Strauss and Identitarianism

I am advocating that the alt-right become the elites and philosopher kings that speak exoterically to the White American masses to mask our own particularist cause – the preservation of White Americans.

Leo Strauss is an important 20th century thinker on the American Right, particularly the neoconservative movement. He had a very strong Jewish identity, and viewed his philosophy as a means of ensuring Jewish survival in the Diaspora. Strauss believed that liberalism was good for Jews because the illiberal alternatives on the left (Communism) and the right (Nazism) became extremely hostile towards Jews. However, Strauss believed that liberalism was not ideal because liberal societies tended to break down group loyalties and group distinctiveness – both which are essential for the survival of Jews. As an identitarian, I too am concerned about the preservation of my White, that is to say European, identity within a liberal society. As we have seen with liberalism, it has led to the deracination of our people through globalism, immigration, and multiculturalism. With the ascendancy of Donald J. Trump, we now find ourselves with a unique opportunity to combat the forces that ultimately aim to destroy us.

The Rise of Trump

Donald Trump’s ascendancy all the way to the White House has opened an opportunity for the alt-right movement to finally move into the world of actual politics. Firstly, Donald Trump and his brand of civic nationalism, Trumpism, has done away with conservatism, which is nothing more than a strand of liberalism. To be fair, civic nationalism is also entirely congruent with liberalism since it posits that anyone can technically become an American as long as they follow the proper channels to immigrate here legally.

However, civic nationalism is a step towards ethno-nationalism, which ceases to be liberal. Secondly, Trumpism has tapped into the heart and mind of White America and unleashed a massive wave of populism. We in the alt-right have already benefited from this wave of populism. In particular, we have grown in size and popularity over the course of the past year. Finally, not only has Trumpism ‘activated’ White America, but it has also proven itself to be a winning strategy as Trump has broken through blue state strongholds to achieve electoral victory. I propose we ride this wave of Trumpism as far as it can possibly take us. However, we must be smart about it.

Having gotten to interact with many Trump supporters over the course of the past year, particularly those in real life who are not self-proclaimed members of the alt-right, I can tell you that these people are not prepared for White Nationalism. In fact, most of them will probably never become full-blown identitarians. While the overwhelming majority of Trump supporters are White, there were a substantial number of non-Whites who came out to support Trump this past election (more than Romney for both Blacks and Hispanics in fact).

Unfortunately, and in addition, many of the Whites who do support Trump often display cucky behaviors (trans-racial adoption, miscegenation, DemsRRealRacists, etc). However, this coalition of people all rallied behind the politics of Donald Trump. This is quite spectacular because he was compared to Hitler on a daily basis, accused of having ties to the alt-right, and was even called a racist by members of his own party.

These Trump supporters have not deconstructed racism like we have and they will often go out of their way to signal how ‘anti-racist’ they are because they view ‘being racist’ as a very bad thing. Yet we in the alt-right find ourselves within this Trumpist coalition of decent people despite being the most deplorable of them all! It really was quite the phenomenon, seeing normal everyday American conservatives interacting with the alt-right (who had all but given up mainstream politics up until Trump). There were even instances where the lines had been blurred between the normies and the alt-right and you couldn’t tell what camp the people fell in. This is our entry point to the world of politics and exercising power.

The Alt Right and Strauss

Strauss was ultimately not a liberal. He held the belief that inequalities exist amongst people and were inevitable, and he advocated rule by an aristocratic elite who pay lip service to the masses while not actually sharing their beliefs. Given that Strauss was very concerned about Jewish survival, it is reasonable to assume that Strauss believed that this aristocracy would serve Jewish interests. I think we can all agree that it is time for an aristocracy that serves our interests.

In 1952 Strauss published Persecution and the Art of Writing where he talks about exoteric and esoteric language. External exoteric language is directed at outsiders and an internal esoteric language is directed at in-group members. Exoteric language is often expressed in the language of moral universalism to appeal to the masses. Universalist rhetoric to mask particularist causes is the hallmark of many Jewish intellectual and political movements (this should sound familiar to any of those who have read the work of Kevin MacDonald). This is where the alt-right can learn from Strauss.

The rhetoric of Trumpism is exoteric in that is morally universalistic. ‘American’ has become such a diluted nationality that it really doesn’t mean anything to be an American Nationalist, since technically anyone can become an American. This is the language that the coalition of Trump voters rallied around because it is a nationalism for all Americans. It is not explicitly White American Nationalism. As I stated earlier, your average Trump supporter is never going to become an identitarian or White Nationalist. However, they will rally behind Trumpism. They will support White Nationalist policies such as deporting illegal immigrants, building a wall, banning Muslims, and introducing a moratorium on immigration.

Strauss espoused moral universalism as a veneer for his vision of a hierarchical society where the masses were ruled by elites. I am advocating that the alt-right become the elites and philosopher kings that speak exoterically to the White American masses to mask our own particularist cause – the preservation of White Americans. Now go forth dear reader, and infiltrate the institutions. Stoke the flames of Trumpism to keep it alive, and in doing so we can ride this wave of populism to victory.

Charles Lyons
the authorCharles Lyons
Charles Lyons is the Chief Administrative Officer of Arktos Media.


  • My final comment on what we need to face, understand, and overcome, is what Strauss saw, if you take account of the whole of his thought. Harvey Mansfield explains that Strauss did not give interviews, engage in punditry, etc., but he did want a group of students to see what he had seen- that

    “Western liberalism [society based on rights, not capital L] led to nihilism. And had undergone a development, that at the end of which it could not longer define itself or defend itself. A development which took everything praiseworthy and admirable out of human beings and made us into dwarf animals, made us into herd animals. Sick little dwarves, satisfied with the dangerous life in which nothing is true and everything is permitted.”

  • Now maybe my below comments are neither here nor there. If I understand Lyons correctly, he is saying we, the elite, the thinkers of the Alt-Right, need to take action, as we have not done before, and guide the masses, the rest of the country/those who will ultimately come with us, by using different language and terms for them so as to not tank our movement; we know things already and the language is familiar to us, but that won’t be the case with the normies, who could initially recoil and be scared off. Now taking Strauss, he described the intellectual situation after WWII (little unchanged till now as these are broad movements of thought): the ‘political science of the day’ ‘failed to recognize’ tyranny, the rise of the greatest tyrannies in history, of a practice of which even the Ancients could not have known (philosophy then was better than it ever was after). Tyranny being a problem coeval with political thought, in other words, political science today cannot recognize (and fails as a science) the oldest political problem. So we need to read Strauss- how is this possible and how can it be overcome? Just off-the-cuff about right now, Europe is becoming Islamized and almost no one sees it coming. Maybe the same problem as Strauss describes.

  • Also, that Strauss was an important thinker to neo-conservatives has no support other than it was repeated a lot. It is an example of conservatives accepting liberal arguments. Not one of them (Wolfowitz, Kristol, etc.) cited Strauss’ writings, that I know of, re the Iraq War. I have no idea what Wolfowitz saw in Strauss, if he ever actually read him. Liberals said Wolfowitz was Strauss’ student, which is not true as Wolfowitz was a student of Albert Wohlstetter. Wolf. sat in on some Strauss lectures (I do not know which ones) at the UofC; many are online, so someone can listen and tell me how a careful discussion of Xenophon’s Oeconomicus gives you the Iraq War. Maybe they mean a student of thought, like Aquinas was a student of Aristotle. Bill Kristol was Harvey Mansfield’s student, and Mansfield was a student of Strauss (he, no one else, says this) personally though he had a different dissertation supervisor; therefore, Strauss goes through Kristol to give you Iraq. Erm, OK, whatever that means. Strauss died in 1973 (!). Strauss did not give interviews or write essays recommending policy, so I have no idea how someone can say Strauss leads to any gov’t action. Strauss does make some remarks on the political situation at the time after WWII, in e.g. City and Man, Natural Right and History, etc., but there is no clear recommendation to anything in them- Strauss is attempting to understand the entirety of the situation. Douglas Feith was #3 at the Pentagon, the ‘architect’ of the Iraq War but his book does not cite Strauss. I’m not saying Strauss shouldn’t be an important thinker for the Alt-Right, I’m just saying we need to go about this carefully because no conservative ever took issue with this Strauss Iraq thing, no one even said Wolfowitz was Wohlstetter’s student! A website, I think it was, had the caricature of Wolfowitz in Spartan dress out of the NYROB right at the top of the page, and this was supposed to be an expert page on Strauss. I mean Nat’l Rev tried to paint Allan Bloom (who actually was a student of Strauss’) as a Republican because of Closing of the American Mind. Bloom voted Democrat and was a liberal.

  • I’ll be honest here, I have read Strauss carefully, though I am not an expert on his thought, but this article needs citations for these claims, such as Strauss believed the masses should be ruled by an elite. Where does Strauss say that? What does that mean? We already elect pols to do the job for us. Also, the esoteric/exoteric distinction was re-discovered by Strauss, and if of a far more profound significance in philosophical writing than here- Lyons just means what we already know and everyone does in politics, convince through the palatable but an unstated or only hinted at purpose.

  • An exoteric message and an esoteric one beneath. I do like that. The exoteric message would be to control immigration carefully, and to put more of our money and efforts into our own country rather than squandering them overseas. Could a subtle esoteric goal be simply local control and freedom of association? For communities to arise throughout the country without diversity or only minimal amounts. To allow people to form neighborhoods with like minded neighbors. It would not be an ethnonation, but it could be an ethnotown or ethnocounty. A beginning.


    • In my mind anything that gets us back to pre-1965 demographics is good. We can tweak and modify from there. I grew up in a 100% white community and now live in a largely white city that’s about 10% nonwhite. Even that 10% difference is remarkable by comparison.

  • Elitism good, Zionism bad. Seems I can’t find any ‘Right’ wing media outlets these days who aren’t trying to sell me Judaism and male Homosexuals in a ‘shiny new rebranded package’. Doesn’t matter how you wrap it or rebrand it, this is Jewish supremacy not European Nationalism by any means.

  • I have been pushing for this for a while. We are missing the Stefan Molyneux’s of the AltRight… Everyone wants to run a Fash the Nation because it appeals to the 1488 crowd.

    With the arguments on our side, there’s no need to run a fringe movement. The stats, the science it’s all on our side. It just needs relaying. Normies won’t listen to Fash the Nation styles of show.

      • I agree, I will miss it too… Not saying it shouldn’t be there, would love to just see more advocacy and even lobbying to normies.

        • I guess I never considered Fash the Nation to be anywhere near a 1488 broadcast. Sure a few oven jokes were thrown around but McFeels and Halberstram were hardly National Socialist. Those guys had much more in common with Pat Buchanan than they did with Adolph Hitler.

          • Has to do with messaging, the jokes are red meat that nobody in normal society would really accept presently.

            I prefer to stick to the arguments themselves – because they are winning arguments – there’s no doubt to the statistics or outcomes that are already on display.

            When someone says “All blacks are dumb” well the obvious answer is “What about Ben Carson?”

            So the whole “racist rhetoric” idea just loses the argument – as amusing as it can be.

          • “Arguments” don’t win period. The facts have always been on our side, for literally hundreds of years. It has never mattered. Being “right” is entirely about narrative. There is no arbitration in society to judge in your favor for having a preponderance of evidence on your side. It’s also incredibly easy to obfuscate all of your facts by simply flooding the environment with many other such “facts”, the addressing of which would cause all but a tiny, fringe minority to tune out.

            The heuristics and narrative people hold internally have to change to convince them of anything. If you can change the beats of the story that people tell themselves then you won’t need to give them any ideas. They will have had them themselves and hence hold them as truth.

    • “Normal people” don’t listen to Stefan Molyneux either. He’s been doing his thing for more than a decade and only recently became popular by completely reinventing himself. People listen to him for entertainment now that he is confirming their biases in critique and for no other reason. No one competent has bothered fisking his ideas beyond the tear down phase of criticism. Stefan Molyneux is advocating for something on the positive side far more radical and insane than anything Fash the Nation ever did. The latter of which certainly didn’t have a decade to grow their brand.

    • Classical liberal sentiments of “argumentation” and “intellectualism” are the same things that libertarianism exposed until it became almost completely irrelevant. Of course, philosophers, thinkers and other assorted intellectuals, but you need the pathos. Normies are cattle. The jews realize this. Plato realized this. They need to be fed narratives and propaganda about what is going on. As Jacques Ellul once resaid, the best propaganda is always the most truthful. Focusing on painting the narrative to normies is our best bet at this point

  • WORK IN PROGRESS. Hi Chris, nice piece. By now I’m betting a number of AR people are wondering why the hell you’ve decided to use a jew as an example for modeling the movements potential. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time bitching about the JQ in The Right Stuff forums, that got me banned from posting on TDS & FTN there, mentioning Weev is a jew didn’t help. Yesterday I posted a long one on Spencer’s first article for the site because it was quarantined at TRS on another writer’s article and still hasn’t appeared, although it may be due to the cluster fuck with the doxxing.

  • Brilliant !!! Thank you for the terrific article. Whites in US have benignly inhabited an ocean of whiteness which of course translates to “water ? What water ?”

    But the demographic sea change will drive a Darwinian certainty to our shores.

    I would add that we may elect to engage in more explicit language because, unlike the Straussians, we indeed have facts and reality on our side.

    Plus, we won’t need to con a majority to conceal our tribal ambitions. so far is top notch. Keep up the good work.

  • If you find a racial minority saying that Trump is not “Muh president” agree with them. Amplify it. Encourage them to act on the dark impulse welling up in their psyche.

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