“The bloody view is bloody vile,
For bloody miles and bloody miles” — John Cooper Clarke, Evidently Chickentown
In penning this essay, I aim to improve how we, as Irish nationalists, communicate our ideas — not only how we convey our worldview and political perspective to the public, but also how we ideologically instruct novel members of our political sphere.
Through introspection and observation of other nationalists, it has become apparent that we frequently use contextually inappropriate language to convey our point of view. Context is cardinal. Absent a firm comprehension of who you are speaking to, the point that you endeavour to make — irrespective of its veracity — is liable to be inefficacious.
In light of this, it is proposed that a tripartite division be made between rhetorical communication, the elucidation of our conceptual outlook, and genuine scholarship — the latter two variants are incessantly treated as synonymous: a grievous error. This division allows us to tailor our message depending on the recipient or interlocutor in question.
As stated, acceptance of this division impinges on political instruction. There is an important difference — lamentably lost on many — between the cultivation of a conceptual outlook, on the one hand, and scholarship, on the other. This is explored in greater depth in the following sections.
Rhetoric aims to influence the general public — a category inclusive of a wide array of types, ranging from the lowest common denominator to those meriting the ascription ‘genius’. As such, rhetoric is necessarily simplistic. However, its outward simplicity does not properly betray the requisite care and diligence that its formation entails.
Rhetoric should ideally elucidate a populace’s inwardly felt sentiments in a brief and easily imbibed manner. Digestion of the message hinges upon the rhetorician possessing an adept sensitivity to the whims, wishes, and prejudices of the audience. Allowing them, in turn, to tailor their message in accordance with said factors.
This is not to imply that the rhetorician is a slave to the masses. Master-slave dichotomies are for bizzarro fetishists and Hegelians — a tautology, I know. The dynamic between the masses and the rhetorician is akin, rather, to a dialogue between interlocutors. The ablest of rhetoricians will navigate this back-and-forth advantageously, of course — still, this does not negate the fact that the process is dialectical, fundamentally.
Rhetoric is not crafted for internal dissemination. It should be strictly reserved for external usage — sagely swear fealty to the code of the streets: don’t get high off your own supply. Since rhetoric is contrived to convince the general public, it is necessarily bereft of sufficient nuance, and thus its internal-assimilation can only have a retarding effect on the intellectual development of oneself and one’s peers.
Stalwarts of peripheral ideological causes are prone to black and white thinking. The prevalence of simplistic dichotomies is obvious to anyone who has spent a significant portion of their time amid radical circles. This is not, of course, to imply that I consider individuals attuned to mainstream thought (and its biases) to be more nuanced or complex thinkers — to be clear: radicals think in rigid binary terms; normies don’t think.
For any minority political tendency, the trite, but nevertheless cardinal, issue of how we reach the masses inevitably arises as a topic of discussion, and it is the typical answer to this question which evinces the danger of either-or thinking. Usually, the respondent will distinguish between cerebral types — capable of being appealed to via reason — and those whose allegiance hinges upon the formation of catchy and perfectly pithy platitudes — simpletons, in other words.
–To reiterate: a highfalutin lexicon befits if the target demographic is big brained; the inverse applies when preaching to the grugs. Since it divides communication according to the recipient in question, the purveyors of this division fail to cognize the polarity between scholarly communication and a deceptively similar form of communication: the articulation, whether through speech or writing, of one’s conceptual outlook.
For a political partisan, their conceptual outlook encompasses: the foundational principles they adhere to; fleshed out arguments regarding innumerable topics — i.e unorthodox views of Irish history or criticism of Austrian economics — based on said axioms; finally, their vision of how society should be.
The term ‘conceptual outlook’ is marked by two distinguishing aspects. Firstly, that its formation is influenced by political exigencies, unlike scholarship, which ideally is free from such considerations. Contrastingly, there is a polemical quality to a conceptual outlook. Its communication is conveyed in light of an adversarial, competing narrative belonging to an oppositional political tendency; to succeed, it must narrate the solutions to politically salient issues in a more compelling manner.
Given that a conceptual outlook is never fashioned in a vacuum, that its formation occurs inherently in light of a political enemy, it cannot afford to be as nuanced as actual scholarship. Sincere inquiry into a domain of academic pertinence requires that a multiplicity of factors — methodological, comprehension of alternative theories, and so on — be kept in mind.
To do so, and thus to adhere to the prerequisites of serious scholarship, would be to put one’s side at a disadvantage vis-à-vis the enemy. For the sake of political expediency, allowance must be granted for deviation from normal academic standards. As well this, sacrificing complexity allows for easier ideological instruction — Marxists encourage their new recruits to read the Manifesto, not Das Kapital.
Secondly, a conceptual outlook is more fleshed out than mere rhetoric. Hence it is appropriate for internal dissemination. Furthermore, rhetoric is wholly unsuitable in a setting comprised of cerebral types, whether they view your cause acrimoniously or ambivalently.
For those nationalists who abhor the thought of reading, or even of imbibing anything beyond mere rhetorical gestures, you will soon be greeted with the fruits of your laziness; your sloganeering may work in a Telegram chat comprised of 80 IQ middle-aged alt-infotainment addicts, but within a university setting you’ll be verbally cut down speedily if bereft of a conceptual outlook that is capable of providing a serious answer to contestable issues.
As stated and implied, scholarship is the most time-consuming, nuanced, and rigorous form of communication. The preparatory work prior to even putting pen to paper is considerable – longer, and far more tedious, than writing the actual piece, whether it be a book, thesis, or academic essay.
Concept-formation alone entails an understanding of the different academic approaches — Weberian ideal-type, contriving a definition based on the common denominator between phenomena etc. — regarding how we define the terms we use, and an understanding of how academics in a given field have previously used the term in question.
Scholarly work is specialised, unlike more general works of a conceptual nature, and so words frequently have very specific meanings imbued to them in that domain’s tradition. Scholarly material, thus, is not ideal to recommend to new recruits, who are likely ignorant of the specific meaning of the words before them.
Although borderline useless in an adversarial context, — exception: revisionism has a polemical dimension — knowledge of how to engage in scholarly writing and research is useful for certain nationalists. Our struggle is multi-faceted, requiring mastery in each domain of communication, including communication for academic purposes. Our enemies are supplied with endless academic content to buttress the Left’s political position with their scholarly credentials and skills. Consequently, it is imperative that we do not allow them to exercise absolute intellectual hegemony.