This is the sixth a series of articles examining the issue of race in the United States.
By now, you might be saying:
"Ok, Yggdrasil, you talk about race and you talk about secession. These are scary topics. Stop being coy! What exactly are you going to do to 'rationalize borders'? Is it ethnic cleansing? Race violence? Who stays and who goes?"
Fair questions! This installment will answer them.
"There are two concepts of race: a descriptive concept based on physical characteristics and genetic inheritance, and a functional concept based on the tendency of groups sharing physical or cultural affinities to fight or use the political process for shifting resources in their favor.
"For the purpose of drawing rational borders around competing groups to minimize conflict, the functional definition is useful. The descriptive definition is not."
If our reason for defining "race" is to reduce conflict, then that purpose suggests a functional definition: - Races are groups that tend to band together based on common physical or cultural characteristics and fight or compete with groups having different physical or cultural characteristics.
Thus, functionally, races tend to be voluntary associations. The combatants know perfectly well which side they are on. There is no need for genetic testing, family trees, or hair and eye color tests.
Examples of racial strife from around the world demonstrate that the characteristics that separate races or ethnic groups vary widely (See Yggdrasil's Lesson #2). In some instances, such as in Northern Ireland or Bosnia, it would be impossible for outsiders to tell which was which, based on a visual inspection.
The point is a simple one. The combatants define their "race" based on whatever characteristics they choose. Invariably, they have no trouble recognizing each other. Whether those characteristics correspond with any scientific or genetic definition of a "race" is irrelevant.
In the United States, the "European-Americans" eligible for citizenship in any breakaway nation would closely correspond to the category of "other" on the racial identity portion of the typical college admissions or public employment application. It would be a nation for losers in the contest for governmental preference.
The information age has given us the technological means of rationalizing borders with very little movement of people.
The same computer programs that create racially concentrated gerrymanders under the Voting Rights Act can be used to draw new national boundaries. There would be no need to guard such irregular borders. Taxation, voting rights and access to the social safety net of the breakaway state would be enforced with a national ID card. Once the political system, identity card and tax mechanisms are in place, there would be no reason to force people to move against their will based on skin color.
The question of who stays and who goes in a secession, or rationalizing of borders, is largely voluntary. The borders are redrawn with an idea of isolating the greatest number of potential combatants or competitors in each resulting country. Individuals who get "caught" on the wrong side of the border should be free to chose whether to stay or move.
People can make choices. There is no need beat up on anyone or kill people to accomplish the objective.
Remember, Yggdrasil is the tree of life, not death!
It is imperative that European-Americans fashion a secession strategy that protects them from racial exploitation, while respecting and preserving their heritage of individual liberty and respect for life.
While the objective can be accomplished peacefully, as it has been in Czechoslovakia, the principle of self-determination cannot be compromised. It is a moral imperative. It is worth fighting for.
No people anywhere on earth should be compelled to submit to public policy formed by races that hate them. In this respect, it makes no difference whether the policy is imposed by a majority upon a minority, or by an organized minority upon a majority, through racially motivated block voting.
European-Americans have an absolute natural right to live in a nation in which government can function and make decisions on the merits of policy, without having policy distorted by hidden agendas concerning the relative benefits of that policy to competing races.
Those who hate European-Americans, or feel uncomfortable around them, will tend to leave of their own accord, much as they are doing now in the United States on a regional and voluntary basis. (See Yggdrasil's Lesson #5). Secession would merely complement the existing demographic trends.
Inevitably, a few individuals would have to be expelled from the breakaway state. Any European-American who might elect to remain in the breakaway state because of its practical advantages, such as its low taxes, low crime rates and favorable work ethic, but who has publicly looked down on his own kind, felt he is above race, attacked traditional religions, encouraged immigration of potentially hostile races for personal gain, advocated taxing fellow European-Americans to pay tribute to other races in exchange for votes, or advocated adopting racial quotas will be expelled based on his actions, and not the color of his skin.
Secession will make honest men and women of those who, irrespective of skin color, hate or look down upon European- Americans. They are going to have to live in the company of those with whom they have more in common. Surely, they will be happier there.
However, it is not the purpose of this lesson to set forth detailed secession plans. Rather, this lesson reprints an excerpt from the pages of Newsweek and another from the San Fernando Daily News that illustrate this functional concept of race in rather unexpected ways.
In the Newsweek excerpt, "two historians from the University of Alabama have elaborated the controversial notion that the Civil War was a continuation, on new turf, of the ancient struggle by the Anglo-Saxons to subdue the wild Celtic tribes of Scotland, Ireland and Wales."
As you read this article, you should consider a number of questions.
1. Is it possible that the ethnic differences between Northern and Southern whites motivated the average white to fight in the Civil War?
Remember that despite immigration, 70% of the people in 1860 never traveled more than 50 miles from their place of birth. Remember also that there was no television, that photography had just been invented, but there were no pictures in newspapers. In addition to different types of Englishmen, there were pockets of European Americans in 1860 who still spoke German and French. However, one searches in vain for any references to conflict or competition between these groups based on national origin in the popular press of the time, or even in the private correspondence of Civil War veterans. Railroads were just beginning to increase mobility.
2. How would the average White farmer in the North be aware of the ethnic differences between himself and Whites in the South if he had never seen them, or even pictures of them?
3. In an economy where 80% of the population lived on farms, how could there have been enough contact between groups for the awareness of difference to ripen into hatred sufficient to motivate starting a war?
4. Suppose that there had been national television in 1860. Would the ethnic differences between Northerners and Southerners likely have been a major factor in motivating soldiers to enlist and fight?
5. Is it possible that the ethnic differences between Northerners and Southerners provoked the war making urge in the white elites who did travel and certainly were aware of the differences?
6. Do the problems associated with the thesis of this article suggest that popular or mass racial conflicts in multi-racial empires are strictly modern phenomenon, caused by the contact and awareness of racial difference created by trains, planes, automobiles, magazines and television? Many Americans believe that "prejudice" or "bigotry" arise from lack of contact with members of other races.
7. Do the problems associated with the thesis of this article suggest that racial conflict results from too much contact, and not too little?
8. Could the rapid advance of television and transportation explain the accelerating worldwide trend of racial and ethnic conflict in the final quarter of the 20th century? (See Yggdrasil lesson #2).
9. Does the modernity of racial strife suggest that the integrationist paradigm cannot survive in the U.S. without segregated middle class suburbs?
10. Is it possible that belief in "integrationism" is the result of ignorance that flows from the carefully controlled contact with other races afforded by suburban life?
11. Under a descriptive definition of race, the Yankee and Rebel "WASPs" can be claimed to constitute different ethnicities. However, if they themselves made nothing of that difference are they separate races or ethnic groups in any sort of functional sense? The second article is a column by Robert Sowell, arguing that conservative students (primarily European-Americans) should not sacrifice their academic and professional careers by protesting campus propagandists.
If you were to look at Thomas Sowell's picture, you will conclude that he is an African-American. He cares passionately about the welfare of his fellow African-Americans, and argues that socialist rhetoric is a thinly veiled guise for policies of racial repression.
After reading the article below, you will notice that he also has a passionate commitment to the survival of Western Civilization, a commitment that runs far deeper than that of the average European-American business executive. He is genuinely concerned about the well-being of conservative European-American males.
12. Would there be any objective reason for excluding Thomas Sowell from a breakaway European-American nation?
13. If he happened to live within the boundaries of a new breakaway European-American nation, why should he not be free to remain and claim full citizenship?
14. If he lived outside the boundaries of a new breakaway nation, and wished to emigrate, claiming that he was a European-American, what functional grounds would anyone have for disputing his claim?
Yggdrasil recommends that you read the following:
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In explaining the American Civil War, historians have explored every imaginable political, economic and cultural conflict between North and South, invoked high abolitionist ideals and cited the noble tug of regional loyalty. They have all but ignored the possibility of an ethnic explanation, largely because it appeared so plain that the antagonists were the common descendants of British settlers--a thoroughly homogeneous lot compared to the immigrants who followed them to American shores.
But in a series of papers and articles, two historians from the University of Alabama have elaborated the controversial notion that the Civil War was a continuation, on new turf, of the ancient struggle by the Anglo-Saxons to subdue the wild Celtic tribes of Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Southerners, say Forrest McDonald and Grady McWhiney, are nothing but transplanted Highlanders who have traded their bagpipes for country fiddles, while keeping alive the contradictory mix of qualities-- easygoing yet proud, clannish but elaborately polite and hospitable--that have made them so creative and intractable.
Industry: The two researchers maintain that eighteenth-century British immigrants were anything but homogeneous. While Englishmen typically landed in Massachusetts Bay and colonized the nearby areas, Irish, Welsh and Scottish settlers more frequently arrived in Philadelphia, then spread south and west along the valleys and spilled over onto the Carolina piedmont.
The two groups took with them old-world characteristics: the Englishman's industry and thrift and the Celtic disdain for tilling the soil-- and for other strenuous occupations. The Celts and their descendants "thought people were crazy to work if they didn't have to," says McDonald. "If one could get a cow or a hog to earn a living for him, why grow plants?" McWhiney believes that big plantations worked by slaves were less important to the Southern economy than is commonly thought. The value of Southern livestock in 1860 was more than twice as great as that of the cotton crop. Most Southerners depended, like their ancestors, on their herds of cattle and swine, which roamed freely and grew fat off the land.
It is a view that has the potential to redden quite a few necks: in effect, Jeeter Lester's Tobacco Road is a far more valid symbol of the Old South than Scarlett O'Hara's Tara. The authors are sensitive about calling fellow Southerners lazy, and so they say "leisure orientated" instead.
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Other historians agree that the pair have done valuable work in emphasizing the importance of livestock to the Southern economy, but they are skeptical of the ethnic connection. Still, McDonald and McWhiney believe they have found an important key to the Civil War. Inheriting a tradition of clan loyalty, Southerners put their local interests ahead of the Union. Their reluctance to enter the nineteenth century made war with the forward-looking North inevitable. In an article published last week in a new historical journal called "Continuity," McWhiney compares the Confederates' reckless charges at Gettysburg with the Scots' doomed sallies against the entrenched English at Culloden in 1746. Celtic warfare from the first century to the nineteenth was characterized, the authors say, by daring, imagination, courage, and ultimate defeat by a better-organized enemy. Celts make better heroes and poets than farmers or bankers--and McDonald and McWhiney would be the first to say that it would be a poorer world without them.
Jerry Adler with Holly Morris in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
BY THOMAS SOWELL
STANFORD, Calif. -- If sanity ever returns to the academic world, part of the credit will go to a small newspaper called "Campus Report," which has exposed innumerable incidents of brainwashing replacing education on college campuses, stormtrooper tactics being accepted and rewarded by "responsible" college administrators, and academic and behavioral double standards being applied according to the group to which one belongs, rather than one's own behavior or performance.
"Campus Report" has now been taken over by a former professor, Mark Draper, who has started off with a bang by trying to organize conservative students on various college campuses to challenge left-wing brainwashing professors in their classrooms, even though they know that this could result in a failing grade. "Flunk for Freedom" is his motto.
If you choose "this unnerving path," he says, "we will stand by you. We will help you. We will counsel you."
It is a bad idea, Professor Draper--and an idea whose time I hope will never come. Sending conservative students on academic suicide missions is all too reminiscent of left-wing academics who use students as cannon fodder in their various crusades. Fighting fire with fire may sound good, but most fire departments use water. For critics of the left-wing ideologues to imitate their tactics and their mind-set is corrupting, not ennobling as Dr. Draper tries to portray it.
Just what does it mean to have Campus Report "stand by you," after you have put a needless blemish on your academic record? Will "Campus Report" alter transcripts? File lawsuits'?
The problem of brainwashing professors who use their grades as ideological rewards and punishments, rather than as measures of students' academic performance, is a very serious problem and a very serious indictment of institutions that let them get away with such unprofessional and dishonest self-indulgence. But having students carry on a running debate in the classroom throughout the term is not the answer.
For an individual student to spontaneously challenge some of the idiocy that is taught in brainwashing courses is fine. But for adults on the sidelines to egg them on to do this all term long is something else.
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It is only on those campuses where a second, independent student newspaper has sprung up, often surviving precariously on alumni donations, that there is some hope of letting the truth leak out to the real world, whose money supports the academic world. As things now stand, students who challenge the campus ideologues in print run a danger of retaliation that can range from ostracism to harassing phone calls to trumped-up charges on some campuses and even threats of violence.
At Dartmouth, the administrators tried to destroy "The Dartmouth Review" before its first issue appeared in print, by threatening to sue them if they used the "Dartmouth" in their name. Since then one tawdry retaliation after another has been directed at the newspaper and at individual students who write for it.
At Vassar, students who wrote for "The Vassar Spectator" were forced to spend hours in hearings during the final exam period, when they needed to be studying, on vague charges of "political harassment." Any newspaper's editorial page can be considered "political harassment." It was the students who were being harassed.
Students who write for independent campus newspapers are risking enough already. The real call should go out to adults off campus to back them up with financial support for those papers, to support them also with letters to college officials, and-- most important of all--by refusing to give money when the gutless administrators ask for annual donations to alma mater.
What is needed are trustees worthy of trust, who see their position as imposing responsibilities, not simply conferring a glow of status through association with an academic institution. The last thing anyone needs to do is to urge students on to more dangers. "Flunking for freedom" is a slogan that itself flunks the test of responsibility.
Thomas Sowell writes a column distributed by Creators Syndicate
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