Published Date: April 7, 2019

I reject Erich Kaufman’s theory of “white culture”, but there’s no doubting the tension he describes

Whiteshift has a second, more immediate, connotation: the declining white share of the population in Western countries… There has been a big rise in the number of people leaving “global south” regions such as Africa, Latin America and developing Asia, including the Middle East.

This figure more than doubled between 1990 and 2015 as 54 million people immigrated to Western countries. While nearly 40 per cent of those moving to European countries came from within Europe, 60 per cent arrived from beyond it. Moreover, the vast majority of immigrants to North America came from the global south — a big change from the period before 1980.

Whites are already a minority in most major cities of North America. Together with New Zealand, North America is projected to be “majority minority” by 2050, with Western Europe and Australia following suit later in the century. This shift is replacing the self-confidence of white majorities with an existential insecurity channelled by the lightning rod of immigration. No one who has honestly analysed survey data on individuals — the gold standard for public opinion research — can deny that white majority concern over immigration is the main cause of the rise of the populist Right in the West. This is primarily explained by concern over identity, not economic threat. Not everyone seeks to maintain connections to ancestors, homeland and tradition, but many voters do.

Again, I disupte there is a “white culture”, but the rest is indisputably true:

The loss of white ethno-cultural confidence manifests itself in other ways. Among the most important is a growing unwillingness to indulge the anti-white ideology of the cultural Left. When whites were an overwhelming majority, empirically unsupported generalisations about whites could be brushed off as amusing and mischievous but ultimately harmless. As whites decline, fewer are willing to abide such attacks…

Today, left-modernism’s most zealous exponents are those seeking to consecrate the university campus as a sacred space devoted to the mission of replacing “whiteness” with diversity.

In softer form, this ideology penetrated widely within the high culture and political institutions of Western society after the 60s. It produced norms that prevented democratic discussion of questions of national identity and immigra­tion.

Again, setting aside my objection to the notion that whites feel their race or “white culture” is under attack, rather than their Western culture, there is something in this:

Until the mixed group emerges as a viable majority that identifies, and comes to be identified, as white, Western societies will experience considerable cultural turbulence.

The answer and the future will not lie in people of mixed-ancestry identfying as “white”. They will lie instead in immigrants identifying with this Western culture, much as have done notable Indian intellectuals such as the writer Salman Rushdie, or, for instance, African-American thinkers such as Thomas Sowell.

That is and must be possible. Western civilisation is not primarily based on any notion of race, even if the vast majority of its contributers were white. It has proved itself uncannily able to absord “foreign” cultural influences and to attract “foreign” thinkers from Arabia, Russia, China, Japan and the once-despised Jewish diaspora. It is based not on race but on a familiarity with a long and profound conversation by people with shared values, including a respect for reason and for the dignity and the sovereignity of the individual, no matter how often such values have been betrayed.

That last factor – the sovereignty of the individual that was so powerfully preached by a Jew from Galilee – is what makes this current level of mass immigration from the Third World especially threatening to “white” majorities when it is linked, as it now disastrously is, with tribalism, the enemy of individualism.

That is why immigration by Muslims from clannish Third World countries is seen as much more threatening than by Hindus from India, steeped in British traditions and producing a mercantalist caste of immigrants that has proved highly mobile, including socially.

This tribalism is not just a factor of intellectual fashion. The sheer number of immigrants almost inevitably fosters tribalism and inhibits integration and assimilation. How likely is assimilation in suburbs where as many as 70 per cent of residents are of a similar immigrant culture? How much more likely are immigrants to identify with their ethnicity,”race”, religion or home culture when they and “theirs” form effectively a colony in a strange country – and a country that some are taught to regard as hostile or sinful?

It is the pace of immigration that is the threat – even more than the intellectuals’ assault on whiteness and even the idea of Western civilisation. What time, what breathing space, do we now give for assimilation to occur?

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Published On: April 7, 2019

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