On Violence: A Rejoinder

Timothy McVeigh's act of "Sorelian violence" set the White Nationalist movement back at least ten years

The Vanguard

Greg Johnson has some thoughts about violence over at Counter-Currents. I have some thoughts of my own about the subject.

This is an extended version of what Kevin MacDonald has already said at The Occidental Observer.

(1) Is Harold Covington the victim of a vicious smear campaign?


Harold Covington glorifies violence. He sincerely believes that violence – specifically, an IRA-style terrorist campaign – is a viable means for creating a White ethnostate in the Pacific Northwest.

This is why Greg Johnson’s former employers at The Occidental Quarterly forced him to remove an interview with Harold Covington at the TOQ Online website. In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, they wisely preferred not to be associated with Neo-Nazi terrorism in a nation fighting a “War on Terror” abroad.

Harold Covington’s fascination with violence has been established beyond any reasonable doubt in his many novels, podcasts, videos and blog posts. In fact, Covington once wrote for a blog called “Tyrannicide” with the subtitle “Thoughts On How To Change History, One Bullet At A Time.”

In the 1990s, a Christian Identity group called the “Phineas Priesthood” exploded pipe bombs in Spokane as part of a terrorist campaign to create a White ethnostate in the Pacific Northwest. The city and region has a long history of vanguardist terrorism.

When the news broke that a sophisticated pipe bomb had been found targeting a MLK parade in Spokane, reasonable people from across the political spectrum suspected a racial motive because the crime fits the profile of a vanguardist terrorist organization.

The only accusation that has been specifically made against Covington is that the FBI is probably taking a hard look at the Northwest Front. This is a reasonable assumption given the setting of the crime, the intent of the explosion, the decline of other groups, and the nature of the device that was found at the scene.

(2) Are the charges against Harold Covington in anyway similar to those levied against Jared Taylor?


Jared Taylor is not an anti-Semite. He doesn’t run an “anti-government” organization. American Renaissance has never advocated violence as a solution to political disputes or even discussed Gabrielle Giffords in a negative light.

The charges against Jared Taylor were so ridiculous that the ADL and SPLC shot them down.

The charge that Harold Covington supports domestic terrorism in the Pacific Northwest sticks. Any disinterested observer can see that Covington’s violent Northwest Quartet novels could inspire a lone wolf terrorist to bomb a MLK parade.

“Overthrow the United States government with a thousand men?” demanded Washburn in skeptical amazement. “Bullshit!”

“I didn’t say overthrow the United States government,” Morehouse corrected him. “I said effectively terminate federal control and authority in three large Northwestern states, which is not the same thing.”

“How?” asked Ekstrom.

“By hitting the enemy hard and often, in teams or crews of two to five or six people max. Let’s assume an average of five Volunteers per squad or crew. Our thousand effectives will make up two hundred such crews. […] Imagine each of those crews striking the enemy on an average of once per day, all across the Northwest. […] Let’s assume an average of a single dead enemy of one kind or another per attack. That’s 100 people per day being killed in one three-state area […].

“That’s if we can find the kind of political soldiers necessary for that kind of warfare,” Hatfield reminded them.

“The guys with the cool head and the iron nerve and the ice water in their veins […] I cannot turn mere white males into white men once again, men that our ancestors would have recognized […] We can win this, comrades,” concluded Morehouse decisively. “We can beat the God Almighty United States of America, kick their stinking rotten asses right out of here, and take this land for ourselves and our children. But only if we have the stomach for it.”

There was a long moment of silence. “Let’s get started, then,” said Hatfield. […]

“In this room you’ve already got your first Trouble Trio. […] You’d be amazed how much hell three men can raise in a society this complex, this racially volatile and unstable…”

These are idiots are quoting him at The Occidental Observer.

(3) Did the bitch rape herself?

Harold Covington seems to think so.

There is no evidence that suggests blacks would attempt to blow up an MLK parade full of black children to score political points. There is no evidence whatsoever that the Israeli Mossad or Muslim jihadists had anything to do with this.

The Portland bomber targeted a Christmas parade. The 9/11 hijackers targeted the Pentagon and World Trade Center. Those crimes fit the profile of Islamic terrorism. This one does not.

The federal government has no reason to stage a “false flag operation” of this sort. There is no thriving vanguardist organization in the Pacific Northwest that they would feel pressured to undermine.

It is much more likely than an alienated vanguardist sociopath is responsible for the attempting bombing in Spokane. The only people in America who would target an MLK parade are Neo-Nazis. The region has a history of racially motivated Neo-Nazi violence.

The FBI is likely taking a close look at all the “hate groups” in the region. This is especially true of the ones that advocate violence like the Northwest Front.

In “Through the Barrel of a Gun,” Michael O’Meara wrote on Harold Covington’s “Tyrannicide” blog:

“In any case, the increasingly totalitarian character of contemporary liberalism, not to mention the plantation of a hundred million muds on our soil, makes the entertainment of such reform an exercise in folly. The white race will be reborn not by electing Congressmen, hiring lobbyists, and participating in a system that seeks its destruction, but by returning to its original self — and to the challenge of creating an Aryan warrior aristocracy forged in the fire of Sorelian violence.”

Blowing up an MLK parade would certainly qualify as “the fire of Sorelian violence.” This essay is included in “Toward the White Republic” which is on sale at Counter-Currents.

Once again, the only type of person in America who would do such a thing is probably someone suffering from the delusion that he is part of an “Aryan warrior aristocracy.”

This crime fits the profile of an alienated fanatic and sociopath acting on his own exterminationist rhetoric. The only people in America who support exterminating black children on racial grounds are vanguardists.

It would be truly shocking if that turned out not to be the case.

(4) Why have some White Nationalists condemned violence in the wake of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting and the Spokane bomb?

I suspect it is because …

– They are sincerely repulsed by psychopaths and mass murderers.

– They do not advocate violence in the first place.

– They can see the potential damage that being associated with violent fanatics can inflict upon the White Nationalist movement and themselves personally.

– They fear that the vanguardist cultural milieu, which is a fever swamp of nihilism, sociopathy, homosexuality, and moral relativism, will continue to hatch unhinged spree killers that will further damage and undermine the White Nationalist cause.

(5) Is violence immoral in itself?

Normal people don’t ask such questions.

That is a topic which is largely debated among nihilists and sociopaths. There is a long established moral consensus in America on the subject of violence.

Americans believe that violence can be justified on self defense grounds. They believe that the state is justified in using violence within certain legal boundaries.

As a society, Americans believe that violence is the territory of “legitimate authorities” like judges, cops, soldiers, and elected officials to whom we have delegated that right in exchange for the opportunity to prosper in a pacified civil society.

This hasn’t always been the case.

In the Early Republic, some Americans believed the only good Indian was a dead Indian, that blacks were the property of slaveowners, that a gentleman could defend his honor in a duel, etc.

The reigning moral consensus on violence has evolved over time as Americans have eliminated practices which they found inconsistent with the basic principles of Christian morality and republican political ideology.

(6) Are Americans mindless lemmings who are brainwashed by the powerful?

Americans have never been mindless bootlickers.

– This country was born in a revolution against the largest and most powerful empire the world has ever seen. The Patriots who fought the British Army at Lexington and Concord justified their rebellion in the name of higher power than the King of England.

They made an “Appeal to Heaven.” Maybe God was listening because George Washington’s little insurrection was successful.

– The abolitionists went up against the Slave Power. They were censored on the floor of Congress and by the Post Office. Abolitionists like Elijah Lovejoy were beaten by mobs and were loathed by the powerful in their times.

Was John Brown a mindless lemming? Was William Lloyd Garrison a brainwashed automaton? What about the Confederates who held out against the Union Army for four years against incredible odds?

– The blacks who revolted against Jim Crow were raised to believe they were inferior and were discriminated against in almost every aspect of their lives.

The powerful of their times were the Southern segregationists who ruled over key committees in the Senate. They rose up against them.

– In the 1960s, anti-war demonstrators opposed to the Vietnam War brought down Lyndon Johnson’s presidency. Robert MacNamara must not have gotten the memo.

– Richard Nixon, the most powerful man in the world, resigned in disgrace following the Watergate scandal.

– More recently, George W. Bush left the White House in disgrace with an approval rating in the low twenties on account of the Iraq War.

– Two months ago, the Tea Party revolted against Barack Obama and the wildly unpopular Democratic Congress in the 2010 midterm elections.

– Only 20 percent of Americans have “a great deal” of confidence in the mainstream media. Around 11 percent of Americans had a high opinion of Congress under Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

– In December, the DREAM Act was killed for the third time in the Senate last year. Americans were opposed to the DREAM Act in spite of the near unanimous support for it among mainstream liberal journalists.

The common thread running through all these stories from the American Revolution to the Tea Party is the American tradition of rising up against the powerful and following the dictates of conscience.

Without ever realizing it, vanguardists are carrying on this hated American tradition, which they would never acknowledge. If moral sentiments are the mere effusions of powerful scribblers at the New York Times, what are vanguardists so agitated about anyway?

Why aren’t the vanguardists also “lemmings” who are mindlessly repeating what they see on television?

(7) Is violence bad because we stand for “the rule of law” against the “barbarism” of power politics?


We claim that our country is being stolen from us. We claim this nation as our birthright. We claim to desire a White Republic. We claim that the violence we put up with is intolerable.

It is thus highly damaging when vanguardists spit on the Founding Fathers, worship at the feet of foreign dictators, repudiate our republican traditions, yearn for the destruction of our civilization, advocate genocide, and make non-Whites look civilized and sane in comparison.

We are ruled by the law.

The federal government is restrained by the Constitution. If that were not the case, our rulers would have disarmed us and threw us all in prison decades ago, which is already the case in Canada and Germany.

It is a good thing that we live under a republican system instead of a totalitarian one.

Imagine how bad life would be like for White Nationalists in the United States if Barack Obama was as powerful as Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin.

The federal government is restrained by the law, tradition, public opinion, and the moral consensus of our times. Progressives chafe under these annoying restrictions. This is another point of agreement they have with the vanguard.

The reason we live under laws inimical to our racial survival is because we have convinced ourselves that our own racial extinction is morally justified. It is not because our enemies are simply more powerful than we are.

Without the winds of morality and legitimacy blowing into their sails, our enemies would be as defenseless as the Shah of Iran or Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan, no matter how wealthy or powerful they are.

A government cannot function that is seen as illegitimate in the eyes of its people.

(8) Is violence bad because it will turn people against whoever uses it?

Violence will certainly turn Americans against us.

It violates the reigning moral consensus about the illegitimacy of violence used by non-state actors. We have ample precedent (Emmett Till, 16th Street Church Bombing, Matthew Shepard, James Byrd, Oklahoma City, James von Brunn, etc.) to show that violence is counterproductive and damaging to the White Nationalist cause.

That is all we really need to know to answer this question.

The circulation of major newspapers is declining because the majority of Americans believe the mainstream media has been discredited by its liberal bias.

It is actually quite surprising that anyone would ever believe that Middle America is swayed by whatever Frank Rich or Paul Krugman happen to be saying at the New York Times. They have spent over a year slandering the Tea Party as “racist” and Sarah Palin as an “extremist” to little effect.

If Alex Linder had his own television show on FOX News, he would still come across as an unsympathetic sociopath to White America. The mainstream media never misses an opportunity to give the vanguard free publicity for precisely that reason.

(9) Is violence a bad idea because it might bring bad publicity?

Of course.

When has violence ever not resulted in bad publicity for White Nationalists? When has it not polarized White people against White Nationalists?

Few political questions are so cut and dry.

The spurious charges made against Jared Taylor failed to stick because he is not an anti-Semite. He really isn’t the leader of anti-government organization. Those charges are so bogus that Mark Potok wouldn’t stand by them.

The charges against Harold Covington will stick because he fits the profile of an alienated sociopath who preaches violence as a solution for White Nationalists living in the Pacific Northwest. The same people who dismissed the charges against Taylor would never exonerate Covington because his own public statements lend them the weight of credibility.

Greg Johnson’s specious rationalization for stupid, counterproductive behavior falls apart under brief scrutiny.

FOX News accused Jared Taylor of being an anti-Semitic extremist, but those charges were debunked within two days because internet sleuths in the blogosphere have the power to shape public opinion, lead the news cycle, and “tweet down” obvious falsehoods.

What if Jared Taylor really had been a hateful alienated sociopath, an anti-Semitic exterminationist, a Neo-Nazi kook with a special section of his website dedicated to violence like Alex Linder? The mud flung at American Renaissance would have stuck.

Our enemies are always going to call us names. That’s no reason to play the role of Hollywood Nazi like Bill White and confirm ugly stereotypes about racialists.

Ordinary people are not lemmings. They can watch someone like Jared Taylor on television and draw their own conclusions.

Like Sarah Palin, White Nationalists have our own media. We have the power to change our public image. All that requires is for us to get better at communicating with our audience. In order to do this, we will have to start tuning out the kooks and losers who preach nothing but hate and violence.

(10) Is violence a bad idea because the state might arrest or kill those who use it?


Aside from accomplishing nothing and setting back our cause, White Nationalists who resort to violence end up in prison like the members of The Order or dead like James von Brunn and Timothy McVeigh.

If White Nationalists are serious about acquiring power, the first thing they will do is rid themselves of the vanguardist sociopaths who are constantly self detonating and destroying all our momentum. These terrorists make the federal government look like Robin Hood instead of the Sheriff of Nottingham.

In order to win, we have to polarize Whites against non-Whites and Whites against the federal government. We have to narrow the gap between White America and White Nationalists.

Violence has exactly the opposite effect.

The only rational argument for violence is when it is done in the name of a state or community acting in self defense and carries the stamp of legitimacy. If Texas seceded from the Union and resisted an invasion by the U.S. Army, it could do so with broad public support and might actually inspire the secession of other states.

On the contrary, a self detonating alienated vanguardist blowing up a parade full of children will only receive public laurels to be expedited to hell as soon as possible.

Violent rhetoric alone sent Bill White and Hal Turner to prison. Matt Hale went to prison just for his failure to distance himself from agent provocateurs in his midst.


What has violence or violent rhetoric ever accomplished for White Nationalists in the United States? Isn’t the clear answer nothing at all?

(11) Is the system going to collapse?

George Lincoln Rockwell predicted that the system would collapse in 1969 and that he would be elected President in 1972.

The myth of the inevitable collapse of the system is one of the oldest chestnuts in vanguardism. It is their own version of the Rapture. The divine elect triumph in the End Times through the sheer power of faith alone.

There are parallel theories outside the White Nationalist movement that the red giant star Betelgeuese will explode in 2011 and produce an neutrino emission apocalypse that will melt the earth’s core in 2012. Hollywood has already made the movie.

The Lesson So Far

In spite of what vanguardists think, ordinary people are not lemmings, and vanguardists are not fearless enlightened truth tellers.

The polling data shows that White America has little confidence in the mainstream media. Its liberal bias is well known and resented.

The declining circulation of major newspapers, the defeat of the DREAM Act amnesty, the debunking of the ludicious charges against Jared Taylor by bloggers, the failure of liberal talk radio, the unpopularity of the Iraq War and the Tea Party revolt are all proof that ordinary people are capable of creating their own media and reacting against what they see on television.

Americans have a long tradition of calling out the powerful and following the dictates of conscience. White Nationalists are carrying on that tradition.

The problem is not so much that our enemies are powerful. Hamid Karzai might be the President of Afghanistan, but he rules his country in name only. The Afghan public still doesn’t recognize the legitimacy or morality of the U.S. occupation.

The Palestinians refuse to recognize the legitimacy of Israel. America might have the most powerful military in the world, but that is a source of resentment abroad. American power hasn’t awed North Korea or Iran into submission.

Americans have convinced themselves that their own racial extinction is morally justifiable. Violence is the root of the problem.

The Second World War, an orgy of violence, caused Western man to repudiate his own racial identity. It caused him to lose faith in his own civilization. In the wake of Hitler’s Germany, Westerners were unable to reconcile their conscience with nationalism.

It certainly hasn’t helped matters that the vanguard has used every available opportunity to remind White Americans of why they abandoned racialism in the first place.

That rejection happened after almost 2,000 years of Christianity, millions of years of sexual intercourse, four hundred years of the printing press and modernity, centuries of republican government, and years before the spread of television.

The federal government doesn’t use violence to marginalize the vanguard. The truth is that the vanguard is the source of its own marginalization because it goes out of its way to adopt extremely unpopular ideas and court public rejection.

Counter-Currents appeals to a core audience of alienated homosexual intellectuals in the San Francisco Bay Area. Barack Hussein Obama can rest easily at night because he knows that these Neo-Nazi weirdos will never bust out of their self imposed isolation.

The Knights of the Pink Swastika will never play in Peoria.

A Credible Repudiation of Violence

For twenty years, “mainstreamers” and “vanguardists” have coexisted under the common label of White Nationalism. This comes in spite of significant differences between the two camps on the subject of violence.

Mainstreamers are Americans who happen to be pro-White. The majority of them are Christians. They sympathize with their neighbors. They desire to live under a republican form of government.

Vanguardists are alienated exhibitionists who are going through a type of ethnogenesis. Most of them are strongly anti-American and anti-Christian. They are hostile to ordinary people whom they ridicule as “lemmings.” Few of these sociopaths have deep roots in the communities in which they happen to live.

Spree killers are always alienated men suffering from an extreme form of sociopathy.

The vanguardist wing sucks up 100 percent of the alienated sociopaths and misanthropic nihilists who are present in the White Nationalist movement. That is why virtually every shooting spree, murder-suicide, and terrorist bombing campaign of the last twenty years in anyway connected to White Nationalism can be laid at the doorstep of vanguardism.

People who sympathize with their neighbors and who temper their ideology with religion, morality, and common decency do not fantasize about self detonating at Wal-Mart as a form of seppuku against the modern world.

If White Nationalist groups and individuals wish to repudiate violence in a credible way, then all they have to is adopt a new label to distinguish themselves from the vanguard. The only people in the White Nationalist movement who make a fetish out of violence are agent provocateurs and vanguardist sociopaths.

This final separation will ensure that alienated vanguardists self-detonate under their own banner. It will be harder for our enemies to smear the rest of us when their periodic violent episodes makes the news cycle.

Why violence is a bad idea for White Nationalists.

I have flatly stated the reasons why I am opposed to violence on numerous occasions. It is not because I have a weak stomach.

When violence is carried out in the name of a sovereign legitimate authority like a state government, it can be quite effective at galvanizing public opinion. The attack on Fort Sumter set off a chain reaction that led to the secession of Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

We are not discussing the legitimate use of violence by state actors here though.

(1) Violence makes no sense as a tactic.

The enemy has all the guns. They have a lot more money and can mobilize far more bodies on the field. In Alinsky terms, it is thus senseless as a tactic to attack the enemy at his strongest point.

(2) Violence has failed.

The Phineas Priesthood and The Order have already tried violence as a tactic in the Pacific Northwest. It didn’t work out for them.

The Oklahoma City bombing didn’t work out so well for the Patriot movement in the 1990s. Timothy McVeigh only succeeded in reviving the Clinton presidency and restoring some of the lost prestige of the federal government after Ruby Ridge and Waco.

(3) Violence is immoral.

I said above that no one but sociopaths and nihilists in America question the moral consensus surrounding the illegitimate use of violence by non-state actors.

No one in America is going to entertain their specious philosophical arguments in the wake of a bombing or shooting spree. If alienated vanguardists take the law into their own hands, they will violate the reigning moral consensus and this will only ignite an entirely predictable backlash against White Nationalists.

Violence is immoral. Period.

(4) Violence is counterproductive.

I could easily write a 3,000 word sermon on how the use of violence has been a disaster for White Nationalists which has only served to empower our enemies.

Instead of lecturing you any further, I will draw attention to my favorite historical examples which are sufficient to make the point: the Civil War, the Second World War, lynchings in the Jim Crow South, Emmett Till, the Sixteenth Street Church Bombing, Medgar Evers, the Kennedy and MLK assassinations, Matthew Shepard, James Byrd, and the Oklahoma City bombing.

Violence has been like kryptonite to White Nationalists. It polarizes Whites against us and increases support for the federal government.

(5) Violent rhetoric accomplishes nothing.

In recent memory, violent rhetoric has succeeded in sending Hal Turner and Bill White to prison.

Violent rhetoric accomplishes nothing for White people. It is a surefire way though for an agent provocateur to expedite your way to prison.

(6) Violence is typically fantasist territory.

The vast majority of White Nationalists who advocate the use of violence are mere fantasists.

These rhetorical radicals are too cowardly to act on their own rhetoric. In rejecting the system in favor of violence they are afraid to use, these fantasists only succeed in substituting a false means for real means.

(7) Violence empowers our enemies.

The Left is always chomping at the bit to blame any murder or act on terrorism on White Nationalists. They desperately want to associate violence with White Nationalism. Vanguardists are happy to play along.

The people who think like Harold Covington are not going to work within the system. They are not going to engage their neighbors. They are not going to try to influence the conservative movement.

The Left is more than happy to see White Nationalists throw in the towel, cede the field, forfeit the game, pick your favorite metaphor. That only makes their job easier.

The vanguardists who reject the system only succeed in taking themselves out of the game. They may have rejected the system, but no one else has done so. The system only grinds on, but without their participation.

Final Thought

The use of violence by non-state actors in America will always be perceived as illegitimate. White Nationalists who engage in violence do so at their own peril. These people are typically alienated vanguardist sociopaths who are not thinking rationally about solving our problems anyway.

The only way White Nationalists could ever effectively use violence in America is through capturing control of a sovereign entity like a state government. Logically, the only way we could ever do that is through working through the hated system and breaking out into the mainstream.

The real irony in this whole debate is that it doesn’t seem to have occurred to the vanguard that only mainstreamers could ever successfully employ violence for political purposes.

It is troubling that we are still having this debate in 2011.

Editor’s Note: The comment section at The Occidental Observer has been overrun by militant vanguardist trolls and agent provocateurs who are attempting to derail that project.

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


  1. As always, The Cat Lady chose to throw some mud our way. I responded to her attacks. That is also what happened last time when I wrote “Why Vanguardists Never Win.”

    I’m starting to think this is her time of the month. These attacks are usually spaced about a month apart. The next one will probably come around February 21 or so.

  2. Well written Hunter. Violence is only justifiable in self-defense. Unfortunately, that will increasingly be the case as the middle classes (i.e., us) are squeezed ever more tightly to cough up cash for the federales.

    “If White Nationalist groups and individuals wish to repudiate violence in a credible way, then all they have to is adopt a new label to distinguish themselves from the vanguard.”

    We already have a label. It is “American”.

    Goosesteppers and herd animals of any color need not apply.

  3. “The common thread running through all these stories from the American Revolution to the Tea Party is the American tradition of rising up against the powerful and following the dictates of conscience.”

    This is in my opinion the most important point you make in this piece. Most WNs have almost all espoused a conspiratorial view of history in which, rather than “the dictates of conscience,” political events are influenced by well connected cabals of “elites” manipulating the public through force of arms, brainwashing and sleight of hand. In turn they’ve made it their goal to create a WN shadowy cabal to take over by force and brainwashing, rather than making the case that we are morally justified in our struggle.

    This worldview, the belief that an appeal to conscience is superfluous, seems to not only guarantee failure, since the nature of our struggle is at root a moral one, but also to guarantee pessimism, defeatism, escapism and so on in its adherents, in addition to a host of innumerable beliefs and actions that are best described as false, pathological and if not insane, bordering upon the very edge of sanity.

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