Quality or Quantity

This is the seventh installment in this series.

If there is one issue that divides White Nationalists, it is the difference of opinion over whether to pursue an elitist or populist strategy to power. The major theme of Leonard Zeskind’s Blood and Politics was the struggle between “vanguardists” and “mainstreamers” for predominance in the movement. Zeskind used the historic rivalry between William Pierce and Willis Carto to illustrate his point. I came away from our meeting with the impression that there is much to this theory.

Some White Nationalists believe in recruiting an elite cadre, waiting for the long awaited “collapse” to come, at which point the masses will rebel and this natural elite will mysteriously rise to power. They believe the system is hopelessly broken and are highly dismissive of the idea of building a mass movement. They correctly point out that history is made by culture bearing elites, not the passive masses. These people seriously doubt a majority of White Americans can be persuaded to accept our racial views. They also point out that the existing public organizations are flypaper for the dysfunctional, marginal types that infest and discredit all fringe political movements. In a racialist version of Gresham’s law, the bad chases out the good. The vanguardists believe that if we change the culture, political victories will follow.

Another group of White Nationalists believes in building a mass movement, moderating our rhetoric, contesting democratic elections and rising to power through sheer numbers. This is the BNP approach. They dismiss the idea of a “collapse” as little more than a myth or a fantasy. Although they share the belief of the vanguardists that the system is rotten and rigged against us, “mainstreamers” see no alternative but to roll up their sleeves and work within the status quo. The “mainstreamers” are convinced the masses privately sympathize with us and will rebel if prodded to do so in the right set of conditions. As was the case with the Civil Rights Movement, they believe a cultural revolution will follow political victories.

From my perspective, it is interesting to note how similar this internal debate within White Nationalism is to the internecine wars within libertarianism. The libertarians also have their purists (the Mises Institute/Lew Rockwell.com faction) who balk at the notion of any practical compromise with the state. There is another group of Beltway libertarians (the Cato Institute/Reason types) who are more flexible and treasure the influence they wield in public policy debates. Both wings of libertarianism have millions of dollars to work with and their movement is at a much higher stage of maturity than White Nationalism. The Libertarian Party is now America’s largest third party.

I’m convinced that White Nationalists have much to learn from the libertarians. In particular, I have long observed how Lew Rockwell and associates have used populist rhetoric to advance a pro-business, anti-populist economic agenda. They have built a mass movement around a political figurehead and a cadre of radical writers and intellectuals. Like White Nationalism, the libertarian scene is a kook rich environment, but somehow they have proven far better at managing the problem and moving beyond that image. For the most part, the paleolibertarian elite has overcome their prejudices and are busily organizing the masses to advance their radical agenda. In contrast, our vanguardists retreat to the wilderness of Idaho or West Virginia to wait for the Day of the Rope.

Also, the libertarians, unlike White Nationalists, aren’t divided on whether to follow a cultural or political strategy. They are doing both successfully. The libertarians have plenty of writers and think tanks that specialize in discourse poisoning public policy debates and the middlebrow bourgeoisie with libertarian ideas and interpretations of history. They also had the Ron Paul campaign drawing disaffected youth into the movement and giving them a cause to fight for and mobilize behind.

The failures of libertarianism are just as illuminating as their various successes. A major stumbling block for the Ron Paul campaign was the hostility he encountered from the Beltway libertarians in trying to broaden his appeal. This division (motivated by status concerns) thwarted his ability to unite all the resources of the movement behind a single leader. Within the White Nationalist movement, the infighting between the various factions has plagued us since our earliest days and stiffled our effectiveness.

In the Rise and Fall of Anglo-America, Eric P. Kaufmann made a critical point when he noted that Anglo-American “dominant ethnicity” only successfully reasserted itself (ex. the Immigration Restriction Act of 1924) when the Northeastern WASP elite cooperated with their more numerous, but humbler populist brethren in the South and Western states. We would be wise to ponder the implications of that in our own movement. The common man isn’t the fountain of wisdom the populists make him out to be; he has to be educated and led into battle by a vanguard. Similarly, an elite without a constituency is little more than a gentleman’s club. To an extent, the libertarians have closed this gap and moved beyond it.

Which brings me to the most disturbing aspect of libertarianism: their success in appealing to and mobilizing White Nationalists in support of their political candidates. At this late date, it should be the other way around. Even the elitists among us are natural populists: if we didn’t genuinely care about the welfare of our race, we wouldn’t be involved in this movement. It says a lot about the state of the movement that we still haven’t been able to bridge this divide between the vanguardists and mainstreamers, the elitists and populists, when lesser men who care nothing at all for ordinary White people have been able to do so.

In my next post, I will discuss the emergence of libertarianism as our major competitor, and why I think it is necessary to confront this burgeoning movement before it absorbs the best elements of our own.

About Hunter Wallace 12381 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent


  1. I passed through libertarianism on my way here. It attracts the increasing number of Whites who are A) disaffected with the political status quo, B) confident in their own above average ability, and C) driven by self interest. Once on board they are indoctrinated that D) collectivism (eg. racialism) is the ultimate evil.

    A, B, and C well up naturally from within. We need only attack the imposed and unnatural doctrine D – demonstrating to deracinated libertarians that this idea that racial collectivism is not in their self-interest is what is really not in their self-interest. Two things to harp on: disproportionate White participation in libertarianism/individualism, copious examples of non-White collectivism. You can be a politically independent fiscal conservative social liberal without denying your race.

    Freed of D while retaining A, B, and C, ex-libertarians can become fine race-aware Whites.

  2. Dr. Pierce saw as his mission the self-identification and education of the vanguard. Over and over again, he makes this clear in his many radio broadcasts. But Pierce was not clear, at least publically, as to what was to be done with the vanguard after it had been identified and given a worldview that made sense.

    The results of Dr. Pierce’s efforts, though, rather than (or besides) leading to the emplacement of WNs in key societal positions – did lead to revolutionary activity on the part of many Alliance members.
    I see a fusion of the two streams of WN political activity that Hunter mentions in this post, with the vanguard personally leading the more racially aware white elements into revolutionary activity: translating the obtuse, esoteric racial arguments made by thinkers such as MacDonald or O’Meara to their willing (and listening) bretheren; along with activating these people towards real and meaningful resistance.

    There are more listening now, then ever….

    Again, this will require vanguardists to step out into their local communities to seek out that next level of semi-racially-conscious white man and woman. This will require social skills (which are at a premium in the WN community?) and the ability to persuade without looking like a wild-eyed zealot. What we could be discussing are practical ways to identify these people, how to activate them, and into what actions.

    Some of these things might best be discussed offline.

  3. I’m not a big fan of collectivism either, especially considering what kind of people are involved in the collective.

    Socially and racially responsible individualism with racially based citizenship would suit me just fine.

    Collectivism in its current form, that of an anti-white, pro-non-white politically correct tyranny is the ultimate evil to me.

  4. I agree with the skeptics that waiting for the status quo to “collapse” might only be a wishful hope. We got to do something. (I loved Matamoros’ recent post in another thread of these series about impatience for immediate action. I feel *exactly* the same!) People at the British National Party for example are doing a good job.

    This is my very first post in this site, which I discovered a month and a half ago, when escaping from Zapatero’s degenerate Spain.

    I am thankful to Hunter Wallace for doing these first practical, face-to-face steps and personal contacts. They may well turn this embryonic movement into changes in the real world—changes to save the most precious thing on Earth: the white race.

  5. Great essay. I also went through libertarian phases, having read Ayn Rand’s novels while in university. I have friends who supported Ron Paul, but who are now moving more right (e.g. Chuck Baldwin- many of them are evangelicals). We just need to convince them that we’re not evil.

  6. I don’t think libertarianism and the problems it concerns itself with are inherently irreconcilable with those discussed here. Absolute anarchism is, of course, but the observation that powerful central governments lead to evil use of that power isn’t incompatible with the racial angle.

    Or the anti-feminist angle.
    is a good point, you could easily swap out “mysogynist” with “racist” and come up with something very applicable here. Point is these are all aspects of the more fundamental problem; solving any one of them in isolation will not be enough (and actually I don’t think solving just one in isolation is even possible).

    It’s not JUST about race, any more than it is just about government power, or just about hatred of men. It’s about free white men and the nation-state they should be able to build and live in.

  7. ‘In the Rise and Fall of Anglo-America, Eric P. Kaufmann made a critical point when he noted that Anglo-American “dominant ethnicity” only successfully reasserted itself (ex. the Immigration Restriction Act of 1924) when the Northeastern WASP elite cooperated with their more numerous, but humbler populist brethren in the South and Western states. We would be wise to ponder the implications of that in our own movement.’

    Fred Reed is tactfully pushing this button already, in a highly motivating manner:

    ‘I went with a DC cop to interview a rape victim of fifteen in some hospital. She was screaming, sobbing, out of her mind despite sedation—the usual. The guy had roughed her up pretty good. The protocol is never to mention the perp’s race but, if the girl is white, there’s no need. If you think rape is a sexual crime, you have a lot to learn. You don’t risk three years in jail and cripple a woman for something you can buy on any street corner for ten bucks.’


    Fred Reed is not exactly a pillar of the movement, but the issue he mentions is important.

  8. The outpouring of support for Ron Paul on Stormfront was unprecedented.

    I think the Fundamentalists are our main rival among the populist voters. Fundamentalists come from backgrounds where the most traditional racial views are found.

  9. “White individualism” *in* Western modernity. It doesn’t work. What works is feudalism, hierarchy, and intolerant idealism – but freedom *within* these guidelines.

  10. I too am surprised at how many White Nationalists went gaga over Ron Paul. And I am not talking about tepid, naive, or neophyte WNs, but seasoned radicals who should have known better. Now many of these people went into the Ron Paul movement with admirable motives. They wanted to find potential recruits and radicalize them; they wanted to encourage a political maverick who was upsetting the calculations of the system; etc. But at some point, they got caught up in the campaign. I was astonished to learn that WNs of my acquaintance had given more time and money to the Ron Paul campaign than to any WN organization.

  11. Who’s Ron Paul? Wasn’t he that clueless white-haired guy in the Jew Sacha Baron Cohen’s Brüno film?


  12. Anthony:
    “What works is feudalism, hierarchy, and intolerant idealism – but freedom *within* these guidelines.”

    I completely agree with that. European civilization was at its height under the monarchies prior to WW1, which was the suicide of white civilization.

  13. I am writing from Brazil and I want as much as you to make WN cool, because only WNism can stop the Jewish onslaught on civilization

    So a suggestion: why don´t you put pictures of beautiful women as topics from time to time? Also, in the same vein of Roissy, you should post topics about white men behaving as weaklings towards women. Once WN guys start scoring chicks massively, the movement becomes cool. The way to stop negroes from destroying female beauty is through “game”.

  14. another point: in Roissy´s blog, what angered the blacks the most was when I pointed the unbelievable ugliness, if not repulsiveness, of black women

    the message “blacks have low IQ and commit more crime” is not a winning one. The message “blacks are ugly and cannot but produce ugly children” is more powerful ,because it makes blacks uncool

  15. gig,

    Our first task to make White Nationalism look sane, normal, and sophisticated. This is a challenge for us in light of the fact that the movement has been associated with fringe groups since the 1970’s.

  16. Who’s Ron Paul? Wasn’t he that clueless white-haired guy in the Jew Sacha Baron Cohen’s Brüno film?


    Who is Sacha Baron Cohen? Why would you go see a Jewish film? 🙂

  17. I think we need both.

    After sixty years of demoralizing media brain-washing the white population is further from a WN position than it was in the 30s or 50s. I think what is required is a two-stage radicalization.

    The first stage would be a stealth WN mass party/movement with a diluted platform revolving around White ethnic self-interest without stating it explicitly e.g demanding the end to anti-white discrimination and much reduced immigration. This would be used to draw recruits in and part-radicalize them but also to potentially provide the practical benefit of slowing down the genocide a little to give us more time.

    The second stage would involve various cadre type organisations who’d stay out of the spotlight but close enough to pick up the part-radicalize and take them to the second stage.

    It seems to me that most new WNs have mostly self-radicalized through the actions of the enemy as the existing WN organisations repel people when they are first waking up because at that initial stage those organisations are too far away from the mainstream. I’m not saying those positions are wrong but that at the first stage they are too much for someone who is just waking up to the sense of threat. Leftists have always done this. Red organisations set up pink organisations to act as a first stage.

  18. Gig is correct. Men who are attractive to women, and are almost incidentally pro-white, are much better examples and figureheads and public faces than political organizers of any stripe.

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