Francis Parker Yockey
|Died||June 16, 1960 (aged 42)|
|Alma mater||University of Arizona (BA)|
Notre Dame Law School (JD)
Francis Parker Yockey (September 18, 1917 – June 16, 1960) was an American attorney, political philosopher, and Metaphysician best known for his neo-Spenglerian book Imperium: The Philosophy of History and Politics, published under the pen name Ulick Varange in 1948. This book, described in its introduction as a "sequel" to Spengler's The Decline of the West, argues for a culture-based, totalitarian path for the preservation of Western culture.
Yockey actively supported many far-right causes around the world and remains one of the seminal influences of many white nationalist and New Right movements. Yockey was a passionate proponent of antisemitism, and expressed a reverence for German National Socialism, and a general affinity for fascist causes. Yockey contacted or worked with the Nazi-aligned Silver Shirts and the German-American Bund. After the defeat of the Axis in World War II, Yockey became even more active in neo-Fascist causes.
Yockey believed that the United States was an engine of liberalism, controlled by Zionist Jews. Yockey also met Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, and wrote anti-Zionist propaganda on behalf of the Egyptian government, seeing the pan-Arab nationalist movement as another ally to challenge "the Jewish-American power." While in prison for falsified passports, he was visited by American right-winger Willis Carto, who ultimately became the chief advocate and publisher of Yockey's writings.
Many biographical facts about Yockey cannot be known with absolute certainty. The majority comes from the accounts of those who knew him and from FBI efforts to gain intelligence in regard to his activities, as recorded by his biographer Kevin Coogan in his book Dreamer of the Day: Francis Parker Yockey and the Postwar Fascist International.
Yockey was born in Chicago, Illinois, the youngest of four siblings, but his family returned to their original homestead in Ludington, Michigan during the Great Depression. His parents were Anglophiles who raised Yockey to appreciate Europe and high culture. Subsequently, Yockey's mother introduced him to classical music. Young Francis had a prodigious talent for the piano and developed his repertoire to include pieces by Liszt, Beethoven, Chopin, and Haydn. He reportedly had an IQ of 170. Yockey claimed that his ideas about race were initially the result of a car accident, wherein he was assaulted by several African Americans. As a result of this attack he lost his front teeth and wore dentures for the rest of his short life.
Before becoming a devotee of elitist and anti-materialist Oswald Spengler, he briefly flirted with Marxism. Aside from Spengler, he was heavily influenced by the ideas of German legal scholar Carl Schmitt. Like Spengler, he rejected the strict biological view of race, instead preferring a spiritual conception of race married with Karl Haushofer's idea of geopolitics; but unlike Spengler, who disregarded the Nazis for being too bourgeois and anti-Semitic, Yockey believed in German National Socialism, and supported various Fascist and neo-Fascist causes for the remainder of his life, including anti-Semitism.
As a university student in the late 1930s, Yockey had his first political essay published in Social Justice, a periodical distributed by Fr. Charles Coughlin, known as the "radio priest," At the time Coughlin was widely known for his sympathetic view of the anti-Bolshevist policies associated with Adolf Hitler's Germany, Benito Mussolini's Italy, and Gen. Franco's Spain.
Yockey attended at least seven universities. He studied for two years (1934–1936) as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, and then transferred to Georgetown's School of Foreign Service. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Arizona, and graduated cum laude from the Notre Dame Law School in 1941.
Over time, Yockey contacted or worked with many of the far-right figures and organizations of his day. These included the German-American Bund, the National German-American Alliance, William Dudley Pelley's Silver Shirts, Sir Oswald Mosley's Union Movement, George Sylvester Viereck, the American H. Keith Thompson, Gerald L. K. Smith, and James H. Madole's National Renaissance Party. After the war Thompson and Madole became advocates of Yockey's worldview and published some of his essays. While Yockey's pro-Fascist activities began in the late 1930s, they did not end there. Unfazed by the defeat of the Axis in the Second World War, Yockey actually became even more active in neo-Fascist causes after 1945. From this point forward, he remained dedicated solely to his cause of reviving Fascism. He dispensed with any semblance of an ordinary life, and remained constantly on the move, travelling to wherever he felt he could pursue his goals most effectively, and cultivating countless contacts along the way.
Yockey's ideas were usually embraced only by those, however, who could countenance the necessity of an alliance between the far Left and the far Right, which was a fundamental pillar of Yockey's ideas. The American Nazi Party of George Lincoln Rockwell, for example, rejected Yockey on the basis of his anti-American attitude, as well as his willingness to work with anti-Zionist Communist governments and movements, as the ANP adhered solely to the ideals of absolute anti-Bolshevist National Socialism, as had been advocated by Hitler. (Yockey, however, seems to have remained unaware of Rockwell, as he told Willis Carto that he had never heard of the ANP when Carto visited him in prison in 1960.) Other proponents of Universal Nazism, such as Rockwell's ally Colin Jordan, disagreed with Yockey's views on race, and saw Yockeyism as advocating a kind of "New Strasserism" which would undermine true Nazism.
In early 1946, Yockey began working for the United States War Department as a post-trial review attorney for the Nuremberg Trials in Germany. He soon began agitating against Allied occupation of Germany, as well as what he perceived to be the biased procedures of the Nuremberg tribunal. Eventually, he was fired for "abandonment of position" in November 1946.
Without notes, Yockey wrote his first book, Imperium: The Philosophy of History and Politics, in Brittas Bay, Ireland over the winter and early spring of 1948. It is a Spenglerian critique of 19th century materialism and rationalism. It is dedicated to 'The hero of the twentieth century'; allegedly, he intended that description to apply to Adolf Hitler. In a rebuttal to the accusations of Arnold Leese, Yockey stated that the "hero" of which he spoke was indeed Hitler. The views expressed in Imperium were endorsed by far-Right thinkers around the world including former German General Otto Remer; Professor of Classics at the University of Illinois, Revilo P. Oliver; and Italian esotericist Julius Evola. Yockey became embittered with Sir Oswald Mosley after the latter refused to publish or review Imperium upon its completion, after having promised to do so. Guy Chesham, one of the leaders of Mosley's movement, actually resigned from it, in part because of Mosley's treatment of Yockey. Imperium subscribes to Spengler's suggestion that Germany had been destined to fulfil the 'Roman' role in Western Civilization by uniting all its constituent states into one large empire.
Along with former Mosleyites Guy Chesham and John Gannon, Yockey formed the European Liberation Front (ELF) in 1948–49. The ELF issued a newsletter, Frontfighter, and published Yockey's virulent anti-American, anti-communist and anti-semitic text The Proclamation of London. In Yockey's view, "social decay" was permeated by the Jew, who as a "Culture-distorter" and a "bearer of Culture-disease", "instinctively allied himself with all forms, theories, doctrines and practices of decadence in every sphere of life". "America is [the Jew and the liberal-communist-democrat]'s program in process of actualization, and its example shows Europe what the liberal-communist-democratic regime of Culture-distortion is preparing for it during the coming generations". Yockey was also approached by the group around the anti-Communist Senator Joseph McCarthy in 1951. He was asked to ghost-write a speech for McCarthy which stressed the importance of greater friendship between Germany and the United States, although McCarthy never delivered it as the theme of the speech, when it was announced, aroused a great deal of controversy.
In late 1952, Yockey traveled to Prague and witnessed the Prague Trials. He believed they "foretold a Russian break with Jewry", a view he put forward in his article What is Behind the Hanging of the Eleven Jews in Prague?. Indeed, that prediction was vindicated by the fact that the last Jewish member of the Soviet Presidium, Lazar Kaganovich, was expelled in 1957 – having been sidelined as early as 1953. (In addition, after sympathizing with Israel in its 1948–49 war, the USSR switched sides and supported Arabs in subsequent conflicts.) Yockey believed that Stalinism had purged Soviet Communism of Jewish influence. He spent the remainder of his life attempting to forge an alliance between the worldwide forces of Communism and the international network of the extreme Right of which he was a part, with an aim toward weakening or overthrowing the government of the United States.
Yockey met Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, whom he called "a great and vigorous man", in Cairo in 1953. He worked briefly for the Egyptian Information Ministry, writing anti-Zionist propaganda. Yockey saw the rise of non-aligned states in the Third World, and in particular Arab nationalism, as significant geopolitical challenges to "the Jewish-American power". Some speculate that Yockey made clandestine trips during the 1950s into East Germany, and possibly even into the USSR itself, attempting to cultivate Communist ties.
Yockey was continuously pursued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for over a decade, which he avoided by adopting numerous aliases. He was finally arrested in 1960 after returning to the United States from abroad, as his suitcase was sent to the wrong airport. When the authorities opened it to determine whose suitcase it was, they discovered several of Yockey's falsified passports and birth certificates. When this was reported to the federal government, the FBI tracked him down in Oakland, California and arrested him. While in prison, he was visited by the American Rightist Willis Carto, who later became the chief advocate and publisher of Yockey's ideas. Yockey was soon after found dead with an empty cyanide capsule nearby while in a jail cell in San Francisco under FBI supervision, leaving a note in which he claimed that he was committing suicide in order to protect the anonymity of his political contacts.
Yockey was rather unusual among thinkers of the far-right post-Second World War. Most European and American neo-Fascists and other rightists of the post-war period advocated an alliance with the United States as the best hope for the survival of Western culture under the threat of communism, but Yockey felt that an alliance of the right with the left was a far more desirable course. This proposed alliance is referred to as a Red-Brown Alliance (the color red representing the far-left and the color brown representing the far-right). Yockey felt that American universalism, democracy, and consumer culture, which was by then spreading into western Europe and much of the rest of the world, as well as its alliance with Zionism, was far more corrosive and deadly to the true spirit of the West than was the Soviet Union. Yockey believed that the USSR had become genuinely anti-Zionist under Joseph Stalin, that in its authoritarianism it preserved something of the traditional European concept of hierarchy, and he felt it could more easily be adapted to a rightist orientation over time than was possible in the egalitarian United States. He thus believed that true rightists should aid the spread of communism and Third World anti-colonial movements wherever possible, and he remained staunchly opposed to the government and culture of the United States, which he did not even consider to be truly Western in nature.
Yockey himself did not have a very significant influence on the American Right, however, which, throughout the Cold War, for the most part remained staunchly anti-Communist and liberal. He had a much greater impact in Europe, where intellectuals of the Right, especially the current of thought sometimes called the European New Right, including the Belgian Jean Thiriart, the Russian Aleksandr Dugin, and French writers Alain de Benoist and Guillaume Faye, adopted positions similar to Yockey's, although there is little evidence his work influenced them in this.
Yockey's present influence is reflected mostly through the work of Willis Carto and his Liberty Lobby and successor organizations. Carto ran the Youth for George Wallace group supporting segregationist George Wallace's 1968 presidential campaign. That group formed the basis for the National Youth Alliance, which promoted Yockey's political philosophy and his book Imperium. Many supporters of Yockey, such as H. Keith Thompson, claim that Carto failed to understand Yockey's ideas on their deepest level.
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