« Linus Pauling's Notebooks | Gene Expression Front Page | White boys only please »
June 17, 2003

Christian Racialism?

Larry Auster over at View From the Right challenges secular white racialists, can the race survive without Christianity? Being neither white, nor a racialist, and never having a direct connection with the Christian faith, I'm really not invested in this argument, but I will admit that I view the Christian racialists with the same amusement and skepticism that Bismarck felt toward Christian socialism. I suspect some GNXPers might have an interest in this debate....

Posted by razib at 07:01 PM

what a bunch of ridiculous mystical collectivists. if they want to make their movement more silly than it already is, no skin off my back

Posted by: Jason Soon at June 17, 2003 07:37 PM


Posted by: Jason M. at June 17, 2003 11:19 PM

Didn’t Dr. Kissinger say that the National Socialists would have won WW II if they weren’t anti-Semitic?

This debate has already taken place a while ago between the folks at American Renaissance:


Posted by: friedrich braun at June 17, 2003 11:37 PM

Godless was responding to some comment that has been deleted

Posted by: Jason Soon at June 17, 2003 11:59 PM


Posted by: Jason M. at June 18, 2003 12:33 AM

Pretty weird claim. I'm more sympathetic to the pseudo-Nietzschean argument that Christianity is harmful to the race (though ultimately that is wrong too, I think).

GC - Germany was defeated by the combined economic and military might of the British, Russians, and Americans (pretty much white folks all -). It's fair to speculate that they would have been A-bombed to hell and gone if they had had the misfortune to hold out for another couple of years in the conventional war, but in the actual course of events the Manhattan Project had nothing to do with their defeat.
I do agree with Kissinger's assessment that the expulsion and genocide of the Jews was a crippling blow to Germany. Hopefully the current set of Jewish immigrants is similar in quality to those that were there before.

Posted by: bbartlog at June 18, 2003 07:14 AM

i deleted the comment. anything that starts with "the jew ayn rand"....

Posted by: razib at June 18, 2003 08:54 AM

i deleted the comment. anything that starts with "the jew ayn rand"....

Well, she was Jewish.

Posted by: friedrich braun at June 18, 2003 09:31 AM

I have no use for any sort of racial superiority ideas. However, Auster's criticisms of scientific materialism and his skepticism that SM alone can provide the sense of meaning and purpose upon which to base a great civilization is largely reasonable to me, if not at every point. From where I stand, SM seems amoral. Maybe I am uninformed on the philosophy of scientific materialism. But from where I stand the most stomach-turning aspect of SM is not the insecurity of atheism, but the flat, meaningless emotional and philosophical perspective that it proffers.

Posted by: duende at June 18, 2003 10:22 AM

Materialism is simply a rule used for studying nature, Duende. It has nothing to do with ethics. Science is not a religion, and reason is the only basis for forming systems of moral action. Also atheism and materialism aren't always the same thing*. Look at Newton.

*but only with a certain amount of cognitive dissonance.

Posted by: Jason M. at June 18, 2003 10:55 AM

Of course, science isn't a religion and materialism isn't about ethics, nor should it be. That's what I said, and therefore I am skeptical that any society can be based on it.

Posted by: duende at June 18, 2003 12:06 PM

Oh, then i sense a strawman in the whole "you can't build a civilization off of materialism" thing then, b/c A) I don't even understand what the phrase "build a civilization off of" means, really. Who's building? It's not Legos. B) What would it even mean to "build a civilization off of materialism? That's pretty much incoherent, and I dare someone to explain it.

Religion isn't necessary for ethics, cooperation, sense of peoplehood, a functional economic framework, educational excellence, productivity, altruism, happiness, social codes or law. And you'll have trouble proving me wrong on every account. While it may or may not be useful in a given context, religion is by no means necessary for the maintainence of a great civilization

Posted by: Jason M. at June 18, 2003 12:20 PM

"religion is by no means necessary for the maintenance of a great civilization"

Now I'm not sure what this means. Historical examples? Marduk worship may be passe-but the need for a common vision uniting the tribe is far from over. Jason,as a sharp guy, I know you are "over" religion and ready to get on to the next big thing, but you have to give it a shout out IMHO-I believe it was an ineluctable stage in the evolution of the human mind, and for that matter, will continue to be for millenia to come.
e.g. nationalism (a religious variant) makes little objective sense in the final analysis, but abandoning it now would invite total chaos.

Posted by: martin at June 18, 2003 01:15 PM

p.s. you're not asserting homo sapiens are a rational species are you?

Posted by: martin at June 18, 2003 01:25 PM

Among Western peoples (except for Americans and Afrikaners) religion is on the way out in a hurry.

Same goes for much of Asia, e.g., Japan, China, etc. Japan has actually the lowest percentage of "believers" (6 %).

It will not take millenia to rid the world of superstition; I'm more optimistic.

Posted by: friedrich braun at June 18, 2003 01:51 PM

If people in the Western World are turning away from Christianity, and they aren't any more lawless for it, any less productive, or any less fulfilled as individuals (as all the information I've seen seems to show), then what is the loss? There is none.

Posted by: Jason M. at June 18, 2003 02:03 PM

yes friedrich-in the narrow sense of the word i agree, but the thought patterns shall remain. Animism is long gone yet even a civilized man will kick the door that stubbed his toe.

Posted by: martin at June 18, 2003 02:03 PM

6% Japan is in fact a Western nation, btw. It is neither white nor Christian, and it functions just fine as a high (capital C) Civilization. Ironically the most un-Western aspect of Japan is its racial exclusivity. Chew on that paradox VFtR.

....Oh wait "Whiteness" is only special to you because of its "mystical" metaphysical significance....just like Christianity.

Posted by: Jason M. at June 18, 2003 02:09 PM

To clarify-i'm not speaking up for whiteness or christians, much less the wingnuts who are the post topic. I just respect religion's role in mankind's history as opposed to the ferocious contempt for it shown by e.g.Dawkins.

Posted by: martin at June 18, 2003 02:16 PM

In common parlance Japan and the West are not synonymous.

Posted by: friedrich braun at June 18, 2003 02:18 PM

The opening of Japan to the West by Commodore Matthew C. Perry, U.S.N., profoundly affected the American imagination. In the summer of 1853, Perry presented Japanese ministers with a letter from President Fillmore seeking friendly relations; in 1854 the Treaty of Kanagawa confirmed the gesture."


I do not consider skin colour to be a sine qui bus non condition to qualify as Western; notice that I said "Americans" in my post. As far as I know Americans come in all kinds of hues and colours.

Posted by: friedrich braun at June 18, 2003 02:24 PM

I was speaking to the Duende/VFtR crowd friedrich. I used your Japan statistic only for my own demonstration (I wasn't disagreeing w/ you about anything).

But now that you mention it, Japan wasn't Western before Matthew Perry, of course, but now-a-days many learned people will contend that it is.

Posted by: Jason M. at June 18, 2003 02:31 PM

i will post more-but please note that "religion" is a broad category. japan is a country where theism understood in the western concept has weak roots and little appeal, and yet is not a culture in collapse or chaos. on the other hand, rituals and traditions do continue, though in a more attenuated form (japanese do religious things for birth, weddings & death). the chinese elite was not theistic, and even was suspicious of the public role of buddhism, which was too mystical and other-worldly for the confucian/neo-confucian sensibility, and yet here we do not see a society that was wracked by chaos and what not.

religion can be a good force, and not necessarily bad, the view that american conservatives often have of the "godless" vs. good upstanding religious folk is a caricature. similarly, the perception that many atheists have of slack-jawed religionists is also pretty out of sync with reality.

more later....

PS-the most religious of western nations are poland, malta, ireland and the united states, though ireland is rapidly descending or ascending depending on perspective into secularism and younger poles are less tied to the church. the least religious is probably sweden or the czech republic, but there are plenty of contenders in europe....

Posted by: razib at June 18, 2003 03:18 PM

Sweden- my God, what a distopia! I can't think of a country less suitable to maintain the flame of Western Civilization.

Posted by: Jason M. at June 18, 2003 03:32 PM

"religion is by no means necessary for the maintainence of a great civilization"

Well, as often is the case regarding these issues, speaking in terms of probabilities is pretty useful. Does religion give significant societal advantages (Group cohesion, social stability, general happiness and well-being, etc.) ?

Personally, I would say it does, but it also imposes costs. Furthermore, Religion isn't an all or nothing proposition - you can pretty much pick between, say, today's situation, where the dominant ethical / moral code is rather weak, and does not claim divine justification, to some good ol' Afghan-style theocracy.

Posted by: Döbeln at June 18, 2003 04:13 PM

"Sweden- my God, what a distopia! I can't think of a country less suitable to maintain the flame of Western Civilization."

Well, in certain respects we aren't very well suited to the task - our assertiveness could use some touching up for one... (And that might very well be attributed to the rise of secularism, among other factors) Let's just say Sweden isn't really the ideal country to handle the confrontations with the hun...

Posted by: Döbeln at June 18, 2003 04:16 PM

Free Inquiry Summer 2002 Vol. 22 No. 3

has a feature on the perplexingly high level of religiosity encountered in the US (and it is a perplexing phenomenon to the vast majority of Europeans; that's in part why W doesn't cross the Atlantic very well) as compared to the rest of the industrialized world.

Here are some excerpts attempting at an explanation:

Rodger Doyle

"In his masterpiece, The Institutes of the Christian Religion, Calvin insisted that "It is safer and more tolerable for the government to be in the hands of the many." Calvin, of course, was not a modern democrat. He was not overly concerned with the rights of the non-elect, but his anti-authoritarian view contributed to Puritan political thinking and is one of the roots of the modern notion of limited government."


"A traditional explanation for the differences between Western Europe and America focuses on the long standing European tradition in which religion came to be seen as the enemy of liberty and progress. America, by contrast, never had a strong anticlerical movement, arguably because the Calvinist ethic was allied with science, religious liberty, and material progress. To this traditional explanation should now be added Finke and Stark's theory that religion in general is more likely to prosper under free market conditions where a variety of churches is available to choose from." ( I believe that Steve Sailer has written extensively on this last point as an explanation for the pervasiveness of "belief" and "church-going" in the US. It is normal to "shop around " for a "church" that suits a would be worshipper's zeitgeist. And since in Protestantism everybody's a priest -- the "priesthood of all believers" -- anyone can get the "call" and start preaching. Capitalism at its best!)

Posted by: friedrich braun at June 18, 2003 04:31 PM

wilson has a good critique of stark's "rational choice" views on religion in darwin's cathedral. also, i think stark focuses to much on the united states. japan, one of the most secular countries around, is also a hot-bed for thousands of "new religious movements," while south korea, and taiwan also have many religions, and both have non-affiliation rates close to 50%. additionally, singapore is another case of many competing religious denominations, but its rate of seculars is around 15-20%, and many of the "buddhists" are probably pretty secular.

i have issues with stark because he likes to give sound bites to the press and seem a bit too attention-hungry. but he does a lot of good work, even if he gets caught up in his own views having to be The Only Truth ;)

btw, on the anti-clercialism point, that seems a feature of catholic, not protestant countries, after all, until recently sweden had an established lutheran church, and norway and denmark still do to the best of my knowledge. contrast this with france, where the battle between religion and secular movements has been violent and contentious. also, the netherlands has a pretty long history of religious conciliation and accomidation, but 40% of the population is now "nothing."

Posted by: razib at June 18, 2003 04:45 PM

"By the way, I think Jason was kidding about Sweden being a dystopia."

I thought he was - ( I think he was pushing Sweden as an example of a successful non-religious country, even) - I was just trying to caution against hyping Sweden too much, not defending it against the dystopian charge :-p

Posted by: Döbeln at June 18, 2003 05:05 PM

1) the goths were from southern sweden, and ended up defeating attila in a coalition with the roman generals aetius

2) the kin of the swedes sacked paris, went on rampages in the western mediterranean (raided southern italy too), and the swedes themselves laid seige to constantinople. times have changed, but maybe they could change again?

3) i read in the economist that one out of four people in swedish are non-swedish ethnically. what the fuck??? where are my mischlinge kids going to get their supply of leggy-light-haired hotties?

Posted by: razib at June 18, 2003 05:09 PM

"i read in the economist that one out of four people in swedish are non-swedish ethnically."

Well, that probably includes a lot of Finns, Danes and Norwegians, who refuse to stay put in their respective countries for some reason =P

As for the deeds listed in your post, I rather doubt we will be sacking anything soon =) Sweden was seriously kicking ass and taking names back in the 17:th, but as you point out, times change...

Posted by: Döbeln at June 18, 2003 05:27 PM

"Religion isn't necesary for the maintanence of a great civilization."

I never said it was. Ethics are, however, and all I am saying is that scientific materialism does not provide them. Traditional liberalism might work, if you were lucky enough in the genetic lottery to be part of the cognitive elite meritocracy. What does scientific materialism offer the ugly, low-IQ losers out there? Even Hinduism offers the untouchables hope in reincarnation. I'm not suggesting that scientific materialism ought to ignore these sad truths. I am simply saying that scientific materialism needs some sort of philosophical context. Vague, self-indulgent "spirituality", not austere atheism, has replaced Christianity in the West. People might not need Christianity or organized religion at all, but they need "something". Even if they don't, since most people fall short of the genetic perfection that scientific materialism lionizes, SM will be an pet project of the elite until genetic engineering turns everyone into a Claudia Schiffer look-alike neurosurgeon.

Posted by: duende at June 19, 2003 06:21 AM

"Among Western peoples (except for Americans and Afrikaners) religion is on the way out in a hurry."

And those non-religious peoples are the same ones who are failing to reproduce themselves...

Posted by: jimbo at June 19, 2003 06:41 AM

Jimbo makes a good point. I know several well-educated, professional white Catholic families with a lot of children. One devout friend is a twin, the youngest of 8 children. Such families are very few, but their fecundity gives them influence beyond their numbers especially when compared with the dysgenic fertility rates of high IQ secularists. If there is a genetic orientation toward religious faith, America may become MORE religious due to this lopsided breeding. And considering these fertility rates, if there is a genetic predisposition toward faith then ridding the world of "superstition" might require sterilizing eugenics, plus the technology to hatch infants out of bottles so secularists will not be bothered with all the mess of having their own babies.

Posted by: duende at June 19, 2003 07:16 AM


religious zeal is inherited, which i suspect transfers into secular radicalisms in a non-religious context. also, interesting about catholics, in that some hereditarians have complained that priestly celibacy traditionally takes the most intelligent men out of circulation and has a dysgenic effect on catholics.

Posted by: razib at June 19, 2003 07:24 AM

Well, my uncle was a Jesuit :) There is some truth in that, though I suspect that throughout history many priests (gay or straight) entered the priesthood because, among other reasons, they were not the marrying kind. Most of the straight priests I know are so obsessive that I doubt they could ever devote much time to wives and children even if they were allowed to marry. Even in the secular world, many male artists, academics, and scientist are unmarried and largely celibate sans any requirement.

Posted by: duende at June 19, 2003 08:24 AM

"Religion isn't necesary for the maintanence of a great civilization."

hey, don't put quotation marks around a paraphrase. :)

I never said it was. Ethics are, however, and all I am saying is that scientific materialism does not provide them.

Why would it? Have you encountered someone who has argued otherwise. The straw-man isn't working. Secular systems of ethics are out there in the form of any social control. Some places it's made clear that smoking isn't going to win you firends. Racism - likewise in many (most?) places in the U.S.. By the high rate of religion in jail and the low rates of crime in religiously apathetic Asian and Northern European countries, I would say that religion is overrated as a social control. I'm not sure it does as much to "keep people in line" as people seem to assume. I'm willing to be proven wrong, but I see no reason to start with this assumption. Do religious people follow more laws? If so, can we establish causation?

if there is a genetic predisposition toward faith then ridding the world of "superstition" might require sterilizing eugenics

I think you are misunderstanding what a predisposition is.

Posted by: Jason M. at June 19, 2003 08:27 AM

Razib: “…priestly celibacy traditionally takes the most intelligent men out of circulation and has a dysgenic effect on catholics.”

You’re assuming that throughout the Church’s history clerics were chaste, which is simply not the case.

See Peter De Rosa’s Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy at ch. 20: “Unchaste Celibates”.

“The long line of popes who were libertines before and sometimes after ascending the throne of Peter suggests that celibacy was not honoured by the rank and file of the clergy, either. As we noted on Part One, a list of popes who misbehave would include, among others, Benedict V, Sergius III, John X, John XII, Benedict VII, Benedict IX, Clement V, Clement VI, “John XXXIII”, Sixtus IV, Pius II, Innocent VIII, Alexander VI, Julius II, Paul III, Julius III, Gregory XIII, Gregory XV, Urban VIII, Innocent X, Alexander VII. When popes had mistresses of fifteen years of age, were guilty on incest and sexual perversions of every sort, had innumerable children, were murdered in the very act of adultery, there can be no doubt that celibacy among the clergy as whole was more honoured in the breach than in the observance. In the old Catholic phrase, why be holier than the pope?”

“The Church more easily condoned concubinage than marriage for the usual practical reason: concubines could not claim church property as a right for themselves and their offspring when their priest-lovers died.”

It was only Urban II at Piacenza in the year 1095 who finally condemned clerical marriage.

However, sexual shenanigans of all sorts continue unabated (and I’m not talking about the recent scandals in the American church.)

My uncle was a priest in a small village in Northern Europe, he had a mistress and a bunch of kids with her; the whole village knew, and so did the church hierarchy. Nothing ever happened to him.

Hipocracy? Catholics are experts at it.

Posted by: friedrich braun at June 19, 2003 10:46 AM

"the goths were from southern sweden"

Only in 'Asterix'

Posted by: fredrik at June 19, 2003 04:47 PM

"the goths were from southern sweden" but were unhappy with their naturally blonde hair, and, being goths, dyed it black.

Posted by: triticale at June 21, 2003 02:40 PM

*rolls eyes*

Posted by: Jason M. at June 21, 2003 03:53 PM