My ponderous English friend GuessedWorker of Majority Rights has weighed in on Michael O’Meara’s prize winning essay on White Nationalism and my response to it. He inclines toward the view that a materialist account of ethnic genetic interests will prove more persuasive than seductive mythic appeals in any future White racial rejuvenation in North America.
GuessedWorker has spent many years now searching for a philosophy to justify British nationalism. He sees liberalism as something of an ideological straitjacket (a view I happen to share) wrapped around the English mind. Like JW Holiday, who now seems to have disappeared from the blogosphere, GuessedWorker sees in Salterism a potent vehicle to wreck this mental logjam.
In his account of the American West, GuessedWorker sees rational self-interest as being fundamentally operative, not some myth or highly altruistic national purpose; settlers moved West for their own selfish reasons, namely cheap land and freedom from government interference. He doesn’t touch upon the views of American policymakers whose influence was historically decisive.
Thomas Jefferson was undoubtedly the most important. He dreamed of an “empire of liberty” in Transappalachia and the Louisiana Territory. As president, Jefferson’s mythic vision of the sturdy Anglo-Saxon republican yeomary played a decisive role in his acquisition of Louisiana from France. He spoke glowingly of the destiny of Anglo-Americans to spill over and control the North American continent.
In The Rise and Fall of Anglo-America, Eric P. Kaufmann wrote extensively about the Anglo-American myth complex, its origins and duration, the depth of its penetration into the American psyche, its power and appeal, decline and eventual eclipse in the 1930s by the cosmopolitan mythos of the Jewish New York Modernists. Reginald Horsman covered the topic in even greater detail in Race and Manifest Destiny: The Origins of American Racial Anglo-Saxonism. A strong argument can be made that American racial decline tracks exactly the decline of the indigenous Anglo-American mythos.
Generations of Southerners were raised on the myth of the Lost Cause. Southern nationalism emerged after the War Between the States when the heroism and wartime sacrifice of Confederate soldiers and the bitter memories of Reconstruction became an object of mythmaking. From Texas to Virginia, the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy raised stone monuments in town squares to honor the fallen dead. It is difficult to find a small town in the South without some form of Civil War memorial. The mythology of the Lost Cause was closely intertwined with Southern identity and the white supremacist ideology of the Jim Crow South.
In the early twentieth century, the myth of the Ku Klux Klan as presented in D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation sparked the revival of the defunct organization. As I wrote in the previous thread, the Second Klan swelled to millions of members in the 1920’s. It was easily the largest American nativist organization of its time. There can be no doubt about the power of myth to inflame the popular imagination. The arresting image of the Confederate dead rising phenix-like from the ashes to defend Southern womanhood had a powerful appeal to Anglo-Protestant nationalists in the Midwest who sought to preserve American purity from the corrupting influence of European immigrants.
When Americans look back at the Antebellum South, even today they do so through the prism of Gone With The Wind, one of the most popular novels and films of all time. In the 1850’s, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin went on to become the best selling novel of the nineteenth century. It colored Northern attitudes towards the Old South for over a hundred years. More recently, the Roots series of 1970s is shown in almost every high school classroom when the subject of slavery is being discussed.
Our enemies have their own myths. In the U.S., the progressive movement is driven less by facts and figures than by a vague notion of racial transcendence. The myth of the colorblind society as articulated by MLK in his I Have a Dream speech is at the heart of the anti-racist status quo. It has its own martyrs like Emmett Till, Rosa Parks, James Meredith, Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner; its own demons like Bull Conner, George Wallace, and the Klan. The election of Barack Obama as President of the United States is the culmination of the myth of the Civil Rights Movement. From the beginning, the symbolism of the Obama campaign was the story, not his plan for, say, health care reform.
There will always be men who are driven by data points. At the same time, there will always be far more who are driven by art and drama. The common man wants to see and hear about good vs. evil, justice vs. injustice, heroes vs. villains. He doesn’t have the patience or the inclination to grasp complex topics like evolutionary fitness or ethnic genetic interest.
Something more is obviously needed. The academics who spend the most time rehearsing and arguing about racial data points rarely become white separatists. Charles Murray wrote The Bell Curve and Human Accomplishment, but married and reproduced outside his race. Steve Sailer has argued against White Nationalism. Jared Taylor hasn’t endorsed anything beyond repealing the civil rights laws and ending third world immigration. At least from my perspective, the race realism movement has been a disappointment.
In the U.S., publically embracing White Nationalism often entails career and marital sacrifices. When it is done, racial altruism overrides the narrow pursuit of self-interest. It is much easier to start and raise a family (to maximize one’s EGI) if you go along with the status quo. An incredibly appealing myth is usually needed to overpower the actualization of normal human desires; to inspire someone to go above and beyond his own self interest in pursuit of a collective goal.
In the early twentieth century, there was no conflict between myth and self interest. The new racial science (Darwinism and Mendelian genetics) complemented the mythic-inspired nativist movement. Both will undoubtedly be needed for White Nationalism to ever triumph in North America.