San Francisco, CA
Whenever I visit “Counter-Currents,” I am reminded that some White Nationalists live in an alternative reality. These last few months have been an instructive lesson in the schism between “mainstreamers” and “vanguardists” within the White Nationalist movement.
I have been too busy studying the entrails of the growing White backlash to comment on the matter, but recent vanguardist activity has not escaped my attention. Now that the election is over, it is the appropriate time to share my thoughts.
What happened last week should determine the course we take moving forward.
Mainstreamers vs. Vanguardists
As the old proverb goes, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” The 2010 midterm elections revealed nothing new about the White Nationalist movement.
For decades, White Nationalists have fallen into two major camps, the “mainstreamers” and the “vanguardists.” We spent a lot of time exploring this anthropological division of nationalist late last year. It has remained intact down to the present day.
In case you have only recently joined us, a “mainstreamer” is a White Nationalist who favors “working within the system,” adapting our rhetoric to connect with our target audience, quietly injecting our ideas into the mainstream, moving the goalposts, and removing the barriers that exist between White Nationalists and White America.
In contrast, a “vanguardist” is a White Nationalist who believes “the system” is hopelessly corrupt, must be destroyed (sometimes through military action), and that we should create small groups of radicals who will rise to power in the aftermath of “the collapse” of civilization. In the meantime, they prefer to focus primarily on sealing themselves off from their contemporaries and pursuing their own eclectic interests.
It all boils down to the question of whether reform is possible or even desirable. Mainstreamers incline toward the belief that progress can be made through working within the system. Vanguardists reject the system on the basis of principle.
The former want to reach out. The latter want to pull away. The former want to build bridges. The latter want to burn them. Simple enough to understand?
This internal tug of war has been the defining dynamic within the White Nationalist movement for generations.
The Vanguardist Critique
The “vanguardist” critique of the mainstreamers should sound familiar. If you have spent any considerable amount of time in the White Nationalist movement, you have undoubtedly heard many iterations of it by now. It goes something like this:
1.) The system is hopelessly broken. There is nothing to be gained by working within the system or supporting system politicians. Instead of engaging in “mainstream politics,” we should spend our limited time and resources on creating and nurturing a White Nationalist counterculture.
2.) This counterculture should take the form of creating small groups of “wide awake” true believers, or “purists” as they are often described, who will become the vanguard of the White Nationalist revolution.
3.) America is so degenerate that the system will eventually collapse. In the context of this inevitable collapse, White Nationalist vanguardists will seize power; all we have to do is wait. In the meantime, we should focus our efforts on maintaining an ideologically rigorous opposition.
4.) Mainstreamers are “conservatives” who have a weakening effect upon the White Nationalist movement. They are cowardly enablers of the Jews who are only propping up the rotten system.
5.) There are no explicit White Nationalists in Congress. Mainstreamers like the CofCC and Amren have failed to break out. They are diverting resources toward people who do not need them.
6.) The White Nationalist cause can only be advanced by “standing firm” in favor of explicit White Nationalism.
7.) White Americans, represented by the likes of “the people in Peoria,” want the present system, which rules out a political path to a White ethnostate.
8.) Since Whites want the present anti-White system, we need a “metapolitical movement” to change the fundamental values of White Americans. We cannot succeed in politics under the reigning value system. The most fundamental values of White Americans must be eradicated and replaced by the “ideas” of the White Nationalist counterculture.
The Mainstreamer Critique
The “mainstreamers” have their own critique of the vanguardists. It is no secret that From The Provinces inclines toward the mainstreamer camp; Counter-Currents toward the vanguardist camp. Again, if you have spent any considerable amount of time in White Nationalist circles, this “mainstreamer” critique should sound familiar:
1.) The vanguardists have lost touch with reality and immersed themselves in a fantasy world. Many of them started out as sincere White Advocates, but at some undefined point their own alienation grew to such an extent that they became openly hostile and contemptuous toward White America. Their existence has become a burden for those White Nationalists who are trying to connect with a larger audience.
2.) The vanguardists are “rhetorical radicals.” Their radicalism consists entirely in anonymous words posted on the internet, not in their deeds or actions in the real world. The vanguardists may strike a pose as radicals, but the actions they counsel (namely, disengaging from the mainstream) effectively enable our worst enemies like Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan on the Supreme Court.
Talk is cheap.
When you disengage from the system, you make it easier for our enemies to pass their crazy agenda. You increase the perception that White Nationalists are not a political threat and reinforce our marginalization on the fringes of society. The culmination of this is the “worse is better” theory in which the political actions of vanguardists become synonymous with the endorsements of the ADL.
The “rhetorical radicalism” of vanguardists can be contrasted with the “radical realism” of mainstreamers. Moderate actions in the real world might not sound rhetorically hard enough to radical ears, but they are effective at crippling the legislative agenda of our enemies, and advancing our own agenda in the mainstream on issues like immigration and affirmative action.
3.) The system is not nearly as broken as the vanguardists claim. In 2010, we had over 130 candidates running for office in the House (and many more at the state level) on a platform of cutting legal immigration. As a result of the 2010 midterm elections, we now have the most restrictionist Congress since 1924; supporters of less immigration now outnumber advocates of more immigration.
Shutting down legal immigration, deporting illegal aliens already here through attrition, and securing the border are tractable goals. If we work within the hated system, it is entirely possible that we could succeed in halting the Third World invasion within the next ten years.
4.) The GOP establishment is not nearly as omnipotent as the vanguardists have claimed. White Nationalists are well aware of Corporate America’s influence over the Republican Party, but even at the height of Bushism the conservative base was successful at defeating the Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable that were pushing amnesty for illegal aliens.
In the 1990s, David Duke was nearly successful in defeating the GOP establishment and becoming Governor of Louisiana. James Russell received 37 percent of the vote in the 2010 midterms and he was running in New York’s 18th District with the leaders of his own party campaigning against him. In Alabama, the Holocaust denier Larry Darby carried 33 of 67 counties and 43% of the vote in the 2006 Alabama Democratic primary for Attorney General.
The fact is, within the last five years, the conservative base has succeeded (without our assistance) in transforming the position of the Republican Party on immigration. John McCain is penitent and begging for forgiveness. Mitch McConnell is now adjusting to the reality of Senator Rand Paul.
We have entered the Tea Party, Arizona, implicit White Nationalist era in mainstream politics; a time when the borders of the mainstream Right and pro-White politics will begin to blur.
The post-Bush GOP and post-Buckley conservative movement are no longer immune to challenges from their Right. The barrier that has kept White Nationalist mainstreamers from breaking out into the broader Right is weaker than ever before. White Nationalist rhetoric is already making deep advances into the mainstream conservative movement.
5.) Since the second term of George W. Bush, and especially since the rise of Sarah Palin and the election of Barack Obama, White America is stirring and lashing out in unpredictable ways. The Joe Six Packs of the 1990s are the Tea Party activists of the 2010s.
Major changes which I have been tracking are now in progress: Whites are starting to identify as “outsiders,” the White vote is coelescing, Whites are visibly starting to adopt the language of an aggrieved minority, Whites are openly flirting with an embrace of identity politics, Whites are forcing mainstream politicians to advance their interests with primary challenges.
Just as the White backlash is blowing at Hurricane Katrina levels, vanguardists are advocating the brilliant idea of spurning ordinary people because they are not radical enough for their tastes, coupled with the equally absurd idea of offending them with “meta-political” assaults on their most fundamental values. As White America finally starts to wake up, the vanguardists are not even really paying attention, or when they do tune into reality, it is as an afterthought or an occasion to give offense.
6.) Vanguardists, who are usually experiencing some type of personal identity crisis, are bent on erecting unnecessary barriers between White Nationalists and White America: constantly heaping praise on fascism, radical attacks on republican government, anti-Americanism, attacks on Christianity, importing exotic ideas from Europe, advocating violent revolution, etc.
Their alienation has lately reached comical levels: labeling North America the “Great Death Continent,” investigating the great questions of our time like whether the Confederacy was controlled by the Rothschilds and anti-racist masculinity among “alpha males” in science fiction films, speculating about the Lemurian orgins of Jews and the populating of Europe by refugees from Atlantis.
While Middle America is revolting, Counter-Currents can be found reviewing “Legally Blonde 2” and discussing Coco Chanel’s Nazi love affairs. When “progressive” is becoming a four letter word in White America, Counter-Currents is charting our course forward from a “degenerate” White Nationalist movement to a vitalized “progressive” utopia in which “kooky” bureaucrats have harnessed eugenics and government mandated social engineering to “transform” our descendants into elves from Lord of the Rings.
7.) Vanguardists have no interest in communicating with ordinary people, responding to their concerns, or engaging the electorate. They misrepresent ordinary Americans, whom they no longer sympathize with, in ways that are detrimental to the success of the White Nationalist movement.
To hear vanguardists tell the tale, White Americans love the status quo, are wedded to the existing regime, are perfectly content with hordes of brown skin invaders flooding into the United States, and hold “anti-racism” as their only sacred value.
In reality, Congress has a 12% approval rating, the majority of White Americans consider the federal government “a direct and immediate threat” to their freedom, nullification and state sovereignty are in the air, most White Americans believe the next generation will be worse off, and the charge of “racism” in the midterm elections resulted in a White backlash and a Republican landslide the likes of which hasn’t been since the Great Depression.
8.) Instead of reaching out to White America, building bridges to a potential mass constituency (which is already searching for ways to revolt), vanguardists are desperately trying to blast off into the furtherest reaches of the fringe. They seal themselves off from contamination in small cult like groups and occupy themselves in their own fantasy world.
This usually takes the form of retreating into the distant (the Middle Ages) or recent past (Nazi Germany) or the distant (White colonization of the Milky Way galaxy) or near future (the Northwest Republic). Some vanguardists have creatively combined National Socialism with their interest in esoteric subjects like UFOs, numerology, and speculation about the demise of Atlantis.
9.) Among the many mainstream politicians who are a bane to vanguardists, Pat Buchanan, Tom Tancredo, and Ron Paul rank highest on the list. They stand accused of diverting scarce White Nationalist resources from vanguardist projects.
Returning to reality, Tancredo, Buchanan, and Paul are trailblazers who have done more than anyone else in America to mainstream controversial positions on issues like immigration, multiculturalism, foreign wars, and monetary policy. There are now hundreds of little Tancredos in Congress and the state legislatures, a Senator Paul and a whole movement of aspiring Ron Pauls, and Buchanan’s rhetoric on immigration and free trade is triumphing in the Tea Party.
As a “meta-political” project, these mainstream politicians (and more broadly, the Tea Party) are actually succeeding in redefining the ideas that constitute Americanism. They reach an audience of millions where obscure vanguardists reach an audience of hundreds. Even if our goal was to “spread ideas,” the Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan presidential campaigns (followed by their bestselling books) did more to “spread ideas” than writing for obscure websites ever did.
10.) If mainstreamers sound like they are from Mars, the vanguardists sound like they are from Pluto.
Last Tuesday, White America revolted against the Democratic majority in Congress over Obamacare. If entrusted with power, the vanguardists would only build a monument to Adolf Hitler on the National Mall and expand the scope of the national government to the point of allowing “kooky” bureaucrats to arrange marriages so that “a god-like race” of White elves could be created.
That won’t play in Peoria or Portland.
The vanguardist “strategy” is nothing less than converting Americans to “ideas” like that one. In other words, they are taking people out of the mainstream (people who might now vote, donate, organize, protest, influence their peers) and alienating and lobotomizing these “wide awakes” to the point where they can’t even communicate with their own family members.
Few of these “wide awakes” are actually married with children.
11.) Even if civilization were to collapse tomorrow, the vanguardists would never rise to power. They spend so much of their time alienating and offending their contemporaries that they would never turn to them in the event of a national emergency.
In fact, the return of barbaric conditions would likely spell the end of this species of fantasist (costume or otherwise), as it is the liberal value of tolerance (and the anonymity of the internet) that gives them the platform to spread their views. In the Mad Max world, violent gang rule would replace the soft tyranny we live under today; the market for esoteric, avant-garde European fascism would evaporate overnight.
12.) The vanguardist inclination to violence is a threat that constantly hangs over our heads. The MLK assassination gave the Left the opportunity to deify MLK into a secular saint. In 1994, the Oklahoma City bombing singlehandedly destroyed all the momentum that the critics of the federal government had built after Waco and Ruby Ridge. More recently, James von Brunn’s inept shooting spree provided a convenient talking point in the backdrop of the “townhall mobs” that were sweeping across America.
There is a real chance that some vanguardist lunatic might go postal on a prominent elected official and our remaining freedoms could be curtailed as a result. Mark Penn, one of President Clinton’s former advisors, is already appearing on cable television saying that Barack Obama needs another Oklahoma City to reconnect with White voters in the Heartland.
Predicting the future is always a precarious enterprise.
Looking ahead into the next decade, I am willing to roll the dice though and gamble on a few predictions.
1.) William F. Buckley’s forcefield that has traditionally separated the “respectable right” from the “fringe right” will eventually breakdown. When Mitch McConnell laid his hands on the shoulders of Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, and Rand Paul, it heralded the end of the era of the gatekeepers.
2.) As this barrier to respectability crumbles under the challenge posed by social media, the White Nationalist genie will escape from the bottle. Specifically, the “mainsteamer” wing of White Nationalism will dissolve into the broader White Right and “sweeten the tea” on issues like immigration, affirmative action, states rights, political correctness, and multiculturalism.
When pro-Whites discover the political mainstream has become permeable, there will be less anonymous posting on the internet and more real world activity. The internet will be used by White Nationalists in more productive ways like throwing their support behind candidates who are solid on immigration in close races.
3.) The economy will continue to deteriorate. The unease of the White electorate will grow and it will continue to lash out in unpredictable ways. In such conditions, it is guaranteed that Whites will turn against immigration. Historically, Americans have only felt more inclusive when the economy is booming or in wartime conditions.
4.) The breakthrough of pro-Whites into the political mainstream will first occur in the Southwest or Southeast, but it could conceivably happen in relatively White states like Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, or West Virginia.
5.) The breakthrough will start as a tax revolt over America’s fiscal insolvency before evolving into a more interesting rebellion.
6.) California will collapse, probably under Governor Moonbeam, and this will have sweeping consequences Whites who live elsewhere in America.
7.) Barack Obama’s defeat in 2012 at the hands of White voters will inaugurate an era of racial turmoil.
8.) While all this is happening, the vanguardists (after launching from San Francisco) will continue their strange journey in their counterculture spaceship locked into a course of political insanity, although they will travel smaller and smaller distances with each passing year as White Nationalist resources are diverted to more profitable projects.
Maybe they will reach the stars and open up diplomatic relations with aliens. They lost their ability to communicate with us mere humans long ago.
The Million Dollar Question
We have limited resources: time, money, bodies. How should we invest them?
I would argue that this is an easy one: throw everything we got into working within the system to secure the border and shutdown legal immigration. That means donating, voting, volunteering, organizing for candidates who will stop the invasion.
If we can’t stop the invasion, we are going to lose. We can openly work within the mainstream to fight legal immigration and deport the invaders who are already here. That’s what we should be doing.
I’m sure there are those who disagree. I’ve said my piece. Now I want to hear you argue the contrary.