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Spend Yourself, Save the World

AtlasRockefellerCenter1,440 words

Translations: CzechSpanish

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Sometime in 2003, I was feeling tired and thinking of knocking off work on a movement-related project. It was 2:30 a.m., and I had not been sleeping well for a while. But then a question occurred to me: “What are you saving yourself for?” Did I really need my beauty sleep? Everything we save has to be spent eventually, because death will take it away in the end. And we will not save the world by saving ourselves. We will save it only by spending ourselves.

So I put in another 90 minutes, then slept soundly and got up the next day with renewed energy and eagerness. For I discovered that sometimes when we ask more of ourselves, we find that we have more to give — more than we ever suspected.

A perennial question debated by American Rightists is why does politics continually drift to the Left. An important factor is simply that the Left is morally stronger than the Right, which gives them a systematic advantage.

Moral strength has two dimensions.

First, Leftists are on average more dedicated, idealistic, and altruistic than Rightists. Meaning that they are willing to work harder and sacrifice more to bring about their ideals.

Second, Leftists and mainstream Rightists both share the same basic egalitarian individualist outlook, but Leftists are truer to their ideals, whereas Rightists are more willing to compromise their ideals out of timidity, greed, and inertia. But other things being equal, a principled man is morally stronger than a hypocrite, so the Leftists always wrangle the Right around in the end.

Many racial nationalists reject egalitarian individualism. We think that individualism and equality are not entirely without value. But they are not the highest values of a society. The highest value is the common good: the preservation and flourishing of our people. When equality or individualism conflict with that, the common good must always win out.

But although we reject the moral premises of the Left, destroying one of their moral advantages at the root, we have not yet equaled the Left’s other moral advantage: their superior idealism, commitment, and self-sacrifice. And other things being equal, the team that can muster these to a greater degree will win.

In this area, the main stumbling block of the Right is bourgeois morality. As I define it, the bourgeois ethic holds that the highest good is a long, comfortable, secure life. This is in contradistinction to the aristocratic ethos that holds honor as the highest value, to which the aristocrat is willing to sacrifice both his life and his wealth. (Bourgeois man, by contrast, is all too willing to sacrifice his honor to pursue wealth and extend his life.) The bourgeois ethic is also opposed to the willingness of idealists to die for principles, whether religious, political, or philosophical.

The bourgeois ethos was articulated by early modern philosophers like Hobbes, Locke, and Hume, who heap scorn on the “pride and vainglory” of aristocrats and the “superstition and enthusiasm” of fanatics, for these values make men “contentious and quarrelsome,” which interferes with the peaceful pursuit of happiness by the “industrious and rational.”

In terms of Plato’s tripartition of the soul between reason, spirit (thumos), and desire, the fanatic is ruled by reason since his highest values are matters of principle; the aristocrat is ruled by spirit since his highest value is honor; and the bourgeois man is ruled by desire, since his highest value is a long, peaceful, and prosperous life.

The bourgeois pursuit of happiness basically reduces human motives to greed and fear: greed for more life, more property, more security — and fear of death, insecurity, and material loss. Over time, the very possibility of other motives — idealism and self-sacrifice — have receded from the bourgeois understanding of psychology.

That pretty much sums up the mentality of American bourgeois conservatives, whose entire ethic is devoted to saving themselves and accumulating wealth rather than expending them on higher values. When he encounters people with higher concerns, bourgeois man either argues that they are merely acting out of a disguised form of egoism, or, when this fails, he clucks disapprovingly about the inscrutable wellsprings and evil consequences of human fanaticism.

The Left mobilizes greater dedication, idealism, and self-sacrifice than the Right simply because it disdains bourgeois man’s selfishness and anti-intellectualism. Even Marxism, which has an entirely materialistic value system, in effect “backs into” idealism and self-sacrifice merely by negating the bourgeois ethos. White Nationalism desperately needs to do the same.

Unfortunately, the American White Nationalist movement is thoroughly bourgeois. We have a culture of excuse-making and failure, a “can’t do” attitude. I have sat through far too many meetings in which weary old sellouts persuade young idealists to follow the bourgeois path: keep their heads down, keep their mouths shut, pursue their careers, and accumulate money, until . . . Well, that is never made clear. But the answer is: (1) until they die with their fortunes and mainstream reputations intact, without accomplishing a fraction of what they could have done with a different ethic, or (2) until men who don’t take such advice create a movement worth following.

The European movement is far healthier than the North American one, primarily because the United States and Canada are entirely bourgeois societies, whereas Europe still has remnants of a pre-bourgeois ethos. North America was largely peopled by those who preferred the pursuit of economic opportunities over ties to their homeland, whereas those who remained behind faced the same choice and elected to stay. Such preferences continue to matter today.

Even American White Nationalists who reject conservatism still think in entirely bourgeois psychological terms and cannot fathom motives other than greed and fear. But they can’t beat our enemies if they can’t understand them or ourselves.

There are White Nationalists who deny that morality plays any role in politics at all, since people are entirely motivated by greed and fear. They are unaware that this concept of human motivation is itself a moral code, namely the bourgeois one, and that there are other moral codes that disdain such mean motives.

There are White Nationalists who claim that altruism or idealism are merely masks for purely selfish motives. But they do not explain why, if everyone is really just selfish, so many people bother faking a morality that they claim is practiced by nobody at all.

In biological terms, altruism is any act that decreases the fitness of the actor while increasing the fitness of related individuals, which also helps promote the actor’s own genes in those whom he benefits. Parasitism is when an actor works to benefit genetically unrelated individuals, such as when a bird incubates the eggs and feeds the chicks of a brood parasite species.

White dispossession, including white self-destruction or racial suicide, is taking place because our biological altruism has been transformed into biological parasitism. Regardless of who is promoting and benefiting from such behavior, it would not have been possible if whites did not have a predisposition to moral universalism and impartiality, which makes it possible for us to conceive of even dramatically unrelated people as members of a common moral community. It would also not be possible if our sense of high-mindedness did not include a willingness to make moral gestures toward strangers — even at the risk they will not be reciprocated — in the hope of expanding our moral community, and to persist in these gestures again and again, even when they are rebuffed or exploited. A crucial task of White Nationalists is to combat such self-destructive moralism, and to scale our altruism back within biologically functional bounds.

But if the Left is too altruistic, the bourgeois Right is not altruistic enough. Prizing one’s individual life above the race is a silly thing. Higher values are objective and persistent, not subjective and fleeting. The individual dies, but the race can live on — if it finds the right defenders. Bourgeois individualists tend to lose sight of the purpose of wealth and reputation, which only make a difference if spent, not saved, and are wasted if death takes them intact.

As a movement, we need to cultivate idealists who take principles seriously and warriors who are willing to fight and, if necessary, die for our people. Only these people have the moral strength to begin pulling the political spectrum back towards the Right. Our impact on the world is based on what we spend, not what we save. We have to spend ourselves to save the world.

 

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18 Comments

  1. Roy J. Street
    Posted May 10, 2015 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    A well-reasoned article. One of the greatest problems with the movement–though it isn’t really a movement but rather a ‘stationaryment’–is that it generally goes nowhere even though it has been around since–since when? The twenties with Lothrop Stoddard, or in earnest since Brown v. Board of Education, after which Eisenhower forced integration of the schools at the point of a Federal bayonet. Let us then say the movement has been around for six decades.
    The late Reichskanzler, by contrast, joined the National Socialist Party in 1919. Fourteen years later he was the Chancellor of Germany at the age of 43. For five hours, the joyous crowds moved past his window.
    The difference between then and now is that Hitler and his party had a mandate from the German people. White nationalists have a mandate from no national population anywhere in the world. We are selling sand in Libya, ice-cubes to Eskimos.
    When the government can insure that people have food for their families and a roof over their head, nobody is in the mood for revolution.

  2. R_Moreland
    Posted May 10, 2015 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    Greg, I just posted a comment here and got a WordPress error message which said: “You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.”

    This seems to be an anti-spam control–but I had only posted that one comment.

  3. Peter Blood
    Posted May 9, 2015 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Part of it is being cool, and cynical, not letting yourself get carried away sincerely for something you think is important. Must be cool towards everything, and cynical.

    • Peter Blood
      Posted May 9, 2015 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      What I mean is “Part of the problem is being cool and cynical”, don’t be that way.

  4. Jaego
    Posted May 9, 2015 at 4:20 am | Permalink

    Yes and they equate their lack of fanaticism with sophistication. A fatal conflation that allows them to look down on their superiors. This must be reversed. Inferior people must realize their inferiority and either strive to overcome it or accept their lower place in the social order. Of course this will lead to all kinds of people pretending to believe who are really just careerists. Well at least they will be doing some good things. As Buddha said, Fear and shame are the guardians of the world. The higher levels must be Spartan in character to discourage such creatures from rising too high. And of course psychopaths must be weeded out completely. I’ve heard a brain scan can spot this….

  5. JJJ
    Posted May 9, 2015 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    Wise thoughts.

    However, the one thing that always bothers me about WN is the contradiction of rejecting bourgeois individualism yet upholding the individuality of a people as the highest good. The New Right, but especially C-C seems like a perfect example of Guenon’s “only an earlier form of the disease” movement he criticizes in the Reign of Quantity. Both stem from liberal ideals and nationalism, as an end in itself, is traditionally anti-rightist.

    I certainly see the good of ethnonationalism- but to frame is as the highest good, for a people to exist to serve themselves and their “interests” bourgeois mentality applied on a grand scale, bothers me.

    However, if white nationalism is viewed as a means for whites to serve the good through themselves, then I completely agree and this is perfectly classical.

    I think this is more of a question of framing the movement. I suppose existing to serve ones self could be a means for using one’s self to serve The Good, meaning the objective Good being realized through pursuing the good relative to the individual (or race/nationality), and therefore self-serving would also be an aspect of The Good.

    What are your thoughts on this? Is nationalism and pursuit of national interests the good in itself or is it a means to realize the good in itself?

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted May 11, 2015 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      I am developing an allergic response to such talk. It seems morbid that whites insist on channeling simple questions of survival through some sort of very abstract and universalistic scheme like serving “the good.” If our race were really a cancer on the planet, would you favor our destruction? That said, I think that since our race is the only race that really cares about such notions, the best way to serve the welfare of the world is to make sure that whites survive and flourish.

  6. K.K.
    Posted May 8, 2015 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    There’s a feeling of beautiful, genuine idealism running through this article.

    There’s no doubt that we’ll need such idealism on a very large scale if we are to be successful – and we should even have it regardless of any expectancy of outcome. Generally, one can’t instill idealism, willingness to self-sacrifice, passion by argument. For one, it is contagious, just like courage. “Only he who is passionate himself can instill passion in others”. Of much greater importance than their informative value; articles, essays, podcasts etc., by the author and others like him, are personal displays of idealism which certainly inspire idealism in others.

    Tremendously important as well, with regard to the philosophy of White Nationalism itself: in order to commend the kind of dedication, fanaticism, and willingness to self-sacrifice needed for success, it must necessarily be imbued in a larger weltanschauung. The lack of such a larger weltanschauung is probably the main cause of the overall passivity of today’s WN’s. Mere genetic survival as the one and final aim just won’t cut it. WN’s who are currently as disgusted with the overall behavior and (the lack of) values of Whites as they are concerned with the alien threat, won’t be compelled to ‘sacrifice’ themselves to merely eliminate the alien threat so that the Whites can safely continue their ‘degeneracy’ – while being indifferent to your ‘sacrifice’ on top of that (see Theodore).

    There must be worthy vision for a White future at the end of the rainbow where martyrs live in -and through the next generations. Luckily, our great and heroic history provides plenty of examples showing what our People can be (at their best). Personally, I’m of the opinion that without alien corruption our People would automatically revert to their noble nature. But nonetheless the ideal of such a society must be an integral and explicit part of our philosophy.

    • GenYES
      Posted May 9, 2015 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      KK,

      This is an excellent comment. I completely agree that for White Nationalism to succeed an end goal of “white survival” probably isn’t sufficient to justify it. We need a vision of the future past the White Republic and Imperium Europa (both goals in themselves that I support). What moral imperatives form the logical extension of our value system (Nietzsche’s inversion of values)? Is the role of the (uniquely altruistic) white race to spread life throughout the cosmos? What responsibilities do we have to planet Earth (our mother) in a cosmonautical worldview? Can it become the garden at the center of an expanding technological sphere? Do we have the ability and responsibility to restore much of what we have destroyed on the Earth (extinct megafauna, ecosystems, natural balance)? These are, of course, leading questions, but I would be interested to see proposals from others about what the larger goals are (limited only by our imaginations and present understandings of the universe). Some people don’t think it’s important or practical to paint the larger landscape in which the White Republic (end goal of White Nationalism) resides, as there is much practical work before us that needs to be accomplished first. But I disagree, thinking instead that we need BIG goals toward which to work, and that those goals need to be nested within our more immediate goals (like organizing, fundraising, metapolitical writing, political activism ->> White Republic) like layers of an onion. Only such a “big picture” can fan the flames of fanaticism in the intellectual classes and draw the kind of people to White Nationalism that we need to succeed. It’s not about getting lost in visions of utopia – it’s about building a nested vision of multigenerational projects – and starting the long business of working toward them. In my opinion this is only feasible within a particular metaphysical understanding.

      http://www.academia.edu/5402457/Toward_an_Ecological_and_Cosmonautical_Philosophy

  7. Millennial X
    Posted May 8, 2015 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    It’s nice to say that one should fight for one’s race, but that assumes that such a construct exists, not in potential, but in actuality. We don’t have a race, in the spiritual sense, to fight for anymore, we merely share space with people who have our skin color. Nothing more.

    The sort of high minded and souled race that is celebrated here at CC, ceased to exist 50 to 70 years ago.

    I’m sure more of us would give up our careers if we thought there were a sizeable continent of whites worth saving.

  8. Henrik
    Posted May 8, 2015 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Thought provoking.

    Questions…

    Is the bourgeois mentality our most imminent problem psychologically?

    KMac and others posit the existence of an evolutionary biology that favors altruism (not in the sense that you define it here) and universalism (morals, ethics, etc.). It seems to me that the bourgeoisie are still rather new fangled; certainly, Hitler, Franco and de Gaulle viewed them as 19th century upstarts that were damaging to politics, an aberration that could be neutralized and controlled. If we can mitigate/eliminate bourgeois thinking, do we give ourselves a big advantage, or are we still doomed because of biology? I only see a major calamity as capable of toppling the bourgeoisie. There are no bourgeois in a Mad Max/Sparta/End of Days scenario. I’ve wondered whether the bourgeoisie are simply an expression of a biological destiny.

    As far as saving the race and other formulations of this kind: I’m not sure how much of the white race is worth saving at an individual level. Note that I’m in favor of saving the race and seeing it prosper wildly, I just don’t have all that much concern for the average white since he is more likely to ally himself against himself as well as my own goals. You cannot and should not attempt to save a hell bent fool from himself.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted May 8, 2015 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      The bourgeois type has always existed. In Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Politics he appears as the oligarchical and democratic man. In the Indian caste system he is the Vaishya and Sudra. One does not have to own property or be a businessman to be a bourgeois type. One simply has to be ruled by desire. It is a mark of social decline when the bourgeois type is predominant. In Hegel’s scheme, the man who places desire above honor is a spiritual slave, and this is really the problem with bourgeois conservatism: bourgeois men are easy to control. The system is optimized to keep bourgeois types producing, consuming, and amusing themselves until we all go extinct. The only people who can rebel against such a system are the ones who value something higher than a long commodious life.

      • Henrik
        Posted May 8, 2015 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        That clears it up. I always associated the bourgeois class with 19th century industrialism and the rise of consumerism and the concomitant reduction in the number of farmers and tradesmen. It seems to me that at no time prior to the 19th century could the bourgeois have become so numerous and so influential within national politics. They are like cockroaches now: numerous, ubiquitous and resilient. Even the ghetto queens have a bourgeois quality about them — they’re material standard of living far exceeds what most people in the past could have imagined.

  9. Ty
    Posted May 8, 2015 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Case in point:

    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/posts/la-et-ms-arcade-fire-to-open-a-haitian-restaurant-20150507-story.html

    Those white liberal altruists are putting their money where there mouths are, money they’ve earn through performing their music. They’re using it to open a Haitian restaurant, something doubtless most actual Haitians would not be able to, nor caring much to do.

  10. Justin Huber
    Posted May 8, 2015 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Spot on.

  11. Theodore
    Posted May 8, 2015 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    In general, I agree with this essay. But there are some finer points to be made. I remember a debate of some time ago. An activist was unfavorably comparing American White nationalists to the Spartans who fought to the death at Thermopylae, a well known act of self-sacrificing altruism.

    In response, I pointed out several things. The Spartans (and allies) who sacrificed themselves did so in the knowledge that they were supported by their countrymen, that they were considered heroes, that their folk would continue the fight after they were gone, that if Sparta and Greece survived that their families would be cared for and that their memories would be honored. They also knew that they would be fighting against an actual military invasion, something for which they had trained for their entire lives. That is not to belittle their sacrifice in any way, but to put it into perspective: it was not a shadow war against treasonous elites, against dual morality Levantine infiltrators, against a legal mass immigration supported by their own leaders or a slow infiltration of illegal immigrants aided and abetted by their own government. WNs on the other hand, are fighting such a shadow war, and they are scorned, hated, and opposed by the very same people they are struggling to save.

    Given all of that, I would argue that Robert Matthews was more heroic than King Leonidas.

    • K.K.
      Posted May 8, 2015 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      Excellent nuance to an excellent article.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted May 8, 2015 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      I agree with this. Societies make it easier for men to sacrifice themselves. But the truly sublime self-sacrifice is when it is hard, and when it is not even clear that there will be a positive outcome.

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