I grew-up in a predominantly white, working class area of northern England, in which support for the Labour Party was taken as a given, and in which I myself supported and voted for Labour. I was even a Labour Party activist during my teenage years. The votes were weighed, rather than counted, and it is my understanding that they still are. However, back then it was not an area in which today’s ‘Left’ would have felt at home or remotely welcome. The people, and most of their Labour politicians, held to traditional views about society and the family. They supported the collective rights of their class and folk and were outraged at the attack on trade unions by both Labour and Conservative governments. They were nationalists in the generic sense of being for their own people, but they were not specially patriotic. They tended to look favourably on European integration, seeing themselves (as many northern English do) vaguely as northern regionalists and separate from the more market-oriented southern English. They had no time for the emerging social liberalism in society and disliked anti-family policies, and innovations such as gay rights. They tended to loathe mass immigration. At that time, it was common to hear in political meetings ordinary working men speak in highly-prejudicial terms about a range of modish issues. There was, then, a class-based cleave in the Labour Party, between the traditionally conservative branches found in the working class areas and the more social-liberal perspective found in the middle-class, metropolitan branches.
If I make my birthplace sound ugly to more decadent or sensitive souls, it is not out of disloyalty, but I do have some reason. I was born in Pontefract, the town immortalised by J. S. Fletcher in his classic satiric novel, The Town of Crooked Ways. It is also the town that gave us the corrupt architectural designer, John Poulson. From my own researches, I know that Pontefract had a rough, perhaps even corrupt, political environment over the years, but particularly during the 1960s and 1970s. For a good guide to what politics in the north of England during that era was like, watch the excellent 1990s TV series, Our Friends In The North, which depicts similarly-corrupt local politics in the north-east of England. Pontefract also has a unique claim as the place to hold the first secret ballot in the Northern Hemisphere, which took place on 15 August 1872. However, the place typifies the north of England towns, with its blind tribal loyalty to the local municipal Labour Party; in its combination of quaint medieval buildings alongside brutalist 1960s architecture; and especially in the ordinary views and attitudes of its people, which cannot be dissimilar to the views of ordinary people everywhere in our country. It is an attitude of mind that the modish would describe dismissively as ‘bigotry’. For an example of this patronisation, recall if you will that during the 2010 popularity contest, the then-Prime Minister called an ordinary retiree in Rochdale, Gillian Duffy, a ‘bigoted woman’. This was once she was out of earshot. It is clear that he felt her (fairly mild) views on immigration did not deserve serious consideration, but the phrase ‘bigoted woman’ was a pejorative employed to dismiss not just Ms. Duffy’s views, but Ms. Duffy as a person. Mr. Brown was making an assessment about Ms. Duffy herself and her moral qualities; he was not merely dismissing her views.
Bigotry can indeed be an ugly impulse, but its presence does not necessarily make for an unpleasant society. In fact, quite the opposite. A nation of bigots can be strong for its bigotry. The views I have described above, and those of Ms. Duffy, remain common among most ordinary people – i.e. the type of people who have to work for a living, or who have retired from real jobs – except that now this bigotry has to remain silent and hidden. This unspoken shared consciousness among working people is not just a narrow provincial mindset and cannot be dismissed as such. It is, rather, a kind of folk wisdom, a common body of knowledge and experience as to what makes for good families and stable communities. The usual response to it from opponents in national culture, politics and in the workplace is a la Gordon Brown – “She’s just a sort of bigoted woman that said she used to be Labour…”. Ms. Duffy, who used to be Labour, discovered the value of her genuine and honest views to the patrician Gordon Brown. However, Ms. Duffy and her community were, perhaps, fortunate. The more usual response to such outrageous outbursts from “bigoted women who used to be Labour” is to recruit an army of middle-class social-worky liberals (think Stella Creasy crossed with Harriet Harman) to descend on whichever working class community is deemed ‘too Saxon’ (i.e. too white), to do their ‘civilising’ work reductio ad Hitlerum, ‘educating’ the ‘ignorant’ natives. The media will, helpfully, chime in with alarmist, but essentially truthful, perspectives on the economic degradation of the area, often forgetting the context that the loyalty shown by these “bigoted” working people “who used to vote Labour” was rewarded with asset-stripping and industrial defoliation.
What is missed by these ‘intelligent’ ‘educators’ amidst their enthusiasm for cultural rapine is the background traditions of the people they patronise and look down on. The patrician mind is mistaken. The ordinary people are not ignorant. They just know what is best for them, yet they are trapped in a ‘Normanised’ political system run by a Bohemian metropolitan class who want to dictate what is best for them, and what is considered best – ‘fair’, ‘just’, ‘moral’ – normally coincides with what might result in the most economic opportunity for the people who actually own the country. Deindustrialisation – i.e. the destruction of manufacturing jobs, and with it trade union influence – is supported by both the political Right and their friends in the metropolitan Left. White working class men can then be coerced into service sector jobs, casualised labour or self-employment of some kind, or just left to live on benefits (the people the Daily Mail calls ‘scroungers’). None of this ‘economic activity’ has any serious trade union representation, or is politically- or industrially- represented at all. But it’s good for business. Mass immigration means cheap labour and generally lower labour costs as migrants are pliable, which is good for business. Racial integration (race-mixing) means gradual social acceptance of the immigrant aliens, which solidifies the new social order and makes it harder to argue coherently against ever-more immigration. And so on. These things, and more besides, are regarded as ‘progress’, but we should bear in mind that not all progress is advancement. ‘Progress’ seems to demand that an entire section of the population loses its political and industrial voice – and conveniently, this just happens to be the section of the population that holds to its own folk wisdom, in conflict with the ‘humane’, ‘fair’, and ‘moral’ values of the rulers. Which again, is good for business. We can see that the unspoken auchtonomy that once-governed and accounted for things was not the preserve of narrow provincial mindsets, or ignorant country bumpkins, but actually served an economic purpose. Against that background, bigotry looks like the privilege of the intelligent.
But let’s consider what bigotry really is. It might be defined as prejudice based on some ascribed trait such as sex, race or nationality. In itself, bigotry is neither a good nor a bad thing. After all, we measure, variously, the ‘goodness’ or ‘badness’ of things by evaluating their outcomes, not by their innate nature. Killing another human being can be a good or a bad thing, depending on the consequences of the act. We use man-made laws to roughly apply a system of ethics, so that our actions can be policed according to their consequences and certain actions that are ‘bad’ can be discouraged. It is not, therefore, illegal to be racist, as racism is, in itself, inconsequential. However certain acts that involve racism are considered contrary to law. This modern transitory, from neutrality as to the thing-in-itself to moral and legal mobilisation against the act, brings to mind the Stoic introspection of Marcus Aurelius in Meditation X (Book Eight) [to quote]:
“This, what is it in itself, and by itself, according to its proper constitution? What is the substance of it? What is the matter, or proper use? What is the form, or efficient cause? What is it for in this world, and how long will it abide? Thus must thou examine all things that present themselves unto thee.”
To paraphrase Marcus Aurelius into our own, quite different, context, it could be said that the human mind is ‘the unknowable’, the neumenon of the Greek philosophers, or indeed the ding an sich of Kantian philosophy. Whether it is sexual fantasy or some sort of bigotry or love or hatred, we cannot really know ourselves fully, let alone know what is in the minds of others. We must therefore borrow the solution outlined above in Meditation X and consider the act – that is, the consequences of the thought – in light of what we surmise in the world around us, and then judge accordingly. In a traditional community, this Stoic transitory mindset is not very difficult to adopt and follow as a kind of social ‘golden rule’. Ordinary folk, I would suggest, are essentially ‘little Stoics’, pragmatically judging others on their conduct, while accepting everyone on a prior assumption of good faith. The notion that someone should be judged for being ‘racist’ or ‘sexist’ is an alien concept to the Stoic mind, for two reasons. First, it makes little practical sense in a community to judge people on what they may or may not think; and second, it is difficult to ascribe a ‘sexist’ or ‘racist’ quality to an act, for these are purely abstract ascriptions. We know, roughly-speaking, when an act is ‘good’ or bad’. Our ‘moral common-sense’ provides a yardstick for measuring the ‘goodness’ or ‘badness’ of the act, and we normally needn’t trouble ourselves with further complicated discursions on the matter so far as day-to-day conduct is concerned. What is more difficult is applying notions that are purely abstract. Thus, you rarely hear from ordinary people accusations that such-and-such a person is a ‘racist cyclist’. Yes, I can hear you laughing as you read that. Indeed, the notion is ridiculous, yet a comparable accusation is frequently accepted in the media without serious question.
If I told you that tomorrow’s newspapers would be printing a story about a professional sports cyclist having made some racist remark or other, then you might indeed believe me when I say that the hypothesis of the ‘racist cyclist’ is not as silly as it might first seem. Mention ‘racist’ or ‘sexist’ and the accusation is widely-accepted on the basis of fairly flimsy and summary evidence about what the target had said, even in private. We may imagine that our ‘racist cyclist’ would then be shunned by his commercial sponsors, some of his friends, and all ‘respectable’ people, in much the same way that in the traditional community a person who committed some egregious or scandalous criminal act might be shunned. Yet, in the traditional community, it is Stoicism that is the impulse at work, a judgement based on actions and consequences; whereas, in the media, there is an orchestrated anti-Stoicism in operation: a harken, if you like, to the opposite Greek tradition of Aristotle, with its pseudo-faith in the idealistic and incorporeal. Our hypothetical ‘racist cyclist’ is, on the terms of this society, to be subjected to an organised campaign of libel and slander without any solid basis. His appeals to reason and common-sense cannot be considered cogent, for the Stoic understanding of social relations is gone. Efforts are made to force him to apologise for his ‘bigotry’ and beg for forgiveness.
Why? Because the Stoicism of our ancestors cannot work in a mixed-racial society. When we look around us, we see that there are no longer communities, and even the existence of families is in doubt. There are only individuals, of different racial and cultural heritage, striving for their own ambition and satisfaction. The former, traditional informalities of manners, dress, speech, behaviour and body language, and so on, that permitted discretion, understanding and judgement within a ‘common culture’ – in which people understood one another implicitly – have now gone, perhaps forever. We are now an individuated mass, and notions of community must now give way to legalistic prescription, which – necessarily – intrudes into areas that were formerly properly considered private. Instead of judgement of others based on conduct alone, which is the traditional, Stoic, basis of English criminal law, there is now an imperative to police our thoughts, in so far as this is practically possible, and there are special words that are used to describe the thoughts that are considered improper. On the face of it, the law continues to respect the Stoic transitory, but in practice there is a creeping tendency, both in the letter of the law and its application to day-to-day life, towards suppressing views and opinions that are impolitic, so that whereas Marcus Aurelius – the rather arrogant, imperious Roman Emperor – might have humbly conceded that he could not understand the thing in itself except via the fruit of its expression, our own rulers seek a relentless Inquisition of the ‘thing’ and will, if they think it necessary, stamp on it in lieu of any understanding.
This presents those of us who are the ‘Gillian Duffys’ of the world with a dilemma, for our own bigotry – if it may be called that – is natural, though not unthinking. The application of our bigotry could be seen as a necessary defence mechanism. Our racial views, expressed here on the W.I.N. website, are a typical example. I would say ours is a ‘positive’ type of bigotry, neither morally good nor bad, but simply a necessitous and inevitable result of a survival instinct. Our visceral attitudes towards other races are to do with that natural instinct, which is spoken and written here and elsewhere as an insatiable desire to preserve our race and way of life. By contrast, the more ‘negative’ charge of bigotry, presumably levelled by the racial liberals against W.I.N. and similar initiatives, and familiar to most who rely on mainstream media, is really an attempt to dehumanise us and deter our instinctive survival responses. It is here that the positive-negative cleave in bigotry becomes important in our efforts at persuasion. Those who submit to the brainwashing and implicitly accept the ‘negative’ charge of bigotry develop a neurosis, believing that they are in some way dirty and unclean for having what are in truth perfectly natural thoughts. Only interested in marrying a white woman? “That’s racism!” Want to only socialise with white people? “Well really, how racist!”
Indeed it is (negative) bigotry to have these impulses – to that extent, our opponents and critics are actually right – but that in itself doesn’t really tell us much, other than that such thoughts can seem a little ugly in that no-one really wants to judge anyone based purely on appearance, even if there is a solid, racial, basis to the discrimination. We must consider what has brought these impulses about. If it were not for the enforced mixed-racialism and its multi-culturalism, there would be none of this ‘negative’ kind of bigotry, as constructed by media. There would be no reason for it, because different peoples would not be forced together. Instead, people would accept ‘positive’ bigotry – i.e. Nationalism – as the norm, and most people would simply marry others of the same race because that is the natural thing to do. Likewise, those of a more adventurous bent or who might wish to learn about other races and cultures close-up would be able to travel or enter education to do so, and would be free to follow their own desires, interests and passions in whatever way they liked. In this sense, it can be seen that Nationalism is not necessarily an authoritarian philosophy, it is merely a perspective that prioritises the interests of a discrete racial community, which – after all – is the most natural impulse, and has operated throughout recorded human history. A Nationalist world would not require closed borders or police states – that is a misconception. Instead, people would have a shared mentality that there are collective rights and responsibilities to sustain a community, and that human diversity must, and can be, respected. That would be a world free of ‘negative’ bigotry and its people would be happier, more diverse and more willing to understand one another as we share our human journey. But that dream cannot become reality if people are forced to mix together and so adopt ‘negative’ bigotry as a defence against their unwelcome neighbours.
Our opponents point to the need for greater commonality among human beings, as a route to what they would call ‘peace’ and ‘fairness’. This is a laudable goal, but it will not be achieved by forcing people to live together cheek-by-jowl. We all want to live in a world that is peaceful and without needless (‘negative’) bigotry, but that is only possible if different peoples adopt the ‘positive’ bigotry that is their birth right and respect national and cultural boundaries. Peace, after all, requires understanding, and understanding is only possible when differing peoples first respect one another. That requires boundaries, both visible and invisible. For our ancestors, this was little more than a common sense insight. If people today would finally begin to revive this ‘common sense’, then the ugliness might stop.