At Occidental Quarterly Online there is an interview posted with French New Rightist Guillaume Faye. Faye, a graduate of the elite French school known as Sciences-Po (Instituts d’etudes politiques) and leader of the French New Right in the 1980’s, has a lot of interesting things to say in this interview, but nothing more interesting than this:
Question: In the review Réfléchir et Agir, you recommended a “withdrawal” on associative action, following the example of that which the extreme-Left made. Could you develop this point?
Guillaume Faye: It is not a “withdrawal,” but a general-purpose strategy. One needs parties, publishers, associations, trade unions. It is necessary that there be in civil society a presence of our ideas. But all the forms of action are necessary: it does not do to want to make metapolitics against politics. All actions, political, cultural, should be connected by the same vision of the world. It is not a strategy of withdrawal, but of spreading out, comparable with that which the Trotskyists had — who are today at the head of the State and of the Catholic Church!
* * *
People in our circles are for order, but they are disorganized and inactive, whereas the Trotskyists, in spite of their ideology, are organized people. It is necessary to move! I am struck by the poverty of the associative activity in our camp….
If I had to condense into one paragraph what is wrong with the White Nationalist movement and describe its cure, I could not do any better than this straight-forward statement from M. Faye.
Three quick points:
I. We’re Defeated
Like the Trotskyites of old, our people were engaged in a power struggle for the central ideology of a major state and lost. Our enemy triumphant, they then set about erasing us from history, completely discrediting our ideas and ideals and training the young to react to any possible re-introduction of our ideas into the body politic as the physical body reacts to the introduction of a deadly virus.
We haven’t a charismatic, capable, intelligent war-leader, but if we did he’d long ago have had the equivalent of an ice-pick in his head just the same. If one emerges, the same fate will await him, though given the legal-procedural state the United States has become it would most likely be a legal condemnation rather than a simple blow to the head.
Get this through your head: we lost, badly. We aren’t coming back on a wave of popular support any time soon. No new political party or movement is going to return American Trotskyism (that is, White Nationalism) to power by democratic means.
II. Weapons At Hand – Cadre Building
Having been roundly defeated, we are left with only the weapons at hand. Fortunately for us, the advance of technology has left a very powerful tool for connecting and getting our message across.
Unfortunately for us, this same powerful tool allows people to think that they are advancing or fighting for the cause by simply talking on the Internet. Action, comrades. If talk leads to action, then talk is beneficial. If talk leads to simply a modified version of an Japanese Anime enthusiast Internet community with a different focus for its enthusiasm, then nothing has been done. Worse, the appearance of action has set us back.
I believe that the Internet has become for us a net negative. What we should be engaged in is good old-fashioned cadre building. As Trotsky’s boss put it in What Is To Be Done?:
“A dozen wise men can be more easily wiped out than a hundred fools.” This wonderful truth (for which the hundred fools will always applaud you) appears obvious only because in the very midst of the argument you have skipped from one question to another. You began by talking and continued to talk of the unearthing of a “committee”, of the unearthing of an “organization”, and now you skip to the question of unearthing the movement’s “roots” in their “depths”. The fact is, of course, that our movement cannot be unearthed, for the very reason that it has countless thousands of roots deep down among the masses; but that is not the point at issue. As far as “deep roots” are concerned, we cannot be “unearthed” even now, despite all our amateurism, and yet we all complain, and cannot but complain, that the “organizations” are being unearthed and as a result it is impossible to maintain continuity in the movement. But since you raise the question of organizations being unearthed and persist in your opinion, I assert that it is far more difficult to unearth a dozen wise men than a hundred fools. This position I will defend, no matter how much you instigate the masses against me for my “anti-democratic” views, etc. As I have stated repeatedly, by “wise men”, in connection with organization, I mean professional revolutionaries, irrespective of whether they have developed from among students or working men. I assert: (1) that no revolutionary movement can endure without a stable organization of leaders maintaining continuity; (2) that the broader the popular mass drawn spontaneously into the struggle, which forms the basis of the movement and participates in it, the more urgent the need for such an organization, and the more solid this organization must be (for it is much easier for all sorts of demagogues to side-track the more backward sections of the masses); (3) that such an organization must consist chiefly of people professionally engaged in revolutionary activity; (4) that in an autocratic state, the more we confine the membership of such an organization to people who are professionally engaged in revolutionary activity and who have been professionally trained in the art of combating the political police, the more difficult will it be to unearth the organization; and (5) the greater will be the number of people from the working class and from the other social classes who will be able to join the movement and perform active work in it.
Substitute White Nationalism for Communism in this passage and you have the gist of our current situation.
We have been defeated, but we cannot be uprooted, because the basic truth of our ideal does indeed have countless thousands of roots deep down among the masses. But our organizations, such as they are, are strictly amateur-hour. What is needed is a White Nationalist vanguard along the lines ol’ Vlad recommends: professional, committed, engaged, and most importantly, one that has taken the bold step of declaring that it, and it alone, not only leads but has the moral right to lead and is completely justified in doing so.
It’s this last point that is most critical. It’s easy to start a new “party,” a new webpage. What is needed is for recognized leaders to come together face-to-face and hammer out a common program that is as broad as possible while still effective. The Bolsheviks came to power with one slogan: peace, land and all power to the soviets. The Nazi Party came to power with a simple 25-point program. Our Vanguard should follow those examples.
III. Layers of Work
Once this Organization is formed, it can proceed in its work on multiple fronts.
In secret, it should recruit cadres: writers, students, workers, business leaders, police officers, teachers, government employees, military officers, trade union members.
In secret, it should subsidize and support up-and-coming nationalist students and writers.
In public, it should produce a dizzying array of front organizations. A new theatre company will write and stage plays from a nationalist perspective. New bookstores will be community centers for the growing nationalist community. Special-issue organizations will be formed to fight day-to-day political battles on this or that bill or government program. Campus organizations will be formed. A printing press is necessary. Various websites need to be brought under fraternal control to promote a common program. Visual propaganda is needed, including simple poster campaigns.
It all needs to say: We’re bigger than you think we are, we are here, join the fight, we’re going to win; or, as M. Faye would recognize: Je Suis Partout.
In short, the Vanguard will proceed as the Trotskyites did before it: a long march through the organizations, with the pay-off many, many decades ahead.
As Faye put it, for the party of order, we’re pretty damn unorganized. It’s time for that to change if we are to have a chance.