Avoiding Nationalist-on-Nationalist violence: Electoral Politics vs. Cultural Metapolitics
White Nationalist websites appear to be abuzz with conflict these days. Occidental Dissent has a list, amusing or depressing depending on your mindset, of “beefs” between White Nationalists. The movement seems so fractious and sectarian at times it rather recalls the far-leftists inimitably parodied by Monty Python.
I am now involved in this as Ted Sallis has written a critical article that, while not explicitly mentioning me, I am quite sure is referring to my comments on the French National Front (FN). Personally, I welcome frank debate and criticism, and in any case I’m relatively new to the nationalist scene so I don’t claim to lecture anyone.
But these apparently obscure debates and petty conflicts on websites with, let’s face it, limited reach raise an important issue: What should be the relationship between White Nationalists, which for now are largely limited to at best metapolitical groupuscules, and necessarily more moderate nationalist parties with mass voter appeal or which are even in power?
The issue is of the distinction between the political and the metapolitical in a particular régime. That régime today is characterized by two things: absolute liberal/antinational cultural hegemony and mass electoral politics. That means every nationalist party has a choice: either to contest the culture (in which case it will be boycotted/demonized by media) in the hopes of changing that culture or to respect the culture’s taboos (by engaging in self-censorship and crypsis) in the hopes of gaining political power.
In my opinion, both strategies are valid and can fruitfully be pursued in parallel. It may be that all the electoral efforts in Europe today, with nationalist parties generally hovering around 15–25% of the vote at best, will be for naught. But we don’t know. And one can imagine a scenario — similar to what Hugo Chávez achieved in Venezuela, where he only revealed his full leftism/anti-globalism after being elected — in which a nationalist party moderates its message in order to get elected while showing its more radical intent once it attains power.
This brings us to the French National Front. I am not an FN spokesman or linked to them in any way, although I am sympathetic towards what seems to me to be a relatively shrewd, balanced and effective nationalist party.
Of course one can criticize the FN: the nepotistic “family bidness” aspect (although that can also be a strength in terms of independence), the excessive hostility to “Europe,” the exaggerated claims of power of the French Nation-State (leading to petty nationalism), the somewhat absurd “more-Republican/anti-racist/democratic/secularist-than-thou” pretenses (although this arguably is successfully using the régime’s ideology against itself), and other shenanigans.
But criticism should be founded on the right assumptions. Mr. Sallis attacks the FN for abandoning (an already semi-cryptical) ethno-nationalism for an overtly civic nationalist ideology. The critique is valid if one wants the FN to be a purely metapolitical party without electoral aspirations. However, if, as FN leader Marine Le Pen does, one wants to be elected President of the Republic, this cannot be achieved without basic approval of the State apparatus and (yes) the heavily Jewish oligarchy/media (perhaps this strategy will fail, I myself have a hard time understanding the strange “publicize nationalist ideas/demonize nationalists” game French politico-media elites play, but it is worth trying). As Golden Dawn has learned, there necessarily are sharp limits on “Western democracy,” given the realities of media access and legal persecution.
If one rejects electoral politics, then that is another matter, in which case one should create dissident media/publications to change the culture (and these exist in France) or indeed one should go about organizing a militia in preparation of a coup d’État (seemingly absurd today, but this, after all, did work for Benito Mussolini’s 1922 March on Rome and arguably could have occurred in France with the 6 February 1934 crisis, an event which some have argued, had the Third Republic been toppled, could have prevented the catastrophic conflict with Germany and the fratricidal Second World War).
The fact is, even if the FN limited itself to its stated objectives, this would represent very substantial progress: immigration would be reduced to negligible levels (10,000/year), jus soli would be abolished and the children of immigrants could only attain French citizenship after rigorous proof of “assimilation” (speaking French, secularism, good school attendance) and no criminal record (this could well simply be used as a pretext to not grant citizenship en masse). Even if the FN did not become more radical when in power — a big assumption — this would at least mean stemming any further damage, a sort of moratorium. Le Pen would apply a tourniquet to the bleeding wound of multiculturalism, severely slowing or even reversing the rate of de-Europeanization, and gain time to find further solutions and to attain success in the wider nationalist struggle in the West.
This does not mean that good metapolitical work can’t be done elsewhere. The Identitaires continue to pressure the FN from the outside (Le Pen does not allow dual Identitaire-FN membership). Alain Soral and Dieudonné M’bala M’bala continue to denounce international Zionism (the FN has incidentally defended Dieudonné’s right to free speech). Indeed, the FN has been criticized for pandering to Jews (saying the Jewish Defense League legitimately exists in light of Muslim anti-Semitism) and to Israel (with some taking an excessively hawkish an attitude against the Islamic State). But personally, I would say the party has overall a fairly balanced position — if the party is to be engaged in electoral politics, not cultural metapolitics.
The FN has some divisions within it on this issue. Roughly speaking, between Jean-Marie Le Pen’s stating that the use of gas chambers (or not) was “a footnote of the history of the Second World War” in 1987 and Marine Le Pen’s taking the leadership of the party in 2011, the party was in many respects a cultural or metapolitical institution, with little hope of gaining power. Thus Jean-Marie continued to speak his mind freely (e.g. “Yes, I think races exist”), the party opposed the Gayssot Act banning research on the holocaust, and it allied openly at EU level with groups like the racialist British National Party (BNP) and Hungary’s Jobbik (which had called for Jews in government to be counted as potential threats to national security).
Since Marine has taken over, the skinheads have been brushed aside, the party’s young technocratic spokesman Florian Philippot is an eloquent defender of civic nationalism, and ties with the BNP and Jobbik have been broken. It seems to me that one can only really criticize these steps if one believes the FN should renounce any aspiration to power via electoral politics and limit itself to being a purely cultural institution of metapolitical struggle. (By the way, I am open to the latter argument, but it needs to be made.)
Make no mistake, the FN is significantly identitarian and has pro-European elements. This is most obvious in the old guard. The Catholic academic Bruno Gollnisch (by all accounts a perfect gentleman) is something of a Europeanist. Jean-Marie, speaking with the Swiss survivalist Piero San Giorgio, has said that immigration, because of its near-irreversible “viscosity,” is the most serious threat facing France (as against, for example, loss of sovereignty to the EU/global institutions). He has also stated that he dreams of a “Boreal Europe” from Lisbon to Vladivostok.
Certainly, the new generation of cadres is more politically correct — one could say merely more “on message.” But FN delegation leader in the European Parliament Aymeric Chauprade has denounced what he calls Français de papier (“paper Frenchmen,” Frenchmen-in-name-only) and former FN youth leader Julien Rochedy has lamented that if nothing is done “in 50 or 60 years, the French population will be in majority of immigrant origin.” Even the “new guard” is perfectly aware of the problem.
The FN’s electoral program itself states that it wants “a free association of European States which share the same vision and interests on issues such as immigration or the rules governing external trade and the movement of capital.” Thus the FN would focus European cooperation on two goals: stopping both population displacement and transnational speculation/financialization/usury. Are these two not at the heart of the existential threat against European Man?
I would add that it is very easy for metapolitical intellectuals to criticize, from the safety of their keyboards, political leaders who have to make hard choices every day. I sometimes worry that a nationalist France, like Slobodan Milošević’s Yugoslavia, would be destroyed by the globalist “international community” centered in the United States of America. After all, when nationalists took power in Germany in the 1930s under incomparably better circumstances, what was the result? European Civil War Part II and the total annihilation of the country. Today, European Nations are infinitely weaker powers in the world and Zionist-Liberal power networks have attained a hegemony they could only dream of in the 1930s.
As such, I perfectly understand those who prefer caution. Marine Le Pen will have totally failed as a nationalist leader if she leaves her country in the sorry state that Adolf Hitler, Slobodan Milošević or Saddam Hussein left theirs.
All which of brings us to the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán of Hungary, arguably the only nationalist regime in the West today. His party, Fidesz, rules a small Central European country of less than 10 million people in a context of overwhelming Zionist-Liberal cultural hegemony and a vast array of staggeringly powerful Western/European political and economic networks (U.S., NATO, EU, etc.). Orbán is too paternalist, conservative and nationalist for EU elites and that has made him a bogeyman for Western media and globalist circles. He has managed to maintain his popularity and win reelection despite all this.
In this context, under pressure from the Hungarian Socialist Party and liberal media, Orbán’s government decided to shut down Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute conference in Budapest, which had featured American White Nationalists, German and French Identitarians, the far-right Hungarian Jobbik, and the Eurasianist Alexander Dugin. In doing so, the government decided to not even passively lose any political capital with the West by avoiding any perception of association with North American “racists” or Russian imperialists at a time of ongoing low-level civil war in Ukraine. The Jobbik MP who originally participated in setting up the conference also decided to withdraw.
This is part of a wider, depressing trend among nationalist parties everywhere: At the slightest pressure, nationalist parties throw any groups considered less politically correct than themselves under the bus. Thus UKIP rejects the FN, the FN rejects Jobbik, and Jobbik rejects Richard Spencer (who must evidently be very Satanic indeed). These shenanigans are pointless, the divisions being actively encouraged by mainstream elites to undermine that nationalist cause.
But they are not surprising. Divide and rule.
As someone who has experienced a little (I say “a little”) political persecution first-hand, I would even say that on one level Orbán’s behavior is understandable: The Prince decided to put his national political interests ahead of everything else. What nationalist could be surprised at such a development? Indeed, those who claim to be Traditionalists with a respect for authority cannot complain too loudly when that authority on occasion rules against them. It was Orbán’s call to make.
Note: I am not saying the ban should not be contested — on the contrary, I fully support Spencer’s attempt to hold the conference anyway. I am happy a rump conference (reportedly a boisterous and merry affair) with Jared Taylor and Tomislav Sunić was successfully held, and I believe the persecution should be publicized and challenged through a civil rights lawsuit. But one should not complain like a infantile leftist. One should be stoic about it and understand there are conflicts of interest (indeed, as Gregory Hood eloquently argues, there will continue to be conflict in a nationalist Europe).
Of course it would be better if pan-European nationalism had active support from self-styled nationalist parties. But frankly, given the state of the world and the nature of politics — in its very essence disappointing and self-interested — I would say we should expect more such betrayals in the future. It is the nature of the beast. The purity of metapolitics (or art) can never be satisfied with the messy compromises of politics.
I don’t know if Prime Minister Orbán’s party, Fidesz, is a “real deal” nationalist party or not. Frankly, I don’t know enough about the country. (Indeed, the meaning of positive versus petty nationalism in Central-Eastern Europe, where there is little non-European immigration, is not clear to me. Certainly arguing over national borders with neighbors, as Jobbik does, is utterly pointless, as is the current conflict in Ukraine.) But I would note that Orbán, because he has made the self-interested compromises necessary to be in power, is free to go to European summits where he has reportedly told EU high officials and 27 heads of State and government that “the goal is to cease immigration whatsoever” and that “the ethnic basis of the Nation-State” should not be broken.
These are words. They are obviously not enough. They may fall on deaf ears. But one has to admit that, even in terms of cultural struggle, having these words spoken by one Prime Minister to his fellow prime ministers and presidents is surely worth more than a hundred blog posts on alt-Right websites preaching to the choir.
My point here is not that we should give up explicit racial advocacy or engage in any self-censorship. Indeed, personally I think it is wonderful that there is this great diversity of outlets catering to every sensibility, every degree of political incorrectness, including the most excessive. I think it is good that, in some corner of the Internet, the régime’s sacred cows are being gleefully slaughtered. One doesn’t need to participate or be tied to that, but I do believe it helps the rest of us think more freely.
And it may also strengthen the resolve of those who have made compromises to attain power. There is a big difference between a politician who believes the platitudes on race that are acceptable to liberal media elites versus a politician who mouths these platitudes while knowing full well, on the basis of the information provided by explicit racial advocates, that race is real and that people of different races have necessarily competing interests. The latter will do everything possible to advance the interests of his people within the current political context. The former will simply become part of the problem.
Speaking for myself, this gradation of political incorrectness allowed me to gradually be eased into the most forbidden thought-criminal territory.
We should not let up pressure on mainstream nationalists. But I believe everything which directly or indirectly promotes ethnic European interests, especially against immigration, should be supported, even if it means a party with plausible electoral goals has to overtly resort to a mere civic nationalism. More generally, I believe nationalists should stop attacking one another. The “anti-racist” groups and mainstream politico-media elites do more than enough of that for us. Criticism should be constructive, aimed towards reinforcing human networks of trust and mutual support, not breaking them. We should avoid that tendency – so common among principled dissidents – towards such an ideological purity that it leads to self-marginalization, and from there, isolation, burnout, impotence, and depression.
If nationalism is to triumph in the European world, I believe it will be a gradual reconquista. Even physically sovereign nationalist governments, like that of Orbán or perhaps of Le Pen in the future, are under immense pressure in the face of liberal-leftist cultural hegemony and the perniciously “seductive” Western political, cultural, and economic networks they interact with. Eventually, the malign influence of América Cósmico, and in particular of the all-but-Satanic Hollywood-Wall Street-Washington axis, will have to be broken. The road to a free Europe may well require a White Republic in North America. We must work towards the tipping point, particularly in the ideological struggle, after which more mainstream nationalists will no longer be under such greater pressure to disown more heretical nationalists. It will be a long struggle, in the meantime, let us not undermine one another.
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