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Nihilism, Futurist Traditionalism and Conservationism

Words on race from George Santayana

18 09 11 - 12:22

You know, the "Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it" (paraphrase) fellow:

Some races are obviously superior to others. A more thorough adjustment to the conditions of existence has given their spirit victory, scope, and a relative stability. It is therefore of the greatest importance not to obscure this superiority by intermarriage with inferior stock, and thus nullify the progress made by a painful evolution and a prolonged sifting of souls. Reason protests as much as instinct against any fusion, for instance, of white and black peoples. Mixture is in itself no evil if the two nations, being approximately equal, but having complementary gifts, can modify them without ultimate loss, and possibly to advantage. Indeed the so-called pure races, since their purity has gone with isolation and inexperience, have borne comparatively little spiritual fruit. Large contact and concentrated living bring out native genius, but mixture with an inferior stock can only tend to obliterate it. The Jews, the Greeks, the Romans, the English were never so great as when they confronted other nations, reacting against them and at the same time, perhaps, adopting their culture; but this greatness fails inwardly whenever contact leads to amalgamation.

There is something unmistakably illiberal, almost superstitious, in standing on race for its own sake, as if origins and not results were of moral value. It matters nothing what blood a man has, if he has the right spirit; and if there is some ground for identifying the two (since monkeys, however educated, are monkeys still) it is only when blood means character and capacity, and is tested by them, that it becomes important. Nor is it unjust to level the individual, in his political and moral status, with the race to which he belongs, if this race holds an approved position. Individual gifts and good intentions have little efficacy in the body politic if they neither express a great tradition nor can avail to found one; and this tradition, as religion shows, will falsify individual insights so soon as they are launched into the public medium. The common soul will destroy a noble genius in absorbing it, and therefore, to maintain progress, a general genius has to be invoked; and a general genius means an exceptional and distinct race. - etext

I can agree with parts of this, but here's my postmodern take:

Each ethny/race is optimized for the conditions of its existence.

There is no inherent benefit to intelligence or empire-building.

Each group finds its own traits appealing and can develop them on a spectrum of competence localized to that ethny.

For this reason, you cannot rank ethnies linearly and you also cannot mix two 9s and come up with a 9. Much is lost.

However, the bolded sentence approximates my view of the importance of this issue.

One comment

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