What is death that it should make cowards of us all? What is life that it should be valued so highly? There are worse things than death and among them is a life of dishonor
Talk about an overhyped, disappointing work. This “forbidden” book has been lauded by so many on the far/alt-Right as this almost religious text (which is ironic, given the content) it’s hilarious. and sad. What’s funny though is that, when it’s not being totally redundant, this can be a pretty fun book. It’s full of superlative and memorable lines such as:
I; even I, am my own redeemer
Ultimately, this is kind of like a harlequin novel for Nordic Manly Men who need their beards stroked.
My version began with a healthy introduction by some casual, unabashed white supremacists (not just nationalists, who I more or less agree with), one of which is currently in prison for what he calls “alleged civil rights violations”. Riiiiiight. As decoration stand various images of broad-shouldered Norsemen with battle-axes to visually reinforce the point that, well, might is right! (only if you are white though?) If you didn’t get that point yet. By the title. or the text. Or the hundreds of times he repeats the truism.
The publishers take a lot of pride in the fact that the original version, in all its resplendent, ungrammatical, misspelled glory, has been untouched by the (probably Jewish?) hands of editors. Cultural Marxist editors. Weakling, Christian editors. The superior Nordic editors of course see the value in a text riddled with comical levels of ungrammaticality and typos of what was clearly a hobbled-together, rushed draft composed of other, more rushed drafts from a variety of authors in a variety of languages. This does have its own charm, to a degree, but there is certainly something to be said of the power editing. and of brevity, which this tome lacks completely.
More than anything, the text is more akin to a hurried, rushed blog post by a highly erudite, if not irate, commentator on an Alt-Right, Libertarian blog or Stormfront thread than a masterful tome by the alleged Nietzsche (or Jack London? Probably neither).
I’ll admit, at around halfway I was just done with the book. At that point he (they?) had incessantly repeated two pretty simple concepts: Might is Right. Law / Religion / Politics is slavery. Over and over and over, without much substantial evidence to back them up for they are to be taken as truisms, self-explanatory concepts understand a priori, as if merely reading it repeatedly will somehow break the hold religion has on us. It was working in a strange, roundabout way, as I suddenly felt the urge to take my finely honed battle-axe from under my pillow (if you don’t have one, you are a pussy / fag / weakling amirite?) to smash my kindle! The shackles of slavery, however, restrained me, and I continued to struggle through this tome until I could no more.
I would really love to discuss the ideas in this pamphlet (or zine entry, really) in a serious manner, but they are portrayed so comically as to come off as satirical in nature. It reads like comedy. I’ve found myself rolling my eyes one too many times for me to want to dissect, whether in agreement or not, anything herein. In fact, some believe this to be a work of satire, which I can absolutely understand, seeing how the content is so poorly substantiated. Take this quote, for example.
If criminals are criminals, by descent or by birth, is it not equally probably that slaves are slaves by the facts of their breed and ancestry? Does it not also follow that heroes and strong, powerful, resolute, personalities, have derived their solid stamina from their forefathers? Indeed all history and all genealogies prove that this is a mathematical fact. Great men are ever the descendants of mighty warriors and conquerors, that is to say, of mighty animals
Wait, what? For such an erudite, educated person the author takes himself to be, this statement is so comically false one can’t even begin to posit a counterargument. Aren’t there hundreds of examples, even in fiction (inspired by real events) of Kings rising from poverty? Of Heirs being physical eunuchs in comparison to their Father-King? Of Cowardice rising from Bravery, or Bravery coming from a ‘lineage’ of cravens?
This isn’t to say kin don’t share traits; Strength will oft beget strength, like the corn-fed clans of Kansas (from which half my Nordic lineage stems), but not always. Or Woody Allen types begetting, well, eccentric Jewish artists (look at Lena Dunham, well, don’t, she’s ugly, but glance at her). Circumstances do have an influence, no genetic-determinst can deny that. Or, even minor changes passed between kin can result in great contrasts between Father and Son, Mother and Daughter. Again, how many Great Kings had utter failures or inepts as sons? Were Schwarzenegger’s own family Olympic body-builders, or did his father want him to become a police officer like himself? (hint: he did).
Sometimes he advocates individual agency as the greatest power, yet here and elsewhere he advocates totally genetic determinism! Which one is it? Does Might (agency? Will zur Macht?) make Right, or does lineage? Does training? Learning? Mastery? Isn’t he more mighty who overcomes his obstacles to greatness through dedication and training than he who was simply ‘born with it’?
Ultimately it’s these sorts of contradictions that absolutely riddle this book as to make any thing of value it might have to say be utterly worthless. He’s his own unreliable narrator of his own schizophrenic ramblings. There are real gems in this work, like this on the role of man and “the state” (Satan):
The man who prays to be ‘protected’ by politicians, guarded by armed Janissaries, saved by idolatrous priests, and redeemed by State Regimentation is indeed a miserable sinner -a vile, despicable, un-manly wretch
Here’s a hauntingly beautiful passage on “Vae Victis”
She [nature] loves the writhing of sword blades-the rendering of tradition, the crunching of bones and the flap of shattered shot-torn banners, streaming out savagely (in the day, in the night), over the battle-weary, the mangled dying and the swollen dead. Christs may come and Christs may go, but Caesar lives forever.
Coupled with total garbage:
What power on earth can permanently keep the Negro on a parity with the Anglo-Saxon?
It’s one thing to be prideful of your heritage and accomplishments as a people (indeed, black Americans are told to be) but to disparage hundreds of ethnic groups, each distinct from the other as Greeks are from the Irish, due to a common skin color, in comparison to a particular subculture of the ‘white’ race (though he often disparaging Irish, Russians and Italians, now considered white?) is disingenous at best. The blatant, contradictory nature of his statements (working for yourself is best! but calloused hands are for calloused minds… so get some slaves!) are just too much sometimes.
In sum, this is indeed an important, amoral, irreverent iconoclastic work worth at least a perusal of some of the more poignant sections. Once you “get the gist” in the first few pages, however, he simply just repeats it in admittedly sometimes badass, but ultimately redundant, ways. I feel that Jack Donovan’s piece on the matter is far more cogent and respectable, and most importantly, its curt message is contained within a blog post. Whodathunk?
Hate for hate
and ruth for ruth,
Eye for eye
and tooth for tooth.
Scorn for scorn
and smile for smile,
Love for love
and guile for guile
War for war
and woe for woe,
blood for blood
and blow for blow