London was a Protean writer who mixed racialism with socialism

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https://nationalvanguard.org/author/wpenn/

“THERE NEVER was a good biography of a good novelist,” F. Scott Fitzgerald once observed. “He is too many people, if he’s any good.” This dictum holds particularly true in the case of Jack London (pictured, 1876–1916). For biographers and critics as well, he is the most elusive of subjects. As a person, as a writer, and most of all as a man of ideas, he continually takes on different and sharply contrasting forms.

For nearly half of his short, turbulent and adventurous life he was a member of the Socialist Party. He wrote books and articles championing Socialist principles. He liked to end his letters with “Yours for the revolution.” Twice he ran as a Socialist for mayor of his hometown Oakland (he came nowhere near victory). Once, when serving as president of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society, he spoke with menacing rhetoric of an imminent violent revolution at Harvard and Yale. Long revered as a patron saint of the Left, he was for years the most widely read American author in the Soviet Union.

His best-known Socialist work is The Iron Heel (1907). Set in a future America, the novel expounds Marxist theory and vividly portrays the bloody suppression of a workers’ revolt by a Bilderbergerish cabal of plutocrats called The Oligarchy. Predictably, liberal-minority critics praise the book as a prophetic vision of the evils of twentieth-century fascism. Just as predictably, they deplore the shadowy presence of London the hereditarian. To him the book’s slum proletarians, “the people of the abyss,” are “the refuse and the scum of life,” a stock irredeemably inferior to the plutocrats and to the Socialist elite who are the heroes and heroines of the novel.

London was usually much more explicit about the genetic coloring of his Socialism. He once horrified some fellow party members by declaring: “What the Devil! I am first of all a White man and only then a Socialist!” And he wrote a friend, “Socialism is not an ideal system devised for the happiness of all men. It is devised so as to give more strength to these certain kindred favored races so that they may survive and inherit the earth to the extinction of the lesser, weaker races.”

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London became a Socialist because first-hand experience — he once worked 14-hour days in a cannery for ten cents an hour — had made him an enemy of economic injustice. But Socialist theory was just one of the three strong intellectual currents of the time that shaped his world view and found expression in his writing. He was also drawn, by his instinctive belief in the primacy of the self, to the ideas of Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, and Max Stirner. The third, probably the most profound influence on his thinking, was Darwinism and Herbert Spencer’s application of it to philosophy and ethics. This doctrine was for London an essential key to the pattern of existence.

The contradictions between such divergent sources, writes London’s most recent biographer, Andrew Sinclair (Jack, 1977), “suited his divided nature. . . .  Jack was most a Socialist when he was depressed. . . . When he felt confident, he decided that the survival of the self and the race determined all human behavior.”

We cannot judge to what extent it is fair to describe London’s thinking in terms of manic-depressive psychology. But it is certainly true that throughout his work the writer gravitates from one theoretical matrix to another. For example, in describing his own climb to eminence, either in autobiography or in thinly disguised fiction (notably in the 1909 novel Martin Eden)he casts himself variously as a social underdog victimized by class barriers, as a man of indomitable will, and as a biological specimen superbly fitted for survival.

However he depicted it, his rise was an impressive story. He fought his way up from poverty, educated himself, served a grueling literary apprenticeship, and virtually by main force became a popular, well-paid and influential writer. Glorying in his hard-won status, he established himself in baronial (and un-Socialist) fashion on a sprawling California ranch and labored to maintain his lifestyle by grinding out an average of three books a year.

By instinct and by conviction, London was a literary naturalist — one of a new breed of writers who focused on the harsh, deterministic forces shaping nature and human society. Working at the top of his form, he had an enormous gift for graphically dramatizing primal conflict, and several of his books are classics of their kind. The most famous of these are two novels: The Call of the Wild (1903), in which the canine hero, Buck, learns “the law of the club and fang” in the Yukon; and The Sea-Wolf (1904), a complex and compelling portrait of a sealer captain who is a proto-superman.

Unfortunately, London is not at his best when he makes racial themes central in his fiction. The material, like most of his work, has raw power and vitality. But the modern reader will also find it full of operatic melodrama, stereotyped characters, and Kiplingesque assumptions about the imperial mission of the Anglo-Saxons. (Kipling was a major influence on London’s style and many of his attitudes.)

However, one of London’s themes, racial displacement, is more relevant now than when he wrote. It is the theme of his novel The Valley of the Moon (1913)a sympathetic study of poor, landless Anglo-Saxon Americans in California. They have lost the land to exploiters of their own kind, to more energetic immigrants, and through their own improvidence. They are “the white folks that failed.” Their salvation, London says, lies in returning with new dedication to the land that is their birthright. His prescription, simplistic as it is, merits respect as a pioneering attempt. And we should note that it has been followed in recent years by a small but significant number of Majority members, people who for various reasons have gone back to the land to start over again.

The innate superiority of Anglo-Saxon stock to all others is an article of faith in The Valley of the Moon and in London’s work generally. He was himself of Welsh descent on his mother’s side, English on the side of his presumptive father, a vagabond jack of-all-trades who never married London’s mother and never admitted his paternity.

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Racial displacement on a larger scale is foreseen in The Mutiny of the Elsinore (1914). The hero-narrator, obviously London’s persona, is a playwright on an ocean voyage whose atavistic instincts help him crush a mutiny of his genetic inferiors. But even as he exults in his victory, he judges it as all for naught in the long historical pull; and throughout the novel he delivers twilight-of-the-gods valedictories to his own kind, the blond, “white-skinned, blue-eyed Aryan.” Born to roam over the world and govern and command it, the paleface Aryan “perishes because of the too-white light he encounters.” The darker races “will inherit the earth, not because of their capacity for mastery and government, but because of their skin-pigmentation which enables their tissues to resist the ravages of the sun.”

This strange hypothesis the writer got from The Effects of Tropical Light on White Men, a book by a Major Woodruff. It was a theory which had been made horribly real for London by the nightmarish skin disease he had contracted on a cruise in the Solomon Islands.

London’s racial pessimism was reinforced by the decline in his fortunes in the last years of his life and by World War I, which he viewed as an orgy of racial fratricide. But the writer who once had a heroine make the sensible observation that “white men shouldn’t go around killing each other” was outvoted by the inveterate Anglo-Saxon, and he became an advocate of American intervention on the side of England against Germany. (One reason he left the Socialist Party in 1916 was to protest its neutralist position. Another was his growing dissatisfaction with its dogma. “Liberty, freedom, and independence,” he wrote in his letter of resignation, “are royal things that cannot be presented to, nor thrust upon, races or classes.”)

Given to treating his increasing numbers of ailments, including alcoholism, with morphine and arsenic compounds, he died in 1916 of a self-administered drug overdose. Whether it was accidental or deliberate has never been determined

It is easy enough in retrospect to point out the flaws in London’s racial thinking. But the point to be stressed is that he knew, through his instinct and reason, how primary a factor race is, and he is one of the very few writers in this century who deals forthrightly with the fundamental role of racial dynamics in human affairs.

Like Proteus, London assumes different forms — the Darwinian, the Socialist, the self-styled Nietzschean “blond beast,” the man of letters, the man of action, the “sailor on horseback” of his projected autobiography, and the major American author. He is also reminiscent of the sea god in that he was something of a prophet. For example, the writer of such works as The Call of the Wild can be considered, to use biographer Sinclair’s words, “the prophet of the correspondences between beasts and men,” and a forerunner of Lorenz and E.O. Wilson.

Sinclair goes on to observe that London’s varied prophetic gifts make him “curiously modern as a thinker, despite the dark corridors of his racial beliefs.” Those of us who have made empirical journeys through our own “dark corridors,” will conclude that in this territory too London is “curiously modern” and prophetic.

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Source: based on an article in Instauration magazine, June 1978

We are as Acquainted with You as we are with Death

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“Truly these sixteen who fell have celebrated a resurrection unique in world history. The miracle is that from their sacrifice came Germany’s unity, the victory of a movement, of an idea, and the devotion of the entire people. All that we owe to these first men! If I had found no one then ready to risk his life, it would have been impossible to find them later. All the subsequent blood sacrifices were inspired by the sacrifice of these first men.
Therefore we raise them out of the darkness of forgetfulness and make them the center of attention of the German people forever.
For us they are not dead. This temple is no crypt, but an eternal watch. Here they stand for Germany, on guard for our people. Here they lie as true martyrs of our movement.
We celebrated this day each year in the past — not always in the same form during the years of persecution — and we are determined that it will be for all times a holiday for the German people. We do this not because sixteen men died. Thousands die daily, even more during an hour of war.
We do it because these sixteen men, with believing hearts, died in a way that helped the German people to rise again.”

Adolf Hitler 

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You dead heroes
Never were you nearer to us —,
Reminder, call, prayer —
As now when the Grim Reaper
Stands before us.
Never were you so necessary to us.
Towers in the storm of care.
Never were you as alive to us.
We are as acquainted with you as we are with death.
We listen for the call. And we hear
In the night, when all is silent
Your voices. They warn, they swear:
Not only victories! The victory!
As our flags sink
God goes as the wind through the field.
All our thanks and thoughts
Become deed.
—Gerhard Schumann

 

The Trooping Fairies

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W.B. Yeats

From Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry: Edited and Selected by W.B. Yeats, 1888

The Irish word for fairy is sheehogue  [sidheóg], a diminutive of “shee” in banshee. Fairies are deenee shee [daoine sidhe] (fairy people).

Who are they? “Fallen angels who were not good enough to be saved, nor bad enough to be lost,” say the peasantry. “The gods of the earth,” says the Book of Armagh. “The gods of pagan Ireland,” say the Irish antiquarians, “the Tuatha De Danān, who, when no longer worshipped and fed with offerings, dwindled away in the popular imagination, and now are only a few spans high.”

And they will tell you, in proof, that the names of fairy chiefs are the names of old Danān heroes, and the places where they especially gather together, Danān burying-places, and that the Tuath De Danān used also to be called the slooa-shee [sheagh sidhe] (the fairy host), or Marcra shee (the fairy cavalcade).

On the other hand, there is much evidence to prove them fallen angels. Witness the nature of the creatures, their caprice, their way of being good to the good and evil to the evil, having every charm but conscience–consistency. Beings so quickly offended that you must not speak much about them at all, and never call them anything but the “gentry,” or else daoine maithe, which in English means good people, yet so easily pleased, they will do their best to keep misfortune away from you, if you leave a little milk for them on the window-sill over night. On the whole, the popular belief tells us most about them, telling us how they fell, and yet were not lost, because their evil was wholly without malice.

Are they “the gods of the earth”? Perhaps! Many poets, and all mystic and occult writers, in all ages and countries, have declared that behind the visible are chains on chains of conscious beings, who are not of heaven but of the earth, who have no inherent form but change according to their whim, or the mind that sees them. You cannot lift your hand without influencing and being influenced by hoards. The visible world is merely their skin. In dreams we go amongst them, and play with them, and combat with them. They are, perhaps, human souls in the crucible–these creatures of whim.

Do not think the fairies are always little. Everything is capricious about them, even their size. They seem to take what size or shape pleases them. Their chief occupations are feasting, fighting, and making love, and playing the most beautiful music. They have only one industrious person amongst them, the lepra-caun–the shoemaker. Perhaps they wear their shoes out with dancing. Near the village of Ballisodare is a little woman who lived amongst them seven years. When she came home she had no toes–she had danced them off.

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Sir Joseph Noel Paton – The Fairy Raid: Carrying off a Changeling – Midsummer Eve, 1867

They have three great festivals in the year–May Eve, Midsummer Eve, November Eve. On May Eve, every seventh year, they fight all round, but mostly on the “Plain-a-Bawn” (wherever that is), for the harvest, for the best ears of grain belong to them. An old man told me he saw them fight once; they tore the thatch off a house in the midst of it all. Had anyone else been near they would merely have seen a great wind whirling everything into the air as it passed. When the wind makes the straws and leaves whirl as it passes, that is the fairies, and the peasantry take off their hats and say, “God bless them.”

On Midsummer Eve, when the bonfires are lighted on every hill in honour of St. John, the fairies are at their gayest, and sometimes steal away beautiful mortals to be their brides.

On November Eve they are at their gloomiest, for according to the old Gaelic reckoning, this is the first night of winter. This night they dance with the ghosts, and the pooka is abroad, and witches make their spells, and girls set a table with food in the name of the devil, that the fetch of their future lover may come through the window and eat of the food. After November Eve the blackberries are no longer wholesome, for the pooka has spoiled them.

When they are angry they paralyse men and cattle with their fairy darts.

When they are gay they sing. Many a poor girl has heard them, and pined away and died, for love of that singing. Plenty of the old beautiful tunes of Ireland are only their music, caught up by eavesdroppers. No wise peasant would hum “The Pretty Girl Milking the Cow”near a fairy rath, for they are jealous, and do not like to hear their songs on clumsy mortal lips. Carolan, the last of the Irish bards, slept on a rath, and ever after the fairy tunes ran in his head, and made him the great man he was.

Do they die? Blake saw a fairy’s funeral; but in Ireland we say they are immortal.

Male Supremacy

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Hans Retzbach (1887-1976)

“The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shewn by man’s attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can woman—whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands. If two lists were made of the most eminent men and women in poetry, painting, sculpture, music (inclusive both of composition and performance), history, science, and philosophy, with half-a-dozen names under each subject, the two lists would not bear comparison. We may also infer, from the law of the deviation from averages, so well illustrated by Mr. Galton, in his work on Hereditary Genius, that if men are capable of a decided pre-eminence over women in many subjects, the average of mental power in man must be above that of woman”

Charles Darwin

Saalschlacht – The Birth of the SA

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‘Saalschacht’, by Felix Albrecht

“The dance had not yet begun when my Stormtroopers – for so they were called from this day on – attacked. Like wolves they flung themselves in packs of eight or ten again and again on their enemies, and little by little actually began to thrash them out of the hall. After only five minutes I hardly saw a one of them who was not covered with blood. How many of them I only came really to know on that day; at the head my good Maurice, my present private secretary Hess, and many others, who even though gravely injured themselves, attacked again and again as long as their legs would hold them. For twenty minutes the hellish tumult lasted, but then our enemies, who must have numbered seven and eight hundred men, had for the most part been beaten out of the hall and chased down the stairs by my men numbering not even fifty. Only in the left rear corner of the hall a big group stood its ground and offered embittered resistance. Then suddenly two shots were fired from the hall entrance toward the platform, and wild shooting started. Your heart almost rejoiced at such a revival of old war experiences.”

Adolf Hitler, MEIN KAMPF

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***The NSDAP held a large public meeting in the Munich Hofbräuhaus on November 4, 1921, which attracted many Communists and other enemies of National Socialism. After Hitler had spoken for some time, the meeting erupted into a mêlée in which a small company of SA thrashed the opposition. Fewer than fifty of the Turn-und Sportabteilung defeated more than 400 demonstrators against Hitler and the NSDAP. The NSDAP called this event the Saalschlacht (“meeting hall battle”), and it assumed legendary proportions in SA lore with the passage of time. Thereafter, the group was officially known as the Sturmabteilung.

Evil is just what is positive

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“I know of no greater absurdity than that propounded by most systems of philosophy in declaring evil to be negative in its character. Evil is just what is positive; it makes its own existence felt. Leibnitz is particularly concerned to defend this absurdity; and he seeks to strengthen his position by using a palpable and paltry sophism. It is the good which is negative; in other words, happiness and satisfaction always imply some desire fulfilled, some state of pain brought to an end.”

On the sufferings of the world – Arthur Schopenhauer.