The Traditionalist Youth Network: An Interview with Matt Heimbach


While these are bleak times for the youth in the United States and western civilization in general, some voices still  raise the banners of tradition against the modern world and all its ills. Matthew Heimbach is one of these voices. He has made a name for himself in a few years as a political agitator against the status quo on and off university campus, and in 2013 co-founded the Traditionalist Youth Network along with Matt Parrott. While the United States has always been at the center of the “white nationalist” ideology, it has rarely had a proper movement defending more than a mere biological idea of race.  This may stem from its foundations which were in many respects anti traditional or as Guenon would deem it, an inversion of the traditional social order. The pitfall of these white nationalist organizations is their harping on one symptom in a reactionary way, ignoring the larger picture. The ideals of tradition stand above and beyond these questions, without necessarily disregarding them. A race and a civilization is not merely a museum piece to be preserved in glass, but an organic, spiritual organism. One can preserve the shell of this, be it a race or a flag but if the vigor and vitality; the soul is gone, all one has is an empty husk. The TYN stands unique as its influences are as diverse as Meister Eckhart, Julius Evola, Ibn Arabi, and Rene Guenon. This is a far cry from the typical portrayal in the mainstream media today of “far right extremists”, “redneck racists” ignorant of the world around them but rather cultured, intelligent young people capable of appreciating foreign cultures and thinkers without turning their back on their own.

Mr Heimbach’s shift towards traditionalism, is something that many of the people of the post baby boomer generations can certainly relate to. He took the time to answer a few questions for us earlier this week on his spiritual and political journey over the past few years..

 When did you first become interested in politics?

I first became interested in politics when I was in High School. I was volunteering on campaigns for local politicians before I could even vote for them, although I have never been on a winning campaign, probably because even from when I was young I looked to stand by people who stood their ground and had principles. Growing up in what was called “the most treasonous town in the entire South” in Poolesville, Maryland had me interested in politics and history at any early age. Around me was nothing but history from the War Between the States and a few secrets from back in the 1960’s where a lot of people in my town fought desegregation. The local newspaper has hundreds of pictures and articles they won’t release to the public because most of the segregationists in my town are still alive and involved in local government. So I think my surroundings really influenced me in regards to looking at politics, history, and how both of these influence a population at large.

 Your own political thought has evolved through the years, from a more mainstream conservative republican outlook to something more along the lines of traditionalism. What caused these changes?

A lot of the changes in my political thinking came from life experiences that I had. Growing up in an over ninety percent White town left me somewhat naive to racial issues until I graduated High School. My foundation however in a small town that was tied directly to farming and animal husbandry left me with a deep rooted understanding of what society is supposed to be, close knit, organic, and tied to the soil. This prepared me I think to be able to see through the shallowness of mainstream conservatism which worships money and the individual above all instead of the principles of blood and soil. Reading authors such as Corneliu Codreanu, Evola, and other Traditionalist thinkers heavily influenced my worldview and gave words to the ideas that I had believed in since I was much younger in regards to the importance of tribe and tradition in the makeup of society. Beyond Conservative Inc I also found shallowness in the generic “White Power” movement that based its ideology off of hatred of other groups and did not seem to have a well thought out solution to the current problems facing the European folk and what the true nature of a nation and people was. To have a full grasp of both tribe and Tradition I had to transcend conservatism and reactionary movements and arrive at a full understanding of Traditionalism.

And the atmosphere at Towson University? Surely it must have had some affect on your thinking?

Towson University helped me understand the true depths of cultural Marxism. The Left is able to rally homosexuals, Jews, Black groups, atheists, and every faction of their coalition under the sun to oppose anyone who stands for Christianity or European ethnic identity. I was able to find however Black nationalists who I got along with very well due to our mutual agreement on the need for separatism and self rule for each ethnic and cultural group. The fact that we are not facing White genocide but White suicide also was made clear while at Towson. White students were our most vocal opposition while the majority of non-White students were at least able to understand the mission of both our Youth for Western Civilization chapter and the White Student Union. The self loathing and suicidal tendencies of the modern White American population is staggering, but also through experiences with multiculturalism outside of the classroom, such as a rise in violent Black on White crimes on the student body, more and more White students came around to our message, further proof that Marxist school teachers can make someone an “anti-racist” but it is hard in the real world when you experience it to not come to an understanding and love of tribe and Tradition.

Matt Heimbach speaking at Towson University

Some of the writing on your site, the terms used, reflect ideas put forth by certain authors. Did the works of Oswald Spengler, Francis Parker Yockey have an influence on your political evolution? What about thinkers such as Rene Guenon, Julius Evola, and Schuon? What other thinkers have inspired you ?

My biggest inspirations intellectually started with Corneliu Codreanu. The writings of Codreanu and the actions of his Iron Guard are the fundamentals of my entire worldview of Orthodox nationalism. To be an Orthodox nationalist is to be a Traditionalist, one who believes not only in the biological but in the spiritual realm as well. A people is the culture, customs, biology, and Faith that is forged into an identity over blood, sweat, and tears of sacrifice. While writers such as Evola and Yockey played an important role in fleshing out my belief system, at the end of the day everything comes back to the principles of Orthodox nationalism as explained by Codreanu and the Iron Guard.

What has the reception of TYN been among nonwhites? How does it compare to the reception of Youth for Western Civilization and the WSU?

The reception of TYN among nonwhites has been overall positive so far. The biggest opposition to Trad Youth is first and foremost the Jews but secondly White communists. Other races fundamentally understand the importance of tribe and Tradition, something only White folks seem to have forgotten. Our push to support nationalists around the world such as President Assad in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Christians in South Sudan, Egyptian Coptic Christians, and many others has proven that we are both a global yet entirely folkish movement. Nationalists around the world need to unite against our common enemies and I think that networking and supporting nationalists around the globe, regardless of race will plant the seeds for a true coalition that can destroy the forces of modernity and global Jewry that hurt all of our peoples. Compared to YWC and even the WSU there has been a marked increase in support among Whites and non-Whites alike. Folks needed to see that we were not just conservatives or hate based reactionaries, Trad Youth through the message of Traditionalism has opened up avenues that have been closed to the White racialist movement for decades through our message of Faith, family, and folk.

Being involved in politics has a tendency to make one jaded and pessimistic, do you find yourself optimistic about the future of the west, and the future of traditional culture?

The recent election results in Hungary and Greece are reason enough to feel a surge of hope for the Occident, perhaps just not in America though. Through my Faith in Christ and the Orthodox Church I am able to keep fighting even as the situation becomes increasingly bleak. We as Traditionalists must understand we are not going to be able to “retake America” but instead we should be aiming our time, energy, and money at building small folkish communities and power bases. The spirit of Tradition will never die if we keep it alive even in a tiny region of this continent. The Orthodox Faith was mercilessly persecution under the communists for nearly a century in Russia but now since the fall of the USSR the Orthodox Church has grown by leaps and bounds in membership and influence. We must not give up hope because in Europe the nationalists are finally awakening from their World War Two guilt and here in America we have a real opportunity to unplug from the system and set up our own communities to ensure a future for our children and a continuation of our culture.

 The political and social climate in the western world especially today is one of hostility to traditional ideals. What suggestions and advice do you offer other politically conscious young people many of whom remain silent and on the sidelines, discouraged.

My biggest piece of advice for the youth is to remove yourself from the rat  race of modern society. The push towards saddling yourself with tens of thousands of dollars of college debt for a job that doesn’t exist is just a way for the system to control you. Young folks in High School should look towards trade schools and training for real skills that they can use to support a family. The second most important thing I can tell for young folks is to work to get married and create families. Involvement in your local Church, especially Orthodox Churches is a way to be part of a larger community that promotes Traditional ideals and receive the salvation given to us by Christ. The three points of the Trad Youth philosophy are “Faith, family, and folk” and those are what young people need to do. Get involved in your community, learn real skills, unplug from the American culture, be part of your Church, and work to network with local activists to make Trad Youth chapters in your neck of the woods to start creating self sustaining communities to promote our people, our families, and our God.

 Thank you for your time Mr Heimbach, and good luck.

About Ray Wilson

Ray Wilson resides in New York City. He holds a degree in history and studies philosophy, theology and entomology in his free time.