October 9, 2011 § Leave a comment
Henry Louis Mencken was an American journalist. Mencken’s sometimes cynical and acerbic writings attacked the holy ideals of his age, including religion, business, government and the press. Today, he is best remembered for his coverage of the Scopes “Monkey” trial. Gene Kelly played a thinly fictionalized version of him in the film Inherit the Wind.
Mencken was an outspoken atheist and antitheist. He was also a proponent of libertarianism, an admirer of Nietzsche and a disbeliever in democracy. His aim in writing was not to improve society, but to make life “measurably more bearable for the civilized minority in America.” (Autobiographical Notes, 1925, 165).
Descended from a successful German family, Mencken viewed German culture as superior; in one letter to Isaac Goldberg, he wrote “there are only two types of music: German music and bad music” (May 6, 1925). In his diaries, he wrote “unkind” things about black people, Jews and other minorities. His many disparaging remarks about Anglo-Saxons, both public and private, have rarely been remarked upon.
I admit freely enough that, by careful breeding, supervision of environment and education, extending over many generations, it might be possible to make an appreciable improvement in the stock of the American negro, for example, but I must maintain that this enterprise would be a ridiculous waste of energy, for there is a high-caste white stock ready at hand, and it is inconceivable that the negro stock, however carefully it might be nurtured, could ever even remotely approach it. The educated negro of today is a failure, not because he meets insuperable difficulties in life, but because he is a negro. He is, in brief, a low-caste man, to the manner born, and he will remain inert and inefficient until fifty generations of him have lived in civilization. And even then, the superior white race will be fifty generations ahead of him. ––Men versus the Man: A Correspondence between Robert Rives La Monte, Socialist, and H.L. Mencken, Individualist, 1910.
Generalizations, indeed, all have their limits – even this one. Apply them often enough, and you will come inevitably upon some disconcerting exception…. But because philosophy is long and life is short we must assume, even when we can’t entirely believe, that [things] fall into groups and classes, else we could never hope to study them at all. ––ibid.
The American, in other words, thinks that the sinner has no rights that any one is bound to respect, and he is prone to mistake an unsupported charge of sinning, provided it be made violently enough, for actual proof and confession. ––A Book of Prefaces, 1917.
What, ladies and gentlemen, in hell or out of it, are we to do with the Ethiop? Who shall answer the thunderous demands of the emerging coon? For emerging he is, both quantitatively and qualitatively, and there will come a morn, believe me or not, when those with ears to hear and hides to feel will discover that he is to be boohed and put off no longer – that he has at last got the power to exact a square answer, and that the days of his docile service as minstrel, torch and goat are done. When that morn dawns, I pray upon both knees, I shall be safe in the Alps, and not below the Potomac River, hurriedly disguised with burnt cork and trying to get out on the high gear. ––”Si Mutare Potest Aethiops Pellum Suam” in the Smart Set, September 1917.
The black has learned the capital lesson that property is necessary to self-respect, that he will never get anywhere so long as he is poor. Once he is secure in that department he will take up the business of getting back his plain constitutional rights. ––ibid.
It is only the savage, whether of the African bush or of the American gospel tent, who pretends to know the will and intent of God exactly and completely. ––Damn! A Book of Calumny, 1918.
Your true savage, reserved, dignified, and courteous, knows how to mask his feelings, even in the face of the most desperate assault upon them; your civilized man is forever yielding to them. Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes. ––In Defense of Women, 1918.
If the average man is made in God’s image, then a man such as Beethoven or Aristotle is plainly superior to God, and so God may be jealous of him, and eager to see his superiority perish with his bodily frame. All animal breeders know how difficult it is to maintain a fine strain. The universe seems to be in a conspiracy to encourage the endless reproduction of peasants and Socialists, but a subtle and mysterious opposition stands eternally against the reproduction of philosophers. ––ibid.
Nothing is more patent, indeed, than the fact that charity merely converts the unfit––who, in the course of nature, would soon die out and so cease to encumber the earth––into parasites––who live on indefinitely, a nuisance and a burden to their betters. ––ibid.
[T]he negro, no matter how much he is educated, must remain, as a race, in a condition of subservience; that he must remain the inferior of the stronger and more intelligent white man so long as he retains racial differentiation. Therefore, the effort to educate him has awakened in his mind ambitions and aspirations which, in the very nature of things, must go unrealized, and so, while gaining nothing whatever materially, he has lost all his old contentment, peace of mind and happiness. ––ibid.
[T]he proof of an idea is not to be sought in the soundness of the man fathering it, but in the soundness of the idea itself. One asks of a pudding, not if the cook who offers it is a good woman, but if the pudding itself is good. ––ibid.
When we appropriate money from the public funds to pay for vaccinating a horde of negroes, we do not do it because we have any sympathy for them or because we crave their blessings, but simply because we don’t want them to be falling ill of smallpox in our kitchens and stables, to the peril of our own health and the neglect of our necessary drudgery. ––ibid.
The black man, I suppose, has a fairly good working understanding of the white man; he has many opportunities to observe and note down, and my experience of him convinces me that he is a shrewd observer––that few white men ever fool him. But the white man, even in the South, knows next to nothing of the inner life of the negro. ––”The Negro as Author,” 1920
The thing we need is a realistic picture of this inner life of the negro by one who sees the race from within––a self portrait as vivid and accurate as Dostoyevsky’s portrait of the Russian or Thackeray’s of the Englishman. The action should be kept within the normal range of negro experience. it should extend over a lone enough range of years to show some development in character and circumstance. It should be presented against a background made vivid by innumerable small details.
The negro author who makes such a book will dignify American literature and accomplish more for his race than a thousand propagandists and theorists. ––ibid.
[T]here is the generalization that the average negro is unreliable, that he has a rather lame sense of the sacredness of contract, that it is impossible to count upon him doing what he freely promises to do. This unreliability, it seems to me, is responsible for a great deal of the race feeling that smoulders in the South. The white man is forced to deal with negroes daily, and it irritates him constantly to find them so undependable.
True enough, it is easy to prove that this failing is not met with in negroes of the upper classes, and it may be even argued plausibly that it is not intrinsically a negro character–that the pure and undebauched African is a model of honor. But the fact remains that the Southern whites have to deal with the actual negroes before them, and not with a theoretical race of African kings. ––ibid.
What [the negro race] needs most, of course, is a fair chance in the world, a square deal in its effort to rise, but what it needs after that is honest and relentless criticism. ––ibid.
The late war [i.e. World War I], awakening all the primitive racial fury of the Western nations, and therewith all their ancient enthusiasm for religious taboos and sanctions, naturally focused attention upon Nietzsche…The Germans, with their characteristic tendency to explain their every act in terms as realistic and unpleasant as possible, appear to have mauled him in a belated and unexpected embrace, to the horror, I daresay, of the Kaiser, and perhaps to the even greater horror of Nietzsche’s own ghost. The folks of Anglo-Saxondom, with their equally characteristic tendency to explain all their enterprises romantically, simultaneously set him up as the Antichrist he no doubt secretly longed to be. The result was a great deal of misrepresentation and misunderstanding of him. ––from the introduction to The Antichrist, 1918.
Most of this denunciation, of course, was frankly idiotic––the naïve pishposh of suburban Methodists, notoriety-seeking college professors, almost illiterate editorial writers, and other such numskulls. In much of it, including not a few official hymns of hate, Nietzsche was gravely discovered to be the teacher of such spokesmen of the extremest sort of German nationalism as von Bernhardi and von Treitschke––which was just as intelligent as making George Bernard Shaw the mentor of Lloyd-George. In other solemn pronunciamentoes he was credited with being philosophically responsible for various imaginary crimes of the enemy—the wholesale slaughter or mutilation of prisoners of war, the deliberate burning down of Red Cross hospitals, the utilization of the corpses of the slain for soap-making. I amused myself, in those gaudy days, by collecting newspaper clippings to this general effect, and later on I shall probably publish a digest of them, as a contribution to the study of war hysteria. ––ibid.
On the Continent, the day is saved by the fact that the plutocracy tends to become more and more Jewish. Here the intellectual cynicism of the Jew almost counterbalances his social unpleasantness. If he is destined to lead the plutocracy of the world out of Little Bethel he will fail, of course, to turn it into an aristocracy––i. e., a caste of gentlemen––, but he will at least make it clever, and hence worthy of consideration. The case against the Jews is long and damning; it would justify ten thousand times as many pogroms as now go on in the world. But whenever you find a Davidsbündlerschaft making practise against the Philistines, there you will find a Jew laying on. Maybe it was this fact that caused Nietzsche to speak up for the children of Israel quite as often as he spoke against them. He was not blind to their faults, but when he set them beside Christians he could not deny their general superiority. Perhaps in America and England, as on the Continent, the increasing Jewishness of the plutocracy, while cutting it off from all chance of ever developing into an aristocracy, will yet lift it to such a dignity that it will at least deserve a certain grudging respect.
But even so, it will remain in a sort of half-world, midway between the gutter and the stars. Above it will still stand the small group of men that constitutes the permanent aristocracy of the race––the men of imagination and high purpose, the makers of genuine progress, the brave and ardent spirits, above all petty fears and discontents and above all petty hopes and ideals no less. There were heroes before Agamemnon; there will be Bachs after Johann Sebastian. And beneath the Judaized plutocracy, the sublimated bourgeoisie, there the immemorial proletariat, I venture to guess, will roar on, endlessly tortured by its vain hatreds and envies, stampeded and made to tremble by its ancient superstitions, prodded and made miserable by its sordid and degrading hopes. ––ibid.
[In America] the general average of intelligence, of knowledge, of competence, of integrity, of self-respect, of honor is so low that any man who knows his trade, does not fear ghosts, has read fifty good books, and practices the common decencies stands out as brilliantly as a wart on a bald head, and is thrown willy-nilly into a meager and exclusive aristocracy. ––”On Being an American,” 1922.
So far as I can make out there is no record in history of any Anglo-Saxon nation entering upon any great war without allies. The French have done it, the Dutch have done it, the Germans have done it, the Japs have done it, and even such inferior nations as the Danes, the Spaniards, the Boers and the Greeks have done it, but never the English or Americans. Can you imagine the United States resolutely facing a war in which the odds against it were as huge as they were against Spain in 1898? The facts of history are wholly against any such fancy. The Anglo-Saxon always tries to take a gang with him when he goes into battle, and even when he has it behind him he is very uneasy, and prone to fall into panic at the first threat of genuine danger. ––”The Anglo-Saxon,” 1923.
This reluctance for desperate chances and hard odds, so obvious in the military record of the English-speaking nations, is also conspicuous in times of peace. What a man of another and superior stock almost always notices, living among so-called Anglo-Saxons, is (a) their incapacity for prevailing in fair rivalry, either in trade, in the fine arts or in what is called learning–in brief, their general incompetence, and (b) their invariable effort to make up for this incapacity by putting some inequitable burden upon their rivals, usually by force. The Frenchman, I believe, is the worst of chauvinists, but once he admits a foreigner to his country he at least treats that foreigner fairly, and does not try to penalize him absurdly for his mere foreignness. The Anglo-Saxon American is always trying to do it; his history is a history of recurrent outbreaks of blind rage against people who have begun to worst him. ––ibid.
The effort is always to penalize [a foreigner] for winning in fair fight, to handicap him in such a manner that he will sink to the general level of the Anglo-Saxon population, and, if possible, even below it. Such devices, of course, never have the countenance of the Anglo-Saxon minority that is authentically superior, and hence self-confident and tolerant. But that minority is pathetically small, and it tends steadily to grow smaller and feebler. The communal laws and the communal mores are made by the folk, and they offer all the proof that is necessary, not only of its general inferiority, but also of its alarmed awareness of that inferiority. The normal American of the “pure-blooded” majority goes to rest every night with an uneasy feeling that there is a burglar under the bed, and he gets up every morning with a sickening fear that his underwear has been stolen. ––ibid.
The Klan is actually as thoroughly American as Rotary or the Moose. Its childish mummery is American, its highfalutin bombast is American, and its fundamental philosophy is American. The very essence of Americanism is the doctrine that the other fellow, if he happens to be in a minority, has absolutely no rights––that enough is done for him when he is allowed to live at all. ––”Clinical Notes” in The American Mercury, March 1925.
The thing that makes life charming is not money, but the society of our fellow men, and the thing that draws us to our fellow men is not admiration for their inner virtues, their hard striving to live according to the light that is in them, but admiration for their outer graces and decencies – in brief, confidence that they will always act generously and understandingly in their intercourse with us. We must trust them before we may enjoy them. Manifestly, it is impossible to put any such trust in a Puritan. With the best intentions in the world he cannot rid himself of the delusion that his duty to save us from our sins. ––Notes on Democracy, 1926.
The intellectual heritage of the race belongs to the minority, and to the minority only. The majority has no more to do with it than it has to do with the ecclesiastical politics on Mars. ––”The Golden Age of Pedagogy,” from the Baltimore Evening Sun, June 6, 1927.
The plain fact is that neither the whites nor the blacks know where they are heading. I have read as much as most men and yet I can never formulate a plausible picture of the relation of the races say fifty years hence. ––from a letter to George S. Schuyler, May 15, 1929.
The Jews could be put down very plausibly as the most unpleasant race ever heard of. As commonly encountered they lack any of the qualities that mark the civilized man: courage, dignity, incorruptibility, ease, confidence. They have vanity without pride, voluptuousness without taste, and learning without wisdom. Their fortitude, such as it is, is wasted upon puerile objects, and their charity is mainly a form of display. ––Treatise on the Gods, 1930.
Alone among the animals, [man] is dowered with the capacity to invent imaginary worlds, and he is always making himself unhappy by trying to move into them. Thus he underrates the world in which he actually lives, and so misses most of the fun that is in it. That world, I am convinced, could be materially improved, but even as it stands it is good enough to keep any reasonable man entertained for a lifetime. As for me, I roll out of my couch every morning with the most agreeable expectations. In the morning paper there is always massive and exhilarating evidence that the human race, despite its ages-long effort to imitate the seraphim, is still doomed to be irrevocably human, and in my morning mail I always get soothing proof that there are men left who are even worse asses than I am. ––The Living Philosophies, 1931.
That Negroes, in more than one way, are superior to most American whites is something that I have long believed. I pass over their gift for music (which is largely imaginary) and their greater dignity (which Dr. Eleanor R. Wembridge has described more eloquently than I could do it), and point to their better behavior as members of our common society. Are they, on the lower levels, somewhat turbulent and inclined to petty crime? Perhaps. But that crime is seldom anti-social…Professional criminals are rare among Negroes, and, what is more important, professional reformers are still rarer. The horrible appetite of the low-caste Anglo-Saxon to police and harass his fellow-men is practically non-existent among them. No one ever hears of Negro wowsers inventing new categories of crime, and proposing to jail thousands of their own people for committing them. Negro Prohibitionists are almost as rare as Catholic Prohibitionists. No Negro has ever got a name by pretending to be more virtuous than the rest of us. In brief, the race is marked by extraordinary decency. ––”The Burden of Credulity,” February 1931.
I think the Negro people should feel secure enough by now to face a reasonable ridicule without terror. I am unalterably opposed to all efforts to put down free speech, whatever the excuse. ––from a letter to George S. Schuyler, June 15, 1931.
Race relations never improve in war time; they always worsen. And it is when the boys come home the Ku Klux Klans are organized. I believe with George Schuyler that the only really feasible way to improve the general situation of the American Negro is to convince more and more whites that he is, as men go in this world, a decent fellow, and that amicable living with him is not only possible but desirable. Every threat of mass political pressure, every appeal to political mountebanks, only alarms the white brother, and so postpones the day of reasonable justice. ––from a letter to Walter F. White, December 6, 1943.
The objection to sterilizing criminals is mainly theological, and hence irrational…Certainly the chances that he will produce criminal children are sufficiently strong to justify subjecting him to the trivial injury and inconvenience of sterilization. On the one hand the sentimentalists argue that crime is a disease, and on the other hand they deny that it runs in families. All human experience is against this. Nine out of ten professional criminals come from families that are plainly abnormal. Even if it be argued that their criminality is a product of their environment…it follows that the environment they themselves provide for their children is very likely to produce more criminals. The theory that crime is caused by poverty is not supported by the known facts. The very poor, in fact, tend to be just as law-abiding as the rich, and perhaps even more so. ––A Mencken Chrestomathy, 1949.
No man can be friendly to another whose personal habits differ materially from his own. Even the trivialities of table manners thus become important. The fact probably explains much of race prejudice, and even more of national prejudice. ––ibid.
I believe that any man or woman who, for a period of say five years, has earned his or her living in some lawful and useful occupation, without any recourse to public assistance, should be allowed to vote and that no one else should be allowed to vote. ––ibid.
The more vocal and ambitious American Negroes talk constantly of their desire for all the common rights of the American Caucasian, but what they really have in mind, in most cases, is privileges––for example, his privilege of going at will into any society or environment that attracts him…What they forget is that color is the most crass and inescapable of all differentiations. The Caucasian is aware of it the moment one of them appears, and whether consciously or unconsciously it annoys him as an invasion of his natural human preference for his own kind. ––Minority Report: H.L. Mencken’s Notebooks, 1956 section 110.
The fact that what are commonly spoken of as rights are often really privileges is demonstrated in the case of the Jews. They resent bitterly their exclusion from certain hotels, resorts and other places of gathering, and make determined efforts to horn in. But the moment any considerable number of them horns in, the attractions of the place diminish, and the more pushful Jews turn to one where they are still nicht gewuenscht [not required]. ––ibid.
The more noisy Negro leaders, by depicting all whites as natural and implacable enemies to their race, have done it a great disservice. Large numbers of whites who were formerly very friendly to it, and willing to go great lenghts to help it, are now resentful and suspicious. The effort to purge the movies, the stage, the radio and the comic-strips of the old-time Negro types has worked the same evil. The Negro comic character may have engendered a certain amount of amiable disdain among whites, but he certainly did not produce dislike. We do not hate people we laugh at and with. His chief effect upon white thinking, in fact, was to spread the idea that Negores as a class are very amiable folk, with a great deal of pawky shrewdness. This was to their advantage in race relations. But when the last Amos ‘n’ Andy programme is suppressed the Negro, ceasing to be a charming clown, will become a menacing stranger, and his lot will be a good deal less comfortable than it used to be. ––ibid, section 232.
One of the things that makes a Negro unpleasant to white folk is the fact that he suffers from their injustice. He is thus a standing rebuke to them, and they try to put him out of their minds. The easiest way to do so is to insist that he keep his place. The Jew suffers from the same cause, but to a much less extent. ––ibid, section 272.
The theory that all the races of mankind have descended from one stock is whooped up assiduously by the prophets of egaltarianism, but there is really no support for it in the known facts. On the contrary, there is every evidence that man emerged from the primordial apes in two or three or even four or five distinct races, and that they survive more or less to this day, despite the wholesale intermingling that has gone on in civilized countries. In many of the isolated backwater of Europe––and of America too, as Appalachia witnesses––the traces of Neanderthal Man are much more evident than those of Cro-Magnon Man, who was vastly his superior. In any chance crowd of Southern Negroes one is bound to note individuals who resemble apes quite as much as they resemble Modern Man, and among the inferior tribes of Africa, say the Bushmen, they are predominant. The same thing is true of any chance crowd of Southern poor whites. It offers individuals so plainly inferior to the common run of Americans that it is hard to imagine them descending wholly from the same stock. ––ibid, section 379.
The Jewish theory that the goyim envy the superior ability of the Jews is not borne out by the facts. Most goyim, in fact, deny that the Jew is superior, and point in evidence to his failure to take the first prizes: he has to be content with the seconds. No Jewish composer has ever come within miles of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms; no Jew has ever challenged the top-flight painters of the world, and no Jewish scientist has equaled Newton, Darwin, Pasteur or Mendel. In the latter bracket such apparent exception as Ehrlich, Freud and Einstein are only apparent. Ehrlich, in fact, contributed less to biochemical fact than to biochemical theory, and most of his theory was dubious. Freud was nine-tenths quack, and there is sound reason for believing that even Einstein will not hold up: in the long run his curved space may be classed with the psychosomatic bumps of Gall and Spurzheim. But whether this inferiority of the Jew is real or only a delusion, it must be manifest that it is generally accepted. The goy does not, in fact, believe that the Jew is better than the non-Jew; the most he will admit is that the Jew is smarter at achieving worldly success. But this he ascribes to sharp practices, not to superior ability. ––ibid, section 407.
Thanks to John Webb.
October 8, 2011 § Leave a comment
Friedrich Nietzsche was an influential German philosopher, whose writings are considered some of the founding works of existentialism.
Nietzsche’s father, a Lutheran minister, died when he was four years old. Six months later, his younger brother also died. These traumatic events shaped Nietzsche’s outlook on life. Another shaping event was his discovery of Schopenhauer’s The World As Will and Representation at age 21; he found Schopenhauer’s view of life, the “cadeverous perfume” of his philosophy, intoxicating. At the age of 24, while attending the University of Leipzig, Nietzsche met Richard Wagner, the German composer. The friendship of these two men was often stormy. Even after their falling-out, Nietzsche viewed their friendship as one of the greatest achievements of his life.
After Nietzsche’s death, his sister, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, popularized his work in the German National Socialist movement. This has led to many misunderstandings about Nietzsche’s philosophy, especially his views on Judaism and Jews. Nietzsche has been portrayed variously as an anti- and philo-semite. The truth, as you can see from the quotes below, is more complicated than either position allows––while he disliked anti-semitic “screamers” and admired certain things about Jewish culture, he detested Jewish “slave morality” as he saw it.
Every nation, every man has disagreeable, even dangerous characteristics; it is cruel to demand that the Jew should be an exception. ––Human, All Too Human, section 475
[T]he youthful Jew of the stock exchange is the most repugnant invention of the whole human race. ––ibid.
The command ‘love your enemies!’ had to be invented by the Jews, the best haters there have ever been… ––Daybreak, section 377.
The man of an age of dissolution which mixes the races with one another, who has the inheritance of a diversified descent in his body––that is to say, contrary, and often not contrary, instincts and standards of value, which struggle with one another and are seldom at peace––such a man of late culture and broken lights, will, on an average, be a weak man: his fundamental desire is that the war which he is should come to an end… ––Beyond Good and Evil, section 200.
What Europe owes to the Jews? Many things, good and bad, and above all one thing that is of the best and of the worst: the grand style in morality, the terribleness and majesty of infinite demands, infinite meanings. ––Beyond Good and Evil, section 250.
I’ve seen proof, black on white, that Herr Dr. Förster has not yet severed his connection with the anti-Semitic movement…Since then I’ve had difficulty coming up with any of the tenderness and protectiveness I’ve so long felt toward you. The separation between us is thereby decided in really the most absurd way. Have you grasped nothing of the reason why I am in the world?…Now it has gone so far that I have to defend myself hand and foot against people who confuse me with these anti-Semitic canaille; after my own sister, my former sister, and after Widemann more recently have given the impetus to this most dire of all confusions. After I read the name Zarathustra in the anti-Semitic Correspondence my forbearance came to an end. I am now in a position of emergency defense against your spouse’s Party. These accursed anti-Semite deformities shall not sully my ideal!! ––from a draft of a letter to his sister, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, December 1887.
Your association with an anti-Semitic chief expresses a foreignness to my whole way of life which fills me again and again with ire or melancholy…It is a matter of honor with me to be absolutely clean and unequivocal in relation to anti-Semitism, namely, opposed to it, as I am in my writings. I have recently been persecuted with letters and Anti-Semitic Correspondence Sheets. My disgust with this party (which would like the benefit of my name only too well!) is as pronounced as possible, but the relation to Förster, as well as the aftereffects of my former publisher, the anti-Semitic Schmeitzner, always brings the adherents of this disagreeable party back to the idea that I must belong to them after all…It arouses mistrust against my character, as if publicly I condemned something which I have favored secretly––and that I am unable to do anything against it, that the name of Zarathustra is used in every Anti-Semitic Correspondence Sheet, has almost made me sick several times. ––from a letter to his sister, Christmas 1887.
Incidentally, the Celts were a thoroughly blond race. People are wrong when they link the traces of a basically dark-haired population, which are noticeable on the carefully prepared ethnographic maps of Germany, with any Celtic origin and mixing of blood, as Virchow does. It is much rather the case that in these places the pre-Aryan population of Germany emerged. (The same is true for almost all of Europe: essentially the conquered races finally attained the upper hand for themselves once again in colour, shortness of skull, perhaps even in the intellectual and social instincts. Who can confirm for us that modern democracy, the even more modern anarchism, and indeed that preference for the “Commune,” for the primitive form of society, which all European socialists now share, does not indicate a monstrous counter-attack and that the ruling and master race, the Aryans, is not being defeated, even physiologically?)––Geneaology of Morals, Essay I, section 5.
At the bottom of all these noble races we cannot fail to recognize the beast of prey, the blond beast splendidly roaming around in its lust for loot and victory. This hidden basis from time to time needs to be discharged: the animal must come out again, must
go back into the wilderness,—Roman, Arab, German, Japanese nobility, Homeric heroes, Scandinavian Vikings—in this need they are all alike.
It was the noble races which left behind the concept of the “barbarian” in all their tracks, wherever they went. A consciousness of and a pride in this fact reveals itself even in their highest culture (for example, when Pericles says to his Athenians, in that famous Funeral Speech, “our audacity has broken a way through to every land and sea, putting up permanent memorials to itself for good and ill.”)—this “audacity” of the noble races, mad, absurd, sudden in the way it expresses itself, its unpredictability, even the improbability of its undertakings—Pericles emphatically praises the mental balance of the Athenians—its indifference to and contempt for safety, body, life, comfort, its fearsome cheerfulness and the depth of its joy in all destruction, in all the physical pleasures of victory and cruelty––everything summed up for those who suffer from such audacity in the image of the “barbarian,” the “evil enemy,” something like the “Goth” or the “Vandal.”
The profound, icy mistrust which the German provokes, as soon as he arrives at power––even at the present time––is always still an aftermathof that inextinguishable horror with which for whole centuries Europe has regarded the wrathof the blonde Teuton beast (although between the old Germans and ourselves there existsscarcely a psychological, let alone a physical, relationship). ––ibid.
There still shines the most important nuance by virtue of which the noble felt themselves to be men of a higher rank. They designate themselves simply by their superiority in power (as “the powerful,” “the masters,” “the commanders”) or by the most clearly visible signs of this superiority, for example, as “the rich,” “the possessors” (this is the meaning of ‘Arya,’ and of corresponding words in Iranian and Slavic). ––ibid.
It was the Jews who, in opposition to the aristocratic equation (good = aristocratic = beautiful = happy = loved by the gods), dared with a terrifying logic to suggest the contrary equation, and indeed to maintain with the teeth of the most profound hatred (the hatred of weakness) this contrary equation, namely, “the wretched are alone the good; the suffering,the needy, the sick, the loathsome, are the only ones who are pious, the only ones whoare blessed, for them alone is salvation––but you, on the other hand, you aristocrats,you men of power, you are to all eternity the evil, the horrible, the covetous, the insatiate,the godless; eternally also shall you be the unblessed, the cursed, the damned! ––ibid, Essay I, section 7.
Assuming…that it is precisely the purpose of all culture to breed a tame and civilized animal, a domestic pet, out of the beast of prey “man,” then we would undoubtedly have to consider the essential instruments of culture all those instinctive reactions and resentments by means of which the noble races with all their ideals were finally disgraced and overpowered––but that would not be to claim that the bearers of these instincts also in themselves represented culture. It would much rather be the case that the opposite is not only probable—no! nowadays it is visibly apparent. These people carrying instincts for oppression and a lust for revenge, the descendants of all European and non-European slavery, and all pre-Aryan populations in particular, represent the regression of mankind! These “instruments of culture” are a disgrace to humanity, more a reason to be suspicious of or a counterargument against “culture” in general! ––ibid, Essay I, Section 11
That every will must consider every other will its equal––would be a principle hostile to life, an agent of the dissolution and destruction of man, an attempt to assassinate the future of man, a sign of weariness, a secret path to nothingness. ––ibid, Essay II, Section 11
I also do not like these latest speculators in idealism, the anti-Semites, who today roll their eyes in a Christian-Aryan-bourgeois manner and exhaust one’s patience by trying to rouse up all the horned-beast elements in people by abusing the cheapest
forms of agitation, in a way that exhausts my patience. ––ibid, Essay III, section 26.
Already in the summer of 1876, when the first festival at Bayreuth was at its height, I took leave of Wagner in my soul. I cannot endure anything double-faced. Since Wagner had returned to Germany, he had condescended step by step to everything that I despise––even to anti-Semitism. ––”How I Got Rid of Wagner,” from Nietzsche Contra Wagner
That which is un-German in Wagner. He lacks the German charm and grace of a Beethoven, a Mozart, a Weber; he also lacks the flowing, cheerful fire (Allegro con brio) of Beethoven and Weber. He cannot be free and easy without being grotesque. He lacks modesty, indulges in big drums, and always tends to surcharge his effect. He is not the good official that Bach was. Neither has he that Goethean calm in regard to his rivals. ––aphorism 36, from “Selected Aphorisms from Nietzsche’s Retrospect of His Years With Wagner.”
Terrible wildness, abject sorrow, emptiness, the shudder of joy, unexpectedness,—in short all the qualities peculiar to the Semitic race! I believe that the Jews approach Wagner’s art with more understanding than the Aryans do. ––aphorism 38, ibid.
One pays heavily for coming to power: power makes stupid. The Germans–once they were called the people of thinkers: do they think at all today? The Germans are now bored with the spirit, the Germans now mistrust the spirit; politics swallows up all serious concern for really spiritual matters. Deutschland, Deutschland über alles––I fear that was the end of German philosophy. ––”What the Germans Lack,” 1888.
What the German spirit might be–who has not had his melancholy ideas about that! But this people has deliberately made itself stupid, for nearly a millennium: nowhere have the two great European narcotics, alcohol and Christianity, been abused more dissolutely. Recently even a third has been added––one that alone would be suffficient to dispatch all fine and bold flexibility of the spirit––music, our constipated, constipating German music. ––ibid.
[H]ow much beer there is in the German intelligence! How is it at all possible that young men who dedicate their lives to the most spiritual goals do not feel the first instinct of spirituality, the spirit’s instinct of self-preservation––and drink beer? ––ibid.
I was speaking of the German spirit: it is becoming cruder, it is becoming shallower. Is that enough? At bottom, it is something quite different that alarms me: how German seriousness, German depth, German passion in spiritual matters are declining more and more. The verve has changed, not just the intellectuality. Here and there I come into contact with German universities: what an atmosphere prevails among their scholars, what desolate spirituality––and how contented and lukewarm it has become! ––ibid.
Culture and the state–one should not deceive one-self about this–are antagonists: “Kultur-Staat” is merely a modern idea. One lives off the other, one thrives at the expense of the other. All great ages of culture are ages of political decline: what is great culturally has always been unpolitical, even anti-political. Goethe’s heart opened at the phenomenon of Napoleon–it closed at the “Wars of Liberation.” At the same moment when Germany comes up as a great power, France gains a new importance as a cultural power. ––ibid.
Who among Germans still knows from experience the delicate shudder which light feet in spiritual matters send into every muscle? The stiff clumsiness of the spiritual gesture, the bungling hand at grasping–that is German to such a degree that abroad one mistakes it for the German character as such. The German has no fingers for nuances. ––ibid.
it is the hatred of the free and self-respecting orders for those who are pushing, and who combine timid and awkward gestures with an absurd opinion of their [own] worth. ––Will to Power, section 186.
A declaration of war on the masses by higher men is needed!…Everything that makes soft and effeminate, that serves the end of the people or the feminine, works in favor of universal suffrage, i.e. the domination of the inferior men. But we should take reprisal and bring this whole affair to light and the bar of judgment. ––ibid, section 864.
The homogenizing of European man…requires a justification: it lies in serving a higher sovereign species that stands upon the former which can raise itself to its task only by doing this. Not merely a master race whose sole task is to rule, but a race with its own sphere of life, with an excess of strength … strong enough to have no need of the tyranny of the virtue-imperative. ––ibid, section 898.
When one speaks of “aristocrats of the spirit,” reasons are usually not lacking for concealing something. As is well known, it is a favorite term among ambitious Jews. For spirit alone does not make noble. Rather, there must be something to ennoble the spirit. What then is required? Blood. ––ibid, section 942.
The doctrine of equality!…there is no more venomous poison in existence: for it appears to be preached by justice itself, when it is actually the end of justice…”Equality to the equal; inequality to the unequal” — that would be true justice speaking: and its corollary, “never make the unequal equal.” ––Expeditions of an Untimely Man, from Twilight of the Idols
The Jews are the most remarkable nation of world history because, faced with the question of being or not being, they preferred…being at any price: the price they had to pay was the radical falsification of all nature, all naturalness, all reality, the entire inner world as well as the outer…Considered psychologically, the Jewish nation is a nation of the toughest vital energy which…took the side of all décadence instincts––not as being dominated by them but because it divined in them a power by means of which one can prevail against ‘the world.’ The Jews are the counterparts of décadents: they have been compelled to act as décadents to the point of illusion…[T]his kind of man has a life-interest in making mankind sick, and in inverting the concepts of ‘good’ and ‘evil,’ ‘true’ and ‘false’ in a mortally dangerous and world-maligning sense. ––The Antichrist, section 24.
As an artistic triumph in psychological corruption … the Gospels, in fact, stand alone … Here we are among Jews: this is the first thing to be borne in mind if we are not to lose the thread of the matter. This positive genius for conjuring up a delusion of personal “holiness” unmatched anywhere else, either in books or by men; this elevation of fraud in word and attitude to the level of an art — all this is not an accident due to the chance talents of an individual, or to any violation of nature. The thing responsible is race. ––ibid, section 44.
One would as little choose early Christians for companions as Polish Jews: not that one need seek out an objection to them––neither has a pleasant smell. ––ibid, section 46.
The God that Paul invented for himself, a God who “reduced to absurdity” “the wisdom of this world” (especially the two great enemies of superstition, philology and medicine), is in truth only an indication of Paul’s resolute determination to accomplish that very thing himself: to give one’s own will the name of God, Torah — that is essentially Jewish. ––ibid, section 47.
Christianity destroyed for us the whole harvest of ancient civilization, and later it also destroyed for us the whole harvest of Mohammedan civilization. The wonderful culture of the Moors in Spain, which was fundamentally nearer to us and appealed more to our senses and tastes than that of Rome and Greece, was trampled down…Why? Because it had to thank noble and manly instincts for its origin—because it said yes to life, even to the rare and refined luxuriousness of Moorish life!…Intrinsically there should be no more choice between Islam and Christianity than there is between an Arab and a Jew. The decision is already reached; nobody remains at liberty to choose here. Either a man is a Chandala or he is not. ––ibid, section 60.
October 8, 2011 § Leave a comment
George Orwell was an English author, essayist and social critic. Today, he is most known for two of his novels, Animal Farm and 1984.
After attending a wretched boarding school (described in his essay “Such, Such Were the Joys,”), Orwell entered the civil service in his early twenties. This experience cemented his anti-imperialist convictions. Later, Orwell fought in the Spanish Civil War on the side of the anarchists and socialists. He achieved worldwide fame after the publication of Animal Farm in 1945; his last book, 1984, was published seven months before his death.
During the interwar years, and even during World War II, many left-wing British intellectuals viewed the Soviet Union as a blossoming worker’s paradise, and turned a blind eye to the atrocities committed there. This disgusted Orwell. In his proposed preface to Animal Farm, “The Freedom of the Press,” he describes this attitude:
At this moment what is demanded by the prevailing orthodoxy is an uncritical admiration of Soviet Russia. Everyone knows this, nearly everyone acts on it. Any serious criticism of the Soviet régime, any disclosure of facts which the Soviet government would prefer to keep hidden, is next door to unprintable. And this nation-wide conspiracy to flatter our ally takes place, curiously enough, against a background of genuine intellectual tolerance…So long as the prestige of the USSR is not involved, the principle of free speech has been reasonably well upheld. There are other forbidden topics, and I shall mention some of them presently, but the prevailing attitude towards the USSR is much the most serious symptom. It is, as it were, spontaneous, and is not due to the action of any pressure group.
A lifelong socialist, Orwell believed in human equality, though he never defined it. I would guess that, for him, equality entailed an acknowledgment of our common humanity––though I cannot know this. I will leave it to the reader’s discretion to judge Orwell’s ideas, based on the excerpts below.
It was about forty yards to the gallows. I watched the bare brown back of the prisoner marching in front of me. He walked clumsily with his bound arms, but quite steadily, with that bobbing gait of the Indian who never straightens his knees. At each step his muscles slid neatly into place, the lock of hair on his scalp danced up and down, his feet printed themselves on the wet gravel. And once, in spite of the men who gripped him by each shoulder, he stepped slightly aside to avoid a puddle on the path.
It is curious, but till that moment I had never realized what it means to destroy a healthy, conscious man. When I saw the prisoner step aside to avoid the puddle, I saw the mystery, the unspeakable wrongness, of cutting a life short when it is in full tide. This man was not dying, he was alive just as we were alive. All the organs of his body were working — bowels digesting food, skin renewing itself, nails growing, tissues forming — all toiling away in solemn foolery. His nails would still be growing when he stood on the drop, when he was falling through the air with a tenth of a second to live. His eyes saw the yellow gravel and the grey walls, and his brain still remembered, foresaw, reasoned — reasoned even about puddles. He and we were a party of men walking together, seeing, hearing, feeling, understanding the same world; and in two minutes, with a sudden snap, one of us would be gone — one mind less, one world less. ––”A Hanging,” 1931.
In Moulmein, in Lower Burma, I was hated by large numbers of people — the only time in my life that I have been important enough for this to happen to me. I was sub-divisional police officer of the town, and in an aimless, petty kind of way anti-European feeling was very bitter. No one had the guts to raise a riot, but if a European woman went through the bazaars alone somebody would probably spit betel juice over her dress. ––”Shooting an Elephant,” 1936.
With one part of my mind I thought of the British Raj as an unbreakable tyranny, as something clamped down, in saecula saeculorum, upon the will of prostrate peoples; with another part I thought that the greatest joy in the world would be to drive a bayonet into a Buddhist priest’s guts. Feelings like these are the normal by-products of imperialism; ask any Anglo-Indian official, if you can catch him off duty. ––ibid.
And it was at this moment, as I stood there with the rifle in my hands, that I first grasped the hollowness, the futility of the white man’s dominion in the East. Here was I, the white man with his gun, standing in front of the unarmed native crowd — seemingly the leading actor of the piece; but in reality I was only an absurd puppet pushed to and fro by the will of those yellow faces behind. I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys. ––ibid.
A shabby genteel family is in much the same position as a family of ‘poor whites’ living in a street where everyone else is a Negro. In such circumstances you have got to cling to your gentility because it is the only thing you have; and meanwhile you are hated for your stuck-up-ness and for the accent and manners which stamp you as one of the boss class. ––The Road to Wigan Pier, 1937.
The Spaniards are good at many things, but not at making war. All foreigners alike are appalled by their inefficiency, above all their maddening unpunctuality. The one Spanish word that no foreigner can avoid learning ismañana — ‘tomorrow’ (literally, ‘the morning’). Whenever it is conceivably possible, the business of today is put off until mañana. This is so notorious that even the Spaniards themselves make jokes about it. In Spain nothing, from a meal to a battle, ever happens at the appointed time. As a general rule things happen too late, but just occasionally — just so that you shan’t even be able to depend on their happening late — they happen too early. A train which is due to leave at eight will normally leave at any time between nine and ten, but perhaps once a week, thanks to some private whim of the engine-driver, it leaves at half past seven. Such things can be a little trying. In theory I rather admire the Spaniards for not sharing our Northern time-neurosis; but unfortunately I share it myself. ––Homage to Catalonia, 1938.
A Spaniard’s generosity, in the ordinary sense of the word, is at times almost embarrassing. If you ask him for a cigarette he will force the whole packet upon you. And beyond this there is generosity in a deeper sense, a real largeness of spirit, which I have met with again and again in the most unpromising circumstances. Some of the journalists and other foreigners who travelled in Spain during the war have declared that in secret the Spaniards were bitterly jealous of foreign aid. All I can say is that I never observed anything of the kind. I remember that a few days before I left the barracks a group of men returned on leave from the front. They were talking excitedly about their experiences and were full of enthusiasm for some French troops who had been next to them at Huesca. The French were very brave, they said; adding enthusiastically: ‘Más valientes que nosotros’ — ‘Braver than we are!’ Of course I demurred, whereupon they explained that the French knew more of the art of war — were more expert with bombs, machine-guns, and so forth. Yet the remark was significant. An Englishman would cut his hand off sooner than say a thing like that. ––ibid.
Nothing will convince a Spaniard, at least a young Spaniard, that fire-arms are dangerous. Once, rather later than this, I was photographing some machine-gunners with their gun, which was pointed directly towards me.
‘Don’t fire,’ I said half-jokingly as I focused the camera.
‘Oh no, we won’t fire.’
The next moment there was a frightful roar and a stream of bullets tore past my face so close that my cheek was stung by grains of cordite. It was unintentional, but the machine-gunners considered it a great joke. Yet only a few days earlier they had seen a mule-driver accidentally shot by a political delegate who was playing the fool with an automatic pistol and had put five bullets in the mule-driver’s lungs. ––ibid.
I have the most evil memories of Spain, but I have very few bad memories of Spaniards. I only twice remember even being seriously angry with a Spaniard, and on each occasion, when I look back, I believe I was in the wrong myself. They have, there is no doubt, a generosity, a species of nobility, that do not really belong to the twentieth century. ––ibid.
When you walk through a town like [Marrakech] — two hundred thousand inhabitants, of whom at least twenty thousand own literally nothing except the rags they stand up in — when you see how the people live, and still more how easily they die, it is always difficult to believe that you are walking among human beings. All colonial empires are in reality founded upon that fact. The people have brown faces — besides, there are so many of them! Are they really the same flesh as yourself? Do they even have names? Or are they merely a kind of undifferentiated brown stuff, about as individual as bees or coral insects? They rise out of the earth, they sweat and starve for a few years, and then they sink back into the nameless mounds of the graveyard and nobody notices that they are gone. And even the graves themselves soon fade back into the soil. Sometimes, out for a walk, as you break your way through the prickly pear, you notice that it is rather bumpy underfoot, and only a certain regularity in the bumps tells you that you are walking over skeletons. ––”Marrakech,” 1939.
When you go through the Jewish quarters you gather some idea of what the medieval ghettoes were probably like. Under their Moorish rulers the Jews were only allowed to own land in certain restricted areas, and after centuries of this kind of treatment they have ceased to bother about overcrowding. Many of the streets are a good deal less than six feet wide, the houses are completely windowless, and sore-eyed children cluster everywhere in unbelievable numbers, like clouds of flies. Down the centre of the street there is generally running a little river of urine…
As the Jews live in self-contained communities they follow the same trades as the Arabs, except for agriculture. Fruit-sellers, potters, silversmiths, blacksmiths, butchers, leather-workers, tailors, water-carriers, beggars, porters — whichever way you look you see nothing but Jews. As a matter of fact there are thirteen thousand of them, all living in the space of a few acres. A good job Hitler isn’t here. Perhaps he is on his way, however. You hear the usual dark rumours about the Jews, not only from the Arabs but from the poorer Europeans.
‘Yes, mon vieux, they took my job away from me and gave it to a Jew. The Jews! They’re the real rulers of this country, you know. They’ve got all the money. They control the banks, finance — everything.’
‘But,’ I said, ‘isn’t it a fact that the average Jew is a labourer working for about a penny an hour?’
‘Ah, that’s only for show! They’re all money-lenders really. They’re cunning, the Jews.’
In just the same way, a couple of hundred years ago, poor old women used to be burned for witchcraft when they could not even work enough magic to get themselves a square meal. ––ibid.
In northern Europe, when you see a labourer ploughing a field, you probably give him a second glance. In a hot country, anywhere south of Gibraltar or east of Suez, the chances are that you don’t even see him. I have noticed this again and again. In a tropical landscape one’s eye takes in everything except the human beings. It takes in the dried-up soil, the prickly pear, the palm-tree and the distant mountain, but it always misses the peasant hoeing at his patch. He is the same colour as the earth, and a great deal less interesting to look at.
It is only because of this that the starved countries of Asia and Africa are accepted as tourist resorts. No one would think of running cheap trips to the Distressed Areas. But where the human beings have brown skins their poverty is simply not noticed. What does Morocco mean to a Frenchman? An orange-grove or a job in government service. Or to an Englishman? Camels, castles, palm-trees, Foreign Legionnaires, brass trays and bandits. One could probably live here for years without noticing that for nine-tenths of the people the reality of life is an endless, back-breaking struggle to wring a little food out of an eroded soil. ––ibid.
For several weeks, always at about the same time of day, the file of old women had hobbled past the house with their firewood, and though they had registered themselves on my eyeballs I cannot truly say that I had seen them. Firewood was passing — that was how I saw it. It was only that one day I happened to be walking behind them, and the curious up-and-down motion of a load of wood drew my attention to the human being underneath it. Then for the first time I noticed the poor old earth-coloured bodies, bodies reduced to bones and leathery skin, bent double under the crushing weight. Yet I suppose I had not been five minutes on Moroccan soil before I noticed the overloading of the donkeys and was infuriated by it…The Moroccan donkey is hardly bigger than a St Bernard dog, it carries a load which in the British army would be considered too much for a fifteen-hands mule, and very often its pack-saddle is not taken off its back for weeks together. But what is peculiarly pitiful is that it is the most willing creature on earth, it follows its master like a dog and does not need either bridle or halter. After a dozen years of devoted work it suddenly drops dead, whereupon its master tips it into the ditch and the village dogs have torn its guts out before it is cold.
This kind of thing makes one’s blood boil, whereas — on the whole — the plight of the human beings does not. I am not commenting, merely pointing to a fact. People with brown skins are next door to invisible. Anyone can be sorry for the donkey with its galled back, but it is generally owing to some kind of accident if one even notices the old woman under her load of sticks. ––ibid.
They were Senegalese, the blackest Negroes in Africa, so black that sometimes it is difficult to see whereabouts on their necks the hair begins. Their splendid bodies were hidden in reach-me-down khaki uniforms, their feet squashed into boots that looked like blocks of wood, and every tin hat seemed to be a couple of sizes too small. It was very hot and the men had marched a long way. They slumped under the weight of their packs and the curiously sensitive black faces were glistening with sweat.
As they went past a tall, very young Negro turned and caught my eye. But the look he gave me was not in the least the kind of look you might expect. Not hostile, not contemptuous, not sullen, not even inquisitive. It was the shy, wide-eyed Negro look, which actually is a look of profound respect. I saw how it was. This wretched boy, who is a French citizen and has therefore been dragged from the forest to scrub floors and catch syphilis in garrison towns, actually has feelings of reverence before a white skin. He has been taught that the white race are his masters, and he still believes it.
But there is one thought which every white man (and in this connection it doesn’t matter twopence if he calls himself a Socialist) thinks when he sees a black army marching past. ‘How much longer can we go on kidding these people? How long before they tum their guns in the other direction?’ ––ibid.
Here and there in the book [Union Now by George Streit], though not often, there are references to the ‘dependencies’ of the democratic states. ‘Dependencies’ means subject races…one begins to see what would really be happening if Mr Streit’s scheme were put into operation. The British and French empires, with their six hundred million disenfranchised human beings, would simply be receiving fresh police forces; the huge strength of the USA would be behind the robbery of India and Africa. Mr Streit is letting cats out of bags, but all phrases like ‘Peace Bloc’, ‘Peace Front’, etc contain some such implication; all imply a tightening-up of the existing structure. The unspoken clause is always ‘not counting niggers.’ For how can we make a ‘firm stand’ against Hitler if we are simultaneously weakening ourselves at home? In other words, how can we ‘fight Fascism’ except by bolstering up a far vaster injustice? ––”Not Counting Niggers,” 1939.
It is quite common for an Indian coolie’s leg to be thinner than the average Englishman’s arm. And there is nothing racial in this, for well-fed members of the same races are of normal physique; it is due to simple starvation. This is the system which we all live on and which we denounce when there seems to be no danger of its being altered. Of late, however, it has become the first duty of a ‘good anti-Fascist’ to lie about it and help to keep it in being. ––ibid.
When you come back to England from any foreign country, you have immediately the sensation of breathing a different air. Even in the first few minutes dozens of small things conspire to give you this feeling. The beer is bitterer, the coins are heavier, the grass is greener, the advertisements are more blatant. The crowds in the big towns, with their mild knobby faces, their bad teeth and gentle manners, are different from a European crowd. Then the vastness of England swallows you up, and you lose for a while your feeling that the whole nation has a single identifiable character. Are there really such things as nations? Are we not forty-six million individuals, all different? And the diversity of it, the chaos! The clatter of clogs in the Lancashire mill towns, the to-and-fro of the lorries on the Great North Road, the queues outside the Labour Exchanges, the rattle of pin-tables in the Soho pubs, the old maids hiking to Holy Communion through the mists of the autumn morning – all these are not only fragments, but characteristic fragments, of the English scene. How can one make a pattern out of this muddle?
But talk to foreigners, read foreign books or newspapers, and you are brought back to the same thought. Yes, there is something distinctive and recognizable in English civilization. It is a culture as individual as that of Spain. It is somehow bound up with solid breakfasts and gloomy Sundays, smoky towns and winding roads, green fields and red pillar-boxes. It has a flavour of its own. Moreover it is continuous, it stretches into the future and the past, there is something in it that persists, as in a living creature…
And above all, it is your civilization, it is you. However much you hate it or laugh at it, you will never be happy away from it for any length of time. The suet puddings and the red pillar-boxes have entered into your soul. Good or evil, it is yours, you belong to it, and this side the grave you will never get away from the marks that it has given you. ––”England Your England,” 1941.
It is quite true that the so-called races of Britain feel themselves to be very different from one another. A Scotsman, for instance, does not thank you if you call him an Englishman…But somehow these differences fade away the moment that any two Britons are confronted by a European. It is very rare to meet a foreigner, other than an American, who can distinguish between English and Scots or even English and Irish. To a Frenchman, the Breton and the Auvergnat seem very different beings, and the accent of Marseilles is a stock joke in Paris. Yet we speak of ‘France’ and ‘the French’, recognizing France as an entity, a single civilization, which in fact it is. So also with ourselves. Looked at from the outsider even the cockney and the Yorkshireman have a strong family resemblance. ––ibid.
In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution, from horse racing to suet puddings. It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during ‘God save the King’ than of stealing from a poor box. ––ibid.
The whole English-speaking world is haunted by the idea of human equality, and though it would be simply a lie to say that either we or the Americans have ever acted up to our professions, still, the idea is there, and it is capable of one day becoming a reality. From the English-speaking culture, if it does not perish, a society of free and equal human beings will ultimately arise. But it is precisely the idea of human equality – the ‘Jewish’ or ‘Judaeo-Christian’ idea of equality – that Hitler came into the world to destroy. He has, heaven knows, said so often enough. The thought of a world in which black men would be as good as white men and Jews treated as human beings brings him the same horror and despair as the thought of endless slavery brings to us. ––”The English Revolution,” 1941.
There is no kind of legal disability against coloured people in this country, and, what is more, there I is very little popular colour feeling. (This is not due to any inherent virtue in the British people, as our behaviour in India shows. It is due to the fact that in Britain itself there is no colour problem.) ––from the “As I Please” column in the Tribune, August 11, 1944.
[A]bove a certain intellectual level people are ashamed of being anti-semitic and are careful to draw a distinction between “anti-semitism” and “disliking Jews”. [Also,] anti-semitism is an irrational thing. The Jews are accused of specific offences (for instance, bad behaviour in food queues) which the person speaking feels strongly about, but it is obvious that these accusations merely rationalise some deep-rooted prejudice. To attempt to counter them with facts and statistics is useless, and may sometimes be worse than useless…people can remain anti-semitic, or at least anti-Jewish, while being fully aware that their outlook is indefensible. If you dislike somebody, you dislike him and there is an end of it: your feelings are not made any better by a recital of his virtues. ––”Anti-semitism in Britain,” 1945.
Whenever I have touched on [anti-semitism] in a newspaper article, I have always had a considerable “come-back”, and invariably some of the letters are from well-balanced, middling people — doctors, for example — with no apparent economic grievance. These people always say (as Hitler says in Mein Kampf) that they started out with no anti-Jewish prejudice but were driven into their present position by mere observation of the facts. Yet one of the marks of anti-semitism is an ability to believe stories that could not possibly be true. One could see a good example of this in the strange accident that occurred in London in 1942, when a crowd, frightened by a bomb-burst nearby, fled into the mouth of an Underground station, with the result that something over a hundred people were crushed to death. The very same day it was repeated all over London that “the Jews were responsible”. Clearly, if people will believe this kind of thing, one will not get much further by arguing with them. The only useful approach is to discover why they can swallow absurdities on one particular subject while remaining sane on others. ––ibid.
People will go to remarkable lengths to demonstrate that they are not anti-semitic. Thus, in 1943 an intercession service on behalf of the Polish Jews was held in a synagogue in St John’s Wood…the service was attended by the mayor of the borough in his robes and chain, by representatives of all the churches, and by detachments of RAF, Home Guards, nurses, Boy Scouts and what not. On the surface it was a touching demonstration of solidarity with the suffering Jews. But it was essentially a conscious effort to behave decently by people whose subjective feelings must in many cases have been very different. That quarter of London is partly Jewish, anti-semitism is rife there, and, as I well knew, some of the men sitting round me in the synagogue were tinged by it. Indeed, the commander of my own platoon of Home Guards, who had been especially keen beforehand that we should “make a good show” at the intercession service, was an ex-member of Mosley’s Blackshirts. ––ibid.
One effect of the persecutions in Germany has been to prevent anti-semitism from being seriously studied…After 1934 the Jew joke disappeared as though by magic from postcards, periodicals and the music-hall stage, and to put an unsympathetic Jewish character into a novel or short story came to be regarded as anti-semitism. On the Palestine issue, too, it was De Rigueur among enlightened people to accept the Jewish case as proved and avoid examining the claims of the Arabs––a decision which might be correct on its own merits, but which was adopted primarily because the Jews were in trouble and it was felt that one must not criticise them. Thanks to Hitler, therefore, you had a situation in which the press was in effect censored in favour of the Jews while in private anti-semitism was on the up-grade, even, to some extent, among sensitive and intelligent people. ––ibid.
Higher up the intellectual scale, anti-semitism is rationalised by saying that the Jew is a person who spreads disaffection and weakens national morale. Again there is some superficial justification for this. During the past twenty-five years the activities of what are called “intellectuals” have been largely mischievous. I do not think it an exaggeration to say that if the “intellectuals” had done their work a little more thoroughly, Britain would have surrendered in 1940. But the disaffected intelligentsia inevitably included a large number of Jews. With some plausibility it can be said that the Jews are the enemies of our native culture and our national morale. Carefully examined, the claim is seen to be nonsense, but there are always a few prominent individuals who can be cited in support of it. ––ibid.
Anti-semitism is only one manifestation of nationalism, and not everyone will have the disease in that particular form. A Jew, for example, would not be anti-semitic: but then many Zionist Jews seem to me to be merely anti-semites turned upside-down, just as many Indians and Negroes display the normal colour prejudices in an inverted form. The point is that something, some psychological vitamin, is lacking in modern civilisation, and as a result we are all more or less subject to this lunacy of believing that whole races or nations are mysteriously good or mysteriously evil. ––ibid.
With the same air of working himself up into a fury — indeed he was almost dancing up and down as he spoke — the Jew told us the prisoner’s history. He was a ‘real’ Nazi: his party number indicated that he had been a member since the very early days…It could be taken as quite certain that he had had charge of concentration camps and had presided over tortures and hangings. In short, he represented everything that we had been fighting against during the past five years.
Meanwhile, I was studying [the prisoner's] appearance. Quite apart from the scrubby, unfed, unshaven look that a newly captured man generally has, he was a disgusting specimen. But he did not look brutal or in any way frightening: merely neurotic and, in a low way, intellectual. His pale, shifty eyes were deformed by powerful spectacles. He could have been an unfrocked clergyman, an actor ruined by drink, or a spiritualist medium. I have seen very similar people in London common lodging houses, and also in the Reading Room of the British Museum. Quite obviously he was mentally unbalanced — indeed, only doubtfully sane, though at this moment sufficiently in his right mind to be frightened of getting another kick. And yet everything that the Jew was telling me of his history could have been true, and probably was true! So the Nazi torturer of one’s imagination, the monstrous figure against whom one had struggled for so many years, dwindled to this pitiful wretch, whose obvious need was not for punishment, but for some kind of psychological treatment…
It is absurd to blame any German or Austrian Jew for getting his own back on the Nazis. Heaven knows what scores this particular man may have had to wipe out; very likely his whole family had been murdered; and after all, even a wanton kick to a prisoner is a very tiny thing compared with the outrages committed by the Hitler regime. But what this scene, and much else that I saw in Germany, brought home to me was that the whole idea of revenge and punishment is a childish daydream. Properly speaking, there is no such thing as revenge. Revenge is an act which you want to commit when you are powerless and because you are powerless: as soon as the sense of impotence is removed, the desire evaporates also. ––”Revenge is Sour,” 1945.
A few hours after Stuttgart was captured by the French army, a Belgian journalist and myself entered the town, which was still in some disorder…All the main bridges into town had been blown up, and we had to enter by a small footbridge which the Germans had evidently made efforts to defend. A dead German soldier was lying supine at the foot of the steps. His face was a waxy yellow. On his breast someone had laid a bunch of the lilac which was blooming everywhere.
The Belgian averted his face as we went past. When we were well over the bridge he confided to me that this was the first time he had seen a dead man. I suppose he was thirty five years old, and for four years he had been doing war propaganda over the radio. For several days after this, his attitude was quite different from what it had been earlier. He looked with disgust at the bomb-wrecked town and the humiliation the Germans were undergoing, and even on one occasion intervened to prevent a particularly bad bit of looting. When he left, he gave the residue of the coffee we had brought with us to the Germans on whom we were billeted. A week earlier he would probably have been scandalized at the idea of giving coffee to a ‘Boche’. But his feelings, he told me, had undergone a change at the sight of ce pauvre mort beside the bridge: it had suddenly brought home to him the meaning of war. And yet, if we had happened to enter the town by another route, he might have been spared the experience of seeing one corpse out of the — perhaps — twenty million that the war has produced. ––ibid.
To this day, the majority of people argue — the argument is variously expressed, but always boils down to more or less the same thing — that large families are impossible for economic reasons. At the same time, it is widely known that the birthrate is highest among the low-standard nations, and, in our population, highest among the worst-paid groups. It is also argued that a smaller population would mean less unemployment and more comfort for everybody, while on the other hand it is well established that a dwindling and ageing population is faced with calamitous and perhaps insoluble economic problems…Since, for complex reasons, most people don’t want large families, the frightening facts can exist some where or other in their consciousness, simultaneously known and not known. ––”In Front of Your Nose,” 1946.
The point is that we are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield. ––ibid.
When one looks at the all-prevailing schizophrenia of democratic societies, the lies that have to be told for vote-catching purposes, the silence about major issues, the distortions of the press, it is tempting to believe that in totalitarian countries there is less humbug, more facing of the facts. There, at least, the ruling groups are not dependent on popular favour and can utter the truth crudely and brutally. Goering could say ‘Guns before butter’, while his democratic opposite numbers had to wrap the same sentiment up in hundreds of hypocritical words.
Actually, however, the avoidance of reality is much the same everywhere, and has much the same consequences. The Russian people were taught for years that they were better off than everybody else, and propaganda posters showed Russian families sitting down to abundant meal while the proletariat of other countries starved in the gutter…Then, as a result of the war, millions of ordinary Russians penetrated far into Europe, and when they return home the original avoidance of reality will inevitably be paid for in frictions of various kinds. The Germans and the Japanese lost the war quite largely because their rulers were unable to see facts which were plain to any dispassionate eye. ––ibid.
The thing that now hits one in the eye in reading Trilby is its anti-semitism…Apart from the fact that Svengali‘s vanity, treacherousness, selfishness, personal uncleanliness and so forth are constantly connected with the fact that he is a Jew, there are the illustrations. Du Maurier, better known for his drawings in Punch than for his writings, illustrated his own book, and he made Svengali into a sinister caricature of the traditional type. But what is most interesting is the divergence of the anti-semitism of that date — 1895, the period of the Dreyfus Case — and that of today.
…du Maurier evidently holds that there are two kinds of Jew, good ones and bad ones, and that there is a racial difference between them. There enters briefly into the story another Jew, Glorioli, who possesses all the virtues and qualities that Svengali lacks. Glorioli is ‘one of the Sephardim’ — of Spanish extraction, that is — whereas Svengali, who comes from German Poland, is ‘an oriental Israelite Hebrew Jew.’ Secondly du Maurier considers that to have a dash of Jewish blood is an advantage. We are told that the hero, Little Billee, may have had some Jewish blood, of which there was a suggestion in his features, and ‘fortunately for the world, and especially for ourselves, most of us have in our veins at least a minimum of that precious fluid.’ Clearly, this is not the Nazi form of anti-semitism.
It is queer how freely du Maurier admits that Svengali is more gifted than the three Englishmen, even than Little Billee, who is represented, unconvincingly, as a brilliant painter. Svengali has ‘genius’, but the others have ‘character,’ and ‘character’ is what matters. It is the attitude of the rugger-playing prefect towards the spectacled ‘swot’, and it was probably the normal attitude towards Jews at that time. They were natural inferiors, but of course they were cleverer, more sensitive and more artistic than ourselves so such qualities are of secondary importance. Nowadays, the English are less sure of themselves, less confident that stupidity always wins in the end, and the prevailing form of anti-semitism has changed, not altogether for the better. ––From the “As I Please” column in the Tribune, December 6, 1946.
The USSR must in practice be somewhat anti-semitic, as it is opposed both to Zionism within its own borders and on the other hand to the liberalism and internationalism of the non-Zionist Jews, but a polyglot state of that kind can never be officially anti-semitic, in the Nazi manner, just as the British Empire cannot. If you try to tie up Communism with anti-semitism, it is always possible in reply to point to people like Kaganovich or Anna Pauleer, also to the large number of Jews in the Communist parties everywhere. I also think it is bad policy to try to curry favour with your enemies. The Zionists Jews everywhere hate us and regard Britain as the enemy, more even than Germany. Of course this is based on misunderstanding, but as long as it is so I do not think we do ourselves any good by denouncing anti-semitism in other nations. ––letter to Celia Kerwin, April 6, 1949.
The child of Inner Party parents is in theory not born into the Inner Party. Admission to either branch of the Party is by examination, taken at the age of sixteen. Nor is there any racial discrimination, or any marked domination of one province by another. Jews, Negroes, South Americans of pure Indian blood are to be found in the highest ranks of the Party, and the administrators of any area are always drawn from the inhabitants of that area. In no part of Oceania do the inhabitants have the feeling that they are a colonial population ruled from a distant capital. Oceania has no capital, and its titular head is a person whose whereabouts nobody knows. Except that English is its chief lingua franca and Newspeak its official language, it is not centralized in any way. Its rulers are not held together by blood-ties but by adherence to a common doctrine. ––1984, 1949.
The birds sang, the proles sang. the Party did not sing. All round the world, in London and New York, in Africa and Brazil, and in the mysterious, forbidden lands beyond the frontiers, in the streets of Paris and Berlin, in the villages of the endless Russian plain, in the bazaars of China and Japan — everywhere stood the same solid unconquerable ﬁgure, made monstrous by work and childbearing, toiling from birth to death and still singing. Out of those mighty loins a race of conscious beings must one day come. You were the dead, theirs was the future. But you could share in that future if you kept alive the mind as they kept alive the body, and passed on the secret doctrine that two plus two make four. ––ibid.
Thanks to Orwell.ru.
October 4, 2011 § Leave a comment
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States. He was also one of the founders of the University of Virginia, which is still sometimes called “Mr. Jefferson’s University.”
Jefferson spoke five languages, including Latin, Greek and French. A voracious reader, Jefferson amassed a huge collection of books at his home, Monticello. He and his wife had six children, only one of whom lived to see age 25.
One of Jefferson’s slaves, Sally Hemmings, had several children with light skin and Jeffersonian features. While Thomas might have fathered them, his brother Randolph and his nephews Peter and Samuel Carr, are also possible fathers. Genetic tests show that a Jefferson fathered Hemmings’ children, though it’s not known which one.
It will probably be asked, Why not retain and incorporate the blacks into the state, and thus save the expence of supplying, by importation of white settlers, the vacancies they will leave? Deep rooted prejudices entertained by the whites; ten thousand recollections, by the blacks, of the injuries they have sustained; new provocations; the real distinctions which nature has made; and many other circumstances, will divide us into parties, and produce convulsions which will probably never end but in the extermination of the one or the other race. ––from Notes on the State of Virginia.
[T]he difference [in pigment between blacks and whites] is fixed in nature, and is as real as if its seat and cause were better known to us. And is this difference of no importance? Is it not the foundation of a greater or less share of beauty in the two races? Are not the fine mixtures of red and white, the expressions of every passion by greater or less suffusions of colour in the one, preferable to that eternal monotony, which reigns in the countenances, that immoveable veil of black which covers all the emotions of the other race? Add to these, flowing hair, a more elegant symmetry of form, their own judgment in favour of the whites, declared by their preference of them, as uniformly as is the preference of the Oran-ootan for the black women over those of his own species. The circumstance of superior beauty, is thought worthy attention in the propagation of our horses, dogs, and other domestic animals; why not in that of man? ––ibid.
Comparing [blacks] by their faculties of memory, reason, and imagination, it appears to me, that in memory they are equal to the whites; in reason much inferior, as I think one could scarcely be found capable of tracing and comprehending the investigations of Euclid; and that in imagination they are dull, tasteless, and anomalous. ––ibid.
The Indians…will often carve figures on their pipes not destitute of design and merit. They will crayon out an animal, a plant, or a country, so as to prove the existence of a germ in their minds which only wants cultivation. They astonish you with strokes of the most sublime oratory; such as prove their reason and sentiment strong, their imagination glowing and elevated. But never yet could I find that a black had uttered a thought above the level of plain narration; never see even an elementary trait of painting or sculpture. In music they are more generally gifted than the whites with accurate ears for tune and time, and they have been found capable of imagining a small catch. Whether they will be equal to the composition of a more extensive run of melody, or of complicated harmony, is yet to be proved. Misery is often the parent of the most affecting touches in poetry. Among the blacks is misery enough, God knows, but no poetry. ––ibid.
[Ignatius Sancho's] subjects should often have led him to a process of sober reasoning: yet we find him always substituting sentiment for demonstration. Upon the whole, though we admit him to the first place among those of his own colour who have presented themselves to the public judgment, yet when we compare him with the writers of the race among whom he lived, and particularly with the epistolary class, in which he has taken his own stand, we are compelled to enroll him at the bottom of the column. This criticism supposes the letters published under his name to be genuine, and to have received amendment from no other hand; points which would not be of easy investigation. ––ibid.
We know that among the Romans, about the Augustan age especially, the condition of their slaves was much more deplorable than that of the blacks on the continent of America. The two sexes were confined in separate apartments, because to raise a child cost the master more than to buy one. Cato, for a very restricted indulgence to his slaves in this particular, took from them a certain price. But in this country the slaves multiply as fast as the free inhabitants. Their situation and manners place the commerce between the two sexes almost without restraint…With the Romans, the regular method of taking the evidence of their slaves was under torture. Here it has been thought better never to resort to their evidence. When a master was murdered, all his slaves, in the same house, or within hearing, were condemned to death. Here punishment falls on the guilty only, and as precise proof is required against him as against a freeman. Yet notwithstanding these and other discouraging circumstances among the Romans, their slaves were often their rarest artists. They excelled too in science, insomuch as to be usually employed as tutors to their master’s children. Epictetus, Diogenes, Phaedon, Terence, and Phaedrus, were slaves. But they were of the race of whites. It is not their condition then, but nature, which has produced the distinction. ––ibid.
To justify a general conclusion, requires many observations, even where the subject may be submitted to the Anatomical knife, to Optical glasses, to analysis by fire, or by solvents. How much more then where it is a faculty, not a substance, we are examining; where it eludes the research of all the senses; where the conditions of its existence are various and variously combined; where the effects of those which are present or absent bid defiance to calculation; let me add too, as a circumstance of great tenderness, where our conclusion would degrade a whole race of men from the rank in the scale of beings which their Creator may perhaps have given them. ––ibid.
I advance it therefore as a suspicion only, that the blacks, whether originally a distinct race, or made distinct by time and circumstances, are inferior to the whites in the endowments both of body and mind…This unfortunate difference of colour, and perhaps of faculty, is a powerful obstacle to the emancipation of these people. Many of their advocates, while they wish to vindicate the liberty of human nature, are anxious also to preserve its dignity and beauty. Some of these, embarrassed by the question “What further is to be done with them?” join themselves in opposition with those who are actuated by sordid avarice only. ––ibid.
There must doubtless be an unhappy influence on the manners of our people produced by the existence of slavery among us. ––ibid.
In a warm climate, no man will labour for himself who can make another labour for him. This is so true, that of the proprietors of slaves a very small proportion indeed are ever seen to labour. ––ibid.
The spirit of the master is abating, that of the slave rising from the dust, his condition mollifying, the way I hope preparing, under the auspices of heaven, for a total emancipation, and that this is disposed, in the order of events, to be with the consent of the masters, rather than by their extirpation. ––ibid.
We have the wolf by the ears, and we can neither hold him nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, self-preservation in the other. ––on slavery. Letter to John Holmes, April 22, 1820.
Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people [i.e. slaves] are to be free. Nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government. Nature, habit, opinion has drawn indelible lines of distinction between them. ––Jefferson’s Autobiography.
Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination. ––ibid.
October 2, 2011 § Leave a comment
Howard Phillips Lovecraft was an American author. He is best known for his short stories, which were highly influential in the nascent science fiction and horror genres.
Lovecraft’s views on race do not fit easily into any 21st century category. Lovecraft believed that the Teutonic, Anglo-Saxon races (which he sometimes called Aryans) were superior, though he saw other races, such as the Italians and the Chinese, as having different but valuable cultures, that should be preserved by keeping them separate. While Lovecraft thought America could absorb a small number of non-Aryans, provided they adopted the dominant culture, he saw largescale immigration as a disaster and antithetical to progress.
Lovecraft viewed blacks and Australian aborigines as biologically inferior to other races. He believed they lacked the inborn capacity to create any sort of civilization. He viewed the “color line” with approval, since it prevented “mongrelization,” i.e. mating between blacks and whites.
Though he briefly married a Jewish woman, Lovecraft wrote about being repulsed by Jews and Jewish culture. He lived to see the rise of Adolf Hitler, though not the second World War, and was highly critical of Nazi race theory, which he considered crude. It is not clear from his writings whether he viewed Jews as Orientals (Asiatics) or Europeans; though he occasionally refers to them as white, he also laments their Oriental characteristics.
Some of Lovecraft’s letters made liberal use of the ampersand (&) instead of the word ‘and.’ I have changed the ampersand to ‘and’ when it makes for easier reading.
Descended from the race that produced Mendelssohn, [Charles D. Isaacson] is himself a musician of no ordinary talent, whilst as a man of literature he is worthy of comparison with his co-religionists Moses Mendez [?] and Isaac D’Israeli. But the very spirituality which gives elevation to the Semitic mind partially unfits it for the consideration of tastes and trends in Aryan thought and writings, hence it is not surprising that he is a radical of the extremest sort. ––”In a Major Key,” from The Conservative Vol. I, No. 2, 1915.
Mr. Isaacson’s views on race prejudice, as outlined in his Minor Key, are too subjective to be impartial. He has perhaps resented the more or less open aversion to the children of Isreal which has ever pervaded Christendom, yet a man of his perspicuity should be able to distinguish this illiberal feeling, a religious and social animosity of one white race toward another white and equally intellectual race, from the natural and scientifically just sentiment which keeps the African black from contaminating the Caucasian population of the United States. The negro is fundamentally the biological inferior of all White and even Mongolian races, and the Northern people must occasionally be reminded of the danger which they incur in admitting him too freely to the privileges of society and government. ––ibid.
A Jew is capable of infinite nastiness when he seeks revenge, & I believe I shall have ample grounds for making [Isaacson] the hero of a spirited Dunciad. I can almost predict his line of attack. He will call me superficial, crude, barbaric in thought, imperfect in education, offensively arrogant & bigoted, filled with venomous prejudice, wanting in good taste, &c. &c. &c. But what I can and will say in reply is also violent & comprehensive. He will ask why I am an advocate of war, yet am not at this moment in the British army. I shall not stoop to explain that I am an invalid who would certainly be fighting under the Union Jack if able, but shall have plenty to say about the decadent cowardice responsible for the propagation of peace ideas. Peace is the ideal of a dying nation; a broken race. Isaacson belongs to a stock wholly broken & emasculated by two thousand years of cringing at the feet of Aryan masters. But I, thank the Gods, am an Aryan, & can rejoice in the glorious victory of T. Flavius Vespasianus, under whose legions the Jewish race & their capital were trodden out of national existence! I am an anti-Semitic by nature, but thought I had concealed my prejudice in my remarks concerning Isaacson. I showed him every consideration in my article, carefully saying that I attacked not the man, but the ideas. However, if Jerusalem wishes to start trouble, he will find in me a new Titus, eager to inscribe on my eagles the triumphant legend IVDAEA CAPTA! I might here remark that my anti-Semitism is not entirely due to blind prejudice. The Jews are fundamentally Orientals, whilst the rising civilization of the world is Western—Teutonic—Anglo-Saxon. The struggle between the East & the West dates back to Marathon & Salamis, & it is the West which has ever represented progress & superior culture. The Jew is an adverse influence, since he insidiously degrades or Orientalizes our robust Aryan civilization. The intellect of the race is indisputably great, but its nature is not such that it may be safely employed in forming Western political & social ideas. Oppressive as it seems, the Jew must be muzzled. ––from a letter written August 10, 1915.
It is an ironical truth, that those foreigners who most desire to become thorough Americans, are generally those who are least fitted for amalgamation out of reverence to his vaterland; but the greasy Jew from Russia impudently assumes a pseudo-Americanism to which his race does not entitle him. In considering matters of this sort, the student must free himself from tons of sticky sentimentalism about “broad humanitarian ideals”, “America the land of equality”, “down with the race prejudice”, and other nonsense of like tenor. The question is; do Americans desire to remain a vigorous, clean moraled Teutonic-Celtic people; or do they desire to transform their country into a sordid, amorphous chaos of degradation and hybridism like imperial Rome? Jews, Italians, Slavs and their like must somehow be segregated or gotten rid of before they rise to taint the better classes. ––from a letter written October, 1916.
In 1903-4 I had private tutors, but in the autumn of 1904 I mingled with the world once more—to the extent of entering Hope St. High School. Here I was confronted for the first time with cosmopolitanism. Slater Avenue school is public, but it is rather a neighborhood affair, with most of its pupils drawn from the old families. But Hope Street is near enough to the “North End” to have a considerable Jewish attendance. It was there that I formed my ineradicable aversion to the Semitic race. The Jews were brilliant in their classes—calculatingly & schemingly brilliant—but their ideals were sordid & their manners course. I became rather well known as anti-Semitic before I had been at Hope Street many days. ––from a letter written November 16, 1915.
It is a mistake to allow Jews to mingle with Aryans as social equals. I have never been forced to do this, & at high school I drew the colour line at Jews as well as negroes, though of course there is no racial comparison between the two classes of undesirables. ––from a letter written November 25, 1915.
Sometimes I think of racial combinations as chemical reactions; for instance, I believe that certain stocks have greater assimilative powers than others. The Gallo-Basque stock with Latin infusion, which constitutes the bulk of the French population, is much more receptive to alien blood than is our colder and more Teutonic stock. That is, the French type seems more easily attainable by inferiors than is the straightforward Teutonic type. This is probably because France is more mongrelized to start with. Many eminent French have the Israelitish taint without apparent detraction from the Occidentalism of their mental type—Sarah Bernhart owns the touch of Judea—so does Henri Bernstein, the dramatist. But among English, Germans, & Americans, a Jew is a Jew, & is in no wise to be confounded with the dominant people amongst whom he dwells. ––ibid.
It is difficult to be patient with the political idiots who advocate the relinquishment of [the Phillipines] by the United States, either now or at any future time. The mongrel natives, in whose blood the Malay strain predominates, are not and will never be racially capable of maintaining a civilised condition by themselves. ––From an article in the United Amateur, June 1916.
The instincts that governed the Egyptians and the Assyrians of old, govern us as well; and as the ancients thought, grasped, struggled, and deceived, so shall we moderns continue to think, grasp, struggle, and deceive in our inmost hearts. Change is only superficial and apparent. ––”At the Root,” from the United Amateur 17, number 6, July 1918.
The whole U.S. negro question is very simple. (1) Certainly the negro is vastly the biological inferior of the Caucasian. (2) Therefore if racial amalgamation were to occur, the net level of American civilisation would perceptibly fall, as in such mongrel nations as Mexico–& several South American near-republics. (3) Amalgamation would undoubtedly take place if prejudice were eradicated, beginning with the lowest grades of Jews & Italians & eventually working upward until the whole country would be poisoned, & its culture & progress stunted. (4) Therefore the much-abused “colour line” is a self-protective measure of the white American people to keep the blood of their descendants pure, & the institutions & greatness of their country unimpaired. The colour line must be maintained in spite of the ranting & preaching of fanatical & ill-informed philanthropists. ––from a letter written January 18, 1919.
The genius of a few individuals is never an index of collective racial capacity. In spite of all the Booker Washingtons & Dunbars we can see that the negro as a whole has never made any progress or founded any culture. We cannot judge a man sociologically by his own individual qualities; we have the future to think of. Two persons of different races, though equal mentally & physically, may have a vitally different sociological value, because one will certainly produce an incalculably better type of descendants than the other. We must see that the best retain social & political supremacy, in order that our best traditions may be preserved. Therefore, to me, racial prejudice is not irrational or unexplainable; nor in any way unjustifiable. It has awkward phases, but its benefits immeasurably outweigh its disadvantages. ––ibid.
“Americanism” is expanded Anglo-Saxonism. It is the spirit of England, transplanted to a soil of vast extent and diversity, and nourished for a time under pioneer conditions calculated to increase its democratic aspects without impairing its fundamental virtues. It is the spirit of truth, honour, justice, morality, moderation, individualism, conservative liberty, magnanimity, toleration, enterprise, industriousness, and progress—which is England—plus the element of equality and opportunity caused by pioneer settlement. It is the expression of the world’s highest race under the most favourable social, political, and geographical conditions. Those who endeavour to belittle the importance of our British ancestry, are invited to consider the other nations of this continent. All these are equally “American” in every particular, differing only in race-stock and heritage; yet of them all, none save British Canada will even bear comparison with us. We are great because we are a part of the great Anglo-Saxon cultural sphere; a section detached only after a century and a half of heavy colonisation and English rule, which gave to our land the ineradicable stamp of British civilisation. ––”Americanism,” July 1919
Most dangerous and fallacious of the several misconceptions of Americanism is that of the so-called “melting-pot” of races and traditions. It is true that this country has received a vast influx of non-English immigrants who come hither to enjoy without hardship the liberties which our British ancestors carved out in toil and bloodshed. It is also true that such of them as belong to the Teutonic and Celtic races are capable of assimilation to our English type and of becoming valuable acquisitions to the population. But, from this it does not follow that a mixture of really alien blood or ideas has accomplished or can accomplish anything but harm. Observation of Europe shows us the relative status and capability of the several races, and we see that the melting together of English gold and alien brass is not very likely to produce any alloy superior or even equal to the original gold. Immigration cannot, perhaps, be cut off altogether, but it should be understood that aliens who choose America as their residence must accept the prevailing language and culture as their own; and neither try to modify our institutions, nor to keep alive their own in our midst. We must not, as the greatest man of our age declared, suffer this nation to become a “polyglot boarding house.” ––ibid.
Of what use is it to please the herd? They are simply coarse animals — for all that is admirable in man is the artificial product of special breeding. We advocate the preservation of conditions favourable to the growth of beautiful things — imposing palaces, beautiful cities, elegant literature, resposeful art and music, and a physically select human type such as only luxury and a pure racial strain can produce. Thus we oppose democracy, if only because it would retard the development of a handsome Nordic breed. We realise that all conceptions of justice and ethics are mere prejudices and illusions — there is no earthly reason why the masses should not be kept down for the benefit of the strong, since every man is for himself in the last analysis. ––from a letter written February 10, 1923.
Nothing must disturb my undiluted Englishry — God Save The King! I am naturally a Nordic — a chalk-white, bulky Teuton of the Scandinavian or North-German forests — a Vikinga berserk killer — a predatory rover of Hengist and Horsa — a conqueror of Celts and mongrels and founders of Empires — a son of the thunders and the arctic winds, and brother to the frosts and the auroras — a drinker of foemen’s blood from new picked skulls — a friend of the mountain buzzards and feeder of seacoast vultures — a blond beast of eternal snows and frozen oceans — a prayer to Odin and Thor and Woden and Alfadur, the raucous shouter of Niffelheim — a comrade of the wolves, and rider of nightmares — aye — I speak truly — for was I not born with yellow hair and blue eyes. ––from a letter written May 3, 1923.
I certainly hope to see promiscuous immigration permanently curtailed soon—Heaven knows enough harm has already been done by the admission of limitless hordes of the ignorant, superstitious, & biologically inferior scum of Southern Europe & Western Asia. ––from a letter written Demember 13, 1925.
Only a damn fool can expect the people of one tradition to feel at ease when their country is flooded with hordes of foreigners who—whether equal, superior, or inferior biologically—are so antipodal in physical, emotional, and intellectual makeup that harmonious coalescence is virtually impossible. ––from a letter written September 27, 1926.
The actual individual—apart from a small group of theorists who specialise in this kind of feeling and derive certain artificial emotional-imaginative satisfactions from it as I do from my “infinite-cosmicism”—can form no more of a satisfying conception of himself as a member of an hypothetical biology-stream than a hen-louse can form satisfying conceptions of himself as a proud unit in the whole pedicular pageant cat, dog, man, goat, and sand parasites. It all may be theoretically so—all men certainly have a vague common origin in one or two earlier primate species, while a few isolated culture-ideas are occasionally passed along—or taken over in a more or less garbled and fragmentary way—from one group to another—but, from the point of view of the normal member of any existing human group, what the hell of it? It simply doesn’t mean anything. All our feelings and loyalties are based on the special instincts and inherited values or our immediate racial and cultural group—take these away, and absolutely nothing remains for any average person to anchor his sense of direction, interest, or standards to. ––from a letter written October 30, 1929.
We live, always, by two codes—the external and professed code based on an artificially cosmopolitan culture; and the inner, real, and motivating code, based on the true response of our instincts to their habitual stimuli. It is all very well to theorise decoratively from the outer code—but we must apply the inner code when we wish to calculate actual results. Stripping off the mask of nineteenth century euphemism and decorum, we know damn well that the human race is divided into many groups whose whole instinctive conceptions of what is desirable and what is undesirable are so antipodally apart in half to three-quarters of the affairs of life, that they cannot possibly be thought of as having any goal or complete set of standards in common. And to pretend that such a community can exist, is to complicate the matter all the worse. We misunderstand all the more, when we feign to understand what we do not understand. ––ibid.
Half the tragedies of history are the result of expecting one group to conform to the instinctive reactions of another, or to cherish its values. One of the worst examples of this is the cringing Semitic slave-cult of Christianity which became thrust upon our virile, ebullient Western stock through a series of grotesque historic accidents. Obviously, we whose instinctive ideas of excellence centre in bravery, mastery, and unbrokenness, and whose ultimate fury of contempt is for the passive, non-resistant, sad-eyed cringer and schemer and haggler, are the least fitted of all races for the harbourage of a Judeo-Syriac faith and standards—and so the whole course of history proved; with Christianity always a burden, handicap, misfit, and unfulfilled mockery upon our assertive, Thor-squared, Woden-driven shoulders. We have mouthed lying tributes to meekness and brotherhood under Gothic roofs whose very pinnacled audacity bespeaks our detestation of lowliness and our love for power and strength and beauty, and have spouted hogsheadfuls of hot air about “principle” and ethics, and restraint at the same time that our hobnailed boots have kicked around in utter loathing the broken Jews whose existence is based upon these principles. That is the hypocrisy of the altruistic and humanitarian tradition—talking and theorising against Nature as she actually works within us. From our attempts to assimilate Semitism we have gained nothing but misery—and the attempt itself has not succeeded, because it was based upon impossibility. Far more sensible is it to recognise that such an alien tradition has nothing for people of our blood and inheritance—that it presupposes goals and instincts which we do not and cannot possess; exalting that which we must always despise, and condemning that which we must always cherish as the supreme criterion of respect—worthiness. ––ibid.
The question of relative status among different cultures is of wholly minor importance—it is the difference which makes cultural amalgamation a joke. China of the old tradition was probably as great a civilisation as ours—perhaps greater, as Bertrand Russell thinks—but to fancy that more than a tenth of the emotional life of China has any meaning for us, is as foolish as to think that more than a tenth of our emotional life has any meaning for a Chinaman. ––ibid.
Now the trickiest catch in the negro problem is that it is really twofold. The black is vastly inferior. There can be no question of this among contemporary and unsentimental biologists—eminent Europeans for whom the prejudice-problem does not exist. But, it is also a fact that there would be a very grave and very legitimate problem even if the negro were the white man’s equal. For the simple fact is, that two widely dissimilar races, whether equal or not, cannot peaceably coexist in the same territory until they are either uniformly mongrelised or cast in folkways of permanent and traditional personal aloofness. No normal being feels at ease amidst a population having vast elements radically different from himself in physical aspect and emotional responses. A normal Yankee feels like a fish out of water in a crowd of cultivated Japanese, even though they may be his mental and aesthetic superiors; and the normal Jap feels the same way in a crowd of Yankees. This, of course, implies permanent association. We can all visit exotic scenes and like it—and when we are young and unsophisticated we usually think we might continue to like it as a regular thing. But as years pass, the need of old things and usual influences—home faces and home voices—grows stronger and stronger; and we come to see that mongrelism won’t work. ––from a letter written in January, 1931.
Naturally, if a race wants to submit to the fantastic martyrdom of mongrelisation for an agonising period of centuries, there will emerge a new composite race and culture whose members will have attained a new homogeneity—and therefore a new and satisfying equilibrium. But who cares to sacrifice himself for the sake of this hypothetical future race—a race as genuinely foreign and meaningless to him as the Peruvians would have been to the Greeks, or as the Thibetans are to ourselves? ––ibid.
It is possible that the economic dictatorship of the future can work out a diplomatic plan of separate allocation whereby the blacks may follow a self-contained life of their own, avoiding the keenest hardships of inferiority through a reduced number of points of contact with the whites…No one wishes them any intrinsic harm, and all would rejoice if a way were found to ameliorate such difficulties as they have without imperilling the structure of the dominant fabric. It is a fact, however, that sentimentalists exaggerate the woes of the average negro. Millions of them would be perfectly content with a servile status if good physical treatment and amusement could be assured them, and they may yet form a well-managed agricultural peasantry. The real problem is the quadroon and octoroon—and still lighter shades. Theirs is a sorry tragedy, but they will have to find a special place. What we can do is to discourage the increase of their numbers by placing the heaviest possible penalties on miscegenation, and arousing as much public sentiment as possible against lax customs and attitudes—especially in the inland South—at present favouring the melancholy and disgusting phenomenon. All told, I think the modern American is pretty well on his guard, at last, against racial and cultural mongrelism. There will be much deterioration, but the Nordic has a fighting chance of coming out on top in the end. ––ibid.
What we mean by Nordic “superiority” is simply conformity to those character-expectations which are natural and ineradicable among us. We are not so naïve as to confuse this relative “superiority” (we ought to call it conformity or suitability instead) with the absolute biological superiority which we recognise in the higher races as a whole as distinguished from the negro, australoid, neanderthal, rhodesian, and other primitive human and humanoid types both living and extinct. We know perfectly well that the Italians excel us in the capacity to savour life and beauty—that their centres of taste are better developed than ours—but they annoy us and fail to fit into our group because their gland-functionings and nerve reactions do not correspond to what our own heritage has made us expect. We do not call them inferior, but simply admit that they are different beyond the limits of easy mutual understanding and cultural compatibility. If we wisely kept vast masses of such foreigners out, we could regard them with a more impersonal appreciation. It would be wholly possible, too, to assimilate a few to our own fabric. But when we get so damn many of them that a wholesale test of strength betwixt their ideals and ours starts up on our soil—well, forget your idealism for a second, use your horse-sense, and guess what will happen! ––from a letter written January 18, 1931.
No anthropologist of standing insists on the uniformly advanced evolution of the Nordic as compared with that of other Caucasian and Mongolian races. As a matter of fact, it is freely conceded that the Mediterranean race turns out a higher percentage of the aesthetically sensitive and that the Semitic groups excel in sharp, precise intellectation. It may be, too, that the Mongolian excels in aesthetick capacity and normality of philosophical adjustment. What, then, is the secret of pro-Nordicism among those who hold these views? Simply this—that ours is a Nordic culture, and that the roots of that culture are so inextricably tangled in the national standards, perspectives, traditions, memories, instincts, peculiarities, and physical aspects of the Nordic stream that no other influences are fitted to mingle in our fabric. We don’t despise the French in France or Quebec, but we don’t want them grabbing our territory and creating foreign islands like Woonsocket and Fall River. The fact of this uniqueness of every separate culture-stream—this dependence of instinctive likes and dislikes, natural methods, unconscious appraisals, etc., etc., on the physical and historical attributes of a single race—is to obvious to be ignored except by empty theorists. ––ibid.
Living side by side with people whose natural impulses and criteria differ widely from ours, gets in time to be an unendurable nightmare. We may continue to respect them in the abstract, but what are we to do when they continue to fail to fulfil our natural conception of personality, meanwhile placing all their own preferential stresses on matters and ideals largely irrelevant and sometimes even repugnant to us? And don’t forget that we affect alien groups just as they affect us. Chinamen think our manners are bad, our voices raucous, our odour nauseous, and our white skins and our long noses leprously repulsive. Spaniards think us vulgar, brutal, and gauche. Jews titter and gesture at our mental simplicity, and honestly think we are savage, sadistick, and childishly hypocritical. Well, we think Chinamen are slimy jabberers, Spaniards oily, sentimental, treacherous, backward, and Jews cringing. What’s the answer? Simply keep the bulk of all these approximately equal and highly developed races as far apart as possible. Let them study one another as deeply as possible, in the interest of that intellectual understanding which makes for appreciation and tolerance. But don’t let them mix too freely, lest the clash of deep and intellectually unreachable emotions upset all the appreciation and tolerance which mental understanding has produced. And above all, don’t get led off on a false trail through observing the easy comraderie of a few cosmopolitan intellectuals and aristocrats in whom similar manners or special interests have temporarily overridden the deep wells of natural feeling ineradicable from the bulk of each of the divergent race or culture groups represented. ––ibid.
The population [of New York City] is a mongrel herd with repulsive Mongoloid Jews in the visible majority, and the coarse faces and bad manners eventually come to wear on one so unbearably that one feels like punching every god damn bastard in sight. ––from a letter written November 19, 1931.
In my opinion the paramount things of existence are those mental & imaginative landmarks—language, culture, traditions, perspectives, instinctive responses to environmental stimuli, &c.—which give to mankind the illusion of significance & direction in the cosmic drift. Race & civilisation are more important, according to this point of view, than concrete political or economic status; so that the weakening of any racial culture by political division is to be regarded as an unqualified evil—justifiable only by the most extreme provocation. ––from a letter written February 26, 1932.
The cardinal virtue of Asia is its sane and philosophic timelessness. Whenever I contemplate that side of the Oriental nature, with its easy handling of centuries and millennia and its patrician disregard of momentary stirs and bustling, I am tempted to weep at the futile tail-chasing and clock-grovelling of the hectick West; and to wish that the virile Nordic had never left his homeland in the Hindoo-Koosh to merge his fortunes with the restless, fever’d, machine-driven European chasers after mutable nothingness. Had we stuck to Asia, we might have founded a permanent world-empire of unrivalled splendour and irresistible strength—as mighty and puissant as Rome, and as stable and enduring as antique Aegyptus or deathless Sinae. We might have kill’d off all the slant-eyed yellow folk, and have had long camel-trains of slaves and gold and ivory and strange crystals sent us as tribute by the dark-eyed vassals and cringers of Ind, of Persia, of Africk, of Europa, and of the empires Cuzco and Uxmal beyond the monstrous River Ocean. Glory to the Aesir! A bullock to golden-bearded Odin, and a fat buck Negro to hammer-wielding Thor! Long life to Astahahn, our capital on the Yann—for here we have fetter’d and manacled Time, who wou’d otherwise slay the gods. Eheu—the things that might have been! ––from a letter written April, 1932.
As for [the Nazis'] much-advertised and hysterically condemned Jew policy––there is something to be said for one phase of it. Of course it is silly to ban Jewish books, to impose disabilities on Germanically cultured Jews, or to assume that––biologically speaking––a dash of Semitic blood unfits one for Aryan citizenship. That is generally conceded. But after all, there is a very real and very grave problem in the presence of an intellectually powerful minority springing from a profoundly alien and emotionally repulsive culture stream, defying assimilation as a whole, and using its keen mentality and ruthless enterprise to secure a disproportionate hold on the mental and aesthetic life of a nation. ––from a letter written May 29, 1933.
The question is whether an enormous Aryan nation, with all the innate feelings and perspectives of Aryan culture, is going to allow its formulated expression (literary models, art, music etc.) to belie and embarrass it by reflecting an altogether different and sometimes hostile set of feelings and perspectives through gradual and perceptible Semitic control of all the avenues of utterance. It is needless to point out that a nation’s literary and artistic utterance depends very largely on those who control the periodicals, schools, colleges, publishing-houses, galleries, theatres, and so forth—this control largely determining what works & types of art shall receive preference in presentation to the public and in treatment by critics, and what attitudes shall receive official recommendation. If such control be gradually seized by a culture-group profoundly foreign to the natural culture-stream of the nation, the result is bound to be tense, awkward, & finally intolerable. ––ibid.
In my opinion, all nations ought to take quiet & moderate steps to get such pivotal forces as education, large-scale publishing, legal interpretation, criticism, dramatic management, artistic control, etc. into the hands of those who inherit the respective mainstreams of thought & feeling of those nations. Chinamen ought not to let American missionaries dictate and interpret their policies––and by the same token Aryans ought not to leave their guidance and interpretation to persons of an irreconcilable Semitic culture. Of course, this does not mean that the crudities of Hitlerism are to be copied. It is absurd to think that a man of complete Aryan culture ought to be squelched because he has a quarter-share of Semitic blood, or anything like that. But it is not absurd to feel that something ought to be done to keep expression true to the real psychology of the nation involved. We really face the same problem in America-where the city of New York is virtually lost to the national fabric through its tragic and all-pervasive Semitisation. Our literature and drama, selected by Jewish producers and great Jewish publishing houses like Knopf, and feeling the pressure of Jewish finance and mercantile advertising, are daily getting farther & farther from the real feelings of the plain American in New England or Virginia or Kansas; whilst the profound Semitism of New York is affecting the “intellectuals” who flock there & creating a flimsy & synthetic body of culture & ideology radically hostile to the virile American attitude. ––ibid.
By the way—it’s hardly accurate to compare the Jewish with the negro problem. The trouble with the Jew is not his blood—which can mix with ours without disastrous results—but his persistent & antagonistic culture-tradition. On the other hand, the negro represents a vastly inferior biological variant which must under no circumstances taint our Aryan stock. The absolute colour-line as applied to negroes is both necessary & sensible, whereas a similar deadline against Jews (though attempted by Hitler) is ridiculous. ––ibid.
While of course the demand for more than 0.75 Aryan blood in full citizens is an excessive one except where the diluting blood is biologically inferior—as with Negroes and Australoids—it remains a fact that many modern nations need to take steps to preserve the integrity of their own native cultures against shrewd and pushing alien influences. One must view such problems realistically—without patriotic sentimentality like Hitler’s on one hand, and without idealistic sentimentality on the other hand. Certainly, a dash of alien blood of a superior race (among which a large section of Jews as well as Mongols must be included) does not harm another superior stock so long as the culture is unimpaired. But that’s where the rub comes. When the alien element is strong or shrewd enough to menace the purity of the culture amidst which it parasitically lodges, it is time to do something. ––from a letter written June 12, 1933.
[A]ll these newspaper discussions of recent months miss the one great point of the age-long and ineradicable Jew-Aryan line of cleavage. It isn’t religion—all religion is a negligible factor today. It is only slightly race—half the Jews in existence are of very superior stock, as their ability to undermine our culture shews; and only a fraction are more physically repulsive than many races whom we hate less. The real, impassible barrier is cultural. Our whole system of values differs utterly and irreconcilably from the Jewish system, even though (and this is what obscures the real problem) our absurd pretence at harbouring the silly, alien, decadent Jewish by-product called Christianity makes us pretend to endourse the Hebrew slave-psychology. The Jew is a worshipper of the sort of intellectual-ethical adjustment which his superstitious ancestors interpreted as cosmic “righteousness”. His supreme test of value is the degree of perfection of this adjustment—to other things he is relatively indifferent. We are Aryan pagans by heritage, and our deep, instinctive code of ultimate values is completely antipodal to the Jew’s. Twenty centuries of flabby Christian fakery have not succeeded in changing our real natures one jot. Our code is not that of hair-splitting old slave-women. We are men—free men—and the one sole thing that supremely matters to us is the maintenance of our own unbroken freedom and dominance. In our hearts–whatever our lips say—our sole definition of a man as distinguished from a crawling reptile is a person who possesses a maximum of freedom of action, who lives under the government he chooses, and who unhesitatingly accepts death in preference to servitude. ––ibid.
What we can’t forgive the Jew is not the tone of his prayers or the size of his nose, but the fact that he is willing to survive under the conditions he accepts. Being weak may not have been his fault—but it is his fault that he is alive and not free and dominant. It we were as weak as he, and could not fight our way to self-respect, we would perish utterly—taunting our foes, virile and unbroken, as the last man fell. ––ibid.
In the end, there will have to be a separation of the cultural Jew from the body politic, plus a complete absorption—with abandonment of hereditary traditions—of thousands of other Jews. That will call for concessions on both sides—the Jews will have to realise that they can’t drag their folkways into our national patterns, while we will have to abandon the tight race-lines of the Hitlerites. That ought not to be a hardship either way. The Jews are used to subordinate positions, and good governments need impose no hardships on their unassimilable faction. And on the other side—Aryan nations have taken on varying doses of Semitic blood in the past (Spain has oceans of it; England and America since Cromwell’s time have absorbed a trickle) without any unfavourable results whatsoever. ––ibid.
Nothing but pain and disaster can come from the mingling of black and white, and the law ought to aid in checking this criminal folly. Granting the negro his full due, he is not the sort of material which can mix successfully into the fabric of a civilised Caucasian nation. Isolated cases of high-grade hybrids prove nothing. It is easy to see the ultimate result of the wholesale pollution of highly evolved blood by definitely inferior strains. It happened in ancient Egypt–and made a race of supine fellaheen out of what was once a noble stock. ––from a letter written July 30, 1933.
As for New York—there is no question but that its overwhelming Semitism has totally removed it from the American stream. Regarding its influence on literary & dramatic expression—it is not so much that the country is flooded directly with Jewish authors, as that Jewish publishers determine just which of our Aryan writers shall achieve print & position. That means that those of us who least express our own people have the preference. Taste is insidiously moulded along non-Aryan lines—so that, no matter how intrinsically good the resulting body of literature may be, it is a special, rootless literature which does not represent us. ––ibid.
As for Handsome Adolf [Hitler]—in saying he is sincere, & that there is a certain basis behind some phases of the attitude he represents, I do not mean to imply that his actual progamme is not extreme, grotesque, & occasionally barbarous. His attempt to banish arbitrarily all literature he does not like is of course essentially uncivilised—while his ethnological theories (as distinguished from any defence of a purely Aryan culture) are contrary to the maturest beliefs of science. I doubt if he is actually a Jew, though—for that sort of story follows a familiar folklore pattern. It would be too aptly dramatic if he actually did represent the group he opposes. ––from a letter written August 14, 1933.
Virtually all the great department stores of New York (except Wanamaker’s) are solidly Jewish even when they deceptively retain the names of earlier Aryan owners; & a clear majority of the large shops of other sorts are, as well. These Semitic merchants are clannish & touchy to the very limit, & will arrange to withdraw all their advertising at once whenever a newspaper displeases them. And, as Mencken has pointed out, their grounds of displeasure are limitless. They even resent the frequent use of the word “Jew” in the news, so that papers speak of “East Side agitators”, “Bronx merchants”, “Russian immigrants” &c. Let any N.Y. paper try to refer to these people in the frank, impartial, objective way a Providence or Pittsburgh or Richmond paper would, & the whole pack of synagogue-hounds is after it—calling down the vengeance of heaven, withdrawing advertising, & cancelling subscriptions—the latter a big item in a town where 1/3 of the population is Semitic in origin & feelings. The result is, that not a paper in New York dares to call its soul its own in dealing with the Jew & with social & political questions affecting them. The whole press is absolutely enslaved in that direction, so that on the whole length & breadth of the city it is impossible to secure any public American utterance—any frank expression of the typical mind & opinions of the actual American people—on a fairly wide & potentially important range of topics. Only by reading the outside press & the national magazines can New Yorkers get any idea of how Americans feel regarding such things as Nazism, the Palestine question (in which, by every decent standard, the Arabs are dead right & both England & the Jews intolerably wrong), the American immigration policy, & so on. This is what I mean by Jewish control, & I’m damned if it doesn’t make me see red—in a city which was once a part of the real American fabric, & which still exerts a disproportionately large influence on that fabric through its psychologically impressive size & its dominance both in finance & in various opinion-forming channels (drama, publishing, criticism, &c.). Gawd knows I have no wish to injure any race under the sun, but I do think that something ought to be done to free American expression from the control of any element which seeks to curtail it, distort it, or remodel it in any direction other than its natural course. ––from a letter written November 8, 1933.
In general, I think any nation ought to keep close to its original dominant race-stock—remaining largely Nordic if it started that way; largely Latin if it started that way, & so on. Only in this manner can comfortable cultural homogeneity & continuity be secured. But Hitler’s extremes of pure racialism are absurd & grotesque. Various race-stocks differ in inclinations & aptitudes, but of all of them I consider only the negro & australoid biologically inferior. Against these two a rigid colour-line ought to exist. ––from a letter written February 13, 1934.
It is no novelty for Aryans to dwell as a minority amidst a larger black population—such has been the case in Alabama & Mississippi for decades, & the upper part of South Africa is having a similar experience. But the effect of this condition is generally to heighten rather than relax the colour-line. The white minority adopt desperate & ingenious means to preserve their Caucasian integrity—resorting to extra-legal measures such as lynching & intimidation when the legal machinery does not sufficiently protect them. Of course it is unfortunate that such a state of sullen tension has to exist—but anything is better than the mongrelisation which would mean the hopeless deterioration of a great nation. ––from a letter written November 22, 1934.
Even if some desperate social crisis were to sweep America into communism, I doubt if the racial-equality plank of the Marxist programme would survive. Blood is thicker than doctrine—the reason the Russians can accept an equality programme with equanimity is that they are already largely mongrelised with Mongol blood, & also that they are not faced with the practical problem of dealing with vast hordes of beings as widely & utterly aberrant as the negro. Of the complete biological inferiority of the negro there can be no question—he has anatomical features consistently varying from those of other stocks, & always in the direction of the lower primates. Moreover, he has never developed a civilisation of his own, despite his ample contact with the very earliest white civilisations. Compare the way the Gauls took on the highest refinements of Roman culture the moment they were absorbed into the empire, with the way the negroes remained utterly unaffected by the Egyptian culture which impinged on them for continuously for thousands of years. Equally inferior–& perhaps even more so—is the Australian black stock, which differs widely from the real negro. This race has other stigmata of primitiveness—such as great Neanderthaloid eyebrow-ridges. And it is likewise incapable of absorbing civilisation. In dealing with these two black races, there is only one sound attitude for any other race (be it Indian, Malay, Polynesian, or Mongolian) to take–& that is to prevent admixture as completely & determinedly as it can be prevented, through the establishment of a colour-line & the rigid forcing of all mixed offspring below that line. I am in accord with the most vehement & vociferous Alabaman or Mississippian on that point, & it will be found that most Northerners react similarly when it comes to a practical showdown, no matter how much abstract equalitarian nonsense they may spout as a result of the abolitionist tradition inherited from the 1850’s. If a Russian-inspired communist dictatorship ever tried to force negro equality on the U. S., there is scant question but that the descendants of Wendell Phillips, Charles Sumner, & William Lloyd Garrison would stand side by side with those of Jefferson Davis & John C. Calhoun in fighting its ultimate implications to the death. ––ibid.
Only an ignorant dolt would attempt to call a Chinese gentleman—heir to one of the greatest artistic & philosophical traditions in the world—an “inferior” of any sort….& yet there are potent reasons, based on wide physical, mental, & cultural differences, why great numbers of the Chinese ought not to mix into the Caucasian fabric, or vice versa. It is not that one race is any better than any other, but that their whole respective heritages are so antipodal as to make harmonious adjustment impossible. Members of one race can fit into another only through the complete eradication of their own background-influences–& even then the adjustment will always remain uneasy & imperfect if the newcomer’s physical aspect forms a constant reminder of his outside origin. Therefore it is wise to discourage all mixtures of sharply differentiated races—though the colour-line does not need to be drawn as strictly as in the case of the negro, since we know that a dash or two of Mongolian or Indian or Hindoo or some such blood will not actually injure a white stock biologically. John Randolph of Roanoke was none the worse off for having the blood of Pocahontas in his veins, nor does any Finn or Hungarian feel like a mongrel because his stock has a remote & now almost forgotten Mongoloid strain. With the high-grade alien races we can adopt a policy of flexible common-sense—discouraging mixture whenever we can, but not clamping down the bars so ruthlessly against every individual of slightly mixed ancestry. As a matter of fact, most of the psychological race differences which strike us so prominently are cultural rather than biological. If one could take a Japanese infant, alter his features to the Anglo-Saxon type through plastic surgery, & place him with an American family in Boston for rearing—without telling him that he is not an American—the chances are that in 20 years the result would be a typical American youth with very few instincts to distinguish him from his pure Nordic college-mates. The same is true of other superior alien races including the Jew—although the Nazis persist in acting on a false biological conception. If they were wise in their campaign to get rid of Jewish cultural influences (& a great deal can be said for such a campaign, when the dominance of the Aryan tradition is threatened as in Germany & New York City), they could not emphasize the separatism of the Jew but would strive to make him give up his separate culture & lose himself in the German people. It wouldn’t hurt Germany—or alter its essential physical type—to take in all the Jews it now has. (However, that wouldn’t work in Poland or New York City, where the Jews are of an inferior strain, & so numerous that they would essentially modify the physical type.) ––ibid.
The fact is, my instinctive loyalties and area of interest seem to follow cultural rather than biological lines…a tendency directly opposed to the Nazi tribal ideal. Undeniably, my own blood kinfolk on the continent interest me less than my cultural kinfolk—whose blood diverges sharply from my own as the stream recedes in time. The northern nations—biologically akin to me—seem foreign and of minor interest; whilst France, Italy, and Greece—the successive cultural precursors of the Anglo-Norman civilisation around me—seem close, ancestral, and of vital personal interest. To me the Roman Empire will always seem the central incident of human history—and this perspective cannot but colour (both consciously and unconsciously) my national interests and literary appreciations in connexion with the modern world. Incidentally—this perspective was quite typical of the 18th century, to which I am so inextricably bound. The conflicting inclinations and tastes of a composite civilisation—where race and artistic-intellectual heritage spring from different sources—form a curious study. Conscious, objective interests tend to follow the line of culture rather than of race; but inward mental and emotional processes (ethical concepts and compulsions, social-political preferences, trends of imagination, modes of every-day living, &c) gravitate toward the line of race. An Anglo-American can talk art and history and philosophy with a Frenchman better than with a German…yet his unconscious habits and outlook and way of life make him vastly closer to the German in practical, everyday matters. ––from a letter written June 13, 1936.
September 26, 2011 § Leave a comment
Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States. He was also an accomplished historian and a prolific writer. Born into a wealthy family, Roosevelt first took office at the age of 42, the youngest of any President in U.S. history. He later campaigned, unsuccessfully, for the Progressive or “Bull Moose” party. His fifth cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, later became the 32nd President of the United States.
A perfectly stupid race can never rise to a very high plane; the negro, for instance, has been kept down as much by lack of intellectual development as by anything else; but the prime factor in the preservation of a race is its power to attain a high degree of social efficiency. Love of order, ability to fight well and breed well, capacity to subordinate the interests of the individual to the interests of the community, these and similar rather humdrum qualities go to make up the sum of social efficiency. The race that has them is sure to overturn the race whose members have brilliant intellects, but who are cold and selfish and timid, who do not breed well or fight well, and who are not capable of disinterested love of the community. In other words, character is far more important than intellect to the race as to the individual. We need intellect, and there is no reason why we should not have it together with character; but if we must choose between the two we choose character without a moment’s hesitation. ––”Kidd’s ‘Social Evolution,’” in The North American Review, July 1895 (109)
[T]he attitude of the North toward the negro is far from what it should be, and there is need that the North also should act in good faith upon the principle of giving to each man what is justly due him, of treating him on his worth as a man, granting him no special favors, but denying him no proper opportunity for labor and the reward of labor. –– from an address to the Lincoln Dinner in New York, NY, February 13, 1905.
Our effort should be to secure to each man, whatever his color, equality of opportunity, equality of treatment before the law. ––ibid.
If in any community the level of intelligence, morality and thrift among the colored men can be raised, it is, humanly speaking, sure that the same level among the whites will be raised to an even higher degree, and it is no less sure that the debasement of the blacks will in the end carry with it an attendant debasement of the whites. ––ibid.
The problem is so to adjust the relations between two races of different ethnic type that the rights of neither be abridged nor jeoparded; that the backward race be trained so that it may enter into the possession of true freedom — not false freedom — true freedom, while the forward race is enabled lo preserve unharmed the high civilization wrought out by its forefathers. The working out of this problem must necessarily be slow; it is not possible in off-hand fashion to obtain or to confer the priceless boons of freedom, industrial efficiency, political capacity and domestic morality. ––ibid.
[I]t is true of the colored man, as it is true of the white man, that in the long run his fate must depend far more upon his own effort than upon the efforts of any outside friend. That applies to every man. There is not one of us that does not occasionally stumble, and shame to each of us if he does not stretch out a hand to help the brother who thus stumbles. Help him if he stumbles, but remember that if he lies down, there is no use in trying to carry him. It will hurt both of you. Every vicious, venal or ignorant colored man is an even greater foe to his own race than to the community as a whole. The colored man’s self-respect entitles him to do that share in the political work of the country which is warranted by his individual ability and integrity and the position he has won for himself. But the prime requisite of the race is moral and industrial uplifting. ––ibid.
Laziness and shiftlessness, these, and, above all, vice and criminality of every kind, are evils more potent for harm to the black race than all acts of oppression of white men put together. The colored man who fails to condemn crime in another colored man, who fails to cooperate in all lawful ways in bringing colored criminals to justice, is the worst enemy of his own people, as well as an enemy to all the people. Law-abiding black men should, for the sake of their race, be foremost in relentless and unceasing warfare against lawbreaking black men. If the standards of private morality and industrial efficiency can be raised high enough among the black race, then its future on this continent is secure. The stability and purity of the home are vital to the welfare of the black race as they are to the welfare of every race. ––ibid.
The heartiest acknowledgments are due to the ministers, the judges and law officers, the grand juries, the public men, and the great daily newspapers in the South, who have recently done such effective work in leading the crusade against lynching in the South…Let us uphold in every way the hands of the men who have led in this work, who are striving to do all their work in this spirit. ––ibid.
Society, as such, is a law unto itself, and will always regulate its own practices and habits. Full recognition of the fundamental fact that all men should stand on an equal footing as regards civil privileges in no way interferes with recognition of the further fact that all reflecting men of both races are united in feeling that race purity must be maintained. ––ibid.
The first essential in any civilization is that the man and women shall be father and mother of healthy children, so that the race shall increase and not decrease. ––”The Man in the Arena” speech, April 23, 1910.
If the failure [to make children] is due to the deliberate and wilful fault, then it is not merely a misfortune, it is one of those crimes of ease and self-indulgence, of shrinking from pain and effort and risk, which in the long run Nature punishes more heavily than any other. ––ibid.
No refinement of life, no delicacy of taste, no material progress, no sordid heaping up riches, no sensuous development of art and literature, can in any way compensate for the loss of the great fundamental virtues; and of these great fundamental virtues the greatest is the race’s power to perpetuate the race. ––ibid.
Of all the questions which can come before this nation, short of the actual preservation of its existence in a great war, there is none which compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us, and training them into a better race to inhabit the land and pass it on. ––”The New Nationalism” speech, 1910
There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism…The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities. ––speech before the Knights of Columbus, New York, October 12, 1915.
Americanism is a matter of the spirit and of the soul. Our allegiance must be purely to the United States. We must unsparingly condemn any man who holds any other allegiance. But if he is heartily and singly loyal to this Republic, then no matter where he was born, he is just as good an American as any one else. ––ibid.
The men who do not become Americans and nothing else are hyphenated Americans; and there ought to be no room for them in this country. The man who calls himself an American citizen and who yet shows by his actions that he is primarily the citizen of a foreign land, plays a thoroughly mischievous part in the life of our body politic. He has no place here; and the sooner he returns to the land to which he feels his real heart-allegiance, the better it will be for every good American. There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else. ––ibid.
[In the Civil War,] Farragut’s father was born in Spain and Sheridan’s father in Ireland; Sherman and Thomas were of English and Custer of German descent; and Grant came of a long line of American ancestors whose original home had been Scotland. But the Admiral was not a Spanish-American; and the Generals were not Scotch-Americans or Irish-Americans or English-Americans or German-Americans. They were all Americans and nothing else. This was just as true of Lee and of Stonewall Jackson and of Beauregard. ––ibid.
For an American citizen to vote as a German-American, an Irish- American, or an English-American, is to be a traitor to American institutions; and those hyphenated Americans who terrorize American politicians by threats of the foreign vote are engaged in treason to the American Republic. ––ibid.
It has recently been announced that the Russian government is to rent a house in New York as a national center to be Russian in faith and patriotism, to foster the Russian language and keep alive the national feeling in immigrants who come hither. All of this is utterly antagonistic to proper American sentiment, whether perpetrated in the name of Germany, of Austria, of Russia, of England, or France or any other country. ––ibid.
Any discrimination against aliens is a wrong, for it tends to put the immigrant at a disadvantage and to cause him to feel bitterness and resentment during the very years when he should be preparing himself for American citizenship. If an immigrant is not fit to become a citizen, he should not be allowed to come here. ––ibid.
No man can be a good citizen if he is not at least in process of learning to speak the language of his fellow-citizens. And an alien who remains here without learning to speak English for more than a certain number of years should at the end of that time be treated as having refused to take the preliminary steps necessary to complete Americanization and should be deported. ––ibid.
If we leave the immigrant to be helped by representatives of foreign governments, by foreign societies, by a press and institutions conducted in a foreign language and in the interest of foreign governments, and if we permit the immigrants to exist as alien groups, each group sundered from the rest of the citizens of the country, we shall store up for ourselves bitter trouble in the future. ––ibid.
September 26, 2011 § Leave a comment
Enoch Powell was a British politician, scholar and soldier. A full Professor of Ancient Greek at twenty-five, Powell served in the Warwickshire Regiment of the British Army during the Second World War. He later joined the Conservative Party and was elected as a Minister of Parliament for Wolverhampton South-West in 1950.
Powell is most known for his “Rivers of Blood” speech, quoted below. This speech, given in 1968, was intensely critical not only of British immigration policy, but of anti-immigration propaganda, where words like “racialist” were used to humiliate and stop thought.
We must be mad, literally mad, as a nation to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependents, who are for the most part the material of the future growth of the immigrant-descended population. It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre. ––from the “Rivers of Blood” speech, April 20, 1968.
Here is a decent, ordinary fellow-Englishman, who in broad daylight in my own town says to me, his Member of Parliament, that the country will not be worth living in for his children. I simply do not have the right to shrug my shoulders and think about something else. What he is saying, thousands and hundreds of thousands are saying and thinking – not throughout Great Britain, perhaps, but in the areas that are already undergoing the total transformation to which there is no parallel in a thousand years of English history. ––ibid.
Nothing is more misleading than comparison between the Commonwealth immigrant in Britain and the American Negro. The Negro population of the United States, which was already in existence before the United States became a nation, started literally as slaves and were later given the franchise and other rights of citizenship, to the exercise of which they have only gradually and still incompletely come. The Commonwealth immigrant came to Britain as a full citizen, to a country which knew no discrimination between one citizen and another, and he entered instantly into the possession of the rights of every citizen, from the vote to free treatment under the National Health Service. ––ibid.
As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding. Like the Roman, I seem to see “the River Tiber foaming with much blood”. That tragic and intractable phenomenon which we watch with horror on the other side of the Atlantic but which there is interwoven with the history and existence of the States itself, is coming upon us here by our own volition and our own neglect. Indeed, it has all but come. In numerical terms, it will be of American proportions long before the end of the century. Only resolute and urgent action will avert it even now. Whether there will be the public will to demand and obtain that action, I do not know. All I know is that to see, and not to speak, would be the great betrayal. ––ibid.
It depends on how you define the word “racialist.” If you mean being conscious of the differences between men and nations, and from that, races, then we are all racialists. However, if you mean a man who despises a human being because he belongs to another race, or a man who believes that one race is inherently superior to another, then the answer is emphatically “No.” ––responding to David Frost, who asked if he was a racialist. January 3, 1969.
The people of this country are told that they must feel neither alarm nor objection to a West Indian, African and Asian population which will rise to several millions being introduced into this country. If they do, they are ‘prejudiced’, ‘racialist’… A current situation, and a future prospect, which only a few years ago would have appeared to everyone not merely intolerable but frankly incredible, has to be represented as if welcomed by all rational and right-thinking people. The public are literally made to say that black is white. Newspapers like the Sunday Times denounce it as ‘spouting the fantasies of racial purity’ to say that a child born of English parents in Peking is not Chinese but English, or that a child born of Indian parents in Birmingham is not English but Indian. It is even heresy to assert the plain fact that the English are a white nation. ––from a speech to the Turves Green Girls School, Northfield, Birmingham, June 13, 1970.
We are told that the economic achievement of the Western countries has been at the expense of the rest of the world and has impoverished them, so that what are called the ‘developed’ countries owe a duty to hand over tax-produced ‘aid’ to the governments of the undeveloped countries. It is nonsense—manifest, arrant nonsense; but it is nonsense with which the people of the Western countries, clergy and laity, but clergy especially—have been so deluged and saturated that in the end they feel ashamed of what the brains and energy of Western mankind have done, and sink on their knees to apologise for being civilised and ask to be insulted and humiliated. ––ibid.
Virtually the entire inflow was therefore Asiatic, and all but three or four thousand of that inflow originated from the Indian subcontinent… It is by ‘black Power’ that the headlines are caught, and under the shape of the negro that the consequences for Britain of immigration and what is miscalled ‘race’ are popularly depicted. Yet it is more truly when he looks into the eyes of Asia that the Englishman comes face to face with those who will dispute with him the possession of his native land. ––from a speech to the Southall Chamber of Commerce, Middlesex, November 4, 1971.
I’m, to use a rather journalistic word, allergic to the things that are typically American. I think that’s fairly natural to someone who has just been described as a Tory and is always ready to describe himself as a High Tory. ––from a Face the Press interview, October 9, 1983.
England is the country of the English…when politicians and preachers attempt to frighten and cajole the English into pretending away the distinction between themselves and people of other nations and other origins, they are engaged in undermining the foundation upon which democratic government by consent and peaceable civilised society in this country are supported. ––from a speech to the Royal Society of St. George, April 23, 1988.