The National Press Club is run by journalists from news outlets as prestigious as Bloomberg and Al-Jazeera. This October it will host a conference of neo-Nazis.
The National Policy Institute’s biennial conference serves as a meet and greet for an array of well-funded affiliates of this ideological bridge going from mass murderers like Dylann Roof and Rusty Houser to windbags like Donald Trump and Ann Coulter.
While the National Press Club defends its decision to host the conference by standing behind its “108 year history representing the values of freedom of speech, freedom of the press,” they seem to ignore that fascism as an ideological position has a 93 year history of opposing freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
The National Policy Institute
The National Policy Institute (NPI) is a white hate publishing non-profit founded in 2005. It was founded with over half a million dollars in grant and donation funding. Almost $400,000 of that funding came from the Charles Martel Society — a similar enterprise whose board shared all but one member of NPI. The remaining NPI board member was from Young America’s Foundation — a conservative charitable organization with mainstream appeal.
Over $70,000 each came from the Pioneer Foundation — a granting institution for eugenicist social science, and the Western Shade Cloth Charitable Foundation — a charitable organization held by the heirs to the arch-conservative Regnery Publishing fortune. The remaining $60,000 came from smaller grants and donations.
Richard Spencer, who holds a master’s degree from the University of Chicago, is the current president of NPI. Spencer, who has previously held editorial positions at Taki’s Magazine and The American Conservative, oversees NPI’s media ventures including: Washington Summit Publishers, Radix Journal, Alternative Right, The Western Front, and Vanguard Radio. These outlets peddle in white nationalist politics disguised with monikers such as identitarianism, white separatism, and racial realism — all of which advocate a politics little different than that advocated by Adolf Hitler last century.
This year’s conference will be the third of their biennial conferences since 2011 in addition to the two auxiliary conferences they’ve held in conjunction with/opposition to CPAC. NPI also attempted to host a conference in Budapest, Hungary, but it was shut down for promoting hate speech.
This year’s theme seems to come straight from the Borg: “Become Who We Are.” Attendees over 30 can expect to pay upwards of $225 with the option to fork over hundreds of more dollars for a hotel, brunch, and a steak dinner with the speakers. This year, the 11 hour conference will also feature musical entertainment by neo-Nazi, neo-folk musician Robert N. Taylor.
The speakers at this year’s NPI conference represent a cross-section of the radical right. If you’re an anti-feminist, neo-confederate, antisemite, Islamophobe, or anti-immigrant, this conference has something for you. If you aren’t, you’d likely find yourself feeling very uncomfortable.
Perhaps the most frightening is the blogger and author Jack Donovan. Donovan rails against feminism, the loss of “traditional” gender roles, and the corrupting force of gay culture. When he isn’t pontificating on the finer points of runic symbolism, he’s spreading a brand of hypermasculine ultraviolence that appeals to violent sociopaths like Isla Vista shooter Elliot Rodger and former MMA fighter War Machine.
Donovan’s ideology is based on a patriarchal apocalyptic survivalism so extreme he has been disavowed by deadbeat Men’s Rights Movement leader Paul Elam. Donovan likewise rejects the Men’s Rights affiliation, most likely because he doesn’t really believe in rights.
In addition to alienating those apparently less extreme than him, Donovan has also caused a bit of controversy to those more extreme than him. League of the South president Michael Hill has recently been replaced as a speaker. According to OverThrowDotCom.com, there have been some arguments on private, neo-Confederate Facebook groups in recent weeks. That source pointed to this post by Knights of the Ku Klux Klan leader Tom Robb as to the substance of the disagreement.
The NPI’s replacement, Sam Dickson of both the Charles Martel Society and the Council of Conservative Citizens, is an appropriate simulacrum for the neo-Confederate Michael Hill. Dickson began his career as a lawyer for the Ku Klux Klan. After that career path proved to attract more law enforcement agencies than money, Dickson turned to the real estate market — taking advantage of tax lien and title acquisitions in his own racist way.
When he isn’t rhetorically strong-arming Black folks out of their homes, Dickson delivers Orwellian speeches that “you have to be shackled to the truth to be free” because “freedom does not mean you can create your own world.”. Additionally he describes the Declaration of Independence as “manic speech” that constituted “the first act of the unfortunate separation from Britain.” He sees the project of American democracy as fundamentally at odds with the truth (however tortured) of natural inequality. Rather than seeing this natural phenomenon as merely an obstacle for humanity to overcome, Dickson embraces it as a scientific law.
Speaker Kevin MacDonald gives Sam Dickson the intellectual cover to make his naturalist appeals for inequality. MacDonald retired from his 30 year position in the CSU Long Beach psychology department last year. He is the editor of the Charles Martel Society’s “academic” journal Occidental Quarterly which has published such titles as “Sexual Liberation and Racial Suicide” and “Jews and Moneylending: A Contemporary Case File.”
Whereas anti-semitism might seem like a rather outdated form of prejudice, it still remains the core of radical white nationalism. According to nazis and their fellow travelers, the Jewish people — through their concerted influence in media and banks (which are in reality dominated by white non-Jews) — advocate for capitalism and communism (yes, both) to disempower the white race through egalitarian civil rights and borders at least as open to people as factories. Thus, for committed nazis, a government building is as much a target for political violence as a Jewish Community Center.
An is from an ought
Speaker Guillaume Faye came out as an anti-semite at the 2006 American Renaissance conference. American Renaissance is an online magazine put out by the white nationalist New Century Foundation. It is ironically named because its founder, Jared Taylor, hates America and the Renaissance.
Faye left French nationalist “think” tank GRECE for not being farther to the right to the far right National Front than they already were. He had spent his lecture explaining why Europe as an ethno-continent must repel Muslim “invaders.” Former KKK Grand Wizard and Louisiana state congressman David Duke used the Q&A to ask a rather long and drawn out question about “internal subversion” from “another Middle Eastern community.”
After a man who apparently didn’t know what event he had bought tickets for stormed out calling Duke a, “f***ing nazi,” and bizarrely, “a disgrace to this meeting,” Faye admitted that he had hidden his anti-semitism for a while, mostly due to French hate speech laws.
Despite his anti-semitism, he spoke at the Jewish Congress of the French Parliament where he denied his anti-semitic views despite in fact holding them. He asserted that it was not the abolition of the Jewish people, but the abolition of “the Jewish mentality” — a mentality he also tied to the Catholic Church — of calling for immigration and coexistence.
Another NPI speaker Keith Preston, also ends up largely in the same place as Faye and the others, but in his own fake anarchist way. For Preston, the end result of nationalism is increasingly specific overlapping forms of identitarian chauvinism. Preston, who holds an MA in history from VCU, advocates for the seemingly contradictory ideology pioneered by Troy Southgate called National-Anarchism.
In the National-Anarchist tradition, building popularity for such an absurd ideology requires entryism — attempts to co-opt the power of existing social movements for the purpose of ethnic strife and clannish tribalism. Preston manages the online zine AttackTheSystem and directs the pan-secessionist something-or-other American Revolutionary Vanguard.
He has written several articles on LewRockwell.com defending Ron Paul and arguing against immigration. He has also held important positions within the anarchist Industrial Workers of the World union and International Workers Association, things he still proudly puts on his resume.
What Preston and perhaps Jack Donovan represent is the traditional appeal of the radical left — an embrace of the existential frustrations of a failing socioeconomic system — redirected towards reinforcing the very social constructs which undergird it. And given the rising tide of white violence, it appears to be taking hold.
The fascist turn
What unites all of NPI’s disparate idealogues — beyond their monetary dealings, advanced degrees, and social toxicity — is their obscure method of reasoning. I have come to call it “the fascist turn.” This rhetorical device employs cutting critiques of the current social order — borrowed variously from the radical left — to cast capitalism and representative democracy as authoritarian. It does this not to assert that a less authoritarian system should be adopted, but that any acceptable alternative can be authoritarian. It then uses these analyses to employ a cynically unbalanced realpolitik in which one’s socially dominant identities become the only thing worth preserving.
It is mass politics only out of selfishness.
Those identities — themselves creations of the same historical processes that produced the current social order — become things of value, sparks of revolution, the prerogative of nationalism.
The fascist turn lowers the bar. It tricks one into believing that all identities are the product of immutable cleavages in human society that can only end in annihilation or domination. To come to this conclusion, the fascist turn employs a sort of Pascal’s Wager asserting that the cost of preserving one’s identity — wrought from the same oppressive institutions they rail against — exceeds any benefit from being a decent human being or having a decent society.