Andrew Joyce Reviews Richard Houck’s Liberalism Unmasked
Available at Arktos and Amazon (all 5-star reviews)
One of my favorite old Irish ballads is ‘The Wind That Shakes the Barley,” written by the nineteenth-century poet Robert Dwyer Joyce. The song (sung magnificently here by Dolores Keane) revolves around a young Wexford rebel who sacrifices his relationship with his beloved, and then engages in violence associated with the 1798 rebellion against British rule. The barley of the title, and chorus, is a reference to the fact the rebels often carried barley or oats in their pockets as provisions while on the move. When these guerrilla fighters were captured by the yeomanry, they were often summarily shot and quickly buried in mass graves. In these graves, the oats and barley germinated, resulting, post-rebellion, in pockets of “croppy-holes,” or random barley growing. The pockets of barley, emerging anew every Spring, nourished later generations of roving guerrilla fighters, and came to symbolize the regenerative and unconquerable nature of Irish resistance to British rule. While the politics behind the imagery may be divisive, I find the deeper Romanticism of the symbolism to be utterly compelling. Every movement of resistance, of any political hue, must cultivate a sense of self-renewal and regeneration.
Our own movement is no different. In 2015 I had the great fortunate to attend and address a sizable meeting of Nationalists, both in Baltimore and Washington D.C. On both occasions I was struck by the number of young people “of quality” in attendance. And on both of those nights, in the quiet moments, the song of Robert Dwyer Joyce came forcefully to mind. Here was the “barley” of our own movement, coming into its own in order to take up the mantle and take us forward. Here was the living proof of the unconquerable nature of our ideas, and a new generation to carry them forth. And, recently, the lyrics of Joyce came to mind once again, this time on reading the work of a young intellectual, and precocious writing talent, in the form of Richard Houck and his Liberalism Unmasked.
Several months ago, Richard contacted me via social media. He struck me immediately as an enthusiastic and earnest young activist, still in college and eager to get into the fight. When he told me he was writing a book, I have to confess to taking this with a pinch of salt, or as a variation on the theme that “everyone has a book in them.” As time went on, however, his sporadic communications impressed upon me that Richard was an incredibly serious individual — serious beyond his years and serious in his ambitions. When Liberalism Unmasked finally arrived from Arktos, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect other than that I was prepared for a tour de force. And I was not disappointed.
A recurring thought throughout my reading of Liberalism Unmasked was that it is quite remarkable that the book was written by a young college student. I certainly couldn’t have written anything like this in college. Crudely summarized, the book is an entertaining, enraging, and engaging polemic on the nature of postmodern Liberalism, and its impact on Western civilization. The prose is fluid, and written with confidence and flair. The author has a supreme command of his facts, and marshals them appropriately and convincingly. But perhaps the strongest and most unique aspect of this book is that it is incredibly poignant. In several respects, it is primarily a book about loss — loss of a future, loss of an inheritance, loss of a culture. Houck speaks for his generation when he states that he has been robbed, and that “the harsh reality is that the America my parents grew up in is not the one I am going to inherit.” Houck finds himself in a nation where “national debt is at an all time high, consumer debt is piling up, race relations are the worst they have been since the 1960s, if not before, with a particularly anti-White bent, and it seems the bi-partisan appetite for war has grown insatiable.” Liberalism Unmasked is a primal scream from Generation Z.
Houck describes a slow awakening to the unfolding racial and cultural disaster:
I can’t recall when it happened exactly; I used to be very much a live-and-let-live type man. … I really don’t recall the moment something changed within me. Maybe it was gradual, and then all at once. Much like how fall collapses into winter. First the leaves begin to change color, falling slowly, one by one, until the trees are bare. Letting go of all they held onto so tightly all summer long. Then one morning you wake up to snow covering the forest.
Houck’s analysis of postmodern Liberalism is no-holds-barred. The political ideology has departed totally, argues Houck, from the trajectory of Classical Liberalism (defined and discussed in chapter 3), and can now be understood only as a “pathological neurosis.” Houck proceeds to discuss the manner in which specific practical expressions of Liberalism align closely with personality disorders, with reference to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. As the book unfolds, the postmodern Liberalism is explained as a neurosis typified by deceitfulness, doublethink, hypocrisy, inability to adjust views when presented with evidence, frequent projection, controlling behavior, appeals to altered or redefined definitions of words, consistent feelings of having been victimized, intense sense of righteousness or moral superiority, inability to recognise the negative outcomes of their own actions, and intense feelings of guilt or self-hatred.
After important preambles in the first two chapters, things really kick off in chapter 3, “Liberalism in Theory & Practice,” where Houck dips into the miasmic nature of Liberal nomenclature. He places emphasis on the fact the term “Liberal” is incredibly context-dependent: “a Liberal in the United States in 2017 is a different animal than a liberal in Europe in 2017, and radically different from a liberal during the Age of Enlightenment.” Modern uses of the terms “liberal” and “progressive” are “nothing more than marketing gimmicks employed by the Left to give themselves a fresh new image.” In reality, ideas of postmodern Liberalism are “easily traced to communism. … Their roots are in Marx, the Bolshevik party, the NKVD, and the KPD.”
Postmodern Liberalism is:
nothing more than an insatiable desire for control. Liberals want to control our healthcare, our education, what we can say, the news we watch; they want to control our money, our guns, and, ultimately, our freedom. Liberalism is anti-gun, anti-family, anti-free speech, anti-Constitution, and anti-free thinking. It supports degeneracy in all forms, globalism in the form of mass migration, heavy taxation to fund socialist efforts; it is pro-war, pro-Sharia, and pro-violence. Liberals oppose all efforts to preserve individual liberty.
Houck includes an important section in the same chapter arguing that neoconservatism should be seen as a heavily-Jewish, mask-wearing aspect of Liberalism. He notes that “John Podhoretz, Bill Kristol, David Frum, Ben Shapiro, Jennifer Rubin, and Jonah Goldberg, are all opponents of any semblance of an America First policy. They favor mass immigration, foreign wars, foreign aid, and seem to wholly embrace the fact that White Europeans are becoming a minority in our own homelands, all while they support incredibly strict immigration policies for their own homeland of Israel.” Houck closes the chapter with a section on “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalyptic Left” — the four values of egalitarianism, diversity, progress, and tolerance, that the author describes as “ignoble distortions of reality.” Egalitarianism is exposed as a perversion of the concept of equality under the law. Diversity is explained as the goal of everyone thinking the same thing. Progress has come to mean the fictional right of every person to an ever-improving standard of living. Tolerance has enabled the mass rape of women across Europe by ethnic aliens, while accommodating itself quite happily to the legalized gagging of speech. Houck’s meditations on the latter aspect include some quite powerful legal illustrations, including the fact that in California, “to call a person by the wrong gender now carries a heavier sentence than does knowingly infecting a person with HIV.”
Having defined the key features of liberalism, the author proceeds with seven individual chapters containing impassioned analyses of its manifestations in the areas of gun control, climate change, abortion, ‘White privilege’ propaganda, feminism, media bias, and mass migration. Houck is a proud gun owner, and his excellent chapter on liberal activism in gun control deserves to be read and taken seriously by the NRA. Of particular interest is the extraordinary role played by Jewish politicians and their co-ethnic academic helpers, operating under the principles of modern liberalism, in proposing and advancing legislation designed to disarm the American public. The activities of Emanuel Celler, Herb Kohl, Chuck Schumer, Diane Feinstein and the academic Harold Pollack are all recounted here, along with the misleading rhetoric and weak excuses they’ve employed along the way. Houck takes apart each gun control argument with sharp facts and obvious relish, including those relating to firearm homicides. His defense of the right to bear arms includes the right to possess high powered automatic weapons:
Having those terrifying rifles, with thirty-round magazines, collapsible stocks, precision scopes, and even a suppressor if you’d like it, is quite literally the last line that can be drawn in the sand to protect [all other freedoms]. Gun owners like myself, and others the country over, do not take our heritage or duty lightly by any means. These arms are far more than simple tools or hobbies or “weapons of war.” What those rifles represent is quite literally the last hope, the final straw, the ultimate iron guard. They are the last vestiges of a dying breed. And maybe that is precisely the problem Liberals have with our rifles. Maybe they see us as an archaic. And antiquated lot, nothing but a group of throwbacks that somehow missed a step in evolution while they were busy ushering in the new century.
Climate change, real or alleged, is an area in which I have very little knowledge, so I was grateful for what Houck had to say on the subject. Before reading Liberalism Unmasked, my education in this area was strictly what had been drummed into me as a child of 10 — humans, via their use of fossil fuels and CFCs, were producing large amounts of gases that were in turn eating away at the ozone layer of our atmosphere, allowing in harmful radiation that was heating the earth, melting the ice caps, and placing future generations and multiple species of flora and fauna at tremendous risk of depletion and/or extinction. In Houck’s debunking, language and naming appear again as key liberal tactics, with the author commenting on the evolution of the “Global Cooling” fad of the 1970s into the “Global Warming” fad of the 1990s, until at last we arrived at the incredibly ambiguous moniker of “Climate Change.” To be clear, Houck doesn’t make the argument that the climate is impervious to the activities of man. But he does point out that the Left’s claim that there is an overwhelming scientific consensus (of around 98% of the relevant scientists) that climate change is man-made has no real merit. Of particular relevance here is a 2016 George Mason University survey of 4,000 climate scientists that discovered only 29% of these individuals believed humans are almost entirely responsible for the change in climate.
Houck sees in the Left’s activism on climate control as a drive for power and control rather than genuine concern for the environment. Carbon taxes are nothing more than “a thinly veiled means of wealth redistribution” that do nothing other than “weaken middle-class families, grant more power and control to the United Nations, and smooth the way for mass migration.” Houck astutely points out that the rhetoric of climate change and mass migration are steadily becoming more entwined in the form of increased discussion of putative “climate refugees.” He cites a number of recent news articles, all with the same message: “because the temperatures went up half a degree in the past forty years, we can expect millions of migrants to flood into our nations each year. And of course, we only have ourselves to blame for having the audacity to use cars and electricity.” Houck brings the chapter to a close with comparisons of demographic discourse on the West and Africa. “The only population issue we are facing is the monstrous growth of African, which will in turn lead to far more pollution than all Western nations combined. Yet the Left pushes for whites to stop having children, not Africans. This ‘migrant crisis’ is never-ending only due to birth rates in the African and Arab world.”
There is no left case for restricting immigration to the United States — in an age when the consequences of our carbon emissions are set to displace millions in the global south. https://t.co/O7Y4t0XzjI pic.twitter.com/NZijccCmcU
— Eric Levitz (@EricLevitz) November 30, 2018
In “Infanticide,” his chapter on abortion, Houck presents a sequence of facts, observations, and asides which suggest this is an issue particularly close to his heart. Indeed, as he indicates in his opening sentence, he is clearly appalled and disgusted by this issue. Nothing more, he argues, “characterizes the immense depravity of the Liberal mind quite like infanticide.” This “nefarious and destructive” process manifests “in the average of over one million dead babies since 1970, when the CDC began keeping track of abortion rates.” Houck again points out that the worst deeds of the Left are advanced under a host of euphemisms. In this case, “choice,” “rights,” “freedom,” “women’s health,” and “reproductive health,” are just some of the terms commonly used to circumvent what in reality is often the crude use of scissors at the base of a human neck. Since I agree wholeheartedly with Houck that the dark business of “convenience abortions” is utterly depraved, disgusting, and morally scandalous, I admired the restraint and tone of his deliberations, and his calm dismantling of Liberal lies in this most sensitive and contentious of subjects. Similar to his arguments against the gun control lobby, I came away from the chapter on abortion feeling that it really should be reproduced and disseminated in pamphlet form by pro-life groups because the content and presentation are better than most examples I’ve seen. Of all the anecdotes Houck presents, perhaps the most powerful concerns Leftist rage at a proposal in Texas to change the disposal practices for aborted children:
What was this new law that so powerfully called down the Liberal ire? It stipulated that instead of disposing of the children’s bodies in a bin alongside other “medical waste,” the remains were to be buried or cremated, as at a proper funeral. The Left went off the deep end, claiming this law was being used to financially burden those seeking to commit infanticide. I thought about the comments I was reading, the total lack of empathy they revealed for children that had just had their heads separated from their bodies. I thought about all the animals I had rescued, cared for, and eventually had to bury when they passed away. I buried every single one, and I did so properly. I’ve even buried dead animals I found near my house that had been hit by cars. I thought about that gut-wrenching feeling as I read through the reactions to the new Texas law. No compassion to be found in these hearts of darkness.
After a brief chapter titled “Highway Robbery” on the Leftist use of systems of mass taxation for malevolent socio-political ends, Houck produces a substantial chapter that comprises one of the real gems of the book: “White Privilege & Other Fables.” Houck’s summary is a classic: “Racism has become a religion to the Left. “White privilege” has become the Original Sin, and the only way to absolve oneself and repent is through sufficient tithing of white guilt, and living a “virtuous” life of ethnomasochism.” An academic cottage industry has sprouted up around the concept of white privilege, and Houck points to college textbooks like Paula Rothenberg’s White Privilege (2016) as leading the charge. Ultimately, the theory boils down to the use of “whiteness” to explain not only White success, but also any other group’s lack of success. The glaring weakness of this entire system of thought, however, is dependent upon a blatant omission of all data relating to Asians, especially Chinese and Japanese. Along with ignoring specific data,
race denial is a necessary pillar of Liberal ideology. Recognizing aggregate biological differences between races in terms of intelligence, forward-thinking, self-control, abstract thought, and morality, would call into question the very foundation of equality, multiculturalism, mass migration, and affirmative action programs. If all groups are identical, then you can blame Whites for the failures of other groups; however, if there are reasonable alternative explanations, such as biology, the entire concept of White privilege comes undone.
The chapter is a veritable compendium of anti-White propaganda, including analyses of the ways in which Liberals have gerrymandered statistics in order to invent Black victimhood narratives, as well as accounts of some of the most outrageous “anti-racist” witch hunts (“racism” in maps, Black health, cycling, sleep patterns, and babies). Houck closes the section with a delightful invective against the ADL and SPLC, and an indictment of the anti-White consensus in academia.
Houck’s brief chapter on feminism offers a punchy debunking of the myths of the “wage gap,” college “rape culture,” and women’s liberation, illustrating instead a sordid tale of promiscuity, chronic depression, sexual disease, and broken families. While some of this may be familiar fare, the author’s passion and style convey a fresh approach. The same holds true for “Ministry of Truth,” a chapter on media bias that is full of facts worthy of being drummed into the ‘Normie’ mind until they finally sink in. Take, for example, the fact that during the election cycle leading to November 2916, 96 percent of all campaign dollars from the media industry went to Hillary Clinton. It should be painfully clear that any notions of an objective and honest media are woefully naive, and Houck condemns the media for its role in warmongering, pushing “hate crime” hoaxes, covering up Islamic terrorism, and engaging in election meddling.
Houck’s final chapter on aspects of postmodern Liberalism, and also one of the longest in the book, concerns the mass migration plot currently playing out across the West. The chapter points out that the UN is complicit in actions against White countries which correspond closely with its own official definition of genocide. Taking up the 1965 Immigration Act, the author recounts the now familiar involvement of Jews in contributing propaganda, lobbying for votes, and creating a sense of moral obligation in the wider public. While the author acknowledges certain vulnerabilities in Western culture, he is clear that the demographic collapse of the West is no an accident or an act of suicide, but the result of a “mass migration scheme that has been planned for quite some time by a hostile international clique of global Leftists.” An account of the Kalergi plan then follows, before an extended discussion of the violent impact of Muslim migration to Europe.
Closing the book, Houck departs from his analysis of aspects of Liberalism with a impassioned section titled “Winning the War.” Clearly an optimist, the author views the election victory of Donald Trump as a significant turning point in American history, hailing the win as “ a revolt against globalist policies, against open borders, against a loss of rights, a total rejection of the Liberal narrative. … The 2016 election was the start of a revolution.” If this revolution is to progress and succeed, Houck argues that the Liberal rot has been so extensive that almost every institution will have to be razed and rebuilt. “Everything they control needs to be gutted. Every position they have taken needs to be stripped.” In practical terms, Houck calls for an overhaul of the education system, an end to foreign aid, an end to birthright citizenship, an end to welfare provision for migrants, the introduction of extensive repatriation programs. “The wall needs to be built, and needs to be visible from outer space.” Finally, the author argues for an end to the perception of politics as being a battle fought between Right and Left, and advocates instead a politics in which the interests of Whites are pitted against any and all opposition.
I felt this was the perfect way to close the book, because so many Whites are ideologically locked, for myriad reasons, in the Liberal camp. As such, and despite being a movement keen to develop a coherent and united ethnic block, we find ourselves very often confronting “our own” and trying to persuade them to take their own side in a battle we are currently losing. This was undoubtedly an emotionally trying book to write, and in some respects it represents a difficult reckoning with the worst elements among our own ethnic group. But perhaps Houck, like much of the new crop of Nationalists, is forced by fate to abandon what is left of what they love and what is left of their inheritance, in order to stake their claim for what is rightfully theirs — a future. Unfortunately, this struggle seems fated to involve in-group hostilities.
And on this note, we might return to the words of Robert Dwyer Joyce:
‘Twas hard the woeful words to frame
To break the ties that bound us.
But harder still to bear the shame
of foreign chains around us.
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