Been thumbing through Race and the American Prospect, Sam Francis’s posthumously published collection of essays on "The Racial Realities of Our Nation and Our Time." It’s a hefty volume brimming over with heretical musings that straddle the line between inconvenient empiricism and spuriously conceived white nationalist identity politics. I always enjoy getting my mitts on books of this strange genre, these marginally marketed, academically phrased curios that exist somewhere just off the plane of permissible discourse. It’s fun — and occasionally challenging — to grapple with arguments that respectable intellectuals disdain to even acknowledge. And having long shed any residual fetters of culturally rehearsed outrage, I tend to digest even the most overtly racist gestures with the kind of objective bemusement that comfortable secularists reserve for public access cable televangelists. To paraphrase Jim Goad, I can tolerate intolerance just fine thank you.
Which, of course, is not to imply that the contributors to Race and the American Prospect are casting their lines into the din of anything so entertainingly retrograde as boilerplate bigotry. Whatever you think of him, Sam Francis was a smart tack on a different track; he earnestly sought to foster an explicitly racial dialectic, and even if his perspective is rejected as unseemly by the learned majority, it nevertheless provides a useful vantage for intellectually adventurous ginks like me to articulate our differences. Once you defang a taboo subject, your left with a conversation.
It is thus worth noting that the indefatigable Steve Sailer has answered Francis’s collection with just the sort of thoughtfully critical response that such a book needs and deserves, but seldom receives. By stumping for "citizenism" as a pragmatic alternative to the racialist credo favored by Francis and his fellow travelers (and by slyly anchoring his argument with references to Francis’s own pronouncements), Sailer casually reduces the dread specter of racial consciousness to size. Notwithstanding their externally cultivated reputation as intellectual persona non grata, these white nationalists — at least the ones of more thoughtful disposition — are really just wistful pussycats with another point of view. To quote that old ARC PSA, they’re just like you and me. And personally, if I have to choose my company among intellectual dissidents, I’d rather park my barstool next to a philosophical racist than anyone from the fucking Discovery Institute. Whatever their faults or biases, racists at least have the advantage of serving up their arguments in delineable metaphysical terms; they have a grip on reality. With those intelligent design noisemakers, it’s all premise-shifting snowjobs and post hoc damage control. What’s worse, the ID guys never pick up the tab.
Of course, Sailer’s debating points aren’t likely to gain much attention outside the cloisters of paleoconservative shadow punditry. So I figure what the fuck — for the nothing it’s worth I may as well rebound off Francis’s tome to flesh out my own ill-considered perspective on the never-so-vexing questions at hand.
But I want to take a different tack. Because the questions that churn through my cerebra never seem to yield to practical consideration or commonly derived values. For good or ill or nil, I always find myself playing closer to the extra-rational quick of the matter, where Heideggerian shards dot the path, and where few even bother for the perfectly sensible reason that it doesn’t much matter. The thing is, as much as I value the rational trajectory of data-driven disputation, I can never quite avert my sights from the morbid punchline that resides just off the plot of every regression.
As fortune would have it, one contributor to Race and the American Prospect has thrown a bone to my lonely corner. The contributor is one Robert S. Griffin, who is best known I suppose as the hagiographer of the late William Pierce, author of those deliciously psychotic racist fantasy novels, Hunter and The Turner Diaries. But setting aside that dubious distinction, Griffin’s afterword is noteworthy for the way it cuts through the well-hewn thicket of stats and graphs and racially filtered historicism to zero in on the existential meat of the racialist weltanschuaang. Griffin frames his bait with reference to two modern novelists of modern anxiety, Bret Easton Ellis and Michel Houellebecq, writers whose work, according to Griffin, "articulate[s] the fear and fatalism and sense of futility" of these ostensibly dark days.
The stage is set with a choice cut of modern-style fear and trembling from Ellis’s Lunar Park:
The newspapers kept stoking my fear. New surveys provided awful statistics on just about everything. Evidence suggested we were not doing well….No one knew what normal behavior was anymore, and some argued that this was a form of virtue. And no one argued back. No one challenged anything. Anxiety was soaking up people’s days…. Most troubling were the fleeting signs that nothing could transform any of this into anything positive. You couldn’t help being afraid and fascinated. Reading these articles made you feel that the survival of mankind didn’t seem very important in the long run. We were doomed. We deserved it. I was so tired.
A well-chosen Houellebecq passage, from his 2003 novel, Platform, follows. It charts the anomistic resignation of the novel’s narrator who…. well, maybe I should just let Griffin set it up:
The protagonist, a mid-life government official, is injured and the woman who is the love of his life killed in a hail of bullets from Islamic militants. His response is to "give up on life." He resigns his position in the French Ministry of Culture and travels to Thailand to live out his remaining years.
I understand death now. I don’t think it will do me much harm. I have known hatred, contempt, decay, and other things; I have even known brief feelings of love. Nothing of me will survive, and I do not deserve for anything of me to survive. I have been a mediocre individual in every possible sense…. A death certificate will be drawn up, a box will be ticked in a registry office, far from here, in France. A few street hawkers, accustomed to seeing me in the area, will shake their heads. My apartment will be rented out to another resident. I’ll be forgotten. I’ll be forgotten quickly.
Having neatly punctuated dual notes of declension and despair with carefully chosen excerpts from these latter-day Dostoyevskys, these nihilist-cum-moralist messengers of pessimism and chasmic ennui (both of whom I always read with interest), Griffin takes his cue to serve up the salve you’ve been expecting.
I’ve found in my own life that white racial identity and commitment can serve as counterweights to living with feelings of meaninglessness and hopelessness. I have learned that white racial consciousness can give someone the sense of being part of something and having a responsibility to something beyond one’s self. It can lead to the conclusion that one’s life matters and that there are things worth doing while there is still time to do them. I don’t feel cut-off and alone and adrift now. I am continuous with a racial heritage and connected with racial kinsmen who share the gift of life with me and to the white people yet to be born, and that makes all the difference. All that I do now, even the smallest of things, counts. I’m not as afraid as I was. I don’t get so tired now. What I do in this life will have an impact on the future; I will leave a legacy. Something of me will survive, and I won’t be forgotten.
Now I imagine myself to be a pretty live-and-let-live kinda guy, so if racial consciousness serves to allay Robert Griffin’s acutely felt sense of nihilistic momentum, I say fine; run with your pack, my friend. Recite your 14 words and sleep white. But make no mistake, you will be forgotten. And while you may have chosen your existential prism with earnest passion and care, I do hope you are not blind to the Mad Lib logic buttressing your ditch.
Multiple choice, anyone?
I’ve found in my own life that (a. white racial identity and committment b. scientology and devotion to the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard c. radical feminism and pro choice activism d. drugs and alcohol) can serve as counterweights to living with feelings of meaninglessness and
I have learned that (a. white racial consciousness b. Libertarian Party affiliation c. Satanism d. a collection of vintage Dukes of Hazzard memorabilia) can give
someone the sense of being part of something and having a
responsibility to something beyond one’s self.
Ever been to an Amway seminar? Ever argue with a Jehovah’s witness? Ever talk bioethics with a PETA votary? Ever heard of Prozac?
Am I being snide?
Damn right I’m being snide. And not because I have any particular gripe with those who prop their meaning with racialist crutches, even if I find their tenuously wrought naturalistic conceits to be especially grating and desperate. You’re free to choose your own opiate, kidlings. Just don’t kid yourself with the notion that it adds up to anything beyond some atomistically reducible shuck and jive.
It’s been years since I read Camus, but the Sisyphean challenge doesn’t bend with time. And I remain happily up to the task. Yeah, I look into the abyss. Every fucking day. And the abyss looks back into me. But somewhere in that endless spiral of cosmic meaninglessness I cannot but discern the dim echo of an ever-changing clarion call. Yet curiously, no matter how powerfully this call may resonate within the depths of my mortal meat, somehow it never bides me toward any grandiose leap of faith, and it never tempts me with the elixir of racial identity. No, this clarion call, in all its visceral profundity, beckons me instead to enjoy another beer. Sometimes it commands me to pay more attention to my girfriend’s clitoris, to explore Bela Tarr’s filmography, to take the .357 out for a few rounds of target practice, to make time for Ethiopian cuisine.
Or is it Eritrean? I should take better notes. After all, this is important stuff. These are urgent, life-defining choices. Far more so than the epiphenomenal static attending even the most studious contemplation of the question of race. Mother died in a miserable heap, and she will be forgotten as surely as will I. I am not tired, but I’m looking forward to the next nap. Consciousness may be a biochemically rooted memetic illusion, but the Schmenge Brothers still make me laugh. And my life bleeds over with meaning.
I remember reading something by another contributor to Race and the American Prspect, my hands-down favorite white nationalist epicurean, Jared Taylor. It may have come up in an interview with Arthur Jensen. I’m not sure. Anyway, I remember Mr. Taylor was expressing sincere horror over the possibility that Western Civilization might one day collapse under the forces of dysgenics and racial peregrinations. He said something to the effect that this was the worst thing he could possibly imagine.
I had to laugh at that one.
All I can say is, enjoy the spread, my Homo sapien kinsmen. Race is as real as life is short, but Idlewood Blue infuses my Caucasian robot soul with the most sublime joy. I notice your NetFlix queue is on empty, but the possibilities may as well be endless.
And I can promise you this much: the end of civilization is written on your tombstone.
Memento mori. Stop wasting your time.