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The End of Americanism

Posted by sverigeidag på december 5, 2011

Recension av Pat Buchanans bok Suicide of a Superpower:

Pat Buchanan’s Suicide of a Superpower is an apt follow-up to his 2002 volume, The Death of the West. Although the new book focuses on the United States, it restates and updates the narrative of the older book. It is no coincidence, therefore, that the former refers briefly to the latter early on.

Buchanan’s main thesis is this:

When the faith dies, the culture dies, the civilization dies, the people die. That is the progression. And as the faith that gave birth to the West is dying in the West, peoples of European descent from the steppes of Russia to the coast of California have begun to die out, as the Third World treks north to claim the estate. The last decade provided corroborating if not conclusive proof that we are in the Indian summer of our civilization.

Buchanan_Pat_-_Suicide_of_a_SuperpowerSuicide has stirred some controversy in the mainstream media for stating what for many is, or should be, known and obvious, but which for the majority is either not so or taboo: the negative consequences of immigration, diversity, and multiculturalism.

Yet, the book has obtained wide coverage and seems widely available—last month, while travelling in the United States, I saw it prominently displayed in the bookshops of major airports. This is a significant achievement that must not pass without notice, for there are others who have been advancing identical theses without the same level of exposure.

Suicide, however, is not without significant limitations, and these merit detailed discussion, for they stem from an outlook that will need to be overcome if we are ever to move forward with an effective solution to the suicide of America and the rest of the West.

The Pluses

With 428 pages of meat in it, Suicide is divided into 11 chapters, each of which is in turn divided into shorter sections with lapidary titles. The chapters are: The Passing of a Superpower, The Death of Christian America, The Crisis of Catholicism, The End of White America, Demographic Winter, Equality or Freedom, The Diversity Cult, The Triumph of Tribalism, The ‘White’ Party, The Long Retreat, and The Last Chance.

In none does Buchanan flinch from presenting the facts as they are. And where there are lacunae, Kevin MacDonald has already filled them with his Culture of Critique. The first chapter is in tone apocalyptic, yet the sheer rapidity of the United State’s decline as a superpower justifies that tone; Rome’s decline in wealth and capability may have taken longer, but America’s is comparable and, as Buchanan presents it, suggests familiar buildings and everyday objects one day becoming ruins and broken artefacts in a continent abandoned to a dark age. Buchanan proposes solutions in the final chapter, but, besides flawed (and I get to that further down), they are conditional, which lends the trajectory of decline traced throughout most of the volume an aura of inevitability. This is not an indulgence on pessimism, because all previous empires eventually collapsed, and all previous great civilisations in history came to an end.

In his detailed discussion of Christianity’s role in the United State, and of the crisis of Catholicism, Buchanan acknowledges the importance of the transcendent. Many of the ills that afflict the West in our age are linked to, if not the result of, a materialist conception of life, and of the consequent subjection to a secular economist criterion of all matters of importance to a nation and a people. The dispossession and loss of moral authority of the White race in their own traditional homelands was to a significant degree achieved through, or caused by, economic arguments. It was not the so-called ‘civil rights’ movement in the United States that turned Detroit into a ruin; what turned it into a ruin was the reliance on economic arguments—so characteristic of the materialist liberal outlook—that enabled the decision to purchase Black slaves in African markets and ship them to North America. Similarly, the loss of moral and spiritual vigour, which has so enfeebled the White race and sapped its will to live, can be traced to the rise of secularism, to the severing of the race’s link to the transcendent. ‘Where are the martyrs for materialism?’ he asks.

To this Buchanan adds a helpful discussion about equality and freedom. He explodes the liberal conception of them as concomitant concepts, and convincingly presents them as polar opposites in a dichotomy: greater equality means less freedom, greater freedom means less equality. Buchanan makes clear that the only possible way to see these two concepts as concomitant is by ignoring human biodiversity, for, where inborn differences in physiology impose upper limits to human plasticity, equality—the elimination disparities in outcome—cannot be achieved without handicapping the cause of those disparities. Thus, the freedom to choose among the best universities is limited for bright White students when entry requirements are relaxed among less able non-White students in the effort to achieve equal outcomes among all racial groups.

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