Clarifying the First Law

John Savage at Brave New World Watch has put together a collection of my various formulations of Auster’s First Law of Majority-Minority Relations in Liberal Society. Then he asks a good question: given my many different formulations of the law, is it one law, or several laws? Since it will be a useful reference tool, here is his initial entry in its entirety, followed by my reply to Mr. Savage’s question:

List of Instances of Auster’s Laws of Majority-Minority Relations in Liberal Society

Since I love having Lawrence Auster’s great discovery at hand—his Laws (or is there just one stated many different ways?) of Majority-Minority Relations in Liberal Society—I’m gathering together all the instances here, so I can just cite this post whenever I want to appeal to these laws. I’m still not positive which is the original statement of the law—this appears to be the oldest post on the topic at VFR, but it gives the impression that the idea was not new even at that time. So I’d appreciate Mr. Auster referring me to the original source in which he first laid out the concept, whether that source is online or not.

  • “The worse any designated minority or alien group behaves in a liberal society, the bigger become the lies of Political Correctness in covering up for that group.” (source) A “restate[ment]” of the First Law.

  • “The more egregiously any non-Western or non-white group behaves, the more evil whites are made to appear for noticing and drawing rational conclusions about that group’s bad behavior.” (source) Stated as the “First Corollary” to the First Law.

  • “Once the equality of all human groups is accepted as a given, any facts that make a minority or foreign group seem worse than the majority native group must be either covered up or blamed on the majority.” (source) This may be the original statement of the First Law.

  • “The more illegitimate and dangerous you are, the easier it is for you [to immigrate to the West], and the more legitimate and productive you are, the harder it is for you.” (source) A “variation” on the First Law.

  • “When a society, acting with the purpose of eliminating all historic forms of exclusion and discrimination, including, ultimately, its own historic and ethnocultural identity as a society, admits large numbers of people into it who do not fit into it, either because of lower abilities or incompatible cultural/religious adhesions, the fact that they do not fit, when it is finally recognized, can only be blamed on the society itself. To blame the lack of fit on the newcomers would be to revive the very discrimination that their admission was meant to overcome. As long as the host society accepts the principle of non-discriminatory inclusion as the very basis of its own moral legitimacy, it must keep admitting more and more unassimilables, whose lack of ability to function in or identify with the society becomes more and more troublesome, a problem that, in accord with Auster’s First Law of Majority-Minority Relations in Liberal Society, must be blamed more and more on the racism of the society. Thus the more the society undoes itself in the name of indiscriminately including and favoring unassimilably diverse peoples, the more racist and guilty it becomes in its own eyes, leading to more and more minority preferences, speech codes, anti-hate laws, official lies, and the multicultural dismantling of the majority culture.” (source) An excellent example of applying the First Law.

  • “The WORSE a designated minority group behaves, the MORE we must blame ourselves for it.” (source) Perhaps the most succinct statement of the First Law.

  • “The more racial problems are created by liberal race policies, the more racist whites are.” (source)

  • “Given the inverted standards introduced into race relations by the belief in equality, the less deserving a nonwhite actually is, the more deserving he thinks he is.” (source) Another “variation” on the First Law.

  • Here’s the First Law expressed well in its three main variations:
    “1. The worse a designated minority or non-Western group behave, the more they are praised and their sins covered up.
    2. The worse a designated minority or non-Western group behave, the more racist it becomes to speak the truth about their behavior.
    3. The worse a designated minority or non-Western group behave, the more their behavior must be blamed on white racism.” (source)
    4. [Added January 23, 2009: I like this new statement of it, made in relation to the media’s sanitizing of a rash of beheadings by nonwhites in Canada, England, and the U.S..] The worse the behavior of minorities and non-Westerners, the more the behavior must be covered up or excused, and the more racist a white is for noticing it and thinking about it.

And here is the reply I posted to Mr. Savage’s question, is the First Law one law or many laws?

Thanks very much for accumulating these quotes. This is helpful. I’ve sometimes wondered myself whether there were several versions of “Auster’s First Law of MMRILS,” or just one Law with many variations. As I look over your collection, it’s clear to me that there is but one Law, and it’s simply this:

The more troublesome, unassimilable, or dangerous a designated minority or non-Western group actually is, the more favorably it is treated. This undeserved favorable treatment of a troublesome or misbehaving group can take numerous forms, including celebrating the group, giving the group greater rights and privileges, covering up the group’s crimes and dysfunctions, attacking the group’s critics as racists, and blaming the group’s bad behavior on white racism.

- end of initial entry -

(Note January 7, 2008: It was in the same entry at Brave New World Watch that the anti-Semite commenter “Tanstaafl,” whom I had not encountered before, asked the question, doesn’t the First Law apply to Jews? It was a legitimate point I had never thought of before, so I answered it while also noting Tanstaafl’s obvious anti-Semitism. I also posted the answer at VFR. Unfortunately, the appearance on the scene of Tanstaafl, who launched an attack on me at his own website which I replied to here, triggered a surprising turn to anti-Semitism by Mr. Savage, combined with a suddenly hostile and suspicious attitude by him toward me, all of which is discussed here.)

* * *

Adam C. writes:

The post on VFR referencing John Savage’s search for the canonical stating of the Auster’s First Law of Majority-Minority Relations in Liberal Society had me think of a new corollary to the law. And that is: The more maliciously, irresponsibly, and/or violently a minority or non-Western group behaves, the more the behavior is blamed specifically on the more conservative and traditional elements of white Western society (the military, private companies, Christians, American Republicans and European rightists, patriots and nationalists, racialists—or, anyone who doesn’t bend over backwards to the minorities, really.).


  • Black crime is caused by social injustice and lack of inclusiveness—which, of course, come from the wealthy and from social conservatives

  • Muslim anger and rioting in Europe is a justified reaction to the existence of Le Pen, Vlams Bloc, BNP, etc. and a lack of full “inclusion” and “understanding”

  • All the problems of Africa are the fault of the old patriotic nationalistic European imperialists

  • The criminal misbehavior by blacks in New Orleans in the wake of the hurricane was the fault of something or other that Bush and his administration did or didn’t do, but somehow should have.

  • Madrid and London subway bombings were the fault American and allied military involvement in Iraq

  • The 9/11 attacks were the fallout of the hard line and military aspects of our foreign policy

  • (The most egregious, anti-factual example of all) Bush and Cheney somehow did 9/11 themselves

Thus NGOs, Democrats and greens, socialists, “progressives,” etc. do not usually blame themselves for minority misdeeds. It is more the traditional, self-respecting, backbone-having aspects of white society that they point the finger at.

LA replies:

Yes, Adam is making a useful distinction. The same distinction comes up in discussions of “white guilt.” It is often said that white guilt isn’t a correct term, since the left doesn’t think that it is guilty, it thinks that other people are guilty. This is true. The more moderate whites feel that they themselves, or society as a whole, are guilty, while the more leftist whites stand apart from other whites and from society as a whole, viewing themselves as morally superior. The distinction is a valid one. However, the issue still comes down to white guilt, since, whether whites consider themselves guilty or consider other whites guilty, white guilt is still what it’s all about.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 14, 2007 01:08 PM | Send

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