Murray and Derbyshire turn against white America

(Many comments have been added to this entry since it was originally posted. Also the discussion has been continued in a separate entry.)

John Derbyshire asked Charles Murray for his views on immigration. Murray wrote him back a point-by-point e-mail, which Derbyshire posted at The Corner. Among Murray’s points was:

3. I am not impressed by worries about losing America’s Anglo-European identity. Some of the most American people I know are immigrants from other parts of the world. And I’d a hell of a lot rather live in a Little Vietnam or a Little Guatemala neighborhood, even if I couldn’t read the store signs, than in many white-bread communities I can think of.

Derbyshire commented:

Pure Murray—clear, succinct, data-based, no punches pulled. And not a thing I can see to disagree with [emphasis added].

Ok, Murray couldn’t care less if Anglo-European America disappears from the universe. We knew that he’s a libertarian social scientist, and as such is indifferent to cultural and ethnic realities except insofar as they can be reduced to data points. But what about Derbyshire’s agreeing with Murray? Wasn’t Derbyshire a paleoconservative on immigration, meaning someone who is attached to America’s and the West’s historic cultures and peoples? I noted a couple of months ago how he had urged that conservatives refuse to vote for the House Republicans, which, I said, would lead to the passage of Bush’s amnesty and “guest-worker” program. But now Derbyshire has gone much further, explicitly opting for a non-white America. In the past, Derbyshire had said he likes the social company of New York liberals more than that of Red State conservatives. Now he says he prefers a non-white America to white America.

Also note how race-blindness or race-neutrality never remains as such. Among Murray’s earlier points was that “English should be the only language … in which the public’s business is conducted.” But then Murray turns around and, backed by Derbyshire, says that he prefers the non-Western communities springing up in America, even when their signs are not in English. In other words, Murray’s (and Derbyshire’s) endorsement of an American cultural component that is safely race-neutral, such as the English language, instantly gives way in the face of Murray’s (and Derbyshire’s) active preference for non-whites and active dislike of whites.

By the way, Derbyshire is married to an Asian woman, and Murray’s first wife, with whom he had two daughters, is Asian. Not that marriage to a non-white is a necessary basis of race-treason, since race-treason is the prevalent belief system of the contemporary West. But it is virtually impossible for a white married to a nonwhite to maintain a sense of identity with the white race.

I know what I’ve said above will make some people uncomfortable with me. Which leads to the question, is it illegitimate, is it morally wrong, is it disgusting to speak of our attachment to the white race of which we are a part, the white race without which our entire civilization, and we ourselves, along with everything we have and everything we love, would not exist? This is the question of questions, which I’ve addressed many times, for example, here.

Let’s put the question of morality this way. Given that there is at present a vast movement which has the inevitable effect and often the explicit aim of turning every white majority country on earth into a white minority country, what would a moral response to this movement consist of? Today’s belief system, both among liberals and conservatives, is that there is no moral response to it, except either to applaud it or accept it. In other words, those who wish to eliminate the white West from history have the perfect moral right to do so, while those who oppose this project have no moral right to do so. Can anyone fairly say that such a view of morality is—moral?

* * *

Here are some other items on Derbyshire’s recent decisive rejection of conservatism.

Derbyshire says Democrats are better on immigration;

Derbyshire’s Democrat delusion;

What made Derbyshire fall for Beinart’s transparently false argument?;

“Derb” Agonistes;

Derbyshire proves Bryan was right;

The Derb supports immigration restriction—Not;

A concession of defeat?;

The “joke” and the Derb;

Crunchy Christian Cons for the Derb!

- end of initial entry -

EG writes:

“By the way, both Derbyshire and Murray are married to Asian women. Not that marriage to a non-white is a necessary basis of race-treason, since race-treason is the prevalent belief system of the contemporary West. But it is virtually impossible for a white married to a nonwhite to maintain a sense of identity with the white race.”

Thank you, Mr. Auster. Too many people are too “politically correct” (and I’m talking about people on the race-realist right here) to speak openly about the Asian-marriage fetish as being influential with respect to specimens such as Derbyshire and Murray. But, obviously, it is so.

Let’s take Derbyshire, for whom we have more data, since he has posted family pictures on his website. The man married a Chinese woman and has two mixed-race children with her. That’s where his genes are, that’s where his family is—in half-Chinese children. He wakes up in the morning married to someone from a population group separated from his own for at least 40,000 years—a person of markedly different genotype and phenotype, of a different culture, civilization, mindset, upbringing, everything. Derbyshire mocks his own anglo-saxon appearance as being “something from Deliverance”, while stating that this is counter-balanced by the (presumably superior) alien features of his wife.

Why should anyone think a man like this would have the slightest interest in promoting specifically white racial interests? His whole life has been a choice to bury his own whiteness under the orientalness of his new family.

EG continues:
He may have removed the “Deliverance” comment from these photos, I no longer seem able to find it.

He was publicly criticized for that on the “Majority Rights” blog, so I am not sure if that influenced anything.

In any case, these photos are clear evidence of a man who has decided to jettison loyalty to the West.

Gintas J. writes:

We live in a nation of rootless mercenary individuals. Maybe these guys see pockets of illiberal but ordered and cohesive immigrants, and it’s attractive to them in a visceral way.

Rick Darby writes:

Other points made by Charles Murray—that is, 1, 2, and 4 on legal immigration—are pretty sound, and you still have to credit him for being willing to acknowledge the significance of IQ, which most social scientists and pundits won’t touch with a barge pole.

Item 3, which you have quoted, is out of character with the rest of his answers and extremely muddle headed for someone who believes social issues can be argued scientifically:

“I am not impressed by worries about losing America’s Anglo-European identity.” Ambiguous. Does the think America’s Anglo-American identity is being lost, or is he just not bothered about it? Any decent editor would query him to clarify his meaning, and he is capable of writing fastidiously when he feels like it, so I’ve got to think he’s hedging.

“Some of the most American people I know are immigrants from other parts of the world.” Ambiguous again, but if he means there are some immigrants who have American values (besides getting rich), that is no doubt true, but in the context it is as irrelevant as saying that some immigrants are serial killers. The issue is not whether some individual immigrants are this or that, but the social changes we are already experiencing from a vast influx of immigrants from fundamentally different cultures than the traditional American one.

Murray, number cruncher par excellence, doesn’t even look at the number of immigrants now and the greater number to be expected in the future if El Jefe Bush gets his way. He reduces the issue to the personal and anecdotal—he might as well say, “My wife and I have a Guatemalan cook and she’s a very nice person.” Again, he is more intellectually sophisticated than that, so I’ve got to think he’s blowing smoke.

“And I’d a hell of a lot rather live in a Little Vietnam or a Little Guatemala neighborhood, even if I couldn’t read the store signs, than in many white-bread communities I can think of.” He may be sincere about the second part—and there are white-bread communities I wouldn’t choose to live in either—but I don’t for one split second believe the first. If he had to make the choice for real rather than rhetorically, no white midwestern-bred academic/scholar/writer would choose an Asian or Latino area for a permanent residence over an all-white neighborhood, even if he found some aspect of the white neighborhood unsatisfying.

Finally, who gives a snort what his personal taste in ethnicity is? If he moves to South Africa and lives with Zulus it’s fine with me, but Americans should be able—at any income level, not just if they’re super-rich—to live in the ethnic environment of their own choice, even if that’s a “white-bread” world with not enough variety for some of us. Thanks to mass immigration, many poor and even middle class Anglos have no option except to live where Hispanics or members of some other group predominate.

Murray and his ilk have no business making their personal preferences into national policy about the ethnic makeup of the country.

LA replies:

Yes to Mr. Darby’s points, but the question is, why does Murray suddenly go muddle headed? Here’s why: Race is the determining factor in the immigration issue. Given contemporary ideological and demographic realities, if you’re not for the white race, you’re ultimately going to be against it, and then all your logical arguments will yield to the anti-white imperative.

Gintas writes:

With regards to Derbyshire’s family, what’s done is done. There was a cluster of things that made for a healthy West, whiteness isn’t the sum of it. [LA interjects: Gintas must be aware that I have never that whiteness is the sum of the West and that I have repeatedly and at great length said just the opposite; so why does he throw in this straw man? Why is it so hard for people to grasp the idea that something can be an indispensable condition of something else, without being the sufficient condition?]

Derbyshire could promote these other things, all of which are important. He could promote healthy family life; he could be a rooted traditionalist, he could turn his family into good Westerners grafted in to the Western tradition.

He could promote man as something more than economic man, he could promote a Transcendant under which life is ordered. He could love his Western heritage, and the inheritance he enjoys, and be grateful. And there are many things like that.

But he’s not doing any of that, is he?

Carl Simpson writes:

I’m curious. Since both men have explicitly stated that they find both Asian (Vietnamese) and Central American (Guatemalan) neighborhoods vastly superior to white ones, why don’t they take their families and move to Vietnam or Guatemala? Both countries are surely superior to any nation with lots of white folks, no?

They’re behaving as liberals typically do when it come to such professions of racial guilt and self-hate—like laughable parasites.

They probably are at least dimly aware of what life would really be like if they actually did move to Guatemala or Vietnam. The fact that such places aren’t very livable is the fault of Whitey’s colonialism, of course! We forget that they were multicultural paradises—like the fabled land of Al-Andalus—before the white man spread his evil religion, environmental disaster, racism, sexism, homophobia, etc.

(We’ve all heard the litany a million times before.) The whitest neighborhoods in the USA are the gated communities where rich liberals who prattle on about their racial guilt live. The whitest schools are the expensive private schools attended by their kids. Why, exactly, would any rational human being of any race take their remarks on this subject seriously?

LA replies:

Well, I’m sure they would reply that it is America they prefer, not Vietnam or Guatamala, but the America they prefer is an America constantly reinvigorated by the energies of recent immigrants.

Gintas writes:

I’m sorry I made a straw man, I certainly wasn’t thinking of you as a monomaniac in that respect,your breadth of coverage on the cluster of conservative and traditionalist issues is the reason I like your site and bother to interact. Sometimes I make points to clarify thinking in my own head, because I don’t understand something until I can explain it.

My intent, badly made, was to suggest that Derbyshire, even with what he has done in his personal life—and it’s a big irreversible thing, it’s not just an idea he needs to change in his head—could still contribute, and he’s not doing anything positive at all. I gather the point of your post was to show that here is yet another way Derbyshire is betraying the West. Agreed.

I keep having on my mind … it’s messing me up. I saw comments yesterday slagging on The Inverted World already.

Shrewsbury writes:

Charles Murray writes, “And I’d a hell of a lot rather live in a Little Vietnam or a Little Guatemala neighborhood, even if I couldn’t read the store signs, than in many white-bread communities I can think of.”

What a crock. He wouldn’t last two days in a Guatemalan neighborhood before he fled to the very most bleached and enriched Wonder Bread community he could find. Let him live in Shrewsbury’s half-Mex neighborhood here in God-forsake SoCal and try to work on his ponderous tomes with the thumping of ranchero music always in the background. See how he likes the continual combat against shopping carts, trash, rats, and graffiti, to say nothing of people being casually murdered within half a block of his front door (in Shrewsbury’s case, two since he’s lived here).

Can we trade domiciles? Can I go live in his “hideously white” world, while he comes here to get down and boogie with los muchachos?

What a crock. And yet there are legions of white folks who really believe that they think this way. It’s difficult to simulate the abstract fantasy Flatland mental universe they must inhabit, but it sure doesn’t have much to with any reality I can perceive….

And these are the people who tell us how to live.


Paul W. writes:

The brother of a friend of mine is married to a Chinese girl, has two children by her and has lived in China for the last ten years. Not withstanding this, he has retained a British sense of humour, and every year applies in person for a Chinese passport. Every year the official at said passport office summons his colleagues over in order to observe this peculiar alien and every year their reply, accompanied with great mirth is: “How can you think you qualify to be Chinese when you are clearly a white man!”

Although he does this in a tongue in cheek manner, he is of course aware that within fifty years or so the people who do this to him will still survive, whilst he and the rest of his civilisation may well not.

Mark A. writes:

Great comments so far. I think this is another case of liberalism out of control. Derbyshire and Murray are, like most libertarians, liberals at heart. They don’t have a conservative belief system that balances individuals’ desires with obligations/loyalty to a group/tribe/society/religion. When a liberal wants to do something, his only concerns are concerns for himself. That is what is refreshing about VFR and many of the comments. The comments are actually concerned about the tribe! Concerned about something larger than themselves! This line of thinking is totally foreign to the liberal.

Many conservatives may be thinking, “But aren’t liberals are always crying about the poor, global government, etc. That is larger than themselves, no?” This is true, but I think this is much more an expression of their own personal emotional needs regarding those issues than clear rational thought. (Ever notice how anti-gun liberals are always wimps? Their political expression is one of their own personal weakness, rather than any concern for the society/tribe.)

Murray is so muddleheaded about the issue because he can’t even believe that someone would think like this. Murray said, “I am not impressed by worries about losing America’s Anglo-European identity.” Heck, Murray has probably never even thought about losing America’s Anglo-European identity. This makes perfect sense. The libertarian/liberal is always a narcissist who thinks of nothing more than himself. Why would it ever occur to Murray or Derbyshire to think of the white Tribe?

Alan R. writes:

Your latest post on John Derbyshire reminds me of something I’ve wanted to share with someone who’d appreciate it. There is good reason to believe that I was the trigger of Derb’s NRO piece “God & Me.” Allow me to explain.

Several months ago I wrote Derb asking him to clarify his position on Darwinism. The main thrust of my e-mail was that Darwinism requires atheism, or at least deism, since it is premised on the belief that God does not interfere with the material world, not even to create or develop life. I also pointed out that a conservative ought not be enthusiastic about Darwinism, because it is corrosive of our society, with its implication that we are purely material beings. The subject line of my e-mail was “Are You a Theistic or an Atheistic Darwinist?”

Derb wrote a brief reply in which he said that the reason he thinks creationism (undoubtedly his term for any anti-Darwinism) is “nonsense” is that it requires the sudden appearance of new species; “poof,” as he put it.

I responded by pointing out that his response to me implied, but did not openly say, that he is either an atheist or a deist. In addition to providing brief arguments against both positions, I said that he owes it to us his readers to clarify his religious beliefs.

About one week after I asked him to clarify his religious beliefs, he made his apostasy from Christianity official with “God & Me.” In response, I sent him an e-mail in which I pointed out that he is being irrational: Darwinists simply assume that God is not involved, and then he gives Darwinism as his only evidence that Christianity is not true, which is circular reasoning. [Presuppositional apologetics in action.] I also said “I appeal to the scientist in you to correct the circular reasoning,” and asked him if he had any actual evidence that Christianity is false, or that the arguments for Christianity are invalid. Finally, I pointed out that Christianity is his heritage as a member of Western Civilization, and I referred to the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Anglican Church to correct a specific misapprehension about the teachings of Christianity that his article had shown. I have not received a reply, and I don’t expect one.

One reason I asked him to clarify his religious beliefs was to mitigate his bad influence: if he openly expresses his rejection of Christianity, perhaps his erroneous beliefs will begin to look less appealing to the undecided.

Derb is a fascinating case. I feel a certain affection for him, but his fundamental worldview is clearly secular liberalism, to which he adds a few unprincipled exceptions based, presumably, on feelings rather than consciously articulated fundamental principles. He is, unfortunately, more of an opponent than an ally of proper conservatism. On the other hand, the Sovereign Lord of the universe has brought repentance to many people who were even further lost in unbelief, so let us pray that He has mercy on John Derbyshire by giving him the gift of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Van Wijk writes:

You said: “Well, I’m sure they would reply that it is America they prefer, not Vietnam or Guatamala, but the America they prefer is an America constantly reinvigorated by the energies of recent immigrants.”

They want all the fat and none of the calories. But is this not the very essence of liberalism, that there is a panacea out there somewhere, a New Man just waiting to come to the fore if only we’d drop all of our prejudices? Unfortunately, we are being invaded by peoples who are not liberals by any stretch of the imagination; their ethnic and cultural loyalties are very much intact, and once Whitey is put out of his misery they’ll be free to Balkanize utterly what was once a sovereign nation.

Asher M. writes:

Murray’s third point about legal immigration seems to be in part a consequence of his first, that immigration contributes to the dynamism of a society. And I suppose the 20’s after the 1924 immigration restriction act were not “dynamic,” nor were the early 60’s, before the 1965 immigration act? Those periods weren’t exactly known for strengthening the average American family either. Where once Murray wrote with a tone of prudence and social concern in The Bell Curve, he now seems to embrace the dynamist dogma of Virginia Postrel, of “a forward-looking and change-seeking philosophy.” Murray certainly knows that the ills he often cautions against, principally illegitimacy, would be far more frequent in a “Little Guatemala” (if white-bread isn’t code for “white trash”). He reminds me of Steve Sailer’s depictions of economist-aesthete Tyler Cowen:

“Thus, when Tyler calls for the creation of Hispanic shantytowns in the U.S. because of all the good music they will produce (as he memorably did in Slate), well, that’s pretty cool. Granted, it’s demented and sociologically nonsensical (good music comes out of black shantytowns, not Mexican ones), but, still, it’s cool in a cruel, decadent aesthete sort of way.”

His comments are of the vague and therefore vacuous species, so it’s hard to take him seriously. Does he honestly prefer a Little Guatemala to egghead-strewn Washington D.C. and Manhattan? Maybe for the novelty, as Tyler Cowen does, but once he steps through AEI’s doors, it’s clearly “Albion’s Seed,” broadly, Western Civilization, he prefers.

Derbyshire seems increasingly unfocused and sporadic; his manner is often effeminate, discussing his personal life and views, as you’ve discussed, more in the context of himself than in pursuit of knowledge or truth (whether you agree with his conclusions or not). He is getting quite sloppy in his writing, as he did briefly in The New English Review, writing that “girls are encouraged to act like boys by taking up advanced science, math, and strenuous sports, which few of them have any liking or aptitude for;” which, while not egregious, is inaccurate. Though I think your treatment of his comment that he prefers the company of liberal Manhattanites to evangelicals was disingenuous. As Derbyshire said elsewhere, he prefers whites to others, but: “I have lots of preferences and identifications that trump race for me though, in lots of circumstances. It certainly isn’t the primary way I identify myself, or even one of the top five. I would feel MUCH more at ease in a roomful of black African mathematicians, than in a roomful of white English soccer hooligans.”

Just as Jared Taylor might well prefer the company of say, pscyhometricians and social scientists, to those who merely agree with him. The appeal of the former lies in their discussion of ideas, not their agreement with Taylor.

LA replies:

How was my treatment of his statement that he prefers liberals to conservatives disingenuous?
Robert C. writes:

Murray is intellectually inconsistent with his remark about not minding the disappearance of Anglo-European culture. In his book “Human Accomplishment” he notes how almost all intellectual advances since Greece have come from Western society. He also notes that he was surprised to find that Christianity was crucially involved in this superiority. That is, European and Anglo-European culture has been critical to the intellectual advances for the past 2000 years.

Yet he doesn’t mind if that culture is destroyed? Maybe he thinks immigrants will fit right in, but does he not worry that there might be some risk and therefore, first do no harm?

LA replies

Thanks to Robert C. for reminding us of Murray’s Human Accomplishment. And the explanation for Murray’s muddle-headed self-contraction is, again, that it is forbidden for modern people to believe that race matters. So, Murray could write a vast tome showing—without drawing practical conclusions from his findings—the hugely disproportionate contribution of whites and Christians to the higher achievements of mankind. But when it comes to something of great and immediate practical consequences for our society—the question of whom shall we admit as immigrants—Murray turns around and professes total indifference to the historical white Christian nature of our country and, sounding like a typical liberal snob, snottily lets us know about his preference for those lively and vital immigrants over those boring white-bread Americans.

And to repeat my earlier observation, Derbyshire, in echoing Murray, graduates from his previous treasonous statement that he prefers the company of liberals over the company of conservatives, to saying that he prefers the company of nonwhites over the company of whites.

Where will Derbyshire wander next on his journey into liberaldom and its demotion of all values? Having echoed the reductionist atheist Darwinians at Steve Sailer’s Bio-Diversity list who say that Darwinian natural selection explains everything and that there is no God, and having echoed the libertarian Charles Murray who commented that he prefers nonwhites to whites, maybe Derbyshire will next echo the Marxist paleontologist Stephen J. Gould, who said that humans are no better than, and indeed inferior to, bacteria. Gould wrote:

Evolution is a copiously branching network, not a ladder, and I do not see how we, the titular spokesmen for a few thousand mammalian species, can claim superiority over three quarters of a million species of insects who will surely outlive us, not to mention the bacteria, who have shown remarkable staying power for more than three billion years.

Tom S. writes:

I’m not going to criticize John Derbyshire too much for marrying a Chinese woman. Given the depredations of feminism on many Western women, a lot of Anglo guys are probably tempted in that direction (I was fortunate—I found a traditional Anglo girl, but it wasn’t easy… ). More significant, I think, is the fact that Derbyshire’s wife is a liberal Democrat—and her father is a high official in the Chinese Communist Party! I wouldn’t argue that the personal is political, but a person’s politics tells us something about their personal values, and that JD can choose as the mother of his children a non-Christian liberal whose Father is a Communist official, and who seems to find nothing wrong with her father being a Communist official, indicates, I believe, what kind of a conservative he is. I’ll bet there are interesting conversations around the dinner table; “So, Honey, how’s your Father? Ordered any executions of Falun Gong members to sell their organs recently? Or just the usual beatings and torture in the Laogai? How’s that preparation for war against the U.S. going? Any new arms sales to Al Quaeda? “ For Lord’s sake…

I hope that this doesn’t sound too personal, but JD has openly discussed his wife’s affiliations and beliefs, and hence has made them fair game. If he had not, I would not be making them an issue, but a supposed “Race-Realist” patriot immigration restrictionist being married to the daughter of a Chinese Communist Party member is just too much.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 12, 2006 12:18 PM | Send

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