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Notes on the Ethnostate

Joseph Wright of Derby, A Philosopher Lecturing on the Orrery, circa 1766

3,475 words

White Nationalism is ethnonationalism for white people. An ethnostate is a racially and ethnically homogeneous sovereign nation.

Sovereignty is a principle of international law. A sovereign state controls its own territory and internal affairs. It does not have to answer to any higher political authority. Sovereign states are not allowed to meddle in the internal affairs of other sovereign states. Sovereign states, moreover, regardless of their size and power, are regarded as equal under international law.

Although peoples have been fighting to establish and preserve sovereignty throughout history, the concept of sovereignty is a modern one, generally regarded as being established in 1648 by the Treaty of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years’ War between Catholics and Protestants that had devastated Central Europe.

The Treaty of Westphalia established the principle that each state would adopt the church — Catholic or Protestant — of the ruling prince, and other states had to accept this. This was a pragmatic measure to end decades of religious conflict caused by the diversity of religious confessions in the same state and the church’s claims to supranational authority which licensed interventions into the religious affairs of states. In short, the concept of sovereignty arose out of the necessity of ensuring the right to differ. By making social peace more important than questions of religious truth, the emergence of the modern concept of sovereignty marked the downfall of Christendom and the rise of a new hegemonic value system, liberalism.

At first, the boundaries of sovereign states were largely determined by the dynastic politics of Europe’s ruling houses. But in the late 18th century, with the reemergence of classical republicanism, the idea of the nation-state emerged, which held that the proper sovereign entity is a people united by language, culture, and common descent.

Strictly understood, a nation-state is the same thing as an ethnostate, since the English word nation derives from the Latin natio, which refers to a group related by common descent. But in common parlance, countries like the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Belgium, Canada, and Switzerland are referred to as nation-states, even though they are multi-ethnic, quasi-imperial societies.

The confusion is compounded by the practice of using nation to refer to all sovereign entities, including multiethnic ones, for instance when we talk about the “United Nations,” international law, or international trade – all of which deal with states, most of which are not nation-states.

Thus we need the ideas of the ethnostate and of ethnonationalism, to emphasize ethnicity as the principle of unity of a sovereign state — even though ethnos is just the Greek equivalent of natio, which makes ethnonationalism a rather ugly coinage.

Ethnonationalism is contrasted with civic nationalism, in which the principle of unity is subjection to a common system of laws or the profession of a shared civic creed. Civic nationalism need not exist in a multiracial or multicultural society, but the primary reason that civic nationalist creeds are promulgated is to deal with the absence of an organic, ethnic unity in a society.

Ethnonationalism is the best political system because it preserves distinct races, subraces, and cultures and allows them to evolve without the friction, distortions, and conflicts that inevitably emerge when different races and cultures are forced to share the same territory and political system.

Ethnonationalism presupposes that racial and cultural diversity are goods worth preserving. It also presupposes that this is a universal principle. To say that racial and cultural diversity are universally valuable means, first, that if a principle is objectively true, it is true for all peoples. Second, it implies that every nation ought to perpetuate itself through time and, if necessary, force other nations to respect its vital interests. Beyond that, it also implies that each nation should respect the vital interests of other nations not simply because they are willing to fight to assert themselves, but because we value the differences of others and respect their right to differ as a matter of principle.

Ethnonationalism as I understand it is not a categorical imperative. It is simply a highly pragmatic tool to decrease conflict and promote genetic and cultural diversity. But ethnonationalism is not the only solution to the problems multiethnic societies. For instance, Switzerland is a harmonious multiethnic society due to its decentralized, federal political system in which its 26 cantons enjoy a great deal of autonomy.

In societies like the United States and Canada, with tiny aboriginal relict populations, the best solution is the ethnic reservation where they can govern their internal affairs. Not every tribe in the Amazon or Siberia needs a seat at the United Nations.

Yet another solution is the uncontested supremacism of a dominant group, in which minorities simply acquiesce to being second-class citizens or resident aliens. Such populations would enjoy the same “human rights” as foreign travelers, but no “civil rights,” meaning that all political power would lie in the hands of the dominant people. The dominant people would not just be politically but also culturally supreme, so such a society might not be entirely ethnically French or English or American (meaning white American), but it could be normatively French or English or American, and everyone within its borders would accept the normative supremacy of the dominant culture — or be gone.

But whenever a people aspires to a sovereign homeland so it can perpetuate its genetic and cultural heritage without interference, ethnonationalists believe that nobody has the right to stand in its way.

For whites, ethnonationalism is important for two reasons. First, whites face extinction because of below replacement birthrates, racial admixtures, and non-white immigration. White extinction is, of course, being engineered by hostile regimes, thus it is, in fact, white genocide. White genocide will not be stopped unless anti-white regimes are replaced by White Nationalist regimes. Second, even if whites did not face extinction and genocide, ethnonationalism would be justified because of the problems inherent in racially and culturally diverse societies.

There are two ways of creating ethnostates: moving borders (partition) and moving peoples (also known as ethnic cleansing). These processes can be accomplished in an orderly and humane fashion, like the Czech and Slovak “velvet divorce,” or one can arrive at the same result through violent conflict, as in the former Yugoslavia.

Naturally, the peaceful path is to be preferred. It is more likely to be followed if there is an international consensus that ethnonationalism is the best political order. Such a consensus would lead other countries to band together to broker the peaceful creation of ethnostates when conflict threatens. Just as there are international treaties governing the treatment of refugees, there could be international treaties to ensure that partitions and population transfers are maximally humane. (On humane population transfers, see my essay “The Slow Cleanse.”)

Why should sovereignty reside in ethnostates rather than in more inclusive orders, such as the European Union or the “Imperium” envisioned by Francis Parker Yockey? Or, more grandly, the “Eurosiberia” of Jean Thiriart and Guillaume Faye? Or, grander still, the union of the whole Northern Hemisphere, the “Borean alliance” or “Septentrion” of Jean Mabire and Volchock?

The principal benefits attributed to political unification are (1) preventing whites from fighting one another, and (2) protecting whites from other racial and civilizational power blocs like China, India, and the Muslim world. These goals are important, but I think that political unification is not needed to attain them. Beyond that, it entails serious risks of its own.

As I write in my essay “Grandiose Nationalism“:

The essential feature of any scheme of political unification is the transfer of sovereignty from the constituent parts to the new whole. If sovereignty remains with individual states, then one does not have political unification. Instead, one has an “alliance” between states, or a “treaty organization” like NATO, or an “intergovernmental organization” like the United Nations, or an economic “customs union” like the European Common Market, or a hybrid customs union and intergovernmental organization like the European Union.

As I argue in “Grandiose Nationalism,” political unification is not necessary to prevent whites from fighting one another or to secure whites from external threats:

These aims can be attained through alliances and treaties between sovereign states. A European equivalent of NATO, which provides Europe with a common defense and immigration/emigration policy and mediates conflicts between sovereign member states would be sufficient, and it would have the added value of preserving the cultural and subracial distinctness of different European groups.

The threat of non-white blocs should not be exaggerated. France, the UK, or Russia alone are militarily strong enough to prevail against anything that Africa, India, or the Muslim world can throw at us — provided, of course, that whites are again morally strong enough to take their own side in a fight. A simple alliance of European states would be able to deter any Chinese aggression. Thus a defensive alliance between European states would be sufficient to preserve Europe from all outside forces, whether they be armed powers or stateless masses of refugees and immigrants.

As for white fratricide: the best way to defuse white ethnic conflicts is not to combat “petty” nationalism but to take it to its logical conclusion. If different ethnic groups yoked to the same system are growing restive, then they should be allowed to go their own ways. Through moving borders and moving peoples, homogeneous ethnostates can be created, in which each self-conscious people can speak its own language and practice its own customs free from outside interference. Such a process could be mediated by a European treaty organization, which could insure that the process is peaceful, orderly, humane, and as fair as possible to all parties.

International crises are by their very nature interruptions in the normal order of things, which also means that their duration is limited, so eventually everything goes back to normal. Military alliances are also shifting and temporary things, but political unification aims at permanence and is very difficult to undo. Does it really make sense to make permanent changes in the political order to deal with unusual and temporary problems? The ancient Romans appointed dictators in times of emergency, but only for a limited time, because emergencies are temporary, and a permanent dictatorship is both unnecessary and risky. The same is true of European political unification.

But what would happen if a sovereign European state signed a treaty to host a gigantic Chinese military base? Or if it fell into the hands of plutocrats who started importing cheap non-white labor? Clearly such policies would endanger all of Europe, therefore, it is not just the business of whatever rogue state adopts those policies. What could the rest of Europe do to stop this? Isn’t this why we need a politically unified Europe?

The answer, of course, is what all sovereign states do when they face existential conflicts of interest: they go to war. Other states would be perfectly justified in declaring war against the rogue state, deposing the offending regime, and ethnically cleansing its territory. But then they would set up a new sovereign regime and go home.

The idea that we need European unification to prevent such wars is absurd. Again, it makes no sense to make permanent changes to solve temporary problems, and it makes no sense to in effect declare war on all sovereign states today because we might have to declare war on one of them tomorrow.

Political unification is not only unnecessary, it is dangerous, simply because if it fails, it would fail catastrophically. It is not wise to put all one’s eggs in one basket, or to grow only one crop, or to breed a “homogeneous European man,” for when the basket breaks — or blight strikes the potato crop — or a new Spanish flu pandemic breaks out, one is liable to lose everything.

A politically unified Europe would necessarily be ruled by a small, polyglot elite that is remote from and unresponsive to the provinces and their petty concerns, which they take great pride in denigrating for the greater good. If that elite became infected by an anti-European memetic virus — or corrupted by alien elites — it would have the power to destroy Europe, and since there would be no sovereign states to say no, nothing short of a revolution could stop them.

Indeed, the leadership of the present-day European Union is infected by just such a memetic virus, and it is doing all it can to flood Europe with non-whites. The only thing stopping them is the fact that the European Union does not have sovereign power, and stubborn sovereign ethnostates like Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia are saying no.

Even if a European Union were the only way to stop another Europe-wide war, the terrible truth is that, despite all the losses, Europe managed to recover from the two World Wars. But it would not recover from race-replacement immigration promoted by a sovereign European Union.

Moreover, at a certain point, the EU is going to face a choice. If Poland or Hungary vetoes non-white immigration once and for all, the EU will either have to accept its dissolution or use coercion to hold itself together. In short, the EU may very well cause rather than prevent the next European “brothers’ war.”

A politically unified Europe would eliminate the principle of the equality of sovereign nations under international law. But it would not eliminate the existence of nations. And in a common market and political system, certain national groups — principally the Germans — would have systematic advantages and end up on top. This means that a unified Europe would end up being a de facto German empire, since Germany has the largest population and the strongest economy. Does anyone really think that the French or the Poles would relish living under the hegemony of priggish self-loathing German technocrats? This too is a recipe for hatred and violence, not love and harmony.

Finally, if proponents of European unification hold that it is not really a problem for Greeks and Swedes, Poles and Portuguese to live under a single sovereign state, on what grounds, exactly, are we complaining about multiculturalism and diversity? If the EU can encompass the differences between the Irish and the Greeks, why can’t it encompass the differences between Greeks and Turks, or Greeks and Syrians, etc.?

The ethnonationalist vision is of a Europe — and a worldwide European diaspora — of a hundred flags, in which every self-conscious nation has at least one sovereign homeland, each of which will strive for the highest degree of homogeneity, allowing the greatest diversity of cultures, languages, dialects, and institutions to flourish. Wherever a citizen turns, he will encounter his own flesh and blood, people who speak his language, people whose minds he can understand. Social life will be warm and welcoming, not alienating and unsettling as in multicultural societies. Because citizens will have a strong sense of identity, they will know the difference between their own people and foreigners. Because they will control their own borders and destinies, they can afford to be hospitable to diplomats, businessmen, tourists, students, and even a few expatriates, who will behave like grateful guests. These ethnostates will be good neighbors to one another, because they have good fences between them and homes to return to when commerce with outsiders becomes tiring.

The citizens of these states will be deeply steeped in their mother tongues and local cultures, but they will also be educated in the broader tradition of European high culture. They will all strive for fluency in at least one foreign language. They will appreciate that all Europeans have common roots, common enemies, and a common destiny. But these commonalities are, and will remain, secondary and remote compared to linguistic and cultural differences.

The leadership caste of each ethnostate will be selected to be both deeply rooted in its own homeland but also to have the broadest possible sense of European solidarity. This ethos will allow political cooperation between all European peoples through intergovernmental and treaty organizations, as well as ad hoc alliances. And, since scientific truth and technological achievements are universally valid, there should be pan-European cooperation in promoting science, technology, national defense, ecological initiatives, and space exploration — and keeping these boons out of the hands of other racial and civilizational blocs.

Is ethnonationalism for everyone? Yes and no.

On the one hand, we believe that all peoples would be better off having their own homogeneous sovereign homelands, if they can make them work. We want ethnostates for ourselves, and on the Lockean principle that we will take what we need for ourselves but leave other people the option of doing the same, we wish all peoples well and will honor the ethnonationalist principle wherever it is asserted, even when it might be more convenient to just boss people around and take their resources.

On the other hand, we recognize that not all peoples have an equal capacity for self-government. Successful ethnostates are certainly possible in East Asia, where today Japan and South Korea are among the most homogeneous and advanced societies on the planet. But ethnonationalism is not really possible in the racially mixed societies of Latin America, where the best possible system is a benevolent white supremacism. Nor is ethnonationalism possible among the most primitive tribal peoples of the world in Africa, Amazonia, Micronesia, or Papua. Such peoples require benevolent paternalism and ethnic reservations. For the most primitive peoples, like the Hottentots and Australian aborigines, the ideal political order is closer to a wildlife preserve than a sovereign state.

Over the last century, whites have gone from ruling practically the entire planet to being essentially a conquered and stateless race. But we were not conquered by force of arms. Indeed, even in our present degraded state, white nations are militarily invincible. Instead, we were conquered by our own morality. Every empire is won by murder and theft, and that did not sit well with the consciences of the better among us. Every defender of empire is proclaiming to the world that he is not above a little murder and theft if it suits him. It is an argument that only appeals to sociopaths.

But our downfall came not from our moral repentance, which is just, but from our quest for absolution, which is a moral swindle. We are told that whites today can make amends to the victims of history by giving it all way. Whites, and only whites, no longer have a right to homelands because of the crimes, misdemeanors, and bad manners of other white people.

I call this a moral swindle because, of course, it is a tissue of double standards.

Whites are not the only people who committed crimes. But we are the only ones, apparently, who bear any historical guilt for them. Whites, of course, have done great things, but other whites are not supposed to feel any collective pride for those achievements. Whites exist as moral collective only for the purposes of blame and punishment. Any praiseworthy achievement by whites is attributed to individuals alone.

The reverse is true for non-whites. They exist as a moral collective only to impute victimhood and reparations, never to impute crimes and punishments. They are taught to feel collective pride in the historical achievements of their race — and even in made up achievements — but not to feel collective shame for long records of savagery and squalor reaching right up to the present day.

Thus people from Group A who have done no wrong are supposed to give away their wealth, their homelands, and their futures to people from Group B, who have suffered no wrong — because sometime in the past, people from Group A harmed people from Group B. And that’s all that matters.

You’d better not ask any questions about the good things done by Group A and the bad things done by Group B, or the very possibility of doing justice by punishing people who did no wrong and rewarding people who suffered no wrong, or the very possibility of changing things that happened in the past and cannot be undone.

It makes no sense. But worse than that, it’s just not fair.

If we want to reassert control over our own homelands, we have to stand on this sense of fairness. We must reject white dispossession because it is fundamentally unfair, and we must square white self-assertion with our sense of fairness. Universal nationalism does that. We are not willing to take back homelands for ourselves unless we leave others the same basic option, even though we know, (1) that some peoples are basically incapable of self-government, and (2) that many of these arrogant invaders will reject our proposed solution and instead insist that they keep their homelands and take ours. At that point, when we have satisfied ourselves that we are just and our enemies are not, whites will be ready to fight.

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  1. Brent
    Posted September 15, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Excellent article!

  2. a narco capitalist
    Posted September 15, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    “In short, the concept of sovereignty arose out of the necessity of insuring the right to differ.”

    And if we no longer have a right to differ, what with free speech being reserved for some but not others, we no longer have a basis for sovereignty.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted September 15, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Your argument does not make sense. What do you mean by “basis” here? An argument of some sort?

      • a narco capitalist
        Posted September 15, 2017 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        My error. I was speaking from the point of view of our elites.

        If sovereignty is necessary to insure or ensure the right to differ, then if there no longer is a right to differ (and this seems to be the emerging point of view), then, according to our elites, there’s no need for sovereignty.

        The attack on free speech – the right to differ – is an attack on sovereignty.

  3. Ted
    Posted September 15, 2017 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Answering this would take more space than is appropriate for a comment. I’ll need to make a post at my blog when I have the chance to do so. I disagree with significant portions of this essay.

  4. Right_On
    Posted September 15, 2017 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Another outstanding article Greg.
    Just one quibble. Re “Every empire is won by murder and theft, and that did not sit well with the consciences of the better among us” :
    Well, yes. But where would we whites be without our heritage from the Roman Empire – built on the institution of slavery(!)? Where would we be without the chauvinism of the British Empire?
    No one today is calling for us to conquer the world but I’m kinda glad our race ancestors didn’t have our scruples.

    • Jaego
      Posted September 16, 2017 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      Yes, all Land is Sword Land I’m afraid, even to this day. Why? Because the other Races don’t have our moral scruples. Are they going to give back the lands they’ve taken from us? This is heresy to those who are addicted to Ethnic Masochism and their Non-White co-dependents. I too have tried to explain the etymology of Nation vs Country: it was deeply resented. People don’t want to know. As the previous poster said, along with Dethenor, the mad Steward of Gondor, “Late is the Hour.”

  5. Ted
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink
  6. Colliton
    Posted September 16, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    People are so dumbed-down and brainwashed they don’t even know why preserving genetic diversity is a good thing. Maybe I’m in a pessimistic mood, but the hour is late and even “conservatives” don’t want to discuss the elephant in the room–White dispossession. Why does it even matter if Whites become a minority? People have grown accustomed to a diminished life. Maybe people just don’t know how to talk about race. We are told by powerful, authoritative institutions like the churches, schools, military, etc. that race is insignificant or just a social construct.
    It was refreshing to hear a populist and economic nationalist like Steve Bannon recently speak out against the Catholic Church for its welcoming of illegal immigrants, but when if ever, will the populists come out and say openly: ” we want to preserve a White majority” and then be able to articulate WHY. Why does race matter?

  7. R1b Visa
    Posted September 19, 2017 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Greg, I dimly remember that some time ago, in relation to your White Nationalist Manifesto, you asked for quotes from government representatives and other establishment figures openly advocating for genocidal policies towards white people.
    This quote about NATO’s attack on Serbia by Sergio Vieira de Mello, then United Nations Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, seems relevant:
    “ethnic purity is basically a Nazi concept. That is what the allied powers fought against during the second world war. That’s what the United Nations was established to fight against over the decades. That is what NATO fought against in fact in Kosovo. And that is why the Security Council requested us to establish such a strong presence in Kosovo, precisely to prevent ethnic purity”

  8. Sartor
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    Brilliant Greg. You argue correctly that to win we must first win the moral high ground and this essay does just that. I look forward to it’s publication in a more permanent form. We are winning the war of ideas and that’s why the elites are hysterical and why they will fail. This essay could well become a classic.

  9. Sartor
    Posted October 13, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Brilliant article Greg. To win we need to take the moral high ground and you have done just that. That was always a weakness in the past; now the ground has shifted. You argue our case
    with consistent clarity and powerful moral force. That’why the elite is desperate to snuff us out. Hope you will soon publish this essay in a more permanent form. Am confident it will become a classic.

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