Monday, December 21, 2009

Why do Pandorans get to be traditionalists?

The blockbuster film Avatar has just been released. It's about a group of humans who wish to mine the resources of the planet Pandora. The humans are portrayed as white, industrial society imperialists and the Pandorans as pre-industrial, close to nature indigenes. One of the whites is rescued by a Pandoran woman, taken up by the tribe and learns to love their traditional ways. He becomes the hero of the film by turning against his own race and leading the fight of the natives to preserve their existence.

The blogger Fjordman is not impressed:

Avatar has to be one of the most anti-Western and especially anti-white Hollywood movies I have seen in a long time.

The hero is the U.S. Marine Jake Sully who has been sent to the planet-like moon Pandora because humans desire the mineral resources found of Pandora, which is inhabited by a race of tall, blue-skinned aliens, the Na’vi. They have a non-industrial civilization technologically inferior to ours but apparently spiritually richer and in perfect ecological harmony with the natural environment. The hero predictably falls in love with the native culture and connects with a native girl ...

Basically, the white characters are portrayed as brutal, greedy and insensitive beasts who rape the environment and destroy other cultures with a smile in the search for profit. The main antagonist is the white Colonel Quaritch, a brute who hardly possesses a single positive character trait. The final climax of the movie is when he screams “How does it feel to betray your race?” to the protagonist while he is trying to murder him.

Although a few of the white characters such as Jake Sully are portrayed in a more redeeming light this is only because they totally reject their own civilization and join the other team in the fight. In other words: the only good whites are the ones who utterly turn their backs on their own destructive and evil culture. As reviewer Armond White put it, “Avatar is the corniest movie ever made about the white man’s need to lose his identity and assuage racial, political, sexual and historical guilt.”


Fjordman isn't alone in taking the film this way. Another reviewer writes,

Avatar is just the latest scifi rehash of an old white guilt fantasy ... it's undeniable that the film ... is emphatically a fantasy about race. Specifically, it's a fantasy about race told from the point of view of white people. Avatar and scifi films like it give us the opportunity to answer the question: What do white people fantasize about when they fantasize about racial identity?

If we think of Avatar and its ilk as white fantasies about race, what kinds of patterns do we see emerging in these fantasies?

In both Avatar and District 9, humans are the cause of alien oppression and distress. Then, a white man who was one of the oppressors switches sides at the last minute, assimilating into the alien culture and becoming its savior ...

These are movies about white guilt. Our main white characters realize that they are complicit in a system which is destroying aliens, AKA people of color - their cultures, their habitats, and their populations. The whites realize this when they begin to assimilate into the "alien" cultures and see things from a new perspective. To purge their overwhelming sense of guilt, they switch sides, become "race traitors," and fight against their old comrades. But then they go beyond assimilation and become leaders of the people they once oppressed. This is the essence of the white guilt fantasy, laid bare ...

There are two things that have to be explained about all this. The first is why white liberals would fantasise about being traitors to their own race. The second is why liberal moderns, who think of themselves as progressives, would support the traditionalism of non-white societies.

It can seem very confusing. In the film the native Pandorans are portrayed in the most positive terms for having "a direct line to their ancestors". You would think, then, that the whites in the film would be encouraged to have a strong sense of ancestry and ancestral loyalty. But they don't. Quite the opposite - their path to redemption is to become race traitors.

So why do liberal moderns have a fantasy of fighting against their own race? I put forward part of an explanation just a few weeks ago. I'd noticed that Australian men were being told that domestic violence was a product of a patriarchal male culture. In other words, men committed violence against women in order to perpetuate their own unjust privilege in society.

I cautioned men against accepting this idea because of what it logically entailed. Once a man accepts that masculinity and masculine culture are an oppressive source of privilege and injustice, then he loses moral status and authority in society. This in itself is bad enough, but worse follows. What the domestic violence campaigners then tell men is that they can redeem themselves, and restore their moral status and authority, by breaking ranks with other men and acting against the masculine culture. They are redeemed, not only by forfeiting their own masculine self-identity, but by identifying in opposition to the masculine in society.

And a similar logic applies when it comes to race. Once a white person accepts the idea that whites are privileged at the expense of the non-white other, then there is a loss which will be hard for the most conscientious and politically aware to bear. Such people will want to speak with moral authority in society, but how can they as white oppressors? The path to redemption is, again, to break ranks and to identify with the non-white other in opposition to other unenlightened whites.

This helps to explain why some liberal whites are so obsessed with an anti-white/pro-other agenda.  It comes to express their self-concept and identity. It lies at the heart of how they see themselves and the ground on which they stand.

But why do white liberals praise what is traditional and non-liberal in native societies? Why are the Pandorans allowed to express a connection to ancestry and to defend their own culture but not whites?

If I understand Lawrence Auster correctly, a possible answer is as follows. There are white liberals, white non-liberals and non-white non-liberals. All three are necessary for the liberal script to play out in society. White liberals see themselves as morally virtuous because, in contrast to white non-liberals, they are open and accepting of the non-white other. But this then requires the non-whites to remain something "other" to the white liberal. What could be more "other" to the white liberal than non-white traditionalists?

In other words, the white liberal is practising his "virtue" by identifying with non-Western traditionalists. He is being a liberal in the very act of romanticising what is traditional and non-liberal.

Here's something else to consider. Liberals want equality and yet there appears to be inequality of power and wealth between different races and cultures. How can this be explained?

There are left liberals who believe that such inequality came about when one group of people, "whites", invented race and racism as an excuse to dominate and exploit other groups of people. Therefore whites are exceptional - exceptionally bad, that is. All that's necessary to restore equality is to attack white privilege and power.

If you believe this, then you'll get upset with any expression of white group identity. Even the most harmless expressions of such identity will be condemned as an attempt to defend "supremacy". But the identity of other groups won't matter so much, since they aren't seen as being tied to power, privilege and inequality. In fact, they might even be tied to resistance to whites and therefore be seen as progressive.

This is another reason for whites being treated differently to others and not being allowed to express a communal identity, whilst the identity of other groups gets a free pass.

Or there's the issue of dissent. There are left-liberals who see themselves as dissenters to the establishment (even though they are themselves a significant part of the establishment). But how do you demonstrate your dissent? If you think the establishment is a conservative bulwark against reform, then you can express your dissent in a predictable way - by advocating for progressive reform.

But what if you see the establishment as a soulless, materialistic, powerful Western industrial complex squashing the small, indigenous tribes in its path? Then perhaps you will express your dissent by identifying against the Western power complex in favour of the disappearing underdog tribes with their ancient wisdoms.

You might even then have a politically legitimate way to identify with things that you really do feel are lacking in more atomised modern liberal societies. You might even sound at times like a bit of a traditionalist - just not for the mainstream Western culture which retains its negative status as powerfully oppressive and destructive.

124 comments:

  1. The message for traditionalists - be like the Pandorans, smash those who try to interfere with our way of life! >:)

    I won't be paying to watch this film.

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  2. "You might even then have a politically legitimate way to identify with things that you really do feel are lacking in more atomised modern liberal societies. You might even sound at times like a bit of a traditionalist"

    A agree, I generally get on pretty well with the lefties. The kind who are getting their heads pounded in Copenhagen. Provided; I don't talk politics or if I do speak only in a left wing manner; don't get irritated by what they say and am not required to agree with them or have them in any position to really screw with my life. On the rest we can agree to disagree and I can look on in bemusement knowing they’re often harmless but utterly wrong on the big issues and take so many aspects of western society for granted.

    “If you believe this, then you'll get upset with any expression of white group identity. Even the most harmless expressions of such identity will be condemned as an attempt to defend "supremacy".

    It is also a liberal position though. The idea is that we Westerners shouldn’t need country. We should be above all that. Its not sophisticated to root for your own football team. We can root for both sides we’re so advanced. The people who most notably wrap themselves in the white banner are the rednecks. These people don’t have the economic status and so aren’t so “insulated” from the consequences of liberal society.

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  3. Avatar = Dances with Wolves redux.

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  4. There is a core hatred in the left for what makes man exceptional (and thus divided from the rest of animals and plants) and that is his consciousness and intelligence.

    White Liberals would have no problem embracing a group of whites if one were found that was living in a primitive hunter/gatherer society.

    Only man as a hunter/gatherer cannot be an oppressor.

    The biblical story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden also fits in here someway, but I'm not quite sure how.

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  5. I see another reason for liberal attitude toward white people and I think Jesse touches on this as well with the notion that liberals think Westerns don't need to identify with a nation (or ethnicity.)

    They see themselves, or really liberalism, as the true basis of Western Civilization. Transcending race, in their minds a social construct, is a distinctly Western thing to do. If race is a social construct then race traitors is a meaningless concept only held by those who view race as mattering. If you don't see yourself as belonging to a race or nation or ethnic group in the first place, you have no loyalty to it.

    A lot of them do consider Western Civilization to be the highest human achievement. They just see it as have some corrupt or dangerous elements.

    They very much want to preserve the openness (anyone can live in the West and adopt Western values and be considered Western), the Enlightenment and a high standard of living as the result of the liberal or modernist way of thinking. In this sense they are conservative and traditionalist with that they see as their culture. The elements that they want to toss are seen as foreign relics of an older, pre-Western or even anti-Western order.

    To be fair, Christianity does indeed allow for this interpretation of the world.

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  6. If race is a social construct then race traitors is a meaningless concept only held by those who view race as mattering.

    Just one problem. Liberals don't believe race doesn't matter, because they are the most race-obsessed people you'll ever meet.

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  7. While the seeming double standard by which Pandoran tradition and group solidarity are affirmed while the opposite attitude obtains toward white tradition and solidarity could be explained by means of the tripartite liberal script that Mark summarizes, I think that the simpler explanation that he offers is the one that works better here. Whites are guilty, uniquely guilty. And their guilt deprives them of any rights that other groups naturally possess, including the right to exist as a group and carry forward its way of life.

    The tripartite liberal script would seem to be less applicable here because under the script, the virtuous white liberal practices the liberal virtue of inclusion toward the Other notwithstanding alienness of the Other. For example, Muslim women covered from head to foot including their faces may seem frightful to us, but I as a virtuous liberal believe in including and affirming such dress notwithstanding its strangeness and frightfulness.

    But in this movie, it sounds as though the Pandorans' culture is seen as positive and attractive in its own right, while the whites are seen as hateful and evil in their own right. So this is not a matter of embracing the Other despite his Otherness. It's a matter of affirming what is positively good and attractive (the Pandorans), and hating what is positively evil and repulsive (the whites).

    There is thus no double standard here to be explained. It's a single standard. In the liberal view, whites are wicked and to be shunned, Pandorans are good and to be supported.

    By the way, while the stereotypical leftist, anti-white theme of the movie is obvious from a short description of it, I haven't seen any movie reviewer bringing it out. I'll bet even the "conservative" magazines such as National Review and American Spectator ignore the anti-white character of the film and discuss it mainly as a special-effects spectacular. James Cameron, the maker of perhaps the most obtrusively Marxist Hollywood movie ever made, Titanic, is treated as though he were just an entertainer who has found new and exciting ways to entertain audiences. The skillful combination of entertainment, innovative technical prowess, and leftist anti-white message demonstrates the total dominance of liberalism over modern society. If a politician were uttering Cameron's message, it would receive at least some resistance; but when the same message is put in the form of entertainment, everyone mindlessly gobbles it up.

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  8. Mark also asks "why liberal moderns, who think of themselves as progressives, would support the traditionalism of non-white societies."

    I think the answer is that in the modern liberal view, progressivism is designed to overcome only white traditionalism, which is bad, not to overcome nonwhite traditionalism, which is good.

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  9. Christianity, which many believe to be the noblest moral system ever conceived, must now share blame for the dissolution of the West. Christianity’s public expression differs only cosmetically from Marxism in its attitudes towards economic redistribution, equality and racial integration.

    Christianity has subverted inbred traits of altruism that help family and tribe survive, and has transmuted those traits into agents of passivity and surrender. Christianity has universalized altruism, thus stripping us of our defense against multiracialism. Today’s Christianity drives us to betray our own interests to whoever asks. At the same time, a preoccupation with eternal reward in the world to come blinds some Christians to the consequences of their actions today.

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  10. To blame Christianity for this is silly. Christian civilization survived, in racialist format, until past the mid-twentieth century. It is liberalism that is antithethetical to both racialism and Christianity.

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  11. "why white liberals would fantasise about being traitors to their own race."

    Why would anyone be loyal to a race? Why would I be allied with a bunch of people because they're ethnically the same as I am, and for no other reason?

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  12. Why be loyal to race and ethny?

    Because we are connected through ties of kinship, ancestry, history, culture, manners and religion to other members of our ethny. It becomes something we love and identify with. It then provides part of the purpose for our commitments and our sacrifices to the larger society we belong to.

    And membership of our ethny connects us in a rich way to both the past and the future. We become part of an enduring community through time, connected to generations past and future.

    It gives us too a sense of responsibility to uphold or improve upon the standards and achievements of the distinct tradition we belong to.

    As Professor Putnam discovered in his research, if you put a group of deracinated people together in a multicult, you don't necessarily get chaotic violence but you do get social withdrawal and a loss of commitment to the larger community.

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  13. "Why would anyone be loyal to a race? Why would I be allied with a bunch of people because they're ethnically the same as I am, and for no other reason?"

    For the White man today, racism is simply self-defense in the face of massive hatred and legalized discrimination.


    Two choices: continue to whine like little bitches that minorities can be fully racist, or embrace the love and defense of your own people in world where you are openly hated, reviled, and discriminated against because the color of your skin.

    The first is the path of the slave, the second is the path of the man. The choice is up to you. I, for one, have come to embrace racism.

    http://religionnewsblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/embrace-racism.html

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  14. I went to see this movie in 3D with a lady friend. Later on we met up with a friend of mine, a white man that happened to see Avatar on the same day separately.

    He asked, "What did you think of the film?".

    I pondered that a moment, then said "kill whitey".

    HIM: "Kill whitey? Why?"

    ME: "Kill whitey. It is the theme of the film. Think of the imperialist and colonialist images in the film, and look at the white characters. The only good ones are the ones that side with the natives against the white people".

    After I got him thinking about it, he agreed. But just watching the film, it never really occurred to him. I am willing to bet that non-white audiences that watch the movie are quicker to pick up on the theme of the movie that the average white moviegoer.

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  15. I had the same experience when I saw Dances with Wolves in the early 1990s. A lady friend and I were disgusted by the film. But other people had no consciousness of anything wrong with it. When I mentioned to one white man in the lobby afterward that the movie protrayed white U.S. soldiers as subhuman beasts, he answered, "That's the way they were."

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  16. "When I mentioned to one white man in the lobby afterward that the movie portrayed white U.S. soldiers as subhuman beasts, he answered, "That's the way they were.""

    I know isn't that shocking. I've heard the same stuff myself. It is really, really bizarre. Surely this kind of know all guilt is a consequence of success? We're so successful we can afford to indulge in ridiculous ideas without it actually affecting anything? Or at least that's what they hope

    I've also heard from lefties, "If we want to hold ourselves out as a moral nation then we have to recognise we've done this, that and the other wrong". The idea is that we should be utterly lily white or else we're awful.

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  17. To add to the point I've heard Mark Steyn commenting on the "9/11 was an inside job" bumper stickers. He said that if you really thought your government was capable of committing such a monstrous crime don't you think it would be pretty stupid to openly criticise it? These kinds of hostile anti western ideas are just decadence.

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  18. Justin said: "Christian civilization survived, in racialist format, until past the mid-twentieth century."

    Of course, there was no global economy until the early decades of the nineteenth century; the complex global economy was not fully realized then!!!

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  19. Gee and some people wanted to have fun.................

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  20. The flux and movement in society - to which commerce, industry and urbanization contributes - are evident in migratory movements.

    In states where commerce promotes wealth, it is difficult to avoid multi racialism (understood as the existence within a given territory of racial groups).

    The birth of heavy industry increased this tendency by attracting workers from all over the world.

    I know some people would like to live in the Middle Ages. But they are rare. The majority of the people who lived in the Middle Ages were peasants; living 'outside' town, they were considerd as strangers by the burghers!

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  21. One objective of thought control is to embed ideas in people's minds without causing a conscious contemplation of them. What's intriguing and alarming about this movie is the fact of setting it in the future, the imprecation that no amount of progress can ameliorate white (male) greed and brutality. If anything, future technological advancement will only amplify white exploitation.

    Canadians in Hollywood like Cameron are a sick bunch, most have been fed a steady diet of supposed superior moral values in the Great White North and anti American bile while in public school. What they can't reconcile is their experience living in America, where it becomes painfully obvious that the US is far superior to Canada on many levels. Instead of having a measure of humility and acknowledge they've been hoodwinked by government propaganda, what occurs in the majority is to become petulant, perpetual malcontents.

    This I know from personal experience.

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  22. Mark Richardson, you are talking about things other than just race. Betraying your people and culture is one thing (usually), but "race traitor" is something I would expect to hear if I time travelled to Nazi Germany.

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  23. "Mark Richardson, you are talking about things other than just race. Betraying your people and culture is one thing (usually), but "race traitor" is something I would expect to hear if I time travelled to Nazi Germany."

    For God's sake JCS. Can't we get over these juvenile comments?

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  24. Anonymous (11:46) wrote,

    In states where commerce promotes wealth, it is difficult to avoid multi racialism

    I don't agree. Australia developed into an industrial country with one of the highest standards of living in the world at a time when it was a largely monoracial country.

    The result of elites deciding on open borders hasn't been more advanced industrialisation but the opposite. A lot of industry has gone elsewhere. The economy now relies on selling minerals to countries like China and India (not well known for open borders) and selling "education" (i.e. passports) to students from these countries.

    If you are determined to maintain your existence as a distinct people, then you will try to develop from your own resources. But once you accept the multiculti view, you can let things slide.

    Why train locals to be doctors if you can get them much cheaper from elsewhere? Why produce things if you can get them cheaply from other countries? Why develop technology if you can get cheap labour from abroad? Why care about family formation, if you can get future workers from anywhere in the world?

    A lot of Australians are now relying on constantly rising house prices (against which they have borrowed a lot of money) to create wealth. It's a kind of bubble economy which has pushed house prices to record levels on the basis of stimulating demand for housing through mass immigration and borrowing.

    This is the kind of economy we've been brought to by open borders.

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  25. One objective of thought control is to embed ideas in people's minds without causing a conscious contemplation of them.

    Well put. I was thinking of this the other day when a school principal I know apologised for the fact that his school is mostly Anglo. He's not a particularly political guy, but he's picked up in an unselfconscious way a politically correct "self-talk" - no doubt from watching films, reading the papers and so on.

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  26. Mark:
    "a school principal I know apologised for the fact that his school is mostly Anglo"

    I think people who say these things should always be challenged:

    "What's wrong with Anglos?"

    "Oh, Diversity? Putnam's studies indicate it's harmful for community cohesion"

    And so on. This can be done effectively, if the interlocutor is smart, knowledgeable and polite. I do this with students and fellow staff a lot, and seem to do ok. Of course in some ways the UK is perhaps less extreme-PC than the US or Oz. Your societies may have internalised it more deeply.

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  27. JCS wrote,

    but "race traitor" is something I would expect to hear if I time travelled to Nazi Germany."

    JCS, I have to shake my head at this comment of yours. The term has been part of the discussion thread because it is the theme of a major Hollywood film.

    The film Avatar is suggesting that whites are a uniquely evil threat and therefore it's a good thing for a white person to turn against his own race.

    This is also the message of whiteness studies courses being taught in many universities.

    Surely we can respond to this by critising the white liberals pushing these ideas?

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  28. A lot of Australians are now relying on constantly rising house prices (against which they have borrowed a lot of money) to create wealth.

    That isn't wealth. Australians are getting poorer because super-restrictive land use policies make it impossible to build sufficient housing. If housing weren't so expensive due to government meddling in land markets Australians would have money available for other things.

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  29. There isn't such a thing as a 'white race'. Genetically, the concept is non-existent. It's a fiction, purely a construction. Culturally, many 'whites' were effectively non-white for a long time (Jews, gypsies, Irish, etc). So who are these white-racers? Does a blue-eyed, pale skinned Afghan (they exist) count as 'white'? What about a light-skinned African American? What if the latter has a 'white' job? What about a Muslim Albanian? A person with three Anglo grandparents, and one Aboriginal grandparent?

    What I'm getting at is that, despite his supposed disdain for postmodernism, the author of this blog enjoys playing postmodern identity politics games with the best of them.

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  30. There isn't such a thing as a 'white race'.

    Anon, my own wish would be for all the distinct ethnies to survive. An ethny is formed not only from race but from language, culture, history, religion, and manners - and also from a consciousness of a shared tradition through time. Ideally the ethnies would each form their own nation, but that may not be possible now.

    So I don't think in terms of the category of the white race as much as you imply. I would like the English to survive as a distinct ethny, the Russians too, the Japanese and so on.

    You have to remember, though, that liberals have tagged whites as an oppressor group. So in discussing politics the term is often going to be employed.

    Nor do I agree with your logic in claiming that a white race cannot exist. It's true that there is no definite cut-off point for including or excluding someone from such a category. It's true that there might be differences of opinion as to where such a cut-off point might be drawn.

    But that doesn't mean that such a category can't be reasonably held to exist. If you were to line up ten Somalians, ten Japanese and ten Norwegians then most reasonble people would admit to the existence of identifiable differences in ancestry between these groups - to the existence of race.

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  31. I would like the English to survive as a distinct ethny, the Russians too, the Japanese and so on.

    Excellent. So what gives a Russian his status qua Russian? Other than his passport/legal status granted by authorities? It can't be ethnicity or language, since Russia has dozens of each. It can't be religion, since you've got Orthodox Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Shamans, and athiests, depending on where you go. It can't be 'culture' per se, since even in Russia, there's significant cultural diversity among people of the same locale. Consider 'Russian cuisine' - there's at least three distinct types for three different social groups (i.e. hearty peasant fare, Soviet-era slop for many people, and the 'proper' cuisine of venison, chicken kiev, etc.). Russia is a good example of the arbitrariness of the sort of cultural groupings taken for granted here.

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  32. "Excellent. So what gives a Russian his status qua Russian? Other than his passport/legal status granted by authorities? It can't be ethnicity or language, since Russia has dozens of each."

    I think a Russian would be very aware of their particular Russianess or lack thereof. Many wouldn't consider a Belorussian or a Ukrainian to be Russian, nor a Siberian or a Kazak. Rather than being racially oblivious a Russian would be one of your more racially aware types of people. Their history is full of discrimination against ethnic minorities and is hardly a happy wonderland.

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  33. "There isn't such a thing as a 'white race'."

    Are you saying there's no such thing as a Japanese race? Or a Chinese race? I'm sure you can find diversity in those cultures. No such thing as an "African" identity? What about Aboriginal identity? Why only the microscope and the divider for white people?

    Or is it that we're just individuals? We're wonderful little universes all to ourselves. Its just pure coincidence for instance that we're talking to each other in English. English really shouldn't have the monopoly in Australia considering we're all so different.

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  34. Jesse, thanks for your responses to anon.

    I'll add my own. When I was talking about a Russian ethny, obviously I was talking about the mainstream Russian ethny: those who are Slavic, speak Russian, have a Russian Orthodox religious tradition, and whose ancestors have occupied the Russian heartland for most of the past two millennia.

    These people see themselves as a distinct ethny with a distinct tradition.

    This isn't to say that there are no ambiguities at all in where the lines of membership can be drawn. But, anon, I don't know why you're looking for absolutes here. Does the definition have to apply in all its features to every single member for the idea of an ethny to seem real to you?

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  35. I think a Russian would be very aware of their particular Russianess or lack thereof.

    Orthodox Slavs, Buddhist Buryati and Muslim Tatars are all technically 'Russian'. China is another good example - there are dozens of dialects and ethnic groups scattered about the country.

    No such thing as an "African" identity? What about Aboriginal identity? Why only the microscope and the divider for white people?

    Er, because folks here are pushing white victimhood and white pride. In reality, there is no 'African' or 'Aboriginal' identity, and never was, except insofar as African and Aboriginal peoples have been unified by colonisation. The identity is a byproduct of the colonisers, not something that emerged from within.

    Does the definition have to apply in all its features to every single member for the idea of an ethny to seem real to you?

    Because this 'ethny' seems to be founded on flimsy and arbitrary (and no doubt, in many cases, bigoted) category errors. As I indicated earlier, it's all basically glorified pomo identity politics for right wingers, a kind of gay Mardi Gras where they play Pat Boone instead of Kylie.

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  36. Commenter Alex K. posted this at my site:
    ________

    The Navi (the Pandoran blue people) society is actually deeply amenable to liberals. It's egalitarian--there's a couple leaders, but they live the same as the others, and there's no hierarchy other than them. There's no socioeconomic disparity, there's no property, the men and women are socially interchangeable (they all hunt and fight equally well, we never see any children or childbearing), the religion is a Gaia-worshipping/pan-animist thing that ends up being materially demonstrable (the whole planet really is synaptically linked or something, and it literally rises up against the invaders, with Gaia commanding nature to resist the human invaders), and basically there's barely anything about the society a liberal could really object to. I mean, they eat animals, but they apologize to them after killing them. Obviously, there's no racism. The Navi Juliet heroine is betrothed to one of the Navi males (the Paris character, I guess that would make him). But she is assigned to train the human Romeo character in the ways of the Navi when he arrives to join them. So they two of them spend most of the days together for months, she teaching him the ways of the Navi, which involves her demonstrating how to do masculine things like hunt and break horses (flying alien horses, but basically it's horsebreaking), which of course she's great at, the men and women of the Navi being socially interchangeable. Of course they fall in love. The idea that a betrothed woman and man should spend all that time together would be considered weird in any traditionalist society, and the outcome would be considered exactly an example of why. In Navi culture it's totally normal, and the when he finds out the Paris character registers a few seconds of discontent about it before it's forgotten. The point is, this movie doesn't just forgive non-whites their traditionalism, as liberals will do, it goes ahead and depicts the non-whites as living in an idyllic liberal society.
    ________

    I replied:
    ________

    How much easier to embrace the Other when the Other are already perfect liberals!

    What a cheap liberal fantasy. Mankind goes to a distant planet, and the people living there just happen to be the liberal ideal! Why doesn't Cameron make a movie that challenges liberalism, say, a movie about humans going to another planet and the people there are like Pakistani villagers (who brutally oppress their women) or Indonesian head hunters? How about a movie version of Robert Edgerton's Sick Societies?

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  37. "Er, because folks here are pushing white victimhood and white pride."

    White power! I don't think so. The issue here is not about white "victimhood". Victimhood is a left wing concept pushed to achieve power through weakness. I should certainly hope we don't mimic that.

    White pride? My goodness what a sin we shouldn't be pushing that should we.

    You say these people are technically Russian. However, the more Russian Russians wouldn't really consider them to be fully Russian (too repetitive?). Nor would the Chinese consider the musilim chinese to be fully chinese. They have rigid ethnic identities and don't like to integrate others. That means you're either part of the main group or you're commited to fulltime semi/outsider status. We in the West are far more inclusive. Can we have some applause please? Hopefully we can be inclusive without adopting your position that there is no anything, just individuals who randomly do things (you're accusing US of being postmodern?)

    You say you're not in favour of an Aboriginal identity. Ok well tell that to the Aboriginals. 'In reality old boy you're not who you think you are. That's incorrect face paint you're applying, put it down that belongs to a different tribal nation.'

    "Ethinicity" isn't some vague thing that has to be constructed, we feel it absolutlty in our bones because like is attracted to/feels comfortable with like. We learn/ think as part of communities and societies. Also unlike you we consider ourselves part of a societty. Not just the hackie sack circle and commune. As a society member we have things like "ethinic/national" traits, "Oh that's so French, American, Australia etc" as well as developed understandings and ways of looking at the world etc. Here's a western trait you might be familiar with, delusional and idiotic philosophising.

    You individualists think you're onto something new, its the great breakthough. You have to go back to school to learn the fundamental aspects of humanity. These elements of humanity, race, ethnicity are OBVIOUS to every non westerner. Its only you jerk off's in the west who think that not only they don't apply but ridiculously they don't even exist!

    Postmodernism is a new thing right? Then why is it talking about ethnic identity as if its just invented it? The world began when again? 1900? You are a bloody joke. You deserve utter scorn and rebuke. You only exist because western society has advanced (economically/technologically) to the point of allowing you to do your job, pay for services and live as an individual. God forbid you should ever actually 'need' those around you. Fire, flood or disaster for example. You wouldn't know what to say to those around you, your neighbours are from another planet.

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  38. Jesse, your excitability has outrun your meagre intellect. Let's go over a few points.

    Victimhood is a left wing concept pushed to achieve power through weakness.

    Then why are 'conservative' sites always trying to stake out a space for white male victimhood? It's undeniable.

    You say these people are technically Russian. However, the more Russian Russians wouldn't really consider them to be fully Russian (too repetitive?).

    So what is it precisely that makes somebody a 'more Russian Russian', other than an arbitrary judgement? (Incidentally, the ones who would not consider the Buryati, Caucasians, etc., to be Russian are most likely to be urban skinheads from Moscow and Petersburg. But I digress).

    You say you're not in favour of an Aboriginal identity. Ok well tell that to the Aboriginals.

    I made clear that 'Aboriginality' was defined by the colonisers. The word itself is Latin, not 'Aboriginal'. It has nothing to do with being 'in favour' of it or not. Those we now denote as Aboriginal were a myriad of tribes and clans (Koori, Murray, etc) with different lifestyles and languages. To the extent that Aboriginality exists as an 'identity', it exists via the colonisers. A similar thing applies to the Jews of Central Europe. They were defined and unified as a group not by themselves, but by the anti-semites. They themselves varied enormously in terms of their languages, their religious and cultural practices, beliefs, etc. They became a unity and an identity through their oppressors.


    "Ethinicity" isn't some vague thing that has to be constructed, we feel it absolutlty in our bones because like is attracted to/feels comfortable with like.

    So you feel 'ethnicity' in your waters, and that makes it true? What is true is true for all. This is where your identity politics fails - like queer pride, or a black tranvestite bikers association, it lacks universalism. And please, don't purport to lecture others on what people are attracted to. Human attraction exceeds your petty and idiotic parameters.

    We learn/ think as part of communities and societies. Also unlike you we consider ourselves part of a societty.

    You've misunderstood me. I'm not against society. (It was a good 'conservative', Maggie Thatcher, who denied that such a thing existed). You need to ask yourself what it is that allows for universality in society. It isn't a kind of football barracking tribal imbecility.

    You individualists think you're onto something new

    But I'm not preaching individualism. If anything, it's merely universalism and a little bit of nominalism, neither of which is particularly new.

    These elements of humanity, race, ethnicity are OBVIOUS to every non westerner. Its only you jerk off's in the west who think that not only they don't apply but ridiculously they don't even exist!

    Again, don't purport to speak on behalf of the non-west. Don't purport to speak for the west either, for that matter.

    These elements of humanity, race, ethnicity are OBVIOUS to every non westerner. Its only you jerk off's in the west who think that not only they don't apply but ridiculously they don't even exist!

    Sure, they exist, but as utterly non-essential constructions, and as concepts that we ought not to get to worked up about.

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  39. Fire, flood or disaster for example. You wouldn't know what to say to those around you, your neighbours are from another planet.

    I would assist my neighbours in such an event, irrespective of their 'ethnicity', and I hope they'd assist me. What would you do?

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  40. anon:
    "There isn't such a thing as a 'white race'. Genetically, the concept is non-existent"

    There's a Caucasoid major population group which is genetically distinct from the other population groups. Of course that group includes south Asians (as far east as Bangladesh), north Africans including Arabs, and other culturally distinct populations.

    'White' is usually used to refer to Europeans, who have a particular culture; what Samuel Huntington identified as the Western and Orthodox civilisations. As such, White is an ethny, a mix of genetic and cultural factors.

    Of course at the national level it's much simpler - in Australia 'white' = Anglo, and other groups assimilable to the Anglo ethny. In the USA, much the same. One doesn't need to worry about the exact global boundaries of the White population group in order to identify white Australians, who are genetically and culturally distinct from non-whites.

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  41. anon:
    "Orthodox Slavs, Buddhist Buryati and Muslim Tatars are all technically 'Russian'."

    You can be an ethnic Russian, a civic Russian, or both.

    Anyone with Russian citizenship is a civic Russian.

    Ethnic Russians have the blood and culture of the Russian people. They retain the blood and may retain the culture even without the citizenship - where I live in London there are lots of "Lithuanians" who are actually Russians from Lithuania, being oppressed in Lithuania they took advantage of EU citizenship to emigrate.

    A healthy state has a dominant, leading, or central ethnicity, which defines the leading culture for the state. For Australia it is, or was, Anglo-Australia. For Russia it's ethnic Russian culture. For the US it is or was Anglo-America. For Japan it's the ethnic Japanese culture.

    States without a dominant ethnicity are dysfunctional, like Belgium (Flems vs Walloons), Northern Ireland (Protestants vs Catholics), or modern Canada (though the Quebecois culture is politically dominant it's not shared by the Anglo majority).

    There is a non-State political system that can accommodate multi-ethnicity, the Imperial system. The EU seems to be developing into a ('peaceful') empire, the US 'proposition nation' concept seems basically imperial. Multi-ethnic empires seem to have an inherently limited lifespan, though.

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  42. anon:
    "This is where your identity politics fails - like queer pride, or a black tranvestite bikers association, it lacks universalism"

    'Lacking universalism' is not a bad thing.

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  43. "A similar thing applies to the Jews of Central Europe. They were defined and unified as a group not by themselves, but by the anti-semites. They themselves varied enormously in terms of their languages, their religious and cultural practices, beliefs, etc. They became a unity and an identity through their oppressors."

    Wtf? That's ridiculous. There are very large differences within the jewish community. Here's something, however, that they have in common. They're jewish. Being Jewish is an 'identity' I'm sorry to tell you. Its not something any jewish person would be confused about. The jews identity depends on being oppressed?

    "So you feel 'ethnicity' in your waters, and that makes it true? What is true is true for all. This is where your identity politics fails - like queer pride, or a black transvestite bikers association, it lacks universalism."

    So "white guys" are no different from the gays or a bridge players club for that matter. Just a group that hangs out. But I thought the conservative white guys were the establishment that had to be endlessly rebelled against. We have invisible powers over you.

    So what is this universalism you speak of? If its not the same for all it doesn't exist?

    You mentioned Thatcher. If you read this site a little more, such as the post "what is conservatism?" you'll see that "there is no society" is not a conservative but liberal statement to make. What is the right side of politics? A mix of conservative and liberal politics.

    "States without a dominant ethnicity are dysfunctional, like Belgium (Flems vs Walloons), Northern Ireland (Protestants vs Catholics), or modern Canada (though the Quebecois culture is politically dominant it's not shared by the Anglo majority)."

    I strongly agree with that statement.

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  44. "Jesse, your excitability has outrun your meagre intellect..."

    Please continue to enlighten us here, Anon, oh ye of self-declared enormous intellect and great erudition.

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  45. "Being Jewish is an 'identity' I'm sorry to tell you. Its not something any jewish person would be confused about." - Jesse_7

    INDEED:

    Should I be ashamed that I want my daughter to marry a Jew and only a Jew? Am I a Nazi for my pride and my conviction? Should I be condemned for wanting to keep that flame of Abraham alive?

    On the contrary, I believe it is those who demand that we assimilate, who cannot bear that there be a people who dare stand out from the background, who dare to preserve their heritage and their mission despite every attempt to crush and beat them to the ground—they are the true bigots. They are the ones who are out to destroy the beauty G‑d made in His creation, to destroy the very essence of life.

    We are proud to be Jews and we are proud to be proud. We don't wish to be anything else and we don't wish our grandchildren to be anything else. To us, there is nothing more magnificent than to be a Jew and nothing more disastrous than to lose one. Because every Jew is a precious flame, a burning bush that will not be consumed, an eternal torch that no one has the right to extinguish—not even that Jew himself.
    http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/520294/jewish/Isnt-It-Racist-To-Believe-That-Jews-Are-Special.htm

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  46. Oh, I guess it could be said that Switzerland is the exception that proves the rule, that healthy States need a dominant ethnicity.

    The various Swiss ethnies do have a lot in common though; in conjunction with a very high degree of decentralisation they appear to have developed a uniquely functional system.

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  47. "I would assist my neighbours in such an event, irrespective of their 'ethnicity', and I hope they'd assist me."

    I hope they'd assist me. Are you tied to your neighbours by any ties of loyalty, moral duty or shared responsibilities? If not they just might not show up for you. Most likely in practise it will be "oh we didn't think about the neighbours".

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  48. "Should I be condemned for wanting to keep that flame of Abraham alive?"

    Noone should be ashamed for wanting to keep their culture and their traditions alive. I think quite the contrary provided they're reasonable.

    "there is nothing more magnificent than to be a Jew and nothing more disastrous than to lose one."

    I respect your pride however I would hope you would keep respect for the rest of us too.

    Thanks for your comment.

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  49. "Being Jewish is an 'identity' I'm sorry to tell you. Its not something any jewish person would be confused about." - Jesse_7

    You seem to have either deliberately misrepresented my point re: Jewish identity, or you are functionally illiterate.

    It's reasonably well-documented that many of those defined as 'Jewish' by anti-semites (and specifically the Nazis) converted some generations earlier, and paid no or little heed to Jewish ceremony and religiosity. In fact, many of them did not necessarily identify themselves as Jewish, yet nonetheless, they were persecuted as such by anti-semites. What I'm getting at is that there very obviously was not some kind of homogenous Jewish 'identity' to which members of a group cleaved - rather, a very disparate group, whose individual elements had little in common, were given an 'identity' by anti-semites. It can't be much clearer than that.


    Of course at the national level it's much simpler - in Australia 'white' = Anglo, and other groups assimilable to the Anglo ethny.


    It's not really that simple at all. Who are the 'Anglos' here? Do they include Irish and Scots? Do they include Italians and Greeks? Are 'assimilated' Chinese now to be considered 'white'?

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  50. "What I'm getting at is that there very obviously was not some kind of homogenous Jewish 'identity' to which members of a group cleaved - rather, a very disparate group, whose individual elements had little in common, were given an 'identity' by anti-semites. It can't be much clearer than that."

    Yes some had converted and they were singled out because of the nazis obsession with genetics. It can't be much clearer than that? Those who had converted were a minority the VAST majority clearly identified themselves as jews and weren't that disparate.

    What were my two choices again?

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  51. "Orthodox Slavs, Buddhist Buryati and Muslim Tatars are all technically 'Russian'."

    Culturally Tatars are more Arab than Russian, like every area where Islam had time to destroy the native culture. Culture matters much more than DNA, though the racism of liberal groupthink denies it.

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  52. " Culture matters much more than DNA"

    In his book "Imperium", Yockey argues that the concept of race is the result of imposing a thought method adapted to material problems on to living things, and thus materialistic. In this book, he claims that:

    "race is not a matter of stock, color, anatomy, skeletal structure, or anything else objective.... The mistake of Gobineau, Chamberlain, Grant consists in regarding racial realities as rigid, existing rather than becoming.... Safeguarding the purity of the race in a purely biological sense is sheer materialism.... They were ignoring the connections of race and history, race and spirit.... The quality of having race has no connection with which race one feels community.... There are numerous intellectuals in the West who feel community with the idea of Asiatic Nihilism."

    According to him, race in its true sense is a matter of strong character, self-discipline, honor, ambition, renunciation of weakness, striving after perfection, superiority, leadership: factors that make up "the organic unity of a High Culture." What matters is the cultural force and assimilative force!

    He explains that up until 1933, America had taken up into its race many millions of immigrants from Europe and from the Balkans. The newcomers disappeared as a group. The essence of the ingress of the alien into the proper racial body is his total absorption into the new idea, his complete adoption of the new plane of existence, his total loss of the old existence. The newcomers disappeared as a group. Assimilation is the demise of a group qua group. The bloodstream of the individuals comprising it continues, but the group is gone. As long it was a group, it was foreign.

    However, he continues, although mere race cannot prevent assimilation of a new stock from outside (physical differences are no barrier to assimilation), there are cases where this assimilation does not occur. They are the cases where there is a cultural bar between the two populations. While mere race cannot prevent assimilation of new stock from outside, cultural barriers will. Certain numbers must of course be present for an alien group to maintain its identity within the body of a culturally-alien host. A tiny group could not so preserve itself. It is the numbers that create racial questions. If a tiny group is involved, it will disappear; if a group of significant numbers is present, separated by a Cultural barrier from the surrounding population, it will not.

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  53. Anon
    You are being deliberately obtuse.

    Within Russia there is a pretty clear understanding of who is ethnically Russian and who is a citizen of Russia the nation state. People who are not Russian ethnics within Russia have no confusion about the distinction so it is dishonest of you to claim Russia is a melting pot with no definitive groups who have specific group identities.

    A Chechen in Russia, for example, would not believe himself to be a Russian ethnic but would recognize the existence of Russians as a distinct group with cultural and ancestral characteristics that are Russian.

    "The identity is a byproduct of the colonisers, not something that emerged from within.
    "


    This is simply not true. The examples to refute this are legion. The Tlaxcala, themselves a confederation of previously distinct tribes, for example had an identity separate from and opposed to the Aztec. The people living in Ghanian empire knew full good and well which ethnicity and culture was their own and which was foreign. When ever you find large human population throughout history you find distinctions, generally based on kinship or "race", recognized among them.

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  54. many of those defined as 'Jewish' by anti-semites (and specifically the Nazis) converted some generations earlier, and paid no or little heed to Jewish ceremony and religiosity.

    Huh? "many"? I seriously doubt it.

    There was never a time in German history where large numbers of people converted to Judaism. Most of the Jews of mid twentieth century Germany understood full good and well what it meant to be Jewish versus German as did the Germans before the Nazi took power. This does not preclude the assimilation of many Jews in Germany into the wider culture. It is possible to assimilate in some ways and maintain some identity with your co-coreligionists or kin group.

    African Americans are a good modern day example. It is pretty clear to them as well as outsiders who is part of the their group and who is not. Some people with lighter skin "assimilate" into it but the distinction remains.

    Again, you are just pretending confusion reigns on a matter that is really very clear. Ethnic, racial and cultural distinctions exist between groups of people and are recognized by the group itself as well as outsiders. Such distinctions go a long way to forming individual identity.

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  55. Anon:
    "It's not really that simple at all. Who are the 'Anglos' here? Do they include Irish and Scots? Do they include Italians and Greeks? Are 'assimilated' Chinese now to be considered 'white'?"

    Not being Australian it's hardly my place to say, but I'd suspect that Irish-Australians probably object to being called Anglo, but in practice are part of the mainstream Australian ethny. Scots certainly, Italians and Greeks I don't know, you can tell me (off-hand I'd expect Italians would be more likely than Greeks to assimilate quickly). I'd expect Aborigines wouldn't distinguish between any of these.

    A population geneticist won't consider the Chinese white, but IME culturally assimilated north-east-Asians get treated as 'white' by Anglos for all practical purposes. Possibly more than Greeks. >:)

    In a US context the concept 'white' exists to distinguish African-Americans as non-white, to the extent it's a meaningful concept in Oz I expect it exists to distinguish Aborigines as non-white.

    'White' is not a concept that particularly interests me anyway; it only becomes meaningful when whites are contrasted with non-whites. My main concern in the abstract is the survival and prosperity of my own ethny and of the concentric circles of related ethnies around it. In the concrete though I go by treat-everyone-the-same, content-of-their-character, et al.

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  56. Anon, you've mostly argued your case in line with comments policy here, but please drop the ad hominems.

    Simon, you're pretty close to the mark with your assessment of things here. There were times when the Irish here did feel separate from the mainstream (differences in religion and history contributed to this). Even in the 1980s and 90s there were a few Labor Party figures like Paul Keating who seemed to harbor an anti-Anglo feeling. But the Irish were ethnically close enough to assimilate fully in the long run and are thought of out in the 'burbs as "skips" (as Anglo or Anglo-Celtic).

    You're right that the Greeks have kept to their own ethnic traditions more than the Italians. In general, though, middle-class, uni educated Italians and Greeks seem to identify with the mainstream much more than working class Southern Europeans.

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  57. Yes some had converted and they were singled out because of the nazis obsession with genetics.

    That's the point. As a group, they were defined by their oppressors. There's no 'Jewish gene', after all. You also can't pin it down to culture, as very large numbers of those regarded as Jewish by the Nazis were entirely assimilated, converted to Christianity, etc.

    Culturally Tatars are more Arab than Russian, like every area where Islam had time to destroy the native culture.

    You would not expect a 'Randian' to get anything right, and the above conforms to expectations. Tatars have nothing to do with Arabs, and are a mixture of Turkic and Mongol. However, they've been in Central Russia for hundreds of years, so there's obviously been some inmixing. Outside of Tatars strongholds likes Kazan, for instance, the boundary between 'Russian' and 'Tatar' is much less clear.

    Within Russia there is a pretty clear understanding of who is ethnically Russian and who is a citizen of Russia the nation state.

    But it isn't clear. It ends up getting reduced to skin colour, or something like it. Olive-skinned Russians have been bashed and murdered by skinheads, for instance, despite identifying clearly as Russians. The Chechyans are a more complicated case, but there are numerous other ethnic groups you could look at.

    My point with respect to Jewish and Aboriginal 'identity' is that it is clearly something that has been conferred from without. To borrow a phrase from James Joyce regarding the Irish, talk of this identity relies on 'the cracked looking glass of the servant'.

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  58. As a final point (as I'm sure most of you must have better things to do over the next couple of days), suppose that we assume that all the claims here about 'race' are correct - I'm still sincerely unclear on how celebrating an ethny differs fundamentally from somebody else establishing a left-handed black lesbian bikers club. I presume you will object, and reply that the 'ethny' has some kind of primordial primacy over other characteristic, but this judgement is purely subjective. One can well imagine that the black lesbian bikers may feel that gender/sexuality etc., hold primacy for them. In other words by abandoning universalism, you end up in the petty identity politics of particularism, and whilst you are quite entitled to it, you can hardly expect that others will be roused to join you.

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  59. "You would not expect a 'Randian' to get anything right, and the above conforms to expectations."

    Knock that off.

    "In other words by abandoning universalism, you end up in the petty identity politics of particularism"

    What is this universalism? Its a serious question. Is it an ideal? An actuality?

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  60. For me, the followers of pseudo-philosopher Ayn Rand merit particular derision and contempt. I won't mention it again.

    What is this universalism?

    What I mean here is establishing ties and associations on the basis of characteristic that are, in principle, open to all. This is in contrast to aggrandising some clique or other, based on an 'ethny' or anything else you like.

    I don't think it's merely an ideal. Civic society implies a degree of universalism with respect to what constitutes a member.

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  61. Mark:
    "But the Irish were ethnically close enough to assimilate fully in the long run and are thought of out in the 'burbs as "skips" (as Anglo or Anglo-Celtic)."

    I do think Anglo-Celtic is more accurate than Anglo when talking about the culture of the Anglosphere, but then I'm half Anglo and half Celt myself. :)

    I think a case could be made that the Irish influence in Oz is enough to make it a leg of the dominant English-derived culture, like the Scots-Irish in the US. The Australian accent seems to be derived from a mix of working class London accent with Irish admixture. Where I live in London it can sometimes be hard to tell who's a local Sarf Lun'er and who's Australian, the accents can merge back again very quickly.

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  62. "White” is an ambiguous term. Biologists and anthropologists have no fixed definition of race. American history provides ample evidence that whiteness is a social construct. A remarkable passage written by Benjamin Franklin in 1775 is illustrative:

    “[T]he number of purely white people in the world is proportionably very small. All Africa is black or tawny. Asia chiefly tawny. America (exclusive of the newcomers) wholly so. And
    in Europe, the Spaniards, Italians, French, Russians and Swedes, are generally of what we call swarthy complexion, as are the Germans also(sic), the Saxons only excepted, who with the English make the principal body of white people on the face of the earth. I could wish their numbers were increased.” ("Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind, Peopling of Countries,etc")

    In the mid-nineteenth century, the poor Irish immigrants were initially regarded by their betters as, if not exactly black, then certainly not white — and their eventual success in their adopted country was marked by their assimilation into the white race. The same has been true of the Italians, the Greeks, the Armenians and many other national groups. One of the factors hindering Americans’ ability to respond to the Holocaust of the Second World War was their unwillingness to think of Jews as white!

    The traditionalist(!) Julius Evola has done considerable research on the history of racial studies and wrote a history of racial thought from Classical Antiquity to the 1930's, "The Blood Myth: The Genesis of Racism" ["Il mito del sangue"]. He holds a purely biological view of race to be inadequate. While in a 'pure blood' horse or cat the biological element constitutes the central one, and therefore racial considerations can be legitimately restricted to it, this is certainly not the case with man, or at least any man worthy of the name. Therefore racial treatment of man can not stop only at a biological level.

    In the same vein, Lawrence Brown in "The Might of the West," explains that "the ethnologist in seeking to apply the word 'race' to any group of men insists on confining it to a group of men of unmixed ancestry. Untold millennia of wars and human wanderings, of the changeless destiny of woman to accept the seed of the conqueror, forbid there being such groups." (...) "None of the great civilizations of the world was a race in the ethnologist's sense, but each was the society of a definite group of people and their descendants."(...) "No human strain of any consequence in the world has an unmixed ancestry."

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  63. Anon, we're making no progress here.

    You are still making an argument that because there are no pure original races and that because the borderline of who might be accepted or not as part of a race is blurry that race is therefore a social construct.

    I don't think the conclusion follows. Race simply refers to a group of people who, because of a common ancestry over time, come to be recognisably distinct. This kind of kinship then becomes one factor in the development of an ethnic consciousness - of being a distinct "people" with a shared history, language, descent and so on.

    This forms a significant aspect of self-identity for many people - but one that is, unfortunately, disallowed under the terms of liberalism.

    A few weeks ago the results of a research project were released. The genetic origins of a sample of Australians had been tested to see where they fitted in terms of their genetics.

    The results were exactly as you would expect. The largest number belonged to a British Isles group; the next highest to a continental German group; and a very small percentage to an Eastern European group. Science here is simply confirming what we would expect the results to be given the history of migration to Australia.

    If scientists can figure this out through a study of genetics I don't see how you can look on race as an arbitrary kind of social construct.

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  64. Anon:
    "One of the factors hindering Americans’ ability to respond to the Holocaust of the Second World War was their unwillingness to think of Jews as white!"

    Where do you get this stuff from?

    It makes no sense on several levels. But for a start, WW2 was not about The Holocaust at all, a term which postdated the end of WW2. Americans as a group only became aware of the Nazi genocide at the end of the war, as the death camps were overrun. Secondly, in pre-WW2 US terms Jews were as 'white' as other eastern and south-eastern Europeans. Maybe Ashkenazi objected to being lumped in with Slavs, *shrug*.

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  65. I should point out that there are other anons here, so that is muddying the picture. I'm the principal contrarian on this thread.


    You are still making an argument that because there are no pure original races and that because the borderline of who might be accepted or not as part of a race is blurry that race is therefore a social construct.


    But it's an argument that is yet to be rebutted. Who is it who makes the decision on who is 'white' and who is not?

    And there are several points of mine that have not been addressed by anybody, particularly my claim that 'whitism' as advocated by some here is basically pomo identity politics, of the same nature as joining a club for left-handed black lesbian bikers, except with 'race' holding primacy. Any takers?

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  66. Who is it who makes the decision on who is 'white' and who is not?

    You see, this is where the modernist mind is so difficult for traditionalists to comprehend. Why is this question so important to you? What's going through your head when you focus on this?

    You are more concerned with "who decides" than "can something of worth be taken into the future".

    Anon, ideally the existing ethny would decide who could assimilate into the tradition without radically transforming it.

    Reality is often a bit messier than this. Sometimes there are small drifts of population which don't register enough to become an issue. Sometimes the decision is made more formally by those holding political power.

    But what we have now is not a dispute about how to decide. We have a political elite who are hostile to their own ethny and who don't want it carried into the future. So the deeper issue is whether it is moral or not to want the European ethnies to preserve their existence at all, rather than a secondary one of how to define membership.

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  67. my claim that 'whitism' as advocated by some here is basically pomo identity politics, of the same nature as joining a club for left-handed black lesbian bikers, except with 'race' holding primacy.

    No. The deeper ties are not the voluntary ones, such as choosing to join a club.

    Again, you should explain where you're coming from when you make these kinds of arguments. Remember, you're debating with people who aren't committed to a voluntarist or a nominalist philosophy.

    Few of us here believe that we create our own reality, or that there are only individual instances of things, or that we can't know an objective reality.

    So if we identify in terms of our sex, our family and our ethny, this does not seem to us to be an arbitrary, subjective, willed form of personal identity - the equivalent of our identifying as a member of the local stamp club.

    (And, yes, I know that as a nominalist you'll then reply that this is just my take on things - but consider how people in the main behave - what they are willing to sacrifice for their families and communities in comparison with their commitment to the local Rotary club.)

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  68. We share with the beasts a craving for sameness and a gregariousness which makes us desire the company of people of our own age, sex, race, creed, political conviction, class and taste. But it is exclusively human to have a thirst for diversity, i.e., to be happy in the company of those who are different from us in every respect, as well as to travel, to enjoy other foods, hear other tunes, see other plants, beasts, and landscapes. The delight in the variations of creation distinguishes man from beast as much as religion or reason.
    It is the low drive for sameness and the hatred of otherness that characterizes all forms of leftism, which inevitably are totalitarian because, defying the divine diversity of the universe, these ideologies want to convert us by force to sameness -- sameness being the brother of equality. The leftist vision enjoins uniformity: the nation with one leader, one party, one race, one language, one class, one type of school, one law, one custom, one level of income, and so forth. Since nature provides diversity, this deadening sameness can be achieved only by brute force, by leveling, enforced assimilation, exile, genocide. All forms of totalitarianism, all leftist ideologies, reaching their culmination in the French, Russian, and German Revolutions, have gone that way -- with the aid of guillotine, gallows, gas chambers, and Gulag.
    ---
    In "Who is White?: Latinos, Asians, and the New Black/Nonblack Divide," George Yancey criticizes the prediction that, if the growth rates of minorities continue to exceed those of European Americans, whites will likely be a numerical minority in this country within the next fifty years.

    He argues that the growth rates of minorities, exceeding those of European Americans, is not a problem because the definition of who is white is continually changing!! Finally, he claims that Asian Americans and Hispanic Americans, will likely be counted as white in the years to come because..... race is a social and historical construction.

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  69. "We share with the beasts a craving for sameness and a gregariousness which makes us desire the company of people of our own age, sex, race, creed, political conviction, class and taste. But it is exclusively human to have a thirst for diversity,"

    That's all well and good but the point was made earlier that ethnically diverse countries are often unstable. Particularly countries that have one or a few large ethnic groups, Belgium, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Northern Ireland, Canada. We can say we don't have that problem in the West because our immigrants are so diverse that one group will find difficulty creating critical mass. But arguably that is not the case in America with its very large Mexican intake.

    You say it is good to have diverse populations but where has it actually succeeded nationally over the long term? Remember importing large populations is also a leftist project. As people's ties become weaker they rely on the state more and that increases state power.

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  70. Anon, George Yancey needs a good lie down on a Queensland beach.

    So it doesn't matter if Asian Americans displace white Americans because Asian Americans will be counted as white anyway?

    As someone of European background, let me tell you that this isn't much consolation.

    First, because Asians are clearly not of the same race as Europeans. And here we don't have any kind of blurred lines - they are clearly distinct races.

    Second, because it's unlikely that you'll reproduce a culture after displacing the original people who made it.

    The truth is that even the process of large-scale immigration disrupts the connection to their historic culture of the host population.

    If the host population falters under this pressure, then how does Yancey miraculously expect a completely different population to sustain it?

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  71. In the West we have the Melting Pot. That I think refers to your civic nationalism, the idea that the newcomers gradually meld into the mainstream. But it takes a little time for that melting pot to "cook" and also involves a conscious effort, that newcomers should change sufficiently to adopt mainstream norms. Having a large scale "ethnic norm" makes that process easier, as certain peoples have certain beliefs and characteristics that others can notice and adapt to. Of course in the west we don’t require full adaptation and that is part of our genius. People at the end of the day have to adopt something so if your idea of civic nationalism doesn’t have reasonable teeth it will be meaningless and code for anarchy.

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  72. "In "Who is White?: Latinos, Asians, and the New Black/Nonblack Divide," George Yancey criticizes the prediction that, if the growth rates of minorities continue to exceed those of European Americans, whites will likely be a numerical minority in this country within the next fifty years.

    He argues that the growth rates of minorities, exceeding those of European Americans, is not a problem because the definition of who is white is continually changing!! Finally, he claims that Asian Americans and Hispanic Americans, will likely be counted as white in the years to come because..... race is a social and historical construction."


    I'm sorry, but that's utter nonsense. In some respects, many Hispanics are already counted as white (at least when the FBI is counting crime statistics) despite the fact that most Hispanics in America are largely of Indian descent. Hispanics in America loudly proclaim that they are members of a Bronze race, and are emphatic in declaring that they are not whites. Whether white people want to "extend racial membership" to Hispanics will not change this.

    Non-whites know who they are and know where their ancestors come from. They are not ashamed of them. They are not ashamed of their history. When given the opportunity they demand that their desires be manifested. That their cultures be emphasized. That their language or dialect be supreme. That their co-ethnic be given priority. Look at the places where non-whites numerically dominate. Is there any reason to believe that, should they become a numerical majority in America, they would not continue their hostility toward the civilization that white people have created and maintained for centuries? Look at California, which is now dominated by Hispanics. Look at Detroit, which is basically a black city-state.

    Look at the former European colonies in Africa. What resemblance do they bear to the past?

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  73. But it's an argument that is yet to be rebutted. Who is it who makes the decision on who is 'white' and who is not?

    White people will implicity make that distinction. It might be that human beings have an innate ability to understand that offspring take on the physical attribute of their parents. And it's not just white people. When I set foot in Japan, the locals have this profound ability to determine that I am not a native of Honshu. And that's even if I dress in the local style and speak Japanese with the local accent. I don't know how they do it. But they do it.

    And check out these graphics that show the genetics of race:

    http://img85.imageshack.us/gal.php?g=geneticclusters.gif

    And there are several points of mine that have not been addressed by anybody, particularly my claim that 'whitism' as advocated by some here is basically pomo identity politics, of the same nature as joining a club for left-handed black lesbian bikers, except with 'race' holding primacy. Any takers?

    Race differences are far more meaningful than differences in dexterity, or leisure activity like biking. Sexuality may be a different story, because heterosexuality is required for the continued existence of the species as a whole, let alone a particular ethny.

    But aside from that, my interest in biking can come and go. And if it goes, I lack the requisite interest to defend it at any cost should it come under attack.

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  74. Regarding universalism, it makes sense that this should be a doctrine of civic orderliness, a generic credo necessary for any society to function. At the same time, who can say that any externally and internally recognized ethnicity should not consciously thrive in, or rather constitute, that self same society? Of course matters are often not this simple on the ground but historically ethnic groups have tended to hold their own (or wholly vanish). If this were not the case we would not be having this discussion.

    Regardless of mixing or unclear boundaries between groups, and very old mixing we may know little about, these connections are vastly more profound than any modern political concepts of man that seek to stigmatize and abolish our fraternal, ethnic or racial alliances.

    If we assume that macroevolution can stand as a reasonable idea of how major groups might have arisen, and combine this with more certain microevolution, then the evidence clearly points to speciation by ramification or differentiation of groups, or populations, over time. This is not an exclusive mechanism but it lends much support to the idea of races as natural entities associated with geography, natural history, etc. Whether vole, eucalypt or human matters not.

    What we make of these groups and what is their nature is the ground for argument, not whether they exist.

    leadpb

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  75. ""Why would anyone be loyal to a race?""

    Mainly because we all have deep seated biological urges to be more favourable to those who are genetically similar to ourselves [family for instance].

    Its not really that hard to work out, its simply that years of brainwashing have made westerners feel guilty for displaying this basic human behavior.

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  76. Jesse 7: "For God's sake JCS. Can't we get over these juvenile comments?"

    Talking about "race betrayal" is extremely Nazi-esque.

    Mark Richardson: "Surely we can respond to this by critising the white liberals pushing these ideas?"

    You talked as if you believe in the concept of race betrayal.

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  77. Jesse_7 said:

    "the point was made earlier that ethnically diverse countries are often unstable. Particularly countries that have one or a few large ethnic groups, Belgium, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Northern Ireland, Canada."

    I agree that multinational states do not work very well, but are beset by endless ethnic strife - even if the different ethnic groups are from the SAME race, share the same racial traits!

    Doesn't this imply that ethnicity is more important, than race?

    E.g., all Slavs are related and all Slavs are European, more precisely: Slavic people are alpines - a European (white) sub-race. However, consider the now-defunct country of Czechoslovakia. What’s the difference between Czech and Slovak? They are both - from a racial point of view - Western Slavs. The question then, is how to explain the inner conflicts between Czechs and Slovaks? A still better example is the implosion of Yugoslavia in 1992 which led to armed conflicts in Slovenia, Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia/Kosovo and Macedonia.

    And considering the fact that Palestinian Arabs and Jews are both Semites, how to explain that the Israelites fear the "Palestinian" demographic threat [the ever increasing Israeli-Arab population]? Jews care about Israel remaining a Jewish State; in the current situation Arab Israelis can not buy a house in Israel, just because Israel is trying by all means to get them emigrate. Why don't both, Palestinian Arabs and Jews, consider themselves as members from the SEMITE RACE?

    So, even without the blacks, the United States of America - even if it were monoracial (white) - could still be considered as a multinational state [like the UK of England (English people), Wales (Welsh), Scotland (Scottish), and Northern Ireland (Irish)], because there will still be ethnic differences. So, instability, strife and conflict - that is Balkanization - will still be possible! A 'White America' could still be divided along ethnic lines.

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  78. Anon:
    "So, even without the blacks, the United States of America - even if it were monoracial (white) - could still be considered as a multinational state"

    A nation with a dominant ethnicity is more functional than one without. Your mooted white America with a dominant Anglo-American ethnicity would not be a dysfunctional multi-cultural state, although minor regional differences would still cause friction (Southerner vs Yankee, notably).

    "Ethnicity is more important than race" - sometimes, but race is usually a component of ethnicity. Individual non-whites certainly can and do assimilate to the English, Anglo-Australian or Anglo-American ethnicity, though there are strong countervailing pressures these days.

    Even within the Anglo-American culture, there are regional variations in the ease of assimilation. Sailer has noted that Mexican Mestizo immigrants assimilate much more easily into the Anglo culture in Texas than in California; in California the process is more one of replacement. Replacement of both culture and people.

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  79. how to explain that the Israelites fear the "Palestinian" demographic threat

    The most obvious reason is that Islam commands the Jews be slaughtered.

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  80. Sailer has noted that Mexican Mestizo immigrants assimilate much more easily into the Anglo culture in Texas than in California

    Mexicans in California are much more of the "La Raza/we're here to conquer you" types than those in Texas. They don't want to assimilate, and nobody forces them to. California's government is rather more open about wanting Mexicans to replace Americans, just like the UK government is importing Muslims to replace its natives.

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  81. "Doesn't this imply that ethnicity is more important, than race? ...
    What’s the difference between Czech and Slovak? They are both - from a racial point of view - Western Slavs."

    I think that's a bit of an artificial distinction. If ethnicity is more important than race that's fine. Obviously we have to live together in the world and divisions can be endlessly made between people, "I'm north side you're south side". However identity provides psychological, emotional, moral and social support. It also provides a basis for cohesion, social templates, models for learning and purpose. Identities that go back a long time aren't merely artifical and aren't in the same category as clubs based on interests.

    Yes in the new world we have escaped a lot of the ancient animosities of continental Europe, however, we're not a tabula rasa.

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  82. You talked as if you believe in the concept of race betrayal.

    ??? JCS, I think you too should explain where you're coming from in all this. It's little use lobbing these kinds of statements into the discussion when we don't know what's motivating them. How did you reach the point of coming to this kind of statement?

    I ask this because it's obvious that race betrayal does exist as a matter of fact. There are people who do choose to betray their own race.

    Let me give you a very clear example. Some years ago a Mexican official who had travelled around with a Mexican delegation meeting privately with US members of congress wrote an article expressing his surprise at the willingness of these members of congress to race replace the white American mainstream.

    If I remember correctly, the Mexican official concluded that the white American political class was positively looking forward to a time when they would no longer be challenged by a democratically aware white population and could instead rule, Mexican style, by the distribution of favours.

    That's evidence of race betrayal. I don't see why it can't be named for what it is and criticised for what it is.

    It doesn't mean that we're going to go around ranting constantly about race traitors, but to abolish the concept altogether is some other kind of extremism to be avoided.

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  83. It also provides a basis for cohesion, social templates, models for learning and purpose. Identities that go back a long time aren't merely artifical and aren't in the same category as clubs based on interests.

    Jesse, that's well put.

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  84. "Mark also asks "why liberal moderns, who think of themselves as progressives, would support the traditionalism of non-white societies."

    I think the answer is that in the modern liberal view, progressivism is designed to overcome only white traditionalism, which is bad, not to overcome non-white traditionalism, which is good."

    Another possibility, is that left liberals see multiculturalism as a trasitional phase on the way to a mono-cultural utopia, in the same way that Marxists see authoritarian communism as a necessary transition to post authoritarian anarchism.

    The ulitmate aim of left liberalism is a totally egalitarian society, but to achieve such a society liberals have to tolerate the identities of non-western traditionalists until these people have had enough exposure to western liberal values (which left-liberals see as post-western) to be converted.

    Conversely, left-liberals have no patience with white traditionalists and nationalists because these people have been indoctrinated quite intensely, but are still stubbornly refusing to see the light.

    The problem with this argument though is it doesn't explain why left-liberals go beyond tolerating non-western traditional cultures to the point of actively celebrating them, which is better explained by the whites are the only bad guys theory.

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  85. "The ultimate aim of left liberalism is a totally egalitarian society, but to achieve such a society liberals have to tolerate the identities of non-western traditionalists until these people have had enough exposure to western liberal values (which left-liberals see as post-western) to be converted."

    This is interesting. Its a fact that left liberals usually only prefer their traditional societies from afar. They're often incredibly condescending and superior if they actually meet any. If any commitment to improving the conditions of such people is shown it will often quickly evaporate in the face of real obstacles, such as the teacher who would go to disadvantaged aboriginal communities only to quickly return home when faced with unpleasant conditions and ill-disciplined children.

    Its one thing to wear a Palestinian scarf or a Bolivian shawl but this is political commitment as fashion accessory. It seems often that their dedication doesn’t extend much further than the posture, which shows how highly they value western life.

    The environment is a great cause for them because it costs them (personally) relatively little, they can save those indigenous communities and exercise their virtue every time they put a bottle in the recycling bin. Or else they can be ecotourists and get an outdoor trip and say, “A part of me has been shocked by the scale of the devastation to the rainforests in (insert country)”.

    Of course some liberals do generally want to go out and assist or at least experience life in the developing world. They usually quickly have to face the stark realities of institutionalised inequality and a generally lower concern for human life and square that with their beliefs in non western nobility.

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  86. I'm inclined to agree with Mark that the attraction to non western traditional communities lies not in the things we have in the West but the things we generally don't have. A closer tie to nature, greater community and a slower pace of life.

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  87. "Talking about "race betrayal" is extremely Nazi-esque."

    JSC the line "how does it feel to betray your race?" is a direct quote from the movie and so is a legitimate topic of conversation.

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  88. In the still continuing thread at VFR on GNOSTICISM, "We are seeing liberalism morph into totalitarianism," a commenter wonders if liberal gnostics are mentally ill: "Perhaps liberalism is a form of brain chemistry derangement?" - http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/015095.html#edward


    Liberalism is in fact a mental disease - one in which logic no longer prevails yet emotion runs rampant. The useful morons flock like lemmings behind ideas that simply cannot work. Under careful scrutiny, liberalism’s distortions of the normal ability to reason can only be understood as the product of psychopathology.
    The "liberal" mental disorder affects more people each day.

    Dr. Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr.,a forensic psychiatrist, explains the madness of liberalism in his book The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness.

    ---

    In the same thread Mr. Auster says that gnosticism is "an understandable--though mistaken and destructive--human response to the difficulties of the universe in which we live."

    Indeed! gnosticism is the belief that physical life and existence are not real, that everything in the material world is an illusion, without meaning or value. Gnostics belittle or deny the importance - in fact the reality or existence - of all that is physical or material, claiming that the only true reality is nonmaterial or spiritual. They seek to escape from life and physical existence, or to end it. The word "gnosticism" is derived from the Greek word for knowledge, and the original gnostics - "those with knowledge" - were the initiates in the Greek Mystery religions. It was not until the Hellenistic period (the three centuries preceding the Christian era) that gnosticism became associated with a disbelief in the reality of physical existence. In the Christian era various gnostic sects developed within Christianity which believed in an incorporeal or illusory Christ who never existed as a real or physical man.



    As gnosticism does not believe in physical reality, but regards it as an illusion, so it also does not believe in the reality of any differences or distinctions in the material world. It believes that all people and peoples, all individuals and races, are the same, interchangeable and impersonal, that none are unique, different or special in any significant way. It follows that gnosticism is completely egalitarian, regarding all as equal and the same, with no important differences or distinctions. The gnostic is especially egalitarian in love, believing it is immoral to love any person or people more than any other, but that all people and peoples should be loved and valued equally.



    This egalitarian form of love was called agape in Greek, and it was applied equally to all, impersonally, without differentiation, distinction or discrimination. Both personal love and love for one's race or people, which differentiate, discriminate and draw distinctions, which value a particular person or people more than others, were condemned. The gnostics were no more loyal or attached to their race, people or nation than they were to their sexual partners, professing themselves to be kosmopolites , cosmopolitans, or citizens of the world.

    Gilbert B

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  89. Gilbert, thanks.

    Although I wouldn't explain modernism entirely as an expression of gnosticism, it's definitely been an influence. I know, for instance, that J.S.Mill and H.G.Wells, who between them exerted a great influence from the 1860s to the 1930s, were both self-professed gnostics.

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  90. They usually quickly have to face the stark realities of institutionalised inequality and a generally lower concern for human life and square that with their beliefs in non western nobility.

    Commenters on this site basically believe that colonialism was a cakewalk, that whitey is blamed for no good reason, and that those Aboriginals/Indians/Vietnamese etc should be more appreciative of the 'civilisation' that Western man brought to them, at gunpoint. As long as you hold this view, there isn't a single reason to take your views seriously.

    Secondly, you don't seem to have a very nuanced position of the left. I doubt a 'traditionalist' would like being lumped in the same category as Milton Friedman and Rush Limbaugh, for instance, so you could try to distinguish your opponents views with at least a little clarity.

    Finally, I'm genuinely curious about this notion that the developing world has some fetish for 'institutionalised inequality' (as opposed to the utopian west, I take it?) and values life more cheaply. I seem to recall in recent years a certain side of Western politics advocating very strongly for bombing Iraq and Afghanistan, and it wasn't these mysterious 'left liberals' to whom you refer...

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  91. "and it wasn't these mysterious 'left liberals' to whom you refer..."

    Why are lefties such clowns? We've just had a huge debate as to the existence of race/ethnicity and whether its a significant issue in people's lives. A point you've conceded. Now you want to have a debate as to whether lefties exist?

    Should you need more clarification as to what is meant by "left/liberal" read the blog.

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  92. We've just had a huge debate as to the existence of race/ethnicity and whether its a significant issue in people's lives. A point you've conceded.

    No, I haven't conceded anything, and you're incapable of providing anything other than a caricature of your opponents' views.

    Here's a hypothetical for you. Many 'traditional' groups in the West - hardline conservatives, Orthodox Jews and certain groups of Christians, believe it acceptable to effectively disown a child who marries on an inter-racial/inter-faith basis. (This position was ridiculed on Jon Safran's latest show). How does this square with traditionalism? What comes first - blood or soil?

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  93. " ... believe it acceptable to effectively disown a child who marries on an inter-racial/inter-faith basis.

    -snip-

    How does this square with traditionalism? What comes first - blood or soil?"

    Have you asked this question of other groups? First to mind come "half breeds" in Indochina resulting from our military involvement there. They were often cruelly treated as outcasts and had a very hard life unless they could make it to America. Which traditionalists are you pointing a finger at?

    Most of the world lives by tradition and not uncommonly their ways are closed and inflexible compared to what the West has become culturally.

    As to blood vs. soil, there is no simple answer and it therefore seems a specious question to ask unless you are expecting a thoughtful, prolix response. A brief, insufficient answer is that the difference in context between individual choice and group traditions is a principal consideration. The same question gets a different answer depending on whether the case is personal or societal. If the distinction between the two becomes nebulous-- e.g., individuals increasingly write off membership in any group-- then we are adrift without sail or rudder. This is a recipe for globalism.

    The "blood and soil" elements are, again, important general concepts but are not absolute. The United States is a study in this complexity.

    leadpb

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  94. Commenters on this site basically believe that colonialism was a cakewalk, that whitey is blamed for no good reason, and that those Aboriginals/Indians/Vietnamese etc should be more appreciative of the 'civilisation' that Western man brought to them, at gunpoint. As long as you hold this view, there isn't a single reason to take your views seriously.

    Anon, if I can retranslate your comment you seem to be stating that whites deserve to be blamed because colonialism was so bad for the native populations.

    There's one problem with your comment that springs immediately to mind. Whites are not unique in having colonised other peoples. The Japanese had a colonial empire. So did the Ottomans. So did the Mongols.

    So what then is the "good reason" for whites being held to be uniquely evil? The reason can't be that Europeans treated those colonised worse than others, because that isn't historically true.

    Nor is it reasonable to take political views as if this were the year 1920 with Europeans ascendant in the world. Clearly the situation has changed. China and India are the emerging world powers and Europeans are an ever diminishing part not only of the world population but within the West itself.

    Most Europeans today would never have experienced the era of European ascendancy. We have grown up in a period of rapid, perhaps fatal, decline.

    That's the reality that has to be responded to rather than a situation that no longer exists.

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  95. "What comes first - blood or soil?"

    I admire you leadpb for a thoughtful answer but I would have thought it wasn't a serious question merely a provocation.

    "I'm genuinely curious about this notion that the developing world has some fetish for 'institutionalised inequality' (as opposed to the utopian west, I take it?) and values life more cheaply."

    I spent time in Malaysia recently where only ethnic Malays are given full political rights. Part of being a Malay citizen is a requirement to be a Muslim. The Chinese and Indian residents who make up over 40% of the population have to accept lesser political status. Whilst there I learned that if I was to dabble in the drug trade I'd be hanged or if I was to offend the "vice" laws I'd be subject to whipping with a rattan rod. Travel to an Arab country and I can have all the fun of having a hand chopped off if I'm found guilty of theft. Lucky I'm not a woman or I'd be required to wear the full body garb and I'd be stoned for adultery.

    "Commenters on this site basically believe that colonialism was a cakewalk, that whitey is blamed for no good reason, and that those Aboriginals/Indians/Vietnamese etc should be more appreciative of the 'civilisation' that Western man brought to them, at gunpoint. As long as you hold this view, there isn't a single reason to take your views seriously."

    I watched tonight the program A History of Scotland and I saw the narrator revel in his countries bloody history. All was justified as it helped secure Scotland as a free, strong and independent country. Should the Tahitians conquer a neighbouring island this would no doubt be a matter of celebration for lovers of Tahiti. Should the white colonists conquer a country or be invited in or be gifted it this to you is an outrage of unimaginable proportions. Human history has been bloody and insecure. We in the west have won that game (largely) and now we live in a time of unparalleled security as well as global prosperity.

    We in the English west are fairly civilised too. In Penang Malaysia the English buildings are all strictly preserved as a matter of their national heritage. Perhaps it wasn't all bad. I’m sure you and Noam Chompsky would disagree though.

    On your point "Bombs over Baghdad",

    Every life we take is a crime. Every life anyone else takes, well that's not so bad is it.

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  96. Anon:
    "Commenters on this site basically believe that colonialism was a cakewalk, that whitey is blamed for no good reason, and that those Aboriginals/Indians/Vietnamese etc should be more appreciative of the 'civilisation' that Western man brought to them, at gunpoint."

    This isn't the Traditionalist-conservative viewpoint. Such views seem most common from 'Whig imperialists' of a classical-Liberal ideology, former Oz PM John Howard comes to mind. British historians like Niall Ferguson and Andrew Roberts. In the US the Neocons seem to have absorbed this tradition; it's the neocon view that Iraqis would/should welcome the invasion of their country.

    Before the 2003 Iraq war, I saw conservative British politicians like Michael Heseltine and especially Douglas Hurd (both Tory 'wets') explaining that it would be a disaster, that the Iraqis were not capable of, and had no desire for, democratic transformation. At the time I thought they were awfully racist, of course it turns out they were 100% correct.

    As a conservative, I have no problem with the view that Anglo colonisation of Oz was a diaster for the Aborigines while being beneficial for the Anglos. Since Anglo-Australians are a closely related kin group I wish them to remain dominant in Oz, but I also want what's left of the Aboriginal peoples and cultures to be preserved. In both cases the group's continued existence is valuable to all of humanity as well as to themselves and their kin.

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  97. In both cases the group's continued existence is valuable to all of humanity as well as to themselves and their kin.

    Which is how I've always seen it too. Australia is a big country and could easily have incorporated room for both an Aboriginal and an Anglo tradition to survive.

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  98. If modernism is definitional of the left and the current malaise, how does Mr. Richardson explain away modernists like Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Wyndham Lewis, William Butler Yeats, T. S. Eliot, and Ezra Pound?

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  99. Anon, you're talking about modernism as a particular movement in the arts. I'm applying the term more broadly to those currents of thought which have created the current orthodoxies in politics and philosophy which are reshaping the West so radically.

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  100. Clearly, there was a school, in 1920, that believed that Europe was not in an ascendancy but in the initial stages of decline.

    Lothrop Stoddard wrote in 1920, in his book The Rising Tide of Color against White World-Supremacy,

    "“Finally perish!” That is the exact alternative which confronts the white race. For white civilization is to-day conterminous with the white race. The civilizations of the past were local. They were confined to a particular people or group of peoples. If they failed, there were always some unspoiled, well-endowed barbarians to step forward and “carry on.” But to-
    day there are no more white barbarians. The earth has
    grown small, and men are everywhere in close touch.
    If white civilization goes down, the white race is irre-
    trievably ruined. It will be swamped by the trium-
    phant colored races, who will obliterate the white man
    by elimination or absorption. What has taken place in Central Asia, once a white and now a brown or yellow land, will take place in Australasia, Europe, and Amer-
    ica. Not to-day, nor yet to-morrow; perhaps not for generations; but surely in the end. If the present drift be not changed, we whites are all ultimately doomed. Unless we set our house in order, the doom
    will sooner or later overtake us all."

    While do groups care about supremacy? It aids survival.

    Syrian Jews in Brooklyn:

    “Never accept a convert or a child born of a convert,” Kassin told me by phone, summarizing the message. “Push them away with strong hands from our community. Why? Because we don’t want gentile characteristics.” ...

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  101. No, I'm talking about their political and philosophical views which were decidedly fascist. "Modernism" was not a uniform school of political thought, although artistically it shared some rudimentary elements. The suggestion that broader political orthodoxies found their inspiration in modernism does not wash. If universal ideologies triumphed other factors must be at play.

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  102. "Syrian Jews in Brooklyn:

    “Never accept a convert or a child born of a convert,” Kassin told me by phone, summarizing the message. “Push them away with strong hands from our community. Why? Because we don’t want gentile characteristics.” ..."

    I'm not sure what this is meant to prove. Should we find out what the position of the US Snake Handlers is too? It would seem to have as much relevance as this. Since when do the activies of fringe groups matter? Please elucidate your point.

    "The suggestion that broader political orthodoxies found their inspiration in modernism does not wash. If universal ideologies triumphed other factors must be at play."

    Such as what?

    (Note: That's 100 comments guys I'd like to say well done everyone).

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  103. An excellent discussion, all the way around. I am not surprised that Anon tried to deny the reality of race--it's step 1 out of the relativist's playbook: deny the existence of what you wish no longer existed. Good job to everyone in exposing his tactic for what it was.

    Also, Simon said the following,

    As a conservative, I have no problem with the view that Anglo colonisation of Oz was a diaster for the Aborigines while being beneficial for the Anglos. Since Anglo-Australians are a closely related kin group I wish them to remain dominant in Oz, but I also want what's left of the Aboriginal peoples and cultures to be preserved. In both cases the group's continued existence is valuable to all of humanity as well as to themselves and their kin.

    Exactly! And I'd say the same about the U.S. and the races here.

    Isn't it striking that the only people actually interested in preserving diversity are those who allegedly despise it?

    Didn't Aristotle once say, "For many things seemingly favorable to a democracy destroy a democracy"? And who can deny the same is true of diversity?

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  104. "Since Anglo-Australians are a closely related kin group I wish them to remain dominant in Oz"

    Yes I agree with Bartholomew there's a gulf of difference between what we wish to be true and what is.

    I hate to sound awful though but I want Anglo-Australians to be dominant because they're us, not because it makes things anthropologically tidy.

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  105. I’m not that smart and I don’t use big words, but let me see if I got this right after reading all the posts? Mr. Richardson thinks culture is one of the variables in helping people find purpose and meaning in life, but he argues that the culture has to be strong enough to be worth dying for in order for it to survive. Which I agree whole heartedly

    The famous “Anonymous” argues cultures that are worth dying for have one “huge” possible moral hazard. And that morel hazard is thinking that your culture is better than others; therefore others should be living and acting like your culture. So I think what “Anonymous” is arguing is that we should not put too much emphasis on defining our particular culture, because we could fall in the trap like the Christians that believe their way of life is the only true religion, therefore they must try and convert (persuade) everyone to their religion. But unfortunately there are many different Christian denominations that believe they are the only true church, and this is the moral hazard I think “Anonymous” is trying to stress. Michael Lerner said, “You cannot respect another religion if you teach that those who are part of it must convert to your own religion.” I agree with this statement, but I also think Michael Learner overall has his head is Utopia land.

    My comment to “Anonymous” would be this is not a perfect world. And just because institutions will have inevitable moral hazards does not mean we should not have them at all.

    My comment to Mr. Richardson would be, a quote from a 1957 book, "Social Theory and Social Structure," distinguished sociologist Robert K. Merton warns of the "dysfunctions of bureaucracy." He adds that in any bureaucracy, there is a constant pressure on officials to be "methodical, prudent, disciplined."

    But it's easy to go too far, he writes ---- to the point where "adherence to the rules ... becomes transformed into an end-in-itself" and "primary concern with conformity to the rules interferes with the achievement of the purposes of the organization."

    But I’m sure Mr. Richardson agrees with this statement and is probably thinking your preaching to the choir. But I told you I’m not that smart.

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  106. "So I think what “Anonymous” is arguing is that we should not put too much emphasis on defining our particular culture, because we could fall in the trap like the Christians that believe their way of life is the only true religion, therefore they must try and convert (persuade) everyone to their religion... “You cannot respect another religion if you teach that those who are part of it must convert to your own religion.”

    Why should respect for others be the highest good? Do I not have the right to disrespect others, religion or otherwise, at least in private? The danger of conversion is that it can lead to force and conflict but we should not be required morally to respect everyone surely? A certain amount of respect is of course good manners.

    If we respect everything then we can't distinguish the good from the bad.

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  107. Jeese_7 said, “Why should respect for others be the highest good?”

    I’m sorry if my poor grammar suggested this Jeese_7, this is not what I intended to advocate. Let me put Michael Learner’s comment in its context.

    There are religious institutions out there that believe they are respecting people with other faiths, because they believe they are at liberty to believe on whom or what they may, while at the same time believing that they should join their religion. All Michael Learner is saying is “you’re not really respecting their religion if you think they must join your religion”. This I believe causes a “spark” of contention, leading eventually or planting the seeds of totalitarianism. And yes, I do believe we have the liberty to hate and disrespect others religion, but why would you want to do that if the only difference is doctrine. So, no, I do not believe “respect” is the highest good. But let me make myself clear, I thing religion and culture is good even though there are many morel hazards, but I think the good out weighs the morel hazards.

    “If we respect everything then we can't distinguish the good from the bad.”

    I not sure I follow this statement. Remember I’m not that smart. But I do not see “bad” as “bad”, because its “bad”, rather “bad” defined by doing good things the wrong way.

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  108. Anon, you wrote,

    But I do not see “bad” as “bad”, because its “bad”, rather “bad” defined by doing good things the wrong way.

    How do you know the right way to do good things? How do you know if you're doing it the wrong way?

    You'd have to know the difference between right and wrong. You'd have to know how the right way to do good things looks different than the wrong way to do good things.

    Different religions exist because people have different ideas of the right way to do good things. When someone from a different religion tries to convert you, he is just trying to show you what he thinks is the right way to do good things.

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  109. One more thing, Anon:

    You say that,

    yes, I do believe we have the liberty to hate and disrespect others religion, but why would you want to do that if the only difference is doctrine?

    Well, do you think that the right way to practice religion is to respect the next guy's? Do you try to persuade other people to practice their own religion while respecting religions that are different than theirs?

    OK, why? Well, that's why everyone else does it too.

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  110. Jesse,

    “If we respect everything then we can't distinguish the good from the bad.”

    Well put.

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  111. Anon you express yourself perfectly and I appreciate your comment.

    My point is about the concept of moral hazards. I don't off the top of my head see what the inherent moral hazards are of respecting or promoting your culture. I can see there that there will be problems if you try to force your culture on other people. However there are some things we expect all people not to do regardless of their culture or cultural justifications, such as refraining from stealing or murder. If we say that promoting our culture takes us into morally hazardous territory that puts us in a culturally vulnerable position.

    On the issue of good and bad and respect as the highest value I mean if we say everyone is to be respected as a starting point, you're different but I respect you. Then being respectful of others can become our concept of good. They're different and "I respect them so I'm good". In that case being disrespectful becomes our concept of bad, "I don't like them I guess that means I'm bad". On the other hand if we didn't hold respect to be the highest value then we could say, "I disagree with what you're doing here, I think what you're doing is bad in itself". For instance we could say we think polygamy is bad, not everyone will agree with this position but we can say "I think (and I have grounds and justifications for thinking) that polygamy is bad and so I disagree with it. Not just for myself but for you too. Consequently I don't necessarily think it should be legal in my country which is also a traditionally monogamous country". If we say we must respect others as a priority then we'll say "I may not agree with polygamy for me but I respect your right to disagree and so I recognise it shouldn't be illegal for you although I wouldn't necessarily do it myself".

    We can see that if we become too "respectful" of others its very hard to have uniform standards of behaviour or say that there are some things which we don't agree should be happening, at least in our country. Society becomes much more of an "anything goes" kind of affair as different people live their lives in lots of different ways without worrying about things like broader community (or old fashioned community) expectations. As conservatives or traditionalists we generally think that an anything goes society isn't a good thing, both personally for ourselves and for our cultures future.

    You said you don't believe "respect" should be the highest good. I'm primarily disagreeing with the other Anonymous' point as expressed: "[The] moral hazard is thinking that your culture is better than others; therefore others should be living and acting like your culture. So I think what “Anonymous” is arguing is that we should not put too much emphasis on defining our particular culture". The assumption of the point is that its "bad" to define or promote our culture because that will lead to disagreements, totalitarian control of others or wars with other cultures.

    You in turn take a differnt position that promoting your culture is a good thing but it has the possible moral hazard of leading to conflict with others or being arrogantly triumphalist. That's a fine position and I think most people would agree with you. The danger is in defintions of triumphalism or conflict. If you define it in a very low way. For instance not in forms of wars of conquest but as something as simple as disagreement, "I disagree with you doing this practise not in 'your' country (your background country) but here in Australia", then you're saying I'm morally culpable by not agreeing to let the other person do whatever they want. Our concern to act morally (as morality is defined according to the low bar) can paralyse us from saying there are certain things we don’t approve of.

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  112. So basically Bartholomew summarised my point in a couple of lines.

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  113. Bartholomew said, “How do you know if you're doing it the wrong way?” Well, that easy, because I believe in an objective right way of doing things; and doing good things the “wrong way” makes it “bad”. Sorry for not being clear the first time.

    Jesse_7, I agree on all of your points. Your further explanation on respect (should not be the highest good) gave me a better idea of what you were trying to say. I like how you explained, “(as morality is defined according to the low bar) can paralyze us from saying there are certain things we don’t approve of.” I agree with this statement whole heartedly! I guess when I said I agreed with Michael Lerner’s statement, I was acknowledging the conflict (spark) it was creating and if we are not careful and watch ourselves we can evolve from disagreeing to arguing then eventually to forcing.

    So, yes, I am acknowledging I am disrespecting another’s culture, because I think its inferior, but I’m not going to stop thinking this because there is a possible outcome of totalitarianism, rather, I’ll try to watch myself (and others) not to go from disagreeing to arguing and heaven forbid I go further and try to force others to think and believe in my objective good and bad. I don’t want to sound redundant but don’t say you’re not disrespecting another culture when you believe yours is the best and they should live and believe like you, because you are in reality disrespecting them; however it’s ok to disrespect because “respect” is not the highest good.

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  114. One more thing I forgot to add.

    Jesse_7 said, “We can see that if we become too "respectful" of others it’s very hard to have uniform standards of behavior or say that there are some things which we don't agree should be happening, at least in our country.

    Again, I agree with this statement as well, however I think if a polygamist wants to practice polygamy within their own boarders then that fine by me, I’m not going to send an army to their country and force them to stop. But I do think polygamist should have the opportunity to live that life style somewhere in the world. Time will determine if their life style is sustainable or eventually lead to extinction.

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  115. Anon wrote,

    I don’t want to sound redundant but don’t say you’re not disrespecting another culture when you believe yours is the best and they should live and believe like you, because you are in reality disrespecting them; however it’s ok to disrespect because “respect” is not the highest good.

    Right, which means you aren't a liberal. Glad to hear it.

    I've wondered before if it's possible for non-liberals, or more exactly, various traditional peoples to ally against Liberalism, despite our disagreements.

    I mean, we disagree about what is right but we all know what is certainly wrong: Liberalism. Could we ever cooperate at least to strike Liberalism from the list before we go back to debating one another over what's right?

    Maybe that's just an idle fantasy, though.

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  116. Anon: "I think if a polygamist wants to practice polygamy within their own boarders then that fine by me, I’m not going to send an army to their country and force them to stop".

    Yes we come to an interesting point. I'm not an expert in morality but it seems if we strongly believe in objective values why should they only apply to us? For instance if you think someone is doing the wrong thing (we'll take polygamy as an example, I'm not saying its wrong but for this example we're saying it is) then isn't it the right thing to do to stop others from doing it? Even if that means invasion? Assuming the moral act we're stoping outweighs the moral downside of invasion.

    We in the English world say minding our own business is of the utmost importance, as in we shouldn't tell others how to live. Because of this value we're tolerant of others and get on much better with different people than many other cultures. However, is always minding our own business always right? What if the other culture is practising female genital mutilation should we stop it? Or suttee in India. That was the practise of the ex wife of a dead husband throwing herself (voluntarily or being forced) onto his funeral pyre. Through colonialism we have historically had to ask ourselves these questions. Should we impose our way of life on others? Should we respect people's right to their tradition culture? Should we only intervene in extreme examples, such as were mentioned before, or where we believe acts to be utterly contrary to objective human values on the importance of life?

    Because imposing views on others can lead to, wars and conflict, endless debate about what is right and what is wrong (which is not always easy to determine), combined with that belief that one person's views perhaps are not really right but are only being enforced because they have more power, we in the West today are reluctant to impose views on others and generally don't approve when we see it being done. We see it as the height of bad manners then to tell people off or say I think what you're doing is wrong. By a desire not to impose beliefs we are reluctant to stop things we disagree with.

    There has also been in the West another movement which doesn’t place its focus on minding your own business or not imposing beliefs so much but rather says that no beliefs are actually objective. Everyone's belief are only subjective beliefs. If everyone's beliefs are only subjective then one person has no right to impose their beliefs on another. What I'm doing isn't wrong (because we have different ideas of what right and wrong is) so you can't tell me to stop doing what I'm doing. If you do tell me to stop its a matter of you forcing your will over mine.

    Previously we talked about international issues lets try to bring this a little closer to home. If we take a public bus we may well see people at the back making a lot of noise. 'Good' citizens will do their best to ignore the noise. Its considered the height of bad manners to tell the people at the back off to knock it off or quiet down because you're telling somebody what to do. If told off the people at the back are likely to react with great outrage, "who are you to tell me what to do?"…

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  117. Cont…

    In this circumstance the only people who are allowed to say anything (apart form a polite request) are agents of the state (or the bus driver for instance). We recognise that someone in society must have authority so as not to live in anarchy and so the state takes this role. The limits of the state's authority only extends as far as it is willing to enforce it, ie if there's no punishment I can do what I like even if its antisocial. This is because at the end of the day the state‘s power ultimately rests on force and a rather abstract social contract that we must all obey the authority of the state. In a society where its only us as individuals with our individual desires and subjective beliefs and the state as ultimate arbiter, ties between people are likely to be weak. Who controls the state then becomes a vital issue. If you can control the state you can control the only real authority in society. This seems a pretty awkward situation. If we had stronger ideas of right and wrong we wouldn't need the state in our lives so much and society would be a much more self enforcing/regulating entity.

    I heard a discussion recently about the attempted bombing of the detroit airline where the bomber was immediatly tackled by fellow passangers. One of the commentors said "When I heard the bomber was tackled I asked myself I hope it was an air marshall because that's what the air marshalls should be doing." Its seems pretty embarrasing to me that we can't take care of these things ourselves and require the state to do everything for us. Not just because they are the one's who are specifically tasked with the job but also because they are the only ones with any authority.

    This has been an interesting discussion. Thanks.

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  118. Jesse 7:
    "I hate to sound awful though but I want Anglo-Australians to be dominant because they're us, not because it makes things anthropologically tidy"

    That's what I meant - Anglo-Australians are a closely related (and historically allied) group to my own kin groups, ergo I naturally want them to survive and prosper. Same for Anglo-Canadians, Anglo-Americans et al. And by Anglo I mean Anglo-Celtic of course.

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  119. This is an amusing quote I just read form Anne Coulter.

    ""Diversity" is a difficulty to be overcome, not an advantage to be sought. True, America does a better job than most at accommodating a diverse population. We also do a better job at curing cancer and containing pollution. But no one goes around mindlessly exclaiming: "Cancer is a strength!" "Pollution is our greatest asset!""

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  120. Jesse_7 said, “For instance if you think someone is doing the wrong thing (we'll take polygamy as an example, I'm not saying its wrong but for this example we're saying it is) then isn't it the right thing to do to stop others from doing it? Even if that means invasion? Assuming the moral act we're stopping outweighs the moral downside of invasion.”

    Yes, Yes, I agree! I think I should have added a side note when I said there should be a place for people to practice polygamy. You see, I personally believe the only difference between Hugh Hefner girl friends and polygamy is a long term commitment. Is Hugh Hefner abusing the women physically? Or is he doing anything to them that should be grounds for forcing him to stop having these women live with him? I could go into more detail, but I just wanted to make a general point. Having said that, I agree if Hugh Hefner was living in another country and he was forcing women to have sex with him and beheading those who did not comply; then I believe we have a moral obligation to stop him, even though that might make him every angry or cause a war. So yes, I agree there are objective truths that mankind share regardless of race, culture and religion; but there are also subjective or arbitrary practices that people like to call objective truths and its only this way of doing something that will bring us the most, peace, joy, safety and liberty. And that’s where conservatives or traditionalist start their debate. We can’t really debate with liberals, because they do not believe in objective truths at all. (Sorry for poor grammar and spelling)

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  121. Anon wrote,

    So yes, I agree there are objective truths that mankind share regardless of race, culture and religion; but there are also subjective or arbitrary practices that people like to call objective truths and its only this way of doing something that will bring us the most, peace, joy, safety and liberty. And that’s where conservatives or traditionalist start their debate.

    Yep, that's a pretty good summary. Another way to put it is that in those characteristics which all men share, universal rules govern us. And in those characteristics which are particular to races, nations, one of the sexes, age levels, relationships, etc. particular rules govern us.

    Liberals are ideologically incapable of recognizing the particulars about humankind (race, nation, sex, age, etc.) and therefore incapable of recognizing particular (or, as they call them, "discriminatory") rules.

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  122. At some point in the 21st century, there will likely be conflict and I certainly would not want to stuck in the middle of America with a bunch of Protestants who know nothing about animistic practices and have the little or no connection to wisdom and traditions that predate our modern, enlightened, and monotheistic culture by thousands of years.

    For one thing, I don't take such a things as sterilized surgical instruments or epidemiology for granted--among other things that the post Rennaissance world has given to Europe and America.

    The first two paragraphs above: while sustaining life through knowledge is valuable, knowing life and death is equally important to humans. For me, animistic cultures can teach us more about the spirit, life, death, and our community than any religious doctrine.

    I believe that most of you who vehemently oppose messages/media or ideas which tell people that there are imbalances we ought to fix in this globalized world are not stupid and that we all have a lot in common which we choose to ignore due to our proximity, interdependence (nationally, globally), and resulting political compulsions (urges to control the public sphere).

    If we lived to see a day when the world became re-localized and de-globalized, I believe people would move about to places where people shared their values and practices. Thus, my own issues with living among white Protestant Americans who don't know how to bake a good loaf of bread and are loaded with literalism and rationalism but lacking and dysfunctional in ways to express love and affection for people around them would become moot.

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