I’m sure I’m heavily biased because of the fact that this is only my second real-world appearance in association with the movement after reporting on Gilad Atzmon’s appearance with Stanley Cohen, Norton Mezvinsky, and Michael Lesher in New York City.
But the American Renaissance conference of 2017 felt downright historic.
The contrast for me between slipping past a lineup of Jews calling to “shut it down!” on the streets in front of Theatre 80 so I could slip inside and sit among a haggard audience screeching out interruptions before a panel of Jews who were also aggressively interrupting and trying to shut each other down — and my first real-world experience with a large gathering of /ourguys/ — couldn’t have been more graphic and intense.
The spirit of unity was so palpable in the atmosphere that everyone present could feel it, despite whatever underlying differences (personal, religious, or political) any of us might otherwise have had. The reaction to the beginning of my recent series introducing a critical reconstruction of the origins of Christianity among Christians involved polite, good faith conversations and even book donations. There was an implicit level of trust, as several times I noticed expensive items confidently left out in plain view, or had people hand me cash when the representatives manning other book stands weren’t around, trusting without any apprehension whatsoever that I would deliver them the cash when they returned.
The Guardian’s coverage claims that:
“It was not clear if fear or anger was the dominant emotion of the conference.”
It’s safe to say that this is absolutely nothing more than the projection of an author who couldn’t decide if he was more fearful or angry about us. Because the dominant emotion of the conference was, without any question, one of shared connection and energized unity of purpose — of being prepared to strive forward and take our rightful place at the forefront of addressing the problems our people face, and of holding each other in mutual esteem as we all develop our various approaches towards achieving this end.
When our speakers “addressed the supposed genetic and demographic decline of the west; the supposed low IQ of migrants flooding western countries; supposed links between IQ and ‘social pathology’; supposed ‘anti-white propaganda that suffuses our society’; supposed academic conspiracies that have worked to cover all this up,” the underlying spirit wasn’t one of resentment that our points aren’t accepted in the mainstream. And these points certainly were not presented in a bitter tone of passive anticipation of acceptance by those who are hostile to our message and purpose. The underlying spirit was an inspired recognition that we are in fact moving past the mainstream, a confident awareness that we will continue to do so whether we attain ‘mainstream’ recognition or not, and a drive to continue developing ourselves and become worthy of where we know we are headed, as doubt fades that we will be the ones leading the effort to address these issues.
As far as the condescending use of the word “supposed” in The Guardian’s article goes, maybe it was too early for such a dense speech because the reporter’s coffee hadn’t kicked in yet, but he clearly missed the depth in which Helmuth Nyborg addressed the “genetic and demographic decline of the West” in the first talk of the second morning. During the Q&A after the conclusion of his talk, questioners didn’t let Nyborg off easy, but he proved himself up to the task of handling the audience. One member asked why the otherwise universal correlation between latitude and IQ fails to apply, for example, to the Inuit.
This highly observant attendee wasn’t afraid to present what he considered to be a serious problem for Nyborg’s thesis. If cold climates create strong selective pressures for high IQ, why aren’t the Inuit one of the smartest peoples on Earth? Nyborg responded that in certain areas, the local ecosystem is limited by the amount of solar energy reaching that location year-round, which in turn limits the extent to which the population can grow, which in turn leads to inbreeding depression as people in small populations will end up reproducing with others from whom they aren’t very genetically distant.
It might not have been only the Guardian reporter who was waiting for coffee to kick in when Nyborg’s highly detailed and cerebral presentation opened the morning. But by the time Martin Lichtmesz took the stage to provide an insider’s view of the success of nationalist movements in Austria and Germany, the audience was fully engaged. The second half of his speech included an incredible series of slides showing us how Generation Identitaire and other movements have grown more adept at capturing the attention of the media to propagate their message.
Here, we see members of the group staging a counter-protest of a counter-protest — according to Martin, they only needed to show up for a few minutes for the photo op to result in headlines and newspaper covers detailing the stunt.
The audience broke into laughter as he showed us a photograph of a demonstration in which participants held “refugees welcome” signs while others who stood behind them wrapped in keffiyehs and carrying the Islamic State flag seized scimitars around their necks. Lichtmesz paused and added dryly, “This one doesn’t need very much explanation.”
On the last night, our very own Julian Langness was the keynote speaker following dinner. In an audience where up to three-fourths of the audience were at their very first AmRen conference ever, and roughly half of the audience was younger than 35, his speech discussed the trend of millennials’ growing desire “to exchange porn for procreation, student debt for meme warfare, video games for the shooting range, and Vicodin for the red pill.” Conversation afterwards generally focused on the details of his transition into the alt-right from being the youngest delegate to the Democratic National Convention to vote for Obama in 2008.
Personally, as a member of the under-35 half of the audience, these were the three presentations that most stand out in my memory now. For coverage of the full range of speakers, including Peter Brimelow, John Derbyshire, Jared Taylor, and Sam Dickson (as well as Nathan Damigo, Richard Spencer, Daniel Friberg, Simon Roche, all of whom took to the stage to update us on the current state of their respective movements and organizations), see AmRen’s own post-conference report.
I’d like to recommend a few of my own resources to the author of The Guardian’s article and those who were brought here because of it, as I’ve addressed a few of these topics myself. If you want to read well-documented discussions of “anti-white propaganda … [and] academic conspiracies that have worked to cover [it] up,” I recommend my article on the Trayvon Martin case, my demolition of the pretenses to scholarship of the celebrated “anti–racist” activist Tim Wise, and my breakdown of academic studies which claimed to reveal baseless anti-black discrimination in employment and of other studies which were touted in a popular press that (falsely) claimed to show that “right-wing extremists” constitute a greater domestic threat than Islamic terrorism. My work in this area will eventually be compiled into a full-length book which will comprehensively analyze examples like these in rigorous detail.
In fact, I made the resolution to commit to this endeavor precisely because I was so inspired by my experience here at AmRen. I now feel far more driven than I ever was before to become an active part of this effort. I came away from the experience thinking: “Wow — this must be what passionate Christians feel like when they attend Revival.” Which is an experience I’ve witnessed, but never actually felt for myself in this way in my adult life until now.