on William Pierce
Note of 26 May 2015: My response to Johnson’s “I regarded him as a monster…” appears in my article “Dies irae”, a piece that gave the title to my book Day of Wrath.
William Pierce died ten years ago today. Pierce was an immensely influential and intensely polarizing figure. But ten years should be long enough for passions to cool and reflections to ripen. Thus to commemorate his passing we are publishing several articles this week which, we hope, will encourage a greater appreciation of his contributions to White Nationalism.
I also wish to draw your attention to some of Pierce’s best writings which I have reprinted on this website:
2.- “Dostoyevsky on the Jews”
3.- “Elites vs. Masses”
5.- “The Measure of Greatness”
7.- “On Christianity”
8.- “On Liberty”
9.- “Our Cause”
12.- “The Roots of Civilization”
13.- “What is Racism?”
14.- “Why Conservatives Can’t Win”
15.- “Why the West Will Go Under”
I first encountered William Pierce’s writings in 2000. I believe that I first heard his name in March in connection to Savitri Devi: As editor of National Socialist World, Pierce created an abridgement of The Lightning and the Sun for the first issue. In later issues, he published excerpts from Gold in the Furnace and Defiance.
Some time later, on April 22, 2000, I purchased The Turner Diaries and Hunter from Dent Myers at his Wildman’s Shop in Kennesaw, Georgia. Frankly, I found them repulsive, The Turner Diaries in particular. Pierce may have been inspired by National Socialism, but his model of revolution was pure Lenin and his model of government pure Stalin. If he had the power, he would have killed more people than Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot combined. He epitomizes everything about the Old Right model that I reject: one party politics, totalitarianism, terrorism, imperialism, and genocide. At the time, I remarked that as a novelist and political theorist Pierce was a first rate physicist.
I regarded him as a monster…
William Pierce, the founder and head of the National Alliance, was a singularly important ideologist, organizer, and leader in the white nationalist movement.
His energy, commitment, drive, intelligence, and—given the sinister forces arrayed against us—accomplishments, are truly remarkable. Like George Lincoln Rockwell, David Duke, and a few others, he was a Superman. It is difficult to comprehend the powerful life force and capabilities such men incarnate.
Pierce was a prolific author. A collected edition of his writings, including personal correspondence and speeches, would run to many, many volumes.
Most of his enormous output was not in the form of books, however, but rather essays, articles, organizational guides, membership bulletins, speeches, correspondence, and weekly American Dissident Voices radio/Internet broadcasts.
His written work is thus highly fragmented, scattered, and not easily accessible in one or a few books. His enormous contribution to the cause of white survival will suffer greatly as a result, disappearing down the memory hole in relatively short order.
It is crucial that we build upon the past accomplishments of our best thinkers rather than continuously striving to reinvent the wheel every generation as people die, are murdered, jailed, or otherwise silenced.
There are five extended works by Pierce, two (or perhaps three) of which are effectively unavailable.
His two novels, The Turner Diaries (1978) and Hunter (1989).
A historical overview of the white race called Who We Are, originally published as a series of articles in National Vanguard tabloid (May 1978-May 1982) before it switched to magazine format.
This series has never been published in book form. Several years ago the National Alliance announced plans to issue such a volume, but it did not materialize. The series can be found in electronic format on a handful of websites. (See, e.g., the 225-page PDF version here and an HTML version here.)
As a consequence, Who We Are has probably been read by only a handful of people who followed every installment in the tabloid thirty years ago, and a few enterprising contemporaries inclined to read online books in an inconvenient electronic format. Of course, potential readers also need to know the book exists, and possess a desire to read it.
To these volumes must be added the underappreciated anthology The Best of Attack! and National Vanguard Tabloid, 1970-1982 (1984) compiled by former National Alliance member Kevin Alfred Strom. It is a fascinating, indispensable book that is historically significant and substantively engaging. Virtually the entire contents were written by Pierce, with the exception of a few major articles by Ted O’Keefe and others.
Unfortunately, the volume is out of print. A new copy currently sells for $258 on Amazon. Four used copies are more reasonably priced, ranging from $66-$133. A PDF copy of the book is available online, but the file is very large and difficult to read.
Finally, there is the National Alliance Membership Handbook, which is not publicly available.
Other than these works, Pierce’s vast output, which, though multifaceted, is nevertheless highly coherent, exists only in fragmented form. It is impossible to grasp holistically unless the reader is already thoroughly familiar with the man and his work—which, of course, most people are not.
These facts, coupled with Jewish and government obsession with the two novels, particularly The Turner Diaries, tend to give Pierce’s fiction a larger place in his oeuvre than it objectively warrants.
Had I discovered his novels first, I doubt that I would ever have explored the main body of his work. Still, the novels are instructive.
First, they constitute an important element of Pierce’s overall production and are perhaps more widely known, possibly even more widely read, than the bulk of his work.
I do believe that the most important people who have been intellectually influenced by Pierce were primarily drawn to his other writings. The novels, however, were especially influential among radical activists.
Second, I was greatly surprised to discover soon after I read them how popular the books were. I would never have guessed that. Whites are psychologically very heterogeneous compared to Jews, who have been likened to a hive or, more flatteringly, a “herd of independent minds”—emphasis on herd.
Third, and most importantly, the novels provide a window into Pierce’s true psychology and values that cannot be obtained from his nonfiction, no matter how angry or violent the rhetoric sometimes is.
My initial reaction to the novels was puzzlement as to why the Jews and government wanted to censor them, or even close normal channels of marketing and distribution to them.
To me, the books were self-refuting. I naively assumed other readers would feel the same way. I thought the author had shot himself, and his cause, in the foot, so to speak.
I was certainly wrong about that. So that was a valuable lesson to learn as well.
Not everyone thinks alike…