June 01, 2009

White Nationalism and White People

In his response to Justin Raimondo, Jared Taylor says many things that are undoubtedly true. First off, while most contemporary Europeans and white Americans tear their hair out in fits of guilt if they ever catch themselves thinking racially (not to mention doing something that might be construed as ?racist?), most of the rest of the world?s population, from Mexicans to Chinese to African-Americans, don?t blush at the notion of standing up for their people first. There?s also no question that until rather recently, Europeans had a strong sense of their ethno-regional, and later national, identities. And with exposure to Africans and Orientals through trade, exploration, and conquest, there also arose a notion of an Occidental or ?white man.? It?s also highly likely that feelings of genetic solidarity are, to a certain extent, natural (and not just ideological). While active hatred of ?the other? should be rejected, the suppression of all quiverings of kinship is unhealthy?and has turned many whites into self-loathing neurotics.

All of this might very well be true, but then do these realities form a basis for a ?white nationalism? in the twenty-first century?

I?m not so sure.

Let?s remember that throughout the thousands of years in which European peoples weren?t much interested in ?anti-racism,? they were also warring against one another with great ferocity. During the Thirty Years War, campaigns of extermination were not uncommon?not exactly an expression of White Pride!  And while a 17th-century Central European aristocrat, say, cared deeply about his regional ethnicity, and might even have considered himself white, he also had a very strong sense of his own noble blood, which separated him from others in his race. And this difference between Lord and Peasant was just as stark as that between Frank and Croat, and maybe even as that between European and Arab. It?s also interesting to note (as a good friend just pointed out to me via email) that the 1924 Immigration Act, which Taylor praises, derived less from Americans? sense of their whiteness and more from their pride in being Anglo-Saxon Protestants. Catholics, Jews, and Slavs were ?the other? (and not just Asians). And even Hitler (whom Taylor does not endorse, of course) was hardly a ?white supremacist,? just ask the Slavs whom the F?hrer treated as badly as he did the Jews.   

In the face of all this, Taylor might want to argue that, regardless of history, a non-ethnic, more generalized ?white consciousness? is what is necessary now for the preservation of Western Culture (as in our age, a ?von? or ?de? in front of your surname doesn?t get you very far, and Catholics and Protestants are no longer at each others? throats.) But Taylor still shouldn?t deny that ?white nationalism? is a consciousness of very recent vintage?indeed, it probably has the same birth date as ?anti-racism,? its antipode and doppelg?nger.

Another note: Taki?s decision to ask Taylor to write about race at his website has, of course, raised some eyebrows; however, I chafe at the idea that doing so is immoral, or that it marks some dramatic ?change,? or even an editorial ?coup,? at Takimag. Websites ranging from VDARE.com to the neoconish Frontpagemag.com have given the polite Mr. Taylor a fair hearing, and Taylor?s major opus on race, Paved with Good Intentions, was published by a mainstream press back in 1992.

I found it amusing, though not at all surprising, that the writer who objected most strenuously to Taylor?and, indeed, demanded that I suppress Taylor?s heretical writings tout de suite?was not Justin (who remains open-minded and willing take on his ideological opponents), but a man who not only considers himself a Roman Catholic ?ber alles but who?s often expressed the fantastical notion that his real loyalties lie not with America but with the no-longer-existent Austro-Hungarian monarchy?and that rumors of his birth in Queens are exaggerated, for he?s truly but a visitor in our fallen, American midst.

While a man like Otto von Habsburg, the son of the great Emperor Franz Joseph, would be wary, and likely uninterested, in White Nationalism or White Pride, he nevertheless has a strong, visceral sense of his Aristocratic blood that would make the notion that all humans are individual souls reaching for the Eternal equally baffling to him. And as a proponent of European unity, Habsburg has, without question, a sense of a broader European people (for South America and Christianized Africa would not be included in his modern Christendom.) The contemporary Catholic Church has, of course, become much less European and much more globalized and egalitarian. It?s nevertheless rather odd for a writer who thinks of himself as ultra-traditionalist and Old World to add ?anti-racism? to his ecclesiastical canon.

And so as not to close on a sour note, I?ll end with a joke: During the 1960 World Cup tournament, a reporter asked ol? Otto what he thought of the match-up between Austria and Hungary? Habsburg?s reply, ?Austria-Hungary, against whom? (Gegen wen?)

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