Heiner Roetz has asked me to make available his response, entitled “Too much honor,” to a white supremacist critique of his book Confucian Ethics of the Axial Age posted earlier this year on the website of the “Council of European Canadians” by Ricardo Duchesne. As Roetz says, he is attacked as one of the Western academics who lay the “intellectual groundwork” for the “silent invasion“ of the West – above all Canada, Australia and New Zealand – by the Chinese.
I remember the old saying that you can judge someone by his enemies. Based on this principle, Professor Roetz should be very proud to have earned the anger of the ethno-nationalist right. His response is insightful and I commend his conviction and bravery.
I will be replying in due course to Roetz. I find it odd that Van Norden commends Roetz for his “bravery” even though his views against European ethno-nationalism are standard fare in the West, whereas the views I express against the corporate-academic endorsement of diversity are really costly and risky to one’s career. May I remind readers of this blog that one of the characters in Herman Hesse’s book Demian states that “people with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest”. I know I seem sinister because I question the enforced idea that the West reached far higher levels of intellectual creativity than any other culture. But what is even more perplexing is that China today is a super ethno-nationalist state; in fact, no country outside the West endorses diversity. Can anyone here explain to me why Japan, Korea, almost the entire non-Western world can be ethno-nationalist without anyone accusing them of endorsing “supremacist” views?
The convincing response by Professor Roetz, not the clamour stired up by the racist, truely deserves to be pondered.
Maybe Guoxiang Peng might want to tell us why I am a racist for believing that the overwhelming evidence shows that the West was far more creative culturally than China, whereas Chinese intellectuals are not racist even though they inhabit a nation that suppresses minorities and promotes eugenics. Clearly, Peng is borrowing Western leftist notions of what constitutes “racism” while excluding his people from any such moral criteria.
Does the hypothesis of biological differences not play a role in your policy argument?
Hello Haines, I sometimes refer to biological differences but this field is well beyond my expertise, and so I prefer to concentrate on cultural and psychological differences, with a view to answering the question why Europeans were the most creative peoples in history; why Europeans, for example, invented almost all the fields of knowledge, the disciplines taught in our universities: chemistry, biology, sociology, economics, botany, zoology, psychology, history…and even philosophy. Don’t forget, they also invented universities in the middle ages, and universities as modern institutions of research, https://books.google.ca/books?id=AM4YBwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=invention+of+university&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwje1pHBpJviAhVOc98KHcceDOUQ6AEIMjAB#v=onepage&q=invention%20of%20university&f=false
I will be replying to other comments later on.
My thought is that your argument is racist if and only if it hypothesizes that the cultural and psychological differences you mention are due to biological differences, genetic differences. One can of course use that hypothesis without mentioning any specific biological differences.
For example, looking at variations in Chinese history might suggest that diversity is one thing that promotes creativity. You write above, “the West reached far higher levels of intellectual creativity than any other culture. … no country outside the West endorses diversity.”
Insofar as the phenomena (e.g. creativity differences) are real and the causes are cultural, one might suppose they argue for immigration as a way to bring the good culture to more people, by (a) bringing more people into the good culture and (b) creating more effective channels for communicating the good culture to the non-Western places. That’s all in addition to (c) the creativity benefit of diversifying the West.
The claim that one is a racist if one says there are biological differences between the races is a claim that whites have been compelled to accept without debate. There is a lot of scientific evidence out there pointing to IQ differences, but this evidence is suppressed in our universities. In any case, I don’t appeal to IQ differences in my argument for the uniqueness of Western civilization.
What is so contradictory in the anti-racist ideology is that those who promote diversity tend to believe, as you do in this comment, that race mixed nations are superior to less race mixed nations. Are you saying that the Chinese are racially inferior to current Americans because the latter are more diverse racially? Are you saying that European nations should be diversified in order to improve their genetic quality away from too much whiteness?
This claim in turn carries its own major contradiction since making all European nations diverse will make them alike, which is already the case in major European cities. Go to London, Rome, Paris…and you will see similar diverse population. I believe in true diversity, in Germans, Swedes, Brits, Italians, not the fake “Germans” and “British” promoted by financial globalists, banks, and media along with academics.
I am satisfied that the answer to my original question is Yes.
Good grief, this is silly, this individual doesn’t appear to know much about Chinese philosophy, and should probably investigate it further before writing such things. He might look into Xiong Shili, Tang Junyi, and Mou Zongsan, if he hasn’t already, in order to gain an understanding of the vast treasure of intellectual resources they built upon to generate their systematic philosophies, which in fact wrestle with the nature of transcendence and what, precisely, it means to be unreflected or unaware. I propose reading these in the original language. A little history is also useful, with regard to “invasions“，it might even be worthwhile to review such basic history as the series of aggressive treaties imposed upon China beginning with the Treaty of Nanjing. Regarding science, what about the work of Benjamin Elman, and recently, of Roger Hart? There is just so much that seems uninformed. Also, why assume that just because someone lives in a country they agree with government ideology and policies?
If there is “so much that is uninformed” and “silly” in my article on Roetz, would it not be easy to point to one claim or argument that is uninformed instead of name dropping? Readers of this blog should at least read my article before using easy labels against me. Here it is: https://www.eurocanadian.ca/2019/02/unreflected-substantiality-of-chinese-mind.html
This article was preceded by this one:
Neither Benjamin Elman or Roger Hart demonstrate that modern science is not uniquely European. In the case of Elman, he is very clear that modern science only began in the 19th century in China under the influence, and (I would add) generous benevolence of Europeans: https://www.princeton.edu/~elman/documents/Elman%20-%20Science%20History.pdf
Because its terms are incomprehensible to me, I am reluctant to enter this debate. “White”? With respect to historical-cultural traditions that took shape by ricocheting around the Mediterranean, that term simply doesn’t compute.
I’ll limit myself to one observation. Duchesne claims that: ” There is no such thing as Chinese ‘pragmatism’; we can only attribute pragmatic standards to China in-through American pragmatism. The Chinese were not self-consciously aware of their ‘pragmatism.’ They were not self-consciously advocating contextual, historicist reasoning, but were simply unconsciously immersed in the customs and ways of thinking of their time.”
Sorry, but no. Even the most cursory reading of the Zhuangzi refutes this. It refutes it 1000x over. And then, guess what: it refutes it 1001 times over.
Odd that Behuniak says that Zhuangzi refutes my article even though he was living in the 4th century BC, and could not possibly have read it. How about showing us that ancient Chinese philosophers invented pragmatism before the Americans instead of blindly declaring that they did?
Pragmatism means essentially this: “庸也者，用也；用也者，通也；通也者，得也. 適得而幾矣. 因是已. 已而不知其然，謂之道.” Even James and Dewey don’t get much clearer than that. While “pragmatism” is a rather portmanteau word in English, Zhuangzi is likely the first philosopher in the world to express its philosophical essence. That essence (exhibited especially in the importance of 庸 and 用) surfaces throughout the text. Duchesne should correct me if I’m wrong.
Duchesne, I would assume, can read the Chinese. If others cannot: “That which belongs to ordinary activity works in use. That which works in use gets one through. That which gets one through achieves success. ‘Getting through and achieving success’ -that just about covers it, so just leave it at that. When it is left at that and one does not [need to further] ‘know’ something, this is called Dao-practice.”
Jim, that all seems to say: “What works works.” So far as clarity goes, my paraphrase is perfectly clearly a perfectly empty claim. The same might be said of the quote. But in terms of semantic pragmatics it’s not empty, because it suggests “the only thing that matters is what works,” i.e. what procures Consequences X. The scope of the claim — how big an area of life or practice or thought it is supposed to apply to — depends wholly on the context, yes? Which is not indicated here. (Perhaps our assumption should be that it applies to everything?) And one wants to know what sort of consequences are meant: what’s good, or what the people involved want, insofar as they agree? Those don’t seem like minor unclarities to me; they seem to get to the broad strokes of the thing–all the broad strokes. The larger the scope, the less the question “what consequences” can be a limited problem. If the scope is global and the question of consequences is left definitely unanswered, then it kind of seems to me we’re back to an empty statement.
I’m largely ignorant of the Zhuangzi myself, and inclined to trust your judgment on it. But I’m a bit prejudiced against it in general, and unfriendly to pragmatism about truth.
“What works works” is indeed a tautology, but in the hands of pragmatist-leaning thinkers (like James and Zhuangzi) it has a funny way of making fallibilists out of us. In any case, my intention here is not to debate the merits of pragmatism. My intention is to demonstrate that having such an idea has nothing to do with epidermal pigmentation. I trust that you and I agree on that.
I am well aware that Chinese are known as “pragmatic”, but compared to the philosophically developed outlook of American pragmatic thinkers like Charles Pierce and William James, the quotes you are offering from Zhuangzi are very simplistic: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pragmatism/
I absolutely agree on the bio point, Jim. I didn’t mean to raise that issue, and didn’t raise an objection to the merits of pragmatism.
Professor Duchesne writes: “But what is even more perplexing is that China today is a super ethno-nationalist state; in fact, no country outside the West endorses diversity. Can anyone here explain to me why Japan, Korea, almost the entire non-Western world can be ethno-nationalist without anyone accusing them of endorsing “supremacist” views?”
Yes, it is right, there are ethno-nationalists in East Asia, too, and, like everywhere, their number is growing. But why complain if others are befallen by the same identity craze as oneself? Or is it again something reserved for the white mind?
I am amazed that Roetz, a supposed expert on Chinese culture, equates Chinese ethno-nationalism, which is officially inscribed in the culture of China, and advocated by the political establishment, with dissident ethno-nationalism in the West. This is a major error of judgment, which should raise some doubts about his “refutation” of my article.
Let me repeat my point: ethno-nationalism is a normal state of mind and policy outside the West, whereas in the West ethno-nationalists are identified as “crazy”, as Roetz does in this comment. Roetz may want to answer why the nations that fought against Nazism in WWII were all ethno-nationalist; why did Canada, Australia, and the US endorse immigration policies (up until the 1960s-70s) which excluded non-Europeans? He, as a German, may also want to explain why it is crazy to defend Germany’s ethnic identity, and oppose the mass sexual assaults committed in Germany as a result of mass immigration? https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/12066/germany-rape-crisis
For some answers I suggest he reads my best seller, Canada in Decay, for an answer: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/1910881937/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=15121&creative=330641&creativeASIN=1910881937&linkCode=as2&tag=counofeurocan-20&linkId=a1aef3db2536d5f46c56c366519fdf8f
“the overwhelming evidence shows that the West was far more creative culturally than China.” Maybe Ricardo Duchesne wants to let us know how he made such an “overwhelming” judgement.
“Chinese intellectuals are not racist” said by Ricardo Duchesne is the second judgement I don’t know how he made or imposed on anybody else. Just like Roetz and Duchesne are quite different even they could be both called “Western intellectuals,” “Chinese intellectuals” are not a monolithic whole. Racist is everywhere. Nobody suggests there is no racist in “Chinese intellectuals. ”
The relation between “Chinese intellectuals” and “a nation that suppresses minorities and promotes eugenics” is another issue probably Dichesne needs to clarify. It should be assumed that Duchesne, as a scholar of social sciences, must be clear about the difference between concepts such as nation, state, government, and so on. More important, is it fair and logical to link “Chinese intellectuals” to minorities suppression and eugenics promotion? Of course there are some “Chinese intellectuals” who are involved in these and giving their endorsement (in this regard, some “Western intellectuals”– let’s tentatively follow Duchesne’s usage– are not inferior at all). On the other hand, quite a lot “Chinese intellectuals” are suffering from the status quo and fighting for justice.
Last but not least, it’s funny I was accused by Duchesne of borrowing a “Western leftist notion.” I prefer to use a Chinese word embedded in Chinese historical context if Duchesne would like to read Chinese. Besides, probably one of the differences between a racist and others exactly lies in the fact that the former is so readily to use words such as “his people. “
If one is unable to maintain the state of intrinsically illuminated, awakened awareness consistently throughout waking, dreaming, and deep sleep, then they are unconscious of the natural transcendence universally, unceasingly, sovereignly, always already inherently present in all beings within the universe, the wondrous, creative, illuminating infinite being of the in-itself, the everlasting presence, inhering in and giving rise to the endless horizons of bounded awarenesses and their conditioned objectifying realms. It is merely, simply, nothing more than the open-hearted awareness shining through all differences, all boundaries, at all times, everywhere. And it is no ones personal possession, no group,no ethnicity, no color, no nation, no location, no direction, inside, outside, upside, downside. Without it nothing at all could or would exist, notta, nothing, zilch; absent it, all shall turn on one another in a savage fury of blackened, hateful, endless destructive invasions. Fortunately, it is indestructible. Just there, there it is. It is this. Some find it in East Asia, some find it in Europe, some find it in Africa, and so on and so forth. But some never find it at all, lost in traces, half submerged, in the shadows, covered in dust. And yet we should all want to find it, and for everyone to find it, and to share it, and to hold on to and cherish it for now and evermore. Thank you.
Duchesne replies to Roetz
Roetz wonders about the “exact connection” between his book and Asian immigration; and, yes, there is no direct connection; this was a bait, and Roetz swallowed the bait, calling Duchesne “an ideologue of White supremacy” while defending mass immigration and claiming that White Canadians don’t have a right to the “stolen lands” of “First Nations”. Every paragraph in his reply brings up “white racism”, “stupid whites”, “male racists”, whites who want to treat Chinese as “only objects to be ruled”, whites who are “possessive individualists” seeking to “objectify others” and so on.
He says that the “core category of Duchesne is, scientifically, absolutely senseless to me, since I simply know too many stupid Whites, if I may put it polemically, and too many intelligent East Asians.”
This is absolutely absurd; how can one claim to be a scientific critic of race differences on the basis of individuals one has met? It is obvious that Roetz is just repeating what he heard in primary school. How about reading at least one article that goes beyond primary school claims? — https://www1.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/30years/Rushton-Jensen30years.pdf
Or this book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0143127160/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_2?pf_rd_p=b4bbef4e-170e-463d-8538-7eff3394b224&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=0983891036&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=XS8GN2E7QR50A4DD5AX6&pf_rd_r=XS8GN2E7QR50A4DD5AX6&pf_rd_p=b4bbef4e-170e-463d-8538-7eff3394b224
He wonders why “Duchesne…an immigrant” wants to close Canada’s borders to other immigrants. It is not either or, Roetz; don’t simplify this complex debate by pretending one is either for immigration or absolutely against it. Perhaps I would like immigration to be reduced to 50,000 from the current number of 300,000+
One thing I would like is the obliteration of the ideology of diversity. But Roetz likely does not even know that Western nations are ruled by this ideology, he has never examined the dominant ideology of our times, but blindly goes along with it, while celebrating the ethno-state of China.
Like many “comparative” historians, and “comparative” philosophers, I can tell that Roetz has barely read any Western thinkers, not even Hegel or Weber, the central subjects of his criticism. He says that Hegel’s claim that there is not “subjectivity” in China was intended as a justification for the treatment of Chinese as “only objects to be ruled” by Europeans, or by “foreign despots”.
Never mind this bad reading of Hegel, but aren’t the current domestic Communist rulers of China despotic? You can be sure Roetz would never called them despotic, he believes they are benevolent, humane, and says as much in his book, and in this reply, by way of his defence of Chinese thought. He is afraid to criticize the Chinese, but not “white supremacists”, for he knows where the gravy train is.
Most of Roetz’s reply is badly written, barely readable, confusing and confused, contorted and mentally warped. Rather than taking on my arguments directly, he repeats what he says in his book, but this time in a rather incompetent fashion. He piles up the names of Descartes, Kant, Wolff, Hegel, and Adorno without any finesse, just phrase mongering.
He says that my views “betray the cosmopolitanism of most Enlightenment thinkers”. But I bet he can’t find a single Enlightenment thinker who said that European nations must be diversified. As is typical with academics today, he confuses cosmopolitanism with mass immigration. He likely has no idea migrants are systematically assaulting German girls, https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/12494/germany-migrants-rape-feldman
This is enough; Roetz should have thanked me for writing the best review of any of his books, even though I refuted his thesis, and he has no counter-arguments other than saying it is “white supremacist” to prefer European thought to Chinese thought.
This is becoming ridiculous. Ricardo Duchesne, in his last ad hominem attack on Professor Roetz (“mentally warped” is really nasty), is going so low that it should be clear by now that he is not interested in arguments or rational analysis. How can any scholar or even any intelligent person take his claim seriously that he is speaking in the name of philosophers like Kant or Hegel?! And in his delusions of grandeur he is sounding more and more like Bannon and Trump (“Roetz should have thanked me for writing the best review of any of his books…”)!! Socrates never dragged his opponents through the mud – so let’s honor Socrates and ask him to go back to school and learn some manners above all! Good manners used to be the very core of any civilization…
It is far less nasty than the accusation that I am “an ideologue of white supremacy”, which is intended to have my ideas suppressed. There are no delusions; I think he knows that my article thoroughly demonstrated that his thesis that ancient China reached an “Enlightenment” level of moral reasoning is fundamentally wrong. He uses Kohlberg, I would prefer to use Piaget, who is the real founder of the idea that we can measure human cognition in terms of stages, and what makes Piaget’s work superior is that he focuses on cognition per se, not moral precepts. I have a long article which shows that China’s reasoning never arose above the level of concrete operational thinking whereas the ancient Greeks had already reached the level of formal operational reasoning. https://www.eurocanadian.ca/2018/10/jean-piaget-superior-psychogenetic-cognition-europeans-part-one.html
Professor Duchesne is mixing seemingly more serious arguments with crude fake news. The statement “migrants are systematically assaulting German girls” is not a factual description, but pure propaganda from the extreme right. The link provided leads to the “Gatestone Institute” which regularly promotes fake news (see here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gatestone_Institute). Similarly questionable as the website “The Occidental Observer” where he has given interviews (https://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2019/01/31/a-conversation-with-ricardo-duchesne-part-1-of-3/). I haven’t yet seen a serious historian who traces the origin of Western and modern individualism back to the “aristocratic warlike culture of Indo-Europeans” (ibid.).
“The uniquely transcendental mind of Whites can only be understood in light of the history of Whites. The morals of this mind cannot be extended to peoples with inherently embedded minds lacking in transcendental capacity”.
Someone actually stated that.
Perhaps this “transcendental mind of Whites” should be “embedded” at the end of the digestive tract that feeds it, so that it can get a true taste of its own brilliant “creativity”.
It all looks like bait to me. Provocation and evasion. I mean RD. This whole discussion makes much more vivid to me the problems about social media that I’ve heard about – but little seen, since aside from this blog I stay away from the stuff. Makes me wonder, blankly, what can be done.
The bait was intended to show that deep within most sinophiles is an anti-Western attitude, and that deep within sinophiles is acceptance of Asian-Chinese immigrant-colonization of Australia, New Zealand, and Canada — coupled with their erroneous claims that China was as creative as Europe. The only civilization that can be said to be a competitor to the West in terms of historical achievements is China, and the West beats it decidedly, and the Chinese leadership knows this, and this is why they are obsessed about becoming an economic superpower and developing, through eugenics, a Chinese master race. The same sinophiles who rant about “racist whites” cover up the eugenics program in China, and act as hirelings of possibly the most racist nation on earth.
“deep within most sinophiles is an anti-Western attitude” approximates tautology, since liking is relative; but pragmatically it means “discussion of China is just an epiphenomenon of a conflict or competition between two groups,” a view that is both false and, more importantly (yes Jim), bad. The formulation evades the issue and provokes.
I want to make several comments on Mr. Duchesne’s arguments. First, even if the current People’s Republic of China is “a nation that suppresses minorities and promotes eugenics” (which is itself debatable), it does not mean ancient Chinese philosophy itself is problematic or inferior. In fact, have anyone considered ancient Greek philosophy inferior when the government of Republic of Greece had financial problems and nearly went bankrupt 2 years ago? Ancient Chinese philosophy, just like ancient Greek philosophy, belongs to not only China but also the whole humanity.
Moreover, a civilization or culture should not be judged only for how it appears right now. If you go back to, say, 10th century, you would probably found Eastern and Central Eurasian far more culturally creative and tolerant than Europe. Later Renaissance took place and Europe started to slowly surpass rest of the continent. If we were 10th century people judging civilizations for how they were back then, we would probably found European civilization far less creative and tolerant than the rest–which, as we all know today, is of course wrong. History has taught us that every civilization or culture has its potential; not one civilization can be dismissed.
Finally, regarding the question of immigration, the situations of traditional nation-states like China or Japan are very different from that of North America, Australia, and New Zealand. For China, you have a civilization inhabiting there and developing for thousands of years, whereas the latter three countries were established not by Native Americans or Australians, but early modern European immigrants. Thus, I think it makes sense to say that since early modern Europeans themselves took and lands from native people, they should have some moral obligation to open it to the rest of the world and allow immigrants to enter; let us not forget that be it Caucasians or Asians, we are all guests to the lands of America, Australia, and New Zealand.
Thanks for Yang Zing for offering a thoughtful reply.
First, a clarification: my argument is not that China was less creative because it suppresses minorities; those are two separate issues; even if China did not suppress minorities and was a humanitarian nation through its history, any reasonable and impartial person would have to say it was far less creative.
Second, you are correct that comparisons depend on the time-centuries; 10th century Europe was less advanced than China at the same time. However, since the West began in ancient Greece, and this period was one of the most creative in human history, and the West then continued to create through Roman times, followed (after the dark ages between 6th and 10th centuries) by Renaissance of the 12th century (not to be confused with Italian Renaissance), we can say that, overall, from ancient times to the high Middle Ages, the West was more creative except in some technologies. Universities, for one, were invented by Europeans in the middle ages, mechanical clocks, spectacles, excellent water mills…and the philosophers (Aquinas, Anselm) were more original and profound than Chinese ones who were basically working within the same framework set by ancient philosophers.
Third, the notion that China has not been a colonial power is very misleading. Kenneth Pomeranz, whose book I totally refuted, would have us believe that only Europe was the beneficiary of colonies and colonial products, but I showed in my extensive review of his famous book, how wrong this view is. I will not get into the details except to paraphrase a few lines from my refutation of Pomeranz… the People’s Republic of China you see in maps today is a very recent creation. Outer China, a vast territory roughly the same size as inner China, populated by Mongols and Turkish and Tibetan stock-raising peoples, was taken over politically only during the course of the eighteenth century. While the regions of contemporary inner China were under imperial authority by Ming times (1368–1644), at least half of this huge territory was barely colonized by Han migration before 1500, particularly the lands of the southwest: “parts of Guangdong in the east to all of Guangxi, Guizhou, and westward into Yunnan and Sichuan was still largely non-Chinese in population” (Mote1999: 702–3). This colonial penetration into the jungles of the southwest continued earnestly through the Qing era (1644–1911). While Guizhou, for example, was turned into a province early in Ming times, with considerable Han migration thereafter, sparking major revolts including one that lasted four years (1499–1502) led by a “fierce female rebel leader” from a prominent Yi family, this region was still under an intense migratory settlement and exploitation well into the nineteenth century (Mote 1999: 709)
Chinese expansion in the Qing era also involved the appropriation of the large island of Taiwan, including Hainan and, since the end of the nineteenth century,the land of Manchuria (referred to by Fernand Braudel as “China’s America”).
So, let’s not kid ourselves believing that the Chinese were not immigrants when they brutally colonized these lands, which they exploited and which they STOLE from natives.
(For my refutation of Pomeranz’s Great Divergence, see https://www.researchgate.net/publication/247758850_On_the_Rise_of_the_West_Researching_Kenneth_Pomeranz's_Great_Divergence
A remark to Ricardo Duchesne’s mail of May 14, 12:46 pm: To me, ethno-nationalism, regardless of whether the Chinese “political establishment” really advocates it or not, is everywhere the same madness, and “dissident” ethno-nationalism in the West is no exception. And what is more: It is dangerous. Against the background of German history, the call to “defend Germany’s ethnic identity” makes my blood run cold. There was a hope that this language would be discredited once and for all. But obviously, it is not.
I will respond to the other comments later, but I am asking myself where in view of such a frame of mind the common ground is for any serious debate.
Rather odd that for Roetz criticism of current German immigration policy, which is leading to the ethnocide of Germans, makes his blood cold. Does your blood get call when Japan refuses to endorse diversity because it wants to retain its ethnic integrity, or does it only get cold when it is in the name of protecting the historical heritage of Germany? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3BYCK-3jPc
I think it is worthwhile glancing at the website where this individual contributes (some 140 articles) just so one knows what is being dealt with here (eurocanadian.ca). It’s utterly reprehensible and, indeed, there never was any intent to consider rational argument here, and it is probably unfortunate that this sad human being was allowed to air his arguments here. My wise Asian-American son, from the beginning, told me not to engage such people, because that is what they want you to do, and no one with any brains does that these days. He is disappointed in me that I did so, although I did so in the full awareness that there is no point. (Such is his truly transcendental mind). It is nothing but utterly disgusting and sick that so many people that I love, and whom we all love, have to potentially be subjected to such heinous inhumanity. And yes, my attitude towards such people, if that is what they still are, is simply a big “F” you. I have nothing civil to say to such people, and hope that the very fine, civil minds who contribute here can forgive me for allowing my natural, seething, principled anger to spill out inappropriately at a philosophy website.
Poor Israel wants to portray himself as a victim with “principled anger” as compensation for his utter lack of historical analysis in his response to my comments other than making the vulgar claim that the mind of Europeans is stuck inside their “digestive tract”.
Sir, I said “this”, referring only to the mind you describe. Good luck with your war.
Professor Duchesne, your furious reaction (your mail of May 15, 4:35) obviously shows that I, like all the others that have responded to you – and I have to thank them all for their comments –, have hit a nerve. You reproach me of not taking on your arguments directly. In fact it is not easy for me to see arguments at all. What I see is undifferentiated statements about China and Chinese culture that merely serve a political white-ethnic agenda which does not invite to read texts carefully. To give only one example: You accuse me of being able to criticize white supremacists but not the despotic Chinese regime, since I know “where the gravy train is”. This is astonishing, for what you in fact find in the book are passages like these: “The conservative block of functionaries … discredits democracy as ‘foreign,’ while in Stalinism they always felt at home. Yet, the People’s Republic does not stand alone in East Asia with her inclination to authoritarianism.” (p.4) “In the eighties, China was on the way towards a less ideological attitude. After the setback of 1989, it can … hardly be expected that the Chinese state will loosen its monopoly of opinion, which it exploits in such a blunt and shameless way, and will tolerate a free public.” (p.5) Unlike you, who regards the book as a defense of despotism, the Chinese censors had no difficulties in grasping the meaning of these and similar sentences. They deleted them from the Chinese translation.
And a final comment on your question of May 17, 9:56, what problems I have with “protecting the historical heritage of Germany”. The historical heritage of Germany is a mixed blessing. There is a part of it that I would NOT like to be protected – and there is connection between this and the book. It is the part that shows that the language of ethnic identity is not as innocent as it may pretend to be, but that it smells of blood.
I am aware that your book’s political aim was to show that within the Chinese ancient intellectual tradition there are moral concepts akin to the universal ideals of the Enlightenment, or Kohlberg’s universal ethical stage, which could be employed to conduct a moral criticism of authoritarianism in China today. In my article I explained at length why your thesis is incorrect, starting with the obvious reality that China has always been authoritarian and that its ideals were still part of its *conventional* ideals, rather than based on universalist values based on rational criteria alone.
One of the points I make is that Roetz eventually admits this in his book. I wrote:
As it is, Roetz, for all his efforts to the contrary, towards the end of his book confesses that Chinese ideals were merely intended to “safeguard” the “conventional ethos” of the existing order, “not to be played off against” it (123), a view close to Weber’s own assessment […] Roetz…can’t deny that “Confucianism accepts the given world,” and that the principle of humaneness was intended to “moderate” the injustices of the government, not question its conventional ethos.
I quoted Roetz’s own words: “Confucianism cannot really take its leave of the world of subordination and inequality. Wherever necessary it restraints the ruling powers, but it hardly disputes their position which invites abuse. This means that the potential of its postconventional, egalitarian, moral side does not really win out over the conventional side which basically accepts the given structures as they have always been […] This potential is hardly employed to bring about structural change, but primarily to make the given world more human and prevent the necessary fulfilment of customary duties from its degeneration into opportunism and corruption.”
So, I well understood that however much you wanted to extract an Enlightenment ethics out of ancient Chinese thought, you were not successful, but admitted that China remained conventional in actual reality.
I still find it disturbing that Professor Duchesne can air his ad hominem attacks here without being reminded of certain scholarly standards or academic manners. As he admitted himself, much of his writing here was just conceived as a “bait” (May 16, 2019 at 7:24 am). This already undermines our academic culture of debate where it is essential that every participant is frank and does not hide his or her true opinion. I thus wonder why the administrators, Steve and Manuel (?), did not intervene at this point. Quick readers may easily get the impression that Professor Duchesne has won the battle here. In my opinion, some of the issues involved are very real, f.ex. the relationship between Chinese thought and authoritarian political culture, and also the question of Chinese Enlightenment; yet it is difficult to have a free and rational discussion with somebody like Professor Duchesne. It seems that there is a growing consensus about his questionable background (see here, f.ex., https://www.huffpost.com/entry/ricardo-duchesne-white-nationalist-unb_n_5cdec3c8e4b09e057802c216?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAGupOflK1jtF0JmSsholg9oibtwriG3GyDJvWtnzfPSPI1VDVGQ3c9wfAdYdCcACgZJgio3uG-NBd1EMnw5TnC3x0ZkLKKkBUQ3_jJ6uMiM2NSss8NJz0fe6xKSkTp-uakjdqp4_CcU7lXr3W4sU8fyNzU3S-uNlvNrMzhgvC3eM). I am especially really troubled by Duchesne’s frequent use of conspiracy-driven arguments and I also hope that the blog could respond in a more formal way to all this. Otherwise, as I said before, readers might get a wrong impression…
So Kai Marchal, in the same comment in which he complains about ad hominem attacks, brings a recent article from Huff Post which anyone can see was a hit piece with defamatory claims. I actually have a high academic reputation, as can be seen from the reviews of Uniqueness I just posted above in another reply to Marchal. Obviously, because I am an white identitarian (not a white nationalist), the academics who dominate our universities and accept the globalist diversity mandates, don’t like me, and will do everything they can to malign my reputation, but articles and reviews of my books speak for themselves.
My article on Roetz was not conceived as bait for the hell of it, but to show that in these debates about the respective achievements of civilizations, comparative studies, there is a strong bias against anyone who judges the West to have been more creativity. I don’t think it is an accident, speaking of ad hominem attacks, that Roetz plastered his reply with accusations of “white supremacy” and the like. My book, The Uniqueness of Civilization was actually praised for its very fair and cordial debates with multicultural historians, but this is not what I have gotten in return, so now I fight back. https://www.nas.org/articles/nowhere_but_the_west
Regarding conspiracy, if it is a conspiracy that immigration is reducing whites to a minority in many Western countries, why do globalists themselves love to repeat that whites will be reduced to a minority? The stats are very clear: see recent book White Shift: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXPclOY4oBk
I should probably be banned from further posting, no doubt, I recognize that. But to my mind, the 140 articles listed here by this individual have only the awe-inspiring and noble purpose of proving the superiority of one people over all others. The motivation is heinously and vilely inhumane, and, yes, also for “white” people too who are trying to be decent human beings in the best of any tradition of moral philosophy, East and West.
The website at which they are posted contains photos of CHILDREN, yes, CHILDREN, who are not “white”, in association with an array of articles advocating white supremacism, attacking multiculturalism and diversity, and espousing racist and bigoted views. Here are just two examples:
Actually, Prof. Roetz and others have graciously, even-handedly, generously stepped in because they were called out. Roetz’s initial post is convincing, and I’m very sorry about saying such things as I have in a thread begun by a distinguished scholar whose book I read many years ago and which inspired me a great deal. I’m not sure there is much more that needed to be said. In any case, I don’t think anyone is taking this individual’s comments very seriously, because he is not a serious person, and his inhumanity disqualifies him from being taken seriously. He only entertains others arguments for the purpose of advancing a base agenda, he does not appear to be remotely familiar with the vast literature on this topic in multiple languages that has appeared since Roetz’s time debating these very issues, and his sole purpose seems to be what it is in his many articles, to win a war for whites and to demonstrate the inferiority of vast swathes of humanity. Here, his purpose seems to be to draw Sinologists into battles, and he even seems to believe that we are not already altogether familiar with all of these debates and arguments, which have been going on intensely now for decades, something to which Prof Roetz has alluded. I would guess that many feel that, having kindly stooped down to offer some insight, in good faith, there is no point in granting such an individual the dignity of further discussion, especially when so much of what he does is aimed at undermining the dignity of others. Actually, I’m just speaking for myself. But again, just having cursorily looked over the literature that this individual has produced, I was overcome by nausea and deep disgust, and that spilled out in the thread. How could it not, when my family, friends, colleagues here where I live are of such incredibly diverse backgrounds and, day in and day out, we are all trying to get by, and to get ahead in life, and to help one another – and, then, out of the blue, appears this kind of, I don’t know, whatever it is. It’s sad, really, an attack on our fundamental humanity. I don’t like it and don’t want to have anything more to do with it.
I would distinguish sharply between the badness of the views defended and bad conduct of discussion. One of the main values of free speech is that it gets very bad views discussed on their merits.
But there is little value in discussing with someone who intentionally avoids fair consideration of the view.
For moderately bad conduct we can just refrain from engaging; no need to silence someone or remove their material.
Personally I don’t see a big problem with expletives or expressions of strong feeling; they needn’t be an obstacle to fair discussion, as evasion and slander tend to be. Especially in on-line discussion where the intended reader doesn’t personally know or otherwise depend on the writer, expressions of strong feeling can be pretty impotent; which I suppose is why people tend to ramp up the terms.
My sense is that the slanders of Prof. Roetz here have no surface credibility, and indeed that his star shines quite brightly here.
Another issue is whether the forum is being abused to produce the illusion of interest or of victory. That’s a real concern. Personally I’d prefer to err on the side of free speech.
An official response from blog administrators:
Although we value the goods gained from an open forum with free discussion, we believe the arguments in this thread have come to something of an impasse and that further discussion would provide few insights and gains. This thread will now be closed. We thank everyone for their relative civility in providing a space for interlocutors to provide evidence as they’ve seen fit to support their positions.
And as always, thank you for your interest in the site!