“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;

but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

—2 Timothy 1:7

“When neither their property nor honour is touched,” wrote Mach-i-avelli, “the majority of men live content.”  The American people, it is safe to say, do not live content.  Our property is subject to the whim of a thousand clones of Lonesome Rhodes who have telepromptered their way up to Capitol Hill, which magically qualifies them to look deep within themselves and ascertain a pretty fiction they call “public good.”  Like good little boys and girls, we understand that we are just too stupid, too clumsy, too hotheaded to wield our own weapons in defense of our own property.  As for honor—well, isn’t that a quaint little term?  Long ago, during the days of slavery and universal bigotry, when fathers were despots and everyone hated blacks and women, people talked about honor.  But honor means making distinctions, paying deference due a man—which suggests that some are deserving of it, while others are not.  And that implies some sort of standards, derived not from popularity contest or press release, but from tradition—in other words, a civilization.

And civilization suggests a people to whom that civilization belongs, a nation, which then circumscribes that civilization in a particular place, a field of cultivation, a culture.  In a civilization, we speak about us and them, mine and yours—my family, our Faith, those people and their peculiar ways.  Man’s contentedness, apart from questions of sin and grace, comes from flourishing in his native soil, loving his people and his place.  The good prince does not interfere with this, or else, as Machiavelli adds, his people will not rise to defend him when he is attacked.

Samuel Francis saw his people under attack and fought back.  Armed with a deep understanding of political theory, a Machiavellian savvy, a devastating and inimitable prose style, and, above all, a singular sense of devotion to his people, Dr. Francis led the charge against the cultural elite and the “corporate, governmental, and academic bureaucracies that house and support [them].”  While many professional conservatives were content to engage in petty skirmishes with their leftist cousins in the editorial pages of major newspapers and opinion journals, Sam was deep in Mordor, taking on the enemy by unmasking their strategies, their agendas, their lies.  His untimely death nearly two years ago at age 57 deprived true American conservatives of one of their leading voices.  As fellow culture warrior Clyde Wilson wrote in the wake of the news of his passing, “How can we ever fill such a huge gap in our ranks?”

For his labor of love, Dr. Francis was rewarded with the left’s opprobrium and was repeatedly denounced by the professional right as an unpatriotic conservative, a racist, and a hatemonger.  But, as Patrick J. Buchanan points out in his Foreword to Shots Fired, a new collection of some of Sam’s best work—including several installments of his monthly Chronicles column, Principalities & Powers—his enemies did this because they feared him.  “A racist is one who hates others for their race,” writes Buchanan, “and Sam Francis did not hate anyone.”  The Samophobes would have us believe that love for our own means hate for everyone else—and we must mark well this strategy.  For, as Dr. Francis wrote in these pages in 1994, in an article reprinted in Shots Fired,

The function of the cultural elite in the managerial system is to provide legitimation, not only for itself but also for its siblings in government and corporation, and the calculated insults to and debunking of the culture of the American Heartland are an integral part of the revolutionary strategy the elite pursues and practices.

Thanks to the tireless work of Sam’s friends—publisher Fran Griffin and editor Peter Gemma—Shots Fired will provide a new generation of Middle American Radicals with a stockpile of ammunition handloaded by Dr. Francis.  His insights into the headlines of the day are so keen that they read as if they were written only yesterday.  In page after page, he tips the sacred cows of the self-appointed cultural elites, unmasking the ways in which they seek to legitimize and expand their power by attacking our culture and its symbols.  Thus, these articles are not driven by raw ideology, like those that penumbrate from the Fukuyamanic keyboards of the neoconservatives, nor are they turgid Coulteresque mock-pieces spewing venom in all directions: Sam’s Machiavellian genius is tempered in each turn of phrase by patriotism, as he speaks in a language informed by his mentor, James Burnham, but accessible to the Middle American Radicals he wrote to defend.

Thus, he counsels conservatives who might be tempted to join hands with Jesse Jackson and Jonah Goldberg in denouncing the Confederate flag that the attack on that symbol “has nothing to do with ‘slavery’ or ‘racism’ or ‘being offensive.’  It has everything to do with destroying the power of one people and civilization and imposing the power of others.”  As for the Great Hate Crime of using the word Christmas in the days surrounding the winter solstice—we now have “holiday trees” and “winter break” and “Laura and I would like to wish you a happy Ramadan”—Sam observes that the real “controversy is about whether Christians can celebrate or even observe in public their own religious holidays in a country (or even local community) that is overwhelmingly Christian . . . ”  And when it comes to the multiculturalism being jammed down our throats through unlimited immigration and the bilingual education (“linguistic anarchy”) that it demands, Sam agrees that “Everyone should grow up learning the traditions and culture their [sic] parents teach them,” adding that “An even better way to learn it is for the immigrants to go back to their own countries and teach their kids there.”

Dr. Francis described the “incestuous union” of the state and the economy that occurred under FDR as an embodiment of what Burnham called the “Managerial Revolution.”  Sam knew that, the revolution having taken full effect, the modern politician’s first priority is to protect his own assets in a never-ending campaign.  Thus, he was not swayed by the professional conservatives’ demands for loyalty to the GOP.  In the Managerial State, the Stupid Party, as he called it, cannot defy the cultural elite without risking delegitimization.  Practically speaking, that means the cockeyed optimists who go to Washington seeking to end abortion or “gay marriage” will have to get in, get out, or get run over.  The greatest danger is that they will, in fact, get in, imbibing and embracing the very leftism they had planned to resist.  Which is the only way we can explain the Stupid Party’s embrace of those vampires of the cultural elite, the neoconservatives, whose Israel First foreign policy has plunged us deep into the Mess-o-potamia and completed the Shiite Crescent across the Middle East.

When, in the pages of Vanity Fair, the neocons declared that they were taking their ball and going home (to the Evil Party?) on the eve of the GOP’s great electoral disaster, we wished that Sam were here to offer another installment of his column.  Now, we must turn to Shots Fired, to make sense of the Stupid Party’s implosion and the neocons’ retreat.  These “liberals who mouthed a few conservative phrases and enjoyed the ‘credibility’ and ‘respectability’ that liberal elites conferred and movement conservatives craved” deceived the GOP and its Useful Idiot by “linking [patriotic] emotions to Iraq, rather than to the actual perpetrators of 9/11,” which

establish[ed] in the minds of many conservatives and Republicans what they had always heretofore lacked—legitimacy as conservative patriots—as well as a mass following that echoed its patriotic appeals.

That emotion has now been overwhelmed by grief, as the number of body bags returning from Iraq has exceeded the number of kills racked up by the still-at-large Osama bin Laden in 2001.

The aim of the neocons, writes Dr. Francis, has been “to muzzle whatever inclinations to an authentic, popular, grassroots, right-wing radicalism might emerge either within or without the Republican Party.”  As the Decider has said, “Mission accomplished.”  Under their leadership, the Stupid Party got in, embracing the wild leftism of Affirmative Action, unrestricted immigration, and a nation-building enthusiasm that must make Madeleine Albright blush.  Conservatives now seek a federal solution to every problem, from fireproofing the American flag to legislating a definition of marriage.

One large faction of the Republican Party, the Christian Right, has swallowed the Managerial Agenda hook, line, and sinker, even though Big Government and the cultural elite that feeds it are the source of the widespread moral degeneration the Christian Right so passionately resists.  Thus, even if they were to see a federal ban on all abortion,

the Christian Right would have done absolutely nothing to strip the federal government of the power it has seized throughout this century, restore a proper understanding and enforcement of the Constitution and of republican government, prevent the inundation of the country by anti-Western immigrants, stop the cultural and racial dispossession of the historic American people, or resist the absorption of the American nation into a multicultural and multiracialist globalist regime.

For Sam Francis, the battle was not Democrats versus Republicans or neoconservatives versus paleoconservatives: The enemy was the Managerial State, which includes all of the major media and both political parties. As it was the American nation being assaulted by that system, it was up to the people—his Middle American Radicals—to see the Beast for what it is and engage in its own revolution “from the middle.”  That revolution begins not at the polls but in our homes, where the media elite is brainwashing us and our children through its version of “the news” and its nonstop blabbering about equality and diversity—in a word, hatemongering.  For those Americans who wish to see their culture restored, “the most revolutionary act they could perpetrate would be simply to turn off the television [and] cancel their subscriptions to most magazines . . . ”  Absent the constant hatemongering of the cultural elite, they might recover the honor and even patriotism that once defined us as a people.


[Shots Fired: Sam Francis on America’s Culture War, by Samuel Francis (Vienna, Virginia: FGF Books) 361 pp., $18.95]