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Sam Francis & The Drama Of Trollhättan

David Brooks has a must-read column today on the prescience of the late Sam Francis, a paleocon godfather. [1] He points out that Francis was a fringe figure in the 1990s, when he did his most important work, but it turns out that he saw the future that others on the Right did not. Excerpt:

In a series of essays for conservative magazines like Chronicles, Francis hammered home three key insights. The first was that globalization was screwing Middle America. The Cold War had just ended, capitalism seemed triumphant and the Clinton years seemed to be an era of broad prosperity. But Francis stressed that the service economy was ruining small farms and taking jobs from the working class.

His second insight was that the Republican and conservative establishment did not understand what was happening. He railed against the pro-business “Economic Men” who thought G.D.P. growth could solve the nation’s problems, and the Washington Republicans, who he thought were infected with the values of the educated elites.

In 1991, when his political mentor, Pat Buchanan, was contemplating a presidential bid, Francis told him to break with the conservative movement. “These people are defunct,” Francis told Buchanan. “Go to New Hampshire and call yourself a patriot, a nationalist, an America Firster, but don’t even use the word ‘conservative.’ It doesn’t mean anything anymore.”
His third insight was that politics was no longer about left versus right. Instead, a series of smaller conflicts — religious versus secular, nationalist versus globalist, white versus nonwhite — were all merging into a larger polarity, ruling class versus Middle America.

Read the whole thing. [1] And I strongly urge you to read Michael Brendan Dougherty’s 2007 profile of Francis [2], published two years after Francis’s death. Excerpts:

According to Francis, every elite — and the groups and individuals composing or attached to it — protects itself from exploitation by use of the power it exerts against others. Conservatism as it had been understood since 1789 had been tasked with the defense of tradition and authority against revolutionaries and the eroding forces of modernity. Francis found this wanting. The managerial revolution had already occurred, and the elite that came to power with it were implacably hostile to everything Francis sought to conserve. In Francis’s analysis, Russell Kirk and the conservative movement had blundered. Instead of playing defense, those who wanted to conserve Western tradition and culture needed to become an insurgent political force. He wrote, “While we find much in the conservative tradition to teach us about the nature of what we want to conserve and why we should want to conserve it, we will find little in conservative theory to instruct us in the strategy and tactics of challenging dominant authorities.”

The question for Sam Francis was, How might a conservative elite rise up to challenge the managerial elite?

If you read the whole thing [2], you’ll see a portrait of a fascinating, irascible, repugnant man … who was, for better and for worse, ahead of his time.

Sam Francis was a racist, or, as he would have put it, a racialist: he believed in white nationalism, and that public stance earned him a lot of criticism even among his paleocon friends. He was also astonishingly radical. I used to work at The Washington Times when Francis was there. On the day the Murrah Building was bombed in Oklahoma City, I stood with a scrum in the newsroom, watching the first reports coming to us live over CNN. Francis, standing next to me, muttered to no one in particular, “Good. The revolution has begun.”

Like I said, a repugnant man. But then, so is the contemporary French novelist Michel Houellebecq, yet I am convinced he is one of the true prophets of our age.

I read these two Sam Francis pieces this morning in tandem with this quietly gripping Granta essay called “Trollhättan,” [3] sent to me by Charles Featherstone. The title is the name of the small, boring Swedish town the author, English journalist Andrew Brown, lived in. Excerpts:

The world that we lived in then was boring partly because it was so exceptionally safe. Trygghet, a word normally translated as ‘security’, was what society promised to deliver. You were protected from economic storms – from uncertainty – and held tightly in a mesh of mutual obligation and duty by the state. For instance, if you purchased a bottle of wine, but dropped it before you could get it home, the systembolag would replace it, free, if you returned the smashed top with the cork or cap still in place. Society was compensating you for an accident that was not your fault.

If you lost your job, it was understood that there would always be another. If a family broke up, the state would pay maintenance, although it would also demand it back from delinquent fathers later. It was understood that no one should suffer through no fault of their own. Sickness, of course, was the business of the state. The health service was brusque and unfriendly, but it was always there. Television was a state monopoly, absurdly conformist and astonishingly boring. It was all for our own good.

The origins of this society lay in the convulsive economic and political revolutions of the preceding century. A poor, rural, Christian society had been transformed into a rich and largely urban one, in which science and social democracy had assumed the authority of the church. It was still ordered and hierarchical, but now the root of power was supposed to lie at the bottom, with the workers, and not at the top.

Sweden’s passion for security can’t be understood without imagining the titanic insecurities the upheaval of industrialisation and social democracy caused. Work, schools, housing, and families – all the anchors of everyday life – had been hauled up from their old places and lowered onto strange new grounds. It’s no wonder people clung to an idea of safety, order and discipline.

Then came the 1960s, prosperity, social democracy, the end of that world — and immigration. More:

Nonetheless, the formation of an immigrant ghetto in Trollhättan had been well under way by 1980. An area of new housing to the east, Kronogården, cut off from the rest of the city by the main road to the north, was slowly filling with Finns, and, later, Yugoslavs and Chilean refugees from the coup that overthrew Salvador Allende. The rest of the town appeared to continue as if Kronogården did not exist. After the Chileans came the first Middle Eastern refugees – Kurds and Assyrian Christians from the Iran/Iraq wars, then Lebanese fleeing the Israeli incursion. Bosnians, Macedonians and Kosovans followed during the Balkan war. Somalis started to arrive and rapidly established themselves in Kronogården. All these people were fleeing genuine persecution, or at least war and poverty, but there were many more of them than anyone had planned for or foreseen and there were jobs for very few.

The only publicly admissible attitude was straightforward and very widely – though not universally – shared: all immigrants were welcome and would be cared for until they could contribute. Anyone who disagreed with this was regarded as some kind of neo-Nazi. Some of them actually were.

The far right, in the form of a party called the Swedish Democrats, grew in standing, Brown says, because Swedish society was coming undone under the pressures of economic globalization and migration, plus the collapse of the old model. The mainstream parties and media refused to confront what was actually happening in their country —
but the far right did. Brown talks about how in official Swedish culture, no one was allowed to speak out loud about the crime and other problems the immigrants brought with them. (In 1994, incidentally, I was visiting Norway on a reporting trip, and heard from a friend that the rape stats from immigrant men to that country were sky-high, but it was considered taboo to talk about them, on pain of being labeled a racist.)

In 2015, there was a mass murder at a school in Trollhättan [4]. The killer was a young white Swedish male named Anton Lundin Pettersson. His victims, all killed by a sword, were two school officials and one student, all brown-skinned immigrants. Brown went back to his old town to look into what happened, and to try to understand it:

When I came to Trollhättan three months later, no one would talk to me about what had happened, no one would help me see beneath the surface. The fact of the killings stood alone. I had the police report. I sat in the deserted cafeteria, at the table where (I later realised) Ahmed Hasan had been sitting when he was attacked. I walked for a while in the cemetery, trying not so much to think as to sense myself into an understanding of the story. It’s almost like parkland, with a small lake in the middle. There are few trees except along a small ridge above the lake with a menhir, about waist high, at its summit.

Close to the lake the older tombs had weighty old Swedish names carved in black into pale granite, often with crosses and quotes from the bible. Further out, the Swedish graves grew less demonstratively Christian. Then I came to a region of Middle Eastern names; some had Christian symbolism but Arabic inscriptions; Orthodox Christians with Slavic names and then the Bosnian Muslims, still with their inscriptions in Roman script. In the Muslim section all the graves were turned in the same direction, towards Mecca where the sky would never be this grey and cold.

Right at the edge of the burial ground the grave of Ahmed Hasan had been kept fresh and raw: a scalloped, irregular mound of earth, patterned by rain, with no grave marker but a little sign asking that no flowers or markings be laid by it. Next to it was the grave of Nazir Amso, buried under a vast heap of white and yellow flowers, stuffed animals, and messages to the dead man.

Beyond the Muslim graves, the cemetery field stretches on towards distant houses. There was room for as many people again as lay buried from all the preceding centuries. Who would fill those spaces? There was a future there, waiting to be written in. I thought that almost all the Swedes I had spoken to were frightened of what would come. Their refusal to talk to me was not just the product of a natural distaste for journalists, and a wish not to be made into entertainment or instruction for strangers to whom the town owed nothing. There was also, I think, a fear of something nameless that would be summoned if it was ever named. In a graveyard, perhaps, such thoughts come easily.

The only people who did speak openly about their fear of the future were the Sweden Democrats, but their fear was uncontrollable and apocalyptic.

Brown ends with a reflection on the fact that the police investigation turned up no particular motive for Pettersson’s murders. This nihilism, Brown concludes, is what we in the deracinated West have to deal with today:

The other is the question that echoes at the edge of hearing, which has to do with the opaque banality of his life: the sense that beneath all the social explanations, and even all the psychological ones, there is just a blank. This anomie is hardly new. I remember the (white) teenagers who used to stand around the entrance to what was then the only shopping mall in Gothenburg in 1977. They looked at once completely lost and completely at home. As blankly as a CCTV camera, they watched the respectable people who passed before their eyes. ‘There is no accusation in their shallow eyes’, I wrote after seeing them one day, without any idea of what I could do with the sentence.

Please read it all. [3] I don’t have a hot take on any of this. If you do, you’re probably wrong. Live with this essay a bit, and think about it. This is where we are in the West today — in Europe, most acutely, but also, to some extent, in the US. Which is why it makes sense to reflect on the meaning and message of Sam Francis along with the meaning and message of Trollhättan.

UPDATE: Andrew Brown comments:

I’d urge people to read my essay at length on the Granta site, but it is absolutely and importantly true that Sweden is a far safer country than the US. The murder rate is far lower, and there is nowhere in the country where I wouldn’t walk around confidently in a way that I’d be crazy to do in parts of the US and even parts of London. There are problems in particular areas, and these are connected with immigrant cultures — I use the plural deliberately, since Somali and Croat gangsters have different patterns. But there is nowhere in Sweden remotely as dreadful as the Baltimore of the Wired, and I hope there never will be.

I was very careful in my piece to say that the rise in violent crime (to mid-European levels, not Cormac McCarthy ones) was correlated with immigration, not caused by it. So far as I can tell — and I have known the country more or less intimately for 40 years — this is true. Most of the rape stuff seems to me just racist hysteria whipped up by people with no understanding either of Sweden or of crime statistics.

People seriously interested should read my earlier book about life in Social Democratic Sweden, Fishing in Utopia.

75 Comments (Open | Close)

75 Comments To "Sam Francis & The Drama Of Trollhättan"

#1 Comment By Alex Brown On September 23, 2017 @ 12:18 pm

Interesting and thought-provoking post.
WaPo has an good article in a similar vein, about Muslim immigration here, in the TX, USA
[5]

#2 Comment By Fred Garvin On September 23, 2017 @ 1:58 pm

So the “progressives” who live in “progressive” enclaves like Provincetown and Martha’s Vinyard and Nantucket and the Hamptons and Vermont are really racist-they’ve chosen to live in places that are virtually all-white, expensive, and where the non-whites are rarely if ever seen and are almost all low-paid workers?

#3 Comment By david On September 23, 2017 @ 4:12 pm

I cant believe at all that Sam Francis thought it was good that innocent people died in the Okla. City bombing. I’ve read enough of his stuff and he wasnt a monster.

[NFR: Maybe he was making a tasteless joke. Still, the idea that he would make such a joke at such a moment is revealing, I think. — RD]

#4 Comment By Liam On September 23, 2017 @ 5:34 pm

“Either racism is far more than merely irrational hatred and prejudice, or “racialists” ought to be reviled as much as racists.”

Bingo. The distinction is much more about ego-preservation in a mirror than reality.

#5 Comment By Andrew Brown On September 23, 2017 @ 6:13 pm

I’d urge people to read my essay at length on the Granta site, but it is absolutely and importantly true that Sweden is a far safer country than the US. The murder rate is far lower, and there is nowhere in the country where I wouldn’t walk around confidently in a way that I’d be crazy to do in parts of the US and even parts of London. There are problems in particular areas, and these are connected with immigrant cultures — I use the plural deliberately, since Somali and Croat gangsters have different patterns. But there is nowhere in Sweden remotely as dreadful as the Baltimore of the Wired, and I hope there never will be.
I was very careful in my piece to say that the rise in violent crime (to mid-European levels, not Cormac McCarthy ones) was correlated with immigration, not caused by it. So far as I can tell — and I have known the country more or less intimately for 40 years — this is true. Most of the rape stuff seems to me just racist hysteria whipped up by people with no understanding either of Sweden or of crime statistics.
People seriously interested should read my earlier book about life in Social Democratic Sweden, Fishing in Utopia.

#6 Comment By Joe from PA On September 23, 2017 @ 8:09 pm

I pray that we as Americans unite to tackle common problems like health care in a prudent manner and present a United front to the world and to those who threaten the peace, like Kim Jung In.

Trump did an good to ok job at the UN this week and recently has shown he has the capacity to learn and be the President we have desperately needed. Alas, yesterday’s Strange Alabama rally is a massive step back.

America is great and has things we can all pitch in to solve. We need to strive to have respect and even solidarity, regardless of race or class.

ALAS, it seems that the small minded creepy rants of Sam Francis may be trying to break into reality and ruin our kids and grandkids futures.

We can do better than this!

#7 Comment By O’Brien On September 23, 2017 @ 8:11 pm

Fred Garvin, the person you have questioned is evidently ignorant of the large number of affluent black people who have had second homes on Martha’s Vineyard for decades. I suspect that not many of the folks commanding the wherewithal to summer in places like Martha’s Vineyard, Provincetown, Nantucket and Vermont are what anyone would really call “Progressive,” unless not being overly in favor of the racial politics characteristic of the former Confederacy during my childhood in the 1950’s and 60’s is enough to qualify as a progressive. The racial homogeneity of those communities may be less a function of racist exclusion than a consequence of the fact that opportunities to acquire the wealth required to “summer” in such locales have, substantially as a result of racism in the past, been denied (if you are a progressive) or beyond the capabilities (if you are a racialist) of non-whites. From this point of view, virtually every community of affluent whites whose politics are not those of the unreconstructed South could be said to be filled with “progressive” “racists”. But, to what end?

#8 Comment By Seoulite On September 23, 2017 @ 9:12 pm

“Seoulite that’s not very persuasive when one considers that from a historical perspective democracy as practiced today is still brand-spanking new.”

I agree, but I think rather than marching towards some universal vision of “progress”, we in the West are currently living through a period in history and governance that may later be seen as an aberration.

I think everyone would agree that for a group to function, there must be a common language. It seems to me that culture, being a kind of a language, must be more or less shared across the community for the group to function. That is why I think true multiculturalism can never work.

The melting pot yes; the salad bowl, no.

#9 Comment By LesB On September 23, 2017 @ 9:27 pm

Muslims in this country have much lower crime rates and much less support for radical Islam than do Muslims in European countries. This is because of radically different attitudes toward immigrants.

Americans have a universal set of standards for being a good citizen, like working hard and supporting your family, and assume that immigrants are in general capable of living up to these standards and becoming good Americans. So they welcome them into the community, and Muslims generally do well and in turn have positive feelings about America.

European countries, in contrast, think that only people who follow the particularities of their own ethnic culture are decent human beings, and members of other immigrant ethnic groups are and will always remain sub-human. As a consequence immigrants are given a hostile reception, and kept in a separate and inferior status in society. You can see this in the Trollhättan case.

Donald Trump’s many right-wing, ethnicist-populist supporters want to convert this country over to the European model. I think that would be a terrible idea.

#10 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On September 23, 2017 @ 10:34 pm

Social engineering, in their view – which will ultimately have to include coercion, force – must be employed to achieve this “multi-cultural social democracy where everyone (and I mean everyone) has a fair shot” because the Kulaks will resist it, they will cling to their tribal/traditional ways and mindset they don’t believe in the newest of the New Utopia, and their wrongthink

That’s one way to go. Another is to let them self-segregate into quaint little communities that are bypassed by the main flow of human history, like Heinlein’s solution to what should be done with those who remained truly devoted to the faith of the Prophet Incarnate, Rev. Nehemiah Scudder, those who wanted a rough and tumble republic resembling a caricature of Andrew Jackson’s political avatar, and those who passionately believed that their great leader, The Liberator, would someday deliver the True Revolution.

There is a small group of Afrikaners trying to live life in small communities that are entirely “white.” The breakthrough in thinking that allows them to pursue this dream is the realization that if they want a pure white community, they will have to do all of their own work.

Actually, Nelson Mandela distinguished between racism and racialism. The former is a human attitude, which government can’t do much about. The latter is a matter of policy, organization, legislation, use of armed force. People can think whatever they want, and to some extent say whatever they want. But some things cannot be allowed as a basis for institutional decision making or priorities. (Mandela wanted to suppress racialism… racism could wither away.)

But it is certainly what I see spread out in the news nearly every day.

Then that is the point of attack. The relatively benign relations we enjoy in our daily lives were made possible be jettisoning a lot of paternalistic rosy nonsense about “race relations” in the past. We don’t need to bring those artificialities back. We need to emphasize that they really are gone, what what remains to be dealt with does not compare in terms of sheer evil.

#11 Comment By kgasmart On September 24, 2017 @ 9:50 am

That’s one way to go. Another is to let them self-segregate into quaint little communities that are bypassed by the main flow of human history,

Or, in fact, it works the other way around.

Take the Benedict Option. Given the statistical evidence that children, for example, who grow up in intact, two-parent homes have better outcomes in terms of health, achievement, etc., it stands to reason that in a community that specifically values and encourages traditional parenting, the kids will be all right; there may be less dysfunction, perhaps significantly less dysfunction, than among the children of the enlightened masses.

You don’t think the enlightened masses are for one moment going to accept this, do you?

No no. The trads will be resented, and in fact there would be calls for them to be put down, to force them to join the broader society. They won’t be left alone a la the Amish because unlike the Amish, their political views might put them at odds with the “progressive” mainstream. Which means, of course, that they are “haters,” and “haters” can’t merely be left alone.

Particularly if their success is determined to an affront to all that progressives hold dear.

Indeed, this is how the whole “kulak” thing works in the first place – when the glorious new ideology fails to produce glorious results, it must be the fault of those who weren’t on board, whose “reactionary” thinking actually sabotaged the whole enterprise. And if that’s the case, well, certainly those “reactionaries” must be made to see the error of their ways.

#12 Comment By Ken Zaretzke On September 24, 2017 @ 4:51 pm

Thomas Fleming wrote a few years ago that he honestly didn’t know whether Sam Francis, whom he knew quite well, was a racist–Fleming said he didn’t know what was in Francis’s heart. This strikes me as evidence of the complicated nature of Sam Francis’s personality, not just of his beliefs or his expressed views.

@William Dalton–I agree with your view of what Francis meant about the OKC attack. He was being at least partly ironic. Irony of that kind is politically incorrect with a vengeance, and deliberately so. It’s also a reflexive response that is meant to show the speaker’s contempt for the status quo, in this case the anti-middle class status quo of Washington, D.C. (a status quo supported by Koch-funded libertarianism, but that’s another story.)

#13 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On September 24, 2017 @ 7:43 pm

kgasmart, you don’t know much about kulaks. I once read Adam Ulam’s The Bolsheviks and Stalin’s History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (short course) at the same time just to see what kind of three dimensional image I could get from it.

Kulaks were, very simply rural peasants who owned sufficient land that they did not live solely by their own labor, but on some degree profited from hiring the labor of others. In and of itself, that wasn’t an imminent threat to socialist construction. The larger kulaks tended to resist cooperative or collectivizing innovations, but humans being the ornery diverse mass of individuals we are, opinions and cooperation didn’t fit neatly into mathematical metrics of Marxist class identity. Rapid collectivization disrupted so much of the production process that indeed, food production fell — which was foolish administration. Stalin belatedly wrote a polemic about that, which had some salutary effect, but he was certainly wrong in the first place.

On top of that, there REALLY WERE networks of people loyal to either the institutions of Czarism (although not necessarily to the bumbling fool, Nicholas II) or to the more modern dictatorships promised (but not delivered) by Kolchak, Denikin, Petlyura. But as the “New Left” learned the hard way, paranoia about “agents” and “infiltration” does more damage to the revolution than the actual sabotage committed by infiltrators.

In short, talking about kulaks sheds ZERO light on the rarified ideological and social preference infatuations under discussion here.

The trads will be resented, and in fact there would be calls for them to be put down, to force them to join the broader society. They won’t be left alone a la the Amish because unlike the Amish, their political views might put them at odds with the “progressive” mainstream. Which means, of course, that they are “haters,” and “haters” can’t merely be left alone.

There are people who talk like that. Lenin referred to such infatuation as “infantile disorders.” They have no future as a ruling class, because they don’t know how to run hack diddly squat. The day after the revolution, the victorious party is now responsible for making sure everyone in the country has food, shelter and clothing. Failure can easily subject one to the fate of Bela Kun.

#14 Comment By Andrew On September 25, 2017 @ 9:35 am

Whatever words one uses to define Francis, the fact remains his views were once pretty commonplace among writers of conservative magazines, before the most well known ones were taken over by politically correct neoconservatives, who are basically a species of right-wing liberals. Another truism on this Monday after a German election, the views of today’s AfD party were pretty common among the Christian Democrats of Konrad Adenauer’s day, yet to read Reuters and AP writeups, the fact that they got a mere 13% is a sign of the return of the Nazis or something equivalently ridiculous. If so much opinion wasn’t constantly being shunted to the side so easily with declarations of racism! left, right and center, maybe more people wouldn’t be so shocked and so easily offended and there wouldn’t be so much resentment of the global PC political elite and the disunited states of this country wouldn’t be so disunited and so polarized. It is these mandarins of moral rightness who can’t stop saying “you can’t say that!” who are contributing a lot to the problem.

#15 Comment By kgasmart On September 25, 2017 @ 10:59 am

In short, talking about kulaks sheds ZERO light on the rarified ideological and social preference infatuations under discussion here.

I’m talking about the political meaning of “Kulak” as far as the ruling ideologues were concerned – “the kulaks were class enemies of the poorer peasants. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin described them as “bloodsuckers, vampires, plunderers of the people and profiteers, who fatten on famine.”

In our modern parlance, we’d smear them as “racists” and “haters.”

The point being that those who fail to go along with the glorious egalitarian revolution must be marginalized, and if they choose (via, perhaps the Benedict Option) to marginalize themselves first, they cannot be permitted to thrive, as their thriving might seem a direct rebuke to the egalitarian utopia where the new liberated citizens aren’t doing quite as well.

So there’s the key question. Will the Ben Op types actually be left alone?

#16 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On September 26, 2017 @ 8:28 am

Andrew Brown,

Most of the rape stuff seems to me just racist hysteria whipped up by people with no understanding either of Sweden or of crime statistics. People seriously interested should read my earlier book about life in Social Democratic Sweden, Fishing in Utopia.

Sweden doesn’t publish statistics on violent criminals by ethnic origin, but this is hardly evidence for your thesis (and in general, ‘it seems to me’ is a very poor argument). In terms of the last statistics I’ve seen from Sweden, it’s been awhile, but I do seem to remember that they did in fact show higher incidence of rape among immigrants of Middle Eastern and North African origin.

This would be in keeping with a number of other European countries: in the UK, for example, people of south Asian descent have a statutory rape rate between eleven and twelve times the rate for native English people.

#17 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On September 26, 2017 @ 9:01 am

European countries, in contrast, think that only people who follow the particularities of their own ethnic culture are decent human beings, and members of other immigrant ethnic groups are and will always remain sub-human. As a consequence immigrants are given a hostile reception, and kept in a separate and inferior status in society. You can see this in the Trollhättan case.

This would be a hilarious parody of what liberals believe about conservatives (at least, cultural conservative: one can be opposed to ethnic diversity and still be left-wing on economics and other issues), if it wasn’t intended seriously. Maybe Jonathan Haidt does have a point that liberals really do find it more difficult to empathize and understand illiberal viewpoints than the other way around.

Moving on: just no. Europeans, or most Europeans, tend not to want people of a different ethnic or cultural background to live in their society in large numbers. That’s a very different thing than seeing them as subhuman. Normal people, which is to say most of the world outside the deracinated WEIRDO bubble, have an interest in the survival of their group (or in the group that they particularly identify with, which may not be ‘theirs’ per se), and typically identify that group in terms of common descent, physical phenotype, culture, and a shared narrative of history. This isn’t to say that Europeans- or for that matter other people- consider other groups subhuman, it’s to say that they consider them fully human but want to keep their groups distinct. I don’t consider my family more or less human than anyone else, and I have a much lower view of family values and the family in general than, say, Rod or a real social conservative would, but I do have an interest in the survival of my family (specifically, in the survival of my genetic line). The ethnic group and the tribe are simply one step up from the family (and in my view are healthier and more natural foci of loyalty than the family is), and as such one can- and in a healthy world one would- have an interest in the survival of one’s distinct ethnic group while agreeing that people of all other ethnic groups have an equal claim to certain basic material and spiritual needs as one’s own.

I don’t support the mass migration of Asians, Africans or Middle Easterners into Europe (for that matter, I don’t support open borders within Europe either: Poles, Danes, and Italians are all very different groups and should be allowed to retain their distinctions. For that matter, the problem with talking about ‘Germans’ as an ethnic group is that it’s too broad a grouping, not that it’s too narrow: Eastern and Western Germans tend to have different genetic histories as well). That doesn’t mean I think these groups are ‘subhuman’, it means I think their legitimate human needs and interests should be met in ways that don’t corrode the ethnic and cultural identities of European nations. Starting with foreign aid and development aid, for example. (Mass immigration is literally an insanely inefficient means of poverty reduction, for the simple reason that costs of living are much higher in developed countries than in poor countries. Sweden welcomed in 35,000 refugees in 2015 at the cost of 1% of its GDP. For the same amount of money, you could increase by 40% the yearly income of every man, woman and child (that’s to say, five hundred times as many people) in Niger, one of the world’s poorest countries. It costs twelve times as much to bring an African or Middle Easterner to Europe and provide services for them there as it does if they stayed in Africa or the Middle East.

In point of fact, many of the critics of mass migration in Europe- in Poland, Denmark and France, for a start- have been encouraging greater foreign aid budgets precisely because they see improving conditions in Africa and the Middle East as a way to fight mass migration. Many of the biggest proponents of open borders on the other hand are the same kind of libertarians who are deeply skeptical both of foreign aid and the welfare state (and in some cases, the great proponents of mass migration from Africa and the Middle East are the same people who encourage interventionist wars to impose liberal values on those countries). This should indicate to you that seeing people as subhuman is not really what’s at issue here. The PiS, Austrian Freedom Party, Danish People’s Party, and others, don’t see different ethnicities as subhuman, they simply don’t want them sharing their country.

As for this:

Americans have a universal set of standards for being a good citizen, like working hard and supporting your family, and assume that immigrants are in general capable of living up to these standards and becoming good Americans. So they welcome them into the community, and Muslims generally do well and in turn have positive feelings about America.

There’s a much simpler explanation here. Pakistanis in the US are educated and progressive minded doctors from Karachi, and Pakistanis in the UK are disproportionately peasants from the Kashmir hill country. (“Islam” is not really the causative factor in why South Asians in the UK have such bad outcomes). As for the civic nationalist self conception of America, don’t get me wrong: I hope it stays, for the good of the world. It’s a good thing that minorities who don’t fit into the country they live- Jews, Gypsies, Kurds, Rohingya, Middle East Christians, you name it- have a country that they can seek refuge in. I do not want America to adopt the ethnic homeland model of the state, even if it were possible to do so. That said, the civic nationalist conception of society brings some serious costs as well as benefits, though, and one of them is certainly a somewhat impoverished understanding of what gives life meaning, which your comment rather exemplifies. In most regards Europe is a much healthier place to live than the United States.

#18 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On September 26, 2017 @ 11:51 am

I’m talking about the political meaning of “Kulak” as far as the ruling ideologues were concerned – “the kulaks were class enemies of the poorer peasants. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin described them as “bloodsuckers, vampires, plunderers of the people and profiteers, who fatten on famine.”

In our modern parlance, we’d smear them as “racists” and “haters.”

Dead wrong. You are making as much sense as those who took some vague lofty language out of Loving v. Virginia about marriage being a “fundamental right” and concluded, ergo, same sex couples have a right to a marriage license (even though nobody on the Supreme Court when Loving was decided considered marriage as anything but the union of a man and a woman).

“Kulak” was not a political philosophy or a culture, it was an economic status. When you are fighting a class war, based on economic classes, certain classes will of course be identified as the enemies of other classes. It had nothing to do with being “racists” or “haters,” which are derived from different antagonisms over different conflicts, with a different empirical base (if any).

You are playing a MAD Lib game, because you find “Kulak” a convenient term to toss around. But it doesn’t fit the circumstance. It is not purely symbolic, nor a general epithet.

I could agree with you all day on how mechanistic and destructive a general “war” on “kulaks” as a “class” was. I could also point out that a more surgically precise policy would indeed have dispossessed, in part or in whole, some wealthy rural landholders in the interest of a more equitable distribution of agrarian capital, and that indeed some of those on the losing end might have resisted violently, and lost their lives.

But none of that is relevant to this discussion.

Europeans, or most Europeans, tend not to want people of a different ethnic or cultural background to live in their society in large numbers. That’s a very different thing than seeing them as subhuman. Normal people, which is to say most of the world outside the deracinated WEIRDO bubble, have an interest in the survival of their group (or in the group that they particularly identify with, which may not be ‘theirs’ per se), and typically identify that group in terms of common descent, physical phenotype, culture, and a shared narrative of history.

Generally I agree with Hector’s position, but I would move a bit away from admiring the local phenotype. Anyone in a settled community with a well established way of life has an interest in preserving that community from rapid change that would drastically alter their living conditions. There are times when change can be beneficial, although there are better and worse ways to bring it on. There are changes that can easily be resisted simply because they offer no real improvement, just an upsetting difference.

Of course, if the settled pattern of life is grinding oppression for either a minority or a majority, they may well rise up and demand a realignment. But there is no right to move in and THEN claim that the settled community has to change to accommodate one self.

#19 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On September 26, 2017 @ 6:03 pm

Correction: Sweden spent 1.4% of its GDP on the refugees in 2015, and for that amount of money you could *double* the GDP of Niger. (Thanks to Reihan Salam for that interesting fact).

As usual, the situation was even worse than i thought.

#20 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On September 26, 2017 @ 6:09 pm

Another truism on this Monday after a German election, the views of today’s AfD party were pretty common among the Christian Democrats of Konrad Adenauer’s day, yet to read Reuters and AP writeups, the fact that they got a mere 13% is a sign of the return of the Nazis or something equivalently ridiculous.

I don’t support the AfD, and am more a Linke guy myself, but you have a point here.

It’s worth thinking about the fact, for all that we’ve been hearing in the last two days about forgetting the lessons of World War II: the victorious powers immediately after WWII didn’t think ethnic homlands were immoral, in principle. Part of the clean-up from WWII involved creating or re-creating Israel, Poland and Czechoslovakia as relatively homogenous ethnic homlands through large scale population transfers. It’s possible to learn the wrong lessons from WWII as well as the right ones. I’d suggest that ‘all countries must be totally open to immigration from people of any ethnic background’ is not really the relevant lesson we ought to be learning, and maybe “treat people of all ethnic groups fairly, humanely and decently, which doesn’t always mean treating them all the same” is closer to the truth.

#21 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On September 26, 2017 @ 6:15 pm

And what policies should these be, then?

More or less restrictive immigration policies, would be the big one. Much more than less in the case of some European countries, and more to the liberal/welcoming side in the case of America, would be my preference. As noted above, I don’t think for a moment that most Africans would be happy if Europeans or Indians en masse moved to their countries, and I’m critical of this kind of thing as exactly the same kind of SJW stuff that I criticize when it happens in Europe:

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#22 Comment By minimammal On September 26, 2017 @ 8:35 pm

I read the entirety of Mr. Brown’s article which happened to coincide with my finishing reading The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray. In Rod’s recent post on Germany, he made the point that Europe’s atheism was not brought about by an influx of atheist immigrants and that a Muslim Europe might be better than a radically secular Europe, at least when it comes to religious liberty and the survival of traditional values. However, I would counter this claim by saying that the recent dramatic increase of rapes across Europe is not being committed by the largely atheist and secular natives but rather by the predominantly Muslim immigrants streaming en masse into the continent. While Mr. Brown stresses that the rise in crime is merely correlated with and not caused by immigration and dismisses concern over rape by Muslim immigrants as “racist hysteria” and I would be inclined to agree with his sentiment, I could not help but be angered and dismayed by this passage from Murray’s book:

“The January before the release of the 2011 census results a gang of nine Muslim men – seven of Pakistani origin, two from North Africa – were convicted and sentenced at the Old Bailey in London for the sex trafficking of children between the ages of 11 and 15. On that occasion one of the victims sold into a form of modern-day slavery was a girl of 11 who was branded with the initial of her ‘owner’ abuser: ‘M’ for Mohammed. The court heard that Mohammed ‘branded her to make her his property and to ensure others knew about it’…. Nobody could argue that gang rape or child abuse are the preserve of immigrants, but the development of particular types of child-rape gangs revealed – and a subsequent government-commissioned inquiry confirmed – specific ideas and attitudes that were held by some immigrants. These include views about women, specifically non-Muslim women, other religions, races and sexual minorities that were pre-medieval.”

Murray also includes mention of the well-publicized mass rapes and sexual assaults that occurred on New Year’s Eve of 2015, the mass rapes and molestations of women and girls at music festivals, and the covered up sexual grooming rapes that occurred in Britain, among other atrocities. Of course, this is not to say that all Muslims are rapists or that any elevation in crime must automatically be attributed to Muslims. However, the fact that these types of crimes are being committed primarily by Muslims (a detail that is often deliberately concealed by authorities afraid of charges of “racism” and “Islamophobia”) in combination with a rise in violent crime, from rampant car torchings in Parisian suburbs on New Year’s Eve to the breaking news events of concerted terrorist attacks, should not be glossed over or diminished.

Again, not all Muslims are bent on raping and murdering European people, but there is a worrying trend of tacit approval of radicalism among the Muslim population in Europe. As Murray documents, surveys of Muslims have shown that large percentages of respondents view jihadists as heroes and many, though they would not commit violence themselves, support the motives that bring these jihadists to commit violence. Many would like to see sharia instated in European countries and notable Muslim public figures are not afraid of openly stating their desire to see Europe transformed into a Muslim continent. Meanwhile, European public figures who try to discuss the issue of immigration in any way that is not sycophantically positive find themselves vilified as racists and often lose their positions as a result.

My point in all this is that the Islamization of Europe is not something to be cheered on simply because Europe will regain some of its godliness and religiosity. While not all (and, I would hope, most) Muslims would view the rape of women and children (and, to recall an incident Murray mentions in his book, even straight men) as evil and contrary to the tenets of Islam, the rise in these types of crime clearly has something to do with Islam or, at the very least, the predominantly Muslim cultures these immigrants come from. It would be dishonest to attempt to argue otherwise, and it is precisely this dishonesty on the part of politicians and the other elites of Europe, that has so angered the European public and contributes both to incidents like the violence in Trollhatan and to the rise of “far right” parties like the Sweden Democrats and the AfD. Traditional Christians must not fool ourselves in thinking that a Muslim Europe will be better than a secular, post-Christian Europe simply because Islam shares some values with traditional Christianity. Islam as it is widely practiced is an exceptionally barbaric belief system centered on militaristic evangelism and a fascistic ideal of social control. Even the most Western-leaning Muslim governments are not known for their tolerant treatment of their dhimmi citizenry.

Ultimately, as Murray touches on in his book, what is needed is a broad coalition in defense of Western values that includes both Christian traditionalists and secular atheists. While secularists may ally themselves with Islam because they view Islamophobia as a real problem and believe in the social good of “diversity” and “multiculturalism,” many Muslim immigrants hold views that are in direct opposition to secular ideals such as separation of church and state, and, indeed, find contemporary European culture and society to be toxic to them and their families, even while enjoy the material comforts and security this society provides. While Christian traditionalists may share this same view of contemporary Western society as toxic and devoid of higher meaning, they would be foolish to think of Islam as an ally against radical secularism and the West’s crippling malaise. The “enemy of my enemy is my friend” strategy with Islam will only end up turning on anti-secularist Christians. Whether secularists want to admit this or not, the Enlightenment values espoused by secularists have their root in the Christian West, so there is more common ground between secularists and traditionalists than there is between either and Islam, if only each side would recognize this. Islam has demonstrated its violent opposition to both secularism and Christianity, thus a Muslim Europe will not benefit either secularists or Christians. Atheists and secularists can perhaps be induced to return to or convert to Christianity, but the chances of a dominant Islam in Europe being evangelized are significantly lower.

In conclusion, for any religious conservatives who, sickened by the excesses and emptiness of secular society, may think that the Islamization of Europe is not necessarily a bad thing, understand these facts:

The mass rapes of women and children are not being committed by atheists but by Muslims.
The mutilation of women’s genitals and the practice of honor killings are not being committed by atheists but by Muslims.
The anti-Semitic attacks prompting the mass exodus of Jews from Europe are not being committed by atheists or, for that matter, roving gangs of skinheads but by Muslims.
The violent slaughter of an elderly French priest as he said mass was not committed by atheists but by Muslims.

The list goes on. Perhaps, once Islam has established itself in Europe, its temperament will change and it will undergo its own pacifying Enlightenment and become “Westernized.” But there is no guarantee that this will happen, and, if it did occur, how long would it take? And what will we lose in the process?

#23 Comment By JonF On September 27, 2017 @ 4:48 pm

Re: Which revolution did Sam see as being triggered by this event – the war against militant Islam, or the war of white working and middle class Americans to take back their country? The latter is the one I would wager he relished, but if he knew that is what had begun when it occurred he truly had prescience which escaped most Americans.

If the guy expected, a la McVeigh’s favorite book (the Turner Diaries) that the OKC bombing would provoke an uprising against Washington DC, he was badly mistaken. The result was a reaction against the Radical Right, one that included the Class of 94 in Congress among its villains– and helped Bill Clinton win reelection in 1996.

#24 Comment By Giuseppe Scalas On September 27, 2017 @ 5:54 pm

Hector

In most regards Europe is a much healthier place to live than the United States.

If you mean that in Europe healthcare is much more accessible and violent crime is much less than in the US, I could agree.
if you are talking about spiritual health… Dunno.

#25 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On September 30, 2017 @ 8:08 am

Minimammal,

Sex offense rates are insanely high among a lot of these communities, but it doesn’t have much to do with islam, really. These are not devout Muslims we’re talking about (branding your underage sex partner breaks at least three Islamic laws), and their division from the British society is ethnic rather than religious.