Nelson Mandela, one of the most celebrated figures of the modern world, recently passed away at the age of 95. Revered by many in the mainstream community, he is looked upon with less approving eyes by the alternative right and reactionary communities, frequently criticized for his role in planning and facilitating what essentially boiled down to acts of terrorism. Though I admit that I feel naught but indifference toward the man, I accept that there are grounds to be discontent with his actions.
Nonetheless, I think there are a few key lessons from Mandela that even reactionaries can take away. The first of these is this: It doesn’t quite matter if you have the moral high ground, but rather, it’s only necessary for people to perceive you as possessing it. The man was no saint, but he’s revered as one because people perceive him as such. His actions don’t truly matter, just the way that he was portrayed by western media types. perception may not necessarily be reality, but many times it, not reality, is the relevant factor.
Additionally, as this article at Alternative Right points out, Mandela can be defended from an ethno-nationalist perspective, in that the actions he took were for the benefit of his race alone. To quote: “Race war is, plain and simple, a Manichean struggle between good and evil, depending entirely on which race you belong to. This is what Mandela understood and it’s entirely to his credit that he sought the advantage and superiority of his own race.” The article also goes on to highlight the principle I referred to earlier, that much of Mandela’s power came from his perception by others, not so much any actions he took himself. Indeed, his ability to be a vesicle for white progressives to insert their preconceived notions into was what made him so popular. He is perceived as a saint because he was put in a unique position to be interpreted as someone who might be one and then gifted that narrative by people who wanted it to be true.
Perception sometimes matters more than reality. Actions sometimes matter less than mythos. With the right publicity, even an ineffectual guerrilla turned politician who helped contribute to the degradation of his country can be construed as one of the most moral and honorable men of the 20th Century.
In the tumultuous clash of ideologies that is history, great men will occasionally arise who, with their actions and their will, are able to bend to course of history. Most people can never be like this. However, clever individuals are sometimes able to sense the patterns of history and know which wave will come next that they can ride to fame and glory.
It can be argued that Nelson Mandela was one of the latter, a clever individual who foresaw where history was going and hitched a ride on the coming tide. I am not so sure. The story of Mandela strikes me as one not of an individual who was particularly great or clever (although to call him dim-witted would be equally out of place), but of a man who got lucky and had a reputation manufactured for him that enabled him to ride the wave of history. Basically, he was forced into his role by people who wanted a hero. Better lucky than good indeed.
Reaction is not the next big wave of the future, but we are reaching a time in which more conservative values are going to become more prevalent (see the rise of European far-right groups like Golden Dawn and Le Front Nationale), whether by conscious choice or environmental pressure. Still, there is going to be enough historical pressure for Reactionary/Neoreactionary/Alternative Right ideas to have a small chance to take hold in a few key facets, and move the Overton Window of society. There’s enough leeway for a rising cohort of soon-to-be great men to exert influence on the future of the movement.
We shouldn’t be expecting a reactionary state anytime soon, but when the dust clears at the end of 2025, reactionary principles could be a lot more in vogue than they are now. The degree to which this will be true is going to depend on the Great, the Elite, the Aristocratic. The Great will need to lead boldly and wisely, while the Clever will need to sense the subtleties of the way things are going, derive the proper tactics, and adjust as necessary, while freeing up the Great to weave their influence. It will not be enough for the Clever to ride the wave as they usually do, for they too must contribute if it is to make the greatest splash.
I suspect even the lucky will have their part to play, whether that involves becoming full-on Legionnaires or other, less grandiose means. Let us not write off potential without good reason. To do so would be neither clever or wise.
There has already been a bit of speculation on the various specialties those of us within the Reactionary fold will gravitate towards. While this whole movement still hasn’t really developed enough to have full-on specialization of skills, we are getting to that point fairly quickly. Take a quick peek at the break-down of the Taxonomy of the Reactosphere, for example.
Yet, without a goal to strive for, none of this diversity of skill set will do us any good, other than the marginal utility we get from reading each others’ (admittedly well-written) blog posts. We need some sort of ideal to pursue, otherwise this whole thing mostly boils down to intellectual masturbation done with the aid of a keyboard. While an Ultimate Goal of Reaction might not be feasible given our diversity of opinion in regard to many issues, it seems we can all agree that the way things are working now needs to change. I propose that that for know, our ideals are best served by further positioning ourselves so that we may best take advantage of the flow of history in our favor. It won’t be much, but with the right actions, it can be augmented.
This sort of thing won’t be easy. Nothing worthwhile ever is. The nice thing is that we happen to be a very dangerous adversary to the forces of Modernism that surround us, for our very existence is an existential threat. All we have to do is leverage that, and hammer hard at the chinks in the armor where we see them. How to go about about doing that is a tricky bit of business, of course. But the idea is simple enough.
We’re lucky in that we could be in the position to have real influence if we’re clever enough to utilize what we’ve got tactically. Wouldn’t it be great if we could pull that off?
The intricacies might be difficult to work out though, and will require a concentrated effort to perfect. I think that once I lay out the basics of “The Path to Legionnaire” that will be the direction I’ll be taking this blog.