4 February 2012
A Sociological Classic of North American Society
Editor's Note: The following review was found on Amazon.com. We reproduce it here.
"For example, Stoddard cites findings that 1000 Harvard graduates would have 50 descendants in 200 years while 1000 Rumanians living in Boston would have 100 000 descendants over the same span" (page xix).
Excellently introduced and put into context by professor Kevin MacDonald (well-known author of his widely prised magnum opus (The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements), this 1922 sociological treatise on the biological ("racial", in the discourse of the pre-DNA 1920's) decline of the European-descended nations is finally available in a luxurious edition updated with footnotes and a current-day citation-system. Lothrop Stoddard was once a man widely known in US discourse on society, culture and the foundations of this, being part of the founding wasp elites that once made up the elite of the US (and the United Kingdom, obviously). As can be read in both the aforementioned book by Dr. MacDonald he was once a popular lecturer with a top-notch education from Harvard University, and he was widely read in many circles, including the Army, the upper and the middle classes.
This book is probably his own magnum opus, being a classic sociological (and to some extent biological) study of the mechanisms behind what he perceives to be "the decline of the West". Showing quite convincingly that already in the 1920's people were aware of the direction the European-descended nations were heading, a path trodden that it now is hard to deny has been vastly damaging to the very fabric of society. His basic premise is this: society puts a heavy toll on those of high intellect, culture and to some degree economic status, "forcing" them to have fewer children, whilst on the other end of the spectrum those of low intellect, culture and to some degree economic status constantly increase their portion of the population. A quote from page 17 is in order: "Here, then, was what had come to pass: instead of dying off at the base and growing at the top, civilized society was dying at the top and spreading out below." This will, as one perhaps could assume, lead to disaster in the long run for the quality of our society, and thereby should make us ask some rather profound questions on the direction we are taking. Obviously, turning on the television (if you are so unlucky to have one) and watching a few minutes of basically any program, and thereafter contemplating if this is the kind of society you want, will probably lead to some dark thoughts.
Stoddard is not simply negative though, what he suggests is that we should instead turn the population-pyramid on its head: the best should have lots of high-investment children, whilst those on the lower echelons of society should have vastly fewer. As he so candidly points out on page 10: "Mere numbers mean nothing. The most brilliant civilization the world has ever seen arose in Athens - a tiny community where the number of freemen [...] numbered perhaps 50 000 all told." Stoddard intriguingly enough makes a compelling case for the fact that the "revolt of the Left" (the "French" revolution and later ones) that has had such a vast impact upon the world, is really nothing but the "revolt of the Under-man" against those he hates for reasons both pathological and emotional. A new edition by Wermod & Wermod was recently published which deals with a specific revolution of this ilk: The French Revolution in San Domingo.
The book is evenly split between the sobering facts presented, and the positive vision he hands to his readers. He can be a bit excessively "American" at times with his more or less purely biological focus, but the book has pretty much aged well, and read in combination with more "European"-minded authors like Dr. Tomislav Sunic (Homo americanus:: Child of the Postmodern Age) and baron Julius Evola (Revolt Against the Modern World), this classic is simply a must-read.
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