by E. Michael Jones
This article was published in the May, 2004 issue of Culture Wars magazine. Order I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
“‘If they do not have them,’ Huntington joked with an eerie seriousness, ‘they desperately want them. If they do no want them, they do not understand.’”
Samuel Huntington commenting on the idea that everyone holds the same ideals as United States citizens in a speech at Georgetown University, April 29, 2003, The Hoya
When the hijacked airliners flew into the World Trade Center twin towers in New York city, the need for explanation was almost as urgent and almost as immediate as the need for firemen. Since no one had time to do the research and be on that night’s six o’clock news, the need for explanation was filled by taking already-written books off the shelf, dusting them off and promoting them as if they had been written with an uncanny prescience. One such book, probably the most oft-cited book in this regard, was Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations.
The attack against the world trade center was hardly over before the media were telling us who the guilty parties—bin Ladin and the Al Quaida—were. The media then whipped the shocked American public and their allies into a frenzy of vengeance. In addition to talk of “Islamic terror,” President Bush called for a “crusade”—like the crusades of the middle ages in which Christians were led to the Holy Land to wage war on the Muslim world—giving the impression that every Muslim is potentially dangerous because he is a religious fanatic. The already long suffering people of Afghanistan and Iraq as a result got drawn deeper into suffering.
At the same time that the sinister warlords of the Northern Alliance were being celebrated as victors, and the Americans are celebrated as “nation builders,” the war against Islam continues. The brutal bombing in Afghanistan has left thousands dead, and hundreds of thousands have been driven from their homes, and untold numbers will die in the remaining battles or will be blown apart by landmines, and on top of that untold numbers of children will not survive the harsh Afghanistan winter and the subsequent famine. All of this is forgotten now that Americans are dying daily as part of another ill-fated mission, this one being the invasion and pacification of Iraq.
Once upon a time, the same government which invaded Afghanistan and Iraq sought to portray the Taliban “as a stabilizing factor in Central Asia which would enable the construction of an oil pipeline straight across central Asia,” which could then bring oil from the rich oil fields in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakstan through Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Indian Ocean. The CIA World Factbook, in fact , indicates in its own chapter on Afghanistan that the anti-Communist Mujahadeen troops, among whom the Taliban were created through secret Pakistani and Saudi support—“were supported and trained by the United States, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and others.” All of that has been forgotten since the invasion of Iraq. Even the fact that Saddam Hussein was another client of the American government, when it supported Iraq’s war against neighboring Iran has been forgotten as well.
In his book America: The Only Superpower, leading American strategist Zbigniew Brzezinski indicates that hegemony over the Caucasus region is a major American concern. Others are of the same opinion: “I can’t remember a time in which a region became so strategically significant so quickly as the Caspian basin.” When the present vice-president of the United States said that in 1998, he was the CEO of Halliburton, the biggest supplier for the oil industry in the United States, which had just proposed the trans-Afghanistan pipeline project.
Cheney is, however, not the only oil magnate in the American government. By the time George W. Bush’s grandfather had made his fortune in the oil business, his son George was earning millions of dollars working for Pennzoil during the oil booms of the ’50s and ‘60s. Since 1978 George W. Bush has been involved in the oil business earning millions through his contacts with business associates and the Saudi elites. Those business contacts were usually handled by Bush lawyer and former secretary of State James Baker and some say his dealings even involved the bin Laden family. Even Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice has contacts with the oil industry, having served as an advisor to Chevron.
In a recent interview in the magazine Le Nouvel Observateur, Brzezinski bragged that during the Carter Administration he was orchestrating massive secret operations in Afghanistan. The Carter Administration knew that the CIA operations would provoke Russia into invading Afghanistan. When asked if he regretted any of those operations today, Brzezinski replied, “Regret what? This secret operation was an excellent idea. Its effect was to draw Russia into the Afghanistan trap. What would you like me to regret? On the day when the Russians officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter, ‘Now we have the possibility of giving the Russians their own Vietnam war.’” As a matter of fact, Moscow had to fight a war for almost 10 years, a war which really wasn’t supported by the government and as a result led to first demoralization and then to the collapse of the Soviet Union. The monsters against which the United States now wants to lead the world in war are monsters of her own creation.
Even though more and more contradictions are appearing in the official justification for the war, the propaganda machine continues to work overtime. As part of the run-up to the Iraqi war, the American media focused on Iraq as the main suspect in the Anthrax attacks in the United States. Muslims are portrayed more and more as potential extremists and terrorists.
The intellectuals, who earned a reputation for being against war during the Vietnam War era, now are war’s biggest supporters, as long as they get to decide what the wars are about. In an interview in the German magazine Der Spiegel on December 3, the French philosopher, Bernard-Henri Levy declared war on anyone who disagreed with the Enlightenment. Once the causus belli became the Enlightenment, it was easy to cast Islam in the role of aggressor. The intellectuals now talk about Muslims in the same way that Christians used to talk about the Jews. The light (or Enlightenment) came into the world, but they ignored it. Now the Muslims are fated, as a result, to the same decline that their lands have been experiencing for the past few centuries. That is their obsessionÑtheir lost grandeur, their interrupted Enlightenment, the shame of having been colonized. The Enlightened nations of the world, according to the bellicose savants of academe, constitute for Islam a permanent reproach and humiliation. “They hate us for our freedom” was the neoconservative mantra which achieved wide-circulation after the 9/11 attacks. It replaced “They hate us for no reason,” which was the mantra used to explain Iranian hatred of the American puppet, the Shah of Iran, in 1979 and the subsequent occupation of the American embassy in Teheran. “Israel and America have hardly done anything to them; they serve however, as an excuse for their inability to take responsibility for their own unhappiness.”
In light of all of the crimes committed in the name of colonialism and imperialism, crimes that continue to the present day, the statements of Levy are especially outrageous. His is an especially ugly attempt to goad the average citizen into war. “Islam in its fundamentalist form is to a certain extent the third fascism; it’s green fascism following on the heels of red and brown fascism. The crucial issue is the further expansion of the Enlightenment. This battle is going to last a long time and its outcome is terribly uncertain.
Shortly after Levy’s outburst, V. S. Naipaul, newly crowned Nobel Prize winner, followed suit. In response to the question from the Spiegel interviewer about whether Islam could coexist with other religions, Naipaul answered, “Not when it’s in power because one of the crucial elements of Islam is the idea of the holy war. Good Muslims have to wage it; good Muslims have to identify their enemies and hate them."
Richard Rorty, who received the Meister Eckhart Prize around the same time, along with a speech praising him by Juergen Habermas - the same Richard Rorty, it should be added who criticized “the militarily escorted exportation of Western Values as panacea for a better world”— had similar things to say. “I would probably consider it necessary to bomb Afghanistan if I were president of the United States,” Rorty told the Frankfurter Rundschau. Scholl-Latour got right to the point in his characterization of this campaign in 1999. “We see in this the typical American penchant for demonization, an uninhibited propaganda which portrays the children of strict Islamic belief as violent criminals or potential terrorists” (Welt am Sontag, December 19, 1999). The American media in particular bombard their citizens with this sort of propaganda round the clock.
A significant part of this campaign, this horror scenario, as Scholl-Latour says, is traceable to the resurrection of Huntington’s book The Clash of Civilizations. Tim Hanes, one of the leading politicians in the Republican Party and someone close to George Bush, was claiming on the day after the attacks that Huntington’s book now dominated the American political scene.
We’re not talking just about propaganda here, but rather clear-headed, cold-blooded planning, which creates facts of its own. As Richard Clarke’s recent testimony before Congress has made clear, influential people surrounding deputy defense minister Paul Wolfowitz wanted to expand the war against Afghanistan to include war against Iraq and 30 other Muslim countries, even before the 9/11 attacks. Getting down to specifics, they named Somalia, Sudan, Malaysia, and Indonesia, all countries with a large Muslim population.
These countries differ from each other in political structure, in the practice of religion and in social structure. What they have in common is the fact that their natural resources have lent them strategic significance in the eyes of the American government. Mr. Woolsey, head of the CIA under the Clinton administration, had this to say: “The first thing we have to do is develop some confidence that Iraq is involved in a terrorist incident against us, not meaning September 11.” (New York Times, 12 October 2001).
According to statements of this sort, one has to wonder which acts of terrorism the CIA plans to blame on Iraq. Perhaps an Anthrax attack on German subways? Or against London? The pope was told to wear body armor during this year’s Holy Week celebrations. Still fresh in memory are the CIA sponsored, counterfeit pictures during the Gulf War of Iraqi soldiers attacking helpless infants.
Huntington’s scenario of a “clash of civilizations” constitutes a “self-defense” myth for the world’s only superpower and its minions which enables them to see war as inevitable. He maintains that most of the wars in the world take place because the cultures find themselves in a permanent, if at the same time, latent state of “cold war.” Huntington is of the opinion that without true enemies, there are no true friends. If we don’t hate what we are not, we can’t love what we are” ( Clash, p. 18). That means that both nations and individuals can only develop a positive identity in so far as they learn to hate each other.
The fact that history is full of wars indicates not that differences in religion or culture caused the wars but rather that the cause was the power politics and aspirations for hegemony which Huntington deliberately plays down. In spite of the widely propagated opinion, the Islamic world is no more inclined to war or terrorism than the rest of the world. Scholl-Latour ascertained in 1999 that terror attacks by Muslim extremists were rare in both Europe and the United states: When they do take place they take place in the context of the fatal Israeli-Palestinian rivalry over control of the Holy Land . . . . or they are aimed at what they see as American complicity with the system of hegemony in their own countries, with those military dictatorships, dynastic cliques or despots under whom the peoples of the Dar-es-Salaam continue to exist in more or less repressive form” (Welt am Sontag, December 19, 1999).
According to Huntington’s world view, “the rest of the world is against the West”: “On the macrolevel, the major fault lines run between the West and everybody else, which means that the most intensive conflicts will take place between the Moslem and Asiatic societies on the one hand and on the other with the west.”
He obviously attempts to suggest to “us”—the West—that we have to defend ourselves against the hegemonic attempts of foreign cultures. Harald Mueller did a good job of characterizing Huntington’s propaganda. It’s characterized by a constant “we against them”—by creating anxieties in the reader of the sort that are well known to anyone familiar with the history of propaganda, concepts like “the yellow peril,” “the Turks at the gates of Vienna,” “the primacy of the West is being threatened,” “the population bomb,” “the dangers of Islam,” “the rest of the world is full of resentment at the achievements of the West, and those resentments are being fanned by fundamentalism.” Mueller warns us about the dangers of basing thought and policy on Huntington’s theory. “The world has lots of theories like Huntington’s ‘West against the Rest’ theory: fundamentalism, Social Darwinism, Marxist-Leninism, Realism, etc. All of them cultivate the virtue of parsimony at the expense of the truth. They are simple and wrong. Their application begins with what seems to just about everyone convincing and simplistic slogans and end up in the arms race, war and massacre. We don’t need this kind of theory.”
Huntington denies the thesis that wars are always begun by people in positions of power, who pit one nation against another in order to achieve their own geostrategic and hegemonic goals. His books is written with this end in mind. Like many demagogues before him, Huntington plays up certain differences in religion and world view for his own purposes.
Comrades in Arms: Huntington and Brzezinski
As soon as one delves into Huntington’s background, the first thing one notices is that one of his chief political allies is none other than Zbigniew Brzezinski, America’s chief geostrategist and author of America: The World’s Only Superpower. Brzezinski is well known as the creator of the maximization of American hegemony which lies at the heart of American’s foreign policy. That battle for global hegemony is going to be fought in Eurasia. In order to prosecute that war, America needs access to geopolitically important countries like Ukraine, Turkey, Iran and the countries in the Caucasus. Both the expansion of the EU to the East and the expansion of NATO in the same direction are part of this strategy.
In reading Huntington, one often has the impression he is reading Brzezinski. Huntington, for example, writes that the maintenance of American hegemony is just as important for the entire world as it is for the United States. The world needs a superpower, and America is the only one left that can assume this role, and that is also necessary for American interests. In this context, the American dominance in the world economy is crucial: “America is now being challenged by Japan, and in the future she will probably be challenged by Europe as well.”
Brzezinski and Huntington are following the same political plan: they want the world to be ruled by one power and they want to be the power that rules the world. It is no coincidence that Brzezinski praises Huntington’s book in the most obsequious fashion, calling it “a monumental work which will revolutionize our view of foreign affairs.” At another point he characterizes Huntington as the “democratic Machiavelli.”
Both of these men are not just following the same plan, they are creating it as they go along. They met in 1959. Between 1960 and 1962 the collaborated in writing the book Political Power: USA/USSR: a Comparison. During the academic year 1961-2, they conducted seminars together comparing American and Soviet politics at Columbia University, which were later repeated in various countries. They both worked together on the National Security Council under Jimmy Carter. They both worked together on various councils and committees, and had leading positions on many of them. Both men, for example, are members of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. These organizations are not just some harmless, altruistic club, but rather private organizations that determine the course of world events without any claim to democratic legitimacy.
The Council for Foreign Relations: the US inner circle
In his book, Tragedy and Hope, Carroll Quigley, also a member of the CFR, explains that the CFR is an organization which feels that “national boundaries should be erased and in their place a world order should be established.” As we have already indicated, both Huntington and Brzezinski are pursuing the same goal. The founder of the CFR was Edward Mandell House, chief advisor to Woodrow Wilson. House was a Marxist, who wanted to reforge both American political parties into a communist America. Since its founding in 1923, the CFR has exercised enormous influence over American politics, especially over foreign policy and defense. The CFR makes sure that at least four key positions in each administration are occupied by CFR people: secretary of state, secretary of defense, secretary of the treasury, and security advisor. By the end of the Reagan administration almost half of the membership of the CFR had served at one point or another either in the government itself or as consultants to it. The official foreign policy of the United States as well as its defense policy corresponds regularly to the positions of the CFR. CFR members are also represented in all of the major media outlets: NBC, ABC, CBS, The New York Times and the Washington Post.
In many instances the links between the CFR, the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderburgers overlap with each other. Among the best known members of the CFR are Robert and Edward Kennedy, Henry Kissinger, Nelson Rockefeller, David Rockefeller, and Madeleine Albright. Some presidents of the United States were also members of the CFR: Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Nixon, Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George Bush. The biggest American banks and industrial concerns also have their representatives at the CFR.
Trilateral Commission: For a One-World Government
The Trilateral Commission was founded in 1972 by eight members of the CFR, including David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski. It came into existence to bond together the ruling classes of the United States, Europe and Japan. Brzezinski also made sure that members of the WTO, NAFTA (North American Free Trade Association) and MAI (Multilateral Agreement for Investment) were also included in the Trilateral Commission. This group of people makes far-reaching decisions far from the democratic political process, and oftentimes in secret session. The founding of the TC took place at the initiative of David Rockefeller, who was inspired by Brzezinski’s book Between Two Ages. Brzezinski was director of the Trilateral Commission up until the time he was named National Security Advisor for the Carter Administration. As director of national security, he brought his friend and colleague Samuel Huntington on board his advisory staff. Huntington was not only close to Brzezinski as co-author and colleague, he had also written a report for the Trilateral Commission on “democracy in crisis,” in which he proposed the virtual elimination of democracy. According to the testimony of the Trilateral Commission, Rockefeller’s idea was “to get the three superpowers—the US, Europe and Japan—together to create a kind of cartel which could then sit down and divide the world into economic spheres of interest and thereby strangle any competition in its cradle.”
The purpose of this commission is the ongoing collaboration of the ruling classes of the United States, Europe and Japan, with the intention of influencing public opinion, policy and decision making in government throughout the world, so that the nations, governments and economies of the entire world will serve the interests of multinational banks and corporations. In order to achieve this end, they have to bring the masses into a position of dependence and bring democracy as well as any voice of protest under their control and surveillance. The final goal is the establishment of a world economy, a world government, a world currency and a world religion.
“What the Trilateralists really want,” wrote Barry Goldwater, who was himself a member of the Trilateral Commission, “is the creation of a worldwide economic power, which will have power over all of the nation states which are part of it. They will rule the world as managers and creators of this system. . . .In my opinion the Trilateral Commission represents a clever concerted attempt to concentrate power in the four centers of power: the political, the financial, the intellectual and the spiritual.” “The TC,” Goldwater continues, “is to become the instrument for the establishment of trade and commercial power, through control over the political leadership in the United States.” Just as Brzezinski suggests in his book Between Two Ages, the TA also demanded that progressive communist states were to become partners in the alliance which was to lead to world government.
The Trilateral Commission made its plans clear in the book they published in collaboration with Samuel Huntington in 1975, The Crisis of Democracy. They were alarmed by the “questioning of the authority of the established political, social and economic institutions, as well as the increasingly public participation in and control over these institutions and by a reaction against the concentration of power in the US congress, the states and local government.” That means that this commission was complaining about what Noam Chomsky called “an overdose of democracy,” and longed for a return to the gold old days in which “Truman could rule the country only with the cooperation of a relatively small group of Wall Street lawyers and bankers,” a period which Huntington recalled fondly. The book complains about increasing public participation in public matters, because the government, “in the absence of an earthquake-like crisis,” had only “limited options in motivating the American people to take on the burdens necessary to prosecute their foreign and defense policies.”
What is one to do when the crisis needed to club the nation’s citizens into submission isn’t at hand? Is it possible to orchestrate that sort of event? Whether it is or isn’t, the attack on the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center came at just the right time, especially since it became possible to introduce in its wake all manner of totalitarian laws in nations across the world. Clash of Civilizations, was one of these bought and paid for studies. Whether it is or it isn’t, it’s ideally suited for promoting the goals of the Trilateral Commission.
In their report “Crisis of Democracy,” Huntington and co. make some interesting suggestions: central planning, limitations of the freedom of the press, as well as “limitations in the foreground,” in connection with what newspapers are allowed to publish “under extraordinary circumstances,” which never get defined in any precise sense. Huntington also suggests that governments should “hold back information at its source,” as well as the reintroduction of libel laws, press councils, which enforce “professional standards,” or as an alternative letting the government determine these issues.
War is not a Continuation of Politics; War determines Politics
Huntington is not only a member of the Trilateral Commission and the CFR, he is also head of the Olin Foundation for Strategic Studies at Harvard University, which is financed by the Olin Foundation, which was based on the fortune John M. Olin made in the armaments industry. Olin made his fortune in armaments during the First and Second World Wars. The Olin Corporation is still active in manufacturing armaments. Huntington has also published under the auspices of the Olin Institute. It was there as part of the “Project on US Cold War Military Relations,” that an article appeared in 1996 which bequeathed to the military a new revolutionary role. The traditional understanding of the role of the military was based on the American tradition of civilian supremacy over the military; to the code that civilians make United States policy and the military execute.” The new revolutionary change consists in the abolition of the primacy of politics. That means from now on the military makes the political decisions and not the other way around.
All of this is reminiscent of Trotsky’s strategy of world revolution—one could also say world domination—by military means, which is to say, by war. And that’s precisely what we are experiencing now, even if we think we are living in relative peace. We are being called to support war, and our resistance to war is to be broken, because people like Huntington have made it clear to us that everyone else is out to rule us and terrorize us. The Clash of Civilizations is, in other words, warmed-over social Darwinism, the struggle for existence, survival of fittest, etc. combined with Trotsky’s idea of perpetual war for perpetual revolution. It is a classic and particularly virulent form of the Judaeo-Puritan Messianic politics which has afflicted the West since the 17th century and America from the moment of its inception.
The Mexican Threat
Ever alert to threats to the American Imperium, Huntington has turned his eyes away from the Muslim threat to something closer to home, namely, the Mexican threat, which is not military (not even in the sense of terrorist attack) but cultural and demographic. Huntington sketches out the domestic version of The Clash of Civilizations in the March/April issue of Foreign Policy (p. 30). He calls it “The Hispanic Challenge,” but before long it’s clear that messianic politics is going to rear its ugly head once again. The first hint comes early on, when Huntington not only defines America as an ideological nation; he also defines its as a nation run on messianic puritan principles. “American identity,” he tells us, “is now defined in terms of culture and creed.” The creed, it turns out,
was the product of the distinct Anglo-Protestant culture of the founding settlers. Key elements of that culture include the English language; Christianity; religious commitment; English concepts of the rule of law, including the responsibility of rulers and the rights of individuals; and dissenting Protestant values of individualism, the work ethic, and the belief that humans have the ability and the duty to try to create a heaven on earth, a “city on a hill” (p. 32, my emphasis).Huntington’s thesis is in trouble from the moment he articulates it, something he fails to understand. To begin with, culture and creed are antinomies. The more a nation has a culture, the less it needs a creed. Failing to understand this, Huntington presents us with a nation—the United States—which is based on no culture and a false creed. Actually what Huntington is proposing is worse than no culture and a false creed. What he is proposing is a self-defeating creed, self-defeating because of the very terms on which he is proposing it. To be an American, according to Huntington’s view means being not only an “Anglo-Protestant,” which is to say the member of a diminishing group of churches in crisis, it means being in the tradition of the most Judaizing and radical of all of the Anglo-Protestant sects, namely, the Puritans, the descendants of regicides like Cromwell, who felt they had “the duty to create a heaven on earth.” At the very moment when he needs all the help he can get to preserve American culture from what he sees as the Mexican onslaught, Huntington attempts to define America as essentially anti-Catholic. Like Paul Blanshard and many before him, Huntington feels that Catholics are un-American. “Would the United States,” he muses,
be the country that it has been and that it largely remains today if it had been settled in the 17th and 18th centuries not by British Protestants but by French, Spanish or Portuguese Catholics? The answer is clearly no. It would not be the United States; it would be Quebec, Mexico or Brazil.“Scholars,” Huntington tells us at another point, “have suggested that the Southwest could become the United States’ Quebec. Both regions include Catholic people and were conquered by Anglo-Protestant people.”
Then—meaning when Paul Blanshard was the toast of the terminally ill WASP establishment—as now the threat is Catholic fertility. “The most serious challenge to American’s traditional identity,” Huntington informs us, “comes from the immense and continuing immigration from Latin America, especially from Mexico, and the fertility rates of these immigrants compared to black and white American natives.” Fear of immigration is, as it has been since the time of Theodore Roosevelt, is another word for contraception and abortion. As soon as elites become sexually degenerate, which is to say, as soon as contraception becomes the norm in marriage and homosexuality not uncommon, fear of the fecund alien becomes paramount concern. The movie Alien, especially the first sequel, where Sigourney Weaver tries to destroy the pullulating monster with a flame thrower and then nuclear weapons, bears this out, as do subsequent remakes and spin-offs like the Giger-inspired exercise in xenophobia known as Species. “In 2002,” Huntington informs us, “fertility rates in the US were estimated at 1.8 for non-Hispanic whites, 2.1 for blacks, and 3.0 for Hispanics. . . . As the bulge of Latinos enters peak child-bearing age in a decade or two, the Latino share of America’s population will soar.”
And what does this mean? It means that
Mexican Americans in the Southwest will soon have “sufficient coherence and critical mass in a defined region so that, if they choose, they can preserve their distinctive culture indefinitely. They could also eventually undertake to do what no previous immigrant group could have dreamed of doing: challenge the existing cultural, political, legal, commercial, and educational systems to change fundamentally not only the language but also the very institutions in which they do business (my emphasis).
The message here is clear enough. Any group which has enough coherence and critical mass to preserve its distinctive culture indefinitely poses a threat to the American Imperium. Here again Huntington reveals what we have been saying all along. The American establishment, true to its Judaizing Puritan heritage of Messianic Politics, is at war with culture. If we accept Huntington’s definition of America, America’s creed entails the destruction of any and all opposing cultures, which at this moment in history means the deliberate destruction of Islam abroad and Catholic Mexican culture at home. This is only the logical extension of the social engineering which worked to destroy the ethnic neighborhoods of America’s Catholics in the period following World War II.
The irony, of course, is that Huntington by promoting his creed has destroyed anything that might be considered native American culture as well, including the Anglo-Protestant variety he claims to praise. Huntington criticizes Mexicans as being “increasingly comfortable with their own culture and often contemptuous of American culture.” But he never gets around to telling us what he considers American culture. Is it Hollywood movies? If so, which movie? Is it Stagecoach or the Mel Brooks’ send up of the cowboy movie, Blazing Saddles? “The persistence of Mexican immigration into the United States reduces the incentives for cultural assimilation,” he continues. “Mexican Americans no longer think of themselves a members of a small minority who must accommodate the dominant group and adopt its culture. As their numbers increase, they become more committed to their own ethnic identity and culture.”
This sort of statement is not without irony, no matter how unintended. Huntington reveals himself in the course of his article as a man who is at war with culture. Hence his emphasis on creed—to fill the vacuum, so to speak. Huntington, as his reference to Gunnar Myrdal and Morris Janowitz makes clear, is the heir of the WASP psychological warfare establishment of the 1940s, the people who gave us social engineering on a massive scale, the same social engineering—from urban renewal to busing to feminism—which not only destroyed all forms of indigenous American culture, but was designed to bring about that end.
Others have noticed the same thing. Writing in the November 1997 issue of Chronicles, editor Thomas Fleming notes that the same WASP establishment which is now decrying the Mexican invasion, destroyed the only culture the country had to assimilate them. “The ruling class,” according to Fleming, which is to say, the entity which Huntington portrays as the bearer of American culture,
constructed a welfare state to divide the generations from each other; they did their best to destroy every vestige of regional and religious loyalty. They got rich building highways that broke up the old familiar patterns of life and spattered the children of the house across the continent; they destroyed every obstacle to their own profit and called their actions progressive and philanthropic (p. 11).And now they, in the persona of Samuel Huntington, are worried about a demographic surge that is largely if not completely of their own making. Huntington informs us that “Mexican immigration increased steadily after 1965” without telling us that it was the United States forcing World Bank loans and the invariably concomitant contraception policies on Mexico in the late ‘60s which undermined peasant agriculture in that country and started the proletarianization of the population which necessitated the northern migration. Those policies were aggravated by GATT and NAFTA, which, while robbing the American worker of industrial jobs, at the same time flooded Mexico with cheap grain and agriculture from the midwest which made farming economically unfeasible. That, in turn, created even more migration. Then as now, the driving force for what Huntington laments is not clashes between civilizations but government policies which are detrimental to the interests of the average citizen in both Mexico and the United States.
Like the monster in the Alien movies, Huntington’s demographic bogeyman is largely a creature of his (or his class’s) own making. The ruling class in the United States, as George Bush’s recent amnesty of illegal aliens made perfectly clear, will never renounce its addiction to cheap labor. If there is one constant in American culture it is the voracious desire for cheap labor, not some Anglo-Puritan creed confected by Huntington. That desire has remained constant from the advent of African slavery to the outsourcing of computer programming and X-ray technicians and triple A tow truck dispatchers to India. If the ruling class will not renounce its desire for cheap labor, it must accept cultural extinction as part of its Faustian pact with the devil.
The ruling class, of course, has never accepted that dichotomy. The name it gives for wanting to have its cake and eat it too—i.e, cheap labor and sexual degeneracy and permanent cultural hegemony—is social engineering, but as we have already seen, social engineering destroyed the very fabric of American culture in its attempt to “Americanize.” In destroying the towns, clubs, local non-consolidated high schools and ethnic parishes that were part of the warp and woof of American culture, the social engineers also destroyed the only cultural engine that was effective enough to “Americanize” the newly arriving immigrants, be they from Mexico or China or wherever. There is no escaping this monster. The more violent the means used to destroy it; the more persistently the monster returns. Alien, the monster, is the perfect allegory for the illegal aliens who stream across the border with Mexico. The Alien is, in the final analysis, a function of the disordered desires of the ruling class. Like Dr. Moebius in Forbidden Planet, Samuel Huntington is being hunted down by a monster that is in the last analysis nothing but his class’s own disordered desires.
Formal CausalityHence, it is not surprising that Huntington turns to race at the end of his article. White Nationalism, Huntington informs us, is “the next logical stage for identity politics in America.” Actually Huntington is citing Carol Swain here, a Black single mother who is also on the faculty of the Vanderbilt Law School, whose book The New White Nationalism in America is not surprisingly a defense of affirmative action. Swain dedicates her book to Robert K. Merton, Louis Wirth’s colleague at the University of Chicago Sociology Department who helped Wirth forged this country’s race-based program of social engineering after World War II. At first it might seem odd to see the heirs of Louis Wirth looking sympathetically at the racist groups Wirth fought against for his entire life, but on closer inspection the dichotomies disappear because race has always been the default setting for American society. The only thing which changes, in this regard, is which race the ruling class will favor at any particular moment. “Race,” according to Thomas Fleming, “is the American religion, which is why no one can talk about it truthfully.” Certainly not Mr. Huntington, who is even more oblique than the normal racialist when he opines that “The most powerful stimulus to such white nativism will be the cultural and linguistic threats whites see from the expanding power of Hispanics in US society.”
Whenever a man’s actions subvert his intentions this radically, it is a sure sign that we are in the presence of formal causality. The form, in other words, has a logic of its own which is inexorable and which replicates itself independently of material circumstance. Alien is an expression of formal causality. So too are illegal aliens. They are not a function of something that can be tweaked or fixed (no matter what the social engineers tell us); they are an expression of the form of the system itself, namely, its voracious desire cheap labor, a desire which subverts every other intention, including the intention to preserve cultural hegemony. America, if by that term we mean the philosophy of the ruling class, is exactly what Huntington says it is. It is Anglo-Protestantism or, more precisely, Judeo-Puritanism. It is the promises of Christianity projected backward onto the notion of race, i.e., a chosen people, whose ultimate model is the Jews, the ethnic group that has the longest track record in striving to create “heaven on earth.”
What Mr. Huntington really means to say is that race is another word for deracination. As such it is now in the interest of the ruling class to promote the very white racism which they have demonized for the past 60 years as a counterforce to oppose the Mexican ethnics. In this regard, formal logic transcends any racial allegiance. The ruling class will continue to promote racial polarization as a way of keeping the real ethnic and local identities from coalescing into something politically powerful. The so-called Melting Pot is, in this regard, what it has always been from its inception during the days when the CPI staged Melting Pot Pageants across the country during the summer of 1918 as part of the propaganda campaign it had designed to cut European ethnics—most notably Germans—off from their country of origin.
Huntington’s fears revolve around the image of the melting pot, which is to say, around either a misunderstanding or a deliberate misrepresentation of ethnicity in America. Huntington cites former National Intelligence Council Vice Chairman Graham Fuller, who fears “We may be building toward the one thing that will choke the melting pot,” namely “an ethnic area and grouping so concentrated that it will not wish, or need, to undergo assimilation into the mainstream of American multi-ethnic English-speaking life.” This means that “Demographically, socially and culturally, the reconquista (re-conquest) of the Southwest United States by Mexican immigrants is well underway.” Citing the Cubanization of Miami as a worst case scenario for the rest of the country, Huntington informs us that “the Anglos” living there
had three choices . . .they could attempt to adopt the manners, customs and language of the Hispanics and assimilate into the Hispanic community--”acculturation in reverse,” . . . . Or they could leave Miami .. . a popular bumper sticker: “Will the last American to leave Miami, please bring the flag.”Huntington is, of course, simply restating the situation that every immigrant had to face when he came to this country. Weren’t the newly arrived Poles confronted with the same choice when they were forced to adopt the English language and “Anglo-Protestant” values? Huntington, in other words, loses the argument by the way he frames its terms. If the Poles, or the Blacks, or the Irish were brought here because they were a source of cheap labor, why should they somehow think that English is superior to Spanish? From their perspective, learning another language (or culture) is simply the price of doing business. If the system treats them as nothing more than cheap labor, why should they want to assimilate its values? If the American system were something more than the manipulation of cheap labor, there would be no Mexican problem to begin with. Huntington confers the aura of religious superiority onto a system which has always been based on grinding the poor and is offended when other people fail to honor his gods. This is symptomatic of either chutzpah or naiveté or both at the same time. If the Mexican challenge goes unanswered, Huntington informs us, “it would, have, been the end of the America we have known for more than three centuries.” The irony here lies in the fact that Huntington and his colleagues in the psychological warfare establishment have been waging war on American cultural institutions far more effectively than any Mexican could. They have waged war on the country’s cultural immune system, and then profess themselves shocked when the country gets sick with a foreign virus.
So Mr. Huntington ends his essay by promoting white racism because white racism, like all racism, is another word for deracination. With affirmative action now firmly in place in this nation’s institutions, the ruling class has established a racial dialectic which perpetuates division because division facilitates control. There are other reasons to promote white racism as well. The most compelling reason to promote it from the perspective of the ruling class is racism’s power to obfuscate the real issues in American politics, which are ethnic and religious. White racism is first and foremost a form of deracination. That means that “whites” who are still in touch with their ethnic and religious heritage will be immune to its appeal primarily because they already have an identity.
White racism appeals to those who lack identity: “The antiwhite propaganda on television,” Tom Fleming writes, “only makes them sympathetic to David Duke, and looking around for something to believe in, some place to take their stand, they can find nothing more compelling than the abstractions of white identity” as a substitute for religious and ethnic identity. “So long as whites remain nominally Christian (or Jewish) and dimly aware of their ethnic heritages” they remain immune to the appeal of racism. White racists, according to Fleming, want to “undermine both Christianity (which they regard as a stumbling block to genocide) and the national traditions that keep white peoples divided.”
The fact that white racism is another word for deracination is something which Robert S. Griffin makes clear, albeit inadvertently, in his recent book One Sheaf, One Vine: Racially Conscious White Americans Talk about Race (no place: Robert S. Griffin, 2004) ISBN 1-4107-4419-1. One Sheaf grew out of Griffin’s previous book, a biography of William Pierce, founder of the white nationalist organization the National Alliance. Griffin found himself contacted by so many “racially conscious” Americans after his Pierce book that he decided to write another book about the audience for his first. What emerges in the course of the book is a sort of anatomy of the typical white racist. In enumerating their characteristics, deracination rates high on the list; it is the one thing that just about everyone shares; deracination becomes by the end of the Griffin book another word for white racism, something which becomes especially apparent in the generation of the baby boomer’s children.
Rob Freeman, who is 33 years old, is a “racially conscious American,” because
for white kids of my generation, it seemed as if our heritage was taken away from us. We grew up with no place in the world, that’s what it felt like. My parents and most of the parents of the kids I knew were liberals, and they didn’t pass on a legacy of who we were. The didn’t give us an identity.The typical racist is an atheist who used to be a Protestant, living in a country which deliberately destroyed local communities. Since the Protestant churches were essentially voluntary organizations, as opposed to geographical parishes, they were especially vulnerable. In addition to that, their oftentimes unsophisticated theology led to rejection on rational grounds. Alex Linder, who is two years older than Freeman and now runs the Vanguard News Network, was born in Madison, Wisconsin into a family that then moved to three other states, and raised by a mother who was a Christian Scientist. Linder eventually rejected Christian Science because of its irrational contention that “disease is a product of bad thought.” That, he felt, was “a ridiculous clam. Just like the idea that Jesus walked on water.” Linder then became associated with movement conservatism in the Reagan years, specifically the American Spectator, where he served as an intern, and when that god failed too, he became a white racist because “racism is simply factual reality,” and “true conservatism has to do with facts and limits.” Linder despises Mexicans (“They are an offbrand people.”) but not as much as he despises college administrators. “They are very weak and unprincipled people. I consider them worse than Mexicans, the absolute lowest.”
Deracination is not limited to former Protestants. One 21-year-old college student was raised in Southern California because that is where his Canadian father met his Irish mother. He attended Catholic grade schools and “was pretty religious growing up.”( I assume the past tense is intentional.) The defining racial moment for this young man cam when his mother took him and his sister back to Ireland at the end of third grade. The first thing that the young man noticed was the fact that Ireland was “all white.” The next thing he noticed was the fact that everyone wasn’t an anonymous stranger, as was the case in California, “I thought it was really cool how close the community was there and how everybody knew each other and how everybody’s family went back. Ireland was just a very close-knit, family oriented place and I really liked it a lot. . . . In California I didn’t even know my next-door neighbors, where in Ireland, I knew everybody.”
Racism is, in other words, a function of lack of community. It is also an argument for the ethnic parish, which the Catholic Church abandoned at the moment the federal government began promoting large-scale black migration from the South to the cities of the north. As the Irish Jesuits at the Gesu parish in North Philadelphia argued in the 1930s, Black Catholics could have preserved their faith and identity better if they had been given an ethnic parish of their own rather than attempting to integrate them into the ethnic parishes which had already been established for other nationalities. The same is true now for the Irish and the descendants of the other European ethnics now living in a place like Southern California. If the Church had allowed these people to retain their own communities, they would not now be abandoning Catholicism for white racism.
Before this young man became a white racist, he became a “wigger,” which is to say a white nigger, wearing baggy pants, gold chains and backward baseball caps and listening to rap music. His identity, in other words, was not racial, not when he was a wigger and not when he was a white racist. If anything it was determined more by the music he listened to than his genes.
As a result our young Irishman was drawn toward “Norwegian black metal” music because it made him and his deracinated friends feel “kind of special, like it was our music, like it was made just for us.” Black metal bands, he continued,
use pagan imagery, European imaginary [sic]. . . . Most of the band members had long hair and wore all black or they might have some form of medieval armor and tall boots. They’d pose for pictures in forest with swords. All that appealed to us, because, for one, it was a sort of a white thing. . . . Members of these bands seemed to be dead serious. In interviews, they would talk about overthrowing Christianity and returning to a Middle-Ages-type European society. [History is not their strong suit.] My friend and I spent time reading about pagan religion. I began to really have a hatred for Christianity because I thought, “Look what Christianity has done to us. It’s disarmed our people and made us tolerate and embrace other races who bring us down.”Norwegian black metal music was the perfect antidote for those who “don’t feel like you belong . . .” When our young deracinated Irishman listened to “a Norwegian guy named Varg Vikernes,” the racist, neo-Viking, neo-pagan singer “had a big impact on me. He would come out and say, “I do my own thing, and if anybody doesn’t’ like it, I will kill him.”
As a result of listening to Varg, he “started reading about Norway and about European history, the Vikings in particular. It was my way of reaching toward my European roots—having some kind of identity.” Without that ethnic identity (even though he does not identify it as such and mistakes it as racial), this young men and his friends “were just considered so weird,” and he and his friends “had no one to back me up if I got in trouble.” With the Viking mythology, they were granted “some sense of identity. It made us feel out an feel kind of good.”
If music was the most important factor in the construction of this young man’s racial identity, literature ran a close second. After discovering racial music, he discovered H. P. Lovecraft, Robert Howard’s Conan the Barbarian, and then Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, all of which he construed as racially motivated. Or perhaps not. After reading Tolkien, he found himself looking “back fondly to a European-type society where life was simpler,” by which he meant “a homogeneous environment where men were men and women were women and life was hard but closer to nature,” which is to say, a culture that was the opposite of “being a kid stuck in multi-racial California” which is to say, a place “where I couldn’t be free to be who I was and was alienated from everything.”
The influence of music worked in the other direction too. Eric Owens is another child of the babyboomers, whose parents divorced and left him to find his own cultural direction in post-’60s Los Angeles. As a result he became a skinhead, another group which derived its identity largely from the music it consumed or, in Owens’ case, produced. But, as Plato could have predicted, when Owens changed his music, his politics changed along with it:
I got sick of the lunkhead mentality that went along with rock music. I also wanted to get back into my roots. I had been raised on irish music, and I’m Irish myself. My father was very much into Irish music and played it. I wanted to play the music of my heritage and not the music of the commercial multi-racial system which I felt rock to be. I thought rock music was degenerate, non-white music.Music, in other words, allowed Owens to make contact with his ethnic roots, which he still misconstrued as something racial: “Letting go of the skinhead persona started when the music changed.”
Even though many of the Irish bands were leftist and the music wasn’t really racial, it was still hundreds of years old and traditional, and it was my heritage no matter who was singing or what they were singing about. I always loved Irish music and I always loved the dancing. They were things of beauty, and in LA there is not much beauty of any kind. Although I should point out that it wasn’t just tradtional Irish music I liked. I have always been a fan of traditional American music as well. Like I have always been a fan of Doc Watson and American flatpickers. . . . I started playing Irish music and then I put my own racial ballads in there. . . Now, I consider myself a Celtic fok musician. I have recorded a couple of folk albums thath have a militant pro-white message. . . .Now, just about the only time I play is if a group such as the National Alliance is having a gathering.Race is, in other words, a cultural phenomenon. It is, as such the exact opposite of what Madison Grant, the classic American racist said in his epoch-making magnum opus The Passing of the Great Race. Grant, in addition to feeling that culture was the result of DNA, also felt that Europe was inhabited by three separate races —the Nordic, the Alpine and the Mediterranean—all of which were white. Because only the Teutonic race was suited for America, or positions of leadership there, Grant successfully lobbied for immigration restriction that curtailed immigration from Catholic Europe. That in turn led to the rise of the Negro as the most influential group in American politics in America from World War II to some time before the end of the last century. This gives new meaning to the idea that racism created the civil rights movement.
For the baby boomers themselves, white racism becomes a synonym for cluelessness in general, but cluelessness about social engineering in particular. Many of these people are Catholic, and because of their age, they experienced the ethnic cleansing of their neighborhoods first hand, which led them to see the Negro as prime mover, when in fact he too was manipulated by the same forces that were using him to destroy ethnic neighborhoods.
Denis Ruiz is a 50 year old computer programmer who grew up in Fairview Village, a planned community neighborhood near Camden, New Jersey. Ruiz is Slovakian on his mother’s side and Spanish, “by way of Cuba,” on his father’s side. He is, in other words, the typical pan-European American Catholic. The Triple Melting Pot, as opposed to the Melting Pot which Huntington and his ilk invoke, states that country of origin is replaced by religion as the source of ethnicity after the third generation. That means that the real source of ethnic identity in America is religion. Race is a pseudo-identity, like Harley-Davidson riders and NASCAR dads, which has always served the interests of the ruling class, no matter how much that class would demonize any one particular race at any one particular time. So the three main ethnic identities in America are Anglo-Protestant, Pan-European Catholic, and Eastern European Jewish (with whom the German Jews and the Sephardim had to reach an accommodation).
Unlike the Melting Pot, the Triple Melting Pot actually works. It actually creates a real American ethnic group out of various component parts. Unlike the Melting Pot which invariably functions as a result of government coercion, the Triple Melting Pot works by way of marriage. Protestants marry Protestants; Catholics (no matter what their country of origin) marry Catholics, and Jews (again no matter what their country of origin) marry Jews. The result is three typically American ethnic groups, which really functioned as actual engines of assimilation, and all of them were subject to the attack of the social engineers, whose spokesman is now Samuel Huntington. The social engineers, in other words, destroyed the only America which could have assimilated the Mexicans.
This was the America of Ruiz’s parents in Fairview Village in the 1950s, where
our impulse all along had been to bury our heritage and minimize our differences with others and become full-fledged Americans.” That America was destroyed by social engineering. Ethnic America, the real America, is Triple Melting Pot America. Anything else is creed at the expense of culture, which is another word for social engineering, something which Ruiz saw through his grandparents’ eyes, when they were living in Philadelphia, which had been their home since the 1920s, until “the area became flooded with black people from the South.White racism is largely the response to the cultural revolution of the ‘60s. That and cluelessness. “In those years,” Ruiz explains, “I didn’t understand what media was [sic] and how they shaped reality for people.” As a result, even as late as the 1980s, “Any level of white racial consciousness wasn’t there yet for me.” Ruiz was a product of the Triple Melting Pot. That meant that “Coming out of my childhood, I had an awareness that there were Italians and Irish and Polish, but I had no sense of being white. As for blacks, I just saw them as different” (my emphasis).
Social engineering changed all that. It turned Catholic ethnics into white people. Ruiz’s conversion (or deracination) “didn’t happen for me until 1997,” when “a guy I work with whom I really respect” steered him to “a web site called the White Nationalist Library.” St. Paul’s conversion pales in comparison. Ruiz started reading racial material and suddenly all
“was clarity and sunshine. Here was somebody explaining the history of the last few decades accurately and in a way that I could understand. I felt like a fool. I was kicking myself that I hadn’t figured all this out on my own.” As a result of his conversion, “race has become a lens through which I look at the world and my own life. I have concluded that a war is being waged against whites in America, against European Americans.”But even after this epiphany and conversion, the cluelessness remains. Ruiz knows that a cultural war has taken place where he grew up, because “In a war, there is demographic turmoil: populations get displaced, people flee. The neighborhood that was destroyed in my hometown and the refugees that were created are a component of that war.” But even understanding all this, Ruiz is forced to admit that
Exactly who is waging this war against whites, I don’t really know. But I do believe that blacks, and more recently Hispanics are being used as weapons against the racial and cultural world created by European people on this continent, and against the white people who live here now. A sophisticated Marxist-type struggle is going on against white people, but instead of class warfare, it uses ideas as weapons—racism, oppression, multiculturalism, diversity, white privilege, and so on. It manipulates, even creates, ethnic and racial grievances against whites and uses them to bludgeon white people (my emphasis).By assuming that “this war” is being waged against “whites,” Ruiz will never understand it, because, most certainly in Philadelphia, as I have documented in my book The Slaughter of Cities, the people waging the war were every bit as white as the people against whom it was waged. The Quakers who staffed Friends Suburban Housing and other black operations against Philadelphia’s (and New Jersey’s) Catholic ethnics were every bit as white as their opponents. In fact, according to Madison Grant, they were whiter. So to frame the cultural revolution of the ‘60s and the ethnic cleansing that went along with it as “this war against the whites,” is to forever misunderstand what was going on. Which is another reason why it would be in Samuel Huntington’s interest to promote white nationalism. He is promoting white nationalism now for the same reason that his ilk promoted black nationalism in the ‘60s, as a way of weakening the real ethnic groups in America, most notably the Catholics who were just then emerging from the Triple Melting Pot. Black nationalism then functioned as a Lumpenproletariat whose criminal behavior drove Catholic ethnics into the suburbs, where they became “white.” White nationalism now takes Catholic ethnics out of a real group, one of America’s three main ethnic groups, and gives them a pseudo-identity as “white people” which prevents them from linking up with their Mexican co-religionists, who are on their way, via the Triple Melting Pot, to becoming co-ethnics as well.
During the 1950s and 1960s, the Catholic Church failed to understand the challenge to its parishes (and therefore its existence) which social engineering posed. Obsessed with the (largely Irish) desire to assimilate, the Church ( or at least its intellectual leaders at place like the Catholic Interracial Council) adopted the racial categories of its oppressors and condemned the ethnics who defended their neighborhoods as “racists” when in fact it was the racists who were trying to destroy the neighborhood. When the largely Catholic population of Folcroft rioted when the Quakers smuggled a black family into their neighborhood, Catholic interracialists like Dennis Clarke had them punished by having their pastor read the U.S. Bishops 1958 statement on race from the pulpit, a document which was written in response to a school desegregation dispute in Little Rock, Arkansas. Like Nostra Aetate in the hands of the Jews, the 1958 bishops’ statement on race became a weapon for beating up Catholics and dividing them internally. When it was read at the Catholic parish in Folcroft, many, if not most of the parishioners there literally got up and walked out of the Church. Many of them kept right on walking, and, like Dennis Ruiz, they discovered white racism at the end of their journey from the Catholic church, which failed to understand what was going on. Thus, did black racism create white racism, and thus do both of them serve the interests of the social engineers who continue to divide in order to conquer.
Samuel Huntington is now promoting “white nationalism” for the same reason that his ilk promoted black nationalism in the ‘60s, as a way of blunting one more Catholic demographic threat to what is left of WASP hegemony. Racism is a way of preventing enracination. Huntington quotes with approval sociologists Richard Alba and Victor Nee, who in 1997 “pointed out that the four decade interruption of large scale immigration after 1924 ‘virtually guaranteed that ethnic communities and culture would be steadily weakened over time.’”
San Patricio Battalion
As an alternative to the racial theories of the “judeo-saxon pig lords of America,” Gerald E. Morris and Juan Armando Roque propose the example of the San Patricio Battalion, a group of Irishmen who began the Mexican War of 1846 fighting for the United States, but as a result of religious bigotry, switched sides and fought with their Mexican co-religionists. Captain John Riley was eventually captured and hanged as a traitor, and his example was used by the know-nothings to show that Catholics could not be trusted as Americans, but in many ways he was only acting according to the principles which Samuel Huntington articulated in his Foreign Policy article. If being an American means being an Anglo-Protestant with a bad case of Judeo-Puritan messianic politics, then Catholics have no choice in the matter. They have to be traitors because America is not a country; it is a competing religion. Jimmy Cantrell, a Culture Wars reader and exponent of the “Celtic South,” makes a similar point by claiming that
Yes, America is a religion, and that makes it a rival of Christianity. Worse is that most professed Christians , their ancestors—regardless of specific ethnicity and theology—having been assimilated to Yankee ways, are driven by the Anglo-Saxon Puritan ethos and thus are promoting the heresy in either its liberal form [Multiculturalism] or its conservative form [the Neocon empire to bring the saving grace of democracy to the world]. It is impossible to rectify the wrong if we continue to laud and emulate Puritans.Religion is the enemy of nationalism and racism, both of which are forms of idolatry, but it is the friend of ethnicity, which can only perdure with religious roots. Ethnos needs Christ to survive, but the Body of Christ needs ethnos as form needs content. Ethnos because of its connection to reproduction is the vehicle (like the family, of which it is composed) for the transmission of the faith. Religion without ethnos is another word for deracination; so is ethnos without religion, especially when it reaches the stage of worshipping its roots in the name of nationalism. Quetzalcoatl may or may not have been, as Morris and Roque claim, St. Brendan the Voyager, but even if he isn’t the San Patricio Battalion can serve as a model for Catholic anti-racism by fostering collaboration between the pan-European Catholics who have been here since the 19th century and the newly arriving Hispanic Catholics. Catholics, in this regard, have reality on their side. The Triple Melting Pot is the true explanation of how assimilation works in America. The Melting Pot, on the other hand—the idea that Americans are all one people, or “one nation indivisible” as the Pledge of Allegiance would have it— has been a fiction from the beginning, and a particularly dangerous fiction at that because it invariably served as the excuse for social engineering of the sort that destroyed any possibility for real assimilation.
This is not to say that the Huntington’s thesis lacks all reason. Huntington is not simply Paul Blanshard redux, nor is history simply repeating itself here, with one more wave of immigrants waiting to be assimilated. The Mexicans, as one writer rightly claimed, are not just a latter day version of the Italians. The main difference between this wave of immigration all of the others which preceded it is, as Huntington rightly points out, contiguity. The Italians had to cross thousands of miles of ocean to get to America, whereas the only thing that separates Mexico from the United States is “a line in the ground and a shallow river.”
The best historical paradigm for Mexican immigration is not the Italians or any other group of recent immigrants coming to the United States. In fact, there is no historical precedent in the history of the United States that can explain what will result from Mexican immigration. In order to understand it, we need to turn to another empire and another ethnic group, namely, the Goths crossing the Danube to Rome.
Like the Romans, “the US Founding Fathers,” who had studied the Romans and feared the trajectory of empire, “considered the dispersion of immigrants essential to their assimilation.” This system worked in America, and it worked in Rome—for a time. In both instances it was destroyed, not by some foreign military power, by but the inner logic of empire. There is a logic to empire; once a nation embarks upon that path, events are determined more by formal causality than by the intention of any political leader. That is why the example of Rome is so compelling here. There are only so many options; the inexorable logic of empire means that that the more invincible the empire becomes militarily the more likely the collapse from within. During the course of Rome’s road to empire, as resources were channeled away from the citizens to fund one more war in one more obscure outpost on the borders of empire, the Roman citizenry gradually stopped identifying themselves as citizens and began instead to see themselves as the member of smaller communities known as Christian.
That process of internal ferment had been going on for three centuries, when suddenly, in the summer of 376, two groups of Goths arrived on the north bank of the Danube River requesting asylum from Rome. They were there because they had been driven there by another ethnic group, the Huns, who had swept into their territories from the northern shores of the Black Sea. Two Gothic kings had died trying to stem the Hunnic tide; another had been deposed when he failed to stop it as well. As Ambrose of Milan put it (writing in c.380): “The Huns threw themselves upon the Alans, the Alans upon the Goths, and the Goths upon the Taifali and Sarmatae ... and this is not yet the end' (Expositio Ev. sec. Luc. 10.10). The Goths, as a result, had no choice but to seek protection from the Romans by putting their arms and the Danube River between them and the Huns.
The request, however, put the Romans in a bind. As we have already indicated, Rome’s policy of assimilating immigrant ethnic groups was predicated upon dispersal. Small groups of ethnic immigrants were sent to the far-flung corners of the empire, and there, cut off from fellow ethnics, they had no choice but to adopt the dominant culture of the Romans. The system of assimilatio worked well, primarily because the Romans had such a powerful culture, but it was not omnipotent. It could only work if the numbers of immigrants remained relatively small and effectively dispersed.
The logic of empire changed all that. Once it embarked upon the path to empire, Rome needed above all else soldiers to fight its wars and money to pay its soldiers. The Roman equivalent of the middle class, the small land-owning farmer, was driven to the wall by taxation and then forced to work on the latifundia, the agribusiness estates of the time, as a rural proletarian. The Gothic plea for asylum, as a result, put the Roman imperialists in a bind. They needed people because they needed soldiers, but the people were supposed to become Romans. But the process of assimilatio would divert these soldiers from precisely where they were needed the most, namely, on the Danube frontier to fight the Huns. As a result, the logic of empire prevailed over the logic of assimilation. The Goths were allowed to settle just across the Danube from their ancestral home and in such numbers that that part of the Roman empire became Gothic. Within two years, those same Goth soldiers turned on Rome and defeated the Roman legions at the battle of Adrianople in 328. Within a quarter of a century, Alaric declared himself King of the Goths, a title tantamount to treason, and in 410 he sacked Rome. One hundred years after the Goths crossed the Danube, around September 17, 476, Romulus Augustulus, the last Roman emperor was deposed when he ran out of money to pay his mercenaries, and the Roman Empire came to an end, replaced by the Kingdom of the Goths. The descendants of the Goths who crossed the Danube in such numbers in 376 did not become Romans, but they did become Christians (at first Arians and ultimately Catholic), and it was as Christians, not as Romans or Goths, that they eventually melted into what became Catholic Europe under the influence of people like St. Benedict.
The parallels between Rome and the United States and Goths and Mexicans should be obvious. Given the iron law of empire, given the formal causality of the American empire, that example will be come inevitable as well. At certain points, Huntington sounds fatalistic. “The widespread use of Spanish in the United States,” he informs us, “‘is a reality that cannot be changed, even over the longer term.’” It is as if Mr. Huntington, the Master of the Universe, had a sudden glimpse of the iron mask of formal causality. “Religion,” Mr. Huntington opined at Georgetown University a year ago, is critical in “shaping the identities of people and aligning the states.” The hand that shapes his destiny is the formal causality of empire. The hand that shapes the destiny of the Catholic peoples left behind to pick up the pieces is the same one which created Europe out of the rubble of Rome.
E. Michael Jones
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