|Vol. 9, No. 4||April 1998|
Nationalism on the March in France
Jean-Marie Le Pen’s movement is winning France back for the French.
After decades of leftist anti-nationalist propaganda, Europe is finally reawakening to the importance of nation and race. In recent years, patriotic parties have made important breakthroughs in Austria, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, and even in Germany, but the achievements of the Front National (FN) in France are the most significant by far. There is a chance that within a decade French racial nationalists could hold real power — in a country that is the birthplace of one of Europe’s great cultures and is the fourth-ranked industrial power in the world.
|Jean-Marie Le Pen|
Over the last 25 years Jean-Marie Le Pen has built a powerful organization that has dramatically shifted the terms of political debate in France. A skilled orator and tireless organizer, the 69-year-old Mr.Le Pen has made it possible once again for the French to think in terms of their own peoplehood, to affirm the importance of blood and soil, and to state openly that France belongs to the French (see Le Pen in His Own Words).
The FN unquestionably owes its success to the fact that it is the only political party that openly opposes the transformation of France through Third-World immigration. During the economic expansion of the 1960s, France imported unskilled labor from its former North African colonies just as Germany imported Turks. What began as a temporary boom-time male workforce eventually became a massive transfer of Maghreb Arabs into what had been a very stable white population. With a slowing economy and increasing unemployment, France finally put an official stop to Third-World immigration in 1974 but the damage had been done. Millions of unassimilable Arabs began to accumulate in urban slums that were no longer recognizable as part of France. Illegal immigration continues unabated, encouraged by soft-headed Socialist governments that have granted the lawbreakers several amnesties.
|There is a chance that within a decade French racial nationalists could hold real power.|
As has been the case in all white countries, to note that this was profoundly damaging to France was to be met with cries of “racism.” Among the credible French political parties, only Mr. Le Pen’s Front National has taken a clear position in favor of systematic expulsion of illegal immigrants, incentives to encourage the repatriation of legal immigrants, and across-the-board preferences for French nationals in housing, employment and social programs. It is this appeal of “France for the French” that has been the main source of the FN’s strength and made it the third most popular party in the country, with approximately 15 percent of the vote.
Although 15 percent may not seem like a large figure to Americans accustomed to a two-party system, in a uniquely French multi-party context the FN’s voting strength puts it well on its way to becoming a significant power. It takes some understanding of the French political system to make sense of this — and to grasp the extent to which anti-FN hysteria now drives the French electoral process.
In the French multi-party system the voter gets many choices, but this can mean that no party gets a substantial share of the vote. It may take a coalition of five or six small, squabbling parties to get a majority of deputies in the National Assembly, or parliament, and the instability of shaky coalitions can paralyze government. France therefore has a two-round or two-ballot electoral system to first narrow the field before the vote for the final winner. Candidates from any number of parties can stand for seats in the National Assembly on the first ballot, but only those who get at least 12.5 percent of the initial vote move on to the second and decisive vote, which takes place one week later. (Any candidate who gets a majority on the first vote wins outright, but this is rare.)
Ordinarily, parties on the left and right cooperate with each other on the second ballot. For example, in the first ballot for a legislative seat the Socialist might get 20 percent, the Communist 15 percent, the (conservative) Gaullist 22 percent and some other “conservative” candidate 18 percent, with the rest of the vote going to no-hopers who don’t make the 12.5 percent cut-off. These four candidates can stay in the race for the second ballot if they choose to, but several usually withdraw for tactical reasons. The Communist would decide he cannot beat the Socialist, and would drop out and urge his supporters to vote Socialist. If both “conservative” candidates then stayed in the race, they would split the “conservative” vote and the Socialist would win with a plurality. The less successful “conservative” would therefore drop out, leaving the Gaullist to duke it out with the Socialist in a real contest.
Ever since FN candidates started winning at least 12.5 percent of the vote and making it into the second round, the French parties of the right have treated them like pariahs. Their candidates refuse to drop out after the first ballot even if they won fewer votes than the FN candidate. This ensures that the “conservative” vote is split, and the lefty wins. As Christian Kopff of the University of Colorado points out, this tactic of ganging up on the FN means that for electoral purposes France has a two-party system with the FN facing a massive, Socio-Gaullist coalition.
This is in part due to the influence of French Jewish groups. Years ago, in what is commonly referred to as “the B’nai B’rith oath,” Jewish organizations got a formal agreement from the parties of the right that they would never cooperate with the FN. At the same time, the parties of the right are fully aware of the strong appeal of the FN and fear that its successes come directly at their expense.
In the latest elections for the National Assembly in the summer of 1997, the Gaullists slit their own throats (and those of the FN) rather than break the B’nai B’rith oath. The ruling Gaullist coalition called a surprise election on only a few weeks notice in the hope of preserving its 80 percent majority in the National Assembly. Even on such short notice, the FN managed to stand for all 577 seats, fight a vigorous campaign, and get a very respectable 133 candidates into the second ballot. In the face of the usual gang-up tactics, the FN sent only one deputy to the National Assembly.
But fighting the FN was a disaster for the right. From a crushing majority in the assembly before the vote, the Gaullists plunged to a 41 percent minority. Government thus passed into the hands of a Socialist-Communist coalition, and there are now two Communists in the French cabinet (the French Communist party is one of the largest and most consistently Stalinist in Europe). Although the left got fewer popular votes than the right (including the FN) it now has a majority of deputies because the right destroyed itself.
Analysts at France’s leading but left-leaning paper, Le Monde, calculated that if the right had cooperated in the second ballot as the left had, the FN would have won seats for 77 deputies who, in coalition with the Gaullist parties, could have formed a government of the right. The FN has therefore demonstrated that without its coalition support the “mainstream” right can no longer rule.
|In the summer in 1997, the Gaullists slit their own throats rather than break the B’nai B’rith oath.|
Even Le Monde, though delighted with the left’s victory, notes that anti-FN conniving is distorting French democracy. The paper finds it “disquieting” that the Communists, who got only 9.9 percent of the first round vote, have 33 deputies in the assembly and men in the cabinet, whereas the FN got 15.3 percent of the vote and seated only one deputy.
Even more significant, there is now a vigorous insurgency among some Gaullists and other “conservatives” who see no reason why the right should tear itself to bits while Socialists and Communists rule. Charles de Gaulle himself wrote, “The French right is the most stupid right in the world,” and some of the men who campaign in his name are tired of being living proof of this. Local representatives of the rightist parties have begun to meet with Mr. Le Pen and other FN figures in an attempt to find some means of compromise. For the time being, these conversations are still being denounced by the leaders of the rightist parties.
Whatever pose the party bosses are now striking, in future elections there will be tremendous pressure on them from below not to repeat the suicidal disaster of last June. Some form of cooperation with the FN may be in the works, if only to deprive the left of a governing majority.
Some politicians are calling for straight, single-round elections that would return a number of deputies in rough proportion to the percentage of the popular vote. It was just such an experiment in 1986 that resulted in the FN’s 11 percent of the popular vote giving it 35 deputies — an experiment the country has never dared repeat. Nevertheless, proportional representation could end up giving the Gaullists exactly what they want: a victory of the right over the left without the need publicly to cooperate with the FN on the second ballot. Whatever happens, the front is poised for a real breakthrough in the next legislative elections, which will be held no later than 2002.
In the mean time, two-ballot regional elections are scheduled for March 15 and 22, and results will be known about the time this issue of AR goes into the mail. Regionals are of less significance than national elections, but the French scrutinize the results with great care looking for shifts in the balance of power. Few American papers are likely to report the results, but the next issue of AR will carry an update.
Depth of Presence
One of the FN’s great strengths is the depth of its electoral presence, which it has built up by contesting elections at all levels, local and national. In 1989, for example, it won 1,200 city council seats in 400 French cities. The front now controls the mayor’s office in four cities, including Toulon, which has a population of over 100,000 and is the principal French naval base on the Mediterranean.
When it first elected mayors in 1995, there was much shrieking about the return of fascism, but the front has gone quietly to work, rooting out corruption, correcting “affirmative-action” style preferences for foreigners, and stopping local funding for “multi-cultural festivals” and anti-French library books. This deliberate pace is now decried as a mere tactic to lull people into thinking the front is no different from any other party.
Perhaps the most excitement has been had from the front’s 1997 victory in the Marseille suburb of Vitrolles. Catherine Mégret, the new mayor, immediately made headlines with her interpretation of the voters’ wishes: “[They] wanted us to scare people who don’t belong. We will immediately stop all state aid to immigrants and give the money to French people. Our motto is: ‘French first.’” “You’ll see how quickly they [immigrants] disappear from here,” she added. “They’re only here for the money. She also called immigrants “colonists” and concluded that the races are genetically different. Later, under France’s tyrannical anti-free speech laws, Mrs. Mégret was fined and given a suspended jail sentence but she is still firmly in office. Like a number of FN office-holders, Mrs. Mégret is Jewish, but this does not seem to silence those who insist that the front is anti-Semitic.
In February of this year Vitrolles turned the country on its ear by announcing selective grants of $1,000 to certain city residents who had babies. Only French couples and citizens of other European Union nations get the money. The grants are made without regard to race, but the effect is to subsidize white baby-making. Every other political party has denounced the program and it has been challenged in court.
At a more symbolic level, the FN has gotten rid of the lefty street names the Socialists had scattered around Vitrolles. The old names are back, replacing Olof Palme (very lefty Swedish prime minister), Salvador Allende (Marxist president of Chile), and Dulcie September (black anti-apartheid activist). Mrs. Mégret has done away with Avenue François Mitterand, the socialist President of France who died in 1996, and brought back Avenue Marseille instead. Likewise, the city once more has a Place de Provence after having endured a Place Nelson Mandela for several years. The other side has always made heavy use of symbols, and the front takes great pleasure in undoing its work.
Shifting the Debate
Of course, the FN’s importance goes far beyond its electoral strength. As always happens when “extremists” win support, their positions suddenly cease to be quite so extreme. Many “mainstream” conservatives now sound just like Mr. Le Pen. Jacques Mayard, deputy from Yvelines, explains what to do with an illegal immigrant: “You tie him onto a stretcher, a little Valium, and out he goes.” Jean-Marie André, Gaullist deputy mayor of Beaucaire says — putting the cart before the horse — “If Jean-Marie Le Pen says the same things as I it is not my fault.” Former French president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing has now taken the FN position in favor of jus sanguinis (see following article ).
Even the left has become infected. In 1990, when the Gaullist mayor of the Paris suburb of Montfermeil made local, publicly-supported nursery schools stop accepting any more immigrant children, the Communist mayor of nearby Clichy-sous-Bois defended the decision, saying he was “faced with a similar situation.” Former Socialist prime minister Edith Cresson has spoken openly about loading up chartered airplanes with immigrants and sending them home. Remarks of this kind, which might well end an American politician’s career, are no longer fatal in France.
Public opinion polls show a great variety of views about the FN. Sixty-three percent of the French were reportedly “somewhat shocked” or “very shocked” by Mr. Le Pen’s comments on race and the Olympics (see Le Pen in His Own Words ), but 25 percent said they were “not very shocked” or “not shocked at all.” Fifty-one percent feel that at least some FN ideas are close to their own while 44 percent totally disapprove of the party. In one remarkable survey, three quarters of respondents said there are “too many Arabs in France,” and half said they feel “antipathy” towards them.
Broadening the Base
Poll results will continue to change, not only as the FN gains more power and respectability but as its own politics change. A dozen years ago, the party promoted a virtually Thatcherite, free-market economics. Recently, it has begun to shift towards workers’ concerns: protectionism, wage supports, and unemployment and retirement benefits. For the latest legislative elections it coined a new slogan: “Not right, not left, but French!” Combined with its unfailing support for “France for the French,” the new emphasis is moving the FN in a distinctly populist direction. To the chagrin of the left, the FN now gets more votes from workers and employees than any other party.
Of course, the press finds a sinister motive in anything the FN does. Whenever the “mainstream” right makes a populist move, Le Monde and the socialist-supporting Nouvel Observateur see this as a sign of good sense. When the FN starts talking about respecting the French worker, the same journalists fret that Hitler, too, was a populist, whose doctrine was National Socialism. Le Monde, choosing its dates carefully, worries that the FN “is now showing an activism in a direction not familiar to the extreme right since 1945.”
This move towards the center has greatly increased the appeal of the FN’s annual May 1st parade. Years ago, the front boldly decided to compete head to head with the very lefty French observances of May Day, and its increasingly populist message now attracts 6,000 to 8,000 demonstrators, in what is one of the most-watched political events on the French calendar.
The party gets an even more spectacular turnout for its annual “Blue White and Red Festival” in the fall. Last year, 60,000 heeded the call to the colors, and more than 30,000 listened to Mr. Le Pen’s keynote address. No other politician in France — or in America — can bring out crowds of this size. These figures are all the more impressive — and known to be accurate — because the FN is the only major political party that can charge admission to its events and still pack the halls. Mr. Le Pen also inspires his opponents to mobilize on an unprecedented scale. An “anti-racist” counter-demonstration sent 10,000 people through the streets of Paris to protest the most recent FN festival.
As Samuel Francis has pointed out, national prominence of this kind is based in large part on painstaking, unglamorous work at every level of society. The FN has an organization for teachers, the equivalents of several trade unions, an association of retired people, a police union, tenant and housing organizations, and a large and very active youth association. By improving the daily lives of the French, the front spreads its message and builds support.
At the same time, the success of the Le Pen movement has established a clear, rightward boundary to French political discourse. There is simply no future for racialists or nationalists outside the front. Groups like the New Forces Party, the Popular Alliance, New Resistance, and the National Republican Party have either marched straight into political insignificance or joined the front.
Why the Success?
What accounts for the FN’s success on a scale beyond the dreams of an equivalent movement in the United States? Any answer is necessarily speculative, but one factor that can be ruled out is any difference in the prevailing intellectual climate. Elite opinion in France is, if anything, more left-over Marxist than in America. For years, Mr. Le Pen’s program was simply ignored by the press and now that it cannot be ignored, it is routinely called fascist, anti-Semitic, xenophobic, and racist. The most neutral epithet is “extreme right,” but now that the front is moving in a populist direction, the term “gaucho-lepénism” (leftist-Le Penism) has come into vogue.
As in the United States, journalism standards go by the board if points can be scored against “the fascists.” Typical of the way the press has treated the party is an article that appeared in the August 6-7, 1995, issue of Le Monde. With the headline, “The Front National Recruits Young Activists Among the Neo-Nazis,” the article purports to be an exposé of the kind of people who attend the FN’s “summer university,” which has been an annual event for more than ten years. The reader is titillated with comments attributed to attendees (example: “Hitler didn’t do everything right but he didn’t do all that badly either.”). The speakers remain unnamed — though since anyone can apply to attend the sessions their remarks mean nothing — and their comments were passed along to Le Monde by a disgruntled attendee who is also unnamed.
Over the years, the FN message has gotten out despite the press, not because of it.
Unlike the United States, however, France is a country with a long history of ethnic and cultural stability. “We are a nation of immigrants” wins no arguments in a Paris café. The French have always taken a prickly sort of pride in their Frenchness, which is visibly eroded by alien implantation. Also, the French cannot be blackmailed with constant harping on race-slavery. Lefties have tried to use the imperialist past as a moral shakedown, but this has generally failed. France maintains a clearly beneficial presence in its former African colonies, which are generally in better shape than their ex-British neighbors. Senegalese and even Algerians still look up to France as the font of true culture, and enthusiastically take part in the “Francophone summits” that bring French-speaking countries together. The ordinary Frenchman is therefore less on the racial defensive and less susceptible to the multi-racial, anti-white nonsense that circulates just as freely in France as in the United States.
Another French advantage has been its multi-party system. Although the two-ballot process has been used viciously against the FN, France is entirely accustomed to new parties cropping up and even taking power. The two main parties of the formerly-ruling conservative coalition, the Union for French Democracy (UDF) and the Rally for the Republic (RPR), are only a decade or two old. Thus, unlike the United States, where “third-party candidacy” is almost synonymous with “irrelevant,” political expression in France is not limited by a choice between Tweedledum and Tweedledumber.
Patrick Buchanan, for example has much in common with Mr. Le Pen, and people vote for him for many of the same reasons. In a national contest he could probably attract a similar proportion of the popular vote. However, he faces far higher institutional obstacles to building an organization capable of challenging the existing parties. The dominance of the Democrats and Republicans leaves potential supporters of an American populist movement with no voice and no power.
As they have shown in California ballot initiatives banning affirmative action and state handouts for illegal immigrants, American whites vote for their own interests when they have the chance. Like the French, they are far more racial-nationalist than the press or the politicians. The genius of Mr. Le Pen is to have broken through to the people, to have fought off the press and the politicians long enough to give the French a chance to vote for the things their grandparents took for granted: France, race, and nation.
What are the prospects for the FN? Today, only the conservative Rally for the Republic (RPR) and the Socialist Party outpoll the FN, and the RPR does so by only a few percentage points. Although Mr. Le Pen is growing older and there may be some changes at the top of the party, an FN prime minister is no longer out of the question. Indeed, at this point the right might be more inclined to break the B’nai B’rith oath if the old warrior were to step down. At the same time, if the insurgency among the conservatives is successful, the RPR and the UDF may offer to cooperate in the next legislative elections. At the moment, there is debate within the front over whether to forgive the “rotten right” its past treachery or whether simply to try to crush it. But if the right cooperates across the board and the front outpolls the RPR, it could find itself the senior partner in a governing coalition. Jean-Marie Le Pen’s mission to reawaken France could be on the verge of success.
This possibility is not lost on the opposition. Reflex, a French “anti-racist” magazine, notes that what it calls “fascist gangrene” continues to spread. Its post-elections summary glumly concludes that the nation faces “the very real prospect of an extreme-right government in France for the first time since Vichy.”
Derek Turner, editor of the British nationalist magazine Right Now!, writes: “If an FN government, or a government strongly influenced by the FN, comes to power in France (as now seems likely), the effects will be incalculable.” He goes on to argue that a nationalist success in such an important country as France could not help but stimulate similar successes elsewhere in Europe, and even bring the British Tories — many of whom already agree privately with Mr. Le Pen — out of the closet. By reawakening France, the FN could reawaken Europe, and perhaps even the United States.
|1928||Jean Marie Le Pen is born. His father dies fighting the Germans when Jean-Marie is 14.|
|1956||Le Pen is elected to the French National Assembly. At age 27, he is the youngest deputy to take a seat.|
|1972||Le Pen founds the Front National.|
|1982||The front first attracts international attention with a good showing in local elections, but no RN candidate wins a seat.|
|1984||The FN wins 11 percent of the vote for delegates to the European Parliament and takes 10 seats.|
|1886||The FN wins 11 percent of the vote for the National Assembly and seat 35 deputies.|
|1988||Le Pen wins 4.4 million votes (15 percent of the ballot) for President of France.|
|1988||The system of voting for National Assembly is changed. FN loses all seats despite winning 14.4 percent of the vote.|
|1989||FN wins 1200 city council seats in 400 French Cities.|
|1993||FN wins 12.6 percent of the votes for the National Assembly but wins no seats.|
|1995||FN candidates elected mayors of Toulon, Orange, and Marignane.|
|1997||Catherine Mégret is elected mayor of Vitrolles.|
|1997||FN wins 15.06 percent of the vote for the National Assembly but seats only one deputy, who is later removed for overspending on his campaign.|
Le Pen in His Own Words
Driving the Lefties Crazy
One of Mr. Le Pen’s most appealing characteristics is his frankness. He says what he believes and — unlike so many other public figures — sticks to it. His unwillingness to back down makes him a hero to his supporters and infuriates lefty mediacrats accustomed to terrifying grown men by accusing them of “racism.”
From his public statements it is clear that Mr. Le Pen is primarily a French and European nationalist —
“I am more concerned with the destiny of France and of Europe than with other regions of the world”
— but he clearly understands the biological basis of nationhood. In his view, the identity of France
“is indissolubly linked to blood, soil and memory … It is composed of a homogeneous people living on a territory inherited from its forefathers according to tradition.”He denounces
“perils that endanger the essence of France … its biological substance.”
He realizes full well what is at stake:
“The issue of the battle is clear: France will be destroyed or resurrected.”
In a speech delivered before an estimated six to eight thousand people in Paris on May 1, 1996, he reiterated these themes, denouncing at length
“this tidal wave of immigration that will smother us after it impoverishes us.”
On that same occasion he even spoke of the prospect of civil war should “massive immigration” continue to pit aliens against the French.
“Our goal is to reawaken France,” he concluded.
Mr. Le Pen is a devout Catholic and has been bitterly criticized by liberal one-world clerics. To Those who claim that Christianity cannot be nationalist he replies,
“Christ tells us to love our neighbors, not the people on the other side of the world.”
In the United States, Mr. Le Pen may be best known for his remarks about Germany and Jews. Last December, he was actually fined the equivalent of $17,000. for called the gas chambers a mere “detail of history of the Second World War” (see AR, Feb. 1998)
In France, his 1996 comments on racial differences in sports may have made a bigger splash:
“In the Olympic Games there is an obvious inequality between black and white races in sport, running in particular. This is a fact … I observe that the races are unequal.”
When he was later questioned about this he said,
“Yes, there is a race disparity in the same manner as there are unequal civilizations. Without inequality, France would not be French.”
The lefties jumped for joy. A popular French electronic magazine Scarabee wrote:
“Le Pen finally admits explicitly he is a racist! This is a great day! … Now everything is clear: People who vote for the National Front are all racists for sure.”
The voters appear to have been unmoved. A week after Mr. Le Pen’s “explicit admission” his party won 29.6 percent of the vote in a by-election in the south French town of Gardanne.
Mr. Le Pen has been called a “racist” so many times he treats it as a joke. We he was asked recently about accusations of racism he replied,
“What must I do in order not to be racist? Marry a black woman? One sick with AIDS, if possible.”
Who is a Frenchman?
French citizenship laws are almost as crazy as ours.
France is one of the few countries that, like the United States, grant citizenship to children of foreigners born within their territories. In other words, it practices jus soli (right of soil), as opposed to jus sanguinis (right of blood), according to which nationality is transmitted only by biological descent.
The American version is by far the more lunatic. If a Japanese woman, who happens to be changing planes in New York, suddenly gives birth to a baby in the airport, she can demand U.S. citizenship for the child. Theoretically, the mother need not even touch the ground; if she gives birth in an airplane while it is in American airspace, she has just produced a new American citizen.
The French practice is somewhat more nuanced. The first modern citizenship law dates back to 1889, and reflects the radical egalitarianism of the French Revolution. Any child born of parents who were, themselves, born in France, was a French citizen at birth. This was known as the “double right of the soil.” A child born in France of non-French parents had a right to French citizenship at age 21 if he was reared in France. A foreigner who moved to France could apply for French citizenship after living in France for 10 years. French law was unlike any other in Europe and was based on the revolutionary assumption that nationality was a matter of assimilation rather than blood. The law was further liberalized in 1927, in the hope of making up for the losses of the First World War: Foreigners could apply for naturalization after living in France for only three years.
The Vichy government promptly established jus sanguinis — citizenship by descent — and naturalization was made considerably more difficult. In 1945, General Charles de Gaulle reinstituted the 1889 law, arguing that “a lack of men” explained the defeat of 1940 and that looser citizenship requirements would swell the population. In 1973 the “double right of the soil” was expanded to grant birthright citizenship to children born in France of parents born in former French colonies and overseas territories. This foolish law meant that Senegalese and Moroccan immigrants — who were living in France but born in Senegal or Morocco before independence — could count on instant citizenship for their children born in France. Children of French residents of other nationalities had a right to citizenship when they reached their majority.
Unlike immigrants from other former colonies, Algerians could always claim the “double right of the soil” for their French-born children, since Algeria was administratively part of France until independence in 1963. This meant that the Algerian immigrants streaming into France seeking work had been producing French babies even before the 1973 law. This had awkward consequences after the immigrants were no longer wanted and began to get chips on their shoulders. Beginning in 1981, there were spectacular cases of young Algerian-Frenchmen contemptuously renouncing their unwanted French citizenship.
A new law in 1993 did not revoke the “double right of the soil” for children of immigrants from the former colonies, but it did mark a slight retreat from jus soli. Children born in France of parents who were neither French nor from the colonies could no longer anticipate automatic French citizenship when they reached their majority. At some point between their 16th and 22nd birthdays they had to make a positive declaration of loyalty to France, and prove they had been living in France for the five years preceding the declaration. In 1998, with the left once more in power in the National Assembly, this requirement was removed; French-born children of foreigners still do not get birth-right citizenship, but they are automatically granted citizenship at age 18.
Needless to say, the FN advocates a return to jus sanguinis, and its deputies have repeatedly proposed new nationality laws. Although there is increasing popular opposition to non-white immigration, France continues its distinctive practice of jus soli for several reasons. First, the idea that France adopt the jus sanguinis of its European neighbors can no longer be evaluated rationally but must turn into an emotional debate about “racism.” At the same time, France still has a lingering attachment both to revolutionary sans-culottism and to a more recent “mission civilizatrice,” or civilizing mission. The glory of France that was once spread by empire can now be spread by opening the portals of civilization to barbarian aliens. Since foreigners of all races — particularly Americans — are barbarians, the mission civilizatrice has not been tossed out with its 19th century British equivalent, the white man’s burden.
The Galton Report
A sampling of recent scientific literature.
What’s New in Genetics and Intelligence
A leading researcher in behavior genetics has published his views on the latest findings in genetics and intelligence. Robert Plomin of the Institute of Psychiatry in London writes that “research that goes beyond heritability has led to some of the most important findings about the nature of intelligence in the past decade.”
One approach that goes beyond heritability is developmental genetic analysis, in which researchers track genetic influences as people mature and grow old. Prof. Plomin reports that “one of the most interesting discoveries of the past decade is that genetic influence on intelligence becomes increasingly important throughout the life span.” The heritability of general cognitive ability increases from about 40 percent in children to 80 percent in people over age 60. This is said to be the highest heritability ever found for any behavioral dimension or disorder. It is a finding that has been replicated in two separate studies of very elderly twins.
Prof. Plomin points out that this finding is particularly interesting because it is counterintuitive. For many years it has been theorized by every one from sociologists to medical researchers that as we age the cumulative slings and arrows of environmental encounters increase the environmental causes of individual differences and decrease the effects of genes. Now that it has been found that heritability actually increases with age the theories are changing. A popular new interpretation is that genetically influenced preferences and predispositions lead people to seek out different environments and to encounter different experiences. The result of these gene-guided environmental encounters is that as we get older genetic differences become more important in determining individual differences.
|It is only because children share their parents’ genes that there is a correlation between home environment and child’s mental ability.|
In another new field, called “multivariate genetic analysis,” researchers investigate the “covariance” among traits rather than simply study each trait separately. For example, one can measure both math performance and verbal ability, and see if the same genes affect both. Of course, covariance analysis is nothing new when conducted at the level of actual traits rather than genes. Indeed, Charles Spearman discovered g, the general factor for cognitive ability, back in 1904 by studying the covariance of different measures of intelligence. What is new is multivariate analysis that separates the genetic from the environmental influences on commonalities among traits.
Prof. Plomin writes that “the same genetic factors largely influence different cognitive abilities. For example, genetic influences on verbal ability have a high degree of overlap with those affecting spatial ability.” This finding is an essential part of most theories that propose a genetic basis for general intelligence. This profoundly important finding is profoundly unpopular among liberal egalitarians. The kindly-intentioned social engineers, when forced to accept genetic influences on ability, like to decompose general ability into a number of separate abilities. They can then argue that with separate (and uncorrelated) abilities, everyone excels at something and we should celebrate our diversity. Sorry. Nature does not distribute talent fairly. As Prof. Plomin puts it, “the same genetic factors largely influence different cognitive abilities.” People who are smart in one way are likely to be smart in others.
Another type of research defines the real effect of “environmental” influences. Sociologists have tried for years to assess the quality of home environments and have found, for example, that the number of books in a home correlates with the mental abilities of children raised in that home. Many studies, including the famous Coleman report of the 1960s, reported that the best predictor of school performance was “family background,” as measured by characteristics of the home environment.
When proper genetic experimental designs are incorporated into studies of “environmental” influences, it turns out that much of the effect is actually genetic. That is, measures such as “number of books in the home” are mostly indirect and sloppy indicators of parental genotype. Brighter parents tend to have more books. It is only because children share their parents’ genes that there is a correlation between home environment and a child’s mental ability. When genetically unrelated children are adopted and reared in the same family they have zero correlation for intellectual ability by the time they are adults.
These newly-established findings only reinforce what readers of AR have known or strongly suspected for a long time. While poverty may contribute to impulsive criminality, the strongest causal effect is that low intelligence and lack of foresight lead to impulsive criminality — which is one of the major causes of poverty. In the main, the social engineers have interpreted causality backwards because they deny genetic influences. Criminality causes poverty and not the reverse.
Although Prof. Plomin might not be prepared to say so himself, these are clearly some of the implications of the directions in which scientific knowledge is moving. [Plomin, R., & Petrill, S. A., “Genetics and intelligence: What’s new?” Intelligence, vol.24 #1, pp. 53-77.]
The Rainbow Menace
People who hate America are teaching your children.
The Menace of Multiculturalism: Trojan Horse in America, Alvin Schmidt, Praeger Publishers, 1997, 211 pp., $39.95.
Ever since the 1960s, multiculturalists have had their way in American universities and public schools. This book suggests that mainstream conservatives are now fighting back, though they still avert their eyes from the significance of race.
Alvin Schmidt, a professor of sociology at Illinois College, worries that multiculturalists are teaching minorities and Third-World immigrants to reject America’s Western heritage because it is uniquely “racist,” “sexist,” and “homophobic.” He argues that withholding Western values both hurts students and threatens to tribalize the nation. If non-white immigrants do not assimilate, “America will no longer be a melting but a boiling pot.”
Prof. Schmidt makes quick work of the doctrine that all cultures are morally equal. He lists many examples of barbaric non-Western practices that are almost never mentioned in textbooks. He also points out the deception and hypocrisy of multiculturalists who claim, with straight faces, that smoke signals or shamanism were merely different from radio and modern medicine rather than inferior.
Prof. Schmidt has scoured college and grade school textbooks and tells a disheartening tale of what our children are taught. Many textbooks now downgrade legitimate European history and exaggerate the inventions and successes of other cultures. They leave out important historical events and overemphasize minor characters only because they are women or non-whites. Thus the National Standards curriculum leaves out Paul Revere, Thomas Edison and the Wright brothers, but makes room for Harriet Tubman, Cesar Chavez and W.E.B. DuBois. Of course, racism is strictly a one-way street: The Ku Klux Klan is a prominent example of American bigotry but the Black Panthers and Malcolm X are “civil rights” leaders and seekers of justice.
Prof. Schmidt notes that although colleges brag about “diversity,” they stifle diversity of opinions. Indiana University, Arizona State University and California State University have all “disinvited” conservative speakers like Patrick Buchanan and Linda Chavez because of pressure from minority groups that refused to allow people with views different from their own to come on campus. It is now common for black and homosexual groups to destroy copies of student newspapers that print columns they find offensive.
What About Race?
Prof. Schmidt offers abundant evidence of the desirability of Western culture. He usefully catalogs the abuses, hypocrisies and lies of multiculturalism and shows how this offshoot of Marxism is now a religion complete with saints and infidels. He even goes beyond standard neoconservatism in noting that the 1965 immigration law that opened America to the Third-World was a drastic measure fueled by “ignorance” and “white guilt,” which “set the stage for the possible unraveling of America’s culture.” But the unraveling is strictly a cultural matter. If only schools, churches and colleges would emphasize traditional American values, non-whites would assimilate just like the European ethnics of old.
The son of German immigrants to Canada, Prof. Schmidt makes much of the fact that he was made to conform to the mainstream culture of Western Canada. This included speaking English rather than German and putting aside the German heritage of his parents. Though he claims to have faced anti-German prejudice, he is glad he was made to embrace Canadian culture. He thinks that Asians, Hispanics, and blacks just need a dose of the same medicine.
Prof. Schmidt does not consider whether multiculturalism is a symptom of an even deeper problem — multiracialism — nor does he seem to doubt that with the right education large numbers of non-whites can be taught to embrace Western civilization. This curious faith in an outcome for which there is neither historical precedent nor current evidence is the book’s obvious blind spot, but The Menace of Multiculturalism is still an important volume for anyone concerned about America’s culture wars.
IN THE NEWS
O Tempora, O Mores!
Puerto Rico Update
On March 4th, the House of Representatives voted 209-208 to pass HR-856, which sets the stage to make Puerto Rico our 51st state. Last month’s AR described this bill and its potentially disastrous consequences.
As predicted, Congress brought the bill up with little prior notice, though a hardworking coalition arose to challenge it. English First and the Council of Conservative Citizens continued their good work, and AR distributed copies of last month’s cover story to all 435 members of the house. The very day of the vote, AR editor Jared Taylor appeared on the cable program “Fox In Depth,” to explain to a national audience that a poor, Spanish-speaking Caribbean island has no place in the Union.
National Review opposed the bill, as did columnists Patrick Buchanan and Samuel Francis. They were joined by neoconservatives Linda Chavez and Cal Thomas and talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh and G. Gordon Liddy. That the bill passed by only one vote is a sign that opposition had an effect. Sponsors thought the bill would sail through without problems, but it must now face the Senate, where opposition is likely to be stiffer. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott may not even bring up the bill this year. Of course, President Clinton says he will sign it if it passes.
Puerto Ricans who favor statehood have spent millions of dollars on the bill. According to the Capitol Hill newspaper, Roll Call, groups favoring the bill have poured eight times as much money into lobbying as those who are opposed. Puerto Rican groups are also reported to have given more than a million dollars to William Clinton’s reelection campaign. (Chris Hawley, Puerto Rico Pols Worked for Vote, AP, March 6, 1998.)
Fighting for Whites
A new organization dedicated to fighting discrimination against whites has caused a stir on the West coast. The European-American Issues Forum (E/AIF) was founded in March 1997, in San Jose, California, by Louis Calabro, a retired police detective and Dale Warner, a lawyer.
The E/AIF first made headlines when it was refused entry into a July 1997 conference in San Francisco called “National Voices for an Inclusive 21st Century.” In excluding the E/AIF from a gathering to celebrate “inclusion” and study hate crimes, conference chairman Barbara Bergen said, “… frankly, protecting Europeans against hate crimes is not the burning issue of the day.” The E/AIF has filed a complaint against Miss Bergen with the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.
In February, the E/AIF staged a protest outside the San Jose meeting of President Clinton’s Race Initiative. Mr. Calabro and other E/AIF members made comments during the question and answer session that were broadcast by C-SPAN. Because of his remarks, the San Francisco Chronicle invited Mr. Calabro to write an editorial on the President’s initiative, which was published on February 19th.
Mr. Warner, the other founder, is gathering information for a possible suit against several prosecutors in California, who may be targeting whites for hate crimes prosecution. Earlier this year, E/AIF filed a similar complaint with the FBI.
The E/AIF has also established a Zebra Killings Memorial Committee, in memory of a series of scarcely-remembered black-on-white murders in the San Francisco area in 1973 and 1974. A group of Louis Farrakhan followers who called themselves the “Death Angels” believed that by killing whites — especially women and children — they would earn “points” towards becoming angels when they died. They managed to kill 71 whites before they were caught in 1974. The E/AIF will publicize these killings, hold a memorial service for the victims, and attend parole hearings of the murderers to make sure they are never released.
The group has helped form a European American Employee Association for San Jose public employees as well as a European American Correctional Workers Association. Some members are aiming to get on the San Jose Human Rights Commission, where they can have a say about who gets targeted for “racism” and “intolerance.” E/AIF hopes to expand its activities state-wide soon. It can be reached at (650) 952-8489.
On The Ropes
Ex-heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson made $112 million for six fights after his 1995 release from prison. He now owes $7 million in unpaid income taxes and, according to one report, is down to $150,000 in liquid assets.
Apparently he is taking his loss very hard. “He was hysterical, crying in my office,” says a friend of Mr. Tyson, “He kept saying, “How could they do this to me?’” The ex-champ apparently blames his manager, Don King, for his penury. In February, at a meeting in Los Angeles, Mr. King tried to calm Mr. Tyson but was rewarded with a slap, a shove, and several kicks to the face. Mr. King’s injuries forced him to cancel a press conference. “Don was pretty banged up,” says a boxing insider.
This is not the first time Mr. Tyson (apparently with the help of Mr. King) has squandered millions. Before he went to prison, the fighter’s $75 million fortune was so depleted, his managers had to cash in a $2 million trust fund to pay Alan Dershowitz, the appellate lawyer in his rape trial. (Wallace Matthews, Down For The Count, New York Post, February 4, 1998, p. 5.)
Home Field Advantage
In February a crowd at the Los Angeles Coliseum that was 90 percent Mexican-American watched a soccer game between the national teams of the United States and Mexico. Any questions about divided loyalties were laid to rest when the crowd whistled and jeered during the U.S. national anthem. The stadium was so adorned with Mexican flags, that even the L.A. Times noted, “it’s safe to say the stadium hasn’t witnessed such a showing of national fervor since the 1984 Olympics.” The U.S. team lost 1-0 on a late goal by the Mexicans. In appreciation for a close, well played match, the fans pelted the U.S. players with beer cans, soda, food, and plastic bottles as they left the field. “It seemed like we were playing in Mexico City,” said one U.S. player, “but they treated us better there than they did here.” (Ted Leonard, Shower of Abuse from Mexico’s Fans Adds Insult to U.S. Defeat, L.A. Times, February 16, 1998.)
Heston on Race
In a December, 1997, speech given to the Free Congress Foundation, Charlton Heston said some surprisingly sensible things about race:
“The Constitution was handed down to us by a bunch of wise old dead white guys who invented our country! Now some flinch when I say that. Why! It’s true — they were white guys! So were most of the guys that died in Lincoln’s name opposing slavery in the 1860’s. So why should I be ashamed of white guys? Why is “Hispanic Pride’ or “Black Pride’ a good thing, while “White Pride’ conjures shaven heads and white hoods? Why was the Million Man March on Washington celebrated by many as progress while the Promise Keepers March on Washington was greeted with suspicion and ridicule? I’ll tell you why: cultural warfare!”
Mr. Heston also criticized “feminists who preach that it is a divine duty for women to hate men,” and “blacks who raise a militant fist with one hand while they seek preference with the other.”(Charlton Heston, Fighting The Cultural War In America, speech given at Free Congress Foundation, December 6, 1997.)
We reproduce this news story, verbatim and in toto:
“Ventura, Calif. — A devout Hindu is suing Taco Bell, claiming he suffered extreme distress because he was served a beef burrito.
“Hindus hold cows sacred and Mukesh Rai maintains that he carefully ordered a bean burrito at the Taco Bell in Ventura in April.
“His lawsuit seeks damages for emotional distress medical expenses and loss of wages. Rai said he had to travel to purify himself by bathing in the Ganges River.”
(Hindu Sues Over Beef Burrito, Lansing State Journal (Mich.), Jan. 26, 1998, p. 4A.)
Different Strokes for Different Folks
Blacks and whites have radically different tastes in television. Not one program on the top ten list for whites is in the top ten for blacks and vice versa. The only program that draws a similar response among both races is “Monday Night Football,” which is number six with whites and number twelve with blacks. Not one of the 10 most popular shows for blacks even make the top 100 for whites. The favorite program for blacks, “Between Brothers,” is 117th for whites.
UPN and WB, which show sitcoms with all- or mostly-black casts, are the favorite networks for blacks but are virtually unknown to whites. Blacks also watch more television than whites: 72.4 hours a week as opposed to 50.8. (Josef Adalian, Study Bares Racial Gulf In TV-View Habits, New York Post, Feb. 13, 1998, p. 3.)
First of Many?
Australian authorities have denied refugee status to a 39-year-old white South African woman and her two daughters. Cheryl Kennedy fled to Australia after she was robbed 12 times, mugged five times, had three cars stolen, and her house burnt down. One of her daughters had a gun held to her head and her father and brother have been shot — the brother fatally. Miss Kennedy also claimed that whites in South Africa face discriminatory affirmative action programs, and that blacks target them for crime because of race. She is still in Australia pending the results of an appeal of her rejection, but vows she will never go back to South Africa: “If they deport me, it will have to be to some other country.” (Agence France-Presse, White South African Woman Seeks Refugee Status, Feb. 19, 1998.)
More White Wickedness
A study conducted at Stanford University has found that white students are less critical of essays written by blacks than of essays written by whites. When asked to give grades or write comments to be delivered to the author, white students had more praise for essays if they thought they were written by blacks. This appears to be yet another burden whites place on blacks: “Positive feedback bias may present serious costs for minorities” since they may not get the mental challenge they need. (Kent Harber, Feedback to Minorities: Evidence of a Positive Bias, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 74, No. 3.)
It does not seem to have occurred to the author that whites have learned to go easy on blacks because they are likely to be accused of “racism” if they are honest.
A 35-year-old black woman — whom news accounts have not named — lived downstairs in her Detroit house and rented the upstairs to a single mother with two children. Recently, another women who also had two children moved in upstairs with the tenant, but without the downstairs-owner’s permission. After a number of arguments with the unwanted additional tenants, the owner decided to solve the problem once and for all. She offered to give a man in the neighborhood a rottweiler dog if he would burn the house down. On the appointed day, she took her own children and a few belongings out of the house, and the arsonist got to work. The four children in the upstairs apartment, ages two through nine, died in the fire.
There are no indications of where the owner planned to live after her house was burned down. She, the arsonist, and dog are being held by the police. (Suzanne Siegel, Man set Fire That Killed 4 Kids to get free Dog, Police Say, Detroit Free Press, Feb. 19, 1998, p. 1.)
Ever since vaccination for it began in 1969, rubella, or German measles, has essentially disappeared from the native population of the United States. However, in February an outbreak was reported in Westchester County, N.Y. and in Fairfield County, Conn. The disease has appeared among immigrants from Latin America, and health officials are launching a massive vaccination drive. (Outbreak of Rubella Hits Hispanic Immigrants, New York Times, Feb. 5, 1998.)
Likewise in February, it was reported that a seventh grade student in a Queens, N.Y. high school was found to have tuberculosis. This has sent a scare through the community and hundreds of children who had contact with the girl have been tested for the disease. School authorities have released very little information about the girl, saying only that she is from South America.(Randal Archibald, Tuberculosis Case Leads City’s Health Dept. to test Students at Queens School, New York Times, Feb. 5, 1998.)
Like Rubella, tuberculosis has essentially been eradicated among native Americans, but is being reintroduced by immigrants. One hundred years ago it was a common and serious disease — in 1890 it was the leading cause of death in New York — but improved sanitation and public health brought it under control by the 1960s and 1970s. Yearly declines in the number of cases came to a sudden halt in 1984, with the disease reappearing in cities with large numbers of immigrants. The worst recent outbreak was in 1994, when 376 students at LaQuinta High School outside of Los Angeles were found to be infected.
Drug-resistant strains of TB have appeared, which are very hard to treat. New forms of the bacterium arise when antibiotic treatments are not continued for the prescribed period. A proper course of medication may last from six months to two years, but since patients feel much better soon after they begin treatment, many stop taking their medicine too soon. This is such a common problem among bums, drifters, and drug addicts that medical authorities have started what is called “directly observed therapy,” in which they take the medicine to sick people and watch them swallow it. Obstreperous “patients” are forcibly medicated, in a procedure that has added immensely to the cost and complexity of combating this Third-World disease. (Thomas DiBacco, Tuberculosis on the Rebound, Washington Post, Jan. 27, 1998, p. Z9.)
Conference Taking Shape
The next AR conference, scheduled for Northern Virginia over the weekend of Aug. 28-29, is likely to be the best ever. In addition to first-rate speakers familiar to AR — Philippe Rushton, Sam Francis, Michael Levin, Jared Taylor, Glayde Whitney — we will also have Steve Barry, retired special forces officer and editor of The Resistor. We are also likely to hear from a speaker from Europe, who will talk about encouraging developments in the Old countries.
Next month’s issue will contain full registration details. Please keep your calendars clear!
Race and Politics
As part of his campaign for a seat in the Michigan House of Representatives, Kirby Holmes, Jr. sent out a political flier criticizing affirmative action. The cover showed a black man putting on a surgical mask with the question: “Was he the best qualified applicant to go to medical school?” On the inside it read: “We wouldn’t have to ask that question if we abolished minority preference programs.”
The flier generated the usual shrieking but Mr. Holmes stood firm: “It’s provocative, but it’s not racist.” He went on to finish a close second in a GOP primary of nine people. (Janet Naylor, Political Flier Sets Off Firestorm, The Detroit News, Jan. 28, 1998, p. 1D. Kristen Storey, Sanborn Wins GOP Primary for Jaye Seat, The Detroit News, Feb. 4, 1998.)
A measure to go before the San Francisco school board would require that 70 percent of authors on required reading lists for students be non-white. “In a district that is nearly 90 percent students of color, the point of education is not to glorify Europe but to let students see themselves in the curriculum,” said board member Steve Phillips.
Although blacks are fewer than 16 percent of the high school population in the city, black board member Keith Jackson wants half the authors to be black. “If students are required to read 10 books a year, why not have five books by black authors?” The measure, which will go before the school board, met little opposition when it was introduced on March 5. (Julian Guthrie, San Francisco May Force Multicultural Reading Lists, Washington Times, Mar. 11, 1998 p. A12.)
LETTERS FROM READERS
Sir — Though James Lubinskas makes many good arguments against Puerto Rican statehood in the March issue, he apparently has not considered that making Puerto Rico a state could be a good thing for America.
When I was in the army I asked a Puerto Rican acquaintance if he favored Puerto Rican statehood. “No way” he answered “that little island would sink if it was made a state.” When I asked what he meant by that he noted what we both knew — many Puerto Ricans in the U.S. are on welfare. “Why stay in the cold, snowy Connecticut or New York when you can collect the same money while living on a sunny island?” He predicted a mass exodus back to the island if it became a state and Puerto Ricans could benefit from every welfare program without having to leave.
While I don’t want to pay for welfare for Puerto Ricans, wouldn’t it be better to have them collect money on the island rather than in your town? At least we could avoid some of the AIDS, crime, violence and blight that they bring to parts of Connecticut and New York.
Joseph Kowalski, New Haven, Conn.
Sir — On the day of the Puerto Rican statehood vote, I turned on the television hoping to get an update on the issue. You can imagine my surprise when I saw Jared Taylor speaking about it on Fox cable. Though I have read AR for several years, I had never seen Mr. Taylor on television. I was very pleased with his performance, though Fox did not give him much time to make his case.
It is great to know that Mr. Taylor is getting on television but I wish you had mentioned it in AR so others could have seen the program, too.
Anne Parish, Williamsburg, Va.
Sir — You write that Republicans support Puerto Rican statehood “as much” as Democrats. If anything they support it more. Ralph Reed, Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay and RNC Chairman Jim Nicholson support P.R. statehood with a fervor unmatched by Democrats. I sent a letter to Mr. Nicholson asking him to reconsider his support. I included a copy of Mr. Lubinskas’ article. His reply included the following passage:
“The people of Puerto Rico have contributed a great deal to the United States, most notably in defending our great country, and they have strong conservative values [sic] and ideals, very similar to the Republican Party. It is important that we preserve this relationship and learn to work closer with the people of Puerto Rico…”
Now I know why they are called the Stupid Party.
Name Withheld, Tacoma, Wash.
Sir — I read Mr. Schwamenfeld’s account of plains Indian savagery with much interest but it could give the mistaken impression that all Indians behaved in this manner. Just as it is a caricature to describe all slave-owners as sadists, it is a caricature to describe all Indians as torturers and mutilators. In War before Civilization, a book you reviewed for the January issue, Lawrence Keeley notes that there appear to have been a few primitive peoples who never made war, and that some indians were among them:
“The great Basin Shoshone and Paiute bands mentioned earlier apparently never attacked others and were themselves attacked only very rarely; most just fled rather than trying to defend themselves.” (p. 30.)
I do not fault Mr. Schwamenfeld for trying to correct the record and put in context the massacres by whites of which we are constantly reminded. It is nevertheless important to recognize that Indian practices varied enormously by region and by tribe.
Stanley Thomlinson, Florence, Ala.
Sir — I’d like to suggest that AR use more photos and less clip art. I was reminded of my own preference by the layout for Samuel Francis’ article on Martin Luther King, which used photographs. In my opinion, one of the most effective layouts in AR was the review of the Band Played Dixie in the July-August, 1997, issue, which included a couple of striking photos of the South. While the art in AR does give the magazine a distinctive look, I sometime wonder if it is appropriate. There have even been a few cases in which it seemed that the illustrations trivialized the subject matter.
When your readers’ survey asked “Do you like the illustrations?” I answered “Yes, but they took some getting used to.” As a graphic designer myself, though, I know that readers should not have to “get used” to a publication’s layout style.
Photos, of course, can be hard to come by, but perhaps your readers could help assemble a library of photos broadly illustrating AR themes such as history, tradition and race. Photos of crowd scenes, historic sites, traditional neighborhoods and architecture, urban ghettoes, etc. could be effective and need not be focused on a particular story.
Name withheld, Calgary, Canada