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.