Yggdrasil's WN

Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

April 4, 2002

Before I begin this review of "Extraordinary Popular Delusions" I should offer a few introductory remarks about the Seven Pillars.

The Seven Pillars listed here, and those books listed under each pillar, form a perfect circle. In reviewing those books, I will attempt to put forward a unified theory of Euro-American nationalism.

In addition, these reviews should provide you with a framework for forecasting the future, within broad limits.

I should note that a few of the pillars have significant flaws. For example, the first three chapters of "The Collapse of Complex Societies" by Joseph Tainter set forth his critique of alternate theories of societal collapse. These chapters set a new low in academic pettiness and arrogance. They are not worthy of any book. But then suddenly in chapter 4 the waters part and the heavens open up upon a transcendently brilliant analysis.

In addition, The Dispossessed Majority, the first explicit Euro-American nationalist work, contains a disturbing residue of nostalgia for a Northern European nationalism. I suspect that the condescending treatment of our Eastern and Southern European brothers was intended as a political expedient to induce the northern Europeans of the author's acquaintance to accept the reality of a pan-European nationalism. However, once past that irritant, the book is an epic breakthrough which marks the rejection of imperialism and "white triumphalism," - setting forth the foundations of modern Euro-American nationalism by cataloging our vulnerability to displacement.

Surprisingly, I was unable to find any coherent and helpful works in English translation from the Third Reich explaining how National Socialism might save us. Most of the major works of that period, including Rosenberg's "Myth of the Twentieth Century" and Hitler's "Mein Kampf" are dreadful tomes, which fail to recognize our basic predicament. The best explanation I can find of National Socialism is Lincoln Rockwell's "White Power." Once past the humiliating title, you will find an excellent book with a superb and simple explanation of the theory behind National Socialism.

Finally, I should also mention what I consider to be a significant flaw in Sir Arthur Keith's masterpiece, Ethics and Evolution, in which he narrows Christianity to Matthew 5 (the Sermon on the Mount) and simply ignores the rest. It is an understandable flaw, given that empire builders since the Emperor Constantine have seen this marvelous catalogue of the "code of amity" as useful in amalgamating newly conquered tribes and nations and fusing their identity into a broader imperial "nation." The Church also saw this modern catalogue useful for the purpose of vaulting tribal and national boundaries and building an ecclesiastical empire in which the entire planet would submit to Rome. Thus, Christianity has been a corrupted by Western elites for 1600 years and Sir Arthur merely accepted the modern practitioners interpretation without protest.

In our modern multi-cultural societies, this universalized image of the brotherhood of man has filtered down into the lower ranks, as individual clergymen translate the Sermon on the Mount to mandate a standardless tolerance of all things - turning ones cheek to all manner of vice and overt attacks - a tolerance that is useful, so the modern clergy believe, for keeping the pews full on Sundays without regard to race, creed, national origin or sexual orientation.

So I pardon Sir Arthur for accepting the practice of Christianity as he found it, rather than trying to instruct the world on its true meaning. Nevertheless, a short paragraph noting that Christianity reinforced genetic isolation and conferred practical survival advantages for the first three centuries of its existence - and ceased to do so once it fell into the hands of empire builders - would have been a vast improvement.

After much reflection I decided that the most important book for understanding our present predicament and our future course of action must explain our own central tendency and weakness - the quality that has led to our current precarious position. And indeed Charles Mackay's masterpiece "Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" written in 1841 explains that flaw or weakness - our propensity to delude ourselves in ways that are wildly contrary to our own self interest, both individually and collectively - with incomparable wit and style.

No enemy could have brought the descendants of European Christendom to our current pass.

Our own delusions are responsible. We have done it to ourselves.

We have a long history of doing it, as Charles Mackay demonstrates.

The book is popular today because of its brilliant and revealing descriptions of our "crowd behavior" during the investment manias such as the Tulip Mania (1635), John Law's Mississippi scheme (1720), and the South Sea Bubble (1721). Mackay's retelling of these classic investment manias in the first three chapters of the book would be valuable even if you stopped at that point.

But for Euro-American Nationalists, the book has overpowering importance and explanatory value. You should not stop with the investment manias, because there are much more serious manias which regularly grip us.

The most important chapters are those in which Mackay retells the history of the Crusades (1096 to 1291), and I should note that the dates of these major self-destructive manias will become important when I review Robert Prechter's "At the Crest of the Tidal Wave").

Apparently at the end of the 11th Century, a mere three centuries after expelling the Moors from Southern France, Europe was so prosperous that the Nobles felt they could undertake a conquest of the birthplace of Christ.

The crusades illustrate a fundamental racial characteristic of our people. We fight wars not for our own collective survival and not to further our own interests, but rather to vindicate some theoretical abstraction - in the case of the crusades it was to conquer the holy lands in the name of Christianity.

Now if one were to stop and consider whether the armed conquest of Palestine was the most effective and efficient means of spreading Christianity, then the answer was certainly "no". Missionary work is far less likely to harden hearts than armed invasion.

Palestine was an impoverished land. Invasion could not secure much profitable trade, nor could it afford Europe a source of plunder or tribute. The inhabitants of Palestine presented no threat to the people of Europe. Conquest of Palestine could do nothing to enrich the European participants, nor could such conquest secure any survival advantage upon their European peoples.

Indeed, one searches in vain for any words of Christ that would vindicate such an adventure. Nowhere can I find him instructing his disciples to invade other nations to attack and kill potential converts. Rather, in Mackay's account, it seems much more of a gesture intended to allow the European nobles to prove their own religiosity and heroism to themselves.

From a genetic and mathematical standpoint, it makes sense for a man to sacrifice his own life to save 3 brothers or 7 cousins. And indeed all of humanity, being social animals, seem pre- programmed to sacrifice themselves in just such a way, but without any precise or individualized calculus.

The conquest of Palestine by European crusaders violates nature's basic law, as it could confer no survival advantage upon the European peoples, nor could it increase the probability that the genes of the participants themselves might appear in future generations. Indeed the ferocity of their commitment to the cause was inversely proportional to the potential benefit.

Thus, the crusading impulse appears primarily as a very expensive and wasteful (from a standpoint of individual genetic success) ornament of social status - a proof of right thinking ideals to the society which surrounded the bearer of those ideals.

In fact, the only sacrifice that Christ demands of his followers is faith. But faith is not perceptible socially except by outward display. And for warriors meaning to impress other warriors within a warrior elite, the only display likely to matter is a military display with all of its attendant risks.

Social science teaches us to suspect that noblemen would not engage in such wasteful and dangerous displays of self-righteousness unless such displays were in fact rewarded by the society which surrounded them. Indeed, the propensity to such displays would most probably not occur unless similarly wasteful displays of self-righteous behaviors had been rewarded regularly in the past with positions of leadership and social esteem.

Those of you who have jumped ahead and read Geoffrey Miller's "The Mating Mind" will recognize instantly that my view of the crusades represents an extension of Professor Miller's thesis that the human mind evolved to its present capabilities not because it conferred a technological advantage in the struggle for survival, but as an expensive and essentially "wasteful" ornament in the sexual selection process. Singing, story telling, and cave drawings were the emblems of fitness for mating in our tribal bands 40,000 years ago just as Porsche sports cars, Armani suits and expensive diamonds are the expensive and wasteful ornaments of fitness for mating today.

But of course Mackay's description of the Crusades adds a broader dimension to that theory by suggesting that our self-destructive group manias are a profound part of our own evolutionary psychology and bear a basic and fundamental relationship to the size and capacity of our brains. Manias of millennial dimension (such as the crusades and the modern "human equality" mania) are wasteful ornaments of "right thinking" indulged without a care as to our individual or collective self interest and carried to extremes of self destruction similar to the behaviour of lemmings jumping off a cliff.

Intellect and technology are fairly recent and accidental by-products of that brain - by-products that can save our race if collectively we can learn to supplant the status seeking wasteful displays with a hard-headed recognition of our collective self interest.

I should note that the Crusades marked the climactic extreme of an elite based on military prowess and military ideals. From the ninth through the 13th centuries, nobility was defined by leadership in battle. It was a life marked by unpleasant physical effort and high mortality. The collective and socially reinforced mania of this military elite produced its destructive climax during the crusades, and following the height of that elite's mania, the noblesse d' epee was replaced by an entirely different elite - with an entirely different set of status markers described as the "code of the gentlemen".

In the place of the intense and absolutely sincere religiousity of the famous crusading kings - Louis VII through Louis IX of France and Richard I of England, you get the ribald humor and religious skepticism of Shakespeare and his enthusiastic audience of youthful earls two centuries later.

Under this new elite, the military become hired hands rather than rulers. The "gentleman" hires others to do his fighting for him. A gentleman is fundamentally manipulative - the nascent "managers" of our modern age. Leadership in battle is reserved for unfortunate younger sons of noblemen and the intelligent and upwardly mobile risk-takers, while the actual soldiers are procured from the undesirables and especially white Christian ethnic minorities - the famous Scots guards and Welsh rifles of Imperial Britain.

The gentleman becomes not a military leader but the "rentier."

He makes his living collecting rents from his lands worked by tenants, and disdains labor of any sort because it is a marker of low status. He devotes his energies to art, music and literature.

Two hundred years after Shakespeare, we find the world of the gentleman rentier expressed in its purest form in the novels of Jane Austen, where fortures are much celebrated and admired, but the means of acquiring such a fortune may never be discussed.

Throughout Jane Austen's masterpieces, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Mansfield Park, we find repeated statements to the effect that "liberal opinions" are required of a prospective mate. In her novels we find not only powerful confirmation of Professor Miller's thesis, but we also find in them very clear descriptions of the social interactions that create the impulsive and irresistible pressures to conform to the mania and accept its false premises.

The basic and universal characteristic of a mania is collective group belief in what we all know as individuals to be obviously false, or to be dangerously contrary to our interests.

Manias are always begun by elites, the most intelligent members of society believe the most earnestly, while the humble workers of our race tend to remain skeptical and relatively unenthusiastic. Hence the extreme irony of Mackay's title. The delusions he describes are not "popular" nor are they the province of "crowds" but rather of the educated, literate and propertied. After all, to participate in an investment mania, you must have money to invest.

But to sell a book to literate members of English Society in 1841, one must condescend to that audience and make it appear that manias are the peculiar province of low status undesirables. The author knows better, but then he also knows that the only way to induce the elites to abandon manias is to paint manias with the brush of low status. Logic will never dissuade them.

Of course, by deceptively painting manias as "popular" and the province of "crowds," the author fails miserably to cure the disease. He leaves every right thinking reader with the escape hatch of thinking that avoiding manias is a simple as avoiding low status crowds.

But it is the need to impress one's fellows through the display of right feelings and sensibilities that drives all manias. And the right feelings and the sensibilities that convey the greatest status among our race are those feelings which are the most contrary to our own self interest and the most solicitous of and generous toward the interests of others. The crass accumulation of wealth and the preservation of race or nation do not confer status. Rather, it is the renunciation of wealth and the sacrifice of our racial interests that elicits the greatest wonder and admiration and serves to set us apart, as individuals, from those so crass as to admit concern about such things.

And for over 200 years, we Europeans have been firmly in the grip of a much more powerful and destructive mania than that which gripped the crusaders. Ever since the American and French Revolutions (which marked the end of the last grand supercycle downturn in public mood) we have been embroiled in the mania of human equality.

The mania of the Crusades - the apogee of the warrior class - has this much in its defense: The divinity of Christ is not susceptible to disproof by readily observable fact.

In contrast, examine the statement authored by Thomas Jefferson and placed in our Declaration of Independence - it is the very premise upon which the American nation is founded: "We hold these truths to be self evident - that all men are created equal."

It is obviously and self evidently false.

Our own eyes tell us the contrary - that all men are profoundly unequal in their abilities and aptitudes, and that the groups to which they attach themselves display average inequalities as well.

It is clear that the slave owning Jefferson knew his statement was false at the time he made it.

So then the question is, why did he say it?

The personal driver behind Jefferson's statement was, of course, that all educated property owners were equal to their competitors, the hereditary aristocrats in Europe, and should share power with them.

But when we hear the straight forward declaration of self-interest, we recognize instantly that educated property owners are few in number and are utterly powerless without the support of the millions who are not educated and do not own property, but are forced to sell their labor. Thus, the educated property owners - the gentleman rentiers - have no claim to political legitimacy unless they can enlist the support of those who are propertyless and uneducated.

The gentlemen rentiers of America's founding must fight a war against the Universalist Empire of Britain and cannot do it alone. And as the gentleman is inherently manipulative and deceptive, he makes an open ended promise that he knows is based on a wildly and obviously false notion that all men are created equal. It results in an implied promise that Jefferson knows will be utterly impossible to keep. But Jefferson makes the deceptive and manipulative promise anyway, because it is in his individual interest to make it.

The problem with his statement, and the proof of its essential deceptive nature is the boundless potential for destruction held within it.

If all men are created equal, then why should Jefferson and the other founders be rich while most of their countrymen are poor?

At bottom, the statement that all men are created equal justifies the conquest of the entire world under a single empire, with the imposition of a single language and laws. After all, if all men are created equal, then the numerous local hues and divisions between us are all irrational and should be repressed by force. Ultimately those differences should be blended out of existence.

It is a doctrine that gives rise to endless opportunities to profit from deception and manipulation, setting set one tribe against another with appeals to equality, while allowing confiscation of the produce of the hardworking and productive by appeals to equality interests of the less productive and less hardworking.

Of course, the Inner Party would spot the opportunities immediately upon their emancipation in the 19th Century, and exploit them with devastating effect in the 20th.

The opportunities for profit are endless. All it takes is a deceptive and manipulative "gentleman" to manage the promises, metering them out as the occasion demands.

And if you think about it, it is obvious that the "gentleman" product of the Enlightenment has no real choice. The thousand year process of de-tribalization and amalgamation so elegantly chronicled by Sir Arthur Keith has produced an educated man of property who by 1775 can no longer say that he will depend upon his ethnic kinsmen to protect his freedom, property and sovereignty, because he no longer has any sense of that kinship.

Rather he is reduced to promising that everyone on the planet can share with him as an equal.

Borders become meaningless, barriers of language and culture meaningless, and powerful aesthetic notions of beauty and worth which attach to specific racially determined features and assert themselves so powerfully in the process of sexual selection, all become irrational nuisances to be suppressed in the name of equality and the advantage of universalist empire.

This distinction between tribe and race is critical for us Western Europeans to understand.

Race is a rather recent reality, the importance of which is only recognized by the "pioneers, "those of our brethren at the fringes of the empire who actually administered it and had extensive contact with alien races, or in more recent times, had extensive contact because we grew up in less desirable neighborhoods in one of the many multi-cultural paradises egalitarians have created for us.

It is only after extensive contact with other races that we come to realize just how profoundly hostile they are to the survival of the European race. It is only after extensive contact that we realize just how limited and narrow our individual, personal options will become if these aliens are ever allowed a measure of power over us, and it is only after a hard nosed appraisal of that individual personal loss of choice, freedom and opportunity that we understand the importance of infusing racial identity into the dual code of amity for those within the race and enmity for those without.

However, racializing a de-tribalized population is a difficult business. A task made infinitely more difficult by a socially reinforced mania which demands that we all acquiesce in demonstrable and obvious falsehoods.

Unfortunately, it will be much easier to position ourselves to be the saviours of our race after the inevitable and intensely unpleasant collision with reality, than it is to attempt to talk them out of a mania that will only be reinforced by our resistance.

Thus, we are faced with the Hobson's choice of confronting our own kind now and hoping to change their behavior while they still have numbers and legal power on their side, or waiting until after the unpleasant collision, when we will be a distressed and impoverished minority.

Those of us determined to attack the mania now must guard against the assumption that others will respond as we do when we explain the obvious silliness and falsehood of the egalitarianism and the obvious threat it poses to our collective self interest and survival. The very fact that otherwise sensible people can be made to acquiesce in a social order based on obvious and readily observable falsehoods is testimony to its strength - not its weakness.

It is also testimony to how violently and viciously the mania will be defended.

And it is in connection with our efforts to uproot this mania that we should read with particular interest, the witch trials described by Mackay.

The enlightenment secularized and neutered Christianity as a force in public life in response to the slaughters of the religious wars in Europe.

In place of Christianity, the enlightenment substituted a brand new faith - the brotherhood of man, in the vain hope that it would end intra-European violence. Of course, this new faith, based as it was upon demonstrable and obvious falsehoods, could only progress and be sustained with violence, and true to form, the blood began to flow almost immediately with the French revolution beginning in 1791.

This new faith was tailor made to justify imperial wars of conquest, designed to bring the message of human equality and the material betterment of trade to those in need of uplift.

But it has always been resistance to that new faith from European groups that has prompted the most savage outbreaks of bloodshed, from the U.S. Civil War, to the Boer War, to the Revolution if 1918 in Russia, and, ultimately the German reaction to that threat.

The prosperity that followed WW-2 has reduced the inclination of Euros to resist the human equality mania en-mass, resulting instead in localized witch hunts, including war crimes prosecutions and hate crimes laws.

As I have stated in prior posts, our challenge to this false god - the brotherhood of man - must be adapted to the circumstances existing at the time.

It is completely clear that this particular delusion - like the crusading spirit in 1090 AD - is not merely a matter of internal belief, but rather external display adopted for the purpose of acquiring status through careless disregard of self interest and racial survival.

While many of our race will be convinced by facts and logic, the most effective way of defeating the mania will be public ridicule.

We need to poke fun at public displays of this faith in the universal brotherhood of man. We must ridicule every public display of this faith so as to strip it of its value as an emblem of social status.

We must become rude in public places - focusing "our new hardness" on the ridiculousness of this manic faith. Those who choose to display this absurd faith in public should be made to pay an immediate price in the form of public ridicule. That will deter others of our own kind from indulging in similar displays.

In times of relative prosperity, people want to be happy. They will ignore bad news. They want to feel good about themselves. In such a psychological environment, interrupting the flow of social reinforcement for destructive status displays can have a profound effect.

And you cannot interrupt the flow of social reinforcement by adopting a low status label - by claiming to be a KKK member, for example - just to gain the attention of the media. Adopting emblems and symbols that the controlled media has invested billions of dollars stigmatizing as low status merely serves to reinforce the belief among the outer party that their displays of the egalitarian delusions confer precisely what they seek - the opinion of their neighbors that they are "good people".

Thus, in order to interrupt the status transmission mechanism, the outer party must value your opinion of them. You must appear to be just like them. That means you must avoid markers of low status.

Our new hardness - the willingness to be rude and pushy in the defense of our own survival - demands first that we ridicule belief in the universal brotherhood of man in relatively light hearted ways that interrupt the flow of social reinforcement, and we cannot do this effectively if we brand ourselves as low status "haters" who's opinions should be ignored.

Light hearted humor will make it much more difficult for others impose negative stereotypes on you and make them stick.

As much as I admire the success of the National Alliance in marshaling real resources to reach our people with the unvarnished truth (and in this respect it is the only game in town) I would encourage the good Doctor to interrupt the monotone negative images of racial assaults, culture destruction and alien domination, and occasionally introduce his group to the public by distributing brochures showing the utter silliness of the social displays staged by our outer party elites.

Even if we cannot shame the outer party elites into fleeing their egalitarian delusions, it is critically important that the ordinary working Euro-Americans who must pay the price of their delusions be less in awe of their status, and less inclined to accept their leadership.

Let a thousand experiments bloom.


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