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Under the pseudonym of Ulick Varange, Francis Parker Yockey’s two-volume Imperium was published ten years before I was born and was dedicated “To the hero of the Second World War,” about whom some reviewers speculate was Hitler.
The following excerpts come from a subsequent edition: an introduction authored by Dr. Revilo Oliver. They resonate with Greg Johnson’s thoughts in a recent entry critical of the universalism in Christianity. No ellipsis added between unquoted paragraphs:
Yockey in 1960
Dimly, I could make out the form of this man—this strange and lonely man—through the thick wire netting. Inwardly, I cursed these heavy screens that prevented our confrontation. For even though our mutual host was the San Francisco County Jail, and even though the man upon whom I was calling was locked in equality with petty thieves and criminals, I knew that I was in the presence of a great force, and I could feel History standing aside me.
Yesterday, the headlines had exploded their sensational discovery. “MYSTERY MAN WITH THREE PASSPORTS JAILED HERE,” they screamed. A man of mystery—of wickedness—had been captured. A man given to dark deeds and—much worse—forbidden thoughts, too, the journalists squealed. A man who had roamed the earth on mysterious missions and who was found to be so dangerous that his bail was set at $50,000—a figure ten or twenty times the normal bail for passport fraud. The excitement of the newspapers and the mystery of it all seemed to indicate that this desperado was an international gangster, or a top communist agent.
At least, this is what the papers hinted. But I know now that it erred in many ways, this “free press” of ours. I know now that the only real crime of Francis Parker Yockey was to write a book, and for this he had to die.
Yockey was a concert-level pianist; he was a gifted writer. He studied languages and became a linguist. As a lawyer, he never lost a case. He had an extraordinary grasp of the world of finance—and this is surprising, for we learn that in his philosophy economics is relegated to a relatively unimportant position. And it is as the Philosopher that Yockey reached the summit; it is this for which he will be remembered; he was a man of incredible vision. Even so, his personality was spiced by the precious gift of a sense of humor.
Like the great majority of Americans, Yockey opposed American intervention in the Second World War. Nevertheless, he joined the army and served until 1942 when he received a medical discharge (honorable). The next few years were spent in the practice of law, first in Illinois and subsequently in Detroit, where he was appointed Assistant County Attorney for Wayne County, Michigan.
In 1946, Yockey was offered a job with the war crimes tribunal and went to Europe. He was assigned to Wiesbaden, where the “second string” Nazis were lined up for trial and punishment. The Europe of 1946 was a war-ravaged continent, not the prosperous land we know today. Viewing the carnage, and seeing with his own eyes the visible effects of the unspeakable Morgenthau Plan which had as its purpose the starvation of 30 million Germans, and which was being put into effect at that time, he no doubt found ample reinforcement for his conviction that American involvement in the war had been a ghastly mistake.
It was late 1947 when Yockey returned to Europe. He sought out a quiet inn at Brittas Bay, Ireland. Isolated, he struggled to begin. Finally, he started to write, and in six months—working entirely without notes—Francis Parker Yockey completed Imperium.
The formidable task of publishing it was the next step. Here, also, Yockey ran into serious problems, for no publisher would touch the book, it being too “controversial.” Hungry publishers of our advanced day know that any pile of trash, filth, sex, sadism, perversion and sickness will sell when wrapped between two gaudy covers and called a book, but under no circumstances may they allow readers to come into contact with a serious work unless it contains the standard obeisances to the catchwords of equality, democracy and universal brotherhood.
Finally, however, Yockey was able to secure the necessary financing, and production began.
The first edition of Imperium was issued in two volumes. Volume I has 405 pages and three chapters. Volume II has 280 pages and also three chapters. Both were published in 1948 in the name of Westropa Press. Volume I was printed by C. A. Brooks & Co., Ltd. and Volume II by Jones & Dale—both of London. Both volumes measure 5 x 7 1/4 inches in dimensions and have a red dust jacket with the title in black script on a white held. The cover of Volume I is tan and that of Volume II is black.
It is known that 1,000 copies of Volume I, but only 200 copies of Volume II, were finished. The discrepancy in quantity and the change in printers point to the difficulty in financing the job. Copies of the first edition are, of course, virtually unobtainable today.
* * *
And as I peered through the thick screens in the San Francisco Jail, and made out the indefinite shape on the other side, that tenth day of June, 1960, I knew that I would have to help the prisoner as best I could. I could do nothing else.
“I have read your book,” I said to the shadow, “and I want to help you. What can I do?”
“Wait,” he said. “Wait, and do as your conscience tells you.”
The following week was full of news of Yockey’s appearance before Rabbi Joseph Karesh, the U.S. Commissioner.
Twice, I attended the hearings, and each time was fascinated by this man, Yockey. In stature he was about five feet, ten inches. He was light of weight, perhaps 145 pounds, and quick on his feet. His hair was dark, and starting to grey. The expression on his face—pensive, sensitive, magnetic—this was the unforgettable thing. It was his eyes, I think. Dark, with a quick and knowing intelligence. His eyes bespoke great secrets and knowledge and such terrible sadness. As he turned to leave, one time, those eyes quickly searched the room, darting from face to face with a sort of desperation, though the expression on his face of a determined resignation never wavered. What was he looking for? In that lions’ den, what else but a friendly countenance? As his gaze swept across, and then to me, he stopped and for the space of a fractional second, spoke to me with his eyes. In that instant we understood that I would not desert him.
Friday morning, June 17, I arose as usual. I heard the radio announcer pronounce words that stunned me.
Yockey was dead.
It was like a certain wise, old reporter whispered to one of Yockey’s sisters as she slumped tearfully and quietly in her solitude. “Your brother is a martyr—the first of a long line of them if we are to take back our country from those who have stolen it from us.”
* * *
There is much in Imperium which can be easily misinterpreted. There is something for everyone to agree with. And there is something for everyone to disagree with. This is a distinguishing characteristic of every truly vital and revolutionary departure.
It is important to seek the origins of Yockey’s philosophy. [Oswald] Spengler published Decline in July, 1918, and we are still being washed in the very first breakwaters of that titanic event. For The Decline of the West was fully as revolutionary to the study of history in 1918 as Copernicus’ theory of heliocentricity was to the study of astronomy in 1543.
What, we may ask, is the main cause of resistance to accepting Spengler aside from the fact that he is a massive roadblock to the total victory of the marxist-liberal “intellectual”? The main difficulties, I think, are two: the necessity of acknowledging the essentially alien nature of every cultural soul, and the apparent necessity to reconcile ourselves to the dismal fact that our own Western organism must, too, die as have all those [civilizations] which have passed before.
As for the first specific difficulty, the acknowledgment of the essentially alien nature of each cultural soul, it follows that if every culture has its own inner vitality, it will be uninfluenced by the spirit of any other. This also runs against the very deepest grain of Western man who, for five hundred years and more, has been proselyting men all over the world in the vain hope of making them over into his own beloved image.
This psychological block runs deep in the West—so deep that it is an error which is apparent in all philosophical strata, certainly not only the leftist variety. Name any philosopher, economist or religious adept of Western history, except Hegel (yes, even including Spengler) and you are virtually certain to find a man who sought to lay universal laws of human behavior; who, in other words, saw no essential difference between races. This error is so fundamental it is usually unconscious.
The Roman Catholic Church is a case in point. Tradition-minded Westerners rightly speak of the Church as being a bulwark of the West, but sometimes go so far as to identify the Church as the West. Unfortunately, the compliment is not returned. The Holy Roman Church is a universal Church—one Church for all men—which sees all people, wherever they are and whoever they be, as equal human souls whose bodies are to be brought to the holy embrace of Vatican City. It is the first to reject the impious suggestion that it owes a primary loyalty to the West. Scientific and philosophical demonstrations that men and cultures are, nevertheless, different in many fundamental respects and that it is unhealthy—unethical—to mix them are sure to meet with the same inhospitable reception that the Church earlier gave to Copernicus and Galileo. In April of 1962 three Catholics in New Orleans were excommunicated for daring to stand on this heretical Verity.
The zeitgeist is always reflected in definitions, so it is the height of insult for a White man today to be labeled an “isolationist” or “nationalist.” White folks must all be “free traders,” “internationalists” and “cosmopolitan” in our outlook, and how we admire the “citizen of the world,” whatever that is.
Our view is intently focused away from our marches; it is far easier, we have discovered, to solve the problems of total strangers than to solve our own. Non-Western peoples are not so enlightened as we, and it is eagerly excused, utilizing a newly-discovered Christian double standard which is a mark of modern moral superiority, like belonging to the Classics Book Club or contributing to the Negro College Fund. What, asks Nietzsche, has caused more suffering than the follies of the compassionate? It is good for colored peoples to be nationalistic; we encourage it, in fact, and snap up Israel Bonds with a warm feeling of self-righteousness. We are joyful when colored peoples and Jews exhibit “race pride,” the cardinal sin and taboo of our own puritanical environment. Incidentally, why is it that every subject except one can be discussed in our enlightened age? Atheism is now a dull subject. Marxism is even duller, after one hundred years of popularity. A step further has taken us past plain sex to sadism and perversion; the Marquis de Sade is even becoming jaded. What racy topic is left to discuss since the equalists have brought democracy’s blessings? Only one thing cannot be discussed in polite company: race.
If we are to draw analogies between cultures and organisms we must agree that the soul of the organism dies only because of the death of the body. The soul can sicken—the soul of the West is now diseased and perhaps mortally ill—but it cannot die unless the organism itself dies. And this, point out the racists, is precisely what has happened to all previous cultures; death of the organism being the natural result of the suicidal process of imperialism.
A word on the racial view of history before proceeding further. Today, of course, history is written from the Marxist standpoint of economics, linear progress and class warfare—and Yockey explains this triple error well. Previous to the first World War history was written largely from the racial point of view. History was seen as the dramatic story of the movements, struggles and developments of races, which it is. Suppression of the racist point of view reached its apex about 1960.
Perhaps the biggest reason for a growing tendency of White folks to look at the races objectively is, paradoxically, precisely because they have been forced to look at them subjectively! It is no problem to maintain a myth in ignorance. Negro equality, for example, is easier to believe in if there are no Negroes around to destroy the concept. In a word, internationalism in practice quickly metamorphoses into racism. To turn from experience to academic matters, how many Americans or Britons are acquainted with the stupendously elemental fact that they are—in the historical sense—Germans; that they are, like it or not, a part of that great Teutonic-Celtic family which—millenniums before the dawn of Rome or even Greece—was one tribe, with one language?
Further, there is a correlation too perfect to be a coincidence in that in every case on record of the death or stagnation of a Culture there has been simultaneously an abortive attempt to digest large numbers of cultural and racial aliens into the organism. In the case of Rome and Greece death came about through imperialism and the resulting, inevitable backwash of conquered peoples and races into the heartland as slaves, bringing exotic religions, different philosophies; in a word, cultural sophistication first, then cultural anarchy. In the case of Persia, India and the Amerindian civilizations, a race of conquerors superimposed their civilization upon a mass of indigenous people; the area flourished for awhile, then the Culture vanished or, in the case of America, was on the verge of vanishing, as the descendants of the conquerors became soft, fat and liberal and took on more and more of the accoutrements and blood of the subject population. In the case of Egypt, the alien blood was brought in over the course of many centuries by the importation of Negro slaves. The inevitable racial mongrelization followed, creating the Egypt we know today.
We thus see the real reason underlying the “inevitable” decline and destruction of a cultural organism. It is because, at a certain stage, a Culture develops a bad case of universalism. Speaking pathologically, unless this is sublimated to harmless channels by proper treatment, it will inevitably kill the organism through the absorption of a resulting flood of alien microbes. It is, therefore, the natural by-product of universalism which kills the organism; the death of the organism itself is neither natural nor necessary!
This conclusion comes by a synthesis of the Spenglerian and the racial point of view. Each tempers the other; together a comprehensive and hopeful theory of history can be developed which holds a deep meaning to Westerners of this day. At all costs, the imperialistic phase of our development must be avoided, and we must guard against the digestion of alien matter we have already partially absorbed.
What is the significance of Imperium? In one respect, Imperium is akin to Das Kapital, for Karl Marx gave to the conspiratorial Culture Distorter the necessary ideological mask to hide its mission of ruthless, total destruction. He provided an ugly and invalid theory of man, cloaked in putrifying equality, mewling hypocrisy, the disease of undiscriminating altruism and the “science” of economics.
Francis Parker Yockey has done the same thing for those who are constructive-minded and who have the intellectual and moral courage to face reality and seek and speak truth. This is why, although Yockey’s plan for the West may not be perfect, it contains atomic power. If only one man reading this book is influenced to lead, and if others are made to see the world a little more clearly than they do now, then Yockey’s life of suffering and persecution and his monumental accomplishment in spite of all has not been in vain.
—Revilo P. Oliver