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  • 22

    The Tyranny of Individualism in a Liberal Democratic Society
    Reviews; Posted on: 2007-11-23 14:01:26 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]

    By Welf Herfurth

    Freedom and degradation (pictured right) 
    My own views on this are as follows. Freedom to take drugs in public, or for gays to marry one another, or to dress ‘differently’ (i.e., dress like Paris Hilton, Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan) are low on my list of priorities. Freedom to take a revisionist view of German history, and the history of the Second World War, or to criticise immigration, are, on the other hand, very high. My view is that if that freedom is not possible, then other freedoms are not worth having at all. From my perspective, Russia is more free than the West. Russia, like the West, makes the Allied-Communist interpretation of the Second World War, part of its State ideology; but, unlike the West, it is indifferent to those who disagree with the government’s line on those subjects. Russia does not persecute people who take an alternative view of the history of WWII; and it could not care less if Russian nationalists oppose immigration. A German with a long history of nationalist activism, like myself, can walk the streets of Moscow a free man; but is in danger of arrest if he visits his own country.

    Regarding the other freedoms – which my liberal democratic countrymen prize so highly – I am largely indifferent: the consumption of drugs, liquor, pornography, etc., have been part of civilisation ever since it existed; likewise, individualism, the right to act ‘crazy’ or different’, is part of European culture and history. (One only has to look at the Weimar Republic, with its cult of drugs and individualism. Because of the lack of individual identification with the community and the State, the Republic fell apart; out of the ashes arose the Third Reich).

    But a recent incident has forced me to reconsider my views. Recently, I took a holiday in the United States, and, while in San Francisco, happened to be in a main street where a local, American version of the German ‘Love Parade’ was passing through. As in Germany, the revellers were high on drugs, prancing around to music, and wearing outlandish clothes. Being a good tourist, I started taking photos on my digital camera. I then saw, out of the corner of my eye, a grossly overweight, middle-aged bearded man, entirely naked except for a pair of sneakers. He had shaved all the hairs off his body (except for the hairs on his face), and, judging by his even tan, must have been a frequently-practicing nudist. I then became aware that he was masturbating – openly, in front of everyone. I must admit I was completely taken aback. Thinking that no-one back home would believe me, I took photos of the man. He looked up, saw me, and continued to masturbate – and even struck poses. Finally, he finished doing what he was doing. Another of the attendees – another overweight person, this time a woman, dressed in strange attire (somewhat reminiscent of a Viking costume) – came up and hugged him.
    The man clearly must have been on drugs: ecstasy, fantasy, ice, goodness knows what. The essential thing is, it dawned on me that: this is the ‘freedom’ that George W. Bush speaks of; that he defends; that he insists on imposing on other countries through the unilateral use of military force. Liberalism has changed: from a doctrine of pluralism (manifested through a multi-party electoral system, parliamentary debates, a free press giving dissenting views) to a doctrine of complete individualism free of any restraints.
    The liberal argument now is that individuals should be given the maximum amount of freedom, and be allowed to do what they like, so long as those people are not ‘hurting others’. With this principle in mind, the Netherlands allows the smoking of marijuana; it also allows gay men to organise sex parties. Unfortunately for the Dutch liberals, the principle was challenged recently, when it was revealed that gay men, infected with AIDS, would lure young men to these parties, drug them with a date rape drug (called, appropriately, ‘Easy Lay’) and inject them AIDS-infected blood. This caused a scandal.
    But, presumably, the liberal position is: organising sex parties is OK; gays should be allowed to do what they like; they only cross the boundary between right and wrong when they hurt others – and injecting men with AIDS-infected blood is ‘hurting others’. The same principle applies to the revellers in the San Francisco Love Parade: the revellers high on drugs, masturbating publicly in the nude, were not ‘hurting others’. There may be laws on the books against indecent exposure, and the consumption of party drugs, but these are written by prudes, moralists, ‘wowsers’ (as the Australians like to call them). It’s OK for people to let their hair down once in a while and break those minor laws. Why not let people be free individuals and do their own thing? What is wrong with that?
    [In subsequent sections of the essay the author explains what is wrong with that and provides a very interesting discussion of fascism: he adopts the view that fascism is more a technique than an ideology]
    6. Fascism as technique?
    At first, when I read Löwenstein’s article, I was somewhat offended by it – in particular, by his characterisation of fascism as being mere ‘technique’, not a real ideology. After all, fascism attracted many intellectuals who gave fascism a well thought-out philosophy, an intellectual basis. And certainly, the post-war ‘neo-fascist’ writers – Yockey, Thiriart, Evola – gave fascism a real intellectual grounding. But, the more I thought about it, the more I saw that Löwenstein’s contention was true. After all, it has to be admitted that nationalism – which Löwenstein would classify, rightly or wrongly, as ‘fascist’ (and certainly his followers in the Bundesrepublik do) – is vague. What the liberal democratic media calls ‘policy detail’ has never been our strong suit. We are not used to contesting in elections, like the mainstream liberal democratic parties, and, when we do, we do not produce budgeted, carefully-crafted plans to improve children’s health care, combat global warming, fix petrol-price gouging, etc., like the Labor and Liberal parties are doing at this Australian federal election. Part of this is sheer lack of experience and money – whereas the mainstream liberal democratic parties have plenty of both, and are very good at organising the logistics of elections.
    New Rightism, more than anything else, is an ‘action’ movement, not a ‘talking’ movement, and the heart of our policy, if not worldview, lies in our day to day living: living in community, working in the community, transforming it through our actions.....
    Even liberal democrats have to admit that, compared to the political street theatre of nationalism, their brand of conventional politics is mundane. There is nothing in mainstream conservatism, social democracy, environmentalism, liberalism, etc., to compare with it. There is a real pleasure in being part of a crowd of demonstrators, marching past communists who are swearing, spitting, jeering, singing communist anthems, who are being held by mounted police (as in one of the old National Front film clips). It is a peculiar pleasure, to be sure, and not for everyone. But once one has a taste of it, one becomes addicted. I am often chastised by liberal democratic friends, and I have plenty of them, for being part of the so-called ‘Neo-Nazi’ nationalist scene: I retort to them, ‘What am I meant to do? Join the Liberal Party, attend boozy functions, sit among fat, middle-aged men in suits, and listen to speakers like Tony Abbott and Peter Costello drone on about the unions?’ The mainstream liberal democratic parties do not give anyone much of a scope for real political activism. What they are about is power to political parties but not the people they claim to represent. New Rightism, on the other hand, is activist-based: and it has the potential to encompass nearly all spheres of life.
    One other advantage of nationalism is that it is virtually indestructible. The National Front imploded after reaching a peak in the late 1970s: but it is still in action, albeit with reduced numbers, and this time demonstrating against Islamic immigration and gay marriage. Certain of the problems afflicting Britain have changed, but others remain the same. The prime example of nationalist indestructibility, though, is Germany and Eastern Europe. The Allies and the Soviets embarked on a campaign of unprecedented genocide against Germany and its Allies – with the intention of eliminating ‘fascism’. But nationalism has grown back. Part of the reason for nationalism’s success is that, being a technique, it is easy to apply in all manner of times and places.
    So why do some nationalist movements in some countries grow and others do not? I am biased on this. My belief is that, if the British nationalists, for instance, invested as much time and effort in constant, round the clock demonstrations – and taking the ‘war’ to the enemy, the communists and Antifa – as they do in trying to win council seats, they would achieve better results (and certainly earn themselves more media notoriety that way). The Internet has proven to be a boon to nationalism, but it has also made nationalists stay at homes – preventing them from going out, mixing with other nationalists on group activities (like hiking trips), meetings, conferences and the like, and engaging in demonstrations and rallies.
    The demonstration is really at the heart of nationalist ‘technique’. Demonstrations are a public show of power: they are political street theatre. What matters in a demonstration is force, strength. Large numbers are required – and flags on poles to make the nationalist crowd look bigger than it really is. Loudhailers, loudspeakers mounted on cars, whistles, drums (the National Front in the 1970s made effective use of drums), etc., are all important for drowning out the hateful cries of the enemy (with their inevitable boring chant of ‘Nazis out!’). It becomes a pitched battle between the nationalist and the communist counter-demonstrators: and the biggest and loudest crowd wins.
    I myself recognise the supreme importance of this: and the importance of getting as many nationalists and New Rightists as possible to attend a demonstration, and take the blows directed at them by the communist enemy. But nationalists, it has to be said, spend too much time on doctrinal disputes....
    All of this is somewhat missing the point. The early fascist activists cobbled together an ideology which was ‘Left’ as well as being ‘nationalist’: no doubt it confused a good many people. A typical response would have been: ‘I can’t tell if you people are Left or Right: your ideology is an incoherent mish-mash’. (Some commentators characterised German National Socialism, when it first appeared, as ‘conservative Marxism’). I am sure that Mussolini’s movement started off without a name: and that finally, at some point, someone felt that they had to give their rather loose collection of ideas a proper name, and someone came up with ‘fascism’. But what is in a name? And why do political ideas have to be consistently ‘Left’ or ‘Right’? Political theories, in my view, are not mathematical proofs, where every step proceeds logically from the other. The essential thing is to go out and do. The trouble is that the liberal democratic system wants the Left and Right to fight one another; it is happy with the Left-Right divide; it likes the simplicity of the concepts; it does not want people to think; rather, it wants them to be conditioned, to categorise themselves as green or socialist or conservative. That way, a person only sees himself in terms of that category: the ideology does the thinking for him. Which is why Greens feel that they have to fight nationalists, despite their similarities: Bob Brown and the Green Party have ordained that nationalism is evil, racist, and has nothing to do with environmentalism; so the individual ends up not thinking for himself, and instead obeys his party leaders and the dictates of the mainstream political consensus.
    7. What to do
    Sometimes, when I look at the hostility nationalism generates – from the ‘militant democratic’ governments of Germany and France, in particular – I wonder why it is these governments are so afraid. Look at the footage of any nationalist march, and all you will see – in the last analysis – is a large group of men and women carrying flags and banners, walking along a road. But, from the way the liberal democrats and communists behave, such activities are heinous, and must be stopped by any means necessary....
    The main strength of our movement is our organisation – our ability to mobilise large numbers of people for mass action. This, of course, occurs only under optimal circumstances – we waste a good deal of time debating doctrinal differences among ourselves, instead of going and doing what we do best. No doubt the demonstrators in Sweden, Hungary, Russia and other countries have, as individuals, a number of doctrinal differences with one another: but the main thing is that they were sufficiently united, and organised, to take to the streets in defiance of communism and militant anti-racism. Ideally, I would like political activists from all over Europe to converge on London – in particular, the financial district (the City of London) – for an annual pan-European anti-capitalist march. And if police and the media, and the communist enemy, descend en masse upon the march, all well and good. That will garner the attention that we need. Because of the location, we would be sure to get worldwide English media coverage, which is considerable.
    The main thing which is holding us back is wrong thinking – and lack of courage, or at least, an unwillingness to offend bourgeois proprieties. One German poster, at a mailing list I frequent, wrote recently:
    The so-called “free nationalists” are only free from responsible behaviours. They mimic American dress codes and copy antifa strategies which basically makes them appear as dangerous, violence-prone hooded hoodlums. If you disguise your face you not only have something to hide - you also won’t garner any sympathies from the populace...”
    That is a common fallacy among some nationalists. The fact of the matter is that the German populace have been trained to hate all forms of German nationalism; the same goes, to a milder extent, for the rest of the world. They are conditioned, Pavlov-style, to react with disgust. Non-German nationalism in the West is fast going the same way – that is, our liberal democratic masters in the media, the church, the parliament, the trade union leadership, the university, are training the Western masses to find it equally as abhorrent. The notion, then, that this hatred (and that is what it is) can be done away with by aping bourgeois manners, is wrong.  Related to this is the fact that many people – especially young people – like outlaws and rebels. You can appeal to more people by trying not to appeal to anyone at all, by being yourself and by making your own values in contrast to the norms of the society you live.... Instead of acting independently and doing what has to be done, they are more concerned about what the apolitical consumer-orientated Zombies thinks about, and trying to appease them. Other nationalists have described their reluctance to refer to the Antifa enemy as precisely that: the Antifa. Why? Because if the Antifa are anti-fascist, it implies that their enemies – us – are ‘fascist’. And we can’t have that. I am surprised that Australians, of all people – a people who wrested this country from the Aborigines, and built a country and a State literally from the dirt, facing great personal hardship and struggle – are afraid of a mere word.

    To conclude: what we in the New Right offer is an alternative. Löwenstein is quite right when he says that ‘fascism’ is a method, of confrontation – and investing the political struggle with an honour, dignity and nobility (although he would not use those words). At the risk of sounding ‘irrationalist’ or ‘anti-intellectual’, we New Rightists have to make use of the method (and I am stressing the word method) and get to work – the time for talking is over. We have to show the world our anti-liberal alternative – our alternative to the tyranny of individualism in a liberal democratic society.

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