The Endless Fringe: White Nationalist Think Tanks and the “Dissident Right”

Justin Mitchell, Voice of Russia, December 17, 2013

In our series the Endless Fringe, VOR has shown you the modern face of the Ku Klux Klan, the National Socialists, and the Christian Identity movement. Today, we bring you the world of white nationalist think tanks. Dedicated to something called “race realism,” these organizations claim to advocate for white America, while their critics say it’s the same old hate in a new package.

Today, the New Century Foundation is one of a handful of think tanks, magazines, and organizations that seek to provide a more rational-sounding, credible way to express the issues of what they see as a time of crisis for the white race. Critics say that while they may on the surface seem more urbane than the traditional, militant hate groups, the hate is the same.

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New Century is one of several “white nationalist think tanks.” They are a relatively recent phenomenon in America’s far right. They are hard to pin down ideologically. There is none of the violent, insurrectionary rhetoric of the Ku Klux Klan or the National Socialists. They exist nominally above-ground. They claim not to want to harm anyone. Their spokespeople are often well-dressed and articulate. But they just might be the public face of a new, sublimated brand of white racism.

VOR called up Jared Taylor and asked him what the New Century Foundation is.

“It’s really an advocacy group for the interests of whites,” Taylor told us in an even, clipped tone. “Whites have legitimate interests, just like every other racial group in the United States. And blacks, Hispanics, Asians—they all have organizations that are trying to advance their legitimate interests, and the New Century Foundation is a similar organization for whites.”

Some, such as Devin Burghart, Vice President of the Institute For Research and Education on Human Rights, see New Century and its American Renaissance website as much more dangerous.

“American Renaissance was started in essence to give a more intellectual patina to white supremacist ideas and to try to move white supremacist ideology from the margin to the mainstream . . . to try to appeal to a wider audience,” Burghart told VOR. “As well as trying to get rid of what one of the American Renaissance writers called the ‘paramilitary infantilism’—you know, stop running around in the woods with guns and instead put on a suit and tie and try to take a more respectable approach.”

New Century was founded in the mid-90s, soon after the violence that marked the white nationalist movement in the 1980s.

Armed with neutral-sounding names such as the National Policy Institute and the Charles Martel Society, these organizations publish magazines, hold conferences and release reports intended to counteract what they see as the dangers of multiculturalism.

For instance, the New Century has a report called “The Color of Crime,” which showcases federal statistics showing higher crime rates among minorities. Another, more recent report from American Renaissance, “Hispanics: A Statistical Portrait,” highlights the high poverty and crime rates among that community, as well as low levels of education.

Taylor also expressed admiration for researchers such as Jean-Phillippe Rushton, whose most famous conclusion drew an inverse correlation between intelligence, brain size, and penis size.

For Burghart, the reason for these organizations’ existence is simple.

“They are designed to re-package white supremacist ideas for a new generation, and help spread the ideas to new followers,” he said.

Jared Taylor, naturally, takes issue with this characterization. Notably, he rejects the terms “white supremacist” and “racist,” saying they amount to “name-calling.”

“The way I view race is the way practically everyone in the United States viewed race until about the 1950s,” Taylor told VOR. “And for that reason, there is no particularly good word for it.”

Taylor is more comfortable with that past vision of America.

“The assumption throughout American history was that the United States was an outpost of Europe, and that its character was largely defined by its European heritage,” he said. “They accepted the idea that people generally are more comfortable with people like themselves. Also, they accepted racial differences.”

John Derbyshire used to be a prominent member of the mainstream conservative community as a writer for the National Review. In early 2012, during the aftermath of Trayvon Martin’s death, he lost his job after penning a controversial column at another publication highlighting his fears of inter-ethnic violence.

He says American Renaissance and other such organizations are part of a phenomenon called the “dissident right.”

“I would describe it as people, mostly refugees from the late 20th century American conservative movement, which increasingly became just an instrument of the American Republican Party,” Derbyshire said. “The refugees have formed scattered little groups of their own, like American Renaissance, to try and keep alive what in the middle of the 20th century were considered perfectly ordinary conservative ideas, but which are now widely regarded as outrageous.”

The central tenants of the dissident right can be easily boiled down.

“One of the things that the dissident right objects to is this idea that diversity is a good thing, let’s celebrate diversity, which is completely counterfactual,” Derbyshire told VOR. “Anywhere you look in the world, [where] you have diverse populations living together, there is conflict and there is rancor. So a multi-ethnic nation is probably not viable and the United States, in the direction it’s headed in, is probably going to cease to be viable at some point because of inter-ethnic conflict.”

Taylor, Derbyshire, and their ilk see the white race as in grave danger of demographic extinction. Unlike more violent militants, they insist that they have no desire to harm or rule over other races, but simply wish to be left alone.

Richard Spencer, the head of the National Policy Institute and a former editor at the American Conservative magazine, has advocated for the creation of a whites-only homeland in the Pacific Northwest, a dream shared by many right wing radicals in the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

But Taylor insists he merely wants to maintain a white majority, and that his organization and his work are unfairly maligned and marginalized.

Devin Burghart is unimpressed.

“No one’s denying them the right to think these ideas,” Burghart told VOR. “However, it should be noted that mainstream Americans, people in the mainstream everywhere, find their ideas abhorrent and repugnant. And that’s why they keep getting pushed further and further to the fringes.”

Being pushed to the fringes does not seem to phase Taylor, Spencer, or Derbyshire.

“Honestly, I think we [probably] all end up in labor camps,” Derbyshire said. “I think the leviathan will strike back at some point.”

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