The Puritan Intellectual Tradition in America, Part 1: Nineteenth-Century Optimism and Utopian Idealism

This is about a pernicious strand of European thinking that is an important component of the crisis we face today—the Puritan strand of American thought which dominated America until the 1960s counter-cultural revolution. The synopsis is that in the nineteenth century, Puritan-descended intellectuals engaged in utopian, idealistic fantasies, often with moralistic overtones. Then after the Civil War, this type of thinking went into disfavor, replaced by Darwinian thinking which reached its apex in the battle over immigration, ending with the passage of the 1924 law. However, this intellectual shift was eradicated by the Jewish-dominated intellectual movements I discuss in The Culture of Critique.

The culture of the West is complicated—a blend really between very different cultural influences. A basic idea is that Western societies are individualistic—far more individualistic than any other culture area of the world. But within that general framework of individualism, there are important differences.

One important strand derives from Indo-European culture: From the Pontic Steppes of the Ukraine around 4500 years ago. This culture was completely militarized; it was aristocratic and strongly hierarchical. It was originally based entirely on military ability, as leaders would attract followers by providing them with spoils of war. The leader was first among equals, not a despotic monarch. It was based on a warrior elite, with upward mobility possible for individuals with military talent.

The Indo-Europeans were an incredibly successful people, expanding throughout Europe, the Middle East (Iran), and as far east as Western China. In Europe (but not in the caste system of India), barriers between peoples, such as the barriers between the Germanic tribes and the Romans, gradually disappeared, as assimilation rather than strong barriers between peoples occurred—an important marker of an individualist society. In general, rather than exterminating the people they conquered, conquered peoples had labor obligations to the lord.

This fundamentally Indo-European culture continued among the Germanic peoples who dominated Western Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire. Indeed, the Indo-European model dominated European politics from pre-history to the seventeenth century in England. The watershed event in England was the English Civil War of the 1640s pitting Cromwell and the Puritans against the Crown.

The radicalism of the Puritan Revolution was that it ultimately led to the destruction of the Indo-European social order. This revolution was far more radical than the revolution whereby Christianity destroyed the pagan gods of Old Europe. The new order was far more egalitarian than the older order. Congregations elected their ministers, and they served at the pleasure of the people they served.

The Puritans who came to America settled originally in New England, but they had very high fertility and gradually spread across the continent from New England to Oregon. Abraham Lincoln, for example, came from New England stock. They tended to be middle-class tradesmen, with intact families, few servants, no slaves, relatively educated and they greatly valued education, establishing Harvard shortly after their arrival. It was an acquisitive, expansionist, capitalist, materialistic ethos as well.

The culture of the South, on the other hand, was a variant of the Indo-European aristocratic model derived mainly from distressed cavaliers who had been on the losing side in the English Civil War and a culture based on what they saw as a natural hierarchy rather than egalitarian sentiments, and of course it involved the slavery of Africans. These two fundamentally different social systems were at odds really from the beginning of American history. The fundamental break of course was the Civil War, the consequence of which was the victory of the Puritan conception of society. As Prof Andrew Fraser noted in The WASP Question, “as a consequence of the Civil War, the absolute hegemony of the leveling, acquisitive and utilitarian society pioneered by the Puritan Revolution was firmly entrenched.”[1]

This Puritan tradition gave rise in the nineteenth century to a liberal intellectual tradition derived from the Ivy League universities of New England, particularly Harvard. With their base in the Ivy League universities, Puritan-descended intellectuals dominated intellectual discourse in the United States until the rise of a Jewish elite beginning in the 1920s. The power of this Jewish elite accelerated greatly after World War II, and reached dominance after 1965. The leading intellectuals in this Puritan tradition opposed slavery and advocated on behalf of the lower classes and immigrants; they created what we would recognize today as a culture of the left—utopian, idealistic, and moralistic. Many of them were Unitarian or Congregationalist clergymen (the two denominations most closely associated with the Puritans) and can be grouped as advocating what came to be called Transcendentalism in philosophy. The most famous transcendentalist was Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Without going into details, Transcendentalism was egalitarian in the important sense that they saw everyone as possessing a spark of divinity—a Christian idea that goes back to the ancient world and was a defining belief of the Quakers who were critical for ending slavery in Britain but less important in the U.S.; Quakers were and are even more egalitarian than those of Puritan descent.

Transcendentalism was decidedly egalitarian and universalist. “Universal divine inspiration—grace as the birthright of all—was the bedrock of the Transcendentalist movement.”[2] They believed that ideas of God, morality, and immortality are part of human nature and do not have to be learned. This is the spiritual equivalent of the democratic ideal that all men (and women) are created equal. The truth of these egalitarian beliefs was seen as obvious and compelling—no need for scientific investigation. One might say that Transcendentalism was really a religious movement.

Not surprisingly, this philosophy led many Transcendentalists to become deeply involved in social activism on behalf of the lower echelons of society—the poor, prisoners, the insane, the developmentally disabled, and — most critically — slaves in the South. In the United States, the main energy of the anti-slavery movement came from these Puritan-descended intellectuals.

* * *

I’ll give a brief sketch of some of these intellectuals.

Orestes Brownson (1803–1876) admired the Unitarian Universalists’ belief in the inherent dignity of all people and the promise of eventual universal salvation for all believers. He argued “for the unity of races and the inherent dignity of each person, and he lambasted Southerners for trying to enlarge their political base.”[3] Like many New Englanders, he was outraged by the Supreme Court decision in the Dred Scott case that required authorities in the North to return fugitive slaves to their owners in the South. For Brownson the Civil War was a moral crusade waged not only to preserve the union, but to emancipate the slaves. Writing in 1840, Brownson claimed that we should “realize in our social arrangements and in the actual conditions of all men that equality of man and man” that God had established but which had been destroyed by capitalism[4]—ironic because in general the Puritans were very good at capitalism and, as noted, produced an acquisitive, materialistic society. According to Brownson, Christians had

to bring down the high and bring up the low; to break the fetters of the bound and set the captive free; to destroy all oppression, establish the reign of justice, which is the reign of equality, between man and man; to introduce new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness, wherein all shall be as brothers, loving one another, and no one possessing what another lacketh.[5]

George Ripley (1802–1880), founder of the utopian community of Brook Farm and an important literary critic, also exemplifies the idealistic, Utopian, moralistic and egalitarian perspective of the Transcendentalists.  He “preached in earnest Unitarianism’s central message, a belief in universal, internal religious principle that validated faith and united all men and women.”[6]

Ripley founded Brook Farm on the principle of substituting “brotherly cooperation” for “selfish competition.”[7] He questioned the economic and moral basis of capitalism, and held that if people did the work they desired, and for which they had a talent, the result would be a non-competitive, classless society where each person would achieve personal fulfillment. Needless to say, his utopian experiment ended after 5 years or so, in debt and in poverty. But it is a defining characteristic of this type of thinking to reject the idea of human nature in favor of idealistic, utopian causes framed in moral terms. This sort of thinking is, of course, rampant among those who promote the end of White-majority American in favor of multiculturalism and demographic transformation as a result of immigration. Whites wanting to retain power are evil racists—evil, not intellectually misguided.

Theodore Parker (1810–1860) was a Unitarian minister, writer, public intellectual, and model for religiously motivated liberal activism. He wrote that “God is alive and in every person.”[8] “God is not what we are, but what we need to make our lives whole, and one way to realize this is through selfless devotion to God’s creation.”[9]

Parker was concerned about crime and poverty, and he was deeply opposed to the Mexican war and to slavery. He blamed social conditions for crime and poverty, and condemned merchants: “We are all brothers, rich and poor, American and foreign, put here by the same God, for the same end, and journeying towards the same heaven, and owing mutual help.”[10] In Parker’s view, slavery is “the blight of this nation” and was the real reason for the Mexican war, because it was aimed at expanding the slave states. Parker was far more socially active than Emerson, becoming one of the most prominent abolitionists and a secret financial supporter of John Brown, the leader of an ill-fated slave revolt in 1859. Brown was from New England stock..

When Parker looked back on the history of the Puritans, he saw them as standing for moral principles. He approved of a Puritan preacher named John Eliot in particular because he preached to the Indians and attempted to convert them to Christianity.

Nevertheless, Parker is a bit of an enigma because, despite being a prominent abolitionist and favoring racial integration of schools and churches, he asserted that the Anglo-Saxon race was “more progressive” than all others.[11] He was also prone to making condescending and disparaging comments about the potential of Africans for progress.

This brings up an interesting point that it was common among these intellectuals and the public at large to believe that Anglo-Saxons were a superior group and the most progressive of all human “races.” They had the idea that immigrant Catholics and Blacks would become “just like them” over time—a view that fit with Lamarck’s theory of evolution by acquired characteristics which was quite influential among scientists until Darwinism won the day.

William Henry Channing (1810–1884) was a Transcendentalist writer and Christian socialist. He wrote that “Christian love, and labor in its spirit, would initiate a more egalitarian society,”[12] including immigrants, the poor, slaves, prisoners, and the mentally ill. He worked tirelessly on behalf of the cause of emancipation and in the Freedman’s Bureau designed to provide social services for former slaves.

* * *

Emerson and other Transcendentalists were outraged by the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 which mandated return of slaves who had escaped to the North. For Ralph Waldo Emerson, “the very landscape seemed robbed of its beauty, and he even had trouble breathing because of the ‘infamy’ in the air.”[13] After the John Brown debacle, Emerson was “glad to see that the terror at disunion and anarchy is disappearing,” for the price of slaves’ freedom might demand it.[14] Both Emerson and Thoreau commented on Brown’s New England Puritan heritage. Emerson lobbied Lincoln on slavery, and when Lincoln emancipated the slaves, he said “Our hurts are healed; the health of the nation is repaired.”[15] He thought the war worth fighting because of it.

* * *

It’s instructive to review these nineteenth-century intellectuals because we see that sort of idealism today among many White people. It’s a problem that we have to be aware of. But the good news is that after the Civil War, the idealism of the Transcendentalists lost its preeminence, and American intellectuals increasingly embraced Darwin. Many of these Darwinists were also of Puritan New England extraction and became leaders in the anti-immigration movement that resulted in the 1924 immigration law. In other words, change is possible. By the early twentieth century, Transcendentalism was a distant memory and the new materialists had won the day. Change is possible and in the case of the United States as it entered the twentieth century, there were increased concerns about the massive immigration, especially the immigration of Eastern European Jews who tended to be political radicals and/or Orthodox—none of whom were interested in assimilation.. The optimism so characteristic of the nineteenth century faded as many realized that assimilation wasn’t working and that the immigrants really wouldn’t end up being “just like them.” Indeed, these immigrants and their descendants became the backbone of the left in the twentieth century, coming to dominance after 1965 and utterly transforming the country. In the long run, we might say that the movement to restrict immigration was too little, too late.

Go to Part 2


[1] Andrew Fraser, The Wasp Question (Arktos, 2011), 122.

[2] Philip F. Gura, American Transcendentalism: A History (New York: Hill and Wang, 2007), 18.

[3] Ibid., 266.

[4] Quoted in Ibid., 138–139.

[5] Quoted in Ibid., 139.

[6] Ibid., 80.

[7] Ibid., 156.

[8] Ibid., 143.

[9] Ibid., 218.

[10] Quoted in Ibid., 219.

[11] “Theodore Parker,” Dictionary of Unitarian & Universalist Biography.

http://uudb.org/articles/theodoreparker.html

[12] Philip F. Gura, American Transcendentalism: A History (New York: Hill and Wang, 2007), 228.

[13] Ibid., 246.

[14] In Ibid., 260.

[15] In Ibid., 265.

14 replies
  1. RoyAlbrecht
    RoyAlbrecht says:

    “…The leading intellectuals in this Puritan tradition opposed slavery and advocated on behalf of the lower classes and immigrants; they created what we would recognize today as a culture of the left—utopian, idealistic, and moralistic. Many of them were Unitarian or Congregationalist clergymen (the two denominations most closely associated with the Puritans) and can be grouped as advocating what came to be called Transcendentalism in philosophy. The most famous transcendentalist was Ralph Waldo Emerson.”

    In the longwinded probably boring post below I start with something intended not to be boisterous but to somehow qualify my remarks.
    Most authors here have PhD’s, or other letters behind their names that speak for their credentials and they thereby avoid the need to qualify their comments whereas I am technically merely a high school graduate and I seem to be constantly questioned on my credentials or even berated as in need of medication.
    Yet the things I have experienced have been experienced and documented by countless others throughout the millenniums yet their stories remain largely buried from public knowledge.

    From traveling on a bicycle through 60 odd countries
    over a period of decades (3+)
    all the while seeing things from the minds eye of a
    “..Red Pilled by a German Secretary of State..” 5 year old
    and later
    a Bodhisattva-attained kind of combination between a Spartan-Mennonite turned Lay-religio-pan-linguist with both “…an inner-eye…” and “…outer eyes…” on the Jewish Question,
    I can tell you from experience that what ever country I was “…surviving…” in (“…survival…” in this case ranges anywhere from poverty stricken and starved dumpster diving in Columbia to teaching the elite of South Korean society),
    the most able bodied individuals almost always had
    “…dominant-recessive…” phenotypic characteristics of a Northern European nature (Aryan)
    combined with
    “…superficial-dominant…” phenotypic characteristics of the given Race of people they were a part of.

    For example, while teaching Heads of Departments of Neurosurgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Anesthesiology, Radiology, Cardiology, Respirology, etc…,
    English as a Second Language at Seoul National University Hospital,
    I noticed that these elites in their field had the outward skin and hair features indicative of all Koreans, yet their skeletal anthropometrics (pointedly, their skulls and stature) were much more indicative of Northern Europeans (see: terracotta warriors for another example).
    These individuals were also highly gifted, educated, skilled, and otherwise talented with an understanding of life on the most profound level imaginable.

    Conversely, when it came to the slave classes serving in the various lowest levels of society,
    for example,
    crew on smuggling ships between the “..Guyanas..” (Guyana, Surinam & French Guiana [sp?]) and Brazil,
    the individuals “..resembled and behaved…” more like hybrids between higher primates and proper humans.
    They were simply incapable of not only grasping, but even communicating about rudimentary concepts of Spirituality, Race-based International Politics, or anything for that matter (outside of the simple tasks they had for a lifetime been trained to repeat).

    These examples can be extrapolated to basically all corners of the planet, including the White World, “…TO VARYING DEGREES…”.

    So based on this observable self-evident reality on my part, I can not really accept that all humans are equal and that all humans should deserve equal rights.
    Notwithstanding the above, no matter what one’s Genetic Aptitudes are, ALL life forms, even lower animals, feel pain and anguish or joy and happiness.

    As such, I see no benefit in inflicting acts upon any life form that induce malevolence-based pain and anguish.
    So in the some regard, I might consider myself a Puritan but in regards to Spiritual Transcendentalism, I hardly believe these lower life forms are able work toward Spiritual Enlightenment with a sense of sentience that equals that of an elite man.
    However, I often wonder about the communication techniques of Delphinids and Musculae (sp?).
    Clicking sonar conversations that can travel tens of kilometers underwater and elicit specific activities by the various parties to the conversation to my mind surpasses in terms of efficiency anything that primitive man was able to develop.
    Notwithstanding, whenever I examine the leadership classes of today’s “Xtian” (Ex-Christian IMO) churches
    (to say nothing of the other “…religious industries…” on the planet),
    they seem to be gradually, generation to generation, taking on a resemblance of lower primates (to say nothing of their congregations).
    In the case of the present Catholic hierarchy, the leadership seems to be riddled with Crypto-Jews
    (bona fide lower primates, IMO 🙂 )
    and I suspect that the non-Catholic hierarchy is plagued with a (((similar sickness))).

    Yet I have seen countless cases where otherwise wild animals in distress are helped, freed, cured or otherwise rescued by humans only to freely show their sense of indebtedness with gestures that can only be interpreted as thanks.

    The upshot of all the above blithering is that ALL life should be respected, but it should not be assumed that all forms of life are endowed with an innate sense of benevolence, understanding, and capacities,
    which is what the Puritans have mistakenly assumed (or been (((tricked))) into believing…?).

    Life is fluid and shifting in direction,
    not only with respect to evolution but also in personality.
    Birds and Gorillas have been documented learning from and communicating their inner thoughts to Humans,
    of having good and bad days and
    of establishing “…paradigm breaking…” relationships with otherwise adversarial species.

    Life is so fluid in fact that it seems almost ludicrous to try to document certain aspects of behavior and then extrapolate and enshrine them into laws or theories.
    Far more sensible is for the elites forms of life on the planet to achieve Spiritual Enlightenment and thereby develop the ability to do as Daniel did and Walk into the Den of Lions only to emerge unscathed days later…, something his adversary was unable to do…

    The above order of operational approach regarding “…development…” is to me the most logical because it promotes the “..unspoken language…” to a level of preeminence and
    does away with the sometimes pedantic need and tediousness to dissect every minutiae of behaviour on a rational level.
    In other words, once Spiritually Enlightened, one retains within the Spiritually Enlightened Group a sense of common understanding that is absolutely self-evident and [psychically] efficient.
    What a leap in advantage it confers.

    • Barkingmad
      Barkingmad says:

      No, Roy, your comments were not at all boring.

      I am not sure if there is any sort of manual for achieving the spiritual enlightenment that we all need. It probably happens on a one-at-a-time basis according to one’s status in the mind of the Creator. You can’t predict who it will happen to, or exactly how.

      Now, about your this: “For example, while teaching Heads of Departments of Neurosurgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Anesthesiology, Radiology, Cardiology, Respirology, etc…,English as a Second Language at Seoul National University Hospital, I noticed that these elites in their field had the outward skin and hair features indicative of all Koreans, yet their skeletal anthropometrics (pointedly, their skulls and stature) were much more indicative of Northern Europeans (see: terracotta warriors for another example). These individuals were also highly gifted, educated, skilled, and otherwise talented with an understanding of life on the most profound level imaginable.”

      LOL!

      Not in my books. If they had such deep understanding why has the medical “profession” in Korea adopted and promoted infant male circumcision so enthusiastically? Bear with me, and read this from wikipedia (and I believe that this is correct information):

      South Korea

      Circumcision is largely a modern-day phenomenon in South Korea. While the rate in the twentieth century has been nearing 80%, virtually no circumcision was performed just a century ago, as it was against Korea’s long and strong tradition of preserving the body as a gift from parents.[31] A 2001 study of 20-year-old South Korean men found that 78% were circumcised.[32] At the time, the authors commented that “South Korea has possibly the largest absolute number of teenage or adult circumcisions anywhere in the world. Because circumcision started through contact with the American military during the Korean War, South Korea has an unusual history of circumcision.” According to a 2002 study, 86.3% of South Korean males aged 14–29 were circumcised.[33] In 2012, it’s the case of 75.8% of the same age group. Only after 1999 has some information against circumcision become available (at the time of the 2012 study, only 3% of Korean internet sites, using the most popular Korean search engine Naver, are against indiscriminate circumcision and 97% are for).[31] The authors of the study speculate “that the very existence of information about the history of Korean circumcision, its contrary nature relative to a longstanding tradition, its introduction by the US military, etc., has been extremely influential on the decision-making process regarding circumcision.”[31]
      _________________
      Now, such gross, harebrained blindness was also to be found in the English, who in the late 19th century glommed onto circumcision like a drowning man hangs on to a log. And the other English-speaking countries, including those having lots of nonEnglish Europeans in their population, bought the pro-cutting idea as well. And here we are today, with no end in sight to this denaturing of the male.

      So, Roy, I found your essay most interesting and agree with your thoughts on respecting all forms of life. Indeed, I love animals way more than people. I don’t particularly enjoy being such a crank/curmudgeon, and would love to be given reasons to feel otherwise. Thanks.

      • RoyAlbrecht
        RoyAlbrecht says:

        @Barkingmad,

        Too many people confuse being a, “…crank/curmudgeon…” with being a realist.
        It is no more your fault that everywhere around us these days there seems to be…, let’s just call it…, bad news,
        any more than it is your fault that primarily Jews have more or less stolen control of the global paradigm.

        Notwithstanding, you make an excellent point.

        Although the Koreans I taught were largely from, middle, upper-middle or “…old rich..” backgrounds and
        had higher than average IQs,
        to my knowledge,
        IQ has not much bearing on willingness to bow to peer pressure or extended family expectations.

        In matters pertaining to;
        the Spirit,
        dedication to the material advancement of the extended family unit,
        competition/conformity amongst employees of the same organization,
        hierarchical positioning within society (a very complex interplay between a myriad of competing factors),
        and probably a whole list of other criteria that have just escaped my off hand memory…;
        Koreans largely know how to kiss ass in order to get the things they perceive as conducive to survival.

        Korean also know that both Jews and their Crypto-Jewish Moles not only proxy-control America, (((they))) proxy-control, Europe, S. Korea, Japan and most of the resources on the planet.

        As such, if the national media, their employers, (((church or other religious organizations))), etc…, virtue signal the advantages of circumcision,
        Koreans unthinkingly,
        with perpetual mindless smiley faces,
        would condone even circumcision of their female relatives’ genitalia.

        Facebook’s Zuckerberg, along with a host of other Koreans will bow to Jewish power as long as it gives them material security or upward mobility.

        However, within “…old rich…” circles, I am pretty sure that the practice of circumcision is frowned upon as being unnatural and repulsive.

        Finally, although I have some good memories of Korea and Japan,
        like those surrounding food culture,
        discipline,
        mutual respect,
        maintaining/gaining and respecting the Racial-National-Provincial-Familial Unit and again
        possibly a few others I forgot about…,
        I know Whites were once and
        one day may be again
        capable of running circles around Orientals in almost every facet of existence
        if only they would come to accept the nature of the Racial War the Jews are by stealth, unilaterally imposing upon us and
        rise up to seek out the Berserker Viking that lies within…, and impose it upon Jews.

  2. Richard B
    Richard B says:

    Wonderful to read your interpretation of Emerson and I look forward to Part II, which I’m guessing will mention Dewey. Regarding Part I, I do think that there’s another important take on Emerson. Important because it’s relevant, to us today. The interpretation I’d offer consists of two things.

    1. His stated mission; which was to link America to Europe. Emerson felt his task was to join America to a supranational Europe in a seamless continuum.

    This is why Matthew Arnold admired him so and put him on the level of Goethe. And it was Goethe who, more than any other figure of the late 18th and early 19th century, could see the changes coming in the West and insisted on a fundamental unity and internal coherence of European culture. So, I would argue that, at a time when we’re looking for unity and coherence, Emerson is a good place to start.

    2. Emerson vs Marx: There’s two words we could use to describe the difference between the two writers, “alienation” and “redemptionism.” The one thing that most certainly links the Protestants with Jews is redemptionism, ie; If we just do X then we’ll solve all of our social, economic and moral problems. A social utopia to replace the old Heaven.

    Everything about Emerson works against this. He was more penetrating, far more, and more tough-minded, and saw that the paradox was that alienation was the path to unity and that redemptionism was pie in the sky and possibly dangerous.

    To steal from Yeats, Marx might be the energetic horseman (naive utopianism), but it’s Emerson who casts a cold eye.

    As I see it, the one thing the White man can do better than any other is face reality. That’s why the culmination (but not completion) of Western thought is in the man some refer to, not without reason, as the father of the modern age – Nietzsche. And, of course, Nietzsche loved Emerson. And now we’re back to why I think thinkers like Emerson are so relevant to us today. To preserve our race we need to alienate ourselves from the polarization of the Right and Left that is currently threatening to strangle us to death, because both sides are too reactionary. Reacting to each other as if nothing in Western thought ever existed. It’s a middle class disease that the young of the Alt-Right would do well to free themselvs from, and can, without embracing the phoney individualism of Jordan Peterson. And Emerson is far more relevant than JBP ever will be, and more inspiring, because he’s a classic figure of our tradition.

  3. Joe six pack
    Joe six pack says:

    James Kurth came up with the idea of the Protestant Deformation to explain(I think) his view of our foreign policy which is kind of “Our way or the highway.” “Be a democratic capitalist or we will destroy you.” Being the number one superpower we could afford to meddle in other country’s affairs.
    He explains how it all begins with Protestantism in a long article here:
    https://www.the-american-interest.com/2005/12/01/the-protestant-deformation/

    He goes into a lengthy explanation blaming his Protestant Deformation for the invasion of Iraq, never mentioning Jewish interests and their media pressure or the Office of Special plans which was full of neocons urging us to go fight a war.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/jul/17/iraq.usa

    I always liked the phrase Protestant Deformation but preferred to think of it more in the sense of the Prod churches transmogrifying themselves into Universal Love Bureaucracies (with the lone exception of the Orangemen) and thereby committing a trickle down form of slow suicide.

  4. John King
    John King says:

    I would be very interested in seeing you write a book-length study that would act as a counterweight to the Culture of Critique. I suppose two books might be in order. The first would be one that deals with the self-critical or self-abnegating aspects of white intellectual culture; the second, one that deals with a supporting or nurturing intellectual culture.

  5. Kraft
    Kraft says:

    Abraham Lincoln’s parents and ancestors lived in Virginia
    His parents moved to Kentucky where he was born. Later they moved to southern Illinois wedges between Kentucky and Missouri

    Hardly New England stock

  6. PaleoAtlantid
    PaleoAtlantid says:

    An interesting article, but we also need to focus the universalist movements and currents within the non-Anglophone world of the 19th century.

  7. Karen T
    Karen T says:

    One of the participants in the documentary Up Series was Bruce Balden, a Quaker. We first meet him at 7 years, sad and abandoned to a strict boarding school. His two wishes are to see his father and to dedicate his life to helping the poor. Steadfast in his Quaker ideology, although an Oxford graduate in maths, he eventually teaches, or attempts to teach, colored children in East London, later moving to Bangladesh to save the heathen. By the 6th installment, and in his late 40’s, he has apparently seen the light. He is teaching at a prestigious, predominantly white school and finally looks relaxed and content.

    • Karen T
      Karen T says:

      To clarify Bruce’s change from the patient altruist teaching colored children, excuse me, children of color, to teaching ‘privileged’ white youngsters, I’ll quote him from the series…” If there was a motto for teaching it would be that water washes away stone by dripping on it, not smashing it…that in teaching them it would eventually get through and the pupils would change and learn and develop but in the end the reverse happened. The water dripping on me wore me down.”

  8. Jerry Mander
    Jerry Mander says:

    Forgive me for I have not read the second and third parts, but the Puritans were Calvinists. They believed that the majority of folk were going to hell, except for many of them, and many other seemingly anti-egalitarian ideas. In fact, it seems that the attractiveness of Unitarianism, Transcendentalism, etc., was as a reaction to the harshness of Calvinism.

    And I think that Orestes Brownson converted to Catholicism.

  9. Andrew Skaggs
    Andrew Skaggs says:

    I am disappointed by your sweeping generalizations covering 200 years of religious developement in the colonies. I will make a sweeping generalization as well. The Puritans and Pilgrims were overwhemingly predestinationist in theology and after 1840 the vast majority of Christian churches stopped preaching emancipation to slaves. The only larger denomination to be consistant with the idea of emancipation were the Presbyterians. Like Abolitionists in the NE states, Unitarians etc were a very small branch and frankly not that important. Anglicans, Methodists, and Baptists pushed emancipation onto the states’ government and banned emancipation from the pulpit. History is full of Abolitionist woes regarding churches everywhere refusing to side with Abolitionists and women rightists.

  10. IknowKoreans
    IknowKoreans says:

    Roy Albrecht,

    I don’t know about Koreans in Korea ,but there are tens of thousands of Koreans in California. San Francisco and the Bay Area seem to have more Korean Drs and Dentists than White Drs and Dentists.

    There are Korea towns all over California. Los Angeles’ Korea Town is a lot more than small shops and restaurants. From Vermont to Fairfax, Wilshire Blvd ( Korea Town) is lined with high rises full of Dr offices, and medical clinics. Its practically Los Angeles dialysis head quarters. I actually worked in one those Wilshire medical high rises and I saw Korean Drs every day. The building is at Wilshire and Normandy to be specific, the heart of Korea Town

    I live in the Bay Area now and most of the DRs enlisted in my medical plan are Korean, not Chinese, not other Asian, but Korean.

    Of the thousands of Koreans in Los Angeles’ Korea Town,from Drs to wealthy landlords to the florist I bought flowers from every Friday, I have never seen one, not one that looked the slightest bit Aryan or European let alone N. Northern European.

    Perhaps you consider Korean’s fair skin evidence of Aryan Heritage???? It’s not. Its just that Koreans have much fairer, some have pale White skin and are paler than other East Asians. Its similar to the fact that the Poles, Irish and Scandinavians have noticeably Whiter skin than other Europeans

    Short limbs, short fingers, small feet and hands in relation to body size, flat narrow pelvis, small bosoms, straight coarser than Whites black Asian hair, Asian skulls, Asian eyes and eyelids, Asian facial structure that’s Koreans, all of them, whether fairer or darker complexioned than the norm, rich or poor, scientists, or sales clerks or factory workers.

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