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Fukuyama on Civic Nationalism

[1]3,801 words

In his new book Identity, Francis Fukuyama seeks to forestall the rise of white identity politics. Nevertheless, as I argue in “Fukuyama on Identity Politics [2],” Identity is a very useful book for White Nationalists because it concedes many of our most important premises. In “Fukuyama on Diversity [3],” I argue that Fukuyama admits that diversity is a problem and offers only very weak reasons to value it at all. Here I examine Fukuyama’s alternative to white identity politics, namely a conservative form of color-blind civic nationalism. 

Making the European Union Work

Fukuyama focuses on the European Union rather than individual European states because he clearly wants to make the EU work.

The EU, he says, was created because “exclusive ethnic definitions of national identity had been at the root of the two world wars that Europe experienced” (p. 143). “The founders of the European Union deliberately sought to weaken national identities at the member-state level in favor of a ‘postnational’ European consciousness, as an antidote to the aggressive ethno-nationalism of the first half of the twentieth century” (p. 143).

It is astonishing that the modern EU project is founded on an almost perfect inversion of historical truth. The First World War was not a clash of ethnostates but of Empires: the British, French, and Russian vs. the German, Austro-Hungarian, and Ottoman Empires. The war broke out because of the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s clash with the kingdom of Serbia—itself a multinational state—over the multinational territory of Bosnia, as they scrambled to divide the carcass of the multinational Ottoman Empire in the Balkans. The entire war could have been avoided, though, if ethnonationalism rather than imperialism had been the guiding policy of Europe, moving borders and people to create homogeneous sovereign homelands for all peoples.

The Second World War could have been avoided in the same way if, in the aftermath of the First World War, the principle of national self-determination had been actually practiced as opposed to merely preached. But instead of dividing multiethnic empires into homogeneous states wherever possible, the victors divided countries like Germany and Hungary and created new multiethnic states like Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.

The European Union, in short, is built on lies. The World Wars were not caused by nationalism. They were caused by the suppression of the legitimate nationalist aspirations of European peoples by multinational imperial bodies—just like the European Union.

How does Fukuyama propose to make the EU work? According to Fukuyama, the main failures of the EU were (1) not creating a “strong sense of pan-European identity that supersedes the identities of its member states” (p. 153) and (2) not creating “democratic accountability” which left the citizens of EU states feeling “little sense of ownership or control over the institutions governing Europe as a whole” (p. 144). Thus the solution is to intensify the EU’s existing drive to destroy the national identities of the member states, but to make the process more democratic, so the technocrats can tell protesters that “You are doing it to ourselves.” (Of course this democracy would have to be a sham, otherwise Europeans will vote to stop the destruction of their homelands.) As Fukuyama puts it:

The European agenda must start with redefinitions of national identity embodied in its citizenship laws. Ideally, the EU should create a single citizenship whose requirements would be based on adherence to basic liberal democratic principles, one that would supersede national citizenship laws. . . . It would help if the EU democratized itself by shifting powers from the Commission to the Parliament and tried to make up for lost time by investing in European identity through the creation of appropriate symbols and narratives that would be inculcated through a common educational system. . . . Those laws of EU member states still based on jus sanguinis [the right of blood, i.e., citizenship through descent] need to be changed to jus soli [the right of soil, i.e., the idea that one has the right of citizenship simply by being born on a given country’s soil, what Vox Day mocks as “magic dirt”] so as not to privilege one ethnic group over another. (p. 167)

Let’s pause for a minute, take a deep breath, and reflect on the strange decay of language that allows such overheated Jacobin fantasies to be called a form of conservatism.

These proposals, if adopted, would spell the death of the white race and all of its distinct nations in Europe. Every European nation has below-replacement levels of fertility. Redefining European identity in inclusive liberal democratic terms will lead inevitably to open borders. (Face it, that’s really the whole point in redefining European identity as openness.) Open borders and granting citizenship to anyone born within Europe’s territory will lead to the replacement of Europeans with non-Europeans within a few generations. Basically, for whites, liberal democratic openness amounts to openness to collective suicide. And Fukuyama proposes making openness to demographic annihilation the defining value of European identity.

Ironically, Fukuyama himself realizes that “diversity cannot be the basis for identity in and of itself; it is like saying that our identity is to have no identity . . .” (p. 159). But making an identity of liberal democracy, defined as being essentially open to diversity, has the exact same problem. As a concept, it is vacuous, and when put into practice it can lead only to destruction.

But won’t our replacements be “Europeans” if they are assimilated to the new European identity—which is to be maximally open to demographic replacement? Of course not.

First of all, it might be the case that only white people are stupid enough to adopt a collective suicide pact as an identity.

Second, why would any healthy population wish to emulate the value system of a race that built the richest civilization in world history—then went mad and gave it all away?

Third, it would be far more advantageous for immigrant populations to merely pretend to accept liberal democratic openness while practicing strict preferences for their own tribes. Liberal democratic true believers would blind themselves to this form of cheating, so there is little danger of being found out and punished. And even if cheaters were caught, liberals would just blame themselves (or retrograde xenophobic whites) for failing to be sufficiently open.

Fourth, Fukuyama envisions a democratized European Union, which means that once the white population is too small and weak to maintain the hegemony of its suicidal value system, the newcomers will simply vote to replace it with something more to their liking, most probably an Islamic state. It is the height of naivete to think that once non-whites are the majority, they will continue to take orders from white liberals.

Fukuyama has a few specific proposals for EU member states. He praises Emanuel Macron trying to break France’s unions and “liberalize” its labor laws to make it possible for more blacks and Muslims to find jobs (p. 172). In short, migrant employment should be paid for by falling French wages and living standards.

He also suggests destroying the Dutch system of state-supported parochial schools and replacing it with a single state education system with a standardized curriculum of liberal democratic swill—again, to better integrate Muslims (pp. 151, 171). As if Dutch schoolboys and schoolgirls don’t have enough problems with Muslim youths outside of school hours.

These are very real threats to the well-being of countless Europeans. Yet Fukuyama airily reassures us that “The region [a sinisterly generic term for Europe] is not threatened by immigrants so much as by the political reaction that immigrants and cultural diversity create” (p. 153). In fact, the deepest threat to Europe is liberal democracy. The pauperization of French workers; the bullying and rape of Dutch schoolchildren; the Bataclan massacre, the Nice massacre, and countless other terrorist attacks on European soil—these events do not threaten the plans of people like Fukuyama and the EU leadership. Pauperization, cultural annihilation, and race replacement are parts of the plan. They are small prices  to pay — for other people to pay — for the realization of the European Dream. What threatens the EU is Europeans awakening to the fact that the EU’s dream is their nightmare, then rejecting their destruction.

Are any of Fukuyama’s suggestions likely to be adopted? Of course not. Even the most Left-wing and ethnomasochist EU member states would reject these schemes. To his credit, Fukuyama himself recognizes that his proposals have no realistic chance of being implemented by the EU. At best, they can only be implemented by particular member states. Which means on his own terms that liberal democracies will be increasingly polarized between identity politics of the Left and the Right. Fukuyama warns that, “Down this road lies, ultimately, state breakdown and failure” (p. 165).

But the breakdown and failure Fukuyama envision is of multicultural, multiracial liberal democracies that do not adopt assimilationism and the construction of a liberal democratic “identity” to unify them. There is, however, another solution: the preservation, restoration, or creation of racially and ethnically homogeneous states by moving borders and people—and I will never tire of repeating that Fukuyama admits that these processes can be carried out in a wholly non-violent and ethical manner.

Making Multicultural America Work

Fukuyama’s proposals for making a multicultural America work are no more plausible. Basically, he argues for a “liberal democratic” multicultural civic nationalism, which consists of a creed and a minimally “Protestant” culture. First the creed:

[The] creedal understanding of American identity emerged as the result of a long struggle stretching over nearly two centuries and represented a decisive break with earlier versions of identity based on race, ethnicity, or religion. Americans can be proud of this very substantive identity; it is based on belief in the common political principles of constitutionalism, the rule of law, democratic accountability, and the principle that “all men are created equal” (now interpreted to include all women). These political ideas come directly out of the Enlightenment and are the only possible basis for unifying a modern liberal democracy that has become de facto multicultural. (p. 158)

Fukuyama deserves praise for conceding that the “creedal” civic nationalist concept of American identity was contested from the start and only became dominant in the 20th century—in fact in the 1960s with the success of the black civil rights movement and the abandonment of America’s immigration laws that aimed at maintaining a white supermajority.

Fukuyama argues that a creedal identity is not enough. It is a necessary condition to make a multicultural liberal democracy work. But it is not a sufficient condition. The other necessary condition is . . . a common culture, including a set of virtues. But this common culture has to be vacuous enough to somehow include multiculturalism, and it has to be detached from any fixed biological categories like race and, I presume, sex. Fukuyama’s answer is the Anglo-Protestant culture, stripped of anything exclusively Anglo and Protestant, i.e., retaining only those aspects of Anglo-Protestant identity that make it a collective suicide pact.

The only specific Anglo-Protestant virtue that Fukuyama mentions is, of course, the “work ethic.” Americans, after all, work hard. Not as hard as Asians, Fukuyama reminds us, but certainly harder than those effete Europeans. Americans respect hard work and economic competition (and low wages) so much that we have repeatedly debased the ethnic homogeneity of our society to bring in hard-working and cheap (or just plain cheap) immigrants. And if white Americans are displaced by non-white immigrants, well that’s fair. You didn’t mistake this economic zone for a homeland did you?

In the end, there’s nothing specifically Anglo or Protestant about the economy. As producers and consumers, we are all fungible. Who works hard in America these days? Fukuyama’s answer is: “It is just as likely to be a Korean grocery-store owner or an Ethiopian cab-driver or a Mexican gardener as a person of Anglo-Protestant heritage living off dividends in his or her country club” (p. 161).

This point is problematic in a number of ways.

First, it proves too much, for if there’s nothing specifically Anglo-Protestant about the marketplace, there is nothing specifically American about it either. The market and its virtues are global. Thus in what sense are we talking about anything American at all?

Second, the proper reaction of an American identitarian to this concept of identity is simply to reject it. We reject any universal, non-exclusive identity that makes all men fungible. The whole point of a national identity is to be exclusive. The whole point of a homeland is to enjoy it as a birthright and to pass it on to one’s posterity—and only one’s posterity. The whole point of a homeland is that it belongs to us, and we belong to it, unconditionally. We don’t have to earn it. We don’t have to compete with foreigners to keep it. Why shouldn’t Americans have that kind of homeland, that kind of security—especially if we do not begrudge others the right to their own homelands?

The only reason anyone will ask you to replace an exclusive form of national identity with an inclusive one is because he envisions replacing you in your homeland. Once you define yourself as replaceable, someone will replace you.

Third, to claim that a Korean, an Ethiopian, a Mexican, and a WASP are “just as likely” to be hard-working is implicitly to reject biological race differences and to embrace social constructivism, which Fukuyama hints at elsewhere. But biological race differences are real, which means that taken at random, WASPs and Koreans are far more likely than Mexicans and Ethiopians to be successful in the American economic system. And Fukuyama implicitly recognizes this, since if race did not matter, why is his hypothetical Korean not a gardener and his hypothetical Mexican not a grocery-store owner?

Finally, note the lazy, sloppy language. No WASP “lives off dividends in his or her country club.” Nobody lives in country clubs at all. This anti-WASP canard has become so hackneyed that people can’t even be bothered to make it sound plausible.

Will Fukuyama’s proposals save liberal democracy in America? The answer is no.

First of all, although Fukuyama advertises his book as an attempt to stave off Trumpian identity politics, his outlook and policy proposals are essentially indistinguishable from Trumpian civic nationalism. So liberal democrats will simply reject Identity as a disingenuous attempt to advance Trumpism while bashing Trump.

Second, demanding that immigrants assimilate, even to an almost vacuous liberal creed and Protestant culture, is still “racism” and “cultural imperialism” as far as the Left is concerned. Is Fukuyama really going to challenge the taboo against racism? I doubt he is willing to pay that price, which means that his proposals are a dead letter.

White Nationalists, by contrast, have no problem taking heat for “racism”: we unapologetically take our own side in ethnic conflicts. We aim to create or restore white homelands by moving people and borders. But we have no desire to assimilate non-whites—or be assimilated by them. We simply want to go our separate ways. That’s the whole point of having separate homelands where different peoples can practice different ways of life without outside interference.

Third, even if Fukuyama’s ideas were adopted, they would not be enough to save America from white identity politics. White identity politics is not simply being driven by Left identity politics, so that if one turned off Left identity politics, white identity politics would dry up. Rather, white identity politics is being driven by one of the consequences of Left identity politics, namely white dispossession. But even if the Left halted identity politics, white dispossession is still “baked in” to Fukuyama’s scheme, since the borders would remain open, white birthrates would remain low, and non-white birthrates would remain high. But as the white majority continues to decline, white ethnocentrism will continue to rise, feeding white identity politics.

Fourth, even if we implemented all of Fukuyama’s policies, only whites are likely to actually believe in and practice multicultural civic nationalism—because only whites do so today. There is nothing in Fukuyama’s plan to prevent non-whites from cheating: outwardly professing liberal democratic universalism and demanding to be treated accordingly, while covertly practicing preferences for their own tribes. Thus Fukuyama’s solution would simply intensify the ongoing process of white dispossession. At best it might slow down the backlash, by blinding people to what is happening. But it might also ensure that the backlash is far more severe when it actually arrives.

In their hearts, I think many civic nationalists believe that America and Europe took a wrong turn when they opened their borders and embraced diversity. But they are unwilling to contemplate actually rolling back the Left’s social engineering, specifically the catastrophic demographic and cultural trends of the last half-century. It is a gigantic failure of imagination and nerve.

For example, consider Fukuyama’s comments on the millions of illegal aliens in America:

It is . . . ridiculous to think that the United States could ever force all these people to leave the country and return to their countries of origin. A project on that scale would be worthy of Stalin’s Soviet Union or Nazi Germany. (p. 176)

First, if it is possible for people to enter the United States, it is possible for them to leave. What’s truly ridiculous is thinking that the turnstile at the border only turns one way. Second, the United States has forced millions of Mexicans to return to Mexico twice in the 20th century, and in neither case did it turn into genocide. (We need a wall, so we don’t have the deport them a fourth time.) Third, didn’t Fukuyama himself, on page 142 of the very same book, claim that ethnic cleansing can take place in an entirely non-violent and ethical fashion?

Because of this failure of nerve and imagination, writers like Fukuyama are driven to the makeshift ideology of “liberal democratic” multicultural civic nationalism. If you believe that Leftism and diversity are destroying civilization, but you are too scared to contemplate actually reversing the damage, your only hope is to halt the decline by imposing a sham unity on ethnic diversity—by synthesizing an inclusive creed and culture, then demanding people assimilate it.

Another reason why a color-blind civic nationalism appeals to Fukuyama is simply because he is not white. No matter how convinced he might be that multiculturalism and immigration have catastrophic consequences, he will never contemplate an alternative that does not secure his presence and upward mobility.

To defeat civic nationalists like Fukuyama, we must not only demonstrate that their solutions are unworkable, but also show that the creation of racially and ethnically homogeneous homelands is both moral and practical. The Left is destroying white civilization, and neocons like Fukuyama can’t save it. It is time for them to step aside and let ethnonationalists take over.


Fukuyama makes three other noteworthy points that are useful to White Nationalists.

First, he argues that dual citizenship is a “rather questionable practice” if “one takes national identity seriously.” “Different nations have different interests that can engender potentially conflicting allegiances” (p. 168). I don’t know what percentage of neocons have dual US-Israeli citizenships, but it is certainly above the national average, and Fukuyama knows it. So this is a rather gutsy position to take.

Second, Fukuyama points out a crucially important distinction that globalists stubbornly refuse to acknowledge, namely the distinction between human rights and civil rights (pp. 173-74). Human rights are universal. Civil rights are particular. We are morally obligated to respect the human rights of all people. We are not morally obligated to give civil rights to all people. Ethnonationalists can recognize that all people have basic human rights, but we can still say that they are not good fits for our particular societies.

Third, Fukuyama points out an important implication of the distinction between human rights and civil rights (p. 175). We all have human rights, but simply having human rights does not entitle us to enter other people’s countries and demand to participate in their political life, which is what civil rights entitle us to do. Nations still have the right to control their borders and determine who may and may not become “naturalized” parts of their body politic.

One human right that we need to respect is the right of refugees to safe harbor. After all, any people can suffer misfortune. (Although obviously dumber and more quarrelsome peoples are more “accident prone” than others.) But the United Nations has already drawn up reasonable laws about refugees. A refugee has the right to take refuge in the closest safe country, for instance Syrians fleeing to Turkey or Lebanon. (This makes sense in terms of moral reciprocity, given that in different circumstances, Turks and Lebanese might wish to take refuge in Syria.) But once a person leaves the closest safe place for better pay and benefits, he is no longer a refugee, he is a migrant, and other countries have the absolute right to bar his entry.


Identity is a poorly written book. It is repetitive, padded, and poorly organized. There are also a number of places where I actually laughed out loud. To end on a light note, I will share a few.

In his Preface, Fukuyama writes: “Megalothymia thrives on exceptionality: taking big risks, engaging in monumental struggles, seeking large effects, because all these lead to recognition of oneself as superior to others. In some cases, it can lead to a heroic leader like a Lincoln or a Churchill or a Nelson Mandela. But in other cases it can lead to tyrants like Caesar or Hitler or Mao who lead their societies into dictatorship and disaster” (pp. xiii-xiv).

On page 34, Fukuyama writes: “Rousseau’s assertion that pride emerged only at a certain stage of social evolution is curious; it begs the question of how such an intrinsic human feeling could spontaneously appear in response to an external stimulus.” “Begs the question” refers to a logical fallacy, which is clearly inapplicable here. Fukuyama means “raises the question.” This is a very common error in spoken English, but it seldom gets into books by reputable publishers.

On page 70, Fukuyama writes of jihadis: “When they showed up in Syria with a long beard and toting an AK-47 or staged a murderous attack on their fellow Europeans, their families always professed surprise and incomprehension at the transformation.” First, most jihadis carry American-made weapons. Second, “fellow Europeans.” Third, taking Muslim professions of surprise and incomprehension at face value when their religion teaches them to lie to infidels as a weapon of jihad.

But the best laugh appears on page 176: “. . . the United States now hosts a population of 11–12 million undocumented aliens. . . . The idea that they are all criminals because they violated U.S. law to enter the country is ridiculous.” If you are ever on trial, you should suggest that your lawyer use Fukuyama’s argument: “Your honor, the idea that my client is a criminal just because he violated the law is ridiculous.”