The Thinking 

Why Race Matters

August 2, 2011


SEVERAL YEARS AGO, the British writer Peter Hitchens called the British National Party a “delusional cult” because it limited membership to whites. In response, Lawrence Auster wrote:

So BNP limits membership to whites. Therefore BNP members are “outside the rules of reason,” they are a “delusional cult,” they are people who “specifically reject reason and truth in their discourse” and who “cannot really be treated as if they are civilised participants in the national debate,” and therefore instead of debating or talking civilly with them, one just treats them with mocking contempt.

What’s wrong with that? Well, one thing that’s wrong with it is that until the mid 20th century, all Englishmen saw Britain as a society that was exclusively British and European, racially speaking. Therefore all Englishmen prior to the mid 20th century were “outside the rules of reason,” they were a “delusional cult,” they were people “who rejected reason and truth in their discourse,” and unworthy of being regarded as civilized human beings, and should only be spoken of with mocking contempt. Like all egalitarian and anti-discriminatory beliefs, Hitchens’s anti-racialism condemns the entire past and thus cuts us off from our own history and culture.

The deeper problem with Hitchens’s position is that, like it or not, race is one of the constitutive components of our humanness. If the English were all replaced by Chinese, they wouldn’t be the English any more. If the Scots were replaced by Indians, they wouldn’t be the Scots any more. We are not disembodied entities. We are physical beings, and our physicality is part of what we are. Therefore our racial characteristics and racial identity are also a part of what we are. A “conservatism” that rejects with scorn and contempt these commonsensical realities of human nature and human culture, and that seeks to banish from civilized company anyone who acknowledges them, is not conservatism but a type of liberalism–and an extreme type of liberalism at that.


                                                         — Comments —

John McNeill writes:

Lawrence Auster was (and is) spot-on in his critique of Peter Hitchens’s short-sighted assessment of the BNP as well as his highlighting on the importance of race/ethnicity in maintaining a particular civilization. I challenge conservatives to cite me one case of a large number of non-whites successfully assimilating into a white civilization and adopting the white culture. It has never happened once, or at the very least, a very superficial connection is maintained. Central Asia, which was once populated with Indo-European tribes, is now dominated by Turkic peoples, who have replaced much of the previous Indo-Europeans. Likewise Berbers are a minority in North Africa, when they were once the predominant race of North Africa. And if we look at Latin America where there was allegedly a widescale (and forced) Westernization, we will see the many of the inhabitants retain many much of their indigenous Amerindian identity and culture (and rightfully so). Furthermore, despite centuries of blacks living in North America, they still maintain their distinct African identity.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just for non-whites to uphold the identity and culture of their ancestors. Likewise we whites should do the same and stop expecting the world to conform to us and our standards. Saying that Western Civilization belongs to whites is not an admission of white supremacy, because Western Civilization isn’t perfect; it’s extremely flawed, else we would not be in the predicament we are in today. Nevertheless, no matter how dysfunctional Western Civilization is, it’s still ours, and we have a duty to both our ancestors and descendants to uphold it, improve it, and see that it perseveres.

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