Classic EssaysWilliam Pierce

Thoughts on Accepting Responsibility

responsibilityAn absolutely essential work for every National Vanguard reader

by Dr. William L. Pierce

I RECEIVE MANY letters from listeners, and usually they are gratifying to me. Some people tell me that I have opened their eyes or that I have helped them make sense out of what’s been happening to their world, that my explanations have really helped them understand what’s going on, have helped them see the big picture. And some people tell me that they already had figured out by themselves what’s happening, and that they are very happy to have discovered my broadcasts, because now they know that they aren’t the only ones to have figured it out: that they aren’t alone in the world, that there are others who have come to the same conclusions they have.

I especially sympathize with these people who tell me how glad they are to discover that they’re not the only ones who understand what’s happening, because there was a time when I also wondered whether I was the only sane person in the universe. I was running around telling anyone who would listen, “My god, don’t you understand where this policy of racial integration of the schools will lead? It will lead to the drugs and crime that are endemic among Blacks spreading to White boys and girls. It will lead to a lowering of scholastic standards to accommodate the Blacks. It will lead to a greatly increased rate of racial intermarriage.”

And people would look at me as if I were crazy, and they’d tell me I was an alarmist. They’d say to me, “Just having a few Blacks in school won’t hurt anything. Surely everything will go on pretty much as it always has.”

Then, after I’d looked into the ownership and management of the news and entertainment media which were pushing every destructive racial and social and political policy and I discovered that most of them were Jews, I figured I had the key to what was happening to America, and I tried to tell people about that. I’d say, “Listen, did you know that every major studio in Hollywood is run by Jews? Did you know that all three television networks are run by Jews?” In those days there were just three television networks, ABC, CBS, and NBC. And I’d start naming the Jews who were running the big film companies in Hollywood, the Jews who ran the networks, the Jews who owned the New York Times and the Washington Post and the three weekly news magazines. I’d say, “Hey, listen, the Jews make up less than three per cent of the population in the United States, and yet they control nearly every medium of mass communication. That’s no coincidence.” And people would tell me, “Well, so what? They’re just good businessmen, that’s all. They’re clever at that sort of thing. That’s how they got control. Don’t worry about it.”

And I’d say, “But don’t you see, with their monopoly control of the media they’re able to have an enormous influence on public opinion. Look at what they’re doing with these television serials of theirs, All in the Family, and M*A*S*H, and the rest. They’re all slanted the same way — all of them. That’s no coincidence. And by controlling the ideas and opinions of such a large segment of the public, they can control votes, they can control political candidates. That’s why our government is pushing the same policies the media are pushing. It’s no coincidence. Don’t you understand?”

And people would say to me, “Don’t talk like that. That sounds like anti-Semitism. You can’t say anything that’s anti-Semitic, because if you do the media will destroy you, they’ll smear you, they’ll cause you to lose your job. Go away; don’t talk to me.”

And I’d reply to them, “Look, I don’t care what you call it — anti-Semitism or patriotism or alarmism or what — the point is that it’s the truth; it’s what’s happening to us. And it’s our responsibility to stop it.” But my listeners already would be running away as fast as they could go. And I would really feel lonely. And so I can sympathize with the listeners who write me today and tell me how glad they are to have found out that they’re not alone in their concern for what’s being done to our country, to our civilization, to our people.

But let me tell you, it’s a lot easier today to find people who agree with us than it was 25 years ago. There are a lot more concerned people out there today than there were then. There are a lot more people who understand what’s happening. And if my efforts have had anything to do with that, if I have been able to increase the number of those who understand, then I am very happy for that. That is my reward for everything I do: knowing that I am building the number of people who understand what’s happening in the world today.

But you know, there’s more to our task than just helping people to understand what’s happening. The bigger job is to get people to accept responsibility — personal responsibility — for straightening things out. Even back in those days when I felt very lonely, I realized that getting people to accept responsibility was a more difficult job than getting them to understand. When people told me, “You can’t talk about the Jews; they’ll destroy you,” — when they said that and then ran away from me, it was clear that they already had at least some understanding of the Jewish problem. They understood that the Jews are extremely powerful and are organized and don’t want anybody explaining to the public what they’re up to. These people already understood that much without my telling them about it. They just didn’t want to do anything about it. They were afraid. They didn’t want to accept personal responsibility.

It took a while for that fact to sink in. I couldn’t understand this unwillingness to accept responsibility. I mean, when our ancestors came over here from England and Scotland and Scandinavia and Germany and took this land away from the Indians and built a country, they weren’t a bunch of softies or cowards or people who ran away from a challenge. They were strong people. They were fighters. How did their great-great-great-great-great grandsons become such a bunch of wimps, such a bunch of couch potatoes and lemmings? I couldn’t understand that.

Well, since then I have gradually come to understand how that happened, how America lost its spine. America isn’t the only country that’s happened to. And of course, not every American has lost his spine. There still are many Americans who are not afraid of the truth. There still are Americans who are willing to accept personal responsibility: Americans who when they understand what’s going on, either because I explained it to them or they figured it out for themselves, don’t run away. Instead they say, “What can I do? How can I help?” There still are Americans like that. The problem is that there aren’t enough of them. So I want to share with you my thoughts on this concept of personal responsibility, in the hope that it will help you be willing to accept your responsibility also.

You know, we live in an age of shirkers, of deadbeats, of people who actually think they’re being smart by never being responsible for anything. It seems like the first rule a lot of our soldiers in Vietnam learned 25 years ago was “never volunteer for anything.” That’s what I hear from a lot of Vietnam vets. But this attitude also has permeated our whole society and has affected many Americans who are too young to have been in Vietnam. People who spend a lot of time on the Internet discussing political and social issues with other people tell me that the word there too is “never join anything; if you do the government may cause you trouble or you may be asked to do something; so the smart thing to do — the safe thing to do — is never join anything.”

Well, of course, the thing about the Internet is that it is anonymous. People can express their opinions about anything they want without anybody knowing who they are. They all use pseudonyms or nicknames. It’s the perfect environment for cowards, for shirkers. They can shoot their mouths off and act like real men without being called to account. And like shirkers everywhere, they would like for everyone else to be a shirker too, so they are not shown up for what they are. They would like for their cowardice and irresponsibility to be regarded as prudence. They want to thought of as smart guys instead of as shirkers.

But really, how smart is it never to accept any personal responsibility? What that amounts to is opting to be a spectator in life instead of a participant. Life is interesting. Life can be fun. There are many fascinating things to observe, to talk about. And I guess these smart guys figure that they will watch it all first. They will talk about it all with their friends first. Then when they know everything, they can go back and make smart choices about what to become involved in. They won’t make any mistakes.

But you know, it doesn’t work that way. You don’t get to go back and start over after you’ve watched it all and got it all figured out. You only get one shot at life, and you’ve got to make the most of it. You’ve got to figure it out as you go, even if that means accepting some risk and making some mistakes. There’s no going back. If you just watch it all the way to the end, telling everyone how smart you are because you’re not making any commitments or taking any chances, you’ve missed your chance to live. And that chance never will come again. The people who live are the people who participate in life, not the spectators who just watch it go by.

I guess that in this television age, when kids grow up spending much more time watching things happen on the TV screen than actually doing things, people who are naturally weak and passive will slip into the spectator mode and stay there all their lives. And at this point there’s not much we can do for them. They’ve just missed it. But I know that there are many men and women out there who still are capable of reaching out and taking hold of life and living. Those are the ones I’m talking to. And I apologize if what I’m saying sounds painfully obvious, painfully self-evident — but it is so extremely important that I must say it.

This wonderful gift of life that we have, what does it mean? What is its real value? Is it simply a collection of sensations, of feelings, that we get as spectators? I’m sure that for many people that’s what life is. The more pleasurable their collection of sensations, the more pleasant their feelings, the more enjoyable the things they see as spectators, the better their life is. And that’s understandable. That’s what life always has been for animals — and we are animals. We are creatures of instinct, and our instincts tell us to survive, to find food, to seek shelter, to reproduce, to avoid danger. In a prosperous, civilized society the drive to satisfy these basic needs expresses itself as a quest for wealth, for enjoyment, for comfort.

A thousand years ago our ancestors also sought wealth, enjoyment, and comfort. But they didn’t believe that these things were quite as important as most people today think they are. In that age before television people were perhaps a little closer to the earth, and they were a little more aware of just how temporary an individual’s life is, and they reached out for things with a little more permanence, things beyond wealth and comfort and pleasure, things which to them seemed to have more real meaning. I remember a few lines of poetry which expressed this feeling among our ancestors in Scandinavia — and more generally in the Germanic parts of Europe — back during the Viking age. Those lines are: “Cattle die, and kinsmen die, and so must one die oneself. But there is one thing I know which never dies, and that is the fame of a dead man’s deeds.”

For our ancestors a thousand years ago, of course, cattle were wealth, and kinsmen were power, and though they sought these things just as we do today, they understood that they were transitory; the value of these things was not permanent. The only thing that is permanent is the mark that one makes on the world with one’s deeds. Everyone wants to live well, of course, but it is better to live effectively: to live so that one is remembered for what one has accomplished.

And to put a little finer edge on the concept, it is not just fame in itself which is important. What counts also is the type of fame, the type of renown. The goal was to be remembered not just for being able to throw a spear farther than others or to swing a battle-ax harder or to use a sword more skillfully; it was to be remembered for having lived a meaningful life, a significant life. For some that meant a life of accomplishment, of changing the world; for others it meant a life lived as closely as possible in accord with the ideals of personal honor and of service to one’s people, so that one’s life could be held up as a model and remembered as such.

In any case the life that had lasting value was a life of participation; never a life of sitting on one’s hands and playing it safe. Perhaps too much television and too much comfort have caused us to lose sight of this very important thing which our ancestors understood. I think that they saw their individual lives more clearly in the larger context of the ongoing life of the race than we do. They were on more familiar terms with birth and with death than we are and were not as likely as we are to slip into the folly of believing that they would live forever. And so being constantly aware of the reality and inevitability of death they were more concerned than we are to use their lives effectively and to give lasting meaning to them.

For those of us today who do want to participate in life, who want to live significant lives, there is no more significant activity in which to participate than working to assure a healthy future for our people, for our European race. And there is almost no limit to the ways in which you can participate in this activity. Whether you’re a housewife or a computer scientist or a machinist or a secretary or a bulldozer operator or a law-enforcement officer or a teacher or a writer or an artist, you can participate. The only reason that a rabble of feminists and queers and Jews and Blacks and Mestizos and liberals and Clinton supporters are running America into the ground today is that decent people are sitting on their hands. If the decent people in America would get off their hands and accept personal responsibility for what is being done to their world, and if they would make a commitment and begin working together, we could sweep the whole Clinton coalition into the dustbin of history. It doesn’t matter that the Clinton rabble outnumber us. We will whip them in a minute. We will have the media bosses jumping into the ocean all along the East Coast and swimming toward Israel as fast as they can go. But first we must be willing to accept personal responsibility.

And so my message today to every decent person who is listening is this: Don’t be a shirker. Don’t try to be a smart guy by continuing to cheer from the sidelines but refusing to join the team and get out on the field. Stand up and become a participant in life. Make of your life a model that people will remember and talk about long after you’re gone. And sure, the bureaucrats in the Clinton government may try to put your name on some sort of “enemies” list of Politically Incorrect people, but you should regard that as a badge of honor.

And let me tell you something else — and this is directed not only toward the decent men and women in my audience, but also toward those who now think of themselves as “smart guys” — let me tell you: don’t worry if the Clinton government hates you for standing up and accepting your personal responsibility. Don’t worry if Hillary Clinton denounces you as part of some “right wing conspiracy.” Don’t worry if Janet Reno tells her jackbooted thugs that you should be watched. Don’t worry about any of these people. Don’t be afraid of them, because they aren’t going to last. Their ship is taking on water fast, and they are going down sooner than they expect, believe me.

Listen, I’m not one of these old-fashioned moralists who’ll tell you that because every major city in America has become the sort of place that would make the folks in Sodom and Gomorrah blush, we’re going to be punished with fire and brimstone. I don’t believe that wickedness is automatically punished. I do believe that evil can thrive and prosper for quite a while. My god, look, at how successful the Jews have been.

But I also believe that when a society loses its manliness, when its leaders lose all sense of direction and no longer are guided by any principle or any ideal and are concerned only with looking out for themselves, when a country loses its backbone and its citizens withdraw from the public arena and refuse to be anything but spectators — then that society, that country, will not remain afloat for long. It’s going under.

I mean, how can anyone be afraid of a government headed by Bill Clinton? How can anyone take seriously a Congress whose members are so frightened by the opinion polls that they won’t throw the bum out? Janet Reno may still have a lot of jackbooted thugs at her disposal, but by being a part of the Clinton government she has forfeited the respect, the serious consideration, of decent citizens. Really, the time has come for us to understand that this government of clowns and criminals in Washington may still be dangerous, but it won’t be around forever. And I’m not talking about just the Clinton administration; I’m talking about the whole structure, the whole system. In planning our strategies, in deciding how we should live, what the government thinks about us just shouldn’t be as fundamental a consideration as it would be if we lived in a healthy society with a government of principled men. Even the smart guys should be thinking ahead to the time when this rotten system and all its supporters, all its collaborators, are with the maggots, and people who don’t know how to accept personal responsibility because they have never done it, people who don’t know how to participate in events because they always have been only spectators, may find the going a lot rougher. The non-participants may find it much harder to survive.

Anyway, it’s always better to be a participant than a spectator, and never more than now. It is time, my fellow White men and women, for us to stop worrying about anything except doing what is right. It is time for us to accept our responsibilities.

* * *

Source: American Dissident Voices broadcast of February 6, 1999

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