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On Metapolitics

[1]1,115 words

I think that many nationalists regard metapolitics with incomprehension, skepticism, and hostility because it is presented in terms they cannot visualize, comprehend, or practice:

1. The medium of metapolitics is culture. Culture is a complex, mysterious, and mercurial thing. The work involved in changing culture at a societal, civilizational, and historical level is so difficult, uncertain, and slow that it may be difficult for nationalists to see how it can be done and to believe that they can do it. Trying to change the Zeitgeist might appear to be like trying to change the weather or reverse the tide.

2. Metapolitics is presented in terms that are too large, grandiose, and vague. In order to make metapolitics visible, credible, and practical, it is necessary to present it in terms that people can visualize. It is necessary to define metapolitics in terms of the big and the small, the long term and the short term, and the potential and the actual, so that it appears as a work in progress rather than a pipe-dream.

3. Metapolitics is presented in terms that are too intellectual, literary, and abstract. It appears to lack a definite purpose or direction. It appears to be concerned with ideas as if these are sufficient by themselves and to treat ideas as toys rather than tools. Richard M. Weaver famously said that ideas have consequences. Samuel Francis less famously said that some ideas are more consequential than others. Metapolitics should be concerned with consequential ideas and with making ideas consequential.

4. Metapolitics is presented in terms that suggest that it is independent of and even hostile to other forms of activism. Metapolitics should be seen as a part of what the National Democratic Party of Germany calls the “three tiers strategy” of cultural, community, and electoral activism. Each form of activism should complement and reinforce the others.

5. Metapolitics appears to be restricted to professional wordsmiths such as scholars, intellectuals, writers, editors, and publishers. This places metapolitics beyond the position and the capacity of most nationalists. Relatively few nationalists can write books and articles worth publishing or reading. The number of regular contributors for nationalist publications is very small. Metapolitics does not appear to provide most nationalists with meaningful work and useful tools.

These are my impressions concerning how metapolitics is presented and perceived by many nationalists. They are largely subjective and I have stated them in simple and dogmatic terms for brevity. I could expand this list, and better define and explain particular points, but I cannot do this right now and I would like to reply to the comments while they are still recent. (Perhaps there is the basis of an article here.) My use of terms such as professional wordsmiths may suggest that I have anti-intellectual leanings that I do not have. But if I did, I would be ignorant of the authors and publications that I habitually refer to and cite in my comments.

As metapolitics involves the struggle for cultural hegemony, it should be conducted in many areas, and at many levels. We cannot establish cultural hegemony overnight, but we can carve out “autonomous zones” from which we can practice counter-hegemony, and we can prepare the cultural groundwork for challenging the system.

The front is everywhere. Whether we want it or not, we are in a total war. We must put everyone to work where they are and as they are.

I advocate metapolitics that is directed towards and practiced by nationalists who are not necessarily professional wordsmiths. There is a need for “think tanks” such as Counter-Currents/North American New Right and The Occidental Quarterly concerned with developing nationalist ideas at a high level. There is also a need for “irrigation systems” concerned with popularizing nationalist ideas. Metapolitics should equip militants with the “mighty arsenal of intellectual ammunition” that Greg Johnson writes of. We need an armory as well as a logistics system.

I should note several things regarding the “ground level Gramscianism” that I envisage:

1. It would involve the doctrinal and practical formation of average nationalists. Nationalists need to know what they are fighting for and how to fight. Nationalists need to improve their skill in formulating and presenting their ideas. They need not be professional writers or speakers to present their ideas effectively within their sphere of influence.

2. It would involve developing nationalist discourse to make it as presentable and persuasive as possible in relation to the audiences to which it is addressed. This work would involve carefully selecting and molding the ideas, arguments, examples, language, imagery, tone, and style of nationalist discourse for optimal effectiveness.

Nationalists need to develop their powers of observation and judgment so that they can accurately determine what works in these matters and what does not. Perhaps nationalist discourse should be developed in a manner akin to open source software, such as described in Eric S. Raymond’s The Cathedral and the Bazaar. As Wendell Berry remarked: “Cultural solutions are organisms, not machines, and they cannot be invented deliberately or imposed by prescription.”

I would like to see authors such as Michael J. Polignano do more work in this area. As has been noted, Polignano makes “the most radical positions seductively reasonable.” Authors like him can do much to fashion a nationalist discourse that is credible, assimilable, and communicable. Average nationalists should be able to pick up his ideas and pass them on to others. That is how traditions are created.

3. It would not involve mainstreaming. Indeed, the doctrinal and practical formation of average nationalists I advocate would be oriented towards preventing mainstreaming. Nationalists should have the ideas and the skills that will enable them to stand by themselves. It should be impossible for opportunists such as Gianfranco Fini or Nick Griffin to hijack nationalist organizations.

4. It requires greater self-discipline from nationalists. Nationalists should think before they speak, and they should not say everything they think. Nationalists should not think they are free to do what they like. (Readers who have a copy of Julius Evola’s Men Among the Ruins might like to read and ponder Evola’s comments on the “Mediterranean” and the “Roman” character. They are too lengthy to be cited here. Nationalists should have a “Roman” character.)

5. The ideas above are very rough. For me, they are like an invention which is promising, but which will take a long time to become a marketable product.

If the ideas in this comment have any value, they might also serve as an object lesson of what the commentators here are saying. These ideas are not necessarily obvious, it took me a long time to put them together, and it will take a lot of work to make them truly practical. They could easily be forgotten.