Saturday, 12 December 2015


A Life in the Political Wilderness
by Welf Herfurth
240 pages
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Reviewed by
  Alex Fontana

This is a stimulating and readable collection of essays that I found myself both agreeing and disagreeing with. In the Germanic tradition of wanderlust, the author Welf Herfurth takes us through a personal account of his political journey, both metaphorical and actual, as Herfurth turns out to be something of a globe hopper.

This is the kind of anthology that is sure to resonate with any European nationalist, while having enough crossover appeal to be pushed in the direction of any fence-sitting or Left-leaning “normie” friend, with Welf acting the role as a personable guide into politically incorrect territory and taboo viewpoints. The book can be viewed as a Right-wing version of Rules for Radicals, where its strengths lie in its pragmatic and practical approach to political activism. It opens with an introduction and a preface respectively by New Right veterans Troy Southgate and Tomislav Sunic.

Herfurth spends a good deal of time trying to break down the old Left-Right political paradigm, insisting that it obscures most issues, especially those where the Far Left and Far Right share common ground, such as in their oppositions to free-trade, deregulation, and globalism; as well as their advocacy on environmental issues and concern for the lower classes.

Herfurth’s revolutionary journey has led him to the vanguard of national anarchism, an idea that derives in part from Fascism's critique of the sinister diffusion of power and the obfuscation of accountability at which modern liberal democracies excel. Herfurth writes:
"[P]olitical office without the limitations of the separation of powers and the constitution confers a grave responsibility on the politician who holds it. By placing all the responsibility in his hands, the politician is forced to make the right decision… By diffusing power, no one ends up holding it, and so no one ends up bearing responsibility—for success or failure."
In this he seems to be in sync with the idea of authoritas that distinguishes the judicial-political apparatus of the fascist states from the increasingly inefficient bureaucracies of the parliamentary-democratic states.

Now, without reference to Bakunin, Proudhon, or Kropotkin, what does Herfurth mean exactly by anarchism? My initial impression was that this was Herfurth’s subterfuge strategy to mask national-socialism and fascism in leftist garb by adopting New Left techniques of “a movement rather than a party,” to attract those who would initially be too intimidated by “negative historical baggage” to understand what nationalism actually is. This approach seemed to draw on the tactics employed by the Autonome Nationalisten, which has adopted the Left’s organizational concepts, autonomous activism, demonstration tactics of the black bloc, symbolism, and even sartorial choices.

Autonome Nationalisten
However, having raised this issue with Herfurth via email, he reassured me that this was not the case and informed me that his political ideas are ever-evolving, mixing a critique of liberal-democracy based on Carl Schmitt with Alain de Benoist’s notion of “a system of ethnic federalism,” which he likened to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in consisting of “a large number of ethnically homogeneous, independent communities.”

This is analogous to the ethnic enclaves, built around local parishes that existed in America before the social engineering of integration, suburbanization, and non-white immigration destroyed what E. Michael Jones called the “America that worked,” in which different ethnic groups retained some sovereignty under an overriding federal authority.

Herfurth, reflects on 20th century history a good deal, and his notion that the Left and the Right are somewhat muddled and archaic terms is not without merit. This bridging of the political spectrum, however, runs the risk of futility, given that most people have simplistic ideas of what the Left and the Right mean. What Herfurth advocates and what anarchism favours seem to be at polar opposites.

Herfurth, argues against freedom of the press and other civil liberties that he argues are a symptom of liberalism in an essay that uses the case of Ernst Zundel as an example. Herfurth is a totalitarian, anti-parliamentarian, anti-civil liberties, anti-democratic, economic populist and communitarian – he is a National-Socialist revolutionary, despite the fact that he claims to hate authority, an attitude that those without power often adopt.

In essays like “We are the Left? The Right? Whatever!!!!!!!” I detected a resonance of Herfurth’s ideas with Kalle Lasn’s Adbusters Magazine. Like Herfurth he eschews traditional political labels. In his book Culture Jam, Lasn wrote:
"We’re idealists, anarchists, guerrilla tacticians, hoaxers, pranksters, neo-Luddites, malcontents and punks…we’re not lefties… no longer are Lefties fighting the problem they are the problem."
It is not so much that the Left and its hegemonic cultural and institutional establishments do not know the pressing issues afflicting the world. They do. But they offer specious apologetics: Leftist oppose globalization but support freedom of movement and open boarder immigration, hence globalizing the world. They claim to speak for the working classes, yet this same immigration swamps the working classes with unreasonable economic competition. Immigration has always been pushed by corporations for cheap labour at the expressed condemnation of the majority of society. The Left is therefore doing the work of the Multinational Corporate New World Order for them, through their shouts of racism and open borders, it is this bitter pill of irony that the Left fails to understand and which leaves their criticisms hollow. In a similar way, Helfurth sees beyond the mere one-trick-pony-utopianism of ethno-nationalists
"Even a thorough-going ethnic cleansing of non-whites will not overcome social alienation." (p.49) 
Herfurth argues against “a return to the bourgeois, halcyon days of the 1950s, which were whiter, cleaner and safer, but hardly communitarian.” For me this critique seems to already have its historical answer in the development of a Southern European culture and social values. When Italians moved to Anglo-America, they “turned traditional streets into piazzas. Streets, long regarded as simply corridors for moving cars and pedestrians, became public gathering and dining spaces. The utilitarian nature of Anglo urban space was effectively communalized in an ethno-autonomous way. Thus, on the one hand, Herfurth lauds a system of ethno-nationalism and then critiques its former application as socially alienating.

The third essay entitled  “The Radicalization of the Middle Classes”; is where Herfurth begins to develop the notion of the culture war – a strategy of developing a mass base of support in order for a nationalist movement to gain the proper momentum necessary before forming a political party. This is something one can see from the counter-culture of radical dissent on the internet, and from extra-parliamentary political groups in Europe such as Casa Pound, Generation Identitaire, and the Golden Dawn.

White nationalism and ethnic 
identity: often inseparable.
These groups, of course, are formed around an ethnically-based and homogenous national identity, something that is absent in the North American context of White Nationalism, something that Herfurth as an expat living in Australia is well aware of. He rightly criticizes the position taken by Richard Spencer, amongst others, that “the white masses will develop race-consciousness, and then embark on a racial revolution, but only after non-white immigration gets to the point that it becomes unbearable.”

Herfurth likens this approach to the Marxist theory that capitalist societies would inevitably become communist with the ‘immiseration’ of the proletariat, which we know did not occur because the conditions of the working-classes tended to improve under capitalism. Similarly, gradualist immigration policies “are not pressing enough for the white masses to rise up and do anything about it,” because, Herfurth tells us, the economic interests of the middle-classes are unaffected.

This is amongst the most excellent insights in the book, although it needs further refinement. It is not that the middle-classes are unaffected. They are. It is that they are too politically retarded and disengaged to care. They lack the proper vocabulary of ideas or will power to do anything about the Great Global Dispossession that is occurring. The simple fact of the matter is that if Whites have not woken up to the realities of racial dispossession from mass immigration, forced integration, and official policies of multiculturalism, then no number of non-whites living within our midst is going to reverse the rising tide of colour globally or locally any more than an economic incentive would.

Like Spencer, Herfurth gives people too much credit, although rather than a racial consciousness stemming from the proliferation of shawarma, Herfurth imagines movements like Occupy Wall Street transmuting into racial aware movements.

I subscribe to the Friedmanian analysis of globalization as a leveling process. The political and social ramifications outlined in the The World Is Flat should rightly erupt in campaigns of mass civil disobedience in White Western nations if the working classes understood the significance of what is unfolding. I am in complete agreement with Herfurth that “to a great extent, the nationalist movement is left-wing and socialist.”

Welf Herfurth
The fact is that the whole Western world is living within a bubble, and that bubble is fueled by speculation and kept afloat on an ever-deepening debt. Offshoring, free trade, and immigration are essentially dispossessing a huge quantity of the global European population, relegating us to service industry jobs in which we are closely monitored for any deviation from political correctness, while empowering and enriching nonwhites in a gradual and generational process, which former World Bank president James Wolfensohn calls a major tectonic shift.

The term middle class has become a go-to word for both Center Left and Center Right political targeting. Herfurth also goes in for this, from the Radical Right – more for the middle class, protect the middle class, etc. But, the term is problematic.

What is now termed lower middle class (32%) and the working classes (32%) comprise together about 64% of the population (in terms of household incomes ranging from $16,000 to $75,000). Adding to this number a lower class of 14 to 20%, we have up to 84% of the population. Furthemore it should be borne in mind that those members of the propertied ‘talking class’ lose what D.H. Lawrence calls the "blood consciousness":
"When an Italian labourer labours, his mind and his nerves sleep, his blood acts ponderously. Americans when they are doing things, never seem to be really doing them. They are 'busy about' it. They are always busy about something. But truly immersed in doing something, with the deep blood-consciousness active, that they never are."
Of course these lines were printed in 1923, well before the majority of Italian labourers were ‘Americanized.’ Bearing this in mind, the group then that would benefit most from a form of national-socialism is extremely large, but remains socially and politically inactive.

Chinese coolies in Canada.
Class pervades identity in complex ways, in terms of education, pedigree, cultural attainment, and attitudes. First generation Asians have all the trappings of higher class – property, Mercedes SUVs, etc. – but culturally they belong to a lower class, in a manner similar to the early Rothschilds, who were often scoffed at by the landed aristocracy for their parvenu status.

With this in mind, Herfurth, has identified a certain subclass of resentment that I strongly identify with:
“[L]arge numbers of over-educated university students who graduate ever year and who are destined to dead-end and insecure casual work.”
These people belong culturally to a better class than they can attain. Additionally, corporations committed to diversity quotas and “equal opportunity employment” practices, will further create an underclass of working class over-educated whites, mostly men, as the system looks to promote women, thereby achieving a weakening of the family and a competitive rift between the sexes.

Herfurth, forever the revolutionary, has his analysis of how nationalists could obtain power:
(1) Military putsch
(2) Community building combined with charity in a context 
of emergency in which the welfare state is ineffectual (eg. Hamas in Palestine and the NSDAP in Germany in the 1930s) 
How we achieve this today with the Fabian pacification of the modern welfare state remains to be seen.

The book provides ample food for thought and Herfurth’s perspective is one which should be acknowledged. While the landscape traversed is extensive, Herfurth is at his best offering practical praxis for nationalist political action in the postmodern world. He is able to draw upon his own extensive personal experience, and we can learn something from that, even if Herfurth himself is still evolving as a thinker.

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