Just blocks away from the White House, North American and European white nationalists of various stripes are scheduled to convene at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington DC on October 25 to 27 for the 2013 Leadership Conference of the racist “think-tank,” The National Policy Institute.
Fresh off a recent visit to Europe where he spoke again at a meeting of the Traditional Britain Group on October 19, National Policy Institute director Richard Spencer claims the event “will explore the future of identity for European peoples around the world.” There is very little new, however, to Spencer’s calls for “peaceful ethnic cleansing” to create a white homeland in North America. IREHR takes a look at Spencer and the National Policy Institute.
Richard Spencer and the National Policy Institute
University-educated and well-to-do, Richard Spencer is part of a new generation of leaders trying to re-shape the image of white nationalism.
After obtaining a bachelor’s degree at the University of Virginia and a master’s degree the University of Chicago, he was a doctoral student at Duke University before “dropping out to pursue a life of thought-crime,” according to Spencer.
Like several of his older white nationalist movement mentors, Spencer began his political activity in mainstream conservative circles. He worked as an assistant editor at Pat Buchanan’s The American Conservative magazine, then became executive editor of Taki’s Magazine (the publication of Buchanan’s co-founder in The American Conservative). But Spencer kept marching to the white side.
In November 2008 he spoke about Nietzsche at Paul Gottfried’s H.L. Mencken Club event. By early 2009, Spencer could no longer hold back his fixation on “contemporary white consciousness.” In a 29 May 2009 TakiMag piece entitled “White Like Me” Spencer opined, “In our increasingly globalized world (it’s not just a cliché), race hasn’t been obscured or overcome, as many had hoped, but heightened and magnified—and contemporary white consciousness, if we’re to use this term, is so complicated and bizarre (more on that below) that no serious cultural publication should refrain from discussing it.”
By year’s end, Spencer left the semi-respectability of the paleo-conservatives for good, when he announced that he was leaving TakiMag to start AlternativeRight.com, “an online magazine of radical traditionalism.” Under the financial umbrella of British expatriate Peter Brimelow’s white nationalist VDARE foundation, Alternative Right took to repackaging old white nationalist ideas for a new generation.
Launched March 1, 2010 with a professional-looking design and a long list of columnists, Alternative Right quickly became a big success in white nationalist circles. As one activist wrote, “I have been glued to the same website for hours today: Richard Spencer’s new webzine Alternative Right … I hope that Alternative Right will attract the brightest young conservatives and libertarians and expose them to far broader intellectual horizons, including race realism, White Nationalism, the European New Right, the Conservative Revolution, Traditionalism, neo-paganism, agrarianism, Third Positionism, anti-feminism, and right-wing anti-capitalists, ecologists, bioregionalists, and small-is-beautiful types.”
The popularity of the website made Spencer a rising star in the movement. When Louis Andrews, the chairman of both a white nationalist think-tank and a small publishing house took ill in 2011, Spencer was tapped to take over both operations. Spencer moved both projects to Whitefish, Montana where he lives in a $3 million home.
To Washington Summit Publishers, Spencer brought in new works like Guillaume Faye’s Why We Fight: Manifesto of Resistance and Sea Changes by Derek Turner to sell alongside classic racist publications, like Francis Parker Yockey’s Imperium, to Fascism Viewed From The Right by Julias Evola, to Madison Grant’s The Passing of the Great Race. Several of the new titles in the WSP catalogue come from the Abergele-based Wermod and Wermod Publishing Group. The company is run by another speaker at the Traditional Britain conference, Alex Kurtagic. Spencer and Kurtagic worked closely together on Alternative Right, and the two have shared the platform on multiple occasions.
Washington Summit Publishers gave Spencer another revenue stream, but credibility was to be had from the think-tank, the National Policy Institute. Founded in 2005 by William Regnery II, a member of a wealthy conservative publishing family, and influential white nationalist figure Sam Francis, the National Policy Institute goal was “to elevate the consciousness of whites, ensure our biological and cultural continuity, and protect our civil rights.” It published several so-called studies, including: “The State of White America – 2007,”“The Costs and Benefits of Mass Deportation,” “Conservatives and Race,” “The Wealth and IQ of Nations,” and “Uhuru for South Africa.” Before moving to Montana, it was located in Augusta, Georgia.
Spencer’s first big move as executive director of the National Policy Institute was to hold a splashy conference in Washington D.C entitled “Towards a New Nationalism: Immigration and the Future of Western Nations.” He kicked off the conference with a direct invocation of Enoch Powell’s infamous Rivers of Blood speech. Using video of recent riots in England with tape of Powell’s 1968 speech, Spencer, discussed the catastrophe that Latin, Asian and African immigrants have brought the white race. Other speakers at the event included white nationalist stalwarts like Council of Conservative Citizens leader Sam Dickson and Jared Taylor of American Renaissance. At the conference, the National Policy Institute also published a pamphlet by Spencer entitled “The Majority Strategy – the Essential Argument – Why the GOP Must Win White America.”
After the re-election of President Obama, many white nationalists gave up their hopes that Republicans would adopt their “White America” strategy. Some, like Spencer, gave up on the idea that they could win back America altogether and retreated towards enclave-style white nationalism.
At the spring 2013 conference of the other white nationalist think-tank, American Renaissance, Spencer took to the podium to advocate for “the creation of a White Ethno-State on the North American continent.” He told the small crowd on hand in Tennessee that “We need an ethno-state so that our people can ‘come home again,’ can live amongst family—to put it banally, so that they can feel safe and secure.” To create a white homeland, Spencer argued for peaceful ethnic cleansing to solve the problem. “Today, in the public imagination, ‘ethnic-cleansing’ has been associated with civil war and mass murder (understandably so). But this need not be the case. 1919 is a real example of successful ethnic redistribution—done by fiat, we should remember, but done peacefully.” He elaborated on his dream, “It is perfectly feasible for a white state to be established on the North American continent. Action is the easy part.”
Following Spencer’s move to Montana, other white nationalists have taken up the call to move to the Western United States. For instance, a Canadian white nationalist recently started purchasing land in an effort to take over the small rural town of Leith, North Dakota (population 16) to turn it into a racist stronghold. IREHR will keep close watch on these and other efforts where racism tries to sink roots.