Are Whites Pathological? Yes and No: Part 1

Robert S. Griffin, Ph.D.


Kevin MacDonald recently noted,  “Whatever blame for our situation that we [Whites] place on others, the bottom line is that we are allowing the unfolding disaster to happen.  It is unprecedented for a civilization to voluntarily cede political and cultural hegemony to others, particularly when so many of these people harbor hatreds and resentments toward our people and our culture.”  Whether or not the kowtowing going on with Whites at the present time is unprecedented — it very well may be; I don’t know history well enough to make a determination on that — it is certainly a remarkable phenomenon.  If it continues, it is social and cultural, and even demographic, suicide.  I am pressed to think of another issue facing Whites that demands analysis, understanding, and action more than this one.  White pathology, a term Dr. MacDonald employs in his analyses, has a disease connotation for me and doesn’t quite hit the mark as a label or metaphor for what’s happening.  I am more comfortable with misguided, self-destructive or shortsighted, somewhere in there — I think we are closer to being dumb than sick — but pathology works well enough for my purposes in this writing to employ it along with other descriptors.

Professor MacDonald has pointed out two contributing factors to White pathology: individualism and the negative impact of Jewish elites:

There are doubtless a great many factors accounting for the general willingness of Whites to allow themselves to be pushed aside and to voluntarily become a minority amid a sea of non-Whites, most of whom hold historical grudges against them.  My general view is that these cultural transformations are the result of a complex interaction between preexisting tendencies of Europeans toward individualism interacting with the rise of a Jewish elite hostile to the traditional peoples and culture of Europe.

He has also pointed out how Whites’ attraction to moral universalism does them in:

While the West pursues its utopian fantasies with great moral fervor, the rest of the world continues as it has always been — except that they are now colonizing us.  .  .  .  Attempts at erecting utopias will ultimately result in huge psychological tension as people are expected to swear allegiance to universalist abstractions even as they see their neighborhoods invaded by non-Whites, even as their jobs are outsourced to foreign countries or taken away by immigrants, and even as they see the political and cultural power of their own group declining — in a word, displacement.  In these circumstances, the more selfish and particularist emotions centered around family and ethnic group inevitably bubble to the surface to compete with the universalist abstractions.  In the contemporary world these abstractions are being imposed on us by elites — including the Jewish component.

While I hope it is not at the expense of appreciating the significance of collective concerns and realities, I must admit I am to a good extent characterized by the individualism that Dr. MacDonald has noted, and, indeed, I have been greatly influenced by Jewish artists and intellectuals, among them ones that inform this paper, the novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, The Virtue of Selfishness) and the developmental psychologist Abraham Maslow (Toward a Psychology of Being).  I get ideas wherever I can find them, and I don’t a priori reject an idea based on the category of person that offers it.  I’m not convinced that these tendencies are detrimental to me, but this is not the context to argue that issue, at least directly.  Whether on balance they serve me, and others, well or not, I’ll attempt here to put my dispositions in these directions to positive use.  Namely, I’m going to approach this issue of White pathology — or shortsightedness, whatever to call it — from a Rand-influenced individualistic angle, and I’ll draw heavily on Maslow’s idea of a hierarchy of needs.

Ayn Rand (1906–1983) focused on the individual human being rather than the group.  She is best known for two novels written in the 1940s and ‘50s, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.  The protagonists in the two books, Howard Roark and John Galt respectively, were heroic, self-expressive, prideful, purposeful, independent and productive individualists who forged their way in life amid their inferior opposites.  Late in her life, Rand authored a series of essays outlining a philosophy she called Objectivism (she capitalized it) in which she set forth the moral justification of a rigorously rational and selfish existence—self-ish, oriented toward self, in service to one’s own wellbeing.

The conventional thinking in White racial thought holds that Randian individualism atomizes White people, separates them from their racial kinsmen and turns them inward toward personal, private matters at the expense of a concern for the White race as a whole.  Personally, I don’t see individualism and selfishness on the one hand and collectivism and altruism on the other as antithetical opposites.  For me, both individual White people and the White race as a totality matter.  It’s not one or the other, one above the other.  My life counts, as does yours, and so does the life of every other White person, and so too does the White race count.  We can concurrently attend to and serve both our own welfare and the welfare of our race.  We don’t have to dichotomize these concerns, set them off against one another, value one over the other, do just one or the other.  In fact, in most cases these agendas complement one another: we are likely to discover that the richer, healthier, more complete, more personally gratifying and happier, our own lives are, the more willing and able we are to serve our race as an entity.  People who are active and effective publicly most often have their personal lives together.

I propose that White racial ideologies and philosophies that value and incorporate both collectivism and individualism in a dynamic interplay of the two will contribute to the wellbeing of both White persons and the White race better than if they are grounded in just one or the other orientation.  In particular, individualism doesn’t necessarily bring down the White race; to the contrary, it holds out the distinct possibility of building it up.  Sometimes our adversaries have ideas and ways that we can employ to our advantage, and this is one of them (see my “Libertarianism and Racial Nationalism — Or Better, White Racialism,” The Occidental Quarterly 16, no.  1 (Spring 2011), 87–103).

Abraham Maslow (1908–1970) posited that there are fundamental human motivations or needs that compel thought and deed in a particular direction and order: first, there is the satisfaction of basic needs (prominent among them, safety, sustenance, sex, social acceptance and inclusion, and self-esteem); and then, once those needs, or at least desires, are satisfied, people pursue a state of self-actualization, where they realize their full possibilities and, metaphorically, fly like a bird.

Self-actualization gets most of the attention in Maslow’s theory, but I look most closely at the bottom of the pyramid, as it were, at what’s going on with what might be viewed as lower needs, because, whether we realize it or not, our first order of business as human beings — for the vast majority of us anyway, and I include myself in this group — is taking care of those needs.  That is to say, and particularly for people under fifty years old, if they aren’t achieving a reasonable number of — what to call them — romantic interludes in their lives, getting that accomplished is going to be right up there at the top of today’s to-do list, and as a practical matter that can deflect their attention from the fate of the West.

Most analyses and proposals around this White pathology issue grow out of what I’ll call an aggregate perspective.  By aggregate, I mean a focus on, well, the aggregate: on what is going on with Whites in general, as a whole; on what we are like as a collectivity; on what we, all of us together, are doing; on what’s going to happen to us now and what it will be like for us up the line.  That take on the issue, the approach common in philosophical, ideological, and social science inquiry, is solid, needed, and helpful.  Absolutely keep it going.  I want to underscore that; I’m not making either-or, better and worse, claims here.  Rather, and it’s the central point or thesis in this writing, I am pointing out that there is not just one reality about any matter, White pathology or any other.  Rather, there are multiple realities that stem from multiple frames of reference, and it is enlightening and empowering to take this fact of life into account when attempting to make sense of any phenomenon and deciding on what to do about it.

While something may be very true about White pathology, something else can also be true, and what is also true may, on the face of it at least, be contradictory to the first truth.  We never will get to the total truth about anything, but the closer we get to it the more we see that what appear conflicting and competing dichotomies are in fact contrasting and complimentary polarities within a larger harmonious whole.  What seems to be this or that is revealed to be this and that.  The great Danish physicist Niels Bohr (who had a Jewish mother, by the way) pointed out, “There are two kinds of truth, small truth and great truth.  You can recognize a small truth because its opposite is falsehood.  The opposite of a great truth is another great truth.”

I am not so presumptuous as to believe I’m establishing a great truth in this paper, but I am offering, I believe, a significant and important truth: that White behavior is at the same time both pathological and foolish and rational and sensible — that it is say, it is not one or the other, craziness or sanity, but both.  And I’m saying that if we are to do something about improving Whites’ state of being now and in the future we would do well to take this truth into account.

To get a handle on this truth, this reality, it helps to bring an individualistic, in contrast to aggregate, perspective to bear on the examination of White thought and deed and their consequences.  So instead of looking at the White race as a whole and what it’s doing, how it’s doing, let’s look at an individual White person and see where that takes us.  (Here comes Rand.)

The individual I have in mind is not a specific person.  He is an abstraction, drawn from young people I have encountered (I teach at a university) and from what I’ve read.  Let’s call him John Jones.  John is characteristic, typical, representative — so even though the focus here is on an individual, there are sociological and psychological generalizations involved in drawing him up.  It is just that the object of study in this instance is the individual rather than the collective.  John Jones is a twenty-two-year-old White gentile and a senior at a university.  Even though I’m making him up, let’s give him reality; imagine this young White man in our minds’ eyes.

What can we say about our Mr. Jones?  What’s on his mind? What is he trying to get done in his life?

Important in this context is what John Jones isn’t thinking about, and that’s the status and destiny of the White race.  Whites may be marching into the sea, but that is not what is occupying John’s mind this afternoon between video games and slices of pizza.  John couldn’t tell you what the word hegemony means, and he has more pressing things on his mind than looking up its meaning in a dictionary.  (I’m worried I’m coming off flip and condescending here.  I don’t mean to be, and I shouldn’t be.  I spend more than a little of my time on a food-stained leather couch munching on take-out moo goo gai pan in a cardboard box and drinking Caffeine-Free Diet Coke and perusing ESPN.com.  And truth be told, I was very late in life before I bothered to find out what hegemony means.  Who am I to look down my nose at what anybody does with his or her life?  If I’m doing that to any extent, please don’t let my personal limitations get in the way of your consideration of the basic argument I’m making here.)

If John Jones doesn’t care about race, what does he care about?  (Here comes Maslow.)

John cares about his social life.  He is exhibiting himself on his Facebook page and trying to look attractive and cool and collect friends.  He is tweeting about what brand of skis he likes and what he’s doing for the weekend in 140 characters per tweet, and he’s checking his mobile phone every ten minutes.  He is working on his abs and his haircut to be attractive to women and doing all he can to ensure himself a reasonable number of romantic interludes.  He is trying to feel good about himself, get his self-esteem in good order, see himself as an admirable person, a good guy and not a bad guy.  John’s not read a book this year that wasn’t assigned reading in one of his courses at the university and he doesn’t read a daily newspaper.  Occasionally he catches Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on television and finds them funny, especially Stewart.  He’s graduating in June and hopes to get a good job.  Depending on how the job interviews go, he might wait tables this summer in Colorado.  Up the line, he’d like to have a family and live a respectable and happy and peaceful life.

John has been in the hands of the enemies of White people all of his life, many of whom, interestingly enough, have been White gentiles like John.  If there has ever been anything bad in the history of life on planet Earth, according to the people who have had his ear and graded his papers — the mass media, politicians, textbooks and teachers — White gentiles like him were the culprits.  Slaveowners, Nazis, rural hicks and rednecks? — his people.  Who slaughtered the Indians? — there you go.  The exploiters of colonial peoples?  That’s right.   Thomas Jefferson?  He had a thing going with his slave.  Who kept Jackie Robinson out of baseball?  Three guesses.  The dreaded sexist, autocratic, villainous White male?  All he has to do is look in a mirror.  Racists and haters? — the referent isn’t Jewish and black racism and hate.  Homophobes?  Who killed Mathew Shepard?  John’s kind did, that’s who.  The religious right?  Scary wackos.  John’s Catholic?  Pedophile priests, come on.  Diversity?  For sure, that’s not about celebrating or looking out for John and his sort.

Basically, John Jones has succumbed to the conditioning he has undergone.  He’s bought it.  Although, I say basically because within our man John Jones, a residue of his training, is a “F— me?  F— you!” resentment, anger, and racial/cultural self-affirmation.  This byproduct of John’s diminution is a source of hope to White advocates and activists.  If they can tap this felt-even-if-inarticulate, pre-conscious inner reality within John Jones and bring it to the surface and help him put words to it and give it meaning, it has the potential of transforming a domesticated, face-licking lapdog into an unchained and raging Fenris wolf from Norse mythology.

But back to the main point.  For all practical purposes John’s heart and mind have been had when it comes to race.  The mind shaping has worked.  John associates his Whiteness with guilt and shame.  His racial identity is nothing to bring front and center and be proud of; rather, it is something to atone for.

And why should John see things any other way?   He couldn’t name a White advocate or a White organization if his life depended on it.  John Jones knows infinitely more about LeBron James and the Miami Heat than he does about White race realism.  Whites have no interests, no need for solidarity, no need for leadership or organization or collective action, no need for self-determination.  Every other group on the face of the earth, yes; Whites, no.  To go in that direction is to be a racist bad guy and John Jones needs to be a good guy, in his own eyes and in the eyes of others.

In John’s mind, for Whites to love their race and to work for its betterment they must feel superior to other races and ethnicities and have hostility toward them and want to lord over them.  That’s the word that has come through to him, and understandably, since he has gotten this notion from absolutely every direction, he has internalized it to the point that if someone were to bring up something about the need to take a close look at how White people are doing and what’s going to happen to them he’d sincerely reply, “You got to be kidding me.”  Though, again, way down inside John there is an organic referent that, if he put words to it, would say, “Damn right.  Let’s do just that!”  But most likely he will live the rest of his life without ever connecting with that part of his being.

What does John spend his time doing?  Serving his Maslow needs: winning social approval and getting his love life in gear and scoring a good job and feeling good about himself — none of which involve White racial concerns.   And the big point here, it is arguably in his rational self-interest to do just that.  The people in power in America have put a racial game on the table, and it makes abundant sense to play and win it within its rules.  To stay within that metaphor, a winning move for individual White people like John Jones is to put down their race or at least lay low and keep their mouths shut, and to defer to minority and Jewish interests and even serve them.  If John doesn’t do that he pays a big Maslow cost for it: social rejection, a barren love life, feeling like there must be something bad about him, and the unemployment line.

An observer might disparage John as a sell-out to his people, and that’s a legitimate enough criticism.  But then again, they don’t have to live his life.  I’m not going to sit here with a secure job as a tenured professor in a university and tell John he should live the life of an unemployed pariah.  I’m for all practical purposes an employed pariah.  It’s not pleasant; however, that said, I personally wouldn’t have it any other way.  I’m fine with my life.  I’m just saying that I’m not about to tell anybody that they are obliged to, say, sign their name to what you are reading right now

And I’m also not about to tell John Jones that he doesn’t know what’s going on.  I’m reminded of the lyrics of the old Bob Dylan song, “Ballad of a Thin Man”:

Something is happening here
But you don’t know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?

Back to the often-contradictory nature of reality, our Mister Jones both does and doesn’t know what is happening here.

He does know that crossing the official line on race is going to cost him plenty personally, and that the only life he will ever live is the one he is putting together now, and he realizes that he has just one shot at doing a good job with this process.  One false move around race and John can kiss goodbye the bank presidency and the political career and heading up the United Way campaign in his community.  And John knows he is afraid, and he knows that his fears around race are well founded.  If he doesn’t play the racial game that’s on the table, to go back to that metaphor, there are people with power over him who will hurt him as much as they possibly can.  (I was unaware of White racialism when I was hired, promoted, and tenured at the university.   If I were then the way I am now around racial matters, while I’d like to think I’d have found good work to do in my life, it wouldn’t have been in a university.  I wouldn’t have gotten hired in the first place, and if somehow I had been hired I wouldn’t have made through the six-year probationary period and attained permanent status, or tenure.)

On the other hand, our Mister Jones doesn’t know what is going on.   His race is going to hell in a handbasket and he doesn’t know it.  I have a better handle on that reality than John Jones does.  Although that is far from saying I’m clued in and he isn’t.  I have experienced enough in a long life to realize that, indeed, there is plenty I don’t know, including about the status and fate of the White race.  Per the Dylan song (yet another Jewish source, now that I think about it), there is something happening here and I don’t know what it is.  I need constantly to keep that in mind, including when I am writing anything for public consumption.

What are the implications of what I have presented for those who care about White people?  That is coming up next.

Go to Part  2.

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