A Chinese perspective on the problem of White pride
By James Lawrence
When living in China a European cannot fail to be struck by the country’s intense nationalism; especially as it contrasts so sharply with the mixture of fear, disdain, and indifference towards national sentiment that prevails in the modern West.
When a drunken Western tourist was caught on video attempting to assault a Chinese w oman in Beijing, the result was uproar on the Chinese internet and a crackdown on foreign residents by the government ; contrast this with the reaction of the British establishment to the actual rapes of English girls b y Pakistani gangs, which was mainly concerned with not appearing “racist” to the compatriots of the offenders! A long list of similar contrasts could be made for almost every aspect of national life, and it would make for depressing reading indeed.
The Chinese state relentlessly promotes its national interests abroad, often whipping its citizens into a frenzy of public outrage whenever these are thwarted; meanwhile, America and several European countries pour away blood and treasure in foreign wars for the sake of humanitarian abstractions. The highly educated graduates of China’s best universities are if anything more nationalistic than the general population; whereas the dull-witted holder of a third-rate humanities degree in a Western country sees it as a mark of his social prestige to spit upon the patriotism of the “ignorant” lower classes.
Although the sight of Chinese fenqing (“angry youth”) snarling anti-Western slogans is undoubtedly not a pretty one, those of us who lament Europeans’ lack of national consciousness may be tempted to watch with a certain admiration and a despairing glance hindward at our own deluded “cosmopolitans.” After all, we know that the Chinese (like most non-Europeans) would never assent to their people’s demographic replacement by foreigners; and that alone makes their nationalism infinitely more sensible as a survival strategy than the self-destructive ruling ideology of the West. Moreover, many of us have long believed that our progressivists and multiculturalists do their evil out of guilt, self-hatred and “ethnomasochism” – afflictions of the mind refreshingly absent from non-European nations like the Chinese.
One might ask, “How can the Chinese be so full of national pride – even national arrogance – while Europeans are so self-abasing and masochistic?”
The answer, as I have come to see it through years of acquaintance with both Chinese and Europeans, is a counterintuitive one. It is that the Chinese, at some level, consider themselves inferior to Europeans; and in contrast, at some level, our “liberal” and “multiculturalist” Europeans still assume that they are the most superior race on Earth.
To defend this argument we must first remove the mask from the apparent national pride of the Chinese, to expose the (rather badly hidden) resentments and inferiority complexes underpinning it. It is true that, if asked for the basis of his national self-esteem, a Chinese will almost certainly cite the long history and rich culture of his civilisation; and indeed, had he been born two hundred years ago, we could take him at his word. But ever since the stagnation of the last imperial Chinese dynasty, and its overthrow from within in favour of modern ideologies (first nationalism, then communism) imported from the West, nowhere has traditional Chinese culture suffered such rending criticism and brutal desecration as in Mainland China; and as a result, the attitude of today’s Chinese towards their own heritage is still a decidedly ambiguous one. It would be no great exaggeration to say that it is treated as a set of museum-pieces, to be waved around as objects of pride when in the company of foreigners, but excoriated as relics of “feudalism” when said foreigners have left the room. At the very least, we can say with certainty that the conviction of the Chinese that their civilisation is superior to all others vanished a long time ago.
Rather than the positive achievements of Chinese civilisation, the true foundation of modern Chinese nationalism is an entirely negative one: “national humiliation” or guochi , meaning the century or so of external defeats and internal collapse that traditional China suffered after coming into contact with the modernised nations of Europe (and later, a modernised Japan). The more recent loss of faith in the future communist utopia (which, however mistaken, was at least a positive ideal) has meant that this collection of grievances is now perhaps the only thing holding the Chinese people together under their present government; and it has hence become all the more important that it be assiduously passed down to each new generation, resulting in a predictable mixture of inward status paranoia and outward nationalist arrogance. If a Chinese reacts with hysteria to even light criticism of his country by a European, it is not because he truly thinks that his country is wonderful and beyond criticism; but rather because where the European might see two people debating as equals, he sees a nightmare image of a proud and bullying foreigner looking down on his country from a position of superiority.
John Derbyshire, far more familiar with China than myself, describes this phenomenon thus:
“[A] burning, aching sense of racial inferiority. … [The Chinese] actually did create a great civilization, and believed it was the only one in the world; but it collapsed in a cloud of dust as soon as the white man touched it — a trauma from which the mainland Chinese have not, even now, really begun to recover. How could they? The communists work hard to keep that trauma alive, nursing and tending it with all the patient assiduity of hothouse gardeners. They have to — it's all they have going for them.”
Of course, it is not necessarily wrong that the Chinese should use such a powerful lever to mobilise their own population; and nor can it be supposed that they will never find a way back to a true appreciation of their traditional national culture. Indeed, the future of China is in far less doubt that that of Europe; but that is not really the subject of this essay. Of the Chinese, let us only further note that their ressentiment over past humiliations by Europeans are to a certain extent those of the global South as a whole; and what we say about the sources of their national feeling may apply in greater or lesser measure to blacks, Muslims, Mexicans etc, all of whom are noted by us on the Alternative Right to show a much higher level of nationalism than Europeans.
But we must now explore a truth of far more relevance to our own cause – namely, that the supposed “masochism” and “self-abasement” of our own elites rests on a European superiority complex and implicit idea of white supremacy that, in its essential substance, has changed very little from the days when Europeans colonised other races in the name of “civilisation” and “progress”.
It is strange that so many traditional conservatives and nationalists in Europe have persisted in attributing guilt, self-hatred and excessive humility to the most visibly smug and arrogant caste of human beings ever to walk the earth, our progressivist elites. To those of us on the Alternative Right, it is obvious that this parasitic class prizes social status above race and nation: if they profess to dislike white people, they are referring only to the “unenlightened”, “racist”, “conservative”, “tabloid-reading” classes of native Europeans seen as possessed of lower social status than themselves; and if they indulge in racial self-reproach for the benefit of minorities, it is only so that they can better criticise these perceivedly nationalistic classes of Europeans, who threaten them in a way minorities do not. Their self-flagellating humility is no less superficial (and misleading) than the arrogant bluster of the Chinese.
But while their hypocrisy is common knowledge, what of the racial pride underpinning their apparent supplication and tolerance, which so often goes unnoticed? One of the more obvious examples of this, which has been commented on before, would be the “liberal” assumption that we should throw open our gates to foreign peoples out of noble-minded charity – a piece of pompous claptrap that betrays its origins in the propaganda of the “white man’s burden,” which once exhorted us to colonise the same foreign peoples in the name of the same noble-minded charity.
But there is no smaller measure of racial pride in modern demands for Europeans to criticise their own heritage and “enrich” themselves through diversity – demands which, as every right-wing nationalist knows and complains, are never made of non-Europeans whether in Europe or in their own homelands. But the true significance of this is that Europeans, and Europeans alone , are supposed to be enlightened and civilised enough to cast aside the barbarism of national traditions and loyalties; we alone are supposed to be able to shed our own culture like a skin and see things with an objective eye; and it is we who are entrusted with the mission to lead the world by sacrificing our own interests (or at least those of our lower classes) to create the City on the Hill, the harmonious multi-racial society. There is a fairly straight line of continuity from such progressivist swill back to the old colonialist pretensions of Europeans, and perhaps all the way back to medieval European Christendom’s self-idealisation as the Kingdom of God on earth.
The only difference is that this racial arrogance has become far more obviously self-destructive to Europeans than once it was. The kind of pride that European elites once felt in possessing a true religion and superior culture now lies in possessing the ability to extirpate one’s own base racial instincts; an inner struggle that is closely associated with the struggle of progressives everywhere to overcome, marginalise and demographically replace their lower middle- and working-class European populations. Non-Europeans, predictably, are not held to the same standards of “civilisation”; their alien cultures must be preserved as props to demonstrate the cosmopolitanism of progressives, or else as sticks to beat those Europeans who are not yet cleansed of “racist” original sin. It is easy to see that in the progressivist narrative of good and evil, white people alone are the actors ; non-whites are those acted upon , either with tolerance by white “saints” or wickedness by white “sinners”, and their own duties or sins simply do not count for very much. (Even a black “saviour-figure” like Obama is little more than a public litmus test for the progressivist moral rectitude of his white voters.)
Now, the fact that our enemies are in reality arrogant rather than self-abasing may be a matter of some indifference to us; but the fact that the European populations they rule are full of the same toxic pride as themselves most certainly is not. It is because Europeans are so proud that they have never yet accepted the call to self-defence; and they would perhaps have to be pushed onto reservations in their own countries before they adopted the present attitude of the Chinese.
In particular, those of us who seek to rally Europeans to a simplistic racial tribalism (i.e. that practiced instinctively by non-Europeans) always seem to founder against this sort of pride. Europeans (who have dominated the globe for some five hundred years) are used to being told that their destiny is to lead the world, sacrifice themselves, build the shining City on the Hill; they cannot easily stomach the humiliation of “taking their own side” in the same way as non-whites! While multiculturalism is a piece of white racial arrogance hidden under a tissue of guilt and self-abasement, white racial tribalists advocate an egalitarian ideal (“all peoples, including Europeans, have the right to self-preservation”) swathed in unflattering views of non-whites that are essentially superficial to the doctrine. One reason why this ideal remains anathema to most Europeans is that it slights their pride: while progressives present a worldview in which white people are the only actors, this is reversed in the familiar narrative of the “rising tide of colour”, whereby foreign immigrants become the primary actors; Europeans are shifted into the role of those threatened, those besieged, those acted upon – at best, those who react .
Of course, we who oppose the progressivist desecration of Europe can only say what we find to be true; we cannot and should not make undue concessions to foolish complacency; and if any one catalyst is to eventually arouse resistance in Europeans, it will be the demographic invasion of Europe by the peoples of the South. But we only hobble our own arguments when we try to induce in our people the siege mentality of the Chinese, by painting some external enemy as the devil incarnate (as, for example, Faye does with Islam in Europe) alongside which our own elites appear merely as fools or collaborators. In reality, no external enemy would have been capable of reducing us to our present state were it not for the deliberate and hostile acts of European elites against their own populations; and if it is that we hold back from fully excoriating them for their crimes because they are members of our own race, let me say only that they have never yet extended the same courtesy to us!
Attacking some external “Other” only affronts the pride of Europeans by suggesting that they are (heaven forbid) threatened by non-whites, and allows progressives – those bullies par excellence – to pose as the benevolent defenders of “minority groups.” But if we reserve our antagonism for Europe’s own ruling caste (a logical counterpart to the Traditionalist attack on their false gospel of secularised Christianity), they can only respond by defending their own privileges and parasitism.
Thus I suggest that if our movement has need of an “Other,” the most deserving candidates are our European progressive elites themselves, who have been the direct cause of so many of the evils that have befallen Europe (I do not speak only of mass immigration and multiculturalism). We should excoriate them and their ideology, on moral grounds, without mercy; “progressive” must become a dirty word, befitting the foul thing it describes. This is not an apology for sickly lamentations along the lines that “we have brought everything on ourselves”. “We” are not “the white race as a whole” but those who wish to defend and restore Europe, while “they” who rule us are a separate ideological caste at war with the majority of Europeans; they evidently see themselves as such, and it is no innovation on our part to designate them accordingly. A major practical advantage of this line of attack is that the unspoken racial pride of our people, which sees only the heroism or depravity of white people as worthy of note, is not yet ready to accept any external enemy.