Western People in Search of a Name

I. What’s an ethnos?

An ethnos is a particular type of social organization; it‘s a group of individuals connected by a shared identity, involving some combination of: genes, language, origin, religion, culture, and history. The relative importance of these factors varies and the exact combination can be fluid.

There are a number of reasons for why we wish to preserve our ethnos. First, we recognize that it is natural and healthy to form group identities. We also recognize that it is inevitable; individuals will try to coalesce into groups, whether these groups are based on class, geography, or arbitrarily designations like having a star-belly, as is the case with some Sneetches; this be because the benefits that derive from group association generally outweigh the costs; it’s basic economics. Second, we realize that given our nature, certain kinds of associations work better; forming around social classes or Baseball teams is less psychologically fulfilling than forming around those components which make up an ethnos. Finally, by identifying through our traditional ethnos, we are able to readily identify with the collective history, knowledge, and ways associated therewith.

II. Why do we need a Name?

Names act as designators, explicit tags in our minds which allow us to easily access implicit complexes of associated thoughts and feelings. Designators are mental post-it notes. Having them is important for a sense of self . Internally, we use the indefinite pronouns ‘I’ am ‘we’ as designators because they are flexible. This flexibility allows for a sense of continuity amidst the personality or membership changes that are experienced over time. Externally, we use definite names as designators; these allow us to draw boundaries and thereby gain self definition. Together, the indefinite and definite designators facilitates our experience of being someone, the former by establishing continuity and the later by setting boundaries.

We, of course, have an implicit sense of boundary. This is why we identity with Sicilians more than Turks, US European whites more than Latino whites, and ethnic European Australians more than the now many ’non-traditional’ British. Nonetheless we lack a proper name, a explicit ‘who‘, and so we are hampered in our ability to experience who we are. This, of course, leaves us with a rather porous self-sense. We are an ethnos without an ethos, an egoless mass with no capacity to socially organize.

To appreciate how important this is, consider how much energy goes into smearing,, deconstructing, and lading with guilt, what names we use, thereby rendering them difficult to identify with. This is why, for many, forming a connection with their ethnos is difficult. To do so they would have to mentally transverse the icky dirty ’white’ to form a cathexis between their explicit ’I’ and their implicit ethnos.

III. What name?

There are many terms we try to use to capture this sense we have of ourselves. Some common ones are: White, European, and Caucasian. These are all problematic, a problem which is even recognized beyond political discourse. For example refer to this article: “White, European, Western, Caucasian, or What? Inappropriate labeling on Race, Ethny and Health.”

White is the most commonly accepted term, which is why most ethnically interested Western Caucasians use it. It has a lot of currency and gets at a lot of what is desired. ‘White’ captures the genetic and origin aspect of our ethos, and by implication the cultural. It is useful since, by referring to an easily recognizable phenotypic characteristic, we can readily relate to the term. Further, by referring to a traditional genetic trait we are able to stipulate a particular people and, by extension, culture. These are things we are unable to do with Caucasian, European, Christian, and some equivalent to Hispanic, such as Anglo. (Yes, to some extent, our identity has also been a victim of our own success).

Why not White?

When we refer to ourselves as ‘white,’ we do ourselves disservice by only capturing the genetic/origin part and worse, by leaving ourselves open to relentless attack. White is a new term and one which has only recently been appropriated, so it has a weak cultural grounding. More importantly, not only does ‘white’ neglect the richness of who we are, there is truly a ‘white’ word’s burden — as it has been the focus of decades of attack, as mentioned above. It is a designation beyond rehabilitation.

If you remain unconvinced about this, reflect on the numerous attacks which have undermined the term’s usability. The attacks often come as generic statements like: “Identifying by skin color is wrong,,” or “It’s immoral to define yourself by your race” — all with the unspoken modifier: for whites. The idea that identifying by white skin color is evil and therefore that white interested people are immoral has been propagated for years. It has become common truth and common moral that it’s immoral to associate on ‘racial lines’ or on the ‘basis of color‘; all the while, it’s ignored that ’white’ means a particular ethnos of which skin tone is a matter of happenstance

Why not European?

European has been argued by a number of people, on that basis that this term represents our ethnos’ geographic origin and that it captures much of the cultural sense that we have. While, in my opinion, this term is preferable to that of ‘white,’ or ‘Caucasian,’ it suffers from a two major problems. For one, many of us do not identify or associate with what presents itself as contemporary European culture. In many minds, European is associated with snobbishness or elitism (in mine, decadence). More problematic is that continental Europe is now inhabited by tens of millions of people which we do identify with, including: Middle Eastern Muslims, Asians, and Sub Sahara Africans. To claim this term would mean to fight a pitch battle over ‘authentic European’ and given that the European Elites are hostile to our position, we would be fighting a losing battle. Finally, there is the issue of those Jewish people whom, given their turbulent history with Christian Europeans are put off by the label ‘European.’

Why not Caucasian?

Caucasian, helps us identify in terms of genes and origin. This term is little used today, since ‘Caucasian’ also refers to North Africans, Middle Easterners, and a large portion of South Asians; further it is unhelpful to us as it fails to capture a sense of our unique culture and differentiate us from other Caucasians.

Why Western Caucasian?

Western Caucasian refers to both historical-cultural and geographical-genetic senses of what we mean by ‘us.’ ‘Western’ commonly refers to European and European influenced culture marked by the following commonalities: The Hellenic Ethos (Democracy, Philosophical Naturalism, and a Tragic ethos), The Christian Ethos (A Greco-Romanized-(Slavized or Germanized) Jewish Ethos of Monotheism), The Roman Ethos (Republicanism and High Civilization), the Modern European Ethos (the Renascence, Enlightenment, and Modern Science).

Caucasian refers to the rough geographic origin of much of our ethnos. It describes the origin of our people, and characterizes the dominate language tree (Indo-European), and genetic pools, in addition it tells about our collective pre-history (many of our ancestors having been tribal wanderers, a sense which is encoded in Indo-European languages).

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