Realism and Fairness About Race
Derek Turner interviews Jared Taylor, author and editor of American Renaissance
Right Now, August-September 2004
Can you tell us when and why American Renaissance was founded, and the subsequent history of the magazine?
I started AR in 1990 for what many would consider radical or even dangerous purposes: to encourage whites to think of their interests in explicitly racial terms, to recognize that every other race in the United States does so instinctively, and to understand that if whites alone fail to act as a group, they jeopardize their long-term survival as a distinct people with a distinct culture and way of life.
Needless to say, this is not a message welcomed by the establishment. However, ordinary Americans increasingly understand the crisis our country faces. AR has now been publishing monthly for nearly 14 years, and our readership continues to grow. Five years ago, we began distributing an electronic version of AR over the Internet, and this has greatly increased our overseas readership.
My association with the magazine has resulted in a certain notoriety and many radio and television appearances. I believe that the logical and moral force of the AR position is increasingly winning recognition despite ingrained and intense hostility to any form of racial consciousness on the part of whites.
Can you summarise your/AR’s credo?
I would like to think that the AR credo is realism and fairness: realism in the sense that race is a central element in individual and group identity and must not be ignored; fairness in that there must be no double standards in racial or ethnic matters.
A number of policy conclusions derive from these positions. A realistic evaluation of race leads to the conclusion that race and culture are inseparable. Some individuals can fully embrace a culture established by people of a different race but most cannot. This is why race is the most volatile social fault line in any country and why the current dramas of ‘tolerance’, ‘multiculturalism’, ‘inclusion’, etc, are almost always about race.
The United States is a good example of the significance of race. Whites from many countries have largely assimilated — with some friction — to a majority Anglo-Saxon culture, but non-whites have not. Europe is now going through the same process, with one country after another discovering that when non-whites arrive in large numbers they congregate in unassimilable enclaves.
This raises the question of fairness. Whites are repeatedly told that they must make every effort to accommodate alien newcomers and even, if need be, see their nations redefined if non-white immigration requires this. Whites are told to prepare themselves psychologically to be outnumbered by non-whites, and even though this threatens to wash away the cultures and nationalities we love, anyone who resists dispossession is a moral inferior.
Just imagine the reverse process of whites pouring into Mexico or Pakistan, forcing their practices upon the natives and even demanding special treatment because they are minorities bearing the gift of ‘diversity’. Imagine Mexican and Pakistani leaders telling their people demographic displacement is a good thing, and that new languages, religions, folkways and crime rates may seem alien but are precious sources of enrichment.
It is this one-sided advancement of non-whites into white territories that makes the current dynamic of race and immigration unacceptable and even dangerous to whites.
What else does New Century Foundation do, apart from publish AR every month?
We hold an international conference on race and immigration every two years, and we publish a small number of monographs and books. We also maintain a very active web page at www.amren.com.
What is your own family and political back-ground?
I am the child of missionaries to Japan, where I spent the first 16 years of my life. My parents were conventional liberals and so was I until about the age of 30.
What first drove you to take an interest in racial differences and immigration? Which academics, writers or philosophers have inspired you?
I spent a year travelling in west Africa, where I discovered that my liberal beliefs in racial and cultural equivalence were wrong. I also spent two years in Paris studying history and economics, and gradually came to the conclusion that the basic tenets of liberalism — that government can improve our lives, that environment is much more important than genetics, that all groups have the same potential, that men and women have similar natures — are wrong.
I have been much influenced by the work of James Burnham, Arthur Jensen, and Wilmot Robertson, but conversations over the years with other racially aware whites have probably influenced me more.
Do you believe hereditarian ideas are now becoming more widely acceptable?
Yes. The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker is a good example of this [Editor’s Note: See review, RN 41]. The evidence for the influence of genes is now so overwhelming even liberals can no longer ignore it. This book, however, is an almost comical attempt by a liberal to try to reconcile the power of heredity with liberal positions that are fatally undermined by it. I suspect that the Watson-Skinner conviction that environment controls everything first foundered on sex differences. Many people understand that the failure of liberals and feminists to erase sex differences must mean there is a biological basis for them. It is more difficult for people to accept similar reasons for the clearly different social outcomes for racial and other groups, but that will come.
What policies should be adopted to solve or at least mitigate some of America’s current race problems?
I have always recommended only two policies: an end to mass immigration, and the abolition of antidiscrimination laws. The population of the United States is increasing like that of a Third World country, mostly because of immigration. 90% of immigrants are unassimilable minorities who will bring divisiveness and tension. Population increase will also strain environment and infrastructure. There were 125m Americans in 1945, and no one thought the country under-populated. There are now about 290m of us, with about half a billion expected by 2070 or so. Ending immigration would stop this mad expansion. As for anti-discrimination laws, private citizens should have the right to choose employees, schoolmates, or neighbours for good reasons, bad reasons or no reason at all—just as they choose their spouses.
There is increasing interest in ‘immigration reform’ within Republican circles. What do you think of these various initiatives? And what do you think of Ralph Nader’s new-found interest in immigration?
Among Republicans, aside from the invaluable efforts of Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado, ‘immigration reform’ amounts to nothing more than common-sense resistance to President Bush’s amnesty plan for illegal immigrants. Ralph Nader seems to oppose immigration mainly because it depresses wages for poor blacks. Indeed it does, and I support all restrictionists, whatever their reasoning.
AR has, inevitably, been denounced by the ultra-Left Southern Poverty Law Center as a “hate group”. But what is the attitude of American conservatives—not just towards AR specifically, but also on race differences more generally?
I don’t think it is possible to give a comprehensive answer. Even among ‘conservatives’ (a term sadly in search of a meaning), there is much resistance to a realistic understanding of race. If they were sure their words would never be repeated, I suspect perhaps 50% of the people who vote Republican would either acknowledge racial differences or, though bothered by the thought, accept them as a possibility. Of this number, only a handful are willing to take a public position on race that differs substantially from that of Democrats.
Has there been a discernible change in US conservative attitudes on race in recent decades? What has caused this?
“Recent decades” is a stretchy formulation. If it includes the 1950s, National Review wrote very sensibly on race. Its positions were little different from those of American Renaissance today. During the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s there was a massive retreat from commonsense. Since that time there has been a very slow recovery, but at nothing like the pace of the rout. Egalitarian dogma rules America, just as it does Britain, and dissent is still dangerous and disagreeable.
Does modern genetic science complement traditional conservative or religious thinking about human nature? If so, how?
I think it complements traditional conservatism almost across the board. Both traditional conservatives and (the more outspoken) evolutionary biologists agree on the following: Men and women differ in temperament and ability. People are born with distinctive traits not easily changed by society. Race and race differences are real. People are tribal, and do not easily feel loyalty to humanity at large.
Even more fundamentally, both sides agree that there is such a thing as human nature and it is folly to try to remake man. An acceptance of this premise would have forestalled not just the calamity of communism but virtually every liberal project since the French Revolution. Horror upon horror has been committed in the name of perfecting man. Conservatives—and now students of the power of genetics—accept that many of our faults cannot be corrected, and that societies that accept these faults are far more successful than those that try to wish them away or forcibly extirpate them.
Selfishness is a good example. Capitalism recognizes that self-interest is the most powerful engine of economic progress. Collectivism fails because it pretends self-interest can be overcome. Some day there will be equal acceptance of man’s tribal nature, and governments will stop thinking it somehow a virtue to force citizens to live with people utterly unlike themselves.
When you are not fomenting intergalactic ‘hate’, what are your other interests?
I have two great interests: my family and music. Fatherhood has been more rewarding to me than anything else—and I expected it to be a bother and a pest. European populations are declining, in part because Europeans are self-centred and think children are too much trouble. If only for our own survival, we must once again promote the view that children are one of life’s highest rewards. I might not have believed that until I had children of my own, but it is true. As for music, I play clarinet in a symphony orchestra and a woodwind quintet, and saxophone in a dance band. Making music is, for me, a joy that purges the mind of all else. Musicians reportedly live longer than non-musicians. If that is true, it must be because immense mental pleasure has physical benefits!