Organizational Evolution and Devolution: Schisms and Structures in White Nationalism
By Billy Roper
Some of the following is anecdotal, some derives from decades of personal experience in the movement, and the rest is compiled from previously written and published articles, essays, and letters from various White Nationalist websites, by various authors, paraphrased and expounded upon by myself.
The White Nationalist movement is a bit like the six blind men feeling an elephant. The first touches the side and thinks it must be a wall; the second touches the tusk and thinks it must be a spear; the third touches the trunk and thinks it must be a snake; the fourth touches the leg and thinks it must be a tree; the fifth touches the ear and thinks it must be a fan; and the sixth touches the tail and thinks it must be a rope.
“So the disputants rail on in ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an elephant
Not one of them has seen! “
It seems that up until now, there have been no leadership organizations within the White Nationalist movement. The movement has been broken into two categories, both being rather ineffectual on their own and which disdain to cross paths.
The first type I will classify as the literary movement. This movement is largely a stay at home movement. They tend to be a bit older. They like to read interesting journals and perhaps if they work up a ton of motivation, they’ll attend an annual conference, which really amounts to an intelligent form of party. They seem to have no real tangible objective. They like to read interesting articles. They may not like the direction that society is going, but it hasn’t occurred to them to formulate a plan to change it. As long as they get more self-reinforcing literature to read, they’re happy. The leaders of this movement are actually smart enough to know what’s going on. However, instead of organizing and pooling resources to enact change in the real world, they’ve decided to provide entertainment for their readership. So the leader is an entertainer, who just routinely meets deadlines and comes up with more interesting stories for their audience at whatever regular intervals they can keep up. The big conference, for the really ambitious, is quite a hoot as well. The theory, I guess, is that once everyone on the planet is a subscriber, things will just change without having to take any action. Of course that day will never come.
The second type of movement I’ll call the “action” movement. These folks tend to be young and energetic. The leadership are quite intelligent, although inexperienced and often ill-disciplined. Their followers are just plain lazy and stupid. They, at base, have the exact same function and strategy as the literary movement, it is just more low brow in its approach. Here’s the formula. The leaders throw parties for the lazy and stupid followers. As long as enough lazy and stupid people show up to drink beer, they figure they are successful. Just like with the literary types, it’s all a numbers game. The more idle spectators you can amass, the more successful are your efforts, obviously. Just try to have such meetings with no alcohol at the ready and see how many people show up! They’re constantly trying to increase the idle herd.
So, the entire movement becomes one giant string of publicity stunts. To seem relevant to the idlers, one must have more spectacles. So, they will march in the streets to attract a ton of media attention. Or they periodically waste a bunch of time and money handing out flyers or throwing them on people’s lawns who don’t care about what they’re saying. The entire purpose of all of these practices is to generate media controversy, so they can tell the idlers that their weekly or monthly beer party is where it’s at. Again, no change for the race is actually occurring. These groups just ebb and flow. Leaders burn out, and then new ones come along. It’s all predicated on the fact that once everyone on the planet comes to your party, you can win an easy victory without having to really do anything to change things.
White Nationalism in the United States is a relatively small pond, with a few dozen medium sized fish and a handful of sharks. Everyone wants to be a Chief, so to speak, and few are satisfied with being an Indian. When a leader has made personal sacrifices to found or take over or work his way up through an organization, shedding his sweat and blood and tears for his position of authority, he is not very receptive to even constructive criticism, and internecine criticism is rarely constructive. One’s organization, if he is a leader, is his baby, and the lack of cooperation between leaders of different organizations is due in large part to those leaders not wanting to allow anyone else to change or have influence over their ‘babies’, especially if they gave life to it and fed it as it grew, to extend the metaphor. In addition, there are very real personality differences, management styles, and religious differences, political differences, stylistic differences, and tactical differences, such as whether or which uniform to wear or flag to wave or salute to give. Historically, there is a group natural selection process at work, just as there was between the NSDAP and the Braunshirts and Freikorps in 1920s-1930s Germany, or between the Menskeviks and Bolsheviks in Revolutionary Russia…or between Washington and Arnold in Revolutionary America. Some might recall what Gen. Arnold’s reaction was to Washington getting the glory of the Continental struggle: he switched sides and helped the British.
So, some activists on whatever end of the political spectrum are egoists who are motivated by personal glory and fame. They want to be the biggest, coolest skinhead in the room, and if there are two big dogs in a room, sooner or later they are going to fight, it’s no more complicated than that. For skinheads especially, it’s often simply a case of testosterone. As for every warrior class since the Vikings, there are a small coterie of female admirers, Nazi groupies, if you will, which go towards the proven Alpha males. Add an angry mindset, alcohol, perhaps steroids or other drugs, and personal or organizational vendettas, and it is a recipe for mayhem. Many skinheads were radicalized in the prison system, or in working class urban areas where as kids they were the minority, and where becoming racially conscious is necessary for survival for Whites. Being convicted felons, they are thereafter inclined and pre-dispositioned to a life of violence and rebellion. The further ‘in’ they get, the harder it is to ever imagine getting out, until they are prison bound through one-upmanship with their ‘comrades’.
The question of why some people become involved in fringe political movements is crucial to understanding what type of activists are most vocal and prevalent. One theory compares racialists to prairie dogs, and suggests that those prairie dog sentinels who voluntarily stand upright on top of their burrow mounds to watch out for raptors, the natural predators of the rodents, in order to give an early warning alarm to their colony, are similar to racial activists. The rationale is that these prairie dog sentinels do not receive any reproductive, food, or status benefit from their actions. In fact, they are less likely to survive to reproduce, so there seems to be a negative evolutionary benefit for them in this behavior. They are more likely to be seen and attacked by the hawks first, and less likely to reach shelter. The remainder of the colony can feed and frolic and fornicate without fear, while the sentinels take the risk, without being ordered to do so. Some behavioral zoologists and anthropologists believe that certain individuals within any population have an instinctive predisposition towards self-sacrifice for the greater good. The maternal instinct of self-sacrifice for the survival of a mother’s children is well known. Since racialists see their race as their extended family, their kin or folk, they draw a seemingly rational extension from one level of familial loyalty to another.
Likewise, some people, whether through intellectual curiosity or an innate desire for social change, are more inclined towards political activism of one kind or another than the general population. Certainly the overwhelming majority of people in any population are not ideologically motivated, nor are they politically active. Those who tend to be, can more easily be switched from one perspectival loyalty to another, than a non-political person can be made politically active. For example, in the 1930’s, the growing NSDAP had much greater success in recruiting current and former Communist Party members to their ranks, than they did from the mainstream population. Some people are just anti-social, sociopathic or psychopathic, and are attracted to any fringe movement. They will always try to rebel against the mainstream authority, and oppose normality. If White Nationalists were in charge in America, these kind of people would probably be Communists, just to be different and oppose authority. Incidentally, if White Nationalists were in charge, these kind of people would probably be the first to be put up against a wall and shot. Others are motivated by their personal grievances, such as having been beaten up or robbed or bullied by a nonWhite, or having a family member victimized in the past, or even perhaps something more petty. Some are motivated by a sense of personal entitlement and disappointment at their own failures in life, as happy and well adjusted people don’t tend to make very good revolutionaries. Many of them are alcoholic, or use drugs, or are criminally violent, and don’t play well with others. They will fight each other over girlfriends, status, ideological doctrine, religious differences, racial purity, political theory, or who will get the last beer. People who are successful in the status quo tend to have a defensive loyalty to it, if they are motivated by comfort and material gain, as most people are. The leaders of White Nationalist organizations spend more time attempting to maintain the internal peace and deal with the personal issues of less than qualitative human material, than in working towards their cause.
The class of activist which is least often compromised are those who are ‘true believers’, who either because of their religious faith or their ideological fervor are convinced of the righteousness of their cause. People who feel that they have nothing left to lose, or who are convinced that the ultimate sacrifice will gain them glory, fame, or strike a resounding blow for their cause and lead to victory, are those most likely to pursue martyrdom. The motivation for activism of the man who got beat up by black kids in high school is not on the same level as that of the person who believes that his race is being pushed by government-promoted immigration policies towards extinction, or that of a man who believes that his race is God’s chosen people.
The ferocity with which activists fight over positions and power within organizations is inversely proportional to the importance of that position. Some leaders encourage division in their subordinates in order to prevent them from solidifying into an internal force capable of carrying off a coup, even promoting and spreading dissent and competition between their underlings. This is an inefficient but prevalent management style. It is practiced by those who are schemers and backstabbers themselves, and reflect those values and though patterns onto others as their likely tactics, just as organizational managers who are motivated by fame, or financial profit, often reflect those motivations onto their subordinates. This misassumption of motivations is a management failure, as well as a personal flaw.
The history and mechanics of how and why various White Nationalist organizations have divided and subdivided, even developing lasting enmity between them, is based on sociodynamics. The higher up one is promoted, self-promotes, or claws one’s way up in the movement, the larger the audience for everything one says and does. Even absent an organizational position, there still exists a hierarchy of ‘reputation status’ within the movement, the democratization of which is discussed later. The fickle and capricious nature of that audience means that if they agree with you 10,000 times and disagree with you once, you become a villain. If you are correct in your disagreement with them, and they know it, the added resentment results in a blood feud, and turns personal and vindictive quickly. Exacerbating this is the anonymous nature of the internet. Anyone can be anyone online, and it acts as a great leveler. People are more brash and antagonistic towards one another than they would ever be on the phone, much less in person. Small disagreements can lead to “flame wars” and turn into lasting grudges over minor misunderstandings, or even to organizational conflicts and physical altercations. Every word and every conversation is fraught with the peril of personal offense. Little people have the opportunity, perhaps for the first and only time in their lives, to act big, and even to influence and lead others. It’s a heady brew.
The internet has been a two edged sword for White Nationalists. The speed and ease at which the memes and ideals of the fringe can be disseminated through social networks, websites, forums, and chat rooms means than news or opinions, good or bad, can go viral and global to thousands in minutes. From the old days of mailed newsletters and message phones, the technological aid to spreading the word and propagandizing has created an exponential increase in the number and militancy of White Nationalists. It could be estimated that there are well over 20,000 White Nationalists who are in contact with others of their ideology, mutually reinforcing and adding to their ideological feelings, daily, on the internet, in the United States alone. As such, some of the ideas of the White Nationalist movement have filtered out into more of the mainstream, such as the pushback against immigration and Obama’s citizenship questions and 9/11 conspiracy theories on one near end of the political spectrum, and opposition to the Federal Reserve bank and U.S. support for Israel, on the other. In the former Tea Party, which many in the White Nationalist movement believe was financed and organized by the establishment as a steam pressure release valve to allow dissent to be dissipated harmlessly, as well as in the conservative mainstream, White Nationalist platform planks are being repeated and reverbrating.
The other side of this sword is that the internet provides the social interaction, education, familiarity with issues and positions, access to writers and propaganda materials, and every other benefit formerly provided by brick and mortar membership organizations, rendering them to a large degree obsolete. In the 1980s and throughout most of the early 1990’s, political activists had to join membership organizations through the mail (if they stumbled across a flier or piece of literature with the contact information) or be personally recruited by a standing member. Even if they were racially conscious, they might not know of any other members personally, and not even have any contact with the organization save through a monthly newsletter. They had to buy and order books and wait for them to be shipped, and read them, before they could achieve any degree of common ideology with others in the movement. They might rarely, if ever, have the social interaction and psychological reassurance provided by interaction with other activists. Now, all of those functions are carried out almost instantaneously on the internet, where they can do each of the above as well as find out where and when rallies and protests are going to be held…except that for the most part, public rallies and protests are no longer feasible, since few activists will bother to risk their safety or anonymity by showing up in public, now that their movement takes place almost entirely vicariously, online. They have no need to pay dues, or worry about being exposed to agents provocateur, or violent nutjobs, or being blacklisted and losing their jobs, et cetera. At first, the internet was a boon to organizational recruiting. Today, the opposite is the case. The National Alliance in 2002 had over 1,300 dues paying members, about half of them active. Shortly after the death of Dr. William Pierce in that year, over 1,000 of them and allied racial activists marched in a protest in Washington, D.C., under my leadership. Today, in contrast, while there are more White Nationalists than ever before, there are barely that many active members of organizations throughout the entire movement, combined, due primarily to the internet.
With brick and mortar White Nationalist organizations mainly growing obsolete, there are fewer leaders whose interests lie in riding herd over all of the dysfunctional social misfits, hotheads, and ‘freshcut’ newbies to keep them disciplined and in line. Formerly, they did so if for no other reasons than to protect the organization from investigation and themselves from prosecution vis-à-vis RICO type statutes or hate crime enhancements, or to discourage too much ambition in their underlings (something dangerous for any leader, as previously discussed). Today, there are hundreds of White Nationalist internet blogs and forums where thousands of socially awkward young men are radicalized without supervision. Ironically, most of this militant radicalization takes place right out in the open, yet out of reach of any modifying, cooler minds, which rather than prevailing are often shouted down by the angry voices of the majority. This great leveling, the anonymity of the web, means that every wolf in the pack behaves as if they are the Alpha male, or perhaps more appropriately, they all have become lone wolves. Even those who claim an organizational affiliation might have only tenuous contact with it, and rarely does any solid organizational infrastructure or chain of command exist, except in those organizations which are the most prone to violence and are run by dictatorial Alphas who rule as much through intimidation as respect. It goes without saying that leadership and organizations must not be corrupt. There’s no need to explain the mistrust that’s created from leaders who are involved in embezzlement or the misappropriation of funds.
Aside from the internet, the failure of organizations, and their subsequent schisms and splintering into denominations and factions, is often the result of the failure (or lack of success) of the movement itself. Many beginning activists, once they are made aware of certain facts, or hear and accept the White Nationalist message, are extremely anxious to get started. With their eyes opened, their enthusiasm makes them eager to jump right in and start recruiting and networking and becoming active. However, they often feel that, since they now have been awakened and activated, everyone else should be, too, quickly enough, and victory should be eminent. After six months or a year, or five, when White Nationalists have not taken control of the government, they begin to become frustrated. They lose faith in the inevitability of ultimate victory and question their leaders, and doubt their judgement. If they burn out and are looking for an excuse to drop out of the movement, they often pick a fight with their leader or with another activist, then accuse them of having poor character, poor leadership ability, or of having made bad decisions. If that isn’t a psychologically justifying enough satisfaction for them or their impromptu internet audience, they resort to accusations of everything from being an informant to being a Jew to being a child molester, against their leader of others. Sometimes, they try to take as many of their fellow members or activists with them, and create further dissent. Often, personal grudges and organizational schisms stem from activist burnout in this way. Even if they do not drop out of the movement, they go off on their own, or perhaps with others begin their own organization, certain that if only there is the right leadership, they have the answer, they have the solution, they can achieve victory. A year or two later, the same process happens again, organizational disintegration carrying with it personal animosity. It is an anti-centrifugal balkanization. One organization becomes a dozen, each claiming legitimacy, each despising the other. This open and continual drama and infighting, then, further discourages neophytes from getting involved with an organization.
Another major cause for organizational collapse and splintering in the White Nationalist movement is, quite simply, boredom. The activists recognize that they, even collectively, could never effect political change in the country, through any means. Therefore, they anticipate that they must wait until America balkanizes due to the failure of multiracial democracy and the secession of the southwestern U.S. by Hispanics as “Aztlan” to stage a counterrevolution, or more likely, to pick up one of the pieces of the fragmented Republic and create a White nation in the heartland from it. They are tired of waiting while the White percentage of the U.S. population shrinks every year, yet remain fearful of the repercussions of premature action. Why did the Continental army not dwindle completely away in the snowbound winter at Valley Forge? They spend endless hours, days, weeks, months, and years planning and hating an enemy they are powerless to even speak out against. They are waiting on an apocalypse, societal breakdown, or racial civil war to begin. It doesn’t happen, the way they expect. So they get bored and turn their anger inward, out of frustration. This is the same concept which good leaders follow when they make sure that their armies and their population always have an external enemy to fight, so they do not tear each other apart while waiting for the fight which doesn’t come.
The following is a statement, never before published elsewhere, by a long-time White Nationalist activist and leader, (not myself) as his personal critique of the movement, and why individuals and organizations fail and schism into splinter groups. I offer it without editing or commentary, except that he points out ambition, greed, and petty infighting, as I have, as being major causational factors:
“In the many years that I have been affiliated with the White Nationalist Movement, namely the Christian Identity aspect of the movement, I haven’t always done the right thing, for myself, my family the movement and everyone that, that entailed. So much so that many times I was forced to take re-examination of myself in an attempt to discover; whether or not I really wanted to be here and if I did, then why ? Many times over the years that self-examination led me to the conclusion that I do want to be here and the answer to the “why” of that equation is; that I do love my race and I hate to see her suffer from the injustice that is inflicted upon her by, diversity, tolerance and multiculturalism. And; that someone must do something.
I decided that it was time that I grew up, throw off all of my old vices, wine, women, song and yes drugs. That I have not only a desire but a duty, to my God, my family and my kinsman, to get serious about life, if not only I was to survive, but my beloved race along with me. From the beginning I saw division, animosity and strife among those that I thought were all working for the same thing. Or at least that’s what I thought. But I discovered that we are not all working for the same thing. There are many who involve themselves with this struggle, which are here only to serve themselves and their egos. Some maybe even their wallets, but that is a ponderous thing to me, because I have always spent more money than has ever come back in donations, dues and support. And I have seen much more of this with the advent of the internet. Before the internet we worked in close knit relationships with those who we were in personal contact with and there was little animosity, strife or contention because we developed bonds of brotherhood. Most of the people I see involved in today’s movement haven’t a clue about what true brotherhood is, because I see far too many times, people willing to stab the other man in the back and while he is down use his heap of wounded flesh as a means to attempt their so desperate climb to the top. Sometimes because of this I wanted to take this damn computer and just throw it out in the yard and run over it with my truck. But a computer and the internet are a fantastic tool, and a formidable weapon if like any other weapon they are placed in the right hands and not abused or misused. What people think there is at the top of this movement that is so glorious I haven’t a clue. There is nothing there but hard work and pauperage. Just like what is at the bottom. If; you’re about the right thing.
Awakening our people to the horror that awaits them; if they continue along the road to, integration, miscegenation, vegetation and procrastination is something that takes real commitment. I have found over the years those who do not have that commitment and are here only to serve themselves, eventually slide back into the pit they ooze from. Look around, the men who have been here for years, and have paid their dues, done the footwork of a soldier are the real leaders in this struggle. Not some Johnny comes lately or some kid who just got out of high school and created his own “club” and proclaimed himself the leader. It is also noteworthy to mention that some of these self-serving sociopaths may actually be on someone’s payroll and their seemingly self-serving machinations may actually be a ruse designed to hook and land an unsuspecting fish for their handler’s next bake sale. Whether it is barracuda, carp or guppy, it does not matter. As long as it is a sacrificial token for the purveyors of diversity, tolerance and multiculturalism to fry in an open pit for all to witness and receive the intended lesson.
This is what we’re up against. It is not a child’s game or a time for tom foolery. It is the eleventh hour, very near the midnight of the extinction and extermination of our sacred race.”
That statement was written by a Christian Identist, a religious faith badly misunderstood by mainstream American society, as well as by those who study White Nationalism, as the F.B.I.’s 1999 report on Christian Identity (which this author read thanks to the Freedom of Information Act only minimally redacted) clearly demonstrates. His perspective, however, is true for every aspect of the WN movement.
The White Nationalist movement today is divided roughly into two equally ineffective camps, the ignorant beer swiller and the selfish and effete egg-head. The beer swiller is too preoccupied with having a good time and doesn’t want personal risk. The egg head doesn’t even want change, really. He is so comfortable that he doesn’t want to rock the boat too much. As stated earlier, he just likes to read interesting journals. What every movement needs more than anything else is money. The beer swiller has none to give. The egg head will not let any go. The simple truth of the matter is people, even racially conscious people, do not tend to sign up for long term campaigns, but instead tend to turn out for specific demonstrations or events. Promoting the idea of an underground resistance is the worst thing that ever happened to the WN movement. For starters, there is no underground resistance, but the most important single objection to this concept is not only is it rooted in fear, but it contributes to fear. Serious attempts to maintain secrecy allows the sensation of fear to spread-fear that plans will be discovered, fear that leaders will be captured, fear that the organization will be broken, fear that key members and masses of followers will be rounded up and imprisoned. A movement that is overly security conscious will need to reduce the number of people who plan and execute the key policies, while overall numbers will be reduced by the alienation of partisan persons and sympathizers who naturally distrust secret political organizations, especially in what is perceived to be a liberal democratic form of government.
In addition to secretiveness, a major failure of the WN movement has been the granting of apparent omnipotence to those they oppose, by constantly reporting and rehashing crimes against Whites, immigration statistics, and other defeats. No propaganda effort ever succeeded which only reports the victory of the enemy and the failure of the allies. Such methods add to frustration, defeatism, disgruntlement, dropouts, burnouts, and schisms, as previously mentioned.
In August of 2011, President Obama stated: “The risk that we’re especially concerned over right now is the lone wolf terrorist, somebody with a single weapon being able to carry out wide-scale massacres of the sort that we saw in Norway recently,”…”You know, when you’ve got one person who is deranged or driven by a hateful ideology, they can do a lot of damage, and it’s a lot harder to trace those lone wolf operators.” So, this is nothing ground-breaking or new. But, the role of the dissolution of formerly larger WN organizations, potentially, in the creation of lone wolves, should be considered. Ultimately, the breakup and splintering of White Nationalist organizations further isolates the less stable fringe elements of the movement, who rather than radicalizing organizations they had formerly been members of, were mainstreamed by the social contact with likeminded persons, and the ability to vent harmlessly. Without those affiliations, even vicariously, they more often lose their perspective. That is why most WN who commit acts of domestic terrorism are lone wolves, and almost all of them are FORMER members of organizations, for a similar reason as experiencing a romantic breakup can be a triggering stressor. The model of a violent offender as being anti-social, reclusive, and a loner is typical, regardless of political belief. The more rapidly, violently, or dramatically isolated a WN is, the more apt they are to break the law. In other words, organizational affiliation of WN might radicalize some, but it definitely mainstreams others. The schisming of WN lends itself to lone wolf mentalities, and lone wolf crimes.Lone wolf radicalization occurs for White Nationalists on the internet, just as it does for Jihadists sympathetic with ISIS, or for Black Lives Matter protesters. Whether those acts benefit or harm a cause is a topic better suited for post-conflict analysis.
The racial and political divisions in America are wider and deeper today than they have been since the first civil war. This phenomenon may have fits and starts, of slower or faster devolution, but it has no foreseeable end, this side of conflict and separation. Most of those who object to the thought of this are mixed race themselves, or have mixed race relatives, so they are approaching the issue on an emotional and personal level, rather than from an objective and abstract, logical analysis. What they object to is the idea of a world where their place might be uncertain. That’s understandable. But frankly, their interests and concerns don’t concern us. Only the interests and concerns of our people do. When America balkanizes, there will still be multiracial areas they can enjoy, just as there will be predominantly black and Hispanic and Asian areas. They just won’t be with us, and probably both sides will be happier, that way. That’s entirely the point, after all.
Overall, victory for White Nationalism will not come through the overthrow of the government, or by revolution. Rather, as the ideas of White Nationalism expand and filter through the consciousness of White society, especially among those of our people who are politically aware, informal networking will continue to expand. With their further disillusionment by electoral politics and disenfranchisement from the establishment’s system, after this election cycle, more and more of them will be ready to consolidate the opportunity coming when other groups flex their political and demographic muscles. When America balkanizes, a part of it will be ours. How big that part will be, will depend on our will, and no one else’s. I wrote about this process extensively in my book, “The Balk”. The only alternative, multiracial tyranny held together by a radical erosion of our Constitutionally protected rights and freedoms, is simply unacceptable to us.
Our responsibility, then, is to spread the memes, amplify the message, and serve as radical flank effect activists to clear the way for more of our people to think, speak, and act racially. Arm them with the truth. Embolden them against the attempted censorship and blacklisting of political correctness. Encourage them by our example. Get them out from behind their screens and on the streets once again, to meet with one another in real life. Help them learn how to be persons of influence in their communities. Expand the ShieldWall Network idea. Instead of serving as their voices, help them to find their own, to add to the chorus. In other words, to “Seek, find, and educate, the lost sheep of the true House of Israel”. We are the watchmen on the wall. We have our duty assignment. Carry on.