Roots of Radicalism



THE TERMS 'radical' and 'revolutionary' have been much bandied about in recent internal debates within the Nationalist Movement. But what do they really mean? What is 'radical nationalism' and to what extent, and in what ways, is it 'revolutionary'.

Radical nationalism is based, as I have argued in Vanguard issue 1, on the fundamental premise that the ultimate political and ideological good is ensuring the survival and advancement of the White Race. From that all else follows.

Radical nationalism is nationalist, in that it sees the future of the Race best assured, its cultural development best encouraged, and its political structures best grounded in the organisation of the Race into separate, internally autonomous nation states. This reflects a basic human sociobiological ethnocentric/territorial drive and reflects the historical and cultural realities to which it has given rise, as well as fostering the maximum diversity and vigour of our Race's cultural expression.

Radical nationalism is radical in that it sees the structure of present day societies, both Capitalist and Communist, as inherently a threat to racial survival and hence requiring a total, radical, transformation. Radical nationalism sees the growing centralisation of social, economic and political power, which is the innate internal tendency and dynamic of Capitalism and Communism alike, as leading inevitably to the erosion and destruction of national ― and ultimately hence ― racial identity.

The end result of these inherent trends in present society will be the creation of an internationalist global ant-heap, a world without frontiers, in which the race will be swamped in a sea of cheap imported coloured labour and the entire world population turned into raceless, cultureless produce-and-consume automata, a consummation as much desired by Marxists as by plutocrats.


This aim ― racial survival ― and this analysis of the main threat to it ― centralisation of power and consequent growing internationalism and multi-racialism ― in turn leads logically on to a policy platform incorporating Distributism, Syndicalism and Ruralism.

We demand the destruction of centralised economic and, as far as possible, social and political power and its replacement by a society based on the small rurally-based local community and organised economically into workers' co-operatives and small family businesses.

We would abolish the Stock Exchange system of industrial ownership, in which vast economic and concomitant political power is centralised in the hands of key individuals on the boards of sundry holding companies and multi-national corporations, and instead put economic power into the hands of the workers who produce it.


Chesterton sought a patriotic alternative to Capitalism and Communism, that
would give the ordinary citizen control over his or her own life.

We would reduce the power of the central State, the rulers, in favour of local communities, the ruled, though we would maintain and enhance the military capability of the nation as a whole to defend itself.

We would bring about the transformation of a predominantly urban society with a cosmopolitan Americanised world culture alienated from the living world into a predominantly rural society with a distinctively British ― i.e. English, Scots, Welsh, Ulster and Cornish ― cultural identity living in harmony with the land.

To this end we would utilise to the full in the service of Man the resources of science and technology, from caring for the soil to taking from dead Space rather than the living Earth the energy and materials needed to power an advanced civilisation. For we seek to go forward to the post-industrial future, not backward to a pre-industrial feudal past.


Radical nationalism thus differs from other forms of nationalism in that it not only seeks to alleviate the effects of our modern sick society, such as coloured immigrants on our streets and multiracialists in our corridors of power, but intends to deal once and for all with the causes of that social sickness, the underlying structure of our society which brought the immigrants here and which allows close-knit minorities to achieve levels of power and influence far out of proportion to their numbers.

Further, we alone have a clear, coherent vision of the society we wish to put in the place of the present decaying system. Anyone who shares our racialist aims, our analysis of how best to further those ends, the policy platform derived from that analysis, and the 'Vision of Britain' those policies are designed to realise (or a corresponding vision for a new social order for their own country) is a radical nationalist. Anyone who doesn't, isn't.

This radical nationalist world-view springs from a number of earlier currents of political thought. It traces its roots back to some of the White Socialist pioneers such as William Morris, Bob Blatchford and Jack London, to the anti-Hitler Resistance movement in pre-war Germany, notably Otto Strasser and, later, Walther Darré, and to the Distributists G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc.

Radical nationalism further developed after the War with the publication in 1951 of A. Raven Thompson's Syndicalism: A Workers' Policy, containing a fully-developed blue print for the replacement of industrial capitalism by workers co-operatives. And it reached fruition as a fully-developed ideological world-view and comprehensive political programme, articulated principally by Richard Lawson and Mike Lobb, in the pages of the then NF newspaper Britain First from 1973-75.

Around Britain First gathered the first generation of NF radicals, including Denis Pirie, David McCalden, Clive Lucas, Howard Hawkesly, Paul Kingsley, Micky Baker and indeed myself. The Britain First tendency developed into a major force in the National Party during 1976-77, demonstrating the unique potential of radical nationalism to mobilise mass public support with unprecedented Nationalist local election victories in Lancashire and S. E. London, with council seats actually being won on a radical platform.

Despite such successes, the NP ultimately lost out in the face of the overwhelmingly bigger, if then less politically advanced, NF. The radical torch was re-lit within the NF in 1978-79 by Nick Wakeling and later Joe Pearce under the influence of old copies of Britain First and the important Douglas Reed study of Strasser, Nemesis.

The old and new generation of radicals got together at the beginning of 1980 with the launch of Nationalism Today by Joe Pearce, myself, Nick Wakeling, Roger Denny and Nick Griffin, with the avowed aim of radicalising the NF. At this point a major contribution was made by Andrew Brons revealing the important radical ideas to be gained from the works of the Distributists Chesterton and Belloc.

The radical triumph appeared to be complete in late 1983 with the victory of the radical group on the Directorate led by Andrew Brons, Ian Anderson and Joe Pearce. And indeed today both monthly pro-NF publications Vanguard and The Flag, carry on the tradition of mainstream radical nationalism, with their editors Tom Acton and Martin Wingfield fully prepared to identify themselves with radical nationalism as defined above and hence of unquestionable ideological soundness.


In the last couple of years, however, other, allegedly 'radical'' ideas have begun to creep into the NF, ideas expressed in terms of 'revolutionaries'' and 'political soldiers' and derived from the influence of the Rumanian clerico-fascist mystic Corneliu Z. Codreanu and the Russian Marxist V. I. Lenin. The question thus presents itself whether this new development is a continuation of or a deviation from the traditional current of radical nationalist thought. Are the 'revolutionaries' really radicals?

Firstly, we must ask whether radical nationalism is really revolutionary. Without doubt 'yes' must be the answer in terms of ends ― we desire a transformation of society so thoroughgoing and complete that it can only be described as a total National Revolution, a transformation not just of social structures but of culture and values more comprehensive than any before in history, a "transvaluation of all values". But in terms of means, 'no', not necessarily. A revolutionary goal does not imply necessarily a revolutionary strategy to achieve it. In principle for example, to demand the abolition of the Stock Exchange is not to imply that we should go out and plant a bomb under it. To demand the decentralisation of economic power is not thereby to advocate someone tomorrow shooting Lord Hanson.

In practice, in the Britain of today the National Revolution may far more readily be achieved by the mobilisation of mass popular support in a democratic manner than by trying to organise an armed insurrection against the State, or for that matter a pointless if impeccably 'revolutionary' campaign of mindless terrorism carried out by an 'elite hard core' of fanatical cranks.

For in terms of means, not ends, there is nothing especially radical about being a revolutionary. A bunch of reactionary Tory Army colonels plotting a military coup are far more effective as revolutionaries than a band of NF members leafletting in a council by-election in Nether Flitwick on a platform of community power, distributism and workers' co-ops. But which are the radicals?


Lenin led a successful revolution that replaced a brutal repressive Tsarist dictatorship with a brutal repressive Communist dictatorship.

Lenin, Mao, Jomo Kenyatta, Fidel Castro, Gerry Adams and General Pinochet are far more revolutionary in practice than the NF is or probably ever could be. But they are hardly radical nationalists! The danger is that some nationalists fail to draw this distinction between necessarily revolutionary ends and not necessarily revolutionary means and assume that radicals must, to be ideologically sound, dress-up in combat jackets and swagger about brandishing walkie-talkies and starting pistols, posturing incessantly about 'confronting the State' and demanding the petrol bombing of policemen’s homes.

In fact, it cannot be over stressed that there is no necessary connection at all between ideological ends and strategic means ― an impeccable revolutionary strategy can be used in the service of totally reactionary policies, and an electoral strategy used to win power for a fully revolutionary platform. Ultimately, the worst danger is that the revolutionary means not merely are confused with but replace radical ends, so that party policy comes to consist of little more than a collection of neo-Poly-students-union "Revolution Now!"* and "Smash the State!" sloganizing.


In practice, as Tom Acton and I argued in Vanguard issue 1, this 'revolutionary' posturing is likely to end in tears. Bereft of the mass popular support that opinion polls show again and again is just waiting for radical nationalists to get out and mobilise, a strategy of 'Confronting the State' works only as long as the State does not take you seriously enough to confront you back.

Contrary to some peoples' windy rhetoric, if you do kill all the revolutionaries, or simply sling them in jail for fourteen years or so, you _can kill the revolution. Indeed, if your antics provoke a general repression of all Nationalists, including sensible ones, as in Italy, you can kill the real National Peoples' Revolution as well as the adolescent paramilitary fantasies of the 'revolutionary' elite cadres.

No, being a 'revolutionary' is nothing to do with being a radical. You can as well be a reactionary, Communist or Rumanian religious revolutionary as a radical nationalist one. To say that anyone not a 'revolutionary' is not a radical is to confuse two entirely separate issues. The strategic question which can only be settled on the grounds of pragmatic opportunism in any situation, and the question of principle ― whether you stay true to our radical principles or hare off in the pointless cultism of ideologically unsound foreign cranks ― which can never be.

The 'revolutionaries' are a peculiar deviation from radical nationalism, confusing a means with an end and betraying their ideological shallowness by their slavish cultism of an aberrant foreign body with nothing in common with radical nationalism. What the NF needs now is not 'revolution' but realism, a strategy based on a sound radical ideological analysis and on the objective conditions prevailing in our country today, not in some Ruritanian Balkan State of fifty years ago.

The road to power leads through community politics and the ballot box toward the people, not through 'revolution', rhetoric and Rumanians, via the bomb and the bullet, towards the jail cell or the grave.

At the end of that road, if we stay on it and do not wander off it chasing Walter Mitty fantasies, lies power and the real Revolution, the National Revolution an NF Government will build for Britain, the British people, and the White peoples of the World.