Author Archives: Margot Metroland

Margot Metroland

I was born in a house I helped my father build.
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Cass Sunstein, the Unprincipled Man

Cass Sunstein

2,345 words

Cass R. Sunstein
Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas
New York: Simon & Schuster, 2014

Do people actually read Cass R. Sunstein? Millions, maybe, are vaguely aware of him as a talking head on cable TV. Others might recall that Sunstein held an obscure but sinister-sounding sinecure in the Obama administration (Administrator, White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, 2009-2012), or that he is frequently touted as some kind of esteemed legal scholar at Harvard Law School. Read more …

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Revilo P. Oliver & Francis Parker Yockey

1,718 words

The writings of Francis Parker Yockey have fascinated the far Right for a half-century and more. I would argue that the person most responsible for this popularity is the late classics professor Revilo P. Oliver. While Prof. Oliver had little practical input in the distribution of Yockey writings (that credit would go more to Willis Carto and George Dietz), it was Oliver’s imprimatur that lent Yockey a gravitas that ensured he would be cherished as something other than the author of some controversial, obscurantist tracts.  Read more …

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Lothrop Stoddard’s Reforging America

1,835 words

June 29 is the birthday of T. (for Theodore) Lothrop Stoddard (1883–1950)—scholar, lecturer, journalist, polymath, and author of many, many books.

Stoddard is best known for 1920’s The Rising Tide of Color: The Threat Against White World Supremacy, discussed two years ago here. Along with Madison Grant (1865–1937), author of The Passing of the Great Race (1916), and Prescott F. Hall (1868–1921), eugenics crusader and founder of the Immigration Restriction League, Stoddard can rightly be considered a father of the sweeping Immigration Act of 1924 (aka Johnson-Reed Act).  Read more …

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Lord Haw-Haw of MI5

William Joyce

3,327 words

William Brooke Joyce, the Berlin propaganda broadcaster known as “Lord Haw-Haw,” and the last man to be executed in England for treason, was an agent for MI5. He went to Berlin in August 1939 at the behest of an old friend and spymaster, and wound up becoming the English voice of Nazi radio. Then, in 1945, he was brought back to London, tried as a traitor, and hanged on January 3, 1946.

This was done to please the Kremlin, and to protect Communists in the British government and intelligence services. Read more …

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Céline Goes Hollywood, Part 2
Céline Gets Graphic

1,037 words

The novel-memoirs of Louis-Ferdinand Céline have a peculiarly cinematic texture, like that of rough drafts for projected screenplays. He flashes sense-impressions and side-thoughts at the reader. For the neophyte, this can make for some hard going.

On the other hand, these impressionistic prose-sketches can provide a series of clear visuals for anyone attempting to hammer a Céline tale into a script. This is particularly true of his Exile Trilogy  Read more …

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Céline Goes Hollywood

1,860 words

One of the saddest episodes in the life of Dr. Louis-Ferdinand Destouches, alias Louis-Ferdinand Céline, came right after he published his first novel in 1933.

Voyage a la bout de la nuit (Journey to the End of the Night) was a succés d’estime from the start and before long a bestseller too. Surely it would be soon made into a major motion picture.

Read more …

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The Gospel According to Goldberg

2,037 words

Jonah Goldberg
Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics is Destroying American Democracy
New York: Crown Forum, 2018

Anyone expecting Jonah Goldberg’s Suicide of the West to be a new meditation on James Burnham’s 1964 classic[1] about the moral degeneracy of liberal democracy is in for a laugh. Having borrowed Burnham’s tasty title, Goldberg goes off in another direction entirely, often inverting Burnham’s argument. Read more …

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‘Zine Master Adam:
Remembering Adam Parfrey, April 12, 1957–May 10, 2018

Adam Parfrey in Hollywood, 1990

1,655 words

Adam Parfrey, the publisher of humor and esoterica who parlayed a 1980s “‘zine” sensibility into a durable niche publishing house, has died at his home in Port Townsend, Washington. He was 61.

His main publishing imprint, Feral House, specialized in topics pertaining to pop culture, far-Right politics, and conspiracy theorizing. Read more …

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Robert Brasillach & Notre avant-guerre:
Remembering Robert Brasillach, March 31, 1909–February 6, 1945

Robert Brasillach at his trial in 1945.

3,574 words

Today is the birthday of Robert Brasillach, French journalist, novelist, and film historian (The History of Motion Pictures, co-written with Maurice Bardéche).

It is Brasillach’s fate mainly to be remembered for being the only collaborateur sentenced to death (by firing squad) for “intellectual crimes.”  Read more …

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Sick Noir for the Holiday

It was never really wonderful.

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A few years back—let us say, forty—some TV boffins decided there was a perfect and archetypal Christmas film that must be broadcast every Yuletide season. And that film was the disturbing and surreal It’s a Wonderful Life with James Stewart. A downer-fable about failure and suicide, it flopped resoundingly with critics and public alike when it came out in 1946. Director Frank Capra himself counted it among his least favorite efforts. Personally I’ve never met anyone who really likes the movie.  Read more …

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Henry Williamson & T. E. Lawrence

Henry Williamson

2,114 words

December 1st is the 122nd birthday of Henry Williamson (Dec. 1, 1895–Aug. 13, 1977), English naturalist, novelist, and nationalist.

One of Williamson’s unique distinctions is to have been T. E. Lawrence’s literary friend and personal confidant during the last seven years of Lawrence’s life, 1928–1935. It is a matter of record that when Lawrence had his fatal motorcycle accident, he had just been to the post office to send a telegram to Williamson.  Read more …

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Mosley Reconsidered

1,135 words

November 16, 1896 – December 3, 1980

November 16th is the 121st birthday of Sir Oswald (“Tom”) Mosley, English MP, baronet, political innovator, fascist and nationalist.

We’re at a strange new moment in history now, when figures such as Mosley can be honestly appraised without our falling into cant or parroting someone else’s hobby-horses. Read more …

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The Counter-Currents 2017 Fundraiser
Encountering Counter-Currents

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Greg asked me to pen this week’s fundraiser update to bring a fresh voice and perspective. Since last week’s update, we have received 23 donations (including 12 all-important pledges of monthly support) totaling $2,045.04. This brings the total for our fundraiser to $44,973.56. That puts us just short of 75% of the way to our goal of $60,000. Read more …

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Remembering Revilo Oliver (July 7, 1908–August 20, 1994)
The Professor & the Carnival Barker

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Professor Revilo Pendleton Oliver died in 1994, full of years and honors, as they say; and also notoriety. Long a Classics professor at the University of Illinois in Urbana, he gained his PhD in 1938 with a translation and commentary on a 1500-year-old Sanskrit drama. Read more …

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Special Pleading for Fascist Daddy

2,183 words

Francis Beckett
Fascist in the Family: The Tragedy of John Beckett MP
London & New York: Routledge, 2017 (Routledge Studies in Fascism and the Far Right)

Here is a book of deep political scholarship and heartbreaking family history. It misses being great because the author lost the plot during the many years he worked on it, and he wound up hanging his father’s story on a lurid promotional “hook,” which I’ll get into below. Read more …

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The Weaponized Nonsense of George Lakoff

1,446 words

Sometimes you read a newspaper column that starts off so pointlessly and insipidly you can’t tell whether it’s supposed to be a parody of bad writing, or the writer just wants to introduce a humorous idea but can’t find the right hook to hang it on. This happened a few days ago (April 10) in The Washington Post, with a column by one Steven Petrow. Read more …

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The Enigma of Whittaker Chambers

Whittaker Chambers, underground man.

2,070 words

(Written in the style, if not quite the spirit, of senior TIMEditor Chambers’ weekly newsmagazine.)

Rumpled, paunchy Whittaker Chambers (April 1, 1901-July 9, 1961) has long merited haughty sneers and raised eyebrows on America’s nationalist Right. Reasons: his shifting ideologies, his inscrutable motives.

Among the most compelling critiques of Chambers we may count those of Classics professor Revilo P. Oliver. Read more …

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Robert Brasillach & Notre avant-guerre:
Remembering Robert Brasillach, March 31, 1909-February 6, 1945

Robert Brasillach at his trial in 1945.

3,570 words

Today is the birthday of Robert Brasillach, French journalist, novelist, and film historian (The History of Motion Pictures, co-written with Maurice Bardéche).

It is Brasillach’s fate mainly to be remembered for being the only collaborateur sentenced to death (by firing squad) for “intellectual crimes.” Read more …

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Whose Jane Austen is It, Anyway?

Mock ad by Michael O’Donoghue & George W. S. Trow, 1971 National Lampoon

2,215 words

For the past couple of weeks there’s been a lot of media blather about how the novelist Jane Austen is an icon of the Alt Right. The distress this causes Leftist critics has been a thing of high comedy and low hysteria.

If you haven’t been keeping up, I review some articles immediately below. Otherwise, feel free to skip about halfway down, where I get into matters of cultural appropriation and Austen sex roles. Read more …

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What Would the Dulles Brothers Do?

Allen Welsh Dulles & John Foster Dulles

2,236 words

After decades of blessed obscurity, the Dulles brothers have splashed back into the news of late. There are big books, little books, forthcoming books: all leading to a flurry of newspaper and online articles (notably Alex Beam’s March 8 essay in The Wall Street Journal). 

The two major volumes that have led the way are The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World (2013) by onetime New York Times reporter Stephen Kinzer; and The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government (2015) by David Talbot Read more …

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Your Publisher, Cmdr. Rockwell
Remembering George Lincoln Rockwell: March 9, 1918-August 25, 1967

1,520 words

Nearly fifty years after his assassination, the image of George Lincoln Rockwell (March 9, 1918-August 25, 1967) is more iconic than ever. You can drop his amiable face into a Twitter avi or Website header, and feel pretty certain that most of your audience will know who it is. At Amazon, publications by and about Rockwell run on for pages: new, used, rare first editions; hardbound, paperback, Kindle; memoirs, speeches, political tracts; cartoon pamphlets and dank satires. Read more …

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Cashing in on Emmett Till

1,745 words

Emmett Till was killed more than sixty years ago, but he’s a hotter property than ever. Scarcely a year goes by without yet another book or documentary recounting the tale of the hefty black youth from Chicago who got beaten and shot in Mississippi in 1955, for the mild transgression of “whistling at”—and physically molesting—a young white woman in a country store. Read more …

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Mr. Roth, Mr. Melville, & Mr. Trump

Philip Roth

1,318 words

We hadn’t thought about Philip Roth in some years, so it was with some delight, and a few misgivings, that we ran into him recently in the pages of The New Yorker (Jan. 30 issue). Actually it was just a Philip Roth e-mail, or portions of e-mails, extracted for a Talk of the Town “casual” by Judith Thurman. 

Thurman had sent a note to the 83-year-old Roth because she wanted to pick his brains on the only subject anyone wants to talk about these days, Our New President. Read more …

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The Metapolitics of Swift & Trump

2,247 words

Future historians will be endlessly fascinated by the intertwined media phenomena of Taylor Swift and Donald Trump during 2015-2016. The parallels and symbiosis of the two have been noted by many, particularly in the precincts of Twitter and the Alt Right, although no one’s ever studied the thing in depth.

Read more …

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Henry Williamson, George Orwell, & the Pigs

2,007 words

Henry Williamson

Henry Williamson

Today is the birthday of Henry Williamson (Dec. 1, 1895 – Aug. 13, 1977)—ruralist author, war historian, journalist, farmer, and visionary of British fascism.

Two rather incongruous points of Williamson’s life stand out. One is that he achieved fame with what is usually regarded as a children’s book, Tarka the Otter (originally published 1927, with a movie version in 1979).

The other is that he was a friend of Lawrence of Arabia; and that it was on his way back from posting a letter to Williamson that T. E. Lawrence was mysteriously killed in a motorcycle accident. Read more …

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“Hiding the Ball” of White Nationalist History

John Singleton Copley, Portrait of Paul Revere, 1768

John Singleton Copley, Portrait of Paul Revere, 1768

1,317 words

For the past few days the mainstream media have been deluging us with one of their favorite clichés about Euro-American nationalism. They keep telling us that the Alt Right or New Right are just old-fashioned “racism” relabeled as a public-relations move. According to The New Republic, National Review, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, this rightist movement is nothing more than old-style “white supremacy” and Klanster cross-burnings, now dressed up in Jos. A. Bank suits at posh intellectual conferences.  Read more …

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New Wine in New Skins:
The 2016 NPI Conference, Alt Right, & the Newsmedia’s Struggle to Misunderstand

2,888 words

At the National Policy Institute’s conference on Saturday (officially titled Become Who We Are / 2016) I met a tweedy, middle-aged journalist I’ll call Charles. Charles was making notes for a political-analysis piece for a certain Newspaper of Record, and struggling to find an insightful angle about the Alt Right.

At the moment his working premise was that this Alt Right thing is essentially a revamping of old-fashioned “white supremacy” from decades past. But he wasn’t really happy with that idea. Read more …

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The NPI Presser
“What is The Alt Right?”

spencerlogo1,568 words

If you follow NPI events, there was more than a little déjà vu in the National Policy Institute’s press conference in DC on Friday, September 9th. Titled “What Is the Alt Right?,” and framed as a reply to Hillary Clinton’s disordered denunciations of Donald Trump and his nationalist supporters, it was a very sedate, familiar affair.  Read more …

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We are All White Trash Now

061916-white-trash_White-Trash2,122 words

Poor White Trash! Hillbillies! Rural poverty! It cannot have escaped your notice that we’re having a rash of stuff on this topic right now. Books, columns, thumb-sucking op-eds, talking-head concern-trolls nattering away on PBS NewsHour and Sunday morning chat-fests.

So far as I can tell, the genre first reared its head back in March of this year with a long-winded, digressive piece by Kevin Williamson in National Review Read more …

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Wilmot Robertson & the Oppressed Majority

thedispossessedmajority2,155 words

Today is the 11th anniversary of the death of Wilmot Robertson (April 16, 1915–July 8, 2005), author of The Dispossessed Majority (originally published 1972; several revisions over the next two decades) and publisher/editor of Instauration magazine, a print-only monthly that flourished from 1975 to 2000. For many people now middle-aged or beyond, these were their first, or most eye-opening, introduction to intellectual racialism.

Read more …

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