Robert T. Burnham, who blogs at The New Heretics, wrote an essay for the 2009 TOQ secession competition called “The Long March Toward Separation.” Like the Paul Kersey essay, The Long March was a close runner up, and has been included in the Fall 2010 issue of TOQ. It also resembles Kersey’s entry in that Burnham spends an inordinate amount of time on historical forecasting.
This essay can be divided into four parts: an examination of extant models of racial secession, a critique of the existing models, a prognosis of the racial future, and a sweeping conclusion.
The Existing Models
As with Michael O’Meara and Paul Kersey, Robert Burnham takes the famous exchanges on secession in the 1990s between Rabbi Mayer Schiller, Michael Hart, Richard McCulloch, and Sam Francis as his starting point. He broadly agrees with McCulloch’s critique of Hart, but generally dismisses their proposals as unviable. He also claims to find merit in several of Francis’s arguments.
Burnham doesn’t spend much time analyzing any of the essays above. Instead, he quickly launches into his critique of the existing models of secession, which goes something like this:
– The Enlightenment model of liberal capitalist democracy is collapsing. The current models of White separatism lack a philosophical, ideological, or religious basis upon which an alternative vision of Western society can be constructed.
– The models that do exist are purely negative and do not offer a positive vision of an alternative social order.
– The West is now on its death bed because of its fidelity to its own pathological philosophies.
– The postmodern future won’t be a return to pre-Enlightenment traditionalism.
– The current models of White separation are based on a utopian vision and an abstract model that would be cleanly implemented. Whatever emerges from the wreckage of the existing political order, however, is likely to evolve organically and through incremental stages.
– White Nationalists take for granted an unlikely degree of White unity in their secession scenarios. Many Whites are unlikely to go along with White Nationalists and could even resort to violence to resist them.
– It is naive to assume that racial and ethnic cleansing will be accomplished peacefully.
– White Nationalists are guilty of putting all non-Whites into the same box of “The Other” when in reality our ability to coexist with non-Whites (and with each other) varies across populations.
– White Nationalists tend to ignore political reality. They ignore the characteristics in the White population which do not conform to their ideological presumptions.
– Whiteness alone is an insufficient basis upon which to create a White ethnostate.
– White Nationalists downplay the geographical dispersion of non-Whites across America. In other words, it is a mistake to assume that all Hispanics are in the Southwest, or all blacks are in the Black Belt.
– White Nationalists treat non-Whites as passive actors. In fact, the actions of non-Whites will be the most likely catalyst toward separatism.
These are some very persuasive criticisms. I happen to agree with almost all the points made above. In particular, I agree with Burnham’s observation that no clean abstract plan of racial partition will ever be implemented.
Instead, White separatism will evolve organically within regions and states, and any ultimate partition of America will reflect a million little choices made by White families, not any abstract ideal of “Whitemanistan” dreamed up by White Nationalist intellectuals.
After criticizing the existing models of racial secession, Robert Burnham next tries his hand at predicting the future, a far more dangerous enterprise. He sees a dire future for Whites just over the horizon.
– The Enlightenment model that has guided the West since the late eighteenth century will collapse.
– America will be gutted by its hostile alien elites. The cultural and economic rot will eventually result in the fragmentation of the country and the loss of power by the existing elite.
– We are entering a historical period of dissolution.
– The federal government will become so gridlocked and incompetent that its enormous powers will start to devolve back upon the states and cities. This will contribute to the centrifugal forces of national disintegration.
– Whites will be thrown back on their own resources. In particular, Whites will start to privatize many of the functions of the state, namely, education and security, as the public sectors fails to deliver quality services.
– America will fragment racially and culturally long before any future separation.
– The declining federal government, swamped with debt, incompetence, and animated by hostility to Whites, will naturally inspire secessionist movements in the Heartland.
– Whites will coalesce under siege, or they will perish.
– Nativist movements abroad and at home will reinforce each other and create a synergy that will transform the political mainstream.
– The belligerency of non-White racial grievance groups will antagonize Whites to the breaking point.
– After they reach sufficient numbers, Hispanics will make ethnonationalist claims on parts of America. Jews will continue their hostile cultural war on the White majority. Blacks will consolidate into dysfunctional ghettos, which will gradually fall under thug rule, that will remain raw sores on American civilization. Muslims could possibly create tight religious/ethnic enclaves.
– Whites will remain passive and indifferent to their decline. They will retreat further into the private sphere. Miscegenation and other factors will erode our numbers and eat away at the White majority.
– If Whites ever do react to their racial decline, it will be on a piecemeal basis, not an instant, transformative embrace of White Nationalism.
Again, there isn’t much to argue with here. Burnham projects a future that rings true. If present trends continue, I can easily see America declining in such a way. Still, I think this is the worst possible scenario. As an optimist, I think Burnham is painting too dire of a portrait here.
The ultimate conclusion of this article is that the collapse of Western civilization is inevitable. There is nothing that can be done to stop it. Whites could eventually react to their decline, a distinct possibility, but their response will probably be too little too late.
Whites should “prepare the ground” for creating a new pro-White civilization out of the wreckage of the West. Burnham believes that developing ways for Whites to thrive in this post-apocalyptic environment should be the “primary focus” of White Nationalist activity. He sees a world in which White microstates naturally evolve out of the existing state system.
The impersonal forces of history will do all the heavy lifting.
The weakness of this essay lies in its prescription: all is lost and there is nothing that can be done. That is highly questionable. I don’t think Whites will passively exit the stage of history. Even if White Nationalists fail to construct a viable movement, it is clear that ordinary White people will still lash out against the system in other ways, and their energy could easily be channeled in a more pro-White direction.
No means are proposed here to advance the ideal of White secession. The course of history could possibly lead to something like a White microstate, but such a tepid response from Whites is unlikely to produce that result. Burnham chooses to stand on the firmer ground of historical forecasting and analyzing/criticizing the obvious flaws in the existing secessionist models.
In doing so, he avoids taking the risk of proposing a solution, which is the hardest and most desperately needed part of advocating secession. Michael O’Meara’s solution has obvious flaws, but “the methods of Connelly and Pearce” is still a plan. I think a better plan is needed, but Robert Burnham doesn’t provide one, and neither does Paul Kersey.
If there is “intellectual work” to be done within the White Nationalist movement, it is clearly in the area of means, not ends. There is widespread agreement on the ends of pro-White political activity, a White ethnostate, but we still lack a realistic strategy and the tactics necessary to actualize our goals.
Verdict: A lot of merit in the critique and prognosis. More thought should have been given to the solution.