Chapter 9: An Anglo-Saxon Muddle

Sneak Peeks – Classless

…This very clear statement of universalism co-existed with another of Emerson’s statements from around the same time: “It cannot be maintained by any candid person that the African race have ever occupied or do promise ever to occupy any very high place in the human family.… The Irish cannot; the American Indian cannot; the Chinese cannot. Before the energy of the Caucasian race all other races have quailed and done obeisance.”

This double consciousness led to muddled thinking about race, in which the Irish were not Caucasian but would, like the American Indian, Chinese and other races, no matter what their cultural backgrounds, become like the Anglo-Saxon. This confusing, but nevertheless, optimistic vision for the future led to elite Protestants forming alliances with immigrant groups.

He also concurs with Kaufmann’s conclusion that: “The American myth-symbol complex was purged by the nation’s cultural leaders of its white, Anglo-Saxon, and Protestant components. With this intellectual backing removed, American dominant ethnicity had only its less educated, traditionalist population to fall back on, a constituency that would decline markedly in the decades ahead.”

This constituency with its enduring poor education remains a potent force in American politics as it does in the motherland, England. They continue to be a tool, a weapon, for the traditionalists who are determined to maintain the status quo. They will continue to be fodder for leaders past, present and future like President George W. Bush who is alleged to have said: “You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on.”…



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