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Book Reviews

8 October 2011

The Forbidden Identity


Jared Taylor
White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century
New Century Books, 2011

I met Jared Taylor again recently at the National Policy Institute’s 2011 conference in Washington D.C., where we were both speakers.

We then coincided at a brunch that was held the morning after the event. As I was to take a flight back to the United Kingdom in the afternoon, and as his base is on the way to the airport, he suggested I take an early cab and stop by for a visit later in the day.

I accepted his invitation, and ordered a cab to collect me from the hotel at the appointed time.

White Identity by Jared TaylorThe cab driver was a 46-year-old immigrant from Egypt, tall, slender, dark, with a lightbulb head. He had been in the United States for 16 years, during which time he had become a citizen, having previously worked for a five-star hotel in Saudi Arabia. From what he told me, he had been involved in the services industry all or most his working life, first in the hospitality business, and later in his present occupation, transporting live humans.

He told me that he had moved to the United States in order to rake in the cash, that he had sent his wife and children back to Egypt in order to spare them the West’s corrupting influence, that he intended to bring them over to America once they completed their secondary education, that he would put them through university there, and that he intended them to remain in America, where they would become citizens, so that they too could rake in the cash. As to himself, he would eventually return to Egypt and start a business there. He added that although living in the United States had transformed his life for the better, his heart was and would always be in Egypt. He put his palm over his cardiac muscle and looked to the sky as he thought of his homeland.

In due course this amiable conversation turned to more pressing matters, as the cab driver got lost. Without a satnav, and relying on a printout from Google Maps, he drove us in the wrong direction for lightyears, perplexed by Google’s elliptical instructions, before finally turning around and stopping at a petrol station to ask for directions. (While I waited, I noticed prognathous Hispanics, shod in rubber flipflops, idling in the parking bays immediately in front of the shop, joking casually and munching snacks; they only moved when the cab driver shoved them aside with his Lincoln.)

Armed with new instructions, my Egyptian driver headed towards Jared’s green and pleasant woodland suburb. There, however, he got lost again, and he drove us up and down a main road four times, forsaken by Google, until he telephoned my host to get further instructions. The situation became comical, since poor Jared, otherwise an accomplished linguist and polyglot, could barely understand the driver, who butchered every street name in his heavily accented English.

‘Menrod. Am in menrod,’ he said.

The Egyptian had to repeat himself twelve times before his pronunciation could be decyphred.

But, eventually, we made it.

I asked for a discount to my fare, which was granted—I think the driver was about to offer it anyway. I caught a crease on his brown forehead as he turned to leave, shaking his head, annoyed with himself.

‘I thought a lot about you on the way here,’ I told Jared. Indeed, the incident seemed an oddly appropriate staging for White Identity, the Virginian’s most recent book, which I obtained during my visit.

White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century is a sequel of its author’s earlier book, Paved with Good Intentions: The Failure of Race Relations in Contemporary America.

The book is everything I expected it to be: elegant, measured, well argued, accessible, and vacuum-packed with information.

The latter is, without a doubt, the tome’s most salient feature, for the author backs up his theses with such a profusion of examples that it becomes impossible not to see it as missionary zeal, despite the sober prose. The examples range from the infuriating to the grotesque, and in some cases the situations or incidents described are so ridiculous that they would be risible, were they not so tragic.

White Identity contains little about White racial identity. This is because these days there is generally no such thing. There is plenty, however, about Black and Hispanic identity in it, which the author argues is normal, natural, and good—except, of course, for Whites in the United States. Because said Whites have unilaterally disarmed themselves while simultaneously arming their competition out of fondness for universalist abstractions.

The main argument of White Identity is that in a world where everyone else thinks in terms of race and pursues their racial interests, Whites will need to rediscover theirs if they are to avoid being eaten alive by racially conscious groups.

In turn, the main assumption behind the book is that it will be read by Whites and that enough of them will be persuaded by its contents to reassess the value of an egalitarian diversity ideology. This assumption belies a secondary one: that anger at and frustration with the negative effects of diversity will eventually cause Whites to develop racial consciousness. The more fundamental assumption, therefore, is that humans think and act rationally.

But of course, this is not the case, as otherwise there would not have been any need to write White Identity.

Consequently, there is a depressing contradiction between the book’s cause and its intended effect. This broken causality chain means that, for all its merits, the book will fail to achieve its objectives: it will be read by those already favourably predisposed to its author or his worldview, by the author’s existing fans, and by ideological enemies seeking to scare people away from identifying with its theses; and readers outside these categories will, if they are ever allowed to catch a glimpse of the book, content themselves with imagining what it says based on what they know or think they know about the author.

The lack of a way forward has already been noted by another reviewer, and results from an ultimate belief in the rationality of man.

That aside, White Identity makes two valuable contributions.

Firstly, and as has already been noted, it collates in a convenient, single volume a wealth of data from innumerable news and scientific sources. It is, in fact, fully comprehensive on diversity as a weakness. This makes it a powerful armamentarium for anyone desiring to impress debating this issue. It is very much its author’s brainchild, as Jared Taylor’s effectiveness in debate results from, besides his polish and intelligence, his ability endlessly to back up his arguments with precise data.

Secondly, it implicitly articulates the notion that Enlightenment ideals are only viable in homogeneous societies composed of White Westerners. This was not the author’s intention, but follows from his historical overview of White racial consciousness in the United States.

For the author, two centuries of coexistence between White racial consciousness and the Enlightenment ideals of the U.S. constitution rules out fundamental contradictions between them, and in quoting statements by the country’s founders he seeks to illustrate that they never intended to create a universal proposition nation, as Marxist revisionists and forgers pretend. Jared Taylor’s point is that they were racially conscious as Whites and that this consciousness was normal and natural up until fifty years ago.

Yet, it is clear from their statements that the founders did not think their Enlightenment project was compatible with a racially heterogeneous society, for they generally advocated either segregation or shipping the Black labourers back to Africa. They were enlightened in that they knew humans are different and are best in free societies that reflect their innate temperament and abilities because they are governed by people who are similar.

And it was not simply that the country’s founders thought genetically distant peoples could not be assimilated into a White European society, but also that their Enlightenment values were dangerous in the presence of Blacks, for, as some noted, Blacks did not internalise these values and only took advantage of the Whites who lived by them.

Thus, while White Identity does not directly address the question of why Whites lost their racial identity, it does glimpse an answer supplementary to those presented by Pat Buchanan in The Death of the West and Kevin MacDonald in the Culture of Critique. The latter author, particularly, stresses how enlightened rhetoric was hijacked by ethnic activists on the radical Left.

The problem lies not so much in ideological enemies or racial competition, for these are facts of life that will never go away. The problem lies with the Enlightenment values themselves, for their inbuilt universalist logic, irrespective of how they were interpreted in the past by Whites who had racial consciousness, in time inescapably leads to borderless, multiracial proposition societies. And this, in a world of instant mass communication, rapid motorised transport, globalised electronic commerce, exploding Third World populations, and ever more intense competition for resources, is a mechanism for self-destruction.

This is perhaps why White Identity cannot, rather than simply does not, show a way forward: it is ultimately predicated on Enlightenment values, while the way forward would necessitate abandoning those values, which in the United States would mean also abrogating the country’s constitution and rethinking it all from zero—inconceivable without secession or a total systemic meltdown.

What to do, then?

Some Americans have proposed secession and founding a White ethnostate. But this is only applicable in the United States and seems unlikely without Whites regaining their racial consciousness, followed by another civil war. And Whites will not regain any racial consciousness so long as it remains socially unacceptable for them.

Others, both in America and Europe, have pursued identity politics. This, however, is unlikely to prosper since politics makes possible only what is already widely accepted within the culture—it does not change the culture on its own.

In all cases, these proposals are flawed because they seek to change outward forms before changing inner substance.

Before White identity can be revived and political solutions can grow, it will be necessary to seed the culture with a different set of concepts, principles, and ideals, and to fertilise it with the right combination of emotional triggers: creative movements, intellectual currents, organising strategies, alternative self-reinforcing networks and status systems, and so on.

It is worth noting that if völkisch politics were successful (if flawed) in the past, it was only after dozens of artists, novelists, musicians, philosophers, sociologists, scientists, and mystics, not to mention a plethora of study groups, societies, clubs, and other organisations, along with publishers and publicists, had spent a century laying the groundwork. It was a slow, organic process that built an alternative society from the bottom up—an alternative society that was technologically advanced, but with long roots in ancient tradition.

Of course, we do not have the luxury of a hundred years, as they did, or as did the Left, who had no demographic sunset to contend with, but we do have the technological means to do the good work within a shorter timeframe. In a technologically advanced society, history is constantly accelerating. It will, nevertheless, take time to develop the synergies.

As the Enlightenment project, deformed as it is, continues to rush towards its logical extreme, the means will have to be found to retard its progress, for only when the cultural ground has been made viable for any kind of White identity will such an identity be viable enough to become a political force.



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