The Suicide Cult
On November 17, 1978 members of an American religious cult known as the “People’s Temple” who a year previously had followed their leader, Jim Jones, to a commune in Guyana committed suicide en masse after members of their group murdered an American congressman. In the decades since the incident it has come to take on cultural significance as a symbol of the dangers of uncritical groupthink. Variations of the now familiar phrase “don’t drink the Kool-Aid”, used to urge people not to blindly follow the crowd or some charismatic leader, are a reference to the poisoned communion which brought the sect and the lives of its members to an end.
Communities and societies, like individual persons, are alive, and like all living things in creation, can die. To remain alive, an organism must be constantly regenerating itself, growing new cells to replace the old ones that are dying. This is true of a society as well. The cells that make up a society, its people, are constantly aging and dying. For the organism that is a society to survive it must replenish those cells. It must be constantly reproducing itself.
Note that I said “reproducing” not “replacing”. Today, through modern science, we can extend the lives of people by replacing entire organs with transplants or prosthetics. Our ability to do so is not unlimited, however. Suppose we were to develop prosthetic equivalents of every organ in the human body. We would still not be able to keep a man alive indefinitely by replacing all of his organs. If we were to attempt to do so, then at some point, we would actually kill the man rather than extending his life. Where the line is to be drawn is difficult to say, exactly, but if we keep replacing organs, until no natural organs are left, and it is just 100% prosthetics, even if they are working perfectly, you will have a robot and not the man you started with. That man will be dead.
This is true of a society as well. For a society to be a real, living society, it must reproduce itself. The present generation must be descended from all previous generations and all future generations must be descended from the present generation. This is true generally speaking. A society can survive having some of its members leave and join other societies. Likewise, a society can bring in new members from other societies and incorporate them into itself without losing its identity and dying.
At some point, however, a line exists. On one side of the line, a society is alive and healthy, and reproducing itself. Some people leave, some people move in, but the general sense that the society today consists of the descendents of past generations of the society and the ancestors of future generations of the society is not compromised. On the other side of the line, the society has ceased to reproduce itself and is relying entirely upon immigrants to replace its aging and dying members. This is a society that is dying. It is dying because it is replacing itself rather than reproducing itself.
It is difficult to say exactly where this line is, but it is also not necessary that we identify its exact location. A healthy, thriving, living society, is not interested in getting as close to the line as possible without crossing it.
Western societies today are not healthy societies. Western countries experienced a huge drop in fertility and birth rates over the course of the twentieth century. This was briefly interrupted, by a baby boom which began immediately after World War II and which extended into the mid-60’s in most Western countries, and in some as far as the mid’70’s. Following this boom, however, fertility and birth rates dropped below the levels needed to sustain a population and have remained dangerously low ever since.
In this same period the governments of Western countries have implemented liberal immigration policies. A country with a liberal immigration policy accepts considerably larger numbers of immigrants than a country without a liberal immigration policy would. A country with a liberal immigration policy will also accept far more immigrants from cultures and populations radically different from its core culture and population than a country without a liberal immigration policy. Indeed, a government with a liberal immigration policy, although it will nominally be a non-discriminatory policy, may actually encourage immigration from cultures and populations that are further removed from its core culture and population over immigration from cultures and populations that are closer to its core culture and population.
When a government implements a liberal immigration policy in a period of dangerously low fertility this indicates that a society has moved away from reproducing itself and towards replacing itself. It has started to commit suicide.
During this period of low fertility and high immigration, several movements and ideologies have sprung up encouraging Western societies to embrace aspects of this culture of death. The sexual revolutionaries sought to separate sexual intercourse from any and all sense of social responsibility and place it entirely within the self-enclosed sphere of personal physical pleasure. They were encouraged by the development of new and more efficient contraceptive technology. Then the feminists attacked society’s promotion of the wife/mother role for women as “patriarchal oppression” and demanded that society eliminate gender roles. This went hand-in-glove with the promotion of abortion on demand, for if women were not able to terminate pregnancy at will, all talk of eliminating gender differences and producing either an purely individualistic or an egalitarian society was meaningless. Then the gay rights movement came along and demanded that society affirm rather than discourage same-sex eroticism.
What all of these ideologies and movements have in common is that they place the physical pleasure or the emotional “fulfillment” (or some such nebulous concept), of the individual or a group within society, over the good and even the survival of society itself. They are all also manifestations of the general ideology known as liberalism.
Liberalism’s orientation towards death can be illustrated by comparing its positions on capital punishment and abortion. Liberalism tends to produce minds that are opposed to capital punishment but which favour abortion being readily available and even paid for by the state. Now, liberals come to each of these positions from separate chains of arguments which to them appear to have no connection with each other. A connection is there nonetheless which is plain to see.
Capital punishment upholds the sanctity of human life. It is reserved, or should be reserved, for crimes on the level of first degree murder – the deliberate taking of human life in defiance of social and moral law. By imposing the death penalty upon someone who has cold-bloodedly, in a calculating fashion, taken the life of another human being in defiance of law, society is saying that human life is so precious, that only the life of the murderer is acceptable as just payment for the crime of taking it. (1)
Abortion is the deliberate termination of a pregnancy. It results in the death of the fetus. The fetus is unquestionably a human life. The moment it’s father’s sperm and mother’s egg united to form a single cell, it possessed a complete set of human chromosomes making it fully human. Immediately, the process of growth through cell-division was started. It was fully human and fully alive. The fetus has not committed a crime that demands societal retribution in the form of death. Nor is the fetus an aggressor the killing of whom can be justified by self-defense. In the majority of cases abortions are committed because pregnancy imposes either a hardship or an inconvenience upon the parents of the fetus.
Allowing human life to be terminated for those reasons cheapens human life. So does the abolition of capital punishment. Liberalism is consistent in its low regard for human life which goes hand-in-glove with its embracing of societal and civilizational death.
The connection between liberalism and the death of the societies that make up Western civilization has been discussed in the past. The best treatment of the subject was probably James Burnham’s Suicide of the West which was originally published in 1964. (2) In this book Burnham described liberalism as the “ideology of Western suicide”. He did not mean by that that liberalism was an ideology created with the goal of bringing about the death of Western civilization. Rather he meant that liberalism served to rationalize after the fact the self-inflicted mortal wounds of Western societies.
Our focus for the rest of this essay will be narrower than liberalism in general. We will be looking at a specific ideology and movement within liberalism which has provided the other liberal ideologies and movements mentioned above with the rhetorical weapons and conceptual framework with which to make their arguments and which has also long served as a shield to protect the replacement-over-reproduction trend within our societies from criticism. This ideology/movement is the suicide cult of Western society.
The ideology/movement in question is anti-racism.
Before proceeding to examine anti-racism’s relationship to Western societal suicide we will first have to carefully define what is meant by anti-racism. To avoid confusion the first step in defining anti-racism will be to make clear what we do not mean by the term anti-racism.
The first distinction to be made is between anti-racism and non-racism. Anti-racism is not the same thing as non-racism. Anti-racism and non-racism are both terms which are defined negatively in reference to “racism”. Non-racism, however, is neither an ideology nor a movement. A person who is a “non-racist” is just someone who is not a racist. To be an anti-racist requires more than that, it requires active opposition to racism.
There is a sense in which everyone who is opposed to racism is an anti-racist. For the purposes of this essay however, we will be using a narrower definition of anti-racism. Another distinction needs to be made and that is between the person legitimately opposed to or even outraged at actual racial injustice and racial violence and the person we are calling an anti-racist.
There are two main differences between the two. The first, is that the “racism” an anti-racist actively opposes is a much broader category than actual racial injustice and racial violence. The second is that someone legitimately opposed to racial injustice and racial violence is opposed to these things no matter who the perpetrators are and who the victims are. Anti-racists, on the other hand, consistently oppose any expression of group solidarity on the part of one racial group no matter how benign while overlooking significant racially-motivated violence directed against members of that same group. The racial group in question consists of people groups descended from those who in classical antiquity were the Greeks, Romans, Germans and Celts, that are European in origin and who are most often just called “white” people.
So anti-racism is not just non-racism nor is it to be equated with opposition to actual racial injustice/violence. What is it then?
Anti-racism is the idea that injustice and violence towards people of other races is the inevitable result of believing mankind to be divided into races and treating race as being more than just a trivial difference between people. To see oneself as being a member of a race and other people as not being members of that race is the racism which anti-racists oppose. They insist that we see ourselves as individuals who are members of the human race and to attach no importance to groups intermediary between the individual and the species. To attach importance to such groups, the anti-racist declares, creates divisions which lead to injustice and threaten the future of humanity. Therefore, racism, is an evil which must be eliminated through extensive measures including the use of government power aimed at eradicating all sense of racial identity.
At least if you are white. Anti-racists have no objection to racial consciousness, identity, and solidarity on the part of other racial groups. When was the last time you heard of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People being denounced as a racist organization?
Anti-racism is one of many errors that arise out of liberalism’s root error. The core of liberalism is the idea that human beings are basically and essentially good therefore the evils which are manifest everywhere in the real world must be caused by something outside of human nature. If we can only identify the causes of evil and eliminate them, the liberal believes, we will achieve a just society, a paradise on earth.
In World War II racial violence was escalated to an extreme level. The horrors that Allied soldiers discovered in the concentration camps of the Third Reich as they liberated occupied Europe were photographed and filmed for the world to see and as the story came out of what had occurred there people were shocked, appalled and disgusted.
The liberal mind, presented with such glaring evidence of the falsehood of its most foundational belief, the goodness of mankind, desperately searched for an origin outside human nature. It latched on to the concept of “racism” as its explanation. Hitler had been famous for his theories of Aryan racial superiority. They were foundational to the ideology of the Third Reich. Therefore, the liberal mind concluded, racism is the cause of atrocities like those committed by Hitler and will always lead the racist to commit atrocities like Hitler’s. Racism must therefore be eliminated for society at all costs.
There are several problems with this idea.
First of all, its basic presuppositions are false. Evil does have its origins in human nature. Attempts to eliminate evil by political and social solutions aimed at the elimination of “causes” of evil that are external to human nature will always fail. The only way to eliminate human evil through such means is to eliminate human beings.
Secondly, the theory does not fit the facts it seeks to explain. Hitler believed in white supremacy – but so did Sir Winston Churchill, and indeed most, if not all, of the leaders of the Allies. Before, during, and after the time period in which Hitler was committing his atrocities, Joseph Stalin was committing even greater atrocities.
Finally, the anti-racist theory itself becomes a justification for injustice against two different groups of people.
First, it is a justification for injustice against those who are labeled “racists” by the anti-racists. People generally do not apply the label “racist” to themselves. It must therefore be attached to them by others, by the anti-racists. The label itself creates a stigma resulting in a presumption of guilt against the person labeled a “racist”. If the person denies being a racist, the anti-racist replies “all racists deny being racist, therefore you must be a racist”. People who have been accused of racism in Canada alone have been charged with violating “hate speech” laws, subjected to long inquisitorial trials before the Human Rights Tribunal, issued life-time gag orders, fined thousands of dollars, had their homes and property vandalized, had their persons’ violated, had their children taken away from them, been subjected to harassment, stripped of their jobs and careers, and turned into social pariahs. The treatment a “racist” receives at the hands of the anti-racists shows some remarkable resemblances to the treatment Jews, gypsies, and others received at the hands of Nazi Germany.
Secondly, it is a justification for injustice against the various ethnic groups that are collectively referred to as “white people” and particularly against specific groups within that broader category that are particularly associated with “racism” in the mind of the anti-racist – groups such as Southern whites in the United States, Germans, and Afrikaners (South African whites). Countless examples of such injustices could be discussed but there is one major injustice that overshadows all others. Namely that anti-racism requires that people groups within the category “white” commit collective suicide and disappear from the earth by replacing themselves with immigrants rather than reproducing themselves.
To restate our definition of anti-racism it is the idea that racism is the recognition of the existence of races within humanity and the attributing of significance to the category of race, that racism leads inevitably to horrible racial injustice, and that therefore racism is an evil to be eliminated through repressive government measures if necessary. Anti-racism also refers to the movements and organizations which act upon that idea.
To say that anti-racism, as described above, is the suicide cult of Western civilization is not to say that anti-racism is the cause of the factors contributing to Western suicide. It would be absurd, for example, to argue that anti-racism is the cause of low birth rates and low fertility among Western societies. It is, however, foundational to several of the ideas which serve to justify, if they are not themselves the cause of, anti-natal behavior. Feminism, which encouraged women to place careers ahead of motherhood, is an anti-natal movement which borrowed many of its concepts from anti-racism.
While anti-racism is not the cause of low birth-rates and may not be the primary cause of Western governments having adopted policies of multiculturalism and liberal immigration, it is certainly a justification invoked for the latter policies. More importantly, it prevents those policies from being abandoned.
How does anti-racism do so?
One way is by providing officials who don’t want to change those policies for whatever reasons with an easy means of justifying their actions and smearing their critics. “You don’t like what we are doing? You must be a racist!”
Another way, related to the last one is by stifling political discussion and marginalizing people and organizations that seek immigration reform and an end to multiculturalism. Even if the spokesmen for an organization seeking a more restrictive immigration policy and an end to multiculturalism express themselves in irenic tones and try to make a positive case for their people that does not reflect negatively on other people groups, the anti-racists will seek to marginalize the organization. The organization that is trying to argue its case positively will be condemned as a “hate group” by anti-racists who certainly do not disguise the loathing they feel for the organization, its leaders, and members, and anyone who happens to agree with it.
The anti-racists will justify this by explaining to us that “racists” speak in code language. For this reason, they must be marginalized, and their words banned from public forums where everybody has easy access to them, such as the internet. Otherwise uninformed people might be misled by them. People should only have access to the thought of “racists” as carefully filtered through anti-racist “experts” who understand the code language. Otherwise we might hear a “racist” say something like “white people have rights too” and think that that is a reasonable position without realizing that it is an “old canard” that really means that all other people should be enslaved or slaughtered.
There is one more way which we will consider in which anti-racism prevents the suicidal policies of western societies from being reversed. That is through instilling in us, from our earliest childhood, the idea that “race is only skin deep” and that is a great evil, if not the greatest of all evils, to treat people differently because of something like race. This is what makes anti-racism’s marginalization technique so effective and it is carried out with the full cooperation of the government, media and educational system.
If all the public schools, and public service announcements, and diversity and sensitivity seminars, were doing was telling us that we need to treat everybody fairly and justly, regardless of their race, there would be no problem with it. Instead, however, they are telling us that treating people justly means treating them the same and they are telling us that race is only a matter of skin color. Both of these things are falsehoods.
Note carefully that there is a difference between the idea that we should treat all people fairly and justly and the idea that we should treat all people the same. A person should be fair and just to both his father and to a complete stranger. That does not mean that he should treat his father and a complete stranger in the same way. Indeed, because of a man’s relationship with his father, justice demands that he treat his father differently than he would treat a complete stranger. Thus the idea that treating people justly means treating them the same is a falsehood.
So is the idea that race is only a matter of skin color. In fact, not only is race more than skin color, skin color is not even essential to the meaning of the word race.
The English term “race”, when applied to human beings and not used to mean the sport of competitive running or an election campaign, comes through a French derivative, from the Old Italian word “razza”, which refers to lineage, ancestry, or stock. Race, when applied to people, refers to a line of biological descent. We use it this way in a number of sense. Sometimes we speak of the entire human species as “the human race”. What this expression means is that if we go back far enough, all human beings are descended from the same original stock.
Another use, one which is now rather archaic, is to refer to a particular family’s ancestors as it’s race. “The race of the Smiths” or “The race of the Joneses” would be examples.
The use however, that is most relevant to discussions of racism and anti-racism, is to refer to large human populations whose descent from a common ancestral stock is indicated by a set of shared physical characteristics which is common to the members of the population and which distinguishes them from other people. Two things should be noted about this use of the word race.
First, it is a set of characteristics, and not one particular trait like skin color that distinguishes one race from another. A dark-skinned Australian aborigine might share the same skin color with a man from a sub-Saharan African tribe. They are not of the same race, however, nor would the albino son of either of them be of the same race as an Englishman or a German.
Secondly, even here, it is common ancestry that is the essential meaning of the word race. The physical traits associated with race are only racial insomuch as they indicate common ancestry.
It is important that we grasp this. The groups of people that we call races, are races because they are descended from a common ancestral group, not because they have distinct physical characteristics. The reason members of a race have distinct physical characteristics in common is because they are of a common stock. It is ancestry that is the most important part of the meaning of the word race.
Ancestry, however, is not something trivial like skin color. Anti-racists wish to trivialize. Hence their reducing race to its most trivial accident and speaking of it only in terms of skin color. They wish to eliminate any sense of loyalty to a group that is grounded in that group’s shared ancestry. Such loyalties stand in the way of their vision of a world where the individual’s only loyalty is to mankind. Therefore, they tell us from an early age that race is inconsequential that it is not important because it is only about skin color. We believe them because we recognize that group loyalty based upon something as shallow as skin color would be incredibly silly.
Our acceptance of their doctrine, however, hinders our forming a proper, natural attachment to our own people, even though such an attachment would not be based upon skin color but upon something far deeper. The anti-racist switch-and-bait has proven to be a remarkably effective brainwashing tool. We have drunk deep from the poisoned chalice containing their Kool-Aid.
Ordinarily, when he does not have something like liberal, anti-racist ideology being shoved down his throat since he was in diapers to hinder him, a man will form an attachment to his people. This attachment, this sense of loyalty, develops out of his first natural affections which arise out of relationships. He grows to love his parents and his siblings, to form bonds with his friends, to develop various relationships with his neighbors, and all of thee relationships form the basis of his loyalty to his community as a group. From this loyalty to his community his patriotic affection gradually spreads to encompass his country and his people. It is only out of such love for his own that any real love for mankind as a whole can arise, as Edmund Burke pointed out years ago.
The people, for whom a man develops this patriotic attachment, is not his “race” in the sense in which I have defined the term above. That meaning of the word “race” is only really useful for scientists and political ideologues. It would be more accurate, perhaps, to call the people which is the object of a man’s patriotic affections his “nation”. A “nation”, like a race, is a people group with a common ancestral identity. A nation, however, is smaller than a race, which is a continental population, and a nation is distinguished from other nations by cultural distinctives – a common language, usually a common religion, common customs, habits, manners, dress etc.
This kind of patriotic affection for one’s people, for one’s nation, rooted in one’s first affections for ones family, friends, neighbors and community, built upon a foundation of blood, relationship, and shared experiences is the lifeblood of an organic society.
The racialist and nationalist ideologies and political movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries committed the fatal error and the deadly sin of ignoring the source of patriotic affection and demanding that race and/or nation replace family, home, friends, kin, neighbors, community and even God in people’s hearts and affections. Human loyalty and affection have to start with the small and grow towards the big. When you put the nation or race ahead of the family and community in the chain of affection you develop unnatural affections which breed fanaticism.
Liberalism in its anti-racist manifestation commits the same error and sin on a much larger scale. It demands that our first loyalty be to all of Humanity. All other loyalties are regarded as threats and hindrances to the goal of eliminating hatred and injustice and finding salvation for mankind through the establishment of a unified, just, peaceful, new world order. This sort of fanaticism demands a sacrifice – the sacrifice, through suicide, of the white peoples and Western societies in this world.
Perhaps it is time we put the Kool-Aid down.
(1) Having said that, I shudder to think of the power of life and death being in the hands of modern liberal governments composed of democratically elected politicians and administered by self-righteous bureaucrats. On principle, capital punishment is necessary for justice. Modern governments are the wrong kind of governments to administer justice. This is a subject for another essay however.
(2) James Burnham. Suicide of the West: An Essay on the Meaning and Destiny of Liberalism. The John Day Company: New York, 1964. Although this book stands on its own it can also be read as part of a series that began with the author’s The Managerial Revolution and continued in his The Machiavellians: Defenders of Freedom. A good profile of the author and overview of his thought can be found in James Burnham by Samuel T. Francis, published as part of the “Thinkers of Our Time” series in 1999 by The Claridge Press in London.