The Plight of the American Vaisya
Some White Americans seem genuinely excited about the prediction that, in thirty years, Whites will be a minority on the continent their ancestors settled. These types often display the attitude that it’s simply inevitable that Whites will largely be replaced, and that that’s just “where we’re going as a country.” This mood isn’t shared by everyone, however. Those White folks not inclined to clap at the idea of their own dispossession might ask why anyone would be.
In fact, this former group of Whites don’t see themselves being dispossessed at all. They’re a minority already, and they’re pretty comfortable where they are. They’re the same Democratic and Green Party voters who try to reconcile a just-above-philistine enjoyment of classical music with a dutiful appreciation of ’90s gangsta rap. The same who read Jonathan Franzen novels over lattes. The same whose dads run Washington. They don’t identify at all, culturally, with most White Americans—let alone minorities. Minorities do tend to support them—though often for their own reasons.
In other words, the United States are divided, not just by race, but into castes, different groups with distinct values. If we limit our discussion to terms of race and of economic class, we can’t address the central dividing line in American culture and history, which is between two mostly White groups. For example, the majority of White Americans—let’s call them Vaisyas—respect stable family men more than they respect political activists; for the progressive Brahmins described above, it is the opposite. Race alone doesn’t account for this. The latte-sipping White Brahmins we’ve been talking about aren’t the only ones; we can consider anyone who follows their standards of what is and isn’t acceptable to be a member of the Brahmin caste. That includes aged White hippies, Jewish academics, and paid-off minority spokesmen alike—along with the grandkids of the old Boston Brahmins.
Brahmins, for the most part, don’t like Vaisyas. At all. This is why they like immigration—just not to their neighbourhoods. The immigrants America used to bring in, of course, were ethnically similar to the people who founded the country. Even the descendants of the massive late 19th/early 20th-century wave of immigration are now Vaisyas. Not only did it help that our immigrants from the 1770s to the 1970s were almost all European, but the 1924 Immigration Act put tighter limits on the flow of immigrants even from other parts of the West, which helped them assimilate. Brahmins came to dislike these restrictions, however. It turned out that abandoning Vaisya culture was a hard sell to most Vaisyas; the 1965 Immigration Act made things much easier.
So Brahmins like to see growing numbers of Helots, our imported Hispanic laboring caste, and Dalits, our vibrant, multicolored underclass, because their post-Western paradise can only come when the Vaisyas have vanished—the White ones, anyway. Again, most working- and middle-class White Americans can be called Vaisyas, not because of their race but because of how they live their lives. A significant minority of Hispanics and Blacks are obvious Vaisyas as well, as are most Asians. But because their loyalty is more often to race and not to caste, they tend to align with Brahmins, so hereafter Vaisya will refer to White Vaisyas.
We have a writer raised Brahmin himself, one Mencius Moldbug, to thank for these caste names. He also identifies a fifth: Optimates, the Old Money folks whose names show up in the Social Register. They’ve mostly disappeared, leaving a wealthy grey area between Brahmin businessmen and upper-class Vaisyas. See also: the Bush family. Moldbug doesn’t name the caste rednecks and lower-class Ross Perot voters belong to; we’ll call them Antyajas. Moldbug would lump them in with Dalits, and many Brahmins, despising them all the same, would confuse them with Vaisyas. But unless you’re a gang member, you can’t really be a Dalit if you don’t embrace mainstream (i.e. Black) Dalit culture. White Dalits don’t like the “racism” of their Antyaja grandparents. And while Vaisyas have common interests with Antyajas against the coalition, they tend to distance themselves from them. They’re rarely as hateful as some Brahmins are, but they can be heard making reference to “White trash”.
The American political system has developed a remarkable means of dealing with the conflict between Brahmins and Vaisyas, given that the latter are most of the “middle class” whom the politicians at Washington make regular appeals to. Vaisyas’ political and cultural energy are siphoned into the Republican Party, which never rewards them for their allegiance, while the Democrats sandwich them between Brahmins and their Dalit and Helot votebanks. John Derbyshire notes the deep roots of this conflict, calling it the cold civil war. Moldbug, not counting Antyajas, gives it a somewhat drier name: the BDH-OV conflict.
“Representative democracy is a limited civil war in which the armies show up, get counted, but don’t actually fight. The BDH and OV factions refrain – mostly – from inciting or participating in outright warfare, for one reason: it is not in either’s interest. If this ever changes, they’ll be at each others’ throats like Hutus and Tutsis.”
But Hutus and Tutsis had separate terms for each other that were widely used; our American castes do not. Indeed, Derbyshire has taken to using “Hutu” for Optimates, Vaisyas and Antyajas and “Tutsi” for Brahmins. By being unwilling to refer to themselves, White Brahmins have helped create a double meaning in America for the term “White people”. When they say it, they tend to think of Vaisyas. When non-Brahmins say it, they often mean Brahmins. Have a look at the recent hashtag #WhiteRage on Twitter, for example. Brahmins have associated it with—well, read the Salon article that sparked it; Vaisyas have associated it with spilt Starbucks and defunct emocore bands.
Brahmins don’t seem to be aware of this contradiction. Many are openly hostile to the White majority—Derbyshire’s “Hutus”—or perhaps anything explicitly and exclusively Western. Moldbug, living in the heart of West Coast Brahmindom, is appalled by this.
“The hate expressed by BDH or blue-state intellectuals, from Noam Chomsky to Al Sharpton, has a peculiarly smug and contemptuous tone which is instantly familiar to any student of the 20th century, and it leads me – despite my Brahmin upbringing – to side instinctively with the OV faction. I am simply aghast at the hatred of Middle America I see so often in San Francisco. It is pure poison.”
What’s really striking, though, is that Brahmins apparently associate Middle America with global power and dominance. They remain remarkably unwilling to admit that they run things. As Moldbug puts it, their greatest lie is that the BDH faction are in fact “a plucky bunch of underdogs who struggle to defend their last few planets against the overwhelming star destroyers of the OV Empire.” But they’re finding it harder and harder to sell this lie to Vaisyas, and Dalits don’t much care whether there’s an Obama sticker on the bicycle whose rider they’re mugging.
In any case, Brahmins’ Goliath-playing-David attack on Vaisya cultural norms doesn’t stop them from living in solidly White areas. This doesn’t make Brahmins “racist”, of course—“racism”, as they use it, mostly refers to Vaisyas’ will to survive. There’s also the fact that, as Moldbug would admit but wouldn’t emphasise, some of the most influential Brahmins are secular Jews, who don’t necessarily identify much with the typical White Gentile anyway. But whatever their origin, Brahmins don’t like “Whiteness”, and they don’t like it reproducing. White Brahmins don’t like to be reminded that they’re of the same race as Vaisyas—that’s what’s so funny about Christian Lander’s Stuff White People Like.
But “Whiteness”, i.e. Vaisyas, are reproducing—faster than Brahmins. This tends to make Brahmins rather uncomfortable. It also makes electing a new people more difficult, because America’s Vaisyas are her core demographic. They are the basis of her Western and Christian identity. They have not only Brahmins to their Left, but most of Europe. Vaisyas are the reason the government at Washington isn’t more like the one at Brussels. That Vaisyas tend to have larger families and be manlier men and prettier women than Brahmins means they will continue to present an opposition to Brahmin norms.
This is why Brahmins feel the need not only to bring in more immigrants, but to push the idea that somehow Vaisyas’ demographic replacement is inevitable. Even the GOP establishment have adopted this attitude, as though mass immigration were some nebulous force of History, as though Vaisyas were not the only reason the US Republican Party still exists. But the average Vaisya is beginning to realise that he cannot rely on today’s Republicans or Democrats to protect his interests. Many Antyajas and lower-class Vaisyas—the missing White voters of the 2012 election—have already figured this out. But rather than simply checking out, Vaisyas who want America to remain as a Western country for their great-grandchildren to inherit will have to fight for it.