A Nearly Right Study of Rockwell
Reviewed By C. F. Robinson
The span of his political activity was short — just nine years. He lost his political races, badly. His speeches would be met with egg-, tomato-, and rock-throwing counter-protestors. He was assaulted and beat up many times, once severely. He also had multiple arrests, and there was an attempt to commit him to an insane asylum. He worked closely with the FBI, even while that unevenly effective agency’s agents called him a “con man” and illegally stirred up trouble for his political party through the COINTEL Program. While his record as an officer in the US Navy was nothing short of heroic, a board of Navy Officers discharged him just short of getting a pension. He was killed by an estranged follower in the parking lot of a Northern Virginia laundromat with an antique Mauser pistol. When he died, leaving behind a corncob pipe and $275, he should have been forgotten. However, today George Lincoln Rockwell remains a figure of fascination, his books have never been out of print, and his ideas have spread to the cusp of the mainstream.
Most of George Lincoln Rockwell’s actions consisted of theatrics. He wore a Nazi outfit, decorated his party’s residence with swastikas and other symbols of the Third Reich, and gave impromptu speeches to hostile student curiosity seekers from his residence in Arlington, Virginia in the early 1960s. His marchers carried provocative signs about “gassing” Jews, Communists, traitors, etc. He used crude language and plenty of ethnic slurs. He even produced clever “Hatenanny” songs disparaging the “civil rights” movement. Occasionally, he or his men carried firearms. He organized a “Hate Bus” ride to counter the “Freedom Riders” integrationist stunt. He self-published several books and a great many fliers with printing equipment located at his rented party HQ. In short, Rockwell was more a provocative gadfly than a politician or philosopher.
Rockwell’s life and unlikely career are chronicled by William H. Schmaltz in his book For Race and Nation. Despite the central figure to this story being universally vilified by the mainstream, Schmaltz is mostly even-handed, although he veers into semi-hostility in the last chapter. This biography explores the life of George Lincoln Rockwell through the words of his former followers, records from his court appearances, recorded speeches locked away in libraries, and the archives of his rival Jewish organizations. According to the author, Rockwell’s children did not contribute to the biography or contact the biographer. Despite no family input, these sources give solid, multi-angled views of the famous agitator. This biography’s mostly even tone shows what Rockwell did right, sort-of-right, and wrong through his career and provides excellent guidance for those who wish to carry on Rockwell’s work in some way.
During the Presidential election season of 1952, Rockwell became aware of the heavy Jewish involvement in Communism and the “civil rights” movement, as well as espionage and other criminal dealings. After this epiphany, he gave himself a political education and to put it simply, he decided that Nazism was the appropriate answer to the domestic political situation in America as well as the international crisis that was the Cold War.
While George Lincoln Rockwell was mostly a performance-artist agitator, he correctly identified the contours of the conflict that generations of Americans will face in the years to come. The Cold War is over of course, but the domestic situation that lead to the “civil rights” revolution and unrest during Rockwell’s political career continues to affect every aspect of life in America.
What Rockwell Got Right: The New Contours of Conflict
In this reviewer’s words, Rockwell pointed out a new friend-enemy distinction — that of the differing interests of white Americans from Jews (and blacks/non-whites) — much like that of native Iberians vs. Jews and Moors in Reconquista era Spain. This conflict impacts daily life in every way, including commuting times, school districts, housing prices, cultural displays, crime, immigration law, judicial rulings, and so forth.
Much of this conflict is wrapped up in America’s foreign and military policies. Rockwell’s first public political act as a Nazi emphasized this truth. In 1958, The Eisenhower Administration sent troops, including a battery of nuclear-tipped Honest John rockets to Lebanon with the officially stated purpose to check Soviet adventurism in the Middle East. However, Rockwell and his financial backer Harold N. Arrowsmith, Jr. saw that the deployment furthered the interests of Israel pushed by Jews with US Citizenship.
While Rockwell’s first protest was mostly ignored, his warning proved to be prescient. Today, millions Americans have done dangerous military service in the Middle East, and much blood and treasure has been invested in these dubious adventures. These conflicts are unique in American history in that it is impossible to see any benefit to Americans by all the sacrifice. The reason “why” for all this trouble comes when one sees that that Israel always benefits from these ventures.
Rockwell picketed the Martin Luther King, Jr. “I Have a Dream” march on the Washington Mall on August 28, 1963. King predicted utopia from his vision, Rockwell predicted trouble. Rockwell was right, “I Have a Dream” was the last truly peaceful “civil rights” event of the 1960s. After King’s speech, the “civil rights” movement became that of burning cities, a crime wave that lasted until the 1990s, and both white-flight and non-white “snowflake” driven re-segregation.
Many of Rockwell’s placards and warnings were related to the Africanization of Washington D.C. ongoing in the 1960s. Rockwell pointed out that self-government policies of the 1960s in the US Capital undergoing demographic change would eventually mean a city more like Port-au-Prince than Rome. Three decades following Rockwell’s ignored warnings, the Bush (41) Administration got tired of all the ghetto crime and kick-started gentrification after the FBI conducted a sting against Washington D.C’s black mayor Marion Barry. After that coup, Congress took a more active role in governing D.C., and the city has turned around considerably.
While Rockwell dressed up as a Nazi, he was really an American ethnonationist no different than freedom fighters in Greece or Ireland chafing under foreign rule. Indeed, white Americans must ask themselves how much Jewish rule and (rule on behalf of blacks) they should tolerate. Is this alien rule moral in some way that of Turkish rule in Eastern Europe wasn’t? This biography shows that towards the end of Rockwell’s life he was clarifying his ideology, and downplaying the German/World War II aspect of his American Nazism. He had also made connections with international activists, and was making inroads to groups attempting to merge Christianity and race realism. Additionally, he was starting to attract serious talent, such as William Luther Pierce (1933–2002) and Matthias Koehl (1935–2014). His greatest success was a rally in Chicago in September 10, 1966. There, Chicagoans frustrated with black crime and ghettofication cheered him like a hero.
Rockwell also correctly recognized that the mainstream American conservative movement was doomed to complete failure due to its faulty philosophical foundation. Essentially, if the conservative movement cannot see that the conflict is one of race as well as organized, ethnic Jewish activism, it will be out of focus and blindly stumble from one defeat to another. Rockwell was especially critical of the “right wing” of mainstream conservatism. Figures of the “right wing” especially criticized by Rockwell were highly skilled fundraiser/ministers that Schmaltz calls “pseudo-Christian ‘patriots.’” The two most famous of these conservative ministers were Gerald L. K. Smith and Billy James Hargis. To Rockwell, those ministers vacuumed up donation money while doing very little in return.
Today, we can see in the wrongheaded conservative philosophical presuppositions pointed out by Rockwell is the eventual rise of a disappointing dead-end sort of figure like George W. Bush, whose policies accelerated the de-industrialization of the United States, continued Third World immigration, and embroiled the United States in Middle Eastern military disasters. In the 2006 mid-term elections, then President George W. Bush got a vote of no confidence and the conservative movement/Religious Right received a mortal blow. Following that election, the conservative movement and Religious Right ceased to effectively fight in the culture wars and finally lost completely in the 2015 SCOTUS decision Obergefell v. Hodges which legalized homosexual marriage.
What Rockwell Got Almost Right
While Rockwell was a political gadfly who deliberately tried to shock, he was also a serious pioneer of a political movement that is gathering today as the “New (or Alt) Right.” Because he was a pioneer, he was forced to create everything from scratch with hardly any resources. Therefore what follows as “almost right” is probably more related to the limits of what was possible at the time rather than some failing on the part of Rockwell.
The first “almost right” aspect of Rockwell’s career was his choice of Nazi imagery. Rockwell came along at a time when millions of living Americans had made great personal sacrifices fighting Nazism. While he was describing a real conflict, his tactics were so off-putting he was destined to lose as long as the World War II Generation and their children lived. With that being said, he’d have never made an impact at all without the swastika and brown shirts. He lived in a time where the media was totally controlled by his enemies. He had to shock to even get heard.
When he started out in politics, Rockwell made a point to not have major items of property in his name. He recognized that he would have competent, motivated enemies who would use any method to defeat him. Because he had little property, the printing presses, cars, and buildings, couldn’t be taken away by lawsuits or settlements with the IRS over tax issues. He did owe the IRS, but they seized little of value for owed back-taxes. However, his organization was threadbare due to this strategy.
His security policy was also “almost right.” Rockwell dodged a major lawsuit that could have strangled his movement in the crib. Hostile kids would pelt his headquarters with stones. When the Stormtroopers moved to eject the troublemakers, the police would move in and arrest the Nazis on charges such as assault. This opened his organization for civil and criminal legal problems, which Rockwell was able to beat.
However, his rivals learned their lesson well from this situation. Two pro-white organizations were destroyed by lawsuits following private confrontations with troublemakers. Richard Butler’s Aryan Nations organization in Idaho was successfully bankrupted after Butler’s associates “harassed” several people at gunpoint. (Why Butler’s subordinates decided they needed to “harass” people at gunpoint is never really explained.) In Arizona, the anti-immigration organization Ranch Rescue was likewise bankrupted when armed members “mistreated” an illegal alien. In such a one-sided legal environment it is best to not take your guns to town — or even to the edge of the property. Surveillance camera footage that clearly show trespassers engaging in mischief given over to the police puts one on the right side of the law. Rockwell also reported advocates for violence to the FBI.
While Rockwell deftly kept himself and his organization mostly free of legal seizure of resources, his use of funds and business acumen was somewhat lacking. The American Nazi Party’s (ANP) treasury was used impulsively by Rockwell. What Rockwell wanted, he got. The treasury never had a slush fund for bail money, and payment and food to the rank-and-file was poor. The ANP didn’t fundraise much to fix up its dilapidated headquarters or branch headquarters. This allowed local authorities seeking to suppress his movement to condemn dilapidated buildings and evict the tenants.
Rockwell’s lacking business sense left money on the table especially as he gained larger audiences. After the success in Chicago, universities invited him to speak to packed auditoriums. Rockwell got a few hundred dollars while the universities took in thousands.
What Rockwell Got Wrong
Although Rockwell had extensive military experience and his organization was a militarized political movement, his human resource policy was off. He didn’t ask for enlistments with an end date, so Stormtroopers that got tired of eating fried potatoes, enduring long stretches of boredom and lack of heating would slip out of the windows at night when they got fed up. Additionally, Rockwell allowed men to settle disputes with fist-fights, so the inevitable factions that formed got an additional sharpness to their disagreements. These factions sapped morale and led to unnecessary drama and personnel turnover.
While Rockwell’s Nazis handled firearms, many of the men didn’t know how to handle them safely and there was no firearms training program reported in this biography. The results were catastrophic. One Stormtrooper, 21-year-old Michael Pullis, died by mishandling a revolver.
Additionally, the Stormtroopers were not well-vetted. Rockwell’s murderer John Patler joined up with a history as a petty criminal. Patler’s father was even a convicted murderer, and in 1997 Patler’s brother would also go on to murder a woman. Furthermore, the poor vetting made for an environment of paranoia. There was constant concern regarding infiltrators, informants, and shills. This fed into the sharp factionalism described earlier. The ANP was, in fact, filled with informants, but the weak vetting never weeded them out. Additionally, the informants hardly helped law enforcement. The ANP focus was politics within the law, so there turned out to be no terror plots for anyone to inform about. It was the presumed existence of informers that caused problems.
Another Stormtrooper, Dan Burros committed suicide when he was revealed to be Jewish. Burros had been the cornerstone of the publishing and propaganda, when he died, Rockwell issued a statement against Jewish neurosis, but was privately shaken by the loss. While Burros was called more Aryan than Jewish by his comrades, it would have been better for Burros and the ANP had he been turned away as a recruit. Stormtroopers also weren’t put to work repairing facilities to the degree that they should have.
Rockwell also quarreled with many of his major financial backers. It is probably best for a hard-headed vanguard activist to state up front that donors are investing in his program, not buying a program of their own. Rockwell’s quarrelsome first ex-wife also sapped his energy. He was required to pay a considerable alimony, and he was sued by her several times in family court for non-payment and other issues.
The book’s author ends the biography with the concept, similar to that in the 2016 movie Imperium, that pro-white activism is irrational and only leads to death and terrorism, but “repentance” for “Nazis” can be found, and repentant “Nazis” are somehow cool. The book’s afterward is a sticky-sweet penitent statement against the American Nazi Party by one of Palter’s children. This reviewer will attempt to give a more balanced assessment to the career of George Lincoln Rockwell.
Rockwell’s assassination at the hand of a former follower made him into the martyr he is today, but his murder was also a considerable blow to what we might call now, the race-realist right. The American Nazi Party was really the organization of George Lincoln Rockwell, without him at the head, it lost steam quickly. The party’s last event with Rockwell at the center was his attempted burial at the Culpeper National Cemetery. Rockwell’s Stormtroopers, true to form, got into a confrontation with the US Army when they tried to bury him while they wore their Nazi uniforms. A day long standoff occurred at the gate of the cemetery. After several cars in the funeral procession were nearly hit by a train and one of the soldiers blocking the Nazis defected from the US Army to the ANP, the Nazis withdrew and cremated his body. Rockwell’s ashes are said to be in a known, but secret location.
Before his death, Rockwell had proven he could attract large audiences, and when conditions were right he could wholly win the audiences over. With that in mind, one must recognize that unlike President Lincoln, who was cut down after seeing his radical political vision end in victory, Lincoln Rockwell was cut down just as he appeared to be making minimal progress. Rockwell didn’t even live to see the Promised Land from afar.
In the 1960s had there not been a George Lincoln Rockwell someone else like him would have come along. Rockwell was the result of ever increasing conflicts of interests between American Anglo-Europeans, i.e. “whites” and a Jewish led non-white anti-America. When Rockwell died, the conflict he was part of continued on, but in a quiet, warped way. American Anglo-Europeans, “the Silent Majority,” elected two extremely anti-Communist presidents and won the Cold War, but did not explicitly roll back Jewish influence on the US Government. These “Silent Majority” Americans publically praised “civil rights” and Martin Luther King, Jr. while privately living as far away from blacks as possible.
In life, Rockwell wanted to use legal methods to win the conflict by someday leading the US Government as president. After he was slain, some of those moving in the far-right ideological circles close to those of Rockwell did not feel they needed to stay within the law. The Book’s author unfairly ends this biography by describing two major illegal right-wing events and tying them to Rockwell and the ANP. Terrorist acts mentioned are that of Robert Matthews’ group The Order and Timothy McVeigh’s 1996 Oklahoma City Bombing.
Both events deserve further remarks but before discussing them, the fact that Left Wing terrorism is legion and ongoing must be mentioned. Strangely, no mainstream publication ever gives any assessment to the results of the 1960s political left. The “civil rights” movement turned the great cities in the North of the US into ruins, and New Left inspired bombings were a major trend in the 1970s. The election of Barack Obama itself was the culmination of the 1960s leftist metapolitical effort, and Obama’s election didn’t bring about a diverse utopia. The Obama administration’s provocations of sleeping racial issues during the 2012 election and beyond created the Black Lives Matter movement which went on to create a deadly anti-police insurgency and left Baltimore and Ferguson, MO burning. Mainstream Media pundits and A-List actors have given a green-light to misfits to shoot GOP Congressmen and staffers. Anti-Trump violence is a real trend, the cancelled 2016 Trump rally in Chicago was more like Latin American civil unrest than that of the history of the Great Republic.
However, Right-wing Rockwell-influenced terrorism must be addressed. Timothy McVeigh was inspired by a fictional book written by one-time Rockwell associate William Luther Pierce to carry out a bombing against mid-level government employees in Oklahoma City. This bombing was a response to the Ruby Ridge and Waco affairs. However, McVeigh’s ideology was unrelated to the ideas of either Rockwell or Pierce. Instead he was an extreme libertarian who quoted Jefferson. To his last breath he denied being a “racist.” Timothy McVeigh should be thus be considered an aberration.
Robert Matthews’ organization The Order was also inspired by the ideas of Rockwell and Pierce. The Order was a terrorist group, but philosophically quite different from McVeigh’s ill-considered anti-government bombing. The Order became armed robbers eventually took in $3 million plus, which they distributed to pro-white organizations. There were two known murders associated with The Order; one was a shootout at a traffic stop that killed a Missouri Trooper named Jimmie Linegar. The other was a Jewish anti-white shock jock named Alan Berg. Interestingly, nobody in The Order was actually convicted of Berg’s murder. Instead, the government convicted members of The Order for “violating Bergs ‘civil rights.’” All ethnic conflicts are ugly, but one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. During their brief career, the inspirational statements of those in The Order are no different than the independence-minded Founding Fathers illegally and violently revolting from British rule. In the future, Robert Matthews may be seen more like Spain’s Pelayo than as a criminal.
Rockwell’s most talented followers eventually formed their own organizations. These organizations were perfectly positioned to get their message out through the new technology of the internet when it developed in the 1990s. In Rockwell’s time, he had to be provoking in the extreme to gain the attention of a media controlled entirely by his Jewish enemies. Today, internet sites run by those influenced by Rockwell get more daily reads than there are subscribers to Time Magazine. As mentioned above, Rockwell didn’t create the fierce conflict in America, he merely pointed it out. Today, the conflict is even more pronounced. The 2016 election and immediate aftermath was clearly a re-alignment along racial lines, with whites going for Trump and the Democratic Party becoming a preserve of non-whites led by Jews. Rockwell’s body is ashes in an urn, but, indeed his soul goes marching on.
From Counter Currents Publishing (June 23, 2017)