Is it good or bad for there to be separate races?

Here’s a fascinating post at The Thinking Housewife:

IN THIS 1971 BBC interview, Muhammad Ali passionately defends racial identity and explains why he objects to interracial marriage. It’s well worth watching for his unapologetic and commonsense arguments. Sir Michael Parkinson, his interviewer, is a typical liberal sap. He insists that the races are all the same and only “society has made us different.” To which Ali instantly responds, “No, God made us different.”

Ali is applauded by the audience. “It’s nature to just want to be with your own,” he says. “I want to be with my own…. You a hater of your people if you don’t want to stay who you are. Are you ashamed of what God made you? God didn’t make no mistake when he made us all as we are.”

“I think that’s a philosophy of despair,” Parkinson says.

“Despair?” Ali says. “That ain’t no despair. [applause] I tell you no woman on this earth … can please me like my American black woman… I want to be with my own. I love my people.”

No white person could make the same arguments today without risking his livelihood and accusations of serious psychological illness. Was Ali sick and evil when he defended racial identity? No, he was the most normal of men. He was healthy and honest.

I don’t have a big stake in this debate.  I don’t object to interracial marriage.  Nor do I object to an ethnic group trying to preserve itself by discouraging out-marriage; it’s no more evil when southern whites do it than when the Jews do it.  I don’t know whether it’s good or bad that there are different races.  I lean toward the view that it’s an indifferent thing, but that it naturally accompanies something that is usually a good thing–a diversity of cultures.

What really interests me in the above debate is how the interviewer simply assumes that everyone must regard racial homogenization as a good thing, so that if Ali isn’t preserving this goal, it can only be because he “despairs” of its realization.  He simply can’t fathom that Ali doesn’t regard racial homogenization as a good thing to strive for at all, regardless of whether it’s achievable.

This is, of course, a general liberal presumption.  We conservatives need to get the news out:  it’s not the case that we’re only nonliberals because we’re pessimistic.  It’s not that we agree that liberalism’s utopia is beautiful and morally perfect, but unachievable given human sinfulness.  We find liberalism’s desired utopia evil and hateful.  If anything, we fear that it may be achievable, and we desperately want to save humanity from this spiritual catastrophe.

45 Responses

  1. I remember watching that Ali interview live (age 12) and being bemused by the whole thing.

    *

    “We find liberalism’s desired utopia evil and hateful. If anything, we fear that it may be achievable, and we desperately want to save humanity from this spiritual catastrophe”

    Indeed – but this is continually being misunderstood to be related to peace and prosperity. We are used to dystopias being portrayed as cruel (The NICE in That Hideous Strength 1984, Sauron, Voldemort etc).

    What people neglect in the Brave New World kind of utopia of bovine contentment and comfort and nihilism – the ethics of the farmyard.

    But I think people are so advanced in corruption now that they may actually *want* a farmyard existence…

  2. I’m a mixed-race person, I found that out late in life due to genetic testing. I still consider myself ‘white’ mentally and spiritually because I was raised white. As far as interracial marriage is concerned, my guildlines would be; how much of your true self would be preserved in such a union? If you value all the things your ancestors handed down to you, would you be willing to forsake them for the sake of the marriage? And finally, how safe would you be in such a marriage? A lot of women who have married Arabs and Blacks have found out that such unions can expose one to a very high risk of physical abuse, sometimes leading to violent death. I say, let the buyer beware!

  3. “We conservatives need to get the news out: it’s not the case that we’re only nonliberals because we’re pessimistic. It’s not that we agree that liberalism’s utopia is beautiful and morally perfect, but unachievable given human sinfulness. We find liberalism’s desired utopia evil and hateful.”

    Yes, the scenario of Brave New World, which I dare say every conservative parent should give their teenagers just as they should give them Tolkien in childhood.

    As to interracial marriage, it’s always better for our souls to marry a believer. So a white Christian marrying a zealously orthodox African would be better than marrying a SWPL.

  4. I tend to agree with Ali. On interracial marriage, my take is that it should be discouraged but not actually illegal. Certainly any status points for being ‘open minded’ or ‘not racist’ should be categorically denied. There are a few people, I have no doubt, who the person that they SHOULD be married to is of another race, just as on occasion, God WILL pick a woman to serve in a pastoral or leadership role, like Deborah for instance. But these rare instances shouldn’t be considered normal, and certainly not normative. I know a fair number of the children of such unions—mostly the type considered the most ‘benign’ in the US, that of Asian and White. Slightly over half of them have significant identity issues that they’re willing to talk about. I know a few also who are mulatto, and pretty much ALL of them have identity issues. I don’t think that’s right to inflict on a child as a matter of course.

  5. I don’t know whether it’s good or bad that there are different races.

    I’m not sure what this means. Is it good or bad that the gravitational constant is what it is, rather than 1% more or 1% less? I’m anti-modern enough to think that the is/ought distinction is overplayed, but I just don’t see how a brute fact like this can have much “is” to it.

    we desperately want to save humanity from this spiritual catastrophe.

    I’d settle for saving the part of humanity which sees that it is a catastrophe, or, failing that, saving my own children. Saving everyone would be good, though.

  6. “There are a few people, I have no doubt, who the person that they SHOULD be married to is of another race, just as on occasion, God WILL pick a woman to serve in a pastoral or leadership role, like Deborah for instance. But these rare instances shouldn’t be considered normal, and certainly not normative.”

    Won’t it be God’s normative will for European Christians if most whites are SWPL and most of the people they go to church with are black?

  7. Yes, it’s a lesser evil to marry outside your race and culture than it is to marry outside one’s faith. But most people don’t have to make that choice and we shouldn’t pretend that such is very common. One is a temporal evil, the other a spiritual one (unequally yoked). Both should be avoided when possible.

  8. “But I think people are so advanced in corruption now that they may actually *want* a farmyard existence…”
    Yes, I think that is most probably true.

  9. Bonald, you tagged your post “loyalty to the particular” and I think that’s a key consideration here.

    We do stand in a particular relationship to our own race. Race makes up part of our ethnic tradition, in which we are connected in a particular way to others by ties of kinship, history, culture, language and religion.

    That creates a significant aspect of identity, one which helps to motivate people to act for the common good. The ethnic tradition comes to have a transcendent value, in the sense that the value is more than just the sum of the parts but exists in its own right.

    It is much better for a religion to embed itself within such a tradition rather than trying to supplant it. The religion then becomes an integral part of the life of a community.

    The races have also contributed in different ways to the larger human community. My own race has been especially creative in the high arts and in the sciences, and its women and young children are distinctly beautiful. I find it difficult to regard it as a good if my race were to give up caring about its own existence.

  10. I understand, but part of that may be an overemphasis on racial Identity. People are also defined by language, culture, and religion, but many whites and Asians are so deracinated and secular that they have very little identity of any sort outside of liberalism.

  11. In my experience those that can’t love the particular do a damnably poor job of loving on a more widespread basis as well. It is better to love in the concrete and hate in the abstract than vice versa.

  12. What is race? Steve Sailer says that a race is an extended family with a degree of inbreeding. I think that’s the best definition.

    So “should races exist” is close to the question “should families exist?” If sexual reproduction should not exist, if families should not exist, if familial and erotic love and all the things which Aphrodite symbolized should not exist, if dynasty and planning a future without a foreseeable end for a genetically segregated group of people should not exist, if the family histories in the Bible and all other histories should not exist, if the world is so badly made that this is all just a big mistake, then yes, race should not exist.

    But if the habitation of the world above about the level of an amoeba is not a mistake, then races should exist.

    And not only do they exist, but they are vital.

    The Jews, that sturdy, ingenious people, are a race, an ethnicity and a religion in one. And famously, they are very good family people. They are high investment parents, who look far to the future, and take care of their race as well as their children. That makes sense, because the future of the children and the future of the race are bound together. There is no future of the children, except as random genes dissolved in an ocean of chaos, if the race is lost. And while the race continues, even Jews who are distant, who today seem superficially to be no concern of a particular family, may be the parents of children whose descendants one’s own descendants may one day marry. Even those who don’t have children will at least be similar to others who carry on, and thus there an additional basis for benevolent action in both directions. (For those who are and will remain childless, the race is a great blessing, as they still have an assurance of highly related kin for all time.) All this ought to be a model for non-Jews.

  13. Let me put that concretely. Should the Jewish race be wiped away, lost to assimilation? Is it a wrong that it has not?

    If not, there is no question whether “races” ought to exist. They only question is who, apart from the Jews, gets to be part of one.

    I express that as “gets to be” because to be a conscious, caring part of a race is a good thing. Blacks, for instance, love being Black. And they should, because it provides connectedness, belonging, a history and a future beyond one generation of the atomic family, allies, a pool of people of similar temperament who it is relatively easy to relate to, and many other advantages.

    To be part only of the “race” of all mankind, or of primates or of vertebrates or all life-forms is very thin and feeble by comparison.

    (These are the same links I gave before.) From Karl Barth, a modern Protestant theory is that Jews are unique in this respect. They have a divinely sanctioned real people-hood that might be a sign of a wrong in the world but that is not wrong in itself, being the work of God. Others, specifically Whites, have only piffling racial / national identities that are not to be preserved.

    Until the second coming of Jesus, this creates a very steep slope, or not even a slope but a cliff face, between God’s people and the rabble.

    Is that the ideal, for non-Jews, and is belief that there are any other legitimate races than the Jewish one “a counsel of despair?”

  14. Now I think it’s appropriate to answer some of bgc’s questions that I didn’t think fit in a previous thread.

    “Why do you want ‘populations’ to survive rather than just yourself and your family, or your village, city or region or nation?”

    Wipe away the population, and its sub-units go too. The population is the first thing. If you put something else first, you lose the population and whatever part or aspect of it you put above it.

    “And then why arbitrarily stop at the level of your population as the focus of concern, rather than going on to include the whole of mankind? (As universalists do).”

    This side of a Dalek invasion, mankind is not a meaningful unit. What it is is a false unity in which people are invited to give up their particular loyalties – to their detriment, and to the advantage of those who continue to play a (more or less disguised) team game.

    “And, even if we accept the population as the appropriate level of primary concern; then at what cost is it worth salvaging this particular gene pool? (I will leave out religious costs, since we do not share assumptions.)”

    You’re right, we do not share assumptions.

    “Supposing the cost of saving the population was loss of science, high art and complex culture – or a return to agrarian society?”

    Suppose the cost of preserving the Jewish people was that they return to an agrarian existence, losing science, high art and complex culture – should a good Jew consent to pay that terrible price, or should he agree that his brilliant race should be wiped away, and instead be replaced by, say, sub-Saharan Africans with an average IQ of seventy odd?

    “Supposing the cost was loss or degradation of the English language?”

    Suppose that the cost of the survival of the Jewish people was the loss or degradation of Yiddish, Ladino or even Hebrew? Should a good Jew consent to the wiping away of his eternal people, so that they could be replaced, say, by the same Africans I mentioned, who presumably would do a better job of preserving pure Yiddish, with that special Jewish feeling and culture that is essential to it? Along with replacing all future Jewish contributions to science, high art and complex culture.

    “Suppose the cost was massive relocation of populations?”

    It has been. Many times.

    “Supposing the cost was a society of selfishness, anger, hatred, misery and meaninglessness?”

    Yes, the cost will definitely include a society of human beings, that is of people who will sometimes be selfish, sometimes be angry, sometimes hate, sometimes be miserable, and sometimes feel meaningless. (But not nearly as meaningless as deracinated people.)

    Or, were you assuming that there will be no such things as selfishness, anger, hatred, misery and meaninglessness if only the Jews were wiped away?

    Or is that wrong too, because that’s obviously shocking and wrong as applied to the Jews, but quite appropriate for the Whites?

    That is something like what multicultural liberalism implies. I don’t agree with it.

    “There is a point at which the costs will be too great for the objective. So clearly there cannot be a single objective – but a primary objective and some secondary ones – aiming at population preservation but with certain constraints.”

    Certainly. And when the same conditions apply that would convince a good Jew that the Jewish people should be wiped from existence, I will agree that the Whites should also be wiped from existence.

    “My point is that this is a pretty complex set of demands, yet the set of demands is essentially arbitrary – this is not a spontaneous upwelling of instinctive human feelings. I see no evidence that people ever have en masse and spontaneously wanted what you want.”

    First, I think we disagree on what is arbitrary and improper, and what is natural and proper, and this is in part at least a religious difference.

    Second, human feelings can be determined empirically, and there is a tendency, for example, for Backs to show fellow feeling for Blacks in distress when they would not feel the same thing for Whites. That shows I am not speaking of things with no natural basis.

    “Sure, there has been plenty of nationalism in the past couple of centuries, but not at the population level – indeed nationalist type thinking (followed by distortedly anti-nationalist thinking) within Europe destroyed (pretty much) the European population – or at least crippled it.”

    In other words, trying to preserve the nation alone has been a calamity. And it just doesn’t work. South Africa could not survive as a pariah, once the idea of struggling for Whites was condemned. And so on, all the way down. When, with White existence condemned and mass immigration into and forced integration of your neighborhood mandated, your neighborhood changes to one where your children cannot go outside without a major risk of being violently victimized by the “diversity” you will dream in vain of an unaffected family life. You have to defend the top thing, or you lose everything.

    “To get people to want what *you* want would involve a lot of education/ propaganda/ coercion – but where will this come from? given that there clearly is no populist movement wanting all this stuff and ready to be mobilized…”

    If the Titanic is sinking, but people don’t want to hear about it, bad luck. You do have the option to focus on what people want now, like better service at dinner. But you don’t have the option of not having the general catastrophe proceed as it will.

    “In general, my feeling is that an effective populist political movement starts from what the population already wants – and this isn’t it.”

    If so, it will be for us as it was for Neanderthal Man, at best. We may not leave as big a genetic footprint, the way we are going down.

  15. It’s arguable what the natural units are, racially. (After all, what’s the most natural unit in a complex of extended families? It depends on a lot of factors, like how numerous each family is, how inbred and so on.) But we can learn from trial and error that there are units that are more and less natural and potentially successful.

    Fighting for this or that tribe at the expense of the Jewish people as a whole did not work, in the long run. On the other hand, struggling for the Jewish people as a whole against all comers definitely does work. That means no higher level of aggregation is necessary.

    It also means that no level of aggregation that would require the assimilation of the Jews for completeness can be complete. The Jews are eternal, as far as history can tell us, and therefore there are at least two eternal categories: Jew, and not-Jew.

    (And I think that there can and should be additional categories with a positive identity, not “not-X” or “anti-X” or “everybody against X”.)

    I can’t remember any names offhand, but I also notice that academics who say ethnic identity is OK, for example Irish versus English, are often the same people most opposed to White identity and the legitimate, reasonable and proud assertion of White interests. It is fine by them that for many Americans no ethnic category other than “White” could be meaningful. And it seems fine that “Irish vs. others” and similar sentiments have often been ruinous for White interests, as with the passing of the Hart-Celler act of 1965. I think that’s a tacit recognition by those who have spent a lot of time studying racial conflict and wish White interests ill that sub-White identities are small and leaky life-boats, in which only some will find refuge and those not in the long run.

    So the right units in racial terms are not “mankind,” they are positive, and they are not smaller than “White”. And there’s no reason other than anti-White racial vilification why one of the big, natural racial units should not be “White”.

    There are many reasons why “White” ought to be a positive identity. For one, a historic propensity for monogamy. (With which the Christian insistence on monogamy for all levels of society has harmonized very well.) I think it’s a good thing if White kids grow up thinking that monogamous, companionate marriage is “a White thing” and that they are White. (In the same way that the history of the blues, jazz and soul adds to the cachet of Blackness, even if Whites and Asians can sing soul too.) I think racial identity, as much as possible, should be made up of such positive things.

  16. I agree with the title of the video: “Muhammad Ali Tells The Truth 1971”.

    He said it well.

    The funniest part for me is the look on Muhammed Ali’s face when Michael Parkinson tells Muhammed Ali that “I don’t have any different from you, you see.”

    This is maybe the greatest boxer of all time, still (and oh so pretty!), being told by a feeble old White man, not too bright either, judging by the nonsense he was talking, that the two of them were the same. Even before Muhammed Ali says “we’re much different, we’re altogether different,” the look on his face says it. It’s understated but a very definite “no sale!”

    Trying to disarm people who are more competent and powerful than you by insisting that you’re the same, when you and they are as different as whipped cream and beefsteak, is pathetic. It won’t work.

  17. By the way, I’m not bothering with the aesthetic argument, which is the one most accepted among White Nationalists. It has no meaning for Christians, and this is a Christian blog. And it’s useless against the cult of One World diversity, because that comes with a cult of ugliness. Who cares if there will never again be art like Botticelli’s The Birth Of Venus, and in the future nobody like that to model from, if your idea of beauty is James Serrano’s “transgressive” work anyway.

    There’s a bunch of reasons to prefer my argument from the Jews, and one is that it does have specific meaning for Christians.

    Everyone agrees that the Jews are a race as well as an ethnicity and a religion, and everyone agrees that without the Jews there is no Christian history. I don’t think any more argument should be needed to convince a Christian that there has been at least one necessary racial division.

    Personally I have a hard time seeing how anyone who studies history can think that the Jews are going to convert, assimilate or in any way vanish. And I know that Christians study the relevant history. So much for One World. (Of course Muslims and devout Jews already know that One World / One Race is ridiculous.)

    Therefore races (and racial conflicts) are a given, and for Abrahamic believers (Jewish, Christian and Muslim), originally divinely given.

  18. Anti-racism is an imperial ideology. It is not a new thing, nor are we the first empire to use it. Breaking down family, clan, tribe, and nation are the primary goals of any Empire system.

  19. I don’t have a big stake in this debate.

    Yes you do, you just don’t realize it yet.

  20. But these rare instances shouldn’t be considered normal, and certainly not normative. I know a fair number of the children of such unions—mostly the type considered the most ‘benign’ in the US, that of Asian and White. Slightly over half of them have significant identity issues that they’re willing to talk about. I know a few also who are mulatto, and pretty much ALL of them have identity issues. I don’t think that’s right to inflict on a child as a matter of course.

    Agreed. I’m a mulatta girl and I’ve experienced this. Race isn’t the whole of existence but it does matter.

  21. I’m not bothering with the aesthetic argument, which is the one most accepted among White Nationalists. It has no meaning for Christians

    I’m not a white nationalist, and I don’t think the aesthetic argument is the central one. But I disagree that it has “no meaning for Christians”. Christians are engaged in the pursuit of the good, the beautiful and the true as one part of a spiritual ife. Although it’s true that those qualities are not exclusive to any race, they are expressed distinctly by particular races. We can certainly regret, and seek to prevent, the loss of the distinct expression of what is good or beautiful within our own race.

  22. OK. “Less meaning for Christians.” Not “no meaning”.

  23. It’s a liberal assumption that comes directly from Christianity. Tocqueville, along with many others, recognized this. Here he is commenting on Gobineau’s doctrine of the permanent inequality of the races:

    “I confess that it was impossible for me to believe that you did not perceive the difficulty of reconciling your theories with the letter and even the spirit of Christianity. As to the literal meaning, what could be clearer than the unity of mankind in Genesis and that all men are descended from the same man? And as to the spirit of Christianity, has not its distinctive characteristic been to want to abolish all the distinctions of race, which the Jewish religion allowed to persist, and to create one human species of which all of its members could perfect themselves and become like one another? How could this spirit, according to widely-held ideas of common sense, be reconciled with a historical doctrine that creates distinct races, unequal ones, made more or less to understand, judge, act, and this as a consequence of a certain original disposition that cannot change and invincibly restricts the perfection of some of these? Christianity was inclined to make brothers and equals of all men. Your doctrine effectively makes them cousins at best whose common father is in heaven. Here on earth, there are only conquerors and the vanquished, masters and slaves by right of birth, and it is so very true that your doctrines are approved of, cited, and commented on by whom? by the owners of blacks and in favor of their eternal servitude which is based on the radical difference of race….”

    And before the Christards here try to blame this on “the Enlightenment” without even examining the Christian roots of the Enlightenment, note that Enlightenment thinkers such as Voltaire justified universalism through an appeal to monotheism:

    “It does not require great art, or magnificently trained eloquence, to prove that Christians should tolerate each other. I, however, am going further: I say that we should regard all men as our brothers. What? The Turk my brother? The Chinaman my brother? The Jew? The Siam? Yes, without doubt; are we not all children of the same father and creatures of the same God?”

    This is obviously a very Christian sentiment, since Judaism retains the idea of the “Chosen People” which Christianity rejects. It’s highly unlikely Voltaire could have entertained such a notion without a Christian milieu, regardless of his own personal attitudes towards Christianity.

    In order for the Left to be defeated, Christianity must be abolished as well.

  24. “Christards”? Get real.

  25. Drieu,

    Interesting. Tocqueville seems to have held, in an intense form, the idea of Christianity as dissolution of the particular. And you’re right that this is incompatible with a viable traditionalism.

    So a traditionalist could either give up on traditionalism, or give up on Christianity, or very clearly articulate a more traditionalist Christianity.

    The last option is not as removed a possibility as you seem to believe. It’s true that the New Testament emphasises a love that extends beyond those we are most naturally attached to, including even our enemies. But that doesn’t mean that particular loves and attachments are erased.

    The way I understand it, the idea is that if we truly love God we would not legalistically spurn giving assistance to someone in need, even if they were a stranger. This is held to be a test in the sense that it is relatively easy to act for someone we are related to in particular.

    It would be wrong, though, to conclude that we ought not to love those we are closely related to, or that we don’t have particular duties to those we are closely related to, or that the best Christian is the one who neglects close relationships in order to prove a point about not spurning strangers.

    Finally, I wonder if Tocqueville would press his own version of Christianity through to its logical endpoint. After all, if you read the New Testament as dissolving distinctions between peoples, you will also read it as dissolving distinctions between men and women. Not only do I doubt that Tocqueville would assent to the idea that we perfect ourselves by becoming more like the opposite sex, this aim would also stand in opposition to clear statements in both the Old and the New Testaments.

  26. From Karl Barth, a modern Protestant theory is that Jews are unique in this respect. They have a divinely sanctioned real people-hood that might be a sign of a wrong in the world but that is not wrong in itself, being the work of God. Others, specifically Whites, have only piffling racial / national identities that are not to be preserved.

    Ha, from Karl Barth to the Christian Zionists.

  27. People seem to way overemphasize ideas as a driver behind these changes. Most of these social transformations are driven by some fairly radical alterations in human psychology, induced by modern living conditions. The same security, prosperity and comfort which cause human beings to lose their appreciation for purity/sacredness/religion also reduce their appreciation of the ingroup/loyalty moral foundation.

  28. What’s happening goes a long way beyond loss of appreciation, it’s active demolition. Mass immigration and other major anti-White measures are state projects, sometimes pursued in secret, as in the United Kingdom, and pushed by elites, regularly without majority support. The masses get pulled along by pervasive leftist propaganda and “facts on the ground” such as large new populations that vote and that cannot be expelled but must be accommodated.

    Therefore the ideas of the elite are very important. And this includes the ideas of religious elites, not because they have much active power to change things (though they do have a little, and they’re using it badly), but because they can endorse radical new steps, at least tacitly, or they can refuse their consent, which potentially gives the opponents of the cultural revolution and population replacement moral cover, a home and a place to rally.

    Orthodox, mainstream Christianity is all for the revolution, pushing it along with great vigor, undermining those who want to oppose it, and adding moral authority to the accusations of racism, hatred and so on made against them.

    This is important. And it’s not like that in the other Abrahamic religions.

  29. It would be wrong, though, to conclude that we ought not to love those we are closely related to, or that we don’t have particular duties to those we are closely related to, or that the best Christian is the one who neglects close relationships in order to prove a point about not spurning strangers.

    Of course it would be wrong to conclude that we are to neglect those closest to us. Who, even among the most Biblically legalistic Christian, would argue that? The Bible repeatedly admonishes us to take care of our family members.

    The question then comes down to what we mean by “the particular.” If Irish, then Irishmen only, right? Does an Irishman consider a Swiss man a member of his “particular” group based on skin color even though they hail from different ethnic traditions? Are West Africans of the same family as Jamaicans? Chinese and Japanese? Only in America is this form of reductionism to the skin present.

    Africans do not consider black Americans one of their own. They consider us “Westerners.” Japanese people make a clear distinction between themselves and the Chinese despite the common skin color and similar almond eyes. Britons distinguish between themselves and the French. But in America, we reduce it down to color.

    If you want to preserve ethnic homogeneity, that’s fine, but logical consistency needs to be present. And it often isn’t among American “traditionalists.”

  30. My first paragraph was a restatement of one of Mark Richardson’s points. I meant to blockquote it.

  31. Skin color and other cosmetic features have little to do with genetic interests and race.

    “Just because of the color of their skin” is a leftist talking point, or rather a yelling point (a misleading slur to be repeated loudly over the top of reasoned objections), not an accurate statement of what people who want to defend White ethnic or genetic interests believe,

    By the way, how do you do the blockquotes here?

  32. By the way, how do you do the blockquotes here?

    Put the word “blockquote” between , the quote in the middle and the word “blockquote” at the end between , ffter the backslash.

  33. I am white, 7/8 British, American for many generations (pre-Civil War at least).

    I feel that we consider ourselves white Americans. Thus, even though we may be Irish, German, or British in ancestry, we share a race as white Americans. I am separate from white Canadians, Britons, French, etc… even though we may be part of the same ethnicity. I feel more commonality with those of distinctly (several generations) of American identity.

    That wasn’t particularly eloquent, but I hope you understand the point I am making. I feel more solidarity with the great-great grandson of an Irish immigrant than I do with a Briton (we share the same accent, same culture, etc…and we superficially look the same).

    I think it is foolish when someone who doesn’t speak Irish, whose parents weren’t born in Ireland, who has never traveled to Ireland, etc… gets a tattoo of a Shamrock.

    On the whole, there has been a lot more animosity among people who look identical, and are same race, different ethnicity, than animosity between races, at least until recently. British vs. French, the Balkans peoples, Hutus and Tutsis, etc…

  34. [blockquote]If you want to preserve ethnic homogeneity, that’s fine, but logical consistency needs to be present. And it often isn’t among American “traditionalists.”[\blockquote] I agree. It is not Traditional, but an absorption of modern assumptions about race. Unfortunately, many of our great conservative writers including Donald Davidson supported segregation. It is an unfortunate legacy of that time when theories of race were being created.

  35. ,blockquote, Didn’t do it right. /,blockquote,

  36. I couldn’t understand your instructions. Sorry.

  37. [blockquote]Put the word “blockquote” between , the quote in the middle and the word “blockquote” at the end between , ffter the backslash.[/blockquote]
    [~blockquote~]~[~/blockquote~] minus the ~ marks, I guess.

  38. No.

    Put the word “blockquote” between , the quote in the middle and the word “blockquote” at the end between , after the backslash.

    ~ minus the ~ marks?

  39. OK, use angle brackets like this in place of the straight brackets above, and it works.

  40. I cannot help feeling that a designation like “White,” covering, as it does, people as linguistically, religiously and culturally distinct as a Sami reindeer herder from Lapland, a Sardinian fisherman, a Basque (euskaldunak) nobleman and a Russian physicist constitutes an identity so thin as to be meaningless.

    Scarcely surprising, therefore, that, for Europeans, language or dialect tends to be the primary marker of personal and cultural identity, more so, even than political identity. I remember a French lady of my acquaintance mentioning her new parish priest to me; his name was Garbut, a common Venetian name, so I asked, if he was Italian. “Oh, no,” she said, “He’s French – From Quebec” (!)

  41. I cannot help feeling that a designation like “White,” covering, as it does, people as linguistically, religiously and culturally distinct as a Sami reindeer herder from Lapland, a Sardinian fisherman, a Basque (euskaldunak) nobleman and a Russian physicist constitutes an identity so thin as to be meaningless.

    Yes, we Americans sometimes forget that there are places which are not America. On the other hand, non-Americans sometimes fail to understand that there is such a place as America. Europeans often find it strange that a “German-American” identifies ethnically more with an “Italian-American” than with a German. Except for Jews, there are no meaningful sub-white ethnicities in the US. Only during times and places with active immigration from an Old Country do there even appear to be any (for example, you can find Polish neighborhoods in Chicago and New Jersey because there is still significant active immigration from Poland to exactly those two places. Formerly Polish neighborhoods elsewhere are, well, formerly)

    The relevant ethnic groups to Americans are White American, Black American, and maybe Latino American. NE Asians are White in this scheme. Ethnicity is context-dependent and relative, but not necessarily particularly malleable or arbitrary. Hatfields look like Hatfields and McCoys look like McCoys to those attuned to the relevant genetic differences, just like whites look like whites and blacks like blacks in other contexts, just like Germans look like Germans and Russians like Russians in others.

    In a room with me, another white guy, and a chinese guy, the white guy is my cousin. In a room with me, a chinese guy, and a black guy, the chinese guy is my cousin. In a room with me, another white guy, and a mestizo, the white guy is my cousin. Etc.

    It’s not helpful to outside observers that there are these ridiculous taboos about discussing all this, of course. But, in the US, white absolutely is not a thin identity. Furthermore, if the Europeans keep doing what they are doing, then white will not be a thin identity there, either.

  42. Bill, of course you are right, when you remove language from the equation, other markers of identity come to the fore. In the South-West of Scotland, it tends to be religious tribalism (Catholic/Protestant) as in Northern Ireland, although this is increasingly trumped by class. In the Highlands and Islands, Gaelic speakers use the term “Sasunnach” (sic) – meaning “Saxon” to refer indifferently to the English and to Lowland Scots alike. Anglophone Scots use “Sassenach” (which they misspell) as a derisive term for the English.

    In France, black immigrants have proved remarkably exogamous, with nearly a third of third-generation West African immigrants being of mixed blood. Most immigrants from the French West Indies, especially from Guadeloupe and Martinique, were already of mixed blood. By contrast, immigrants from the Maghreb tend to marry their cousins.

  43. This post brings to mind the animated movie Alpha and Omega, which I saw with the kids. The movie has nothing to do with Jesus, though it raises several improtant points about crossing scoial boundaries.

    The driver for the plot is essentially what could be described as caste. Imagine, for a moment, that our world was segregated along occupational lines. People could only marry within a field, so as to keep their genes pure, and to provide speicalised education, making their children field puritans. So mathematicians could only marry other mathematicians and train their children especially in maths, distance-runnners could only marry other distance-runners and train their children in distance-running, and so forth.

    Now, the problems with this system are:

    1) if the genes don’t deliver, and we get people who are sons of lawyers interested in maths

    2) some people (like me) want to go into multiple fields, forbidden by this caste system

    3) people may fall in love with people from other castes

    These problems seem severe enough such that we would not implement it today. But if, in our imaginary world, it was a tradition, should we still defend it? And also, more relelvant to this point, caste/occupation can give rise to common cultural identity over long periods of time. There are certain jokes which only the community of physicists can understand. These are those that play on shared experiences or knowledge, like this one:

    “A bartender says, ‘We don’t serve your kind here.’ An FTL neutrino walks into a bar.”

    Physicists, particularly GR specialists, should immediately get it, whereas accountatns, lawyers or atheletes can be forgiven if they are left scratching their heads.

    So, it is a traditional system with a shared culture for each group. Marrying across field lines (pun intended), entering multiple fields and not continuing the traditional family occupation would dilute this shared culture. The son of two physicists who from young delved into law and ignored his parents’ physics evangelisation will not bne able to partake int he culture of the physicists, and the above joke would be unintelligible to him.

    So, in such a caste scenario, should we overturn this tradition?

  44. There’s a third possibility. Children following their parents’ profession could be the expected path, with early education following this assumption, but exceptions could be made for people with exceptional talent and drive for something else. This would be similar to my recommendation regarding female careerism. Women staying home with the children is a healthy general expectation, but we should make room for the very few women with a genuine calling to some profession. (I think it’s actually the case that very few people of either sex have a genuine calling to some career in this sense, and we make a mistake in teaching people to base so much of their hopes for happiness and fulfilment in a career.)

  45. That settles the “lawyers with maths kids” scenario, but what of the other two problems? The multiple-fields scenario has some parallels with interracial marriage (and through this links itself with the marriage-across-field-lines situation): for example, Chinese immigrants intermarried with the native Malays in South-East Asia, producing the rich Peranakan culture, a fusion of the two cultures. Who’s to say that a similar sort of culture for other interracial marriages won’t arise after a period of time? And, in the caste scenario, who’s to say that, say, the union of biologists and distance-runners does not produce its own rich, unqiue culture, and possibly even its own way of fulfilling both fields (perhaps even more effectively than either of the pure approaches)? And, once again, what of those who desire to marry across caste lines?

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