Discussion on white nationalism at The Thinking Housewife

(Note: the discussion at Thinking Housewife has continued through the day. I’ve updated this entry to keep it at the top of the page.)

Several days ago, in the entry on the UCLA co-ed who received death threats for a YouTube criticizing Asian students, a commenter indirectly implied that I am a white nationalist. I explained why I am not a white nationalist, namely that white nationalism is a racial/material reductive ideology which treats human beings as automata controlled by their race. Laura Wood posted the comment at her site, which triggered some critical comments from white nationalists. I then sent a longer comment laying out more fully my position on white nationalism, and the white nationalists wrote again.

Be sure to see Laura’s reply to commenter Rex, who, in the timeless, hilariously self-innocent manner of anti-Semites, simultaneously endorses the call for a “Jew-free” (in German, Judenrein) America and insists that he’s not anti-Semitic.

I’ve sent to TTH a further reply to the white nationalists. Here is the last part of it:

Third, and most important, Cesar’s remark that my supposed “blindness about the Jewish Problem” is “due to ethnocentric self-deception” typifies the material reductionist / racial deterministic thinking of the white nationalists which reduces humanity to race-driven automata. It doesn’t occur to Cesar or to any white nationalist to say simply that Auster has a different view of the problem from them. No, my different view must be a function of genetic ethnocentric programming. But then Cesar’s thinking and that of all white nationalists is also a function of genetic ethnocentric programming. So why should we listen to them, or to anyone? There is no human reason, there is no point in talking, and humanity is reduced to a bunch of tribes mechanically killing each other. This is the white nationalist vision.

- end of initial entry -

John McNeil writes:

I agree with your criticism of white nationalism as being too biologically reductive. But what about the term American white nationalist? Do you see that as equally materialistic/reductive, or do you think that term takes into account cultural and national attributes that generic white nationalism ignores?

If not, do you think any nationalist label is appropriate?

LA replies:

Given that “white nationalist” has the meaning it has, what is the point of trying to construct a slight variation on it which leaves the term “white nationalist” intact?

Please remember: I didn’t start out with any animus toward white nationalism. I saw it merely as a generic term for people who defended the white race and the societies it has created. But I came to realize over time that white nationalism has more particular meanings, bad meanings, and so I dissociated myself from it. I don’t think the term is salvageable.

Again, white nationalism has the meanings it has, not because I’ve attributed those meanings to it, but because the people who call themselves white nationalists have given it those meanings.

You ask if any “nationalist” label is appropriate. But I wasn’t speaking of nationalism. I was speaking of the specific term “white nationalism.”

Rick Darby writes:

Yes, the expression “white nationalism” ought to be shunned by everyone except those who want to live in a country consisting only of whites. Rightly or wrongly, that is the impression it gives, although there seems to be considerable confusion about whether that’s the goal of people who talk about “white nationalism.”

But what shorthand description is there for those of us who just want to put an end to anti-white discrimination and to retain a white majority in countries where whites have historically been the majority? I can’t come up with an immediately understandable, catchy term. “White rights” leaves a sour taste—we don’t want to be yet another group demanding their alleged collective rights. “White consciousness” is maybe a little closer, but it’s too close to psychobabble and the ideological implications of “consciousness raising.”

I’m stuck. Please advise.

LA replies:

There are various words and phrases I’ve used over the years to describe my own position, such as “traditionalism” plus “moral racialism,” or “in defense of white Western civilization,” or “pro white majority culture,” or simply “pro-white.” In light of your question, however, it strikes me that maybe none of them serves the purpose of being sufficiently precise and practically acceptable to a large number of people. The question is important. More thought is needed.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 18, 2011 02:30 PM | Send

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