Nationalisms, White and Otherwise

In the comments to my Alaska post there is a link to “Pioneer Little Europe” (PLE) provided by Alan J. Perrick. As promised there, I’d like to expand on why I don’t consider myself a “White Nationalist”; simply linking to Moldbug’s massive essay is not explanation enough. As usual, MM allows his sense of play and irony to run in this piece; it’s not like one could somehow give the sense of it in a tweet. And yet:

I am not a white nationalist because I don’t find white nationalism useful or effective. I don’t feel it helps me accurately perceive reality. In fact, I think it distorts reality. And I believe white nationalism is a very ineffective political device for solving the very real problems about which it complains.(…)

And, more to the point, what is the one ideology least likely to convince them to change their nefarious ways? What is the system of thought that Brahmins are most powerfully inoculated against? White nationalism! It’s a strategy that couldn’t be better designed to fail. It is almost eerie in its profound and incurable ineffectiveness.(…)

At its best, white nationalism offers a sensible description of a general problem. This problem certainly exists, and it falls under the larger category of bad government. (If allowing the old cities of North America to be overrun and rendered largely uninhabitable by murderous racist gangs isn’t bad government, really, I’m not sure what is.)

But white nationalism offers no formula at all for how to transition from bad government to good government. Indeed, to the extent that white nationalism succeeds in anything, it motivates its enemies, keeping everyone stuck in the same old destructive patterns.

So we have the twin points: Whatever its virtues for Whites qua Whites, White Nationalism isn’t effective and it misses the bigger picture. In my view, Black Nationalism misses the point in the same way for Blacks. Etc.

There’s no doubt at all that generally races, tribes, families and other human groupings are most comfortable around their own. If those calling themselves White Nationalists want to form a community in Kalispell, Montana, best of luck to them.

There’s nothing, it seems, that would blow up one’s reputation in the Red Pill/Dark Enlightenment/Neoreactionary community faster than admitting to being some kind of Universalist (The horror. The horror) but here goes nothing.

I’m a Catholic; just two short years ago I was baptized into the Church, and I take very seriously the doctrine that every human being has in him the Imago Dei – The Image of God. That there are bad people, there is no doubt. There are horrible people, instruments of evil; some of them are black gangsters and murderers in Baltimore and Philadelphia. Some are white gangsters and murderers in Moscow and London. One can argue, and plenty have, that black people are statistically more likely to be gangsters and murderers, but that’s not the point, in this context. I surely agree with Derbyshire’s “The Talk” and have and will make these points to my own son, because they are intelligent precautions dealing with realities.

On the other hand, the nation (city-state) I want to live will be smaller than the United States, and much more focused. Whatever kind of government it has will be ruthless in dealing with seriously anti-social behavior and will not subsidize single motherhood and unemployment. In these conditions I, personally, welcome Jewish physicists, Chinese engineers, Japanese cartoonists, Argentinian dance instructors and Black American former Green Berets, if they’re superb contributors to the polis (did I miss any stereotypes? Apologies).

I don’t want these people because of some idiotic commitment to diversity, or, for Christ’s sweet sake, vibrancy. I don’t at all believe that having a rainbow of beautiful colors and sexual orientations is necessary or desirable in a group.

But at heart, I’m an individualist. Take a shot at that, if you like, and tell me where I’m wrong. But I practice discrimination, not prejudice. I draw lines, and if you’re out of bounds because you’re a thief, a thug or a low-impulse-control lout, I’ll deal with you on that basis. But as an individual, I’ll give you a chance to show me who you are, and if you’re good I’ll associate with you to our mutual advantage no matter where your parents are from.

Probably, most of the people who will end up in my kind of place will be White. Certainly, I feel most comfortable around people like me, just like everyone else who isn’t fooling himself because of the mindwashing he’s absorbed from Cultural Marxism. But I’m not a White Nationalist.

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16 thoughts on “Nationalisms, White and Otherwise

  1. I think we’d all like to live in the perfect world you describe. A utopic place where Orthodox Jews don’t spit on Catholic Priests walking by, but is it possible or merely wishful thinking?

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    • My conception is that in a community where everyone wants to be there, by choice and inclination, no one is going to spit on anyone. At least not often, and if such a thing were done, serious consequences, like expulsion, would ensue.

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  2. Some of my favorite white people are short, fat and stupid.

    I favor Whites because they are White, not because they are the best. They are My People, for better or for worse.

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    • Fair enough. It’s certainly easier for me to feel empathy with other whites, for example. But I favor a nation built on shared ideology, though I expect that lots of people of different races may desire an ethnic/racially homogeneous nation more.

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  3. X-Nationalism makes more sense if the X’s live as a beleaguered minority in an X+Y nation, and they are convinced there is no other way to durably end or securely escape the unjust predations of the Y’s. Perhaps the system of government is perfectly good and adequate except for tolerating this unfortunate cultural feature, and if instituted in separated purely X and purely Y nations, would function perfectly fine.

    This is an exception to Moldbug’s argument. Even if you understand what makes ‘good government’, there are occasions when a group of people requires a separated existence because of the disadvantages they experience when living in a mixed society.

    Furthermore, I would argue that even if it abandons unrealistic assumptions about equality, there is probably a minimally feasible level of equal treatment that any government can manage, if for no other reason than administrative convenient. Consider a teacher teaching to center-mass or the lowest-common-denominator student in a class of mixed talent, she can’t afford to tailor tutoring to the needs of each individual. But different people require different teaching approaches (oral or visual learners, etc.), and probably different forms of governance as well.

    Separating people into subgroups that individually have less variance than the mixed population at large would yield better governance, akin to the better teaching we achieve by tracking methods.

    Finally, human beings tend to break up into subgroups and have biological propensities to flock together with those that seem similar when in a mixed experience. In ethnically homogenous nations, these groups are mostly class-based, but in ethnically-mixed societies the subgrouping cohesion principle is largely ethnic. Look at what happens for gangs in mixed-race schools, or in prisons.

    It’s certainly not obvious a priori which kind of tendency to cultural subgrouping is better or worse, but Putnam’s results on the disharmonious, anti-cohesion results of ethnic diversity lead me to believe it’s the former instead of the latter.

    So, all three of these factors could, if certain conditions were met in certain circumstances, make a prima facie case for any particular X-nationalism, and Moldbug’s patchwork concept hardly excludes the possibility any patch from being dedicated to X-nationalism.

    But his criticisms of White Nationalism in particular remain perfectly valid. It is the least likely of any alternative to survive and be tolerated to exist in any sustainable and intellectually respectable manner, and is destined to attract and become the province of obscure, marginalized, unsophisticated, gutter-dwellers. Sorry, that’s a fact.

    White nationalism does not have an alternative theory of government, it only has an alternative theory of the optimal ethnic composition of the population, with some kind of implicit assumption that somehow that alone will turn the ship around and make everything better. Nope.

    And finally, for however you define ‘White’, the variances of that group are still too large to meet the ‘tailored, well-suited particularism’ test.

    However, the original ‘beleaguered sub-group’ hypothetical with which I began this comment may be having increasing validity and salience in terms of social and governmental ostracization and disadvantage. To the extent that government policies become calculated to benefit other groups at the expense of innocent Caucasians, the case becomes stronger.

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    • Extremely well said–and of course, your last paragraph describes what’s happening with the Right parties in Europe. And while the U.S. is a more complicated case, the “America 3.0” scenario I favor will result in several Black- and Hispanic-majority states. If everyone is allowed to flock together voluntarily, everyone will be happier. Whether the Brahmins will allow such a thing to happen naturally, shattering their concept of themselves as the Virtuous Elite, is another question.

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  8. The problem with judging people on their individual merits is that it works rather poorly, particularly for things that people have an incentive to conceal, such as propensity to steal your money and beat you up.

    Thus, for example, black people were three times as likely to default on their mortgages as white people with the same income, credit rating, and assets, quite apart from the fact that black people rarely have the same credit rating and assets, and quite apart from the fact that black people got affirmative action loans when a white person with equally dreadful credit rating would have been shown the door.

    So, the correct behavior is not to issue mortgages in a race blind manner, but rather, to only issue mortgages to blacks if they meet extraordinary and special standards, to require a much higher standard, dramatically higher for black people than for white people.

    The same applies generally. “Race blind” does not work. They tried it during reconstruction, was so horrible that they never tried it again.

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  9. I tried to make it clear that I am aware of the statistics, and also not “race blind.” However, I don’t want to live in a White polity, I want to live in a thriving polity, that has screened out people who are a net negative to those around them. I am not sure how many Black people, Indians, Arabs, Jews, etc., etc. will want to be there, but I am not against it a priori. To give a specific example, I would want the Black, married, Christian ex-Green Beret I used to work with on our security team. He’s an individual, and an outstanding asset. That’s not race blind.

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  10. I’m a nationalist in the sense that I think each country should have a vast-majority ethnic group, language, and religion. Having it split 55-45 or something is asking for trouble. And I think that each de facto nation should have its own government at some level. However, this would not exclude *all* non-members from a nation. England could easily have 10% non-English who respected English culture without conflict and without the world losing Englishness. It’s when you have a large minority that does not want to assimilate that you get a problem.

    The problem I see with the propositional nation is that it does not take advantage of biological instincts the way an ethnic nation does. Citizens must be rational and altruistic to be interested in the common good. You would need a whole lot of extraordinary people for such a society, and their children would have to be extraordinary, and they’d have to be wise enough not to let in people who could not sustain such a union, even though their altruism and lack of favoritism for their own kin would make them open to outsiders. An ethnic nation draws on human nature – love for the extended family. Most citizens will be invested in the common good even if they are quite self-centered and irrational.

    Maybe nationalism is ineffective, at least right now. It’s not what I’d introduce my reactionary sentiments with. But if it’s the best way to run things, we should work for it anyway.

    People associate nationalism with *dislike* of others (and of course some nationalists are also dislikers-of-others) but the idea is a scaling-up of the neighborhood. You might get on quite well with your neighbors, but that doesn’t mean you need to share a house or that the Joneses’ children will inherit Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s property.

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    • Your points are well made. Historically, nations without a strong majority have been difficult to conduct successfully. By now, we all agree that people have the highest levels of trust when people “like them” are the ones they usually associate with. I think a propositional nation that is very large is, as you say, difficult to make work. That’s why I favor something more on the lines of a city-state. If it grew organically larger it might maintain its character. But just to restate, making the polity “whites only” is not only improbable, I believe it’s also not very effective as a bedrock principle.

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