The term ‘nationalism’ has become obsolete. And it should remain so: both in America and Europe. It was promising, modern, revolutionary, and it went hand in hand with the liberal and socialist revolutions in 1848. Later on, due to semantic shifts in the aftermath of WWII, it became a monster word in Europe, squarely equated with the term ‘Nazism’. And since Nazism stands in modern discourse as a synonym for absolute evil, no wonder that its milder etymological derivative, such as the adjective ‘national’ is avoided.
Of course, there are respectable nationalist parties in Europe such as the BNP in the United Kingdom, Le Front National in France, L’Alleanza Nazionale in Italy, or the NPD in Germany, with all of them sporting the adjective “national” in their party logos or in their letterheads. But this is a far cry from the noun ‘nationalist’ — which they all prudently avoid. Neither Nick Griffin, nor Jean Marie le Pen, nor Udo Voigt, will ever publicly exclaim: “I am proud of being a French, or British, or German nationalist!” However, even with their toned down rhetoric aimed at hiding the pesky qualifier “national,” there is no way they can dodge the smear campaign by the European media, which depicts them all as closet crypto- Nazis.
Such a lexical malaise only causes further semantic confusions in view of the fact that the word ‘Nazi’ was never in official use in the Third Reich. It has always been a derogatory word in the arsenal of former or current opponents of National Socialism. How for instance would neocon luminaries such as Irving Kristol or Norman Podhoretz like being tagged as “former commie” sympathizers? No serious scholar would ever resort the pejorative word ‘commie’ when describing past communist terror. The only exception is the pejorative word ‘Nazi’.
As a German legal scholar Josef Schüsselburner in his much acclaimed recent book points out, it is no wonder that contemporary leftist and liberal scholars avoid the German compound noun “National Socialism” (Nationalsozialismus), given that the noun “Sozialismus” (and not the preceding adjective “National” ) is conspicuously reminiscent of humane, socialist do-good theories which liberals and communists like to brag about. It’s hard for modern liberal and leftist opinion makers to swallow the fact that in the mid-1930s, National Socialist Germany tapped into the socialist heritage, which resulted in the first modern welfare state in Europe — a state that achieved an awesome economic miracle. Germany had lifted its currency off the gold standard and began using a mixture of command and free market economy.
Politically and ideologically, Hitler made a visible effort to co-opt the SPD (Social Democratic Party) electorate and integrate it in his regime, an effort that was largely successful with his “social-state-socialist” economic policies. Even the exiled SPD observed in 1934 that the Hitler regime was labor-oriented and therefore could lean much on former SPD voters. … What appears obvious is the deliberate classification in the socialist tradition, because otherwise National Socialism would have not named itself “national-socialist,” but possibly “social-nationalist.” …
The main acknowledgment of the chief NS propagandist, Joseph Goebbels was: “When I think in terms of socialism, I must be an anti-Semite, because the Jew is the incarnation of capitalism.” (Josef Schüsselburner, Roter, brauner und grüner Sozialismus (Red, Brown, and Green Socialism), 2008).
America: The White Revival?
The term “White nationalist” that is so common in America is a misnomer. Often it is used as a code word for White racialists, although the term “patriot” would be more digestible because it is less value-loaded. Nor can American nationalism be historically or sociologically the equivalent of European nationalism. Despite its evident verbal shortcoming, the expression “White nationalism” in America has conceptually, but also in terms of its political feasibility, a distinct advantage over a multitude of European nationalisms which are often at odds which each other. The North American continent represents a unique land mass in the world in which over 200 million citizens of European ancestry live side by side without being embroiled in linguistic disputes or other quarrels among White subgroups. as is common in Europe. America, or at least some part of it, is, therefore, geopolitically and racially better positioned in the near future to be in the forefront of the European cultural revival than any other aspiring nation state in Europe.
Moreover, unlike in Europe, American White nationalists do not have to justify their nationalism by resorting to “negative identity” — that is, by seeking political legitimacy through the exclusion or demonization of other neighboring White nationalisms.
The major flaw of contemporary American nationalists, racialists, or (crudely put) “right-wingers” is that they often define their national awareness by harping on one single issue while neglecting the broader picture of cultural hegemony. Pat Buchanan is one of the rare American patriots who understands the vital point of culture warfare as a tool in obtaining political power. Many American nationalists and self-proclaimed racialists, including even some cultivated racialists, cannot help but framing their nationalism in terms of race discourse only. Some, on the other hand seem to be solely obsessed with Jews. Some will rave and rant eternally against illegal Mexicans.
These types of one-issue conservatism are repellant to the broad American masses and they definitely cripple the credibility of American White nationalists. As laudable as any of these single-issue approaches may be, when taken separately they are non-starters for obtaining cultural hegemony. A single-issue approach makes American nationalists appear in the eyes of European nationalists as too reductionistic, to put it academically — or as a laughing stock, to put it non-academically.
Many American sociobiologists and race theoreticians of staggering erudition have made path-breaking inroads in the study of human behavior and particularly in the role of IQ in politics. But there is a common tendency of overspecialization and the neglect of a sense of the sacred, the role of myths, the role of art, or the social and political factor of European sagas. Such a purely mechanistic attitude can never elicit a positive response among White American masses at large, who in their vast majority have a poor sense of racial consciousness and are badly in need of a true role model. Whoever visited MENSA gatherings knows that these meetings can be incredibly boring.
In fact many American ‘classy’ racialists fall in the same trap as Marxist intellectuals when they replace economic determinism with genetic determinism. The reality is that man, or for that matter White man, is more than his IQ or his genetic endowment. The spirit of the Parthenon in Greece or the spiritual modesty of General Lee amply demonstrates that there are also other venues that need to be explored.
A blue collar worker nationalist in the United Kingdom knows very well the meaning of the name Geoffrey Chaucer or William Shakespeare — although he may have never read them. A German farmer knows perfectly well the transcendental meaning of the names Richard Wagner or Goethe. Not so in America, where White nationalists look for role models in fleeting creatures of often dubious morality and often semi-criminal record — and who usually last only a short time. In hindsight it appears that on the political front, ever since Huey Long or George Wallace American nationalists, whether on the political front or on the intellectual front, have had zero success.
By neglecting the broader picture that would include other related fields, stretching from philosophy to literature and linguistics, American nationalists and racialists provide a perfect target for leftist and Jewish watchdog groups who know deadly well the crucial role of cultural hegemony in wielding political power.
American self- proclaimed “Nazis” are a case in point, presenting the grotesque picture of what historically National Socialism had never been in Germany. With their caricatured imagery and posted insignia harkening back to National Socialist Germany, American Nazis fit perfectly into the preconceived monster picture of their zealous detractors, such as the $PLC or the ADL.
The Main Foe of Nationalism: Capitalism
Many American right wingers are deeply concerned about out-of-ocontrol non-European immigration while at the same time having a quasi-religious veneration of the free market. As I wrote a long time ago in a well annotated piece, the free market, or capitalism, is by definition “raceless.” Unless it is controlled by a racially conscious political class, it is bound to destroy America’s White racial stock faster than all illegals from all parts of the world combined. Capitalism rejects the race factor and despises any form or ethnocentrism. A merchant does not like borders and could not care less whether his customer is black, brown, or yellow. All European nationalists, despite being virulent anti-Marxists, and in contrast to American nationalists, are without exception highly critical of the free market and capitalism.
On a more intimate level, it would be interesting to carry out a study as to the percentage of “proud White” Americans who resort furtively to illegal cheap labor from across the Rio Grande. By extension, this equation could also apply to boisterous “proud White males” from Australia, who in search of cheap flesh and dope travel to Thailand for a quick out-group sexual escapade.
While it is more than commendable to mate within the same in-group, there is always a cultural element that needs to be factored in. Over the last twenty years many American nationalist men seem to have found a treasure trove among East European and Russian women — whose sense of tradition and womanhood is unquestionably better preserved than among American women. American nationalist men also look to these areas for wives because American women are likely to view their nationalist beliefs as toxic. By contrast, the legacy of communist barbarism has turned many of Eastern European nationalist males into a crass and uncouth flock — hardly appealing to women.
What is to be done?
Among post-communist East European and Russian nationalists, despite animosity towards American individualism, there is a dose of hidden awe and servility toward all things American. This inferiority complex works on both sides of the Atlantic, and if not bridged by aggressive cultural and linguistic exchange, it won’t solidify White peoples around the globe.
It remains a puzzle why American nationalists do not use an interdisciplinary culture-bound approach in their activism or in their self-promotion. But first and foremost they need to make a sharp distinction between political activism and intellectual proselytizing. The latter must always precede the former — something that Western European nationalists grasped a long time ago. The left — from the early Bolsheviks to the 1960s countercultural protestors — have been well aware of this over the last century.
American nationalists have enough cultural firepower for reasonable intellectual debates. Although important, the race factor cannot be the only carrier of national identity. Numerous gatherings of American nationalists could for a change address topics of literature and politics and discuss authors like Jack London, Ambrose Bierce, HL Mencken and the meaning of American prometheanism. The great telluric and symbolist poems by a great postmodern American poet, Joseph D. Pryce, could attract many potential fellow Euro-American patriots and greatly dissipate the ambiance of fear, suspicion and “guilt by association.”
The South has its intellectual heavyweights too. One only needs to bring up the name of the great antebellum thinker George Fitzhugh in order to grasp the mendacity of liberals. In many ways his prose is far more revealing than that of the Brit George Orwell writing a hundred years later. John Calhoun’s views on race are as refreshing today as they were two centuries ago.
In many ways the intellectual heritage of the American nationalists is on par with the European nationalist tradition and sometimes even surpasses it, as demonstrated by the Southern agrarians, who early on demolished the liberal myth of economic progress and whose intellectual diversity spreads out from literature to poetry and linguistics.
Modern American nationalists are still privileged by the First Amendment and have the means of communicating from Alabama to Alaska in one vernacular. If better organized and with folks of impeccable modesty and sincerity at the helm, they could resuscitate the impressive Euro-American cultural heritage and use it as a tool against liberal and leftist smear campaigners.
Tom Sunic (www.tomsunic.info; http://doctorsunic.netfirms.com/) is an author, former political science professor in the USA, translator and former Croat diplomat. He is the author of Homo americanus: Child of the Postmodern Age ( 2007).