2008: Another Successful AR Conference

Stephen Webster, American Renaissance, April 2008

Despite the best efforts of leftist thugs to shut it down, the eighth biennial American Renaissance conference was a great success, described by many veterans as the best they could remember. Held in Herndon, Virginia, over the weekend of February 22 through 24, the conference drew a near-record attendance of more than 260 activists from all across the United States, and from as far away as South Africa and Great Britain.

Sabotage efforts had begun as early as last October. An assortment of “anti-racist” groups tried to pressure the conference hotel, the Crowne Plaza Dulles Airport, to dishonor its contract with us and refuse to let us meet. They bombarded the hotel with telephone calls and e-mail messages, and even tried to browbeat the hotel owners and management company. The general manager stood his ground, issuing a statement saying the hotel did not discriminate against customers because of their political views.

2008 AmRen Conference Speakers

Speakers, front row, left to right: Gordon Baum, Philippe Rushton, Ashley Mote, Michael Walker, Fred Reed. Back row, left to right: Bruno Gollnisch, Jared Taylor, Sam Dickson, Martin O’Toole, Eugene Valberg.

The conference itself began with registration on Friday afternoon, followed by a reception and remarks from the AR staff. Jared Taylor described the demonstrators’ threats to the audience, and warned that spies invariably sneak into the conference under false names and affiliations. “So let me present to you our opponents,” he said. “On the outside, thugs and barbarians. On the inside, sneaks and deceivers. Thank God we are not like them.” Conferees spent the rest of Friday evening in conviviality that lasted well into the night.

The first speaker on Saturday morning was Philippe Rushton, the eminent psychometrician from the University of Western Ontario, who spoke about the heritability of racial differences in IQ. He first noted that the measured IQs of black Africans, which have consistently been found to be about 70, do not mean they are retarded. Instead, it is best to consider Africans as having the intelligence of normal 11-year-olds. The smartest black Africans—engineering students—have IQs as high as 103, and it is reasonable to assume that they have IQs 30 points above the average, as would be the case for top students in the United States. Calculating backwards, we again arrive at an average IQ of 70 for the black African population as a whole.

Prof. Rushton warned that despite optimistic predictions, India will not grow to become an economic superpower as he says China will. Although there are many smart Indians, their average IQ is 85, meaning that India will be outdistanced by China, where the average IQ is something over 100.

Prof. Rushton noted that it is common to argue that the meager, unpleasant surroundings in which low-IQ people live drag down their intelligence, and that this, rather than genes, causes racial differences. On the other hand, one would expect low-IQ people to create meager environments for themselves, and there is a mass of evidence to suggest that the causation is far more IQ-to-environment than environment-to-IQ.

Transracial adoption studies, for example, show that children reared by people of different races end up with IQs closer to the average for their own race than to that of their adoptive parents. Likewise, non-whites have now lived for many generations in the United States and Europe, and their IQ scores are only slightly improved by better surroundings. Prof. Rushton cited the scores of second-generation North Africans living in Holland, whose average IQ of 89 is only a few points higher than the average in North Africa. “Genes,” explained Prof. Rushton, “keep culture on a leash.”

When the IQs of identical twins separated at birth are tested, their scores are very close on some tests and not so close on others, which suggests that certain abilities are more heritable than others. Similar testing of siblings has shown the same differences in heritability. Prof. Rushton pointed out that the racial performance gaps are greatest on those tests for which results are most heritable, which supports the view that racial differences in IQ are largely caused by genes.

By now there are many mixed-race populations whose IQs have been carefully tested, and results are consistent with genetic explanations: Their average IQs tend to be mid-way between those of the parent populations. Finally, there is a clear correlation between brain size and IQ. Australian Aborigines, the population with the lowest recorded average IQ of 60, have the smallest brains, and North Asians have the largest brains. Findings such as this are very difficult to explain in terms of the impoverishing effect of environment.

Prof. Rushton noted that although the mainstream media do not yet report studies of this kind, they are published in top-notch journals and are generally accepted by scholars in the field. It will be only a matter of time before they become widely known.

The next speaker, Eugene Valberg, called upon many years of experience in South Africa to describe how Africans think. He said his interest in the subject was piqued by a conversation with Africans about gradation. How, he wanted to know, would a Zulu speaker describe a coconut as half-way up a tree? That can’t be expressed, was the answer; the coconut is “up” the tree or not, and its relative location cannot be expressed. Dr. Valberg has since found that Africans often have a hard time understanding gradation, and tend to think in terms of one extreme or the other.

He noted that African languages do not need dictionaries. Because they have no written literature, everyone who speaks them knows every word in the language. The resulting poverty of vocabulary reflects a poverty of expression and thought.

Today, non-native concepts have found their way into African languages, but it is important to distinguish between indigenous words and those that have been borrowed from Europeans. For example, there are now imported words in the Zulu language for “promise” or “obligation,” but Africans have a hard time understanding them.

Perhaps most characteristic of African thinking is an absence of abstraction. Africans rarely get beyond the concrete, present-oriented, visible, and tangible. Because the future is not tangible, it is difficult for Africans to think about it realistically. A man who is healthy may not understand the purpose of medical insurance. His mind may run no further than “I’m not sick now.” Likewise, the need to maintain machinery is often lost on Africans. If the motor is running fine now, why change the oil? Because Africans often cannot imagine things that do not exist, they cannot work seriously towards future goals.

Dr. Valberg argued that without abstract thinking it is hard to imagine the feelings of others. At the worst extreme, Africans can torture each other with astonishing callousness, and at the everyday level, they are often indifferent to or even unaware of their own rudeness or inconsiderateness. To be considerate requires an ability to imagine the feelings of others.

South Africa is often called the rape capital of the world, but Dr. Valberg believes Africans do not fully grasp the concept of rape. They have been told that “rape” is a bad thing, yet most African men do not think it wrong to force a woman to have sex. This unthinking acceptance of the actions that constitute rape makes it difficult to prosecute rapists. Dr. Valberg also said that for most Africans, romantic love does not exist, and sex is the only thing that draws men and women together.

Lack of abstract thinking can be an advantage. Africans are almost never introspective or self-conscious. They are only rarely neurotic, and Dr. Valberg suspects that impotence is essentially unheard of among them.

Dr. Valberg noted that although American blacks have higher IQs and operate at a higher level than African blacks, they exhibit many of the same tendencies.

Fred Reed, the man behind the popular Internet site “Fred on Everything,” has lived in Mexico for many years and spoke on “Mexico From the Inside.” He said it is important to understand the country that is sending us so much of its population.

He began by pointing out that many Americans have a cartoon image of Mexico. Burros and sombreros are still to be found, but are rare. The country is not crime- and disease-ridden, and many cities are safer than parts of the United States. He said the police are not omnipresent and that most people are not afraid of them. Unlike in the United States, people do not go through metal detectors to get into public buildings. Government services, when the authorities get around to providing them, are generally adequate, and Mexico benefits from not having a black underclass. Mr. Reed noted that if Mexico were a hell-hole, it would not be home to an expatriate population of 50,000 Americans.

Why, then, do so many Mexicans want to leave? The population mix is part of it. Perhaps 10 percent of the population is white, and they are the government and professional elite. They live well and seldom come north. The mass of immigrants are Mestizos, who make up some 60 percent of the population, although there are increasing numbers of non-Spanish-speaking Indians who are emigrating as well. There is little work for them in Mexico, and manual labor pays practically nothing.

There are distinctly Third-World qualities about Mexico, and immigrants are bringing them to America. There is widespread disregard for law and regulations. Anyone who can, cheats the authorities, and Mexicans ignore traffic regulations—you take your life in your hands on the roads. Mexicans also have contempt for schooling, which translates into high dropout rates among emigrants to the US.

Some of Mr. Reed’s most interesting observations had to do with the mañana attitude, which is a reality and not a caricature. Many Mexicans really do live in the present, and have little sense of urgency about anything. Many lack ambition, and seem not to care about their communities.

Mexicans go to the United States for one reason: money. They have been taught since infancy that the Southwest United States was stolen from them and believe, practically without exception, that any Mexican has the right to move to America. Although we think of the coyotes who charge money to take illegals north as ruthless exploiters, Mexicans see them as providing a necessary and legitimate service.

Mr. Reed illustrated his talk with illuminating photographs from his own collection.

The first speaker after lunch on Saturday was Martin O’Toole, a lawyer and amateur historian who has done considerable research on the Civil War. He began by pointing out that the war has since led to a mass of disagreements: what were its causes, what were its goals, what should the war even be called? Ironically, he said, there was one area in which North and South were in agreement: They could not conceive of free blacks and whites living with each other in the same society.

In the North, the percentage of blacks was invariably tiny, and blacks could rarely vote, serve on juries, or marry whites. They were nominally free, but were not full citizens. Some Northern states, when first establishing their constitutions, voted to exclude slavery but voted by even larger margins to exclude free blacks. The vast majority of Northerners wanted nothing to do with blacks. In the South, 37 percent of the population were black, and even Southerners who opposed slavery thought it a necessary means of keeping blacks in order.

Most Northern soldiers were willing to fight to preserve the Union, but not to free slaves. Abolition became a war aim for political reasons, and was not popular among soldiers.

Mr. O’Toole noted that the Northern attitude towards blacks accounts for the collapse of Reconstruction after the war. Once the slaves were freed, Northerners had little interest in forcing the South to accept blacks as social and political equals when they would not have accepted this themselves. Mr. O’Toole pointed out that until 1952, federal law did not officially permit naturalization of non-whites as US citizens.

Mr. Taylor argued that the view that race is some kind of sociological illusion will be the first building block of “race fantasy” to crumble. Everyone instinctively understands the reality of race, and no one who needs a kidney will ever say, “Don’t bother with tissue matching; we are all brothers under the skin.”

He speculated that one reason many whites are reluctant to accept the reality of racial differences is that they feel sorry for blacks. It seems too cruel that on top of crime, poverty, illegitimacy, and disease, blacks are afflicted with low intelligence as well. He added that whites have repeatedly hesitated to speak in terms of race and IQ, even when their way of life depended on it: Southern segregationists spoke of States’ rights, and the Rhodesians opposed black rule in the name of fighting Communism.

Mr. Taylor noted that the most plausible argument against white racial consciousness is the fact that all wars in history reflect group consciousness, and that in the past, whites have caused much bloodshed. He pointed out, however that all people in history have conquered their neighbors when they could, and that whites were particularly successful at this only because they were more technologically advanced. In fact, it was whites who first advanced the revolutionary idea that might does not make right, and that power should be used with forbearance. Whites have been racially passive for 50 years, yet they are invariably portrayed as the racial aggressors.

Mr. Taylor concluded by pointing out that many whites cannot be reached with rational arguments and that we must make a moral as well as logical appeal. “We cannot simply be right,” he said. “We must be better.” We must never give our opponents a chance to describe us as mean-spirited, spiteful, or dishonest, and by our superior moral example we will win the support of those whose minds may be closed to rational arguments.

Paul Gottfried, who is a professor of humanities at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, drew on his recent book, Understanding Conservatism, to discuss the failures of the American Right. He noted that there was a genuine Right in the United States before the Second World War—it was anti-interventionist, hated big government, and was loyal to the traditional culture of the United States. After the war and into the 1950s, the United States had no authentic conservative movement, and what passed for such a movement was mainly Catholic traditionalism combined with fervent anti-Communism. It had no real social constituency and was preoccupied with “values” rather than with a traditional social order and national heritage. It did not seem to realize that “values” were a shaky foundation for a movement because they can always change, and because the Left frequently claims similar “values.”

One of the Right’s great mistakes—especially in the case of William Buckley’s movement—was to so crave respectability that, as the country moved to the left, it excommunicated old comrades who stood their ground. Prof. Gottfried notes that as times changed, different excuses were given for “throwing people off the bus,” but accusations of racism and anti-Semitism were always favorites.

The abandonment of what was thought to be one essential conservative position after another was inevitable after the infiltration and eventual takeover of the movement by neoconservatives, a largely Jewish group of former liberals and Communists who now dominate most right-of-center publications and institutions. It is now obligatory even for “conservatives” to sing the praises of Martin Luther King, Jr. and FDR, both of whom were scorned by pre-neocon conservatives.

Prof. Gottfried is pessimistic about whether any meaningful conservative movement is possible in America. What passes for conservatism today is a lap-dog opposition that grants all the premises of the Left and then argues over a few details. Perhaps never in the history of politics has the Left had such an emasculated, accommodating opposition—because it is not really an opposition.

Of all the possible opponents to the dominant Left, Prof. Gottfried said he thought a libertarian opposition had the best chances. As for an opposition of the kind an AR audience would find satisfactory, he noted that the country has veered so sharply to the left in the last 40 years that it would take a radical reordering of the zeitgeist for such an opposition to emerge from marginalization.

On a more optimistic note, Prof. Gottfried praised certain parties and intellectual movements in Europe, which are putting up a stiff fight for the traditions of the West. These, he noted, should be the models for an eventual resurgence of a promising American Right.

After Prof. Gottfried’s remarks, Gordon Baum of the Council of Conservative Citizens gave a brief summary of the activist work his organization has been doing in many parts of the country.

The speaker after the Saturday banquet was Ashley Mote, an independent member of the European Union representing Great Britain. He began by pointing out that multi-culturalism is a contradiction, and that Britain is committing suicide through uncontrolled immigration. A nation, he pointed out, is defined by shared values and culture, and any dilution is dangerous.

Mr. Mote pointed out that although the British people are jealous of their sovereignty, their rulers have handed over much authority to the European Union. Mr. Mote finds the EU, in whose parliament he serves, so tyrannical and unrepresentative that he refers to it as the European Soviet Union. One of the EU’s great tyrannies is to set a Europe-wide immigration policy and then let any immigrant admitted anywhere move to any member country. The result has been millions of aliens pushing into Britain to take advantage of high living standards. Mr. Mote estimates that his country can reasonably support 30 million people but immigration has raised the population to double that figure. The newcomers are not British, and their presence is destroying a priceless, traditional way of life. For Mr. Mote, the only solution is for Britain to reassert its own national standards and to leave the European Union.

How to bring this about? By setting an example. Mr. Mote said there is a small island now part of Britain that, according to ancient law, has the right to seek independence. Although he would not identify the island, he said its inhabitants are nearing the stage of seeking complete independence. The most likely name for the new country would be Britannia, and it would permit dual citizenship for Americans and others whose views are compatible with an explicitly British heritage. Like many other small nations, the island would raise money by issuing coins and postage stamps.

Mr. Mote sees the value of Britannia not so much in what it would accomplish for its own citizens but as the precedent it would set as a breakaway territory from the European Union. He concluded by pointing out that when he has explained this plan to nationalist colleagues in the European Parliament, their enthusiastic reaction is, “Be sure to leave the door open when you leave.”

The program on Sunday morning began with the second-ranking official in the French National Front, Bruno Gollnisch. Mr. Gollnisch serves on the Central Committee of the National Front, has been shadow foreign minister, and now represents the party in the European Parliament.

Mr. Gollnisch underlined the importance of the parliamentary grouping in the Euro-parliament he helped found: Identity, Tradition, Sovereignty. It is essentially an alliance formed by the National Front, the Freedom Party of Austria, the Vlaams Belang of Flanders, and Bulgarian nationalists (Mr. Mote is also a member). Parliamentary groups can hold hearings, initiate legislation, and influence policy in many ways.

Mr. Gollnisch spoke of how vital it is to defend Europe’s heritage, including its ethnic heritage, from immigration. He also stressed the importance of maintaining European independence from Washington.

In both these respects, each European nation must be able to determine its own policies, but the European Union is increasingly taking on the character of a superstate. Officials in Brussels, who are not answerable to European peoples, are able to subordinate the member nations to their wishes. Their ultimate goal is to reduce the powers of members to less than that of American states.

Mr. Gollnisch especially decried the Lisbon Treaty of December 2007, which has ridden roughshod over traditional rights. He finds it particularly pernicious because it includes much of the language contained in a proposed new constitution for the European Union that was rejected by the French in a referendum. For example, it establishes a president of the EU, who is unelected, and therefore not subject to democratic control. Most crucially, immigration policy is now set by the EU rather than by individual nations. Mr. Gollnisch noted that even in historical terms, the emergence of a superstate violates the long-standing European tradition of an “equilibrium of powers.”

Mr. Gollnisch explained that many Frenchmen agree with the National Front’s views on sovereignty and French identity. The party did poorly in the last elections because Nicolas Sarkozy stole many Front ideas but without any real intension of applying them as policy. Mr. Gollnisch expressed confidence in the long-term future of the party because it reflects the sentiments of so many voters, and concluded with one of the Front’s main slogans, “Patriots of all countries, unite!”

Michael Walker, editor of The Scorpion, gave a rousing talk on what all of us can do for our cause as individuals. He noted that our race has been declining for the last 50 years and that all of us are committed to reversing that decline. To this end, he made several concrete suggestions. First, we should always be entirely clear about what we think and believe. We should never have one story to tell inside the group and another to outsiders. We must think through our positions, and then be entirely candid about them. Second, we should never apologize. We should state our positions with complete confidence and never back down.

Third, we should reject the false categories of optimism and pessimism. Pessimists can work themselves into a dismal state that makes them wonder why they should even bother. Optimists are usually political figures who promise instant and unrealistic success—leaving their followers downcast. “If it is your duty to work for our race,” he said, “optimism and pessimism have nothing to do with it.”

Fourth, he urged us to avoid “cranks and historians.” Cranks, who seem irresistibly drawn to our movement, are the sort of people one would not comfortably introduce to one’s mother or professional associates. It is best to stay away from them. “Historians” are people who want to characterize our struggle in terms of some aspect of the past, and this usually causes trouble. A fight over whether Lincoln or Churchill or even Hitler was good or bad is a distraction from our common struggle. Mr. Walker said he does not, himself, care for the French tricolor, as it is the flag of the Revolution, but this would never interfere with his support of French patriots who honor the flag.

Mr. Walker also emphasized the contributions women can make to our movement. Unlike men, who have romantic ideas about what they can accomplish, women are practical and understand the importance of basic material objectives. He also pointed out that our age is one that has been increasingly feminized, so a movement dominated by male perspectives is likely to drift out of touch. Young people are also important to a movement, and they may be attracted by activities that are more fun than political.

Mr. Walker explained that alliances can be vital but they must always be approached practically. One need not like one’s allies in order to work towards common goals, and alliances can be close, loose, or temporary, as appropriate. Some associations can bring our movement out of marginalization; others need not even be publicly acknowledged.

Mr. Walker concluded that if we bear these principles in mind we will no longer be part of movements that do not move and false dawns that never come.

Sam Dickson was true to his now-traditional AR role in closing the conference. He began by pointing out how many young people were in the audience, and marveled at the independence of mind now required for a young American to resist anti-white indoctrination. He noted that the governments of virtually every white nation are at war with their own people, and suggested that no monarch of past ages ever treated his own people with such savagery.

Mr. Dickson wryly suggested that the old story of the emperor’s new clothes should be retold to reflect our own times: Instead of being praised for his good sense, the child who points out the emperor’s nakedness would be arrested and expelled from school, and his parents would be judged incompetent guardians and sent to a reeducation camp.

The main theme of Mr. Dickson’s remarks was the importance of a homeland for American whites. He noted that there are precedents for such homelands, most notably the creation of Israel as a homeland for Jews. He pointed out that unlike Israel, which required the replacement of one population with another, the United States has for centuries been the home of large numbers of whites, who could reach generous agreements on allocation of territory with populations of other races.

He compared the longing of American whites for a homeland to the longing of the native Irish for homes of their own at a time when so many were tenants to absentee landlords. He read the poem An Old Woman of the Roads by Padraic Colum:

O, to have a little house!
To own the hearth and stool and all!
The heap’d up sods upon the fire,
The pile of turf against the wall!

To have a clock with weights and chains
And pendulum swinging up and down!
A dresser filled with shining delph,
Speckled and white and blue and brown!

I could be busy all the day
Clearing and sweeping hearth and floor,
And fixing on their shelf again
My white and blue and speckled store!

I could be quiet there at night
Beside the fire and by myself,
Sure of a bed and loth to leave
The ticking clock and the shining delph! …

And I am praying to God on high,
And I am praying Him night and day,
For a little house—a house of my own—
Out of the wind’s and the rain’s way.

Mr. Dickson added that a desire for home or homeland is one of the most basic and legitimate, and that only when whites have a secure territory they can call their own will their future as a race and culture be assured.

With this benediction, and the hope of seeing everyone again at the next AR conference, a very successful weekend came to a close.

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