The blogger Trainspotter has complained a lot about how is it possible that after decades of pro-white activism the actual fruits on American society have been, well, exactly zero! Why?
As a distant observer of the American White Nationalist scene, I am struck by its utter irrelevancy in public discourse outside of being a fund-raising tool for anti-Occidental activists* and as a subject of lurid speculation. In part, this distressing situation is a product of the typical pathologies and corruption endemic to counter culture groups but I am not inclined to cover the endless scandals that have in large part defined the White Nationalist scene during the last fifty years or so. While the character issue and other matters should be attended, the issue of what exactly American Occidental advocacy presently entails in terms of an ideological foundation is of paramount importance.
Currently paleo-conservatism dominates what little racialist discourse occurs in the States. While notable exceptions to the dominance of paleo-conservatism have occurred, they have never come close to rivaling its popular appeal or political influence within the WN scene. Given that the mainstream of racialist thought in the states since the reconstruction era has been remarkably consistent, it matters little if one refers to it as Americanism, racial populism or racial paleo-conservatism in terms addressing its ideological validity. Before considering the present-day applicability of the paleo-con doctrine I think a consideration of the golden era of modern American racialism is worthwhile simply because it provides an excellent case study of the consequences of the character issue alluded to earlier as well as the utility of a racially based paleo-conservatism as a governing ideology.
The golden age of American racialism coincided with the birth of what is commonly referred to as the Second Klan Era, which was founded by the publisher of The Jeffersonian newspaper and U.S. senator Thomas Watson in 1915. Watson built the Klan into a nationwide organization with more than four million members (about 15 percent of the white male Protestant population of the country at the time) that was particularly powerful in the Midwest and Southern states. The influence attained by the Second Klan Era far exceeded the accomplishments of American racialism at any time since as they managed to gain control state legislatures in Tennessee, Indiana, Oklahoma, and Oregon as well as electing a governor in Indiana and several Congressmen and Senators. Most impressive of all, they managed to heavily influence the Democratic Convention of 1924 and helped get a Klansman on the Supreme Court.
The combination of segregation, constitutionalism, opposition to Southern / Eastern European immigration, Protestant fundamentalism, isolationism and economic populism were all popular causes fully within the mainstream of public social and political thought at the time. Simply put, the Second Klan Era enjoyed a nearly ideal historical context in which to transform America into a society far more reflective of Occidental values. Yet they achieved little in terms of societal reform and lapsed into obscurity very quickly. The reason for this failure was largely a result of the limitations of the paleo-conservative ideology they promoted, as will be shown.
The Second Klan Era was largely, with the notable exception of The Black Legion, committed to working within the confines of electoral politics for the purpose of advancing its public policy agenda. That agenda consisted of the preservation of the constitutional order of the day, maintaining the predominance of Europeans of Nordic, Western and Celtic origins in cultural and political terms; restoring Protestant fundamentalism to a place of preeminence, the maintenance of American neutrality, advancing prohibition and advancing the economic populist agenda of the time.
Needless to say, the reelection of Wilson in 1916 resulted in America’s subsequent entry into the First World War (as well as numerous imperialistic adventures in Central and South America during the 1920s), and the entry into the League of Nations ended American neutrality and weakened its sovereignty. On the domestic front Klan influence failed to slow the flood of immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe, the suffragette movement’s triumph, the decadence of the 1920s or the rise of the anti-Occidental mass media during the 1930s. In short, they failed to preserve the societal order that defined America at the turn of the century or protect the ethnic and religious interests they held dear despite being given an ideal opportunity to do so.
While the Klan was heavily involved in promoting prohibition and progressive economic policies popular during first two decades of the 20th century, the passage of such measures happened because they were promoted by popular sentiment across major portions of the political spectrum (including Negroes, organized labor, fundamentalist Protestants and women) as well as the efforts of significant portions of the political establishment that were entirely unsympathetic to the Klan. As a result, it is very unrealistic to view the Second Klan Era as anything more then one of several significant factions promoting progressive reforms and prohibition. Given that progressivism died with the postwar depression of the early 1920s and the rise of social-democratic style labour unions, whatever impact the Klan had upon the growth of progressivism was wholly inadequate to prevent its decline outside of the deep South and portions of the Midwest during the 1920s and 1930s.
The collapse of the Second Klan Era began in large measure as a result of Stephenson scandal of 1925. Under Stephenson’s guidance, Klan membership swelled to 300,000 in the State of Indiana and, in the 1924 elections, Klan-backed candidates won all but one of Indiana’s U.S Congressional seats as well as the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and the Secretary of State. Stephenson was the most charismatic leader the Klan ever had as he was a gifted orator and a popular leader throughout much of the country as well as the Grand Dragon of Indiana which was a major Klan stronghold at the time. Yet all he is remembered for now is the extremely brutal kidnapping, rape and subsequent suicide of Madge Oberholtzer. The resultant media coverage devastated the Klan and turned formerly cordial elite opinion against the organization resulting in a dramatic and rapid decline of its influence and popularity.
In 1936 the kidnapping and murder of Charles Poole and the subsequent crackdown on the Black Legion (a paramilitary offshoot of the Klan active in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio) sped the disintegration of what remained of the Klan forcing its sale in 1939 and it subsequently bankrupted because of tax avoidance in 1944, thereby ending the Second Klan Era and hastening the decline of racially-based paleo-conservatism. The lesson provided by the Black Legion is that poorly planned, sporadic political violence can’t threaten state power but it does motivate repression and the political marginalization of would be revolutionaries.
Any post-mortem analysis of the Second Klan Era naturally raises the matter of what would have happened had the rape and subsequent death of Oberholtzer been concealed, or conjecture about how history might have been different had Stephenson been able to control his depraved instincts. Such conjecture doesn’t seem fruitful given that sexual psychopaths tend to behave in ways that are incompatible with the rational life of self-sacrifice needed of anyone that aspires to revolutionary political leadership. In light of the savagery directed against Oberholtzer it appears obvious that his bestial nature couldn’t be controlled nor concealed indefinitely. His arrest for sexual assault in 1961 after spending decades in prison seems to confirm his unsuitability for life among Occidental people although other aspects of his conduct during the 1920s paint a very troubling portrait of the man as well as the organization that he led.
On a more fundamental level, the problem of the Second Klan Era was metapolitical in nature, which is to say that they ceded the parameters of discourse which predetermined the sorts of policies and tactics they adopted. Accepting the paleo-conservative notion of Americans meant that the Second Klan Era accepted contemporary egalitarian notions about democracy while promoting a narrow form of racialism. Practically what this meant was that they hoped to restrict enfranchisement to the old Nordic / Western / Celtic racial base with no meaningful thought given to how to practically exclude the already substantial Southern and Eastern European populations within the confines of universal suffrage, nor how the established party system could be dissuaded from catering to emerging demographics. Long term Negro demographic trends in the South and Midwest made the Klan’s strategy of regional race-based enfranchisement unviable in the long term, which wasn’t surprising given the overwhelming financial, institutional and cultural strength of the establishment that dominated the rest of America.
Although an aristocratic remnant survived in the South as late as the 1930s, an adherence to democratic dogma and the economic / social populism of the period meant that the acceptance of the foundationalisms of capitalism negated any consideration of natural hierarchies as a basis for establishing both rights and responsibilities, as well as a means of providing for greater social cohesion. The old Southern aristocracy provided a bulwark against Eastern financial interests in the antebellum and reconstruction eras, making such a choice tactically questionable and ideologically puzzling for an allegedly conservative movement based in the South. However, since no thought at all was given to syndicalism, guildism or corporatism, the Klan was left with populist prescriptions for state-based restraints upon the influence of capital which had proven to be a dead end by the beginning of the thirties.
While the Second Klan Era paid homage to the Confederacy, any serious discussion abut secession simply didn’t exist within its circles at the time. Instead, lots of effort was spent praising constitutionalism resulting in the Klan seeing itself as the standard bearer of a contemporary Americanism rather then as a revolutionary secessionist movement. Unaddressed was the matter of how the constitution failed to stop the transformation of the country into a society dominated by North Eastern plutocrats or how a regional movement like the Klan could formulate a long term defensive strategy against a national leadership animated by a deep malevolence to all that the Klan stood for.
When one considers the obvious unsuitability of its foundationalisms to the era and practical experiences that should have been gleaned from what was then recent history, it is reasonable to presume that the Second Klan Era was content with being a regional force with no long term strategy for remaining relevant. It appears instead that they hoped that somehow state level autonomy could be maintain when then current societal trends and the living history indicated that regional autonomy was slated for extinction by the very metapolitical construct that the Klan defended.
A consideration of contemporary written material clearly indicates that the Second Klan Era lacked any metapolitical foundation or coherent ideology but instead was a manifestation of incoherent but well intended sentiments opposed to Occidental dispossession in the American South and Midwest. In a practical sense, the Second Klan Era was purely defensive and reactive and destined to fail even if Stephenson’s sexual psychopathy could have concealed or repressed.
As mentioned earlier, the ideology promoted by the Klan and like-minded groups since the Reconstruction Era is extremely similar to the ideology promoted by the mainstream of American racialist groups such as Stormfront, American Renaissance, Liberty Lobby, VDARE, the Council of Conservative Citizens, various Klan factions, the American Nationalist Union, the recently disbanded National Vanguard and several other organizations as well.
Given the failure of paleo-conservatism to preserve Occidental interests in America within the nearly ideal historical context that presented itself to the Second Klan Era, honest men should question the suitability of the ideology within the current era even if most in the WN community refuse to do so, as has been the case for nearly ninety years.
The author meant in the first paragraph “anti-Occidental activists since the principle, practical service provided by WN groups in the U.S. seems to be to generate scary stories published by the ADL/OPP/SPLC etc., which get old Jewish ladies and paranoid urban hipsters to give money to those groups. It’s not much of a recomendation for American WN groups but it’s accurate unforunately.”