First Things: The Outsider

First Things has a very good article this morning on Sam Francis and his book Leviathan and Its Enemies which was discovered and posthumously published by Radix a few years ago.

First Things:

“But Francis alleged more—and here his thinking took the radical turn that marks his later writings. On its surface, liberalism promoted a fairer social contract and equal protection for all. But beneath its egalitarian aspect, Francis claimed, hid its vindictive purpose: to subvert traditional ways of life. “It is imperative,” he wrote, “for the emerging elites to challenge, discredit, and erode the moral, intellectual, and institutional fabric of traditional society.” Liberalism, on this account, was a coordinated ­project of cultural dispossession. Its long march through American life, Francis warned, would eventually target every symbol and institution of the older social order. National loyalty, traditional moral codes, the heroes and founders of American culture—in time, all would be subject to an accelerating campaign of ideological revision waged through legislation and the media. And liberalism gained more through this campaign than moral legitimacy. It secured a self-replenishing base of support comprising those it had emancipated from social norms.


As it atomized individuals in mass society by discrediting the social order founded in family ties, patriotic duties, and religious obligations, liberalism created a society that needed ever more technocratic management. Drug legalization leads to problems that require hiring social workers and therapists. Liberalized divorce laws and sexual liberation are paired with the burgeoning field of family law as the managerial state intervenes to impose an order once provided by the now-discredited norms. The same is true for economic liberalization, which is attended by steep increases in regulatory law, which substitute for the moral limits that used to characterize bourgeois-dominated commercial life. …”

I never got the chance to meet Sam Francis.

He died shortly after I arrived in this scene in the early 2000s. My wife knew him though. Francis was a close friend of my father-in-law. American conservatives have spent a lot of time lately rediscovering what Sam Francis and Pat Buchanan were saying 25 years ago.

In between Pat Buchanan, Peter Brimelow, Joe Sobran, Sam Francis, David Duke, Jared Taylor, Kevin MacDonald and Gordon Baum, these men had pretty much figured out what had gone wrong in American society by 2000. That’s why they were all marginalized by mainstream conservatism. The older generation didn’t have the internet to get their message out for most of the late 20th century.

I would include Dr. William Pierce in this category as well. I used to listen to his radio show in the early 2000s. He also died shortly after I came across the White Nationalist movement. I didn’t agree with everything he said (see “Cosmotheism”), but Pierce wasn’t a fool and his old broadcasts to this day are more interesting and insightful than anything published by mainstream conservatism at the time. The White Nationalists have spent decades warning about the coming White minority America.

What is that White minority America going to be like? The people who were giving considerable thought to America in the 2020s, 2030s and 2040s back in the 1990s and 2000s when something could have been done about it were all marginalized as “racists” and “extremists.” The future that these people were so worried about hasn’t gone away though. Now, it is on our doorstep.

“Francis accused religious traditionalists of playing by house rules, seeking dialogue rather than conflict, preferring to be “beautiful losers” rather than ugly winners, and surely his criticism had some merit. But he failed to see that they offer a more fundamental challenge to liberalism than he ever did, by seeking to unite people in a shared love, a common covenant ordered to the highest good. The nationalist and populist movements that Francis anticipated will succeed in challenging liberalism only to the extent that they abjure Francis’s racial resentments and assert the common goods and transcendent horizon his materialist thinking denies.”

In my view, Sam Francis was correct about the Russell Moores and David Frenches of the world, not to mention Pope Francis himself, who have been completely coopted and neutered by liberalism, but I see those people and their version of “Christianity” as being a product of their culture and time and its infection by liberalism. I don’t hold it against Christianity as much as Francis does.

“Judeo-Christianity” is a Boomer religion that is a product of late 20th century America. It exists elsewhere to the extent it has been exported abroad. The same is true of American offshoots of Christianity like Mormonism or Pentecostalism. It would be a gross historical mistake to conflate Christianity with snake handling Pentecostals. Also, it is hard to argue that Sam Francis was wrong about mainstream Christianity when it is clearly dying out alongside the family and patriotism.

“Francis claimed that he sought only to defend Western culture. It is impossible to believe him. He displayed no feeling for literature, art, music, philosophy, or theology. He did not see, because his ideology prevented him from seeing, that our culture’s greatest achievements have come in pursuit of ideas that transcend human differences. Francis’s failure of gratitude and wonder made him more than incompetent about power. It made him an outsider to his civilization.”

According to Matthew Rose, the greatest achievements of Western culture “have come in pursuit of ideas that transcend human differences.” Presumably, he is talking about racial differences, but what is funny here is that mainstream conservatism alone has ignored those differences.

The American Founders certainly didn’t ignore those differences. Every generation of Americans down to the Greatest Generation chose not to ignore those differences. The Enlightenment didn’t ignore those differences. Early Modern philosophers didn’t ignore those differences. Classical philosophy didn’t ignore those differences either. No, it is only since the American Empire was launched after the Second World War that we have gone along with the liberal fantasy that “race doesn’t matter” while strangely becoming ever more obsessed with race because it continues to matter due to the failure of liberal reforms.

Is American conservatism going to conserve or preserve anything of value about America by ignoring racial realities? This has been its guiding assumption since William F. Buckley. Matthew Rose should get back to us when the GOP becomes competitive again in California or all the other places it has ceased to be competitive because of the demographic changes that Sam Francis and Pat Buchanan have described. Maybe we can revisit the issue after the 2020 election?

About Hunter Wallace 9321 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent

43 Comments

  1. I greatly admired Sam Francis. But, he took at terrible, worst ever photo in his later years. Talk about bad optics! A photo of late Sam Francis was the worst negative propaganda that our race was old and dying out – one look at old S Francis and the viewer is overwhelmed with negativity, “all is hopeless” – like being with the steward Denathor in Lord of the Rings.

    This is another huge problem with our people, we’re so darn honest and tend to rather suck at visual propaganda.

    Why not use a young photo of Sam Francis? Or Commission an artist to draw/paint something more youthful and vigorous.

    Our enemies know propaganda – and always go for, feature youth and beauty. That’s why they always got and almost always get young, beautiful pop stars, actors and actresses like now Taylor Swift. We seem to only get old retired guys like Ronald Reagan and Charleton Heston.

    If you can’t find a decent photo or painting of a guy we’re promoting, just don’t show any images of him.

    Sam Francis looks like a decaying corpse here.

    • Not everyone can be great optics.

      Sam Francis wasn’t great optics, but he was still brilliant. I think the window for a MARS Revolution has closed. It came and went in 2016 and Blompf sold out and carried out the familiar agenda of mainstream conservatism.

      • Just use a different photo or no photo at all – show your healthy, optimistic son – or some stock photo of healthy White folks. I mean, c’mon – that photo of dying, glum old Sam F says “It’s hopeless, we’re old, dying and doomed”.

        No we’re not.

          • Rob157,

            That’s the look of a bone marrow deep sense of despair at the consequences for Western Man should the canaries in the coal mines warnings go unheeded.

            Mr. Francis was correct to fret.

    • Yeah. He looks “beat down” in that photo because he was beat down. He had the weight of the world on his shoulders (so to speak) and he knew it. This is the unfortunate and ungrateful destiny of lots of us who spend the bulk of our adult lives “fighting the good fight.” We can bail out, one supposes, and thereby hold on to our youthful, hopeful appearances for a few more years, but this is essentially the coward’s way out and a dereliction of duty.

      • If I remember correctly, he spent his final years in the same urban neighborhood where he’d lived for decades — except the neighborhood had become . . . vibrant in the intervening years. He died following surgery for an aneurysm. He was 57. Pat Buchanan gave the eulogy. As Hunter says, he was run out of conservative circles, dumped by the publications that used to run his columns and abandoned by many erstwhile friends.

        • Good lord….he looks way older than 57! It’s true, this stuff is hard on a person when you know what’s coming down the pike.

    • Jaye Ryan is bad optics. Why is this fool allowed to write for this site? He never says anything of worth, and perpetuates blue-pilled cringe “A-rabs did 911!!1” Not to mention how oblivious this dunce is.

      Seriously Hunter, you need to pull his account. No one likes him, and he makes you site seem dumb every time he posts an article.

      • Yeah he is a zionist neocon who I think got banned from Stormfront because he openly bragged about going to Brazil to miscegenate. He openly supported the war in Afghanistan saying that Wolfowitz and the rest had the interest of Whites at heart.

  2. Pierce was a pagan kook who supported incel shootings, and wrote cringe anti-Christian books. He was a no talent hack that never actually accomplished anything for White people.

    • Dr. Pierce was a true Southron, a direct descendent of a Confederate officer – unlike many pseudo-Southerners and plastic Confederates here. He was also the most successful and truthful leader White people have ever had after WWII.

    • Yeah, he was an oddball for sure. He had a thing for Siamese cats — males only — and his last few wives were mail order brides from Eastern Europe or Russia. But some of those weekly radio programs were perfect gems.

    • Samuel – Do you see the utter incompatibility the European (the Man of Faith) has with the Pagan (the pro- Pierce apologists)? Cambria hit it on the nail, in his recent columns, when he noted:

      “The liberals incrementally deadened the souls of the European people under the guise of democracy, science, and enlightenment. Now the European people live in hell without the knowledge that they live in hell – “Your soul deserves the place to which it came, If having entered hell you feel no flame.” It is no longer a case of ‘if these shadows are not altered, Europe will become hell.’ The European nations have become hell, and the most ‘enlightened’ nation of them all, the United States, has led the way to hell. Our nation is a synthesis of perversions and blasphemies. Whatever is perverted, whatever is ungodly is considered good and pure in our nation, and whatever is pure, noble, and humane is proscribed in our nation. We can hold elections from now till doomsday if we like, but when your democratic elections take place in hell, it is of no consequence who gets elected, because the option to leave hell and return to His Europe is not on the ballot. If we don’t feel the flame, nothing will avail us.”

  3. The Long March Through The Institutions, instituted by the (((Frankfurt School))), succeeded, largely because the nature of liberalism was powerless to resist it.

    • There was no “long march.” The Frankfurt school guys got off the boat from Europe and were immediately given faculty positions in ivy league universities. This is because the American elite liked them and agreed with them. This mythology of “the long march” is damaging because it is used as pretext for stupid right wing mainstreaming and entryist strategies that will never work. The idea being to just mimic what the left supposedly did to gain power, without understanding that the left never did that in the first place. The modern left was funded and cultivated by old American plutocrats and the national security state. No infiltration or long march to take control of the institutions was required, since those institutions were founded by the patrons and benefactors of the new left in the first place.

  4. “Why not use a young photo of Sam Francis? Or Commission an artist to draw/paint something more youthful and vigorous.”

    Good point.

    “Our enemies know propaganda – and always go for, feature youth and beauty.”

    That’s because our foes are ” the great masters of the lie”.

    • Arian writes: “That’s because our foes are ” the great masters of the lie”.”. I respond: good propaganda doesn’t have to be lies. The truth is the best propaganda (It was some NS German that said that, not sure which one, maybe Goebels. ) but producing good, effective propaganda is a skill, certain people have natural talent in this area, but it is a skill than can and must be learned. I would be happy to teach – somethings are just common sense basic things – use good visuals, make your side look – healthy, brave, the right age – make your enemies look dirty, scary, sick, diseased, crazy. There is no reason, no reason at all to promote your/our side as old, sick, dying, hopeless etc. F*** that. Look at European populists and nationalists that are winning – folks on our side like Victor Orban in Hungary or the Swiss People’s Party – they produced very effective poster propaganda – Hungarian Nationalists produced very effective street posters featuring a very old George Soros as “THE RICH ENEMY” who looked and acted like the evil emperor in Star Wars.

      C’mon, we can do a hell of a lot better than this.

      • I never implied that we should lie, but “a lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on.” Twain

      • The best propaganda piece for the Front National, now the National Rally, was the drop dead gorgeous granddaughter of La Penn! (Marion Le Penn)

        • Agreed. Marine Le Pen is drop dead gorgeous. And women voters in France, the USA will vote overwhelmingly on how candidates and their wives, GFs look, dress and act, much less so on issues.

  5. Hunter,

    I had written previously that I was banned from commenting on First Cathokikes when I began referencing the historical malice of the Jew.

    Are you surprised by their stance on Francis, and Race?

  6. Jaye ryan is a cornball. And I’ll tell you what’s bad optics. Your name. It’s real faggoty. It really is bisexual. You fruitbag.

  7. I think you forgot Dr. Pierece. I used to listen to his speeches on long drives with my wife. He knew conservatism inc. was total BS in the 1970’s. You take any issue today and Dr. Pierce was on point decades ago. We’re just reinventing the wheel; he said it all before.

  8. If the only thing you can say to criticize someone is about how you feel about how you believe they feel, as the author you quote does, you aren’t making an argument. You’re admitting you have no counter to their arguments, and exposing your own beliefs to be shallow compared to the ones you oppose. Francis, and other “paleo-cons” like Buchanan, were the descendants of prophets like Fitzhugh. They saw and accepted the truth of human nature, and extrapolated from there. If you don’t think they’re telling the truth, it’s because you can’t accept that people have certain innate characteristics. You want and/or need to deny the reality of who we are, because you view it as dark or hateful.

    Facts are what you make of them, however. They are neutral. We make them good or bad. This should be obvious, but when it comes to things like IQ or crime stats, some Whites will twist themselves into mental and emotional knots to avoid what they see as uncomfortable truths. We’ve been programmed all of our lives to see all people as equal, but our experiences teach us that’s nonsense. Some of us just need to push that logic a little further, but that leads to cognitive dissonance, which many can’t seem to handle very well. We need to get over ourselves, though, because Western civilization is dying.

  9. First Things is a neoconservative magazine posing as a Catholic magazine. I recall watching a video in which E Michael Jones talked about the background and funding for First Things but I can’t recall the name of the video.

  10. Catholics are subhuman trash. Their alternative to liberalism is something that ends up being identical to liberalism. Catholics all need to be deported to Brazil, where they can experience the fruits of this Catholic “united people in a shared love, a common covenant ordered to the highest good” first hand.

    • As a Brazilian resident I can tell you there are more whites here than in your Protestant JewSA “Let’s bomb Afghanistan so the Jews will summon Christ to redeem and exterminate all of us Gentiles”.

    • @Dart Protestant I take it? I’m a traditionalist Catholic and agree with you about the modern church and the current Pope however no group throughout history have opposed and fought against the Jews more fiercely than the Catholic church prior to the 1960’s. Spain, Italy, Croatia, Lithuania,(partially Hungary, Germany, and Romania) were all Catholic or the latter partially Catholic countries who were the last European governments on the face of the earth to stand up to the Satanic Jews. Protestants particularly Anglo protestants were busy killing their European brothers for the kikes. Catholicism was and is original Christianity while protestantism is a cheap imitation. The modern Catholic church needs to be restored to pre-Vatican II and priests should be allowed to get married. That would solve our churches problem.

      • On their deathbeds, the last two Europeans one a Protestant and other a Catholic utter their final words to one another, “This was all your fault.”

      • False. The Catholic Church protected Jews and gave them privileged social positions in Europe for centuries. Jews never would have even been in Europe if not for the protections of the Catholic Church, because everyone in Europe wanted them gone except for the clergy.

        And because of the first Vatican council, the second can never be eliminated. The Catholic Church can never be reformed without simultaneously undermining its own legitimacy. Even though “traditional” Catholics were also worthless garbage as well, so any reform would be fruitless.

  11. Matthew Rose, the author of the piece on Francis, once wrote about Karl Barth: “Barth aspired to free Christian theology from restrictive modern habits of mind but in the end preserved the most damaging assumptions of the ideas he sought to overcome.” Ironic that Rose repeats the same lethal mistake, imbibing liberal modernity’s fake dogma of racial equality as if it were the purest fundamental Gospel milk. I have yet to meet a “traditionalist” Catholic intellectual who was not an utter prisoner of the Enlightenment.

  12. I met Sam Francis at a lecture sponsored by the CCC in St. Louis. He looked much heavier then, and Sam was always chunky. It was a brilliant address, and he had a good sense of humor. He was like the fat kid in school who has all the answers, and much like two books of his I read. After the lecture, I spoke with him, asking about William Pierce. He claimed he’d never heard of him. Probably was being careful. There was also a man with a large manila envelope with a frantic ‘Sam, you gotta read this. It’s important!’ He probably got a lot of manila envelopes.

    As for the CCC, I thought they were led by a lot guys in suits who seemed a bit too wary about taking a stand, much happier to debate and write articles. I mentioned to the leader I’d driven 125 miles to hear Sam, and he said nothing. I did like some of the common people there, and there seemed to be a rift between them and the suits in control.

    Some woman, a bit drunk, kept demanding we talk about the Jews, and was immediately ejected.

    I thought it a pretty good summation of the conservative right, but I’ll never forget the brilliance of Sam.
    He looks a bit odd thin, but so does Sharpton and Al Roker.
    I miss figures like Sam Francis making speeches and meeting people. Now, it’s all Internet.

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