What Do White Nationalists Want?

Jared Taylor, Taki’s Magazine, June 1, 2009

Lost in Justin Raimondo’s torrent of mistaken assumptions and wild accusations [see below for excerpts] is one useful question: What do “white nationalists” want? By putting the term in quotation marks, Mr. Raimondo has stumbled onto an important truth, namely, that there is no accepted term for contemporary Americans who still hold some of the views about race that were taken for granted by virtually all Americans until about the 1950s.

Until then, most people believed race was an important aspect of individual and group identity. They believed that the races differed in temperament and ability, and whites preferred the societies built by whites to those built by non-whites. They wanted the United States to be peopled by Europeans because they believed only people of European stock would maintain the civilization they valued. These views were so wide-spread, so taken for granted, so indisputable that there was no term for them. Just as there was no name for people who expected the sun to rise in the East, there was no name for people whose views are today sometimes given the clumsy term “white nationalism.”

The national-origins immigration policy that lasted until 1965 embodied this basic understanding of race. As one of the supporters of that policy, Congressman William Vaile of Colorado explained in 1924, “[the United States] is a good country. It suits us. And what we assert is that we are not going to surrender it to somebody else or allow other people, no matter what their merits, to make it something different.” I might add that even if this sentiment shocks Americans today, it is exactly the view of their own country held by virtually every Japanese, Israeli, or Mexican.

What perhaps most succinctly characterizes those whom Mr. Raimondo calls “white nationalists” is the conviction that it was a terrible mistake to abandon national-origins quotas and throw the United States open to immigration from everywhere. As Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina wondered at the time: “What is wrong with the national origins of the American people? What is wrong with maintaining them? What is wrong with preferring as immigrants one’s own kinsmen?” There were no good answers to those questions then and there is none today.

I believe Sam Ervin–and Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt–shared my desire for a country in which our ancestors were respected as pioneers and statesmen, not reviled as murderers and thieves. I believe they wanted a country in which their children’s children would walk in the ways of their forebears, sing the same songs, worship the same God, revere the same heroes, and proudly carry forward the civilization and culture of the West. I am certain they believed this would be possible only in a nation whose majority people were the biological heirs to the creators of that culture and civilization.

My hopes for the land in which my descendants will live are no different from those of virtually every person who has ever lived anywhere. The idea that nothing will be lost if a founding population is replaced with aliens is a new disease that strikes only whites. Our Mexican neighbors would scoff at the notion that “diversity” is a strength or that millions of English-speaking, white-skinned immigrants were a form of “cultural enrichment.” They would be astonished at the idea of elevating to a position of power a gringa who claimed white women made better decisions than Mexican men. In all these things they could not be more natural, normal, or healthy. It is we who have betrayed the ideals of our ancestors and diced with our children’s future by opening the doors to dispossession.

Is dispossession too strong a word? Just visit Detroit or Miami or parts of Los Angeles. You will not find the civilization Jefferson or Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt thought they were building for their children. There are great swathes of America in which Spanish–or even Chinese–is the lingua franca, and where English-speakers are out of place. At the college down the road there are footbaths in the student union so Muslim immigrants can clean their feet before salaaming in the worship area they demanded be set aside for them. Washington’s and Jefferson’s names are being pulled down from public schools to be replaced with Cesar Chavez and Martin Luther King.

I am not certain it is possible to salvage from the chaos immigration is bringing to this country a nation of which my grandchildren can even feel a part, much less be proud. But unless whites wake up from their stupor, unless they–like the white firemen of New Haven–realize they have legitimate rights as a group and are prepared to fight for them, they will be shoved aside by Africans, Asians, Mexicans, Haitians, and Muslims who have, in addition to very sharp elbows, a keen sense of their own interests.

It is certainly true that there are many group identifications besides race. Our deepest ties are to our families, and our loyalties expand in concentric and overlapping circles: clubs, friends, work groups, nationalities, even cities and states. But the largest group to which most people feel a natural loyalty is race. That is because race marks the limit of our extended families, and defines the group to which we are genetically closer than to any other.

Loyalties of this kind are not rational but they are no less powerful for this reason. I love my own children more than I love the children of strangers, not because they are objectively superior but because they are mine. No one disputes my right to this irrational loyalty–nor should they dispute my right to an equally irrational, equally deep and genetic loyalty to my extended family.

At the same time, though I make sacrifices for my own children that I would never make for the children of others, this implies no ill feeling for other children. I can even have great affection for other children but mine come first. It should not require pointing out that, in like manner, loyalty to a race or nation need imply no ill feeling for any other. I can admire and like the Chinese or the Watusi without wanting my own country or my own descendants to become Chinese or Watusi. They, in turn, have no desire to fill their countries with Europeans.

Mr. Raimondo seems to think only a Nazi could oppose miscegenation or care about the racial/ethnic composition of his country. I’m sure we can count on him to explain to Israelis who want a Jewish state, and to the many Jews and blacks who oppose inter-marriage that they are actually Nazis. And, of course, the many Americans who opposed what they called “amalgamation” and even passed laws to forbid it were all Nazis long before Nazism. The Japanese, who would rather invent clever robots than encourage immigrants, and the Mexicans who do not let non-citizens own property are no doubt Nazis, too. This is the sort of silliness that comes from thinking in clichés, from swallowing the mantras of liberal egalitarianism.

Mr. Raimondo seems to insist on looking at everything from a libertarian perspective so let us adopt one. Mr. Raimondo does not appear to understand that I am not proposing a state-enforced caste system; I want to dismantle the one we have, the one that turned the New Haven firemen into untouchables. Likewise, I have always stood for completely free association, and if someone wants to associate across racial lines that is his business. In 1843, Massachusetts repealed its anti-miscegenation laws for the same reason I oppose them: healthy societies don’t need them.

Many doctrinaire libertarians think there should not even be immigration control. They argue that in an ideal world of private property each property owner could set his own immigration policy. Until that day comes, I am certainly not proposing an expansion of state power; merely a policy that preserves our heritage rather than devour it.

And what if, like Mr. Raimondo, we are to put libertarianism before the preservation of race or heritage? Perhaps he has not noticed that it is only whites who have even imagined an individualism as pure as libertarianism. How many non-white allies has he found in his battle against the state? Does he really think Mexicans and Africans will help him dismantle state power rather than seize it for their own purposes? By ignoring race Mr. Raimondo is ensuring the failure of what I take to be his most cherished project.

Where Mr. Raimondo and I most clearly part company is that I am in earnest about the survival of my people and their civilization. For that I apologize to no one. If Mr. Raimondo does not see the crisis, he has every right to enjoy his ignorance, but he joins forces with the very multi-culturalists he claims to oppose when he denies to whites an awareness of their group interests without which they are doomed to oblivion.


Jared Taylor’s recent posting on Takimag has drawn a number of a responses, including from Paul Gottfried and Richard Spencer, both of which make some good points. I’m afraid, however, that neither really hits on the essential problem–although Gottfried does mention it in passing, almost as an afterthought–which is that Taylor’s call for whites to organize along lines of “racial solidarity” represents the most complete and abject surrender to multi-culturalism. His bid to become the white Al Sharpton is not only a massive contradiction, coming from someone who ostensibly opposes privileging individuals on account of their alleged race, it is downright pathetic.

To being with, he avers that “if you can’t beat them, join them”–that is, if you can’t beat the multiculti rules and regulations that increasing afflict our lives, then the best policy is one of . . . surrender. He cites a case where the city of New Haven threw out the results of a test taken by aspiring firemen in which blacks didn’t do as well as the city would have liked. New Haven bureaucrats threw out the test results for all races, not just blacks, and did the whole procedure over again: this, claims Taylor, is anti-white “discrimination.”

While Paul Gottfried inexplicably claims that most of the white nationalists he has met are “libertarians,” it appears that their Maximum Leader is not among them: for the libertarian would argue that the entire procedure and the unfairness inherent in it could be eliminated by simply privatizing the fire department. Of course, it would still be possible to pursue the elusive goal of equality of results through enforcement of the so-called civil rights laws–yet that is precisely what Taylor would do on behalf of “oppressed” whites. This kind of scam is wrong when blacks try to pull it off, but right when engaged in by whites.

The Taylorite commitment to “white racial consciousness” is simply a cracked mirror image of the worst excesses of the “black power” movement–and it is advanced with much less justification. {snip}

{snip}

{snip} Taylor is dead serious, but what is he serious about? Ostensibly, he’s upset over those white firemen denied jobs in New Haven, but it quickly becomes all too clear that’s not his main beef: what he’s really against is miscegenation, or what his intellectual heirs used to call “race-mixing”:

The real solution may have to wait another generation or two after which, if some who call themselves conservatives have their way, there will have been so much miscegenation there will be no more white people left to worry about.

He then cites a number of commentators who think this trend is desirable, from Michael Barone to the Socialist candidate in the French election for Prime Minister, and then snarks: “If those New Haven firemen got a raw deal, I guess their parents just married the wrong people. ”

But what has miscegenation got to do with the issue he supposedly cares about, those poor oppressed white firemen? It’s not clear. What is all too clear, however, is that the real agenda of the “white nationalist” movement has zero to do with legitimate issues, such as the injustice of affirmative action. It is all about race-mixing–an “issue” that, in an age when a mulatto is president of these United States, has a certain explosive quality, as well as an aura of outright nastiness.

{snip}

As the white-collar wing of the same movement, Taylor and his American Renaissance crowd are salivating as the prospect of massive recruitment because one of “them” is in the White House. They hope to infiltrate what they call the “pseudo-conservatives” with their message of genetic determinism and white supremacy, imbuing the rightist critique of Obama and all his works with a racialist tinge.

This, of course, is just what the Obamaites ordered: they would love to marginalize their opposition and banish them to the fever swamps of race-obsessed neurotics and social misfits. Nothing would please them more than to see the rising resentment of their policies ascribed to the spreading influence of racist agitators. If I were the Democratic National Committee, I’d funnel millions into Taylor’s outfit, and like-minded groups, for the same reason that the interventionists encouraged Nazi infiltration of the America First antiwar movement in the run-up to World War II.

{snip}

What I don’t understand, and I doubt Taylor does either, is this: what do the “white nationalists” want? What is their program? They are “nationalists” without a nation. Do they want to expel all non-whites from U.S. territory? Do they want to carve out their own ersatz “nation” in, say, the nether reaches of Idaho and the Dakotas? Do they want to create a caste system based on racial heritage, as the Nazis tried to do, with whites on top and the “mud people”–their disgusting term for non-whites–on the bottom? Or do they just want to abolish race preferences in law and custom–in which case they shed their “white nationalist” hoods and morph into white versions of Ward Connerly? Would Taylor outlaw miscegenation if he could? I have no doubt that he would, no matter what he says in public.

Americans don’t like racists, not because they have been indoctrinated by leftist professors and do-gooder social workers, but because “white nationalists” and their ilk are looking for the unearned: they want power, prestige, and money in the bank based on factors over which they had no control, that is, their genetic heritage. That’s why they spend so much time posing as amateur “scientists” and “anthropologists,” extrapolating entire theories of social organization from the results of “intelligence tests” that presume to measure the ineffable. It is a soulless, materialist, dogmatic view of life that has nothing in common with authentic conservatism, and which has all sorts of statist implications–not to mention a history of racialist-inspired statist measures–that make “white nationalism” antithetical to libertarianism.

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