The TOQ Secession Essay Contest Winner:
“Toward the White Republic”
Editor’s Note: It is a great pleasure to announce the winning essay of the first annual TOQ Essay Contest: Michael O’Meara’s “Toward the White Republic.” We had 20 entries. One was subsequently withdrawn. Of the 19 remaining, I judged this the best, but there was close competition, and in the end I hope to publish nine other entries in TOQ, beginning with the Winter 2009-2010 issue. The prize essay appears below without notes. The full, annotated version will appear in the print edition. For information on the second TOQ Essay Contest, click here. Congratulations, Dr. O’Meara, and thank you.
“Breathes there the man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land.”
– Walter Scott
Some time in the second half of the 1990s, a terminological change occurred in the racially conscious community.
Many who previously identified themselves as White Power advocates, segregationists, separatists, supremacists, survivalists, neo-Confederates, biological realists, etc. started calling themselves “white nationalists.”
At the time (and I didn’t know much about these things then), I thought this reflected a changing political consciousness.
For what began after 1945 as a “movement” to maintain the integrity of America’s racial character and prevent alien races from intruding into its various “life worlds” had, by the 1990s, ceased to be a realistic project — 30 years of Third-World immigration, “civil rights” legislation, and various measures imposed by the federal government to subordinate white interests to those of nonwhites had irrevocably transformed the American people so that it was increasingly difficult to characterize them as even a majority-white population.
As a consequence, “white advocates” in the late 1990s started making traditional nationalist claims for secession and self-determination because the United States, in their eyes, had become a threat to their people.
This interpretation was not at all unreasonable. But, alas, it didn’t quite accord with the facts.
I’ve since learned that those calling themselves “white nationalists” are not necessarily nationalists in the sense of wanting to secede from the United States in order to form an independent ethnostate. Most, I think it’s fair to say, are racially conscious conservatives who want to work through the existing institutions to regain control of the country their ancestors made — in order, ultimately, to dismantle the present anti-white system of preferences and restore something of the white man’s former hegemony.
By contrast, white nationalists in the strict sense (i.e., those favoring secession) have no interest in restoring the old ways, let alone regaining control of the central state, whose authority is already slipping and whose rule is increasingly dysfunctional. Indeed, the American state system, as its more astute supporters acknowledge, is now beyond reform.
Instead, white nationalists aspire to create a counter-elite to lead disaffected white youth in a movement to found a whites-only nation-state somewhere in North America, once the poorly managed enterprise known as the United States collapses in a centrifugal dispersion of its decaying and perverted powers.
Without an organizational presence in the real world and with a “public” largely of computer hobbyists, white nationalists at present have no hope of actually mobilizing the white populace in opposition to the existing anti-white regime. Rather, their immediate goal is to prepare the way for the development of a revolutionary nationalist vanguard to lead the struggle for white liberation. They aspire thus not to recapture the rotting corpse of the US government, but to free themselves from it — in order to be themselves, in their own land, in their own way.
White nationalists, as such, politically define themselves in wanting to create a sovereign state in North America. They endeavor, therefore, not to “put things back the way they were,” as conservatives wish, but to rid themselves of them completely.
A National Revolution, they hold, will alone restore “the white man to his rightful place in the world.”
Inspired by the birthright handed down by the blood and sacrifice of ancestors, their project, relatedly, is not about restoring the Third Reich, the Confederacy, or Jim Crow, as leftists imagine, but about creating a future white homeland in which their kind will be able “to pursue their destiny without interference from other races.”
White nationalism is a variant of historic ethnonationalism, what Walker Connor calls nationalism “in its pristine sense.”
All three — racial, ethno, and pristine nationalism — define the nation in terms of blood.
The creedal or civic nationalism of the present regime, which makes loyalty to the state, not the nation, primary, is “nationalist” only in a narrow ideological sense, confusing as it does patriotism (loyalty to the state or affection for the land) with loyalty to the people (nationalism). It thus defines the nation in terms of certain abstract democratic principles, seeing it as a collection of individuals, each more important than the whole.
Though ethnonationalists privilege the nation’s spirit above all else, they nevertheless define it organically, in terms of blood, as an extended family, an endogamous kin group, or a genetic commonwealth.
Unlike European nations, formed around long-established ethnic cores (which had developed in the Middle Ages, as Germanic and other tribal confederations evolved into larger political, regional, and cultural identities), American national identity was, historically, defined in explicitly racial terms.
As Sir Arthur Keith characterized it: “In Europe the stock has been broken up into local national breeds; in America the local breeds have been reunited.”
In both cases, a national identity grew out of a real or imagined blood relationship linking the nation’s members to inherited customs and institutions.
Because the American form of racial nationhood lacks the ethnic dimension distinct to European nationalism, it is a source of some misunderstanding, especially in its purely negative expression as anti-Semitism or Negrophobia.
For example, even Euronationalists who struggle for a continental nation-state tend to reject white nationalism — because it seems to imply the typical American leveling of cultural and other identities by subsuming them under a homogenizing biological concept that negates the particularisms of European nationhood and subjects them to Anglo-American hegemony.
In this, however, our European cousins misunderstand the aim of white nationalism, though some white nationalists in their one-sided reaction to nonwhites may, admittedly, have given cause to their misunderstanding.
White nationalism is a distinctly American (or, better said, New World) nationalism, not a European one, and the two are analogous only at the highest level, where the national community, defined ethnically or racially, affirms it right to control its own destiny.
This is not to say that American racial nationalism — which makes white European racial ascriptions the basis of American identity — has no ethnic or historic component.
The country’s original settlers were largely of Anglo-Protestant descent and this had a formative effect on American institutions and folkways.
The organic basis of the American nation, however, was less English ethnicity than “whiteness.”
Even before the War of Independence (the first American war of secession), more than a quarter of the population was of non-English, mainly North European stock: Scots-Irish, German, Dutch, French Huguenots, etc. By about the mid-eighteenth century, the “American English” were increasingly referred to as “Americans,” a people “selected by a whole series of ordeals which [had] killed off the weak and worthless” and conferred a distinct vitality on their laws, attitudes, and local institutions
The bitterness of the War of Independence and the War of 1812, US-British acrimony and rivalry, which lasted late into the 19th century, in addition to the nationalist compulsion to celebrate an American identity independent of the English — all tended to minimize the significance of the colonists’ original national origins, as they were reborn as pure Americans. In fact, American nationalism arose on the basis of a certain popular revulsion against the English.
Nevertheless, English-Americans were the original native Americans, and all the rest of us have since become American by assimilating something of the ethos derived from their unique genos.
Though Anglo-Protestant ethnicity continues to animate the inner reaches of American culture, it wasn’t, however, the genotypical basis of American identity. Rather, it was the racial experience of transplanted Englishmen in seventeenth-century Virginia, then the “exotic far western periphery . . . of the metropolitan European cultural system.”
In the New World part of this system, the ever-looming presence of African slaves, considered “by nature vicious and morally inferior,” and “savage” red Indians, who posed an ongoing threat, could not but foster an acute racial consciousness.
Given that economic opportunities, vast expanses of virgin land, and new fortunes prevented the old European social hierarchies from forming, these racial bearings acted as the one fixed hierarchy ordering colonial life.
Forged, thus, in conflict with nonwhites, the colonists’ early racial consciousness served to mark the boundaries of the emerging American identity. The historian Winthrop Jordan claims that “Anglo-Americans” were already identifying themselves as “whites” rather than “Englishmen” as early as 1680.
National or ethnic differences in this racially mixed environment were simply less meaningful than differences between Europeans and non-Europeans.
These differences were institutionalized when the American colonists declared their independence, for they declared in effect their intent to become a self-determined people in the evolutionary sense, by becoming a nation, an organic body with its own sovereign state and its own laws of growth.
Then, following the revolution, as republican principles were gradually extended to all white males, the country’s Herrenvolk democracy posed an insurmountable obstacle to the extension of these principles to nonwhites — for the new, explicitly white nation was based not on the liberal fiction of “humanity,” but on the assumption that human nature is a product of blood and race.
Indeed, the white egalitarianism of the early republic, shaped largely in opposition to the Toryism of anglophile Federalists (who represented the bourgeois interests of liberal market society and its connection to British commerce) was premised on the Negro’s otherness and the primacy of white racial ascriptions, all of which further contributed to the nation’s self-consciousness, coherence, and communality, as British and European Americans, largely under the leadership of Indian-fighting, pro-slavery, and expansionist Southerners, came to share not just the same horizontal sense of right and identity, but the same vertical qualities and dignities of their stock.
Different in ways from ethnicity, race formed the psychological bonds that joined American whites and differentiated them from nonwhites, just as the language, customs, and early institutions of the original Anglo-Protestant settlers established the cultural-linguistic framework in which white Americans became a self-conscious nation.
The ethnogenic process that gradually imposed a common culture and identity on the former colonists, as they became Virginians and New Englanders, and more generally, Americans, was interrupted in the 1840s by the mass influx of Irish and German Catholics — the former seen almost as an alien race. Then, in the late 19th century, this was followed by a second great immigrant wave, from Southern and Eastern Europe.
Today the Third World invasion is taking the ethnogenic process to a new extreme, as the state, with its inorganic definition of the nation, endeavors to “transcend” the perennially white, Christian character of the American people for the sake of its oxymoronic “universal nation.”
At each nodal point in this demographic transformation, except the most recent, native Americans, however resistant to the newcomers, succeeded in assimilating them on the basis of their racial ascriptions, as the Anglo-Protestant character of American identity became progressively more “ecumenical.”
Indeed, it’s increasingly difficult today to talk of “hyphenated-Americans,” given that the different European ethnic strains making up the white population have so extensively intermarried that many now no longer know their ethnic origins. As one historian writes: “Ellis Island whiteness” has come to replace “Plymouth Rock whiteness.”
But there were obvious limits to assimilation. As Woodrow Wilson put it: “We cannot make a homogeneous population of a people who do not blend with the Caucasian race.” Against this view, many “new,” especially Jewish immigrants, advanced the cause for greater ethnic diversity, as if America’s vocation was to become a boardinghouse to all the world’s peoples. The Old America, though, would have none of this, and, in Stoddard’s words, dismissed such claims with the insistence “that America is basically ‘made’ — and that it shall not be unmade.”
When the post-1945 National Security State, armed with its newly acquired “mandate of heaven,” endeavored to turn Roosevelt’s liberal-managerial state system into a world empire, premised on the belief that it was based on an idea, not a people, it launched what amounted to an assault on America’s historic identity — an assault whose overarching aim has been to undermine the population’s racial consciousness and promote ethnocidal practices facilitating its “demographic” reconstitution. The state’s “anti-racism” came thus to serve as an instrument of its social engineers, who sought to turn whites into herds of “tamed sheep [who] care not in which flock [they] are driven.”
It was only natural, then, that once the shearing got under way the most racially conscious whites began to see themselves as an oppressed nation in need of their own sovereign state.
Racial conservatives have offered numerous criticisms of nationalists advocating secession from the United States. The most common of these — made in a period which has witnessed successful secessionist movements (in the former SU, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, etc.), as well as other popular movements resisting a despotic, leveling centralization in the name of regionalism, devolution, and the defense of historic identities — is that the prospect of creating a white ethnostate in North America free of the United States is totally unrealizable . . . a fantasy . . . pure and utter folly.
But this, they fail to realize, is hardly criticism at all.
For those with the courage of their convictions, it’s never a matter of calculating the odds and going with the winning side, but of doing what needs to be done — like that Roman soldier of Pompeii cited by Spengler in Man and Technics, whose Aryan sense of duty kept him at his post, as Vesuvius exploded in fire.
Viewed “objectively,” neither secession nor a white conservative reconquest has a chance, not one in a universe of infinite possibilities. Both are figments of a few white minds troubled by the prospect of their people’s imminent demise.
But that’s the way all great movements begin.
If a presently unattainable ideal is not first articulated as a mythic possibility, it remains unrealized, for its idealization is part of the process that quickens its realization.
In 1774, only a few believed in American independence. After 1776 it was a critical mass.
Secession, as such, cannot be submitted to the usual criticism, for it’s not a fact or even an idea so much as it is a way of being — or a wanting to be.
Central to its realization, therefore, is not the objective forces opposing it, but the subjective will seeking its triumph.
Many things, of course, would have to change before either secession or reconquest become remotely realizable (though our postmodern age, the Kali Yuga of the Traditionalists, is an age in which time and events have greatly accelerated, as all things hurtle toward the inevitable crackup, the Ragnarok, which precedes every rebirth).
The thought, nevertheless, of whites breaking free of the United States, in this period when the multi-cult empire has experienced the first of its death agonies, seems, from a secessionist perspective, somewhat less of a fantasy than trying to reform it, which sixty years of experience suggest is unreformable.
Almost every criticisms that can be made of secession is to be found in Sam Francis’s “Prospects for Racial and Cultural Survival” (1995).
Sam, who I have paid high tribute to in the pages of this journal, was an important transitional figure in the development of a white nationalist outlook.
Though one of his feet was solidly planted in the white nationalist camp, the other, however, was never quite freed from his former “new right” and paleocon beliefs. Divided, his critique of secession reflected an old-fashioned patriotism unwilling to break from the US — though, perhaps, if he had lived, he might feel differently, now that the dusky helmsman has begun steering the ship of state perilously close to the shoals of what promises to be an even more horrendous fate.
As an anti-secessionist, Sam considered separation from the United States tantamount to surrender — surrender of the country our ancestors created, surrender of its history, traditions, interests.
But Sam was wrong.
Secessionists surrender nothing but the slow death of their people. For among other things, secession is about survival — and the prospect of being able to fight another day.
To do that, one must live. But where, how?
For all practical purposes whites have lost the United States. Though still a near majority, we are surrounded by armed forces seeking our destruction; we are running out of ammunition, and the ground troops are being ordered in to clean up the remaining pockets of resistance. It looks as if we’re doomed.
Secession is a way of avoiding the deadly pincers closing in on white life.
In the last sixty years, absolutely NOTHING — not one little thing — has been accomplished to interrupt the programmed destruction of European America.
Nevertheless, the critics of secession drone on: “Why give up the country when you can take it back?”
These two-fisted patriots who think this is the most powerful argument against secession are likely to be singing the same song in the not too distanced future, when colored novelists start writing about “The Last of the Europeans.”
But even if feasible, what self-respecting white man would want to take back the United States, this monstrous, bureaucratic Leviathan whose Jewish, race-mixing, homophile, feminist, fraudulent, anti-Christian, and degenerate practices stand as an affront to everything his ancestors stood for.
The hard truth is that it’s gotten to the point where the US can no longer be defended as “my mother, drunk or sober,” only repulsed as an alien body-snatcher.
To this end, secessionists emulate the proud Danes, who said after the loss of Schleswig-Holstein in 1865, that “What has been lost externally will be gained internally.”
But more than refusing to abide the state responsible for their dispossession, secessionists see this “abomination of desolation” as their principal enemy. Only by freeing themselves from it and acquiring their own land under their own sovereignty do they see a future for their kind.
One might call this “surrendering large parts of the country to nonwhites” — though these aliens already occupy large parts of it and will continue to do so until whites are completely replaced.
The secessionists’ ultimate consideration, then, is not what will be lost, but what gives whites the best chance to survive.
“Any proposal for separation,” Sam argued, “would simply alienate the most patriotic and nationalist loyalties of American whites and lead them to see separatists as un-American.” Most whites would also “refuse to abandon their allegiance to the US or forsake its territory.”
Here Sam confused loyalty to the state with loyalty to the nation, paying tribute, in effect, to Caesar in his own coin. Given the logic of his argument, one might question what his position would have been in 1774, when secession from the Mother Country was originally proposed? Or what his position would be if the United States should start following in the footsteps of the former Soviet Union? And, finally, one wonders how patriotic most Americans are going to be once they discover that their grandchildren will be paying off the debts of the present US government — at a time when American citizenship will probably be little more than a form of Chinese peonage.
Secessionists don’t care if most whites would refuse to abandon “their” country. “Most” whites, de-Ayranized as they are, allowed a Negro to become president.
Only those who care for their kind and are willing to fight for them can possibly found a new nation.
The flag-waving, Constitution-worshipping types — who know nothing outside the ideology of liberal democracy, old (“conservative”) or new (“progressive”), and who believe that there is something sacred about the unholy United States — will never be mobilized for the sake of “racial preservation”; that ship has sailed.
In secessionist eyes, it’s better to lose a bit of territory and shed the race’s detritus than to lose whatever remains of the white nation — especially in view of the coming age, which is certain to be filled with cascading catastrophes, set off by the imploding contradictions of liberalism’s dystopian regime.
In the context of such a possible secession, Sam wondered how the races could possibly be separated and what would prevent them from “unseparating.” Here again he didn’t see what was coming. Since the end of the Second World War there have been numerous population transfers by partitioned states (the most important of which were sanctioned by the US). These transfers occurred in the recent past, will undoubtedly occur again, and already occur in little ways every day in the US, as the relocation of nonwhites forces whites out of their neighborhoods.
Secession implies both population transfers and territorial partition — historically justifiable measures, sanctioned by US precedent, and executable with a minimum of force, unlike the pipe dreams of anti-secessionists, whose imagined “reconquest” would be of a state with a hundred million nonwhite citizens, all with their hands out.
In its desire for cheap labor, Sam thought a separate white nation, would simply repeat the process that got whites into the present mess — as if the struggle for secession (and all it will entail) wouldn’t lead to an explicitly racial definition of nationality, to an inversion of the market’s primacy, and to a spiritual triumph over the materialism that has corrupted so many whites.
As a conservative, he couldn’t see that white secession (unlike the secession of the Confederacy) is a revolutionary project premised on a rejection not just of the illegal alienations of the federal government, but of the entire social, economic, and moral order sustaining its ethnocidal rule.
A white breakaway state, Sam also claimed, would be surrounded by hostile powers, vulnerable to invasion, and unable to defend itself against the rising demographic tide outside its borders. Again, these are non-criticisms. Any region seceded from the United States would have all the resources necessary for its survival. More crucially, the racially homogenous populace of a seceded white republic would be imbued with the nationalist fervor and irrepressible convictions that are the inevitable offshoots of newly forged nations.
To think that a mutilated United States, with its warring racial factions, welfare politics, and rubber-spine army would be able to crush an armed, autonomous white republic is to abandon the realm of logic. Even at the height of its expansionist powers, National Socialist Germany never thought of invading tiny, mountainous Switzerland, where every citizen was armed and ready to defend his nation. The US Army, need it be said, is no Wehrmacht.
European Americans will not survive many more generations under the present regime.
Racially-conscious conservatives are counting on a future white backlash to mobilize in defense of white interests. Through such a mobilization, and a much talked about, though little practiced, “march through the institutions,” they hope to raise white racial consciousness, counter the demographic threat posed by nonwhites, and introduce political and legal reforms to curtail nonwhite power — all of which, of course, are totally desirable.
But they expect to arrive at this Utopia without explaining how they would counter a population half of which will be nonwhite in 33 years (2042); without explaining how they would challenge a government that criminalizes white dissent; without explaining how a system can be fundamentally changed without fundamentally changing the institutions and powers that govern it and make it what it is; without any of these things, racial conservatives mock the notion of secession, as if their own not particularly successful project is the sole conceivable alternative.
Unlike their critics, secessionists have a plan, a simple, straightforward one, that offers whites an alternative to an unreformable system and an inescapable death.
This plan has the advantage of being (a) eminently political, (b) based on proven historical precedents, and (c) imbued with the power to generate a will to nationhood.
Given the increasingly totalitarian nature of the existing system, where the mere mention of “race” can be taken as an incitement to crimes against humanity, this aspect of secession, ought, perhaps, to be discussed in historical rather than explicitly programmatic terms.
Much of the history of European nationalism speaks to the American situation today, especially (in my admittedly partisan view) Irish nationalism.
In the 1870s and ’80s, a generation after the An Gorta Mor (the Great Hunger), revolutionary and conservative nationalists agreed to be allies in the common struggle for Irish nationhood. The revolutionary Fenians, preeminently in the form of Michael Davitt’s Land League, which led the rebellion in the countryside, gave the constitutionalists in Parnell’s Irish Parliamentary Party the social leverage to force concessions from the English at Westminster — concessions that eventually won back many Irish lands. Then, once the constitutionalists had gone as far as they could, by about 1912 or 1914, the revolutionary, physical-force wing of Irish nationalism took over, completing the nationalist project.
We American secessionists want whatever works best for the future of our people. If our “constitutionalists,” perhaps in the form of a third party, can create dissension and vulnerability among the “English” in a way that promotes American interests, they are to be supported. But if they should fail, others are likely to turn, as did the Irish, to the methods of Connelly and Pearse.
Those who know Hibernian — or any other European — nationalist history also know the immeasurable power of the nation, especially the nation rising to nationhood.
This is the spirit we secessionists hope to stir in white Americans.
The situation today may be totally grim, but politically there is no more feasible or marketable of strategies to awaken our people, especially as they become aware of their approaching minority status and all it implies.
Imagine, then, for a moment, a white homeland in North America, free of the alien-dominated US government, with its colored multitudes and parasitic institutions: In my mind, this one image says everything, explains everything, promises everything.
The powerful imagery of an autonomous white nation also possesses the mythic potential that the General Strike has in the thought of Georges Sorel.
All great movements, Sorel saw, are driven not by rational arguments or party programs, but by their myths (which “are not descriptions of things, but expressions of a determination to act”).
For it is myth — and the memories and hopes animating it — that shape a nation, that turn a “motley horde” into a people with a shared sense of purpose and identity, that mobilize them against the state of things, and prepare them for self-sacrifice and self-rule.
A Sovereign Independent State, as the Irish called it in 1916 — the White Republic, as I call it — is the secessionist myth, symbolizing the determination of white men to assert themselves as a free people somewhere in an all-white America.