The second National Policy Institute conference took place last weekend on October 25-27 at the Ronald Reagan building in Washington D.C, where the first one was also held in September 2011. Here is part two of the recap of the events at the conference. Part one can be found here. We’ll start with the final two speakers that weren’t covered yesterday:
Tom Sunic: While he was in no way hostile to the NPI or the vision that Richard Spencer has of a White ethnostate on the North American continent, Sunic nonetheless gave a contrarian speech. Having seen firsthand the breakdown of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, Sunic too well understands the danger of ethnic conflict between different groups of White people.
Yugoslavia was just one example of internal racial division among Whites in Europe that Sunic highlighted (the English vs. the Irish was another one). Sunic doesn’t seem to think that racial unification is feasible, asking, “who can guarantee that a White ethnostate with a common culture would not be rocked by internal conflict and division?”
Sunic also stated that he is “much more concerned about the character of self-proclaimed White nationalists.” Near the end of his speech, he said it was “full of (expletive that rhymes with spit),” the idea that Whites will clash with non-whites in a racial war. Judging by these two statements, he opposes forming an ethnostate based on looks/phenotype.
Alain de Benoist: The keynote speaker of the conference, de Benoist tried to answer the question of “what does it mean to be an American?” His speech, “The question of identity,” therefore focused primarily on American identity. De Benoist started by arguing that identity everywhere is under threat. It has become distorted by thinkers such as John Locke, who de Benoist called out by name. (As Spencer said during the extended Q & A after de Benoist’s speech, “The United States is the only country to achieve the vision of a Lockean shopping mall.”)
He argued that identity is not something taken, it is something given. Identity is taken for granted in traditional societies, but in America people chose whatever identity they feel like. Real identity is organic and immutable, whereas American identity is artificial and mercurial. Whereas America values individualism, de Benoist argues that there is no such thing as identity emerging from one-self only.
Furthermore, identity can’t be reduced to one dimension of an individual’s biology or character, such as sexual identity. Identity provides us with the rationale by which to live and which to die. It is not something to just “change” at a whim. And here’s his key point: Identity can only be framed through the identity of others, (i.e., you are part of a group that you were born into and grew up with).
From there, de Benoist laid into his critique of America, particularly the neoconservative philosophy of free markets and an interventionist foreign policy that has defined the conservative movement ever since the Reagan administration. He decried how “arrogant conservatives continue with their trust of capitalism,” an economic system that he doesn’t seem to have much use for.
De Benoist thinks that neoconservatism, post-modernism, and capitalism have destroyed identity, substituting organic blood-and-soil ties with consumerism, materialism, and greed. He made a case against American imperialism overseas and against the whole civic religion of Americanism in general.
I asked him whether he sees Barack Obama as a continuation of American imperialism or whether Obama marks the beginning of the end of “American Exceptionalism” (i.e., imperialism). De Benoist didn’t address my question directly, but he gave an answer that, as Spencer pointed out, is sure to intrigue the liberal protestors outside: “I don’t like Obama, but I prefer Obama to George W. Bush.”
Extracircular stuff: The “anti-fascist” protestors (antifas, as we call them), were their usual violent selves. Or they tried to start violence anyway. Matt Parrot of the Traditionalist Youth Network can tell you all about it. Just watch 2:40 to 3:16 of this video where Occupy DC gangster Taylor Hall was subdued by two policemen after striking Parrot in an attempt to start a fight that he would have certainly lost.
There was also the mass invasion of a hotel that wasn’t even the one we were staying at. Since when can a giant group of hooded people enter a hotel and start yelling across hallways when innocent people are trying to sleep? Makes you wonder what “peaceful protest” actually means to these guys.
Upon entering the Reagan building early in the morning, two security guards had to push away a protestor who was shouting obscenities to a fellow Millennial attendee three feet behind me in line. Ironically, the antifa was a young white guy with a foreign-sounding accent (or perhaps he was slurring his speech? Antifas and alcohol don’t mix well).
Then when we all got into the Polaris Suit, I was helping set up a table with a friend from Oregon when all of the sudden, an antifa erupted behind us squealing something about “all you racists.” He was incoherent and was dragged away immediately by two attendees, one of who was Parrot (there weren’t any security guards in the room).
Spencer immediately called for security on his cell phone. While the guards rushed down, my friend and I stood outside and taped the dialogue that Parrot had with the antifa after he was dragged out (you can see it here from 1:23 to 2:15). Eventually the two guards came and hand waved us back into the room, protecting our privacy in the process. Kudos to all the Reagan building security guards for keeping us safe.
During one of the coffee breaks, a young man from Calgary, Alberta named Andrew Benson shared a quote with me that aptly sums up the tone of the 2013 NPI conference and all the speakers who represented it: “Communism kills the body, but Americanism kills the soul.” The National Policy Institute is fully committed to moving towards a future beyond the USA, and the conference reflected that.
All in all, the conference was about as good as the American Renaissance conference last April. Many of the same people were there, and although he wasn’t a speaker, Amren President Jared Taylor was in attendance. The Sunday morning brunch at the hotel from 10:00 AM-noon provided us one last opportunity to socialize and say our goodbye’s, not to mention enjoy a final round of excellent food.
It was deeply refreshing to socialize with intellectuals who share your philosophy, your moral code, and your vision for the world. It was also a joy to see that 1/3 of the attendees were Millennials. Spencer and the NPI appeal to young Whites who are disillusioned with the society and culture they find themselves in. What will happen after the fall? Hopefully a golden dawn.