Western Culture

On the Western Tendency to Moral Universalism

I am in the rather odd position of trying to rebut comments made in the article by Richard Spencer that I posted. But it’s a good opportunity to clarify my ideas.

Richard has two objections to my theory that individualism has something to do with the attraction of CPAC conservatives to the universalist rhetoric of rights.

First, the Japanese have excelled in the abstract logic required in advanced electronics and industrial engineering, and their economy is geared towards exporting to global markets; yet, judging by their national consensus on immigration restriction, they have little compunction in fighting for their genetic interests.

When I mentioned an attraction to abstractions, I meant moral abstractions as a component of Western individualism, not abstractions in general.  Otherwise Jews would be the ultimate moral universalists. Moral idealism is a powerful tendency in European culture, apparent, for example, in the German idealist philosophers and the American transcendentalists. (Writing a foreword for a forthcoming English translation of Vladimir Avdeyev’s Raciology [Russian edition reviewed in TOO by Dan Michaels] made me realize that idealism was a trait commonly ascribed to Nordics by racial scientists in a very influential intellectual tradition from the late 19th century until its demise with the defeat of National Socialism.) Universalist moral ideals are erected and then steps are taken to achieve the moral vision by changing the world, often accompanied by a great deal of moral fervor, as among the opponents of slavery in America and during the French Revolution (see below). Read more

Abstractions Are a Weak Source of National Identity

Alex Kurtagic has a nice comment at VDARE.com on British PM David Cameron’s multiculturalism-is-a-failure speech. He notes,

A strong national identity is perforce traditionalist, particularist, and inegalitarian. It is dependent on localization, specificity, and uniqueness, as this is stabilized into a tradition over many generations, what differentiates the indigenous from the alien, then native from the foreigner.

A strong national identity, therefore, implies that what is indigenous takes priority over what is alien. It is incompatible with multiculturalism or diversity.

Surprisingly, Gregory Rodriguez, your basic Latino activist as affirmative action op-ed writer with a lofty perch in the mainstream media, makes a complementary point—that the proposition nation idea is not psychologically compelling:

“Freedom of speech, freedom of worship, democracy, the rule of law, equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality,” Cameron said, would provide “a clear sense of national identity that is open to everyone,” especially to young Muslims who are caught between cultures.

The only problem is that the freedoms Cameron champions, worthy as they are, hardly constitute firm “roots.” Anglo American liberalism is essentially a collection of abstract ideas, and abstractions simply aren’t as effective as bloodlines and religious ritual when it comes to bringing people together as a nation. Read more