[This one is going to rustle some jimmies. I intended to write comments on the various applications of HBD I see in political thought much later down the road. However, in the aftermath of the Syrian missile strike ordered by the Trump administration and the ensuing disillusionment, the magazine’s editor was in the mood for some controversy. So I came up with this.]
[I’ll be back with your regularly scheduled royalism next time.]
In the aftermath of the UNESCO statement on race in 1950, the triumph of post-war social democracy and its attempt to instill guilt over crimes of various regimes generally characterized as “fascist,” the subject of race was to be made an indefinite taboo that lasts to the present.
This would come at a very awkward time. Just as race had been declared as nothing but an indefensible social construct, advances in population, behavioral and molecular genetics were being made that would fine tune the definition and precision of race to degrees greatly surpassing the older schools of physical anthropology. As a result, we are caught in the rather paradoxical situation that we are penalized the most when talking about race at just the same time that we know the most about it. Quite begrudgingly and usually unacknowledged to the public, race remains an acceptable research avenue in pretty much only two mainstream areas: forensic and biomedical sciences.
These circumstances, along with the pronounced demographic crises emerging from population migrations, declining fertility, and a general malaise in the relations between the sexes, have made the race question a prominent fixture of right-wing thought, indeed increasingly becoming the very foundation.
On one hand, this is not surprising. Indifferentism defeated Christendom, nationalism defeated legitimism, Lockean liberalism wiped out the idea of the virtuous prince and made his existence inherently tyrannical, Jacobinism rooted out the chartered liberties and fueros of the old regime, and mercantilist welfarism has crowded out the informal institutions of self-help. Alienated and atomized men without spirituality who have to live in a dysfunctional state around other ethnicities—this is a natural target demographic for these ideas to leave an impact.
On the other hand, it is nevertheless quite astonishing how thoroughly the race question (a specific take on it, too) has been made the ultimate theory of society and of history of the modern far-right, subordinating all other concerns as being a mere “superstructure” to the “base” of genetics. Today’s alt-right essentially consists of a synthesis of revolutionary ethnonationalism with sociobiological materialism. True, these were the animating ideas of an older white nationalism, also. But today’s right is seeing a determinist racialism incrementally growing into a consensus position. Around this racialism, a sort of clownish archetype of what “European civilization” is supposed to be has formed around it, an archetype I have difficulty describing except as a Greco-Roman-Nietzschean composite.
Take for example, the common aphorism one encounters: “Race determines culture.” This appears to be a powerful statement. If race is the material substance that builds who we are genetically and neurologically, it would appear as though these characteristics embodied in race must shape our customs in specific ways. But note that this is a one-way determination. It does not specify any progression or development from race to culture, only that one (biology of man) must lead to the other (society of man). Hence, the statement is reduced to being little more than a truism of the type “A is A.” Or, rather that G+E=P. True enough. It tells us nothing about the evolution of culture itself as a phenotype. There is an analogy in the difference between a condition required for equilibrium and the actual dynamic process of adjustment needed to get there. The latter need not be smooth or predictable. For instance, though we may infer that the ancient Indo-Europeans had a tripartite structure of warriors, priests and laborers (per Georges Dumezil’s hypothesis), this structure can nevertheless branch out into many forms that are not distinctly recognizable as coming from its origin point. We modern Europeans are an especially pathological case.
Applied as a theory of history, racialism is sorely lacking. A case in point is probably the most comprehensive European history written from such a historiographic perspective, Arthur Kemp’s March of the Titans.
Kemp’s work is fascinating in just how Whiggish it is. The level of Whiggery would make Thomas Macaulay blush. He praises the liberal Risorgimento as a racial struggle against “Austrian domination,” exalts Napoleon for being a great white conquerer and homogenizing the administrative systems of the European states he annexed as sister republics.
Most damningly of all, Kemp concludes Chapter 43 of his book by saying:
When the history of the Christian Wars is read in conjunction with the 20th century conflict in Ireland; the torture and lunacy of parts of the Inquisition; the suppression of learning and science caused by the Christian Dark Ages; and the division of the White populations into opposing Christian camps in even supposedly secular countries such as North America; then no other conclusion is possible except to say that the introduction of Christianity has to count as the single greatest ideological catastrophe to ever strike Europe.
The amount of misinformation in this one paragraph is truly great. Not only does he repeat the myths of the Inquisition’s brutality and the “Dark Ages” [a term made up by the Renaissance humanist Petrarch], notions that have been so thoroughly debunked by medievalists that it is absolutely embarrassing for a self-professed historian to repeat them. He is thus in full agreement with the liberal modernists on the contours of European history. Except he adds a twist in that he counts some racial characteristics.
There is no sense of continuity or narrative in Kemp’s book. It is a mish-mash of factoids mixed with plenty of misinterpretations and a general tone of ultra-relativism. Kemp doesn’t seem to care what Europeans are doing as long as they look heroic and don’t mix their genes too much. One day you have an aristocracy and an estate structure, the next day you have liberal revolutionaries overthrowing royal dynasties, and all is good, regardless.
This approach to history becomes almost panglossian in a way. European man, endowed with good genes, will inevitably tower above others. As such, the cultivation of European tradition boils down simply to a eugenic question: secure a homeland for white European man and segregate him from others, and being European man, he will inevitably be in health. We live in the best of all possible worlds, for if we didn’t, white European man would not have good genes enabling him to build master cultures. But since he does and he will always adapt to whatever environmental conditions are given (since his high cognitive capacity represented in Spearman’s g will guarantee this), any specific cultural facet of Europeans is irrelevant in and of itself because it will automatically be replenished thanks to good genetic stock, provided he doesn’t mix with other races.
Now, no one explicitly believes this, because it’s nonsense. However, such a hyper-adaptationist and cultural nihilist worldview is very often a subtext in many racialist arguments. Racialism purports to offer a skeleton key, and it drives many of its adherents into “First Worldism” (a term that I believe Ryan Faulk of The Alternative Hypothesis subscribes to).
First Worldism is racialist Whig history. We see Europeans being leaders in science and technology, which is clearly the objective standard of civilizational prosperity. We see Europeans succeeding in liberal democracy as other nations fail at it (after all, liberal democracy is the best form of government). We see Europeans having high per-capita income under social democratic welfare capitalism (after all, it is the best form of economic system). We see Europeans having religious tolerance, secularism and women’s empowerment while the backward Islamic in-bred Arab nations do not (after all, latitudinarianism, indifferentism and anti-familial individualism are the best and most enlightened ways of running a society). I mean, look at those Arabs with their extended families, asabiyyah and their high rate of consanguinity, their traditional customs, their faith… in-bred genetic losers, the lot of them.
First Worldism does not care one bit about the European tradition of translatio imperii from the coronation of Charlemagne onward, about the Church Fathers, the Apostles and theology, about balancing the worldly with the sacred (for it acknowledges no sacred worth pondering), about balancing the droits de regale of rulers with the interests of localities and social estates, for it cares not about the specifics of the prosperous commonwealth, since good genes are the stuff of prosperity under the First Worldist model.
It is, therefore, a very ingenious way of cloaking liberal modernism by presenting it as an anti-liberal tribalism, moreover one that has “scientific realism” on its side!
Thus, Teleolojic informs us that there are no politics but identity politics. The insinuation is that any non-racialist politics has to necessarily be a politics of the Universal Person.
Yet, the racialists are content on giving us a Universal White Person. But, as Charles Murray noted in Human Accomplishment about the North-South divide in the USA (and as one of the better HBD bloggers, Racial Reality, quotes):
An even more striking aspect of the map is the white space covering the American South. Although more lightly populated than the North, the American South had a substantial population throughout American history. In 1850, for example, the white population in the South was 5.6 million, compared to 8.5 million in the Northeast. In 1900, the comparison was 12.1 million to 20.6 million. By 1950, the gap had almost closed — 36.9 million compared to 37.4 million. While it is understandable that the South did not have as many significant figures as the North, the magnitude of the difference goes far beyond population. The northeastern states of New England plus New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey had produced 184 significant figures by 1950, while the states that made up the Confederacy during the Civil War had produced 24, a ratio of more than 7:1.
Hey, Southerners are descendants of mean and evil royalist Cavaliers, anyway.
The case of Europe is even more striking, as Murray shows here. Quote:
80% of all the European significant figures can be enclosed in an area that does not include Russia, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Spain, Portugal, the Balkans, Poland, Hungary, East and West Prussia, Ireland, Wales, most of Scotland, the lower quarter of Italy, and about a third of France.
In other words, it turns out that most Europeans are actually a bunch of Untermenschen—at least under the typical standards of value regarding scientific accomplishment that racialists use. Throw the Slav down the well! Or perhaps claim you’re something else. When the Ustase regime was active in Croatia, the party line was that Croatians weren’t Slavs, but a distinct Dinaric race, at the time a category that was in vogue in physical anthropology.
And such is the problem with any identity politics, but particularly white identity politics. Try to rally Europeans around a “collective white identity” and watch as Europeans soon realize that they are not all interchangeable themselves, either. Nordicists will turn on Mediterraneanists. Slavophiles will then split off quickly. Then Eastern Slavs will assert their uniqueness from the damned Wendish. And then as everybody gets their own ethnostate, watch as various obscure European ethnicities like Kashubians in Poland, Rusyns in Slovakia and Ukraine and Lusatian Sorbs in Germany carve Europe into morsels. Russia, with its enormous amount of ethnic groups, would be nightmarish to partition.
It won’t end there. As people realize they’re special snowflakes like the nationalists keep telling them they are, a politics of identity and difference must conclude in the most parasitic individualism. It already happens on the left with its comical levels of intersectionality: black Jewish disabled non-binary fat-pride transsexuals, and other messy categories. There is no reason to expect why a white identity politics wouldn’t devolve into similar if perhaps less wacky absurdities. Not to mention, such deliberate ethnic enclavization would cause the Faustian, expansionist and adventuristic nature of European man to rebel against being trapped in his ethnostatist confines.
So it appears that some spiritual unity is necessary to maintain order. Thankfully, Professor Kevin B. MacDonald has just the answer:
Is Judaism an appropriate model for survival of the West?—by which I mean not only culturally but ethnically as well. I have at times been accused of being an anti-Semite. But the reality is that I greatly admire Jews as a group that has pursued its interests over thousands of years, while retaining its ethnic coherence and intensity of group commitment. There have been ups and downs in Jewish fortunes, to be sure; but their persistence, at times in the face of long odds, and their spectacular success at the present time are surely worthy of emulation.
Taking seriously the idea of Judaism as a model for ethnic activism is a tall order indeed. What would we have to do that we are not doing now?
First, we would have to develop a strong sense of ourselves as a people with interests—interests that often conflict with the interests of others. The fact is, of course, that any mention of the ethnic interests of European-Americans or even Europeans in Europe or anywhere else is certain to be greeted with scorn and accusations of “racism” and moral depravity. These accusations are effective because if there is one area where the intellectual left has won a complete and decisive victory, it is in pathologizing the ethnic interests of the European majority of the United States. By “pathologizing” I mean not only that people have been taught to believe with utter certainty that there is no biological reality to race or ethnicity, but that the slightest assertion of ethnic self-interest by the European majority of the United States is the sign of a grave moral defect. Indeed, it is a moral defect so grave that it is really more a matter of psychiatric concern than anything else.
Brilliant! Let us Judaize white people by having a revolutionary vanguard of white nationalists to inculcate ethnocentric consciousness in blue-pilled individualist whites (no doubt this vanguard will have to come up with a scholarly Talmudic tradition of its own to disseminate its teachings). Truly, this man is the “Karl Marx of the anti-Semites,” although I’d place the emphasis on Marx over anti-Semite.
However, this raises the issue of two different approaches to racialism that I will here dub “Gobineauan” (after Arthur de Gobineau) and “Lapougian” (after Georges Vacher de Lapouge).
Firstly, as MacDonald points out, white people as a general rule are marked by an individualism, outgroup empathy, lower tribalism and a general social inclusiveness all higher than in other races.
As these traits are doubtlessly the product of heredity, the Gobineauan interpretation here is simple: we’re doomed. If the above characteristics are innate hereditary traits in whites, then ethnic activism is mostly pointless for people not already having a hereditary predisposition to such views, especially in more advanced nations where by definition environment is more equalized and is thus less volatile in the determination of behavioral phenotypes. As I’ve written previously, Gobineau was an extremely atypical racialist. Besides being an accomplished Orientalist and lover of Persian culture, he was a staunch aristocratic monarchist who saw the last remnants of Old Europe being torn down in front of his eyes in the mob wave of 1848 by none other than ethnonationalists, like Kevin MacDonald today. Thus, Gobineau’s view was that race mixing was both the destroyer of civilizations and an inevitability in all civilizations, for they could not exist without it. The result: you’re fucked. No doubt the trauma from seeing liberal parliamentarist mobs usurp the European tradition made him quite jaded.
This interpretation, needless to say, is too “black pilled” for most people’s tastes, mine included. Maybe John Derbyshire is its most famous subscriber. Otherwise, if you’re alt-right, it’s quite obviously self-defeating to be fatalistic.
The Lapougian offers a way out: eugenics by “social selection”. True, heredity is a bottleneck, but by applying various criteria to regulate breeding and the passing on of traits, we can save ourselves. Hence it is urgent we act as soon as possible. Here, too, we arrive at a dilemma, a paradox of “hereditarian environmentalism.” The eugenicist simultaneously places man as being mostly predetermined hereditary matter in motion against permanent natural laws, but also enacts some of the most dramatic environmental changes by public policy. Thus, he shafts men by giving them the worst of both worlds: a determinist nature coupled with extreme social engineering to make sure only a certain “elect” get to maximize inclusive fitness. If this means vanquishing traditional familial bonds and subjecting men to a soul-crushing Kathedersozialismus, so be it. Chesterton’s fence ought to be blown up. The eugenicist searches for Athens by installing Sparta.
“Inclusive fitness” often acts a Freudian id in many vulgar theories of this sort. Rather than everything subconsciously being about sex, it’s rather close: everything is subconsciously about reproductive success. People love to complain about the sociopathic nature of homo oeconomicus who simply maximizes profits like some sort of lifeless automaton. Yet many of the same people will gladly construct their own archetype of a man who is always jealously guarding the specificity of his allele frequencies at all costs. It appears that among Genghis Khan we must also include Julien La Mettrie as a winner in the fitness game (perhaps memetic more than genetic), that bizarre French materialist who proclaimed man to be a machine in 1748.
Kin selection and genetic distance are trumped up as hard laws and predictors of inevitable ethnic conflict. This although kin selection hardly functions as a continuous gradient. The kin recognition mechanisms available at hand do not involve green-beard genes that one can easily match (as fire ants do). One has to rely on imperfect heuristics like geographic proximity, dialect and so forth. Facial morphology and skin tone alone can misfire, causing one to accidentally miscegenate and sacrifice one’s “ethnic genetic interests.” The genetic distances between Serbs and Croats are low, yet they loathe each other. Armenians versus Azerbaijanis in particular are an example of cultural loyalties overriding genetic loyalties: Azerbaijanis are genetically closer to Armenians than to Turkic peoples, yet they have adopted Turkic customs and have been caught in territorial conflicts with Armenians that have created intense enmity between the two. Ethnogenesis can also occur within homogeneous populations, as in the case of the Montenegrins who were a Serb tribe and speak a Serbian dialect, were one of the first Balkan nations to gain independence from the Ottoman Empire as an Orthodox prince-bishopric, and thus evolved a distinct political history that has given them a distinct ethnic identity in the process. “Clannishness” based on consanguineous marriage also does not have fixed implications. The Montenegrins for a long time were a tribal society where the tribes served as administrative regions within a monarchy rather than being opposed to it. The heraldic clans of the Polish nobility could be joined by adoption. The Albanian tribes had a very distinct practice of inducting “sworn virgins” whereby women taking a vow of celibacy were almost fully integrated into male society.
In-group solidarity need not be racial. For a nobleman, the natural in-group is not other people of his race, but other people of his status. Whether we speak of a Croatian noble looking down on serfs, or a modern progressive globalist looking down on blue-collar workers, the principle is the same. As a historical example, the Russian tsar had no issue with having his country being diplomatically represented by foreigners. Men like Karl Nesselrode (a half-Jewish Baltic-German Anglican; no, seriously) and Carlo Andrea Pozzo di Borgo (a French Corsican exile of the Revolution) served as Imperial diplomats. This was possible due to a still existing spiritual unity in Europe embodied in Christendom, combined with a political formula that rested not primarily on nationality, but on allegiance to a legitimate prince.
It is foolish to think that one can install a racially loyal aristocracy that does not succumb to “rootless cosmopolitanism” of some sort. Like creating a proletarian country club or something. It is desirable that a certain distance exist between governors and governed, and the issue is to see to it that the different social estates perform their duties, not so much to police interethnic relations, for most people will naturally display some level of homophily [preference for one’s own], anyway. Sexual selection may act to counteract strict ethnic loyalties, too. A man looking to maximize the quality of his offspring by choosing a high-parental investment, high-K strategy would likely be inclined to pursue a more traditional spouse, who may not be of his own ethnicity, since as it is known, different ethnicities have different social attitudes on kinship relations and marriage. There are other incentives besides IQ.
One of the big myths of intellectual history is that Marxism and Social Darwinism were two incompatible and diametrically opposed tendencies. There are strong interests on both left and right to maintain this illusion. The left, quite obviously, does not want people to realize that fatalist views they have deemed “reactionary” were actually held by many of their own in the fin-de-siecle. Instead, thanks to the work of Richard Hofstadter and others, they redefined “Social Darwinism” to be a slur against classical liberals like Herbert Spencer (an ardent individualist, supporter of feminist causes and anti-imperialist) and William Graham Sumner (a pre-Boasian cultural anthropologist whose theory of “folkways” rejected racial determinism, and who by the end of his life had drifted into an anarcho-capitalist position). The right maintains this illusion, because… well, it’s Marxism. Duh. If the great warriors against “Cultural Marxism” were to be proven to have affinities with such a view, they would become a laughing stock.
On the other hand, real Social Darwinists like none other than the gatekeeper of Marxist orthodoxy after Engels’ death, Karl Kautsky himself, were scrubbed out from historiographic memory.
As Richard Weikart (a maverick intellectual historian who has been demonized in mainstream academia for being a creationist who has made people uncomfortable by diving too deeply into the dark underbelly of Darwinian thought) has documented in his book Socialist Darwinism: Evolution in German Socialist Thought from Marx to Bernstein (1998) [available for free online – absolutely put it high up on your reading list]:
“My theory of history,” Kautsky wrote, reflecting back on his views in the mid-1870s, “was nothing other than the application of Darwinism to social development.” Kautsky’s conception of history as the product of the struggle for existence between tribes, peoples and races reflected Darwin’s view in the Descent and anticipated the theory of the Austrian sociologist Ludwig Gumplowicz in his book, Rassenkampf (1883). Gumplowicz had argued that the struggle for existence in human society was primarily between races (defined culturally, not biologically) rather than individuals, and resulted inevitably in wars and conflicts between different ethnic groups. By 1883, though, Kautsky had abandoned this theory in favor of another principle — Marx’s materialist conception of history.
[Gumplowicz was Jewish, by the way.]
In other words, rather than Darwinism innoculating Kautsky from Marxism, it actually served as an important prerequisite that made digesting Marxism much easier. Kautsky eventually switched to a more Lamarckian view of evolution. However, as Weikart continues:
According to Kautsky, not his conversion to Marxism, but his conversion to materialism constituted the most fundamental and significant intellectual transformation in his life. By adopting Marxism, he was only building on the materialist foundation already laid down, not altering the entire structure of his worldview.
Thus, we get alt-right visionaries like Mike Enoch of TRS (before his doxing), saying that:
Honestly I think that if there had been a more stingent [sic] restriction on Jews entering academia and the media and lobbying politically many problems would not have arisen. The country was basically given over to Jews after 1965 and they had lots of power even before that. If you look at the assumptions of gentile intellectuals from that time you will find that they were not far from ours. In many ways the alt-right is a resurrection of old progressive values from the turn of the century.
Hunter Wallace, editor of The Occidental Dissident and frequent contributor to Richard Spencer and co.’s recent venture AltRight.com, concurs. He speaks of how “our Populist and Progressive forebearers got the ball rolling.”
The face of the modern right-wing, ladies and gentlemen. In many ways, it’s a resurrection of old progressive values!
Well then, why don’t we wrap up this article by taking a quick look at one of Peinovich (Enoch) and Wallace’s beloved forebearers, John R. Commons, racialist and Wisconsin progressive leader [source]:
If the rate-fixing is taken away from foremen it can be placed in the hands of experts, inventors, investigators. They can study the possibilities of each job. They can study waste motions and short cuts. They can standardize the job according to the easiest and quickest method of doing the work. They can employ the accurate methods of measurement which distinguish science and engineering from rule-of-thumb. They can make time-and-motion studies, and set up specifications for the foreman and workman to follow. They can study each workman and select those who are fitted to each job.
This I call the machinery theory of labor. Labor is not a commodity — its value determined by demand and supply — but each laborer is a machine — its value determined by the quantity of its product. The theory is not new. Its application is a new discovery in science and engineering. The commodity theory is the merchant’s theory of buying and selling. The machinery theory is the engineer’s theory of economy and output. Man is, after all, the most marvelous and productive of the forces of nature. He is a mechanism of unknown possibilities. Treated as a commodity, he is finished and ready for sale. Treated as a machine, he is an operating organism to be economized.
There you have it, then. The great forebearers of the alt-right tell it like it is: man “is an operating organism to be economized,” like a machine.
I eagerly await the brave new world where I am governed by these men.