Thursday, June 12, 2014

The "New Right" is a lot like the Old Right

I recently picked up a copy of New Right versus Old Right by Greg Johnson, the founder and editor of Counter-Currents, an overtly fascist-aligned publishing house and blog operating out of San Francisco. I found a used copy of another book from the publisher called Summoning the Gods, a neo-pagan argument by Collin Cleary stating that we need to search out the old gods of our forefathers and move beyond the Christian moralism now synonymous with "The West." I found it an interesting read, even though I recognized that the argument behind his work was anti-Semitic in its foundation (as some neo-pagan's profess, Christianity is a Jewish conspiracy to undermine traditional European culture). None-the-less, I was intrigued enough to hear how Johnson sees his "New Right" as distinct and dissimilar from the totalitarian, fascist, and conservative varieties that came before him.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the "New Right" sounded just as ridiculous and conspiratorial as the movements Johnson wanted to move past.

Johnson does make an attempt to repudiate genocide and totalitarianism embedded in right wing movements from the last century. Much like the post-modern left, the language of the "New Right" is one of community control, ethnic self determination, and cultural (yet separate) pluralism. In fact, if you replaced all of Johnson's talk about the "white race" with some other ethnic variety, much of his argument would be indistinguishable from the "cultural studies" pushed at many of our liberal arts institutions. I have written about this before, but it is telling how academics on the right have basically adopted the same approach used by their counterparts on the left to push for a white homeland here in North America.

What I did not expect from Johnson's work was an overt fascination with Jews. Anti-Antisemitism and racism was a hallmark of national socialism, and while fascism is not necessarily racist, historically it often manifests as such. I would have thought the old-fashioned Jew hatred would be tossed to make it more palatable and acceptable for the general audience, but I guess the "New Right" still sees Jewish manipulation behind every event.

Each year, prominent white-nationalist thinkers gather at a conference called the American Renaissance. Although the conference is overtly radical, prominent conservatives still show up to sabotage their careers. Having followed the conference for years now, I have seen fault lines develop between various white nationalists over "the Jewish question," especially following 9/11. An exchange between David Duke and Michael Hart at the 2006 conference pushed these divisions to the forefront.
"It began when David Duke, the former Klan leader and author of Jewish Supremacism, strode to a microphone after French author Guillaume Faye wrapped up a talk vilifying Muslims entitled "The Threat to the West." Duke thanked Faye for remarks that "touched my genes." But then he went one further. 
"There is a power in the world that dominates our media, influences our government and that has led to the internal destruction of our will and spirit," Duke said, according to an undisputed account in The Forward newspaper. 
"Tell us, tell us," someone in the back yelled. 
"I'm not going to say it," Duke replied. Laughter began to fill the room, until a short, angry man leaped from his seat, walked up to Duke and began to curse. 
"You fucking Nazi, you've disgraced this meeting!" he said. 
And with that, Michael Hart, a Jewish astrophysicist and long-time attendee at American Renaissance conferences, headed for the door. As many as 50 people at the conference began to jeer and point at the rapidly disappearing Hart. 
This extraordinary incident marked the beginning of an open rift between those on the radical right who see blacks, Hispanics and Muslims as the primary enemy, and those who say "the Jews" are ultimately behind every evil -- a split that has usually stayed just below the surface but now threatens a leading institution of American extremism. While in the past he has managed to bridge this divide mainly by ignoring it, American Renaissance founder Jared Taylor now must finally come to terms with the split. His dilemma boils down to this: Throw out the anti-Semites and try to build a larger movement with electoral possibilities like those increasingly seen in Britain and Germany; or openly join hands with the very energetic neo-Nazis even though that means the loss of any remaining shred of respectability."
Jared Taylor eventually came down against the anti-Semites, but it divided his community. Johnson references this specific incident in his book, clearly siding with the David Dukes of the world. Johnson argued that the movement must be bold enough to say what it knows to be true, and not fear the stigma against anti-Anti-antisemitism in our society. In his chapter titled "Why Conservatives STILL Can't Win," Johnson states:
"We few who know the most important truth in the world - that organized Jewry (not "liberals," not "Cultural Marxists) have set the white race (not "conservatives," not "Christians," not "Western civilization") on the path to extinction - have an absolute duty to get this message out and wake our people up."
In his chapter titled "Hegemony," Johnson argues:
"Of course Jewish hegemony extends well beyond two-party politics into all realms of culture - education, religion, the arts, literature, pop culture, economics, etc. - ensuring that all whites are distracted with an endless array of options, as long as they are trivial options that do not threaten Jewish hegemony."
Sounds a lot like the "Old Right" Johnson is claiming to be distinct from. There is even an attempt to present this out-dated, conspiratorial world-view as philosophical sound. The likes of Rene Guenon and Julius Evola are evoked to give this concept (that a grand conspiracy of unimaginable complexity is out to destroy "whites") ideological traction. The fact that both men were instrumental in the "Old Right" Johnson is attempting to distance himself from doesn't help his argument.

Upon finishing this series series of essays, I had the same nagging suspicion that Johnson is doing what the remaining dyed in the wool communists do: claim that they recognize the devastation their ideas have caused in the past, argue that their movement will never indulge in such destruction again, yet support the same initiatives and assertions that produced aforementioned ruin. There is very little in the way of "new" ideas here, just the same failed concepts repackaged for a new generation.