Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Karma Yoga in Kali Yuga

Selfless Action by Matt Koehl. New Order, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2006. Softcover, 16 pp., ISBN 0-9648533-3-7. Available from

"Vanity is a mortgage that must be deducted from the value of a man." -- Bismarck

We live in an age of racial decline, spiritual sickness, and moral decomposition. The ancient Aryans of India called this Dark Age Kali Yuga. National-Socialists -- and indeed, all upright Aryans -- are commanded to live lives of honor and righteousness. How are we to do this? How are we to live meaningful lives in keeping with the highest commands of our inner voice, while trapped in what Lincoln Rockwell delicately called "a raging torrent of excrement?" Is it even possible for us to live lives of purity and honor in today's society? Matt Koehl says that the answer to these questions is "Yes," and that the solution to our dilemma is to be found in another phrase from the ancients Aryans of India: Karma Yoga.

We imagine that most of those reading this review will know who Matt Koehl is, and likewise they will know his history. But for those who are not familiar with him, an introduction is in order.

Matt Koehl (born Milwaukee, Wisconsin, January 22, 1935) is the Commander of the New Order, which is the North American affiliate of the World Union of National Socialists, which he also heads. He traces his involvement in the racial cause back to his teenage years in the late 1940s. During the 1950s, except for a hitch in U.S. Marine Corps, he was active in various quasi-NS organizations, including James Madole's National Renaissance Party, the National States Rights Party, and the Free Ezra Pound Committee. In 1959 George Lincoln Rockwell formed the American Nazi Party, and Koehl was an early recruit, organizing for the ANP in Chicago. He started out as an ordinary Party member, but by dint of hard work and intelligence, and by consistently displaying loyalty, reliability and courage, he eventually became Rockwell's number-two man.

When Rockwell was assassinated in August, 1967, Koehl stepped forward to lead the organization, which by then had been renamed the National Socialist White People's Party. Initially, Koehl adopted not just Rockwell's political strategy, but even his public persona, to the degree that he could. But the two men had different personalities, and quickly the confrontational, in-your-face street theater perfected by Rockwell gave way to a more serious, dignified leadership style that better suited Koehl's more reserved personality. Nevertheless, he still adhered to Rockwell's political approach for building the Movement. Under Koehl's leadership, the NSWPP became the largest and most successful NS political party in American history, before or since.

By the beginning of the 1980s, however, Koehl began to realize that Rockwell's plans for a quick political victory for National-Socialism were unrealistic. Rockwell had hoped that American National-Socialism would be able to gain national power within a matter of years, or maybe a couple of decades at the most. Koehl came to the conclusion that that was not going to happen -- that hopes for an early political triumph for the postwar movement were nothing but a fantasy. Instead, he believed that the Movement needed to prepare itself for long, protracted struggle, one that might take generations or centuries, not just years. Consequently, he abandoned the political approach devised by Rockwell and at which he himself had been relatively successful. In 1984 he reorganized the NSWPP as the the New Order, a formation which would have a religious or spiritual focus, as opposed to a political one. (See:

The reorientation of the Movement from a political to a religious approach was controversial in 1984, and in some NS circles it remains so today. Psychologically, however, the move was easy for Koehl, for his appreciation of National-Socialism had always been fundamentally a religious one, anyway. In this Koehl was in full agreement with Rockwell, who had stated repeatedly that he considered National-Socialism to be a new Aryan religion, and not only a political doctrine.

Koehl's conception of a new Hitlerian religion was outlined in his 1982 essay, "Hitlerism: Faith of the Future," which was published in the World Union ideological journal The National Socialist. It subsequently appeared as a New Order booklet entitled simply Faith of the Future in 1986. In 1995 an expanded second edition was issued. However, since this seminal essay, Koehl's output of overtly spiritual or religious writing has been very slim. Much or all of what he has written along these lines has been merely an elaboration or elucidation of the central theme of Faith of the Future, which is that Adolf Hitler is a divinely mandated racial savior for the Aryan peoples.

In 2006, however, he released a new essay, entitled Selfless Action, in booklet form, in which he added a new and intriguing dimension to his exposition of the Hitlerian faith. Outside of a small readership in the New Order itself, this booklet has attracted little attention and it is virtually unknown in the broader White Nationalist movement.

The theme of Koehl's exposition is nishkama karma, which he defines as "the performance of one's duty without the desire for the fruits of one's actions." It is a term from the Hindu holy book, the Bhagavad-Gita, which he cites frequently throughout. He also uses the term karma yoga, which is favored by Savitri Devi, and which is apparently synonymous with nishkama karma. He breaks down the concept of selfless action into its two components, selflessness and action, and discusses each.

Essentially, Koehl says that the correct motivation for action should simply be to do what is right. In the performance of right action, one should not be turned aside by fear of consequences, be it punishment or even death. Likewise, one should not be lured astray by the temptations offered by fame or wealth, nor should one allow the praise of one's followers to distract from the fulfillment of duty, which is the definition of right action. Koehl is quick to point out an insidious pitfall into which many Movement activists fall: the psychological rewards which come from successful action have a flip side, which is the crushing depression that can be caused by a lack of success. When success is slow in coming, or when defeat is encountered, some activists are turned aside from the performance of their duty.

They cease their activism, cut back on their financial support of the Movement, and in some cases, they resign. Without the rewards that come from successful action, they no longer have the spiritual stamina to continue to perform their duty. Koehl feels that this attitude stems from a failure to perceive the true nature of duty itself: duty must be performed both in defeat as well as in victory, during periods of failure as well as during periods of success, "in good times and in bad, come what may" (to quote Rudolf Hess).

If today's National-Socialists allow themselves to base their commitment to the Movement on the values and attitudes of contemporary society, with its fixation on instant gratification and feel-good ego-centricism, then they will accomplish nothing. They will be turned aside and filled with despair at every setback or defeat that they encounter -- of which there will be many. If, on the other hand, they resolve to do their duty without regard to immediate victory or defeat, or without consideration of rewards or punishments, then they will be able to persevere against all odds. And even if a comrade falls in the struggle, he will not be defeated in any meaningful sense of the term, for his comrades will continue to fight on to the Endsieg, the ultimate victory.

Sections in Selfless Action include: Ancient Wisdom; Personal Detachment; Action as Duty; Pflichterfuellung and Heroism; Selfless Action versus Asceticism; Examples; and he concludes with a Summary.

The booklet itself is in a presentable but bare-bones format, with inexpensive offset printing, a card cover and staple binding. Ordering information is listed above. An electronic version is not currently available.


No comments:

Post a Comment