What should we make of this history? Given a chance, the left did eventually rise to power as expected, riding a wave of support from impoverished Brown and Black voters in nations where Whites were usually a minority. But just a few years later, many of these same nations voted the left out of power again. How could this happen? Are race and demography less important than the Dissident Right imagines?
The answer is no, race matters enormously, but election results are the product of several different forces that are pushing in different directions simultaneously. The first of these is the one that is most apparent from this history — pendulum effects that swing elections back and forth depending on the public’s view of the government’s performance. In Latin America’s case, just about every government has struggled with persistent poverty, crime, and corruption, so these pendulum effects tend to work against whoever is in power. The effect is so strong that, unlike the United States, major political parties often come and go, exiting the stage once their brand has become too tarnished.
Beneath these pendulum swings, however, there are strong structural forces at work that continue from election to election. Race-based voting is one of the most important. A close examination of elections held across the region repeatedly shows that leftists rely heavily on support from Browner and Blacker voters who are usually poor, while conservatives rely heavily on Whites and Whiter mestizos (who are typically over half European genetically).
One illustrative example is the 2018 election of Jair Bolsonaro, the new right-wing Brazilian president dubbed the “Trump of the Tropics.” Bolsonaro drew his support from the Whiter southern part of the nation and the socially conservative rural heartland. His leftist opponent did better in the northeast, which is mostly Black and mulatto, and the northwest, which is substantially Indigenous. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Bolsonaro also did better among Whites who live closer to the crime-ridden areas of major cities and a bit worse among Whites who live further south, a safe distance from the mayhem.
These racial patterns repeat themselves throughout the region. Argentina’s conservative president Mauricio Macri won his 2015 election by winning the Whiter heart of Buenos Aires and most of Whiter central Argentina. The conservative Sebastián Piñera won in the Whiter parts of central Chile and Santiago. The conservative Iván Duque Márquez won in Colombia in the Whiter sections of Bogotá and the center of the country.
The leftist Nicolás Maduro won his last competitive election in Venezuela in 2013 in heavily Brown and Black areas of the country, while losing the Whiter areas of the east and west. The leftist Evo Morales consistently wins reelection in Bolivia with the support of his Indigenous base in the Western highlands.
The exception that proves the rule is Uruguay, the Whitest nation on the continent. It has continued to support the Broad Front, a leftist coalition that includes socialists and communists and touts legalized pot, abortion, and same-sex marriage among its policy achievements. Such leftist politics are typical of Whiter nations that have yet to experience the full benefits of diversity.
In most other Latin American nations, these racial voting patterns persist despite the presence of an important moderating influence — a large mixed-race population that seems resistant to explicitly race-based political appeals. Leftist academics bemoan this resistance, usually attributing it to a lack of social awareness and widespread acceptance of the theories of mestizaje and racial democracy, which argue that mixed-race societies do not suffer the same levels of racism and discrimination as other places like the United States.
Surveys of Latin America’s poor do not support this notion. Latin America’s mixed-race populations are well aware of existing racial disparities, they just do not strongly identify with them. This points to a different explanation that is less favored by leftists: genetic similarity theory, which says that people are more altruistic and less hostile to those who are genetically similar. This explanation is borne out by interviews with mixed-race voters.
“Do I value my Blackness? Of course! I take pride in it,” said one Brazilian mulatto in an interview. “But am I only Black? No! I also am descended from Indians and from Europeans. Should I disdain these heritages? Why shouldn’t I value all my heritages? Why should I pretend I only have one heritage when this is just not true?”
Magda Rubio had just announced her candidacy for mayor of a northern Mexican town when she received a disturbing call. “Drop out,” said the voice on the line, “or be killed.”
Politicians and journalists are regularly assassinated in Latin America. The blame usually (and conveniently) falls on criminal gangs that are trying to gain control of the local police or obtain profitable government contracts. In truth, the motive is frequently unclear. It is easier to identify the trigger men than to determine who is really behind a hit.
Race is an important driver of Latin American elections, but it is not the only one. The other is a reactionary elite that has ruled over the region for centuries. Wealthy oligarchies supported most of the coups that occurred prior to the recent rise of democracy. Today, they rely heavily on private security and are believed to be behind most of the violence directed against Indigenous people who oppose their logging, mining, or other business interests. Rural areas can sometimes feel like the Wild West.
Business elites who live in wealthy urban neighborhoods are just as influential, but they usually rely on more refined tactics. These include campaign contributions, substantial control of political parties, and control of the media, which is overwhelmingly conservative. This influence is magnified by powerful business associations that provide a vehicle for coordinated action.
When that is not enough, outright corruption is another option. Vote buying, revolving door hiring of government officials, and bribes are tried and true methods. If elected leaders are still uncooperative, they can sometimes be removed through legal means, a tactic euphemistically referred to as a “soft coup.” Various forms of violence such as military coups and assassination are usually only used as a last resort. For many politicians, however, the ultimate choice is the same: a bribe or a bullet.
The power of the oligarchs is most evident in the poorest nations where Whites are a tiny minority. In Guatemala, Honduras, and Paraguay, for example, wealthy elites have repeatedly shown that they will do whatever it takes to maintain control. Unsurprisingly, given this track record, 79 percent of Latin Americans now believe that their governments primarily serve the wealthy elite, a percentage that has been steadily increasing in recent years. Confidence in democracy has fallen to historic lows.
Oligarchical power is hardly unique to Latin America. According to Robert Michels, a sociologist who developed a theory known as the iron law of oligarchy, such power dynamics are inevitable. Indeed, some argue that the United States itself barely qualifies as a democracy.
But there is an important difference between Latin America and the United States. Latin America’s ruling elite is not actively hostile to White interests. Whiteness is celebrated by the media, not demonized. There is no significant elite-led attempt to demographically swamp Whites with non-White immigration. Leftist politicians are more tolerant of migrants, but they are held in check by opposition from the right and widespread xenophobia among their own voters.
Latin America’s elite are less hostile to Whites for a reason. First, the vast majority of them are White. After centuries of living in societies where Whites have always been a minority or nearly so, they harbor fewer illusions about the purported benefits of multiculturalism or and they realize the genuine threat of leftism.
Second, while a causal connection is difficult to prove, the relatively small size of Latin America’s Jewish community probably also plays a role. The nation with the most Jews in the region is Argentina, where they constitute about 0.4 percent of the population. Jewish communities in other Latin American nations are much smaller, both as a fraction of the overall population and in absolute numbers.
Historically, Latin America was never a preferred destination for Jews. In colonial times, they were banned from Spanish-controlled territories. Suspected Jews were subject to the Inquisition and could be burned at the stake. Most did not begin arriving until the late 1800s, with many not coming until the 1930s after they had been turned away by the United States, their first choice.
As was true across much of the Western world, some involved themselves in leftist activity and this often provoked a backlash when right-wing dictators came to power, most notably in Argentina. By the late twentieth century, however, they found themselves being attacked by the left too, usually for their support of Israel. An attempted alliance between Jewish groups and Black activists in Brazil fell apart. Leftist leaders like Hugo Chavez frequently attacked Israel and Zionism as racist. Chavez himself was accused of holding anti-Jewish views, although he denied it.
Jewish influence over the region’s conservative media appears to be minimal. Jews often feel unwelcome and frequently hide their identity. A 2011 poll conducted for the ADL found that most Argentines harbor borderline or openly anti-Semitic views. Partly as a consequence, the Jewish population is now dwindling due to a combination of assimilation, intermarriage, and emigration to the United States and Israel.
Lessons for America
If Latin America says anything about America’s future, it is that it will be racialized and brutal. All across the Americas, as the percentage of Whites declines, societies become bleaker and more dysfunctional. Nations where Whites are a small minority usually become dystopias characterized by tiny islands of gated affluence surrounded by overwhelming amounts of Brown and Black poverty and crime.
But this is not the only lesson. Latin America has also demonstrated that race is centrally important in elections, especially as Whites approach and become a minority. These racial divisions persist despite the presence of a large mixed-race population that is less receptive to explicitly race-based appeals than populations in other nations that are more genetically distinct (such as the United States).
This experience in Latin America sheds light on the United States, where there are already signs that a similar political transformation is underway. The last decade alone has witnessed the development of a new 20-point gap in White support for the two parties in the United States, something that is directly traceable to demographic change. College-educated Whites in blue America have drifted left during this period, but this change has been overwhelmed by a larger rightward shift among other Whites, particularly working-class Whites, who are less indoctrinated and more exposed to diversity. Overall, the politics of both the left and right have become dramatically more racialized in just the past few years.
This process has just begun. The psychological basis for a coming White awakening is well-established by scientific studies. Moreover, of the roughly 40 percent of White Americans who still regularly vote for Democrats, almost half describe themselves as moderate or conservative. These are the voters who are most likely to shift right over the next decade as Democrats drift further left in the face of ongoing demographic change. Over time, future White voting patterns may approach those that already exist in the more diverse South, where 80–90 percent of Whites regularly vote for Republicans. Skeptics who insist that left-leaning Whites will never wake up are usually focused on an unrepresentative subset of hard-core leftists that comprise perhaps 10–20 percent of the White population. Such skeptics are missing the larger, long-term trend.
Another lesson from Latin America, however, is that oligarchies matter. Wealthy oligarchs play an outsized role throughout the region and in many nations their power is absolute. This lends credibility to those who argue that any shift in White voting patterns in the United States will be meaningless because the GOP is beholden to an American oligarchy that is hostile to White interests. These concerns are valid. America’s hostile elite is a problem.
Such observations assume, however, that America’s elite cannot or will not change. This is certainly possible, of course. America’s oligarchy could continue their support of the multicultural status quo, which is now on track to transform Whites into a minority over the next few decades. If this happened, the end game would probably look like South Africa, where the oligarchy has maintained power by corrupting the political class and leaving Whites to fend for themselves (see South Africa’s Protection Racket). It remains to be seen how stable such a situation would be. It might lead to civil war.
But that end game may never arrive. Another possibility is that an awakened White America may simply defeat the oligarchy, forcing them to change course or be pushed from power, replaced by new elites who are eager to take their place. Political parties always change and adapt in response to changing times and there is ample evidence that the United States — including the Republican Party — is currently undergoing a political realignment.
A third possibility is that the oligarchy could realize their interests are better aligned with the White population and shift in their direction voluntarily. Any alliance between a wealthy elite and the left is inherently unstable. It is possible that the oligarchy might wake up too, along with most of the rest of White America. If this occurred, the results would probably look like Latin America, which has repeatedly shown that Whites can maintain control, even as a small minority, so long as they are sufficiently aligned with the oligarchy. Jewish elites could be expected to oppose such a strategy, but they are also coming under fire from the left, just like in Latin America, so it is possible that they might change sides, too.
A final possibility is a hybrid of the others, with different elites using different strategies in different parts of the country. This scenario would be rooted in the fact that as the nation becomes majority-minority, most of the change will be concentrated in the southern half of the country. Under this scenario, elites in a region stretching from California through Texas and across the South could respond by following the left-leaning multicultural strategy. Elites in the north would follow the right-leaning Latin American strategy, aligning themselves with Whites who would still be a majority in that part of the nation.
If this happened, it could become the basis for national partition. Such partitions frequently occur when nations become too divided ethnically, politically, and geographically. Such an outcome is also predictable from studies of ethnic conflict.
The Coming Storm
Living in the current year, it is easy to become discouraged by our present trajectory, but the odds that the world’s White population will be permanently transformed into a repressed minority are small. As history has repeatedly shown, Whites tend to rule, not to be ruled.
Change is coming. With luck, it will occur peacefully, as our ruling class is democratically replaced or wisely shifts right to save itself. It may otherwise be expressed violently through military coups, revolutions, or war. Either way, change will come.
Our wiser leaders of tomorrow are probably just young adults or children today. Some have probably not yet been born. It will be this younger generation of harder men that will lead us from the abyss.
That future can be found in Latin America. While many stories from the region illustrate this point, one from Haiti seems appropriate. Haiti is today ruled by a mulatto elite, but the truly rich and powerful are White foreigners. This was the world one young White American was visiting the night of the 1991 coup that ousted Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
I remember the night of the coup, I was asleep in bed. At about one o’clock in the morning I heard loud explosions, gunfire, chanting, screaming. I got up and looked out of my bedroom window. I was up on the side of a mountain and I could look down over the whole city. I saw different places on fire and I could tell there was something wrong.
So I went outside to ask the night watchman what was going on. He was listening to the radio and said something happened to Aristide. I asked myself, “Am I the good guy or the bad guy?” I didn’t know. I didn’t know if the average Haitian would look at me as a White, a blanc, as the enemy, or if I was just someone that was not involved in the situation so they wouldn’t even bother me. I didn’t know what to do and I heard people chanting, coming up the side of the mountain. I could see different places on fire already on the mountainside.
So I turned around and went back to my house. I went back into my room and packed my backpack and I took the machete from under my bed and I went back outside to the night watchman. I asked him what we should do, and he said he didn’t know. So we hid. It was a bright moonlit night and we hid in the garage. I could see now there was a crowd out in front of the house, probably 200 people, flaming torches and machetes, and of course I start sweating bullets.
They started chopping down the fence and the night watchman said, “We have to go out, otherwise they’re going to come in here.” So I just kind of took a deep breath, and the two of us walked into the moonlight and held our machetes. And I just remember looking up and at that point I could hear them yelling “Blancs, blancs, blancs restent ici,” meaning, “Whites stay here, Whites live here.” And then, one by one, they started running away.
He was relieved, but confused. It took a few days, but after watching soldiers gun down enough of the locals, the reason finally dawned on him.
Well, that’s when I realized that the military was on the side of the rich and that, as an American, I had nothing to worry about. And that was the case most of the time in Haiti …
There’s no way that the Haitian peasants can rise up. You have one section of the Black population which is now aligned with and making money with the rich. Not much, but more than they could make as a farmer cutting mangoes. So now they have a gun and are in control. They’re making a few bucks. The rich tell them to go out and take down some village, shoot up a couple of people, chop their face off, leave them in the street, and they’ll do it.
This is the real story of Whites in multicultural societies. With rare exceptions, it is not a story of submission, but of dominance. Indeed, to anyone who is not entirely numb to the fate of the world’s non-White peoples, this history has frequently been horrifying.
In Latin America, this has included genocide-levels of death and destruction waged against its Indigenous peoples during colonial times that included widespread biological warfare, massacres, and rape. In just the past few decades, it has included the obliteration of countless villages and wholesale slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people.
Few Americans know this history, but that does not make it any less real. White people can be vicious. Sometimes it is for profit, sometimes it is for survival, but the result is almost always the same.
By choosing to threaten the world’s White populations, our ruling elites are playing a very dangerous game. The question is not whether Whites will awaken, because we will. The real question is far more cold-blooded. When we finally do wake up, just how brutal will we be?
Patrick McDermott is a political analyst in Washington, DC.