings are implicit and unconscious rather than explicit and conscious. They manifest themselves in moving to neighborhoods where their children can attend school with other Whites. Or they manifest themselves in activities where they are able to enjoy the company and camaraderie of others like themselves.

These feelings are real. And they are potentially very powerful. The revolution needed to reverse the cultural tides of the last decades would therefore be far easier to pull off than the Marxist one so ardently deasired by the Frankfurt School.

Responding To Breaches Of Decorum

Because the Jewish community has been so intimately involved in creating the therapeutic state, it is noteworthy to examine how the Jewish community responds to breaches of decorum—that is, to challenges to its hegemony. Here, the methods are quite similar to those used in post-World War II Germany, as described by Sunic:

When silencing their critics, the German authorities do not need to resort to violent means. They usually create a cultural smearing campaign whereby a cultural heretic is portrayed as a funny, pseudo-scientific crank who does not merit a place in mainstream publishing houses. Moreover, the heretic is often induced into a self-muzzling behavior making impossible any portrayal of himself as a martyr.

A good example is the response to the unflattering portrayal of the Israel Lobby by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt.[14] The power of the Israel Lobby is legendary and has had a major effect on U.S. foreign policy, including the recent war in Iraq. The typical response has included an argument or two aimed at small pieces of the edifice erected by Mearsheimer and Walt, but the real common denominators are intimidation, guilt-by-association, and charges of anti-Semitism. The guilt-by-association tactic appeared in the very earliest media accounts of the article and has continued to be invoked regularly. For example, David Duke has been repeatedly cited as supporting Mearsheimer and Walt. Alan Dershowitz’s 46-page rebuttal of Mearsheimer and Walt contains no less than 14 references to David Duke and five references comparing Mearsheimer and Walt’s article to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.[15]

Charges of anti-Semitism abound. This occurs despite the fact that David Duke is never cited as a source on foreign policy issues or anything else in the mainstream media. However, since Duke is an activist on behalf of European-Americans who is regularly linked in the media with the Ku Klux Klan, Nazism, and “White supremacy,” the technique works to marginalize the work of Mearsheimer and Walt—even though Mearsheimer and Walt have performed the ritual denunciation of Duke.

The sad reality is that discussing a whole host of issues related to Jews, even in a rational, informed manner, brings charges of anti-Semitism and incompetent scholarship ringing down from the highest reaches of academia and the elite media. One can easily see that this is a recipe for paranoia, frustration and ultimately anti-Semitism.

But the tactics of the Jewish intellectual and political infrastructure are effective because, even if they create dark suspicions about the behavior of the organized Jewish community among a few, and vague twinges of anxiety among many, these attitudes are forced to remain underground. They occur in the privacy of one’s thoughts or in guarded conversations and coded emails. And because there is more than a grain of truth to these attitudes, for some they readily give rise to apocalyptic, impossible conspiracy theories. After all, if the reality of Jewish power on issues such as Israel is as plain as the nose on your face, and you know that this power is ultimately maintained by intimidation, smear tactics, and endlessly repeated propaganda emanating from the mainstream media and elite academic institutions, at some point informed people start thinking that there’s probably a whole lot else they aren’t being told.

There is an old saying that “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” The sad reality is, however, that the vast majority of Americans in politics, the media, and academia are terrified of being labeled an anti-Semite or compared to bogey men or infamous books to which they have no connection. (Obviously, the same can be said for Europeans.) This is ironic (at the least) in the case of academics, who cultivate an image of being apolitical, fearless truth-seekers. Unlike politicians, who must continue to curry favor with the public in order to be reelected, and unlike media figures who have little job security, academics with tenure have no excuse for not being willing to endure labels such as “anti-Semite” or “racist” in order to pursue the truth. A large part of the rationale for tenure in the first place is that academics are supposed to be willing to take unpopular positions, to forge ahead using all their brain power and expertise to chart new territories that challenge popular wisdom.

But that image of academia is simply not based in reality, as shown by an article appearing almost two months after the publication of Mearsheimer and Walt’s essay and appropriately titled “A hot paper muzzles academia.”[15]

Instead of a roiling debate, most professors not only agreed to disagree but agreed to pretend publicly that there was no disagreement at all. At Harvard and other schools, the Mearsheimer-Walt paper proved simply too hot to handle— and it revealed an academia deeply split yet lamentably afraid to engage itself on one of the hottest political issues of our time. Call it the academic Cold War: distrustful factions rendered timid by the prospect of mutually assured Professors refused to take a stand on the paper, either in favor or against. As one Ivy League professor noted, “A lot of [my colleagues] were more concerned about the academic politics of it, and where they should come down, in that sense.”

Bear in mind that the vast majority of the professors unwilling to take a stand on this issue have tenure and literally cannot be fired. They are afraid not of starvation but of having their career ruined by being associated with the wrong side in this debate. The downside is that they won’t be invited to deliver papers at other universities or important conferences. They will not be able to publish their work at prestigious academic or commercial presses, or they may even have difficulty having their work published at all. They won’t be invited to the good parties or get nice summer fellowships or get asked to serve as dean or in a future administration in Washington. Or maybe their sources of funding would dry up.

And it’s pretty clear that the “wrong side” of this debate is to express publicly approval of a paper that has been denounced in the elite media as “anti-Semitic.” Can anyone believe that the Alan Dershowitzes of the world are not taking names and will not hold dissidents accountable?

It’s not that professors don’t want to opine on public-policy issues. When there are opportunities to spout righteous leftism, professors leap to the front of the line. A good example is a recent case where three White men from the Duke University lacrosse team allegedly gang-raped, sodomized, and choked a black woman who had been hired as a stripper for a party.[16] Despite considerable evidence that the charges were spurious, three academic departments, 13 programs, and 88 professors at Duke bought an ad in the campus newspaper in which they asserted the guilt of the men and stated that “what happened to this young woman” resulted from “racism and sexism.”[17]

But, of course, in this case, the professors who went public with their indignation knew they were part of a like-minded community and that there would be much to gain by being on the politically correct side (and little to lose if they were proven wrong). Indeed, a university committee charged with looking into the response of the Duke administration to this incident recommended hiring more minorities in order to increase the diversity of the Duke administration.

Sadly, there is now a great deal of evidence that academics in general are careful to avoid controversy or do much of anything that will create hostility. In fact, some researchers are pointing to this fact to call into question whether tenure is justified. A recent survey of the attitudes of 1004 professors at elite universities illustrates this quite clearly.[18] Regardless of their rank, professors rated their
colleagues as

reluctant to engage in activities that ran counter to the wishes of colleagues. Even tenured full professors believed [other full professors] would invoke academic freedom only “sometimes” rather than “usually” or “always”; they chose confrontational options “rarely,” albeit more often than did lower ranked colleagues. . . . Their willingness to self-limit may be due to a desire for harmony and/or respect for the criticisms of colleagues whose opinions they value. Thus, the data did not support the depiction of Professorus Americanus as unleashed renegade.

Seen in this context, the reaction to Mearsheimer and Walt makes a lot of sense. As one professor noted, “People might debate it if you gave everyone a get-out-of-jail-free card and promised that afterwards everyone would be friends.”[19]

This intense desire to be accepted and liked by one’s colleagues is certainly understandable. It is probably part of human nature. There have been times when I have had to endure charges of anti-Semitism, most recently in an article by Jacob Laksin titled “Cal State’s Professor of Anti-Semitism,” published by David Horowitz’s FrontPageMagazine.com.[20] It’s perhaps worth nothing that the same webzine also published perhaps the most vitriolic anti-Mearsheimer and Walt piece to date, Abraham H. Miller’s “The New Protocols.” (Miller begins by stating “Professors Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer’s recently disseminated anti-Semitic screed has been ripped apart by both prominent scholars and literary figures showing it to be an intellectual fraud being passed off as serious scholarship.” The essay ends with “Anti-Semites have now found the new Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”)

It didn’t really bother me much that such an article was published if the discussion was confined to the impersonal world of the Internet. I would write a detailed reply and circulate it among the people who read my stuff, and I knew that people who support my writing would rally to my defense and say nice things about me and my reply to Laksin. And I knew that I would get a few pieces of hate mail and maybe a couple of death threats, but that is to be expected. And it’s all rather abstract, since I basically sit in solitude at my computer and read it all, and it pretty much ends there. Frankly, there is a part of me that feels good about it; I hope that the word is getting out, even if by means of an attack piece.

The point is that when this article came out, almost all my anxiety stemmed from worries that the article would be picked up by people on my campus or in professional organizations in which I am involved. I wasn’t worried that I would lose my job, although Laksin was clearly upset about California State University’s “ignoring altogether the question of why it considers the manufacture of stylized bigotry an appropriate avocation for a tenured scholar.” What I dreaded was coming into my office and being greeted by cold shoulders and hostile stares, by colleagues not wanting to go to lunch or nervously looking away when I passed in the hall. I worried about reading sensationalistic articles in the campus newspaper.

I imagined going to academic conferences and receiving the same sort of reception. I worried that people wouldn’t invite me to write academic papers or wouldn’t cite my writing in other areas not related to Jewish issues.

This little bit of personal experience is doubtless typical of the forces of self-censorship that maintain the political order of the post-World War II West. It’s the concern about the face-to-face consequences of being a non-conformist in the deeply sensitive areas related to race or to Jewish influence.

Consider the response of Anne Morrow Lindbergh to the torrent of abuse heaped upon her husband, Charles Lindbergh, for stating that Jews were one force promoting war against Germany in 1941. The speech threw her into “dark gloom”:

Will I be able to shop in New York at all now? I am always stared at—but now to be stared at with hate, to walk through aisles of hate!”[21]

Again, what is most feared is the personal, face-to-face contact. As an evolutionary psychologist, it’s tempting to speculate that our evolved psychological mechanisms are triggered far more by the close and personal context of day to day interactions, not in the cold and impersonal world of communicating on the Internet.

And it’s not just that it is in the face-to-face world of everyday life. It is that the areas of non-conformity we are talking about here have huge moral overtones. If one dissents from the reigning theory of macro-economics or the main influences on 19th century French Romanticism, one may be viewed as a bit eccentric or perhaps ill informed. But one is not likely to be viewed as a moral reprobate. One is not likely to be subjected to torrents of moral outrage.

Evolutionary theorist Robert Trivers has proposed that the emotion of guilt is a sign to the group that a person will mend his ways and behave in the future, whereas shame functions as a display of submission to people higher in the dominance hierarchy. From that perspective, a person who is incapable of shame or guilt even for obvious transgressions is literally a sociopath—someone who has no desire to fit into group norms. Such sociopathy would usually be a death sentence in the small groups that we humans evolved in. Only the most dominant individuals would be able to resist the moral outrage of the group, and even they must be concerned about coalitions rising against them.

What is striking, and perhaps counterintuitive, is that the guilt and shame remain even when we are completely satisfied at an intellectual level that our beliefs are based on good evidence and reasonable inferences. Anne Morrow Lindbergh writes,

I cannot explain my revulsion of feeling by logic. Is it my lack of courage to face the problem? Is it my lack of vision and seeing the thing through? Or is my intuition founded on something profound and valid? I do not know and am only very disturbed, which is upsetting for him. I have the greatest faith in him as a person—in his integrity, his courage, and his essential goodness, fairness, and kindness—his nobility really. . . . How then explain my profound feeling of grief about what he is doing? If what he said is the truth (and I am inclined to think it is), why was it wrong to state it?”[22]

Her reaction is involuntary and irrational—beyond the reach of logical analysis. Charles Lindbergh was exactly right in what he said, but a rational understanding of the correctness of his analysis cannot lessen the psychological trauma to his wife who must face the hostile stares of others. In psychological terms, the trauma is the result of implicit, unconscious processes stemming from our evolved psychology and a long history of successful socialization.

Puritan Moralism and Christian Universalism

The preceding discusses the “push” of movements that have attempted to alter American and other European-derived societies into defenseless entities with no ethnic or cultural identity. But the other side of the equation must also be examined—the traits that predispose Westerners to accept their own oblivion as a moral necessity. Here, Sunic emphasizes the heritage of Christian universalism and, especially in the case of America, the heritage of Puritan moralism.

Several writers have discussed the Puritan spirit, which combined of egalitarianism and democracy, religious hierarchy, and (sometimes violent) crusades against immorality.[23] In the 17th century, Puritan areas had low levels of personal violence but the highest levels of public violence directed at heretics and those suspected of witchcraft. I have suggested that this emphasis on relative egalitarianism and consensual, democratic government are tendencies characteristic of Northern European peoples as a result of a prolonged evolutionary history as hunter-gatherers in cold, harsh environments.[24] But the Puritans added a high degree of group cohesion, made possible by a powerful emphasis on cultural conformity (e.g., punishment of religious heresy) and public regulation of personal behavior related to sex (fornication, adultery), public drunkenness, etc. One might say that the Puritans tried to square the circle by combining egalitarianism and democracy—both strongly associated with individualism—with high levels of cultural control, a collectivist trait.

But as Sunic emphasizes, it is the Puritan tendency to pursue utopian causes framed as moral issues that stands out—their susceptibility to utopian appeals to a “higher law” and the belief that the principal purpose of government is moral. New England was the most fertile ground for “the perfectibility of man creed” and was the “father of a dozen ‘isms.’”[25] There was a tendency to paint political alternatives as starkly contrasting moral imperatives, with one side portrayed as evil incarnate—inspired by the devil. Puritan moral intensity can also be seen in their “profound personal piety”[26]—their intensity of commitment to live not only a holy life but also a sober and industrious life.

Puritans waged holy war on behalf of moral righteousness even against their own cousins. Whatever the political and economic complexities that led to the Civil War, it was the Yankee moral condemnation of slavery that inspired the rhetoric and rendered the massive carnage of closely related Anglo-Americans, on behalf of slaves from Africa, justifiable in the minds of Puritans. Militarily. The war with the Confederacy rendered the heaviest sacrifice in lives and property ever made by Americans.[27] This Puritan moral fervor, and its tendency to justify draconian punishment of “evildoers,” can also be seen in the comments of the Congregationalist minister at Henry Ward Beecher’s Old Plymouth Church in New York, who called for “exterminating the German people . . . the sterilization of 10,000,000 German soldiers and the segregation of the woman.”[28]

This Puritan moralism and its deep roots in America account for the importance of moral legitimacy in maintaining the current cultural regime. Anne Morrow Lindbergh, in expressing her thoughts on her husband’s controversial speech, related,

I would prefer to see this country at war than shaken by violent anti-Semitism. (Because it seems to me that the kind of person the human being is turned into when the instinct of Jew-baiting is let loose is worse than the kind of person he becomes on the battlefield.)

In other words, the thought that even a disastrous war that might kill hundreds of thousands of Americans (and, as her husband believed, might result in the destruction of European culture and the White race) is preferable to the possibility of an outbreak of violent anti-Semitism. For Puritans-at-heart like Mrs. Lindbergh, the moral demeanor of Americans is more important than their survival.

Elsewhere I have argued that this tendency toward moralistic punishment is a form of “altruistic punishment” described recently by research on group behavior in individualistic cultures.[29] Because Europeans are individualists at heart, they readily rise up in moral anger against their own people once they are seen as morally blameworthy—a manifestation of their much stronger tendency toward altruistic punishment deriving from their evolutionary past as hunter-gatherers. But these tendencies are also present among Europeans, as the example from Sweden discussed above indicates.

Hence the current moralistic crusade of the Left so characteristic of contemporary Western civilization: Once Europeans were convinced that their own people were morally bankrupt, any and all means of punishment should be used against their own people. A major theme of The Culture of Critique is that the most influential intellectual and political movements of the 20th century presented European civilization as morally bankrupt and the proper target of moralistic punishment. Western culture had become the culture of guilt whose central icon had become the Holocaust and African slavery.

CONCLUSION

The forces maintaining the current cultural regime are multi-layered. Because this culture of guilt has seized control of the pinnacles of moral and intellectual authority, resistance carries huge costs, which go far beyond practical considerations like keeping one’s job.The costs are also psychological and deeply personal.

But resistance does serve a function. As Sunic notes, there is a real prospect of social breakdown given the increasing ethnic divisions in the United States. In The Culture of Critique, I predicted that the current regime would lead to increased ethnic strife and an increased sense of group consciousness among European peoples. As an evolutionist, it is difficult for me to believe that a racial group would be unconcerned with its own eclipse and domination.

I believe that in the United States we are presently heading down a volatile path—a path that leads to ethnic warfare and to the development of collectivist, authoritarian, and racialist enclaves. Although ethnocentric beliefs and behavior are viewed as morally and intellectually legitimate only among ethnic minorities . . . the development of greater ethnocentrism among European-derived peoples is a likely result of present trends. . . .
[E]thnocentrism on the part of the European-derived majority in the United States is a likely outcome of the increasingly group-structured contemporary social and political landscape—likely because evolved psychological mechanisms in humans appear to function by making ingroup and outgroup membership more salient in situations of group-based resource competition. The effort to overcome these inclinations thus necessitates applying to Western societies a massive “therapeutic” intervention in which manifestations of majoritarian ethnocentrism are combated at several levels, but first and foremost by promoting the ideology that such manifestations are an indication of psychopathology and a cause for ostracism, shame, psychiatric intervention, and counseling. One may expect that as ethnic conflict continues to escalate in the United States, increasingly desperate attempts will be made to prop up the ideology of multiculturalism with sophisticated theories of the psychopathology of majority group ethnocentrism, as well as with the erection of police state controls on nonconforming thought and behavior.

At some point the negative consequences to the European
population of the U.S. of multicultural ideology and massive influx of other peoples will become so obvious that current levels of control will be ineffective. We will be in a situation similar to that of the Soviet Union, when it became, in Sunic’s words, “a make-believe system nobody truly believed in and a state everybody, including former Communist party dignitaries, made fun of in private.

And if at this point, Europeans stare into the abyss and voluntarily cede political and cultural power, they will have no one to blame but themselves. And they will be cursed by their descendants. Perhaps they will one day read Tomislav Sunic’s excellent book and think about what might have been.

KEVIN MACDONALD is Professor of Psychology at California State University-Long Beach. He is the author of more than 100 scholarly papers and reviews, as well as A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy (1994), Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism (1998), and The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements (1998). He is Editor of The Occidental Observer and The Occidental Quarterly. Cultural Insurrections, a collection of essays, appeared in 2008.



  1. Kevin MacDonald, “Immigration And The Unmentionable Question Of Ethnic Interests,” VDARE.com, October 27, 2004, accessed [Nite Mode] March 15, 2015, http://www.vdare.com/articles/immigration-and-the-unmentionable.question-of-ethnic-interests. ↩︎
  2. Bruno Bettelheim and Morris Janowitz, “A Psychological and Sociological Study of Veterans,” Dynamics of Prejudice (New York : Harper and Brothers, 1950). ↩︎
  3. Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab, The Politics of Unreason: Right-Wing Extremism in America, 1790-1977 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970), 3. ↩︎
  4. Ibid., 5. ↩︎
  5. Paul E. Gottfried, After Liberalism (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1998); Christopher Lasch, The True and Only Heaven: Progress and Its Critics (New York: W. W. Norton, 1991), 455ff. ↩︎
  6. 7 ↩︎
  7. Kevin MacDonald, Understanding Jewish Influence: A Study in Ethnic Activism (Augusta, Ga.: Washington Summit Publishers, 2004). ↩︎
  8. For an account of the Jewish role in the intergroup relations movement, see Stuart Svonkin, Jews Against Prejudice: American Jews and the Fight for Civil Liberties (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997). ↩︎
  9. Svonkin, Jews Against Prejudice, 10. ↩︎
  10. Ibid., 5. ↩︎
  11. Ibid., 30, 59. ↩︎
  12. Ibid., 75. ↩︎
  13. Ingrid Carlqvist, “I want my country back,” Speech to International Civil Liberties Alliance, July 9, 2012, accessed March 15, 2015, http://www. sappho.dk/i-want-my-country-back.htm. ↩︎
  14. See John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007) ; “The Israel Lobby,” London Review of Books, March 23, 2006, http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/ n06/john-mearsheimer/the-israel-lobby. ↩︎
  15. Alan Dershowitz, “Debunking the Newest–and Oldest–Jewish Conspiracy: A Reply to the Mearsheimer-Walt,” Working Paper, Harvard Law School, 2006, accessed March 15, 2015, http://www.comw.org/warreport/ fulltext/0604dershowitz.pdf. ↩︎
  16. See Richard B. Spencer, “Rotten in Durham,” The American Conservative, May 22, February 26, 2007, accessed January 15, 2015, http://www. theamericanconservative.com/articles/rotten-in-durham/. ↩︎
  17. Stuart Taylor, “In Duke’s Case, a Rogue’s Gallery,” National Journal, May 20, 2006, accessed March 15, 2015, http://www.nationaljournal.com/magazine/ opening-argument-in-duke-case-a-rogues-39-gallery-20060520. ↩︎
  18. Stephen J. Ceci, Wendy M. Williams, and Katrin Mueller-Johnson, “Is tenure justified? An experimental study of faculty beliefs about tenure, promotion, and academic freedom,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Volume 29, Issue 06, December 2006, 553- 569. ↩︎
  19. Fairbanks, “A Hot Paper Muzzles Academia.” ↩︎
  20. Jacob Laksin, “Professor of Anti-Semitism,” FrontPageMag, May 5, 2006, accessed March 15, 2015, http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable. asp?ID=22313. ↩︎
  21. Anne Morrow Lindbergh, War Within and Without: Diaries and Letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980), 220-230; italics in original. ↩︎
  22. Ibid.; italics in original ↩︎
  23. See David Hackett Fischer, Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989); Kevin MacDonald, “Diaspora Peoples,” Preface to the paperback edition of A People that Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy (Lincoln, NE: I Universe, 1994/2004); Kevin Phillips, The Cousins’ Wars: Religion, Politics, and the Triumph of Anglo-America (New York: Basic Books, 1998). ↩︎
  24. Preface to the paperback edition of The Culture of Critique (Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2002). ↩︎
  25. Fischer, Albion’s Seed, 357 ↩︎
  26. Alden Vaughn, The Puritan Tradition in America, 1620–1730, Revised edition (Hanover and London: University Press of New England, 1997), 20. ↩︎
  27. Phillips, The Cousins’ Wars, 477 ↩︎
  28. Ibid., 556 ↩︎
  29. MacDonald, Preface to the paperback edition of The Culture of Critique. ↩︎
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Alt Right Jane: Pride and the Prejudiced

Over at The Chronicle of Higher Education a rather hyper-sensitive blogger seeks to take the Alt Right to task. But not for the usual reasons.

You see, this time it has to do with appropriation, no not of internet memes or 80s New Wave bands, instead it focus on a famous English author: Jane Austen. It seems as if The Chronicle blogger has uncovered a nefarious scheme of internet racists who are using Jane Austen to further their “White supremacist” agenda of crafting an “ethnostate”.

Over at The Chronicle of Higher Education a rather hyper-sensitive blogger seeks to take the Alt Right to task. But not for the usual reasons.

You see, this time it has to do with appropriation, no not of internet memes or 80s New Wave bands, instead it focus on a famous English author: Jane Austen. It seems as if The Chronicle blogger has uncovered a nefarious scheme of internet racists who are using Jane Austen to further their “White supremacist” agenda of crafting an “ethnostate”.

From The Chronicle:

This view of Austen as an avatar of a superior bygone era is linked not only with fantasies of female retreat from the sexual whirl, but also with calls for white separatism. On the popular blog of the alt-right publisher Counter-Currents, the world of Austen’s novels is extolled as a prototype for the “racial dictatorship” of tomorrow. One commenter wrote, “If, after the ethnostate is created, we revert back to an Austen-like world, we males ought to endure severe sacrifices as well. … If traditional marriage à la P&P [Pride and Prejudice] is going to be imposed, again, in an ethnostate, we must behave like gentlemen.”

Yet if shared heritage is the key to incentivizing gentlemanly comportment, why are there so many cads in Austen’s world? Also, Austen’s protagonists express little of the populist boosterism and preoccupation with ethnic heritage that foster an ethnostate. Fervent patriotism is invoked sardonically rather than earnestly proclaimed: Upon his first visit to his father’s estate in the small town of Highbury, Frank Churchill archly states that he will prove that he “belong[s] to the place” and is a “true citizen.” Emma playfully replies, “I do admire your patriotism,” and Churchill parries by saying that Emma has witnessed “the very moment of this burst of my amor patriae.”

Other alt-right partisans pay backhanded compliments by emphasizing Austen’s singularity as a celebrated female novelist. In a post that debuted in 2012 on Alternative Right and has since been lauded as an alt-right “classic,” the “manosphere” blogger Matt Forney mentioned Austen as an outlier from the norm of female mediocrity: “Virtually all great leaders, thinkers and artists were men. Aristotle, Galileo, Michaelangelo [sic], Napoleon: all men. Not to say that all women are incapable of artistic, scientific or military talent; every so often, we get a Marie Curie, a Jane Austen or a Joan of Arc.” Here the alt-right finds common ground with the literary gatekeeper Harold Bloom; in his best seller The Western Canon (1994), Austen is one of four women on a list of 26 most influential authors. According to this formulation, Austen is not a trailblazer for the female authors who followed in her wake, but rather a rebuke to women who have not reached her level of achievement.

What an intensive conspiracy. In fact, it’s fevered anger like this that brings to mind one of Austen’s earlier novels, Northanger Abbey which plays which pokes fun at the popularity of “gothic” novels its time by having its protagonist see murder and danger around every corner, much the same way progressive bloggers vent about the comment sections of Alt Right articles.

Indeed, the Jane Austen outrage didn’t just stop with The Chronicle but has now penetrated into other elite purveyors of liberal discourse via The New York Times and The Paris Review.

From The Times article “Jane Austen Has Alt-Right Fans? Heavens to Darcy!”:

But it has prompted the most sustained chatter among Austen scholars, a more reliably liberal bunch who, like Ms. Wright, emphatically reject white nationalist readings of her novels.

“No one who reads Jane Austen’s words with any attention and reflection can possibly be alt-right,” Elaine Bander, a retired professor and a former officer of the Jane Austen Society of North America, said in an email.

“All the Janeites I know,” she added, “are rational, compassionate, liberal-minded people.”

That’s right! Rational, liberal minded people! We all know those Alt-Right buffoons aren’t reading books. Just look at how few references to Harry Potter they make!

Further:

In recent years, scholars have tried to find diversity in the seemingly all-white world of Austen, digging into subjects like Miss Lambe, a character in her unfinished final novel, “Sanditon,” described as a “half mulatto” heiress from the West Indies. (Yes, there is a scholarly paper with the title “The Silence of Miss Lambe.”)

But Ms. Wells said scholars teaching Austen at schools with “substantially multicultural students” still wrestled with a truth that must, perhaps, be uncomfortably acknowledged.

“Her characters are white, and her world is white,” she said. “What do you do with that?”

Of course Jane Austen comes out of a White world. This is why the commentary on the original Counter Currents article were so relevant. Because Jane Austen as a European writer speaks to peculiar conditions of European man, the same way Langston Hughes and Chaim Potok speak to their respective black and Jewish readers. All of Austen’s work takes place in a world where European identity, and in particular, regency English countryside identity, were presupposed.

The Paris Review, not to be out done, rehashes many of the same points, but includes the fact that we have also appropriated Barbour jackets(welcome news to me!):

First the white nationalists took that haircut—you know the one, an arty variant on the Marine’s high-and-tight buzz, endemic to white guys in gentrifying neighborhoods circa 2013. Then the white nationalists took Barbour field jackets, depriving a whole generation of the joys of waxed canvas. Now the white nationalists have come for Jane Austen, in whom they mistakenly see a love of tradition, and it is up to us to say: enough. Let them claim some other, lesser Regency writer—an E. T. A. Hoffmann, maybe, or even a Sir Walter Scott—and leave us to read Persuasion in peace, the animals. Jennifer Schuessler writes, “Some alt-right admirers hail Austen’s novels as blueprints for a white nationalist ‘ethno-state.’ Others cite her as a rare example of female greatness … A post on the website Counter Currents called ‘The Woman Question in White Nationalism,’ for example, includes a string of comments debating how the vision of marriage in Austen’s Pride and Prejudice fit with the ‘racial dictatorship’ necessary to preserve Western civilization. ‘If traditional marriage à la P&P is going to be imposed, again, in an ethnostate, we must behave like gentlemen,’ one commenter wrote.”

This kvetching brings to mind a line from Whit “WASP Woody Allen” Stillman’s movie Metropolitan, which has its earnest young socialist protagonist Tom Townsend debate the merits of Jane Austen with conservative young debutante’ Audrey Rouget. Upon pronouncing the concerns of Austen to be ridiculous for our times, Rouget caustically responds with “Has it ever occurred to you that today from Jane Austen’s perspective would look even worse?”

No one knows this better than the Alt Right.

 

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An Age Without a Woman

International Women’s Day has come and gone, as a fly landing briefly on the face of the Venus de Milo. The substantively identical Day Without a Woman and the International Women’s Strike took place in solidarity on March 8, endorsed by the usual suspects and calling for women’s abstinence from paid and unpaid labor in favor of a nebulous “day of action”.

International Women’s Day has come and gone, as a fly landing briefly on the face of the Venus de Milo. The substantively identical Day Without a Woman and the International Women’s Strike took place in solidarity on March 8, endorsed by the usual suspects and calling for women’s abstinence from paid and unpaid labor in favor of a nebulous “day of action”. No normal responsibility was safe from this collective tantrum:

Originally, the organizers urged women to shun all kinds of labor — paid and unpaid. They also encouraged women to forgo “reproductive labor” — everything from sex to child care — and “emotional labor,” which could be construed as the application of Band-Aids and kisses.

But it’s unrealistic to think that women who have young children will go on strike, noted Lauren Duncan, the Smith College professor who teaches the psychology of political activism.

“There’s no way women would let their children fend for themselves to make a point,” she said. “That’s just not going to happen.”

Still, the call to action may open some women’s eyes to how much they are doing, both at work and at home, said Duncan.

“This is a thing that all women struggle with,” Duncan said. “Women are socialized as little girls to take care of other people, starting with dolls and little siblings. . . . All of that is reinforced in school.

“Something like this,’’ she said, “can make you just more aware of, ‘Wait, you don’t have to do everything.’ ”

In the profoundly disfigured world of the feminist, where marketplace productivity is the pivotal aspiration of life, even tending her child’s boo-boo is a commercial activity—a contemptible one.

Much more than a Day Without a Woman, we are living in the Age Without a Woman. It is not one self-righteous personal day that will lodge on the register of history, but the tremendous social pathology pursuant of the abdication of hearth and home by women en masse in the 20th and 21st centuries. The woman whose absence is most significant is the “angel in the house” so jealously vituperated by feminists, not the woman working in social media marketing or the dystopian “helping professions.”

The sensibility of the woman to serve as a conduit to the sublime for her intimate circles has been replaced by the clownish pathos of ersatz masculinity. Where once she concerned herself with her family’s daily experience of beauty and cultivation of virtue and craft, she now presides dormant over a glowing laptop screen. Her generativity has been replaced with productivity, her legacy lining the shelves at Walmart. Instead of the magical babble of an infant, she has the mechanical growl of the office Keurig machine. The useful idiots of the women’s “movement” behold the spiritual ugliness of their world and are hoodwinked into a scheme that perpetuates it. Wearing red to symbolize “revolutionary love and sacrifice” does not a sacrifice or a revolutionary make. The future is for the women who understand women’s future formation lies in their children, not the wasted fossil fuels and discarded placards of “women’s activism.”

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Richard Spencer’s Interview with Europe Maxima

This interview about Donald Trump, the question of identity, geopolitics, Islam, and other issues originally appeared in a French publication Europe Maxima. Richard was interviewed by Thierry Durolle.

This interview about Donald Trump, the question of identity, geopolitics, Islam, and other issues originally appeared in a French publication Europe Maxima. Richard was interviewed by Thierry Durolle.

Europe Maxima: First and foremost, thank you for answering my questions. To begin this interview, could you introduce yourself and the National Policy Institute to our readers?

Richard Spencer: The National Policy Institute is an independent non-profit think tank dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States and around the world. I am the President and Director of The National Policy Institute and Washington Summit Publishers. I am also the founder and Editor of Radix Journal, RadixJournal.com, and a co-founder of the recently-launched AltRight.com.

Europe Maxima: You are considered by the media as a kind of showcase or spokesman of the now-famous Alt Right. We know that the Alt Right is more of a nebula of different tendencies rather than a homogeneous movement. Where do you fit in this Alt-Right nebula?

Richard Spencer: I coined the term “alternative Right” in 2008 in order to differentiate myself from the failures of mainstream American conservatism. I saw the latter as a purely reactive form, seeking to preserve the status quo as opposed to focusing on passing down key aspects of our ancestral traditions to future generations. I have been referred to as the intellectual vanguard of this movement.

Today, Alt Right is, indeed, an umbrella term to describe those seeking the way out of Liberal Postmodernity dominating the United States and Europe through various means: culturally, socially, politically. Alt Right’s current diversity is a natural state in its early stages of development, as we consolidate our message and improve our communication with likeminded counterparts outside the U.S.

Europe Maxima: Several protagonists of the Alt Right seem to be influenced by the French Nouvelle Droite and particularly by Guillaume Faye and Alain de Benoist. As far as you are concerned, you invited the latter in 2013 to talk about the identity question. What did you learn from the French Nouvelle Droite and do you believe that its influence is that important among Alt Righters?

Richard Spencer: The so-called French New Right has left a tremendous impact on the Alt Right, as have earlier renditions of the Right in continental Europe: from Friedrich Nietzsche to the Conservative Revolutionary thinkers in the interwar period. One of the reasons for this influence is the fact that continental Europe has a rich tradition of right-wing intellectuals as compared to the United States, which has, relative to its population, few. Apart from a number of notable exceptions, today, the Right in the U.S. comprises neoconservatives, libertarians, and paleoconservatives, who either fail to address key questions of identity or do not go far enough in doing so.

Europe Maxima: Except the Nouvelle Droite and some famous thinkers like Julius Evola and Oswald Spengler, we don’t really know American thinkers who influenced the Alt Right. Could you name a few?

Richard Spencer: Some of the notable thinkers of recent times in the U.S. include Sam Francis, Patrick Buchanan, Murray Rothbard, and Paul Gottfried. In various ways, these thinkers criticized Washington’s foreign policy of chaos led by neocons and liberal interventionists, questioned the decline of the West, and examined questions of identity.

Europe Maxima: The Lügenpresse depicts you as a neo-Nazi and a white supremacist whereas you consider yourself a race-realist. Does this mean you want a « nice white country » or that you would accept living in a multicultural country as long as there is no racial and cultural mixing between its communities?

Richard Spencer: I consider myself an Identitarian. I have also repeatedly stated that to move forward, we must discard all ideologies of the past.

Proponents of Liberalism (even those who self-describe as the mainstream Left) refer to anyone who opposes them by using emotionally-charged keywords, including “Nazi.” This shows the power of such keywords to shut down rational discussion, but also the fact that globalist elites and their supporters have been in a state of hysteria about the slow paradigm shift toward identity-focused populism since Brexit and, especially, since Trump’s election and inauguration.

If you look at recent violent protests during Trump’s inauguration or those in Berkeley, you will notice that those who have been attacked—both verbally and physically—are not only people like me, with bold and radical ideas, but also mainstream conservatives wearing red Trump hats. This means that our attackers do not differentiate between us. The explicit nature of this friend/enemy distinction is good: our opponents are hostile and even violent, which should convert more open-minded people to our message.

Europe Maxima: Is race, as a concept, more than simple biological materialism to you? What would be the answer of the spiritual vacuity and nihilism the post-modern white man is afflicted by?

Richard Spencer: I do not subscribe to pure biological determinism. I believe that one’s identity is a complex interplay of nature and nurture: from one’s DNA to cultural and social interactions, and, of course, geography—the sense of rootedness in one’s native landscape.

Our European counterparts must understand the uniqueness of American development: our society is hyper-racialized because our history on this continent involved slavery, various waves of immigration, mainly from Europe and, more recently, from other parts of the world, segregation, and so forth. Whereas some older dwindling immigrant communities such as the Irish certainly exist, the majority of Americans of European descent is not only ethnically mixed but also self-identifies as simply White. This is both their reality in terms of self-perception and in terms of being the Other—when they encounter members of other groups.

In some ways, this perception is similar to Americans of African, Hispanic, and other backgrounds. Yet whereas these minority groups are encouraged to embrace their respective group identities through their own institutions and encouragement by the state, such as Affirmative Action in education, Americans of European descent do not have such mechanisms. It is true that up until recently, White Americans held social and cultural hegemony and did not need their own organizations. This, however, has changed: the combination of demographics, immigration, and Kulturkampf has left many Americans of European descent with a keen sense of dispossession.

Europe Maxima: For a couple of years in France, some people like Laurent Ozon created the concept/neologism “Remigration.” “Remigration” is the return of non-white French people to their countries of origin in a peaceful way thanks to bi-lateral state concords, for example. Do you believe something similar could be achieved someday in the U.S.A.?

Richard Spencer: The Alt Right is in the initial stages of political development. We must use our time wisely rather than biting off more than we can chew in outlining currently unfulfillable political goals. That said, I believe that we, as a group, must act solely in our own interests. By definition, this would leave out those outside it. In theory, this could be achieved by various peaceful and voluntary means. So I am not excluding concepts like re-migration from the list of possibilities.

Europe Maxima: What is your opinion on Islam?

Richard Spencer: In the best circumstances, we could both live and let live.

Framing the question of immigration—or mass migration—to Europe and the U.S. along the lines of Islam is incorrect. Islam is practiced in very different regions around the world: Indonesian Muslims are distinct from those in Lebanon and those in Nigeria. Saudi Arabia practices horrific beheading, while Tatar Muslims in Russians are largely secular adherents to generic Russian-European culture. Thus, this question should not only be framed along the lines of religion but also along the lines of ethnicity, culture, and geography.

That said, with some exceptions of historic, indigenous minority communities, large-scale Islamic migration has no place in Europe. At the same time, Washington and its European allies must stop the ongoing chaos and destruction they have caused in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia creating a seemingly never-ending flow of war refugees and economic migrants, which includes serious criminal elements and even terrorists. It surprises me that when the question of refugees is discussed, virtually no one—not even the self-described Leftist antiwar activists—mentions that the best solution, after ceasing to aid the so-called “moderate rebels” and helping in the struggle against global terrorism, is resettlement of refugees and, perhaps, aid in rebuilding in their own ancestral lands, not in Europe or the U.S.

But then one wonders if it will ever be “live and let live” with Islam, and not “live and let die.”

I’ve generally turned up my nose at the “Islam debates” of the 2000s. On one side, liberals (including George W. Bush) claimed that Islam was a “religion of peace”; on the other side, conservative supporters of Bush and the War on Terror claimed that Islam was a maniacal religion bent on installing Sharia Law in Oklahoma—which is why we should engaged in endless wars for democracy in the Middle East.

Needless to say, both sides are wrong and misguided. But as much as I hate to admit it, because I opposed the Iraq War so vehemently, the conservative side does contain a kernel of truth. Islam—at its full flourishing (for instance, Wahhabi or Salafi Islam—Islam as a political ideology)—isn’t some peaceful denomination like Methodism or religion like Buddhism; Islam is a Black Flag. It is an expansive, domineering ideology, and one that is directed against Europe. In this way, Islam give non-Europeans a fighting spirit and integrates them into something much greater than themselves. Islam is a “civilization” in Huntington’s sense, and a grave danger for European peoples.

Europe Maxima: Racial and cultural tensions are growing more and more in both of our countries along with a general despondency, mistrust towards the political and media elite and the rise of populism. According to you is it because of an economical and social crisis, a political crisis, a crisis of identity, a crisis of Meaning or even everything all together?

Richard Spencer: Current crisis in the West has multiple causes—both immediate and deep-rooted. The former is obvious: the warfare-welfare state creates crises abroad, accepting the results of those crises—migrants and refugees—at home, while benefitting globalist elites with transnational capitalist interests. This perpetual cycle occurs against the backdrop of moral and cultural degeneration: from entertainment culture to suicidal “tolerance.” Even if it were possible in certain cases, refugees cannot be assimilated because there is no viable culture to assimilate them to. The results are horrific.

Yet many critics of our predicament simply want to turn back the clock to the time of three of four decades ago, when things seemed reasonably “okay,” without asking difficult—fundamental—questions. This is wrong. After all, it was that seemingly comfortable time that set us on the trajectory that led us to where we are now.

Others trace the decline of the West to the era of the Enlightenment that spawned ideologies of Modernity; others yet—to the origins of Christianity; while thinkers like Heidegger go as far back as ancient Greece and the framing of Being.

So this time around we must ask ourselves these difficult questions starting with, “Who are we?” and “What is our place in history?”

Europe Maxima: Do you believe the concepts of Left and Right are still valid?

Richard Spencer: On the one hand, the political spectrum that everyone is used to is largely outmoded. After the collapse of Communism, Liberalism became the only remaining ideology of Modernity with global aspirations, in which both the mainstream Left and Right represent two cosmetically different versions of the same fundamental trajectory. This is why, for instance, you see many Identitarians who would self-describe as Right with a keen interest in the environment and conservation, i.e. issues traditionally associated with leftist “greens,” or they subscribe to anti-interventionist foreign policy—another putatively “left-wing” cause.

At the same time, in a somewhat abstract, semantic sense we can speak of an eternal Left and Right, where the former is about horizontal movement, destruction of existent norms, decentralization, whereas the latter is about eternity, vertical movement, centralization, consolidation, creative spirit, and monumentality. These semantic forms are cyclical.

Europe Maxima: Donald Trump finally became President of the U.S. What do you expect from him in terms of domestic and foreign policy?

Richard Spencer: My expectation of Trump remains pragmatic and therefore modest. At best, he will face inward in order to attempt to solve a multitude of domestic problems, while adhering to Realpolitik in international relations. I do not expect him to dismantle NATO—despite the fact that this alliance is a Cold War relic—contrary to the paranoid theories of his opponents. But needless to say, the alliance needs to be radically rethought.

For me, Trump is more important as a symbol of the kind of energies he has unleashed instead of his actual policies. He, for instance, recently nominated an Anglo-Saxon Protestant, Neil Gorsuch, for the Supreme Court. In practice, Gorsuch’s decisions will likely adhere to examining Constitutional law. Symbolically, however he represents the founding stock of America as a nascent state, whereas none of the recent selections have been representative thereof. Similarly, Trump’s comments, ranging from those about a reasonable relationship with Russia to explicitly questioning immigration, have provided hope for a future paradigm shift.

Europe Maxima: As the name of our website suggests, we defend the greater Europe. What is your opinion on both Europe as a civilisation and as a (pseudo) political and economic structure names the European Union?

Richard Spencer: If you look at maps of, say, the Holy Roman Empire in the past and the European Union today, there will be quite a bit of an overlap. What this demonstrates is that there is a vast spiritual, geographic, and ethno-cultural entity that we could refer to as Greater Europe. Yet the form of this entity has been filled with different content throughout history. Today, the European Union is a symbol of all that is wrong: from its massive bureaucracy to its culturally destructive policies. What this means is that the form needs to be filled with correct content in line with true European identities and traditions.

I’ve expressed skepticism of “Brexit,” as well as all forms of ethnic nationalism, that is, nationalisms that view fellow Europeans as “The Other.” Whether we like it or not, the fault lines of the 21st century—and beyond—are racial and civilizational. We must address issues and crises on this level; in this sense, we must think and act racially.  How exactly this Identitarian spirit would express itself in terms of political structures remains to be seen.

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The Jewish Question(and Some Answers)

The following is an interview I recently conducted with ‘Reactionary Jew’ and ‘The Rebbe,’two Twitter figures from a small grouping known as the Jewish ‘Alt-Right,’ or ‘JewishAlternative.’ As someone who has studied Jewish dynamics in White societies for more than a decade, I was interested by recent media attention in The Forward and elsewhere concerning Josh Seidel, an American Jew who claimed to be part of the Alt-Right. I say interested rather than ‘surprised’ or ‘puzzled’ because history is replete with small numbers of Jews who have pursued, what are from their perspective, ostensibly unusual political and ideological paths. In the most extreme cases, Jews have been pioneers of what has been termed ‘anti-Semitism.’ For example, one of the first great exposures of the anti-Gentile content of the Talmud was carried out in Germany by the 16 th century Jewish apostate Johannes Pfefferkorn. Between 1507 and 1521 Pfefferkorn acted like a kind of early modern Andrew Anglin, printing more pamphlets (in both German and Latin) attacking Jewish behavior than any other author. He demanded that Jews cease their practice of usury, and aggressively upbraided them for what may be loosely described as a range of ‘anti-social’ behaviors.

The following is an interview I recently conducted with ‘Reactionary Jew’ and ‘The Rebbe,’ two Twitter figures from a small grouping known as the Jewish ‘Alt-Right,’ or ‘Jewish Alternative.’ As someone who has studied Jewish dynamics in White societies for more than a decade, I was interested by recent media attention in The Forward and elsewhere concerning Josh Seidel, an American Jew who claimed to be part of the Alt-Right. I say interested rather than ‘surprised’ or ‘puzzled’ because history is replete with small numbers of Jews who have pursued, what are from their perspective, ostensibly unusual political and ideological paths. In the most extreme cases, Jews have been pioneers of what has been termed ‘anti-Semitism.’ For example, one of the first great exposures of the anti-Gentile content of the Talmud was carried out in Germany by the 16 th century Jewish apostate Johannes Pfefferkorn. Between 1507 and 1521 Pfefferkorn acted like a kind of early modern Andrew Anglin, printing more pamphlets (in both German and Latin) attacking Jewish behavior than any other author. He demanded that Jews cease their practice of usury, and aggressively upbraided them for what may be loosely described as a range of ‘anti-social’ behaviors.

Despite his great zeal in anti-Jewish activity, because of his origins Pfefferkorn was the object of much distrust, derision, and suspicion by his contemporaries. The same responses have been evident in relation to the small collective of Jewish nationalists seeking shade under the Alt-Right umbrella. Hostile non-Jewish responses are, given the sobering weight of grim history between our peoples, predictable, justified, and eminently sensible. The threat of infiltration, co-option, and misdirection is very real. I have composed essays explicitly dealing with this subject from a historical perspective, and I have advocated for the exclusion of Jews from the life of our movement for the sake of its ideological and material integrity. Possessing an eye for historical context, I didn’t like Seidel’s use of the term ‘Alt-Right’ to describe what he is, or what he claims to be. Seidel may well be a reactionary of sorts, and he may well be opposed to much of the agenda of the mainstream Jewish community. However, that does not make him a part of the Alt-Right, a movement which is, in the main, an outgrowth of European ethno-nationalism. He can no more be part of the Alt-Right than I can be a part of the Chabad-Lubavitch sect. The Alt-Right is not a social club. It is the organic expression of national will – the will of the best elements of the European peoples.

One doesn’t need to feel that the proverbial “all Jews” are dedicated to fighting against us in order to see that a blanket exclusion would be useful. Any suggestion of co-operation should be considered moot. A blunt ‘anti-Semitism’ that paints in broad strokes isn’t necessarily intellectually sophisticated, but it is a useful ‘shorthand’ for confronting some of our most pressing social, political, and economic issues. One might consider the analogy that our opposing forces act as a giant knife, cutting into the heart of the nation. The coterie of Leftists, anarchists, degenerates, homosexuals, self-interested elites, and others of our race make up the bulk of the blade. But with what preponderance are Jews found at the razors edge! It is almost always Jewish radicals that are found with the most cutting, most offensive, and most devastating theories and activism; theories and activism that appear designed only to divide, to separate, to tear apart. It is because of what occurs at the ‘razor’s edge’ that ‘anti-Semitism’ finds both its cold logic and shattering power.

That being said, one should be wary of being sucked into a lowly resentment of one’s opponents. One should be aware of socio-political realities without being consumed by them. Nietzsche once astutely observed that the aristocratic mind is capable of shrugging off opposition, and of always finding the means to a respect for one’s opponents. The lower mind, more fearful and shadowy, will recoil from a full confrontation with reality, preferring instead to view his enemy as monolithic, as ‘evil.’ His enemy stalks him everywhere. Like Nietzsche, I reject the concepts of good and evil, as they are popularly understood, and with that I reject the notion that all Jews are ‘evil,’ or even that there is something ‘evil’ about Jews. We have opposing interests and differing approaches and strategies to life. And I believe that these differences also have metaphysical expressions. However, I do not believe that Jews are all-powerful, and I do not believe that, in and of itself, communication with Jews is liable to leave one vulnerable to ideological deviation. Communication and co-operation are entirely different spheres.

Having laid this groundwork, I ask of readers only that the treat the following interview with the aristocratic mind-set I expect them to have. For my part, I have dispensed with soft approaches and have posed questions in a respectful attempt to get to the heart of what these individuals are in relation to us. They are clearly not members of the Alt-Right, but as strongly identified Jews what do they have to say about issues that the Alt-Right is concerned with? About identity? About the Jewish assault on Europeans? About future prospects for both peoples? One might enquire why such answers would matter. Purely on a personal level I would reply by pointing to curiosity; curiosity about truth, but also the truth that can be found even in deception, self-deception, or the sense of self that prevails in an opposing tribe. For the same reasons, I would interview the leadership of both the ADL and the SPLC if they’d dare to let me. I am sure that the answers provided in such interviews would provide food for both thought and discussion. Such interviews would sharpen our indignation, our ideological understanding, and our political senses. This one, I believe, is no different.

AJ: In the last 12 months there have been spasmodic debates surrounding the definition of ‘Alt-Right.’ How do you define it?

RJ: I perceive it as a broad-tent coalition bound together by one thing: explicitly fighting for white European interests, manifested via nationalism, either in one’s own country, or around the world. Within this label, there are many disagreements about peripheral issues (socialism vs. more libertarian economic systems, ethnic nationalism vs. racial nationalism, etc.). Some Alt-Right issues are considered important by the majority of the movement and seem almost inseparable from that core of white interests, such as the Jewish Question, traditionalist revival, etc., but are valued specifically because of how they are tied to white group interests and identity within the context of the movement. While I do think the Jewish question is (very) important, and I do believe in traditional sexual morality, I also consider those who disagree with me on both of those fronts to still be considered Alt-Right if they are fighting for explicitly white European interests. I should note that I do not consider Breitbart/Milo/PJW/etc. to be Alt-Right, since they refuse to talk in explicitly racial terms and will “condemn racism” when it comes down to it.

TR: The traditional “National Review” center-right confronted communism on a global scale and delayed creeping socialism. These two threats were stalking horses for the real enemy of the West: what you call “Cultural Marxism” (Jews would describe as “Frankism”). This Jewish Satanic heresy is the dominant paradigm of the Jewish intelligentsia and the Reformed/Re-constructivist denominations. The Alt-Right is a late-hour counter-reaction to this threat. While much of the Alt-Right doesn’t even fully comprehend this inchoate “POZ,” it has nevertheless mounted a successful intellectual assault and helped bring about the greatest political upset since Truman.

AJ: I regard the work of Kevin MacDonald as one of the primary ideological foundations for the Alt-Right. Have you read MacDonald, and do you view the critical analysis of Jewish behavior as a necessary and appropriate facet of Alt-Right activity?

RJ: I have read Dr. MacDonald’s work. I have also corresponded with him, and even spoken to him face-to- face. I learned many things from his work, and although we definitely have our disagreements, I think he tries his best to be objective. As stated above, in my opinion, the Jewish Question is not one that can be ignored, both by whites and by Jews. It is too immense and far-reaching. The consequences can be dire, for both peoples. For the skeptics out there, remember that the early Zionists themselves dealt heavily with the Jewish Question, and came to many of the same conclusions as “anti-Semites,” albeit not entirely for the same reasons. A central theme in Judaism itself, especially the traditional Rabbinic variant, is understanding our own group behavior and how that it plays out when we interact with other nations, but from a different angle. The most severe early criticism and harsh condemnations of Jewish behavior can be found in none other than th Bible itself.

TR: MacDonald’s well-researched work regarding ethnic interest provides an accurate model to explain historical Jewish behavior. However, when explaining the demonic Jewish radical Left, his theories break down like the laws of physics around a black hole. I could find only one article on Occidental Observer’s site that mentions Sabbatai Zevi or Jacob Frank, the two heretics who heavily influenced the POZ (as the article acknowledges). Rabbi Emden, the most noted pro-Christian Jewish theologian, first warned gentiles in the 1760s that the Sabbatians sought to “destroy the World”—their Satanic theology: “What is holy, unholy. What is unholy, holy”. Torah wisdom is systematically inverted by the POZ: homosexuality, transgenderism, feminism, pedophilia, obesity, pagan environmentalism, multi-culturalism, supporting Islamists, etc. They loathe the World of Creation and seek the Sabbatian Kabbalist apocalypse: all genders, races, and religions meld into one.

A great example of the lack of self-reflection on the part of contemporary Jews is the bizarre confrontation between the Reform rabbi (with his confused account of “radical inclusion”; Jewish heresy) and Spencer a few weeks ago. The rabbi had likely never seriously confronted Spencer’s viewpoint in his lifetime. Most Leftist Jews are like this in real life and sound like pod people. The most influential immigration propaganda, the “Melting Pot”; by Zangwill, actually recreated the Kabbalist apocalypse on stage. Frankfurt, of the Frankfurt School, was a hold out of Frankist ideas. Freud admitted to being a Sabbatian (as other intellectuals of the time) and seeking to destroy the West. Since the Jewish Left is steeped in heretical Jewish theology and functions often under the “Jewish interest”, it’s childish to think that any serious movement to oppose it can be conducted while ignoring the JQ. If anything, the “National Review” conservative movement debacle of the last few decades tried to sidestep any Jewish connection. So, any Jew serious about defeating this bizarro Left needs to be at peace with the research and blunt discussion of the JQ.

AJ: To what extent, if any, do you see yourself as White, or a part of Western culture?

RJ: I do not consider Jews to be white, even Ashkenazis. We have a fundamentally different identity, despite some of us having European blood. I am myself half-Mizrahi, which makes me even more “diluted” I could write an essay about the intersection of Jews and Western culture, but I’ll try to keep it brief. I’ll start by saying that I personally love European classical music, philosophy, literature, and art significantly more than I do those of other civilizations on average (sometimes second to my own), but most of that is subjective preference, and no doubt partly due to my upbringing in the US. As for Jews more broadly, European culture has certainly left its mark on us via the diaspora, for better and for worse. I’d like to keep the good parts as I see them, such as the structure of institutions, religious garb, academic methodology in multiple disciplines (with certain exceptions), etc. However, as a religious Jew, I do think it is dangerous to start thinking of oneself as “Western” as many Jews do, since we have our own unique moral philosophy that has been defined historically by specifically being not only the opposite of Greek and Roman ideals, but even strongly averse to them.

TR: White and Western. My mother converted from Anglicanism and her ancestors played bit parts in the last 1000 years of English history.

AJ: The Alt-Right is undoubtedly driven by the desire of Europeans to assert their own story and fulfil their destiny as a people. In such a context, do you think that Europeans need Jewish assistance in this effort, and what practical assistance do you believe Jews can offer Europeans?

RJ: If you’re talking about European cultural revival, no, I don’t think that is the case. Europeans should reconstruct their societies on their own terms. However, there is much to be gleaned from our successful nationalist movement, ethnostate, general history of group survival, etc. and I think that should at the very least interest Europeans who care about their group’s continuity both as a model and a warning. Dr. MacDonald has said similar things in his essay “Can the Jewish Model Help The West Survive?”

TR: Trump’s election would likely not have been possible without Jewish help. The young Donald Trump was mentored by Roy Cohn, a street-wise right-wing NYC Jew. Trump surrounds himself with a cadre of similar Jews to this day (whose very presence inoculate him against charges of being “Hitler”). Sheldon Adelson went out on a limb to provide Trump a major early endorsement in his Times of Israel. Jared Kushner’s audacious media/electoral college strategy helped capture PA, MI, and WI. And let’s not forget the contribution of Anthony Weiner’s laptop in saving Western Civilization.

AJ: European history is replete with instances of Jews using and abusing their host populations, facilitated primarily through alliances with native corrupt elites. In response, many European populations have abused their Jewish communities when opportunities to do so have arisen. Given this long, sordid, and extremely vicious history, would you agree that a total separation of our peoples is the best path to avoiding future bloodshed?

RJ: I completely agree that total separation is the ideal, and I’d love to see it happen. One can blame whoever they want to for the history between Jews and whites (I’ve seen both extremes); regardless of how one analyzes the cycle, it almost never seems to end well. Why keep trying a model that fails nine times out of ten? Additionally, regardless of the issues whites may have with Jews living in their societies, many Jewish religious leaders and committed Zionists have expressed similar sentiments due to Jewish collective survival concerns, such as the rampant assimilation and intermarriage of Jews in white societies.

TR: I’d encourage any Jew to support Israel through Aliyah.

AJ: To what extent would you agree that most Jews who look to the Right are motivated mainly by an aversion to Leftist positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

RJ: It is important to clarify the different schools of thought at play here. There are Jews who want to continue living in white societies, and see Islam as a much bigger threat in that regard than they do the white far-right. There are also Jews who see the American and European left as a much bigger threat to Israel on the international stage than they do the right. While I agree with both instances of risk assessment, I’d like to specifically distinguish myself from the “Democrats are the real(ly important) anti-Semites” camp. I acknowledge that Islam is not the only threat to the West, and the demographic decline from Africans and other groups would still be a huge issue without it. I also acknowledge that the traditional neocon narrative
of “greatest ally against Islam” is mostly wrong; Europe would be safer if it closed its borders and deported people rather than by supporting Israel more. Additionally, I don’t want Jews to continue living in the West and I don’t shy away from the JQ. That being said, I do not deny the self-interest involved; it appears that white nationalists and I have many common goals -living apart from each other, the breakdown of the post-WWII international order, and the survival of the West – so why not work with them? Even in that last one listed I don’t deny the self-interest. While I value the West as a great civilization, Israel is much better off existing as part of a broader successful and productive first-world, or “Global North” if you will. I try to be as clear and honest as I can in this regard.

TR: You could say that, but there’s also a Christian case for Israel. I’ll just take Richard the Lionheart’s position: safe access to the Holy Land is essential to Christian dignity. Correspondingly, Islamic dominion (through politics or war) over Jerusalem and Bethlehem is a central objective of Jihadis and the POZ to demoralize Christians and the West. Fifteen years ago, Palestinians took over the Church of Nativity (where Jesus was born in the manger). They desecrated it with urine and feces, used the bibles as toilet paper, took monks hostage, and stole gold antiquities. Instead of condemning this, Christians generally blamed Israel. The Jihadi’s continued their terror campaign against Bethlehem’s Christian residents for years onward. The city’s Christian population has declined from 40% before the Church takeover to 12% today.

AJ: Many in the Alt-Right perceive highly ethnocentric Jews, in positions of influence, to be their most concerning opponent. Who is yours?

RJ: To me, as a Jewish nationalist, the biggest threat is the dynamic of the status quo created by the “international community” institutions (UN/ICC/EU), fueled (and even funded) by Jewish leftist traitors, perpetuated by useful idiot academics serving the cause of Arab Islamic nationalist ideologues, and re-entrenched by the US. The fact that we can’t take further measures (such as ethnic cleansing, or even annexation with tighter “security” measures) in the West Bank is actively getting my people killed in the land where they belong. Every move we make, we have be concerned with sanctions, due to the useless concepts of “human rights” and “international law” that only draw out the conflict, cause the situation to fester, and cost more blood in the long-term because they won’t allow for a swift resolution. It’s not any one particular group, but a combination of all of these, and when you put it all together, it creates a big problem for us on the international stage.

TR: The Frankists/Cultural Marxists are the existential threat, yet a movement based upon quasi-Satanism will inevitably implode under the weight of its decadence, madness, and sadism (PizzaGate?). Many of today’s Jewish intelligentsia are the “learn nothing and forget nothing” Bourbons. They are coddled nepotism placements. Ironically, it’s the Alt-Right who have the moxie of Trotsky and Alinsky. The Alt-Right rages about hypocrisy because Israel refuses refugees while the Jewish Left foists them on the West. However, you’re projecting a rudimentary capacity for introspection upon the Jewish Left. This movement of man-children will hopefully expire soon before causing any further undo harm. The USA’s end game will be the same as Israel’s: after quelling its own internal misanthropic Left, the remaining adversaries will be Islam and the global Left (including Communist China).

AJ: As a step toward European self-assertion, I would love to see the dismantling of organizations like the Anti-Defamation League and an overall decline in Jewish influence in our societies. How would you feel about the decline of Jewish power in the West?

RJ: I can tell you right now that I have no positive feelings whatsoever towards the ADL. There are few organizations that go to such great lengths to give us a bad reputation, which is especially ironic considering what they call themselves. The same goes for the SPLC and the rest of the alphabet soup of Jewish organizations which I see as actively destroying society. Their positions on Israel are also awful (such as the ADL’s support for a two-state solution) most of the time. While I am not a big fan of lumping together forces so disparate and fragmented, however prevalent they may be, as Jewish influence, in order to make a sweeping generalization of definitive negativity, I definitely don’t think it’s imperative that we have influence in the West beyond the typical influence of a foreign first-world regional superpower (on the world stage, as befits our geopolitical situation). While we’re on the topic of self-determination and purging external influence, I’d like to do the exact same in Israel, and I sympathize with that very basic desire, which is currently a far-cry from reality in both of our civilizations.

TR: Before the refugee invasion, Europe was first prepped for Islamic conquest with decades of pro-Palestinian propaganda, thereby normalizing Jihadi terrorism. Jihadi’s were victims of oppression with whom lasting peace could be forged but for Israel’s cruelty and Islamophobia. Zionist power in the US, thankfully, has inoculated our country from Jihadi tactics. Indeed, hostility to Obama’s program of importing millions of Islamic “immigrants” helped propel Trump’s candidacy. Jewish power sometimes acts to destroy the West and at other times to help it. It takes the better part of wisdom to know which is which. That’s why it’s called “The Jewish Question”.

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Normal

A professor brags about his desire to genocide an entire race. He is the victim. Those who notice what he’s done are evil because “White genocide” is somehow both a myth and a self-evident good.

 

A professor brags about his desire to genocide an entire race. He is the victim. Those who notice what he’s done are evil because “White genocide” is somehow both a myth and a self-evident good.

Members of a group who commit wildly disproportionate violence against both their own and other peoples are occasionally shot by police while committing crimes. This is “genocide” against this group. Those who deny it have death wished upon them by thousands of people. Those who make these threats are praised for doing so.

People whose presence in the country is illegal, go on to commit additional crimes. A newly elected president, widely called a “fascist,” says he will deport them. This is called an attack on families.

The President-elect takes a congratulatory phone call from an American ally under constant threat of attack and invasion by a nominally Communist and indisputably authoritarian state. This is condemned as a provocation.

The same President-elect praises a far less repressive leader for not imposing sanctions on the United States to the detriment of both countries. This is also condemned as a provocation.

A donut-licking thot famous for posing in cat ears and grinding to autotune baselines about getting screwed till you can’t walk excites one of the thirsty male fans that sustain her lifestyle. This is taken for a violation of the decorum she evidently expects. She is now a feminist hero.

A homosexual teacher and his “husband” commit suicide after being exposed for abusing underage boys for years. They claim they are the real victims in a suicide note and other teachers hold a moment of silence for them. The school which presided over the abuse issues a bland statement about how it strives to provide a “safe and secure learning environment,” and is offering “mental health counseling.”

Members of one group receive preferential treatment in applying for jobs and coveted slots in elite institutions. Individuals of mixed race, or even entirely of other races, try to become members of this group to receive social and economic benefits. This group is still “oppressed.” Even denying that this group is oppressed renders one a “racist.”

Members of another group have high rates of income and education relative to other groups. They systematically organize in defense of their group identity and are concentrated in culturally influential professions. The United States military defends their ethnostate, even though the alliance brings no benefit to America anyone can identity. This group is also “oppressed.” If you deny it, your career will be ended and you will be cast out of polite society.

Violence and shootings of predominantly African-American residents have increased in most major cities across the country, especially in cities affected by a movement proclaiming itself “Black Lives Matter.” Attacks on police officers have also increased, including ambushes against cops sitting in their cars. In response to the unrest, there is now a painting portraying police officers as pigs hanging in the U.S. Capitol’s office complex. Saying “All Lives Matter” is a deeply offensive statement. Saying “White Lives Matter” is economic suicide.

An activist group attempts to extort a woman for financial gain. The government and the media join the campaign. This is called activism for “human rights.”

Voters in the United Kingdom overcome an unprecedented media campaign and say they want to withdraw from the European Union. A thrice-married woman from Guyana who moved to England at 10, whose latest husband is nicknamed “Mr. Hedge Fund,” files a lawsuit and stops it. She credits her “strength” to the breakup of her last marriage. Her ex-husband says she simply married someone who had more money. She is praised as the “woman of the century.” Perhaps she is.

A ‘model’ named Tess Holiday, who weighs 280 pounds, is too disgustingly obese to fit into a complimentary robe provided at hotels. She “calls out” the hotels. She is very brave.

The United States government, currently $18.96 trillion in debt, provides grant money to illegal immigrants who get deported to El Salvador. This is perhaps one of the less objectionable expenditures of the federal government, which include, at random, $152,000 to stimulate adoption by lesbians, $100,000 to produce “socially-conscious puppet shows,” and $4.6 million to increase the “emotional wellness of refugees.” Meanwhile, Republicans say Trump’s border wall may not be constructed because it is too expensive.

While Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton had a foundation where foreign countries could donate money. Reports from even left wing media sites suggest it may have been used in pay-for-play schemes. This was fine, but the incoming president has his name on hotels, so he should be impeached.

A video game for children features a hero saving a princess. This is called unsuitable for children. A lesbian relationship is inserted into another video game. This is a “step forward for video games.”

For no ostensible gain and after no vote, Europe’s most powerful nation insists on abandoning border controls to admit an unlimited number of young, male, Muslim migrants. It is perhaps the most consequential decision in postwar history, but there is no mainstream party which disagrees with the policy. The overwhelming majority of migrants are both unemployed and unemployable. The cost is ruinous. Crime has increased and dozens of lives have been taken in terrorist attacks. In response, the government is censoring news, covering up reports of crime, arresting citizens for posting criticism, and allowing armed thugs to attack anyone who disagrees. This is called liberal democracy.

A Catholic priest sets up a nativity scene where the Virgin Mary is placed in a burqa and the Star of Bethlehem is replaced with the homosexual flag.

A woman says she is in love with a robot and wants to get married.

Children as young as four are having sex change operations. A nine year old transsexual is on the cover of National Geographic. A male YouTube “celebrity” was recently made the face of CoverGirl. They are all, we are told proudly, “making history.”

At the same time, at a university named after a man who used to be called the Father of Our Country, history majors are no longer required to study U.S. history. Given the quality of education, this is probably a good thing.

And finally, the only White father on television who isn’t portrayed as weak, cowardly, degenerate, or perverted is a Literal Nazi.

This is “normal.”

In contrast to the above, we are told Donald Trump isn’t “normal.” Indeed, he and his supporters must not be “normalized” by portraying them as reasonable people with legitimate ideas or grievances. In fact, those who did portray Trump as a normal man, television hosts like Jimmy Fallon, should “go to hell.”

Instead, the propaganda of pathology must be intensified. Trump won because of “fake news.” He won because Russia “hacked the election.” He won because the media didn’t do enough to shut down “racist” viewpoints. It’s not because free people agreed with him and made an informed choice. It was all a nefarious scheme of some kind, some aberration of the natural order. After all, what could be more sick, unnatural and self-evidently evil than a leader who, at least rhetorically, believes it is his job to guard the interests of his own citizens?

Of course, civic nationalism, as objectionable as it is to those who determine our morality, is not what they truly fear. What is the most horrific, noxious, and insane thing imaginable is White people living by their own standards and on their own terms.

There’s no scenario where White people are reduced to a small enough minority or stripped of enough wealth and power to be left alone. If the entire White population was one village living in the middle of nowhere, there would be an international media campaign screaming about the evils of “segregation” and exclusion.

In fact, there already is. Consider the situation in South Africa, where a small but hardy group of Afrikaners have, in full compliance with the law, created the settlement of Orania where they can live in peace. It is in undesirable land near a desert. The people pose no threat nor can anyone seriously argue there is “exploitation.” Yet every year, some journalist goes there to pathologize the residents and implicitly agitates for it to be abolished.

The latest is from Thomas Page of CNN, who appears and thinks exactly as you would expect. His article marvels that the settlement is allowed to exist and sneers at those who “intellectualize the argument for self-imposed segregation” as opposed to embracing the glories of the Rainbow Nation. Orania’s residents have “divisive” views on race, we are told.

Page also shills for a book from a Swedish woman, Kajsa Norman, who worries about the “radicalism” of her kinsmen that question their dying nation’s immigration policies. Norman spent time in Orania and, having been let into the lives of its residents, now works to deconstruct and destroy them. Poor Afrikaners have it rough, but they lack “empathy.” People in Orania may not be the most racist people she knows, but they are “not role models.” Incredibly, Norman also dismisses Whites’ fears of violent crime because more Blacks are victims than Whites. Of course, that’s also because they tend to be surrounded by other Blacks, which is exactly what journalists are demanding of Whites.

This is what you would expect of course. Journalism is not a profession; it is a tactic. It is activism by different means, no different in intent than protesting, sabotage, throwing shit at your political opponents, or simply murdering your enemies. The usual goal of a journalist is to destroy his subject. Information is a weapon. Trying to “convince” a journalist is like trying to have an earnest exchange of views with the far-Left fanatic hysterically screaming he wants to kill you. They’re the same people, with the same ends and driven by the same hateful beliefs. And they have truly skewed belief about what is normal and what is not.

Orania, in their view, is not “normal.” South Africa’s president singing songs about killing Afrikaners at political rallies obviously is.

What is “normal?” Well, consider Steven Otter. He was a White man who rejected “self-imposed segregation” and lived in a Black township. He lectured his fellow Whites about the “misperception” of high crime. He attended rallies of the comically anti-White Julius Malema and his “Economic Freedom Fighters,” complete with a goofy red beret and indoor sunglasses. (Incidentally, abolishing the “racist enclave” of Orania is a goal of some in the EFF.) He also indulged in the kind of ethno-masochism pushed on Whites worldwide, berating himself for thought-crime when he pondered “racist things.” Objectively, Otter was an unstable lunatic. By the standards of the society which gives us all the blessings listed above, he was “normal.”

And he died as you’d expect, murdered by robbers who broke into his home, the fifth recent housebreaking in his neighborhood and the third on his street. No one has been arrested and probably no one ever will be. Does Otter deserve sympathy? Poor form to celebrate a man’s death, but Otter demanded that all White South Africans live like this, with no possibility of escape. Why shouldn’t he be forced to live, or die, with the consequences?

Norman smirks in the CNN article that Afrikaners who have “become the most successful in South Africa today have given up their Afrikaner identity and become South Africans first and foremost.” Otter was a South African and he died as one. And despite all the virtue signaling and temporary tributes, his death was essentially meaningless. None of the underlying premises of that Third World society will be challenged. In South Africa, the goal of the deracinated European is simply to make enough money to isolate yourself from social collapse – or just move to another country entirely, as many of the liberal Whites who agitated against apartheid have already done.

This is not meant as an insult to South Africa. Today, every Western country is a “Rainbow Nation.” An as an spokesman for the Orania Movement puts it to CNN, today there is an “existential attitude towards human identity that views it as a mere construct, to be reconstructed by anyone and everyone for and by him/herself.” I’d argue that to be “normal,” this is exactly what you need to believe. And once you build your society around this, the headlines above are only the beginning of what you will get.

The Orania spokesman said defiantly, “That is not the way we plan to live.” And neither can we. Living under siege is more noble, and more “normal,” than living the way we do now. And as some reviews of Norman’s book note, ultimately, the choice of whether to separate and survive or deracinate and die confronts not just the Boers but the Swedes and ultimately all Europeans. And this isn’t “normal.”

“Normal” is knowing who you are, living with dignity and purpose, and leaving a legacy which means something. Normal is pursuing the upward development of your own people, not tearing down everything decent and beautiful in pursuit of the twisted visions of egalitarianism. Normal is taking pride in your own nation. Normal is having a place to call home. We owe the perverted fanatics who seek to take this away from us no explanations, only defiance.

All the progressives freaking out about Trump and the course of 2016 are right for the wrong reasons. This isn’t normal. Nothing about our culture is normal. Nothing about the state of our people is normal. But Trump’s election is one tiny step towards normality. And we should be confident in our eventual triumph and restoration.

After all, we are Europeans. Victory is our birthright.

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