Is liberalism a white thing?

Ed writes:

Sam Raymond and the Realist, in the “America Awakes” article, write:

“A combination of genetic traits (which leads whites towards greater abstract and universalist thinking) coupled with the prevailing anti-white leftist cultural dynamic encourages whites to remain racially unconscious.”

Needless to say, this is a very startling and extraordinary statement. I think that this is the first time that I have ever seen a biological basis for liberalism posited by anyone. I’m rather surprised that only one out of 40 or so comments following the article jumps on this at all.

Do you have any position on this statement?

LA writes to Indian living in the West:

What do you think of the question sent by Ed? It is a fairly common view on the right—I’ve probably said it a million times—that whites are more disposed to liberalism than non-whites, though I don’t think I’ve ever put this in genetic terms. I’ve even said that liberalism only targets white Western society, that after liberalism has destroyed Western culture, liberalism itself will come to an end, because liberalism is basically a white Western phenomenon and its main purpose is to destroy the white West.

Yet in the past you have pointed out that the Indian establishment is as insanely liberal as are Western liberals. So maybe my belief is wrong. Maybe liberalism is not primarily or solely a white Western thing. Which would also mean that after liberalism has destroyed the white West, it will go on to destroy non-Western cultures as well.

However, maybe the explanation for India’s liberalism is the common “Aryan” heritage of Indians and Europeans. :-)

ILW replies to LA:

The argument is fundamentally wrong—liberalism produces the same effect among people wherever it takes root. And Indian liberalism is very similar to Western liberalism.

Will we see an exact replica of Scandinavian liberalism among the Indians? Probably not—history and condition make for uniqueness. But then Scandinavian liberalism has no exact replica even in the USA or Italy, for example.

Human societies have a propensity to self-destruct. All human societies have this trait.

LA replies:

Well, that’s very interesting. If you’re right, then, even though different races/peoples may have very different and incompatible cultures, they all share one thing in common that transcends racial differences: the propensity to buy into the suicidal liberalism which destroys all cultures!

Which, by the way, means that the liberals are right after all: all races and peoples CAN assimilate into the West, meaning the modern West which IS suicidal liberalism.

ILW replies:

This belief in genetics distorts the mind and corrupts men. It is probably the single most destructive belief in the modern world.

When Montesquieu or Tocqeville looked at peoples, they looked at their condition—those of civilization or barbarism (not their DNA structures). Can a barbarous people (such as those of Iraq) be turned into liberals?

And in any case, if liberalism is genetic, why weren’t the Scandinavians liberals in the 15th century—instead of fighting bloody wars? How did the Germans elect the Nazis to power and then become suicidal liberals? The Nazis were probably the most anti-liberal regime in modern history.

Once men have formed a belief that genetics is determiniative, their minds have reached a dead end.

And in any case, who is “white”? Are the Sicilians “white”? I’ve been in Italy and half the population of Rome is darker than me—although I do not consider myself white.

It’s a collection of very bad ideas.

LA replies:

To say that Swedes don’t have certain genetic attributes that may predispose them toward liberalism because 500 years ago the Swedes were a violent people is fundamentally to misstate the issue. If one child is born with the genetic capacity to be a doctor and another child isn’t, at the age of three the first child is not yet going to be demonstrating his potentiality to be a doctor. Nevertheless he has a potentiality that the other child lacks.

You remind me of someone who said to me once, if whites have a particular capacity for civilization, why did the ancient Greek civilization collapse? This is mistating a potentiality as an absolute determining factor. I don’t know of any intelligent racialist who takes such a view of race. Or rather, someone who took such a view would not be intelligent.

ILW replies:

But the Germans went from one extreme to another in less than a generation. So the whole German nation grew up faster than a child? I don’t think so.

Suicidal liberalism is only another manifestation of liberalism. We often praise the 19th century Americans and Brits. But they were liberals too. And the current liberal mess emerged from their principles.

Ben W. writes:

“which leads whites towards greater abstract and universalist thinking”—Sam Raymond

In reading the Wiki article about the color white, one sees elements of liberalism in it (my notes in all caps beside the Wiki statement):

White is the combination of all the colors of the visible light spectrum. UNIVERSALISM.

White is also the color of objects that reflect light of all parts of the visible spectrum equally. EQUALITY.

As a shade, white has the highest possible brightness, 100 percent, and has no hue. NO SELF COLOR.

The impression of white light can be created by mixing appropriate intensities of the primary colors of light—red, green and blue. WHITE IS MIXTURE.

Until Newton’s work became accepted, most scientists believed that white was the fundamental color of light; and that other colors were formed only by adding something to light. Newton demonstrated this was not true by passing white light through a prism, then through another prism. WHITE IS NOT PRIMARY OR PRIMITIVE OR ORIGINATING.

Ben W. writes:

“Yet in the past you have pointed out that the Indian establishment is as insanely liberal as are Western liberals. So maybe my belief is wrong. Maybe liberalism is not primarily or solely a white Western thing.”

You aren’t wrong Lawrence. The Indian establishment has become liberal as a result of Western education (the British school system), the importation of Western technology and adaptation to Western economics. India is being whitened …

Tim W. writes:

Perhaps white societies, because they have been so successful, have the luxury of entertaining a self-indulgent ideology such as liberalism. When a crisis erupts, liberalism recedes, at least until the crisis is over. When 9/11 occurred, feminist women were more than happy to be shielded by men. It was men on United 93 who organized and brought the plane down before it reached Washington. Political Correctness itself pulled back for a short while. But once things were safe again, and there appeared to be no more imminent attacks, feminists went back to their usual behavior, and PC rose up again. Remember the demand that a statue depicting 9/11 rescuers be racially balanced?

There are many things in life that are good in moderation, but bad in excess. Eating, drinking alcoholic beverages, work, or exercise are all fine, but in excess they can be catastrophic. How catastrophic depends on how strong and healthy a particular individual is. A powerful, healthy man can perhaps overwork on occasion and it won’t hurt him, but a weak or elderly person attempting the same thing might end up dead or hospitalized. A rich man can squander a thousand bucks playing slot machines and it’s no big deal, but a poor person could be bankrupted doing this.

Societies are no different. A healthy, wealthy society can overindulge and get away with it to a degree that a weak, poor society cannot.

Liberalism takes good, even necessary, values and exaggerates them to the point that they’re harmful. If charity is good, then liberals assume equal distribution of wealth must be better. If peace is good, then peace at all costs must be better. If equal opportunity is good, then equal results must be better If sex is good, then more sex with more partners in more variations must be better. If treating women like ladies (chivalry) is good, then treating them like men (feminism) must be better. If some immigration is good, then open borders must be better.

In societal terms, liberals are like someone who says a glass of wine with dinner is good, so drinking five bottles a day must be better. A healthy person can drink a lot and, while it would never be good, he might be able to get away with it longer than someone who is weak and sickly to begin with. Healthy societies can weather liberalism in the same way. The Swedish welfare state isn’t good, but as long as Sweden was populated only by Swedes it didn’t destroy the country. But as Sweden fills up with Somalis and others, that might change. Compare Vermont (a nearly all white liberal state) to California (a liberal state where whites are now a minority) and ask yourself where you would rather live.

Because whites have created a civilization wealthier and freer than any ever seen before, we are tempted to overindulge in ways that other societies dare not. We can even get away with it for a while. But as we become more multicultural, due to liberal tolerance and diversity, our nations may lose the ability to withstand liberalism far more quickly.

R. Davis writes:

Fascinating topic that touches on an aspect of liberalism that is never discussed: Who decides liberalism’s course? Take your example of the two children, one more intelligent than the other. The more intelligent child will have a better understanding of life, compassion, etc. and may be more disposed toward classical liberalism, thus tending to be generous, inclusive and tolerant. The other child will take advantage of that liberalism for his own sake alone—he can’t help himself—in effect misunderstanding and destroying liberalism in the process.

Isn’t that where we are today? Classical liberalism, a product of intelligence and knowledge, is now controlled de facto by those without the intelligence or capability fully to grasp its essence. This “late-stage” liberalism has turned against intelligence itself.

Charles G. writes:

ILA writes: “When Montesquieu or Toqueville looked at peoples, they looked at their condition—those of civilization or barbarism (not their DNA structures).”

But if Montesquieu or Toqueville had known about DNA and Charles Darwin, I believe they would have wasted no time in looking at their “condition.” Once you become aware of the genetic predisposition of humans, it’s rather unscientific NOT to look. That doesn’t dissuade Marxists (or liberals), of course. But the rest of us should know better by now.

Josh writes:

Liberalism does have a biological basis but it is not racial, rather, it is sexual. Wherever the political manifestation of the homosexual nature arises, you will find liberalism. Liberalism is the homosexual’s attempt to gain stature along heterosexuality and in some cases its attempt to destroy it and seek superiority.

Bruce B. writes:

Just a quick thought on this entry.

I don’t like the (modern) idea of genes as being ultimate cause in everything but I think it’s ok to discuss proclivities or predispositions.

It’s been a while, but I’ve read a few articles that presented the idea of a northern European, genetic basis for liberalism. If memory serves, they focused on a genetic predisposition towards individualism rather than focusing on the universalist or abstract thinking aspects of liberalism. I’m sure they were highly speculative, but I suppose it’s possible. One trait of liberalism is the unhealthy lack of any collectivist understandings or loyalties, right?

I don’t know if there’s any demonstrated, scientific basis for this. Also, I wonder if a long-term and balanced view of northern European history would support this type of idea? Maybe some of your more learned readers would have some ideas.

LA replies:

Well, ILW, to my surprise, seems to be denying any culturally significant inherent differences among the various races.

Alan Levine writes:

I thought ILW’s comments were not unreasonable. You are confusing culture with race or genetic background.

By the way, I cannot refrain from pointing out that both ILW’s and your definitions of “white” are to some extent arbitrary. Until the late eighteenth century, Indians, other than the very dark people of the Deccan, were considered white; it was only well after the British conquered Bengal that things changed. As for a scientific approach, both we and the Indians were and are Caucasoids. The only difference is that they have more pigment in skin, hair and eyes. There are, of course, enormous if perhaps decreasing cultural differences between Westerners and Indians, but even those have been diminished by modernization, British influence and—yes—liberalism, both the old and the suicidal sort.

LA replies:

As a matter of common and perhaps even scientific usage, Caucasian or Caucasoid does not necessarily mean the same as white. White is often used to mean European Caucasoids, not non-European Caucasoids such as Arabs. Is that a shocking thing to say? But how many people call Arabs white?

By the same token, Persians or Indians who are descended from Indo-Europeans are Caucasoid, but to my knowledge are not necessarily referred to as “white,” even by themselves.

Perhaps for a population to be considered “white,” it needs to include a certain mixture of blond or red hair, light eyes, rosy skin, and so forth, common characteristics of the Caucasian people of Europe, but far less of other Causasoid peoples.

An alternative expression used by some writers, including H.G. Wells, to distinguish these darker Caucasoids is “dark white.” That would include Sicilians, many Jews, and so forth. However, I forget off-hand if Wells used “dark white” to speak of Arabs, Persians, etc.

By the way, I think Wells used the term “dark whites” to refer to the neolithic inhabitants of Europe and the British Isles. They were more akin to the “Mediterranean” type.

Ben W. writes:

The discussion whether liberalism is a phenomenon of the white race leads me to some other considerations.

Does liberalism have a Christ complex? For example, liberalism can become the suicide of the white race within a nation. However I think that liberals would view this “suicide” as a death of the old nature. Paul said that the death of Christ in and through us is the death of the old carnal nature—the death of the old man. Liberals have their versions of the old man and the new.

Christ’s death is viewed as a sacrifice. Is liberalism not a “sacrificial” system in that the old nature (us) gives way to the new man (integrated cultures and races)? Liberals are willing to sacrice our past historical and cultural identity for a new fusion of humanity. New generations for old.

Christ’s sacrifice is deemed to be universal—applicable at all times to all men. Liberalism eschews the local and the particular for the universal. In Christ says Paul there is no male, no female, no Gentile, no Barbarian. Liberalism as well abandons fixed roles.

Isn’t the tax a liberal version of sacrificial giving—one sacrifices one’s resources on behalf of the collectivity? Paul asks his followers to yield their resources and members “sacrificially” as instruments to be used on behalf of the entire body.

Two aspect of Christ’s objective were restoration and resurrection. We are restored to dominion (mastery of our spirits) from slavery (to sin)—a psychological and spiritual resurrection to be eventually followed by a physical resurrection. Liberals seeks this type of restoration through affirmative action as a means of restitution to previous generations.

What is the counterpart of the Father and the Son in liberalism? The state and the citizen. The liberal state’s laws and codes have become as extensive, absolute, complex and comprehensive as those in Deuteronomy and Leviticus. Liberalism’s critique of theocracy as totalitarian is ironically a reflection of what it has become itself (see the new all-seeing instruments for monitoring behaviour in England on the streets). Liberalism has become itself a jealous god.

If one looks at the Wiki notes for the color white, all these elements come into play as different components of this color.

What we view as suicide, liberals may view as sacrifice.

LA replies:

It is a truism that liberalism is Christianity without God and Christ.

Bruce B. writes:

Charles G’s statement, “But if Montesquieu or Toqueville had known about DNA and Charles Darwin, I believe they would have wasted no time in looking at their condition,” sounds like biological reductionism. They would still look at their (perhaps civilizationally inherited) condition because it makes all the difference in the world.

I suspect this is what ILW is saying. I’d guess that by “this belief in genetics distorts…” he probably meant genetic reductionism. I doubt he denies inherited differences. Ask him if there’s inherited differences between the various peoples of India.

Nik S. writes:

I think that both genes and history play significant roles in making liberalism a “white” phenomenon. Here’s one possible factor that strikes me:

White people have more diversity in their appearance (or so it appears, at least superficially). This sounds a bit racist, but a few years ago I realized that “white” people are the only people in the world who have noticeable variety in the color of their hair and eyes. Go to China and you will see a billion people with black hair….the same with India and South America (European genetic influences there notwithstanding). In fact, prior to 1500, Europe and parts of Eurasia were the only places where you could find anyone with anything but hair and eyes that were dark. Thus, while hair and eye color are only “skin deep,” the diversity in this appearance may also have a subtle influence on the liberalizing of white people.

Let me share a personal experience. When I was young boy, I was a “tow-head.” This put me in the minority even among white people in terms of hair color, but I was not struck by how “different” some people perceived me until my family took me to Mexico. You see, living amongst white people in Santa Barbara, many of these “white” people I lived near had black hair and dark eyes. So I certainly was not unaccustomed to being around dark-haired people. In fact, I was used to it. However, how many people in Mexico see snow-haired little boys on a daily basis? Probably not very many. So for me as a boy in Santa Barbara, I saw all different colors of hair on a daily basis; your average boy in Mexico likely only associates with other black-haired boys. Perhaps white people become more accustomed (ahem, “tolerant”) to diversity because they encounter diversity much more often. As well, perhaps white people are more tolerant of diversity because there is more diversity in the white gene pool.

Alan Roebuck writes:

Regarding “Is liberalism a white thing?” I observe that liberals (white liberals, at any rate, the ones I am most familiar with) tend to be what can only be called “squeamish” about the more profound aspects of life: God, death, war, sex, and so on. Leftists, that is, consistent and committed liberals, are not like this. They deal with these things in a more forthright way, according to their doctrine: God is an invention of human beings, sex is good as long as it involves consenting adults, etc. But not white liberals. They find these things embarrassing and uncomfortable.

I’m not referring to the tendency of whites to be “emotionally repressed.” I’m referring to more of a philosophical repression: liberals are aware that God, death and so on are important and that their worldview cannot fully account for them, so they tend to shy away from acknowledging their true natures or thinking clearly about them. I observe that this attitude is much more prevalent among whites.

And a person with this attitude is likely to become a liberal. Much of liberalism (as opposed to leftism) is an attempt to eliminate, as it were, the troubling aspects of life: let’s restrict religion to the realm of private feeling rather than allow it to be a contender in the war of ideas where it may lead to strife; let’s teach our children to have “healthy attitudes” toward sex; let’s hope for science and technology to postpone our death for as long as possible; let’s get international organizations and peace conferences to prevent war, and so on.

What begins as a feeling of revulsion at certain parts of reality becomes a campaign to remake life itself into something tame.

Observe that liberals, as opposed to leftists, speak of liberalism as though it were just trying to make the world more pleasant and rational. They cannot conceive of the “dark side” of their liberalism because the whole point for them is to eliminate the dark side.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 02, 2007 11:28 AM | Send

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