By Jonas E. Alexis, VT Editor

We have argued in the past that white nationalists are trapped within the incoherent structures of an ideology of their own making. We are seeing the same incoherent ideology in the writings of people like Charles Murray. In his book Coming Apart: The State of White America, Murray laments about how white America is falling apart,[1] but Murray is sitting in a Neocon institution, The American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the very think tank that promotes perpetual wars in the Middle East and capitalism virtually everywhere.

If the white “lower class is less industrious, less likely to marry and raise children in a two-parent household, and more politically and socially disengaged,”[2] as Murray argues, then why is that? Can they raise children when they don’t have the wherewithal, when Neocon institutes like the AEI are asking the United States to spend trillions of dollars in the Middle East and elsewhere and not in creating an economic environment where people can raise families? And why would the lower class be engaged in politics when the politicians relentlessly lie to them?

Murray told National Public Radio in 2012:

“The people who run the country have enormous influence over the culture, politics, and the economics of the country. And increasingly, they haven’t a clue about how most of America lives. They have never experienced it. They don’t watch the same movies, they don’t watch the same television shows — they don’t watch television at all, in many cases — and when that happens, you get some policies that are pretty far out of whack.”[3]

Who are those people, Murray? Could those people be part of the industrial complex as well, the very people who are making billions of dollars from perpetual wars in the Middle East and elsewhere?[4] Why couldn’t Murray talk about the 360,000 veterans who had brain injuries or PTSD after the debacle in Iraq?[5]

Retired career officer in the Armor Branch of the United States Army and military historian Andrew J. Bacevich writes in Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed their Soldiers and Their Country:

Apart from a handful of deluded neoconservatives, no one believes that the United States accomplished its objectives in Iraq, unless the main objective was to commit mayhem, apply a tourniquet to staunch the bleeding, and then declare the patient stable while hastily leaving the scene of the crime…The fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq has exacted a huge price from the U.S. military—especially the army and the Marines. More than 6,700 soldiers have been killed so far in those two conflicts, and over fifty thousand have been wounded in action, about 22 percent with traumatic brain injuries.

Furthermore, as always happens in war, many of the combatants are psychological casualties, as they return home with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression. The Department of Veterans Affairs reported in the fall of 2012 that more than 247,000 veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars have been diagnosed with PTSD. Many of those soldiers have served multiple combat tours.

It is hardly surprising that the suicide rate in the U.S. military increased by 80 percent from 2002 to 2009, while the civilian rate increased only 15 percent. And in 2009, veterans of Iraq were twice as likely to be unemployed as the typical American. On top of all that, returning war veterans are roughly four times more likely to face family-related problems like divorce, domestic violence and child abuse than those who stayed out of harm’s way. In 2011, the year the Iraq War ended, one out of every five active duty soldiers was on antidepressants, sedatives, or other prescription drugs. The incidence of spousal abuse spiked, as did the divorce rate among military couples. Debilitating combat stress reached epidemic proportions. So did brain injuries. Soldier suicides skyrocketed.[6]

Why couldn’t Murray have the intellectual backbone to address these issues? Does he mean to tell us that he simply had no clue about what was happening? Does he mean to tell us that he has never even cracked-open scholarly studies that have been written on these issues over the years?[7] Does he mean to tell us that sodomy and torture in places like Abu Ghraib have no moral and political consequences in America?[8] Wouldn’t issues like that contribute to the demise of families in America ? People like George Washington repudiated torture,[9] but the Neocons rehabilitated it during the war in Iraq.

Murray obviously is not looking at himself in the mirror at all, for the American Enterprise Institute is part of “the people who run the country.” The Institute was a leading think tank promoting the Iraq War, which inexorably led to massive deaths, massive debt, and thousands upon thousands of deaths of decent Americans. George W. Bush, the man who largely sent a six-trillion dollar bill to the American people because of the debacle in Iraq,[10] was a frequent speaker at the AEI.[11] Former vice president Dick Cheney was another frequent speaker at the AEI. Bush himself declared: “I admire AEI a lot—I’m sure you know that. After all, I have been consistently borrowing some of your best people.”[12] We are told that “More than twenty AEI staff members served in the Bush administration…Cabinet officials also frequented AEI.”[13]

Danielle Pletka, former vice president for foreign and defense policy at AEI, is the wife of Stephen Rademaker, the man who was Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation (including head of the Bureau of Arms Control) in the Bush administration. Rademaker was the author of The Iraq Liberation Act,[14] which stated that “It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq …”[15]

There is more to the AEI than meets the eye and ear. AEI members like Michael Ledeen and Richard Perle (commonly known as the “Prince of Darkness”) were some of the chief exponents of the Iraq War. What was Ledeen’s ideological foundation then?

Already in 2002, Ledeen was pronouncing that an invasion of Iraq would follow, and that it would be a good thing, because, it will give “us” a chance to “ensure the fulfillment of the democratic revolution.” Summing up his Machiavellian motives, Ledeen clarified, “Paradoxically, we advanced the cause of freedom by violently undemocratic means.” Ledeen further explained:

“Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our society and abroad. We tear down the old order every day, from business to science, literature, art, architecture and cinema to politics and the law. Our enemies have always hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity, which menaces their traditions (whatever they may be) and shames them for their inability to keep pace… We must destroy them to advance our historic mission.”[16]

How would Murray go about debating Ledeen? If “creative destruction is our middle name,” then why is Murray lamenting when his colleague is perpetuating destruction, which inexorably would come home to roost on American soil in the form of family destabilization, economic destruction, and hatred toward America across the world? And why doesn’t Murray reprimand his bosses at the AEI? Could it be that Murray is not intellectually serious about addressing the real problem? As already suggested, why can’t he see that perpetual wars always come home to roost in various forms of blowback?

Niall Ferguson calls Murray’s Coming Apart “a return to the republic’s original foundations of family, vocation, community, and faith.” But how can that be done when both Ferguson and Murray are getting salaries from the very people who are sending American men and women into the Middle East to die for Israel? When US forces assassinated Iran’s paramilitary foreign intelligence chief Major General Qassim Soleimani, Ferguson declared: “Good riddance… No tears should be shed for Soleimani.”[17] The same Ferguson postulated in 2012 that Israel and the United States should bomb Iran. “It feels,” he concluded, “like the eve of some creative destruction.”[18] As the Guardian rightly puts it, both the British and American empires had been generous to Ferguson, who defends perpetual wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran.[19]

The American empire has also been kind to people like Charles Murray, who worked for the American Institutes for Research, a covert counter-insurgency program for the US military in cooperation with the CIA.[20] After obtaining his Ph.D. from M.I.T., Murray started to formulate his worldview about the world—a worldview that eventually got the attention of oligarchs like Rupert Murdoch.[21] By 2009, Murray proudly received AEI’s highest honor, the Irving Kristol Award.[22]

In other words, whether he likes it or not, Murray is essentially supporting the work of the Neoconservative movement. Keep in mind that Kristol was a Trotskyist. Former neoconservative luminary Francis Fukuyama of Stanford (formerly of Johns Hopkins) compares the neoconservative movement to Leninism. Neoconservatism, according to Fukuyama, is the reincarnation to some extent of both Leninism and Bolshevism.[23]

Charles Murray is well versed in statistical data, so he must know that things like perpetual wars which the Neocons always welcome can never been good for America. In fact, Neocon institutions like the AEI have incited all sorts of wars in the Middle East. But Murray can never even write an article addressing the real issues because he loves his accolades and well-paid job.

The other issue with Murray’s thesis in Coming Apart: The State of White America is that he could never address what the elite did with the poor white people in the rural Southern United States. In fact, it was the intellectual descendants of people like Jared Taylor who used the Darwinian ideology to wipe those white people out. Why did those poor white people find themselves that they were somehow of the wrong class and wrong race? In his study Not Quite White: White Trash and the Boundaries of Whiteness, Matt Wray documents:

“What united many eugenicists was a primary concern with ‘race betterment’; they feared the threat posed by poor rural white ‘degenerates’ as much or more than they feared the presence of other races and ethnicities, miscegenation, or intermarriage among immigrants and ‘native’ whites.”[24]

In other words, those “poor rural white degenerates” were not “white” enough. By the 1850s, “North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Virginia kept poor whites at bay by retaining property qualifications for holding office.”[25] Even Darwinists like Theodore Roosevelt saw “poor whites”—or what is scholarly known as “white trash”[26]—as undesirable and a threat to America. By the 1890s, Roosevelt saw French Canadians as people who ought not to come to New England.[27] Roosevelt also convinced himself that “undesirables” from southern and eastern Europe would create a race war against the “superior” race like himself in America.

Madison Grant

This was also the foreboding of Madison Grant, author of the 1916 book The Passing of the Great Race: Or Racial Basis of European History. Grant’s theory is that Europe is composed of three races: The Nordic (or Teutonic), Mediterranean, and the Alpine. The Nordics inhabited Northern Europe and other parts of the continent, the Alpines populated central Europe and parts of Asia, and Mediterraneans occupied Southern Europe, North Africa, parts of Ireland and Wales, and the Middle East. Grant was the first person to use the word “Nordic” in a racial sense.[28]

Grant was in favor of immigrants from Western and Northern Europe coming to America because they were the embodiment of the Nordic race. The Mediterraneans and the Alpines were not welcome. As historian Jonathan Spiro has put it, “Unlike the sluggish Mediterraneans and the servile Alpines,” the Teutonics, for Grant, “are an impressive, energetic race comprising hunters, explorers, adventurers, sailors, and soldiers.”[29] The Nordic race, according to Grant, was Homo europaeus, what Friedrich Nietzsche would have almost certainly called the superman. “Homo Europaeus,” wrote Grant, is

“the white man par excellence. It is everywhere characterized by certain unique specializations, namely, wavy brown or blond hair and blue, gray or light brown eyes, fair skin, high, narrow and straight nose, which are associated with great stature and a long skull, as well as with abundanthead and body hair…No nation, not even England although richly endowed with a Nordic gentry, can stand the loss of so much good blood. Here is the evidence, if such be needed, of the actual Passing of the Great Race.”[30]

For Grant, notables like Alexander the Great, Dante, Raphael, Titian, Michaelangelo, da Vinci, were all Teutonics, largely due to their nose and hair features. King David, according to Grant, was almost certainly of the Teutonic race, as was Jesus himself, because Jesus possessed “physical and moral attributes” of a Teutonic. Grant wrote:

“The Nordics are, all over the world, a race of soldiers, sailors, adventurers and explorers, but above all, of rulers, organizers and aristocrats in sharp contrast to the essentially peasant and democratic character of the Alpines. The Nordic race is domineering, individualistic, self-reliant and jealous of their personal freedom both in political and religious systems and as a result they are usually Protestants.”[31]

Grant declared that this view is “so deeply rooted in everyday consciousness that . . . in depicting the crucifixion no artist hesitates to make the two thieves brunet in contrast to the blond Saviour.”[32] Jonathan Spiro writes, “Madison Grant’s mother, Caroline Manice, was a descendant of Jesse De Forest, the Walloon Huguenot who in 1623 recruited the first band of colonists to settle in the New Netherlands…On his father’s side, Madison Grant’s first American ancestor was Richard Treat, dean of Pitminster Church in England, who in 1630 was one of the first Puritan settlers of New England.”[33]

Grant, who was a friend of Theodore Roosevelt, believed that through proper breeding techniques and controlling the fertility of the “unfit,” one could produce a superior race. Grant, who was a life-long bachelor, struggled mightily to solve the “worthless race” problem by positing:

A rigid system of selection through the elimination of those who are weak or unfit—in other words social failures—would solve the whole question in one hundred years, as well as enable us to get rid of the undesirables who crowd our jails, hospitals, and insane asylums. The individual himself can be nourished, educated and protected by the community during his lifetime, but the state through sterilization must see to it that his line stops with him, or else future generations will be cursed with an ever increasing load of misguided sentimentalism. This is a practical, merciful, and inevitable solution of the whole problem, and can be applied to an ever widening circle of social discards, beginning always with the criminal, the diseased, and the insane, and extending gradually to types which may be called weaklings rather than defectives, and perhaps ultimately to worthless race types….Man has the choice of two methods of race improvement. He can breed from the best or he can eliminate the worst by segregation or sterilization.[34]

All of this was based on what one historian calls “pseudoscience.” Grant’s view of the role of the Church during the Middle Ages is quite shocking. Grant stated:

Experiments in limiting reproduction to the undesirable classes were unconsciously made in mediaeval Europe under the guidance of the church. After the fall of Rome social conditions were such that all those who loved a studious and quiet life were compelled to seek refuge from the violence of the times in monastic institutions and upon such the church imposed the obligation of celibacy and thus deprived the world of offspring from these desirable classes.

In the Middle Ages, through persecution resulting in actual death, life imprisonment and banishment, the free thinking, progressive and intellectual elements were persistently eliminated over large areas, leaving the perpetuation of the race to be carried on by the brutal, the servile and the stupid. It is now impossible to say to what ex- tent the Roman Church by these methods has impaired the brain capacity of Europe, but in Spain alone, for a period of over three centuries from the years 147 1 to 1781, the Inquisition condemned to the stake or imprisonment an average of 1,000 persons annually. During these three centuries no less than 32,000 were burned alive and 291,000 were condemned to various terms of imprisonment and other penalties and 17,000 persons were burned in effigy, representing men who had died in prison or had fled the country.[35]

This is historical fabrication. Grant died too soon because recent historical digs belie his claims. How many deaths are accounted for during the Spanish Inquisition? According to erudite British historian Henry A. Kamen, the number is around two thousand. Other historians have estimated it to be between fifteen hundred and four thousand.[36] That indeed is a lot, but keep in mind that this happened over a long period of time: around 356 years, from 1478-1834.

Commenting on similar issues, noted sociologist and historian Rodney Stark pointed out, “Few topics have prompted so much nonsense and outright fabrication as the European witch-hunts. Some of the most famous episodes never took place, existing only in fraudulent accounts and forged documents, and even the current ‘scholarly’ literature abounds in absurd death tolls.”[37]

For almost three centuries, the scholarly literature and documents show that only about 60,000 people were executed during the witch-hunts.[38] In other words, only “two victims per 10,000 population” were actually executed.[39] It was believed for years that 600 witches were executed in Spain in the seventeenth century, but the figure turned to be between 30 and 80. The same thing happened in Sweden. It was told that 99 were executed, but it turned out to be 17.[40]

In short, racialists like Madison Grant were basing their theory on the Darwinian ideology. As the American eugenicist Harry H. Laughlin stated: “Charles B. Davenport, Madison Grant and Henry Fairfield Osborn constitute the triumvirate of great leaders who built substantially on the biological foundation laid by Galton and Darwin. These three Americans built the main structure of eugenics as a biological science.”[41] As we have already seen, many passages in The Passing of the Great Race, as one scholar suggests, “give the impression that the author is in command of his facts.”[42]  “Pseudoscience, masquerading as hereditary science, provided Americans with a convenient way to naturalize class and racial differences.”[43]

The disheartening thing is that people like Taylor have never had the courage to address those issues cogently because those issues do not seem to line up with the “white” ideology they are perpetuating. Kevin MacDonald in particular cited Grant approvingly in Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition and The Culture of Critique,[44] but he never pointed out that many of Grant’s theories were historically unfounded and categorically false. It is pretty clear by now that there is more to the white ideology as advanced by Taylor and others than meets the eye.

Part of this article is taken from Kevin MacDonald’s Metaphysical Failure.

[1] Charles Murray, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 (New York: Crown Forum, 2012).

[2] Ibid., 362.

[3] “Is White, Working Class America ‘Coming Apart’?,” National Public Radio, February 6, 2012.

[4]  “Contractors reap $138 bn from Iraq war,” Financial Times, March 19, 2013.

[5] “360,000 veterans may have brain injuries,” USA Today, March 5, 2009.

[6] Andrew Bacevich, Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed their Soldiers and Their Country (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2013), 94, 105; emphasis added.

[7] See for example Murray Friedman, The Neoconservative Revolution: Jewish Intellectuals and the Shaping of Public Policy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005); Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke, America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004); for a history of the movement, see Alan M. Wald, The New York Intellectuals: The Rise and Decline of the Anti-Stalinist Left From the 1930s to the 1980s (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1987); Alexander Bloom, Prodigal Sons: The New York Intellectuals and Their World (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986); Jacob Heilbrunn, They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons (New York: Anchor Books, 2008); for a very short version of this issue, see Francis Fukuyama, “After Neoconservatism,” NY Times, February 19, 2006; Paul R. Pillar, Intelligence and U.S. Foreign Policy: Iraq, 9/11, and Misguided Reform (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011); John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2007); Michael MacDonald, Overreach: Delusion of Regime Change in Iraq (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2014); John M. Schuessler, Deceit on the Road to War: Presidents, Politics, and American Democracy (New York: Cornell University Press, 2015).

[8] See Karen J. Greenberg and Joshua L. Dratel, eds., The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005); Lila Rajiva, The Language of Empire: Abu Ghraib and the American Media (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2005); Alfred McCoy, A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, From the Cold War to the War on Terror (New York: Owl Books, 2006); Mark Danner, Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror (New York: New York Review of Books, 2004); Dana Priest and Joe Stephens, “Secret World of U.S. Interrogation,” Washington Post, May 11, 2004; for similar reports, see Jane Mayer, “The Black Sites: A Rare Look inside the C.IA.’s Secret Interrogation Program,” New Yorker, August 13, 2007; Craig Whitlock, “Jordan’s Spy Agency: Holding Cell for the CIA,” Washington Post, December 1, 2007. Jane Mayer, The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals (New York: Anchor Books, 2009).

[9] See David Hackett Fischer, Washington’s Crossing (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004).

[10] Ernesto Londono, “Study: Iraq, Afghan war costs to top $4 trillion,” Washington Post, March 28, 2013; Bob Dreyfuss, The $6 Trillion Wars,” The Nation, March 29, 2013; “Iraq War Cost U.S. More Than $2 Trillion, Could Grow to $6 Trillion, Says Watson Institute Study,” Huffington Post, May 14, 2013; Mark Thompson, “The $5 Trillion War on Terror,” Time, June 29, 2011; “Iraq war cost: $6 trillion. What else could have been done?,” LA Times, March 18, 2013.

  • [11] See for example “Full text: George Bush’s speech to the American Enterprise Institute,” Guardian, February 27, 2003.
  • [12]
  • [13]
  • [14] Jacob Heilbrunn, They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons (New York: Random House, 2008), 224-225. IS THIS PUBLISHER possibly Doubleday or Anchor?
  • [15]
  • [16] Michael Ledeen, “Creative Destruction,” Jewish World Review, September 21, 2001.
  • [17] Niall Ferguson, “Civil war in Iraq? Quite possibly. World War III? Forget about it,” Boston Globe, January 6, 2020.
  • [18] “Niall Ferguson: Israel And The US Should Bomb Iran — It Will Be Easy,” Business Insider, February 6, 2012.
  • [19] Jeevan Vasagar, “Niall Ferguson: admirable historian, or imperial mischief maker?,” Guardian, June 18, 2012.
  • [20]  Eric R. Wolf and Joseph G. Jorgensen, “A Special Supplement: Anthropology on the Warpath in Thailand,” NY Review of Books, November 19, 1970.
  • [21] Jason DeParle, “Daring Research or ‘Social Science Pornography’?: Charles Murray,” NY Times, October 9, 1994.
  • [22] Peter Wehner, “Murray’s Humane American Exceptionalism,” Commentary, March 16, 2009.
  • [23] Francis Fukuyama, “After Neoconservatism,” NY Times, February 19, 2006.
  • [24] Matt Wray, Not Quite White: White Trash and the Boundaries of Whiteness (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2006), 72.
  • [25] Nancy Isenberg, White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America (New York: Penguin, 2016), 149-150.
  • [26] See Keri Leigh Merritt, Masterless Men: Poor Whites and Slavery in the Antebellum South (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017); Edward J. Larson, Sex, Race, and Science: Eugenics in the Deep South (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995).
  • [27] See Thomas G. Dyer, Theodore Roosevelt and the Idea of Race (Baton Rouge: Louisana State University Press, 1992).
  • [28] Jeanne D. Petit, The Men and Women We Want: Gender, Race, and the Progressive Era Literacy Test Debate (New York: University of Rochester Press, 2010), 65.
  • [29] Jonathan Peter Spiro, Defending the Master Race: Conservation, Eugenics, and the Legacy of Madison Grant (Burlington, VT: University of Vermont Press, 2009), 148.
  • [30] Madison Grant, The Passing of the Great Race: Or the Racial Basis of European History (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1936), 167-168.
  • [31] Ibid., 228.
  • [32] Ibid., 230.
  • [33] Spiro, Defending the Master Race, 6.
  • [34] Grant, The Passing of the Great Race, 50-51.
  • [35] Ibid., 52.
  • [36] For a historical documentation and the background of what the Inquisition was, see Henry Kamen, The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998).
  • [37] Rodney Stark, For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the End of Slavery (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004), 202.
  • [38] Ibid., 203; see also Jeffrey Burton Russell, Exposing Myths About Christianity (Downer Groves: InterVarsity Press, 2012), 51.
  • [39] Stark, For the Glory of God, 203.
  • [40] Ibid.
  • [41] Spiro, Defending the Master Race, 298.
  • [42] Ibid., 146.
  • [43] Isenberg, White Trash, 176.
  • [44] See for example MacDonald, Culture of Critique, 24, 28, 34; Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition, 297.


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  1. “A rigid system of selection through the elimination of those who are weak or unfit—in other words social failures”.

    The Chinese call such men ‘bare branches,’ whose genes are eliminated from the pool each generation. Chinese girls, mothers and grandmothers marry up by finding the smartest eligible man.

    They’ve been doing this for 2,000 years, and one result is that successful candidates for government jobs need to demonstrate an IQ of 140, just to get an interview. One-million take the exam each year and 27,000 get job offers. Success triggers a family/clan/village celebration that can last for weeks.

    All Chinese heroes were government officials, as were several of their gods.

    • Godfree Roberts,

      If the Chinese were so successful at this, why don’t they keep the same method? Why are they staying away from it today? And what you ended up saying is that if any power decides that you are weak, then you must be eliminated. Whether you like it or not, Stalin, Mao, and other mass murderers would have agreed with you. You also are making the same argument that your oppressors are making. And one last thing, what keeps anyone or the government to apply the same method to you?

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