Jamie Kelso at CPAC: Rights versus Interests

Kevin MacDonald


Jamie Kelso’s experience at CPAC, on video here, shows how far we are from changing the rhetoric about race and immigration.

CPAC is sponsored by the American Conservative Union which claims it “represents the views of Americans who are concerned with economic growth through lower taxes and reduced government spending and the issues of liberty, personal responsibility, traditional values and national security.” But, whatever traditional values may be supported by the conference attendees, there is no evidence in the video that preserving White America is among them.

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Instead, Kelso was beset by confident, articulate young White people who have completely internalized the idea that America is a proposition nation. Acknowledging that Kelso probably should have avoided arguments related to inherent value in retaining racial uniqueness if only for tactical reasons, he made several arguments that I regard as unanswerable, particularly if one adopts an evolutionary perspective.  Paraphrasing a bit, he says that all peoples should be able to control a piece of land and to develop their own culture—a comment that reflects Frank Salter’s formulation in his On Genetic Interests. Kelso notes that (formerly) White nations are the only nations on earth that are admitting large numbers of people who are racially and  culturally different. He asks whether Nigeria should admit 500,000 White people. He asks whether Ireland should accept hundreds of thousands of Nigerians. He asks his audience if they would have any concern at all if there are no White people around in the future.

All to no avail. There’s no problem with admitting hundreds of thousands of Nigerians as long as they are good citizens and hard workers, even to a small country like Ireland. In response to Kelso’s point that Whites are the only people who allow colonization by other peoples, a woman says “That’s why we’re superior.” I guess ideas of racial or at least cultural superiority aren’t dead after all. (Someone please notify Hideous Heidi.)  Superiority comes from allowing other peoples to displace and dispossess your own people—an altruism that would leave evolutionists scratching their heads.

The vast majority of the responses to Kelso are a knee-jerk expression of human rights as the ultimate value that trumps all else—a pledge of allegiance to the proposition nation. Using the infinitely plastic concept of rights, White people have no more right to America than Blacks or Latinos or any other race. (Good looking young White guy with an air that he is uttering unassailable wisdom: “We’re talking about freedom here.”)  Nor do they have any particular right to Ireland or Sweden. After all, at some point everyone was an immigrant, even people whose ancestors settled Europe for thousands of years ago.

But whatever argument one wants to make in terms of rights, it clearly is not in the interests of Whites to allow themselves to be displaced and dispossessed, no matter how this dispossession is rationalized in terms of intellectual abstractions. (Kelso: “My fundamental point is that White people have interests.”) Why can’t Whites ask themselves the analogous question to the one that has forever guided Jewish behavior? Is it good for Whites? Devotion to abstractions like rights rather than interests is a sure recipe for evolutionary extinction.

My view is that this attraction to abstractions  is part of the individualistic heritage that is an ethnic trait of Europeans, most obvious in the Puritan/WASP tradition. In the 19th century, this liberal tradition could be seen in their attraction to utopian communities and their strong moral revulsion to slavery that animated the cause of abolition. Ideas matter and are worth fighting for–even if more than 600,000 White people died in the war –”Let us die to make men free” as the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” urged. They had the idea that people are able to fashion moral ideals and then bring them into being as a result of political activism. They were individualists who saw the world not in terms of ingroups and outgroups, but as composed of unique individuals. Their relatively tepid ethnocentrism and their proneness to moral universalism — ethnic traits in my view and in  the view of many in the 19th century — made them willing allies of the rising class of Jewish intellectuals who came to dominate intellectual discourse beginning at least by the 1930s.  Even by the late 1920s, the triumph of Boasian anthropology meant that appeals to WASP ethnicity would fall on deaf ears in the academic world.

The other type of argument against Kelso is that the only criterion should be whether the immigrants benefit the society as a whole in some way–if, for example, they are hard working. That’s a more attractive argument, but, as Peter Brimelow showed a long time ago, U.S. immigration policy is not at all designed to ensure that only the best and brightest or even the hard working come here. Rather than national interest, it’s mainly a matter of closeness to our southern border and family connections—the latter concept a centerpiece of Jewish attitudes on immigration (pp. 277-278) (in addition to maximizing numbers and encouraging immigration by all races).

One could imagine a society that would benefit by accepting other peoples—say an African society that imported a technocratic class. But there is no need to make such people citizens or even permanent residents. Israel, for example, imports foreign workers but does not allow them to become citizens. In fact, if a foreign worker in Israel has a baby, she automatically loses her work permit and becomes subject to deportation along with her children. In the US, Jewish organizations are strongly in favor of birthright citizenship—just one of many examples of different Jewish strategies in the Diaspora versus Israel. As always, the welfare of the Jewry rather than abstract principled morality is the basis of Jewish behavior.  Obviously, in the long run allowing foreign workers to become citizens would not be compatible with Israel being a Jewish state set up to further the interests of a particular ethno-cultural group. Similarly, policies could be devised that would provide for foreign workers but nevertheless allow the US to retain a European ethno-cultural identity and a commitment to maintaining its control over a territory.

The encounter is a good example of how entrenched the rhetoric on issues of race and ethnicity has become. In the same way, European politicians like Geert Wilders and Marine LePen do not question the basics of post-WWII rhetoric on race. These politicians do not use Darwinian thinking that had dominated intellectual discourse early in the last century, only to be eradicated by the rise of the culture of critique (see especially Chapter 2). The fact is that these are racial invaders and it’s as natural to repel them as it was for Charles Martel to stand up to the Muslims in the 8th century or for a wolf pack to defend its territory.

I suspect that explicit assertions of White identity and frank discussions of Jewish influence will remain over the horizon for some time. But the success of anti-Muslim parties in Europe and the anger over immigration in the US (e.g., the Arizona immigration law) means that a lot can be accomplished without explicit assertions of White identity and frank discussions of Jewish influence. (See, for example, the current featured video on this site [also available here]; Tom Tancredo, who polled 38% of the votes in the Colorado governor’s race despite running as a third party candidate, defends measures against illegal immigration without resorting to arguments phrased in terms of White identity and interests: “This has nothing to do with race.” He has also proposed a moratorium on legal immigration.) All of these movements are implicitly White. Like the Republican Party, the vast majority of the supporters of these movements are White and at times at least, they are pursuing White interests. But they cannot say their name. Because of the pall of political correctness on all topics related to race, they cannot frame their policy recommendations explicitly in terms of White interests.

The fact is that right now it’s pretty hard to imagine that a plea against non-White immigration couched in terms of Whiteness would be viable. Kelso’s experience is exactly the sort of thing one can expect, even among so-called conservatives. But if the anti-Muslim movement gains traction in Europe as it seems to be doing, or possibly if someone like Tom Tancredo gets elected to high office in the US, I do think that it will open the door to explicit assertions of White identity and interest.

This is the slippery slope argument so often lying in the background of Jewish concerns about any attempt to restrict immigration or single out any group as unassimilable—even Muslims, the vast majority of whom are no friends of Israel.  Thus Lena Posner, president of the Official Council of Swedish Jewish Communities: “We are quite upset about having a party [in the Parliament] that says they are only addressing Muslims and immigration. History has taught us about where this can lead, and this is not necessarily good for the Jews” (see here).

The slippery slope argument is that once Muslims are successfully targeted as unassimilable, Europeans and other Westerners will realize that other groups, such as African-derived peoples, Jews, Latinos, and Asians, are aligned against them politically and that these groups have quite different interests in the construction of culture than they do. One can easily see the anti-immigration movement snowballing as Europe develops a renewed sense of cultural identity and confidence. And in such a climate, arguments in terms of ethnic genetic interests would quite possibly be an intellectually powerful and welcome defense of the new culture.

This devotion to abstractions by White people has its limits. It’s one thing to see it in a more or less racially homogeneous society and when you are not personally threatened, but its another thing when its obvious that the abstractions are leading to a nightmare for Whites. Whites are indeed the most individualistic people on Earth but I do think that we will become more group-oriented and less mindlessly principled when the threats are obvious to everyone.

But for the foreseeable future, organizations like TOO, the Occidental Quarterly, VDARE.com, and  Counter-Currents will continue to discuss all of these issues—the voices in the background that will put the message of ethnic/racial defense into the thinking of well-educated, articulate, racially aware Whites who will eventually become the leaders of the counter-revolution. The politicians and writers who (implicitly) champion White interests will not express themselves in terms of race for the foreseeable future. But it’s a message that will become more and more palatable as the pressures resulting from these mass invasions continue to mount.

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