AmRen Diary

The Z Man, July 30, 2017

I went into the event not knowing if it was for me. The stuff I do here does not fit neatly into the general categories of the Dissident Right. I’m a race realist and a biological realist, but I don’t do much on white identity. As I told Jared Taylor, I thought that AmRen was an older crowd who wanted to go back to the 50’s. On the other hand, I also went into it prepared to be wrong in ways I could not imagine. The event sold out so it had to be more than old guys telling war stories, but what that actually meant was a mystery.

Well, I was amazingly wrong. The age of the crowd was the first thing I noticed. There were many people there in the under-30 age bracket. There were lot of guys in their 40’s and 50’s too. The average age was probably early 40’s and there were quite a few women in attendance. Most important, the crowd was smart. AmRen is full of smart, well read people, more interested in the right answer than anything else. I’ll get into more detail later in this post, but AmRen is a gathering of the best minds on the Dissident Right.

The reason for this is Jared Taylor. Some men are impressive for what they have done and others impress for who they are. Taylor is both. He has worked tirelessly for a quarter century promoting pro-white ideas, often at great personal cost. He is also a man of great decency, integrity and accessibility. He has a presence. Spend a few minutes talking to Taylor and you get the sense you will be telling your grandchildren one day, about the time you shook the great man’s hand at the conference he founded…

The most exhilarating part of the trip was meeting John Derbyshire. He will be embarrassed for me after reading this, but having the great man say, “I am a big fan of your work” was the thrill of a lifetime. It’s like having the Pope say, “I envy your piety.” Many men have made the intellectual journey to this place because of the writing of John Derbyshire. There is a long list of imitators, like me, who came into this thing because we’ve read and understood his stuff. It was an honor to meet you, John . . .

Derbyshire

John Derbyshire at the 2017 conference.

I am not Derb’s #1 fan. Audacious Epigone holds that title, in addition to the title of “second greatest quantitative blogger.” He’s also a brilliant and charming guy. Most quantitative guys are terrible conversationalist, but AE is an exception. There’s a genuineness to him that is striking. Within five minutes of talking to him, you feel like you have known him for decades. It also helps that he knows his stuff and he is a super smart guy. There’s something to say for getting the right answer and then embracing it.

I think both of us came away understanding that a lot of people are reading us and therefore, we have a duty to be good at what we do. Epigone told Derb that he was thankful that guys like Sailer and Derbyshire were there when he was ready for it. I think he hit the nail on the head. We both now see that one day someone will be saying the same thing to us. That means we have a duty to do our best work. Speaking only for myself here, I find that incredibly humbling and motivating. It’s good to have a team again . . .

On a slightly different note, I walked into the Friday night reception, hoping to see one of the famous guys and maybe buy them a drink. Instead, someone stopped me to say he was a fan. Then someone else did the same. That’s flattering, of course, but it takes getting used to. I watched guys like Richard Spencer spend hours getting his picture taken and shaking hands with admirers. He is incredibly accessible and he seems to enjoy talking with the young guys who look up to him. That’s hard thing to do well.

He invited me and some others to a late dinner and he was just one of the guys, debating the topics and soliciting opinions. There are some big differences between the two of us on philosophical matters, but he was very interested in discussing them. My take away is he is a guy fully aware that he has to keep growing into his role as the movement grows, so he is eager to sound out people on these topics. Not a lot of people can do that. I came away with considerably more respect for who he is and what he is doing…

The reason I was at dinner with Spencer, was a fellow I’ll just call the International Man of Mystery. This mystery man introduced me to all the big hitters at the conference. It seems that he knows everyone and, more important, they think it is important to know him. In addition to being the most connected guy in the universe, he is a wonderful conversationalist and an extremely intelligent man. Walking through the darkness to a party, feeling one another out about our politics, I sensed more was going on that meets the eye.

Every cultural movement needs people, who know how to put people together and put people at ease. Otherwise, they fall into factionalism and petty jealousy. Guys, like our International Man of Mystery, keep everyone working together. Of course, conspiring in the Tennessee darkness with an International Man of Mystery makes doing this a lot more fun. On the other hand, if I step out of line, I’ll have to hire someone to start my car in the morning. But, life is full of trade-offs…

Our International Man of Mystery put us at dinner on Saturday with Greg Johnson of Counter-Currents Publishing. I must admit I’m not as familiar with these guys as I probably be, but that speaks the wealth a breadth of content coming out of the Dissident Right. The banquet had a lot going on so I did not have nearly enough time to talk with Greg, but my first impression is that he is a very smart guy, who has spent a lot of time thinking about his set of issues. I came away thinking I need to make a point of reading his stuff…

At lunch on Saturday, Epigone and I were joined by a young guy, a teenager I think, who made us feel a little dumb. The kid is very smart and he has read a lot. He asks great questions. What struck me about the conference is that the Dissident Right is now the place for smart white males and not just old guys. Young guys are coming into this because they can be smart without someone screaming at them for noticing things or their toxic masculinity. Having a bunch of smart guys on our team is encouraging…

Regular reader Rurik was kind enough to buy me a beer and make a point of impressing upon me how much people enjoy what I’m doing here. I truly appreciated the kind words…

I met a brilliant young guy, who is emblematic of what I observed at the conference. He had a sense of race realism, but only after watching a Jared Taylor video did it all come together for him. This is a common story. The conference, at some level, had the feel of a group of people coming out from a cave to see the stars. That’s encouraging as it means something is genuinely happening.  He posts under the handle “scotty” so if he starts turning up in the comments here, bring your A-game . . . .

One of the things that is not appreciated, at least I have not full appreciated it, is just how lonely it is to think about the stuff we think about on this side of the intellectual universe. By that I mean, much of what is discussed here, for example, is never discussed at your office or your church or at social gatherings. When we can discuss this stuff with fellow travelers, it is in hushed tones and care is taken to make sure no one is listening in on the conversation. It’s the cost of having so much of reality made off limits to discussion.

That’s probably the biggest value of events like AmRen and why our side needs to start cultivating Jacobin clubs, so the like minded can do this locally. It is refreshing to be able to sit at dinner with other people interested in the same material, going back and forth on something like black crime, without having to constantly look over your shoulder. At lunch on Saturday, Audacious Epigone pointed out that this is the only place on earth where we could have the sort of conversations we were having about social science data.

A good example of this is a conversation I had with a Jewish guy on Friday night. That’s right, there was a Jewish guy at AmRen. In fact, there were quite a few. Something almost no one knows or thinks about is that smart Jews are having the same debates among themselves about the roles of race and identity in Western society. My sense is that race is the trigger point. Smart Jewish guys grow up in nice safe middle class towns learning the egalitarian faith, only to get into the world and see the reality of race.

Just to get this out of the way, in case it is not obvious, I’ve always been on the side of Jared Taylor when it comes to who is white in America. His line about Jews is “They sure look white to me.” That becomes blazingly obvious when you talk to a conservative Jew about religion or race. Long before I came into hate blogging I knew this, having had this conversation with conservative Jews in the past. I’m also fine with people who think otherwise and are into the JQ. So are the Jews I met at AmRen.

It is at a thing like AmRen where you can appreciate just how oppressive and stupid our intellectual life has become in the West. There are few places on earth where a Jew and non-Jew can talk about something like racial identity or the realities of black life. The guy I was chatting with was like a lot of people I met at AmRen. He was bursting to talk about this stuff because you can’t do this anywhere anymore, other than in the comment sections of sites like this. We really are living in an age of madness.

If one is looking for the little green shoots, a place like AmRen is a good place to start. No where else in America can a guy like Richard Spencer have a jovial and thoughtful conversation with a Jewish guy about whether Jews fit into white identity. Spencer thinks Jews are a separate identity group and he thinks Jews will figure that out on their own and do their own thing. The Jewish guy in this case, is unsure, but that’s why he was sounding out Spencer on the issue. Try having that conversation on a college campus.

That’s where the optimism lies. In the fullness of time, the smart kids get to be right. That’s the lesson of history. The people who rule over us are trapped in a frenzy of purging anyone who notices anything about the world. They are systematically and aggressively estupidizing themselves, by driving off anyone with the temerity to ask a question. By herding all of the smart white guys into the Dissident Right, they are not saving themselves. They are creating the army that will destroy the prevailing order.

After attending something like this, it is easy to come back high on your own fumes and there is some of that with me. I know someone into lacrosse and every time he comes home from a tournament, he is sure lacrosse is about to sweep the nation. That’s never happening, but believing it keeps lacrosse from dying off. That’s the benefit of networking and socializing to these sorts of things. Being a biological realist is a lonely life at times. It helps to know that you are not alone in the struggle.

Even so, I’ve sat around with grad students at places like Yale and I’ve been around a lot of smart people in STEM settings. Often, the most striking feature is the oppressive lack of curiosity and the fear of saying the wrong thing. The core of Western civilization, dating to the Greeks, is smart people openly discussing the hard subjects of the day, trying to push the rock of humanity up the hill. That’s what’s happening on our side. On their side, it is struggle sessions and the slow boiling off their best assets. There’s the green shoot.

On Friday night, Jared Taylor took to the podium to welcome everyone, but also remind everyone that the protesters would be out in force on Saturday. His order was to ignore them and avoid engaging with them. A local judge had ruled that the protesters had a right to harass the people at the facility and come inside to use the facilities. That meant it was possible the protesters would try to bust in and disrupt things. As a result, the park police were deployed inside as well as outside in an effort to maintain order.

Jared Taylor

Jared Taylor speaking at the 2017 conference.

From what I was told by one of the cops, the previous events had avoided all of this by putting the protesters on a hill well away from the facility. That way they could be easily contained by the park police and easily ignored by everyone else. The judge, a liberal for sure, did not like that so she came up with a plan in the hopes of creating a violent confrontation. It is a helpful reminder that the rent-a-nuts we see at these things are paid for by the ruling class. In a sane society, Antifa would not exist.

Despite the best efforts of our rulers, Antifa was more entertainment than political statement. The conference people stayed inside and largely ignored them. The young people could not avoid pulling out their cell phones and taking pics of the circus through the windows. Then they started taking selfies with the circus in the background. The scene had the feel of a futuristic zoo, where people get to view the humans who came out of the factory with serious flaws. It is hard not to laugh at this stuff.

The twitter feed of the mentally disturbed women where I got that tweet is useful, when thinking about groups like Antifa. Pretty much everything she tweeted about the day did not happen. There were no gun shots or confrontations. It was just a few hours of a freak show, where bizarrely dressed people and septuagenarian hippies danced around in the parking lot. It was a hot day and most of them ran out of steam by mid-afternoon. The whole thing was so silly, I suspect even some of the protesters felt ridiculous.

For Lacy MacAuley though, the thirst for violence is all consuming. This story about her trip to Turkey and this story about getting beat by Turks are good examples. This is a person who hates herself and hopes for nothing more than a violent denouement to her otherwise pointless existence. That’s probably true of almost all of these people. They self-mutilate and dress like clowns because they seek to degrade themselves. Almost all of them smoke and by the looks of it, I’m guessing, many use street drugs to excess.

Watching the freaks dance, as they tried to take photos of everyone inside, I noticed that it was a girl thing. There were extremely ugly old women, wearing shirts with feminist slogans. There were a few younger women, dressed in what used to be the uniform of the skateboard punk. The young ones clearly were the ones hoping for some ultra-violence, like the stupid girl Damigo decked at Berkeley. And of course, there was a tranny. This one was maybe six foot tall, with half its head shaved and the other side died bright yellow.

This reminded me of how David Horowitz described the Weathermen. In the late sixties and early seventies, the normal white males had either left or were pushed aside in radical politics. Instead, it was blacks and white women. In both cases, it was the women who had the greatest thirst for blood. Similarly, the Manson gang’s women were the ones hellbent on murdering people. The American Left has been a feminine movement for at least fifty years and maybe longer. After all, women pushed through Prohibition.

That raises something else that was obvious on Saturday. Antifa is a cargo cult. They think if they ape the aesthetics of the radicals from the past, the past will become the present. Many of the geezers I saw at the protest were just reliving their youth, if they ever stopped living their youth. The younger ones though, they are romantics. They believe the world needs to return to a better time when they were the radicals and people cared about their issues. Antifa and the other Progressive rent-a-mobs are the death rattle of the Left.

Oswald Spengler wrote about this phenomenon. A culture, like a person, is born, lives and then it dies. Like a person, it’s youth is a chaotic becoming, while its maturing is what it became. It’s death is romanticizing what it was and then, it is gone. That’s the American Left now. It is a thing for old people and young romantics, but the death certificate has been filled out with everything but the date. The radical culture that was born in the 60’s and flourished for two generations is about to expire.

One final thought on this. I was standing in front of the big glass windows watching the Antifa loonies, when I turned and looked at the young AmRen guys taking pics and selfies, laughing and enjoying themselves. On one side of the glass were grotesquely out of shape people in grubby clothes, smoking and gesticulating. On the other were young men in suits, well groomed and composed. It was one of those times when you can stand on the timeline of your life and see the past and the future at the same time.

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