Samuel Francis

Samuel Francis

Samuel Todd Francis (April 29, 1947–February 15, 2005) was an anti-capitalist [Francis, Samuel. "Capitalism the Enemy." "Chronicles" August 2000.] paleoconservative columnist, nationally syndicated in America, known for his racialist views; this includes his opposition to immigration, multiculturalism, miscegenation, and his involvement in debates concerning other controversial issues of the day. His many supporters characterized him as a conservative and a realist, while to his critics he was a reactionary and a racist. Francis was also a leading political theorist of paleoconservatism; among his better-known stances was his claim that the Iraq Warcite news |title=Neo-cons seek to start 'World War IV' |url= |publisher= |first=Samuel |last=Francis |date=2003-03-21 |accessdate=2008-09-17] is illegitimate.



Early Work

Francis was educated at the Johns Hopkins University (B.A., 1969) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, from which he received a Ph.D. in modern history in 1979. At UNC, he was part of a campus clique that Walker Percy called "the Chapel Hill conspiracy." The group was fascinated by antebellum culture and the Southern Agrarians. []

From 1977 to 1981, he was a policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., specializing in foreign affairs, terrorism, and intelligence and internal security issues. From 1981 to 1986, he was legislative assistant for national security affairs to Senator John P. East (R-NC) and worked closely with the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism, of which Senator East was a member.

Francis's political work in the late 1970s and the 1980s focused on international and domestic terrorism. He published several policy studies, including 1978's "Palestinian Terrorism: The International Connection" and 1981's "The Soviet Strategy of Terror". In 1986, he published a monograph called "Illegal Immigration - a Threat to US Security." As the Cold War subsided, his agenda changed to other topics (see "core beliefs" below).

Washington Times

Francis joined the editorial staff of "The Washington Times" in 1986 as an editorial writer. He served as deputy editorial page editor from 1987 to 1991, as acting editorial page editor from February to May, 1991, and as a staff columnist through September, 1995. Francis received the Distinguished Writing Award for Editorial Writing of the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) in both 1989 and 1990. He was a finalist for the National Journalism Award (Walker Stone Prize) for Editorial Writing of the Scripps Howard Foundation in 1989 and 1990. His twice-weekly column was nationally syndicated through Creators Syndicate.

Editor in Chief Wesley Pruden fired Francis in September, 1995, after conservative journalist Dinesh D'Souza described his appearance at the 1994 American Renaissance conference:

A lively controversialist, Francis began with some largely valid complaints about how the Southern heritage is demonized in mainstream culture. He went on, however, to attack the liberal principles of humanism and universalism for facilitating "the war against the white race." At one point he described country music megastar Garth Brooks as "repulsive" because "he has that stupid universalist song, in which we all intermarry." His fellow whites, he insisted, must "reassert our identity and our solidarity, and we must do so in explicitly racial terms through the articulation of a racial consciousness as whites . . . . The civilization that we as whites created in Europe and America could not have developed apart from the genetic endowments of the creating people, nor is there any reason to believe that the civilization can be successfully transmitted to a different people." [Racism: It's a White (and Black) Thing, by Dinesh D'Souza. ‘’The Washington Post’’, September 24, 1995.]

Francis said soon after the firing:

I understand what I said was controversial. I believe there are racial differences, there are natural differences between the races. I don't believe that one race is better than another. There's reasonably solid evidence for IQ differences, personality and behavior differences. I understand those things have been taken to justify segregation and white supremacy. That is not my intent." [Washington Times Clips Its Right Wing, by Howard Kurtz. The Washington Post, October 19, 1995.]

Pruden had cut back on Francis’s column after the ‘’Times’’ ran his June 27, 1995 essay criticizing the Southern Baptist Convention for passing a resolution repudiating slavery. In it, Francis quoted Oswald Spengler that “Christian theology is the grandmother of Bolshevism.” He argued that if the Baptists “dismiss the New Testament passages about slaves obeying their masters as irrelevant,” then they might as well join the Bolsheviks. He concluded:

The contrition of the Southern Baptists for slavery and racism is a bit more than a politically fashionable gesture intended to massage race relations. It's a radical split from their own church traditions as well as from their determination to let the modern world go to hell by itself. Now that they've decided to join the parade toward that destination, we can expect them to adopt some even more modern resolutions that will pave the road for them. [“All those things to apologize for,” ‘’The Washington Times’’, June 27, 1995.]

Later career


For many years the "Pittsburgh Tribune-Review", owned by Richard Mellon Scaife, was the only mainstream paper carrying his column but they dropped it in 2004 after Francis wrote a column complaining about implicit miscegenation in a skit about "Desperate Housewives" aired during ABC's "Monday Night Football". Francis vigorously denounced the advertisement, which featured sexual innuendo between a black football player and a white actress, arguing that " [t] he point hurl a the face of...white racial and cultural identity." The advertisement, shockingly to Francis, implicitly argued that "interracial sex is normal and legitimate," an idea that Francis sees as "fairly radical." Francis went on to argue that "breaking down the sexual barriers between the races is a major weapon of cultural destruction." []

Francis had also argued that Barack Obama's campaign for the U.S. Senate would lead toward the moment when America ceases to be "characterized by the white racial identity of its founders and historic population . . ." [] The Anti-Defamation League branded Francis an advocate of well-mannered white supremacy, but Francis's defenders maintained that he was being persecuted for his politically incorrect views.

Before his death, Francis wrote the Council of Conservative Citizens' platform, the "Statement of Principles". [] It refers to America as a Christian country with a Christian heritage -- and calls for states' rights, "America First" policies and "protection of the environment and natural heritage." [] It states that "the American people and government should remain European in their composition and character." It attacks immigration from "non-European and non-Western peoples," because it "threatens to transform our nation into a non-European majority in our lifetime." [] It also says that,

We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called “affirmative action” and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races. []


Francis was editor of the "Citizens Informer" quarterly newsletter (published by the Council of Conservative Citizens) and an editor of ""The Occidental Quarterly"", a white nationalist and self-described "pro-Western" journal edited by Kevin Lamb and sponsored by William Regnery II.

He also served as a contributor and editor of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute's quarterly, "Modern Age". After his dismissal from the "Washington Times" and the "Pittsburgh Tribune-Review", Francis continued to write a syndicated column for "VDARE" and "Chronicles" magazine, and spoke at meetings of the American Renaissance and the Council of Conservative Citizens. His articles also appeared in Middle American News. Francis's last published work was an article penned for the 2005 IHS Press anti-war anthology, "Neo-Conned!".

Core beliefs

Conservatism and tradition


Francis defined authentic conservatism as “the survival and enhancement of a particular people and its institutionalized cultural expressions.” [] He de-emphasized the "conservative" part of the "paleoconservative" label, saying that he did not want the status quo preserved. [See Francis, Samuel T., Beautiful Losers: Essays on the Failure of American Conservatism, 1993.] He said of the paleo movement:

What paleoconservatism tries to tell Americans is that the dominant forces in their society are no longer committed to conserving the traditions, institutions, and values that created and formed it, and, therefore, that those who are really conservative in any serious sense and wish to live under those traditions, institutions, and values need to oppose the dominant forces and form new ones. []

Francis respected the role tradition plays in civil society. "The power of tradition and its allies," he remarked, "lies not their ability to justify themselves through logic but in their capacity to mobilize those who remain attached to tradition; in a declining civilization, or one challenged by the enemies of tradition, that capacity will dwindle as the power of the challenger grows."

Samuel Francis uses similar ideas to argue that society should regulate sexual behavior. He specifically supported laws against sodomy and gays in the military:

The lesson of 4,000 years of social history is that sexual behavior, consensual or not, has consequences for others, that it often affects (and hurts) others in ways society needs to control, and that unregulated sex renders social bonds, especially in the family but also beyond it, impossible. We can regulate it through law or through socially enforced moral custom or both, but we have to do it somehow. History knows of no human society that has not regulated sexual behavior and forbidden some kinds of it, nor is there any reason known to social science to suppose that a society that fails to do so is possible. A "society" that makes no distinction between sex within marriage and sex outside it, that does not distinguish morally and socially between continence and debauchery, normality and perversion, love and lust, is not really a society but merely the chaos of a perpetual orgy. It is an invitation to just such an orgy that the proponents of normalized and unrestricted homosexuality invite America. [“Sex and consequences,” The Washington Times, February 2, 1993.]


On the other hand, Samuel Francis suggested to The American Conservative that it "forget about the social issues” that divide left- and right-wing anti-interventionists. [] He also complained that the "Religious Right" focuses on certain social issues and neglects other civilizational crises. [] He also said that the Cold War conservative movement, represented by National Review, was "archaic." This means it saw too much continuity between ancient traditions and the contemporary West, which was in "mortal combat" with Communists and other enemies, and became too optimistic about American culture. [] While long regarded as an atheist, Francis acknowledged the Southern Presbyterian influence upon his own thinking. []

While Francis was influenced by his Southern roots and endorsed “authentic federalism,” [] he stopped short at supporting a contemporary return to Southern secessionism, characterizing it as an “infantile fantasy” and saying it is impractical and that the main political line of division in the United States is not between the regions of North and South (insofar as such regions can still be said to exist) but between elite and non-elite. He said that Middle Americans in both regions face the same threats. [ An Infantile Disorder, Chronicles, February 1998.]

Pop culture

Francis also complained about corrosive elements in popular culture. He complained that corporate "garbage," protected by bureaucratic market controls, kicked traditional and regional music, poetry and art out of the mainstream. For example, chain bookstores “offer exactly the same stock in every city in the country, almost none of which would have complied with the conventional and moderate obscenity laws of the 1950s.” He said that pop culture, beyond being crude and mass-produced, promotes a multicultural, managerial ideology. [] He wrote that:

The expression "popular culture" originally meant those elements of culture produced by the people. Today it means nothing of the sort, but rather culture produced for the people by elites, and the elites, whether "publicly" or "privately" endowed, are invariably entwined with bureaucratic organizations…. Outside the universities, what passes as popular culture manifests itself in television, films, journalism, publishing, music, museums, galleries, and amusement parks, all of which are bureaucratic and professionalized in form, most of which are almost always directly or indirectly dependent on the state, and all of which claim to provide for the people a culture that is so superior to what the people can produce for themselves that no one needs to worry about producing their own. []

For example, Francis argued that Star Trek represents “global democratic capitalism gone galactic." It shows what the “cultural elite” would do if it could turn much of the universe into a totalitarian “Federation.” He said the show's plots are “transparent allegorical representations of whatever social crisis preoccupies the real cultural elite,” such as “racism,” “sexism” and “the obsolete customs and sometimes obnoxious beliefs and habits of 20th century man.” He argued that the decades-long popularity of the franchise shows the power of this myth. []

Global capitalism

Francis argued that big business should serve the interests of Middle America. "What Middle Americans need," he said, "is a political formula and a public myth that synthesizes the attention to material-economic interests offered by the left and the defense of concrete and national identity offered by the right." [quoted in "The Rebuke of History," by Paul V. Murphy; University of North Carolina Press, 2001,p.231.] He also said that the American Right "lost Middle Americans when it rehearsed its old bourgeois economic formulas." [] He argued that defense of capitalism is not a conservative issue:

Conservatives -- real conservatives, at least, not classical liberals or neoconservatives -- should not be surprised. Capitalism, an economic system driven only, according to its own theory, by the accumulation of profit, is at least as much the enemy of tradition as the NAACP or communism, and those on the "right" who make a fetish of capitalism generally understand this and applaud it. The hostility of capitalism toward tradition is clear enough in its reduction of all social issues to economic ones. Moreover, like communism, capitalism is based on an essential egalitarianism that refuses to distinguish between one consumer's dollar and another. The reductionism and egalitarianism inherent in capitalism explains its destructive impact on social institutions. On the issue of immigration, capitalism is notorious for demanding cheap labor to undercut the cost of native workers. But it is not only in America that it has done so.

Race, culture and ethnicity

American identity

Francis explicitly linked American success with European demographics:

It is all very well to point to black cotton-pickers and Chinese railroad workers, but the cotton fields and the railroads were there because white people wanted them and knew how to put them there. Almost all non-European contributors to American history either have been made by individuals and groups that have assimilated Euro-American ideas, values, and goals, or have been conceived, organized, and directed by white leaders. [quoted in "The Rebuke of History," p.242.]

He also said that:

Just as the Christians turned pagan temples into churches and pagan holidays into Christian holidays, multiculturalism is replacing an old culture with a new one. It is the expression of a deep-seated hatred of this culture in its religious, racial and moral expressions." [The global race to the middle, by Kevin Michael Grace, Report Newsmagazine, June 11, 2001.]

Francis also called for "white racial consciousness," equating it with eurocentrism, the "supremacy of white European culture." He distanced this view from white separatism or the white supremacy "obtained under slavery or segregation." He said "there is no reason why nonwhites who reside in the United States could not enjoy equality of legal rights." [] He also denied that he proposed "political domination of one race by another or military or coercive 'conquest' in any literal sense. [Letter to The Wall Street Journal, dated March 21, 1996.] Still, he argued:

Whites would simply no longer countenance nonwhite aggression and insults or the idolization of nonwhite heroes, icons, and culture; white children would be raised in accordance with what is proper to being white, and norms openly recognized as appropriate to whites would be the legitimizing and dominant norms of American society as they were prior to the 1960s. Racial guilt and truckling would end. [quoted in The Rebuke of History, p. 351.]

Specifically, he called for:

(1) a long-term moratorium on all immigration,
(2) the withdrawal of the federal government from involvement in all racial issues, and
(3) the repeal of all federal laws and court decisions (including the civil-rights laws of the 1960s and the rulings of the Warren Court) that authorize such involvement. []

Paleocons and race

Francis said that paleoconservatism itself makes no scientific conclusions about the nature of race, but gave a summary of the paleo view of race and the state:

What you think the state ought to do about race has little to do with what you think about race. It has everything to do with what you think about the state. Under the properly limited federal government with which this country started out and to which it should return, the state would be unable to do very much at all about race. In the modern leviathan created by liberals, where smoking, sexual beliefs and guns are approved targets of federal meat-grinding, there’s no limit to what the state might do about race or those whose IQs it doesn’t approve. []

Paleolibertarian Justin Raimondo said that Francis's views on race "are most definitely not shared by Pat Buchanan, "Chronicles" magazine, or, indeed, any of the paleos I know." [] Francis himself said that paleocons could even believe that race is a social construct, "but they should be able to agree, at a minimum, that if the historic character of the American nation is to survive, the exploitation of race as a political weapon by the ruling class must end." []

American power politics

The managerial revolution

He was greatly influenced by James Burnham's theory of the "managerial revolution" and wrote two books about James Burnham. In part based on Burnham's idea of the "managerial revolution" he developed a theory for a new populist movement based on the idea of "Middle American Radicals". This idea is expressed in a collection of essays entitled "Revolution from the Middle." He attacked many conservatives as "beautiful losers" for their unwillingness to surrender to multicultural ideology.

Francis, who said this theory inspired George Orwell’s ‘’’1984’’, explained it thus:

Those who hold such skills are able to dominate the state, the economy, and the culture because the structures of these sectors of modern society require technical functions that only specially skilled personnel can provide. The older elites simply lack those skills and eventually lose actual control over the key institutions of modern mass society. As the new, managerial elites take over, society is reconfigured to reflect and support their interests as a ruling class—interests radically different from those of the older elites. Generally, the interests of the new managerial elites consist in maintaining and extending the institutions they control and in ensuring that the needs for and rewards of the technical skills they possess are steadily increased, that society become as dependent on them and their functions as possible. []

Francis, unlike some other paleocons, argued that the existence of managers alone is harmless. Rather, the multiculturalist ideology they adopted drives it toward tyranny. He said that “white, Christian, male-oriented, bourgeois values and institutions” are the principal restraints of managerial power, which this class seeks to undermine. He explained:

If we could somehow take out the ideology, change the minds of those who control the state, and convert them into paleo-conservatives, the state apparatus itself would be neutral. What really animates its drive toward a totalitarian conquest and reconfiguration of society and the human mind itself comes from the ideology that the masters of the managerial state have adopted, a force that is entirely extraneous and largely accidental to the structure by which they exercise power. []

Francis also said, however, that ideology helps the managerial elite increase its grip on society:

It is in the long-term interest of the overclass (not of anyone else) to managerialize society so that all aspects of life are organized, packaged, routinized and subjugated to manipulation by the technical skill the overclass possesses, and that interest requires the undermining of institutions and norms that are independent of, and impediments to, overclass control. [quoted in David Brooks, BUCHANAN FEEDS CLASS WAR IN THE INFORMATION AGE Los Angeles Times October 31, 1999]

Francis argued that this system oversees "the managed destruction of such relationships of civil society as property, patterns of association, education, and employment." [] He elaborated:

The managerial ruling class, lodged primarily in the state and the other massive bureaucratic structures that dominate the economy and mass culture, must undermine such institutions of traditional social life if its power and interests are to prevail. Disparities between races -- rebaptized as "prejudice," "discrimination," "white supremacy," and "hate" to which state and local governments and private institutions are indifferent or in which they are allegedly complicit -- provide constant targets of convenience for managerial attack on local, private, and social relationships. Seen in this perspective, as a means of subverting traditional society and enhancing the dominance of a new elite and its own social forms, the crusade for racial "liberation" is not distinctly different from other phases of the same conflict that involve attacks on the family, community, class, and religion. []
In addition, Samuel Francis argued that since the center-right and center-left refuse to deal with major civilizational issues, they reduce domestic political debates to narrow economic issues. This preoccupation views human beings as “resources” and treats them like inanimate objects. [“Immigration: The Republican taboo,” ‘’The Washington Times’’, May 30, 1995,] Using a phrase from Peter Drucker, he says this “reflects the myth of Economic Man - that human beings are mainly or entirely economic in their motivations and that therefore the business of America is business, even if it takes the federal leviathan to conduct it or regulate it.” [“ Biparitsan loser for GATT,” ‘’The Washington Times’’, December 2, 1994,]


Samuel Francis argued that the problems of managerial state extend to issues of crime and justice. In 1992, he introduced the word “anarcho-tyranny” into the paleocon vocabulary. [] He once defined it this way: “we refuse to control real criminals (that's the anarchy) so we control the innocent (that's the tyranny).” []

In one of his last essays, he explained the concept:

What we have in this country today, then, is both anarchy (the failure of the state to enforce the laws) and, at the same time, tyranny—the enforcement of laws by the state for oppressive purposes; the criminalization of the law-abiding and innocent through exorbitant taxation, bureaucratic regulation, the invasion of privacy, and the engineering of social institutions, such as the family and local schools; the imposition of thought control through “sensitivity training” and multiculturalist curricula, “hate crime” laws, gun-control laws that punish or disarm otherwise law-abiding citizens but have no impact on violent criminals who get guns illegally, and a vast labyrinth of other measures. In a word, anarcho-tyranny. []

Francis argues that this situation extends across the U.S. and Europe. While the government functions normally, violent crime remains a constant, creating a climate of fear (anarchy). He says that “laws that are supposed to protect ordinary citizens against ordinary criminals” routinely go unenforced, even though the state is “perfectly capable” of doing so. While this problem rages on, government elites concentrate their interests on law-abiding citizens. In fact, Middle America winds up on the receiving end of both anarchy and tyranny. []

The laws that are enforced are either those that extend or entrench the power of the state and its allies and internal elites … or else they are the laws that directly punish those recalcitrant and “pathological” elements in society who insist on behaving according to traditional norms—people who do not like to pay taxes, wear seat belts, or deliver their children to the mind-bending therapists who run the public schools; or the people who own and keep firearms, display or even wear the Confederate flag, put up Christmas trees, spank their children, and quote the Constitution or the Bible—not to mention dissident political figures who actually run for office and try to do something about mass immigration by Third World populations. []

Francis argued that anarcho-tyranny is built into the managerial system and cannot be solved simply by fighting corruption or voting out incumbents. In fact, he says that the system generates a false “conservatism” that encourages people to act passively in the face of perpetual revolution. He concludes that only by devolving power back toward law-abiding citizens can sanity be restored. []

Middle-American revolution

Francis argued that the managerial regime is here indefinitely. He advocated transforming the managerial state into a new regime that supports the right’s demographic and cultural goals and institutions. He argued that “Middle America,” a vanguard of "working-class social conservatives" and "the still-structured middle class," provide a social base for resistance.

Samuel Francis argued that this new coalition would support the “values and goals” of this “increasingly alienated and threatened strata.” It should then assert leadership and rally Middle America “in radical opposition to the regime." [see Francis’ essay, ‘’Beautiful Losers’’] He described elements of “Middle American revolution” in Pat Buchanan’s 1992 presidential campaign:

[Buchanan] appealed to a particular identity, embodied in the concepts of America as a nation with discrete national political and economic interests and of the Middle American stratum as the political, economic, and cultural core of the nation.In adopting such themes, Mr. Buchanan decisively broke with the universalist and cosmopolitan ideology that has been masquerading as conservatism and which has marched up and down the land armed with a variety of universalist slogans and standards: natural rights; equality as a conservative principle; the export of global democracy as the primary goal of American foreign policy; unqualified support for much of the civil rights agenda, unlimited immigration, and free trade; the defense of one version or another of "one-worldism"; enthusiastic worship of an abstract "opportunity" and unrestricted economic growth through acquisitive individualism; and the adulation of the purported patron saints of all these causes in the persons of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. []
After Buchanan's slim showing in the 2000 election, Francis remarked that success was still a "long wayoff." [The global race to the middle, by Kevin Michael Grace, Report Newsmagazine, June 11, 2001.] In one of his last essays, he wrote, "The problem today is not to conserve [the status quo] , let alone to persuade Americans that it ought to be conserved. The problem today is how to persuade Americans that it ought to be—and can be—changed." []


* [ An Infantile Disorder] , "Chronicles", February 1998.
* [ James Burnham, The New Class, And The Nation-State] , "", August 23, 2001.
* [ Neo-Con Invasion] , "The New American", August 5, 1996.
* [ The Paleo Persuasion] , "American Conservative", December 12, 2002.
* [ Why Immigrants Kill] , "", November 29, 2004.
*cite news |title=War's realities shatter lies and illusions |url= |publisher= |first=Samuel |last=Francis |date=2003-04-01 |accessdate=2008-09-17
*cite news |title=Neo-cons seek to start 'World War IV' |url= |publisher= |first=Samuel |last=Francis |date=2003-03-21 |accessdate=2008-09-17


* "Power and History, The Political Thought of James Burnham" (1984) ISBN 0-8191-3753-7
* "James Burnham: Thinkers of Our Time" (1999) ISBN 1-870626-32-X

Several collections of Dr. Francis's essays and columns have been published, including:

* "Beautiful Losers: Essays on the Failure of American Conservatism" (1994) ISBN 0-8262-0976-9
* "Revolution From the Middle" (1997) ISBN 1-887898-01-8
* "America Extinguished: Mass Immigration and the Disintegration of American Culture" (2002) ASIN B0006S696U
* "Ethnopolitics: Immigration, Race, and the American Political Future" (2003) ISBN 0-9672154-1-2
*"Costs of War" contains a chapter by Francis called "Classical Republicanism and the Right to Bear Arms" ISBN 0-7658-0487-5 []
* "Shots Fired: Sam Francis on America's Culture War" (2006) ISBN 0-9777362-0-2 []
* "Essential Writings on Race," (2007) ISBN 978-0-9656383-7-1 []


External links

* [ An archive of Sam Francis's columns]
* [ Sam Francis's "Principalities And Powers" essays from Chronicles Magazine]
* [ Shots Fired: Sam Francis on America's Culture War]
* [ "Right to Bear Arms" Audio Presentation from the Ludwig von Mises Institute]
* [ Parallel Lives: William F. Buckley vs. Samuel T. Francis]


* [ Obituary by Pat Buchanan]
* [ Obituary by Dr. Thomas Fleming of Chronicles Magazine]
* [ Obituary by Peter Brimelow]
* [ Obituary by Jared Taylor]
* [ Obituary by Jerry Woodruff]
* [ Obituary by Joseph Sobran]
* [ Congressional Tribute by U.S. Rep. Jimmy Duncan]
* [ "His Legacy Will Live On" Sam Francis RIP By Marcus Epstein]
* [ Obituaries by Louis Andrews and David Duke]

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