Introduction: I had the good fortune to enjoy a morning stroll to the Reagan Convention Center with two other attendees at last fall’s National Policy Institute (NPI) Conference in Washington, D.C. The previous afternoon, NPI had hosted a news conference at the National Press Club on the future of conservative politics in America and its perilous neglect of its largest voting bloc: White Christians. No one was in attendance outside of conference attendees.
As we walked, we talked about ourselves by way of introduction and added a few anecdotes from our past trips to Washington. As we passed the hallowed halls of Federal Employees, I alone noticed a shadow streak down a retaining wall just behind us and across the sidewalk to disappear beneath a curbside public waste receptacle.
“Did you see that?” I asked nonchalantly and got no response. Not wishing to be an alarmist, I allowed my companions to continue their walk and conversation unaware of entropy galloping toward us, just around the bend: built of tents, marble or steel, every empire falls.
This conference was to ask us to no longer merely cogitate on our future and suggest that it is too late for such luxury. It is past time for action, and some have long been preparing for the inevitable. Now, are we to (1) prepare for the fall by hoarding survival essentials; (2) consider such preparation to be a folly and live for ourselves; or (3) prepare for a new future by beginning today to build a new world?
A hundred years ago, the communist intellectual cabal was awaiting a great social upheaval to ignite a consequent Nation-less working class revolution. WWI ushered in the chaos, but to the Social Marxist’s chagrin, each European Nation’s citizenry trundled off to line up for battle in their national uniforms each beneath a singularly shaped and colored banner. Today, some in our movement wallow in fruitless expectation of calamity spawning a new beginning. Nature is replete with examples – forests rejuvenate after fire or a reef after a storm – but there is no such event in human history. The fantasies of those awaiting a new world contribute nothing to the builders who are underway, not willing to wait an Ice Age before seeing their world begin anew.
Alex Kurtagić is an artist who exhibits the martial mind of an intrepid Montenegrin. An author of novels, reviews, essays and blogs in several languages, he is also an accomplished visual artist, musician and commentator. I find agreement and inspiration in most of what he has to say excepting some of his musical tastes, but I acknowledge that we need artists and others of our warrior class to traverse the darker halls and unlit alleyways – places the rest of us need not inhabit. Author of the post-modern dystopian Mister (Iron Sky, 2009), the speech delivered by Alex was one of the highlights of the NPI Conference.
The title was “Masters of the Universe”. Although the film/comic book reference belies his age, Kurtagić’s topic was no less than a how-to guide on transforming the power structure of a society. Here, I report, faithfully I hope, on some aspects of his politics – and mine where we agree and disagree…
The Challenge: It is a common fallacy to consider ideals as universally applying to people in past times or in a different place. Indeed, it is shocking for some people today to consider when the French revolutionaries cried, “Liberté, égalité, fraternité!” in 1789; they were referring to themselves, The French – not to all mankind. The historical perspective of the average Frenchman was 12 miles geographically, and about 30 years in duration. He had white skin, dark eyes and hair (perhaps curly), spoke French, his parents and grandparents were French, he read French (if literate), he ate French food, drank French wine, and probably liked snails. And when he thought in terms of equality, he thought “un François” or people from France.
During the Progressive Era, the conventional understanding of the liberal democratic principle Equality has morphed into the childish (Buddhist?) notion that every (living) thing is equal. This fluidity of definition has ramifications on the popular notions of rights, citizenship, voting, and all that jazz. A Youtube comment posted yesterday asked, “What has someone’s skin color got to do with being British?” Reason cannot be used to communicate the illogic contained in this young person’s question. It takes years of training to produce such a mentality. Kurtagić proposes that he can only be reached on a visceral level.
The bottom line is that we are living amongst a population of our own race that is so educationally challenged as to be hostile toward any form of respect for the true history of our ancestors. This in turn makes life increasingly difficult for the rest of us (i.e., affirmative action, open immigration). Motivated by guilt for the accident of their birth in the West and spewing venom for those who came before them, they act as global political zealots spending an inheritance they did not earn. The gifts of their nations – freedom, rights, land and money – they are happy to dole out to any mongrel on the planet, not for the advantage of the poor wretch, but because the liberal democratic principles of our Western constitutions are supreme. While hating forefathers who provided their privileges, these bored zealots elevate intangible ideals above reason and, given their lack of real world experience, beyond any real human consideration. They have supplanted gratitude and respect for the creator with an idolatry of the created. Sound familiar?
Alex asked: “ So the question arises, given what is happening to us, and given that the end product of the progressive egalitarian project (open mass-immigration) is the end of us, what can we do to turn the tide? What must we do to alter the course of our society?”
Left Mysticism: Among the winners and losers of wars are political ideologies. Those which gain popularity with the victors are legitimized by the powers that be, but they are not necessarily “good”. For example, both democratic capitalism as well as communism flourished after the last world war. The consequences of each may be evaluated by the reader. Other ideas like Nationalism, while in reality much more popular, “lost” the war and, therefore, legitimacy . In the West, those at the helm of the ascending wave held the power, and their guiding lights of that Progressive Era were the institutionally entrenched “equality zealots” (Kurtagić’s term).
Equality zealots begin very young. In grade school, they are often seen butting in line, or it starts with the request, “Mmmm. Lemme have a bite,” or “Can I have a sip?” They don’t want it all, they just want a little bit. In fact, they don’t really want any of your stuff at all, they just don’t want you to have it. They are setting you up. You see, in the future, they don’t want you entertaining any infectious ideas of independence or individuality, and certainly not the uncivilized notion of personal property. Ultimately, they want to be in control of the distribution of whatever you’ve got – and get! Some go on to careers in government service earning a living making up regulations governing how we live our lives and dictating what we can and cannot do with our stuff – equality zealots.
These Regulators in our society are the objects of Kurtagić’s premise of transforming the power structure of our society. They are who he has in mind to replace as the current masters of our universe. He proceeds by admitting that the Progressive victors of the last war wrote its history, and they do indeed determine how we view the past: “They were able to use all of the institutional resources of the state to reconfigure how we see the world, how we learn about the world, and even how we think about the world.
They also re-developed the status system in our society, so that their ideas were elevated and enthroned, and those of their enemies scorned and reviled; so that their chums were promoted and praised to the skies, and their enemies demoted and ostracised as enemies of civilised society. Through their control of institutions and the status system, they were able to encode their values and ideals.”
Alex reasons that the values and ideas of the equality zealots evolved into a system of symbols which evoke emotive responses that require no reasoning to process a decisive action. The word”Racism” for example, no more has a definitive meaning, but is a powerful symbol representing “white hate” – real or imagined. A concept such as Equality no longer is constrained by its specific cultural/historical origins; it has become a “universal concept” applying to all (human?) beings. After all, it does not feel good to think hard or to apply such a wonderful thing selectively as it was designed; it feels good to share, and to do so feeds an addiction.
To people who do think hard – loving logic and reason – this makes no sense at all, and the addictive nature is frightful. It is frightful because where anti-intellectualism reigns, seduction and inspiration are easily achieved. We realize how easily people lacking the tools of critical thinking are mastered and manipulated. Stuck in a swamp of things, they lack the (development of their spiritual and intellectual) wings to set themselves free. It is frightful because we see what matters to us most trammeled upon, mocked and too often just ignored by our children — oblivious to the fact that they are what matters to us most . . .
Alex continued: ”And when we tell him that he’s wrong, that humans are not equal, and he protests, it’s not because he’s done any research—in fact he doesn’t want to look at the research—not unless it’s convenient; it’s because he feels it’s morally wrong, or because he fears social sanction, disapproval, shame. Thus the Left has mystified its values, and through this mystification, the Left has made its system impervious to Reason. In doing so, its proponents effectively became the Masters of our Universe. They set its boundaries, determined its laws, defined its appearance, and fixed its cosmological constants.” (Emphasis added.)
Is Pluto a planet or isn’t it?
The Messenger: So, we must channel our efforts and accept that conversion to our cause, The New Enlightenment, does not and cannot occur via reasoned argument. As with the true believer, it grows out of disappointment, frustration and/or intellectual curiosity. Alex notes that “the facts and the arguments don’t go to the individual. The individual comes to the facts and the arguments. The reason is that humans are rarely persuaded by facts and arguments . . . they are impressed by their source.” From our spokespersons to our recruiters to the very tone of our written words, we should exhibit similar traits if we are aimed at the same ends. Uniformity of action propels the movement of an idea whose time has come.
Alex made the following observation concerning the origins of a movement’s galvanizing force: “Man is the symbolising animal; he operates in symbols, structured sounds and images.” This is how he defines himself, and then looks for others like himself. “That’s why a person’s authority is instantly obvious. It’s in the way he looks. The way he sounds. The way he carries himself. Often, he becomes a symbol of authority.” Like flowers straining for the setting sun, the masses will align with the brightest star – however momentary.
”So, to become Masters of our Universe once again, to rise as new masters as the old ones fall, a New Nationalism needs to look like it deserves the scepter of power. It needs to symbolise a new beginning, and it needs to symbolise it now and always, and not wait for the collapse to clean the slate.”
The Messenger is the Message. People are more impressed with courage than cogitation; more attracted to calm confidence than concise arguments and more inspired by aggression toward threats than invitations to share. Leadership conducts power: it attracts the powerful, is a conduit for dispensing influence, and directs the actions of recipients.
Kurtagić continued: “This is why it’s said that in a society the bulk of individuals follow whoever is in charge, even when those in charge are hostile. They are awed by their Masters not because they are reasonable, but because they are powerful and masterful, because they control their universe, because they control access to status and resources, because they are dangerous, or else because they represent an idea that is seductive, that somehow inspires them.
They are not likely to oppose their Masters because deep down they want to be like them, they want to be among them, they want to have what they have, or they want to be part of that idea, they want to be with the winning team.
The only time they oppose their Masters or discard the idea is when they cease to seem masterful, when there’s no longer a mystique around them, when they start looking weak and pathetic and all too human, when they look like they can be replaced—when something more seductive is on offer.” In our words and actions, being seductive will be more important than the mountains of evidence we have amassed proving our position.
Alex argued that Western culture exhibits a fascination with abstract ideas as a consequence of a “highly developed moral sense.” A concomitant individualistic nature has led Western man away from the ethnocentrism, tribalism and racialism yet embraced by other peoples of the world. Westerners have come un-rooted from the earth (before they have evolved into the quasi-spiritual meta-human beings some seem to think they are…). The assumption of global acceptance and application of their unique moral universality has led to America’s British-like sanctimonious Imperialism. In the end, it is consequent of Western man’s tending “to become enamoured of abstract universal principles—liberty, equality, brotherhood, democracy, and so on.”
Thus western man is more likely than other people of the world to extend his principles, values, rights or privileges to someone outside his tribe, nation or race. Western man is more likely than other people to suppress his racial instincts of preservation of his family, his nation and his people in favor of anyone from another tribe, nation or race. Alex uses the term White ethno-masochist to describe those “who do not see their actions as being against their racial or even their group interests; they see them as being moral, as being high-minded.” Not only do they understand that open immigration is white genocide, they pine for it.
Facts Don’t Persuade: Our people are frustrated over the trickle of conversions to our cause in the face of a hundred years of research and mountains of facts and evidence. The obstacle is like trying to teach a pubescent adolescent – anything! Facts don’t persuade an emotive people. “The result is that most choose the data that flatter their vanity, that make them feel good about themselves, that make them feel part of their chosen community, and they reject data that seem inconvenient or embarrassing, or that come from a source with which they cannot personally identify. . . . Most want to be confirmed in their beliefs . . . Humans will sooner keep on dreaming than wake up—after all, their dreams are nice and feel good, while reality is ugly and feels bad.”
Alex proposes the following syllogism for the most difficult task to undertake in a society: If we seek a fundamental change in our social power structure, and if that power structure has successfully mis-educated our fellow citizens, then we must begin by understanding that our fellow citizens are not going to be persuaded by reason; they must be seduced and inspired.
How is this to be accomplished? “Humans tend to be impressed by the masterful. They come to an idea because the messenger is somehow seductive: they want to be like him, or with people like him. They want to belong and to feel good about themselves.”
Alex concludes succinctly that “if we are not being more successful selling our message, it’s because we are offering none of the above.” An organization whose camaraderie is steeped in racial slurs and the exchange of interracial crime stories only serves to reinforce the pessimism of its membership (and recruits!) and the general negativity characteristic of its meetings. The only hope too commonly expressed among them is that the collapse will cure all.
Kurtagić retorts: “That is not the attitude of the masterful, of the powerful, of people who shape events. That is the attitude of people shaped by events. . . We have to project an image of success . . . speaking not in terms of what we’ve lost, but in terms of what we’re going to gain; in terms of what kind of society we want to build, in terms of what happens next, not what happened before. A winner learns from the past, but he’s always looking to the future. He’s always facing the sun. And we are solar people. We have brought light into this world. We must not forget who we are. We must not become slaves of the darkness. A winner’s image is an indispensable part of a winning formula.”
Again, his formula is simple. Like evangelicals ushering the herds to heaven, we must believe we are already there. Alex foretells of an optimistic New Nationalism in our future “operating like an alternative society” with a “parallel universe” both physical – our own homeland – and metaphysical – that is, we live, work and communicate among people who share our distinct cultural values, mores, all the live long day. The New Nationalism is a New Nation in waiting, and “rather than looking like conservatives fighting the tide of progress, we have to be the tide—the tide that sweeps away the old and decrepit Left, that sweeps them out of power, sweeps them into the landfill of history, never to rise again.”
We Can Win: Kurtagić’s methodology of transforming an entire society reveals his martial nature, and his simple tactics can easily be co-opted by artists and others wishing to convert or recruit for a New Nation, each being a daunting task, but not insurmountable.
Alex derives his tactics from his examination of history. “The process begins . . . in the hands of a Creative Minority . . . (and) because they are impatient with the world around them . . . they fantasise about something new.” Artists, philosophers, and writers create, in time, bodies of works. As they meet others of their kind, they collaborate, have gatherings, form organizations and conduct meetings. Their current grows into a counter-culture and eventually rivals the existing establishment.
And then it becomes political, in the final stage. Here, the movement transforms into “a struggle between two opposing forces, two colliding cosmologies, two conceptions of the universe: One representing the past, another representing the future. Only one of them becomes master of the universe.”
Power is not gained through politics, politics is gained through power. We don’t need to be dominant in a political party. We don’t need representatives in congress or the state houses or any elected offices. Revolutions ride on the momentum of a swell of believers. We will have strength in our numbers at all levels of society.
Therein is, has been and will be our power. In fact, given our history, politics may be irrelevant by that time — Oh, yeah! Kurtagić proposes a transformation our current society. I forgot . . .
Conclusion: Alex Kurtagić projects clarity of vision. He has stood upon the bridge that his generation of natural-born Europeans built over the gap between the history the equality zealots wrote and the versions written by more recent “revisionist” historians who courageously question the dominant paradigm. He sees through our contemporary dilemma hurling to his vision of the final political stage like a cannon ball in flight:
“Politics reflects the culture.
Politics is the art of the possible.
So, our politics will not be possible until we control the culture. And because we don’t control the culture we are in the period before politics. The Left is approaching the period after politics, because their ideas have been dominant for a long time, and by now they have failed on every level. They are running on autopilot. And now they are increasingly worried and desperate, because they can sense their own weakness, they can sense the boredom and the discontent seething underneath, the potential for a revolution.
They have failed aesthetically, criminologically, culturally, demographically, economically, politically, socially. They have failed on every front. And by now they are vulnerable on all fronts.
This is why our project is a war on all fronts, and why it needs multiple angles of attack. There is room for individuals of every inclination, man and woman, young and old, with different talents and abilities, which means that anybody can wage the war in some way or another. Some will do it as writers, others as artists, others as business people, others as protesters, others as patrons.”
Alex’s notion of a radical tradionalist rings of Yevgeny Zamyatin and the perpetual revolutionary. Kurtagić encourages us to embrace our radical nature in order to contribute anew to our tradition, generation after generation. That is, we are traditional in our adherence and respect of our past, but radical in our creativity in how we express it and perpetuate it, as indeed we must in the building of our new world. Each can participate and contribute in some way. And they will do so if encouraged:
“Being traditional also gives us an advantage that the Left doesn’t have because they are anti-Tradition: the advantage of belonging, of being part of a community of people with whom we feel at home; of having a home and a family to which one can always return; of having a past and a future; of life with meaning, because we are part of something greater than ourselves, that is timeless and transcendental. With the Left a person is always homeless, always a stranger, always a meaningless atom in a sea of Formica, PVC, neon, polyester, and reinforced concrete.”
Don’t be a meaningless atom. Embrace the New Enlightenment, the New Nationalism, and the building of the New Nation.
Alex closed with the following advice for us all:
1.) Think Irrationally. Humans have the capacity for reason, but they use reason in irrational ways. They often have irrational motivations, which they rationalize after the fact. But they are irrational. To reach our fellow citizens we have to understand their motivations, and not be irritated by them when they differ from ours. We have to anticipate their needs so that we can meet them, anticipate their fears so that we can dispel them, anticipate their desires so that we can fulfill them. Particularly if they are irrational.
2.) Impress to Inform, don’t inform to impress. Often a person who sits through a speech doesn’t pay attention to half of what is said, he remembers only one or two phrases, one or two concepts, and not for very long. But when there is an able speaker the listener is nearly always impressed by the delivery, he likes the energy, he likes the emotions roused in him. Therefore he listens. We often comment on the speaker, less on what he said. So, aim to be impression oriented, to be effect oriented.
Marketing and information campaigns are not about information. They are about eliciting a reaction, inducing and maintaining a state of mind, opening the mind to an idea—among people who are overloaded with information, who don’t want to be disturbed, who are wrapped up in their own lives. That’s why marketing and information campaigns aim to be iconic. That’s why they reduce everything to a sound bite, a slogan, an image, or a jingle that is infectious. Facts are important, but at this stage they are subsidiary, because a mind remains closed so long as the spirit remains unmoved.
3.) Think in Pictures. Help people visualise what you are offering. A picture speaks a thousand words, and it’s a lot easier to remember. A picture is much more difficult to argue against because images resonate at an emotional and spiritual level.
4.) Be Positive. No one wants to be around a person who complains all of the time, who is always negative, who is always doom and gloom. Humans respond to optimism, because they want to feel good. And our people in the West are crying out for a Renaissance. So, be positive, and focus on the future. It’s about where we came from and where we are going, not about where we are.
5.) Enjoy the Struggle. You will be more creative, and you’ll have more energy, and you’ll get more people interested in you, if you enjoy what you’re doing. Because if you enjoy what you’re doing and you’re good at it, you feel confident. And everyone likes that.
So think irrationally, impress to inform, think in pictures, be positive, and enjoy the struggle.