Books in Brief: January 2024

The Making of White American Identity, by Ron Eyerman (Oxford University Press 304 pp., $110 hardcover, $32.99 Kindle). 

The academic industry in antiwhite racist propaganda masquerading as scholarship has achieved near peak production. These books are akin to religious tracts, written for the woke faithful, never challenging or questioning any tenets of the strict moral binarism of pure victims and impure victimizers. The college professors writing them can always be counted on to be completely uninterested in the objective analysis of race relations in the United States. They go in knowing precisely where they want to wind up, and they always find a way to get to the desired destination. 

This recent entry in the field does not disappoint, at least in that regard. From the cover alone, the reader knows just what is in store for him. There, he sees a rendition of an enraged-looking white man with a shaved pate and that most hateful of hate symbols—the American flag—painted on his face.

Malevolent “whiteness” is always everywhere in books such as these, sometimes on the surface, sometimes (still more insidiously) lurking “latently” and producing wicked effects without even being detected by anyone other than the clever academics. “White supremacy landed on Plymouth Rock with the Pilgrims,” we learn, though it was “beneath the surface.” This hidden cancer in the Pilgrim landing and nothing else is the full meaning of the country. The desire of whites to destroy all other groups is everywhere, including especially in all the spaces where we cannot see, touch, hear, or smell it.

The author, a professor of sociology at Yale University, stretches everything he discusses into a carnivalesque caricature of reality. Fringe American neo-Nazi groups like the American Nazi Party, and the obscure cultural products of neo-Nazis, such The Daily Stormer online magazine and  The Turner Diaries novel, and other such tiny fringe phenomena are presented, without argument to this effect, as if they are significant elements of American cultural life participated in by huge majorities of white Americans. The best accounts of the real numbers of membership in white supremacist organizations give only a few tens of thousands at most. In a country of 330 million, that amounts to about 0.005% of the population.

Oddly absent in the book is any mention of the many contextual political issues that have shaped non-radical thinking in the country about race and identity. For example, the Immigration Act of 1965, which has contributed to a fundamental demographic transformation of the country against the will of the majority of its citizens; the several waves of mass black rioting in urban centers, at the cost of many billions of dollars in damage, beginning in the ‘60s and running through the recent Black Lives Matter riots of 2020; and the consistently disproportionately high rates of black violent crime and low rates of black educational achievement. 

Among other things, we learn in this book that most American heroes of history—Ben Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt are prominent examples—were white supremacists. American country music and Western movies are nothing more or less than rallying symbols for white racists. All expression of the empirical dominance of white Protestant European peoples in historical America, and of even the most muted desire to maintain that historical demography of the country, can be nothing other than hateful racism against nonwhites. 

The book evinces the required hysterical exaggeration of the events at the nation’s capital on Jan. 6, 2020, which is presented as a nearly fatal attack on all that is righteous in America. Whites, we are told, are caught up in a trauma narrative of their own victimhood—but please, let us pass over the fact that this same framework is the basis of the contemporary black radical narrative. Everywhere in the book the reader finds denunciation of the white supremacist worldview as an overly narrow “good vs. evil” moral totalitarianism, but the author’s own perspective is just as simplistic.

The book wraps up with the claim that an overt, violent white supremacist movement of considerable dimensions is aligned with an even larger covert, center-right racist movement that “us[es] the democratic process, particularly voting rights and accountability, against itself.” These two faces of racist malevolence will have to be checked by “strong nonpartisan institutions,” the author warns, or “the future of the United States as a democratic nation, a city on the hill for all to behold, is in doubt.” 

Unfortunately, the purportedly nonpartisan institutions this author calls upon to solve America’s race problems are exemplified by the kind corrupt universities teeming with people who share his world view. They are the kind of institutions that harbor the wildly partisan academic publishing apparatus that spews out propaganda tracts like this book. The problem of saving America from corrosive and unreasoning ideology is much deeper than the author knows.

(Alexander Riley)

The Weaponization of Loneliness: How Tyrants Stoke Our Fear of Isolation to Silence, Divide, and Conquer, by Stella Morabito (Bombardier Books; 304 pp., $20.99). Even as progressive elites tend to deny the reality of an objective human nature, they nonetheless employ the nature they deny to create dependency or enslavement in pursuit of power, filthy lucre, or both. Take, for instance, the natural human sex drive. No one exploited this more successfully in the 20th century than Hugh Hefner, whose Playboy magazine became a multimillion-dollar enterprise that, with a veneer of literary and philosophical respectability, changed social mores and enslaved men to their desires. Over the centuries, totalitarians large and small have employed similar tactics to subjugate people by exploiting their basic inclinations.

Former CIA analyst Stella Morabito  knows the totalitarian game and traces the patterns of  modern progressive elites, who seek to impose conformity of thought and action through behavior and thought modification. While Hefner sought sexual “liberation” by redefining the purpose of the sexual urge, Morabito observes that 21st-century elites seek to exploit the natural inclination for community and the fear of isolation. She traces this pattern from its historical antecedents to its latest incarnation in the polyamory of big government, big business, Hollywood, academia, and the LGBTQIA+ victim industry.

It won’t do to blame a single string puller, like George Soros or Klaus Schwab. There is a certain facelessness to the barrage of propaganda and enforcement tactics, but there is no doubt about the beneficiaries. The faceless movement of progressive
elitism has been gradually propagandizing the populace to death and, in the meantime, keeping it subservient to those overlords.

Morabito’s book is a good read on the present reality. While not as scholarly as Hannah Arendt’s magisterial work on totalitarianism, it is a valuable contribution to unmasking the playbook of those who fear anything that might imperil their hold on power and wealth. Perhaps the most valuable aspect of the tome is its reassertion of confidence in the ability of humans to seek the truth and to unveil the lies of totalitarians. May new Alexander Solzhenitsyns and Václav Bendas arise, confident in their God-given nature to live free.

(John M. DeJak)

The Significance of the German Revolution, by Edgar Julius Jung (Arktos Media; 106 pp., $10.75). Unlike the Brownshirts with whom he was slain on the Night of the Long Knives, Edgar Julius Jung was a conservative revolutionary rather than a Nazi. Although Jung detested liberalism and had welcomed the collapse of the dysfunctional Weimar Republic, he had also opposed Hitler’s rule almost from the beginning. “We have to get rid of him,” Jung wrote to a friend regarding the new chancellor, and at one point he even contemplated assassination. 

Jung’s hostility to the Nazis stemmed from his belief that conservatism is rooted in religion and thus incompatible with nationalism. As he wrote in this new translation of his 1933 book, written less than a year before his murder, nationalism “politicises life, relates everything to the state, and in this way succumbs to a narrowing of life.”

Like many of his German contemporaries, Jung was suspicious of “Jewish predominance,” yet he advocated a policy “without harshness” and “without violence,” observing that the issue was more complicated than Nazis would admit. “The Jews in Germany do not form a uniform but a very divided people: some wish not to assimilate, others to assimilate,” he wrote. The clash of German and Jewish cultures need not translate into mass expulsion, which “is impossible in a Christian state.”

Jung emphasized that God must come first, warning that the German right exhibited an “overvaluation of the things of this world, of nation and state,” and that “earthly power is too highly valued.” Like all conservatives, Jung traces this pathology back to another, unambiguously pernicious revolution:

The French Revolution dissolved the mediaeval bonds; it is not only deliberately (for more than a decade the French churches were closed) but also unconsciously the revolution of atheism. The world was desacralised, and man deprived of God.… The alienation happened equally from God as also from Nature. Man believed with fervour in civilisation; religion was secularised, Progress, technology, work, wealth, comfortable living, earthly power, state, nation are only a small part of the false gods whose images were erected.

Jung was a key figure in 1930s wrangling between the parties of the Weimar Republic and was speechwriter for Chancellor Franz von Papen. He attempted and failed “to surround [von Papen] with a wall of conservatives” to insulate him from Nazi influence. Likewise, Jung’s refusal to work with less militant conservatives may have hamstrung his efforts to develop a viable alternative to nationalism. His tragedy may bear a lesson for conservatives today.

(Jerry Salyer)

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