Homicide or Suicide?
In the Occidental Observer, Kevin MacDonald engages Eric P. Kaufmann’s The Rise and Fall of Anglo-America, which is easily the second most important book (aside from The Culture of Critique) about White racial decline in the United States. A shorter review has been posted in VDARE. It doesn’t do justice to the breadth of the subject matter and isn’t worth bothering with.
The thrust of MacDonald’s review is that Kaufmann omits certain facts about the Jewish role in Anglo-American racial decline and glosses over others. Aside from that, MacDonald and Kaufmann are in broad agreement on most points of interest. Kaufmann doesn’t shy away from the fact that Jewish influence was a major cause in the reinterpretation of Americanism along cosmopolitan lines. The major difference from MacDonald’s viewpoint is that Kaufmann (correctly) pays more attention to the indigenous “liberal, cosmopolitan Anglo-Saxon tradition” as a cause of subversion from within.
Having read both books, I came away with the impression that they complemented each other. Each provides certain windows into White racial decline that the other lacks. For example, Kaufmann’s book draws attention to Felix Adler and the Ethical Culture movement, an angle on the Jewish Question and the rise of secular humanism which I don’t recall MacDonald addressing before. Similarly, MacDonald’s account contains a much more in depth treatment of Boasian anthropology and the New York Intellectuals.
It is a sad testament to the decrepit state of American intellectual life that all of two books have been written about the most important subject in American history: the decline of its indigenous White majority. Even taken together, MacDonald and Kaufmann have barely scratched the surface of the subject. In contrast, hundreds (if not thousands) of articles and volumes have been written about the Holocaust and can be easily accessed in any decent college library, an event which didn’t even take place on American soil. This fact alone speaks volumes about ethnic constitution of America’s ruling class and their priorities.
A future scholar will one day have to write a separate book entitled The Fall of the Jim Crow South. There wasn’t a singular Anglo-America or White America that declined on account of Boasian anthropology, Freudian psychoanalysis, the New York Intellectuals, and the Frankfurt School. Until the 1970s, Dixie was another country in its racial policies and cultural attitudes. Neither Kaufmann or MacDonald has adequately addressed this.
The cause of the South’s racial decline is plain enough to discern: the federal government forced the national racial consensus on the region through Smith v. Allwright, Morgan v. Commonwealth of Virginia, Shelly v. Kramer, Sweatt, McLaurin, Gayle, Brown v. Board of Education, the Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1960, and 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Immigration Act of 1965, Loving v. Virginia, the Civil Rights Act of 1968, and direct military intervention in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama. There was little popular support for integration in the region. In the South, traditional racial attitudes remained strong from the elites to the common man, and were stoked to new heights during the Civil Rights Movement, whereas they collapsed elsewhere. Integration sparked the massive resistance movement, the citizen’s councils, and a revival of the Klan — why not in Chicago, Boston, and New York City?
In the Senate, Southerners led by Richard Russell filibustered and bitterly resisted the new federal civil rights laws, but were frustrated and defeated time and again by a lopsided coalition of Northern Democrats and Republicans. They deserted Lyndon Johnson at the polls for Barry Goldwater and George Wallace. Beyond the 1960s, Southerners defeated the Equal Rights Amendment and voted against Ronald Reagan’s IRCA amnesty of illegal aliens, the Immigration Act of 1990, and the Civil Rights Act of 1991. They also led the opposition to the MLK holiday in Congress and the George W. Bush amnesties.
If the Confederacy had won its independence, there is little reason to believe that cosmopolitanism and anti-racism would have emerged victorious in the American South in the twentieth century. These were not indigenous social movements. Indeed, the only reason that White America held out as long as it did is because the South transformed itself into a one-party state under Jim Crow to defeat integration in Congress. Northern Republicans didn’t stop pushing for civil rights legislation until a Depression overwhelmed the Harrison administration in the 1890’s.
As I have stressed elsewhere, the Cultural Revolution of the 1960’s wasn’t the first time America had flirted with racial egalitarianism. The same laws were proposed and ratified during Reconstruction. They were supported in the North; opposed in the South. The bloodiest war in American history was fought to liberate the negro and impose racial equality on the country. An insurrection was carried on for three decades in the South to reverse the verdict of the Civil War. In the North, it was never reversed, and de jure integration became the order of the day from the 1880’s forward.
If the South was assassinated, the North committed suicide.
From the earliest days of the Revolution, racialism established only a tenuous hold in North. Pennsylvania was saturated in Quaker egalitarianism and repealed its anti-miscegenation law before the Constitution was signed. In the North, Thomas Jefferson’s racial theories were met with fierce opposition by the first abolitionist movement; denial of racial differences were commonplace in anti-slavery circles. Benjamin Franklin thought that negroes were “not deficient in natural understanding.” Alexander Hamilton remarked that “their natural faculties are perhaps probably as good as ours.” Samuel Stanhope Smith, the president of Princeton University, wrote several influential environmentalist tracts; anti-racism only went into eclipse after 1805.
Several Northern states never adopted Southern-style anti-miscegenation laws (Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey) or Jim Crow-style segregation. In New York, an anti-miscegenation law was rejected by the state senate on libertarian grounds. In Massachusetts, the capital of “natural rights” rhetoric, the state anti-miscegenation law was repealed in the 1830’s for similar reasons. National Expansion and Indian Removal were never popular causes in New England and the Jackson administration was widely criticized for both. James Fenimore Cooper lionized the Noble Savage in The Last of the Mohicans (1826). The annexation of Texas was delayed for years by Northern Whig opposition. The Mexican War was deeply unpopular in New England.
In the North, the Amistad case was a cause célèbre, and starred former president John Quincy Adams who was an inveterate foe of the so-called “Slave Power.” In the 1830s, the second abolitionist movement was born and was even more committed to anti-racism and human rights than the first. William Lloyd Garrison and his followers denounced the Constitution as a pact with the Devil and burned it in the streets. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin went on to become the all time bestseller of the nineteenth century. John Brown was lauded as a martyr after his murderous invasion of Virginia. Frederick Douglass was a respected intellectual. The Northern states passed personal liberty laws that violated the Constitution in order to harbor runaway negro slaves. The Dred Scott decision, which affirmed that only Whites could be U.S. citizens, was widely denounced in the North.
The trajectory of the North could not have been more different from the South. In the Antebellum era, a new generation of Southerners came of age and explicitly rejected the egalitarian heritage of the American Revolution. George Fitzhugh attacked capitalism, democracy, and the pernicious egalitarianism of Thomas Jefferson. Josiah Nott and Louis Agassiz pioneered new theories of racial differences. Sir Walter Scott novels were all the rage; the Middle Ages and aristocratic ideals came roaring back in style. In his famous cornerstone speech, Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens stated that the Confederacy was the first nation in the world to be founded on the principle of racial inequality. The Civil War was fought over these ideals: aristocratic republicanism or egalitarian democracy, slave-based feudalism or free market capitalism, federalism or national consolidation, racialism or anti-racism. The victory of the North in that conflict determined the future disastrous course of America.
During Reconstruction, fanatics like Thaddeus Stevens and Charles Sumner wrote anti-racism into the Constitution in the form of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. Over the next fifty years, as the South retreated into Jim Crow, the North would steadily move towards full blown integration. Fatally, the churning of the Northern capitalist economy would bring wave after wave of European immigrants into the the Midwest and New England, eventually swamping the indigenous Yankee population in most Northern states. After thirty years of struggle, the damage was finally mitigated by the Immigration Act of 1924, but not before millions of indigestible German and Eastern European Jews had settled in the United States.
These Jews quickly established ethnic defense organizations, penetrated Ivy League universities, founded the motion picture industry, bought up newspapers, inserted themselves into the national political debate, and amassed huge fortunes by beating the indigenous Yankees at their own capitalist game. Their “freedom” and “equality” gave them every right to do so. As Kaufmann persuasively argues, Jews found receptive allies in the treacherous Northern Anglo-Protestant cosmopolitan milieu, which was the lineal descendant of the pre-Civil War abolitionist Left. If the Jewish nationwreckers succeeded at propagating Boasian anthropology, Freudianism, multiculturalism, and modernist cosmopolitanism, it was only because they found in the American North a region which by history, tradition, and inclination was already ripe for a fall and receptive to idealistic social engineering crusades. They travelled down the same road to fame and fortune that Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, and Carnegie had blazed before them.
By the 1930s, white racial attitudes in the American North were so fragile that they were shaken to pieces by the wartime propaganda against the Third Reich. In stark contrast, Southerners emerged from the Second World War even more committed to segregation and white supremacy than they had been before. Northern WASPs were so crippled by their own effete liberalism that they allowed Jews to take over institution after institution rather than be impolite and “make a fuss” about their own precipitous dispossession. A revolution was effected without so much as a shot being fired.
In the end, Northern WASPs didn’t put up a fight. Unlike Germans under the Third Reich, they rolled over and died. It wasn’t exactly suicide, but it might as well have been. Like generations of Yankees before them, they were so used to worshiping money and conforming to public opinion that they allowed their culture to be stolen right out from under them once a new elite was thrown up by capitalism. Their tragic unraveling is an understudied subject. It is full of lessons for those of us who don’t want to see history repeat itself.