Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Harold's Halloween 2017

by Ogden Nash - circa 1930 or so]

The hands of the clock were reaching high
In an old midtown hotel;
I name no name, but its sordid fame
Is table talk in Hell.
I name no name, but Hell's own flame
Illumes the lobby garish,
A gilded snare just off Times Square
For the virgins of the parish.

The revolving door swept the grimy floor
Like a crinoline grotesque,
And a lowly bum from an ancient slum
Crept furtively past the desk.
His footsteps sift into the lift
As a knife in the sheath is slipped,
Stealthy and swift into the lift
As a vampire into a crypt.

Old Maxie, the elevator boy
Was reading an ode by Shelley,
But he dropped the ode as it were a toad
When the gun jammed into his belly.
There came a whisper soft as mud
In the bed of an old canal:
"Take me up to the suite of Pinball Pete,
The rat who betrayed my gal."

The lift doth rise with groans and sighs
Like a duchess for the waltz,
Then in middle shaft, like a duchess daft,
It changes its mind and halts.
The bum bites lip as the landlocked ship
Doth neither fall nor rise,
But Maxie the elevator boy
Regards him with burning eyes.
"First to explore the thirteenth floor,"
Says Maxie, "Would be wise."

Quoth the bum, "There is moss on your double cross,
I have been this way before,
I have cased the joint at every point,
And there IS no thirteenth floor!
The architect he skipped direct
From twelve unto fourteen,
There is twelve below and fourteen above,
And nothing in between,
For the vermin who dwell in this hotel
Could never abide thirteen."

Said Max, "Thirteen, that floor obscene,
Is hidden from human sight;
But once a year it doth appear,
On this All Hallows night.
Ere you peril your soul in murderer's role,
Heed those who sinned of yore;
The path they trod led away from God,
And onto the thirteenth floor,
Where those they slew, a grisly crew,
Reproach them forevermore.

"We are higher than twelve and below fourteen,"
Said Maxie to the bum,
"And the sickening draft that taints the shaft
Is a whiff of kingdom come.
The sickening draft that taints the shaft
Blows through the devil's door!"
And he squashed the latch like a fungus patch,
And revealed the thirteenth floor.

It was cheap cigars like lurid scars
That glowed in the rancid gloom,
The murk was a-boil with fusel oil
And the reek of stale perfume.
And round and round there dragged and wound
A loathsome conga chain,
The square and the hep in slow lock step,
The slayer and the slain.
(For the souls of the victims ascend on high,
But their bodies below remain.)

The clean souls fly to their home in the sky,
But their bodies remain below
To pursue the Cains who emptied their veins
And harry them to and fro.
When life is extinct each corpse is linked
To its gibbering murderer,
As a chicken is bound with wire around
The neck of a killer cur.

Handcuffed to hate comes Dr. Waite
(HE tastes the poison now),
And Ruth and Judd and a head of blood
With horns upon its brow.
Up sashays Nan with her feathery fan
From Floradora bright;
She never swung for Caesar Young,
But she's dancing with him tonight.

Here's the bulging hip and the foam-flecked lip
Of the Mad Dog, Vincent Coll,
And over there that ill-met pair,
Becker and Rosenthal.
Here's Legs and Dutch and a dozen such
Of braggart bullies and brutes,
And each one bends 'neath the weight of friends
Who are wearing concrete suits.

Now the damned make way for the double damned
Who emerge with shuffling pace
From the nightmare zone of persons unknown,
With neither name nor face.
And poor Dot King to one doth cling,
Joined in a ghastly jig,
While Elwell doth jape at a goblin shape
And tickle it with his wig.

See Rothstein pass like a breath on glass,
The original Black Sox kid;
He riffles the pack, riding piggyback
On the killer whose name he hid.
And smeared like brine on a slavering swine,
Starr Faithful, once so fair,
Drawn from the sea to her debauchee,
With the salt sand in her hair.

And still they come, and from the bum
The icy sweat doth spray;
His white lips scream as in a dream,
"For God's sake, let's away!
If ever I meet with Pinball Pete
I will not seek his gore,
Lest a treadmill grim I must trudge with him
On the hideous thirteenth floor!"

"For you I rejoice," said Maxie's voice,
"And I bid you go in peace,
But I am late for a dancing date
That nevermore will cease.
So remember, friend, as your way you wend,
That it would have happened to you.
But I turned the heat on Pinball Pete;
You see---I had a daughter, too."

The bum reached out and he tried to shout,
But the door in his face was slammed,
And silent as stone he rode down alone
From the floor of the double damned.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Radio Free Northwest - November 2nd, 2017


HAC on the Bill White case & also on economics; Gretchen on Dr. Mengele in exile in South America.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

A Northwest Front Comrade Comments on LARPing

It was an eye-opener in many ways. Although I admire their courage, it is ineffectual and actually, I believe, plays into the narrative of the state. Simply put, a small number of people who look like buffoon's with helmets and baseball bats chanting useless slogans will never attract anyone of quality or purpose.

People are afraid. I could smell the fear. Thus, the screaming of participants. I observed from within the compound set up for the "bad guys" but did not participate in any way except to observe.

There were a few, 15 or so,  that engaged the crowds for their own jollies I suppose. Viewing the absurdity was my queue for exit. From the info I could get, they were supposed to have speakers at a rally. What  actually occurred was a march of stupidity. And that occurred elsewhere. Murfreesboro was a trap and it even had that appearance in the layout of the barricades. This is why they never showed up. They could not carry their bats, wear their helmets and goggles etc.

The millions that the state spent on this thing is incredible. Their assets are unlimited. The propaganda and fear was worth it to them, I'm sure. Reinforcement of the brainwashing. It was a grand display of state power.

We are not and never have been free. There is no such thing as free speech. They make you pay for it by taking your other rights with overwhelming force.

Unfortunately, I think, nothing short of total war will change anything. And history repeats itself.

I had to see it for myself. 

[I know. I long ago accepted that "our" people WILL NOT BE TOLD, and that everyone must go through my own learning curve for themselves. I just hope to God it doesn't take too long; we are running out of time. - HAC]

Friday, October 27, 2017

A Seattle Vignette

Dear HAC:

So you're gonna love this.

Sitting in bar, [name redacted]. Two older hippies, sitting to our left. They leave, I toss a NWF card on the bar, where they were sitting.

Bartender comes down, she grabs the card. Her eyes widen in shock and disbelief, she exclaims "Oh my God!" 

She brings the card to a 30 something man to our right, drinking a PBR. She shows him the card, he reads it without comment and gives it back. She expresses disbelief. She casually pitches it in the garbage.

Before leaving, the man asks her, "What did you do with that? Throw it away?"

She says yes, to which the man says "let me see it again". She gives it to him, he makes a PC excuse.....

......and puts the card in his pocket

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Clinton Foundation's New Lobby Portrait

Interesting meme, in view of the recent revelations about the Beest's involvement in fabricating a phony "dossier" accusing Donald Trump of perverted Moscow Nights.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Freedom's Sons Prologue, On Audio With Soundtrack

Hi, guys: 

Referring to this week's Radio Free Northwest: for those of you who want to see what can be done with audio recordings of the Northwest novels, if anyone ever has the time and focus to really get into the project:

I am attaching links to two large files, which you must download individually from Sendspace.com

https://www.sendspace.com/file/1w83td   Part 1 

https://www.sendspace.com/file/5t07i6     Part 2 

This is myself reading the Prologue to the fifth and last Northwest novel, Freedom's Sons. This audio was actually uploaded in a single file to Radio Free Northwest some years ago.

 A soundtrack was added later on by a comrade, which I think you will find interesting. For some reason, which he may have told me but which I have now forgotten, he did this by splitting the single large MP3 file into two parts. These recordings are in .wma format. 

That comrade made up about two dozen CDs of the complete soundtracked Prologue, with both files on each CD in correct order to reunite the whole large file. This was 78 minutes in length, just barely within the 80-minute limit to put onto a commercial blank CD of the kind you can purchase in bulk at Wal-mart or Best Buy. (This is just the Prologue; you can get some idea of how long an audio reading of the entire huge novel would be.) 

He then printed up color jackets for these CDs with a Tricolor flag and a blurb. He sent these to me and I have parceled them out very carefully to special supporters. After which, he lost interest and wandered away, or else he just inexplicably went dark as so many of "our" people do after their first flush of enthusiasm. Haven't heard from him in years.

Anybody want to pick up where he left off?

Monday, October 23, 2017

Radio Free Northwest - October 26th, 2017


Halloween music podcast, Gretchen and Trucker, Lord Goyhammer reads from Freedom’s Sons.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Northwest Mantra: Periodic Reminder

"If White people had a country of our own, this wouldn't be happening."

Saturday, October 21, 2017

H. P Lovecraft, Wicked Wacist


We need to send the night-gaunts and Pickman's ghouls after these assholes.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Last Letter From Dt. Edward R. Fields

[I regret to say that Dr. Edward R. Fields, formerly of the National States Rights Party and the Thunderbolt and Truth At Last newspapers, former comrade in arms of the immortal J. B. Stoner, and the last of his Movement generation, is formally retiring from all Movement activity, at the age of 85. 

I will deeply regret his departure; it would be nice to have somebody around who still calls me "the Kid." - HAC]

Dear Kid: 

You have been around since the days of George Lincoln Rockwell. (Not really; I was 13 when Commander Rockwell was murdered.) I really don't know how you have survived all the arrows that have been aimed at you. You are the only one with a plan to save the White Race that makes sense. However, the public does not move unless there is a grave national crisis which can bring a radical movement to power. So said Sir Oswald Mosley.

At age 85 I have some health problems, naturally. Anyway, I am now totally out of right-wing activity. Besides yourself I am only in touch with my life long friend and lawyer, Sam Dickson. Actually, I believe that the reason I am still here is due to my loyal wife's love and care. She sees to it that I take my medication and make the doctor visits, etc. Also, I have a large and extended close family, and that makes a big difference. 

(I have always envied Ed that; he is from probably the last generation where such an accomplishment was possible for White men, before we were cast out of Eden, so to speak. The next part of the letter is personal to me and is redacted. - HAC)

I hope that you are in good health and can keep the Northwest Redoubt going, because one day it may well succeed. Good luck!

Ed Fields

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Deplorables Are Digging In

[No, I haven't discovered a sudden love for Trump, but this is an example of some of the better Trumpian stuff circulating out there, and the point it makes about truth not being subjective is a good one. Reposting it, with the above graphic, just to piss off the Soros idiots who are monitoring this blog. - HAC] 

The best thing you can possibly do for your sanity is turn off all television news. All of it…including Faux News. We just don’t understand how deep the deception goes. 

There is no such thing as conservative news and liberal news.  In fact, any news organization that tells you that they are bringing you “fair and balanced” news cannot be trusted. There is no such thing as fair and balanced Truth. Truth stands on its own and does not have multiple perspectives. Truth has no left side and no right side.  There are never two sides to the Truth. Fake news is not real news.

I remember from the old Perry Mason shows that my parents used to watch when I was a child that witnesses placed their left hand on the Bible, raised their right hand, and swore to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”  Not fair and balanced truth.  Not liberal or conservative truth. Today, truth has become an opinion.
Today’s media is designed to confuse you. It is structured to get you to question the obvious. The media have taken a page from the book of the sleight of hand magicians who ask “Are you going to believe me or your eyes?”

We no longer believe our eyes. Lying has become so commonplace, so much a part of the culture of America today, that it no longer bothers us when our elected officials lie to us. “How do you know when a politician is lying?” goes the old joke. “When you see his lips moving” rattles the punch line. Well, most Americans are punch drunk and incapable of discerning the truth from propaganda.  That is what the mainstream media has done to us. They have fogged our memories, bombarded us with fake news, to the point that we continue to re-elect the very people who lie to us. We have lost the ability to think.

But there is a stirring going on in America. A slow awakening is leading people to the realization that something is very wrong and that somewhere along the line we have been snookered.

The sleeping giant is beginning to roll over. A steady stream of lies and disinformation is about to run dry. Millions are finally finding their way to dry ground. One by one the shoes are beginning to drop. 

As much as you may hate to admit it, much of the credit for this awakening is a direct result of the tactics of President Trump.  His no-holds-barred attack on fake news has emboldened a former silent demographic of the American populace to once again “question authority.” Isn’t it ironic, that same slogan planted during the rebellious Sixties by LSD proponent Timothy Leary is resurrecting in the hearts of the now grandma and grandpa former hippies?  Leary and his communist cohorts embedded rebellion in the hearts of these same once-teenage gray hairs and today the “deplorables” are leading the charge against the now-socialist government.  

It is a beautiful thing to watch. These now “oldtimers” have rebelled against a corrupt political system and four decades of socialist indoctrination to realize that they have lost the great nation that they thought they were leaving to their grandkids.

The genie is not going back into the bottle. Most of the former hippies have watched with disdain as the President they elected is being assailed from all sides, including the conservative Republicans that they have been taught all of their lives were fighting for their values. 

The mask has come off. Their eyes are finally open. They long for a return to a nation in which their grandbabies can be free.  They see it rapidly slipping away as a result of the wanton neglect on their watch. 

The Left is losing and the Left knows it.  They have pulled out all of the stops in their attempt to dam up the flood of the “America First” cries from those who bear the scars of the Vietnam fiasco. They remember what America used to be.

Trump is their champion. They are aware of all of his warts, but they have cast their lot with this unvarnished, rough American.  I am reminded of the time in 1989 when then Michigan basketball Coach Bill Frieder was fired by AD Bo Schemblecher over rumors of Frieder taking a similar position at Arizona State just days before the NCAA tournament began. “A Michigan man will coach Michigan” a defiant Schembechler said upon Frieder’s release.  The 1989 Wolverines went on to win the National Championship under Michigan man Steve Fisher. 

Americans are sick of the double-talking globalists masquerading as their elected officials. They have had enough of the Bushes, the Clintons, the McCains, and the McConnells. They are up to their ears with the alphabet news channels. They are sick of the education system and the anti-God, anti-American, anti-all-they-believe-in bilge oozing from the universities. No one can predict how this whole thing is going to play out. The Left is beginning to eat their own as every bullet they fire ends up being a blank. The Left is being exposed. Everything the media tells them is fake and they are sick of it.

Will the American ship survive? Will the globalists and their  nefarious agenda carry the day? What kind of nation will the former hippies leave to their posterity? 

Their cards are on the table. The pot is right. The Deplorables have gone “all-in” with the man with orange hair. Come what may they will not be moved.  They don’t believe the lying media and they don’t care what Trump has done in the past.  When it is all said and done they will take the Bo Schembechler approach.  

The Deplorables are digging in.  Donald Trump is their man. They have chosen an America-first man to lead America.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

They're Devouring Themselves

The entire Soronic world is imploding. Hollywood, the NFL---they're rending their own entrails, tearing themselves apart in a frenzy of lunacy. They are throwing away two of the most effective tools and weapons they possess to keep the goyim mentally poisoned and supine. I think Donald Trump has literally driven them mad.

A friend of mine sent me the latest series of American Horror Story. (The first season was kind of creepy, then it got silly and politically correct to the point of being nauseating, and so I stopped watching.) But despite the nauseating perversion, I have to admit there is an air of prophecy about it, as we watch the liberal world collectively lose their paranoid marbles.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Radio Free Northwest - October 19th, 2017


A shortcast from HAC wherein he discusses Back To The Future.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Covington's Twelve

Hi, guys:

I found these hanging around on my hard drive in an old folder. They’re about five years old, I think. You can use them for pithy little propaganda bullets or whatever. - HAC 

Covington’s Twelve Principles

  1. Covington’s Paradox: "The Cause is so right. The people in it are so wrong."

  2. Covington’s Corollary: "Just because the people in it are so wrong, does not mean that the Cause is not right."

  3. If and when there is White revolution in this country, it will be made by men who live within half an hour's drive of one another.

  4. I can find a thousand men who will fight and die for the Northwest Republic. I can't find ten who will work for it.

  5. Judaism is not a race or a religion. Judaism is a state of mind. Some of the worst Jews you'll ever meet will not have a drop of Hebrew blood in their veins.

  6. The office is inseparable from the man. If a contemptible man holds a public office, then we are under no obligation to respect either.

  7. All law and political power is based on a credible monopoly of armed force. Break that monopoly of armed force, and you break the state.

  8. The respect of tyrants is earned by the shedding of blood. It is the only way to get their attention.

  9. People who fear even to speak of armed struggle will never succeed in supplanting the state. Those who will at least speak of it, albeit with discretion where required by common sense, have some remote chance of winning. However far they may be from home plate, they're at least in the right ballpark and playing the right game.

  10. Direct action without a specific political goal is just crime, and will fail. A political goal without direct action of some kind to attain it is just fantasy, and will fail. The two mixed together in the wrong proportions will fail. Finding the right proportion is an art, it varies in each individual case, and there's really no way to teach it. Successful revolution is always in the final analysis played by ear.

  11. Moral courage is just as important as physical courage. Sometimes more so.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

It's Happening. Slowly, But It's Happening.

Dear Mr. Covington,

Thank you for responding to my note on Gab. I'm very new to all this, though I have read most of your writing over the years. I still have to read Freedom's Sons. 

I scouted in the Portland area, and you were right to let everyone know not to return to the Northwest unprepared. I will have my personal situation in order by Christmas. I retired in the last year, and coming to the Northwest for me, will really be coming home. It's so much more expensive than it was in the 80s when I left.

I am planning on pursuing an education when I return, and I will be well-housed and provisioned. Never thought I'd go back to school, but the opportunity is there.

I'm still learning how to use Gab, and may have punched the wrong button, as I can't access my information at the moment. I'm a dinosaur when it comes to the internet, and have a lot to learn. I'm also very new to the whole concept of thinking racially, and am quite nervous about this step I'm taking. I have had enough of this wretched country that has done so much evil to my own life and the life of my family back home. My family is very dysfunctional and left wing, so I have to keep my profile very low.

I'm 58, and am coming to this decision very late in my life. Never the less, I've come to the conclusion over the last three years that my people need our own space. Straight up, sir, I've never been a White nationalist, let alone an alt-rightist, but the time has come for me to do this. I can hardly wait to take the gap.

I don't know how I can help, but I do know the first thing is to get my affairs in order, and then get home. That looks like it will be sometime before the 31st of January 2018.

Take care of yourself, sir. Your podcasts have really been a great source of morale for me.


Friday, October 13, 2017

A New Order Within The New Order

Grittings, dewds:

Okay, for a variety of reasons, I am re-assessing the future tactical use of this blog. There will be fewer reposts of  lengthy articles, memes, etc. and a lot more commentary by your Friend and Humble Gensec. This blog was once my main method of communication and exposition: it will to some degree return to that status.

Long and the short of it, Twitter is simply too insecure. I am starting to get "correspondence received" e-mails wherein various tweets of mine have been complained about in Germany and Europe---my "gun control, not nigger control" tweet was definitely noticed.

Gab has great potential, but the growth rate of followers there is molasses-slow; I haven't even broken 500 yet.

This blog has been around for more than ten years, and except for one brief shutdown in 2008 when I was excessively and vocally skeptical about The One, it has remained online, even after Jew pederast Greville Janner hired one of these private companies to sweep it clean of critical commentary in re Janner's buggeries past.

So you guys need to start checking this blog out regularly. I will make a solemn vow to revert to a daily posting schedule. Bookmark it and see if you can bring others here. I still have much to say.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

How To Deal With The FBI


Includes some personal commentary and a section out of the new Northwest Front Party Manual (The White Book) Fifth Edition.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Radio Free Northwest - October 12th, 2017


More Brandenburg vs. Ohio from HAC, Brother Andy testifies.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

The Organization of the NVA


Okay, this is kind of a cuff substitute for a proper new post, but check out this one from the grooveyard of forgotten hits.

Friday, October 06, 2017

What Westerns Are All About (1975)

by Walter Karp 

[A bit of a classic from Back In The Day]

Where is the best place to hide a leaf? asked G. K. Chesterton’s fictional detective, and he answered: in a forest, of course. Where is the best place to hide the popular misunderstanding? In popular things, of course. 

That thought struck me recently while watching an Italian version of an American Western movie. The film’s western details were accurate and vivid, yet an essential ingredient was missing. It was the Western town itself, that rude, dusty, self-governing community with its familiar cast of citizens: the barroom ruffians, the gambling-casino owner, the hapless good folk, the dance-hall madam, each of them related in complex ways to all the others.

Without that vigorous political community, the Italian Western fell apart. The actor’s motives seemed contrived, their actions mere antics, their characterizations oddly weightless or merely grotesque. Yet the omission is understandable enough. We Americans have never been aware, either, that the familiar life of our Westerns, the indispensable ground of their action, and the force that animates their characters, derive from the political life of the Western town, a small, autonomous republic situated somewhere “in the territories.”

Popular things do make good hiding places, for what is hidden in the American Western is nothing less than the shared American understanding of politics, an understanding so deeply embedded in the Western that we are scarcely aware of its presence. More surprising still, that political understanding is complex, clear-eyed, and in many ways profound. Viewed as political drama, the simple-minded Western is not so simple after all.

One of the great engines of the Western plot, for example, is the quest for “law and order,” but it is a republican law and order, totally different from the dubious doctrine sounded by a recent unlamented administration (Note: this was written in 1975, and the author means Nixon.) According to the latter, the source of lawlessness is the licentiousness of the people, who must be curbed by the government through lawless means if necessary. Not so in the Western view, although Western lawlessness itself is conventional enough.

The signs of it are always the same. Rude, bullying ruffians stalk the streets as though they owned them, shoot up the town for the fun of it, and make unseemly advances to gentlewomen. The sheriff does nothing; he is a drunkard or a coward or politically paralyzed. The mayor of the town turns a blind eye.

We soon find the cause of all this. The town is in the clutches of a lawless regime. Sometimes it is a cabal headed by the mustachioed owner of the gambling casino. More often, the town boss is the local cattle baron who long ago seized control of the town just as the great landed magnates of medieval Italy seized control of Italy’s free communes. To the cattle baron of the Western, as to a medieval Visconti, a free community bordering one’s demesne is intolerable and must be brought to heel.

The swaggering ruffians are the cattle baron’s hired hands; that is why they swagger. The sheriff is the cattle baron’s appointee; that is why he is conveniently a sot. The mayor is in his pocket; that is why he is corrupt. In the Western the true source of lawlessness and disorder is not the people’s licentiousness. It is the direct result of lawless rule, and it stems from usurpation. This is a profound political insight, deeper by far, for example, than modern-day sociological cant about crime and bad housing.

However, like everything else that is profound in the Western, it appears merely as a device of the plot, as a truth so widely shared by the audience it is taken simply as the way things are. It says much for the American republic and its capacity to generate a truly republican culture that one of its most popular art forms employs a complex political doctrine to set an adventure story in motion.

The doctrine might be called American populism, but there is nothing sentimental about it. Western movies never assume that rulers are inherently evil or the people inherently good. The good folk, the church-going folk of the Western’s polis, are emphatically not repositories of virtue. They attend citizens’ meetings at the church and wring their hands in dismay, but they cannot rid themselves of the incubus of the usurper. They cannot bring themselves to act in concert against the local tyrant. 

Yet they cannot accept servility either, for they are free men. So they are merely unhappy. It is public unhappiness they suffer; unhappiness born of the unhappy state of public affairs. The point is an important one. In the Western, man is, in truth, a “political animal” in the Aristotelian sense. His life is a public life, whether he likes it or not. There is nothing arbitrary about the impotence of the good folk of the town. Their happiness embodies a profound and rather bleak political truth. Machiavelli, in his Discourse on Livy, insisted that a truly corrupted republic cannot save itself by its own exertions. There is simply not enough civic virtue left in such a republic to restore the reign of civic virtue. As usual in the Western, this truth is embedded in the plot. It prepares a hero’s role for the hero of the action.

The corollary that Machiavelli drew from his bleak rule is that corrupted republics must be saved by outsiders. The Western reaches the same conclusion. An outsider comes to town. He is so much the ruffian himself, so obviously intimate with the dance-hall madam, that he repels the good people of the town-moral righteousness is their weakness as well as their strength. Gradually, however, it dawns on someone that this brave, resourceful stranger might be the town’s salvation. Sometimes it is the drunken sheriff, his dishonor grown insupportable, who deputizes the outsider. Sometimes it is a few of the good folk who swallow their pride and beg the stranger for help.

The outsider agrees to clean up the town, but he does so reluctantly, for he is not a man of civic virtue. He has courage in abundance but no public spirit whatever. The reason he consents to help them is an exclusively private one. The town’s rulers long ago killed his father, or stole his ranch, or framed his brother. He will topple them from power, shoot them down like dogs, to avenge that private wrong. If it helps the townsfolk, well and good. His personal motives and their public motives simply happen to coincide.

The Western hero is rarely a Sir Galahad in chaps; he is instead what might be called a Madisonian hero. According to James Madison, the only free government likely to endure is one so contrived that the private interests of the man will coincide with the interests of his office. Congressmen and the president will check each other’s usurpations not necessarily out of devotion to the common weal but because each, if only out of pride and vanity, will defend the prerogatives of his branch of government. 

In this way private motives will serve the common good. The Madisonian skepticism, the refusal to rely, or even believe in, men of high public virtue, is perhaps the strongest of all America’s shared political beliefs. We demand--at least in the movies--that the doer of great public deeds have a private motive. The Western hero meets our political requirement, reaffirming our deep-seated political skepticism. He wrecks ruthless private vengeance, and the town, as a result, is set free.

Since Westerns have happy endings achieved by a quick spasm of violence, they are often said to be shallow and overoptimistic. Such criticism is remarkably self-contradictory. It objects to the happy ending, presumably on the grounds that corrupt regimes cannot be so easily overthrown. Then it turns around and objects to the violence, presumably because regimes so hard to overthrow can only be overthrown peacefully. The Western is at once more profound and more consistent. 

The happy ending is no flight of fancy. Historically, usurpers do get overthrown; it is not easy as it looks to hold illicit power. In the Western the town is liberated because the townspeople find an implacable enemy of the usurper, but they are not lucky in the fairy-tale sense. Inevitably, evil rulers make implacable enemies; tyranny does produce tyrannicides. 

On the other hand, the Western is far from being optimistic. It emphatically denies what its critics so blandly assume-that a corrupt regime can be overthrown peacefully. If the Western movie’s political understanding errs, it errs in its extreme pessimism. In its tacit assumption that only through violence and insurrection can free men rid themselves of entrenched corruption.

The Western genre, it is worth noting, was born after World War I in the aftermath of bitter defeat, the final defeat of what were once known as “Western ideas”: the People’s Party and its program, the Western progressive movement, the entire radical republican tradition. Threaded through hundreds of modern Westerns are bitter traces of the old populist attitudes: hatred of banks and railroads, of greedy cattle barons and foreclosing landlords, and of all the smaller fry who served their interests.

In the Western the old republican spirit lives on in a kind of suspended animation. Its political understanding is passive, embalmed as mere plot. It is republicanism turned into ritual, for the classical Western is as rigid and ceremonial as a Japanese Noh play. Nonetheless the Western does more than endure. 

What keeps it alive is what is embedded within it, what Americans still want to see affirmed: namely, their own political understanding, an understanding born of the experience of republican liberty and of the people corrupted. They want to see a community under the reign of corrupt rulers, to trace the consequences of their corruption, to watch them in the end toppled from power. That is a free man’s pleasure. They want to see the bright stage of an American polis where each life touches all lives, where each person’s actions affect the common fate, where everyone is a citizen and everybody matters. That is a free man’s ideal.