The name of our upcoming Traditionalist Worker Party has instigated a much-needed debate about the role of class in our struggle, on account of the worker-oriented title and tone of the party. To many, it smacks of outright Marxism. At the very least, it does indeed place the primary focus on the working class.
What role, if any, should class interests and class conflicts play in our political work?
In Scott Terry’s recent post, Tribe Uber Alles, he takes aim at our working class messaging from a consistently traditionalist perspective:
If being a nationalist means we have to accept Eastern European class theory, with all its Marxist presuppositions about “workers” and “owners of capital”, etc. then I’m not a nationalist.
He takes it a step further, going medieval on our rhetoric:
I’m more of a medievalist, a neo-feudalist, or a tribalist. An anti-ist-ist, who envisions a series of decentralized, confederated duchies, where people don’t define themselves in terms of a Marxist financial class, nor in terms of their political and / or religious affiliations (hence the lack of “ists”), nor by the color of their shirt collar; rather they define themselves tribally.
This is a fair critique, but there are two important reasons why a grassroots political movement to advance traditionalist ideals must necessarily focus from the outset on “workers.” It certainly has nothing to do with Marxism, at least not directly. The apparent similarity in our rhetoric to Marxist rhetoric is an artifact of the fact that both Radical Traditionalists and Classical Marxists target capitalists and capitalism, seeking to defend the victims of finance capitalism.
Both Marxists and Traditionalists insist that the merchants are to blame. Traditionalists insist that we must put the merchants back in their proper place in the hierarchy (beneath throne and altar) while Marxists advocate for hurrying up and arriving at the fourth and final stage in the inversion of the varna; a dictatorship of the proletariat. Both Marxists and Traditionalists recognize that we’re in an age of capitalist oligarchs projecting not only their power but their morality and metapolitics as well. We intend to go uphill from there, Marxists intend to go downhill from there.
Throne and altar were the original nemeses of the merchants and financiers long before Karl Marx dreamed up his Utopian ideology. It’s a testament to America’s complete divorce from the history and legacy of Western Traditionalism that a political movement attempting to defend working families from usurious bankers and multinational corporations is mistaken for a Marxist political project rather than a Traditionalist one. The history of support for Bolshevism found on Wall Street and K Street both historically and today contrasts very starkly with their rabid hatred of and consistent opposition to National Socialism, Ba’athism, Falangism, and other political movements which opposed finance capitalists from the Right.
The first reason why a direct and explicit emphasis on workers is imperative is that it cuts through a debilitating problem on the radical right, that of autistic ideologues who can not and will not engage with ordinary folks. Earlier this week, a private conversation in one of the political projects I’m peripherally affiliated with noted the importance of dissociating themselves from “skinheads” and similar riffraff. It’s taken as gospel among the pro-White intelligentsia that working class folks who are indistinguishable from us in all but economic class and subcultural aesthetics must be avoided in absolutely all but two cases: When they can be hit up for money and when they can protect us from getting our asses stomped by Leftists.
Any time a band of people form together to achieve a political goal, there’s a gravitational pull within that band of people toward becoming a subculture rather than a movement. Subcultures are natural and great, save for when the natural tribal compulsion to police the perimeter of the social circle serves to limit the whole point of coming together in the first place, which is to spread a set of ideas and achieve a set of goals beyond that cluster of people. Among White Nationalists, there exist two parallel clusters of mutually-alienated subcultures within the same movement; skinheads and New Right ideologues.
The only predictive difference is economic class, and the TWP seeks to bridge that class divide and develop a united voice for our people across subcultural and economic class lines.
While there are certainly legitimate issues with the skinhead scene to be addressed, what’s rarely addressed is the cowardly and paralytic nature of the New Right’s intellectual scene. They’re allergic to street action, unwilling to invest in, mentor, or support visible activists, and beholden to a narrow spectrum of varied schemes which all share two unifying commonalities: lack of authentic solutions for the white families we purport to be speaking on behalf of and a lack of social courage to promote those solutions.
In my years in these circles, I’ve been clued in on elaborate counter-cyclical investment schemes to save the White race. I’ve been tipped off about diabolical entryist plots to infiltrate this or that institution which sound suspiciously like rationalizations for pursuing secure mainstream jobs. You’ve got your financial Doomers, your peak oil Doomers, your race war Doomers, and many more flavors of Doomer, all of whom intend to eschew engagement with and outreach toward our folks until their particular prophecy unfolds.
And even if these Doomers are right about their prophecies, you need to have a living and breathing political vanguard assembled before whatever event they have in mind. The notion that the political vanguard will emerge and gather around the prophet who called the doomsday scenario is all the more magical thinking which is endemic in our circles.
Contrary to what Scott inferred, sticking the word Worker right in the middle of the party name is actually an attempt to transcend the class problems afflicting our movement by signaling that the project will be visibly and directly engaging with ordinary families, especially those working class families who are most acutely in need of our stewardship and our voice. It’s not that we’re opposed to comfortable and wealthy folks who share our identity. It’s just that they’re not the ones who are suffering right now. They’re not the ones deprived of a political voice.
The second reason why it’s imperative to orient our party around the worker is that a traditionalist vanguard must understand what it truly means to be a virtuous elite. The loyalty of peasants to their lords, soldiers to their generals, and parishioners to their priests must be reciprocated in order for the social order to be authentically traditional. The first step for an elitist intent on reviving authentic traditional elitism in the modern world is stepping up and demonstrating that he’s a thoroughbred and natural steward with his actions.
If we don’t make it clear not only in our branding but in our actions that we’re fighting for them, we’re not going to succeed as a grassroots organizing force for educating and empowering traditional working families. We’re not merely standing for a collection of abstract ideals, our abstract ideals and our party members stand for them.
Decentralization and support for secessionism is a core aspect of the TradWorker vision, so it’s perfectly aligned with Scott’s neo-feudalist agrarian political vision, though I do hope his hierarchical vision for his little fiefdom is one in which his elites have a strong and active stewardship of and support for its struggling families and humble workers.