This article first appeared in Radix Journal (Vol. 1 / 2012). Purchase here.
Andrew Fraser, The WASP Question, Arktos Media (2011).
Andrew Fraser is a legal scholar who has been forced to brave the slings and arrows of outrageous anti-White attitude in his position as Professor of Public Law at Macquarie University in Sydney. His book The WASP Question is a detailed presentation of his views on the self-destruction of the once-proud group of Anglo-Saxons who colonized vast areas after departing from their native England, but who are now very much threatened by loss of power and, even more disastrously, loss of identity. The book is an attempt to answer the question why WASPs (which he describes as “a subtly, perhaps deservedly derogatory acronym coined sometime in the late Fifties to denote White Anglo-Saxon Protestants”) have failed to protect their bio-cultural interests in the contemporary world.
This is indeed the fundamental question of our times—true not only of WASPs, but of all Whites, although it must be said that WASPs seem to embody this pathology to a greater extent than other White groups. Fraser’s answer is an intellectual tour de force, encompassing very wide swaths of history and pre-history, evolutionary thinking, the psychology of racial differences, and academic theology. Far from being a paean to his ethnic group, the book is nothing less than “an attack on my co-ethnics, mainly the American WASPs who for over two centuries now have waged a reckless, revolutionary, and relentless cultural war on the ethno-religious traditions which once inspired the Anglo-Saxon province of Christendom to greatness.”
At the heart of this project is an attempt to understand WASP uniqueness. As he notes early on, “European man alone bears the spirit of civic republicanism, a tradition still largely alien to other races and peoples.” Whereas WASPs eschew ethnic nepotism as a matter of enlightened principle, “there is no shortage of evidence that the Changs, the Gonzales, and the Singhs (not to mention the Goldmans with their well-known animus toward WASPs) still practice forms of ethnic nepotism strictly forbidden to Anglo-Protestants.”
Fraser’s search for unraveling this mystery begins with the Germanic origins of Anglo-Saxon society. Relying on recent population genetic data, Fraser suggests that beginning in the mid–5th century, the Angle, Saxon, and Jute invaders contributed beyond their numbers to the gene pool of what was to become England. Males from indigenous Britons were forced to migrate to the outer reaches of the island, but with high levels of intermarriage with native women. The result was that the population was distinct from the Germanic groups left behind on the continent.
Fraser points to “an institutionalized predisposition towards both local autonomy and individual liberty” as characteristic of Northern European peoples, based on monogamy, the nuclear family, paternal investment in children, and a relative de-emphasis on extended kinship groups, leading to the rise of non-kinship-based forms of reciprocity. These traits were adaptive when confronting difficult ecological conditions during the Ice Ages.
However, these tribal groups also had a strong sense of internal cohesion and in-group solidarity, and kinship ties were, indeed, of considerable importance, as indicated by the long history of blood feud and wergeld.
An important manifestation of non-kinship-based reciprocity was the Männerbund or comitatus—groups formed for military purposes and based on the reputation of leaders and the followers rather than on their kinship relatedness. Indeed, Fraser quotes James Russell (from The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity): “The intensity of the comitatus bond seems to exceed even that of kinship.”
Fraser makes the interesting point that “there were striking differences in the relative importance of lordship and kinship in Anglo-Saxon England,”
as compared with southern Denmark and northern Germany from which the Angles, the Jutes and the Saxons originated. In Friesland and Schleswig-Holstein, throughout the Middle Ages there was a preponderance of free peasant proprietors with few great territorial lords endowed with seigneurial privileges. In England, by contrast, the prevalence of lordship was much more marked.
Based on Berta Surees Phillipotts’ wonderfully titled Kindred and Clan in the Middle Ages and After: A Study in the Sociology of the Teutonic Races, there is the suggestion that these differences were caused by the relative lack of strength of kinship groups in areas, like England, that became dominated by lords. According to this hypothesis, kinship relationships were compromised as Germanic groups left their native areas in southern Sweden, Denmark, and northern Germany.
Anglo-Saxon kings possessed “a sacral quality by virtue of their royal blood.” Kings combined religious and political functions, and their relationships with their subjects were ultimately based on reciprocity. And because kingship had religious overtones, “the ethnogenesis of the English people was very largely a religious phenomenon, proceeding in tandem with the success of Christian missionaries into the fold of the Church. By the 8th century the Angelcynn—people of the English race—had been formed from the mélange of Germanic tribes that had entered England.”
This shift to Christianity was accomplished without losing touch with Germanic folk religions. The Norman conquest had no fundamental effect on English institutions, since “Normandy itself had been conquered by sea-borne Teutonic invaders and, as a consequence, kindred groups had been weakened there just as they had been in England. Anglo-Saxon men may have been disinherited by their Norman overlords but ‘their daughters married Normans and taught their children the meaning of Englishness,’” quoting Phillpotts.
Despite the differences among different social groups of Englishmen, there was a common sense of being English based on “common blood nourished by a common faith.” Jews were regarded as outsiders precisely because they were not of common blood or common faith, so much so that the Magna Carta had clauses explicitly protecting English families from the Jews. Royal responsibility for the welfare of subjects meant that “English kings were compelled eventually to place definite limits on Jewish exploitation of their Christian subjects.” Jews were not merely outsiders, but tough economic competitors. When the Church sided with the people by petitioning the king to “protect his people against Jewish economic aggression,” the king expelled the Jews, but only after being assured that the revenue they provided to the king would be made up by revenue from the Church and the nobility.
The fact that the king tried first to convert the Jews indicates that European societies were not self-consciously based on blood ties. Attempts to convert Jews were a common phenomenon during the Middle Ages throughout Europe. The only important case where Jews actually converted was in Spain, but then the issue became the sincerity of the converts and their continued ethnic cohesion and cooperation, leading ultimately to the Inquisition. The desire of Europeans to assimilate with the Jews was always a one-way street.
In the absence of kinship ties, reputation was everything. Fraser spends quite a bit of time on oath-taking as a peculiarly English pre-occupation, so much so that “the commonplace spectacle of Third World immigrants reciting oaths of allegiance at naturalization ceremonies is calculated to warm the hearts of WASPs committed heart and soul to the constitutionalist creed of civic nationalism.” Oath-taking is a public affirmation that is fundamentally about one’s reputation. It is, of course, a bit of WASP egoism that they think that other peoples have a similar sense of public trustworthiness.
WASPs are trusting souls. For that very reason they can be exploited easily by those who promise one thing and do another… . Mass Third World immigration imposes enormous risks upon Anglo-Saxon societies grounded in unique patterns of trusting behavior that evolved over many centuries. If newcomers do not accept the burdens entailed by the civic culture of the host society—most notably the need to forswear one’s pre-existing racial, ethnic and religious allegiances—they are bound to reduce the benefits of good citizenship for the host Anglo-Saxon nation.
I couldn’t agree more. And all the evidence is that these groups will not forswear these allegiances, any more than Jews have forsworn their ethnic and religious allegiances despite centuries of living among Europeans.
The next great historical step for the Angelcynn was the step from a Germanized Christianity to a far more universalist form of Christianity as a result of the expansion of the power of the centralized Church during the 11th–13th centuries. This momentous process began with the papal reforms of Pope Gregory VII that had as their basic aim an increase in ecclesiastical power at the expense of the kings. The result was a Kirchenstaat—Church-state—that eventually compromised the Anglo-Saxon Christian cult of sacral kingship. But rather than a unitary society based on sacral kingship, there was a split between the realm of religion, dominated by the Church, and the secular realm, dominated by the kings. This development also weakened the already fragile ties of kinship, as the Church actively campaigned against endogamy by restricting marriage of relatives and developed a concept of marriage in which the individuals to be married, not relatives, had an absolute right to choose marriage partners.
This development facilitated individualism, and especially among the English. Fraser is aware that the roots of Western individualism may be found in Classical Greece. But “by the thirteenth century, the English were already set apart from the rest of Christendom by their pronounced predisposition towards liberty, independence and individualism”— tendencies that, as he notes, are in stark contrast with the Chinese (and all other cultures of which I am aware).
Kings responded to the ecclesiastical power grab by setting up their own secular institutions of justice independent of the Church courts. Political authority became “disenchanted”—removed from any connection to the sacred; royal authority became “a function of the king’s temporal body politic; no longer was his natural body the medium through which an emanation of sacred Heil descended directly from the gods.”
Basic to the period was the concept of “double majesty” in which both the king and his leading men had power. This concept was based on the comitatus concept—what Ricardo Duchesne terms “aristocratic egalitarianism.” The king is first among equals. He had power, but his acts required the approval of the magnates and they could act to restrain him from rashness. As Fraser notes, the baronial class had power within this system, but the arrangement excluded the “vast majority of ordinary folk.” One result was that the great barons retained considerable power over local affairs, while the king tended to affairs that affected the kingdom as a whole.
The Tudor revolution eclipsed both the power of the nobility and the power of the Church. But the events unleashed by this upheaval resulted in an even more revolutionary and radical revolution in English political culture: the rise of the Puritans. The Puritan revolution represented a fundamental break in English history, and Fraser is deeply critical:
It was the Puritan refusal to recognize the established Church of England as the synergistic unity of society, politics and religion that finally sealed the fate of the ancient regime in England.
Puritans rejected the past-oriented, this-worldly folk religion of their Germanic ancestors and embraced instead a future-oriented, salvation history of sin and redemption in which the “Godly” were radically estranged from conventional society. Separating themselves from their “lukewarm” neighbors, Puritans withdrew into select, independent and voluntary communities composed solely of equals. Their virtuous communities of the elect existed in a state of grace that knew no national boundaries.
The result was “a radically new social character” that resulted in the “embourgeoisement of English elites.” This New Order cut off the possibility of an Anglican commonwealth; it was focused on the accumulation of wealth for its own sake.
The radicalism of the Puritan Revolution was that it completely destroyed the old tripartite Indo-European order based on the classes of sovereignty, the military, and commoners. This revolution was far more radical than the revolution whereby Christianity destroyed the pagan gods of old Europe:
Christianity formally proscribed the old religions but it did not uproot the social ideals embodied in the pagan gods. Even after the Papal Revolution, tradition-directed English Christians preserved the Trinitarian cosmology that their Anglo-Saxon ancestors shared with the Celts, the Scandinavians and the Romans.
The Puritan spirit of capitalism not only turned that ancient worldview on its head: it also launched Anglo- Saxons into a novus ordo seclorum that brought religion down to earth in an economy enchanted by the cornucopian myths of modernist Mammonism. … Before we can hope to escape our self-imposed domination, we must understand how the Puritan Revolution flattened the foundational myths of the trifunctional social
order characteristic of all Indo-European peoples.
In short, the Puritan Revolution meant the end of the Indo-European world and its Christian version: the Church (“those who prayed, oratores”), the king and aristocracy (“those who fought, bellatores”), and the commoners (“those who worked, laboratores”). It was thus the quintessential modern revolution, a fundamental break in the history of the West.
The revolution, although begun in England, was slow to reach its completion there, whereas in the United States, “as a consequence of the Civil War, the absolute hegemony of the leveling, acquisitive and utilitarian society pioneered by the Puritan Revolution was firmly entrenched.” The Civil War pitted “the Cavaliers of the Old South [who] recalled the highest ideals of European chivalry” against “the soulless materialism of Northern capitalism.”
The Puritans had won, but in Fraser’s analysis, their victory heralded the end of a highly adaptive social order in favor of a social order that eventually led to the eclipse of WASPs. The new order was far more egalitarian than the older order. Congregations elected their ministers, and they served at the pleasure of the people they served. Whereas war had been the province of the nobility, Cromwell’s New Model Army was based on citizen participation.
It was also profoundly spiritual and created enormous energy. Unfortunately, the spiritual capital of Puritanism “was squandered by their WASP descendants. The saintly secularism of the Puritan has degenerated into the nonchalant nihilism of the postmodernist.” “Possessive individualism” and “tasteful consumption” had come to define the highest expression of Anglo-Saxon character and culture. The governments of England and other Anglo-Saxon areas became dominated by financial interests.
When the intellectuals of the new order looked at the English past, they did not see a social order of liberty and reciprocity. Rather,
they insisted that “Old England had been steeped in slavery” and only after the Whigs had triumphed in the Glorious Revolution did the English begin to enjoy their present freedoms. … “To bring the government of England back to its first principles is to bring the people back to absolute slavery.” In the dark days of the past, “the people had no share in the government; they were merely the villeins, vassals, or bondsmen of their lords, “a sort of cattle bought and sold with the land.” Those slavish ancestors had submitted, more or less willingly, to the yoke fastened on their necks by those who prayed and those who fought. Such a servile mentality, it is said, had no rightful claim to a voice in the political community of the modern English commonwealth.
Indeed, White slavery continued to exist in the New World as indentured servants were bought and sold—“a situation not unlike Negro slavery.”
This new social order requires endless economic expansion. If that fails to come to pass, there will indeed be a crisis, and it’s clear where Fraser’s sympathies lie:
One hopes that such a state of emergency will trigger the need to return to the long-forgotten original principles of the tripartite social order, however “atavistic” such needs may seem to the modern managerial mind. The day may yet come when ineffectual WASPs give way to a new generation of Anglo-Saxon leaders possessed of both the sovereign wisdom to revive the communitarian ethos of the ancient republics and the selfless nobility to defend unto death the bio-cultural interests of their people.
However, before discussing in detail his proposal for a return to a primeval Indo-European cultural paradigm, Fraser discusses the rise and fall of WASPs in the United States. His basic proposal is that WASPs are a superior group in terms of IQ and other traits necessary for success in the contemporary world. He accepts the idea that different races and ethnic groups are in competition for survival. This race realist perspective, explicitly based on sociobiology, is combined with the idea that WASP talents should be seen as a gift from God and that WASPs require an ethno-theology capable of serving their biological interests in survival and reproduction. Fraser fundamentally disagrees with the idea that the sacred and secular ought to inhabit two separate worlds. Rather, they should be joined by fostering an ethno-religious sense of peoplehood in which the biological imperatives of survival, reproduction and sense of being part of an ethnic group are embedded in religious belief—a rejection of what he sees as the deformity of Christian theology that occurred as a result of the Medieval papal reforms discussed above. Fraser therefore takes Frank Salter to task for developing a theory of ethnic interests based solely on “mature Enlightenment values”—on reason rather than theology.
Fraser does not see the future as a reconquest of lands once controlled by WASPs, but rather as the creation of WASPs as a diaspora people capable of retaining their ethnic and religious ties in a “postmodern archipelago.”
The Jewish Diaspora based on strong ethno-centrism and in-group altruism and ethnic networking thus becomes the implicit model for a WASP future. As he notes, the original Puritans also had many of the traits that define successful groups—the willingness to suppress individual goals for the good of the group by enacting laws that, for example, prohibited excessive profits.
Part Two deals with America as an experiment in WASP culture, and in particular with “the pathogenesis of Anglo-Saxon Anglophobia.” For Fraser, the pathogenesis starts with a rejection of the religious basis of Anglo-Saxon peoplehood. The entire concept of America independent of Britain is anathema: The American Revolution “suppressed the spirit of ethnoreligious loyalty owed by all British colonists to the blood and faith of Old England.”
Freed of the hereditary aristocracy and the religion of England, during the Jacksonian era, “the few remaining conservative influences in religion, politics, and law” were swept aside. The result was an exultant radical individualism in which every individual was to have direct, unmediated access to God. This radical individualism distrusted all manifestations of corporate power, including chartered private corporations, and Fraser agrees, writing that “a perversion of Christian theology permitted the modern business corporation to establish itself as a secular parody of the ecclesia.”
From a biocultural perspective, the most important consequence of the managerial revolution in corporate governance was the recasting of Anglo-American social character into a novel form, one particularly susceptible to Anglo-Saxon Anglophobia.
The corporation eventually metastasized into a monster “incapable of preserving either the class boundaries of the bourgeoisie or the ethnic character of the Anglo-American nation as a whole.” In the hands of recent and contemporary Anglo-Saxons, the modern business corporation is analogous to the “proposition nation” concept: merely a concatenation of contracts, with no ethnic character, although Fraser is quick to note that corporations dominated by other groups do not lose their ethnic character.
The American Revolution is still “a work in progress.” There have been three transformations thus far: the Constitutional Republic dating from the American Revolution to the Civil War and based on political decentralization, liberty, and egalitarianism; the Bourgeois Republic resulting from the victory of the North in the Civil War and lasting until FDR, typified by the 14th Amendment and a large increase in federal power; and the Managerial/Therapeutic leviathan since that period, characterized by even greater concentration of power at the federal level, combined now with energetic attempts to change the attitudes of Americans in a liberal and eventually in an Anglophobic direction. None of these were explicitly Anglo-Saxon Protestant: even at the outset, “the Anglo-Saxon character of the Constitutional Republic was merely implicit” [emphasis in original]. The fourth, as yet unrealized, republic is slated to be the Transnational Republic where all traces of White domination have been erased and WASPs have become “a shrinking and despised minority.”
For Fraser, the leveling, egalitarian tendencies of the Constitutional Republic went much too far because they fundamentally opposed the aristocratic Indo-European tripartite model which resulted in a leisured aristocracy:
A natural social order dating from time out of mind had been leveled. The egalitarian sense that every free man must participate in labor now outlawed “invidious” social distinctions between those who worked, those who prayed, and those who fought. It also aggravated the growing split between the North and South. Both the celebration of work and the disparagement of idleness made “the South with its leisured aristocracy supported by slavery even more anomalous than it had been at the time of the Revolution.” Combined with the anti- institutional fervor of evangelical revivalism, the democratic ideology of free labor eventually lent its mass appeal to a multi-pronged crusade against Negro slavery… . The conquest and destruction of the Old South marked the second phase of the permanent American Revolution.
The triumph of the North in the Civil War meant that the U.S. was even further removed from its Indo-European roots than before. Congruent with his sympathies for the aristocratic culture of the South as far more compatible with traditional Indo-European social organization, Fraser is unapologetic about slavery: “Not only could a strong scriptural case be made in favor of slavery but a strict construction of the Constitution also favored the pro-slavery argument.”
The result of Lincoln’s victory was that limits on federal power “were swept aside by executive decree and military might”:
By crushing the southern states, Lincoln fatally weakened the federal principle; his arbitrary exercise of emergency powers laid the foundations for executive dictatorship whenever exceptional circumstances justify the suspension of constitutional liberties. The war was an exercise in constitutional duplicity; the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment in 18 6 8 was accomplished only by means of blatant fraud and military coercion. Nonetheless, once securely enshrined in the Constitution, the amendment provided both the Second [i.e., Bourgeois] Republic and the Third [i.e., Managerial/Therapeutic] Republic with their formal constitutional warrant. … By the standard of the First (Federal) Republic, the Fourteenth Amendment was unconstitutional. But, despite some initial resistance, the legal priesthood of the Republic soon elevated the amendment to the status of sacred writ.
Following the Civil War, there were disagreements among elite Anglo-Saxon intellectuals on race and the ability to successfully absorb the former slaves. For the race realists, Fraser emphasizes William Graham Sumner, a social Darwinist, who thought that social class divisions and competition were part of the natural order of things. Writing in 1903, he noted that “the two races live more independently of each other now than they did” during the slave era. But during the same period, self-styled WASP “progressives,” like Supreme Court Justice John Harlan, “labored ceaselessly to promote the egalitarian myth of the color-blind constitution.”
This was also the period when immigrants from eastern and southern Europe were flooding the country, threatening to change its identity. For a time, at least, the forces of Anglo-Saxon ethnic defense, spearheaded by New England intellectuals like Madison Grant, Lothrop Stoddard, and Edward A. Ross in alliance with the South and West, won out, culminating in the short-lived victory of the immigration law of 1924.
Fraser sees the Managerial/Therapeutic Republic as flatly unconstitutional. The original constitution has been jettisoned to the point that it has no relationship to the actual structure and operation of the federal government. A new managerial class, first described by James Burnham, had come to power. The result is a “multiracialist managerial revolution” that is “an explicitly post-Christian civil religion;
a free-floating Constitutionalism has displaced the implicitly Anglo-Saxon Protestantism of the first ‘white man’s country.’ Since the New Deal … the myth of the Constitution has been severed from its biocultural roots in Anglo-Saxon Christendom.”
Anglo-Saxons have abdicated their leading role to a rainbow coalition of groups, including Jews, Blacks, and Catholics, feminists, and homosexuals.
In Part Three, Fraser concludes with his prescription for the future of Anglo-Saxons. While acknowledging the difficulty of the task, Fraser hopes that WASPs will rediscover themselves as an ethno-nation by rallying around a redefined British monarchy and the Christian tradition: Crown, Church, and Country. Following 18th-century political philosopher Henry St. John, Viscount of Bolingbroke, Fraser advocates a “Patriot King come to deliver them from evil, seizing victory from the jaws of defeat.” The king will be a living icon, inspiring but without real power. He envisions a diaspora where the Anglo-Saxons are given formal recognition as a group and are able to form their own autonomous institutions with “binding norms of in-group solidarity”—in effect governing themselves as traditional Jewish diaspora groups (i.e., Orthodox and Hasidic Jews) have always done. As with Jewish groups, the result would be a global network—a network that will be indispensable in what Fraser sees as a “New Dark Age” of global disorder about to engulf the world. This impending “Long Emergency” of “catastrophe and collapse” can only be negotiated by groups with strong ethnic and cultural ties and a willingness to engage in within-group altruism. In this new age, the Anglican Church will play a central role: “The next Protestant Reformation must recall the Anglican Church to its original mission to shepherd the Anglo-Saxon race into the Kingdom of God.”
Fraser has done an extraordinary job in charting the outline and key turning points in the history of the Anglo- Saxons, and the decline of the West more generally. I agree with Frank Salter, whose comments are reproduced on the cover, that Fraser provides “a fresh analysis of the ethno-religious foundations of the English people.… Agree or disagree with Andrew Fraser’s prescriptions, his combination of originality and scholarship deserves to find a place in literature dealing with ethnicity, nationalism, constitutional history, biosocial science, and advocacy for Anglo-Saxon ethnic identity and biocultural continuity. Be prepared to read, reread, and ponder.”
What follows are some of my own ponderings.
The Non-unitary Ethnic Basis of Anglo-Saxons
I agree with Fraser that the fundamental break in the history of the Anglo-Saxons is the rise of the Puritans and the overthrow of the primeval Indo-European social order in England, to be followed eventually by other European societies. Fraser correctly notes the strong egalitarian tendencies of the Puritans. As noted elsewhere, however, these egalitarian tendencies are far more compatible with the hunter- gatherer model of European origins than the Indo-European warrior elite model. So the question is where these strong egalitarian tendencies came from. My proposal is that these tendencies toward egalitarian individualism, which characterize the peoples of Europe, particularly northern Europe, date from the Ice Ages and existed prior to the Indo- European invasions in the 4th millennium BC. This analysis is compatible with relatively small income- and social-class differences characteristic of Scandinavian society throughout its history, including the absence of serfdom during the Middle Ages—a pattern that reflects a hunter-gatherer model far more than an aristocratic model.
Fraser is certainly aware of differences among the Anglo-Saxons—he several times cites David Hackett Fischer’s classic Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America; but he does not see them as ethnic differences. In this regard it is noteworthy that, as Fischer notes, the elitist, hierarchical model of the West Saxons was already apparent in southwest England dating from at least the 9th century. This group had large estates with lower-middle class servi and villani— essentially slaves.
As Fraser notes, the perception of the newly liberated classes after the English Revolution was that “Old England had been steeped in slavery,” and they had no desire to return to that. It is easy to romanticize the tripartite Indo-European social form, but the problem is that the aristocratic model did result in exploitation, and “those who worked” often reasonably resented the powers and riches of “those who fought” and their oftentimes unholy alliance with “those who prayed.”
My view is that the Puritans exemplify the egalitarian-individualist trend of Western society dating from before the imposition of the Indo-European model tripartite model. As Fraser is well aware, Puritan culture does not at all fit the warrior elite model. Puritans produced “a civic culture of high literacy, town meetings, and a tradition of freedom,” distinguished from other British groups by their “comparatively large ratios of freemen and small numbers of servi and villani”—phenomena quite the opposite of the Indo-European aristocratic model. These patterns date from Anglo- Saxon prehistory.
One may deplore the passing of the aristocratic model, as Fraser does, but it’s quite clear that in any case, one must attempt to understand the dominant Puritan influence on WASP culture as a pre-condition for an analysis of contemporary WASP pathology. Briefly, my take is that this subgroup is highly intelligent (e.g., they established Harvard and other elite universities shortly after arriving in America), innovative (as Charles Murray shows, inventors derived from the northern European peoples are responsible for a hugely disproportionate number of the important inventions that define the modern era), and capable of producing high-trust societies based on individual reputation rather than kinship relationships. Fraser deplores their materialism, their rational approach to the world, and their concern with worldly success. He is quite correct that in the absence of a strong sense of ethnic cohesion and loyalty, these traits certainly become components of ethnic suicide; but they resulted in extraordinarily successful economies that have been the envy of the world.
Whereas the aristocratic-egalitarian military group was based on the comitatus model emphasizing cohesion and loyalty as a result of fealty to a successful leader, the Puritan model for cohesion was the creation of a morally defined in-group. These two models are thus variants on the individualist theme. The Puritans famously imposed penalties on people who departed from the moral/ideological strictures of the society. Puritan “ordered liberty” was the freedom to act within the confines of the moral order. This might be called the “paradox of individualism”: In order to form cohesive groups, individualists have at times erected strong social controls on individual behavior in order to promote group cohesion. They were also willing to incur great costs to impose their moral/ideological version of truth: Puritans were prone to “altruistic punishment,” defined as punishment of people who depart from the moral-ideological consensus that costs the punisher. And for the secular-minded descendants of the Puritans in the 19th century, slavery and the aristocratic model of Southern society were anathema to the point that their destruction warranted huge sacrifices.
The logic connecting these tendencies to the individualist hunter-gather model is obvious: Like all humans in a dangerous and difficult world, hunter-gatherers need to develop cohesive, cooperative ingroups. But rather than base them on known kinship relations, the prototypical egalitarian-individualist groups of the West are based on reputation and trust. Egalitarian-individualists create moral-ideological communities in which those who violate public trust and other manifestations of the moral order are shunned, ostracized, and exposed to public humiliation—a fate that would have resulted in evolutionary death during the harsh ecological period of the Ice Age—the same fate as the derelict father who refused to provision his children.
The point here, and I am sure that Fraser would agree, is that the culture of the West as it developed in the modern era owes much more to the egalitarian individualism model of the Puritans than to the Indo-European model of aristocratic individualism.
Beyond Puritans and Cavaliers
Fraser is certainly aware of differences among different WASP groups, and thus far, the discussion has emphasized the Cavalier-descended Southern aristocratic culture and the Puritan-descended elite that became dominant, especially after the Civil War. Besides these groups, David Hackett Fischer discusses two other British groups: the Quakers, who are even more universalist and egalitarian than the Puritans, but nowhere near as culturally influential or economically dominant; and the Scots-Irish, who came from Northern England, Ulster, and the lowlands of Scotland. This group had a great deal of influence on culture of the American South and West. Fraser is surely right that the Puritan-descended WASP elite that dominated the board rooms and the elite universities have lost their religious faith, and what is left of it is little more than a mild version of cultural Marxism; they have generally succumbed to the destructive forces of the new cultural dispensation. This is not the case with the descendants of the Scots-Irish. Fischer describes their “prevailing cultural mode as profoundly conservative and xenophobic”; historically, they detested both the Cavalier-descended planters and the Puritan-descended abolitionists. “In the early twentieth century they would become intensely negrophobic and antisemitic. In our own time they are furiously hostile to both communists and capitalists.”
There is some indication that they were less individualistic than other groups originating in England: to an extent far greater than their Puritan co-ethnics, they were more involved in clan relationships of extended families rather than merely lineal descent.“Marriage ties were weaker than blood ties,” and there was a tendency to marry within the extended family—both markers of greater collectivism.
The Scots-Irish certainly have not lost their faith. They showed “intense hostility to organized churches and established clergy on the one hand and [an] abiding interest in religion on the other.” They rejected the Anglican Church, religious taxes, and established clergy, but for all that, they were intensely and emotionally religious. Indeed, this group is the main force behind the culture of the American Bible Belt—the religious fundamentalism that is such an important aspect of contemporary American politics. They are, indeed, socially conservative and a great many of them are involved in the angry protests of the Tea Party movement. They are the epitome of implicit Whiteness, flocking to White cultural events like NASCAR racing and gun shows.
The problem is that, along with the rest of White America, they are channelled by the media, federal government, legal system, and their own religious leaders to be silent on the matter of race; moreover, quite often their brand of evangelical religion is decidedly pro-Israel, which makes them avid supporters of the foreign-policy programs of the Israel lobby and the Republican Party (as defined by the Jewish dominated “neoconservatives.”) Nevertheless, this group of WASPs is likely to be a thorn in the side of the elites well into the future.
Fraser deplores the rationalist tendencies of WASP culture because they ultimately undermined religion and ultimately the Anglo-Saxon ethno-nation. Thus, Fraser sees scholastic philosophy, which was heavily influenced by Aristotle, as leading to “the divorce of God from man.” Darwin’s “bleak and disenchanted vision” was simply the endpoint of a centuries-long process that displaced God from the Western mind, rendering Westerners defenseless against the onslaught of other peoples.
However, I would argue that the rationality of Anglo-Saxons is just as fundamental as the irrational, emotional and religious aspects. As Ricardo Duchesne points out, one aspect of European uniqueness originated with the Greeks, who invented scientific reasoning by offering explanations of natural events that were entirely general. Duchesne defends Max Weber’s claim that, far more than any other civilization, the West exhibited a greater level of rationalization of all aspects of life. He comments on the greater extent to which “social activities involving the calculation of alternate means to a given end were rationalized, and in the higher degree to which theoretical beliefs about the nature of the universe, life, and God were rationalized through the use of definitions, theorems, and concepts.”
There are deep relationships between rationality and individualism: individualists are prone to seeing the world in universalist terms, objectively and without biases resulting from in-group allegiances. This accounts for the strong tendency for moral universalism in Western philosophy, and as Weber notes, this rationalistic stance predisposes the West to create rational bureaucracies “managed by specialized and trained officials in accordance with impersonal and universal statuses and regulations formulated and recorded in writing.”
It is certainly the case that this proneness to universalism and rationalism can result in failure to defend the legitimate particularlistic ethnic interests of the West in the name of universalist ideals. That is, indeed, what we are seeing now. However, there is no question that particularist ethnic interests are defensible from a rational, scientific perspective.
Indeed, the WASP ethnic defense of the 1920s, resulting in the Immigration Restriction Law of 1924, was energized partly by an intellectual understanding of Darwinism and race, not by a religious sensibility. The strong emphasis on rationality meant that public discourse on immigration policy in the 1920s necessarily took place in an atmosphere where scientific ideas and rational discourse had pride of place. The basic argument of the restrictionists was that all groups in the country had legitimate interests in retaining their share of the national population, including Whites (or, more accurate in the case of Madison Grant and the eugenicists, Nordics).
Nevertheless, for Fraser, the rational basis of the WASP ethnic defense was why it ultimately failed:
Lost altogether was the primordial understanding that Anglo-Saxon identity is inseparable from the blood faith of a Christian people. Once American political theology fell under the influence of scientific modernism, racial realists lost interest in the ethnoreligious traditions of Anglo-Saxon Christendom… . Scientific racism… bore the stamp of a soulless and self-defeating materialism. Racial realism was too cold and aloof to regenerate a sense of ethnoreligious solidarity among Anglo-Saxon Protestants. It left middle-class Americans unable to decide whether they were simply whites, or one of several more exotic breeds such as the Nordics, Aryans, or Caucasians. Lacking firm roots in the historical literature and popular culture of a folk religion, in ancestral myths of heroism, chivalry, and romantic love, Anglo-Saxon racial solidarity had little purchase within the collective machinery of social control that increasingly governed industrial America.
The WASP ethnic defense doubtless had emotional roots (more apparent in the non-Puritan-descended Anglo- Saxons of the West and South), but it was justified in a scientific, rational manner. The ultimate defeat of the WASP ethnic defense occurred because of the rise of the “Culture of Critique”—particularly Boasian anthropology, the Frankfurt School, and the general academic culture of the left.
It is probable that the decline in evolutionary and biological theories of race and ethnicity facilitated the sea change in immigration policy brought about by the 19 65 law. As Higham (19 84) notes, by the time of the final victory in 19 65, which removed national origins and racial ancestry from immigration policy and opened up immigration to all human groups, the Boasian perspective of cultural determinism and anti-biologism had become standard academic wisdom. The result was that “it became intellectually fashionable to discount the very existence of persistent ethnic differences. The whole reaction deprived popular race feelings of a powerful ideological weapon” (Higham 19 84, 58–59). Jewish intellectuals were prominently involved in the movement to eradicate the racialist ideas of Grant and others.
In other words, the failure of WASP ethnic defense occurred because the high ground in rational, scientific debate had been seized by Jews as ethnic competitors. Note also John Higham’s point that the intense emotions felt by the restrictionists eventually failed because of the failure of restrictionist science. In the absence of an intellectually legitimate grounding, the WASP ethnic defense was doomed.
This is an incredibly important object lesson for contemporary attempts to defend White interests: We must be able to seize the rational, scientific high ground because that is essential to public debate in Western societies and ultimately to the emotional commitment of Whites to a sense of having group interests as Whites—in other words, to their very survival. In my view, a well-grounded scientific understanding of White genetic interests that rationalizes the intense natural motives of ethnic affiliation is likely to be far more effective in rallying Whites, especially elite Whites, than religious feelings. As Fraser is all too well aware, the story of religious feeling in the modern age has been to either sink into irrelevance for secular Whites (who are likely to be more educated) or be diverted into causes that are suicidal for religious Whites.
Fraser is quite aware of the ethnocentric aspect of Judaism and Jewish hostility toward Christianity. Indeed, I agree with his comment that “for most Jews … inveterate hostility toward Christianity is more important to their collective identity than ‘solidarity with Israel.’” Moreover, Fraser is not unaware of Jewish influence. He has a nice comment on Felix Adler’s universalist Ethical Culture society which promoted Anglo-Saxon cosmopolitanism and ethnic disappearance while promising that Jews would lose their ethnic coherence only after everyone else had done so. This sentiment—actually a mainstream ideology among Reform Jews of the period—would put off the sacrifice of their own ethnicity until “the arrival of a ‘post-ethnic’ utopia.” He credits them as “major players in the design and execution of the new constitutional order” underlying the New Deal. He also has a nice section of the Jewish campaign to rid the public square of any trace of Christianity.
Fraser also asks whether the abdication of the WASP has really resulted in a better society now that it is dominated by “an increasingly corrupt corporate plutocracy in which Ivy League Jews are heavily over-represented… . Worse still, Jewish elites harbor a deep-seated animus toward the Christian faith professed by most Americans.” And he notes the hypocrisy whereby “the Jewish civil religion explicitly disallows the desire of both Anglo-Saxon Protestants and ethnic Catholics to live in predominantly European Christian societies. At the same time organized Jewry loudly insists that Israel’s character as an explicitly Jewish state must be preserved and protected.” Moreover, Fraser notes that “ethnocentric Jewish elites bear a large, unacknowledged (but glaringly obvious, to those with eyes to see) share of responsibility” for militant Islam, moral decline, financial collapse and economic depression.
Nevertheless, he fails to deal with the Culture of Critique—Jewish intellectual domination, their very large influence on the media and the political process, and their role in promoting massive immigration of non-Whites which, after all, is the root of the entire problem. As noted above, the triumph of the Jewish intellectual elite after WWII spelled the death knell of the WASP ethnic defense that culminated in the immigration law of 1924. The organized Jewish community was also pivotal in promoting massive non-White immigration beginning with their triumph of the 1965 immigration law. WASPs indeed have their weaknesses. But in the absence of the rise of a hostile Jewish elite, there is no reason to suppose that America would now be confronted with 100,000,000 non-Whites, many harboring historical grudges against Whites, and under threat to have a non-White majority in the foreseeable future.
Whites Versus WASPs
Fraser’s appeal is to WASPs, not the “dangerously over-inclusive racial phenotype” of White. But, as he notes, “in the first ‘white man’s country,’ age-old ethnic differences between English, Scotch-Irish, Scots, Welsh, German and French Huguenot colonists literally paled into insignificance.” Fraser argues that the concept of Whiteness “always implied the inherent equality of anyone passing” for White, a logic that repelled conservatives, who were attracted to the talented members of other races and capitalists who cared more about the cost of their workers than their race. Fraser advises WASPs to shed the label of “White” in favor of “reasserting their ancestral identity as Anglo- Saxons.”
I do think that different White subgroups should continue to remain separate, particularly in Europe where it would be a very large loss to lose the different languages and cultures of the various European groups. Even in the United States, it is nice to see celebrations of Scottish, Irish, and other European cultures by their descendants.
However, it would be foolish indeed to organize politically solely on the basis of these sub-groups. The term “White” in the American political context refers to all 200 million people of European descent—a very large and politically powerful group, whereas the descendants of Anglo-Saxon Protestants are a much smaller group. The obvious strategy is to legitimize a sense of White identity and White interests in the current climate, dominated as it is by elites hostile to the traditional White peoples and White culture of America. Having an identity qua White need not compromise identifications with sub-groups of Whites. There are important differences among these groups, as emphasized in this review. However, we are all quite closely related—indeed, Europeans are the most genetically homogeneous continental group on Earth. And we should all have a sense of our common cultural heritage, spanning from the Classical Age to the Italian Renaissance to German Romanticism to the English drama.
Such a rational construction of our ethnic interests in the contemporary world is therefore not without a strong biological basis of near kinship, but also carries with it an intense emotional appreciation of the common European culture and its accomplishments. My hope is that these two strands can eventually win the day, despite the current very large threat to our people and culture.
KEVIN MACDONALD is Professor of Psychology at California State University–Long Beach. He is the author of more than 100 scholarly papers and reviews, as well as A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy (1994), Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism (1998), and The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements (1998). He is Editor of The Occidental Observer and The Occidental Quarterly. Cultural Insurrections, a collection of essays, appeared in 2008.
- James Russell, The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity: A Sociohistorical Approach to Religious Transformation (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1996). ↩
- Berta Surees Phillipotts, Kindred and Clan in the Middle Ages and After: A Study in the Sociology of the Teutonic Races (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1913). ↩
- 3 See Kevin MacDonald, Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998), Chapters 4 and 7. ↩
- Kevin MacDonald, “The Establishment and Maintenance of Socially Imposed Monogamy in Western Europe,” Politics and the Life Sciences, vol. 14, 1995. ↩
- Ricardo Duchesne, The Uniqueness of Western Civilization (Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill, 2011). ↩
- Frank Salter, On Genetic Interests: Family, Ethny, and Humanity in an Age of Mass Migration (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 2006). ↩
- Kevin MacDonald, “Review of Ricardo Duchesne’s The Uniqueness of Western Civilization.” The Occidental Quarterly, Vol. 11 (3), Fall, 2011, pp. 47–74. ↩
- David Hackett Fischer, Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1989). ↩
- Kevin Phillips, Cousins’ Wars: Religion, Politics, Civil Warfare and the Triumph of Anglo-America (New York: Basic Books, 1999), p. 26. See also MacDonald, “Review of Ricardo Duchesne’s The Uniqueness of Western Civilization.” ↩
- Charles Murray, Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 8 00 B.C. to 1950 (New York: Harper Perennial, 2004). ↩
- Kevin MacDonald, “American Transcendentalism: An Indigenous Culture of Critique.” The Occidental Quarterly, vol. 8, Summer 2008, pp. 91–106. ↩
- E. Fehr & S. Gächter, “Altruistic Punishment in Humans,” Nature 415, 2002, pp. 137–140. ↩
- Fischer, Albion’s Seed, Ibid. ↩
- Kevin MacDonald, “Psychology and White Ethnocentrism.” The Occidental Quarterly, vol. 6 (4), Winter, 2006–07, pp. 7–46. ↩
- See. Kevin MacDonald, “Neoconservatism as a Jewish Movement,” The Occidental Quarterly, vol. 4, Summer 2004, pp. 1–18; “The Neoconservative Mind.” The Occidental Quarterly, vol. 8 (3), Fall 2008, pp. 1–18. ↩
- Duchesne, The Uniqueness of Western Civilization, p. 248. ↩
- Ibid., p 249 ↩
- Frank Salter, On Genetic Interests. ↩
- Kevin MacDonald, The Culture of Critique (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998), Chapter 7. ↩
- MacDonald, The Culture of Critique, pp. 252–253. The inner quotations are to: Carl Degler, In Search of Human Nature: The Decline and Revival of Darwinism in American Social Thought (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1991); John Higham, Send These to Me: Immigrants in Urban America, rev. ed. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984). ↩
- MacDonald, The Culture of Critique. ↩
- See my review of Eric P. Kaufmann’s The Rise and Fall of Anglo-America; The Occidental Observer, July 29, 2009: http://www. theoccidentalobserver.net/articles/MacDonald-Kaufmann.html (accessed May 1, 2012). ↩