Posted on February 15, 2015

The Method of Samuel T. Francis: From James Burnham to Ethnopolitics

Brent Nelson, The Occidental Quarterly, Summer 2005

The identification of Samuel T. Francis as a paleoconservative may lead many to conclude that he belonged to the traditionalist school, represented in the United States by Russell Kirk, which has its basis in certain transcendent principles implicit in the writings of Edmund Burke. This would be a great misunderstanding, because the paleoconservatism of Francis and others is “a modern innovation scarcely two decades old. . .  This becomes clear when one considers the slightly lengthier history of another movement, neoconservatism. . . paleoconservatism is a reaction to neoconservatism” (Woltermann, 9).

Francis was unique among the paleoconservatives in his employment of an analytical method, unlike those political commentators of the right who merely react to developments by appealing to a set of transcendent principles, considered to be grounded either in natural law or in divine revelation. His method was largely derived from James Burnham, about whom Francis published Power and History: The Political Thought of James Burnham (1984). Not only was this the first thorough examination of Burnham’s thought, but it was the first written by a student of the political right which proceeded from Burnham’s provocative, but now largely forgotten, early work, the books he published before his association with William F. Buckley’s National Review. During this period, Burnham was in transition from the Trotskyist Marxism he had abandoned toward the Cold War anti-Communism with which he is usually identified by conservatives.

Francis’s study of Burnham begins with an examination of his The Managerial Revolution (1941), which argued that “capitalism was indeed undergoing a lethal crisis in the 1930s and that it would be succeeded by a new form of society with a different ruling class and different political and social institutions” (Power, 8), which Burnham called “managerialism.” In Francis’s words, “[T]he transition from capitalism to managerial society would be as profound and as world-historically important as the earlier transition from feudalism to capitalism” (Power, 8). The managerial revolution is variously manifested in New Deal America, National Socialist Germany, and the Soviet Union. In the U.S., the transition to it is marked by conflict between “the old entrepreneurial elite,” which seeks to maintain a “limited state,” and the rising managerial class, which seeks an end to the “distinction between the state and the economy” (Power, 12).

Burnham’s Managerial Revolution is written with a lapidary clarity of style and cogency of argument which characterizes virtually all of his work. (Burnham at the time was a professor of philosophy at New York University.) Those reading the work long after World War II may be led to give too much attention to Burnham’s incorrect prediction of the outcome of that war (the emergence of three superpowers: the U.S., Germany, and Japan) and to overlook the remarkable achievement which it is. The development of a distinctive style is not the least aspect of Burnham’s achievement. Francis’s work, too, possesses a distinctive style, though in his case the trenchancy of Burnham is leavened with a recurrent sense of wit that is often suggestive of H. L. Mencken.

Francis gives more attention to Burnham’s second book, The Machiavellians, Defenders of Freedom (1943), than to The Managerial Revolution. It is Francis’s belief that “The Machiavellians is Burnham’s most important book” (Power, 49). Francis reaffirmed this belief more than twenty years after he wrote these words and emphasized that it is the 1943 edition which should be read (Personal interview). The principles explicitly set forth in The Machiavellians form the body of the method of Samuel Francis, the method which set him apart from the crowd of right-wing publicists and journalists. Interpreters of Burnham on the left (e.g., Milovan Djilas) have, understandably, ended their consideration of his work with The Managerial Revolution and have ignored The Machiavellians. Francis notes that the transition from The Managerial Revolution to The Machiavellians marked the end of Marxist influence upon Burnham’s analysis (Power, 41). In The Machiavellians, Burnham quite obviously strives to maintain Weber’s wertfrei approach, shuns both Marxian and religious precepts, and seeks to apply “the scientific method” (Burnham’s words) to the study of politics.

Burnham begins The Machiavellians with a study of Dante’s De Monarchia in which he demonstrates the difference between the “formal” and the “real” meaning of a political text. This is illustrative of one of the greatest of the Machiavellian principles: “The laws of political life cannot be discovered by an analysis which takes men’s words and beliefs, spoken or written, at their face value. Words, programs, declarations, constitutions, laws, theories, philosophies, must be related to the whole complex of social facts in order to understand their real political and historical meaning” (Machiavellians, 224). The “formal meaning” of De Monarchia is presented using the terms of “the fictional world of religion, metaphysics, miracles, and pseudo-history,” while the “real meaning” must be presented “in terms of the actual world of space, time, and events” (Machiavellians, 9–10). Burnham surveys the history of Florence, drawing upon Machiavelli’s account of it, and Dante’s life to arrive at “the real meaning of De Monarchia”:

Eternal salvation, the highest development of man’s potentialities, everlasting peace, unity, and harmony, the delicate balance of abstract relations between Church and State, all these ghosts and myths evaporate, along with the whole elaborate structure of theology, metaphysics, allegory, miracle, and fable. The entire formal meaning, which has told us nothing and proved nothing, assumes its genuine role of merely expressing and disguising the real meaning. This real meaning is simply an impassioned propagandistic defense of the point of view of the turncoat Bianchi exiles from Florence, specifically; and more generally of the broader Ghibelline point of view to which these Bianchi capitulated. De Monarchia is, we might say, a Ghibelline Party Platform” (Machiavellians, 19–20)

Machiavelli, in contrast to Dante, an obfuscator, is the founder of “the scientific study of politics.” In Burnham’s words, “If an inquiry is to remain scientific, but nevertheless pursue other goals than those that are peculiar to science,” such goals must meet certain standards, the first of which is that “they must be non-transcendental . . . formulated in terms of the actual world of space and time and history. Second, they must have at least a minimum probability of realization” (Machiavellians, 29–30). Dante’s empire is to assure the salvation of all men, to assure one world government in peace. It is grounded in the transcendent, the non-existent, and has a formal goal that is impossible of attainment. Machiavelli, to the contrary, has the “chief immediate practical goal” of “the national unification of Italy” (Machiavellians, 31). To the objection that Machiavelli would “divorce politics from ethics,” Burnham replies that “Machiavelli divorced politics from ethics only in the same sense that every science must divorce itself from ethics” (Machiavellians, 38). Moreover, given that Machiavelli’s real goal is not other than his formal goal, his “ethics are much better than those of Dante” (Machiavellians, 39).

Burnham finds most admirable in Machiavelli the fact that in his writing, as in “all scientific discourse,” “the distinction between formal and real meaning. . . is inapplicable. Formal meaning and real meaning are one” (Machiavellians, 48). This fact may explain why “the harsh opinion of Machiavelli has been more widespread in England and the United States than in the nations of Continental Europe. This is no doubt natural because the distinguishing quality of Anglo-Saxon politics has always been hypocrisy, and hypocrisy must always be at pains to shy away from the truth” (Machiavellians, 76). Burnham bids that, following the Machiavellians, “we examine not what follows from some abstract metaphysical principle but how men behave. . . Where they are themselves the subject-matter, men still keep the door resolutely shut. . . Perhaps the full disclosure of what we really are and how we act is too violent a medicine” (Machiavellians, 76–7).

Isaiah Berlin, who in his essay on “The Originality of Machiavelli” presents a survey of the many conflicting interpretations of Machiavelli, does not mention Burnham, but he does note that Leo Strauss is the most recent author of an “anti-Machiavel,” Thoughts on Machiavelli (1958) (Against the Current, 36). The most notorious of anti-Machiavels is, of course, that written by Frederick the Great at the suggestion of Voltaire. Strauss’s polar opposition to Burnham’s position on Machiavelli is interesting given the fact that Strauss is widely credited with being the ideological founder of neoconservatism. See, for example, Anne Norton (Machiavellians, 161–80).

Francis obviously admires Burnham’s frankness and realizes that it cost him some support he might otherwise have had. He notes the criticism of Burnham by other conservatives who argue that his thought “is reductionist; it eliminates too much of the transcendent, the ethical, and the divine from human life to provide a reliable tool for understanding politics” (Power, 126). Burnham’s approach was too scientific, too empirical, for most traditionalists. According to Francis, “Unlike several other modern conservative thinkers, who defend tradition as a manifestation of natural law, ethical principles, divine revelation, or some other transcendental reality, Burnham rests his case for tradition on the empirical nature and the particularity and uniqueness of tradition, ‘social experience acting through time’” (Power, 117).

Burnham’s recognition of Machiavelli as the archetype of political realism in itself would lead some of his critics to link him with fascism. Mussolini described The Prince as a “vade mecum for statesmen” (Berlin, 35). More convincing evidence of some parallelism between Burnham and fascism is the argument presented by Ernst Nolte in his Three Faces of Fascism that “resistance to transcendence” is the hallmark of fascism (Nolte, 429–34). Nolte’s work reaches its climax in his definition of German fascism: “National Socialism was the death throes of the sovereign, martial, inwardly antagonistic group. It was the practical and violent resistance to transcendence” (Nolte, 421). This should be simply noted in passing because the meaning of the term “transcendence” is less clear in Nolte than it is in Burnham. Perhaps some meaningful difference is apparent in the fact that transcendence is met with resistance in fascism, according to Nolte, but in Burnham (and the Machiavellians he considers) with a mere denial that it is knowable.

Though he does not use the term, Burnham in places suggests that man is possessed by a Nietzschean Wille zur Macht that assures an unending dynamism or instability in human government. In his words, “The recurring pattern of change expresses the more or less permanent core of human nature as it functions politically. The instability of all governments and political forms follows in part from the limitless human appetite for power” (Machiavellians, 63).

According to Machiavellian theory, in Francis’s words, “the human appetite for power and man’s physical inability to live alone are the causes of human society — not the natural sociability of man. Society is not harmonious or consensual but is in constant conflict, instability, and flux because of the insatiable nature of the desire for power. A legislator or a body of citizens (Machiavelli) or a ruling class (Burnham and the Machiavellians) imposes order and consensus on society through force and fraud (deception, ideology, myth, or political formula) and uses power for his or its own interests as perceived through the formulas and ideologies that the rulers accept” (Power, 121–2).

The Machiavellians whom Burnham examines are, in addition to Machiavelli himself, the following theoreticians of elitism: Gaetano Mosca, Georges Sorel, Robert Michels, and Vilfredo Pareto (Machiavellians, 81–220). Burnham and the Machiavellians interpreted politics as, in Francis’s words:

the savage and incessant struggle for power at all levels of society, regardless of how this struggle might be disguised by language, symbolism, and institutional forms. Driven by insatiable appetites and irrational beliefs, men seek to dominate each other or to escape domination by others. This struggle inevitably results in a minority coming to power, monopolizing as much as possible political, economic, military, technical, and honorific resources and excluding and oppressing the majority. In this way there is formed an ‘elite’ (Pareto), ‘ruling class’ (Mosca), or ‘oligarchy’ (Michels) that rules the majority and exploits it for its own benefit through force and fraud” (Power, 30). “[T]he record of this unending rise and fall of ruling minorities is human history” (33).

Francis admits that “the Machiavellians saw little ground for hope of democratic emancipation. They interpreted modern democracy as a special kind of disguised oligarchy based on commercial and industrial power and not fundamentally different from earlier kinds of elitism” (Power, 33). He warns that, because of this unflinching frankness, “The Machiavellians is probably Burnham’s most misunderstood book” (Power, 45). Some have overlooked “Burnham’s exposition of the theory of juridical defense, his criticism of managerial political tendencies, or his own defense of liberty” (Power, 45).

Francis explains:

Burnham and his mentors were not arguing for elitism in the sense of “aristocracy.” They were not arguing that elites should rule the majority because their members are better, wiser, stronger, more intelligent, or more virtuous than most men. They were arguing for the sociological inevitability of minority domination, for the impossibility of majority rule and democracy in any literal or meaningful sense. . . the fact of oligarchy is irrelevant to its truth. (Power, 35)

The Machiavellian thinkers also recognize that the elites constantly change their composition. Mosca, for example, recognized an aristocratic tendency or a democratic tendency in elites, depending upon the elite’s openness to recruitment (Power, 35). Pareto gives particular attention to “the circulation of elites,” by which an “in-elite” generates and is displaced by an “out-elite” (Machiavellians, 205–220).

“[J]uridical defense” (in the popular cant phrase, “the rule of law, not men”) is cited by Mosca as a means of limiting power (Power, 39). “The best regime to both Mosca and Pareto is not that in which the virtue of the citizen is most developed but that in which the security and liberty of the citizen and the commonwealth are best protected” (Power, 40). Burnham’s “primary concern, like Machiavelli, was to establish a verifiable methodology for the analysis of social and political affairs, but he was also concerned to discover a realistic means of evaluating and judging political institutions and behavior. He found both in the Machiavellians, and it was the limitation of power that remained for Burnham the primary political ideal” (Power, 40–41).

Unlike Marx, the Machiavellians believe that a “crisis of power” for the ruling elite, which leads to a ruling elite’s replacement by a new elite, is not necessarily economic. In Francis’s words, the managerial elite arose because “new social forces, especially technological developments, over which the capitalist or entrepreneurial elite had no control, rendered its institutions and ideologies obsolescent and less useful for preserving its power. The older elite also underwent a psychological, intellectual, and moral degeneration” (Power, 42).

According to Francis, “The Machiavellians had emphasized the historical role of organized minorities in seizing power and imposing their rule through organization. They had also derogated the importance of ideas and verbal expressions as causative factors in history” (Power, 62). Pareto stressed “residues,” “the internal and subrational psychic forces of man, and external forces such as biological or physical factors that had consequences. Ideas and their expressions in art, literature, philosophy, or religion are of secondary importance in the historical process, and their principal significance is their function as myths or ideologies that reflect and support the power of an elite or counter-elite” (Power, 63).

Though verbal expressions do not dictate who holds power, what Burnham calls “ideology” and what Mosca calls “the political formula” is central to the retention of power. Burnham thus explains Mosca’s concept of the political formula:

[I]t may be seen from historical experience that the integrity of the political formula is essential for the survival of a given social structure. Changes in the formula, if they are not to destroy the society, must be gradual, not abrupt. The formula is indispensable for holding the social structure together. A widespread skepticism about the formula will in time corrode and disintegrate the social order. It is perhaps for this reason, half-consciously understood, that all strong and long-lived societies have cherished their ‘traditions,’ even when, as is usually the case, these traditions have little relation to fact, and even after they can hardly be believed literally by educated men (Machiavellians, 100).

In other words, the members of the elite must endure the Faustian frustration of never daring to tell the best of what they know. This must also limit their possible actions. According to Burnham:

A dilemma confronts any section of the elite that tries to act scientifically. The political life of the masses and the cohesion of society demand the acceptance of myths. A scientific attitude toward society does not permit belief in the truth of the myths. But the leaders must profess, indeed foster, belief in the myths, or the fabric of society will crack and they will be overthrown. In short, the leaders, if they themselves are scientific, must lie (Machiavellians, 269).

In Francis’s words:

Burnham emphasized in virtually all of his writings the importance of will, courage, daring, intelligence, the ability to lead and make sacrifices, a dynamic sense of the opportune — in short, what Machiavelli called virtù — for the success or failure of an individual, an elite, or a country. The failure of will that Burnham perceived in the decadent entrepreneurial elite and that he later excoriated in the liberal elite in the 1950s and 1960s was a crucial factor in the social and political decline of their societies (Power, 63).

Similarly, Burnham “saw political organization — not economic conditions or intellectual conditions — as the crucial factor that explained the rise of Communism” (Power, 62).

As late as 1954, when Burnham published his analysis of the Cold War, The Struggle for the World, he believed that in the U.S. the capitalists still held more power than the managers; that there was still “power to restrain power,” the only guarantee of a modicum of freedom (Power, 54). By the end of the decade, when he had joined National Review, Burnham had concluded that the balance had tipped in favor of the managerial elite and that that elite had adopted an ideology, liberalism, which must weaken it in its confrontation with the Soviet Union, a state which had no out-elite to restrain its ruling elite. In The Machiavellians, Burnham suggests at several points (particularly pages 232, 253–254) that the American managerial elite was fully as capable of Realpolitik as was the entrepreneurial elite. By 1964, when he published Suicide of the West: The Meaning and Destiny of Liberalism, he had abandoned this assessment.

According to Francis, Burnham sees as the “fundamental liberal principle” a belief “that human nature is plastic, mutable and in flux and that there are no inherent, natural, or immutable qualities of man that prevent the rational development of a progressive social order” (Power, 88). In the terms of Machiavelli’s metaphor of the lions and the foxes, the entrepreneurial elite enrolls in its ranks more lions, the managerial elite more foxes (Power, 92–93). Foxes would seem to be people who give more credence to the fundamental liberal principle. Pareto refers to foxes and lions as “residues,” Class I residues being “the instinct for combinations,” Class II residues, the use of force. An American elite of “foxes,” dominated by Class I residues, must fail to meet the challenge of foreign enemies who are led by “lions” (Power, 93). “Liberal ideology is. . . not a cause but is itself a symptom of the decline of the West” (Power, 95). “Ruling groups in the West are. . . effete. . . ” (Power, 95). Liberalism simply rationalizes “their exhaustion, decadence, and unresponsiveness to civilizational challenges” (Power, 96).

Burnham points to “the dilemma” of managerial rule. Francis describes it thus:

“If managerial society requires for the control of its internal power structure the psychic forces that are efficient at managerial and verbal skills but have an aversion to force, then there is a contradiction between the internal requirements of managerial power and its external requirements, which demand skill in the use of force. Hence it is that the principal threat to the survival of a managerial society, in which Class I forces predominate, must come from outside it or from below, from Class II residues consigned to the lower strata of society. Pareto had made this contradiction explicit, and Burnham had quoted his lengthy statement of it in Suicide of the West” (Power,105).

As Francis summarized: “Clearly, the West could not survive against external or internal coercive threats as long as the liberal managerial elite held power” (Power, 106).

“By the mid 1960s,” according to Francis, “Burnham had given up on the new class as well as on the old, and he was looking outside both categories of the elite — the new managerial sectors as well as the old entrepreneurial branch — to the ‘middle Americans’ for a new leadership” (Power, 110). Francis quotes from Burnham, writing in National Review in 1969:

In our country, it is the paradoxical and unnatural fact that, more and more, the people — the broad middle mass of people who do the work — are holding the country together, giving it, if unconsciously for the most part, what direction it has, and sustaining the governing elite that, having lost its nerve, must before long lose its mission. This creates a historical monstrosity, since the broad masses cannot govern, and in truth do not want to. If, therefore, the natural governors quit, the masses will have to fashion new ones” (Power, 111).

What Burnham suggested in 1969 about “the broad middle mass of people” seemed to find independent confirmation in 1976 when Donald I. Warren, a sociologist, published a study entitled The Radical Center: Middle Americans and the Politics of Alienation. Warren’s identification of a group within the population, which he called “Middle American Radicals (MARs),” who were equally alienated from the old political right and the New Left, and who felt themselves to be menaced by those below them and ignored and exploited by those above them, was the subject of Francis’s influential essay “Message from MARs,” published in 1982 in The New Right Papers. These middle American radicals (“MARs”) were the emerging leaders of the broad middle mass of Americans. Francis defines them in terms that Burnham might have employed:

MARs form a class — not simply a middle class and not simply an economic category — that is in revolt against the dominant patterns and structures of American society. They are, in the broadest sense, a political class, and they aspire, through the New Right, to become the dominant political class in the United States by displacing the current elite, dismantling its apparatus of power, and discrediting its political ideology (“Message from MARs,” 68).

This “Message from MARs” was reprinted in the most complete collection of Francis’s writings, Beautiful Losers (1993), and was the basis for Francis’s analysis during the next twenty years. Francis’s articles and columns regarding the middle American radicals, published in issues of the monthly magazine Chronicles during the years 1989 through 1996, were reprinted as the volume Revolution from the Middle (1997).

The fall of the Communist regimes in Eastern Europe and elsewhere in the years after 1989 might seem to have offered a fortuitous deliverance to the managerial elite, incapable as it was (accepting Burnham’s analysis) of adequately defending the U.S. and the West against such an external threat. An internal threat remained, however, from alienated minorities within the U.S. and from an influx of reinforcements of those minorities through mass immigration into the U.S. from Third World countries. The managerial elite accepted and encouraged this mass influx. Worse yet, a section of the political right, the neoconservatives, attempted to accommodate the managerial elite on this and other issues. In “Neoconservatism and the Managerial Revolution,” an essay published in 1986 and reprinted in Beautiful Losers, Francis warns that the neoconservatives, offering a new ideology to the managerial elite, threaten “to co-opt and mute the radical antimanagerial impetus of the Old and New Right.” If this “neoconservative co-optation” succeeds, “the result will not be the renaissance of America and the West but the continuation and eventual fulfillment of the goals of their most committed enemies” (Beautiful Losers, 116–7).

Co-optation by neoconservatives and others only partially explained why the middle American radicals failed to emerge as an out-elite. Francis also realized that the state of the middle American mass itself inhibited the rise of such an out-elite. Writing in 1990 in Chronicles on “The Middle American Proletariat,” Francis admits that the new middle class “conspicuously lacks the material independence of the old middle class and the authority, security, and liberty that independence yields” (Revolution from the Middle, 54). Francis quotes Andrew Hacker, who writes that the members of the new middle class “are employees, and their livelihoods are always contingent on the approval and good will of the individuals and organizations who employ them. . . .  Whatever status and prosperity today’s middle-class American may have is due to the decision of someone to hire him and utilize his services” (Revolution from the Middle, 55). According to Hacker, this new middle class is close to “the traditional conception of a proletariat” (Revolution from the Middle, 55). Francis concludes that the American middle class has suffered “a profound dispossession. . .  Lacking the autonomy of the bourgeois middle class, it is unable to formulate a new identity that would offer resistance to the emerging transnational elite and its allies in the underclass” (Revolution from the Middle, 55).

Not himself a disciple of Burnham, Donald Warren did not consider whether or not the middle American radicals would one day rise to become an out-elite which could challenge the entrepreneurial and managerial elites. He did note in The Radical Center that “The fact that MARs will not readily join in collective action in order to redress their grievances suggests that in the future MARs may only rarely manifest anger in some form of collective action or participation in a political movement” (The Radical Center, 192). Warren believed that middle American radicals “will need to construct forms of political expression which tend to be different from some of the models used by students, blacks, the organized poor as well as the typical bureaucratic professional” (The Radical Center, 192).

Writing in 1990, Francis found the American middle class “unable to formulate a new identity that would offer resistance to the emerging trans-national elite and its allies in the underclass” (Revolution from the Middle, 55). Warren, writing in 1993 in Telos, suggests that the middle American masses were about to find an identity as victims, as a displaced majority. In another article in Telos in 1995, Warren gives this identity a flesh and blood reality by proclaiming it to be simply “white Americans.” He cites, but does not endorse, Wilmot Robertson’s The Dispossessed Majority (1972).

At least since the beginning of the 1990s, Francis had been implicitly finding an identity between middle Americans and white Americans. By the middle of the decade, he had reached the point where he began to write and speak directly about such an identity. For that reason, Edward Ashbee in his insightful survey of paleoconservatism concludes that “Among leading paleoconservatives, only Samuel Francis confronts the boundaries between American ethnicity directly” (“Politics of Paleoconservatism,” 76). Francis’s speech, “Why Race Matters,” delivered before the American Renaissance conference in 1994, maintained no distance between political formalism and political realism in stating an identity between middle Americans and white Americans. The reaction to this speech confirmed what Burnham observed about hypocrisy. The most brutal reaction to Francis came from traditionalist conservatives of the transcendental variety. They as well as neoconservatives (e.g., Dinesh D’Souza) quoted from the speech, always with expressions of either real or feigned horror, the following words:

Instead of invoking a suicidal liberalism and regurgitating the very universalism that has subverted our identity and our sense of solidarity, what we as whites must do is reassert our identity and our solidarity, and we must do so in explicitly racial terms through the articulation of a racial consciousness as whites. . . The civilization that we as whites created in Europe and America could not have developed apart from the genetic endowments of the creating people, nor is there any reason to believe that the civilization can be successfully transmitted to a different people. If the people or race who created and sustained the civilization of the West should die, then the civilization also will die (Francis, “Why Race Matters,” 5).

Setting aside the often designedly indecorous utterances of the marginalized, Francis’s speech was the most revealing event on the American political right in decades. One need only compare the distance between the formal and the real in, for example, the platform of the States Rights Democrats of 1948 or the “Southern Manifesto” of the South’s senators ten years later. One can apply to this speech the words of Burnham, in a quite different context, that in it “the distinction between formal and real meaning. . . is inapplicable. Formal meaning and real meaning are one” (Machiavellians, 48).

Those who sought to ban Francis from public discourse at first attacked him through his employment, removing him from his editorial position with the Washington Times newspaper. Possibly motivated by fear even more than rivalry, they saw in “racialists” such as Francis people who were more leonine than vulpine, moved more by the residues of Class II than those of Class I, people who would publicly question the political formula or (possibly even more dangerous) calmly and rationally speak and write about issues that went beyond its implicit boundaries.

The political impact of the resumption of mass immigration in the decades following 1965 was not foreseen by Burnham, Warren, Robertson, or anyone else. The nonchalance with which the American ruling elites, both the in-elite and the out-elite, regarded the eventual obliteration of America’s ethnic and cultural identity was without precedent. Francis addressed this challenge in a number of his syndicated newspaper columns, those from the years 1998 through 2001 being collected as America Extinguished (2002).

In his last monograph, Ethnopolitics: Immigration, Race, and the American Political Future (2003), Francis presents frankly the real basis of the Republican party’s electoral power, the force of white racial identity which has sustained it over the decades of its advance from an unprecedented weakness in 1964 to its capture of both the White House and the Congress in 2004. The polemic of America Extinguished is here buttressed with extensive statistical data. At this stage, it was apparent to Francis that the “neoconservative co-optation” had gone beyond the stage of nascence which he had noted in 1990 to become the commanding position of the Republican party. In Ethnopolitics Francis calls upon the national leadership of the Republican party to reconsider what must be its eventually self-destructive strategy.

The untimely death of Samuel T. Francis ended his work on a book which, reportedly, had it been completed, was to have examined the relation of conservatism to race. No one can replicate the work of Francis, in this regard or otherwise, but it is an open possibility for anyone to study his method of political analysis, both as implicitly present in his own works and as explicitly stated in the works of Burnham, particularly The Machiavellians, and to apply that method to the interpretation of future events.