Diary of an Individualist: A Review of The Western Path by Peter Goodchild

The blurb on the back of Peter Goodchild’s latest book proports it to be “a manual of how to get through the end of the world as we know it” in which “the author lays out in meticulous detail, referencing both the finances and work involved, what it takes to detach yourself from the rat race and set up a humble abode in Mother Nature’s bosom and live off its bounty”. That does not describe the book I read at all. The Western Path is better described as part diary, part comedy routine, and part table talk, with bits of poetry and scholarship. After much thought, I would categorize it as a literary memoir, mostly due to the heavy autobiographical content that reminds me of 1970s confessional fiction. The idea that it is a survival manual is kind of comical: the attempts the author made at country life seem to have been all disasters. The life he envisions I suspect would result in a life closer to that of a pre-arrest Ted Kosinski rather than his much-admired Thoreau.

The tone of the book at the start is excellent: “The corruption of Western civilization can be seen in a group of interrelated political events: multiculturalism, globalism, ‘open border’ the dissolution of nations.” The first two chapters are unobjectionable: there are scholarly-looking citations, and you might even mistake that you are reading an academic book; but the tone of the book disquietingly gets more and more jokey and colloquial, and the political direction more uncertain. For example, on page 36 the author writes: “According to my own intuitive analysis of the situation (i.e. mainly guesswork),” which seems to signal pretty clearly a lack of seriousness in this endeavour. He then states disappointingly: that “those who vote for right-wing parties can be identified by the following key words: overdog, dominant, nationalist, rich, intelligent, educated, militant, aristocratic, high self-esteem, leader, capitalist.” What is he talking about? I assume he means “conservative” parties here (what right-wing parties?), but I believe that the majority of people that vote for them are simply “socially conversative” working people that value social norms, tradition gender roles, the family, patriotism, and Christianity. National socialists, basically. The left/right dichotomy offered by Western political parties is fashioned so that they will never get that correct combination of values that they truly desire from either.

What happened to the person who wrote the beginning of the book? Personal anecdotes then start littering the text, and under the heading of “Who is Responsible?” (page 54), the author unknowingly invokes that great thinker Michael Jackson, with the admonishment that “If you want to know who is killing us off just look in the mirror”. This is maddening, when pages earlier (page 36) he correctly states: “Hollywood movies and mainstream journalism pound the globalist message into our heads: that Caucasians are bad (unless they are rich), and that the world should be transformed into a planet of slaves.” It is like the book has been written by two different people at different stages of political development. I suspect it is simply a semi-redpilled boomer slipping back into old habits of thinking from time to time.

Chapter four reads like a George Carlin stand-up routine where he questions of the meaning of words like “stress”, “work”, “daily grind” and “good year”, which is entertaining in its way, but the book seems to be losing direction. Then, in chapter 5, the author surprisingly brings up and deals with the JQ. This sober chapter belongs with the first two; there is nothing revelatory, but it is a good introduction to the subject. Chapter 6 is a discussion of overpopulation and oil, a numbered list of “handy hints,” and a discussion of land and plants. Chapter 7 is a discussion of famine. Chapter 8 is about buying land. Chapter 9 is a series of bullet-pointed quips, anecdotes, and fun facts. The information in these last dry-sounding chapters is offered is a conversational manner and seem more like opinions. The author makes no mention of horses and plowing or cows, so it seems like anyone who follows his advice is setting himself up for a precarious hunter-gatherer existence. The story of the Lykov family in Russia, comes to my mind as what living without farm animals in the Canadian wilderness would be like after the zombie apocalypse.

Chapter ten is a discussion of Christianity, which I found the most interesting part of the book and wish was longer, though I was not in total agreement with it. Chapter 11 is about the author’s time in Thailand with a woman he met online. It does not seem to have anything to do with the rest of the book, but is unsurprising if you have read his Taxi Driver from Bagdad, which devotes a lot of space to the author’s relationship with a sex-worker. Chapter 12 is a diary of the author’s disastrous attempt to live in rural Nova Scotia with a German girlfriend. Chapter 13 is mostly memories of his youth and father.

By this outline I think you can get an idea of how the book wildly veers off on different tangents, which is why I would categorise it as literature. The factoids and anecdotes it offers seem to be part of the author’s inner monologue, and you are experiencing his mind in real time as it turns to various thoughts and memories, like a character in James Joyce’s Ulysses or Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. The author’s choice to include information about his love life, seems more than a bit cringey and out of place, but he clearly thinks it is an important element of his art (it is a big part of the Taxi Driver from Bagdad, as I have already mentioned). It recalls for me a hippie poetry teacher I had in CEGEP that insisted about talking during class about his experiences with drugs and sex (that’s all I remember about his class, in fact). It was almost like he believed his willingness to talk about sex and drugs was proof that he was a poet. A lot of the poets, stand-up comics, and rockstars of the 1960s and 1970s seem to have shared a belief that cringey details of their personal lives were somehow magical and marks of their specialness. How they came to believe that seems to have to do with World War II, as in its aftermath there seems to have been some unspoken understanding among the elites that it had been a defeat of the European race and Christianity, and not just Germany.

Jewish comedians, novelists, and poets seem to have felt liberated as never before to mock European and Christian values: such as decorum and restraint, by celebrating otherwise shameful, gross, and antisocial behaviours in their work. Seemingly flaunting their newfound confidence, and sense of moral and cultural superiority. They didn’t explain it as that, of course, I am sure they probably claimed they were breaking new ground in “freedom of speech” or “artistic expression”. The Jewish author Philip Roth wrote a big hit “novel” about masturbation called Portnoy’s Complaint (I read it, but the only thing I can remember about it is a vicious insult to Christianity in it). I remember really enjoying Catch 22 when I was a teenager, but now see it as transparently a mockery of European man’s idea of bravery and discipline. It doesn’t take much imagination to see that the “phonies” decried in The Catcher in the Rye (which I had to read in CEGEP) were, in fact, WASPs, who were still running the US and Canada at the time it was written and setting the tone for behaviour.

These were the sort of books popular after World War II. The culturally-dethroned WASPs of the 60s (hippies) aped the ways of the new Jewish cultural icons, who were winning awards, riches, and acclaim; they seem to have convinced themselves that they were making themselves better people by practicing non-European shamelessness and crudeness; and that being daringly non-traditional, and hedonistic made them better than other white people. The author, being a product of that era, unsurprisingly calls his white neighbours: “troglodytes,” just like Holden Caulfield likely would. He actually criticizes his father in the last chapter for being “overly polite” as if that is problem contemporary readers can sympathize with. I long for a time when I would not always be the most polite person in the room. Rudeness is truly another gift of diversity, all part of the globalist plan to rid society of all decorum and reduce us to animals. The author is still fighting old battles in wars long over.

The topic of returning to the land is frequently encountered on the right these days. Conversative Catholics talk seriously about “the Benedict option” and others in the dissident right often talk of fleeing to (for now) majority White Eastern European countries. It does seem to be sensible to consider a return to land by at least some of the White community of Canada. It is quite clear our elites have evil designs for us. The tip off is their dishonesty in describing reality. We are supposed to be in the mist of a pandemic, but I have not encountered any dead people lying in the street, and none of my family, friends, acquaintances, or co-workers have even been sick. The strange injection they are forcing on as many people as they can, is being marketed as a “vaccine” when it is, in fact, an experimental drug they have no idea what the long terms effects are.

It is quite clear to me we have been led into a trap, one that has been a long-time in the making. The government, big business, and big technology are merging to create a Big Brother world, where white people will be monitored and controlled incessantly to control dissent, while our elite slowly takes away all our freedoms and civilization, and destroys our mental and physical health to make us more pliable. The Soviet Union seems to be the model: the government is the employer and if you speak up, you are fired and starve to death. When our forefathers worked their farms, they were as free to be as religious and racist as they pleased. They were their own bosses, and their co-workers were relatives or animals; they would never starve to death no matter how politically incorrect they were. Unlike in the Soviet Union, we were tricked into collectivizing in the cities voluntarily, and now we are at the mercy of mandates and anti-white HR ladies. As Trudeau has stated “there will be consequences” for all those that do not go willingly into the brave new world of transhumanism and bug burgers. Our elite’s ace in the hole, just like in the Soviet Union, is that they control our food, even now the supply lines are breaking down thanks to their pandemic, making it more likely that one day white Canadians will have to beg for their food like obedient puppies. Given that, a manual on how to return to the land seems like a Godsend, but this book is not it.

For though the author has some awareness of ominous trends in our society, the reason he wants to get back to the land is not to preserve Christianity or the white race, it is simply to fulfil a romantic hippie fantasy he has long held. It is a snobby boomer idea of individualism: isolating yourself from other whites that you disdain. We can do longer afford that attitude. Even though the author himself says on page 52 that “we need to get back to that sense of community”, he then goes on, as he often does, to ignore what he said. What is his idea of “community”? Is it multi-cultural? One gets the impression, by lack of serious discussion of race in the book, that he likely sees racial identification as a threat of his individuality.

In reality, people that live in the country are usually surrounded by relatives, or people that have lived in the community for so long that they are like relatives. If I had to live in the country, I would choose to live first near relatives, secondly with my ethnic group, thirdly with an ethnic group I was familiar with, but if I had to live with people foreign or hostile to me, I would try to assimilate, and act like them to some degree. The author does not consider this at all, he is concerned exclusively with the price of housing and the state of the land, which would be the only consideration for a rich man. He is not a rich man, and unsurprisingly all this attempts at country living peter out.

The irony is that this isolationist/individualist author is already part of a community: the dissident right, which publishes his books and articles. He seems to be unaware of this: nowhere does he acknowledge it or suggest it play a part in the future. Who does he think he is addressing in his work? I don’t think it is me, or you, dear reader of this blog. It seems like he is talking over our heads to some vast and hypothetical mainstream normie audience that he imagines exists and is interested in what he is saying. It is frustrating. Being an older person (I reckon he is 72 by the dates he gives), he is in a privileged position in the dissident right and he could be a father-figure to many young men that need examples of how to be an intelligent and interesting older man (Kevin Michael Grace is example of such a person, Jordan Peterson unfortunately is another). He seems to have no interest in that, however.

This book’s style reminded me that it has been a long time since I have read Canadian, or even American or English, novels or poetry. The only living novelists I can think of at all are: Ian McEwan and Houellebecq, two nihilistic and creepy-looking dudes. I don’t see any distinguished-looking WASP authors in the CBC’s list of the best Canadian fiction of 2020 that suggest a Canadian Conrad, Dickens, or Kipling (0 comments or interest in the list, by the way). Physiognomy is real. All there is to be seen is a few beta males (one that wrote a book about the death of Hitler?), an old Sci-Fi writer, a lot of women writing obsessively about their feelings and “relationships”, and a bunch of POC writing about how wonderful or harrowing it is to be a POC.

The devastation the hippies have wrought is complete: it seems like a list some equity-minded civil servant put together. I am tempted to read none of them. I used to read literature in my teenage days in order to be inspired, and to feel a little more worldly and a little less ignorant. I do not see in these authors anything I would want to be, or offering anything different than what I can get on TV. Nothing inspiring, no new insights. In light of all this, I can confidently recommend Peter Goodchild’s book as better than any of their’s. At the very least, I think it would make good light reading on a bus or train, or on the beach: you can open it and start reading anywhere. It might be a good gift for an apolitical student before he or she goes off to university to be brainwashed, or a wife or an older person starting to question things happening in the world. It raises issues that might start them thinking, or looking for answers elsewhere. Peter Goodchild is easy to read, and a good-humoured man who deserves a wider readership, or at least a cult following. I think if this book came out in the seventies, it would have been praised to the skies and a Canadian classic, but these days as a heterosexual white man who is not pandering to wokeism, he is lucky to get it into print. If you are taken by the author’s eccentric voice, I recommend you buy The Taxi Driver from Bagdad, as well, as it is very similar in style, though it deals with more serious subject matter.