'Tradition and Revolution: Collected Writings of Troy Southgate'
Aarhus: Integral Traditions (2007), 329 pp.
Reviewed by Andreas Faust
This book contains a varied selection of essays, poems, and other short written pieces by Troy Southgate, one of the founders of the philosophy known as National-Anarchism. National-Anarchism is a cultural current rather than an organisation. It is a long-term strategy. N-A developed simultaneously in England, France and Germany, in just the same way that modern Odinism simultaneously sprang up in at least four different countries in the early 1970s.
N-A is a form of anarchism which has no roots in the political left, but neither is it right-wing. It differs from the 'mainstream' anarchist movement in its support for racial separatism (amongst other things), but at the same time has no problem with those who want to establish mixed-race communities also. As Southgate puts it: "We have no desire to rule over an administrative structure or disaffected population of any kind [...] Whilst they choose their own destinies, we shall choose ours."
If N-A took off on a wide scale, this would theoretically lead to a series of independent communities, which "may or may not wish to form part of a confederated alliance". Each community, of course, would be primed for self-defence. The regional alliance or federation would support any group of individuals wishing to found a separate community to preserve their own identity – regardless of what that identity might be.
So, has the book converted this reviewer to National-Anarchism? Well, hmmm, hmmm...I believe it might have. I still dislike the term. But on the other hand I can't really think of a better one. On explaining the concept to a friend recently, he pointed out that as soon as you start throwing the word 'anarchist' about, it will automatically turn people away. The word has become linked with images of violence, chaos, disorder...sinister men in black balaclavas throwing bombs.
But who exactly should the term appeal to? The conservatively inclined probably wouldn't support the doctrine anyway, even if wrapped in more soothing packaging. The term 'National-Anarchist', on the other hand, is likely to appeal to the young and rebellious, whose minds might not as yet be stultified. And as Tord Morsund notes in his introduction, N-A is not chaotic at all, but is a strategy that starts with the individual, then progresses to the family, the community, village, town etc. There is a need to reclaim the term 'anarchy', which N-A is certainly contributing towards doing.
The 'black bloc' left-wing anarchists seen spray-painting walls at many an anti-globalist demo probably wouldn't know what to do if the State ever collapsed, as they claim they wish to happen. But N-A is already planning for such eventualities. And N-A has the added benefit of confusing people's political preconceptions by mixing up 'left-' and 'right-wing' symbolism, thus forcing people to step outside their preconceived thought patterns (which only serve the globalist agenda).
The first essay in the book, 'Transcending the Beyond', is as close to an N-A 'mission statement' as there is. N-A originally emerged from a movement called the 'International Third Position', which rightly recognised that communism was not an antidote to capitalism but actually a "symptom and product" of it. But while these 'third positionists' were committed to going beyond the 'two C's (capitalism and communism), "National-Anarchists have taken things one step further by actually transcending the very notion of beyond." In other words, they have rejected the concept of the State itself, aiming towards 'independent enclaves'. They have maintained a belief in racial separatism but no longer want to impose that belief on others. So N-A is to political theory, then, what heathenism is to religion.
People like Southgate have been described by some fanatical leftists as 'fascists', but even a cursory glance at their ideas will show this to be untrue. Southgate regards the fascist regimes in general as having been 'reactionary charlatans' who used nationalism as a cloak to disguise their sympathy for international capital. He does see value in certain 'fascist' groups, like the Romanian Iron Guard (who he believes were genuine nationalists, not reactionaries). The Iron Guard's 'nest' system of organisation and its lack of authoritarian hierarchy (leadership had to be earned, leaders benevolent and cheerful, not gloomy, and willing to sacrifice themselves along with their men) all give it common ground with National-Anarchism.
N-A itself achieves the difficult feat of being both non-authoritarian and meritocratic. Meritocratic because it encourages greatness to rise to the top...unlike capitalism, which elevates a pseudo-aristocracy based on greed, ensuring many worthy people are unable to rise to their natural level. But also non-authoritarian in the sense that it doesn't seek power over those who don't share its vision...which would be throwing pearls before swine in any case. N-A communities would also have little need for internal policing...Southgate quotes John Pfeiffer to the extent that an "organic society has no need for policing practices until the population has exceeded more than 500 persons. This is because 500 is considered to be the maximum number of people that one person could possibly know." (my italics)
What is the relation of N-A to nationalism, then? Southgate originally called himself a 'Revolutionary Nationalist' (or 'Social Nationalist'), and nationalism itself, as he often states, is beyond left and right (contrary to the media claim that it's 'right-wing'). It could fairly be said, then, that N-A is an updated form of nationalism, one better suited to the practical situation that nationalists in the modern world face. He illustrates this by a quote from Roger Bacon: "He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils."
But while this may be well and good in Europe or North America, what about Australia or New Zealand...thinly populated lands ripe for the taking by two populous empires directly to the north (Indonesia and China), as soon as the American ally's power declines. Would N-A perhaps have a negative effect in Australasia, weakening our capacity for self defence? The main Australasian exponent of N-A is Welf Herfurth, resident in Sydney. Herfurth's idea, as formulated in a recent interview, seems to be that Australia should consist of a patchwork quilt of different communities, all completely independent, but co-operating in the important matter of foreign policy. So these entities would not be completely independent, but would constitute a kind of bloc or casual federation.
That don't sound so bad...although there is another issue there should also be consensus on – the environment. Cultural independence won't do us any good if there isn't any land to be inhabited, all being soil-degraded or flooded. Overpopulation, of course, has much to do with this, and Southgate himself is pessimistic. He thinks there is nothing we can realistically do to check overpopulation, and that nature herself will eventually take care of the matter, possibly via a plague or sequence of natural disasters. All that's left to do, he believes, is to harden ourselves to this fact, and to concentrate on preserving those lives that can be preserved (i.e. those who have the will to survive).
What kind of practical strategies does Southgate propose for promoting N-A ideals? One tactic he advocates is 'entryism'...we should not fight the enemy head-on, but from within. This can only occur when there are more National-Anarchists than now. But yes, it is more effective than using the ballot-box. That is how the leftists managed to take over the univerisities in their so-called 'long march through the institutions'. Open warfare against the State is impossible at this point in time, so entryism may be the best course to pursue. But hand in hand with that, of course, goes the cultural struggle. That is where N-A intersects with the broader and less dogmatic current known as the European New Right.
Like the ENR, Southgate believes that political objectives "must be preceded by a Spiritual Revolution". We must build from the inside, not the other way around. In line with this, he advocates home-schooling (which he practises in his own family) as one of the best ways of ensuring our traditions are passed on. Southgate demolishes many myths, such as the one that home-schooled children will be 'sheltered' or 'socially naive'...in fact they have better social skills and are shown to be more socially adjusted. They can always join a local sports team or organisation to mix with other kids.
Home-schooled kids are usually better educated than those taught in schools, and have often reached university level by age fourteen. I remember reading an article in the local paper that confirmed this. There's a time investment, but teaching materials are not very expensive. The next step would be to establish 'practical learning centres', where home-school parents can help each other with resources and so forth. On the other hand, the system may crack down on this in future...home-schooling was recently outlawed in California, and as everyone knows, when California sneezes the world catches a cold.
There will also presumably be the need to form vigilante groups, for protection. The existing communities will thank us for this, while the more sensible 'official' cops may come to turn a blind eye to it. Troy rightly emphasises the importance of self-defence and fitness skills. But is it enough? The State may use military force against us at a certain point. On the other hand, the State's promotion of multi-racialism may in turn work against it, as common identities take form out of the increasing chaos. None of us can really say what the future holds...all we can do is to take an idea and try to make it work. N-A is as good an idea as any I've heard.
As a kind of added bonus, the book contains Southgate's chapter-by-chapter analysis of Julius Evola's book Men Among the Ruins, which will be of benefit to those wish to understand the key concepts of Evola's political thought but can't abide Evola's constipated writing style. The book also contains two fascinating esoteric essays. One is called 'A Sussex Swan: the Wodenic Mysteries of a Small English Town,' and concerns a town named Steyning, full of symbolism relating to the constellation of Cygnus the Swan, which Troy believes is at the centre of an English spiritual revival. May the ugly ducklings of our modern towns and cities find their true destiny as swans! As black swans here in the South, of course...
Beachy Head, another Sussex locality, forms an exact contrast to Steyning...as England's most popular suicide spot, it has lured countless people to literally 'drop out' of life. But often those people are amongst the most gifted (and consequently don't fit in with the modern world). Thus Beachy Head is depriving us of future artists and leaders. Southgate maintains that "something quite cataclysmic is taking place beyond the gaze of the ordinary masses." He suggests we can counteract this by "re-energising the more authentic points which concord with our spiritual and psychological heritage," and thus to "raise the banner of the Northern Sun against the lunar-centred darkness that envelopes our land."
If you don't believe such a lunar-centred darkness exists, just step around the corner. Welcome to a world where "teenage mothers...old before their time and flanked by hooped earrings and a pink mobile phone," with "no education" and "no future" rub shoulders with "wealthy businessmen with piggy eyes and sweaty palms," in a town where "graffiti is scrawled on any available space" and where "imagination and creativity are pushed aside."
Southgate's book aims at countering all this. It is intended for both "present and future generations." It will become a valuable point of reference for the emerging National-Anarchist movement. As the quote at the start of the book says, "the new man is still evolving." He comes "from the quiet periphery," but around him "the coming world will henceforth order itself." Troy maintains that N-A is "the next logical step towards the raising of mankind's spiritual and intellectual consciousness." In short, it is "an idea whose time has come." Let us hope, then, that it proves more powerful than the proverbial marching army.
The book can be ordered from Integral Tradition (see http://www.integraltradition.com/catalog/about.ph...)