A Viable Political Alternative to White Nationalism
by Robert Weissberg
[J.D.: I have more than once mentioned the talk Bob Weissberg delivered at the 2012 American Renaissance conference, the one described as "noxious" by National Review, who gave it as their reason for dropping Bob from their contributor list.
Several commenters and emailers have asked whether there is a transcript of the talk. So far as I know, there isn't. I asked Bob; he didn't know of one, either. He did, though, give me permission to reproduce the notes on which his talk was based. Here they are.
The talk as delivered differs somewhat from the notes. This is always the case. When up on the podium speaking, you think of a joke or anecdote you want to insert; or you realise you're over-shooting your time limit and drop a paragraph … If you want to see the talk as actually delivered, you can buy a DVD of it from the American Renaissance website.
Note by the way that since no transcript was heretofore available, and DVDs of the conference (which took place March 16-18) were not available until some weeks later, those passing opinions about the content of Bob's talk in early April can only have been either (a) attendees at the conference, or (b) relying on the word of some attendee, or (c) dishonest.
Over to you, Bob …]
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
Is white nationalism a viable political ideology that can be promoted to alter current racial norms and values? The answer, emphatically, is "no." But this does not mean that the world favored by most white nationalists is unreachable. There is no contradiction; everything depends on defining the battle and what is an acceptable outcome.
Here's my advice: Transform the quest into one of defeating Third Worldism. Then, if we are lucky, our side will achieve 80 percent of what we want. This is an appeal to practicality; I'll leave ideological defenses to others. Recall Voltaire's adage: The perfect is the enemy of the good.
White nationalism as a political (or even cultural) movement is Dead On Arrival for three good reasons:
- It is currently too vacuous to serve as a political agenda;
- It lacks an economic constituency; and
- It arrives with so much unsavory baggage that even closet supporters loathe it if it is stated clearly.
The Hazy Ideology of White Nationalism
"White nationalism" in varied forms rightly enjoys a long, distinguished intellectual history. It is easily summarized: the beliefs, whether held consciously or unconsciously, that:
- Civilizations built by whites are superior to others;
- These civilizations incorporate values antithetical to non-whites;
- Race is hard-wired into our genes and cannot be banished.
In believing that last item, white nationalists are believing a true fact, empirically well-established. Even babies know it. It requires prodigious effort to deny its reality.
White nationalists, at least those who are conscious of being such, can also identify white civilizations, catalogue their attributes, celebrate their accomplishments, and — of the utmost relevance — describe their decline as many non-whites invaded them. Think Detroit. Moreover, judged by decades of white flight here and in Africa, millions of whites accept, however quietly, the principle of white nationalism. All in all, then, white nationalism is real, widely understood and a force that drives millions to take serious, often costly action. That's the good news.
Problems emerge, however, when translating this broad view into a concrete political agenda that can be turned into political power. What, for example, might a white nationalist say if campaigning for office? "Vote for me, the white guy, since we know how to build and sustain great civilizations"? "Vote for me and I'll help reverse a half century of failed noxious social engineering"? Truth be told, in its present form, the white nationalist viewpoint, with the important exception of limiting Third World immigration, lacks the necessary specifics.
That is not to say that being white is politically irrelevant. It is often the most important (if unarticulated) electoral fact. Nearly all white voters now understand the risk of choosing a black over a white though they will never admit that "voting white" is based on "dangerous stereotypes" — that is, on the view that blacks on average are less competent than whites. But, in such black vs. white contests, appeals to whiteness are unnecessary. White voters immediately "get it" without anything being said. And to belabor the obvious, "whiteness" offers no electoral advantage if both candidates are white.
There is, however, some comfort here: millions, perhaps even billions have embraced ideologies that are ten times more screwball than white nationalism. And for good measure, white nationalism, unlike nearly all other ideologies, has the advantage of possessing an instinctive biology-based component. Millions of people have given their lives to promote views one-tenth as reasonable as white nationalism. Skeptics only need examine Marxism or, for that matter, any religion with its lurid tales of miracles and holy revelations.
Moreover, ideological fashions come and go, and who knows when it may, once more, be our turn? Don't forget that racial consciousness was once socially acceptable. U.S. Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, college presidents and leading academics all fervently embraced a version of eugenics that largely targeted "people of color."
There are practical problems, too, the most notable of which is the heterogeneity of whites. Problems of defining "us" and "them" are endemic with ethnic-based politics; but they apply to whites with special force. (We'll leave aside the vexing problem of who, exactly, is white. The U.S. census bureau considers Egyptians to be white, for example; Jared Taylor, in common with black nationalists, does not. These are issues at the periphery.)
Yes, most whites may join hands to defeat a black running for mayor, and will certainly want to live among those who resemble them, but once the broad "us versus them" is taken out of the equation, whites seldom agree on some ill-defined white policy agenda. If everyone is white, race becomes politically meaningless and will therefore be trumped by divisions of education, income, age, language, residence, religion, marital status, sex, and even sexual preferences. Appeals to whites qua whites will only work when the enemy is another ethnic group. Even then, the success of the appeal is uncertain (think Obama).
Facing this cacophony of issues, a white nationalist movement will be herding cats. Do white nationalists agree on the regulation of morals or foreign policy? Skeptics should ask Jared Taylor about his cat herding experience.
White nationalism as a rallying cry also suffers from an ironic energy-sapping flaw: believers can readily flourish in separation. Move to Montana or Idaho, just as small-town gays escaped local homophobia by moving to San Francisco. Even if surrounded by blacks, white cocoons are feasible. Conceivably, the ease of living as a white nationalist explains why so few people find it necessary to embrace white nationalism as a political cause — why wait until Jared Taylor is elected President, when you can flee to some Whitopia.
The Lack of a White Nationalist Constituency
Lyndon Johnson once advised that if you want to have a flourishing government program, find a constituency who profits from it. This insight certainly applies to all the poxes plaguing modern America. Millions earn their daily bread promoting civil rights, multi-culturalism, feminism, gay rights and similar leftist Politically Correct ideologies. In fact, some of these — e.g., ensuring diversity — can only be understood as make-work pay-offs for those who would otherwise violently disrupt society.
That understood, who might gain from advancing the white nationalist agenda? Unless Jared has some secret Swiss bank account, the answer is: nobody. We have no well-paid experts in waiting to instruct black school administrators on the special needs of white students, or to advise publishers on how to be more inclusive when recounting the rise of Western Civilization.
Put forcefully, white nationalism will remain DOA until millions of people go to work every day to advance our cause. As things now stand, for every Jared and his loyal minions, there are 10,000 whose aim is the very opposite.
Truth be told, those who emerge from the closet to declare themselves a champion of white people will pay a heavy price, not gain economically. Friendships will go cold and adherents risk unemployment. It will take a huge effort to make being a white nationalist something innocuous, let alone admirable.
Let's face it, we are loathed. Let's be blunt: it's hard to imagine a more odious label than "white nationalist." And it is futile to try to soften this view with "Race Realist" or some other kinder, gentler label like "European-American advocate." I'd guess that in a free association test, "white nationalist" would evoke the Klan, Hitler, racist, anti-Semite, fascist, white supremacist, kook, nutcase, … and that would be just the beginning. It doesn't take much.
The most careful, scientific defense of white nationalism is a waste of time. In fact, a science-based account of why whites prefer being among whites will typically only enrage our enemies. And forget about cataloguing one failed social engineered mixing after the next. Offering up scientific evidence, no matter how conclusive, just pours gasoline on the fire.
We can never win this debate, let alone win converts. A white nationalist is bad enough but an intelligent, informed one is horrific. Our enemies totally dominate public debate and even those white nationalists hiding in the closet will never acknowledge their clandestine views.
Moreover, there really is some unsavory baggage in the white nationalist movement; and rest assured, it will be thrown in our faces to kill off any serious discussion.
I've personally tried to point out how futile efforts to help blacks have often dangerously expanded federal power (a perfectly plausible argument) and the almost inevitable response is a non sequitur compendium of the misdeeds of past whites, everything from lynchings to colored-only drinking fountains.
Refuting this "rejoinder" is nearly impossible, and trying to play tit-for-tat with the unsavory backgrounds of, say, certain civil rights leaders, only exacerbates the ire directed toward us. Everyone is this room has experienced this situation.
The Eighty Percent Solution
There is, however, some hope. Recall how homosexuality went from being a crime to being fashionable. The really good news is that millions of Americans (and Europeans) loth to label themselves "white nationalists" share this agenda. This is life in northern and central Europe plus parts of the U.S.A. absent underclass Third Worlders.
It is not a nostalgic reactionary fantasy; these places really exist and tens of millions live in them. Their core traits are obvious: they are clean, well-governed, safe, orderly, prosperous, pleasing to the eye and filled with industrious people passionately adverse to the public dole. Everything works. Residents appreciate a vigorous civic life, things like concerts and museums. Schools are clean, safe and effective. Going one step further, they passionately defend their "white" existence and exhibit no remorse in kicking out its people-of-color enemies … although, to be sure, exclusion may be disguised in the form of building lot size and zoning restrictions.
Ironically, as books by David Brooks (Bobos in Paradise) and Charles Murray (Coming Apart) recount, this is the life par excellence craved by wealthy white multicultural-believing liberals. Murray's somewhat hypothetical "Belmont" is the white nationalist Utopia; although, rest assured, 99 percent of its residents would rather confess to child molesting than admit their white nationalism. There will be no Section 8 housing in "Belmont."
Nor are such white-only paradises available only to the rich. Every year millions of middle-class American either vacation or settle permanently in such Whitopias as Door County, Wisconsin, the Catskill Mountains in New York, the Berkshires in Massachusetts, North Carolina's Piedmont area, to mention only a handful of "white only" localities.
All this understood, the agenda should be one of keeping America a First World nation, albeit with (inevitable) small pockets of Third Worlders. Somebody has to mow grass and clean house. Our quest should be about quality of life and, thankfully, this is easily translated into a digestible, alluring political agenda: low crime, clean streets, robust civic life, an industrious citizenry (idle people only make trouble), strong family life, and the promotion of religion for its salutary qualities.
Again, this is not harking back to some 19th century rustic fantasy. These places currently exist by the thousands. The aim should be to keep them that way and, where possible, to re-claim First World areas that have fallen into Third World disrepair.
Keeping America First-World can be expressed in terms that are absolutely race-free. Everybody will know that this is a "white" world; but this goal will also, at least in principle, be appealing to many non-whites, especially Asians, plus a small handful of wealthy blacks. Conversely, there will be some whites who are made uncomfortable by it.
Of the utmost political importance to gaining respectability, the First World life should be open to all, regardless of skin color, ethnicity, religion, and place of origin. There is nothing "racist" about keeping the hi-fi down or putting trash in the wastebasket. No, street crime is not a code word for race unless, of course, one willingly accepts whatever black leaders claim.
Fortunately, a familiar example exists for a political mobilization build around First World qualify of life: New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani after defeating the black incumbent, David Dinkins. New York City had been plagued by aggressive panhandling, street crime, and filth everywhere, and all of this was clearly race-related. I suspect that all white New Yorkers, even liberals, understood Giuliani's "white agenda" — restore the City to its past glory before the emergence of a black and Hispanic underclass majority. Today, Giuliani is a hero to millions of whites (but far fewer blacks) for making Gotham livable.
I believe that a "quality of life" political agenda is our side's best weapon. People understand it at a personal level, it cuts across the political spectrum and it can motivate people. It nicely subsumes the immigration issue: immigration is fine provided it does not destroy quality of life.
Some Future Scenarios
Where do we go from here? As Yogi Berra once said, making predictions is difficult, especially about the future, but let me offer three possibilities.
First, and most likely, do nothing politically but instead continue to seek private solutions. This is already occurring but the seeming unstoppable influx of Third Worlders only adds urgency. It hardly takes a rocket scientist to figure out ways of keeping the Third World at bay. Thousands of communities remain largely white thanks to zoning laws, aggressive policing, rules regarding permissible retail (e.g. no fast food), tough school discipline and multiple other policies inimical to Third Worlders. Elsewhere I have catalogued these subterfuges: for example, Baroque background music in restaurants.
Yes, this may well produce two nations within one, and be costly, but it does preserve our values thanks to entrepreneurs who know that millions will flock to Whitopias. There are big bucks in developing the next St. George, Utah, and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
Second, push "quality of life" on to the political agenda but without any formal organizational initiative. This needs more effort than moving to the next St. George, Utah; but it is not impossibly arduous. It is, though, of the utmost importance, and not self-stigmatizing.
Altering public debate happens all the time. Think of gays pushing same-sex marriage, the parents of handicapped children making the accommodation of childhood disabilities a budget draining item, the elderly who've made sacrosanct expensive health care for those about to die, and countless other groups that have transformed today's political debate into something unrecognizable by a visitor from the 1950s.
One might begin by writing letters to newspapers, calling in to talk radio shows, printing up bumper stickers ("The US is not Calcutta and let's keep it that way" …) and otherwise pointing out the slow attack on our civic values. Lurid tales of how Third Worlders "contribute" to America are especially welcome, and this trashing of the landscape will certainly alarm environmentalists. Support columnists like Pat Buchanan who can preach the gospel of "I have seen the future and it is Detroit."
The hallmark of success here is an altered vocabulary. Naming things is the first step to transforming diffuse anger into a political movement.
Last, and least likely, is to create a think-tank-like entity that would slowly transform white nationalism into something marketable, something that will eventually surface as laws and court decisions. Again, think of how homosexuals have achieved their quest be "normal" in less than two decades.
It is currently a bit helter-skelter but, all in all, Americans are increasingly being exposed to what a Third World take-over might look like. Perhaps at some point this fragmentation might end and the battle against creeping Third Worldism will triumph.
Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.