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Honorable Defeatists

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Why do people engage in self-defeating behaviors?

Why, for instance, do people ugly themselves up with blue hair dye, unflattering clothes, and irreversible fashion mistakes like tattoos and piercings? Why do they behave in rude and obnoxious manners: speaking loudly, swearing like sailors, invading other people’s physical and psychological space?

Why do people sabotage personal, political, and business relationships by picking fights? Regardless of whether these fights are over trivial or serious matters, they are usually disputed with an intensity far above what is warranted by the pretext.

Why do White Nationalists take a doctrine that is grounded in philosophy, science, and common sense; verified by empirical studies, world history, and the daily news; and universally true and good—and insist on linking it to esoteric and extraneous ideas, for instance: National Socialism, holocaust revisionism, pseudo-history and myth, religions of all sorts, dubious conspiracies, etc.? I can grant that many of these topics are legitimate and interesting in their own right, but the question is whether they are essential to creating white ethnostates. I think not.

I would like to offer a theory. My first premise is that people like to think well of themselves. My second premise is that losing makes people feel bad about themselves. Therefore, people try to avoid defeat, and when that is impossible, they try to salvage their self-respect by telling themselves a story, e.g., that they were cheated, that how you play the game is more important than winning, that they will finally win under Communism or in heaven, and the like.

 

Dalí, Metamorphosis of Narcissus

On these premises, it is hard to explain self-defeating behavior, because defeat feels bad, and we try to avoid feeling bad. There is, however, an important difference between defeating yourself and being defeated by others. When others defeat you, you not only lose, you lose control. When you defeat yourself, you may lose, but you remain in control. Self-defeat, therefore, feels better than simple defeat, because it preserves our sense of agency and efficacy, which are part of our self-esteem.

But victory still feels better than self-defeat, so why choose self-defeat rather than victory? Of course, victory cannot be assured, but self-defeat can. Is the self-defeatist so intolerant of uncertainty that he prefers certain disaster to possible victory? This seems utterly perverse, but still within the realm of possibility.

There is, however, a far more plausible explanation. I think people engage in self-defeating behavior because they have already accepted the inevitability of defeat, so they are simply trying to salvage their self-worth by taking control of the process, thus preserving their sense of agency and power. Having already pronounced themselves losers, they resolve to be beautiful losers. Thus they seize upon virtuous-seeming hills to die on.

For instance, unattractive people can maximize their chances in the sexual and economic marketplaces by developing skills, staying fit, dressing nicely, and comporting themselves with dignity. But if they feel that they are doomed to lose, they will ugly themselves up—telling themselves that this makes them “rebels” and “non-conformists” fighting against oppressive and merely arbitrary and conventional notions of beauty and decorum.

People who are convinced that their relationships are doomed to failure will sabotage them by picking fights over virtuous-seeming pretexts.

White Nationalists who believe that our cause is lost will try to crash the movement with no survivors by insisting that their esoteric, extraneous, and marginalizing fixations are of essential importance, or by demanding levels of ideological, moral, and racial purity that repulse normal people and consume vast energies in infighting and “purity spiraling.”

Now I am perfectly willing to grant that there are people with the purest of motives who rebel against convention, demolish relationships, and declare that they would rather lose with their principles intact. But speaking for myself, I am afraid that for a very long stretch of my life, such behavior was rooted in the conviction that failure was inevitable and the only way to salvage my self-respect was to go down with band playing and flag flying. And the only way that I discovered and extirpated this pattern of thinking was to start doubting my motives and my moralism. Most of you could do with a bit of self-doubt as well.

White Nationalists love to mock conservatives as “beautiful losers,” but it makes sense that we have many of the same self-defeating behaviors. First, many of us come from the conservative world and still carry that baggage. Second, White Nationalism is a much more radical viewpoint than conservatism, so to us things look much worse and victory seems much farther way. Thus it is natural to be pessimistic. But the root of most of our movement’s dysfunction is the conviction that defeat is inevitable. White Nationalists will be a lot more civil, serious, and effective when we start imagining winning for a change.

 

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25 Comments

  1. Eirik B.
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 3:52 am | Permalink

    Interesting article. For me this illustrates perfectly the very foundational difference between the American “Right” and the European “right. Where we are constantly reminded of our spiritual and ancestral connection to our homelands via the daily sight of standing stones, gravemounds, rune stones and the symbols of our people – you in the USA see enterprise and settlement. Not a whole lot else. That may sound patronising but it is not intended in that way, it’s a simple fact that our ideas are formed by the surroundings and our surroundings reach back to the beginning of our peoples. We are connected to these things in a very real sense. Therefore it is only natural that Europeans feel drawn to much more ‘symbolic’ and organic ideas where the concern is not simply for “a nice white neighbourhood with a nice white school” but the very soul of our tribe.

    You say holocaust revisionism is not essential to the cause of a white ethno state, I say you are mistaken. The holocaust is the one single event more than any other that is used to justify the ethnic replacement in Europe and used as a stick to shut down credible opposition, in the media or the sphere of politics and simply in peoples daily lives. Dismantling this destroys much.

    • Hibiscus
      Posted February 27, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      That is a great reply. I agree that the native peoples of Europe have a constant reminder of their roots in their land and fellows. These roots have been deliberately poisoned and starved by, I believe, the same sort of thinking that protects the holocaust. That the EU can state Britain’s natives are not indigenous (for purposes of protecting the culture and lands) is pure multikulti. Perhaps also the Whites are a deeper thinking and more internally diverse peoples and this is one of our survival traits – a double edged sword, obviously.

  2. Marcus Boechat
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    The Christian right represents a natural ally to White nationalism-not that they would ever openly admit to the alliance. When we as a movement finally and openly in large numbers demand redress as the dominant “Identity group” we will materially gain in strength. Our chief aim should be to overturn the 1965 immigration law replacing it with fair % representation for the founding and still majority peoples of America.As Ann Coulter said: If we lose on immigration we lose everything.
    I think our movement is ripe for political manifestation.Mark

  3. Leon Haller
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Good article, but perhaps the ultimate self-defeating behavior for American WNs is to attack Christianity, which Dr. Johnson does frequently. Of course, he is free to be an atheist, and I a Christian. We can both think the other a fool, and still unite to advance White causes.

    But insofar as there are a LOT more White Christians in the US than WNs, and especially WN atheists, if Dr. Johnson’s goal is to advance White interests, it would be far more strategically astute for him to stress the commonalities between the Faith and the Race, or at least to mute his atheism, than to make smug comments blithely assuming the falsehood of Christianity, or the secularism of his White audience.

    I am recalling something about “motes and beams”.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted February 3, 2017 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for your concern trolling. I guess you believe Christianity really can only function in an environment in which people walk on eggshells and pull their punches.

      • Leon Haller
        Posted February 4, 2017 at 12:17 am | Permalink

        Not at all. Merely that White interests are not advanced by insulting people’s faith – which happens to be the majoritarian faith of the historic White race. A White advocacy or nationalism which is anti-Christian will never go anywhere outside of a nationwide crisis shaking the very political foundations of society, such as obtained in the Weimar regime, whose fundamental instability (and arguably illegitimacy) was the only environment within which the NSDAP could operate and hope to triumph (and it still took backroom political maneuvering to secure Hitler his Chancellorship), or else in the artificial environment of a prison yard. I assure you, America may well collapse eventually, but it will never be Weimar.

        White advocates have a long road involving constant consciousness raising among people who are not immediately disposed to being pro-White. As I argued to the clueless Alex Linder some years ago (well before Trump appeared), the ONLY possible base for WN advance is Middle America – and MA, especially its conservatives who are the ones amenable to pro-White rationality, is heavily Christian. Trust me, vastly greater numbers of these persons care far more about their relationship to Christ than about preserving the White race. The cause of the White man is just, and can be made to seem so to normal Christians. But start off insulting their outlook, and you do nothing but alienate them. That is beyond stupid (especially in America).

        Intelligent advocacy towards those who should be supporting White interests starts by stressing commonalities, not immediately triggering theological disputes. More broadly, if WN does not find a way to coopt large numbers of White Christians, it will continue to go nowhere in real politics. Is Trump truly a Christian? I have no idea. But note how he sure knows and does what he must do to secure their votes.

        • Greg Johnson
          Posted February 4, 2017 at 6:33 am | Permalink

          There is a difference between principled and civil disagreement and “insulting people’s faith.” Of course, there are people who are insulted simply by the fact that you don’t agree with them. I see no reason to pander to that kind of childishness.

        • Norman
          Posted February 5, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

          While it is certainly to no good purpose arguing religion, or alienating Christians (I’m one), it would be helpful to see specific citations of Greg Johnson’s “insults” … but no matter.

          Leon Haller’s point is worth addressing, because the advocating of advocacy — promoting the conscious solicitation of White Christians — seems to rest on an assumption that WN must maximize its numbers, and quickly; that expanding to become the most massivest mass movement possible is somehow desireable or necessary to achieving ultimate goals. This positon is conflating mass support with political power, mistaking selling for gaining. I have to question that.

          The long-term effort of a group toward gaining political power is marked by periodic expansion and contraction of its own members, and the inner core must stay in synch with that dynamic, must be able to ride its good and its ill. Hence — hyperbole maybe — Heil-gate might be seen as analogous to the splitting of the Bolshevik and Menshevik factions, ultimately a very good thing (for Lenin’s team, that is). Alienating the alt-light at this juncture might be exactly what needs to happen, and not only because it is inevitable.

          Numbers-wise, there may be a historical lesson in examining the decriminalization (Edict of Milan, 313 AD), and state patronage of Christianity under the Emperor Constantine. There is no real evidence of vast numbers of Christian adherents, or mass conversions, or any Christian-driven shakeup in politics or demographics prior to that edict. Nor is there any indication that the Emperor himself was influenced or “converted” by numbers, vis-a-vis realpolitik. It is the imaginative presumption of mass-minded moderns (I myself am often guilty of this) that only by virtue of its mass-ness can something be viable, valid or successful. In history however, I think the horse very seldom follows the cart.

          Leadership requires a capable, loyal and lean core, plus luck, timing, and genius in the ability to read and adapt to ebb and flow. The word is dynamism, and it is never served well by marketing-think. Look at the state of our glorious two-party system as a negative example.

  4. August
    Posted February 2, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Which doctrine is universally true and good?

  5. Peter Quint
    Posted February 2, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    “Therefore, people try to avoid defeat, and when that is impossible, they try to salvage their self-respect by telling themselves a story, e.g., that they were cheated, that how you play the game is more important than whether you win, that they will finally win under Communism or in heaven, and the like.”

    What you have described above is called rationalization. I have formulated four traits one must possess if they are going to function, and survive in modern society. They are as follows:

    1. Rationalizing; if you cannot rationalize wrongs, and trespasses against one’s person you will eventually self destruct. An example of rationalizing would be, “They will get theirs, I may not be around to see it, but what goes around, comes around.”

    2. Forgetting; if you cannot forget the many wrongs, and trespasses that occur to your person during your lifetime, you will self-destruct.

    3. Narcissism; you have to have an interest in yourself; you must believe that you are of consequence, that you matter.

    4. Vanity; you have to care about your appearance, not so much as for making a favorable impression on others, rather you are armoring-up, bracing yourself to face the day.

    Jews injected self-defeatist behavior into the media to provide a pop-off valve for the pressure of modern society. The Jews do not want people to sit down and rationally think why their existence sucks; critical thinking skills must be destroyed. That is why the government imports drugs; that is why alcohol is readily available; the individual must be afforded the opportunity to self-destruct. How many movies have we seen where the protagonist drinks excessively, takes drugs, and mars their bodies? They are portrayed as so “deep,” so “complex;” we could never understand them. Usually this individual ends up with a beautiful girl with a nightingale complex that wants to save them. It is all part of what I call “whole-life conditioning,” which starts with kindergarten, and church and ends in the grave.

    • Hibiscus
      Posted February 27, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Yes, you are right. You can include revising our history, debasing our culture, debasing our childrens stories, ruining our holidays. All in all, they have done a great job and we seem to have been gulled into going along. How the hell do you refresh our roots. The “roots” substituted by the “left” (I say left for brevity) are rotten and stunt us. Are we Whites really so stupid and lacking in loyalty to our heritage? I can state strongly enough how much I hate to see us drunken and drugged by TV, substances and ideology, but there you have it, reality.

  6. Norman
    Posted February 1, 2017 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    White Nationalists who believe that our cause is lost will try to crash the movement with no survivors by insisting that their esoteric, extraneous, and marginalizing fixations are of essential importance, or by demanding levels of ideological, moral, and racial purity that repulse normal people and consume vast energies in infighting and “purity spiraling.”

    Yes, Sir.

    And you may go ahead and assume that a good many will not even be aware that they believe the cause is lost, which is why a structured community, with leadership, mentorship, and tradition are so urgently needed.

    A myth is only as effective and worthy as it is “transparent to transcendence,” to quote Campbell. People require stories, myth, ritual, imagery, symbol, just as they require water, fresh air and sunshine. Though laden with implications, the term “esoteric” really only describes the indescribable mechanisms by which these things effect change and enhancements in one’s life, in one’s heart and mind.

    The myth has to be “lived” so to speak, brought forth, unfolded, not only known about or merely believed in. This bringing forth and unfolding could be religious practice, but it isn’t important to nail it down by such a word (excuse the metaphor). And it is by no means a rational process.

    But the rational mind (intellectus) can and must be developed, employed as a tool, as an elevated means (νοῦς) to ends much greater than one can know, to bring the highest aspirations of the individual and of the group to fruition.

    If this sounds preachy or flghty, simply invert it, and you have the solipsistic self-defeat described in the above quote, as well as boundless self-obsession and nihilism, i.e. the sickness of the default position of those whites that seek to dispossesses all whites.

    If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.

  7. Randy
    Posted February 1, 2017 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    On the question of why Holocaust revisionism. Maybe if you had German ancestry you would see it differently. To me it is not just an interesting side issue but a slander that is murdering the German people.

  8. Posted February 1, 2017 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    A powerful and challenging article. Should be essential reading in our schools of the future.

  9. Damian
    Posted February 1, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    I think this article is good!!! I think it is dumb that people promote esoteric things when the average person doesn’t even understand the implications liberal policies in the first place! I also think that your comment about Holocaust revisionism is so true: even if a white person believes in the Holocaust, they can still be a racial realist and want separation. My only disagreement in this article was considering “racial purity” as one of those detriments. I want to save/preserve the European genome. Genetic interests, I believe, are in our best interests to save our potential, our facial features, and pretty much everything else we hold sacred. Plus, genetically we are so unique. Anyone who studies the great history of Europe will come to that conclusion if they truly care about white people. I just don’t start want mixed people becoming citizens into our ethnostate when we build it. We can encourage mixed people to make their own states, and we could encourage solidarity with them.

    • Leon Haller
      Posted February 3, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      I think he was referring to arcane disputes about Who is More (or Truly) White. My definition:

      If a man looks White, acts White, desires to preserve White, and fights White, he’s White. Anything else, esp in the USA, and we need to be careful. I have family members with Amer. Indian blood who have been here probably a lot longer than you have. Purists would be fools to read them out of the White movement on that account.

      • Damian
        Posted February 7, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        I am not saying they can’t help us in our struggle. We can help other races for their own countries. My point is that we need to preserve the European genome. If we tolerate mixed individuals within our new ethnostate, why should biracial children be rejected ? I think that if we set standard we can survive but I don’t see any reason why miscegenation should be outlawed if we allow mixed individuals into our new separate state in the future. Why can’t African Americans be accepted into white nationalism ? They European ancestry afterall. The easiest solution is quite often the best: just accept White people with no recent admixture as citizens. It makes everything easier.

  10. Petronius
    Posted February 1, 2017 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    I totally agree with this article, but there are other dimensions to this behaviour or inclinations to consider. I’d say that there are many that are attracted to WN or generally right wing politics and meta-politics precisely because of their fascination for those “esoteric and extraneous ideas” in the first place. For many people, mere rational or common sense grounds are not enough. They need “something to dream” as Alex Kurtagic put it, who argued the other way round: Because facts, science and philosophy don’t suffice to move deep inside, there is a need of a myth, a metaphysics, a bigger narrative or even a religion. As his own particular case shows, that can lead just to fringe confinement, as few people will be attracted by his particular, rather somber taste of Miguel Serrano esoterism, Yockeyan fascism, macabre aesthetics or Black Metal.

  11. Insert username here
    Posted February 1, 2017 at 3:55 am | Permalink

    Good article. It’s not just leftist infiltrators or government agents provocateur who are behind these behaviours. Many Nationalists in the past were are used to being out in the cold – blanked by the media and espousing views that the majority of the public found irrelevant or extreme or obscurantist – so many who survived over the years were perhaps cranky individualists who attracted people who had a particular axe to grind or who were outcasts or misfits.
    These people, sadly, were the ones that media focused in on.
    Some people like going down in a blaze of glory, others maybe are state agents I’m sure there are lots of reasons for this behaviour and I’m keen to work it out too.

    The media are desperate to smear Trump and will jump on any transgressions amongst our community in order to use it as a lever to try to stop anti immigration measures in the US. This is exactly the time when infiltrators or state agents will reveal themselves as distinct from the genuine but nutty nationalists.
    Among the worst behaviours – if not actual sabotage – I have seen in recent times has been the hacking of fax machines to send out swastikas and crude anti-Semitic messages and threats to rape children. Not only were those episodes seemingly designed to make us look as bad as possible, they were also an incredible missed opportunity.

    • Michael Bell
      Posted February 1, 2017 at 5:10 am | Permalink

      You are obviously referring to Weev’s epic printer hack. His message didn’t encourage the rape of children, so you’re being disingenuous here. I definitely take issue with using the term “White Supremacist” as the message did, but to argue that this act was a net negative for our Cause is off the mark. When young people see others speaking truth to authority in this way, it attracts them. When the more sane college students started to see their SJW peers going apoplectic over the swastica flyers, many of them probably started to think “Gee, Nazism might actually be kinda cool.” Then they start logging into /pol/. Then they start reading the Daily Stormer. Then they end up on Radix, Vdare, and Counter Currents.

      We should not be engaging in this sort of thing every single day, but it has a place in our movement. Plus, I feel that we have every right to take liberties in causing psychological harm to Leftists for the years of social engineering and silencing that they’ve waged on us.

      • Petronius
        Posted February 1, 2017 at 7:08 am | Permalink

        I think weev is a good example of what Greg Johnson is talking about. He apparently has long since descended into probably black-pill-based nihilism and a self-serving pleasure for destruction and offense. He is The Joker among White Nationalists.

      • mark miller
        Posted February 1, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        I think it’s been addressed at times, but how much daylight is there between CounterCurrents and Radix/Spencer? Is it really an egregious error to consider Jared/Johnson/Spencer (in no particular order) a trinity? If there are major points of contention (beyond the JQ), I managed to miss them.

  12. Hermes Diaktoros
    Posted February 1, 2017 at 3:47 am | Permalink

    “Before you can win, you first have to believe you are worthy.”
    ~ Mike Ditka

    Everyone loses sometimes. Chronic, self-sabotaging life-losers are different. They are externally manifesting their preexisting belief in their lack of worth.

  13. R_Moreland
    Posted February 1, 2017 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    “Behold, my son, with what little wisdom the world is ruled.” ― Count Axel Oxenstierna

    “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” ― Marcus Aurelius

    Too many people – maybe a majority – are irrational. Look at the suicidal behaviors of liberals and many conservatives today.

    The critical thing is for White Nationalists to remain sane. By being the only adults left standing, victory can be seized.

  14. Frederik Jürgen
    Posted February 1, 2017 at 3:13 am | Permalink

    Esoteric doctrines, conspirational myths and so on serve a purpose of forming a common narrative, a common ground for any movement. Man is a rational being and his ratio needs to be preoccupied. This is for example the reason that Marxism of any variation has been so extremely successful even in western academia. The old-rightist theorems were not able to win in the intellectual battle against Marxism or liberalism, which is why there were whole fields of study which died out after WWII.

    Man is not only a rational being, but man also needs an aim, end, telos. Since the enlightenment, this aim has basically been ultimate freedom. The Gnostic idea of waging war against the demiurge had been translated onto the material plane with the evil demiurge variously identified as capitalists, Jews or mysogonists, homophobes or islamophobes. Dyeing your hair blue, piercing your nipples and splitting your tongue in two are statements that mean that you do not accept the status quo, this earthly prison and that you will rebel. This rebellion is for the most part esoteric, with the aforementioned the exoteric manifestations. The rebels of today have no other way to show their rebellion other than mutilating their own bodies, since the big rebellious movements, NS and Marxism are dead and gone. And here is the point where we return to the need for esoteric doctrines and so forth: Man needs a means to interpret himself and his actions.

    What White Nationalism needs therefore is not only a coherent theory with crystal clear axioms, but also a strong leadership which does not shy away from imposing order and channeling these energies into a common direction.

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