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Category: Europe

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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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. ↩︎
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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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Facing the Future As a Minority

For as long as anyone can remember, immigration has been the chief political concern at gatherings such as this. At last night’s cocktail party, “amnesty,” “illegals,” and various heroes and villains in Washington were discussed with great interest.

This speech was delivered at the 2013 American Renaissance conference, which took place on April 5-7 near Nashville, Tennessee.  

For as long as anyone can remember, immigration has been the chief political concern at gatherings such as this. At last night’s cocktail party, “amnesty,” “illegals,” and various heroes and villains in Washington were discussed with great interest.

For people like us—who are asylumed away to the margins—one could say that immigration is our connection to the outside world.  It makes us feel like we have a horse in the race—maybe even that, through our silent partners in the Beltway, we can affect national policy.  We even get captivated, we must admit, by the political theater of “immigration reform.” Ann Coulter’s speech at the last Conservative Political Action Conference, for example, was catnip for racialists. Ann staked out the far rightward territory of respectability; and though she used the language of Republican electioneering, she seemed to be winking and nodding at us the entire time.

Whenever any issue or idea receives universal accord—when it becomes an assumption, when it’s taken for granted—it’s time to put it under serious scrutiny.  We should ask what an issue like immigration can tell us about ourselves—about what our goals are, and should be, and how we could best engage in political action. I hope we can do that today.

* * *

That we have failed to stem immigration in our 45-year struggle is obvious enough.  Some major amnesties have been halted due to energetic, grassroots activists, but mass-immigration proponents have walked away from these battles with confidence that they’ll get it done next year.

That we have continuously failed is not, in itself, an argument against continuing along this course.  Still, sometimes when we focus on various political skirmishes (like the current one over “amnesty”), we lose sight of the big picture—we lose sight of the fact that we have failed on a much deeper level than mere policy.

In the summer 2011, the Census Bureau reported that the majority of children born in the United States are non-White.  Thus, from our perspective, any future immigration-restriction efforts are meaningless.  Even if all immigration, legal and illegal, were miraculously halted tomorrow morning, our country’s demographic destiny would merely be delayed by a decade or two.  Put another way, we could win the immigration battle and nevertheless lose the country, and lose it completely.

And we shouldn’t focus too much on the “2050” date, when Whites will become a minority, as if once Whites drop to 49 percent, a bell will go after announcing the end of the American Dream. We are at a major crisis point now. And we are well past the point of no return with regards to “patriotic immigration reform.”

Furthermore, this insight into the irrelevance of immigration reform holds for the whole kit-and-caboodle of “conservative” causes. Should we, for instance, really be fighting for “limited government” or the Constitution, so that the Afro-Mestzizo-Carribean Melting Pot can enjoy the blessing of liberty and a sound currency? (To ask the question is to answer it.)

SYMBOLIC POLITICS

Beyond failure, there’s always been something . . . mendacious about immigration reform. Leftists (who sometimes understand us better than we understand ourselves) have always sensed this; they know that when we talk about immigration, we’re not really talking about immigration.

There are very good reasons, of course, for any nation to oppose lawless entry. And there are unalterable mathematical factors at play: all things being equal, more workers equals lowers wages. These are (and should) be the concerns of the “respectable” immigration-reform movement.

But these are not our concerns.

The issues the Beltway immigration reformers focus on are essentially quantitative in nature, as you can see by the names of their organizations: “numbers,” “carrying capacity,” etc.

Our concerns are qualitative. As they should be. For in war, art, and enterprise, great quality can predominate over mere “numbers.” Our race’s history is replete with examples of this: of continental or overseas empires—the globe itself—being administered by a central elite. More impressive still are the examples of one man with little money or support—whether it be Copernicus, Martin Luther, or Nietzsche—overturning whole schools of thought and institutions and society’s most basic assumptions.

Quality should have a practical effect on how we think about the immigration issue. What would we say and do, to take a hypothetical example, if a million Swiss or Russian “boat people” washed up on a seashore, due to some international catastrophe?  Would we oppose granting them citizenship, out of some devotion to legality and fairness? I wouldn’t.  I would become a bleeding-heart liberal and argue that these refugees would improve our economy and enrich our culture (as they likely would). And such an example might not remain hypothetical. In the foreseeable future, we may very well face this exact situation with the Boer people of South Africa.  We need to think now about how we will react and articulate our position.

For us “immigration” is a proxy for race. In that way, immigration can be good or bad: it can be a conquest (as it seems now) . . . or a European in-gathering, something like White Zionism.  It all depends on the immigrants. And we should open our minds to the positive possibilities of mass immigration from the White world.

Taking a step back, it seems that for everyone immigration” is a proxy, a mask, a lie.  Perhaps all of political activism and wonkery are manifestation of deeper, largely unconscious desires for power. When we hear any professional “Latino” support this or that social program, we sense in our guts that her policy proscriptions are rationalizations for nationalism. She might say “more immigration is good”; she means “The Anglos are finished!”

In turn, we are right to view “conservative” activism—especially those hokey and embarrassing events like Glenn Beck rallies—as symbolic in-gatherings of America’s historic majority, as ways for Whites to feel a sense of belonging and identity in a world that is increasingly cold and hostile. Generic “conservatism”—despite itself—has become a kind of White identity politics.  And however flawed, all of its prominent ideological features resonate in the hearts of decent White people: self-reliance, freedom, uprightness etc.  And when White men talks about “restoring the Constitution”—or, more so, “Taking Our Country Back”— leftists and non-Whites are right to view this as threatening and racialist: it implies a return to origins and that the White man once owned America. However much we might critique these conservative ideas, we cannot deny this basic symbolism.  Indeed, it is due to this symbolism—and not policy—that conservative leaders like Glenn Beck have to envelope all-White events in “Martin Luther King” and the most useless political issues possible. They can’t let the natives get out of hand. . .

* * *

Now, if we accept that generic conservatism is symbolic, we should ask a higher-level question—Is this proxy actually good for our movement and, more important, for our race and civilization?

We were able to understand the futility of the immigration issue by asking not what would happen if the movement lost, but what would happen if it actually won.  In t
urn, we should ask an analogous question: what exactly would conservatism “restore” or “take back”?

We can look to history for answers.

In 1789, we had the Constitution. We had a government that was a mere flea in comparison to the elephant that rules us today. Confiscatory taxation was unheard of; the invasions of personal privacy we experience today wasn’t only rare but was, for the most part, infeasible.  We had a more republican, indeed, aristocratic, political system. We had bounteous natural resources and no threatening world power bordering our country.

Yet, within 75 years, we had inflicted upon ourselves a devastating Civil War—one that decimated the Founding stock of the country.  Within 125 to 150 years, our political system had become dominated by same kind of liberal egalitarianism it is today.

Why should we believe that, if we could “restore the Constitution,” the outcome would be any different? One should not rewind a movie, play it again, and then be surprised when it reaches the same unhappy ending.

Of course, history is not determined; it is not a film reel or script. But looking dispassionately at our current situation, we can only conclude that if we could hit a political “reset button,” this time around, the outcome would be far worse.

We are entering a world of resource scarcity (not abundance), and we are not dealing with Blacks that are socially and politically inferior, but some hundred million non-Whites who are empowered by our political system.

Thus, we don’t have to speculate about whether Rand Paul (and any other “right-wing” Republican) really wants to restore constitutional government or would actually be able to do so. This is all irrelevant.  The goals themselves are wrong and must be abandoned.

Supporting Paul, or whatever version of the Tea Party or Republican “immigration hawk” comes up next, is not “pragmatic”; it is, to the contrary, entirely impractical.  And it would be devastating for our movement politically: we would be spending our limited resources of time, energy, and money on politicians whose rosiest conceivable outcome would not change anything.  “Restoring the Constitution” and “patriotic immigration reform”  are just more in a series of safety valves and escape hatches preventing us from confronting the real issues facing our race.

Before we can move forward, we must come to terms with some rather dismal truths. There are no policy proscriptions or politicians currently open to us that will fundamentally alter our destiny.  And, most likely, within our lifetimes, we will not see the kind rebirth of Occidental civilization that we in this room know is necessary.

What we can do now is begin to set a new and different course.  Our challenge is to reorient our people, spiritually as much as intellectually and politically, to a world that will be hostile towards them and towards a future beyond the United State of America.

MINORITY REPORT

I’m sure that when many heard the title of my talk, “Facing the Future as a Minority,” they cringed at the very notion.  It insults our pride and dignity to think that I might be suggesting we go out and find ourselves a White Al Sharpton, who could speak at demonstrations after various hate-crime hoaxes and badger politicians until Whites got a seat at the trough.  Perhaps I might start calling my “The Reverend” Richard Spencer and hold prayer vigils after some celebrity misused the word “cracker.”

Believe me, I find this just as offensive as you do.

The good news is that the “Al Sharpton” option will never be open to us.  Whites are and will always be the exception to multiculturalism; we will never be allowed to play the game.

We must also recognize that not only will we always be at odds with the multi-cult, but, at least at the beginning, we will be at odds with the people we seek to defend.  In White America’s unconscious, they are America.  And the process of letting that dream go will be painful.

Moreover, the era of mass immigration into Western countries coincided with stunning advances in consumer capitalism, technology, and access to higher eduction. In the public’s imagination, multiculturalism was linked (however irrationally) with increased living standards and general “progress.”  For some, a White society might seem to be a retreat, towards less prosperity and dynamism.

Suffice it to say, this will be a hard path.

One characteristic that we must adopt as White minority advocates is a new openness to alternative political forms, even things that have previously made us cringe. One of those was suggested by our friends outside protesting our gathering.  No, not “Bomb Dresden Again!” but “Go Back to Europe!”  Emigration with an E is, of course, not practical for all Whites in North America; and at the moment at least, it seems that Western Europe is dedicated to its destruction almost as much as America.   But we should be open to this option.

Back to Europe? Not a bad idea... Back to Europe? Not a bad idea…

I would also direct you to the work on racial separatism of two men: Michael Hart and Rabbi Mayer Schiller, both of whom have presented real plans for dividing up the existing United States, mostly on the basis of race and partly on ideology.  (Michael generously offers Liberals the chance to live in “Diversity” canton if they so desire. . .)

There is, I admit, a certain pie-in-the-sky quality to these proposals, as if a map-maker in his study could create new countries.  But we should remember that in the last century, racially defined nation-building was a major “progressive” cause. We now think that the so-called “liberal elites” have always been dedicated to multiculturalism and race-mixing.  This is not quite the case, as liberals have a history of adopting “national determination” and even “ethno-nationalism” as their causes.  In 1919, following the Great War, the world’s statesman met in Paris to (for lack of a better term) re-map the world after the dissolution of the defeated empires. New countries were invented (the Kingdom of Croats, Serbs, Slovenes), old ones were reborn (Poland), and ethnicities got their day in the Sun (Czechoslovakia).  Related to this process was the Balfour Declaration and British mandate for a homeland for the Jews in Palestine.  Nationalists of many stripes captured the hearts and minds of political actors.

Today, in the public imagination, “ethnic-cleansing” has been associated with civil war and mass murder (understandably so).  But this need not be the case.  1919 is a real example of successful ethnic redistribution—done by fiat, we should remember, but done peacefully.

OUR CAUSE

Like the nationalists of a century ago, we need a cause—and one that’s different, greater, and more advanced than the conservative “hot button” issues that are fading into irrelevance.  We need to be more than mere “reactionaries,” who spasmodically ignite in the face of some new liberal innovation—all the while being gradually pushed in their enemies’ direction, towards accepting their enemies’ assumptions, towards defeat. We need a telos, an outcome or end goal—something that we are working towards, that channels our energies. We need an ideal. And ideals are greatest when they at first seem “impossible.”

The ideal I advocate is the creation of a White Ethno-State on the North American continent.

Vis-a-vis most contemporary states that are putatively based on the Rights of Man and “democracy,” our project would be a new kind of political and social order. It would be a state for the 21 century—or 22nd: reflecting advances in communication and transportation, it would be a home for Germans, Latins, and Slavs from around the world. On one level, it would be a reconstitution of the Roman Empire. The Ethno-State would be, to borrow the title of a novel by Theodor Herzl (one of the founding fathers of Zionism), an Altneuland—an old, new country.

* * * 

I’m sure there’s no shortage of people, most likely even people in this room, who’d inform me that an Ethno-State would be beautiful but, alas, “infeasible.”  In the face of this, we need to remember something very important: the creation of a White Ethno-State on the American continent is perfectly feasible. Indeed, it is a modest project in comparison to brining democracy to the Middle East, narrowing the SAT score gap, or inspiring young women to become mathematicians, or countless other looney and infantile trillion-dollar initiative with which the American government is currently engaged.

We shouldn’t forget that before the current government dedicated its resources to equalizing mankind, it channelled billions—created industries, created whole cities—for the goal of space exploration. (It has since given up this project in favor of boosting the Muslim world’s self-esteem.)

When I travelled to my hometown recently, I noted that the wealthy Whites of Dallas, Texas, have dedicated their disposable income to a charity hospital skyscraper, built in the hopes of taking care of other peoples‘ children and other peoples‘ problems. (It’s hard to get them to give 100 bucks to AmRen or NPI.)

Action is, in a way, the easy part.

Channelling action, setting a goal, identifying a telos—saying yes and saying no—that is what is difficult.

In this way, our challenge is one of the spirit.

Our task is to capture the imaginations of our people (or the best of our people) and shock them out of their current assumption of what they think is possible.  The means of doing this is not to promise a 20-percent reductions in immigration or sales taxes—or the narrowing of the scope of government. To the contrary, we need to offer our people what Herzl called “the voluptuous idea.”

We need an ethno-state so that our people can “come home again,” can live amongst family, and feel safe and secure. But we also need an Ethno-state so that Whites can again reach the stars.  Before the onset of the “equality” sclerosis, Europeans had a unique ability to risk everything for ends that are super-human. We must give up the false dreams of equality and democracy—not so that we could “wake up” to reality; reality is boring—but so that we can take up the new dreams of channelling our energies and labor towards the exploration of our universe, towards the fostering of a new people, who are healthier, stronger, more intelligent, more beautiful, more athletic.  We need an ethno-state so that we could rival the ancients.

In Altneuland, Herzl wrote, referring to his “utopian” plan for a Jewish state in Palestine: “If you wish it, it is no fairy tale. . . If you don’t wish it, it is a fairly tale and will remain one.”

Or, to quote another historical figure: “I have a dream.”

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Brexit: Quake or Squib

The victory of Leave against Remain on June 23, 2016, which not even the bookies had expected (52% with a record over 70% turnout) was a blow to the intelligentsia. That said, the British referendum is ambiguous. It can be an Excalibur or a heavy blow to Great Britain and the European Union. Already a financial crisis is looming…here is an early analysis of this complicated event.

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on Guillaume Faye’s blog “J’ai Tout Compris” here.

The victory of Leave against Remain on June 23, 2016, which not even the bookies had expected (52% with a record over 70% turnout) was a blow to the intelligentsia. That said, the British referendum is ambiguous. It can be an Excalibur or a heavy blow to Great Britain and the European Union. Already a financial crisis is looming…here is an early analysis of this complicated event.

The People Who Vote Wrong

Journalists, intellectuals, and politicians have criticized this anti-EU vote in derogatory terms: A victory for “populism” of the “uneducated”, “little whites”, even “racist”. This argument is openly undemocratic of course, the “real” democracy, that is to say, its simulacrum, the oligarchy (from the Greek “Government of a minority”). The people have no voice. Regarded as populist insolence from the rural areas and small towns against London and other cosmopolitan and urban sores, Brexit was seen with contempt and horror.

Ivan Rioufol, who is indignant at “this detestable EU, that is destroying Europe”(Le Figaro, 07/01/2016), quotes reactions from three icons of the hegemonic ideology, symbols of the cosmopolitan “superclass”. First Bernard Henri-Levy: “Brexit is not the victory of people, but of populism. Demagoguery not democracy”. In other words, true democracy is not the will of the citizens, but that of its politically correct leaders. Then Jacques Attali: “This is the dictatorship of populism and the selfishness of nations”. The Nation, that is the enemy. The EU must be a machine to crush common European ethnic identity.

Finally Alain Minc, the more explicit-and absurdly scornful: “The referendum is not the victory of the people of the elites, but of the uneducated”. Except that these “educated people”, devoid of common sense, ivory tower intellectuals, are, to use a word of deep French slang “idiots”. Where the common man is intelligent precisely because his mind is not polluted by brilliant, but stupid abstractions and because he has contact with every day experience-like with immigration.

The reactions of these three characters reflect both a total disregard for European peoples(rooted plebs in their minds) and class hatred by a cosmopolitan bourgeoisie disconnected from reality. Add to that Luc Ferry (Le Figaro, 07/07/2016) who refers to Montesquieu, apparently having never read him, added his two cents to anti-populism(anti-democracy), explaining that the referendum was always a bad thing because the people, who never graduated from anywhere, do not understand anything. What intelligence from Luc Ferry, a freelancer….

An Emotional Vote on Identity, not Economics

The English working class voted against the cosmopolitanism of the European Union, and in their minds, for national sovereignty. For François d’Orcival (Valeurs actuelles, 30/06 –06/07 2016) voting in favor of Brexit was all about immigration, with the invasive wave of 2016, fostered by a delusional Angela Merkel and European Commission decreeing admission quotes, organizing the invasion! Not to mention the workers from Eastern Europe.

Brexit won against serious economic arguments (the risk of a major recession) for reasons of ethnic and national identity. The electorate has been more sensitive to issues of identity , than materialistic considerations, economic and financial, even at the risk of a crisis. This is an important point for political scientists…in contrast to the cosmopolitan bourgeoisie, rooted people don’t think “money first”, but “identity first”. However, the vote in favor of Brexit comes with many ambiguities and unpredictable consequences. It’s a passport to the unknown, welcome aboard the phantom train!

Brexit Makes Sense: Britain Has Been Euro-Incompatible

Initially, the six founding nations (West Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands) were “Carolingian”-more or less consciously reconstituting the empire of Charlemagne, and therefore was incompatible with the British thalassocracy. In a January 14, 1963, press conference, General de Gaulle explained the veto of Britain into the European community as due to the antagonism between continental Europe and an anti-European merchant thalassocratic U.K. dominated as a geopolitical vassal by its former colony the United States.

De Gaulle predicted that Britain would never sincerely play the European game, but that of America. Obama fighting Brexit was quite normal, as it was for the U.K. to stay in the E.U. as a Trojan Horse.

Britain though has never really been a part of the E.U. It’s always had one foot in, and one foot out. It has not adopted the Euro or the Schengen agreement, or even 60% of the financial agreements. The British-mainly the English- schizophrenics never knew if they were European or not. The tragedy is that they show a supercilious devotion to sovereignty vis-à-vis the E.U. (and rightly so) but they abandoned their strategic sovereignty to America! Go figure…

The European Union Has Betrayed the European Idea

The idea of the European Union was initially well thought out. It is the governments of European countries, the authors of institutional abuse, political and ideological who are responsible for the failures, not “Brussels”.

Initially, with a common agricultural policy and a philosophy of continental protectionism, the European Community was going in the right direction. This has now been completely abandoned: The commission adopted unbridled free trade at the expense of European nations. (Fully opaque) negotiations to a transatlantic free trade agreement (TAFTA) is evidence of submission to the U.S.A. from a European Commission where corruption and lobbying from the U.S. are rampant. Mr. Junker, the president of the commission being the very model of transparency…

The totally absurd, European institutions (with too many “commissioners”, useless to appeal to all countries) have nothing but ineffective and undemocratic management. They are not built according to the needs of the peoples and nations of Europe, but to serve the interests of a privileged caste of eurocrats(technocratic and parliamentary) which paradoxically contains many Europhobes who abuse the system.

From the 50s, there were two visions of Europe: First, the founders Max Schumman, Alcide De Gasperi, and Konrad Adenauer: a Carolingian Europe reduced to six, with external protectionism and the maintenance of internal borders. This Europe was phased out in favor of the model of Jean Monnet(a proven Washington agent) which unfortunately prevailed over the vision of the fathers in favor of a purely mercantile and technocratic E.U. widened to nearly thirty states and led by an undemocratic Commission with grotesque regulations. So, the big jellyfish stung itself.

Do not confuse the initial draft of the European Community of Nations and the current European Union, which is really the anti-European fruit of many governments and their politicians.

The Possibility of a Neutered Brexit

Several European referendums against the E.U., notably in France and the Netherlands, have been invalidated, which is totally undemocratic. The Lisbon Treaty, ratified in 2007 by the parliament, violated the 2005 French referendum which rejected the European Constitution. It is quite possible that Brexit will suffer the same fate. It is entirely possible that the release of Britain from the E.U. will be entirely formal(legal) but not real.

It is conceivable that this British referendum if not followed by action, especially if a financial crisis arises, will not happen. Already David Cameron refused to use Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which initiates the divorce of a member country from the E.U. If his successor does, then it will be two years of negotiations before the actual departure of the United Kingdom.

The future British government will negotiate the divorce will cynically try to keep all the benefits (the financial center of the City of London may process throughout the EU, customs without access to the single market, etc.) by getting rid of disadvantages including its contribution to the EU budget. Brexit can, therefore, vanish as if it was a hologram.

Obituary For the U.K.

Great Britain(the United Kingdom), it is said, may be dismantled due to the possible secession of Scotland and Northern Ireland (Ulster), which would join the Republic of Ireland, and E.U. member. Both nations wish to remain in the E.U., not to mention Gibraltar which voted 98% remain. A new Scottish referendum on leaving the U.K. is being considered. The problem with this is that an independent Scotland applying for membership in the E.U. would face a potential veto by the Spanish State, due to the possible contagion of secession spreading to Catalonia. Not to mention Scotland phasing into the Euro.

The situation may be insoluble.

In short, the referendum for Brexit may result in the end of the UK. The Queen (or the future King) would reign only over England and Wales. This amputation of Britain would be a major geopolitical and historical impact for Europe. Think of the implications for NATO …

The European Union is No Longer Credible and Can Disappear

The European Union looks like a rather political or non-political monster. Why can it disappear? Because, like the USSR, it is a utopia; a technocratic-liberal utopia where the USSR was a technocratic-socialist utopia (or “communist”,same thing). To say this is not at all to show “anti-European” or paleo-nationalist(petty-nationalist) sentiment. A united Europe is a profound dream (Kant himself desired it) but the way it was built on the ideological project of Jean Monnet proved disastrous and, in fact, perfectly anti-European. And anti-democratic.

Further increasing the number of EU members, and integrating four new small ungovernable Balkan countries when it is already at 28 shows it is no longer seriously serious. Admitting Turkey, ruled by Islamic semi-dictator Erdogan for which negotiations continue would only be the nail in the coffin.

Technocratic bureaucracy and hyper-regulations to impose a competitive liberalism, which is a total contradiction. It makes our American competitors laugh. Not only there is no protection of borders (free trade dogma) but the EU encourages and organizes the migration invasion – with the complicity of Chancellor Merkel, it is true! A non-elected, perfectly anti-democratic body, the Commission, is assigned the kingly authority of the Council. The Parliament in Strasbourg, the blurred skills and undefined and inconsistent government, is useless except to provide exorbitant privileges to its members and their families.

Jacques Delors, former president of the European Commission, confessed to being the cynical architect of a “soft despotism.” For the European Commission, the proof of the undemocratic, and despotic, was given 4 May 2016 by the proposal to distribute authoritatively without consulting the indigenous peoples the “refugees” and “migrants” (invaders to speak clearly) on pain of a fine of € 250,000 if denied or repressed! Amazing.

Invent Another Europe!

The idea of European integration was ruined by anti-European forces in reality. The refusal to admit the “Christian roots” of Europe, is symbolic. Europe is desired without roots, open to all migratory invasions and without economic protection. The European Union or the European Colander was seen as a voluntary and objective way to destroy the historical and ethnic nations of Europe. All under the benevolent eye of Washington…
The National Front and other sovereigntists wish the demise of this current European Union, this charnel house of nations, but they have no clear alternative. The Europe of Nations, that is to say, a new European Union, is never seriously considered.

If not changed significantly, the European Union faces certain death. For its balance book is increasingly showing up in the red. The European Union has nevertheless improved economies in the East and the South through avalanche grants. But this is just a minor byproduct. In the medium and the long term, the idea of the European Union is decaying. It is very likely the European Union will break up. We need to invent something else.
It is repeated throughout the E.U. that we need it to avoid the World Wars of old. This is a bad argument because even without the E.U. this would not be possible because the next war has already begun. The war between Europeans and Muslims.

Now, after Brexit, they want to “refound the E.U.” on new foundations. But they are just drunkards swearing off a drink in the morning. For the rest of us, we must start dreaming of alternatives.

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An Uncertain Idea of Europe

The historic “Brexit” vote marks, by my count, the first derailing of a major globalist project. For many years we were promised/threatened: “Jean-Marie Le Pen in the Second Round!,” “Financial Meltdown (Unless Some Elite Jews Save Us)!,” “Greece to Leave the Eurozone!,” “Nationalist to Win Austrian Presidency!” etc.

Now, finally, a Happening has happened!

Actually, Brexit is clearly the second Happening of this year, after Donald Trump’s successful hostile take-over of the Republican Party from the Goldman Sachs/Neocon mafia. For this alone, Trump’s name will resound throughout the ages.

Of course, neither Brexit nor Trump, in themselves, will save Great Britain or European-America. What is so exciting is rather the method: for the first time in living memory, power is being wrested from corrupt ethno-plutocratic nation-wrecking elites through semi-cryptic ethnic appeals to the White masses.

The historic “Brexit” vote marks, by my count, the first derailing of a major globalist project. For many years we were promised/threatened: “Jean-Marie Le Pen in the Second Round!,” “Financial Meltdown (Unless Some Elite Jews Save Us)!,” “Greece to Leave the Eurozone!,” “Nationalist to Win Austrian Presidency!” etc.

Now, finally, a Happening has happened!

Actually, Brexit is clearly the second Happening of this year, after Donald Trump’s successful hostile take-over of the Republican Party from the Goldman Sachs/Neocon mafia. For this alone, Trump’s name will resound throughout the ages.

Of course, neither Brexit nor Trump, in themselves, will save Great Britain or European-America. What is so exciting is rather the method: for the first time in living memory, power is being wrested from corrupt ethno-plutocratic nation-wrecking elites through semi-cryptic ethnic appeals to the White masses.

There is no telling what this will lead to, which is why the elites are so scared, but there is no doubt the chances of freedom and survival for European humanity increases everywhere.

Why now? Peak Diversity + The Internet, I guess.

Ethnocentrism is an emotion, always politically exploited, often by those hostile to our people, a weapon, rather than an end in itself. Some of the Brexiteers (for example, the eternal shill and selective Churchill-quoting1 Daniel Hannan) are already agitating for more immigration. They’re not interested so much in an actual Great British Nation as the “sovereignty” of a non-nation/administrative unit known as the “You-Kay.”

Ethnocentrism alone is blind. Emotion must be combined with reason. What is our reason? We believe in Darwin and evolutionary science. Man is, at bottom, a biological entity and, in particular, his potentialities are circumscribed by his genetic heritage. This must be recognized so life may continue its upward evolution, towards the stars, rather than back into the muck. Genetic similarity and quality are fundamental to forming a higher nation, rather than a Third World.

The liberal argues, simultaneously:

“Those Intelligent Design Christians are so dumb! Haha, everyone knows Darwinian evolution and genetics are real!”

“Oh my, anyone who suggests Darwinian science may have public policy implications should be hounded from polite society!”

These people are criminals: A lack of intellectual curiosity, combined with self-righteous incoherence and moral cowardice.

We refuse nihilism and preach a spiritual awakening in service of a great cause.

Given the quality of the official Brexiteers, it’s no surprise that Richard Spencer was not entirely enthused by the prospect of Faragistan. The nations are real. The nation-state—the harmony of ethnos and polis—is “the political masterpiece.” But, the fact of the matter is, our blood does not stop at mere linguistic or political boundaries. No individual nation-state can claim to be more important than the whole that is the greater European bio-culture, our magnificent family of nations.

The Identitarians have been guilty of small-mindedness, too. To paraphrase Roman Bernard: WE ARE NOT HOBBITS!

Thus, the online masses of disenchanted Anglo NEETs are rallied across the world to an epic Kulturweltkampf in the name of an awesome Sorelian myth—Empire Europa.

The universal European ethno-state! Whitemanistan!

The cultural foot soldiers of the Anglo-American Alt-Right are already being felt in the motherland: The French fachosphère is beginning to identify (((anti-Gentiles))) in the comment sections and even the Germans (what with all their “freedom & democracy” are liable to be shipped to Merkel’s gulags) are making videos about it.

But building an ethno-state is hard. Do we have precedents in our history? To an extent:

Sparta & the Delian League: Eternally glorious Sparta was a real ethno-state; the Athenian-led Delian League united Greek city-states in the common struggle against Persia. Small.

Frankish/Catholic Europe: Charles Martel halted the Arabs at Poitiers; Charlemagne founded a short-lived empire, but this established a common religion (Christianity) and elite language (Latin) for most Europeans, among much else, it was a basis for the unity of the Crusades. De facto racial boundaries with Arabs and Jews (limpieza de sangre). Accidental.

The American Republic: The Founding Fathers knew a nation could only be built from related stock of high quality (“free White men of good character”), Lincoln agreed (Monrovia, etc.), intensified in the 1920s through action of culture-warriors like Madison Grant and Lathrop Stoddard (eugenics, immigration restriction). Unsystematic, vulnerable to parasitism (and, with comfort, sentimentalism).

The Third Reich: The big tamale. Don’t say anything good about this. SYSTEMATICALLY & FOR FIRST TIME CONSCIOUSLY REORGANIZED CULTURE AND SOCIETY AROUND THE GENETIC WELL-BEING OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE. Eugenics. Baby boom. Jewry removed. Waffen-SS! A bit too systematic (i.e., German). (Muh northwest European gene pool.)

I don’t know enough about the Roman Empire. Unbelievably grand, stoic, manly. Impression: Glorious power, no purpose. Much like America. Unwise.

The European Union is dying. But we need some kind of European union, don’t we?

The European national cultures are a strange thing: each nation has its own state of discourse, its own norms of reference, and things get lost in translation. Ethnocentrism tears us apart.

But the cultural differences are increasingly superficial. Some ethno-genetic differences remain. We’re watching the same Anglo-American culture and producing the same Judeo-Americanized garbage. At most, we just dub it in French or German. So we get this hostile, foreign culture in our own tongue. A small consolation! (The French state is working hard to subsidize cinema so we can also watch Judeo-French garbage, but even the French can’t bear to watch it.) When I see a bunch of SUVs (not tourists), etc., parked outside a French church, I think: “The Americans have invaded.”

As Rammstein intoned: “We’re all living in Amerika!”

European nations are, increasingly, mere linguistic-statal artifacts. Sad to say, but true.

But this is a reality to grapple with: cultural struggle and political action will then, mostly, remain national. And that’s fine. When they’re not deporting Richard Spencer, Orbán & co. in Central Europe are doing a fine job. (Pray hope Putin is taking notes.)

The European Union was/is not a superstate in the making. It’s far gayer than that. Hitler/De Gaulle explained you don’t found an Empire by signing bits of paper. (But, America! I hear you say. No, the American Empire dates from Sherman’s torching of Atlanta, not 1776 and all that.)

Perhaps there should be an Empire. But how to build it? Napoleon and Hitler tried. Third time’s the charm, eh?

You can say: “We should have a European foreign policy!” But then you would need a European Army. And who would pay for that? Then you need European taxes, etc.

It’s a very messy business.

Today the great European nation is, still, America. The European Union is an epiphenomenon of the American phenomenon: The EU will still speak English after the Brits self-deport themselves. Anglo-Americanization will continue. The EU stems from globalist ideology, bourgeois borderless-ness, postwar effeteness, Last Manhood, Anglo-Americanization/American hegemony, not European Wille zur Macht.

Julien Rochedy asks: “How many divisions has the EU got?”

So proclaiming European brotherhood is one thing, building an Empire is another. But how many even proclaim our brotherhood? Dominique Venner was a bon Européen. Jean-Yves Le Gallou defines Frenchmen as “Europeans of French expression.” But most are not so wise, certainly not the official Brexiteers or the Front National. And too many, a Russian, a Frenchman, will identify with an empire or a language rather than the blood that made them possible and gave them their quality.

France should be declared a “European Republic,” you know, by and for European people. So should Germany, Argentina, Russia (if I may be so bold), Australia, at least one of the post-American splinter states, the future Boer city-state (contradiction?) in South Africa, etc.

Some Jews tearfully discuss the Alt Right. To paraphrase:

*“Judea for the Jews! Anything else is anti-Semitic.”

*“Oh yes! And oy vey, all this European nationalist sentiment on Twitter rising. Shut it down!”

“By the way, mental illness among the goyim is the only reason we ever got pogromed.”

Etc., etc., times infinity.

Television is a big part of the answer: Countries in which kids are watching English-language subtitled TV, e.g. Greece, Romania, Netherlands, Flanders, and Scandinavia, are full of “right-wing shitlords.” The Germans aren’t far off. (Frauke Petry in English. Oh my!) If you put this English-language TV systematically throughout the entire White world, you could probably have a Boreal Federation. (Which would be English-speaking, but who cares? We used to speak French, Latin, Greek, and could have spoken German.)

The Identitaires mostly get it.

Diaspora Blacks revel in Pan-Africanism. Even the Muslims have their Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Arabs, their League. The Diaspora Jews have their goddam ethno-state (financed by your blood & treasure, filthy goyim).

Where’s the “Pan-European League”? Who are the undermen again?

We need, at minimum, a League: The United States, Canada, Carolingian Europe, the British Isles, Scandinavia, Mediterranean Europe, Visegrád, Dinarics, Orthodox Slavs, Aussies, Kiwis, etc. Don’t be shy! Even the Argies, maybe.

Then, the stars!

I have to admit when I see the average European goyim I do not think “MASTER RACE!” No, we are damaged, too much Bolshevism, and perhaps, dysgenics.

Europeans are a creative breed. No doubt about it. But the White race did not evolve in the current environment of mass transportation and softening comfort. Modernity is proving to be an extinction-level for event for our breed of humanity. We were not designed for close-up competition with more tribal peoples, not when our ethnocentric reflexes have been so overtaken by our maudlin niceness due to easy living and miseducation.

All of humanity is being “hamsterized,” by their ability: School, mom’s basement, (welfare) office, home, retirement. It doesn’t feel real. One is given money from the Government or (bureaucratic?) BS jobs. Then one trades this for food. Our non-existent life experiences are replaced with imaginary ones concocted by Hollywood & co. Total disconnect from reality. We are totally free to indulge in our pet fantasies, both inborn and injected. (See: Schopenhauer, Tocqueville, and Pierce.) The Matrix in other words.

The average honorless, faithless, feckless goyim, especially the pseudo-educated type, measures political morality and success by the yardstick: “To what extent is the straw in my cage kept consistently fresh?” (Provided by the cage/hamster-owner, of course.)

We are supposed to vote for Hillary Clinton. Plutocratic pseudo-egalitarianism. Rule by Marxist banksters [sic]. Funded by Spielberg, Soros, Abrams, & co. Voted in by Blacks, Mestizos, and feminists. How can anyone not see the discrepancy!?

Reality: It’s the Matrix, in the name of Star Trek.

Lies, lies, lies.

Our people are not evolved for this environment. Thus, we are going extinct, or rather, a culling is occurring. Only the best will survive. But even if only 10 percent of us survive, we will be better for it.

We’ll build the ethno-state in Antarctica if we have to. (Circa 2100: Climate change turned out not a hoax, America RIP, welcome to Eurafrica.)

Our people are currently showing their boundless creativity and idealism in service of an evil cause. Hence, a German woman invites a migrant into her home via the “Refugees Welcome” website, is promptly raped in her sleep. Hence the (male) [sic] Norwegian politician is raped by migrant and feels guilty when the savage is deported to Hackedvaginastan.

Oh yes, they were miseducated, but frankly, we don’t need these kind of people in our gene pool. We should be immune to it. Darwin Awards for all!

But you think we’re bad? Look at the Sub-Saharans, the Indios, the Indians (sorry), etc. The East Asians are impressive in their way, but a bit monolithic, no? I can understand why the Jews come to think they are the real Herrenvolk—but only by latching on to another’s civilization. They can’t even found a nation without massive subsidies from the American and German goyim, acquired through systematic bribery and blackmail by the ever-loyal Diaspora. They have no cohesion. Israelis are too busy scamming each other. (Someone predicted this.) (In my experience, the Sephardim can be as dense and slow-witted as any goyim. The Ashkenazim, to be sure, run rings around us, and they incidentally consider the Mizrahim little better than niggers. (I exaggerate not: The Mizrahim, inspired by American Blacks, founded the “Israeli Black Panthers” to fight the vicious racism of the Ashkenazim. “We wuz Schwartzes!”)

Now look again at our people: without us, “humanity” will surely consume this Earth like a swarm of locusts. (See: Haiti.) And the best of our people, they are something. Especially when they are inspired by the right Ideal. And they need a great Ideal to be truly roused. One as great as the deceit of Equality is evil.

A great man once said: “Europe is a racial entity.” And: “We must think in terms of centuries.” Don’t be modest now!



    Hannan conspicuously avoids discussing Churchill’s postwar immigration policy↩︎

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Becoming a People Again

As a matter of fact, we’re all powerless to oppose the suicidal policies of Washington, Berlin, London and Paris. We are all powerless because we are no longer a people.

Yesterday was World Kindness Day. It was also a “Black Friday,” not the kind when people fight each other to get a discounted item at Wal-Mart to offer their relatives for Christmas before they put it on eBay for sale. Instead, it was the kind when the 13th of the month happens to be a Friday.

Between kindness and bad luck, it seems that Fate has chosen the latter. “Fate,” here, took the shape of Islamic terrorists.

As everyone knows by now, there have been six shootings and bombings in Paris yesterday evening, leaving over 120 dead people, and counting.

Unlike the Charlie Hebdo attack last January, these people were not engaged in any kind of fight, whatever we might think of the one Charlie Hebdo cartoonists believed they were committed to.

The deadliest of the six shootings took place at a trendy concert facility, “Le Bataclan,” where a rock band was performing. As we know, rock is a musical genre mostly enjoyed by Whites, and the significance of it should not escape us.

As I usually do when I have time on my hands, I came back from work by foot, and when I walked by the “Bataclan,” there were already many people waiting at the entrance. Among them were likely people who found death a couple hours later.

It all started like a normal evening though. At the Saint-Denis stadium, there was a football (yes, football, you can allow me that at a time like this) game between France and the incumbent world champion, Germany.

During the game, several explosions were reported. But the show had to go on, as it had in 1985 at the Brussels Heysel Stadium, when 39 football fans died during the European Cup final opposing FC Liverpool to Juventus Turin. Despite the tragedy, the game was allowed to proceed, to the end.

Yesterday, likewise, the French national team was allowed to defeat Germany (2-0) and thus take its revenge for the 2014 World Cup quarterfinal match. But France’s Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, François Hollande, had already fled. Napoleon at Berezina.

It’s only when I checked the game’s result that I discovered what had happened all over Paris. Among the six shootings and bombings, one occurred at the terrace of a restaurant located only four blocks from where I live. I used to go there a few years ago. I’m not mentioning this to look like a hero that I’m not, but to explain that it affected me more than the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

“So you came back to die with your city?”

“So you came back to die with your city?”

My first reaction, though, was similar to the one I had after the Charlie Hebdo shooting: “Keep Calm and Ride the Tiger,” with a finely tuned mix of Schadenfreude, “I told you so” and Stoicism.

But my inner Epictetus was soon silenced by my inner Howard Beale, who reminded me that “First, you’ve got to get MAD!” I was angry, and I was mad, because what happened yesterday was entirely predictable, and was actually predicted by many experts.

The “invade the world, invite the world” policy initiated by George W. Bush and followed since then by his Parisian satraps (with the bygone exception of Iraq in 2003) killed yesterday. And it will kill again if drastic action is not taken, first to protect legitimate regimes in the Near East, then to shield Europe’s borders against the tsunamic wave of so-called “refugees,” inside which some of yesterday’s shooters were embedded.

Writing this last paragraph, I have the humiliating feeling of waving a Buckleyite fist at a world I no longer fit in. But as humiliating as it looks, I am not alone in that respect. As a matter of fact, we’re all powerless to oppose the suicidal policies of Washington, Berlin, London and Paris. We are all powerless because we are no longer a people.

Freedom Failed.

Freedom Failed.

What we are, instead, is a collection of atomized monads, ready to be scattered by the first collective force, however primitive, that it encounters.

It is this atomization that explains that no organized opposition took place when the atrocity of Rotherham was exposed. It is this atomization that ensured that in 2009 no one shut down the U.S. Army Chief of Staff General when he had the gall to say that “it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty” after Fort Hood’s massacre in Texas (13 dead).

Three years ago, when I reported on the French Identitarian Convention that happened just after Génération Identitaire’s storming of the Poitiers mosque, I mentioned a round-table titled “Refaire un peuple” (“Remaking a People”). As promising as the title was, none of the speakers dealt with the fundamental issue: if we have to ask ourselves how to remake a people, it’s because we are no longer a people to begin with. The same way that if NPI’s last conference was titled “Become Who We Are,” it’s because we are not who we are, or rather who we should be.

... strong!

… strong!

As I write, I doubt the heartwarming solidarity of the Western world with yesterday’s victims is going to allow us to become a people again.

Last January, after a first major warning, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to show that they were Charlie. But it wasn’t clear then whether it meant that they were ready to resist, or that they would willingly accept a similar fate as the cartoonists’.

Later this year, roughly the same people were ready to “welcome refugees,” and it’s clear now that what we suffered yesterday is only one of the many outcomes that this pathological outburst of altruism is going to lead to.

But hope is what makes us human. I don’t want to exaggerate the significance of people adding a tricolor filter to their Facebook profile pictures, but at this very moment, I have the feeling that we—we French, but also we Europeans worldwide—are a people again.

Let us not miss this historic opportunity to make that momentary feeling a permanent one.


EDIT: Sunday, November 15th; Roman Bernard joins Richard to relay his experience in Paris during the recent terrorist attacks and discuss the symbolism of violence and potential for a European awakening:

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