On November 2 U.S.-based white nationalists Greg Johnson and Kevin MacDonald are slated to speak at a gathering of the Scandza Forum in Oslo, Norway. The event comes on the heels of an October 12 Scandza Forum in Copenhangen, Denmark. Anti-fascists protested the Copenhagen gathering and, according to participants, some speakers were unable to enter the venue. Johnson and U.S.-based figures Tomislav “Tom” Sunic and Mike Enoch (Mike Peinovich) were scheduled to speak in Oslo.
The Americans’ place at the Scandza table highlights how ideas percolating at these events have roots in cultural strategies espoused by American paleoconservatives and European New Rightists as well as a critical analysis of white nationalist vanguardism and mainstreaming. Despite professed goals of building a mass cultural and political base, the Yanks at Scandza also make clear that their ideology has a place for racist violence and terror.
The Scandza Forum was founded in 2017 by Frodi Midjord, cited widely as originally from the Faroe Islands between Iceland and Norway and as host of the Guide to Kulchur podcast. This may well be a pseudonym, as one online Faroese-to-English dictionary indicates that the name roughly translates to “Frodo Middle Earth” – the name and imagined world of the Hobbit protagonist in J.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.[i]
Midjord’s podcast is regularly posted on the website of Greg Johnson’s Seattle, Washington-based Counter-Currents Publishing.[ii] In September 2018 Johnson boasted, “I am proud to have spoken at every meeting of Scandza so far.”[iii] As part of a July 2019 fundraiser for Counter-Currents, Midjord described, “Our goal this year is to raise $100,000 in order to expand our efforts to build a metapolitical vanguard for White Nationalism.”[iv]
Johnson hosts his own Northwest Forum, an invitation-only event that has featured speakers such as Identity Evropa founder Nathan Damigo, anti-Semite Kevin MacDonald and white nationalist Jared Taylor of American Renaissance, according to an expose in The Stranger.[v] British Holocaust denier David Irving also appeared at a Northwest Forum, according to the forum’s website.[vi] A September 28 Northwest Forum was scheduled to include Taylor and Patrick Casey, head of the white nationalist group, American Identity Movement (formerly Identity Evropa).[vii]
Through Scandza and his own forum, Greg Johnson advocates a brand of vanguardism based on European New Right ideas, the writings of paleoconservatives such as Sam Francis and white nationalists like Wilmot Robertson (Humphrey Ireland) and a critique of both white nationalist vanguardists and mainstreamers.
As Leonard Zeskind describes in Blood and Politics early vanguardists such as William Pierce argued that winning a mass base of whites to the white nationalist cause was unlikely, necessitating the recruitment and development on elite, armed vanguard to overthrow the United States and create a white ethno-state. Conversely, mainstreamers like Willis Carto and, later, David Duke, argued that a mass of whites might be won to the cause by crafting a palatable message and entering the electoral arena.
Johnson offers a hybrid strategy, criticizing vanguardists for both openly identifying with Hitler and committing violent acts that bring sympathy to their targets. He then turns on mainstreamers, describing their fatal flaw as a too-quick willingness to abandon core principles of white nationalism. Based on these criticisms, Johnson argues for seeking to build concentric circles of support for a white ethno-state by developing a vanguard of openly white nationalist movement elites.
Johnson dubs his strategy one of “metapolitics” – a European New Right term referring to the long-term strategy of building cultural hegemony for ethnic nationalism – its pined for political dimensions expected to follow in the wake. In Johnson’s case, this means a strategy working both sides of the traditional left-right divide to promote the endgame of a whites-only ethno-state.
In the service of white nationalist “metapolitics,” Johnson recommends both Sam Francis’ Essential Writings on Race and Wilmot Robertson’s The Dispossessed Majority and The Ethnostate as “essential works on White Nationalism.”[viii] Before his death in 1994, Sam Francis was a leading national advocate of a cultural approach to racial politics. In Johnson’s words, Robertson/Ireland’s works “provide explicit cases for white ethnostate,” Johnson explains.[ix] F. Roger Devin, a U.S.-based activist who appeared at a 2018 Scandza event, credited Sam Francis with introducing him to the works of Robertson.[x]
While Greg Johnson often proclaims his opposition to violence, he has argued that targeting societal elites may be a successful form of violence; that violence may be necessary in countries that ban white nationalist activism; and that, in the end, the quest for a white ethno-state will produce violence in the process of removing non-whites from the claimed national territory. As such, Johnson has admitted that Adolph Hitler would have agreed with his core principles and criticized the German Nazi leader for “excessive kindness” toward Jews.
The Scandza Forum was modeled on the London Forum, described by Greg Johnson as “the most important Rightist metapolitical organization in the UK and the model for the New York Forum, the Northwest Forum, the Scandza Forum, and similar events all over the white world.” [xi]
London Forum founder Jeremy “Jez” Bedford-Turner was found guilty of inciting racial hatred in May 2018 after having called for his “soldiers” to liberate England from “Jewish control” in 2015. Under cross examination Bedford-Turner admitted that he wanted all Jews to exit the UK.[xii] Attendees at a 2017 London Forum included Holocaust denier David Irving, assorted anti-Semites, and an individual that declared the 2016 murder of British MP Jo Cox by “Britain First” advocate Tommy Mair to be “cheery news.” Also present was Ian Millard, an attorney banned from the bar in November 2014 after tweeting, among other things, “National Socialist Germany 1933-1945. Its flaws were few, its achievements many. Don’t believe Jewish-Zionist lies.”[xiii]
In keeping with such origins, and Greg Johnson’s views on Hitler, it is unsurprising that the Scandza Forum appears to have a swastika embedded in its logo.
With some 50 to 150 attendees reported at permutations of the Scandza Forum, the event brings together racists from across Europe and the U.S., offers up live music and undertakes strenuous efforts to screen attendees. To date forums have been held in Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm, Sweden. Greg Johnson describes that, “The primary importance of events like the Scandza Forum is to encourage face-to-face community and networking…The real gain is meeting old friends and making new ones for socializing, brainstorming, and launching new initiatives.”[xiv]
Americans have appeared at Scandza Forums from the beginning. In addition to Greg Johnson boasting that he has attended all such events, Kevin MacDonald spoke at a Scandza event in 2017.[xv] Patrick Casey of Identity Evropa (now the American Identity Movement) attended a Scandza Forum in 2018 in Stockholm, Sweden, where he offered “his thoughts on activism and outreach to an American context,” according to attendee Garret Deasy.[xvi] Occidental Quarterly book reviewer F. Frank Devlin and Jared Taylor also spoke at the 2018 event.[xvii] In March 2019, Taylor was barred from boarding a plane in Switzerland in route to the Scandza conference in Stockholm, Sweden. Taylor claimed to have been banned from the 26 country Schengen Zone in Europe until 2021.[xviii]
The American Freedom Party (AFP) figures prominently in the current round of Scandza gatherings. Both Tom Sunic (October 12 in Copenhagen) and Kevin MacDonald (November 2 in Oslo) serve as directors for the New York-based white nationalist party – a sponsor of failed candidates for president in recent elections. With roots in Orange County, California racist skinhead activism, the American Freedom Party is currently chaired by William D. Johnson, author of a 1985 book that proposed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution stating that, “No person shall be a citizen of the United States unless he is a non-Hispanic white of the European race, in whom there is no ascertainable trace of Negro blood.” Johnson’s proposal drew praised from Richard Butler, the now-deceased head of the neo-Nazi Church of Jesus Christ Christian-Aryan Nations – an organization that helped birth the terrorist underground, The Order, in the mid-1980s.
Kevin MacDonald is a former California State University, Long Beach psychology professor and current editor of the white nationalist Occidental Dissent. In his 1998 book The Culture of Critique, Macdonald wrote that,
“Since the 1960s a hostile, adversary elite has emerged to dominate intellectual and political debate… This ‘hostile elite’ is fundamentally a Jewish-dominated elite…The emergence of this hostile elite is an aspect of ethnic competition between Jews and non-Jews and its effect will be a long-term decline in the hegemony of European peoples in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world.”
Despite the academic veneer his background provides for anti-Semitism, MacDonald maintains a place in his heart for nationalist violence. In the July 23, 2011 Occidental Observer, MacDonald wrote of Anders Breivik that “it must be said that he is a serious political thinker with a great many insights and some good practical ideas on strategy (e.g., developing culturally conservative media, gaining control of NGOs. and developing youth organizations that will confront the Marxist street thugs).” Brevik “is certainly right in characterizing multiculturalism as an ideology of hate,” MacDonald continued, also praising him for seeing “Christianity (correctly) as a historically powerful force for the preservation of Europe rather than mainly about religious faith.”
The day before Kevin MacDonald penned this praise, Anders Brevik had massacred seventy-seven people at a Norwegian Labor Party Youth League summer camp. MacDonald concluded,
“It remains to be seen what the long term effect of his [Brevik] actions will be. There is certainly great revulsion at the murder of young people. However, I suppose it is possible that in the long run European elites will understand that the glorious multicultural future will not be attained without a great deal of bloodletting (including themselves and, as in this case, their children) and realize they will have to change their ways.”
Boasting a Ph.D from the University of California at Santa Barbara, AFP Director Tomislav Sunic also plays the role of movement “intellectual” as well as radio personality. Sunic is a fan of WWII era mystical racist and fascist “intellectual” Julius Evola, writing in 2013 that,
“Race is not just a biological phenomenon: it also has spiritual implications. The metaphysical base of the race should come first, as Julius Evola argues…The common racial heredity of White Americans and Europeans appears as the only valid factor in the identity-building process…The resurrection of identity among White Europeans and Americans in a broader racially spiritual way appears as the only valid answer.”
Evola’s mystical racism garnered him support from elements within the German Nazi SS, according to historian Stanley Payne.[xix] As onetime Counter-Currents editor John Morgan would write, “Evola was present at Hitler’s headquarters with other Italian leaders when Mussolini was brought there [after his prison bust in 1943 by German Nazi commandos].”[xx] Befitting such influences, Sunic bemoaned in 2012 that,
“[A] critical comment about the staggering influence of Jews in America, even when that comment is founded on empirical facts, is viewed as a grave insult to Jews…It is the lack of open discussion about the topic of the Jews that confirms how Jews play a crucial role in American conscience building, and by extension, in the entire West.”
Sunic’s views have kept him neck deep in organized white nationalism. Knights of the Ku Klux Klan leader Thom Robb referred to Sunic a “good friend” who helped sponsor his 2010 “European/American Heritage Festival” in Pulaski, Tennessee. In 2013 Sunic attended white nationalist Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute’s leadership conference.
Mike Enoch (Mike Peinovich)
Mike Enoch (actually Mike Peinovich), slated to speak at the October 12 Scandza Forum in Copenhagen, illustrates the kind of political transition that Johnson appears to pine for in offering a reading list that transitions from Sam Francis to Wilmot Robertson. Enoch has become a steady figure among American white nationalists on the strength of his The Right Stuff podcast. After starting off in libertarian circles, and delving into paleo-conservatism – the realm of Sam Francis– Peinovich would end up at a rally of the national socialist Traditionalist Worker Party declaring that “We are not going to back down to this Jewish, cultural Marxist brainwashing,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The same logic would lead him to Scandza.
In the end, one thing is clear. Whether white nationalists declare themselves mainstreamers, vanguardists, or adopt some variant of Greg Johnson’s “New Right” vanguardism, mass violence against people of color and Jews is an inextricable part of the white nationalist vision of a whites only ethno-state. The idea of a whites only ethno-state inherently carries with it the implication of genocide – all the “alien” races needing to be physically removed from the claimed national territory. Such a fact makes it entirely unsurprising that a Greg Johnson can point to the congruence between his “principles” and the Nazism of Adolph Hitler and offer the friendly criticism that Hitler’s “greatest flaw” was his “typical excess of kindness” toward Jews.
Ultimately, the Scandza Forum provides little more than an international venue for white nationalists to discuss and debate how to bring about a nightmare of racist terror.
[ii] Counter-Currents Publishing. Tom Sunic Joins the Scandza Forum. Counter-Currents. August 28, 2019. https://www.counter-currents.com/2019/08/the-scandza-forum-returns-to-copenhagen/print/; Counter-Currents Publishing. The Scandza Forum on Human Biodiversity: Oslo, November 2. Counter-Currents. https://www.counter-currents.com/2019/08/the-scandza-forum-on-human-biodiversity/; Counter-Currents Publishing. Tag: Frodi Midjord. https://www.counter-currents.com/tag/frodi-midjord/.
[iii] Johnson, Greg. The Scandza Forum in Copenhagen & a $10,000 Matching Grant. Counter-Currents. September 17, 2018. https://www.counter-currents.com/2018/09/the-scandza-forum-copenhagen-september-15/
[iv] Midjord, Frodi. The Political Center of Gravity. Counter-Currents. July 2019. https://www.counter-currents.com/2019/07/the-political-center-of-gravity/
[v] Lewis, David. We Nuck into Seattle’s Sper Secret White Nationalist Convention. The Stranger. October 4, 2017. https://www.thestranger.com/news/2017/10/04/25451102/we-snuck-into-seattles-super-secret-white-nationalist-convention.
[vii] Counter-Currents. Jared Taylor and Patrick Casey to Speak at the Northwest Forum. Counter-Currents. September 10, 2019. https://www.counter-currents.com/2019/09/jared-taylor-patrick-casey-to-speak-at-the-northwest-forum/.
[viii] Johnson, Greg. Six Essential Works on White Nationalism. Counter-Currents. 2016. https://www.counter-currents.com/2016/04/six-essential-works-on-white-nationalism/.
[ix] For a detailed look at Sam Francis and Wilmot Robertson’s role in the transition from a white supremacist to a white nationalist political movement, see Zeskind, Leonard. 2009. Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream. New York: Farrar Straus Group.
[x] Devlin, F. Roger. On Wilmot Robertson. Counter-Currents. November 2013. https://www.counter-currents.com/2013/11/on-wilmot-robertson/
[xi] Johnson, Greg. My European Listening Tour. Counter-Currents. June 3, 2017. https://www.counter-currents.com/2017/06/my-european-listening-tour-3/
[xii] Press Association. Ex-soldier guilty of racial hatred charge after CPS initially declined to prosecute. The Guardian. May 14, 2018. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/may/14/ex-soldier-guilty-of-racial-hatred-after-cps-initially-declined-to-prosecute.
[xiii] Broomfeld, Matt. Undercover at a secret ‘mneo-Nazi’ meeting with Holocaust denier David Irving. The Independent. May 7, 2017. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/david-irving-holocaust-denial-neo-nazi-alt-right-london-forum-meeting-auschwitz-hitler-revisionist-a7719291.html; McIntyre, Niamh. Activists block London meeting of ‘secrete Neo Nazi society’. The Independent. February 6, 2017. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/neo-nazi-meeting-london-richard-spencer-alt-right-fascist-activists-white-supremacists-a7563021.html; England, Charlotte. Barrister disbarred after anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi tweets. The Independent. October 29, 2016. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/barrister-ian-millard-disbarred-racist-anti-semitic-tweets-nazi-adolf-hitler-a7386071.html; Booth, Robert, Dodd, Vikram and Nazia Parveen. Labour MP Jo Cox dies after being shot and stabbed. The Guardian. June 16, 2016. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jun/16/labour-mp-jo-cox-shot-in-west-yorkshire.
[xiv] Johnson, Greg. The Scandza Forum in Copenhagen & a $10,000 Matching Grant. Counter-Currents. September 17, 2018. https://www.counter-currents.com/2018/09/the-scandza-forum-copenhagen-september-15/
[xv] Filmersson, Omar. Greg Johnson Told the Truth. Counter-Currents. June 2017. https://www.counter-currents.com/2017/06/greg-johnson-told-the-truth/.
[xvi] Deasy, Garrett. The Scandza Forum, April 7, 2018. Counter-Currents. April 2018. https://www.counter-currents.com/2018/04/the-scandza-forum-april-7-2018-2/.
[xvii] Devlin, F. Roger. On Wilmot Robertson. Counter-Currents. November 2013. https://www.counter-currents.com/2013/11/on-wilmot-robertson/; Red Ice. Scandza Forum Stockholm, 2018 – F. Roger Devlin. May 12, 2018. https://redice.tv/red-ice-tv/scandza-forum-stockholm-2018-f-roger-devlin; Johnson, Greg. The Scandza Forum in Copenhagen & a $10,000 Matching Grant. Counter-Currents. September 17, 2018. https://www.counter-currents.com/2018/09/the-scandza-forum-copenhagen-september-15/
[xviii] Michel, Casey. Europe bans of American’s most prominent white supremacists. Think Progress. March 31, 2019. https://thinkprogress.org/europe-bans-one-of-americas-most-prominent-white-supremacists-34b34726f623/
[xix] Payne, Stanley. 1995. A History of Fascism, 1914-1945. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.
[xx] Morgan, John. What Would Evola Do? Counter-Currents. https://www.counter-currents.com/2017/05/what-would-evola-do/.