Another Randian smokes me out
Note: This post goes well beyond a response to the racism charge. It has to do with the nature of America, the impact of mass nonwhite immigration on America, the question whether a non-tribal common culture is possible in a multiracial society, the issue of secession vs. restoration, and more.
The Randian blogger Rational Passion has found the text (posted at VFR earlier today) that definitively proves me to be a racist—and not just a racist in the sense that the left calls anyone who opposes affirmative action a racist, but the real, hardcore kind. Here’s the passage that damns me:
Yes, this country was formed by whites—specifically Anglo-Saxon Protestant men. And they formed, over generations, an impersonal, non-tribal justice system under which people of all backgrounds would be treated equally under the law. But the fact that the law is procedurally neutral and race-blind, doesn’t mean that the conditions that allow for such a system to exist are race blind. Change America into a brown and black country, and that new population will not only not have much regard for that impersonal, non-tribal system of justice, because they themselves are tribal, but they will seek to overthrow that system of justice, along with all other historical aspects of America, because they were made by whites whom the nonwhites are now replacing. From which it follows that to maintain its universalist and impersonal system of justice, America must remain a particularist, predominantly white country.Rational Passion thinks I’m a racist, because I’m saying that to the extent that nonwhites gain power in America, they will change it into a different country. He thinks I’m a racist because I’m saying that race—especially in the context of the total racial transformation of a country and the replacement of one race by another—matters. Apparently Rational Passion hasn’t noticed the repeated statements by nonwhites, several of which have been recently quoted here, including an already infamous remark by Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, that their desire is indeed to overthrow the culture, standards, and institutions that whites created in this country.
It’s so funny that the Randians call themselves tough-minded realists, fearless John Galt types who never evade reality in any manner whatsoever, given that they systematically ignore and suppress all facts that don’t fit their “realist” ideology. What these rational supermen are in fact is liberal wusses who faint away at any mention of racial reality.
In addition to my racism, Rational Passion also thinks I’m being wildly incoherent when I say that the only way to have an impersonal, universalist system of justice is to preserve our country’s historic white majority. But that statement is obviously true, and the blogger’s belief that it is incoherent only shows the limits of his lockstep, maidenly little mind. A white majority country like America will treat its nonwhite citizens according to a fair and race-blind system of justice (of course I’m not speaking of the Jim Crow system in the South, which was a special exception). But if the nonwhites become the majority or otherwise gain effective political and cultural power in alliance with white liberals, the race-blind system of justice will inevitably morph into a tribal, anti-white system of justice. Which returns us to my paradoxical yet true statement (absurd to the narrow rationalist) that the only way to maintain a society based on an impersonal, race-blind rule of law is to maintain the society as a white majority society. The way this works is that the decision as to who is allowed to join the society must be race conscious. But people of whatever race, once they are part of the society, are to be treated under a race blind law. But this delicate balance—which I admit may be unsustainable in the long term even in the best of circumstances—only has a chance of being maintained so long as the majority maintains its demographic, cultural, and political dominance. If nonwhites become dominant, they will assert their anti-white tribalism, and the whites will be forced to start behaving in a tribal manner themselves, out of sheer self-preservation.
It’s too bad the race-blind liberals and Randians don’t appreciate what I am trying to do, because, far from being the hard-core racist they think I am, I am actually a moderate. I am trying to articulate, not a perfect society, but a reasonable modus vivendi in which a non-tribalistic white majority society has some minorities (as America historically had) but not too many. If there are too many minorities, the non-tribal ideal will go down the tubes. The Randians, who think that I’m the ultimate racist, might also want to compare my position to that of the Darwinian anti-Semites, who believe that race absolutely determines everything about us, and who, by the way, because of my Jewish ethnic background, consider me a “jew” fifth columnist driven by the Jewish genetic programming to destroy the white race from within.
Indeed, even some VFR readers, who are not anti-Semites, think my position on race is too liberal. Why, they wonder, do I keep resisting the only real recourse, secessionism aimed at the creation of breakaway, all-white societies? The answer is that I have not yet given up on America. I still hold to Samuel Francis’s hope for a restoration of white cultural and political dominance in this country. How can we give up on something that we’ve never even tried to fight for? Which is not to say that the two approaches are completely mutually exclusive. To build up their strength and assert themselves more effectively even in today’s America, conservative whites will have to withdraw to a certain extent, forming communities that will be able to resist the surrounding anti-white ideology. And that means developing a group agenda and group cohesiveness. It is a remarkable fact, discussed by a reader today, that the entire left consists of tribes: blacks are a tribe, Hispanics (notwithstanding their diversity) are a tribe, Muslims are a tribe, white liberals are a tribe, homosexuals are a tribe. There is only one major ethno-political group in America that is not a tribe, or at least that does not act as a tribe: white conservatives. So, whether white conservatives are to resist the leftist and nonwhite tribes and seek to reconquer America, or withdraw from the leftist and nonwhite tribes and seek to secede from America, either way they must become a tribe—or, perhaps a set of tribes, just as the left is a set of tribes. If the attempt to restore America finally fails, the group identity and efficacy gained in that effort could then be redirected toward secession. However, it remains my conviction that even if the effort to restore our country ultimately falls short, any good for conservative whites will come not from giving up on America, but from striving, to the extent possible, to win her back.
On a final note, my statement today that the blogger found so offensive is nothing new. I expressed the same idea about the need for a balance of the universal and the particular in the preface to my 1990 booklet, The Path to National Suicide:
Some readers may object to this essay because it seems to emphasize a particularist point of view of the American nation. Such a particularist view is seen as violating our universalist political character; worse, it is suspected of boiling down to a cultural or racial particularism. The paradox is that American particularism is thought to be grounded not in an ethnic/cultural identity but in a universalist conception—the natural rights of man, individual freedom and so on. In recent years these core beliefs of liberalism have taken the form of a championing of “diversity,” by which is meant an official recognition and deliberate heightening of racial and culture distinctions. But such diversity means the demise of liberalism, which is based on individual rights, not group rights. In other words, too much racial and cultural heterogeneity, brought on by immigration and multiculturalist policies, leads inevitably to an emphasis on group identities which undermines not only our historic cultural heritage (for which many people today seem to feel little affection in any case) but the political order based on individual rights. It follows, paradoxically, that a universalist, liberal order based on the rights of man qua man can only survive if Americans remain effectively one people, i.e., culturally “particularist.”
Dimitri K. writes:
People get insulted when you show them that they are not as good as they used to think. That Randian “realist” understood the weakness of his position, so he attacked you to defend himself.LA replies:
It has to do with the fact that America is not a tribal country, never has been. Even two hundred years ago, when it was 90 percent British Protestant, it wasn’t tribal. None of the founders—none of the leading figures in American history—saw America as a tribal country or conceived of their Americanness as a tribal identity. How did Americans conceive of themselves? As a people. “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people…” “We the people of the United States…” A people is distinct and particular, but is larger than a mere tribe. A tribe stands for nothing greater than itself. Read Washington’s Farewell Address. His vision of national unity is not tribal, it is that of people of different regions and states sharing a common love and devotion to America. When some paleoconservatives today talk of their primary identity as being tribal, they have placed themselves outside the historic America and have dissolved America in their minds.Dimitri replies:
Are we in the midst of a tribal war?LA replies:
Can’t we defend America and ourselves without calling ourselves tribal?Dimitri replies:
Well, you know, that was rather a cynical observation of mine. As you said, nothing is pre-defined. If we really want something, we should try to implement or defend it. So we definitely can try to defend America, which you are doing currently. And that might be also the best way to defend ourselves. I wish you good luck.Jeff W. writes:
Today’s left is not only an alliance of nonwhite tribes, white liberals, and groups of disaffected people: it is also a pack of thieves. Leftists have always been thieves. Expropriating other people’s property is what they are all about. Today’s leftists are in the business of both stoking up tribal animosity and the desire to steal.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 28, 2009 12:57 AM | Send