Yes, I declare it unequivocally and without hesitation: those of us on the ‘New Right,’ the alternative Right, the true Right, or whatever other label you want to apply to us – we are the most dangerous men1 in the world. Why do I hold this to be the case? It is because we are the most radical men.
‘Radical’ – I’m sure this word immediately conjures images in your mind of uniformed men in boots marching through the streets, throwing Molotov cocktails and beating up their opponents, until one day they manage to seize power, crushing democracy once and for all and throwing all of their opponents into concentration camps and gas chambers. Has it not been the case over the last 70 years that anything ‘Right-wing’, apart from a defanged type of moralistic and capitalist faction that is indistinguishable from any other form of liberalism, has been automatically equated with this image in the West?
This has been a deliberate strategy on the part of the liberal Left, since it has cleared the political field of any opposition apart from the aforementioned neutered Right, whose only role in recent decades has been to gradually cede ground to the Left and provide the illusion of opposition for the democratic spectacle. Liberalism’s victory been so complete that it defines the terms for both ‘sides’ – only those who adopt the language and preoccupations of liberalism are allowed to participate in public debate; all others are either mocked or condemned for being impractical, dismissed for being ‘out of tune with the times’ (which means daring to question underlying social assumptions), or simply excluded on the grounds of being unworthy to be taken seriously. This only happens for reasons which are claimed to be self-evident; seldom are we actually engaged in any form of serious debate.
Yes, we are indeed radicals, but not in the way our opponents see fit to portray it. We understand that the days of throwing bombs and of throwing up barricades in the streets as a means for political change are a thing of the past. The West has progressed beyond the need for such things – and we are all the better for it.
We are radicals in that we don’t think it is enough to merely see a changeover in political leadership every few years or to adjust taxation policy. We understand that, to meet the challenges that the West currently faces, we must rethink our understanding of the suppositions on which our society is currently founded. Are all individuals genuinely created equal? Should economics be the basis of all aspect of social life? Is multiculturalism a positive thing for a society to embrace? Can we reconcile the notion of an ethnic identity with liberal capitalism? Is a strong central state in such chaotic times still the best way of organising society, or should we perhaps consider distributing more power to local communities in loose confederations? Are ‘rights’ something we are all inalienably imbued with from birth, and if so, who defines them? Is secularism really the best foundation on which to base a society that can imbue its citizens with higher meaning? Is the best way to help the Third World to ‘invest’ in it – which generally means exploiting its cheap labour and resources and hoping that the resulting profits somehow trickle down to those at the bottom? Do we have an obligation to spread democracy, Western popular culture, and capitalism to every corner of the globe? Such questions are never asked in the current political debate.
Speaking for myself, I consider myself a radical, but I never apply the appellation of ‘conservative’ to myself. This is partly because the people who typically use the term these days belong to the false, liberal Right that I mentioned earlier; but mainly because I don’t see myself as trying to conserve anything. Most of what once made the West something great was already destroyed some time ago, or is rapidly decaying. There’s little in the modern West that I think is worth conserving – what is good in it is mostly happening in spite of the dominant social trends rather than because of them. There are many things from our past that I think are worthy, in fact vitally so, of being conserved, but the answer is not to become a nostalgic calling, like Gatsby, to return to some earlier time. Such a proposal can only be quixotic; besides which even if we could realistically return our entire civilisation to some point in the past, we would merely be condemning ourselves to repeating all the same mistakes which brought us to where we are now. What is needed is not conservatism, but radicalism: the creation of something new that is in keeping with what was healthy and good from the old.
I do not even consider myself to be Right-wing by any typical definition. In my view, the way forward will have to draw upon ideas and concepts which, in today’s parlance, would be drawn from both ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ (Right-wing radicals should not be afraid to embrace the anti-liberal Left’s critique of capitalism and the state, and some forms of socialism, for example, nor some of the postmodernist’s observations regarding identity and domination), and may involve innovations which are impossible to classify in the traditional manner. (Is a social theory responding to the possibility of the near-total abolition of menial human labour, should present technological trends continue, in the not-so-distant future a Leftist or a Rightist one, or merely one driven by existential requirements?) I will concede that many of the ideas which I find most interesting are traditionally classified as Rightist, however, and therefore I do not object when the term ‘New Right’ – or, my personal preference, ‘true Right’ – is applied to me.
The change that today’s Right-wing radicals want to bring about will not take place by means of violent revolution. We live in an entirely new world. We have access to unprecedented technology and means of communication that would have been unthinkable a century ago. We can get our messages out there, even when our liberal opponents would like to silence us.
And it is quite obvious throughout the West that people are becoming more and more receptive to our ideas. This is obvious from any number of election results and opinion polls. Post-war liberalism, which has wielded unprecedented power across Western Europe and North America for more than half a century and which was bolstered and accelerated by the liberal radicalism of the 1960s, has been a case of too much victory. As Nietzsche once wrote in his Untimely Meditations, ‘Human nature finds it harder to endure a victory than a defeat; indeed, it seems to be easier to achieve a victory than to endure it in such a way that it does not in fact turn into a defeat.’ This is the point at which liberalism now finds itself. As the shortcomings of its policies are becoming more and more obvious to more and more people, the liberals, their ideas already exhausted, can come up with nothing better than more of the same, and to blame their failures on their (virtually non-existent) opposition. Inequality persists? It must surely be because homosexuals and minorities have not yet been granted enough rights and social assistance. Such claims are beginning to ring hollower as time goes on.
While we see some signs for hope in the rise of populist Right-wing parties in many parts of Europe, there is still much work to be done, since most of these parties still basically embrace the liberal paradigm, with only a flavouring of ‘acceptable’ Rightism in their programs. But many great challenges are approaching fast, and when they arrive, I believe that people across Europe and North America will no longer be satisfied with such programs. With immigration reaching crisis proportions, another recession perhaps even worse than 2008 looming on the horizon, and with science and technology rendering many aspects of the liberal order obsolete, the peoples of our countries will soon come to realise that a complete rethink of the social order is needed. When that happens, if we persevere in our current efforts, we will be well-prepared with a plethora of new social ideas and structures to offer.
This is why the old techniques for revolution are not only unnecessary, but outmoded. The people will eventually come around to something resembling our way of thinking of their own accord, and they will freely adopt our ideas. Radicalism is the only way to the future. To steal a metaphor from Marx, we are the ghost that is haunting the face of Europe. The people will not need to be terrorised or forced, because we are those who are more completely in tune with their needs and desires. As the great Colombian traditionalist Nicolás Gómez Dávila once wrote, ‘Love of the people is an aristocratic calling. The democrat only loves the people at election time.’ And, for want of any royalty worthy of the name, we are the aristocrats of this age.
If you do, stop seeing ‘radical’ as a dirty word and embrace it. Embrace your identity as one of the most dangerous men in the world. For it is the work that we are doing today – much of it only cultural or intellectual – which is building the superstructure that tomorrow will be housed in. Our opponents see this and they are terrified. When they call you names, understand that it is merely an act of desperation by which they hope to delay your ascendancy for a short time longer, and nothing more. They know that their game is nearly up. They won’t last any longer than a snowflake in the tropical Sun when the world they have built upon their concoctions collapse before the onslaught of history. Their words may sting you today, but tomorrow belongs to you.
- For the politically correct, I clarify that I am here using the word ‘man’ in the sense of referring to individuals of either sex. For those who may object, I refer you to pages 82–85 of From Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun, where he discusses the full etymology of the word ‘man’ and demonstrates conclusively that it is clear that the word today refers to both sexes, and that its usage in such a manner simplifies writing. I stand by his assertion in my own.
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