It came burning hot into my mind,
whatever he said and however he flattered,
when he got me home to his house,
he would sell me for a slave.
~ John Bunyan
Have you ever felt exhilarated and discouraged at the same time? Put a name to that emotion and that’s how I’m feeling in the aftermath of the 2012 American Renaissance conference. I’ve heard nothing but good reviews so far (see here and here) and that’s part of the reason I feel a little discouraged.
If Jared Taylor’s organization represents a movement (and I think I’m being kind in granting that it does) then it’s not a movement that is interested in the sensibilities of a Christian Southerner like myself. On the other hand, getting the chance to flex my intellectual muscles among like-minded folk was thrilling. The company of compatriots was a refreshing end to the long night of isolation. To say out loud the things I’ve only been able to write (or type) was well worth the drive to Nashville.
My journey through Nashville warrants a brief mention. I arrived early and decided to explore. I wanted to see the famous Vanderbilt University — the institution that birthed the Twelve Southerners who penned that famous book of essays, “I’ll Take My Stand” and helped spark a Southern renaissance. Vanderbilt has a beautiful campus, (some of her female students match the blooming dogwoods in glamor, though, as you’re soon to learn, have nothing of the dogwood’s appeal).
I wandered around the campus and talked to some of the students. I wanted to see if any of them were going to be the next John Crowe Ransom or Stark Young. I struck up a conversation with a young lady ( a few years younger than myself) who, after learning about the Twelve Southerners and having gained some small insight about their thinking, assured me that nothing of that sort was taught at Vanderbilt and that she was appalled that I was so stuck in “another century” that I’d dare bring up such a politically incorrect subject. She, erm, “politely” declined my invitation to have lunch.
And so it went (though not as dramatic) with other students.
In memory of the Twelve, I wanted to leave tire-tracks across the well-manicured campus — something in the shape of a Confederate Flag, maybe — but thought better of it. Instead, I hung my head and whistled Dixie all the way back to my car, in long, mournful notes. Later that evening, I raised a glass (or twelve) to my literary heroes.
But then, there was the conference.
I didn’t fully agree with any of the speakers, with the exception of perhaps James Edwards whose discussion was more pragmatic than ideological. Some of the speakers I have very serious and profound disagreements with. Remember earlier, I claimed that if Jared Taylor’s organization was to be considered a movement, it isn’t a movement that is kind to my sensibilities as a Christian Southerner? Let me explain what I meant more thoroughly:
The great Sam Dickson (an archetypical Southern gentleman) did a wonderful job, as usual, in crafting together, in broad strokes, the underlying ideology that ties the American Renaissance ilk together into a recognizable movement.
“We’re empirical!” he says. “We’re scientific! We base our position on the facts!”
He used the old secularist buzz-phrases and, in so many words, declared that the racial-realist (and ethnic-nationalist) movements are based on secularism and scientific empiricism — the same evils that helped birth the dragon of modernism (on my view). I recall thinking, during the presentations, that these guys adhered to the same religion as the neo-babelists, egalitarians and alienists. The only difference between them is one of eschatology. How ought the world play out? To what end is man working? They answer these questions similarly to the neo-babelist, but instead of a mixed utopia, desire a white utopia.
To further exemplify my observation, some of the AmRen speakers (and many in the crowd) advocated for eugenics. This was especially the case with Dr. Richard Lynn. He distinguished between “positive” and “negative” eugenics, the one being implemented through various educational endeavors aimed at improving desired genes. The other is coerced by the strong arm of the state and aims to discourage, through sterilization and other means, the breading of non-desired genes. Simply put, the one encourages, the other discourages.
Neither way is appealing to me as a Christian. They both assume a bunch of pretentious, limp-wristed intellectuals, whose fingernails have never seen dirt, oil or blood, can sit around in their ivory towers and design humanity. This is tyranny of one group of humans planners over countless millions.
“What we call Man’s power is, in reality, a power possessed by some men which they may, or may not, allow other men to profit by…And as regards contraceptives, there is a paradoxical, negative sense in which all possible future generations are the patients or subjects of a power wielded by those already alive. By contraception simply, they are denied existence; by contraception used as a means of selective breeding, they are, without their concurring voice, made to be what one generation, for its own reasons, may choose to prefer. From this point of view, what we call Man’s power over Nature turns out to be a power exercised by some men over other men with Nature as its instrument.” ~ Abolition of Man, pg. 55
“For its own reasons…”
That statement summarizes the bulk of my disagreement with the secular mind-set of the race-realists in attendance. They want to arbitrarily impose their will over the rest of us.
Why do these people choose “IQ” as the standard to judge fellow humans? Isn’t there more to a man than mere intelligence? How high must his IQ be before we value him as a human? My parents do not have the highest IQ in the world, should they not have been allowed to breed? Should I not exist? No. There is far more to man than his IQ. That’s why we don’t euthanize the elderly or pull the plug on coma patients. And we certainly wouldn’t murder someone just because they happened to fall asleep! (I don’t know what a sleeping man’s IQ is, but I’m sure he wouldn’t do well on a test).
The race-intellectuals’ dogmatic and zealous adherence to materialism and secular humanism, blinds them to the underlying dignity and spiritual importance of man.
I asked this question of one gentleman,
“Suppose there is a pill or injection that, once administered, would raise all humanity to an ideal IQ. And, suppose further that everyone takes it. Now the entire globe is similar in IQ. Would we then be able to claim that our racial-group is special?”
The conversation moved on and he never directly answered the question. (He was a marvelous conversationalist, however. Having been in the Navy, like myself, he and I became friends. He was also in possession of numerous fine cigars, which he handed out liberally. Despite our minor disagreements, I found in him a compatriot and role-model. I look forward to meeting him at other conferences).
Their IQ-topia doesn’t sound like the old Europe (or old Dixie) that I’ve come to love through literature.
I suppose this mindset has seeped into the movement from the influences of Frederick Nietzsche, though I have no idea why these folks are infatuated with him. His philosophy, if followed consistently, would lead to complete nihilism in all things, ethics and politics included. The idea that we need to impose our arbitrary whims on a chaotic universe always leads to tyranny.
This philosophy pops up elsewhere, especially in the realm of economics which was another hot topic among the conference participants. I’ll have to discuss the rising ideology of social-credit theory and why it’s undesirable from a Christian point of view, in another post.
By way of general criticism, however, we Christians know that no man is omniscient, therefore, no man (or small group of men) can make decisions that will benefit all other men in a meaningful way. The only way this is possible, is if the ruling man or group of men, make their decisions based on divine revelation, which is the only sure knowledge man can have about all of humanity, since it’s given to them by the only authority who can possibly know.
These very general comments provide the basis for a Christian theory of social-hierarchy and aristocracy, but as I said, all of that will have to be addressed in another post.
In conclusion, I think we Christians who are also racial-realists and ethnic-nationalists, should look at American Renaissance as less of a podium and more of a forum. Jared Taylor shouldn’t be looked to as the leader of a movement, rather, he’s the facilitator of discussion among a full-spectrum of white-advocates and in that regard, is very good at his work.
When ideas collide and people interact on this level, I’m sure the truth, which by definition is God’s truth, will emerge on the field, victorious.
I met a lot of good friends (Mary! Courtney! B Oz! Mr. Jared P! Craig! And the guy who ran the Arktos books table, but I’m embarrassed because I’ve forgotten his name!) and many others. I’m also always glad to see and speak with James Edwards, Paul Fromm, Jared Taylor and the great Sam Dickson.
I should also add a quick note of apology to Alex Kurtagic. Due to some ill-perceived statement of his (on my part) I’ve been calling him Alex “Kurtragic”, but after meeting him in person, I’m ashamed of myself and hope to do right in the future. He’s a very humble, poetic and passionate man whom I’m honored to have met. (I suggested to him that he add zombies to the novel he’s presently writing, though I hope he doesn’t take me seriously. I’d hate to see him use mundane-devices to curry pop-favor ).
I’m looking forward to a day when Kinists can have our own gathering of this sort, one where God is openly and formally honored and the spiritual nature of man can be discussed without reservation. I’ve long daydreamed about who would speak at that sort of conference, but it doesn’t do any good thinking about that now. For the present, I’ll take what I’ve learned from the AmRen and build on it for years to come.
Till the next breath…