Strakon Lights Up, No. 53

   Geek meets analyst


This week I got excited again. I couldn't help it — I'm an old science-fiction fan. And as much as we SF and futurist types fantasize about future wonders, we very rarely get the feeling that we've actually, personally made it into the future. However hard we try, we usually can't make it out of a pretty mundane present. But every once in a while we're able to jump into the future for a few moments and look around, before the novelty wears off, or skepticism kicks in, and we find ourselves tumbled back into the quiddities of the everyday.

It's breathtaking while it lasts, that brief ride over into the future. I took it in July 1969 when the first Moon landing occurred. As a fan of political and social SF, I took the ride again in the autumn of 1989 when the Berlin Wall fell. (When Russia seceded from the Soviet Union in 1991, I even started to feel like a character in an alternate-universe novel!) And I strapped myself in yet again upon hearing the news this week about the successful mapping of the human genome. See, the thing is, after spending years as a bespectacled geek who reads books everyone else sneers at, the SF fan feels demarginalized while he's on that fast ride — for a few rattling good moments, he even feels vindicated.

I've clambered off the ride now, I'm no longer reeling, and I've caught my breath. The genome-mapping is wonderful news, no question, but it didn't take long before I found myself back in a very problematic present. I remembered an exchange I'd had a couple years ago with one of my confederates at TLD, and that did the trick.

If Strakon the ruling-class analyst is known for anything beyond the Dark Suits and Red Guards formulation, it's his deep, deep pessimism. Well, giving full rein to my bespectacled geekiness, I was mentioning to my co-conspirator how surprised some TLD readers might be if they knew that I was actually a long-range optimist. We wouldn't live to see it, nor would our children or grandchildren — I said — but I was confident that humanity would eventually surmount statism, cultural suicide, and collectivism, and one day a free, humane, incredibly prosperous, super-advanced Terran civilization would colonize the galaxy. Man and his finest aspirations could not be held down forever!

At which point, my confederate reminded me of my own racial analysis and that of thinkers such as Jared Taylor. "If the white race goes out of business," he asked, "how likely do you think your scenario is?"

Talk about being brought down to Earth. If you thought the flying-saucer crash at Roswell was bad, you should have seen this one. We all need to ensure that our premises — including the unexamined, lurking ones — are consistent. I'll tell you, when they're not, and you're forcefully made aware of that fact, it can be jarring.


Several things, we know for sure. We know for sure that only white Westerners came up with the light bulb, the telephone, the airplane, radio, penicillin, and the computer. Only white Westerners produced a scientific revolution and made it serve a continuing industrial revolution. Arab civilization gave the West some astronomy and some mathematics; the West and only the West built out of those things a bridge that took Westerners to the Moon. Chinese civilization gave the West gunpowder and printing; the West and only the West transformed those things from toys into tools. Those great alien civilizations were, like ours, heavy on brainpower, but they were missing some other necessary piece of the dynamo — some persistence, outward-looking vision, energy, or restlessness — that only our race and civilization seemed to have.

On what basis can we assume that the peoples now replacing the West's historic core population will be able — or even inclined — to carry our science and our industry forward? I hope the best minds and spirits of the Levant, the Indian subcontinent, and North Asia may be able to maintain the present level, but we should note that the actual advances by the scientific geniuses and bright engineers of those civilizations have taken place in the overall context of the white West's science and engineering, in the presence of its example, on the shoulder of its giants. They performed their marvels using the West's tools; in recent times, chief among those tools were the West's computers.


It is not merely a question of demographics, of blood; it's much worse than that. The demoralization and deracination of white Westerners is running ahead of the actual changes in population. White Westerners themselves are to blame for that, of course. The strong do not lose heart when reviled by others.

Some critical point, some final line, must exist that will be fatal when crossed. It is the point at which too few white Westerners able to act like white Westerners exist, and the characteristically Western scientific advances simply stop occurring. We are not there yet: the great news of the week demonstrates that. But how close are we?

The gene-mappers of Celera Genomics and the National Institutes of Health have denied they're competing in a scientific race. But there's no doubt that a great race is being run. Do you dream, as I dream, of our geniuses' vanquishing cancer and other grisly tormentors of the human spirit and body in our lifetime? Then you must pray, as I pray, that they, and we, are able to win the race against time. For the civilizational clock is ticking, and our time is running out.

Farewell, Elian. While being taught communism, Cuban style, may you learn to read between the lines better than most American children who are being taught communism, U.S. style. And may all tyrants perish.

June 28, 2000

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