This essay was originally a talk delivered to The New York Forum on Sunday, March 26, 2017.
I had an interesting conversation the other night with an old friend of mine who has been involved in one way or another with our movement since he was in high school. We were discussing the dramatic changes that have taken place in just the last several years. We spoke of the rise of the Alt Right and its presence on YouTube and Facebook, and the influx of younger, in-shape, socially-functional Right Wingers who are fast replacing the old, socially dysfunctional weirdos who used to dominate the Far Right as recently as ten years ago.
And then, of course, we talked about the extraordinary events of just the past year: Brexit and the Trump victory. And the Left’s apparent descent into stark raving madness. Like me, my friend finds the latter to be terribly amusing and gratifying. But he surprised me when he confessed that, on another level, he found it somewhat frightening. This was surprising to me because his feelings are my own – and I thought perhaps I was the only one. The only one of us who has found the Left’s recent antics not just amusing but downright ominous.
He said to me, “I feel like if Trump fails, if he’s driven from office or not re-elected, and if the Left gets back in they are going to pull out all the stops. They are going to make damned sure that something like this never happens again. They will shut us all down. They will shut down all the sites. They will pass laws that will criminalize what we write and say.” He got quiet for a few seconds, then said, probably thinking of his wife and children, “I believe it’s a real possibility that I could go to jail.”
Now, my friend is given to negativity. Extreme negativity, as a matter of fact. But his basic point is absolutely correct. Right now it looks like we’re on a roll. As I’ve argued elsewhere, it looks like we are part of a World Historical Trend rightwards, and that Leftist ideas are on the way out. Hurrah! And yet this happiest and most thrilling of times – for us – is actually fraught with tremendous danger. Danger such as we have never faced before.
For many years we were living lives of relative safety and security. Protected by the First Amendment, we could sit in the comfort of our living rooms and fire off Right-wing screeds on the Internet; mad prophets denouncing the hypocrisies of our times. Doxing was the only real danger, and so long as we used phony names and carefully covered our tracks, we could rest fairly easy. Most of us spoke out because we felt we had to. Our anger was too great not to find expression, our righteous indignation too great to allow us to remain silent. And yet most of us, let’s be honest, thought we were just pissing in the wind, and that the West and the race were probably doomed.
But now all this. All this winning. All this hope. And: all this unhinged fury that has been unleashed against us. Fury that has begun expressing itself as violence.
My friend said more. He said, “I’ve had this shock of recognition. For years I thought these Leftists were full of crap. I thought some of them were honestly mistaken, and some were dishonest. I actually liked some of them on a personal level, though I thought they were a pernicious influence. Mostly I just thought they were ridiculous. But now something has shifted. The masks have fallen away and now I realize – I know who these people are. I recognize them. We’ve seen them before. These ridiculous weaklings demanding safe spaces and whining on and on about hateful words, these folks in pussy hats with purple hair freely selecting from among fifty-two genders are in reality the same people who sent dissenters off to the Gulag, or confined them to psychiatric hospitals. The same people who operated the Great Purge, and the Cultural Revolution.”
My friend spoke the truth. Our harmless Left-wing freaks are anything but. In fact, they are monsters seething with a boundless hatred born of Nietzschean ressentiment. They are defectives aligned against life and truth; and no act, no strategy, no lie is beneath them in their quest to avoid at all costs being faced with reality – and in their quest to eradicate strength, and health, and beauty, and hierarchy, and rectitude, and spiritual virility. If anything, our little snowflakes have the potential to be far worse than Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Castro – men who were monsters, but who weren’t twisted little asswipes consumed with hatred of the good for being the good.
To be clear, we are talking about the kind of people who were responsible for sixty-five million deaths in China, twenty million in the Soviet Union, two million in Cambodia, two million in North Korea, one million in the Eastern Bloc; forced labor; deliberate, man-made famines; the most oppressive censorship ever visited upon mankind; mass surveillance of anyone and everyone; re-education camps; forced confessions; children encouraged to rat on their parents and send them off to a firing squad. And I could go on.
Yes, it’s them again. They’re back. Really, they’ve never been away. They just seemed like human beings because, until very recently, they thought they were achieving their goals through the system, peacefully: through the two parties, through legislation, through the courts, through the media, through the schools. But they overplayed their hand. The Left thought they had it all sewn up. Remember: on her side, Clinton and the Left had virtually every polling agency, every major paper, most news channels, Hollywood, the entire educational system from kindergarten to graduate school, and the support of every former President. And still they lost. This is a huge, stinging rebuke. An enormous defeat.
And now they are, to put it mildly, freaking out. They see that history is trending against them. Ordinary working-class and middle-class white people weren’t the mindless pawns the Left thought they were. All the propaganda, all the re-education classes, all the skewed polls didn’t work. The Real Americans, the people of the south and the heartland and the rustbelt and elsewhere, cast the Left out using the political system the Left thought they controlled. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what the Left will see they have to do next: abandon civility and dialogue and circumvent the democratic process. Using every form of cunning and deviousness, however base. And resorting to violence. This is inevitable. Indeed, we have seen that it is already happening.
So, whence comes the title of my talk? What does this have to do with the “League of Shadows”? Well, first I assume you know what the League of Shadows is. It figures in the first Christopher Nolan Batman movie, Batman Begins. As a young man, Bruce Wayne is recruited by the mysterious League of Shadows, whose headquarters is on top of a mountain in the Himalayas. It is there that Wayne learns the skills that he uses as Batman.
Led by the mysterious Ra’s al Ghul, the League is devoted to fighting against evil, in the name of truth and justice and order. But it fights outside the system. For it sees the system as corrupt. The League trains both the bodies and minds of its recruits. They learn how to fight and how to survive under all conditions. They learn how to control their minds and their emotions. They learn to confront their deepest fears. And they dedicate themselves to a strict code of living.
As Trevor Lynch put it in his article on Batman Begins:
The League follows the Traditional teaching that history moves in circles, beginning with a Golden Age and declining into a Dark Age, which then collapses and gives place to a new Golden Age. The mission of the League of Shadows is to appear when a civilization has reached the nadir of decadence and is about to fall – and then give it a push. (Needless to say, they do not have a website or a Facebook page. Nor can one join them by sending in a check.)
Lynch makes the argument that the League of Shadows is a Traditionalist organization with a capital T – in the sense of Guénon and Evola’s Traditionalism. And if you have seen the film, you know that eventually Bruce Wayne rejects the League, who then become the film’s villains, bent on destroying Gotham City (on the Nietzschean principle Lynch alludes to, “that which is falling we should push”). But let us set this disappointing plot detail aside. For us, the League is, or ought to be, an inspiration. When I first saw the film, oh how I wished that the League of Shadows existed and that I could climb that mountain and join up. But the truth is, it does exist. At least potentially.
And so I am here to tell you that I speak for Ra’s al Ghul. And that you are all now members of the League of Shadows. You are members because, in fact, you cannot be anything but. If you are serious about this movement, you’ve got to see very clearly where things are headed, and you’ve got to accept that, and you’ve got to prepare for it.
We must keep squarely in mind at all times that we are outsiders. We are dissidents. We are revolutionaries. We are not Republicans and we are not Trumpites. Sure, Trump is a good thing. But that’s because he is a step on the way to something. A lot could be said here, but the essence of it is this: for us, Trump is good because his victory is evidence of increased white racial consciousness. Our goal is not Trump’s goal. Our goal is not to save America but, really, to replace it with something else. Our goal is the preservation of our people in white homelands on this continent and in Europe. Over here, that almost certainly cannot be achieved without a drastic restructuring of the country and its political system.
We are all still reeling from the Left’s ridiculously false accusations that Trump is a racist. But despite how off-base they are, it is important to see that Leftists are, in a way, onto something here. They have correctly seen that Trump is a powerful gateway drug to White Nationalism. They have just taken a gigantic leap to the non sequitur that this means Trump himself is a White Nationalist. They see very clearly where all this could end up. And they are not going to give up without a very dirty fight.
So, if you understand the Left’s perspective, and if you stay focused on what our actual goals are, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that this is not going to be settled peacefully, by debate or legislation or winning elections. Again, the Left is already resorting to violence.
And so what we must do is to prepare. We must prepare mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Mentally, our recent victories must not lead us to warm to the system, or to become unrealistic about what is left to do in order to achieve our long-term goals. We must never lose sight of the fact that, as I’ve said, we are outsiders, we are dissidents. It would be helpful to finally divest ourselves even of the idea that we are Americans. (This was the point of my recent essay, “I Keep Forgetting That I’m Not an American.”)
Try waking up every morning and thinking this. Say it in front of the mirror as you don your League of Shadows ninja costume. You’ll be needing one of those, by the way. It is genuinely useful to think of oneself as someone who lives apart. Someone who lives his life with a vertical orientation toward a mission, which must become life’s ultimate purpose.
Nothing is more important than the mission of saving our people and our culture. Few of us can live like Greg Johnson, to name just one person whose sole job is the movement. But we can come to see our mundane jobs, and everything else in our lives – such as eating and sleeping and cutting our hair short and trimming our nails – as valuable, because it makes possible whatever we can do for the movement: coming to gatherings like this, writing for Counter-Currents and other sites, working to redpill promising normies, or at the very least making some small financial contribution to those who have made the movement their sole concern in life.
And that vertical orientation must also involve a commitment to live by higher standards than the humanoids around us. We must live our lives as if we are living in that bright future we are working to bring about, that uninverted world where up will no longer be down and wrong will no longer be right.
Try saying goodbye to irony. Try meaning what you say. Try being as pure as possible – in what you say and think, in how you entertain yourself, in what you watch and what you read and what you listen to, and who you hang around with, and what you put into your body. And as for the body, we have to train that, too. Because, again, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that things are going to get ugly. Very ugly. And certainly within most of our lifetimes. A year ago – just a year ago – I didn’t think that. Now I do. So, we have to get strong and we have to learn how to handle ourselves. Lift weights or at least get in shape somehow. Train jiu-jitsu, or take an MMA class, or a boxing class. Learn how to shoot. At the very least, learn some basic ways to defend yourself. And learn the legalities of defending yourself, under the present system.
Now, just so you don’t misunderstand me: I’m not suggesting that you should get violent. I’m not suggesting you go out and do something stupid. I’m just saying this: my friends, it’s hitting the fan. And we have to be prepared for the worst.
We have to become the League of Shadows, on standby readiness. The Reserve League of Shadows, if you will. We have to learn now that things have suddenly gotten very real.
We live in a time of tremendous upheaval and rapid change. Change that has taken all of us by surprise. Events are unfolding rapidly and, as I’ve said, our enemies will stop at nothing and they will not hesitate to do the worst. We have to be in a state of readiness each day. Because the call to action – the call to become fully-fledged members of the League of Shadows – is probably going to come sooner than any of us thinks.