I am not much interested in sports, especially Negro-dominated American football, which features simian behemoths colliding on a field in front of cheering crowds of inebriated jock-sniffing White fans. Nevertheless, football contributes certain phrases that help visualize action, such as “moving the football down field,” as an analogy for consistent progress toward a goal.
My cursory knowledge of that sport is that there are two main approaches to “moving the football” — the more aggressive and risky passing game and the more conservative and limited running game. As a “movement” analogy, passing is “vanguardism,” and running is “mainstreaming.” Vanguardism is long on vision and long-term goals, but ignores shorter term objectives and is particularly weak on pragmatism; it is all “ends” and no “means.” Conversely, mainstreaming lacks vision, confuses means with ends, and lacks any inspiring “the outcome justifies the sacrifices” long-term goals.
One can compare European nationalist groups, but for now, I will focus instead on post-WWII (actually, post-“Civil Rights era”) American activism. On the “passing game” side we have the vanguardist National Alliance founded William Pierce, and on the mainstreaming “running game” side we have Taylor’s American Renaissance and associated groupings, such as the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC). I argue here that both extremes are sub-optimal, just as any football offense that is too heavily focused on passing or running becomes vulnerable to the defensive strategies of opponents.
Pierce had a vision (albeit one some may consider highly flawed), but zero pragmatics. The history of the National Alliance makes this clear, the lack of any progress for the ~30 years or Pierce’s leadership, and the grotesque collapse of even that small-scale “success” after Pierce’s death. Currently, Pierce’s extreme vanguard approach has evolved into tragicomedy. A wild passing game, heaving footballs in the air with no plan (and no open receivers) is a recipe for failure.
But has mainstreaming succeeded? Has the cost of a lack of vision been compensated by some sort of sustained practical success? In football terms, has the running game ground out those yards, a few at a time, setting us up for the touchdown? Or must we punt and give the ball to our opponents, time and time again?
Amren started out on C-Span, and ended up being run out of conferences to the indifference or delight of the White masses. Currently, Amren is a website with no print journal (the ending of which is another “mainstreaming success” I presume), which holds conferences at a government facility protected by police. The closely associated CCC, which is a “council” of “conservative citizens,” primarily a group of white-haired men who wave Confederate flags and decry “Black crime,” has had their conference reservations cancelled.
After a full generation, a full quarter-century of such “running game” mainstreaming, it can be argued that the state of the “running game” today is worse than it was in the 1990s. Yes, the vanguardists have failed but so have the mainstreamers. To point the finger at one while making excuses for the failure of the other (“they just need more time! 25 years is not enough to show even one small success or any progress whatsoever”) is laughable special-pleading. The other side can make the same excuses as well.
One can argue that the mainstreaming failure is even worse than the vanguard failure, because the mainstreamers have failed precisely in that arena that was supposed to be their strength — pragmatic “nuts and bolts” small scale activity and mainstream appeal. The mainstreamers cannot even hold a conference outside of an armed camp government facility, they have less mainstream access than they did during Bill Clinton’s presidency, they’ve gone backward in many aspects (conferences, print journal, quality of writers, the abysmal quality of the commentators on the website) — so what’s the payoff? The vanguardists have their vision and goals coupled to failed pragmatics, and the mainstreamers couple their failed pragmatics with no real vision at all. It appears that the “mainstreaming quarterback” is “getting sacked” just as often as the “vanguardist quarterback.” If there is no payoff for the sacrifices and compromises of mainstreaming, and if the only riposte is “we need more time” (which is exactly what the vanguardists would say), then where is the empirical evidence in favor of mainstreaming — other than mere personal preference? And this is no apologia or promotion of the pure vanguardist approach, since I’ve made clear that has failed as well.
This post is not about making suggestions about what should be done, although I’d strongly suggest the “movement” consider the Codreanu Legionary model for some clues, as well as check out certain modern European nationalist parties, which typically integrate electoral politics with real-life community activism with youth groups with solid propaganda and with useful theorizing. I have also made suggestions here and elsewhere on that blog (see “The Fundamentals” sidebar there).
All of that is just the beginning of the conversation and not “The Answer.” One thing I can definitely suggest is that the “movement” really needs leadership that thinks things through, has contingency plans, uses long-term strategic thinking, with a healthy dose of common sense. Do the CCC folks really need to be told that with all the Amren conference cancellations and the controversy of the Roof shooting, that their own meeting may not go as planned? Do “movement” organizations really need to be told that if they give “the keys to the kingdom” to guys who call themselves on the Internet something like:
“SuperHitlerNaziwerewolf1488swastikalonewolfSSManUltraAryan” that there is a good chance that person will be a defective lunatic? That he may shoot some place up? That he may walk out with a bunch of files and hand them over to a “watchdog” group? Do we need to tell “movement” “leaders” that 25 years of failure is probably sufficient to at least prompt serious questions about whether the approach used is sound?
Ironically enough, both ends of the “movement” spectrum denounce affirmative action. Talk about a lack of self-awareness — a certain biblical passage concerning motes, beams, and eyes comes to mind. “Movement leadership” should look in the mirror on that.