Out of everyone I’ve interviewed in my life, I don’t recall feeling as intimidated as I did when calling Mr. Devlin in August of 2015.
Here is a partial transcript of the 2021 interview.
Every interview has a genre. This particular interview fits into the friendly genre. I think Roger understands that while I might challenge him, I’m not going to try to distort him. As a result, he speaks freely. I get the unfiltered content of his thinking. There is no posing or posturing or defensiveness here. This is how Roger sees the world during the early evening of June 21, 2021.
Roger: “Nobody can beat [Charles Murray] in his mastery of the empirical data. You go to Charles Murray to find out what the best studies are…but then it is sandwiched between Conservative Inc. rhetoric.”
Roger: “He is a rigorous empirical thinker. I hope the book does some good… I’ve been often frustrated by his caution in expressing himself… There are other people such as Jared Taylor who will show you more of the truth that Murray shies away from.”
Luke: “I was reading an article from 1997 in the New York Times on critical race theory [which] “holds that people’s perspectives on events are overwhelmingly determined by their racial background. So by that definition, are you a proponent and a practicioner of critical race theory?”
Roger: “I think it’s quite silly. I think this was originally devised as a way of justifying racial preferences. What used to be said in the 1990s was that we needed more black students to provide a black perspective as if your perspective is determined entirely by your biology. I know some pretty hardcore racialists and I don’t think any of them believe that. I don’t think that anybody on our side believes that race determines your thoughts and gives you a point of view. If you would ask people, what is this black point of view, they wouldn’t be able to give much detail. ‘I don’t know, that’s why we need blacks to provide it.’ It’s naive to think that there is a black point of view, a woman’s point of view, a white point of view. It’s crude thinking that you would never find among people who know their genetics. It’s a caricature of racism.”
Luke: “It seems like the Left always wins. Why?”
Roger: “Well, partly it is because they are defined as the winners in the battle. They may have bit off more than they can chew with injecting critical race theory into the elementary school curriculum. It appears that the other side is enjoying some success. Ultimately, it will be necessary to change American schools of education. If you simply outlaw critical race theory, schools of education are still reliably producing people who think that way. We might need some certification of teachers that does not require three years wasted at Ed school.”
Luke: “How do you divide up your time [reading]?”
Roger: “I spend no time reading newspapers. There are four sites I check every day and they are the ones I write for — American Renaissance, VDARE, the Occidental Observer and Counter Currents. Other than that, I mostly spend time on books. I would not make a good daily columnist.”
Luke: “How much does it matter whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden is president?”
Roger: “These are epiphenomena. I voted for Donald Trump twice. I don’t believe for a second that Joe Biden won the presidency, I believe he was installed. I don’t think the regime is as strong as it looks. It is typical for a regime to behave this way and to go all out against opponents when it feels threatened. Obviously the Washington regime feels threatened now. The lunacy we’re seeing with the Biden administration, it has a silver lining. We’re entering a critical phase of our struggle and it is no reason to feel disheartened.”
Luke: “But an ordinary person who did not pay attention to the news, would they even notice any difference in their real life?”
Roger: “Perhaps not yet. How much of a difference did Trump or Obama make in our daily life? These candidates are expressions of deeper forces. In Biden’s case, it is obvious that he is of no importance. There’s some secret committee at the White House that tells him what to say… We’re going to need somebody a lot Trumpier than Trump. We’re going to need explicit advocacy for the white majority to begin an effective struggle.”
Luke: “When you say Joe Biden was installed?”
Roger: “I don’t know more than anybody. Were you watching returns election night?”
Roger: “I saw how Trump was developing a commanding lead and all of a sudden the counting stopped and it was announced that they were going to start counting again tomorrow. To me, that’s all you need to know. I don’t know the details, but I know that that’s not normal. That can’t be normal. And of course the next day the votes start coming in again and the ratios are completely different. To me there is no question about the fact of the election being stolen… I doubt they are going to be able to get away with stealing every election from here on out… I think that not only was Biden’s election stolen, but possibly the run-offs in Georgia too.”
Luke: “But as someone who’s spent hundreds of hours on this, there’s no evidence for what you are saying. Before the election, it was predicted there would be a red mirage because Trump voters were more likely to vote in person while Biden voters were more likely to mail in their ballots and due to the [decisions by] Republican legislatures, they would not allow the counting of ballots in swing states until after the close of in-person voting. So this [red mirage] was predicted for months ahead.”
Roger: “It was announced! It was predicted because it was planned this way. The Democrats knew that we had record mail-in voting because that’s what they needed. I am not an expert, I haven’t followed all of the debate in intense detail, but it doesn’t pass the smell test with me, just the fact that all this mail-in voting was allowed…and it is just like the Republicans rolling over and doing nothing about it. They were passively collaborating with the Democrats.”
Luke: “Is there any particular person who you find particularly compelling on what you just talked about?”
Roger: “No. I’ve unsystematically studied the matter. I’ve heard different things. For a time, postal workers reported on all kinds of crazy things they saw.”
Roger: “Ballot watchers were being locked out. I just heard what everybody else heard. I can’t claim any special expertise.”
Luke: “If Joe Biden is not the most powerful man in America, then who is?”
Roger: “That’s the big mystery. I don’t think it’s [Kamala] Harris. Somebody obviously is. It’s probably some committee deep in the bowels of the White House.”
Luke: “How is the Left more effective? Biden seems more effective than Trump.”
Roger: “He’s got the cooperation of all of official Washington. Trump was a very ineffective president. He was the most ineffective president since Carter.”
Luke: “So why is the Left more effective?”
Roger: “For one thing, they can break the rules. The Right is all about principles and the Left is all about power and power is going to win. We need people who would fight dirtier… It would be worth putting through impeachment papers against Biden that we don’t like his face, just because the Democrats did that with Trump. But they’re too principled. Republicans don’t seem to want to recognize that the other side doesn’t fight fair. That’s one reason we always seem to lose.”
“The federal government needs a serious purge…”
Luke: “What do you think of the rise and fall of the Alt Right? It rose up in 2015 and then it had a dramatic fall in 2017 and now there’s almost nothing left.”
Roger: “I don’t see it that way. I don’t think these year by year fluctuations are that important. There’s a lot of anger building in America. It’s still there. Nothing’s been done. It’s a surface phenomenon. All the memeing that happened in 2016 and then Charlottesville, that’s a surface phenomenon. That you don’t really see the Alt right active to the same degree, that doesn’t bother me. Something similar is going to happen again, it will be provoked by the outrages of the Biden administration. They’re putting people in solitary confinement for protesting a stolen election. There’s a lot of anger out there. They’re [ruling class] are on thinner ice than they realize.”
Luke: “Why were BLM and Antifa so effective when compared to the Alt Right?”
Roger: “Because they had the whole establishment on their side. It’s certainly wasn’t their arguments. They can’t compete with Charles Murray. They just have all the elites on their side. It acts as a megaphone.”
Roger says he has not been in touch with Richard Spencer for a couple of years.
Roger: “I want to live in a country where my group is not blamed for everyone else’s problems. I wanted to be treated the same as other people. I want to see some equality before the law. I’m not necessarily opposed to a white ethno-state but we’re not at the point where we can talk about that practically. Immigration needs to be stopped 20 years ago. Steps could be taken to make the population more European, to encourage people who have come here in the last generation and don’t have any loyalty to the country. That’s fine, but then they don’t belong here.”
“I was amazed that during the Trump administration, we who were called Alt Right at that point, were so few in numbers, and yet all of American politics seemed to be about us. It’s possible for a small group of people to have an outsized effect.”
Luke: “What happens when people use Alt Right rhetoric and go out and slaughter people?”
Roger: “It’s analogous to people advocating socialism when Stalin killed millions of people. If you apply the standard equally to left and right, our side would seem to be the less tainted… We’re responsible for everything everybody does in our name and somehow the Left is not responsible for any of the hundred million deaths due to communism. I’ve never advocated violence. I don’t work with people who advocate violence. Obviously Merrick Garland is going to try to pin violence on us. It’s hard. We have plenty of solid people who are acting constructively and there aren’t that many who go off and do something stupid like Dylan Roof and Brenton Tarrant. It might not be their intention, but they’re working for the other side. I have nothing positive to say about them.”
Luke: You mention there are many solid people working for the cause, but is not the cause attracting many marginalized people because mostly marginalized people are attracted to causes pushed on to the margins.
Roger: “There is an effect like that. Outside of the respectable Right, you run into brilliant people and you run into people with damaged personalities. It goes with the territory. If you find people advocating violence, you should shun them. I haven’t been approached by these people. They know better than to approach me or Greg Johnson or Jared Taylor or Peter Brimelow. I don’t think we do anything to attract them. I don’t think, in the end, those people are going to sabotage our cause.”
Luke: “Do you believe in the Great Replacement?”
Roger: “Yes! I was born in the early 1960s, not long before the 1965 immigration act, and I’ve seen it. In the America I grew up in, I didn’t have to press one for English. I’ve lived in Germany too in the 1980s and I was back a couple of years ago and I see what’s happened. It’s not a theory, it’s a fact. It’s easy to extend the arrow on the graph and see at what point we’re going to be a minority, at what point we’re going to be below 40%, 30%, 20%, if nothing changes.”
For a contrary point of view, see this June 16, 2021 essay in The Atlantic by three academics: “The Myth of a Majority-Minority America – The narrative that nonwhite people will soon outnumber white people is not only divisive, but also false.” In 2020, Richard Alba published the book The Great Demographic Illusion: Majority, Minority, and the Expanding American Mainstream.
Roger: “The future is totally open. The other side could succeed in establishing some kind of totalitarian regime and persecuting our people or we could completely win and marginalize the other side. I’m neither complacent nor despairing.”
Luke: “Couldn’t one make the argument that the Great Replacement is not factually accurate because whites are not being replaced so much as supplemented or overwhelmed? White people are not being taken out and shot.”
Roger: “No, not yet. It may happen if we get to be under 5% or 10% of the population. They were almost doing that in some African countries I think.”
Luke: “But with regard to Europe and the United States, the Great Replacement does not seem to be factually accurate. Whites are not literally being replaced.”
Roger: “I would say we are because a lot of the money that is taken from us, the effect of taxation is a net drain on whites and a net benefit for non-whites. Whites don’t have children if times don’t look good. And one reason that the times don’t look good is the terrible tax burden whites both in Europe and in the United States bear. A lot of people are scared to have more than one or two children because of the situation and then on the other side you have blacks like some rapper who died have engendering nine babies with five different women. You have present-oriented people and for them, the tax situation is like a windfall. And then when you have people come up from Mexico, yes, they’re poorer than we are, but they are so much richer than they were in their home country that it feels like tremendous prosperity and so they’ll go ahead and have big families. This is something that has been measured. I’m not speculating here… This is a real replacement, even though we’re not being dragged out and shot. We’re being discouraged. The effect is replacement.”
Luke: “Is there any difference in the fertility rate between [industrialized] countries with massive immigration and countries with limited immigration? Australia has comparatively limited immigration and it still has the decline in the fertility rate. Japan has limited immigration and has a much low fertility rate than the United States. I wonder factually if you are on solid ground?”
Roger: “Oh, I don’t know. If the regime wants white people having children, it can do something about it. Hungary has done this and seen the effects already… If the taxes were structured to encourage male breadwinners and full-time mothers, plenty could be done to raise western birthrates well above replacement level.”
Luke: “I want to push back on something else.”
‘Majority Minority’ America? Don’t Bet on It – How a Census Bureau error led Democrats to assume they were on the right side of inexorable demographic trends.
In 2000, for example, the Census Bureau estimated that by 2059 nonwhites would outnumber whites in the U.S. population. A few years later, it moved the date up, to 2043.
Mr. Alba more or less accepted these predictions at first. But about five years ago he spotted an error in how the Census Bureau classifies people by race and ethnicity: “The data are understating the degree to which people were coming from mixed family backgrounds.”
The difficulty started as the federal government prepared for the 2000 census and sought to recognize the small but growing number of multiracial Americans. The Census Bureau decided to let people like Mr. Woods check off more than one racial box on their forms. Leaders of liberal civil-rights groups lobbied against the change. They feared a recognition of multiracialism would dilute the numerical strength of minorities and make it harder to enforce antidiscrimination laws.
The Office of Management and Budget devised an ironic solution to the dilemma. The OMB, whose responsibilities include maintaining the consistency of data across federal departments and agencies, revived a version of the old “one drop” rule from the Jim Crow era, according to which a single African ancestor made a person entirely black. The OMB decided that Americans who designated themselves as white and something else on their Census forms would be classified as nonwhite.
“If you’re changing white to nonwhite, there’s a problem,” Mr. Alba says. As an example, he cites survey findings that Americans of mixed Asian and white descent tend to have more contact with white relatives than with Asian ones (in part because Asian relatives are likelier to live abroad). Moreover, 62% of Asian-whites say they feel “very” accepted by whites, compared with 47% who say the same about Asians. When they marry, 72% of Asian-white women and 64% of Asian-white men take white spouses. The government nevertheless counts them and their progeny as nonwhite.
Luke: “I am 1/16th Chinese, so if I put down on the Census report that I am Asian and Caucasion, the Census would count me solely as Asian.”
Roger: “That’s intentional to harm out interests.”
Luke: “But doesn’t it undercut the argument that we’re heading for this disastrous majority-minority state?”
Roger: “But we are. We might be a little farther from it then some people think… The cause is not necessarily going to be lost on January 1, 2042, the time that was most recently projected that whites would be a minority. Even after we become a minority, we’ll probably still have out-sized influence on political and social processes.”
Luke: “I have not encountered anti-white hostility from latinos and asians.”
Roger: “Asians? No. Whenever you have two races, you are going to have certain levels of discomfort. There is a radical fringe among latinos…”
Luke: “Have you experienced anti-white animus?”
Roger: “No, but I’m not sure how dispositive my life is. At this point in my life, I don’t even interact as much with non-whites as I used to.”
Luke: “Did you read Nathan Cofnas’s critique of Kevin MacDonald’s book Culture of Critique?”
Luke: “Have you heard of it?”
Roger: “Yes. I’ve seen the debate about it.”
Luke: “You’ve extensively praised Kevin MacDonald’s work. You’ve read all of his Jewish trilogy twice. So why would you not read a critique?”
Roger: “I’ve found his most recent work on Europeans as compelling as his work on Jews.”
Luke: “Why would you not read [the one academic critique of Kevin MacDonald]?”
Roger: “I’ve not heard enough good about it. Maybe I should? If I had seen more positive commentary on Cofnas’s work, I would have read it.”
Luke: “Richard Spencer has called Kevin MacDonald the most important intellectual on the Alt Right. Greg Johnson has credited Kevin MacDonald with persuading him into white nationalism. It’s curious that all these people who’ve credited Kevin MacDonald have bothered to read the one academic critique of Kevin MacDonald.”
“You mention that you do not read newspapers and you mentioned the four websites you read every day, are you reading anyone who challenges your worldview?”
Roger: “I don’t know so much right now, when I was young, my academic background is in philosophy. I spent half of grad school reading Marxists.”
“In my free hours lately, I’ve been reading Tacitus. It seems somehow appropriate because it seems like America has passed some turning from a free republic to an empire. There are lessons to be drawn from all previous history. It’s a way of staying sane — spending time with the classics.”
Luke: “My father did a PhD in Apocalyptic literature. Would it be fair to place much of your writing in the genre of Apocalyptic?”
Roger: “No. Why would anybody think that? I’d have to say the Apocalyptic books are my least favorite in the Bible.”
Luke: “Apocalyptic refers to the destruction of the world. That seems to be the underlying theme underneath a large part of your writing, that we are headed towards the destruction of the world.”
Roger: “That may be the fault of the times we live in, not my temperament. My temperament is stodgy conservative but we live in revolutionary times and conservatism has failed and what we need is an almost total shift in power and influence in the country. Some people might call that a revolution… A top to bottom change is needed at this time. I’d like to think it could be done without so much bloodshed as to make the cure worse than the disease. It might be possible to mount a challenge broad-based enough it wouldn’t have to be violent.”
Luke: “Would it be fair to describe you as a revolutionary writer?”
Roger: “No. One of my favorite writers is Solzhenitsyn and I feel a strong kinship with the anti-revolutionary tradition of France and Britain like [Edmund] Burke and [Joseph de] DeMaistre… Today we need an insurgent rather than a conservative strategy. That doesn’t mean the same thing as revolution. We need to stop thinking as defenders of an old order and make a little history of our own.”
Luke: “Who would be a left-wing equivalent of F. Roger Devlin? You sound like Martin Luther King. He said, I hope there won’t be violence, but we need to make a little history of our own.”
Roger: “I don’t know. Have you read The Conservative Revolution in Germany? That’s one possible analogy to the situation we are in. People who were temperamentally conservative started to think in radical terms.”
Luke: “Do you think the 21st Century will be another American century?”
Roger: “No, but I don’t really care about projecting American power around the globe… I’d like to see a happier America rather than a more powerful one… We may see a breakup of the country, it might not be a bad thing if it leads to happier white people in a smaller and less influential nation.”
Luke: “I have no idea practically how we could have succession. Red states and blue states are not located in a way that could lead to secession.”
Roger: “It is an awkward situation. It would require moving people around. It’s a radical solution, but the problems we have are so deep-seated, it might be possible to work out something like that. It’s not something I like to talk about, because I still miss the America from before 1965, but it is not coming back. There are precedents for it like the partition of India.”
Luke: “I don’t see the harm men in the military allowing it.”
Roger: “Within a century, anything is possible.”
Luke: “You talk about the problems we have, but compared to whom? What countries have fewer problems than we do? Who is better situated to go through the 21st Century than the United States?”
Roger: “How about the Visegrad Group (four countries from Central Europe — Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia)? They’re following sensible policies. They may be less powerful than we are, but they seem to be happier. A certain number of people are attracted to that part of the world — a good place for a white couple to raise a family. I’ve heard stories about Frenchmen moving to the Hungarian countryside to raise a family. That does not require Hungary to be a powerful country.”
Luke: “Yeah, but we’re all locked in an iron cage together. When you’re not powerful, it’s easy for other countries to roll over you. I would not feel secure if I were anyone in the Visegrad Group. They could get wiped out in a minute. They’ve got no power.”
Roger: “They may have to leave the European Union if they are serious about maintaining their sovereignty. Are you thinking of a Russian invasion? I’m not a geo-political thinker. Luxembourg has no power either and it doesn’t get invaded. Somewhere a white majority country is going to be able to exist and to look after the interests of the others, whether it’s North America or Russia.”
Luke: “Is it fair to say that the strong take what they want and the weak endure what they must?”
Roger: “In what sense? There is self-limitation. It’s possible to be overly cynical.”
Luke: “Do you think it is cynical to say that in general the strong take what they want and the weak in general endure what they must?”
Roger: “Sometimes the strong won’t want to take over other people’s countries. I’m anti-imperialistic.”
Luke: “I was talking about how the world works and you were talking about how the world should work.”
Roger: “Russia could invade Poland and the Poles couldn’t stop it, but they’re not doing that, so what’s the problem? Life is not just about the maximal accumulation of power over others.”
Luke: “That is life from the perspective of the nation state.”
Luke: “Because there is no higher authority, the state’s number one priority is to survive, and the best way to do that is to become as strong as possible.”
Roger: “Why do you think Luxembourg is independent?”
Luke: “Because the incentives are not to do that, but incentives can change in a heartbeat. The situation determines the ethic.”
Roger: “You’re asking some deep questions. I can’t claim to have the answers.”
Colin Liddell comments: “Devlin has little ability to reflect on the Alt-Right’s many mistakes. I guess he is afraid to criticise any of his friends, like Greg Johnson, who played key parts in Nazifying the movement, or Jared Taylor, who failed to see the dangers and did little to prevent them.”
Populism, Immigration, and the
Future of White Majorities
Abrams Press, 2019
618 pp., $35.00 hardcover
This is is a book about the future of white majorities in Western nations, written by someone whose biography reads like a send-up of multiculturalism: born in Hong Kong to a Jewish father and mixed Costa Rican/Chinese mother, raised in Vancouver, he spent eight years in Tokyo before becoming professor of politics at the University of London. Prof. Kaufmann is not hostile to whites, but his prescriptions are unlikely to satisfy anyone who truly values Western civilization.
This reviewer’s suspicions were aroused from the book’s second paragraph: “Whites can no more hold back demography than King Canute could command the tides.” Apparently, America’s Hart-Celler Act, which did away with national origins quotas, did not result from the free actions of Sen. Philip Hart and Rep. Emanuel Celler; rather, it just sort of rolled onto America’s shores like the incoming tide one day in 1965.
Doubly suspicious is that this supposedly inevitable tide failed to operate in all parts of the world, for just a few pages later we read:
“In East Asia, automation and guest worker programmes drawing on South-East Asian labour are ensuring that the region’s demographic deficit will not produce multicultural nation-states. These nations remain attached to what I call closed ethnic nationalism, in which proscriptive boundaries coexist with immigration policies designed to maintain majority ethnic predominance.”
This raises the obvious question of why Americans and Europeans cannot control their own demographic future just as the Japanese and South Koreans are doing. Kaufmann never tells us, but like all who appeal to inevitability, he is in favor of the tendency he wishes his readers to consider inevitable:
“I am not arguing that [the West] should adopt the exclusive East Asian model. A better solution is to balance liberal and minority preferences for more immigration with the restrictionism of ethnic-majority conservatives. The key is that the majority be an open rather than a closed ethnic group.”
Yet in 537 pages, the author never pauses to explain to readers why the modern West—the most open and universalistic society in the history of the world—is obliged to become still more open and universalistic, while everyone else is fine the way they are. But in this book, as in contemporary politics, such is the assumption throughout.
The book’s title is a misnomer: the only demographic shift presently occurring is one away from whiteness. Kaufmann forecasts a greatly increasing rate of racial intermixture:
“In a century those of mixed-race will be the largest group in countries like Britain and America. In two centuries, few people living in urban areas of the West will have an unmixed racial background.”
He does not argue that such a change is desirable; at this point, we are back to a rhetoric of inevitability. The only freedom he would permit us regards how we respond to this supposedly unavoidable future. He distinguishes four possibilities, which he calls fight, repress, flee, and join. “Fight” means attempting to avoid the inevitable, as the Japanese have mysteriously been able to do, by maintaining inherited majorities. “Repress” refers to intensified state repression of white opposition to their own dispossession under color of fighting “racism.” “Flee” refers to what has long been known as white flight, with whites colonizing areas where they maintain a supermajority. “Join” refers to a Brazilian-style acceptance of admixture whereby whites would continue to exist as a social category, even as most become mixed to some extent.
Kaufmann’s own preferences are made clear from the first chapter. He wishes to “draw the sting of right-wing populism,” but realizes that repression alone cannot succeed. “Conservative whites need to have a future,” he warns, because “even if [they] don’t win elections, they are in a position to obstruct change, damage social cohesion, and, perhaps, pose a security threat.” His pacification strategy is, firstly, to convince whites that resistance is futile (hence the inevitability tropes) and, secondly, to assure them their mixed-race future won’t really be so bad. Once this is accomplished, the West “can begin to refocus on priorities such as democratization, climate change, economic growth and inequality” (which we are apparently not focused on enough already).
The book’s four parts nominally correspond to the possible responses of fighting, repressing, fleeing, and joining. But Part 1: Fight, which occupies over half the book, never seriously tries to imagine what a successful strategy for countering white dispossession would look like. Such an approach might be all right for the Japanese, but Kaufmann is not about to consider it for the West. So what we get instead is largely reportage on the rise of right-wing populism. Two chapters are devoted to the United States: the first summarizes the transition from the country’s original Anglo-Saxon Protestant cultural core to its more generally “white” cultural core in the twentieth century; the second narrates the rise of Donald Trump as a movement of resistance by the embattled white majority. The focus then shifts to Britain, narrating the rise and fall of the British National Party and the surprise success of the Brexit campaign. One chapter chronicles the rise of the populist right in mainland Europe, and one more covers developments in Canada and Australia.
In Part 2: Repress, Kaufmann devotes two chapters to what he calls left-modernism. This roughly corresponds to the sort of thinking familiar to us from the Southern Poverty Law Center: an authoritarian (if not totalitarian) program of white dispossession accompanied by draconian suppression of any glimmerings of positive white racial identity. To his credit, Kaufmann explicitly recognizes that combining an affirmation of non-white identities with the suppression of white identity is an indefensible double standard. Coming from a contemporary academic, this is a generous admission.
Also in Part 2, the author attempts to rescue the term “racism” from verbal inflation, an undertaking this reviewer suspects is a fool’s errand. In Kaufmann’s usage, “racism” is an umbrella term for three distinct things he considers morally objectionable: antipathy to racial outgroups, the quest for racial purity, and racial discrimination. His discussion demonstrates, however, that none of these principles are unambiguous.
The author’s principal example of “antipathy to racial outgroups” is “attacking Muslims,” by which he means criticizing them. He claims that forbidding immigration by Muslims as a class would injure them by generating hostility toward them and threatening their safety. One really does not know where to begin: we might point out that Muslims are not a racial group, of course, or that antipathy is distinct from criticism (which is distinct from “attacking”). Furthermore, forbidding the immigration of a group need not imply antipathy to that group: I might forbid sick people from entering my home to keep my family healthy and not out of any irrational antipathy toward the sick. But Kaufmann speaks as if America were bound to allow the immigration of at least one resident of the Cannibal Coast in order to avoid generating hostility toward cannibals. This is one of those principles that only appears to apply to Western nations, however; Kaufmann nowhere criticizes the limitation of Israel’s Law of Return to Jews, nor demands that Christians be made welcome in Saudi Arabia.
The author also rejects any concern for what he calls “racial purity,” saying that it “results in outgroups being viewed as pollutants, which leads to ill-treatment of minorities and carries an enhanced risk of genocide.” But just what sort of person counts as a racial purist? Madison Grant, who thought anyone with a 1,024th part African ancestry should be considered “black,” is an obvious candidate. But how about the conservative after the manner of Russell Kirk, who feels “affection for the proliferating variety…of human existence,” ( The Conservative Mind, 8) and fears something valuable would be lost in a perfectly blended humanity? Or the ordinary guy who doesn’t want his daughter marrying one of “those people?” Any of these attitudes, different as they are, might be described as racial purism, and Kaufmann offers us no rule for determining which are illicit (“racist”) and which acceptable. He does say, however, that his principle forbids Western nations from defining themselves as either white or Christian. Once again, no word on how or whether the same principle applies to nonwestern countries. Does Liberia’s Law of Citizenship, which restricts naturalization to persons of Black African descent, result in other races being viewed as pollutants, or increase the risk of their genocide?
Even the condemnation of racial discrimination can be problematic, as Kaufmann admits: should French restaurants have the right to hire only French waiters? Should a black singer be free to hire only black backing musicians in order to create an all-black “look” on stage?
We are forced to conclude that the author has not succeeded in providing a useful or workable definition for “racism.” But then neither has anybody else.
Kaufmann devotes just one chapter to Part 3: Flee. Whites have a measurable tendency to move to places whiter than they left. The author mentions that the only ethnic group in the Greater London area to become more segregated from others during the first decade of this century was the white British! They are hunkering down in the areas which remain reassuringly British, while nonwhites rub shoulders with one another in superdiverse areas from which whites are increasingly absent.
White flight does not correlate well with political preferences; much of it involves those with progressive views, whereas more conservative whites have a stronger attachment to the neighborhoods where they live, even amid demographic change. And all whites, regardless of location or political views, maintain disproportionately white social networks. With the browning of suburbia, any continuation of the white flight strategy will increasingly require recolonizing rural areas.
Part 4, Join outlines the manner in which Kaufmann would like to see the West evolve, through mixed marriages and an expanded concept of “whiteness.” Unlike many champions of racial mixture, he understands all hope of “solving” the race problem once and for all through perfect panmixia is a utopian fantasy. The actual result of continuing intermixture will be what we observe in Brazil: a more complicated social reality with fuzzier boundaries, but one in which people still identify by race, and such identification continues to “matter” in all sorts of ways.
The author notes that people’s understanding of their own ancestry is inevitably an oversimplification. Turks, e.g., like to imagine themselves as coming from Central Asia, since this is where the Turkish language originated; in fact, most of their ancestry is local to Anatolia. The Greeks have “absorbed massive demographic incursions” of Slavs and others over the centuries, but still think of themselves as descended from the ancient Hellenes. Many similar examples could be cited.
Some Americans of mixed ancestry already identify with the American mainstream; indeed, polling indicates that minority Republicans are more attached to the white tradition of American nationhood than white Democrats. Kaufman expects that the future mixed-race population of a Brazilianized West will continue, in an analogous way, to identify culturally with Europe. He calls this “an open form of white identity,” writing hopefully that “when the majority sees itself as having a largely mixed-race future, it may become more open to immigration.” It thus appears that whites’ reward for accepting admixture will be getting hit with even greater admixture in the future. Unmixed whites can be expected to survive for a time in ever-shrinking rural areas, rather as Gaelic speakers persist in remote corners of Ireland, but they will be more like museum specimens than a civilization.
A writer’s deepest convictions often emerge less from his explicit arguments than in casual, throw-away remarks, and a particularly revealing one pops up on page 451 of Whiteshift: “The American state can work with almost any ethnic or religious configuration, adopt any official language, and still function pretty well.”
Kaufmann does not believe that institutions reflect the specific character of the people who created them; he thinks race only matters insofar as people suppose it does. It follows that the West will survive by some people continuing to “identify” with it. This may allow us some hope for civil peace and reduced racial tension in the future, which is the author’s primary concern, but it does not bode well for the survival of the uniquely inventive and dynamic societies Europeans have historically created.