(Editor’s Note: I received the long anticipated Fall 2010 “secession issue” of TOQ in the mail today. Over the next week, I will be reviewing the six essays on secession which are included in this volume. I plan to wrap up this series with a culminating essay on secession based on my own thoughts.
If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to TOQ and follow along the discussion. Since Kevin MacDonald took over as Editor, I have received two issues over the last six months. The venerable journal is back on track and remains a “value added” product which is well worth the small cost of subscribing to.)
Michael O’Meara’s prize winning essay “Toward the White Republic” won the 2009 TOQ competition on secession. Thus, it seems appropriate to start the reviewing process here. Last year, I had a few thoughts about “Toward the White Republic” which were largely positive. I’ve since reread the essay with a fresh pair of eyes.
At the outset of this review, I would like to emphasize that I only reviewing the essay.” “Toward the White Republic” has since been expanded into a 160 page book. I haven’t read the book (only some of the essays therein) and this review isn’t a judgement on its content. At some point, I will purchase a copy of the book (you should to) and review the complete volume, but that will have to wait until another day.
As an essay, “Toward the White Republic” can be divided into four parts: a definition of White Nationalism, a history lesson about White identity, a polemic against racial conservatives, and a prescription for action. Last August, I focused exclusively on the “mythic” aspect of this essay, which provoked a series of negative responses at Majority Rights. Today, I will reflect and expand upon the complete product.
O’Meara begins “Toward the White Republic” with the observation that a terminological change has redefined the pro-White movement. In the 1990s, pro-Whites abandoned “white supremacy” in favor of a rhetorical commitment to “White Nationalism.” Instead of attempting to recapture control of the United States, pro-Whites slowly converged on the ideal of creating a separate, autonomous White ethnostate in North America.
But everyone who subscribes to the “White Nationalist” label hasn’t embraced the revolutionary, separatist project. Some White Nationalists continued to hold out hope that America could be “restored” through the existing political process. These “mainstreamers” advocate working within the system to achieve White Nationalist ends.
O’Meara calls them “racial conservatives.” The Council of Conservative Citizens would seem seem to fit this description. Matt Parrott of Hoosier Nation comes to mind. Yesterday, Parrott advocated “restorationary radicalism” with Kievsky on Radio Free Indiana.
I see nothing to dispute here. If I was forced to split hairs, I would only quibble with O’Meara’s assumption that White Nationalists are synonymous with revolutionary vanguardists. In theory, I see no reason why secession couldn’t be accomplished peacefully through the mainstream political process.
The Velvet Divorce between the Czech Republic and Slovakia is one such example. Québec’s constant threats to secede from Canada is another closer to home.
After defining White Nationalism, Michael O’Meara moves on to explore the historical roots of White identity. He interprets White Nationalism as an American variation on ethnonationalism. Once again, O’Meara is on solid historical ground. This section was easily the most persuasive part of the essay.
What impressed me the most was that O’Meara seems to understand that the emergence of White racial consciousness in America was an organic process, not an imported abstract ideal from Europe. It was a pragmatic response of English settlers to living in an alien environment. White unity was a strategy for dealing with race war with Indians on the frontier and keeping large numbers of negro slaves in bondage.
Hostilities with Britain in the American Revolution and War of 1812, which lingered on into the 1890s, finally killed off the “English” aspect of American national identity. Westward expansion and the absorption of large numbers of European immigrants reinforced White racial consciousness until well into the twentieth century.
Under the Roosevelt administration, the first cracks began to appear in the seemingly invincible facade of White America. This was due less to a Jewish conspiracy than to America’s own geopolitical ambitions after the Second World War.
The Soviet Union challenged American global hegemony with its own version of universalism. In order to counter the success of Soviet propaganda in the Third World, American policymakers began to advocate desegregation; letting a genie out of the bottle which eventually led to the decompiling of White racial identity.
To his credit, Michael O’Meara is one of the few White Nationalists who seems to understand this. Jewish influence played a starring role in the decline of White America, but it was only one factor among many contributing to this result. The perversion of America’s own republican ideals was likewise important.
Further into “Toward the White Republic,” O’Meara steps on to much shakier ground, in which he attempts to defend secession and revolutionary vanguardism from its racial conservative critics. Foremost among these, O’Meara takes aim at Sam Francis, who was dismissive of the idea of a White ethnostate.
The first and most common criticism that O’Meara responds to is that a White ethnostate is “a fantasy … pure and folly.” He responds to this line of attack by arguing that the “objective forces” opposing secession are less important than the “subjective will seeking its triumph.” If the will to secession is strong enough, reality will crumple and give way.
This doesn’t strike me as a persuasive rebuttal.
It doesn’t matter how hard you try to bend a spoon with sheer will power, psychokinesis only works in Hollywood movies. In order for White Nationalists to be successful in achieving their revolutionary objective, they will logically have to amass an incredible amount of power and physical force in a circumscribed geographic area, say, the Pacific Northwest, something which hitherto they haven’t shown any signs of doing.
O’Meara himself doesn’t show much interest in the nuts and bolts, the practical, how-to side of revolution either.
Moving forward, O’Meara responds to Francis’s criticism that any call to dissolve the United States will only serve to alienate conservatives and nationalists. His only counter to this argument is “that ship has sailed” and “the flag-waving, Constitution-worshiping types” who “believe there is something sacred about the United States” will “never be mobilized for the sake of racial preservation.”
At the stroke of a pen, Michael O’Meara writes off the 42% of Americans who identify as conservatives, who account for well over 50% of White Americans, and an even larger percentage of Whites in the South and West. Who then is supposed to create the White ethnostate?
The 20% of Whites who are liberal progressives? The remainder of Whites who identify as moderates? They are even less likely than conservatives to be rallied around the ideal of a White ethnostate.
By writing off 90% of White Americans, O’Meara reopens himself to the charge of “fantasy ideology,” or engaging in wishful thinking untethered to political reality.
Finally, O’Meara responds to the criticism that White Nationalists don’t have the military resources to secede and defend a White Republic. He dismisses this line of attack with the argument that Francis doesn’t understand “fourth generation warfare.” The rotten Judeo-American colossus only knows how to defeat standing armies and is incapable of defeating a popular insurgency which would secure Russian support.
This is another criticism which shouldn’t be treated so lightly. It brings to mind the overconfident Confederates (and there were far more of those) who put their faith in King Cotton, Southern chivalry, and British and French military support triumphing over Yankee materialism and numerical superiority. Secession didn’t work out for the Antebellum South and there is even less reason to think it would work out for White Nationalists in the Pacific Northwest.
The fact is, this scenario is based in large part upon the wishful thinking of vanguardist revolutionaries like The Order who were crushed by the authorities within recent memory. When Timothy McVeigh blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City, the Clinton administration used his “domestic terrorism” to demonize White Nationalists and rally public support behind the federal government. The movement had to carry this albatross for years.
This scenario also presumes that the U.S. military is incapable of defeating insurgencies because of the Vietnam Syndrome. Law enforcement alone was capable of defeating White Nationalist insurgents in the 1980s and 1990s. What about the insurgencies that the U.S. military defeated in the Philippines, Nicaragua, or more recently, the Sunni insurgency that Bush and General Petraeus defeated in Iraq?
The U.S. military has devoted enormous resources to counter-terrorism and defeating “fourth generation warfare.” White Nationalists underestimate its resilience at their own peril.
When all is said and done, Michael O’Meara’s solution, or the means by which his secessionists are to acquire the White ethnostate, is creating a “physical force wing” of White Nationalism analogous to the IRA and turning “to the methods of Connelly and Pearce.”
A revolutionary vanguard will be created which will be motivated by the mythic vision of a White ethnostate. In other words, O’Meara’s plan is Harold Covington’s Northwest Quartet scenario, although credit isn’t given where it is due. This much has been plain (see the talk about surrendering territory) throughout the essay. Everything that is being proposed here is what HAC has been saying for years.
It suffers from the same fatal flaw: Explicit White Nationalists won’t participate in a conference call, have dinner with you at an IHOP, or drink a beer with you at a local bar. The vast majority of them are keyboard commandos and are perfectly content to stay way.
If Explicit White Nationalists can’t handle the softball methods of Matt Parrott, they aren’t about to “turn to the methods of Connelly and Pearce.” We are only fooling ourselves by pretending otherwise. If secession is to be accomplished, it will have to be done in some other way, one that is capable of reaching and mobilizing a far larger number of White Americans behind our revolutionary goal.
There is a lot of merit in this essay. I still think the emphasis on myth is vitally important. When I wake up in the morning, I too am motivated by my vision of a White Republic, not by the abstract charts and graphs that are so popular in HBD circles. In this respect, I am not all that different from Michael O’Meara and his vanguardists.
A vision is needed to create evangelists. In my experience, the vision of a White Republic has been sufficient to create lots of evangelists; I have one internet evangelist in particular blowing up my Inbox right now, arguing in favor of the efficacy of ideas.
The weakness of O’Meara’s argument can be traced to means (strategy and tactics), not ends. How do evangelists effectively change the political spectrum? How do we close the gap between reality and our ideals? How do we make progress toward our long term goals? How do we build political power and break out into the mainstream? How do we close the gap between our beliefs and our behavior?
Right now, we aren’t making progress on any of these fronts. In my upcoming essay on secession, I will zero in on this and other issues which I think are important, which I don’t think have been sufficiently addressed here. I will attempt to build upon this idea of a “mythic vision” with the practical ways it can be translated into effective real world action.