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Social Aristocracy

John Singleton Copley, “The Copley Family,” 1776

2,532 words

In the United States and England there has long existed the loose idea of a white social aristocracy arising from birth, old money, and social position that exercises a kind of fascination over people’s minds.

The idea of the WASP is one important aspect of this, as was the old Social Register. “The WASP” certainly obsessed Jews — who evidently invented the term — and still does.

The difficulty with trying to analyze or discuss the concept intelligently is that it is so amorphous and difficult-to-pin-down.

Moreover, it is easy to import, or to confuse it with, other, different, though perhaps tangentially related phenomena such as primogeniture (a mode of property inheritance), patrilineal kinship systems and ideologies, titled nobility, “hereditary genius,” etc.

And yet, it seems to be in some sense real. The fact that Jews hated the preexisting social aristocracy so fervently, evidently viewing it as their single greatest obstacle to control (not much of one, obviously, but Jews, self-centered and emotionally insistent, want EVERYTHING—NOW!), lends some credence to the idea that something of this nature existed, at least if viewed from a Judeocentric perspective.

Personally, I do not think that “WASPs” existed as a coherent, objective, conscious social entity with that particular self-conceptualization until after Jews “invented,” defined, and labeled the category. It is interesting that whites should so easily adopt it as valid in its entirety after the fact. After all, other interpretations are possible.

In any event, “WASPs” folded instantly before the furious Jewish onslaught, proving themselves to be the ultimate paper tiger.

Chroniclers of the Social Aristocracy

A noted chronicler of this type of “aristocracy” was Stephen Birmingham in books such as The Right People: A Portrait of the American Social Establishment (1968), The Right Places (1973), and America’s Secret Aristocracy (1987).

Birmingham is unique among such authors in that he also acknowledged the existence of and examined in a similar way the moneyed elites of other important American ethnic groups: Real Lace (1973) (the Irish); Certain People (1977) (blacks); and, most famously, his trilogy about Jews: “Our Crowd” (1967) (German Jews), The Grandees (1971) (Sephardim), and The Rest of Us (1984) (Ashkenazic-East European Jews).

Cleveland Amory’s The Proper Bostonians (1947) (neatly skewered by Doris Parkman in Saturday Review—her observations about the male-oriented nature of that social clique during its dying days were new to me) and Who Killed Society? (1960) belong to this genre, as does, really, Paul Fussell’s Class: A Guide Through the American Status System (1983).

The one social scientist to write persuasively and informatively on the subject was a Trotskyite (or Trotskyite-leaning, I believe) sociologist named G. William Domhoff. In his first and best book, Who Rules America? (1967) (beware of subsequent, revised editions), he not only included Jews, but identified each one he named as a “Jewish member of the power elite.”

He wrote several other worthwhile books afterward, including one about the Bohemian Grove, but was lassoed back into the corral on the Jewish question early-on; by 1982 he co-authored a book with a Jew that bore the comical, opposite-of-the-truth title, Jews in the Protestant Establishment. The slender volume did identify a ton of Jews, though.

Muckraking left-wing journalist Ferdinand Lundberg, of Swedish and Norwegian parentage, contended in two bestsellers, America’s 60 Families (1937) and The Rich and the Super-Rich (1968), that an aristocracy of white families ruled America through their control of wealth. His thesis was wrong even in 1937, never mind 1968. I exchanged letters with him; he was an acerbic individual like Sam Francis.

Lundberg asserted explicitly—and, again, wrongly—that although some Jews were extremely wealthy, unlike whites they did not rule.

American Aristocrats

It is easy to list examples of the kind of “aristocrats” I’m talking about.

The Adams (professional wealth) and Lowell (business wealth) families of New England produced several generations of distinguished descendants that classically fit the category.

When I was 12, I exchanged letters with an elderly lady, Abigail Adams Homans, probably through my hobby of autograph collecting; I no longer recall for sure. She sent me, gratis, an autographed copy of her slender autobiography, Education by Uncles (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1966).

The book’s first sentence was: “When I speak of my background I am speaking of something that is as dead as the Dodo.”

Mrs. Homans was the daughter of John Quincy Adams II, grandson of the president of the same name; her mother was a Crowinshield. If you glance over those Wikipedia entries, or several they connect to, or the entry about her brother, Charles Francis Adams III (Secretary of the Navy under Herbert Hoover; Charles’s entry contains an Adams family genealogical chart on which she appears as Abigail “Hitty” Adams), you will quickly gain an idea of the complex kinship structure that characterized such families.

Abigail, who had four children of her own, was the mother of Harvard sociologist George C. Homans (The Human Group; Social Behavior), the founder of behavioral sociology and exchange theory.

There are probably many other academics with similar social aristocratic backgrounds. Offhand I can think of liberal Harvard University historian Samuel Eliot Morison (his biography of Columbus, Admiral of the Ocean Sea, won the Pulitzer Prize, and poet T. S. Eliot was descended from the same maternal line), and Columbia University historian Robert Livingston Schuyler.

I had read that Harvard political scientist Robert D. Putnam (Bowling Alone), raised a Methodist, was a member of the prominent Putnam family (military service, publishing), but cannot confirm it. He not only married a Jew, but converted to Judaism, “particularly attracted by the ‘unique and intense of community’ [sic] he found among Jews”—certainly a powerful sign of Jewish social unity and dominance over WASPs.

Carleton Putnam, Delta Airlines chairman, racialist author (Race and Reason: A Yankee View; Race and Reality), and bankroller of Wilmot Robertson’s Instauration magazine, was a scion of the New England Putnams, and University of Pennsylvania physical anthropologist Carleton Coon (The Races of Europe, The Origin of Races, The Living Races of Man) was related to Carleton Putnam through both Carletons and Putnams.

Descendants of member of the Continental Congress and judge John Lowell included textile mill founder Francis Cabot Lowell; poets James Russell Lowell, Amy Lowell, and Robert Lowell (1917–1977); and astronomer Percival Lowell.

As President of Harvard University, Abbott Lawrence Lowell (1856–1943) instituted limits on Jewish student enrollment. Those horrible “limits” were actually several times higher than the self-proclaimed Jewish percentage of the American population.

The Lawrences (Abbot Lowell’s maternal ancestors) were originally New England mill owners.

The Cabots (business wealth) are another big family of this type (e.g., Francis Cabot Lowell, above), and included immigration restrictionist Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Sr., who kept us out of the League of Nations, and Ambassador to South Vietnam Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. Specialty chemicals firm Cabot Corporation and its spinoff Cabot Microelectronics were founded by members of this family.

There is even a nearly invisible stratum of bluebloods in Hollywood.

Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.’s brother, John Lodge, starred in The Scarlet Empress and as Bulldog Drummond. Later he served as Republican Representative from, and Governor of, Connecticut, as well as a US Ambassador.

Rhode Island-born film director Robert Aldrich (Kiss Me Deadly, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, The Dirty Dozen) was the grandson of US Senator Nelson W. Aldrich (R.-R. I.) (finance) and a cousin of John D. Rockefeller III and Nelson Rockefeller.

Also in this group are actors Otto Kruger, grandnephew of South African pioneer and president Paul Kruger, Jodie Foster, a descendant of Mayflower passengers John and Priscilla Alden and William and Alice Mullins, and Reese Witherspoon, who is descended from Scottish Presbyterian reformer John Knox and signer of the Declaration of Independence John Witherspoon.

The Rockefellers (industrial wealth) and Bushes (financial wealth, politics) are so well-known that I needn’t discuss them.

I’ve written previously about two Johnson & Johnson Co. heirs, cousins Jamie Johnson (“The Illusive ‘WASP Establishment’—Again”) and Casey Johnson (“WASPs in the Jewish Establishment: The Short Unhappy Life of Casey Johnson”).

Founding father and first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court John Jay was of French Huguenot and Dutch descent. He married Sarah Livingston, who came from another large social aristocratic family.

Co-author of The Federalist Papers with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, Jay wrote in The Federalist No. 2, “Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people—a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs . . .”

Two Jay descendants were prominent in the early 20th century.

Author and essayist John Jay Chapman (1862–1933) in the 1920s became a celebrated supporter of the second Ku Klux Klan, writing for its Kourier magazine. He shifted his viewpoint from philo-Semitic to anti-Semitic under the influence of his brother-in-law, a descendant of John Jacob Astor.

Albert Jay Nock (1870–1945) advocated liberty in a pro-Communist era and was rendered socially marginal as a result. (He titled his 1943 autobiography Memoirs of a Superfluous Man.) Nock’s two-part essay “The Jewish Problem in America,” published in The Atlantic Monthly in June and July 1941, was deemed anti-Semitic and seriously harmed his career.

Families like those I’ve named were composed of large, loose kinship networks. They were no match, obviously, for the intense ethnocentrism and hatred directed at them by an incredibly tightly organized and always-on-the-offensive Jewish community, and collapsed easily before it.

It is easy to identify social aristocratic kinship networks of this kind, which existed regionally and on the state and local levels as well.

Indeed, while writing this I’ve been consulting a favorite reference work, Webster’s Biographical Dictionary (1943), which I bought used for $2.00 twenty years ago. Its former owners’ names are written neatly in a female hand inside the front cover: “Pauline and Cargill Macmillan, February, 1944.”

Plutocratic Jukeses?

William L. Pierce said of the Rockefellers: “Four generations of plutocratic Jukes‘s is enough.”

In light of what America has undergone since the victory of the Jews, is this a fair characterization of the old aristocracy?

Wilmot Robertson has a fascinating chapter in The Dispossessed Majority called “The Split in the Ranks.” In it he notes that the downfall of the white race “could never have taken place without a Majority ‘split in the ranks’—without the active assistance and participation of Majority members themselves.”

Social aristocrats in American politics tend to fall into a category he calls “Gracchites”—men who pitch their electoral appeals to non-white races as well as oppressed classes.

Franklin D. Roosevelt and George W. Bush are prime examples. “In a multiracial state the well-born, ambitious member of a dominant race,” Robertson writes, “is constantly tempted to take the Gracchite route to power.”

John Adams perceived both the aristocratic and Gracchite tendencies in America during the earliest days of the republic.

In his famous 1813 discussion with Thomas Jefferson about “natural” versus “artificial” aristocracy, Adams asserted that there is “as much difference in the races of men as in the breeds of sheep,” and pronounced himself “a sharp reprover and censurer of the sordid mercenary practice of disgracing birth by preferring gold to it.”

In our day the Bushes (Jeb Bush married a mestizo) and Kennedys (Caroline Kennedy married a Jew named Schlossberg) are among those who have “disgraced their birth.”

“Moral, intellectual, and physical” differences resulting from “a descent from pious, virtuous, wealthy, literary, or scientific ancestors” proved the existence of “inequalities in families, descents, and generations.”

Whether by happy accident, or the result of an uncanny confirmation of his own hypothesis, Adams became the progenitor of exactly such a family as he described.

Adams discerned the effects of high birth in electoral contests, where Massachusetts’ “Winthrops, Winslows, Bradfords, Saltonstalls, Quincys, Chandlers, Leonards, Hutchinsons, Olivers, Sewalls, etc., are precisely in the situation of your [Virginia’s] Randolphs, Carters, Burwells, and Harrisons . . . all respected for their names and connections and whenever they fall in with the popular sentiments, are preferred to all others.” (Emphasis added.)

“Aaron Burr,” Adams noted, “had 100,000 votes from the single circumstance of his descent from President Burr and President Edwards.” (Burr’s father, Aaron Burr Sr., was president of Princeton University; his maternal grandfather, Calvinist theologian Jonathan Edwards, replaced Burr Sr. in that post after his early death.)

It has been said, probably correctly (or almost correctly), that “the only difference between the rich and other people is that the rich have more money.”

At least in terms of conformity and beliefs this seems to be the case.

The social aristocracy of the late 20th century constituted a rapidly dwindling aristocracy of descent, status, moderate (but usually not Forbes 400-level) wealth, but with little real social influence. That’s what Abigail Adams Homans meant when she said in 1966 that the background she came from was deader than a Dodo.

Members were prominent mostly on the second- or third-tiers of society, in law and other professions, insurance, investment and wealth management, retail banking, serving as corporate CEOs and directors, museum curators, university professors and administrators, diplomats, and, of course, politicians. But Ferdinand Lundberg was certainly wrong to say that they controlled power in the US during the 20th century.

This weak-form “aristocratic” pattern is clearly discernible in Stephen Birmingham’s America’s Secret Aristocracy. The book’s title gives a misleading impression of what it is about. The aristocracy depicted is “secret” only in the sense that it is invisible and highly marginal in its national significance or impact.

Jamie Johnson, mentioned above, said in an interview that despite having a sheltered, upper class upbringing, he didn’t realize his family was rich until he was fairly old. That is consistent with the picture painted by Birmingham.

In terms of Communism, race, and other highly contentious social issues, neither aristocracy nor high IQ seem to impart independence of mind to their possessors. Such people think and behave pretty much like everybody else. They conform.

Think of the Rockefeller cousins or Patty Hearst during the radical upheavals of the 1960s and ’70s. How did their psychology or behavior really differ from that of other whites?

Low-profile corporate executive Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, 42, a scion of a famous New York Dutch patroon family, is unusual in that he has a German girlfriend, is libertarian, and does not denigrate his own heritage—indeed, he has studied it.

Even the small minority of aristocrats closer to real power, the Gracchites who participate extensively in politics at the highest levels, such as Franklin Roosevelt, the Kennedys (Irish), Rockefellers, or Bushes, invariably play second banana to those who wield true power.

As a recalcitrant President George H. W. Bush (the father) candidly told reporters in September 1991 during an AIPAC push on Capitol Hill to obtain a $10 billion loan guarantee to Israel: “I’m one lonely little guy” up against “some powerful political forces.”

Of course, the Jews won and Bush lost. Indeed, his opposition to the grant may have cost him his presidency.

While an American aristocracy did exist, it was more of an implicit than an explicit entity, and its weak-form ethnic consciousness, social coherence, and ability to act in concert did not remotely approach that of the Jews’, who instantly displaced them.

“The Wasp old guard put up the white flag without a shot being fired,” essayist Joseph Epstein declared.

 

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20 Comments

  1. Dominion
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    “While an American aristocracy did exist, it was more of an implicit than an explicit entity, and its weak-form ethnic consciousness, social coherence, and ability to act in concert did not remotely approach that of the Jews’, who instantly displaced them.”

    The fact that so much of the American aristocracy was based on money is another factor which leaves them far removed from their predecessors in Europe, who gained their positions as aristocrats through service and military victories, at least in their genesis. While there were many among this aristocracy which kept in connection with their English roots, and their European heritage (especially through study of the Greek and Latin classics), many are also merchants, claiming aristocracy when in reality they are mere oligarchs. The Jews, as described here, had a far stricter ‘aristocracy’, and did a better job of keeping their faith and tradition at the forefront of their lives, even when particular Jews did not practice or even denied that faith. This centrism and attention to the proper order of a people is clearly superior to the American tendency to give devotion to material success rather than things which the inventors of the word aristocracy would have required: proof that they were indeed “the best” of their people. And thus, the white flag is raised…

  2. Andrew
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    An excellent article on a very important subject. Understanding the critical structures of how society is organized and ruled is very important in the work of rebuilding our and political order. I think that WASPS did in fact exist in times of yore (from the founding to at least to 1920 or so?), they were in fact an ascendant group/class. By WASPS, I mean a small group of European elite that could be identified, that did for the most part hold the reigns of power politically, they were large and in charge, so to speak.

    In an all-European society, free from alien influence, a native elite will naturally rise to prominence. It will be based primarily on ability, which is mostly due to genes (far more important than inherited wealth, which the talented easily gather and which fools easily squander). IQ is important, but there are also other very important qualities as well, which are not easy to clearly define, but have to do with leadership, energy, organizing ability and so forth. I would argue that a lot of the human potential for these qualities is inherited. Whether or not a human being lives up to his potential is quite another thing (no doubt we have potential Mozarts out there that are idling their lives away on computer games and marijuana). As an aside, on TOO, there was a recent discussion about the “Cavaliers”, nobility from England that came to America and attained prominence in the New World, and were the ancestors of American leaders such as Washington, Madison, Monroe and the other first families of Virginia. Looking at the accomplishments of their progeny, those Cavaliers obviously had those genes, the ones that influence drive, alpha-ness, ambition, organizing ability, true intelligence and so forth.

    I would theorize that this has been the case in European societies from the earliest tribal days, where intelligent alpha males (and their families) formed an elite, continuing to the feudal era forming the nobility, and the modern era forming the upper classes. These elites were not static, at times commoners rose to high positions through achievement (or luck). But, I think there was a process of natural selection, if a family lacked those elite genes, or they became submerged with unfavorable intermarriage, that family group would sink back down out of the elite into the commons. I think this is the natural state of things, I suspect that for an ancient Greek or medieval nobleman, it would be so obvious that their response would be “duh!”

    Because the GGs (Great Genes) are inherited, they will run in families, and we have the examples that Mr. Hamilton has provided in his GE (Great Essay). This is the way that nature intended European societies to be organized, and we tend to do pretty well with that organization. The prominent old name families like the Huffleswigs of Connecticut or the Noofendorfers of lower Saskatchewan, or whatever prominent families exist in a particular area, tend to produce the lion’s share of the prominent people. They tend to intermarry with each other, and maintain that vital, precious supply of the elite genes. They tend to be snobbish and aloof, rather snotty actually, above the hoi polloi, but also tend to be altruistic and noble, helping out the little people to some extent (certainly more philanthropic and generous than the commons). Of course, the main benefit for the little people is that the elites (hopefully) provide good leadership, and an increased standard of living due to their economic prowess and innovation.

    So what happened to those bastards? We didn’t really appreciate them when we had them, I imagine, we probably resented their snobbery and fortunes. Although I have described them as a class or group, in reality, as the author points out, it was a very loosely organized group. Their openness to talented outsiders rising was a double-edged sword, it allowed geniuses from the common classes to arise, but without any real barriers, the elites had a poorly defended and loose hold on the helm. Europeans are by nature individualistic, society is split between untold different interests and divisions, and there was almost no formal structure supporting the elite’s ascendancy. Although some argue that “The Wasp old guard put up the white flag without a shot being fired,” it might be more accurate to say that there was no army in the first place, there was no real organization. Rather, there were individuals with much in common, a milling crowd of noncombatants, unaware there was a war, who acted according to traditions and common customs, going about their business and doing their thing, the way it was always done.

    This was a group full of talent, full of all manner of virtues actually, who would have arisen united to lead the nation and marshal its people and resources had there been an exterior threat, and faced it heroically. Their forebears had done the same a thousand, thousand times since the dawning of European man. But that was not the nature of the threat.

    The threat was THEM, the outsiders, the ultimate enemy, the alien in our midst, secretive, guileful, balefully cunning, hating, power-mad, malicious and bent on domination. They were like Microsoft without the pencil protectors. They were the GA (Great Adversary). How do you fight against a tightly-organized, talented foe within your own society, that looks and acts similar to you, whose agenda is hidden?

    To understand what was probably happening, imagine a typical day in WASP-dominated America. Moms are at home raising their babies, the menfolk are at work in the fields and factories, intent on their labors, the elites are very busy in their high positions as presidents of institutions and big business enterprises. Everyone is scurrying about, consumed with their daily responsibilities and labors, and those are the concerns that occupy their thoughts; the colicky baby, the new shipment of textiles, planting the corn, etc. Some people are aware of the Jewish question, and discuss it, but on this particular day, its a distant, nebulous, obscure threat. Yes, the Jews are doing X today, but most people have other very pressing concerns, and whatever that annoying problem is, its not as urgent as so many other issues and responsibilities. The Jewish question is largely a hidden one, at any one time its only known to a small percent of the population. So the day goes by, and the next day comes. And the decade goes by, and the next one comes. The Jews are doing something a little bolder than they were 10 years ago, but still, there are so many other issues that have a greater urgency, and its also not going to help my career if I F with the Jews. And then 100 years later, here we are.

    That was the challenge facing the WASPS. There never was an obvious threat that a critical mass of them were aware of. There was no armed force, just individuals occaisonally standing up, noticing that the national situation was going downhill, and then accidentally discovering the Jewish Question.

    Im having so much fun writing this comment that no one is ever going to read, I would like to go on and talk about the importants of elites in a movement, but I have to go out with a friend, so I think I will just end it here. The End.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      There was a WASP ruling class in America, and they were willing to use the utmost brutality to enrich themselves on the backs of the working class, indentured servants, black slaves, and dispossessed aborigines. The were willing to use the utmost brutality to suppress the labor movement, their slave-capitalist cousins in the secessionist South, foreign governments that interfered with their economic interests, etc. Yet these people managed to hand over their country to the sweepings of the ghettos and shtetls. It is a truly amazing story, and I still feel that we are only beginning to understand what happened.

    • Andrew Hamilton
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for your comments, Andrew; you make many interesting observations.

      I tend to agree with much of your summary in the last three paragraphs, as well as your statement that

      “Although some argue that ‘The Wasp old guard put up the white flag without a shot being fired,’ it might be more accurate to say that there was no army in the first place, there was no real organization. Rather, there were individuals with much in common, a milling crowd of noncombatants, unaware there was a war, who acted according to traditions and common customs, going about their business and doing their thing, the way it was always done.”

      The aristocracy had many faults that it is important to identify and try to understand, but it is also true that there were deep psychological structures involved that seem to be common to most whites, and help explain our rapid and ignominious defeat.

      In other words, I lean toward the view that our defeat had more to do with race than with class.

    • Spectator
      Posted September 23, 2012 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      Have no fear, Andrew, your comment was read and much appreciated; an excellent response to an excellent article.

  3. me
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    Both the article and the comments (yes, Andrew, I read your excellent comment) largely covered America, but could be applied to Canada, Australia, & NZ, etc. What about existing social aristocracy in Europe, which I’m sure they have maintained for many generations? Why are they allowing 3rd world invasion in their countries, most notably UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, etc.

    Perhaps events such as French Revolution, WW1 & WW2 (all were instigated by the jews) threw the aristocracy off from their natural order and created enough havoc and turmoil to prevent them from restoring their natural order by losing their genetic brethren?

  4. Nick
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    The seed for the fall from predominance of the WASP’s was, of course, already present and inherent in their ethos. We sometimes forget that government in America, from the moment of the founding of the country, has been, essentially, an appendix to the chamber of commerce. The business of America is business and the culture of America is indeed commerce. The whole system is inclined to favor employers; just try deducting from income for tax purposes your car lease when you are nothing more than a commuting wage earner.

    The new nation’s underlying individualist, Enlightenment liberalism held that ANYONE could become a prosperous merchant, craftsman, inventor, or farmer. Immigration was no problem if it depressed wages by increasing the work force and allowed in ambitious foreigners who would grow the economy by founding new businesses.

    By the time the WASP’s noticed that these Enlightenment ideals were having the side effect of massively transforming the country ethnically, it was too late. The new arrivals had achieved American-style success, including irrevocable penetration of the country’s elites, playing by the liberal rules laid out by the founding WASP’s themselves. Even at the point when the WASP’s may have noticed ethnic transformation, I doubt many of them even care(d), so tied they remain to this day to their “commerce above all” ethos. You could always restrict membership at the country club to avoid rubbing elbows.

    A “commerce above all” ethos has, of course, been injected into Europe by American-led globalization for some time. However, it still feels unnatural in much of Europe. This highlights what in my mind is one of the soaring obstacles faced by the North American New Right that is, to a lesser degree, faced by the European New Right: “commerce first and individualism” is the very DNA of the American nation-state and of the culture itself.

  5. Andrew Hamilton
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    I hesitate to romanticize the idea of aristocracy in any form, early or late. I think it needs to be analyzed as dispassionately and objectively as possible. Since it appears to be an inherent self-ordering characteristic of whites, it’s something that must be dealt with as best we can.

    At present, I tend to agree with me’s perception (in the comment above) that, with variations, the aristocrats in all white countries were more or less analogous to one another. I would not make a sharp distinction between Europe and America, although there are, of course, differences.

    Some German aristocrats sided with Hitler; probably the majority opposed him (e.g., Otto von Hapsburg). That would make an interesting study. I discussed a leading Austrian aristocrat in a CC article called “When Mussolini Scorned Hitler.”

    Aristocracy across time is always associated with wealth. According to European prehistorians, status differentiation based upon differences in wealth is clearly evident by the Neolithic (i.e., the arrival of agriculture and settled populations).

    So, status differentiation has been around for a long, long time. And, again, I would not assume that it was inherently any better in the past.

    Kevin MacDonald currently believes that that there are “bad” whites genetically influenced by indigenous Paleolithic and Mesolithic hunter-gatherer egalitarianism (namely, Scandinavians and WASPs), and “good” whites descended from the hierarchical Indo-European warrior-invaders from the steppes. (The truth is, the invaders were also agriculturalists.)

    I really cannot embrace such a thesis at this point in time.

    For one thing, I believe status differentiation has always existed, even at the hunter-gatherer and tribal stages of social organization.

    One could speak of relative differences. But how would you apply principles applicable to small bands to large-scale societies? Still, I do not believe there ever was an egalitarian past.

    So, from earliest times, aristocracy has been associated with wealth. Initially, wealth was based upon livestock (e.g., cattle). Later, land ownership (feudalism). After that, manufacturing and business enterprise. Most recently, finance capital.

    In terms of the money aspect of aristocracy, the source has changed over time. But it was removed very early from direct militarism—assuming, for argument’s sake, that militarism is racially virtuous, which I do not think it is.

  6. Eric Hale
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    The most truly European, rural, militarily-inclined aristocratic families in American history fired a lot of shots against the commercial aristocracy in the North during th civil war, and were crushed. Robert E. Lee might have been the best bred man in American history, and he risked life, limb, property, and fortune by putting his principles and personal honor above expediency. The only “real” (in the Norman English sense) aristocracy in America existed in the south, and particularly Virginia before the civil war. Albion’s Seed needs to be on everyone’s bookshelf when dealing with the WASP issue.

  7. Andrew
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    If I may, I would like to throw out some more thoughts, for what they are worth. The genius Sir Francis Galton (cousin of Darwin) was a prolific polymath, inventor of fingerprints, creator of the weathermap and pioneer of statistics, among other accomplishments. He became deeply interested in the inheritance of human traits, particularly that of the great men, typically aristocrats. He found that greatness has a strong tendency to run in families (unfortunately he was childless but the Darwin line of the family produced many notables). Naturally he helped pioneer the studies of twins, and modern studies have confirmed that numerous personality traits are strongly inherited (as of course is intelligence).

    Galton was very concerned about dysgenic effects occurring to the population in his era, where the greatest had fewer children than the mediocre, resulting in a degradation of the genepool, a process he estimated as beginning around the late 1700s (prior to that I think we can assume that overall there was a continual eugenic effect selecting for intelligence and earning ability, with the nobility generously sowing their wild oats as well, in an era of abundant opportunity to do so). As an aside, he theorized that the average IQ in ancient Greece must have been significantly higher than Europeans in his era, as the Greeks were amazingly prolific intellectually, at a time when Athens had a population of no more than 50K.

    I think it is reasonable to assume that at least some of the decline of the aristocracy (and the general population) has been due to dysgenics. It would be hard to quantify how much, but if we are looking at several generations, this may be a significant factor. How many of the WASPs married advantageously in the past 2 generations (with offspring)? As an example, IQ (just one important trait) tends to average between parents. If our 160-IQ aristocrat marries a 110-IQ local beauty, their children are on average, smart 135-IQ individuals, but if they then marry 110-IQ local beauties, we have 122-IQ beautiful people who although bright have only a small fraction of the mental ability of their grandfather.

    Another effect that I think had a significant negative impact was warfare, which affected Europe in particular (not so much in the New World). I am considering the Napoleonic wars, WW1 and WW2, which many Europeans afterwards believed had taken many of the best (most noble and capable) before they were able to have children. I personally think warfare was key to the decline of Europe’s aristocracy, and is the primary reason why the continent is so limp-wristed, anemic and child-like, especially in comparison with their mighty, conquering forefathers of old. As a side note, I would also venture to propose that the constant warfare and emigration from Scandinavia during the Viking era is also the main reason why we see such an un-Vikinglike population there (the genepool was deprived of its warriors over a period of centuries).

    “Kevin MacDonald currently believes that that there are “bad” whites genetically influenced by indigenous Paleolithic and Mesolithic hunter-gatherer egalitarianism (namely, Scandinavians and WASPs), and “good” whites descended from the hierarchical Indo-European warrior-invaders from the steppes. (The truth is, the invaders were also agriculturalists.)”
    I am a big fan of Dr. MacDonald, although there is a lot of his work that I have not read. From what I have read though, I am not sure that he would describe the altruists as having “bad” genes, but rather that they have inherited traits that were once very adaptive (living in a more ancestral environment), but are now maladaptive, in this brave new world we live in (and those traits are subject to exploitation by others).

    Others have theorized that humans have been evolving according to their changing circumstances, as societies transformed from hunter-gatherer to city-slicker. We are still good old Europeans of course, but I think there has been a process of evolution similar to that which took place in domesticated wolves, who became kinder and gentler (the hunter-gatherers were wolf-like, we moderns are more Golden-retriever-like). We probably have less testosterone, less athleticism, less need to dominate, being rather more passive, more obedient, more communicative and whatever else civilization has wreaked upon us (we needed to become that way to survive as peasants in the Middle Ages).

    “Assuming, for argument’s sake, that militarism is racially virtuous, which I do not think it is.”
    It is true that constant warfare is not a good thing. But you could ask whether the genetic traits that promote warfare are good for the genepool or not. These are probably traits like aggression, dominance-seeking, competitiveness, high energy, passion/drive and so forth. To me, they seem like very adaptive traits, especially in our age, a recipe for success in most cases (prison for some if excessive). I think that these traits have been bred out of us to some extent, but we could certainly use leaders with these qualities in our present predicament.

  8. Edmund Connelly
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that Birmingham had also penned books on the WASPs and Irish. I didn’t realize that.

    Having read his trilogy on American Jews, I wondered why he had such an interest in them — and how he got such access and openness. Thus, when I once read a comment about him — “What was your name before it was Birmingham?” — I wondered if he was a Jew passing as White.

    Google turns up nothing right away.

    As for Domhoff, I read his (co-authored) book “Jews in the Protestant Establishment” while in a university library. Subsequent attempts to buy the book used online have failed. It’s a good read.

    There are also current good books about America’s elite. I read two by the same author but his name escapes me. I’ll have to check my shelves in my office.

  9. Jaego Scorzne
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Kevin MacDonald wrote somewhere that Americans did put up a spirited defence in the latter part of the 2oth Century. But they were always on defence and always fighting the effects and not the cause – often fearing even to mention the Jew even when they knew. And in any case, the fighters were overwhelmingly from the middle or upper middle class. The Upper Class had already given up at best and at worst aided the Enemy. And since America had already centralized, with the power already centered in Washington at the Federal level, the struggle was doomed from the start though the Joe McCarthys and John Birchers may have slowed them.

  10. me
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Andrew wrote:

    “It is true that constant warfare is not a good thing. But you could ask whether the genetic traits that promote warfare are good for the genepool or not. These are probably traits like aggression, dominance-seeking, competitiveness, high energy, passion/drive and so forth. To me, they seem like very adaptive traits, especially in our age, a recipe for success in most cases (prison for some if excessive). I think that these traits have been bred out of us to some extent, but we could certainly use leaders with these qualities in our present predicament.”

    The traits of aggression, dominance-seeking, competitiveness, high energy & drive, etc. are often the traits of psychopaths that make up 4% of the population. Many CEO’s have these traits. They simply don’t care if the country goes non-white. Dr. Martha Stout and Dr. Robert Hare have studied and written about those traits in psychopaths.

  11. me
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Andrew does make a good point with this paragraph:

    “Another effect that I think had a significant negative impact was warfare, which affected Europe in particular (not so much in the New World). I am considering the Napoleonic wars, WW1 and WW2, which many Europeans afterwards believed had taken many of the best (most noble and capable) before they were able to have children. I personally think warfare was key to the decline of Europe’s aristocracy, and is the primary reason why the continent is so limp-wristed, anemic and child-like, especially in comparison with their mighty, conquering forefathers of old. As a side note, I would also venture to propose that the constant warfare and emigration from Scandinavia during the Viking era is also the main reason why we see such an un-Vikinglike population there (the genepool was deprived of its warriors over a period of centuries).”

    I have a copy of this book with a title Applied Eugenics copyrighted in 1918. Authors Paul Popenoe & Roswell Hill Johnson.

    Here is an item that caught my eye:

    INTRODUCTION

    The Great War [i.e. WW1, remember it was written in 1918] has caused vast destruction of the sounder portion of the belligerent peoples and it is certain that in the next generation the progeny of their weaker members will constitute a much larger proportion of the whole than would been the case if the War had not occurred…It looms large whenever we consider the means of avoiding a stagnation or even a decline of our civilization in consequence of the losses the War has inflicted upon more valuable stocks.

  12. Jaego Scorzne
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    A study was done of the graduates of the Seven Sisters in the early part of the 20th century. Many of them never married; the ones that did typically had one or two children. Thus the seeds of sterility among the upper class have been growing for generations now.

    Some orthodox Hindus believe that all their warrior class were killed at the battle of Kuruksetra – leaving them weakened forever after.

  13. Andrew Hamilton
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Edmund,

    Birmingham says in Real Lace that he is of “Irish Catholic extraction.”

    Instauration magazine, May 1986, p. 26, said he was homosexual, and quoted him as saying, “It’s not that some of my best friends are Jewish, it’s all of my best friends.”

    However, I’ve never seen the homosexual claim anywhere else, and would need verification. On the dust jacket on the back of one of his books there’s a photograph of him with his son.

  14. Spectator
    Posted September 23, 2012 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Splendid article and very valuable commentary. You concentrate much in a compact essay. Thanks.

    A minor quibble: you say–

    “The WASP” certainly obsessed Jews — who evidently invented the term — and still does.

    I have read that the term was coined by Digby Baltzell, who was a WASP himself, not Jewish. The Jews, with their genius for “branding”, picked up the term and ran with it.

    I was fascinated by the “Gracchist” term. I believe it is useful, and we should not forget that Julius Caesar was probably history’s most notable example of this form of class betrayal.

    I am ashamed to admit that Wilmot Robertson’s book has been sitting unread on my shelves for two years now. Time to dust it off…. thanks for the incentive.

    The distinction made by one of the commentators between “Oligarch” and “Aristocrat” is also valuable, and can be traced back at least to Plato Aristocrats presumably are motivated more by a sense of honor and willingness to fight, which implies a loyalty to both a sovereign (above)
    and a people (below), as well of course as the important notion of “peers” (other aristocrats, the “peerage” par excellence). The fact that in the US there has never been a personal sovereign has made the very existence of whatever “aristocracy” we may have had very problematic at best. The appropriate soil for it only existed in colonial times. This might help explain the superior qualities of the US founders.

    When the land can be “alienated” (sold), then the whole feudal was of life is on the way out, and ditto any landed aristocracy.

    Any future aristocracy for us will develop in the struggle to re-claim a homeland for our people under present conditions. We are still in the very early stages of such a struggle, trying to achieve some clarity about our present situation and prospects. The path is arduous, both because or our own deficiencies (about which Dr MacDonald has written most suggestively) and because our present alien rulers function primarily through a so-far successful strategy of commercial pandering to undisciplined lusts, a skillfull obfuscation and misdirection of our attention on matters of basic social perception, and a blasphemous perversion and misdirection of our moral sense.

    • Andrew Hamilton
      Posted September 23, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Spectator, thank you.

      With regard to the term “WASP,” Baltzell’s 1964 book The Protestant Establishment did popularize it and make it famous.

      However, “WASP” was in use before then. I researched the origin of the acronym in meticulous detail a decade ago.

      Its first appearance in print was in an article by Jewish political scientist Andrew Hacker, “Liberal Democracy and Social Control,” The American Political Science Review 51 (1957): 1009-1026 at pp. 1010-1011.

      He defines the term in one paragraph; throughout the rest of the article he refers to the group, toward whom he displays thinly-veiled disdain and envy, as “the old ruling class.”

  15. Melnibonian
    Posted September 23, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    I skimmed the “antisemitic” Nock articles, and I just want to correct a misapprehension: Nock makes a bizarre argument that antisemitism had been on the rise and pleads for special protection of the Jews by the US government. He calls organizations such as the Antidefamation League “self defensive”, which they have been driven to create. He claims that Hitler learned his antisemitism from the United States. Bizarre, I say.

    • Melnibonian
      Posted September 23, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      In the modern era, I bet he would be calling for preemptive strikes against Iran and the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, to give an idea of where I think he was coming from.

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