During our "unscheduled reorganization" back in December 2013, many of the old Alternative Right articles were archived to Radix Journal, but almost all the articles from 2013 were lost, including this interview with Alex Kurtagic by George Whale, which we now take great pleasure in restoring to our readers. (C.Liddell)
A full transcript can be found at the bottom of the page
by George Whale
At a conference in Washington DC in September 2011 writer, musician and artist Alex Kurtagic delivered a lecture entitled "Masters of the Universe," in which he argued that we must win the cultural war against the Left as a necessary prelude to real political change. The speech, full of original and provocative ideas, fascinated me and I determined to ask Mr Kurtagic for an interview so that I might explore some of his ideas further. Fortunately, he agreed.
George Whale: What are the origins of your bleak view of the contemporary West?
Alex Kurtagic: My view may be critical, but I wouldn't consider it bleak. Bleak suggests it is all hopeless, and I have no time for that kind of morbid pessimism. My message has always been that, yes, a number of current trends are very negative, but fundamental change is possible; the future is what one makes it.
George Whale: Early in your Washington talk you dismiss the idea of economic collapse bringing about "a great uprising" and political transformation. Have events in Greece since tempered your view?
Alex Kurtagic: Events in Greece and elsewhere have confirmed my view. There is anger at the government and a rejection of particular policies, not a rejection of egalitarian liberalism as a valid political philosophy. In fact, faced with austerity, the Greek citizenry are likely to want more equality, in the form of government subsidies, aggressive taxes on the rich, and other redistributive measures. Spain, where youth unemployment is at nearly 60%, has also had protracted protests, going back two years now, and yet the ethical and intellectual bases for liberalism remain intact – it's only the liberal politicians (the agents) who are discredited, not liberalism.
There is a belief, which was probably inspired by a handful of underground fiction, among many on the 'extreme Right', and particularly in the United States, that if conditions become sufficiently grim, there will be a sudden great racial awakening among Whites, and the people will then rise up in revolutionary struggle, depose the liberal order, and replace it with one founded on traditional principles. The idea of an economic collapse is thus conveniently treated as a magical solution. And to my mind, apart from being silly and a psychological coping mechanism for individuals who feel powerless, this is more often than not a justification for doing nothing.
The truth is that, firstly, there are many different classes of collapse, and, within those, different models of collapse, most of which would not be alarming or even recognisable to the observer (except perhaps retrospectively); secondly, while collapses do occur and an economic collapse like the one long anticipated may well occur (given enough time), there is no guarantee that the outcome will be as predicted, let alone desired – if it comes to pass there will be many different groups contesting for power; and thirdly, an economic collapse is more likely to discredit the current leadership than to discredit egalitarianism, which is what would need to be discredited in the public mind before an alternative becomes possible.
George Whale: Perhaps it's a matter of degree. Guillaume Faye (of the French New Right) writes of a "convergence of catastrophes" – economic, environmental, political, social etc. That should do the trick shouldn't it?
Alex Kurtagic: The problem is that collapse is not the end of the story; it is the beginning – in fact, it is before the beginning. Few on the Right are thinking about what happens afterwards; most seem to assume that the collapse will solve everything, and that our part of the world will automatically revert back to the way things were before it all 'went wrong', which translates into an imagined, idealised version of the past. Yet, the part that matters, and therefore the part that we need to be thinking about now, is the period that begins after the collapse, because that is the space where vision translates into a reality, where theory is put into practice. How can anything be built after this magical collapse when the post-collapse vision has not even been theorised?
It is not enough to speak of 'survival' or of 'preserving Western civilisation': if one finds one's thinking counter-propositional to the establishment order, finding moral justifications for one's proposed course of action, one's opinions, and one's aspirations, is an essential part of the nature as a Westerner, and the process of moral justification begins in the abstract.
George Whale: Many people sense impending disaster, but are strangely reluctant to act. How do you account for this?
Alex Kurtagic: Failure to 'act' – whatever that means – in the face of evident discontent, corruption, and failure is a common frustration among dissident observers on the Right side of the spectrum. The reasons, however, are fairly simple: firstly, no comprehensive solution has been enunciated – the vision put forth is usually a nostalgic one, which is immediately recognised as unrealistic, impractical, and impossible; secondly, even if a comprehensive solution had been enunciated, the citizenry has not been provided with any reasons to feel good (i.e. righteous) about it – the dominant moral system remains the liberal one, which delegitimates any anti-egalitarian proposals in advance, and which has yet to be subjected to radical criticism or be challenged by a fully articulated and ethically based alternative; and, lastly, absent the above, people simply fear change, and prefer to carry on trying to patch, or survive within, the existing system rather than risk something they don't know and that could well be far worse. And they are right to feel this way.
George Whale: Is it prosperity or propaganda that has made Western societies so aimless and disconnected?
|Who are the masters of our universe?|
Alex Kurtagic: I didn't say the Left; I said the 'equality zealots', which includes the Left and the modern liberals, the latter of whom represent a form of liberalism that incorporates Marxian critiques and is, like Marxism, radically egalitarian. The dominant ideology is modern liberalism, and this includes all mainstream political parties, businesses, and the media. Academia, however, is dominated by the Left and is the main driver behind the still ongoing Leftward drift in contemporary politics. Anyone going through education has his worldview in some way altered or shaped by the ideas of the Left, particularly in, but not limited to, the humanities. In the humanities, culture and society are analysed with analytical frameworks deriving, in their totality, from Freudo-Marxian scholasticism, which involves a handful of theoretically incestuous movements: critical theory, feminism, postmodernism, postcolonialism, etc. These all rest on a common number of assumptions (e.g., the absolute moral goodness of equality, belief in progress, etc.).
Evidently, politicians and media people go through the system, and they then go on to govern and mediate our access to information. The latter involves selection, editing, framing, slanting, emphasis and repetition. So, it is not too much to say that the way we see the world and the way we think about it is pre-configured by the system.
This should not be interpreted to mean it is all a conspiracy, mind you, though conspiracies do occur (such as the one hatched by the Labour governments of 1997-2010 to rapidly multiculturalise this island). This is to say, rather, that the system works in a way designed to legitimise its premises and that the people staffing it proceed on the basis of assumptions and taken-for-granted notions, for the most part genuinely believing they are doing good, otherwise fulfilling their normal job descriptions.
George Whale: The dominant ideology – of equality, diversity, multiculturalism and globalism – you describe as a "quasi-religious orthodoxy". But isn't that they key to its success, that it replicates the fantasy, 'feel good' aspects of religion? Aren't you in fact advocating a 'feel good far Right' to replace it?
Alex Kurtagic: Not in the sense that you imply. When I talk about the importance of making people feel good about themselves, I am not talking about 'fooling' them with fairy tales. I am talking about providing them with a moral justification that enables them to criticise the dominant ideology and feel righteous in the process. Opponents of egalitarianism have hitherto focused on showing how egalitarians are hypocrites and how the empirical data runs consistently against them. You may have noticed that this approach has proven spectacularly unsuccessful. At most it has attracted proud contrarians, the nothing-to-lose, outsiders, idealistic hyperintellectuals, people with an inborn elitist temperament and combinations of the above. Even the most seasoned among them can be made to feel shame and discomfort when confronted in public or outside their support network. Altering the dynamics will require the ability to articulate an elitist position in the affirmative and without fear, shame or discomfort, in public or among friends and family, and irrespective of whether they agree or disagree. And this is possible if the affirmation comes from an ethical position.
George Whale: How do you square feel-good with hard-headed realism?
Alex Kurtagic: There is nothing to square. It is not about the facts; it is about being able morally to justify one course of action or another in the face of those facts. The moral justification is where the feel-good comes from; it is a feel-good based in a sense of righteousness. Take, for example, an average Western citizen, who is for the most part apolitical. In most cases, he thinks there is too much 'immigration' (i.e., settlers of colour). Yet, he will feel good and righteous in not supporting anti-immigration parties or organisations, and in openly condemning them in conversation, on the basis that they are 'racist'.
|Calais: an equal right to be British?|
Dissidents, to survive, must rely on alternative support networks, wherein their views are validated by like-minded individuals. Outside of those networks, many would feel uncomfortable, and may even be made to feel shame, if confronted about their beliefs. Even though the question is, at bottom, about the ethics of difference, the ethics of being oneself, this is the single biggest impediment we face today.
Discredit the moral goodness of equality, challenge it with a moral theory of difference, wherein the good is to preserve quality and uniqueness, and thereby Whiteness and other expressions of humanity, and this would change.
George Whale: You claim that "humans are not motivated by rational self-interest" but "by the need for status and self-esteem". Isn't it a demeaning view of our fellow citizens – that they, like small children, need to be bribed and flattered into doing the right thing?
Alex Kurtagic: If we thought rationally, television advertisements would give us the straight facts about a product. All you would need is a product image, the specifications, and a comparison table with rival products. An advertisement for Coca-Cola would give us the ingredients, the nutritional content, the health effects, the price, and how it compares with similar beverages. Even better: no advertisement would be needed, because the most rational drink is water.
We humans like to think we are rational. However, while we possess the faculty of reason, that does not mean our motivations or our decisions are rational. In most cases our decisions are made instinctively (irrationally), and we then rationalise the choices we made without thinking, examining all available information, or even understanding a fraction of that information. Most of the time, we are either too busy or simply cannot be bothered to invest the time and effort it takes to make a decision rationally. A lot of the time, too, decisions are made on the basis of immediate need or narrow self-interest. We need only observe the democratic process.
George Whale: You claim also that most people follow those who are "masterful and powerful", or "dangerous" or who "represent an idea that inspires them". These are different motivators – which are you recommending?
Alex Kurtagic: Much of the social and political commentary from the Right relies on the assumption that if only the public can be sufficiently educated with studies detailing population differences in IQ or criminal behaviour, or showing the prohibitive social and economic cost of government-sponsored policies of immigration, diversity, and multiculturalism, or predicting minority status for Whites in their own countries, ordinary people will pause, reflect, and change their views accordingly, and either demand policy reversals or overthrow the liberal establishment altogether. This assumes that the public is motivated by facts and reason, and that the reason they don't 'act' is that they are miseducated and misinformed – in other words, that they live immersed in liberal propaganda and are so befuddled by it that they cannot see the obvious.
The Problem of Democracy), this does not explain everything. Consider that 'the facts' have been out there for over a century, and that much of the public, particularly the part comprising city residents, experiences those facts in the flesh every single day. In some cases, they know full well what the studies show; in many more cases they intuit identical conclusions, even if they have never seen the studies. Yet, conventional attitudes persist.
So what does it take to cause a person to abandon conventional attitudes, and follow an alternative course? I have already talked about the need for an ethical justification – many spend years reading in search for it. A righteous cause is often inspirational, because aspiring to be better than one is and desiring a good reputation is a normal human urge, particularly in the West, where people often form moral communities. Important also is that those offering an alternative be and appear formidable – the kind of people with whom one wants to be associated, or like whom one aspires to be; this can be equally inspirational. Absent these, in times of chaos people look for order, and therefore often seek protection from whomever appears strongest, which in this case tends to be a dangerous person or group. This is a trope in post-apocalyptic fiction, and not without reason, for it is a phenomenon of failed states.
George Whale: What might be the form of a seductive, inspiring idea to topple the dominant ideology, to "sweep the Left into the landfill of history"?
Alex Kurtagic: Classical liberals and libertarians had the idea of individual liberty. Marxists had the idea of equality. I think an alternative has to be reducible to a very simple first principle, from which can be derived everything else, and which offers a comprehensive solution. This must begin by deciding who we are and what we want to be come. What makes life good and worth living? In my view, quality – in terms of both superiority and distinctness – is one thing. Meaning is another. This is, of course, the antithesis of what we have today – mediocrity, sameness, and meaninglessness.
Quality and meaning derive from difference, and are extinguished by sameness or the pursuit of sameness, which is the pursuit of equality, which is synonymous with mediocrity. From positive affirmations of distinctness and uniqueness, from the pursuit of quality in every sense, one should be able to start visualising an alternative that restores meaning and direction.
No doubt this will seem too vague or abstract for the practically minded, and it will need to be heavily mediated because it needs to be articulated in a manner that is user-friendly, but without it all being reducible to a very simple first principle, a coherent movement with a comprehensive vision is unlikely to thrive.
George Whale: The central theme of your lecture seems to be that popular support must be won primarily by appeals to the senses and emotions rather than by facts and arguments. What led you to this view?
Alex Kurtagic: Actually, my point is that popular support for a cause, particularly one that is counter-propositional, cannot be won without understanding people's motivations. My view is that most people lack the time, the energy, the expertise, and even the desire to research the vast amounts of detailed information out there to the degree that is often necessary; that, for the most part, people simply want to feel good about themselves and the world they live in; and that many decisions, particularly the most difficult and important ones, are made irrationally and later rationalised. (This is not to mean that decisions are never made on a rational basis; it is to mean simply that we as humans have a tendency to overestimate our own rationality.)
|Image problem of the Right.|
What I criticised in the speech is this unrelenting negativity pouring out from the Right, which begins with the way it defines itself (anti-liberal, anti-modern, anti-urban, anti-equality, etc.). Yes, a radical critique of the status quo is necessary, but beyond that, an affirmative proposition is needed. One also needs to state what one is for, rather than simply what one is against. It is more effective, more inspiring, and certainly more constructive to put a message across with affirmations rather than purely with negations.
George Whale: There's a strong whiff of evolutionary psychology here – notions of dominance, submission and signifiers thereof. Should we forget political theory and study Dawkins and Pinker instead?
Alex Kurtagic: You create a false dichotomy with your question, ascribing to me a form of genetic reductionism. I am against genetic reductionism. My position is that we need to engage with political theory because that is where it all originates from intellectually; and that we need to understand human motivations, because ultimately we want people to listen and support an alternative. Human motivations are complex, and it is a mistake to adopt a one-dimensional approach.
George Whale: Many artists in the past have supported political movements, but most have been of the far Left – El Lissitsky, John Heartfield, George Grosz, Diego Rivera, to name but a few. Where are the great artist-influencers of the Right?
Alex Kurtagic: Kerry Bolton's Artists of the Right offers a sample of coevals from high culture. It includes profiles of D. H. Lawrence, H. P. Lovecraft, Gabriele D'Annunzio, Filippo Marinetti, W. B. Yeats, Knut Hamsun, Ezra Pound, Wyndham Lewis, Henry Williamson, and Roy Campbell.
George Whale: From the point of view of propaganda, would you say that so-called 'low art' is more important than 'high art'?
Alex Kurtagic: If we consider that marketing is commercial propaganda, then this is a low art medium. Yet low art offers a pre-digested, simplified, user-friendly version of what was previously developed in high art. High art is where the most radical ideas are developed, though, naturally, our egalitarian times have favoured mass culture and mass art, so radical ideas have also thrived in this realm. Similarly, high is not immune from being hijacked by propagandists and neither are consumers of high art immune from being instruments of propaganda: the art can and is consumed for its own sake, but it is and can also be used by consumers to signal membership in a particular elite, characterised by more refined tastes and superior intellection.
George Whale: Guillaume Faye wrote about melding tradition with modernity, and your "endlessly renewing tradition" echoes that. Do you know of any contemporary writers, artists, designers, architects, digital media developers etc. who are successfully combining traditionalism with cutting-edge creativity?
Alex Kurtagic: A liberal hegemony means that counter-propositional creativity is pushed underground and out to the margins, so we end up finding it, quasi-anonymously, in obscure and remote subcultures. It is evident that anyone with a creative compulsion will want to be able to create, and this requires access to resources, so many are working inside the mainstream, in coded fashion.
Probably the most emblematic overt examples I have seen exist in certain forms of underground music – in the Martial Industrial or Folk Metal or Black Metal genres (although the latter can also be very nihilistic), all of which use modern means to reinterpret and renew archaic values, folk traditions and pre-modern themes and sensibilities, in musical, lyrical and visual form. This is possible because the sector is self-sustaining: they have their own labels, their own distribution, their own media, and make extensive use of the Internet; in some cases they also have their own printing and manufacture.
Publishing ventures such as mine and similar others (Arktos, Counter-Currents) are designed to create a space in which new literary and artistic talent can emerge.
George Whale: If you wanted to grow a movement of young artists to create our mythology, envision our future, destroy the dominant ideology – to "transform the culture" as you put it – how would you go about it? Can it be catalysed, or must it emerge spontaneously?
Alex Kurtagic: An artistic movement is not something you put together, top-down. It doesn't work that way. However, we can create the conditions in which artists can flourish and in which a movement of like-minded artists could arise. This can be done by providing the space, the platforms, and the ideas.
George Whale: For such a movement to develop, isn't it necessary that the young first be acquainted with their British and European artistic heritage?
Alex Kurtagic: Yes.
George Whale: I attended a seminar a month ago of leading academic researchers into the 'far Right' (yes, they allowed me in!). Their consensus was that there exists in Britain a spacious niche for a party of the 'far Right', a niche that UKIP cannot fill. Do you agree with them, or are you adamant that nothing can change politically until we change the culture?
Alex Kurtagic: Your question assumes that I see no role for party politics, whereas I have written before that there is (see: "The Role of Party Politics in the Culture War"). This role, however, is different in the case of a 'counter-cultural' or 'counter-propositional' party. And, yes, if politics is the art of the possible, then, until a counter-proposition can be credibly enunciated, political change will remain impossible. The counter-proposition must first be formulated as an ethical theory, so that it may inform an aesthetic theory, so that it may percolate down to all areas of cultural activity, so that it may percolate down to all areas of social activity, before that counter-proposition can become a viable political option.
George Whale: Your message of envisioning the future now – of each of us using our God-given talents to work towards the kind of Britain and Europe we want – is positive and inspiring. In what kinds of contexts and communities might that work take place?
Alex Kurtagic: That work can take place in every context. In a recent article for Western Spring, titled "The Anatomy of Radical Movements," I stress that there are opportunities for just about anybody, for individuals of all types and levels of skill, and for all levels of involvement.
George Whale: Finally, I would like to summarise here the five principles of effective action you enumerated in your speech, because I think they're important:
It's been 18 months since the Washington lecture. Is there anything you would like to add to the above?
- Think irrationally. People often have irrational fears, desires and motivations, which they rationalise after the fact.
- Impress to inform, don't inform to impress. Effective marketing is more about impressions than information, reducing everything to a sound-bite, a slogan, an image or an infectious jingle.
- Think in pictures. A picture speaks a thousand words, is easier to remember and difficult to argue against because it resonates at an emotional level.
- Be positive. No one wants to be around doom and gloom. People respond to optimism because they want to feel good. Be positive and focus on the future.
- Enjoy the struggle. You will be more creative, have more energy and confidence, and get more people interested if you enjoy what you're doing.
Alex Kurtagic: All of the above can be condensed into a single word: axiology. Justify with ethics and inspire with aesthetics.
George Whale: Alex Kurtagic, thank you very much.
"Masters of the Universe" Transcript
Two years ago I asked, "What will it take?" How bad will it need to get, before the inconvenience of changing things becomes preferable to more of the same?
I asked this because for many years we'd been hearing about a collapse that would cause a great uprising and magically solve all our problems. The equality theologians would be ousted from education, sell-out politicians would be sent to Africa, and the palaces of the banking dynasties would be razed to the ground by a [...] middle class, fed up with overdraft bank charges and high interest rates on their credit cards. The theory was that Whites in the West tolerated their displacement because they were too comfortable, because they felt prosperous, and risking their lifestyles by speaking against multiculturalism, racial quotas and the slander from Hollywood and Madison Avenue seemed not worth their while. People found it easier to keep quiet and isolate themselves economically.
And in 2009 it seemed that the collapse was about to happen. And yet, despite the biggest economic crisis in eighty years, life carried on just like before. More immigration, more laws, more regulations, more surveillance, more bureaucracy, more political correctness, more money printed, and more and higher taxes to pay for it all.
Not only that, but the elections were held afterwards, and the same politicians, with the same policies, were returned to power.
So the question remains open, "What will it take?"
Those who have made it their mission to educate our fellow citizens, those looking to awaken others to modern reality, those who style themselves hard-headed realists, face an impossible task.
Not only does the ideology of radical egalitarianism permeate all the institutions of power, but this ideology is so entrenched as a quasi-religious orthodoxy as to be impermeable to reason.
No matter what facts or data or arguments are presented against this ideology, no matter what degree of perversion and corruption is revealed in association with the ideologues, no matter what obnoxious effects it has on the individual, it seems impossible to dislodge this ideology from the seats of power.
One can tell millions of citizens about the negative effects of diversity and multiculturalism, one can show them mountains of data, one can underline why and how this matters in a society, why and how it impacts on them personally, and many will openly or otherwise agree with what one says; but one will get very few to speak in public against diversity and multiculturalism, and [...] against diversity and multiculturalism is quickly neutralised with accusations of racism.
Any debate about diversity and multiculturalism, let alone any debate about the reasons why we must have that debate, quickly degenerates into Byzantine discussions about whether or not something or someone is racist.
In education, those who go against the prevailing orthodoxy are systematically purged and marginalised. And during elections we are presented with two or three nearly identical choices, all founded on the same ideological principles. All with the same record of failure, all staffed by mediocre politicians, all infested with known liars, sell-outs, and opportunists.
And yet, even with everyone fed up with them, even with genuine alternatives available, the same two or three political parties are returned into power election after election.
For over one hundred years, people like us have been saying the same things, making the same arguments, presenting ever growing mountains of data, ever more facts to support our position; and yet for over one hundred years, our camp has been in retreat, dwindling in numbers, losing influence and growing ever more marginal.
Europe saw various revival movements during the first half of the 20th century. But they were defeated politically and militarily. Much of the knowledge they produced was ignored, banned, maligned, or destroyed. So the question arises, given what is happening to us, and given that the end product is the progressive elimination of us, what do we have to do to turn the tide? How can we alter the course of our society?
There are many reasons why we have not been more successful. One of them is that certain ideas lost legitimacy after the last world war, even though those ideas were much bigger than any movement.
Another reason is that a loss of legitimacy resulted in the loss of access to institutional resources; it became more difficult for those ideas to look important.
And yet another reason is that as the equality zealots gained the ascendancy, they were able to use all the institutional resources of the state to reconfigure how we see the world, how we learn about the world, and even how we think about the world.
And they also redeveloped the status system in our society, so that their ideas were elevated and enthroned, and those of their enemies scorned and reviled; so that their chums were promoted and praised to the skies, and their enemies demoted and ostracised as enemies of civilised society.
And through their control of institutions and the status system, they were able to encode their values and ideals symbologically. Their values and ideas became a system of symbols. And because symbols have an emotional resonance, because they operate at a pre-rational level, at the emotional and instinctive level, the values and ideals of the Left became something a person felt, rather than something a person thought or thought about.
If we ask someone to explain how humans are equal, and if they're able to explain it at all, we get mantras, stock phrases, hearsay, and circular reasoning, but no real explanation. "We are all human." "We all bleed red." "There's more genetic variation between individuals than between races."
It's not something a person actually thinks, or does any research on, it's something he overhears, something he feels is right, or ought to be right, because it feels good, and it feels good to be accepted in society, and it feels good to be seen as a good person.
And when we tell him that he's wrong, that humans are not equal, and he protests, it's not because he's done any research – in fact he doesn't want to look at the research, not unless it's convenient – it's because he feels it's morally wrong, or because he fears social sanction, disapproval, shame.
Thus the Left has mystified its values. And through this mystification, the Left has made its system impervious to reason.
In doing so, the proponents effectively became masters of our universe. They set its boundaries, determined its laws, defined its appearance, and fixed its cosmological constants.
The Messenger is the Message
But thus those in our camp who have based a strategy for change in educating our fellow citizens, on presenting them with the facts and the arguments, have for the most part been confirming people who are already like us.
Where there has been a conversion, most likely it's been because of some external factor that has made the facts and the arguments a matter of convenience.
The facts and the arguments don't go to the individual; the individual comes to the facts and the arguments. The reason is that humans are rarely persuaded by facts and arguments. Rather they are impressed by their source. In other words, the message is the messenger; and the messenger the message.
This is why […] a society the bulk of individuals follow whomever is in charge. Even when those in charge are hostile.
They are awed by their masters not because they are reasonable, but because they are masterful and powerful, because they control their universe, because they control access to status and resources, because they are dangerous, or else because they represent an idea that is seductive, that somehow inspires them.
And they're not likely to oppose their masters because deep down they want to be like them, they want to be among them, they want to have what they have, or they want to be part of that idea, they want to be with the winning team.
The only time they oppose their masters, or discard the idea is when they cease to be masterful, when there's no longer a mystique around them, when they start looking weak and pathetic and all too human, when they look like they can be replaced – when something more seductive is on offer.
So the question remains: how did this hostile movement of proletarian anti-traditionalism achieve mastery over our civilisation? How did this hostile movement gain followers in the first place, not only among the rabble who stood to gain the most from their hatred of aristocracy, but also among […] the most able and the most intelligent, the ones that stood to lose the most?
Love for Abstract Principles
We speak of our society having been hijacked by organised minorities. But the fact is this: their ideas of radical egalitarianism, of modernity, of progress, of globalism, as perverse as they may seem to some of us today, go with the grain of Western culture.
Western culture is individualistic, therefore Western man is not very ethnocentric. He is less tribal, less racial, than other peoples of the world.
Likewise, Western culture is unique for its moral universalism, and Western man tends to become enamoured with abstract universal principles – liberty, equality, brotherhood, democracy and so on.
Love for abstract principles is linked to a highly developed moral sense, which comes with a highly developed guilt complex.
Like all humans, Western man is tribal and has racial instincts, but they tend to put them aside in favour of principle, of individual utility – whatever they are at the given point in time and space. For Western man, a much higher level of existential threat is needed to bring racial instincts to the surface.
So what we call White ethnomasochists don't see their actions as being against their racial or even their group interests; they see them as being moral, as being high minded.
Reason Doesn't Motivate
Humans, generally, are not motivated by rational self-interest. Humans are motivated by the need to belong, and the need for status and self-esteem. We want to fit into a community with whose members we identify and where we feel good about ourselves.
We are also motivated by inborn emotional tendencies. And we humans also like to dream and fantasise, and are motivated by our own dreams and fantasies. They may take the form of a religion, the form of a mythology, of art, of literature, or cosmology. We dream and fantasise about what could be, about what ought to be, about how we would like it to be. It's how we create meaning in our lives.
In the West, these daydreams often revolve around abstract principles.
Facts Don't Persuade
At the same time there is too much information; too many sides to an issue, too many versions of the same story.
Most people don't have the time or the energy to research it, to try and discover the truth, to distinguish fact from fiction, knowledge from propaganda.
The result is that most choose the data set that flatters their vanity, that makes them feel good about themselves, that makes them feel part of their chosen community. And they reject the data that seems inconvenient or embarrassing, or which comes from a source with which they cannot personally identify. But if we are to be engaged in the most difficult project that can be attempted in a society, which is fundamentally to change the dominant ideology, to overthrow the ruling order, we have to begin by accepting our fellow citizens as they are, and not as we would like them to be.
In which case, we have to accept that the individual is not generally open to persuasion. Not unless he is already looking to be persuaded. Most want to be confirmed in their beliefs. They don't want us to disrupt their world.
And it's no good saying "Oh, they need to wake up and smell the carcass." Humans will sooner keep on dreaming than wake up – after all, their dreams are nice and feel good, their reality is ugly and feels bad. If we are to cause a change of allegiance from one paradigm to another, we have to think in terms of seduction and inspiration. As I noted before, humans are much more open to be inspired and seduced than they are to be persuaded through fact and reason.
This is why when Lindt is trying to sell you chocolate, they don't tell you how it will meet your nutritional requirements for the day; they will tell you it's going to make you feel good. Never mind how, or why.
Few are interested in the chemistry. Few want the experience demystified with hard scientific facts. This is not to say that reason, reality, or the facts, are not important, because they are. But they are not a method of changing a person's mind. They are a method of confirming a person whose mind is already made up, and probably made up before he was born.
So, how then do we motivate our fellow citizens to proclaim an unconventional allegiance, with all the risks that it entails?
Earlier I said that humans tend to be impressed by the masterful. They come to an idea because the messenger is somehow seductive. They want to be like him. Or with people like him.
I also said that they want to belong and to feel good about themselves.
If we are not being more successful selling our message, it's because we are offering none of the above. Instead, many on our side offer an endless litany of complaints about how the world has gone wrong, how we are in decline, how we have less and less power in our society. Anyone looking into our camp often sees wall-to-wall negativity, pessimism, fear, paranoia, despair, lamentation. It all amounts to one big, long wail of self-pity.
The despair is such that the mantra we often hear on the fringes of the Right is, "worse is better." Not because the people saying this have real solutions, but because they're hoping the collapse will fix everything.
That is not the attitude of the masterful, or the powerful, or those who shape events. That is the attitude of people shaped by events. The attitude of a loser.
Defeatism is a prelude to defeat. To succeed, we have to project an image of success.
That means getting rid of the negativity. Speaking not in terms of what we've lost, but in terms of what we're going to gain; in terms of what kind of society we want to build; in terms of what happens next, not what happened before.
A winner learns from the past, but he's always looking to the future. He's always facing the sun. And we are solar people. We must not forget who we are. We brought light into this world, we must not become slaves to the darkness.
A winner's image is an indispensable part of a winning formula.
And a winning formula means acting as if. Acting as if we are already there.
Which implies operating like an alternative society, offering access to a parallel universe, physical and metaphysical. Access to a different cosmology, a different system of symbols, a different way of understanding life.
A new nationalism looks like an establishment in waiting. Not like fearful cynics who are waiting for a collapse, but like people who are building something new and important, that makes the collapse desirable because it opens the way for what comes afterwards, because it opens the way for a golden age.
Rather than looking like conservatives fighting the tide of progress, we have to be the tide – the tide that sweeps away the old and decrepit Left, that sweeps them out of power, sweeps them into the landfill of history, never to rise again.
Radical and Traditional
It's not a contradiction when some of us say that we are radical and traditional. We are radical because we seek fundamental change – we're not looking for reforms, we're looking for something entirely new. At the same time we are traditional, because our project is rooted in tradition, even if it is futuristic. This is why we are not conservatives. Conservatism is the negation of the new; tradition is the ongoing affirmation of the old, of the archaic. And therefore it's endlessly regenerating, constantly renewing.
Can Be Done
Now, when some of us speak of transforming the culture, of reconfiguring it in order to make our politics possible, many are intimidated by the scale of the task. It seems to them a godlike undertaking, more fantasy than reality.
But this is not so.
We don't have to be too old to remember how our culture was reconfigured by the radical Left. It has been done before. Within living memory.
How does one transform the culture? The process begins very simply. It begins with pen and paper, with brush and canvas, with a man and his musical instrument.
It's in the hands of a creative minority, who create because it's in their nature, because it's their compulsion, and because they are impatient with the world around them and dream of something else, they fantasise about something new.
The artist, the painter, the philosopher do what their nature compels them to. Over time there is a body of work. Over time they meet others like themselves. And they start having gatherings, and forming clubs and associations, and in time these aggregate with others of a similar mould.
In time these develop into a current. In time they develop into a movement. And in time they emerge as a counter-culture, as a rival and competitor to the existing establishment. This is when the struggle becomes political, and enters the political arena.
And it becomes a struggle between two opposing forces, two colliding cosmologies, two conceptions of the universe. One representing the past, another representing the future. Only one becomes master of the universe.
Politics is the Last Stage
You will notice that politics is the last stage.
This is why political parties like the BNP in Britain, the Front National in France, the NPD in Germany, remain marginal, despite the obvious failures of the Left.
Politics is the last stage. Politics reflects the culture. Politics is the art of the possible. So our politics will not be possible until we control the culture. And because we don't control the culture we are in the period before politics.
The Left is approaching the period after politics, because their ideas have been dominant for a long time, and by now they have failed on every level. They are running on autopilot. And now they are increasingly worried and desperate, because they can sense their own weakness, they can sense the boredom and the discontent seething underneath, the potential for revolution.
They have failed aesthetically, criminologically, culturally, demographically, economically, politically, socially. They have failed on every front, and they are vulnerable on every front.
War on All Fronts
This is why our project is a war on all fronts, and why it needs multiple angles of attack.
There is room for individuals of every inclination, man and woman, young and old, with different talents and abilities. Which means that anybody can wage the war in some way or another.
Some will do it as writers, others as artists, others as business people, others as protesters, others as patrons.
But to attract real talent we have to provide opportunities for talent, which means business and professional opportunities. Because in our economic era, being economically independent from the system, and having alternative sources of status recognition means being intellectually and spiritually independent. And to be attractive we have to be image conscious, because a picture speaks a thousand words.
If we want our fellow citizens to see, we need to help them visualise. We have to show them what we mean, and we have to do it in less than a second. Most people make up their minds about something or someone in less than a second.
They won't read a 400-page book, they won't even read an article – not unless they've already decided to do so.
What captures their attention is what resonates with them at the level of instinct, of emotion, at the animal level, at the spiritual level. The way music resonates. The way landscape resonates. The way film resonates.
Man is the symbolising animal, he operates in symbols, structured sounds and images. That's why a person's authority is instantly obvious. It's in the way he looks. The way he sounds. The way he carries himself. Often he becomes a symbol of authority.
So to become masters of our universe once again, to rise as new masters as old ones fall, a new nationalism needs to look like it deserves the sceptre of power.
It needs to symbolise a new beginning. And it needs to symbolise it now and always, and not wait for the collapse to clean the slate. We don't know when that collapse will come, or what it will look like, or even if we'll notice it.
But if and when it comes, it will clean the slate for everyone, for every competing group, and there are many others who are looking to have a bite at the cherry once the liberals are gone.
Islam is looking to dominate Europe and the West. And Islamists are also hoping for a collapse.
We cannot expect the collapse to solve our problems. In fact, we shouldn't be thinking about the collapse at all. We should be focusing on the world we want to see after the collapse, the world we want to see tomorrow. And we have to be building it today. Because if and when that collapse comes, if we are not ready, if we are not there looking like the world is ours for the taking, someone else will be, and they will become masters of our universe.
Focusing on the world of tomorrow gives us an added advantage, which is the same advantage that the utopian Left enjoyed in years past: the advantage of having a sense of mission, of a greater purpose.
It's not a nine to five job, where a person lives for the next weekend, for the next pay cheque, dragged along by the involution of the Kali Yuga. It's about mastery over our lives, mastery over our destiny, mastery over our past, present and future.
Being traditional also gives us an advantage that the Left doesn't have because they are anti-tradition: the advantage of belonging, of being part of a community of people with whom we feel at home; of having a home and a family to which one can always return; of having a past and a future; of life with meaning, because we are part of something greater than ourselves, that is timeless and transcendental.
With the Left a person is always homeless, always a stranger, always a meaningless atom in a sea of formica, PVC, neon, polyester and reinforced concrete.
One final advantage is that the citizenry is fed up. The individuals now in charge, in education, in the media, in politics, have amassed such a stupendous record of failure, have committed so many abuses, have lied and stolen so blatantly, that taxpayers will be receptive to something new if they see something viable.
At the moment they keep voting the same politicians back into power because they are not impressed by the alternatives. They are choosing the least worse option.
So it's not as if we are not given plenty of material to work with.
I would like to wrap this up by underlining the key ideas I would like you to take back at the end of this conference.
If you want to help bring about fundamental change, and are actively involved in the process, I ask that you incorporate in your approach a few basic principles:
One: think irrationally. Humans have a capacity for reason, but they use reason in irrational ways. They often have irrational motivations, which they rationalise after the fact. But they are irrational. So to reach our fellow citizens we have to understand their motivations, and not be irritated by them when they differ from ours.
We have to anticipate their needs so that we can meet them, anticipate their fears so that we can dispel them, anticipate their desires so that we can fulfil them. Especially if they are irrational.
Two: impress to inform, don't inform to impress.
Often a person who sits through a speech doesn't pay attention to half of what is said, he remembers only one or two phrases, one or two concepts. And not for very long.
But when there is an able speaker the listener is nearly always impressed by the delivery, he likes the energy, he likes the emotions roused in him. Therefore he listens.
We often comment on the speaker, less on what he said. So aim to be impression oriented, to be effect oriented. Marketing and information campaigns are not about information. They are about eliciting a reaction, inducing and maintaining a state of mind, opening the mind to an idea – among people who are overloaded with information, who don't want to be disturbed, who are wrapped up in their own lives. That's why marketing and information campaigns aim to be iconic. That's why they reduce everything to a sound-bite, a slogan, an image, a jingle that is infectious.
Facts are important, but at this stage they are subsidiary, because a mind remains closed so long as the spirit remains unmoved.
Three: think in pictures. Help people visualise what you are offering. A picture speaks a thousand words, and it's a lot easier to remember. And much more difficult to argue against because images resonate at an emotional level.
Four: be positive. No one wants to be around a person who complains all of the time, who is always negative, who is always doom and gloom. Humans respond to optimism, because they want to feel good. And our people in the West are crying out for a renaissance, they are sick and tired of this. So be positive, and focus on the future. It's about where we came from and where we are going, not about where we are.
Five: enjoy the struggle. You will be more creative, and you'll have more energy, and you'll get more people interested in you, if you enjoy what you're doing.
Because if you enjoy what you're doing and you're good at it, you feel confident. And everyone likes that. So think irrationally, impress to inform, think in pictures, be positive, and enjoy the struggle. Thank you very much.
Note: the above is a corrected version of the transcript at Western Spring.