The Litmus Test

Whilst pedestrian in its rehearsal of common knowledge, and inane in its tortured liberalism, this article helpfully schematizes the arena of Anglophone racial politics, at least on its defining black-white dimension (and accidentally). By counterposing the tradition of Black American self-advancement (represented by Booker T. Washington) with that of Afro-Marxist agitation (represented by W. E. B. Du Bois), it implicitly describes an ideological quadrant.

1. To side with Du Bois against Washington is the position of the radical Left.

2. To seek a reconciliation of the two is an agonized equivocation, tilting inevitably to Leftist advantage, of the kind that has predominated in the development of Anglophone political culture. This is is position of the author, of mainstream liberalism and conservatism, and of progressive Cathedralization.

3. To admire Washington, whilst repulsed by Du Bois, is the neoreactionary stance Outside in defends.

4. To dismiss both Washington and Du Bois as irrelevant Black nonsense is a departure into confrontational White Nationalism, of a kind that has no imaginable reach beyond itself.

Thomas Sowell, as the most articulate inheritor of the ‘outsider’ Washington tradition, is the emblem of this racial ideology test today. Neoreaction is indisputably mostly a White thing, but if it is to have any additional significance whatsoever, Sowell has to be supported. There’s nowhere further Right he could possibly go, except into some species of Black ethnomasochistic suicidalism — and we should know, more than anybody, that’s a corner no one should be backed into.

November 4, 2013admin 23 Comments »
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23 Responses to this entry

  • Thales Says:

    Excellent. I would further add that it is the application of Du Bois’s school of thought that inflames White Nationalist reaction.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 4th, 2013 at 6:43 pm Reply | Quote
  • mukatsuku Says:

    Wouldn’t Moldbug be between the last two quadrants? Championing Washington or Sowell is not necessary. Wishing Sowell well is quite sufficient.

    I.e. Jack Kemp-ism (Urban Empowerment Zones!) is not necessary and usually plays into the hands of the enemy (‘ah, so you agree that a Theory of American Blacks is central to any legitimate political project!).

    It’s a short hop to: “Black Eudaimonia must be a goal of any legitimate political project (because it passes the Cathedral’s religious test of anti-racism).”

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 4th, 2013 at 7:35 pm Reply | Quote
  • pseudo-chrysostom Says:

    well there is still a bit more right he could go, i havent heard any advocates for eugenic black advancement yet.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Practically speaking, a Sowell-style policy cocktail would at least be partially counter-dysgenic (i.e. suppressive of welfare-promoted fertility, and in general encouraging sane incentive structures).

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    Posted on November 4th, 2013 at 8:00 pm Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    I would say the neoreactionary position is to be deeply skeptical of the possibilities of black advancement, and generally not giving a shit about it.

    I do like Sowell but I doubt that gives me any additional significance that I would not have otherwise. Having your moral authority depend on blacks or any group really is a very bad idea.

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    Thales Reply:

    Mmm…I’m thinking that’s just 1 data point on the function. A better neoreactionary formula might approximate (shits given = k * b% / d) where b% is the black population percentage, d is weighted mean distance to said blacks and k is some constant shit factor.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “… the neoreactionary position is to be deeply skeptical of the possibilities of black advancement …” — There surely can’t be much doubt that if the counter-factual Washington route had been taken, rather than the actual path of Du Bois, America’s racial nightmare would be vastly less horrific than it is today. Of course, HBD would still be real (as Sowell more-or-less openly admits).

    [Reply]

    Handle Reply:

    Above-average blacks with the ability to learn impulse-control in a system of drill, repetition, and strict discipline tend to do very well in military environments. The same individual abandoned to the civilian world would fester and flail. They are the first to tell you this, and that they wish the schools were more like that for their kids.

    But, of course, listening to blacks and giving them what they want and need would be racist.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 4th, 2013 at 8:59 pm Reply | Quote
  • mukatsuku Says:

    Right, the fourth quadrant is a bit of a straw man that could be replaced with a split quadrant (1/2 Laissez Faire, 1/2 Colonialism). For the laissez-faire half, Derbyshire might say “Black empowerment schemes are none of my White business, as long as they don’t pick my pocket or wring my neck”. For the colonialist half, Thos Carlyle advocated Disempowerment for the betterment of various non-Saxon tribes.

    As for a more right wing Sowell, such may exist only in parody: Uncle Ruckus

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 4th, 2013 at 9:20 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    Everyone should take the practical advice of Up From Slavery.

    I don’t think the real DuBois should be as hated as the one we have now. Look at his choices.

    WRT Eugenics – in America if you ended the Cathedral, eugenics takes care of itself.

    The Great Society subsidized Case poverty [this case is hopeless outside institutionalization] and at least John Kenneth Galbraith knew it. No subsidy, real police and judges, it’s fixed in a few years.

    Never do Hitler when less will do. Much less.

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    Posted on November 4th, 2013 at 11:05 pm Reply | Quote
  • Grotto Says:

    The question of how to integrate HBD-aware policies into an ethnically-mixed country is essentially a lose-lose proposition. We can argue about justice or some originalist historical right, but the fact of the matter is that the United States (or more broadly, the Western world), has hundreds-of-millions of non-European minorities.

    If you argue for some form of enlightened accommodation, you risk the leftward-ratchet, and the escalating demands of do-gooders. When is someone Washington-enough to be accepted?

    If you argue for absolutist ethno-nationalism, this is a political non-starter, and even the idea of it will so poison the discussion that any political movement will be stillborn.

    I think the right stance here remains the passive, horrorist one. Don’t try to advocate or engage in the active construction of policies, but instead stay focused on futility of current Cathedral policy. Keep pointing out that none of these polite fictions are true, and that any race-blind social scheme is doomed to failure. There is no need to expose ourselves to attack by prematurely proposing polices of our own. Like a political candidate in a primary, wait for a reasonable chance of victory before proposing anything substantial.

    For someone like Sowell, who has walked as far right as his commendable dignity and tribal-loyalty will allow, I think neoreaction is best served by using him as a point of support, and a waypoint for neoreactionary evangelism. White conservatives are all too relieved and eager to follow a black intellectual into the treacherous waters of political-incorrectness. Having allowed Sowell to sail them out to sea this far, we only need to cover the remaining distance to neoreaction. As to Sowell himself, I am happy to highlight points of agreement, but I feel no need for an adjustment or accommodation. I have enormous sympathy and respect for the man, but our ultimate loyalties and goals are different.

    [Reply]

    Konkvistador Reply:

    “If you argue for absolutist ethno-nationalism, this is a political non-starter, and even the idea of it will so poison the discussion that any political movement will be stillborn.”

    Actually it is quite viable in all of Eastern Europe, because it still is the reality on the ground, left by the foolish Wilsonianism of thee Versailles era, the mass ethnic cleansing first done by Germans and then done on the Germans by the Alies after WW2 and finally the ethnically based break up of countries like the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia in the 1990s.

    The non-dysfunctional minorities that remain are melting away. To give an example as a Slovenian I’m well aware of the 150 000 ethnic Slovenians in Austria have in the past 50 years dissapeared into a mere 15 000, adopted into the good Austrian folk, bolstering its most traditionalist region that together with several other rural ones keeps decadent Vienna in check. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carinthia_%28state%29

    This makes most of Eastern Europe ridiculously ethnically homogeneous from Finland to Croatia, from Poland to Hungary. The only notable exception are the few million gypsies who except in Romania and Bulgaria don’t exceed single digits anywhere and are quite manageable without Cahtedral intervention.

    Ironically even Germany (still 92.3% German, let me remind you this is higher than under the Second Reich with its extensive Slavic minorities) is outside of the Great cities quite homogeneous. Without multiculturalism, the local Turks (who aren’t the whitest Turks around but aren’t that horrible either) would soon enough melt away, if the regime was willing to make taking Islam seriously a bit uncomfortable.

    There is a vast amount of useful social left capital in Central Europe and even the post-Soviet wasteland is showing under Putin-like leadership to be remarkably open to projects that undo Bolshevik damage (look at his sucess in raising birthrates) that if only cut free from its post-WW2 Foggy bottom brainwashing and perhaps tethered to Moscow rather than Brussels could easily create a new golden age for the continent. Enjoy your Estonian IT, German manufacturing, cheap Russian Energy under a Tsar or a Kaiser ruling over the ethnically homogeneous millets (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millet_%28Ottoman_Empire%29). Don’t forget to dig up the old Soviet walls and set a few extra landmines to make sure the barbarians of Third World countries of 2040 such as Sweden don’t hop over and ruin your garden of nations either through Islamic/Liberal holy war or simple mass escape from the fucked up societies they will create.

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    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Lowest low TFRs. These societies are sick.

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    Konkvistador Reply:

    Wrong. The lowest TFRs are East Asian, and if I recall correctly recently Russian fertility beat White American fertility.

    spandrell Reply:

    Russia doesn’t take TFR stats by ethnic group. Lotsa Muslims in Russia.

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    Posted on November 5th, 2013 at 12:13 am Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    Social policy can be quite accomdated by restoring freedom of association.

    Legal policy is justice is blind, swift and deadly for the criminal transgressor.

    What if….the reason europeans and asians are different is that for thousands of years we have both had – in importantly different ways – law and order. In different ways the violent criminal transgressors branch was cut off by execution or lifetime prison. Even if you were released you were damaged goods that no woman of a respectable family would breed to, the line was severed. This might be called “soft eugenics”.

    Soft eugenics is also in the orignial and stil enduring American social contract, if you don’t work you don’t eat. It’s still quite there and accepted by all, in groups accross the board who are going to make it. For instance Hispanic immigrants – who aren’t at all keen about unrestricted immigration. They realize it’s their welfare and crime chasing them north…the ultimate section 8 housing.

    The difference between European and Asian law and order is starting with the Greeks the law made men more free, in Asia it enslaved them in a stable order. For in Asia especially in rice cultures the slightest disruption to the order smashed the rice economy and mass starvation results. Hence order is essential above all for the stomach. We all have them.

    This is an important difference for the European. If Law = Slavery, we will not have it.

    We won’t. It doesn’t matter if you think we should. We won’t. That’s what matters.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 5th, 2013 at 1:59 pm Reply | Quote
  • Orthodox Says:

    No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.

    At the bottom of education, at the bottom of politics, even at the bottom of religion, there must be for our race economic independence. -BTW

    Don’t try to advocate or engage in the active construction of policies, but instead stay focused on futility of current Cathedral policy.

    …As to Sowell himself, I am happy to highlight points of agreement, but I feel no need for an adjustment or accommodation. I have enormous sympathy and respect for the man, but our ultimate loyalties and goals are different.

    Perhaps the ultimate goals are different, but the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Neoreaction stands to lose nothing and may even win friends. BTW feared white violence, but today blacks fear black violence courtesy of the Cathedral. If the Right stood for unapologetically putting foot to ass, it might even prove to be surprisingly popular.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 5th, 2013 at 3:42 pm Reply | Quote
  • Scharlach Says:

    Thanks for this. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting several right-wing, very intelligent blacks this year, and I can’t help thinking that a) I want them on our side, and b) our side might drive them away.

    As you say in your comment, admin, if Sowell and Booker T. controlled the discourse about black America, or even had a more powerful voice in that discourse, America’s racial situation would be much improved. Would they solve all the problems with black America? No. But what of that? Even a white ethno-state in north Europe ruled by Gandalf the Grey couldn’t keep the entire white underclass in check.

    I think we’re often pushed to extreme tactlessness about HBD and race by the Left’s extreme idiocy about HBD and race. I think it would benefit us to try to take the high road on these matters. I honestly believe that if there are enough transgender otherkin in the world to make transgender otherkin rights a thing . . . there have to be enough right-wing, race realist blacks in the world to make it worth our while to talk about race in a way that won’t have them confusing us with Stormfront.

    Even if Sowell is as right as you’ll find a black Westerner, which isn’t as right as us, so be it. To reject him because of that is to play “more reactionary than thou.”

    And yes, ultimately, @spandrell is right. Reality is a harsh mistress, and our expectations should be set by her. But going from a “talented tenth” to a “talented twentieth” is still worth the effort, especially if most of them are like Sowell.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Indeed. And though I have an aversion to on the spot tests, I would add: if self-cultivation is one of its central tenets, I struggle to see how neoreaction can fail to support Sowell. Related link to revisit: Foseti’s post on Ian Smith, and particularly the comment singled out by admin long ago:

    I’ve been thinking about writing something about the difference between some reactionaries who believe a multi-racial society is possible if we stop pretending that everyone is the same (and make other adjustments, see Singapore or Rhodesia or other historical societies) and white nationalists. I’m in the former camp.

    As for Du Bois (or his inheritors (- I’m ill informed)), well even the UK Tory party think he’s racist.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 6th, 2013 at 1:17 am Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    @ sharlach,

    Hear Hear.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 6th, 2013 at 2:13 am Reply | Quote
  • white Says:

    I heard that if you say fifty Thomas Sowells and ask for Booker’s forgiveness, you can immunise yourself against the charge of raciss. Is that true?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    As you well know, it’s impossible to immunize yourself against the “charge of raciss”, and not worth trying.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 6th, 2013 at 1:30 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    WRT America,

    HBD. It’s too soon to tell.

    Do not ignore we are looking at horribly skewed results. A social experiment was tried to subsidize case poverty at the bottom giving us more crime and pathology, promotion without merit into government at the top, and that feeding the violent radicals as chic policy destroyed the middle class. Which was recognized as wrong too late .

    I would not want to make terrible decisions based on such skewed results.

    Moreover one should always make way for the man of good will and good behavior.

    Finally if you wanna bust innocent heads because of hue count me out, I’m not alone. Nor will people I love be touched. There are many me’s.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 7th, 2013 at 7:08 pm Reply | Quote

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