Feature 02.14.2022 7 minutes

Replace the Ruling Class


America’s managerial elites are seeking demographic transformation by any means necessary.

If you google the words “Great Replacement,” your first hit will likely be a Wikipedia article which identifies the term as “a white nationalist conspiracy theory.” The article is part of two series, one on Islamophobia and one on discrimination. According to Wikipedia, the theory, “disseminated by French author Renaud Camus…states that, with the complicity or cooperation of ‘replacist’ elites, the ethnic French population—as well as white European populations at large—is being demographically and culturally replaced with non-European peoples.”

U.S. outlets repeat this account of Camus’s theory when they raise concerns that Great Replacement talk is being transposed into an American context. A CNN politics report claims that “far right White supremacist groups, conservative media personalities and some Republicans in Congress are trying to inflame nativist feelings among conservative Whites by warning that liberals want immigrants to ‘replace’ native-born Americans.” The Anti-Defamation League published a Great Replacement explainer which announced that “the racist conspiracy theory has well and truly arrived.” Other examples abound.

ADL highlighted three instances of what it considered “Great Replacement” rhetoric: a 2017 Unite the Right rally at the University of Virginia, in which several hundred demonstrators chanted that “Jews will not replace us”; a tweet by Iowa’s Representative Steve King to the effect that “we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies”; and a 2021 segment in which Tucker Carlson argued that the Democratic party is “trying to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters, from the third world.” After that last remark, the ADL called for Carlson to be fired from Fox News.

The outlets which publish this kind of analysis are extremely diverse in tone and character, so it is striking that they all present almost exactly the same account of things, sometimes in identical language. From Wikipedia to ADL to Teen Vogue, the story is the same: a dangerous white supremacist conspiracy theory has made its way from the ugly chat rooms of the far Right to the very center of conservative punditry and political leadership. The elision between fringe anti-Semites and popular media personalities serves to underscore the theme that all conservatives, however ostensibly “mainstream,” have succumbed to radical extremism.

It is an argument that proceeds mainly by epithet and association. You could read any number of “explainers” denouncing the Great Replacement as a “white nationalist conspiracy theory” without ever grasping Camus’s own thesis or even understanding what the various conservatives involved are saying. For instance, you would be hard-pressed to discover that Tucker Carlson, in the very segment which earned him ADL’s censure, derided “white replacement theory” and strenuously disavowed any concern with the racial composition of America’s population per se.

“Everyone wants to make a racial issue out of it, ‘Ooh, the white replacement theory,’” said Carlson. “No, no, no, this is a voting rights question. I have less political power because they are importing a brand-new electorate. Why should I sit back and take that? The power that I have as an American, guaranteed at birth, is one man, one vote. And they are diluting it.” Carlson, like Camus himself, makes no assertion that any race is inherently better than any other. He is saying something altogether different: that mass migration is a profound shock to a nation’s system.

What It’s Really About

The editors of The American Mind and the leaders of the Claremont Institute are unanimously committed to every citizen’s equality before the law. To the extent that anyone denies this principle—be he a so-called “anti-Racist” in the school of Ibram X. Kendi, or a fringe radical of the kind that chanted in Virginia—he is against us, not with us.

But whereas the leaders of Unite the Right were fined upwards of $26 million after violence erupted at their rally, Kendi and his allies receive enormous speaking fees and public honors—even when rioters inspired by their ideas destroy property and take life. There may be enemies of the American creed at the extremes of both Right and Left, but they are not equal in power, accountability, or prestige.

And so when powerful corporate media outlets unite to forbid discussion on a matter of concern to the American people, and to tar anyone who broaches such discussion by association with racists and anti-Semites, it is our duty to defy the fearmongering.

To that end, we at The American Mind have convened a range of authors to discuss what is really meant by the Great Replacement, and to ask what legitimate issues are at stake for the vast majority of Americans—who are not racist, and who simply do not want to see their way of life summarily jettisoned or transformed.

This January, Bill Melugin of Fox News witnessed “the federal gov[ernment] mass releasing single adult migrants, almost all men, at a parking garage in Brownsville.” President Biden’s administration has not only allowed staggering levels of illegal immigration, it has participated in the public shaming of border patrolmen who attempt to keep the crisis in check. Under these circumstances, it is natural to be more than a little alarmed.

When proportionally vast numbers of people from foreign societies enter countries which are not their own—as North Africans and Middle Easterners did in Europe after the Syrian Civil War of 2017, or as Mexicans and Central and South Americans are currently doing at the southern U.S. border—they are bound to tax the host country’s infrastructure and unsettle its pre-existing culture. And in fact this is exactly what was originally meant by the term “Great Replacement”: the displacement of one population, with its own folkways and legal customs, by another.

“What characterizes Camus…is that he is absolutely not afraid to say what he sees,” write researchers at the Bibliothèque de Renaud Camus. This was true of Camus in the 1980s, when he wrote openly about his own homosexuality though it was still risky to do so. It is that same instinct for dangerous honesty that led Camus to identify the Great Replacement in the first place: “Camus says what could not be said without instantly making everyone mad and hateful: the population change of Europe, which is being accomplished with violence.”

In America, as Pedro Gonzalez points out, those in positions of cultural power are not simply unconcerned about the prospect that American mores and values might be radically altered: they are openly working to bring the change about. The nature of the managerial elite’s power renders dependence on family connections, traditional religion, morals, manners, and all forms of particularism not only obsolete but into obstacles to its own interests,” Gonzalez writes.

Who is White?

This anti-American ruling class is not really interested in racial diversity or tolerance, and their aggression is directed primarily, but not only, at Europeans. That is because the Great Replacement isn’t fundamentally about race: it’s about overturning American equality and meritocracy in favor of a radically new set of values. The managerial elite’s real hostility is toward anyone, of any color, who opposes their efforts to upend the traditional American regime. This is shown by their relentless efforts to categorize anyone who votes against them or assimilates effectively as “white.”

“Latino is a contrived ethnic category that artificially lumps white Cubans with Black Puerto Ricans and Indigenous Guatemalans and helps explains why Latinos support Trump at the second highest rate,” wrote Nikole Hannah-Jones of the New York Times after Latinos showed signs of breaking to the right in 2020. In Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, the Supreme Court will consider evidence that Harvard discriminates against Asian applicants, downplaying their academic merits in order to achieve a more appealing racial makeup in the student body. In the federal courts, Virginia’s Thomas Jefferson High School is facing this exact same charge. Asians and Latinos alike become “white” when the ruling class finds it convenient.

American Jews are foremost among those targeted for this kind of demographic redefinition. In this regard, it is particularly galling that those who celebrate the Great Replacement also present themselves as defenders of the Jewish people against conservative anti-Semites. As David Reaboi and Seth Barron both shows, this is a smokescreen designed to deflect attention away from the redefinition of Jews as racially “white” and so fit objects of discrimination. “It’s important for Jews to become more aware of their white privilege,” says filmmaker Lacey Schwartz. “The Holocaust isn’t about race. No. It’s not about race,” said Whoopi Goldberg on The View, apparently convinced that only black Americans may legitimately complain of ethnic persecution. The Shoah, in Goldberg’s view, is an example of hostilities between “two white groups of people.”

Speaking Plainly

Last August, Census data showed a decline in America’s white population for the first time since 1790, when the Census itself began. Filmmaker Michael Moore called this the “best day ever in U.S. history.” Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post called it “fabulous news.” Those who gleefully celebrate rising deaths of despair and plummeting fertility among any group of Americans are no friends to this country or its way of life.

In “Import Americans,” David P. Goldman argues that American policymakers can do something to countermand this kind of thinking by seeking out immigrants who endorse American society as it is, favoring “the immigration of working-age adults who contribute more to the social insurance system than they take from it.” Similarly, Jeremy Carl argues that “America should attempt…what Eric Kaufman has referred to as a ‘whiteshift,’ wherein many Americans with multiethnic backgrounds will come to adopt the mores and traditions of, and to identify with, America’s founders and history.”

It follows that Americans must also reject, without equivocation, those leaders and tastemakers who rejoice at the erosion of American traditions and pursue demographic transformation by any means necessary. America is not inherently “white,” but neither can its culture survive the destruction and dispossession of its majority demographic by elites who openly celebrate the decline of the European population—and lash out angrily at those who notice their celebration.

Americans should be bold in exposing this elite minority’s deceitful efforts to uproot and demoralize those who defy them. That means speaking clearly about the aims which the ruling class itself declares, and refusing to be intimidated by smear campaigns. The Great Replacement is not a conspiracy theory, and it is not racist to talk about it. We are not afraid to do so. Nor should Americans be.

The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.

The American Mind is a publication of the Claremont Institute, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to restoring the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life. Interested in supporting our work? Gifts to the Claremont Institute are tax-deductible.

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