Monday, 30 December 2013


Machiavelli of the modern age: Saul Alinsky

by William Solniger

(continued from part 1)

It is perhaps more difficult now than ever before to offer white Europeans new (or restored) values, identities, flags, causes, and heroes. Radical traditionalists who try to do this soon find themselves battling upstream – against the decadent Western “culture” that breeds apathy, irony and inertia; against the mass media that rushes to stigmatise any rightist cause that seems to be gaining momentum; and, significantly, against the leftist discourse of critique (taught in some form to every one of the legions of young people on the humanities-degree conveyor belt) that exists to “deconstruct”, ridicule, and otherwise smear shit over everything traditionally European.

Given that struggling against these forces of inertia is a quick path to becoming disillusioned, a far more productive strategy would be to use the system’s inertia against it. Although this concept runs far deeper (at least for us) than Alinsky’s definition of “tactics”, it is supported by his idea that “if you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside” (i.e. every negative can be turned into a positive).

At the ideological level, this is a matter of emphasis: it means that we should place any positive plans of action in the rearguard, and instead prioritise a corrosive negative critique of the progressive-egalitarian project. In this we can make use of many of the analytical tools, habits of mind, and even anti-Europeanism, bequeathed by the leftist discourse that has sought to reduce the traditional ideals of Europe to power structures, racial fears and hatreds, and repressed sexual urges. It is clear that the intellectuals, journalists and academics engaged in this “work” have examined, critiqued and deconstructed everyone but themselves and their own secular religion, and the logic of their ideas makes it relatively easy to ask why the hammer should not be turned upon the last idol left untouched in the temple. What is more, should the smashing of this idol prove it to have in fact been the most fragile of all, most of its previous verdicts on traditional European culture and civilisation would be rendered utterly invalid.

The first stage might be to explore the link between the universal egalitarian religion and the domination of a particular type of elite: an alienated and deracinated managerial ruling class, exerting power on global terms (whether through international bureaucracies, multinational corporations, or “humanitarian” subversion of sovereign states), defining itself against the majority of native people in its primary host countries, and thus centring its sense of pride in the rejection of the traditions, culture, and identity of lower-class Europeans.

From this conceptual base, we can discredit much of the progressivist belief-system simply by taking its critiques of Western religion, identity, dominance etc. to a logical conclusion. We can accept its verdict on the evils of nineteenth-century colonialism, and then point out that the system which native Europeans live under today is the proper heir of this form of exploitation: bringing millions of uprooted people to colonise their lands in the interests of profit, and legitimising the whole racket with a Kiplingesque rhetoric of pretended noblesse oblige.

Against the “multicultural historians” who disparage Europe’s identity and role in history (and who are critiqued at length by Duchesne in The Uniqueness of Western Civilisation, we can simply reply that such distortions must inevitably stem from the shills of a globalised ruling class contemptuous of the ethnic group most proximate to itself. We can expose the “multiculturalist” quest to eliminate “racist” biases as a vast exercise in false consciousness, by pointing out that 1) such xenophiliac soul-searching is nothing more than a fetish of modern Western culture, 2) only a race puffed up with the psychological security of five hundred years of dominance could afford to prioritise universalist fantasies over unity against the outside world, and 3) every penny paid into “allyship” with non-whites is a pound gained back in hatred of lower-class Europeans. We can reinterpret most of modern feminism as a system which persuades women to prioritise work, tax-paying and consumerism over their families, repaying them with a host of unnecessary “protections” which serve only to increase bureaucratic power and control.

Aside from the obvious truth of such a critique, its practical objective would be to discredit the progressive-egalitarian belief system as a source of meaning and truth in the minds of smart, educated and inquiring Europeans. Only when this process of negative destruction is well under way can any positive ideal or political cause be offered as an alternative.

The same principle can also be carried into the realm of politics, although it would have to take a simplified form. The various nationalist parties in Europe and elsewhere are certainly capable of prioritising negativity, but it is often of the wrong kind: pessimistic portrayals of immigration that not only bring on chronic depression, but also render the parties vulnerable to the political and financial assaults enabled by “anti-racist” legislation. Given that the attacks of the establishment media can be relied upon to advertise a party’s anti-immigration credentials, these parties should consider de-prioritising such rhetoric and instead developing a reputation for strident criticism of the political classes in their countries (a reputation that Golden Dawn successfully achieved in Greece). Any response to such criticism by the targeted classes can only be good for us, for they will be defending themselves as elites and thus sharpening public perception of them as such (regardless of how much sophistry they muster in their defence).

Where credible anti-establishment parties are non-existent or have been suppressed, an attack on the political class might also be mounted simply by organising a boycott of the vote on broadly populist and anti-elitist lines, taking advantage of the increasing political apathy of the West. This would be the ultimate example of turning the inertia of the system against itself; for however much the oligarchic rule of the political class breeds voter apathy (see Mount, The New Few, on the case of Britain), it still requires the continuation of regular voting by a majority of the population in order to provide itself with democratic legitimacy. Vote boycotts – which need not convince more than a few thousand people as long as they are conducted loudly enough – would serve the goal of polarisation by attacking the myths of “representative democracy”, and bringing into focus the conflict of the political class with the public (of which the existence of ethnic replacement policies is a prime example).

Attacking the System: A Few Suggestions

This, of course, brings us into the realm of practical methods for subverting the system, and here we should return to the principles and teachings of Alinsky. Here I shall concentrate exclusively on the nationalist struggle (for the reasons mentioned above), but with the reminder that the success of this struggle is also the success of the True Right as a whole.

We can start with the first of Alinsky’s “rules”: power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have. Those who despair of our prospects for changing anything should reflect upon these words. It is quite clear that our enemies, in their paranoia about the latent “racism” of Europeans, are haunted by the potential of nationalist sentiment to provoke a “peasants’ revolt”. It is up to us to find ways of making their hysterical overreactions to this threat work towards our goals of polarisation, discord, and the further energising of our movement.

However, exploiting the enemy’s delusions requires us to be clear-minded about our own circumstances. In arguing that one should begin with existing conditions and communicate with people in terms of their own values, Alinsky dismisses many of the leftist radicals of his day, who advocated violent means from a position of weakness (“‘Power comes out of the barrel of a gun’ is an absurd rallying cry when the other side has all the guns”) and employed tactics and aesthetics that only served to polarise them against the people they wished to recruit. The relevance of this to the nationalist struggle in majority-European countries requires no comment.

Just as important is Alinsky’s emphasis on doing what one can with what one has, and by whichever means are possible or convenient. The size of an organisation dictates the tactics that it will employ to maximize the effect of its actions:

“First, the eyes; if you have organised a vast, mass-based people’s organisation, you can parade it visibly before the enemy and openly show your power. Second the ears; if your organisation is small in numbers, then…conceal the members in the dark but raise a din and clamour… Third, the nose; if your organisation is too tiny even for noise, stink up the place.”

For an example of a successful tactic on a large scale, Alinsky cites Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent resistance against the British in India, which had the merits of 1) turning “negative” popular inertia to positive ends, and 2) morally outmanoeuvring the enemy. Alinsky also cites several examples of leftist tactics devised by him, to be carried out in America by poor blacks mobilised at varying levels of numerical strength. Alinsky’s tactics included: swamping a department store with a large number of black “shoppers” to deter whites from entering; deliberately occupying the toilet stalls at a Chicago airport so as to cause mass inconvenience; and (believe it or not) sending a party of baked-beans-fed blacks into the audience of a corporate symphonic orchestra to let off wind throughout the performance. These tactics have the characteristics of: 1) being totally legal (and as Alinsky says, “making a farce of the law”); 2) ridiculing or embarrassing the target (“ridicule is man’s most potent weapon”), and 3) making maximum impact with limited numbers. It is also notable that none of these tactics had to be carried through in the event, because the mere threat was sufficient to extort concessions from the targets (who knew Alinsky had the means to carry out the tactics if necessary).

Let us see how this might lead us to improve on the traditional modus operandi of nationalist parties and organisations. The “default template” for nationalist public action seems to be marches or demonstrations in public areas, usually hoisting flags and organisation regalia, sometimes utilising questionable slogans and aesthetics, and conducted in protest against large, abstract issues (e.g. mass immigration or Islamification) that vary little from demonstration to demonstration. While these tactics are of course better than nothing, they exhibit certain problems obvious to any reader of Alinsky.

First, these marches and demonstrations often violate the principle of using tactics appropriate to one’s numerical strength. Sometimes they serve to highlight the organisation’s small numbers, which become even more apparent if the demonstration is disrupted by a larger number of counter-protestors. Second, the focus on a few issues ensures that the organisations fail to reap the benefits of polarising multiple issues, not allowing single tactics to drag on for too long, and utilising tactics that are enjoyable to carry out (which, in turn, is probably a significant factor in the deficiency of numbers). Third: while the intentions of nationalist demonstrations tend to be non-violent, members can often be provoked into violent situations by the pro-establishment “antifa” groups; this then allows the establishment to blacken the organisation’s name in the media (or worse, justify police repression against it).

This third point is significant; for as a movement of subversion, we must take it as an axiom that repression will be used against us in defence of the status quo. Although the hands of the establishment are tied to some extent by liberal tradition, we nevertheless live in a situation where violent proxy groups can harass us with impunity, with the legal and media consequences unfairly weighted against us. We should not vent impotent rage about this, but instead find ways of outmanoeuvring a legal system that will always be slanted against us until we are in power.

A good start would be to take up an ethos of non-violent resistance that cannot easily be subverted by enemy proxy groups or agents provocateurs. The format of public demonstrations would change accordingly: wearing signs, conducting sit-ins rather than marches, or having demonstrators do something that occupies both hands like holding a candle, are all simple ways to restrict the potential for violence provoked in the interests of the establishment. Slogans should never alienate the majority, but always seek to polarise the majority against the establishment (for example, “our country will not be sold”). Organisations with small numbers would be best suited to attacking smaller targets (as, for example, Generation Identitaire has done on several occasions in France), concentrating not on wide and abstract issues but on a succession of specific and varied ones, and finding several tactical means to ensure that such activity remains interesting and engaging, productive of unity over factionalism, and devoid of serious legal repercussions.

I have already stated my preference for targeting the ruling elite on nationalist grounds, rather than attacking their non-European allies. With this in mind, let us look more closely at the meaning of Alinsky’s statement that one should “freeze” a chosen target. He explains that “the target is always trying to shift responsibility…to get out of being the target”, and that the decision to pick one among many targets should be based on the target’s vulnerability (“where do you have the power to start?”) Once the target is selected, one must temporarily ignore other sources of blame and concentrate on attacking it exclusively, until “all of the ‘others’ come out of the woodwork…[and] become visible in their support of the target”.

It is easy to see how the links between the different ‘kakistocratic’ elites might be demonstrated and popularised by such a method. A nationalist group might start by finding a large business that uses cheap immigrant or outsourced labour, preferably one that has recently laid off some native employees or is based in a high-unemployment area, and organising a boycott against it on explicitly patriotic and nativist grounds. If progressivist groups or politicians spoke or acted against the boycott, they could in turn be attacked as hypocritical corporate shills, and the point that “anti-racism” is a moral facade for the exploitation of whites could be hammered home. Such tactics could be repeated until leftist credibility with working- and lower-middle-class whites is utterly extinguished.

Alinsky states that targets should be personalised if possible, as it is far easier to attack a person than a well-funded institution or policy abstraction. The manosphere author Roosh, in “How To Defeat New York City Media Liberals,” proposes a shrewd tactic by which this principle could be employed to counter-attack the progressivist journalists who make it their business to undermine the livelihoods of people on the True Right. I should further stress that while such an approach would work well against low-paid and obscure individuals, it would be counterproductive against high-profile progressivist hacks like Yasmin Alibhai-Brown or Tim Wise, who can afford to wear controversy as a badge of honour. Unless one is in possession of material that could undermine such individuals’ positions in their own camp, a better approach would be to use a vicious brand of ridicule against them, with the aim of creating social costs for others who espouse their positions in public (for an example of this, see one of my own attempts, “The Tim Wise Song."

Finally, we should draw attention to Alinsky’s insistence that the enemy should be made to live up to his own book of rules (“you can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity”). In the context of the nationalist struggle, this means using the concepts of the establishment against it: demanding that they live up to their claims to eschew racism and guarantee equality, and leveraging their inevitable failures to do so as grist to the mill for our attack on the concepts themselves.

It is unfortunate that so many on the True Right oppose the co-opting of terms like “racism” on ideological grounds, whereas the far less principled establishment never allows the semantic implications of these words to prevent their use of them in utterly hypocritical and inconsistent ways. Although there is no value in the cynical use of progressivist language by conservative electioneers to fawn on “victim groups”, new ideas must be cloaked in the garb of old ones, and it is easier to redefine old terms than invent new ones. For “racism”, all that need be done on our part is to reject its definition as “consciousness of race”, define it in terms of “especial loathing of a race”, and then accuse the anti-white progressivists of being motivated by the latter. (The necessity of taking this approach in the real world is illustrated by the tactic mentioned above: while an accusation of “racism against white men” cowed Roosh’s antagonist, one of “ethnocidalism” or even “misandry” would probably have been laughed off.)

Most modern Western countries have infrastructures (for example, the Equality and Human Rights Commission in Britain) which deal with complaints of racism and racial bias. If we were to encourage ordinary native Europeans to publicly inundate such organisations (or elected representatives) with complaints of racism whenever anti-white ideology reared its head, several polarising aims would be fulfilled. On the one hand, ordinary Europeans would be offered an easy “entry drug” into the business of acting as their own advocates. On the other, the establishment would be faced with the choice of 1) acting on the complaints, even if only in lip service, and thus encountering the anger of resentful minority activists; or 2) ignoring or dismissing them, which would in time breed an attitude of distrust towards all complaints of racism by whites, increasing discord and thus polarisation.

As I have not provided a complete overview of the many insights contained in Alinsky’s book, I recommend that those unfamiliar with it download it in PDF form and read it for themselves. Any further comment on potential methods for furthering the political aims of the True Right is also welcomed.

Soniger X maintains a blog at

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