Ricardo Duchesne is a professor at The University of New Brunswick. His landmark book from 2011, The Uniqueness of Western Civilization, was a critique of the ongoing devaluing of Western culture in the face of multiculturalism since the 1960s. This year Arktos plans to publish a new book by him, Faustian Man in an Age of Multiculturalism. He was also the founder and is one of the chief contributors to the Council of European Canadians Website. He kindly answered the following questions by e-mail in a recent exchange.
Please tell us briefly about who you are.I have been a professor of sociology at The University of New Brunswick since 1995, with a Doctorate obtained in the interdisciplinary program of Social and Political Thought at York University, Toronto. Even though I teach sociology, the courses I took throughout my student life were in history, philosophy, and political economy. One reason I felt intellectually imprisoned in the Leftist world I inhabited right through my first years of teaching was my admiration for the great thinkers, great art, architecture, and overall history of Europeans. A lot of what I learned about European culture, history of science, mathematics, state-building, and ancient Greece came through my self-education, when I dropped out of the BA program for about 3 years, and during summer readings.
One of the biggest gaps in the education of academics today, apart from their specializations, is their lack of reading in European high culture, their meager awareness of Europe’s intellectual history, combined with a supercilious arrogance about their own “critical thinking” merely on the strength of a few excerpted readings from Marx, some badly written texts by postmodernists, third-rate pamphlets from feminists, and progressive movies.
Some find it odd that someone with my strong accent, born in Puerto Rico, an immigrant to Canada, admires the West, opposes mass immigration, and believes in the racial integrity of European peoples. I just came back from a 33-day stay in Puerto Rico, after an absence of 28 years, and there is no question that this island is a multiracial culture.
The first census by the United States in 1899 reported a population of 953,243 inhabitants, 61.8 percent of them classified as White, 31.9 percent as mixed, and 6.3 percent as Black. Through the next decades, many Spaniards migrated to the island. Wikipedia offers a table on the racial demographics of Puerto Rico over time, and in this table it is reported that 75.8 percent of the population, as of 2010, was White. According to a study published in 2007 in the American Journal of Human Genetics, Puerto Ricans, on average, have genetic contributions from Europeans, West Africans, and Native Americans of approximately 66 percent, 18 percent, and 16 percent, respectively.
I am sure that a proportion of those classified as “Whites” have non-White blood; still, the point is that Whites, when all things are considered, including DNA studies, constitute a sizable proportion of the Puerto Rican population. Therefore, it should not be too surprising if I identify racially with Europeans, considering, moreover, that my mother is of British heritage, born in England, and that I came to Canada when I was 14 years old, and that my education was overwhelmingly Eurocentric.
I have nothing against Black, native, or racially mixed Puerto Ricans. I can relate to them at some level, from having lived there and knowing things about their culture. But my true identification is with European peoples in a cosmopolitan sense, not with the British, or the French, or the Spaniards in particular, but generally with Europeans, with a residential and personal closeness to Eurocanadians. I admire, from afar, the “fused culture” of Puerto Rico; the way various racial groups in this island managed to get along together, culturally, with a strong sense of peoplehood, despite their separation along racial/economic lines. The racial division that exists in Puerto Rico is unlike the one in the United States, where there is a civil rights agenda endlessly promoting integration, enforcing equality of results in schools and universities, promoting a politics of White guilt, and a constant harassment of Whites about their “racist” past and their continued responsibility for Black failure. This type of racial politics is lacking in Puerto Rico; this island has been a “fused culture” from the beginning, with every group having a strong sense of being “Puertorriqueño,” and Whites keeping to themselves in their choice of partners and residence without being harassed by the government, while interacting socially in a friendly way with non-Whites and race-mixed Puerto Ricans, sometimes intermarrying.
It should also be noted that the fusion culture that we see in Puerto Rico evolved historically over centuries; it was not a program imposed from above against an existing historical reality, as is the case in Canada and across Europe, where mass immigration and diversity have been instituted behind the backs of of voters, without open public discussion, in the last few decades, against a historical reality that was overwhelmingly European from the beginning. Canada was 96 percent European in 1971, when multiculturalism was initiated. The country was created by Eurocanadians.
What is the current feeling regarding the European refugee crisis in Canada and the election of your new Prime Minister?The election of Justin Trudeau in late October was around the time the Syrian refugee crisis was regularly in the news, and although more than half of Canadians oppose Trudeau’s current plan to bring in 25,000 Syrian refugees, and during the election campaign a majority were sympathetic with the Conservatives’ steps to ban the wearing of the niqab while taking the citizenship oath, the mainstream elites in Canada interpreted Trudeau’s victory as a resounding endorsement by Canadians of multiculturalism and mass immigration. We cannot dismiss this interpretation, for, after all, Trudeau’s entire persona, political statements, and comportment have been about defining Canada by its Leftist values, diversity, and openness to immigrants. When he affirmed Canada’s commitment to accept 25,000 asylum seekers after the Paris attack in mid-November, he did so by repeating his basic philosophy that Canada is a country that defines itself by its multiculturalism. On November 25, 2015, he said to a crowd at Canada House in central London: “We have a responsibility — to ourselves and to the world — to show that inclusive diversity is a strength and a force that can vanquish intolerance, radicalism and hate.” He made this speech with a big sign affixed in front of the audience: “Diversity is Canada’s strength.” We would be amiss if we were to believe that Trudeau is making these statements in the face of opposition by a majority of Canadians; he is voicing the views of a Canada that has been totally redefined as multicultural since 1971.
There are, of course, strong apprehensions about radical Islam, and growing skepticism about the workability of multiculturalism, and questions about what exactly are the common values of Canada if the country is inclusive of diverse cultural values. But this opposition has not been able to articulate consistent arguments against what Trudeau personifies. The most they can do is emphasize Canada’s liberal democratic values and the need to get all Canadians, irrespective of their cultural background, to agree on these common values; but they have no way of excluding multiculturalism and immigration from these common values, and so they are trapped inside a matrix of diversity, and therein lies one of the ideological powers of multiculturalism. Being a liberal democrat is now seen as synonymous with being open to immigrant diversity. If you don’t agree with mass immigration, you are a fascist violator of the basic principles of liberalism. Even Republicans in the United States opposed Trump’s call for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration on the grounds that it was un-American and illiberal.
Yet there was a time when Canadians and Americans were liberal democrats, strong believers in freedom of expression, separation of church and state, equal rights for all citizens, constitutional government, as well as strong believers in “White only” immigration policies. Liberalism has been radically altered in meaning; I would argue that it has been slowly colonized by cultural Marxists who are the illiberal ones, prohibiting any questioning of immigration and diversity, ostracizing those who challenge its premises, excluding them from what they call “civilized discourse.” There is nothing in the entire history of liberal thought prior to the 1960s which says we must embrace mass immigration and racial mixing. The ideological takeover by Cultural Marxists has been pervasive; the entire cultural infrastructure of Canada (and the West at large) is geared towards diversity, billions are dedicated to its promotion, and the curriculum from kinder all the way to the Doctorate is controlled by diversity ideologues. This is what I mean in saying that Justin is voicing a generalized state of affairs with popular support. He is a very simple guy, infantile in his views, and that is his attraction among the young: his feel-good, selfie-like, easy-to-follow notion that “inclusive diversity can vanquish intolerance, radicalism, and hate.” The evidence is pointing in the opposite direction with ever more terrorist acts, systematic raping of White girls across Europe by Muslim and Africans, welfare dependency, the eradication of European cultural symbols, anomie, and rootlessness, more policing in our schools and airports. But they think, or feel, that the problem lies with those who have not accepted this diversity, and so their solution is to double down on diversity, as Hollande did in France after the attack, calling for 30,000 Muslim refugees to be accepted as the “humanitarian duty” of the French nation, never mind that this will entail more intensive regulations, security checks, and prohibitions against politically incorrect ideas.
Do you think Canada is at risk of what Renaud Camus calls “the great replacement”? Do you think the Chinese in Vancouver are an example of this?The statistics speak for themselves: in 2011, Statcan reported that Canada had a foreign-born population of about 6,775,800 people, representing 20.6 percent of the total population, “the highest proportion among the G8 countries.” The overwhelming number of this foreign-born population is not European in ethnicity, and this number does not take into account second generation non-Europeans. Therefore, to be more precise, let me bring up the following findings, starting with a projection: it is estimated that, by 2031, a mere 15 years from now, between 25 and 28 percent of the population could be foreign-born. About 55 percent of this population is expected to be from Asia. Furthermore, Statcan informs us that “regardless of future immigration, diversity will grow among the Canadian-born population.” “By 2031, 47% of second-generation Canadians could belong to a visible minority group,” nearly double the proportion of 24 percent in 2006. Second generation refers to those who are Canadian-born and have at least one parent born outside Canada.
Speaking of Vancouver, and other cities, by 2031, visible minority groups would comprise 63 percent of the population of Toronto, 59 percent in Vancouver, and 31 percent in Montréal. By 2031, nearly one-half (46 percent) of Canadians aged 15 and over would be foreign-born, or would have at least one foreign-born parent.
Now, keep in mind, moreover, that Statistics Canada defines “visible minorities” as “persons, other than aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-White in colour.” If we take aboriginals into account, the projections are that “between 21 percent and 24 percent of the population of Saskatchewan and between 18 percent and 21 percent of the population of Manitoba” will have an Aboriginal identity in 2031.
For the establishment, this is not a replacement, since they think that race is a construct, though Statistics Canada, I might add, recognizes the existence of races in these projections, regularly using the terms “Caucasians” and “non-Caucasian in race” or “non-White in colour.” They have no qualms using these racial terms because Statcan endorses this replacement as consistent with the mandate of creating a multicultural Canada. The whole objective of these statistics is to inform Canadians about how enriched they are becoming as Whites are reduced to a minority. If you criticize this replacement, using the same racial terms, they will accuse you of being a racist and pound on you the notion that race is a construct, and that Whites are not being replaced since they don’t really exist. If you celebrate the fact that Richmond, for example, is now majority Chinese, very homogeneously so, you will be able to use racial terms, announce happily how great it is to see Chinese signs everywhere, and ask for all sorts of “multicultural” grants to further this diversity. But try asking for a grant to promote “Eurocanadians,” and they will accuse you of racism and demand that you desist from using racial terms. This is the Orwellian world our inclusive Canada requires.
You have been vilified by the Canadian media for stating that Vancouver is changing demographically and culturally. What do you think is the right approach to preserve traditional Canadian culture?The first and most important thing is to affirm one’s European identity. This is hard psychologically when one has grown up in a society in which multiculturalism has been equated with the celebration or acceptance of the identities of others. We have been socialized into being open-minded towards other cultures, taught to sympathize with members of other cultures who show pride in their traditions, but in the same vein we have been socialized to feel that we, and only we, must view our Canadian culture – the culture Eurocanadians created – as being, by definition, inclusive of other cultures and therefore a place in which we embrace other cultures. Yes, immigrants are expected to embrace a multicultural Canada, but multiculturalism for them means celebrating their identity as members of non-European cultures. It does not mean celebrating the culture of others. While it is true that the multicultural establishment expects immigrants to gradually attach themselves to a Canada that is inclusive of other cultures, and thus expects them to become like Eurocanadians, the reality is that new waves of hundreds of thousands of immigrants arrive yearly, which means that new groups with strong ethnic attachments are continuously arriving all the time, with a multicultural Canada constantly sympathizing with their traditions. Canada is now full of ethnic enclaves existing outside the Leftist world of cultural relativism and openness to others, but using these ideas and policies to further their own ethnic interests.
Add to this the reality that, while millions of non-Europeans are being welcomed in their distinctiveness, with millions of dollars and countless programs dedicated to this distinctiveness, Eurocanadians operate within an institutional setting in which they are made to feel ashamed of their history, of the way they “stole” Canada from the true “First Nations,” and of the way they excluded non-European immigrants. Our universities are totally controlled by hardcore Cultural Marxists who hate European history, and who play up the identities and cultural traits of non-Europeans. This state of mind has made its way into all primary and secondary schools. The most effective first step one can take to reverse this deadly situation is to affirm one’s European identity in the same way that other ethnic groups are encouraged to do so. Not the folksy identity of the Polish, Irish, and Greeks in Canada, but the identity of Eurocanadians in a politically oriented way, as other ethnic groups are doing, with multiple organizations dedicated to the advancement of their political interests and culture. We must reject the double standard which lies at the heart of multiculturalism and learn how to utilize multiculturalism for our own ends. We must realize that, in principle, as stated in Canadian policy papers and government documents, multiculturalism affords us the right to preserve and enhance our identity and cultural heritage.
Once you take this step, then you will be able to break through the stranglehold of the system, for you will be able to affirm the ethnic interests of your people, of your collectivity, and speak for European ancestry, customs, and history by appealing to the idea that we Eurocanadians are the only cultural group in Canada disallowed from having pride in ourselves. Believe me, this seemingly simple act threatens the entire matrix, which is based on the exclusion of European ethnic identity. This is why I was vilified by the media and the academic establishment. They feel really threatened, their lies and deceptions exposed to the world, and they can’t stand it; nothing frightens them more than a Eurocanadian proud of his ethnicity.
You are one of the main people behind the Council for European Canadians. What is the long-term goal of the Council, and do you see European rights groups becoming more prominent in North America given the demographic decline in the population of European descent?Groups openly advocating for the ethnic interests of Europeans, or Whites, are becoming, and will continue to become, more prominent as the demographic decline intensifies. This is happening in Europe, and now in America with the rise of the Trump candidacy, an unprecedented phenomenon that has given a major boost to our side, for now we have someone in North America, with a huge platform in the mainstream media, putting out ideas to a wide audience against some of the key claims of the establishment about immigration and the supposed blessings of diversity, while getting ever more popular support. The Council of European Canadians, however, is not a political group. Our goal is metapolitical as that term was articulated by the European New Right. We are engaged in forms of cultural activity with the aim of undermining the intellectual legitimacy of the establishment, not by engaging in standard political activities, but by conducting active forms of thinking through writing, networking on the Internet, holding small-scale meetings as well as conferences, alternative Web radio programs, Web-journalism, and even distribution of flyers.
There is an inclination to underestimate these metapolitical activities because they are not immediately about political change, party politics, electing candidates, and having our views heard on the national stage. It is not that party politics is ineffective; it has been indispensably important in Europe, and now with Trump as a candidate in the United States. But the aim of metapolitics is to challenge the order at a higher intellectual level, not in a way disconnected from the people, but in a way that goes beyond political activism. It must question the basic assumptions of the establishment, offering new interpretations of events and historical developments and appealing to the many-sided ways in which humans live their lives in a broad cultural sense. We call the promoters of diversity “Cultural Marxists” for a reason. They have had immense success in bringing about a complete alteration in the way we think about men and women, about national identities, classes, races, marriage, and so on. We are Gramscians against Cultural Marxism. Unlike them, however, the Council also draws ideas from the rich intellectual heritage of the West. Leftists have been able to manipulate much of this heritage in such a way that it is seen as a progression of ideas leading to their “cosmopolitan” and “humanitarian” outlook. One of the goals of the CEC is to show that this Western tradition actually stands in opposition to Cultural Marxism, which is a recent, externally imposed way of thinking, with some roots in the “radical Enlightenment,” but mostly outside the Western tradition and incompatible with Classical philosophy, with Roman values, and even Christianity. It is also in opposition to what modern science has come to say about the genetic basis of racial differences, about human nature, the importance of having a rooted identity in nation and tradition, the difference between men and women; and what Nietzsche, Heidegger, Hegel, Kant, and liberal thinkers have said; and what the history of the West has been about. This shows that cosmopolitan peace, the concept of a federation of nations, and many more supposedly “progressive” ideals are really ideals put forward by European peoples – very ethnocentric, and therefore ideals for Europeans, and not ideals intended to promote race-mixing or to create a generically docile species easy to manipulate by corporations and bureaucrats of the nanny state.
I should add that in Canada, the cultural conditions for a true alternative party that challenges the main prop of our culture – “diversity is Canada’s strength” – are not present yet. Canadians, more than Europeans elsewhere, have been thoroughly indoctrinated, and only a few have the will, daring, and wherewithal to think outside the prescribed diversity program. Every member of every political party, and every media outlet, has endorsed the notion that Canada is “by definition” a country uniquely founded for diversity, even though this is a historical lie, and even though this ideology is no longer unique to Canada, but is now similarly mandated across the West. Still, this idea first emerged in Canada in an official way at the federal level since the older Trudeau announced official multiculturalism in 1971. This is true in Canada more so than in any other Western country, though England, Sweden, France, Ireland, and New Zealand are fast caching up. You are made to feel from the moment you are born that the nation is not really a nation, but a place for the world’s peoples, a prototype, a model for the future, the citadel for a “race-less” humanity living in harmony according to social democratic ideas. Justin Trudeau embodies this secular religion better than any politician right now in the West in his repeated statements that “through tolerance and diversity we can eliminate hate and conflict in the world.”
Our goal is to show there is no factual basis for this secular religion, if we can use the term “religion,” since Christians, after all, partook in numerous rationally-guided debates about their central beliefs, as has been documented by many books (for example, see Edward Grant’s book, God and Reason in the Middle Ages), whereas the claim that diversity enriches us all is never the subject of discussion in our society, but is asserted as a belief that is beyond questioning, and anyone who questions it is seen as offensive. At CEC, we have published multiple essays challenging the basic premises of this unquestioned dogma: why are Eurocanadians the only ones disallowed from having an ethnic identity? What are the economic and ideological forces behind mass immigration? What are the effects of the Chinese colonization of Vancouver on the heritage and identity of the founding residents? What are the origins of Cultural Marxism? Was Canada really created by immigrants? Does liberalism really entail the diversification of Canada?