One Man’s Striving: Part 7
by William Gayley Simpson
Part 7 of 7
As the West is engulfed by the catastrophe of the Second World War, the author of Which Way Western Man? reaches profound conclusions about the race’s agenda for survival.
(ILLUSTRATION: WILLIAM SIMPSON during World War II)
Note – This is the seventh and final selection of excerpts from the unpublished autobiography of National Alliance member William Simpson to appear in NATIONAL VANGUARD. The earlier selections were in the issues of March, June, and August 1983; and January, March, and August 1984.
Editor’s Introduction: William Simpson returned from a visit to Europe in 1937 deeply troubled by the ominous portents of impending horror and tragedy which were everywhere. He had not been able to understand what was driving so many men in the opinion-molding media in England and Scandinavia to preach a hatred of Germany which seemed suicidally reckless in its intensity; and why so many other men of influence and power who had declared themselves opposed on principle to war were reluctant to stand up against the warmongers.
But his visit with Anthony Ludovici in London at the end of his trip had provided him with a key to understanding, and he had begun to think about the Jewish Question and its bearing on the coming war, and also on deeper and older ills. In particular, he thought about the Jewish origins of Christianity and their implications for Western man’s spiritual development.
Later, although personal matters, including the ever-present problem of earning a living, delayed a serious study of the subject for more than a year, he was able eventually to turn his full attention to the Jewish role in the economic life of the West, and he began to see the same process of alienation at work there as in the West’s religious life. A key book for him in this regard was Werner Sombart’s classic, The Jews and Modern Capitalism:
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From this book of Sombart’s, with its exceedingly impressive scholarship, it would seem evident that the Jews had had no less a part during World War II in seducing us away from our own values and ideals in the realm of economics into an adoption of their more materialistic and mercenary view of life. Also, out of their native flair for business and with their thousands of years of experience in commerce behind them, they invented, introduced, perfected, and almost forced upon the Western world the acceptance of all sorts of devices and institutions that have distinguished modern capitalism from any other form of it known.
Doubtless, some of these, given our acceptance of the system as a whole, made for convenience and the fostering of commerce (one thinks of the modern checkbook and the department store). At the same time it is obvious that many of the innovations introduced by the Jews with a primary regard for their own financial gain (such as advertising and the undercutting of prices) led to ruthless competition and to the undermining and gradual destruction of the practices relating to production and distribution that had been shaped and established by the instincts and ideals of our own people during the Middle Ages.
For centuries the guild system had given the consumer assurance of quality and his money’s worth in what he bought; maintained competence in the worker and at the same time protected him against sickness and old age; held up the producers to exacting standards of materials and workmanship, and yet protected them against all unfair and anti-social competition. When these safeguards were removed, the Western world descended rapidly into the sordid, heartless, and socially ruinous scramble for gain that has marked its economic and financial life from that day to this.
It must be remarked, too, that the capitalist system in its modern form, as shaped under the hand of the Jews, has provided them (for example, in the impersonality of the joint stock company and its interlocking directorates) with innumerable means for exercising invisible control over the life of another people upon whom they have fastened themselves, and for thus keeping the fact of their control concealed. Sombart, writing over half a century ago, just before World War I, declared even then that “Jewish influence made the United States just what they are — that is, American. For what we call Americanism is nothing else … than the Jewish spirit distilled.”
This certainly threw a light on our national life that I never had seen before, and alerted me to the need to be watchful for the Jewish hand in all the kaleidoscopic and fateful changes that were about to engulf the entire Western world. It brought home to me also that if Sombart’s interpretations were correct, much more than a socialist revolution would be required to correct the evils of the capitalist system. All too likely this would but perpetuate the old mercenariness under a new form. In the end it would be found that there could be no remedy short of the complete elimination of Jewish influence, so that the Gentile world could repossess its soul and shape a world after its own values, ideals, and vision.
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Editor’s Note: Such a conclusion as this — that a prerequisite for the revitalizing of the White race and a consequent renewal of its civilization is the complete elimination of Jewish influence — could hardly endear Simpson to the Christian, pacifist, and leftist colleagues of his Franciscan years, to say nothing of his Jewish friends.
Indeed, during the year between his meeting with Ludovici and his undertaking a serious study of the Jewish problem he found that his relations with his former friends and associates had become even more strained than before; as early as 1938 his door to their world was being slammed in his face:
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For years one of my chief sources of income had been gifts that came to me as a result of my speaking. But by this time my speaking engagements were falling off. To be sure, as already related, I had begun to feel considerable doubt about the long-range value of single potshots at new audiences, and therefore ceased to look for invitations. But it must be recognized that there had been a gradual slackening in the loyalty and affection of my friends.
I have mentioned this when relating how the effort to raise some money for me a few years before had turned out a fiasco …. They had been chilled by my repudiation of pacifism. Women generally resented my attitude toward feminism; and men and women alike, when not incensed, were at least troubled by my rejection of democracy and the doctrine of human equality, and by my endorsement of aristocracy ….
In time there were those who went so far as to tar me with the Nazi stick. It was not that I had been talking against the Jews. On this subject I had never opened my mouth. I still had my close friends, and in spite of all I had heard in England about the Jewish Question and my consequent resolution to investigate it, I still had done nothing. I had not known where to begin. In the whole United States I did not know of anyone who was concerned with the problem, or of any office or paper that might throw light on it.
But I had very openly showed my indebtedness to Nietzsche and my devotion to him. And was not Nietzsche something of a hero for Hitler also? Indeed, more and more voices were being heard from men of high place — editors, preachers, university professors — who laid both Hitler and all of Nazism at the door of Nietzsche! Such people may have been animated by some secret and sinister desire to nip in the bud any promise of a spiritual renaissance in Europe, of which Nietzsche was surely one of the earliest and most significant signs. But, no matter what the wrong to Nietzsche, the connection of Nietzsche with Nazism was made. And Nazism was damned. The worldwide campaign launched in 1933 to destroy Nazism and all things German had been seeing to that.
Nazism was damned, damned in toto, without qualification or reserve, and anybody who had a word to say for it was damned likewise. I too. For I had confessed my approval of Hitler’s taking the German women out of the offices and factories and telling them that their place of supreme usefulness was in the home, as wives and mothers. I had expressed my admiration for the Nazi system of marriage loans designed to encourage reproduction by select young Germans of both sexes who rated highest for their heredity, physical soundness, and intellectual capacity. I had been inspired by the long-range wisdom the Nazis had shown in rescuing the German working class from the clutches of the moneylenders and thus securing family ownership of farms from generation to generation.
I had even endorsed their move, which was provided with the utmost legal, medical, and psychiatric safe-guards against encroachment upon individual or personal rights, to effect by artificial but humane means that purging of their national December 1984 breeding stock which Christianity or democratic civilization nowadays prevents, but which every people must effect somehow if it is not to be buried in its own uneliminated human rubbish. “Every organism that fails to excrete its waste products dies,” Nietzsche had said. And it was only obvious, undeniable, unescapable, and desperate truth. But because it had been said by the Nazis, anyone else who said it after them was of the devil!
And so it was not to be long till Jerome Davis would be telling a friend of mine that I had turned renegade. And after a series of intense meetings at Dartmouth President Hopkins would tell Roy Chamberlin  that he would appreciate it if he did not have me to speak at Dartmouth any more. And Roy, albeit with regret, would write me that when he went to Dartmouth he had decided always to play ball with the team, and that therefore he would yield to the pressure put upon him: henceforth Dartmouth would be closed against me. And Dartmouth was not exceptional. We were entering into the intellectual twilight of the new fanaticism that closed down upon the Western world with the advent of modern “liberalism.”
(Note 2 – Jerome Davis and Roy Chamberlin were Simpson’s friends from his Franciscan period. In 1938 Davis was a professor at the Yale University Divinity School, and Chamberlin was a professor at Dartmouth College. Only four years earlier Davis had written the introduction to Simpson’s book Toward the Rising Sun, in which he had described the author as a man “dedicated uncompromisingly, fearlessly, self-sacrificingly, to the highest truth.”)
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Editor’s Note: With the beginning of the war, the twilight became a virtual blackout of every expression of thought not consonant with Jewish interests. But even though Simpson could no longer speak publicly at colleges and universities, he found other ways of sharing his insights, primarily through an extensive correspondence.
Between 1944 and 1948 he wrote a series of 19 papers in the form of letters, “some of them running to about 70 single-spaced pages,” in which he laid out the ideas which, three decades later, were to be incorporated into Which Way Western Man?:
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These papers went to a fairly wide circle of friends and interested acquaintances, predominantly in the United States but also to places as remote as England, Germany, Kenya, South Africa, Peru, and Australia. My readers were largely professional people: ministers, doctors, and college professors. One of them was president of Swarthmore College, and another was president of Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study. And there was a sprinkling of artists, scientists, free-lance writers, a career diplomat or two, a very gifted and distinguished English sociologist, and at least one whom I can think of only as a seer.
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Editor’s Note: Simpson’s writing during this period of war and war’s aftermath differed from the writing of his youth. Now he wrote with a more mature understanding of the nature of man and his world:
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These pages already must have made it clear that even at the beginning of my Franciscan venture in 1920, I had believed that our people were sick and their civilization dying. But it may be said that then I was young and knew little of the world. Under the influence of St. Francis and Tolstoy, but supremely of Jesus, I conceived the crux of the transformation of any society to be the regeneration of the individual.
I believed it waited primarily on individual men’s and women’s rising above the fears and demands of their self-centeredness and “finding God,” to whose inner direction they then completely surrendered themselves. And I believed also that the greatest power in the world to accomplish this rebirth in men was love — love for “that-of-God” which was in them. I still believe this. And I still believe also, as much as I did then, that no society can be better than, or other than, the men and women who compose it.
But when eventually I began to probe toward a diagnosis (something essentially alien to the whole approach of anyone whose life is patterned after St. Francis and Jesus), I came to realize I had been picturing the problem as narrower and smaller and other than it was: there was a vast amount of reality that I had been failing even to see, let alone to face.
Despite all I had observed in slums and felt in my own living experience in mines and mills, I had made very inadequate allowance for the all-pervasive, always conditioning, and commonly limiting factor of environment: the force of “the world” into which each one of us is born, the home, the school. the setup for making a living, and all the colossal social machinery for shaping human beings into stereotypes and faceless, mindless pawns. These collectively constitute a force that commonly suppresses those very impulses in men which alone could create what idealists think of as a desirable society.
Even more serious, I made no allowance for the now completely established fact that the limits of what each of us can become are fixed even before we are born. We are unescapably conditioned by the set of genes, inherited from our ancestors, that happen to combine at the moment of our conception. An adverse environment may prevent our even realizing what we have in us, but the most favorable environment cannot increase what we have in us or enable us to surpass the limit originally set by our genetic inheritance.
And then there is the enormously significant fact, which Robert Ardrey  began some years ago to press upon the attention of modern man, that we have come to be what we are by way of the killer ape, that millions of years of experience have built into our very instincts both the will and the know-how, not only to stick together to achieve a common end, but to compete even with our own kind for the ownership of property as the basis for social status, and from outsiders to take and to hold whatever we need not merely for the preservation of our life but for its expansion, its meaningful and satisfying fulfillment.
(Note 3 – Robert Ardrey (1908-1980) was an amateur paleontologist and sociobiologist who popularized the concept of man’s social behavior evolving from that of his prehuman ancestors. He wrote a series of books aimed at intelligent laymen: African Genesis (1961), The Territorial Imperative (1966), The Social Contract (1970), and The Hunting Hypothesis (1976).)
Every great people’s history begins with the record that it conquered a piece of land and held it against all comers. And for support in pursuit of such ends it evolved one code of morals that applied only within the bounds of its own kind, and another and quite contradictory code for those who were outside. The purpose of the former was to hold together and preserve the identity of those who “belonged,” and to advance their interests. The purpose of the other was to conquer, or if not to conquer, at least to hold off and exclude, those who did not “belong,” the outsider, the alien, the foreigner, the enemy.
This will perhaps sufficiently suggest the kind of considerations (chiefly historical and scientific) which I have found it ever more necessary to take into account as I have explored the question of what constitutes health in a people, and, in particular, what the greatest peoples have had to do to attain that health which they clearly manifested while making their richest contributions to history. With this greatly expanded range of vision and with a new sense of what to look for, perhaps we can also single out symptoms that mark the turning point in a people’s life, and the beginning of its decadence. Perhaps we can with some confidence even begin to put our finger on what initiated its decay, its decline, and its ultimate disappearance from history.
It was from such an angle and in such a spirit that I began in the early 1940s to approach that mounting crisis of the Western world in the midst of which we are living now. It is often said that it is a crisis for the whole world — and truly enough, for there is probably no part of the world that is not affected by the changes now taking place; but it is supremely a crisis of the West, of Western culture and the destiny of the White people who created it. It has been preeminently the state of the White man’s mind and soul, his fever, his folly, his mistakes, the slackening of his grip, the divisions and wrangling in his camp, that are responsible for the convulsions, hallucinations, and frenzy that have seized upon so much of the rest of the world.
Moreover, for the White man, as for no other people on earth, the crisis is swiftly shaping up as a matter of life or death. Those who command a view of the world situation and are able to look out upon it as from afar, — discern ever more clearly that the White man is being driven into a very tight corner, that the colored hordes of the whole world, outnumbering him seven to one and many millions of them within his own gates, are being inflamed, organized, armed, financed, and directed by men who intend to break the White man’s power, destroy his civilization, and eviscerate and destroy the White man himself. I believe history will record that no threat the White man has ever had to face has been the equal of this.
The moment we acknowledge the gravity of the crisis that confronts our people we must ask ourselves how it all came to pass: this spreading sickness among us; the confusion of mind and soul; the neglect of the hallowed values by which our people have been guided for centuries; the decline of standards, ideals, and discipline — which have led, naturally and inevitably, to a breakdown of law and order, the loss of all sure sense of direction, and even of the very will to survive. With the passage of every month the acutely perceptive and thoughtful observer sees further evidence of the disappearance of that inner structure and functional order which are the mark of healthy life in every organism. More and more he is reminded of a rotten apple.
But what canker could it have been, what worm at our heart, that shook us from the tree of life, to fall to earth, and there to rot?
One thinks of Spengler’s cyclical theory, which likens every civilization to an organism that is born and grows into some distinctive form, bears fruit till it weakens, as all living things weaken in time, and thus. falls a victim of disease and finally dies. Does this explain what has been happening to us? Is the cause of our present degeneracy, however much we may by analysis break it down into a multitude of factors — religious, ethnological, ecological, biological, genetic, social, political, economic, or financial — in the end to be resolved into a mysterious something that has thus far proved inseparable from very existence in a world of time and space?
And is it therefore inevitable that even as the civilization of the ancient Hindus in time went down, and likewise that of the Egyptians, the Persians, the Greeks and the Romans, we too must go in our turn? Must we accept it as but another manifestation of the course of Nature, as unavoidable as the change of spring into summer and the passage from summer into autumn and winter? And is there nothing better for the man of wisdom and bold heart, of great love of his kind and great faith in what human beings can rise to — is there nothing better for such a man to do than bow his head and fold his hands and wait for the inevitable end of his people, even as he prepares for his own end as an individual man?
That there is much in history to support Spengler’s thesis is surely undeniable …. Nevertheless, I will at once confess, I am not convinced that it is altogether well founded. The verdict of history, unanimous in a way though it be, leaves unanswered what for us is the most critical and pressing question: Why have past civilizations died? Was there ever any inherent inevitability about their dying? Is it conceivable that if anyone of the great civilizations had. been headed by men of deeper wisdom, and had possessed fuller ability to keep its life under controlled direction, it would not have died — or at least, would not have died so soon?
Questions of this kind were to turn themselves over in my mind, off and on, and slowly taking one shape or another, for a quarter of a century. But at the time we have now reached in my story I was for the most part only detecting symptoms of disorder and decadence. It would take another decade or two of further searching study before I should feel a growing certainty about causes and be ready to weigh the plausibility of a theory or balance one diagnosis against another.
Nevertheless, I was detecting even in the early 1940s symptoms of decadence precisely where the overwhelming majority of my fellow-men, even thoughtful men, found evidence of health and advance, and promise of a still greater and more glorious future. Something in me had been quick to find grounds for suspicion and to catch the odor of human decay in a great variety of ideas, obsessions, trends, institutions, and mass movements increasingly prevalent in our country. Typical examples of these I herewith submit to my reader pretty much as they come to my mind ….
I think, then, of the doctrine that all men are equal, even all races of men; the call to recognize and accept all human beings as one’s brothers; the philosophy of pacifism, with its refusal to fight in defense of one’s own; the emphasis on environment as a factor more determinative of human destiny than heredity, with the consequent prevalence of our present disparagement of breed and brains, family and even race, and the resulting drive to obliterate the “color bar” and remove all obstacles to race-mixing; the doctrine of democracy (or rule by the majority), which implies a belief that numbers can be a substitute for intellect and that wisdom can be got by counting heads even though most of them be empty; the spread of feminism, which poisons women (and not least our most gifted women) against their own sex, turns them into poor imitations and weak rivals of men, and by their balking against child-bearing makes them traitors to their country and their kind; the factory system, with its piece work, conveyor belt, and mass production; the bleeding of the countryside, the source of all life, to build ever more and ever larger cities; radio and television, and even the automobile and the airplane; “progressive” education and the opening of the colleges to everybody; the concentration of education, science, and politics on salvaging and improving the underdog, the botched and generally inferior, instead of on discovering the soundest and most highly gifted among us, with a view to enabling society to harvest the benefits to be derived (and that can be derived only) from the fruiting of their genius; and, blanketing everything, a hypertrophy of tolerance, which demands an attitude of universal permissiveness, even toward what is aimed at destroying one’s life or the life of one’s people.
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Editor’s Note: In addition to being concerned about these symptoms of decay, Simpson also continued to wrestle during the 1940s with the implications of Christianity’s failure — indeed, of its inability — to address them and to provide guidance through the West’s growing crisis:
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In none of those whom we have considered our greatest religious teachers is such silence more marked than it is in Jesus, and the evil and peril that have overtaken us in consequence is enormous and appalling. One may answer in Jesus’ defense that what he did say has had social implications, but for me it is far too vague and uncertain to be a really helpful guide. Indeed, these implications, insofar as we can deduce what they were, seem to me to have worked very largely for our undoing.
In any case, the most searching part of his most explicit teaching was plainly addressed to a small inner circle, who, with him, were committed to a mission so special that very few men of his or any other day could be expected to shoulder it, a mission so extreme that those who dedicated themselves to it must have been virtually cut off from all organized society except as it supplied them with bread and board, and surrounded them with people to go among to win as converts or to guard against as enemies.
Perhaps the extremity of the demand that Jesus’ way of life made upon men arose from his belief that the end of the world was at hand. But regardless of the explanation, he plainly failed, as far as I can see, to look upon the life of man on earth as a garden which, from its beginning to its end, as long as it existed, would have need to be cultivated in a special way in order to produce in large number the kind of men he had spent all his life trying to find, mostly in vain. This, I submit, is a sizable failure. And as for the rest of the mystics, it may safely be said that their failure was less only as their gifts and their influence were smaller.
As I had reviewed and contemplated all this through the years I had come to feel more and more strongly that, however narrow might be the range of my own influence, I did not want to fall short as so many others had before me. It had been laid upon me to bear faithful witness to what my lifelong quest had taught me. And if I had learned something about what the individual man — as our fathers used to say — “must do to be saved,” it was no whit less certain that there were things a society likewise, a nation, a people, a race must do (and avoid doing) if it is to hold sickness at bay, escape destruction, come to its fulfillment, realize its destiny.
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Editor’s Note: And, of course, William Simpson has borne faithful witness, throughout his life.
More than that, he has been a “spirit yearning in desire/ To follow knowledge like a sinking star! Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.”
He has never, like so many others, stopped short of unpopular or demanding conclusions; he has never been one to go only halfway:
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That I might ever cleave to the highest I might find I had held myself ready, if need be, to leave anything that tied me down or held me back: any idea or ideal however long cherished, any friendship however close, any possession tangible or intangible. No study of mine was ever prompted or guided by thought of ensuring a living, or winning recognition as an “authority,” or having “something to say to the world,” or even of being listened to by anybody.
I went after the truth as the roots of a tree go after food and drink. It belonged to the essence of my being. It was necessary to my very existence. I would have had to follow it though I had foreseen it must in the end leave me entirely alone.
The problems were my own problems before I saw them as problems to which a solution was required for society. I needed answers in order to shape within me, if possible, a universe and a human world in which I myself could stand erect, get my bearings, set a course, and have the strength to hold it. I dared offer nothing to my groping and struggling fellow humans that I had not first passed through the crucible of my own mind and tested, as it were, in my own blood, in my own living experience.
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Editor’s Final Note: He has strived and sought and found, and he has offered all that he has found to everyone with ears to hear or eyes to see.
He has borne witness by living always in accordance with what he had so far found at each stage of his life. And, approaching the end of his ability to strive further and find more, he has borne witness by setting down his findings in his writings, most notably Which Way Western Man? and this autobiography, that they might serve as a guide for those willing and able to strive beyond the point at which he was obliged to stop. Of his autobiography he notes:
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While I could not say truthfully that I am quite indifferent whether or not what I write is widely read or even read at all — in fact, whether it is even published — it is true that in what I write now, as throughout all this book, I am primarily, before anything else, simply making a report to my God — or if you will, to my own soul, perhaps I ought even to say, to my fellowmen.
In the beginning, some 70 years ago, I found myself charged to do something, to put my life to a certain use, to make my very self, my living experience — it is not too much to say — a testing ground for mankind. In a real sense my life then and there ceased to be my own. I have tried through the years since to be true to what I was inwardly commanded to do. With the results, to be sure, I cannot say I am pleased. Of my life it will be enough to say, “He did what he could. It was one man’s striving.”
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Source: National Vanguard magazine, December 1984, pages 9-13
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