Originally published on Counter-Currents Publishing under the same title.
White Nationalist terrorism—such as Brenton Tarrant’s shooting spree in New Zealand and the similar crimes of Robert Bowers and Dylann Roof—hurts White Nationalism and helps our enemies in at least four ways.
- First, the goal of White Nationalism is to persuade whites that we are better off separating ourselves from non-whites. Terrorism, however, makes many whites feel sympathetic to the non-white victims. It makes white liberals want to hug them, dress like them, and further accommodate them—when we want them to do just the opposite. That’s obviously self-defeating.
- Second, our job is to convince the world that White Nationalism is the solution to ethnic conflict, not a cause of it. White Nationalist terrorism undermines that message and is thus self-defeating as well.
- Third, White Nationalist terrorism energizes the Left. It gives them options for virtue signaling, manufacturing martyrs, and ginning up moral panics. Clearly, we have a better chance of beating the Left if they are enervated and demoralized, not energized and indignant.
- Fourth, these moral panics are used as pretexts for repressing White Nationalists, specifically our freedom of speech and our right to bear arms. That too is obviously self-defeating.
Before one starts a fight, any smart combatant takes stock of his strengths and weaknesses, and the strengths and weaknesses of his enemy. So let’s take stock.
Racially conscious white people lack numbers. We are a tiny minority. We lack money. We lack leadership and organization. We lack institutional power and influence. On the other hand, we do have truth, morality, and practical solutions on our side. We know that racial and ethnic diversity in the same society causes alienation, tension, hatred, and violence. We are also the only people offering a workable alternative. First, to stop increasing diversity. Second, to restore or create racially and ethnically homogeneous homelands for all peoples
Our strengths and weakness are the mirror image of the strengths and weaknesses of our enemies. The advocates of globalization and multiculturalism have numbers. They even have even convinced the vast majority of our own people—the primary victims of diversity—to take the side of our abusers and dispossessors. They have effectively unlimited money. They can just print it. They have leadership. All the political leaders, Left, Right, and center, are working for them. We have no political leaders who actually represent us. They also have control over the leading institutions of our society: academia, religion, business, and government, including the military and police.
But the establishment has some important disadvantages. First of all, globalization and multiculturalism are premised on falsehoods about what makes a society good. They are also premised on a false moral system which blames whites for things we did not do, and excuses non-whites for their failings and offenses. They preach diversity for others, but avoid it themselves, making them rank hypocrites. Because they are responsible for policies that are producing terrible consequences, they must lie to cover up the disasters they create and divert blame to the innocent. On top of that, they are corrupt, hysterical, degenerate, and downright silly.
So given these strengths and these weaknesses, on our side and on their side, where should we attack our enemies? Should we attack them where they’re strongest or where they’re weakest? And how should we attack them? From a position of strength or a position of weakness? The smartest strategy is to attack our enemies at their weakest from a position of strength. The dumbest strategy is to attack our enemies at their strongest from a position of weakness.
We can’t beat them in democratic contests. We can’t beat them in armed struggle. We can’t outspend them. But we can out-argue them. We can out-meme them. We can shame and mock and humiliate them. Truth and morality are on our side. We have enormous advantages in the intellectual and cultural realm of struggle. So we should attack their weaknesses from our strengths.
A great example of such activism is the so-called Alt Right, the largely anonymous online network of White Nationalists and National Populists that in 2015 and 2016 became the bane of mainstream conservatism and the most energetic supporters of Donald Trump. The Alt Right at its peak was a beautiful thing. It was an example of effective metapolitics in action. We were making genuine progress by changing people’s minds. Indeed, the main reason the Left has been screaming for increased social media censorship and deplatforming is that they got tired of losing arguments with us.
But then our people got a little giddy and started memeing in real life. But as we discovered with the “Hailgate” fiasco, anonymous online memes—especially of the Nazi variety—didn’t play well in the real world. Then in 2017 there was a rash of public demonstrations and speeches, and we found that White Nationalists were not really able to stand up against the organized Left. Because even Antifa, who are criminals, could count on the indulgence and secret support of the establishment. Every single one of the rioters that trashed Washington, D.C. at the Trump inauguration has been let off. It took a couple of years, but they’ve all gotten off. Meanwhile, people on the Right who defended themselves from antifa are having the book thrown at them. Our organizations are also being plagued and bankrupted by lawfare. And we simply don’t have the resources to fight back.
In 2015 and 2016, we won enormous victories by attacking the enemy’s weakest points from a position of strength. In 2017 we suffered enormous defeats because we thought we could attack our enemy’s strongest points from a position of weakness. These defeats were entirely predictable, but the wrong people were making decisions.
Since then, the consensus has been to return to what worked: metapolitics, which includes community building, online propaganda, and Identitarian-style activism, which aims to maximize impacts on the public mind while minimizing risks and costs to activists. We can’t outgun the enemy. We can’t outspend them. But we can out-argue them. We can be cooler, cleverer, and funnier. We can change minds, and the establishment is powerless to change them back.
White Nationalists win every fair debate. Thus the longer White Nationalists can stay in the public sphere, the more minds we can change. The more minds we change, the greater the likelihood of restoring white homelands.
Every incident of lone-wolf White Nationalist terrorism, however, is used as an excuse for further censorship, deplatforming, and harassment of all White Nationalists, even those who have nothing to do with such crimes. Therefore, White Nationalist terrorism is counter-productive.
Fortunately, I do not think that our message can be completely suppressed, for two important reasons.
First, the establishment wants to believe that the only thing preventing the emergence of a global, multicultural utopia are skeptics like us, exercising our freedom of speech to persuade people that multiculturalism and globalization are bad things. But in truth the main factors driving the rise of white identity politics are the catastrophic consequences of multiculturalism and globalization themselves. Which means that even if the establishment could censor and deplatform us entirely, it wouldn’t stop the rise of white identity politics. Because as hard as White Nationalists are working to raise our people’s consciousness, we’re not doing a fraction of the consciousness-raising that the establishment is by imposing multiculturalism and globalization. But it is still important to keep our voices heard, so we can deepen our people’s understanding of the problems we face and offer them workable alternatives to the present system.
Second, the only way the establishment could censor and deplatform us completely is to shut down the internet, which is impossible because the world economic system has come to depend upon it. But although censorship cannot stop us, it can surely slow us down, and every day that we are delayed will be paid for by white people who suffer and die—and white people who are never born—because we lack homelands of our own. Thus Brenton Tarrant did more than kill 50 Muslims in New Zealand. He killed uncounted white people by delaying the day we get our homelands back.
Now at this point, many people object: “But surely you don’t think we are going to vote our way out of this mess.” My answer is simple. There are many ways we might create white homelands, including winning elections. But no matter how we end up establishing white homelands, we are going to need a lot more White Nationalists to do it. How do we create more White Nationalists? By converting people, i.e., by changing people’s minds. Which leads us back to metapolitics.
Even if you think the only way to establish a white homeland is through revolution, the first step has to be propaganda. You will need to explain to people what White Nationalism is and why it is necessary, which is what all White Nationalists—no matter how we envision the path to victory—need to be doing. In addition to that, you will have to persuade people that revolution is the best way to establish white homelands. But even that is not enough. Then you will have to persuade people to join your revolution. And since you are more likely to win if more people sympathize with and fewer people resist your cause, you will need to persuade them as well.
So my recommendation to the advocates of revolution is: start persuading people.
Now ask yourself what are the primary impediments to reaching and persuading the public. Clearly they are censorship and deplatforming. Now ask yourself what is the most common pretext for censoring and deplatforming us. Clearly it is acts of violence, like Tarrant’s rampage. So advocates of revolution—if they really are serious—need to discourage White Nationalist terrorism as much as the rest of us.
What can we do to stop White Nationalist terrorism? I can think of four things.
- First, we have to dismantle the intellectual case for terrorism, which is what I am doing right here.
- Second, we have to mock and shame the follies and vices that contribute to terrorism, including anti-intellectualism, unseriousness, juvenile LARPing and bloody-mindedness, nihilism, macho posturing, paranoia and pessimism, and apocalyptic all-or-nothing thinking.
- Third, we have to ban all people who call for violence from our websites, meetings, and organizations.
- Fourth, if someone comes to us making credible threats of terrorism, we need to be the ones to call the police.
This last suggestion has proved controversial. After all, the police do not have a sterling record of honorable dealings with nationalists. But even if the police are unworthy of contact, that does not imply that people like Brenton Tarrant or Robert Bowers are worthy of our silence. After all, they are doing objective harm to our cause. Indeed, Tarrant’s explicit goal was to provoke a crackdown on white advocates to make it impossible for us to influence the public in any other way but terrorism.
Tarrant donated money to the Identitarian Movement in Austria precisely to “link” it to terrorism and give the state a pretext for suppressing it. That makes him no different from antifa in my eyes. We obviously have no obligations to enemy infiltrators in our movement. Outing them would not be doxing. It would not be betraying comrades. The same is true of a Tarrant or a Bowers. They are not us, and I would rather disavow them to police before a terrorist incident than disavow them to the press after one.
Moreover, if you state publicly that you will call the police on people threatening terrorism, that makes it far less likely that anyone will talk about such matters in your company, which gives you some security from both sincere cranks and enemy provocateurs.
Terrorism is a desperate measure. And desperate times call for desperate measures. But I want to argue that times aren’t quite so desperate at some people think. Yes, as I argue in my book The White Nationalist Manifesto that long-term demographic trends for white people are alarming. If we do not halt existing demographic trends, we’re first going to lose control of all of our homelands, and then we’re simply going to become extinct as a race.
But the worst-case scenario of extinction still lies a couple of centuries off. And even in parts of the white world where the majority of births are now of non-whites, it will still be some decades before these people have voting rights and can exercise political power. And by the time that happens, you might find that a lot of whites will be willing to limit the franchise or do away with voting altogether. So we have some decades to fix things: 20 years, 30 years, 50 years, depending on what country we’re in. This means that we have plenty of time to think very carefully about the right way to regain control over our homelands. Things are not so desperate that people should be contemplating acts of violence.
Furthermore, while it is true that the long-term demographic trends are alarming, there are a lot of medium-term social and political trends that are working in our favor. I wish to recommend the book National Populism by two British political scientists Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin. They argue that four trends are giving rise to National Populism.
The first is distrust. The people’s distrust of the establishment is rising in every white country. I am sure that social distrust is at an all-time high in Great Britain now that it is clear that the establishment does not want to deliver Brexit, the people be damned. Rising distrust in the establishment means that people will increasingly consider radical alternatives like White Nationalism.
The second trend is destruction, specifically the destruction of identity by multiculturalism and immigration. Eatwell and Goodwin actually argue that there’s nothing morally objectionable about a people wishing to maintain the ethnic and cultural constitution of its homeland. There is nothing wrong with wanting to pass a country on to your children that resembles the one in which you were born. Thus people are increasingly voting for National Populist measures that will halt multiculturalism and immigration.
The third trend is deprivation, specifically the destruction of working-class and middle-class living standards by globalization. That is also driving people toward populism because populists promise protectionism and re-industrialization, which is a powerful message to people who increasingly feel that their children and grandchildren are facing harder, poorer lives.
The final trend is de-alignment, which simply means that as more people want National Populist policies, they will abandon their ties to the established center-Left and center-Right political parties.
Eatwell and Goodwin argue that all four of these trends are deep-seated and will not abate any time soon. In fact, they believe that the only way to stem the populist tide is for the political establishment to adopt populist measures. Which means that the hegemony of globalism is ending and National Populism is taking its place. White Nationalism is merely the most radical and consistent form of National Populism. And as more people become receptive to our message, we will have opportunities to move politics in our direction for decades to come. So now is not the time to give in to people in the grip of self-marginalizing and self-defeating behaviors.
But even if you believe that time is too short for intelligent action, doing something stupid and self-defeating won’t save us anyway. So you should still do the right thing—and hope that you were wrong about the time frame, so things will all work out.
Now I want to deal briefly with some of the moral arguments that people have made in defense of Tarrant and other White Nationalist terrorists.
Don’t people have a right to self-defense, individually and collectively? Yes, of course we do. If someone attacks you, you should respond appropriately.
But terrorist acts don’t look like self-defense. They look like aggression against innocent people. Now maybe you disagree with that. Maybe you think that people should see such acts as self-defense. So we are back to the problem of changing the public mind.
There is a difference between an act and its meaning. In terms of producing actual political change, the meaning is more important than the act itself. And right now, our enemies are in the position to tell our people what terrorist acts mean. Which entails that the only concrete political changes that we can expect from White Nationalist terrorism are further censorship and deplatforming directed at racially conscious white people.
Someone actually asked me “What’s the difference between Brenton Tarrant and Charles Martel?” And the answer is very simple. Charles Martel was a legitimate leader who had his people behind him, whereas Tarrant was a lone gunman who is now execrated as a moral freak and monster. There are fewer people who sympathize with our views after his attack than before it. If you don’t like that situation, what are you going to do about it? Obviously, you are going to have to change the public mind.
Others argue that if our government is corrupt and in cahoots with criminals and invaders, we have a right to take up arms. Isn’t there a right to be a vigilante against injustice? Isn’t there a right to revolution? And I would say yes, absolutely. A government that does not govern in the interest of its people is illegitimate, and we don’t just have a right to overthrow it, we’ve got an obligation to do so.
The only question is: How do we go about this? What’s the most rational way to change the regime? And again, before you begin, you have to look at your strengths and weaknesses, and those of your enemy, and then work out a course of action. And Tarrant chose poorly. His plan was to promote a crackdown on free expression and gun rights. This, he thought, would make people so angry that—even in the absence of weapons or the ability to communicate with one another—they would somehow come together to launch a popular revolution. Yes, his plan was that dumb.
So yes, people have a right to self-defense. Yes, people have the right to take justice into their own hands when the state fails them. Yes, people have the right to overthrow unjust regimes. But the difference between success and failure in each of these ventures depends in large part on whether public opinion is on your side or not. Thus, in each case, we must begin by changing people’s minds. In each case, we must first worry about securing the metapolitical conditions of political success.
Some people have outrageously misrepresented this as “doing nothing.” Of course their objections consist merely of words on the internet. So if I am “doing nothing” then so are my critics. In fact, however, we are all doing something very important. We are arguing about what makes victory possible. In short, we are doing metapolitics.
Sun Tzu once said, “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” To “win first” means to prepare the necessary conditions of victory before one goes into battle. That is analogous to metapolitics. Terrorists like Tarrant, however, first go into battle and then hope that somehow, somebody else will fashion a victory for them. Such folly is the road to defeat.
I can’t help but think that such strategic stupidity is fed, in part, by the Alt Right’s pervasive ethos of ironism and frivolity. If so, then it is time to smack the Alt-Right smirk off the movement’s face. We will never be equal to the most serious crisis our race as ever faced until we are much more serious men.