Willis Allison Carto died Monday night in Virginia, full of years (89), achievements, and honors. But this memorial tribute is nevertheless way overdue. If you know the broad outlines of Mr. Carto’s life (biography review here) you know that he was, for well over a half-century, the founder and patron of those political movements we now variously call Paleoconservatism, Race-Realism, White Nationalism . . . or Alt Right.
Pause and consider. When you imbibe the heady sophistication and philosophical analyses here at Counter-Currents—or laugh at the mordant humor of Mike Enoch’s The Right Stuff; or addictively check out The Occidental Observer and Radix Journal every day; or appreciate the rich, deep lore available at such sites as Inconvenient History and Euro-Synergies—then you must give a tip of your mental hat to Willis Allison Carto, the old pioneering strategist who made this Alt Right possible.
Lest we forget, Mr. Carto himself had quite a few titles, imprints, websites, in his long life. Right. Western Destiny. The American Mercury (which he owned in the ’60s and ’70s).The Washington Observer. The Spotlight. The Journal of Historical Review. The Barnes Review, American Free Press. The Noontide Press. Independent Publishers.
Back in the Fifties, when Bill Buckley and his National Review crew were trying to reinvent American conservatism by casting it as something cutesy and sanitized and nice-to-the-Jews, Mr. Carto, a Purple Heart recipient (once shot by a Jap sniper on Cibu Island, May 1945) looked the enemy in the face and did not flinch. He did not balk or cringe when they called him an anti-semite, a racist, a crypto-nazi.
Nicey-nicey folks of the National Review stripe get shirty when you call them names. So it’s appropriate that in 2015 we now have a fine snide name to call them. Cuckservatives! I don’t know if Willis Carto paid attention to that word when it was making sound and fury in the political blogosphere this summer, but I like to think that he did.
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