Author Archives: wayneallensworth

Identity in Black and White

By Wayne Allensworth

For some time now, the powers-that-be have denied the American ethnos, what we call “the American Remnant,” any positive identity.  They acknowledge only a negative identity for our people: We are slandered as a pack of “racists” who, even without being conscious of it, supposedly cause stress, anxiety, and even premature death among “people of color.” The left has fetishized blacks as eternal victims, granting them sacred status.  The message of Black Lives Matter is that black lives count more than white ones.  Stating that all lives matter is a grievous sin in the post-American landscape of 2021.

The reasons blacks have been accorded special status and weaponized by the enemies of the American Remnant have deep roots.  For now, suffice to say that the left has used blacks in white guilt propaganda as a battering ram to break down resistance among our people to globalism, which is projected by those who despise us as the end of History with a capital “H.”  Both the neo-liberals and hard left agree on that.

In my lifetime, the key historical moment in undermining our people’s sense of positive identity was the “civil rights revolution” of the 1960s.  Integration, particularly of our schools, was a key aim of that revolution, and it facilitated the erosion of the American Remnant’s sense of positive identity.

In the past, pundits on the right spent a lot of time and energy attacking relativism, the idea that there is no objective right or wrong, truth or untruth, only varying perspectives, varying situations.  In the post-modern world, the language and symbols that express those various perspectives are instruments of power. 

The left was not entirely wrong about that. 

Take the teaching of history in integrated schools, which pointed out a flaw in the mainstream right’s argument. 

At one time, American students learned about a pantheon of heroes that included a number of slaveholders and certainly some hard-nosed, even ruthless men. Now, none of them can pass muster under the ideological precepts of today’s globalists and their hard left shock troops.  Iconoclastic attacks on monuments to our heroes bear this out.  

In permitting the left to rewrite history textbooks, what the right forgot was that education was not merely about passing tests or mastering “the material.”  Education originated as a means of socializing members of tribe and nation. It was a means of transmitting a heritage and confirming a positive identity.  Under the old view of education, the fact that Andrew Jackson owned slaves was not the most important thing about him. What was most important was “Old Hickory’s” heroism in battle, and his role in the building of our country. Now, it appears that Jackson will eventually be replaced by Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.

Something similar can be said about any number of American heroes from Washington to Charles Lindbergh. When whites and blacks were taught in segregated schools, there was no controversy over how such heroes were portrayed.  Then came the civil rights revolution. The inculcation of white guilt, which focused on putative American failings, followed.  Given the circumstances, it was inevitable that American history would eventually be portrayed through the prism of the so-called “1619 Project.”

Under the new rules of integrated, anti-American education, the only point that really mattered about Washington was that he owned black slaves, while Lindbergh was tagged as an anti-Semitic isolationist.

White guilt was effective in beginning the transformation of how the children of the American ethnos were taught and what they were taught.  The old ways did not last long in an integrated school environment. They could not.  

Integration meant that whites had to give up their positive heritage.  The very act of forcing the two races together was meant as an acknowledgement of wrongdoing by whites.  Blacks were cast as the victims, whites the sinners asking for forgiveness.

Two narratives, one white, one black, could not co-exist. One would prevail. As in all black-white mutual relationships since the 1960s, it is whites who are expected to yield—and widely prevalent “virtue signaling” means that many whites happily do so.

I do not begrudge blacks their heroes. Malcom X was a proud black man who called on his people to stand up for themselves.  MLK was the inspirational leader of the civil rights revolution.  There are other aspects of the character of both men black people would rather ignore. 

That’s the way of the world.  People need their heroes.

We should remember that as we consider how our people might survive and preserve their heritage in what will likely be an increasingly hostile future.

 Wayne Allensworth is a Corresponding Editor of Chronicles magazine. He is the author of The Russian Question: Nationalism, Modernization, and Post-Communist Russia, and a novel, Field of Blood.  

Mike Pence, Ashli Babbitt, and Ted Cruz: Where do We go From Here?

By Wayne Allensworth

This is Mike Pence:

And after the events in the capital this week:

Z-Man has written an excellent piece on what transpired at the capital.

Some excerpts:

“Yesterday, Ashli Babbitt was shot in the neck and died while protesting inside the Capitol with other protestors. A group of angry Trump supporters had got into the building and were making a racket. This is not an unusual occurrence. During the Kavanaugh hearings, Democrats organized mobs of screeching women to harass Republicans in the halls of the Capitol. Party media was there to celebrate it as the purest expression of democracy. It was power to the people time.

That was not the case yesterday, according to the media. Instead, it was a direct threat to ‘our’ democracy. This is a bit ironic in that the protests are over the obvious corruption in the election system. The direct threat to democracy is the people demanding their elections be fair and honest. That’s why Ashli Babbitt was inside the Capitol making a racket. Her whole life she had been told this was how citizens angry at their government demand redress when the system fails…

Ashli Babbitt was not some drug-addled degenerate, like we saw last summer, when the ruling class unleashed their mobs on us. She was a veteran, serving 14 years in the US Air Force, and she was a high-level security official throughout her time in service. She was like most of the people at the protest, in that she had bought into what she was told about America. So much so she signed onto serve in the military and go overseas in various deployments.

Like most of the protestors, she was there because she had spent her life playing by the rules and defending those rules. She was there because the people in charge of maintaining the rules have been violating those rules. They ignored the official corruption in the 2016 election and they laughed about the grotesque fraud that was plainly obvious in the 2020 election. Like the rest of those protestors, she was angry that the politicians were not following the rules.

For her trouble, she died in a pool of her own blood inside what is supposed to be the people’s house in America…The video, for those interested, is here

Of course, unlike George Floyd, Ashli Babbitt will not get three nationally televised funerals and be treated as a fallen hero. That honor goes to drug-addled criminals who overdose in police custody. In this America, patriots who served their country and exercise their rights get gunned down by agents of the state. This woman, this patriot, bleeding out in the halls of the Capitol, murdered by an agent of the state, is the perfect image of what has gone terribly wrong in America…

Be angry, but also remember Ashli Babbitt. The Republican Party will not remember her or even mention her name. The media will work hard to make sure you forget her name and how she died yesterday. Dissidents need to remember her so we never forget why we are angry and why we are dissidents.”

The piece ends with this quote from Jefferson:

We have had 13 states independent for 11 years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half for each state. What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. 

Meanwhile, Ted Cruz described Ashli Babbitt and people like her as “terrorists.”  By the way, reports of a police officer dying of injuries sustained in a clash with Trump supporters are false. See the items here and here.

I agree with the Z-Man that the anger of the Trump people was justified—that does not, however, mean that they acted prudently.  Our own Tom Piatak has echoed Talleyrand in noting that their actions were a major blunder.  Christopher Roach concurs. Mr. Roach has noted that the Trump supporters at the capital were only following the example the left has been setting since the 1960s.   He further noted, however, that “guerilla theater” has worked for the left only because leftists have had the support of “media, big business, and other institutions of power.”

We know full well that the events at the capital will be treated as something far worse than the leftist riots that have rocked major cities for months. And they will likely be used to justify a crackdown on patriots.  True, the establishment had been planning to tighten its grip regardless, but the MSM portrayal of an “assault on democracy” this week has given the Blob even more ammunition to use against us.

There will be more clashes.  There will be more violence, and our side will be vilified in the strongest terms.  We are going to have to be smart about how we proceed. Our focus should be on trying to organize our people at the state and local level, and on when, where, and how to resist.  The impulsive rushing of the capital—even if it was spurred on by provocateurs—was a mistake.

At the same time, we must understand that there is, as Mr. Roach put it, “No reason to believe that any right-wing political activity that accomplishes anything will ever be given a ‘fair shake’ in the ‘optics’ department.”

We can’t allow ourselves to be paralyzed by concerns about “optics,” though prudence is called for.  We do have to be smart and disciplined in deciding on how and when to act.

 Wayne Allensworth is a Corresponding Editor of Chronicles magazine. He is the author of The Russian Question: Nationalism, Modernization, and Post-Communist Russia, and a novel, Field of Blood.  

What happened yesterday?

By Wayne Allensworth

The short answer is that it is still not clear what actually happened. It’s quite plausible that provocateurs may have been present who encouraged a group of Trump supporters to enter the capital.  See items concerning that scenario here, here, and here.    

If that was the case, then, yes, the Trump people fell into a trap. Either way, the incident—as far as the level of violence displayed by the Trump supporters, a minor one after nearly a year of leftist riots across the country—is already being used to potentially target anyone deemed a threat to “our democracy.” The usual suspects are predictably calling for more censorship, especially of social media. I think we all know who will, and who won’t, be censored.

From ZeroHedge:

 “In and of itself this won’t sound terribly concerning to the average citizen. Nothing wrong with taking steps to prevent people from plotting violence and terrorism on social media, right?

But how do you predict what protests are going to be ‘violent’? How do you decide which protests and what political dissent need to be censored and which ones should be permitted to communicate freely? Do you just leave it up to Silicon Valley oligarchs to make the call? Or do you have them consult with the government like they’ve been doing? Are either of these institutions you’d trust to regulate what protests are worthy of being permitted to organize online?

Because the actual power structures in the United States seem to be interested in simply censoring the internet to eliminate political dissent altogether.”

 Wayne Allensworth is a Corresponding Editor of Chronicles magazine. He is the author of The Russian Question: Nationalism, Modernization, and Post-Communist Russia, and a novel, Field of Blood.  

Shots fired in the Capital: What next?

By Wayne Allensworth

Whatever else happened in DC today, the Stop the Steal rally resulted in the fatal shooting of a female Trump supporter, who was part of a group that forced its way into the capital building.

Here are some things we need to keep in mind:

First, as Steve Sailer reminded us, the left has staged similar actions before, with little reaction from law enforcement.

Second, the events in DC will likely be used as a pretext to impose further censorship on the patriotic right and tighten the grip of what I call “the globalist Blob” on all of us.  The MSM cast the BLM/Antifa riots as “mostly peaceful protests”—the people who showed up in DC today to angrily protest the rigged election will be condemned as a violent mob.

Third, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”  As I’ve noted previously, politics are over in what used to be our country.  The powers-that-be have excused and encouraged violence against our people, making further violence inevitable.

And fourth, there is an as yet unorganized and undirected Middle American resistance out there. Mass participation in the Stop the Steal rallies has shown that our people can be mobilized, but they need organizers and coordinators at the state and local level—that’s where battles that we can win could be fought. Disparate patriotic groups could form a resistance network.  We need to face the reality that national elections will not save us.  The aim now is to defend ourselves and salvage something for our posterity, hopefully carving out enclaves where we can live our lives as we see fit.

Do not be taken in by the political show being staged by some GOP luminaries, such as Ted Cruz: Remember that in 2016, Cruz portrayed the violent attacks on Trump supporters at campaign rallies as Trump’s fault.

This will be a long battle.  Hopefully, our people will have the determination, will, and wisdom to fight it.

  Wayne Allensworth is a Corresponding Editor of Chronicles magazine. He is the author of The Russian Question: Nationalism, Modernization, and Post-Communist Russia, and a novel, Field of Blood.  

Remembrance of Things Past: Christmas at Home

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By Wayne Allensworth

With our people so scattered and atomized by family dissolution, technology, and the personal isolation that comes with obsessive individualism, it would do us all some good to remember a time when that was not so.   If we are to reclaim anything for our posterity—or to even have one—we should back up and recall that family and the celebrations that marked our lives were at, one time, not a matter of choice, but something more than a duty.  They were occasions for joy.

Christmas at our family home was a very special occasion.  My mother especially loved Christmas, and December would find my carpenter father building Christmas scenes for the front yard from scraps of wood and whatever other materials he had at hand.  I particularly recall a “Christmas train” he built of plywood with coffee cans serving as wheels for the “train,” a jolly Santa as engineer. 

Inside, our house was a myriad of lights and decorations that filled the small home my brothers and I were raised in, one built by my father.  He and my mother lived there for nearly sixty years.

With Christmas approaching, a drive to look at Christmas lights in the surrounding neighborhoods was always on the agenda.   

Christmas eve was a time for a church service, and the children of the Sunday School class would duly perform the perennial nativity play that evening.  We dressed for the occasion in our Christmas best, and I rather enjoyed wearing a coat. Living in Texas, we always hoped for cold weather at Christmas time—it set the mood. 

After the Christmas eve service, the church elders would hand out goody bags to the children. I remember some oranges especially as a treat in winter. The founding families of our congregation were rural and working class.  They had moved to Houston for jobs during the Depression, and my father, raised in the 1930s and 40s, fondly remembered getting such small tokens of Christmas cheer as a tremendous boyhood treat.

Afterwards, my family, including both sets of grandparents, gathered at our home for more Christmas cheer—maybe a drink of wine, maybe something stronger, for the adults, and treats lovingly prepared by my mother for everyone.  We kept the living room dark save for the lights on the tree—and there would be hundreds of them, my mother was meticulous in decorating our Christmas tree—and the presents beneath were the object of much speculation by the children.

Christmas morning, we boys would awaken earlier than usual, already eager to get to the presents under the tree.  My father and mother would decide when the moment had come, and it was off to unwrap them.  My mother took pictures of everything—we have hundreds of photos to remember this all by—and she snapped photos as we opened our presents.  We had home movies of more than one Christmas morning, as well. During my childhood, we would watch them projected onto a screen set up by my father in our living room.

Music was an important part of the celebration. Starting in December, our RCA phonograph filled that little house with Christmas songs, and we memorized every line, singing along with gusto. 

There were Christmas movies, and I read the TV Guide carefully to pinpoint the time of showings of movies like White Christmas, as well as the ever-present TV Christmas specials from stars like Bing Crosby and Andy Williams.

My mother was an Elvis fan (I have one claim to fame—myself and the entire family saw Elvis live at the Houston Astrodome in 1970), and she was especially fond of his Gospel and Christmas recordings.

Here’s one favorite from his The Wonderful World of Christmas album:

No one could get away with not liking Elvis in our house, but my mother never let us forget that Jesus was the reason for the season, and religious songs like Silent Night and Joy to the World rang in the narrow halls and low ceilings of our home.   I’ve always loved this one:

We live in an increasingly dystopian world, one that is also increasingly hostile to the traditional Christmas celebration.  We have it in our power to perform one act of defiance and of love that can push back against the dismal tide.  Celebrate Christmas.

  Wayne Allensworth is a Corresponding Editor of Chronicles magazine. He is the author of The Russian Question: Nationalism, Modernization, and Post-Communist Russia, and a novel, Field of Blood.  

The Con Man

John le Carré RIP

By Wayne Allensworth

David Cornwell, who wrote under the pseudonym John le Carré, has passed away at age 89.  What follows is an article I wrote for the January 2014 issue of Chronicles. I used the opportunity of the publication of his novel A Delicate Truth to review his life and career. He was, at his best, an extraordinary writer and a fascinating personality.  None of the criticisms in this piece should be taken as an attack on him. I did and do admire his literary achievements a great deal.

https://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/the-con-man/

The Con Man

By Wayne Allensworth

The more identities a man has, the more they express the person they conceal.”
  John le Carré
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

A Delicate Truth

By John le Carré

New York: Viking; 310 pp., $28.95

Fifty years ago, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold completed the most successful transformation of David Cornwell’s shape shifting life.  The son of a war profiteer and con man became the mysterious transmitter of messages from the Other Side, the “secret world” of his novels, John le Carré.  Le Carré has said that his books provided a needed “antidote” to the glamorous world of Ian Fleming.  His burnt-out agent runner, Spy’s Alec Leamas, told readers who the spies of Le Carré’s secret world actually were: “What do you think spies are: priests, saints and martyrs?  They’re a squalid procession of vain fools, traitors…pansies, sadists and drunkards, people who play cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten lives.  Do you think they sit like monks…balancing the rights and wrongs?” 

Near the end of Spy, Leamas summed up the precarious morality of the Cold War as great power expediency.  He explained that the spy masters needed murderous, amoral operatives like the novel’s double agent, Mundt, “so the great moronic mass…can sleep soundly,” a sentiment currently extant in hackneyed justifications for U.S. drone attacks (along with the inevitable “collateral damage”) and NSA domestic spying, all done to secure our “freedom.”  In the end, Alec Leamas didn’t believe it himself.  He “came in from the cold,” redeeming himself by his death at the Berlin Wall.  Self-sacrifice, the redemption of a failed romantic, and the rejection of Cold War morality by his doomed protagonists were to be recurring themes in le Carré’s novels, novels that nevertheless revealed his ambivalence about the dirty work of espionage that he thought might sometimes be unavoidable.  This ambivalence provides the tension that drives his narratives, forcing his troubled protagonists (Leamas in Spy; George Smiley in the trilogy Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; The Honourable Schoolboy; and Smiley’s People; and, in his latest novel, A Delicate Truth, Toby Bell) to make moral choices that redeem and destroy them.

“Treason is very much a matter of habit, Smiley decided.”   Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

David Cornwell’s life has been one of duplicity, duplicity learned at an early age from a master.  David was born in 1931, the son of Richard (Ronnie) Cornwell and his wife, Olive.  His mother abandoned David and his brother, Tony, when David was five years old.  His boyhood was unstable, as he was shuffled from one boarding school to another, in and out of the home of his piously religious grandparents, and in and out of the presence of his father, a con artist and associate of the London underworld’s notorious Kray twins.  Ronnie, accompanied by his entourage of shady hangers on and dubious women, was a man always on the lookout for an easy mark. David observed strict secrecy about his father, by his own account not revealing to his grandparents or school masters the seamier portions of Ronnie’s life of racetracks, con games, jail terms and debts.  Ronnie later became “Rick Pym” in le Carré’s autobiographical novel A Perfect Spy.  When Ronnie died in 1975, David paid for a funeral but did not attend. 

According to le Carré, it was his father who inspired his fascination with secrets.  Le Carré further relates that it was his father who first recruited him as a spy in the world of the educated middle class.  Ronnie Cornwell intended that David and Tony make the leap into that class, rising above their origins.  The two boys were thus “dressed and groomed” and ultimately “launched” at Ronnie Cornwell’s preferred “target,” English middle class society, where “your speech is what you wear” and David, a gifted boy, if unhappy prep school student, picked up the appropriate knowledge, style, and speech.   Le Carré portrayed Ronnie, in his guise as “Rick Pym,” as a man who believed that that his sons’ success would be his crowning achievement as a con artist, justifying his duplicity and his life.  The son knew his father to be a fraud and has said that he thought everyone was.

“We have never lacked in this country for people with larcenous instincts and charming manners.”  John le Carré

David Cornwell found a refuge from his father at the University of Berne, where he studied languages, mastering German.   In 1950, he began his life in the secret world as a member of the British Army’s intelligence corps in Austria, using his language skills and considerable charm in interrogating people who had traversed the Iron Curtain from East to West.  Decades later, le Carré described the process of interrogation, which became a recurring element in his novels, and, indirectly, how it introduced him to the deceptive recruitments of the secret world: “I loved interrogation, I find that really fascinating. I did quite a lot of interrogation and it was always of the long, patient discussion [variety], the befriending and so on.”  Le Carré noted that “most people, if they want to confess something…need help.  They need compassion…a pastoral connection and an intelligent connection, not a bullying one.”

Le Carré may or may not have met a British intelligence officer posing as a diplomat (later rendered as “Jack Brotherhood,” the mentor of Le Carré’s fictional self, “Magnus Pym” in A Perfect Spy) who steered him into intelligence work while he was still a student in Switzerland.  Whatever the truth of the matter, after his stint in army intelligence he returned to England as a student at Oxford, where, as le Carré has described it, he “betrayed” leftist students he had befriended, covertly spying for the British domestic security service, MI5.  In 1960, he transferred to foreign intelligence, MI6, working in Germany under diplomatic cover.  Le Carré later said there was a “delicious voluptuousness” to secrecy, and that the “great secrecy” of his work had brought with it a sense of “great dignity.”

By his own account, le Carré was an anchorless young man who used the institutions (and, if his novels are any indication, his recruiters and mentors) in the secret world as a replacement for his parents. He would nevertheless find his real calling as a writer, publishing his first novel, Call for the Dead, in 1961.  A Murder of Quality followed in 1962, but it was Spy that gave David Cornwell fame, fortune and an alternative life as John le Carré.  He left MI6 in 1964, though the reasons remain vague.  Was it because his cover had been blown by the infamous traitor Kim Philby, portrayed as “Bill Haydon,” the villain of Tinker, Tailor? Was it because he wanted to make a career as a writer and he enjoyed his new found celebrity? Or was it because he was disillusioned with his work in the secret world, something he has alluded to more than once?   

“Secret services [are]…the only real measure of a nation’s political health, the only real expression of its subconscious.”  Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

If le Carré actually was disillusioned, as some accounts have it, either by the recruitment of former Nazis by Western intelligence services or perhaps because of his fear that the covert operations of the Cold War were leading to a hot one, it was something that came late in the game to him.  Le Carré has described himself and his colleagues of the period as “patriots” who felt they were doing Britain’s necessary dirty work for the good of Leamas’s “moronic mass.”   His ambivalence toward “our game” became the powerful theme of his best work in the Smiley trilogy as the gentle, unobtrusive, scholarly Smiley relentlessly seeks the destruction of his nemesis, Soviet spymaster “Karla,” the man responsible for placing the “mole” Haydon in le Carré’s fictional secret service “the Circus,” thus rendering much of Smiley’s life’s work pointless.   It was the likeable, humane Smiley le Carré used to great effect in exploring the ambiguities of being “inhuman in defense of humanity…harsh in defense of compassion.”

At the end of Smiley’s People, le Carré’s protagonist has achieved a hollow victory: Smiley has used Karla’s mentally ill daughter to blackmail her father into defecting. Ironically, as le Carré has described the trilogy’s denouement, Smiley has given up part of his humanity even as the ruthless Karla has found part of his in protecting his daughter. In pursuing his ultimate aim, Smiley has become the mirror image of the foe he once described as a “fanatic.”  He is reminded by his ally in Circus intrigues, Peter Guillam, that “you won” as Karla crosses into West Berlin.  An unfulfilled Smiley answers, “Did I?”

“How Bush and his junta succeeded in deflecting America’s anger from bin Laden to Saddam Hussein is one of the great public relations conjuring tricks of history.”

John le Carré

The characters in le Carré’s Cold War-era fiction frequently harbored a suspicion that the country they were defending had itself been corrupted, transformed by consumerist capitalism.  Smiley, for instance, loved an England that by the early 1970’s no longer existed.  In Tinker, Tailor, Circus operative Roy Bland, son of a “passionate trade unionist and Party member” explained current reality to a reluctant Smiley: “As a good socialist, I’m going where the money is; as a good capitalist, I’m sticking with the revolution, because if you can’t beat it, spy on it! Don’t look like that, George. It’s the name of the game these days. You scratch my conscience, I’ll drive your Jag, right?”

A retired Smiley made his last appearance in 1991’s The Secret Pilgrim, lecturing Circus personnel and wondering what price was paid for Cold War victory.  In defeating the Soviet threat, the West, in Smiley’s (and le Carré’s) view, had succumbed to internal decay, perhaps hastened by the Cold War morality the Circus subscribed to.  Smiley tells his audience that “if the West chokes on its own materialism,” then it may turn out to have lost the Cold War. 

As a shabby, consumerist, post-imperial, junior partner to America, Britain haunts the Smiley books, while the slick, corporate pitchmen  “cousins,” the Circus operatives’ American counterparts, are presented as the embodiment of all that Smiley—and le Carré—fear will be the real victor in a post-Cold War world.  In making his exit from le Carré’s secret world in Pilgrim, Smiley tells the Circus’s new generation that their minds must be “reconstructed” in a post-Cold War world—and that they must also reconstruct “the over mighty modern State we’ve built for ourselves as a bastion against something that isn’t there anymore.  We’ve given up far too many freedoms in order to be free.” 

Nothing of the sort, of course, happened.  Le Carré expressed disappointment that a more just international order did not emerge following the collapse of the Soviet Union as he steadily veered further leftward.  In exploring the shady transactions and corruption of a practically borderless, globalizing world in books like The Night ManagerOur Game, Single and SingleThe Mission Song and The Constant Gardner, two things became obvious about post-Cold War le Carré: first, that his writing, while as stylistically elegant as ever, lacked the impact and compelling characterizations of his earlier work; and second, by the 2000s, the one-time Cold War liberal had absorbed the entire clichéd mantra of the post-modern left, including its obsessions with white guilt and homosexuals (there would be no more “pansies” and traitorous bisexuals, as Haydon had been portrayed in Tinker, Tailor, in his work). 

Le Carré’s outrage directed at the Bush White House and its Iraq war accomplice, the Blair “new Labour” government, finalized the change in his writing.  Polemics were in; nuance was out. The polemical tone of what mostly supportive critics dubbed the “angry” le Carré gutted his books of the ambiguity and insight of the past.  In his intense revulsion at the actions of Bush and Blair, le Carré had discovered what he thought of as moral clarity, a condition marred by leftist cliché: the Moslems of 2003’s Absolute Friends, 2008’s A Most Wanted Man, and his latest, A Delicate Truth are largely presented as one dimensional, idealized victims of Western exploitation, “Islamophobia,” and clumsy American brutality.  The slick “cousins” of the Smiley era are replaced in Truth by a Democracy Now!/Occupy Wall Street fantasy of Texas yahoos, evangelical power brokers, “far right” Republicans and their British enablers.  Not surprisingly, even though the novel takes place partly during Obama’s first term, no mention is made of the left’s Savior-in-Chief whose “war on terror” polices are hardly distinguishable from his predecessor’s.  

In Truth, we have a familiar le Carré protagonist, Toby Bell, a once idealistic, appropriately leftist diplomat who discovers that a joint British-American anti-terrorist operation (on the American side undertaken by a Blackwater-like mercenary firm) portrayed as a notable success was actually a disaster that resulted in the death of a Moslem woman and her infant child.  Bell intends to expose the cover up, but is persuaded otherwise by his Whitehall mentor.  Three years later, a discharged British commando, disturbed by the cover up and eager to blow the whistle on the disaster, contacts retired diplomat “Kit” Probyn and the wheels are set in motion for Toby to eventually risk his career and his life in telling the truth about “Operation Wildfire.” 

One anonymous reviewer, writing for Publisher’s Weekly, has gone where most main stream critics apparently can’t, describing le Carré’s latest book as veering “dangerously close to farce and caricature, particularly with the comically amoral Americans. His best work has been about the moral ambiguity of spying, while this novel feels as if the issue of who’s bad and who’s good is too neatly sewn up.” Le Carré should have stopped writing long ago, but like an over the hill boxer who can’t stay away from the ring, he keeps coming back to the arena—and likely damaging his long-term reputation each time he does.   If only he had stopped at A Perfect Spy, which summed up the concerns and insights of his best fiction.   Le Carré is coasting now, enjoying his celebrity, safely playing to the crowd, with far less introspection and insight.  The post 9/11 world offers as much fodder for a perceptive writer as the Cold War did, but le Carré has lost his touch along with his ability to ferret out the moral conundrums, contradictions, and real dangers of the “war on terror.”

Le Carré once said that writers are very much like spies, “trading off the people around them…they note things and report them,” depending on “the people they deceive.”   Both spies and writers have to be “entertainers,” charming the people they “recruit.”   In his press and television interviews, le Carré, especially since slipping into his “angry” persona, draws us in, befriends us, impresses us with appropriate moral outrage, and charms us, the lines between self deception, sincere belief, and one constant in le Carré’s life—role playing—once again blurred. He protests too much of his need for privacy, even as he doles out yet another “last” interview, claiming that a writer should “hold his tongue,” while ignoring his own advice.  In le Carré’s secret world the attraction of spying is that you can be someone else.  His novels could be interpreted as a sustained rumination on alienation in the modern, now post-modern, world, one bereft of boundaries, barriers, or fixed identities.  An interviewer once described le Carré’s career as a successful covert operation.  In his prime, David Cornwell was a fine writer.  He is also a conman.

  Wayne Allensworth is a Corresponding Editor of Chronicles magazine. He is the author of The Russian Question: Nationalism, Modernization, and Post-Communist Russia, and a novel, Field of Blood.  

We Must Act Soon to Preserve a Place for Our People

By Wayne Allensworth

In my article “The Old America is Dead and Gone. Where do we go From Here?” published last summer, I noted that “blue” and “red” areas were both moving toward a form of internal secession:

“Blue states and Leftist kritarchs nullify laws they don’t like. Sanctuary cities and even sanctuary states defy immigration laws. Meanwhile, American patriots have answered with Second Amendment sanctuary counties and even states. Americans in inland California talk of seceding from the ‘Left coast.’ The Left has floated secession talk as well: Anarchists have seized and established their own “autonomous zone” in Seattle. West Virginia’s governor, Jim Justice, invited conservative counties in Virginia to secede and join the Mountain State [West Virginia Republicans encourage conservative Virginia counties to ‘Vexit,’ by Kelly Mena, CNN, Sun February 9, 2020] .

States, counties, and cities that sided with or surrendered to the mob, and the Blob’s intensification of anarcho-tyranny during the recent coronavirus lock down, seem to have sparked a sharp reaction from the American remnant that could provide the bare bones of a Middle American defense movement.

 Someday, ‘blue’ and ‘red’ enclaves, even whole states, might evolve into new polities.”

Following the failure of the Texas-led lawsuit challenging the election outcome to get a hearing in the Supreme Court, Texas GOP Chairman Allen West issued this statement:

Image

In “Revolution and Resistance,” yours truly reached the following conclusion:

“It’s difficult to see how national elections, particularly presidential elections, can go on, as each election cycle provokes a systemic crisis.  A country that is no longer a nation can only be held together by force.  Considering that, and the fact that the Blob will eventually get the one-party state it wants via demographic change, the Middle American resistance will be forced to seek autonomy for our people as an ultimate goal.” 

With a “Biden rush” at the border shaping up, we had better start taking measures now at the state and local level to make sure there will be something left for us to claim.  As VDare’s A. W. Morgan wrote recently, a Biden administration would surely attempt to “carpet bomb” the American remnant with “instant Democrats” from the Third World. 

It’s going to be a long and arduous battle.  I hope we are up for it.

  Wayne Allensworth is a Corresponding Editor of Chronicles magazine. He is the author of The Russian Question: Nationalism, Modernization, and Post-Communist Russia, and a novel, Field of Blood.  

Between Hope and Despair: An Advent Message

By Wayne Allensworth

As we await the resolution of Trump’s efforts to contest the election outcome—and plenty of people now see the lawsuit filed by Texas and supported by a number of other states as the best way to do that—we should remind ourselves that public affairs are a means to an end, not an end in themselves.  And that when matters seem to be out of control, we still have cause for hope. 

This is a note to my family that I wrote recently. I intended it as an Advent message:

Excuse me if I’ve sent this to a couple of you before, I just can’t recall.  It’s a strikingly beautiful hymn (“Let all Mortal Flesh Keep Silence”) with a tune composed in France much later than the origin of the lyric, which was originally a prayer from the Liturgy of St. James in the 4th century.

It’s quite moving and is usually played during Advent.  There are scores of versions of it on YouTube.

We sang it in church recently. It’s a haunting hymn, poignant and evocative, but one that gives us comfort.

As the light of light descendeth from the realms of endless day

That the powers of Hell vanish as the Darkness clears away.

Here’s another version as performed by the Duke University Chapel Choir:

It’s difficult to believe sometimes, so I focus on the Incarnation, on God, through Christ, taking on all the burdens and pain of our human existence.  He has not abandoned us, even if at this very difficult time we drift somewhere between hope and despair. Relish the moments of joy as they come.  Bear the sorrows as they, too, will come. Life couldn’t have any real meaning without either of them.

“Only the humble believe him and rejoice that God is so free and so marvelous that he does wonders where people despair, that he takes what is little and lowly and makes it marvelous. And that is the wonder of all wonders, that God loves the lowly…. God is not ashamed of the lowliness of human beings.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Love, Pops

Wayne Allensworth is a Corresponding Editor of Chronicles magazine. He is the author of The Russian Question: Nationalism, Modernization, and Post-Communist Russia, and a novel, Field of Blood

The show must go on: A review of the year’s political theater

by Ayad Rahim

“A mistake in Washington is when a politician tells the truth”; so goes an old adage. Well, during this inaugural season of COVID, there have been a few slip-ups.

The biggest doozie of them all might have been Joe Biden’s boast, just ten days before the election, that “we have put together, I think, the most extensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics.” We might yet determine whether this was a slip of the tongue, or a Freudian slip. The same goes for Biden’s mention of “a Harris-Biden administration,” and his running mate’s reference to, “a Harris administration.”

An obvious mistake took place in late September, when the governor of Pennsylvania and a state representative laughed about performing “a little political theater” with the face-mask, “so that it’s on camera. Before the start of a September 29 press conference on Obamacare, Governor Tom Wolf told State Representative Wendy Ullman: “So, Wendy, I’m gonna take, I’m gonna take my mask off when I speak.” She replies, “I will as well — just, I’m waiting, so that we can do a little political theater.”  “Okay, that’s good,” the governor responds, as they both laugh, and Ullman continues, “so that it’s on camera. In other words, they were reviewing their steps before going on stage (it sounds like they’ve done this act before): we walk up to the podium, with the face-mask on, and then, before we start speaking, we take off the face-mask, so that the cameras capture the costume-change, all for the entertainment of the audience at home.

In early September, Los Angeles County’s public health director informed education and health professionals that the schools couldn’t open “until after the election.” In the tape of the September 9 conference-call, Barbara Ferrer says:

We don’t realistically anticipate that we would be moving either tier 2 or to reopening K-through-12 schools at least through — at least until after the election…. like when we just look at the timing of everything, it seems to us a more realistic approach to this, would be to think that we’re gonna be where we are now, until we get after — until we, we are done with the election.

The public health director of Los Angeles County may not have been ready for “prime time,” but the governor of New York should have been. In April, though, the governor got carried away a bit, and revealed the intended emotional effect of his performance. At the April 23 press conference, a reporter noted that “there are protesters outside right now, honking their horns, and raising signs, and they’re saying that they don’t have time to wait for all of this testing and they need to get back to work, in order to feed their families. Their savings are running out; they don’t have another week; they’re not getting answers. So, their point is, the cure can’t be worse than the illness itself. What is your response to them?” The governor straightened up in his chair, eyeballed the reporter, and, emphatically enunciating each word, declared: “The illness is death. What is worse than death?!

One who should definitely be ready for prime time is the Speaker of the U.S. House.  Sometimes, however, the mask slips off, the politician has to improvise, and we get to see the real person behind the act.

On October 13, Nancy Pelosi showed some real pique at being challenged, and she told the world how she really sees the public. CNN host Wolf Blitzer asked Pelosi why she wasn’t working on a deal with Republicans to meet the immediate needs of citizens across the country. Shaking her head at Blitzer’s impertinence, Pelosi, dripping with disdain, rebuked him: “What makes me amused, if it weren’t so sad, is how you all think that you know more about the suffering of the American people than those of us who are elected by them, to represent them, at that table.” As Blitzer kept pressing for an answer, Pelosi repeatedly smiled and wagged her head.  Then, with eyes opened wide, she put Blitzer and the two Democratic politicians he quoted in their place, because they didn’t know the issues or about the negotiations.  Blitzer should respect the knowledge of the committee chairmen (she later called them “my chairs”).

Blitzer retorted, “It’s not about me, it’s about millions of Americans who can’t put food on the table, who can’t pay their rent, who are having trouble getting by — in these long food-lines that we’re seeing,” at which Pelosi, shaking her head, cut in: “And we represent them! And we represent them. And we represent them”; and, tapping her chest with her fingers, as if to say, We own them, you damn fool — who are you to speak on their behalf?!, she continued, “And we represent them! We know them! We represent them, and we know them! We know them. We represent them.” Then, to conclude the audience, Pelosi, wagging her head, replied sarcastically, “Thank you for your sensitivity to our constituents’ needs.” “I am sensitive to them,” Blitzer replied, “because I see them on the street, begging for food, begging for money.” Pelosi, shaking her head and smiling, shot back, “Have you fed them? We feed them. We feed them!,” as she flipped her hand away from her chest, to show generosity and reassert ownership of, “the people.”

But maybe the most farcical set-piece was a photo-op in Washington, two weeks after the death of George Floyd. For a group picture, two-dozen Democratic leaders in Congress “took a knee,” in a large marble-floored hall — spaced evenly apart from each other, in a checkerboard pattern, a kente-cloth stole wrapped around each politician’s neck (hanging perfectly on the front), with each member wearing a face mask, looking down to the floor, hands resting on the upright knee. They held that pose for eight minutes and 46 seconds. It makes one wonder how many professional photographers, choreographers, and other visual and political designers it took to prepare that tableau vivant.

Ayad Rahim is a bookseller in the Midwest and a former journalist.

Do the Republicans Really Want to Win?

By Wayne Allensworth

The silence, as they say, is deafening—the relative silence of the GOP, that is, which, with some exceptions, has hardly distinguished itself as the Trump administration contests the stolen election.  

The Deplorables want to fight.  They do not want Trump to concede, and they believe that Biden’s “win” was the result of fraud.  It will be an uphill battle, an extremely difficult, but not impossible, fight to win, if the party rallies behind Trump, with all GOP hands on deck in support of the president. It’s a fight worth having, in any case. Do we want the Swamp to get away with the mother of all election steals, without putting up a fight?  

The battle will require fortitude and resolve. Unfortunately, fortitude and resolve have not been hallmarks of the GOP. 

The late Sam Francis is often quoted describing the GOP as the Stupid Party. But it has occurred to lots of us out here in flyover country that the GOP is not as stupid as it appears.  I doubt, for instance, that Dr. Francis really believed that the national party’s favored policies of corporate tax cuts, perpetual war, mass immigration, and shipping American jobs overseas—policies that alienated the heartland—were mostly the result of stupidity, or even of willful ignorance.  Assuming that stupidity and ignorance were the sources of those policies meant assuming that we could correct the situation by instructing the rather dim bulbs of the Grand Old Party about the means of achieving victory as well. 

The chief assumption was that that the GOP really wanted to win.

As far as Dr. Francis’s actual view of the GOP, we should recall that he also dubbed the Republicans a bunch of “beautiful losers,” who were quite prepared to accept a place as a toothless opposition, and who lacked the will or the desire to wield power on behalf of their base when the opportunity arose.

Trump isn’t getting much, if any, help from the national party in the post-election struggle just now.  The usual suspects want Trump to call it a day and have congratulated Biden on his alleged election victory.  It’s up to Republicans at the state level to put up a fight—and the signals coming from the state level have so far been mixed (See here and here; This item, though not related to the election, is encouraging).

Here’s hoping that the Deplorables in the contested states exert strong pressure on their legislators to fight—and that they listen.

Wayne Allensworth is a Corresponding Editor of Chronicles magazine. He is the author of The Russian Question: Nationalism, Modernization, and Post-Communist Russia, and a novel, Field of Blood

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