Pat Buchanan’s new book Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? makes a comprehensive case about why America is in deep trouble, but the bulk of the book deals with what VDARE.com and Buchanan both refer to as the “National Question.” Thus Buchanan devotes one chapter to economics, two chapters to religion, and one to foreign policy. But no less than six chapters, comprising 243 pages, are devoted to the issue of race, immigration, and multiculturalism.
Because this is VDARE.com, I am going to focus this review on Buchanan’s insights on the National Question—which is not to dismiss his insights in these other issues.
Buchanan opens up his chapter “The End of White America” discussing the writings of Gilded Age prophets of white gloom Madison Grant and Lothrop Stoddard in Gilded Age classics like The Passing of the Great Race and The Rising Tide of Color. As a pro-life Catholic, he has no use for their views on birth control and eugenics, but he acknowledges that Stoddard in particular was “somewhat of a prophet.”
What Stoddard and Grant feared, the American Left now embraces. By 2042, Whites are projected to be a minority in this country. Buchanan quotes CNN’s Soledad O’Brien after the 2008 election: “The face of America is changing. And that face doesn't look like Joe the Plumber.” Reacting in “excitement” to the fact that the non-white population growth from 2000-2010 was even larger than expected, the head of the Census Bureau Robert Groves said “This is the decade of Tiger Woods and Barack Obama.” Larry King gleefully reported that his son wished he was not white.
Buchanan calls this “ethnomasochism” or the “the taking of pleasure in the dispossession of one’s own group.” He gives many reasons to show why whites should not wish to become a minority. For starters, it is a natural reaction: “Most peoples would greet the news that their own kind were becoming a minority with stunned silence, apprehension, or even dread. As Euripides wrote, what greater grief is there than the loss of one’s native land?”
And Buchanan further notes that, even if America’s white majority do not care about race, other ethnic groups do. For example, he goes through a litany of statements of Mexican leaders and polls of Mexican citizens showing that they have no desire to assimilate.
Buchanan blames much of the demographic problem on a loss of Christian faith among Europeans, but he notes that, among our secular elites, a new religion of Egalitarianism and Diversity-worship has replaced it. Buchanan gives each of these sacred cows their own chapter, where they are promptly slaughtered.
Far from being an American ideal, Buchanan notes that the Founders and all prominent Americans from Washington to Lincoln through Dwight Eisenhower all praised American homogeneity and had racial views on blacks that would be considered “white supremacist” today.
Furthermore, this new religion is at odds with modern science. Buchanan points to the obvious:
“As most kids do not have the athletic ability to play high school sports, or the musical ability to play in the band, or the verbal ability to excel in the debate, not every child has the academic ability to do high school work.”
He quotes Charles Murray’s application of this reality to groups: “The assumption of no innate differences among groups suffuses social policy. That assumption is wrong.” [The Inequality Taboo, Commentary, September 2005]
Reflecting on this truth, Buchanan notes that “our pursuit of the perfect, an ideal nation where at last all are equal, is killing the country.”
The one preemptive criticism I have heard about Suicide Of A Superpower from Buchanan supporters is that it is the same book he has written before. This is not a completely unfair concern. Buchanan has indeed spoken out before against free trade, secularism, big government, mass immigration—and for two decades. Two of his books, Death of the West and State of Emergency, focused on immigration and multiculturalism.
Like State of Emergency, the concluding chapter of this present book, making policy recommendations, is called “Last Chance.” In both cases, Buchanan calls for an immigration moratorium—a central concern of VDARE.com—although in this book he makes even clearer that the 1965 Immigration Act should be, in effect, reversed and preference given to immigrants “from countries that have historically provided most of our immigrants, who share our values, speak English…”
Buchanan also comments aphoristically: "Either the Republican Party puts an end to mass immigration, or mass immigration will put an end to the Republican Party." It will be interesting to see if the publicity surrounding this book can cause this thought to enter the current GOP presidential debates.
That being said, it is important to note that Buchanan is not recycling old material. Rather, he is applying timeless principles and realities to current events. And a great deal has happened in the last several years. Buchanan’s analyses in the light of his general thesis of such recent phenomena such as Obama’s supposedly “post racial” nature, the Tea Party and race, the Minority Mortgage Meltdown, and Arizona’s immigration laws are invaluable.
And in addition to applying his analysis to new facts, Buchanan looks at the issues through some new lenses. Thus his chapter on “The Triumph of Tribalism” where he takes a global and historical look at the rise of ethnonationalism over the last century.
Some of Buchanan’s points may indeed seem familiar to VDARE.com readers. But they still need repeating. Not one public figure of Buchanan’s stature or reach comes close to laying out the crisis that our country and civilization face as accurately or as astutely.
For this reason, Suicide of a Superpower is a must read for the longtime Buchanan fan—and will make a great gift to help open the eyes of a less informed patriot.
Alexander Hart (email him) is a conservative journalist.