Walk the Talk: The Importance of Showing Face

Consequences Matter

According to the Oxford Dictionary, a consequence is defined simply as ‘a result of something that has happened.’ Generally speaking though, we tend to associate the term with unfortunate or unpleasant experiences that follow our decisions; often bad ones. It’s both potential and perceived consequences that often prevent people from taking action or making decisions. But I wish to argue that no action is worth taking unless it entails them. No better example can be found within politics and political activity.

Opinions Are Cheap

Nowadays, the age of mass-movements is over. Party memberships have collapsed, and the only mass form of political participation consists of voting; although turnouts are at an all-time low and only general elections attract any interest. Yet even a rudimentary familiarity with the Internet and social media will expose a person to the sheer amount of opinions that are being thrown around and, seemingly, from all parts of society. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and an endless ocean of websites and blogs offer those brave enough to survey them political opinions of every colour. As the basic economic principle tells us, they exist because demand for them exists. What, then, are all these millions of social media-users doing with these opinions?
Usually, people just seek out confirmation of their prejudices. A conservative is unlikely to read the Guardian (unless he wants something to be angry about) and a liberal is unlikely to have a subscription to the Mail on Sunday. Ultimately, people want their sentiments echoed back at them; it’s nice to know people agree with our own perspectives and to see them having their cases being made for us. But why, if we’re interested in political ideas and developments, do so few of us get involved ourselves? Simple…Consequences.

Having an opinion is easy but representing and defending it before an audience is another thing altogether. After all, you might lose a debate, get called an unpleasant name or find yourself having to give up your already limited free time. People already more qualified are probably already out there doing it for you. Having now been involved in street-level political activism for a year, I can guarantee you that there aren’t nearly enough (regardless of your political alignment). And again, consequences are to blame. To advocate an opinion in the offline sphere is hard. It costs money, it ruins relationships, it’s bad for your health, it’ll affect your sleep, it’ll expose you to some of the worst the species has to offer…And that’s only a tenth of it. The simple fact of the matter is that most people don’t bother to represent their ideas in the public sphere because it’s challenging and intimidating. This is especially true for people who are, in some shape or form, fighting the establishment and the status-quo. But this is what makes them so special…

Actions Speak Louder Than Tweets

Unlike the Greeks of Antiquity, the politically active don’t have an agora in which to take part in decision-making or debate. Institutions are shut off to all but the elite and the wealthy and being heard in the cacophony of ideas a seemingly impossible task. They do it anyway. And Identitarians are there amongst them. Young men and women without political experience, support and (usually) enough funding give up their security, time and resources to have their say. Whether it be via debate or thought-provoking activism, they’re a veritable patriotic David fighting a globalist Goliath. And almost every single one of them ‘shows face.’

In Generation Identity, this short expression is what it says on the tin and so much more. Whilst it literally means, well, showing your face in photos, videos and in the public sphere, it also means fusing your political ideas with your identity. This is crucial. Unlike an anonymous Twitter account, a personality and a name can’t simply turn off their computer and delete social media posts in order to be forgotten about. This makes one’s opinions much more valuable and, in the long-term, mature. You’ll become fonder of them for having stuck with them through thick and thin, for having defended them against vast arrays of opponents who would like to see them extinguished. In addition, you’ll learn a lot about yourself. You’ll learn just how much you value your ideas, opinions and sentiments. For many people, they quickly decide that they’re not quite as crucial to one’s life as they once thought. In other words, showing face separates the sincere from the hobbyists.

Depoliticisation and a Coward’s Utopia

Before the Ballot Act of 1872, voting in Britain was a public affair. That is to say, it was exceptionally difficult to conceal who you were voting for. Whilst this could lead to all sorts of unpleasant and violent confrontations, it did mean that those casting a vote were determined enough to do so in the first place; it was no trivial affair. Nowadays, around 1 percent of the electorate read party manifestos, a very large percentage can’t name their MP and I’m willing to bet many millions have never heard of ‘bicameralism.’ Political organisation outside of the state-sponsored channels is unofficially discouraged, precisely because it can have such an impact. Lacklustre turnouts are hailed as ‘expressions of democracy’ when all parties concerned know fully well most voters were poorly-informed or largely disinterested. In other words, the powers that be don’t want any political activity beyond votes for ‘established’ political parties. They don’t wish to broaden the debate or stimulate a discourse. Those who revel in anonymity and exhaust their energies online are their perfect bedfellows.

A Few Concluding Remarks…

1) An opinion is a trinket if it isn’t acted upon and advanced in a practical way.
2) You’re not obligated to take anyone seriously who talks and doesn’t act.
3) Consequences ennoble our actions, they’re proof that we taken the, seriously as well-rounded human beings.
4) Anonymity is uncouth, unintelligent and a detriment to the development of the nation’s political life.
5) Identitarians and Generation Identity will always show face, use their real names and serve as living testaments to their ideas; come what may.


About the Author

Benjamin Jones is Leader of Generation Identity United Kingdom.