What is European America?
(Also see this follow-up post, where I respond to a virulent critic and explain my views further.)
White Americans who are conscious of their historic culture, nationality, and civilization are deeply demoralized because it seems that everything is going against them. The pro-minority, race-conscious ideology keeps extending its power over the whole society, even as whites are forced to be rigorously race-blind when it comes to defending their own rights and interests. Also, as I said in my 1990 booklet The Path to National Suicide and have been repeating ever since, whites are intellectually and morally paralyzed by the demographic changes in America that have already occurred. Once America became a conspicuously diverse society beginning in the late 1970s and 1980s, it seemed that any expression of a traditional, white-majoritarian American identity could only be an impotent reaction against what America had already substantively become. Obviously, this problem only increases with the ongoing increase of the non-white population. The difficulties seem insuperable. How can the historic European American identity be claimed as still valid, in an America that is already 30 percent non-white? And what place would non-whites have in such a revived white-majority America? The apparent impossibility of asserting a traditional Anglo-American or Euro-American majority identity in the midst of an extremely multi-racial America has been the greatest inhibiting factor on the white majority.
The dilemma is not illusory, but neither is it hopeless. European Americans can begin to assert themselves again as a people, and that would alter everything. Of course, the idea of whites expressing themselves as a people is derided as “multiculturalist,” especially by neoconservatives. And it’s true that in one sense, such an assertion by whites as a group would seem to resemble the multicultural self-assertion of blacks as a group, of Asian-Americans as a group, of Hispanics as a group, and so on. But there are two crucial differences between the group assertion of minorities, and the group assertion of whites that I propose: European Americans are not a minority group, and they are not seeking special group rights for themselves. They are the historic and existing majority population of this country. Therefore, if and when whites begin acting as a group they would be acting as the majority of America and as the representatives of its historic culture, all of which means that they would be opposing multiculturalism. It would also mean opposing the group-rights system for minorities that has now been placed in the U.S. Constitution.
In other words, the opposite of multiculturalism is not the neoconservatives’ “universal nation”—a fraudulent concept that by delegitimizing the historic particularity of our nation has helped lead to multiculturalism and minority race preferences. No, the opposite of multiculturalism is a renewed American majority culture and the American nationhood based on that culture. Such a renewed American nation would not have group rights, but individual rights. This answers the question of what would be the place of nonwhites in such a re-traditionalized society. On the political level, individual nonwhites and whites would have the same rights as citizens that they have now. On the cultural level, there would be the recognition that America is historically and substantively a European-majority country and intends to remain so. Patriotic nonwhites, especially those belonging to historic American minorities, would not feel threatened by the recognition that America has a white majority culture, any more than patriotic and conservative Jews are threatened by the recognition that America is a majority Christian country.
If people are alarmed at my rejection of ideological universalism in the name of a renewed majoritarian identity, let us remember that we’ve had decades of such “universalism,” the actual result of which has been group rights for minorities at the expense of whites. It’s time to try something else.
The great problem is that at present, though whites constitute the actual majority of the country, they have no political or cultural existence as the majority. Not only do whites fail to represent themselves as a group, but many of them think it is immoral and un-American for a white person even to think of himself as being white. Whites thus have no identity as whites, nor or they allowed to have any. Within the terms of our current order, whites as whites are nothing, even as non-white groups aggressively assert their own group identities and are endowed—by that same passive white majority!—with official and favored status.
This problem returns us to the problem of “inevitability.” Whites are now allowing themselves to be moved toward cultural and national extinction because they accept the assumption that whitesness is an illegitimate category that cannot be morally—or safely—asserted. But it doesn’t have to remain that way. To paraphrase a famous passage by the Abbé Sieyès in his pamphlet Qu’est-ce que le tiers état? (What is the Third Estate?), which began the French Revolution:
1. What is European America? The historic majority culture and people of this country.If the white majority, instead of being nothing, as is now the case, became something, if whites began saying, “We are a white-majority, Western country and we intend to remain so,” that by itself would alter the entire suicidal dynamic in which we are now trapped. For one thing, non-European people would get the message that America is not simply a blank slate for them to write their own national story on, an open frontier for them to expand their own peoplehood into, or a guilt-ridden entity for them to demand special privileges from, but that there is a historic people and culture in this country that happens to have its own views on those matters.
The momentum of events can shift. As we saw with the recent exodus of thousands of Pakistani illegals and their families from the U.S., things that seem as irresistible as the tide can change direction. It’s a matter, above all, of changing our thought. Then reality can change as well.
Is it possible for a people to reclaim their heritage and culture when they are purposely kept ignorant of it? The multicultural enterprise that Mr. Auster describes is only possible in a society that has discarded culture *and* regards history as nothing more than a political tool to use as a hammer against the old European order. The “culture war” was not lost so much as it was air brushed out of existence—much like those photos of Trotsky during the Russian Revolution, which Stalin later found so inconvenient. It’s no coincidence that fascism, national socialism, Soviet Communism, and, indeed, all radical Left revolutionaries, stretching back to the French Revolution, actually have sought to eliminate the pre-revolutionary calendar itself and start over at Year Zero. Thus Mussolini kept track of Italian history, starting with Year One of the Fascist Era, and so on, as did the other revolutionary movements.
Do not discount, furthermore, the term “revolutionary movement”. These ideologies are constantly in the process of adapting, changing and altering reality itself to fit the momentary political requirement. Hitler himself always emphasized that National Socialism was not a political party but a “movement” (*Bewegung*). Is that not how multiculturalism works in our country today?
Two brief examples, one political and one from popular culture. First, while working on an article a few months ago, I took note at how “affirmative action” recently had been applied to alter American history during the Second World War, specifically dealing with American Medal of Honor (MoH) Winners. Because there were no black MoH recipients in World War II, today’s multicultural army decided the reason for their omission must have been *racism*. The remedy? “Research” the “injustice” and come up with deserving black names. You can read the results from the army’s own website ( http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/mohb.htm ).
I challenge you to read the citations for the black recipients and compare them to the citations awarded to soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines *during* World War II. On Peleliu, for example, six of the eight MoH recipients were awarded the medal because they threw themselves on grenades, saving the lives of their fellow soldiers ( http://www.peleliu.net/USForces/MOH.htm ). Or compare the black recipients’ exploits to the likes of surviving MoH recipients, such as Audie Murphy. The blacks performed brave acts, but did they rise to the level of what was expected of a MoH recipient during the war?
Second—forget the second example. I see I’m running over for this post—in addition to taking off on a tangent.
The point remains. White America is seeing its history erased, altered, and warped to the immediate political goals of its enemies. And its own ignorance makes the White majority incapable of doing anything but cheer on its own destruction. But what else can you expect, when the institutions that control debate over the subject are totally controlled by the multiculturalists and “post-colonialists”.
Paul is accurately indicating one of the chief obstacles in the path of a renewed self-assertion by the white majority: whites have literally been stripped of any knowledge and consciousness of their historic peoplehood, culture, and civilization. The only models offered them, both for current political belief and for understanding the past, are “white-blind” individualist liberalism and anti-white multiculturalism. I have no immediate solution to offer to the problem, but we must start where we are. We have enough historical and cultural consciousness to begin asserting the things I’m talking about. Whether the effort will get anywhere is another matter.Posted by: Lawrence Auster on July 25, 2003 2:43 PM
Starting from where we are is the right approach. At the level of popular culture—not commercial culture, but real popular culture—people cherish their historic roots. Note the huge number of genealogical websites. Each of us is the projection into the present of a thousand ancestors, if we go back only ten generations, and who we are is the product of the genetic make-up and accumulation of experience and tradition over those and previous generations. The popular sense of rootedness in the past, a sense that has both empirical and sentimental facets, should provide a receptiveness to educating children about who they really are, and thus revive the Europeanness of European Americans. Official commercial and liberal culture hates this, and would doubtless associate it with Nazism, but the Nazis’ fantasy-aryanism (like the more recent fantasy-pan-Africanism and -pan-Arabism) was really closer to the fantasy universalism of Leftists than to the modest acceptance and respect for history we should have. We somehow need to intervene in the process that transforms teachers from regular folks who cherish their family origins into mere Jacobins.
Whiteness per se is not a necessary category; though possibly useful as shorthand for European heritage, it rhetorically eliminates the cultural component in favor of the genetic component, mirroring the crude celebration of “blackness” by racial revolutionaries. If European Americans are not to be swamped, we should stop admitting disproportionate numbers of non-European immigrants, but whiteness itself is only half the picture.
After living for many years in California, where whites were just whites, it was a surprise on moving to Minnesota to discover that whites are Norwegians, Swedes, Finns, French, Germans, Irish, English, Danes, Scots, Poles, and Czechs. That is a feature of popular culture here and it could be the foundation for a historical realism about ethnicity in place of the current polemicism.Posted by: Bill Carpenter on July 25, 2003 3:35 PM
There is one form of ethnic nostalgia that is permitted to some - not all - white Americans. Unfortunately, in American terms it is unhelpful because it moves Americans in the direction of thinking of themselves as hyphenated Americans deriving their cultural heritage entirely from their ancestors’ European homes. As long as one can claim that his people suffered at the hands of the English or narrow-minded WASP Americans (better yet, both), one can wallow in as much ethnic nostalgia as he likes.
It is perfectly politically acceptable for Irish-Americans to wear the Green and cavort on St. Patrick’s Day, for Italian-Americans to celebrate their Italian-ness and parade on Columbus Day (well, that last may be under attack). Scots (to the extent manifested as resentment of the English), Germans, Scandinavians, Poles, Jews, Hungarians, Greeks - all are allowed to be strongly attached to their ethnic heritages. What is certainly not allowed is Colonial Americans’ descendants’ (those wicked unwelcoming WASPs) engaging in any public display of pride in their ethnic heritage. They have to settle for praising the neocons’ “proposition” and apologizing to all the people they have wronged - the guilty shuffle Presidents Clinton and Bush II have perfected. Nor are white Americans of all origins allowed to celebrate what white Americans have achieved.
As multiculturalism continues to poison American society, white Americans who want to have some heritage of their own to celebrate (other than empty paeans to diversity) may well go in the direction of celebrating their particular European ethnic origins. Unfortunately, the fragmentation that promotes will only make organized resistance by the American majority to multiculturalism and diversity harder - white Americans’ little diversities will help keep them divided.
Propaganda about America as a unique “nation of immigrants” only exacerbates ethnic self-absorbtion, of course, in addition to the damage it does by de-legitimizing resistance to harmful immigration. HRSPosted by: Howard Sutherland on July 25, 2003 3:48 PM
I agree with Mr. Sutherland’s main points, but I am not interested in public celebrations of “European American pride.” I am interested in the European American majority of this country rediscovering and re-asserting itself as the majority.
I understand Mr. Carpenter’s discomfort with “white” in place of “European American,” but I don’t agree. Race is a part of what we are, along with all the other natural, social and transcendent dimensions that make us what we are. Throughout American history up to the mid 20th century, white Americans had an at least implicit consciousness of themselves as white people. There was nothing weird or nasty about this, it was just normal. The loss of that consciousness is one of the keys to the general loss of national and cultural identity that we are dying from today.
We’ve lost belief in the natural dimension of what we are (race and sex). We’ve lost belief in the social dimension of what we are (family, nationhood). And we’ve lost belief in the transcendent dimension of existence. Liberalism or modernity empties out all these dimensions, leaving us as poor, bare, forked creatures as Shakespeare put it in King Lear. We can’t recover what we’ve lost by just focusing on one aspect, like the man from the Howard Institute I met at a conference a few years ago who thought that fixing the family was key to literally everything, or like the people who think that ending abortion is the key to everything. Liberalism has comprehensively stripped Western man of his being. If there is to be any hope of survival and recovery, that being must be re-articulated and defended, in all of its dimensions.Posted by: Lawrence Auster on July 25, 2003 4:00 PM
Neither am I. Celebrating “American pride” honestly, if one is so inclined, is basically a celebration of white American achievements anyway. That is really beside the point of my post, though. My point is that white Americans’ pursuing their own ethnic-pride agendas can easily become a dangerous diversion from seeing America’s real problems. As such, the diversity mongers might welcome it for tactical reasons. HRSPosted by: Howard Sutherland on July 25, 2003 4:20 PM
“My point is that white Americans’ pursuing their own ethnic-pride agendas can easily become a dangerous diversion from seeing America’s real problems. As such, the diversity mongers might welcome it for tactical reasons.”
Good point, I agree. Thomas Fleming would disagree with us. He believes the only legitimate grouping among whites is the sort of ethnic or regional groups you’re talking about, and that an overall “white American” or European American identity is not legitimate. That’s just ridiculous. Throughout American history, white Americans thought of themselves as white Americans. Now Fleming wants to equate that large idea with a reductive genetic white racism that he associates with American Renaissance.Posted by: Lawrence Auster on July 25, 2003 5:03 PM
The 19th century vonBismarck once said his politics was based on the idea that if there were five great nations in the world, he wanted to be one of the three. This might be one of the principles behind Mr. Auster’s amazing writing above.
It seems one must discriminate or else become a nihilist, a blade of grass blowing in the wind. And a nihilist must be lying to himself. It is impossible to defend nothing. Even the nihilist will defend himself (unless he succumbs to depression). A human must have an anchor, a frame of reference. Perhaps the nihilist anchors in the pride that he is among an elite that sees the truth.
Many contend race is as artificial as clothing. Many think that if only we could shed this enamoration with clothing, we would better off. But George Orwell and Cambodia’s Killing Fields are telling us another story. The Fields seem to be telling us first and foremost that we harbor Cain’s murderous instincts. The Fields are also telling us we can act on these instincts for no reason at all. Humans in Cambodia were of the same race yet they murdered fellow humans on a scale that may well be unprecedented in recorded history. The mostly ignored intertribal butchery in Africa is also telling.
So no, the end of racial discrimination does not contribute to a better world. As Matt has taught me, every law is discrimination.
Thanks to Mr. Murgos (though I’m not sure which of my ideas he’s referring to, or what the connection is between the Bismarck quote and what I said).
In any case, Mr. Murgos reveals the bottom line of the liberal mind. He writes:
“It seems one must discriminate or else become a nihilist, a blade of grass blowing in the wind.”
Now this really gets down to it. Did anyone see the article today about a study by some Berkeley professors of the psychology of conservatives? The key findings are that conservatives are resistant to change, and they are tolerant of inequality. Of course, they make it sound as if people who are resistant to change are weird and sick. But what if you don’t want people to burn your house down? What if you don’t want the control of the government to pass from Democrats to Republicans? Those are “changes,” too, aren’t they? Interestingly, the researchers admit this contradiction in their analysis. They admit that people like Stalin and Castro, who want to maintain a leftist government, are also resistant to change and thus conservative.
What all this means is, anyone who has anything that he values and wants to preserve is a conservative, which makes him weird and sick. Which implies that the only way to be a liberal and not be weird and sick is not to hold on to ANYTHING, not to seek to preserve ANYTHING, because to care about preserving something means that one is discriminating between the valued thing one wants to preserve and the unwanted change that one seeks to avoid. These valued things would include one’s property, family, job, way of life, country, and so on. Pure liberalism, this study is telling us (and thus confirming what we’ve said a thousand times at VFR) is incompatible with valuing any substantive thing, and thus incompatible with existence in this world, or at least with any existence more solid and enduring than that of “a blade of grass blowing in the wind.” That’s the true, ideal, liberal state. Only by making lots of unprincipled exceptions, lots of regrettable and embarrassing concessions to “conservatism” (for which the liberal feels chronically, vaguely guilty), can the liberal go on having a good life and existing in this world.
Of course the liberal would reject my description of him. He would say, “How ridiculous. Of course I value things. Liberalism doesn’t say you don’t value good things.” But then how does he explain his condemnation of the weird sick conservatives who are resistant to change, i.e. resistant to the loss of their values? He would say, “The conservative has an excessive attitude of attachment and judgmentalness and fear and exclusion. We liberals are more relaxed about things. We value what we have, but don’t make a big deal out of it.”
The liberal, in other words, is a relativist. The relativist says, “Of course I believe in right and wrong, but I don’t believe in imposing my values on others,” which is a way of saying that he doesn’t believe his values have any general validity. The liberal values what he values, but declines to make a principle out of it. His values are just personal preferences. Which in practical terms means that he won’t defend his values when they are threatened or questioned. For example, he is upset about terrorists attacking the United States, but he is even more unhappy when the president takes strong action to prevent future attacks. That’s too judgmental, too warlike. Or, he doesn’t condone crime, but thinks the police are a bigger threat to society than the criminals. Or, he doesn’t like Communism, but thinks anti-Communism is a far greater danger to the world.
So, after our detour into the liberal’s self-understanding, we’ve back to what I said at the start, that the liberal, without practicing massive inconsistencies with his own beliefs, is unable to preserve his existence in this world.
The conservative, by contrast, is not a relativist. He thinks his values are reflections of an objective value. That belief gives him the conviction to resist the unwanted or unjust loss of those values. From the liberal point of view, of course, such a person is a nativist, a warmonger, an Authoritarian Personality, a paranoid anti-Communist, a fascist.
Has anyone noticed that in the California recall, Gov. Davis is saying that it’s an attempt by “conservatives” to defeat his “progressive” approach (he uses these exact words). California has recently legalized abortion, and is about to have civil unions for homosexuals and ban discrimination against transvestites.
I thought immigration was going to morally revitalize America since the immigrants had even better “family values” than the native whites. Actually, the areas with the highest immigration are the most socially leftist (California, New York, New Jersey.)Posted by: Steve Jackson on July 26, 2003 8:36 AM
“Has anyone noticed that in the California recall, Gov. Davis is saying that it’s an attempt by “conservatives” to defeat his “progressive” approach (he uses these exact words).”
California is finished as a state anyway. We might as well let it rot and watch from the outside. The faster California rots, the better it serves us as an example of what the United States will itself become one day. That should send chills down the spines of the worst nihilists.Posted by: Peter Phillips on July 26, 2003 11:26 AM
VFR contributor Alan Wall wrote a very illuminating article regarding the alleged conservatism and family values of the hordes of immigrants entering from Mexico and Latin America. This argument, often advanced by Republican operatives as a method of silencing complaints about open borders, is bogus. While Mexico (the case described by Mr. Wall) is nominally Catholic, only about 20% could be described as traditional Catholics or what a former Pastor called “God-fearing Catholics.” More significantly, the traditional Catholics were far more likely to remain in Mexico, where they don’t have to endure the constant attacks upon any public religious expression led by leftist Agitprop organizations like the ACLU and PAW. The people pouring into California and elsewhere are largely agnostic.Posted by: Carl on July 26, 2003 11:48 AM
I can’t tell you how many times I have seen Michael Barone, for example, claim that new immigrants are “culturally conservative.” Once I read a piece by Ron Unz describing Mexicans in particular as “more culturally conservative” than people born in the US. Some establishment conservatives have even claimed that blacks might veer from liberalism in reaction to the cultural left.
It never happens. The minorities realize the leftist state favors them. They go along with whatever the welfare state does. They are the foot soldiers of the liberal state, in effect. Massive immigration brings in more of them.Posted by: David on July 26, 2003 12:23 PM
I have added some new text and made other modifications in the article since posting it last night.Posted by: Lawrence Auster on July 26, 2003 2:55 PM
Any assertion or defense of our European heritage must take into account the fact that liberalism is itself a significant part of that heritage. It has roots that are just as ancient.
We must never forget that our current situation is a logical outcome of aspects of our own culture. It is not something which has been imposed on us from outside. It is not because our thinking has been corrupted by “foreign” ideas.
Now, in reaction to the self-definition and self-assertion of others, perhaps we *can* define and defend a subset of European culture which omits its paradoxical, self-destructive elements—- but the part is not the whole, and by denying our “evil liberal” side, might we lose something which has made ours the tragic yet wonderful culture of which we are so proud?
What exactly is it that the people here want to claim as their own and preserve?Posted by: charlie on July 26, 2003 4:09 PM
I’m not arguing for the eradication of the liberal side of the Western tradition. Look back at the article and see what I said in support of individual rights and ending our current system of group rights, which is the destruction of liberalism. I am saying, rather, that liberalism in order not to be destructive must be contained and constrained within a cultural and moral order which is not itself liberal.Posted by: Lawrence Auster on July 26, 2003 4:26 PM
For myself I see Charlie’s question as quite valid and as one of the profound paradoxes of liberal modernity. The actual choice we face from my perspective is between suicide and amputation. Is a one-armed man still the same man, or would he be better off dead?Posted by: Matt on July 26, 2003 4:57 PM
Lawrence, I’m afraid liberalism is the worm in the Western apple, and history has shown that it cannot be contained or constrained.
That is the tragic beauty of who we are or have been as a culture: liberalism is the flaw that leads inexorably to our undoing, but it seems we cannot avoid that fate without becoming something other than what we are.
On another note, there are many non-whites who participate in and identify with the European paideia: Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, Dinesh D’Souza, etc. I would not want to align myself with a “European” people which insisted on treating such men as aliens or guests, and I would very much want them to be included in whatever group is considered “mine”. In that, I suppose I showing my “liberal” side. So be it. But I get there after beginning with the same notions of individual rights to which you seem to refer.
I don’t ignore my race or family history, but frankly, I think they’re the least interesting thing about me. When I join you in opposing “group identity” politics, it’s primarily because I think people are focusing on the wrong (= relatively unimportant) groupings. To make “whiteness” our banner is, despite all that’s been said here, simply to repeat their mistake.
I think whether or not someone identifies with our paideia is the more interesting —-and important —- question.Posted by: charlie on July 26, 2003 5:50 PM
“would not want to align myself with a “European” people which insisted on treating such men as aliens or guests, and I would very much want them to be included in whatever group is considered “mine”.”
Five men dont make a Nation.Posted by: Peter Phillips on July 26, 2003 6:17 PM
“On another note, there are many non-whites who participate in and identify with the European paideia: Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, Dinesh D’Souza, etc. I would not want to align myself with a ‘European’ people which insisted on treating such men as aliens or guests, and I would very much want them to be included in whatever group is considered ‘mine’.”
Listen, everyone: If white people can’t get past this fallacy that believing in the white race means treating a Sowell or a Thomas or a Connerly as an alien, then we are DONE. There are two dimensions to this. On one hand, there is a common culture and nation in which people who are members of that culture participate as co-citizens. I correspond with Ward Connerly, whom I admire very much, and who has warmly agreed with articles of mine at VFR on racial subjects. I wrote a letter to Clarence Thomas a couple of years after his ordeal telling him that he would always be a hero to me. That’s at the level of a common Americanness and common humanity. But within that culture there is a majority and minorities. It is the majority people who historically created and defined that culture, and without whom that culture wouldn’t exist. Fr. Neuhaus believes in America as a Christian country. Does that mean he regards Jews as aliens? Of course not.
But for Charlie, any consciousness of Christian people as Christian people is immoral because it means distinguishing themselves from non-Christian people. Similarly, any consciousness of white people as white people, any sense of themselves as distinct from nonwhite people, means cruelty and inhumanity to nonwhite people and is therefore to be shunned. Where no distinctions and no anchors are allowed, we end up in the state Mr. Murgos described, as a blade of grass blowing in the wind. Charlie’s liberal logic, which he himself calls tragic even as he urges us to adopt it, leads inexorably to the disappearance of the white race and the civilization it created.
Lawrence, I did not mean to imply that nonwhites would necessarily be treated inhumanely if whites assert a racial identity. I understand and agree with your point about gracious and civil treatment of the “others among us.”
I was simply saying that, in this instance, I want no part of the logic which makes them “others” in the first place.
I am simply unconvinced that race is an important or useful grouping, especially when compared to groupings such as atheists vs believers, liberals vs conservatives, project managers vs software engineers, etc.
Just about the only biological groupings I find interesting are young vs old, and male vs female.
If the white race were to disappear, but its civilization was faithfully carried on by others, would you object?
What if the white race were to endure, but its civilization did not?
See, I would consider the second scenario the greater calamity. I have a hard time getting worked up about the first.
Oh, and by the way: I’m not urging anyone to adopt liberalism. I’m only saying that liberalism is an undeniable, perhaps even inescapable part of our cultural heritage. Recognizing a tragic flaw is not the same as recommending it. Quite the contrary!Posted by: charlie on July 26, 2003 8:17 PM
I think Charlie has a point. Western Civilisation cannot be defined exclusively in terms of the “White race”, nor should it be. I have been down that road myself and I am convinced it is a dead end. Nor can it be defined exclusively as being Christian. A number of spiritual traditions have gone into making Western civilisation what it is, including Judaism, pre-Christian European paganism, and, just to scare the Catholics here, Freemasonry. And I have always thought (as I think Lawrence does too if I am reading him correctly), that preserving our civilisation, does not mean having to deny or repent from the principles of classical liberalism properly understood.
I think it is fair to say that everyone at VFR wants to preserve Western civilisation, but in my time here I have noticed that not everyone agrees as to exactly what that means.
On a purely personal note, I should perhaps reveal that after twenty years of being a Christian, and a traditionalist Lutheran, that I am converting to Orthodox Judaism. This is not as sudden as it may sound, but is the result of my own religious seeking and questioning over the last three years.Posted by: Shawn on July 26, 2003 9:46 PM
Shawn’s last point is directed at a straw man. No one in this discussion, including me, has defined Western civilization “exclusively in terms of the white race.” Yet certainly the white race created Western civilization, and the white race with its particular characteristics is indispensable to Western civilization. Also, I think it would be normal for white people to feel a loyalty and identity to the white race and not want to see it marginalized or destroyed. The fact that many whites today do not feel such a normal loyalty and identity is the real problem, and is the number one reason why we are letting our civilization and nation be swamped by others. In particular, the mindset revealed by Charlie in his last post is the mindset of white Western suicide.
On Shawn’s personal announcement, would he like to tell us a bit of how he decided to convert from Christianity to Judaism?Posted by: Lawrence Auster on July 27, 2003 1:53 AM
Mr. Auster’s analysis of liberalism as requiring a Buddhistic absence of attachment is related to Voegelin’s analysis of modern political theories as based in gnostic heresy. The heretical view at the base of the non-attachment principle is the view that the creation was totally corrupted by the fall of man, and that any engagement in the material world, the social world, the historical world, is damnable. Sometimes such a tendency is referred to as angelism, especially when it takes forms such as extreme pacifism. (The Jainist daughter in Philip Roth’s best novel, American Pastoral, is a fine portrait of the Leftist as angelist.)
As Mr. Auster suggests, the rejection of race as a meaningful or “interesting” category appears to be tainted by the wish for non-attachment. But race is obviously real. It should be considered part of the creation. Does that give individuals, perhaps through their political leaders, an obligation to preserve the races? That is a highly unpopular theory, but most countries are allowed to preserve their cultural and racial character by restricting immigration as they see fit. That is all I would argue for. However, at the popular level, most people marry within their own race. I believe most people socialize primarily within their own race, and look for mates among their own race. They understand that doing so will better preserve the continuity between past and future generations. We need to teach that this is normal and acceptable behavior, not nasty and racist.
I share Mr. Sutherland’s reluctance to recover European American culture by referring it to its polyglot roots. The Common American Civilization is colonial and British in origin, with Massachusetts and Virginia as its two poles. Everyone who has come after has entered into, sometimes with immense enthusiasm, a British colonial, then a distinctly American civilization, characterized by high valuations on Christianity, rule of law, self-government, industry, enterprise, self-reliance, patriotism, civic responsibility, family responsibility, and a liberty that furthers each of those values within a self-sustaining order.
Immigrants historically have joined in the unfolding of this civilization, not its demolition. I think as a practical matter we would achieve more promoting the rebirth of the Common American Civilization, not the rebirth of White American Civilization, though the CAC is white and British and Christian in origin.Posted by: Bill Carpenter on July 27, 2003 4:15 PM
“Shawn’s last point is directed at a straw man. No one in this discussion, including me, has defined Western civilization “exclusively in terms of the white race.””
I never thought you were. My post was not directed at you, but at the particular kind of thinking that does define it that way. And I think charlie was right that it cannot be defined in terms of the dominant white race and “other minorities”. While we can recognise that being European is central to the building blocks of the West, I’m not at all sure that this means “white” exclusively.
“would he like to tell us a bit of how he decided to convert from Christianity to Judaism?”
There were a number of reasons, but one of the primary ones was the issue of trinitarianism. I simply could no longer reconcile trinitarianism ( and the Chacedonian formulas in general), with the revelation of the Torah, as summed up in the Shema. Once that became intellectually impossible for me, the rest followed.
I agree completely with Bill’s post, but would add that an essential part of such a rebirth would have to be a reform of the current system of excessive immigration.Posted by: Shawn on July 27, 2003 4:53 PM
Charlie and I were having an exchange, then Shawn said he agreed with Charlie, and said further that “Western Civilisation cannot be defined exclusively in terms of the ‘White race.’” So his comment certainly seemed to be directed at me. Also, since no one in this discussion had advocated such a view, and since Shawn didn’t identify anyone who he felt had advocated that view, that also made it sound as though he was characterizing my views.
I also note that Shawn put the words “white race” in scare quotes.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of understanding this.Posted by: Lawrence Auster on July 27, 2003 8:29 PM
“Charlie and I were having an exchange, then Shawn said he agreed with Charlie, and said further that “Western Civilisation cannot be defined exclusively in terms of the ‘White race.’” So his comment certainly seemed to be directed at me. Also, since no one in this discussion had advocated such a view, and since Shawn didn’t identify anyone who he felt had advocated that view, that also made it sound as though he was characterizing my views.”
I actually had in mind the racialists who define perservation of Western civilisation in purely biological terms. If you recall we had an exchange of views with some of these people recently. My mistake for not making myself and my meaning clear.
I put white race in scare quotes because there seems to be a fair amount of disagreement as to what exactly white means. For example, I am opposed to large scale Hispanic immigration to the U.S, yet many Hispanics are of European decent. Are they white? Are Spanish people white? Are Slavs or Jews? All of these people are Eoropeans and have gone into making Western civilisation what it is. Yet the far right often uses the term White race to mean exclusively Anglo-Saxon/Nordic peoples, and excludes any of the above. This to my mind makes it a very problematic term and unhelpful in any debate about preserving Western civilisation. Use of the term, rightly or wrongly, simply conjures up visions of neo-Nazis and the KKK in many peoples minds.Posted by: Shawn on July 27, 2003 9:36 PM
“For example, I am opposed to large scale Hispanic immigration to the U.S, yet many Hispanics are of European decent. Are they white? Are Spanish people white? Are Slavs or Jews? All of these people are Eoropeans and have gone into making Western civilisation what it is.”
Israel isn’t located in Europe, Shawn.Posted by: cyd on July 27, 2003 11:12 PM
I didn’t see where Shawn mentioned Israel; he mentioned ‘Jews.’ South Africa isn’t in Europe either, but the whites there are most assuredly ‘European.’Posted by: Joel on July 28, 2003 12:09 AM
“I put white race in scare quotes because there seems to be a fair amount of disagreement as to what exactly white means. … Yet the far right often uses the term White race to mean exclusively Anglo-Saxon/Nordic peoples, and excludes any of the above. This to my mind makes it a very problematic term and unhelpful in any debate about preserving Western civilisation. Use of the term, rightly or wrongly, simply conjures up visions of neo-Nazis and the KKK in many peoples minds.”
First, I’d like to remind Shawn that any term has fuzzy edges. If we were to follow his logic we’d end up putting the whole English language in scare quotes, and all conversation would come to an end.
Generally, by “white,” what is meant is people of European ancestry. Why should the fact that a handful of far whites only use term to mean Nordics matter to us? I’m also nonplussed by Shawn’s idea that we can’t use “white” because that might summon up images of the Klan. “White” happens to be the word that white people in America have routinely used to describe themselves from George Washington to Abraham Lincoln to Theodore Roosevelt to Calvin Coolidge to the present day. But now Shawn tells us the word is fatally flawed, because some liberals won’t like it. Then we might as well fold up and die, Shawn, because the liberals don’t like ANY term that we use. Their aim is silence us. Haven’t you noticed?
How would Shawn feel if some people said that Christians can’t use the word “Christian” to describe themselves, because the word Christian summons up images of the Crusades in some people’s minds? Or that Jews can’t describe themselves as Jews?
To say that white people can’t use the word “white” is to render whites mute and helpless. Meanwhile, the very liberals whose promptings Shawn is telling us to follow use “white” all the time. They speak of white racism and white privilege; they have “white studies” programs pushing the idea that the white race is a form of sickness, and so on and so forth. Apparently, these liberals have no problem at all with using the word white. Yet, according to Shawn, the whites who are being targetted by those liberals for cultural and racial extermination must not use the word.
Similarly, Charlie tells us that whites shouldn’t be conscious of themselves as white because that might create a consciousness of “otherness” regarding the tiny minority of blacks who are civilizational allies of whites. He says this, in a society in which the mass of blacks are frankly racist toward whites and are alligned with white liberals in the general liberal campaign to privilege blacks and use a double standard against whites. But Charlie says whites mustn’t be conscious of themselves as whites—which in practical terms means that whites shouldn’t respond to this anti-white campaign.
To prohibit the word white (but only when whites are using it), to exclude any consciousness of race (but only when the race in question is the white race) is simply the anti-white double standard. It is a recipe for white surrender and white suicide.Posted by: Lawrence Auster on July 28, 2003 1:56 AM
“Israel isn’t located in Europe, Shawn.”
I was speaking of European Jews. By the way, the U.S, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are not in Europe either. That does not make them any less part of the West, and in fact I would include Israel as part of the West as well.Posted by: Shawn on July 28, 2003 6:34 AM
“But now Shawn tells us the word is fatally flawed, because some liberals won’t like it. Then we might as well fold up and die, Shawn, because the liberals don’t like ANY term that we use. Their aim is silence us. Haven’t you noticed?”
Ok, to be clear as I can I seriously object to words being placed in my mouth that I did not say. This is a poor way to debate an issue.
First, I did not say the term White was “fatally flawed”, I said it was problematic and unhelpful in advancing debate about Western civilisation, and not simply because some people may object to it.
Second, I did not say that I objected to the word because “some liberals won’t like it”. I never mentioned liberals. As a point of fact, a good number of conservatives also find the term problematic and unhelpful.
And the term is not just fuzzy, it is narrow. How many Hispanics, Spanish people, Italians, Greeks, or Slavs think of themselves as white? Some may, but does the word have a history of common usage amongst these peoples? If not, then can it serve as a useful overarching term for Western people? The word may have a history within America, and perhaps Anglo-Saxon countries, but that is not a good base for developing a rebirth of Western Man. The word is simply too narrow to serve as a definition of all the peoples of Europe and the West.Posted by: Shawn on July 28, 2003 6:47 AM
Shawn’s objections to my objections all revolve around secondary points, and do not touch on my central point, the significance of his desire to eliminate from usage a familiar and long-established word. Also, besides being peripheral to the main point, some of his objections are just wrong.
“Use of the term, rightly or wrongly, simply conjures up visions of neo-Nazis and the KKK in many peoples minds.”
Of which I said:
“But now Shawn tells us the word is fatally flawed, because some liberals won’t like it.”
Now I think that’s a fair characterization of what he said. Who the heck is going to hear “white” and see Klan, other than a liberal?
If Shawn had put his objections to “white” in a more positive light, simply saying that he thought the word was not helpful and showing better alternatives, maybe I wouldn’t have reacted the way I did. But to adopt the argument that “We can’t say this, because people will believe we’re with the Klan” is, as I said, to adopt a typical liberal technique of silencing whites, which Shawn has not owned up to employing. By the way, I’m not insisting that people say “white.” In the article above I myself used “white” interchangeably with “European-American.” Some prefer the latter. When I last saw his e-mails a few years ago, David Duke, a serious racist and anti-Semite, almost exclusively used European-American” rather than “white.” But the awkwardness and artificiality of that expression, if used as a 100 percent substitute for white, was apparent.
I won’t object if Shawn uses some other expression that he feels is better. But to tell people they should’t use “white” is both off-base and futile. The word’s been around for a long time, and it ain’t going away.Posted by: Lawrence Auster on July 28, 2003 9:18 AM
“Similarly, Charlie tells us that whites shouldn’t be conscious of themselves as white because that might create a consciousness of “otherness” regarding the tiny minority of blacks who are civilizational allies of whites. He says this, in a society in which the mass of blacks are frankly racist toward whites and are alligned with white liberals in the general liberal campaign to privilege blacks and use a double standard against whites. But Charlie says whites mustn’t be conscious of themselves as whites—which in practical terms means that whites shouldn’t respond to this anti-white campaign.”
Lawrence, I’ve said no such things. I have not said that race does not exist, nor that it should be avoided *simply* because it classifies some of our allies as others.
What I said is that I don’t ignore my race or family history, but also that I don’t place very much importance on them. I don’t think it’s a useful way to look at things, because it doesn’t really tell me anything very interesting about me or anyone else I deal with.
I also did not say there should be no resistance whatsoever to the anti-white campaign. In fact, I said that I join you in opposing group identity politics, and in supporting individual rights.
But I said that making whiteness our banner would be to repeat the error of our opponents. This is the central point of my position, which I think is a genuinely conservative one.
It is also, I think, a Christian one. What matters is not my race, but whether I believe. This is very different from a conception of the universal brotherhood of men qua human beings! The community of faith is welcoming but it is also exclusive.Posted by: charlie on July 28, 2003 12:06 PM
“I didn’t see where Shawn mentioned Israel; he mentioned ‘Jews.’”
After inquiring whether Spaniards, slavs and Jews are considered white, he then claimed that “all these people are Europeans.” Jews are not European. They are from the Middle East. The Middle East is not located in Europe.
“I was speaking of European Jews. By the way, the U.S, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are not in Europe either. That does not make them any less part of the West, and in fact I would include Israel as part of the West as well.”
Your post wasn’t about the countries that make up the West. It was about whether certain groups are white or not. Did you forget already?Posted by: cyd on July 28, 2003 12:08 PM
To say that “Jews are from the Middle East” is simplistic and betrays basic ignorance. Anyone can see that there is a tremendous phenotypic variety among Jews that would not be the case if Jews were simply a Mid-Eastern people. Many Jews are of a distinctive Eastern or Mid-Eastern type, many are fair and light-eyed, many belong to other types that are difficult to classify. Frankly, many Anglo-Saxons have brunet coloring and prominent noses and an overall facial shape that makes it hard in some instances to tell if a person is a Jew or an Anglo-Saxon. Jews have been in Europe and a part of Europe for the last two thousand years.
I’m not claiming that Jews are necessarily “white” in the sense that some people use that term, as Northern European. And, overall, it is true that Jews remain a distinct people in key respects. Nevertheless, the attempt to portray the Jews of modern Europe and America as simply a Mideastern people and not a European people will not fly.
It is because of the irreducible fuzziness of these concepts at the edges that we need a variety of expressions, depending on context. Sometimes, “European” or “Caucasian” may be more appropriate than “white.” My disagreement with Shawn was over his wish to exclude the use of “white” altogether.Posted by: Lawrence Auster on July 28, 2003 12:39 PM
I would submit that “European-ness” (or whatever else you want to call what we traditionalists hope to preserve) is not a matter of race or geography.
But neither is it the “propositional nation” supposed by the neo-cons. Our tradition includes revealed truth, much of which cannot be reduced to mere propositions.
To put this in terms Shawn might appreciate, it is a matter of whether or not we are standing among the nation of Israel, in that timeless moment below Mt. Sinai, where we receive the Law. Whether this is, for us, not an historic event in the past, but a present reality…Posted by: charlie on July 28, 2003 12:46 PM
Charlie wants to make European-ness or Western-ness be defined solely by religion. That is a fundamental mistake made by many. By that definition, a black African Christian is a Westerner, a Christian Indian Peruvian villager is a Westerner. When the Pope visited Africa he was greeted by black Christians including bare-breasted maidens bearing gifts to him, as he nodded beatifically. The Africans may be Christian in some sense, but they are decidedly not Western. Christianity (or, as Charlie would have it, some kind of Judeo-Christianity) is certainly the CENTER of the West. But it is not the WHOLE of the West. Western culture properly speaking took form after the end of the Western Roman empire when the Germanic tribes of Northern Europe became Christian and combined Christianity and the Classical civilization with their own tribal cultures and created something utterly new. Anyone who tries to reduce the West to only Christianity is robbing the West of its historical concreteness and multidimensionality. It is a reductive operation similar to that attempted by the neoconservatives. Just as the neoconservatives reduce America to a one-dimensional, disembodied, universal idea, certain Christians would reduce the West to a universal Christian faith.
This compulsion to reduce our civilization to a single idea or formula is the modernist curse that is killing us.
On this crucial point, here is an excerpt from my pamphlet, Erasing America, which I’ve quoted before:
“This troubling indifference toward our historic culture can be seen even among conservative Christians. Embracing a universalist individualism that recognizes no ecclesiastical institution or tradition as a carrier of truth, but only each individual’s unmediated relationship with God, the leading voices of today’s conservative denominations, ranging from Protestant evangelicals to the Roman Catholic hierarchy, seem to put little stock in the inherited cultural and aesthetic values of the Christian West.
“The deeper problem this phenomenon points to is that Christian faith, though it is the center of the West’s historic and spiritual being, cannot by itself provide the enduring structure of Western society or of any other concrete society. As indicated by Jesus in his all-important distinction between the things of Caesar and the things of God, religious faith must work in a proper balance with worldly values—among which are the values of culture. Without a particular earthly culture to ground it, and an articulated Church tradition to give it lasting form, Christianity can easily spin off into utopian universalist notions, such as the open-borders ideology, that spell the death of any existing culture.”Posted by: Lawrence Auster on July 28, 2003 1:14 PM
Posted by: Lawrence Auster on July 28, 2003 01:14 PM
as a catholic, i see the Faith as giving the basis from which any civilization can only be by built from, i.e. civil life is a reflection of Him. and likewise, in so far as ‘civil’ life does not conform to the Faith, it is neither civil or a reflection.
in light of this:
what do you mean by ‘structure’?
what do you mean by ‘society’?
what do you mean by ‘culture’?
and in light of these three questions, what do you mean by ‘white’?
i suspect the answers are in your books, which i should purchase and read, but if you could humor me with a few short answers in the mean time, i would appreciate it.
i find it interesting how this discussion is devolving or reducing down to the same problems as the ones on government or what is a traditionalist.
Posted by: abby on July 28, 2003 2:48 PM
In a long thread like this it gets hard to follow all its twists and turns and how it may get into very different subjects from its original subject, but, prior to my answering Abby’s question, could she tell us what she means by the thread devolving?Posted by: Lawrence Auster on July 28, 2003 3:21 PM
Actually, Lawrence, I was suggesting that the *emphasis* —- our banner —- ought to be on our awareness of and participation in the transcendent, rather than on the less important accidents of race and geography.
In other words, I think the website accompanying these blogs has it right:
“What has been lost that is so important?
Recognition that what we can see here and now is not self-sufficient, that at the center of things is something that goes beyond the merely human, that we live by what is transcendent.”
I agree that reducing “European-ness” to a single element is misguided. But having a clear sense of priorities is not the same as reductionism.
While I appreciate the value or charm of business suits and ties, wienerschnitzel and lutefisk, etc., I am not willing to sacrifice myself in the arena in order to preserve them. Such particularities are, in my opinion, ephemera —- part of the world of things which come and go —- and I think it’s foolish to cling to them when it’s past their time.
But the Permanent Things, and the tradition which teaches about them, I would defend with my life.
what i mean by devolving,
the argument breaks down to the separating of the essential from the accidental; with the essential differentiation coming down either accepting the underlying principles of the Catholic Faith or not.
‘christian’ religions outside of the Faith are at heart liberal and individualistic, and so the arguments and problems worked themselves down towards the Faith which is neither liberal or individualist. the accidental parts were separated out from the essential and finally came down to the faultline.
matt may have intentionally hedged, but no catholic with a soid and historical grounding in philosophy and theology can’t help but see the essential faultline is the Faith and either accepting or rejecting catholic principles.
in the same manner on this thread, the argument is breaking down to what is essential to western civilization. the breaking down the issue into its various parts and in so doing separting out the essential from the accidental. western civilization is at heart catholic, or at least the essential parts traditionalists speak of preserving, as opposed to the liberal parts best disposed of.
added to this is what is both accidental and essential, the roots coming out of the western empire and developed from it are accidental to civil life per se, but essential to its being western.
shawn mentions somewhere in the last couple of days, western civilization was formed also by the masons etc., but i see such influences as being similar to a man’s final bodily form being shaped by injuries that have befallen him. he may be missing a limb here of a finger there, but he is not the better off for it, nor is he by nature designed to be so mutilated.
i hope this clarifies versus making the issues more confusing.
btw, i’ve found the discussions the last couple of weeks to be extremely interesting and insightful.Posted by: abby on July 28, 2003 4:37 PM
I was not disputing whether or not Jews are white. Shawn claimed the Jews are “Europeans” and I merely pointed out that their geographic origins lie in not in Europe, but in the Middle East.
According to various physical anthroplogists, the Jews belong to the mediterranean sub-racial type. The main difference between most Jews and southern Europeans is their greater nasal prominence, fatter lower lip, brachycephalization and susceptibility to tay sachs. But again, I was talking about geography, not race.
Many Iranians display a “Europid” phenotype, but that does not mean one should call them “Europeans” simply because they are not Europeans.
“Frankly, many Anglo-Saxons have brunet coloring and prominent noses and an overall facial shape that makes it hard in some instances to tell if a person is a Jew or an Anglo-Saxon.”
Are you sure they’re Anglo-Saxons? Britain is comprised not only of Anglo-Saxons but of paleo-atlantids, who have a much darker complexion and the features you described.
“Jews have been in Europe and a part of Europe for the last two thousand years.”
Does this mean that the Turkish gastarbeiter of Germany and the Afro-Caribbeans of London will be considered “Europeans” 2000 years from now?Posted by: cyd on July 28, 2003 5:41 PM
The clothes a man wears are vitally important. The clothing is based on thousands of years of culture whether of a temporarily decadent culture or not. Many would not want a foreign nation or ideology to storm their country, tell them they were evil for liking their clothes, and then force them to wear different clothes. The left is trying to tell each race and culture that its race and culture are worthless or, at best, nothing to fight over. When the left is finished with its brainwashing, nothing will remain important.
I suppose language is artificial too. Most people could become intelligible in a foreign language within a year of beginning to study the language. Therefore, no one should die over the language they speak. Wives are artificial. You can have as many as you want, as long as you have them consecutively and not concurrently. Come to think of it, everyone is pretty artificial because they have all this stuff in their heads and it is nothing to protect or to fight over some would say. We all could just as well have been born in Iraq and therefore believe Christians are devils; I mean (in accordance with a character in Catch-22) if everyone thought Christians were devils, I would be a “damn fool” to think otherwise. Parents. Certainly I would not want to risk dying so that I can have the right to visit them behind the iron left curtain. A village is all I need…”I mean if that’s OK man.”
Yes, maybe God is all we need in one sense, but I don’t think He wants us to sit and meditate about Him until we starved.
So those are some of my random thoughts. This discussion is very interesting and important.
Mr. Murgos presents a perfect satire on the workings of liberalism as it empties the world of all meaning. I think what he is saying here is that, in the absence of the transcendent, there is no reason to place any special value on anything. Of course, we don’t normally think of the “transcendent” as having anything to do with, say, our attachment to a particular type of national dress. But in fact it does, since all value is transcendent, in that it exists in a spiritual realm beyond the immediately experienced existent. This is where human life is actually lived, even though the words to describe it don’t exist in ordinary language.
Liberalism or modernity liberates desire, even as it progressively empties the world of value and meaning. For liberalism, nothing means anything, except the imperative not to discriminate between things. The streets of today’s America, where people destroy the public space even as they fulfill their desire for the instant gratification of speaking on the phone anywhere anytime, is the perfect embodiment of the idea of equal freedom emptying the world of value.
After that murder of a New York City Councilman and the fatal shooting of his murderer by police, Mayor Bloomberg said that “both deaths are tragedies.” That’s an example of how liberalism leaves people literally unable to make sense of anything anymore, where the victim’s death and the murderer’s death are equally tragic, where language becomes nothing but a representation of spiritual emptiness.
Voegelin wrote: “God and man, world and society, form a primordial community of being.” But liberalism is the principle of nothingness—cancelling the divine, cancelling the cosmos, cancelling society, cancelling man.Posted by: Lawrence Auster on July 29, 2003 2:37 AM
By all means then, let’s go to war over croissants and orange marmalade.
One lump or two?Posted by: charlie on July 29, 2003 12:30 PM
I hope noone misunderstood my comments. I was not saying Jews aren’t white. Indeed they are. Just that they originally came from the middle east, not Europe.
cydPosted by: cyd on July 29, 2003 5:21 PM
I am now replying to Abby. But first a couple of personal points to Abby. I did not initially see your reply to my query on what you meant by devolving. The reason I didn’t see it is that I have the e-mails that carry your comments to VFR automatically placed in my Delete folder instead of my Inbox. (All comments sent to a thread of which I am the original author are automatically sent to me). The reason I do this is that your e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org, is unpleasant and hostile and so I don’t like seeing it come into my Inbox. Therefore I request that, if you must use a dummy address, you please use something less hostile and belligerent sounding. I am glad you’ve found the recent discussions interesting. But it is most strange that you would want to carry on an intellectual discussion with people, and expect a reply from people, while sending those same people the message “Don’t bother, get lost.”
Second, I respectfully request that you begin using conventional capitalization, as everyone else here does. You call yourself a Catholic, and I gather a traditionalist Catholic. At the very least, a traditionalist Catholic ought to respect the traditional spelling conventions of her society and not expect people to read messages that look so strange. In saying this, I am not trying to suppress your individuality. But refusing to capitalize goes beyond any legitimate expression of individuality. It is an irritating eccentricity that makes your messages harder to read. So would you please make the effort to “get with the program”—the program in this instance being the English language with its capitalization of sentences and proper names.
Now back to our exchange.
I still don’t understand what you mean by devolving. You seem to mean that an issue has “broken down” into one of Catholic faith versus its absence of denial. But I would imagine that for a traditionalist Catholic, such a direction in a conversation would not be a devolution (i.e. a breaking down into less advanced elements) but rather a productive movement of the discussion toward the things that really matter. So I’m not following your last message at all.
But now going back to your previous question: you had asked me to explain my statement:
“The deeper problem this phenomenon points to is that Christian faith, though it is the center of the West’s historic and spiritual being, cannot by itself provide the enduring structure of Western society or of any other concrete society.”
I mean that Christianity, unlike, say, Orthodox Judaism or Islam, does not provide an earthly structure of society, a way of life. Christ’s teachings, and the New Testament as a whole, are about how to get into the kingdom of heaven. They do not provide a pattern for earthly, social existence. They do not provide a guide to politics. This is of course pinpointed in Jesus’ differentiation between the things of Caesar and the things of God.
Therefore a Christian people, a Christian society, in order to have a viable structure for functioning and existing in this world, must rely on organizing principles that do not come from Christianity itself. In actual history, these principles have come from, e.g., the classical Republican tradition, or the Empire (thus, after the Western church broke with the Eastern empire, the Pope chose Charlemagne to be the worldly, political, military arm of the Church, since the Church itself was not a worldly organization and could not provide that political structure and capability), or the political/tribal structure of the Germanic tribes (in which the king was first among equals among his warrior band, a political form which in evolved into Western-style democracy).
The great error of many modern Christians, especially low-church and evangelical Christians, but even many modern Catholics as well, is the belief that Christian faith by itself is sufficient for political as well as spiritual existence. And this has the danger I mentioned, that the faith of the New Testament, divorced from the particularity and concreteness of any political or cultural organization, devolves into a vapid, self-sacrificing universalism which spells the death of any earthly society.
The need for such concreteness is respected, and reflected, in the Orthodox forms of Christianity, namely the Roman Church, the Eastern Church, and the Anglo-Catholic arm of the Anglican church, and perhaps some traditional forms of Lutheranism as well.
It is our common culture that needs to be defended, not the European gene pool. People who are following a liberal view are the enemy here, not people of color.
If we fast forward 200 years and see an America that is free, prosperous and worshiping Jesus as their Lord and Savior, the skin tones of those people should be a non-issue. There isn’t anything particularly godly about being of European descent; in fact, Europe is getting further away from its own roots, even discounting the large Islamic immigration.
We need to support people who support traditional America values, regardless of their ancestry. It’s those values, not our light-skin, that helps to make the world a better place.Posted by: Mark Byron on July 30, 2003 1:43 PM
I find it difficult to understand the mentality of European (white) people (I am assuming) like Mark Byron and Shawn who see so little value in their biological heritage that they are willing to see it submerged into some sort of global melting pot.
Let me give an example. The Nigerian church is said to be the largest and fastest growing church in the Anglican communion. It is also ‘conservative’, e.g. it opposes gay clergy, etc. For these reasons, some ‘non-racial’ conservatives look to it, and other third world churches, for support. This leads to an error of assuming that the Nigerian church is at all representative of the vast majority of Nigerians. (This error is somewhat similar to that of conservatives that hold up Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams as examples and thus feel queasy about any sort of racially tinged thought.)
In fact, Nigerian Christians may be ‘conservative’ on gay rights, but they are not really conservative in any Western sense. Many are involved in tribal rituals (here in London police are investigating the ritual murder of a Nigerian child). They are involved in human trafficing. We all know about Nigerian con men. Yet I am willing to bet that many of the people that commit these offenses are nominal Christians. It is ridiculous to think that if, say, 50 million immigrated to Britian that they would somehow recreate the culture of Britian, only in a more conservative way.
Look at U.S. inner cities since whites have moved out. Look at the slow but inexorable descent of ex-colonies like Jamaica, or ex white run states like South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Algeria, into chaos.
Look even, to places where ‘model minorities’ like the Chinese have come to dominate. They are changed far beyond the mere skin color of the population. San Francisco, for example, was once a diverse, somewhat working class town where a young American couple could afford to buy and restore a Victoria townhouse. Now, the city is dominated by Chinese real estate speculators who cram three and four families into conversions of what once where single family homes. Again, another member of a ‘model minority’, and Asian Indian, was recently arrested for illegal importing child sex workers from India.
I personally believe that the European gene pool is worth preserving. But to those who don’t, where is your evidence that non Whites, non Europeans will preserve anything of our culture once they have overwhelmed us demographically?Posted by: Mitchell Young on July 30, 2003 3:35 PM
“I personally believe that the European gene pool is worth preserving. But to those who don’t, where is your evidence that non Whites, non Europeans will preserve anything of our culture once they have overwhelmed us demographically?”
This is a key point that must be made over and over to the “race doesn’t matter” conservatives, and it has never been expressed as succinctly as Mr. Young has done here.Posted by: Lawrence Auster on July 30, 2003 4:10 PM
When one reads Mr. Auster’s article it seems clear he wants to be part of a majority and his politics seem devoted to that end. VonBismarck was saying he wanted to be part of a majority and his politics were devoted to that end. (Sorry it took so long to get around to articulating the thought behind my earlier reference to vonBismarck.)
Perhaps those who like to think race doesn’t matter don’t understand that an idea isn’t worthless just because one can’t explain or justify it in a series of neat logical propositions. Why do we associate with some people more than others? Nobody knows. It is instinctive. We can’t know why. Why did Robert Mitchum seem so good in everything he played? Why don’t great stage actors become film stars?
Association with those of one’s own race to the exclusion of other races feels right. It is how people have behaved for thousands of years. It isn’t any more harmful than associations based on other reasons such as sex or blood.
Even if one wants to have no particular attraction to any race, it does not follow that race doesn’t matter. One’s subjective likes doesn’t change the fact that invasion by another race will result in major problems for the ambivalent natives. Every non-white nation is racist. So encouraging oneself and other people to believe race doesn’t matter is not really a helpful practice, unless one wants to help the invaders.
Actually your devastating published 1990 work should be called a booklet rather than a pamphlet. I had earlier mischaracterized in a comments section last month as merely a pamphlet, when there’s more to it than that.
Where can I get my Howard Sutherland bobble-head doll?Posted by: Brent Anderson on July 31, 2003 7:43 PM
Well, I’ve never known what to call it. You can’t quite call it a book, and “booklet” sounds funny; what is a “booklet,” anyway? So generally for simplicity’s sake I call it a pamphlet, though it’s obviously more than that.
But the more I think about it, I guess “booklet” is best.Posted by: Lawrence Auster on July 31, 2003 7:52 PM
It is disquieting not to hear formidable arguments opposing Mr. Auster’s article. Are Mr. Auster’s propositions impenetrable with argument? Or are liberals not visiting the site? I hope the answer to the first question is yes.Posted by: P Murgos on July 31, 2003 11:14 PM
“Well, I’ve never known what to call it.”
We could just call it a “masterpiece” and leave it at that. ;-) I’ve just turned the last page on my first reading, and it is like reading a stick of dynamite. A shattering work, THE manifesto for those of us who are concerned about preserving the culture and civilization we so love.
I think that Jared Taylor’s “Paved With Good Intentions” is also a must-read, and that it compliments Mr. Auster’s earlier work to great effect.
Mr. Taylor deals with what he correctly calls “the quintessential racial divide in this country,” that of black and white. It deals with this divide in a devastating manner, presenting a painful and sobering exposition of how damaging the mix of these two races has been and is becoming, (or more specifically, the manner in which we have handled that mix.) In a way it only confirms the gut feeling many of us have that things just aren’t right in race relations, but with real substance to back it up.
The value of “Paved” in relation to Mr. Auster’s book(let) is that it provides irrefutable evidence in one very significant particular with which we are all familiar, and thereby provides a concrete example to bolster the larger picture that Mr. Auster brilliantly expounds.
It is the larger questions that Mr. Auster takes on — the meaning of our national, cultural identity, our sense of shared history, our future direction as a people, and how this ultimately must affect the form and role of our government and national institutions, and our way of life.
“The Path To National Suicide” should be required reading in every political science and sociology class, alongside such works as Bastiat, Machiavelli… If more Americans are not exposed to this road sign — and soon — the unfortunate and disastrous alternative might be something like “The Turner Diaries” if not even worse.Posted by: Joel on August 1, 2003 1:35 AM
Thanks very much to Joel. I’m moved by such praise.
Joel speaks of a complementarity between Jared Taylor’s book and mine. But they are complementary in another sense. After all, The Path to National Suicide is Paved with Good Intentions. :-)Posted by: Lawrence Auster on August 1, 2003 1:53 AM
This country belongs to native Americans. Your European people ie barbaric devils, just stole it from them and bullied them out of their land, just as they stole free labor from African Americans etc. All people have just as much entitlement to America as European Americans because technically only the Indians are the true natives. Minority groups should be treated special and given priveleges as the “European Americans” have for years stolen from everyone and misused people to get where they are today. What kind of Barbarians are the European American? I would be ashamed to part my lips in defense of this inhumane group even if I were one myself. Wrong is just wrong no matter who does it.Posted by: Lisa Pams on October 27, 2004 5:04 PM