Posted on February 15, 2022

The Intellectual Legacy of Sam Francis

Editorial Board, The Occidental Quarterly, Summer 2005

Sam Francis

Sam Francis

Historian author, editor, and columnist, Sam Francis — unlike his contemporaries in the conservative movement — occupied a unique standpoint on the political and cultural struggle to preserve what must be preserved of our Western heritage. A genuine skeptic in the tradition of H. L. Mencken, Sam had a firm understanding of human nature that doubtless owed its roots to his Presbyterian upbringing. He grasped, as has no other contemporary national commentator, the dynamics of race and culture as forces that shape and distinguish each nation and civilization. And, while Sam took an avid interest in the study of human evolution and in the application of genetics and its sociobiological out-growths in understanding human behavior, he was a militant defender of Christianity’s role and traditions as the faith of the West.

From his deep study of history and politics, Sam developed two conceptual frameworks to describe the political forces that dominate contemporary Western nations. Influenced by the American political philosopher James Burnham and Burnham’s preceptors — Machiavelli, Vilfredo Pareto, Gaetano Mosca, and Robert Michels — he analyzed the operations of the small elites that rule all human societies, including “democracies.” Sam’s purpose was not to advance the case for oligarchy but rather to arm, intellectually and volitionally, the white American citizen, whose honor and liberties were always his chief concern, against those despoilers of his country who rule through artifice and fraud behind a false screen of “freedom.” Several of the essays in this issue of TOQ examine this facet of Sam’s work.

Sam derived his second schema for political analysis from the late political scientist Donald Warren, who identified the chief potential opposition to the vise-like grip in which the U.S. political, business, and “nonprofit” octopus now holds the fate of the American nation as the Middle American Radicals (MARs). Gradually forsaking the shibboleths of establishment conservatism, Sam brought all of his formidable gifts to the defense of the MARs, still the nation’s majority and the heirs of the founders and builders of Americas, for all that America’s real rulers sneer at them as “rednecks,” “ethnics,” and the denizens of “fly-over country.”

Sam hammered out numberless hard-hitting editorials and columns to en-lighten the MARs as to their real interests, and coined many a pungent phrase to drive home his point. Thus, following the Rodney King riots of 1992, he encapsulated the real significance of the widespread anti-white violence, which claimed scores of incident lives, with a tag lifted from lawyers’ briefs on behalf of the criminal “motorist” whose behavior occasioned the riots: “Blunt Force Trauma.” Sam’s style and substance on behalf of Middle America earned him his share of nicknames from his admirers and deriders alike. Pat Buchanan famously called him “the Clausewitz of the right,” while to Marxist Leonard Zeskind, who smears patriots for ostracism and blacklisting, Sam was the “General from MARS.”

Eventually Sam paid for his brilliance and his fortitude with what, to the summer soldiers and sunshine patriots of today’s conservatism, was career ruin. Yet, although he was fired from his position as an award-winning editor at the Washington Times, and though his many enemies on the left and right continued to brand him a “racist” in their dogged efforts to deny him a living from championing our cause, Sam continued to hone and to use his weapons, ever to better effect, in defense of his and our kind. We take pride that a considerable portion of the full flowering of Sam’s intellect took place in the pages of this journal, where he worked devotedly as editor and writer for four years. For those fortunate to have known him as a comrade and companion, Sam was a friend of unshakeable loyalty. Indomitable in combat, wise in counsel, Sam Francis was both a lion and a fox for his nation, his culture, and his race. Just before his death, Sam put the finishing editorial touches on a volume entitled Race and the American Prospect. This collection of powerful essays, by some of the foremost writers on the issues that affect our race, will be available later this year and is expected to be judged a definitive assessment of America’s contemporary quagmire.

Editor’s Note: Copies of Race and the American Prospect are now available through American Renaissance and Noontide Press.