Within the microcosm of the identitarian right, increasing criticism is being leveled against what could be called the “occidentalist” line, especially following its relative rise in prominence with the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. The arguments often try to paint those who share this stance as fools without ideological structure, naive optimists, corrupted by Americanization, sold out to the European Union, and unable to understand the real world which is supposedly characterized by decadence, conspiracies, and fake news. It seems to me, therefore, that it is time to formalize matters and attempt to explain our approach.
What exactly is Occidentalism?
Occidentalism is an optimistic identity-based school of thought, oriented towards liberalism, progress, and hedonism. It is grounded in faith in the European peoples, who have proven themselves throughout history. The foundation of Occidentalism is the celebration of European peoples, their accomplishments, their way of life, their values, and their ability to constantly improve. It is also, and above all, a radical rejection of guilt-tripping.
The occidentalist hedonism stems from a desire to give Europeans the opportunity to become themselves again, to reconnect with their own destiny and historical continuity, to enjoy the benefits of their own nature, and to allow humanity to continue to benefit from their achievements and creations. Occidentalism holds Europeans and European identity are simply the indispensable driving force of humanity. Occidentalists are in tune with the workings of the modern West and do not wish to “change the system.” They believe that the “system” can improve itself. They want Europeans to continue striving for better and, above all, to prevent their replacement.
In the occidentalist doctrine, the European locomotive is threatened by a mortal danger: that of universalist ideologies, both from the left and the right. There is this fundamental idea that Europeans are persecuted by streams of thought that place ideology (or religion) above the people. This threat manifests in two ways. First, they whittle down European identity by demanding that Westerners be ever more inclusive, ever more tolerant, ever more universal, so that they increasingly align with the abstract nature of ideas. Secondly, these ideologies establish their domination over European minds through constant guilt-tripping. Europeans have been morally harassed until they have accepted being reduced to the state of shapeless ideological clay. Occidentalism is a return to the physical in opposition to the danger of abstraction and ideological fanaticism.
As a result, in contrast to the authoritarian approach proposed by the traditional right, there is a desire to free Europeans from the straitjacket of guilt, to allow them to express who they are, and to focus on the essentials: to fight against the replacement of the people and to remind everyone of how irreplaceable the Europeans are.
Thus, there is no fundamental difference in values between occidentalists and the so-called classic republican values. However, occidentalists do not extend these values to the rest of the world. They establish a boundary around the Western space, allowing Europeans not to be overwhelmed by ever-increasing duties invented by universalism, or to get lost in increasingly abstract ideological conflicts overflowing with self-hatred. It is this ideological quagmire that needs to be drained. Thusm Occidentalism is primarily about liberation.
We could attempt to explain this young current with three doctrinal points, which together would define what would be this “identitarian centrism”, distancing it from classic nationalism, and explaining the political choices that stem from this school of thought, namely freedom rather than authoritarianism, simple love for European peoples rather than decadentism, identitarian liberalism rather than national-socialism, Europeanism rather than sovereigntism, supremacism rather than multilateralism, elitism rather than populism, Ukraine rather than Russia, technophilia rather than technophobia, and remigrationism rather than assimilationism.
The fundamental value defended by occidentalism is freedom. While traditional right-wing thinking believes that Europeans have strayed from the right path and should once again be constrained by an authoritarian political regime, the occidentalist current rejects authoritarianism and instead believes that the worm was already in the fruit, even within traditional values. The left is a new clergy, resembling in many ways the previous clergy. Today, these two clergies work in concert to replace European peoples. Unlike nearly all modern ideological movements, occidentalists reject the idea that Europeans are a malleable mass that should be reshaped at will according to the fleeting ideological fancies of the moment. The objective then becomes to free Europeans from the straitjacket of ideologies. Occidentalism believes that Europeans must be free for the best to happen.
Does this mean that everything Europeans do with their freedom should be approved? No. But freedom allows the best to express itself nonetheless, and also, to dominate. What still saves Europeans, for instance, is their deliberate choice to protect their children from the concept of “living together” (coexistence). Beyond their vote, the French make identity-based choices in their everyday lives. Indeed, it is not through democracy, but through the expression of their pure freedom that they still salvage the situation. By analyzing polls, which are remarkably consistent on the subject, one can realize that the left’s project of population replacement and dissolution of being through a simulacrum of progressivism does not gain the support of more than one-fifth of the indigenous French population, despite an extraordinarily aggressive media campaign. Therefore, occidentalism operates on the principle that the identity software is naturally desired and desirable. It is unconsciously practiced by many Westerners when they choose to live in a particular neighborhood, place their children in a particular school, or emigrate to a certain country. A victory for the identity-based thinkers can only happen by embodying this natural desire in Europeans.
As a result, occidentalists will tend to always seek out the good in Europeans and accept them as they are. We vehemently criticize this attitude which consists of always over-publicizing what is ugly in them and ignoring what is beautiful, in order to better justify increasingly restraining them. This constant denigration cannot lead to the realization that Europeans are irreplaceable. On the contrary, it contributes to annihilation. Occidentalism is a categorical rejection of the notion of decadence. It favors the idea that to err is human and is part of a civilizational learning process. Peoples who never evolve indeed have little chance of making new mistakes.
Occidentalism thus embraces modernity, which was first and foremost an exceptional improvement in the living conditions and education of Europeans. For these reasons, we are in favor of progress and (real) progressivism. We do not see a direct link between conservatism and identitarianism. As identitarians, occidentalists do not see themselves as guardians of morals, but as unwavering advocates for the cause of European peoples. Our political scope is limited to helping European peoples rediscover their historical continuity and the freedom to express their identity.
Furthermore, occidentalism believes that turning one’s back on modernity would plunge Europeans into a state of weakness vis-à-vis the rest of the world, which would be unacceptable. This last point leads us to the second value.
The second fundamental value of occidentalism is the pursuit of efficiency and supremacy. We believe that the European peoples embody the best values. They guarantee freedom. Not only their own, but also that of other peoples. Never has the world been so peaceful and prosperous. They are the source of the vast majority of works and technological achievements even today, even though they are in a truly challenging situation. The occidentalist conviction is that a change in global supremacy would be a disaster for everyone. There is no alternative global model that guarantees these achievements. Would one, for instance, wish for a Chinese, Russian, Indian, Islamic, or African supremacy? It would be a major setback. We also know that this freedom and security provided by the European peoples is not at all reciprocal, and that any weakness on their part would expose them to grave dangers. As such, occidentalists believe that it is vital for Europeans to strive to be as strong as possible. Occidentalism is an ideological movement that views the supremacy of Westerners as an essential good.
This pursuit of supremacy goes hand in hand with the desire for a more unified, more cohesive, and stronger Western world in the face of the rest of the globe. The 21st century poses serious dangers for European peoples, and now, more than ever, a united front is essential to face potential threats.
It’s important here to dispel a recurring misunderstanding. For occidentalism, this new world full of dangers requires a new political vision and a new definition of the West. In occidentalism, it is the European peoples, wherever they are, who constitute the Western world. For occidentalism, the value is in the peoples and not in the soil. Thus, European peoples carry the West within them as a spirit that naturally develops wherever they are. It is not an institutional definition of the Western world but, on the contrary, a visceral one, where identity stems from being.
Based on this visceral definition, occidentalism is to the West what Europeanism is to Europe. We believe that Europeans, wherever they are in the West, face the same demographic and ideological challenges. In this regard, the outbreak of the war in Ukraine was a wake-up call for many. From that moment on, the desire to leave the European Union among the peoples of member countries fell, just as the desire to stay or join NATO began to skyrocket. Population replacement is thus only one component of a broader struggle, that of losing supremacy and finding ourselves in a situation where our freedom will depend on the goodwill of other peoples who will not be as benevolent as we once were.
Of course, there are inequalities between the different Western countries. It’s a fact, France has fallen behind compared to nations like the United States. However, we believe that it is not sustainable to drown in resentment and invent conspiracies to explain our failures. In our eyes, this attitude of resentment characterizes the less developed societies and those least capable of introspection. On the contrary, occidentalism sees greatness in strength and wishes to break free from this constant praise of weakness that corrodes Western societies.
This is related to the anti-egalitarian nature of occidentalism. It cannot subscribe to discourses of resentment towards other Western nations simply because they might be stronger. Occidentalism is inherently wary of harsh criticism of the powerful. Indeed, it is easy to accuse those who act of being the root of all evils. The one who cannot do much is rarely morally superior. He often just has fewer opportunities to make mistakes and demonstrate his mediocrity. The weak are more innocent, but they cannot be morally superior because they do not act.
Thus, it is not the fault of the occidentalists if it is through American productions that the European world has shone in the last century, even though France had many advantages. It is always easy to describe the United States as the source of “wokeness,” while France no longer produces anything culturally. To make ideology and revisionism in movies, you still have to make movies. And of the little that France produces, nothing suggests that it would do better with more resources. However, it is possible to regularly find good films that come to us from across the Atlantic today.
Similarly, to take the example of what is happening in the United States, the educational level does not drop uniformly as in France. White Americans present higher scores on the standardized PISA tests than the Japanese. Moreover, France, lost in its colonial empire for two hundred years, has not done better than the United States in terms of population replacement. For these reasons, occidentalism rejects anti-Americanism and offers its full friendship to European populations located on American soil.
Occidentalism does not create an artificial schism between Europe and America, where Europeans on both sides of the Atlantic are prisoners of the same dogmas. “France is no longer France,” Donald Trump said during his thunderous and victorious 2016 electoral campaign, while the French right, on its side, said exactly the same thing about the United States. It would be absurd to mutually blame each other, losing sight of the main issue. Instead, we hope that both countries progress simultaneously for the better.
On the contrary, we find interest in studying the American model and identify two factors that have allowed it to dominate for two centuries: a European demographic and a liberal model that maximizes the strengths of this demographic in terms of creativity, investment, and work. We would like, on both sides of the Atlantic, a return to the roots. Indeed, there will always be a “leader” position to seize within the Western world itself, and it is up to each European people to surpass themselves to claim it.
The third and final fundamental value of occidentalism is materialism. As stated, the rejection of universalist ideologies is expressed by a preference for biological identity as the foundation of a shared identity. For us, this is the primary condition for a return to reason. By trying to disembody ourselves and lose the connection with our body, we have lost touch with reality. At the heart of occidentalism lies the reflection on the conflict between the flesh and ideas, the real and the abstract. Europe has been devastated by more than a century of ideologies; for us, re-anchoring in reality has become a vital necessity. Occidentalist materialism is therefore to be understood in the Hobbesian sense: a return to reason through materiality, through the body, through effectiveness in the real world.
We reject this conception of identity that can be reduced to a mere idea. On the contrary, we consider biological identity as an essential component of democracy. By limiting identity to an ideology, or to a political regime, an autocratic and obscurantist system is inevitably established. As soon as this component is removed, the freedom to think no longer truly exists, problems can no longer be solved, the situation can only be a continuous downward spiral, and more and more ideology becomes the only acceptable solution.
In this sense, liberalism is a tool that allows this return to reality. Western democracies are dying from hypocrisy and the abundance of endless debates between vague and abstruse ideas. If an idea is good, it must be good in practice. People must naturally choose it for the prosperity and freedom it brings. Liberalism allows everyone to try their own luck, and to spread the most effective model. If an idea is unable to create value, if it is not desired but imposed, it is null and void. Liberalism is the best way to practice a natural selection of ideas. But for this, adopting an idea must mean living with that idea. For this reason, we are in favor of more political liberalism, less statism, more accountability for individual decisions made, and we see hypocrisy and excessive abstraction as the pitfalls of modern democracies. The marketplace of ideas cannot be a real market if those who vote for ideas are not those who live with them.
Liberalism is also the only tool that allows for the justification of inequalities that are inevitable in human societies. The pro-immigration stance of the left indeed stems from its misunderstanding of the economy and inequalities in general. One cannot adopt its economic model and effectively fight against population replacement. As soon as one accepts the idea that inequalities are the result of oppression, one adopts replacement ideology. One welcomes the idea of the “Great Replacement”, because the White individual, due to their ability to create wealth, becomes an oppressor, the one who prevents global peace and prosperity from existing.
We believe that liberals have failed because they lacked the courage to apply their principles, which worked for organizing individuals, to peoples as a whole. In this sense, they accepted a form of communism, a communism of peoples, which we reject with all our might. In doing so, they succumbed to socialism and strayed from the values originally championed by liberalism.
The essential divide between occidentalists and liberals is that we view the rights of peoples as an individual’s right. This is the right to associate and live with whom one wishes. The individual has the right to have a community, a country, a nation. This is the purest and simplest freedom of association. With this right comes the need to guarantee ownership of what has been built over generations by these groups of individuals through nations. Groups of individuals, nations, just like families, must be able to pass on their heritage, what they have built over generations, without being dispossessed.
To not recognize these rights is to strip individuals of half their rights and belongings. It forces individuals into a form of extreme socialization that never dares to speak its name. From all this emerges the universal right to live with Europeans, and to dispose of them and their heritage as if they were socialized objects. In this regard, we believe that liberalism can, if corrected, justify the identitarian cause.
We also believe that Europeans, due to their idealism, naturally resist the negative effects of liberalism and materialism. Indeed, far from focusing solely on their individuality in a society of consumption and abundance, they are deeply committed to the well-being of other peoples, reducing inequalities, protecting the environment, addressing animal suffering, maintaining good physical condition, engaging in intellectual debates, and many other concerns, far removed from the critiques levied against them.
In conclusion, we do not see Europeans as static peoples, doomed to forever repeat the same mistakes. We want to defend them because they have proven themselves to be the most capable of learning. Building on these three major axes, we wish to preserve both European identity and the modern, liberal system that allows for this learning and progress.