The Real Right Returns
F. Roger Devlin, American Renaissance, February 12, 2016
Daniel Friberg, The Real Right Returns: A Handbook for the True Opposition, Arktos Media Ltd., 2015, 138 pp., $16 softcover, $24 hardcover.
In the twenty-five years that American Renaissance has been publishing, the outlook for our ideas has never been better. History is full of successful last-minute rallies that followed years of apathy, and so it may turn out for white European identity. The Trump candidacy in America and the unfolding “refugee” crisis in Europe have shaken up the political status quo across the Western world, and white advocacy is growing rapidly. At movement events, one notes not merely the youth of many participants, but how recently some of them have become aware of the crisis. There is a clear need for a primer for these recruits, and this is what Arktos cofounder Daniel Friberg has tried to write with his new book The Real Right Returns.
He begins with a brief overview of how we got into this mess. His story starts with the Frankfurt School, a group of dissident 1930s Marxists who dismissed the working class as hopelessly reactionary and cobbled together a new revolutionary vanguard from various ethnic and sexual minorities. This is the origin of “political correctness,” the now-omnipresent ideology that labels heterosexual white men as oppressors and seeks to instill guilt in them, while designating blacks, Muslims, women, and homosexuals as oppressed groups who need only blame their problems on the heterosexual white male oppressor. This way of thinking is sometimes called “Cultural Marxism” from the stress it puts on culture, as opposed to the economic focus of classical Marxism.
There was never a debate about whether we wanted to be ruled by Cultural Marxist ideas. Instead, as Mr. Friberg explains, its followers quietly took over education, journalism, and entertainment–the opinion-forming branches of our civilization. Today, acceptance of Cultural Marxist thinking is an informal requirement for promotion in these fields.
This “long march through the institutions” by the Left is frequently cited as an example of successful metapolitics, a somewhat pretentious word for indirect political action that does not involve electing people to office or getting policies formally adopted. The leaders of today’s European Right, including Mr. Friberg, believe that the defeat of the Left will also have to proceed “metapolitically.” In other words, we must first win hearts and minds. Once we have accomplished that, political change will follow.
Mr. Friberg notes that an early milestone in the struggle against Cultural Marxism was the founding in France in 1968 of the Research and Study Group for European Civilization (French acronym: GRECE) by Alain de Benoist. This organization became the basis for the movement known as the European New Right, a loose network of writers, institutions, and publications that have spread well beyond France to form a kind of counter-establishment challenging the dominant pattern of European thinking. This movement is sometimes also known as identitarian because it stresses the continuing importance of particular national and ethnic/racial identities, in contrast to the globalist orientation of the Left.
In 2005, Daniel Friberg was one of a small group of politically disaffected students at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, who coalesced around the study of New Right books and periodicals. The following year, this group founded the think tank Motpol (“antipode”). At first little more than a blog portal, Motpol is now a sizable network that organizes lectures and seminars all over Sweden. It is best known for sponsoring the annual Identitarian Ideas conference in Stockholm, which has featured speakers such as Guillaume Faye, Paul Gottfried, Alexander Dugin, and John Morgan.
Motpol also has a new English language website, RightOn.net, edited by John Morgan.
Thanks in large part to the efforts of this group, Sweden now ranks behind only France, Germany, and Hungary as a center of identitarian thought in Europe.
Mr. Friberg stresses that much of the struggle against the Left must be personal and spiritual. The Left’s message of renouncing personal responsibility–that bad influences in the environment are to blame for things that go wrong–can be seductive even to those of us who recognize the harm it has done to our civilization, and our first duty is to get our personal houses in order. This means accepting the disciplines that formerly made Europe great, such as the cultivation of fitness and fighting ability for men and the acceptance of lifelong marriage and high-investment parenting for both sexes. According to Mr. Friberg, we must recover:
traditional social values such as honor, dignity, the will to self-sacrifice and social cohesion, humility before the sacrifices made by previous generations, and the view of one’s own generation as a link in a chain from the ancient past to the far flung future.
It is because they have been deprived of all historical sense that many of today’s young people live wholly in the present, chasing fugitive pleasures or trying to piece together an ersatz identity from the brand-name goods they own.
Most Europeans are not used to thinking of themselves as “white,” and Mr. Friberg does not devote attention to the scientific findings on race. But he does refer to “biopolitics,” and understands that mass immigration is a threat to Europeans at the most basic physical level. For more detailed studies of the important of race, readers may refer to this and other websites.
The Real Right Returns offers advice on dealing with the enemy. While we must distance ourselves from the “thugs, terrorists, and idiots” who occasionally pop up on the Dissident Right, we must also avoid any attempt to ingratiate ourselves with our enemies (e.g., by wanting to seem “respectable”). Sweden has its own equivalent of America’s Southern Poverty Law Center: Expo, co-founded by avowed communist and bestselling author Stieg Larsson. Posing as objective experts on “right-wing extremism,” such organizations are nothing more than enforcers of Cultural Marxist orthodoxy. Mr. Friberg advises that we never talk to them or concede to them the slightest moral or journalistic legitimacy.
Mr. Friberg writes that repression is intensifying in Europe. One mainstream Swedish newspaper has cooperated with illegal hackers to steal personal information of people who have criticized mass immigration in online, supposedly anonymous, comment threads. They have published lists of names and addresses, and in some cases confronted people at their own homes.
We can expect more of this in the years to come, but I believe Mr. Friberg is correct to argue that this is a symptom of the Left’s weakness rather than its strength:
In country after country we are forcing the Left’s disillusioned, demoralised and feminised minions to retreat to the margins of society where their quixotic ideas and destructive utopias belong. From their quarter we are witnessing violent riots, parliamentary spectacle, and a fixation on the construction of eccentric sexual identities, as well as a renewed antifascist struggle consisting of harassment, violence, and in some cases even murder of political opponents. These are all symptoms of its dwindling influence and growing desperation.
The anti-racists at Expo, Mr. Friberg reports, face “increasing difficulty in recruiting competent, or even fully literate staff.” In contrast, and despite constant vilification by ruling regimes, immigration-critical parties are rapidly gaining popularity. In the author’s native land the Sweden Democrats–who only crossed the five-percent threshold for entering parliament in 2010–are now polling at over 25 percent. In France, the National Front is now the most popular party but is kept from power by an alliance between all the other parties. This is a short documentary about the youth wing of the Sweden Democrats:
Mr. Friberg acknowledges that nationalist parties sometimes make unnecessary compromises, such as championing “civic” rather than ethnic nationalism, but emphasizes that we will never have perfect candidates and must work with those we have. Refusing to do so means that we are mere sectarians rather than political actors, more enamored of our own rightness than interested in saving European civilization.
The Real Right Returns is written from a clearly European point of view. Like many Europeans, Mr. Friberg wants to see the Old Continent recapture its political autonomy from Washington and its cultural autonomy from Hollywood. Some have referred to these concerns as “anti-American,” though they clearly imply no animus against Americans. Still, this American reviewer would have preferred to see more recognition of the heritage and common interests that unite whites in Europe and America–and around the world.
If you are young or new to the movement to defend white European identity, get a copy of this book; if you are a veteran, keep a few handy for prospective comrades. The generation that has reached adulthood since the turn of the millennium has a chance to be part of as important and decisive a combat as European civilization has ever faced. The Real Right Returns thus fittingly concludes with this stirring call to arms:
Raise your heads and do not despair. The struggle for Europe is far from over. It has only just begun. Rather than being depressed about the direction society has taken, view it as an opportunity for an adventure, and as a time when your actions can actually impact history itself. Straighten your back and sweep away all your excuses along with the last shreds of the power of the Left, and let the adventure begin!