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dimanche, 09 octobre 2011

Toward a North American New Right

Toward a North American New Right

By Greg Johnson

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com/


Author’s Note:

This is the Editor’s Preface to North American New Right, vol. 1, which will be published in November.

To plant a field or build a house, one must first clear a space. The same is true of an intellectual movement. North American New Right was created as a space for dialogue in which a new intellectual movement, a North American New Right, might emerge.

North American New Right began on June 11, 2010, as an online journal, the “blog” of Counter-Currents Publishing (http://www.counter-currents.com). But from the very beginning, North American New Right was also conceived as a print publication, an annual volume that would showcase the best of the online journal and provide a more readable format for appreciating our longer, more involved pieces. With this, the first volume of North American New Right, that project has now come to fruition.

The North American New Right is a “metapolitical” movement modeled on the European New Right, but adapted to the realities of North America. The goal of the North American New Right is to lay the metapolitical foundations for the emergence of a White Republic (or republics) in North America.

This project is motivated by consciousness of an existential threat. European peoples, both in our mother continent and scattered around the globe, now live under a cultural, political, and economic system that has set our race on the path to cultural decadence and demographic decline. If these trends are not reversed, whites will disappear as a distinct race. The incomparable light we bring to the world will be extinguished, and the greatness of our achievements will be preserved only in fragments, like the scraps of literature, shards of pottery, and shattered artworks that survived the wreck of pagan antiquity.

We aim to halt that process here in North America, but we also wish to learn from and contribute to the struggle of our comrades for white homelands around the globe.

“Metapolitics” refers to what comes before the political, i.e., the foundations of politics, including both (1) political ideas, i.e., the intellectual case for a particular political order, and (2) a concrete community that embodies those ideas in the present and will serve as the seed of a new political order to emerge in the future. As a journal of ideas, North American New Right naturally focuses on the intellectual dimension of metapolitics, which centers around three issues: identity, morality, and practicality.

If we are to defend the idea of a White Republic, we have to answer the question of identity: Who are we? Once we know who we are, we still have to answer the moral question: Is it right to create a society for our people alone? Finally, even if a White Republic is moral, we have to deal with the question of practicality: Is a White Republic even possible?


Questions of identity include such topics as: existing European regional and national identities; the problem of identity in European colonial societies where the blending of European stocks is almost universal; the inadequacy of abstract, propositional forms of identity; the problem of petty nationalism; the deep roots of a common European identity, including biological race, European history and prehistory, and the cultural diffusions revealed by comparative linguistics and mythology; the Traditionalism of René Guénon and Julius Evola; concepts of collective destiny; causes for collective pride and guilt, i.e., the strengths and weaknesses of our people; and the relationship of the North American New Right to the Western political, philosophical, and cultural tradition.

A corollary of the question of who we are is the question of who we are not, the question of “the others,” which subsumes unavoidable debates regarding the Jewish question. In an ideal world, it would be possible to be for oneself without being against anybody else. But as Carl Schmitt so cogently argues, in the real world, the political realm is constituted by the distinction between friend and enemy, which is rooted in the potential for existential conflicts between peoples.

On the other hand, we need to know who we are before we can deal with the question of who we are not. It is not possible to create political movements based merely on opposition to other groups while avoiding any discussion of our own identity as “divisive.” Thus the project of the North American New Right is to deal forthrightly with the questions of who we are not, but only within the larger context of the positive questions of who we are. Who and what we are for has logical and practical priority over who and what we are against.


In my view, the key moral question is whether it is right to prefer one’s own kin over others. Whites, and only whites, have become convinced that it is wrong to prefer our people over other ethnic groups. Strict ethnic impartiality would not, however, be destructive of our race if all other races abided by the same principle. But unfortunately, they do not. All other groups not only are allowed to appeal to ethnic solidarity, they are encouraged and rewarded to do so. This puts whites at a systematic disadvantage in dealing with other groups, a disadvantage that over time would be sufficient to dispossess whites of our own homelands.

But our situation is actually far worse, for many whites have not adopted mere impartiality in dealing with other ethnic groups. Instead, they actually prefer other groups to their own. They are practitioners of what Guillaume Faye calls “ethnomasochism” and “xenophilia.” Such attitudes, of course, can only accelerate white dispossession.

And when whites no longer control homelands of our own, our destiny as a race will pass into the hands of other groups, many of which have deep historical grudges against us. We will, in effect, be a conquered people, and we will share the fates of conquered peoples, most of whom disappear from the pages of history.

Note that the question of ethnic partiality is not the issue of moral “univeralism.” Partiality to one’s own people is a completely universalizable principle. So is ethnic impartiality. So are ethnomasochism and xenophilia. The reason that ethnic impartiality and ethnomasochism/xenophilia are destructive to whites is simply that they are not practiced universally and reciprocally.

Another moral issue is the question of utopia. Whites are willing to maintain racially destructive moral attitudes like ethnic impartiality or ethnomasochism/xenophilia because they believe that they are making sacrifices to bring about a better world, a world without ethnic enmity and conflict. We have to destroy this illusion before it destroys us. We need to establish the enmity and conflict are ineradicable. They are normal, natural, and a challenge to our improvement, not something that can go away.

But we also need to advance our own, more realistic vision of utopia:  a peaceful world in which the causes of quarrel are not eliminated, but simply managed. Ethnic diversity in and of itself need not cause conflicts. Ethnic strife is, however, inevitable when diverse groups try to occupy the same living spaces. Therefore, the best way to avoid ethnic hatred and conflict is universal nationalism, i.e., giving every distinct people a country or countries of its own. A durable foundation for world peace is the recognition that all peoples have an interest in preserving the principle of national self-determination. (There is also a common interest in preserving our planetary environment.)

Dreams & Reality

Before the White Republic can become a reality, it must first be a fantasy, a dream, a vision of a possible world. But to become a reality, a vision must also be realistic. So the North American New Right has the dual task of cultivating dreamers and realists.

To cultivate the dreamers, we have a strong focus on the arts. Art is an indispensable tool of propagating political ideals, for it can reach more people, and stir them more deeply, than mere prose. But more fundamentally than that, our ideals and programs themselves are also the products of the artistic imagination.

To encourage contemporary artists, we seek to place them in contact with our tradition. Many of the greatest artists of the last century were men of the right, and one does not have to go back too far in history before the principles we defend were the common sense of virtually every great creative genius. We also seek to offer contemporary artists constructive criticism, publicity, and opportunities to network and collaborate.

To cultivate realism, we explore the questions of whether a White Republic is even feasible and how we might get there from here. These questions can be approached from two distinct though complimentary angles: the theoretical and the historical. Philosophy and the human sciences can tell us a good deal about what is possible and impossible, likely or unlikely. They seek to move from the possible to the actual. History, by contrast, moves from the actual to the possible. If something has happened, it is ipso facto possible.

The examples of the Irish and the Spanish, for example, show us that European peoples who have been conquered and colonized for centuries can preserve their identities and reconquer their homelands. More recent history also gives us examples of how large, multinational, multiracial empires have collapsed, allowing their constituent nations to free themselves and create ethnically homogeneous states. History thus provides us with a vast store of examples and analogies that can help us shape our ideas and guide them toward realization.

Theory & Practice[1]

To achieve our political aims, the North American New Right must understand the proper relationship of social theory to social change, metapolitics to politics, theory to practice. We must avoid drifting either into inactive intellectualism or unintelligent and therefore pointless and destructive activism.

Guillaume Faye’s Archeofuturism[2] offers many important lessons for our project. Chapter 1, “An Assessment of the Nouvelle Droite,” is Faye’s settling of accounts with the French New Right. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Faye was a leading thinker and polemicist of the French New Right before quitting in disillusionment. In 1998, after 12 years, he returned to the battle of ideas with Archeofuturism, which begins with an explanation of his departure and return.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the Nouvelle Droite, led by Alain de Benoist, was a highly visible and influential intellectual movement. The Nouvelle Droite published books and periodicals like Nouvelle École and Éléments; it sponsored lectures, conferences, and debates; it engaged the intellectual and cultural mainstreams. The Nouvelle Droite did more than receive coverage in the mainstream press, it often set the terms of debates to which the mainstream responded.

The Nouvelle Droite was deep; it was highbrow; it was radical; it was relevant; and, above all, it was exciting. It was based on the axiom that ideas shape the world. Bad ideas are destroying it, and only better ideas will save it. It had the right ideas, and it was increasingly influential. Its metapolitical strategy was a “Gramscianism” of the Right, i.e., an attempt to shape the ideas and ultimately the actions of the elites—academics, journalists, businessmen, politicians, etc.—as envisioned in the writings of Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci.

However, according to Faye, as the 1980s came to a close, the Nouvelle Droite became less influential: “Regrettably, it has turned into an ideological ghetto. It no longer sees itself as a powerhouse for the diffusion of energies with the ultimate aim of acquiring power, but rather as a publishing enterprise that also organizes conferences but has limited ambitions” (pp. 24–25). The causes of this decline were based partly on objective conditions, partly on the movement’s own weaknesses.

Two of Faye’s points seem particularly relevant here. I should note that even if these points do not turn out to be entirely fair to the Nouvelle Droite, they still contain universal truths that are applicable to our project in North America.

(1) The rise of the Front National of Jean-Marie Le Pen caused a decline in the visibility and influence of the Nouvelle Droite, whereas one would have thought that the Front National’s good fortunes would have magnified those of the Nouvelle Droite. After all, the two movements share much in common, and there can be little doubt that the Nouvelle Droite influenced the Front National and brought new people into its orbit.

Faye claims, however, that there are many “airlocks” that seal off the different circles of the French Right. Faye claims that the Nouvelle Droite never really tried to engage the Front National, because its members fundamentally misunderstood Gramsci. Gramsci’s cultural battle was organically connected with the economic and political struggles of the Italian Communist Party.

The Nouvelle Droite, however, treated the battle as entirely cultural and intellectual. Thus they were not really Gramscians. They were actually followers of Augustin Cochin’s theory of the role of intellectual salons in paving the way for the French Revolution.[3] Under the autocracy of the old regime, of course, one could ignore party and electoral politics. But after 1789, one cannot.

The North American New Right aims to change the political landscape. To do that, we must influence people who have power, or who can attain it. That means we must engage with organized political parties and movements. No, in the end, white people are not going to vote ourselves out of the present mess. But we are not in the endgame yet, and it may be possible to influence policy through the existing system. Moreover, there are other ways that parties attain power besides voting. Just look at the Bolsheviks.

We know that the present system is unsustainable, and although we cannot predict when and how it will collapse, we know that collapse will come. It is far more likely that whites can turn a collapse to our benefit if we already have functioning political organizations that aim at becoming the nucleus of a new society. Yet we will not have functioning political organizations unless we engage the presently existing political institutions, corrupt, sclerotic, and boring though they may be.

(2) Even though the Nouvelle Droite did not engage with organized politics, it was organized according to “an outdated ‘apparatus logic’ of the type to be found in political parties, which was not appropriate for a movement and school of thought, as well as journalistic or editorial policy, and which led cadres to flee on account of ‘problems with the apparatus’” (p. 27). By an “apparatus logic,” Faye seems to mean a hierarchical organization in which an intellectual and editorial “party line” is promulgated.

Although Faye does not say so, the inability of the Nouvelle Droite to interface with the Front National may in fact be based on the fact that they shared the same structure and thus naturally perceived each other as rivals promulgating slightly different “party lines” and competing for the adherence of the same public. If this is true, then the North American New Right can avoid this problem by configuring itself not as a hierarchical apparatus with a party line but as a lateral network that cultivates dialogue on a common set of questions from a plurality of different viewpoints.

A Pluralistic Movement

The North American New Right is an intellectual movement with a political agenda, but it is not a hierarchical intellectual sect or a political party. Instead, it is a network of independent authors and activists. We do not have a rigorous and detailed party line, but we do share certain basic premises, questions, and aims. These leave a great deal of latitude for interpretation and application. But that is good.

As an intellectual movement, we embrace a diversity of opinions and encourage civil debate. We believe that this is the best way to attract talented and creative people who will advance our agenda. We also believe that debating diverse perspectives on these issues is the best way to arrive at the truth, or a workable approximation of it.

We collaborate where collaboration is possible. Where differences exist, we seek to build consensus through dialogue and debate. Where differences persist, we agree to disagree and either change the subject or part ways. Because we are a loose network, we can overlap and interface with any number of hierarchical organizations without competing with them.

Just as the North American New Right rejects “apparatus logic,” we also reject “representation logic.” Because we are a pluralistic movement, there is no presumption that a given author speaks for me or any other authors who are published here. Every author speaks only for him- or herself.

This is important to understand, because part of every issue of North American New Right will be devoted to translations of articles from European New Right thinkers whose positions and aims differ from one another and also from those of the North American New Right. These works are offered for discussion and debate. In their breadth, depth, and originality, they are also exemplars of the kind of work we wish to cultivate in North America.

Even though the North American New Right is a metapolitical movement, and everything we do bears in some way on politics, there will be times when the connections will seem remote and tenuous. Thus we will surely be mocked as pointy-headed, ivory-tower intellectuals or apolitical dandies, poseurs, and wankers. That’s fine. A vibrant and effective intellectual movement has to be exciting to intellectuals, and intellectuals get excited by the oddest things. Besides, the bullet-headed pragmatists who see no value in any ideas that cannot contribute to an immediate change in poll numbers tend to give up or sell out anyway.

What does that mean for the editorial policy of Counter-Currents Publishing and the journal North American New Right? It means, first of all, that those of you who share our concerns but may be holding back because you imagine you diverge from an unstated party line can relax. There is no party line beyond the questions and concerns outlined above. Second, it means that we encourage civil debate and commentary on our articles, interviews, and reviews, including this one. We welcome the challenge.


1. The rest of this article is adapted from an earlier piece, Greg Johnson, “Theory and Practice,” Counter-Currents/North American New Right, September 30, 2010,  http://www.counter-currents.com/2010/09/theory-practice/ [2]

2. Guillaume Faye, Archeofuturism: European Visions of the Post-Catastrophic Age, trans. Sergio Knipe (Arktos Media, 2010).

3. For an excellent introduction to Cochin, see F. Roger Devlin, “From Salon to Guillotine: Augustin Cochin’s Organizing the Revolution,” The Occidental Quarterly, vol. 8, no. 2 (Summer 2008): 63–90.


Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: http://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2011/09/toward-a-north-american-new-right/

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