John Derbyshire, VDARE, November 2, 2017
Book Of The Month
Not much time for reading this month, but I did take in Jared Taylor’s If We Do Nothing.
It’s an essay collection, reprints of 37 pieces Jared has written at various times over the past twenty-odd years. A couple of things occurred to me while reading.
First, the pieces have aged well — better than mine covering some of the same ground across the same time span. Except where the subject matter is topical — the Hurricane Katrina pieces from 2005, for instance — it’s hard to date these essays from internal evidence.
Second, Jared is a really good writer: thoughtful, literate, witty, punctilious about usage. He actually has a whole chapter on the silly usages foisted on us by feminists:
Every day, the left is hacking away at the language. Fight back. Proudly use such sentences as: “Since man is a mammal, he suckles his young.”
It makes me grind my teeth to think that an illiterate, humorless poseur like Ta-Nehisi Coates can storm the best-seller lists with his blackety-black gibberish while Jared’s clear thinking, good writing, and calm, fair-minded acceptance of racial reality languish in obscurity. Truly it has been said: Gold sinks but poop floats.
I’ll admit I’m a Taylor groupie. Jared is a great man, who will be remembered long after I (surely), you (probably), and the fools and mountebanks who occupy our attention today are all forgotten.
In the spirit of proper objective criticism, though, I should try to find some faults in the book. OK, here’s one, though a slight and debatable one.
It’s in the 1996 essay “The Ways of our People,” in which Jared tackles the question that, really, is at the heart of his concerns: What the hell is the matter with white people? Why do we, alone of all the world’s people, strive to engineer our own replacement?
The essay begins, though, by sketching some characteristically white patterns of thought and behavior. Among them Jared includes sportsmanship:
The swaggering, “trash talk,” corner cutting, and absence of gentlemanly play common in sports today are largely the importation of non-white behavior into a previously white arena. Sadly, many whites have been affected and act just as loutishly.
The Master said: Exemplary people do not compete with one another. The nearest exception is the Archery Ceremony. Greeting and accommodating each other, the archers mount the stairs of the hall. Descending after contesting, they share a drink together. Even when competing they remain exemplary people. [Analects 3.vii.]
Apparently civilized sportsmanship was going strong in old China 2,500 years ago. Not all civilized behaviors are exclusive to whites.
[Editor’s Note: If We Do Nothing is available in our store here.]