Transcendental Titans

Revolt Against Modernity

Category: History

The Enduring Appeal of Jonathan Bowden

It is fair to say that Jonathan Bowden lived an unconventional life: bohemian intellectual, artist, filmmaker, Cultural Officer for the British National Party, and raconteur par excellence. It is also fair to say that he is now enjoying an unconventional death, with his posthumous presence being preserved in a dedicated archive of his speeches and writings, in disparate dissident group chats, and in the hundreds of creative edits of the recordings he left behind. This staying power is quite a remarkable achievement in the age of the amnesiac internet, where trends blink in and out of existence and figures rise and fall in the space of months, if not weeks. Many of Bowden’s quotes, ranging from the profound to the surreal, have become beloved mantras in the radical Right’s lingua franca. Whether it is the appeal to “Clear them out!” or the prescient observation that the United Kingdom’s gig economy would be staffed by Albanians on small motorbikes, Bowden has pervaded the collective consciousness. This begs the question: How did he manage it?

At first sight to an objective observer, Bowden perhaps seems an unlikely candidate for cult internet celebrity status: a middle-aged man addressing tiny gatherings in grotty British pubs about half-forgotten figures of the Right. It’s hardly something that one would expect to resonate in the Netflix era. This is compounded further by the typically quite amateur production values of most of the recordings, and the thorny issue of Bowden’s own academic credentials to speak on such topics in the first place. Whatever the reasons, it seems that Bowden never obtained any formal academic degree, despite having enrolled at both the University of Birkbeck and Cambridge University. If Bowden’s detractors and even some of his close associates are to be believed, he could charitably be described as having embellished the facts about both his formal academic training and his personal life.

The case could be made that the Right is replete with many speakers, both living and dead, who are both more qualified and more deserving of the attention Bowden has received. Vice President of the Traditional Britain Group (TBG) Gregory Lauder-Frost distills a certain brand of traditional conservative contempt for Bowden when he describes him as a weirdo who lived in a filthy caravan and who had an “astonishing” appearance. Lauder-Frost has further asserted that Bowden was thrown out of the conservative Monday Club for fabricating almost every claim about himself and his involvement in the Conservative Party.

Ben Sixsmith echoes some of these conservative reservations about Bowden in his own essay on his legacy, surmising that in many areas he simply went too far. Yet, these criticisms are in actuality the basis for Bowden’s enduring appeal, not the damning critiques his opponents may think they are. It is true that Bowden was a fantasist and a dreamer, lacking in formal qualifications, but it is exactly this fluidity of thought and absence of rigid academic thinking that has made him fascinating to a wider audience. It is also true that Bowden couldn’t be constrained by the suffocating, deadening influence of the traditional conservative mold. So much the better.

There are many capable intellectuals who can deliver informative and well-researched lectures on thinkers such as Heidegger, Evola, and Nietzsche, and there is certainly no shortage of pop-commentators and would-be analysts who make their living by giving their takes on contemporary events. Yet Bowden managed to bridge the gap between these two disciplines, expounding on lofty intellectual topics while relating them to current affairs and real issues that affect the lives of ordinary people. His mixture of devastating deconstruction of the ruling elite, deep intellectual insights, and dark and earthy English sarcasm and humor allowed him to keep white working-class audiences engaged in a way that a conventional, dry academic simply would not have been able to.

It is not only his breadth of knowledge and trademark oratory style that has granted Bowden his lasting appeal, but his radicalism. It is perhaps surprising that an individual who stated openly that “there’s nothing wrong with fascism” has managed to break out of the cordon sanitaire of the internet’s dark recesses and reach a new generation of younger YouTubers and Twitter users. Yet in another sense, in an epoch where society seems in terminal decline, only the most radical options have the burning fire of appeal to young and old alike. Fascism is not an ideology defined by a verbose theory, but by action. Bowden embodied fascism’s kinetic energy by being not only an intellectual, but by giving himself fully to vanguard party politics. Despite the advice of his friends, he involved himself with the British National Party (BNP), which in the period he was its Cultural Officer represented a vital and unrepentantly radical option for change in British politics. While some have stated that Bowden wasn’t cut out for party politics — and it is undeniable that his stint in the BNP ended in disaster — this doesn’t detract from the fact that he was prepared to knock on doors and ask the public at large to vote for an explicitly ethnonationalist party.

This is emblematic of Bowden’s most appealing quality: his sincerity. In an age awash with post-modernism and post-irony, Bowden preached radical principles and acted on them in the sincere belief that another future was possible. In his way, he perhaps came closer than almost any of us has to achieving this future in an era when the BNP was gathering almost a million votes in the European elections and winning seats in local government across the United Kingdom. The degree to which Bowden was influential in generating this populist momentum is debatable, but it is undeniable that British electoral politics of that period had a febrile, electrified quality in which the establishment were genuinely and hysterically afraid of a political party that had an explicitly all-white and pro-white party constitution. Bowden’s talks, and thus his lasting appeal, are inextricably linked to this moment in history when it seemed change was not only possible, but probable.

At his core, and similar to almost all great individuals, Bowden had a paradoxical character. While he was involved in what was ostensibly a populist party, he was instrumental in intellectualizing the ethnonationalist movement and inculcating elitist values. It is difficult now for those who have joined the movement more recently to grasp how far in the intellectual wasteland nationalist thinking was in the 1980s and ‘90s. Conservatives had intellectuals, while nationalists had skinheads and the salt-of-the-earth working-class voters. By rediscovering and advocating for a pantheon of radical cultural figures from Wyndham Lewis to Thomas Carlyle, Bowden helped lay the foundations for a more serious, more reflective, and ultimately more durable philosophical foundation for our political work. While it could be said that the movement today is in fact too intellectual, and has become too good for the messy world of real political action, that is our own failure in abandoning the Bowdenite principles of intellectually informed action in favor of endless navel-gazing and impotent introspection.

What, then, can we take away from Bowden’s continued relevance in an age where so many others have been forgotten? We must continue to take ideas seriously and commit ourselves to the ongoing process of intellectual archeology, to the great work of reviving the constellation of European thinkers, and to returning to the wellspring of ideas that have always fueled our multiple renaissances. We must resist calls to moderate our views, but instead choose the most radical option. We must understand that is not enough to simply believe in an alternative future, but we must fight for it by taking our ideas to the masses, albeit without compromising on our ideological principles.

Above all, we must remain optimistic. Despite being touched by melancholy and personal disaster, Bowden never lost faith in the ability of Europe and Europeans to achieve metaphysical and demographic revival. While we can only speculate on what insights he would have had into contemporary events from Trump to the Russo-Ukrainian War, we must honor his memory by taking up the mantle and leading our revolutionary vanguard to new heights.

Bowden may be gone, but his spirit and infectious energy lives on. In a world that invites us to be passive, docile, and to be a mere spectator in the political process, we must choose instead to be gladiators, and to live up to his words: England and Britain forever!

From the Mountains of Kandahar

Afghan Withdrawal

Remnants of an Army, Elizabeth Thompson

As the US and their Western allies beat a hasty and shambolic retreat from Afghanistan, it is clear the wheels of history have turned again. The ignominious end to nearly two decades of American occupation has demonstrated that despite trillions in funding and thousands of lives lost on both sides, the promised remaking of Afghanistan as a liberal Western democracy was not even close to being realised. The humiliating scenes of American aircraft scrambling to evacuate stranded citizens was the crescendo in a veritable symphony of foreign policy disasters that have been mounting since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The fall of Afghanistan does not simply represent a withering rebuttal to American interventionism, liberal democracy, and the notion of universal human rights, it also quite possibly heralds the end of American hegemony and by extension, the globalist world project.

This at first sight may perhaps seem a bold claim. Though the US defeat in Afghanistan is a severe blow both to national pride and to US prestige around the world, in isolation it is by no means a fatal wound. Comparisons with the Vietnam War abound – and decades after that failed conflict, the US remains the unipolar anchor of the world. Yet though the US may have lost the battle in Vietnam, the strength of its soft power and cultural appeal allowed it to triumph in the ideological war between communism and liberalism. The Soviet Union collapsed because many of its citizens wanted the freedoms and living standards of Western democracies. And while the unending stream of refugees and migrants to the West indicate that the living standards of the first world are still sought after, the ideological and moral appeal of Western civilisation has become ever more infirm.

More and more nations are simply opting not to follow the Western liberal democratic model. Just as the US failed to topple Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, America has been impotent in its efforts to stop the Russian advance into the Crimea, to enact regime change in Iran, and to browbeat European leaders in Belarus and Hungary to liberalise. Some commentators may chalk this up to a resurgent Russia and a rising China rebalancing the global geopolitical dynamics and limiting the foreign policy options open to the US. But while this does partially explain the changing nature of international relations, the US has deeper and more fundamental flaws both in its ability to project its military might abroad, and in the allure of its soft power.

From a purely military point of view, the war in Afghanistan is a stunning defeat for the world’s premier technological power at the hands of a nation whose entire GDP is several orders of magnitude less than the US military budget. While the Vietcong received arms and training from both the Soviet Union and China, the Taliban has had little in the way of superpower support. Many nations have been implicated in its funding – from Russia, to Pakistan, to Saudi Arabia, to the US itself, yet the Taliban did not possess a single tank or aircraft; it had no hypersonic missiles or drones. The Western view of war has become an extension of its view on everything else; war is a technocratic and technological ‘problem’ to be solved by rationality and cold calculation. While the US drone operators in Nevada sat detached and disinterested as they killed from thousands of miles away, the Afghan warrior fought with ruthless determination for hearth and home. For every US technological innovation, the Taliban found a homespun solution. The armoured vehicle was defeated by the IED. The eyes in the sky were rendered useless by knowledge of the local rugged terrain.

War is not simply a rationalistic calculation of which nation has the most firepower and advanced armaments. In struggles of national life and death, there is a Nietzschean will to power, and an ethnic collective self-preservation instinct. After nearly 20 years of the current war, the population of Afghanistan has exploded, and the total fertility rate in the country is one of the highest in the world. Conversely, white Americans for the first time have declined in absolute numbers in the US. The Taliban were guided by a metaphysical and fanatical world view, in which the prospect of death did not intimidate them. They demonstrated an incredible appetite to throw their lives away for the collective good, secure in the rectitude of their cause and the righteousness of their God. Meanwhile, American public and military morale has atrophied completely. From the heady flag waving patriotism of the post 9/11 Bush years to the statue toppling self-hatred of the George Floyd era.

The US has poured a massive amount of sand in the gears of its own military industrial complex. As General Mark Milley pontificates on critical race theory and ‘white rage’, the US military has been hobbled by a mammoth programme of affirmative action, the lowering of standards, and performative wokeness. It is popular for conservative commentators to highlight this as the downfall of the US’ ability to project its power across the globe and to ultimately to win wars. Yet the issue of military competency sidesteps the void at the heart of those fighting for America, namely, the question of what they are fighting for. The fact that the armed forces of the US are increasingly filled with transexual soldiers, feminists, quasi-cultural Marxists, and disinterested recent arrivals is not accidental but reflective of the global elite’s Weltanschauung and of modern America itself.

As liberalism has radicalised in both the scope and severity of its proposed social engineering, it has alienated much of the population in its heartlands. The more radically the envelope is pushed in favour of LGBTQ+ rights, diversity, and atheistic hedonism the less the prospect of adopting liberal ideology appeals to nations around the world. As Western countries fragment and collapse under their own contradictions, those nations of the world who haven’t trodden the progressive path have been granted a unique insight into their potential future and have found the results rather unedifying. Just as the loss of the martial spirit and moral purpose has undermined the American capacity to wage successful wars, the increasingly extreme impositions of the ideology the US represents have galvanized its traditionally minded opponents.

It is likely that Trump’s circumspect and largely conciliatory foreign policy was an admission that the dreams of the neoconservative and neoliberal war hawks had already reached their zenith. It is not that there was no longer any appetite for the elite to engage in foreign meddling, it has simply become clear that the US has a rapidly diminishing ability to engage in it. In the vast game of global geopolitical chess, Biden’s only move was to concede defeat and leave the match. It is possible he may attempt to use this period to regroup and re-arm for the next ‘forever war’. Yet the collapsing internal coherency of the US and the threadbare and morally bankrupt ideology that dominates it seems to make this an ever more remote prospect.

Hope in the modern age is like the Edelweiss flower, in that it blooms in mysterious and odd places. The shock of the defeat of the US at the hands of the supposed Afghani barbarians is comparable to the Roman horror at the legions lost when Arminius’ German warriors ambushed General Varus in the dense Teutoburg forest. The coming seismic shift in the balance of global power represents a chance for patriots to reshape the current dysfunctional world order into a saner one. Yet liberalism is nothing if not an adaptive, corrosive, and implacable enemy. The fact that the Taliban is holding press conferences in which it cloaks itself in the rhetoric of respecting women’s rights and unbridled restraint and inclusivity speaks to the continued spellbinding hold liberal ideology has on the world Zeitgeist.

Despite the left’s vitriolic insistence, the traditionalists of the West and the Taliban cannot be conflated. While we can respect the Afghanis’ heroic resistance to occupation, their dogged will to survive and to flourish under their own customs, and their metaphysical sense of purpose, we must chart our own path. The repressive, vicious, misguided, and totalitarian agenda of remaking states that have no desire to be remade has collapsed. It is now our turn to show at home that we will not be remade in the elite’s dysgenic and profane image, just as those abroad have resisted it. While our enemies are distracted with the chaotic collapse of their over-ambitious campaigns abroad, we must labour to undermine these corrupt regimes at home. The example of a foreign nation wrestling control of its destiny back from those who would seek to dominate it should serve as a beacon of hope to us. Our opponents have never been weaker, and though the apparatus of repression they preside over ratchets up the pressure daily, they are losing control of both world events and their own citizens. The Soviet Union dissolved just two years after its withdrawal from Afghanistan. The process of disintegration which started far away in the mountains of Kandahar has come to the Western heartlands now, and it is up to us to reforge the coming chaos to our advantage.

The European Soul in the Age of Tumult:

European Soul, Europeans

The first manned rocket in over a decade has blasted off from US soil bound for stars aiming to dock with the International Space Station. Yet the country it leaves behind is set aflame, riven by racial strife in some of the most widespread unrest in recent memory. The world emerges from months of stasis and pseudo-imprisonment, facing an uncertain political and economic future in the wake of the Corona virus. In 1992 Francis Fukuyama predicted the end of history as the liberal order triumphed against the Soviet Union in the Cold War. For a time, it may have seemed he was correct, and the fundamental questions of ordering human society were answered. However, contemporary events have proven him ultimately wrong. Globalisation is the compression of time and space, and our world is accelerating. Shocking history is being made almost daily. Unprecedented events are shaking our civilisation to its core.

We are the pivot generation – those born at the confluence of the greatest crises our society and way of life have ever known. More than ever, we need to know who we are and what we believe in. To overcome and to triumph as a group we must be unwavering in our identity and our purpose. It is clear to see from our leaders that we are not. In Minneapolis at the height of the nascent race riots in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the Democratic Mayor Jacob Frey ordered that police were to abandon their posts and allow looters to destroy their precinct. Buildings were merely symbolic, he opined. That is exactly correct; this act is exemplary of a ruling elite that has lost its nerve in the face of great events.

Canute-like, the global order tried to turn the tide of the Corona virus. They placed the entire globe under a state of house arrest, attempting to minimise the number of deaths. Strategies such as ‘herd immunity’ where some would die for the overall well being of the group were roundly rejected, by both the citizens and leaders. This is not surprising in an age where self-sacrifice is almost completely absent, where a secular neurosis has come to form the basis of decision making. We have suffered a catastrophic loss of confidence; the centre of our vapid world could not hold. In an irreligious, post-ideological era, only consumption and survival are valued. It seems almost inconceivable that these are the same societies who twice in the last century sacrificed millions of their own in World Wars for power and grand beliefs. Atomisation, self-doubt, and fear have corroded the very fabric of our souls.

Like the late Romans, we live in a state of resigned anxiety. We understand that the world that preceded us is collapsing, and we enjoy no comforting consolations either from belief in a divine presence or from the knowledge we will pass the world on to our descendants. There have been plagues before, but the unprecedented response to the present pandemic could only have happened at this juncture. Illegitimate rulers are managing the decline of decaying systems, overreaching their powers to maintain the illusion of stability and immortality. They live in a state of almost unmanageable terror, hoping they will never be called to account for their crimes – either by their constituents or by the Gods. Contemporary man, following his leaders suffers the same anxiety. He is haunted by the total environmental death of the planet, the demographic replacement of his own people, and ultimately by his own mortality in a Godless world. Modernity offers no answers to these questions, but simply shouts from the battlements to retreat, to hide, to abandon your post and capitulate.

The struggle we now face is not that of a singular country or community. The European, wherever he dwells is engaged in a cataclysmic battle for his own soul. Whether in squatter camps of the dispossessed Boers of South Africa, or in the rubble of his family store in Minneapolis, we are the embattled few – the thin white line. At the middle of last century, Europeans constituted 25% of the global population, they are now fewer than 11.5% globally and the figure is falling rapidly.  We, we unhappy few now face a stark choice about who we are, about the content of our soul. In human life, the Grim Reaper is ever present and the prospects of loss and failure are something we must overcome within our own psyche. The Reaper has mouthed boo to our elite, and faced with this they have abandoned us, content to fill the void at their spiritual centre with profit, falsehoods, and flattery to those who would destroy us. Many have joined them. They live life as a purely singular atom, consuming in their darkened rooms – denouncing their race and nation, negating their gender, denying who they are and what they could become. The unending stream of history and world events has tested their mettle, and they have been found wanting.

This is the biggest problem facing us. It is not a question of material conditions or demographics, but of answering the living and constantly renewed question, what is the European soul? While our leaders and their acolytes recoil in the face of this existential riddle, there are those who have taken up the broken shards of the mirror that once reflected who we are back at us, and seek to repair it. As our craven comrades flee the field, there are still some willing to fight for our future. This fight begins by re-rooting ourselves in world history. It begins by accepting that we are outnumbered and beleaguered, that everything is against us, except for the fact that we are the inheritors of the greatest treasure that one can possess. We are the custodians of thousands of years the European spirit, passed from generation to generation and bequeathed to us at this inauspicious hour. The question of the European soul can only be answered with the simple assertion that its purpose is to be continued, that we cannot let that great flame be extinguished.

While others dim their fires, hoping for their light not to be noticed by those who would extinguish it, the differentiated man, the true European, burns like the Black Sun. We dedicate ourselves to living in the style of our forebears – we turn our lives into a heroic epic, we live in tune with the land and commune with our Gods. Once we understand that physical death is a mere trifle compared to the death of the soul, we will once again take up our destiny as the engine of world history. We cannot shrink from what is demanded of us in this crucial hour, we cannot be cowed by the shadow of our own mortality.

We must accept privations with glee. We must look upon the challenges of the world and acknowledge that the greater the depth of crisis, the greater the share of glory for overcoming it. We must learn to revile those who plead for us to retreat, and instead soar upwards like that star bound rocket. This is the European soul, the world defining essence that has reappeared again and again in our darkest hours. Our primary struggle now is not external, but internal. Only by transcending our lesser selves and by becoming stronger, wiser, more spiritually attuned and more versed in those who came before us can we develop the mental fortitude required to win the struggle.

We are the pivot generation. We are Europeans. Stoke the internal fire of your own Black Sun, shine out as an example that will rally others to your cause. Lock gaze with the Reaper and dispel his power, embrace Dasein and accept your mortality willingly. Transcend by seeking a place in eternity by transforming yourself into a hero in the unending saga of European history; a history fused into our very soul. To those who waver in this age of tumult, only oblivion and ignominy await. To those who embrace the European soul as their shield in the coming battles, whether in this life or the next we will have our victory.


Crusaders, Colonists & Confederates: Trifecta of the European Soul

Rhodesia, Templar, Confederate


Since Dylann Roof’s 2015 deadly attack on a black church congregation in South Carolina, the largest wholesale rewriting of collective memory in American history has taken place. Despite the tumultuous and violent clashes at Charlottesville in protest of this state enforced amnesia, the disappearance of Confederate history has continued at feverish pace – with some now calling for the ‘Confederate Rushmore’ in Stone Mountain Park Georgia to be dynamited and sent into oblivion and thereby join the hundreds of statues and memorials that have already vanished. It is less well known that Dylann Roof was also sporting the flag of the former rebel British colony of Rhodesia on the day of his attack. No dismantling of collective memory was necessary here, as the story of Rhodesia’s ignominious transition into Zimbabwe had already been thoroughly selectively forgotten. Nevertheless, both the Confederate battle standard and the flag of Rhodesia have now been labelled symbols of hate and white supremacy, earmarked for deletion from history.

This process is not exclusive to the United States – in the wake of Andres Breivik’s 2011 attack in Norway, his use of the cross of the Knights Templar and the heraldry of the Crusading Orders was widely reported. It is a much harder task for Europeans to expunge the crusades from collective memory, but a significant amount of state mandated disfavour and public self-flagellation has been duly applied. Now the Templar Cross, the Confederate battle standard and iconography of the Rhodesian state all stand in an eternal limbo – at the very fringes of legal acceptability, associated in the public imagination (if they are remembered at all) only with terroristic mayhem and some vague notion of white supremacy. Yet if they are symbols of white supremacy, they are an odd choice. There are no Confederate States of America. The Crusader Kingdoms of the Outremer have vanished from the Middle East; and Rhodesia and those who settled it have become a mere footnote in history. In short, one could argue in each case they represent white failure, not white supremacy.

Yet the eagerness with which governments around the world have attempted to consign these epics of Western history to the dustbin belies a goal beyond simply outlawing hate. They want these stories to go away, because each one represents a counter narrative to the global elites’ carefully crafted world view. One only has to look upon President Emmerson ‘The Crocodile’ Mnangagwa’s rioting and destitute Zimbabwe and compare it to the clean and orderly streets of Ian Smith’s Rhodesia to begin to question the party line that decolonisation was an unequivocal good. One only has to view the eye watering demographic and cultural change that has swept away the ‘Old South’ to gain an inkling into why the Confederacy’s instinctual defence of their way of life may have had some justification. And with every truck and bomb attack an Islamist perpetrates in Europe, the unavoidable conclusion that the Templar Orders were combating an ideology that fundamentally threatens the West seems inescapable.

Upon closer inspection, each strand of these complex and heroic struggles reveals something about the nature of Western civilization. They are struggles born from the primordial characteristics of the European spirit: our unbreakable desire to fight for metaphysical ideals, to dream an impossible dream, to defend what is ours at all costs, to rebel against perceived tyranny and injustice; or to sometimes simply revolt against the very material realities of life itself. The Templar did not venture forth simply for plunder and gain but sought to create the Kingdom of Heaven on earth and didn’t fear to die in the process. The Rhodesian wanted to see the desolate wastes of Africa bloom into life and civilization. The Confederate, roused by the inarticulate but gut-felt notion that economic progress and expansive government were about to extinguish a way of life, took up arms to defend his liberty. All made mistakes and perpetrated evils. All were guided by an unachievable ideal and a blind stubbornness in the face of reality. And they were all, ultimately defeated.

Some may say these episodes represent a dark cloud in the European psyche – they are tales from the outer rim of Western history, perhaps best forgotten. Yet in forgetting these tales we have also forgotten a crucial emotion necessary for survival: the will to resist. The Templar, the Confederate, the Rhodesian were all prepared to die far from Europe for an ideal, a defence of what they had nurtured and fostered, a divine belief. Now we have no far-flung corners to die in, no colonies or fantastical dreams to defend. Europe itself is under attack by authoritarian rule, demographic replacement, Islamist aggression and spiritual decay. Governments want these chronicles of Western history to conveniently vanish, not because they fear a rise of hate, but because they don’t want Europeans to rediscover their will to resist.

Smash through the walls of the historical quarantine zone and gaze upon the mirror of history and you will find looking back at you not outlaws and brigands, but a reflection of yourself and your ancestors. Take a ride with General Lee, relive the Templar’s thunderous charge for glory at the Siege of Antioch, fall into the ranks of the 270,000 Rhodesians who defied a whole continent and global order. Raise your Confederate battle flag, don your Templar cross, listen to a Rhodesian folk song – don’t allow the state to try and steal your heritage and your soul. No matter how many history books they rewrite or mountains they dynamite, they cannot extinguish the European story because it lives on in us. Yet if we do not rediscover our will to resist, that story may have reached its final chapter. The Crusader, the Colonist, and the Confederate are all manifestations of our excesses both of valour and stubbornness. They are a trifecta of the European soul. Learn from their successes and discard their failures, because while they didn’t succeed in reaching their dreams – we must march ever onwards towards our own.