An article in the decidedly Leftist Huffington Post by the unmistakably Leftist reporter Samantha Lachman described the just-concluded conference of the National Policy Institute that I attended at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on October 31 in a way that bore little resemblance to what I heard there [White Nationalists Gather On Halloween To Discuss How Oppressed They Are, October 31, 2015]. On the basis of an interview with the speakers, Samantha, who reveals she is Jewish, is sure that they, plus their audience, are working to create an American ”white ethno-state” and all think Jews have “rigged the American political system” to favor the immigration of non-Euro-Americans. Samantha also claimed that the conference was pushing the unspeakably outrageous idea of forcing “women back in the kitchen, 1950s style.” In her fevered imagination, America in the 1950s was equivalent to a Taliban society.
For the record, I am writing as an immigration-critical Jew, who is sick of the Leftist bigotry I regularly encounter in Samantha’s publication and others of its ilk. I readily confess to loving the 1950s America I grew up in, but I have no intention (nor did anyone I heard at the conference) of “forcing” women back into anything.
It’s not even that I think the sentiments or views in question are evil or even essentially wrong. I just didn’t hear them articulated in the talks or in the ensuing Q/A sessions.
One of the participants whom Samantha point-and-spluttered at, Professor Kevin MacDonald, has written about the extensive, lavish Jewish involvement in immigration expansion over the last hundred years. But this seems to be a matter of record rather than a sign of hating Jews. (See my critique of Professor MacDonald’s work as proof that I am not his lackey). It is also understandable that someone who deplores the political and social effects of immigration, particularly since 1965, would deplore the undeniable Jewish organizational support for this transformative process. And this would include Jewish as well as Christian opponents of this metamorphosis.
At the NPI gathering, on the theme “Become Who We Are,” no muzzles were placed on the speakers’ mouths in a way that Samantha and the increasingly repressive Main Stream Media want. But the most stimulating part of the experience for me was meeting dignitaries whom I’ve been reading for decades, e.g. MacDonald, whom I had previously known only through his writings and very occasional email messages; and the fiery French critic of Muslim immigration and (along with Alain de Benoist) a Grey Eminence of the French New Right, Guillaume Faye.
Kevin turned out to be as soft-spoken in person as he is fearless as a writer. Further, his talk on the origins of the white race was a model of scientifically-detached lecturing. He discussed two major components of European origins: aristocratic individualism deriving from Indo-European settlers, and egalitarian individualism stemming from Northern hunter-gatherers. The latter has been increasingly dominant since the 17th century and, he argues, is a critical component of contemporary Political Correctness. Notwithstanding Samantha, he did not mention Jews.
Faye by contrast was the ultimate in Gallic animation. Whether speaking in French or in his colorful Franglais, this visitor from the Old World never hid how he felt about “the Muslim invasion of my continent.”
I thought most of the speakers, and certainly the audience, less engaged in a racially-based ethnostate project than NPI’s spirited President, Richard Spencer, and his companion in arms Jack Donovan. To my delight, Richard in his opening remarks quoted or paraphrased Nietzsche, Heidegger, Spengler and Carl Schmitt—all authors on whom I have written. But I’m not sure that white nationalism would have made much sense to the German thinkers cited, given their time and circumstances.
Europeans think differently about such matters than Americans. Like most of the traditional French Right, Faye identified the oppositional “race” that Western Europeans have failed to take sufficiently into account as Asian and North African Muslims. Richard himself used the phrase “we Europeans,” but the problem of context remains. Once we step out of an American culture, racial antagonisms are not between whites and blacks but between civilizational enemies. In Israel, Jews refer to their Palestinian fellow-Semites in the way that Southern segregationists once used in referring to the Negro. The English and Irish show much of the same genetic make-up and share overlapping culture, but until quite recently (like Serbs and Croatians or Russians and Ukrainians) spoke of each other as ethnic antagonists.
This provocative, well-attended conference was supposed on focus on “becoming who we are,” and most of the speakers agreed there is a Euro-American identity that we should be trying to hold on to. There was also consensus that this identity has something to do with “European intelligence” and a “religious tradition,” even if the speakers were not always on the same page as to whether Christianity still belonged to that “tradition” or whether it had become like a maiden aunt who begins to rave at inconvenient times.
But discussions of this type necessarily become complicated when we get into “the other” as in Carl Schmitt’s friend/enemy relation. Different thinkers may list different “others” in telling us who are hostile to their communities. The conference I attended was no different in that respect—but it focused largely on the danger posed by the American Empire and its cult of “diversity.” Most of the presentations, for example, Keith Preston’s criticism of American liberal internationalist imperialism, and Sam Dickson’s remarks on the Confederate Battle Flag, approached the theme of “being who we are” by stressing who we are not.
Dickson, an extremely eloquent lawyer from Atlanta, observed that the slogan of well-meaning Southern whites that their flag is “about heritage, not hate” is a pitiful defense. As Dickson pointed out, since the “Southern heritage” has now been defined by the MSM and public educators as “hate”, someone who contrasts the “Southern heritage” to “hate” will be seen as talking nonsense.
Like Preston, Dickson considered his principal enemy, or that of the “Southern nation,” to be “American imperialism.” Southerners were early victims of this evil, even before it was turned into a means of delivering the rest of the world from who they are.
Preston, Dickson, and some of the other participants identified “American imperialism” with political and ideological centralization from the left together with a neoconservative foreign policy. Explicitly or implicitly these critics lean toward a secessionist solution, presuming they can find a critical mass to join their resistance.
Needless to say, the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page staff would not have felt comfortable in such company.
The keynote speaker, Faye, dealt with multicultural policies and their effects in European societies. Faye graphically and with appropriate facial contortions highlighted the “Muslim invasion” of Western Europe, and the receptiveness of the French and German Establishment to reconstruction by those whose heritage was different and openly antagonistic to European traditions.
But he was also (from my point of view) strangely confident that his fellow-Europeans would rise to the challenge. This would only happen, however, if “les plus forts” (the strongest—Faye employed the French phrase) assume leadership positions, and such self-hating European promoters of the “anti-European” European Community as Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel could be replaced.
Still, Faye was pessimistic about the possibility of Marine Le Pen, who heads the immigration-critical National Front, winning next year’s French presidential race. Marine, said Faye, can only count on the votes of about 30% of the French electorate and the other major parties, which are like our Democrats and Republicans, would band together behind a rival candidate to prevent someone on the non-approved right from gaining the French presidency.
Anti-white ethnomasochism and what Faye described as the “cult of xenophilia” were given appropriate attention at the conference. And all of the speakers and those among the attendees I conversed with had no trouble recognizing the core problems discussed.
In other Western countries, for example Germany, the dangerous tendencies highlighted at the conference are even more advanced than they are here. In Germany, political leaders gleefully prophesy the death of their historic nation and rejoice at the prospect of replacing the indigenous population with new settlers (Neusiedler), mostly from the Third World. Former German foreign minister and a radical cultural leftist who had been involved in revolutionary violence, Joschka Fischer, , is an immigration enthusiast who has insisted that “Europeans should stop treating migrants as a threat and start viewing them as an opportunity.” [Europe’s Migration Paralysis, August 24, 2015]Fischer’s admirer Jurgen Trittin, who now heads the German Green Party, is already ecstatic that his country is being overwhelmed by Asian Muslim migrants: “Each day Germany is disappearing more and more; and this is a truly wonderful thing!” exults Trittin, [YouTube] who heads one of the largest parties in the country that he hopes will soon vanish.
Despite my longtime interest in the entrenched lunacy represented by Trittin and his American counterparts, I still haven’t come up with anything more than provisional, limited explanations as to why we’re destroying our inherited culture and subjecting the settled populations to what the French call le Grand Remplacement. And Conservatism, Inc. may be among the last places where we should look for enlightenment on Political Correctness, multiculturalism and immigrant invasions. At NPI’s “Becoming Who We Are” conference, by contrast, open discussion about such things was the order of the day.
At least some of those who were at NPI will attend the gathering of the H.L. Mencken Club in the D.C. area this weekend (November 6-7). Unlike NPI, HLMC, of which I am President (for Life, reluctantly), does not promote political activism, and we attract members who on average are considerably more mature a.k.a. older and more likely to come from academic backgrounds. We are also less focused than NPI on the genetic and racial components of the crisis confronting Western civilization. There is a division of work (and obvious difference in age!) that distinguish our two organizations. But there are also shared features. Among them, hostility toward the victim industry and the immigration lobby, a deep-seated repugnance for the GOP as the fat-cat enablers of the Left, and a view that the entire West is now engulfed by the same struggle. Our groups duly acknowledge these overlaps, as we do with other the institutions of the Dissident Right.
Oh, and lest I forget, the members of both organizations read VDARE.com with effusive approval—and despise the Huffington Post!
Paul Gottfried [ email him ] is a retired Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown College, PA. He is the author of Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt and The Strange Death of Marxism His most recent book is Leo Strauss and the Conservative Movement in America.