I need to bleach my brains out from the sheer stupidity that I just read. I can only blame myself for having the curiosity to read this dumpster fire. The only reason I’m calling this “General Impressions” and not a full review is because I couldn’t finish it in good conscience. The bedrock behind why I decided this book was even worth reading was because I am currently working on a fantasy novel’s worldbuilding and I wanted a clear and internal “logic” from the racial supremacist side of things. Yet, predictably, this book is filled with long-winded insults towards the British public, “ultra-liberal” women who are “emotional” and not using logic according to Ludovici, the “lying” news media of his time (approximately 1958 – 1959), and what he claims is conspiracies by powerful minority groups. It was a series of long-winded rash self-justifications, deliberate and overt confirmation bias using pro-eugenics sources, and cherrypicked data from older times than the date that he published this work since he cites evidence from the 1890s and earlier to defend his arguments. He doesn’t even really give a thesis so much as a long-winded and painfully stupid tirade in defense of incest. Some of you may rightfully ask me: “Why the hell did you decide to read this?!” and quite honestly it was because I wanted to see what sorts of internal “logic” was behind the views of race supremacists in order to better incorporate such views in a fantasy story. I suppose I took partial inspiration from Leonardo DiCaprio incorporating the racist views of the time before the Civil War into the character of the Plantation owner in Django Unchained to give a more emotional and disturbing emphasis on the character he was playing. I think I may have also partly been a bit sympathetic to the prospect of it being wrong from a Free Speech standpoint for stupid ideas to be completely scrubbed off the internet as I noticed Ludovici was available on Kindle, but no longer so. A book from 2002 had a title that tries to project Ludovici as a lost philosopher and I suppose that I was worried some good ideas being lost to the dustbin of history because the history of Nietzsche’s philosophy being so mangled and looking at what was nearly completely lost of the Charvakas from 600 BCE in India made me think that this problem could be deeper than I thought. I’ve found that people always had a multiplicity to them; whereas I can agree with some views of Christopher Hitchens or Friedrich Nietzsche, I will obviously acknowledge where I think they were wrong such as Nietzsche’s blatant sexism and some of Hitchens’s views on the history of India. The Charvaka philosophy and Nietzsche being resuscitated seemed like pure chance or luck in many instances, but . . . now I wonder to what extent that is true. While it is possible that worthwhile ideas have long been abandoned or forgotten, I just can’t be sure anymore. This “multiplicity” within people is something I’ve come to appreciate from the more well-known intellectuals, but people left in the dustbin like Ludovici seem to be categorically wrong about every single one of their beliefs. So perhaps, that is why they were left in the dustbin to begin with? Reading his other views, it’s clear that there isn’t a platform that he took that wasn’t left in the dustbin of history as time moved onward. He had nothing noteworthy to say and didn’t hold any prescient insights still relevant to anything in modern times.
To get into the particulars of just what the contents were and why I’ve decided to comment on it . . . I’d first like to disclose that I finished about 60% of it judging from the percentage listed on the pdf file that I put in my kindle. I’m astonished that he had the confidence to write this in 1958 – 1959, because he clearly didn’t understand even basic information about natural selection or the facts regarding inbreeding before going on deranged tangents calling non-White and White racial progeny “mongrels” and arguing in favor of racial discrimination. When Ludovici isn’t going on a deranged tangent about UNESCO purportedly deceiving the British public about race having no biological fact associated with it, Ludovici displays a complete lack of knowledge on basic facts regarding what he calls “breeding” when he argues in favor of inbreeding. The most astonishing in sheer stupidity is his claim that the European aristocracy did “mongrel breeding” which he claims led to deformities while English and other European “stock” were “thoroughbreds” and didn’t have any physical deformities due to centuries of inbreeding. He goes so far as to say the “disparate parts” of “mongrel breeds” and the search for “blue blood” is why European royalty have had such deformities. And, despite the complete self-contradiction which he seems entirely unaware of, he claims if there are physical deformities with inbreeding then it is because the inbreeding reveals a “quality” of “mongrel” characteristics that formed a union from “disparate parts” and not because of inbreeding. He seems to think inbreeding “reveals” the “true character” of one’s genes and that keeping it pure thus means that deformities show-up in any incestuous relations that have any aspect of “the mongrel breed” in them.
Are you confused? Good. It means you’re looking at this rationally. Ludovici’s views on this consist of such a desperate degree of rash self-justifications, inferences without evidence, arrogant pomp, and a persistent hatred and accusatory tone towards anything that disagrees with him. Minorities who don’t want to be discriminated against for their skin tone? He asserts they’re part of some powerful minority trying to bring the White race down for the crime of wanting equality. White women having sympathy and being open to intermarrying with black men? He accuses them all of being “Ultra-Liberals” whose “emotions” are overtaking logical sense. Even White “Liberal” women who just want to end racial discrimination are argued to be too emotional and not logical according to Ludovici. He expresses disdain for his fellow British White men for abandoning and disparaging the concept of “human thoroughbred” because it was their rejection of the sanctification of incestuous couplings which Ludovici holds in high esteem. Ludovici claims it was abandoned because British men became ignoramuses and brainwashed by the “Ultra-Liberal” media and the sentimentality of women. If anything, his disparagement of British society and British journalism for supporting the end of discrimination and complete acceptance of racial intermarriage just made me sympathize with the people of Great Britain and to be honest that was the most surprising aspect of this since I’m very critical of British society. All of Ludovici’s diatribes about the credulousness of British society for wanting to get rid of racial discrimination and be accepting of miscegenation only make them look remarkably enlightened as a petty and pathetic man howls to the South African Observer about how British society will fall to madness for “race mixing” because different body parts of various ethnic backgrounds will cause genetic deformities in Ludovici’s worldview. It would be laughable, if it weren’t so pathetic. I had hoped to at least be able to laugh at the stupidity of his views, but they were so uniformly idiotic that I wish I could just bleach my brain from what I just read. This endeavor was not worth it.
For those who may not know why exactly Ludovici’s views are ridiculous. European royalty is notoriously known for inbreeding as the cause of deformities, even proven by modern medical science which took interest in what led to some of the most bizarre deformities such as the Habsburg’s jaw. So, in a very real sense, Ludovici is factually wrong and blaming everyone else in the world for harboring malicious intentions instead of actually listening to opposing arguments. It gets even worse; his understanding of natural selection . . . is the complete opposite of what natural selection actually is. In brief terms, natural selection involves new mutations in genetics causing further variation and overtaking the prior population due to adaptability and usefulness for the population, but Ludovici describes it as the complete opposite by claiming it is about inbreeding to keep the uniformity of a population so that variation doesn’t exist in order to keep it strong. He doesn’t seem to even have a basic understanding that variation exists in all populations and he seems to recontextualize it as part of mongrel inbreeding which shows his woeful misunderstanding of even basic components of the concept of natural selection. He didn’t even understand the basic terminology and his lack of understanding basic facts – while claiming repeatedly to show “facts” that are being denied – makes me question even his other non-racist and non-antisemitic material such as his translations of Nietzsche’s work. I expected racist bigotry due to his time period . . . what I instead found was a thoroughgoing crackpot. A crackpot who goes out of his way to deny counter-evidence, blame everyone else, and behave so thoroughly hateful that I can’t even find any amusement to mock him and I’m instead left speechless in disgust. Ludovici is actually dumb enough to repeatedly argue that physical features are reflections of someone’s intelligence level and that such a thing is a “fact” which he cites the same sources, such as Eugenic sources, to support his argument. It isn’t just a small tidbit, it’s part in parcel of the overall picture that he tries to portray as “scientific” with his racist views. His basis for physical features being connected to intellect for humans is the plumage of some birds when crossbred. Ludovici is so stupid that I feel the need to re-check translations of Nietzsche’s work because I fear that any racism that I associated to Nietzsche due to being a “man of his time” may have actually been Ludovici and may actually have nothing to do with Nietzsche himself. I had thought perhaps it was due to Philology during Nietzsche’s time having the popular and bizzarro belief that “races” could only behave in accordance to what their holy books described. However, since I did read some of Ludovici’s translations because I had wrongfully thought of him as socially conservative for his time, but impartial . . . I’m forced to question that assumption. It’s possible that any racism I had attributed to Nietzsche may quite honestly just be Ludovici trying to “racialize” Nietzsche for his own self-interest.
This reminds me of one of the reasons I’ve so thoroughly hated about Western culture. Any time anything positive occurs from other cultures or from critics of Western culture like Nietzsche, there’s attempts to impose the most thoroughly sophistic brand of racialization despite the complete lack of evidence for their racist assumptions. Whether it be Western Indology trying to racialize Hinduism, Razib Khan’s commentary on the sampling of the Harrapan civilization (which I’m not sure he even read since it didn’t follow any logical coherence with what the results of the findings were as listed in the research findings and abstract), or what was done to Nietzsche’s work by the West. It seems the Western world claims to be above racism within its own confines, but furiously demands their racist lens be conformed to by the outside world, even on matters of ancient history, foreign cultures, or their own social critics who try to use an outside lens to more thoroughly criticize the West. It’s some of the most pathetic displays and all that’s accomplished with such sophistry is misleading the public with false claims and then having their credibility shot once more evidence over the years disproves their racist lens of the world. But it is so debilitating trying to fact-check and discredit every single piece of sheer stupidity and especially being called a bigot or – ironically enough – a racist for pointing out their own racist views don’t hold weight. It is just so exhausting and endless that I sometimes don’t have the energy to continue, because all it seems to lead to is a rabbit-hole of gossip, melodrama, and stupidity that I don’t care to take part in. Yet, if I don’t at least state something, then their ignorant notions go on unchallenged. Still, forever onward this obsession with race goes the West and it seems this ceaseless enterprise will go on long after I’m gone.
Parallels to Carl Benjamin, Sam Harris, and “Fake News” Phenomena
Although some contexts may be different, I couldn’t help but find eerie parallels to modern times in some of his rash self-justifications. Please keep in mind, Ludovici is literally defending racism and encouraging incest as I mention the following: Ludovici writes diatribes on the news media brainwashing the British public, he expresses hatred for the so-called the credulity of the British public, he has disdain at the prospect of ethnic minorities being treated equally in British society, he argues that “Ultra-Liberals” – particularly Feminist women – are denying science and facts, and that British feminists are acting on emotionality when he argues in defense of inbreeding and racial discrimination in opposition to them. He was essentially expressing the viewpoint of exclaiming “fake news” prior to even the internet with his writings . . . and it gives me a better perspective on this front. The internet wasn’t the cause of fake news and it arguably may not even be the cause of its mass proliferation. Perhaps it was always there, but simply less known. Ludovici published this work in the South African Observer and it is possible it could have been because his views were considered untenable to be published elsewhere. I couldn’t help but see stark parallels to the arguments I had listened to of Carl Benjamin / Youtuber Sargon of Akkad and even some of Sam Harris’s “regressive Left” talking points when he brings up Race and IQ. The parallels were just something I couldn’t help but notice and I think that the fact the defense for their beliefs on race and stereotypes is so similar to a devout racist is incredibly unsettling. It’s a bizarre martyrdom complex; even Carl Benjamin’s hatred of the UN is unsettlingly similar to Ludovici’s spiels about UNESCO. Sam Harris’s views on Race and IQ is unsettlingly similar to that of Ludovici, who I can say with a high degree of confidence based on his own articles is a crackpot. These sorts of views have gone on longer than even Charles Murray as he seems to be the latest form for a barbarian culture obsessed with racializing everything. The only aspect that has changed is the hierarchy of “purebred” or “thoroughbreeds” replaced by “IQ” and mockery of “political correctness” for – in this context – treating people of different ethnic backgrounds as wholly equal in terms of legal rights and respecting their intelligence. Human decency mocked as “political correctness” and all its disturbing implications. After getting through half of Ludovici’s Racial Integrity articles . . . I cannot unsee the parallels between Carl Benjamin and Sam Harris’s arguments and Ludovici’s own when they argue in their defense to justify their views.
Were there any positives? Did I learn anything from this experience?
Unfortunately, what little positives I could attribute to this amount to terminology changes for particular racist ideas. This endeavor certainly wasn’t worth the cost of time and energy I spent on it. I may use a quote from Ludovici, but overall I just see a sad and pathetic man insofar as the content of his character. I can’t help but feel a bit of bitterness now because people like Nietzsche, the Buddha, and I fear in the future even Christopher Hitchens could have their works appropriated by racists, bigots, and nonsensical idiots of the craziest variety. When I tell the average person that Nietzsche was basically a proto-Zionist; he thought highly of Jewish people and Jewish culture but thought their mistake was in not removing the Abrahamic God from their lives. Nietzsche thought faith in the Abrahamic God held Jewish people back from becoming the Ubermensch concept that he promoted. He wanted Jews to be able to settle in Europe, he disdained all forms of nationalism and mocked German nationalism, and he supported the idea of a European Union. Yet, even as I type all of this, I’m sure some readers, just like most people, don’t believe me. The answer for why they don’t is obvious and they can’t be faulted for it. Nietzsche’s work was appropriated by his Nazi-loving sister who was a racist maniac who did everything to distort his views into her racial agenda; even going so far as to forge his personal letters and work with one of Nietzsche’s friends to make the forgery known as Will to Power which argued for a racialized German supremacy – in mockery of his original concept of a Will to Power. His views were appropriated to support Anti-Semitism by his sister and the Nazis despite him quitting his friendship with Wagner over Wagner’s anti-Semitism and disapproving of Elizabeth Foster Nietzsche’s Nazi-loving husband. Nietzsche disdained nationalism and spoke in favor of a European Union, yet fascists and bigots appropriated his work to support Aryan race theories. Nietzsche spoke of the coalescence of humanity and promoted the idea of human willpower in overcoming suffering instead of obedience to authority; he disdained how Christianity turned people into a mindless rabble of bigots. His sister, Ludovici in his writings on Nietzsche, and Hollingdale tried to present him as a champion of Christianity (in both Hollingdale and Forster-Nietzsche’s case) and obedience to authority (in Ludovici’s case). It’s as if all the crackpots, bigots, and charlatans swooped in to bring about a death sentence to his philosophical works. How is it then, that despite all of this, his works – as they were originally conceived – triumphed, yet Ludovici’s were rightfully put in the dustbin of history? In fact, how is it that – despite so many invasions and civil wars from 600 BCE to now in India – specks of the Charvaka and Samkhya philosophies survived and could be passed down to us in modern times? How did Buddha’s views go from being wrongfully attributed to racial superiority of make-believe “Aryans” to discussing the actual meaning of his teachings with Buddha highlighting a philosophy that all people can live by? I can only speculate that, in the case of Nietzsche and the Buddha, their ideas – when viewed by men and women who read them without prejudice and compared what was written by the author vs what was propagated in the public sphere – found clear differences and acknowledged there had been distortions. Whereas the public perception was influenced by distorted views, the writings always stood on their own merits without such prejudice. Their own writing allowed for the communication of their multiplicity, the true depths of their inner worlds, and essentially allowed them to communicate beyond the grave after the charlatans had robbed them so zealously. As Nietzsche and other great Western thinkers would say, reading their books was a form of communicating with the authors themselves; as if they came in person to begin talking directly to people for a personal lecture that readers had wanted. In the case of Samkhya and Charvaka, I suppose the same applied; opponents enjoyed or noted the significance of their arguments enough in the case of Charvaka and they were wholly appreciated in the case of Samkhya that some of the contents managed to make it to modern times.
At best, some of the terminology in his writings could help to flesh out a more precise and useful phrasing for how I want to characterize beliefs in the fantasy novel. As I wrote this, some ideas definitely popped-up such as perhaps a subtitle regarding natural selection, but one of the problematic aspects is that I could also end-up racializing Caste as Ludovici himself does in his writings with comments like “half-castes” referring to racial groups. It’s both astonishing and disgusting how Western Europe managed to racialize nearly all foreign concepts for their own self-interests. I was hoping to find an “internal logic” to racism, but I can only conclude racists are just dumbasses throwing their inferiority complexes at people of different skin tones. Ludovici had no fundamental premise nor showed any inclination to see beyond confirmation bias by citing old 1880s articles in the late 1950s and constantly citing Eugenics institutions. I think it shows that “fake news” hysteria and confirmation bias weren’t simply amplified by the internet age, but rather always existed and simply got more emphasis thanks to the internet. The internet spreads false claims easily, but we have just as many tools to fact-check news when we have the inclination even if it can be very taxing. I suppose we discriminate more with our time because the negative news is so ubiquitous. My having unearthed Ludovici only to conclude he deserved to be buried and writing this to reaffirm that burial perhaps stands as a positive note on exposing the problems of confirmation bias and showing that the internet can perhaps do more to deter fake news than proliferate it when people are allowed to freely read and question as they wish based on evidence, empathy, and logic.
To conclude, I think it really shows the difference between charlatans and prescient philosophers that the prescient ones like the Buddha, Nietzsche, Hitchens, and the Charvaka and Samkhya philosophical texts can still resonate with modern-day audiences. It really says something about the remarkable quality of all these people that as we continue to move forward in time, we feel even more attached to their proverbs, aphorisms, teachings, and general logical arguments. In contrast, we walk over the graveyards of charlatans like Forster-Nietzsche, Ludovici, and the current crop of most people in Western Indology. I had this fear of truly great wisdom being left in the dustbin of history, but as I compare Ludovici to Nietzsche and even as I write this . . . I’ve come to the realization it was probably overblown. In a more general sense, we may never really learn from potentially great philosophers in our own time because these potentially great philosophers never bothered to write their views down . . . but those that have probably won’t be forgotten. In part, thanks to the internet, and in part thanks to what they’ve influenced. I’d also like to take the time to point out that – as shocking as this may seem because of Nietzsche’s book “Ecce Homo!” – Nietzsche was actually a lot humbler than Ludovici and the difference in humility isn’t scant. Whereas Nietzsche does have some pomp, he always keeps it to subjects in which he had deep insights and critiques. When he made bad arguments, he actually did preface those arguments by stating that he was sharing his personal opinion and to view them more as personal opinions than part of his overarching philosophy in trying to help Europe and whomever is interested in reading to forge a life without God that doesn’t lead to nihilism. His misogynistic rants had just such a preface in Beyond Good and Evil and he made it clear to the reader that they should simply view it as his opinions and not anything crucial to his philosophical views nor even really necessary to be a component of them. Nietzsche, the Buddha, and Hitchens have influences throughout modern cultures that are deserved. Nietzsche’s works have influenced a large portion of Japanese media (it was how I was introduced to him in the first place), music, and even fantastic US films like 2001: A Space Odyssey. I can happily say most of those aren’t distortions of his work like the rest of the US Hollywood nonsense. The Buddha’s influence doesn’t need further commentary. Hitchens influence still lives on in both the popularity of his Youtube videos, his books, and the generational increase in atheism and agnosticism in the West and elsewhere. While they have less influence than charlatans, their works still stand the test of time and live beyond those charlatans. I’d like to think, if they ever were abandoned into the dustbin of history, it’d be more like them metaphorically pushing future generations to a future point where their critiques are no longer needed because they’ve helped the world enough. I suppose that could be just how things are; for every great thinker, there are charlatans who live only for their own self-interests instead of wanting to further thoughtful ideas. Alas, for every Nietzsche, Gautama Buddha, and Hitchens; there’ll be a Ludovici, a Jesus Christ, and an Armin Navabi.