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end of the war gave the signal for an unparalleled outburst of Nationalist
activity. Basing their claims on such doctrines as the "rights of small
nations" and the "self-determination of peoples," the Nationalists
demanded immediate independence and attempted to get Egypt's case before
the Versailles Peace Conference. In defiance of English prohibitions, they
even held a popular plebiscite which upheld their claims. When the British
authorities answered this defiance by arresting Nationalist leaders, Egypt
flamed into rebellion from end to end. Everywhere it was the same story.
Railways and telegraph lines were systematically cut. Trains were stalled
and looted. Isolated British officers and soldiers were murdered. In Cairo
alone, thousands of houses were sacked by the mob. Soon the danger was
rendered more acute by the irruption out of the desert of swarms of
Bedouin Arabs bent on plunder. For a few days Egypt trembled on the verge
of anarchy, and the British Government admitted in Parliament that all
Egypt was in a state of insurrection.

The British authorities, however, met the crisis with vigor and
determination. The number of British troops in Egypt was very large,
trusty black regiments were hurried up from the Sudan, and the
well-disciplined Egyptian native police generally obeyed orders. The
result was that after several weeks of sharp fighting, lasting through the
spring of 1919, Egypt was again gotten under control. The outlook for the
future is, however, ominous in the extreme. Order is indeed restored, but
only the presence of massed British and Sudanese black troops guarantees
that order will be maintained. Even under the present régime of stern
martial law hardly a month passes without fresh rioting and heavy loss of
life. Egypt appears Nationalist to the core, its spokesmen swear they will
accept nothing short of independence, and in the long run Britain will
realize the truth of that pithy saying: "You can do everything with
bayonets except sit on them."

India is likewise in a state of profound unrest. The vast peninsula has
been controlled by England for almost two centuries, yet here again the
last two decades have witnessed a rapidly increasing movement against
British rule. This movement was at first confined to the upper-class
Hindus, the great Mohammedan element preserving its traditional loyalty to
the British "Raj," which it considered a protection against the
Brahmanistic Hindu majority. But, as already seen, the Pan-Islamic leaven
presently reached the Indian Moslems, European aggressions on Islam
stirred their resentment, and at length Moslem and Hindu adjourned their
ancient feud in their new solidarity against European tutelage.

The Great War provoked relatively little sedition in India. Groups of
Hindu extremists, to be sure, hatched terroristic plots and welcomed
German aid, but India as a whole backed England and helped win the war
with both money and men. At the same time, Indians gave notice that they
expected their loyalty to be rewarded, and at the close of the war various
memorials were drawn up calling for drastic modifications of the existing
governmental régime.

India is to-day governed by an English Civil Service whose fairness,
honesty, and general efficiency no informed person can seriously impugn.
But this no longer contents Indian aspirations. India desires not merely
good government but self-government. The ultimate goal of all Indian
reformers is emancipation from European tutelage, though they differ among
themselves as to how and when this emancipation is to be attained. The
most conservative would be content with self-government under British
guidance, the middle group asks for the full status of a Dominion of the
British Empire like Canada and Australia, while the radicals demand
complete independence. Even the most conservative of these demands would,
however, involve great changes of system and a diminution of British
control. Such demands arouse in England mistrust and apprehension.
Englishmen point out that India is not a nation but a congeries of
diverse peoples spiritually sundered by barriers of blood, language,
culture, and religion, and they conclude that, if England's control were
really relaxed, India would get out of hand and drift toward anarchy. As
for Indian independence, the average Englishman cannot abide the thought,
holding it fatal both for the British Empire and for India itself. The
result has been that England has failed to meet Indian demands, and this,
in turn, has roused an acute recrudescence of dissatisfaction and unrest.
The British Government has countered with coercive legislation like the
Rowlatt Acts and has sternly repressed rioting and terrorism. British
authority is still supreme in India. But it is an authority resting more
and more upon force. In fact, some Englishmen have long considered British
rule in India, despite its imposing appearance, a decidedly fragile
affair. Many years ago Meredith Townsend, who certainly knew India well,

"The English think they will rule India for many centuries or forever. I
do not think so, holding rather the older belief that the empire which
came in a day will disappear in a night.... Above all this inconceivable
mass of humanity, governing all, protecting all, taxing all, rises what we
call here 'the Empire,' a corporation of less than 1,500 men, partly
chosen by examination, partly by co-optation, who are set to govern, and
who protect themselves in governing by finding pay for a minute white
garrison of 65,000 men, one-fifth of the Roman legions - though the masses
to be controlled are double the subjects of Rome. That corporation and
that garrison constitute the 'Indian Empire.' There is nothing else.
Banish those 1,500 men in black, defeat that slender garrison in red, and
the empire has ended, the structure disappears, and brown India emerges,
unchanged and unchangeable. To support the official world and its
garrison - both, recollect, smaller than those of Belgium - there is, except
Indian opinion, absolutely nothing. Not only is there no white race in
India, not only is there no white colony, but there is no white man who
purposes to remain.... There are no white servants, not even grooms, no
white policemen, no white postmen, no white anything. If the brown men
struck for a week, the 'Empire' would collapse like a house of cards, and
every ruling man would be a starving prisoner in his own house. He could
not move or feed himself or get water."[51]

These words aptly illustrate the truth stated at the beginning of this
book that the basic factor in human affairs is not politics but race, and
that the most imposing political phenomena, of themselves, mean nothing.
And that is just the fatal weakness underlying the white man's present
political domination over the brown world. Throughout that entire world
there is no settled white population save in the French colonies of
Algeria and Tunis along the Mediterranean seaboard, where whites form
perhaps one-sixth of the total. Elsewhere, from Morocco to the Dutch
Indies, there is in the racial sense, as Townsend well says, "no white
anything," and if white rule vanished to-morrow it would not leave a human
trace behind. White rule is therefore purely political, based on
prescription, prestige, and lack of effective opposition. These are indeed
fragile foundations. Let the brown world once make up its mind that the
white man _must_ go, and he _will_ go, for his position will have become
simply impossible. It is not solely a question of a "Holy War"; mere
passive resistance, if genuine and general, would shake white rule to its
foundations. And it is precisely the determination to get rid of white
rule which seems to be spreading like wild-fire over the brown world
to-day. The unrest which I have described in Egypt and India merely typify
what is going on in Morocco, Central Asia, the Dutch Indies, the
Philippines, and every other portion of the brown world whose inhabitants
are above the grade of savages.

Another factor favoring the prospects of brown emancipation is the lack of
sustained resistance which the white world would probably offer. For the
white world's interests in these regions, though great, are not
fundamental; that is to say, racial. However grievously they might suffer
politically and economically, racially the white peoples would lose almost
nothing. Here again we see the basic importance of race in human affairs.
Contrast, for example, England's attitude toward an insurgent India with
France's attitude toward an insurgent North Africa. England, with nothing
racial at stake, would hesitate before a reconquest of India involving
millions of soldiers and billions of treasure. France, on the other hand,
with nearly a million Europeans in her North African possessions, half of
these full-blooded Frenchmen, might risk her last franc and her last
_poilu_ rather than see these blood-brothers slaughtered and enslaved.

Assuming, then, what to-day seems probable, that white political control
over the brown world is destined to be sensibly curtailed if not generally
eliminated, what are the larger racial implications? Above all: will the
browns tend to impinge on white race-areas as the yellows show signs of
doing? Probably, no; at least, not to any great extent. In the first
place, the brown world has within its present confines plenty of room for
potential race-expansion. Outside India, Egypt, Java, and a few lesser
spots, there is scarcely a brown land where natural improvements such as
irrigation would not open up extensive settlement areas. Mesopotamia
alone, now almost uninhabited, might support a vast population, while
Persia could nourish several times its present inhabitants.

India, to be sure, is almost as congested as China, and the spectre of the
Indian coolie has lately alarmed white lands like Canada and South Africa
almost as much as the Chinese coolie has done. But an independent India
would fall under the same political blight as the rest of the brown
world - the blight of internecine dissensions and wars. The brown world's
present growing solidarity is not a positive but a negative phenomenon. It
is an alliance, against a common foe, of traditional enemies who, once the
bond was loosed in victory, would inevitably quarrel among themselves.
Turk would fly at Arab and Turkoman at Persian, as of yore, while India
would become a welter of contending Hindus, Moslems, Sikhs, Gurkhas, and
heaven knows what, until perchance disciplined anew by the pressure of a
Yellow Peril. In Western Asia it is possible that the spiritual and
cultural bonds of Islam might temper these struggles, but Western Asia is
precisely that part of the brown world where population-pressure is
absent. India, the overpeopled brown land, would undergo such a cycle of
strife as would devour its human surplus and render distant aggressions

A potential brown menace to white race-areas would, indeed, arise in case
of a brown-yellow alliance against the white peoples. But such an alliance
could occur only in the first stages of a pan-colored war of liberation
while the pressure of white world-predominance was still keenly felt and
before the divisive tendencies within the brown world had begun to take

Short of such an alliance (wherein the browns would abet the yellows'
aggressive, racial objectives in return for yellow support of their own
essentially defensive, political ends), the brown world's emancipation
from white domination would apparently not result in more than local
pressures on white race-areas. It would, however, affect another sphere of
white political control - black Africa. The emancipation of brown, Islamic
North Africa would inevitably send a sympathetic thrill through every
portion of the Dark Continent and would stir both Mohammedan and pagan
negroes against white rule. Islam is, in fact, the intimate link between
the brown and black worlds. But this subject, with its momentous
implications, will be discussed in the next chapter.



Black Man's Land is primarily Africa south of the Sahara Desert. Here
dwell the bulk of all the 150,000,000 black men on earth. The negro and
negroid population of Africa is estimated at about
120,000,000 - four-fifths of the black race-total. Besides its African
nucleus the black race has two distant outposts: the one in Australasia,
the other in the Americas. The Eastern blacks are found mainly in the
archipelagoes lying between the Asiatic land-mass and Australia. They are
the Oriental survivors of the black belt which in very ancient times
stretched uninterruptedly from Africa across southern Asia to the Pacific
Ocean. The Asiatic blacks were overwhelmed by other races ages ago, and
only a few wild tribes like the "Negritos" of the Philippines and the
jungle-dwellers of Indo-China and southern India survive as genuine
negroid stocks. All the peoples of southern Asia, however, are darkened by
this ancient negroid strain. The peoples of south India are notably tinged
with black blood. As for the pure blacks of the Australasian
archipelagoes, they are so few in numbers (about 3,000,000) and so low in
type that they are of negligible importance. Quite otherwise are the
blacks of the Far West. In the western hemisphere there are some
25,000,000 persons of more or less mixed black blood, brought thither in
modern times as slaves by the white conquerors of the New World. Still,
whatever may be the destiny of these transplanted black folk, the black
man's chief significance, from the world aspect, must remain bound up with
the great nucleus of negro population in the African homeland.

Black Africa, as I have said, lies south of the Sahara Desert. Here the
negro has dwelt for unnumbered ages. The key-note of black history, like
yellow history, has been isolation. Cut off from the Mediterranean by the
desert which he had no means of crossing, and bounded elsewhere by oceans
which he had no skill in navigating, the black man vegetated in savage
obscurity, his habitat being well named the "Dark Continent."

Until the white tide began breaking on its sea-fronts four centuries ago,
the black world's only external stimuli had come from brown men landing on
its eastern coasts or ascending the valley of the Nile. As time passed,
both brown and white pressures became more intense, albeit the browns long
led in the process of penetration. Advancing from the east and trickling
across the desert from the north, Arab or Arabized adventurers conquered
black Africa to the equator; and this political subjugation had also a
racial side, for the conquerors sowed their blood freely and set a
brownish stamp on many regions. As for the whites, they long remained mere
birds of passage. Half a century ago they possessed little more than
trading-posts along the littorals, their only real settlement lying in the
extreme south.

Then, suddenly, all was changed. In the closing decades of the nineteenth
century, Europe turned its gaze full upon the Dark Continent, and within a
generation Africa was partitioned between the European Powers. Negro and
Arab alike fell under European domination. Only minute Liberia and remote
Abyssinia retained a qualified independence. Furthermore, white settlement
also made distinct progress. The tropical bulk of Africa defied white
colonization, but the continent's northern and southern extremities were
climatically "white man's country." Accordingly, there are to-day nearly a
million whites settled along the Algerian and Tunisian seaboard, while in
South Africa, Dutch and British blood has built up a powerful commonwealth
containing fully one and one-half million white souls. In Africa, unlike
Asia, the European has taken root, and has thus gained at least local
tenures of a fundamental nature.

The crux of the African problem therefore resolves itself into the
question whether the white man, through consolidated racial holds north
and south, will be able to perpetuate his present political control over
the intermediate continental mass which climate debars him from
populating. This is a matter of great importance, for Africa is a land of
enormous potential wealth, the natural source of Europe's tropical raw
materials and foodstuffs. Whether Europe is to retain possession depends,
in the last analysis, on the character of the inhabitants. It is, then,
to the nature of the black man and his connection with the brown world
that we must direct our attention.

From the first glance we see that, in the negro, we are in the presence of
a being differing profoundly not merely from the white man but also from
those human types which we discovered in our surveys of the brown and
yellow worlds. The black man is, indeed, sharply differentiated from the
other branches of mankind. His outstanding quality is superabundant animal
vitality. In this he easily surpasses all other races. To it he owes his
intense emotionalism. To it, again, is due his extreme fecundity, the
negro being the quickest of breeders. This abounding vitality shows in
many other ways, such as the negro's ability to survive harsh conditions
of slavery under which other races have soon succumbed. Lastly, in ethnic
crossings, the negro strikingly displays his prepotency, for black blood,
once entering a human stock, seems never really bred out again.

Negro fecundity is a prime factor in Africa's future. In the savage state
which until recently prevailed, black multiplication was kept down by a
wide variety of checks. Both natural and social causes combined to
maintain an extremely high death-rate. The negro's political ineptitude,
never rising above the tribal concept, kept black Africa a mosaic of
peoples, warring savagely among themselves and widely addicted to
cannibalism. Then, too, the native religions were usually sanguinary,
demanding a prodigality of human sacrifices. The killings ordained by
negro wizards and witch-doctors sometimes attained unbelievable
proportions. The combined result of all this was a wastage of life which
in other races would have spelled a declining population. Since the
establishment of white political control, however, these checks on black
fecundity are no longer operative. The white rulers fight filth and
disease, stop tribal wars, and stamp out superstitious abominations. In
consequence, population increases by leaps and bounds, the latent
possibilities being shown in the native reservations in South Africa,
where tribes have increased as much as tenfold in fifty or sixty years. It
is therefore practically certain that the African negroes will multiply
prodigiously in the next few decades.

Now, what will be the attitude of these augmenting black masses toward
white political dominion? To that momentous query no certain answer can be
made. One thing, however, seems clear: the black world's reaction to white
ascendancy will be markedly different from those of the brown and yellow
worlds, because of the profound dissimilarities between negroes and men of
other stocks. To begin with, the black peoples have no historic pasts.
Never having evolved civilizations of their own, they are practically
devoid of that accumulated mass of beliefs, thoughts, and experiences
which render Asiatics so, impenetrable and so hostile to white influences.
Although the white race displays sustained constructive power to an
unrivalled degree, particularly in its Nordic branches, the brown and
yellow peoples have contributed greatly to the civilization of the world
and have profoundly influenced human progress. The negro, on the contrary,
has contributed virtually nothing. Left to himself, he remained a savage,
and in the past his only quickening has been where brown men have imposed
their ideas and altered his blood. The originating powers of the European
and the Asiatic are not in him.

This lack of constructive originality, however, renders the negro
extremely susceptible to external influences. The Asiatic, conscious of
his past and his potentialities, is chary of foreign innovations and
refuses to recognize alien superiority. The negro, having no past,
welcomes novelty and tacitly admits that others are his masters. Both
brown and white men have been so accepted in Africa. The relatively faint
resistance offered by the naturally brave blacks to white and brown
conquest, the ready reception of Christianity and Islam, and the
extraordinary personal ascendancy acquired by individual Arabs and
Europeans, all indicate a willingness to accept foreign tutelage which in
the Asiatic is wholly absent.

The Arab and the European are, in fact, rivals for the mastership of black
Africa. The Arab had a long start, but the European suddenly overtook him
and brought not only the blacks but the African Arabs themselves under his
sway. It remains to be seen whether the Arab, allying himself with the
blacks, can oust his white rival. That some such move will be attempted,
in view of the brown world's renaissance in general and the extraordinary
activity of the Arab peoples in particular, seems a foregone conclusion.
How the matter will work out depends on three things: (1) the brown man's
inherent strength in Africa; (2) the possibilities of black disaffection
against white tutelage; (3) the white man's strength and power of

The seat of brown power in Africa is of course the great belt of territory
north of the Sahara. From Egypt to Morocco the inhabitants are Arabized in
culture and Mohammedan in faith, while Arab blood has percolated ever
since the Moslem conquest twelve centuries ago. In the eastern half of
this zone Arabization has been complete, and Egypt, Tripoli, and the Sudan
can be considered as unalterably wedded to the brown Islamic world. The
zone's western half, however, is in different case. The majority of its
inhabitants are Berbers, an ancient stock generally considered white, with
close affinities to the Latin peoples across the Mediterranean. As usual,
blood tells. The Berbers have been under Arab tutelage for over a thousand
years, yet their whole manner of life remains distinct, they have largely
kept their language, and there has been comparatively little
intermarriage. Pure-blooded Arabs abound, but they are still, in a way,
foreigners. To-day the entire region is under white, French, rule.
Algeria, in particular, has been politically French for almost a hundred
years. Europeans have come in and number nearly a million souls. The Arab
element shows itself sullen and refractory, but the Berbers display much
less aversion to French rule, which, as usual, is considerate of native
susceptibilities. The French colonial authorities are alive to the
Berber's ethnic affinities and tactfully seek to stimulate his dormant
white consciousness. In Algeria intermarriage between Europeans and
Berbers has actually begun. Of course the process is merely in its first
stages. Still, the blood is there, the leaven is working, and in time
Northwest Africa may return to the white world, where it was in Roman days
and where it racially belongs. In the anti-European disturbances now
taking place in Algeria and Tunis it is safe to say that the Arab element
is making most of the trouble.

It is Northeast Africa, then, which is the real nucleus of Arabism. Here
Arabism and Islam rule unchecked, and in the preceding chapter we saw how
the Senussi Order was marshalling the fierce nomads of the desert. These
tribesmen are relatively few in numbers, but more splendid fighting
material does not exist in the wide world. Furthermore, the Arab-negroid
peoples which have developed along the southern edge of the desert so
blend the martial qualities of both strains that they frequently display
an almost demoniacal fighting-power. It is Pan-Islamism's hope to use
these Arab or Arabized fanatics as an officers' corps for the black
millions whom it is converting to the faith.

Concerning Islam's steady progress in black Africa there can be no shadow
of a doubt. Every candid European observer tells the same story.
"Mohammedanism," says Sir Charles Elliott, "can still give the natives a
motive for animosity against Europeans and a unity of which they are
otherwise incapable."[52] Twenty years ago another English observer, T. R.
Threlfall, wrote: "Mohammedanism is making marvellous progress in the
interior of Africa. It is crushing paganism out. Against it the Christian
propaganda is a myth.... The rapid spread of militant Mohammedanism among
the savage tribes to the north of the equator is a serious factor in the
fight for racial supremacy in Africa. With very few exceptions the colored

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Online LibraryLothrop StoddardThe Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy → online text (page 7 of 22)