The Year in Review: 2019, Started as Tragedy, Ended as Tragicomedy

Every year for the non-Boomer right seems like a watershed, and 2019 was no exception. The year that passed was marked by shattered hopes and new inspirations. It was defined by absurdities and contradictions in the world of politics and culture. It reminded us of the oft-cited cliché that the more things appear to change, the more they actually stay the same. Overall, the decline of establishment conservatism has progressed unabated, institutions of cultural transmission continue to converge with hostile ideologies, moral and spiritual authorities have failed us, and leaders who were once celebrated as championing Restoration have instead compromised with, or capitulated to the Angry Mob. But these apparent disasters also serve an important role in providing clarity. It is easy to fall into the sin of despair as we survey the key events and issues of the last twelve months, but we would suggest that readers use the review that follows as a cautionary lesson against too quickly allowing themselves to be taken in by the false promises of the weak and empty suited. This year we may have been taken for granted, or taken for a ride, but that is a risk for those who put nobility before opportunism; the obstacles encountered may seem insurmountable, the mendacity overwhelming, but we know that striving for what is Good and True is its own reward. So we begin…

President Donald Trump.

2019 started when President Donald Trump, avatar of the Deplorables both locally and worldwide lifted his government shutdown without a single concession from the Swamp he was elected to drain. A demoralising blow, this was a depressing portent of things to come. Thus the year in its infancy saw the man who campaigned against and was initially disavowed by the perpetual losers of establishment conservatism effectively become one. It is unsurprising therefore that he should be treated accordingly by his enemies. This year the Mueller Report disclosed no evidence of President Trump’s alleged use of Russian espionage to win the 2016 election, yet the impeachment process over implications drawn from a telephone call made with former comedian and current Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, passed the US House of Representatives. There is of course no sign of the Wall and the executive order to rescind birth-right citizenship is likewise nowhere on the horizon. To date, the previous Obama administration was more successful in apprehending and deporting illegal immigrants. What President Trump has achieved this year was prison reform and a one hundred million dollar international female empowerment initiative headed by his daughter Ivanka. Other achievements included moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem before taking steps to effectively criminalise “anti-Semitism” federally and promote “alternative sexual lifestyles” globally. We imagine these were not issues high on the list of concerns for the electors of the Rustbelt.

Tyler, moments before he was Enriched by the Diversity of Approved Opinion.

Meanwhile, Trump supporters on- and offline continue to be vilified, and often physically assaulted by self-professed “anti-fascists”, but the President in whose name they continue to be targeted shows no sign of taking any measures to redress this pattern of clear and obvious civil rights violation.  The most recent example of this violence saw a 14 year old boy named only as “Tyler” beaten – requiring hospitalisation – merely for wearing a “Trump 2020” hat on his school bus. Tyler, it might be pointed out to the President, is roughly the age of his son Barron. This episode is emblematic of a disturbing trend that has been witnessed over the last several years. As can be seen in the video of the incident, there appears to be a racial element to this kind of violence with the general mocking of whites in popular culture now spilling over into overt assaults, even among minors. Who will answer for this? Those who do not share Approved Opinions online continue to be deplatformed, and the President continues to “monitor the situation” – just as we are sure he is monitoring the situation when his future voters are put in hospital for supporting his candidacy in public. One could be forgiven for wishing that Tyler’s pick for next year will get what he deserves, since Tyler certainly isn’t.

Tucker Carlson

The centralisation of corporate power has continued under President Trump with large scale mergers in industry being justified on the grounds that they will increase competition. Calls by Deplorables to pursue Big Tech and Big Data under anti-trust laws have therefore fallen on deaf ears – a predictable outcome given these are some of establishment conservatism’s biggest donors. In what can only be described as collective early-onset senility, the Trump reëlection campaign announced that it will be training 30,000 activists to operate on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook in the coming year. How they expect to campaign in an environment thoroughly purged of anything resembling the milieu of ’15 or ’16, and where “MAGA” activism will likely result in shadowbanning or deplatforming, remains a mystery. The last Omnibus Bill President Trump signed before the end of the year increased funding for bureaucracies like the Department of Education but not for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, while also containing surreptitious amnesty provisions that further incentivise illegal immigration through what some conservative critics have described as an “MS-13 trafficking loophole”. Throughout 2019, the only mainstream commentator who has had the courage to address these issues (particularly the poisonous relationship of Big Government and Big Business, and the slavish attitudes of establishment conservatism towards it) remains Tucker Carlson – how he remains on Fox News is likewise a mystery, but one for which we are forever grateful.

Jeffrey Epstein

The mass sacking of journalists continued in 2019 with Business Insider calling it a “media landslide” – 7,800 jobs lost this year compared with 5,000 in the 2014 to 2017 period. Among those who recently got that sack was Sarah Jeong, but not for her infamous racist tweets that targeted white people, but for a comment that her masters interpreted as a call for people to unsubscribe from the paper. The sackings are hardly surprising to those who know that Fake News can only come from a Fake Estate that no longer reports current affairs but advocates Approved Opinion, sanitises inconvenient truths, and gatekeeps dangerous avenues of inquiry. Example from this year: accused serial rapist and paedophile Jeffrey Epstein reportedly committed “suicide” while under surveillance in prison and immediately the media lost interest, despite the bizarre and byzantine network of high profile men and women of high finance and politics whose names turned up in the ongoing investigation – suddenly these lines of inquiry were no longer deemed newsworthy by the “responsible press”. What the “responsible press” did see as newsworthy were sensationalised accounts of crime that were spun to reinforce ideologically convenient cultural narratives. In this, 2019 was unremarkable, but the levels of Orwellian doublespeak and wilfull blindness are worth mentioning in brief. This year the New York Times blamed the Black Hebrew Israelite murders in Jersey City on “White Nationalist Extremism”, blamed the harassment of a Black by two South Asian school students on “evolving” “whiteness”, and lamented the impact on minorities after a white college girl Tessa Majors was knifed to death (in the face) by suspects whose identity the press showed a remarkable reluctance at first to describe. A second murder by a member of the Black Hebrew Israelites, this time at the Monsey Synagogue New York, is again blamed on “white supremacy” by NBC “fact checker” Erin Biba.

Jussie Smollet

Earlier this year, actor Jussie Smollett claimed to have been assaulted by two white Trump supporters who he alleged attacked him with racial and homophobic epithets and put a noose around his neck. What followed was a hurricane of editorialising and commentary that further inflamed bitterness between blacks and whites in the ‘States, however investigations later revealed that Smollet paid two Nigerians to attack him in what became 2019’s most internationally reported hatehoax. Smollett was indicted for disorderly conduct, but prosecutors amazingly dropped all charges against him later in the year. Also this year, “gay organist” Nathan Stang vandalised his own church with “Heil Trump” graffiti and Amari Allen confessed to inventing the story of having been “brutalised” by white schoolmates in Virginia who she alleged forcibly cut her dreg-locks. The hatehoax phenomena has been so pervasive this year that Wilfred Reilly’s Hate Crime Hoax was published by Regnery. Unfortunately, so-called “progressive” activists aided by the media have continued to exploit these tensions for political gain. In 2019, the comments of Judith Browne Dianis – a left-wing activist speaking at a “Leadership Conference of Civil and Human Rights” – were popularised on social media, namely: “people say that demographics aren’t destiny, well we are trying to make it destiny”. The Los Angeles Times also reported this year that “California’s changing demographics will further doom Republicans”. Yet the “Great Replacement” thesis popularised by French author Renaud Camus was universally condemned as a “conspiracy theory”, while Muhammad and Aaliyah enter the top ten list for most popular baby names in the US, finally catching up to the UK and Western Europe. Late this year the UK Telegraph reported figures showing that “for the first time more UK-born people died than babies born to UK-born mothers”. Sir Bryan Thwaits wanted to establish a scholarship fund for disadvantaged white boys at his alma mater, Dulwich College, but was denied for fear that the scholarship might be in breach of anti-discrimination law, despite the fact that white males from poor socioeconomic backgrounds are among the lowest achievers in education. A law student from Oklahoma University was expelled for posting “It’s OK to be White” on campus. Academic and technology entrepreneur Vivek Wadhwa helpfully informed us this year that “pattern recognition is another name for racism and sexism”, and we are, of course, very grateful for his assistance in our edification.

Greta Thunberg

2019 saw the rise of the “Extinction Rebellion” movement, which was so spontaneous and organic that coordinated protests sprung up throughout most of the major capitals of the Western World. Ironically, Extinction Rebellion has been criticised on the left for not addressing the other pet issue of the environmentalist lobby: overpopulation. Yet calls for population control seem to routinely target countries whose fertility crisis suggests that they need more, not fewer babies. Is this an “internal contradiction” of the Extinction Rebels, or just an embarrassing partial vindication of the aforementioned “conspiracy theory”? And while we’re on the subject of militant environmentalism, this yearly review would be incomplete without mentioning Greta Thunberg, the autistic minor from Sweden who this year became the poster child for global warming hysteria and declared “Person of the Year” by Time Magazine (the Hong Kong protesters were on the shortlist, but didn’t make it – maybe next time they will pursue a more worthy cause and face a more menacing opponent). In a subsequent public speaking engagement, Thunberg stated that those among the political class who do not concede to the demands of the global warming cult would be “put up against a wall”. Miss Greta then “explained” that this was the result of an infelicitous translation – if only Senator Fraser Anning could rely on a similar excuse for his “final solution” comments in Australia, but more on him later. In any event, the “responsible press” seemed to be more forgiving to one than the other, for reasons we will leave our readers to speculate.

Jeffrey Younger and Son.

This year a US court prevented Jeffrey Younger, the father of a seven year old boy, from stopping his estranged wife Anne Georgulas from “transitioning” his child, i.e. feeding him puberty blockers before ultimate castration. Another US court passed a 16 year sentence on a man who stole a rainbow flag from a church and destroyed it off grounds. Yet another US court also confirmed two life sentences on James Fields, a political prisoner who was incarcerated after inadvertently causing the death of a radical protester at Charlottesville in 2017. Readers will remember from last year’s review that the deceased protester was part of a group which was blocking Fields’ exit, while Fields was trying to escape in his car from a violent mob of thugs. Maxwell Hare and John Kinsman, two members of the “Proud Boys” were also each sentenced to four years in prison this year for an altercation with self-described “Anti Fascists” at a campus speaking event organised by founder Gavin McInnes. “AntiFa” has a reputation that cannot be described as benevolent, and on this occasion even the New York Times conceded its members “did not cooperate with the police”. Yet the judge made reference to the political thuggery of the “’30s” before handing down his sentence against the two young men. It boggles the mind how those who are routinely bullied and harassed into silence in the public square – surely the victims of civil rights violations – are playing the role of the Brown Shirts in the mind of this judge.

Kurt Eichenwald

This year, John Rayne Rivello pleaded guilty to “inducing a seizure with an animated strobe image, knowing that the complainant was susceptible to seizures and that such animations are capable of causing seizures.” The complainant was Kurt Eichenwald, a writer for the Economist who earlier claimed to have suffered a fit after being exposed to a flashing image sent to him on Twitter by Rivello. Eichenwald was one of the most virulent anti-Trumpist commentators during the 2015-2016 Presidential campaign, who devoted a great deal of ink and pixels to slandering the Republican candidate’s supporters, particularly the young cohort. In turn, he too was ridiculed after a gaffe when he published a screenshot of his computer in which search results for obscure pornographic content were clearly visible. So 2019 was the year when physical assault by meme literally became “a thing”, and we patiently await how this will be used to further promote the control of online speech by the purveyors of freedom and justice on the left, while that other purveyor of freedom and justice in the Oval Office continues to “monitor the situation”. Also this year, US prosecutors abandoned all charges made against “AntiFa” rioters who were charged with assault, battery and carrying dangerous weapons, who attempted to disrupt a “Straight Pride Parade” in Boston. The latter purveyor of freedom and justice appears unfazed, as does his Department of Justice – and why not, “due process” was served, so all must be well.

Sarcasm aside, all this institutional hypocrisy and ineptitude on the nominal right has further energised a younger generation of dissenters on and off campus. 2019 saw the birth of the Groyper Movement, which could be described as the successor to the Alternative Right’s trickster presentation, but without its aggressive and malicious racism. Their presence was most dramatically felt in Turning Point USA events hosted by former Never Trumper Charlie Kirk. Notably, TPUSA has been promoted by other high-profile libertarians such as Ben Shapiro, while also prominently featuring drag-queens and advocates of “alternative lifestyles” as guest speakers. The Q&A sessions saw “Groypers”, as they’ve come to be known, revealed the moral and philosophical bankruptcy of organisations that ostensibly opposed the cultural left but wholly subscribe to its first principles. It signalled the dissatisfaction and impatience of a younger and more future oriented line of dissident thought which is no longer willing to turn a blind eye to the sclerotic libertinism and fake opposition of Conservatism Inc. This phenomenon culminated in the “Groyper Leadership Summit” in late December, suggesting that the groundswell of dissident energy on the young right has never really dissipated, but simply looked for a credible, dynamic (and entertaining) alternatives to the status quo. Judging by the manner in which their questions have been framed and the rhetoric used in online debates, this groundswell is reminiscent of a paleoconserve Old Right which unashamedly celebrates the legacy of the US foundational peoples but within an explicitly Christian moral worldview. We look forward to seeing how this new development fares in coming months.

This year also saw a significant boost in the popularity for Catholic commentator and publicist E. Michael Jones, whose concept of the “Logos of History” and social critique of modernity was embraced by Millennials looking for a positive programme of dissent against the contemporary nihilism of the left and right. The theology of “Logos” also appeared among Groypers who applied it as a heuristic to deconstruct modernity in debates concerning civilisational revival. Dr. Jones foreshadowed a comprehensive book that will specifically address this topic, which is scheduled for publication in January 2020. The rising popularity of Dr. Jones also coincided roughly this year with the demise of Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, author of Maps of Meaning and self-help book 12 Rules for Life. The first signs of his declining authority among young reactionaries were visible at the “Happiness” debate with Slovenian Prof. Slavoj Žižek, and ended with Dr. Peterson’s admission into a rehabilitation clinic for drug abuse after months of claiming that he managed to cure his ailments via the carnivore diet. Rightist critics of Dr. Peterson have routinely claimed that he was little more than a disingenuous gatekeeper of an essentially libertarian variant of laissez faire oriented faux-conservatism. The much anticipated “Happiness” debate illustrated the feebleness of his appeals to individualism and freedom in the face of Žižek’s psychoanalytical approach to critiquing modernity. Ultimately, Dr. Peterson’s fatal flaw in 2019 was this: to those searching for an intellectual oasis from the absurdities of the modern world, all he ultimately offered was a defence of the status quo through simplistic appeals to capitalism, democracy and radical autonomy theory, i.e. the modern world itself.

This year the founder of neoreaction published three essays on The American Mind under his actual name, Curtis Yarvin: two parts (of five) on the “Clear Pill” and one on “The Deep State vs The Deep Right”, perhaps signalling a return of neoreactionary thought to the public square. 2019 also saw the publication of Harassment Architecture by Mike Ma and the review of Bronze Age Mindset in the Claremont Review of Books. The latter’s review represented the remarkable case of an Amazon best-selling self-published work of peak illiberalism being noticed by an establishment journal of literary review. It was also the subject of an online symposium at American Greatness in which one of our Fellows contributed a paper: Johann Michael’s “Silicon Age Theatre”. Ma’s work, much less esoteric but equally trans-political, was essentially a disjointed narrative-rant that partly reflected 2019’s most successful wedge-meme “Islam is Right About Women”, and partly illustrated a pseudo-theology centred on the destruction of a world beyond salvation. More in the spirit of these two self-published volumes than the Catholic weltanschauung of Dr. Jones, “Joker” also came out this year after much speculation and hand-wringing by the mainstream press about the risk of its being used to whitewash, excuse or even promote society’s purportedly greatest scourge: the white man driven to despair through his alienation from a society he and his forefathers built. However, while the film was not universally embraced by the dissident right, the villain-as-hero paradigm seems to have continued developing a universal resonance in 2019 with sections of the left claiming the lead character for their own due to his apparent anti-capitalism and anarchism. No doubt a disappointment to the perpetual outrage machine, “Joker” managed to instigate a legion of online memes, a few “IRL” pranks, but not much else.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison

On the local front, two major elections occurred in 2019, one in New South Wales and one for the Commonwealth Parliament. The Liberal National Coalition won both and the media establishment was happy to indulge in the delusion that this somehow represented a win for the forces of the political right. The Prime Minister Scott Morrison campaigned as a nominal Christian, but it should never be forgotten that he abstained on a vote against the legalisation of same-sex “marriage”, claimed abortion was a “conscience issue”, did all he could to avoid direct engagement in the ongoing debates concerning religious freedoms, and seemed more concerned about not being “racist” than protecting the nation’s parliamentary integrity from Chinese political irredentism (more on that later). This former public relations professional has had a very good year, enjoying consistently high level of support from “normie” conservatives whose votes are evidently cheap. On the state level, the “conservative” Liberal National Coalition under Premier Gladys Berejiklian left its mark this year by rushing through a bill to legalise abortion up until the third trimester. Berejiklian made no Christian pretensions on her campaign, but this bill did not feature in any of her election pledges. Amendments to the law that wold prohibit sex-selective abortions (in which female foetuses are disproportionately killed) were blocked by feminist MPs, as was an amendment to mandate the delivery of painkillers to a foetus in the third trimester subject to an abortion. The law was celebrated as a victory for women’s rights in New South Wales. Democracies deserve the leaders they elect, but the search for alternatives continues among those who see the moral bankruptcy of the mainstream. The lessons from this year’s battles are clear:

Mark Latham, leader of One Nation (NSW)

While One Nation made a comeback in New South Wales under the leadership of former Federal Labor Opposition leader Mark Latham, the state’s Christian Democratic Party lost one seat (halving its representation) thus continuing its gradual yet seemingly inevitable slide towards irrelevancy. In 2019, and despite great promises to the contrary, the new-yet-floundering Australian Conservatives proved themselves to be little more than a negligible nuisance to the political mainstream. Out of these smaller parties on the fringe of the non-left, only One Nation addressed what we have called “civilisational defining” issues by tackling immigration, unrestrained urban population growth and the continued leftist obsession with the politics of sexual eccentrism. Latham’s aversion to anything resembling identity politics was a good recipe for tapping into the mainstream populist discontent with Cultural Marxist overreach, but it was Cory Bernardi’s spectacular refusal to ride the wave of rightist populism (i.e. new nationalism) that reduced the Australian Conservatives to nothing more than a feeble attempt at recreating a more laissez faire version of the party he seceded from the year before. Bernardi’s was the party that boasted it would champion the interests of those taken for granted by the system, but he opposed this year’s Royal Commission into the banking sector. Later this year we saw the publication of the Hayne Report into banking misconduct, and the banking scandals at IOOF and Westpac. 2019 proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that no genuine conservative reaction will ever be possible until the empty suits stop worshiping the golden calf.

Senator Fraser Anning

Senator Bernardi was a guest of ours some year ago and endorsed our association: “I am heartened at the great promise of this group” he then said. We were, naturally, greatly enthused at the prospect of a traditional conservative taking the fight to the fakes and posers of the “moderate” mainstream, only now to see him eventually become one, and suffer the consequences. The Australian Conservatives were the greatest lost opportunity in the modern history of Australia’s minor parties, and we predicted its ultimate demise when Lyle Shelton (the intelligence behind the failed “campaign” opposing the legalisation of same-sex “marriage”) was appointed as Bernardi’s Director of Communications and candidate for Queensland. Another disappointment was Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party, which outpolled the Australian Conservatives even after being condemned by them for its populist and admittedly ham-fisted rhetoric. Yet Anning’s was the only party that spoke about the “crimson thread of kinship” as an historical tie-in to modern Australian identity. The Conservative Nationals did not win any federal seats following a complete media blackout, online deplatforming campaign, and preference isolation at the ballot box. After being assaulted physically during a press conference, Anning’s perpetrator was celebrated in the press for his act of “bravery”, and no action was taken by any authority to defend the dignity and honour of the Australian Senate, in which Anning represented the state of Queensland. Meanwhile, the bobble-heads on the idiot-box keep wondering why there’s such a collapse in faith and respect for our institutions of state, particularly among the nonaligned right.

Senator Cory Bernardi

This year Clive Hamilton published his book The Silent Invasion which details the Chinese Communist Party’s penetration of Australia’s political, economic and business networks. 2019 was the year when the question of Chinese involvement in our political life – including allegations of foreign infiltration of our Parliament – was felt at almost all levels of government, media and on the university campus. The name of Gladys Liu, a Hong Kong born member of the Australian House of Representatives was discovered on a Chinese government document as a Council Member of the Guangdong provincial chapter of the China Overseas Exchange Association for 2003 to 2015. The local press compared this to Labor’s Senator Sam Dastyari, who was likewise accused of being compromised by links to the Chinese Communist Party and forced to resign from the Senate early last year as a result. Prime Minister Morrison was quick to denounce any accusations of split loyalty as “racist” and stood by Liu, who remains a legislator in the federal Parliament. The controversy comes at a time when allegations of Chinese Communist Party interference in various local council elections has also been made, most notably in Ryde (NSW) and Hobart City (Tasmania) as well as accusations that those same forces have pressured local community papers from being critical of Beijing.

Gladys Liu MHR

Hamilton’s book was released while the trade war between China and the US continues to rage, while Beijing continued to claim territorial sovereignty over the South China Sea, but one month before large scale protests erupted in Hong Kong over a law that would allow extradition of Hong Kong residents to the mainland. Those protests continued for months and resulted in daily rallies, the occupation of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and resulted in over a dozen fatalities, 2,600 injuries, and 6,000 arrests. The controversial legislation was ultimately withdrawn but this failed to quell public anger. The pro-democracy bloc won the subsequent District Council elections in a landslide which was seen as a public endorsement of the protestors’ demands and actions taken. In 2019, we also witnessed the political dominance of Chinese students at Sydney University as well as pro-Chinese Communist Party protests being organised on various campuses. In related news, this year the Ottawa Citizen reported that “Officials warned China, India could use communities in Canada to advance agendas”. But what would Canadians know about multiculturalism, right? Those who were once denounced as “racist” for warning these things would transpire are likely now to be denounced as “racist” that their predictions have come true.

Israel Folau

The persecution of Christians in the Australian public square also defined 2019. People and organisations of faith continue to be harassed by aggressive secular (and specifically anti-Christian) activists, and their most visible victims have been Margaret Court, Israel Folau and Bernard Gaynor. The most high profile case was that of Israel Folau, the Islander rugby player who quoted the Bible online and was sacked by Rugby Australia after a concerted doxxing and defamation campaign against him and his wife, Maria Folau. Late in the year, the parties settled the dispute, but only before Folau was again in the cross hairs, this time before the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board. The Federal government, under the Prime Ministership of nominal Christian Scott Morrison was dragged kicking and screaming into addressing this through legislative reform. The outcome has been a bill that only protects inherently uncontroversial religious speech, thus defeating the very reason why such a law was being called for by the public. The NSW State Parliament has indicated that it will wait for the Federal response before legislating its own bill, despite the fact that now two bills addressing the abuse of religious freedoms are on the Notice Paper but have not even so much as been debated in either House.

Cardinal George Pell

Cardinal George Pell remains a prisoner of conscience in a Victorian gaol after being convicted of a crime that could not possibly have happened. An appeal was dismissed by a Court comprised of three judges, two of which had no real criminal law practice history (Anne Ferguson and George Maxwell) and a Chief Justice (Ferguson) who was accused of having a history of leftist activism. The one judge with extensive experience in criminal practice was in dissent: Justice Mark Weinberg. A further appeal to the High Court has been filed and the final verdict will be forthcoming in 2020. It is worth reminding readers that the court at first instance refused to visit the scene of the alleged crime, or even inspect the vestments he was allegedly wearing at the time, to establish whether or not the claims made against the Cardinal could have occurred in the way they were described. It is also worth reminding our readers that there were two accusers in the case of Cardinal Pell, one who recanted his accusation on his deathbed and another who has a history of mental illness. The retraction of the deceased accuser was not considered by the court at first instance before it found the Cardinal guilty. Understandably, this whole controversy has cast a shadow over the legal system in Australia (more specifically, in Victoria).

Gary Johns (ed) “Recognise What?” (Ballarat: ConnorCourts, 2014)

This year Wagga Wagga held its first Corroboree since the 1870s, with one attendee reported as saying that “Australia is really trying its guts out to heal, we’re really trying to unite”. This year therefore witnessed renewed calls for a “treaty” between two amorphous groups. The first being spokesmen who claim to be descended from Australia’s indigenous pre-colonial population (who therefore usurp the privilege of speaking collectively in its name, despite many of them being virtually indistinguishable from that of the settlers themselves if judged by complexion alone). The second group could be roughly designated as the “rest” of the Australia, which has magically acquired the apparent original sin of, essentially, not being the first group. This is noteworthy because the dictates of the zeitgeist require the rejection of ethnic identity as governing criteria in social policy, yet here is seems to be at its heart. This year’s “National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee” commemorations in the New South Wales Parliament saw one organiser claim that it doesn’t matter how “white” some Indigenous leaders may appear because “it doesn’t matter how much cream you put in your coffee, it’s still coffee” – the audience, of course, applauded.

Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner, Jill Gallagher (Gunditjmara)

Earlier in the year the “Recognise” campaign sought to acknowledge Aboriginal Australians in the Commonwealth Constitution, while being silent on the contributions of the settler class which was solely responsible for the nation’s civic culture and the construction and maintenance of its institutions of state. This campaign has received support from both major party blocs as well as the corporate sector. However, taking its cue from the 2017 Uluru Statement which rejected what is often dismissed as merely symbolic acts of reconciliation, this year’s Treaty movement in Victoria culminated with the election of a “First People’s Assembly”. The government’s own statements claim that “a treaty is an agreement between states, nations or governments” but the state’s Treaty Advancement Commissioner Jill Gallagher has stated that the Commission is not currently advancing a Treaty. Nevertheless, it appears we have this year witnessed a political separatist movement which, in an Orwellian twist, is being promoted ostensibly to foster national unity. The Assembly, however, didn’t seem capable of uniting itself: many tribes refused to attend and those that did engaged in infighting that will most likely continue well into 2020. Given that the electors of the “First People’s Assembly” will also have a vote on who sits in the Victorian Parliament, claims that the Assembly exists to enfranchise the allegedly voiceless seem fatuous at best – not every Victorian will have the right to vote in the Assembly because that coffee and cream thing apparently only works one way.

Statue of Jesus Christ splattered with the blood of the Sri Lankan Easter Bombing victims.

Overseas but closer to home, this year witnessed the horrific terrorist attack in New Zealand, when Australian born Brenton Tarrant slaughtered 51 innocent civilians in Christchurch while livestreaming it on social media. The press and commentariat blamed this carnage on his pastiche ideology and not the mental state of this obvious homicidal psychopath. That same press turned a blind eye to his self-description as an “ecofascist” and “green nationalist”, preferring instead to cynically exploit this event to continue slandering advocates of the national interest. Needless to say, no ideology that seeks to re-establish Order – as the True Right does – would consider homicidal mania as a legitimate vehicle to push back against leftist tyranny. The news and public reaction to the terrorist attack in Sri Lanka, which claimed the lives of over 200 victims in Easter, was oddly mute in comparison; bizarrely, the press and high profile commentators referred to the victims as “Easter worshippers” and not Christians, as if they were targeted for worshiping at Easter and not for the religion itself they were practicing. 2019 was a year of similar tragedies in the US, such as Patrick Crusius who claimed the lives of 22 victims in El Paso, and Connor Betts who claimed the lives of nine in Dayton. Inexplicably, Crusius’ MyLife profile appeared to have been altered from “registered Democrat” to “registered Republican” immediately after his terror spree; moreover, his rhetoric was more in line with the politics of Andrew Yang’s calls for UBI and warnings against automation than anything on the nominal right. Betts was indisputably a member of “AntiFa”, identified as an “atheist”, “Satanist” and “leftist” who supported gun control. Despite these curiosities, the mainstream press spared no efforts to cast them both as radicalised by the populist rhetoric of President Trump.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

This year Boris Johnson was reëlected as UK Prime Minister, defeating the openly socialist and allegedly anti-Semitic Jeremy Corbyn. It has been over two years since the people of the UK voted to leave the EU, yet the country remains a member of that transnational Leviathan. Johnson’s major challenge now will be to give effect to that vote. In his first speech after the victory, Boris Johnson celebrated the record number of women and ethnic minorities in his Parliament, which was, in his own words, “one of the best parliaments this country has ever produced”. This sentiment has now thoroughly characterised the political theology of the British conservatives, and there was no real evidence to suggest that the Tories would constitute any substantive oppositional force to the thuggishness of the cultural left. Earlier in the year, Sir Roger Scruton was disgracefully sacked from his position as Special Advisor on Housing by the Conservatives after being deliberately misrepresented in an interview with George Eaton of the New Statesman. In contrast, later in the year Scruton was awarded the Silver Medal commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in the Czech Republic, before also being awarded the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Merit of the Republic of Hungary for his support of freedom in Central Europe. A poisonous ideology has the UK by the throat and the murder of Jack Merritt illustrated just how poisonous that ideology could be: a young man who dedicated his life to campaigning for prison reform and minority rights was killed by a minority out of prison – his father, not to be outdone in the competition of progressive virtue signalling, immediately took to social media to push the same agenda of diversity and sentencing reform.

Krzysztof Bosak (Konfederacja) at the Traditional Britain Group Conference, 2019

Elsewhere in the world: Naturalised American actress Charlize Theron denounced “white privilege” (whatever that is) but was quickly reminded that she left South Africa in 1996 because there was, in her words: “no future for a white South African” in her homeland. Needless to say, the terrors befalling the Boer population there continue unabated, while the international community remains mute, preferring ignorance and denial to facing the moral bankruptcy of the Rainbow Nation. On the other hand, this year The Guardian reported about Orania, a small Boer community that is booming despite the country’s continuing troubles (that don’t exist, of course) but strangely calls this an “indictment”. An indictment on what, one wonders… perhaps on “white privilege”? The ruling “Law and Justice” party in Poland, routinely described as “nationalist” by a liberal Western press in search of dragons to slay, wins parliamentary elections but with a substantially reduced majority, and loses outright control of the Senate. The governing party’s inability (or unwillingness) to deliver on promises made to its Catholic conservative base has seen many voters flock to the new confederation of rightists – the “Konfederacja” – which won eleven seats in the lower house and will undoubtedly prove to be a thorn in the side of the political elite in coming years. In a sign of precisely what these rightists want to prevent happening to their country, this year the parents of a 15 year old Finnish girl lost custody of their child after refusing to consent to her sex-change, after their daughter Nea “met a new friend group” abroad and started claiming she was born in the “wrong body”. And in contrast, news from a society perhaps worthy emulating: this year riots broke out in India at plans to liberalise the country’s citizenship laws.

Chief Architect Philippe Villeneuve

Back in Western Europe, the socialist government in Spain delivered on its election promise to exhume Gen. Franco’s remains from his mausoleum in the Valley of the Fallen, while the rise of Vox illustrated that there still remains a spark of resistance among the people of the Iberian peninsulae. Church vandalism in France seems to have reached epic proportions in 2019 with the conflagration of Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral. The press was quick to declare that the Cathedral’s destruction had absolutely nothing to do with vandalism or terrorism, and was most definitely not caused by anything other than pure and simple accident. So quick in fact that this declaration was unanimously held to be true by the “responsible press” while the fire raged, before the spires collapsed into the building, and well before any proper investigation could have been conducted. Images circulating on social media networks showed that not everyone on the street was shocked and disturbed by the fire. Debate on how the Cathedral was to be rebuilt oscillated from hyper-modernist proposals to demands for a faithful reconstruction, but tensions remain high. Appointed by President Macron to oversee the reconstruction, Gen. Jean-Louis Georgelin was reported as telling the Chief Architect Philippe Villeneuve to “shut your mouth” after the architect insisted that only a traditional design, one faithful to the original, could be completed within the five year time-frame for reconstruction.

Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, photographed in a police vehicle after being physically evicted from the Ecuadorian Embassy.

Tensions elsewhere in France also remain high: The ongoing Gilets Jaunes Yellow Vests protests commemorated one year of uninterrupted protest activity against the government of Emmanuel Macron. At least ten fatalities have been recorded since protests commenced, almost two thousand civilians and over one thousand police have been injured. Le Parisienn and L’Indépendent also reports this year on the rising phenomenon of young French women being assaulted in public by their immigrant male partners. This year also saw the eviction of Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, in which he has been exiled for the last eight years due to false charges of sexual assault made against him by two Swedish females, “Miss A” (Anna Ardin) and “Miss W” (Sophia Wilen) and also as a result of a US extradition request made to the UK as a result of Wikileaks’ publication of US classified information. José Bergoglio (a.k.a. Pope Francis) this year blessed a pagan South American goddess “Pachamama” in the Vatican Gardens before being condemned by actual Catholics worldwide for his idolatry. Later he claimed that “Rigid Conservative Christians are actually creating a minefield of hatred” and not the liberal relativistic absurdity that has led not only to the demoralisation of his own Church but destroyed formerly Christian communities in which young women now cannot walk the streets in peace. Attempts at the Amazon Synod to radically “reform” Catholicism have also renewed speculations among the faithful about the possibility of a Schism within the Church.

Pope Francis

In the meantime, the struggle for US foreign policy continued in 2019 with Trump indicating he would no longer be policing the Middle East; President Bashar al-Assad appears to be secure as the legitimate Syrian Head of State with Russian political and military backing; but Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia continue to assert themselves in the region. This year saw provocative actions taken by both Iran and the United Kingdom with the raiding and impounding of oil tankers to – depending on one’s perspective – either enforce sanctions against Iran’s oil export industry or defend its legitimate sea trade routes. The vitriolic exchange between Tehran and Washington reached new heights with speculation about a possible or imminent military intervention. Nevertheless, the Iranian drone attack this year against a Saudi oil refinery showed that any conflict could have significant global ramifications, and the sacking of US National Security Advisor John Bolton has seen the dogs of war put back on the leash for the time being. Be that as it may, Trump’s repeated claims of pulling troops out of Syria has been more rhetoric than reality, and recent suggestions he would enhance a military presence closer to Iran illustrates that the pressures of geopolitics may render his earlier campaign promises virtually unrealistic. Likewise, the Pentagon indicated that US military presence in West Africa would be redeployed or even withdrawn.

Before we conclude this review, we remember a number of individuals who have left a mark on our culture and worldview, who this year passed away.

  • Guillaume Faye, pioneer of dissident thought in France, major theorist of the Nouovelle Droit, author of many books including Archeofuturism (1998) and World State of Emergency (2017) died on 7 March at the age of 69. Dr. Faye was an independent thinker even among the European New Right, which he had no compunction to criticise in his later work.
  • Matthew “Zippy Catholic”, who provided invaluable apologia for traditional Catholics world-wide at his eponymous blog, will likewise be sorely missed. Many will remember his early contributions to the late Lawrence Auster’s View from the Right or be familiar with his “FAQ” commentary on Usury.
  • Justin Raymondo, the paleolibertarian author of Reclaiming the Right (1993) and regular contributor to Chronicles and The American Conservative as well as his own blog died on 27 June at age 70. He was one of the early critics of US conservatism’s imperial overreach and capitulation to liberalism.
  • Vladimir Bukowski, Soviet dissident, labour-camp survivor, writer and critic of the European Union passed away this year on 27 October at the age of 76. Throughout his post-Soviet career, Bukowski warned the West that communism remained a threat to the West under the guise of transnationalism and other revolutionary ideologies.
  • Clive James, Australian expatriate and cultural critic who lived in the United Kingdom and travelled widely through the United States, passed away on 24 November at the age of 80. He was perhaps the last representative of an Australian intelligentsia that wasn’t slavishly shackled to ideological dogma, in other words, he was an honest observer of his time, an intellectual worthy of the name.
  • Tim Fisher, former Deputy Prime Minister and federal leader of the National Party of Australia died on 22 August at the age of 73. Fisher was appointed Australia’s first Ambassador to the Holy Sea after a distinguished career in conservative politics. His conservatism was sincere but a product of his time; as we survey the events of 2019, it was evidently unsuited for the challenges both contemporary and future.

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (1896-1957)

As the Prince of Lampedusa might have said, we are Leopards living in a world of Jackals and Sheep. At least we aspire to be those Leopards in an era where the old aristocracy seems to have forsaken its legacy and therefore lost its authority in our eyes. While the marriage of Prince William and Megan Markel continues to degenerate into a Yankee soap-opera and the continuing gaffes of Prince Andrew (amicus Epstein) further humiliate the British Royal Family in a very public way, it is heartening to see that some form of royal dignity can still be found elsewhere in the world. In 2019, Japan’s Emperor Akihito abdicated; his son Prince Naruhito formally ascended the throne on Wednesday 1 May initiating a new era to be known in the traditional calendar as Reiwa (令和). This was the first abdication in the Japanese Royal Family in over two hundred years. Japan has undergone significant Westernisation over the last half century; but unlike the more “advanced” countries of the Occident, it has avoided the bastardisation of its cultural and national institutions, which still comport themselves with a dignity that has faded in our own civilisation – or so it would appear to those of us still awaiting the arrival of our own Patriot King. As we look to the world of Tradition, perhaps we too can draw some inspiration from this new beginning and hope that 2020 will likewise be the start of a new era for Men of the West. But as Men of the West, we understand that any renaissance will depend on us as much as being the function of providence. In 2019 “Logos is rising” – let us rise with it at dawn tomorrow.

– SydneyTrads Editors

SydneyTrads is the web page of the Sydney Traditionalist Forum: an association of young professionals who form part of the Australian independent right (also known as “non-aligned right”).

2 Comments on "The Year in Review: 2019, Started as Tragedy, Ended as Tragicomedy"

  1. This is my first visit to your page. I was disappointed by your inclusion of Clive James among the people that you deemed worthy of remembrance. He described himself as a liberal social-democrat, in other words, a moderate cultural Marxist, and as such he was celebrated by the English intellectual establishment. Among other despicable things, he supported the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

    • Dear “Claudius” of 1889,

      Your point is taken. Clive James was no reactionary; as you say he could well be characterised as a “moderate cultural Marxist“. However, we included him for two reasons: he was a prominent Australian cultural critic (as as the Sydney Traditionalist Forum is primarily a cultural milieu, this along made his passing noteworthy) and he did express some disdain for political correctness. While the latter is certainly not an especial cause for laudation, on ballance we believed that he merited a mention.

      Another individual who was close to some of our members, but who was left out due to the hast in the Review’s preparation, was Fr. Paul Stenhouse. He too passed away last year, and he was Australia’s preeminent authority on Islam and its sociopolitical impact within the West. Fr. Stenhouse was also the last editor of Annals Australasia, which was the country’s longest running continuous weekly magazine after The Bulletin folded some years ago.

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