Sep 16, 2015

William Pierce's Land: 30 Years of White Community, Part 2

via Kevin Alfred Strom

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The main building on The Land, where 
American Dissident Voices began
Ever since 1985, "The Land" — Dr. William Pierce’s intentional White community in West Virginia —  has been a part of my life.

It is fitting that we celebrate the 30th anniversary of our community’s founding with a reading — followed by more remembrances from me — of Dr. Pierce’s 1985 National Vanguard editorial, “Living for Fitness,” in which he discusses his ideas of what a White community should be — and how such a community has the potential to profoundly affect the future of life in this universe. I give you the words of William Luther Pierce (newly transcribed and for the first time in digital form):
*****
LIVING FOR FITNESS
by Dr. William L. Pierce

The aspect of our racial situation which has concerned me more than any other from the beginning, is that of fitness — specifically the fitness of our race for survival. Why have we, a race that once ruled every part of the world in which we set our feet and which firmly and without apology maintained our separateness from all others — why have we voluntarily abdicated our position of superiority, dismantled the barriers between us and the others, and in effect, bared our throats to those who have demonstrated their eagerness to slit them? What creeping sickness has overcome us in the past half century? What is the exact nature of the lethal racial weakness in us which our hereditary enemies are exploiting so adroitly, and is there a cure for it?

The answer to these questions can be approached in a number of different ways, and many of the editorials and articles in past issues of this magazine have dealt with one or another of them. We have examined the nature and effects of modern liberalism, the consequences of the imposition of Judeo-Christianity on European peoples, the racial implications of the Industrial Revolution, the roles of democracy and capitalism in unfitting the race, etc. All of these treatments have been in the nature of a study of the symptoms rather than a direct approach to the racial flaw itself, but thoroughly understanding the symptoms of unfitness is certainly a prerequisite to dealing effectively with the problem.

In this regard a matter which might profitably be studied more closely is the relationship of life-style to racial fitness. Of course, there always have been a number of critical commentaries on modern, Western, urban life-styles: The Times & Manners section of each issue [of National Vanguard] is devoted largely to such things. But relatively little has been said about alternative life-styles which might lead to greater racial fitness. A large part of the reticence is tied to our long-standing policy of dealing strictly with the facts and avoiding speculation — and, certainly, any discussion of the effect on racial fitness of an alternative life-style which exists only in theory is speculative in the extreme. Before we can hope to say much about the pros and cons of a particular life-style from a racial standpoint we need to see its effects over a period of years on a reasonably large number of men and women.

Totally immersed in these problems as we were in the cities, unable to stand back and look at them from different vantage points, our almost unavoidable tendency was to react — to strike out at the individual symptoms as they flared up — but never to put the whole syndrome at some mental distance and devote ourselves to a careful thinking out of new approaches.

We were determined before we made our move [to The Land] that our new environment would be the product of design, not chance: that we would deliberately mold the environment and a new life-style to suit our long-range purpose rather than permitting them to be circumscribed by the immediate needs of survival. So far, however, necessity has been the most important determinant of what is beginning to emerge as a new life-style here.

William Pierce, National Alliance members, and their families help lay the foundation for the main building on The Land in 1985
William Pierce (center), Kevin Strom (center right), and other National Alliance members and their families lay the foundation for the main building on The Land in 1985

Our necessity has been to do a lot with very little, as quickly as possible: to develop an utterly raw, wild mountain into the site on which a new community of purpose and consciousness can be built, using our extremely limited manpower and funds to do so before running out of steam and bogging down in the swamp of practical difficulties which must be overcome here. We have had to do nearly everything ourselves — digging, plumbing, building, hauling — including the things which most people, with more funds, would have hired someone else to do. This has meant two things: a very heavy work load and a very varied work load. And the insights gained have come primarily from these two things.

One of the great achievements of the labor movement during the last century has been the steady reduction in the amount of work done each week by the average worker. The standard work week has dropped from 60 to 40 hours, and it seems inevitably headed even lower. Already the average factory or office worker spends about two hours sprawled in front of the television receiver at home for each three hours spent at his place of employment, and it’s quite likely that television will gain parity before the end of the next decade.  But is this really a good thing for the individual and for the race?

Certainly, one cannot blame employees for wanting to spend as little time as possible at their work, considering the nature of most of it. Work in America today is solely a way of earning a paycheck, nothing else. They have no interest in it or commitment to it, and they only do it because they must in order to obtain money. Most of it is repetitive, boring, impersonal, tedious — painfully so. The idea is to get away from it whenever one can obtain relief from the pain in idleness.

We can contrast that situation with others, from different historical eras: that of the medieval peasant or craftsman, for example, or of the pioneer on America’s western front 150 years ago. It certainly is not apparent that these other situations, which generally involved a much higher rate of work time to leisure time, resulted in less fit men and women. One can instead argue persuasively that the people in these situations were kept in closer contact with the realities of life. For the most part they did not work because their employment contracts required it; they worked as much as they had to in order to survive — which was nearly all the time. The work situation seemed much less artificial to them, much more real. Husbands and wives were obliged to rely heavily on each other in order to get by, dividing the day’s labor between them in a natural way.

And, despite difficulty and tedium, it was usually the case in the past that work was more varied for the individual worker than is the case today: he had to do more different kinds of things in his daily routine than the modern factory or office worker does. There is much to be said for labor specialization, but the Industrial Revolution and urbanization have pushed it farther than ever before and have done so in an entirely artificial way, quite unlike the natural division of labor between the sexes, or between the old and the young, of the past. Progress requires specialization, but when over-specialization makes cripples of workers, who cannot function effectively except in narrowly specialized niches, progress may be headed for a sharp downturn, and the race may be putting itself into grave jeopardy.

Consider how many men today are helpless when faced with any unaccustomed situation: they cannot solve unfamiliar problems and overcome unfamiliar obstacles, because they have never been forced to develop resourcefulness. There are millions of adult male office workers in America who cannot make even a simple repair to an automobile engine or modify the plumbing in their homes: indeed, there are probably millions who have never used a socket wrench, a soldering iron, a sledge hammer, or a drill in their entire lives.

We need specialists, people who are masters of one trade rather than jacks of all trades, but have things not gone too far when the average man cannot depend on his own experience at varied problem solving to get by in almost any emergency situation which may arise?

And we need time for leisure – if we use that time in a way which makes us more fit physically or psychically: in study, for example; or in hiking, skiing, or swimming; or in cultural activities which deepen our sense of racial identity. But time wasted before a television receiver or on the golf course would be better spent, from the standpoint of fitness, digging ditches.

The work of the staff here is long and hard, but there is nothing artificial about it: it’s directly related to individual or community needs, and much of it is essential for mere survival. With winter temperatures dropping to minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit, survival in the wilderness here is a matter requiring more than a little forethought and effort, and permitting few mistakes. It forces us to rely heavily on our resourcefulness and on one another. It has the effect of pulling families closer together by continually reminding men and women of their complementary natures and mutual dependence. It certainly improves the fitness for survival of everyone involved, not only by inuring him to hardship, but also by continually increasing his range of skills and his confidence in his ability to solve new problems. And because everyone’s efforts are divided between manual labor and brain work, the need for artificial leisure activates is greatly reduced.

There can be no doubt that America’s White men and women as a whole would be better fit as well, if they worked longer and harder, included a much wider range of different types of work in their daily or weekly work schedules, and were able to do work directly related to their own needs or the needs of a group of mutually dependent co-workers instead of the impersonal, salary-motivated work which is the rule today. This last point is an especially important one. There certainly are exceptions, but the average American spends most of his waking hours engaged in either purposeless work or purposeless recreation.

We, by way of contrast, spend our time at purposeful work, work which has meaning for us; and although there has been relatively little time for leisure so far, when we do take time out for a community recreational activity, that is purposeful and meaningful also. Digging ditches is dirty, tiring work, without much intrinsic interest to it: after one has dug a thousand feet of ditch, there is not much more to learn about the work. And it may be that a salaried worker for a utility company, if he is conscientious, would dig just as good a ditch for us as we can dig for ourselves. But for us it is purposeful work, and that makes a large difference. When we dig a ditch in which to lay a water pipe from a new well to a dwelling, we are mindful of the long-range significance of that task to our community. The same sense of purpose permeates all our work: the design and construction of a new staircase in our church building, the development of a new computer program for handling our correspondence more efficiently, the laying of stones and mortar for a set of steps across a steep hillside. We are concerned for the product of our labor, for how it will be used, and how long it will last; the average American worker is not. In the one case work strengthens out attachment to our community; in the other case it only contributes to a general sense of alienation.

It is not just that we are working for ourselves instead of for strangers which makes our work purposeful. Our community is a religious community, and our religion is one which requires us to relate each thing we do, in our work or study or play, to a single, all-important purpose. George Bernard Shaw described that single purpose as service of the Life Force in its quest to know itself. We sometimes speak of it in Nietzschean terms as preparing the way for Higher Man, and sometimes in more eschatological terms as advancing along the never-ending path of the Creator’s self-realization. In any case, it has the effect of keeping us more conscious of why we do things, as well as influencing our choice of things to do. And everyone certainly must agree that any community, from a tiny group like ours to a nation or an entire race, with a strong, common sense of purpose is a stronger and fitter community, in a Darwinian sense, than a community lacking purpose.

To recapitulate: my observation of the effects of our new life-style on myself and my associates has led me to believe that harder and longer work, more varied work (especially a regimen which could impose some manual labor on everyone now exclusively engaged in white collar work), work more directly related to personal or community needs, and above all, more purposeful work and recreation would benefit a larger American society in much the same ways that they have benefited us.

Unfortunately, it seems extremely unlikely that changes in any of these directions are likely to occur; the trends are opposed, and there are powerful historical forces driving these trends. For example, conclusions drawn from our experiences are directly applicable to people living in very small communities, and the American trend is still away from the countryside and toward ever-larger metropolitan areas. And in view of what he has become, it is inconceivable that the average American would ever voluntarily surrender his urban/suburban conveniences, his beer and his cigarettes, his television and his central air conditioning, his nearby shopping mall and his station wagon, his company pension plan and his health benefits – and subject himself and his family to danger, hardship, and a much more strenuous life for the sake of improving the fitness of a small portion of his race or the condition of his own soul.

Unless some major calamity brings a long-term disruption to the larger society, the changes in life-style suggested here will be restricted to small communities of volunteers. Even so, there are interesting prospects. If my observations have any validity, there exists at least the possibility of a small elite selecting itself out of the larger society and submitting itself to a discipline which will, over the course of a generation or two, produce a level of fitness substantially higher than that which exists in the larger society today — while during the same period the fitness of the larger society continues to decline. There may then come a time when even a very small minority of exceptionally fit men and women will have certain advantages in dealing with the rest of the world.

What we can realistically anticipate for the immediate future in this regard is a broadening and deepening of our understanding of the relative fitness coefficients of various life-style elements, with the immediate goal of solidly establishing in a few small communities a life-style much better suited to long-term racial-survival needs than the one we have so far developed in our little group here.

*****

I was there with the first few men and women who scouted out the property 30 years ago with Dr. Pierce, before the first stick had been cut or the first hole dug. I drove my old blue van a dozen times at least over those high mountain roads, Dr. Pierce at my side, moving the books and office equipment from the old Arlington National Office. I was there when the foundation was laid for the main building — and when the large Life Rune on its front was first unveiled to an applauding crowd. Dr. Hermann Oberth was there, too — one of the fathers of the space age — and he wished the Alliance and our Cosmotheist Community well. I was there when Don Trainor created our first Xenix-based business computer system, and when the first child was born to an Alliance couple. I was there when Fred Streed built over half our infrastructure with his own hands and brought so many of Dr. Pierce’s dreams to fruition. I saw Will Williams — now the Chairman of the Alliance — move to The Land and recruit and organize our National Alliance membership to heights it had never seen before.

But for more than ten years after Dr. Pierce’s death The Land lay fallow. In my piece on the tenth anniversary of his death, I wrote in 2012:
“His footpath to the heights is almost invisible now, overgrown with timothy grass and mountain laurel, tenanted by bees heavy with nectar and pollen instead of by a man heavy with the future. …The Land, and the many hundreds of thousands of dollars in investments and infrastructure that William Pierce gave his lifetime to bring into being — and bring to bear in the battle for our race’s survival — has been inherited by the unworthy, the befuddled, the merely ambitious, and the incompetent…. Dr. Pierce’s organization… has effectively expired.

“…The Sun has burned away the sea of fog this morning… Maybe I should get out of here… — the current occupants would surely have never given me permission, so I didn’t bother to ask. Maybe I should head down the hill, skirting south into the woods near the trailers, even though I doubt they rise before ten. I should go down now — but no. There’s another path, with the footprint of a tall man still visible there. It leads up.”
What a difference three years has made! In 2014, William White Williams rescued the National Alliance from its unworthy inheritors, and we are ascending the Upward Path once again. The National Alliance BULLETIN is being published again — we haven’t missed a month in nearly a year now — The Land is staffed and functioning; our radio program has been on time for nearly two years; our membership is increasing; and we just published a brand-new edition of Building a New White World: What is the National Alliance?, which I will be proud and happy to send to each and every one of you who writes to me today. This 16-page, full-color magazine-format booklet — a great improvement over all previous editions — is a impressive introduction to the ideas and program of the National Alliance, and is the most powerful recruiting tool we’ve ever published. It’s a fitting achievement to show that the National Alliance — the Cosmotheist Community — and The Land are very much on an upward arc once again in 2015. I’m proud to be a part of that.

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