The Fundamentals

Fundamentals of a New Movement

The overarching, basic fundamentals of a New Movement are listed here. The link leads to the relevant post below. Also see "The Fundamentals" post list to the lower right. This is our new path. If you agree with this direction, then join with us.

The Old Movement is dead. Let us instead build something that works, a New Movement, a fresh start.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Yockey’s Fascist Odyssey

A review of Bolton’s book.

Book here.

Where is the interest in Der Movement about this book? Why wasn’t is publicized and advertised once it was published? Well, perhaps we’ll start to see reviews coming out in Der Movement in the weeks and months to come, and that’s fine, but why not posts now telling the reader that the book is out? Why the “news blackout” about it? I guess in the case of Counter-Currents it’s due to their petty feud with Friberg/Arktos, and the rest of the Alt Right could care less about Yockey; after all, their heroes and role models are Beavis and Butthead. Yes, there is this, but that’s it. And what happened to all the newly discovered Yockey photographs (apart from the Notre Dame photo)? Wasn’t Counter-Currents bragging about the important haul of new Yockey material? The “movement” (non)reaction to this book further justifies and underscores my disgust at Der Movement, Inc., and my determination to be a groupuscule independent of Der Movement.

The Bolton biography could have used more pictures, other than the cover art and the one internal (albeit new) picture of Yockey’s Notre Dame Photo; this is a minor point however.  Another minor point is the presence of spelling errors, most often “form” instead of “from.”

Easily the worst part of the book is about biological race and Bolton’s clumsy attempt to justify Yockey’s (and by extension Spengler’s) wrongheaded views on race by conflating racial distinctions to “cephalic index” (cue “movement” heavy breathing) and all of the outdated (and sometimes silly) views of “traditional physical anthropology” and “phenotypism.” We are breathlessly told that, for example, Boas’ work on changing cephalic indices in different environments may have some validity – so what?  Phenotype = genotype + environment; the phenotypic expression of the underlying genetic instructions is influenced by the environment (sometimes via epigenetic modifications).  A classic example is height: this is a trait definitely and obviously genetically inherited, which runs in families and differs on average among ethnies, but it is strongly influenced by environmental conditions such as nutrition.  You can have identical twins, one suffering from malnutrition as a child and ending up, say, 5’ 9” and another twin given the normal Western excess of calories and nutrients and growing up to be, say 6’ 2”.  Another person with a different genetic background can benefit from the same surplus of nutrients as the second twin but only grow to 5’ 6”, if that is their genetic limit.  Likewise, cephalic index is genetically coded, but can be influenced by nutrition and other factors.  In any case, cephalic index is not a major indicator of race in its modern sense as a group with shared ancestry, so what’s the point?  Alleged similarities of Ethiopians to Europeans as per cephalic index or other individual phenotypic traits are completely irrelevant.

This is the trouble when you have people with no scientific background talking about issues that overlap science: they have no idea – not the slightest - what they are talking about.  If the point is that Yockey and the anthropology crowd didn’t have access to the genetic data of today, fine, but again, one does not have to justify their views just because they were made out of ignorance (and even then I do not excuse them – even without genetic data, how difficult is it to understand that some sort of realistic shared ancestry has to be a core determinant of race, and phenotype must include many traits taken in tandem, and not just one or a few?). Cherry-picking some scientific work, coupled with complete misunderstanding, in order to justify the Spengler/Yockey race idiocy also does not convince.  Jung’s subjective impressions about White Americans are completely irrelevant to the reality of biological race, and the less said about (internally inconsistent) National Socialist race theories, the better. 

My contention has been that Yockey’s embrace of “spiritual” (“horizontal”) race had the same genesis as Evola’s: a misguided response to Nordicism.  Ironically, Yockey discussed how a Culture can react to Cultural Pathology in ways ultimately harmful to the Culture (akin to a destructive fever resulting from an infection in a person), but he lacked the self-awareness to understand that his own destructive ideas about biological race were also an over-reaction to Nordicist theory.  Yockey wanted European unity, and Nordicism was (and is) an obstacle to that.  Yockey equated Nordicism with biological race theory and so biological race had to be discredited (although it still holds for White-Negro differences in his eyes, clearly demonstrating that Yockey was really specifically concerned about arguing against intra-European racial differences). Evola was likely distressed by theories that attributed all positive qualities only to Nordics; therefore, Evola thought – “hey, I’m honorable and noble, but I’m not Nordic, so I must be a spiritual Nordic.”  Neither Yockey nor Evola had the scientific understanding or the moral courage to just state that Guntherite Nordicism was wrong; instead they had to invent fantasies to go around it. As regards Spengler, I will not attempt to hypothesize about the origins of his racial theories apart from noting that he had Jewish ancestry through his maternal line and, hence, a possible motivation to de-emphasize the biological aspects of racial identification.

Bolton actually supports my contention that Yockey’s opposition to “vertical race” was due to his concerns about intra-European division; here I cite Bolton’s section chronicling the dispute between Yockey and the British Nordicist Leese (hater of “Dagoes and Wops”); Bolton declares that it was precisely the type of intra-European racial division promoted by the likes of Leese that Yockey opposed.  Thus, the “vertical race” idea opposed by Yockey was that of the extreme Nordicism that has been the foundation of Der Movement since its beginning.  Gannon’s comments underscores this when he cites the ludicrousness of assuming that every blonde/blue person is a friend while every darker White is assumed to be an enemy.  Also, see the comments about “Wilmot Robertson” below. But that’s Der Movement Nutzism, not actual scientific biological race.  One cannot “throw the baby out with the bathwater” and reject racial reality because of its misuse by sweaty obsessives and fetishists.  Gannon asserts that vertical race theorists have come around to support the ideas of the book Imperium precisely because they never read it or they do not understand it and they do not understand Yockey.  If we, for the moment, assume that “vertical race theorists” include people who understand the importance of biological race, and not just those who fetishize particular European ethnies as “superior,” then Gannon is being unreasonable. No, Mr. Gannon, some of us have read Imperium, and understand it and Yockey perfectly well.  We accept Yockey’s general idea, while acknowledging disagreement on certain matters; thus, my views on race and “pessimism” do not mean that I cannot appreciate the MAIN thesis of Imperium: Western Unity.  After all, Imperium was meant as a polemic, not a scholarly thesis. It’s mainly a call to action, not a study of race differences or even of the procession of High Cultures. Consistent with this, Gannon is quoted as saying that Yockey himself believed that Imperium needed to be “felt” rather than “understood.”  If the key to Imperium, and thus, to Yockey’s worldview, is one of “feeling” rather than “understanding” then it is clear that one can be a general supporter of that worldview even if one disagrees with particular details of  ideas Yockey espoused.  And Gannon here is a bit inconsistent, first criticizing those who didn’t “understand” Yockey’s views and then telling us that Yockey himself believed his work, and the views it promoted, need to be “felt” rather than “understood.”  Apparently then, Carto and other “verticalists” “felt” the work well enough, even if they didn’t “understand” it.

Both biological (“vertical”) and spiritual (“horizontal”) race theory have validity and both should be complementary to the other.  One first restricts the ingroup to the biological race, broadly defined, and then within that looks for those people whose behavior and accomplishment exemplify the racial ideal.  That said, if Yockey’s opposition to “vertical race” was due to his opposition to Nordicist ideas, then his heart was in the right place, although it should have been formulated better with his head.  More broadly, if “Verticalism” implies a top to bottom (vertical) hierarchical ranking of groups based on superiority/inferiority, etc. then that is nonsense  and rightly opposed (and criticized, for example, on a “materialist” basis in On Genetic Interests).

I note that many of the wonderful “horizontalists” were supportive of the idea of letting “colonial” non-Whites into the “Imperium.”  That’s great.  And how would the racial situation in, say, London, or the suburbs of Paris differ in that case from how it is now?  Biological race is important.  Racial preservation is important.  Culture without race is an empty vessel.  “We don’t need no stinkin’ colonials,” thank you very much.

The acceptance of Spenglerian pessimism is another point of contention; Bolton agrees with Spengler/Yockey that novel aesthetic/cultural possibilities for the (Faustian) West are exhausted.  Maybe so; my riposte is this.  Also see this.

I also tire of the analogy with a human lifespan; the idea that “everyone is destined to die, but people still live their lives; the same can apply to a High Culture.” Why not make an analogy with a familial line instead: in which individual members die (just like particular epochs, empires, or even nations with a Culture can cease to exist), but you hope and plan for the family to continue for as long as humanity exists (similarly, you can hope and plan for the High Culture to continue).  While many family lines do become extinct, obviously others do not, which is why humans are still around today (in great numbers in fact).  Someone’s familial lines have survived.

Then there is the typical blithe assumption that the next High Culture will be from Russia; this is pure conjecture and means nothing.  History tells us that two High Cultures have come into being in Europe (if you consider the Classical and Western as separate); why not a third (this begs the question as to whether Russia is European; while it is racially, the Spengler-Yockey school would differ as per culture and history).  The bottom line is that assuming inevitability is both presumptuous and also self-fulfilling if one believes it.  And smug mocking of “optimists” – “there they go again” – does not an argument make.  Although one point is made in Bolton’s book that I agree with; how a High Culture – for example, the Western (or Faustian) - goes to “completion” will to some extend determine the character of the High Culture that succeeds it (Russian or Overman).  For example, how the Classical High Culture ended definitely affected the manner in which the Western successor culture developed.

I also point out that if the Russian ethny becomes a minority in their own state, and if Russia becomes Muslim, they are hardly going to be the seed of a new High Culture.  Talk of “inevitability” in human history is nonsense, Spengler’s dogmatism notwithstanding.  The future is still open from our perspective; it will be what we make it (or not).  More of this below.

I like that Bolton clearly defines what Spengler mean by “Prussian Socialism” and Yockey by “Ethical Socialism”.   This is duty to the State, for a State that does its own duty to the High Culture it represents.  This is not economic socialism, and is in fact opposed to a mere economic interpretation of the socialist ideal. I also appreciate Bolton’s explanation of, and defense of, Yockey’s militant pan-Europeanism and his opposition to “petty statism.”  Bolton makes clear that Yockey’s views are completely compatible with local sovereignty and that sub-national local sovereignty may actually be enhanced in a situation in which (sometimes artificial) national states are de-emphasized with an Imperium (e.g., Flemish sovereignty may increase in an Imperium in which the status of “Belgium” as a nation state has less meaning than it does today).  Bolton also meaningfully contrasts Yockey’s views on these matters to the somewhat similar, but not identical, views of Mosely and, especially, Evola (who supported national identity within the “European bloc” more than did Yockey).  Mosely’s point that “petty-statism” caused the West to lose WWII is well-taken, as the fascist movements of that time were too narrowly nationalistic and prompted nationalist responses against them, while hampering international European fascist/nationalist cooperation.  Bolton also suggests that American ethnonationalists do not properly appreciate, or even fully understand, Yockey’s views on this matter (another reason for them to ignore Bolton’s book?).

The sections on Weiss, Madole, and H. Keith Thompson, and Yockey’s interactions with these individuals were good, and superior (and more concise) than some of the rambling of Coogan’s work.  I note that there was massive infiltration (sound familiar?) of the “movement” as least as far back as the 1950s, with Madole’s NRP being particularly infected (seemingly a majority of his funding and staff may have been derived from infiltration) and the ADL, according to Bolton, may have been providing a significant amount of Far Right funding, possibly to monitor and control the Far Right, to create a ‘bogey-man” to induce scared Jews to provide donations and other support for the ADL, to run “false flag” operations, and to generally misdirect and derail any authentic nationalist resistance.  We are also reminded that Rockwell was borderline retarded/autistic with respect to his naïve trusting and lickspittle worship of the FBI, “opening the books” of the ANP for FBI scrutiny, in a baffling display of imbecility. On the other hand, considering that the ANP was likely as heavily infiltrated as any other rightist group, Rockwell’s “open book policy” probably didn’t give the FBI any information that they already didn’t know.  As you can see, Der Movement’s affirmative action policy was well entrenched at least as far back as the Eisenhower era; a big surprise then that we’ve had decades of unremitting failure.  What Der Movement never grasps, a concept often mentioned at my blogs, is that superiority is not a birthright some people have as a result of their ancestry; instead, superiority is something that needs to be earned.  The leadership of the “movement” is far from earning any microscopic whiff of superiority; on the other hand, any claim to inferiority is well established in their case.

On a side note, one can notice how easily, and frequently, the Left infiltrates the Right, but the reverse rarely, if ever, happens.  Is it because the Left is more cunning, more devious, more intelligent, more unscrupulous, less naïve, more disciplined, and more professional that is the Right?  Is it because rightist views are more natural, and leftist views are more unnatural, so that it is easier to pass oneself off as believing healthy and normal rightist natural values, than it is to pretend to believe the unnatural and sick memetic sewer stench emanating from the Left?

Bolton discusses Yockey’s formulation of the dual nature of the Jews.  On the one hand, since they hate the West, they sided with Bolshevism and supported the USSR, including spying for the Soviets even when the USSR was acting against Jewish interests.  On the other hand, the seat of Jewish power was, and is, in the USA, so they must preserve, and utilize Western technics and expertise to maintain their power and safeguard their infestation of the West.  So, they act for and against Western power at the same time, leaving a ruined mess in their wake.

There was also extensive discussion and analysis of Yockey’s “pro-Soviet” attitudes, and his formulation that the USA was a larger threat to Europe than the USSR.  I have mixed opinions about the validity of Yockey’s opinion; I believe he underestimated the damage of a Soviet takeover of Europe, and overestimated the positive possibilities inherent in that scenario.  But as respect to Bolton’s analysis of Yockey’s views, it was reasonable.  I’d like to point out though that there is a difference between saying that the USA was a bigger threat than the USSR (arguable, although I do not necessarily agree), and saying that the USSR was actually good in itself, some Russofascist state.  Even after eschewing Trotskyism, the USSR still had its fill of Marxist ideologues, supported anti-White Third World Marxist movements, agitated against White interests in the USA, and denigrated genuine science in the name of Lysenkoism (although I guess that last part is viewed positively by some Yockeyites).  Nonalignment was a better choice than siding with the USSR.

In general, Der Movement has a hard time grasping the reality that people and institutions (including nations, ideologies, and movements) can simultaneously hold contrasting ideas. The USSR was both Marxist and nationalistic (in an imperial sense).  Stalin was both an autocrat obsessed with power for power’s sake and a Marxist who never really forgot the ideological fixations of his youth.  Nazis both really believed in the Jewish threat and also instrumentally used anti-Semitism to come into power.  People can be “true believers” and “skeptical cynics” at the same time.  The human mind is extremely flexible, and rationalizations abound for every type of behavior.  People can very well suppress cognitive dissonance and hold opposing views at the same time.  After all, isn’t this exactly what Yockey said about the Jews, that they were anti-Western at the same time they needed to use, and enhance, Western power?  Why can’t we say that the USSR was both an anti-White, anti-Western Marxist state and, at the same time, used Marxism as a tool to promote a more power-oriented, imperial, national agenda?  The two are not completely orthogonal.

I appreciated Bolton’s mention of the Yockeyian youth journal TRUD, which a commentator at Counter-Currents (Proofreader) once mentioned as being akin to my own style; that comparison is supported by TRUD’s own self-description as being animated by the spirit of "cynicism, sarcasm and ridicule.”  Crazy and bitter they all were!  In any case, TRUD is something that should be revived today – IF done right.  Trouble is, TRUD was essentially a Type II journal, and the Type Is extant today would make a mockery of it.  So, better to leave it dead than revived in Type I “zombie” form.

I also note Dr. Revilo Oliver’s high opinion of Yockey and of Imperium (a book Oliver thought could serve as the foundation of a winning movement; Oliver was also enthusiastic about TRUD, by the way); also, I note Oliver’s idea that one has to promote memes at all levels of understanding, for the masses as well as for the intelligent elite (which I have been advocating for the EGI concept).  Oliver’s enthusiasm for Yockeyism is in contrast to the ignoring of Yockey by the Pierce/Strom/NA faction, but we know the reason for that (see comments about “Robertson” below); apparently, Pierce never read Imperium (I’m shocked, shocked).  Dr. Oliver is a perfect example of how someone who is a gene-centric “race materialist” can nevertheless be a strong proponent of Yockey and Imperium.  In fact I can argue that modern population genetics, assaying the autosomal genome, actually supports some of Yockey’s ideas; for example, this from Imperium:
The touching of this racial-frontier case of the Negro, however, shows to Europe a very important fact—that race-difference between White men, which means Western men, is vanishingly small in view of their common mission of actualizing a High Culture. In Europe, where hitherto the race difference between, say, Frenchman and Italian has been magnified to great dimensions, there has been no sufficient reminder of the race-differences outside the Western Civilization.
So, the genetic data tell us that while, yes, there are differences between Frenchmen and Italians, that degree of genetic differentiation is “vanishingly small” when one considers the genetic kinship differences with populations “outside the Western Civilization” – particularly when one considers the large genetic gulfs between the major continental population groups (races).  There is more to biological race than just the fetishists measuring cephalic indices with their calipers.

The other parts about the various interpretations and “resurrections” of Yockey and his ideas…well, some of the “problems” may be due to the stupidity of the people Bolton is talking about, rather than (I hope) any of Bolton’s own views.  Bolton cites some of the anti-“Med” ramblings of the King of Ethnic Fetishism, “Wilmot Robertson,” and also quotes Stimely’s correct verdict on Robertson’s self-defeating rambling obsessions.  “Robertson” and his legacy remain a highly destructive force within (mostly American) racial nationalism, one major infection point for the obsessive fixations that still remain extant today.  But, let us give some credit to “Robertson” and his followers: at least they are honest about their disgust and contempt for Europeans deriving from the south of Vienna (or Munich) and to the east of Berlin. Worse perhaps are those types who actually believe the same as “Robertson” but make a pretense of being “pan-European” or “pan-Aryan.”  Note to those latter individuals: Europeans – Westerners - are not Hindu Indians, we do not have, or want, a caste system (with Eastern Europeans being lower caste and Southern Europeans being “untouchables”).  Pick your ingroup and that’s your ingroup - if you despise a group, then don’t include them; if you include them then don’t despise them. The basic definition of any group is “in/out” and if Der Movement can’t even get that straight, after decades of discussion and debate, then what good is it?  If that is “vertical race” then Yockey was right to oppose it, but not at the cost of disavowing biological reality. 

While “Robertson” was relatively positive about Yockey the man, he disparaged Yockey’s pan-Europeanism, and it must be said that the major focus of hostility (or at least indifference, as, for example, Pierce completely ignored Yockey and his legacy) to Yockey in Der Movement came from Nordicists, who could never forgive Yockey for considering Italians and Spaniards as part of the West.  We certainly can’t have that!

Then we read about Lauck’s fetishism, and the nonsense about Rome collapsing because the “Roman stock” interbred with “non-White slaves” is typical Kempian retardation and is laughable from the perspective of serious historical discourse. And there are the fantasies about the “Nordic rulers of ancient India.”  You can take typical “movement” discourse and random samplings from the book The Iron Dream, and you’ll find little difference.  It is a shame that genuine truths about biological race are always tainted by "movement" dogma.

The problem is that Bolton goes too far in the other direction.  I agree with him that miscegenation is not the real reason civilizations collapse, and have collapsed, throughout history.  Bolton then implies that this “miscegenation causes collapse” meme is due to a feeling among Rightists that their race is genetically endangered. That may be true; it may be that today’s racial activists are “retconning” past history to match today’s racial concerns.  Fair enough. But Bolton then seems to suggest that the current fear of genetic endangerment is just a “rationalization” of “an instinctive dislike or suspicion of ‘the other.”  Here Bolton goes too far if he is suggesting that the fear of genetic endangerment is somehow irrational.  The changing demographics of the West are a fact.  Race replacement is a fact (one that even the Left accepts and enthusiastically praises as “being on the right side of history”).  Dysgenics are a fact.  Increasing race-mixing is a fact.  These are all quantifiable phenomena.  Culture is important, but Culture is not enough, we must speak of, and support, a Race-Culture.  If “Verticalism” is Nordicism and the related various types of ethnic fetishism and retconning of history, then Bolton’s criticisms have validity, but racial preservationism in and of itself is vital and it is legitimate.  Concern for Race need not be divided into Horizontal vs. Vertical, but instead should be Integral, a holistic unit of concern that need not divide Europeans against one another. Worries about genetic endangerment are not rationalizations of anything, they are simply normal and healthy reactions to established fact. We need to deal with objective reality.  The White Race IS genetically endangered.

As regards the relationship of Carto with Yockeyism, that has is covered well by Bolton, and discussed by others elsewhere, so I need not dwell on it here, although I believe that Gannon was much too critical of Carto (of course Gannon’s criticism of Carto would also apply to my own views, so I am not objective here).  Bolton describes other interpretations of Yockey, including that of Odinists; I need not discuss all of those for the sake of time.

I was intrigued by the views of pro-Yockey writer and activist Alexander Raven Thomson, and his “social pathology” ideas, an extension of Yockey’s “culture pathology,” and contrasted to Spenglerian “morphology.”  Thomson viewed the importance of the social organism as paramount, and pathology that disrupted the organic solidarity of the society as akin to an aberrant cell, e.g., cancer.  Fascism is a “collective or social will-to-power” to overcome the decay consequent to pathology.  Importantly, Thomson, similar to my own views, rejected Spenglerian inevitability, and asserted that a High Culture than can purge itself of pathology could therefore regenerate and potentially go on indefinitely. I would extend and alter Thomson’s ideas to introduce the concepts of Culture Evolution and Culture Adaption.  It may not be that a High Culture goes on indefinitely in its original form, it may in fact go through the various Spenglerian stages. But if a people – such as Europeans – have a high cultural potential, then the dying High Culture can evolve and be reborn as something new.  Europeans have created two High Cultures – the Classical and the Western, and the interregnum between those two may have been shorter, and the link between them more of an Evolution, if the Western Roman Empire had evolved into a European confederation instead of collapsing and leading to the Dark Ages.  In any case, the Winter of the West need not lead to an indefinite “Fellah” period, with the hope that a new civilization will be born elsewhere; the remnants of the West may evolve and be reborn as a new High Culture, this being then the third High Culture on European soil.  That is Cultural Evolution.  As far as Cultural Adaption goes, one facet of this evolution may be the adaption of the Culture to the pathogens it faces, adaption leading to evolution, as a new Culture, adapted to be resistant to the pathogens emerges.  After all, if the Spenglerians insist on classifying a Culture as an organism, we can go further and classify it as a species of organism, one that, instead of dying as a single organism does, can adapt and evolve as a species does, in some cases undergoing further speciation and formation of a new species.  Of course, species can become extinct, and European culture will become extinct if the European race suffers that fate.

Interestingly, in the last section of his book, Bolton makes suggests certain possibilities that are in accord with some of the views I have expressed previously.  Here I mean the fact that the West is not headed for “empire” – we are in fact already in Winter, already a “dead” “Fellah” civilization.  What happened?  Where was the empire?  Bolton makes the cogent point that if we are going to say a High Culture is an organism, then we need to realize that not all organisms live out their full allotted span.  Some die early, because of disease or accident or being preyed upon (in human terms, murdered) by others.  The Destiny of the West was aborted by its defeat in WWII and the subsequent out-of-control infection by rampant cultural pathogens.  If the West is dead, or dying, Bolton suggests that a seed can be planted for its successor. Bolton suggests the possibility of a Western-Russian symbiosis; the idea is again promoted that the next culture to be fulfilled will be Russian.  I am frankly skeptical; in any case, I propose the birth of a new (the third) European High Culture, which can of course include Russia.

One can criticize Bolton for not writing about other, more recent analyses and critiques of Yockey and his ideas.  Perhaps Bolton is unaware of these (although these have been posted at leading “movement blogs and journals), or else he thinks them unimportant.  I would think that some of these commentaries on Yockey are more informative than “Robertson” agonizing (as he did in his Instauration essay on Yockey) over the horrific threat of five foot tall olive-skinned superstitious Sicilians, but perhaps I am mistaken.

As regards terminology, a more comprehensive analysis of Yockeyism will require more precise definitions of terms such as “horizontal race” and “vertical race” and “verticalism” and all the rest, including “Spenglerian pessimism” as well as Yockey’s various culture diseases.  Speaking of terminology, Yockey was perhaps slightly delusional to think “Imperialism” is more palatable than “Fascism” but, then again, in the immediate post-war period maybe it was.  Certainly not now, however.

Overall, Bolton’s effort is superior to that of Coogan in the all-important categories of content and organization; further, from my Nutzi perspective, Bolton’s rightist bias is infinitely more palatable than Coogan’s leftist bias. The major advantage of Coogan’s work is the physical aesthetics, as presumably he had more resources at his disposable than Bolton, but the “look” of a book is a minor point compared to content, organization, and tone, so Bolton’s work is judged here as the overall superior effort (although Yockey fans would do well to read both).  Also, while Coogan’s book seemed more about Yockey’s collaborators (and enemies) rather than about Yockey himself, Bolton’s “Ecce Homo” chapter sheds some light on Yockey the man, Yockey as an interesting, albeit flawed, human being, and this analysis is another reason for the superiority of Bolton’s work over Coogan’s.  Bolton has regard for Yockey the man, while Coogan – although he compiled many facts about Yockey’s “fascist milieu” – used Yockey it seems as a symbol to make points about the international Far Right. 

It says much (nothing good) about the “American scene” that Yockey is essentially ignored, while the likes of Pierce, Rockwell, and “Robertson” are lionized.  Some would justify this by pointing out flaws in Yockey’s worldview, such controversies about the importance of strictly “zoological” biological race or “Spenglerian pessimism.”  However, as outlined above, it is possible for someone to disagree with Yockey on some of these points and still be a Yockeyian due to support for his most fundamental thesis (the Imperium idea of Western Unity and Resurgence) as well as having the “feeling” for the meaning of his work Imperium. The real reason for the disrespect for Yockey in Der Movement I suspect is the distaste of Type I activists for Yockey’s idea of Western Unity and his belief that race differences between Westerners are, in the context of global racial differences and in the context of “actualizing a High Culture," negligible. It is Yockey’s pan-Europeanism (at least for Western Europeans in Imperium) that so disturbs the Type I Nutzi brigade, as acceptance of the fundamentals of Yockeyism would mean an end to ethnic fetishism and affirmative action in Der Movement.  And Der Movement without ethnic fetishism and affirmative action would cease to exist, making way for the New Movement that would fill the resulting open niche space. 

The Old Movement, Der Movement Inc., will not go without a struggle, it will sacrifice White racial survival so as to temporarily hold on to its own prerogatives and so as to continue to indulge in its cherished dogma.

Perhaps Yockey was too good for us, after all.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Winter of Spengler’s Discontent

The decline of Spengler: reconsidering High Cultures.

It has been decades since I last tackled Oswald Spengler, and it seemed time to refresh my understanding of his major work.  Upon the advice of a Spengler expert (and following the Pareto Principle), I acquired the abridged edition of The Decline of the West.

First, a few words about Spengler’s writing in this book, which I found to be terrible: like Heidegger, overly dense and sometimes nearly incomprehensible in the pompous old school German style (in contrast, Nietzsche, particularly apart from Zarathustra, was exceedingly comprehensible and easily understandable).  Contrary to all of Spengler’s breathless fans, I did not find his magnum opus to be very well written.  It’s a terribly boring, turgid compilation of rambling prose.  I can only imagine the full-scale version is worse (and if memory serves, it was). Another point is that Spengler’s deconstructivism is highly annoying to the more empiricist among us, his idea that Nature is a function of a particular culture.  Well (and the same applies to some of Yockey’s [plagiarized] rambling on the subject), for some cultures, Nature apparently is a more accurate “function” of reality than for others, and this more accurate representation of objective reality has real world consequences that cannot be evaded.

Thus, Spengler’s rambling on “Nature Knowledge” can be for the most part safely ignored.  Spengler laughably wrote: “Every atomic theory, therefore, is a myth, and not an experience.”  Yes, tell that to the Japanese of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, who encountered the myth – not the experience, oh no! – of being blasted by atom bombs.  Spengler’s comments about the “uranium atom” are particularly ludicrous in hindsight. I have to say: Spengler was an idiot (*).

The problem with Spengler (and Yockey) and science is that the Spenglerian view could be tenable if science was only a purely abstract phenomenon, with no practical real world consequences.  Unfortunately, for Spengler, science leads to technics, and the outcome of technics (contra Yockey) is directly related to the reality behind the science.  In the absence of real world consequences, in the absence of technics, the Spenglerians can pretend that there is no objective difference between, say, Classical or Egyptian physics on the one hand, and Faustian physics on the other. However, the former, if followed to technics, will not lead to methods that can obliterate cities, shatter mountains, and sink islands; while the latter can, and has.  Facts are facts. “Theory is working hypothesis…” according to Spengler’s formulation of Faustian technics, but that can be just as easily reversed: the working hypothesis is based upon theory.  Without scientific theory, practical technics is mere makeshift tinkering.

The sections “Race is Style” and “People and Nation” are of course relevant from a racial nationalist perspective, and reflects Spengler’s anti-scientific stupidity, this time about biological race.  Those of you familiar with Yockey’s wrong-headed assertions on this topic will see all the same in Spengler’s work (from which Yockey lifted his assertions).  This has been critiqued by many – from Revilo Oliver to myself – and it is not necessary to rehash all of the arguments against the Spenglerian (Boasian) deconstructivist attitudes toward biological race.  We can just shake our heads sadly about Spengler’s racial fantasies – that is as absurd as that of any hysterical leftist SJW race-denier – and move on to other issues.

The comments by Spengler (and others) about the Russian soul and Russian character, and its “non-Faustian” nature (‘the horizontal expansive plain…the plain, the plain….”) are interesting, and may well have some validity (as a close look at Russian literature informs us, to some degree).  But this can all be taken too far.  With the benefit of hindsight obviously not available to Spengler himself – but which is just as obviously available to modern-day Spenglerians – we look at the Russian interest in space exploration, particularly during the Soviet period, and ask – was that merely just for political propaganda purposes?  The answer is not quite clear.  There are differences between cultures, yes, but when there is an underlying racial affinity, then the different cultures are not quite orthogonal to each other.  And the same principle applies to the Classical-Faustian distinction as well. Spengler would argue that the Classical and Faustian are as different from each other than either are to, say, the Chinese, Indian, or Egyptian.  I think that’s nonsense, and the same applies to Russian-Faustian/Western.  There are differences and then there are DIFFERENCES.  Being more objective about Spengler’s ideas than Spengler himself, I hope the “differences between differences” are obvious.

The section on “State and History” was actually readable and made some valid points, but I disagree with Spenglerian inevitability, and I believe he draws the line of the Fellah stage too early in some historical cases. The high point of the Roman Empire, the Pax Romana – was a historyless desert?  Spengler, I think, became too enamored with his own theories (or nonsense, if you want to be harsh).  The “Philosophy of Politics” section is also readable, with some useful points, but also has, obviously, areas of profound disagreement between Spengler and reality.  The idea that the “born statesman” has – or should have - no convictions, should be a completely amoral actor dealing with facts and effects with no ideology affecting their actions - that I reject. Who is or is not a “born statesmen?”  The examples Spengler gives are ludicrous given his assertion. Sulla, Robespierre, Bismarck, and Pitt – they all acted with no underlying ideology or conviction influencing their actions?  I will say his comments about the value of a “tradition” in politics, statesmanship, in fact in any manifestation or organized human activity (comments mirrored by Yockey), are basically sound. Again, in reading Spengler, there are some diamonds in the piles of dirt and dung; one has to dig them out and treasure them.  However, the diamond-to-dung ratio is not enough to grant Spengler the acclaim as a “great writer.” While Spengler and his ideas have worth, whether or not we agree with all of them, I wonder if he may not be one of the most over-rated writers in history.

Those are mere details however.  Important details, but not the fundamental, the main thesis.  So, what about the main thesis of his work?  The overall idea of cyclical history?  Yockey’s lifting of that idea in his own work?  Rereading Spengler’s major thesis hasn’t changed my mind about it in any major way, but there are some further points to make.

To begin with, I do believe that Spengler was on to something; his most fundamental observations about the cyclical nature of High Cultures, in their broadest sense, have validity.  I reject his self-assured assertions about inevitability and his smug and snide pontification about the emptiness of current and future cultural possibilities, as well as his complete lack of self-awareness of the effects of his fundamental observation on the ability of future generations to interfere with what was previously a completely unguided historical process.  By analogy, before the germ theory of infectious disease was asserted, and then proven as fact, man was for the most part helpless against the onslaught of microbes, apart from the natural and (by conscious thought) unguided processes of the human immune system.  After the discovery of the germ-disease link, we have preventive and therapeutic interventions against these diseases.  Furthering this analogy, we can say that before Spengler, man was helpless in the face of historical inevitability; after Spengler and his discovery, the situation is changed.

Another point: being more familiar with Yockey’s work than with Spengler’s, I note how much Yockey plagiarized from Spengler.  Everyone talks about Yockey plagiarizing Carl Schmitt, and that Spengler “inspired” Yockey  - well, if by “inspired” you mean ruthlessly copy than, yes, Yockey was very “inspired.”  However, I do not say that to disparage Yockey or Imperium, the work which contains most of the plagiarism in question.  Yockey was a political polemicist, and Imperium was meant to be a thoroughly political work, sort of a Communist Manifesto for fascists, it wasn’t meant as a scholarly work and Yockey made no pretense of any original thought in that book. So, I just note for the record that the plagiarism took place.  I also note that, in a real sense, it is good that the plagiarism did take place, because Imperium is much more readable, much more digestible, than Spengler’s ponderous work, which is, as stated above, a caricature of “heavy” self-indulgent pedantic German scholarship.  Spengler’s views on (biological) race, as derived from his statements in this book, were as wrong-headed as Yockey’s regurgitation of them.  But enough of that; it is a side-issue at this time, and has been already discussed, by myself and (many) others, with respect to Imperium.

Let’s get back to Spengler’s content, and some of my objections alluded to above.  Thus, as far as content goes, my “take” on it remains the same; I agree with much but I disagree with much as well, particularly the “pessimistic” inevitability of it, and the smug arrogance in suggesting, or implying, that disagreement with that aspect of the work implies some sort of mental weakness, delusion, or cowardice on the part of the reader.  Spengler himself suggests that he “truth” of the book is a “truth” for him, a “truth” for a particular Culture in a particular time, and should not necessarily be viewed as an absolute truth in any or every sense (indeed, it everything from science to mathematics is, according to Spengler, formed by the Culture which creates it, and is thus no absolute in any universal sense, then we can quote Pilate ‘“what is truth?”).  Therefore, my “truth” in the current year leads me to conclusions different from Spengler; one can again assert that Spengler himself, by writing the book and outlining he problem, himself undermined his assertion of inevitability, since know we can understand the trajectories of Cultures and, possibly, how to affect those trajectories.

I’ll have more to say about that shortly.

One thing about re-reading the book that did influence me – more of a minor point – is that I’m now more in agreement (although not totally in agreement) with Spengler that the Classical Culture was quite different from out Western Faustian one.  There was always a sense of a different style, a different mindset, a different worldview, but The Decline of the West, and the evidence Spengler presents, helps clarify the Classical-Faustian distinction and brings it into stark relief.  So, yes, there’s more to that issue than I previously thought.  However, it doesn’t’ change the fact that both the Classical and the Faustian (or Western) High Cultures came into being in Europe, created by Europeans, and, therefore, if we accept one aspect of Spenglerian inevitability – the actual “decline of the West” – and indeed we appear to be ahead of schedule, well into Winter, then we can discard other aspects of inevitability and assert that Europe and Europeans are well capable of creating other High Cultures.

So, I will say that Spengler exaggerates the Classical-Faustian divide, even though I’m a bit more supportive of his views on that than before.  There is an intermediate ground between saying the two Cultures are completely and utterly distinct entities with absolutely no connection and saying that the Faustian is merely an outgrowth of the Classical.  On a side note, as a result of re-reading Spengler, I’m now studying the last period of the Western Roman Empire, from Adrianople to Odoacer, to (1) examine the parallels to our own day, (2) discern the “breaking point” where the last vestiges of the Classical World died out (What happened? How?  What came after, what was the result?), and (3) to re-examine stupid “movement” dogma on how the later Empire was becoming ever more decadent as a result of racial changes (if anything, the later Empire was more moral than before).

That is related to an important deficit in the work of Spengler that I have read.  He describes the lifecycle of High Cultures, but never really dissects why the cultures inevitably (or so he says) move from Culture to Civilization to Fellahdom.  What actually are the mechanistic causes of Spring to Summer to Fall to Winter?  I guess that Spengler (and Yockey) would just say that it is what it is, that the Culture is life an organism that grows old and dies.  The problem is that this analogy is just that, an analogy.  A Culture is composed of living organisms, humans, but is itself not alive. And esoteric rambling about a “cosmic beat” explains nothing.  If ones buys into the Spenglerian premise, then some rigorous analysis as to why High Cultures progress in particular ways is necessary.  We need an anatomical and molecular analysis of the “living organism” of the High Culture. Does Frost’s genetic pacification play a role? The cycle, noted by Hamilton, of barbarian invasions, the influx of altruism genes, followed by the aging of the civilization at which point fresh barbarian genes are required to spark a renaissance in the depleted fellhahs?  The moral decay that occurs with too much luxury, too much wealth, too much power?  A form of memetic exhaustion?  

By analogy to the memetic exhaustion hypothesis, consider successful television shows.  Although a few of these have been unusually very long lasting – but even these eventually do go off the air – the vast majority follow a trajectory of a lifespan of, say, half-a-dozen years or so.  In the first season of a successful show, there is freshness and novelty, experimentation with plotlines and characters, some unevenness, but excitement and the growth of a fan base.  Then the show reaches a crest wave of success – compelling storylines, solid character development, a strong fan base. This is followed by a bit of stagnation, attempts are made to shake things up, introducing new characters, altering the basic storyline, which may well cause a secondary, shorter spike in interest (Caesarism?), followed by “jumping the shark,” actors leaving the show, stale and repetitious stories, flat characters, a loss of interest of the fan base, decline, and eventual cancellation.  At some point, the show exhausts the memetic possibilities of its setting, characters, and fundamental storyline, and the “magic” is lost.  Does a Culture likewise exhaust all the possibilities of its actualization?  But unlike a TV show, where the station and the show writers (and the fans and reviewers) are consciously following the show’s trajectory and ratings, a High Culture is, or has been, independent of such analysis and direction.  In what way does memetic exhaustion promote the next phase of development?  Further, given Spengler’s identification of the cycle, does this now mean that a High Culture can be tracked analogous to a defined cultural artifact, like a TV show?  If so, how?  Can an elite consciously and directly alter a culture’s direction?  Can they “cancel” it and create a new one?  These are questions that require the rigorous analysis of mechanism previously stated as being required.

What about moving forward?

I maintain that those of us in the interregnum between High Cultures have the power to shape the next High Culture to come, to plant the seed, to choose the specific seed to plant, to nurture it as it grows up toward the sun.  Analogous to lucid dreaming, in our awareness of the Spenglerian thesis – to the extent that it is true – we can guide what was in the past an unconscious and organic flowering, speed it up, and mold it in particular directions.  Obviously, the extent of this control is limited; one cannot “preplan” an entire High Culture in advance, but one can influence its direction, and get it jumpstarted. Imagine some asteroid or comet hurtling toward Earth; if you can deflect it just a small bit, when it is far enough away, that small deflection will become amplified over time, over the long distances it travels at great speeds, and it would them miss the Earth by a healthy margin.  Giving a “nudge” in the right direction at the very beginning of a High Culture’s flowering can be enough, over time, to create a path along which it will develop.  The exact outcome, the precise path, cannot be determined or even precisely predicted, but the general direction, the overall constraints of a set of possible paths, I believe can be determined and predicted.  You might not be able to pinpoint a direction to the precision of saying, “we’re going to Boston” but perhaps to the extent of “we are going to the Northeast United States.”  And that would be enough.

In any case, imagine a person, or group of people, and here I mean our people, who today or tomorrow (broadly defined) wish to create cultural artifacts.  And this culture creation can be of our current Western Faustian High Culture or some new one to come.  Very well.  Should they refrain from doing so simply because Spengler insisted that the time of culture was over, and we should now be concerned only with technics and conquest?  When Spenglerism takes itself too seriously, it descends into absurdity.  It is best thought of as possible guidance, as broad outlines, as description – but not any sort of definitive absolute prescription.

By the way, having a European Imperium – which Spenglerians would say is a marker of late Civilization – is not in my opinion in any way incompatible with the creation of a new High Culture.  After all, some Spenglerians are fond of telling us that a new High Culture is likely to come from Russia, and Russia is, as many Duginite Russian “nationalists” like to tell us, an empire.  So massive states, including multiethnic empires, can very well be the wellsprings of new cultures.  We shouldn’t confuse surface political forms with the underlying cultural realities.

Speaking of Russia, another part of Spengler’s work that I found reasonably well argued and somewhat convincing (as well as fairly novel) is his idea of applying the concept of pseudomorphosis to human populations. In particular, one cannot really dispute some of his points about the Magian and Russian cultures in this regard, but when he says that Antony should have won at Actium – what nonsense is that?  So, that Rome should have become more tainted with Near Eastern cults and ideas even more than it was?  What’s the opposite of pseudomorphosis – where a Civilization becomes memetically conquered by a meme originating from a young Culture?  How did the memetic virus of Christianity infect the West?  Wouldn’t it have been worse if Actium was won by the East?  When Spengler writes of “syncretism” he begins to touch upon this reversal, which eventually goes in both directions (and as Type I “movement” apologists for Christianity like to tell us, that religion was eventually “Germanized” in the West).

Speaking of Christianity, Spengler’s comments about Jesus are interesting, but in my opinion too naive and too positive.  Yes, the meeting between Jesus and Pontius Pilate was world historical and meaningful; however, I view it from the Pilate perspective rather than, as Spengler does, the Jesus perspective.  Spengler takes his own view too seriously in the sense that – and the Antony-Actium thing fits here – and he seems to think that we all need to look from the viewpoint of “what was best for the new Magian High Culture?”  Personally, I could care less – I care about – only care about – those High Cultures of racially European origin (Classical, Faustian, Russian, and what comes next for the West).  Let the Magians worry about the Magian.  What? The poor little NECs were suppressed by the Classical?  Too bad. Who cares about them?  Spengler rightfully outlines how alien the Magian worldview is from the Faustian; thus, why should Faustian peoples care about Magians or follow a Magian religion like Christianity?

Spengler’s basic, fundamental thesis is novel and powerful: the idea of a series of High Cultures, moving in parallel with similar life morphologies.  But he went too far, arrogantly casting his idea with the aura of rigid inevitability – neglecting that the very act of identifying and evaluating the phenomenon, and doing so as part of a history-obsessed Faustian High Culture, forever destroyed a basic prerequisite of the phenomenon’s previous record of repeatability; i.e., that it was unknown and ahistorical.  Ironically, Spengler’s own observations are a major reason why the patterns he observed are no longer inevitable, or, perhaps better said no longer immune from intentional manipulation and control.  When the process was unknown, unidentified, and occurring in the background independent of direct human perception, it was beyond control, once identified and classified, that no longer necessarily holds.  

Let’s reconsider the analogy I made above, about the discovery of the germ theory of disease.  Before discovery, there was inevitability of certain events; with vaccination, that no longer holds.  Smallpox epidemics are no longer inevitable.  Even if the decline of the West (which has already occurred) is not stoppable, the idea that rollover to the next European High Culture is beyond control has been refuted by the knowledge gained by Spengler’s own analysis.  Spengler himself is responsible for eliminating the clockwork inevitability of his system.  What kind of “Fellah” status can a people really have once they – or at least their intellectual elites – are aware of Spenglerism?  Is a “Fellah” aware of their “Fellahsm” really “Fellah” anymore?  Or is that an oxymoron?  The Spenglerian Cycle can occur in its previously manifested form only when its actors – human actors in various cultures and civilizations and post-civilizations – are not consciously aware of its workings.  Once aware, the illusion of inevitability fades, once aware, and awareness manifested in those with a will to power, the knowledge becomes a tool and the Cycle becomes amenable to manipulation and direction.  Spengler’s work was based on the analysis of High Cultures that were to a very basic extent unaware of their own existence in these terms, unable to look at themselves objectively from “outside.”  That is no longer the case.

And if Spengler’s main thesis is flawed by its own self-realization, what can one say about his side ideas?  Those, particularly dealing with science, are absolute hogwash.  In that sense, Spengler is over-rated, never mind his poor writing, including his horrifically turgid style.  Yockey may have been offended by this “blasphemy” against his idol – “The Philosopher of History” – but it is nevertheless warranted.

Do I recommend The Decline of the West to the reader?  No.  As per the Pareto Principle, just read Imperium, which will take 20% of your effort and give you 80% of Spenglerism.


*A particularly retarded footnote: “And it may be asserted that the downright faith that Haeckel, for example, pins to the names atom, matter, energy, is not essentially different from the fetishism of Neanderthal Man.”

Yeah, that’s great Oswald, you pompous semi-Jewish purveyor of ponderous Teutonic rumblings.  Too bad this idiot wasn’t around in the 1950s; they could have tied him to the Castle Bravo thermonuclear device and he could have experienced the “downright faith” that what he was about to experience was just the subjective interpretation of the Faustian High Culture.  Oswald would have been deconstructed indeed!

And for those who wish to take the Yockeyian line that technics is separate from scientific theory - that is nonsense.  The technics of nuclear power or GPS systems require an understanding of the underlying physics; the technics of CRISPR requires an understanding of the biological principles involved.  Can you train someone to use those technics, at a low level, without understanding the science?  Of course you can, but what’s the point?  Someone can read a history book without knowing Spengler, someone can fix a car engine without knowing about internal combustion.  But you cannot construct, refine, improve, or replace with something superior a technic without knowing the principles behind it. Read up on the difficulties nations had in figuring out how to get thermonuclear weapons to work (and, no, it’s not that you stick a tank of hydrogen behind an atom bomb) and you’ll understand how integral theory is for getting the technics to work and keep working.  It doesn’t take an understanding of nuclear physics to drop the bomb; however, it does require such an understanding to invent the bomb to begin with.


I can’t help notice that the buffoon Chad Crowley cites Spengler to support some of his viewpoints, even though Spengler’s fundamental thesis was that ALL High Cultures have an innate tendency to travel along the same socio-economic-politico-religious trajectory; the case of Rome is not unique, and “racial degeneration” by no means needs to be invoked to explain any of the broader changes that, according to Spengler, were destined to occur there as in any other culture he studied.