Editorial from National Vanguard Magazine, Issue No. 86, May 1982:
A More Effective Tool
When we began publishing more than 11 years ago, mobs of as many as a quarter-million demonstrators were marching through the streets of Washington chanting, “Ho-Ho-Ho Chi Minh, the Viet Cong’s gonna win!” The Washington Post, the New York Times, and the three television networks were openly sympathetic to the communist enemy in Vietnam. ROTC facilities had been burned to the ground on a dozen of the nation’s university campuses, and terrorist bombs were going off at a rate of more than one a day in banks, corporate offices, and government buildings.
During one of the larger pro-Viet Cong demonstrations, in which the leaders had promised to “shut down the government,” a mob gathered across the street from our Washington office, and while a greasy, Levantine creature with a megaphone tried to incite his Gentile subordinates into attacking the building, roving groups were overturning parked cars along the street.
A greasy, Levantine creature with a megaphone tried to incite his Gentile subordinates into attacking [our Washington office] building...
It may be understandable that, under such circumstances, we thought that the country was ripe for revolution -- that the time had finally come when the long-suffering White majority might be encouraged to rise up; to storm the lairs of the media masters with fire and iron; to drag the politicians out of their offices and the New York-accented lawyers out of the “Justice” Department and administer summary justice to all of them on the sidewalk; to surround New York City with an impenetrable ring of a million armed vigilantes and burn the whole place to the ground. All that had to be done, we imagined, was to identify the enemy, to explain what was happening and where the country was headed, to point out the danger of inaction -- and then the people would take care of the rest.
So that’s what we did. We put our message on newsprint, under flaming, red headlines. We called it ATTACK! We hawked it on street corners, we talked about it in deliberately provocative TV and newspaper interviews, and we mailed out literally millions of copies of it.
And, of course, we were very naïve. It took us a while to realize that we were not getting through with our message to “the people,” but only to a very tiny minority among them. It took us even longer to understand why: to understand just how far the process of degeneration had already gone, and how much preparatory work would have to be done before there could be a revolution -- more precisely, before there could be a renewal, a rebirth of our people.
Nevertheless, the number of people responding to our message grew, albeit with maddening slowness at times. And we evolved. We dispensed with the red headlines. We changed our name from ATTACK! to NATIONAL VANGUARD. We began concerning ourselves less with the symptoms of what was happening to our world and our people, and more with the fundamental causes. And we found that more and more of the right sort of people were responding: people who still had healthy instincts and who were able to understand everything we were saying.
Now we have made another change. It’s a change in style rather than substance, but we believe that it will be an important change in the long run. We believe that the new image of NATIONAL VANGUARD more accurately corresponds to its essence than did the old image, and that it will help us find even more of the right sort of people.
We will, of course, continue to adhere absolutely to our guiding principle, which is that NATIONAL VANGUARD will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; that it will deal in depth with every issue relevant to our task; and that it will never allow a fear of offending any segment of the public to keep it from saying whatever needs to be said. But from now on we will be more conscious of the fact that, just as a man is often judged by the clothes he wears, the acceptability of truth may depend on the package in which it is presented.
One caution: the somewhat slicker format of the new NATIONAL VANGUARD should mislead no reader into assuming that we feel a more relaxed outlook toward the problems confronting us as a people is now appropriate. Perhaps an advantage of the tabloid format in this regard was its very roughness and the sense of currency and urgency that went along with it. The urgency may not be expressed in headlines quite as large as before, but it is even more strongly felt by the staff here, and that will be seen both in the substance of our writing and in the greater frequency with which the new NATIONAL VANGUARD will be published.
NATIONAL VANGUARD will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; it will deal in depth with every issue relevant to our task; and it will never allow a fear of offending any segment of the public to keep it from saying whatever needs to be said.
The most important reason for the changes in NATIONAL VANGUARD is that we want it to be a more effective tool for reaching and moving people of the right sort, who understand that knowledge always carries with it a responsibility for action.
We have been able to build our circulation to its present level only because our readers have participated actively in the task, telling friends, neighbors, and colleagues about NATIONAL VANGUARD. That has required courage, because the promotion of heresy has always been a hazardous enterprise. And it has required persistence, because many people do not want to hear truths which impose troubling, new responsibilities on them.
Putting our truths into a more presentable package does not eliminate the need for courage and persistence, but it should yield a greater reward for those virtues, a greater willingness to consider the truths on their own merits.
Hopefully, it will also move some to do more than consider and accept. By providing a somewhat more inviting medium, the new NATIONAL VANGUARD should induce more of those who are able to participate in the formulation of the ideas in it to do so.
Finally, the effectiveness of any tool depends upon the user. We hope that we have provided all our readers with a tool they will be more willing to use. But it is a tool in your hands now. Please use it.