Tolkien: accidental nationalist?

A politically naïve individual to some, author J.R.R. Tolkien's work nevertheless continues to appeal to nationalists, writes Christopher Goff.

While the British author J.R.R. Tolkien was a very patriotic and at the same time brilliantly able individual, there is perhaps a case for saying that sometimes he seemed unable to grasp the back-story to important political events, and this being something which gave rise to contradictions in some of the things he wrote and said.

For instance, while Tolkien was said to have been a supporter of General Franco during the Spanish Civil War and an opponent of communism, he was at the same time supposedly critical of Hitler and his National Socialists, perhaps not fully appreciating the common traits existing between Falangism and National Socialism, and in particular their common opposition to communism. And also, while it was said that Tolkien opposed Hitler's anti-Semitism, he was at the same time quite probably in denial of any possibility of communism being an invention of the Jews, this in spite of glaring evidence indicating that the Russian Revolution was mostly inspired not by ethnic Russians, but by Jews, amongst them the Marxist revolutionary Leon Trotsky, and whose real Jewish name was Lev Bronstein. Interestingly, the first Politburo, that is the one comprising just seven members and founded in the same year as the Russian Revolution, was made up of the following: Vladimir Lenin (part Jew), Grigory Zinoviev (Jew), Lev Kamenev (part Jew), Grigori Sokolnikov (Jew), Andrei Bubnov (ethnic Russian), Joseph Stalin (ethnic Georgian), and the aforementioned Leon Trotsky.

Tolkien was evidently more artist than political animal, much preferring to express himself through his literature. And in respect of his work, one cannot help but think just how much of this expression of his was actually intended or not as the case may be, because while lots of people have described Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium as 'Nordic' and his wider body of work in terms of 'Nordicism', Tolkien always denied that his writing contained any racialist themes. That said, when viewing Tolkien's work in the modern-era one could be forgiven for thinking that The Silmarillion or The Lord of the Rings, for example, might have actually been written by someone like Dietrich Eckart or Alfred Rosenberg rather than an English academic.

Tolkien's books remind us of a time when honour, kinship and a fighting spirit filled the hearts of our ancestors – a situation very far removed from the ugly world of today, inhabited by the materialistic and vapid citizens of democracy, and increasingly engineered by Marxists driven by their false notion of 'equality'. In today's world, honour is dead, kinship amongst Europeans outlawed, and any resistance to the tidal wave of non-European immigration increasingly met with measures to prevent and penalize opposition to the alienation of our homeland. In fact, against this background one wonders just how the highly popular film versions of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings ever got made for they clearly contain a number of racialist themes of particular significance to Northern Europeans ... and they barely featured a single black actor.

Any nationalist who has ever read Tolkien's works cannot have failed to notice their racial message. In The Lord of the Rings, we hear of the blond-haired and blue-eyed Rohirrim, a fierce and noble warrior race who arm themselves and ride into battle much as our Northern European forebears must have done. While in The Silmarillion we learn of the Númenóreans, a people whose experiences appear to have much in common with the ancient inhabitants of Rome. Favoured by the Gods, the Númenóreans become the most powerful nation in Middle-earth and for centuries manage to keep evil at bay before eventually succumbing to 'corrupting influences', something which allows the Dark Lord Sauron to destroy their morals. With their morals destroyed the Númenóreans become idolaters and tyrannical fools, before being punished by the Gods who destroy their kingdom. Only a select few – those still pure in blood and mind – are allowed to escape to the mainland and where they found a new kingdom.

In contrast to the pure-breeding white nations of Middle-earth, Tolkien's forces of evil are hideous, mixed-breed cohorts of The Dark Lord Sauron. The Orcs are products of breeding experiments which mutated Elves into goblin-like creatures that Tolkien once described in a private letter as "squat, broad, flat-nosed, sallow-skinned, with wide mouths and slant eyes". Then there are the Uruk-hai, a breed of black-skinned Orcs in the service of Sauron and his wizard accomplice Saruman, first introduced by Tolkien in his The Lord of the Rings. And in addition to the different types of Orc, it is said that Saruman commanded various hybrids of Orcs and Men. Some of these hybrids referred to by Tolkien as "Half-Orcs" in The Two Towers were what the Hobbit Meriadoc Brandybuck describes as "horrible: man-high, but with goblin-faces", while in another book from his legendarium, Morgoth's Ring, Tolkien states that Saruman had managed to successfully interbreed Orcs and Men, resulting in "Man-Orcs large and cunning, and Orc-Men treacherous and vile". Of course, what we can perhaps take from Tolkien's creation of his array of deeply unpleasant characters is that he was not someone who saw anything positive in inter-breeding, instead viewing race mixing as a pathway to darkness and destruction.

Another theme of Tolkien's work closely identified with nationalism is the one of nobility. Tolkien frequently wrote of the honesty, courage and wisdom of individuals, while at other times of the effort and sacrifice of entire nations. In The Lord of the Rings, Aragorn, a Ranger of the North and heir to the lost line of Kings of Gondor, becomes an important member of The Fellowship of the Ring. A wise lord and fearsome warrior, Aragorn is merciless in battle and like all of Tolkien's good characters demonstrates a willingness to sacrifice his own interests for the sake of a greater cause.

The Rohirrim, or the inhabitants of Rohan, were Tolkien's idea of a noble people, and who despite being surrounded by foes nevertheless decide to answer the call of Gondor rather than break a centuries-old oath of allegiance. After routing one of Sauron's armies before Minas Tirith, the Rohirrim send what warriors they can muster to the gates of Mordor where along with Gondor's scant forces, now led by Aragorn, they sacrifice what strength they have in the hope that the Ring-bearer, Frodo, is still alive and might yet achieve his aim of destroying the ring he carries in the fires of Mount Doom.

Unsurprisingly, Tolkien also cultures a strong warrior ethos in his writing. In Middle-earth, free people do not seek to appease their foes but to destroy them since it is their view that there can be no compromise between good and evil. The Rohirrim personify this warrior ethos. Near the conclusion of The Lord of the Rings they ride to the aid of the Men of Gondor whose fortified city of Minas Tirith is being besieged by Orcs and Haradrim, a race of dark-skinned Men in league with Sauron and who ride into battle on giant elephantine beasts. Incidentally, Tolkien's descriptions of the Haradrim, or "South-multitude", are interesting in as much as they draw similarities to those Muslims who invaded parts of Southern Europe during the Middle-ages, and whose differences in religion and culture led to a centuries-long conflict with the Christian kingdoms of Europe.

Also evident in Tolkien's writing is an appreciation of nature, for he portrayed Middle-earth as mostly very picturesque, excepting of course those lands where darkness had taken hold. Lord Sauron's construction of a massive army involved the destruction of forests and the turning of vast areas of pasture into muddy wastelands, while the Black Land of Mordor is portrayed as lifeless, dotted with mires and slagheaps, and with air contaminated by noxious gases. It is the Ents, a race of giant tree-like creatures, who eventually come to the rescue of Isengard, a once splendid fortress of Gondor, and who afterwards plant new forests to heal some of the wounds inflicted by Sauron.

Tolkien's exceptional ability to articulate the sentiments of a healthy racial soul did not go unnoticed by Hitler's National Socialists, and in 1938 the publishing house Rütten & Loening Verlag released The Hobbit in Germany. Tolkien's German publishers were said to have been curious as to his background given his German-sounding name, so Tolkien wrote in a letter to them the following: "My great-great-grandfather came to England in the 18th century from Germany: the main part of my descent is therefore purely English, and I am an English subject".

One hardly needs at this point to remind readers of this article of the outbreak just a short time after the publication of The Hobbit in Germany of the great Jew-Gentile war. The decision of the British to wage war against National Socialist Germany when we should have instead been allies of the German people in their fight against communism was of course a monumental mistake. However, of this mistake I cannot help but wonder whether Tolkien was at any time of this same opinion, especially given his German ancestry and the wide appeal of his work to National Socialists. In lots of ways, Tolkien was on the same page as the National Socialists, yet it seems as if he never quite realized this. Was Tolkien duped into war by the Establishment liars in much the same way as most other people were? Probably.

Copyright © Christopher Goff
Tag: Culture
Uploaded: 4 September, 2018.