Western Culture

Ian Morris on Why the West Rules…For Now

Ian Morris is professor of classics and history at Stanford University. His latest book entitled Why the West Rules — For Now: The Patterns of History and What They Reveal about the Future was published in 2010. The British-born Morris attempts in his book to explain why “the West” has exercised global dominance without parallel in history over the past two centuries. His overriding concern, in this endeavor, is to debunk any “racist theories” that could possibly account for this Western dominance. Morris observes that in the 18th century “Europeans found that they had a problem: but as problems go, it was not a bad one. They appeared to be taking over the world but didn’t know why.” He notes that many Europeans drew the obvious (and reasonable) inference: Westerners were simply superior to other people, claiming that “For 200 years this thought cheered up western imperialists as they battled malaria, mosquitoes, and ungrateful natives, and still has a few champions today. But thanks to two sciences — archeology and genetics — we now know that it is clearly, unambiguously wrong” (p. 33). In making this unwarranted assertion Morris proves himself and the thesis of his book to be clearly, unambiguously wrong. (See also Ricardo Duchesne’s scathing review at Reviews in History.)

Morris writes that “Proclaiming racist theories contemptible is not enough. If we really want to reject them, and to conclude that people (in large groups) really are much the same it must be because racist theories are wrong, not just because most of us today do not like them” (pp. 50–51). A central proposition of his book is that the falsification of the multiregional theory of human evolution by studies of mitochondrial DNA, which supports the “out of Africa” single origin theory of human evolution, debunks any notion that White racial traits played a role in the rise of the West. For Morris, it is axiomatic that “If modern humans replaced Neanderthals in the Western Old World and Homo erectus in the Eastern regions without interbreeding, racist theories tracing contemporary Western rule back to prehistoric biological differences must be wrong” (p. 70). He acknowledges that modern Eurasians share 1 to 4 percent of their genes with the Neanderthals “but everywhere from France to China it is the same 1 to 4 percent.” He notes that other racial groups like modern Africans have no Neanderthal DNA, but that “the implications of this are yet to be explored” (P. 60). Read more

Tristan Tzara and the Jewish Roots of Dada, Part 3

Dada in New York

According to Marcel Duchamp’s own account, in late 1916 or early 1917 he and Francis Picabia received a book sent by an unknown author, one Tristan Tzara. The book was called The First Adventure of Mr. Antipyrine and had just been published in Zurich. In this work Tzara declared Dada to be “irrevocably opposed to all accepted ideas promoted by the ‘zoo’ of art and literature, whose hallowed walls of tradition he wanted to adorn with multicolored shit.”[i] Duchamp later said: “We were intrigued but I didn’t know who Dada was, or even that the word existed.”[ii] Tzara’s scatological message was the catalyst for the establishment of the antipatriotic and anti-rationalist Dada message in New York, and it may well have informed Duchamp’s decision to submit his infamous Fountain to the Society of Independent Artists in New York.

In February 1917 Duchamp famously sent the Independent an upside-down urinal entitled Fountain, signing it R. Mutt (famously photographed by Alfred Stieglitz). By doing so Duchamp directed attention away from the work of art as a material object, and instead presented it as something which was an idea. In doing so he shifted the emphasis from making to thinking.

Duchamp later did the same with a bottle rack and other items. Through subversive gestures like these he parodied the Futurist machine aesthetic by exhibiting untreated objets trouvés or readymade objects. To his great surprise these became accepted by the mainstream art world. Read more

Tristan Tzara and the Jewish Roots of Dada, Part 2

Other Jews involved with Zurich Dada

Among the other Jewish artists and intellectuals who joined Tzara in neutral Switzerland to escape involvement in the war was the painter and sculptor Marcel Janco (1895–1984), his brothers Jules and George, the painter and experimental film-maker Hans Richter (1888–1976), the essayist Walter Serner (1889–1942), and the painter and writer Arthur Segal (1875–1944). Read more

Tristan Tzara and the Jewish Roots of Dada, Part 1

Tristan Tzara


The twentieth century saw a proliferation of art inspired by the culture of critique. The exposure and promotion of this art grew alongside the ever-expanding Jewish control of the media, and Jewish penetration and eventual capture of the Western art establishment. Jewish writers, painters and composers sought to rewrite the rules of artistic expression — to allow accommodation for their own technical limitations, and to facilitate the creation (and elite acceptance) of works intended as a rebuke to the supposed evils of Western civilizational norms.

The Jewish intellectual substructure of many of these twentieth century art movements was manifest in their unfailing hostility toward the political, cultural and religious traditions of Europe and European-derived societies. I previously examined how the rise of Abstract Expressionism exemplified this tendency in the United States, and coincided with the usurping of the American art establishment by a group of radical Jewish intellectuals. In Europe, Jewish influence on Western art reached a peak during the interwar years. This era, when the work of many artists was suffused with radical politics, was the heyday of the Jewish avant-garde.

A prominent example of a cultural movement from this time with important Jewish involvement was Dada. The Dadaists challenged the very foundations of Western civilization which they regarded, in the context of the destruction of World War I, and continuing anti-Semitism throughout Europe, as pathological. The artists and intellectuals of Dada responded to this socio-political diagnosis with assorted acts of cultural subversion. Dada was a movement that was destructive and nihilistic, irrational and absurdist, and which preached the overturning of every cultural tradition of the European past, including of rationality itself. The Dadaists “aimed to wipe the philosophical slate clean” and lead “the way to a new world order.”[i] While there were many non-Jews involved in Dada, the Jewish contribution was fundamental in shaping its intellectual tenor as a movement, for Dada was as much an attitude and way of thinking as a mode of artistic output. Read more

The Lost Soul of WASP America, Part 1

Introduction

The sweeping gains by the Republican Party in the 2010 mid-term Congressional elections were due in large part to the growing strength of America’s grass-roots Tea Party movement.  Tea Party activists are overwhelmingly White; their stated goal is to roll back the federal Leviathan now headed by America’s first non-White President.  Predictably, therefore, liberals interpret the Tea Party phenomenon as a manifestation of White “racism.”  Equally predictable are Tea Party attempts to deflect such accusations by backing the Black Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain.  For a while, even some White nationalists hoped that the Tea Parties would evolve into an explicitly ethnonationalist political movement.  It is now obvious that that will never happen.

At heart, the Tea Party movement is not about politics as such, i.e. who gets what, when, and where.  Still less does it promote a surreptitious style of identity politics tailor-made for White folks.  Instead, the excitement generated by the Tea Partiers resembles a corporate media-savvy revival of the old-time religious fervour for which America is famous.

The Tea Party movement is another episode in the long history of evangelical enthusiasm which has driven the permanent (or at least very long-running) American Revolution since it broke out in the eighteenth century.  The radicalism of that revolutionary upheaval is still fuelled by a potent mixture of politics and religion.  Well before the American Declaration of Independence, the first Great Awakening laid the foundation for the constitutional faith that transformed colonial Englishmen into homo Americanus.  In the early nineteenth century, a second-stage evangelical revival fertilized the spiritual seedbed of secession and Civil War. Read more

Fall Issue of The Occidental Quarterly, and a Call for Papers

The Fall issue of The Occidental Quarterly is now available. Yearly subscriptions (4 issues) can be obtained at the here—hardcopy: $60.00, including postage to U.S. addresses; digital: $30.00. See page for all purchase options.

TOO readers will be very interested in this material. In addition to the intellectual stimulation provided by these articles (and a handsome addition to your coffee table if you purchase the hardcopy subscription), subscribing to TOQ is an excellent way to support media that presents intellectually honest perspectives on Western peoples and culture that simply cannot be published in the mainstream intellectual media in today’s climate of political correctness. We complain endlessly about the stranglehold on the media enjoyed by our enemies. Subscribing to TOQ helps change all that.

The Spring issue of TOQ will be on the topic of “Collapse: Perspectives on the Impending Crisis of the West.” Thinkers on the political right have been prophesying the collapse of our current political and economic system for some time, but recent developments seem to make this a realistic possibility. The problems leading to the this crisis are daunting and quite possibly insoluble without a political cataclysm: Exploding and unsustainable debt at all levels of government;  unsustainable levels of immigration requiring unrealistic levels of economic growth to prevent chronic high unemployment; endless costly foreign wars fought to appease the Israel Lobby; a corrupt financial elite that has plunged the Western world into its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression; rapidly expanding populations of low-IQ non-Whites requiring unsustainably high levels of social support; large numbers of Whites inchoately angry about their impending displacement and the fact that they are being forced to adjust to a multicultural world they do not desire. This multicultural world promises increased racial conflict (a characteristic of all multicultural societies) and diminished political and cultural influence for Whites. Read more

Celebrating America’s European Heritage: Leif Erikson

Leif Erikson statue at the Hallgrimskirkja, the largest church in Iceland

Joseph F. Healey has pointed out that White ethnic identities are evolving into new shapes and forms, merging the various “hyphenated” ethnic identities into a single, generalized “European American” identity based on race and a common history of immigration and assimilation.  In light of the fact that virtually every minority group has generated a protest movement — Black Power, Red Power, Chicanismo — proclaiming a recommitment to its own heritage and to the authenticity of its own culture, European Americans should seize the opportunity to reclaim their ethnic and historical heritage on festive October occasions such as Columbus Day (Oct. 12) and Leif Erikson Day (Oct. 9).

Regarding Columbus, it should be remembered that the great Admiral of the Seas may well have had knowledge of earlier Norse explorations.  In 1477 he sailed to Ireland and Iceland with the merchant marine, as attested by his son, Fernando, who quotes a note of his father stating:

I sailed in the year 1477, in the month of February, a hundred leagues beyond the island of Tile [Thule, i.e. Iceland], whose northern part is in latitude 73 degrees north and not 63 degrees as some would have it … the season when I was there the sea was not frozen.

In all societies with a history of migrations, the question “who came first?” becomes important.  Centuries before Columbus and the Waldseemüller world map known as “America’s baptismal certificate,” the Icelandic sagas answered this question by immortalizing the names and deeds of the pioneers for posterity. Read more