Lawrence Auster’s OUR BORDERS, OURSELVES: An Uncompromising Defense of American Peoplehood
11/19/2019
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All of Lawrence Auster's great blog View From The Right  is still online.

For six years following Lawrence Auster’s death in March, 2013, his friend and literary executor Laura (Thinking Housewife) Wood struggled unsuccessfully to interest American publishers in his magnum opus Our Borders, Ourselves: America in the Age of Multiculturalism. But, as she learned the hard way, even the most mercenary interests here in the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave” flee like jackrabbits from any advocacy on behalf of their country’s historical majority. So the VDARE Foundation has come to the rescue, and the public is at last invited to share the distilled results of Mr. Auster’s lifetime of careful thought about the crisis facing Western Civilization. (VDARE.com gets more money if you buy through this link: it's also available on Barnes & Noble, and on Kindle, etc.)

You can see the problem! Imagine the terror which must have struck the hearts of Manhattan editors confronted with Auster passages like this:

European-Americans must rediscover and reassert the racial and civilizational identity they have lost, must once again believe in themselves and assert their own consciousness as a people. To do this, they must squarely confront the double standard which says that a concern for the survival of a collective white identity is illegitimate and hateful, while a concern for the collective survival of other identities, such as a Jewish identity, is moral and admirable.

(Lawrence Auster was himself Jewish, although he converted to Episcopalianism and ultimately to Roman Catholicism).

In Auster’s 1990 booklet The Path to National Suicide, reproduced in a slightly revised form as the second chapter of this new book, he noted the widespread misperception that the so-called “browning of America” is “a kind of vast natural phenomenon, as far outside of human control as continental drift.” In fact, of course, it resulted from a single ill-considered 1965 act of Congress that could be overridden by new legislation tomorrow—if only Congress had the political will for it. But it is easier to open the floodgates to immigration than to shut them: once a foreign ethnic group is established, any attempt to restrict its further migration gets interpreted as a malicious attack upon it.

And so the European founding stock of the US has sunk from nearly 90% of the population before the 1965 act to just above 60% now. The census bureau projects a 40% white America by the end of this century and, as Auster correctly remarks, “it is not at all inconceivable that in two centuries European-Americans will be no larger a part of the American population than Afrikaners are of the South African population today.”

Even if this happens, however, it does not mean whites will ever cease to be denounced as oppressors. Auster writes:

Revolutionary regimes define themselves by endlessly demonizing the regime they have deposed. Under its Communist government, China used to stage lavish theatrical productions in which the stock figure of the piggish capitalist landlord served as a hate object that legitimized the regime. The landlords played this important symbolic role even though they no longer existed, having all been exterminated. In a similar fashion, we can expect that multicultural America will continue to demonize the white man and his works long after whites have been pushed aside.

Yet Auster understood that our demographic situation is but, as he puts it, “the external symptom of an illness in our own soul.” No vigorous, uncorrupted nation would have allowed hordes of indifferent or hostile aliens to settle among it, much less subsist at its expense. The fault lies in ourselves, he says: “We have changed from a tough, independent, morally upright people to soft, sensitive creatures not fit for a nation-state but for a nanny state.”

Undoubtedly, some fraction of the animus directed against the white majority is the understandable contempt all healthy people feel for voluntary weakness, as Auster points out:

Not … the act of standing up for themselves make[s] whites contemptible in the eyes of nonwhites but … giving away their country and peoplehood without a fight. When whites begin to assert their own [collective] existence and their desire to preserve it, not in a hateful way but in a calm, intelligent and firm way, then non-whites will begin to see whites, not as the oppressor figures of anti-racist demonology, nor as cowardly saps, but as human beings who have the same basic concerns for their culture and peoplehood that minorities have for theirs.

Of course, as all observers of the deplatforming wars know, for whites to argue they have rights requires courage. But such courage will come more easily to those who understand that the current wave of repression is no symptom of strength: it is the desperate flailing of a ruling elite beginning to grasp the tenuousness of its own position. Every corrupt elite in history gets replaced eventually, and its collapse is announced beforehand precisely by frantic attempts at intimidation.

Auster understood that liberals were a paper tiger (as Mao would have said) because he understood their psychology:

Even if [liberal whites] are horrified by white self-assertion, they will have to deal with it. The dirty little secret of liberals that they always hide from themselves is that they want to pursue [an] ideal which, if pursued seriously, would destroy civilization … [but] at the same time want to continue enjoying all the goods of civilization. They want to get rid of “oppressive authority”—whether nationhood, morality, law and order, free private institutions, marriage, parenthood, the white majority, Eurocentrism—but they still want the protections all these “oppressive” institutions have provided. What liberals really want is not revolution, but a perpetual adolescent rebellion. They want to keep tearing down their oppressive father figure (i.e., white Western civilization), even as that despised father-figure continues to provide for them and keep their world safe and livable.

Such people may be of no help in the task of restoring our civilization. But they can be counted on passively to accept and make their peace with it once it has been restored.

Moreover, Auster maintains, the more intelligent nonwhites can be brought to understand that

the dismantling of the dominant European culture will only kill the goose that lay the golden eggs of this civilization and will deliver the whole country—including the minorities themselves—into a state of unending chaos.

So there is no reason for despair.

One of Auster’s principal strengths was his ability to uncover the fallacies in the rhetoric of the anti-white Left. Consider his treatment of their dark and portentous way of speaking about “power”—

For people living in this ultra-democratic age, “power”—if we’re talking about the “power” of designated oppressors such as “white males”—is always assumed to be a morally bad thing. Of course, power also has a morally good meaning: the capacity of human beings to direct the course of their own existence. Would any of us really want to be powerless, to have no control over our own actions, to be unable to grow and achieve and express ourselves, to be unable to protect our home, our family, our country? The delegitimization of “power,” directed solely against whites, … is an attack on white existence. 

Indeed, some modicum of power is a necessary precondition of collective existence. To have the power to do X means simply that one can do X; it need not conjure up images of a playground bully taking pleasure in intimidating children weaker than himself.

But in multicultural doublethink, the nonwhite counterpart to power is identity.

The collective existence of whites is always about “power,” which is bad, while the collective existence of blacks or Hispanics or Asians is always about “identity,” which is good. When people of color feel threatened, it is their identity that must be protected and nourished. But when whites feel threatened, it is their power that they must give up. It should be obvious that if anyone is after raw power here [i.e., political power over their enemies], it is the multicultural Left, which makes white Americans feel guilty about having a culture and a country, so that the multiculturalists can push aside the culture and take over the country.

Or, as blogger Vox Day puts it, “SJWs always project.”

Here is another example of Auster’s insight: American patriots are wont to complain of the “double standards” applied to us, most obviously as regards the defense of our group interests. But Auster perceives that something deeper at work.

Our enemies, he says,  “are not merely applying universal moral standards inconsistently (which is what ‘double standard’ implies).” Otherwise, they would respond to such criticism by attempting to reformulate their ideas more consistently—something I have never witnessed. In fact,

they are entirely indifferent to universal standards,” and use them merely “as a weapon to put down groups they don’t like and advance groups they do like. The Left doesn’t believe in any standard. The Left only wants what it wants.

This is why pointing out their double standards leads them only to shout louder or change the subject.

Thus, the so-called Civil Rights movement demanded race-blind standards only until race-conscious preferences came to seem more advantageous. Thus, a young Hispanic accuses immigration restrictionists of being “anti-Hispanic,” then instantly turns around to assert that “we Hispanics have always regarded this continent as ours.” Thus, a Jewish journalist, Leon Wieseltier, denounces an Englishman for expressing fear that England is being swamped by Muslims before expressing the hope that Muslims will do precisely this.

In each of these cases the minority spokesmen accuse whites of doing what the minorities themselves are really doing—seeking to dispossess their enemies and gain power for themselves. The usual complaint by conservatives and whites that they are being subject to a “double standard” is a wholly inadequate response to this situation. [What is really going on] is the attribution of evil intentions to the intended target of those intentions.

Auster aptly compares such behavior to Hitler’s cynical justification of his invasion of Poland with the allegation that the Poles had been on the point of attacking Germany. Yet

…conservatives (or whites or men—depending on who is the target in any particular instance) don’t understand this and don’t want to understand it, because if they did, they would have to recognize (1) that they are not dealing with merely political opponents but with enemies who seek their destruction; and (2) that they must become race-conscious themselves if they want to survive.

As to the first point, we should note that some figures on the other side (e.g., Tim Wise and the late, unlamented Noel Ignatiev) have been perfectly explicit about such intentions. It is our own fault if we refuse to listen to them.

As to the second, Kevin MacDonald has shown that the preoccupation with establishing universally valid moral standards is in fact largely peculiar to Europeans; tribal morality is the norm in most of the world. Under such circumstances, as Auster puts it: “Any anti-multicultural politics without a racial and civilizational consciousness at its core lacks seriousness.”

A politics based on racial and civilizational consciousness cannot be reduced to the promotion of particular ideals, however important. As Auster says,

…the most important thing to understand about Western culture is that it is an amalgam of several cultures or stages of culture that have succeeded and blended with each other over the past three thousand years.

In other words, it is a complex product which has accumulated slowly over time and been handed down to us from the lives, thoughts and struggles of countless, mostly forgotten ancestors:

Western culture was born during the five centuries following the collapse of the western Roman empire, when the Germanic and Celtic barbarians of Northern Europe adopted the Catholic faith and the intellectual traditions of the Mediterranean classical world, merging them with their own institutions and customs. [The latter included] such non-Christian traditions as the king as first among equals in a warrior band, the mutual allegiance of lord and vassal, the chivalric code [and] a sense of adventure combined with a stoic acceptance of hardship and tragedy, as conveyed by Anglo-Saxon poems such as Beowulf and The Seafarer.

The man of the West instinctively sees all this (and a great deal more) as the larger whole of which he is a small part.  Auster summarizes: “He feels Western civilization as [his] own, rather than as something alien to [him]self.” He is not uncritical of his heritage, and need not subscribe to any specific religious creed, for example, but “when he reads about Charles Martel’s Christian army defeating the Muslim army at Tours, he thinks, ‘Our side won, thank God.’”

Only those who have lost this sense instinctive sense of belonging, or who have never acquired it, try to substitute abstract values and procedures in its place:

Can one belong to equality of rights? Can one be a member of the rule of law? As long as whites only speak about the universal values of democracy and equal rights and economic opportunity, they are failing to articulate themselves as a people, and are thus preparing the way to their own elimination.

America’s survival may hinge on its ability to digest this essential message of Lawrence Auster’s Our Borders, Ourselves.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51EklFKUVdL._SY346_.jpgAnd this is something which must concern not merely white advocates, but the entire Historic American Nation.

Roger Devlin is a contributing editor to The Occidental Quarterly and the author of Sexual Utopia in Power: The Feminist Revolt Against Civilization.

 

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