The Problem With American Nationalism

I can’t believe that I have to point this out:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. …”

The biggest problem with American Nationalism is spelled out in the plain language of the Declaration of Independence which lays out the American theory of government. The language used here is pregnant with radical universalism, radical egalitarianism and radical individualism. It sowed the seeds of America’s subsequent racial and cultural decline across history.

Consider the following:

1.) If it is self-evident that all men are created equal, how can racism be anything but immoral? If blacks are born equal to Whites, their degraded condition must be the fault of Whites.

2.) If all men have “certain unalienable Rights” which include “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” how can slavery be justified?

3.) If government derives its “just powers from the consent of the governed,” how can one justify denying voting rights to women and blacks without their consent?

4.) Why aren’t homosexuals entitled to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”?

5.) How can a system based on Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness result in anything but an inevitable moral collapse into selfishness, extreme individualism and hedonism?

6.) If Jews are just rationally calculating individualists like all other human beings, how can they be excluded on the grounds of experience which is nothing but rank bigotry?

The civic nationalism which is at the core of American Nationalism is based on radical universalism, radical egalitarianism and radical individualism. The system is inherently at odds with all types of social hierarchies, not merely monarchs and aristocrats. It is a recipe for living in a permanent state of social revolution. America has been in a state of social revolution for centuries.

The ink wasn’t even dry on the Constitution before the movement began to transform the republic created by the Founding Fathers into a liberal democracy. The trend for centuries has been the expansion of the suffrage, the expansion of rights and the elimination of limits. Gradually, every other aspect of national identity with the exception of civic nationalism has been eliminated.

White Nationalism was decoupled from American Nationalism because its ends are incompatible with the ideology of civic nationalism. The same is true of Christianity and the English language. These are aspects of the colonial past which were inherited and a major source of tension and have gradually been purged over several generations due to their incompatibility with the doctrine of civic nationalism.

About Hunter Wallace 12382 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent


  1. If you’re going to have nationalism at all, it’s got to be capable of kindling a fire in the hearts of men.

    Germans respond best to German nationalism which references German history, language, culture, etc. Italians respond best to Italian nationalism, Russians to Russian nationalism.

    Unless you somehow duplicate Europe here, with a New England, New Germany, New Italy, New France, New Spain, New Hungary, New Poland, etc., and somehow split everyone into these nations, and somehow get them to adopt their original culture or a variant of it…

    … you have two choices:

    1. American Nationalism in which you find the best strains of American identity and build on those, including customs, symbols, history, etc., (don’t be disingenuous and say there’s no such thing as American culture and identity — your beloved Confederacy is part of it);


    2. A completely new identity which you’re going to have to make up whole cloth. Which will also probably be called American Nationalism, because if we’re not Americans, what the hell are we? People won’t rally and fight for an utterly denatured, bland, empty, two-dimensional vision of themselves that has no past, no meaning, and no identifiable features.

    You’ve got to ditch the universalist pretensions without ditching “being American,” from what I can see.

  2. Fortunately, the Declaration of Independence is not a legal document of the United States. “All men are created equal” was simply a denial of hereditary monarchy and aristocracy, i.e., an assertion of Republicanism. There is nothing in the Constitution about all men being equal, and nothing about the state pursuing equality for all men. The Gettysburg Address, which claims that America was founded in 1776 and dedicated to the proposition of universal human equality is simply a tissue of lies. You know all this, Brad. So why are you not fighting these delusions? Why are you promoting poisonous, nation-wrecking lies?

    • You’re making the same arguments as the antebellum Southern Nationalists without acknowledging the fact that they lost the conflict and the Northern side that insisted American Nationalism is civic nationalism and a “new birth of freedom” where “all men are created equal” and that the Union was created by the Declaration of Independence won the war!

      The same leveling ideology which was invoked to justify rebelling against the British monarchy instantly moved on to the next stage of social revolution which was universal White male suffrage and the abolition of slavery. Then the levelling spirit moved on to civil rights. Then it was the women’s suffrage movement. Then it was civil rights again. Then it was feminism and gay rights. In our own times, it is the fight against white privilege and transgenderism.

      I like how you just cavalierly wave away the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address to the substance of American Nationalism as if those documents and the arguments made in them weren’t of overwhelming importance to defining the nature of American identity for generations of Americans especially in the Northern United States.

      • I like how you are willing to concede arguments for the radical Jacobin-egalitarian idea of the United States even though they are tissues of lies and delusions. That sounds like depression talking. You know better than that. Why don’t you attack this nonsense instead of surrendering to it and perpetuating it?

        • Greg,

          That’s because … it is all history? It is all in the rearview mirror. We’ve marched from the American Revolution to transgenderism without ever not being in a state of social revolution. Every step of the way it has been a new triumph for freedom, equality, and individualism.

          • It is history erected on lies and brainwashing, leading to increasingly obvious catastrophes. If you would put one tenth the energy into destroying American civic nationalism as you did into your repugnant apologetics for the slave system, your whole Golden Circlejerk, you would actually make a dent in this nonsense.

          • Greg,

            If this is all one big lie, can you tell us at what point in American history was the United States NOT in the grips of some type of social revolution? When were Americans settled and content with the limits of liberty, equality and individualism?

      • Focusing *exclusively* on the most egalitarian-sounding rhetoric of the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address, while discarding almost all other pre-1960s American voices, is a relatively recent, and frankly neoconservative phenomenon.

        Earlier generations placed just as much emphasis on the far more numerous reactionary elements of American history – the explicitly Christian founders of the 13 colonies, and the ethno-nationalist content of Washington’s Farewell Address, Benjamin Franklin’s essays, and the classic American historians of the late 19th century.

        Eisenhower’s America was far more ethno-nationalist, populist and reactionary than contemporary Russia, Poland or Hungary.

        There were outbreaks of domestic radicalism in response to the big crises (the Revolution, the Civil War, Depression/WW2) but there was always a subsequent reaction which restored the moral health of society.

        This pattern changed when the Culture of Critique gained complete control over the main power nodes of America society in the 1960s. Since then its been all downhill.

        • Basically, the TV gave the (((enemy))) a superb brainwashing instrument. Which they used to create a bizarre change from the America that existed for centuries before then.

          Schools, too, of course, but the “tube” definitely made their ascent much faster and more certain, just as another piece of technology — the Internet — is unexpectedly pushing them towards failure.

  3. Whether “civic nationalism” good or bad depends where/when you are. It was bad idea at the end of the 18th century and, as you have well argued, set the direction of development for the next two centuries.

    But now we are even past that. We are in era of globalization, of “hemispheric open markets” (Hillary) and of global citizenship. At this moment ‘civic nationalism’ would be a step back (and in the right direction), Civic nationalism means bringing back closed borders and tariffs, means duties of the citizens to the nation/state and duties of the state to its own citizens, etc. All these concepts (which would apply as well to ethnic nationalism) have been undermined in the last decades as the West pushed the world toward globalization. Bringing them back would a good thing, would be a step toward re-legitimizing concepts which go beyond individualism, and which you would need as well if you want to build and ethnic type of nationalism.

  4. “Why aren’t homosexuals entitled to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”?”

    Because if all rights come from God then obviously something that is against God’s law or is displeasing to Him is not a right. Therefore homosexuality is obviously not a right anyone is entitled to.

    • His 1774 Address to the People of Great Britain was refreshingly free of … a coherent thought. Reads more like talmudic whining to me. Please tell us where to find the fire and fury of a god fearing Southron in this verbose rambling of a (((New York))) lawyer.

      I propose a simple answer to this problem facing the alt right … American civic nationalist for the Yankees. Southern Nationalism for the rest of us, that is everyone who would consider it an insult to be called a “Yankee”.

    • “Friends and Fellow Subjects” sounds like a troll phrase to me. It’s pretty clear Jay saw the Americans as equally powerful as the motherland and was willing to test it out in a fight.

  5. NO!!! You guys have gotten this TOTALLY wrong!!! You’ve fallen for the (mistaken) LEFTIST interpretation of the Declaration hook, line and sinker!!!

    Here’s what it REALLY says: All men are created equal with inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness… but now you need to read the REST of the phrase: “to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men.”

    In other words, all men are equal in the ability to create governments to secure their rights — meaning Africans in Africa have the equal ability to create governments to suit them, British in Britain can create their own government, and Americans in America can create their own government. It DOESN’T mean that MY government has to suit everyone else’s needs!

    Jefferson — and EVERY president from Washington to Lincoln — believed that Negroes were NOT included under the American government, and should be repatriated back to Africa so that they could pursue their rights to “life liberty and the pursuit of happiness” OVER THERE.

    Indeed, that is exactly how Liberia was founded.

    Properly understood, the Declaration is NOT universalist claptrap… it’s WHITE NATIONALISM.

    • But, to partially concede to HW’s point, it is very easily misused by the dishonest to mean other than what it’s writers intended.

    • X- you may be right, but if the average Joe in the street thinks the Dec. of I. Means what HW says it means, it’s all moot anyway.

      If we are at the ‘fourth turning,’

      Wemight as well join the forces for reform and create an English, Christian ethnostate post haste, (and put out a bounty on the Jews for good measure), and “IdentExit” from this accursed antichristian State.

      • Here’s Jefferson’s take on the slavery question from “Notes on the State of Virginia,” Query 14, in 1781.

        Jefferson is ABSOLUTELY CLEAR that once blacks are emancipated, they should be REMOVED from white society to go out and form their OWN damn government. This is the same guy who wrote the Declaration; so the idea that the Declaration somehow requires universal principles of egalitarianism is simply a misinterpretation and a distortion:

        ” [A bill was proposed in the Virginia Legislature] to emancipate all slaves born after passing the act. The bill reported by the revisors does not itself contain this proposition; but an amendment containing it was prepared, to be offered to the legislature whenever the bill should be taken up, and further directing, that they should continue with their parents to a certain age, then be brought up, at the public expence, to tillage, arts or sciences, according to their geniusses, till the females should be eighteen, and the males twenty-one years of age, when they should be colonized to such place as the circumstances of the time should render most proper, sending them out with arms, implements of houshold and of the handicraft arts, feeds, pairs of the useful domestic animals, &c. to declare them a free and independant people, and extend to them our alliance and protection, till they shall have acquired strength; and to send vessels at the same time to other parts of the world for an equal number of white inhabitants; to induce whom to migrate hither, proper encouragements were to be proposed. It will probably be asked, Why not retain and incorporate the blacks into the state, and thus save the expence of supplying, by importation of white settlers, the vacancies they will leave? Deep rooted prejudices entertained by the whites; ten thousand recollections, by the blacks, of the injuries they have sustained; new provocations; the real distinctions which nature has made; and many other circumstances, will divide us into parties, and produce convulsions which will probably never end but in the extermination of the one or the other race. — To these objections, which are political, may be added others, which are physical and moral…”

    • Jefferson — and EVERY president from Washington to Lincoln — believed that Negroes were NOT included under the American government, and should be repatriated back to Africa so that they could pursue their rights to “life liberty and the pursuit of happiness” OVER THERE.

      America’s aristocratic, landed gentry believed the Negro was at best, half human. – They were right.

  6. Who wanted independence from Britain? For the most part it was wealthy Freemasons who resented the fact that they were denied peerage. Is that not so, Cap’n John?

    • Washington was denied a military commission. If he’s been given a Captaincy or Majority he’d have been a loyalist.

      John Hancock was in direct competition with the East India Company. He should have been offered stock in the Company and he’d have been the King’s lackey.

  7. They did screw the pooch with the wording, and hiding behind the term “banks” when you know they meant Jews.

    But they also made it clear that each generation was going to have to fight for their freedom, and no one has done that since the War on Dixie.

  8. This is Thomas Jefferson in 1821 (45 years after the DOI): “Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate, than that these people are to be free; nor it is less certain that the two races equally free cannot live in the same government. Nature, habit, opinion have drawn indelible lines of distinction between them. It is still in our power to direct the process of emancipation and deportation, peaceably, and in such slow degree, as the evil will wear off insensibly, and in their place, pari passu, filled up by free white laborers”. (Autobiography, In The life and selected writings of Thomas Jefferson, The modern Library, page 49).

    This is the context the DOI has to be interpreted with.

    Thomas Jefferson was a White Nationalist.

    • Jefferson was not a white nationalist.

      He just recognized that blacks were obviously some kind of archaic hominid. As anyone with eyes would.

      Jefferson’s attitude towards the Indians was quite different, he wanted to civilize them and assimilate them into American society

      “You know, my friend, the benevolent plan we were pursuing here for the happiness of the aboriginal inhabitants in our vicinities. We spared nothing to keep them at peace with one another. To teach them agriculture and the rudiments of the most necessary arts, and to encourage industry by establishing among them separate property. In this way they would have been enabled to subsist and multiply on a moderate scale of landed possession. They would have mixed their blood with ours, and been amalgamated and identified with us within no distant period of time. ”

      ” They would have mixed their blood with ours, and been amalgamated and identified with us within no distant period of time. “

      • 1) A White Nationalist is an individual who while recognizing racial differences makes no value judgements on those differences but on the unwise choice that such coexistence would be hence advises for separate existence.

        In the above statement TJ argues race realism, is indifferent about the status of their relative condition to whites and advises for their relocation.

        TJ was a WN

        2) Is an individual who is accepting of some non-White percentage of coexistence while denying political franchise a WN? Maybe not, in a purist sense, but that is not a White Supremacist either. It falls somewhere in between WN and WS. But it is neither.

        2a) If you want to make the case that TJ was not a WN because he may have accepted or tolerated that 0.3% of the US population could be non-White, hence he would fall closer to this for TJ had no illusions about non-whites exercising political rights even if not relocated it would be fair to say… mmmmmaaaayyybe. But it would be stretching it.

        2b) But what about 15%? What is an individual who is ok with a 15% non white population Coexistance without political rights?

        3) A White Supremacist is an individual who, while acknowledging racial differences makes a value judgement on them and advocates for a policy of white subjugation or control of the other group.

        TJ was not a WS

        But maybe Greg J can arbiter this discussion: was TJ a WN?

    • His daughter sold the family home to a Jew as soon as she could do so. Whether he was this or that politics his fucking country estate was bought by a bloody Jew.

  9. ” I think the Founders should have put more footnotes in their documents.”

    Let me rephrase that.. I think the Founder’s should have footnotes in their documents.

    I feel like these documents are about equal to future generations dealing with nuclear waste sites; while we currently think our progeny will be smart enough to deal with it, they may not be.

    • What care we for what their feet looked like?

      What the founders did was create a grossly flawed system of centralized government, one that has become more destructive than any other government in history. Other attempts at government have all resulted in failure at some point. History proves one thing with unflinching certainty, every government is flawed to the point of failure. This one shall be no different. The only curve ball in today’s game are nuclear weapons that provide a small cabal of secret elite to destroy the planet.

      The problem is one of man’s flawed nature, the desire to be led, so one does not have to face responsibility for their actions and decisions. No matter the form, all governments to date have degenerated into governments of a highly centralized nature prior to their collapse.

      Be it monarchies, “democracies” republics, or the proletariat rule of communism, all at some point degenerated into highly centralized governments invariably controlled by crafty money men happy to manipulate those wielding control of the visible power structure. As far back as ancient Egypt, one can see this form of financial manipulation subject only to a single golden rule – He who has the gold, makes the rules. Thus, as long as man insists on strong, centralized leadership, the world will continue to degenerate.

      Only a totally decentralized form of rule, like true anarchy, will assure a power base to large to be bought off or manipulated by a small cabal of greedy money men.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ THE RIDDLE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      It was an odd incident that stands out now only because of its oddity. It happened during a business trip to a distant city. I had become lost that early Sunday morning and was now late for my flight. In my anxious search for the airport, I felt growing frustration at being lost. I could only wonder how I had come to the point where I was desperately driving the empty back streets of some nameless industrial area deep within the urban confines of this major metropolis.

      The morning was rainy and blustery; the buildings were low, flat, box structures all of drably uniform, cement-gray, color. Each block-long building partition contained several small doors sunk into a windowless, cement wall. The sameness of the scene was mind numbing and gave the impression of my being a rat lost in a maze.

      As I turned yet another corner and came upon another empty street, I noticed a faint patch of color. Actually, it wasn’t so much a difference in color as it was a different shade of drab; a patch of washed out brown in an otherwise gray universe. Drawing abreast of the drab, brown, color, I could see it was a human figure hunched over a steaming grate, with its head bowed between its knees.

      The brown turned out to be a patched, military, great coat and the figure’s head was covered with a well-worn fedora. In desperation, I stopped the car and took the three steps required to reach the apparently sleeping figure. It was then I noticed a tin cup and a soiled, dog-eared sign, cast carelessly on the ground that read: RIDDLES – $1.00.

      I didn’t need any more riddles that day, but I prayed my dollar might obtain information directing me out of my present inner-city riddle to the airport and my departing flight. As I reached for my wallet to extract a dollar, the figure stirred and looked up. The face under the old, worn fedora stopped me cold – it was hideous.

      Once it had been the face of a man, but now one side of the face looked like melted Plasticine that had oozed down the rigid skull structure. Most noticeable within that misshapen, mass of scarred flesh, was a dead, yellowed, sightless, eye staring past me into the gray void of that cold, windy, morning. The other side of the face, although normal, was old and lined from endless years of wear and toil, the good eye drawn to a slit from the relentless wind.

      I opened my mouth, but before I could speak, the horrific apparition addressed me in a low, gravelly, voice that issued from the intact side of the face. Standing there, open mouthed with dollar in hand, I listened as the bizarre looking street beggar gave me clear, concise directions to the airport. Then, without hesitation, he closed his good eye and stared at me with that baleful, yellowed, sightless eye.
      As my focus became riveted on the dead, sightless eye, a detached voice said: “Here is your riddle, If you do not want to be led, then why do you demand leaders? If you want to be led, then why do you expect your leaders to follow your demands?

      With that, the figure bowed his head and again became an inanimate patch of brown in a gray world. I was late, very late. Still speechless I bent over and stuffed a bill into the tin cup. A moment later, I was back in my rented car, speeding to the airport.

      As I ran up to the loading gate, trench coat and briefcase in hand, I could see my flight being pushed back from the Jetway. Thoroughly exasperated, I dumped myself into a nearby seat. All my thoughts were on the impossibility of making my flight out in time.

      Trying to focus in order to overcome a fast approaching blue funk, my racing thoughts would not allow such diversion. It was obvious that I would now miss the election returns. The voting registration and balloting results I had gathered would now be useless information, yesterday’s news.

      At last, I exhaled a deep, long breath in the acceptance that my efforts had been wasted. I threw my head back to find a news broadcast flashing on an overhead monitor. Although unable to hear over the din of surrounding noise, it was clear the election was over. It had been terminated early when the incumbent threw in the towel and conceded defeat.

      The victors cheered ecstatically, congratulating each other as the newly elected president tried hard not to gloat over his victory. Somewhere in the background, a talking head discussed election details with some know-nothing, TV personality.

      In retrospect, the incident now seems surreal, perhaps more like a scene from a Fellini movie than real life. But I can still see the all too real, baleful gaze, of that dead, yellowed, sightless, eye and I still ponder that riddle that issued from a twisted, melted, mouth with wonder at their meaning: “If you do not want to be led, then why do you demand leaders? If you want to be led, then why do you expect your leaders to follow your demands?”

  10. Easy: because nonWhites were not seen as being human. They were regarded as savage beasts. Whites are human nonWhites animals.

  11. I think Brad is onto something….

    Of course…once The Historic Native Born White American Majority is voted into a violently persecuted racial minority within the borders of post-white America…the context of what defines Civic Nationalism will explicitly include nonwhite racial identity politics at it’s core…Nonwhites won’t make the same mistake as stupid Whitey did…..The new Civic Nationalism will=demographic control of LIVING AND BREEDING SPACE…with force and violence…no apologies…

    Would the signatories of the Constitution have been open to flooding America with Chinese Scab Labor…? I can’t rule this out…

  12. Greg, you’re a retard. America will be minority white within a decade or two. Texas will be blue in a decade. The strategy of “entryism in the republican party while pretending to be American nationalists to gain power and then roll back a bunch of constitutional amendments” is mathematically impossible. And “American identity” is the biggest hindrance to white identity, so any “metapolitics” you do on that front will be completely wasted.

    The fact is, America is trash. It has always been trash. It will always be trash. It’s a poison meme.

    • I completely understand you sentiments, but what then is the end goal & what are the means?
      The only way I see any positive outcome for whites on this continent is through eventual armed conflict. The only way this could be successful if to have the men & weapons on our side. As of now the majority of fighting age men that would be willing to revolt in the states are white, which is good, but they are constitutional conservatives for the most part, which is bad.
      If we want to secure the future for white children in the US, whether in a NW ethnostate, or through a coup or full revolution, how do we succeed without having all of these men fighting for us?
      The answer is that we cannot. So how do we get these men on our side, because we simply have to.

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