Hubert Collins: You have written a lot—you have nearly 100 posts on Counter Currents alone, plus dozens more spread out across American Renaissance, The Occidental Observer, The Occidental Quarterly, and Radix. In as few words as possible: what motivates it?
Guillaume Durocher: I am thinking out loud, clarifying and systematizing my thoughts, sometimes encapsulating them in a succinct and evocative way. I am also trying to entice others to come down the rabbit hole . . .
Were you a voracious writer before you got involved in the dissident right? What did you write on before your primary focus became race? How did that transition take place?
I wrote about politics and economics. If you are really pursuing the truth and sticking to it, as I like to think I am doing, you’ll fall foul of some dogma sooner or later. In my case, this was the value of the nation. The nation-state is something which the authorities in Europe today openly despise. Raised as a good “end-of-history” democrat, I was appalled that European elites were shifting ever-more power from citizens to unaccountable international bureaucrats and rootless economic forces. In this respect, our leaders are going completely against the republican tradition of the Enlightenment. Rousseau and Jefferson valued sovereignty and autarky. John Jay and Henri Grégoire affirmed the importance of a cohesive national identity to social harmony and civic politics. I was greatly impressed by Raymond Aron, a liberal-conservative Jewish intellectual, who called the homogeneous nation-state “the political masterpiece,” the key to Western nations’ remarkable social organization and dynamism.
When I realized that this identity of Western nations was being almost irreversibly shattered through mass immigration, I went into something of a shock. The rest of the “awakening”—a new understanding of the most taboo topics, namely the Jews, fascism, and race—was very gradual and tortuous. Step by step the assumptions I had been brought up with, which we were all brought up with, were broken down. This was not easy. I try to remember that when I grow impatient with relations and a society still largely in the grip of political correctness.
As anyone familiar with your writing knows, you have spent quite a bit of time in both western Europe, particularly France, and the United States. Which society do you see as more degraded, more unlikely to right its ship? Why?
I’d say we are about equally awful. America tends to obesity, Europe to effeminacy. These are the two poles of postwar democracy, to which each nation gravitates, more or less.
In the short term, a successful national-populist turn, really curbing immigration, seems quite possible on both sides of the Atlantic. As to something more radical . . . we can only speculate. Western Europe is too comfortable. Eastern Europe is too disorganized. Russia may have potential. In America, secession seems like a viable option in the long run.
During the 2016 American Presidential election, you wrote of Donald Trump very positively. Since he took office, you have been fairly silent on the topic. What’s your assessment of his first year and a half in office, and your guess as to what comes next?
Trump has been a spectacular educational force. With the populist reality-TV billionaire’s success, we see that the power of ethno-national sentiment is here to stay. We also see that there is a huge tension between democracy and the enforcement of values. The ruling ideology’s assumptions about human nature were shown to be gravely mistaken. Our media-cultural elites should take advantage of this teachable moment, and while most are still under shock, a few are reappraising some of their ideas and learning. As a president, there is no question Trump is a disappointment, besides a reduction in illegal immigration and refugee admissions. The rest is perfectly dismal. But this is only a first step, the twenty-first century has barely begun.
Similarly, one of the major debates within the dissident right today, which you can see both on Twitter and at recent conferences, is whether or not our moment in the sun is about over. What’s your take?
The online subculture will always be there and continue to grow. The relevance of our message can also only continue to grow with generational change, increasing diversity, and the rise of China. We underestimated the power of the backlash which mainstream society was capable of once we were no longer under the radar. Like Solzhenitsyn, we need to be patient in the confidence that, sooner or later, the truth will reign. Jared Taylor, by the way, is an enormous inspiration in this respect.
Outside the remnants of White Nationalism 1.0, you are one of the more prominent dissident figures who writes about Adolf Hitler neutrally, and even semi-positively. Your final verdict on the man, however, remains unclear. How would you sum up your view of him?
Don’t get me started! Hitler cannot be the “incomprehensible” center of the reigning demonology. This is disastrous both from the point of view of historical truth and for the moral self-confidence of the European peoples.
Anyone who loves the European peoples and recognizes them as a genetic reality is likely to have conflicted feelings about Hitler. On the one hand, and in retrospect, an Axis victory (possibly with Britain and America staying out of the war) is objectively the only way in which the Europeans could have retained their homelands. Churchill and De Gaulle, who both claimed after the war to wish to preserve the White race, learned this to their chagrin. Furthermore, no one was more systematic than Hitler in transforming the values and institutions of his society on the basis of hereditarian realities. On the other hand, his undeniable excesses—including a disastrous doctrine of perpetual war even among fellow European ethnic groups—did much to discredit racial thinking. In this sense, Hitler was not just almost a world-historical success, he was also what is called a ‘malignant’ failure.
But we have to understand and learn from the phenomenon. Both friends and opponents can learn from the Third Reich’s successes and failures, which range from mediocre to disastrous in the area of foreign policy and imperial rule, to remarkable achievements in the areas of economics, welfare, healthcare, ecology, fertility, cultural change, and social unity. These reflect both the power and limits of ethnic solidarity and ideological zeal in a northwest European society, based upon emotional systems deeply ingrained in the human psyche. Whether people like it or not, these factors remain relevant for any social project.
The Hitler phenomenon, far from being “incomprehensible,” is an umpteenth example of the great tribal-spiritual spasm, which is a kind of desperate survival reflex of every society in crisis, a recurring feature of human history. Thomas Mann, though an opponent of Hitler, recognized him as a fellow artist. Carl Jung deemed him a kind of resurgence of Wotan in the German collective unconscious. I would say the life of Hitler was as though a Yamnaya priest-king and warlord were born in the modern age. He was the Germanic Manu and Lycurgus. Actually, his legislation was not so different from what the Israelite prophets ordained in the Old Testament. But how rare that we actually have audiovisual recordings! In the premodern era, the revered founder’s words were always distorted by the process of memorization and editing by his followers.
We need to think about the demonization of Hitler, the fact that he is the secular Satan of our times, the negative pole around which our entire moral order revolves. “The victors write the history books,” they say. Very true, but in both France and the American South, the defeated were allowed the consolation of writing positive accounts of Napoleon and the Confederacy, of defending their fathers’ sacrifice.
The demonization of Hitler, I believe, is a very important phenomenon of our Western collective psyche. The fact is that some self-interested, even “barbaric” violence and lordship have always been necessary to the development of higher life and civilization. Homer and Darwin are very clear on this. All life is made up of love and war. Differentiation implies hierarchy. We can aspire to be like the peaceful lotus flower growing in the muddy pond, but prior to that, we’d never have gotten here without the instinct of the blood-drenched tigress, securing a kill for her cubs. Without such “unfairness,” life would never have developed beyond the stage of the amoeba.
Hitler, because he recognized this reality so clearly and affirmed it as a State religion, has been made to carry the entire burden of this necessary cruelty, which runs across the entire animal kingdom and all human history. We suppress this painful reality, this unfairness, because modern man is so comfortable, squishy, and fearful. We pretend that the world can or should be a kind of giant kindergarten, as though that would have been compatible with biological and moral progress, which has enabled the level of civilization we all take for granted today. Just think of the tremendous violence which was necessary to establish the United States in North America or to destroy the Axis powers in Europe.
At a certain point, I do believe that mankind will have to openly, perhaps serenely, recognize this truth, this aspect of life. Suppressing a truth of nature does not make it go away, but on the contrary, only makes it express itself in more unpredictable, uncontrolled, and possibly destructive ways. A psychological revolution needs to be achieved in what are the unprecedentedly difficult circumstances, given how wimpish and materialist we are today. That is where one gets a little transcendental and I start talking about the spiritual life . . .
Your admiration of our Greco-Roman ancestors is quite clear. Did that respect come before or after you came to your current racial views? How intertwined do you think the two are?
This is related to your previous question. Once my liberal suppositions had been smashed and I began closely studying Hitler (which was not something I ever thought I would do), I needed to reground my values upon a solid foundation. I think it was Marcus Aurelius who said that you become like the people you spend time with. I certainly would rather become like the author of the Meditations than that of Mein Kampf.
The Ancients provide an excellent yardstick by which to judge liberal democracy, fascism, and much else. Through them, we get the hard-won wisdom which helped our people struggle and live throughout the ages, often of an inscrutable supra-rational origin. I was then simply astonished at how completely biopolitical the Greeks were: may we beget a race as beautiful and healthy and good as may be! That was simply the Hellenic assumption. Who would not want that for their children? They had a combination of virility and logic which is really unique in human history. Once one has escaped egalitarian assumptions, learning from the Ancients is not too difficult either: Plato’s Apology and Aristotle’s Politics can be happily read by anyone.
For a dissident with a French connection, you write next to nothing on the Nouvelle Droite. Why is that?
To be fair, I have written a fair bit about Dominique Venner. But you have a point. I think the answer is that I came to nationalism, like a number of younger French people, through the Soralian route.
Sam Francis admired Christopher Lasch, Gregory Hood reads CounterPunch, Paul Gottfried profits from Noam Chomsky, Chris Roberts likes Jacobin Magazine. Do you have a leftist thinker or publication you unironically gain insight from?
I grew up with the civil-libertarian, antiwar Left and they still consistently provide honest commentary in the otherwise dismal, conspiracy-theory-laden discourse of today. Julian Assange is an artist who has transcended the Left-Right divide. His life and work is highly instructive and inspiring. From another generation, I’d say the Old Right could have learned much from Gandhi.
A unique virtue of your writing is your willingness to mingle old and new: ancient wisdom with autism jokes, fascist thinkers and fashy memes. What do you say to more traditionalist conservatives who would say you should not waste your time considering Game of Thrones and video games?
Well, they are, on the whole, a waste of time. But successful preachers have always adapted their message to the particular technological and cultural realities of their time. For those on the dissident right, there is always a risk of impotent isolation amidst the general muck. We need to be in tune with our times if we want to be heard at all. In the long run, we will have quality television and video games reflecting European identity and tradition too. (I am told Kingdom Come: Deliverance comes close.)
Some of the best essays to your name are those where you look to the future and imagine the possibilities. In those, you take on a sort of stream of conscious cadence that I find very unique and rather enrapturing. [See: Ethno-Statal Speculations, Counter Currents, November 9, 2017; Victory Conditions, Radix, September 23, 2016; and An Uncertain Idea of Europe, Radix, June 30, 2016] Where did you learn that style from, is there a particular author (or maybe musician?) who you are drawing from? Or is it just a certain mindset you can get in that produces it?
I get “possessed” on occasion. A little spirit speaks through me to paint the world in meaning. I do not have a full-proof technique for summoning him, but reading Ezra Pound helps.
Can we expect a book, collection of essays or otherwise, from you any time soon? How about a regular podcast, maybe on TRS?
Two books are in the pipeline: one of my writings on France, another on the Ancients. But these take time!
When you think of “victory” what do you see?
I see a world in which Westerners engage in free and serene discussion, in which we live every day with seriousness and purpose, in which our collective soul is not at war with itself, but where we love ourselves and have the courage to see, and live by, the truth. This is just an insipid glimpse . . .