Category Archives: John Derbyshire

Sectionalism Now, Sectionalism Tomorrow, Sectionalism Forever by John Derbyshire

Although the Republican party is the “party of white people” and Democrats the “non-white party” a lot higher proportion of the latter vote Democrat than the former Republican. Whites may go majority Republican, but still less than 60% voted Republican. In contrast blacks went 95%+, hispanics 75%+, South Asians 80%+, East Asians 70%+, etc.

Following last November’s election I passed the following remark on Radio Derb: “We are still fighting the Civil War. That is to say, the contest was mainly between two huge groups of white people who don’t much like each other, with the colored folk playing a marginal role. That’s how it was in the War Between the States, and that’s how it still is today.”

It is by no means an original observation. In a piece on Taki’s Magazine last month (“Sectionalism, Then And Now”), I retailed Shelby Foote’s quoting of the definition of the Civil War offered by Senator James M. Mason of Virginia (1798-1871): “I look upon it then, Sir, as a war of sentiment and opinion by one form of society against another form of society.”

Here is a lengthier exposition of the same notion, which I think is a key to understanding American politics and social history, past and present. It’s from the pen (keyboard, whatever) of “Doug,” a commenter at EconLog. I was browsing these comments — they relate to a column by Bryan Caplan — after being directed there by Steve Sailer, who also has things to say in the comment thread.

Here is Doug’s first, slightly edited for clarity:

Let’s say you were to immigrate to a new country which is essentially divided between two hostile tribes engaged in perpetual low-intensity warfare. We’ll call them Hutus and Tutsis. You have no previous allegiance or affiliation with either tribe.


Complete text linked here.

John Derbyshire On A Curious Anniversary—Lincoln’s Endorsement of “Colonization”

“Deep-rooted prejudices entertained by the whites; ten thousand recollections, by the blacks, of the injuries they have sustained; new provocations; the real distinctions which nature has made; and many other circumstances, will divide us into parties, and produce convulsions, which will probably never end but in the extermination of the one or the other race.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

Next Tuesday, August 14th, is the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s address to black freedmen in the White House. I noted this fact on a few weeks ago, with a link to the Great Emancipator’s actual speech. Here’s the link again.

I added to that previous mention the comment that “I await with keen interest the many articles that will no doubt appear in the Main Stream Media to commemorate the occasion.”

That was sarcasm. I should be very surprised to see any commemoration in the MSM. The purpose of Lincoln’s speech to the black freedmen — I believe it was the first occasion that a delegation of free blacks had been invited to the White House — was to urge them to educate their own people on the benefits of “colonization,” which at that time and place meant the emigration of American blacks to colonies in Africa or the Caribbean:

The President, after a few preliminary observations, informed them that a sum of money had been appropriated by Congress, and placed at his disposition for the purpose of aiding the colonization in some country of the people, or a portion of them, of African descent, thereby making it his duty, as it had for a long time been his inclination, to favor that cause. . History Of The Administration Of President Lincoln, By Henry J. Raymond, 1864

Lincoln was not alone in “favoring that cause.” Colonization of American blacks in Africa had been a popular notion all through the 19th century to that point. The difficult thing, when you start looking into the issue, is not to find prominent Americans who supported colonization, but to find any who didn’t.


Complete text linked here.

John Derbyshire Gives One Cheer for Conservatism, Inc.

“Because of their bonds with the GOP-business axis, Mainstream Conservatives are shy of demographic issues. Their shyness is compounded by the atmosphere of cultural Marxism we all live in.”

John Derbyshire


The principal elements of American Conservatism have always been:

mistrust of government power, especially the federal power;
respect for traditional social arrangements centered on the biological family and the free association of citizens;
property rights and the encouragement of free commerce;
demographic integrity and continuity;
religion—or at least, in the case of the temperamentally irreligious, respect for religion; and
individual liberty, with a willingness to accept a price in inequality.

Conservatism stands in opposition to an establishment that favors federal power, mocks traditional arrangements, infringes property rights when it can and cumbers commerce with taxes and regulations, disdains patriotism as uncouth and defers to international organizations, seeks demographic replacement, wars against popular religion, and always, always privileges equality over liberty.

In their promotion of those elements I just listed, Mainstream-Conservative publications do a good job overall; but they do better on some of my bullet points than on others, and are fatally weak on the fifth, on demographic integrity and continuity.

This weakness exists in part because Mainstream Conservatism is yoked to the Republican Party and its business sponsors. The dire effect of this relationship on demographic integrity was clearly seen following the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, when the Act’s punitive and protective (i.e. of American workers) clauses soon went unenforced as businesses dependent on illegal labor made angry phone calls to their GOP congressmen.

Because of their bonds with the GOP-business axis, Mainstream Conservatives are shy of demographic issues. Their shyness is compounded by the atmosphere of cultural Marxism we all live in, with its insistence on the perfect interchangeability of all human groups.

So I say that Mainstream Conservatism is doing valuable and useful work, acting at least as a brake on the relentless downhill slide into globalism, socialism, mass dependency, and enforced uniformity of thought. I hope I was able to make some small contribution to that work via the words I published in those periodicals.

It’s uphill work, of course. The American public, just like the public in any advanced country, wants incremental socialism, and does not see where socialism inevitably leads.

To quote from Igor Shafarevich’s book The Socialist Phenomenon:

The death of mankind is not only a conceivable result of the triumph of socialism—it constitutes the goal of socialism.

It’s hard, though, to get the sense of that into John Q. Public’s head when there’s a demon whispering in his other ear: “They want to take away your Medicare!”

Mainstream conservatism is, though, missing in action on what we would, if we were not so terrified of the topic, refer to frankly as population policy.


Complete text linked here.

“Black Mischief” by John Derbyshire

If only you can handle yourself right, the logic goes, you will be safe. Few people, though, mention the truth: if by some misfortune you happen to get mugged, the policeman standing at the Court Street subway stop cannot protect you.

“Amity Shlaes feels helpless against the rising tide of anti-white larceny and murder in New York”

The London Spectator, January 1, 1994

Brooklyn Heights, New York

Winter is a merry time in Brooklyn Heights and this one has been particularly festive. The children of the Wall Street lawyers who live here spend afternoons building snowmen in each others’ gardens. The wives of the Wall Street lawyers come home from work around six o’clock and chat about property values with their neighbours as they hang elaborate wreaths on the bevelled glass of their brownstone doors. The Wall Street lawyers themselves arrive only around midnight, but bear in their pockets magnificent bonuses—golden shards of the merger bonanza and a runaway stock market. At last, the whole snowy neighbourhood seems to sigh, the bleak recession-time is over. Maybe, goes the thinking—perhaps in this New Year—things might get back to normal.

Might get back, that is, except for one little problem. The problem is one, that says to all tame urban inhabitants of 1990s America, and in particular to white inhabitants: you will soon be in the minority, and the official city—employees, courts, juries, laws—cannot protect you. Brooklyn Heights residents pride themselves on being bold city leaders, though, so they don’t talk about ‘fear’. They refer to their problem in code, and they call it ‘the subway’.

For Brooklyners, the subway is an unlovely and unavoidable necessity. Brooklyn Heights grew great because it is close to Wall Street, and some of the cupolar rooms of the nicest mansions of the biggest lawyers’ houses peer right out on to the Staten Island Ferry. Between Brooklyn and Wall Street, though, lies the soggy East River. There is a bridge over the river—the rickety Brooklyn Bridge—and there is a car tunnel, the clogged Brooklyn Battery. But, to cross that river, someone in the lawyers’ families—the husband, say, when he is in a hurry, the daughter, who has to get to her East Side girls’ school—has to descend into the Court Street entrance, face humanity and smell the urine, and ride the train.


Original source.

On The Firing of John Derbyshire by Andrew Klavan

“And Derbyshire does not seem to be speaking out of hate either. He’s not a person who thinks blacks (the main target of his racism) should be denied any rights or targeted for harm. He believes rather that science shows black people to be less intelligent and more prone to violence than whites.”

I love National Review — love the magazine, love the website, love the people there, love their work. And I know that NR has to protect its brand name and is well within its rights to decide whose work it will publish and whose it won’t. Furthermore, all joking aside, (because I hate political correctness and I kid around about stuff like this a lot), I think racism is a kind of moral sickness. It’s an insult to God and self-destructive to boot. It reminds me of that old definition of resentment: “It’s like taking poison and waiting for the other guy to die.”

And yet — and yet — for all that, I wish National Review hadn’t ended its association with John Derbyshire over Derbyshire’s openly racist article for Taki’s Magazine.

Two reasons I feel this way. The first and simpler one: Derbyshire is not a secret racist. He’s an avowed racist. He has been for years and years. Other writers at National Review have chided him for it, even yelled at him for it. But to fire him now has a touch of Inspector Renault to it. As in, “We’re shocked — shocked — to find racism coming from a racist!” It smacks of nervous CYA before the expected onslaughts of the left. Personally, I say to hell with the left. Leftism, even assuming its good intentions, has been more destructive to our black citizens than the bloody Klan. So let the left condemn us. They will anyway.

But secondly — more importantly — and more difficult to explain: I believe racism like Derbyshire’s deserves a full and free airing. It represents a strain of thought that exists on the right and is shared by some people of good will. I have friends who agree with Derbyshire. I have argued with them — loudly sometimes. But I don’t abandon them because I can see they aren’t motivated by hate. And Derbyshire does not seem to be speaking out of hate either. He’s not a person who thinks blacks (the main target of his racism) should be denied any rights or targeted for harm. He believes rather that science shows black people to be less intelligent and more prone to violence than whites. He believes that to deny the evidence of this is tantamount to a kind of creationism.


Original source.

Pat Buchanan: The Noble Relic by John Derbyshire

Establishment Republicans were furious. The neocons had already captured key strategic points in the party and were aggressively pushing their programs of globalization, demographic replacement, and military aggrandizement. How dare Pat speak up for economic nationalism, American citizenship, and the return of our troops from Germany, Italy, Korea, and Japan?

Patrick J. Buchanan

Has Pat Buchanan been fired from MSNBC, or hasn’t he? He hasn’t been seen on the channel since October, when his last book came out. (I reviewed it for Taki’s Mag here.) MSNBC president Phil Griffin said a month ago that Pat was being kept off the air because of things Griffin found objectionable in the book: presumably things such as Pat’s having lamented “The End of White America”—one of his chapter titles. A friend who met Pat on January 27th reports that Pat denied having been fired.

The MSNBC debacle is one more attenuation in the slow fading of Pat’s public career. He still has other TV gigs, but if MSNBC does not restore him, he is unlikely to get a media contract elsewhere that gives him as much visibility. Pat will have taken another step down in his gradual departure from the public stage. The man is 73 and has health issues. More decisively, large parts of the American public—including, obviously, Mr. Griffin—see him as a relic whose views are not so much shocking as incomprehensible, as if a courtier of James the First had appeared among us in doublet, hose, and ruff arguing for the divine right of kings.

Ah, well. As Pat’s close British equivalent Enoch Powell famously observed, all political careers end in failure. Pat’s career was, in its very American way, a glorious one. The details have been laid out in a striking new biography by historian Timothy Stanley: The Crusader: The Life and Tumultuous Times of Pat Buchanan.


Original source.