A conversation with Ricardo Duchesne, Part 1 of 3
Editor’s note: Prof. Ricardo Duchesne will be the featured guest on the monthly video show promoting TOQ with James Edwards and me on Monday, February 4—details to come. In addition to his contributions to TOQ, Dr. Duchesne has authored several books, including The Uniqueness of Western Civilization, Faustian Man in a Multicultural Age, and Canada In Decay: Mass Immigration, Diversity, and the Ethnocide of Euro-Canadians.
Ricardo Duchesne is a Canadian historical sociologist whose main research interests notably include the Indo-European aristocratic-warlike and individualist ethos, the Faustian mentality and the creativeness of Western civilization from ancient Greek times to the present, and the pernicious effects of the multicultural and multiracial ideal on modern Western society.
Grégoire Canlorbe: In your eyes, the European civilization of the White man has been systemically downsized by contemporary world historians—to name but a few, Patrick O’Brien, Sebastian Conrad, or Ian Morris. Could you develop?
Ricardo Duchesne: At this point in time, the downplaying of European civilization goes well beyond the observations I made in The Uniqueness of Western Civilization (2011). The globalist establishment is no longer satisfied with the replacement of Western Civ courses, which were part of the standard curriculum in North America throughout much of the twentieth century, with Multicultural World History surveys that emphasize “reciprocal connections within the globe.” The academic establishment is no longer satisfied instructing students that European achievements can only be understood in connection with the rest of the world’s cultures, that Muslims were key creators of the West no less than Christians, that the Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment, and the Industrial Revolution, were world historical affairs, that Europe only managed to industrialize thanks to the resources and hard labor of Africans and Aboriginals. That is no longer enough, they are now insisting, as I indicated in my second book, Faustian Man in a Multicultural Age (2017), that Europeans don’t have a distinctive identity because they have been mixing racially for thousands of years as a result of migratory movements. They are forcing their students to equate the current state-sponsored immigration movements from the Third World, purposely aimed at diversifying all White nations, with internal European migrations that occurred over the course of many centuries. They are trying to strip Europeans of any sense of ethnic identity, by making them believe that the race-mixing globalists are incessantly promoting today is a natural continuation of migratory movements thousands of years ago.
Rather that truthfully teaching students that the genetic makeup of Europeans, before diversity was imposed a few decades ago, remained very stable for most of their history, with next to zero genetic additions from Africans and Asians, they are indoctrinating them to believe that African/Asian-looking peoples were the original migrant-inhabitants of Europe. They are saying that Europeans were not indigenous to Europe, that this continent was the creation of waves of immigrants from outside Europe. They are extending the same false argument they have been making about the settler nations of America, Canada, and Australia — “Nations of Immigrants” — to all White nations. Yet, this argument does not even hold for these settler nations. As I argued in my best-selling book, Canada in Decay: Mass Immigration, Diversity and the Ethnocide of Euro-Canadians (2017), Canada was not a nation of immigrants but a nation built from the ground up by settlers and indigenous Quebecois, Acadians, and Anglo Loyalists. The same goes for America, Australia, and New Zealand; they were founded by White settlers who created a uniquely indigenous culture in these homelands.
Let it be said that these arguments are not being made by world historians alone, or by typically crazed academics in some half-baked field — what we now identify as “Grievance Studies.” What is so disconcerting, as I argued in “Deceptive Use of Scientific Data to Promote Ethnocide of Europeans,” is that academics in the natural sciences, population geneticists, archaeologists, paleogeneticists, and evolutionary biologists, are deceptively interpreting their otherwise objectively gathered findings (that there were intra-European migratory movements thousands of years ago) as if these movements consisted of non-Whites from Asia and Africa. They are arguing that these movements are a demonstration that there is no such thing as a uniquely German, a uniquely Norwegian, Polish, Swedish, or British people, because “all Europeans are already a mishmash of repeated ancient migrations” from non-European lands. But this is not true; what has been really documented is that there was some degree of intra-European racial mixing over the course of many centuries of migrations and invasions. It has also been documented that there was a “massive migratory movement” from the “Pontic-Steppes”, but these migrants were none other than the Indo-Europeans, once known as “Aryans”, and they did not come from “Asia” since the Pontic Steppes are part of the continent of Europe, and these migrants were White. The only migrants who came from outside Europe were the Anatolian farmers who started colonizing southern Europe about 8800 years ago, who did have considerable genetic impact on Spain, Italy, and Greece.
One may ask, why are scientists making these arguments? Because we are not dealing only with “historical revisionists” guided by leftist ideologies, as I thought in Uniqueness of Western Civilization. Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, Gad Saad and other Nouveau rich conservatives, think that the problems facing the West are strictly ideological, too many postmodernists and liberals in the media and universities. But, if I may use a Marxist term, these ideologies are “superstructural” phenomena that (on their own) barely illuminate what is truly downgrading European civilization forever: immigrant diversification. Diversity through mass immigration has become a religion in the West, promoted at every level, from primary schools through to universities, by all establishment political parties, churches, the Pope, banks, corporations, every major media outlet. You can’t dissent from this orthodoxy. This is the context in which to understand why scientists are now participants in this program and why “the European civilization of the White man” is being systematically downsized.
In this diversity-regime, you can’t talk about a Western civilization created by Whites. You can’t teach about how Whites were responsible for the rise of modern science, the Renaissance, the exploration of the world, the Cartographic Revolution, most of the greatest philosophers in history. You must delete this from history, if you are to create a totally new “Western” civilization in which every race feels equal in their contribution to its making. Even the word “Western” is now under attack as an ethnocentric term that is not inclusive of people with different civilizational origins.
Grégoire Canlorbe: Could you remind us of your neo-Nietzschean argument supporting the connection of Western individualism—i.e., the claim for autonomy and dignity, but also the ability for mental introspection and interiority—with the early aristocratic-warlike culture of Indo-Europeans?
Ricardo Duchesne: I would rather say it is neo-Nietzschean and Hegelian, based on the most recent research on the Indo-Europeans. I trace the origins of Western individualism back to the aristocratic warlike culture of Indo-Europeans. But I also argue that Europeans became individuals through a long, drawn-out effort, not in one historical period. The detachment of the self from the ensemble of the surrounding world manifested itself in different degrees by different sides of the human personality in many culturally new ways. There is a biological starting point, however—a necessary biological precondition, which consists in the fact that a man is not born a man but must become a man. Throughout history, across all cultures, men became men only by proving their masculinity in risky contests with the surrounding environment and with other adversarial men. It is this struggle to become a man in the eyes of other men that initiates the conscious differentiation of the male ego from the enveloping womblike environment. But this differentiation cannot be seen as the first cultural sign of an emerging human personality; it is only a necessary biological precondition, a very important one, in making us realize that we must avoid looking at some religious experience, some intellectual or artistic movement, for the first blossoming of individualism. We must look instead at what is today seen as the least civilized aspect of human nature: the contesting and violent struggle of men to become men.
This struggle for a male identity is not a sufficient condition for the appearance of self-awareness, the emergence of the first inklings of human individuality. The first cultural signs of individualism are to be found in history only with the horse riding Indo-European aristocratic warriors who came storming out of the Pontic Steppes in the fourth millennium BC. Indo-European (IE) societies were uniquely ruled by aristocratic men living in a state of permanent mobility and adversity for whom the highest value in life was heroic struggle to the death for pure prestige. It was out of this struggle for renown by aristocratic men seeking recognition from their aristocratic peers that the separation and freedom of humans from the undifferentiated world of nature and the undifferentiated world of collectivist-despotic societies was fostered.
Although in Uniqueness and Faustian Man I brought attention to the masculine character of IE society and the agonistic ethos of aristocrats, I did not connect in a substantial way the purely male component of this agonistic drive and how this drive was heightened in IE aristocratic society, providing the preconditions for the discovery of the self and the emergence of self-consciousness. With all the current talk about “neo-masculinity,” I have been thinking that the greater male disposition for aggression and contest, to demonstrate one’s worthiness as a man through fighting against male adversaries, facing the dangers in one’s environment in struggle against the fear of death, should be seen in light of the peculiar aristocratic ethos of IEs. Here I will draw attention to Walter J. Ong’s book, Fighting for Life: Contest, Sexuality, and Consciousness, published in 1981. What makes this book directly relevant to my arguments is that Ong (who is well known for his argument that the transition from orality to literacy changed human consciousness) believes that it was the male struggle for recognition, as a male among other males, that fostered the mental introspection and interiority that is required for a concept of the self to become a possibility in a world in which all living beings are otherwise fixated and consumed by the world outside themselves and by their own bodily appetites. Much of this book is about how men and women are crucially different in their agonistic behavior and about how males developed an identity apart from their surroundings, a consciousness of themselves as beings with their own goals and personal identity, because of their absolute need to set themselves against their early boyhood identification with the feminine in order to become real men in the biological sense. It is quite revealing that almost all the examples Ong draws on (to demonstrate how the “adversativeness” of males found deep expression in the literature, religion, sports, science and logic produced by humans) are Western. He admits that the obsession with “polemic, hostility, confrontation tactics, clashes of personalities, competition, games,” is indeed to be found mostly among Europeans from ancient Greek times.
But Ong leaves hanging the crucial question why European culture has exhibited this polemical impulse to a far higher degree. He knows, too, that in Western culture one detects a “greater and greater interiorization of consciousness through history noted by Hegel,” the development of the concept of the person and the “I.” But he never asks: why in the West and singularly in the West?
I believe the aristocratic culture of the IEs offers an answer. The IEs created a new type of aristocratic society in the sense that “some men,” not just the king, were free to deliberate over major issues affecting the group, as well as free to strive for personal recognition. The material origins of this aristocratic individualist ethos are to be found in the unique pastoral lifestyle of the IEs, their original domestication and riding of horses, their co-invention of wheeled vehicles in the fourth millennium BC, together with the efficient exploitation of the “secondary products” of domestic animals (dairy products, textiles, harnessing), all of which gave IEs a more robust physical anthropology and the most dynamic way of life in their time. This horse-riding lifestyle included fierce competition for grazing rights, constant alertness in the defense of one’s portable wealth, and an expansionist disposition in a world where competing herdsmen were motivated to seek new pastures as well as tempted to take the movable wealth of their neighbors.
The life style of IEs fostered a type of man who developed a consciousness of his pursuit of an immaterial end, an awareness of his obsession to be recognized by other conscious males of his ability to be a man in overcoming the biological fear of death for the sake of pure prestige. What Hegel called a “struggle to the death for pure prestige” over and against the most powerful biological drives humans have for self-preservation and comfort, can only make historical sense in relation to the only society in history in which some men lived a lifestyle where such a struggle was seen as the most valued form of male affirmation. The only society in which this struggle for pure prestige was possible was the society of prehistoric IEs, because this was the first, and the only, culture ruled by free aristocrats, in distinction to non-European societies where only one man, the despot, was free, and where members of the upper class were subservient both to the despot and to their gods. To be an aristocrat one had to demonstrate one’s capacity for freedom, one’s ability to differentiate oneself from the others as a particular hero. The master is the male who masters his fear of death and the slave is the male who gives in to this fear for the sake of self-preservation. It is in the risking of one’s life for the sake of recognition by another consciousness that males first exhibit some awareness of themselves as beings who can self-determine their actions and become aware of their subjectivity in distinction to the world around them. The European “I” — most famously associated with Descartes’s announcement “I think, therefore I am” — made its first appearance in the persona of the aristocratic IE warrior.
I identify the pre-historic society of aristocratic IEs beginning around 2500 BC, through to the Feudal Middle Ages, as the one society in which this battle for a pure immaterial end could take place. The Iliad, Beowulf, and multiple sagas from Iceland and the Nordic world, are the earliest “barbarian” expressions of the first appearance of individuals becoming conscious of having an inner self apart from the outer world of natural determinations. The pursuit of individual glory produce men with particular personalities, in contradistinction to the faceless collectivities of the non-European world, where there are no heroes except a despot fearful of open competition and always demanding subservience. It is in these heroic tales that we encounter for the first time in history identifiable personalities with names, family ties, and differentiated psychological dispositions.This aristocratic lifestyle left an imprint on the genetics of IEs, selecting personality traits such as greater willingness to take risks and greater capacity to make distinctions between what was “inside” and what was “outside.” Of course, at this point in history, when consciousness only makes its appearance in the decision of the aristocrat to fight for recognition, the subjective side of man manifested itself only in the form of self-assertiveness, through the pride and the haughtiness of free warriors.
It would take some time— in the work of Plato — before Europeans would distinctly recognize the faculty of the mind (nous) as a generator of thoughts in distinction to the appetites of the body and the “spirited” part of the soul comprising pride, indignation, and the need for recognition. In Homeric man there is a latent awareness, but still nebulous articulation, of the human personality or an “I” that is not the plaything of irrational or mysterious forces but is capable of some deliberation among alternative choices. Decisions are indeed shaped by the gods, but the Olympian gods “carry the graceful stamp of an aristocratic society [.] when a god associates with a man, he elevates him, and makes him free, strong courageous, certain of himself [.] far removed from the mysteries of chthonic darkness and ecstasy.”In the next archaic period of Greek history, between 650 and 500 BC, we see characters becoming more conscious of their personality, with the rise of the lyric poets, Sappho and Archilochus, in their regular use of phrases expressing “a more precise appreciation of the self,” the “inwardly felt emotions” of the poet. With the tragedians of the next generation, Aeschylus and Sophocles, we witnessed for the first time in history the interpretation of human action in the light of individual choice: “what am I to do?” This process of detachment from the ensemble of external forces and determinations is taken one step further by the characters in Euripides, who ask whether their actions were just in a more realistic setting than the solemn ostentation found in Aeschylus.
A history of individualism in all its expressions in literature, both in depth and complexity of characters, as well as in the persistent emergence of new styles of writing, has yet to be written. Existing interpretations of Western individualism simplify the historical origins and meaning of this word by restricting its appearances to one field of existence or one period of history. They don’t consider, for example, how the individualism of aristocrats was democratized in the Greek hoplite citizen soldiers who defeated the Persian invaders, the independent farmer who owned his own land and “suffers no master, speaks his due, fights his own battles, and leaves an imprint of self-reliance and non-conformity, a legacy of independence that is the backbone of Western society.” They ignore how this legacy continued through the small-holding farmers who made up the Roman legions and fought as citizens, the free peasants of Medieval Europe with their self-governing communes, to the citizens of modern states demanding representation. They don’t connect this history to the history of sculpture, which would have to acknowledge the amazing breakthrough of the Greeks in detaching themselves from the unchanging styles of the Orient and making the discovery of foreshortening in the visual arts, in building “in marble and with a splendour and nobility never known before,” and in learning to seize, towards the end of the fourth century, “the individual character of a physiognomy”, a style that would be advanced by the Roman realistic portraiture of private individuals “in which every line, crease, wrinkle, and even blemish was ruthlessly recorded.”
Grégoire Canlorbe: In his Genealogy of Morality, Nietzsche notably expressed himself as follows. “In the Latin word ‘malus’ (to which I juxtapose μέλας), the common man could be characterized as the dark-skinned and especially the dark-haired man (‘hic niger est —’), as the pre-Aryan occupant of Italian soil who could most easily be distinguished from the blond race which had become dominant, namely the Aryan conquering race, by its color; at any rate, I have found exactly the same with Gaelic peoples — ‘fin’ (for example in ‘Fin-gal’), the word designating the aristocracy and finally the good, noble, pure, was originally a blond person in contrast to the dark-skinned, dark-haired native inhabitants.”
In view of the present data at our disposal (in the genetics of population and in linguistics), how should one assess those statements?
Ricardo Duchesne: I don’t expect historical accuracy in Nietzsche. This would be unfair and, besides, it would miss the truths of his historical allusions, the way he brings out the primordial reality of struggle. It was Nietzsche who inspired me to think that the active originators of Western Civilization were not priests, not bookish men sitting on desks, not ideas and institutions, not technological changes and geographical factors—however important these were, but aristocratic men performing great deeds. As Goethe said, “in the beginning were great deeds.” I found Nietzsche’s short essay, “Homer on Competition” incredibly intuitive, his argument that the greatness of classical Greece involved putting Apollonian limits around the indispensable but excessive and brutal Dionysian impulses of barbaric pre-Homeric Greeks. I also learned a lot from his emphasis on the nature of existence as strife, and his insight that not all cultures have handled nature’s inherent strife in the same way, and that not all cultures have been equally proficient in the sublimated production of creative individuals. He taught me that “every elevation of the type ‘man’ has hitherto been the work of an aristocratic society.” I added to Nietzsche the historically based argument that the Greeks (and Europeans generally) viewed life as strife to a higher degree than other people because of their Indo-European aristocratic background, and I also added that only the Aryans were really aristocratic.
As far as the current data at our disposal, besides the numerous sources I have cited in my publications, there is now decisive genetic evidence supporting the view I endorsed in Uniqueness about the spread of Indo-European languages by way of mass migrations from the Pontic-Steppes into the rest of Europe. Here are the abstracts of some recent articles, with hyperlinks:
- “There is now compelling evidence that the spread of the Yamnaya archaeological culture was the vector that also spread all the Indo-European languages spoken today.”
- “Massive migration from the steppe was a source for Indo-European languages in Europe”
- “Our findings are consistent with the hypothesized spread of Indo-European languages during the Early Bronze Age. We also demonstrate that light skin pigmentation in Europeans was already present at high frequency in the Bronze Age”
- “The Indo-Europeans were an extraordinarily successful group that had by far the most influence on European culture over approximately 4,000 years, into the European Middle Ages and beyond.”
Of course, the deceivers who control our media are misinterpreting these facts as evidence of how Europeans were shaped by peoples from the “East”, calling them “mysterious Yamnaya immigrants,” “Asians from the Pontic-Steppes.” Don’t believe them, the Pontic-Steppes are part of Europe, located in present-day Ukraine; these were not “immigrants” joining a European “melting pot”; they were aristocratic conquerors, White Aryans. They are using the infamous Aryan thesis to justify the current invasion of Europe by Muslims and Africans!
Grégoire Canlorbe is an independent scholar who has conducted numerous interviews with economists and social scientists for academic journals such as Man and the Economy, which was founded by the Nobel Prize winning economist Ronald Coase. His subjects have also included a wide range of renowned personalities such as Harvard’s astrophysicist Willie Soon, Yves-Saint Laurent’s co-founder and former President Pierre Bergé, Greenpeace’s co-founder and former President Patrick Moore, leader of the Alt-Right Jared Taylor, and former Czech head of state Václav Klaus. Besides his journalistic activities, he is the author of several metapolitical and philosophical articles; and is the Vice President of the emerging French party Parti National-Libéral (nationalist, archeofuturist, and free-marketist).
 Bruno Snell, The Discovery of the Mind. The Greek Origins of European Thought (1953), pp. 32, 28.
Ibid., pp. 47-8.
Victor Davis Hanson, The Other Greeks. The Family Farm and the Agrarian Roots of Western Civilization (1999), pp. 5-6.
 E.H. Gombrich, The Story of Art (1950), pp. 55,72.
 Peter Osier, ed., The History of Western Sculpture (2016), p. 40.
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