Saturday 27th September I attended a meeting of the London Forum, which organises conferences with various international authors and thinkers of the New Right or - in the words of one of Saturday's speakers, Mark Weber - the "anti-Establishment" movement. The latter is actually my favourite name, as it does away with the anachronistic distinction between Left and Right. Our opponents he calls the "Establishment".
Four speeches were delivered.
The first was by Mark Weber, historian, lecturer, current affairs analyst, writer, and director of the Institute for Historical Review. Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, he was educated in the US and Europe. The IHR has been attacked as a "hate group" and a "Holocaust denial" organisation, but we know that this kind of accusations mean nothing in our politically correct world.
I want to find out for myself. The organisation's website explains:
In fact, the IHR steadfastly opposes bigotry of all kinds. We are proud of the support we have earned from people of the most diverse political views, and racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds.The London Forum says that Weber "has appeared countless times as a guest on US and overseas television and radio. He has produced many podcasts, and his many writings have appeared in newspapers, periodicals and websites around the world, and in a range of languages."
The IHR does not “deny” the Holocaust. Indeed, the IHR as such has no “position” on any specific event or chapter of history, except to promote greater awareness and understanding, and to encourage more objective investigation...
One prominent American journalist and author who has looked into the critical claims made about the IHR is John Sack, who is Jewish. He reported on a three-day IHR conference in an article published in the Feb. 2001 issue of Esquire magazine. He rejected as unfounded the often-repeated lie that the IHR and its supporters are "haters" or bigots. He described those who spoke at and attended the IHR conference as "affable, open-minded, intelligent [and] intellectual."
Weber's speech was "The End of the American Century: The Accelerating Crisis of the West, and Prospects for the Future". He talked about the impending extinction of Europeans as an ethnic group in both Europe and North America, and the end of the hegemony imposed at the end of the Second World War.
He introduced a 2010 book available only in German: Deutschland schafft sich ab ("Germany Is Eliminating Itself"), by Thilo Sarrazin, a German Social Democratic Party politician, former member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank and former senator of finance for the State of Berlin.
In short, the book's author is as much Establishment as you can get. The book itself is described by Wikipedia as
the most popular book on politics by a German-language author in a decade, [and in it] he denounces the failure of Germany's post-war immigration policy, sparking a nation-wide controversy about the costs and benefits of the idea of multiculturalism.Pretty good for a social democrat.
The second speaker was Bain Dewitt, described as "a rising star" and the young blogger of The Identity Forum . His speech, "The God of the Whites", was an examination of religion as an expression of racial unity. Bain attempted to see if religion can be the spiritual dimension of nationalist and traditionalist movements.
He was followed by another American writer, Greg Johnson, editor of the website Counter-Currents Publishing. His was a particularly interesting speech for me, partly because I'm Italian and partly for its philosophical nature: "Giambattista Vico and Modern Anti-Liberalism".
Vico is a 17th-18th century philosopher from Naples. Most Italians know of him and his theory of the "corsi e ricorsi storici", or the cyclical nature of history. But he's little known in the Anglo-Saxon world, despite having had some influence, especially on James Joyce's books. Vico's Scienza nuova ("New Science") is the basis for Finnegans Wake.
The idea of history going through the same stages over and over again is very far from the contemporary view of history as progress. Vico, according to Johnson, was exceptional, in that he was the first anti-Enlightenment thinker and the only one of his time, despite being himself an Enlightenment thinker in some ways.
Vico postulated a fundamental law of historical development, that follows the same pattern by evolving through three phases: the age of gods, "during which gentile [meaning "pagan"] men believed that they were living under divine rule"; the age of heroes, when aristocratic republics were established; and the age of men, or what we may call "democracy", "when all were recognised as equal in human nature". Here Vico is a son of his "Enlightened" times, when he talks of the necessity to respect "natural reason" and of "the human rights dictated by human reason when fully explored".
At that point man’s increased powers of reasoning result in a state of anarchy, when everybody considers himself his own ruler and only looks after his own pleasure and short-term interest. Sounds familiar? It must do, because it's a fairly accurate description of what we are going through now, a description which will become even more faithful as decades, nay years, nay months go by.
Then men get tired of that anarchy and “turn again to the primitive simplicity of the early world of peoples”, and to religion. Thus the cycle starts again.
The beauty of it all, said Johnson, is that Vico's view of history enables us to stop trying to mend the present state of affairs, which is beyond repair, and instead look forward to - even accelerate - its end, which will usher a new era.
Or I would put it as "the darkest hour is just before the dawn".
Johnson concluded his speech by saying that, whereas Giorgio Almirante, the leader of the Right-wing Italian party Movemento Sociale Italiano, said, "Julius Evola is our Marcuse, only better", we can say that Vico is our Karl Marx, only better.
Finally, barrister and contributor to Heritage & Destiny magazine Adrian Davies concluded the conference with his speech "Two World Wars and One World Cup: Myths and Realities of the Anglo-German Relationship in the Twentieth Century".
In this year, which marks the hundredth anniversary of what historians have called the first "Western civil war" and the seventy-fifth anniversary of the second, Davies narrated German history until 1914, arguing that the Great War not not caused uniquely by Germany, as the myth goes, but also that Germany was not a perpetual victim either.
It's early days yet. I consider my newly-found London Forum very stimulating. I'd like to see more of it, and in particular what the role of Christianity is in the various ideas represented.