Bright White Light: More on White Men Achieving Most and Being Vilified Worst

Why are lighthouses so fascinating? In part, it’s because they’re luminal zoons in liminal zones. And why is Tom Nancollas’ Seashaken Houses: A Lighthouse History from Eddystone to Fastnet (Penguin 2019) such a good read? In part, it’s because it doesn’t use pretentious phrases like “liminal zones” and “luminal zoons.” Instead, it uses clear prose and simple illustrations to describe the huge effort and astonishing ingenuity of the White men who designed and built an essential but often overlooked part of the early modern world: the rock-based lighthouses that saved countless lives and ensured safe voyages for countless ships.

Seashaken Houses: the cover of Tom Nancollas’ unconscious celebration of White male achievement

Or they ensured safer voyages, at least. The sea has never ceased to be a dangerous place and lighthouses didn’t end the wrecks and the drownings. Indeed, the first chapter of Seashaken Houses describes how lighthouses sometimes couldn’t save their own keepers, let alone the ships and sailors they were built for. Tom Nancollas asks his readers to “imagine a time-lapse film” of a dangerous patch of sea “13 miles” off the southern coastal town of Plymouth, England. If the film reached “back three centuries” and were “rewound at speed”:

It would show four towers falling and rising upon the Eddystone reef: one disassembled, one combusting like a firework, one destroyed in a storm, their materials cycling from stone to wood, their forms regressing from engineered simplicity to experimental folly, the types of ships darting around them devolving from diesel to steam to sail, until the time-lapse halts at the first Eddystone lighthouse, a thing of outlandish fantasy. (ch. 1, p. 17)

The “outlandish fantasy” of Henry Winstanley’s Eddystone lighthouse (image from Wikipedia)

It was a fantasy that failed during “a storm of unprecedented ferocity” in November 1703. Henry Winstanley (1644–1703), the “eccentric creator” of that first lighthouse, had expressed “the hope that he might chance to be inside his Eddystone during the fiercest storm nature could muster.” As the Great Storm of 1703 began to grow, he realized his hope and sailed to the reef with workmen, seeking to reinforce his creation against the rising wind and waves. But his efforts were in vain: when the storm subsided, the lighthouse had vanished from the reef with Winstanley and his men. They had defied Mother Nature and been rewarded with death.

The pale male paradox

But in its four years of existence, the lighthouse “had become vital for Plymouth’s prosperity.” (p. 22) That’s why more ingenious and courageous White men defied Mother Nature and built lighthouses on the reef, maintaining Plymouth’s prosperity even as other White men did the same for other ports around the coast of Britain. One of them was Robert Stevenson (1772–1850), the Scottish engineering and architectural genius responsible for the lighthouse on Bell Rock off the coast of Angus. As Tom Nancollas describes, Robert was the grandfather of another White genius, the writer Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–94). Not that Nancollas ever refers to race in any way in his book or celebrates the creators and keepers of Britain’s lighthouses as “white men.” He’s interested in their achievements, not their genetics or gender, and he celebrates their ingenuity and courage, not the color of their skin.

Turner’s drawing of Robert Stevenson’s Bell Rock Lighthouse (image from Wikipedia)

After all, he’s a White man like them and it’s characteristic of White men that they aren’t obsessed with themselves and their own identity. Unlike Jews or Blacks or women of all races, White men are exotropic, directed outward to the universe, not endotropic, directed inward to themselves and their own advantage. As I described in “The Pale Male Paradox: How White Men Achieve Most And Are Vilified Worst,” this explains both the mighty achievements of White men and their lowly status in the racial hierarchy of leftism. Contra the claims of leftists, White men don’t constantly seek their own advantage and empowerment, which is why they’re been so vulnerable to the culture of critique. It’s also why under-achieving Blacks have been elevated so far above them. In modern Britain, we hear very little about the ingenuity and courage of White men like Henry Winstanley and Robert Stevenson.

Turning history against Whitey

But we hear incessantly about the Black teenager Stephen Lawrence, England’s new patron saint. Lawrence was an aspiring architectural student who was stabbed to death in London in 1993. Hundreds of other young Black men have met similar or worse fates in the same city, stabbed, shot, kicked, beaten or bludgeoned to death. But those others have never become the subject of a martyr cult, because all of them were murdered by their fellow Blacks. Stephen Lawrence was highly unusual, because he was murdered by “a gang of white racists.” That’s why he can be used to promote an enormous lie: that evil and aggressive Whites are an ominous and ever-present threat to the lives and well-being of vulnerable Blacks. The truth is entirely the reverse. Despite still being a relatively small minority, Blacks kill far more Whites every year in Britain than Whites kill Blacks. Blacks also rape, wound, rob, and defraud Whites in vast disproportion to their numbers.

But leftists care about power, not about truth, which is why the martyr-cult of Stephen Lawrence was created and is now lavishly funded by the state. Modern Britain celebrates Blacks and denigrates Whites. For example, Britain’s astonishing history of maritime adventure and exploration is now turned against its native Whites, because what did Whites do with their ingenious ocean-braving ships? They committed horrible and unforgivable crimes against the noble and innocent Blacks of Africa, wrenching them from their homes and carrying them across the Atlantic at huge expense in lives and suffering to toil at voyages’ end in sugar-plantations and cotton-fields for the enrichment of Whites. That’s why Britain is so rich and Africa so poor today, as Black scholars like these are happy to explain to the Whites whose taxes fund their propaganda:

In this essential two-part lecture, Dr Kennetta Hammond Perry and Professor Kehinde Andrews will draw on historical fact to demystify [sic] the notion that the Western economy owed its bounty to scientific advancements, industry and democracy — and was instead built on violence, slavery and colonialism. (“The Guardian at 200: Windrush histories and mythologies of race in Britain,” Online workshop at The Guardian, 19th May 2021)

The anti-White hatemongers Dr Kennetta Hammond Perry and Professor Kehinde Andrews

I would suggest that Dr Kennetta Hammond Perry and Professor Kehinde Andrews are as mediocre in intellect as they are biased in racial politics. After all, they don’t appear to understand the simple difference between “demystify” and “debunk.” I doubt that they have any concern at all for “historical fact.” No, they’re not historians but hatemongers, driven by envy and resentment of White achievements. As I described in “The Pale Male Paradox,” the humble screw undoubtedly contributed (and contributes) more to the “Western economy” than what Kehinde Andrews calls “centuries of African enslavement.” The lighthouses described in Tom Nancollas’ Seashaken Houses also contributed more. But Perry and Andrews aren’t interested in screws and lighthouses, fascinating as those things are in so many ways. Perry and Andrews are Black and endotropic, directed inward to themselves and to their own advantage and self-glorification.

No wheels or sails in Africa

That’s part of why they and other Black pseudo-scholars will never consider another vast crime against the Blacks of Africa: the theft of the rich and abundant natural resources of the island of Madagascar. By all standards of geography and natural justice, Madagascar belongs to the Blacks of the south-eastern coast of Africa. After all, it lies a few hundred miles off that coast and is separated by vast stretches of ocean from all other large land-masses. But Madagascar was peopled and exploited not by Blacks but by Austronesians, a race that began its seafaring on the distant island of Taiwan, thousands of miles from Africa. You see, despite the very long coastline of Africa and its many large lakes, sub-Saharan Blacks never invented the sail or built ocean-going ships. Austronesians, in contrast, were excellent sailors and spread their genes and languages over an astonishing area, from Madagascar in the east to the Pacific islands of the west. When Europeans arrived in the Pacific, they discovered that Polynesians practised both slavery and cannibalism.

Madagascar was stolen from nearby Blacks by far-off Austronesians (image from Wikipedia)

But that isn’t held against them today, as I described in “The Island of Slave-Keeping Cannibal Saints.” Instead, Polynesians are celebrated as the noble and nature-loving indigenes who were cruelly oppressed and exploited by brutal White invaders. Once again, Britain’s astonishing history of maritime adventure and exploration is being turned against its native Whites and their diaspora. Captain James Cook (1728–79), the highly intelligent and courageous navigator who rose from humble origins to remarkable achievements, was once justly celebrated as a hero in White-majority nations like Australia and New Zealand. Now he’s unjustly reviled as a villain. Once again, we’ve got the Pale Male Paradox of White men achieving most and being vilified worst. But I think I’ve explained that paradox. White men have achieved most because they’re not obsessed with themselves and their own advantage. But it’s because they’re not obsessed with themselves that they’re vulnerable to the culture of critique that casts them not as the greatest heroes of history but as its darkest villains.

“Stone, air, water, light”

Tom Nancollas and his book Seashaken Houses are another example of the paradox at work. Nancollas is a White man writing about the vast achievements of White men, but he’s interested in the achievements, not in the Whiteness or the masculinity. He doesn’t refer to race in any way in the book and I doubt that race ever crossed his mind in any way when he was writing it. But that absence of race and self-obsession is part of what makes Seashaken Houses so interesting and so satisfying to read. This is Nancollas explaining what attracted him to his subject:

The [lighthouses] may be sophisticated, but my experience of them felt primal. Out in the starkness of the sea, the basics – stone, air, water, light, dark, life, death – were just as vividly emphasized as engineering prowess. By achieving a home, a presence, in the most hostile of environments, the rock lighthouses provide a poignant insight into what it means to build and endure – and to bring light into places where previously there was none. Entwined with the stories of the houses is the story of their purpose – how lights were established and maintained in these liquid places, then improved, made crisper, more powerful, until certain sectors of the sea were as brightly and safely lit as Grosvenor Square [in the heart of London]. (Introduction, pg. 13)

As you can see, Tom Nancollas would never indulge in pretentious prose like “luminal zoons in liminal zones.” I described lighthouses like that at the beginning of this article. But what did I mean by it? Well, a “luminal zoon” is a light-bearing creature (Greek ζῷον, zōon, “living being”). When lighthouses are operating, casting strong light through salt-laden darkness, they seem alive in an uncanny way. And they exist in liminal zones, that is, places that stand on a threshold between one realm and another. They’re built on solid rocks or reefs but are constantly menaced by the ever-shifting sea.

Black Barack Obama pays tribute to White Neil Armstrong with a photo of Barack Obama (image from Daily Mail)

That uncanny life in precarious places explains part of the appeal and fascination of lighthouses, I think. But you could also say that White men are luminal zoons, light-bearing creatures who have entered the world’s most liminal zones. Who was the first to reach the world’s highest spot? To plumb the world’s greatest depth? To reach the north and south poles? To stand on the surface of the Moon? In every case, it was a White man. But those White men did so as individuals, as exotropic explorers of the outer universe, and not one of them regarded his achievement as casting luster on the male half of the White race. After all, if they’d thought like that, they wouldn’t have achieved what they did. White men are doers of deeds, not celebrators of the self. That’s why, after achieving most, they’ve become vilified worst.

1 reply
  1. Anna Cordelia
    Anna Cordelia says:

    Lovely article. Now if the rest of us could do our part by showing just a bit of gratitude to all these great White men before it’s too late.

    Forget about “it’s ok to be white” stickers. I want one that says, “Have you thanked a White man yet today?”

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