Sunday, 21 November 2010

Telegraph quotes

1980 vs. 2010:

Daily Telegraph, 10 September 1980. 17/7 : They are guilty of ethnocide: destruction of the Indians’ tribal identities and thus of their ability to live.


Daily Telegraph, 02 November 2010. online : White couples will be able to adopt black and Asian children more easily under Government plans, it has been disclosed. Tim Loughton, the Children's Minister, said that there was "no reason at all" why white couples should not adopt black, Asian, or mixed-race children. He said that "if there are no other issues, the couple offering a permanent home should be approved even if it is not a perfect match". The government's guidance is expected to say that "race should not be a barrier to adoption".


Daily Telegraph, 02 November 2010. online : A Gulf War veteran has been ordered to remove a "British by birth, English by the grace of God" slogan from his taxi after complaints from passengers. John Woodward, 38, emblazoned his black cab with the motto after seeing similar sentiments on a fleet of haulage vehicles. But council officials have now written to Mr Woodward saying that two passengers in his Renault Trafic vehicle were offended by the slogan's "racist overtones".'

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The Meaning of 'Zero Hour for Universal Nationalism'

Inspired by Leon Haller's call for an ethical program to reverse race-replacement, I got around to writing up my ideas on that score, hinted at here and stated in general terms here:

I agree we need an ethical model for restoration even though I think force will ultimately save us.

I think the proper basic distinction is between pre- and post-January 1919 peace conference when the ideal of universal nationalism can be shown to have become pretty well, ah, universal. Before that Might was Right and those who could invaded the living space of those who couldn’t. If your people happened to be on the receiving end of conquest before WW1, too bad, you’d probably have done it to the other guy if you could. But after the conference of 1919 it’s hard to make the claim that one’s colonising of another people’s living space had any moral legitimacy if known to be against the wishes of the native people. Popular opinion everywhere said it simply couldn’t be legitimate when so characterised. That remains the case and we can capitalise on that, Old and New World peoples equally, insofar as popular opinion is known to have opposed the colonisation.

Although the issue is more complex between states and populations that were involved in a formal colonial relationship post-1919, it can generally be settled quite easily by adding a second reference point: the date the colony achieved independence. For example, between Britain and India, you would make distinctions in today’s Britain between Indians whose first Indian ancestor or themselves came to Britain before 1919, Indians whose first Indian ancestor or themselves came between 1919 and August 15th 1947 when India gained independence, and Indians whose first Indian ancestor or themselves came to Britain after that date.

There would be no action taken against the pre-1919 ‘British’ Indians or their descendants, a handful of people anyway, except as should apply to all alien and minority ethnies: they would be prevented from organising collectively and lobbying politicians and businesses or having relations with the Indian government. Middle period Indians, again such as can be said to exist at all, would have those restrictions placed upon them, but also, to encourage their leaving, various financial penalties and limits on civil rights would be imposed. All who came after independence in 1947 - and their descendants - would be required to leave and all their assets would be seized. Minimal action would be taken against descendants of all three Indian classes who are part British ethnically, again a small number, perhaps they might both lose the vote and pay increased taxes in proportion to their adulteration. And of course every community would be empowered to prohibit or permit the settlement and employment of any remaining Indians, part-Indians (and other aliens) within its jurisdiction according to its own conscience.

Simple, clean, historically reciprocal. Ethical. I think...

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Protection in Historical Perspective

From A.P. Thirlwall and Penélope Pacheco-López, Trade Liberalisation and The Poverty of Nations Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2008)
Protection in Historical Perspective

The best historical description of the role of protection in the early industrialisation phase of the now-developed countries is given by Ha-Joon Chang, the Cambridge economist, in three fascinating books: Kicking Away the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective (2002); Why Developing Countries Need Tariffs? (2005); and Bad Samaritans: Rich Nations, Poor Policies and the Threat to the Developing World (2007). In this section we rely heavily on the evidence in these books.

The current developed countries of the world, including Britain, the United States and the countries of continental Europe and Scandinavia did not develop their economies on the basis of free trade. On the contrary, they heavily protected their domestic industries, and also did their utmost to prevent the countries that they colonised from competing with them. Britain started to protect and foster industries as early as the late 15th century when Henry VII took the deliberate decision to challenge the successful woollen manufacturing industry of Belgium and Holland, which was reliant on the export of British wool. He taxed the


export of raw wool and banned export of some types of unfinished cloth in order to encourage processing at home. Henry VIII continued the protectionist policy, and by the middle of the reign of Elizabeth I, Britain had sufficient processing capacity to ban the export of wool entirely, which ruined the cloth industry of the Low Countries. Britain first became rich on its woollen industry nurtured by the State. Serious protection of new manufacturing industries started with Robert Walpole in 1721, using tariffs, subsidies, tariff rebates on imported inputs and other protective devices – all of which are deemed to be damaging to developing countries today. In the early 19th century, Britain imposed some of the highest tariff rates on manufactured goods in the world, averaging 45–55 per cent.

Britain also prevented its colonies from producing manufactured goods. William Pitt the Elder, the British Prime Minister from 1766 to 1768, is quoted by Friedrich List (1885) as saying that ‘the colonies should not be permitted to manufacture so much as a horsenail’. All sorts of devices were resorted to in the 18th century to keep the colonies as producers of primary commodities, giving subsidies to production, and reducing tariffs on raw material imports into Britain. A law passed in 1699 forbade the export of processed wool products from the English colonies, including Ireland. In 1700, all cotton goods from India were prohibited. In the 1720s, Walpole gave export subsidies and abolished import duties on raw materials produced in the American colonies so that their comparative


advantage stayed in primary products. Some manufacturing activities were even prohibited, such as high value-added steel products in America. The use of tariffs by the colonies was either banned or, where used for revenue purposes, a tax was imposed on the industry concerned to neutralise its competitive advantage. In other countries not colonised by Britain, ‘unequal treaties’ were signed which took away the tariff autonomy of the countries and set ‘binding’ tariffs that countries could not exceed, typically about 5 per cent in countries such as Brazil, China, Japan, Siam (now Thailand) and Persia (now Iran). With regard to Europe, Britain also tried to protect itself against competition, although to less effect. The export of some types of machinery embodying new technology was banned, and for over sixty years from 1719 to 1782 there was a ban on the emigration of skilled labour from Britain. Those who defied the ban, and did not return within six months, had their possessions confiscated and citizenship withdrawn.

Britain’s industrial revolution gathered momentum in the mid-18th century, when protection still prevailed. It would be a rewriting of history, therefore, to argue that Britain started its development process on the basis of free trade. Britain did not start dismantling its structure of protection until the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846, but by then it had already attained technological superiority over all other countries in the world. From then on, Britain preached free trade, but as List (1885) remarked, such preaching was like ‘kicking away


the ladder’ up which one has climbed oneself so that no-one else can reach the top. List comments:

It is a very common clever device that where anyone has attained the summit of greatness, he kicks away the ladder by which he has climbed up, in order to deprive others of the means of climbing up after him. In this lies the secret of the cosmopolitan doctrine of Adam Smith, and the cosmopolitan tendencies of his great contemporary William Pitt, and of all his successors in the British Government administrations. Any nation which by means of protective duties and restrictions on navigation has raised her manufacturing power and her navigation to such a degree of development that no other nation can sustain free competition with her, can do nothing wiser than throw away these ladders of her greatness, to preach to other nations the benefits of free trade, and to declare in penitent tone that she has hitherto wandered in the paths of error, and has now for the first time succeeded in discovering the truth. (pp. 295–6)

The United States followed Britain’s protectionist route at the end of the 18th century, contrary to Adam Smith’s advice in the Wealth of Nations. Here is what Smith had to say:

Were the Americans, either by combination or by any other sort of violence to stop the importation of European manufactures, and, by thus giving a monopoly to such of their own countrymen as could manufacture the like goods, divert any considerable part of their capital into this employment, they would retard instead of accelerating the further increase in the value of their annual produce, and would obstruct instead of promoting the progress of their country towards real wealth and greatness. (pp. 347–8)

If the United States had followed Adam Smith’s advice, it would have remained an economic


backwater for a long time, instead of becoming the richest industrialised country in the world. In the 19th century, the US economy was the fastest growing in the world, and also the most protectionist. Paul Bairoch (1993) has described the United States as ‘the mother country and bastion of modern protectionism’. It was the US Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton in 1791, who first coined the term ‘infant industry’, and who first argued the case for industrialisation by protection using tariffs, subsidies and other means, recognising that without protection it would be impossible for America to compete against more advanced countries, notably Britain. List, in his classic book The National System of Political Economy, first published in German in 1841, claims that he first learnt the infant industry argument for protection while in exile in the US in the 1820s. The US first imposed tariffs on industrial goods in 1789. Protection continued to increase in the 19th century and by 1870, import tariffs accounted for more than 50 per cent of the value of imports. Protection continued in the early 20th century, and was even strengthened in the 1930s with the ‘Smoot–Hawley’ tariff which raised the average tariff on manufactured goods to nearly 50 per cent. According to Bairoch (1993) no other country implemented a more protectionist policy to promote its industry than the United States. Only after the Second World War did it start to liberalise its trade, having already established industrial supremacy, and was able to ‘kick away the ladder’, as Britain had done a century earlier.


German industrial policy in the 19th century was heavily influenced by the views of List. He believed that import duties should not only be used to protect industry but also to promote it, supported by the State. Germany’s average tariff rate on industrial goods was not as high as in the US, but the German State actively promoted industry by ‘assigning monopoly rights, establishing industrial cartels, providing export subsidies, importing industrial experts and skilled labour, establishing large banks and making large investments in coal production and railway and road construction’ (Skarstein, 2007).

Japan was prevented from using tariffs up to 1911 because of the ‘unequal treaties’ signed, as referred to earlier. But after 1911, Japan embarked on a comprehensive development strategy, a major part of which included substantial tariff protection, combined with subsidies to key (infant) industries and State investment in infrastructure. Just before the First World War, Japan’s average tariff on manufactured imports was 30 per cent. The protectionist stance continued after the Second World War, with tariffs on car imports, for example, of nearly 40 per cent. Protectionism in the 1950s and 1960s was combined with the highest GDP growth rate of any country in the world. If Japan had listened to the free-traders, it would have no industrial base.

The average tariff rates on manufactured goods for selected developed countries in their early stages of development are shown in Table 1.1.



Notice the very high tariff rates for the UK and US in 1820, the continued high rates in the US up to 1950, and the relatively high rates in France, Germany and Italy too. These are much higher rates that the average nominal tariff on imports of manufactures into today’s developing countries.

Average tariff rates for developed countries fell dramatically after 1950, but it is interesting to note that five of the six fastest growing countries during the ‘golden age’ of growth 1950–73 were still the highest tariff countries: Japan (8.05 per cent), Italy (4.95 per cent), Austria (4.90 per cent), Finland (4.25 per cent) and France (4.05 per cent). Germany was the only fast growing country in this period with the lowest tariffs.

The historical record tells the same story. O’Rourke (2000) takes ten of today’s developed countries over the period 1875–1914 and shows a positive relation between tariff rates and GDP growth, controlling for other factors influencing growth. Clemens and Williamson (2001) examine 35 developed and developing countries over the period 1875–1908 and 1924–34 and also find a positive relation between the level of tariffs and growth. Vamvakidis (2002) takes the inter-war period 1920–40 and finds a positive relation between tariff rates and growth across 22 countries (although not for the period 1870–1910). Studies of more recent years show the same positive relation between levels of trade restrictions and growth, controlling for other variables. Yanikkaya (2003) takes more than 100 countries over the period


1970–97 and finds that both tariffs and export taxes seem to be associated with faster growth. He concludes: ‘these results . . . provide support for the infant industry case for protection and for strategic trade policy’. And Rodrik (2001) asserts: ‘cross national comparisons of the literature reveals no systematic relationship between a country’s average level of tariff and non-tariff restrictions and its subsequent economic growth rate. If anything the evidence for the 1990s indicates a positive (but statistically insignificant) relationship between tariffs and economic growth’ (italics in the original).

It can be said with some confidence that tariffs never harmed economic progress in the countries now developed. On the contrary, they ‘climbed the ladder’ on the back of tariffs and other protectionist devices. All we know is that as countries get richer they dismantle trade restrictions, not that they get richer because they liberalise trade. The issue for developing countries today is not whether to protect, but how to protect in order to ensure the dynamic efficiency of its nascent industrial activities.



Bairoch, P. (1993), Economics and World History – Myths and Paradoxes (Brighton: Harvester Wheatsheaf).
List, F. (1885), The National System of Political Economy, translated from the original German edition published in 1841 by Sampson Lloyd (London: Longmann, Green and Company).
O’Rourke, K. (2000), Tariffs and Growth in the Late 19th Century, Economic Journal, April.
Rodrik, D. (2001), The Global Governance of Trade: As If Development Really Mattered (New York: UNDP).
Skarstein, R. (2007), Free Trade: A Dead End for Underdeveloped Countries, Review of Political Economy, July.
Smith, A. (1776), An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (London: George Routledge and Sons).
Vamvakidis, A. (2002), How Robust is the Growth – Openness Connection: Historical Evidence, Journal of Economic Growth, March.
Yanikkaya, H. (2003), Trade Openness and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Empirical Investigation, Journal of Development Economics, October.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

yamaguchy upload

A great little website, yamaguchy.netfirms , seems down for good. The anonymous creator/s had compiled a library of works primarily devoted to the money question, with hard to find books and essays by Arthur Kitson, Christopher Hollis, June Grem, Robert McNair Wilson, A.N. Field, Charles Lindbergh (Sr.), Ezra Pound among many others.

It seems a great shame that this resource might be lost, so I am thankful that I downloaded the entire site to my hard drive some time ago. I have uploaded a zip file of the entire site to megaupload so that others may download it. Zipped the package is 50MB, unzipped about 95MB but better viewing. Navigate from the index page.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Fahrenheit 451: Prescient on PC in 1953

Only one line stands out as lacking integrity: "White people don’t feel good about Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Burn it." Doesn't ring true. Truffaut's film is more honest:

Ah, Robinson Crusoe. The negroes didn't
like that because of his man, Friday.

And Nietzsche. Ah, Nietzsche.
The Jews didn't like Nietzsche.

From Ray Bradbury's novel:

“You like bowling, don’t you, Montag?”

“Bowling, yes.”

“And golf?”

“Golf is a fine game.”


“A fine game.”.

“Billiards, pool? Football?”

“Fine games, all of them.”

“More sports for everyone, group spirit, fun, and you don’t have to think, eh? Organize and organize and super-organize super-super sports. More cartoons in books. More pictures. The mind drinks less and less. Impatience. Highways full of crowds going somewhere, somewhere, somewhere, nowhere. The gasoline refugee. Towns turn into motels, people in nomadic surges from place to place, following the moon tides, living tonight in the room where you slept this noon and I the night before.”

Mildred went out of the room and slammed the door. The parlour “aunts” began to laugh at the parlour “uncles.”

“Now let’s take up the minorities in our civilization, shall we? Bigger the population, the more minorities. Don’t step on the toes of the dog-lovers, the cat-lovers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, chiefs, Mormons, Baptists, Unitarians, second-generation Chinese, Swedes, Italians, Germans, Texans, Brooklynites, Irishmen, people from Oregon or Mexico. The people in this book, this play, this TV serial are not meant to represent any actual painters, cartographers, mechanics anywhere. The bigger your market, Montag, the less you handle controversy, remember that! All the minor minor minorities with their navels to be kept clean. Authors, full of evil thoughts, lock up your typewriters. They did. Magazines became a nice blend of vanilla tapioca. Books, so the damned snobbish critics said, were dishwater. No wonder books stopped selling, the critics said. But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic-books survive. And the three-dimensional sex magazines, of course. There you have it, Montag. It didn’t come from the Government down. There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start with, no! Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick, thank God. Today, thanks to them, you can stay happy all the time, you are allowed to read comics, the good old confessions, or trade-journals.”

“Yes, but what about the firemen, then?” asked Montag.

“Ah.” Beatty leaned forward in the faint mist of smoke from his pipe. “What more easily explained and natural? With school turning out more runners, jumpers, racers, tinkerers, grabbers, snatchers, fliers, and swimmers instead of examiners, critics, knowers, and imaginative creators, the word ‘intellectual,’ of course, became the swear word it deserved to be. You always dread the unfamiliar. Surely you remember the boy in your own school class who was exceptionally ‘bright,’ did most of the reciting and answering while the others sat like so many leaden idols, hating him. And wasn’t it this bright boy you selected for beatings and tortures after hours? Of course it was. We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against. So! A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon. Breach man’s mind. Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man? Me? I won’t stomach them for a minute. And so when houses were finally fireproofed completely, all over the world (you were correct in your assumption the other night) there was no longer need of firemen for the old purposes. They were given the new job, as custodians of our peace of mind, the focus of our understandable and rightful dread of being inferior; official censors, judges, and executors. That’s you, Montag, and that’s me.”

The door to the parlour opened and Mildred stood there looking in at them, looking at Beatty and then at Montag. Behind her the walls of the room were flooded with green and yellow and orange fireworks sizzling and bursting to some music composed almost completely of trap-drums, tom-toms, and cymbals. Her mouth moved and she was saying something but the sound covered it.

Beatty knocked his pipe into the palm of his pink hand, studied the ashes as if they were a symbol to be diagnosed and searched for meaning.

“You must understand that our civilization is so vast that we can’t have our minorities upset and stirred. Ask yourself, What do we want in this country, above all? People want to be happy, isn’t that right? Haven’t you heard it all your life? I want to be happy, people say. Well, aren’t they? Don’t we keep them moving, don’t we give them fun? That’s all we live for, isn’t it? For pleasure, for titillation? And you must admit our culture provides plenty of these.”


Montag could lip-read what Mildred was saying in the doorway. He tried not to look at her mouth, because then Beatty might turn and read what was there, too.

“Coloured people don’t like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don’t feel good about Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Burn it. Someone’s written a book on tobacco and cancer of the lungs? The cigarette people are weeping? Bum the book. Serenity, Montag. Peace, Montag. Take your fight outside. Better yet, into the incinerator. Funerals are unhappy and pagan? Eliminate them, too. Five minutes after a person is dead he’s on his way to the Big Flue, the Incinerators serviced by helicopters all over the country. Ten minutes after death a man’s a speck of black dust. Let’s not quibble over individuals with memoriams. Forget them. Burn them all, burn everything. Fire is bright and fire is clean.”

The fireworks died in the parlour behind Mildred. She had stopped talking at the same time; a miraculous coincidence. Montag held his breath.

“There was a girl next door,” he said, slowly. “She’s gone now, I think, dead. I can’t even remember her face. But she was different. How? How did she happen?”

Beatty smiled. “Here or there, that’s bound to occur. Clarisse McClellan? We’ve a record on her family. We’ve watched them carefully. Heredity and environment are funny things. You can’t rid yourselves of all the odd ducks in just a few years. The home environment can undo a lot you try to do at school. That's why we’ve lowered the kindergarten age year after year until now we’re almost snatching them from the cradle. We had some false alarms on the McClellans, when they lived in Chicago. Never found a book. Uncle had a mixed record; anti-social. The girl? She was a time bomb. The family had been feeding her subconscious, I’m sure, from what I saw of her school record. She didn’t want to know how a thing was done, but why. That can be embarrassing. You ask ‘Why’ to a lot of things and you wind up very unhappy indeed, if you keep at it. The poor girl’s better off dead.”

“Yes, dead.”

“Luckily, queer ones like her don’t happen, often. We know how to nip most of them in the bud, early. You can’t build a house without nails and wood. If you don’t want a house built, hide the nails and wood. If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the Government is inefficient, top-heavy, and tax-mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it. Peace, Montag. Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of non-combustible data, chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving. And they’ll be happy, because facts of that sort don’t change. Don’t give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy. Any man who can take a TV wall apart and put it back together again, and most men can nowadays, is happier than any man who tries to slide-rule, measure, and equate the universe, which just won’t be measured or equated without making man feel bestial and lonely. I know, I’ve tried it; to hell with it. So bring on your clubs and parties, your acrobats and magicians, your dare-devils, jet cars, motor-cycle helicopters, your sex and heroin, more of everything to do with automatic reflex. If the drama is bad, if the film says nothing, if the play is hollow, sting me with the theremin, loudly. I’ll think I’m responding to the play, when it’s only a tactile reaction to vibration. But I don’t care. I just like solid entertainment.”

Beatty got up. “I must be going. Lecture’s over. I hope I’ve clarified things. The important thing for you to remember, Montag, is we’re the Happiness Boys, the Dixie Duo, you and I and the others. We stand against the small tide of those who want to make everyone unhappy with conflicting theory and thought. We have our fingers in the dyke. Hold steady. Don’t let the torrent of melancholy and drear philosophy drown our world. We depend on you. I don’t think you realize how important you are, to our happy world as it stands now.”

Zero Hour for Universal Nationalism

From the introduction to Erez Manela, The Wilsonian Moment: Self-Determination and the International Origins of Anticolonial Nationalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007):

In the tumultuous months following the end of the First World War, Wilson was hailed around the world as the prophet of a new era in world affairs, one in which justice, rather than power, would be the central principle of international relations. [...]

The major leaders who convened for the peace conference in Paris in January 1919 were concerned mainly with fashioning a settlement in Europe. But Europeans were not the only ones who had high hopes for the conference. For colonized, marginalized, and stateless peoples from all over the world — Chinese and Koreans, Arabs and Jews, Armenians and Kurds, and many others — the conference appeared to present unprecedented opportunities to pursue the goal of self-determination. They could now take the struggle against imperialism to the international arena, and their representatives set out for Paris, invited or otherwise, to stake their claims in the new world order. A largely unintended but eager audience for Wilson’s wartime rhetoric, they often imagined the president as both an icon of their aspirations and a potential champion of their cause, a dominant figure in the world arena committed, he had himself declared, to the principle of self-determination for all peoples.

Based on these perceptions, groups aspiring to self-determination formed delegations, selected representatives, formulated demands, launched campaigns, and mobilized publics behind them. They composed and circulated a flood of declarations, petitions, and memoranda directed at the world leaders assembled in Paris and directed at public opinion across the world. Many of the petitioners adopted Wilson’s rhetoric of self-determination and the equality of nations to formulate their demands and justify their aspirations, both because they found his language appealing and, more importantly, because they believed it would be effective in advancing their cause. They quoted at length from the president’s Fourteen Points address and his other wartime speeches, praised his plan for a League of Nations, and aimed to attract his support for their struggles to attain self-determination.

Hundreds of such documents, many addressed to President Wilson himself, made their way to the Paris headquarters of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace at the Hotel Crillon, but most got no further than the president’s private secretary, Gilbert Close. The president read only a small fraction of them, and he acted on fewer still. The complex and contentious issues of the European settlement were foremost on his mind during his months in Paris, and relations with the major imperial powers — Britain, France, Japan—loomed larger in the scheme of U.S. interests as Wilson saw them than did the aspirations of colonized groups or weak states. Though the dispensation of territories that belonged to the defunct empires — German colonies in Africa and the Pacific, Ottoman possessions in the Arab Middle East — was an important topic in the peace negotiations, the leading peacemakers had no intention of entertaining the claims for self-determination of dependent peoples elsewhere, least of all those that ran against their own interests. To himself and to others, Wilson explained this lapse by asserting that the peace conference already had enough on its plate and that the League of Nations would take up such claims in due time.

Many in the colonial world who had followed Wilson’s increasingly dramatic proclamations in the final months of the war, however, came to expect a more immediate and radical transformation of their status in international society. As the outlines of the peace treaty began to emerge in the spring of 1919, it became clear that such expectations would be disappointed and that outside Europe the old imperial logic of international relations, which abridged or entirely obliterated the sovereignty of most non-European peoples, would remain largely in place. The disillusionment that followed the collapse of this ‘‘Wilsonian moment’’ fueled a series of popular protest movements across the Middle East and Asia, heralding the emergence of anticolonial nationalism as a major force in world affairs. Although the principle of self-determination was honored in Paris more in the breach, the events of 1919 established it at the center of the discourse of legitimacy in international relations. Thus, the Wilsonian moment began the process that Hedley Bull called ‘‘the expansion of international society’’ in the twentieth century. It launched the transformation of the norms and standards of international relations that established the self-determining nation-state as the only legitimate political form throughout the globe, as colonized and marginalized peoples demanded and eventually attained recognition as sovereign, independent actors in international society.

This book is an effort to reconstruct the story of the colonial world at the Wilsonian moment. Most historians have told the story of the Paris Peace Conference from the inside out, focusing on the views and actions of the leaders of the great powers of Europe and North America. This book aims to tell it from the outside in, from the perspectives of peoples who were on the margins of the peace conference and of international society more generally. The period on which the narrative centers opened with the U.S. entry into the war in April 1917, when it began to appear that Wilson would play a major role at the peace table, and ended with the conclusion of the Versailles Treaty in June 1919. During this time, Woodrow Wilson’s vision for the postwar world was disseminated to a growing global audience, and, when peace came, colonial peoples moved to claim their place in that world on the basis of Wilson’s proclamations. The crucial period — the Wilsonian moment itself — lasted from the autumn of 1918, when Allied victory appeared imminent and Wilson’s principles seemed destined to shape the coming new world order, until the spring of 1919, as the terms of the peace settlement began to emerge and the promise of a Wilsonian millennium was fast collapsing.

The use of the phrase the ‘‘Wilsonian moment’’ to describe this eventful time does not suggest that Wilson alone conceived or articulated the vision that became so intimately associated with him. Others, including the British prime minister David Lloyd George and, much more forcefully, the Russian Bolshevik leaders V. I. Lenin and Leon Trotsky, had preceded Wilson in advocating a peace settlement based on the principle of self-determination. Nor does the term imply that rhetoric alone was responsible for creating the far-reaching expectations that so many entertained in the wake of the war. The experiences of the war itself, with its unprecedented decimation of human lives and the myriad political, social, and economic dislocations it caused, served as the crucial context for the articulation and dissemination of the Wilsonian message and shaped the perceptions and responses to it. Nevertheless, the term the ‘‘Wilsonian moment’’ captures the fact that, during this period, the American president became for millions worldwide the icon and most prominent exponent of the vision, which many others shared, of a just international society based on the principle of self-determination. His name, and in many cases also his image, came to symbolize and encapsulate those ideas, and Wilson appeared, for a brief but crucial moment, to be the herald of a new era in international affairs. [...]

Wilson’s promise of a new world order captured imaginations across the world. In the wake of a war whose consequences were widely felt, his words captured the attention not only of political elites but also of much broader publics, even if their meanings and implications varied considerably among different groups. Some, of course, remained skeptical, and they were soon joined by many others who grew disillusioned with their erstwhile hero as the developments in Paris and elsewhere failed to fulfill their expectations. But for a while, from mid-1918 to the early spring of 1919, the future of international society seemed to belong to Wilson’s vision and to depend on his influence as the leading figure in world affairs. The Wilsonian moment, therefore, should be examined and understood as an international phenomenon not because every individual on the face of the planet was aware of Wilson’s rhetoric, but because the scope of its dissemination and import transcended the usual geographic enclosures of historical narratives. [...]

The focus of this book is on the specific significance of the Wilsonian moment in the colonial world, defined broadly as the dependent or semidependent territories that encompassed at the time almost all of Asia and Africa. Even within these narrower geographical and conceptual bounds, however, an effort to cover the colonial world in its entirety would have yielded either a broad, general synthesis or else required a multivolume work of encyclopedic proportions. On the other hand, telling the story of the Wilsonian moment in only one region or within a single group would have failed to capture fully the international context of the experiences of colonial peoples at the time, and would have forgone the insights that a broad, integrated perspective can provide. In order to combine fine-grained detail with a broad perspective, therefore, the book focuses on the experiences of four groups: Egyptians, Indians, Chinese, and Koreans. It recounts the responses of these four emergent nations to the Wilsonian moment, probing their evolving perceptions of its challenges and opportunities and tracing its impact on their rhetoric, actions, and goals. It also reconstructs the sprawling international campaigns they launched, in which diasporic communities and unprecedented popular mobilizations both played important roles, and relates them to the broad, transformative protest movements that erupted in all four places in the spring of 1919. Nationalism, as an ideology and as a form of political practice, evolved conceptually and historically within an international context, and it cannot be fully understood outside that context.

There were, of course, many differences among these societies in their histories, structures, and relationships to imperialism. Still, Egyptians, Indians, Chinese, and Koreans shared important elements of historical condition and experience. All four societies had long histories as integrated socioeconomic and political entities and well-established elites imbued with consciousness of distinct cultural and historical identities. Moreover, in each of these four societies there had developed by 1914 influential groups of literate, socially mobile individuals, whose members were conversant in Western languages and ideas and had begun to develop and circulate notions of national identity articulated in modern idioms.8 The Wilsonian moment presented these elites with unprecedented opportunities to advance claims in the name of these emerging national identities and thus bolster and expand their legitimacy both at home and abroad. The language of self-determination and the international forum afforded by the peace conference prompted nationalist leaders to rethink their strategies, redefine their goals, and galvanize larger domestic constituencies than ever before behind campaigns for self-determination. In the spring of 1919, sweeping protest movements against imperialism erupted almost simultaneously in all four societies: the May Fourth movement in China, the launching of Gandhi’s nonviolent resistance movement in India, the 1919 Revolution in Egypt, and the March First movement in Korea.

In all four societies, and not only there, the period between 1917 and 1920 saw a sharp escalation of resistance to imperial penetration and control and the emergence or realignment of institutions and individuals that would play central roles in subsequent anticolonial struggles. In Egypt, Sa‘d Zaghlul, a veteran political figure who before the war had long worked within the British-controlled political system, now established a delegation that demanded the opportunity to put before the peace conference a claim for Egyptian independence. To lead this campaign, Zaghlul, who is remembered in Egypt as the ‘‘Father of the Nation,’’ established a new political party that came to dominate Egyptian politics in the interwar years. A similar shift from accommodation to confrontation occurred in India’s relationship with the empire during the same period, as the Indian National Congress, which before the war adhered to moderate positions toward the empire, became a vehicle for mobilizing resistance to it. By 1920, the Congress came under the control of Mahatma Gandhi, who had himself shifted in 1919 from a position of firm if critical support for Indian membership in the British empire to one of determined opposition to it. The newfound radicalism of the Gandhian Congress augured an era of nationalist struggle that culminated in the dissolution of British rule in 1947.

In China, the May Fourth protests that erupted in response to Chinese disillusion with the Wilsonian promise unleashed broad currents of change in the realms of thought, culture, literature, and politics. In the wake of May Fourth, protests against foreign influence in China broadened and intensified. Among the intellectual and political classes, the erstwhile admiration for the liberal ideals advanced by Wilson was widely replaced with a growing interest in other ideologies as models for building a strong Chinese nation and establishing its status and dignity internationally. And in Korea, too, the March First movement, which began as an effort to draw the attention of Wilson and the peace conference to Korean claims for independence, escalated and broadened the resistance to Japanese colonial rule. In the Korean case, even more than in the others, diasporic organizations played a crucial role in the movement, establishing a provisional government in exile headed by Syngman Rhee, a long-time independence activist and former acquaintance of Wilson at Princeton University. The provisional government survived, though barely, through the interwar years, and in 1948 the United States helped the tenacious Rhee actually attain the position he had claimed since 1919, the presidency of an independent Korean republic.

As this convergence of transformative events around the spring of 1919 suggests, one of the central features of the Wilsonian moment was its simultaneity across the boundaries of nations, regions, and empires within which the histories of the anticolonial movements of the period are usually enclosed. It was a brief but intense period in which people across the world directed attention and actions toward the drama unfolding in Paris, with the U.S. president as its leading protagonist. In part, the story of the Wilsonian moment is one of the articulation and circulation of ideas, most prominently the idea that all peoples had a right to self-determination and the related notion of a liberal international order structured around a league of nations in which all members would be equal in status if not in power. The emergence of Wilson’s ideas about the postwar international order, their gradual articulation and refinement in his wartime rhetoric, and their dissemination — both intentionally through the efforts of U.S. wartime propaganda, and circumstantially through the contemporary infrastructure of global communications, which was dominated by pro-Allied news agencies such as Reuters — are all important components of the story told here.

But this is not only, nor even primarily, an intellectual history, a history of the emergence, articulation, and circulation of ideas. To a greater degree, the story of the Wilsonian moment in the colonial world is one about the role of power, both real and perceived, in the dissemination, adoption, and operationalization — the conversion into purposeful political action — of the new norms of international legitimacy and practice that Wilson championed. For anticolonial nationalists, Wilson’s utterances were surely attractive as well as, to some extent, also innovative. The most crucial feature of his utterances, however, was that they came from a man widely viewed at the time as the most powerful leader in the world arena, whose influence on the shape of the postwar international order, it was assumed, would be decisive. Thus, the perception of the stature of the United States as a major world power and of Wilson’s commitment to his peace plan were just as important as the content of the president’s wartime proclamations in creating the impact of the Wilsonian moment in the colonial world. For a time in 1918 and early 1919, Wilson, who appeared to wield extraordinary leverage over the Allies and enjoy unprecedented popularity among their peoples, seemed to possess both the will and the power to implement his vision.

Wilson himself, it is true, had at best only a vague idea of how the principle of self-determination would be practically implemented even in Europe, and he devoted little attention to its implications elsewhere. Nevertheless, the president’s talk about the right to self-determination and his advocacy of the League of Nations implied a new and more equitable model of international relations, and they took on a life of their own, independent of Wilson and his intentions. For colonial nationalists, the acceptance of these principles as a basis for the armistice and their establishment as central tenets of the coming peace settlement were sufficient reasons to expect great changes in their own positions in international affairs. Wilson, in his wartime addresses, especially those that he delivered in the final months of the war, had couched his principles explicitly in sweeping, universal terms. Egyptians, Indians, Chinese, Koreans, and other colonial nationalists saw little reason that they should not apply outside Europe as well as within it.

The Versailles peace is often seen as heralding the apex of imperial expansion, and indeed the empires of the victorious powers, especially the British, French, and Japanese, made significant territorial gains in the wake of the war. Empire, however, cannot survive on territorial control alone. It requires accommodation and legitimacy, at least among a portion of the populations in both the metropole and the periphery. The adoption of the language of self-determination by colonial nationalists, as well as by anti-imperialists in the metropole, weakened these underlying supports of the imperial edifice. It rendered the relationship between imperial powers and subject peoples, as Henri Grimal noted, ‘‘markedly different from the idea of timeless domination which had characterized the previous period’’ and presented a major challenge to the legitimacy and permanence of the imperial order in the international arena. As James Mayall has observed, at Versailles Lloyd George and the French premier, Georges Clemenceau, may have succeeded in the short run in outwitting Wilson in their efforts to protect the interests of their empires. But in an age of advancing popular democracy they could offer no substitute, either domestically or internationally, to the principle of self-determination ‘‘as an ordering principle for international society.’’ Rather than bolster or expand the imperial order, the events of 1919 in fact laid the groundwork for its demise. [...]

At the time of the armistice in November 1918, nationalists across the colonial world believed that the road to self-determination passed through Paris, and they launched broad campaigns to receive a hearing there. It was only in the spring of 1919, as it became clear that their efforts to claim these rights had failed, that upheaval erupted. Thus, the campaigns to advance demands for self-determination and international equality and the subsequent failure and disillusionment helped launch major anticolonial protest movements and mobilize widespread popular support behind them. [...]

In retrospect, it is easy to see that the expectations for a more inclusive international order that Wilson’s rhetoric and global stature raised among colonial nationalists went far beyond the president’s intentions and even further beyond what he would achieve. But at the time, most Egyptian, Indian, Chinese, and Korean nationalists, along with the millions who lined the streets in the capitals of Europe to cheer Wilson as he drove by in his carriage, believed that the peace conference would transform international order in ways that would help them gain the right to self-determination. They were neither naive victims of Wilson’s hypocrisy nor, outside a few exceptions, radicals intent on revolutionary transformation, but rather savvy political actors who, keenly aware of their weakness vis-a-vis the British and Japanese imperial projects, sought to harness Wilson’s power and rhetoric to the struggle to achieve international recognition and equality for their nations. They moved with dispatch and energy to seize the opportunities that the Wilsonian moment seemed to offer to reformulate, escalate, and broaden their campaigns against empire, and worked to mobilize publics both at home and abroad behind their movements. When it became clear that the postwar settlement would fall far short of these expectations and the visions of international equality that Wilson had evoked collapsed, these mobilized nationalists launched the simultaneous revolts that convulsed the colonial world in the spring of 1919. Despite the title of this book, it is they, and not Wilson, who are the main protagonists of the story that follows.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Shamanistic Rituals in Effective Schools

Steve Sailer’s recent posting of an Onion spoof about naive, well meaning new teachers being destroyed by their experiences in inner city schools reminded me of a section in this little gem, that I found when it was re-published in Charlotte Iserbyt’s The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, about those occasional mass-hysteric episodes where someone claims to have the ‘cure’ for diversity-based differential outcomes in education. It seems the article is unavailable anywhere online for free, so here it is, as published in Iserbyt:

[Not a spoof!]

“Shamanistic Rituals in Effective Schools*”

“Shamanistic Rituals in Effective Schools*” by Brian Rowan, Senior Research Scientist, Far West Laboratory for Educational Research and Development. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA, April, 1984. Asterisk in title is notation on bottom of title page which states, “Work on this paper was supported by the National Institute of Education, Department of Education, under Contract No. 400–83–003. The contents do not necessarily reflect the view or policies of the Department of Education or the National Institute of Education.” Brian Rowan was involved in Bill Spady’s Far West Lab grant to the Utah State Department of Education to “put OBE in all schools of the nation.”

This paper develops a theoretical perspective for analyzing the non-scientific uses of research in educational policy debates. A central focus is educational researchers’ use of shamanistic rituals to affect organizational health (cf., Miracle, 1982). A number of shamanistic rituals derived from research on “effective” schools are described here, and an analysis demonstrates the circumstances under which these rituals can be used to divine the unknown, cure ills, and control uncertain events.


Miracle (1982) suggested that shamans and applied social scientists perform a number of similar functions in society. Shamans, the powerful medicine men of premodern societies, worked mainly to cure ills, divine the unknown, and control uncertain events, and they performed these functions by using a specialized craft obtained after a long period of formal initiation and training. Similarly, applied social scientists acquire a specialized craft after initiation and training, and they too are called upon to alleviate the vague ills of corporate groups, divine the unknown for organizational strategists, or bring order to the uncertain events that plague institutional affairs.

The analogy raises a number of important issues for applied social science. First and foremost, shamans practice magic, whereas applied social researchers are thought to practice “science.” To liken scientists to magicians raises interesting questions about the relationship of science to pragmatic action. An additional problem is that shamans are but one of the many practitioners of magic in societies, and they can be distinguished from others who employ magic in their rituals, for example, sorcerers, witches and wizards. This observation raises questions about the uses of research in modern policy analysis. If educational “science” functions as magic, who are the shamans, witches, and sorcerers of educational research?

Forms of Pragmatic Action

We begin with the problem of whether applied educational scientists practice magic. A number of anthropologists have observed that magic is used for pragmatic purposes in premodern societies, but that magic is not the only form of pragmatism available to premodern practitioners. For example, both Malinowski (1948) and Evans Pritchard (1965) argued that premodern societies possessed sound technical logics that practitioners could use to successfully accomplish most work tasks. In addition, premodern people were able to sharply distinguish between these working, practical logics and magic. In premodern societies, when tasks were going well, the technical logic of everyday work dominated action. But as uncertainties increased, or as conflict and stress became more problematic, premodern practitioners began to supplement technique with magic. Thus, Malinowski (1948) observed the fishing practices of Trobriand islanders and found that, in the safety of lagoons, practitioners made little use of magic and relied primarily on established technical routines to ensure good fishing. But as activities moved into the more dangerous open seas, magic was increasingly invoked as a supplemental technical aid.

Similar points can be made about the modern educational practitioner’s use of research. It seems clear that schools have an established series of technical routines (Goodlad, 1983). But these practices are not grounded in the highly stylized logics of modern science. Rather, they exist in the more subtle and largely unarticulated logic of teachers and administrators (Jackson, 1968). Although some educational observers have likened this unarticulated logic to magic (e.g., Lortie, 1975), Malinwoski’s (1948) [sic] discussion suggests that it is more appropriate to think of educational research as magic. The educational practitioner appears to make wide use of the subtle and unarticulated logic of schooling, and this logic appears to have the desired technical effect on a large number of students (Hyman, Wright and Reed, 1975). Practitioners make much less use of the stylized “scientific” knowledge of applied social scientists. Indeed, like Malinowski’s Trobrianders, they appear to reserve the use of “science” for those sectors of schooling which are problematic or in “crisis.”

Other arguments also suggest that educational “science” functions much like magic. As Miracle (1982) noted, both applied social scientists and shamans utilize a “force” that derives from an other world (Mauss and Hubert, 1961). Shamans, for example, often travel to other worlds to communicate with spirits or accompany the dead to their supernatural resting places. As a result, they are said to inhabit both the real world and a spirit or supernatural world. Similarly, applied scientists appear to inhabit two distinct worlds, one the “real” world, the other the proverbial “ivory tower.” It is widely recognized that knowledge gained in the ivory tower is not the same as that gained in the “real” world, an observation that endows “scientific” knowledge with a certain otherworldly nature. Thus, like shamans, applied educational scientists inhabit two worlds and practice a craft that has a special legitimacy in social affairs.

Types of Magic

If we perist [sic] in the analogy between educational “science” and magic, it becomes useful to classify various types of magic and magicians. In premodern societies, for example, there were numerous practitioners of magic, including not only shamans, but also various witches, wizards and sorcerers. Distinctions among these practitioners can be made on the basis of their actual magic practices. Wizards and witches often practiced forms of “black magic” that were used as weapons to defend interests or harm enemies, whereas the shaman’s magic was most often employed for benevolent purposes, including the curing of ills. There is also a need to look carefully at the rituals practiced by different groups. For example, shamans often engage in a common “spitting and sucking cure,” but they also use other rituals from their “bag of tricks.”

Educational researchers can also be classified by the types and functions of the rituals they perform. For example, policy analysts sometimes use the rituals of research to confound and weaken political or scientific opponents, a form of research that appears similar to the “black” magic of witches. But there are also research shamans who can be called upon by policy analysts to perform healing rituals. All types of research ritualists select from a common and well-known bag of research tricks, although in recent years there has been a rise of ritual specialists who exclusively work either qualitative or quantitative magic on policy audiences.

Shamanism and School Effectiveness Research

In this paper, we limit attention to a single type of research ritualist—the research shaman—and to a few related magic tricks used within a narrow policy domain. Our interest is in describing research rituals that heal and revitalize sectors of education and not in research that fans controversy, inflicts harm on ideological enemies, or demoralizes existing constituencies in a policy domain. Moreover, the analysis will be narrowed to a few research rituals used in one policy domain to better illustrate how research shamans operate.

Shamanism and Crisis

It is commonly observed that working practitioners in education remain detached from, even ignorant of, the findings and applications of applied research. Yet this observation is not entirely true. Educational policy makers and their research ritualists continue to generate research, and this research continues to play a role in certain sectors of educational practice. Thus, a question emerges: in what sectors of educational institutions are the rituals of research shamanism most utilized?

Anthropological studies suggest some answers to this question. It has been argued that magic assumes its highest importance in institutional sectors plagued by three conditions: (a) high levels of technical uncertainty; (b) structural cleavages that create great stress among social groups; and (c) social disorganization that creates problematic mood states among participants (Malinowski, 1925; Gluckman, 1952; Wallace, 1956). The argument here is that research shamanism is most valued in sectors of education that contain these characteristics. Thus, research in education is most numerous in areas where there is high technical uncertainty (do schools/programs/teachers make a difference to educational outcomes?). The rituals of research also take on great importance in areas where there is conflict among social groups (are new educational initiatives needed to redress past social inequities?). And finally, research is increasingly directed at problems related to disorganization and dissatisfaction in institutional sectors of education (are urban/high schools better or worse than in the past?).

Research on Effective Schools

Research on effective schools has its origins in these problems. The research deals with a sector of educational institutions—the instructional core—which has long been the subject of uncertainty, conflict, and pessimism, and where the use of myth and ritual has been common (Meyer and Rowan, 1977; 1978). What is distinctive about “effective schools” research, in contrast to much past scientific work, is that it has taken a shamanistic approach to the problems of schooling. It has not fanned the flames of discontent and uncertainty like previous scholarly work (e.g., Coleman et al., 1966; Averch et al., 1972; Jencks et al., 1972), but instead has held out hope that the pervasive ills of modern urban schooling can be cured.

Edmonds (1979a), the most powerful of all effective schools shamans before his untimely death, seemed accutely [sic] aware of the need for healing in modern educational institutions, and a careful reading of his works reveals his strategy for effecting a cure for the problems confronting urban education. He argued that research must be used to counter the pessimistic view that schools have weak effects on student outcomes, and that as this occurred, practitioners could attain new expectation states that facilitated, rather than hindered, the achievement of disadvantaged children (see, especially, Edmonds, 1978; 1979b). Thus, Edmonds saw that “science” could be used to confront the conflicts, uncertainties, and problematic mood states afflicting modern schooling.

That Edmonds’ [sic] approach possessed a special “force” in educational policy arenas is indisputable. Like the revitalization movements that swept the great plains during the period of indian [sic] decline (Wallace, 1966), the rituals of effective schools research diffused widely and rapidly. They were adopted by other shamans, who brought them to state departments of education and local school systems, and there these rituals were used as the cornerstone of ambitious revitalization ceremonials (see, e.g., Ogden et al., 1982; Shoemaker, 1982; Clark and McCarthy, 1983).

It is worth noting that the perspective being developed here does not necessarily imply that these shamanistic rituals are hoaxes. Indeed, just as many modern medical practitioners have come to recognize the wisdom and efficacy of shamans, there is at least some reason to think that the arguments of effective schools proponents possess some scientific merit (see, e.g., Rowan, Bossert and Dwyer, 1983). Nevertheless, for the moment, it is useful to suspend our empirical curiousity [sic] about whether these initiatives really “work,” [sic] and to examine instead some of the concrete ritual practices that characterize this new educational movement.

Important Shamanistic Rituals

It has already been suggested that shamanistic rituals are designed to cure ills, divine the unknown, and control uncertain events. In this section of the paper, three prominent effective schools rituals are discussed and their relationship to the central functions of magic are illustrated.

Curing Ills with Literature Reviews

We begin with one of the most common shamanistic rituals in the effective schools movement, the glowing literature review that promises relief from the currently pervasive sense that educational institutions are in poor organizational health. Miller’s (1983: 1) review illustrates the general form of this ritual: “Not so long ago the conventional wisdom regarding American schools was that ‘schools do not make a difference.’ ...Yet today... the message of... research is primarily postive [sic] and upbeat: schools can make a difference” (Miller, 1983: 1).

A closer look illustrates the consistent dramatic form used by reviewers to affect the promise of a cure. First, the authors contrast the dismal tradition of school effects research with “more recent” and more positive studies of effective schools. This is followed by the citation of a host of previously unpublished and obscure studies which are often nothing more than other positive literature reviews. The final step is a grandiose concluding statement, which most often calls on practitioners to adopt the new discoveries.

We speculate that these rituals have their most dramatic effect on naïve individuals who have little time or inclination to follow-up footnotes or read works cited in the text, or on those who have little tolerance for the ambiguity that marks true scientific debate. Lacking a systematic understanding of the scientific pros and cons of effective schools research, naïve individuals are left only with the powerful and appealing rhetoric of the reviewers. Thus it is that research on effective schools has come to be seen as a “cure” for educational ills the less it has been published in scholarly journals and the more it has been disseminated in practitioner magazines. The experiences shaman knows to avoid the scrutiny of scholars, for this can raise objections to the “scientific” basis of ritual claims and divert attention away from the appealing rhetoric. Instead, the shaman cultivates the practitioner who needs a simple and appealing formula.

Divining the Unknown Using Outliers

While the literature review ritual can be observed equally well by both qualitative and quantitative specialists, a second ritual, designed to divine the unknown, is the exclusive domain of quantitative ritualists. The ritual uses residuals from a regression analysis to identify “effective” schools and to contrast them with “ineffective” schools. The purpose is to divine an answer to two nagging questions in school effectiveness research: which are the effective schools in a system and what are these schools doing that makes them different?

The techniques involved in this ritual have been described before (see, Rowan et al., 1983). A regression equation predicting school achievement from school socioeconomic composition is tested, and errors of prediction are calculated. The errors (or residuals) are used to identify “effective” and “ineffective” schools and form samples for contrasted groups studies. The ritual almost always strongly supports the rhetorical posture of the ritual literature review. Since predictor variables never account for all of the variance in school-level achievement, an analysis of residuals will always demonstrate that schools differ in achievement even after controlling for socioeconomic composition. Thus any experienced shaman can find “effective” schools. Second, if a shaman asks a large number of questions, a number of structural and cultural differences between effective and ineffective schools can be found. Thus, the outliers ritual not only identifies the previously unrecognized “effective” schools, it also reveals for the first time why these schools attain effectiveness.

From a magician’s standpoint, this ritual’s power can be increased in a number of ways. First, the worse the specification of the initial regression model, the more persuasive the ritual. For example, by failing to include all measures of school socioeconomic composition, a shaman can increase the residual achievement differences between schools. This, in turn, enhances claims that “effective” schools make a difference to achievement. Moreover, to the extent that school characteristics are correlated to omitted socioeconomic predictors, misspecification [sic] enhances the liklihood [sic] that differences in school characteristics will be found between “effective” and “ineffective” groups of schools. Thus, the worse the initial regression model, the more powerful the shamanistic ritual.

A related tactic is to use aggregate models. By using schools rather than individuals as the unit of analysis, proportions of variance in achievement explained by school management and culture are increased. In between-school analyses, schools can be seen to account for nearly 30% of the variance in achievement. But in between-individual analyses, this is reduced to about 5%. Thus, effective schools ritualists have been able to inflate their claims of school effects through a simple aggregation trick (see Alexander and Griffin, 1976).

The experienced shaman also avoids certain practices. For example, it is wise not to repeat the residuals ritual in the same population, for this highlights the low correlation of residuals over time and raises questions about measurement reliability. It is much wiser to demonstrate reliability by using the conventional, and cross-sectional, “split/half” procedure of psychometricians (see, Forsythe, 1973). Similarly, after a few performances of the residuals ritual and the associated contrasted group study, it becomes possible to ignore problems of validation. Thus, as time moves on, the wise shaman avoids achievement data and the residuals ritual entirely, and instead assesses schools on the degree to which their structures match those of previously identified “effective” schools.

Controlling Uncertainty through Measurement

A final shamanistic ritual in the effective schools movement requires the shaman to have advanced training in the art of psychometrics. The ritual is particularly suited to application in urban or low performing school systems where successful instructional outcomes among disadvantaged students are highly uncertain but where mobilized publics demand immediate demonstrations of success. The uncertainties faced by practitioners in this situation can easily be alleviated by what scholars have begun to call “curriculum alignment.”

This ritual begins with an analysis of what is actually being taught in schools. The shaman conducting the ritual assembles a group of local practitioners and together they list instructional objectives for each grade level. The next step is to find achievement tests that ask questions related to these objectives. To the extent that test items matching local objectives are found, either in commerically [sic] prepared tests or in locally constructed ones, and to the extent that these items are used in achievement testing rather than the haphazard collection of items contained in most commerically [sic] prepared tests, the curriculum and testing systems of the local school are said to be “aligned.”

Since it is known that at least some variance in student achievement is a function of students [sic] opportunity to learn what is tested in criterion measures (Cooley and Leinhardt, 1980), the alignment ritual can have immediate effects on perceptions of effectiveness. For example, a school system moving from an unaligned commercially prepared achievement test to an aligned one can expect that it will score higher on national norms than before. But this increased “effectiveness” does not occur because students are learning more or different things. In the typical alignment ceremony, only test items—not instruction—are changed. Nevertheless, while student learning remains unchanged, alignment allows students to practice criterion measures and achieve higher test scores, thus giving them an advantage over comparable students in unaligned school systems.

An even more powerful demonstration of instructional effectiveness can be achieved if shamans avoid the standard psychometric practice of designing norm-referenced achievement tests and move instead toward criterion-referenced tests. As Popham and Husek (1969) discussed, the typical norm-referenced achievement test eliminates items that nearly all students in a population can answer correctly, since norm-referenced tests are designed to produce between-student variance in achievement scores. But if one neglects this practice and allows items that almost everyone can answer correctly to be included in achievement tests, a larger number of students will appear to be performing more successfully in their academics.

Thus, the art of measurement can be used as an aid to shamanism, espcially [sic] in urban schools plagued by the uncertainties of student performance. Student variability in performance can be reduced, and relative performance increased, not by changing instructional objectives or practices, but simply by changing tests and testing procedures.


The analysis of specific shamanistic rituals in the effective schools movement raises a number of important questions about the relationship of applied science to pragmatic action. Most importantly, it suggests that future studies of “science” as magic are needed. There is a need to begin to chart other rituals used by applied scientists to disarm enemies, cure ills, and divine the unknown. Moreover, there is a need to study the conditions under which these magical practices spread through practitioner populations. Using this perspective, much of the literature on organizational change and applied research can be rewritten from an institutional perspective (Meyer and Rowan, 1977).

At the same time, there is a need to carefully analyze the science of magic. There can be little doubt that Malinowski’s (1948: 50) observations about premodern magic will ring true for many observers of current applied research in education:
...when the sociologist approaches the study of magic... he finds to his disappointment an entirely sober, prosaic, even clumsy art, enacted for purely practical reasons, governed by crude and shallow beliefs, carried out in a simple and monotonous technique.

Yet this “clumsy” art sometimes achieves great effects in practitioner communities and may even have some empirical merit, and this raises the appealing promise that applied social scientists can someday develop shamanistic rituals that empirically “work.”

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Monday, 12 April 2010

Otto Strasser: Nationalism the antithesis of Imperialism

The resolute repudiation of any form of imperialism is a core feature of the volkisch idea. Without reservation it affirms the right of every nation to national independence, to its autonomous control of the forms taken by its political, economic and cultural life.

Quoted in Aufbau des Sozialismus [The Establishment of Socialism] Heinrich Grunov: Prague, 1936), 83.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Sam Francis: Nationalism, Old and New

From Joseph Scotchie, The Paleoconservatives : New Voices of the Old Right (New Brunswick: Transaction Publishing, 1999)

In the course of American history, nationalism and republicanism have usually been enemies, not allies. From the days of Alexander Hamilton, nationalism has meant unification of the country under a centralized government, the supremacy of the executive over the legislative branch, the reduction of states' rights and local and sectional parochialism, governmental regulation of the economy and engineering of social institutions, and an activist foreign policy - expansionist, imperialist, or globalist - that costs money and requires at least occasional wars. Nationalism and its proponents have historically been Anglophiles, emulating the mercantilist dynastic state that flourished in Great Britain from the eighteenth century, and for all their claims of overcoming sectionalism and private interests, they have been identified with the North-eastern parts of the United States and its instititions - New England, New York City, the Ivy League, Big Banks and Big Business, Wall Street, and Washington. The national state the nationalists defended and constructed was born with the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, reached adolescence in the victory of the North in the Civil War, and grew to a corpulent adulthood in the twentieth-century managerial state of Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson.

The principal opponents of nationalism in American history have been republicans, and it is one of the ironies of our history that the political party that claims the republican name has been the chief vehicle since the Civil War of anti-republican nationalism. The Anti-federalists who opposed ratification of the Constitution were men immersed in the political theory of classical republicanism, a school of thought that originated in modern times with Machiavelli, found ex-


pression in the seventeenth-century British resistance to the powers of the monarchy, and in the eighteenth century influenced both radical Tories and radical Whigs. Deeply suspicious of centralized power of any kind and of the corruption it bred, the Anti-federalists opposed ratification, demanded a Bill of Rights to limit federal power, insisted on a strict reading of the constitutional text as the basis of law, defended the states against the federal government and the Congress against the Presidency, and were generally content with the limitations on wealth and national power that a small, restricted state imposed, in preference to what they condemned as the “luxury” and “empire” that national consolidation and an interventionist foreign policy would encourage. “The anti-federalists,” writes Professor Ralph Ketcham in his introduction to a popular edition of their writings:


[Looked] to the Classical idealization of the small, pastoral republic where virtuous, self-reliant citizens managed their own affairs and shunned the power and glory of empire. To them, the victory in the American Revolution meant not so much the big chance to become a wealthy world power, but rather the opportunity to achieve a genuinely republican polity, far from the greed, lust for power, and tyranny that had generally characterized human society.


Though the Anti-federalists lost, their ideas, far more than those of Edmund Burke and Adam Smith, have informed the long American tradition of resistance to the leviathan state of the nationalists, appearing in the thought and on the lips of John Randolph, John C. Calhoun, the leaders of the Confederacy, the Populists of the late nineteenth century and the Southern Agrarians of the early twentieth, and in the Old Right conservatism of the era between Charles Lindbergh and Jesse Helms.

In the eighteenth century, when the debate between these two sides of the American political coin still sparkled, it was possible for the American people and their leaders to choose republicanism and to institutionalize its ideals. Perhaps it was possible to do so as late as the early twentieth century, before the managerial state began to crystallize. Today it is no longer possible. The national state has long since triumphed, and with it, wedded to it like Siamese siblings, multinational corporations, giant labor unions, universities and foundations, and all the titanic labyrinth of modern bureaucratic organizations in both the "public" and the increasingly illusory "private" sectors have won as well. To establish republicanism in anything like its classical form would involve a massive rejection and dismantlement of the main features of the twentieth century - the physical and social technologies


by which modern, centralized, bureaucratically managed mass organizations operate - and while the continued existence and dominance of such features are not inevitable in any Hegelian sense, no one save a few romantic reactionaries seriously contemplates doing away with them. Not only do technology and its organized applications entice us with “luxury” - what we today complacently call a “high standard of living” - but also they offer to those who understand how to manipulate them a degree of power unknown to the most imperious despots of the past. The elites that manage modern mass organizations and master the technical skills that allow these organizations to function cannot permit the decentralization and autonomy that characterize republican civic culture simply because their power would vanish, and these elites are lodged not only in the state but also in the dominant organizations of the economy and culture so that our incomes and our very thoughts, values, tastes, and emotions are conditioned and manipulated by them and their apologists. Short of a new Dark Age (or perhaps it would be a Golden Age), in which knowledge of scientific and organizational technology is lost, there is no prospect of reversing the trend toward mass organization and its absorption of local and decentralized institutions.

Moreover, as most students of classical republicanism understand, the distinctive principle of its theory is its concept of “virtue,” a quality that consists less in moralistic purity than in personal and social independence. Owning and operating his own farm or shop, usually producing his own food and clothing, governing his own family and his own community, and defending himself with his own arms in company with his own relatives and neighbors, the citizen of the classical republic neither needed nor wanted a leviathan state to fight wars across the globe in behalf of democracy nor to pretend to protect him and his home. Nor did he need or want a job in someone else’s company, or a pension plan or health benefits or paid vacations or five-hour workdays. He did not want to shop in vast shopping malls where nothing is worth buying and nothing bought will last the year. It did not occur to him to enroll himself or his children in therapy courses or in sensitivity and human-relations clinics in order to find out how to get along with his neighbors, and he sought no edification or instruction from the mass media to entertain him continuously or indoctrinate him with the current cliches and slogans of public discussion or trick him into buying even more junk for which he had no use and no desire. If the citizen succumbed to such temptations, then he had become dependent on someone or something other than himself and his extension in family and


community. Men who become dependent on others cannot govern themselves, and if they cannot govern themselves, they cannot keep a republic.

Today, virtually everyone in the United States is habituated to a style of living that is wrapped up in dependency on mass organizations of one kind or another - supermarkets, hospitals, insurance companies, the bureaucratized police, local government, the mass media, the factories and office buildings where we work, the apartment complexes and suburban communities where we live, and the massive, remote, and mysterious national state that supervises almost every detail of our lives. Most Americans cannot even imagine life without such dependencies and would not want to live without them if they could imagine it. The classical republicans were right. Having become dependent on others for our livelihoods, our protection, our entertainment, and even our thoughts and tastes, we are corrupted. We neither want a republic nor could we keep it if we had one. We do not deserve to have one, and like the barbarians conquered and enslaved by the Greeks and Romans, we are suited only for servitude.

Classical republicanism, then, is defunct as a serious political alternative to the present regime, but this does not mean that Americans should either embrace the old, Hamiltonian nationalism or merely squat passively in their kennels waiting for the next whistle from their masters. Even though virtually no one today subscribes or adheres to the classical republican ideal of virtue and independence, even though most Americans are too “corrupt” (in republican terms) to support a republic, there remain a large number of Americans, perhaps a majority, whose material interests and most deeply held cultural codes are endangered by the national (and increasingly supranational) managerial regime. These “Middle Americans,” largely white and middle class, derive their income from their dependence on the mass structures of the managerial economy, and, because many of them have long since lost their habits of self-reliance, they also are dependent on the services of the government (at least indirectly) and the dominant culture. Yet despite their dependency, the regime does little for them and much to them. They find that their jobs are insecure, their savings stripped of value, their neighborhoods and schools and homes unsafe, their elected leaders indifferent and often crooked, their moral beliefs and religious professions and social codes under perpetual attack even from their own government, their children taught to despise what they believe, their very identity and heritage as a people threatened, and their future - politi-


cal, economic, cultural, racial, national, and personal - uncertain. They find that no matter which party or candidate they support, no matter what the candidates and parties promise, nothing substantially changes, except for the worse. Although they do the labor that sustains the managerial system, pay the taxes that support it, fight the wars its leaders devise, raise the families and try to pass on the beliefs and habits that enable the regime and the country to exist and survive, what they receive from the regime is never commensurate with what they give it.

They are the Americans sneered at as the “Bubba vote,” mocked as Archie Bunkers, and denounced as the racists, sexists, xenophobes, and hate criminals who haunt the dark corners of the land, the “Dark Side” of America, even as their own energy, sacrifice, and commitment make possible the regime and the elite that despise them, exploit them, and dispossess them. They are at once the real victims of the regime and the core or nucleus of American civilization, the Real America, the American Nation.

Throughout this century, Middle Americans have gradually acquired a collective consciousness, an awareness of who they are and what their position is in the regime that exploits them. In economically prosperous periods, the radicalism of that consciousness is largely dormant, but in the Depression, the inflationary crunch of the 1970s, and the recessions of the early 1980s and the early 1990s, material insecurity has served as a trigger for a heightened consciousness, a radicalization, a sharper self-perception of their plight. Neither liberalism and the ideologies of the left nor mainstream conservatism, an entrepreneurial version of classical republicanism, adequately expresses their plight or their interests and values or offers much of a solution.

The left offers nothing but economic redistribution predicated on egalitarian and universalist dogmas, and in practice this means that liberal-left politics reflect the interests of the non-white underclass and the intelligentsia that designs the formulas and policies of the left. Hence, the left is incapable of defending the specific interests and concrete cultural norms of Middle Americans. The right, though it defends (in theory) Middle-American cultural norms and institutions, offers a vision of decentralism, strict constitutionalism, economic individualism, and a minimal state that fails to speak to Middle-American material interests and the challenges that they typically encounter. What Middle Americans need is a political formula and a public myth that synthesize the attention to material-economic interests offered by the left with the defense of concrete cultural and national identity offered by the


right. The division of the American political spectrum into the categories of right and left makes the political expression of such a formula virtually impossible.

The appropriate formula for the expression of Middle-American material interests and cultural values is nationalism. The managerial state and its linked economic and cultural structures have succeeded in breaking down the regional variations, local and sectional autonomy, and institutional stability and independence of Middle Americans, and the regime now lurches happily toward a globalization that seeks to integrate all Americans (and all other peoples as well) into a planetary political, economic, demographic, and cultural order in which national identity will eventually disappear entirely. The homogenization of subnational social and regional differences through political centralization, urbanization and mobility, mass communications, and mass consumption and production means that the older, decentralized identities of particular social classes, sections, communities, and religious and ethnic groups no longer effectively mobilize Americans for political action. Identities as Southerners or Midwesterners, Catholics or Protestant, Anglo-Saxon Old Stock or European ethnic, small businessman or assembly-line worker, no longer seem to offer sufficient bonds or common interests for serious political cooperation for any goal beyond immediate special interests. The emerging identity of Middle America, however, appears to convey sufficient meaning to serve as the foundation of a politically and socially important force, and a nationalism that is politically and culturally based on Middle Americans, expresses their material interests, and affirms their cultural norms as the dominant public myth of American civilization is today the only possible vehicle for effective resistance to managerial globalism and the national and cultural extinction it threatens.

Moreover, only nationalism seems capable of organizing offensively on a collective scale. One reason for the failure of classical republicanism and similar decentralist movements was that they were capable of only defensive maneuvering and were never able to overcome divisions of particular and divergent interests and identities sufficiently to organize an effective offensive strategy aimed at dominance rather than mere survival and liberty. The defensive strategy mounted by the Confederacy during the Civil War was one of the main reasons for its military defeat, and similar defensiveness has crippled conservative tactics as well. Activated only by immediate threats to local or private interests, conservative forces have organized mainly around striking


personalities and “single issues” - tax revolts, religious and social issues of largely sectarian concern, anti-busing and educational movements, anti-communism, deregulations, term limits - and they tend to disband or wither when their favorite personality is elected or the threats to their immediate interests and pet causes seem to be pushed back. Nationalism, through its historically proven capacity to mobilize passions of mass solidarity and sacrifice and its aggressive invocation of collective identity, offers a practical instrument for overcoming the burden of a purely defensive conservatism and aspiring to enduring cultural and political power.

The old nationalism of the Hamiltonian tradition will not suffice for this purpose, however. It was the explicit mission of Hamiltonian nationalism to obliterate what Hamilton’s best and most recent biographer, Forrest McDonald, calls “the inertia of a social order whose pervasive attributes were provincalism and lassitude.” The means by which Hamilton determined to accomplish that “revolutionary change” was money - wealth, economic growth - aided and supported by the national state. “To transform the established order,” writes Professor McDonald,


[To] make society fluid and open to merit, to make industry both rewarding and necessary, all that needed to be done was to monetize the whole - to rig the rules of the game so that money would become the universal measure of the value of things. For money is oblivious to class, status, color, and inherited social position; money is the ultimate, neutral, impersonal arbiter. Infused into an oligarchical, agrarian social order, money would be the leaven, the fermenting yeast, that would stimulate growth, change, prosperity, and national strength.


But by making money “the universal measure of the value of things,” the defining principle of the national identity, and joining it to centralized power, Hamilton ultimately defeated his own purposes. In the first place, because his nationalism set itself against existing social institutions and habits, it was necessarily alienated from and adversarial toward the norms by which most Americans lived, and its alienation has persisted for two centuries to inform the cultural style and attitudes of the dominant elites of the managerial system toward the rest of the country. Secondly, because his nationalism was based on the abstraction of money, it was unable to win the support of any but economically ambitious Americans and unable to express or sustain a genuinely national or even any genuine social bond. Hence, Hamilton’s nationalism - rational, calculative, pragmatic - degenerated into a mask for individual, factional, and sectional acquisition. It was not and could not be an au-


thentic nationalism that controlled and disciplined the parts within the whole but only a pseudo-nationalism that allowed the parts to seize control of the whole and define the whole in terms of the parts and their interests. As another of Hamilton’s biographers, John C. Miller, writes, the failure of Hamilton’s nationalism probably “stemmed from the fact that he associated the national government with no great moral issue capable of capturing the popular imagination; he seemed to stand only for ‘the natural right of the great fishes to eat up the little ones whenever they can catch them.’”

American nationalism after Hamilton, especially through Abraham Lincoln, sought to rectify this flaw by defining the ideal of national unity in terms of (more accurately, masking it with) a “great moral issue.” Manifest Destiny was one such issue, and it quickly became a mask for territorial expansion, surviving in Wilsonian internationalism, the messianic anticommunism of Cold War liberalism, and the global democratism and “New World Order” of the post-Cold War neoconservatives. Equality was another such issue, and it too served as a mask for acquisitive individualism. Harry Jaffa is in a sense correct that the “principle of Equality” as he perceives it in the Declaration of Independence and in Lincoln’s thought “is the ground for the recognition of those human differences which arise naturally, but in civil society when human industry and acquisitiveness are emancipated,'” though he is wrong in claiming that equality is “far from enfranchising any leveling action of government.” This very process by which human acquisitiveness is “emancipated” involves the obliteration by the state of social barriers to acquisitiveness, and so it did in the attack on property and federalism that Lincoln unleashed in the Civil War. Hence, M.E. Bradford is also (and more importantly) correct when he writes that the depredations and corruptions of the Gilded Age, the “era of the Great Barbecue,” the original “vulture capitalism,” “began either under [Lincoln’s] direction or with his sponsorship” and that Lincoln’s administration laid “the cornerstone of this great alteration in the posture of the Federal government toward the sponsorship of business.” It was indeed the cornerstone of the modern corporate state on which the twin towers of managerial capitalism and managerial government are grounded. The “great moral issues” that the old nationalism eventually selected, therefore, were little more than fantastic and easily penetrated costumes in which even older human passions of greed and lust for power sallied forth to their orgy.

Precisely because the old nationalism assumed an adversarial rela-


tionship toward the norms and institutions to which most Americans adhered, it could locate few forces in American society with which it could join, and it therefore came to rely almost entirely on a centralized state as the only “nationalizing” instrument available for its mission. Hence, the old nationalism was intimately bound up with abstraction, alienation, the serving of special rather than authentically national interests, and the consolidation of state power against its own society.

What a new, Middle-American nationalism must seek is a redefinition of nationalism away from the terms of the old. Since a Middle-American nationalism bases itself on the actual interest and norms of a concrete social group, it will not display the same adversarial alienation that affected the pseudo-nationalism it seeks to replace, nor will it need to rely on the power of the national state to the same degree or in the same way. Nevertheless, the mission of the new nationalism must be not merely the winning of formal political power through elections and roll-call votes but also the acquisition of substantive social power and the displacement of the incumbent managerial elite of the regime by its own elite drawn from and representing Middle-American social stratum. No social group becomes an elite unless it makes use of the instruments of force that are at the heart of the state, and hence, a Middle-American nationalism cannot expect to achieve its goals unless it employs the state to reward its own socio-political base and exclude its rivals from access to rewards. A Middle-American nationalism must expect to redefine legal rules, political procedures, fiscal and budgetary mechanisms, and national policy generally in the interests of Middle Americans, and it must do so with no illusions about rejecting, decentralizing, or dismantling the national state or the power it affords. Middle-American interests are dependent on the national state through various educational, fiscal, trade, and economic instruments, and a Middle-American nationalism ought to announce an explicit agenda of consolidating and enhancing these instruments. At the same time, a new nationalism must recognize that many of the organs of the national state exist only to serve the interests of the incumbent elite and its underclass allies - the arts and humanities endowments, and most or all of the Departments of Education, Labor, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, and Health and Human Services, and the civil rights enforcement agencies in various departments - and it should seek their outright abolition, as well as that of those agencies and departments in the national security bureaucracy that serve globalist and anti-nationalist agendas.


But power based merely on the state is insufficient for the reconstitution of American society under Middle-American dominance. State power indeed, though a prerequisite for the emergence of a new elite, is by itself a weak support, and it must be supplemented by cultural dominance. Under the incumbent elite and its regime, characteristic Middle-American norms of sacrifice for and solidarity with family, community, ethnicity, nation, religion, and morals, and their rules of taste and propriety, are under continuous attack, subversion, and delegitimization by the cultural and intellectual vanguards of the elite. In place of such norms, the elite offers an ethic of hedonism, immediate gratification, and cosmopolitan or universalist dispersion of concrete identities and loyalties, an ethic that serves the interests of the incumbent elite by encouraging a passive and homogenized (though fragmented) culture of continuous consumption, distraction, entertainment, self-indulgence, surrender of social responsibilities to mass organizations, and the erosion of the concrete social identities and intermediary institutions that restrain the centralized manipulative power of both political and corporate structures.

By far the most strategically important effort of an emerging Middle-America counter-elite would be a long counter-march through the institutions of the dominant elite - universities, think tanks and foundations, schools, the arts, journalism, organized religion, the professions, labor organizations, and corporations - not only to assert the legitimacy of Middle-American cultural and ethnic identity, norms, and institutions but also to define American society in terms of them. Instead of an ethic of acquisitive individualism, immediate and perpetual gratification, distraction, and dispersion, the new nationalism should assert an ethic of solidarity and sacrifice able to discipline and direct national energy and reinforce national, social, and ethnic bonds of identity. The pseudo-nationalist ethic of the old nationalism that served only as a mask for the pursuit of special interests will be replaced by the social ethic of an authentic nationalism that can summon and harness the genius of a people certain of its identity and its destiny. The myth of the managerial regime that America is merely a philosophical proposition about the equality of all mankind (and therefore includes all mankind) must be replaced by a new myth of the nation as a historically and culturally unique order that commands loyalty, solidarity, and discipline and excludes those who do not or cannot assimilate to its norms and interests. This is the real meaning of “America First”: America must be first not only among other nations but first also among the


other (individuals or class or sectional) interests of its people. Unless a Middle-American nationalism (or any other socio-political movement) can achieve such cultural hegemony through the formulation of an accepted public myth, its political power and economic resources will remain dependent on the cultural power of its adversaries and eventually will succumb to their manipulation as it takes it cues on goals and tactics from its opponents.

If a new Middle-American nationalism is in some respects a synthesis and a transcendence of the conventional poles of right and left, it is also in another sense a resolution of the popular conflict between the classical republicanism and the nationalism around which so much of American political history has swung. Like the nationalist tradition, it concerns itself with the pragmatic defense of national interests in foreign affairs, military security, and political economy, but unlike the old nationalism it perceives a national interest beyond this pragmatic dimension in the preservation of the distinctive cultural and ethnic foundations of nationality, recognizing that pragmatic, material, and economic considerations may and should defer to the more central norms without which pragmatism is merely a meaningless process. The affirmation of national and cultural identity as the core of the new nationalist ethic acquires special importance at a time when massive immigration, a totalitarian and anti-white multiculturalist fanaticism, concerted economic warfare by foreign competitors, and the forces of anti-national political globalism continue to jeopardize the cultural identity, demographic existence, economic autonomy, and national independence and sovereignty of the American nation.

Like the republican tradition, the new nationalism is essentially populist in tactics, locating the cultural and moral core of contemporary American society in a stratum that is the main victim of the regime that now prevails in the United States. Like republicanism also, it is less interested in the abstract pursuit of luxury and empire than in the defense of the characteristic norms and identity of the people it defines and represents, and like republicanism it calls that people to a duty higher than mere accumulation and aggrandizement, to a destiny of knowing who they are, where they came from, and what they can be. If they remain able to answer that call, they and their posterity may yet achieve both a virtue and a power that neither old republicans nor old nationalists were ever able to create.