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Book Review - Which Way Western Man?

SEATTLE, Washington - Now why would I be reviewing this book, which was published by the Neo-Nazi National Alliance and that I acquired via some shady Internet bookseller? After all, I am hardly the Aryan prototype.

For one thing, I've followed the Alliance for years, through some combination of curiosity, pity, and entertainment. I was listening to Dr. Pierce's Internet broadcasts since the late 1990's, what we now call "podcasts." Pierce died in 2002 and the Alliance has undergone the usual tumult, power plays, and backbiting that occur whenever a personality-driven organization loses its leader.

Secondly, I have for years put effort into exposing myself to politically incorrect, unconventional, or unfashionable thought, as there is often some truth in there. According to Paul Graham, intelligent people tend to do this and it is overall a good thing.

Third, the author of Which Way Western Man?, William Gayley Simpson, looks like an agreeable chap.

So, I waded into the 1070-page treatise with full enthusiasm. The book consists of modified essays that Simpson originally wrote in the 1940s (and in most cases updated in the 1970s) and the writing has an erudite, early-20th-Century style to it. Simpson was born in 1892 and spent the 1910s and 1920s as a minister (he gave up the frock by 1918,) laborer, and general-purpose liberal, pacifistic Christian. Much of the book gives personal testament to his activities during these years and how they molded his worldview into what it was at the time of the writing(s).

In two early chapters, Simpson discusses his conception of Jesus and how Jesus's true message has been corrupted by the Church.

Sheep (which the great mass of people are) can hardly be expected to appreciate the virtues of the lion. And while Jesus was tender, he was no less terrible. We have remembered his talk of love (as is natural to sheep), but we have almost entirely ignored (as again is natural) his insistence on the place of hate and of the sword...

Organized Christianity has looked too long and too far afield for the Anti-Christ. The Anti-Christ is none other than Jesus himself. For "Christ" is the name for what Christianity has made of Jesus, and what Christianity has made of Jesus is the opposite of what Jesus himself actually was...

The worst is not that the Church has perpetrated upon mankind a pious hoax, and turned the life and teaching of Jesus into a piece of hocus-pocus, an imaginary transaction to counteract imaginary sin to get people into an imaginary heaven... it is rather that [people] are thus led to trifle with the only real Life, with their spiritual potentialities, with the comprehension, the instinct, the sensitiveness, intuition, and living impulse, which alone can lift them to heights and hang rainbows over them... in short, give their days on Earth some meaning, some value, some significance.

Simpson extensively discusses his vision of Jesus - that He was attempting to speak to a small elite, not the masses, and that he was trying to teach this elite to live according to their internal compasses instead of the conventions of the day. In the following chapter, written decades after the first, he amplifies some parts and recants other parts of his dialogue on Jesus, admitting that he may have at times projected his own worldview onto Jesus's record. He also takes his first swipes at Jews and Communism in this chapter, themes that will re-emerge throughout the book.


In Chapter IV, "The Meaning of Nietzsche for the Modern World," Simpson outlines the portions of Nietzsche's corpus that apply to the themes of the book. He discusses the Nietzschean Superman; Simpson's particular interpretation of the Superman concept (and Mother Nature knows interpretations of this sprout like weeds) focuses on the role of a society's elite leaders in shaping a path for the elevation of the masses:

To this end [the elevation of mankind - JMR] Supermen must live much alone, very austerely, apart from the mass of men, yet venerated by them and informing the whole of society with their wisdom. They are not at all men of brute force... force does not rest in their hands. They are more like the pilots on the bridge who determine the way the ship must go, while the actual handling of the crew and passengers is left to others. It is their function to discover and declare the way mankind must follow in order to realize its high destiny. They are the great value-creators, the great way-finders and way-showers.

For us, with the background of democracy and the tradition that all men are created equal and that the direction of affairs should be in the hands of men elected by popular vote, this conception of the Superman may lack appeal, if it not be actually offensive...

In the light of Nietzsche's idea of the Superman, it is seen that the proper objective of any society was not "the greatest happiness of the greatest number" or the "green meadow happiness of the herd," as he styled the aim of Christianity and democracy. For Nietzsche the only proper, or certainly the primary, object of any society was the production of the largest possible number of superior men.

Simpson spends the rest of the chapter on other Nietzsche themes, including the Will to Power, criticism of Christianity, and the role of good diet.

In chapters V, VI, and VII, Simpson veers off into Mysticism, not in the sense of psychics with a crystal ball, but in terms of a heightened sensitivity and consciousness:

The mystical, for me, is a matter of an added sensitiveness to relations and values, such that one is suddenly aware of what a body of ascertained facts adds up to in the realm of truth, or of its significance in the world of values, whether for oneself or for society, or for both... one cannot stop short with thinking; one must do something about what one thinks... and on its highest levels, it may come to its consummation in what is no less than a different order of consciousness.

He ties this concept of Mysticism into how people should use all faculties at their disposal, including a mystical internal compass of sorts, to come to conclusions about the direction of society. He also notes that life is about more than satisfying the reasoning mind ("I do not admire the bulging head stuck up on toothpick legs.")

At this point, I was finding Which Way Western Man? to be a big more high-minded and spiritual than I was expecting, an interesting if not totally coherent read. It certainly had not come to any shocking or naughty conclusions... yet.


Simpson uses Chapters X and XI to criticize democracy and lay out his rationale for aristocracy being the preferred form of government for Western man. I read these chapters with a sympathetic ear, as I myself have criticisms of and doubts about democracy, but I'm less sure about what would be the ideal replacement.

He starts to pave the path for a third way (aristocracy) by noting that, in the minds of many people, there are only two forms of government, democracy and dictatorship, and that the former is the antidote for the latter. Simpson submits that, instead, the the failings of democracy lead to dictatorship:

It is commonly assumed that democracy is opposed to dictatorship. But nothing is farther from the facts. The history of democracy makes it unmistakable that some form of one-man tyranny is the end to which popular government has usually led. Athenian democracy is followed by Alexander; the French Republic, by Napoleon... Democracy's very ineptitude, its very failure to solve the host of problems that always pile up under its uncertain and wobbly hand, finally brings a nation, as our own U.S. in this 1973, to the point where it is threatened with a breakdown of all law and order and seems to stand on the very edge of dissolution. In such a fearsome extremity, a man on horseback is seen by the mass of the people, and welcomed, as the only means left of saving the country from disaster... One may not like totalitarianism - I myself hate it, but if one can put oneself in another's place and imagine what it means to have to find some way to keep afloat or die, then one is forced to face the stark fact that when it really is a matter of life and death, be it for a man or for a nation, almost any means will be seized upon if it promises life. Nevertheless, this has little to do with aristocracy as I conceive it.

Simpson's (relatively fuzzy) explanation of the difference between aristocracy and dictatorship is based on the fact that a true aristocracy rules with the consent of the people, for the benefit of the people, while a dictatorship tends to ignore the needs of society in favor of staying in power at all costs.

The truth is, to quote Ortega y Gasset, that "there is no ruling with janissaries. As Talleyrand said to Napoleon: 'You can do everything with bayonets, Sire, except sit on them.' And to rule is not the gesture of snatching at power, but the tranquil exercise of it"... For in the long run, regardless of the form government takes, it is the people who decide... If an aristocracy has lasted long, therefore, it is the natural and just inference that it enjoyed the confidence and loyalty of the people.

The rest of Chapter X is a long laundry list of the shortcomings of democracy, and rebuttals of the alleged successes of democracy. Criticisms include: that democracy ultimately has promoted a materialistic lifestyle instead of cultural and spiritual development [not sure I agree there - JMR]; that it dissipates responsibility to where no one is accountable for serious blunders [I agree]; that majority rule actually imposes a sort of tyranny upon minorities [fair enough]; and that an equal vote gives equal weight to all voters regardless of their competence [for sure].

Chapter XI presents some additional rebuttals to democratic governance, then gives a detailed vision of the necessity of having Western man governed by aristocracy, and how this aristocracy will be identified and propagated. This chapter contains some of the fuzziest reasoning in the book. Simpson spends a great deal of words saying, essentially, that the aristocracy will get to the top because it knows how, it will know how to identify future leaders because it is so wise, and that the people will realize that this is the best thing for them.

Simpson devotes Chapter XII and Chapter XIII to discussion of the nature of women and their role in society. He starts with some platitudes that telegraph that he is about to put women in their place: Men and women have complementary natures; women are better at some things, men at others; Simpson's mother meant a lot to him; and so on.

Of course, this book is about building a superior society, and in Simpson's view women best serve this cause in the kitchen and the birthing ward. His assertions include:

  • It is in the best interest of both society and the individual woman that she bear a child every two to three years for her entire reproductive life.
  • A woman wants a male master, and are happiest when the find one, even if this is not what they consciously want.
  • Women are constitutionally incapable of a creative or independent existence.
  • If a woman does wish to pursue interests besides the birthing and rearing of children, she must wait until her reproductive years have ended and the children have left the nest.
  • A young woman's upbringing and education should be wholly concentrated on motherhood and home-making.
  • It is urgent that women marry before the age of twenty.
  • Feminism is throwing a wrench into all of this, and not even equally across the entire population of women, but instead is causing the most disruption among the most intelligent and genetically sound subset of the population (the ones that should be reproducing the most.)

To put a cherry on top of his very progressive views on women and marriage, Simpson spends a few pages advocating the loosening of the standard of monogamy for men, and even gives some tips on the physical characteristics that a man should seek in a mate - "the ideal mate should be one of the same color of eyes and hair as oneself... a certain radiance about the face... the feet should be well-arched... the hips should be wide apart, providing in the pelvis ample room for bearing and delivering the child... the breath should be consistently sweet..."

Chapters XIV ("The Pacifist Position Re-examined") and XV ("Man and the Machine: The Effect of Industrialism on Human Life") strike me (as did some earlier chapters) as a bit of a tangent, another reminder that much of this book was originally written as free-standing essays. I won't review them here, except to say that their contents are very much what you would expect (force is an essential part of existence, industrial society and modern capitalism have a damaging effect on man, and so on.)

Up to this point, Simpson has only taken on the low-hanging fruit - Jesus, women, democracy, etc. - but he finally gets down to the heavy lifting in Chapter XVI, "The Necessity of Eugenics". He fleshes out what he has given hints and samples of in earlier chapters - that the first and most important basis of the elevation of mankind is an improvement of the biological stock. Selective breeding - "carefully and steadily weeding out the culls and by making wise use of the seed from the best" - has shown its effectiveness in improving the quality of plants and animals, and Simpson wants to apply the same rigor to the human breeding stock.

Simpson opens Chapter XVI by giving some brief citations of both positive and negative eugenics from history, including ancient Greek philosophers, the Mahabharata, and some 20th century thinkers. He acknowledges that eugenics has fallen out of favor at the time he is writing (and it has not exactly been making a comeback since then,) and pledges to devote the current chapter and the next to make some key points in the case for its revival.

He first gives a grim assessment of the current state of the biological stock in the United States. He states that "statistics are contrary to my tastes," then proceeds to cite statistics from a wide variety of sources detailing a degeneration of the population, including increased rates of rejection of candidates for military service, greater frequency and severity of degenerative diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, and increased spending per captia on health care (which he shakily assumes is indicative of worsening health.) He also notes that he considers "health" to be not only simply the absence of illness, but also beauty, bearing, and constitution, which he finds to be declining in the current population.

As if the situation of physical health was not deteriorating fast enough, Simpson brings up the alarming increase in mental health problems, a phenomenon for which I have my own explanations.

Of course, Simpson eventually gets around to blaming all of these ills on the increasing racial heterogeneity of the population and heavy immigration from less genetically gifted parts of the world, and the tendency of the less gifted strata of society to have a high birthrate. He also spends a good many words on what we nowadays call the "nature vs. nurture" debate, making the case that heredity is the overwhelming factor behind the health, capabilities, and potential of a people.

In general, it may be said that environment is only the negative, limiting factor: it creates no capacity, but only may decide whether or not innate capacity shall be developed. Potentiality, how far a man has it in him to go, is something a man gets from his ancestors, is born with or forever goes without.

In Chapter XVII, "The Doctrine of the Thoroughbred", Simpson makes the case for incest as a valuable tool for the betterment of human stock. He's come this far, right? Why not pull out all the stops? He defines inbreeding and outbreeding and decries the current fashion of outbreeding being ascendant:

... the prevalent attitude in regard to these two kinds of breeding... is one of well-nigh complete certainty that out- or cross-breeding represents the course that we as a nation wish to follow in our human matings... there is in America a veritable cult of the mongrel, of the hybrid. The idea of pure blood, as of the thoroughbred, is ridiculed...

On the other hand, when one says the word "inbreeding," people think at once of "Hillbillies" of our southern mountains, among whom there is a high rate of defectiveness, feeble-mindedness, and sterility... and when one speaks the word "incest," one touches a taboo before which most men stand horrified... and yet as long ago as Darwin, it was recognized that the taboo did not have a firm scientific foundation.

Simpson goes on to cite historical examples of close inbreeding, up to and including some Incas and ancient Egyptians using father/daughter and mother/son pairings to promulgate royal bloodlines.

Inbreeding brings out both desirable and unwanted characteristics, and the way to make it work over time is by promoting the reproduction of the positive stock and cutting off the reproduction of the portions of the stock that manifest undesired traits. Simpson lays out a detailed and ruthless plan for implementing this, including sterilization, restricting access to birth control for quality people, and euthanasia (of infants and some adults) on the negative side, and various top-down schemes to bring together the best males and females in the population and encourage large broods.

Simpson has taken various swipes at almost all groups of non-Nordic peoples throughout the book; in Chapter XVIII he takes detailed aim at two particular races.

Chapter XVIII, "The Everlasting Truth About Race", features Simpson making his case that (1) there are real, distinct human "races" and (2) that there are grave inequalities (by many criteria) between the various races. Even today, the study of race is fraught with hidden agendas, political correctness, and squabbling scientists (just check the Wikipedia article at the time of this writing; things were no better at the time that Simpson wrote this 140+ page chapter.

Simpson notes that long-standing opinion on the distinctness of the races came under attack in the 20th century by those he calls the "equalitarian propagandists", the group of anthropologists (under the leadership and direction of Franz Boas) who asserted the primacy of environment over heredity in explaining the accomplishments of peoples and societies. Their motivation is alleged to be Communist takeover; their means, the distortion of scientific data and persecution of dissenters. Simpson tries to clear the air a bit:

A race is a major division of the human species. Its members, though differing from one another in many minor respects, are nevertheless, as a whole, distinguished by a particular combination of features, principally non-adaptive, which they have inherited from ancestors as alike as they are themselves. These distinguishing features are most apparent in body... but mainfest themselves also in "innate capacity for intellectual and emotional development," temperament and character....

What then is a "racist"? For all of forty years, there has been acute need of honest and fearless inquiry about what race is, and an atmosphere of free discussion out of which might have come something like a scientific consensus as to whether or not racial differences are real... but "racist" is a term of opprobrium that was invented by the equalitarians to prevent such investigation and discussion.

Seeing that time time is right to discuss differences between the races, Simpson gives a few crumbs of information on physical differences before getting to the white meat - mental differences. And what better race to discuss at this point than the "Negro". This is a wise choice when you think about it - what are the chances that a Negro will read this book? For that matter, what are the chances that anyone but me has read it?

Without running on too much here, let me try to list the main points:

  • Negroes score consistently and significantly worse on intelligence tests than whites.
  • This performance differential exists even when controlling for cultural and socioeconomic factors.
  • That American Negroes, though lagging behind American whites, are more intelligent than their African brethren, who are cited as being on the mental level of "lobotomized Europeans." (This is attributed to many American Negroes having some white ancestry.)
  • Much of this is attributed to physiological differences in the brain between Negroes and whites (including brain size, development of the frontal lobes and cortex, etc.)

Simpson also comments on the "Negro Record" of cultural achievement:

Left to himself, the Negro has never produced a significant culture, anywhere, at any time... of course, right now, we are in the midst of a very assiduous, not to say frenzied, drive to puff up the Negro's achievements...

He also cites someone named Tom Anderson who wrote the following:

Despite what you've been told, Negro history has not been obliterated. There wasn't any. During the past 5,000 years the history of Black Africa is blank... the Black African had not invented a plow or a wheel, domesticated an animal or a crop. He had no written language, no numerals, no calendar or system of measurement...

I bet I could dig up a counterexample or two on some of that.

Simpson brings up all of this information on the Negro for a reason - to warn whites about the dangers of "race crossing" and more generally the problem of having these people in a white country in general. Simpson's ideas on what to do about this are covered in the final chapter of the book.


We have arrived at the 19th and final chapter, "The Fateful Crisis Confronting Western Man", in which Simpson will "grapple in a realistic way with the three problems that especially threaten our very existence - the Negro, the Jew and - first and last and always - ourselves."

Simpson notes that he is in fact concerned for the welfare of the Negro as they are "human beings, perhaps in most cases with sensibilities like unto our own" and that the situation should be handled with "all possible understanding and patience... [and] also with generosity." This being said, he notes that there does not appear to be a satisfying future for them in the United States:

For in our midst, in the first place, they will never feel that freedom to relax and be themselves which is so essential to all self-realization. Moreover... they are brought into a direct competition with White men in which, in the White man's technological society, it is utterly impossible for them to hold their own... They are being pushed into our colleges, and even into our professional schools, and given degrees, but the whole wretched business is made possible only by lowering the requirements and standards for Negroes, almost to the point of abolishing them. And the Negro must know it, and know too what it means.

...What this means is that those who put ambitions into the heads of Negroes, which they are inherently incapable of measuring up to, are inflicting a monstrous cruelty upon them.

Simpson then briefly mentions the burdens placed upon White men by the presence of the Negro (increased taxation, social strife, and "mongrelization") before proposing the return of the Negro to Africa. He notes that this is not a new or original proposal, and quotes various whites (including Jefferson and Lincoln) and Negroes (including Marcus Garvey and Benjamin Gibbons) who made statements supportive of repatriation. He does not give a great amount of detail regarding a plan for this beyond noting that it should involve generous financial assistance, and is ultimately the best solution for all parties.

Why did a repatriation not occur, in spite of both black and white support? Simpson blames the Jews. In fact, he spends the next 135 pages blaming everything on the Jews. Simpson casts them as the "alien presence" in America that has promoted Communism and equalitarianism, supported "race-mixing", and steered the government and media into supporting its aims.

The long discussion of the Jewish shaping of American and world affairs is familiar fare to any readers of conspiracy-oriented material. It includes:

  • The "Jewish Money System" of central banks creating fractional-reserve (or completely unbacked) currencies, and how this system is used to destabilize countries.
  • Jewish control of print and electronic media.
  • The Jewish role in fomenting the English Revolution (I'm not sure I ever even heard of that!), the French Revolution, the U.S. Civil War, the Russian Revolution, and other conflicts.
  • The current "Invisible Government" of shady organizations (the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg Group, etc.) and their Jewish provenance and control.

Simpson even dusts off The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, currently a hot item in various Muslim countries.

(I want to note here that some authors and organizations promote this conspiratorial interpretation of history without the Jewish angle. One example was Robert Welch, the founder of the John Birch Society; he specifically purged anti-Semites from the JBS ranks, and this attitude was reflected by Birchist authors such as G. Edward Griffin and Ralph Epperson.)

He also offers an anti-Semitic spin on Hitler and the Second World War, noting that Hitler pissed off the Jewish "money powers" by financing Germany's recovery in the 1930s outside of the Jewish system of debt, and that war was subsequently "forced upon" Germany by these controlling Jews.

What do do about the Jews? Simpson, bolstered with a quotation by Benjamin Franklin, advocates the cancellation of their citizenship and arranging an orderly exit from the country.

Simpson then spends the final few pages on the final problem, "ourselves". This is a partial re-hash of material earlier in the book, and involves how to carry the race forward (after purging the aforementioned alien elements). This involved creating a "burning consciousness" of the importance of race, and diligently attending to the eugenic principles outlined earlier in the book.

Simpson closes as follows:

Ultimately, of course, or aim must be nothing less than a racial rebirth and resurgence. And this whole book is a statement of what such a rebirth and resurgence will require. But the very first step in that direction involves not so much doing anything as ceasing to do and undoing... If we cannot completely rid ourselves of the Negro, the United States is finished. And if the White race generally cannot in the end find a way to cut the consuming cancer of the Jew out of its body, it will be finished too... If we cannot master these problems, we shall not have any future to worry about or to struggle for... The order to us is, "Put the Negro and the Jew from you - or resign yourself to decay, and, finally, to death."

Which way then goest thou, Western man?