A Weekend to Remember

Audacious Epigone, July 31, 2017

This weekend I had the honor of meeting John Derbyshire. He is every bit the gracious class act I expected him to be. The only person who may have influenced my thinking more is Steve Sailer. I use “may” earnestly here, as I’m genuinely unsure. Those two men are the consuls of my intellectual republic. He gave me a gift I will treasure to the end of my days:

Audacious Epigone and John Derbyshire

I spent a fair amount of time orbiting around Richard Spencer. He is a rock star among the under-30 set. Some may disagree with his media strategy, as Vox Day emphatically does. When two elephants fight, the grass gets trampled, so while this dispute rages on I’ll cleave that patch of empirical underbrush way over there in the shade if you don’t mind.

That being what it is, Spencer is an impressive figure. This is not a nine-to-five gig for him. It’s who he is. I watched as he engaged anyone on any topic, always thoughtfully, always intelligently, never haughtily. When I had the opportunity to talk to him for a few minutes, I came away with the firm sense he understands the gravity of the position he now holds. With great influence comes great responsibility. He gets that.

As the alt right goes from cultural insurgency to bona fide cultural force in its own right, many of the leaders of the insurgency will be unwilling or unable to transition accordingly. Spencer has already done so. The sky is his limit.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of rolling our eyes when someone talks about political correctness for the umpteenth time. Do not fall into that trap. It’s hard to overstate how liberating it is to be able to discuss things candidly in a social setting with a group of erstwhile strangers. This is unadulterated free expression, and it’s an incredible experience.

As I repeatedly remarked, it felt strange speaking about the topics I spend so much time reading and writing about. We shouldn’t have to compartmentalize these things. As Z-Man says, life is for living. Talking openly to smart people about interesting things is living.

Like fish in the ocean, we’re so accustomed to the water we forget we’re swimming until we’re thrown onto land. Z kept looking over his shoulder out of habit, accustomed to having to do so whenever speaking honestly about anything–and he lives in the Baltimore ghettos! We got a chuckle from it every time, but it’s a powerful indicator of the oppressive intellectual environment in which we currently live.

Speaking of Z, the man is a polymath. I assume there is a topic he has yet to study and does not have a thoughtful perspective on. That assumption is based entirely on another assumption–that no man is omniscient. I’m lacking any empirical evidence to back up my first assumption, though. He’s even more accessible in person than he is in written form. I thought that impossible, but there it is. His podcast is now on iTunes. It’s great. He’s also shared his remarks on the weekend here and here.

I recounted to Jared Taylor how I’d shared his recent interview with CNN with friends and family, confident that there was no way they could come away from it without admiring him and respecting the ideas he presented. He glowed, responding emphatically, “It’s because they’re true”. Like the Derb, Taylor was every bit the man of integrity and sincerity I expected him to be.

Additionally I met Gregory Hood (a charismatic man of boundless energy), James Fulford (who apparently has the ability to run google searches in his head as well as being one hell of a prestidigitation artist), Counter-Currents president Gregory Johnson, Sam Dickson (who patiently entertained my dissenting opinion to his assertion that the US is closer to the cold civil war turning hot than Europe is) and moldylocks slayer Nathan Damiago (a man who I imagine would remain unshaken if he found himself alone in the woods surrounded by a pack of hungry wolves).

I also met several readers of this blog who wish to remain known only in the virtual world, and while I won’t say anything else publicly about those encounters, they were no less memorable.

I encourage readers to consider attending next year. There were an enormous range of viewpoints present, running the gamut from people who are HBD-aware and realize something is deeply wrong in the West today to unapologetic white separatists, and everything in between. The atmosphere was one of spirited engagement from every corner. Conversations weren’t about status signalling, they were about seeking real understanding.

Parenthetically, if there were any white supremacists–people advocating second-class status for non-whites or a system where whites are given explicit political authority to rule over non-whites–present, I didn’t meet a single one among the over 300 people in attendance (150 more had to be turned away as the conference center was standing room only during the presentations).

I have to confess going in I was prepared to see at least a handful of jack-booted skinheads saluting the fuhrer, but there wasn’t anything like that at all. The blood libel against Taylor’s organization by extortionist groups like the $PLC and the ADL is truly despicable. Shame on me for entertaining the idea that there might be a sliver of truth to the accusations they make (and make a very good living from).

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