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Doing Justice to the Classics

Banner image: The Fall 2018 issue

Greco-Roman Antiquity in the Pseudo-Academic Journal of White Supremacy

The Occidental Quarterly is a white supremacist publication designed to look and feel like a peer-reviewed journal in order to give itself credibility as a platform for racists and anti-Semites. Its articles are available only to paid subscribers (except for those also published on its sister platform, The Occidental Observer, which Pharos has also documented) but the titles of articles published in the journal make clear both its hateful politics and the assumption of many of its contributors that Greco-Roman antiquity can be used to authorize those politics.

The Fall 2018 issue

The editorial board and contributors to The Occidental Quarterly are like a who’s who of academic white supremacy, including several figures whose work and sites have been documented by Pharos: Jared Taylor, Richard Lynn, Guillaume Durocher, Ricardo Duchesne, and Robert S. Griffin (a supporter of the National Alliance). To judge from the titles of the articles published in the journal, its primary focus is anti-Semitism and racial pseudo-science. Recent articles include:

  • “The Jewish War on White Australia”
  • “Jews and Immigration Policy: Time for Change”
  • “Reflections on Jewish Intermarriage into Native Elites”
  • “Visions of the Ethnostate”
  • “Creating the Conditions for Civil War and Genocide in Europe”
  • “White Racial Interests and the Trump Candidacy”
  • “My Journey to Race Realism”
  • “The Revival of Racial Science”

Alongside such contributions are numerous essays dealing with Greco-Roman antiquity, including some whose politics are clear from the titles, such as

  • “Ancient Athens: A Spirited and Nativist Democracy”
  • “The Greek-Roman [sic] Invention of Civic Identity Versus the Current Demotion of European Identity”

and some whose politics are less obvious but which can be inferred because they appear in this journal:

  • “Myths and Mendacities: The Ancients and the Moderns”
  • “The Ship of Theseus: Fidelity of Identity”

The journal also features reviews of mainstream scholarship by classical scholars such as Gary Forsythe’s Critical History of Early Rome and popularizing treatments of Classical antiquity such as Adam Nicolson’s The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters. These reviews, like the misogynist who distorts peer-reviewed scholarship to support his perverse view that Rome in late-antiquity was a “gynocentric” culture, probably attempt to enlist these books in support of the politics of The Occidental Quarterly.

Finally, Rebecca Futo Kennedy has reported on how The Occidental Quarterly republishes outdated classical scholarship that supports their hateful politics; for example it is one of many white supremacist sites to reprint or cite the ancient historian Tenney Frank‘s 1916 article arguing that “Race Mixture” contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire.

The Occidental Quarterly is the flagship publication of The Charles Martel Society, a white nationalist organization founded in 2001 by William Regnery II, one of the heirs of a publishing fortune and a member of a prominent family in mainstream conservative politics. Regnery is also the founder of the National Policy Institute, which Pharos has documented for enlisting the ancient Greek medical writer Galen in support of racism. Regnery himself has invoked ancient Greece in support of his views: he is reported by the SPLC to have stoked fears about the supposed danger of “white extinction” in the inaugural issue of The Occidental Quarterly by complaining that “Europeans, like the Greeks before us,” are considered “redundant and an embarrassing reminder of…debtor status” by the non-European “pupils” who have benefitted from “our science and technology.”

Charles Martel was one of the historical figures admired by the alleged shooter in the massacre of 50 people at two mosques in New Zealand

Regnery’s politics are also evident in his choice of the 8th century French general Charles Martel as the namesake for The Occidental Quarterly’s publisher. Martel is a favorite historical figure for xenophobes and, in particular, Islamophobes who celebrate his victory over Arab forces at the Battle of Tours as a moment when “Western Civilization” was saved from Islamic invaders; Martel was, in fact, one of the historical figures admired (along with Hitler) by the alleged shooter in the March 2019 massacre of 50 people at two mosques in New Zealand.

If we were to read the Classically-themed articles in The Occidental Quarterly, we would doubtless find many tendentious and distorted misrepresentations of Greco-Roman antiquity. We would almost certainly find the same kind of historically accurate but morally reprehensible admiration for ancient eugenics, slavery, and nativist politics that Pharos has documented elsewhere. But The Occidental Quarterly also allows us to observe how even the presence of references to antiquity is assumed to give credibility to white supremacist politics. Regnery and his allies want to present themselves as legitimate intellectuals, and to do this The Occidental Quarterly needs all the trappings of a serious journal: an editorial board, a section for book reviews, publication in quarterly “issues” rather than piecemeal in blog form. It also “needs” to engage with the Classical past.

We have linked above to an archved version of The Occidental Quarterly’s site. The table of contents of the current issue is available here.

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