Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Pining for the ethnostate

This is interesting because it presents a true alternative, "minority" viewpoint, in contrast to the ersatz perspective of Reformed Margins and the like. The perspective of a genuine "outsider" (in relation to the USA). 

In that regard he takes an unexpected, iconoclastic position. There is something to be said for slowing immigration until we can absorb what we've already have taken in. 

That said, I can't relate to making 

a goal the cultural and genetic assimilation of new Americans to the traditional Americans of each place. This would mean immigrants and their descendants tended to become culturally and genetically whiter, but the older diversity of now-indigenous American cultures (not only White but also Black and Amerindian) would better emerge as these native peoples’ cultural interests were protected by statute and custom.

i) I guess he defends the notion of an ethnostate because he identifies strongly with the ethnostate of China, so he accords the same prerogative to other countries. That said, I don't see the value of linking cultural assimilation to genetic assimilation. Although culture often originates in a particular racial or ethnic milieu, it's separable from the original milieu and portable. In addition, culture is also a product of cultural diffusion–a synthesis between two or more cultures. Take the impact of Greece on Rome, or the impact of Greco-Roman culture on Diaspora Judaism and Christianity. 

ii) I don't know quite what he means by protecting cultural interests by statute. 

iii) Then there's the whole question of which American culture immigrants should be assimilated to. Even white America doesn't have a homogenous culture. For instance, there's the legacy of Western civilization, but most Americans are consumers of pop culture rather than high culture. Most Americans aren't into classical music, Renaissance/Baroque painting, the 19C novel, Shakespeare, Dante, Racine, Greco-Latin literature, philosophy, &c. Their culture is lowbrow rather than highbrow. Rock and country music, Hollywood movies and TV fare, national sports, cars, comic books. Ethnic (albeit Americanized) food. Musical subcultures (blues, jazz, black Gospel).

In addition, there's the national mythos. The Pilgrim vision of America as the Promised land. The pioneer vision of America as the New Eden (e.g. Hudson River School). The Antebellum South. The iconic Old West of Hollywood lore. The Roaring Twenties. The high school caste system. And so on and so forth. 

iv) It's interesting that he and Dominic Foo identify so strongly with Anglicanism. Is there some affinity between the pageantry of the Chinese imperial court and Anglican worship that makes it appealing to them? 


  1. For what it's worth, there's a growing movement among overseas born and raised Chinese to return to China. Not only overseas Chinese born and raised in the US, but overseas Chinese born and raised in other Western nations including nations which would ostensibly be opposed to the mainland China's gov't. An example is a Canadian born and raised Taiwanese who hopes Taiwan will reunite with China and who hopes to emigrate to China. Other examples are relatives of mine literally leaving the West and moving to China, despite having lived most their lives in the West, and fully acculturated in the West. I might be mistaken, but Lue-Yee Tsang strikes me in this vein.

    1. I guess it's sort of like how a lot of American, European, Russian, and other Jews have moved to Israel. Now that China is perceived to be on the rise, perhaps becoming a superpower, a lot of overseas born and raised Chinese seem to want to move to China. Well, that's my take.

      We live in "interesting times" (pace Confucius)!

    2. I understand his perspective, but from my perspective, considering folks like Matthew Schultz, Patrick Chan, Francis Chan, Pastor Jimmy Li (former Marine), Tim Hsiao et al., it's just preposterous from a Christian standpoint or even a purely patriotic standpoint to make Caucasian identity the ideal for what it means to be American–as if to be Chinese-American or Amerasian is sub-American.