“His Legacy Will Live On” Sam Francis RIP

Sam Francis passed away on February
15 at age 57. His death is a great loss to the

paleoconservative movement.

In 2001, after my senior year of
high school, I attended Accuracy in Academia`s
Conservative University. There I read serious
conservative voices including the late Dr. Francis.

After hearing Francis speak, I

(or perhaps then it was “Yahooed“)
his name. I found his columns at VDARE and after reading
them was quickly converted to paleoism (albeit I became
more of a paleolibertarian than conservative.)

Sam was of course one of the most
prominent paleoconservative thinkers. In many ways this
title fitted him. He opposed

reckless foreign intervention,

free trade

open borders


, and

big government.

However, while paleos are often
seen as ultra reactionaries and traditionalists,
Francis` intellectual mentors were very modern. One of
the most important was

James Burnham
about whom he wrote about in

Power and History
: The Political Thought of James

Francis also incorporated an
appreciation of human nature and its limitations to his
politics. There was far more to his thinking than mere
nostalgia about the


Antebellum South

Francis took many positions with
which many paleos, including myself, strongly disagree.
While he critiqued Republicans for the abandonment of
limited government, he did not flinch from calling
“Capitalism the Enemy.”

] He eloquently argued the constitutionality of
Southern secession and opposed the anti-Confederate
zealots (but still called neo-Confederatism

“an infantile disorder.”

Whether or not you agreed with
Francis, he would always make you rethink your position.
His wit and sarcasm made all of his columns, no matter
how gloomy the subject matter, a pleasure to read.  

The totalitarian left, in alliance
with the

responded by trying to

silence him.
After (who else?)

Dinesh D`Souza
criticized him for some forthright
and politically incorrect things he said about race, the
Washington Times fired him.  (It did not save
them. The

Southern Poverty Law Center
just published an

on the Times accusing it of having
various links to `extremists.`)

Like so many Southern leaders
before him, Sam Francis “took his stand.” It cost him
dearly. From the brink of real national prominence as
demonstrated by his American Society of Newspaper Editor
Distinguished Writing Awards in 1989 and 1990, he was
systematically eradicated from conventional newspapers
in later years.  But the internet brought him many new
friends and supporters. He never backed down from his
beliefs – and his audience always found him.

It is hard to see anyone replacing
him.  But his legacy will live on.

Marcus Epstein [send him mail] is an undergraduate majoring in history at
the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA where he
is an editor of the conservative newspaper, The Remnant.  He
also writes frequently for
The American Conservative and


selection of his articles can be seen here