Notes from Underground


The “Towards a New Nationalism” conference

Lively dissent in the sepulchral city



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As a compulsive melancholic, I am often seized with sadness for reasons that don't always immediately, or ever, make themselves clear. During nearly the entire time I attended the National Policy Institute conference, "Towards a New Nationalism," in the United State's capital on the weekend of September 10-11, I found myself attacked by this ruthless, implacable monster, eating away at me from the inside of my gut with its poison-tipped fangs. I'm not sure whether my profound unease resulted from lack of sleep — I'd driven some distance to the conference and navigated downtown D.C., which I always find an exhausting and bewildering experience, before spending the night at a cheap motel inside the Beltway that had the vibe and appearance of a flophouse/youth hostel — or whether it was a psychic revulsion brought on by proximity to the marble monuments of the "sepulchral city" itself, which rightly or wrongly impress me as an obscenely self-important display of idolatrous futility.

Or possibly, the furious despair that assaulted my consciousness was simply my natural reaction to the thoroughly depressing state of affairs faced by the Western world today, a subject upon which each of the speakers at the conference expostulated with forceful vigor.

Of course, it must be said that the conference did represent a major victory by virtue of the fact that it actually happened. Unlike the last two scheduled American Renaissance affairs, which leftist goon squads succeeded in closing down by intimidating various hotel managements in the Washington area and Charlotte, the NPI conference proceeded exactly as planned, without a hitch, and on federal turf, no less! — in a ballroom in the Ronald Reagan and International Trade Center building on Pennsylvania Avenue. I'm told there were a couple of ragtag, malodorous protesters squatting on the sidewalk outside holding signs decrying "hate," but I didn't see them. Richard Spencer, the editor of Alternative Right and conference organizer, took special care to thank the staff of the building for holding out against the censorious proclivities of the "tolerant" Left, which would have liked to have prevented the conference from taking place.

With an insouciant grin, Spencer noted the grim irony of the circumstance. "The free market will not let us speak! We can only rely on socialism to articulate our views," he declared, referring to AR's recent difficulties getting a venue in privately owned facilities.

None of the speakers, save one, were of a particularly libertarian bent, and none, except one, spent much time holding statist machinations responsible for the blight of multiculturalism and the resultant balkanization of the once culturally homogenous West. Instead, the primary focus of the conference was mass immigration to Western nations, a phenomenon that, in tandem with low native birthrates, threatens to alter the demographic landscape of North America and Europe in the coming decades.

Spencer began with a reflection on Enoch Powell's famous 1969 "rivers of blood" speech, in which the British Tory MP forecast violent social clashes and possible future dispossession of the native British if the government kept importing Third World immigrants in such volume. Examining current and likely future demographic trends, Spencer declared that, in Great Britain and elsewhere, Powell had if anything been over-optimistic in his assessment.

"We are living through the catastrophe that Enoch Powell prophesied," Spencer said. "We need to find a way out of a nation that has already been transformed."

Many other luminaries of the "alternative Right" addressed the small but spirited audience and in much the same vein as Spencer, weighing in from various angles but all addressing the central issue of immigration, legal or illegal, as well as the much more controversial matter of race and "human biological diversity," or racial differences.

Blogger Keith Preston (www.attackthesystem.com), a self-described "anarchist nationalist," spoke of the phenomenon of white liberal political correctness — "totalitarian humanism" as he dubbed it, arrestingly — which perpetually hamstrings critics of multiculturalism by calling them "racist" and imposing draconian speech codes that render honest debate impossible. Of all of the speakers, only Preston noted that political correctness has tended to go hand in hand with a "deification of the state." He also remarked that Big Business and Big Government, far from being enemies, very often collude. Both tend to favor mass Third World immigration: the former wants cheap labor and the latter a means of extending its welfare-state bureaucracy.

Byron Roth, author of The Perils of Diversity, predicted that the United States would become 50 percent nonwhite in fifty years, and forecast a growing balkanization along racial lines. Jared Taylor — whose American Renaissance conference in Charlotte was canceled last year after totalitarian humanists harassed the management of the hotel where it was scheduled to take place — considered future prospects for opting out of the multicult gulag, remarking on what he called "the Orania model," a reference to the small, exclusively Afrikaner town in the Northern Cape of South Africa. Tomislav Sunic spoke of the difficulty of uniting all native-born Europeans in one movement, when those from various countries tend to squabble over petty and relatively insignificant issues. And Sam Dickson reflected on what he felt was the need for whites to eschew excessive individualism and adopt the community-oriented thinking that seems to come more naturally to people of other races.

Every one of those speakers made compelling points, but the highlight of the conference was the talk given by Alex Kurtagic, the co-editor of Alternative Right, editor of Wermod and Wermod publishing company, and author of the multiculturalist-hell dystopia Mister.

A sturdily built, bespectacled man whose dark eyes and pale features betray a mix of Slavic and Mediterranean ancestry (his mother is Spanish and his father Slovak), Kurtagic spoke in a passionate, lightly accented voice about what could be called the artist's role in helping to effect a paradigm shift in the near future.

"Humans are rarely persuaded by facts," he insisted. In order to reach others, we should instead "think in terms of seduction and inspiration."

And how can we be properly "seductive" and "inspiring"? Kurtagic said the key was to "enjoy the struggle." Rather than get caught up in gloom-and-doom or give in to the temptation to rattle off "an endless list of complaints," we ought to project ease, confidence, and grace.

"Defeatism is a prelude to defeat," he proclaimed. And while he acknowledged that it isn't always easy to "enjoy" the stress and strain that accompany being a thought-criminal, Kurtagic's recommendation was to view the experience as a kind of grand adventure.

As a confirmed pessimist with a depressive orientation, I took Kurtagic's message as a patient takes his medicine. After all, he is right. As bad as things are, there is no point in being miserable. It neither helps us nor harms our enemies to adopt such an outlook. Even if we are unable to turn the tide of "radical egalitarianism," or "totalitarian humanism," or "cultural Marxism," we might as well take pleasure in the fact that we know what we believe, and that we fight for what we know in our hearts is right.


After the conference ended, I took a few minutes to stroll through the streets of the sepulchral city in the gathering dusk. I felt pensive, yet for the moment strangely heartened. The White House, the Capitol, the Washington Monument, the Supreme Court, the Lincoln Memorial, the new ominously Asiatic-looking, imperiously scowling MLK statue — all of those landmarks signified to me a ruling class generally hostile to my interests and values. They were made of stone, and I was but flesh. They would fall to ruin long after my corpse rotted in the earth. But as long as I lived and breathed, I resolved, from that day forth I would enjoy the struggle against the principalities and powers of the infernal Zeitgeist. And great would be my reward.  Ω

Editor's note. In the October 2011 issue of American Renaissance a notice on page 2 informs the reader: "We have signed a contract with a secure location in Nashville, Tennessee, to hold the 2012 AR conference." The dates given are March 16-18.

September 27, 2011

Published in 2011 by WTM Enterprises.

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