The National Policy Institute’s 2015 Conference

Claus Brinker, Counter-Currents, November 2, 2015

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My pessimism made me wish that I had never signed up for Become Who We Are, the National Policy Institute’s 2015 conference held at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. this weekend. I really wanted to be “free” from the responsibility of acting resolutely to right what is wrong. I wanted to give up the fight and rejoin those oblivious middle-aged whites who choose to eat, drink, and Netflix themselves into extinction. Nevertheless, I went anyway because backing out so close to the event would have been both complicated and wasteful. I feared that I would be afflicted by feelings of hopelessness through the entire weekend, but I quickly found myself inspired and challenged by what I heard from the presenters at the conference.

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Dr. Kevin MacDonald was the first presenter. He spoke on the origins of the white race, with the aim of providing background on the current state of white identity. He explained that the cultures of northern climes created a sense of egalitarian individualism in our people. This perspective has served us well in organizing societies, and it has created a special kind of empathy that may be unique in white people. However, it has led to something of an empathic disorder, in which some individuals ascribe a sense of benevolence to others who may not in fact feel the same way. This leads to pathological altruism in which people act altruistically to a degree that does more harm than good. These tendencies have undermined the aristocratic aspects of our culture by seeking to destroy the natural hierarchies that form when a society is well-ordered.

The second speaker was Richard Spencer, the president of the National Policy Institute. His speech, entitled “Political Theology” presented the fundamental question of the conference, what it means to become who we are. As I discussed above, his talk described how a phrase like “become who we are” should not compute. How can we become something that we supposedly already are?

Spencer suggested that the act of being is ongoing, that we are an unfinished project. He described the now common idea of taking the red pill, but pointed out that knowing the truth does not necessarily set us free. Rather, it leads us to a desert of loneliness. There is still the necessity to act in response to the truth. At one time it was easy to remain blue-pilled, to accept the false narrative and live one’s entire life in an illusion. Only those who made the choice to become red-pilled by questioning and seeking truth would have to live with the consequences. Now, however, people are becoming red-pilled by reality. We are seeing the results in this epidemic of despair, which I mentioned above. Something more is needed than just the truth. Spencer suggested that dreams and myths are the answer.

Keith Preston, an anarchist, spoke third. His presentation framed the situation of ethnically aware Europeans in the same light as other ethnic groups that are pitted against the destructive force of American imperialism. Preston stated that unlike past imperial models similar to the Roman Empire in which ethnic and cultural identities of conquered peoples were allow to remain intact so long as proper tribute was paid to the empire, in American imperialism there is a quasi-religious perspective in that all who are conquered must convert to the American cultural model, which is actually anti-cultural.

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Keith Preston was followed by Sam Dickson, an attorney who is a fixture at National Policy Institute conferences. His presentation was about the destruction of symbols, in particular the move to ban the Confederate Flag from public properties in Southern states. Dickson stated that the opposition to banning the flag through slogans like “Heritage, Not Hate,” was doomed from the start because it accepted the fundamental premises of the American paradigm, the very paradigm that opposed the South a century and a half ago.

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Roman Bernard, a Frenchman, was the fifth speaker. I’m not entirely clear on Bernard’s credentials. He is a regular writer for the Radix Journal website and he mentioned being involved with political movements in France. Bernard discussed the current state of nationalism in Europe and emphasized the danger of merely being opposed to what is currently in place. Instead, nationalists must provide a vision of an alternative.

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Another Frenchman, Guillaume Faye, was the keynote speaker. Faye is a leading figure in the French New Right and the author of numerous books and articles. In introducing him, Richard Spencer stated that no one has better described the ideal of the ethnostate better than Faye. His talk was entitled “Why We Will Win.”

In many ways, he echoed Kevin MacDonald by emphasizing that the cause of mass immigration into Europe is due to a misconception about the non-white, mainly Muslim individuals who are taking advantage of European hospitality. The false assumption made by the Europeans facilitating this migration is that the immigrants are essentially the same as the Europeans and equally benevolent. Faye cautioned that Islam, like many traditional societies, has a long memory and that, to Muslims, this invasion is a continuation of the war waged in the middle ages. It is revenge against Charles Martel for driving them back to their own lands.

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{snip} This conference was, if anything, evidence that young people are drawn to our message. It was the largest and youngest group I’ve ever seen at any gathering like this.

After the panel discussion was over, there was a break before the conference resumed in another room at Press Club with a bar attached. Dinner consisted of light hors d’oeuvres. When the food was gone, Jack Donovan, the author of The Way of Men and A Sky Without Eagles, arose to speak. In this new room there were very few chairs so most people were standing, basically surrounding Donovan as he bellowed out his points in a carefully measured cadence. It had a much different feeling than the previous presentations. There was more energy, and a lot of cheering and calling out. People seemed to feel involved with what was happening.

Donovan’s talk was on the ways to become a barbarian. It was a similar theme to his previous talk at the NPI conference in 2013. He offered several rules for barbarians. By this time, I had abandoned taking notes, but I can remember a few of his rules. The first was: No tears for strangers. Donovan stated that the media wants to manufacture scenarios with strangers for us to cry over in order to manipulate and disarm us. We have to realize that if we want to be tribal then there is an Us and a Them, and not to waste our energy on Them. Another rule was: Loot and plunder. Donovan pointed out that many of the accusations about white men are true. We have been violent. We have conquered. We have taken from others. We have essentially done what every society does, but we have done it better and this is not necessarily a bad thing. Another rule was: No apologies, no arguments, no explanations. His point here is that we can never win against an enemy who wants to enslave or destroy us by reasoning with them. We should reserve these activities–apologies, arguments, and explanations–only for those who we care about and consider to be part of Us–not for Them.

The official events of the evening were concluded with a talk and musical set by Robert Taylor from the neofolk band Changes. Taylor first spoke about his experiences with joining the Minutemen in the 1960s and his efforts to mount a resistance against the U.S. government, which eventually fell apart. Then he described how he transitioned into the arts, specifically as a musician, and also became a practitioner of the Teutonic spirituality of our Indo-European ancestors.

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We left the National Press Club en masse as a way to protect ourselves from the antifa protesters outside. There had been rumors of a scuffle or two between conferees and the antifa, although I’m not sure of the details. As we walked out in a line they were standing there, apparently blocked by security guards, wearing black masks on their faces and holding up camera phones taking photos or videos of us, apparently in the hope of finding ways to intimidate us or ruin our careers. The people I know made it safely to their destinations without incident.

In the aftermath, I found myself at a party in a hotel room with a dozen or so other people. Someone played guitar as we drank beer and bourbon and continued the discussions begun earlier in the day. In many ways these informal and unplanned gatherings are the best part of a pro-white conference. It’s where you recognize that you are not alone. For me, my entire attitude had reversed from earlier in the day. The cure for despair was a healthy dose of reflection upon the deeper possibilities of identity, followed by a session of putting those possibilities into practice.

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[Editor’s Note: Huffington Post and Daily Beast also wrote about the conference.]

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