Author: Samuel Francis (Samuel Francis)

Home Samuel Francis
Post

The Empire’s New Clothes

Not the least of the several noticeable ironies that attend the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st is that, when the logically appropriate moment for the declaration of a formal American Empire arrived during the half-century of conflict with the Soviet Union, the empire failed to emerge.  Today, well after...

Post

The Strange Death of the Yellow Dog

Perusing the conservative press in the days after the Republican victories in the November 2002 elections was like watching the triumph scenes in various sword-and-sandal movies of the 1950’s and 60’s, with the reader almost expecting to see outgoing Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle dragged in chains through the streets of Washington.  The Stupid Party...

Post

Comrade King?

Twenty years have come and gone since Congress passed, and President Reagan signed into law, a bill creating a federal holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr., and, in those years, the holiday has become little more than yet another session in the perennial ritual of mass production and consumption that American public festivals generally celebrate. ...

Post

World War IV

Be not deluded, just because the United States goes to war with Iraq, that our leaders will not also extend to the entire Middle East the jihad on which President Bush and his court of neoconservative gurus and Zionist Weltpolitikers have embarked us.  Well before any public announcement of whether we would actually make war...

Post

Prophesying War

As the summer before the first anniversary of the September 11 attack drew to a sweltering end, the Bush administration desperately sought some plausible reason for the war against Iraq that its chieftains so desperately wanted to wage.  The appeal to the “weapons of mass destruction” that Saddam Hussein supposedly harbors and which he was...

Post

Hate, Inc.

No sooner had victory in Afghanistan by the forces of Truth, Beauty, and Global Democracy been announced and the still uncaptured and undeceased Osama bin Laden declared by President Bush to be “unimportant” (no doubt the reason the administration put a $25-million reward on his head last fall) than the top-ranking officials of the U.S....

Plutomania
Post

Plutomania

“In these days a great capitalist has deeper roots than a sovereign prince, unless he is very legitimate.” —Benjamin Disraeli Appearing just in time for the Enron and WorldCom scandals and the ensuing stock-market plunge, Kevin Phillips’ harsh new scrutiny of the trends toward the concentration of wealth and power in the emerging American social...

Post

Will Europe Survive?

The recent emergence in Western Europe of increasingly successful political parties based on opposition to Third World immigration and the utter failure of such parties to appear in the United States raise the question posed in the headline of this column.  Most Americans of sensible political views have assumed for the last century that Europe...

Burnham Agonistes
Post

Burnham Agonistes

“Who says A must say B.” —James Burnham Most adult conservatives as well as many educated people know that James Burnham was an anticommunist author and columnist for William F. Buckley’s National Review; a number of others will be aware that Burnham’s name seems to flap through the corridors of early 20th-century American intellectual history,...

Post

Immigration Reform’s New “Palatable Face”

Almost immediately after the attacks of September 11, the open-borders lobby knew it was in trouble.  The immediate, obvious, and logical implication of 19 aliens legally entering the country and proceeding to carry out the biggest single act of mass murder in human history is that the United States needs to close its borders, at...

Post

Who Rules America?

Is there a ruling class in the United States, or are we, as David Brooks suggests in his December 2001 Atlantic Monthly article (discussed in my column las month), more like a high-school cafeteria in which separate-but-equal cliques of “jocks,” “nerds,” and others munch meatloaf together amicably, with no one clique telling the others what...

Post

What Neocons Do on Their Summer Vacations

It is not today exactly a secret of state that neoconservatism has become the dominant expression of what passes for the American “right”—and that its victory is also the reason why it is necessary for more serious conservatives to use the qualifying phrase “what passes for” when referring to the American right and to place...

Tribunals for Terror
Post

Tribunals for Terror

When President Bush signed an executive order on November 13 that authorized the trial of non-U.S. citizens on charges of terrorism before special military tribunals, the response from the political right was almost—though not quite—unanimously supportive.  Not only did the attorney general himself enthusiastically defend the tribunals, so did such luminaries as the conservative movement’s...

Post

The Tyrant’s Lobby

As American wars go, President Bush’s crusade—excuse me, campaign—against terrorism doesn’t really make the big leagues.  So far, American military action in Afghanistan is not even comparable to the Gulf War of 1990-91, and put next to the Civil War, World War I, or World War II, the current adventure barely registers.  That doesn’t mean,...

Post

How Do I Hate Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

The cinders of the World Trade Center had barely fallen to the earth before George W. Bush had it all figured out.  “America was targeted for attack,” the President explained to the nation barely 12 hours after the first plane hit the Manhattan skyscrapers, “because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the...

Post

Enemies Within and Above

Within a few hours of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon last September, it had become commonplace for even high-ranking government officials and elected leaders to say publicly that Americans would just have to get used to fewer constitutional liberties and personal freedoms than they have traditionally enjoyed. Of course,...

Post

Bucking the Tide of Progress

Sen. Jesse Helms’ announcement in August of his retirement at the end of his current term was an opportunity for vituperation on the part of the left-wing media that has so detested the North Carolina conservative throughout his entire 30-year political career. “It is alway’s tempting,” moaned the New York Times lead editorial the day...

Shoot the Losers
Post

Shoot the Losers

The novelist F. Reid Buckley once told a story about a Mexican woman who worked for his family as a maid or nanny during the 1930’s. The woman knew that Buckley’s father, William F. Buckley, Sr., was a strong opponent of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1932 presidential campaign. When she learned that Roosevelt had...

Nobody but the People
Post

Nobody but the People

In the “Prologue” to his massive biography of Sen. Joe McCarthy, historian Thomas Reeves describes a scene that took place in Milwaukee, in the senator’s home state, in November, 1954, only a month before his colleagues voted to condemn him and thereby effectively to terminate his career. The scene was a mass celebration of McCarthy’s...

Middle American Mellow?
Post

Middle American Mellow?

Since the 1960’s, American politics at the national level has primarily consisted of an endless search for a new majority. The Democratic Party’s embrace of the civil-rights movement kicked off the quest by undermining the New Deal coalition that combined white Southerners with white, ethnic, Northern union members, allowing the Republican Party to invade the...

Dirty for Dirty
Post

Dirty for Dirty

“Nothing is easier than to blame the dead.” -Julius Caesar American In the 1944 movie Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, Spencer Tracy, playing Col. Jimmy Doolittle, briefs his flyers before they take off to bomb their Japanese targets by telling them that they are almost certain to be killing civilians and that, if any of them...

Post

Crime Story

“Behind every great fortune there is a crime,” wrote Honoré de Balzac in a cynical sentiment that Mario Puzo chose as the epigraph of The Godfather. The line at once establishes the metaphor that dominates the book as well as the films and carries us into the essentially Machiavellian worldview that pervades them and to...

Post

The New Meaning of “Racism”

The tedium that descended upon the nation’s politics last winter when Bush II ascended the presidential throne was relieved briefly in the waning days of the Clinton era by the bitter breezes that wafted around some of the new President’s Cabinet appointments. After repeatedly muttering his meaningless campaign slogan, “I’m a uniter, not a divider,”...

Post

The Proletarian Weapon

No sooner had George W. Bush entered the White House and its previous occupants padded off to Harlem—with as much public swag as they could pack into the helicopters—than the news media suddenly began to discover “layoffs,” “downturns,” and a looming economic crisis that threatened to strip the flesh from the eight fat years that...

Antiquities of the Republic
Post

Antiquities of the Republic

        “The United States shall guarantee to every state in this Union a republican form of government.” —Constitution of the United States, Article IV Until the triumph of the civil-rights movement at the end of the 1960’s, probably the most disruptive and recurrent conflict in American politics came from the struggle between...

The Boringest Man in the World
Post

The Boringest Man in the World

        “Everything is good when it comes from the hands of the Almighty; everything degenerates in the hands of man.” —Jean Jacques Rousseau, Emile Not the least of the ironies of the modern age is that the more it pretends to rationality, the more it wallows in the irrational. In the last...

Post

Rout of the Republicans

The first thing to be said about the presidential election of 2000 is that George W. Bush and the Stupid Party lost miserably. This is true despite their actual victory in the great post-election Florida chicken-scratch because, without Ralph Nader on the ballot, Al Gore would have won the election easily. Nader’s votes in Florida...

Post

Paleoconservatism and Race

Several years ago, while still at the Washington Times, I published a column on the occasion of the appearance of The Bell Curve in which I wrote, What you think the state ought to do about race has little to do with what you think about race. It has everything to do with what you...

Post

The Constitution, R.I.P.

On July 22 of this year, the Washington Times published, as the weekly installment of its “Civil War” section, a long article by a gentleman named Mackubin Thomas Owens, described as “professor of strategy and force planning” at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, under the headline, “Secession’s apologists gut Constitution, history.” The...

Post

Are We Decadent?

If there is one premise that serves to unite the Old Right, it is that the West—or America, or Christendom, or whatever label and identity they want to specify—is in trouble, has been in trouble for a long time, and is probably not going to get out of trouble for quite a while, if ever....

Post

Processions of the Damned

“Well, fellow, who are you?” demands the Earl of Warwick of a character who appears on stage for the first time at the end of George Bernard Shaw’s play Saint Joan. “I,” huffs the man who has just burned Joan of Arc at the stake, “am not addressed as fellow, my lord. I am the...

Post

One More Wallow In Fantasy?

The Patriot, Mel Gibson’s epic about the American Revolution, opened (by an amazing coincidence) in theaters on Independence Day weekend. And cynics complain that Americans don’t take national holidays seriously anymore! Many viewers may regard the film as one more wallow in fantasy and stale popcorn, but among the nation’s literati, it has actually incited...

Post

Capitalism the Enemy

By a margin of 63-56, the South Carolina House of Representatives voted on May 10 to pull down the Confederate battle flag that has fluttered above the state’s capitol dome since 1962 and to remove it to “a place of honor” on the capitol grounds. The vote was the grand (or perhaps the petty) finale...

Post

The Revolution Two-Step

The new century, not to speak of the new pseudo-millennium, had not even begun last December when one of the scintillating debates typical of the intellectual life of our epoch suddenly erupted over the issue of who was the most important person of the old century. Time decided that it was undoubtedly Albert Einstein, neoconservative...

Post

A New Majority?

“This way to the egress,” P.T. Barnum used to direct the stooges stupid enough to buy tickets to his traveling shows of bunco and blather. The “egress,” of course, was the exit to the street, where the stooges should have stayed. Would that we had a P.T. Barnum today who could direct us to an...

Every Secret Thing
Post

Every Secret Thing

        “The tone and tendency of liberalism . . . is to attack the institutions of the country under the name of reform and to make war on the manners and customs of the people under the pretext of progress.”—Benjamin Disraeli, “Speech in London” The collapse of the Soviet Union not only...

Post

The Hispanic Strategy

The question that has smoldered in the Republican mind for the last couple of years is not who will be the presidential nominee of the party in 2000, but rather, will George W. Bush win the Hispanic vote? Since some time in 1998, it has been an unquestioned assumption of many, if not most. Republicans—at...

Post

Revolt of the 300-Pound Beefy Guys

Discontent is the parent of all radicalism, and in these happy days, Pat Buchanan’s third and ever more radical challenge to the globalist ruling class may not attract the political following it deserves. The national happiness that smothers healthy political disgruntlement is due to the success, by conventional standards, of the Clinton presidency. There is...

Beyond Conservatism
Post

Beyond Conservatism

“Paleoconservatism” is an awkward word, but then what it purports to describe is an awkward thing. The word in the English language that it most resembles is “paleontology”—the scientific study of fossils—and a fossil is precisely what most of the enemies of paleoconservatism accuse it of being. Coined in 1986 or ’87, the word was...

Corruption and Contempt
Post

Corruption and Contempt

        “Out of his surname they have coined an epithet for a knave, and out of his Christian name a synonym for the Devil.” —Thomas Babington For those readers who know very much about Niccolo Machiavelli, the most striking feature of Michael Ledeen’s new book, which tries to explicate a number of...

Post

John-John Is My Co-Pilot

Aside from the non-resignation and non-ruin of President Clinton and the non-campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, the biggest non-event of 1999 was undoubtedly the non-survival last summer of John F. Kennedy, Jr., who, true to the traditions of his family, managed to seize international headlines when his own recklessness and incompetence led to disaster—this...

Post

What a Swell Party This Is

The final presidential election of the millennium is still more than a year away, but by last summer rumblings of discontent with the plastic dashboard figurines who are the leading candidates of the two major plastic dashboard political parties were already audible. The rumblings first attracted national notice when Pat Buchanan, in the course of...

Post

Appealing to Prurient Interests

In 1857, the House of Lords engaged in a heated debate over a bill sponsored by an organization calling itself by the frank, but nonetheless quaint, name of the “Society for the Suppression of Vice.” The intent of the bill was to control, through legal penalties, the production and sale of “obscene publications,” and despite...

Post

I Was a Teenage Werewolf

“When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school . . . ,” Paul Simon mused in a popular song some years ago. Simon, of course, was in high school long before multiculturalism, Afrocentrism, Outcome-Based Education, bilingual education. Heather Has 17 Mommies, Holocaust Studies, and assorted therapeutic group gropes and mass...

The Vanishing Anglo-Saxon Minority
Post

The Vanishing Anglo-Saxon Minority

“The Anglo-Saxon carries self-government and self-development with him wherever he goes.” —Henry Ward Beecher For almost exactly 30 years, Kevin P. Phillips has been cranking out some of the most interesting and provocative works of political analysis written since World War II. In 1969, The Emerging Republican Majority argued that American politics runs through periodic...

Post

Politics Without a Right

It took only a few days after the rout of the Republicans in their battle to drive Bill Clinton from office for the leaders of the Beltway Right to decide that the war was over and the only thing left to do was announce surrender. Four days after the Senate “acquitted” the President of the...

Post

The Un-Magnificent Obsession

Almost precisely a year after the name of Monica Lewinsky began to displace those of Princess Diana and Jackie Onassis from the headlines of supermarket tabloids, the one-time object of Miss Lewinsky’s more tender affections emerged triumphant over his foes in what are still laughingly called the “conservative movement” and the “Republican Party.” The conservative...

Post

Gleichschaltung

When a new religion displaces an old one, the gods of the old faith become the demons of the new. So it is with the demigods and heroes as well, and as new cultures, races, and nations begin to blossom where once the fruits of European and American civilization flourished, it is not surprising to...

Force and Idea
Post

Force and Idea

        “The tone and tendency of liberalism . . . is to attack the institutions of the country under the name of reform and to make war on the manners and customs of the people under the pretext of progress.” —Benjamin Disraeli Although Paul Gottfried begins his most recent book with what...

Nations Within Nations
Post

Nations Within Nations

By the end of 1998, it was no longer possible for any informed and honest person to claim that the massive immigration experienced by the United States since the 1970’s was not significantly altering the culture, economy, and politics of the nation. Last summer, the Washington Post, long a zealous opponent of immigration restriction, published...