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The Counter-Currents Summer Fundraiser 
The Costs & Benefits of Controversy


Jacques-Louis David, “The Death of Socrates,” detail, 1787

1,443 words

Several readers have asked what happened to our summer fundraising drive. The short answer is that we hit a bump in the road. But we have stepped over it and are moving forward again.

Since our last update on July 18, we have added $5,482 to our total, based on 11 donations ranging from $2 to $5,000. Thank you to all of our donors! Our grand total is now $11,255.30.

Our goal is $25,000. We will keep you posted of our progress more regularly until we reach it.

Now about this bump in the road: Our second largest donor, and one of the donors we expected the most from in the long run, has withdrawn his support from Counter-Currents. The most immediate consequence is that this donor had promised a $6,000 matching grant to help us make our goal of $25,000 by August 11. Obviously, we are going to have to drop that deadline. We will end this fundraiser when we meet our goal, whenever that may be.

This is, obviously, a setback. It will not stop us, but at least in the short run, it will slow down our projects a good deal: we will be publishing fewer books; we will be organizing fewer and smaller events; we will be able to pay fewer authors and will have to give them less money per work; we will generally be playing it safe, financially speaking, for the foreseeable future. I will not try to shrug this off with some brave or flippant remark. It’s a disaster, given that we really do believe that we are helping lay the foundations for the long-term survival of our race, and we don’t have time to waste.

Why did this happen? Quite simply, it is the cost of controversy. On July 20, Kevin MacDonald published my essay, “Dealing with the Holocaust [2],”  at The Occidental Observer. In it, I argued that the Holocaust is one of the primary tools by which white ethnocentrism, pride, and nationalism are beaten down, softening our people up morally and psychologically for our ongoing dispossession. Thus if whites are going to regain control over our destiny, we need a response to the Holocaust.

But I also argued that Holocaust revisionism is not an adequate response. Instead, I argued that the foundation of the Holocaust’s malign power is largely moral and psychological, namely our people’s grandiose tendency to assume and expiate unearned guilt, and that the only real solution to the Holocaust and other ethnic guilt trips (e.g., over slavery, the American Indians, etc.) is a transformation of white moral consciousness.

The essay sparked a great deal of controversy. There were more than 750 comments at TOO before they were shut down, and the discussion spilled over to other websites, where it continues to this day. Although I was heartened by the positive responses of Kevin MacDonald and the most astute commentators at TOO, I caught hell from some who thought my article too pro-revisionist and others who thought it too anti-revisionist. In addition to fundamental differences of principle, this debate has also churned up a great deal of ugliness and irrationality. All told, it was a very costly controversy.

So be it. For such controversies also have benefits.

First and foremost, Counter-Currents is premised on the notion that ideas matter. Ideas make history. Good ideas lead to good consequences. Bad ideas lead to disaster. Our race and civilization are perishing because our people believe and act upon bad ideas: whites do not think that we are a distinct people, with a distinct identity, unless it is something to apologize for; whites do not believe that we bring anything positive to this world; whites do not believe that ethnic conflicts are inevitable and are exacerbated when different peoples live in the same society; whites do not believe that it is moral to take our own side in ethnic conflicts.

These bad ideas are destroying us, and the only thing that will save us is accepting and implementing better ideas. But  that requires discovering better ideas. And discovery entails discussion, disagreement, and debate. In the short run, this leads to hurt feelings and organizational upheavals — in short, the staples of the White Nationalist political scene. But it would be folly to shy away from controversy just to avoid unpleasantness. For in the long run, controversy is the way to truth, and living in accordance with truth is the only way our people will be saved.

In this case, I argued that while Holocaust revisionism is a legitimate historical exercise, it has limited utility for White Nationalism because it does not get to the roots of white weakness and Jewish power, and we need to understand these things correctly if we are to change them.

Second, avoiding controversy is also bad from an organizational point of view. There is a perennial temptation to try to make organizations grow by avoiding controversy, moderating one’s tone, and papering over differences. In the short run, such policies can fill one’s ranks with the lukewarm, wishy-washy,  superficial, and duped.

But, as a radical political organizer who was wiser than even Saul Alinsky once argued, what good is it to attract followers who don’t agree with one’s fundamental principles or who lack the character to stick to any principles at all in the face of opposition? One’s energy will be increasingly spent fighting with one’s own tepid followers instead of engaging the enemy. And when one is forced to stand up to one’s enemies on a matter of principle  — at a time when numbers would really come in handy — such people will all abandon you anyway.

So, in the end, the only way to create a really effective movement is to be absolutely clear and unbending on basic matters of principle. Such a movement will start small and grow slowly. But it will have the strength of unity, which will give it an advantage over much larger but less unified rivals.

Third, when the occasional politician or public figure transgresses the boundaries of political correctness, the same drama plays out with depressing regularity. His friends and allies cry, “How could you?” And the heretic hastens to retreat and apologize. He thinks only of the present friends that he might lose. He never seems to ask himself if he might be better off without people who are more loyal to the reigning lies than to their own friends. Nor does he wonder about the new friends that he might make if he stands firm: friends who actually agree with him on issues of fundamental importance. It takes courage to put matters of principle ahead of social relationships, but in the end, it is the only way to find social relationships that don’t require fundamental compromises of principle.

In short, we have faith that the long-term benefits of controversy outweigh the short-term costs. Thus I don’t blame our erstwhile donor. I can’t ask anyone to support ideas that make him uncomfortable, and it is better to discover one’s differences sooner than later.

But I need those people who agree with me to come forward and show their support.  I also need the support of those who think that courting controversy is the right thing to do, even if they disagree with me.

Our fundraiser is almost half way to our goal of $25,000. A matching grant of $6,000 would get us most of the way there, as it did last year. So I am looking for a donor who will put up $6,000, or six donors who will put up $1,000 each. Please contact me at [email protected] [3].

Of course we welcome donations of all sizes.

You can make two different types of donations:

Recurring donations are particularly helpful, since they allow us better to predict and plan for the future. We have added several new levels for recurring donations. Please visit our Donations [4] page for more information.

We can also customize the amount of a monthly donation. There are, moreover, other ways to make monthly donations besides Paypal, although it is the most convenient. For more details, contact Mike Polignano at: [email protected] [5]

There are several ways to make one-time donations:

Please give generously!

Thank you for your readership and support.

Greg Johnson
Counter-Currents Publishing, Ltd.