Following the Capitol Insurrection, White Nationalist Novels Surge In Popularity

Illustration for article titled Following the Capitol Insurrection, White Nationalist Novels Surge In Popularity
Image: Jon Cherry/Getty Images (Getty Images)

The value of novels that push white nationalist ideology has skyrocketed in recent months, corresponding with the political chaos surrounding the 2020 election and the increasing boldness of white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

The Turner Diaries was written by a neo-Nazi and tells the story of a violent revolution in the United States, followed by a race war where whites face extermination. The Camp of the Saints, a dystopian French novel, leans on racist stereotypes in its depiction of the fall of white Western civilization as a result of migration from South Asia and Africa. Both books have long been popular in white nationalist circles, but their name recognition and mainstream popularity have grown significantly in recent years.

The Camp of the Saints was selling for $40 just six months ago, but is currently listed from third-party sellers on Amazon for prices ranging from $200 to $1,000. Although The Turner Diaries has been removed from many e-commerce platforms, it regularly resurfaces, selling for twice its usual price.

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According to Mark Pitcavage, a senior research fellow at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, an optimistic interpretation of these price increases could be that these texts are harder to access because they are out of print and/or because white nationalists are increasingly (albeit, verrrry slowly) being de-platformed.

“It used to be you had to get these books at gun shows or by direct mail from white nationalist publishers, but then the Internet made it easier for a while. It could be that these books are going back (to being) hard to get.”

It’s known that former Trump advisors Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon are both fans of The Camp of Saints—Miller even once referenced the book while encouraging Breitbart to promote racist ideology. Author Jean Guerrero says that Miller may have drawn rhetoric from the book: “the way Trump talked about Black Lives Matter protesters and immigrants from Central America as an unhinged mob or invaders was similar to the language used in ‘The Camp of the Saints.’”

Welp. Can I get “the least shocking news of all time” for $100, Alex?

Freelance writer & night blogger at Jezebel. Lover of television, astrology, and sandwiches.

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DISCUSSION

Gob_Hobblin
Gob_Hobblin

It’s not just ‘classic’ novels: I’ve noticed an explosion of ads from Audible for militia porn, second American Civil War fantasies, and a lot of vet bro popcorn literature that just appeared in the last year or so. I’ve yet to figure out what algorithm I stumbled into to be assaulted with that (I am in law enforcement and I am a veteran, so just...I don’t know, buying a utility belt or reading about changes in the military pay scale could have done it), but if it’s hitting me, a liberal on the fringe, how much of that is flooding the inside of the community?

These fantasies of being the isolated hero gunfighter against Marxist hordes (Islamists are apparently not this season’s existential threat) are becoming so ingrained into the veteran and law enforcement community, Timothy McVeigh is going to look like a small time thinker in a few years.