Classic EssaysWilliam Pierce

Human Dignity: A Racial Ethic


A Cosmotheist lecture never before transcribed

by Dr. William L. Pierce

I WANT TO talk to you some more this evening about ethics and about behavior, in particular about the way in which we should behave. Last week we saw a couple of interesting films on man’s origins and on animal behavior, and let me remind you what I said after those films last week. Our pre-human ancestors were, as all the fossil evidence now indicates, predators, meat-eating apes, who hunted and killed with weapons, rather than tree-dwelling vegetarians. But this fact is no excuse for any kind of behavior now. Whether our ancestors 15 million years ago were aggressive meat eaters or whether they were timid, non-aggressive vegetarians, as the liberals so desperately want to believe, in a certain sense is irrelevant to what we should do today.

It’s good to know such things because it helps us to understand our true nature. But, they are no excuse for war or other violent behavior on the one hand, or for cowardly pacifism or disarmament on the other hand. What we should do now must be determined by one thing only, and that thing is our purpose, which is the Creator’s purpose, which is the Creator’s self-realization. In immediate, concrete, and specific terms, that means our guide to action must be our goal of assuring the survival of our race and promoting the progress of our race. Spiritual progress first — through the spreading of the consciousness of our truth among our people until it prevails over all opposition and all indifference. And then material progress, biological progress, for a return to the long-neglected upward breeding of our race.

At our last formal meeting two weeks ago, we derived from this goal some general rules or guiding principles for our behavior and in one instance, namely in the case of sex, we went further and drew some specific rules from a guiding principle. The guiding principle is that sex is the means by which the Creator seeks self realization through the evolutionary process, and that therefore the sex act is sacred. It is first and foremost an act of creation. Specifically, we have the positive obligation to select a racial and genetically sound mate and to engender healthy and racially pure children. And, we have negative obligations; first we may have no sex which defiles the race, because that is also the defilement of the Creator. Such sex is interracial sex and sex which brings unsound children into the world. Second, we may have no sex which symbolically defiles the Creator through the defiling sex as an act of creation; such sex is homosexuality and rape.

Needless to say, our sexual standards derived from this principle are quite different from the standards of those who follow the Jewish materialist line that “if it feels good it’s okay,” and they’re also different from the Puritan standard that if it feels good it must be sinful. A great deal more can be said about sexual ethics, but I want to talk about some other things too, about the specific ways in which our general ethical principles derived from our purpose should guide our behavior.

Remember that the reason for having rules of behavior in the first place is in order to get the job done better. Some of the rules that we must obey are concerned in a direct and physical way with our purpose — the rule against interracial sex, for example. And others are more symbolic than physical; they also serve our purpose, however, by affecting our consciousness. We briefly mentioned one such rule last time: a rule against drunkenness. Drunkenness is intolerable among our own members because it degrades us and robs us of our dignity. There is hardly anyone less dignified than someone who is intoxicated, whether by alcohol or with some other drug. Such a person is a figure of contempt and if he is one of our members, a representative of our truth, then he not only brings contempt by the public down on our truth but he robs himself of the self-respect which everyone must have in the highest degree if he is to rightfully consider himself a bearer of the ordained mission of our race and a fitting seeker of our destiny, which is Godhood.

So, symbolic behavior is important. It may not seem to be of really cosmic significance if someone gets drunk or not, but in a sense it is: Behavior is as important as the truth it represents. Of course, an individual or a whole community may not represent anything; it may not stand for anything beyond themselves. We don’t have to look far to find a community like that with hundreds of millions of individuals. But our community does stand for something, for a single great truth — and it must reflect that fact. An idea or a truth may exist in a mind somewhere, or it may be set down in a book buried in a library, but it only acquires significance when it becomes embodied in a living community. A community embodies a truth not just by individual members having it in the back of their minds, but by the behavior of the whole community continually reflecting it — by having the truth mold and shape the community.

If a stranger comes into a community which truly embodies a spiritual idea he doesn’t have to discover the fact of that embodiment by having a member take him aside and explain it to him. He can see it all around: the way that members of the community act, and the way they conduct their daily lives — in other words, in their attitudes and their actions as well as their beliefs. An idea which is not embodied in a community in this way, which is not reflected in the behavior and attitudes of the community but which only exists in the mind or on paper is a sterile idea; it has no vitality, no real significance. That’s why no religion worth mentioning has ever existed in an idea alone, in a theology or a cosmology alone — but always in an idea coupled to continuing action. The idea determines the form of the action and the action in turn reflects the content of the idea.

Although it may seem a bit artificial to separate this action into two different types, it’s customary to do so: The two types are what we call ethical action, or behavior derived from an ethic; and ritual or symbolic action, which simply reflects in a more formal way than ethical action does the content of the governing idea. Both types of action are essential to the vitality of the idea. An example of ethical behavior is the conduct of one’s sex life in accord to the principles we derived earlier. An example of ritual action is the recitation of our affirmation at each of our meetings. Another example is the wearing of our Life Rune, but, as I just said, the separation of these types of behavior is artificial and it is better to view any action as having two aspects, an ethical aspect and a symbolic aspect. In some cases the ethical aspect is predominant and in other cases the symbolic aspect, but I think it’s important to view nearly every action, nearly everything we do, as having both these aspects.

I want to elaborate on that. We have a goal-oriented ethic. Our standards of conduct are all directed towards our purpose, whether it’s a sexual standard with an immediate biological object in mind — or whether it’s the application of the golden rule to our social relations with each other, which has the simple object of minimizing social friction and increasing our efficiency and our solidarity as a goal-oriented community. But the single most important factor in maintaining and building our community is consciousness. An ever-present awareness and understanding of our identity and our mission. And the entire purpose of symbolic behavior or ritual behavior is to build and maintain this consciousness. So that symbolic behavior is as surely aimed at our goal as is ethical behavior. Not only what we do should be determined in a more or less direct way by our purpose, but also how we do it. The way in which we go about it is symbolically significant — and therefore also important.

Though we hear a lot these days about human dignity from the television commentator or the Washington Post editorial writer, that’s just a code phrase for reminding us that since Blacks belong to the same species we do, they are the same as we are in every respect. They have “human dignity” just like we do. Now it’s too bad that the concept of human dignity has been abused and misused in this way. It’s too bad that it’s been degraded to serve as a phony excuse for most of the insanity, or at least much of the insanity, which afflicts our society today. Like so many other things it is used perversely to destroy the very thing that it’s supposed to represent. Nevertheless, human dignity is a very important thing, once we realize that it has nothing to do with racial equality or with a bigger welfare budget or with job quotas or with changing the name of the Boy Scouts because a certain minority group finds the word “boy” offensive. No, we human beings do not have dignity bestowed on us by any civil rights laws — or by having more money to spend — or by being able to elbow our way into any club or school — or by being able to marry anyone’s sister. And we are certainly not born with any type of automatic dignity. Just watching the everyday behavior of most of the people around us should convince us of that.

We acquire human dignity and we acquire it only to the extent that we behave in a way that reflects the fact that we are of the Creator; only to the extent that the spark of divine consciousness inside us illuminates and guides our lives. Human dignity expressed in our behavior and our manner symbolizes what we are and what our purpose and our destiny are.

Let’s illustrate that with some examples. It’s easy to think of negative examples: A drunk, even though he may be solemn or even pompous, is without human dignity — and so is a person who has no consciousness or pride of race.

It’s no mere coincidence that during the same period in which the government, media, and the schools have done so much to eradicate consciousness of race and to destroy racial pride, we have seen politicians reach new depths in undignified behavior — and have also seen the American public vastly increase its consumption of every sort of drug and intoxicant. And we’ve seen them do other things too, such as abandoning their traditional dance styles which at least used to have a little bit of dignity about them and replacing them with African styles which have no dignity at all.

History provides us with a number of positive examples also: Among the ancient Greeks, the Spartans were foremost among the upholders of human dignity, and by that I mean real human dignity, not what passes for it on TV today. The Spartans were also the most racially conscious of the Greeks. The English historian Edward Gibbon tells us that after King Leonidas and his 300 Spartans, who fought to the last man defending the pass of Thermopylae against the Persian army in 480 BC, all the Greeks were very impressed with their heroism — all except the other Spartans. They didn’t consider the action of Leonidas and his men exceptional at all: What they did at Thermopylae was their duty and every Spartan would have behaved in exactly the same way if he had been at Thermopylae instead. The Spartans were, first and foremost, conscious of who they were and what they represented. They were a warrior elite who had come down from the north and subjugated the racially inferior people who vastly outnumbered them.

This Spartan consciousness is what lay behind the famous Spartan self-discipline. It determined every aspect of their behavior throughout their lives. The Athenians may have been more cultured but the Spartans had more human dignity — and as long as they maintained that dignity they prevailed over their enemies, including the Athenians. For us, just as for the Spartans, consciousness is the prerequisite for human dignity. But, in order to achieve that dignity, we need not only consciousness but also self-discipline, so that our behavior reflects at all times what we are and what we are striving to become. Consciousness leads to human dignity — and human dignity in turn serves to continually reinforce that consciousness.

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Source: transcribed by Daniel S. Forrest, author of Suprahumanism

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