The following is a slightly edited transcript of the speech I gave at the Etnofutur III conference in Tallinn, Estonia on February 23, 2019. The video can be seen in this livestream. I want to thank the organizers for inviting me and my supporters for making the trip possible.
What I want to talk to you about today is the one thing that makes a political movement successful, the thing that’s missing when movements fail.It is the magic ingredient. It is a thing I call “Will to Politics,” and it is the major component that is missing in conservatism. It is that which makes conservatism completely useless in the political arena, and what turns conservatism into political cuckoldry.
The political Right has internalized the self-image of a victim, and with a self-image like that, it is impossible for us to win. We have to stop being politically timid and become more assertive. We’re too defensive and hesitant. We have to start seeing competitive politics as something natural because, at the end of the day, politics is about energy and fire, in the mind and in the heart; and what direction that energy is going in.
We have to demand and expect that we will win, not that we will be pushed around – or at best, tolerated.
What Nietzsche called “Will to Power” is the ability to reshape reality through art and other creative actions. You have an idea in your mind, you have a vision, and you make it real by changing the world through your willpower and actions. You overcome obstacles and you fulfill your human agency, because, to be fully human, it is not enough to exist and consume. We also have a creative drive. And fulfillment comes from expressing that inner creativity, in overcoming fear and weakness and acting according to your inner will. And that is what makes us subjects rather than just objects: subjects that act upon the world, and not only objects that are acted upon by the world. That is what gives us agency. What I call the Will to Politics is only a special case of Will to Power. It is about having a clear political idea and pushing it through obstacles.
Let me tell you a true story, to illustrate the point and illustrate our problem. A friend of mine recently had a situation at work. His colleagues had found out about his political involvement, and that caused a fair amount of gossip at the office, so much so that his boss felt the need to deal with the situation. And so his boss called him into a meeting to question him about his politics – kind of politely to begin with, but then he started demanding concessions from my friend. “I want you to adjust your activities. Please stop this. I respect your freedom of speech, but it would be a great help if you could stop just this one activity.”
My friend said he would comply – sort of reluctantly, but still – because he and his boss had a good working relationship. They had an easy-going, humorous atmosphere at the office, and he didn’t want to be difficult. If you’re not a weirdo, you will want to fit in to your social situation, because you are a nice guy and you want to make others comfortable.
The point of the story is that it illustrates something that is all too common. It’s typical. It illustrates how we are perceived, and how we expect to be perceived . . . and when it happens, we just shrug and say to ourselves, “That is just the way it is.” So we expect to lose and to be treated as second-class people because of our political views.
But then a thought occurred to my friend: “What if . . .” This is my mantra in all situations where I experience political conflicts of interests, and I always tell my friends to do the same.
In every situation where my political involvement causes even the slightest social friction, I ask, “What if the roles were reversed?” What if I was a Leftist? What if I was a Jew? Would I accept this treatment? Often, the answer is no.
So my friend asked himself, “Would a Leftist accept being questioned about his politics at work? Wouldn’t he start yelling about McCarthyism? Would a Jew accept being questioned at work like this?” Can you imagine an employer questioning a Jew about his beliefs or identity? “Are you a Jew?” The company would be swarmed by Jewish lawyers trying to put them out of business. Their reputation would be mercilessly destroyed in the mass media, so that everyone else would learn never to mess with this group.
This is the case because they have a strong Will to Politics. They are willing to push their ideas and their will through obstacles and objections. But we are supposed to accept that it is open season on us whenever we express our opinions.
So in the end, my friend said, “Hell no, I will not play along with this.” So he fought them on it. He contacted a lawyer and he fought back, saying that he would never back down. And in the end, he got the respect that he deserved, and he set an example for the future. Because this is so rare.
You hardly ever see people in Sweden or Norway fighting back in situations like this. They usually just accept defeat by default. And this is what Will to Politics boils down to: one must push through, even in conflicts; push through even when it makes others uncomfortable; push through even when it makes yourself uncomfortable.
Success comes from being comfortable with being uncomfortable, from not caving in, when you can take the heat. It sounds like a cliché, because it is true. Mike Tyson always said that he could see who would win a fight even before he got in the ring, by looking into his opponent’s eyes, because he could see who was afraid and who actually wanted to be there. He could see who would break easily and who would enjoy the fight.
I know that this political mindset doesn’t come natural to us as a people. It doesn’t come naturally to me, either, but we have to overcome that.
That is what makes Jews so successful as a group: their attitude. We have a mindset of extreme politeness and avoiding conflict. We have a mindset of fairness and avoiding making others uncomfortable. They have an opposite ideal, called chutzpah, which essentially means boldness or rudeness. When push comes to shove, they risk being obnoxious, as long as they get their way. We may accept their will reluctantly, but we do accept it. And in the end, they get their way. And that is all that matters to them. They seem to love social conflict, while we do our best to avoid it. We aim at extreme cooperation; they aim at extreme competition.
We have to realize that, in a certain context, our behavior was adaptive. I grew up in a very typical Scandinavian, Protestant household. If anyone raised his voice, that would make everyone else give them an accusing look. You keep your voice down. You are stoic. You stay in your place. You avoid conflict! And that way, you have a basically crime-free society, an extremely high-trust society. But such high-trust behavior only works in a homogeneous society, with reciprocity, where everyone plays by the same rules.
But when you approach majority levels of freeriders, that system will collapse. When other groups see our high social trust behaviors as a weakness to be exploited, those behaviors are no longer adaptive, because our virtues are used against us. And we must wake up and adapt our behavior to the new situation. Otherwise, we will be destroyed by other groups that do have adaptive behaviors.
So if we actually want to win, we have to stop being nice guys. We have to stop being pushovers.
This is a fight, whether we like it or not. And if we don’t believe in our ideas enough to fight for them, then no one else will believe in them, either. And then this movement will remain an impotent protest, a way of trying to lose with some dignity.
You have to stop permission-seeking behavior. Stop seeking permission, especially from the people who want you to fail! This is essentially about stopping being a boy, and becoming a man. It is okay for a boy to seek his mother’s approval. But when you are a man, you are no longer asking permission. Now it’s your turn to fight off the wolves.
Men today are addicted to getting others’ approval, because they have no confidence. And this is about confidence, because when you seek permission and approval, that is a way of pushing away responsibility. You lack confidence in your own decisions, and others see this. It is like saying, “You make this decision for me. You tell me what is right and wrong. You take responsibility.” Men today don’t have the confidence to make strong decisions and take radical responsibility. If you want to win, you have to control the framework and not look to others for answers. You have to be the one who gives approval, not the one who gets it.
This weak behavior reminds me of the women I know who tell me about some of the men who approach them, men who are clueless – what we would call “beta males,” in modern parlance. What these men do is act weak and seek sympathy from women. They even complain to women. Essentially, they seem to believe that if only the woman understands how miserable they are, how much they need her, and how happy they would be if they get her, then the woman will give them love, out of the kindness of her heart. They seem to believe that she will have sex with them out of sympathy. Out of pity.
Do you think that works? Do you think that turns a woman on? Do you think a woman will fall for a man because she is made to understand that he needs it?
It is nothing new to compare relations between men and women to politics. It has been done before. But it is because it’s true. It’s an apt comparison. I’m not saying these men believe this on a conscious level, or even would admit it if you asked them. They would deny it. But on an emotional level, that is what their actions tend to suggest.
In the same way, many people on the Right seem to emotionally believe – subconsciously believe – that if we can make our enemies understand how unfairly we are treated, how innocent we are, how good our intentions are, and what victims we are, we will finally gain their sympathy, and in some way, their pity. And then they will say, “You have suffered enough, old fellow.” The value of your house dropped, because they opened an asylum right next door. Your boss gave you a hard time at work, because he found out you are involved in politics. You’re not allowed to do that. Your wife was harassed by an immigrant gang on her way to the bus, and some “youths” yelled something nasty at your daughter in Arabic. Or worse. Your neighborhood has become unwalkable, so you don’t want to leave the house.
So, we figured you’ve suffered enough, and now it’s your time to shine. We will cede power to you now. We understand our mistake now. Here you go, son!
Do you think that’s how politics works? Do you think that is how social power works? I don’t think so. So stop waiting for a political mercy-fuck. It’s the same as the fact that you have to put your neck on the line if you like a woman, and be confident in yourself as a man. You must be confident in what you have to offer her, because otherwise, she will not see your worth and who you are.
In the same way, you have to be confident in your political convictions and stand up for them. When someone pushes against you, or when everyone pushes against you, you’ll push back! And you don’t ask your opponent to approve of what you say. You don’t ask for their permission, because otherwise you cannot expect to win anyone else’s confidence in what you’re saying.
It all boils down to your self-image. What kind of man do you see yourself as? And how do you expect to be treated? What kind of treatment do you expect from others? And what kind of treatment do we as a political movement expect to receive from others? And how strong are your convictions?
How much do you want to change society? Is it, “Oh, it would be nice to have an ethnostate and a healthy future for our kids. But not at the cost of making me uncomfortable in social situations, and not if it makes someone else uncomfortable when I talk about it. And not if it makes someone look sort of disapprovingly at me.”
Because that is what it actually boils down to. People are not afraid to get punched in the face. People are giving away their kids’ future out of fear of someone looking at them disapprovingly. That’s what people are afraid of.
The risk of getting physically attacked is small. The risk of not getting food on your table is very small. It’s just slight social disapproval . . . that is how weak we have become. People are not afraid of being garroted or drawn and quartered for their beliefs. They are afraid of someone just looking a bit nastily at them.
Or, do you want your future so much that it doesn’t matter what they throw at you? Will you say, “You can fire me from my job. I will not back down. You can attack me in the media. I will not back down. You can kill me, and I will come back from the grave to haunt you, because I will never back down!”
Is that how much you want it? Because it all boils down to attitude and self-image, you see. You have to know who you are, and what you want. Then you will have the respect of your enemies, not their pity or mercy. And most importantly, you will have respect for yourself.
And then you can win the hearts of the people around you.
First posted on Counter-Currents.
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