Tuesday, 8 April 2014


John Derbyshire - not as dotty as he seems.

by Gilbert Cavanaugh

Who would have ever guessed that John Derbyshire, a mild mannered Brit with a Chinese wife, and two kids by her, would become the face of white supremacy in the eyes of the left? Well, so it goes, and today marks the two-year anniversary of Mr. Derbyshire’s expulsion from the ranks of National Review, and polite society as a whole. Although it is seductive to commemorate this by providing a list of other thoughtcrime martyrs who have sprung up in the last twenty-four months, I propose something a bit more productive. Let us consider what has improved since “The Derb” so unjustly received his two minutes of hate two years ago, after all, our mothers were right when they told us, “God opens a window every time he shuts a door.”

– The Derb’s output has improved. While he was always a great writer with a sharp pen, once he lost the shackles of William F. Buckley’s cheerleaders, he truly blossomed. Had he never lost his job with Conservatism Inc, he would not have been able to speak at last year’s American Renaissance conference, or a Council of Conservative Citizens gathering two summers ago. He also became a regular feature of Vdare almost immediately after “leaving” NR, and even his pieces for Takimag, while always edgy – that was what got him fired, after all – have gotten even better now that he does not answer to Jonah Goldberg.

– The nationalists are rising. The same month that saw Derb’s fall saw the Front National in France obtain nearly a fifth of the electorate. And as I write this, news is coming out that Le Pen’s party has ousted so many Socialists in local elections that the leftists had no choice but to riot. The current agitations in both Catalonia and Scotland are certainly good signs as well.

– There is an intellectual pushback. The Derb has noticed that some noteworthy race-realist books have either just been released, or are about to be, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. James Kalb’s Against Inclusiveness is also worth mentioning, along with the impressively subversive Back to Blood, and of course, Derb’s latest. Even beyond the realm of books and more towards praxis, there are the now mildly infamous “Neoreactionaries;” and for all their eccentricities, they have a great deal going for them as well. They have two things on their side that the Dissident Right is often lacking: youth and an affinity for technology. On top of that, many of them are Catholic, and just about all of them are polite. Much to everyone’s benefit, they are beginning to organize little meetings here and there.

– Crimea. Yes, despite Albert Emory's call for purity, I have been following the developments in the East to at least some degree. Sorting through all the commentary (even just that within our own circles) strikes me as completely impossible at this point, so I will keep it brief. Any time the United States loses international legitimacy, it loses domestic legitimacy, and any time it loses domestic legitimacy, dissidents like us get a little more room to breath – and grow.

– We did not invade Syria. In late August, early September, I was completely convinced my cousin would be in Damascus before Christmas. But amazingly, both the Neocons and the Wilsonians had their hawkish cacophony muted into an obnoxious whine. While it is very easy to bemoan all of the foolish wars we have engaged in, it is much more difficult to appreciate times we evaded the mess. All said and done, the absence of an American invasion of Syria may well be the best news of the last two years. Eat your heart out David Frum.

Does any or all of this mean that “we” are on the rise and will soon storm the gates? Frankly, it is not our place to make predictions of that nature. After all, as Stubb reminds us, “the mingled, mingling threads of life are woven by warp and woof.”

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