Friday, 25 March 2011

Culture not Colour?

By Tim Heydon

Oswald Spengler and the Decline of the West

Is it about culture and not colour? This is the all-important question. Oswald Spengler thought it was. For him, culture was independent of race. The foundation of his theory that the West is in decline is that cultures are free-floating. They are as it were living things; organic , with a natural life –cycle of birth, growth, decay and death. The West has reached the period in its cultural life-cycle – ‘civilisation,’ when it is naturally in decline. Such a theory runs into difficulties immediately if it is associated with race, because race is not a temporary, changing aspect of human existence.

Spengler’s Theory accords with the Realities of Life

Spengler’s theory of our decline, which is of course a denial of the inexorable march of reason towards the sunlit uplands of utopia envisaged by ‘Progressives,’ does seem to fit into the realities of the world we live in while Progressivism does not. Everything we see about us; ourselves, the plants and animals, the mountains, plains and seas on the earth, the earth itself, the sun and other stars, the galaxy we live in and the very universe itself (according to some astronomers at least ) – they are all at some stage of the same kind of cycle. So the thought arises: why on earth is human culture supposed to be different? This thought is purely intuitive, of course. Nevertheless it shouldn’t be dismissed on that account. It fits into an overwhelming pattern of reality and because it does, the onus of proof is on those who believe in Progressivism. And there is little in modern human history to give comfort to the notion that in a secular world we are all getting morally better and better. Au contraire. The idea that human beings have somehow managed to escape the bonds of the natural doesn’t seem to be scientific; It is a form of faith: it’s religious – but religion without spirituality and therefore without the necessary motivation.

There is much which appears to support the Idea that Culture is unconnected to Race

If culture is unconnected to race, which is considered to be unimportant, it is easier to be thought of as English or Scots or Welsh or Irish or whatever regardless of one’s racial origin. In support of the idea of the exclusive importance of cultures is the fact that there have for example been several civilisations /cultures in the British Isles although the racial character of its people has remained remarkably unchanged throughout recent millennia, at least until very recently. This is despite the perversion of history visited on us by those eager to deny it. These cultures have ranged from that of the shamanistic hunter –gatherers of the Palaeolithic to the paganism of the Druids and the Germanic gods and then on through the Medieval Christian civilisation to Renaissance / Reformation Christianity and so to the debased secular ‘culture’ of ‘modernity’ which is built round belief in nothing – literally.

Agriculture came from the Near East

Furthermore, the major changes in culture which have occurred in Britain have not been the result of the kind of mass invasions which some people think are the sole reason for cultural / civilisational change. As noted above, until very recently there has been little alteration in the racial makeup of the inhabitants of these islands. This is true regardless of the relatively minor influxes of other peoples (such as Germanic / Norse settlers or the Huguenots) who were mostly in any case virtually identical racially and culturally. The arrival of farming which signalled the Neolithic era, a truly momentous cultural event which radically changed the lives of humanity forever, came with a few settlers from the Continent having spread from the Near East.

‘The English have two books; Shakespeare and the Bible. England made Shakespeare, but the Bible made England’ -
Victor Hugo

Much later, Christianity, earth-shakingly important culturally as well as religiously, arrived thanks to the efforts of a few missionaries from the Continent and Ireland, also having spread from the Near East.

Classical Learning strengthened by Scholars from Byzantium.

Classical learning, the civilisation of Greece and Rome was salvaged in Europe during the so-called Dark Ages by Monks and the teaching reforms of Alcuin in the Carolingian Renaissance. Islamic Scholars contributed something to the transmission of such works as those of Aristotle. But the most significant impact of the classics on the West arose through the arrival in Italy of Christian scholars fleeing the Islamic takeover of Constantinople. This arrival proved a decisive shot in the arm for Classical learning in the West.

The Importance of Protestantism

Protestantism, which did much to shape the native British, helping to give them their once - characteristic attributes of decency (good manners, respectability), modesty (‘British understatement’), emotional restraint ( reserve, undemonstrativeness, ‘stiff upper lip’), stoicism, hard work (the Protestant work ethic) and self reliance (through the ‘priesthood of all believers,’ ‘ we are captains of our souls’ ), though it had forerunners in Britain flowered on the Continent and came here from there. These gifts of Protestant Christianity also included assumptions of individual autonomy which, together with a sturdy lack of whole-hearted reverence for power inherited from their Saxon forebears, lay behind the growth of the democratic traditions of the British. And we have all come across members of other races who, at least when they interact with the native population, seem to be just like them culturally.

Political Correctness is Foreign

This country is now dominated by Political Correctness. This ideology is a function of Continental Philosophy which arrived in Britain principally via the USA.

So those who believe that it is Culture, not Race that matters – they have strong Case, don’t they?


Culture not Colour? Part 2

Oswald Spengler: Cultures are the Products of Particular People. ‘Mankind’ has never discovered anything.

So is it culture rather than race that matters? From the foregoing, so it seems. But look a little deeper and a different picture emerges. To go back to Oswald Spengler; although he denied the role of race in the creation of cultures, he also denied the ‘Progressives’ view that the historical reality is that there is one ‘mankind’. For Spengler, ‘Mankind’ is a zoological concept. ‘Mankind’; he wrote, ‘has never discovered anything.’ History concerns only the particular; particular groups of men living at particular times in particular places. It is they who have history and produce a culture. Universal mankind does not differ and therefore does not have history. This view is in fact compatible with the proposition that race and culture are inextricably intertwined.

It’s ‘Culture’ that counts is a ‘Nurture’ Theory

The first thing to notice is that in the context of the nature / nurture debate, the idea that it is culture, not ‘skin colour’ ie race that counts is a nurture theory. Nature is more or less ignored. But why should it be? We know for example, that IQ is 83% - 8 4% heritable in European adults. The high heritability of IQ suggests that IQ is largely determined by genes. (Richard Lynn, ‘Race Differences in Intelligence’ p28 ). IQ accurately predicts socio-economic status and a swathe of behaviours such as drug addiction, crime, single parenthood and smoking. Nature is it seems highly important in determining intelligence and all that flows from it in what might be termed as personal culture in a broad sense. So why not the culture of a nation? And why not then in high culture as well as the culture of everyday living?

The Dismissal of a Red Herring: ‘Skin Colour’

But what about Races? How far are they different through genetic inheritance, and does this affect culture? First though, let’s dispose of the red herring of ‘skin colour.’ Taken at is own value, skin colour per se can’t simply be dismissed as some would like it to be. Our skin colour is a function of the latitudes we live in. It is a characteristic which marks us out as people of the North, and the North West in particular, helping to make us as much a part of the fauna and flora of these islands as any native plant or animal; a feeling which is a deep part of our culture. For here is where our ancestors had their time, here are our roots. This is where we belong and our skin colour helps to tell us that and binds us to those who share this inheritance. It is not only USA blacks coming back to Africa who need and are entitled to their roots.

Apart from this feeling which suffuses the sensibilities of the native British whether they know it or not, skin (and eye and hair colour and other aspects of our looks) is otherwise an intrinsic part of our culture. There are innumerable allusions to it in our language. In ordinary speech one can be a pink and white rose, or tall dark and handsome (meaning dark haired). One can be fair-skinned or have fair hair, but also, ‘that’s fair’ we say, meaning that it is just. In an old usage it means ‘beautiful’. ‘Fair’ in all these linked senses comes from Old English ‘faegar’ meaning ‘pleasing’ or ‘attractive’. Our skin colour too leads on to myriad other aspects of culture. For example, our paleness suits restrained colours in our clothing while the dark skins of other races are best set off by brighter colours.

Skin Colour is the Outward and Visible Sign of Interior Differences

John Baker FRS was an Oxford Biologist whose book ‘Race’ published in 1974 remains a standard work on the subject. It was praised by the Nobel Laureate Sir Peter Medawar in the following terms; ‘No Book known to me tries to encompass everything relevant to the idea of race with such thoroughness, honesty, serious and decency.’ Prof. Arthur Jensen of UCLA said of it: ‘A most impressive display of profound scholarship and vast erudition. .. As a noted biologist, Baker provides the essential basis upon which any objective, rational and scientific discussion of racial differences must proceed.’ Recent DNA and gene expression studies have confirmed the reality of race beyond all reasonable doubt.

John Baker FRS on ‘Skin Colour’ and its Link with mental / temperamental Characteristics

Here is what Baker had to say: ‘The question arises why so many people say or imply that the races differ only in skin colour, when this is obviously untrue.(Emphasis added). Those who minimize racial differences, by speaking as though the only distinction between a European and (for instance) a Chinese or a Negro were of skin colour, appear unwittingly to admit that recognition of the more fundamental differences that actually exist might affect people’s views on the ethnic problem; for it might be regarded as unlikely that such differences could co-exist with exact similarity in the parts of the body concerned with thought and feeling.’

And those physical differences and differences of thought and feeling certainly exist. ‘The idea that the existence of manifold physical differences between certain ethnic taxa makes it probable that there are also inborn differences of mental potentiality, is by no means confined to persons trained in biological science. As Professor H J Muller has written, ‘to the vast majority of geneticists it seems absurd to suppose that psychological characteristics are subject to entirely different laws of heredity or development than other biological characteristics….Psychological comparisons of fraternal and identical twins have provided one type of empirical evidence in support of this conclusion.’ (‘Race’ pp182, 183)

Baker and J Phillippe Rushton

Baker goes in to some detail on the subject of the physical and mental differences between the races, relating them to the civilisations they have respectively produced, or in the case of negrids, have not produced. So too does J Phillippe Rushton who is Professor of Psychology at the University of Western Ontario. In the latter’s book ‘Race, Evolution and Behaviour,’ (P5) we find a table in which the physical characteristics of three main racial groups are linked to their respective mental and temperamental characteristics under the heading ‘More than Skin Deep’:-

Average differences Among Blacks, Whites and Orientals

Click to enlarge

Rushton’s Newtonian synthesis and the r-K Life History Theory

It has been Rushton’s achievement to bring together various lines of thought and the results of hundreds of studies pursued by many others as well as himself into a theory of racial development in what Richard Lynn, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Ulster described as a ‘Newtonian synthesis’ worthy of a Nobel Prize. The differing data about the various races are explained by applying to them the r-K Life History Theory first promulgated by the Harvard University biologist E O Wilson. This is now ‘a basic principle of modern evolutionary biology’. Every species of plant or animal, including human beings can be placed on the r-K scale. The r-strategy (for ensuring gene survival) involves having more offspring (like frog spawn or turtles), maturing earlier, having smaller brains and providing less parental care. The K end of scale means having fewer offspring, maturing later, having larger brains and providing more parental care. Human beings are the most K species of all. Among humans, Orientals are the most K, Blacks the most r and Whites fall in between’.

Why did northern peoples develop their K strategy? As human beings spread out of Africa, ‘their bodies, brains and behaviour changed. To deal with the colder winters and scarcer food supply of Europe and North East Asia, the Oriental and White races moved away from an r-strategy towards the K- strategy. This means more parenting and social organisation which requires larger brain size and a higher IQ’ (‘Race, Evolution and Behaviour’ p 89). K –strategy has many implications for human beings. For example; larger –brained babies require wide hips to be born. So Whites cannot run as fast as Blacks with their narrower hips. Blacks have more testosterone than Whites, so they are more capable of explosive action than are Whites – hence their success in sprint running, boxing etec. And so on.

The Implications of Baker, Rushton et al for Civilisation / Culture

It should be obvious from the above that race differences will lead inexorably to differing kinds of society and levels of culture /civilisation based on the differing characteristics of the races. It comes as no surprise that Orientals – mainly the Japanese, Chinese and Koreans - have a reputation of being extremely conformist, hard –working and (compared to other races) docile and law abiding. Likewise it is no surprise that sub-Saharan Africans have never achieved any kind of higher culture. As for Whites, we are not on average as intelligent in some respects anyway as Orientals, but we can comfort ourselves with the thought that our greater individuality and dynamism combined with our still-high intelligence has led us to be the world’s great inventors, innovators and discoverers.

Conclusion: It’s not Skin Colour / Race or Culture

We have seen how this country has taken on board key cultural influences from abroad (a fact, incidentally, which negates the idea that we need to import millions of foreigners in order for our culture to be ‘enriched’). But we have also seen that white people in general (like the other races) have powerful innate characteristics. Our own race partakes of these and, it is reasonable to think, has bred its own variety in these islands. Without outside influences these characteristics would tend to produce a particular type of society and culture in the circumstances in which our race has found itself historically. So the conclusion we draw is that our present culture is the product of our own racial characteristics and cultural tendencies reacting in a unique way with cultural influences from abroad to produce a civilisation, something new, which is our own. This civilisation which we have created would not exist if we were not the people that we are. But neither would it exist without those imported cultural influences. Race has been a necessary cause although not a sufficient one in the production of our culture, just as it has been a necessary cause in the production of all civilisations.

What about the USA?

But some may point to the USA and say; ‘Here is a society which is founded, not on race, but on ideas only: it is a cultural country, a ‘credal’ nation’. Aping the supposed superiority of the USA was Gordon Brown’s idea when he tried to redefine Britain as being founded on ‘fairness’. (Hilariously, he was immediately jumped on by an Asian pressure group which accused him of ‘racism’ in suggesting that ‘fairness’ was a particularly British characteristic). It lies behind Cameron’s pushing his ‘core principles‘ of ‘Britishness’ such as freedom of speech, the rule of law and democracy. (His own version of these characteristics which excludes the BNP as far as possible, naturally.) He has not been jumped on – yet.

But no society can exist only on ‘ideas’. Gordon Brown may have a Doctorate in History (albeit on Scottish Trade Unionism) but he seems not to have realised that the USA was always far more than the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. It was from the first a North European, Christian and specifically Protestant country.

Now that it is in the process of reinventing itself away from these characteristics, it is also in the process of falling apart socially and perhaps, eventually, politically as well. The idea that it will be much the same as it always was when the White population becomes a minority in the not too distant future is a pipe dream, nothing more. The innate characteristics of its new population will determine its character in the future, not its written constitutional documents (which can be made to mean anything) or ‘culture’.

And the same is true of Britain. The USA will survive longer than this country, because it is vast and can accommodate difference better than we can. What is to become of this tiny, crowded country when the native British are a minority in it? One thing is certain. It will no longer be British in any meaningful sense. The outlook is grim. Is the best we can hope for to be another, larger Lebanon?


Dr.D said...

The post on Race and Reality that is currently up at the Afrikaner Broadcasting System is quite parallel to this article. Both fit together well.

misterfox said...

Tim, Do you think that if we change the population the culture will go on? It is different cultures in many areas of this country whether they are Christian or not.

tim said...

Misterfox, if the new population is 'assimilated' to the old culture, the culture will be transformed according to the overall underlying natural characteristics of the new population. It could then be very different in flavour,tone etc, quite apart from those aspects of the culture which depend on historical /racial identification with the culture, physical appearance etc. - as different as say, Black Southern Baptists in the USA are from us.

tim said...

Misterfox, if the new population is 'assimilated' to the old culture, the culture will be transformed according to the overall underlying natural characteristics of the new population. It could then be very different in flavour,tone etc, quite apart from those aspects of the culture which depend on historical /racial identification with the culture, physical appearance etc. - as different as say, Black Southern Baptists in the USA are from us.

misterfox said...

That is exactly my point. Thank you.

John McNeill said...

As an American I can verify that the "propositional nation of ideas" was all well and good when America was 90% white with various related European ethnic groups blending into an Anglo-American culture. But now that we are discovering that over 50 million residents are Latino, we are beginning to question our very identity as "Americans".

misterfox said...

Tim and John,

Have you seen this online Conservative journal?

These are the natural forces we need to go with:

John McNeill said...

No misterfox, I am unfamiliar with that journal. I shall look into it more.

And I agree with Pat Buchanan's call for ethnonationalism, although I'm not as optimistic as he is about anti-immigration forces in Europe being driven by ethno-nationalism.

tim said...

No Mr Fox,I don't know those publications either.

I'm beginning to think that the only hope for America is
Mark Steyn's in America Alone - that the religious Christians of America with their higher birthrate will at least be able hold out against the fast-breeding hordes of immgigrants in the USA.

As for Europe -if the populations don't wise up fast as to what is being perpetrated on them by their marxist political class,they will lose everything their ancestors worked, struggled and died for.

Incidentally I owe Sarah an apology for not asking her to change Oscar Spengler to Oswald. Oswald's mother might have called him that but to me he will always be Oscar for some reason.

Sarah Maid of Albion said...

I did change the name when the poster at BR pointed out the error. We must have both been thinking of Oscar Schindler :-))

John McNeill said...

Tim, we white Americans are fortunate to have some Christian families like the Duggers. But they constitute a very small minority and lately transracial/international adoptions have been really trendy for white Christian families.

John McNeill said...

As an addendum to my previous comment, I do believe that there's a religion that can help white America's demographic renewal: Asatru, or at least the folkish variant. For the record, I'm a Christian, but I think many Christians have a naive view on nationalism, and the Church is largely hostile to white interests by being pro immigration and pro miscegenation.

I encourage everyone to explore this group. It's a folkish Asatru organization that emphasizes the importance of the preservation of European people, whom they believe are tied to the Old European gods.