Identity And Civilization: Why Humanity Depends On Ethnoculture

As the year 2015 drew to a close, an event took place which shocked and scandalized no small number of decent, educated, and right-thinking people.

In universities across North America, White Student Unions declared their intents to organize. Rejecting entirely any possibility that university students could hold such abhorrent views, the good folk of the Academy attributed the phenomenon to an organized online raiding party of trolls. Perhaps their insistence that opposition to social justice ideology could only come from people playing the role of inhuman, un-Christian, mountain-dwelling monsters tells us more about the psyche of the modern progressive than they would like. No one is more horrified by this sudden appearance of the wrong kind of white people than…the right kind of white people: educated, tolerant, traveled and proud of it, liberal and cosmopolitan; if under 30 years of age, privilege-checking. Let’s call them Brahmins. If you’re reading this, chances are I’ve just described you: welcome to the club!

In the West, Brahmin culture upholds global consciousness and social responsibility as the very highest of moral considerations. On a personal note, yours truly may fall into the one category the Brahmin hates more than the barbarians: the apostates. This piece is an appeal to my fellow Brahmins to ask ourselves what is truly best for humanity. Be warned: what lies ahead are not the gods of your fathers, but perhaps those of your great-great grandfathers.

Our first question is to ask why this phenomenon provokes such outrage. Well, that’s not hard to answer. White Student Unions appear to invoke a worldview which runs directly orthogonal to the most deeply held values of the average educated Brahmin. In our century, this position can be summed up in the idea that “there is no race but the human race.” For simplicity’s sake, let’s call this worldview universalist humanism: what matters is our common humanity, and we must break down external categories which might otherwise divide us. The mysterious figures behind the White Student Unions reply, “we – a part of the human race – are different from the others and are glad to be so.” And in theory, our scandalized Brahmin cannot properly respond, because to do so would violate the second fundamental principle: that diversity is a good thing. But in practice, the attacks come fast and hard.

As we will no doubt be reminded, this is because of something called “context.” The context is that white identity politics is bad because white identity is based on systematic oppression; on the other hand, the political concerns of people of color are on the receiving end of oppression. To put it on a more gut-instinct level, white identity politics is Hitler, and non-white identity politics is Mandela. Mugabe and Idi Amin don’t enter the respectable mind as archetypes of non-white identity politics. The practiced ideology of the white, western Brahmin is this: universalism for white people, identity politics for the rest. On a more fundamental level: agency for white people, socioeconomic conditions for the rest. The latter point may explain why our Brahmin feels no contradiction when championing the cause of the African poor, whereas white American poor are the inbred, gun-toting fundies of flyover country. (South Park really caught onto something with the line “what is [political correctness] but a verbal form of gentrification?”)

The hated opponent of the modern Brahmin is the nationalist. Rejecting the brotherhood of global humanity, the nationalist devotes himself to a particular society, culture, and people. This alone strikes the decent-minded liberal as hopelessly provincial. Nationalists tend to attribute elite opposition to nationalism to two motivations, somewhat opposed. First, that the Brahmin has a misplaced altruism which leads them believe that their social responsibilities are to all humanity. Second, that the Brahmin is in fact acting selfishly and rejects nationalism to escape the duties and responsibilities it would place upon them. This piece is aimed at the former. To solve the latter would be to solve free-riding, which is beyond our scope.

We who dwell as apostates in Brahmin institutions are prone to noticing certain recurrences when our ideologically correct friends object to identity politics. These objections occur not only against nationalist or identitarian ideas, but also when (usually white) liberals object to social justice identity politics. Identity politics happens because people identify with each other based on shared race, gender, religion and so on. Because these groups have competing interests, politics occurs. To paraphrase von Clausewitz, sectarian violence is a continuation of identity politics by other means. The liberal Brahmin protests that this is divisive, unnecessary, and (the cardinal sin) irrational. What really matter are two things: individuals and shared humanity. Identity politics both erases individual differences between members of the group and makes us forget that we’re all human in the end.

Yet, these objections fail to recognize that the liberal and the nationalist are making more or less identical statements. We are all part of group X. Therefore, we should work for the betterment of X and commitments which distract us from this are undesirable. Likewise, they reject each other on similar grounds: lumping me into group X is arbitrary and does not serve either my interests or the interests of my preferred group Y. Each charges the other with using their preferred group identity as a way to level and erase differences. The nationalist charges the liberal with claiming an interchangeability among peoples and nations which does not exist. This is correct: you cannot replace the population of Japan with Somalis and still have Japan. Here’s a thorough debunking of the claims that biodiversity among human populations (shorthand: race) does not exist. Any remaining true believers in diversity may simply examine its negative effects on on phenomena from social trust to happiness. But the liberal’s objection holds water, and for the same reason. Why should a shared skin color or even a shared culture mean that the educated and socially aware Brahmin feels any kinship with some 85 IQ janitor who dropped out of high school and votes based on who seems like they’d be a good time at the pub?

Our liberal critic will be horrified to learn that he has an ally in a certain Italian reactionary, a chap infamous for rejecting fascism itself as too bleeding heart for his tastes. When the Sicilian Baron Julius Evola wasn’t busy writing books on esoteric spirituality or tantric magical rites, he was busy holding Mussolini and Hitler’s feet to the fire for their willingness to use nationalism as a populist tool. Evola writes in his 1931 essay The Two Faces of Nationalism:

Nation, race, society, humanity are elevated today to the status of mystical personalities, which demand unconditional devotion and subordination from the individuals who make them up…And this tyranny of the group does not confine itself to affirmations of a political and social character in the life of the individual: it assumes moral and spiritual rights, and, claiming that culture and spirit are no longer disinterested forms of activity or paths for the elevation of individuality, but have now become organs subordinate to the temporal collective entity; it proclaims that the morality of those who uphold that spirit has sense and value only as an instrument in the service of the body. Man, before feeling he is a personality, a Self, is required to perceive himself as member of a social group, faction or nation – this is one of the specific commandments of the ultimate subversive ideologies, and it is precisely by this means that the relation which the primitive feels himself to possess to the totem of his tribe or clan reappears.

[…]

Having come to birth within the revolutions which overwhelmed what was left of the aristocratic-feudal régimes, this nationalism thus expresses a pure ‘mob spirit’ – it is a variety of the democratic intolerance for any leader who is not a mere organ of ‘the popular will’, completely subordinate to the sanction of the latter.”

In other words, nationalism becomes an enemy of civilization when it believes that Shakespeare is great because he was English, rather than that England is great because it produced Shakespeare. Thus it falls on all those who stand for the continued betterment and evolution of mankind to oppose this strain of nationalism, problematic exactly insofar as it resembles the leveling “humanism” of our universalist friends. When they proclaim that there is far more inequality within races than between them, Evola nods approvingly…for all the wrong reasons. Nationalism is not to be used to level differences within nations, but to recognize differences in global humanity – just as differences exist within nations.

A problem still remains. If nationalist and humanist forms of regressive egalitarianism are equally false, then the allies of civilization must start our work from the bottom up. To begin, let’s outline some fundamentals:

  1. Individuals differ. Successful societies provide the incentives for people to realize their potential. It does not make it easy to excuse failure, and it drives the excellent to demonstrate their ability.
  2. Ethnocultural groups differ. Successful societies maximize cooperation and minimize conflict. Humans are social animals and thus prone to forming ingroups and outgroups. Highly diverse societies will breed identity politics for this reason and make cooperation harder. Singapore is successful because it understands that diversity correlates negatively with freedom and thus sacrifices freedom.
  3. When an ethnocultural group has survived to the modern day – and particularly if it has achieved heights of learning and civilization – we know that it has managed to exploit some number of advantages. Because of point 2, we cannot assume that these methods and advantages apply to all groups. If we care about the future of a group, we will examine what has worked and see if these advantages can continue to be exploited.
  4. Those who care about advancing and improving the state of humanity must accept 2 and 3. Therefore, egalitarian and universalist humanism must be discarded by those who care about genuine human progress.
  5. Those who care about advancing and improving the state of their ethnocultural kin must accept 1. Nationalism or identitarianism which free-rides on the achievements of a few to excuse the failures of many will ultimately destroy the group.
  6. Ethnocultural identity is natural and unifies groups. However, it also divides different ethnocultural groups. Thus, successful groups will find ways of cooperating with one another. If one wishes ones’ group to be successful, in- and inter-group norms for such cooperation must be developed.

So with those few fundamentals laid out, we Brahmins – ever proud of our social consciousness – at last see how we can aid humanity and civilization.

First of all, white Western Brahmins must stop imagining that the dissolution of our societies (simplistically reduced to “White Supremacy”) will be beneficial to the world. We are the descendants of European civilization. Assuming you’re in North America, it’s the Anglo-American branch of European civilization. It oppressed and conquered and colonized. It also sparked much of the last 3,000 years of philosophy and thought. It created social norms which allowed for personal liberty and cooperation. That led to the development of science and capitalism, the engines which have materially benefited billions both inside and outside the West. If that goes, no amount of schools built in Africa by inexperienced white teenagers will repair the damage. It falls to us today to reverse the regression in our social thought and bring it to the same level as our scientific thought. So let’s examine what allowed our Western civilizations (and there have been many) to flourish as they did. Lifestyle activism is what the 21st century is all about.

Next, the Brahmin affection for cosmopolitanism is not a total ill. Consider point 6. Historically, there has always been a need for elites to think beyond group interests and consider how to cooperate on regional and even global levels. The great historic European example is the network of social and familial ties between its aristocracies, to the point where the last Russian Tsar was more German than Slavic. Institutions from the Church to the Templars and the Freemasons existed to foster these relationships. This is a double-edged sword, of course. If elites stop using these relations to benefit their own groups, then new elites tend to fill the vacuum and displace them. Thus, an identitarian mindset binds us to real, concrete social responsibilities rather than disassociated hashtag activism. Man cannot live by Brahmins alone – there is building, working, fighting to be done. American elites – educated at the Ivy leagues and voluntouring in Africa – have forgotten this basic fact, which is why they are shocked when blue collar Americans prefer Donald Trump to free trade and UN missions.

Finally, the relationship between the person and the ethnoculture should be reiterated. In an strange way, the Western hesitancy to engage in group-think stems from a particularly northwestern European individualism. Thus, it is unacceptable to much of European civilization – and to the Anglosphere in particular – to recognize the worth of great men and women purely based on their group identity. This is good. It is our lack of clannish tribalism which allows us to hold individuals to account, and thus for our societies to remain consistently competitive and productive.

The ethnoculture does not make our heroes great; our heroes make our ethnoculture great. Anything which improves its ability to shape better people should be embraced. The day it stops doing so is the day it deserves its place in the graveyard of history.

Liked it? Take a second to support Social Matter on Patreon!
View All

11 Comments

  1. Monarch of Idaho January 4, 2016 at 9:39 am

    White student unions will end up promoting anything and everything bad for Whites, for the same reason those few “male studies” courses are basically radical Feminism for males. White student unions will act to eliminate, “deconstruct” rather than inculcate White ethnic consciousness, and won’t even be exclusionary White, will have non-White members. And yes, all this is basically brouhaha cultivated by /pol/ and DailyStormer. This is not serious opposition to the Cathedral, and will be subverted if ever grows any meat.

    1. Mark Christensen January 4, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      Have you actually been following the white student unions at all? They’re a mix of trolls vs real students, but anti-white they most certainly aren’t, unlike the various Whiteness Studies programs at some universities. And yes, these aren’t going to be the final stroke of the Cathedral. No one thinks they are. They’re a narrative disruption and disruptions are good.

  2. Maybe there’s a subset of Brahmins who might link here that could be swayed by a reasoned, sane argument. Fraternities and sororities might be a start. They are still mostly white and are founded on traditional European ideals. This article could help spark a renaissance of sorts.

  3. I think you really clenched this troublesome (perhaps largely semantic) issue with the following:

    “In other words, nationalism becomes an enemy of civilization when it believes that Shakespeare is great because he was English, rather than that England is great because it produced Shakespeare.”

    We’re probably stuck with the tricky words nationalism and identitarianism, but remembering that simple phrase seems to at least put things in perspective. Nice article.

  4. There is a lot of reification here.

    First, Evola’s “aristocratic-feudal society” was different things, some that worked, some that didn’t. The English version worked because the knights brought their tenants along as archers, which gave them an incentive to be nice to their tenants and created some bond between the classes.

    Second, “capitalism” and “science” are not things before which white people must bow down. Capitalism is a white farmer building a barn with a hayloft so more of his cows survive the winter. He sells some of his cows, builds a bigger barn and his herd grows. He makes cheese, and sells it. Capitalism is future time orientation of people who live in harsh places where assets help you survive.

    Science is white people having a little time on their hands to think about how things work. Engineering is white people having a little on their hands to design and create things. Art, philosophy, are also not concrete things, but words that describe the behavior of white people.

    If you want dairy products, you need cows. The more cows you have, and the better you take care of them, the more you will have. Wool, sheep. Fruit, fruit trees. Accumulated assets, science, engineering, art, philosophy- these come from white people like dairy products come from cows.

    The elite, or the aristocracy, whoever they are, perceive themselves to be owners of the people and society, with the right to dispose of it as they see fit. But an asset is only valuable if you maintain it. Owning an asset is actually a lot of work. You can pay somebody to work your farm, but you still better go out their frequently and see what they are doing.

    But assets to the elite are just financial instruments. They don’t have any contact with reality. Wealth is what is in their brokerage or bank account, and increasing wealth is manipulating financial instruments to increase these.

    I would prefer not to be regarded as a cow, but if I was the elite would at least care about my family’s well-being.

    1. Mark Christensen January 5, 2016 at 1:23 am

      I should clarify my points about science and capitalism. Science is a powerful method of gaining knowledge about the world and capitalism is an effective economic system of allowing people to apply and develop that knowledge. Groups which use these tools gain an edge in the great game of competition between groups and civilizations. European civilization honed these tools more than any other, and we should educate ourselves on what it is about northwest European cultures that allowed them to do so.

      Moldbug 101 is indeed that for governments (re: elites), citizens are assets. Our elite’s increasing break with reality (a process now centuries in the making) leads them to forget that they are elites, that citizens are assets, that assets need care, and even that assets are not all alike. Elites must restore their minds to all of these facts.

      Another good Evola quote: “The supreme nobility…does not consist in being a master of slaves, but in being a lord of free men.”

  5. Taking you at your word of being apostate Brahmins at University it’s important for you to do this w/rgd to those of your class who are of good will. Free-Riders are wind socks who’ll follow the prevailing winds and are of no consequence in argument.

    So yes it’s good you’re doing this…just recognize the enormous limitations of argument. You are arguing against immediate class interest correctly perceived, that it can’t go on is no concern for even the most educated herd – perhaps more so than the common dole recipient – for men only respond in herds to whatever is strongest. The Cathedral will have to have lit their homes aflame and they feel the heat for them to turn against it except in small numbers. Nor do I think you’ll have much success where Buckley failed. You do have some situational advantages: we’re bankrupt, the State is seen as corrupt and above all in a genocide against your own group [Whites] you don’t really get to pick the other side. But absent the horrible consequences manifest you will not sway the herd against all the immediate benefits of being correct in their thinking, in particular as there are immediate consequences for going against the wind.

    Follow this course while recognizing it’s fatal limitations in reaching safe port. We are not talking or reasoning our way out of this but that doesn’t mean talk is useless. At present we’re drifting in the doldrums with storm clouds and many pirates on the horizon.

    If you want a future you’ll have to fight.

    So look into piracy when talk fails.

    BTW you might get farther with the more commonly used WEIRD than Brahmin.

    WEIRD stands for Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic (anthropology).

    Happy Sweet 2016.

  6. The problem here is one that I have commonly noticed on the alt right. Whites even in the alt right are still trapped in a universalist way of thinking where survival of the race depends on merit. We deserve to survive and thrive because of art, technology, and science. That stuff is important, but I say no, we deserve to survive because we exist and that’s it. We should not justify our interests and self preservation through our accomplishments.

    1. Mark Christensen January 5, 2016 at 1:15 am

      The problem with that it that it borders on the assumption that we have some kind of intrinsic “right” to survival, apart from the dangerous egalitarianism I described.

      We don’t have a “right to survive”. A group survives because it has the will and ability to survive. Northwest Europeans have not only survived but thrived because we value accomplishment and ability and not just ingroup membership. It appears paradoxical, but it seems to be our evolutionary strategy. It’s not about presenting our accomplishments to others as if we are in some kind of group survival court case, but about not letting identitarianism lead us to in-group egalitarianism.

  7. Aristocles Invictus January 6, 2016 at 8:26 am

    This is an excellent, the totemic nationalism that I’ve seen gaining in popularity is understandable considering our situation, but it is the wrong path.

  8. Its amazing how egalitarian the historic nationalists have been. Just read through some Mazzini and you’d think you were browsing Das Kapital. I maintain that ethnic nations should exist separately, but do not necessarily require political autonomy. It is possible for larger nations of a common enough characteristic to be custodians of smaller nations within their borders and this is sometimes preferable to the alternative.

Comments are closed.