Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Ideology of Peter Brimelow


The Nativist ideologue, Peter Brimelow, insists that he is not a racist but rather is merely looking to engage this nation in a dialogue as to its direction. The issue, he argues, is whether the complexion of this country, both figuratively and literally, should be changed by the growth of non-whites who are not Anglo-Saxon Protestants? The terms of this "debate," as well as the persons entitled to debate this issue, per Brimelow and his nativist bretheren, are highly instructive as to the nativist mindset and more particularly as to Brimelow's true purpose. We are to assume that this is simply a dry policy issue, not unlike farm support subsidies. Why, so the unstated refrain goes, do liberals get so enraged over the mere invitation to such a debate? Instead of engaging us, so the narrative proceeds, does the immigrant lobby attack us as racists, xenophobes or extremist right-wingers? All we want, so Brimelow would conclude, is a fair and open debate -- no holds barred.


A central premise of Brimelow's argument as advanced in his nativist tome, Alien Nation, is that the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which removed the racist national-origin categories which had governed immigration policy since the enactment of the the restrictive and racist Immigration and Restriction Act of 1924, was a great mistake which irrevocably changed the "character" of this country. If it were possible, Brimelow would turn back the clock and undo the changes wrought by the 1965 Act. Accordingly, the persons entitled to a voice in this debate are the white Anglo-Saxon protestants who comprised the overwhelming majority of citizens in 1964. Anyone born of non-white immigrants should not be entitled to a voice because such people are not the progeny that gave birth to this, "our country." This is especially true of anyone who immigrated to this country after 1965 from any country that was not formerly a part of the United Kingdom. This exclusion would apply to anyone born from such emigrant stock, no matter how assimilated or removed from the original immigrants. Accordingly, underlying this debate is a racist premise, nonwhites need not voice their views or concerns. The message to nonwhites, per Brimelow, is "shut up, while we decide your fate!"

And what are the terms of Brimelow's complexion debate? We have already established that since nonwhites are not a part of this debate any recourse to self-interest, group-identity and the elements of sovereignty for nonwhite are off the table just as they were off the table for the indigenous population after Europeans arrived in the New World. If anyone is to speak for Latinos, Asians and even African-Americans, it has to be vis-a-vis the good graces of white overlords, not unlike Colonialism, which Brimelow has championed. As any student of the American legal system will tell you, an adversary who is absent at his own trial has no chance of redeeming himself. The verdict, for those tried in absentia, is a dead certainty.


Having assured that their deliberations will not be encumbered by those whose fate they are debating, Brimelow's nativists are not content to let the outcome be endangered by inconvenient truths. The nativists who write for VDare, Michelle Malkin's website or ALIPAC, make no bones about their disdain, even hatred, for nonwhites and for nonwhite immigrants. Hence, the marriage of nativist ideology with racism. Brimelow, who is himself racist, prominently features racists, Steve Sailer, Jared Taylor, Kevin MacDonald and Patrick Buchanan, amongst others. These writers are not a counter-balance for pro-immigrant writers, they are the core of authors who regularly perorate in nativist publications. Such views are the heart of the definition of bigotry, a stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own, no matter how true. So much for debate. This is not the presentation of positions, it is the shouts of the hooligan.


Shortly after being liberated from a Nazi Prisoner of War camp, Jean-Paul Sartre penned the classic tome, Anti-Semite and Jew. In this seminal essay, Sartre explored what animates the anti-Semite, the racist and the bigot. The anti-Semite is not concerned with an actual Jew (qua Jew) just as Brimelow is not concerned with real Latinos or Hispanics. For the racist, hate of the other is, among other things, a way by which to "lay claim to the nation in which they reside, and an oversimplified conception of the world in which the antisemite sees "not a conflict of interests but the damage which an evil power causes society." Nativism, like antisemitism is not an idea in the commonly understood sense of the word: it is not a point of view based rationally upon empirical information calmly collected and calibrated in as objective a manner as is possible. It is not an idea, ‘It is first of all a passion.' (Sartre, Anti-Semite and Jew, (Schocken Books, Paris, 1948), p.10.) It is a deep passion, 'Some men are suddenly struck with impotence if they learn from the woman with whom they are making love that she is a Jewess. It is an involvement of the mind, but one so deep-seated and complex that it extends to the physio-logical realm, as happens in cases of hysteria.' (Ibid. p.10-11)

Sartre comments that, ‘It is not unusual for people to elect to live a life of passion rather than of reason. But ordinarily love the objects of passion: women, glory, power, money. Since the anti-Semite has chosen hate, we are forced to conclude that it is the state of passion that he loves.’ (Ibid. p.18.) He chooses to reason from passion, to reason falsely ‘because of the longing for impenetrability. The rational man groans as he gropes for the truth; he knows that reasoning is no more than tentative, that other considerations may intervene to cast doubt on it.’ Anti-Semites are attracted by ‘the durability of a stone.’ (Ibid.) What frightens them is the uncertainty of truth. (Ibid. p.19.) ‘The anti-Semite has chosen hate because hate is a faith.’ (Ibid.) He has escaped responsibility and doubt. He can blame anything on the Jew; he does not need to engage reason, for he has his faith.

Anti-Semitism is a way of feeling good, proud even, rather than guilty at the abandonment of responsibility and the flight before the impossibility of true sincerity. (Ibid.) The anti-Semite abandons himself to the crowd and his bad faith, he ‘flees responsibility as he flees his own consciousness, and choosing for his personality the permanence of the rock, he chooses for his morality the scale of petrified values.’ (Ibid. p.27.) He pulls down shutters, blinds, mirrors and mirages over his consciousness to keep himself in his bad faith away from his responsibilities and his liberty. The anti-Semite is afraid ‘of himself, of his own consciousness, of his own liberty, of his instincts, of his responsibilities, of solitariness, of change, of society, and the world – of everything except the Jews.’ He is ‘a coward who does not want to admit his cowardice to himself.’ (Ibid. p.53.)

The nativist, like the anti-Semite and the racist, expounds at length on the great evils wrought by the subject of his hatred. The fact that most of his "views" are false or gross distortions is of little consequence. What matters to the hater is the confirmation of his hatred. Hence, the pathological fixation on the social ills supposedly wrought by "the menace." The crime of one becomes the guilt of all who share the criminal's ethnicity. The drain on society, however false, becomes an article of faith which no amount of reason will remove. Hispanics are demonized for each and every action which any one of the group commits. As well, the fact that an immigrant is working at low wages with false documents is not an indication of economic need but rather an indication of mendacity and venality common to the whole group. All characteristics must bear out the durability of his hatred for this evil race. The nativist constantly resorts to images of defilement, the dark rapist who preys on white women, nay who preys on under-age girls, the avaricious alien who steals not only your job but your very bread. Our culture, the white Anglo-Saxon culture is constantly said to be at risk, defiled and sullied. The nativist is so steeped in his hatred that he unconcsiously parrots the very same tired arguments of such anti-Semitic tomes as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Such is the nature of anti-Semitism, racism and nativism. And this truly is what Peter Brimelow wants to advance when he calls for a debate on the "immigration question." It is not a debate but a call to action, all true whites stand up for your race, you are at peril. Brimelow is not concerned with real Latinos, Hispanics or immigrants. For the nativist, hate of the other is a way by which to lay claim to the nation in which they reside, and an oversimplified conception of the world in which the nativist sees not a conflict of interests but the damage which an evil power causes society.

1 comment:

iamashadow said...

This was very well written. I love it. Awesome!