Corneliu Zelea Codreanu
For My Legionaries
Introduction by Kerry Bolton; Historical Overview by Lucian Tudor; with new appendices and photographs.
London: Black House Publishing, 2015
I’d like to make some comments on Codreanu’s For My Legionaries, now available in a new edition, with added background information and new photos. This book has already been reviewed in detail several times, so, rather than writing an overall review here, I will simply comment on specific aspects of the book and of Codreanu’s movement.
Observers of the modern scene observe that the typical White man, soft and weak, smiles ingratiatingly to friend and foe alike, and is not taken seriously by anyone. There is truth to that; thus, it is refreshing to see in this book photos of stern-faced and serious hard-Right men, ready for battle, with no quarter (and no smiles!) given the enemy. Also interesting is the comparison between the Romanian phenotypes and that of a group of Jews also shown in the book, the contrast, reflecting different racial types, is very clear.
The interesting thing is how similar Codreanu’s complaints about the Jews were, not only compared to Hitlerism, but to what today’s WNs assert. Jewish “experts” would tell us this is due to the “common pathologies of anti-Semitic myths.” Another, more economical, explanation is that these are all common reactions to actual Jewish behavior, real-life behavior consistent over time and place. For example, Codreanu noted that when (in the few years after the end of WWI) the major threat to the Romanian state came from Jewish-led communists, then the major Jewish newspapers and organizations in Romania were hostile to the state and its authority. Later, as the state became increasingly pro-Jewish, and as the major threat to the state’s authority came from Codreanu and the far-Right, suddenly Romania’s Jews became easy “patriots” supporting the state and its authority from the “terroristic fascist hooligans.”
If that all sounds familiar, consider the American situation. During the 1960s counter-culture, the Jewish-led radical left mounted a full scale sociopolitical assault against traditional America, against the “fascist pigs” of the Establishment, against all forms of authority, dissolving and mocking the ties of patriotism that held the nation together. Fast forward to the America of more recent decades, where Jews are now a leading force in the Establishment, the driving force of the anti-White multicultural morass. Now they are “neoconservatives,” wrapping themselves in the flag as they berate “unpatriotic isolationists,” “far-right subversives,” “White supremacist terrorists,” “anti-government militias” and the like. In the past, Jewish radicals opposed the “fascist FBI,” today, Jewish “watchdog groups” consult with the FBI and train local police forces. Oy vey, the hypocrisy!
It is also enlightening how similar “our” elites are from one era to the next, and from one nation to the next. That the Romanian elites of Codreanu’s time sided with Jews and other aliens against their own people mirrors what occurs throughout the White World today, and is yet another indication that these elites need to be replaced (more on “elites” below), and that “working within the system” is a long-term impossibility.
In the “movement” division between “Vanguardists” and “Mainstreamers,” Codreanu’s elite and radical Legion were obviously and definitely Vanguardists. However, since these two approaches are not entirely orthogonal, Codreanu did attempt to reach out to the masses. There is nothing about the “Vanguard” approach that says that the masses need to be eschewed; the difference is how it is done, for what purpose, and with what attitude. While Mainstreamers allow the masses to exert leadership, in that Mainstreamer strategy is to follow the lead of the masses and tailor the ideology to fit current tastes and trends, in order to “win elections” and “have a mass appeal,” in contrast, the Vanguardists insist on being the leaders and teachers, with the masses being in the position of followers and students. Thus, in the Vanguard approach, the masses never set the tone and never dictate ideology; it are the masses who must adjust and compromise toward the Movement, not the other way around.
Another major philosophical, political, worldview split in the “movement” (besides the usual infighting between pan-Europeanists and Nordicists, atheists vs. Christians vs. pagans) is that between conservatives and radicals. The conservative school is exemplified by the HBD faction, by race-mixers who preach “working within the system” and who label those even slightly to their rights as “latrine flies,” Judeophilic conservatives who brag about all the “sweet” business deals they’ve consummated, and, of course, Jews like Michael Hart. Indeed, Hart’s vision is the archetype of the conservative “race-realist” worldview: a multiracial (!) “White separatist (sic!) state,” which would include Jews and Asians, with a ruling meme of HBD “race-realism”) (i.e., Jew/Asian IQ worship), excluding Negroes (but not much else), with a “laissez-faire” economic system (i.e., ethnocentric Jews and Asians using predatory capitalism to exploit Whites). Thus, the conservative “racialist” future is much like modern America, albeit with no Negroes, no social safety net, and a ruthless ruling elite of plutocratic Jeurasians.
The radicals on the other hand, fascists in the broad sense of the word, want a complete re-ordering of society, much greater racial homogeneity, and a rejection of the sort of plutocratic and aristocratic elites who’ve caused the race problem with their selfishness and utter stupidity. This group includes radical national socialists who take the “socialist” part of that political identity seriously, as well as the Codreanu school of thought, which made remaking men a pre-requisite to remaking society. The radicals do not want a superficial “quick fix,” but rather a more permanent rebirth of values and structures that will ensure that the same mistakes are not made over and over again. As is clear, Codreanu’s movement and its emphasis on the New Man, squarely sits among the radicals, and it must be note that, while rejecting communism, the Legion also rejected predatory capitalism and plutocracy, and fought for social justice and a “fair shake” for Romanian workers. Such terms as “social justice” and “rights for workers” would no doubt cast a chill on the conservatives and their “sweet deals,” and this helps to clarify some of the differences between the two groups.
On pages 254-59 of this edition are two sub-chapters by Codreanu entitled “Dangers That Threaten a Political Movement” and “The Critique of the Leader” – these pages alone are worth the cost of the entire book. Somehow, by writing about Romanian nationalism of the post-WWI period, Codreanu also envisioned and predicted the pathetic failures – and some of the reasons for those failures – of the American “movement” of the period 1945-Present. It’s all there – the inability to recognize and weed out infiltrators, agent provocateurs, incompetents, freaks, and defectives; the desperation for followers that means that anyone who meets the minimum criteria for membership and who professes any superficial allegiance is accepted into the very heart of the group, no questions asked; the inability to cut out/remove “gangrenous” elements before they infect the entire group; defects in character of leadership, leaders who are uninspiring, who do not know how to lead, who procrastinate and waste endless opportunities (how many Professor Cuzas have we had in the “movement”?) – the list goes on. Read those pages and you’ll recognize the American “movement” in all its tragicomic pitifulness. You’ll also recognize a number of “movement” blogs/websites that have been destroyed because of their inexplicable inability to recognize outright (in some cases, virtually self-declared) frauds and trolls, sites whose “accept one and all” attitude have led to the sorts of rampant infections Codreanu warned about in this book.
Also, starting on page 289 are two sub-chapters entitled “The Beginnings of Legionary Life” and “Our Program,” which are also of great value and are must reading. Of particular interest is that the Legionary Movement, as opposed to the “movement,” did not recruit. They simply established their way of living, performed their activities, and those attracted to that lifestyle, those drawn to the Legionary life, came to them. And, if of good character, they were accepted, and only of they performed up to standards and only of the Legionary life was acceptable to them, they were retained. And once accepted, once a part of the Legionary “nest,” the Legionary found himself in a comradely collectivist environment of like-minded persons following this way of living, not a rigid “Führer principle” “movement” garbage dump of freakishness, procrastination, and incompetence. Note I use the phrase “way of living” to describe the Legionary “program” because that is precisely what it was: not an “official program” of detailed policies and memes, no “movement” stupidities with their invented sci-fi/fantasy “racial histories,” calipers, “admixture ratios,” dumb mantras, defective memes, ideological frameworks as flimsy as a house of cards. The Legionary “program” was to create a new type of Romanian, a New Man, to act, to become, to exert leadership within the national community – not to collect a bunch of bozos calling themselves “Superhitler1488aryanbloodssmanlonewolfultranaziswastika88148814,” and/or folks with a documented history of mental illness, and/or obvious trolls with a documented history of blog-wrecking, or any other flotsam and jetsam of “movement” detritus, and then give these people “the keys to the kingdom” and then watch your blog flounder, your group files end up in the hands of “watchdog” groups, a quarter-century of “activism” yielding zero results, or any other typical “movement” outcome. Also, reading the Legion’s history, one notes for the record that many of their enemies and traitors ended up dead. Now, that last comment is not meant as any sort of advocacy to violence or any sort of thing, far from it – it is simply a statement of historical fact. Legionaries would sacrifice themselves – often on their own initiative – for the cause, and not by some moronic stupidity of shooting up a church or movie house, but by the specific targeting of their very public enemies. Again, that’s simply a statement of fact and not advocacy or promotion of anything. I also note that the more the “movement” talks about “eschewing defectives,” the more defectives of the types noted above are handed those keys and are welcomed with open arms. The “movement” is a joke; the Legionary Movement was of deadly seriousness.
I also note that the devoutly Christian Codreanu was forced to admit that mist Romanian priests were openly hostile to the vehemently pro-Christian Legionary Movement. The great love that Traditionalists have for Christianity is an unrequited love, indeed.
Toward the end of the book Codreanu wrote a critique of democracy that ranks with Yockey’s own fine analysis of that subject. Codreanu dissects the unsuitability of democracy to solve national problems and provide national leadership. He asserts that an elite, which rises based on ability and personal qualities, is required. How exactly is the elite chosen? If a national elite already exists, it must choose its successor, and do so by confirming for leadership those who have proven themselves worthy. What if there is no pre-existing nationalist elite? How does the process begin? Codreanu writes “the real elite is born out of war with the degenerate elite.” In other words, the founding elite of the national state is formed by those who have waged war against the degenerate elites of the anti-nationalists. Codreanu not only rejects democratically elected elites but, also (and interestingly from a movement that was so pro-monarchy) hereditary elites; indeed, Codreanu cogently observes that the replacement of an original elite of merit by elites of heredity (i.e., the original nobility earn their status through war and politics and then degenerates into a hereditary caste) is what caused the democratic revolutions to begin with. Analogous to my own statement that superiority must be earned and is not a birthright of any individual, group, or ethny, Codreanu proposes an elite of merit and ability, one that is rejuvenated by fresh blood each generation. Such analyses demonstrate that Codreanu the man of action was also a solid practical political theorist.
Codreanu also asserted that the movement must move on three levels: the individual, the national collective, and the nation throughout the ages, and each preceding level must accept the preeminence of the next highest level, with the nation over time (what we today would focus on as ethny or race) being of the highest level of importance.
Although I have come out in favor of so-called “democratic multiculturalism,” and I also agree with calls to use the judicial system against the System, reading Codreanu’s book reminds us that, ultimately, power prevails. Time and time again the Legionaries were in the right, sometimes doing nothing but building a home or growing vegetables in a garden, or holding a meeting for which they obtained official approval, and they were attacked, arrested, and beaten by the police and military authorities, and their perfectly legal meetings shut down (Tudor’s summary of the Legion’s history notes some examples, as does Codreanu’s letter to Prime Minister Vaiva-Voevod, the latter found in pages 428-32). In America (but not Europe), there is “freedom of speech” and “freedom of assembly,” but with anti-nationalist NGOs (often with government approval or even cooperation) repressing activism (how many conferences have been cancelled due to NGO pressures and threats?) and with social pricing, are we really any better off than Codreanu’s group? I can argue that we are worse off, since at least the Legionary Movement had the advantage of a sympathetic judiciary. Indeed, there were cases in which Codreanu and Mota actually shot people – Codreanu himself shot and killed a government official – and they were acquitted! Contrast that to, say, the legal persecution of an innocent and non-violent Matt Hale and we can indeed wonder if, even with all the persecutions of the Legion, we are in fact worse off than they were.
I would like to end by also saying that the additional explanations and histories given by Bolton and Tudor were useful contributions to this volume (in particular, Tudor’s summary, “The Doctrine of the Legion,” in pages 452-59), and, finally, that I was impressed by Codreanu himself, a man of action who was able to express practical political truths in a understandable manner, in the midst of his busy schedule of real-world on-the-ground activism.
“There is, among all those in various parts of the world who serve their people, a kinship of sympathy, as there is a kinship among those who labor for the destruction of peoples.” — Corneliu Codreanu