Originally, I had planned for this essay to be a response to Jack Donovan’s still relatively recent essay, “Why I Am Not a White Nationalist.” However, I’ve decided that this essay would work better if thought of as an extended discussion of a couple of the topics raised by Donovan’s essay, rather than as another open letter response aimed at Donovan himself. In part, this means it will only address a fraction of the things Donovan actually said.
Beyond the Buddy System
For the most part, the subtext of these arguments was not really “why I disagree with the premises of ethnonationalism” so much as it was “why I don’t personally want to buddy up with everyone who identifies as a White Nationalist.” Since Donovan’s entire political philosophy now appears to be “cracking open a cold one with the boys in the woods,” it makes sense why he would implicitly muddle the distinction in this way between what one’s political philosophy is and who one would like to buddy up with.
I don’t have to be ‘buddied up’ with everyone I want to form political alliances with. Indeed, the inability to form and negotiate political alliances with people who aren’t pals and bros is a kind of weakness. And it is a kind of weakness that will be bred out of the world by evolution, because groups that are capable of this will inevitably dominate groups that can’t. If the United States government were to turn against the Wolves of Vinland and try to wipe it out of existence, how long do you think the Wolves would survive? I think it would be reasonable to bet they wouldn’t last a week. And why is that?
It’s because the United States government is a larger entity than the Wolves. And the United States government is a larger entity than the Wolves because membership in it is based on shared dedication to common principles and goals as well as consent to the hierarchy of an overarching command structure—not whether or not everyone who joins the U.S. government wants to buddy up with each other. The U.S. government’s capacity for domination of fringe groups like the Wolves is, in and of itself, proof that political alliances built out of principle and extended hierarchy rather than “buddying up” will trump isolated, small–tribe “groups of buddies” every time.
In light of this, Donovan should ask himself why he’s in favor of forming groups of “buddy-based” tribes in the first place. Whatever answers he gives for why individuals should network together to form tribal groups will probably end up being the same exact reasons why those very tribal groups should network together to form larger political blocs.
I say this truly—I really do respect the inner core of the anarcho-primitivist instinct. If I had the choice to live in a thoroughly anarcho-primitivist world, I would be tempted to take it.
But in reality, the inevitable course of events is that tribes will either network into political blocs that grow to the scale of governments, or else they will be dominated by whatever other network of tribes manages to do so first. For a historical analysis of this aspect of the relationship between tribal warfare and the formation of ordered civilizations throughout history, Ian Morris’ War! What Is It Good For? Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots gets my highest possible recommendation. In short, this is the scenario that repeats on an endless cycle all over the world: individuals form into tribes, and these tribes either grow to the scale of governments that eventually rule over the other tribes—or else they end up dominated themselves because some other tribe built itself up to that level first. Like it or not, one’s tribe either “dominates” or grows to become “dominated.”
But as far as Jack Donovan personally goes, there isn’t much left for argument on this point to prove. Either a time will come within Donovan’s lifetime when his tribe needs a more extended network in order to protect itself against outside assaults from activist enemies ethnonationalists share in common—or there won’t. Either ethnonationalists will be organized enough to be able to usefully offer this kind of protection at that time—or they won’t. Either Donovan’s disavowal of the most crude “skinhead” types in the movement will help shift the Leftist bullseye off of his back, even if it doesn’t remove it completely—or it won’t.
Either way you go, these are all inconclusive predictions of the future; this is not a case where we can pontificate and produce “proof.” In the meantime, all any of us are doing is building our own personal projects while discussing them with our often separate, sometimes overlapping followings . . . and all of us, in our own ways, are ultimately trying to prepare for civilization to collapse. Should the collapse set in within our lifetimes, we’ll just have to see who makes it out given however the general situation will have changed by that time.
And on that point, there really isn’t anything left to be said. So this concludes the first point raised by Donovan’s essay that I thought there might be some value in discussing.
What if We Really are “Losers”?
The second point I thought there might be some value in discussing is Donovan’s suggestion that White Nationalism will fail because of White Nationalists. Throughout the essay, Donovan continually refers back to the most tired Left-liberal characterizations of what kinds of people “White Nationalists” supposedly are: men with “‘white pride’ tattooed on [their] chest[s]” who “theatrically claim to be proud of being white because it is usually the only thing they have going for them.” To be fair, this may very well describe Donovan’s personal encounters with self-professed “White Nationalists.” But to speak for myself, I’ve been involved with Counter-Currents for long enough to have accumulated a rather large pool of people I would call “White Nationalists,” and I’m quite certain I have literally never met a single one who had “white pride” tattooed either on their chests or otherwise.
In fact, most “White Nationalists” I know would look down on anyone who has any tattoos at all—Richard Spencer thinks tattoos are degenerate, for example. For this new generation, “white pride” isn’t something “white supremacists” boast about, it’s just what regular old milquetoast conservatives who read outlets like Breitbart or The Blaze try to ironically (and ineffectually) throw back in the face of liberals when the topic of black or Mexican pride comes up. The average “White Nationalists” of the younger generations today are likely educated enough to be familiar with findings from the field of biosocial criminology showing that genes do indeed have an influence on the propensity to criminal behavior, probably turned in the direction that led them towards ethnonationalism after liberal researcher Robert Putnam finally published his results showing the negative impacts of diversity brought by immigration on community trust, hate drugs and porn and promiscuity, desperately want to build wholesome families, and are genuinely afraid to reveal their views to their peers.
The nature of the “movement” (such as it is) is changing rapidly, and part of the issue here may simply be that Jack Donovan has relatively more contact with the older breed of “White Nationalists” that most people in the new generation only know from cheesy stereotypes.
Either way, this finally brings me to the second point I want to discuss.
If White Nationalists were losers, just what would that prove?
Let’s grant it just for the sake of the argument: let’s assume 100% of people who identify as “White Nationalists” are “losers” in a broad sense.
Well, one could make a similar argument about welfare. According to your definition, you could say that most or all people who rely on welfare to survive are “losers,” in the sense that they would literally “lose” without welfare because they can’t stand on their own feet (or else they wouldn’t be on it in the first place). But what would liberals think about an argument that said that welfarism is dumb because people on welfare are “losers”? Certainly they would recognize it as a non sequitur: so maybe they are “losers”—does that mean we should let them starve in the streets? “Not so fast,” they’d respond.
Let’s step back for a moment.
Within any given race, all traits are distributed along bell curves.
On the one hand, this means it will always be true that keeping groups with different bell curves separate will lead to more social cohesion than mixing them willy nilly—as is validated by the literature on diversity and social cohesion that began with the previously mentioned research from liberal Robert Putnam.
On the other hand, it also entails that there will always be a minority of outliers in any given group who actually are more similar to the average member of a different group than they are to the average member of their own.
These minorities will always exist. But because of—you know—the very meaning of the word “average,” it follows that they will also always be in the minority. So even if not all admixture leads directly to reduced social cohesion, a totally segregated society would still always be more cohesive than a totally integrated society.
Now, suppose you live in an area like Palo Alto, California. The average rent in Palo Alto is almost $2,800 for a single bedroom apartment, and these expenses keep out anyone who can’t afford to pay. As it turns out, one’s IQ predicts one’s future wealth better than one’s wealth predicts one’s future IQ scores. This means if there are some groups with low average IQs and low wealth, then someone who lives in Palo Alto will have experiences almost exclusively with the outliers from that group—the few that are unlike most of the rest of them. A similar point would go for a black man whose only experiences with white men are in underground rap battle scenes: such an environment would inherently select for white men who are more extroverted, aggressive, and impulsive than the white male average; and this particular black man could end up as a result with an inaccurate idea of what most white men are really like as a result.
In other words, smart and successful whites who dismiss the “racism” of lower IQ whites who decry the negative effects of diversity because those whites aren’t as smart or successful as others might be rather like the tallest man in the room mocking everyone around him for drowning while the room they’re in begins to flood, dismissing them because he thinks they’re too short to have a valid opinion. It turns out that actually experiencing diversity also predicts one’s holding a negative view of it. Evidence like this suggests that it is much more often those who haven’t experienced as much diversity who imagine that its effects on a community are better than they really are, than it is those who haven’t lived around large members of other races who expect they would find the experience to be less enjoyable than they really would.
And IQ helps predict one’s experiences with diversity. When more successful whites enter diverse areas, they inevitably end up “gentrifying” them. And guess what happens when middle and upper class regions full of successful whites grow increasingly diverse? “White flight”. This deserves repetition for emphasis: do more successful, higher IQ whites stay or go when regions grow more diverse? As a matter of fact, they go. As regions grow more diverse, very large numbers of those whites who can leave in fact do. Thus, more successful whites never have to think about the idea of ethnonationalism, for exactly the same reason they never have to think about food stamps and other forms of welfare.
While it is absurd that this simultaneous condemnation of “gentrification” and “white flight” leaves successful whites damned if they do and damned if they don’t, whether they stay or they go (in other words, if they do just about anything other than give all their money away to blacks as one Baltimore professor insists or else just plain drop dead), there is truth to the fact that both these phenomena imply forms of “privilege”: successful whites rarely, if ever, have to experience any form of “diversity” that doesn’t entail skimming the cream of the crop off of outside groups while staying safely sequestered away from the rest. Less successful whites aren’t so lucky—as successful whites move away, they get left behind. Thus, it is actually less successful whites who end up acquainted with what multiculturalism actually is like, in the real world, for most people, most of the time. Should they be forced to live in increasingly stratified communities because someone thinks they aren’t intelligent enough to be worth caring about?
Are they really just too dumb to deserve cohesive communities to live in?