Chairman Pierce’s Big Red Book
A Review by Eric Paulson of:
The Best of Attack! And National Vanguard Tabloid 1970-1982, Selected and Arranged by Kevin Alfred Strom (new 2021 edition: Mountain City, TN: Cosmotheist Books, 2021; originally published in 1984).
THOUSANDS OF people learned of the National Alliance (NA) through William Pierce’s best-selling novel The Turner Diaries (over half-a-million copies sold). Many others were attracted to the NA from listening to American Dissident Voices. For me it was reading The Best of Attack! and National Vanguard (BANV). It’s just been reprinted by Cosmotheist Books.
I call BANV Chairman Pierce’s big red book because the cover is mostly red and the format is large (11.5” x 15”). Pierce wrote the vast majority of the articles, but early members of the NA also contributed entries. As noted above Mr. Strom compiled the material and wrote a brief introduction in which he states the purpose of BANV, “the awakening of White men and women to their past greatness, to the reality of their race’s degradation, and to their responsibility for the future.”
These lines were written in 1984. It amazes me to hear young guys speaking of Reagan’s America as a better time. True, the demographic replacement project was not as advanced thirty-five years ago, and anti-White policies and rhetoric were not quite as ubiquitous and explicit, but our corrupt and corrosive system was firmly in place and the trajectory of society was clear to those who cared to notice.
The articles are arranged in chronological order so the earliest entries are from the National Youth Alliance days. In 1970 revolution was in the air and Pierce’s writing had a revolutionary edge. “The Nature of the Beast” ends with, “Smash The System! Death To The Establishment!” (p. 1). Unfortunately the revolutionary changes of the late 60s and early 70s consisted of a cultural revolution from the Left. The rhetoric of the NA has moderated over the decades (the revenge fantasies were never very constructive), but the Alliance remains a revolutionary organization to this day.
Although the revolution Pierce hoped for in 1970 did not materialize, his prescience is found throughout BANV. For example, in the article cited above he notes that despite their manpower, firepower, and money the Military-Industrial Complex exercised little real power within the System.1 Today we see the US military completely co-opted by Zionism and cultural Marxism. In fact we are now told that our armed forces could not operate effectively without the inclusion of transgender personnel.
Another example of Pierce’s insight was his attitude toward Russia and the USSR. Today the establishment is very Russo-phobic. During the Cold War, when these essays were written, the conventional Right was particularly Russo-phobic. Thus it is significant that the BANV contains several pieces sympathetic toward Russia and Russians. Two are on Alexander Solzhenitsyn (pp. 35-36 & 130-31). Another, “Russia Faces Racial Crisis” (pp. 138-39), expresses concern about Russian demographic trends. There are also favorable mentions of the Soviet military and education system. Obviously, Pierce found Communism an anathema, but he put biology before ideology and saw Russia as an essential White nation.
Early on Pierce clearly understood the central role played by the mainstream media (MSM) in manufacturing and manipulating public opinion, and the outsized and pernicious influence of Jews in news and entertainment.2 With the advent of the Internet and then the election of Donald Trump, a candidate none in the MSM supported or predicted to win, many thought that perhaps the older media had lost their punch. But no. The events of August 2017 in Charlottesville demonstrate that the MSM still has the power to control the narrative. They have been able to maintain their version of events in Virginia despite massive contrary evidence.
BANV contains articles on education, racial science, philosophy, art, and history as well as letters to the editor, book and movie reviews and a few cartoons. It is one of those unusual books that contains both history and historiography in that it chronicles events in the distant past as well as reporting on current events that are now history.
To my mind the real gems within BANV are the essays on political philosophy. Today the millennials of the “alt right” attack America’s neocons and cuckservatives. Pierce battled against the conventional Right for decades. His famous essay “Why Conservatives Can’t Win” (p. 4) dates from 1971 and, if anything, is more relevant today than when it was written.
In “On Liberty,” Pierce notes that the liberty that Patrick Henry spoke of was “freedom from political and economic domination by a foreign tyrant” – far different from the self-indulgent liberty prized by the libertine Left or the libertarian Right (p. 7). Our idea of liberty needs to shift from an individual to a racial/national context.
Pierce continues his critique of “right-wingers” in “Whether America: Elitism or Racism” (p. 103). The author notes that even if the ideology of libertarian conservatism of the John Birch Society was to triumph, it would not be sufficient to save our race and culture. He is concerned that classism or elitism “is gaining at the expense of White solidarity” because for many “elitism is an acceptable alternative to equalitarianism” (p. 103). The real problem, Pierce argues, is hyper-individualism.
So what is wrong with this individualism? the reader might ask. Why not treat everyone as an individual? If a Black or Mestizo is intelligent and appears to be of good character why not integrate him into White society? This reviewer would say that in a nutshell the answer is man is a social animal who by necessity functions within cultural groups. And culture is, in part, racially determined.
Pierce cites several problems with individualism within a multiracial society: regression toward the mean in Black/White mating, the social alienation of racial integration, and the social dynamic at work that precludes a truly color-blind meritocratic society. The principal problem is: “When a society’s racial composition changes… then its values change, its ultimate meaning changes” (p. 104). All these factors point to the fact that ethnic change brings profound cultural change. Cuckservatives who believe they can preserve their precious constitution and Western civilization within a multicultural society are delusional.
A major leitmotif of BANV is the futility of conservatism and the uselessness of most conservatives as allies. This sentiment is expressed in articles such as “The Trouble with Conservatives” (p.110), and “The Radicalization of an American” (pp. 124-126). In the latter piece, quoted below, Pierce recounts his personal evolution from an apolitical physicist and professor to a full-time radical activist. In the early-to-mid 1960s, Prof. Pierce was troubled by the unfolding cultural revolution he observed. His analysis led him to oppose these forces as degenerate, and he believed he could educate others so they too would oppose them. He soon realized what a tremendous hurdle it was to motivate people to action.
Gentile establishment “members are more to blame then the Jews for America’s racial problems.” Greed and cowardice are major components their character; the White masses are no better: “People who think that the so-called ‘common people’ will spontaneously rise up… when economic conditions become bad enough… are just as mistaken as those who nurse the forlorn hope that the Establishment will one day respond to a twinge of racial loyalty.”
The above quotes encapsulate a good part of Pierce’s political philosophy. We can expect little or no help from either members of the establishment or from Joe Six-pack, and there will be nothing spontaneous about the change we seek. Even if the present system collapses it may not benefit us if we are not prepared to take advantage of the situation.
The need for a revolutionary organization is suggested in “The Organizational Nexus” (pp. 143-44). In this essay, Chairman Pierce brings up the right-wing daydream of overthrowing the system “spontaneously and anonymously… [so] no one has to stick his neck out.” Well, it just ain’t gonna happen. Plus, we cannot win the information war going head to head with the MSM. As previously mentioned, even with the Internet still partly free, the establishment’s message is able to reach far more people far more often than our pro-White message. And simply educating people is not enough; people must be willing to act upon that knowledge.
Having determined the need for a revolutionary organization, the characteristics of such a group is the subject of “Criteria for a White Future” (pp. 148-49). An effective revolutionary organization must be hierarchical, radical, and all-encompassing — and capable of forming a new racial elite to replace our old traitorous elite. The medieval Order of the Teutonic Knights is offered as an example of such an organization. The author hastens to add that the Teutonic Order “is not a model which we want to copy in every detail.” Obviously, “conditions in the world have changed mightily since the Middle Ages.” Although Pierce does not mention Cosmotheism, the spiritual basis for the NA, in this essay he certainly has in mind an all-encompassing religious community capable of sustaining a multi-generational struggle for our people.
Analyzing Chairman Pierce’s revolutionary prescriptions, one commentator termed the NA strategy as “Leninist.” Although Pierce would probably disagree, this reviewer believes the term partially applies. Whatever one thinks of his ideology, Lenin was a revolutionary genius. Historians still marvel at the coup the Bolsheviks were capable of pulling off during Red October (old calendar). They were able to take advantage of the chaos of 1917 because they had a plan and an organization. And their organization was built around a small cadre of completely dedicated, professional revolutionaries. Actually, almost all historians see change as originating from small elites. Thus, Leninist strategy is in keeping with what might be considered a law of history.
In “The Task of the National Alliance” (pp. 160-62), Pierce writes that “the situation faced today by the National Alliance is historically unique. Very few of the classic conditions for revolution exist in America today, and, therefore, the classical expositions of revolutionary theory are largely irrelevant to an understanding of our task.” So today the average White American is materially comfortable and psychologically disarmed. In any case the masses are never agents for change. At times historical change may seem painfully slow, but at other times history is full of dramatic surprises. Thus, “a thoroughly radicalized cadre organization” must be ready to take advantage of opportunities. But ultimately, we “must depend on the forces of history” to create those opportunities. If our beliefs have any validity a multicultural, multiracial American empire will not endure.
There are many obvious differences between early twentieth century Russia and early twenty-first century America. There was plenty of pre-revolutionary froth within the Russian Empire during the early 1900s, while today we live in non-revolutionary times. This may be changing as more young middle-class White men realize the system is stacked against them. The present situation requires tremendous patience and endurance. Both optimistic delusions and despairing lethargy must be avoided.
We have now considered some of the more important BANV articles on political philosophy, and I think we can identify some areas for consensus and perhaps a couple of unanswered questions from this survey. With the added perspective of thirty-some years I think almost everyone reading this would agree that America, and indeed the entire West, is in a precipitous racial and cultural decline. The problems are not just political or economic, but cultural, a matter of attitudes and values. Given these circumstances, only revolutionary change can save our people. There are no conservative solutions. And the sort of revolutionary change needed can only be achieved through organization. Leaderless resistance is a delusion, and there will be no spontaneous uprising of peasants with pitch forks and torches. Nor can we simply sit back and wait for the balloon to go up.
The question remains: How do we organize for revolutionary change? William Pierce believed in a single centralized organization — that being the National Alliance. Prior to his death in 2002 he had been making slow but significant progress towards building an organization and assembling a cadre. The greatest weakness of the NA was also its greatest strength – the day-to-day guidance of Chairman Pierce. This writer was in academe for many years, where PhDs are a dime a dozen. William Pierce was the most intelligent man I ever met, and his vision and determination was legendary. After his death, however, the NA was taken over for more than ten years by very unworthy successors, and decades of work was undone. Today the NA is back on track under the leadership of Will Williams as Chairman, with Kevin Strom as Media Director, both of them close associates of Dr. Pierce. But the damage done is still a painful reality. Meanwhile, the Left has been successful in using multiple niche organizations to achieve their cultural revolution. This does not mean racial-nationalists could duplicate this feat, but it does suggest another model.3
If a person is capable of being radicalized, reading BANV will do it. There are a couple of problems with being radicalized or “red pilled” as the current Right vernacular puts it. First, it can lead to severe alienation that can affect a young person’s ability to function within his society. To be of most value to our cause, we need activists who are able to receive an education, pursue a career, and form a family. As Christians used to say, “Be in this world, but not of it.” Our revolutionaries must be fully engaged within their society while still opposing it. It will require a great deal of intelligence, skill, and maturity to be one of Pierce’s revolutionary elite. Another problem with radicalization is burnout. A person must find a level of activism he or she can sustain, and realize that through life’s ups and downs, one’s exact level of involvement may vary during different periods.
For a very long time, a quarter century or so, The Best of Attack and National Vanguard was out of print. There were used copies available, but they sold for many hundreds of dollars online, or blurry PDFs that were hard to read. Now Cosmotheist Books (affiliated with the National Alliance) has reprinted the book as a full coffee-table size photographic reproduction of the original.
The analysis in BANV has held up remarkably well for forty-plus years, yet we are still a long way from achieving the goals set out by Chairman Pierce. I used to believe in the saying “worse is better,” meaning the worse things got for White Americans the more likely people would come to the same conclusions we have. That may be the case, or maybe worse will just be worse. To an extent, we must, as Pierce points out, rely on the forces of history to bring about change. While change is inevitable, for that change to be in our favor we must be prepared.
1 In 1961 retiring President Dwight D Eisenhower had warned about the increasing power of the “military-industrial complex” to influence US government policy.
2 Pierce referred to the MSM as the controlled media.
3 Dr. Pierce rarely used the labels Left and Right, but if properly understood I believe they are still useful ideological designations.
* * *
Source: Author; this book is now available at Cosmotheist Books