The American Ideology
Francis Parker Yockey
This organic individualism was formulated in written constitutions and in a literary-political literature. Typical of the spirit of this literature is the Declaration of Independence. As a piece of Realpolitik, this manifesto of 1776 is masterly: it points to the Future, and embodies the Spirit of the Age of Rationalism, which was then ascendant in the Western Culture. But, in the 20th century, the ideological part of this Declaration is simply fantastic: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with inherent and inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” In 1863, the charlatan Lincoln delivered an address in which he speaks of America as “a nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” He then went on to say, referring to the War of Secession, then in progress, “…we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”
This ideology continued right into the middle of the 20th century, and was even, after the First and Second World Wars, when a totally different and utterly incompatible outlook was in the ascendant, offered to the home of the Western Civilization as a model to imitate somehow. It was only the entirely fortuitous material success which attended American arms that enabled this ideology to survive late into a century which had outgrown it, and, not because it is important as a political outlook, but solely because it is an effective technique for splitting and disintegrating Europe, must this archaic ideology be examined here.
The Declaration of Independence is saturated with the thinking of Rousseau and Montesquieu. The basic idea, as in all Rationalism, is the equating of what ought to be with what will be. Rationalism begins with confusing the rational with the real, and ends by confusing the real with the rational. This arsenal of “truths” about equality, inalienable and inherent rights, reflects the emancipated critical spirit, devoid of respect for facts and tradition. The idea that governments are “instituted” for a utilitarian purpose, to satisfy a demand of “equal” men, and that these “equal” men give their “consent” to a certain “form” of “government,” and then abolish it when it no longer serves the purpose— is pure Rationalistic poetry, and corresponds to no facts that have ever occurred anywhere. The source of government is the inequality of men— this is the fact.
The nature of the government is a reflection of the Culture, the Nation, and the stage of development of both. Thus any nation may have one of two forms of government, an efficient or an inefficient government. An efficient government carries out the Idea of the nation— not the “will of the masses,” for this latter does not exist if the leadership is capable. Leadership goes down, not when “the people” rationally decide to abolish it, but when that leadership becomes so decadent as to undermine itself. No government anywhere is “founded” on “principles.” Governments are the expression of political instincts, and the difference between the instincts of various populations is the source of differences in their practice of government. No written “principles” affect the practice of government in the slightest, and the sole effect they have is to furnish the vocabulary of political struggles.
This is as true of America as it is of every other political unit that has ever existed in five millennia of the history of High Cultures. Contrary to a certain messianic feeling in America, America is not completely unique. Its morphology and destiny are readable in the history of other colonies, in our own, and in previous Cultures.
The reference in the Independence Declaration to government as having the purpose of effecting the “safety” and “happiness” of the population is more Rationalistic nonsense. Government is the process of maintaining the population in form for the political task, the expression of the Idea of the Nation.
The quotation from Lincoln still reflects the Age of Rationalism, and his contemporary Europe could feel and understand such ideology, although, since State, Nation, and Tradition existed still in Europe, even if weakened, there was always resistance to Rationalist ideologies, whether of the Rousseau, Lincoln, or Marx variety. No nation was ever “conceived in liberty,” and no nation was ever “dedicated to a proposition.” Nations are the creations of a High Culture, and in their last essence are mystical Ideas. Their coming, their individualities, their form, their going, are all reflections of higher Cultural developments. To say that a nation is “dedicated to a proposition” is to reduce it to an abstraction that can be put on a blackboard for the instruction of a class in logic. It is a Rationalistic caricature of the Nation-Idea. So to speak of a Nation is to insult and debase it: no one would ever die for a logical proposition. If such a proposition— which is also claimed to be “self-evident”— is not convincing, armed force will not make it more so.
The numen “liberty” is one of the main foci of the American ideology. The word can only be defined negatively, as freedom from some restraint or other. Not even the most rabid American ideologist advocates total freedom from every form of order, and similarly the strictest tyranny has never wished to forbid everything. In a country “dedicated” to “liberty” men were taken from their homes, under threat of prison, pronounced soldiers, and dispatched to the antipodes as a “defense” measure on the part of a government which did not ask the “consent” of its masses, knowing perfectly well such “consent” would be refused.
In the practical sense, American freedom means freedom from the State, but it is obvious that this is mere literature, since there never was a State in America, nor any necessity for one. The word freedom is thus merely a concept in a materialistic religion, and describes nothing in the world of American facts.
Important also to the American ideology is the written constitution adopted in 1789, as a result of the labors of Hamilton and Franklin. Their interest in it was practical, their idea being to unite the thirteen colonies into a unit. Since the union could never have been brought about at that time on any sort of central basis, the most they were able to bring about was a weak federation, with a central government that could hardly be described as government at all, but only as a formulated anarchy. The ideas of the constitution were mostly derived from the writings of Montesquieu. The idea of “separation of powers” in particular comes from this French theorist. According to this theory, the powers of government are three, legislative, executive, and judicial. Like all crystal-dear Rationalistic thinking, this is muddy and confused when applied to Life. These powers can only be separated on paper, in Life they cannot. They were never actually separated in America, although the theory was retained that they were. With the onset of an internal crisis in the 30′s of the 20th century, the entire power of the central government was openly concentrated into the executive, and theories were found to support this fact, still calling it “separation.”
The various colonies retained most of the power that mattered to them— the power to make their own laws, keep a militia, and conduct themselves in economic independence of the other colonies. The word “state” was chosen to describe the components of the union, and this led to further confused ideological thinking, since European State-forms, where the State was an Idea, were thought to be equivalent to American “states,” which were primarily territorial-legal-economic units, without sovereignty, aim, destiny, or purpose.
In the union, there was no sovereignty, that is, not even the legal counterpart of the State-Idea. The central government was not sovereign, neither was any state government. Sovereignty was represented by the agreement of two-thirds of the states and the central legislative, or in other words, a complete abstraction. If there had been fifty or a hundred million Slavs, or even Indians, on America ‘s borders, there would have been a different notion of these things. The whole American ideology presupposed the American geopolitical situation. There were no powers, no strong, numerous, or organized hostile populations, no political dangers— only a vast empty landscape, sparsely populated with savages.
Also important to the American ideology was the feeling— expressed above in Lincoln ‘s address— of universality. Although the War of Secession had nothing whatever to do with ideology of any kind— and in any case, the Southern legalistic rationale of the War was more consequent than the Yankee idea— Lincoln felt impelled to inject the issue of ideology into the War. The opponent could never be simply a political rival, bent upon the same power as the Yankee— he had to be a total enemy, intent upon wiping out the American ideology. This feeling informed all American Wars from that time onward— any political enemy was regarded ipso facto as an ideological opponent, even though the enemy had no interest whatever in American ideology.
American ideology led America to claim countries as allies which did not return the compliment, but American ardor was not thereby dampened. This type of politics can only strike Europe as adolescent, and in truth, any pretense that 20th century forms and problems can be described in a 19th century Rationalistic ideology is immature, or to be more blunt, silly.
In the 20th century, when the Rationalist type of ideology had been discarded by the advancing Western Civilization, the American universalizing of ideology turned into messianism— the idea that America must save the world. The vehicle of the salvation is to be a materialistic religion with “democracy” taking the place of God, “Constitution” the place of the Church, “principles of government” the place of religious dogmas, and the idea of economic freedom the place of God’s Grace. The technic of salvation is to embrace the dollar, or failing that, to submit to American high-explosives and bayonets.
The American ideology is a religion, just as was the Rationalism of the French Terror, of Jacobinism, of Napoleonism. The American ideology is coeval with them, and they are completely dead. Just as inwardly dead is the American ideology. Its principal use at the present time— 1948— is in splitting Europe. The European Michel element battens on to any ideology whatever which promises “happiness” and a life without effort or sternness. American ideology thus serves a negative purpose, and that only. The Spirit of a bygone Age can give no message to a subsequent age, but can only deny the new age, and attempt to retard, distort, and warp it from its life-path. American ideology is not an instinct, for it inspires no one. It is an inorganic system, and when one of its tenets gets in the way, it is promptly discarded. Thus the religious doctrine of “separation of powers” was dropped from the list of sacred dogmas in 1933. Before that the holy tenet of Isolation had been put aside in 1917, when America entered into a Western War which did not concern it in any way. Resurrected after the First World War, it was again discarded in the Second World War. A political religion that thus switches the changes on its supernatural doctrines is convincing neither politically nor religiously. The “Doctrine” of Monroe, for instance, announced early in the 19th century that the entire Western Hemisphere was a sphere of American imperialistic influence. In the 20th century, this passed into the special status of an esoteric doctrine, being retained for domestic consumption, while the external dogma was called the “good-neighbor policy.”
The ideology of a people is merely intellectual clothing. It may, or may not, correspond to the instinct of that people. An ideology may be changed from day to day, but not the character of the people. Once that is formed, it is definite and influences events far more than they can influence it. The character of the American People was formed in the Secession War.