Jared Taylor, American Renaissance, September/October 1996
A frequent criticism of American Renaissance is that it seldom has much to say about us — about the white majority in whose name it claims to speak. Many articles and much of the news section are about the other racial groups now living in the United States. As a friendly critic once put it, AR takes an absorbing interest in non-whites — describing their behavior and propensities in great detail — while ignoring the character and accomplishments of our own group.
This is true. AR writes at length about non-whites in order to clarify and underscore something that many whites feel but seldom put into words: That multi-racialism is failing because of fundamental group incompatibilities; that the present multi-racial experiment poses a grave threat to our people and culture. But what about our people and culture? Why do they matter?
When readers complain that AR says too much about “them” and not enough about “us,” they are asking for answers to a series of questions that AR has never raised: How are the white man and his civilization unique? Why do they deserve our loyalty? Why have so many whites lost all racial consciousness?
There is a reason why AR has never raised these questions: They should never have to be raised. No healthy people ever doubts its own legitimacy — or even its superiority. According to the French proverb, every nation thinks itself better than its neighbors, and every nation is right. Not even the most primitive tribe of New Guinea is likely ever to take an inventory of its characteristics to determine whether or not it should step aside so other people can take its place. No matter how squalid or degenerate they may appear to others they are, in their own minds, the finest people on earth.
All non-whites act this way. Neither the Japanese nor the Mexicans nor the Malays nor the Israelis tolerate alien incursion, displacement, or “multiculturalism.” They fight them instinctively, without having to explain to each other why they must fight them and why they should survive as a people. Only whites pretend that pluralism and displacement are good things and that the measures necessary to ensure group survival may be immoral.
This article is a reluctant investigation of some of these questions. It is a survey of some of those characteristics — some good, some bad — that distinguish whites from other races, but it is also an attempt to understand why whites, all around the world, seem to have lost their racial consciousness and will to survive as a group. This matter of the reasons for capitulation is the most troubling of all, but its explanation may lie in a better understanding of the distinctive traits of whites. In describing the ways of our people we may find that the very things that set us apart from others are the very things that paralyze us. What we ordinarily think of as our virtues have become, through degeneration, our greatest weaknesses.
After all, our enemies are not Africans or Latin Americans or Asians. Other races are happy to take whatever we are foolish enough to give them, but how could we expect them to refuse? It is we who have brought dispossession upon ourselves, so we must look to our own natures if we are to understand why we have done so.
Who Are We?
There is a common thread to the modern characteristics of European man, and he carries these characteristics wherever he migrates. This common thread is an abiding sense of reciprocity, a conviction that others have rights that must be respected. This conviction, which can be described as a kind of public morality, is at the heart of the institutions that are common to most white societies and absent from virtually every non-white one: democracy, free speech, and the rule of law. These appeared over time and took root more firmly in some white nations than in others.
In like manner, European societies have given rise to a broad range of non-political traditions also based on concern for others. These have established the unique texture of life among whites, but now virtually all of these traditions have changed in ways that make them threats to our survival.
Given the self-centered nature of man, democracy is an unlikely development. It is based on the assumption that, within the body of electors, all opinions are equal. This is remarkable, even excessive respect for others. History records few examples of people with power who willingly gave it up just because a majority of voters asked them to. This requires the powerful to subordinate their ambition to the opinions of strangers and, for the most part, only whites can manage this. A few Asian nations have developed a tenuous tradition of democracy, but only among whites is it taken for granted.
The same can be said for the rule of law. The idea that power is not self-justifying requires an understanding that others have legitimate rights. In virtually every non-white society, the power-holding clique enforces laws in a corrupt way that serves its own interests. Everyone accepts this. Although whites sometimes try to evade the law and some succeed, white societies are built on the assumption that justice is blind and that everyone is equal before the law.
One of our peculiar government rituals requires that American politicians disclose their incomes and net worths. Africans and other third-worlders are astonished at how small they are. Many non-whites take it for granted that political power is a license to steal.
Another almost uniquely European characteristic founded on recognition of the rights of others is legal protection against censorship. The temptation to suppress the speech of others is always strong; most non-white regimes give in to it without a second thought. Though we will return to this question, the rise of anti-“hate” laws in Europe and Canada that prohibit speech thought to damage protected minorities, is a significant step backwards in the evolution of European principles. It is a good example of the disease that now afflicts us: the perversion of good qualities into their opposites. Guarantees of free speech, enacted out of respect for human rights, are being abridged — but in the name of even greater respect for human rights.
Another white expression of concern for others is the elimination of hereditary class distinctions and the provision of public education. Westerners take for granted the ideal that citizens should rise or fall according to their abilities rather than according to status at birth. This is still an infant concept in many non-white societies.
Respect for others suffuses the other qualities we think of as typifying Western man. Ideals of sportsmanship, for example, are meant to curb expressions of triumphalism and protect the loser from humiliation. They are also meant to instill in competitors a respect for fair play that is more powerful than the desire to win. In its most extreme form, fair play requires that a player refuse to believe he was cheated.
In his younger days Teddy Roosevelt pursued “the strenuous life.” Historians write of the time he was in a boxing match when the gong sounded the end of the round. Just as Roosevelt dropped his guard his opponent let fly and hit him square in the face.
Blood gushed from Roosevelt’s nose. A growl of disapproval rose from the crowd. Roosevelt went to the edge of the ring and shouted: “He didn’t hear the bell. He didn’t hear the bell.”
The history of the penalty kick in British soccer reflects the same tradition. The kick was granted on the assumption that a player who was fouled within scoring distance must have been deliberately fouled. When soccer became a professional sport, many former British amateurs would not take the penalty kick. They refused to believe that anyone in their sport could commit a deliberate foul.
Rooting for the underdog is another European sporting tradition. This, too, shows Western man’s concern for the other person’s point of view. Some competitors may be no-hopers, but we cheer their efforts and hope for the unexpected upset.
The swaggering, “trash talk,” corner cutting, and absence of gentlemanly play that characterize sports today are largely the importation of non-white behavior into a previously white arena. Sadly, many whites have been infected and act just as loutishly.
One of the most dramatic ways, though, in which whites differ from all other peoples is in their treatment of women. For American Indians and Africans, women were beasts of burden. Muslims kept women out of sight, and Confucianists reserved for them a distinctly servile role. A recent Prime Minister of Japan, Kakuei Tanaka, urged a new son-in-law to slap the prime minister’s daughter around occasionally. It was the best way to keep her in line, he explained, giving some substance to the view that in Japan the status of a woman is somewhere between that of a man and a bird.
Only in the West was the objectively weaker sex elevated and protected through an elaborate code of chivalry. Only white men traditionally stand in the presence of a woman, hold doors for her, carry her burdens. Nearly 2,000 years ago, the Roman historian Tacitus was struck by the high regard in which Germanic tribesmen held women. He thought it remarkable that even the most powerful men were content with only one wife and that women should be admitted to councils of war. Like all members of white societies, women have rights and sensibilities that must be respected.
The idea of love and romance is likewise almost exclusively European. Nowhere but in the West has it ever been supposed that men and women could share a romantic love that lasted until death. Many couples fall short of this standard, but the standard itself is virtually without parallel. What passes for “love” in such famous non-white literary works as The Tale of Genji or Tales From the Arabian Nights is brutish womanizing by the standards of Western romance.
Does the concept of noblesse oblige have non-white parallels? Or is it only Europeans who believe that the wealthy and high born have particular, unwritten obligations? It is no accident that the welfare state is an almost exclusively white enterprise. It is a logical if misguided extension of the tradition of private charity and philanthropy. Muslim societies have the zakah, or obligatory alms for the poor, but among the people of no other race are found the habits and institutions of charity common to Western man. Nowhere else is there so much volunteer work or even an understanding of what it is.
Another exclusively European expression of concern for others is the missionary calling. Although it is fashionable to mock Christian missionaries, they made tremendous sacrifices to bring what they believed were truth and salvation to people who would otherwise burn in hell. Other people — even foreigners — not only had rights, they had immortal souls that it was the white man’s duty to save.
International organizations like the European Union and the North American Free Trade Association are implemented exclusively by whites. The theory is that some national sovereignty may be given up in the name of “fairness” and the common good. Latin Americans and Asians have tried similar economic groupings, such as the Association of South East Asian Nations or any number of abortive South American trade zones, but they invariably go nowhere.
Whites also show their characteristic concern for others in attempts to protect wildlife and the environment. People preserve the environment because of future generations; those not yet born have rights, too. Third world nations are notoriously unconcerned about the environment, partly because they may be too poor to afford to care, but also because they do not share Western concerns. The environmentalist movement was inspired by whites and continues to be the work, almost exclusively, of whites.
One need go no further than the closest multi-racial metropolis to see who cares about the immediate environment. For example, the annual celebration of Puerto Rico Day in New York City leaves the streets clogged with trash. The rather different clientele that picnics on the Great Lawn in Central Park before a free symphony concert leaves scarcely a scrap of paper behind. We are invariably told that differences in income explain differences in behavior, but the poor can pick up trash as well as the rich.
Efforts to protect wildlife are a lopsidedly white concern. The Japanese, who are as rich as Westerners, would rather eat whales than save them. Hong Kong Chinese, many of whom are millionaires, continue to pep themselves up with doses of rhino horn without regard to what this may cost the rhinoceros. Nor do they seem to care that every serving of bear paws means another dead bear.
Campaigns to protect the wild life of Africa are likewise mainly a white concern. African leaders who, themselves, take little interest in lions or elephants, use the threat of extinction to extract aid from whites. Similarly, South Americans play on European worries about shrinking rain forests.
The black sociologist, Elijah Anderson, in his 1990 book, Street Wise, describes how differently blacks and whites feel about dogs. Inner city blacks do not think of dogs as companions but as useful creatures that can be trained to terrify and attack people. Prof. Anderson reports that they are disgusted to see whites, on their knees, hugging dogs and burying their faces in fur.
A strictly utilitarian, even exploitative attitude toward animals is taken for granted in the third world. It is rare to see a sign of affection or kindness for the donkeys, camels, and draft animals that still power much of the non-white world. A Tunisian would be amazed at the homes for retired donkeys that are found in Britain. Laws against cruelty to animals are an almost uniquely white phenomenon — not even the Japanese have them.
Like all European virtues, this one can get out of hand. Animal “rights” activists don’t mind putting lumberjacks out of work in order to save the spotted owl, and have disrupted scientific experiments that use animals. Some would make it illegal to eat meat. Extreme or not, this concern about the rights of others, even the rights of other species, is a white preoccupation.
Champions at ‘saving’
Whites are the world’s unsurpassed champions at “saving” and improving things. They have fought wars to end all wars, make the world safe for democracy, and — some say — to end slavery. They launch “wars” on inanimate enemies like poverty and drugs. They are off to feed the world, save the ozone layer, prevent global warming, spread democracy, liberate women, stop acid rain, promote human rights, end child labor, and persuade every man on earth to wear a condom. Much as liberals may think they disdain the missionary impulse, they far exceed their ancestors in righteous zeal. There is nothing on the planet that escapes the white obsession with doing good. For non-whites it must be an astonishing spectacle.
Where does all this moral energy come from? There is increasing evidence that personality traits — including such things as introversion/extroversion, respect for authority, strength of religious convictions, and impulsiveness — are under considerable genetic control. Fifty percent seems to be about the average figure for heritability of such traits. This means it is entirely possible that there are biological bases for racial differences in what one could call “average personality,” just as there are for differences in average intelligence.
In a provocative article in the April 1995 issue of AR, Prof. Michael Levin speculates about the origins of racial differences in altruism, or the capacity to respect the wishes of others. He cites evidence for inherent differences in morality, and suggests that just as local environmental pressures directed group evolution towards different levels of intelligence, they probably produced different levels of moral perception.
The way whites organize their societies may therefore reflect inherent racial traits. Respect for others, formal restraints on political power, support for the weak, the desire to keep the planet habitable — these typically white traits are all altruistic and find only incomplete parallels among non-whites.
Ways of War
Aside from these general principles for the organization of society, there are many specific historical examples of white behavior that are difficult to imagine in other races. Some of the most striking come from the conduct of war.
In the spring of 1863, the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia were camped on opposite sides of the Rappahannock river. Here is a passage from Bruce Catton’s Mr. Lincoln’s Army about one evening when massed Union bands gathered by the river in earshot the Confederates:
Northerners and Southerners, the soldiers sang those songs [‘Tramp, Tramp, Tramp,’ ‘Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes,’ ‘John Brown’s Body,’ etc.] or sat and listened to them in their thousands on the hillsides . . . Finally the Southerners called across, ‘Now play some of ours,’ so without pause the Yankee bands swung into ‘Dixie,’ and ‘The Bonnie Blue Flag’ and ‘Maryland, My Maryland.’ And then at last the massed bands played ‘Home, Sweet Home,’ and 150,000 fighting men tried to sing it and choked up and just sat there, silent, staring off into the darkness; and at last the music died away and the bandsmen put up their instruments and both armies went to bed. A few weeks later they were tearing each other apart in the lonely thickets around Chancellorsville.
Here were men whose patriotic duty was to kill each other and who, indeed, did so with great ferocity. This did not prevent the Union bandsmen from playing the tunes they knew would most please and inspire the Confederates.
Here is Mr. Catton again, in A Stillness at Appomattox, describing an incident that took place during the battle of Petersburg:
The 39th Massachusetts won an advanced position, losing three color-bearers, and at last was forced back, leaving its colors on the ground. Its colonel asked for volunteers to go out and get the flags. A corporal and a private responded and ran out to get them, and suddenly — and quite unexpectedly — the Confederates stopped firing, allowed the men to pick up the flags, and as they went back to the regiment the Rebels waved their hats and raised a cheer.
This was four years into the bloodiest war Americans ever fought. If these soldiers were ever going to despise their enemy, give him no quarter, and kill him at every opportunity, that point would have been reached long ago. Can we conceive of common soldiers in an African or Arab or Asian army showing as much consideration and magnanimity as these hard-pressed Confederates?
The Battle of Saratoga in 1777 produced another memorable incident that illustrates both the gallantry of warfare among whites and the unusual status of women. Major Ackland, on Gen. Burgoyn’s staff, was shot through both legs and left on the field as the redcoats retreated. His wife was with the British forces and was deeply worried about her husband. She had had a very rough retreat along with the soldiers — 12 hours without food in a driving rain — but she asked Gen. Burgoyn to petition the American commander, Gen. Gates, to let her through the lines to tend her husband. Burgoyn was impressed that she would undertake to go several miles in the dark, cross a river, and go over to the enemy, and was moved to write this letter to General Gates:
Sir — Lacy Harriet Ackland, a lady of the first distinction of family, rank, and personal virtues, is under such concern on account of Major Ackland, her husband, wounded and a prisoner in your hands, that I cannot refuse her request to commit her to your protection. Whatever general impropriety there may be in persons in my situation and yours to solicit favors, I cannot see the uncommon perseverance in every female grace and the exaltation of character of this lady, and her very hard fortune, without testifying that your attentions to her will lay me under obligations. I am, sir, your obedient servant, J. Burgoyne. (Quoted in Edward Creasy, Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World)
She was accepted through the lines and cared for her husband. Within a week Burgoyn’s army had surrendered.
This letter, and especially the complimentary close, may strike modern ears as fantastically mannered, but it reflects a conception of the antagonist and a respect for women not likely to be found in non-white histories.
Admittedly, white armies do not always behave chivalrously, and during the Second World War, both the Axis and the Allies launched civilian terror bombings without much compunction. To some degree, a gallant attitude towards the enemy may require war on a more intimate, technologically primitive scale. Moreover, modern wars — especially those fought by democracies — are mass wars that must mobilize an entire nation. The best way to do this is by demonizing the enemy and it is much easier to kill civilians if we are convinced they are demons.
Even so, armies of whites rarely commit the barbarities that have sometimes been common among their enemies. American Indians seldom took prisoners unless it was to torture them for sport. They liked to strip the bodies of enemy dead and mutilate them, as the U.S. Cavalry found when it arrived, too late, at what was left of Custer’s last stand. The Viet Cong frequently killed wounded Americans they found on the battlefield, and the cruelty of Japanese troops in China and the Pacific is well recorded. A few unfortunate exceptions in the Balkans notwithstanding, what soldier today, given a choice, would surrender to a non-white rather than a white army?
Curiously, it is the fashion today to describe whites, whether civilians or soldiers, as uniquely evil. Detractors point to the great butcheries of the Second World War as proof. Of course, the scale of the killing only reflected European and American technological genius.
Far more remarkable than the violence done by whites is the violence they have not done. In the history of that near-universal institution, slavery, only whites ever thought up philosophical justifications for it because only they had bad consciences about it. Other peoples simply took slaves when they had the power to do so. When whites persuaded themselves that slavery was wrong, they not only abolished it within their own realms but forced abolition upon reluctant non-whites. It is pure, anti-white nonsense to pretend that American slavery was somehow uniquely shameful.
Whites in this century have treated non-white nations with remarkable forbearance. The European powers had established vast empires that included most of the rest of the world. Non-whites did not win independence; they were given freedom by whites who decided this was the moral thing to do. Now, when former colonies stumble under the weight of independence, European countries prop them up. In the colonial era, there was a name for this kind of care-taking: the white man’s burden. Much as it is mocked today, it was in many cases a sincerely-felt desire to raise up less fortunate races.
After the Second World War, whites had the power to organize the planet into a system of exploitation entirely for their own benefit. They could have kept all of Asia as client states rather than permit Japan, Korea, and — soon — China to become real competitors. Even today, whites could completely dominate other races — even exterminate them — but this is simply not part of their moral repertoire.
What would the world be like if some other race had the tremendously disproportionate power that whites have had and continue to have? Would Africans or Asians act with the restraint whites have shown? Would they voluntarily sheath their weapons and instead give aid to help races less successful than themselves?
Only in the last century has the history of the world been anything but the chronicle of aggressive war for the purpose of tribal or national aggrandizement. If, in the 1880s, the United States had decided to colonize Mexico or Central America would there have been much outcry? Today’s international morality of self-restraint is not universal, but it was established entirely by whites. It is this self-restraint, first practiced upon themselves by whites and then forced upon aggressive non-white powers by whites, that has changed the entire character of international relations. Since 1945, it has curbed large-scale war. Yet whites, ironically, are supposed to be the villains of world history.
What does any of this have to do with the defeated state of mind now common among whites? Every one of the institutions and characteristics set out above reflects the particular morality of whites. In recent decades, every one has been perverted into something dangerous and self-destructive. Institutions that once balanced respect for the rights of others with an understanding of inegalitarian reality have been plunged into blind egalitarianism. The history of this century is the history of an almost hysterical assault on distinctions of all kinds.
Distinctions require judgment, and judgment can be painful for those who are judged. Some people are found wanting when a society distinguishes between criminal and non-criminal, competent and incompetent, worthy and unworthy, healthy and perverse, our people and those who are not. White societies have pushed their characteristic consideration for others to impossible limits; they have lost the capacity to judge. Distinctions that are vital for survival are blurred and smoothed over in the name of “sensitivity” and “tolerance.” Recognition of inequality is now a violation of the liberal vision of man (now known, of course, as humankind).
For example, it was in the name of equality that the work of the Founding Fathers was dismantled so as to reduce representative government to something like mob democracy. Most of the restrictions on the franchise have been stripped away. Some kind of qualification is necessary to drive a car or become a barber, but any fool who turns eighteen can vote. Presidents and U.S. Senators are now chosen directly by mass ballot. The Founders were careful to distinguish their republic from a democracy, which they feared; we now have a democracy. Why has their work been undone? Because it recognized that some men are wiser than others — a subversive sentiment in this egalitarian era.
In like manner, because we can no longer judge, law has been perverted to serve the so-called rights of criminals and convicts — now sometimes thought to deserve more consideration than the law-abiding. Campus speech codes violate ancient principles of free speech in the name of equality by fiat. High regard for women has collapsed into preposterous notions of physical and psychological equivalence of the sexes. Concern for the common good that underlay public education has now degenerated into a preoccupation with incompetents, defectives, and other beneficiaries of “special” education. Private, voluntary charity has been overshadowed by ruthless government programs that attempt to erase distinctions by taking from the productive and giving to the unproductive.
What is happening in the armed forces is just as extraordinary. Since distinctions are no longer permitted, blacks, whites, Hispanics, women, and homosexuals are all thought to be interchangeable and therefore equally good soldiers. If veterans disagree, social engineering takes precedence over effective killing. Annual efficiency reports for soldiers include an item, “Supports EO/EEO” [Equal Opportunity/Equal Employment Opportunity]. An X in the “No” block can bring an otherwise honorable military career to an end.
The official view is that a “diverse” army is a better army. This is a demonstrated prescription for battlefield disaster. In the 19th century, under Camillo Cavour, the Italian army was made into a tool for nation-building rather than fighting. Italians from different regions were assigned to mixed units in the hope that they would develop feelings of national unity. The result was discord, desertion, and a miserable combat record. The German army, with its cohesive, homogeneous units recruited from small areas within single provinces had high morale and fought brilliantly.
An army’s job is to kill the enemy. Today, most white armies are test beds for egalitarian foolishness, and soldiers are well on their way to becoming social workers with rifles. As the Italians learned but we have not, ignoring distinctions can be fatal.
One of the strangest losses of an ancient distinction has been the crumbling of adult authority. In the 1960s, all across the white world, college administrators put on fantastic displays of spinelessness as young degenerates took over buildings and issued “non-negotiable” demands. Even today, a “demonstration” or the threat of one can bring a university to its knees. The natural hierarchy of generations is cast aside in the name of equality.
All these changes have been part of an assault on virtually every difference, hierarchy, distinction, and discrimination that men have always taken for granted. What we see in the United States and in other white nations is an attack on distinctions that is almost as far-reaching as the Communist attempt to destroy private enterprise.
The typical white concern for others has run amok. In public discourse and political life, not much is left of the old distinctions between man and woman, hetero- and homosexual, gifted and incompetent, citizen and alien, producer and parasite, gentleman and barbarian. This campaign has succeeded only because of the altruistic inclinations that are probably inherent in whites. Down this path lies the collapse of all values.
Of course, the mandatory equality — even equivalence — of races is one of the most desperately defended illusions of this desperately egalitarian century. The illusion began to shape society first in the United States and then spread its effects to all other white nations. Racial doctrine is now at the very heart of the egalitarian juggernaut that is crushing the white man. The vital ability to make racial distinctions has been swept away, along with the ability to make countless other distinctions.
Anyone who can see through the central lie of racial equivalence is likely to see through the other associated egalitarian lies. That is why whites who still make racial distinctions still make so many others.
What has brought about the destruction of distinctions? Several explanations have been proposed but none seems adequate. Some people think that Christianity, with its emphasis on equality before God and turning the other cheek, has fatally weakened the white man. Today, mainstream Christianity is certainly an important force for capitulation, but this is probably a symptom rather than a cause of the white man’s disease. As Fr. James Thornton pointed out in the August issue, traditional Christianity by no means requires the destruction of distinctions. Furthermore, Europeans have been Christian for more than a thousand years, and Christianity certainly did not undermine Stonewall Jackson’s capacity to draw distinctions — nor that of the Conquistadors and Crusaders.
The faith has been pruned to suit the times. The Bible requires that homosexuals be executed, but many contemporary Christians want to both ordain homosexuals and abolish the death penalty. Christianity has not changed; Christians have changed.
Some people likewise insist that Jews are to blame for the poisoned state of mind common among whites. It is true that disproportionate numbers of Jews have promoted the forces of dispossession: non-white immigration, affirmative action, denial of racial differences, forced integration, and the dismantling of ancient distinctions of all kinds.
However, they have found more than willing accomplices among non-Jews, and to blame Jews for white capitulation is a little like blaming whites for all the failures of blacks. A group that is only three percent of the U.S. population cannot denature a people all by itself. Many of those who have encouraged whites in their suicidal proclivities have been Jews, but those proclivities had to exist before they could be encouraged.
Moreover, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Norway, have only tiny populations of Jews, but are among the most relentlessly egalitarian nations on earth. They have pushed the welfare state the farthest, and as a percentage of GNP, their foreign aid budgets are much larger than that of the United States. They were also early and generous supporters of the black movements in South Africa that fought against the white government. Jews had essentially no influence on these policies.
What was it, though, that precipitated the white man’s sudden cancer of egalitarianism? Representative government, rule of law, and other forms of public morality evolved slowly. Why have racial and other distinctions been struck down only in the last few decades?
The Second World War was certainly a factor. The victors, the Soviet Union and the United States, were the most ideologically egalitarian nations on earth. Whatever else it stood for, the Axis fought for distinctions — national, racial, cultural, biological. Its defeat discredited eugenics and racial consciousness. It even discredited nationalism, and the victorious allies founded the United Nations with the express intent of eliminating nationalism and national conflicts.
Material progress has also played a role in the destruction of distinctions. “Luxury is more ruthless than war,” said the Roman satirist, Juvenal. The affluence of the post-war years made it easier to cover up the disastrous results of social policy. Great wealth, forcibly redistributed to the non-productive, created the illusion of social as well as material progress. Higher standards of living were an excuse to ignore unspeakable degeneracy. Increasing wealth made it possible to believe that the rules of human nature had changed, and that society could be perfected.
What Whites Have Lost
Of all the categories that the last few decades have blurred, the loss of racial distinctions has the direst long-term consequences. A group cannot survive without a sense of identity. It cannot continue unless its members are aware that they are part of a group and are willing to put its interests before those of other groups.
When that group is the white race, group consciousness is treated as an unalloyed evil, but in all other areas of life we take it for granted. A family exists in a meaningful sense only if its members put family interests before the interests of strangers.
A political party would dissolve if its members were not willing to assert the party’s interests against all others. A corporation’s employees must be willing to compete against competitors. Unless the citizens of a nation have a national consciousness a nation dissolves. No group can survive without group consciousness. So long as there are people of other races who are racially conscious, and are willing to assert explicitly racial interests — and clearly there are — whites must rekindle racial consciousness or be pushed aside.
It is obvious that whites have not lost the instinct to identify with groups. They are loyal to colleges, clubs, home towns, employers and families. Not even the forces of liberal one-worldism can prevent great shows of devotion to nation. Whites can even be fanatically loyal to professional sports teams, despite the fact that they have only the most tenuous connections to the players.
Of all the traditional group loyalties, racial consciousness has been most vigorously suppressed, and that only recently. Commodore Josiah Tattnall of the ante-bellum United States navy provides an instructive example of what was once commonplace.
The Treaties of Tientsin were signed with China in June, 1858. All parties agreed that they would be ratified in Peking the next year. The English, French, and American envoys, escorted by gunboats, sailed up the Pehio River on their way to Peking, but found their passage blocked by barricades supported by gun emplacements on the banks. The British and French decided to force passage, but the Americans were neutral and did not take part in the engagement.
The Chinese gunners turned out to be first rate, and the Europeans, especially the British, took a terrible pounding. At length, Josiah Tattnall, commander of the American fleet, could stand it no longer. Uttering the famous words, “Blood is thicker than water. I’ll be damned if I will stand by and see white men butchered before my eyes,” he went into action against the Chinese. Subsequent reaction in both the United States and England was wide-spread approval.
World War II veteran, Paul Fussel, writes about how American soldiers reacted to German and Japanese prisoners when they encountered them behind the lines. The Germans seemed surprisingly like Americans, and soldiers who spent time with them began to wonder why they had to fight such agreeable people. Americans who encountered Japanese prisoners found them deeply alien — fit candidates for extermination.
Up through the 1950s, every President of the United States had a strong racial consciousness. Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and Abraham Lincoln are well known for wanting to separate the races, preferably by resettling blacks outside the United States. Harry Truman confided to his diary: “I am strongly of the opinion that Negroes ought to be in Africa, yellow men in Asia, and white men in Europe and America.” Dwight Eisenhower conceded that blacks might have to be given legal equality but argued that this certainly did not imply social equality.
Even today, whites travelling in Africa or Asia quickly discover a bond with other whites that they may have never before acknowledged. The more primitive the country, the more readily whites fall in with each other, even with complete strangers who do not speak their language.
Back home, where they are the majority, whites have been taught to suppress these instincts. They go even further and affirm the racial solidarity of others while denying their own. Robert Frost once defined a liberal as someone who cannot take his own side in an argument. As a race, whites have lost the capacity to take their own side in any explicitly racial argument. When a non-white makes racial demands whites almost always give in.
The prevailing view is that all non-whites have legitimate racial interests — to be asserted, if need be, at the expense of whites — while whites are simply individuals without racial interests. If anything, whites are supposed to sacrifice their own racial interests voluntarily and promote those of others.
One reason why whites do this so readily is that, as a people, they require a moral basis for what they do. The system of governance built up within white societies is based on the assumption that the interests of others sometimes require that we sacrifice our own. All principles of Western (and any other) morality require this. If it is good and generous to sacrifice individual interests, then why not group interests?
It is this confusion about goodness and sacrifice that gives the fight against “racism” so much moral fervor. Liberal whites speak as whites only to denounce their own race and to praise non-whites — thereby assuming the aura of moral superiority that comes with sacrifice. Other whites, they imply, wallow in racial self-interest but they have risen so far above it they can bellow indignantly against it.
Denunciations of “racism” are therefore ten a penny, but they have the same moral sheen as giving to the poor. Preachers, politicians, soldiers, teachers, judges, and Rotarians all deliver sermons blasting “bigotry.” Great merit can be accumulated this way and — this is why it is so attractive — at no cost. Many of those who whoop the loudest about integration send their own children to private schools. The champions of affirmative action never offer their own jobs to less qualified non-whites, and would probably fight like demons to keep housing projects out of their neighborhoods.
Even the giddiest white liberals normally live, socialize, and marry among themselves. Daily intercourse with Mexicans and Haitians is exhilarating, to be sure, but liberals prefer to leave it to the lower orders. The implied self-sacrifice of anti-white activism is therefore almost always pure hypocrisy. It is perfectly acceptable to thunder mightily against “racism” and not have a single non-white friend, relative, or neighbor.
Public moral preening at no cost is too great a temptation to resist. Columnist Maggie Gallagher no doubt felt exquisitely virtuous when she wrote:
I hate the idea of being white . . . I never think of myself as belonging to the ‘white race.’ Those who do, in my experience, are invariably second-raters, seeking solace for their own failures. I can think of few things more degrading than being proud to be white.
Barbara Ehrenreich repudiates her race more subtly but just as emphatically: “I had hoped that by marrying a man of Eastern European Jewish ancestry I would acquire for my descendants the ethnic genes that my own [British] forebears so sadly lacked.” However, her husband did not practice Judaism, and her children grew up without any kind of racial or ethnic consciousness. She goes on:
A few weeks ago I cleared my throat and asked the children, now mostly grown and fearsomely smart, whether they felt any stirrings of ethnic or religious identity, which might have been, ahem, insufficiently nourished at home.
‘None,’ they said, adding firmly, ‘and the world would be a better place if nobody else did, either.’ My chest swelled with pride, as would my mother’s, to know that the race of ‘none’ marches on.
In the 30 years from 1960 to 1990, the white population of Miami went from 90 percent to 10 percent. David Lawrence, Jr., Publisher of the Miami Herald, seems to think this is wonderful: “This country’s future, previewed in South Florida, is a future of many colors, many faiths, a variety of tongues . . . We can serve as example to America.” He goes on to write, “I’d love to hear our National Anthem sung in either language [Spanish or Haitian Creole].”
The same sentiments no doubt prompted 4,000 people in Helena, Montana to come out and hear Desmond Tutu raise money for the African National Council. This was in 1990, before South Africans had voted to hand their country over to blacks, and the event raised $85,000. Fewer than one quarter of one percent of Montana’s population is black. Today, whenever Nelson Mandela visits a white nation he is treated like a visiting deity.
The virtue of promoting other races is now part of the school curriculum. More American 17-year-olds know who Harriet Tubman was than can identify Joseph Stalin or Winston Churchill.
In 1991, Dubuque, Iowa put on a touching display of virtue. The town is 98 percent white, and people still leave their doors unlocked. The city council thought the place could be greatly improved, so it voted to recruit several hundred black families by offering to subsidize their housing. A few young fellows gained instant notoriety by protesting the plan. The better folk of Dubuque then took to wearing black and white ribbons in their lapels to show support for recruiting blacks.
In 1987, former President, Jimmy Carter, exhibited his elevated moral stature by confessing to a great moral failing. In a speech at Rice Institute he said that when he saw television footage of starving Ethiopian children he could not manage to care as much about them as he did about his own daughter, Amy. He said he was “embarrassed” by this “racist” lack of sufficient sentiment.
There is a prominent place in the annals of virtue for Reginald Denny, the white truck driver who was beaten by blacks and left for dead at the beginning of the Los Angeles riots of 1992. When his assailants went on trial, Mr. Denny made excuses for them, argued for leniency, and hugged the mother of one of the men who had nearly killed him.
Columnist Jon Carroll is prepared to see whites go completely by the boards. Noting that nothing we try seems to put an end to racial friction, he writes: “I think intermarriage may be the only way out . . . Of course, we’d lose a lot of interesting specific cultures that way, but that battle is pretty much over already.”
Morton Kondracke appears to feel the same way: “It would be a lot easier if each of us were related to someone of another color and if, eventually, we were all one color. In America, this can happen.” The whole white race might as well be done away with if multi-racialism doesn’t work out after all.
All these acts and expressions of racial virtue have two things in common: First, they represent a repudiation of white racial consciousness and white group interests. Second, it is impossible to imagine people of any other race doing or saying these things.
This weird self-repudiation grows out of the false assumption that anti-racism is moral and white racial consciousness is immoral. This state of mind is the single greatest threat to our survival. Unless whites understand that survival is moral, they will never take steps to ensure it.
Most whites do not want to mix with other races. They want their children to marry whites. They loathe the thought of becoming a minority. Yet, they have been taught to be ashamed to think these things, and they do nothing to protect their group. They are paralyzed by their own perverted morality.
Ultimately, we must ask the most unpleasant question of all: Is the white race fit to survive? Entirely aside from explicitly racial forms of capitulation, is a people that puts women in “combat” serious about survival? Is a people for which homosexuality is a valid alternative to family life serious about survival? Is a people that forces the competent to subsidize and reward the whelping of incompetents serious about survival? Is a people whose adults are unable to face down their adolescent children serious about survival? Such people — and only whites do these things — have begun to write their own death warrant, even without the threat from growing populations of non-whites.
What makes the current crisis even worse is that whites have never articulated any moral justifications for their own racial interests and survival. Like every other people, they never had to. Josiah Tattnall did not have to explain why he stepped into a fight between Europeans and Chinese. President Lincoln did not have to explain why he thought blacks should be persuaded to leave. Generations of whites never had to explain why they did not want non-whites in their schools or neighborhoods. These things come instinctively to a people with a racial identity.
Now, when arguments are formulated against what everyone always took for granted, there is no stock of tested ideas and refutations on which people can draw to defend their way of life. In their bones they feel that what is happening is wrong, but they do not have the words with which to express those feelings. Without words, without convincing moral foundations, whites cannot act.
It should be no more necessary to explain why whites, as a group, have the right to a future than to explain why it is better to live than to die. In our suicidal era, racially conscious whites are forced to explain themselves, but when instinct and tacit understanding have been battered by decades of argument and pseudo-moral assault, most people have no means of intellectual defense.
Still, there is reason for hope. In time, even egalitarians discover that if racial hypocrisy has no immediate penalty, it has a terrible long-term price. The great multi-racial experiment has failed — failed so obviously that no one is any longer deceived. In private, on talk radio, and even occasionally in the generic media things are being said that were never heard 20 or 30 years ago. The terrible consequences of lost racial consciousness are slowly becoming clear to ever larger numbers of people. Consciousness of race is returning. Affirmative action, busing, inter-racial crime, and the transparently anti-white bias of the media are opening more and more eyes every day. There are more groups and publications than ever that clearly assert the interests of whites.
Racial consciousness is on the march. Its power will only grow, and its fundamental moral legitimacy will ensure that it eventually prevails. The survival of our people and culture hangs in the balance.
Editor’s Note: This essay is featured in Jared Taylor’s book, If We Do Nothing, available for purchase here.