Conservatism or Radicalism? A Call for a Spiritual Elite
The following text is a transcript of the talk given by Attack! editor Dr. William Pierce at the weekly meeting of the National Alliance on January 16, 1977.
by Dr. William L. Pierce (pictured)
CONSERVATIVE AND right-wing political groups are concerned with a number of problems these days: forced school busing, taxes, gun control, street crime, inflation. They oppose these things in various ways: through public demonstrations; through propaganda efforts with leaflets, magazines, or newspapers; through lobbying; and through election campaigns. And they gain members and supporters from those elements of the population who are also opposed to these things.
In general, the more concrete, specific, and immediate a problem is, the larger and more enthusiastic will be the public response to right-wing efforts. Some of the ad hoc organizations opposed to forced school busing claimed more than a million members at one time. The National Rifle Association, which is certainly the principal group opposed to gun control, has more than a million members now, I believe.
The people who joined the anti-busing groups did so, generally, because they felt immediately threatened by a specific and concrete menace. The people who support the NRA because of its opposition to gun-registration and gun-confiscation laws feel—and rightly so—that their fundamental right of self-defense is in immediate danger of being taken away from them.
When the issue becomes less immediate or more abstract, right-wing groups can still gain support—but not so much. American foreign policy in the Middle East and in Rhodesia is horrendous, but there is far less organized opposition to it than to busing or gun control.
Even more abstract issues, such as miscegenation and non-White immigration, still bring forth a good bit of right-wing rhetoric, but there is almost no public response to this rhetoric.
Now, everyone has observed this, and the consequence is that people or groups who want to win public support for themselves, for whatever reason, honest or dishonest, concentrate their propaganda on immediate, concrete, specific problems. That wins elections. And it brings the contributions rolling in to the money-hungry, “conservative,” fundraising outfits.
But, interestingly enough, the immediate, concrete, specific problems remain with us and continue to grow worse. Why is that?
Why is it that with so many people belonging to or supporting organizations opposed to forced busing, we have every year more and more school districts being ordered by the Federal courts to bus White children into Black schools?
Why, with all the rhetoric against taxes and with so many conservatives and right wingers supporting anti-tax organizations, do income taxes and social security taxes and property taxes become worse practically every year?
Actually, there are two ways of approaching the question. We can say we have more and more busing every year, despite all the opposition to it, because the enemies of White America want to mongrelize the country, and they are stronger, with all their money and their control of the media, than the busing opponents, and they have slipped their allies into the Federal judiciary over the years, and they have brainwashed the public, and conservatives won’t work together, and so on. And we can answer the questions about taxes and gun control the same way.
But answers of that sort, about the mechanics of the struggle, are not what I’m interested in tonight. We have a general and fundamental question before us, which is: Why do the enemies of White America keep on winning? Why are they stronger than their opponents? How is it that they have been able to slip the sack over our heads so easily? Why does the White majority always lose?
The answer we want to understand tonight is this: Right wingers, and conservatives, and the White majority generally, have been losing battle after battle—and are obviously losing the whole war as well—simply because all they are really willing to fight for are immediate, concrete, and specific things—and, in particular, things which affect them personally. That is the answer we must understand.
I was talking to our guest, Ed Fields, after our last meeting, and he told me about a speech he gave at an anti-busing rally in Louisville, Kentucky, last year. He had been talking for about 10 minutes, he said, about the importance of preserving the White race and saving White culture and stopping non-White immigration and halting intermarriage, when he was interrupted by a shout from someone in the crowd who yelled, “We don’t care about all that crap! Tell us how to stop this busing!”
Now, I believe that was an extreme case. Most opponents of busing and certainly most ordinary, decent White people do care about the things Ed Fields was talking about. They just don’t care enough about them to leave their TV sets and go to rallies and risk being labeled “racists” by a yapping pack of Jewish media hounds and their liberal camp followers. They’ll only put out that effort and take that risk to oppose something which they see as an immediate and personal threat.
So, the big conservative and right-wing groups concentrate on those things—the immediate, concrete, and personal things—and the White race keeps losing the war.
The problem is a matter of motivation, of priorities, of values.
The great majority of our people who are not liberals—that is, who have not joined the enemy—are not really concerned with winning the war. They just want to avoid becoming personal casualties. No army in history with that sort of motivation has ever won a war. And we won’t either.
When a man has a personal problem to solve—a truly personal problem—then self-interest is a proper motivation. But when a whole race is faced with a major problem, self-interest is no longer a proper motivation, and it will no more solve the problem for the race than an attitude of “every man for himself” will win a war—or even a battle—for an army.
And yet self-interest is what the conservative and right-wing organizations keep appealing to, because that is what gets an immediate response.
The essence of the problem is this: The man who is against busing is generally a man who is fairly well satisfied with the other things around him. Let’s solve this busing problem, he thinks, and then I can go back to my TV. Or let’s defeat this gun-control law, and then I can go back to what I was doing before.
If you read conservative publications, you are overcome by the stench of this attitude. American Opinion, the magazine of the John Birch Society, reeks of it. And so does the weekly tabloid published by Liberty Lobby.
They are outraged about the Federal bureaucracy because of the way it interferes in their lives. They don’t want the government meddling with their property rights. They want to be left alone so they can continue making money and spending money the way they want and doing what they want without interference.
And about the last thing they want to do is have a revolution. Why, that would be even more of a nuisance than busing, gun control, and all the Federal meddlers put together. That would really keep them away from their TV.
Remember, there are literally tens of millions of people out there, a substantial portion of them conservative, patriotic Americans, who really care whether Liz will leave John and go back to Dick again and whether the Dodgers will win the World Series.
I said it’s a problem of values. Let me give you a couple of specific examples. In American Opinion a few months back there was an article complaining about Federal forced-housing efforts. The author didn’t want anyone to think he was a racist, and he said that no true conservative has any objection to Black neighbors, so long as they are good, quiet, middle-class Blacks. He said conservatives would rather have hardworking, middle-class Blacks for neighbors than poor Whites, or, as he put it, welfare-class Whites.
The conservative objection to forced housing, he said, is only that it is forced, that conservatives don’t want to be told they have to have Blacks for neighbors, especially dirty, disorderly, welfare-class Blacks, whom they regard in exactly the same light as poor Whites.
Well, we certainly must admit that there are some Blacks who would make quieter, cleaner, more orderly neighbors than some Whites. And if that’s all we care about—that and not having the government tell us what to do—then we have to agree with the Birch Society.
But we believe—all of us here believe, I hope—that there is much, much more at stake in the forced-housing issue than property values and freedom from government interference. We have a set of values and a motivation which are fundamentally different from those of the Birch Society. And yet so many people can see only the superficial resemblance between us and the Birchers that comes from our having similar stands on certain issues.
Let me give you another example. In this week’s issue of Newsweek magazine there is a guest editorial by a White conservative complaining about the ridiculous extent to which the courts and the Federal bureaucracy—especially the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission—have gone to assure minorities a better-than-even break. Reverse discrimination, he says, is un-American.
Of course, we’ve all heard the Jews yelling the same thing, as soon as Blacks started demanding their share of jobs in those occupations in which Jews are overrepresented, such as journalism and university teaching. With the Jews it’s clearly selfishness, pure and simple, because they’re all for reverse discrimination when it’s the White plumber or electrician or sheet-metal worker who has to give up his job to a Black or a Chicano or an Asiatic.
But I don’t believe the White conservative writing for Newsweek is worried that some Negro is going to get his job. His worry is simply that the Jews and the guilt-ridden liberals and the corrupt politicians who cater to the minority vote are overdoing the “equality” racket and are generating a backlash among Whites which is undoing what the Federal equality laws were supposed to do, namely, to create a society without discrimination of any kind, a color-blind society.
He sees the EEOC fanatics stirring up a hornet’s nest of hostility, of racial conflict, of divisiveness. Forcing equality on people, he says, is disuniting the United States and unmelting the melting pot. And that means trouble and unrest ahead. And, like conservatives in general, he doesn’t want trouble. He wants unity and prosperity and peace at any price.
Now, perhaps we should try to be charitable and not accuse such conservatives of being motivated by nothing but egoism and materialism. Perhaps the fellow writing in Newsweek is basically a patriot who simply wants a strong and peaceful and united United States above all else, completely aside from what these things will mean to his own income and safety and living standard. And perhaps he really believes that a truly color-blind government, which discriminates neither in favor of Blacks nor Whites, will make America strong and peaceful. Maybe he really believes that. I am sure a lot of conservatives do.
But even if they were right—and, in the long run, they certainly cannot be—their values and their priorities are totally wrong.
Prosperity and harmony are nice. Peace is nice—but not peace at any price, certainly not peace at the price of racial mongrelization.
And, in fact, our values are so totally different from conservative values that I say we would not even be interested in peace if we could be guaranteed that it would not lead to mongrelization. Not even if the country or the world could be divided up into little enclaves for Blacks and Whites and Chicanos and Jews and so on, every one respecting the rights of his neighbors and staying inside his own boundaries. That, again, is the dream of a conservative soul, and it is a false dream.
Our dream is a progressive dream, a dream of unlimited progress over the centuries and the millennia and the eons which lie ahead of us. It is no conservative dream of peace, no sheep-like dream of ease and consumption and safety, but a dream of the achievement of our Destiny, which is Godhood. It is the only dream fitting for men and women of our race; it is the spirit of the Creator, it is the Universal Urge within us, expressing itself through our race-soul.
You know that is true; you know that is the only dream for us, that what I am telling you is right. Yet, when you leave here tonight it will be all too easy, I am afraid, for you to slip back into old ways of thinking, into wrong ways.
I’m afraid of that because I receive letters all the time from our members, who’ve been paying their dues and receiving their bulletins regularly, who apparently do not understand what is written in those bulletins. They are teachers and policemen and lawyers—people for whom our message certainly should not be too abstract or too complicated to grasp—but they are also people thoroughly enmeshed in contemporary society, thoroughly involved, every day, with other people whose values and ideas all come from their TV sets.
And because our values are so different from the TV values, it may be hard for some of our people to make the transition, to clear the conservative cobwebs out of their minds, so that our dream, the dream of the White race-soul, comes through loud and clear.
It is easier for us, here in our little community, to understand our Truth, and it may be necessary for many of our other members, scattered all across the continent—all across the world now, in fact—to also have the moral reinforcement which comes from living and working together with others who have the same dream before they can achieve the same degree of understanding we have.
I am sure that will be necessary for some, but not for all. For some the dream is strong enough so that it is sufficient for them to receive our publications and listen to our meeting tapes—that is, to be members of our community in spirit, even if they cannot be here in the flesh.
But the problem that remains for us is this: our dream is a radical dream, and the dream of the masses is a conservative dream.
We want a revolution which brings about a permanent transformation of the values and priorities and goals of our society and lays the groundwork for the building of a whole new world. They want a quick and easy end to certain concrete and specific annoyances, so that they can go back to their TV.
Even the least selfish and most thoughtful of the conservatives base their programs entirely on the TV values, the TV philosophy, the TV religion. At most, they want to annul the social and racial changes of the last few decades and restore what existed before the last war.
So this great gulf lies between us and them, between our Truth and the materialist-conservative view of life. And yet, they are our people. It is from them, from the great masses, that we must recruit the new members upon which the growth and even the continued existence of our community depend.
We certainly have not reached the point where we can afford to wall ourselves and our families off from the rest of society, where we can isolate our community from the Jewish Babylon around us and depend upon our own reproductive powers to continue building our community. We may never reach that point. So we must bridge the gulf.
How? Do we put on a conservative mask and continue putting out leaflets and publishing a newspaper which talk about busing and gun control and racial job quotas and the media monopolies and the other things conservatives are interested in—as we have been doing—but without the radical overtones which frighten or confuse or bore them?
That is, do we de-radicalize our public image? Do we become a sort of conservative front group?
Remember, we talked a couple of meetings ago about making it easier and less frightening for prospective recruits to join us. We talked about the necessity of growing faster than we are growing now.
But there is also something else to remember. And that is that there are dozens of conservative groups already out there, experienced, well-financed, well-organized conservative groups. And at least some of them are run by real conservatives, men who think and feel the same way those do they are trying to recruit.
Should we imagine that we, outsiders who think and feel on an entirely different wavelength, can be more successful at that game? I think not.
And even if we were more successful, by being cleverer or more energetic or more ruthless than the others, would we have a real success?
We would have a structure without a foundation, a structure held together by pretense. Is that what we want for the long haul ahead? I think not.
Now, I am certainly not ruling out the use of front groups and ad hoc organizations. They are perfectly good and useful tools, and we expect to use them at a certain stage of our development.
But for the achievement of our long-range goals, for the principal vehicle for our revolution, for the organization which embodies the fundamental Truth expressed in our Affirmation, we must have a foundation of the hardest stone, not of sand. And that stone must be cemented together with truth, not pretense.
We do not bridge the gulf between our community and the masses of our people by pretending to be something we are not. If we have made a mistake in the past, it has been trying to sit on two stools at the same time, trying to be both conservative and radical. And if we are to correct that mistake in the future, it must be to abandon conservative pretenses. It must be to become completely truthful in our recruiting efforts.
So, let us light a beacon of truth and let us always hold out a friendly hand of understanding to the masses of our people who do not yet share our outlook. But let us make no compromises with the falsehoods which now govern their lives. Let us make no pretense that we believe that busing or taxes or racial quotas are really fundamental issues. Let us make it clear to everyone that these things are only symptoms of the disease, and one does not cure a disease by treating its symptoms.
What this means for us now and in the near future—that is, as long as we are working through one organization and are not yet ready to use fronts—is this: We will concentrate our resources on fundamentals and will be obliged to a very large extent to let other groups attack the symptoms. We will concentrate on reaching the masses of our people with our Truth in its most fundamental form, and we will let the National Rifle Association fight gun control and the National States Rights Party fight busing, and we wish them well.
Another way of saying this is that we will be uncompromisingly radical rather than conservative. Of course, if the word “radical” still frightens you, you may substitute “fundamental”—which means exactly the same thing—for it.
And does this make sense when we so desperately need to grow faster than we have been? Does it make sense to try to reach people ruled by materialism with a message which is essentially spiritual? Does it make sense to be more radical when some of our own members even now are still thinking in conservative terms?
Well, let’s concede first that, although we will be preaching to the masses, we understand that only a minority, only a spiritual elite, will be capable of responding to our message.
We want to light a beacon and we want to make it burn as brightly as we can, so that it will cast its rays over all our people, but we know that only a few will actually see our light, will actually understand and respond to our Truth. We concede that.
But this is the way it has always been. Every great and positive revolution of human history, every conscious step upward on the never-ending Path of Life symbolized by our Rune, has been the work of a minority, of an elite. Masses don’t make revolutions—determined and committed minorities do.
We don’t hope to make revolutionary idealists out of the egoistic and materialistic masses, but we do hope to awaken and inspire and recruit that minority of our people in which the Divine Spark already burns brightly enough to illuminate their souls and their minds so that they can grasp our Truth. And the way to do that is to present our Truth to them as purely and as plainly and as clearly as we possibly can—not to dress it in a conservative disguise, which leads only to confusion.
We want everyone to know that we understand that what’s really important is not whether we can elect a government which won’t try to impose racial quotas on us or whether we can achieve domestic tranquility but whether the Truth that is in the race-soul of our people shall overcome the alien falsehoods which rule us now, so that that Truth can guide us once again to the upward Path, to the Path of the Creator’s Self-Realization, and so that we can once again become agents of the Universal Will—except this time fully conscious agents—and resume our never-ending ascent toward our ordained Destiny.
That’s what’s important, and that is what must be achieved. Then everything else—all the conservative goals—will either have been taken care of automatically or they will have become irrelevant.
So, once again, the immediate question before us is not whether to be more radical or more conservative in order to grow faster, but how to present our radicalism—our Truth—in the best, in the clearest, in the most appealing way, how to avoid confusion, how to minimize negativism, how to reassure those who are timid and hesitant.
We understand that we are casting our net very wide and expecting to catch only a few. But we want to be sure that we do catch all those who are fit for catching. And the way to catch those who are fit is with the pure and unadulterated Truth.
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Source: Attack!, no. 51, 1977