The Will to Truth

One of the key steps in my progress toward conscious race realism (as with many in our cause, it had been latent and waiting in me for a long time) came in my university days. This was no stark experience of the injustice of affirmative action or racial quotas; nor was I victim of crime at the hands of “minority groups” (setting aside, of course, the time a pair of Mexicans, mindless on crystal meth, broke into my school apartment and began to cook fish on the stove, plastic wrapping and all—but that is a different story). My college, all told, was relatively untouched by the egalitarian madness that even in those days was beginning to run rampant through American academia; and it is a testament to this particular college’s concern for merit, that I never recall hearing complaint regarding the very small number of “minority” students.

In my first year there, I happened to make the acquaintance of one of these, a young Black man by the name of T. He was a gregarious fellow to whom nature had gifted an intelligence unusual to his people, preserving meanwhile certain other readily identifiably Black traits and habits, almost to the point of caricature. A characteristic scene—I recall T. sitting in the lunch hall talking Plato, while he worked his way through a plate heaped with what must have been twenty drumsticks of fried chicken.

T.’s stamina in university, however, did not match his stamina at the table; within only a few months he had been expelled for breach of the college’s strict attendance standards. He had failed over a dozen times to awaken for his 9:00 o’clock lessons, for he had been passing entire nights gambling at the stock exchange, convinced that he would strike it rich and drop out of school. (No doubt this behavior in a Black man will amaze my readers.)

T. was a dyed-in-the-wool Protestant, and much of our debate centered on the question of the literal veracity of the Bible. I was in those folly days of my youth a militant atheist, and I sought with all my force to convince T. of the irrationality of his views. I spared no effort in this endeavor, but spent long hours studying this or that aspect of the question so as to confute him with my latest findings.

But by and by I realized something: T., despite his intellect, was on some deep level perfectly indifferent to the relevance of these facts or arguments. He had not come to university to study or to learn, or even to bolster his own beliefs with fact and argument; while I was poring over relevant books in the library, he was catching up on the sleep he had lost to the bourse. Surely, part of this was owed to that same trait which finally brought his expulsion—that trait which we might term “high time preference,” and an older generation might have called laziness, and an older and nobler generation yet lack of self-control. But there was something else, something deeper here: T., despite his intelligence, in some fundamental way lacked a concern for the truth.

T., of course, is but a single man. Yet what I noted in T. in those days, I have found echoed repeatedly and distinctly in numerous cases since, and indeed even in some of the foremost representatives of the Black community in America today—men like Cornel West, Eric Dyson, and Ta-Nehisi Coates. In many cases, these men enjoy an exceptional IQ, which is palpable in their speeches and their writing; but although the question of relative IQ among the races is a convenient handle for demonstrating racial differences, IQ is but a single factor among many in the profound divergences between the races. In point of fact the races differ on the basis of their overall character much more than of this or that independent trait; each individual trait is given its quality and meaning by that character, rather than the other way around.

In the present case: men of equivalent IQ from the various races will, despite this basic and confirmable point of similarity, not think in the same way. They will manifest radically different approaches to argumentation, rationality, the question of what constitutes proof, etc. Logic, reason, dialectic, which we of the West are accustomed to considering universal human values, are in point of fact widely cultivated, as ends in-and-of-themselves, only among us. Only among Whites is IQ, or better say intelligence, tied to an idea, be it ever so incomplete, ever so vague, of the truth.

Cornel West’s statements on Charlottesville. Does such a man care a fig about the truth?

The darker races are well willing to lie on behalf of their peoples—a point which too many Whites have yet to grasp—but how many of them are willing to champion the truth on behalf of their peoples? Is it any wonder? When the South African Blacks have stolen the land of the Whites, we all know that those farms will grow wild and fallow, and that the fruit will rot from the vine, precisely as it has done in Zimbabwe: for to plant a seed or turn the soil is already to throw one’s being futureward; it is already to live past oneself. The entire terrain of the mind is like that Rhodesian earth: tended almost exclusively by men of European descent, coveted and abused by men whose ancestors for centuries had ignorantly trampled it. These peoples have not the patience to await the growth of a single crop: how then could they await the growth of the truth, which is so slow-maturing a timber that one might never see its fruition?

These peoples say “truth,” but they mean: “my desire.” It was the “truth” of T. that the Bible meant precisely what he wanted it to mean. It is a “truth” to Julius Malema that when the Boers are all massacred or forced on pain of death to abandon their lands, leaving behind them the keys to their tractors and their homes, the Blacks who inherit these properties will thrive off of them automatically and effortlessly. It is a “truth” of Black Lives Matter that young Black men are gunned down everywhere by bigoted policemen for no reason but the color of their skin, and of Ta-Nehisi Coates that reparations will mitigate the racial disparities in the United States. And, albeit in a somewhat different hue, with a somewhat different character, it is a “truth” for the Arab Muslim, that whatever the Qu’ran states regarding the justice of war and deceit against the infidel must be carried out as it is written: for “truth” and “faith,” “reason” and “belief,” are one and the same thing to him. Even to debate such people is so much wasted breath—unless we do so with an eye to attaining something beyond merely convincing them.

So far as the Jews go—but must I really say it? Almost no one calls into question their brightness—but that intelligence of theirs is almost everywhere the slave of some agenda, made to serve the advocacy and defense of their people, made to distort the clean clear rays of reason, so that these do not go shining light on the wrong subjects. Do not the Jews, in general and with occasional illustrious exceptions, prove precisely that intellect is not enough?

Thus the Asiatics, too: though our argumentation has better home with them, still they have almost always given greater credence to tradition than to truth; they understand truth as that which accords with authority, that which is imposed by the past. This, quite despite the Western-style revolutions which swept Asia in the last century; one has but to analyze the new societies that have replaced the old to see that the basic nature of these peoples remains unchanged. They can be rational to a greater extent than Westerners at times: but theirs is a utilitarian rationality in the main, and has little to do with the Divine Madness of which Plato spoke.

The Copernican heliocentric model, for which Galileo was willing to defy the Church, unto his exile. In what part of the world, outside the West, would a man risk his well-being for a theory?

By the original Socratic idea of truth, truth is that which one seeks but never attains. Put in our scientistic language, the love of truth reduces “time preference” to zero, or widens the time horizon to such a point that it vaporizes and vanishes. This quest exists nowhere but in the White West: we of the West, and we alone, are truth-tenders. When Socrates dedicated his life to disproving what the God had said, that was Western of him. When Pilates, faced with the “truth” of a Jewish firebrand, expressed his immortal skepticism, that was Western. It is characteristic of Whites that they will not defend even their own rights, if they are not furnished arguments and reasons to do so. It is characteristic of Western societies that metapolitical critiques of existing regimes might lead to instability and even revolution in the same. It is characteristic of Western laws to protect, to greater or lesser extent, freedom of speech, precisely because we value truth and the fearless search for the truth. The great men of the West, be they poets or explorers or thinkers, seek audaciously to pierce the most distant horizon to discover what it conceals, despite the dragons that may be lurking there. Even in our science, the single unanalyzed presupposition is the value of knowledge. The idea or the ideal of truth is ubiquitous in our society; nor can our society be explained without reference to it.

We are speaking here of a fundamental root of the Western genius, in the older sense of that word—our guiding spirit, almost a divine impetus and enthusiasm, which has governed the greater movements of our peoples. Philosophy as it was known by the Greeks arose in no other part of the world; it is our tradition, our tradition-defying tradition, whose flame has been carried through different societies and regimes—but almost always by men of White descent. Spengler called this the Faustian element of the modern soul, taking it with something like fatalism and without critique; Nietzsche supplied that critique, and profoundly, in his Genealogy of Morality, calling this quality of ours the will to truth, and tracing it back, with justice, to our very origins in Ancient Greece.

Supposing you possessed an utterly unique tree of unmatched splendor, whose blossoms shed light and whose fruits granted life to the soul—would you not do everything possible to keep it safe, to shield it from all harm and all damage, to nourish it and to see to it that this utterly matchless plant were preserved and made to thrive? And is this Occidental love of truth not precisely such a tree, only infinitely more to be cherished, and is it not precisely now threatened, as never before, with drought, flame, and uprooting?

If the Whites are erased from this world, or have all sense of their higher destiny sponged from their memories and their consciences, no hand will recall how to tend the orchards of our culture and our heritage. They will wither and die; and the will to truth, that enigmatic, dangerous, audacious, irreplaceable, disquieting will to truth, which is our pride and our birthright, our might and our glory, will perish with it.

John Bruce Leonard
John Bruce Leonard, Editor-in-Chief of Arktos, studied philosophy, letters, and languages in a university curriculum based exclusively on the great books of the Western Tradition. After taking his degree in Liberal Arts he moved permanently to Italy, where he nourishes his ever-living preoccupation with the heritage and the future of Europe.


  • There is no debauchery worse than THOUGHT.
    This wantonness is rampart like a wind-blown weed
    on a bed reserved for begonias.

    For those who THINK, nothing is SACRED.
    Brazenly calling everything by NAME,
    perverse analyses, meretricious syntheses,
    wild and dissolute pursuit of naked FACTS,
    lustful petting of SENSITIVE subjects,
    spawning ground of opinions – that’s just what they’re after.

    On a clear day, under cover of darkness,
    they consort in pairs, triangles and rings.
    No constraint on age or sex of partners.
    Friends CORRUPT friends.
    Degenerate daughters deprave their fathers.
    Their eyes gleam, their cheeks glow.
    A brother pimps for his younger sister.

    They prefer the fruit
    of the FORBBIDEN tree of KNOWLEDGE
    to pink boobs in illustrated mags –
    that essentially simple-minded pornography.
    The BOOKS that divert them have no pictures,
    their sole pleasure are SPECIAL SENTENCES
    scored with thumbnail or crayon.

    In what shocking positions
    with what licentious simplicity
    mind can IMPREGNATE mind!
    Positions unknown even to the Kama Sutra.
    During these trysts only tea is steaming.
    People sit on chairs, move their lips.
    Each crosses his own legs.
    So one foot touches the floor,
    the other swings FREE.
    But occasionally someone gets up,
    goes to the window
    and through a chink in the curtains
    watches the street…

    Wislawa Szymborska (trans. A.Czerniawski)

  • I had similar experiences with black friends in college. I feel The Nazis did not follow through by leaving the Semitic Abrahamic book and not totally converting the party to Pagan Roots. I would support the Ethno-State if it was totally Pagan and scrapped the Jew Book

  • It seems to me he problem is the Western tendency to judge statements of value as though they are statements of fact. Factual assertions, for Westerners, must be supported by evidence. Value assertions do not require any justification, rationale, or evidence. As I see it, this is how philosophy is done. Nietzsche critiques Western philosophy done poorly without regard to the fact/value distinction. That is not to say his critique is without merit. It has merit precisely because this is a common pitfall, but that is no reason to discard our characteristic love of truth.

    • Values are facts that are considered in relation to what is necessary for the valuer to persist in his identity. The valuer’s (or valuers’) choice to Be is the root of all his (their) values.

      • OK. I’m just now getting this.

        I agree, except that I still wouldn’t use the term “facts.”

        A factual assertion can be true, partly true, or false. It can’t be good or bad. An assertion of value is the opposite. It can be good or bad, but not true or false.

        As to whether a value assertion is good or bad, I quite agree with your criterion.

        • I wonder about this, Lexi. How would you consider a statement to this effect: “Napoleon Bonaparte was an excellent general”? This is clearly a statement of value, don’t you agree? Is it then neither true nor false?

  • “Supposing you possessed an utterly unique tree of unmatched splendor, whose blossoms shed light and whose fruits granted life to the soul—would you not do everything possible to keep it safe, to shield it from all harm and all damage, to nourish it and to see to it that this utterly matchless plant were preserved and made to thrive? And is this Occidental love of truth not precisely such a tree, only infinitely more to be cherished, and is it not precisely now threatened, as never before, with drought, flame, and uprooting?

    If the Whites are erased from this world, or have all sense of their higher destiny sponged from their memories and their consciences, no hand will recall how to tend the orchards of our culture and our heritage. They will wither and die; and the will to truth, that enigmatic, dangerous, audacious, irreplaceable, disquieting will to truth, which is our pride and our birthright, our might and our glory, will perish with it.”

    Thank you for this…….


    • It’s great writing making a great point, but John, if you’re reading this, please kindly note that you cannot maintain that the will to truth is a “deathless” flame and an all-too-mortal tree. A good editor would strike “deathless.”

  • I’m going to have to disagree.

    Freedom of speech is not a western value. Slander, heresy and political speech have always been policed in the west.

    Metaphysical arguments leading to political unrest are not an example of truth seeking; they are an example of concrete arguments getting you executed so people resort to esoteric arguments.

    Western love of philosophy is not a credit to the west. Philosophy is a status marker; in the east it was more static because it became part of the state and the mandarin elite. In the west it became more complicated because of competition among intellectuals. This has nothing to do with truth seeking as can be seen by the fact many of the issues argued to this day are exceptionally trivial (free will versus determinism). The big questions of philosophy all die to Darwinism.

    • It is inadvisable to speak ill of freedom of speech from a position of weakness, particularly when one is already the object of censorship. Certainly, freedom of speech has certainly always been limited in the West by the factors you mention; but the very idea of freedom of speech, not to speak of its practice, arose in no other part of the world. That makes it de facto Western.

      You say that philosophy is a status marker, and you use the example of the East to support this. But my point in this article is that philosophy as philosophy arose only in the West, for precisely the reason you indicate: Confucius became the basis of entire regimes, and was himself a governmental figure; Socrates meanwhile was sentenced to death, and those who have followed him have always risked, and in some cases met, a similar end. The love of status is not the love of truth; the first exists everywhere in the world; the second is unique to the West.

      • Gay marriage arose in no other part of the world either; that doesn’t make it distinctly western. The fact degeneracy and leftism can take unique forms does not make them unique traits for our civilization.

        Socrates choose death; he could have defended himself better and not asked the jury for a pension for his contribution to Athens or fled the city or not have trained the people who became tyrants.

        It is the same with Galileo who sent his book to the censor to be reviewed before publishing it.

        As for the unique nature of western philosophy, Indian philosophy is also in depth and varied; it just happens to be tied up with religion.

        I think the unique trait of the west is cooperation due to monogamy and low clannishness; true seeking is the idealized form just like self sacrifice, but it isn’t unique.

        • “Gay marriage arose in no other part of the world either; that doesn’t make it distinctly western.” I’m afraid that /does/ make it distinctly Western—by definition. Simply because something arises from our decadence does not mean it cannot stem directly from our character. The contrary: the forms and elements of any people’s decadence are generally decided by the nature of the people in question, being, as they are, the corruption of the same.

          Now, we all will have criticisms to make of the emergence of gay marriage, or of any of the other signs of our present degeneracy. Many of those elements which I have identified in this article as characteristic of the West can surely be taken to task, analyzed, argued, debated, censured, etc. But here again we return to my premise: when we engage in this kind of activity—an activity, that is to say, which is not merely a moral cry of outrage, but a reasoned scrutiny of the right or wrong of the issue—such is distinct to our people and our people alone.

          What is unique about Western philosophy is not its being “in depth and varied”; it is this peculiar relation to society, politics, and social matters. I do not deny that something parallel to Western philosophy arose in the East in one or the other (manifold) schools of Hinduism or Buddhism. What is decisive, however, is that these schools remained isolated and insulated phenomena, disconnected from the remainder of society. In the West—for good and ill—philosophy became a legislating force in the social order, rather than its mere expression.

  • You really have something here. To a normie your proposition would be derided as preposterous. But there is something to it.

    It really is touching on something deeply rooted here which could be precisely why Europeans are slowly becoming occupied, in the name of a supposed truth, told to us by liars.

    The truth seekers will eventually find the truth.

  • Wonderful, just wonderful.
    “First & last, what is demanded of genius, is love of truth.” -Goethe

  • “Nietzsche supplied that critique, and profoundly, in his Genealogy of Morality, calling this quality of ours the will to truth, and tracing it back, with justice, to our very origins in Ancient Greece.”

    Actually he placed it at the feet of Socrates, and identified it precisely as a symptom of decadence, quite far from a good in itself. I don’t know how it’s even possible to read Nietzsche and not understand that after ‘The Gay Science’, any occurrence of the phrase “will to truth” is generally in that context, i.e. mostly negative. And it’s no stretch to imagine Nietzsche himself finding this kind of moralization of his words – your last two paragraphs, for example – rather repugnant. You’re a talented writer, but it’s too late for this sanctimonious noise about the preciousness of muh Faustian spirit — which has gone a long way in bringing us to this impasse, in fact.

    • Regarding Nietzsche’s “placing the will to truth at the feet of Socrates,” and his awareness that it might be deeply questionable and even negative, I never said anything to the contrary—which you must of course realize, Passerby, given your ability to read a text closely. However, despite the fact that it is evidently /impossible/ to read Nietzsche and conclude that he thought the will to truth ambiguous, rather than simply negative, permit me to indicate a few passages, “after The Gay Science,” which suggest that Nietzsche’s view was not quite so cut and dry as you present it:

      BG&E, Book I, §1—The will to truth is a /problem/, meaning it has not been resolved one way or another. It is the problem of the entire book. The book closes with Nietzsche discussing, of all things, his thoughts. We are thrown back on the question of the value of thoughts, of philosophy—of truth.

      GM, Part III, §24. Critique of the will to truth announced; the value of the truth to be /tentatively/ called into question. The /unconditional/ will to truth is identified with the ascetic ideal, which is later identified with nihilism. Very well; but then—what is a conditional will to truth? Conditional upon what?

      BG&E, Book 1, §23—The same book of BG&E which opens with a statement of the problem of the will to truth, closes with a statement that psychology is the “road to the fundamental problems.” But Nietzsche’s solution to psychology is the will to power. And indeed—

      BG&E, Book VI, §211—The will to truth identified as a form of will to power. Then that truth which leads, not to nothingness, but to greater power would evidently be good. The will to truth, then, is not unambiguously negative. The question is always—to ask with Pilate—“What is truth?” And that means for Nietzsche—what is the value of the /thinker/ of a given truth?

      As for “sanctimonious noise about the preciousness of muh Faustian spirit”—wherever did I make any noise at all regarding the “Faustian spirit,” or state anything contrary to what you yourself have stated? You will perhaps note that I accuse Spengler, if subtly, of fatalism and a lack of critical perspective. You would perhaps prefer me to come out and say it openly, blatantly, leaving nothing to guess at. Why, I wonder? Should we really be so concerned—with the truth?

      If I spoke anywhere with “sanctimonious noise,” it is in those last two paragraphs which evidently so offended your sensibilities. And well enough; you are surely right that Nietzsche would find it saccharine and inopportune. But do you honestly not think that Nietzsche’s particularly flagrant and cynical style has nothing whatsoever to do do with the impasse we are in? Or, for that matter, his unconcealed critique of the ideas of honesty, of morality, of the truth itself?

      Given your words, I must suppose that you recognize, with Nietzsche, that there is something troubling about the will to truth. (Evidently when I call it “ambiguous, dangerous…disquieting,” that cannot not be taken as reflecting a similar awareness on my part.) If that is so, then praytell, what is your proposal, then, Passerby? Shall we eliminate our love of the truth—our /philosophy/—altogether? If so, with what shall we replace it, and according to what standards, precisely? Are such standards, such /values/, not eternally questionable—should we not question them—and would that not be the will to truth once again?

      • Nietzsche was himself obviously obsessed with Truth.
        He spent his entire life trying to flesh out the underlying Truth of Western morality, the Truth that our epistemological methods are imperfect, the metaphysical Truth of the Will to Power, the true diagnosis of Western man’s spiritual illness. To say that Nietzsche saw no value in the search for the Truth simplifies his thinking too much.

        As I understand it he thought Socrates was decadent because Socrates’ insistence on truth and rationality was essentially a cover-up for his true ugliness of character, both physically and in personality. He thought Socrates had an inferior constitution to his comrades and thus created a decadent show of his will to truth when there were more important matters for a strong and stoic people to attend to. It’s unclear to me whether Nietzsche was absolutely certain in this criticism, or whether his questioning of Socrates was meant to be radical for the broader purpose of questioning Western ethics to its core.

        • I think you provide a very good analysis here, Clark Kent. I agree entirely: Nietzsche’s pursuit of philosophy itself, and his unceasing desire to openly publish the results of his contemplations, is evidently connected in some way or other with the will to truth. His recognition that the will to truth can be a vehicle for decadence changes nothing in that fact; it simply means, as you have indicated, that the value of the truth is connected in some way to the value of the particular human being who produces that truth.

          As for whether he was absolutely certain in his criticism of Socrates—as he himself says, he always liked to “put a question mark after his favorite theories.”

  • Yet, one may argue that irreverent truth-seeking in matters of spirituality and social organization eventually leads to cynicism and subversive behavior. Why adhere to anything subjective if there’s no ultimate validation? Why build and maintain a structure constantly subject to revision? While it’s certainly part of our genius, I would say that this will to truth is also the instrument of our destruction.

    • Your point is very well taken indeed, RestoreSanity; it is akin to the critique that Nietzsche—and Plato, for that matter—makes of the will to truth. This longing for the truth has always been an ambiguous quality of the West, and has led to instability in the West as compared in particular to the East. It has brought us both greatness, but also many a dead-end and disaster. The Enlightenment itself, for instance, comes readily to mind. Or, to take a related example, I believe that science, unregulated by moral or political control, will lead us almost necessarily to the ruin of what is most excellent in man.

      It was a presupposition of healthier times that truth was the preserve of the few; the sage, the priest, or at most the very oldest and the most experienced men of the noble classes were the repositories of knowledge. The wisest of these men in turn knew how to hold their tongues and keep certain ideas and certain arguments out of the heads of the masses, where they would become corrosive and dissintegrating of the social structure. We must attempt to reinstate that kind of social order.

      The problem confronting us is this: the democratic mores of modernity assume, first of all, that every man can arrive at the truth by his own lights alone, and second, that every truth of every purport should be shouted at once from the rooftops so soon as it is stumbled upon. We shall not arrive at a healthier notion by censuring the will to truth. Not to speak of the subtler reasons we should avoid this, all censure of the will to truth appears to act through the very will it would critique, and thus to contradict itself. I believe that we must press through, relying on an ambiguity inherent in the idea of truth itself: most men understand, and will always understand, the truth, not as that which must be sought, but as that which they have already attained. It is the difference between a dogmatic and a philosophical perspective, which have in our best societies always been as two sides of a single coin, one minted on both faces with the same word: TRUTH. We in our urgent moment must play to both sides at once. Or put in another metaphor: we are walking a line which stands taut between reckless and eternal revolution on the one hand, and ossified tradition and doctrinaire, lifeless absolutism on the other.

      Yet despite certain very troubling peculiarities of our situation, let us recall that the West has always tread that line, now dancing upon it and now falling from it. To reject this tension, and the hazard and the glory it presupposes, is in a way to reject the life of the West itself. And for that reason, I say—long may the men of the West adore the truth!

    • This is a practical problem mainly when a significant contingent are acting in bad faith, against Western Civilization, trying to justify the rot they represent.

    • Some people have a Deep Desire to want to Understand what is Truly Real……..

      That Ultimate Deconstruction many times does Destroy…….

      But, sometimes it locates something Fundamentally Powerful………

      Which brings a Reconstruction to Higher Heights……….

    • Surely we all know by now that anyone who sees differences between the races is but a bundle of hallucinatory neuroses, blind hatred, and irrational urges, which Freud of course could explain to a one with reference to various aspects of infant sexuality.

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