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I’m Going to AmRen:
In Defense of the National Conference Model

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StillLifewithPie2Greg Johnson’s recent article, “Rethinking the White Nationalist Conference,” accurately concludes that the political climate has changed dramatically in the past couple decades of AmRen’s existence. It also summarizes many of the complaints about the conference I’ve heard over the years, all but one of which are true, but beside the point. It’s definitely time to step back and ask ourselves how we should adapt ourselves to the radically altered political landscape, and how that flagship of White Identity, the annual American Renaissance conference, fits in with that. 

First, I wish to put to rest a canard Greg raises, the insidious notion of scarcity in White Nationalist fundraising. He claims that, “for the amount of money that goes out of the movement to attend the annual American Renaissance conference, the movement could employ a full-time activist with a decent salary and benefits package for 2 years.” While this is superficially correct, what it implies couldn’t be further from the truth.

Virtually none of the money invested in attending AmRen was going to go to employing an activist with a decent salary. It was going to go toward the attendees’ personal business. While the amount of money invested annually in attending AmRen is a considerable chunk of the White Nationalist pie, it’s merely a sliver of the personal income pies of the individual attendees and potential donors. We’re looking at the wrong pie, and inclining ourselves to a destructive zero-sum perspective on movement financing which resents the fundraising success of others as if it’s detracting from other hypothetically useful work.

And the proposition that paying a full-time activist would pay dividends is specious. After all, there’s very little agreement yet on what such an activist would do. Would he perhaps make a foolish spectacle of himself engaging in explicitly pro-white lobbying on K Street? Would he engage in some other sort of “implicit whiteness” shenanigans which absolutely always end up wasting money? We’re still in a preliminary theoretical and experimental stage in the political development of identitarianism in North America where what’s “practical” is not “practical politics.”

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American Renaissance has been, and will hopefully remain, a tremendously useful ecumenical event where the ever-divergent and alienated factions and subcultures within White Advocacy can converge in one physical space for one magical weekend and network. Jared Taylor is an institution in himself, a unifying figure who even the most avid anti-semites and milquetoast mainstreamers respect. And that’s why AmRen is so valuable. I’m fearful that the year he stops organizing AmRen (hopefully many years from now!), all of our disparate factions will file off into our respective Christian crusader, pagan revivalist, philo-semitic, dorky HBD, and wonky mainstreamer corners, never to converge and unite around White Identity in quite the same way again.

The speakers are a (necessary) waste of time. My hillbilly prole eating habits aren’t really suited to the meals. And we don’t even wear suits and ties to the funerals in my neck of the woods. But it’s all about the networking. People talk about the importance of having more local meet-ups, but my local Hoosier Nation project began when I spotted a fellow attendee with Indiana on her name tag at my first conference back in 2008. People complain about it being too “stuffy,” but Tennessee features some folksy dive bars for drunken scuffles with scruffy antifa after hours, if that’s more your speed.

Nothing much seems to get decided or accomplished at AmRen, but that’s not AmRen’s fault. Jared isn’t letting down the attendees, but rather the opposite. We’re letting him down. Jared’s providing us a broad forum to arrive at answers, and we haven’t arrived at them, yet. That doesn’t necessarily reflect poorly on us, either, though. Figuring out how to visualize, organize, and mobilize American Whites is a profoundly challenging riddle. If you have the answers, you won’t find AmRen getting in the way.

Greg’s correct that the political backdrop has changed dramatically in the decades since the first conference. We’re no longer on C-SPAN, but who watches C-SPAN, anymore? The mainstream media has indeed become more rigid and less inclined to host or reliably relay our ideas. But the mainstream media is much smaller and much less respected than it was then. The past twenty years have been far more kind to AmRen than it’s been to the media weasels set against it.

Greg proposed that we shift to a more localized and specialized model of meeting up. That’s all well and good, but it didn’t take the commenters on the article long to vividly describe from first-hand experience what a boondoggle that proves to be in practice. AmRen’s expensive and stuffy atmospherics and basic filtering for cranks (hopefully, I’ll still be allowed this coming year!) guarantee a safety and sanity which can’t be guaranteed in smaller regional venues. We belong to a broad array of subcultures, social classes, and ideologies, and that often devolves into a circus.

AmRen is, to my knowledge, the only platform where a Zionist Jew, a professor with an Asian wife, a homosexual pagan revivalist, and a guy more comfortable in a Skrewdriver t-shirt than a dinner jacket can all converge on the same room to discuss racial issues without Yackety Sax background music. Local is great, but it must be approached with caution, and with a practical eye toward ensuring that class and culture differences are carefully accounted for. AmRen’s not the final answer to our challenge, but that’s not what it’s there for. It’s a platform to raise the questions and work toward the answers.

 

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14 Comments

  1. Lew
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Let’s say you visit the doctor. The doctor performs an examination and evaluates the tests. He tells you you have the flu, a sore throat, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. In the same visit, he also learns you have cancer, but he does not tell you this.

    In this hypothetical outcome, one point would immediately be clear. The doctor didn’t give you false information. He didn’t give you entirely useless information. But he didn’t tell you what you really needed to know. He gave you accurate and useful information — and did you an unconscionable disservice at the same time.

    You can usually figure out on your own when you have the flu. You can go to CVS to check your blood pressure. You can get information on treating high cholesterol on WebMD. No one can solve cancer without a proper education on the topic which begins with an honest diagnosis in return for payment for services rendered.

    Furthermore, you don’t avoid doctors that withhold vital information on your health because they make house calls, and some people argue that the house call model is outdated. Everyone has different requirements. The value of paying extra for house calls or putting that money toward better food and a gym membership will vary from person to person.

    While a good topic in its own right, in this context it isn’t what’s important. What’s important is whether a given doctor tells you what really need to know. If not, it’s best to move on, buy the food, join them gym, and support doctors willing to tell the whole truth.

    In this metaphor and thought experiment, I know readers here know very well who’s the doctor, who’s the patient, and who’s the cancer.

  2. Jaego
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Yes Matt, it’s all about Diversity. If Zionist Jews are welcome, why not Black Muslims or Hebrews? Has Farakahn ever been invited? Or Yahweh Ben Yahweh? Oh, it’s about White Advocacy? So where are Kevin MacDonald and David Duke?

    Ah well. At least the Diversity is really there. And we all know how important that is – far more than talking to each other.

    • Posted January 1, 2015 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      David “Bad Eagle” Yeagley was a non-white speaker, as has been every Jew speaking at the conference. By all means, if a Black Nationalist were willing and ready to offer a rousing speech on the virtues of separation over integration, that could be an excellent addition.

  3. Wilburn Sprayberry
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Matt has his finger on the most important reason for national conferences (AR, NPI, etc.): human contact. Face to face, up close and personal. That’s what meeting people & networking really mean. I understand Greg’s concerns, but most of us – given the various forms of hostility towards our beliefs – cannot exist in isolation; as social animals we require physical contact for physical, spiritual & mental health. If local meet-ups consisted of 20 or 30 people, then perhaps the need for national conferences would not be so great (though I doubt it). But I’ve never met with more than 8 or 9 like-minded people in my local area, & it’s usually fewer, & most of us don’t get to meet any like-minded people at all until we go to AmRen or NPI.

    The intellectuals, the brainiacs of our movement, may not need national conferences, but the rank & file surely do. Otherwise, we are a head without a body. That might work for the neocons, but not for us. — Gerald

  4. Virus, Smiley
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I think whites in general will eat each other over some niggling matters. It’s sad to see people bash AmRen because it’s “philo-Semitic.” This must be the same philo-Semitism that has had Ramzpaul speak in the past and no, his reference to the Finns — my people from about 1000 years ago — is not to actual Finns, but to the Tribe. If Mr. Parrott is going to dismiss HBD, then I will have to disagree with while still admiring his fine work over the years.

    For me, I could never attend a conference although I’ve been tempted to because it’s a job killer. An unemployed professional is of no use to anyone and no conference is worth being seen at given the number of digital devices now that are able to record people in high quality video.

    The conferences themselves when viewed from YouTube are depressing. So few people are present and it’s mostly older white men whose heads are filmed in the audience. These are men who are probably financially secure and are under no threat of dismissal for their involvement in these confabs. I’m happy for them, truly. But it’s depressing to see how few are in attendance and it alienates I believe those young men who are interested in meeting like minded Europeans in real life. This is not bashing AmRen or anyone else; I’ve great respect for Mr. Taylor, Dr. Johnson and Mr. Parrott.

    Frankly, I used to give $100 and $75 here and there to Identitarian sites. I’ve stopped because I understand just how pervasive the surveillance state has grown that I do not want to have my business or personal finances audited or to undergo other forms of harassment by the state. I would like to see Dr. Johnson and others provide tips for anonymously donating. I’m okay with dropping cash into a security envelope and mailing it with a note, but this seems risky. Bitcoin is a little crazy too.

  5. Fr. John+
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    “AmRen is, to my knowledge, the only platform where a Zionist Jew, a professor with an Asian wife, a homosexual pagan revivalist, and a guy more comfortable in a Skrewdriver t-shirt than a dinner jacket can all converge on the same room to discuss racial issues without Yackety Sax background music. ”

    Reading this comment, I was at first appalled, when I remembered the first (and last) ‘conference’ of this type I attended, a decade or more ago. One was confronted with polite stuffed shirts of the various sects and cults named above, and found the ‘cameraderie’ to be utterly useless, for that very reason.

    I am reminded of the old Groucho Marx quote, ‘I wouldn’t join any club that would have me for a member.’ Well, Mr. Parrot, if that is the sort of clientele you would advocate at future conferences, I’ll side with your opponent. Let these charades die a deserved death. I want the America of my youth back- monoracial, monoreligious, boringly conformist, and exclusionary as all get-out; not a Multicutural, multiracial,multi-heresy confab to ‘talk about things.’ Thanks, but no thanks.

  6. Theodore
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 7:30 am | Permalink
  7. Theodore
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 4:54 am | Permalink

    “Jared Taylor is an institution in himself, a unifying figure who even the most avid anti-semites and milquetoast mainstreamers respect.”

    This is laughably and demonstrably untrue. For example:
    http://www.vanguardnewsnetwork.com/2009/12/samuel-jared-taylor-a-despicable-piece-of-shit/

    Others, perhaps less aggressive in their characterizations, have denounced over the years serious problems at AR. On the other side of the ledger, the likes of Auster and Jobling have critiqued AR from the pro-Jewish “mainstream.”

    “where a Zionist Jew, a professor with an Asian wife”

    That’s a good thing?

    As regards “White unity” – attacking European ethnic groups while praising Jews and Asians is hardly conducive to “White unity” but maybe I’m missing something there.

    • Posted January 1, 2015 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Jared’s staked out a position which is going to make him despised by VNN and organized Jewry regardless of how he handles himself. It’s not like Linder’s going to conclude, “You know, Taylor’s compromising with the Jews, but he’s still a solid white guy.”

  8. The Red Comet
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    Dr. Johnson, I admire you for posting an article of someone disagreeing with you. Personally, I agree with your original article, but many people would not post an article where someone disagrees with them on their own website. This sort of discussion and open intellectual climate are what makes Counter-Currents so great.

    Also, antifa in Tennessee?! Outside of the Greater Nashville/Memphis/Knoxville regions almost everyone in the Volunteer State instinctively is on the same page with AmRen. I would like to know where the antifa at the AmRen confrences are coming from. I know many antifa types in TN, and none of them are even aware of what American Renaissance is. I know this for a fact because they all worship Zizek, and had never heard of AmRen or Mr. Taylor when it came out Zizek was not just boring, but a plagiarist.

    • Occidental Composer
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      “the late Sam Francis – saying to everyone, and I quote ‘Jews are just white people who happen to have a different religion’ whilst assigning zero responsibility to them for anything they’ve done to our race and culture. This was flat-out dishonesty and everyone knew it and I don’t think anyone came to Atlanta to be lied to.”

      Thanks for sharing. That really was dis-honest of Dr. Francis. Still, I think he was a very great man and it just goes to demonstrate that conferences like these, where we have a jews present, people tend to say things that they wouldn’t otherwise say. Hence my preference for localization.

      Dr. Duke excepted of course; he just let’er rip at this AR conference, and I’m proud of him for speaking his mind:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RELmEPUy6lQ

  9. White Rose
    Posted December 30, 2014 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    I will respectfully disagree with you. My foray into the world that is American Renaissance has been a dismal venture at best. I have rarely felt as hated for being a White woman as I have on that site and I have had the pleasure of living in Oakland, CA, so believe me, there is some animosity going on at Amren.

    We are blamed for everything (I get that feminism is vile), and then we are compared unfavorably with the miscegenation flavor-of-the-month, Asian females. Taylor makes no effort to welcome or solicit White women into his “flock”, nor does he attempt to moderate the attacks on us in favor of the Mongoloid female. I’m not exactly sure how White Nationalism works with just White men and Asian females, since they can’t produce White children, but that’s apparently insignificant in comparison with crying about being a White male victim of the black man and the evils of the White woman.

    Being a victim is a Jewish affliction that has been passed on like a venereal disease throughout the non-White communities, so I don’t believe Amren is a Pro-White organization. I think it is an infiltrated, controlled medium that continues the Cultural Marxist agenda of the Tribe and their supporters. I can get that at Breitbart or Drudge.

    So, to sum it up, I’d rather be at a wilding with East Chicago “youths” and Antifa members than support a pro-Zionist, anti-White family, pro-miscegenation organization like Amren. My money is better spent closer to home with men and women who truly love our people and are invested in making positive changes in the communities around them.

  10. Joseph Bishop
    Posted December 30, 2014 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    I have been reading American Renaissance since it first started coming out. While it won’t cover all race-related issues, it covers most and very bravely too. It has always been well-written and well put together. I don’t know how influential it has been other than deepening the knowledge base of already-serious white racialists, but I do see it as a major positive for our side.

    Jared Taylor I personally admire very much. The man is highly educated, speaks Japanese fluently. He is a gentleman. He has stood the test of time and has never recanted his correct views on race nor cringed or apologized to anyone. He has stood tall on race issues for many years now and we desperately need more men, more examples, like him.

    Now having said the above, I do have to switch gears slightly –

    I went to the very first AmRen conference which was held in Atlanta, Georgia. There are several things that I still remember clearly from it, which I think have held fairly firm from then to now –

    Firstly, it was overwhelmingly ‘southern’ in attendance. White guys from all over the South. My impression from talking to them and from listening to Mr Taylor was a kind of antebellum outlook, a nostalgic yearning for the old pre-Civil War days, coupled with a lingering animus towards the North. I found this hard to fathom, and not conducive to white unity or any national or international efforts/ideas.

    Secondly, the podium had, if I remember right, eight speakers. Four of them were Jewish. This really took me aback. A fifth Jewish person was the ‘secret’ banquet speaker when the dinner was held on the last evening of the conference, although he was in the audience the rest of the time in his Hasidic rabbi garb, long locks etc. Later I spoke and corresponded with him, and found him to be a really decent, honest guy. If all Jews were like him…

    Thirdly, what was unofficially taboo was any criticism of Jews at this conference. Taylor would glare angrily at anyone asking a question or making a comment that was in any way construable as anti-Jewish. But most shocking of all was seeing one of the few non-Jewish speakers at the podium – the late Sam Francis – saying to everyone, and I quote ‘Jews are just white people who happen to have a different religion’ whilst assigning zero responsibility to them for anything they’ve done to our race and culture. This was flat-out dishonesty and everyone knew it and I don’t think anyone came to Atlanta to be lied to.

    Fourthly, David Duke was not at the conference. He was banned by Jared Taylor because of the ‘baggage’ of being ex-Klan and for his strident (but accurate) statements about Jews and Jewish influence. He was sitting in the lobby though, and I got to talk with him. He was very popular with the attendees, which I think irritated Mr Taylor somewhat.

    Fifthly, the weather was hot, the hotel was not cool enough, my room never did cool down, and yet Mr Taylor insisted that everybody wore jacket and tie – as he said it was sort of a residual salute to western civilization.

    These conferences are good for meeting and talking with people face to face and on a personal level, and such interaction can and does lead to collaborative efforts sometimes. But, the points made in another essay on this website re NOT holding expensive conferences, are equally valid. The resources are too slim, perhaps, to spend on gatherings like this. Or are they? I don’t know.

    • Posted January 1, 2015 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      But, the points made in another essay on this website re NOT holding expensive conferences, are equally valid. The resources are too slim, perhaps, to spend on gatherings like this. Or are they? I don’t know.

      Our target audience of White Americans is one of the wealthiest demographics with the most disposable income of any group of people in the history of humanity. Not to ignore the very real economic challenges besetting our folk in the past few years, but this insidious notion of scarcity simply has no basis in reality and is behind much of the unnecessary grief and back-biting in our circles.

      We’re not all starving for lack of money in the donors’ accounts, but from lack of vision and direction necessary to pry the money from their accounts. It’s not as if White Advocates all have penny jars on their desk labeled “Whiteness Stuff” which they empty out every year to attend AmRen, leaving none left over to invest in other projects.

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