by Dr. William L. Pierce (pictured)
THE STEP UPWARD from ATTACK! to National Vanguard is a good place to pause for a moment and survey our recent footsteps. The view should help us in understanding how to negotiate the steps which lie ahead. In looking back we should note, in particular, the various types of appeal which have been issued by the Alliance and the various types of people who have responded.
In late 1970 and early 1971, the first period of independent existence for the National Youth Alliance, we had a following which was substantially conservative. The Vietnam war was much on people’s minds, and even more so was the leftist-Jewish reaction in this country to that war. Swarthy, hook-nosed Reds were leading mobs of empty-headed Gentile students in chants of "Ho-ho-ho Chi Minh, the Viet Cong’s gonna win!," while the controlled media openly sympathized with them. U.S. senators and representatives were not ashamed to address public rallies calling for the defeat of America’s armed forces in Southeast Asia. "Black power" advocates were staging armed takeovers of university administration buildings, while liberal educators wrung their hands in impotent indecision. The drug culture was destroying the lives of tens of thousands of young, White Americans every year.
In this general climate, it was sufficient for the NYA to state its opposition to drugs, Black power, the SDS, and Washington’s no-win foreign policy. Our activists consisted of publishing and distributing ATTACK!, organizing Washington street demonstrations of two dozen or so members carrying patriotic banners and addressing campus groups. There was a general sympathy among the patriotic segment of the population for our position, and conservative support was good, with a steady stream of $100 contributions coming in to keep the organization going. (One fly in the ointment at that time was the vicious, well-financed effort of a conservative mailing-list tycoon to destroy the NYA. Shadowy Washington wheeler-dealer Willis Carto, envious of the success of the NYA and regarding it as a competitor, launched a mass-mail smear campaign against us which cost us a great deal of support.)
The NYA membership, as well as our much larger body of well-wishers and supporters, in that early period showed a definite reactionary streak: libertarian anarcho-capitalists, who more properly belong in Young Americans for Freedom, stood in our ranks alongside dedicated White racial-nationalists. ATTACK!, however, although its four-point program was rather superficial and reactionary, never really catered to traditional conservative sentiment. Even at that time we probed with our editorials a great deal deeper into underlying issues than conservatives were accustomed to looking. These editorials gradually flushed out the libertarians, who left angrily denouncing us for “racist collectivism,” the run-of-the-mill conservatives stayed: They just stopped reading our editorials.
One thing which profoundly impressed us at the time was the conservatives’ lack of ideological discrimination: They would support just about anything or anybody which came across as pro-American. They boosted the shallowest and most transparent hucksters with the same mindless enthusiasm they bestowed on the NYA. One had the definite feeling that attempting to carefully enunciate fundamental concepts in ATTACK! was like casting pearls before swine.
Another thing which profoundly impressed us was the fact that America’s internal enemies were manifestly winning the war on the home front. Clearly, more than words in ATTACK! were requited to wake up the masses of ordinary Americans and mobilize them into a force capable of destroying the Jewish serpent in the midst. ATTACK! began pointing out that the processes of decay and alien takeover had proceeded so far in America that bullets, not ballots, would be required to set things right again.
We also pointed out that counter-revolution is the proper stance for a patriot when the enemy is still outside the gates trying to get in; but after the enemy’s minions have flung open the gates and he has captured the citadel and hoisted his flag above it, revolution becomes every patriot’s duty, and mindless support for the new masters of the citadel is treason.
That was not what conservatives wanted to hear, and their support waned. After we began publishing a series of "Revolutionary Notes," giving advice to patriots on armed resistance, the conservatives left us in droves.
We gained new supporters in their place of the frightened and disapproving conservatives: younger, bolder, more militant supporters. It quickly became apparent, however, that there just were not enough White Americans with a revolutionary outlook to enable us to challenge the System through direct action. Editorial calls in ATTACK! to "Smash the System" began to sound hollow, when so few indicated their willingness to follow such a course. We were rapidly getting ourselves far out on a limb, with declining conservative support and far too little radical support to replace it. It also became clear that we had been thinking in terms of far too short a time scale for solving America’s problems; we began to understand that a long and difficult struggle indeed lay before us.
We consequently dropped the "Revolutionary Notes" and the revolutionary bombast, but we continued to explore fundamental concepts in ATTACK!: concepts which did not particularly frighten conservatives, but which did not particularly interest them either. They wanted to hear the standard conservative hokum about the secret machinations of the all-powerful Council on Foreign Relations, about how Nelson Rockefeller was preparing to declare himself emperor of the universe, and similar baloney. ATTACK! stuck to relevant truths, leaving the baloney-peddling to Carto and the other hucksters.
Our number of subscribers and our support continued to dwindle, as the Vietnam era came to a close and conservatives relaxed a bit. The process of exchanging our remaining conservative support for new radical support continued, but it was a difficult period for us. We used ATTACK! to say a number of very important things, but very few people were listening. It was a hand-to-mouth existence.
One thing decided during this period was that, if we could not be a large organization, we would, at least, be an elite organization. We would not tolerate in the National Alliance (the emphasis had by then shifted from the NYA to the present organization, dropping the under-30 age restriction) the sort of congenital loser who seem to gravitate to radical organizations.
To keep the homosexuals away it sufficed to run a short article hitting this sick segment of society every three or four issues (they’re much less a problem for us now, since the Democrats and Republicans have welcomed them with open arms). To discourage the hobbyists, who like to keep a hand in half-a-dozen organizations at once without developing a real commitment to any one of them, we required all Alliance members to engage actively in recruiting on a regular basis. The paranoids, who like to imagine that the FBI tails them everywhere and reads their mail, were generally kept at arm’s length by the fairly provocative image projected by ATTACK! And the kooks, cultists, and monomaniacs of various stripes, with their weird theories on racial history, flying saucers, money, the Bilderbergers, black magic, or what have you, were simply never given any encouragement, even to the extent of allowing them to run advertisements in ATTACK!
We stuck to the straight and narrow path, and we gradually began to pick up the sort of people we wanted: intelligent, level-headed, capable people; people willing to work — and, eventually, to fight — as well as to talk; idealistic people, who could subordinate materialism and egoism to devotion to a cause; patient, longsighted people, who would not demand results overnight but could work for years without losing interest in their goal. But it was a slow process; the right people were few and far between. It was only at the beginning of this year that we finally had enough people of the quality needed to assure our ability to launch National Vanguard and then to build it into the sort of publication it will become in the months ahead.
Our experiences with various types of people in the past can be summarized briefly:
1) Conservatives: numerous, not very bright or discriminating, timid, inactive, but essential. Actually, most White Americans are conservatives, if one does not equate conservatism with laissez faire capitalism or reaction. Even most labor union members who favor welfare-state economics remain conservative — i.e., opposed to rapid or radical change — on other racial, social, and political issues.
The goals of the National Alliance are thoroughly radical, yet many conservatives still find it possible to support us. Understanding why this is so is a problem for the psychologists, but it is a fact — and a welcome one. Conservative financial support is virtually a necessity for any White racial-nationalist organization. The radicals may give us their hearts, but conservatives give their money. Furthermore, conservatives, because of their sheer numbers, constitute an important medium for the propagation of our message, even if they do not understand it fully themselves.
Our stance toward conservatives in the future will be one of welcoming their support without compromising our principles. We will try to avoid frightening them, but we will not cater to them. We will hope that some of them will eventually develop a more fundamental outlook, but we will not count on it. We will plan on a substantial fraction of our subscribers and supporters always being conservatives, but we will never again allow the Alliance to become wholly dependent on them; we will always remember that their lack of fundamental ideological commitment makes them unreliable, their support waning and waxing according to immediate social, political, and economic conditions — and always subject to pre-emption by the System (which is what may soon happen to the National Front’s conservative support in Britain, for example, if the Tories continue to hint that they may favor an end to non-White immigration). When the Alliance is large enough to launch effective front-group operations, we will shift most of our conservative support to these groups.
2) Militant, direct-action revolutionaries: too scarce to be of much use at this stage. It is a mistake to engage in direct action unless one is prepared to sustain it on a sufficiently large scale for it to have the desired effect.
3) Right-wing hobbyists; almost totally worthless. About the only good thing which can be said of these armchair theorists and dabblers is that they buy lots of books: They will generally buy or subscribe to one of everything, which makes them marginally important as a source of support. As members, however, they do more harm than good, always gossiping about “movement” personalities, always bubbling over with news about other groups, and always diverting Alliance members from a single-minded devotion to the task at hand.
That leaves the people for whom we are primarily looking: those rare few men and women of character, ability, and fundamentalist disposition on whom we can build a rock-like edifice which will weather every storm ahead. An organization with a hard core of only a few hundred such people can turn the world upside down.
National Vanguard is the principal tool we will use in attempting to find and recruit these exceptional few. It is the task of us in the National Office to make NV the best possible tool for the job at hand, and it is the task of Alliance members everywhere to put the tool to the best possible use.
Several considerations, based on our experience with ATTACK!, will guide us in developing NV. One of the lessons learned with ATTACK! — and also with the BULLETIN — is that what appeals to the largest number of people is not necessarily what appeals to the special minority we are trying to recruit, and vice versa.
The most popular issues of ATTACK! have generally been those with expose-type articles: the kosher-food racket, the U.S.S. Liberty attack, etc. But what has recruited for us the dedicated few now on the NV staff are primarily the ATTACK! editorials which have probed most deeply into fundamental concepts. Most people are not ideologues, but those in our special minority decidedly are. Their commitment to the Alliance is essentially religious in nature. Conservatives care about economics, about politics, perhaps even about race; but radicals care about Truth.
This means that NV must serve both the popular appetite and the cause of Truth just as ATTACK! did. The first is essential both for economic reasons and for insuring that NV falls into the largest possible number of hands; the second is essential for winning us a new recruit whenever it falls into the right hands. The substance of NV, then, will not differ markedly from that of ATTACK!
The primary difference will be in style. A major problem we had with ATTACK! which we want to avoid with NV is public acceptability, and the style of NV has been designed with this in mind. ATTACK! packaged the truth it contained in a somewhat flamboyant and abrasive wrapper. NV will be more restrained in appearance, if not in actual content. The reason for the restraint is to make it easier for NV's readers to introduce it to others; it will be a newspaper with which our members will be more willing to identify themselves publicly; they should be less hesitant to sell it on the streets, less concerned that it might lead to embarrassment or cause their neighbors or coworkers to consider them "strange."
ATTACK! was generally regarded as a right-wing newspaper, and this tended to hinder our recruiting efforts outside the right-wing circles. Some people come to us via liberalism and some via conservatism, but we ourselves are neither of the right nor of the left, and the unique organization that it is, standing alone and offering the only viable future for our race.
At times, primarily because of the changing emphasis in ATTACK!, it has not been obvious just what kind of organization the Alliance is and what we are trying to do. It is important for all our members to keep in mind that the National Alliance’s activities are directed toward precisely two objectives at this time, one educational and one organizational.
The educational objective is the sowing of seeds among the general public. We try to reach the greatest possible number of people with certain ideas and to increase their awareness of certain facts. We realize that most of our seeds do not fall on fertile soil and will not sprout and grow now. But they still serve a purpose: many will sprout later, when conditions have changed; many more will, at least, make the public more aware of the facts and ideas we are propagating, even if relatively few people become convinced or activated by them now.
The organizational objective is that described above in connection with NV: reaching and recruiting that vital minority of Americans who can be recruited now. There are tens of thousands of racially and morally sound men and women in America who have never been exposed to our ideas — many who have never even heard of us. We want to make this minority aware of our existence, our ideas, and our long-range purpose — and we want to activate as many of them as possible and integrate them into the structure of the Alliance, thus increasing our capability for carrying out both our immediate and long-range purposes.
National Vanguard will be oriented more toward this second objective than the first. It will also try to avoid misleading its readers — as ATTACK! sometimes inadvertently did — into believing we are trying to do certain things which we are not — at least, not at this time. Among these things are: building a mass movement; building a guerrilla army or a secret organization of any kind; using direct action against the Blacks or the Jews or the government, except in self-defense; influencing legislation; participating in elections; reforming the government; bringing about social or political changes of any kind in the larger society.
The primary reason we are not trying to do any of these things now is that we lack the capability for doing them effectively. What we must do first is develop the capability for bringing about changes of a fundamental nature in the society in which we live. Ultimately, such a capability will necessarily involve large numbers of people as either active or passive supporters; tens of thousands of actively involved, disciplined and coordinated people and millions of passive supporters — perhaps as much as ten percent of the White population, eventually.
But first we need two things. We need a totally committed cadre of a few hundred people, and we need a rock-solid spiritual-philosophical basis, which will serve not only as the foundation for the structure we are erecting but also as the mortar which binds all the members of that structure together. To set out to build a mass movement without these prerequisites is like an architect setting out to build a skyscraper by putting a mob of people to work stacking bricks, without either a crew of skilled foreman to guide the workers or mortar to hold the bricks together.
National Vanguard will reflect this priority by addressing itself more to potential cadre members than to the general public. It will not assume a prior commitment or a prior knowledge, but it will be aimed at persons rather more intelligent, rather more sensitive, and rather more open-minded than the average. Without alienating or boring those incapable of going all the way with us, it will still speak most directly to those who can.
Finally, NV will try to avoid some of the pitfalls which ATTACK! encountered. One of these is the extraordinary timidity of the American people. In the past there have been a great many people who were aware of our existence and sympathized with our views, but who simply did not have the courage to "become involved." Some people have been afraid of imagined violence, others of governmental reprisals, and still others of social ostracism. Some of them are hopeless cowards, who will never be of any use to anyone. But others are potentially valuable people who can be recruited if the barrier of fear can be lowered a bit for them, initially. NV will lower that barrier.
Another pitfall is the lack of credibility an organization has when it used mass propaganda at a time when it obviously does not have a mass audience. To thunder about overthrowing the government when an organization is clearly in no position to do so robs it of credibility. ATTACK! sometimes ventured a bit too close to this pitfall, and NV will be much more careful to keep its distance.
Superficiality is a characteristic of propaganda which deals only with symptoms and not with the fundamental causes of those symptoms. An intelligent person, regardless of his dislike for the Jews, regardless of his desire for an all-White environment, knows that the problems our race faces today and the problems we will face in the future cannot all be blamed on the Jews and the Blacks. He knows that, despite what the Jews and the Blacks have done, we ourselves are the ones primarily responsible for our predicament, and that any feasible solution must address itself to our own shortcomings rather than to those of our enemies. Only when we are able to cure ourselves can we hope to deal effectively with external enemies. The masses may not realize that, but a large portion of the elite minority we are trying to reach does.
ATTACK! has sometimes been guilty of superficiality, when it has allowed the Jewish problem to crowd virtually everything else out of its pages. There have been issues of ATTACK! which certainly must have given the impression that we believe that getting rid of the Jews is the only thing which matters. NV will maintain a more careful balance between its treatment of symptoms and causes.
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Source: National Alliance BULLETIN, February-March 1978