Today in 1571, the Austrian Hapsburg Emperor of Germany, allied with the Kingdom of the Poles and Republic of Venice, and others, defeated the Ottoman Empire and so built a wall against the conquest of Europe by Islam that lasted until the Ottoman Empire finally “withered away” in the late 19th century and disappeared, with dramatic, synchronic irony, in the same years as the Hapsburg Empire of Austria-Hungary.
In Southern California, there is a town named after a Christian “Soldier Saint” and warrior hero who died 115 years earlier after successfully defending Belgrade in Serbia from the Ottoman onslaught a mere three years after the final capture and Conquest of Constantinople in 1453, which marked the end of the millennium-long existence of the Greco-Roman “Byzantine” or “Eastern Roman Empire”—a true “thousand year Reich” in world history (perhaps the first and [by that time in history the only] complex nation-state formation, in fact, ever to exist for so long).
That town is San Juan Capistrano—named after an Italian born Saint John of Capistrano who died of the bubonic plague in Ilok in Croatia shortly after the Battle of Belgrade in 1456, which he had won in alliance with the Hungarian General and Dux Bellorum John Hunyadi. Even though he was about 70, Saint John led his own troops into battle personally. Saint John died on October 23, 1456 and that is his day in the Catholic Calendar—although for about 80 years he was celebrated on March 28, 2014, just two days after St. Joseph’s Day, when the swallows are supposed to return to the oldest European Settlement in Orange County (founded, symbolically enough, in 1776).
My, how Europe has changed…..
Last month, Dr. Tomislav Sunic came from Croatia to Southern California to lecture (ostensibly) on the Muslim invasion of Europe and the dangers of multiculturalism. Some, notably Rodney Martin of the American Nationalist Network and American Nationalist Association, felt that Dr. Sunic’s talks were too “soft” on the enemies of multi-nationalism. This is an argument that probably a dozen people in the world care about, but since I was drawn into the argument, I mention it.
Since leaving the United States, Dr. Sunic went back to Croatia and then to Hungary, where he was to attend a Conference which was suppressed by the police, even in beautiful (and normally quite conservative) Budapest:
Defying the Budapest Ban: The Rebel vs the Dissident
Despite the ban by the Hungarian government, the NPI conference did take place in Budapest on October 5, albeit in a truncated version but with an air of rebellion and emotional intensity. A day earlier, despite the arrest of the NPI Chairman Mr. Richard Spencer, despite constant police surveillance of all NPI guests, and despite the fact that there were only two official speakers, the conference turned out to be a surprising success. The distinct possibility of a police crackdown on the venue did not prevent more than 70 people from attending the dinner and listen to the speeches delivered by Jared Taylor and myself. Two journalists, one from the BBC, the other from the German dailyDie Welt, covered the event and interviewed the speakers (BBC. Die Welt).
The genesis, the unfolding, and the subsequent end of the NPI event in Budapest, including the earlier arrest of Richard Spencer, have been more or less objectively reported by friendly websites. What lessons can we now draw? Here are some eclectic remarks and tentative suggestions, from the lexical, legal, philosophical and sociobiological perspective.
Legality and Legitimacy
The well -planned and well-advertised NPI conference scheduled to take place in Budapest from October 3 to October 5 as well as the shortened version, were in clear violation of a previous legal decision reached by the Hungarian government. One must emphasize that the official ban had not been decreed by local Antifa groups, leftist hacklers, paleo-communist students, LGTB agitators, or some Jewish lobby—although, of course, one cannot rule out at all that these organizations had earlier put mighty pressure on Viktor Orban’s government to ban the conference. Had the Leftists or the Antifas, instead of the government of Hungary, tried to disrupt the planned conference of their own, as is so often the case in Germany, the NPI would have at least enjoyed some semblance of legal protection.
This was not the case. The Hungarian government ban was an official ukase right from the start. The ultimate consequences were to be reckoned with. About the reasons of the ban, or about those who might have been behind it, one could speculate for years and never arrive at one single and persuasive conclusion. State legality, as the German legal scholar Carl Schmitt extensively wrote long time ago, lies often in contradistinction to state legitimacy. The ex-Soviet Union, or the present day North Korea, or Cuba for that matter, were and still are states abiding by the rule of law. To what extent, however, the rule of law in these countries has a legitimate foundation — well, this remains a very different story.
Lexicon and Locutions
The NPI dinner- talk was not a “racist gathering “or a “White supremacist” Oktoberfest or “Spencerfest,” as some media had derisively announced. The shorthand version of the NPI conference took shape in the form of a dinner where the two speakers delivered their academic talks in front of approximately 70 guests. All the guests in attendance can be described as non- conformists and free thinkers of European extraction who had arrived to the venue from all parts of the world not to indulge in alleged nationalist and racist ravings, but to hear and meet other likeminded non-conformist individuals. The prime focus of the speakers’ lectures was the aberrant nature of multicultural mendacity of the System and the necessity for the unity of all the peoples of European extraction. In this sense, conference, although modest in size, was of historic importance.
The first conclusion one can draw: The masters of the discourse of the System were nervous and afraid, which could best be seen in the unnecessary overreaction of the Hungarian government and the big publicity the NPI received thereafter. The System master plan backfired. Undoubtedly, the main problem facing most White nationalists in the USA and Europe is how to come to grips with the terror of the liberal meta-language and its signifiers whose signified are being deliberately doctored up anew by the System and its scribes. Relatively new locutions such as “hate speech,” “White supremacists,” “fascist,” “neo- Nazis”, have been in use in the mainstream media for a very long period of time — to the point that they have by now lost their original meaning and their judicial weight, even among those who use them as shut-up words against modern non-conformists, rebels and heretics.
In fact, these signifiers have by now become a badge of honor for any would be non-conformist rebel, regardless of his or her ideological stripes. (Historical note: Leo Trotsky, a Bolshevik of Jewish origin was also dubbed “fascist” by Stalin in 1939, as was the former maverick communist head of the Yugoslav state, Josip Broz Tito). White nationalists in the EU and USA should start re-appropriating their own discourse and avoid insignia reminiscent of the fascism or National Socialism of the 1930s and 40s. Why not use words, such as “Euro –American heretics,” or “European rebels” instead of the value loaded locution “White nationalist“ — a locution that originated in the fevered brains of the thought police like the SPLC and the ADL?
Rebels vs Dissidents
Right in forefront of the first circle of Dante’s Inferno we encounter opportunists of all stripes. Let us be honest. Yes-men and sycophants make up the vast majority of citizens in any contemporary Western society. Both the Hungarian Prime minister Viktor Orbán and his head of the police, himself a former big time communist police official, Sándor Pintér, had started their career as communist youth members, i.e. komsomolci in the former communist Hungary.
Alas, old dogs cannot be taught new tricks! Their homo sovieticus phenotype may have changed, but their communist genotype has remained the same. They, along with practically all East European political elites, will dance to the music of any new world hegemon — if historical circumstances require it. This is known as the “German syndrome,” as for example when the German government needs to prove over and over again and beyond any public doubt that Germany is a more philo-Semitic country than any other country in Europe. Not long ago politicians in Eastern Europe avidly hurried to the Kremlin in order to display their communist party loyalty. Now, in order to display their liberal credentials the same ones and their younger liberal progeny, even if not invited, avidly hurry to Tel Aviv, with all due subsequent genuflections in Washington DC and Brussels. The same could be said about many modern academics in the USA and the EU who privately share every word of the NPI speakers, but who publicly realize that systemic brownnosing to the System pays off much better than upholding their honor.
Many non-conformists of European extraction, aka White nationalists, make a serious mistake when using synonymously the words ‘dissident’ and ‘rebel.’ Many anticommunist dissidents who had come from the Soviet Union to the USA during the Cold War remained self-proclaimed dissidents, yet learned quickly how to fawn over their new masters. Hundreds of them have made glorious careers as advisors and professors in the USA.
But they are not rebels; they never questioned the other side of the same System. The writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn was a rebel. On the other hand, Alexander Sakharov, the human rights preacher and the former Soviet party hack who transformed himself into a Western anticommunist, was not a rebel. Sakharov preferred American fame and glitz even if it implied selling out his soul twice. Rebels never sell out to any Mephistopheles even if they sometimes unwittingly conjure up bad spirits that turn against them. Rebels not only question the prevailing regime; they question themselves and their own ideas 24 hours a day.
In classical literature we encounter true rebels, as for instance in the works of Ernst Jünger, or in the dramas of Friedrich Schiller. A rebel never sells out. Richard Spencer is a true non-conformist and rebel and a true hero, precisely because he would reject these flattering labels. He did not crave the media limelight, nor did he mimic a heretic, like so many “right-wingers” or Hollywood nutsies do. He fought for a simple right to free speech. A rebel is a man of impeccable character and of absolute moral integrity who puts the interests of his community above his own private interests, and above the interests of his family.
One could illustrate the spirit of the rebel by the quote of the philosopher Emile Cioran: “A rebel never expects anything from anybody; neither from people, nor from gods.”
Dr. Tom Sunic is a former political science professor and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Freedom Party. His new book isChroniques des temps postmodernes (Avatar, 2014).