The Rising Tide of Color
Against White World-Supremacy

by Lothrop Stoddard, A.M., Ph.D.



IN my first chapter I showed that the rising tide of color to-day finds itself confronted by dikes erected by the white race during the centuries of its expansion. The reader will also remember that white expansion has taken two forms: settlement and political control. These two phases differ profoundly in character. Areas of settlement like North America have become integral portions of the white world. On the other hand, regions of political control like India are merely white dependencies, highly valuable perhaps, yet in the last analysis held by title of the sword.

Between these clearly contrasted categories lies an intermediate class of territories typified by South Africa, where whites have settled in large numbers without displacing the native populations. Lastly, there exist certain white territories which may be called "enclaves." These enclaves have become thoroughly white by settlement, yet they are so distant from the main body of the white world and so contiguous to colored race-areas that white tenure does not possess that security which settlement and displacement of the aborigines normally confer. Australia typifies this anomalous class of cases.

The white defenses against the colored tide can be divided into what may be termed the "outer" and the "inner" dikes. The outer dikes (the regions of white political control) contain no settled white population, so that their abandonment, whatever the political or economic loss, would not directly affect white race-integrity. The question of their retention or abandonment should therefore (save in a few exceptional cases) be judged by political, economic, or strategic considerations. The inner dikes (the areas of white settlement), however, are a very different matter. Peopled as they are wholly or largely by whites, they have become parts of the race-heritage, which should be defended to the last extremity no matter if the costs involved are greater than their mere economic value would warrant. They are the true bulwarks of the race, the patrimony of future generations who have a right to demand of us that they shall be born white in a white man's land. Ill will it fare if ever our race should close its ears to this most elemental call of the blood. Then, indeed, would be manifest the writing on the wall.

That issue, however, is reserved for the next chapter. Let us here examine the matter of the outer dikes - the regions of white political control. There, where the white man is not settler but suzerain, his suzerainty should, in the last analysis, depend on the character of the inhabitants.

Right here, let us clear away the doctrinaire pedantry that commonly obscures discussion about the retention or abandonment of white political control over racially non-white regions. Argument usually tends to crystallize around two antitheses. On the one side are the doctrinaire liberals, who maintain the "imprescriptible right" of every human group to attain independence, and of every sovereign state to retain independence. On the opposite side are the doctrinaire imperialists, who maintain the equally imprescriptible right of their particular nation to "vital expansion" regardless of injuries thereby inflicted upon other nations.

Now I submit that both these assumptions are unwarranted. There is no "imprescriptible right" to either independence or empire. It depends on the realities of each particular case. The extreme cases at either end of the scale can be adjudged offhand by ordinary common sense. No one except a doctrinaire liberal would be likely to assert that the Andaman Islanders had an imprescriptible right to independence, or that Haiti, which owed its independence only to a turn in European politics, (Despite the legends which have grown up about the gaining of Haitian independence, such is the fact. Despite the handicap of yellow fever, the French were on the point of stamping out the negro insurgents when the renewal of war with England, in 1803, cut off the French sea-communications. The story of Haiti offers many interesting and instructive points to the student of race-questions. It was the first real shock between the ideals of white supremacy and race-equality; a prologue to the mighty drama of our own day. It also shows what real race-war means. To the historical student I cite my "French Revolution in San Domingo" (Boston, 1914), wherein the entire revolutionary cycle between 1780 and 1804 is described, based largely upon hitherto unexploited archival material.) should forever remain a sovereign-international nuisance. On the other hand, the whole world (with the exception of Teutonic imperialists) denounced Germany's attempt to swallow highly civilized Belgium as a crime against humanity.

In other words: realities, not abstract theories, decide. That does not please the doctrinaires, who insist on setting up Procrustean beds of theory on which realities should be racked or crammed. It does, however, conform to the dictates of nature, which decree that what is attuned shall live while the disharmonic and degenerate shall pass away. And nature usually has the last word.

Surveying the regions of white political control over non-white peoples in this realistic way, thereby avoiding the pitfalls of doctrinaire theory and blind prejudice, we may arrive at a series of conclusions which, though lacking the trim symmetry of the idealogue, will correspond to the facts in the various cases.

One thing is certain: the white man will have to recognize that the practically absolute world-dominion which he exercised during the nineteenth century can no longer be maintained. Largely because of that very dominion, colored races have been drawn out of their traditional isolation and have been quickened by white ideas, while the life-conserving nature of white rule has everywhere favored colored multiplication. These factors have combined to produce a widespread ferment which has been clearly visible for the past two decades, and which is destined to grow more acute in the near future.

This ferment would have developed even if the Great War had never occurred. However, the white world's weakening through Armageddon has immensely accelerated the process and has opened up the possibility of violent "short cuts" which would have mutually disastrous consequences. Especially has it evoked in bellicose and fanatical minds the vision of a "Pan-Colored" alliance for the universal overthrow of white hegemony at a single stroke - a dream which would turn into a nightmare of race-war beside which the late struggle in Europe would seem the veriest child's play.

The effective centres of colored unrest are the brown and yellow worlds of Asia. Both those worlds are not merely in negative opposition to white hegemony, but are experiencing a real renaissance whose genuineness is best attested by the fact that it is a faithful replica of similar movements in past times. White men must get out of their heads the idea that Asiatics are necessarily "inferior." As a matter of fact, while Asiatics do not seem to possess that sustained constructive power with which the whites, particularly the Nordics, are endowed, the browns and yellows are yet gifted peoples who have profoundly influenced human progress in the past and who undoubtedly will contribute much to world-civilization. The Asiatics have by their own efforts built up admirable cultures rooted in remote antiquity and worthy of all respect. They are to-day once more displaying their innate capacity by not merely adopting, but adapting, white ideas and methods. That this profound Asiatic renaissance will eventually result in the substantial elimination of white political control from Anatolia to the Philippines is as natural as it is inevitable.

This does not mean a precipitate white "scuttle" from Asia. Far from it. It does mean, however, a candid facing of realities and a basing of policy on realities rather than on prepossessions or prejudices. Unless the white man does this, he will injure himself more than any one else. If Asia is to-day really renascent, Asia will ultimately reap the political fruits. Men worthy of independence will sooner or later get independence. This is as certain as is the converse truth that men unworthy of independence, though they cry for it never so loudly, will either remain subject or will quickly relapse into subjection should they by some lucky circumstance obtain what they could only misuse.

If, then, Asia deserves to be free, she will be free. The only question is, how she will attain her freedom. Shall it be an evolutionary process, in the main peaceful, based upon mutual respect, with mutual recognition of both increasing Asiatic fitness and white vested interests? Or shall it come through cataclysmic revolution? This is the dilemma which those imperialists should ponder who object to any relaxation of white political control over Asia because of the "value" of the subject regions. That white control over Asiatic lands has been, and still is, immensely profitable, cannot be denied. But what basis for this value is there except lack of effective opposition? If real, sustained opposition now develops, if subject Asia becomes chronically rebellious, if its peoples resolutely boycott white goods - as China and India have shown

Asiatics capable of doing, will not white control be transformed from an asset into a liability? Above all, let us remember that no race-values are involved. No white race-areas would have to be abandoned to nonwhite domination. White control over Asia is political, and can thus be judged by the criteria of material interest undisturbed by the categorical imperative of race-duty.

The need for sympathetic open-mindedness toward awakening Asia if cataclysmic disasters are to be averted becomes all the clearer when we realize that on important issues lying outside Asia the white world must resolutely oppose Asiatic desires. We whites should be the more generous in our attitude toward Asia because imperative reasons of self-protection require us to deny to Asiatics some of their best opportunities in the outer world.

In my opening chapters I discussed the rapid growth of Asiatic populations and the resultant steadily augmenting outward thrust of surplus Asiatics (principally yellow men, but also in lesser degree brown men) from overcrowded homelands toward the less-crowded regions of the earth. It is, in fact, Asiatics, and above all Mongolian Asiatics, who form the first waves of the rising tide of color. Unfortunately, the white world cannot permit this rising tide free scope. White men cannot, under peril of their very race-existence, allow wholesale Asiatic immigration into white race-areas. This prohibition, which will be discussed in the next chapter, is already a serious blow to Asiatic aspirations.

But the matter does not end there. The white world also cannot permit with safety to itself wholesale Asiatic penetration of non-Asiatic colored regions like black Africa and tropical Latin America. To permit Asiatic colonization and ultimate control of these vast territories with their incalculable resources would be to overturn in favor of Asia the political, the economic, and eventually the racial balance of power in the world. At present the white man controls these regions. And he must stand fast. No other course is possible. Neither black Africa nor mongrel-ruled tropical America can stand alone. If the white man goes, the Asiatic comes - browns to Africa, yellows to Latin America. And there is no reason under heaven why we whites should deliberately present Asia with the richest regions of the tropics, to our own impoverishment and probable undoing.

Our race-duty is therefore clear. We must resolutely oppose both Asiatic permeation of white race-areas and Asiatic inundation of those non-white, but equally non-Asiatic, regions inhabited by the really inferior races. But we should also recognize that by taking this attitude we debar Asiatics from golden opportunities and render impossible the realization of aspirations intrinsically just as normal and laudable as our own. And, having closed in their faces so many doors of hope, can we refuse to discuss with gifted and capable Asiatics the problem of turning over to them the keys of their own house without causing festering hatreds whose poison may spread far beyond Asia into other colored lands and possibly into white lands as well? Neither a Pan-Colored nor a Colored-Bolshevist alliance are impossibilities, far-fetched though these terms may sound.

The fact is, we whites are in no position to indulge in the luxury of Bourbonism. Weakened by Armageddon, hampered by Versailles, and harassed by Bolshevism, the white world can ill afford to flout legitimate Asiatic aspirations to independence. Our imperialists may argue that this means abandoning "outer dikes," but I contend that white positions in Asia are not protective dikes but strategic blockhouses, built upon the sands during the long Asiatic ebb-tide, and which the now rising Asiatic waves must ultimately engulf. Is it not the part of wisdom to quit these outposts before they collapse into the swirling waters? Our true "outer dikes" stand, not in Asia, but in Africa and Latin America. Let us not exhaust ourselves by stubborn resistance in Asia which in the end must prove futile. Let us conserve our strength, remembering that by the time Asia has been submerged the flood should have lost much of its pent-up power.

Particularly should this be true of the moral "imponderables." By taking a reasonable, conciliatory attitude toward Asiatic aspirations to independence we would thereby eliminate the moral factors in Asia's present hostility toward ourselves. Many Asiatics would still be our foes from resentment at balked expansion, but we should have separated the sheep from the goats.

And the sheep are the more numerous. There are of course irreconcilables like Japanese imperialists and Pan-Islamic fanatics who would like to upset the whole world. However, taken by and large, Asia is peopled neither by fire-eating jingoes nor howling dervishes. The average Asiatic is by nature less restless, less ambitious, and consequently less aggressive than ourselves. To-day Asiatics are everywhere aroused by a whole complex of stimuli like overcrowding, white domination, and white denial of nationalistic aspirations, to an access of hatred and fury. Those last-mentioned stimuli to anti-white hostility we can remove. The first-mentioned cause of hostility - overpopulation - we cannot remove. Only the Asiatic himself can do that by controlling his reckless procreation. Of course over-population is of itself a sufficiently serious provoker of trouble. There is no more certain breeder of strife than the expansive urge of a fast-breeding people. Nevertheless, this hostile stimulus applies primarily to yellow Asia. Brown Asia, once free or clearly on the road to freedom, would be either satisfied or engrossed in its intestine broils. At any rate, the twin spectres of a Pan-Asian or a Pan-Colored alliance would probably vanish like a mirage of the desert, and the white world would be far better able to deal with yellow pressure on its race frontiers - no light task, weakened and distracted as the white world finds itself to-day.

Unfortunately, no such wise foresight seems to have been vouchsafed our statesmen. Imperialistic secret treaties formed the basis for Versailles's treatment of Asiatic questions, and those treaties were drawn precisely as though Armageddon were a skirmish and Asia the sleeping giant of a century ago. Upon the brown world, in particular, white domination was riveted rather than relaxed.

This amazing disregard of present-day realities augurs ill for the future. Indeed, its evil first-fruits are already apparent. The brown world, convinced that its aspirations can be realized only by force, turns to the yellow world and listens to Bolshevik propaganda, while Pan-Islamism redoubles its efforts in Africa.

Thus is once more manifest the diplomatic bankruptcy of Versailles. The white man, like King Canute, seats himself upon the tidal sands and bids the waves be stayed. He will be lucky if he escapes merely with wet shoes.

Conitnue on to Chapter 11
Go back to the Table of Contents