On Gottfried, Zmirak And White Nationalism
Egalitarian Orthodoxy: "Noble Fiction"—Or Noxious
There has been a long and
interesting discussion over at
Takimag.com on what is being called "white
nationalism". The first to raise the subject was
Paul Gottfried, who made many subtle and interesting
points to be found
here. He noted that although
"white nationalists," among whom he included me
by name, are bravely leading the attack on
egalitarianism, they "lack a civilization" and
are therefore "not likely to carry our society toward
a new vision of order."
I will say, first of all, that I
greatly admire Prof. Gottfried. I have five of his books
on my bookshelf and have read and profited
greatly from all of them. That puts him in select
company, along with
Trollope and only a few others. It therefore pains
me to have to say that despite the respectful interest
he takes in what I would
prefer to call
he does not seem entirely to understand it.
It is flattering, to be sure, but
Prof. Gottfried sets for "white nationalism" a
far grander task than it ever set for itself: creating
or defining a civilization.
At its most basic, racial
consciousness has as its goal the preservation of a
certain people. Its aim is to rekindle among whites what
every previous generation until recently so took for
granted they did not even give it a name: an instinctive
preference for their own people and culture, and a
strong desire that they should prosper.
I note that every other racial group
acts on this healthy instinct and desire. Race realism
therefore has no theory of religion, the family, art, or
the role of government, except in the very general sense
that it expects whites to love, first and foremost, the
infinite riches created by European man.
I am glad Prof. Gottfried evoked our
Sam Francis, and I will do the same. As long ago as
1994 Sam wrote: "The civilization that we as whites
created in Europe and America
could not have developed apart from
the genetic endowments of the creating people, nor
is there any reason to believe that the civilization can
be successfully transmitted to a different people."
Race Matters, American Renaissance, September
Sam often said he could not
understand any conservatism that did not fight, first of
all, to conserve its own biological basis. He saw racial
consciousness as a precondition, a form of anterior
conservatism, without which nothing from our
civilization could be conserved, much less advanced. He
believed that only the biological heirs to the creators
of a civilization would cherish it and carry it forward.
What race realists find most
infuriating about the liberalism of the last half
century is not just that it has lost its instinctive
appreciation for the culture and people of the West but
actively, viciously attacks them. Whites are doing
something no other people has ever done in human
history. Our rulers and elites welcome replacement by
vilify our ancestors and their own, they sacrifice
our interests to those of
favored minorities, and they treat the entire
history of the West as if it were a
global plague of rapine and exploitation. This is a
disease that is killing us, and we must fight it head
Race realists have well-considered
ideas about all the ingredients Prof. Gottfried would
include in "civilization," but they claim no
special authority to define or limit them. Ensuring our
survival as a distinct people comes first. Once we have
freed ourselves of the unwanted embrace of others, our
civilization will unfold in accordance with our own
destiny and genius. If our homelands fill up with people
unlike ourselves our civilization will be smothered.
We do not, therefore, propose a
civilization; we work to bring about the only conditions
in which our civilization can survive and flourish.
I am curious why Prof. Gottfried
pays "white nationalists" the high compliment of
expecting them to provide a civilization in the first
place. Would he require that
Catholics, for example, offer us a civilization? No
single group or movement can do that. Civilizations
arise organically from the collective efforts of an
entire people or nation.
Finally, I salute Prof. Gottfried`s
desire to save "what remains of our Anglo-American
traditions of ordered liberty," but does he not see
race-consciousness in the very phrase he uses? I`m
all for Anglo-American traditions, too. I just don`t see
any evidence that large numbers of
Haitians or Guatemalans or Vietnamese or Filipinos
or Chinese or
Nigerians or Pakistanis or Cambodians can be taught
even to think in terms of
Anglo-American traditions, much less help us save
In the case of
John Zmirak`s contribution
The Sad Sorority of Skin, I fall back on
my custom of praising people for the things they are
willing to say while refraining from criticizing them
for what they are not willing to say.
Mr. Zmirak gets high marks. Close the
border, he says.
Excellent! The reason, he adds, is that diversity is
weakness, not a strength, and a country needs
a clear majority. Even better! Abolish all
anti-discrimination laws, he says.
In fact, Mr. Zmirak seems to have stumbled onto the only
two policy recommendations American Renaissance
has ever made, and these two proposals alone are enough
to ban him from respectable society. So just where do we
It sounds to me almost a matter of
tactics. Mr. Zmirak seems to be saying that if only
those race realists would stop actually saying
they prefer the company and society of whites, and just
quietly lived in
all-white neighborhoods the way liberals do, we
could repeal the
Civil Rights Act of 1964. If only those pesky race
realists would never mention
race or IQ, and concentrated only on the potentially
divisive impact of
Muslim immigration, we
could close the borders.
I assume he is joking.
In fact, Mr. Zmirak and Prof.
Gottfried both place far too much emphasis on IQ. IQ has
nothing to do with the desire to see one`s people
survive and flourish. The
North American Indians never got out of the
Stone Age until the white man came along, but
they want their people and traditions to continue.
They hope their descendants will dance the snake dance
and purify themselves in
sweat lodges for ever, and God bless them for it.
My view is no different. It doesn`t
matter if immigrants are smarter,
better-looking, and superior to us in every way; I
still don`t want to be replaced by them. I love the
traditions of the West, not necessarily because they are
superior but because they are mine, just as I love my
children because they are mine, not because they have
I agree with Mr. Zmirak that talk of
race and IQ is uncivil. "Comparisons are odious,"
my Southern ancestors used to say, and would
never have dreamed of denigrating their servants.
But as I have explained many times,
we are forced to talk about IQ in self-defense. We are
reproached and punished for the failures of others—especially
blacks—and have no choice but to point out the true
cause of their failures. We are also filling our country
Third-Worlders who have made wrecks of their own
countries. Must we remain silent when we are told that
in a generation they will all be fit heirs of the
Jeffersonian tradition, and that if they are not, this,
too, is our fault?
Mr. Zmirak is afraid that the very
fact of IQ leads to brutality. Flunk an IQ test, get
your tubes tied. He seems to have forgotten that Greeks
and Romans exposed defective newborns and advised their
sons to choose their wives as carefully as they bred
their livestock. Every language has words for
"smart," and "stupid," and people recognized
retardation long before anyone thought of mental tests.
People will or will not cull the herd for reasons that
have nothing to do with whether their measures of mental
traits are rough or fine.
I couldn`t help laughing at Mr.
Zmirak`s characterization of racial consciousness as
"rootless." In American history perhaps only
Christianity is a way of thinking that has roots a
little deeper and thicker. If racial consciousness had
foliage to match its roots it would be an unstoppable
force. Show me just about any prominent (or ordinary)
American of any time up do about 1940 and I will show
you someone whose assumptions about race are likely to
be very similar to mine.
I am baffled by Mr. Zmirak`s
suspicion that "white nats" somehow want to
invade the conservative movement, take it over, and
stifle dissent. What is his evidence for that? It is my
sad experience that people who impute low motives to
others are themselves tempted by those same motives. In
this respect I will point out only that Mr. Zmirak seems
to want to snuff out discussions of IQ not because race
realists are wrong but because
what they say is inconvenient.
Finally, Mr. Zmirak finds it
unconscionable that Michael Levin,
writing in American Renaissance, should find
that black behavior is
sufficiently different from that of whites to
justify whites` avoiding them. But what is the point of
resurrecting freedom of association if we are not to
have the right to choose our associates, in Richard
Epstein`s classic phrase,
"for good reasons, bad reasons, or no reason at all."
Prof. Levin, unlike most whites who
hide out in the suburbs, has stated his reasons. If they
are not good enough for Mr. Zmirak, he should explain
why. I suspect he doesn`t exactly fill his life with
black people either. Why not?
Despite Mr. Zmirak`s protestations,
I think our views have much in common. If, as a matter
of tactics, he find it necessary to huff and puff about
"rootless white nats"—well, we live in evil times
a man can lose his job for saying something he knows to
him) is editor of
American Renaissance and the author of Paved
With Good Intentions: The Failure of Race Relations in
Peter Brimelow`s review, click