August 16, 2009
Shattering Illusions with Rob Halford: Another great hour show.
- A re-enactment of the Long Tan battle of 16 Aug 1966
- Current Hot Topics
- What’s the Future look like
And much more
August 16, 2009
Shattering Illusions with Rob Halford: Another great hour show.
And much more
August 15, 2009
This Week in Disorganized America:
August 13, 2009
Replay of Rick Adam’s Jul. 24 followup-interview of Matt Johnson, re-broadcast with kind permission from RBN. Discussed in the show:
12 MB / 32 kbps mono / 0 hour 52 min.
August 12, 2009
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For the first time, more than 34 million Americans received food stamps in May, the government said on Thursday, another symptom of the longest and one of the deepest recessions since the Great Depression.
Enrollment surged by 2 percent to reach a record 34.4 million people, or one in nine Americans, in the latest month for which figures are available.
It was the sixth month in a row that enrollment set a record. Every state recorded a gain, and Florida had the largest increase at 4.2 percent.
Enrollment for food stamps, which help people buy groceries, is highest during times of economic stress. The U.S. unemployment rate of 9.5 percent is the highest in 26 years.
“Food stamp enrollment is rising because the economy is having a devastating impact on low-income families and they need this program to eat,” said Stacy Dean of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a think tank. “Every single state has been affected.”
The average benefit in May was $133.65 per person. The economic stimulus package enacted earlier this year included a temporary increase in food stamp benefits of $80 a month for a family of four.
The federal stimulus legislation will block a potential $5 a month decline in benefits in fiscal 2010 which would have been triggered by moderating food prices, the Agriculture Department said.
Food stamp enrollment
May 34.409 million
April 33.758 million
March 33.157 million
February 32.556 million
January 32.205 million
December 2008 31.784 million
November 2008 31.097 million
October 2008 31.050 million
September 2008 31.586 million
(Reporting by Charles Abbott; editing by Jim Marshall)
August 12, 2009
On occasion of my 39th birthday, my wife organized a holiday in the Lake District in Cumbria, in the North East of England. While there we visited England’s Pencil Museum, where we learnt much about the invention and manufacture of the pencil, a tool that spawned a huge industry in the region during the Victorian era. One of the most remarkable exhibits in the museum (aside from all the weirdly-shaped Derwent pencils) was an enlarged photograph of a group of male Victorian pencil factory workers. The photograph was not remarkable because of the antique machinery or the outmoded attire of the men, but because of their faces: these were uniformly stern, grim, serious, and ferocious, to the point where they inspired an exclamation of amazement from my wife. Indeed, as is often the case when one looks at photographs of men from the 19th century – and particularly working class or rural men — the image in the museum provided yet another sample of the hostile frown, ice-cold blue eyes, and troglodytic beards and angrily scowling moustaches that appear to have been common during the days of the Industrial Revolution and the frontiersmen of American Old West.
When my wife and I discussed the photograph afterwards, there was no question in our minds that there had been a pronounced deterioration in the quality of the White male since the days of yore, and that the etiology of this deterioration implicated the comfort and superabundance of modern life. Granite-hard facial surfaces, primitive gurns, and ocular lasers, signaling assertion and social dominance, have given way to doughy flaccidity, placid smiles, and amused festive glances, signaling agreeability, docility, and frolicsome distraction.
I subsequently met with Jonathan Bowden, the Nietzschean British artist and gifted Right wing orator, with whom I once again discussed the contrast between modern and Victorian physiognomy. He mentioned, as one of various eximious examples of physiognomic severity, the early photographs of Shakers, adherents of the ascetic Protestant religious sect otherwise known as the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing.
And the photographs of Shaker assemblies I subsequently examined on the internet were very grim indeed.
Notable in all these images to modern eyes are the sharp gender distinctions, and the harshness of the archetypical male. Since early 1900s the tendency has been for masculinity and femininity increasingly to converge, for distinctions to be blurred, and for transgressions to become socially acceptable and protected by law.
During the Victorian era (1837–1901), conceptions of masculinity were grounded on historically specific power relations among Christianity, science, industrialism, empire, and man.
The Victorians valorized manliness as a restraint on the brutishness of primeval maleness. Thus, by extension, the Victorians, influenced by Christianity, idealized the notion of man as spiritual and a faithful believer. This was tied with the notion of patriarchy: a Victorian man was the head of his household, duty-bound to rule firmly, but also to provide for, and protect, his weaker dependents: his wife and his children. The need to provide, especially in the context of the industrial revolution, caused work — being active in enterprise — to become an essential element of Victorian masculinity, particularly among the middle classes: Work became associated with virtue and strength, whereas being a burden on the public was associated with sin and weakness. And, because being active in enterprise was a way of signaling masculinity in a social climate where work and home were segregated spheres, this in turn caused clubs and taverns to thrive as non-domestic venues of masculine display.
With the advent of Darwinism and the rise of biology and the natural sciences during the second half of the 19th century, the spiritual ideal gradually gave way to a physical ideal, leading to the cultivation of muscle and a belief that the education of the mind was predicated on the cultivation of the body. Interest in physical health raised the social status of athletes, and fuelled the growth of games and sports, which were then channeled into the public school system.
The cult of muscle also gained importance in the context of imperialism, the physical conquest and domination of non-Western cultures. Masculinity was bound with military duty and the ideal of the adventurer, the pioneer, the explorer, and the hunter: physically formidable, hard, enduring, stoic, self-sufficient, and equipped with a vast scientific knowledge. In other words, a well-educated mind in a well-educated body.
Of course, only the most bestial aspects of this are in evidence in the photographs of the brutalized working class of Victorian England, for conditions in the factories of the era were so grim that they eventually destroyed the bodies and obliterated the minds of those who fell into, and were ground for 16 hours a day by, its mechanized maws. Wage slavery, filthy slums, and weekend drunkenness could only produce faces of animal rage, deformity, lead poisoning, exhaustion, indifference, and a measure of bemusement and suppressed perplexity. Images of the Victorian working class stand in marked contrast with the stiffly dignified portraits of the upper classes. Yet they both exude their own brand of male fury.
The Victorian era coincided with the period we in modern times associate with the American Old West, which spans the second half of the 19th century. Victorian immigration to the wilderness of North America only helped to make the Victorian ideal extreme. The stereotype of the cowboy / frontiersmen of the Old West includes many of the above-listed attributes, only reduced to their most primal and rugged forms, until we are left with the somber, laconic, emotionally-detached, inexpressive, solitary, lawless, fiercely independent, almost misanthropic, ice-cold, and often violent man of nature, small frontier settlements, and drunken bars and saloons, popularized in Western films and implied in 20th century Marlboro advertisements. The reality in the American Old West, however, seems to have been more extreme than that suggested by Marlboro man, because when compared against the real cowboys and frontiersmen in the photographs from the 1800s, Marlboro man is, in fact, quite effeminate.
We must not, however, allow our ancestors to romanticize themselves with these images. Photography was a new technology during the 1800s, and being photographed was not a familiar experience to most people. Having one’s photograph taken was an event, which took time and preparation, and which one imagines people took seriously. The state of the technology also allowed little room for spontaneity, making portrait photography more akin to portrait painting. Therefore — and especially among the middle and upper classes — what we see is not an accurate reflection of how people were in everyday life, but rather an exaggeration: a reflection of how they wanted to be seen and remembered, which is perhaps even more important.
The Industrial Revolution that defined many of the old notions and attitudes gradually ushered in a world that the Victorians could have scarcely imagined. If modern man appears weaker and frivolous to us in relation to our 19th century ancestors, the probable etiological factors are not difficult to find: the accelerating cultural shift from a society based on quality to one based on quantity, made possible by mass production and aggravated by a capitalist logic that dictated the need for products with inbuilt obsolescence; the entrance of women into the labor force; improvements in medicine and public health; progressive declines in Serum Testosterone levels; a series of radical egalitarian movements, such as Marxism and Feminism; political correctness; the growth of the welfare state; the growth of credit-based economies; the triumph of the Left following World War II; the dismantling of the European empires; and, since the end of the first half of the 20th century, a long period of peace and economic prosperity and expansion.
Industrial production caused overall standards of living to rise in the West by giving ever-growing numbers of people access to tools, precision instruments, household goods, and machinery that previously were either impossible or confined to the very wealthy. Time and energy that would otherwise have been spent on mindless chores was freed up, creating social conditions that necessitated a lower overall level of discipline: Since only a small minority of people are highly creative or self-driven to productive activities in the way that born artists or entrepreneurs can be, it is easier to become placid, soft, lazy, and less conscientious — in other words, to grow weak — when an electrical appliance, a robot, or a computer relieves its user of the need to be resourceful and make a focused, consistent, and detailed effort over a long period of time. (Let us remember that one of the methods employed by boot camps to instill discipline is the assigning of mindless, tedious chores, such as the daily and fastidious polishing of boots.) It is also easier to grow weak when a broken tool, appliance, or household good can be replaced relatively quickly and cheaply with the swipe of a credit card, and the tool itself is so flimsily made and has become so rapidly obsolete as for it to make more sense to simply throw it away rather than attempt to repair it and maintain it.
The entrance of women into the workforce significantly increased the supply of labor, causing real wages overall significantly to fall. Fifty years ago it was still possible for a middle class man to own a house, a car, and a full complement of furniture and goods, and also maintain his wife, children, and their pets, with his salary alone — and this at a time when credit was not as easily available and ubiquitous as it subsequently became. This contrasts sharply with our present times, when spouses aspiring to an equivalent standard of living must now both work full time and, even then, are often forced to postpone children and amass credit card debt. In a cultural and social context where women have been encouraged, by increasingly radical forms of feminism and by the ever more fiercely competitive and challenging economic environment, to adopt male roles and traits, the erosion of male economic power and independence has stripped many modern men of the material means with which to maintain their status as heads of their households.
The economic and status convergence of men and women has been further aggravated by the leveling downward effect of the welfare state. The latter’s relentless expansion has necessitated the introduction and enforcement of ever more extensive, intensive, and intimidatory government-sponsored asset confiscations (popularly known as ‘taxes’). The process, still ongoing, penalizes industry and ambition, destroys motivation, and concludes with the citizen’s complete economic dependency on the state, whereby a man (and a woman) is thus reduced to the status of a child. I remember that by the mid 1980s, while living in The Netherlands, some white collar workers already preferred to avoid promotions (lest the consequent higher salaries put them on a more punitive tax bracket). Many able-bodied, sane males of working age preferred to opt out of the labor market altogether, and simply live on welfare. It is easy for a non-creative, non-self-driven person, to grow weak when living idly for years on government handouts, without the discipline of daily work.
The infantilization of Western man on the economic front has been accompanied by his infantilization on the moral front. Political correctness, with its detailed and strict speech and behavioral codes and restrictions; the legislative regime that has grown out of it, with its strict system of rewards for conformity and punishments for deviance; and the monitoring and surveillance apparatus that has been implemented to enforce it, is not substantially different from the methods authoritarian parents employ to train their children.
And this is because the modern nanny state does indeed seek to treat men like children: to tell men what they can and cannot say and do, and give them an allowance.
The expansion of the nanny state is, of course, predicated on the triumph of Marxism, an ideology that pretends that all humans are equal in value and potential, and which tells mediocre men that inequality of outcome in life is not the result of mediocrity, but the result of a system of unequal opportunity, designed by a selfish ruling elite that seeks to perpetuate its power. While Marxists would argue that their discourse gives hope to those to whom it is denied by so-called genetic determinists, and that a powerful and paternalistic state apparatus is needed to prevent one class gaining dominance over another, I would argue that their discourse also absolves the lazy, the mediocre, and even the malevolent of responsibility for their substandard performance and failures. In Victorian times welfare was based on deterrence: Workhouses were made as miserable as possible in order to discourage people from becoming burdens on the public.
Inextricably linked to the above processes is the growth of credit-based economies. While credit, when used judiciously, can be a useful tool for enabling enterprise, the relative fall in wages, the tourniquet of predatory taxation, and the enervating urges of the consumer culture (particularly when the latter is understood in terms of status display among hyper-social primates) have made credit a necessity for survival. The increasing availability of cheap and easy credit in the final decades of the 20th century fomented a high-velocity culture that put a premium of immediate gratification and discouraged consideration of long-term consequences. It also enabled many, if not most, to live well beyond their productive capacity. If in the past the acquisition of large or costly assets necessitated the ability to work and save — to delay gratification — consistently over a long period of time, the proliferation of credit cards with aspirational and ever-expanding credit limits, has in modern times obviated the need for such discipline — particularly as until very recently it appeared that there was always another credit card and/or another loan available once credit terms and limits had been reached. If fiscal incontinence is a sign of weakness, the consumer culture in the post-industrial West has rewarded weakness for many years.
Medical advances and improvements in public heath, combined with the growth of the welfare state, have had a similar effect, encouraging dysgenic fertility and allowing the weak and the sickly, who would have otherwise suffered reduced fertility and an early death, to live normal, reproductive lives. If this is indeed the case, this has led to a progressive genetic deterioration of modern populations. This is Richard Lynn’s argument in his book, Dysgenics: Genetic Deterioration in Modern Populations.
Recent research has shown, in addition, a trend of progressive declines in Serum Testosterone, at least in American men. The causes are not entirely explained as yet — they could range from estrogen from seepage from plastic bottles for drinking water to birth control pills that have flooded in the water through the sewage system. Testosterone is also lowered when men lose contests or are in a submissive posture (see here and here). It requires little imagination to suppose that ceding social and political dominance to the multicultural has lowered White men’s testosterone.
The triumph of the Left following the end of World War II allowed Jewish intellectual movements to radically undermine, discredit, and marginalize the inegalitarian, evolutionist, militarist, and racial nationalist discourses that had been culturally acceptable in the West throughout the second half of the 19th century and until the middle of the 20th century. The dismantling of the European empires further intensified this cultural shift by removing the perceived need for the cultivation of the physical and moral strength required for a role of leadership and dominance over non-European cultures around the world. The old discourse and media images that glorified aggressive traits (strength and dominance) gave way to a new non-aggressive discourse of agreeability, guilt, contrition, reparations, and apology. Americans need only watch an episode of the wildly popular hit TV show Friends to sample the degeneration of masculinity into metrosexuality. Watch the 1948 film Scott of the Antarctic and witness the difference.
The scope and reach of the processes, tendencies, and shifts discussed above would have been limited without the extended a period of peace and material prosperity that we have enjoyed in the West since 1945. It is not inconceivable that a war or a major economic collapse could interrupt these processes and reverse at least some of the shifts that took place during this period.
In sum, if images of contemporary White males suggest the latter are somewhat less formidable than their 19th century predecessors, we owe this to a confluence of social, cultural, economic, political, and historical factors.
I do not wish to convey the impression that I believe life was superior in Victorian England or the American Old West, or in the 19th century in general. Modern life has many advantages, particularly for those with creative capacity. And were Western man living in homogeneous societies in geographical isolation, the debilitating trade-offs of modern life could well have proven justified, in the absence of natural predators.
The problem is that with advent of global communications and easy travel, we are no longer able to thrive in geographical isolation, and we are no longer able even to choose our neighbors. Non-European populations, attracted by the comfort, convenience, relative stability, safety, and material abundance of our complex and technologically advanced societies, are increasingly encroaching on our vital space and aggressively competing for resources. I do not blame them, but not resisting this effectively ends with Whites being oppressed minorities in their own traditional homelands — and, eventually, with extinction. As both space and resources are finite, the non-Europeans’ gain in political representation, economic power, cultural influence, and demographic presence is necessarily our loss. And after over a century of de-muscling, and after over sixty years of progressive intellectual and moral liquefaction, at present we are no longer adequately equipped to hold on to our culture, our ancestral homelands, or our genes.
It is this that makes comparing the stern frowns of the men from the 19th century against the frivolous grins of the men from the 21st a chilling experience. Men of 19th-century caliber have not entirely disappeared, but they are a dwindling minority. I hate the thought of having to rely on the fruity queens that pass for 21st century men, as illustrated in the photographs accompanying this article, for the preservation of European culture and way of life.
20th century man is obsolete: Averting total loss at the hands of the younger, hungrier, more vigorous non-European populations in the 21st century will necessitate our sacrificing some of the conveniences and comforts that made 20th century man possible. The other side, already contemptuous, is hoping that we will prove too lazy, too complacent, and too deluded to do so.
Source: Occidental Observer.
August 12, 2009
By Paul Marx
BLACK intellectuals just don’t get it. They refuse to understand why there is widespread racial profiling and why they and people they know often are its victims. Black intellectuals simply refuse to acknowledge that there is a very obvious connection between themselves and the lawless black underclass.
In a recent essay in The New York Times, Brent Staples, a member of the newspaper’s editorial board, wrote, “The experience of being mistaken for a criminal is almost a rite of passage for African-American men. Security guards shadow us in stores. Troopers pull us over for the crime of ‘driving while black.’ Nighttime pedestrians cower by us on the streets.”
In expressing his disgust that the Harvard professor-Cambridge cop confrontation has not been seen generally as a flagrant instance of racial profiling, Times columnist Bob Herbert urges black people “to rant and to rave, to demonstrate and to lobby, to march and confront and to sue and generally do whatever is necessary to stop a continuing and deeply racist criminal justice outrage.”
The Harvard professor — Henry Louis Gates Jr. — and Staples and Herbert think the unfair treatment of blacks by the police is 100 percent the fault of white people. In the view of Staples, white people need to exorcise their “poisonous misconceptions.”
But, for racial profiling to go away, blacks, especially black intellectuals, need to remove their blinders. They need to see what whites see. They need to see and acknowledge the criminal lifestyle that is pervasive in the black underclass.
Young black men of the ghettoes take pride in carrying guns and have little respect for law. When they go outside their communities, the guns and attitudes are not left behind. In much of their music, they are out front, bragging about their lawlessness.
White people’s awareness of that criminal lifestyle creates fear, and that fear, unfortunately, becomes wariness of even law-abiding blacks.
Black crime is the most potent determiner today of white attitudes toward blacks. While the great majority of American blacks are not involved in criminal activity, the criminal lifestyle of young black men makes most whites fearful and suspicious. That is a great injustice, because among middle-class blacks, there is relatively little crime.
In many cities — New Haven, Hartford, Brooklyn, Baltimore, for instance — major hospitals are located on the edge of neighborhoods populated by the black underclass. When whites who work at the hospitals drive through those neighborhoods, they make sure their windows are up and doors are locked. Walking from the parking lot to the workplace is risky. In e-mails, medical students and hospital staff are informed of robberies and beatings by young black men. They are warned against walking alone.
If it is dangerous to “drive while black,” it is even more dangerous to walk while white in some neighborhoods. Driving while black may result in the indignity of a speeding ticket; walking while white could result in a fractured skull.
Staples has written about his walks near the University of Chicago. It upset him that when white women walking alone noticed him, they would try to avoid him, speeding up or crossing the street. He was befuddled about why a completely innocent black man should be avoided. Why couldn’t the women understand that he was Brent Staples, not some thug?
The other day, I was walking down a street and suddenly I saw three young black men coming toward me. My first reaction was “uh-oh.” I thought I might be attacked. When I wasn’t, I thought how unfair it was to think that.
But it is a typical reaction when a white person walks alone in a fringy neighborhood. Lawless young black men cause fear among whites, and it is not unnatural for whites to be suspicious of all blacks who fit the profile of the attackers. Would it be unnatural for the citizens of African cities — like Lagos, Nairobi or Harare — to be suspicious of white men if there were an epidemic among whites of robbings and beatings?
The American media have bent over backward to avoid identifying criminal perpetrators and suspects by race. But by names, addresses, education and criminal records, people easily jump to conclusions, and they usually are correct. They then generalize.
It may not be logical to do this, but for most people, generalizing comes as easily as eating. This is not fair to law-abiding blacks, but most white people would rather have an unfair thought than risk being hurt.
Paul Marx is professor emeritus of English at the University of New Haven, 300 Boston Post Road, West Haven 06516. E-mail: email@example.com.
Source: New Haven Register.
August 12, 2009
Tom Sunic interviews author and retired politician Bob Whitaker about his take on the semantics of ‘political correctness,’ ‘free speech,’ ‘hate speech,’ the First Amendment, and his former role in the Reagan administration. Do not miss it!
12 MB / 32 kbps mono / 0 hour 55 min.
August 11, 2009
Adrean Arlott brings you:
0 hour 30 min.
August 9, 2009
Shattering Illusions with Rob Halford: Another great hour show this time it’s ONLY 4+ hours long.
And much more
August 8, 2009
This Week in Disorganized America: RV Wolfpack, Mike Delaney and Kevin join the VoR crew for a 3 hour night filled evening of truth and reality:
August 6, 2009
… Armed against the New World Order!
Matt Johnson discusses:
12 MB / 32 kbps mono / 0 hour 51 min.
August 6, 2009
And the impossibility of conservatism.
By Kevin DeAnna
It’s 1964. A stranger approaches and tells you two political movements will arise in the near future, the New Left and the New Right. One of these movements will dominate American politics for a good quarter century. Indeed, political scientists will define the entire period in terms of the ascendancy of this group; historians will write books naming this age after the movement’s most successful leader. Politicians, scholars, and activists on right and left will go so far as to call it a “Revolution.”
Imagine then that you could look at the America (such as it is) of November 5, 2008, at the end of this era.
The election of “the most liberal man in the Senates” is a crowning moment for a federal welfare state that’s grown steadily for over 50 years, regardless of which party was in office. Each individual state is merely an administrative unit for a centralized bureaucracy. All important decisions are made by the Supreme Court. On social issues, conservatives have been in abject retreat even as leftists bemoan the rise of “Christian fascism.” The ban on School prayer, enacted in 1962 with Engel vs. Vitale, has about as much chance of being overturned as the ’64 Civil Right Act. Gay marriage is a reality in several states. Mass immigration from the Third World is not just permitted but hailed as a moral imperative and encouraged by leaders of both political parties. The children of those immigrants receive preferences in education and job placement over Americans whose roots go back to the Founders.
Iconic American corporations such as McDonald’s, General Motors, and Coca-Cola fund far Left groups with hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants each year—even as some struggle to make profits. Universities are filled with “ethnic studies” and “women’s studies” majors who are skilled in organizing protests against Western Civilization, but can’t read the books that define it. News articles habitually reference public schools removing the names of George Washington or Thomas Jefferson, to be replaced by some community organizer or another who was successful at stealing taxpayer money.
All of the above—and much more, of course—have occurred during and after the “Reagan Revolution” and the mighty deeds of its heroes that are regularly recounted in story and song at the foundations, think-tanks, and non-profits that occupy Northern Virginia. The cadres of Young Americans for Freedom may have gotten elected to office, but we all live in the world of Students for a Democratic Society. During the Age of Reagan and conservative hegemony, the New Left decisively won the culture wars, by largely abolishing, often through state fiat, the previously existing culture.
The American Right won past electoral victories by appealing to Middle America, posing as its defenders against the left-wing radicals who spat on the society that gave them so much privilege. Beyond lip service though, the conservative movement didn’t actually do anything to conserve that society, never mind roll back the gains of the Left.
But appealing to the heroic American past, traditional values, or the need for a strong defense of the American society is no longer a sound election strategy because the “Moral Majority” no longer exists. More than that, it is doubtful an American people, conscious of itself as a people with a particular culture, tradition, and identity, even exists.
In my view, the graying boomers who run and staff the current “conservative movement” probably represent the last generation of the Right that can justifiably call itself conservative. The constitutional and laissez-faire republic is long gone, a victim of the world wars, hot and cold. And the traditional Protestant and upright culture that once characterized American society as a whole, as well as the United States’ identity as a Western nation-state, won’t last much longer if present trends continue.
More than that, at a core level, we should ask ourselves seriously, What is there going to be worth conserving in the America of the next generation?
I’ve often thought that we got here because the conservative movement’s fetish about “the state” and the size of government fatally compromised its ability to challenge the left-wing ruling class. Who is a more important question than what, and a political movement that has as its chief concern what level of bureaucracy should handle policy can not accomplish anything important.
In contrast, Daniel McCarthy has argued, in the September 2008 issue of New Guard, that there is an anti-state Right and a national Right concerned about American identity, virtue, and culture. He points out the stupidity of trying to protect America through the government since, “[t]he state is the indispensable means by which the Left carries out its transformation of the country, and government in 21st century America cannot be turned into an instrument of virtue or nationhood.” I’d first counter that there hasn’t been much of a “national Right” in this country to begin with; those “conservatives” most interested in using the state for their ends have been social gospel types, who are as equally invested as the Left and the neocons in the idea of America as a “universal” nation.
But in the end, this debate actually doesn’t matter much—conservatives lost the battle against the state and the Left. Progress is not possible on either front without dismantling the current managerial regime.
The patriotic leftist and democratic socialist George Orwell once wrote,
It needs some very great disaster, such as prolonged subjugation by a foreign enemy, to destroy a national culture. The Stock Exchange will be pulled down, the horse plough will give way to the tractor, the country houses will be turned into children’s holiday camps, the Eton and Harrow match will be forgotten, but England will still be England, an everlasting animal stretching into the future and the past, and, like all living things, having the power to change out of recognition and yet remain the same.
He was dead wrong. Orwell’s England is being eradicated, deliberately, consciously, and with staggering speed—even though Eaton, Harrow, and the stock exchange still stand. The British upper class, which Orwell loathed for its jingoism and self-satisfied nationalism, now champions this dispossession, with the indigenous working and middle classes serving as the only resistance. Much the same is happening here: the once dominatant WASP upper crust is about as likely to take back their America as are the Cherokees.
Enoch Powell may have argued that he would fight for his country even if it had a Communist government. At a certain point though, it is no longer a question of a different form of government for a country, but a different country altogether. The position of American conservatives regarding the regime they live under is approaching that of a pagan Roman after the eternal fire of Vesta was extinguished, or a Catholic Frenchmen after the slaughter in the Vendee. An appeal to a shared past will no longer work because that shared past does not exist. The legacy of the Founders can only be defended by incorporating them into a universal progressive history that ignores their actual beliefs. A legalistic identity based on a murky conception of universal human rights has not sufficed to hold together other regimes, and I doubt it will be able to do the same in America.
Such rhetoric seems apocalyptic, but something is happening on the American Right.
Who could have imagined average conservatives even using the kind of rhetoric we hear today? Who would have predicted that a governor would even mention the idea of secession? More to the point, who could have seriously argued even three years ago that the most dynamic movement in American politics—on both left and right—would be headed up by Texas Congressman Ron Paul? Even the Tea Party phenomenon, easily mocked as it is, represents conservatives actually taking the first few tentative steps into something resembling an activist mindset. It may just be a safety valve, as such talk will be easily forgotten when the next Republican is elected. Still, rhetoric has consequences, and you can’t just start throwing words like “revolution” without changing the mindset of the people involved.
The Ron Paul movement must be credited for opening up space for conservatives on ideas such as the Federal Reserve, secession, and the accepted narratives about American history. Even more remarkable is the seeming refusal of the mainstream conservative movement to engage with the emerging liberty movement, even though it is huge potential source of activists, donors, and serious candidates.
Perhaps the reason behind this disconnect is that the Paul movement is the beginning of the post-conservative era for the American Right. If conservatism is about defending established institutions, Paul is not conservative. The liberty movement fundamentally challenges the legitimacy of the state, and implicitly challenges the cultural regime that supports it. A group that can cheer wildly when Abraham Lincoln is denounced as the worst president in American history is certainly a radical departure. The Paul movement’s historical revisionism, anti-state line, overt hostility towards the corporate (as opposed to capitalist) and government establishments, and indifference towards questions of respectability and permissible associations suggest that a decidedly anti-system Right is emerging.
The attacks on the liberty movement from the Left seem oddly divorced from reality. Left-wing sneers at Paul, the Tea Parties, and the Right (such as it is) generally have little to do with inflation, federal power, and government spending. The federal and state governments, with the clear help from the Fed-like, pseudo-private “watchdog” groups, have been issuing warnings about the danger of organizations like the Constitution Party and the Campaign for Liberty morphing into “militias” dedicated to–of course—white supremacy. The inevitable move towards European-style speech codes is justified by similar fears, that cries of “End the Fed” will somehow turn into “Wir müssen die Juden ausrotten!” And of course, we have the claims by innumerable leftists that the Tea Parties are actually white-power rallies. There is no engagement with the Right on the issues that they are actually talking about and organizing around.
But let’s give the Left a little credit, because as usual, the Left understands the Right better than the Right knows itself. As Professor Gottfried wrote at LewRockwell.com (before it was cool),
While the Left rails against the bogus Right … it knows where its real domestic enemy is to be found. The media Left lurches fitfully into attack mode against the Militia Men as rightwing extremists, a reaction that is never apparent when it discusses the Black Panthers or Hispanic racial nationalists. One likely reason is that, in contrast to designated indignant minorities, ‘rightwing extremists’ are not clients of the administrative state. In fact they would be happy to junk this entity entirely.
Right-wingers mobilizing around economic issues and the Fed may be a threat to the system, and the multiculturalists grasp this. However, it is the war on the West itself that mobilizes the cultural Marxists and provides the real justification for their redistributive economic policies.
The entire Obama presidency seems to be justified purely on cultural grounds, whether redeeming us from our sinful racist past, making us look better in the eyes of the world, or liberating us from the dark Christian theocracy of the Bush years and the “old America.” I have yet to meet an Obama supporter who has tried to tell me how the stimulus plan will really benefit the economy or that the Democrats have better ideas on how to reduce the deficit. On the other hand, I’ve met plenty who think that only Obama stands between them and the vengeful white rednecks waiting to seize power.
Mass immigration and cultural disintegration will continue to exist if the Fed—or the state—magically disappears tomorrow. Even materialists must concede that we can’t even begin to talk about issues like education, health care, crime, poverty, or whether we have a society worth living in without talking about issues of multiculturalism and demographics. These issues need to be confronted by someone, if not by libertarians themselves. The reaction to Tom Tancredo’s visits to the University of North Carolina and Providence College shows how fully the Left becomes unhinged even with a message like Tancredo’s—which is fairly common sense, standard, and maybe even boring stuff about assimilation and the rule of law.
Hence, Youth for Western Civilization, despite mostly being funded out of what’s left of my salary post condo fees, garnered huge headlines and controversy, even though we don’t have a single employee. Thus far, YWC’ers can’t even really be placed on the “Alternative Right,” as we are essentially just echoing standard conservative rhetoric on immigration, multiculturalism, and American identity. (The difference is that we actually back it up.) But even this moderate approach is too much for leftists. Calls to completely transform the structure of the American economy meet far less opposition than suggesting the enforcement of existing immigration laws. I submit this tells us what the real forbidden issues are in America today and where the Left really sees the battle lines falling.
In this environment, “breaking the clock of social democracy” requires not just economic analysis or more tired rhetoric about a liberalism—classical or otherwise—that the West can no longer afford. The Left is the Establishment, the financial and cultural elite of the Western world support them, and all the SDSs, Indymedias, “antifascists,” and the rest are nothing but the managerial state’s militant wing, lackeys of the powerful as surely as were Pinkerton detectives.
To defeat them requires mobilizing those constituencies that are excluded from the current political and social structure, and that means mobilizing the conservative base to fight—for once—in their own defense. The potential possibility that they will do this, whether it’s in the name of stopping mass immigration, ending the Fed, cutting taxes, or whatever, is what really scares the Left.
With the Paul movement, the Tea Parties, and the general shift in rhetoric after President Obama’s election, there are signs that conservatives are finally learning that the Establishment is not something to defend or join. Some are even questioning whether the American system is fatally broken. If conservatives understand that, they cease to be a safety valve and can accomplish something other than tax cuts for left-wing millionaires. A post-conservative and post-national right can maybe be a voice for a “revolution” that isn’t just rhetoric.
Source: Taki’s Magazine.
August 6, 2009
In recent months, Berlin has been hit by a wave of arson attacks on cars and increasingly violent left-wing protests. This has led the head of Germany’s police union to warn of a dangerous rise in left-wing terrorism, and to claim that the city of Berlin and its mayor are fanning the flames.
The headlines are there almost every morning: BMW burnt, VW set alight, a Mercedes torched. Almost nightly, somewhere in Berlin, a vehicle is set on fire in what police say are political statements by an increasingly militant left-wing. Around 170 cars have gone up in flamesthis year; and earlier this month, police vehicles became the latest targets.
Additionally, during May Day celebrations this year the traditional scuffle between left-wing protestors and police became unusually violent. Leftists also recently staged a demonstration at Berlin’s defunct downtown Tempelhof airport. What was intended as a peaceful protest against gentrification turned violent and resulted in the arrests of 102 people and the injury of 21 police officers.
The developments this week prompted Rainer Wendt, who heads the German Police Union (DPolG), to conclude that left-wing violence is rising dangerously. He has also criticized Berlin’s politically ambitious mayor, Klaus Wowereit, for being too sympathetic to the leftist cause.
Is Wowereit Fanning the Flames?
“The capital’s mayor is stirring things up against the police and then using (them) his employees as cannon fodder during large protests,” Wendt told SPIEGEL ONLINE, referring to this year’s May Day demonstrations in Berlin when more than double the number of police were injured than the previous year and local police chiefs were blamed for not being more forceful. Not only that, Wendt said, but parts of Wowereit’s administration — the governing coalition pairs the center-left Social Democrats with the far-left Left Party — were openly sympathetic to the left-wing extremists. “That’s not really a shot in the arm for my colleagues. A lot of Berlin police have had enough,” Wendt said.
This is not the first time that Wowereit, and his administration has been criticized in this manner. In the aftermath of the Tempelhof protests, opposition politicians accused the mayor, and other left-wing and Green Party politicians, of inaction against the “red terror” that verged on tacit compliance. Conservative politicians such as those from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) even said in a statement, that the left wing “feels particularly safe and is tending increasingly towards violence” as a result of the Berlin government.
Left Wing More Organized And Militant Than Ever
Wendt agreed. He said he had recently noticed a different approach to the car arsons in Berlin. In the past, it felt like while some of the arsons were politically motivated, others could have been the result of copycats or teenage pranks. Wendt said that now, “unlike in earlier years, these vehicles are being specifically targeted. Before the event, there’s been some intensive planning and research.” For instance, the police cars recently set on fire were locked up on private property. Arsonists have also targeted DHL courier company vehicles because of their connections to the German military and cars belonging to national railway Deutsche Bahn because of their involvement in the transport of nuclear waste. And, as the Berliner Morgenpost reported, auto arsons went up during the recent “Action Weeks,” in June when pamphlets had been circulating telling left-wing activists to protest against gentrification, to “disturb the neo-liberal order” and “take back the city.”
“We have also noticed this kind of thing (better organization) at protests,” Wendt continued. “First of all the culprits work out where the police’s weak spots are, then they strike them. The extreme left-wing groups seem to be looking far more conspiratorial — and increasingly militant. We are extremely concerned.”
So concerned, in fact, that Wendt believed that these incidents may actually be the early signs of a “renaissance of left-wing terror,” similar to that which Germany saw in the 1970s — when the Red Army Faction killed more than 30 people in a campaign of bombings, kidnappings and assassinations that terrorized West Germany. He warned that symbols of the state, including politicians themselves, may soon be in danger.
“The number of cases we have cleared, with regard to these offences, is so low because resources have not been devoted to investigating them,” Wendt explained. “We cannot get to the left-wing extremists without a lot of undercover investigation. The country simply lacks the capacities. Making the fight against right-wing extremism and against Islamic terrorism a priority has torn a big hole in other areas. We need to find a balance.”
Source: Spiegel Online.
August 6, 2009
By Baltasar Nordstrom
On June 18, 2009, the U.S. Senate formally apologized to African Americans for slavery and the segregation era. The U.S. House of Representatives had already issued their apology on July 29, 2008, though will vote again on the issue because its members have changed in the interim. These declarations are the latest in a line of mea maxima culpas also offered by state legislatures, American universities, and others.
The sentiment of regret coupled with confessions of having done wrong pervades all of them, as if the wrong done is a fait accompli, and all that remains is to acknowledge the fact and apologize humbly, contritely, and officially. It is easy to think this way, with slavery representing the subjugation of man by man, sometimes brutally, and segregation implying, if not embodying, second-class social and political status. But do apologies, or even apologies plus reparations, represent authentic justice? Or is the demand for them rather a case of the camel sticking his nose, head, and more into the tent of truth?
To date several political, educational, and other bodies have made their apologies known or indirectly expressed guilt. Virginia’s General Assembly was the first state legislative body to declare, in early 2007, though what it passed was a resolution of “profound regret” rather than one of formal apology, fearing an apology would generate legal obligations to pay reparations to blacks for their enslavement and denial of rights. Maryland followed suit a month later. Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, and North Carolina have also expressed regret or apologized, as has the Episcopal Church. Moreover, various universities, including Brown University, the University of Alabama and the University of North Carolina, have formally disclosed historical ties with slavery. Since 2002, at least a dozen cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit and Philadelphia, have required companies doing business with them to admit to any ties they had with slavery, opening the door to lawsuits against corporations who profited from it. The states of California and Illinois have required insurance companies to do the same.
The trend toward more and more apologies, though growing slowly, appears to be advancing inexorably, and could lay the basis for a future demand for monetary reparations to blacks for the deprivations and punishments they endured during the slavery and segregation regimes. Some blacks have indeed indicated this as their goal. Representative Barbara Lee of California, head of the Congressional Black Caucus, wants any federal apology to permit “the right to address a grievance,” legal language for a right to sue for reparations. NAACP President and CEO Todd Jealous has said that an apology is the “first step toward healing” the wrongs done blacks, where “healing” can also be interpreted to mean reparations. Representative John Conyers of Michigan has submitted a bill every year since 1989 to establish a presidential commission that would study remedies, including reparations. Others have expressed similar sentiments.
Opponents have railed against formal apologies partly because of the same potential monetary consequences. This opposition also has a monetary goal aimed, however, at avoiding payments rather than receiving them, and so, though based in a serious concern, is in one sense an equivalent, not superior, argument. More importantly, it ignores the question whether apologies are right or wrong regardless of possible reparations, which is the issue to be addressed here. Because apologies have been made the focus of the question of responsibility and guilt, the strength and validity of the argument for them will determine that of any demand for reparations.
The Moral Paradox of Slavery
In spite of its initial moral appeal, the idea that blacks are owed an apology, if not reparations, for slavery is based on poor legal and moral reasoning. It includes the false presumption that blacks in the early days of America had a legal right to be here, and that therefore enslaving them was a violation of their constitutional rights. They did not. Immigration policy up until 1965 was very restricted, and there is no constitutional right to free and unrestricted immigration; nor has there ever been. That is rather a matter for the American people to decide. Nor would whites have ever accepted black immigration en masse in colonial times or after the Revolution. Because there was essentially no legal right for blacks to be here during the slavery period except as slaves, there was no practical or legal possibility of them becoming Americans other than through slavery when slavery was in force. Any blacks who were here as free men then would have been here in very small number, and likely of little relevance for slavery or segregation, and thus for issues involving millions of people and potentially trillions of dollars.
Rather than slavery and civil rights, where blacks ought to start their reasoning process is from their “original position.” That is, understanding what moral or legal harm has been done depends on knowing what condition or situation they were in before the alleged harmful or otherwise immoral acts occurred. It is as a deviation from or degradation of this situation that harm or wrong is defined.
For blacks this was not as residents of colonial America and the United States, but as residents of Africa. In other words, their true options were not between slavery and civil liberty, but between being free in Africa and enslaved in the U.S., to undergo centuries of slavery and segregation before they could achieve full civil rights. The question to ask, then, is which of these lives, since their enslaved ancestors can no longer choose, contemporary blacks would choose for themselves and their ancestors.
If they choose a free life in Africa, neither they nor their predecessors would ever have lived here. Any grounds for complaint about being enslaved here simply would not arise. They would be African still, not Americans seeking apologies or reparations.
If they choose life in America even if it means accepting slavery as the only way to live here, then they also relinquish their and their ancestors’ claims to any apology or reparations from the start. They have accepted that slavery was the only way they and their ancestors could become American.
Restoring blacks to their original position, in turn, would mean they return to Africa, with some kind of reparations on behalf of their ancestors if enslavement was immoral or illegal at the time in their original societies. Considering that civil rights were most likely poorly established in Africa during the era of slavery, it might be hard to argue reparations are due. Any right of reparations would in any case require returning to Africa; staying here would indicate a willingness to accept slavery for their ancestors insofar as it provided eventual American citizenship for themselves.
Segregation in Context
A similar argument could apply to apologies and reparations for segregation, otherwise known as “Jim Crow,” when the right to vote and other civil liberties were refused them and they were legally segregated from whites. Blacks would not have lived in the U.S. in any significant degree during the Jim Crow era unless it had been preceded by slavery. Therefore, once again, blacks, or their ancestors, who lived through segregation would have to accept the hard historical necessity of slavery as a condition for life here. Segregation would most likely not have occurred, or it would have affected far fewer people, if slavery had not occurred. Nevertheless, segregation was less of a historical necessity than slavery if it was one at all. It is not for the purposes of this analysis since the element of necessity in segregation appears to be lacking, though to be “fair” (honest to history) the subject could always be left to analysis. Unlike with slavery, the issue here is one of American civil liberty versus its deprivation. This leaves open the question of apologies and reparations for segregation.
In addition, any apologies or reparations for segregation would have to be weighed against other moral considerations. These would include, among other things, the deprivations inflicted on the South, where segregation took place, during political and economic subjugation by Northern states following the Civil War. This was a regionally and culturally second-class status rather than a racially subjugated one, and, like segregation, far more of an empirical question than that concerning any debts owed for slavery. Blacks were not responsible for this, of course, but the issue would have to arise on a national level if apologies and restorative justice were to be distributed equally and without bias. This makes the issue of reparations to blacks for segregation more complicated and perhaps a less-than-ideal remedy; black standards of living in the South may have suffered partly because of pro-Northern policies less than, as much as, or more than they did because of segregation. A case for reparations would also have to show that similarly-situated Southern whites suffered less than blacks economically during segregation and if so how much. A high violent crime rate against whites (and in general, burdening society with law enforcement, legal, and incarceration expenses) up to the current day could also be thrown into the weighing of harms and debts. Finally, as summarized by Mychal Massie, chairman of the National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives, numerous programs have already been established to remedy blacks’ plight and attempt to meet their demands, suggesting some or all of any debt to blacks may have already been paid off. These include:
Great Society initiatives, race-based affirmative action programs, Act 101, race-based contracts and set-asides, race-based business loans and mortgages, the permitting of segregated dormitories, graduations and proms to placate race mongers, color-coded jobs, and the list goes on and on.
Seen weighed along with historical (and current) harms other than segregation, the moral calculus may support only a weak claim for segregation reparations—if any at all. It is also possible blacks carry moral debts.
In terms of justifications for apologies and reparations, then, slavery and segregation present different considerations. Segregation concerns in part possible economic deprivation as the yardstick by which apologies and reparations would be calculated, and has to be investigated both empirically and in context, including harms done by blacks as well as debts already paid. The results would not necessarily favor blacks.
Slavery in turn invokes a starker and far more basic existential question: Would contemporary blacks be willing for their ancestors to undergo slavery and consequent segregation in order for future generations of blacks, including themselves, to be able to become citizens of this country? Seen in this light, factually as opposed to theoretically, ahistorically, and unrealistically, the choices for blacks surrounding slavery are much more limited than most current debate around apologies and reparations acknowledges. They cannot, if blacks and others want to be honest, be based in non-existent possibilities and circumstances, like a right to be here during the colonial and subsequent eras.
If the necessary historical circumstances did not exist, white guilt, apologetics, and reparations (since it is whites who are being held responsible for the practice) should also not exist. The pathetic prostrations of various legislative and other bodies around the United States before the idol of infamy we know as slavery are more psychological and political exercises than moral ones, signs more of moral decay than of moral vitality. Whites owe American blacks the rights they would accord any human beings, but they do not owe apologies or reparations for the institution of slavery as they are currently offered or proposed, and any apologies already given should be rescinded. In spite of its “injustice, cruelty, brutality and inhumanity of slavery,” as the House of Representatives put it, slavery was the unfortunate means by which most blacks were able to become Americans. Slavery, not constitutional right, was their primary ticket to citizenship.
Baltasar Nordstrom is the pen name of a non-MSM writer.
CNN.com/Associated Press. “US Gov. Apologizes for Slavery,” July 30, 2007, Black Voices, http://www.blackvoices.com/newsarticle/_a/slavery-apology/20080728142709990002, Sunday, June 14, 2009 1:33:16 PM GMT-7.
Hafenbrack, Josh, and Kennedy, John. “Florida Legislature Makes Formal Apology For Slavery,” Orlando Sentinel, at Common Dreams, March 27, 2008, http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/03/27/7922, Sunday, June 14, 2009 1:29:17 PM GMT-7.
Koch, Wendy. “Va. 1st state to express ‘regret’ over slavery,” USA Today, February 26, 2007, http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-02-25-apology_x.htm#, Sunday, June 14, 2009 1:03:56 PM GMT-7.
Massie, Mychal. “America’s money-grubbing, racial extortionists,” WorldNetDaily, June 30, 2009, http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=102531, Thursday, July 02, 2009 8:20:55 PM GMT-7.
National Public Radio. “New Jersey Apologizes for Slavery,” January 8, 2008, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=17925822, Sunday, June 14, 2009 1:14:14 PM GMT-7.
Perry, James DeWolf. “Connecticut issues apology for slavery,” June 5, 2009, Traces of the Trade, http://www.tracesofthetrade.org/news/2009/06/connecticut-issues-apology-for-slavery/, Sunday, June 14, 2009 1:17:19 PM GMT-7.
Samad, Anthony Asadullah. “Apology For Slavery: How Convenient, But What Does It Really Mean?,” August 11, 2008, The LA Progressive, http://www.laprogressive.com/2008/08/11/apology-for-slavery-how-convenient-but-what-does-it-really-mean/, Sunday, June 14, 2009 1:48:05
August 4, 2009
In this show, Dr. Tom Sunic and Alex discuss the social underpinnings of Alex’ dystopian novel Mister, a must-read to comprehend the Western endtimes. The plot takes place in the not too distant future, in the European city of Madrid. Both in terms of the language and style, this fine book is comparable to Raspail’s The Camp of the Saints. Also discussed is black metal music and its meta-political message and its promotional uses.
13 MB / 32 kbps mono / 0 hour 59 min.
August 4, 2009
“Breathes there the man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land.”
– Walter Scott
Some time in the second half of the 1990s, a terminological change occurred in the racially conscious community.
Many who previously identified themselves as White Power advocates, segregationists, separatists, supremacists, survivalists, neo-Confederates, biological realists, etc. started calling themselves “white nationalists.”
At the time (and I didn’t know much about these things then), I thought this reflected a changing political consciousness.
For what began after 1945 as a “movement” to maintain the integrity of America’s racial character and prevent alien races from intruding into its various “life worlds” had, by the 1990s, ceased to be a realistic project — thirty years of Third-World immigration, “civil rights” legislation, and various measures imposed by the federal government to subordinate white interests to those of nonwhites had irrevocably transformed the American people so that it was increasingly difficult to characterize them as even a majority-white population.
As a consequence, “white advocates” in the late 1990s started making traditional nationalist claims for secession and self-determination because the United States, in their eyes, had become a threat to their people.
This interpretation was not at all unreasonable. But, alas, it didn’t quite accord with the facts.
I’ve since learned that those calling themselves “white nationalists” are not necessarily nationalists in the sense of wanting to secede from the United States in order to form an independent ethnostate. Most, I think it’s fair to say, are racially conscious conservatives who want to work through the existing institutions to regain control of the country their ancestors made — in order, ultimately, to dismantle the present anti-white system of preferences and restore something of the white man’s former hegemony.
By contrast, white nationalists in the strict sense (i.e., those favoring secession) have no interest in restoring the old ways, let alone regaining control of the central state, whose authority is already slipping and whose rule is increasingly dysfunctional. Indeed, the American state system, as its more astute supporters acknowledge, is now beyond reform.
Instead, white nationalists aspire to create a counter-elite to lead disaffected white youth in a movement to found a whites-only nation-state somewhere in North America, once the poorly managed enterprise known as the United States collapses in a centrifugal dispersion of its decaying and perverted powers.
Without an organizational presence in the real world and with a “public” largely of computer hobbyists, white nationalists at present have no hope of actually mobilizing the white populace in opposition to the existing anti-white regime. Rather, their immediate goal is to prepare the way for the development of a revolutionary nationalist vanguard to lead the struggle for white liberation, creating, in the process, a counter-elite capable of founding a White Republic. They aspire thus not to recapture the rotting corpse of the US government, but to free themselves from it — in order to be themselves, in their own land, in their own way.
White nationalists, as such, politically define themselves in wanting to create a sovereign state in North America. They endeavor, therefore, not to “put things back the way they were,” as conservatives wish, but to rid themselves of them completely. A National Revolution, they hold, will alone restore “the white man to his rightful place in the world.”
Inspired by the birthright handed down by the blood and sacrifice of ancestors, their project, relatedly, is not about restoring the Third Reich, the Confederacy, or Jim Crow, as leftists imagine, but about creating a future white homeland in which their kind will be able “to pursue their destiny without interference from other races.”
White nationalism is a variant of historic ethnonationalism, what Walker Connor calls nationalism “in its pristine sense.”
All three — racial, ethno, and pristine nationalism — define the nation in terms of blood.
The creedal or civic nationalism of the present regime, which makes loyalty to the state, not the nation, primary, is “nationalist” only in a narrow ideological sense, confusing as it does patriotism (loyalty to the state or affection for the land) with loyalty to the people (nationalism). It thus defines the nation in terms of certain abstract democratic principles, seeing it as a collection of individuals, each more important than the whole.
Though ethnonationalists privilege the nation’s spirit above all else, they define it organically, in terms of blood, as an extended family, an endogamous kin group, or a genetic commonwealth.
Unlike European nations, formed around long-established ethnic cores (which had developed in the Middle Ages, as Germanic and other tribal confederations evolved into larger political, regional, and cultural identities), American national identity was, historically, defined in explicitly racial terms.
As Sir Arthur Keith characterized it: “In Europe the stock has been broken up into local national breeds; in America the local breeds have been reunited.”
In both cases, a national identity grew out of a real or imagined blood relationship linking the nation’s members to inherited customs and institutions.
Because the American form of racial nationhood lacks the ethnic dimension distinct to European nationalism, it is a source of some misunderstanding, especially in its purely negative expression as anti-Semitism or Negrophobia.
For example, even Euronationalists who struggle for a continental nation-state tend to reject white nationalism — because it seems to imply the typical American leveling of cultural and other identities by subsuming them under a homogenizing biological concept that negates the particularisms of European nationhood.
In this, however, our European cousins misunderstand the aim of white nationalism, though some white nationalists in their one-sided reaction to nonwhites may, admittedly, have given cause to their misunderstanding.
White nationalism is a distinctly American (or, better said, New World) nationalism, not a European one, and the two are analogous only at the highest level, where the national community, defined ethnically or racially, affirms it right to control its own destiny.
This is not to say that American racial nationalism — which makes white European racial ascriptions the basis of American identity — has no ethnic or historic component.
The country’s original settlers were largely of Anglo-Protestant descent and this had a formative effect on American institutions and folkways.
The organic basis of the American nation, however, was less English ethnicity than “whiteness.”
Even before the War of Independence, more than a quarter of the population was of non-English, mainly North European stock: Scots-Irish, German, Dutch, French Huguenots, etc. By about the mid-18th century, the “American English” were increasingly referred to as “Americans,” a people “selected by a whole series of ordeals which [had] killed off the weak and worthless” and conferred a distinct vitality on their laws, attitudes, and local institutions.
The bitterness of the War of Independence (the first American war of secession) and the War of 1812, US-British acrimony and rivalry, which lasted late into the 19th century, in addition to the nationalist compulsion to celebrate an American identity independent of the English — all tended to minimize the significance of the colonists’ original national origins, as they were reborn as pure Americans. In fact, American nationalism arose on the basis of a certain popular revulsion against the English. Nevertheless, English-Americans were the original native Americans and all the rest of us have since become American by assimilating something of their ethos.
Though Anglo-Protestant ethnicity continues to animate the inner reaches of American culture, it wasn’t, however, the genotypical basis of American identity. Rather, it was the racial experience of transplanted Englishmen in 17th-century Virginia, then the “exotic far western periphery . . . of the metropolitan European cultural system.”
In the New World part of this system, the ever-looming presence of African slaves, considered “by nature vicious and morally inferior,” and “savage” red Indians, who posed an ongoing threat, could not but foster an acute racial consciousness.
Given that economic opportunities, vast expanses of virgin land, and new fortunes prevented the old European social hierarchies from forming, these racial bearings acted as the one fixed hierarchy ordering colonial life.
Forged, thus, in conflict with nonwhites, the colonists’ early racial consciousness served to mark the boundaries of the emerging American identity. The historian Winthrop Jordan claims that “Anglo-Americans” were already identifying themselves as “whites” rather than “Englishmen” as early as 1680.
National or ethnic differences in this racially mixed environment were simply less meaningful than differences between Europeans and non-Europeans.
When the American colonists at last declared their independence, they declared in effect their intent to become a self-determined people in the evolutionary sense, by becoming a nation, an organic body with its own sovereign state and its own laws of growth.
Then, following the revolution, as republican principles were gradually extended to all white males, the country’s Herrenvolk democracy posed an insurmountable obstacle to the extension of these principles to nonwhites — for the new, explicitly white nation was based not on the liberal fiction of “humanity,” but on the assumption that human nature is a product of blood and race.
Indeed, the white egalitarianism of the early republic, shaped largely in opposition to the Toryism of anglophile Federalists (who represented the bourgeois interests of liberal market society and its connection to British commerce) was premised on the Negro’s otherness and the primacy of white racial ascriptions, all of which contributed to the nation’s self-consciousness, coherence, and communality, as British and European Americans, largely under the leadership of Indian-fighting, pro-slavery, and expansionist Southerners, came to share not just the same horizontal sense of right and identity, but the same vertical qualities and dignities of their stock.
Different in ways from ethnicity, race forged the psychological bonds that joined American whites and differentiated them from nonwhites, just as the language, customs, and early institutions of the original Anglo-Protestant settlers established the cultural-linguistic framework in which white Americans became a self-conscious nation.
The ethnogenic process that gradually imposed a common culture and identity on the former colonists, as they became Virginians and New Englanders, and more generally, Americans, was interrupted in the 1840s by the mass influx of Irish and German Catholics — the former seen almost as an alien race. Then, in the late 19th century, this was followed by a second great immigrant wave, from Southern and Eastern Europe.
Today the Third World invasion is taking the ethnogenic process to a new extreme, as the state, with its inorganic definition of the nation, endeavors to “transcend” the perennially white, Christian character of the American people for the sake of its oxymoronic “universal nation.”
At each nodal point in this demographic transformation, except the most recent, native Americans, however resistant to the newcomers, succeeded in assimilating them on the basis of their racial ascriptions, as the Anglo-Protestant character of American identity became progressively more “ecumenical.”
Indeed, it’s increasingly difficult today to talk of “hyphenated-Americans,” given that the different European ethnic strains making up the white population have so extensively intermarried that many now no longer know their ethnic origins. As one historian writes: “Ellis Island whiteness” has come to replace “Plymouth Rock whiteness.”
But there were obvious limits to assimilation. As Woodrow Wilson put it: “We cannot make a homogeneous population of a people who do not blend with the Caucasian race.” Against this view, many “new,” especially Jewish immigrants, advanced the cause for greater ethnic diversity, as if America’s vocation was to become a boardinghouse to all the world’s peoples. The Old America, though, would have none of this, and, in Stoddard’s words, dismissed such claims with the insistence “that America is basically ‘made’ — and that it shall not be unmade.”
When the post-1945 National Security State, armed with its newly acquired “mandate of heaven,” endeavored to turn Roosevelt’s liberal-managerial state system into a world empire, premised on the belief that it was based on an idea, not a people, it launched what amounted to an assault on America’s historic identity — an assault whose overarching aim was to undermine the population’s racial consciousness and promote ethnocidal practices facilitating its “demographic” reconstitution. The state’s “anti-racism” came thus to serve as an instrument of its social engineers, who sought to turn whites into herds of “tamed sheep [who] care not in which flock [they] are driven.”
It was only natural, then, that once the shearing got under way the most racially conscious whites began to see themselves as an oppressed nation in need of their own sovereign state.
Racial conservatives have offered numerous criticisms of nationalists advocating secession from the United States. The most common of these — made in a period which has witnessed successful secessionist movements (in the former SU, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, etc.), as well as other popular movements resisting a despotic, leveling centralization in the name of regionalism, devolution, and the defense of historic identities — is that the prospect of creating a white ethnostate in North America free of the United States is totally unrealizable . . . a fantasy . . . pure and utter folly.
But this, they fail to realize, is hardly criticism at all.
For those with the courage of their convictions, it’s never a matter of calculating the odds and going with the winning side, but of doing what needs to be done — like that Roman soldier of Pompeii cited by Spengler in Man and Technics, whose Aryan sense of duty kept him at his post, as Vesuvius exploded in fire.
The secessionist, then, is not a party politician loyal to Washington’s New Class establishment, but a nationalist loyal to his nation — and thus to whatever political imperative the nation’s welfare demands.
He has, moreover, no illusion about what this entails.
As the Euronationalist Jean Thiriart put it: “One does not create a nation with speeches, pious talk, and banquets. One creates a nation with rifles, martyrs, jointly lived dangers.”
Viewed “objectively,” neither secession nor a white conservative reconquest has a chance, not one in a universe of infinite possibilities. Both are figments of a few white minds troubled by the prospect of their people’s imminent demise.
But that’s the way all great movements begin.
If a presently unattainable ideal is not first articulated as a mythic possibility, it remains unrealized, for its idealization is part of the process that quickens its realization.
In 1774, only a few believed in American independence. After 1776 it was a critical mass.
Paraphrasing Sorel, secession cannot be submitted to the usual criticism — no more than could the Second Coming of “Primitive Christianity” or the General Strike of fin-de-siècle syndicalists. It’s not a fact or even an idea so much as it is a way of being — or a wanting to be.
Central to its realization, therefore, is not the objective forces opposing it, but the subjective will seeking its triumph.
Many things, of course, would have to change before either secession or reconquest become remotely realizable (though our postmodern age, the Kali Yuga of the Traditionalists, is an age in which time and events have greatly accelerated, as all things hurtle toward the inevitable crackup, the Ragnarok, which precedes every rebirth).
The thought, nevertheless, of whites breaking free of the United States, in this period when the multi-cult empire is experiencing the first of its death agonies, seems, from a secessionist perspective, somewhat less of a fantasy than trying to reform it, which sixty years of experience suggest is unreformable.
Almost every criticisms that can be made of secession is to be found in Sam Francis’s “Prospects for Racial and Cultural Survival” (1995).
Sam, who I have paid high tribute to in the pages of this journal, was an important transitional figure in the development of a white nationalist outlook. Though one of his feet was solidly planted in the white nationalist camp, the other, however, was never quite freed from his former “new right” and paleocon beliefs. Divided, his critique of secession reflected an old-fashion patriotism unwilling to break from the US — though, perhaps, if he had lived, he might feel differently, now that the dusky helmsman has begun steering the ship of state perilously close to the shoals of what promises to be an even more horrendous fate.
As an anti-secessionist, Sam considered separation from the United States tantamount to surrender — surrender of the country our ancestors created, surrender of its history, traditions, interests.
But Sam was wrong.
Secessionists surrender nothing but the slow death of their people. For among other things, secession is about survival — and the prospect of being able to fight another day.
To do that, one must live. But where, how?
For all practical purposes whites have lost the United States. Though still a near majority, they are surrounded by armed forces seeking their destruction, they are running out of ammunition, and the ground troops are being ordered in to clean up the remaining pockets of resistance. It looks as if they’re doomed.
Secession is a way of avoiding the deadly pincers closing in on white life.
In the last sixty years, absolutely NOTHING — not one little thing — has been accomplished to interrupt the programmed destruction of European America.
Nevertheless, the critics of secession drone on: “Why give up the country when you can take it back?”
These two-fisted patriots who think this is the most powerful argument against secession are likely to be singing the same song in the not too distanced future, when colored novelists start writing about “The Last of the Europeans.”
But even if feasible, what self-respecting white man would want to take back the United States, this monstrous, bureaucratic Leviathan whose Jewish, race-mixing, homophile, feminist, fraudulent, anti-Christian, and degenerate practices stand as an affront to everything his ancestors stood for.
The hard truth is that it’s gotten to the point where the US can no longer be defended as “my mother, drunk or sober,” only repulsed as an alien body-snatcher.
To this end, secessionists emulate the proud Danes, who said after the loss of Schleswig-Holstein in 1865, that “What has been lost externally will be gained internally.”
Secessionists refuse not just to abide the state responsible for their dispossession, they see this “abomination of desolation” as their principal enemy. Only by freeing themselves from it and acquiring their own land under their own sovereignty do they see a future for their kind.
One might call this “surrendering large parts of the country to nonwhites” — though these aliens already occupy large parts of it and will continue to do so until whites are completely replaced.
The secessionists’ ultimate consideration is not, then, what will be lost, but what gives whites the best chance to survive.
“Any proposal for separation,” Sam argued, “would simply alienate the most patriotic and nationalist loyalties of American whites and lead them to see separatists as un-American.” Most whites would also “refuse to abandon their allegiance to the US or forsake its territory.”
Here Sam confused loyalty to the state with loyalty to the nation, paying tribute, in effect, to Caesar in his own coin. Given the logic of his argument, one might question what his position would have been in 1774, when secession from the Mother Country was originally proposed? Or what his position would be if the United States should start following in the footsteps of the former Soviet Union? And, finally, one wonders how patriotic most Americans are going to be once they discover that their grandchildren will be paying off the debts of the present US government — at a time when American citizenship will probably be little more than a form of Chinese peonage.
Secessionists don’t care if most whites would refuse to abandon “their” country. “Most” whites, de-Ayranized as they are, allowed a negro to become president.
Only those who care for their kind and are willing to fight for them can possibly found a new nation.
The flag-waving, Constitution-worshipping types — who know nothing outside the ideology of liberal democracy, old (”conservative”) or new (”progressive”), and who believe that there is something sacred about the unholy United States — will never be mobilized for the sake of “racial preservation”; that ship has sailed.
In secessionist eyes, it’s better to lose a bit of territory and shed the race’s detritus than to lose whatever remains of the white nation — especially in view of the coming age, which is certain to be filled with cascading catastrophes, set off by the imploding contradictions of liberalism’s dystopian regime.
As for being militarily crushed by the US, another frequent objection, anti-secessionists seem not to have heard of fourth-generation war, just as they conveniently forget that the only country the United States has truly defeated in the many wars of choice it’s waged in the last sixty years is the tiny Caribbean nation of Grenada. As one Russian observer notes, the US “military does not know how to win . . . [only] how to blow things up” (a Second Generation Warfare practice which the US Army learned from the French in WWI and continues to teach in its academies). As a consequence, it’s virtually incapable of “prevailing over any enemy, no matter how badly armed, demoralized, or minuscule” — because it only knows how to fight standing armies in “conventional” wars, where firepower is paramount.
Both militarily and politically, it would seem a hundred times easier to secede from, than to retake, the whole of the United States. Concentrating their forces at the enemy’s weakest link — a concentration of what would be a growing base of support, once the United States starts its slow slide into the abyss of insolvency and tyranny — secessionists would need only to penetrate the enemy’s porous lines, disorganize his rear through an “open-source insurgency,” and then sue for formal sovereignty over a part of the collapsed United States.
In the context of such a possible development, Sam wondered how the races could possibly be separated and what would prevent them from “unseparating.” Here again he didn’t see what was coming. Since the end of the Second World War there have been numerous population transfers by partitioned states (the most important of which were sanctioned by the US). These transfers occurred in the recent past, will undoubtedly occur again, and already occur in little ways every day in the US, as the relocation of nonwhites forces whites out of their neighborhoods.
Secession implies both population transfers and territorial partition — historically justifiable measures, sanctioned by US precedent, and executable with a minimum of force, unlike the pipe dreams of anti-secessionists, whose imagined “reconquest” would be of a state with a hundred million nonwhite citizens, all with their hands out.
In its desire for cheap labor, Sam thought a separate white nation, would simply repeat the process that got whites into the present mess — as if the struggle for secession (and all it will entail) wouldn’t lead to an explicitly racial definition of nationality, to an inversion of the market’s primacy, and to a spiritual triumph over the materialism that has corrupted so many whites. As a conservative, he couldn’t see that white secession (unlike the secession of the Confederacy) is a revolutionary project premised on a rejection not just of the illegal alienations of the federal government, but of the entire social, economic, and moral order sustaining its ethnocidal rule.
A white breakaway state, Sam also claimed, would be surrounded by hostile powers, vulnerable to invasion, and unable to defend itself against the rising demographic tide outside its borders. Again, these are non-criticisms. Any region seceded from the United States would have its own arms stockpile, including nukes. It would also likely be supported by Russia and other powers having scores to settle with Washington’s New World Order.
More crucially, the racially homogeneous populace of a seceded white republic would be imbued with the nationalist fervor that is the inevitable offshoot of newly forged nations and synergistically armed not simply with the technologies of mass destruction, which are now accessible to small states, but also with a society-wide system of local militia, like the Swiss.
To think that a mutilated United States, with its warring racial factions, welfare politics, and rubber-spine army would be able to crush an armed, autonomous white republic is to abandon the realm of logic. Even at the height of its expansionist powers, Nazi Germany never thought of invading tiny, mountainous Switzerland, where every citizen was armed and ready to defend his nation. The US Army, need it be said, is no Wehrmacht.
European Americans will not survive many more generations under the present Judeo-Negro regime.
Racially-conscious conservatives are counting on a future white backlash to mobilize in defense of white interests. Through such a mobilization, and a much talked about, though little practiced, “march through the institutions,” they hope to raise white racial consciousness, counter the demographic threat posed by nonwhites, and introduce political and legal reforms to curtail nonwhite power — all of which, of course, are totally desirable.
But they expect to arrive at this Utopia without explaining how they would counter a population half of which will be nonwhite in 33 years (2042); without explaining how they would challenge a government that criminalizes white dissent; without explaining how a system can be fundamentally changed without fundamentally changing the institutions and powers that govern it and make it what it is; without any of these things, racial conservatives mock the notion of secession, as if their own not particularly successful project is the sole conceivable alternative.
Unlike their critics, secessionists have a plan, a simple, straightforward one, that offers whites an alternative to an unreformable system and an inescapable death.
This plan has the advantage of being (a) eminently political, (b) based on proven historical precedents, and (c) imbued with the power to generate a will to nationhood.
Given the increasingly totalitarian nature of the existing system, where the mere mention of “race” can be taken as an incitement to crimes against humanity, this aspect of secession, ought, perhaps, to be discussed in historical rather than explicitly programmatic terms.
Much of the history of European nationalism speaks to the American situation today, especially (in my admittedly partisan view) Irish nationalism.
In the 1870s and ’80s, a generation after the An Gorta Mor (the Great Hunger), revolutionary and conservative nationalists agreed to be allies in the common struggle for Irish nationhood. The revolutionary Fenians, preeminently in the form of Michael Davitt’s Land League, which led the rebellion in the countryside, gave the constitutionalists in Parnell’s Irish Parliamentary Party the social leverage to force concessions from the English at Westminster — concessions that eventually won back many Irish lands. Then, once the constitutionalists had gone as far as they could, by about 1912 or 1914, the revolutionary, physical-force wing of Irish nationalism took over, completing the nationalist project.
We American secessionists want whatever works best for the future of our people. If our “constitutionalists,” perhaps in the form of a third party, can create dissension and vulnerability among the “English” in a way that promotes American interests, they are to be supported. But once they fail, we will need to turn, as did the Irish, to the methods of Connelly and Pearse.
Those who know Hibernian — or any other European — nationalist history also know the immeasurable power of the nation, especially the nation rising to nationhood.
This is the spirit we secessionists hope to stir in white Americans.
The situation today may, therefore, be totally grim, but politically there is no more feasible or marketable of strategies to awaken our people, especially as they become aware of their approaching minority status and all it implies.
Imagine, then, for a moment, a white homeland in North America, free of the Jew-ridden US government, with its colored multitudes and parasitic institutions: In my mind, this one image says everything, explains everything, promises everything.
The powerful imagery of an autonomous white nation has, moreover, the mythic potential that the General Strike had in the thought of Georges Sorel.
All great movements, Sorel saw, are driven not by rational arguments or party programs, but by their myths (which “are not descriptions of things, but expressions of a determination to act”).
For it is myth — and the memories and hopes animating it — that shape a nation, that turn a “motley horde” into a people with a shared sense of purpose and identity, that mobilize them against the state of things, and prepare them for self-sacrifice and self-rule.
A Sovereign Independent State, as the Irish called it in 1916 — the White Republic, as I call it — is the secessionist myth, symbolizing the determination of white men to assert themselves as a free nation-state somewhere in an all-white America.
Note: This essay was the winning essay of the first annual TOQ Essay Contest.
Source: The Occidental Quarterly Online.
August 4, 2009
Adrean Arlott returns! In this episode:
7 MB / 32 kbps mono / 0 hour 29 min.
August 1, 2009
Shattering Illusions with Rob Halford: Another great hour show.
And much more
August 1, 2009
Editorial note: This is an elaborated version of an article appearing on VDARE.com: Suicide — Or Murder? Kaufmann’s Rise and Fall of Anglo-America
Table of Contents
Eric P. Kaufmann’s The Rise and Fall of Anglo-America presents the case that Anglo-America committed what one might call “suicide by idea”: White, Anglo-Saxon Protestants were motivated to give up ethnic hegemony by their attachment to Enlightenment ideals of individualism and liberty. Anglo-Americans simply followed these ideals of the Enlightenment to their logical conclusion, with the result that immigration was opened up to all peoples of the world, multiculturalism became the cultural ideal, and Whites willingly allowed themselves to be displaced from their preeminent position among the elites of business, media, politics, and the academic world.
Kaufmann explicitly rejects the proposal that the decline of Anglo-America occurred as a result of some external force. His view is therefore an important contrast to my view that the rise of Jews to elite status in the United States and particular Jewish intellectual and political movements (e.g., the movement to open immigration to all the peoples of the world) were critically necessary (not sufficient) conditions for the collapse of White America. My view is that the outcome was the result of ethnic conflict over the construction of culture. Indeed, the fall of Anglo-Saxon America is a textbook case of how deadly the conflict over the construction of culture can be.
In this review, I will show where Kaufmann goes wrong — mainly by committing sins of omission in ignoring the Jewish role in the decline of Anglo-America. But it must be said that he provides a fascinating historical overview of the decline of Whites in the US. As he notes, it was not very long ago that America strongly asserted that it was a nation of Northwestern Europeans and intended to stay that way. The 1924 Johnson-Reed Act was carefully designed to preserve the ethnic status quo as of 1890, thereby ensuring the dominance of Anglo-Americans. In 1952, the McCarran-Walter Act reiterated the bias toward Northwestern Europe and was passed over President Truman’s veto.
But only a decade later, in the 1960s, White America began the process of ethnic and cultural suicide:
By the 1960s, as if by magic, the centuries-old machinery of WASP America began to stall like the spacecraft of Martian invaders in the contemporary hit film, War of the Worlds. In 1960, the first non-Protestant president was elected. In 1965, the national origins quota regime for immigration was replaced by a “color-blind” system. Meanwhile, Anglo-Protestants faded from the class photos of the economic, political, and cultural elite — their numbers declining rapidly, year upon year, in the universities, boardrooms, cabinets, courts, and legislatures. At the mass level, the cords holding Anglo-Protestant Americans together began to unwind as secular associations and mainline churches lost millions of members while the first truly national, non-WASP cultural icons appeared. (pp. 2–3)
While it is certainly true that other ethnic groups have gone into historical decline or have been replaced by force, the decline of Anglo-America seems mysterious. There are no conquering armies that would easily explain their impending exit from the stage of history.
But despite its obvious importance as an historical phenomenon, as Kaufmann notes, there has been almost no academic attention to the causes of this very precipitous decline. Perhaps some things are better left unsaid, at least until the losers of this revolution are safely relegated to a powerless position.
In the first section, I sketch how a segment of elite White intellectuals saw themselves and America in the nineteenth century. This is an important part of Kaufmann’s narrative because he argues that the seeds of the displacement of Whites were sown in earlier centuries and merely came to fruition in the 1960s and later. The following are the main conclusions:
Many elite White intellectuals and political figures correctly saw that individualism and universalism were ethnic traits traceable to their Germanic ancestors.
White liberals during the 19th century often had a muddled view of race, thinking that environmental changes would quickly alter racial traits.
Even White liberals imagined that in the future America would be populated by people like them — White Anglo-Saxon Protestants.
Liberal attitudes on race were part of elite culture emanating from the Puritan strand of American culture, and already in the 19th century there was a gap between elite and popular attitudes.
Freedom, Representative Government, and Individualism as Anglo-Saxon Ethnic Traits
Confident assertions of White ethnic identity are virtually non-existent these days. However, Kaufmann shows that in the 18th and 19th centuries, Anglo-Americans had a strong sense that they were the biological descendants of freedom loving Anglo-Saxon tribes: “The New England town meeting was likened to the Anglo-Saxon tribal council, and the statements of Tacitus regarding the free, egalitarian qualities of the Anglo-Saxons were given an American interpretation” (p. 18). (For example, Tacitus: “The king or the chief, according to age, birth, distinction in war, or eloquence, is heard, more because he has influence to persuade than because he has power to command. If his sentiments displease them, they reject them with murmurs; if they are satisfied, they brandish their spears.”)
The “Yeoman farmer” was considered the ethnic prototype. After drafting the Constitution, Thomas Jefferson stated that Americans are “the children of Israel in the wilderness, led by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night; and on the other side, Hengist and Horsa, the Saxon chiefs from whom we claim the honour of being descended, and whose political principles and form of government we have assumed” (pp. 17–18; emphasis in text).
Similar statements of ethnic confidence were common among intellectuals and politicians in the period preceding the Mexican-American war. For example, in 1846 Walt Whitman wrote, “What has miserable, inefficient Mexico … to do … with the mission of peopling the New World with a noble race?” (p. 22).
As a cultural historian, Kaufmann interprets ethnic self-conceptions as myths. But in fact it is entirely reasonable to look for the peculiar traits and tendencies of Europeans as adaptations to prolonged life in a situation characterized by harsh climates and the relative absence of between-group competition. I have argued that evolution in the North has predisposed Europeans to the following two critical traits that are entirely unique among the traditional cultures of the world:
1. A de-emphasis on extended kinship relationships and a relative lack of ethnocentrism.
2. A tendency toward individualism and all of its implications: individual rights against the state, representative government, moral universalism, and science.
In other words, Jefferson was quite probably correct to view the Anglo-Saxon tendencies toward individualism and representative government as ethnic traits. A critical feature of individualism is that group boundaries are relatively permeable and assimilation is the norm. As Kaufmann notes, even in the 19th century, individualism resulted in assimilation rather than maintaining impermeable boundaries with other Whites: “Interethnic relations followed a pattern of Anglo-conformity. … Immigrants were to be made into American WASPs by absorbing American English, American Liberty, and American Protestantism and, ultimately, by intermarrying with Americans” (p. 19).
For example, in the late 18th century, the response to large-scale German settlements in Pennsylvania was to reject German-American separatism and a multicultural model of America. Attempts to make German an official language and have laws written in German were rebuffed. German-Americans began Anglicizing their names to better fit into the American milieu.
There was an assumption, even among many liberals, that these ethnic others would look and act like Anglo-Americans. In the 19th century, liberals typically had “an optimistic, expansionist Anglo-conformism that accepted the immigrants, provided they looked like Anglo-Protestants and assimilated to the WASP mytho-symbolic corpus” (p. 37).
Double Consciousness: The Tension between Individualism and Ethnic Identity
Nineteenth-century American intellectuals tended to have what Ralph Waldo Emerson called a “double consciousness” — a tendency to think of America as committed to a non-racial liberal cosmopolitanism as well as a tendency to identify strongly with their Anglo-Saxon ethnicity. This fits with individualism because the ideal is to assimilate others rather than to erect strong ethnic boundaries.
During this period expressions of double consciousness can be found among the intellectual elite in which assertions of Anglo-Saxon ethnicity coexisted with statements of universalism.
Emerson himself was an example of double consciousness. He wrote that America was “the asylum of all nations. … [T]he energy of Irish, Germans, Swedes, Poles and Cossacks, and all the European tribes, of the Africans and Polynesians, will construct a new race … as vigorous as the new Europe which came out of the smelting pot of the Dark Ages.” This very clear statement of universalism co-existed with the following statement from around the same time: “It cannot be maintained by any candid person that the African race have ever occupied or do promise ever to occupy any very high place in the human family. … The Irish cannot; the American Indian cannot; the Chinese cannot. Before the energy of the Caucasian race all other races have quailed and done obeisance” (pp. 44–45).
Despite Kaufmann’s claims, these ideas are not really contradictory — the idea that there are differences between the races is compatible with the idea that eventually the races will amalgamate and be better for it. In his book English Traits, Emerson acknowledges racial differences: “Race is a controlling influence in the Jew who, for two millenniums, under every climate, has preserved the same character and employments. Race in the negro is of appalling importance” (p. 27). However, he maintains that racial boundaries are weak and that “the best nations are those the most widely related; and navigation, as effecting a worldwide mixture, is the most potent advancer of nations” (p. 28).
What is odd is Emerson’s belief that the English race could remain the English race even after absorbing other races. Emerson thought that immigrants to America would literally be assimilated to the English race: The “foreign element [in America], however considerable, is rapidly assimilated,” resulting in a population of “English descent and language” (my emphasis). This is an example of the muddled thinking on race that was characteristic of many intellectuals during the 19th century.
Kaufmann reviews the various strains of 19th-century liberalism that de-emphasized White or Anglo-Saxon identity. These were not majority views, but they do point to a robust strand among secular and religious intellectual elites associated with a New England Puritan background in the direction of a deracinated cosmopolitanism. Emerson, certainly, was a liberal, as were his fellow Transcendentalists and Unitarians.
Muddled Thinking about Race: The influence of Lamarck
The bottom line is that, as Kaufmann says, “a good case can be made that ethnic (“race”) thinking in the nineteenth century was largely a muddled, incoherent enterprise” (p. 54). The basic problem was that these thinkers were Lamarckians — that is, they believed that people could inherit traits that their ancestors had acquired during their lifetimes. With Lamarck rather than Darwin as inspiration, race and culture were conflated. Liberal intellectuals thought that blacks would become white with more education, like “the running of a dirty stream into a pellucid lake which eventually clears leaving no trace of mud” (p. 56). Immigrants of all strains could become good Anglo-Saxons.
Lamarck’s theory has always been a darling of the left because it holds the promise that inherited traits can easily be changed simply by changing the environment. It is no accident that Lamarckism became official ideology in the Soviet Union (and among many Jewish leftists) precisely because it implied that it would be quite easy to mold the new Soviet man — or, as Lysenko thought, to develop crops that could flourish in cold climates.
In the hands of the Anglo-Saxon assimilationists, Lamarckism was part of the optimistic spirit of elite 19th-century liberal intellectuals who envisioned a future America to be people just like themselves, no matter what their origins.
Self-interest and Liberal Ideology. An ethnic tendency toward individualism makes people less likely to erect barriers to other groups. But individualists are certainly capable of developing a sense of ethnic identity. In fact, we have seen that it was quite common for Anglo-Saxons to think of individualism as resulting from their ethnic heritage. However, individualists are relatively less ethnocentric, and as a result it is relatively easy for other motivations to predominate. These motivations can range from libertarian self-actualization to self-interested business practices that, for example, promote non-White immigration if there are economic benefits to be had.
Kaufmann points to a general tendency — still apparent today — in which elite Protestants made alliances with immigrant groups (including non-White immigrants such as Chinese on the West Coast in the 1870s) to encourage immigration. These forces opposed the forces of ethnic defense represented by middle and working class Anglo-Protestants of both parties. “To quell dissent within their party, Republican elites accused their populist wing of racism and ethnic bigotry” (p. 59) — a trend that remains quite common today.
As is the case today, people with the most liberal attitudes were not personally threatened by upholding liberal attitudes (e.g., pro-Chinese immigration in areas where there were no Chinese). Or liberals imagined that “divine providence … would keep Chinese numbers in the United States to a minimum” (p. 65). Again, there is quite a bit of muddlement: Republicans like William Seward “who backed equal rights for blacks and favored Chinese immigration, fervently believed in the separation of the races and in the homogeneity of the nation” (p. 65).
Four American Liberal Intellectual Traditions from the late 19th century to the present: Libertarian Anarchism, Liberal Protestantism, Academic Cultural Determinism, and the Secular Left
Americans like myself who are distressed at the decline and displacement of Whites, the rise of multiculturalism, and massive non-White immigration must acknowledge the strong strands of American culture that have facilitated these phenomena. On one hand, individualism and its cluster of related traits (moral universalism, science) are the basic features of Western modernization — the features that have allowed Western cultures to dominate the world and to colonize areas far away from their European homeland.
On the other hand, because of its relative lack of ethnocentrism and its tendencies toward assimilation rather than erecting ingroup/outgroup barriers, an important strand of American individualism has been to develop wildly optimistic and idealistic theories of the American future. We have seen that liberal theorists of the 19th century saw a future America as dominated by people who looked and thought like themselves: Even people from different races would ultimately become White Anglo-Saxon and Protestant no matter what their racial background.
Kaufmann points to four different liberal intellectual traditions all of which had their origin in the 19th century and all still present today. Each of them may be seen as a different expression of individualism.
Libertarian Anarchism. The 19th-centuiry liberal intellectual tradition of the Transcendentalists and Unitarians stemmed from the Puritan tradition centered in New England and its elite universities. Another strain of New England liberalism is represented by the libertarian anarchists, typified by Benjamin Tucker, a believer in unfettered individualism and opposed to prohibitions on non-invasive behavior (“free love”, etc.). But even these libertarians were conscious that their attitudes sprang from their ethnic heritage. As Kaufmann notes, “the radical tradition [of anarchic individualism] did not necessarily point in a cosmopolitan direction, but, as with radical figures, such as Thomas Jefferson, Horace Greeley, Emerson, and Walt Whitman, often reinforced ethnonational pride. … Anarchist logic did not wipe clear all traces of white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant attachment. Evidently, the cosmopolitan paradigm had yet to fully shake its cognitive ballast of dominant ethnicity” (pp. 88–89).
A large part of the vision of what Kaufmann calls the “expressive pathfinders” in the early 20th century was a rebellion against small-town Protestant America, its sexual repression, and its other mores which resulted in exclusion of some (e.g., homosexuals). This expressive individualist avant-garde culture of New York was not significant in the 19th century, being overshadowed by the genteel radicalism emanating from New England. The new Bohemians in Greenwich Village (ca. 1910–1917) were led by Max Eastman (1883–1969) and defined themselves by cultural liberation defined as freedom from constraints—an early version of 1960s hippies: self discovery, emotion over logic, intuition, rebellion, free love, Black jazz, and leftist politics. They developed an ingroup ideology that functioned like a pseudo-ethnic identity: They had shared attitudes as boundary markers, founding myths, iconic figures, and a utopian vision of an expressive, egalitarian future. Another important figure in this mold was H. L. Mencken (1880–1956) who opposed Puritanism as “moralistic, aesthetically barren and an impediment to American intellectual development” (p. 153).
Many were in open rebellion against the Christian, small-town culture they grew up in. Rebels like Hutchins Hapgood were attracted to Jews because they were the “other”: “I was led to spend much time in poor resorts of Yiddish New York, through motives neither philanthropic nor sociological, but simply by virtue of the charm I felt in men and things there.” Horace Kallen, the Jewish philosopher of cultural pluralism, commented in 1915 on the effects of the individualism of American intellectuals of the period:
The older America, whose voice and spirit were New England, has … gone beyond recall. Americans of British stock still are prevailingly the artists and thinkers of the land, but they work, each for himself, without common vision or ideals. They have no ethos, any more. The older tradition has passed from a life into a memory. (quoted by Kaufmann as an epigraph to Chapter 7, p. 144)
Expressive individualism remained a marginal phenomenon until it became an integral part of the counterculture of the 1960s — especially the hippie component of the 1960s counterculture. At that point, it became ingrained in American mass culture as a component of “Left-wing modernism” (p. 204), spreading “from the intellectual elite to the better-educated sections of the political and economic elite: the mass media, executive, judiciary, and top bureaucrats” (p. 205). The movement of expressive individualism to the center of American culture therefore followed rather than preceded the major cultural changes brought about, in Kaufmann’s view, by the success of the New York Intellectuals (see below). Expressive individualism therefore cannot be seen as causing the eclipse of Anglo-America.
Liberal Protestantism. Kaufmann notes several strains of liberal Protestantism in 19th-century thought. The Free Religious Association (founded in 1867) was a more liberal offshoot of the Unitarians — the most liberal strain of American religion. But again the members of the FRA thought of their liberal attitudes as stemming from their ethnic heritage. After stating that his religious movement intended to humanize (not Christianize) the entire world, Francis E. Abbot, founder of the FRA, stated “The rest I need comes no longer from spiritual servitude, but must be sought and found in the manly exercise of freedom. It is to those who feel this Anglo-Saxon instinct of liberty stirring in their hearts that my words are addressed, — not to those who feel no galling pressure from the easy yoke” (p. 90; my emphasis).
Merrill Gates (1848–1922), President of Rutgers College and a Congregationalist preacher, also combined his religious commitments with a belief that his political attitudes stemmed from his ethnic heritage: “There is no other ‘manifest destiny’ for any man [than Liberty]…. To this we [liberals] are committed, by all the logic of two thousand years of Teutonic and Anglo-Saxon history, since Arminius … made a stand for liberty against the legions of Rome” (p. 90). Kaufmann points out that “we should bear in mind that FRA members at this point had failed to relinquish their Anglo-Protestant psychic redoubts, and none spoke of stripping the nation of its implicitly white, Anglo-Saxon, or Protestant heritage” (p. 91).
Many Protestants believed that all Americans would eventually voluntarily become Protestants. Religious leaders, particularly Methodists and Baptists, rejected the idea of writing Christianity into the US Constitution, but they retained the belief that the U.S. government was Christian. “Anglo Protestants wanted their tradition to be supreme, but their universalist liberal commitments would not countenance boundary-defining measures of legislative origin” (p. 47). Christianity would retain its special place by persuasion, not coercion. As indicated below, the liberal cosmopolitanism of the late 20th century has taken the opposite strategy: Once it achieved power, it developed strong overtones of coercion, including attempts to limit freedom of speech and remove people from their jobs for beliefs and attitudes that conflict with the cosmopolitan zeitgeist — an indication that liberal cosmopolitanism of the late 20th century is in a critical sense not in the individualist tradition of America.
Moreover, even though they did not approve of Catholicism, Protestant religious leaders in the 1840s did not oppose Catholic immigration, believing that they could convert them to “the ‘American’ faith” (p. 47) and absorb them into the Anglo-Saxon race. Indeed, all races would immigrate to America for the new millennium: In the words of a prominent Baptist, “In the gathering of all nations and races upon our shores, do we not witness the providential preparation for a second Pentacost that shall usher in the millennial glory?” (p. 49). All races would be absorbed into the Anglo-Saxon race, their better qualities absorbed, “yet remaining essentially unchanged” (p. 49). Kaufmann comments that “it is necessary to understand that liberal and Anglo-Protestant attitudes were not opposing viewpoints, but part of the same myth-symbol complex of dualistic ethnic beliefs whose contradictions were obscured by a giddy, expansionist spirit of optimism’ (p. 50).
Indeed, this is an extreme form of egocentrism. What the good minister is saying is that all peoples will eventually assimilate in race and religion to look and behave pretty much like he does.
The period from 1900–1910 also saw the beginnings of a liberal Protestant elite willing to sacrifice the dream of conversion for universalist, humanitarian ethics. The idea that Anglo-Saxons would convert the world to Protestant Christianity—common in the late 19th century—faded after 1910. This elite was more open to religious relativity and criticized the implicit Whiteness of Christian missionaries. The Federal Council of Churches (FCC, estab. 1908) became a key organizing body for liberal Protestantism. In 1924, at the time when the US Congress was overwhelmingly passing an immigration restriction bill biased toward immigration from Northwestern Europe, the FCC resolved that
the assumption of inherent racial superiority by dominant groups around the world is neither supported by science nor justified by ethics. The effort to adjust race relations on that basis and by the use of force is a denial of Christian principles of the inherent superiority of ethical values and the supreme worth of personality. As it applies to the white and Negro people in America it is a philosophy that leads only to suffering and despair. (p. 124)
The FCC used universalist passages from the New Testament rather than passages reflecting Jewish ethnic interests from the Old Testament. This was an elite point of view, and there was a major gap with popular attitudes. The 1920s saw the Protestant masses devoted to immigration restriction and fearful of Communism and other forms of political radicalism associated with immigrants, with many sympathetic to the Ku Klux Klan. Despite these popular sentiments, the Protestant media and ministers in the North and the South attacked the KKK throughout the 1920s. Some liberal ministers were forced to leave their congregations because of popular attitudes.
This elite established itself at the highest levels of the culture well before the final fall of Anglo-America: “From 1918 to 1955, the concept of national identity held by Anglo-Protestant university administrators, intellectuals, federal bureaucrats and the federal executive underwent a shift from a WASP conception to a more pluralist construct” (p. 130). This elite attitude embraced pluralism rather than assimilation.
But Liberal Progressivism was not characteristic of the great mass of American Whites: Liberal Progressives “soon found themselves marginal not only to American society, but to the Progressive mainstream as well” (p. 105). During the 1920s there was a rise of fundamentalist, non-elite Protestantism typified by figures like Billy Sunday, and Carl McIntire in opposition to the liberal elite establishment. The masses of Protestants, even in liberal denominations, did not buy into the cosmopolitanism of the elites. The FCC and the religious media opposed the Reed-Johnson act of 1924—a position which was very much a minority point of view. During the 1930s and the early stages of WWII, the only successful attempt to get Protestants to respond positively to refugees was when they were British. Jewish refugees were harder to place and the response was not enthusiastic (p. 137). The FCC had no success in lobbying for the Wagner-Rogers Bill that called for 20,000 German Jewish children to be admitted outside the quotas.
The FCC entered the mainstream when it condemned communism after WWII. But the leadership of the FCC (now called the NCC) remained well to the left of its constituents throughout. A study in the late 1960s showed that 33% of laity advocated civil rights activism versus 64% of clergy; 89% of laity felt Black problems were their own fault, versus 35% of clergy. 42% of laity backed the national origins provisions versus only 23% of clergy. Kaufmann says that the elite had little effect on the attitudes of the laity.
The Liberal Progressives and ecumenical Protestants were an elite of university-educated people who self-consciously thought of themselves as a “better element” — that is, they had a sense of moral superiority. But Kaufmann acknowledges that this “genteel Liberal Progressive vision was limited” (p. 144) and by itself probably would not have resulted in profound cultural change. In general, the liberal elite among the religions moved in step with their secular liberal brethren. That is, they followed secular trends rather than led the trends, and as a result they are ultimately of little importance for understanding the fall of Anglo-Saxon America.
Academic Cultural Determinism and Anti-Darwinism. In academic history in the late 19th century, Frederick Jackson Turner thought of America as a melting pot in which the frontier environment fused immigrants into an American race. The new race would not be Anglo-Saxon or English but distinctively American. Turner was therefore a Lamarckian — a believer in the idea that acquired traits could be inherited: The American frontier environment shaped the characteristics of the new race which were then passed down as genetic traits.
Nevertheless, Turner was not sympathetic to the new immigrants. “Evidently, Turner had merely emphasized one part of his inherited American ethnic mythology (frontier, liberty, agrarianism) without jettisoning the other symbols (Protestantism, Nordic whiteness)” (p. 52). But, as Kaufmann, notes, it was a short step from Turner’s ideas to even more radical forms of liberal cosmopolitanism. His general perspective was assimilationist — distrust of new immigrants combined with hope that they would become culturally assimilated to Anglo-Saxon culture and a common racial identity.
In the 20th century, Franz Boas and his students dominated the American Anthropology Association and had a wide influence in other academic disciplines. Boasian anthropology is the premier cultural determinism theory of the 20th century and may be considered a Jewish intellectual movement. Kaufmann almost completely ignores Boas’s influence, but, as discussed below, the Boasians were critical to the demise of Darwinism in the social sciences and the demise of Darwinism was a critical linchpin in underlying any viable intellectual basis for Anglo-Saxon ethnic defense. As discussed below, without a Darwinian theory, the way was open to the erection of a culture in which the intellectual establishment would view the eclipse of Anglo-America as a moral imperative.
The Secular Left. Kaufmann credits two Jews, Felix Adler (1851–1933) and Israel Zangwill (1864–1926), with pushing the 19th-century American universalist tendencies to the point of completely rejecting ethnicity altogether. Adler founded the New York Society for Ethical Culture in 1876 and became president of the Free Religious Association (see above) in 1878. Kaufmann quotes Adler as advocating the dissolution of Judaism via assimilation and eventually withering away: “Individual members of the Jewish race [will] look about them and perceive that there is as great and perhaps greater liberty in religion beyond the pale of their race and will lose their peculiar idiosyncrasies, and their distinctiveness will fade. And eventually, the Jewish race will die” (p. 92). However, Adler believed that Jews should only “universalize themselves out of existence when the task [of ethnic dissolution of non-Jews] was complete” (p. 92). Indeed, Adler declared that “So long as there shall be a reason of existence for Judaism, so long the individual Jews will keep apart and will do well to do so” (p. 92).
According to Adler, then, the “reason for existence” of Judaism was to evangelize his new universalist religion of ethical culture until the whole world was converted. Kaufmann observes that under Adler’s influence “Anglo-Protestant thinkers would call for [Anglo-Protestantism's] termination as forthrightly as Adler did for the Jews” (p. 92). In fact the Anglos applied Adler’s doctrine more thoroughly than he advocated for his own ethnic group.
Indeed, Adler’s ideas are remarkably congruent with the ideas of prominent Reform Judaism rabbis of the period. Kaufmann Kohler (1843–1926) is an important example of the Reform tendency (also seen, e.g., in Kohler’s mentor, David Einhorn (1809–1879), and Samuel Hirsch (1815–1889 ) to assert that Jewish ethics is universalistic while at the same time maintaining that Israel must remain separate while presenting a moral beacon to the rest of humanity — a beacon of universalism and ethnic dissolution of non-Jews. As I note in Separation and Its Discontents (Ch. 7), “one cannot underestimate the importance of the fact that the central pose of post-Enlightenment Jewish intellectuals is a sense that Judaism represents a moral beacon to the rest of humanity.”
This suggests that Adler retained a Jewish identity. Adler was married to a Jewish woman and maintained Jewish associates — for example, a close friendship with Louis Brandeis. Brandeis, who was an important Zionist activist of the period, was married to a sister of Adler’s wife. But Adler “left Judaism for a more rigorous, universalist and humanist non-theistic ministry that was combined with progressive social action.”
Adler was thus the prototype of the 20th-century secular, leftist Jewish political activist: opposing Anglo-Saxon ethnic hegemony and making alliances with non-Jews with similar political sympathies.
My review of Jewish leftists shows that they typically retained a strong sense of Jewish identification — often not explicitly and not religiously, but rather in their friends, associates, spouses and attitudes toward Jewish issues, especially anti-Semitism. Many Jewish leftists who denied having Jewish identities found that they had a profound commitment to Judaism with the rise of National Socialism in Germany and to Israel during the Six-Day War of 1967. In general, Jewish identification of non-religious Jews is complex, with Jewish identity more likely to surface during perceived threats to Jews.
Israel Zangwill, the other Jewish advocate of ethnic dissolution highlighted by Kaufmann, had a strong Jewish identity. Despite marrying a non-Jew and advocating the dissolution of all ethnic groups, Zangwill was a prominent advocate of a Jewish homeland and was active in Jewish politics throughout his life.
Indeed, Zangwill was well aware that Anglo-Saxon ideals of individualism and universalism could be used in the battle against immigration restriction. During the debate on the 1924 immigration law, the House Majority Report emphasized the Jewish role in defining the intellectual battle in terms of Nordic superiority and “American ideals” rather than in the terms of an ethnic status quo actually favored by the committee:
The cry of discrimination is, the committee believes, manufactured and built up by special representatives of racial groups, aided by aliens actually living abroad. Members of the committee have taken notice of a report in the Jewish Tribune (New York) February 8, 1924, of a farewell dinner to Mr. Israel Zangwill which says:
Mr. Zangwill spoke chiefly on the immigration question, declaring that if Jews persisted in a strenuous opposition to the restricted immigration there would be no restriction. “If you create enough fuss against this Nordic nonsense,” he said, “you will defeat this legislation. You must make a fight against this bill; tell them they are destroying American ideals. Most fortifications are of cardboard, and if you press against them, they give way.”
Although Kaufmann represents Zangwill as advocating the melting together of all racial groups, the reality is a bit more subtle. Zangwill’s views on Jewish-gentile intermarriage were ambiguous at best and he detested Christian proselytism to Jews. Zangwill was an ardent Zionist and an admirer of his father’s religious orthodoxy as a model for the preservation of Judaism. He believed Jews were a morally superior race whose moral vision had shaped Christian and Muslim societies and would eventually shape the world, although Christianity remained morally inferior to Judaism. Jews would retain their racial purity if they continued to practice their religion: “So long as Judaism flourishes among Jews there is no need to talk of safeguarding race or nationality; both are automatically preserved by the religion” (Zangwill, quoted in Israel Zangwill, by Joseph Leftowich, 1957, 161).
Despite the fact that the country as a whole had moved toward ethnic defense, often with an explicitly Darwinian rationale, Adler was part of a network of leftists who worked to undermine the cultural and ethnic homogeneity of the US. An important node in this network was the Settlement House movement of the late 19th century–early 20th century. The settlements were an Anglo-Saxon undertaking that exhibited a noblesse oblige still apparent in some White leftist circles today. They were “residences occupied by upper-middle-class ‘workers’ whose profile was that of an idealistic Anglo-Saxon, university-educated young suburbanite (male or female) in his or her mid-twenties” (p. 96). The movement explicitly rejected the idea that immigrants ought to give up their culture and assimilate to America: “To put the immigrants (as individuals) on an equal symbolic footing with the natives, a concept of the nation was required that would not violate the human dignity of the immigrants by denigrating their culture” (p. 97). Cultural pluralism was encouraged: “The nation would be implored to shed its Anglo-Saxon ethnic core and develop a culture of cosmopolitan humanism, a harbinger of impending global solidarity” (pp. 97–98).
The leader of the Settlement House movement, Jane Addams, advocated that America shed all allegiance to an Anglo-Saxon identity. Addams came from a liberal Quaker background — another liberal strand of American Anglo-Saxon Protestant culture, like the Puritans stemming from a distinctive British sub-culture. In general, the Quakers have been less influential than the Puritans, but their attitudes have been even more consistently liberal than the Puritan-descended intellectuals who became a dominant intellectual liberal elite in the 19th century. For example, John Woolman, the “Quintessential Quaker,” was an 18th-century figure who opposed slavery, lived humbly, and, most tellingly for the concept of ethnic defense, felt guilty about preferring his own children to children on the other side of the world.
A connection between Jane Addams and the Puritan intellectual tradition was that Harvard philosopher William James influenced Addams and approved her ideas. James was a member of Felix Adler’s Ethical Culture society— a group that Kaufmann terms “the fount of Jewish cosmopolitanism” (p. 101), and his student was Horace Kallen, the premier theorist of a multicultural America—and an ardent Zionist. William James was a moral universalist: “Moral progress is a value that outweighed group survival,” a point of view that “reaffirmed Felix Adler’s cardinal dictum that particular ethnic groups had a duty to sacrifice their existence for the progress of humankind. … The dominant Anglo-Saxon group had no case for its preservation but instead needed to devote itself to bring about the new cosmopolitan humanity” (p. 102). This was a rarified phenomenon of a small but elite minority — even many settlement workers believed in an Anglo-Saxon America and favored immigration restriction.
Randolph Bourne’s Atlantic Monthly article (1916) is a classic statement of a multicultural ideal for America. Bourne (who, as Kaufmann notes, was a disciple of Horace Kallen; see also here) acknowledged the concern that different nationalities hadn’t blended, but he advocated that America become the first “international nation” — a “cosmopolitan federation of national colonies.” All other ethnic groups would be allowed to retain their identity and cohesion. It is only the Anglo-Saxon that is implored to be cosmopolitan. In particular, Bourne wrote that “it is not the Jew who sticks proudly to the faith of his fathers and boasts of that venerable culture of his who is dangerous to America, but the Jew who has lost the Jewish fire and become a mere elementary, grasping animal.”
People like Bourne, H. L. Mencken, and Sinclair Lewis had a strong sense of intellectual elitism and rebellion against Protestant, small-town America. A character in Sinclair Lewis’s Main Street complains that the townspeople have a “standardized background … scornful of the living. … A savourless people, gulping tasteless food … and viewing themselves as the greatest race in the world” (p. 158). The character was mildly excited by Scandinavian immigrants but deplored the fact that they were absorbed without a trace into the mainstream Protestant culture of America.
These attitudes could also be found among Jewish intellectuals. Walter Lippmann called America “a nation of villagers” (p. 156)—a harbinger of the hostility of Hollywood to small-town America discussed below.
We have seen that the view that America was the product of Anglo-Saxon ethnicity coincided with optimistic ideas among elite liberal intellectuals about an Anglo-Saxon future. Towards the end of the 19th century, however, as America was coming to grips with large-scale immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe, such optimistic views of an Anglo-Saxon future were more and more difficult to defend, especially because a large number of the immigrants were (correctly) seen as politically radical and inassimilable. The decades leading up to the passage of the 1924 immigration law were a period of ethnic defense. Optimistic, liberal views on immigration persisted among a small group of intellectuals, but they were politically powerless. And among many intellectuals, Darwinism rather than Lamarckism won the day.
The result was an effective alliance between the Boston, Puritan-descended intellectual elite and rural Whites in an effort to prevent being overwhelmed by this threat. “Whenever the northeastern ‘WASP’ elite make common cause with their less prestigious but more numerous provincial kin, Anglo-Protestant ethnic nationalism revives” (p. 26).
In 1885 a Congregationalist minister noted that “Political optimism is one of the vices of the America people…. We deem ourselves a chosen people, and incline to the belief that the Almighty stands pledged to our prosperity. Until within a few years probably not one in a hundred of our population has ever questioned the security of our future. Such optimism is as senseless as pessimism is faithless” (pp. 68–69). Optimistic, laissez-faire attitudes ended, and Protestant thinkers started to take labor’s side rather than capital’s because of a felt need for social cohesion. By the 1890’s the need for immigration restriction was “universally accepted” (p. 71) among Baptists, and similar trends were apparent in other Protestant sects, even including the elite and liberal-tending Congregationalists. True to their universalist intentions, Protestants did not oppose immigration until they realized that the new immigrants were not susceptible to conversion.
Kaufmann notes that business interests remained opposed to immigration restriction, but he fails to mention the very strong role that Jewish organizations played in delaying immigration restriction until the 1920s—long after popular opinion advocated restriction. For example, writing in 1914, the sociologist Edward A. Ross believed that liberal immigration policy was exclusively a Jewish issue:
Although theirs is but a seventh of our net immigration, they led the fight on the Immigration Commission’s bill. The power of the million Jews in the Metropolis lined up the Congressional delegation from New York in solid opposition to the literacy test. The systematic campaign in newspapers and magazines to break down all arguments for restriction and to calm nativist fears is waged by and for one race. Hebrew money is behind the National Liberal Immigration League and its numerous publications. From the paper before the commercial body or the scientific association to the heavy treatise produced with the aid of the Baron de Hirsch Fund, the literature that proves the blessings of immigration to all classes in America emanates from subtle Hebrew brains. (E. A. Ross, The Old World and the New: The Significance of Past and Present Immigration to the American People. 1914, 144–145)
Kaufmann attributes the rise in restrictionist sentiment to Social Gospel concerns among religious people: The Social Gospel movement “galvanized the process of ethnic closure by concentrating Protestant minds on this-worldly social factors such as the rise of the industrial city, capital-labor conflict and the need for legislation — forces they had traditionally been loathe to consider” (p. 81). But he also attributes it to the realization that the new immigrants would not convert to Protestantism and to the rise of race theories, although he doesn’t really discuss the latter.
The lack of emphasis on race theories is a major omission. One of the most important trends beginning around 1900 was the rise of Darwinian racial theories. As I noted elsewhere:
Christianity was a deeply embedded aspect of the culture of the Northern Europeans, but it played a remarkably small role in the battles with the emerging Jewish elite. Far more important for framing these battles were Darwinian theories of race. The early part of the 20th century was the high water mark of Darwinism in the social sciences. It was common at that time to think that there were important differences between the races — that races differed in intelligence and in moral qualities. Not only did races differ, but they were in competition with each other for supremacy. Schooled in the theories of Madison Grant, Lothrop Stoddard, Henry Pratt Fairchild, William Ripley, Gustav Le Bon, Charles Davenport, and William McDougall, this generation of U.S. military officers [and other American elites] viewed themselves as members of a particular race and believed that racial homogeneity was the sine qua non of every stable nation state. They regarded their racial group as uniquely talented and possessed of a high moral sense.
But, more importantly, whatever the talents and vulnerabilities of their race, they held it in the highest importance to retain control over the lands they had inherited as a result of the exploits of their ancestors who had conquered the continent and tamed the wilderness. And despite the power that their race held at the present, there was dark foreboding about the future, reflected in the titles of some of the classic works of the period: Grant’s The Passing of the Great Race and Stoddard’s The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy and The Revolt Against Civilization: The Menace of the Under-Man.
Bluebloods like Henry Cabot Lodge and Madison Grant who descended from the Puritans were extolling the virtues of Northern Europeans and funding the movement to end immigration — a battle that ended with the ethnically defensive immigration law of 1924. A. Lawrence Lowell, President of Harvard, Vice President of the Immigration Restriction League, and descendant of Puritans opposed the nomination of Louis Brandeis as a Supreme Court Justice because of Brandeis’ ardent Zionism, supported quotas on Jewish students (15%), supported racial segregation, and opposed homosexuality.
The prominence of Darwinian theories of race was not confined to the US but was dominant among intellectuals in Europe, including Benjamin Disraeli, Arthur de Gobineau, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Gustave Le Bon, and a large number of Jewish racialist theorists mostly associated with Zionism (see Separation and Its Discontents, Ch. 5).
Kaufmann’s lack of discussion of the eclipse of racial Darwinism is a major omission because the defeat of racial Darwinism was a major thrust of Jewish intellectual and political movements, particularly Boasian anthropology:
The defeat of the Darwinians “had not happened without considerable exhortation of ‘every mother’s son’ standing for the ‘Right.’ Nor had it been accomplished without some rather strong pressure applied both to staunch friends and to the ‘weaker brethren’—often by the sheer force of Boas’s personality” (Stocking 1968, 286).
By 1915 the Boasians controlled the American Anthropological Association and held a two-thirds majority on its Executive Board. By 1926 every major department of anthropology was headed by Boas’s students, the majority of whom were Jewish.
As John Higham noted, by the time of the final victory in 1965, which removed national origins and racial ancestry from immigration policy and opened up immigration to all human groups, the Boasian perspective of cultural determinism and anti-biologism had become standard academic wisdom. The result was that “it became intellectually fashionable to discount the very existence of persistent ethnic differences. The whole reaction deprived popular race feelings of a powerful ideological weapon.”
As indicated in the following section, the demise of Darwinism had major implications because it removed the only intellectually viable source of opposition to cosmopolitan ideology and a cultural pluralist model of America. In the absence of an intellectually respectable defense, ethnic defense was left to conservative religion and the popular attitudes of the less educated. These were no match for the cosmopolitan intellectuals who quickly became ensconced in all the elite institutions of the US—especially the media and the academic world.
In the 1930s the secular tradition of the American left was energized by Jewish radicalism centered around Partisan Review, The Nation, and the New Republic. The crux of the issue is the relative weight of Anglo-Saxon and Jewish influence in this movement. Kaufmann claims that the Anglo-Saxon and Jewish influences were equal and influenced each other in dialectical fashion. In making this claim, Kaufmann relies on intellectual historian David Hollinger in his 1985 book In the American Province: “In David Hollinger’s estimation, these new intellectuals were formed from an equal fusion of Jewish and Anglo-Saxon radicalism and should be considered a united community, if not a surrogate ethnie. Nor was there asymmetry of influence: the two groups of ethnic exiles influenced each other in dialectical fashion,” citing (Hollinger 1985, 58, 63; emphasis in Kaufmann).
This view acknowledges Jewish influence but finds an equal influence coming from Anglo-Saxons. I believe that such an interpretation is inadequate for the following reasons:
1. Interpreting the New York Intellectuals as a Jewish movement. In a later work, Science, Jews, and Secular Culture, Hollinger (1996, 160) places more emphasis on Jewish influence, drawing attention to “a secular, increasingly Jewish, decidedly left-of-center intelligentsia based largely but not exclusively in the disciplinary communities of philosophy and the social sciences.” Rather than focusing on the suicide of White Protestants, Hollinger (1996, 4) notes “the transformation of the ethnoreligious demography of American academic life by Jews” in the period from the 1930s to the 1960s, as well as the Jewish influence on trends toward the secularization of American society and in advancing an ideal of cosmopolitanism (p. 11). Kaufmann at several points notes the importance of John Dewey as a White Protestant leftist critic of American culture. However, Hollinger notes the role of Jewish intellectuals in magnifying the influence of people like Dewey: “If lapsed Congregationalists like Dewey did not need immigrants to inspire them to press against the boundaries of even the most liberal of Protestant sensibilities, Dewey’s kind were resoundingly encouraged in that direction by the Jewish intellectuals they encountered in urban academic and literary communities” (Hollinger 1996, 24).
Other authors, including me, have interpreted the New York Intellectuals as a Jewish movement. Cooney notes “a continuity of perspective in the work of the New York Intellectuals running through the 1930s and 1940s. . . . [T]he New York Intellectuals embraced cosmopolitan values. . . . [T]heir loyalty to those values was intensified by their consciousness of being Jewish, and [that] consciousness helped to make the Partisan Review variant of cosmopolitanism a discrete intellectual position” (p. 245). Michael Wreszin (1994, 33) refers to Dwight Macdonald, another Trotskyist contributor to Partisan Review, as “a distinguished goy among the Partisanskies.” See also here.
2. Jewish Identification among the New York Intellectuals. It is certainly true that non-Jewish members of the New York Intellectuals had no sense of ethnic identity. However, Kaufmann implicitly interprets the New York Intellectuals as deracinated cosmopolitans and this is not the case. In Chapter 6 of The Culture of Critique I show that the Jewish members of the New York Intellectuals typically had a strong Jewish identity. For example, Clement Greenberg, the prominent art critic, took a leadership role in combating the last vestiges of anti-Semitism in the literary world during the 1940s. He stated, “I believe that a quality of Jewishness is present in every word I write, as it is in almost every word of every other contemporary American Jewish writer.” Philosopher Sidney Hook — who was a leader among the New York Intellectuals — had a strong Jewish identification; he was a Zionist, a strong supporter of Israel, and an advocate of Jewish education for Jewish children — and he was a strong advocate of the view that the principles of democracy required ethnic and cultural diversity.
Hollinger notes that Jewish identification of the New York Intellectuals became apparent after WWII. From the beginning, the New York Intellectuals were deeply concerned about anti-Semitism, and, as E. S. Shapiro notes (Judaism, 38, 1989), the fact that the “supposedly ‘cosmopolitan’ intellectuals should concern themselves with such a parochial matter as Jewish identity reveals the hold which Jewishness has had on even the most acculturated” (p. 286, 292). Shapiro shows quite clearly that New York Intellectuals such as Alfred Kazin, Irving Howe, Sidney Hook, and Philip Rahv had strong Jewish identifications — an analysis that accords with mine.
Indeed, the origins of the New York Intellectuals lie with Trotskyism, which, as Sydney Hook noted, was often seen by outsiders as a Jewish group to the point that non-Jewish Stalinists used anti-Jewish arguments against them. (As I noted elsewhere (see also here), there is a strong pattern in which Jewish leftists idolized other Jewish leftists, especially Trotsky and Rosa Luxembourg. In my view, this is an aspect of the ethnic nexus of the Jewish left.) This suggests that even at its origins in the 1930s, the nascent New York Intellectuals had a subtle, perhaps self-deceptive Jewish identity of the sort not at all uncommon among Jewish leftists generally. And the final resting place of many New York Intellectuals was neoconservatism — an attachment that was motivated by attachment to Israel and concern about the treatment of Jews in the Soviet Union.
Moreover, New York Intellectuals, such as future neocon Norman Podhoretz, had a life-long antipathy toward White Anglo-Saxon Protestants related to their Jewish identity. Like their radical cousins, Jacob Heilbrunn points out that they sought
to overturn the old order in America. . . . After all, no matter how hard they worked, there were still quotas at the Ivy League universities. Then there were the fancy clubs, the legal and financial firms that saw Jews as interlopers who would soil their proud escutcheons and were to be kept at bay. Smarting with unsurpassed social resentment, the young Jews viewed themselves as liberators, proclaiming a new faith.” (p. 28)
Heilbrunn mentions “the snobbery of the Columbia English department, where Jews were seen as cultural interlopers. This attitude, which also prevailed on Wall Street and at the State Department, produced a lifelong antipathy toward the patrician class among the neocons and prompted them to create their own parallel establishment” (p. 73). The result, as Norman Podhoretz phrased it, was to proclaim a war against the “WASP patriciate” (p. 83). It was a war that was motivated by their Jewish identity.
3. Jewish Intellectual Movements that Influenced the New York Intellectuals. Kaufmann fails to acknowledge that the major influences on the New York Intellectuals were other Jewish intellectual movements — in particular psychoanalysis and the Frankfurt School. Kaufmann does note that there was a flight of intellectuals to New York from Germany in the 1930s, but fails to note that many of the most influential refugees from National Socialism were Jews and that this group gave rise to the Frankfurt School and its landmark work, The Authoritarian Personality.
The elitist, anti-populist attitudes of the Frankfurt School paralleled the attitudes of the New York Intellectuals and likely influenced them; indeed some of the New York Intellectuals are also associated with the Frankfurt School (see Ch. 5 of CofC). Common themes in this body of writing are hostility to American populism, the need for leadership by an elite of intellectuals, and the belief that concern by Whites about ethnic displacement and the rise of the power of ethnic minorities is irrational and indicative of psychiatric disorder.
This point should be emphasized. The New York Intellectuals and the Frankfurt School developed a widely disseminated theory, based on psychoanalysis (itself a Jewish intellectual movement [see Ch. 4 of CofC]), in which concern for ethnic displacement and the rise of minority power were indications of psychopathology — a result of the ease with which psychoanalysis could be used to rationalize political goals. Although this theory lacked empirical support and would have been viewed as ridiculous had Darwinism prevailed in the social sciences, the displacement of Whites had developed an intellectually respectable and thus powerful theoretical rationale.
Although these intellectuals began their careers as Marxists, they framed their ideas in language that was more acceptable to an American audience and often appealed to American ideals of democracy and freedom. For example, Sidney Hook argued that democracy required multiculturalism. An influential paradigm of this approach is The Authoritarian Personality, a product of the Frankfurt School that was funded by the AJCommittee — and the subject of Chapter 5 of The Culture of Critique.
The Frankfurt School advocated radical individualism not because of their allegiance to the Enlightenment, but as a useful tool for ending anti-Semitism and preventing mass movements of the right. As I noted of Theodore Adorno, the lead author of The Authoritarian Personality, “The former communist had become an advocate of radical individualism.” The epitome of psychological health for the authors of The Authoritarian Personality is the individualist who is completely detached from all ingroups, including his or her family. They have a strong sense of personal autonomy and independence.
The Authoritarian Personality influenced a number of influential Jewish sociologists and historians associated with the New York Intellectuals either centrally (Daniel Bell, Nathan Glazer, Seymour Martin Lipset, David Riesman, and Edward A. Shils) or peripherally (Richard Hofstadter, Oscar Handlin). All of these writers were professors at prestigious academic institutions (Harvard, Columbia, University of California-Berkeley, University of Chicago). Several of these academics, notably Oscar Handlin, wrote about the desirability of ending the national origins provision of US immigration law.
4. The Role of the Organized Jewish Community. Jewish organizations were involved in funding research in the social sciences (particularly social psychology, and there developed a core of predominantly Jewish academic activists associated with the New York Intellectuals who worked closely with Jewish organizations. For example, the American Jewish Committee financed the Authoritarian Personality project and the research of Franz Boas. It also published Commentary, a flagship journal of the New York Intellectuals. The ADL funded the Patterns of American Prejudice Series that included books written by New York Intellectuals and Jewish activists such as Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab.
There was also smooth congruence between the New York Intellectuals and the organized Jewish community in their support for ending the Western European bias of US immigration policy throughout the entire period leading up to the 1965 law. The organized Jewish community was the most important force in enacting the 1965 law which changed the ethnic balance of the country, ensuring that Whites will be a minority in the US well before 2050. In historical perspective, the 1965 law will prove to be the biggest single factor in the decline of Anglo-America.
Stuart Svonkin shows that cultural pluralism was a hallmark of the intergroup relations movement that was spearheaded by the organized Jewish community following World War II. The Boasian ideology that there were no racial differences as well as the Boasian ideology of cultural relativism and the importance of preserving and respecting cultural differences deriving from Horace Kallen were important ingredients of educational programs sponsored by these Jewish activist organizations and widely distributed throughout the American educational system.
By the early 1960s an ADL official estimated that one-third of America’s teachers had received ADL educational material based on these ideas. The ADL was also intimately involved in staffing, developing materials, and providing financial assistance for workshops for teachers and school administrators, often with involvement of activist social scientists from the academic world—an association that undoubtedly added to the scientific credibility of these exercises.
Finally, the organized Jewish community was pivotal in advancing the cause of civil rights — another pillar of the cosmopolitan revolution. Jews contributed from two thirds to three quarters of the money for civil rights groups during the 1960s. Jewish groups, particularly the American Jewish Congress, played a leading role in drafting civil rights legislation and pursuing legal challenges related to civil rights issues mainly benefiting Blacks. David Levering-Lewis notes that “Jewish support, legal and monetary, afforded the civil rights movement a string of legal victories. . . . There is little exaggeration in an American Jewish Congress lawyer’s claim that ‘many of these laws were actually written in the offices of Jewish agencies by Jewish staff people, introduced by Jewish legislators and pressured into being by Jewish voters.’”
5. Anti-Nationalist Tendencies among Jewish Intellectuals in Other Countries. Yuri Slezkine shows that Jewish intellectuals were associated with anti-nationalist cultural movements throughout Eastern and Central Europe in the period prior to WWII. Thus, their activities in opposition to the traditional culture of America is part of a larger pattern. Indeed, Kaufmann correctly points to the fierce criticism of regionalism by the New York Intellectuals, as represented, for example, by Meyer Schapiro’s critique of Thomas Hart Benton:
The appeal to national sentiment should set us on guard, whatever its source. And when it comes as does Benton’s with his conceited anti-intellectualism, his hatred of the foreign, his emphasis on the strong and masculine, his uncritical and unhistorical elevation of the folk, his antagonism to the cities, his ignorant and violent remarks on radicalism, we have good reason to doubt his professed liberalism.
Thomas Craven, an ally of Benton, returned the favor, describing Alfred Stieglitz, “a prominent village radical” as “a Hoboken Jew without knowledge of, or interest in, the historical American background” (p. 163). Clearly the New York Intellectuals were attacking populism in favor of themselves as an intellectual elite. The New York Intellectuals associated rural America with
nativism, anti-Semitism, nationalism, and fascism as well as with anti-intellectualism and provincialism; the urban was associated antithetically with ethnic and cultural tolerance, with internationalism, and with advanced ideas. . . . The New York Intellectuals simply began with the assumption that the rural—with which they associated much of American tradition and most of the territory beyond New York—had little to contribute to a cosmopolitan culture. . . . By interpreting cultural and political issues through the urban-rural lens, writers could even mask assertions of superiority and expressions of anti-democratic sentiments as the judgments of an objective expertise. (Cooney 1986, 267–268; italics in text)
The last line bears repeating. The New York Intellectuals were engaged in a profoundly anti-democratic enterprise given that they rejected and felt superior to the culture of the majority of Americans. The battle between this urbanized intellectual and political establishment and rural America was joined on a wide range of issues. Particularly important was the issue of immigration. In this case and in the entire range of what became mainstream liberal politics, the New York Intellectuals had the enthusiastic support of all of the mainstream Jewish organizations.
In the final analysis, I agree with Kaufmann that “What occurred, therefore, was an attempt by the new avant-garde ‘ethnic’ community to replace the Anglo-Protestants as the culturally dominant group in the nation, an event that was to hasten the WASP-to-Cosmopolitan shift in the nation’s identity” (p. 165; emphasis in text). The only difference is that I would delete the quotation marks around ‘ethnic’: This was not an imaginary or quasi-ethnic community but an actual community that had as its background a cohesive group of intellectuals dominated by people who were not only Jewish ethnically but also identified as Jews and were motivated at the psychological level by typically Jewish fear and loathing of Anglo-America as the culture of an outgroup. And, at the end of the day, this assault on Anglo-America furthered Jewish goals in displacing Anglo-Saxons as a dominant elite.
As Kaufmann notes (p. 165), a critical source of the success of the New York Intellectuals (and, I have argued, the other influential intellectual movements discussed in CofC) was that they were welcomed by elite universities and the media. Kaufmann states that there emerged “The new liberal value consensus, in which artists, writers, academics, and the U.S. government were united, was social democratic, cosmopolitan, and modernist” (p. 166). The New York Intellectuals achieved “cultural hegemony” (p. 166); they had captured America from the top-down, leaving American dominant ethnicity “rudderless. It was now only a question of time before cosmopolitanism would achieve the institutional inertia necessary for it to triumph as a mass phenomenon” (p. 166). As noted above, it would be more accurate to say that American dominant ethnicity was left defenseless because of the triumph of Boasian anthropology and the demise of Darwinism in the social sciences.
The new cosmopolitan culture occupied the high grounds in American society, particularly the mass media and the academic world. Kaufmann cites sociologist Mario Diani: “Social movements tend to succeed to the extent that leaders of a movement possess ‘social capital,’ in the form of social ties to the mass media, corporate cultural intermediaries, and the state intelligentsia—where dominant interpretations of reality are generated.” This was certainly true of the New York Intellectuals and the other Jewish intellectual and political movements discussed in The Culture of Critique.
Kaufmann also stresses the rise of the national media with liberal values, resulting in broad exposure to “the New York/Washington/Hollywood elite” (p. 189), with the result that “increased exposure to social idealism brought on by higher education and, vicariously, by a higher-educated media, socialized a larger proportion of Americans into a liberal worldview” (p. 190). Kaufmann stresses the role of expressive individualism and its promotion by the media as a factor in Anglo-Saxon decline. Expressive individualism is confined to Anglos, while embracing ethnic identification is for other ethnic groups. “In aggregate, this individualism results in a transcendent attitude toward the ‘bland’ WASP background culture but endorses a conservationist posture toward what are perceived to be more interesting ‘foreground’ ethnic cultures” (p. 227). Ethnic identification by non-Whites is welcomed, partly “as a means of increasing the diversity of experience available to the expressive self” (p. 227). A good example is modern art where abstract forms produced by Anglos co-exist with expressions of ethnic assertiveness by non-Whites.
Although he emphasizes the role of the media in the decline of Anglo-Saxon America, Kaufmann fails to discuss the very prominent role of Jews in the media. My review of this topic is here where I note that “ethnic Jews have a very large influence on the media — far larger than any other identifiable group” (See also here, p. 53 ff.) .” And I show that the attitudes promoted by Jews in the media are influenced by their Jewish identity and reflect the liberal/left/cosmopolitan attitudes of the wider Jewish community. Relevant to Kaufmann’s emphasis on expressive individualism as contributing to the decline of Anglo-Saxon America, the difference between the Hollywood elite and both the traditional elites and the general public is clearest on “expressive individualism”—a dimension tapping ideas of sexual liberation (including approval of homosexuality), moral relativism, and a disdain for religious institutions. The movie elite is also more tolerant of unusual or deviant lifestyles and of minority religions and ethnic groups.
Like the New York Intellectuals, the media also has a very negative attitude toward small-town America, as noted by Ben Stein among writers in Hollywood:
The typical Hollywood writer … is of an ethnic background from a large Eastern city — usually from Brooklyn [i.e., they have a Jewish background]. He grew up being taught that people in small towns hated him, were different from him, and were out to get him [i.e., small town people are anti-Semites]. As a result, when he gets the chance, he attacks the small town on television or the movies….
The television shows and movies are not telling it ‘like it is’; instead they are giving us the point of view of a small and extremely powerful section of the American intellectual community — those who write for the mass visual media…. What is happening, as a consequence, is something unusual and remarkable. A national culture is making war upon a way of life that is still powerfully attractive and widely practiced in the same country…. Feelings of affection for small towns run deep in America, and small-town life is treasured by millions of people. But in the mass culture of the country, a hatred for the small town is spewed out on television screens and movie screens every day…. Television and the movies are America’s folk culture, and they have nothing but contempt for the way of life of a very large part of the folk…. People are told that their culture is, at its root, sick, violent, and depraved, and this message gives them little confidence in the future of that culture. It also leads them to feel ashamed of their country and to believe that if their society is in decline, it deserves to be.
The result was that even people in Middle America who fancied themselves intelligent wanted to have attitudes approved by their intellectual superiors. Whereas from 1900–1920 magazines typically featured biographical sketches of military leaders, politicians, and businessmen, thereafter the media promoted “idols of consumption and leisure” (particularly entertainment figures), leading to modernist consumerism. Kaufmann concludes that “the American myth-symbol complex was purged by the nation’s cultural leaders of its white, Anglo-Saxon, and Protestant components. With this intellectual backing removed, American dominant ethnicity had only its less educated, traditionalist population to fall back on, a constituency that would decline markedly in the decades ahead” (p. 174).
Kaufmann also highlights the importance of the “education explosion” after WWII in the context of the fact that academics were overwhelmingly liberal, especially in the social sciences and humanities from the 1930s on. This is a key theme also of The Culture of Critique: Boasian anthropology, Marxism, psychoanalysis, the Frankfurt School, and the New York Intellectuals attained the pinnacle of academic respectability and collectively dominated thinking in the social sciences and humanities. As a result, educated people were socialized within these mutually reinforcing frameworks, and academics engaged in status competition within the boundaries defined by these movements.
Public opinion surveys bear out attitude change in a liberal direction correlated to greater education in children than parents. If education level remained the same, there was little change in attitudes (p. 191). Kaufmann notes that in 1965 only 32% favored eliminating the national origins provisions from US immigration law. Since 1965, the public has become more restrictionist and has always favored a decrease in numbers of immigrants. For example, in 1992, 74% of Anglos said there were “too many immigrants” in the US, a percentage similar to other groups. However, college-educated people have more liberal attitudes on immigration, religious toleration, and racial boundary issues. Kaufmann proposes that the national media and education are the prime movers of attitude change as the country became more literate and educated and more middle class as opposed to working class. I agree, but my point is that ultimately these changes would not have happened without Jewish ethnic activism among Jewish intellectuals, Jews in the media, and the organized Jewish community.
Kaufmann charts the decline of Anglo-Saxons and the rise of the Jews in all areas of the American elite, from university departments of Political Science to the federal civil service. “For twenty years, the de-WASP-ing of the ruling elite in America has proceeded at a breathtaking pace.” Kaufmann cites the important study of Lerner et al. (American Elites, 1996) showing that Jews were highly overrepresented in several areas of the elite, especially in the media and the legal profession. Jews outnumbered Anglo-Saxons 58–21 among elites in television, 48 to 25 among “public interest” elites, and 40 to 21 among legal elites. The same study found that, “in stark contrast to the Jews, WASPs were not overrepresented within the ranks of the national elite.” Frank Salter has shown that on issues of concern to the Jewish community (Israel, immigration, ethnic policy in general), Jewish groups have four times the influence of European Americans despite representing approximately 2.5% of the population.
These are very high overrepresentations indeed. White Protestants became underrepresented in corporate elites by the 1980s, and there is a steady decline in political power in Congress. Even people of mixed European heritage tend to identify with the non-Anglo-Saxon side of the family. For example, people of Italian-Scottish descent chose to identify themselves as Italian by a 3-1 ratio. There was also a heavy decline in White associational patterns and social capital, as described by Robert Putnam: Elks, Shriners, Jaycees, Masons all suffered major declines.
Kaufmann is also correct in noting the gap between elite and non-elite White opinion. Kaufmann emphasizes the class difference among Whites: “We may even surmise a long-run scenario in which lower-status whites retreat to a rural, interior ethnic ‘homeland,’ while upper-status whites pursue their modern lifestyle orientation in the nation’s more dynamic, increasingly hybridized, white-minority cities” (pp. 262–263). Kaufmann quotes Michael Lind: “during the years that the political class has been almost unanimously in favor of present or higher levels of legal immigration, an overwhelming majority of Americans of all races have favored restriction, a fact that speaks volumes about the alienation of the American ascendancy from the majority’s interests and concerns … like free-market globalism, immigration is an issue that pits the affluent top 20 percent against the wage-earning majority below.”
Kaufmann’s theory is that the rise of expressive individualism (which attacks ethnic identification) and cultural egalitarianism (which attacks the idea of dominance) led to the decline of dominant ethnicity. This is compatible with my analysis, but I argue that the New York Intellectuals were a Jewish movement and I argue that two other intellectual movements, psychoanalysis and the Frankfurt School, provided the intellectual basis for the decline of ethnic identity and the movement of expressive individualism to the center stage of American culture. And I argue that another Jewish movement, Boasian anthropology, was the intellectual basis for the decline of legitimacy of cultural and racial/ethnic dominance by Anglo-Saxons. (It is no accident that while Jewish intellectuals were the main force for the decline of Darwinism in America, the racial Zionists have triumphed in Israel where there is an obvious Jewish interest in subscribing to a theory that rationalizes ethnic dominance.)
As noted above, this mutually reinforcing set of ideas was promoted not only by Jewish intellectuals, but by Jews with access to the media. And it was lavishly funded by Jewish organizations and promoted by activists targeting public policy (e.g., activism in Congress) and other areas important for shaping public opinion (e.g., the educational system).
Another strong influence on egalitarianism was Marxism — an important component in the ideology of the Frankfurt School (Ch. 5 of CofC) as well as among the Jewish radicals who formed the backbone of political radicalism in the US throughout the 20th century (Ch. 3 of CofC). Indeed, another large gap in Kaufmann’s treatment is the lack of coverage given to the Stalinist Jewish subculture in America from the 1920s through the 1960s. The Stalinist Jewish subculture was much more numerous than the Trotskyite subculture that developed into the New York Intellectuals, and it was quite influential — for example as the stalking horse for Joe McCarthy and as the main protagonist in the cultural battles of the 1950s. (This was at a time when prominent New York Intellectuals, such as Sidney Hook, had become staunch anti-Communists and Hook himself was working in a CIA-funded operation to seize the high ground in the intellectual Cold War.) The large number of Jews among McCarthy’s targets and the response of the organized Jewish community are topics of a recent book on the period. Moreover, the Red Diaper Babies — children of Stalinist Jewish radicals from the 1930s and 1940s — became a very important force in the 1960s campus radicalism (see Ch. 3 of CofC; see also my “Memories of Madison”). Kaufmann’s analysis identifies the 1960s as a critical decade in the decline of Anglo-Saxon America, but he fails to address yet another important Jewish influence on the 1960s counterculture.
Also congruent with the argument in The Culture of Critique, Kaufmann proposes that once the new value set was institutionalized, it became the focus of status competition within the boundaries set by these movements (p. 247). Kaufmann rejects a rational explanation for Anglo-Saxon decline due to “mass mobilization from below.” However, he does not even consider Jewish influence as a factor, even though he does cite data showing that Jews are vastly overrepresented in the new post-Anglo-Saxon elite. (Kaufmann does claim that half of the New York Intellectuals were Jewish, but never links their attitudes to their Jewish identity.) Kaufmann also correctly rejects business interests as the moving force for the end of the Western European bias in American immigration policy. The decisive Jewish role in the passage of the 1965 immigration law is the subject of Ch. 7 of The Culture of Critique.
Another critical lapse in Kaufmann’s argument is that he never mentions coercion and the penalties that are imposed on people who dissent from the elite consensus. However, Whites who violate these strictures are severely censured — a phenomenon with which I have considerable personal experience. Kaufmann presents the views of elite Whites who are cooperating in the demise of their own people as nothing more than the enlightened opinions of an intellectual and moral elite. But it is far more than that. At least since the 1960s, Whites who depart from the cosmopolitan consensus have been penalized in a wide variety of ways — from lack of access to the mainstream media, to firing from their jobs, to social opprobrium.
Moreover, the same forces that have legitimated and institutionalized the cosmopolitan zeitgeist for Whites are endeavoring to make this revolution permanent by enacting “hate speech” laws prohibiting the expression of ideas that conflict with their version of reality. For example, the organized Jewish community is deeply involved in advocating restrictions on free speech in America and throughout the West. The result is that conservatives are forced to couch their ideas in the universalist language of cosmopolitanism. Kaufmann points out that even measures of White ethnic defense (such as English-only measures and immigration restriction) have had to be couched in the language of civic universalism. Indeed, Kaufmann, who is part Jewish, part Chinese, and part Hispanic ethnically, is entirely on board with the idea that cosmopolitanism will have to resort to social controls on White consciousness to make its victory permanent: “Institutional pressure must be brought to bear on ethnic revival [of Whites], prompting the communitarian impulse to discharge itself along liberal lines” (p. 301).
This shows that although the cosmopolitan revolution took advantage of pre-existing Anglo-Saxon tendencies toward individualism, in the end the institutional structure that is being pursued after attaining power is profoundly anti-individualist. Indeed, the future of the West is likely to be far more like traditional Jewish society (or, ironically, traditional Puritan society) with high levels of social control over behavior and thoughts than America as envisioned by the Founding Fathers.
America remains somewhat of an exception to these trends throughout the West because of the First Amendment. But other Western societies, lacking such formal declarations of rights, have succumbed to a stifling political correctness that essentially legislates the triumph of cosmopolitanism and the suicide of the West. In his classic 1975 essay “Ethnic Diversity, cosmopolitanism, and the emergence of the American liberal intelligentsia,” David Hollinger makes the point that “cosmopolitanism … is difficult to maintain as a prescription for society at large unless one is willing — as most American intellectuals have not been — to attribute to the general population a prodigious capacity for growth” (p. 73). He is quite right, but it’s also clear that Americans will have no choice but to express cosmopolitan attitudes and engage in cosmopolitan behavior, except perhaps in the privacy of a closet in their home.
My alternate view of the 20th century in America is that if a robust Darwinian intellectual elite had remained in place despite the assaults of the Boasians, the Frankfurt School, the Marxists, and the New York Intellectuals, the cosmopolitan revolution never would have occurred and the Anglo-Saxon movement of ethnic defense culminating in the immigration law of 1924 would have succeeded and become institutionalized. The liberal, cosmopolitan Anglo-Saxon tradition would have persisted at the fringes of American society, advocated by those for whom the confining Anglo-Saxon small town culture was an overly confining burden. And, quite possibly, with a more sophisticated biological and evolutionary understanding of human behavior, Anglo-Saxon culture itself would have changed in a direction to be more inclusive of various forms of recurrent, biologically-based non-conformity, such as homosexuality.
But a robust, sophisticated Darwinian culture would have provided a powerful argument for ethnic defense. Critically, such a Darwinian ethnic defense would have emphasized creating a culture in which individualism was seen as a valuable Anglo-Saxon ethnic trait — as was the case during the 18th and 19th centuries. Immigration policy would have been carefully formulated to ensure that immigrants were genetically similar to the founding stock and to ensure the continued dominance of peoples prone to individualism — just as American immigration policy was crafted until 1965.
This ethnic defense would have been energized by the sociobiological revolution of the 1970s and the firm mathematical grounding for the understanding that all peoples have ethnic genetic interests. Instead, in cosmopolitan America, even the sociobiological revolution has been stripped of its most dangerous and powerful ideas. As Frank Salter has shown, the revolution in population genetics of the1970s showed very clearly that people controlling a piece of land have a huge genetic interest in preserving their control. But this finding has been suppressed and misinterpreted by people at the highest levels of the academic hierarchy.
This suppression will continue because cosmopolitanism has a hopelessly shaky intellectual basis. Built on theories that were motivated far more by ethnic interests of the rising elite of Jewish intellectuals than by a respect for scientific truth, cosmopolitanism has no choice but to secure its future by coercion.
And for the Anglo-Saxons and the rest of White America, it is a defeat of cataclysmic proportions.
August 1, 2009
Dean Canaris, 56, a quality engineer for a Honda automotive supplier, was laid off in April and out the door in 30 minutes with no severance.
Harry Jackson, 55, an airline pilot and supervisor, lost his job in 2007 and, to his surprise, has found it nearly impossible to get another job.
Mark Montgomery, 53, was let go from an Owens Corning insulation factory in April and can’t afford his $575 monthly mortgage payment.
These men from the Columbus, Ohio, area are the unusual new faces of joblessness in this groundbreaking recession: older men cut loose from employment at the peak of their earning power and work experience.
In previous recessions, veteran workers were largely spared the pain of widespread job cutbacks, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Layoffs tended to be concentrated among younger workers: The younger you were, the more likely you were to get fired. Traditional, bread-winning older males — especially white men — were the least vulnerable.
Not so today. Aging Baby Boomers are suffering a harsh employment bust.
“I never dreamed it would be so hard to put my skills back to work,” says Jackson, who was assistant chief pilot at Skybus, a discount airline that went out of business.
Jobless rates for men and women older than 55 are at their highest level since the Great Depression, government data show. White men over 55 had a record 6.5% unemployment rate in the second quarter, far above the previous post-Depression high of 5.4% in 1983. The jobless rate for older black men was higher — 10.5% — but more than a percentage point below its 1983 peak.
The most remarkable change is in the unemployment rate for black women: 12.2%, far below the historic peak of 20% in 1983. Hispanic unemployment is about 6 percentage points below historic highs, too.
In other words, this recession has shrunk the racial gap in unemployment, largely because white men are doing so much worse than usual.
Those above 55 also are spending more time than ever between jobs. Older workers spend an average 27 weeks between jobs, about five weeks longer than younger workers.
“When you lose your job after many years, you’re not only looking for a job. You find the nature of employment has changed,” says Deborah Russell, director of workforce issues at AARP, the lobbying group representing people 50 and older.
But the cocoon of protection that experience once brought has unraveled in this downturn.
“This recession has gone far deeper into layers of society than we’ve seen in the past,” says Nelse Grundvig, an economist at the North Carolina Employment Security Commission.
“People losing jobs are increasingly male and increasingly older.”
The recession has hit older men hard because job loss has been concentrated in male-dominated fields, such as construction, manufacturing and finance. The decline of unions, which protected employees with seniority, has played a role, too.
“The bloodletting has been in parts of the economy where men work,” Grundvig says.
That change is rippling through the economy in troubling ways because older people generally carry greater financial responsibility than younger people.
The loss of a job for an older worker can erase the dominant income of a middle-class family, wipe out savings as retirement nears and deny aging people health insurance when it’s needed most.
“So many of these men were coasting to retirement, working at good jobs and earning good pay.
Then, suddenly, it was gone,” says Susan Birie, who runs the government’s Delaware Area Career Center in Delaware, Ohio.
‘What’s wrong with me?’
Jackson, the airline pilot, has a lovely house and barn in Delaware, an affluent Columbus suburb. Active in church, Jackson’s family has taken troubled youths into their home.
But after nearly two years without work, Jackson is dispirited. He made the last house payment he could afford in June. He has depleted his savings and 401(k) retirement account and sold expensive machining equipment that he used for a hobby and extra income.
He has no health insurance. His wife is not getting medicine she needs. An adopted child has government-provided insurance.
Jackson has been turned down for jobs that he was well qualified for, such as training pilots. One job went to a pilot who used to work for him.
“I keep asking myself, ‘What’s wrong with me?’ I used to be successful. I used to be confident,” Jackson says.
The unemployed older men believe their age and experience works against them, not for them.
“Gray hair is the worst thing you can have when applying for a job,” says John Green, 64, a former technology manager at banks and other corporations.
The men say experience can make them less marketable because employers think they want higher pay. There’s some truth to that.
Montgomery made $25.80 an hour maintaining machines at an insulation factory in Newark, Ohio. He’s been shocked at the low wages — $10 an hour or so — for some jobs available now.
“I can’t pay my bills on those wages,” he says. “The pay is hardly better than my unemployment check.”
Low wages are not just a financial blow, says Birie, the employment counselor. It’s a blow to the men’s self-esteem.
“It’s very difficult to be the primary breadwinner, then to be offered — despite all your skills and talent — a job that pays $10 an hour,” she says.
The demands of new jobs can be unsettling for older workers, too. There are truck-driving jobs in Ohio, Birie says. But older men often find the lifestyle — being away from home for days at a time — to be grueling, lonely and hard on their established family life.
Georgia Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond says the nation’s retraining programs were caught unprepared for the onslaught of unemployed older men. The training programs had been aimed mostly at women, a legacy of welfare reform.
“This is a masculine recession. We need to adjust,” he says. Two-thirds of those seeking job training today are men — the reverse of two years ago, Thurmond says.
Health care hardship
The need for health insurance is the financial problem that dominates the life of unemployed, older men.
Four of the six men interviewed for this story reported that they or a family member weren’t getting needed medical care because they simply could not afford it.
John Beckley, 54, a design draftsman laid off in January, has cut back on pills to save $150 a month. He has diabetes and high blood pressure.
“The medication is killing me moneywise,” he says. When he cuts back his NovoLog insulin, “I feel a little worse, but I don’t have a choice.” He’s still spending $700 a month on medicine.
The economic stimulus bill has been a savior for most of the unemployed men. The stimulus law contains a little-noticed provision that has the government pay up to 65% of the cost of continuing on a former employer’s health insurance plan.
Timothy Miller, 56, who made roof trusses at a Weyerhaeuser plant, had his family’s health-insurance premium cut from $838 a month to about $400 when the program took effect. He desperately needs health insurance because his wife has a pituitary gland tumor and extensive diagnostic tests are needed.
Canaris, the quality-control engineer, is paying $400 of his family’s $1,300 monthly premium while he looks for employment.
However, the health-insurance subsidy is an imperfect solution to the men’s worries.
The health-insurance subsidy lasts only nine months and covers only workers laid off between September 2008 and the end of this year. It doesn’t cover workers whose employer goes out of business, ending the health care plan altogether.
Green, the technology executive, has been getting by on his wife’s health insurance from her $10-an-hour day care job. But she was recently told the day care center, subsidized by a bank for employees, would close Sept. 30.
“Thank God I’m almost old enough to get Medicare,” Green says.
Reinvention at 55
Amid the sudden downward financial turn in their lives, theseunemployed men are seeking ways to reinvent themselves, personally and professionally.
They report unemployment has forced them to live healthier — less fast food and more homegrown vegetables.
Canaris is growing beets, potatoes and other vegetables that he never had time for before.
Miller has a garden, too, and the big, burly, blue-collar worker is riding a bicycle — an activity that surprises even him. He has lost 5 pounds.
Miller regrets he fell for easy credit to buy a nice truck during his high-paying days at Weyerhaeuser. “What was I thinking?” he wonders.
Today, he’s thinking about becoming an electrician’s apprentice, perhaps even an electrician. “The world’s changing. I need to adapt.”
Nearly all of these unemployed men have a plan — and a touch of optimism.
Canaris plans to get certification in performance excellence and statistical methods. That will make his quality-control skills more transferrable between industries.
He has leads on jobs in New Hampshire, West Virginia and Ohio. He may end up working for a defense contractor or a truck manufacturer. He has two interviews scheduled.
“All I know is I’m optimistic. I have skills and I’m opening up my range to new possibilities,” he says.