June 3, 2006


Race Is Wild Card in Peru Runoff: As Election Nears, Humala Distances Himself From Family's Views on Ethnicity (Monte Reel, 6/03/06, Washington Post)

Isaac Humala says he values the diversity of ideas. So he immersed his children in an ideology he created, known as "ethno-nationalism," which argues that a Peruvian "copper race," the Incan descendants, should have political supremacy in a region stolen away by lighter-skinned outsiders.

Now that one of his children, Ollanta Humala, is vying for Peru's presidency in Sunday's election, facing former president Alan Garcia, many are trying to figure out exactly which ideas might have been passed from father to son. In a melting pot of a country where racial tensions are often considered omnipresent but understated, the 75-year-old patriarch's teachings have all the subtlety of a poke in the eye.

"We are racists, certainly," he said during a morning commute this week to the downtown office of his Peruvian Nationalist Movement, the political organization which he created. "We advocate saving the copper race from extinction, disintegration and degeneration. Everyone is a racist, because nationalism is something that is in the blood, just like it is with the Japanese in Japan and the Germans in Germany."

If he were just a bit subtle he'd have his own column at National Review.

MORE (via Pepys):
The sacred heart of darkness (Spengler , 2/11/03, Asia Times)

All nationalism worships God in the carnival-mirror of its own reflection, but these 17th century French mystics created a new and pernicious idea. Christian universal empire, from Charlemagne in AD 800 to the Habsburgs in 1914, was by definition multinational, if not anti-national. The Christians were the Ecclesia, those called out of the nations, and only a truly universal elite could rule them. Nationalism was to be suppressed. That is why the 16th century church did not tolerate translation of the scriptures into the vernacular. Richelieu and Father Joseph overthrew this. In place of universal empire, they proposed a Christian empire led by a particular nation divinely appointed for world mastery, namely France. Between the Sun King Louis XIV and Napoleon Bonaparte, it became a going proposition for the better part of two centuries.

France, to be sure, was not the only nation that mistook itself for God. Adolf Hitler turned the idea into something unspeakably worse than the French ever could have imagined. The Greek-speaking remnant of the Roman Empire in Constantinople, the "Second Rome", saw itself as the legitimate savior of the world. As Huxley observes, Father Joseph's vision of France as the instrument of providence was of one piece with his vision of a French-led crusade to liberate Constantinople from the Turks. Nineteenth century Russia suffered from the same delusion of a liberated Constantinople. By some perverse twist of fate, the French ambassador to the court of the czar in 1914, Michael Paleologue, descended from the last ruling family of Constantinople. He spurred Russia toward a war that, he hoped, would wipe out the hated Habsburg monarchy of Austria forever.

Habsburg Austria, the embodiment of the medieval Catholic empire, became the target of the French messianists, because it was precisely this model that the French desired to supplant. Catholic universal empire, the "prison of the nations" in its 19th century Habsburg expression, ultimately was a failure. By contrast, the United States, a melting-pot nation of immigrants, achieved a transcendant kind of universality, and thereby became the world's dominant power.

It is this that France cannot abide in its sacred heart of darkness. Habsburg Austria was a competitor, but America is an obsession. The fact that America twice saved France during the 20th century merely reinforces the French sentiment of ultimate irrelevance. Centuries of accumulated bile ooze and gurgle in mortification. None of it matters. France has no military power and a sclerotic economy. Along with the rest of Europe, its population is aging and soon will decline. Its protest against American hegemony is the last echo of an evil age in Europe whose passing will go unmourned.

Nationalism/racism is particular. America/Judeo-Christianity is universalist.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 3, 2006 5:16 PM

"Precisely" and "exactly" correct.

Christianity is a systematic dismantling of racism. That is a big part of the good news: everybody can play and everybody wins. The entire New Testatment is a peeling away of exclusivities. One by one, rules keeping people at a distance are rejected, and we are taught, Mt. 22:1 ff., that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a wedding feast to which strangers from the highway are now invited.

It is so ironic that the racist throwbacks in Mexico and Peru pine for a return to the days of devil-worship and human sacrifice.

Posted by: Lou Gots at June 3, 2006 7:16 PM

Lou, that was very well and very movingly said.

But I confess to being more than a little perplexed about how that squares with your talk about the "folk" and "people of the wagon", etc.

Posted by: Peter B at June 3, 2006 8:14 PM

The crack about NR is unfair and unwarranted. I know, respect, and mostly agree with your views on immigration, but I don't think it's at all fair to suggest that those at NR who are more opposed to illegal immigration are racist. With the possiible exception of Derbyshire, they are all in favor of robust levels of legal immigration - a view that is inconsistent with your little jab.

Posted by: Jim at June 3, 2006 8:17 PM

Jim: "Racism" is too small a word. They're anti-human.

Sharing Peter's surprise at Lou, I note, again, that OJ is completely wrong, confusing the world's most nationalist nation for the least.

Posted by: David Cohen at June 3, 2006 8:27 PM

Which is why immigration quotas are unChristian/anti-American.

Posted by: oj at June 3, 2006 9:24 PM

Amnesty is robust legal immigration. They support it?

Posted by: oj at June 3, 2006 9:28 PM

OJ, you missed the entire gist of Spengler's article. The French project was both nationalist and Judeo/Christian. There is nothing inherently anti-nationalistic about Christianity.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at June 3, 2006 10:27 PM

Lou: Spengler is always very careful to distinguish between your view of Christianity (Out of the Nations kinda thing) and what form Christianity actually took in Europe. He sees modern European Christianity and culture as a "falling back into the nations". His theory is that after the fall of Rome, The Church renewed itself by co-opting the various hordes that rushed into the avcuum. To do this, they only partially brought them out of the nations and left a substantial part of the pagan core intact. In fact, Spengler likes to quote that Germany never really converted.

In the above sense, the atavism of South America is right in line with main-line Catholicism and Europe as a culture.

Posted by: Pepys at June 3, 2006 10:31 PM

Robert: Christianity failed in Europe because they never took seriously the "Out of Nations" thing and the central importance of the Jews to Christ's bargain.

And by failed, I mean died out.

On the other hand, America is the "Out of Nations" concept personified and the reason why we thrive and the French and Euros hate us.

Posted by: Pepys at June 3, 2006 10:38 PM


That a couple clerics helped it along doesn't make it Christian. They were nationalists.

Posted by: oj at June 3, 2006 11:17 PM

Too late now and too busy tomorrow (rifle match) to really respond in adequate depth.

Christianity has always been a process, and primitive xenophobia and simple greed have always been in tension with its teachings.

In Christianity, we are presented with a synthesis of Israel, Greece, Rome and another insight going beyond all of these.

It was a great achievement to sell world civilization to the European Barbarians and at times it was a damned near-run thing. Just a different result at this or that Council or this or that election by some babarian ruler could have placed the world on a different path.

As to whether Germany ever really converted, the answer seems to be that they backslid into being "loose-from-Rome" so they could resume their primitive "drive to the East."

The American folk is very unlike the Volker of Europe, being non-racial. Sometimes we have had to overcome our own primitive xenophobia, and we had to fight a civil war to overcome the curse of slavery inflicted on us by Islam, but racism is not our way--it's agin the Book.

Posted by: Lou Gots at June 4, 2006 1:46 AM

“But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 19:34

Posted by: Randall Voth at June 4, 2006 6:19 AM

Thanks Randall. Exactly right passage for a Sunday morning.

Posted by: erp at June 4, 2006 9:32 AM

oj, you're just cherry picking the traits that you would ascribe to Christianity. If it took 1700 years for the true expression of Christianity to take hold somewhere, I'd have to say that the correlation between the trait and the cause is pretty weak.

Saying that the Germans never really converted is just excuse making. You may as well say that the world's Luterans are not Christian.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at June 4, 2006 1:39 PM


No one said that. The French project (indeed all nationalism) is anti-Christian.

Posted by: oj at June 4, 2006 4:23 PM