Notes from Underground


Thoughts on a divide
at the American Renaissance Conference

Does white plus might
make right?



Recently I was one of about 150 who attended the 2004 American Renaissance Conference, held over a weekend at a plush hotel in a posh suburb of Washington, D.C. It was one of those rare occasions in my life where I have witnessed people openly expressing shocking, dangerous ideas in a public setting without fear of being shouted down by outraged enforcers of Proper Thinking — those whose function, ironically enough, is to stop people from thinking properly.

Of course, in our culture we are misguided enough to think that "shocking" and "dangerous" means art exhibits featuring crucifixes soaked in urine and statues of the Blessed Virgin smeared with excrement, or productions of "Angels in America" and "The Vagina Monologues." We don't realize, or don't admit to ourselves, just how entirely safe one is either in the role of creator or spectator of such "art." Such blasphemous, tasteless fare is perfectly in line with the Zeitgeist, and it will make no waves, or at least none that will rock the boats of anyone who has real power.

The AR Conference, by contrast, is a truly risky event at which to speak, or even to watch others speak. You never know who may be surreptitiously scanning your name tag before using his two-way wrist radio to report you to Morris Dees, Abe Foxman, or worse. Jared Taylor, editor of American Renaissance magazine and organizer of the conference, made sure to draw attention to that fact in an especially memorable way during the conference's opening night. After welcoming the record-breaking crowd to the sixth AR Conference held in the last 12 years, the dapper, handsome, and articulate Taylor proceeded to bait "the spy" who he was certain sat in our midst. The whole room went silent as Taylor politely asked the individual in question to reveal himself. We're not hiding anything from you, so how about reciprocating, and matching us for gentlemanliness? Taylor in essence asked.

After a theatrical pause, Taylor had one last message for the "spy," who had just demonstrated the cravenness of his character: "Well, we find you contemptible!" It was a fine moment — impeccably conceived and deliciously well-orchestrated.


Beyond our shared contempt for the "spy," however, as well as a general sympathy for white Western civilization, and opposition to the increasingly multiculturalist chaos that the West is becoming, some obvious differences could be discerned among the conference-goers, as evidenced (and evoked) by some of the speakers.

Keynote speaker Joseph Sobran openly advocated the demise of the state, while in his "Benediction for Heretics" Sam Dickson implicitly rebuked Sobran's anarchism and all but advocated a putsch to establish a homeland for white people. "Sometimes you need a Corsican general," Dickson said, referring to Napoleon's triumph in restoring order in France following the terrible years of the Revolution.

Both speakers received standing ovations, leaving some doubt as to whose solution the audience preferred. Do we withdraw — secede, as it were, from the state, work on cultivating our own gardens and raising our own children, and build high fences and deep moats around our property as our country rapidly descends into chaos? Or do we seek out a means to take over the apparatus of the state and use it, with brutal ruthlessness if necessary, for our own interests? Are figures such as Napoleon, Mussolini, Franco, and Hitler to be shunned as tyrants (even if the Communists were worse), as Sobran would maintain? Or are they to be hailed as saviors, providing a useful example to follow, even if we may disagree with them on particulars, as Dickson seemed to be saying?

That question concealed a deeper question, one that went equally unanswered at the conference. That is, do we advocate our cause because it is correct: that is to say, because we have a right, derived from eternal principles, to survival? Or are we mere bipedal beasts in a Hobbesian, Darwinian, Nietzschean universe, engaged in a racial war of all against all, wherein strength is the only true virtue, and "conscience is but a word that cowards use"?

If the latter is true, then we had best forget about denouncing prevalent racial double standards, or much else. In such a world-view, double standards are perfectly fine, as long as you can get away with them. One has no real case against Jews who give themselves the right to despise Christians, yet view any criticism of themselves as "anti-Semitic"; or against blacks who spew hatred of whites before claiming that only whites can be "racist." Nor can affirmative action, mass Third World immigration, "hate speech" codes, and other manifestations of anti-white policy by the liberal Western elite be properly denounced as outrages.

Absent a belief in a transcendent morality, there is no such thing as an outrage. One man's atrocity is another's harmless fun. Our horror and anger at seeing the mutilated bodies of dead Afrikaner farmers, for instance, is no more valid a response than the delight in the act taken by the (invariably black) thugs who murdered them.

Yet without calling attention to those injustices and declaring frankly that they are, indeed, unjust, we are unlikely ever to bring people around to the cause of defending the white West against those who would orchestrate its demise. If our thirst for justice is only trumped-up sentiment, then our expressions of outrage are nothing but hypocritical cant.

Inconsistency of that sort, of course, is nothing new. Hitler was outraged by the stipulations of the Versailles Treaty after World War I, which were harsh and vindictive in their treatment of defeated Germany. Yet he also made it abundantly clear that in his world-view only the victor in a struggle had a right to dictate conditions, thus rendering his own objections to Germany's humiliation at the hands of her enemies effectively irrelevant.

Today's would-be Hitlers in the white-nationalist movement frequently commit a similar logical fallacy in their rhetoric; they promote a "might makes right" philosophy even as they profess outrage over an event such as the Wichita Massacre, in which "might" (if not "white") certainly prevailed.

Then again, a one-way sense of outrage (whereby one deplores one's enemy's evil acts while one excuses one's own) is, shall we say, highly convenient, especially for cynical politicians who stand to gain the most through such calculated disingenuousness. Like everyone else, sincere defenders of the West should avoid putting their trust in such characters.

March 5, 2004

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