Discussing Race In A Global World
By Welf Herfurth
The subject of race and racial difference is something a lot of people avoid. Some consider it bad manners or impolite. Others say it is offensive and discussion of it should be suppressed by legislation. One spin-off from that category goes as far as to deny the existence of races, claiming any number of religious, philosophic, scientific (sic) and moral theories in support of the proposition. Then, some fellow travellers might conclude that races exist in some narrow, almost meaningless sort of way and may conclude that, for 'human-universalist' reasons - they should be abolished.
Of course, there are people - amongst all races - who believe their particular origin renders them wise or good or superior. The fact this class of human beings exists might condition the attitudes of those who prefer the matter not bedevil us further. Sometimes this group is downright offensive and some amongst them have a genocidalist frame of mind. However, that does not make the existence of races as such - invalid. The old Chinese who spoke of others as barbarian or the Hitlerite who took refuge in false aesthetics or the Zionist Jew who believes some peoples are lesser entities are used as an excuse by many to refuse to entertain any theory of race that proclaims a virtue in their existence.
I am not afraid to discuss race. Because I am prepared to accept races exist, I must therefore say: “Where did they come from? What does it mean?”
I see race and species as different. I certainly agree that humans, as a whole are a species, but within the family you have different races. It is like in the animal world. You have dogs, cats, whales, deer, etc., but within each 'species' you have different 'races'. It might be a simplistic description, but take the species of dogs. You have your German Shepherd, Schnauzer, Fox Terrier, etc. They are all dogs, but they are different - in looks, size and temperament. They can interbreed, if you really want to, but the sense of individuality might ultimately be lost. In my opinion that is the same with humans. We all walk on two legs; have a head and arms and legs. We think, have needs and we need to love and be loved. We communicate with each other and we have always regarded ourselves as related to each other. There is no doubt that we are, however, very special 'animals' (I note there may be certain religious opposition to this label being applied, but my purpose should quickly become clear). Essentially, we have self-awareness. The philosophers have long debated that notion. It is the capacity to think in 'higher' terms, moral terms, to distinguish wants and needs, to regulate impulse, to act socially, that makes the human species special. Why should we be surprised if nature has equipped each of the races slightly differently?
Between the different races we note great differences. Not only the skin colour, but also how we act in different situations and our physical abilities. The Negroid race is generally a more physical race than the Asian or 'Indian' or European or Semite. He has the well known (if always given in cliché form) abilities at certain sports and song, of physical labour and in the endurance of pain. Some Asian groups on the other hand have a higher IQ than the white man, and a capacity for skilled application to the finery of life and culture. The Eskimo have a high IQ, but black groups seem to come in at the bottom of the range. Then the white man is generally more practical and scientific. The Semitic groups have the ability to form intricate systems of religious and mystical Gnostic thought. In some ways, each is 'better' than another and in some ways 'lesser'.
There are also differences within the races whereby each may be broken into sub-groups. We just have to look at the Europeans. They are 'white', but the Italians are different to the Swedish, the Germans are different culturally and temperamentally to the Russians. But this difference is mainly based on their habits, which is influenced by the culture they live in. There are also certain anatomical variations. I suppose we could apply that principle to the Asian race. Japanese are 'fairer' to Vietnamese; Han Chinese have heavier frames to Thais. The skull of the Ethiopian may be easily compared to the Senegalese and the legendary collectivity of the Zulu contrasts with the freer structures of Sierra Leone. And so forth.
This incredible difference between races and variation within races is a natural thing. We can say God made it that way (if we are religious in our view) or we can say nature made it that way (if we are evolutionists). Whichever way, we are dealing with a fact of existence. It seems to be a wondrous fact. The differences in humanity cannot be a thing decried, but only accepted. Once accepted, we should celebrate it. If one is religious in outlook we could say that if it was made that way, it is not to be tampered with. If we are scientific in our outlook, we would say that nature's processes are not to be willed away. I would venture to say that a proper discussion of the existence of race implies a revolution in philosophy of political correctness.
When I do my travels, I always love to cross a border and be instantly in a different world. Just going from Germany to Switzerland is amazing. The landscape might be the same as might be the architecture, but the people and the cultures are different. And that is what I would like to preserve. Look at Europe today. You have so many other races living in England that more than half of London is non-white. If we go to some countries in the Arab world, we would think we were in Pakistan. If we go to India, we find people wanting to be Americans and chatting away only in English. What effect does all this pseudo-globalisation have on the economy of this country? What about the survival of the heritages of the 'native' peoples? I am German, but I would not be offended if people in an African country became annoyed with too many of our tourists or businessmen making pests of themselves. It does not offend me as a 'white man' to learn Malaysians painted large slogans back in the 1950's: "British go home!", "White Man: Pack Up Your Burden". It is always 'numbers' and ‘weight’ that drives a people to demand a bit of living room. I wasn't upset either when Libya sent home many of its guest workers or when Nigeria packed off its illegal immigrants. Nor am I offended when an Icelander asks the question why do they need Indians in their country? It almost seems that if everyone was in his 'place', being himself, there would be less tension and more respect?
Where does all the pressure for 'one world' end? Let us imagine every person on this planet became chocolate coloured with dark hair and dark eyes. No more Asian, African, European or Indian races. Let us assume, therefore, that there was no more racial diversity in people. Let us assume we could teach one language, use one money-system, knock down all barriers and borders and live in one huge market place. Where would the benefit be? Do we really think that that in itself would make for a better mankind or a more harmonious or prosperous or culturally achieving world? And of course, can we assume that if we could put humanity through a blending machine that differentiation might not reappear, in a new form perhaps, but still operate in human affairs?
Of course what is different often has the appeal of the exotic and one cannot prevent the small scale mixing of the races. In certain places too at different times this has occurred on a visible scale, with historical and cultural forces operating to produce over long periods new results. But when we are confronted by those who suggest it should be the norm and be pursued consciously and aggressively, then we must act to prevent the large-scale destruction of singular identities and struggle hard to preserve the diversity of humanity.
I do not know if there is an agenda to encourage the one-world result. It could be the naivety or foolishness or greed of people who push this vision. However, I have come to think there is a push from Western liberals, capitalists of all colours, some theologians and others to create 'one-world'. World-improvers of all sorts and the so-called liberals are promoting the idea that diversity is a tiresome nothing. There can be no doubt that these delightful sounding platitudes will serve those who see that by breaking down all boundaries, humanity is better 'managed' in a market-millennium. For one, I would attack that sort of 'vision' as a monstrosity and prefer the racial differences and diversity. And I would argue that we are not “naturally gravitating” towards The Great Brown Race, but we are being in fact resettled.
I know that in today’s western society discussing the race issue is rather sticky and a dangerous ground to walk on. But I am willing to do that. I believe that the survival of the different races and cultures is as important as the survival of the whale, elephants and different birds. It is a worthy goal if it is kept as a celebration of diversity as essential to overall human progress. We are still a family.
To keep to such a goal, I would repudiate any notion that one race is better than another race in a hierarchy arranged from the best to the least. It is precisely because the races have different skills and aptitudes and possibly deficits that this cannot be done. I am left to say that the races are equal - but they are not the same. We can and we should accept that these differences are recorded in our cultures. Our cultures are the windows to our souls. They define each of the races, each of the sub-types, each of the peoples. These cultures are treasures. They can be appreciated by each of the human types, but they are only fully lived and appreciated only by their creator group. Surely a race or a nation has the right to retain their nation’s culture and identity in their own country. Where is the arrogant self-assertion in that? If a race or other group owns a culture, it has the right to prefer to retain it.
Could we have a world of peoples in definable zones as an alternative to the New World Order of chaos and destruction? Perhaps that is the ultimate expression of the argument I am putting here! But the agenda of the political liberals, the mass media outlets and the entertainment industry in promoting multiculturalism (which in my opinion is actually liberal monoculture) in Western societies will, in effect, destroy the European cultures. However, their model is now increasingly pushed upon other peoples as part of New World Order imperialism. It is a strange imperialism that comes to divest the conquered of their culture and then to merge its wreckage with the wreckage of others. I am pleased to note many people are rising against this model.
I always liked travelling and seeing the world. It gives me the feeling of being alive and interacting with people and place. I will never understand how people can live in one place and one place only - and think that they are living in "the best place" on earth. Each land may be a great country, but there is no such thing as "the best place". Similarly we can discard the idea of the best race. In a world that seems to be losing its way and descending into conflict, we should seek the causes. They do not only lie in the rivalries of races, nor has this sort of rivalry brought the human world to the brink of destruction. If we look back into history, it certainly involved conflicts of races and peoples and evil deeds. However, the past also possessed an outline principle of diversity as being essential to progress overall. Whatever the differences were and the contentions they produced, there was amongst all the idea of a certain security in the arrangements. This is now challenged by the false anti-racism of one-world-ism.
Let us discuss race. Let us see whether the defence of race offers a challenge to one-world-ism. That is a good place to start. If we like the fruits of this discussion, we can take it further. It may be the revolutionary idea to put up against same-ness, conformity, the drab, the destructive and globalisation.
We are all equal, but we are not the same
*Welf Herfurth is a political activist who lives in Sydney / Australia. He was born and raised in Germany. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org