Big Tent Philosophy
By John "Birdman" Bryant
Note: This essay is followed by some reader reactions, and then by two other Parts which supplement the first.
If there is one thing that the politically-savvy know, it is that political viability requires a big tent -- ie, an effort to include as many people as possible among its active supporters. Those who are working for the preservation of Western civilization and the race which created it are notorious for failing to recognize this. This is extremely destructive because our movement -- which I shall for convenience simply term 'the Movement' -- is not merely regarded as on the fringe, but is at the perigee of respectability -- not only because we have been marginalized by the liberal media, but because so many of the leaders -- to say nothing of the followers -- give the strong appearance of being idiots, psychopaths, kluxers, hakenkreutzers, or are not sufficiently courageous or informed to discuss the issues most central to the Movement, particularly the Jewish Question.
I have always stated my willingness to work with anyone in pursuit of mutually-shared goals, and that, in a word, is the Big Tent philosophy. But 'racial purists', who are a heavy presence in the Movement, shun this philosophy on the seemingly logical grounds that you can't work for white racial goals with nonwhites, or those 'insufficiently white'. That, however, is nonsense, and for one very simple reason: Western civilization is a boon to everyone, and the white race, as the creator of that civilization, must be supported in maintaining it, and indeed in maintaining itself.
It is important to recognize that the Big Tent philosophy carries with it an important implication, namely, that it makes white racism respectable in face-to-face encounters. That is, in arguing that Western civilization is good not just for whites, but for EVERYBODY, white racists can now argue without the least embarrassment that everyone should support our race and assist its preservation. This, then, sweeps away the shame which liberals have (wrongly) tried to attach to white racism, and allows us to argue our case to whoever of whatever race will listen to us. It is, in short, an exceptionally powerful way to remove the 'hater' and 'intolerant' labels that liberals have so assiduously attempted to attach to us.
Besides making white racism a political no-fly zone, the major problem with racial purism is that it has attempted to make people deny their own natural impulses. In particular, it has sought to make whites either passively or actively hostile to those of other races, whereas natural impulses would often dictate friendship and even love. This is not of course to deny the benefits of racial separation, which itself is a natural occurrence, nor is it to endorse government race-mixing, which has been the source of so many of our problems. But it is to say that the exhibition of hostility to people simply on the basis of race is primitive in the extreme, and that because simple personal acquaintance makes such hostility difficult, this means that people will tend to turn against a racial philosophy which advocates such primitive hostility. Beyond this, when racial purists trot out their cross-burning Kluxers and spastic-armed goose-steppers, it is not only a political disaster for whites, but gives aid and comfort to an enemy who will use such images to bury us in mud -- and muds.
To put it bluntly, if we are going to successfully prosecute a Big Tent philosophy, this will necessitate the abandoning of such divisive symbols as swastikas, Confederate flags, fiery crosses, KKK vestments and the like. (FYI, the fiery cross is an ancient Scottish symbol intended as a call to arms -- appropriate in view of the fact that it originated as a racial symbol in Tennessee, a place first heavily settled by the Scotch-Irish.) This is not to say that these symbols are 'evil' -- just impolitic. They are of a different era -- powerful for good of a certain kind, and perhaps evil as well; but in any event they send the wrong message today because of their irrevocable associations with ideas that are now irrelevant and divisive, if not actually frightening. ("We're from the Gestapo and we're here to help you.")
As a philosopher, I have spent a good deal of time working on the right approach to white racial philosophy. Much of what I have written on this subject has appeared in my Weekly Letters, but there is a substantial portion which appears only in my books. It has been my goal to work the kinks out of racism so that its supporters would know how to defeat liberal objections and put racism forward as the respectable philosophy it is. Seeing myself as having now largely completed this task, it would seem that the main effort of white racists should now be directed at mustering support from our own people -- selling our ideas, if you will, to the people who most desperately need them but don't seem to know it.
Selected Reactions to the Big Tent Philosophy Essay
Thank you John. An interesting phenomenon is happening over at the Jacob and Esau discussion group. I have been banned for telling one of the more strident racialists to 'go fuck himself'... this after he called my grandson a 'mongrel dog'.... Actually he is one of the more hateful members, and finally lost it after another of his racist diatribes. So today, when I read your Big Tent piece, I realized why I am never ashamed of my political beliefs... my problem with other cultures is cultural, not racial. Melanin is NOT my problem with blacks... it is their majority culture, when they are the majority. THIS is the real reason I was banned from the group.... It is my solemn belief that most of the "hate" sites and discussion groups are fully infiltrated and the most hateful voices are there to set the tone and otherwise undermine the credibility of the membership by keeping the tone sufficiently marginal. In other words, I believe in my heart that the Jande group is there to destroy MacDonald, by setting a tone that discredits the good doctor. I have not participated much in the last year, but have seen a trend that is unmistakable. It is ALWAYS the provocateurs in any given group that are the 'plants'... in the case of Jande... it's not Wilcox who is the enemy... he's just there to bear witness.... I considered emailing Kevin, but thought better of it... --CarolOnTheWeb
John, your [Weekly Letter on Big Tent philosophy] resonates with my thoughts on race. I totally agree with you on not using obsolete symbols that discredit our race. I would also add that every white man, woman and child should carry a business card in their wallets etc. stating on one side "I am proud to be white person" and on the other side "The achievements of our white civilization have benefited all mankind." That little card is a way of bonding whites under the big tent. It reinforces the pride we have in ourselves. It reinforces our identity of who we are. It will give us the strength to fight the zionists. Everybody can make them for family members practically without cost. --Doug [?]
JEWS seduce pure young Christian boys (and girls) because they love them and want to destroy them. THOMAS WOLFE
> The above quote applies to all minorities regarding Aryan man and his culture. This is an instinct - the same as winning and hunger and survival of the fittest (perhaps Insects ?).
> Spengler made it clear that history is not linear but that each Civilization that has appeared on he world=landscape was unique, spiritual and ORGANIC.
> That which imbues a particular family/tribe/race to band together with a sudden esprit de corps that results in a great Organic=Culture can only be described as super-natural.
> Each of the great Civilizations arose from a distinct gene-pool. Each Individual was a cell of that RACIAL-CULTURAL-ORGANISM. Their collective SPIRIT was the SOUL of the ORGANISM. Around them swelt the mere masses of people.
> All ORGANISMS have a life-cycle. Previous Civilizations from the Babylonian to the Classic ALL died from within through disease: miscegenation , treason and JEWS. Only the Mexican perished by alien annihilation.
> It seems to me that your "Big Tent" Idea may be useful as a political stratagem while we Aryans attempt to cure the cancer within our sinews. But, the concept that non=whites for their own interests will cooperate with Whites is a fantasy.
> The West is moribund because its own Laws prevent it from excising the cancer.
> There is a time for the pen - and a time for the sword.
> I wouldn't be surprised if these Jews would not someday become deadly to the human race. VOLTAIRE --James B
Big Tent Philosophy *** PART 2 ***
As a philosopher, I have always focused my attention on what might roughly be called 'the limits of knowledge'. In its most general sense, this has involved scouring the landscape of knowledge for contradictions, paradoxes, knowledge gaps, suppressed information, and other irregularities which might indicate dangerous misalignments of the ideological framework. This is one reason why I have been attracted to the study of controversial subjects like racism and Jews, because the very reluctance which others have shown for investigating these subjects suggests an enormous tectonic stress which, when touched at the right pressure point, will begin an earthquake that will flatten a huge expanse of the world's ideosphere.
Of the several objections which may be raised to racial puritansm, perhaps the most important is reflected in the situation of the world's most celebrated (and denounced) racist, Adolf Hitler. Because Hitler was almost certainly one-quarter Jewish, white racial puritans would be obligated by their own creed to reject the man who has done more than any other to raise the racial consciousness of whites; and plainly this is absurd. Another situation which is very close to this is that of the white racist who discovers that his genetic makeup has a touch of the black, the Jew or some other race: To read such a person out of the movement is bizarre at least, and inhuman at worst. A similar situation is found in having friends or lovers of other races: To require people to give these up in order to be part of the pro-white pro-Western fraternity is unacceptable to most people, and hence politically-unsalable. Which means that, in the long run, it is politically suicidal.
But there is another problem with the racial puritans: They seem to think that whites have reached the apogee of evolution. This, however is nonsense, for with all the many species which have come and gone from this earth, there is not the least a priori reason to think we are the ultimate that evolution can produce; and with a look at the white folks at the low end of the Bell Curve, there is no a posteriori reason to think so either. So if we grant that whites have a way to go on the evolutionary scale, how exactly do the racial puritans think they are going to get there? Quite frankly, until we get sophisticated enuf to breed our babies in a long black tube ("In the year 2525"), an important part of the answer is going to be 'genetic variety', and that is something which we may well find most easily obtainable in other races.
But whether we are racial puritans or those of a more liberal stripe, it is important to realize that the concern with race is really imbedded in the larger controversy of the 'nature-nurture controversy', ie, whether a man's life is primarily determined by his genes (nature) or his upbringing (nurture). As it turns out, both sides in the controversy are half-right - - both nature and nurture account for a significant (tho yet inexactly- determined) proportion of what one becomes -- and this may account for the fact that the controversy has been carried on by so many half-wits. (I mean, can anyone seriously deny that either nature or nurture has a profound effect on the individual?)
Altho most are unaware of it, the nature-nurture controversy is rooted in fundamental beliefs about the organization of society. Until the Enlightenment, it was generally believed (at least by those who had beliefs on this topic) that nature trumpted nurture, a belief which was the basis of class divisions in which the nobles ruled, and the rest were ruled. In particular, it was believed that superior genetics validated the system of nobility and servility, and that because the superiority would be passed on to offspring, political power should thus pass by inheritance. This genetic theory was of course masked by the theory of 'the divine right of kings': The people were told that God endorsed the nobility, whereas it was really Nature; but the nomenclature didn't really matter as long as the essential truth was conveyed.
But then came the Enlightenment and the dethronement of God, and with it a lot of very uncomfortable questions about why the people should support a class of parasites who often spent their time in debauchery and other sins when they weren't making war on neighboring nobles and getting the peons killed. From this questioning developed the notion of political freedom and rule by virtue not of divine right, but by the consent of the governed. Thus nature gave way to nurture, and rather than nobles and peons it was decided that 'all men are created equal' -- not literally equal, but rather equal in the sense that there were not two classes, one of nobles and one of peons, but just one, 'the people'. America was the first nation where these notions were actually implemented, and ever since that time America has been an exemplar and standard by which all other nations have been measured.
As it turns out, however, democracy -- the name we use for 'rule by consent of the governed', or more properly, 'republican form of government' -- has not been an unmixed blessing. Because men are corruptible, democracy has become corrupted, and the situation has become worse and worse as powerful men have learned to manipulate the system to their advantage. For this reason, we have had at least one philosopher -- Hans- Herman Hoppe -- propose a return to monarchy. And of course we have had a recrudescence of hard-line naturists in the form of racial puritans: Their philosophy does not exactly advocate monarchy, but it does carry the suggestion that political power should be determined by genetics, namely, white genes.
As it happens, there is an unrealized irony in all this. White racists have spent a good deal of time bemoaning the fact that the Jews have gathered the larger part of world political power in their hands, and that they are well on the road to a genetically-determined New World Order in which they shall be the nobles. But it is the aspiration of whites to create their own nobility of sorts -- a dominance by their race -- so at the same time that whites bemoan the dictatorship of the 'Jew World Order' they themselves seek to establish their own, even if it is a more benign one.
I shall of course support the White World Order, but I shall be ever mindful of the wise words of Lord Acton: Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Big Tent 3: Old vs New Guard Racists
If you like diversity, there is no better place to find it than in the pro-white/pro-Western civilization movement, which we shall refer to simply as 'the movement'. On one extreme we have the Old Guard racists -- the KKKers and the nazis, to whom I refer to as kluxers, hakenkreuzers and the 'gas-all-Jews-now crowd'. At the other extreme we have the New Guard racists like me, who are well aware of the problems which minorities are bringing to Western civilization, but who, on a personal level, may nevertheless like Jews and Asians, and are not generally hostile to other minorities, and are in fact well aware that Jews have been very helpful to our movement (eg, Benjamin Freedman, JG Burg, Paul Rassinier, Jack Bernstein, Mark Lane -- to say nothing of those who have been 'accused' of being Jews, such as Ernst Zundel and Ingrid Rimland). An even more extreme of the New Guard type among movement people includes such individuals as Sam Francis, Jared Taylor (of American Renaissance) and the Vdare crew, who bash minorities without ever daring to say the word 'Jew'. In between these two extremes are a lot of folks who are not quite sure where they stand -- they may be riveted by the images of nazi power in Triumph of the Will and see the advantage of force in returning the West to a more pristine state, but find distasteful the artificial hatred which is imposed by the nazis, kluxers and their ilk.
For my part, I am a New Guard racist not merely because that is where my experience and feelings lead me, but also because I see it as the only politically viable route. People have been taught to hate the nazis and kluxers so thoroughly that to try to use the symbols of their movements to unite white people is not merely useless, but counterproductive, because people who go around burning crosses and wearing swastikas are going to get pilloried, and their message -- if they really have one -- is going to be lost in the noise.
Let me put it another way: The war for Western civilization and its founding race is an information war -- we have to educate people about the realities of what the liberals, and particularly the Jews, are doing to us. So hitting people in the face with widely-hated symbols like hakenkreuzes and fiery crosses will close people's minds to our message, not open them. But even if the symbols were not widely hated, they are problematic because they convey an ambience of naked power rather than reason -- they do not seek to convince, but to force. This is not to say that there will not be times in the future when force should be used; it is rather to say that such time is not the present.
The difference between New Guard types like myself and the Old Guard may perhaps be encapsulated by our attitude toward the use of the word 'nigger'. This word, like the swazi or the fiery cross, carries with it the implication of both hostility and physical threat. I, in contrast, use such terms as negroidals, little brown bruthas, and numerous others which are primarily joshing rather than hostile, and which do not imply a physical threat. What this does is to make possible a dialog with other races and 'enemies', when -- as is often the case -- our policies may pursue mutually-shared goals (eg, segregation). As one can see from the Diversity section of my webpage, I have had several such dialogs.
While we of the New Guard do not hesitate to recognize the contributions of Jews and other minorities to the movement, and even to welcome them to participate, we also extend a hand of friendship to those at the other extreme. This is not merely because -- unlike so many others in the movement -- our libertarian nature is repelled by the thought of enforcing conformity, but also because, from the practical standpoint, we need all the allies we can get. Perhaps a better way to explain it is to observe that poor whites are more likely to have had extended contact with blacks and other minorities because of the whites' financial inability to escape the inner cities, and thus they are more likely to know first-hand the destructiveness of these people. The result is that these unsophisticated whites end up among the philosophically-unsophisticated nazi and klanner groups, and thereby set themselves up not only as the most vocal of pro- whites, but also as the easiest prey for Mo Dees and the other anti-whites and anti-racists to present as the essence of the movement. For this reason I have tried to educate pro-whites in the intellectual subtleties of our movement, with the hope that this education would rub off on the extremists and help them to see that their cross-burnings and Roman salutes do a lot more harm than good.
But if I am liberal in extending a hand of sorts toward both ends of the spectrum of our movement, there is one way in which I am distinctively NOT liberal, and that is that I am unwavering in my belief that the Jewish Question must be addressed squarely and thoroughly. In fact, the forces with which our movement is contending simply cannot be understood unless we factor Jews into the equation; and while some of us may feel that the Jewish swamp must be drained, while others may feel that insect repellent is sufficient, we at least cannot afford to avoid examining the pervasive role of Jews in the Western world's woes. In doing so, however, we need to remember that the Jews may not be the ultimate force behind our troubles, but only a tool for some eminence grise such as the Rothschilds or the Banksters or the Bonesmen or the Masons -- or for that matter, extraterrestrials -- who are using the Jews and their organizations for their own nefarious purposes. Since there seems to be more than just an off-chance of this, we have yet another reason for the movement to develop Jewish contacts who may be able to open doors for us that would otherwise remain forever closed.
Now before concluding this essay, I think it is useful to analyze the differences between the Old Guard and New Guard racists. In my view, the Old Guard is characterized by the following points:
* A preference for authoritarianism and militarism
* A greater rigidity of beliefs
* An intolerance of ambiguity
* An emphasis on hatred of outsiders rather than love of one's kind
* A preference for physical force, rather than the use of reason and an effort to work within the system
* A tendency toward internecine warfare and competition with fellow racists, rather than cooperation on constructive projects
* Poor interpersonal skills
* A tendency to look backward toward a glorious past rather than to plan for the future
* A materialistic rather than a spiritual outlook
Most of these characteristics overlap to some extent. For example, a greater rigidity of beliefs and intolerance of ambiguity makes both for a greater tendency to hate those who are different, and a greater tendency to fight with fellow racists and to be unable to cooperate with them; poor interpersonal skills, authoritarianism, lack of a spiritual outlook and a tendency toward physical force also leads to fighting; and a lack of cooperation means that not much constructive gets done, leaving the only vision as that of a glorious past rather than one of a glorious future.
Altho I reject the Old Guard philosophy out of personal distaste, I do not wish to say that they are 'wrong' in some moral sense. The ultimate test of right or wrong is the question of what works best to facilitate the survival and prosperity of the white race and Western civilization. In my view the New Guard has the best chance, because the New Guard can best operate under the constraints of the present-day liberal zeitgeist. In particular, the New Guard has the following advantages:
* Authoritarianism works well only in situations of dire physical necessity. It worked well for the nazis in post-WW1 Germany, but it will never work in the affluent West where people can live quite well off welfare checks, church food kitchens and dumpster diving.
* The dogmatism implicit in rigidity of beliefs makes it difficult for the Old Guard to deal with the fact that, in the words of James Russell Lowell,
"New occasions teach new duties;
Time makes ancient good uncouth;
They must upward still, and onward,
Who would keep abreast of Truth".
* Intolerance of ambiguity is characteristic of limited intelligence. It is what might be called the 'digital' philosophy that "you are either fer us or agin' us" -- that everything is black or white, with no intervening shades of gray. The reality, however, is far more analog: There are few things not surrounded with varying shades of gray. But refusing to admit ambiguity can be a great comfort, providing you are not discomfited by an ambiguous situation. And that can be trouble indeed; for ambiguity in sufficient quantity can drive people literally mad. In particular, IP Pavlov discovered that dogs who were conditioned to be rewarded when shown a circle, but conditioned to receive an electric shock when shown an ellipse, became psychotic as the ellipse was drawn closer and closer to that of a circle. In the present world there are many ambiguities which will function for the Old Guard as Pavlov's ever-rounding ellipse: The continuing change in the gene pool due to race-mixing, foreigners such as Asians or Indians who are quite as competent as whites, music and other artistic creations whose ethnic origins are ambiguous, and so on -- all these, in addition to such problematic situations as whites married to those of other races, the opposition of American ethnics to open immigration, and the help of Jews in exposing harmful Jewish behavior, are likely to drive a lot of Old Guard members up the wall and onto the psychiatrist's couch -- with a Jewish psychiatrist at that.
* Any way you peel it, the onion of hatred stinks. However, when programs are put in the more positive terms of love of one's people and culture, it is a lot easier to market them; but the Old Guard has got the mud of hate so firmly smeared all over themselves as to look bad front, back, upside down and sideways. Nobody needs this kind of handicap if they are going to promote a program to save whites and Western civilization.
* The use of physical force which is implied in the goose-stepping, Roman- saluting, cross-burning rituals of the Old Guard is not only completely useless, but actually counterproductive. This is not post-WW1 Germany, and we are not confronted by rioting Bolsheviks trying to take over the government. The war is an information war, and must be fought as such. Old Guard rituals do nothing but provide fodder for the cameras of Mo Dees and his ilk, who parade these images in the media and make the Old Guard look like they are somewhere between ignorant hillbillies and out-of- control animals.
* The Old Guard loves the idea of street-fighting nazis with their whips and chains; but since there is no street fighting to be done in the present day, they end up eating their own -- if not in fisticuffs, then in internet forums and hostile email exchanges. It is fine to have an abundance of testosterone, but it is worse than useless if it cannot be controlled; and the Old Guard is too busy trying to 'control' their friends to bother controlling themselves.
* Very few in the Old Guard have heard of Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People, and fewer yet would think that it has the least relevance to what they are supposedly doing. Which may just be telling us that what the Old Guard really wants to do is to sit around swilling German beer, yelling 'nigger' and 'kike', and constructing fantasies of what it would be like If Only Hitler Had Won. This, in addition to the inflated ego trips which they take at the expense of their comrades, virtually guarantees the extinction of any camaraderie, and thus the possibility of united action by any but a collection of zombies and their local 'fuehrer'.
* People with a spiritual dimension have a distinct advantage over those who do not, because they can see the struggle for the survival of their race in a long-term perspective that those who 'live for today' cannot appreciate. This is probably the explanation for the survival of crazy religions -- and most religions are indeed crazy: They force their members to work for the long term, and this promotes the survival of their group. My own religion -- if you can call it that -- is a spiritualist one, and has the advantage of being supported by scientific investigation. The facts of spiritualism have convinced me that there is most likely something beyond terrestrial human existence, and for this reason I see the struggle for the white race and Western civilization as something beyond my own meager existence. Perhaps spiritualism will provide the key to turning the struggle around.
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