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Theory & Practice

Posted By Greg Johnson On September 30, 2010 @ 12:21 am In North American New Right | Comments Disabled

[1]1,452 words

The aim of Counter-Currents Publishing and our journal North American New Right [2] is to create an intellectual movement in North America that is analogous to the European New Right. We aspire to learn from the European New Right’s strengths and limitations and to tailor its approach to the unique situation of European people in North America. Our aim is to lay the intellectual groundwork for a white ethnostate in North America.

To achieve this aim, we 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 visionary new book Archeofuturism [3], newly translated into English and published by Arktos Media [4], 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 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 [5] of the role of intellectual salons in paving the way for the French Revolution. 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.

The North American New Right is an intellectual movement with a political agenda, but it is not a political party. We do not have a rigorous and detailed party line, but we do share certain basic premises:

(a) Ideas shape history and politics.

(b) The survival of whites in North America and around the world is threatened by a host of bad ideas and policies: egalitarianism, the denial of biological race and sex differences, feminism, emasculation, racial altruism, ethnomasochism and xenophilia, multiculturalism, liberalism, capitalism, non-white immigration, individualism, consumerism, materialism, hedonism, anti-natalism, etc.

(c) Whites will not save ourselves unless we (i) speak frankly about the role of Jews around the world in promoting ideas and policies that threaten our race’s survival and (ii) work to reduce Jewish power and influence.

(d) Whites will not survive unless we regain political control over a viable national homeland or homelands.

These premises 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.

The North American New Right, therefore, is not a hierarchical intellectual sect. Instead, it is a network of independent authors and activists who share certain basic principles and aims. 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.

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 damnedest things. Besides, I have learned from ample experience that 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 and the journal North American New Right? It means, first of all, that those of you who might be holding back because you imagine you diverge from the party line around here can relax. There is no party line beyond the basic agenda outlined above. Second, it means that we welcome civil debate and commentary on our articles, interviews, and reviews, including this one (here are the guidelines [6]).

 


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URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2010/09/theory-practice/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/5371_1127768568225_1647515393_313066_4496314_n.jpg

[2] North American New Right: http://www.counter-currents.com/north-american-new-right/

[3] Archeofuturism: http://www.counter-currents.com/2010/09/foreword-to-archeofuturism/

[4] Arktos Media: http://www.arktos.com/guillaume-faye-archeofuturism.html

[5] Augustin Cochin’s theory: http://www.toqonline.com/archives/v8n2/TOQv8n2Devlin.pdf

[6] guidelines: http://www.counter-currents.com/2010/09/commenting-guidelines/

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