An exchange with a European who says Charles Johnson is right
A note on why I disagree with you regarding Charles Johnson and his hyper-PC stance when it comes to Le Pen et al. [See
I agree with you on the substance—that when one weighs the dangers posed by multiculturalism and uncontrolled immigration against the potential danger of a resurgent far right, multiculturalism must be seen as a much larger threat to Europe. But that’s not the relevant consideration.
Why? After having observed European multiculturalism up close for over two decades, I don’t think that there is any actual reason to weigh the benefits of a policy of “no enemies to the right” against the costs. This is simply because I consider Le Pen, Vlaams Block/Belang, et. al. as a part of the basic problem. By refusing to separate themselves completely from the far right, they form the crucial bridge between traditionalism, anti-immigrationism and the history of Nazism. And Nazism is the catalyst that has supercharged liberalism’s doctrine of equality, turning what was earlier manageable into a disaster for the West. As long as the bridges between Nazism and anti-immigration policy remain standing, I have a hard time seeing a resurgent traditionalist movement in Europe.
In short, Le Pen et al have contributed almost nothing to saving Europe. On the contrary, the forces that want to destroy any coherent European civilization love having people like Le Pen around. This is why European traditionalists must take a cleanroom approach to the far right.
What this means in practice: People who invite David Duke to stay with them can’t merely be reprimanded—they must be forcefully excluded from the movement. People who make light of the Holocaust (such as Le Pen) must be thrown out as soon as possible. People who like to shave their heads and to wear sturdy boots should be kept out at any cost. Parties that insist on making world war II era grudges part of their repertoire must be shunned.
Without such a strict policy of complete isolation from Nazism and its vulgarized spin-off movements, any attempt to create a European traditionalist movement is futile and fatally morally compromised.
There is more to say on the subject—for instance, the major Swedish anti-immigration party is currently undergoing a successful de-nazification process. It is still burdened by the heritage of the skinhead movement, but the process has resulted in exploding poll numbers, and the party is likely to enter parliament when the next election rolls around.
A wave of racist, skinhead and nazi violence destroyed the electorally successful Swedish anti-immigration movement during the early and mid 90-ies.
Your discussion is based on a false and damaging premise, which is that conservative anti-jihadists have a policy of “no enemies to the right.” That’s not at all true. The whole debate about Vlaams Belang last year (see my links below) revolved around Johnson’s charge that they were a Nazi-like party. And it was shown over and over that there was nothing to the charge. If there had been something to the charge, I and others such as Diana West and the editor of Brussels Journal would not have backed Vlaams Belang.
Johnson calls the speakers, without distinction, “racist, fascist” leaders and “vile Neanderthals.” See Diana West’s discussion of the speakers, several of whom she has met personally and interviewed. If you think that that Dewinter is a racist and fascist, then, notwithstanding your criticism of Johnson’s “hyper-PC” stands, you are of the same view as he, meaning that you will denounce any European conservative as Nazilike and that you will consign Europe to Islamization unless European conservative leaders appear on the scene who are 100 percent liberal.
The same goes for your suggestion that people like VB associate with skin-head types. Where did you get that from? Are you Charles Johnson writing under a pseudonym?
On the question of a VB member, a local official, having David Duke as a guest at her house, I personally wrote to contacts I have with VB urging that she be excluded from the party. The party did reprimand her, but didn’t exclude her. I don’t see that as sufficient reason to say that VB is a party that has no enemies to the right. If VB had no enemies to the right, then they would not have set up bars against Duke being connected with their party and they would not have reprimanded the local official who socialized with him.
As for Le Pen, he has been a confused figure for years. At times he has reached out to Muslims, apparently abandoning his anti-Islamization position. After he said that Iranian nukes would pose no threat, in early 2006, I wrote him off. (See this and this.) I do not like the fact that he will be at this demo. I think he should not have been invited. But the fact of his being there as one speaker among many speakers does not seem like sufficient reason to denounce the whole demonstration as some resurgence of Nazi-like evil. And I think that that was West’s point as well.
While I was writing the above reply, I had forgotten that the subject line in Stil’s e-mail was: “Charles Johnson is right.” Having forgotten it, I was under the impresson that his line about Johnson’s “hyper-PC” position indicated that that he was being somewhat critical of Johnson.
Below are articles of mine on Charles Johnson and Vlaams Belang.
Charles Johnson’s really existing desires for Europe [concerning article about Johnson’s utopian demand that the best conservative parties in Europe divest themselves of every association of which Johnson disapproves.]
Charles Johnson calls Brussels Journal “repugnant” [How Johnson attacks VB leaders for being on same radio show on which David Duke also appeared, which I call “ascription of guilt through collateral association.”]
When the Europeans attempt to return to normalcy, which side will we be on?
Charles Johnson finds the smoking gun [the Celtic cross bric a brac.]
Talkin’ Little Green Footballs Paranoid Blues
The method of Charles Johnson [my main article on Charles Johnson]
Correcting Johnson’s canard about Fortuyn and Vlaams Belang
The World War II-era links between Flemish nationalism and Nazism
Vlaams Belang aligns with BNP; Spencer says Charles Johnson was right
Spencer: ally of Charles Johnson
Charles Johnson in a nutshell [“Johnson is against Islam, but he defames the only people who stand up to it.”]
Charles Johnson finds more fascists behind his TV set
Lawrence “Springtime for Hitler” Auster gets the LGF treatment
Charles Johnson, drawing on left-wing websites, again smears Vlaams Belang
But is it really false that European anti-immigration parties have been to some degree accommodating towards the far right? I know for certain that they were for a long time here in Sweden, until the far right split off into their own parties, enabling a resurgence. If it was indeed true that my ideas were already implemented, a buffoon like Le Pen would have been thrown out of the movement years ago.
Note that I am not saying that DeWinter or most members of Vlaams Blok/Belang are “fascists” or skinheads. I am merely saying that they aren’t active enough in disassociating themselves from people who objectively harm the effort to save Europe. And because of that they contaminate a large swathe of an otherwise viable European anti-immigration movement. Their indifference is the problem.
I should add that my main point is that merely not being associated with the far right yourself isn’t good enough. If you aren’t actively distancing and disassociating yourself in a very forceful way, you are most likely contributing to the problem, and not to the solution. A measure of care and due diligence is required—not optional—for any politician who wants to contribute to saving Europe.
Of course LePen speaking at the conference won’t turn it into a manifestation of “Nazi-like evil”, but it will probably cancel out a lot of the positive effects of having a conference in the first place. Of course appearing on some questionable US radio show doesn’t make you a nazi—but it will provide useful ammunition to those who want to discredit you and your movement. Googling it would take how long? Five minutes? And merely “reprimanding” those who are demonstrably cozy with hardcore anti-Semites is entirely insufficient. Complete, clean separation—indeed, constant active fighting against the far right is the only way forward. Why? Because it works.
My “suggestion that people like VB associate with skin-head types” wasn’t directed at VB. The “sturdy boots” line was inspired more by the history of the local Swedish anti-immigration movement.
“I should add that my main point is that merely not being associated with the far right yourself isn’t good enough. If you aren’t actively distancing and disassociating yourself in a very forceful way, you are most likely contributing to the problem, and not to the solution.”
I see what you’re saying, but your point is not Charles Johnson’s point. Johnson’s point is that VB is actively associated with and is part of the far right. Yet your subject line was “Charles Johnson is right.”
Johnson’s position, that VB is Nazi-like, and your position, that VB is not Nazi like but that it fails to take strong enough affirmative steps to separate itself from Nazi-like people, are two distinct positions. Johnson makes definite, damning, and clearly false assertions. You make less definite, less damning, and less clearly false assertions. To borrow your phrase, in order for you to be credible, merely not being associated with Johnson’s position isn’t good enough. If you aren’t actively distancing and disassociating yourself from Johnson, you are most likely contributing to the problem, and not to the solution.
Next, I do not know enough about the facts to say whether it is true that VB is not actively distancing and disassociating itself in a very forceful way from the far right, so I can’t reply definitively to your substantive assertion.
However, from my knowledge, I don’t think you’re correct. VB has kicked out extremists. It has reprimanded the official who had Duke as a guest in her home. It has made clear it will have nothing to do with anti-Semitism. It has emphasized its support for Israel.
It seems to me that you are setting a standard that in the European context is practically impossible to meet. From your e-mail data I see that you are writing from Europe. Yet you sound like an American, acting as though European conservatism is or ought to be just like American conservatism or rather neoconservatism. But that cannot be. European conservatism is inherently national and at least somewhat ethnoculturally based, and there is within European conservatism a spectrum from softer to harder, and the softer type groups will inevitably have some associations with the harder type groups. So you are making two impossible demands: (1) that as a condition of acceptance European conservatives must be just like American conservatives, speaking the language of pure universalism, and (2) that as a condition of acceptance European conservatives must continually take active steps to cut themselves off from any possible taint of association with harder conservatism. This amounts to demanding that European conservatives keep jumping through hoops. Talk about hyper-PC. They would have no time for anything but constantly demonstrating to people like you that they are sufficiently pure. They’d have no energy left over for opposing Islam. Meanwhile the Islamization of Europe continues.
In fact, what you are demanding of European conservatives is what liberals and the left demand of the West generally and of Israel in particular. The liberal assumption is that Western countries are inherently illegitimate, they are illegitimate by virtue of the fact that they exist as particular societies, and therefore the only way they can make themselves legitimate is by ever greater efforts to include the Other. Thus Western countries prove their legitimacy by going out of existence. Similarly, you demand that European conservatives prove their legitimacy by giving up any taint of the nationalism or ethnocultural particularalism that is inherent in European conservatism. In your mind, the only way European conservatism can become legitimate is by becoming liberal.
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Philip M. writes from England:
The party I belong to, the BNP, has similarly faced accusations of Nazism. When I have sold our newspapers in the city centre I have sometimes come in for the most obscene, vitriolic abuse for my “Nazism.” At first you try to argue back, engage in a rational debate, ask them whether they think all left-wing people should apologise for Stalin’s genocides, whether being proud of your people necessarily makes you hate-filled, but you soon come to realise that there is no point trying to gain credence with such people. We will never win them over, never convince them that anyone who opposes mass immigration is not a Nazi, because, firstly, they possibly do not believe it themselves, it is just a useful way of winning an argument they would not otherwise be able to win, and secondly because they enjoy calling people Nazis—in my experience Marxists and socialists are often the most pious, self-righteous people on the planet.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 15, 2008 07:23 AM | Send
I love my country and my people. I am not going to spend the rest of my life apologizing for this. People need to realise that there are some people who will never be won over, and many who can be. We should concentrate our efforts on the ones we can reach, rather than constantly apologise to the ones we can’t. Simply repeating over and over “I am not a Nazi” simply makes you look like an apologetic Nazi. For every hard-core left-winger that is disgusted by my speaking my mind in the street there will be someone else relieved and impressed that a white person has the guts to speak up for white people. We don’t need to win everyone over, just enough to win an election.
I get the impression sometimes that when people claim that they won’t become involved or vote for nationalist parties in Europe they are simply looking for excuses for their own inaction, or their fear. Being called a Nazi in public is never pleasant, but if Stil is looking to belong to a “respectable” patriotic party, he is wasting his time. He will end up being held personally responsible for the Holocaust whatever he says. Indifference or hostility to white culture is the only acceptable opinion for a white person in Europe today.
Be a living reproof of their accusations. When people at work found out I was in the BNP, many were surprised, thinking that I was not the sort. I try to be polite and respectful to all people, regardless of their race, my opinions are reasoned and moderate. If left-wing people insist on calling me a Nazi they will simply draw attention to the gulf that exists between what people know of me and what they claim about me, lessening the credibility of the “Nazi” line of attack in the future.
If you are worried about the public’s reaction to you, start doing weights, enroll yourself in a boxing or martial arts class, learn to defend yourself and get out there.
Have you noticed the growth of Islam in Europe recently, Stil? How much time are they spending apologising for 9/11, the conquest of Spain, the destruction of the Byzantine empire? Confident people don’t apologise for things they haven’t done, nor do they accept other people’s definitions of themselves.