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dimanche, 24 avril 2016

Cultural Marxism and the Birth of Modern Thought-Crime


Cultural Marxism and the Birth of Modern Thought-Crime


Global Gold & http://www.lewrockwell.com

If a person has no philosophical thoughts, certain questions will never cross his mind. As a young man, there were many issues and ideas that never concerned me as they do today. There is one question, however, which has intrigued me for the longest time, and it still fascinates me as intensely as it did back then: Does spirit precede matter or is it the other way around? In other words, does human consciousness create what we perceive as our reality and the physical existence or vice versa; does the pre-existing material world determine our sentience and shape our cognition? In essence, what really lies beneath the surface of this question is the following: is a man born as a conscious being with a free will and self-determination or not?

Do not be alarmed; this is not an article on political philosophy. But it is a fundamental existential issue that I found underpins many of the doubts that I have regarding the functioning of our society and our political culture. While I freely admit I am no philosopher or expert in the field, in this article I will try to explain why the answer we choose to this crucial question, which most people never consider, has an amazing impact on the way we think, the way we live and act and the way society behaves as a whole.  By diving deeper into this debate, we uncover important insights that can help us understand how our Western society and its cultural identity have vastly degenerated and especially why family values have so dramatically deteriorated. A clearer understanding of the historical evolution of this age-old question and its far-reaching implications will provide valuable insights into the intellectual crisis of our Western societies and the strategic suppression of dissent and of independent thought and it will shed light on the origins on the intellectual bondage that we know today as Political Correctness.

The Kantian heritage and the intellectual shackles of Nonage

260px-Immanuel_Kant_(painted_portrait).jpgI believe it makes sense to start our quest to settle this age-old question by looking at the works of Immanuel Kant (1724 – 1804), the German philosopher who is considered the father of modern philosophy. In 1784 he wrote the following about Enlightenment:

“Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed nonage. Nonage is the inability to use one’s own understanding without another’s guidance. This nonage is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one’s own mind without another’s guidance. Dare to know! (Sapere aude.) “Have the courage to use your own understanding,” is, therefore, the motto of the Enlightenment.”

Today’s economic and political forces seem to be cognizant of the peril posed by a free-thinking citizenry. As our western culture faces an existential crisis and suffers attacks from multiple fronts, the political elite appears to be focused on enforcing its will at all costs. They are desperately trying to keep a multitude of threats at bay, and failing to do so, they are content with simply having the public accept their failure as a strategic victory: the immigration crisis, chronic economic instability, geopolitical conflicts with horrendous human costs, violations of personal liberties, they are all to be taken as facts of life; this is sold to us as the new normal. Therefore, their priority is to keep the body politic in check, to crush dissent and rebel-rousing. To do so, laws against specific actions are not enough. To “keep the peace”, one needs to have laws against thought itself. By re-defining right and wrong, controlling the narrative and limiting independent thought and free speech, the public, as a whole, remains strategically malleable and intellectually manageable.

Given the success of this strategy, and bearing in mind Kant’s definition of Enlightenment, it seems pertinent to raise the question: did we ever manage to evolve into mature and enlightened individuals or are we still trapped in our own self-imposed nonage? I believe the latter is the case; and to further clarify my view, there is no better man to quote than Kant himself:

“Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why such a large part of mankind gladly remains minors all their lives, long after nature has freed them from external guidance. They are the reasons why it is so easy for others to set themselves up as guardians. It is so comfortable to be a minor. If I have a book that thinks for me, a pastor who acts as my conscience, a physician who prescribes my diet, and so on–then I have no need to exert myself. I have no need to think if only I can pay; others will take care of that disagreeable business for me. Those guardians who have kindly taken our supervision upon themselves see to it that the overwhelming majority of mankind–among them the entire fair sex–should consider the step to maturity, not only as hard but as extremely dangerous. First, these guardians make their domestic cattle stupid and carefully prevent the docile creatures from taking a single step without the leading-strings to which they have fastened them. Then they show them the danger that would threaten them if they should try to walk by themselves. Now this danger is really not very great; after stumbling a few times they would, at last, learn to walk. However, examples of such failures intimidate and generally discourage all further attempts.”

The Frankfurt School and the origins of political correctness

What is becoming increasingly hard to deny, especially in Europe and the USA, is that we no longer have the absolute and inalienable right to free speech. Although we claim to be proud citizens of democratic societies that, in theory, respect and uphold individual freedoms, in practice, the definition of what constitutes free speech has grown so withered and so narrow, that it often makes a mockery of the very principle itself.  More and more topics have been classified as “off limits”, the public expression of the “wrong” personal opinions and ideas has been criminalized and even academic or scientific research of certain fields has been suppressed. But symptoms of our socially enforced self-censorship are evident in everyday conversations as well: Is it not deeply unsettling that it is next to impossible to have a normal, temperate debate about the immigration crisis, which is an existential matter that will most likely shape the future of the European continent?  The natural rights to one’s own independent thinking and to free speech have been heavily curtailed under the guise of what is now referred to as ‘political correctness’. Speaking one’s mind freely can have them branded as a pariah and a direct threat to society, but the repercussions do not end there: Self- censorship is also enforced through new laws implemented by our moral leaders, who feel that the power vested in them through their governmental offices extends to also placing limitations on what we can and cannot think.

250 years ago, Kant stressed the need for public debate as follows:

“It is very difficult for the individual to work himself out of the nonage which has become almost second nature to him. He has even grown to like it and is at first incapable of using his own understanding because he has never been permitted to exercise it. It is possible, however, for the public to enlighten itself. Indeed, if it is only granted freedom, enlightenment is almost inevitable. There will always be a few independent thinkers, even among the self-appointed guardians of the multitude. Once such men have thrown off the yoke of nonage, they will spread about them the spirit of a reasonable appreciation of man’s value and of his duty to think for himself. It is especially to be noted that the public which was earlier brought under the yoke by these men afterward forces these very guardians to remain in submission if it is so incited by some of its guardians who are themselves incapable of any enlightenment. That shows how pernicious it is to implant prejudices: they will eventually revenge themselves upon their authors or their authors’ descendants. Therefore, a public can achieve enlightenment only slowly. A revolution may bring about the end of a personal despotism or of avaricious tyrannical oppression, but never a true reform of modes of thought. New prejudices will serve, in place of the old, as guide lines for the unthinking multitude.”

In short, without the freedom to debate openly, the individual has not the means to escape his self-imposed nonage. Without the possibility to break free, and to enlighten ourselves, we remain powerless to question, to object to and to challenge the status quo. Like pieces on a chessboard, we have no say in our own fates and no control over the stratagems that we implicitly help to enforce. Silently complicit in devastating policies, in conflicts and in wars being fought in our name, we simply become bystanders and look on as our culture corrodes, our values degrade and our liberties are trampled upon. To understand how the modern man became complicit in his own intellectual subjugation, we have to go back and trace the roots of the crisis.


“Emancipation through indoctrination”

Free thought and free speech have always been intertwined and correlated. The demise of both has its origins in the years between 1930 and 1968 when a group of intellectuals and so-called philosophers came together to establish a school of thought that was essentially focused on destroying Western civilization and all that it stands for (including its economic system based on capitalism) through ‘emancipation’. Max Horkheimer, a Marxist philosopher, was one of the founding fathers of the Frankfurt School, which embodied modern Critical Theory and was to a great extent characterized as neo-Marxist. Horkheimer, along with Jürgen Habermas, Theodor W. Adorno, Herbert Marcuse and Erich Fromm, to name but a few formed the Frankfurt School and its Institute for Social Research, an intellectual think-tank, that shaped the cultural understanding of the West and Germany in particular. According to Horkheimer, the critical theory would serve “to liberate human beings from the circumstances that enslave them.” Accordingly, their main objective was to create the theoretical and ideological platform for a cultural revolution. This group of “philosophers” sought to, and to a great extent, succeeded in achieving their objective by focusing specifically on culture. It is a culture that forms the foundation that shapes peoples’ mindsets and political outlook by controlling the language and ideas through institutional channels, particularly education. In short, Critical Theory is the politicization of logic. Horkheimer stated that “logic is not irrespective of content,” by which he practically meant that an argument is logical if it aims to destroy Western civilization and it is illogical if it supports it. This is, of course, the cornerstone of “political correctness” and why the open and unrestrained debate is frowned upon as subversive and inflammatory. It breeds dissent and doubt, it encourages critical analysis and it prevents intellectual uniformity and group-think.

Critical Theory and the war on God 

Couverture-673x1024.jpgThe Frankfurt School claimed that its Critical Theory is the theory of truth. The occidental philosophy, from St. Thomas Aquinas to Kant, as well as Hegel, Fichte, Schelling, and Goethe, should, therefore, be summarily dismissed and replaced by their own dogmatic set of rules and guidelines for “thinking right”. Critical Theory in sociology and political philosophy went beyond interpretation and understanding of society, it sought to overcome and destroy all barriers that, in their view, entrapped society in systems of domination, oppression, and dependency.

A principal yet controversial argument concerns their animosity towards religion and spirituality. According to the Frankfurt School, Christianity is the institutional revival of pagan philosophy and God is mere fiction. Religion led people to project their suffering to a divine entity, it served as a distraction from the misery caused by capitalism and in its core lies nothing but pure imagination. As the theories of Darwinism and Freudianism challenged the status of religion, accordingly, Marxism and Neo-Marxism dispelled the unenlightened mythical image of the age-old institutionalized divinity: Not God, but Man is the highest entity. Since it is not my purpose to discuss theology, but to demonstrate the mindset of the members of this school of thought, once again, I will refer to a quote by Immanuel Kant, who wrote the following in Critique of Pure Reason:

“Human reason, in one sphere of its cognition, is called upon to consider questions, which it cannot evade, as they are presented by its own nature, but which it cannot answer, as they transcend every faculty of the mind.” 

Kant was known as a fierce critic of the practice of religion, but he recognized that cognition and rationalization are indicative of the human mind and spirit, and are the means by which the individual arrives at the conclusion that there is a God. The significance of this argument lies in Kant’s belief in the free will and determination of the human mind to develop this process of rationalization in order to arrive at the conclusion that man is essentially good. In this context, God is more of a metaphor for morality and this plays a decisive role in the fundamental spirit versus matter question: Man’s mind and spirit precedes matter. Essentially, Kant reconciled these two concepts in a way that highlights human consciousness and self- determination.

The Frankfurt School positioned its ideology at the opposite end of the spectrum. It professed that man is limited in his existence as a mammal and as a product of nature that is driven by basic needs. There is no room for free will, no capacity for critical judgment or ability to distinguish right from wrong, no awareness, and no rationalization. This position has its roots in their Marxist background, which argues that man is a product of society: his mind and spirit are determined and shaped by the material world. Because of this vulnerability to external factors, the human mind is thought of as frail and manipulable and therefore man cannot be held accountable for his own decisions. This idea served as the basis for the “de-criminalization of crime” thesis of the Frankfurt School. As per Habermas, because man is a product of society,  it is inevitable that he adaptively yields to his criminal tendencies, since he is raised under the yoke of the structural violence of a criminal capitalist system.

The Frankfurt School believed that by stripping humanity of spirituality and by destroying the material surroundings created by the capitalist system and its structure, man will live free, without the feeling of responsibility and without the burden of conscience. They promised freedom, without free will, they envisioned emancipation, through intellectual assimilation and they guaranteed fairness, without justice.

The strategic importance of public education

According to the Frankfurt School, the system’s malfunction starts with the family. The family is the first and primary moral entity that we encounter. This entity raises children in an authoritarian manner that creates submissive, obedient and dependent adults.  In other words, it is the family that primes and programs us for fascism. Thus, by discrediting and destroying the family as a concept, one can nip capitalism and fascism in the bud. With this antagonistic attitude towards the family unit in society, combined with their ideological crusade against spirituality, the Frankfurt philosophers needed to put forward an alternative, to replace the old ways with their own roadmap for the future. In their view, the answer was simply to reprogram and reengineer society so that everyone behaves as is expected by others and so that human behavior becomes an act of reciprocity. This alone would be the universal code of ethics governing their utopia. To instill and to enforce this code in society, they proposed the use of institutions, and most importantly, education. Commandeering these institutional channels would be the most efficient way to impose and to promote their ethics, with education providing the key to assured compliance, weeding out dissent and any potential for future independent thinking by the individual.

The repercussions of this strategy are obvious in today’s society. Public education has conditioned us since childhood not to question the government and its collectivist policies. Maybe you remember one of our latest articles about the origins of the public education system, in which we introduced you to Wilhelm Wundt, the father of experimental psychology (and his proponents John Dewey and Edward Thorndike in the U.S.), the scientist who shaped today’s state education approach. He based his methodology on the following assumption: “Man is devoid of spirit and self-determinism”. He then set out to prove that “man is the summation of his experience, of the stimuli which intrude upon his consciousness and unconsciousness.” The great H. L. Mencken wrote in 1924 that the aim of public education is not: “ […] to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence… Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim… is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States… and that is its aim everywhere else.”


The rise of Cultural Marxism

The Frankfurt School developed the dogma that “freedom and justice” are dialectic terms, meaning that they stand in opposition to each other, in a zero-sum game, where “more freedom equals less justice” will be the consequence and “more justice equals less freedom” is the outcome. Based on this dialectic, freedom stood as the thesis, and justice reflected the anti-thesis.

This rather interesting dialectic approach was adopted from the ideas and works of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. The Frankfurt School, however, twisted the core of the concept and denatured its consequential logicality. In short, the main difference between Hegel and Horkheimer’s dialectic approach lies in the conclusion: Hegel, an idealist, believed like Kant that spirit creates matter, while for Horkheimer, a disciple of Karl Marx and his theory of materialism, the opposite was the case. Marx postulated that the world, the objective reality, can be explained by its material existence and its development and not from the realization of a divine absolute idea or as a result of rational human thought, as adopted in idealism. Therefore, putting limits on the material world, placing external rules and guidelines on the environment within which individuals live, think and operate, should, in their view, suffice to shape their cognitive experience and confine their spirit to the “desired” parameters.

I believe this is the key point that links the Frankfurt school of thought to what we know today as “political correctness”. At its core, we find this familiar false belief that less freedom guarantees more justice, and therefore more security. This mantra is regurgitated through institutional and political messaging, instilled in social values and planted in the minds of the younger generation and future voters, though the educational channel, just like the Frankfurt School intended. Instead of creating the platform to encourage individual human development, by reasoning, raising questions and stimulating dialogue, the institutional system works as an assembly line, from cradle to grave, and it successfully standardizes individuals and primes them to submit to the status quo, to accept and not to question. This is the logic of Critical Theory and the core element of “political correctness”. It is a vain and doomed attempt to control the inherent entropy of human ideas and independent thinking, to force the flux of our intertwined and unique experiences to an unnatural stasis and ultimately, to break Man’s spirit and to bring his mind to heel. .

Now you can maybe understand what Tom DiLorenzo meant in one of our latest interviews about “cultural Marxism” when he said: “They largely abandoned the old “class struggle” rhetoric involving the capitalist and worker “classes” and replaced them with an oppressor and an oppressed class. The oppressed include women, minorities, LGBT, and several other mascot categories. The oppressor class consists of white heterosexual males who are not ideological Marxists like them.” When the members of the Frankfurt School were forced to leave Germany during Nazi rule, they moved to the USA, near Hollywood, and they established strong ties with Columbia University and Harvard. This is how they spread their influence in the United States and aside from Hollywood, they also turned the academic elite at most universities into reservoirs of “cultural Marxism”. Here in Europe, some of the most prominent names in politics today were among the 1968 rebel students who were mentored by the first generations of the Frankfurt School. These include former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and his Minister of Defense Joschka Fischer, current Vice-President of the German Bundestag, Ulla Schmidt, and last but not least Chancellor Angela Merkel. On the anniversary of “60 years Christian-Democratic-Union (CDU)” on June 16th, 2005 in Berlin, she explained how many changes in society which were triggered in 1968 have shaped the old German Republic and continue to influence the CDU to this day. As she put it: “We don’t want to return to the family concept, to the 1950s image of a woman and we don’t want to return to the sociopolitical frame of that time. We as women must march through the institutions und take our place in the key power positions in the leadership of this country”.

My understanding of cultural Marxism is that it has nothing to do with freedom, or with cultural enlightenment and social progress. Instead, as Horkheimer himself put it, it is all about the creation of identical individuals who do not come together and exchange ideas, as they operate like mindless machines. The Frankfurt School and its followers have therefore clearly proved to be the enemies of freedom and the conscious human mind.

In conclusion, let me yield the closing words to Immanuel Kant, who wrote, “ A large degree of civic freedom appears to be of advantage to the intellectual freedom of the people, yet at the same time it establishes insurmountable barriers. A lesser degree of civic freedom, however, creates room to let that free spirit expand to the limits of its capacity. Nature, then, has carefully cultivated the seed within the hard core–namely the urge for and the vocation of free thought. And this free thought gradually reacts back on the modes of thought of the people, and men become more and more capable of acting in freedom. At last free thought acts even on the fundamentals of government and the state finds it agreeable to treat a man, who is now more than a machine, in accord with his dignity.”

This article appeared in the latest Global Gold Outlook Report

Reprinted with permission from Global Gold.

lundi, 20 mai 2013

The Enlightenment from a New Right Perspective


The Enlightenment from a New Right Perspective


By Domitius Corbulo

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com/

“When Kant philosophizes, say on ethical ideas, he maintains the validity of his theses for men of all times and places. He does not say this in so many words, for, for himself and his readers, it is something that goes without saying. In his aesthetics he formulates the principles, not of Phidias’s art, of Rembrandt’s art, but of Art generally. But what he poses as necessary forms of thought are in reality only necessary forms of Western thought.” — Oswald Spengler 

“Humanity exists in its greatest perfection in the white race.” — Immanuel Kant

Every one either praises or blames the Enlightenment for the enshrinement of equality and cosmopolitanism as the moral pillars of our times. This is wrong. Enlightenment thinkers were racists who believe that only white Europeans could be fully rational, good citizens, and true cosmopolitans.

Leftists have brought attention to some racist beliefs among Enlightenment thinkers, but they have not successfully shown that racism was an integral part of Enlightenment philosophy, and their intention has been to denigrate the Enlightenment for representing the parochial values of European males. I argue here that they were the first to introduce a scientific conception of human nature structured by racial classifications. This conception culminated in Immanuel Kant’s anthropological justification of the superior/inferior classification of “races of men” and his “critical” argument that only European peoples were capable of becoming rational and free legislators of their own actions. The Enlightenment is a celebration of white reason and morality; therefore, it belongs to the New Right.

In an essay [2] in the New York Times (February 10, 2013), Justin Smith, another leftist with a grand title, Professeur des Universités, Département d’Histoire et Philosophie des Sciences, Université Paris Diderot – Paris VII, contrasted the intellectual “legacy” of Anton Wilhelm Amo, a West African student and former slave who defended a philosophy dissertation at the University of Halle in Saxony in 1734, with the “fundamentally racist” legacy of Enlightenment thinkers. Smith observed that a dedicatory letter was attached to Amo’s dissertation from the rector of the University of Wittenberg, Johannes Kraus, praising the “natural genius” of Africa and its “inestimable contribution to the knowledge of human affairs.” Smith juxtaposed Kraus’s broad-mindedness to the prevailing Enlightenment view “lazily echoed by Hume, Kant, and so many contemporaries” according to which Africans were naturally inferior to whites and beyond the pale of modernity.

Smith questioned “the supposedly universal aspiration to liberty, equality and fraternity” of Enlightenment thought. These values were “only ever conceived” for a European people deemed to be superior and therefore more equal than non-whites. He cited Hume: “I am apt to suspect the Negroes, and in general all other species of men to be naturally inferior to the whites.” He also cited Kant’s dismissal of a report of something intelligent that had once been uttered by an African: “this fellow was quite black from head to toe, a clear proof that what he said was stupid.” Smith asserted that it was counter-Enlightenment thinkers, such as Johann Herder, who would formulate anti-racist views in favor of human diversity. In the rest of his essay, Smith pondered why Westerners today “have chosen to stick with categories inherited from the century of the so-called Enlightenment” even though “since the mid-20th century no mainstream scientist has considered race a biologically significant category; no scientist believes any longer that ‘negroid,’ ‘caucasoid,’ and so on represent real natural kinds.” We should stop using labels that merely capture “something as trivial as skin color” and instead appreciate the legacy of Amo as much as that of any other European in a colorblind manner.

Smith’s article, which brought some 370 comments, a number from Steve Sailer, was challenged a few days later by Kenan Malik, ardent defender of the Enlightenment, in his blog Pandaemonium [3]. Malik’s argument that Enlightenment thinkers “were largely hostile to the idea of racial categorization” represents the general consensus on this question. Malik is an Indian-born English citizen, regular broadcaster at BBC, and noted writer for The GuardianFinancial TimesThe Independent, Sunday Times, New StatesmanProspectTLSThe Times Higher Education Supplement, and other venues. Once a Marxist, Malik is today a firm defender of the “universalist ideas of the Enlightenment,” freedom of speech, secularism, and scientific rationalism. He is best known for his strong opposition to multiculturalism.

Yet this staunch opponent of multiculturalism is a stauncher advocate of open door policies on immigration [4]. In one of his TV documentaries, tellingly titled Let ‘Em All In (2005), he demanded that Britain’s borders be opened to the world without restrictions. In response to a report published during the post-Olympic euphoria in Britain, “The Melting Pot Generation: How Britain became more relaxed about race [5],” he wrote: “news that those of mixed ethnicity are among the fastest-growing groups in the population is clearly to be welcomed [6].” He added that much work remains to be done “to change social perceptions of race.”

This work includes fighting against any immigration objection even from someone like David Goodhart, director of the left think tank Demos, whose just released book, The British Dream [7], modestly made the observation that immigration is eroding traditional identities and creating an England “increasingly full of mysterious and unfamiliar worlds.” In his review (The Independent [8], April 19, 2013) Malik insisted that not enough was being done to wear down the traditional identities of everyone including the native British. The solution is more immigration coupled with acculturation to the universal values of the Enlightenment. “I am hostile to multiculturalism not because I worry about immigration but because I welcome it.” The citizens of Britain must be asked to give up their ethnic and cultural individuality and make themselves into universal beings with rights equal to every newcomer.

It is essential, then, for Malik to disassociate the Enlightenment with any racist undertones. This may not seem difficult since the Enlightenment has consistently come to be seen — by all political ideologies from Left to Right — as the source of freedom, equality, and rationality against the “unreasonable and unnatural” prejudices of particular cultural groups. Malik acknowledges that in recent years some (he mentions George Mosse, Emmanuel Chuckwude Eze, and David Theo Goldberg) have blamed Enlightenment thinkers for articulating the modern idea of race and projecting a view of Europe as both culturally and racially superior. By and large, however, Malik manages (superficially speaking) to win the day arguing that the racist statements one encounters in some Enlightenment thinkers were marginally related to their overall philosophies.

A number of thinkers within the mainstream of the Enlightenment . . . dabbled with ideas of innate differences between human groups . . . Yet, with one or two exceptions, they did so only diffidently or in passing.

The botanist Carolus Linnaeus exhibited the cultural prejudices of his time when he described Europeans as “serious, very smart, inventive” and Africans as “impassive, lazy, ruled by caprice.” But let’s us not forget, Malik reasons, that Linnaeus’ Systema Naturae “is one of the landmarks of scientific thought,” the first “distinctly modern” classification of plants and animals, and of humans in rational and empirical terms as part of the natural order. The implication is that Linnaeus could not have offered a scientific classification of nature while seriously believing in racial differences. Science and race are incompatible.

Soon the more progressive ideas of Johann Blumenbach came; he complained about the prejudices of Linnaeus’ categories and called for a more objective differentiation between human groups based on skull shape and size. It is true that out of Blumenbach’s five-fold taxonomy (Caucasians, Mongolians, Ethiopians, Americans and Malays) the categories of race later emerged. But Malik insists that “it was in the 19th, not 18th, century that a racial view of the world took hold in Europe.”

Malik mentions Jonathan Israel’s argument that there were two Enlightenments, a mainstream one coming from Kant, Locke, Voltaire and Hume, and a radical one coming from “lesser known figures such as d’Holbach, Diderot, Condorcet and Spinoza.” This latter group pushed the ideas of reason, universality, and democracy “to their logical conclusion,” nurturing a radical egalitarianism extending across class, gender, and race. But, in a rather confusing way and possibly because he could not find any discussions of race in the radical group to back up his argument, Malik relies on the mainstream group. He cites David Hume: “It is universally acknowledged that there is a great uniformity among the acts of men, in all nations and ages, and that human nature remains the same in its principles and operations.” And George-Louis Buffon, the French naturalist: “Every circumstance concurs in proving that mankind is not composed of species essentially different from each other.” While Enlightenment thinkers asked why there was so much cultural variety across the globe, Malik explains, “the answer was rarely that human groups were racially distinct . . . environmental differences and accidents of history had shaped societies in different ways.” Remedying these differences and contingencies was what the Enlightenment was about; as Diderot wrote, “everywhere a people should be educated, free, and virtuous.”

Malik’s essay is pedestrian, somewhat disorganized, but in tune with the established literature, and therefore seen by the public as a compilation of truisms against marginal complaints about racism in the Enlightenment. Almost all the books on the Enlightenment have either ignored this issue or addressed it as a peripheral theme. The emphasis has been, rather, on the Enlightenment’s promotion of universal values for the peoples of the world. Let me offer some examples. Leonard Krieger’s King and Philosopher, 1689–1789 (1970) highlights the way the Enlightenment produced “works in which the universal principles of reason were invoked to order vast reaches of the human experience,” Rousseau’s “anthropological history of the human species,” Hume’s “quest for uniform principles of human nature,” “the various tendencies of the philosophes’ thinking — skepticism, rationalism, humanism, and materialism” (152-207). Peter Gay’s The Enlightenment: An Interpretation (1966) is altogether about how “the men of the Enlightenment united on . . . a program of secularism, humanity, cosmopolitanism, and freedom . . . In 1784, when the Enlightenment had done most of its work, Kant defined it as man’s emergence from his self-imposed tutelage, and offered as its motto: Dare to know” (3). Norman Hampson’s The Enlightenment (1968) spends more time on the proponents of modern classifications of nature, particularly Buffon’s Natural History, but makes no mention of racial classifications or arguments opposing any notion of a common humanity.

kant.jpgRecent books are hardly different. Louis Dupre’s The Enlightenment and the Intellectual Foundations of Modern Culture (2004), traces our current critically progressive attitudes back to the Enlightenment “ideal of human emancipation.” Dupré argues (from a perspective influenced by Jurgen Habermas) that the original project of the Enlightenment is linked to “emancipatory action” today (335). Gertrude Himmelfarb’s The Roads to Modernity: The British, French, and American Enlightenments (2004), offers a neoconservative perspective of the British and the American “Enlightenments” contrasted to the more radical ideas of human perfectibility and the equality of mankind found in the French philosophes. She brings up Jefferson’s hope that in the future whites would “blend together, intermix” and become one people with the Indians (221). She quotes Madison on the “unnatural traffic” of slavery and its possible termination, and also Jefferson’s proposal that the slaves should be freed and sent abroad to colonize other lands as “free and independent people.” She implies that Jefferson thought that sending blacks abroad was the most humane solution given the “deep-rooted prejudices of whites and the memories of blacks of the injuries they had sustained” (224).

Dorinda Outram’s, The Enlightenment (1995) brings up directly the way Enlightenment thinkers responded to their encounters with very different cultures in an age characterized by extraordinary expeditions throughout the globe. She notes there “was no consensus in the Enlightenment on the definition of the races of man,” but, in a rather conjectural manner, maintains that “the idea of a universal human subject . . . could not be reconciled with seeing Negroes as inferior.” Buffon, we are safely informed, “argued that the human race was a unity.” Linnaeus divided humanity into different classificatory groups, but did so as members of the same human race, although he “was unsure whether pigmies qualified for membership of the human race.” Turgot and Condorcet believed that “human beings, by virtue of their common humanity, would all possess reason, and would gradually discard irrational superstitions” (55-8). Outram’s conclusion on this topic is typical: “The Enlightenment was trying to conceive a universal human subject, one possessed of rationality,” accordingly, it cannot be seen as a movement that stood against racial divisions (74). Roy Porter, in his exhaustively documented and opulent narrative, Enlightenment: Britain and the Creation of the Modern World (2000), dedicates less than one page of his 600+ page book to discourses on “racial differentiation.” He mentions Lord Kames as “one of many who wrestled with the evidence of human variety . . . hinting that blacks might be related to orang-utans and similar great apes.” Apart from this quaint passage, there is only this: “debate was heated and unresolved, and there was no single Enlightenment party line” (357).

In my essay, “Enlightenment and Global History [9],” I mentioned a number of other books which view the Enlightenment as a European phenomenon and, for this reason, have been the subject of criticism by current multicultural historians who feel that this movement needs to be seen as global in origins. I defended the Eurocentrism of these books while suggesting that their view of the Enlightenment as an acclamation of universal values (comprehensible and extendable outside the European ethnic homeland) was itself accountable for the idea that its origins must not be restricted to Europe. Multicultural historians have merely carried to their logical conclusion the allegedly universal ideals of the Enlightenment. The standard interpretations of Tzvetan Todorov’s In Defence of the Enlightenment (2009), Stephen Bronner’s Reclaiming the Enlightenment (2004), and Robert Louden’s, The World We Want: How and Why the Ideals of the Enlightenment Still Eludes Us (2007), equally neglect the intense interest Enlightenment thinkers showed in the division of humanity into races. They similarly pretend that, insomuch as these thinkers spoke of “reason,” “humanity,” and “equality,” they were thinking outside or above the European experience and intellectual ancestry.

What about Justin Smith, or, since he has not published in this field, the left liberal authors on this topic? There is not that much; the two best known sources are two anthologies of writings on race, namely, Race and the Enlightenment: A Reader (1997), edited by Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze; and The Idea of Race (2000), edited by Robert Bernasconi and Tommy Lott. Eze’s book gathers into a short book the most provocative writings on race by some Enlightenment thinkers (Hume, Linnaeus, Kant, Buffon, Blumenbach, Jefferson and Cuvier). This anthology, valuable as it is, is intended for effect, to show how offensively racist these thinkers were. Eze does not disprove the commonly accepted idea that Enlightenment thinkers were proponents of a universal ethos (although, as we will see below, Eze does offer elsewhere a rather acute analysis of Kant’s racism). Bernasconi’s The Idea of Race is mostly a collection of nineteenth and 20th century writings, with short excerpts from Francois Bernier, Voltaire, Kant, and Blumenbach. The books that Malik mentions (see above) which connect the Enlightenment to racism are also insufficient: George Mosse’s Toward the Final Solution: A History of European Racism (1985) is just another book about European anti-Semitism, which directs culpability to the Enlightenment for carrying classifications and measurements of racial groups. David Goldberg’s Racist Culture (1993) is a study of the normalization of racialized discourses in the modern West in the 20th century.

There are, as we will see later, other publications which address in varying ways this topic, but, on the whole, the Enlightenment is normally seen as the most critical epoch in “mankind’s march” towards universal brotherhood. The leftist discussion of racist statements relies on the universal principles of the Enlightenment. Its goal is to uncover and challenge any idea among 18th century thinkers standing in the way of a future universal civilization. Leftist critics enjoy “exposing” white European males as racists and thereby re-appropriate the Enlightenment as their own from a cultural Marxist perspective. But what if we were to approach the racism and universalism of the Enlightenment from a New Right perspective that acknowledges straightaway the particular origins of the Enlightenment in a continent founded by Indo-European [10] speakers?

This would involve denying the automatic assumption that the ideas of the philosophes were articulated by mankind and commonly true for every culture. How can the ideas of the Enlightenment be seen as universal, representing the essence of humanity, if they were expressed only by European men? The Enlightenment is a product of Europe alone, and this fact alone contradicts its universality. Enlightenment thinkers are themselves to blame for this dilemma expressing their ideas as if “for men of all times and places.” Johann Gottfried Herder (1744–1803), writing at the same time as Kant, did question the notion of a cosmopolitan world based on generic human values. He saw in the world the greatest possible variety of historical humans in different regions of the earth, in time and space. He formulated arguments against racial rankings not by questioning their scientific merits as much as their reduction of the diversity of humans to one matrix of measurement and judgment. It was illusory to postulate a universal philosophy for humanity in which the national character of peoples would disappear and each human on earth would “love each other and every one . . . being all equally polite, well-mannered and even-tempered . . . all philanthropic citizens of the world.”[1] Contrary to some interpretations, Herder was not rejecting the Enlightenment but subjecting it to critical evaluation from his own cosmopolitan education in the history and customs of the peoples of the earth. “Herder was among the men of the Enlightenment who were critical in their search for self-understanding; in short, he was part of the self-enlightening Enlightenment.”[2] He proposed a different universalism based on the actual variety and unique historical experiences and trajectories of each people (Volk). Every people had their own particular language, religion, songs, gestures, legends and customs. There was no common humanity but a division of peoples into language and ethnic groups. Each people were capable of achieving education and progress in its own way from its own cultural sources.

From this standpoint, the Enlightenment should be seen as an expression of a specific people, Europeans, made up of various nationalities but nevertheless in habitants of a common civilization who were actually conceiving the possibility of becoming good citizens of Europe at large. In the words of Edward Gibbon, Enlightenment philosophers were enlarging their views beyond their respective native countries “to consider Europe as a great republic, whose various inhabitants have attained almost the same level of politeness and cultivation” (in Gay, 13).

Beyond Herder, we also need to acknowledge that the Enlightenment inaugurated the study of race from a rational, empirical, and secular perspective consistent with its own principles. No one has been willing to admit this because this entire debate has been marred by the irrational, anti-Enlightenment dogma that race is a construct and that the postulation of a common humanity amounts to a view of human nature without racial distinctions. Contrary to Roy Porter, there was a party line, or, to be more precise, a consistently racial approach among Enlightenment thinkers. The same philosophes who announced that human nature was uniform everywhere, and united mankind as a subject capable of enlightenment, argued “in text after text . . . in the works of Hume, Diderot, Montesquieu, Kant, and many lesser lights” that men “are not uniform but are divided up into sexes, races, national characters . . . and many other categories” (Garret 2006). But because we have been approaching Enlightenment racism under the tutelage of our current belief that race is “a social myth” and that any division of mankind into races is based on malevolent “presumptions unsupported by available evidence [11],” we have failed to appreciate that this subject was part and parcel of what the philosophes meant by “enlightenment.” Why it is so difficult to accept the possibility that 18th century talk about “human nature” and the “unity of mankind” was less a political program for a universal civilization than a scientific program for the study of man in a way that was systematic in intent and universal in scope? It is quite legitimate, from a scientific point, to treat humans everywhere as uniformly constituted members of the same species while recognizing their racial and cultural variety across the world. Women were considered to be intrinsically different from men at the same time that they were considered to be human.

Not being an expert on the Enlightenment I found recently a book chapter titled “Human Nature” by Aaron Garrett in a two volume work, The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Philosophy [12] (2006). There is a section in this chapter dealing with “race and natural character”; it is short, 20 pages in a 1400 page work, but it is nevertheless well researched with close to 80 footnotes of mostly primary sources. One learns from these few pages that “in text after text” Enlightenment thinkers proposed a hierarchical view of the races. Mind you, Garrett is stereotypically liberal and thus writes of “the 18th century’s dubious contributions to the discussion of race,” startled by “the virulent denigrations of blacks . . . found in the works of Franklin, Raynal, Voltaire, Forster, and many others.” He also playacts the racial ideas of these works as if they were inconsistent with the scientific method, and makes the very unscientific error of assuming that there was an “apparent contradiction” with the Enlightenment’s notion of a hierarchy of races and its “vigorous attacks on the slave trade in the name of humanity.”

Just because most Enlightenment thinkers rejected polygenecism and asserted the fundamental (species) equality of humankind, it does not mean that they could not believe consistently in the hierarchical nature of the human races. There were polygenecists like Charles White who argued that blacks formed a race different from whites, and Voltaire who took some pleasure lampooning the vanity of the unity of mankind. But the prevailing view was that all races were members of the same human species, as all humans were capable of creating fertile offspring. Buffon, Cornelius de Pauw, Linnaeus, Blumenbach, Kant and others endorsed this view, and yet they distinctly ranked whites above other races.

Liberals have deliberately employed this view on the species unity of humanity in order to separate, misleadingly, the Enlightenment from any racial connotations. But Linnaeus did rank the races in their behavioral proclivities; and Buffon did argue that all the races descended from an original pair of whites, and that American Indians and Africans were degraded by their respective environmental habitats. De Pauw did say that Africans had been enfeebled in their intelligence and “disfigured” by their environment. Samuel Soemmering did conclude that blacks were intellectually inferior; Peter Camper and John Hunter did rank races in terms of their facial physiognomy. Blumenbach did emphasize the symmetrical balance of Caucasian skull features as the “most perfect.” Nevertheless, in accordance with the evidence collected at the time, all these scholars asserted the fundamental unity of mankind, monogenism, or the idea that all races have a common origin.

Garrett, seemingly unable to accept his own “in text after text” observation, repeats the standard line that Buffon’s and Blumenbach’s view, for example, on “the unity and structural similarity of races” precluded a racial conception. He generally evades racist phrases and arguments from Enlightenment thinkers, such as this one from Blumenbach: “I have allotted the first place to the Caucasian because this stock displays the most beautiful race of men” (Eze, 1997: 79). He makes no mention or almost ignores a number of other racialists [13]: Locke, Georges Cuvier, Johann Winckelmann, Diderot, Maupertuis, and Montesquieu. In the case of Kant, he says it would be “absurd” to take some “isolated remarks” he made about race as if they stood for his whole work. Kant “distinguish between character, temperament, and race in order to avoid biological determinism” for the sake of the “moral potential of the human race as a whole.”

kant-german-philosopher-from.jpgActually, Kant, the greatest thinker of the Enlightenment, “produced the most profound raciological thought of the 18th century.” These words come from Earl W. Count’s book This is Race, cited by Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze in what is a rather good analysis of Kant’s racism showing that it was not marginal but deeply embedded in his philosophy. Eze’s analysis comes in a chapter, “The Color of Reason: The Idea of ‘Race’ in Kant’s Anthropology [14]” (1997). We learn that Kant elaborated his racial thinking in his Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View [15] (1798); he introduced anthropology as a branch of study to the German universities together with the study of geography, and that through his career Kant offered 72 courses in Anthropology and/or Geography, more than in logic, metaphysics and moral philosophy. Although various scholars have shown interest in Kant’s anthropology, they have neglected its relation to Kant’s “pure philosophy.”

For Kant, anthropology and geography were inseparable; geography was the study of the natural conditions of the earth and of man’s physical attributes and location as part of this earth; whereas anthropology was the study of man’s soul, his psychological and moral character, as exhibited in different places on earth. In his geography Kant addressed racial classifications on the basis of physical traits such as skin color; in his anthropology he studied the internal structures of human psychology and the manner in which these internal attributes conditioned humans as moral and rational beings.

Kant believed that human beings were different from other natural beings in their capacity for consciousness and agency. Humans were naturally capable of experiencing themselves as self-reflecting egos capable of acting morally on the basis of their own self-generated norms (beyond the determinism which conditioned all other beings in the universe). It is part of our internal human nature to think and will as persons with moral agency. This uniquely human attribute is what allows humans to transcend the dictates of nature insofar as they are able to articulate norms as commandments for their own actions freed from unconscious physical contingencies and particular customs. As rational beings, humans are capable of creating a realm of ends, and these ends are a priori principles derived not from the study of geography and anthropology but from the internal structures of the mind, transcendental reason. What Kant means by “critical reason” is the ability of humans through the use of their minds to subject everything (bodily desires, empirical reality, and customs) to the judgments of values generated by the mind, such that the mind (reason) is the author of its own moral actions.

However, it was Kant’s estimation that his geographical and anthropological studies gave his moral philosophy an empirical grounding. This grounding consisted in the acquisition of knowledge about human beings “throughout the world,” to use Kant’s words, “from the point of view of the variety of their natural properties and the differences in that feature of the human which is moral in character.”[3] [16] Kant was the first thinker to sketch out a geographical and psychological (or anthropological) classification of humans. He classified humans naturally and racially into white (European), yellow (Asians), black (Africans) and red (American Indians). He also classified them psychologically and morally in terms of the mores, customs and aesthetic feelings held collectively by each of the races. Non-Europeans held unreflective mores and customs devoid of critical examination “because these people,” in the words of Eze, “lack the capacity for development of ‘character,’ and they lack character presumably because they lack adequate self-consciousness and rational will.” Within Kant’s psychological classification, non-Europeans “appear to be incapable of moral maturity because they lack ‘talent,’ which is a ‘gift’ of nature.” Eze quotes Kant: “the difference in natural gifts between various nations cannot be completely explained by means of causal [external, physical, climatic] causes but rather must lie in the [moral] nature of man.” The differences among races are permanent and transcend environmental factors. “The race of the American cannot be educated. It has no motivating force; for it lacks affect and passion . . . They hardly speak, do not caress each other, care about nothing and are lazy.” “The race of the Negroes . . .  is completely the opposite of the Americans; they are full of affect and passion, very lively, talkative and vain. They can be educated but only as servants . . . ” The Hindus “have a strong degree of passivity and all look like philosophers. They thus can be educated to the highest degree but only in the arts and not in the sciences. They can never arise to the level of abstract concepts . . . The Hindus always stay the way they are, they can never advance, although they began their education much earlier.”

Eze then explains that for Kant only “white” Europeans are educable and capable of progress in the arts and sciences. They are the “ideal model of universal humanity.” In other words, only the European exhibits the distinctly human capacity to behave as a rational creature in terms of “what he himself is willing to make himself” through his own ends. He is the only moral character consciously free to choose his own ends over and above the determinism of external nature and of unreflectively held customs. Eze, a Nigerian born academic, obviously criticizes Kant’s racism, citing and analyzing additional passages, including ones in which Kant states that non-Europeans lack “true” aesthetic feelings. He claims that Kant transcendentally hypostasized his concept of race simply on the basis of his belief that skin color by itself stands for the presence or absence of the natural ‘gift’ of talent and moral ‘character’. He says that Kant’s sources of information on non-European customs were travel books and stories he heard in Konigsberg, which was a bustling international seaport. Yet, this does not mean that he was simply “recycling ethnic stereotypes and prejudices.” Kant was, in Eze’s estimation, seriously proposing an anthropological and a geographical knowledge of the world as the empirical presupposition of his critical philosophy.

With the publication of this paper (and others in recent times) it has become ever harder to designate Kant’s thinking on race as marginal. Thomas Hill and Bernard Boxill dedicated a chapter, “Kant and Race [17],” to Eze’s paper in which they not only accepted that Kant expressed racist beliefs, but also that Eze was successful “in showing that Kant saw his racial theory as a serious philosophical project.” But Hill and Boxill counter that Kant’s philosophy should not be seen to be inherently “infected with racism . . . provided it is suitably supplemented with realistic awareness of the facts about racism and purged from association with certain false empirical beliefs.” These two liberals, however, think they have no obligation to provide their readers with one single fact proving that the races are equal. They don’t even mention a source in their favor such as Stephen J. Gould [18]. They take it as a given that no one has seriously challenged the liberal view of race but indeed assume that such a challenge would be racist ipso facto and therefore empirically unacceptable. They then excuse Kant on grounds that the evidence available in his time supported his claims; but that it would be racist today to make his claims for one would be “culpable” of neglecting the evidence that now disproves racial classifications. What evidence [19]?

They then argue that “racist attitudes are incompatible with Kant’s basic principle of respect for humanity in each person,” and in this vein refer to Kant’s denunciation, in his words, of the “wars, famine, insurrection, treachery and the whole litany of evils” which afflicted the peoples of the world who experience the “great injustice of the European powers in their conquests.” But why do liberals always assume that claims about racial differences constitute a call for the conquest and enslavement of non-whites? They forget the 100 million killed in Russia and China, or, conversely, the fact that most Enlightenment racists were opponents of the slave trade. The bottom logic of the Hill-Boxill counterargument is that Kant’s critical philosophy was/is intrinsically incompatible with any racial hierarchies which violate the principles of human freedom and dignity, even if his racism was deeply embedded in his philosophy. But it is not; and may well be the other way around; Kant’s belief in human perfectibility, the complete development of moral agency and rational freedom, may be seen as intrinsically in favor of a hierarchical way of thinking in terms of which race is the standard bearer of the ideal of a free and rational humanity.

It is quite revealing that an expert like Garrett, and the standard interpreters of the Enlightenment generally, including your highness Doctor Habermas, would ignore Kant’s anthropology. A recent essay by Stuart Elden, “Reassessing Kant’s geography [20]” (2009), examines the state of this debate, noting that Kant’s geography and anthropology are still glaringly neglected in most newer works on Kant. One reason for this, Elden believes, “is that philosophers have, by and large, not known what to make of the works.” I would specify that they don’t know what to make of Kant’s racism in light of the widely accepted view that he was a liberal progenitor of human equality and cosmopolitanism. Even Elden does not know what to make of this racism, though he brings attention to some recent efforts to incorporate fully Kant’s anthropology/geography into his overall philosophy, works by Robert Louden, Kant’s Impure Ethics (2000); John Zammito, Kant, Herder, and the Birth of Anthropology (2002), and Holly Wilson, Kant’s Pragmatic Anthropology (2006). Elden pairs off these standard (pro-Enlightenment, pro-Kant) works against the writings of leftist critics who have shown less misgivings designating Kant a racist. All of these works (leftists as well) are tainted by their unenlightened acceptance of human equality and universalism. They cannot come to terms with a Kant who proposed a critical philosophy only for the European race.

There is no space here for details; some of the main points these authors make are: Kant’s anthropology and geography lectures were part of Kant’s critical philosophy, “devoted to trying to enlighten his students more about the people and world around them in order that they might live (pragmatically as well as morally) better lives” (Louden, p. 65). The aim of these lectures, says Wilson, on the cultures and geography of the world was “to civilize young students to become ‘citizens of the world’” (p. 8). Kant was a humane teacher who cared for his students and expected them to become cognizant of the world and in this way acquire prudence and wisdom. “Kant explicitly argues that the anthropology is a type of cosmopolitan philosophy,” writes Wilson, intended to educate students to develop their rational powers so they could think for themselves and thus be free to actualize their full human potentiality (5, 115). This sounds very pleasant yet based on the infantile notion that knowledge of the world and cosmopolitanism, wisdom and prudence, are incompatible with a racial understanding. To the contrary, if Kant’s racial observations were consistent with the available evidence at the time, and if masses of new evidence have accumulated since validating his views, then a critical and worldly philosophy would require us to show understanding towards Kant’s racism, which does not mean one has to accept the subjective impressionistic descriptions Kant uses. Hiding from students the research of Philippe Rushton, Richard Lynn, Charles Murray, Arthur Jensen, among others, would negate their ability to become free enlightened thinkers.

Elden brings the writings of Bernasconi and David Harvey, agreeing with them that Kant played “a crucial role in establishing the term ‘race’ as the currency within which discussions of human variety would be conducted in the 19th century.” He agrees too that Kant’s racism is “deeply problematic” to his cosmopolitanism, and that earlier responses by Kantians to swept aside his racism as “irrelevant” or “not to be taken seriously” are inadequate. Elden thinks however that scholars like Louden and Wilson have risen to the leftist challenge. But what we get from Louden is the same supposition that Kant’s philosophy can be made to meet the requirements of humanitarianism and egalitarianism simply by discarding the racist components. This constitutes a confounding of the actual Enlightenment (and the authentic Kant) with our current cultural Marxist wish to create a progressive global civilization. Louden even makes the rather doleful argument that Kant’s monogenetic view of the races, the idea that all humans originated from a common ancestor, “help us reach our collective destiny.” Kant’s monogenetic view is not an adequate way to show that he believed in a common humanity. The monogenetic view is not only consistent with the eventual differentiation of this common species into unequal races due to migration to different environments, but it is also the case that Kant specifically rejected Buffon’s claim that racial differences could be reversed with the eventual adaptation of “inferior” races to climates and environments that would induce “superior” traits; Kant insisted that the differences among races were fixed and irreversible regardless of future adaptations to different environmental settings. Louden’s additional defense of Kant by noting that he believed that all members of the human species can cultivate, civilize, and moralize themselves does not invalidate Kant’s view that whites are the model of a universal humanity.

So many otherwise intelligent scholars have willfully misled themselves into believing that Enlightenment thinkers were promoters of egalitarianism and a race-less cosmopolitan public sphere. We do live in a time of major deceptions at the highest levels of Western intellectual culture. We are continually reminded that the central idea in Kant’s conception of enlightenment is that of “submitting all claims to authority to the free examination of reason.”[4] [21] Yet the very ideals of the Enlightenment have been misused to preclude anyone from examining freely and rationally the question of race differences even to the point that admirers of the Enlightenment have been engaged in a ubiquitous campaign to hide, twist beyond clarity, and confound what Enlightenment thinkers themselves said about such differences. White nationalists should no longer accept the standard interpretation of the Enlightenment. They should embrace the Enlightenment and Kant as their own.


[1] Gurutz Jáuregui Bereciartu, Decline of the Nation State (1986), p. 26.

[2] Hans Adler and Ernest Menze, Eds. “Introduction,” in On World History, Johan Gottfried Herder: An Anthology (1997): p. 5

[3] These words are cited in Stuart Elden’s “Reassessing Kant’s geography,” Journal of Historical Geography (2009), a paper I discuss later.

[4] Perpetual Peace. Essays on Kant’s Cosmopolitan Ideal, eds. Johan Bohman and Mathias Lutz Bachman. The MIT Press, 1997.



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URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Kant_Portrait.jpeg

[2] essay: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/why-has-race-survived/

[3] Pandaemonium: http://kenanmalik.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/on-the-enlightenments-race-problem/

[4] open door policies on immigration: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenan_Malik

[5] The Melting Pot Generation: How Britain became more relaxed about race: http://www.britishfuture.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/The-melting-pot-generation.pdf

[6] welcomed: http://www.britishfuture.org/blog/mixed-britain-will-the-census-results-change-the-way-we-think-and-talk-about-race/

[7] The British Dream: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1843548054/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=1843548054&linkCode=as2&tag=kenanmalikcom-21

[8] The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/the-british-dream-by-david-goodhart-8578883.html

[9] Enlightenment and Global History: http://www.counter-currents.com/2013/04/enlightenment-and-global-history/

[10] Indo-European: http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2012/12/where-is-the-historical-west-part-1-of-5/

[11] presumptions unsupported by available evidence: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_racism

[12] The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Philosophy: http://www.amazon.com/Cambridge-History-Eighteenth-Century-Philosophy-Haakonssen/dp/0521418542

[13] other racialists: http://www.quodlibet.net/articles/foutz-racism.shtml

[14] The Color of Reason: The Idea of ‘Race’ in Kant’s Anthropology: http://books.google.ca/books?id=moH_07971gwC&pg=PA200&lpg=PA200&dq=%E2%80%9CThe+Color+of+Reason:+The+Idea+of+%E2%80%98Race%E2%80%99+in+Kant%E2%80%99s+Anthropology%E2%80%9D&source=bl&ots=Q9-oKv3Wks&sig=QDcpHumNboU6TrfmWYfZCdjPyss&hl=en&sa=X&ei=rHSOUbebCNWz4AP87YCwDA&sqi=2&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=%E2%80%9CThe%20Color%20of%20Reason%3A%20The%20Idea%20of%20%E2%80%98Race%E2%80%99%20in%20Kant%E2%80%99s%20Anthropology%E2%80%9D&f=false

[15] Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View: http://books.google.ca/books/about/Kant_Anthropology_from_a_Pragmatic_Point.html?id=MuS6WI_7xeYC&redir_esc=y

[16] [3]: http://www.counter-currents.comfile:///C:/Users/Owner/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/Content.IE5/F9Q4VNXE/The%20Enlightenment%20from%20a%20New%20Right%20Perspective%20(1).rtf#_ftn3

[17] Kant and Race: http://www.faculty.umb.edu/lawrence_blum/courses/465_11/readings/Race_and_Racism.pdf

[18] Stephen J. Gould: http://menghusblog.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/stephen-jay-gould-myth-and-fraud/

[19] What evidence: http://www.jehsmith.com/philosophy/2008/09/phil-498629-rac.html

[20] Reassessing Kant’s geography: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305748808000613

[21] [4]: http://www.counter-currents.comfile:///C:/Users/Owner/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/Content.IE5/F9Q4VNXE/The%20Enlightenment%20from%20a%20New%20Right%20Perspective%20(1).rtf#_ftn4