AUTONOM is proud to bring this inteview with an important voice in the alternative Europe. The Europe where identity and long forgotten ideals find new forms based on reality, vision and innovative, cultural combat. Troy Southgate is a man of his time and beyond it, a kindred spirit in the struggle on his own for his own. As an instigator of the revitalization of the New Right metapolitical movement, part of the neo-classical group H.E.R.R. , as well as a man that lives his principles he presents more than just theory and intellectual speculation.
Q: Being a man who has been both a supporter and later a driving force in the European extra-parliamentary nationalist movement for more than two decades, could you tell us your main reasons for devoting your life to politics and heritage, and what they are today?
TS: I was always very patriotic as a child, proud to be a South Londoner and to come from a solid working class family. Having a strong, localised identity – which was partly expressed as a hardcore football supporter - also helped to acquire an affinity for home and hearth, blood and soil. My father, on the other hand, was a supporter of the centre-left Labour Party and therefore in my teenage years I was greatly opposed to the Thatcherite government and influenced by the sense of social justice that Labour seemed to represent. We were both wrong in our assumptions, of course, my father no longer takes part in the electoral process and I went on to join the National Front (NF) after discovering that it was not the party of race-hating dross that the pro-Zionist media regularly made it out to be. My father was extremely angry when he discovered that I was a regional organiser for the NF, but 20 years on he has come to realise that much of what we were saying about the threat of immigration and our loss of national identity was actually correct. But he was always a great supporter of the underdog and is therefore naturally suspicious of any movement or organisation that – allegedly, of course – seeks to attack or denigrate people from ethnic minorities. I suppose that he is like the majority of people here in England, believing originally that multi-racialism was a noble concept and that it could bring people together, but the fact that he now spends most of his time abroad tells you how disillusioned he is with the present situation here in England. So I was greatly influenced by my father to some extent, but these days I’m more inclined to believe that there is very little in England worth fighting for. The writing is on the wall, unfortunately, our small island is quickly descending into a coffee-coloured dumping ground for the economic migrants of the Third World. This position of weakness and frustration has encouraged me to look abroad to our fellow brothers and sisters in the rest of Europe, many of whom are suffering the same problems, in the hope that we can initiate a growing trend whereby the remnants of our Indo-European tradition and identity can be salvaged and expressed anew. Elsewhere, if necessary, because geographical considerations are less important to me than the revival and propagation of those values and principles themselves.
Q: Have your goals changed over the years or is it just change of tactics, ultimately striving for the same ideal?
TS: I am striving for the same ideals, certainly, but I’ve definitely moved away from certain political ideologies like nationalism and socialism. Previously, of course, I had promoted the revolutionary ideas of German workerists like Otto and Gregor Strasser, as well as Catholic distributists like G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc, and key British socialists like Robert Owen and Bob Blatchford. However, in the mid-90s I found myself becoming inspired by the work of Richard Hunt (Alternative Green) and thus became an anarchist. That is not to say that I don’t continue to hold many socialists in high esteem, I do, but I feel that the role of the State has completely replaced that of the community and therefore my allegiance is with the latter. I have also come to believe that England as a nation is finished. It still exists in name, of course, but only because it is constantly being redefined to suit the multi-racialist and increasingly globalist agenda. The England of my generation and that which came before it is dead. I’m not suggesting that we should revive the comparatively idyllic trappings of my own childhood, on the contrary, the principles that I hold dear are eternal and can reappear at any time. I don’t see this happening in modern-day England, certainly, but regardless of the actual birthing-ground for the regeneration of our people, it is up to a new traditional elite to force its will upon the essentially linear and ‘progressive’ historical process.
Q: I would like you to comment on the recent founding of the New Right, as you recently held your second meeting in London with prominent speakers and attendants from different parts of Europe. The New Right is a term which is derived from the groups and personalities, G.R.E.C.E as the foremost proponent, mainly situated in France during the seventies. Is this a continuation of these efforts, or what is the main purpose of the New Right of 2005?
TS: When Jonothon Boulter and myself decided to form the New Right in January 2005, we had two main reasons for doing so. Firstly, whilst we had each been inspired by the work carried out by intellectual and cultural figures such as Alain De Benoist and others, we realised that the New Right had virtually run its course in mainland Europe and had hardly got off the ground in England at all. Michael Walker, for example, the Editor of Scorpion magazine, did some excellent work in the early part of the 1980s, but a combination of him moving abroad and the fact that by 1989 the ‘Political Soldier’ faction within the NF had been decimated by a series of ideological differences and personality clashes, Jonothon and I thought the time was right for a new intellectual and metapolitical current in the British Isles. Secondly, we hope that the recent progress made by the New Right in England – a country which is sadly dismissed by many people in Europe as the 51st State of America – will revitalise the increasingly stagnant New Right elsewhere. This is not intended as a criticism, incidentally, we just happen to believe that the revival of such ideas on ‘virgin ground’, so to speak, can provide new hope and a fresh impetus for our allies abroad. Our efforts also coincide with the release of Michael O’Meara’s excellent New Culture, New Right (1st Books, 2004). Indeed, the twenty-first century brings with it new challenges and therefore we need to regather the most astute and counter-cultural minds in Europe and North America for the tasks that lie ahead. So yes, it is a continuation of past efforts and a re-evaluation of where we stand today with regard to the future.
Q: Do you believe that such a network can make a difference politically and culturally on a national level indirectly or do you see it more as a select group that has chosen to withdraw from the contemporary squabble of everyday politics and sensationalism?
TS: I think both positions are equally valid. Some of us have chosen to withdraw from the contemporary world, at least to a certain degree, but we still have to live in it and therefore we feel that we can even change it to some extent by inspiring other people. On the other hand, of course, we are necessarily elitist and strongly believe that it is essential to win the battle of ideas and not to create a mass movement.
Q: Creating and forging an elite has been one of the main goals of the New Right and its heirs from the beginning, often opposed to political mass movements and populist parties of every political colour. Is it possible to create a cultural elite detached from the masses or more specific, the people? What is the purpose of an elite if not to set an example for the people and create and school a leadership which utilizes the positive elements and creative energy of the people?
TS: Yes, exactly. It is up to the minority to inspire the multitude, although this can take a variety of forms and work on a series of different levels. We certainly don’t wish to gather together a self-important group of stuffy intellectuals with about as much chance of having an influence as a grain of sand in a bathtub. But people obviously have varying abilities and therefore it is a question of horses for courses. In other words, all metapolitical or philosophical ideas must ultimately lead to forms of positive action that have an effect on a broad and diverse assortment of cultural and identitarian issues. I also believe that an elite should be able to epitomise those elements which, by their very nature, should inevitably inspire others. Not by adopting positions of arrogance and self-delusion, but by simply getting on with their own lives and perhaps encouraging others to take on board at least some of the values they consider important. As these messages filter out from the elite, they will find expression to an equal or lesser extent elsewhere. I believe that things happen for a reason, therefore anyone in tune with our ideas is naturally fulfilling a form of intuitive dharma. And that includes those who either reject or oppose us. They, too, have an important role to play in the coming struggle for hearts and minds. It is a war between the degenerative and the regenerative.
Q: Do you see the New Right as a potential autonomous think-tank for different organizations opposed to the New World Order of global capitalism, ethnic egalitarianism, Marxist-liberalist values, American cultural imperialism and parliamentarism?
TS: Indeed. This is how we expect our ideas to reach other people, be they university academics or political activists on the ground. These organisations and associations are the most effective way of spreading our ideas, and I also happen to believe that most of the people we wish to influence are already active in one way or another. The aim is to initiate a new current that transcends the outdated categories of left and right and which gets people moving in a similar direction.
Q: Could it be possible for the New Right to influence already established parties that work within the framework of contemporary mass-media and parliamentary democracy? If not, do we need yet another sect of self asserting egomaniacs detached from reality or do you consider the establishment of an exclusive elite to be a sort of nucleus for an autonomous, noble society, co-existing with the temporary world, yet detached from its rules, norms and values?
TS: I’ve answered this above, to a certain extent, but one only has to think of the example of Leo Strauss and the manner in which a relatively small group of Neo-Conservative thinkers and intellectuals had such a vast impact on the development of modern American politics. Compared to ours, their goals are obviously very negative, of course, but the strategy itself has resulted in a series of very dangerous implications for the entire world. Nevertheless, this example still demonstrates the sheer potential and power of an idea.
Q: Judging from the second meeting of the New Right held in London, the diversity in beliefs both spiritual as well as cultural and political was apparent. Advocates of Orthodox Christianity as well as Nietzschean, anti-Christian vitalism made strong statements opposing each other, still respecting each others’ faiths. Is this a diversity that you think the New Right should strive for, or is it just something that develops naturally?
TS: Both. It seems completely impossible or even ludicrous to try to reconcile a Nietzschean and a priest, but what is important are the points where each converge. In other words, those positions upon which people can agree. If we can avoid descending into religious, moral, political or ideological dogma, so much more can be achieved. Our task is to get everyone pulling in a similar direction. There will be plenty of time for the peculiarities of a certain position to find its own level afterwards. In the words of Lenin: “March separately and strike together.”
Q. Is such a diversity a strength unconditionally or should one strive for a more common ground, a sort of ultimate manifesto of the future? If so, what do you believe one of the credos should be?
TS: We do have a very broad platform but have also made a conscious effort to avoid being too rigid or dogmatic. Our main bugbears are democracy, egalitarianism and globalisation, which must ultimately be countered by elitism, natural hierarchy and an affirmation of our European heritage and identity.
Q. What we could call the nationalist movement, understood as different organizations and people dedicated to preserving and developing the heritage of their own ethnic group, are as diverse as their adversaries, if not even more so. One difference of intense dispute is religion. Do you think that pre-Christian beliefs, Existentialism, Vitalism, Gnosticism, conservative Christianity could form a sort of eclectic choice of faith for regenerating European spirit where the different individual faiths could unite into a spiritual force able to ignite action on a political level?
TS: As Tomislav Sunic points out in Against Democracy & Equality (Noontide Press, 2004), the reason Liberalism and Marxism have been so successful is due to the fact that their core values – namely universalism, egalitarianism, totalitarianism and a belief in the linear interpretation of history – were, paradoxically, originally derived from the intolerant dualism and individual subjectivity found within Judeo-Christianity and then conveniently spread by way of the Roman Empire. Monotheistic religions are a major threat to both regional and cultural identity, not to mention spiritual diversity. Indeed, whilst I could accept Jesus Christ or Allah as localised deities, or even as part of a pantheon of gods, I dislike the way Christianity and Islam each seek to create their own metaphysical version of the New World Order. Likewise, whilst in reality ancient paganism is far more holistic, Muslims and Christians consider the rest of us to be heretics. At the same time, however, if people can put their liturgical, scriptural and doctrinal beliefs to one side in pursuit of an ideal through which several key principles can be ignited as one force, then it is possible to make progress. I think it’s a case of using the correct language within a specific framework that everybody can feel comfortable with. So it’s far more positive to encourage a forum that deals with the revival of European identity, for example, than one which finds itself preoccupied with the question of whether Jesus was really the son of God. People can work together, but only if they leave their divisive baggage at the door and enter forth in a spirit of open-mindedness.
Q. Is any faith better than no faith?
TS: I certainly have more respect for a Communist, for example, than for someone who simply goes through life in a haze of apathy or indifference. But in a religious sense, I think faith can also be very negative indeed. Pagans tend to look at existence in terms of the form it actually takes, which thus enables them to shape and interpret it accordingly. Monotheists, on the other hand, standardise everything in accordance with a universalist principle. A principle, of course, which is both highly subjective and framed by allegedly ‘indisputable’ truths.
Q. In what sense should the New Right work on a metapolitical level?
TS: The reason we have stated clearly that all New Right discourse should take a metapolitical form, is because we do not want to get bogged down in meaningless party politics about whether we should support abortion or gay marriage, for example, or whether we should vote for a specific party or take up arms and overthrow the government of the day. Individually, of course, we each have our own political and socio-economic beliefs, but these should not interfere when it comes to discussing the eternal values that shape us as Europeans. This means, of course, that people from a variety of political backgrounds can attend our meetings and link up with other people who have similar opinions in specific areas.
Q. Is it at all possible to build a potent pan-European movement of some kind, or are we forever stuck in a National-chauvinist quagmire in the end, leaving the New Right as another beautiful paper utopia?
TS: I think we have enough movements in the world already, but in terms of creating a counter-culture and spreading intellectual ideas, I believe that we can have a major impact in a really practical sense.
Q. If the New Right is the intellectual and spiritual arm of a European movement, what should the active and practical component and consequence of that effort be?
TS: The first step is to network with like-minded people across Europe and throughout the world. The New Right e-group is simply the beginning and we are currently working on a new website. Getting people along to meetings is important, too, but due to the fact that some people seem intent on disrupting our activities we are always restricted somewhat and therefore attendance at this stage is by invitation only. Eventually, however, we wish to attract intellectuals and academics from a wide variety of backgrounds, be they scientists, historians, film directors, sociologists, poets, biologists, occultists, novelists, economists or anything else. The Revisionists in Europe and North America have done a great deal in this regard and it is up to us to emulate the way that they have managed to bring in fresh blood.
Q. Europe is not only in a ditch politically, to put it bluntly, but spiritually as well. Many nationalists see the conviction of Muslim immigrants as the main threat to European culture and spirit. What is your opinion on the main threats to Europe?
TS: The prime dangers are Americanisation and multi-racialism. Here in the British Isles, for example, the degenerative effects of the Disney-Muckdonalds monster are plain for all to see. Our children are systematically brainwashed at a very tender age, becoming highly dependent on television and junk food. By the time they attend secondary school at the age of 11, the multi-racial agenda really kicks in and children begin talking and acting like Jamaican gangsters. And it’s not simply a question of culture, either, the saturation of our major towns and cities – coupled with the cult of the celluloid soap opera which affects even the tiniest village – has led to disturbing behavioural trends that cause youngsters to swagger down the street like Neanderthals or affect a form of slang patois that is inevitably expressed in broken-English. In other words, this global anti-culture has led to a serious identity crisis. But what else can we expect when children of European descent grow up in immigrant strongholds? Even the immigrants themselves are losing their identities in the face of this American cultural imperialism. In the 1970s many Blacks listened to reggae music and took pride in their African roots, but these days they stand shoulder to shoulder with their White and Asian contemporaries and have sold their souls to the over-rated rap stars of New York and Compton. The Muslims, on the other hand, remain vigorously opposed to this threat and seem far more aware of the danger that it represents. This makes them less susceptible than the average European and I have a lot of admiration for their inner strength. However, I don’t support their presence in Europe and believe that Islam will present a serious challenge in the future once our central infrastructure and communities really begin to break down. We can work with Muslims against America, of course, but when it comes to Europe we have to put our own people first.
Q. Could Europe theoretically form a future alliance with Islamic countries, as well as other non-European cultures to counter the global war for global capitalism as instigated by the U.S and its allies?
TS: Absolutely. US foreign policy is a threat to the entire population of the planet and, therefore, is something which inevitably affects every single one of us. Francis Parker Yockey was a great example of someone who had rather similar ideas to our own and who forged useful ties with key figures both outside Europe and in the Third World. As mentioned above, Islam is a useful weapon against American globalisation, but only if its adherents don’t attempt to set up a monotheistic stranglehold in its place.
Q. Can immigration, as a symptom of cultural and spiritual decay, be seen as an agent of European awakening in the face of obliteration, or will it inevitably lead to ultimate ethnic disaster?
TS: It could swing both ways. Some multi-racial communities are incredibly divided and there is a good chance that they will remain permanently unresolved in the same way that Catholics and Protestants in Ulster have been stubbornly entrenched for several decades. Elsewhere, of course, in places like London or Amsterdam there is far more apathy and tolerance and therefore cities such as these are becoming increasingly hybridised and, thus, less European.
Q. Do Europeans and people of European descent stand any chance in the long run against more prolific cultures and races?
TS: I don’t think they want to. Thousands of British people are emigrating to Spain, Australia and New Zealand, so perhaps they will become new centres for a cultural regeneration? It is a fact, after all, that once people flee the cities and discover precisely the same things happening out in the rural areas, they tend to pack up and leave the country altogether. So in many parts of Europe the writing is already on the wall, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t continue to live in accordance with our values elsewhere.
Q. What actions ideally should be taken to preserve the European ethnicity?
TS: Running away from our problems will not ultimately prevent the advance of globalisation. We must therefore win the battle of ideas. That is obviously a job for thinkers and intellectuals, but at the next level down we need people who are good at reviving our diverse European culture. So the basic ideas – themselves recurring constantly throughout countless millennia - must be tied to a healthy expression of cultural identity. It is not enough to think and to talk, we must live it. Every day. If you don’t like liberal teachers, educate your children at home; if you don’t like liberal values, stop watching television or following current trends; and if you want to be European, live among your fellow Europeans.
Q. You are also committed to National-Anarchism. Could you give a brief overview of what it is about and what the main goals are, if any such exist?
TS: National-Anarchists wish to see the establishment of autonomous, mono-racial communities in which people can occupy their own space in which to live according to their own values and principles. Not in a coercive sense, of course, National-Anarchism is a decidedly mutualist concept and has – to some extent - been influenced by the work of Richard Hunt and Hakim Bey. Further information about National-Anarchism can be found on the Terra Firma website at http://www.national-anarchist.org
Q. Will not such a loose network, based on autonomous cells, be forced by the foes of ethnic autonomy to unite in national and pan-national organization(s) in order to counter the multitude of our adversaries, or else perish with the rest?
TS: I think it’s possible to maintain ties with other National-Anarchist communities around the world and continue to retain the autonomy of a single community at the same time. Forming alliances, of course, does not mean that we have to implement a national infrastructure or compromise our approach towards decentralisation. One example that I’ve used before, is that of the Fellowship in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Whilst the various Hobbits, Men, Dwarves and Elves come together in order to defeat a totalitarian adversary, when the task is completed they each go their own separate ways. Unity in diversity.
Q. You are also involved in the musical/artistic project H.E.R.R. and currently re-releasing the album “The Winter of Constantinople” >(Cold Spring Records, 2005)
TS: H.E.R.R. is not a political entity and the remaining three members of the group are not involved in activities of this nature, but given that our songs deal with the glory and tragedy of European history, my involvement is obviously fuelled by a need and a willingness to express my own cultural identity. Our latest album deals with the Fall of Constantinople in 1543 and the consequences that it represented for both Europe and the Holy Roman Empire. Meanwhile, our next project is based on the work of the Dutch playwright, Joost van den Vondel (1587-1679), author of Lucifer.
Q. What importance have music and artistic efforts and the struggle for what we could call a new Europe in balance with its past?
TS: I think that past, present and future can effectively be realised in a single moment. In other words, whenever something reflects the European spirit it immediately accords with the repetition of an eternal principle. So the past is often mirrored in the present and will be again and again in the future. The Romanian author, Mircea Eliade, notes that whenever this process takes place it creates a new centre. It’s the same with birth and ritual. Whilst it never happens in exactly the same way, an idea rips through the straight-jacket of linear time in a celebration of the perennial.
Q. Groups such as H.E.R.R. and others of the Neo-Folk/Darkwave scene form a sub-culture. Do you see a possibility to evolve this into a vital counter-culture, appealing to a larger audience in defiance of the mindless pop industry?
TS: I don’t think groups like H.E.R.R., Von Thronstahl, Puissance, Death In June or Sol Invictus will ever become mainstream, but they are part of an underground counter-culture that attracts tens of thousands of people across Europe and North America. The most important thing about this growing development, however, is that many of the concert audiences already contain a minority of people with views very similar to our own. They may not be politically-minded, but they do engage in a specific lifestyle that is both pro-European and anti-American. It’s not the kind of attitude that one would find in the average Right-wing party, either, the people are more anarchistic but still retain their love of culture and identity. It’s a meeting of the Revolutionary and the Conservative.
Q. Being a married, full-time father of four children whom you tutor yourself, you set an impressive example for other parents who want to raise a family independent of the totalitarian egalitarianism. How did that come about and how do you cope with what, for most people today, would seem an overwhelming task?
TS: Home-schooling is not funded by the State and is still regarded in many circles as a rather bohemian and outlandish concept. There are well over a million home-educated families in North America, but in England the numbers are far smaller. My wife and I first thought seriously about home-schooling when she was still pregnant with our first child. At that time I was a Traditional Catholic and this form of alternative education was fairly popular amongst many of the parents in those circles. Coupled with the fact that England’s educational standards are some of the worst in Europe, we decided to join Education Otherwise, a self-help group designed to help families interested in home-schooling. A decade later we find ourselves with four children who have been taught to a fairly high standard and, thus far, managed to avoid becoming caught up in the cycle of Americanisation and youth crime that infects a vast number of other children. Home-schooling is very hard work and you do have to be very committed, but I can’t see any reason why all parents with our ideas can’t teach their children at home. It’s a question of reorganising one’s priorities and of making sacrifices. Compared to most people we do have to live on a fairly low income, but the results are there for all to see. Our children, whilst still very young, are already very clued-up about the nature of the world and the direction in which it is heading. By avoiding local schools and liberal teaching methods, therefore, we have managed to instil in our children a sense of identity, self-expression, individuality, history and ecological awareness. Home-schooled children also find it easier to relate to people of varying ages, rather than being unnaturally confined to a classroom with other children of exactly the same age. And rather than being ignored in a class of 40 or 50 pupils, they also receive one-on-one tutoring. People often ask us how we deal with the social aspect, which always seems very curious given that schools are supposedly designed to educate children and not to socialise them. In reality, of course, schools are indeed designed to ‘socialise’ children, inevitably preparing them for a life of uniformity, drudgery and wage-slavery. But our children participate in a whole variety of sports and belong to a number of clubs and organisations. That can involve a lot of time and money, but at least they do have friends outside of the home environment.
Q. What should the role of the family be in the ideal society?
TS: I see the family as the central part of an interconnecting chain that runs from the individual to the family and then from the family to the tribe. At the higher level, of course, we have the race itself, but it tends to become rather vague and abstract when people start talking about a ‘White race’ when there are so many diverse sub-categories involved. Needless to say, the family – along with the individual and the tribe – provides us with an identity and a point of reference. At the same time, of course, I don’t like the bourgeois interpretation of the family because some people are natural outcasts or tend to be rather misanthropic. People like that often have a higher purpose to fulfil, it’s not for everyone to settle down and have children.
Q. How will you, being involved in several activities and independent groups such as National-Anarchism, Synthesis, the New Right and the music project H.E.R.R. (to mention but a few) concentrate your forces in the future? What are your plans and objectives for the coming year?
TS: My chief priority at the moment, at least, is to continue with the work that we have been doing with the New Right since January 2005. There will be more meeting and social events. But whilst I remain a National-Anarchist at the purely political level, I no longer spend my time propagandising or putting up posters and stickers. A new generation of young activists are slowly emerging from the woodwork of this beleagured country, some of them influenced by the work we did back in the 1980s and 1990s with the English Nationalist Movement (ENM) and National Revolutionary Faction (NRF), not least the new English Peoples Party (EPP) and various other nationalistic and cultural groupings. The fact that people such as this are struggling for the same cause at the grassroots level, enables me to concentrate my efforts on the more intellectual and esoteric currents. Elsewhere, of course, I shall be performing live with H.E.R.R. and writing more songs with the other members of the group, as well as organising a series of camps and hikes. There is so much going on behind the scenes here in England and it often takes an immense effort to keep up with it all.
Q. Finally, do you have any words of advice and inspiration for the independent, political European freedom fighter?
TS: If you have strong beliefs and principles, try to make them become manifest throughout every day of your life. Make a calculated attempt to systematically avoid those things which could potentially damage or compromise your own values, whilst making an extra special effort to do those things that will make you stronger and more determined. In the meantime, I would like to offer my very best wishes to our friends and comrades in Norway. Keep up the good work.
On behalf of AUTONOM, I thank you for the interview
Taken from AUTONOM (http://autonom.motpol.nu/)