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Decline of the West, Part 2

[1]2,781 words

Part 2 of 7 (Part 1 here [2], Part 3 here [3])

Darryl Cooper: Something that you just said, definitely, it’s something I’ve observed. I think maybe ten or fifteen or twenty years ago, a lot of the time when you would think of a White Nationalist, you’re not necessarily thinking of a savory character. And I think there was probably some justice to that stereotype. But a lot of the people that I’m meeting now, who self-identify as Alt Right, like you said, are college-educated people who are well put-together, who carry themselves well, who often have families that are at a young age and who take care of them. It’s definitely a different brand of people than the Venice Beach skinhead that I would have run into when I was a kid. I don’t want to leave that theme of alienation that you were talking about right now, but we’re going to get into that in a little bit. I kind of have that ear-marked. 

There’s one question I wanted to ask about your introduction. I came around to the idea that civilizations are fragile a little bit differently than you did, although I assume there’s probably some intersection. I, like a lot of high-school boys, read Nietzsche a lot, and in my early twenties, I got to Oswald Spengler, and I love Spengler. I love Spengler today. I don’t adopt his ideology as whole cloth as I used to, but I still love him for the gift that he gave me at the time. 

Spengler famously, or maybe infamously in White Nationalist circles, prioritized culture over race. And in the 1930s, he was openly critical of the mere zoology as he called it of the National Socialists. And when he did talk about race, it was clear that the concept for him was rooted in metaphysics rather than just a sort of simple materialist biology. 

Who are some of the thinkers that have influenced your views on race, and is your social and political philosophy rooted in a metaphysical conception of race or something closer to home? Like maybe the sociological perspective that might’ve flowed from somebody like Robert Putnam, maybe if he’d had the courage to follow through his ideas to their conclusion. You talked about the fragility of civilization, but what was the thing that knotted together the idea of race and civilization for you? Because there’s a lot of people today, at least in the United States and Europe for sure, who would not necessarily force that connection.

Greg Johnson: I came upon Spengler somewhat later than you. It was in graduate school when I read Decline of the West. It’s a magnificent book, a truly magnificent work of the imagination, a magnificent synthesis, and a very useful heuristic. A lot of it doesn’t ring true. You can quibble with a lot of his facts, and I think his underlying relativism is too extreme. I don’t believe that it’s meaningful to talk about different mathematics in different civilizations. I don’t think that stands the test of philosophical argument. That said, it’s a brilliant heuristic. 

It’s essentially a kind of Epicurean account of the rise and fall of civilization. It is a cyclical view of history, but it’s not Traditionalist but Epicurean in inspiration. The thinker who is closest to my mind, the thinker whom I find to be one of the most adequate as well as pregnant with new possibilities in the philosophy of history and culture, is Giambattista Vico. I love Vico. He was a great reactionary. There’s an essay by Steven Holmes, “The Permanent Structure of Antiliberal Thought.” It’s basically a description of Vico. He doesn’t make that clear, but Vico is the paradigm of the Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment critic of modernity and liberalism. I see Spengler as fitting into that tradition as well. Spengler was deeply influenced by Nietzsche, and I love Nietzsche too. But that’s just bibliographical. 

How does race figure into it? Spengler was just wrong about race because he thought that Franz Boas was telling the truth about race. He thought that Boas’ studies that claim that people’s heads changed when they moved to the New World and were in a different culture or a cultural environment or landscape refuted the idea that that race is mutable only by biological evolution. But we know now that Boas was making it up, that it was fraudulent, that it’s not true. So if Spengler were around today, he might not hold the same view. 

Spengler was part Jewish, and therefore he also had a personal motivation to be opposed to the kind of racial purist attitudes that were floating around in Germany in the interwar period, and certainly in the Third Reich. But those are questions I’d like to set aside. 

My eyes glaze over and I get very uncomfortable when people talk about metaphysical notions of race. When Evola talks about race in different senses of the word, that’s the weakest thing in his work. Race is simply a biological concept. That’s all it is. If you want to talk about character types and the like, that’s a separate issue. But race is a biological concept, and it’s only a biological concept. 

If people start talking about metaphysical notions of race, they’re either trying to bootleg in some kind of dualistic metaphysics, or they are confusing race with other categories that are perfectly legitimate and useful like the study of different character types or soul types, as in the Platonic psychology of reason, spirit, and desire, which allows you to talk about different types of men: the desire-driven man, the rational man, and the honor-driven man. Or the psychology of the temperaments and humors. All of these are perfectly legitimate. I just don’t want to call them race. I just want to reserve that term for biology. 

In terms of my own thinking about race, I was always deeply aware of it, because I was so fascinated with exotic peoples when I was a kid. My parents subscribed to National Geographic, and their friends had stacks of old ones in their basements from their kids, and they’d give them to me. I was just fascinated with physical anthropology and cultural anthropology from a very early age. 

I was sort of a connoisseur, just on the surface, of different racial types. I could look at aborigines or Papuans or other peoples like that, and at a glance I could pretty much classify them in terms of racial and subracial types. I didn’t have any negative attitudes towards other races because I grew up in an almost entirely white environment. My attitude towards them was fascination. I still have lots of books on my shelves about Amerindians, the Far East, Polynesia, and so forth. So it is both an old and an abiding interest to me. 

Thus I never bought the idea that race was somehow a social construct or it’s all culture. It took me years to understand where that was even coming from. It’s basically a metaphysical posit of egalitarianism. They have a project of making everybody the same, and therefore they have to posit that the main stumbling block in the path of that, biological race, can somehow be ignored. And it’s as simple as that. They constantly talk about deconstructing our concepts. We need to deconstruct their concepts. They constantly talk about how our concepts are just creations of our power drives and our agendas. Well, they’re tipping their hand about their own ideas as well. 

I’ve always been a person who’s motivated by the truth, and I’ve changed my views on a lot of things very radically over time because I just found that certain arguments were better than others. I’ve always found the idea that systems of ideas are just expressions of their time and place or just ideologies, tools of domination, and so forth to be a tell. If people say that, chances are they practice what they preach. Their ideas are often just tools, and they’re dishonest. 

I took me a long time to come around to that because I’ve always been so naïve. I would think maybe I just need to analyze Foucault a little bit more, and then it’ll make sense. Perhaps the problem lies in me. It took me many years before I finally just got to the point of declaring that certain systems of ideas are just nonsense, carefully constructed to serve a particular agenda. And they have to be deconstructed as that. 

But I’ve never bought the race is a social construct stuff from the beginning. And once I got out into the world and started interacting with people instead of living in a completely white bubble, I started noticing that racial differences are not just exotic and interesting, but they’re also absolutely crucial for determining people’s likely behaviors, likely level of performance, likely level of civilization, likelihood of civilizational conflict and decline, and so forth. So it wasn’t a great leap for me to become a race realist. I was a race realist for a long time before I actually decided, “Screw multiculturalism”; screw these forms of liberalism that I was clinging to. We simply must have homogeneous societies. We need to change the demographic composition and trends of our societies if we want to survive. 

I’ve always been worried about demographics. It was always in the background, nagging and gnawing at me, even as I was holding onto universalistic political ideas like libertarianism or classical liberalism or conservatism. I worried that if our population is replaced by dumber people, none of this is going to work. And at a certain point, that nagging little voice in the back of my head got louder and louder, and finally I thought that I just had to change my political paradigm. We can’t afford to play these little games anymore. 

There was a time when I was a post-libertarian conservative trying to figure out ways of squaring the circle and maintaining a sensible, functional society in an increasingly multicultural environment. And when you just look at the trends, after a while you have to say: “No, it’s not going to work.” 

For Republican conservative types, the last refuge before full-on White Nationalism is assimilationism. But even if we could assimilate all these people who are coming in, we’re not even trying. They’re assimilating us one taco at a time. And until such time as we start trying to assimilate these people, you need to stand up and say, “Halt! We can’t have any more of this invasion.” 

I had so many conservative friends who would run screaming from the room when I would wag my finger at them and say, “If you really believe in assimilation, and we’re not assimilating, you’ve got to blow the whistle and halt immigration.” But no, they wanted to marry some girl from the Philippines. They always had some private reservations, or they were involved in globalized businesses, and it was a good for their balance. They were invested in undermining wages in America, for instance. 

Long after I was a race realist, and long after I worried about demographic change, I finally got to the point of just saying that a universalistic conservative political ideology is just a sucker’s proposition. Game theory helped on this. I was aware for a long time that if you have an environment where everyone’s playing by individualist rules, and you come in working as a team, you have a systematic advantage. You demand that the individualists always give you a fair shake when they have something that you want. And when individualists come to you for some favor you can dispense, you duplicitously pretend like you’re giving them a fair shake, and then you hand it off to your cousin and pretend that he’s just the best guy for the job. 

Well, we’ve been importing a lot of people like that into our society, and it’s being hollowed out and taken over by these “parasite tribes,” as John Robb likes to call them. But you can only hack individualist white society, you can only hollow it out so far, until it’s like an image in Atlas Shrugged that always affected me, of a great tree that stood for hundreds of years and then came crashing down in a storm, and everyone was shocked to find that it was hollowed out and empty inside. It was just a shell. 

That’s what’s happening to us. We have this fantastically powerful society, with great cities and industries, but it’s being hollowed out. The people who built it are being replaced by other kinds of people who could never have built it and can never sustain it. And the people who built and sustained it, our ethnic group, is being constantly attacked. We’re constantly off balance. We’re constantly in retreat. We’re slated for replacement. Our enemies gloat about our demographic decline. But there’s going to come a point when we have a war or an economic crisis, and we will find that the resources of civility that got us through the Great Depression will not be there anymore. Eventually when this system is stress tested, parts are going to start flying off. It’s just going to collapse. 

We need to basically call a halt to this. It’s not working. We need to move back to a society that is normatively European rather than multicultural, and that is ethnically European. The demographic decline of whites in America has been going on since 1965. In 1965, we were a 90% white society. Everything was normatively white, meaning that all the nonwhite groups were required to live up to white social and legal norms. That exercised and important pressure on them to make them more bearable to be around. 

But the normative whiteness of our society has been thrown out, and the borders have been opened, and the founding white population is maybe 60% now. In many states, white children are a minority in kindergarten and first grade. That’s the future in store for us. A lot of white people are aware of that, and they feel hopeless. They feel like our people do not have a future on this continent anymore. Indeed, if present trends continue, we don’t. 

I think that the solution to that begins with the realization that it took fifty years to get this into this horrible mess. And it might take fifty years to get us out. As a practicable political proposal, let’s return to status quo 1965, and let’s do it in fifty years. Let’s halt immigration from the nonwhite world, and let’s create incentives for these people to emigrate rather than immigrate. And in fifty years, the older members of those communities will have died of old age, and the younger ones who are reproducing will have emigrated, and we could go back to status quo 1965. Hell, I’d like to go further than that. And in 2065, when I’m dead and gone, I hope people will move the goalposts further. 

But what matters is that it’s a totally feasible plan. You just have to change the basic incentive structures and laws that have caused our demographic decline. And then you have to wait. 

It’s a perfectly fair proposal. Whites have accepted that deal. We’ve accepted living in a system where our kind has no future. It’s perfectly fair for us to say we’re changing the rules now. Now nonwhites have no future in this society, and I’m not using “no future” as a military or mafia euphemism for murder. I’m simply saying that the nonwhite population will decline to the point where it’s negligible or non-existent for post-1965 groups. 

There’s no reason to have any of them here. They have homelands all over the globe to which they can return. But we have only one homeland, and we’re losing it. Blacks and a few Hispanics and Amerindians have a claim to being here. We can deal with that later.

DC: I am getting the feeling, Greg, that you must have missed a Jon Stewart’s address to the nation. You didn’t get the message. This isn’t your country. It never was. Come on, man.

GJ: Yeah, I missed that address to the nation. 

DC: Didn’t make an impact, maybe?

GJ: It didn’t make an impact. But seriously, the gloating our enemies are constantly engaged in: as someone once said, they’re partying today like it’s 2043, like we’re already a minority. And that is starting to spook the horses. It is starting to wake up ordinary white people. We’re in a weird situation. And we have to ask ourselves: “What’s the upside of sharing a continent and a political system with people who obviously hate us as a group?”