Classic EssaysWilliam Pierce

Kenneth Clark: Messengers from Another World

kenneth_clarkby Dr. William L. Pierce (1983)

KENNETH Clark, the British art historian who is best known for his 1969 television series, Civilization, died last month at the age of 79. Clark (pictured) was a liberal: an effete, over-civilized son of the idle rich who hobnobbed with Jewish “culture vultures” and such enemies of the race as Winston Churchill.

Yet for all that Clark retained a certain racial consciousness, which manifested itself occasionally in his generally excellent series of Civilization broadcasts. In looking back over the scripts of that series today, one realizes with a shock how much tighter the shackles of thought control have been drawn by the masters of the controlled media in just the 14 years which have elapsed since they were written.

In his first Civilization broadcast Clark began by comparing the Apollo of the Belvedere, the famous Roman copy of a fourth-century B.C. Greek Apollo generally attributed to Leochares; and an African mask belonging to a friend. Clark asserted that the grotesque wooden mask has “all the qualities of a great work of art.” And he noted that nowadays it is a much more chic work of art than the exquisitely beautiful marble Apollo, which has fallen from public favor. But then Clark went on to say:


Whatever its merits as a work of art, I don’t think there is any doubt that the Apollo embodies a higher state of civilization than the mask. They both represent spirits, messengers from another world — that is to say, a world of our own imagining. To the Negro imagination it is a world of fear and darkness, ready to inflict horrible punishment for the smallest infringement of a taboo. To the Hellenistic imagination it is a world of light and confidence, in which the gods are like ourselves, only more beautiful, and descend to earth in order to teach men reason and the laws of harmony.

Is there even the slightest chance that the masters of the controlled media would permit such a “racist” statement to be broadcast today?

* * *

Source: National Vanguard magazine, No. 95, June 1983, pp. 21–22; transcribed by Anthony Collins

An Excerpt from Civilization

by Kenneth Clark

AT THIS point, I reveal myself in my true colours, as a stick-in-the-mud. I hold a number of beliefs that have been repudiated by the liveliest intellects of our time. I believe that order is better than chaos; creation better than destruction. I prefer gentleness to violence, forgiveness to vendetta. On the whole, I think that knowledge is preferable to ignorance, and I am sure that human sympathy is more valuable than ideology.

I believe that, in spite of recent triumphs of science, men haven’t changed much in the last 2,000 years. And, in consequence, we must still try to learn from history. History is ourselves.

I also hold one or two beliefs that are more difficult to put shortly. For example, I believe in courtesy, the ritual by which we avoid hurting other people’s feelings by satisfying our own egos.

I think we should remember that we are part of a great whole, which, for convenience, we call Nature. All living things are our brothers and sisters.

Above all, I believe in the God-given genius of certain individuals and I value a society that makes their existence possible.

These programmes have been filled with great works of genius. In architecture, sculpture, and painting. In philosophy, poetry, and music. In science and engineering. There they are. You can’t dismiss them. And they’re only a fraction of what Western Man has achieved in the last 1,000 years, often after setbacks and deviations at least as destructive as those of our own time. Western civilisation has been a series of rebirths. Surely, this should give us confidence in ourselves. I said, at the beginning of the series, that it’s lack of confidence, more than anything else, that kills a civilisation. We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion, just as effectively as by bombs.

Fifty years ago, W.B. Yeats, who was more like a man of genius than anyone I’ve ever known, wrote a prophetic poem and in it he said:

“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned. The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.”

Well, that was certainly true between the wars and it damn nearly destroyed us. ls it true today? Not quite, because good people have convictions — rather too many of them. The trouble is that there is still no centre. The moral and intellectual failure of Marxism has left us with no alternative to heroic materialism and that isn’t enough. One may be optimistic, but one can’t exactly be joyful at the prospect before us.

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1 Comment

  1. Anthony Collins
    20 November, 2017 at 9:18 am — Reply

    In his book The Color Line: A Brief in Behalf of the Unborn (New York: McClure, Phillips, and Co., 1905), William Benjamin Smith made some interesting remarks about race and beauty:

    “Take him [i.e., the Negro] at his very best — does any one believe that the Olympian Zeus, an Apollo Belvedere, a Melian Venus, a Capitoline Juno, a Hermes of Praxiteles, or a Sistine Madonna could ever by any possibility have emerged from the most fertile fancy of an ‘Old Master’ of the Congo? Perfect his type as you will, even as you perfect the type of a flower or a bird, does not the Sudanese remain at immense remove from the European? Of course, it is always possible to contend that beauty is only subjective, any way, that the hair and brow and nose and lips and jaw and ear of the West African would be just as beautiful as those of the Greek or Anglo-American, if we only thought so. But being what we are, we cannot think so now and still less the further we advance in organic development. Moreover, with equal reason we might say that the tiger-lily was as beautiful as the rose, the hippopotamus as pretty as the squirrel; nay more, we might abolish all distinctions of quality, and identify each pair of contradictories.

    “Does some one say that physical beauty is a poor, inferior thing at best — that beauty of soul is alone sufficient and only desirable? We deny it outright. Beauty of form and colour has its own high and inalienable and indefectible rights, its own profound significance for the history alike of nature and of man. Even if the intermingling of bloods wrought no other wrong than the degradation of bodily beauty, the coarsening of feature and blurring of coloration, it would still be an unspeakable outrage, to be deprecated and prevented by all means in our power. Moreover, we hold that every such degeneration of facial type will drag along with it inevitably a corresponding declension of spirit. . . . Though there may be many illustrious exceptions, which our defective knowledge cannot explain, yet the broad general principle may still be maintained:

    “For of the soule the bodie forme doth take;
    For soule is forme, and doth the bodie make.

    “Any general declination from type in the one, while it may not cause, will yet infallibly argue a corresponding declination from type in the other.”

    Smith went on to discuss the divergent evolution of Whites and Blacks, past and future, in terms that Kevin Alfred Strom would probably appreciate:

    “It is futile to reply that our own ancestors and the ancestors of the Greeks and all other historical peoples were once savages — were once not even men, and hardly manlike. Very true; but why stop here? Why not boldly urge that Plato might have traced back his lineage to an amoeba, — yea, to star-dust and curdling ether? True, perhaps; but what of it? We may be cousins to the worm, at the billionth remove; but we are not brothers. We grant the abstract possibility that the bee or the ant may harbour in itself higher potentialities for development than even man himself. We even think it wholesome to bear this thought in mind. Nevertheless, such may-be’s lie infinitely beyond the range of the practical vision; they cannot enter into our calculations of futurity. So, too, we grant that, in the centuries of milleniums to come, it is possible that the Negro’s nature may receive some surpassing uplift: he may sprout eagle pinions, and far outfly the wildest dreams of Caucasian fancy. But such possibilities are altogether too remote for our reckoning now; they are decimals in the hundredth place. We may and we must neglect them, as we neglect the likelihood of a concussion of our planet with some extinct vagrant sun. We must act in the living present, and at present there rolls between the historical development of the black and the white species an impassable river of ten thousand years. Possibly the former might catch up in the course of ages, if only the latter stood still. But will they stand still? Can they afford to wait? Is there not every reason to hope that they will forge steadily ahead and widen still more and more the interval between? Is not such the obvious teaching of history? Does not the tree of life bud and bloom and put forth new boughs at the top? For our part, we believe in the Overman, Him who is to come — not, however, from the lower, but from the higher, humanity. Such, at least, seems of necessity our working hypothesis.”

    Incidentally, H. P. Lovecraft evidently read and approved of Smith’s book: one of his poems is dedicated to Smith.

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