Deep within the glorious maze of lost time that the archives of Counter Currents represents, I recently found the tag, “Why We Write.” The essays under this umbrella, some of which originally appeared in The Occidental Quarterly, are a treat in no small part because they show a personal and human side to many authors who normally eschew touching on the personal for the sake of anonymity. It is also a lovely topic for the authors themselves, as it allows a certain egotistical indulgence that all self-described writers covet, openly or not. And with that being admitted, I will tackle the question myself.
The first thing I ever had published was a mere letter-of-the-day on Vdare — and a crummy one at that. I was absolutely elated when it happened, and even sent the link to my vaguely liberal, but mostly apolitical parents. In my eyes, I had struck back. It was the first fortnight of my freshman year in college and I had learned that we were not even called “freshman” because the word lacked gender-neutrality. My roommate was an insufferable “bisexual” Jew who boasted of having met President Obama and been active in the Occupy Wall Street movement (not a contradiction in his eyes; regardless, I suspect both were lies).
The sob story goes on and on, so I will cut to the chase. I decided the best way to strike back was to write. It was a way of telling myself that these people had no control over me, that even if it was pointless to argue in class, I could do better than just fuming in silence. So I kept writing, and I kept annoying editors, and I kept getting curt rejection letters. But by that summer vacation I got paid for something I wrote for the first time. By the end of that summer I had been paid multiple times, and was beginning to think quite highly of myself. I was a writer against time, a man among the ruins, etc. Liberals could tell me I was a stupid redneck, but I could just think to myself, “Oh yeah? How many articles have you been paid to write? I’m a regular right-wing Hunter S. Thompson.” It was immensely satisfying, and even my vaguely liberal, but mostly apolitical parents were impressed that I had found a way to turn time spent on my MacBook into money.
The next summer proved humbling. I got a phone call from a friend telling me that it was time to worry. He had learned that some old rivals of mine finally figured out what my pen name was. I panicked. I deleted my fake Gmail account; I even called up an editor and asked him to change the authorship of two (particularly incriminating) pieces I had written for him. I thought to myself, “I’m out, I’m done. This was stupid, I have a big bright future to lose.”
Within about a week, I was rewriting documents I had lost when my Google Chrome went the way of my deleted Gmail. Within a month, I wrote another original piece. By the end of the summer I was writing about as often as I had before. All that had really changed was a switch from one fake name, to many – not an unusual trick from what I hear, and if Sam Francis thought it wise to write under multiple names, who am I to argue? However, this whirlwind experience, complete with brief but intense terror, does ask the question, “Why do I write?”
Lest any of the above be misinterpreted, it is not for the money. In college getting fifty bucks for a thousand words or so seemed like a pretty sweet deal … not so much post-college. Not that it isn’t unappreciated, but it is not a living. It is also not lost on me that all of the writing can easily become lost money in the way of limited day job options, should the ax of the $PLC really fall one day. So the money is not part of it for me anymore, and the sense of self-satisfaction is less having now left college, and I don’t even bother sending my vaguely liberal, but mostly apolitical parents links anymore.
Yet I still write, and I suspect I will continue to do so for a long time. The reason is simple: it matters. Some within our ranks will always, from to time to time, agonize that our websites are comfortably ignored by the powers that be, that we are preaching to the choir, etc. Nothing could be further from the truth. I do not discount the virtues of activism, community building, etc., nor do I discount what Sam Francis called, “the concrete forces of elites, organization, and psychic and social forces” that are arrayed against us; but in addition to all that, the now clichéd adage of Richard Weaver, “ideas have consequences” is still true. And by extrapolation, both the manner and the frequency in which those ideas are presented have consequences.
Imagine, for a moment, if they stopped writing. If overnight Huffington Post, Thinkprogress, Jezebel, and Salon disappeared, there would be consequences. Not that all of their readers would abandon left-liberalism immediately, but for a moment their brains would be able to breathe, to take in the world around them without the usual filter — some of them might even start thinking. Or, making our hypothetical a little more radical, imagine if Karl Marx had never lifted a pen.
Those of us who write are in a perpetual war with most other writers, a war of ideas, and a war for readers’ minds. There are people out there looking for answers, and if we did not write, they would not find them. We are here for them, waiting. Dissecting the latest absurdities of liberal talking-heads, exposing the most recent horror brought on by multiracialism, and providing a vision for a better, Whiter, world. The answers are within us, and by putting them out on the web, those with questions can find us and be done with the ideological wilderness in which they wander.