‘There is a maxim very current in the world, which few politicians are willing to avow, but which has been authorized by the practice of all ages, that there is a system of morals calculated for princes, much more free than that which ought to govern private persons.’ (David Hume A Treatise of Human Nature Book 111 section X1)
As Hume wryly noted such a view of public morality is rarely acknowledged by politicians, but until our present time it is doubtful whether its general practical application has been seriously challenged. Particular matters such as the abolition of the Slave Trade or the Factory Acts might result from private (individual) moral feeling dictating public behaviour, but most men have never expected governments to invariably act in a manner calculated to disadvantage no one. Above all, the general expectation has been for each nation to look to its own interests. Now for the first time we have in the West, particularly in Britain and America, a political class and an intelligentsia actively promoting, or at the least publicly accepting, private morality as the sole or primary determinant of public behaviour at all levels, including that of international affairs.
At the level of the homogeneous nation, this incontinent promotion of private morality in public matters is perhaps no more than a serious inconvenience, for there is widespread acceptance of moral rules and both a sense and an actuality of common interest. Indeed, in such circumstances private morality frequently coincides with public morality for there is much agreement as to what is just and reasonable, and where it does not coincide, the discrepancy can normally be covered with a decent hypocrisy. But translated to the heterogeneous society or relations between states where there is widely divergent moral ideas and no permanent common interest, where disparate groups amorally vie for advantage, it becomes positively dangerous for then private morality is not merely often but normally inappropriate. Other things being equal, the scope for private morality in public matters might be said to be proportional to the degree of homogeneity in a society or that shared between societies.
This irresponsible and inappropriate expansion of the scope of private morality is compounded by the general portrayal of Mankind as a single entity which is composed of beings who are expected to share the same morality and feel the same responsibility and sympathy for men whose society they do not know as for those who share their lives and general cultural experience.
Frequently conjoined with this misunderstanding of moral appropriateness and range is another twentieth century phenomenon without historical precedent, influential groups within the intelligentsia and political classes who evince an active general dislike or even hatred of their societies, and make a fetish of denigrating their own and related cultures. Politically these range from latterday liberals full of smug, irresponsible, self-indulgent guilt to the Left revolutionaries who adopt the stance, ostensibly at least, for “tactical” reasons. Let us call them the Denigrators. They have existed for several generations at least:
The Left intelligentsia, indeed, have so long worshipped foreign gods that they seem to have become almost incapable of seeing any good in the characteristic English institutions and traditions. That the moral values on which most of them pride themselves are largely the products of the institutions they are out to destroy, these socialists cannot, of course, admit. And this attitude is unfortunately not confined to avowed socialists. (F.A. Hayek The Road to Serfdom – 1944 chapter X1V)
Such people require an impossibly high standard of behaviour from their own societies whilst describing them as morally inferior to others which patently, by Western criteria, possess lesser moral standards both in theory and practice. In fact, the case is worse than that. Essentially the Denigrators require no moral behaviour from those of whom they approve. Indeed, for the Left revolutionary morality is simply an instrument of propaganda for it is “bourgeois morality” and consequently of no account. And the whole business is given a delicious irony because, whilst supporting the idea of universal “human Rights” and generally using the language of moral disapproval to flay the West, the Denigrators intellectually espouse moral relativism.
In fact, for all their expressed horror of cultural imperialism, the Denigrators unconsciously or covertly seek to impose a universal morality, although in so doing they believe, or say they believe, that they are merely seeking to change material circumstances, that indigenous cultures will remain unaltered. They are correct in thinking that morality adapts to material circumstances but wrong in assuming that it will take a particular form, or that the aspects of a culture which appeal to them are independent of and will survive a change of material circumstances. Their mistake derives from a failure to recognise that morality is the pivot around which a culture moves and develops.
The most dangerous upshot of the Denigrators’ behaviour – for it strikes at any society’s very existence by attacking its incoherence – is that everywhere we hear from Western political elites, from conviction, fear or sordid expediency, that the entirely natural desire of men to live in homogeneous societies is the ultimate wickedness. Indeed, so arrogant have the true believers in this doctrine become that they have gone beyond promoting the idea that racial discrimination is bad to asserting that multiracial societies are a positive good in themselves.
This ideology of multiculturalism is a conflation of individualism, natural rights and materialism. It is, unsurprisingly, intellectually confused. The individual is presented, by implication if not overtly, on the one hand as an atomistic being who can be haphazardly moulded to any cultural shape (moral and cultural relativism), and on the other as an automaton, whose moral status, through the possession of “Human Rights”, is objectively absolute, and whose moral behaviour is preordained by the possession of innate and uniform moral inclinations, which require no more than advantageous material circumstances to be manifested. This materialism has the advantage for leftist moral relativists of allowing them to circumvent, to their own satisfaction at least, the ticklish problem of practices which other cultures regard as moral but which these moral relativists see as immoral, or as they might prefer to put it after the humbugging manner of anthropologists describing illiterate societies as pre-literate, pre-moral. Alter the material conditions and moral behaviour will improve is the implicit message. That altering the material conditions fails to produce the desired results does not, of course, worry the Denigrators who merely cry that not enough has been done. While the Western political classes and intelligentsia brandish ever more aggressively the doctrine of beneficent multiculturalism, in every corner of the earth a contradictory story is told: incessant conflict between races and cultures. Ancient hatreds in the Balkans; Africa a running racial sore; the disparate entities of the old Soviet Union incontinently elbowing one another for political space; the Indian subcontinent where racial conflict is so common it is scarcely to be remarked upon; China, with a hundred million of despised minority peoples, just waiting to explode; South and Central America a largely miserable melange of peoples, poverty and graft, ungovernable American cities; rising anger on the continent and, if we are honest, parts of Britain and elements within her population which are effectively beyond the control of British authority. And the present reiterates the past. Indeed, so prevalent is the dislike, hatred and fear generated by the competitive meeting of peoples that it might justly be described as the most fundamental of social behaviours.
It might be thought that the Denigrators wish to remove from all societies the ability, by restricting alien entry, to protect their cultural coherence. Many, but not all, Denigrators would ostensibly support this position: some would openly advocate for non-whites what in all but name is apartheid – the treatment of Aborigines in central
Australia for instance. But what the Denigrators intend is of no great moment, for in practice only the West is endangered because mass immigration since 1945 has been one way traffic. Already most Western countries with historically white populations have been heavily settled by blacks and Asians. There is no post-war case, nor the likelihood of any occurring in the foreseeable future, of a country with an historically non-white population being similarly settled by whites. The white man’s position is further weakened by the massive differences in breeding rates. He has more or less stabilised his breeding: other races are rapidly multiplying. Hence we are left with an absolute imbalance of population movement and settlement between white and non-white societies, an imbalance which becomes positively sinister when the political consequences are considered.
If the process continues it will, probably within fifty years, lead to similar black and Asian settlement in the countries of Eastern Europe. Then no country on Earth will be absolutely controlled by whites. On the other hand, all the lands historically settled by blacks and Asians which presently remain unsettled by whites will be absolutely controlled by blacks and Asians. At best, whites will be severely circumscribed in their dealings with those peoples: at worst, they will completely forfeit control of their own destiny for it will become impossible to operate any form of immigration control if immigrant communities become powerful enough to have a large share in the government of the historically white nations. The logical outcome of mass immigration is conquest by other means.
The experience of the West since 1945 has been unique. Never before have so many people lived for so long without war or harsh authoritarian government. Add to this the everincreasing and unparalleled prosperity of the common man, the immense advance in medical capability and social welfare andthe spurious appearance of stability the cosy dichotomy of Communism and the West gave to the world, and all the ingredients for a fool’s paradise are at hand. In such circumstances the Denigrators have been able to largely ignore the discrepancy between their ideas and reality for the mass of men will subdue temporarily their fears and hatreds when their personal lives seem utterly secure. Now that time is passing.
The reality is that even an untainted liberalism – a liberalism without the hatred of one’s own society, a liberalism concerned with individual freedom rather than universal “natural rights”, can only be endured in international affairs in exceptional times, and even then with difficulty for it goes against the most fundamental dictum of existence: self-preservation and the pursuit of individual and group advantage.
A fundamental change in political mentality is essential if the nations of the West are to survive as recognisable cultural and political entities. And for that a new public morality must be created, or more correctly, an old one resurrected with some new appurtenances. Most importantly, to be enduring any new public morality must be compatible with human nature and social organisation and flexible enough to deal with widely varying circumstances. To achieve that the West must cast aside the ideas, in practice as well as theory, that there is either a universal morality or necessary natural uniformity in Man. This is really not such a big intellectual step because it is no more than an extension of the difference between actual public and private morality in the western tradition.
Anyone who exercises authority, whether formal or informal, quickly discovers why private morality in the Western tradition is too constraining when dealing with men in the mass, namely that all men, opinions and desires cannot be equitably accommodated. In any circumstance where competing interests cannot be treated equally, those wielding authority are necessarily driven to make choices using principles of utility, ideological reference or capricious personal desire, none of which will stand examination as moral determinants within the Western private tradition because the central props of that morality – that all individuals are of equal worth and to be treated as ends in themselves – fall. Thus all societies share a certain public moral similarity, namely that all persons are not practically considered to be of the same worth. The only distinction between societies is the extent to which individuals are disadvantaged. The principle operates with greater force in international affairs.
That men are so prone to conflict should surprise no one. Peace not war is the unnatural state, for life generally is subject to external and internal constraints which are potential causes of conflict. The former are such things as other species and the physical stability of an environment.
The latter derive from the physical structure and social organisation of a species and cover matters such as breeding rates, length of gestation and infancy, longevity, instinct, sensual need, emotion, intellect and whether an animal is social or territorial. The particular internal qualities of Man to mark are his unique degree of self-consciousness and the fact that he is a social animal. These are necessarily contradictory attributes because self-consciousness means ego and ego means individualism. Hence, Man is constantly confronted by an intrinsic incompatibility between his own needs and desires and those of the various groups to which he belongs.
The instinct for self-preservation will drive any organism to compete with members of its own species or any other species which is attempting to fill the same ecological niche. In a social animal such as Man the decisive struggle takes place at the level of the group not the individual.
Man’s self-consciousness causes a diversity of behaviour vastly greater than that of any other organism. This occurs because Man is able to anticipate and plan with a skill no other creature can approach. From these abilities comes immense success in developing survival strategies, which in turn enables Man to adapt to a variety of environments exceeding that of any other higher animal. Moreover, he has a form of environment which is almost certainly different in quality from that of other animals, namely the intellectual. It is also potentially infinitely varied. This intellectual environment is perhaps the greatest source of behavioural variety.
Crucially, Man is aware of cultural norms. This awareness, together with the other attributes of self-consciousness, gives Man a potentially greater propensity for aggression than any other creature. He will defend or attack not merely in response to immediate threat, but because of anticipated fears and advantages and a dislike of cultural differences. However, this propensity is balanced in some degree by self-conscious fear, the calculation of benefit from avoiding conflict and the development of emotions such as pity.
Because men are differentiated profoundly by behaviour, the widely accepted definition of a species – a population of actually or potentially interbreeding organisms sharing a common gene pool – is unsatisfactory. (It should be noted that the definition is man-made and thus subjective in some degree). When behavioural differences are perceived as belonging to a particular group by that group, as differentiating members of the group from other men, they perform the same role as organic differences for they divide Man into cultural species.
But although behaviour is the primary distinguishing mark of Man, physical differences are important because they form part of cultural norms. To say baldly that a man’s colour does not matter is as absurd as claiming that the physical attractiveness of a man or woman does not affect the response of others. Indeed, skin colour is vastly more important than physical attractiveness where a culture’s value system includes the requirement, spoken or unspoken, for a certain physical type, for then those of a different racial form are effectively precluded from full integration because one of the criteria for belonging has not been met. That is not to say, of course, that many of the habits of mind and body of such an alien culture may not be adopted by someone of a different race. What is withheld is the instinctive acceptance of the alien and his descendants as members of the society.
Further, it is possible, perhaps even probable, that the reluctance to accept certain physical types is genetically determined, at least in part. Animals generally recognise their own species and particular social group by physical signs such as appearance and smell. It would be unlikely if nothing of this automatic response occurred in Man.
Racialism exists, I suggest, for four basic reasons: desire for territorial expansion, fear of conquest, greed and aesthetic judgement. Other things being equal, men make the same class of judgement about other people as they do of such things as paintings, plays and novels. They feel comfortable with human beings who fit the mental and physical aesthetic frame; a distaste for those who do not. Only when men have the right aesthetic feeling can they accept other human beings in the mass.
The favoured left/liberal interpretation of racial antipathy, that it is something which arises solely or primarily from the material conditions of the indigenous poor, is demonstrably untrue. Racialism exists and has existed in all manner of societies and material circumstances. To take but one example. Poverty may have been an immediate cause of Hitler’s electoral success, but it does not explain his popularity throughout the Thirties when German material circumstances changed greatly for the better. There is also the inconvenient fact that economies are dynamic and, consequently, societies are constantly being buffeted by recessions which lead to the very conditions – unemployment, lack of hope etc. – which the left claims are primarily responsible for racism. Hence, even if the left/liberal interpretation was correct it would be practically irrelevant.
From all the experience of the past and present, it is unreasonable to argue that men can be freed of racial prejudice either by material circumstances or instruction. You can temporarily repress it, make hypocrites of men, but never remove it. Sooner or later the stopper preventing active expression comes off, it may take ten years or fivehundred, but it comes off. At best, mixed societies exist in a state of uncertain neutrality, a voluntary ghettoisation, which is inherently unstable. Nowhere in the whole of history have men ever willingly tolerated large numbers of strangers in their midst for long. Racial prejudice is seemingly as much an ineradicable part of human nature as the tendency to seek one’s own interest. Indeed, it probably represents the individual’s primal self interest.
It is true that all intercourse between cultures results in cultural adaptation. Where there is extensive settlement by one population in another’s land, cultural mixing may cause genuinely new unified cultures to evolve. But we know that it is a long and generally bloody business for, as the past two hundred years has shown, the instantaneous creation of nation states from heterogeneous peoples by legalistic means is impossible. States supposedly so created are practically empires. Only centuries of cultural mixing or the active subordination of minority groups creates a true nation. Moreover, we have plentiful evidence that minorities are, more often than not, immensely tenacious and their sense of being a separate people will survive virtually indefinitely, even under the most adverse circumstances. The normal effect of mass geographical ethnic mixing is to create hostile ghettos not true nations, let alone mutually respectful groups within a single multicultural society.
It is also true that there are similarities between the moral systems of different cultures – prohibitions against physically harming others, adultery and theft being probably the most common – but even where there is overlapping of moral subject, the scope and application of a particular moral rule varies greatly. Hence, in one population we may have a moral rule which forbids the private individual to kill anyone within the confines of the territory occupied by that population: in another the absolute prohibition against killing anyone as a private individual may fall because the vendetta is recognised as morally acceptable.
Most tellingly, Man patently has never practically accepted that morality is universally applicable. Indeed, most societies have, even in theory, extended moral rules in their entirety only to those within the bounded cultural group. In practice, the principle of exclusivity is much greater, operating at the level of class, kinship and friendship. How easily men may be driven to discount the humanity of foreigners can be seen in warfare, which might best be described as an act of collective psychopathy. Man is simply not fitted by nature to be impartial. Hence there is a natural tendency to exclude which, carried to its utter conclusion, leads to genocide (a state of mind which can be admirably observed in the book of Joshua).
How far particular morality is learned behaviour can be seen in the amorality of children. Indeed their behaviour may be a facsimile of the origins of moral behaviour, for it has startling similarities with that of primitive peoples; the sudden switching from amiability to violence, the uncritical cruelty, the need to conform, the creation of pariahs. It is not that children naturally obey no social rules, on the contrary they are extremely rule bound, merely that their rules bear little resemblance to Western moral codes.
That particular moral behaviour can be learned does not mean it may be imposed at will. It can only be learned within a society, for moral rules which the majority do not obey are of no utility. There is also the immensely complicated business of developing a conscience which is the work of an entire childhood. Further, no moral rules which go against the individual’s fundamental self-interest are likely to be obeyed with any regularity.
The mistake witting or unwitting universal moralists make is to assume that a natural moral sense equals an objective morality. In fact, morality is simply a response to the exigencies of living as a self-conscious social animal. Consequently, there is no necessary contradiction between the statement that morality is relative and that particular moralities are natural. There is no absolute moral behaviour because each society evolves its own rules, and we should no more be surprised that this is the case than that chimpanzees in separate areas develop different behaviours for Man shares his basic existential circumstances with all other organisms.
If morality is a relativistic organic growth, is it no more than a set of behavioural rules which are observed by sufficient numbers within a society to constitute a norm and which if transgressed activates either customary or formal legal disapproval? Looked at dispassionately, I think the answer must be yes. Morality is like treason, the victors make the definition.
Once morality is seen for what it is, a natural tendency rather than an innate set of strict behavioural rules, that moralities are organic growths which possess both a psychological and a sociological dimension, the central problem of moral relativism – that where there is no absolute moral standard, there is no apparent reason to obey any moral commandment – dissolves. All men will not follow the same moral laws, but all men will exhibit a tendency to observe some form of behavioural code because anarchy is not a feasible permanent behavioural state for Man or, indeed, any social animal. Conditions close to anarchy may exist temporarily, but they will never last for very long because the damage to the group would be so great as to endanger its survival.
Although moral rules are particular to a society, the utility of morality is universal. Judged by its intended consequences, the evolutionary function of morals is to reduce Man’s propensity to harm those within his accepted group. As such, it performs a task widespread in the natural world – threat displays are perhaps the most common. But this does not mean that natural selection will necessarily result in a morality which equalises the material conditions, status or moral treatment all men. Even less does it mean that all societies will evolve towards an individualistic morality as some of the more optimistic liberal political commentators seem to imagine. Japan is a prime example of an efficient state which in many ways is extremely authoritarian. All any morality needs to be is sufficiently efficient within its circumstances, or to put it another way, not so utterly disastrous that it leads to the extinction of the group.
Whether men can even in principle evolve a universal morality is a moot point. If basic personality is genetically determined (I hypothesise), then natural selection will operate to select those personalities most suited to the moral behaviour of a society 1. This will continuously enhance the utility of traits. For example, if a society is authoritarian, then those who carry the gene or genes which favour submissiveness will be at an advantage. Alternatively, in a society which allows a large degree of personal freedom those with a genetic inheritance favouring independence of mind should prosper. Such genetic selection could partially explain differences in moral behaviour for the dominant traits in any society would be constantly reinforced. It would also preclude the easy assumption of different moral standards by a society if these were imposed by another society or even voluntarily imported by a people’s ruling caste.
But even if the innate, sociological and circumstantial difficulties of imposing on or inducing all societies to assume a single moral code could be overcome, would it be moral, by Western criteria, to undertake the act? There is a strong temptation to say yes rather in the fashion of ‘Socialism would be the most humane system if only it could be made to work.’ But the implications are intensely authoritarian for it is a great and sinister arrogance to say that men will all live in one broadly similar fashion, and that is what such a morality would mean for morals are the primary determinant of behaviour. You cannot replace moral norms without fundamentally altering a culture. Edward Gibbon’s argument against a world state, that it gives no place to which a dissenter may escape, is a powerful moral argument against a universal morality. Indeed, the idea of a universal morality probably implies a world state, for morality in large part is ultimately enforced by law and law can only equitably be dispensed by a uniform authority. Further, we know that societies are dynamic entities. Hence, even if the universal moral state was achieved, it would inevitably break down if a supranational authority did not have the ultimate power to maintain order. The difficulties such a universal authority would occasion can be seen in microcosm in the EC.
But if Man the biological species is unlikely to become synonymous with Man the cultural species, this does not mean that inter-communal conflict will not educe. Strictly, because morality is an organic growth particular to a society, moral rules can only logically be judged by their effects within their particular society. However, in the actual world where societies and their attendant moralities meet, an extension of particular (internal) moral rules is necessary if societies which dispute territory are not to attempt genocide as a matter of course.
As morality serves a necessary function – that of reducing conflict within a society – it can be extended to relations between societies without necessarily doing violence to Man’s basic desires because he is self-conscious and can perceive advantages to be gained from practising restraint. But it is not a necessary development, nor even where it takes place, can agreements between peoples ever be considered permanent because such relations are dynamic. It is also debatable whether co-operating with other peoples is necessarily the best evolutionary strategy for a particular people. Certainly in the case of other organisms the answer is no, for if the primary evolutionary imperative is to reproduce (in Man’s case both physically and culturally) then successful acts of genocide, whether physical or cultural, are advantageous. However, because Man possesses self-consciousness with its
concomitant of anticipated fear it is probable that most men in secure circumstances will, if given a choice, resist acts of war out of prudence if nothing else. The potential for violent conflict may be further reduced by the action of habit whereby men unaccustomed to physical violence develop an aesthetic distaste for violence which is exhibited as pity or physical squeamishness. But because most men live in turbulent societies where power is concentrated in one or a few hands and which possess no tradition of valuing the individual regardless of his social status, it is improbable that inter-societal peace will greatly increase in the near future.
As morality is necessarily reciprocal, if a stable relationship between societies is to exist responsibility for other peoples must be proportional to the extent to which a commonly observed set of moral rules and common interests exists. At the most basic level – where one society does not recognise people outside the society as fully human – there is no responsibility at all. Within the Western moral tradition that responsibility has been generally, at its weakest, that one people should not gratuitously harm another – although this begs the massive question of what is gratuitous: at its strongest, that members of one society, when within the borders of another society, are accorded the same protection of the law as members of that other society. In our time the Denigrators have tried to create, not without success, two new international moral obligations, which practically fall only on the West, namely that the comparatively rich and politically stable countries should (1) provide material aid, in cash or kind, to the comparatively poor of the world and (2) accept immigrants, on a scale never before seen, from the poorer, politically unsettled parts of the world.
These putative obligations go against all Man’s individual instincts and societal interests. Those receiving aid are the donors’ potential competitors. Aid helps to increase the recipients’ populations, which in turn increases the pressure on the donors to receive more immigrants. There may be good prudential reasons for aid – although where the aid is permanent I see none which outweigh the disadvantages – but it is difficult to discern any moral obligation for the principle of reciprocity is absent. Certainly, there is far less reason for a rich people to give to a poor people than there is for a rich man to give to a poor fellow countryman, for the sharing of values and interests is much reduced or even practically non-existent.
But what of colonial exploitation the Denigrators cry? What of the arms trade? Do these not place a unique obligation on the West? Even within the Western tradition this is morally insupportable for, even if true, it places the sins of the fathers onto the sons and treats all members of a society as being responsible for that which is done by any member of the society. Moreover, all societies, even at the level of the tribe, share one thing, a dubious moral claim to existence. Ultimately, the only title people have to any land is the ability to settle, control and defend it, either separately or by alliance. There is not a people on earth which can lay claim to a morally clean past in relation to other peoples. If the West must make reparations for colonialism why not Turkey or China? The Denigrators supposedly moral call is in fact no more than a political stratagem. One people’s moral responsibility towards another stops at that which is commonly beneficial.
The other main argument used by the Denigrators – that the West must placate the poorer peoples of the world because they will one day turn on the West either by force or denial of raw materials – is, of course, not moral but prudential. It is a mistaken argument, being a form of appeasement, which is never more than a temporarily effective expedient – ‘once you have paid the Danegeld you never get rid of the Dane’. Further, looked at in purely practical terms, the idea that the West needs to appease the poorer parts of the world is nonsense.
If the poorer peoples are successful in raising their material standard of living to anything approaching that of the West, it will only be by industrialising. If that occurs, they will deny the West raw materials either by retaining them for their own industries or causing prices to rise steeply. If they remain poor and under industrialised, they will have every incentive to continue supplying the West at reasonable prices. Similarly, by remaining poor they will pose less military threat. Hence it is not in the West’s practical interests to see the poorer peoples become richer. In effect, the Denigrators are asking for a voluntary, unexacted tribute to be paid to the poorer peoples of the world which will bear most heavily directly and in its consequences, on the poor of the West.
If international obligations are necessarily limited by Man’s tendency to favour his own culture, the most fruitful path for men to consciously take would seem to be the promotion of nationalism based on the maintenance of territorial integrity rather than the aggressive acquisition of other lands and peoples. This is not utterly improbable because there is a tendency towards representative government and, as Kant pointed out, shared power tends to reduce the propensity for war.
Ugly as exclusive group behaviour can be, it is as an inherent part of being human, of being a self conscious social animal. And it is only ugly and destructive when it is aggressive and expansionist. Robbed of those qualities, it is a hard won and valuable state for within its territory conflict is reduced. That is not to say national identity need consist of clone like behavioural similitude. What it does require is a sense of belonging, an instinctive recognition of those included within the parameters of a group. Thus the upper class Englishman is indubitably recognised as English by the meanest member of the English working class, even though that person may have a genuine hatred of the upper classes.
But it must be acknowledged that stable nationhood with a readily defensible territory is rare. Notwithstanding the UN with its 200 odd “nations”, the most common state of Man is still that of traditional societies where the first loyalty is to the family or a patron, then to the tribe, then to the clan. Indeed, the concept of nationhood, particularly as a political entity, is probably incomprehensible to most living men. Those peoples which have attained stable nationhood should be prized greatly, for they are oasis of stability which could so easily be swallowed up by the tempestuous desert of disparate peoples which swirls about and, increasingly, within their environs. The poorer peoples of the world can only act as the barbarians at the gates of Rome; they may destroy but not inherit.
At present there is a vogue in some influential quarters for intervention in local affairs by international forces led ostensibly by the UN, but in reality by the United States. This did not originate with the Denigrators but rather from the general moral confusion of the political classes. Such action is both dangerous for the intervening powers and misconceived in purpose. All the historical evidence is that such intervention tends to exacerbate matters for to be effective the intervening powers have to behave oppressively towards local majorities. The net result is not to preserve the lives and liberties of minorities but to create new animosities and intensify hatred of the minorities, who are blamed for the foreign intervention. The process of nation building, like moral development, can only come from within. It is organic. Peoples, like water, must be allowed to find their own level.
Moreover, even if it was practically possible to resolve racial and cultural conflict by force, it would simply not be possible to take action in more than a fraction of cases for modern war is impossibly expensive. No Western electorate would tolerate the cost in lives or material for very long.
The UN is inimical to honest talking and effective action and, by providing a moral and legal fig leaf for the United States, it is a dangerous cloak for quasi-imperial action which is certain to involve much physical and material suffering. The West would be well advised to withdraw and form another body, membership of which would only be granted to those countries which exist both as a well established and defensible geographical entity and a stable political state. This organization should protect the security of the constituent members and encourage the peaceful movement of peoples and redrawing of boundaries in non-members’ territory. New members could be admitted when appropriate.
Those who resist the forced movement of peoples should reflect on one thing: they are, by implication, willing to see peoples affected by ethnic divisions suffer indefinitely. Nor can the defence of utility be invoked for a racial running sore which festers for centuries certainly result in more bloodshed than a quick movement of peoples. And that does not take into account the emotional stress which constant antagonism generates. Ethnic cleansing, terrible as the process is for those immediately affected, offers at least the chance of some permanently settled future. How much better might the situation in Yugoslavia be if the West, instead of resolutely refusing to consider movement of populations, had accepted that it represented the best chance of peace. They might then have persuaded the various peoples to achieve the deed, in part at least, by agreement rather than force. As it is, for all the international huffing and puffing, the Serbs have practically achieved their aim.
Western nations should maintain their military capacity at a high level, guard their borders closely and not intervene in any conflict unless their fundamental interests are threatened. And this is not purely to their own advantage, for anything which threatens the stability and security of the advanced world threatens that of all men. To take but one example, imagine what would happen to the primitive world’s economies if the advanced world’s markets were greatly reduced in size or deliberately closed to the primitive world’s imports.
But if Western nations are to survive as recognisable cultural entities and avoid, within their territories, pogroms of both old and newly formed minorities or even outright racial wars, their political classes must honestly address the question of mass immigration and its consequences. This matter is particularly pressing both because of the scale of immigration and the fact that contemporary migrants to the West are generally much further removed from the culture of the countries in which they settle than has previously been the case – there is a great deal of difference between receiving into England Bengalis and Huguenots for example – and resist assimilation more vigorously.
Above all, the West must recognise that the idea which is the bedrock of their morality, the primacy of the individual, is not valued by most societies and that its social corollary – a practical concern for individual liberty – is an even rarer cultural artefact. Indeed, it is scarcely an exaggeration to say that only in English society, and those societies deriving from it, is the notion of individual liberty built into the social fabric. The English have been free not primarily because of legal rights, but because it is their evolved social nature. They accept liberty because it seems natural to them. Hayek, coming to England as a foreigner between the Wars noted the special quality of English life (he, of course, used liberalism in its uncorrupted individualistic sense):
…it is one of the most disheartening spectacles of our time to see to what extent some of the most precious things which England has given to the world are now held in contempt in England herself. The English hardly know to what degree they differ from most other people in that they all, irrespective of party, hold, to a greater or less extent, the ideas which in their most pronounced form are known as liberalism…[Road To Serfdom 1944 chapter X1V]
Racial and cultural mixing undoubtedly corrupts the liberties and subverts the social stability of those peoples happy to have attained, through many a long century, both a large degree of personal freedom and a true sense of nation. Freedom of speech is abrogated, the promotion of indigenous culture lessened, employers are forced to dissemble, the interlopers obtain a privileged position before the law, both through statute and the indigenous authority’s unwillingness to act and, most damagingly, parts of the land come effectively under immigrant control.
The example of the United States is particularly instructive. Perhaps more than any other country it has the form of a libertarian society but increasingly not the content. Primarily it has the form because it grew from the English experience in the one hundred and seventy odd years before the War of Independence. It is losing the content because racial and cultural heterogeneity has gone beyond the point at which any single group can impose a general set of values on the society. And this despite being the richest, and in many respects, the most socially mobile society on earth.
No society need gratuitously assert its moral or cultural superiority, but it must actively defend that which it values against the attacks of hostile individuals or peoples. In the case of the West this means the refutation of the mindless cultural self-abuse practised by the Denigrators and the crude, but sinister, falsifications of history currently peddled by the Denigrators and their non-white pupils and the implementation of effective immigration measures and assimilation programmes.
At the least the pernicious doctrine of multiculturalism must be overthrown and all future immigration limited to those with scarce skills who are willing and able to wholeheartedly adopt the culture into which they move. The right of political asylum should be abrogated immediately, for we have reached the stage where the question is not how to identify genuine political refugees but whether the institution is appropriate in contemporary circumstances. (In any case, the distinction between political and economic refugees is hypocritical when the choice is, put at its starkest, between dying by the torturer’s hand and starvation).
Will such measures protect the cultural integrity of western states or prevent violent racial clashes within their borders? Probably not, for history is against them and there is the unpalatable fact that many of those already settled in the West cannot or will not assimilate. There is also the practical immigration control problem represented by large minority communities. Where these exist it becomes extremely difficult to prevent further illegal immigration – in an age of mass tourism virtually impossible.
The most probable eventual outcome of the heterogeneity of populations in America and Europe is the massacre or expulsion of the minorities. In the case of North America, because of the numbers and the long term settlement of minorities, this will probably result in an eventual partition of the continent, de facto if not de jure. Europe is in a different position. Most immigrants are of the first or second generation. In their case a mass repatriation is not inconceivable, for their countries of origin or paternity would find it difficult to refuse settlement, not least because of the fear of what relatives in the country of origin would do if their relatives were refused entry.
Taking into account Man’s nature and social circumstances, what is a sane basis for membership of any society? It is, I suggest, the imbibing of a culture. Where a man is born is irrelevant. What distinguishes him is his instinctive allegiance to a culture and the assumption in childhood of the Manners and values of that culture. The successful ingestion of manners and values produces the social colouring necessary for any coherent society and allows a man’s peers to accept him without question as one of themselves. That unquestioning acceptance is the only objective test of belonging. The most unhappy and unnatural beings are the Mr Melmottes 1 of the world who ‘…speak half a dozen languages but none like a native.’ These are men without country or psychological place.
The problem was crystallised by Wellington. To those who simple mindedly insisted on calling him an Irishman, Old Nosey replied “if a Man is born in a stable it does not make him an horse”. To this I would add that if a man is born in an house but later chooses to live in a stable he does not become a horse.
If the West is subverted from within by mass immigration or overthrown by external action it will not be immoral any more than European colonisation was immoral. It will simply be the age old interplay between peoples or, to put it another way, cultural species. The point for the West to grasp like grim death is that neither possibility is inevitable.
The general spirit of some words of the younger Pitt (made during the Napoleonic wars) are apposite for all peoples at all times:
We must recollect … what is we have at stake, what it is we have to contend for. It is for our property, it is for our liberty, it is for our ependence, nay, for our existence as a nation; it is for our character, it is for our very name as Englishmen, it is for everything dear and valuable to Man on this side of the grave.
1 ‘The way we live now’ – Anthony Trollope
1 Only a complete nurturist could deny this idea some validity