White Racial Consciousness and Advocacy

Review of Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility

Robin DiAngelo
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
Beacon Press, 2018.

I first encountered Robin DiAngelo three years ago, during my investigation of the Jewish origins and intellectual currents of Whiteness Studies. DiAngelo was then just another relatively minor speaker and academic on the university/consulting network in Whiteness Studies, and I was undecided then, and remain undecided, as to whether DiAngelo is wholly, in part, or not at all Jewish. She didn’t feature in my essay at all, and, when I looked over my old notes a few days ago, she appeared only as a name scribbled in the margins. As it happens, her ancestry is relatively inconsequential in light of the fact that White Fragility, published in 2018 but reaching bestseller status in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, is heavily and transparently influenced by Jewish thought and by Jewish pioneers in the field she now finds so conducive to fame and fortune. I don’t make a habit of buying the texts of the opposition, but when certain of them reach a significant level of academic or popular attention (look for it in your child’s school curriculum), it’s probably necessary for someone among us to carry out some form of intellectual reconnaissance, and to bring back for wider consideration the most essential of the gathered information. This was my approach to Jean-Paul Sartre’s widely-read and overly-praised Anti-Semite and Jew, and so, when I heard DiAngelo had managed to make herself a bestselling author, I headed to my local bookstore, where dozens of copies had been helpfully stacked on a table devoted to “in-demand” literature on race and racism.

My first action on picking up a copy of White Fragility was to turn to the bibliography. I knew what I’d see, and it was a gratifying and familiar feeling to see so many names from my research on Whiteness Studies. They were almost all there, protruding from the page like shunned relatives at a family reunion — Noel Ignatiev, George Lipsitz, Ruth Frankenberg (described in White Fragility as “a premier white scholar in the field of whiteness studies”), Michelle Fine, Lois Weis, along with helpful co-ethnics like Thomas Shapiro, David Wellman, Sander Gilman, Larry Adelman, and Jay Kaufman. These are DiAngelo’s mentors and intellectual forbears, and I could tell, scanning through this list of names and works, that White Fragility was sure to boast very many references to “fellow Whites,” and streams of inducements to abandon White ethnic interests. These expectations weren’t disappointed. White Fragility is the kind of book that can be written in two months, read in two days, and forgotten in two hours, but Robin DiAngelo’s text is also a deeply pernicious piece of work, utterly contemptuous of the “normie” Whites it aims to convert to a more radical form of racial self-abnegation than they currently demonstrate. In fact, the work is so hostile and ideologically loaded that it can’t help but present a kind of dialectic, wherein certain truths are revealed in spite of itself. As such, I have to confess that I learned something from White Fragility, even if it isn’t what DiAngelo had in mind.

What is White Fragility?

“White Fragility,” as a theory, is confirmation of my belief that inducing guilt in Whites was never the end goal in itself. It’s never simply been about making us feel bad about ourselves or our ancestors. White Fragility, White guilt, and indeed Whiteness Studies as a whole, is fundamentally about power. Those of you familiar with the New Testament will recall the verse from John’s third chapter, wherein John the Baptist declares that Christ “must increase, but I must diminish.” Power and influence never simply disappear, but rather transfer. John (and it is entirely inconsequential whether you regard him as historical or fictional) was aware that as a popular local mystic or holy man, his mere continued presence was an obstacle to the local growth in power of Christ, and so he made a conscious decision to diminish himself. Likewise, we are living in an age where Whites continue to have some social, political, and economic power, but where large and growing numbers of non-Whites are seeking to obtain what remains of this power. For them to “increase,” it has been declared that we must diminish. Whiteness Studies is fundamentally about making us willing and enthusiastic participants in our own decline. When Blacks or Jews demand a reduction of, or end to, White power or wealth, it means that they want that power or wealth. Despite all sloganeering, there can be no equality in power among races. Not now, not ever; only ruthless and unceasing competition.

White guilt, in itself, is certainly an act of psychological diminishment, but the message of DiAngelo’s text is fundamentally that this psychological diminishment has not led to a desired correlation in material or structural diminishment. Whites merely feeling sorry for themselves isn’t enough for their competitors, if it isn’t accompanied by a wholesale transfer of power, land, and other resources. In this context, “White Fragility” is an indictment and insult levelled at White progressives merely frozen by fear of racism accusations and White guilt. In short, White Fragility is a horrifying call for Whites not simply to be paralyzed by White guilt, but to become active participants in their decline, and willing accomplices in their political and demographic destruction.

DiAngelo’s introduction begins with accusation. America “began with the attempted genocide of Indigenous people and the theft of their land. American wealth was built on the labor of kidnapped and enslaved Africans and their descendants.” So far, so familiar. But the book very quickly moves to an outline of the theory of White Fragility. I actually found this, and some other chapters on the same theme, extremely interesting, because DiAngelo, and presumably other Whiteness Studies activists, are keenly aware that Whites are peculiarly concerned with morality and with appearing to be good people (all of which is very much in keeping with the arguments and research of Kevin MacDonald). For example, DiAngelo writes on the fear White progressives have of being perceived as racist: “We consider a challenge to our racial worldview as a challenge to our very identities as good, moral people. Thus, we perceive any attempt to connect us to the system of racism as an unsettling and unfair moral offence. … One of the greatest social fears for a white person is being told that we have said or done something racially problematic.” Of course, the groundwork for the connections among White ethnocentrism = Racism = Morally Bad were laid by Jewish academics over many decades. The problem for Jewish activists and incentivized Whiteness Studies traitors is that this moral terror has resulted in what they perceive to be paralysis and inaction.

Actual “racists” aren’t really discussed in White Fragility, and where they are, it’s clear that they aren’t the target of the title of the book. In fact, DiAngelo points out: “Of course, some whites explicitly avow racism. We might consider these whites actually more aware of, and honest about, their biases.” In other words, even if we’re moral monsters in DiAngelo’s eyes, we aren’t “fragile.” Again, because of the extremes of the some of the dialectics here, certain truths emerge. DiAngelo remarks early in the book that “race matters,” something that many of our readers would agree with, even if it’s from a slightly different angle than the author intends. She also argues that:

All humans have prejudice; we cannot avoid it. … People who claim not to be prejudiced are demonstrating a profound lack of self-awareness. Ironically, they are also demonstrating the power of socialization — we have all been taught in schools, through movies, and from family members, teachers, and clergy that it is important not to be prejudiced. … Everyone has prejudice, and everyone discriminates.

I couldn’t agree more: Whites have been uniquely affected by mass propaganda designed to brainwash them into viewing as morally evil something that is natural and instinctive to all humans.

The real targets of this book are White progressives who profess anti-racism, and because I also possess many frustrations in relation to this demographic, I couldn’t help but agree with some of DiAngelo’s characterizations. Take, for example, this gem:

I believe that white progressives cause the most daily damage to people of color. I define a white progressive as any white person who thinks he or she is not racist, or is less racist, or in the “choir,” or already “gets it.” White progressives can be the most difficult for people of color because, to the degree that we think we have arrived, we will put our energy into making sure that others see us having arrived. [emphasis added]

I think this is a beautiful indictment of the demonstrative and showy nature of White anti-racists who simply love to engage in social theatrics in search of kudos, approval, and incentives without really understanding the deeper destructive meaning of anything they’re doing. DiAngelo has contempt for people like this because they place all their energies into grandstanding instead of helping in the transfer of real power and wealth. I have contempt for them because they place all their energies into grandstanding for short-term personal benefits while stabbing their ancestors, contemporaries, and progeny in the back.

The book’s first chapter, “The Challenges of Talking to White People About Race,” is devoted to convincing White progressives that they are in fact racist, and that they need to become better allies in their own racial destruction. The message here is quasi-spiritual; Whites are told that their quest for racial redemption will be lifelong, lasting until the day they die. Their existence is an ontological problem, the only solution to which is an endless quest to compensate for simply existing:

Interrupting the forces of racism is ongoing, lifelong work because the forces conditioning us into racist frameworks are always at play; our learning will never be finished.

I really wish more White moral grandstanders would understand that, ultimately, they will never be given a “pass” by our enemies once they’ve accrued enough kudos, or groveled enough, or displayed enough platform sympathy with Blacks, or any other ethnicity that happens to be Victim of the Month. They will only ever be temporary tools, held in contempt as much for their weakness as their whiteness.

Another interesting feature of the chapter is its attack on White individualism, presented here as a myth that prevents Whites from taking collective responsibility for alleged historical wrongs. For DiAngelo,

Individualism is a story line that creates, communicates, reproduces, and reinforces the concept that each of us is a unique individual and that our group memberships, such as race, class, or gender, are irrelevant.

DiAngelo’s problem with White individualism is that it’s a barrier to White guilt, and also a barrier to Whites perceiving alleged advantages in employment and social advancement in a society in which they enjoy a demographic majority. Again, due to the dialectic at play, I happen to agree that individualism among Whites is a problem in certain contexts. It’s just that in my perspective it’s a barrier to the explicit assertion of White ethnic interests and collective action in pursuit of those interests. In fact, without widespread awareness of an ethnic threat, it seems almost impossible to convince Whites to see themselves as a group and to act as one. A further obstacle to White ethnocentrism is decades of social conditioning in which Jewish propaganda is dominant. Even DiAngelo concedes that “reflecting on our racial frames is particularly challenging for white people, because we are taught that to have a racial viewpoint is to be biased.” Unfortunately, DiAngelo doesn’t ask who did the “teaching” in this regard, and she certainly doesn’t consider the broader implications of what she’s saying.

In the second chapter, “Racism and White Supremacy,” DiAngelo trots out the “race is a social construct” trope, with footnotes for her claims leading invariably to a section of bibliography that reads like a Bar Mitzvah invitation list. Black academic Ibram Kendi is quoted as arguing that “if we truly believe that all humans are equal, then disparity in condition can only be the result of systemic discrimination.” I agree, but I think the problem isn’t systemic discrimination but the belief that all humans are equal. Eliminate that belief and disparity in condition is neither surprising nor subject matter for conspiratorial conjecture. But alternative theories and beliefs like mine don’t feature in DiAngelo’s book, which has the air of a religious text, and issues utterances with an authority that demands faith rather than reason. There is an interesting section in the chapter denying that there can be an anti-White racism, with DiAngelo remarking:

People of color may also hold prejudices and discriminate against white people, but they lack the social and institutional power that transforms their prejudice and discrimination into racism; the impact of their prejudice on whites is temporary and contextual.

Let’s set aside that horrific last statement, and focus for a moment on the unstated premise underlying the first. Isn’t it more or less the stated goal of “Whiteness studies,” White guilt, the theory of “White Fragility,” Black Lives Matter, and the massive power of multicultural propaganda to lead to the further diminishment of White social and institutional power? As stated at the outset of this review, this power is destined for the hands of ethnic interlopers. We know full well which of these ethnic groups will take the lion’s share of that power, because they have their hands on most of it already. The question is therefore: why should Whites hand what remains of their social and institutional power to hostile groups that will unquestionably ensure that their prejudice is enacted on Whites in a way that is far from “temporary and contextual”? What possible incentive could adequately convince Whites to sign up to such a Devil’s pact? Isn’t the entirety of White guilt built on a psychotic and media-induced fantasy — the idea that if Whites would just give up all remaining power in their hands the world would enter an age of racial peace and harmony? DiAngelo doesn’t even touch on areas like this, preferring instead to subject the reader to a steady stream of meaningless gibberish, such as a lengthy rumination on the theories of Ruth Frankenberg who, we are told, gave birth to such dazzling notions as “whiteness is multidimensional.” DiAngelo then caps the chapter by treating us to the heights of Jamaican philosophy, where one Charles W. Mills advances a conspiracy theory titled “the racial contract” which involves:

A tacit and sometimes explicit agreement among members of the peoples of Europe to assert, promote, and maintain the ideal of white supremacy in relation to all other people of the world. … It is the unnamed political system that has made the modern world what it is today.

And there you have it — this Jamaican genius has discovered the Protocols of the Elders of Europa.

Charles W. Mills: A Caribbean Socrates

The same themes are repeated in the third chapter, “Racism After the Civil Rights Movement.” DiAngelo again attacks “fragile” Whites who claim to be color-blind, pointing out that they merely believe that it’s racist to acknowledge race and therefore flee into a denial of reality. The only real novelty in the chapter, and one I found highly entertaining, was DiAngelo’s list of racist behaviors exhibited by fragile Whites. These include “acting nice” and “being careful not to use racial terms or labels.” But such phrasing is all the rage now, as in the New York Times podcast series “Nice White Parents” which explores hypocrisy among progressive Whites expressing all manner of liberal pieties—but moving heaven and earth to avoid sending their children to schools with large numbers of POC.

The next chapter, “How Does Race Shape the Lives of White People?,” is probably the strangest of the book because, if DiAngelo is indeed White (and not someone with some Jewish ancestry), then it represents a very disturbing and irrational detachment from reality and common sense. For s start, DiAngelo seems to view even the mundane aspects of White ethnic homogeneity as pathological.  She writes:

As I move through my daily life, my race is unremarkable. I belong when I turn on the TV, read best-selling novels, and watch blockbuster movies. I belong when I walk past the magazine racks at the grocery store or drive past billboards. I belong when I see the overwhelming number of white people on lists of the “Most Beautiful.” … I belong when I look at my teachers, counsellors, and classmates. I belong when I learn about the history of my country throughout the year and when I am shown its heroes and heroines — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, Amelia Earhart, Susan B. Anthony, John Glenn, Sally Ride, and Louisa May Alcott …

All of this is presented as negative and sinister, to which one can only ask: what is the alternative? To hand over one’s nation and territory to others, so that you can cease to belong? What then? DiAngelo comments:

It is rare for me to experience a sense of not belonging racially, and these are usually very temporary, easily avoidable situations. Indeed, throughout my life, I have been warned that I should avoid situations in which I might be a racial minority. These situations are often presented as scary, dangerous, or “sketchy.”

I can’t image why. What I do suggest is that in order to help clarify her theoretical framework, Robin DiAngelo should, with all reasonable haste, relocate to an area in which she is most certainly not going to belong racially. Since she views “un-belonging” with great enthusiasm, while confessing she has no real experience on which to base this view, she should find the Blackest of Black areas and spend some quality time there — time that isn’t “temporary, easily avoidable.” I think, in the course of such an experiment, she will truly, honestly, encounter some helpful folks that will be only too glad to show her how fragile she can be.

By far the most entertaining chapter of the book comes within the last 50 pages. Titled “White Women’s Tears,” it’s an indictment of that infamous sight — bawling, wailing, and normally overweight White women clutching themselves in feverish grief over the death of some poor Black gangbanger who just happened to get shot while rushing a police officer. DiAngelo is probably correct in asserting that this is a self-indulgent demonstrative act designed to heighten status (“I’m moral, good, and empathetic”) and get attention from men of all races (“I’m vulnerable right now, and need attention and resources”). Some of the anecdotes in this regard, from DiAngelo’s “Whiteness” seminars are priceless, normally involving some weak-minded woman breaking down at the revelation she’s “racist,” and they went some way to compensating me for the purchase price and hideous ideology of the book. Above all, they confirmed to me that what we see unfold before us is both tragedy and farce, and that our situation is no less dangerous for that:

A black man struggling to express a point referred to himself as stupid. My co-facilitator, a black woman, gently countered that he was not stupid but that society would have him believe that he was. As she was explaining the power of internalized racism, a white woman interrupted with, “I think what he was trying to say was … “ When my co-facilitator pointed out that the white woman had reinforced the racist idea that she could best speak for a black man, the woman erupted in tears. The training came to a complete halt as most of the room rushed to comfort her and angrily accused the black facilitator of unfairness. … Meanwhile, the black man she had spoken for was left alone to watch her receive comfort.

Conclusion

DiAngelo scathingly remarks on incidents like this that “when we are mired in guilt, we are narcissistic and ineffective.” Essentially, the new direction of Whiteness Studies and its intellectual corollaries will be to wean Whites away from demonstrative habits of virtue signaling and into active participation in racial decline. We can expect to see in the near future (and we already to some extent have with the Black Lives Matter riots) a greater emphasis on Whites becoming active “anti-racists.” It will become increasingly difficult for Whites to appear simply as “not racist.” Active, enthusiastic activity on behalf of the ethnic power-grab will be demanded, and anything less will be portrayed with disdain as “fragility.” DiAngelo concludes her book with the blunt assertion that “a positive white identity is an impossible goal. White identity is inherently racist; white people do not exist outside the system of white supremacy.” White identity is therefore to be destroyed wholesale, and White ethnic interests crushed alongside it. DiAngelo proclaims with all the vigor of the subversive or the brainwashed that she will “strive for a less white identity, for my own liberation and sense of justice.”

Liberation and justice. These words were uttered a long time ago in France. The beheadings started soon after.

An Introspective of White Ethnocentrism

“The fiendlike skill we display in the invention of all manner of death-dealing engines, the vindictiveness with which we carry on our wars, and the misery and desolation that follow in their train, are enough of themselves to distinguish the white civilized man as the most ferocious animal on the face of the earth.”
           Herman Melville, Typee, 1846

Inert in the face of mass migration, and entranced by the foreign policy objectives of hostile elites, today’s “white civilized man” appear far removed from the ferocious animal perceived by Herman Melville. While still capable of inventing all manner of war machines, and retaining the ability to engage in vindictive and devastating conflicts, we seem uniquely incapable of doing any of it in our own interests. Instead, the “ferocious animal” of today is tame, on a leash, and obedient to obscure masters. One of the biggest problems for the Dissident Right, and perhaps the most serious, is the seeming collapse of White ethnocentrism in the second half of the twentieth century. The “liquid” nature of modernity, economic developments, the mass dissemination of guilt propaganda, the assault on the family, and, in some cases, the criminalization of aspects of White advocacy have all conspired to undermine, stigmatize, and destroy both national-cultural White identities (English, French, German etc.) and confluent “New World” White identities (American, Canadian, Australian etc.). These assaults from multiple angles have been so profound that by far the most prominent focus of Dissident Right activism has been to identify these external threats and then to attempt forms of rhetorical counter-attack. As such, the broad trajectory of pro-White literature, my own included, involves material on the hostility of Jews, globalism, neocon wars, Black crime, the mechanics of White guilt, and how we are censored or otherwise exiled from the mainstream.

Discussion of these subjects is absolutely essential, even if the argument could be made that we too often neglect the great White elephant in the room  —  the problem that both surrounds us and confounds us: the majority of Whites who simply fail to act in their interests, and even collaborate with outsiders against their ethnic interests. Probably no thinker in our circles has done more to move beyond neglect of ethnically pathological behaviors among Whites than Kevin MacDonald who, in a number of essays (e.g. see here, here and here) and his 2019 Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition: Evolutionary Origins, History, and Prospects for the Future, has almost single-handedly attempted to improve our understanding of what’s happening and to suggest possible remedies. With the election of Donald Trump, and the evolution of European populism, White identity and political interests are also coming into increasing prominence as academic and media talking points, the work of Matthew Goodwin and Eric Kaufmann being the most obvious examples. The methodologies of such studies involve group psychology, voting patterns, and economic analyses; their findings deserve careful study.

In the following essay, however, I propose a different way of looking at White ethnocentrism. Rather than turning a lens towards elections, the economy, group psychology, or the impacts of globalism, I want to do something quintessentially European — to turn the lens inwards. By examining the origins and nature of my own sense of ethnocentrism, I hope to understand more about the ethnocentrism, or lack of ethnocentrism, in other Whites. I do so in the understanding that my sense of ethnic identity might be radically different from others. In fact, I suspect that there is a multiplicity of ethnocentrisms at work among Europeans, each as unique as a fingerprint, and that this is one of the reasons for our predicament. Nevertheless, the following essay has been written in the hope that, even given the differences of White ethnocentrisms, something valuable might be learned, or that an interesting and productive debate might be started.

*****

I honestly can’t remember a point at which I first regarded myself as possessing a heightened, or above average, ethnocentrism. I certainly can’t recall instances before the age of 18 where I was not only conscious of being White, but proud of that fact and conceiving of myself as having interests as a White man. Looking back on my childhood, it’s clear to me that I was raised in an overwhelmingly White environment, and ethnic outsiders, such as they existed in my world, were found almost exclusively on television or in the realm of pop music. In other words, I was raised in an environment where being White was simply the default state, and ethnics were merely presented at the fringes of that environment as something safe, entertaining, even attractive. One jarring exception to this state of affairs occurred in my late teens, when the 2001 Oldham Riots, and later riots in Bradford, Burnley, and Leeds, broke out in the north of England. These riots were explicitly racial in nature, and had been prompted to a large extent by an increase in violent crime by Pakistanis and other South Asians against Whites. The most savage, and most publicised, of these attacks was the assault of Walter Chamberlain, a 76-year-old war veteran who was so badly beaten by three Pakistanis on his way home from a rugby match that he required surgery to rebuild his face. He had walked through “their area.”

The assault on Mr Chamberlain lit the match in the racial tinderbox, and Oldham erupted in mutual petrol bomb attacks, assaults, and arsons. It was through the blanket coverage of these race riots that I learned not only that there were growing ethnic enclaves throughout the West, but also that these brought in their wake “no-go areas,” rampant crime, and vicious anti-White hostility. The riots in Oldham coincided with the fact I had begun to study politics at high school, part of which involved looking at race relations. In fact, just a few weeks prior to the Oldham Riots, I’d been asked to watch Mississippi Burning (1988), a crime thriller loosely based on the 1964 murder investigation concerning three civil rights workers (two Jews and a Black) by the Ku Klux Klan. Looking back on it from my current vantage point, the film is exceptional multicultural propaganda. It’s extremely well-made from a technical standpoint, boasts tremendous acting talent in the form of Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe, and is utterly relentless in demonising the population of the American South while eulogising Blacks. Nevertheless, if memory serves me right, it had only a middling effect on my opinion of race relations, and any embryonic feelings of White guilt were swiftly destroyed one afternoon by my first encounter with the face of Mr Chamberlain, adorning the front pages of multiple newspapers as I made my way to buy lunch.

Walter Chamberlain

I followed the Oldham Riots with great interest, and recall thinking of myself as White for the first time because of the violence. Looking back over some old news articles covering those events, it’s really stunning how open some Oldham residents were about the racial realities they were forced to live with. Take, for example, the following remark from the landlord of a local pub, the Fytton Arms: “The Asians make you racist. You’re not brought up to hate them, they make you hate them.” Another man told reporters: “They won’t live like us. They won’t work. I don’t believe for a minute they can’t get a job because they are discriminated against. They don’t want jobs.” On the assault on Walter Chamberlain, another added: “That’s how sick and low they are, three lads knocking 10 bells out of an old bloke. What’s he going to do back?” In retrospect, I believe the Oldham Riots woke up a lot of White people, both near the epicenter and far from it. The riots marked the beginning of what would eventually be a remarkable rise in support for the British National Party. For those of us further afield, even if we didn’t hate Asians, to paraphrase the landlord of the Fytton Arms, “we weren’t brought up ethnocentric, but the Asians made us ethnocentric.”

Once the riots were suppressed, the government invested millions in “race relations” measures designed to bribe the Asians and gag the Whites. The years since 2001 have witnessed endless official exhortations to “celebrate diversity” in the town, while clampdowns were announced “on anything which might be deemed offensive,” including the flying of St. George’s flag. The town is still largely segregated, and an uneasy peace prevails. White ethnocentrism probably remains strong in Oldham but, for now, it’s shackled and dormant. Reflecting back on those years, after the riots my own ethnocentrism entered a short period of dormancy until, prompted by a history class that required me to watch Schindler’s List (1993) — how strange the role films have played thus far!— I was sent down another, more convoluted, path to White ethnocentrism.

*****

Until doing a short high school course of study on the rise of National Socialist Germany, part of which required coursework on Schindler’s List, my knowledge of Jews was limited to the highly philo-Semitic teachings of a Presbyterian Sunday school I attended between the ages of 5 and 10. It’s quite a leap to go from purportedly heroic Israelites parting seas and surviving the dens of lions to yellow stars on clothing and, in the narrative I was given, mass death on an industrial scale. It was probably the sheer scale of this gap — the contradictory exposure to extremes of philosemitism and antisemitism — that sparked a greater than average curiosity about what exactly had happened in Europe between 1933 and 1945, and why. Truth be told, that same curiosity is still there, and I have to say that while readers sometimes write to me saying that my essays have helped them understand certain topics, the essays are primarily a method of improving my own understanding — a kind of “thinking on paper.”

I started examining Jewish interactions with European populations, on a serious and advanced level, in my early 20s, around the same time I became a father. In terms of my own life history, these two events are connected in more senses than mere timing, since both contributed to heightened ethnocentrism. I found Ed Dutton’s recent J. Philippe Rushton: A Life History Perspective (2018) fascinating not just because of the analysis of Rushton’s work but what Dutton had to say about Rushton’s early life, especially:

All the behaviors which Rushton has displayed—dropping out of school, marrying young, having a child young, having an affair—are predicted by low IQ. But he manifestly had a very high IQ, so, instead, these reflect a fast Life History Strategy, and specifically low Conscientiousness. Rushton was ‘living for the now’, following his impulses, with little regard for the future.

Like Rushton, by my early 20s I exhibited behavior reflective of a fast Life History Strategy — I hadn’t dropped out of school but had at times been very “disruptive.” Despite excelling academically, I was frequently in fights and spent many hours in detention, I married young (20), and had a child young (age 21 to Rushton’s 19). I never had an affair or touched drugs (or even alcohol), but I did “live for the now,” following my impulses, with little regard for the future. Even now, I have a higher than average number of children (4), something more typical today of lower-IQ, risk-prone populations. And yet I also, like Rushton, continued my education alongside being a father, and graduated from university (also like Rushton) with First Class Honours, later proceeding (again like Rushton) to a PhD. In some ways, I regard my own experience of fatherhood as slowing my Life History Strategy, something I’m sure I’m not alone in experiencing.

For me, becoming a father wasn’t just a fact of biology, but also something spiritual. I remember holding my first child for the first time, and hearing in my mind the final words of Dante’s Paradiso: “But my will now and my desire were turned, like a wheel rotated evenly, by a love that moves the sun and the other stars.” This dramatic shift in my personality and sense of responsibility contributed in the longer term to a slower Life History Strategy, more conscientiousness (especially regarding my children), more caution, more deliberation on risk, and greater awareness not only of my own mortality but of the threat of death more generally. I became very protective, and began to be concerned with things like finding safe places to raise children, and safe people they could associate with. As they grew older, I became interested in what my children were being taught, and by whom. I began to think of myself, and my children, as part of a biological and spiritual continuum. Fatherhood had fathered a sense of ethnocentrism.

Fatherhood had fathered a sense of ethnocentrism.

*****

This life-shift occurred around the same time I encountered troubling incongruities in historical and contemporary representations of Jewish-European relations. It also coincided with the fact I was travelling more with my young family, spending time not only in cities across Europe but also the United States. There were alarming instances of ethnic crime, like the sexual assault of a family friend by a Black in Florida, an attempted break-in by Blacks in North Carolina, street harassment by gangs of Africans (twice) and Arabs (once) in Paris and Spain, attempted thefts by gypsies in Rome, but more insidiously alarming was my general sense that the White world was shrinking, becoming tragically and despondently peppered with “Oldhams.”

As my investigations of Jewish-European interactions deepened and expanded, I began to confront the Jewish role in promoting notions of tolerance and ethnic pluralism in White countries, and then encountered the work of Kevin MacDonald. MacDonald’s own personal account of the journey to White ethnocentrism had quite a profound effect on me, since it mirrored mine (and maybe even the landlord of the Fytton Arms) in a small but important number of ways, the most important of which was that White ethnocentrism really wasn’t something we were raised with, but that environmentally impressed itself upon us. It seemed to me that White ethnocentrism can do this either in dramatic and inescapable ways, by taking the form of a surface-level, instinctive reaction to the open and immediate violent hostility of ethnic outsiders, or it can be the result of a very broad and deep reflection on one’s immediate environment, circumstances, and group history. The latter path would appear to require above average intelligence, as well as exposure to certain stimulating factors and an ability to assimilate a range of historical, philosophical issues. Of course, it can also result from a combination of both — a violent ethnic confrontation that prompts deeper reflection and more intensified feelings of ethnocentrism. Actually expressing this newfound sense of ethnocentrism would then require a new set of traits altogether, including low conscientiousness (worrying less about what others would think), a greater tendency to risk-taking behaviors, and perhaps even higher than average levels of aggression. In other words, in attempting to define an ideal type of ethnocentric White, we are back to what we might be termed the “Rushton combination” of r and K traits and strategies, with enough IQ to grasp the problem at hand, and enough recklessness to push through a wall of social stigma in order to do something about it. This combination is, in all probability, quite rare in the population at large which would go some way towards explaining the relatively stagnant nature of White ethnocentrism at present.

In any event, it occurs to me that high levels of ethnocentrism don’t appear natural to Europeans. I think we lack the innate and instinctive forms of ethnocentrism we perceive in others, like the Jews, Arabs, and South Asians. Even in my early exploration of Jewish matters, I think I was angered more by a sense that certain aspects of Jewish behavior (usury, nepotism, monopoly, cultural hostility) appeared, quite frankly, as “unfair” rather than being a direct attack on my interests as a White person, and those of my family or people. Even today, some critics of my essays have mentioned that I seem to be motivated by a sense of unfairness rather than something more coldly rational, and perhaps they aren’t completely wrong. I’m sure that, like most quintessentially European types, I haven’t entirely escaped from preoccupations with questions of fairness and morality, even if I think that to lose these traits entirely (as some Nietzscheans have advocated) would be to tragically lose something that makes us who we are. We are preoccupied with fairness. We are caught up with ideas of morality. We’ve evolved that way, and it will be the challenge of our time to adapt these traits in a way that helps rather than hinders the development of ethnocentrism — something that is necessary if we are to  survive as a group and remain dominant in our homelands and historically-held territories.

*****

What I find very difficult to understand and explain are those Whites who experience utterly catastrophic inter-ethnic encounters and yet fail to develop an ethnocentric response. Search the media and it won’t be long until you find stories of Whites who have been raped by non-Whites and find some way to blame White people for it. Similarly, it won’t take long to find stories about fathers of murdered daughters who urge tolerance for ethnic minorities and utter non-sequiturs about what the daughter “would have wanted.” Such stories should be compared and contrasted with John Derbyshire’s now infamous 2012 article “The Talk: Nonblack Version,” which more or less makes the case that every good White parent should educate their children about the dangers posed by non-Whites. The reaction to Derbyshire’s piece was ferocious, but I ask a single, simple question: How many kids getting Derbyshire’s talk would go on to die at the hands of violent ethnic minorities? I think it would rather drastically reduce the number of inter-ethnic deaths.

Every time I hear about a young White woman murdered by ethnics, either in her home country or while travelling in some remote part of the world, I think of Derbyshire’s piece and say to myself, “Well, I bet her parents aren’t ‘racists’.” It’s really very simple — the daughters of ‘racists’ don’t think it’s a great idea to go travelling in remote India or in Muslim countries, and as such, they don’t get raped and beheaded in places like Morocco. The standout moment of 2019’s Joker comes in the penultimate act when the punchline to Arthur Fleck’s only real joke of the film is: “You get what you fucking deserve,” and, in the cruelest of senses, this applies to those who fail to “evolve” into ethnocentrism despite the environment demanding it. Ethnocentric Whites will manage to avoid the worst of ethnic violence, by moving away from non-Whites, by keeping their children away from them, by imparting knowledge about them, and by planning for a future in which racial realities will play an important role. Ethnically blind Whites will continue to bear the brunt of multiculturalism. They will be used as pawns by hostile elites, their children will be murdered, and their future will be bleak and utterly without hope.

*****

How should I characterise my sense of ethnocentrism? This is more difficult than I initially thought. Our movement has adopted a few new labels of late, including White advocacy and even “White Wellbeing.” There’s something about the latter that makes me cringe, despite the obvious good intent behind it. I sometimes listen to podcasts and hear a lot about “our people” and their achievements, and things to that effect. Again, I think this is very well-meaning, and I think we should absolutely try to encourage a sense of group pride. But, ironically, and for me personally, despite all the demonization of the Dissident Right as a hotbed of racial supremacism and ethnic chauvinism, my sense of White ethnocentrism is quite frankly a lot more personal and humble than that. My sense of White ethnocentrism is rooted in a desire to protect my family and to, as Bob Matthews once put it, “continue the flow” of my lineage. In regards to how my ethnocentrism, and the ethnocentrism of other Whites, might impact ethnic minorities, it should suffice to state that the problem began with them. They’re in my homeland; I’m not in theirs. Their presence and “racism” (which is really just White existence forced into conflict with an opposing force) are a mutual or dependent arising. One does not exist without the other. The presence of outsiders will provoke White ethnocentrism, at least among the healthy and adaptive. If “anti-racist” ethnic aliens are sincere in their desire to end White racism they should take the only authentic measure guaranteed to achieve that end — they should leave, and leave quickly.

More than pride in being White, more than any sense of historical achievements by the European peoples, I simply thank whatever gods may be that I possess a sense of ethnic identity.

Against Mishima: Sex, Death and Optics in the Dissident Right

“One learns from Confessions of a Mask how Mishima put “Circassians” (white boys) to the sword by the dozen in his dreams.”
Henry Scott Stokes, The Life and Death of Yukio Mishima

“Mishima is more a figure of parody than a force of politics.”
Alan Tansman, The Aesthetics of Japanese Fascism 

I read with great interest Guillaume Durocher’s recent Unz Review article on Yukio Mishima’s commentary on the Hagakure, the eighteenth-century guide to Bushido, or Japanese warrior ethics. I rate Durocher’s work very highly, and as someone who once shared his interest in Mishima, and Japanese culture more generally, I expected the piece to be well-informed, insightful and provocative. Much as I was intrigued by Durocher’s piece, I think the Dissident Right would benefit from an alternative view of Mishima, and perhaps also the subject of Japanese culture in the context of European rightist sensibilities, especially when right-wing treatments of Mishima other than Durocher’s (which is suitably measured in the assessment of Mishima’s fiction) tend towards hagiography. In the following essay, I offer not necessarily a rebuttal or rebuke of Durocher, but an alternative lens through which to view the Japanese author, his life, and politics. Since a movement’s choice of heroes can have an impact on its spirit and ethos, the following should be considered an attempt at spiritual ophthalmology, or the bringing of certain perspectives into clearer focus. This clearer focus, I argue, can only lead to the conclusion that Mishima was a profoundly unhealthy and inorganic individual who should be regarded as anathema to European nationalist thought.

My first introduction to Yukio Mishima came several years ago in the form of a recording of a 2011 lecture delivered in London, by the late Jonathan Bowden, at the 10th New Right meeting. Bowden was an exceptional orator, yet to find an equal in the current crop of dissident right leaders. In fact, as we move further and further into patterns of YouTube-based “content producing” I fear that oratory of Bowden’s type may become an increasingly rare art. One of Bowden’s great strengths as a speaker was the ability to take dense topics and biographical overviews and reduce them to an hour or so of dynamic, entertaining, and extremely accessible commentary. Those in the audience, or listening in other forms, found it impossible for their attention to wander. A downside to Bowden’s oratory was that it didn’t translate quite as well onto paper, often following Bowden’s stream of consciousness rather than more logical and structured progression, with the result that one laments that Bowden didn’t focus also on a more formal type of scholarship that would surely have constituted a monumental and lasting bequest to the movement he devoted so much to. As it stands, recovering Bowden’s legacy has for the most part been the task of tracking down lost recordings of his speeches, a task that Counter-Currents have admirably taken the lead in.

Prior to listening to Bowden on Mishima, I had already established an interest in Japanese history and culture. I trained for several years in jiu-jitsu, spent a great deal of time in my early 20s reading the works of D. T. Suzuki and Shunryu Suzuki on Zen Buddhism (the former also had some interesting and sympathetic things to say on National Socialism and anti-Semitism), and Brian Victoria’s 1997 Zen at War remains one of the most interesting works on the history of religion and warfare I’ve yet had the pleasure to read. Somehow, however, Mishima escaped my attention until Bowden’s lecture, which really offered only the most raw and basic of introductions to the man. Bowden presented Mishima as a rightist thinker but never quite explained why. He indicated that Mishima had some relevance for the European right but couldn’t articulate how. The lecture only clumsily situated Mishima within near-contemporary Japanese culture, and Bowden himself evinced equivocation and incomprehension on the reasons why Mishima undertook his now infamous suicidal final action. Who was Mishima? Why was he relevant? In a bid to follow up these loose ends, and trusting Bowden that the effort would be worthwhile, I spent around a year making my way through Mishima’s fiction, biographies, scholarship, and other forms of commentary on Mishima’s life and death. The result of my research was a deluge of notes, many of which will now make their way into this article, and profound disappointment that such a figure should ever have been promoted in our circles.

Explaining how and why Mishima came to be promoted in corners of the European Right requires that one confront what could be termed “the Mishima Myth,” or the vague and propagandized outlines of what constitutes Yukio Mishima’s biography and presumed ideology. The Mishima Myth runs something like this:

Yukio Mishima was a gifted and prolific Japanese author and playwright who became profoundly disillusioned with the political and spiritual trajectory of modern Japan; influenced by Samurai tradition and Western thought, especially the philosophy of Nietzsche, he embarked on a program of radical self-improvement; he took up bodybuilding and formed his own 100-strong private army — the Shield Society; he led this army in an attempted coup at a military base, taking a very senior officer hostage, and demanded that all troops follow him in rejecting the post-war constitution and supporting the return of the Emperor to his pre-war status as deity and supreme leader; finally, rejected and ridiculed by the troops, he took his life via seppuku, ritual disembowelment in the tradition of the Samurai.

Occasionally, for added effect, rightist promoters of Mishima will add that he wrote a 1968 play titled My Friend Hitler, which, despite the provocative title, is politically middling, and has been interpreted as anti-fascist as often as it has been as fascist. Taken together, one supposes that the relevant factors here are that Mishima was an authoritarian, monarchist “Man of Action” who seized control of his own life and attempted to divert his nation away from empty consumerism (cue applause). Thus, in the Mishima Myth, rather than focusing on his actual writings on fascism and politics (which are in any event very few in number), Mishima’s ideology is read from selected chapters of his life, especially his final actions. Mishima becomes a man of the right because he was Mishima, because of what he did. This, so the narrative goes, is why he should be relevant to us.

A critique of the Mishima Myth is therefore necessarily ad hominem, since there is a glaring absence of ideas to argue against and since the myth is merely a composite of slices of edited and heavily sanitized biography. Despite an abundance of English-language biographies, rightist promoters of Mishima rarely engage in serious exploration of Mishima’s life, preferring to focus on hagiographic presentations of selected episodes, especially their interpretation of the dramatic death. This should be the first cause of caution, and it was certainly mine. The primary reason for this evasion, as I was to find out, is profound embarrassment, since Mishima’s life is thin on right-wing politics, or for that matter politics of any description, and rather heavy on homosexual sadomasochism (which is far from the only questionable aspect of Mishima-ism). But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s start at the beginning.

Yukio Mishima was born Kimitake Hiraoka on January 14 1925, into an upper middle-class family. One of the first things that struck me about Mishima’s life, and especially his childhood, is that it has attracted swathes of psychoanalysts,[1] the reason being that he is an important and visible example of what these writers perceive to be the link between oppressive and abusive childhoods, latent homosexuality, sadism, masochism, and authoritarian and fascist politics. Indeed, if one makes the argument that Mishima was in fact a fascist, then one begins to consent to some of the central theses of the Frankfurt School. Mishima certainly had a strange and psychologically distorting childhood, and I concur with Sadanobu Ushijima’s conclusion that it resulted in Mishima suffering most of his life from a personality disorder involving “recurrent episodes of depression with severe suicidal preoccupation.”[2]

According to Henry Scott Stokes, in my opinion Mishima’s best biographer as well as being the only Westerner invited to his funeral, almost as soon as Mishima was born his grandmother (Natsuko) “resolved to take personal responsibility for his upbringing and virtually kidnapped the little boy from his mother,” raising the child almost entirely in her sickroom.[3] Natsuko brought up Mishima “as a little girl, not as a boy,” and he was forced to stay inside, was prohibited with playing with most of his environment, and was told to be almost completely silent due to his grandmother’s complaints of constant head pain.[4] After some years, his mother was permitted to take him outside, but only when there was no wind.[5] There is some suggestion that he was beaten, or otherwise severely psychologically abused, with the result that he suffered a sequence of psychosomatic illnesses involving the retention of urine. There is also some suggestion of sexual abuse or “obscene” treatment at the hands of his grandmother’s nurse. Quasi-incestuous closeness in indicated by his later description of his grandmother as a “true-love sweetheart”, and on his death his mother described him as her “lover.”[6] Mishima was generally regarded by those around him as “an unusually delicate child.”[7]

In keeping with scientific studies strongly suggesting that dressing, or otherwise treating, young boys as girls can induce homosexuality,[8] and studies showing that homosexuals are more likely than the sexually normal to be predisposed to “brutal” violence[9] (to say nothing of what anecdotally appears to be a disproportionate preponderance of homosexual serial killers and cannibals), Mishima would later write in his semi-autobiographical Confessions of a Mask (1949) that he had homosexual fantasies from a young age and that many of these were sadistic in nature. At this point I should pause and concede that the British “anti-Fascist” collective operating as Hope Not Hate have described me as perhaps the most “homophobic” “far right commentator” in the Dissident Right, as well as simplifying my perspective as framing “homosexuality and modern conceptions of gender as socially constructed as a symptom of societal decay, and LGBT+ rights as a tool of a Jewish conspiracy to undermine white society. This vein of thinking sometimes even results in open calls for the expulsion or violent eradication of LGBT+ people.”

This may or may not be an entirely accurate representation of my views, but the point I want to make here is that my critique of Mishima isn’t based on his homosexuality qua homosexuality, since the argument could be made by some that a homosexual fascist is still a fascist (though such arguments could be easily problematized and I will later critique his “fascism” in and of itself). Piven remarks that there has long been a “Mishima cult” in France (perhaps Durocher can confirm), adding “though his following outside Japan consists largely of gay populations who champion him.”[10] My argument against the Mishima myth is mainly that if key aspects of his biography, including the death, are linked significantly more to his sexuality than his politics, then this is grounds to reconsider the worth of promoting such a figure, already non-White and with no significant Western cultural impact, within the Dissident Right.

Mishima was “eternally excluded from the lives of ordinary men and women,” and developed early fantasies about taxi drivers, bartenders, but especially soldiers.[11] He was particularly fixated on the idea of dying soldiers and death generally, and “the violent or excruciatingly painful death of a handsome youth was to be a theme of many of his novels.”[12] In childhood, Mishima enjoyed playing dead, and he had eroticized notions of suicide from early adolescence. In his own words, he had a “compulsion toward suicide, that subtle and secret impulse.”[13] His first erotic experience appears to have been masturbating to a print of Guido Reni’s St. Sebastian, which depicts the semi-nude and bleeding saint bound to a tree and impaled with arrows. Mishima would later explain that he “delighted in all forms of capital punishment and all implements of execution so long as they provided a spectacle of outpouring blood.”[14] Stokes comments that “In Mishima’s aesthetic, blood was ultimately erotic.” Mishima fantasized about wounded, dying soldiers, imagining “I would kiss the lips of those who had fallen to the ground and were still moving spasmodically.”[15] He day-dreamed about execution devices studded with daggers, designed to shred the bodies of young men, and had a “fantasy of cannibalism” in which he fed on an athletic youth who had been “stunned, stripped, and pinned naked on a vast plate.”[16] Jerry Piven observes that Mishima’s fiction is replete with “innumerable fantasies of raping and killing beautiful young boys, of scenes of masturbating to images of slain men, of ceaseless loathing for despicable women.”[17]

St. Sebastian by Guido Reni (c. 1625)

In Deadly Dialectics: Sex, Violence and Nihilism in the World of Yukio Mishima (1994), Roy Starrs comments:

Few writers since the Marquis de Sade himself have made a more public and provocative “performance” of their “perverse” sexuality. … He found himself aroused by pictures not of naked women but of naked men, preferably in torment. Again he finds that homosexual pleasure is inextricably linked, for him, with sadistic pleasure, and he indulges in the most outrageous fantasies of managing a “murder theatre” in which muscular young men are slowly tortured to death for his amusement.[18]

Mishima read both Freud and the works of the Jewish sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, and concurred with the latter (also a homosexual and transvestite) that pictures of the dying St. Sebastian were a favorite among homosexuals, with Mishima himself arguing that “the homosexual and sadistic urges are inextricably linked.”[19] Far from the image of the austere Samurai, as he approached middle age the increasingly bipolar Mishima was known to dance in gay bars with a 17-year-old drag queen,[20] and once flew to New York solely for the purpose of finding a White man who would be sexually “rough” with him. His former lovers recall how he “liked to pretend he was committing seppuku,” making them watch, before asking them to stand over him with a sword as if about to behead him. He would pull out a red cloth, that he would pull across his abdomen explaining this was his “blood and guts.”[21] Mishima once described himself as “strangely pathetic.”[22] Durocher may well be correct in his review of Mishima on the Hagakure that “Above all, Mishima would have men live full, worthy, and noble lives,” but readers should by now be aware of why I felt an alternative lens needed to be introduced to our perspective.

A theory thus presents itself that Mishima’s carefully orchestrated death was a piece of homosexual sadomasochist theatre rather than anything political, let alone fascistic or in the tradition of the Samurai. In order to parse this question more fully, it’s necessary to examine Mishima’s politics and spirituality, or what can at least be discerned in that direction.

One of the remarkable things about Mishima is that he seems hardly political at all. His fiction, denounced by early critics of all political hues as full of “evil narcissism” possessing “no reality,” is almost entirely devoid of ideology. (Durocher appropriately mentions how he tried to, and wanted to, like Mishima’s novels but couldn’t.) As such, Mishima is a pale shadow of ultra-nationalist literary contemporaries like Shūmei Ōkawa, Hideo Kobayashi, and Yasuda Yojūrō. Confessions of a Mask, his most autobiographical text and a style of novel (shishosetsu) that Kobayashi especially loathed as ‘popular’, “had nothing to say in it about political events that had influenced his life. … He was regarded as apolitical by his contemporaries.”[23] He was neither politically involved nor possessed of any real depth of feeling on political matters until the 1960s, when he was around 40 and becoming increasingly pessimistic and depressed — mainly because he was ageing and was disgusted and horrified by old age.[24] In his commentary on the Hagakure, Mishima would inflect his own anxieties about ageing and his own predilection for youthful suicide fantasies by telling his readers they should live for the moment and be content with a short life, and one gets the sense of personal inflections again when he informed his readers that “homosexual love goes very well with the Way of the Warrior.”[25] Otomo remarks that Mishima’s relationship to the Hagakure was simply peculiar and largely artificial, pointing to better, more authentic, examples of Bushido ethics and exploits such as Budoshoshinshu and the Kōyō Gunkan, and remarking on the Hagakure:

Ironically enough, the text is evidence of the absence of the code. It is an empty style that can be borrowed by anyone at any time of history and it no longer signifies a core culture of an Oriental entity called Japan. In fact, it has never signified as such except in one man’s nostalgia.[26]

In reality, and despite his self-presentation as the embodiment of the Hagakure, Mishima was strangely un-Japanese, something remarked upon by Stokes (“he was remarkably un-Japanese”)[27], who met him several times, and as evidenced in various aspects of Mishima’s life. Ryoko Otomo observes that, in a departure from the Zen Buddhism of the Samurai, Mishima, “was an affirmed atheist.”[28] What Mishima did in fact see in Zen and the Hagakure, so far as can be determined from his fiction and statements to journalists, was a dark and profound nihilism — something that any Zen master, including D. T. Suzuki who in one of his seminal texts has a chapter titled “Zen is not Nihilistic”, would argue is anathema to authentic Zen conceptions of “the Void.” When he became financially successful, Mishima set about building a large, Western-style, “anti-Zen” house, and Zen masters he associated with later remarked Mishima made “no profound study of philosophy.”[29] Mishima knew nothing of nature, being a decadent urbanite, and was unlike many Japanese in being ignorant of the most basic botany. Once, when accompanying a friend in the countryside, he was shocked and confused at the noise of frogs.[30] He once told reporters that his average day was spent with gym activity followed by lounging around a house regarded by his neighbors, and even its architect, as “gaudy,” “in jeans and an aloha shirt.”

Mishima went through with a hasty marriage of convenience to satisfy his dying mother, fathering two children that, in the style of the worst ghetto-dwellers, he was largely absent from. In fact, in several of his novels, especially Forbidden Colors which is replete with what Stokes calls “morbid sexuality,” he expresses contempt for children, families, and the normal, non-homosexual familial structure that is the backbone and future of all societies and civilizations:

Go to a theater, go to a coffeehouse, go to the zoo, go to an amusement park, go to town, go out to the suburbs even; everywhere the principle of majority rule is lording about in pride. Old couples, middle-aged couples, young couples, lovers, families, children, children, children, children, children and, to top it off, those blasted baby carriages—all of these things in procession, a cheering, advancing tide.

By contrast, as a homosexual, Mishima nurtured fantasies of himself as a member of an elitist minority.

Ideologically, Mishima was clumsy and confused at best. He believed that fascism and Freudian psychology were ideologically related,[31] and believed in resurrecting a Japanese imperialism that would make room for parliamentary democracy.[32] He insisted, meanwhile, that “fascism will be incompatible with the imperial system.” Moreover, he argued that Japanese right-wingers “did not have to have a systematised worldview,” perhaps because he had none himself, and that they “nevertheless have nothing to do with European fascism.”[33] By the early 1960s, Mishima was a writer of decadent romantic fiction so politically weak, and tendentiously left-wing, that he was targeted with death threats by right-wing paramilitaries.[34] Eventually, some time in the late 1960s and despite having no real depth of feeling for Shinto religion, Mishima decided that it would be a good idea if the Emperor was returned to his pre-war status as a deity, prompting Sir John Pilcher, British Ambassador to Japan to declare Mishima’s fantasy of placing himself “in any relationship to the Emperor” as “sheer foolishness.”[35] Mishima, of course, never explored the Emperor’s role in World War II in any depth, and his chief fixation appears solely to have been the decision of the Emperor to accede to Allied demands and “become human.” Although Mishima became increasingly vocal on this issue, and even started taking financial donations from conservative politicians to establish a small paramilitary grouping consisting of lovers and fans, “he never defined his positions clearly,” and was so poor at articulating his ideas to troops during his coup attempt that he was simply laughed at by gathered soldiers.[36] Whether or not Mishima was fully sincere is, of course, another matter, though his suicidal coup attempt came very shortly after literary career declined so rapidly that friends wrote to him “telling him that suicide would be the only solution.”[37] Suicide in Japanese culture is of course also crucial to this discussion and will be explored below.

Mishima’s purported militarism is worthy of some attention. I come from a military family, and have many friends in the military. One of the things that’s always irritated and amused me is the difference between how actual service personnel  discuss themes such as “being a warrior” or combat more generally in comparison to military fantasists. Among the former, there always exists a wry, sober, even bittersweet outlook. Among the latter, one is apt to find much talk of glory and conquest, but little action. Mishima was surely a military fantasist, who even by his own admission had a sexual fetish for the white gloves worn with the Japanese uniform,[38] and lied during his own army medical exam during the war in an effort to avoid military service: “Why had I looked so frank as I lied to the army doctor? Why had I said that I’d been having a slight fever for half a year, that my shoulder was painfully stiff, that I spit blood, and that even last night I had been soaked by a night sweat? … Why had I run so when I was through the barracks gate?”[39]

When the bombs fell during the war, Mishima recalled, “that same me would run for the air-raid shelters faster than anyone.”[40] Stokes suitably comments that “had he served in the army, even for a short while, his view of life in the ranks would have been less romantic, later in life,” but that instead “Mishima stayed home with his family, reading No plays, the dramas of Chikamatsu, the mysterious tales of Kyoka Izumi and Akinari Ueda, even the Kojiki and its ancient myths.”[41] When he eventually formed his own paramilitary organisation, he dressed them in “opéra bouffe uniforms which incited the ridicule of the press,” and Starrs comments: “He was no more a true ‘samurai’ than he was a true policeman or airforce pilot, in whose garb he also had himself photographed. The ‘samurai’ image was simply one of Mishima’s favourite masks — and also one of his most transparent.”[42]

One could add speculations that Mishima’s military fantasies were an extension of his sexual fixations, including a possible attempt to simply gain power over a large number of athletic young men. But this would be laboring an all-too-obvious point. More soberly, one could merely point to the ridiculous notion of a military coup being led by a bipolar, draft-dodging shut-in (Hikikomori) who, when confronted during the action itself, witnessed the beginning and end of his fighting career when he hacked frantically at a handful of unarmed men with an antique sword. The Jewish academic and Japan scholar Alan Tansman might well be a sexual pervert himself, but it’s difficult to disagree with his assertion that “Mishima is more a figure of parody than a force of politics,”[43] and attempts to link Mishima with our worldview only provide further grist for the Jewish mill.

Since Mishima’s writings and actions are politically opaque at best, it is little wonder that most attention from his propagandists has focused on the dramatic and quasi-traditional method of suicide, which is often portrayed as representing the utmost in honor, masculine courage etc. Such accounts, of course, normally omit the fact Mishima rehearsed his suicide for decades in the form of gay sex games, and was essentially a gore fetishist. A broader problem exists, however, in the nature of Western appraisal of seppuku, and suicide in Japanese culture more generally. The most enlightening piece of work I’ve read in this sphere has been that of the late Toyomasa Fuse (1931–2019), Professor Emeritus at York University and probably the world’s leading expert on suicide among the Japanese. In Suicide and Culture in Japan: A Study of Seppuku as an Institutionalized Form of Suicide, Fuse explains that suicide in Japan essentially originates from a servile position within a highly anxious and neurotic society. Needless to say, this is far from healthy and praiseworthy behavior. He describes seppuku as a form of “altruistic suicide” and an expression of “role narcissism,” it being a

Response to a continued need for social recognition resulting from narcissistic preoccupation with the self in respect to status and role. … Many Japanese tend to become over-involved with their social role, which has become cathected by them as the ultimate meaning in life. … Shame and chagrin are so extreme among the Japanese, especially in a perceived threat to loss of social status, that the individual cannot contemplate life henceforth.[44]

There is little question that seppuku had a place among the samurai, but the actual nature of its practice over time was complex and was successively reinterpreted, alternating between a voluntary way of recovering honor, and a form of capital punishment (peasants, meanwhile, were simply boiled alive). It also alternated in form, involving varying types of cut to the belly, and sometimes involving no cut to the abdomen at all — the individual would ceremonially reach for a knife before being quickly beheaded. Starrs observes that while misguided Westerners have “naively accepted” Mishima’s seppuku as being “in the best samurai tradition,”[45] it was simply Mishima’s own variation on a theme — the same theme that witnessed hundreds of servile Japanese slit their bellies in front of the imperial palace at the end of the war because of their embarrassment at failing the Emperor. Again, we must question, at a time when we are trying to break free from high levels of social concern and shaming in Europe, whether it is healthy or helpful to praise practices originating in pathologically shame-centered cultures.

As Fuse notes, the traditional European response to seppuku has been disgust, not solely at the physical act itself but because of the servile psychological and sociological soil from which it originates. Because of the difference in mentalities, there is a complication in how concepts such as honor and bravery translate in this particular instance. Seppuku certainly appears to be easier to undertake for a Japanese than for a European. Mishima himself, to give the devil his due, didn’t equivocate in his pursuit of the most brutal methodology. His own wound was found to be five inches across and, in places, two inches deep.[46] Those knowledegable enough in older times would make a cut so as to cut a renal or aortic vein, leading to such catastrophic blood loss that death would be almost instantaneous. Mishima doesn’t appear to have had such knowledge, spilling his intestines out in agony while three successive attempts (by a subordinate and rumored lover) were made to behead him, one opening up a massive wound on his back instead.

Conclusion

The facts surveyed here surely point out the inadequacies of the Mishima Myth as presented in corners of the European Right. I listened again to Bowden’s lecture just yesterday, and laughed out loud at Bowden’s brief gloss of Mishima’s catastrophic childhood (“he was a slightly effeminate child”). Unfortunately, because Bowden spoke more often than he compiled serious research, it’s impossible to determine if Bowden was a conscious promoter of Mishima propaganda, or an earnest but ill-informed believer in the Mishima Myth. I simply don’t know the extent of Bowden’s reading in the matter. Like Durocher, I’ve also watched Paul Schrader’s Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, though I found it to be a cheesy, dated, and rather manipulative hagiography rather than a masterpiece. Durocher comments “You’re either the kind of boy who is challenged, energized, and inspired by this sort of film, or perhaps you’re not a boy,” which I can only regard as laden with irony given that the film’s subject was raised as a girl and once remarked, on being expected to act like a boy: “the reluctant masquerade had begun.”[47] Schrader’s documentary is also highly sanitized; according to Stokes this is due to the tight control that Mishima’s widow and extended family had over the production, and their concern about potential for embarrassment.[48] One small scene showing Mishima in a gay bar was enough for the family to block distribution in Japan, and they even invested money in paying Takeshi Muramatsu to write a 500-page biography, the central proposition of which was to try to convince the Japanese public that Mishima was heterosexual and had merely spent his life, to quote Stokes, “posing as a sodomite.” Rather predictably, the text failed to convince anyone, though it probably salved the family’s pride a little to know that it was out there.

We come back to the central questions of how and why Yukio Mishima should be relevant to us. No answers can be found in the life, politics and actions of a figure not only non-European and profoundly un-fascistic, but who was also strangely un-Japanese. I contend that there is simply nothing genuine to learn from him, and few people who have written in support of Mishima can point to anything tangible beyond the amorphous outlines of the Mishima Myth and a film heavy on style and low on authenticity. There is no single piece of text, no treatise, and no piece of authenticity beyond a final, radically un-European and sadomasochistically-inspired act of self-destruction and death-embracing nihilism. Mishima’s monarchism was servile and parodic, his militarism homoerotic, disingenuous and ludicrous, and his death-as-political-statement was psychosexual and ultimately lacking in logic. Otomo is probably correct in viewing the coup attempt more as a sexually inspired method of “politicising art rather than expressing a belief in ultra-nationalism.”[49]

The question thus arises as to whether associating ourselves with such a figure, surely a clownish homoerotic wignat in today’s vernacular, brings more positives or negatives, both within the Dissident Right and within broader considerations of “optics” or public image. In particular, we should question whether we want to place our politics in a nexus that involves, to borrow the terminology of the Japan scholar Susan Napier, “the interrelationship between homosexuality, politics, and the peculiar form of violence-prone psychosexual nihilism from which Mishima suffered.”[50] I’d argue in the negative.

Members of the Dissident Right with an interest in Japanese culture are encouraged to take up one or more of the martial arts, to look into aspects of Zen, or to review the works of some of the other twentieth-century Japanese authors mentioned here. Such endeavors will bear better fruit. Above all, however, there is no comparison with spending time researching the lives of one’s own co-ethnic heroes and one’s own culture. As Europeans, we are so spoiled for choice we needn’t waste time with the rejected, outcast, and badly damaged members of other groups.


[1] See, for example, Abel, T. (1978). Yukio Mishima: A psychoanalytic interpretation. Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 6(3), 403–424; Piven, J. (2001). Mimetic Sadism in the Fiction of Yukio Mishima. Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture 8, 69-89; McPherson, D.E. (1986). A Personal Myth—Yukio Mishima: The Samurai Narcissus. Psychoanalytical Review, 73C(3):361-378; Jerry Piven (2001). Phallic Narcissism, Anal Sadism, And Oral Discord: The Case Of Yukio Mishima, Part I. The Psychoanalytic Review: Vol. 88, No. 6, pp. 771-791; Piven, J. S. (2004). The madness and perversion of Yukio Mishima. Praeger Publishers/Greenwood Publishing Group; Cornyetz, N., & Vincent, J. K. (Eds.). (2010). Perversion and modern Japan: psychoanalysis, literature, culture. Routledge.

[2] Ushijima, S. (1987), The Narcissism and Death of Yukio Mishima –From the Object Relational Point of View–. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 41: 619-628.

[3] H. S. Stokes The Life and Death of Yukio Mishima (Cooper Square Publishers; 1st Cooper Square Press Ed edition, 2000), 40.

[4] Ibid., 41.

[5] Ibid., 47.

[6] Ibid., 47.

[7] Ibid., 42.

[8] John Money, Anthony J. Russo, Homosexual Outcome of Discordant Gender Identity/Role in Childhood: Longitudinal Follow-Up, Journal of Pediatric Psychology, Volume 4, Issue 1, March 1979, Pages 29–41.

[9] Mize, Krystal & Shackelford, Todd K., Intimate Partner Homicide Methods in Heterosexual, Gay, and Lesbian Relationships Violence and Victims, 23:1.

[10] J. Piven The Madness and Perversion of Yukio Mishima (Westport: Prager, 2004), 2.

[11] Stokes, 43, 44.

[12] Ibid., 44.

[13] Ibid., 58.

[14] Ibid., 61.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid.

[17] J. Piven The Madness and Perversion of Yukio Mishima (Westport: Prager, 2004), 3.

[18] R. Starrs Deadly Dialectics: Sex, Violence and Nihilism in the World of Yukio Mishima (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1994), 35.

[19] R. Starrs (2009) A Devil of a Job, Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, 14:3, 85-99, 85 & 87.

[20] Stokes, 103 & 136.

[21] Starrs, A Devil of a Job, 89.

[22] Stokes, 91.

[23] Ibid., 95.

[24] Ibid., 95 & 102.

[25] Ibid., 266.

[26] Ryoko Otomo, The Way of the Samurai: Ghost Dog, Mishima, and Modernity’s Other, Japanese Studies 21 (1), 31-43, 41.

[27] Stokes., 5.

[28] Otomo, 40.

[29] Stokes, 278.

[30] Ibid., 110.

[31] Starrs, Deadly Dialectics, 24.

[32] Otomo, 39.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Stokes., 295.

[35] Ibid., 277.

[36] Ibid., 273.

[37] Ibid., 281.

[38] Ibid., 57.

[39] Ibid., 81.

[40] Ibid., 76.

[41] Ibid., 81.

[42] Starrs, Deadly Dialectics, 7.

[43] Tansman, A. (2009). The Aesthetics of Japanese Fascism. University of California Press, 257.

[44] Fusé, T. Suicide and Culture in Japan: A Study of Seppuku as an Institutionalized Form of Suicide Social Psychiatry (1980) 15: 57, 61.

[45] Starrs, Deadly Dialectics, 6.

[46] Stokes, 34.

[47]Ibid., 48.

[48] Ibid., 267.

[49] Otomo, 40.

[50] Napier, S. (1995). Reviewed Work: Deadly Dialectics: Sex, Violence and Nihilism in the World of Yukio Mishima by Roy Starrs  Monumenta Nipponica, 50(1), 128-130.

Ideas on maintaining relationships with the less committed in a dark age

Many of us are forced to deal with personal issues because of our political-cultural beliefs. A typical situation might be a wife or girlfriend—the great majority of activists on the dissident right are male—who is terrified of it becoming known that she is associated with someone who is shunned and socially ostracized. But of course, it may also be other family members or friends—a particularly painful experience.

Let’s assume that doxing would only result in social opprobrium, not loss of livelihood—admittedly a much easier case. And let’s also assume that your significant other is not a committed social justice warrior. Such people are completely intolerant of opinions that conflict with their dogmas and they are fueled by hatred toward people like you. Such people are impossible to reason with. They prefer spewing hatred, typically accompanied with ungrounded assertions of moral and intellectual superiority. They do this within their echo chambers of like-minded people, ignoring data they don’t like and never encountering a dissenting voice. Trust me, you can’t talk to them. Get them out of your life, whatever it takes. You’ll be happier.

Since we still have a functioning First Amendment, the establishment uses informal means of punishing dissenters, and pressure on employers is the first option. While Marxists rail at the evils of capitalism, the fact is that all the major corporations are completely on board with the official ideology on race and gender, and are all too willing to fire those who dissent. It is completely understandable for people threatened by loss of livelihood to maintain a low profile, especially if they have a family to support.

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Bronze Age Mindset: In Praise of Spirited Men

Man is born straight and free, but everywhere he is in fuzzy rainbow handcuffs. Heroes in ancient times boasted to friends of sacking and plundering cities; today they brag to strangers of buttock-burglary or cutting off balls to impersonate woman. Man has lost his natural virility and with it his purpose, beauty, and joy in life. Bronze Age Pervert has come to save you from a great faggotry.

Superficially, Bronze Age Mindset is a book of political philosophy or even of “ancient Greek history,” as Amazon classifies it. But BAM is a book of spirit! BAP is not concerned with the spirit in any abstract theological sense; as he puts it, you are your body and nothing else, and anything purely “of the spirit” is “fake and gay” (90). Instead he is concerned with the instincts and inclinations which exist “only in the blood” and show themselves “in daily life and daily needs” (90).

Various factors affect the spirit in the modern world. One of the most important is a feeling of confinement, which is extremely degrading to spirited men. As the author puts it, “No kind of distress is worse than the feeling you are trapped. My worst nightmares are about opening a door only to find myself in the same aluminum cell, over and over” (20). This feeling of confinement is expressed in one of the most moving passages of the book:

I saw once a jaguar in a zoo, behind a glass, so that all the bugs in hueman form could gawk at it and humiliate it. This animal felt a noble and persistent sadness, being observed everywhere by the obsequious monkeys, not even monkeys, that were taunting it with stares. He could tell—I saw this! He could tell he was living in a simulated environment and that he had no power to move or live. His sadness crushed me and I will always remember this animal. I never want to see life in this condition! (21)

Along with the beautiful description of the feelings of powerlessness which afflict so many men today, the concept of being “observed everywhere” is relevant here. BAP has elsewhere discussed the importance of anonymity, explaining that it is not only a matter of avoiding bullying by angry mobs or authority figures. Although he does not put it in these terms, using a pseudonym is necessary for true freedom of expression because separation from one’s real identity protects one from the feeling of being watched, a feeling which is confining in itself. Under their own names, realizing they are being observed not only by enemies but by friends and family, anyone could be tempted to self-censor.

Even a clearly illusory sense of being watched alters people’s behavior. Researchers at a university in the UK have displayed pictures of eyes above an “honesty box” and found that faculty become much more generous under such “observation,” while others have found that images of eyes on signs make bicycle theft less likely. Read more

Tucker Carlson: “White Supremacy” is a “Hoax”

Tucker Carlson stated that “White Supremacy” is a “hoax.” Should we care? I posted a Twitter rant consisting of 5 linked tweets:

From Diversity to the “Browning” of the White World: The White Replacement and Destruction Movement Becomes More Explicit

Robert Whitaker mantra: “Diversity is a code word for white genocide.”

Rachel Maddow mantra: “Diversity is a good thing.”

Something unprecedented is happening that will drastically change the course of the future. To appreciate it, imagine the last 3,000 years of human history without the European peoples, without the branch of humanity that for most of that time, and especially in the last 700 years, has been the primary source of human achievement and progress and the creator of the modern world, and then project that history into the future and imagine how the course of human existence will be changed if Europeans are removed from it. That is what is happening. The White or European peoples are being removed from the future by a process that will be referred to here as the “White Replacement and Destruction Movement,” abbreviated as WRDM. If this movement runs its course the White race will have no future, and the future will be without the White race. This removal by replacement and destruction of the most dynamic, creative and advanced major branch of humanity is a development on a scale unparalleled in human existence, yet it is never discussed, acknowledged or recognized, and the great majority of humanity, including the European or White peoples themselves, seem to be totally unaware of it, lacking all knowledge of it, to the extent that if someone informs them of it they do not believe it, and react with total incredulity.

The Wall of Obfuscation

The tactics and techniques used to maintain this general state of ignorance, while advancing the WRDM agenda, include obfuscation, dissimulation, evasion, misrepresentation, misdirection, distortion, deflection (changing the subject), deception, denial, euphemisms, minimization, falsification, misinformation, disinformation, suppression of knowledge or information (e.g., on racial demographics and statistics), suppression of contrary opinion, and censorship. The success of these tactics depends on near total dominance in the media, education, academic, corporate and political establishments enabling an extensive campaign that operates on different levels as required, from softer (e.g., the tactics listed above) to harder forms (e.g., persecution, retaliation, penalization and criminalization). For convenience, all of the above “softer” forms and techniques to suppress knowledge of the truth and reality with the deceptive purpose of causing and maintaining ignorance and misunderstanding will here be grouped together as forms of obfuscation.

Why this obfuscation? Simply put, to suppress White dissent and resistance to their dispossession, replacement and destruction by keeping them ignorant of it. This campaign of obfuscation and censorship has been highly successful in suppressing White awareness of their ongoing replacement and destruction, to the extent that its causes — e.g., multiracialism, non-White immigration and racial intermixture — enjoy general White support, or at least passive acquiescence.[1] Kevin MacDonald has cited studies that show when Whites are informed of demographic changes that are reducing them to a minority they become angry and more resistant to these changes:

Because the media is dominated by the left and because even the conservative media is terrified of appearing to advocate White interests, explicit messages that would encourage Whites to become angry and fearful about their future as a minority are rare. Indeed, the media rarely, if ever, mentions that Whites are well on their way to becoming a minority. And this for good reason: Whites in the United States and in Canada who are given explicit demographic projections of a time when Whites are no longer a majority tend to feel angry and fearful. They are also more likely to identify as Whites and have sympathy for other Whites. In other words, explicit messages indicating that one’s racial group is threatened are able to trigger ethnocentrism.[2]

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