[This book review was written for publication directly to the Web site.]
Race and the American Prospect: Essays on the Racial Realities of Our Nation and Our Time
Samuel Francis, editor
The Occidental Press, 2006
Many readers in the West today have internalized the mindset about race that has become conventional in recent years. To them, it will seem an oxymoron to speak of a book as reasoned, judicious, scholarly and well-intentioned, while also telling how it flies in the face of certain iron-clad taboos that those readers accept unquestioningly. In direct confrontation to these taboos, the authors of Race and the American Prospect argue that (1) there is such a thing as “race”; (2) that there is, among the races, a white race; (3) that the white race is in imminent peril of extinction unless current demographic and intellectual trends are drastically redirected; and (4) that whites have the same right as any other race to seek their own preservation.
Those who see such a volume as an oxymoron can relax. The book is a collaboration of fourteen distinguished authors—none of whom froths at the mouth. The essays are dispassionate and scholarly. The book is important, and is certainly not to be ignored or discounted as unworthy of reasoned examination. Neither of those receptions is deserved, and if either of them greets Race and the American Prospect, that will be a reflection not on the book but on the closed mentality of those who refuse to discuss it on the merits.
The late Samuel Francis initiated the project and served as its editor, seeing it through to completion shortly before his death. He contributed the Introduction and one of the chapters. The other thirteen contributors—Kevin Lamb, Wayne Lutton, Richard Lynn, Joseph E. Fallon, Jared Taylor, Sam G. Dickson, Kevin MacDonald, Richard Faussette, Derek Turner, Brent Nelson, J. L. Woodruff, Richard McCulloch and Robert S. Griffin—have all distinguished themselves as scholars and researchers. Such a description of them, left by itself, would, however, be insufficient. To the description must be added that they are all men of uncommon courage. No one writes from a pro-white perspective today without running an unspeakable risk that the equivalent of condemnatory “fatwas” will issue forthwith from countless sources.
It is perhaps best to start this review by seeing what the book has to say about each of the four propositions set out in the first paragraph here.
That there is such a thing as “race”; and that there is, among the races, such a thing as the “white race.” The first chapter, by Kevin Lamb, is entitled “The Reality of Race.” To remind readers why it is necessary to assert so obvious a proposition, he refers to “the egalitarian view that race is biologically meaningless and that racial differences are mere ‘social constructs’… [and, further, that inequalities among people] are exclusively the result of ‘discrimination’ and ‘unequal opportunities.’” Lamb responds by pointing out that “the conventional view among credible scientists recognizes the existence of three primary races: Caucasoid (white), Mongoloid (yellow), and Negroid (black).” “Authorities across multiple fields—from anthropology to zoology—,” he says, “have consistently accepted [this] as the primary racial division of Homo Sapiens.” His chapter gives the definition of “race” appearing in several sources, including Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary, The Columbia Encyclopedia, the Encyclopedia of Intelligence, and A Dictionary of Genetics. The first of these defines it as “an ethnic stock or division of mankind; in a narrower sense, a national or tribal stock… In genetics, races are considered as populations having different distributions of gene frequencies.”
Lamb points to research showing that there is “a consistent three-way pattern between Mongoloid, Caucasoid, and Negroid averages in brain size, intelligence, maturation rate, personality, social organization, and reproduction strategy.” These translate into “racial differences in crime, poverty, chronic unemployment, teenage pregnancy, divorce, domestic violence, general recklessness, punctuality, delay of gratification, sexual precocity, and child abuse….”
Pointing to one of the more rapidly advancing disciplines in the scientific world, Lamb says that “a decade or more of population genetics research has documented genetic, and therefore biological, differentiation among the races.” It is a sophistry for anyone to argue that there are only a few genetic differences separating one kind of person from another, since Lamb points out that only a few “genetic switches” mark the enormous gulf between a human being and a rodent. The switches may be few (though potent); nevertheless, more than two million “subtle genetic differences” have been identified “that underlie the diversity of the human race.”
The argument is sometimes made that racial differences exist along a spectrum, so that it is arbitrary to select points along the continuum as constituting a certain “race.” Lamb quotes John R. Baker in rebuttal: “It scarcely needs to be pointed out that in other matters no one questions the reality of categories between which intermediaries exist. There is every gradation, for instance, between green and blue, but no one denies that these words should be used.”
A few decades ago, it would have seemed ludicrous to debate the existence of “whites,” just as no one today asserts the non-existence of such an oft-referred-to category as “peoples of color.” But this reviewer was reminded recently of how much sophistry has come to pervade this subject when he was conversing with a
friend who has taught at his own university. She spoke of “whites,” but used her fingers in a gesture to indicate that she was putting quotation marks around the word. She was, in effect, denying the reality of “whites,” even though she is herself articulate in asserting the wonders of Latino ethnicity. She is quite a nice person, but an historical parallel is inescapable: the mindset behind such a denial is very much like what Stalin did with his Bolshevik comrades as they fell out of his favor. There is an amazing book The Vanishing Commissars with successive photos showing how one person after another was air-brushed out of pictures as each became a non-person. Unfortunately, we are mistaken if we think of this ultimate denial of the humanity—in fact, of the very existence—of ones opponents as uniquely Stalinist. It would appear to have a more universal appeal as an intellectual form of genocide. Latina
That the white race is in imminent peril of extinction. One of the authors, Richard McCulloch, is representative of all the book’s contributors when he points to the threatened extinction of whites by the immigration invasion that is flooding
Western Europe, the , United States and Canada with non-European peoples, and by the ideology of multiracialism that is insisted upon by opinion-controlling elites. No other race is in similar peril. Australia
It is worth observing that although Lamb, in telling of the scientific consensus, spoke of the common division of humanity into three broad races, McCulloch concludes the book with a specific concern about “Nordish” extinction. By “Nordish,” he means “the Northern European peoples.” The concern over impending extinction is broader than McCulloch frames it, however. In The Death of the West, for example, Patrick Buchanan writes of the existential threat, from the same demographic and ideological causes, to the entire civilization of “the West.” This goes considerably beyond northern
Europe—such as to , Spain , Italy , Russia , and others. Taken as a whole, Race and the American Prospect voices that broader concern, although certainly also sharing McCulloch’s concern about northern European peoples. In his Introduction, Samuel Francis says that “what unites and drives [the contributors to the book] as a group is a common concern that their race today faces a crisis….” Ukraine
That whites have a right, as all other peoples do, to seek their own preservation. Running as a thread through the book is the premise that it is both proper and important for whites to value their own existence and to seek to preserve it. McCulloch says it most explicitly: “I am an American of Northern European ancestry and race. I love my race and I want it to continue to exist.” What he is saying is that although a great many reasons can be cited for the value of the white race and examples given of its contributions, such justifications don’t themselves go to the heart of the matter: to those who are white and who feel deep attachment to their own kind, their race is valuable per se. It’s strange how little this is acknowledged at a time when environmentalists concern themselves about the snail darter and bald eagle—and indeed about all of life—in quasi-religious terms as holy. All life is intrinsically valuable—and one would suppose that this would apply equally well to whites. The fact that McCulloch’s expression of love for his own ancestry sounds oddly out of place today tells us a lot about the double standards that prevail in contemporary ideology.
The Book’s Many Other Points
The four propositions we have examined provide a good summary of the book’s central thesis, but so large a subject involves a number of additional points:
1. The authors don’t spend time apologizing for their desire to preserve the white race, but inevitably they find it necessary to anticipate the reservations of some readers and adversarial reactions of others. Accordingly, the authors go out of their way to make it clear that preventing the extinction of the white race in no sense implies hostility to other peoples. Samuel Francis says that “whites [who today feel guilty about thinking in terms of their own race] need to learn that racial consciousness is no more a license for repression, exploitation, hatred, and violence than recognition of the reality and importance of sex is a license for rape, seduction, and debauchery.” McCulloch adds: “Multiracialism has succeeded in defining support for Nordish interests as a form of hatred… We need to refute this by defining our support for legitimate and vital Nordish interests as the expression of the love and loyalty that we have for our race… rather than hate for other races.”
2. At the same time, this does not presuppose a sense of equivalency between the civilization and cultures of the West and those of other peoples. A preference for one way of life over another can take into account a number of objective criteria (such as the attainments in the arts, sciences, law, political institutions, and the like), but ultimately rests upon a subjective value-judgment. This latter element leaves room for human beings to differ in their assessments. If someone prefers life under a thatched roof in a rain forest and another person prefers living along a canal in
, there is no metaphysical basis for saying either person is “wrong.” But the authors clearly do make a value judgment. In the context of their own values, they very much prefer life in the advanced civilization that they see the white race as having created. Francis says that “by the standards of the values and ideals we as a race and a civilization have articulated, it is better.” Venice
From this, it might seem that the view that “it is better” is merely a relativistic statement to the effect that “from our point of view, it is better.” But the belief is stronger than that; there is a conviction that the West’s standards, values and ideals are in fact better. Here, the emphasis is not on the subjective judgment, but on the objective criteria. No doubt, the value judgment even about those criteria comes down finally to a subjective preference—but that preference is one that virtually everyone in an advanced civilization will consider sound. Certainly, this used to be the clearly understood perspective of the overwhelming number of whites. Jared Taylor quotes Cecil Rhodes: “We are the first race in the world, and the more of the world we inhabit, the better it is for the human race.” It may surprise readers when
points out that this perception of de facto superiority was even voiced by Albert Schweitzer, a man of legendary compassion: “I have given my life to alleviate the sufferings of Taylor Africa. There is something that all White men who have lived here like I have must learn and know: that these individuals are a sub-race… I have given my life to try to bring unto them the advantages which our civilization must offer….” (It is important to realize that Schweitzer said this without any malevolent feeling toward the Africans of whom he spoke and whom he had sought to help for so many years.)
In today’s world, where any mention of “white superiority” goes to the outer reaches of the taboo, it would perhaps be advisable not to broach the subject of “superiority” at all (thus omitting the immediately preceding paragraph). But if we did that, we would fail to frame the essential issue that lies at the heart of today’s alienated critique of the history of the West. The
Third World’s hostile perspective (one that in their much-enjoyed “guilt” many whites have themselves internalized) is that the West has for centuries “raped” and “exploited” the “peoples of color.” According to this, the generations of settlers who extended the American frontier over a period of three centuries were “stealing the continent from the Indians.”
Was it theft, an immoral taking? There are at least two things to say about this. The first is that it is questionable whether during most of human history peoples of any race, tribe or nation bothered to question the justifications for conquest. It would make an interesting study to inquire into just when it was that “morality” even came into the equation. Did Cortes, say, concern himself with the morality of overthrowing the Aztecs? In turn, had the Aztecs felt qualms about displacing the peoples they supplanted? Or those people the population that they replaced? Given our sensibilities today, we may rail against that past history, abhorring it for not being more sensitive; but to condemn the past for it smacks of a certain adolescence, a sophomoric shallowness. Even more to the point: Are the millions who are today flooding into the
and United States Europe, in what is really a demographic invasion that obviously will have vast consequences, feeling guilty about it? It seems reasonable to surmise that they almost certainly haven’t thought of it in those terms.
The second observation is that even after they developed moral sensibilities that caused them to seek justifications for exerting dominance, the peoples of the West believed that in extending their dominion they were doing a good thing. Americans had little doubt but that towns, farms, churches, science, commerce, the arts—i.e., all of the accoutrements of a settled civilization—should be spread over the American continent, with no reason to hesitate in face of the sparse population of primarily warrior-hunters who were already there. To a substantial degree, European colonization in
Africaand the Orient was undertaken not just for the enjoyments of power but as a carrying of civilization to the far ends of the earth. We see this in Cecil Rhodes’ statement that is quoted above.
And, regardless of intention, European colonization or conquest did have the effect of spreading civilization. The period of colonization in Africa was, in historical terms, quite short (from the last quarter of the nineteenth century to about 1960 when independence was granted to many African nations), but served what could well have been a vastly significant purpose for the Africans themselves: as a bridge between the primitivism that prevailed prior to the middle of the nineteenth century and the modern age. Sub-Saharan
Africahas been a mess since independence was granted, but that is despite rather than because of the efforts of the European powers. If they had it in themselves to do so, black Africans could have made much more out of the bridge than they have. In much the same fashion, the Spanish conquest of served as a bridge over the enormous gap between the Aztec civilization, with its rampant human sacrifice and cannibalism, and modern Mexico . Mexico
A great many white Americans today are not willing to think through or to face up to the implications of these assessments—and in that failure they are essentially deracinated, cutting themselves off from prior generations and lending their condonation to the denunciations of those generations that come from the aggressively anti-white ideologies.
3. Jared Taylor comes to grips with a worldwide change that is at once invisible and of the greatest potency: a 180-degree reversal of “point of view” about race and about the assessment of the West. “It is not often that societies go through changes in thinking so profound as to deserve the name ‘revolution’,”
says. “Current assumptions about race are a complete reversal of the views of not only the Founders but of the great majority of Americans up until the 1950s and 1960s. Our country has experienced a true revolution….” Taylor
From whose perspective are things to be seen? This makes “all the difference” in how social issues are perceived. Consider so small a subject as “Columbus Day.” Through most of American history,
’ discovery of Columbus was something to celebrate, and America was a hero. Columbus Day is still observed in the Columbus , but has been under attack. Among “peoples of color” throughout the United States , however, the perspective is different. The Web site “Inside Costa Rica” on Americas October 13, 2006, for example, showed a picture of school children dressed in Native American costumes; and the accompanying story explained that “this day is celebrated as the ‘Hispanic Day,’ the ‘Columbus Day,’ or ‘Indigenous People’s Day’ depending on the recognition of Columbus and colonization as a positive or negative event in history [italics added]. In it is celebrated as the ‘Dia de las Culturas.’” Costa Rica
Much of what is called “the culture war” in the
relates to this change in point of view. The specifics are still being fought out (as with Columbus Day, where the forms of the past have not yet been fully obliterated), but what McCulloch calls “this non-Nordish-centered view of the universe” has rapidly become ascendant. “They see themselves and their interests as the center of the universe, with everything being about them, not about us, with everything based on them, and motivated by feelings for them….” This was visible as long ago as 1965 when Senator Sam Ervin spoke against the 1965 immigration bill that removed the “national origins” priority given to immigration from Europe and opened the door to vast Third World immigration into the United States. Senator Jacob Javits, according to Wayne Lutton, angrily responded “I can’t sit still for the proposition… that the ethnic groups that came from northern United States Europeand made England .” America
This about-face has been embraced by a great many whites themselves, who accordingly have little or no identification with their own race or culture. Jared Taylor quotes
president William Clinton, who “described the reduction of whites to a minority as ‘the third great revolution of U.S. .’ He looked forward to the challenge of seeing ‘if we can prove that we literally can live without having a dominant European culture.’” America tells of the statement made by Republican congressman Robert Dornan, who said “if we lose our Northern European stock—your coloring and mine, blue eyes and fair hair—tough!” Taylor
It was this reversal of perspective that gave (and continues to give) the moral imprimatur to the “civil rights revolution” that occurred in the
in the 1950s and ’60s. It was similar to what happened after the attack on United States Pearl Harbor. Before the attack, polls showed that the American people overwhelmingly opposed American entry into the war; afterwards, there was a sea-change in perception that remains unquestioned to this day. Before the end of World War II, the sensibility that the was a white society, with blacks occupying a subsidiary role, was implicit within the white mainstream. When this long-held perspective came under attack, the “moral high ground” was instantly seized by those who repudiated what had been so generally accepted just a short time before. Despite the frustration, as it turns out, of much of the promise of the civil rights revolution, this understanding of what is “moral” seems self-evident to virtually everyone even now. Seeing no moral alternative, few question whether the American people took less than a fully constructive turn a half-century ago. It is noteworthy that Kevin MacDonald, one of the fourteen contributors, stands outside this consensus, examining it, when he says “a vast number of whites…came to internalize the ideological premises of this revolution. Indeed, at this time it is fair to say that there is a consensus of elite opinion across the political spectrum on the moral foundations of the revolution in civil rights for blacks.” United States
The change in point of view has become so pronounced that contemporary ideology insists upon it, declaring anything else “politically incorrect.” (Those who read this review at some time in the future may not understand that there is almost nothing more intolerable in American society today than being “politically incorrect.”) Samuel Francis points to what is permitted for “peoples of color” but denied to whites: he speaks of “…the obvious double standard on the racial consciousness that is permitted for and even demanded of non-white racial groups but forbidden to whites….” Sam Dickson mentions the “extraordinary achievement of the left in fettering public debate on racial issues….”
4. What has caused this turn-about? Many factors—far too many to discuss here. Included, certainly, are the severe weakening of the West by World Wars I and II, which Patrick Buchanan has rightly seen as one long civil war within the West; the anti-Western “alienation of the intellectual” that has burned within the West’s (and by extension most of the world’s) intelligentsia since early in the nineteenth century; the disrepute that Hitler’s “Aryan” program brought to any assertion of white racial consciousness; the awakening of Asian, African and Latin American peoples as the dominion of the West receded following World War II; and, fatefully, the decision by much of the world Left to abandon its preoccupation with the “proletariat” and to seek ideological allies with all disaffected ethnicities.
To these, the contributors’ essays have added a couple of significant points. In a discussion limited to the
, Wayne Lutton traces the history of immigration. Most of the settlers came over from United States Europebefore the middle of the seventeenth century. After that, the growth in population was almost entirely due to natural increase. But after the Civil War, there was noticeable Chinese and then Japanese immigration until that was stopped in the mid-1920s. By far the greater impact came from a wave of “new immigration” between 1890 and 1924 that brought in large numbers of Slavs and southern Europeans. Among them were hundreds of thousands of Ashkenazi Jews from , Poland and Austria-Hungary . Richard McCulloch makes a little-recognized but highly important observation when he says that the country’s demographics had already changed drastically by the time the European preferences of the “national origins” system were instituted in the 1920s. “Unfortunately, the reforms were too late and too little to prevent their dispossession. The non-Nordish elements were already here in sufficient numbers to achieve a shift in the racial balance of power and had begun their rise to dominance….” Russia
It is Kevin MacDonald, who for years has combined high scholarship with incredible courage in analyzing candidly but fairly the role of Jews in society, who explains how pivotal the role of the Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants has been in twentieth and twenty-first century American thought and social policy. He says that “Jewish power… increased dramatically after World War II, and since the 1960s, Jewish Americans have become an elite group with a great deal of influence on public policy.” He tells how “Jews have played a prominent role in organizing blacks beginning with the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909….” It is meaningful that “Jews contributed from two-thirds to three-quarters of the money for civil rights groups during the 1960s.”
MacDonald considers it important to understand “the special character of this Jewish population.” “Traditional Jewish society,” he observes, has been characterized by “a strong sense of ingroup pride and moral superiority, messianic fervor aimed at a utopian future, ingroup/outgroup thinking, hierarchical social structure, and exclusion of dissenters.” Thus, the Jewish immigrants from
Eastern Europe(the Ashkenazis) were highly political, and were steeped in “Zionism and political radicalism.” (This is by no means a new revelation coming from MacDonald; the “culture of the Left” within Eastern European Jewish communities has long been acknowledged by Jewish authors themselves.) “There is no doubt that immigrant Jews formed the core of the American left at least through the 1960s.” Jewish support, financial and otherwise, was the “bulwark” of the Communist Party USA after World War II. Another example of the centrality of the Jewish role: “Despite representing only 2.5 percent of the population, Jews provide over half of the funding of the Democratic Party.”
The intellectual impact has been tremendous, and relates closely to the subjects already discussed in this review: early in the twentieth century, the American Jewish Committee “funded the research of Franz Boas” [the thinker most influential in denying the existence of “race”], with the effect, as MacDonald tells us, that “Boasian anthropology was a Jewish intellectual movement that by the 1920s came to dominate American anthropology.”
MacDonald’s chapter should be considered required reading by anyone who wants to peruse the many subtleties of his analysis. Unavoidably, much is being left out here. The bottom line is that Jewish leadership opted to press for “an America where white political and demographic hegemony has declined,” a racial strategy that he says runs counter to the historic pattern of Jews having associated themselves with host societies’ established power centers. MacDonald summarizes the result when he says that “I rather doubt that in the absence of the massive immigration of Eastern European Jews between 1880 and 1920, the
would have undergone the radical transformations of the last fifty years.” U.S.
The Left, of course, would (if it reports its thoughts candidly) consider MacDonald’s history and analysis a compliment to the Jews he has discussed. What he has said is only critical of the Eastern European Jewish immigrants to those who deplore much of the impact they have had on American life (and this could be extended to include their impact on American foreign policy vis a vis
and the Islamic world). Is there anything “anti-Semitic” (which to make any sense as a term of opprobrium must suggest attitudes genuinely vicious toward Jews) about what MacDonald has related? It will only be considered so by those who equate “anti-Semitism” with any less-than-favorable critique of the Jewish role. We saw with regard to “wishing the white race to survive,” that that wish involved no suggestion of a desire to oppress others. In like fashion, MacDonald’s discussion, candid but scholarly, does not involve even the slightest hint that he favors any untoward action toward Jews. Israel
5. The authors have made a deliberate decision to cast their discussion in terms of “race.” Samuel Francis said that “what we as whites must do is reassert our identity and our solidarity, and we must do so in explicitly racial terms….” A reader accordingly must confront a difficult question: Is it necessary or desirable for those who wish to defend the Caucasian race or “the West” to put the issues in terms of race, given the wall of resistance such a framing of the subject is bound to face?
The white race and European civilization have historically been tied at the hip, so that for most purposes a reference to one subsumes the other. The identification of one with the other has come so naturally that it has hardly seemed to past generations that there was need to speak separately of racial identity. Francis recognized this when he said, “so secure was this cultural consensus among almost all whites that racial consciousness really did not need to appeal to race itself very much or very directly.” Francis calls this ignoring of race “the older rhetoric.”
Is this earlier mode of thought now obsolete? For many purposes, perhaps not. The opposition to the immigration invasion, to the ideology of multiculturalism that above all seeks to undercut and supplant everything “Eurocentric,” and to the intelligentsia’s almost two-centuries-long alienation has often been voiced in terms of defending “the West” or, in the
, “the American mainstream.” This isn’t an incorrect framing of the issues even though it gives no thought to race, and there is no reason it shouldn’t continue to be made. United States
What has changed, though, is that the issue of race has been brought quite forcibly to the white doorstep. Every other “ethnicity” has asserted its prerogatives and point of view, and done so loudly and insistently—in explicitly racial terms. Whites are the only people on earth who are proscribed from thinking in terms of their own “kind.” “Black pride,” “Latino pride, ” and the like, are commonplaces today. Francis sees the need for white racial consciousness as essential to self-protection. “For white Americans today to abandon the concept of race and adopt ‘racial universalism’ would mean… a revolutionary reconstruction of the American identity.” “If you reject race,” he says, “then you reject
as it has really existed throughout its history.” Those who do not care about being part of their ancestral continuity will find no resonance in Francis’s sentiment; but those who do, will. America
There are particular issues as to which “race” has a distinct relevance. Kevin Lamb refers to “disparities between the races in test scores, academic performance, crime rates, personal income and wealth, rates of welfare use, sentencing and imprisonment, patterns in life expectancy, the prevalence of diseases (particularly HIV infection rates), and quality of community life issues.” If a recognition of racial differences as to these is suppressed, as it has been, the discussion of social policy takes on a surreal quality. Scapegoats, almost always white, are sought to explain every resulting social problem. Are test scores lower in schools that have a larger proportion of black or Hispanic students?—it must be the schools’ fault. Are blacks stopped for traffic violations at a higher percentage than whites?—it must be because of “racial profiling” by the police. Are disproportionately high numbers of inmates in the prison population members of the minorities?—it must be because the judicial system is prejudiced or the majority (white) society has failed to pump enough money into social welfare spending. Are blacks “underrepresented” in the professions or top management?—the “underrepresentation” must be judged without regard to the distribution of I.Q. in the respective populations. Are blacks “discriminated against” in obtaining home loans or homeowners’ insurance, or in buying or renting housing?—it must be because of “white racism” and not relate in any way to whites’ perception of much black behavior. The surrealism goes on and on.
Finally, there is the question of whether a causal relationship exists between the white race and the achievements of European civilization. If there is, that would be a powerful reason in itself to preserve “whiteness.” Certainly, there has been an historical correlation between the Caucasian race and the attainments of European peoples. As anyone conversant with science will tell you, however, “correlation is not causation.” (It is also true, however, that there is no causation without the correlation.)
This reviewer is not familiar with a methodology that would answer this question definitively. Accordingly, he thinks it may be true that Western civilization can be maintained and advanced as a purely creedal thing even if the white race no longer underpins it. (One difficulty with this is that the incoming flood of immigrants is by no means all creedally committed to the institutions and values of the West; in fact, many are positively hostile or at best indifferent.) But he also thinks it may be true that the white race is in fact a sine qua non of the West’s continued existence. If the matter is undetermined, and either proposition may be true, the question for those who care about the West is whether they can afford to risk acting as though there is no causal link. Had they not better assume that there is? This would suggest that Francis and his fellow contributors are thinking responsibly on a matter of the utmost importance. Likewise, it would suggest that William Clinton, who looks forward to the “experiment,” is, for reasons of his own, willing to risk a desperate gamble.
6. As Chernyshevsky and Lenin asked in another connection, “What is to be Done?” There is much reason for those who care about the fate of whiteness or the West to despair. Gigantic forces—intellectual, demographic, commercial, political—are militating again them. Despite all those forces, much could be done if only the average American or person of European descent would “come alive.” The average “educated” American, though, disdains the reading of serious books, and assuredly won’t read (or, almost certainly, even hear of) Race and the American Prospect. This is perhaps the most potent reason American “democracy” isn’t truly democratic at all, but instead responds almost exclusively to elites and interests.
This reviewer has made the point for many years that “a free society needs an intellectual subculture appropriate to itself, something that has been lacking during American history since approximately 1820.” The average person is so preoccupied with the round of normal life that he has little inclination for anything deeper.
If this book is to have any impact at all, it must be to stimulate among a few the rise of a new intellectual leadership, who will in turn serve as the fulcrum for a redirection of attitudes and events. These fourteen scholars are a start. But will anybody follow them? And if anyone does, would a new intellectual elite (which would take a long time to grow) not be far too much “behind the curve” of events to be successful? Is McCulloch right in saying that it was already too late as long ago as 1920?
Dwight D. Murphey