Education for Our People

Matt Vollmer, American Renaissance, June 13, 2013

And how we teach martial arts.

Racially conscious whites tend to think our education problem is mainly a demographic problem, and that wide-spread school failure merely proves that what we say about race and immigration is right. Our problem is far larger.

Education has two goals. It leads to economic and scientific progress, but it also instills morals and values in the generation that will succeed the current one. When most people think of education, they think only of the first goal. Except for left-wing novelties such as women’s studies and Chicano studies, virtually every college class is justified in terms of dollars and cents.

Philosophers, however, teach that the primary purpose of education is to gain the wisdom and understanding that form a child into an adult with morals and a properly ordered set of values. Practical knowledge is important, but a society without wisdom and understanding will decline.

Aristotle noted that "Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all."

Aristotle noted that “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”

The trouble is that schools do teach values: the values of the Left. This is almost never acknowledged, but it is pervasive. From their earliest school years, our children absorb values that are the opposite of our own, and this only hastens our decline.

What do students think of their own education? I am a high-school Latin teacher. Almost the only reasons students ever give for wanting to study Latin are these: It will build vocabulary, which will help on the SAT or ACT test; it will help them understand the roots of words, which will be useful in law school or medical school; or it will impress college admissions committees. None of my students ever says that studying Latin will help him understand his ancestors or become like them.

Perhaps I am being unfair to my students, because I did not start studying Latin until I was in college, and though I had always wanted to learn it, I’m not sure I could have explained why. My romance with Latin was associated with Medieval Catholicism and European culture—more specifically, kingdoms, hierarchy, and pan-European understanding. To me, Latin meant bravery, commitment, loyalty, and even quaintness and simplicity.

I remember the sense of mystery that hearing a Latin Mass would evoke, or the intense feeling of belonging and nostalgia every time I watched Mel Gibson’s character speak in Latin in the movie Braveheart.

I cannot always prove intellectually that what I believe is right, but I have the deepest sense, or feeling, that it is. And I know the value of preserving what was once central to our culture. Of course, the values I learned as a student were different from those who are “educated” by the system. I was homeschooled by traditionalist Catholic parents.

White students do not have teachers and mentors who will instill in them what they must know to rescue civilization. Instead, they are taught the value of every civilization but their own. Their teachers tell them they must not simply tolerate the non-Western influences that have already infiltrated our societies; they must embrace them as superior, or at least equal, to our own.

And this brings me to the martial arts. In Western culture, martial arts were, as the etymology suggests, the arts of Mars, the god of war. But in the Greco-Roman pantheon, Mars was not a very well-liked or even well-respected god. He reveled in bloodshed and destruction. He liked fighting for its own sake—he needed no reason or cause. Of course, warriors could be great leaders in the Western tradition, but the martial arts were seen as destructive and terrible. And, as we see in The Iliad—that marvelous but now neglected work of Western literature—physical strength was an integral part of being a good fighter, even if it wasn’t the most important.

Today, Asia has almost completely usurped our martial tradition, and Asian martial arts come with an assumption that Asian culture—whatever that really is—is superior to Western culture. People who study judo or Tae Kwon Do or karate wear “gis” and talk about “masters” and “dojos.” It is all about some mysterious system with ceremony and decorum. An obsession with Asian-ness is standard for any American who becomes a “sensei.” The students attribute deep wisdom to the “master,” who is likely to believe that anyone who uses strength to win a fight is a brute.

The Western view is different. We proudly used war and fighting to make our boys into men, but we never pretended that a Kung-Fu-Panda-type master of some mysterious cult was the wisest man in the world. In our tradition, a martial art was a technical skill used for fighting. We Westerners used everything at our disposal, whether it was technique, armor, weaponry, strategy, or strength. We were always looking for new ways to improve the efficiency and success of our fighting men.

And we have always admired strength for its own sake. We admire “huge Achilles,” who wielded a spear that no one else could handle. We admire Ajax, also described as huge—the “bulwark of the Achaeans.” We respect Hector’s bravery in combat, even if he was sometimes outmatched. We understand the reality of fighting; we realize that it is not a flashy, drawn-out set of “moves” that trick and defeat an enemy. Real combat is death in a few devastating blows.

Ajax, "bulwark of the Achaeans."

Ajax, “bulwark of the Achaeans.”

The most useful arts in hand-to-hand combat with no weapons are rarely very Asian. Boxing and wrestling are entirely Western, and of central importance in mixed martial arts (MMA). Jiu-jitsu, which is arguably the most important martial art in MMA, did start in Japan, but it took on a vastly different form when it got to Brazil. Brazilians (and, increasingly, Americans) have since developed the art to such an extent that, in my opinion, it can hardly be called Asian. A thoroughly English name for jiu-jitsu would simply be “submission grappling.”

In a way, it is something we’ve always had. I remember the fights I used to have as a kid with my brother. We had certain unspoken ground rules that we rarely broke, which were meant to keep fights from being too destructive. Much of our fighting came down to grappling. We didn’t know it was called that, but that’s what it was.

Finally, a big problem with the thoroughly Asian martial arts is that they are useless. They are easily overcome in a fight, even by an untrained opponent. And yet, the business of teaching these “arts” is huge. People make a living teaching them in almost every city in the country. Jiu-jitsu and MMA gyms, on the other hand, are rarely profitable enterprises—although that is changing. The quintessentially Asian martial arts have hindered the progress of the ones that work.

Con-man Asian “master” unmasked.

We Westerners have always had an interest in the exotic, but we should keep such interests at bay lest we lose our competitive edge. We should fight like the Greeks: We should value what’s useful and develop our skills continuously. The desire to become better, not the subtle distinctions between Western and Eastern martial arts, is what makes the West fundamentally different from the East. Karate and Tae Kwon Do, for example, never develop or change. They are stagnant and therefore useless.

Asian martial arts are certainly not the only example of ordinary Americans trying to substitute a make-believe culture for their own. One was the fetish for a kind of westernized Hinduism in the 1960s and 1970s. Con-man swamis and gurus swarmed across the country, peddling chanting and meditation, and it was not just rock stars who went on pilgrimages to ashrams. Fortunately, that insanity waned but we still absorb the assumption that everything valuable ultimately came from some non-white or non-Indo-European people, and this justifies ignoring our history and culture. We must always be wary of any influence that glorifies a foreign practice over our own.

Consider the 90-percent-white America in the 1960s. It was not simply a time for marches, protests, and speeches. These things were inspired by a new set of values and beliefs, which were framed in terms of sex, drugs, music, freedom, and revolt against one’s own culture. Young people passively accepted the civil rights movement because they were too brainwashed by the media to recognize it for what it was. Some actively embraced it, if only to shock their parents.

Either way, they should have been against a wholesale rejection of their own people, their nation, their religion, their culture, and their race—but they weren’t. They threw out their parents’ system of beliefs as soon as a trendy new one came along. Would it be that easy to convert the Middle East from their culture? At some point in our history, we stopped being educated properly. This is why it was so easy to convince us to drink poison.

We must therefore take a two-pronged approach to solving our education problem. Of course we must continue to preach a solution—our solution—to the race problem, but we must also fill the voids that make other cultures seem so interesting and valuable.

If these voids are filled, people will stop focusing so much on the imagined benefits of multiculturalism. They will understand that non-white, non-European people cannot participate fully in our culture. They will realize that our culture is not only different from theirs, but that our culture actually exists. Martial arts can be a way to reintroduce our own culture to our people. Westerners who love their own country will support leaders who promote what they have come to love again, and so can we begin to heal our wounds.

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Matt Vollmer
Mr. Vollmer teaches high school in Louisiana.
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