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UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Staying power : George Lincoln Rockwell’s legacy Maschmann, Sean 2006

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STAYING POWER: GEORGE L I N C O L N R O C K W E L L ' S L E G A C Y by S E A N M A S C H M A N N B A , The University of British Columbia, 1998 SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL F U L F I L M E N T OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF M A S T E R OF ARTS in THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (History) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A April 2006 ©Sean Maschmann, 2006 Abstract This paper is an examination of the ideas of George Lincoln Rockwell, the leader of the American Nazi Party from its inception until Rockwell's assassination at the end of the 1960's. Using Rockwell's two major ideological statements - This Time the World (1961) and the subsequent White Power (1968) —this paper traces a fundamental change in Rockwell's thinking which was tied to popular conceptions of race in the United States after the Second World War. Historically, the idea of "whiteness" in American popular imagination was closely linked to being of northern European heritage. Southern Europeans, Catholics and other non-Nordic European Americans were traditionally the object of organized racism in the United States, exemplified by the Protestant K u Klux Klan. However, as the twentieth century entered its second half, the idea of "whiteness" grew to include all Americans of European and Jewish origin to the extent that such divisions were no longer so meaningful as divisions between "whites" and visible minorities. In the early years of the American Nazi Party, Rockwell believed, like his idol Adolf Hitler, that northern Europeans were the apex of human social, biological and cultural development. In This Time the World, Rockwell again and again expounds on the supposed virtues of the "master race" of fair-skinned and blonde-haired "Nordics." However, given the changing popular perception of "whiteness," Rockwell was out of step with mainstream ideas. By the time he wrote White Power, Rockwell had undergone a radical transformation in his thinking. Inspired directly by the growing Black Power movement, whose radicalism and racially separatist ideas he strongly admired, Rockwell attempted ii to fashion his racist organization along similar lines. Though the American Nazi Party never had a significant following at any time, Rockwell's importance in the history of radical racism comes from his appropriation of a central feature of radical black nationalism - the idea that all Europeans constitute a "family." Just as differences between African Americans - skin tone in particular - were downplayed in the name of unity by groups such as the Nation of Islam, Rockwell underscored "white" racial unity, and ended his fixation with "Nordic" white superiority. Rockwell was responding both to popular ideas of "whiteness" and also to militant African-American leaders who preached racial unity. His idea of white racial unity remains a cornerstone of the American racist movement as a whole, and has allowed it to grow beyond its narrowly "Nordic" and Protestant origins. 111 Table of Contents Title Page Abstract Table of Contents Preface v Introduction 1 Chapter 1 - Who was Rockwell? 7 Chapter 2 - This Time the World 1 Chapter 3 - White Power 25 Chapter 4 - Reckoning 45 Bibliography 48 iv Preface In the process of writing this paper, I have attempted to offer as clear a vision as possible of George Lincoln Rockwell's ideology and tactics. This paper is meant neither as an attack on, nor a defense of, Rockwell's ideas. Instead, I have sought here to offer a critical analysis of Rockwell's changing conception of "whiteness," as well as the tactical repercussions of his shifting viewpoint. While I at times use "value words" in relation to Rockwell, and especially his tactics, these are in no way meant to reflect any sympathy on my part with his goals. I do however attempt at times to evaluate his tactical skills. It is a simple statement of opinion that Rockwell became a much cannier and more realistic tactician shortly before he died. M y own opinions regarding Rockwell's theoretical underpinnings are certainly there to see, but are hopefully as invisible as possible. I am not trying to be a moralist here, and don't consider my opinions to be of much value to potential readers. I can at best offer a critical analysis of Rockwell's ideas. I have also tried to be careful when using constructed terms, such as "white" and "non-white." Whenever these words are used in the sense in which Rockwell meant them to be used, I have put them in quotation marks in order to express my distance from Rockwell's intended meaning. Hopefully, this will not be overly burdensome for the reader. Racism is a reality, and it is not likely to vanish on the near horizon. Therefore, it should be studied and understood with as little moralizing as possible. In my opinion, this is the only way in which it can be met with counter-arguments. This is the spirit in which I have written. I am not comfortable inserting my own political or moral views v into such an exercise. Unfortunately, my own voice is likely popping up everywhere. I hope that the reader can ignore it and focus on Rockwell's ideas instead. vi Introduction Before examining some of the ideas of George Lincoln Rockwell, it is necessary to discuss the changing idea of race and specifically "whiteness" in post-war American culture. In a nutshell, what had previously been a conception of "whites" as including only Protestant Anglo-Saxons changed rapidly both during and after the Second World War for a variety of reasons. American society in general expanded the idea of "whiteness" to include other European ethnic groups as well as Jews. Rockwell's own inroads in propaganda, which consisted mostly of an appeal to broaden the idea of "whiteness," followed from this already existing expansion. In this way, Rockwell is perhaps less of a pioneer than some have contended. In the March 1926 edition of the North American Review, the first of a series of K u Klux Klan-related articles appeared.1 Later contributors to the series included W.E.B. Dubois and Rabbi Joseph Silverman, among others. Imperial Wizard and Emperor of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Hiram Wesley Evans, was invited with the other writers to indulge in "the utmost freedom of expression."2 Evans writes with precision, and his message is very clear - there is only one kind of "native American" who truly belongs to the country: Let us be clear what is meant by "supremacy." It is nothing more than power or control, under just laws. It is not imperialism, far less is it autocracy or even aristocracy of a race or stock of men. What it does mean is that we insist on our inherited right to insure our own safety, individually and as a race, to secure the future of our children, to maintain and develop our racial heritage in our own, white, Protestant, American way, without 1 Hiram Wesley Evans. "The Klan's Fight for Americanism" (Introduction.) Essay taken from The North American Review. V o l . CCXXII I . (North American Review Corporation: New York, 1926,) p. 33. 2 Evans, intro., p. 33. 1 interference. There is also plenty of evidence that Evans saw the northern European as the racial ideal. Statements like the following are commonplace in his essay: They ["Nordic Americans"] saw, too, that the alien was tearing down American standard of living, especially in the lower walks. It became clear that while the American can out-work the alien, the alien can so far under-live the American as to force him out of all competitive labor. So they came to realize that the Nordic can easily survive and rule and increase i f he holds for himself the advantages won by strength and daring i f his ancestors in times of stress and peril, but that i f he surrenders those advantages to the peoples who could not share the stress, he will soon be driven below the level at which he can exist by their low standards, low living and low breeding. And they saw that the low standard aliens of Eastern and Southern Europe were doing just that thing to us.4 There are repeated references to perceived dangers facing "white" Protestant Americans. Along with the Jews, Evans fingers southern and eastern European immigrants as the ultimate source of these dangers. There is a clear racial boundary between "Nordics" and other Europeans, as well as Jews: We find, too, that even in America, the majority of the leaders and of the priests of the Roman Church are either foreign born, or of foreign parentage and training. They, like other aliens, are unable to teach Americanism if they wish, because both race and education prevent their understanding of what it is. 5 Jews or Catholics are lavish with their caustic criticism of any-thing American. Nothing is immune; our great men, our historic struggles and sacrifices, our customs and personal traits, or "Puritan consciences" — all have been scarified without mercy. Yet the least criticism of these same vitriolic critics or of their people brings howls of "anti-Semitic" or "anti-Cath-olic." 6 We can see that to the American racist right in the late 1920's, the most popular manifestation of which was the newly resurgent and revitalized Second Klan — "the most 3 Evans, p. 55. 4 Evans, p. 40-1 5 Evans, p. 46 6 Evans, p. 58. 2 powerful movement of the far right that America has ever produced" - there was still a high degree of prejudice against "non-Nordic" European whites. Jews were also a target, as they would continue to be until the present. The future was to bring changes to popular American ideas about race. Protestant Americans of northern-European heritage were about to accept both Jews and non-"Nordic" Europeans as "white" Americans. According to Wil l Herberg in Protestant - Catholic - Jew: An Essay in American Religious Sociology, American Jews had become fully integrated into the cultural and moral mainstream of American social life. This was made possible by a rise in secularism, which Herberg identifies as an idea long supported by many Jewish Americans: At bottom, this attitude [toward secularism] may be traced to the conviction, widely held though rarely articulated, that because the Western Jew achieved emancipation with the secularization of society, he can preserve his free and equal status only so long as culture and society remains (sic) secular.8 As the United States became more secular, divisions between those of different faiths became less pronounced. Tolerance was a necessity in a country which was "pre-eminently a land of minorities."9 However, according to Herberg, there was a growing realization on the part of Protestant and Catholic Americans of European background that Judaism and Christianity share many key assumptions. Herberg calls Protestantism, Catholicism and Judaism the three "religions of democracy,"10 and remarks upon their continued survival in an officially secular United States: 7 Nancy Maclean. Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second K u Klux Klan. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), p. xi. 8 Wi l l Herberg. Protestant - Catholic - Jew: A n Essay in American Religious Sociology. (Garden City, N Y : Anchor Books, I960,) p. 239. 9 Herberg, p. 231. 1 0 Herberg, p. 246. 3 Americans think, feel and act in terms quite obviously secularist at the very same time that they exhibit every sign of a widespread religious revival. 1 1 Herberg attributes this survival to what he identifies as a uniquely American religious phenomenon: the "faith in faith" of its citizens.12 Religion is personalized and highly subjective. "(The) primary religion of the American is his belief in religion." 1 3 Under such circumstances, religion becomes much less uniform. According to Herberg, it was this personalization of religion, and its concomitant requirement that one must accept and respect as faith others' personal spirituality which led to the integration of the Jews into American society. American Jewry (didn't)lose its corporate identity with advancing Americanization; instead - largely within the last quarter of a century - it underwent a change of character and turned into an American religious community, retaining, even enhancing, its Jewishness in the process.14 However, the price paid by both Jews and Catholics was the adoption of the "Protestant pattern" of worship and attitudes toward religion. 1 5 They were able to assimilate, but they had to worship their religion in an American idiom. Protestantism was by far the dominant religion in the United States through most of its history, and continues to be so. The adoption by both Catholics and Jews of a Protestant style of worship erased some of the more obvious cultural gaps in the United States, and an emphasis both on personal, reflective faith and its accompanying recognition of the " Herberg, p. 3. 1 2 Herberg, p. 89. 1 3 Herberg, p. 89. 1 4 Herberg, p. 172. 1 5 Herberg, p. 224. 4 potential validity of others' beliefs, helped both Jews and Catholics to eventually assimilate over time.1 6 We can see that in the post-war period, Jews were finally being accepted as American in every way. Ethnicity under such circumstances is not nearly so important an issue. Since Judaism and Christianity were perceived by many as compatible, religious discrimination waned. Additionally, with the secularization of society, and the relegation of religion to the private world of each citizen, religion became more personalized. In this way, Jewish Americans were considered by most to be "white," both ethnically and culturally. Of course, anti-Semitism did not vanish, but was only adopted by those on the fringe. Just as important to us as attitudes toward Jewish Americans are those toward Catholics, who were predominantly of European background. Earlier Protestant Nativist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan had gone out of their way to denigrate Catholicism at every turn. Now, however, Catholics were also becoming "American" in their religious and social attitudes. We shall see that Rockwell reacted to the expanding definition of "American" in two opposite ways. On one hand, he protested against the exclusion of Europeans of traditionally "non-white" origins from his racial family. On the other hand, he went against popular opinion in his attacks on Jews, for whom he reserved the foulest and most awful rhetoric. Most white Americans looked at Jews as culturally conforming to American standards. Rockwell both caught and missed the wave at the same time. He was able to drop almost completely traditional racist hatred of non-northern Europeans. In this, he was conforming to popular racial feeling. Most "whites" were able to accept l 6Herberg,p. 173-5-. 5 southern and eastern Europeans, or at least their descendants, as full and equal "Americans". Rockwell was stubborn, however, in his identification of Jews as the greatest threat to "white America." 6 Chapter 1 — Who Was Rockwell? George Lincoln Rockwell is a figure most people likely don't know well. Those who have heard of him often dismiss him as a crank on the racist fringe of American political life during an uneasy period. Rockwell was, after all, a demagogue who deliberately appropriated emotionally potent symbolism in order to get his point across. This theatricality - the adoption of Nazi costumes and images - has obscured the fact that Rockwell made a major contribution to the racist right around the world. This essay will attempt a critical comparative analysis of Rockwell's two published books - the autobiographical This Time the World, as well as the more polemical White Power. Both of the books will be examined in turn, and it will be seen that the publication of the latter book constituted a clear step forward in Rockwell's tactical savvy. Through the examination of these books, the development of Rockwell's ideology as well as his tactics, will be set out. As the political climate in the United States changed, so too did Rockwell. He realized the importance of mass action. Unity in the face of what was to Rockwell frightening social upheaval had become necessary. Petty hatreds among European racial comrades must become cursed memories. Though his political thinking never fully crystallized until shortly before his murder, he had one powerful idea which has resonated since his death: White Power. Rockwell was the first white racial extremist to attempt to create a sense of intra-racial unity. Divisions between whites from different European stock were to be ignored or downplayed; the clarion call became racial unity and solidarity 7 Though this is in no way a biographical project, it is helpful to give a bit of context through a short summary of Rockwell's life. The focus of this essay is more on ideology than on Rockwell the man. However, there is one crucial aspect of Rockwell's personality that bears emphasis here, and that is his political impatience and excitability, his unwillingness or inability to be a follower or to compromise his beliefs in any way. Rockwell went through a succession of right wing organizations, but perceived them as weak and flabby, their "democratic" beliefs poison from the hand of the hated Jewish enemy. His own potent theatricality was utterly without reserve, and his contempt for his fellow "white" sheep was never concealed. Rockwell seemed destined both by belief and personality to lead the American Nazi Party. Rockwell was born on March 9, 1918 in Bloomington, Illinois. 1 7 His parents were both vaudeville performers, and supplied their son with a comfortable middle class 1 8 upbringing. Rockwell joined the US Navy in March, 1941, becoming a pilot He served in the Pacific theatre in the closing months of the war, but saw little action.1 9 After the war, Rockwell continued to serve in reserve and studied commercial art, showing great promise.20 Shiftless and quite ambitious, Rockwell tried his hand at a number of ventures, including publishing.21 At the same time, he was becoming involved in politics. During the mid 1950's, Rockwell began to move toward the right wing fringe 1 7 Frederick J. Simonelli. American Fueher: George Lincoln Rockwell and the American Nazi Party. (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999), p. 5. 18 19 1 8 Simonelli, p. 11 Simonelli, p. 18. 2 0 Simonelli, p. 19-20. 2 1 He founded a magazine devoted to wives of servicemen called U.S. Lady, which had its premier issue in September 1955. He eventually sold his interests to his partners. Simonelli, p. 24-5. of respectable opinion. Slowly, Rockwell concluded that mainstream right wing groups were "too tame and timid to capture the imagination of the American public." In addition, Rockwell was growing tired of the fixation of his ideological comrades on economic questions, and their belief in the predominance of the market system among competing visions of social organization. "The State," said Rockwell, "is a folk organism and not an economic organization."24 This was in 1956, fully two years before the founding of the American Nazi Party. While he always supported capitalism, arguably in a slightly truncated form, Rockwell was opposed to people who were only fiscally conservative. He saw their emphasis on money as a symptom of Jewish-inspired materialism that acted as a measure to distract "whites" from a coming take-over of Western civilization by the Jews. Frustrated by his experiences, and inspired by others who supported him both ideologically and financially, Rockwell founded the American Nazi Party in 1958.25 Highly visible at their rallies, in which they would wear Nazi uniforms and carry extremely provocative signs, the A N P always had trouble keeping a consistently large group of followers. Rockwell maintained hope that his "white" countrymen would realize that to organize on racial lines was the only way to save the United States from the ever-present Jewish menace.26 As William Schmalz puts it, to Rockwell's way of Simonelli, p. 24-5. He was involved with Republicans and other mainstream conservative groups, as well as with the John Birch Society, all of which he would later bitterly disclaim as hopelessly ineffectual debating clubs directly controlled by Jews. 2 3 Simonelli, p. 25. 2 4 Quoted in William H . Schmalz. Hate: George Lincoln Rockwell and the American Nazi Party. (Washington: Brassey's, 1999), p. 27. 2 5 Simonelli, p. 26. Both Simonelli and Schmalz mention DeWest Hooker and Harold Noel Arrowsmith, two men who had some influence on Rockwell in the first months of the life of the A N P . Hooker convinced Rockwell to become an open Nazi, and Arrowsmith, who was independently wealthy, helped financially. (Simonelli; p. 26-7; Schmalz, p. 29.) 2 6 Often mentioned, but never methodically explained by Rockwell. 9 thinking, "National Socialism was the very essence of what conservatives desired, but they were afraid to examine the doctrine because of the propaganda campaign directed at it ." 2 7 However, not many conservatives regarded Rockwell as anything other than a lunatic. Frederick Schwarz, the self-styled "father of anti-Communism," organizer of huge "anti-Communist Schools" across the United States and a close friend of many influential Republicans, including the Reagans, McCarthy and John Wayne, recalls encountering Rockwell in the audience after Schwarz had given a speech: During the question period that followed my speech at the rally, Rockwell stood up and said, "Why don't you tell the truth about the Jewish conspiracy?" I replied, "I do not tell people that because it is not the truth, it 28 is a paranoid delusion." It took a full decade for Rockwell to gain something more than notoriety and a reputation for political titillation and buffoonery. It was not until 1966 that Rockwell stepped into a brighter light, an event due both to social changes in the United States -notably the Civil Rights movement and the concomitant spread of militant black nationalism - as well as Rockwell's own growth as a tactical politician. However, he was murdered on August 25, 1967 by one of his former followers before he could see the 29 impact of his ideas on successive generations. u Schmalz, p. 49. 2 8 Frederick Schwarz, M D . Beating the Unbeatable Foe: One Man's Victory over Communism. Leviathan, and the Last Enemy. (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing Inc, 1996), p. 324. 2 9 Simoneli, p. 131. The killer was John Patler, a "disaffected former ANP officer" who had a troubled life. Many of Rockwell's other followers disputed Patler's conviction and offered other theories, though none have ever been proven or prosecuted. One of these theories names William Pierce, author of The Turner Diaries, as the killer. 10 Chapter 2 -This Time the World In This Time the World, George Lincoln Rockwell made the first of his two attempts to introduce his ideas to a larger audience than his immediate party comrades. The book's very title, which is an answer to Hitler's famous "Today Germany -Tomorrow the world!" quotation, gives a vital clue as to what his preoccupations are. In This Time the World, Rockwell is always casting his eyes back in time, to an idealized vision of heroic Aryan warrior-priests in the service of their omniscient Fuehrer. One gets the sense that Rockwell is somewhat happy simply to inhabit the ideological universe of his dead heroes rather than strike out with any new ideas of his own. He seems aware of the fact that his own theatrical style and extreme positions serve only to alienate him from mainstream American opinion. Not only does this not bother him, but one gets the sense that he relishes his pariah status to a large extent. Several observers have accused Rockwell of political buffoonery, and in the early part of his career, there is some truth to this assertion. It was only later, when Rockwell first sensed that America was perhaps ready for his ideas, that he began to develop a more concise and effective ideological skeleton. However, just as he was ready to fully flesh it out, he was killed. Other racist organizations have followed his lead and furthered his concept of racial solidarity and inclusiveness (limited to Europeans) which was first outlined in the seminal book, White Power. 11 As we shall examine in the next chapter, Rockwell would in later years adopt an ideological position that at least nominally called for a greater inclusiveness in the white supremacist movement, and argue against a completely "Nordic" centered vision of the ideal "white" man. However, the pages of This Time the World are very heavily influenced by the legacy of the German Nazis. Take for example the book's dedication, which has pride of place at the beginning of the book, and next to which a brooding portrait of Hitler staring into the netherworld sits: To: Adolf Hitler! Like spiritual giants before you - you were cursed and driven to death by spiritual pygmies for daring to stand up for a new and vital truth. Your heroic people lie silent, bound in golden chains and torn between the two criminal gangs of Bolshevists and Zionists. I helped to bomb and burn millions of your brave young men. Your blue-eyed young mothers were raped and murdered by Soviet and Negro savages. The millions of little blond boys and girls you loved so well lie moldering in acres of devastation and ruin. Millions of my fellow Americans, British, French and others of our racial comrades, all as ignorant as I once was, were slaughtered and maimed fighting for these same two filthy gangs of Zionists and Bolsheviks. The Weltfiend cringes like the Devil at the sign the cross. Your mighty spirit has inspired millions with the Holy Truth. From all over the earth, faintly at first, comes the sound of marching boots -louder and louder they grow! Listen! They are singing! "Die Fahne Hoch! Die Reihen fest geshlossen!" Out of the mud and slime of lies, your holy, red, white and black Swastika has been flung back into the skies in Virginia, United States of America, and we pledge you our lives, Adolf Hitler, that we shall not flag or fail until we shall have utterly destroyed the forces of Marxism and darkness. HEIL HITLER!! 3 0 Clearly, Rockwell's respect and admiration for his hero take on an almost religious significance. It is striking as well how Rockwell equates Hitler with those he governed, and romanticizes the little blond girls and boys whose fate was to be raped by marauding Russian and black American soldiers. Additionally, Rockwell's list of Germany's racial George Lincoln Rockwell. This Time the World. (Virginia: American Nazi Party, 1961,) p. 7. 12 cousins is notably short, and includes countries where the majority of inhabitants are of Northern European heritage. For Rockwell, the greatest tragedy of the Second World War lay in the fact that brother killed brother, as in a civil war. Perhaps his self-stated "ignorance" during the war was attributable to a species of false consciousness. Rockwell's veneration of all things northern European is a recurring theme throughout the book, not only in his writing, but also in the pictures he chooses to include. There are several pictures of Hitler and Nazi rallies, for example. In one photograph, Hitler stands beside a girl who is holding his picture and who seems a likely member of the League of German Maidens.3 1 In fact, when examining the book, one is often struck by the multitudes of illustrations of Hitler and assorted Nazi functions. Their number is, in fact, almost equal to the amount of pictures of Rockwell and ANP rallies. It is as i f Rockwell is imploring the skeptical reader to look beyond the apparent small scale of ANP activities and instead fix their gaze on the potential mass nature of the party. Even the National Socialist Party had to start small. The reality and fantasy face each other across the pages. This Time the World is explicit in its portrayal of what Rockwell sees as the racial hierarchy. Implicit in his ideology is the blunt-edged social Darwinism that had also informed his predecessors. Here, for example, is Rockwell's characterization of how an elite is formed within a society : "But the very severity of this unequal battle with nature insured that O N L Y the smartest and strongest individuals rose to leadership; O N L Y the best organized and most excellent families rose to leadership of the group; and O N L Y the strongest, smartest and best organized groups rose to preeminence in a desperately 3 1 TTTW, p. 75. 1 3 struggling world." This formula has obvious attractions, as it provides a framework within which one can explain apparent injustices. The weak are weak because they are the result of millennia of natural selection, and traits are passed not only within individuals, but also collectively. Rockwell, therefore, rails against Communism, which 3 3 he calls "the mutiny of the world's inferiors against the elite." Economic justice or racial equality are fairy-tale notions to Rockwell. Due to the "civilizing drive" of "exceptional whites" in Europe, but "most of all . . . NORDICS", the world was given colonialism, which, through its material uplift of the lives of "millions of ignorant savages" allowed them to become better off "than their savage, uncolonized brothers."34 The world was colonized by Europeans not because of physical fortitude, but due to the "power or ORGANIZATION" which Rockwell sees as the ultimate expression of "THE H U M A N WILL in action."3 5 What is the basis of this organizational elan? According to Rockwell, it is due to "scrupulously L O G I C A L thinking", which resulted from the rejection of "superstition, religious myths, old wives' tales and wishful thinking." Rockwell does not give us a precise junction when Northern Europeans rejected earlier irrationalism in favour of the power of logic, but it is clear that this shift is joined in his mind to the development of scientific thought, which allowed human beings to enjoy a state of affairs where "there is almost no thing or action which cannot be somehow dominated, controlled and used by mankind."3 7 Having "penetrated outer space and the atom", human beings stand at the TTTW, p. 401-2 TTTW, p. 401. TTTW, p. 402. TTTW, p. 403. TTTW, p 403. TTTW, p. 403. 14 cusp of "discovering the secrets of life itself." Rockwell clearly feels that his own beliefs are part of a steadily increasing comprehension of previously invisible laws of nature which have only recently become explicable and verifiable as a result of what he loosely refers to as the "scientific method."39 However, to Rockwell there is a dark side to the triumph of cold reason. "Bursting with conceit" at its evident mastery over natural laws, humanity then mistakenly and foolishly believed that these laws could be ignored or overruled.40 Human beings applied knowledge of heredity and selective breeding to a variety of livestock - "and even bugs" - but neglected to follow logic and admit that people, too are animals and are subject to the same laws.4 1 In Rockwell's estimation, the same process of evolution which had led to the "superior white man" had also, by way of its improvement of general living conditions and human health, had simultaneously led to the reproduction of less robust specimens.42 In an earlier age, these less hearty people would have been automatically deselected by the evolutionary process 4 3 Rockwell sees humans as hopelessly soft and flabby, like the Eloi inhabiting Well's dystopia in The Time Machine, poring over their tomes while forgetting that they are connected to the animal world "which still had to copulate, defecate, urinate - and FIGHT to survive."4 4 Gone were the days of the "wolf pack" organized by "mutual consent based on force."45 3 8 TTTW, p. 403. 3 9 TTTW, p. 403. 40 T T T W 5 p 4 0 3 4 1 TTTW, p. 404. 4 2 TTTW, p. 404. 4 3 TTTW, p. 404. 4 4 TTTW, p. 404. 4 5 TTTW, p. 405. 15 A s was previously pointed out, Rockwell saw Communism as the revolt of the natural servants against their natural masters. Ka r l Marx, "the Jew," had "organized and codified" this aberration. 4 6 National Socialism deplores the reversal o f human evolution being accelerated by welfare-ism, brotherhood-ism, race-mixing and the unlimited breeding o f inferior races and individuals while the superior limit themselves to few offspring or none. 4 7 Marxism is a patent absurdity to Rockwell , for it assumes that human equality is desirable in and of itself. Rockwell would prefer to, "for the good o f humanity," utilize the "scientific method" in order to facilitate not only "the breedings (sic) o f animals and bugs," but also of human beings. Rockwell asserts that "there are already S E V E N colored people for every white person in the world, and the ratio is becoming more overwhelmingly black every day." 4 9 Underpinning this threat, and in fact giving it an institutional face, is the United Nations, which "even the stupidest whites" can see is nothing but a farce thought up by "liberal toadies" eager to confer upon "cannibals" the previously honourable title of "statesmen" while the newly honoured diplomats "are picking morsels of their late political opponents from their pointed teeth." 5 0 Rockwell obviously sees the spectre o f One Wor ld Government fast approaching, and in his identification of the United Nations as its harbinger, he is somewhat of an ideological pioneer. 5 1 A n y notion o f democracy is by necessity frightening for him, for it can only lead to the diminution o f white prestige and 4 b T T T W , p. 406. 4 7 T T T W , p . 4 1 3 . 4 8 TTTW, p. 408. 4 9 TTTW, p. 406. so T T T W j p 4 0 6 . 7 5 1 Many contemporary right-wing groups have adopted the idea of ZOG - the Zionist Occupational Government - which is perceived as the true arbiter of government policy both in the United States and in the United Nations. 16 influence in the world. We can see that to Rockwell , any gain ever made by colonized or exploited non-whites both in the United States and around the world have served only to weaken and emasculate the "white race" who have been fed liberal lies from the cradle on. Who then is the enemy? Is it the blacks, at the time the largest non-white ethnic group in the United States? Despite his torrents of racial invective, one gets the sense that Rockwell sees himself as a benignly paternalistic observer of their exploitation by the eternal enemy of white supremacists since Hitler: the Jews. About the blacks, Rockwell seems at times almost sympathetic, even as he insults and degrades them. He never claims, however, that he would like to eradicate them as a group. For him, the greatest sin is that "whites" and non-whites live in close contact with one another. Within one's own racial group it is possible to be successful. In Rockwell ' s estimation, in the nineteenth century, "when equality was unheard of," black Americans were far better off, for their own worthiness resulted from their status in their "exclusive black 52 circle." In this context, one could "become, perhaps, a 'great man.' The Negro who succeeded in being the best banjo-player or story-teller, perhaps, among the O T H E R N E G R O E S , was a very real S U C C E S S . " 5 3 Separation is the only possible condition under which each race can prosper, according to its own abilities. "Only on his O W N piece of geography," Rockwell states, "among his own people, can the Negro find the 'status' he must have to exist as a contented human being." B y taking this position, Rockwell was perhaps already beginning to adopt his later emphasis on racial self-reliance and independence. Though his cynical attempt to appeal to the liberal instincts 5 2 TTTW, p. 423. 5 3 TTTW, p. 423. 17 of some of his readers is painfully transparent, it seems when reading This Time the World that Rockwell actually believed what he wrote. For him, it is only really possible to be free when one is surrounded by one's racial family. It is not the fault of American blacks that they live in squalor and poverty. It is their very aspiration to be equal as citizens that causes them problems. According to Rockwell, it would be much better i f they were to live in their own ethnically homogeneous community and refrain from interacting with their natural "superiors." There they could make their own destiny. Rockwell mentions the creation of Liberia as an example that "all our early leaders" recognized the "fundamental truth" underlying racial separation.54 Rockwell earnestly believes that permanent divorce of the races is better for all involved. Rockwell, however, is reluctant to admit to any potential wrongdoing on the part of "white" Americans toward blacks. He is instead eager to expose what he sees as the malicious exploitation of blacks by the Jews "WHO W A N T THE NEGROES HERE FOR THREE ROTTEN PURPOSES." 5 5 These three reasons are, firstly, to "USE the Negroes as a balance of power in politics" by encouraging the "ignorant and simple hearted" blacks to vote for candidates chosen by Jews on the basis of "whomever offers the Jews and the Negroes the most, and to hell with the Country, the Constitution and the White Christian majority. It is an utterly VICIOUS scheme!"56 The second reason is that the Jews "prey on the economically helpless Negroes F I N A N C I A L L Y " through high rents, alcohol sales and pawn shop-based usury. To understand who controls the economic life of the "Negro section of any town," one need only "look at the names on TTTW, p. 429. TTTW p. 429. TTTW, p. 429. TTTW, p. 429-30. 18 the shops." Rockwell presents us with a nightmare vision of racial exploitation in which the greedy and clever Jews "milk their black cattle" who are after all helpless because of their "childish" nature.59 One gets the sense that Rockwell is attempting to elicit the kind of pity one would feel when seeing an animal being mistreated. The third, and most important way in which the Jews use blacks is "as a BATTERING R A M to smash down White Gentile society" for their own benefit.60 Liberal whites, "who won't think when they FEEL," mindlessly support equality for blacks but are always unable to perceive that the Jews control the country through such skillful puppeteering61. In This Time the World, Rockwell spares no chance to romanticize his chosen task. The book as a whole is marked by an exaggerated cockiness coupled with a fervent and earnest mission. Rockwell makes numerous attempts to mimic the gutter patois that he perceives that his working class audience will best respond to. His prose is full of tough words and a species of grim humour. There is simultaneously the atmosphere of dark and dangerous urban alleys along with the stern sting of doctrinaire politics. Rockwell understands that to appeal to his most likely converts - working class, urban young "white" men - he has to speak to them not in stale and bookish phrases passed down from generation to generation in an almost religious fashion, but in the living and vital vernacular of the street. The following example demonstrates this tendency in Rockwell. The right wing can not be wheedled together, but it can be D R I V E N together, and this is our naked purpose. We intend to, and are making it impossible for the fakes to keep up their medicine show TTTW, p.429. TTTW, p. 430. TTTW,.p. 430. TTTW, p. 430. 19 no matter how they pound their drums next to our office. Sooner or later, our mastery of the right wing is assured. We have faced and beaten the worst the Jews have. We will have little trouble conquering and organizing the feeble right-wing... (we wil l have) united the right-wing and driven steel into its backbone, (p 237) Rockwell's frequent use of idiomatic English also lends his writing a far greater accessibility. Though the core of his beliefs are perhaps not logically comprehensible, Rockwell's use of clear language allows his readers to more easily see his most salient points which are at their roots deeply emotional and almost meta-linguistic in their irrationality. Rather than justifying his racism with obscurantist mythologizing as did the British Israelites or even the Ku Klux Klan, Rockwell celebrates it without feeling he needs to explain or defend it to any great degree. Here is a typical example from This Time the World; The common working people of America are fed up with what they call "niggers", and are only prevented from taking violent action in the matter by the most extreme measures of brainwashing and the use of armed force, including the U.S. Army, as at Little Rock. (P 422) Rockwell supplies the reader with a justification for his direct approach, and it has its origins in tactical considerations: I was determined, of course, to set up a program which was, in essence, National Socialist - Nazi. But for a long time I, too, toyed with the idea of "disguising" it, as do most other right wingers, by another name, and a slightly different symbol. At that time, an open "Nazi" party seemed too fantastic even to think about. But I began to reflect that the ultimate smear of the Jews was always, "You are a Nazi!" - and I wondered what it would be like to answer, "You're damned right we're Nazis - and we shall shortly stuff you Jew-traitors into the gas chamber!" At once I had the answer! By being an OPEN, A R R O G A N T , A L L - O U T N A Z I , not a sneaky nazi - but a Nazi - with the swastika, storm-troops, and open declarations of our intentions to gas the Jew-traitors (after investigations, trials, and convictions) - 1 would not only make an end of the filthy "silent treatment", for they could never "ignore" NAZIS with swastika armbands and talk of gas chambers - but I would also FORCE the Jews to publish M Y propaganda in THEIR press. Every time they howled that I was for "gas chambers", people would be shocked, but they would 20 also lose a tiny bit of their "fear of the Jews", as the Bible calls the filthy terror inspired by these apostles of tolerance, (p. 245-6) Whatever one might make of Rockwell's domino theory of racial consciousness, there can be little doubt that appropriation of the symbolism of Hitler's Nazis struck the nerve it was calculated to. One striking thing about Rockwell's decision to be "an open, arrogant, all-out Nazi" is its relationship to tactics. These tactics serve not to gain followers so much as to frighten and anger the general American population who tended to shy away from extremist politics of any stripe. His idea that people would lose their "fear of the Jews" i f they witnessed outright displays of anti-Semitism seems like a stretch of logic, even for Rockwell. One gets the sense that Rockwell is only trying to dress up his joy in shocking people with a flimsy, fairy-tale like story about racial consciousness-raising. Though Rockwell doubtlessly did identify ideologically with Hitler, he, more than any other far-right leader since, seized upon the theatricality inherent in his idol's apocalyptic world view. Rockwell's ANP used bludgeon-class words and ideas - " S A V E IKE F R O M THE K I K E S ! " "SEPARATION OR D E A T H ! " 6 2 Most "white" Americans, argued Rockwell, would always have a romantic and tolerant attitude about blacks until one '"moves in' on them" and "they too become racists quickly enough." The reader can sense here an affinity with some factions of the radical left - a shared pathological belief that things must get much worse for them to get any better. Rockwell rails against integration, but at the same time realizes that for "white" people to engage in a racial revolution necessitates their exposure to what to him is poisonous and evil. Rockwell welcomes the further "mongrelization" of America on TTTW, p. 268. TTTW, p. 259. 21 the grounds that it is the only way to convince "progressive, liberal 'nigger lovers'" to accept Nazism in the United States.64 We are then faced with an interesting question: Was Rockwell's ideology at its centre simply a piece of theatre? There seems to be a strong aesthetic streak running through the ANP. The party's slogans had all the subtlety of yapping and angry dogs straining at the ends of their tethers. They were devised not to inform or win over, but seemingly to shock and upset. There are no truly original thoughts anywhere in this book. Everything consists of regurgitated bits of Nazism, John Birch-style conservatism, platitudes about the American Revolution and endless streams of hateful statements about Jews and blacks. Even the way Rockwell writes about himself is absolutely unoriginal, since its entire mental atmosphere strongly seems to be an emulation of his hero's Mein Kampf. 6 5 Rockwell, in his writing, which is so full of hyperbole and invective, tilts toward the kind of self-obsession that marked Hitler's political life. I - the supposed master of "hate" in the world, since the demise of Adolf Hitler, am blessed or cursed with a soft, loving, and love-craving nature.66 ... I had many times struggled and succeeded in producing something "impossible", only to have it snatched away by non-creative but "tougher" individuals - people who were not as credulous, sensitive, 6 7 gentle and overly honest - as I always had been. TTTW, p. 260. 6 5 In This Time the World. Rockwell brings up his skills as a caricaturist, and goes on to claim that "(i)t is not by accident that many of the world's great revolutionaries have been artists"(p. 308) - a clear reference to Hitler. Also, the very way in which Rockwell writes at times seems designed to impersonate the tone of Mein Kampf. Here, Rockwell stands before a portrait of Hitler: "Goose pimples rose all over me, my hair stood on end, my eyes filled with tears of love and gratitude for this greatest of all conquerors of human misery and shame, and my breath came in little gasps."(p. 309) Like his idol, Rockwell engages in endless literary histrionics. 6 6 T T T W ; p 3 0 ? 6 7 TTTW, p:340. 22 Rockwell's own life story is told in someone else's words and style. How could he possibly present us with a consistent and integrated ideological system? He was probably convinced that he wanted racial revolution. There is no doubt of the seriousness with which Rockwell hated. However, it seems that he was more addicted to the carnival atmosphere of his Party's theatrical demonstrations, replete with garish costumes, blazing standards, and men who achieve a transformative moment and become powerful, i f only in their ability to be feared and hated. Later, though, the costumes must come off. In This Time the World, George Lincoln Rockwell manages to convey a rather loosely constructed ideological framework, but one that is built almost wholly on the foundations set up by his political heroes, the German Nazis. As we have seen, for Rockwell the racial ideal was embodied in people of Northern European origin. The entire book is full of Nazi images as well as tributes to Adolf Hitler. There are countless references to the suffering and tribulations of the German people, and it is obvious that Rockwell considers them to be the very embodiment of racial perfection. It seems that Rockwell is also happy to be on the fringes of American political life, and also that he feels as i f he is not really doing his job unless he is despised and ridiculed as an "all-out Nazi." His aim is not to gain power or even to advance his position; rather, it seems that he is content simply to shock and offend. Perhaps he feels that by so doing he can shake "white" Americans out of their complacency and make them aware of what he perceives to be the sinister reality rippling beneath the chrome and glass surface of early 1960's America. However, in later years, as Rockwell actually began to seriously dream of achieving political power, his approach became simultaneously more muscular, direct and, ironically, more democratic and inclusive. When he wrote This Time the World, 23 Rockwell was enthralled by dreams of past glories in other countries. By adopting the symbols of the German Nazis as his own, Rockwell cast in his lot with a side that was not simply losing, but with one that had in fact already lost, and not only metaphorically. Also striking is Rockwell's constant identification of Jews as the major threat to "whites" in America. By contrast, his low regard for non-northern Europeans is a minor point. They, according to Rockwell, are bad not by virtue of evil intentions, but simply due to inferior "breeding." The Jews, on the other hand, are an ever-present threat to Rockwell. They are the prime danger that he must build his movement on. By the time he wrote his next book, Rockwell's approach had changed, and he no longer would focus on Hitler's Nazi Party. Instead, Rockwell would dip into the waters of an increasingly radicalized and racially divided America and shape his movement into a vehicle that could extend into the future. White Power was just around the comer. 24 Chapter 3- White Power On Monday August 1 1966, the New York Times' front page carried the following headline: "54 Hurt as Whites in Chicago Hurl Bricks at Marchers."6 8 C H I C A G O , July 31 — Angry crowds of whites, chanting "White Power!" hurled bricks and bottles at 550 Negro and white supporters of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King today during a civil rights march through an all-white neighborhood... The police said about 700 whites waited at Marquette Park for demonstrators to arrive and begin to march. The demonstrators pulled up in cars and were immediately jeered. Firecrackers exploded. Riot-helmeted policemen were pressed to keep the angry crowd from the demon-strators amid cries of "nigger lovin' cops." There were shouts of "Go back to Africa. We don't want you here."69 70 Police engaged in scuffles with numerous white counter-marchers "including women." 7 1 Martin Luther King was in Chicago to support a "drive for open occupancy." Demonstrators had previously "held prayer vigils in front of real estate offices in the neighborhood."72 Residents of Marquette Park, which according to the 1960 census -7-5 contained 10,000 people "all but seven of them white," were extremely hostile to the idea of black encroachment. Clearly this was a fertile soil from which the seeds of racial revolution could grow and blossom. Rockwell was very busy in Chicago, running from one location to another, distributing propaganda and doubtlessly reveling in his first true taste of racial solidarity in its most virulent manifestation. 68 New York Times, 1 August 1966, p. A l . 6 9 Times, 01/08/1966, p. A l 5 . 7 0 Times, 01/08/1966, p. A15. 7 1 Times, 01/08/1966, p. A15, 7 2 Times, 01/08/1966, p. A15. 7 3 Times, 06/08/1966, p. A52. 25 Over the course of a week, there were various protests and counter protests. Violence was done on several occasions. After the July 31 confrontation, the marchers with King returned to their dispersal point, where they found "a semicircle of 1,000 whites, five and six deep, was waiting." 7 4 After the police were ordered to use their nightsticks, the crowd peacefully left. The following Friday, the 5 t h, was even more dramatic. Yelling such sentiments as, "We want Martin Luther Coon - K i l l those niggers - Send them home... Look at those nigger-loving cops,"75 white protestors threw bricks and rocks, striking King in the head. Though Rockwell's name does not appear in the article, the results of his footwork clearly paid off. He had finally found a receptive audience, a scared group of people resisting what were to them enormously unsettling social changes. What struck Rockwell the most was the cohesiveness of the members of the neighborhood, and their spontaneous expression of what Rockwell saw as healthy racial self-defense. Chicago gave more to Rockwell as a political tactician than did any other experience. Here, he sensed for the first time the power of solidarity and the importance of fighting words. It was a clear recognition of the importance of collective militancy and racial solidarity and consciousness. The idea of White Power was as practical as it was ideological, i f not more so. It represented a Eureka moment for Rockwell, who never lived to see its impact. In this chapter we will turn our sights on White Power, published in 1967. Written in the months following the incident in Chicago, it represented a fevered Rockwell full of excitement and confidence in his ideas, as well as America's readiness 7 4 Times, 01/08/1966, p. A15. 7 5 Times, 06/08/1966, p. A l . Some signs included: "King would look good with a Knife in his back," "Go home, Communist, go home" and "Reds, race mixers, queers, junkies, winoes, muggers, rapists... you are all persona non grata here. (p. A52.) 26 for them. Rockwell took from Chicago the conviction that collective action was a necessity for political success. The best way to build a mass movement is through appealing to unity. We will find that the concept of an inclusive categorization of the "white race" has been extremely valuable in terms of organizing a racist movement that attracts militant young members in numbers far exceeding its radical left wing counterpart. Finally, we will also examine "White Power" as a break for Rockwell in that he is finally, after over a decade on the American far right, offering an original and clearly delineated idea, rather than his previous writings which often seemed borrowed. Though White Power, in its scattered and at times conversational style, and also in its appropriation of the urban vernacular, is stylistically similar to This Time the World, it contains at its core a novel idea. This idea has been extremely valuable as an organizing tactic. It is important for extremist groups to attract new recruits by supplying them with a family that accepts members from Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Polish and Russian backgrounds. The "Aryan" ideal still stands, but it is only the ultimate expression of superiority; there are many grades directly beneath it into which can fit the entire white, non-Jewish population.of the United States. With the 1967 publication of his second major book, White Power, Rockwell made a clear attempt to copy the success of certain African-American political activists in stressing intra-racial solidarity as the prime precondition for white racial supremacy. In so doing, he finally broke with the ideological lineage that that informed his thinking for over a decade. Instead of simply portraying Nordic man as the pinnacle of the human animal, Rockwell began to allow for more heterogeneity within his conception of the racial elite. One question that seems unclear is whether Rockwell actually believed in r . 27 this inclusiveness, or whether it was instead a purely tactical move taken in response to ANP successes in Chicago that year. Certainly, his arguments in White Power are often contradictory and seem flimsily constructed. However, there can be no doubt that the idea of racial solidarity, and the diminution of perceived differences among Europeans had a huge impact on subsequent racist movements. We will now proceed to discuss the main arguments contained in White Power, and then examine Rockwell's ideological descendants who have both kept this concept alive as well as deepened and extended it. White Power begins with a series of dramatic scenes clearly meant to shake the reader out of their complacency. This first chapter is called "Death Rattle," and is an obvious warning call against what Rockwell perceived as a country at the gates of a truly frightening and confusing new age. There are literally scores of vignettes which follow one another without any explanation or connection. It is obvious that Rockwell believes no explanation is necessary. These travesties explain themselves very well already. One noticeable factor that binds these short passages together is Rockwell's apparent outrage not only that such things happen, but that they are tolerated by most Americans, who should be protesting social and moral disintegration. Here are some typical examples: The Associated Press tells us that, on May 22, 1966, that (sic) there is a huge million-dollar business in making F A L S E E Y E L A S H E S for U.S. businessmen! - not just for queers, but for ordinary businessmen!76 TIME magazine for December 9, 1966, describes a Boston opera production including a wild and completely nude SEX O R G Y on stage. Herds of animals are slaughtered and naked men and women run riot! This is taken seriously as "art." The police do nothing.7 7 TIME magazine reports on September 2, 1966 that one of America's top writers, Norman Mailer ("The Naked and the Dead") now concentrates on the bowel. "Man's nature," says this Jewish playwright, "can be divined by the color, the shape, the size of i movement of his bowel contents!" This "artist" regularly appears 'George Lincoln Rockwell. White Power. (Virginia: American Nazi Party, 1967.) p. 12. ' W P , p . 13. 28 on national T V and has his books published. No outraged protest. In San Francisco, a Negro named Harry Dedrick runs a shoe shine parlor. He has hired topless, White girls to shine Negroes'shoes!7 9 Sammy Davis Jr., the Negro-Jew entertainer, plays "the fastest gun in the West" on "The Rifleman" T V show. When this one-eyed Jewish Negro appears in the western town, we are shown all the White men running and hiding. Americans swallow this without protest.80 On almost any magazine stand these days you can buy dozens of paperback books and magazines devoted to the most disgusting pornography, depravity and homosexuality — emphasizing enlarged male genitals and showing nude men caressing each other!81 These are only a few samples of the scores on offer here. What is striking about these short and sharp missives is not so much their content, which is obviously calculated to appeal through titillation to the conservative morality of Rockwell's perceived audience, but rather the shrill and dire tone he adopts throughout. There are constant references to the fact that Americans are too cowed by liberal propaganda to take to the streets in mass protest against what seem such blatant outrages against common decency. Phrases such as "nothing is done," "no discipline or resistance," "our 'leaders' do nothing,"84 or "again, no protest!"85 are repeated over and over again. Rockwell is obviously trying to stoke the fires of outrage, and is using the inchoate counter-culture movement to fan the flames. His stridency seems misplaced, but he is actually doing more to appeal to a mass audience than in his first book, which was so rooted in an essentially romantic and mythical view of racial struggle. Even the title of the first chapter, "Death Rattle," rings with a clear sense of mission and has at least the pretension 7 8 WP, p. 22. 7 9 WP, p. 26. This blurb also has a picture of a topless woman, whose breasts have been blacked over, shining the shoes of a smiling black man. 8 0 WP, p. 31. 8 1 WP, p. 35. 8 2 WP, p. 38. 8 3 WP., p. 27 8 4 WP, p.22. 8 5 WP,p . 13. 29 of objectivity. The patient is almost gone. Radical methods are required i f life is to be preserved. The immune system is obviously faulty; why else would the patient tolerate such symptoms? If indeed the patient is already at such a critical juncture, what is the cure? The answer resonates throughout the pages of White Power: racial unity. Rockwell has noticed contemporary ideological discourse and has adapted and shaped it into an idea that would outlive its progenitor, namely that all "white" people, regardless of their specific (European) ethnicity, must accept each others' differences and wage war against their perceived common enemies. Rockwell saw the success of "Black Power" as a powerful slogan behind which thousands of the most militant young blacks were rallying, and realizing the essential parity within the group that was implied by this powerful idea, seized upon it with great energy and zeal. Nor does he deny the inspiration for his inclusive racism. Rather, he writes openly of his admiration for the politics of racial division as preached by Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammed.8 6 These leaders are obvious inspirations for him. Their militancy and their willingness to use or condone violence also play into Rockwell's own preoccupations. In this way, Rockwell can perhaps be seen as a part of a larger, i f temporary, process of radicalization in America during the On February 25, 1962, Rockwell spoke at a Savior's Day Convention before 12,000 black Muslims. He and his retinue were given seats of honour in the front row, and were in "full Nazi uniform." Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammed spoke first. Rockwell began by calling Muhammed "the Adolf Hitler of the black man," and then spoke for a time on the exploitation by Jews of blacks. He continued: "You know that we call you niggers. But wouldn't you rather be confronted by honest white men who tell you to your face what the others all say behind your back? Can you really gain anything dealing with a bunch of cowardly white sneaks? The yellow-liberals who tell you they love you, privately exclude you every way they know how. I am not afraid to stand here and tell you I hate race-mixing and I will fight it to the death. But at the same time, I will do everything in my power to help the Honorable Elijah Muhammed carry out his inspired plan for land of your own in Africa. Elijah Muhammed is right -separation or death!" Elijah Muhammed replied to criticism for inviting Rockwell to speak in his Muhammed Speaks journal: "Mr. Rockwell has spoken well.. . What do we care i f they are white? If they are speaking the truth for us, what do we care? We' l l stand on our heads and applaud!" Schmalz, p. 133-5. 30 latter part o f the decade. However, the effect o f his utilization of the idea of intra-racial unity and acceptance has had repercussions that still echo in the modern racist movement. A n y understanding of these various groups must be in reference to the impact of Rockwell 's central thesis in this book. White unity - "White Power" - has been elevated to a quasi-religious status. White people are all brothers and sisters. All of us are family, though some of us are blind. We are under attack from a parasitical species (the Jews) bent on our utter elimination. We are surrounded by subhuman hordes who drain our resources as they murder and rape us. This is not a very comforting worldview, but it does create the wi l l to huddle together against outsiders. In forming a circle, those who feel under attack can look out, but never in the other direction. Thus, the tendency o f more recent racist literature to turn its focus on identifiable targets, rather than bothering to develop a codified, or even basically comprehensible, set of political theories. There is no Alfred Rosenberg of the modern day far right; there are no rarefied tomes. Rather, there is the collective voice of the mass, i f not in numbers then in spirit, which may lack in delicacy of analysis, but which abounds in sensationalism and emotionally evocative rhetoric. Rockwell was an early adherent of this tactic and used it to some effect. White Power is a book with two distinct sections. The first could best be characterized as essentially descriptive in nature. We have already examined some of Rockwell 's observations o f contemporary American culture. However, it is from the prescriptive part of his book, which spans the final three chapters, that one really gets a sense o f how much his thinking had changed in the short span of years since he had written This Time the World. In these last salvoes at an apparently blind and complacent "white" America, Rockwell appeals to a variety of Manifest Destiny which lends an 8 7 The ideologue of the National Socialist Party; wrote Myth of the Twentieth Century. 31 almost mystical patina to his gutter racism. Again and again, he pounds the drum of racial unity, and is quick to identify international enemies of the "white race": While Johnson, Degaulle, Kosygin, Wilson, Kissinger and the rest of the white ninnies, posing as "statesmen", bicker and haggle with one another, Red China, harboring and training colored world revolutionists and terrorists, is organizing, on a worldwide scale too terrible and bloody for the Western mind to contemplate, a Ghengis Khan horde of colored death for the White Race. 8 8 Today, the colored untermenschen of the world, the scum, the beggars, cannibals, untouchables, and all that sorry swarm let loose by the Jews are riding hard upon their horses, charging at full speed, spurring their mounts to furious gallops, racing faster and faster and faster to Samararra.89 Rockwell clearly sees his fight as one that is global and international in nature. At the same time, his identification of international racial enemies can be seen as a macrocosm of the contemporary situation in the United States. There are the "Negro masses" who are "biologically inferior."90 They are therefore incapable of independent thought, and are so "easily manipulated" that they are mere stooges of the eternal and mystically powerful Jew. 9 1 "Whites" are not as easily manipulated by the agents of "world domination by the bloody violence of world revolution" as are blacks, and can therefore make a stand against the coming calamity.92 Only men like Rockwell can clearly see that "ancient Jewish prophesies" regarding world domination and conquest are being set into motion, and it is up to the likes of him to break out of the ideologically stymied "Jewish-built conservative 'playpen'" and face this "hideous threat" head-on.94 8 5 WP, p. 423. 8 9 WP, p. 428. Samarra here is in relation to a quotation Rockwell attributes to Somerset Maugham. The importance of the passage to Rockwell's own ideas is very unclear. He claims it to be "one of the most dramatic" passages in English Literature. Sadly, he does not relate its meaning to his ideology. 9 0 WP, p. 431. 9 1 WP, p. 431. 9 2 WP, p. 430-1. 9 3 WP, p. 430 9 4 WP, p. 431. Rockwell has a big chip on his shoulder regarding American conservatism. Elsewhere, he charts his progression from a Republican to an "all-out Nazi." He sees any political organization which is 32 However, "Western society in sick, rotten and dying - but most people don't seem to care."95 It is a hard row to hoe for Rockwell's American Nazi Party. Though Rockwell clearly identifies Jews as the motivation behind Black militancy, it is this militancy which poses the immediate threat. Jews are egging on Blacks to revolt in order to sweep clean the ashes of civilization and build a new world, 9 6 (though what this would entail is never described.) Rockwell sees the growth of Black radicalism as a portent of a final showdown. Therefore, it must be met in kind: "THEY H A V E STARTED A B L A C K REVOLUTION. O N L Y A WHITE REVOLUTION C A N STOP IT. And that's what this book is all about."97 "THIS TIME," writes Rockwell, "WE S H A L L DRIVE THE BASTARDS TO THE W A L L ! " 9 8 The only answer to S C U M POWER must be, and is, WHITE POWER. The power of the elite of the world, the White human beings who have already proved their natural, God-given superiority over this gathering swarm of scum, must drive it back, re-establish order and culture in the world, and maintain that order the only way order has ever been maintained — B Y F O R C E ! 9 9 And behind the "scum power" skulks the scheming Jew, attempting to destroy European civilization for some unmentioried final end. Rockwell urges the use of "force." What is preventing this from happening? Why are not "white" people taking to the streets to smash the Jew-controlled government? In a word, atomization. For, "as every man with a grain of intelligence KNOWS, Jews, Negroes, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, etc., etc., all vote as a bloc. A UNITED B L O C . " 1 0 0 Rockwell then laments the "very neat" two-party system democratic in outlook as inherently weak and likely controlled by Jews, who he claims want to narrow the limits of debate, and therefore make their task of world domination a little easier. 9 5 WP, p. 429. 9 6 WP, p. 429-30. 9 7 WP, p. 436. 9 8 WP, p. 464. 9 9 WP, p. 462. 1 0 0 WP, p. 467. 33 "whereby the White Man is kept eternally off balance" by class antagonism. Furthermore, With Jews in control oiboth parties, the White Man is N E V E R given the opportunity to vote for a man who promises not to give the Negroes the fruits of his labor, or who promises not to force his children into schools with immoral and degenerate Blacks. B O T H parties - Democrat and Republican - and the candidates of those parties - Liberal or Conservative - are PRO-Jew, PRO-Negro, and ANTI-White... THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE B E T W E E N T H E M except the proposed method for bringing about the downfall of our race and nation! 1 0 2 Rockwell is troubled by a "white" population that is divided on what are to him secondary questions of economic and social status. He urges all "whites" to stand together, regardless of class, and rally beneath the ANP banner. Though it is not explicitly mentioned, Rockwell is also perhaps lamenting an already deep division within the American racist right. Tactical and ideological differences, as well as the sectarianism seemingly inevitable in extremist circles, conspired to weaken the movement as a whole. At the same time, other potential converts were members of more reputable conservative groups, such as the John Birch Society. In their "Jewish^built conservative 'playpen,'" such people were blind to any ideas outside the ideological boundaries set by their invisible but omnipotent Jewish masters. One can assume that Rockwell is desirous of a mass realization by "whites" that they should act as a self-conscious and united entity rather than as individuals, and should therefore join the ANP in droves. It is clear that he relishes every lurid scrap of evidence pertaining to the incipient and unstoppable cultural erosion that he sees everywhere. This is amply demonstrated in the earlier-quoted opening segments of White Power. Perhaps he hopes that the stench from such erosion will one day become strong enough to jolt awake his 1 0 1 WP, p. 467. 1 0 2 WP, p. 468 1 0 3 WP, p. 431. 34 target audience. One can therefore assume that Rockwell desires further decay, for it is only this that will motivate his somnambulistic potential comrades to join the "White Revolution." 1 0 4 Finally, we come to the most significant development in Rockwell's thinking in the few years since the publication of This Time the World: the idea of a greater inclusiveness within the American Nazi Party. Though Rockwell was of course attempting to build his own party, his contribution to American racist thought was to prove extremely important. "White Power" is no longer just the title of a book whose major suppositions and preoccupations are so clearly a response to contemporary phenomena. Instead, it has become a rallying cry for groups that seem to share few other features. Not only is it a slogan to be raised in common; it is also one of the few truly positive - in the sense that it stands for and not in opposition to something - ideas promulgated by racist groups. Most ideology capable of being called racist lacks a clear vision of what it represents. Instead, racist propagandists endlessly plug away at what they reject. Rockwell was able to permeate the membrane, and attempted to create positive emotions - pride and solidarity - rather than merely play solely upon negative emotions - fear and uncertainty - in order to reach his target audience of the sleeping majority.1 0 5 Rockwell is the reason why organizations as disparate as the White Aryan Resistance, the Ku Klux Klan, the Hammerskins and the Aryan Nations all have members who bring "White Power" signs to their rallies. Rather than simply stating "I White Revolution is the title of one of the last chapters. 1 0 5 In no way does this mean Rockwell didn't do the latter. He did, and incessantly. Most of White Power is spent discussing the manifold reasons why white people should stand up and fight, and these reasons are usually expressed in the most lurid and provocative manner. The more novel ideas being discussed here are presented as a revelation toward the end of the book. Rockwell constantly played on the perceived prejudices of Middle America, and quite successfully at that. 35 Hate Jews" or "I Hate Those Unlike Me," "White Power" suggests a whole into which individual or even philosophical differences can be subsumed. 11 is both a blanket and a shield. There is a strong collectivist strain in Rockwell's thinking which demonstrates his belief in the power of the group. Only through the doctrine of the "Laws of the Tribe" can human beings find a code by which to live: Until very recently, for instance, young Chinese were never delinquents (and they still have a far lower delinquency rate than other groups). The young of tightly knit, even though very poor, groups are often untouched by the modern madness of juvenile delinquency.1 0 6 Why is this? Why are members of this racial group less likely to stray from accepted social conventions than are other groups? The answer is that children who are brought up in a group which has managed to maintain some semblance of the laws of natural group living (the "Laws of the Tribe"), who feel that they are loyal members of a group, a "tribe", that they "belong" to something or somebody worthwhile, and who therefore have a sense of the five basic laws of group l iving, 1 0 7 are not frustrated, not lost, not empty. The Jews, with their spreading of liberalism and Communism, have consciously and scientifically gone about the process of wiping from the souls of the people all memory of the sacred "Laws of the Tribe ", which, alone, can make a group of humanity healthy, happy and peaceful. No human being can life (sic) in peace and productive happiness OUTSIDE of some kind of "TRIBE" to which he is SUPREMELY LOYAL and which in turn SUPPORTS HIM SPIRITUALLY. The Jews have spread the unspeakably destructive idea of "univers-alism", and "one-world-ism" — one mob of raceless, stateless, and atomized individuals - as the supreme idea of mankind. Even the conservatives have ben (sic) suckered into paying lip-service to this same unnatural, fragmented, super-individualistic, JEWISH disease of society.1 0 8 WP, p. 448. 1 0 7 These rules, the so-called " L A W S OF THE TRIBE," are as follows: "1) the law of B I O L O G I C A L INTEGRITY (love inside, hate outside); 2) the law of TERRITORY (private property); 3) the law of LEADERSHIP (by the best); 4) the law of STATUS (or the natural place of every individual in the group); and 5) M O T H E R H O O D for females. With these natural principles in operation, as they are throughout the whole world of social animals, there is a relative peace and order in the group." WP, p. 447. 1 0 8 WP, p. 448-9. 36 Rockwell sees philosophies that preach human equality as both nefarious (due to their Jewish origin) and hopelessly unscientific (being as they do not fit into the "Laws" governing group behaviour.) Only as a cohesive entity can a racial group hope to succeed in the coming apocalyptic struggle. Instead, "white" teenagers are engaging in an orgy of incomprehensible and violent activities, "seeming to go mad, beating up old folks, tearing things up senselessly, taking poisonous drugs and becoming arrogant, anti-social cr iminals ." 1 0 9 The lack of a strong and positive racial identity therefore leads to social disintegration in Rockwell 's eyes. "Wolves, ants, bees -and apes- for instance, have highly organized and thoroughly healthy, orderly societies." 1 1 0 We must be filled with a love - for our own kind. " B U T W I T H O U T A D E A D L Y H A T E O F T H A T W H I C H T H R E A T E N S W H A T W E L O V E , L O V E IS A N E M P T Y W O R D , A C A T C H W O R D F O R HIPPIES, QUEERS, A N D C O W A R D S . " 1 1 1 Not only do atomization and a lack of the "Tribe" mentality lead to social and moral collapse, they also curtail meaningful political action on the part of "whites" in the "era o f M O B P O W E R : " 1 1 2 If you have a mob behind you, you can get away, literally, with murder - as the Africans prove to us every summer. If you do not have a mob, you can be a very Saint, and you wil l wind up beaten into physical and financial submission to those who do have a mob. Until we realize this fact — that this is an era of ANARCHY, and that the only leader who now has any chance of DOING anything is the man with the mob - we will remain forever an eternally retreating society of hand-wringing groaners, pressed ever backward by the oncoming enemy. In short, the problem before us is to form a WHITE M O B ! A l l the tactics of Adolf Hitler were realistically based on a recog-nition of that same sad fact in mob-ruled Germany. 1 1 3 , u y WP, p. 448. 1 1 0 WP, p. 444. 1 1 1 WP, p. 445. 1 1 2 W P , p . 468. 1 1 3 WP, p. 468-9 37 Rockwell desires collective action around a single motivating idea - his version of National Socialism. He therefore calls for racial unity and solidarity in the face of the Nemesis. We must have no more of labour against capital, rich man against poor man, Catholic against Protestant, or Conservative against Liberal. W E M U S T UNITE AS A SOLID B L O C AGAINST THOSE W H O A R E D E T E R M I N E D TO "GET W H I T E Y ! " 1 1 4 The first step toward forming our own WHITE mob is to start sticking together AS A R A C E as the Jews and Negroes stick together.115 STOP letting Jew propaganda stampede you into attacking your own people. STOP groveling for a piece of your own pie — stand up and T A K E IT! Unite as one people against a common enemy - that's the FIRST step in forming a realistic opposition to S C U M POWER. The second step will be easy after the first step is done. When White Men no longer have to fear the scorn of their own people, they will step forward by the hundreds of thousands to shout "WHITE POWER" in a roar that will be heard around the world. Already men of courage are letting their voices be heard; already thousands of White men and women have met their enemy in the streets to defy him to go further -in Chicago, the roar of "WHITE POWER" was deafening as the men and women of Cicero courageously declared their intent to STOP the Negroes dead in their tracks. Perhaps it isn't "nice" to merge into a mob of thousands, shouting "WHITE POWER" in answer to those who are shouting " B L A C K POWER," but neither is it nice to be overrun by a mob of savage blacks. And we're faced with the hard: eifher/or.116 Rockwell is intent on trying to organize "whites" en masse around a common idea that will subsume all other trifling divisions. Once the false consciousness of the oppressed but blind "white" American is pierced, it will only be a matter of time before the "White Revolution" spontaneously breaks out into the streets as people reclaim their birthright: dominance over inferior races in accordance with the laws of nature, and a final reckoning with the perceived Jewish menace. Class should no loner be a line of division, and indeed Rockwell makes much mention of plans to alleviate the divisiveness 1 1 4 WP, p. 468. 1 1 5 WP, .p. 470. 1 1 6 WP, p. 471. 38 seemingly inherent in industrial relations. The broad political divisions occurring in the Unite States are meaningless because both of the major political parties are controlled by Jews. Like Hitler before him, Rockwell calls for all class distinctions to become secondary, but never calls for their eradication. Rockwell provides the reader with an explanation of the origins of white supremacy, infused with the tradition of Social Darwinism in its most vulgar form: The lazy and easy-going naturally stayed in the warm climates — the "Garden of Eden," where you can lay around without getting too cold and where coconuts fall on you for food. These people bred more of their own lazy kind. Over the centuries and the thousands of years, these easy-going people stayed in the easy places to survive on the earth, inbred with each other, and produced races of easy-going, lazy people. On the other hand, some energetic, vigorous, early humans began to move around and migrate over the face of the planet. Some of them arrived in the frozen, semi-arctic sections of Northern Europe. To survive in such a bitter climate, men needed something more than the qualities of the easy-going people of the warm tropics. In the storms and blizzards of a brutal winter, those humans who had not foreseen hard times, who had not laid by stores for food, and had not built themselves shelters strong enough to withstand the battering of the northern gales, simply died and did not breed.111 Rockwell attempts here to elevate racial mythology into the domain of scientific discourse, and in this he is not unique. Chamberlain, Rosenberg, Hitler and others had already tried to demonstrate that race was a scientific fact rather than a socially constructed idea. However, his attention to the importance of climate in establishing a racial hierarchy is striking. Clearly, Rockwell sees the original Aryan as a dweller of the 118 north. Rockwell makes repeated references to the primacy of the "Nordics" in the collective "White Race." The climactic and emotional tribulations faced by early settlers of the harsh and unforgiving north caused them to be "filled with energy, idealism, a delicate sense of justice and above all, the ability to think other than in terms of 1 1 7 WP, p. 304-5. 1 1 8 Interestingly, Rockwell later brings up the case of the "Eskimos," and explains their (apparently obvious) inferiority by way of their relative newness to a cold climate. (WP, p. 306) 39 themselves - to think "objectively, abstractly, mathematically, scientifically, and to act idealistically, for the group."1 1 9 This stands against depictions of inhabitants of the "tropics" who are "improvident, lazy, unthinking, cruel and animalistic people who live for the moment, and cannot really understand our 'science' or our lofty concepts of a 'justice' or a group 'idealism' for which they had no need for so many millions of years."1 2 0 Here is evidenced a racial ideology which rests on naked determinism twisted into a vulgar Darwinism. We are collectively shaped by the environment. Our success as a racial community is inversely proportional to our nearness from the equator. What then of Rockwell's insistence upon a collective community of "white" "brothers" and "sisters?" Is it merely a mercenary tactic cloaked beneath romantic rhetoric? Or is there an actual feeling of growing affinity within the supremacist movement for members of one's own "kind?" It often seems that Rockwell is seduced by his own words. Perhaps he is only getting caught up in his own fantastic vision of all "whites" joining together regardless of their minor differences. Even taking into account his continued insistence upon the primacy of northern "Aryans" in his racial pyramid, Rockwell is earnest in his appeal for an intercultural and international mass movement. We must of course remember that Rockwell was not simply the head of the NPUSA, but also of an international umbrella group that included chapters in the U K , West Germany, France, Argentina and even Japan. In order for such a movement to move forward, there had to be an acceptance of minor variations within the ideal racial template. 1 1 9 WP, p. 308. 1 2 0 WP, p. 308. 1 2 1 The National Socialist Party of Japan, which was part of Rockwell's international movement, is still active, staging demonstrations at the American and Israeli embassies in Tokyo. Its U R L is: 40 But perhaps even more important considerations were contributing to the adoption of this derivative slogan. The growth of racial consciousness and militancy in black Americans had shown Rockwell the unifying power of ethnicity even in the atomized United States. The racist right must cease from discriminating too finely amongst Europeans. There might be a pecking order, but only among giants. The United States, Rockwell reminds us repeatedly, is predominantly "white". As soon as racial self-consciousness exists, liberation from Jews and their minions becomes unstoppable. Petty hatreds existing amongst Europeans must stop. The Nordics are thus supreme in those special qualities of character which build civilization; especially energy, idealism and objective, abstract thought. With the Nordics, come the Alpines, Mediterraneans, Dinarics, and other members of our great White Race. Most of us are mixtures of all these White groups. A l l of these White groups are so far, far above the lowly, animalistic blacks that Whites, - all Whites, form a separate and superior breed.1 2 2 Here we witness a direct appeal to solidarity. It is noteworthy, however, that Rockwell always includes the caveat that the Nordics are supreme in virtue and social organization. Their greatness has filtered south through the European continent, the majority of which is now constituted of varying mixtures of Nordic and native stock. The overall vitality of the race, however, is sound. 1 2 3 Rockwell includes southern European countries in his list of "White nations, writing that "France, Italy, Greece, etc., are too weak and Jewized even to want a revival" of the "white race".1 2 4 He goes on to write that there "is no point in cataloging all the WP, p. 308. WP, p. 308-9 WP, p. 320. 41 125 miseries of the other White nations under Jewish Bolshevism and liberal propaganda," indicating an acceptance of Slavs - part of Hitler's untermenschen - as racial comrades. These are both indicators that Rockwell's conceptualization of a racial ideal had changed in the time since he had written This Time the World. Rockwell restrains himself from using repetitive photographs of Nazi bombast and endless odes and asides regarding his idol Hitler. Such a move may have partly been a result of a desire to distance his party from direct association to a commonly hated enemy who had brutalized many European countries.126 Rockwell also explicitly and directly states that all Europeans are "White Men" whose national boundaries and customs are meaningless when compared to the most vital question of all: Who will stop the coloured flood, drunk on " S C U M POWER," from finally destroying the "White Race?" And here we can see the logic. Rockwell envisions America as "the last bastion of the White Race." 1 2 7 "(T)he Jews got us to destroy Germany," England is "Jewized and enfeebled," and we have already seen his appraisal of "France, Italy, Greece, etc." America is a microcosm of Europe, and literally the last hope. "America is the last battleground of Armageddon." Europe is too "Jewized" to lead the struggle. It therefore falls to the Americans. However, the "white" population in the United States is heterogeneous. Racial tensions exist within the "White Race" itself, and this fact manifests itself in many racist movements of Rockwell's time. Rockwell realizes that in order for his ideas to grow, he must reach out to the largest possible audience. Therefore, WP, p. 320. In the months before his death, Rockwell went further to distance himself from Hitler. WP,p . 320. WP,p . 320. WP,p . 321 42 the downplaying of intra-European differences is a wise tactical move. In order for the kind of racial awakening Rockwell wants to occur, "white" people must become a "White mob." As long as they bicker over comparatively minor issues, they will never be a mob, for they will never move as one. It is arguable that this idea of Rockwell's was a uniquely American contribution to Fascism. It was born as much out of tactical considerations regarding how to reach the largest audience as out of any real ideological development. In a country which contained communities from every European nation, it was necessary not to be highly exclusive. His changing views were indicative of a broader cultural shift in American racial consciousness, which had broadened conceptions of "whiteness" in the post-war "A years. There is no doubt that it suited the time perfectly. With Rockwell a seed was planted which would grow during the generation after his murder. "White Power" has become a banner that successfully attracts disenfranchised young people to racist groups. Its suggestion of a collective mass in deadly battle is as invigoratingly militant as it is stark in its morality. Rockwell's real ideological heirs are not to be found in the large, well-organized racist parties as much as they are in small cells of racist skinheads, producing propaganda and baldly displaying their racism in word and deed, with not a care of how they are judged by a society they detest. Rockwell's tough words have rung down the ages. They [racially unconscious White people] must also see that we cannot afford the petty division of our great White Race into squabbling factions which hate each other. There are minor racial differences between White Men. And the Nordic is the ideal toward which we all must strive. But compared to the vast gulf between any White Man, and the colored races, (especially the Africans) the differ-ences between groups of White Men are almost invisible. Pole and A fact that can be evidenced today by the ethnically diverse (but still strictly Caucasian) followers of / many extreme right racist parties in the United States. 43 German, Frenchman and Englishman, Italian and Lithuanian, Dane and Greek, American and Irishman, Swede and Spaniard - we are White Men - the best of the breed. We are brothers. We are surrounded and almost extinct. We dare not fight over minor differences while forget ting the greatest and most important difference on earth: the difference between us, the Whites, and them, the Blacks; between all White Men and the colored swarms which threaten to engulf and destroy our entire breed forever. The color of your skin is your uniform in this ultimate battle for the survival of the West. 1 3 1 Rockwell's emotionally charged call to unity has outlived its author. It is still a driving force in an extreme right movement which continues to dwarf its left-wing counterparts. His importance to those who followed him, i f not in detail but in spirit, is impossible to exaggerate. 1 3 1 WP, p. 321-2. 44 Chapter 4 - Reckoning This Time the World was a somewhat meandering book which did not really express any original ideas, but was instead simply self-conscious recycled Nazi ideology. In it, Rockwell gave a fairly good account of his mental atmosphere: obsessed with race, hateful of blacks and Jews, frustrated with the "conservative playpen" and above all fixated on the legacy of Hitler. Though he set out some of his ideas, they seem nebulous at this point in his political thinking. White Power, on the other hand, has become a rallying cry of the extreme racist white both in the United States and abroad. Its effectiveness as a slogan and even a philosophy owes much to the work of George Lincoln Rockwell. He recognized the need for a movement based primarily upon emotion to mobilize and appeal to as many people as possible. Rather than further indulge in Nazi obscurantism, Rockwell decided to broaden the appeal of his message through emphasis on radical mass action. In this way, perhaps, he was in the end more a descendant of Roehm or Gregor Strasser than of Hitler. However, the ease with which these ideas were adopted and reiterated in Chicago in 1966 shows that this was a tactically shrewd decision. At any racist rally, there are always the predictable "White Power" signs. Modern racist groups usually tend to downplay differences among Europeans. When one considers the fact that the United States is composed of literally hundreds of ethnic groups it seems incredible that it was ever any other way. Rockwell sensed a shift in 45 political and social consciousness. He argued for greater inclusiveness at a time when other radicals of all stripes were acting collectively to create social change. He had the political intelligence to advance his agenda as effectively as could be expected. Certainly there have been no white race riots on the scale of Chicago in recent memory. As it stands, the young racist who carries the "White Power" sign might know Rockwell's name in passing, but likely has no idea of the importance of his ideas to the movement in general. George Lincoln Rockwell lived during a socially turbulent time and is now a half-forgotten figure, often regarded as nothing more than a clownish bigot. However, this very perception of Rockwell is in and of itself a measure of his success as a propagandist and a provocateur. He desired for people to shudder in horror or disgust at his appropriation of such dark symbolism, buried by barely 13 years of time. If "white" Americans chose to scoff, it was only because they were as unaware of the true nature of their existence as are amoebas. Rockwell, and others who share his ideology, see themselves as the last sane "white" people on the planet. They alone can see clearly through the restrictions imposed by the Jews who actually control every system of oppression Rockwell can remember to mention. Rockwell's writings and political activity never did much to benefit his own movement nor his personal renown. Except for a brief flash of time in Chicago, Rockwell never seriously grabbed the attention of the "white" Americans he so often pleaded with. He was a political freak to be laughed at. He seemed to be attempting to escape from this perceptual prison in the years spanning This Time the World and White 46 Power. He moved from goose-stepping, Hitler-worshipping Nazi to becoming a demagogue of his time - fiery, confrontational and focused on mass action. We can also understand Rockwell according to changing ideas of race in America. He incorporated popular conceptions of non-northern European Americans as equals into the racist right, arguably for the first time. In this way, he was certainly a pioneer. However, he was still well behind the thinking of the majority of his "white" fellow citizens on this point. Therefore, to laud Rockwell's idea of greater inclusiveness as somehow "revolutionary" is to exaggerate both its originality and its impact. Rockwell was essentially the first major figure in the American racist right to recognize the fact that their message, unaltered since the twenties, was nonsensical to most of their contemporary Americans. Surely, other racist organizations would have seen the writing on the wall sooner or later. Rockwell did, however, hold on to his hatred of Jews as sinister figures in world history, their evil so great as to be undescribable. In this regard, and in his contempt for blacks and other "non-white" groups, Rockwell honoured the tradition of blind and automatic hatred, a tradition followed by racists of all kinds. The rest of "white" America more or less accepted Jews as one of their own. Rockwell and others like him stand forever on the outside, unable to understand how their kinfolk have become blind, never realizing that the opposite is true. 47 Bibliography Aho, James A . The Politics of Righteousness: Idaho Christian Patriotism. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1990. Bushart, Howard L. , John R. Craig and Myra Barnes, Ph.D. Soldiers of God: White Supremacists and their Holy War for America. New York: Kensington Books, 1998. Coppola, Vincent: Dragons of God: A Journey Through Far-Right America. Atlanta, Georgia: Longstreet Press, Inc., 1996. Daniels, Jessie. White Lies: Race. Class, Gender and Sexuality in White Supremacist Discourse. New York & London: Routledge, 1997. Dobratz, Betty A . and Stephanie L. Shanks-Meile. "White Power, White Pride!" The White Power Movement in the United States. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1997. Evans, Hiram Wesley. "The Klan's Fight for Americanism." From North American Review, Vol . CCXXII . North American Review Corporation: New York, 1926. Ezekiel, Raphael S. The Racist Mind: Portraits of American Neo-Nazis and Klansmen. New York: Penguin Books, 1995. George, John and Laird Wilcox. Nazis, Communists. Klansmen, and Others on the Fringe: Political Extremism in America. Buffalo, N Y : Prometheus Books, 1992. Herberg, Wi l l . Protestant - Catholic - Jew: A n Essay in American Religious Sociology. Garden City, N Y : Anchor Books, 1960. Hitler, Adolf. Mein Kampf. Trans, by Ralph Mannheim. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1942. Macdonald, Andrew. The Turner Diaries. Hillsboro: National Vanguard Books, 1978. Maclean, Nancy. Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second K u Klux • Klan. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. Moore, Jack B. Skinheads Shaved for Battle: A Cultural History of American Skinheads. Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1993. New York Times. New York, N Y , August 1966. Rockwell, George Lincoln. This Time the World. Virginia: American Nazi Party, 1961. 49 Rockwell, George Lincoln. White Power. Virginia: American Nazi Party, 1967. Schmalz, William H . Hate: George Lincoln Rockwell and the American Nazi Party. Washington: Brassey's, 1999. Schwarz, Frederick. Beating the Unbeatable Foe: One Man's Victory over Communism, Leviathan, and the Last Enemy. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing Inc, 1996. Simonelli, Frederick J. American Fueher: George Lincoln Rockwell and the American Nazi Party. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999. Tyson, Timothy B. Radio Free Dixie: Robert F. Williams and the Roots of Black Power. Chapel Hi l l : The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 50 


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