Classic EssaysWilliam Pierce

Survivalism: Response to Racial Chaos

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by Dr. William L. Pierce

introduced and with an afterword by Kevin Alfred Strom
May, 1993

WHAT IS one element that binds together those recent victims of government terrorism, the “Branch Davidians” and Randy Weaver; which also binds together such victims of government murder squads as Gordon Kahl and John Singer? It certainly isn’t their religious or philosophical ideas, which are all quite different. I say that quite apart from these people’s involvement in various social or political “movements,” they are united by a common feeling that the current political and economic establishment can no longer be relied upon to protect or provide for its citizens. In other words, these people were or are “survivalists.” You may be surprised to find out that more and more Americans are coming to similar conclusions, are losing the feeling of trust they once had in a government that more and more of us are perceiving as being “out of control.” Let’s take a close look at this phenomenon, next, on American Dissident Voices.

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There’s an interesting psycho-social syndrome which has been quietly growing in America for the past several decades, which has finally caught the attention of the establishment and the controlled mass media: it is “survivalism.”

Actually, that term covers a fairly wide range of phenomena. The end of the survivalist spectrum usually seized on by the media, and usually presented in a very distorted way, is the “grab your guns and head for the hills” end, because it lends itself most easily to a sensationalistic treatment.

At the other end of the survivalist spectrum are the timid folks who wouldn’t dream of grabbing a gun, under any circumstances, and are far too citified to survive in the hills anyway, but who have quietly laid in a two-year supply of dehydrated foods. And there are all sorts of offshoots of this attitude: for example, the retired couple who have made up their minds to sell the family home and move into a condominium, but who are only looking at ads for places which offer a high wall all around with electronically controlled gates, closed circuit TV surveillance, and an armed security patrol on the grounds. Or they may be looking at small-town or rural real estate instead, on grounds of the personal safety to be found in the parts of this country most resembling the Old America.

Of course, many people are attracted by real estate advertisements which stress security features, simply because they are aware of the rising crime statistics and want to feel secure in their own homes. Perhaps they shouldn’t be classified as full-blown survivalists, any more than the fellow who keeps a sock full of gold coins hidden under his mattress — just in case.

For many, however, it goes deeper than that. Among the real estate customers looking for impregnable security are a few — a growing few — who feel a sick fear in the pit of their stomachs, the consequence not only of the soaring burglary statistics but also of the conviction that burglaries will keep on increasing, year after year, and that the police and the government will never again be able to offer any real protection to law-abiding citizens.

These few have concluded that, if they want to be safe in their homes, they’re going to have to ensure their own safety. They know they can’t count on the police or the government for their protection any longer. These people are survivalists.

And among those who are laying in a long-term supply of dehydrated food or converting part of each paycheck into gold coins, there are also a growing few who are convinced that some day — they don’t know exactly when, but some day in the next few years — they’re actually going to have to eat their dehydrated larder, because the supermarket shelves will have been stripped bare by angry mobs, or they’re going to need those gold coins to purchase the necessities of life, because Federal Reserve notes will be worthless. These people, too, are survivalists of a sort.

There is one element which is common to the entire survivalist spectrum. It is a loss of faith in the System.

There has always been a certain amount of paranoia in the population, a certain number of people who deeply distrust the government and are sure that something awful is bound to happen soon. The survivalist syndrome is much more than that, however. It is today affecting probably millions of ordinary Americans, not just right-wing gun nuts or conspiracy cranks. More and more perfectly normal people are simply looking very carefully at what is going on around them in America, and the sight is raising the hairs on the backs of their necks.

They are schoolteachers and truck drivers and physicians and government clerks who have to work in America’s cities alongside hostile gangs and undisciplined minorities who are noticeably more numerous and noticeably more aggressive with each passing year, and they have said — possibly only to themselves — “My God, things can’t continue to go on this way!”

Having also observed that their government not only is not doing anything to stem the Third World flood into this country but is leaving no stone unturned in its efforts to increase it, they don’t waste their time writing letters to their Congressmen. (That’s a little bit like a European villager writing to Genghis Khan asking him to do something about the rape and pillage problem!) Instead many of them begin thinking seriously about the relative merits of rifles or shotguns for defense of their homes and families against the likes of the Los Angeles rioters.

Even some liberals are beginning to take note of what the policies they have mindlessly advocated for the past 50 years have done to the world, and it scares the Hell out of them. Although they would never admit it to the other liberals they rub elbows and snort coke with at fashionable cocktail parties in Washington and New York, a few of them have also been quietly laying plans for a quick getaway when the day of reckoning comes.

My older listeners may well remember the fallout shelter debate of the 1950’s: the Cold War era when the government was at least dabbling in civil defense preparations, and many citizens were taking the idea of a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union quite seriously. Cellars were stocked, Geiger counters were purchased, and much hand-wringing was wasted on the ethical problem of the grasshopper and the ant. Many of the so-called “ants” — those who had prepared and stocked fallout shelters for their families — indicated that they would not hesitate to shoot any improvident, grasshopper-type neighbors who came pounding on the doors of their shelters after an attack alert. Predictably, the media pundits were horrified and were very much on the side of the grasshoppers.

Some of the “ants” of that era might properly be considered survivalists, but the majority of them were by no means alienated from the System. Many, in fact, were political conservatives who liked things the way they were and thought of the System as a bulwark against Communism and chaos. That was before JFK, LBJ, the opening of our borders, and the “civil rights” revolution, of course.

Today, the all-out survivalist usually looks at the government as a primary threat to his survival. Far from wanting to keep things as they are, he finds conditions increasingly intolerable. He is intelligent enough, or has good enough instincts, to realize that the policies the U.S. government has been following for the last few decades are inevitably leading to disaster. He finds himself in a surrealistic, almost nightmare situation, in which he sees the people all around him blithely marching to their own destruction.

He does not know whether he is the only sane person in a world gone mad, but he does know that he does not intend to be destroyed along with everyone else, if he can help it. He has become totally alienated from the suicide-bent society in which he lives, and he is looking desperately for a way to get off the boat and far enough away from it so he won’t be sucked under when it goes down.

So, one can recognize three distinguishing traits in the survivalist: a sturdy sense of personal identity, which allows him to think independently and choose a course separate from that of the herd; a strong will to survive; and alienation from the present society and the System which rules it. In addition, many survivalists have a fourth trait: an intuitive, spiritual rejection of modern society which goes beyond mere political alienation.

This last trait — which many who don’t call themselves “survivalists” also share — manifests itself in various ways. In some it is expressed as a desire to “get back to Nature;” in others it takes the more negative form of hostility to modern technology. It is based on a feeling or intuition that the modern, urban-industrial “produce and consume” lifestyle is unnatural and unhealthy, as well as personally unsatisfying and even repugnant.

Thus, one finds among survivalists many with unusual dietary notions and a prejudice in favor of natural foods; a strong interest in useful, pioneer-type arts and crafts; and a tendency to distrust the medical profession with all its drugs and technology.

These attitudes are partially related to the survivalist’s own interest in becoming more self-sufficient. But they are also an expression of a deep-seated — even subconscious — feeling having more to do with instinctive behavior patterns than with rational thought about modern technology. At root, it is not the jet engine, the computer, or “designer drugs” which the “back-to-nature” streak in the survivalist is rebelling against; rather it is the laws, regulations, customs, and constraints of our faceless mass society that rub him the wrong way.

For tools — even very complex tools — are not unnatural to Western man, who has been a tool maker and a tool innovator for a much longer time than he has been man. What is unnatural is the way in which our creative instinct, our fighting instinct, our adventurous instinct, our mating instinct, and our territorial instinct have all been more or less frustrated by modern society.

Who is to blame for this? To a great extent, we have made our society a prison for ourselves. We have grown in knowledge and techniques far faster than we have grown in the wisdom necessary to best make use of that knowledge. We have concentrated too much on the short-term, economic, consequences of our decisions — and all too often, we have ignored the long-term, national and biological consequences of those decisions. In addition, our refusal to face the unpleasant fact that aliens and traitors have seized effective control of many of our nation’s institutions has led us down a path that can only be described as suicidal. What nation that wants to survive allows an invasion of millions of aliens to cross its borders without a shot being fired? What nation that wants to survive promotes monstrosities like the North American Free Trade Agreement which promises only to equalize the living standards of American and Mexican workers while enriching a few financiers and schemers in New York, London, and Tel Aviv? What nation that wants to survive teaches its children that their own culture is evil and oppressive and that they must accept government-mandated multiculturalism? America’s enemies and our own sense of apathy and refusal to face unpleasant facts have put us on this road to national suicide, this road to non-survival.

Looking at it in that way, it becomes clear that those few American patriots who dare to speak out against these evils are survivalists, too, in a way. They want their nation and its people to survive, regardless of how they have arranged their personal affairs.

The fully developed survivalist syndrome might be personified by a man who is convinced that very hard times are ahead for Western civilization; who believes that with a little ingenuity and luck — and a lot of determination, hard work, and careful planning — he can personally avoid those hard times and survive physically while the blood runs ankle deep in America’s cities; and who really won’t be sorry to see the blood start running (whether he’ll admit it or not), because he is alienated from the present System, feels threatened by it, and is looking forward to being rid of it.

In real life, of course, there are many survivalists who don’t go so far in their actions or their thinking, who are not so “fully developed.” Even among those that are, there are still relatively few who have carried their survivalism beyond the hobbying and daydreaming stage: a study of the lore, a stash of weapons, tools, and food, an occasional visit to a still-undeveloped home site in the mountains. Their survivalism is mostly a mental life preserver, something that helps them alleviate the sense of drowning in the chaos that modern America is becoming.

Nevertheless, it is reassuring to see the survivalist phenomenon growing by leaps and bounds from year to year, just as it is reassuring to see the booming growth of the “underground economy.” Both are direct consequences of the growing loss of faith in the System by people from every socioeconomic level. Both are hopeful signs that the days of America’s enemies are numbered.

What is less reassuring is the largely individualist approach to survivalism taken by most of those presently involved. Realistically, family-sized groups are entirely too small to weather what is coming. If and when governmental authority breaks down, new groupings will move to fill the political and power vacuum. We have already seen, in the wake of the Black violence in Los Angeles, governments negotiating with and acceding to the demands of, minority gangs that have become de facto governments in certain “no-go” areas of the city. Individuals and families, no matter how well prepared, would be no match for these or similar gangs of marauders, who would certainly spread well beyond the borders of our major cities during any major breakdown of the food supply network.

An intelligent approach to survivalism would recognize, that while individual efforts and skills are important, it is vital for patriotic Americans to survive as a group and that for such survival, in-depth organization will be necessary.

We now know, after seeing what has happened to Randy Weaver and his family, who clearly broke no real laws and who clearly had harmed no one, and after seeing what has happened to the Branch Davidians, who, despite many dubious after-the-fact accusations, also clearly were innocent of any serious lawbreaking, that the government, for reasons of its own or at the behest of anti-American forces within the government, is willing to use massive force against those seen as maintaining an existence or a set of beliefs independent of the System. This should be a lesson to all patriots. Firstly, it should disabuse you of the illusion that the government is always on the side of right. Unfortunately, many government agencies are clearly in the hands of those who hate our country and everything it stands for, and others are simply out of control, willing to do anything to hang on to their power and privileges. Putting your trust in such a system is clearly not in your personal best interest or in the best interests of our nation. Secondly, it should make you think very seriously about the strategy for national and personal survival which is most likely to succeed.

* * *

I suggest that decent White Americans ought to organize for their self-interest and survival, as we have a right to do and which many other groups have done. Since we are not motivated by hate or by a desire to do harm to others, and since we still constitute the great (though shrinking) majority in this country, I suggest that if we organize in sufficient numbers, the lies of the controlled media about us will have little effect. Our resources, both in terms of skills and money, will probably be second to none once we are more united. We will develop our own media outlets, to present our point of view to all our fellow Americans, of which this radio program is just a bare beginning. We will abandon the public school systems, which are corrupting our children with One World, multiracial, and homosexual propaganda; and we will begin educating them ourselves: first, at home with resources from the children’s section of our National Vanguard Books catalog, and ultimately in our own educational institutions. We will help each other and patronize each other’s businesses. We will form a social, national, and racial colossus so large that the system will fear to suppress us, just as they fear to suppress other racially-organized interest groups.

The first phase of this rational program for racial, national, and personal survival is the educational phase. No people can survive on planet Earth unless they have a clear sense of who they are, where they came from, and where they are going. It is precisely these vital areas of knowledge that the enemies of America are denying us. Through control of the mass media and the educational bureaucracy, the haters of America have sought to destroy our history, our traditions, and our folkways. They have sought to make us historyless, faceless serfs in their “New World Order.” It’s not only the independence and freedom of White Americans that these schemers seek to destroy, of course. Many in other racial communities will be victims, too. But it is the spirit and intelligence of we Americans that they fear the most. That is why they work overtime trying to convince us to hate our own traditions and values, to denigrate our European heritage, to abort our babies in the womb, to accept homosexuality and racial mixing, etc., etc., etc. The good news is that more and more Americans are waking up to their plan.

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Source: National Alliance

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