San Francisco, CA
Greg Johnson has written a new article at “Counter Currents” about “Explicit White Nationalism.” He divides “Explicit White Nationalists” into two groups: the “silents WNs,” who prefer to remain anonymous, and the “explicit WNs,” who are open about their beliefs.
Johnson’s aim is to reduce tension between the two groups on the internet by convincing them to adopt a “couple points of etiquette.” Under his proposal, the “explicit WNs” would refrain from ridiculing the “silent WNs” as cowards and outing their real world identities; the “silent WNs” would refrain from mocking the kooks and sociopaths who are “explicit WNs” and demoralizing the activists at meetings with all their reasons for choosing to stay anonymous.
According to Johnson, “a natural division of labor” suggests itself, which will allow “Explicit White Nationalists” to build a “winning team.” The “explicit WNs” should go public with their beliefs and stand firm for their principles. The “silent WNs” should “write checks” or “stuff cash into envelopes.”
This is based on the theory that for “a silent majority to become self conscious” some people “have to speak out.” This “courageous minority” has to “declare themselves” and “hold their ground long enough” for “the less courageous to gin up the courage to join them.”
By some mysterious process, the crowd will grow by adding “layer upon layer of ever more timid and tepid people” until it reaches a critical mass and becomes a mass movement. Then the opportunists will cast their lot with the resistance and the “new majority” will carry the day.
So write your checks today.
Before criticizing this article, I should point out that it is not without merit. Some of this advice would be helpful if it were taken to heart:
1.) First, destructive criticism doesn’t serve any useful purpose. White Nationalists have more than enough reasons to be demoralized. If criticism should be entertained within the movement, it should always serve some constructive end.
2.) Second, browbeating the anonymous “silent WNs” is a waste of time, doesn’t work, and always backfires. They prioritize maintaining their middle class lifestyle over their ideological beliefs. Haranguing them about character will not compel them to endure social ostracism and employment discrimination.
Several problems with Greg Johnson’s rosy scenario are readily apparent:
1.) If Johnson’s advice were taken to heart, the effective result would be less acrimony on White Nationalist websites, which less than 1% of Americans actually read.
It is the equivalent of giving an idle automobile an oil change. The car would run smoother, but it still wouldn’t go anywhere, as it lacks a transmission. It would remain stuck in the driveway, sitting there, with less bickering going on among its passengers.
Apply Johnson’s advice to the National Socialist Movement. In this case, the bargain struck between “Explicit White Nationalists” would result in the “silent WNs” refraining from criticizing the outlandish characters in the NSM and sending them money to feel better about themselves.
What would that accomplish?
It doesn’t matter how long the NSM “holds their ground” or “speaks out” about the Jews. The “less courageous” will never “gin up the courage to join them.” In fact, it is a mistake to assume that a lack of courage is even the problem, as that is not what is holding the “silent majority” back from joining these fools.
The “silent majority” truly despises the NSM. They dislike Neo-Nazis and Americans who worship Adolf Hitler. They dislike what the NSM represents and associate them with genocide. No amount of patiently waiting will ever result in an NSM victory in the United States.
The NSM is too far outside of the experience of ordinary people.
I fully recognize that White Nationalists are not synonymous with the National Socialist Movement. I’m only using them as an example to illustrate the larger point: you can’t ignore the negative public perception of White Nationalism.
If you ignore the problem, you will fail to communicate with your audience. If you fail to communicate, there won’t be any steady sedimentation of Whites converting to White Nationalism. Instead, there will likely be an erosion, as apathy and disillusionment saps the ranks of the converted.
Indeed, this is what we see today: White Nationalist organizations are smaller, less organized, and more dysfunctional than was the case just a decade ago.
You can stand firm convinced of your own righteousness, but you will be standing for long time, probably forever. That’s a wish, not a strategy.
2.) Without the means to connect with a mass constituency (and none are proposed here), no one is going to respond to the call of White Nationalist revolutionaries, recognize their legitimacy, or even be aware of their very existence.
3.) A radical with a moderate following is a leader in his community. A radical with a radical following has a debating society of anonymous people in cyberspace.
The job of the radical is to lead and organize moderates locally, not organize other radicals a thousand miles away. In every society, radicals are always a small minority of the population.
4.) Without the means to reverse our racial decline, no one has any reason to support Explicit White Nationalists. The vast majority of people who favor changing America’s immigration laws work through effective organizations like FAIR and NumbersUSA.
5.) Power comes from organization. White Nationalists are unwilling to organize. Their lack of organization comes from social ostracism and employment discrimination.
The sedimentation of “layer upon layer of ever more timid and tepid people” presumes that there will in fact be enough Explicit White Nationalists to create viable organizations. Reality suggests otherwise.
Four decades of this “layering” hasn’t produced any White Nationalist organization of any substantial size. It has produced plenty of hopelessly dysfunctional ones.
6.) This whole scenario privileges ideas and rhetorical purity over organization and activism. The inevitable result is threefold: a failure to communicate with our target audience, a failure to set realistic short term goals, and a failure to establish legitimacy in our communities.
The ultimate result has long been on display: no power, no influence, no progress, using the internet as an escape valve, retreating into fantasy worlds, vicious infighting within the movement, apathy, and a crushing sense of defeatism.
Giving people money to stay in their comfort zone and continue to do what they are already doing is unlikely to work. You should only give to political causes when you get something of value in return, say, a book that you enjoy reading, or effective action that produces substantial change in the real world.
“Standing firm” is not a strategy.
It makes sense to “hold your ground” when you have things like legitimacy, a mass following, roots in a community, influence over the political process, and actual power. When the Republican minority in Congress “held their ground” on healthcare, they reaped a political windfall.
But White Nationalists have none of these.
In part, this can be laid at the doorstep of White Nationalist intellectuals, whose job it is to provide clarity and solutions to problems. Unfortunately, White Nationalist intellectuals haven’t done the best job at identifying the problems that are holding back the movement.
- An unwillingness to engage the mainstream.
- A failure to communicate.
- An absence of political realism.
- The idea of organizing radicals.
- Alienation from the target audience.
- A rhetorical radicalism untethered to effective action.
- A refusal to accept nothing less than instant, transformative change.
- Prioritizing rhetoric over organization and legitimacy.
- Creating unnecessary obstacles between activists and the target audience.
These are a few of the most important problems that come to mind.
Right now, there are plenty of White Nationalists scratching their heads, wondering what can be done to reverse our racial decline, who are not satisfied with the existing methods and organizations, which don’t seem to be producing much in the way in change.
What should you do? Go solo.
My humble advice: first, you want to be taken seriously, and you want to get the attention of your target audience, which is your local community. Without legitimacy, no one is going to pay you any attention, or listen to what you have to say.
You won’t be the “advocate” of anyone. Much less a “White Advocate.”
So you should listen first. Research your district. Sketch out the consensus on social and economic issues that prevails in your community. Plant your flag at the furtherest rhetorical point to the right where you have a consensus and mainstream legitimacy.
Establish trust. Develop personal relationships with important leaders in your community. Get them to work together and support causes you care about. Determine the rhetorical goal post immediately to their right which you have a realistic chance of moving them to. Then select tactics appropriate to your resources and audience to nudge them in your direction.
Everyone has done this with a friend. Your friend trusts you. He looks to you for guidance. You know his political views and limits. If you want to influence your friend, he has to think you are on his side. You have a pretty good idea of how far you can get him to go.
So maybe you are having a few beers one night. You are watching the news in a bar. Barack Obama is on television defending some absurd policy. You take advantage of the opportunity to lead your friend into drawing the right conclusion from the experience.
In a collective setting, where dozens or hundreds of people are drawing the same conclusion, the effect is even more powerful. That is the job of the radical organizer. It is to gently lead people in a new direction by allowing them to draw their own conclusions from polarizing experiences.
First you must have your “passport” into the community. So work on acquiring that above all else. This means setting aside your rhetoric until you are on the inside.
It is just like chasing a woman.
You don’t go outside of her experience and “stand firm” in resolute defense of dorky, eccentric behavior. You catch her eye. You come across as sane and normal. After she develops an interest, you proceed from there. Maybe she will accept your quirks and values after becoming attached to you.
That’s not immoral. It is a sensible course of action. Only a fool plays cards by showing everyone his hand.
In many ways, White Nationalists are guilty of segmenting their world. They understand how to influence their own friends and family. They understand how to attract mates. These lessons from other spheres of life would be helpful when applied to their political beliefs.
While helpful, toning down the tension between “Explicit White Nationalists” on the internet is unlikely to accomplish much, even if that were possible. If White Nationalists want to win, they must do something beyond “standing firm” for principles which our society rejects.
They must create the means to move the masses in their direction, come up with a winning strategy, and select tactics appropriate to their audience and resources to accomplish their objective: changing our society.
How many more decades will it take for them to do that?