'The Rising Tide of Color against White World Supremacy' by Stoddard (1920)

A selection from The Rising Tide of Color against White World Supremacy by Lothrop Stoddard, 1920.

Dust jacket of first edition

Note: Stoddard engaged W. E. B. Du Bois in a debate held in Chicargo in 1929 on the question "Should the Negro Be Encouraged to Cultural Equality?" Stoddard also wrote The New World of Islam in 1921, and The Revolt Against Civilization in 1922. See also Madison Grant's The Passing of the Great Race, 1916.

“Civilization’s going to pieces,” broke out Tom violently. “I’ve gotten to be a terrible pessimist about things. Have you read ‘The Rise of the Colored Empires’ by this man Goddard?”[The Rising Tide of Colour against White World Supremecy' by Stoddard, 1920]
“Why, no,” I answered, rather surprised by his tone.
“Well, it’s a fine book, and everybody ought to read it. The idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be — will be utterly submerged. It’s all scientific stuff; it’s been proved.”
“Tom’s getting very profound,” said Daisy, with an expression of unthoughtful sadness. “He reads deep books with long words in them. What was that word we ——”
“Well, these books are all scientific,” insisted Tom, glancing at her impatiently. “This fellow has worked out the whole thing. It’s up to us, who are the dominant race, to watch out or these other races will have control of things.”
“We’ve got to beat them down,” whispered Daisy, winking ferociously toward the fervent sun.
“You ought to live in California —” began Miss Baker, but Tom interrupted her by shifting heavily in his chair.
“This idea is that we’re Nordics. I am, and you are, and you are, and ——” After an infinitesimal hesitation he included Daisy with a slight nod, and she winked at me again. “— And we’ve produced all the things that go to make civilization — oh, science and art, and all that. Do you see?”

F. Scot Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, 1925



In the preface to an historical monograph ("The French Revolution in San Domingo") written shortly before the Great War, I stated: "The world-wide struggle between the primary races of mankind the 'conflict of color' as it has been happily termed bids fair to be the fundamental problem of the twentieth century, and great communities like the United States of America, the South African Confederation, and Australasia regard the 'color question' as perhaps the gravest problem of the future."

In saying this I do not refer solely to military "perils." The subjugation of white lands by colored armies may, of course, occur, especially if the white world continues to rend itself with internecine wars. However, such colored triumphs of arms are less to be dreaded than more enduring conquests like migrations which would swamp whole populations and turn countries now white into colored man's lands irretrievably lost to the white world.

Chapter 1. The World of Colour

The man who, on a quiet spring evening of the year 1914, opened his atlas to a political map of the world and pored over its many-tinted patterns probably got one fundamental impression: the overwhelming preponderance of the white race in the ordering of the world's affairs. Judged by accepted canons of statecraft, the white man towered the indisputable master of the planet.  Forth from Europe's teeming mother hive the imperious Sons of Japhet had swarmed for centuries to plant their laws, their customs, and their battle-flags at the uttermost ends of the earth. Two whole continents, North America and Australia, had been made virtually as white in blood as the European motherland; two other continents, South America and Africa, had been extensively colonized by white stocks; while even huge Asia had seen its empty northern march, Siberia, pre-empted for the white man's abode. Even where white populations had not locked themselves to the soil few regions of the earth had escaped the white man's imperial sway, and vast areas inhabited by uncounted myriads of dusky folk obeyed the white man's will.

 Beside the enormous area of white settlement or control, the regions under non-white governance bulked small indeed. In eastern Asia, China, Japan, and Siam; in western Asia, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Persia; in Africa, Abyssinia, and Liberia; and in America the minute state of Haiti: such was the brief list of lands under non-white rule. In other words, of the 53,000,000 square miles which (excluding the polar regions) constitute the land area of the globe, only 6,000,000 square miles had non-white governments, and nearly two-thirds of this relatively modest remainder was represented by China and its dependencies.

Since 1914 the world has been convulsed by the most terrible war in recorded history. This war was primarily a struggle between the white peoples, who have borne the brunt of the conflict and have suffered most of the losses. Nevertheless, one of the war's results has been a further whittling down of the areas standing outside white political control. [...] Study of the political map might thus apparently lead one to conclude that white world-predominance is immutable since the war's ordeal has still further broadened the territorial basis of its authority.

Chapter 3. Brown Mans Land

Islam's warlike vigor has impressed men's minds ever since the far-off days when its pristine fervor bore the Fiery Crescent from France to China. But with the passing cycles this fervor waned, and a century ago Islam seemed plunged in the stupor of senile decay. The life appeared to have gone out of it, leaving naught but the dry husks of empty formalism and soulless ritual. Yet at this darkest hour a voice came crying from out the vast Arabian desert, the cradle of Islam, calling the Faithful to better things. This puritan reformer was the famous Abd-el-Wahab, and his followers, known as Wahabees, soon spread over the length and breadth of the Mohammedan world, purging Islam of its sloth and rekindling the fervor of olden days. Thus began the great Mohammedan Revival.
That revival, like all truly regenerative movements, had its political as well as its spiritual side. One of the first things which struck the reformers was the political weakness of the Moslem world and its increasing subjection to the Christian West. It was during the early decades of the nineteenth century that the revival spread through Islam. But this was the very time when Europe, recovering from the losses of the Napoleonic Wars, began its unparalleled aggressions upon the Moslem East. The result in Islam was a fusing of religion and patriotism into a "sacred union" for the combined spiritual regeneration and political emancipation of the Moslem world.
Of course Europe's material and military superiority were then so great that speedy success was recognized to be a vain hope. Nevertheless, with true Oriental patience, the reformers were content to work for distant goals, and the results of their labors, though hidden from most Europeans, was soon discernible to a few keen-sighted white observers. Half a century ago the learned Orientalist Palgrave wrote these prophetic lines: "Islam is even now an enormous power, full of self-sustaining vitality, with a surplus for aggression; and a struggle with its combined energies would be deadly indeed. . . . The Mohammedan peoples of the East have awakened to the manifold strength and skill of their Western Christian rivals; and this awakening, at first productive of respect and fear, not unmixed with admiration, now wears the type of antagonistic dislike, and even of intelligent hate. No more zealous Moslems are to be found in all the ranks of Islam than they who have sojourned longest in Europe and acquired the most intimate knowledge of its sciences and ways. . . . Mohammedans are keenly alive to the ever-shifting uncertainties and divisions that distract the Christianity of to-day, and to the woful instability of modern European institutions. From their own point of view, Moslems are as men standing on a secure rock, and they contrast the quiet fixity Of their own position with the unsettled and insecure restlessness of all else." (W. G. Palgrave, "Essays on Eastern Questions," pp. 127-131, London, 1872).
This stability to which Palgrave alludes must not be confused with dead rigidity. Too many of us still think of the Moslem East as hopelessly petrified. But those Westerners best acquainted with the Islamic world assert that nothing could be farther from the truth; emphasizing, on the contrary, Islam's present plasticity and rapid assimilation of Western ideas and methods. "The alleged rigidity of Islam is a European myth," (Theodore Morison, "Can Islam Be Reformed?" Nineteenth Century, October, 1908) says Theodore Morison, late principal of the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College at Aligarh, India; and another Orientalist, Marmaduke Pickthall, writes: "There is nothing in Islam, any more than in Christianity, which should halt progress. The fact is that Christianity found, some time ago, a modus vivendi with modern life, while Islam has not yet arrived thither. But this process is even now being worked out." (Marmaduke Pickthall, "L'Angleterre et la Turquie," Revue Politigue Internationale, January, 1914).
The way in which the Mohammedan world has availed itself of white institutions such as the newspaper in forging its new solidarity is well portrayed by Bernard Temple. "It all comes to this, then," he writes. "World-politics, as viewed by Mohammedanism's political leaders, resolve themselves into a struggle not necessarily a bloody struggle, but still an intense and vital struggle for place and power between the three great divisions of mankind. The Moslem mind is deeply stirred by the prospect. Every Moslem country is in communication with every other Moslem country: directly, by means of special emissaries, pilgrims, travellers, traders, and postal exchanges; indirectly, by means of Mohammedan newspapers, books, pamphlets, leaflets, and periodicals. I have met with Cairo newspapers in Bagdad, Teheran, and Peshawar; Constantinople newspapers in Basra and Bombay; Calcutta newspapers in Mohammerah, Kerbela, and Port Said." (Bernard Temple, "The Place of Persia in World-Politics," Proceedings of the Central Asian Society, May, 1910)
These European judgments are confirmed by what Asiatics say themselves. For example, a Syrian Christian, Ameen Rihani, thus characterizes the present strength and vitality of the Moslem world: "A nation of 250,000,000 souls, more than one-half under Christian rule, struggling to shake off its fetters; to consolidate its opposing forces; replenishing itself in the south and in the east from the inexhaustible sources of the life primitive; assimilating in the north, but not without discrimination, the civilization of Europe; a nation with a glorious past, a living faith and language, an inspired Book, an undying hope, might be divided against itself by European diplomacy but can never be subjugated by European arms. . . . What Islam is losing on the borders of Europe it is gaining in Africa and Central Asia through its modern propaganda, which is conducted according to Christian methods. And this is one of the grand results results of 'civilization by benevolent assimilation.' Europe drills the Moslem to be a soldier who will ultimately turn his weapons against her; and she sends her missionaries to awaken in the ulema the proselytizing evil." (Ameen Rihani, "The Crisis of Islam," Forum, May, 1912)
Typical of Mohammedan literature on this subject are the following excerpts from a book published at Cairo in 1907 by an Egyptian, Yahya Siddyk, significantly entitled "The Awakening of the Islamic Peoples in the Fourteenth Century of the Hegira." (I.e. the twentieth century of the Christian era). The book is doubly interesting because the author has a thorough Western education, holding a law degree from the French university of Toulouse, and is a judge on the Egyptian bench. Although writing as far back as 1907, Yahya Siddyk clearly foresaw the imminence of the European War.- "Behold," he writes, "these Great Powers ruining themselves in terrifying armaments; measuring each other's strength with defiant glances; menacing each other; contracting alliances which continually break and which presage those terrible shocks which overturn the world and cover it with ruins, fire, and blood ! The future is God's, and nothing is lasting save His Will !"
He considers the white world degenerate. "Does this mean," he asks, "that Europe, our 'enlightened guide' has already reached the summit of its evolution ? Has it already exhausted its vital force by two or three centuries of hyper-exertion? In other words: is it already stricken with senility, and will it see itself soon obliged to yield its civilizing ro1e to other peoples less degenerate, less neurasthenic; that is to say, younger, more robust, more healthy, than itself? In my opinion, the present marks Europe's apogee, and its immoderate colonial expansion means, not strength, but weakness. Despite the aureole of so much grandeur, power, and glory, Europe is to-day more divided and more fragile than ever, and ill conceals its malaise, its sufferings, and its anguish. Its destiny is inexorably working out ! . . .
"The contact of Europe on the East has caused us both much good and much evil: good, in the material and intellectual sense; evil, from the moral and political point of view. Exhausted by long struggles, enervated by a brilliant civilization, the Moslem peoples inevitably fell into a malaise, but they are not stricken, they are not dead ! These peoples, conquered by the force of cannon, have not in the least lost their unity, even under the oppressive regimes to which the Europeans have long subjected them. ... I have said that the European contact has been salutary to us from both the material and the intellectual point of view. What reforming Moslem Princes wished to impose by force on their Moslem subjects is to-day realized a hundredfold. So great has been our progress in the last twenty-five years in science, letters, and art that we may well hope to be in all these things the equals of Europeans in less than half a century. . . . " A new era opens for us with the fourteenth century of the Hegira, and this happy century will mark our renaissance and our great future ! A new breath animates the Mohammedan peoples of all races; all Moslems are penetrated with the necessity of work and instruction ! We all wish to travel, do business, tempt fortune, brave dangers. There is in the East, among the Mohammedans, a surprising activity, an animation, unknown twenty-five years ago. . . . There is to-day a real public opinion throughout the East."
The author concludes: "Let us hold firm, each for all, and let us hope, hope, hope ! We are fairly launched on the path of progress: let us profit by it! It is Europe's very tyranny which has wrought our transformation! It is our continued contact with Europe which favors our evolution and inevitably hastens our revival! It is simply History repeating itself; the Will of God fulfilling itself despite all opposition and all resistance. . . . Europe's tutelage over Asiatics is becoming more and more nominal the gates of Asia are closing against the European ! Surely we glimpse before us a revolution without parallel in the world's annals. A new age is at hand!"(Yahya Siddyk, "Le Reveil des Peuples Islamiques au Quatorzieme Stecle de l'Hegire", Cairo, 1907).
If this be indeed the present spirit of Islam it is a portentous fact, for its numerical strength is very great. The total number of Mohammedans is estimated at from 200,000,000 to 250,000,000, and they not only predominate throughout the brown world with the exception of India, but they also count 10,000,000 adherents in China and are gaining prodigiously among the blacks of Africa.

Chapter  11.  The Inner Dikes

The profoundly destructive effects of colored competition upon white standards of labor and living has long been admitted by all candid students of the problem. So warm a champion of Asiatics as Mr. Hyndman acknowledges that "the white workers cannot hold their own permanently against Chinese competition in the labor market. The lower standard of. life, the greater persistence, the superior education of the Chinese will beat them, and will continue to beat them" (Hyndman, "The Awakening of Asia," p. 180)
Wherever the white man has been exposed to colored competition, particularly Asiatic competition, the story is the same. Says the Australian Professor Pearson: "No one in California or Australia, where the effects of Chinese competition have been studied, has,
I believe, the smallest doubt that Chinese laborers, if allowed to come in freely, could starve all the white men in either country out of it, or force them to submit to harder work and a much lower standard of wages." (Pearson, p. 132)

An Englishman put the thing in a nutshell when he wrote: "Asiatic immigration is not a question of sentiment, but of sheer existence. The whole problem is summed up in Lafcadio Hearn's pregnant phrase: 'The East can underlive the West.' " (From an article in The Pall-Mali Gazette, London. Quoted in The Literary Digest, May 31, 1913, pp. 1215-16.)

Consider this Californian appraisement of the Chinese coolie: "The Chinese coolie is the ideal industrial machine, the perfect human ox. He will transform less food into more work, with less administrative friction, than any other creature. Even now, when the scarcity of Chinese labor and the consequent rise in wages have eliminated the question of cheapness, the Chinese have still the advantage over all other servile labor in convenience and efficiency. They are patient, docile, industrious, and above all 'honest' in the business sense that they keep their contracts. Also, they cost nothing but money. Any other sort of labor costs human effort and worry, in addition to the money. But Chinese labor can be bought like any other commodity, at so much a dozen or a hundred. [...] The entire transaction consists in paying the Chinese contractor an agreed number of dollars for an agreed result. This elimination of the human element reduces the labor problem to something the employer can understand. The Chinese labor-machine, from his standpoint, is perfect." (Chester H. Rowell, "Chinese and Japanese Immigrants," Annals of the American Academy, vol. XXXIV, p. 4, September, 1909.)

All this gives a clearer idea of the difficulties involved in a successful guarding of the gates. But it also confirms the conviction that the gates must be strictly guarded. 

With such grim warnings before their eyes, it is not strange that the lusty young Anglo-Saxon communities bordering the Pacific Australia, New Zealand, British Columbia, and our own "coast" have one and all set their faces like flint against the Oriental and have emblazoned across their portals the legend: "All White." Nothing is more striking than the instinctive and instantaneous solidarity which binds together Australians and Afrikanders, Californians and Canadians, into a "sacred union" at the mere whisper of Asiatic immigration.
Everywhere the slogan is the same. "The 'White Australia' idea," cries an antipodean writer, "is not a political theory. It is a gospel. It counts for more than religion; for more than flag, because the flag waves over all kinds of aces; for more than the empire, for the empire is mostly black, or brown or yellow; is largely heathen, largely polygamous, partly cannibal. In fact, the White Australia doctrine is based on the necessity for choosing between national existence and national suicide." (Quoted by J. F. Abbott, "Japanese Expansion and American Policies," p. 154, New York, 1916). "White Australia!" writes another Australian in similar vein. "Australians of all classes and political affiliations regard the policy much as Americans regard the Constitution. It is their most articulate article of faith. The reason is not far to seek. . . . Australian civilization is little more than a partial fringe round the continental coastline of 12,210 miles. The coast and its hinterlands are eettled and developed, although not completely for the entire circumference; in the centre of the country lie the apparently illimitable wastes of the Never-Never Land, occupied entirely by scrub, snakes, sand, and blackfellows. The almost manless regions of the island-continent are a terrible menace. It is impossible to police at all adequately such an enormous area. And the peoples of Asia, beating at the bars that confine them, rousing at last from their age-long slumber, are chafing at the restraints imposed upon their free entry into and settlement of such uninhabited, undeveloped lands." (H. C. Douglas, "What May Happen in the Pacific," American Review of Reviews, April, 1917.)
So the Australians, 5,000,000 whites in a far-off continent as large as the United States, defy clamoring Asia and swear to keep Australia a white man's land. Says Professor Pearson: "We are guarding the last part of the world in which the higher races can increase and live freely, for the higher civilization. ..." (Pearson, p. 17.)
So Australia has raised drastic immigration barriers conceived on the lines laid down by Sir Henry Parkes many years ago: "It is our duty to preserve the type of the British nation, and we ought not for
any consideration whatever to admit any element that would detract from, or in any appreciable degree lower, that admirable type of nationality. We should not encourage or admit amongst us any class of persons whatever whom we are not prepared to advance to all our franchises, to all our privileges as citizens, and all our social rights, including the right of marriage. I maintain that no class of persons should be admitted here who cannot come amongst us, take up all our rights, perform on a ground of equality all our duties, and share in our august and lofty work of founding a free nation." (Neame, op. tit., Annals of the American Academy, vol. XXXIV, pp. 181-2.)

Our Pacific coast takes precisely the same attitude. Says Chester H. Rowell, a California writer: "There is no right way to solve a race problem except to stop it before it begins. . . . The Pacific coast is the frontier of the white man's world, the culmination of the westward migration which is the white man's whole history. It will remain the frontier so long as we regard it as such; no longer. Unless it is maintained there, there is no other line at which it can be maintained without more effort than American government and American civilization are able to sustain. The multitudes of Asia are awake, after their long sleep, as the multitudes of Europe were when our present flood of immigration began. We know what could happen, on the Asiatic side, by what did happen and is happening on the European side. On that side we have survived. . . . But against Asiatic immigration we could not survive. The numbers who would come 'would be greater than we could encyst, and the races who would come are those which we could never absorb. The permanence not merely of American civilization, but of the white race on this continent, depends on our not doing on the Pacific side what we have done on the Atlantic coast." (Rowell, op. tit., Annals of the American Academy, vol. XXXIV, p. 10.)

Thus all those newer regions of the white world won by the white expansion of the last four centuries are alike menaced by the colored migration peril; whether these regions be under-developed, under-populated frontier marches like Australia and British Columbia, or older and better-populated countries like the United States.
And let not Europe, the white brood-land, the heart of the white world, think itself immune. In the last analysis, the self-same peril menaces it too.
[...] ...more than a decade ago an English writer asserted gloomily: "[...] We shall not be destroyed, perhaps, by the sudden onrush of invaders, as Rome was overwhelmed by the northern hordes; we shall be gradually subdued and absorbed by the 'peaceful penetration' of more virile races." (J. S. Little, "The Doom of Western Civilization, 17 pp. 56 and 63, London, 1907).

Note: see p. 295

So ends our survey. It has girdled the globe. And the lesson is always the same: Colored migration is a universal peril, menacing every part of the white world.
Nowhere can the white man endure colored competition; everywhere "the East can underlive the West." The grim truth of the matter is this: The whole white race is exposed, immediately or ultimately, to the possibility of social sterilization and final replacement or absorption by the teeming colored races.

Chapter 12.