Dec 21, 2009

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Avatar: Why do Pandorans get to be Traditionalists?


The blockbuster film Avatar has just been released. It’s about a group of humans who wish to mine the resources of the planet Pandora. The humans are portrayed as white, industrial society imperialists and the Pandorans as pre-industrial, close to nature indigenes. One of the whites is rescued by a Pandoran woman, taken up by the tribe and learns to love their traditional ways. He becomes the hero of the film by turning against his own race and leading the fight of the natives to preserve their existence.

The blogger Fjordman is not impressed:

Avatar has to be one of the most anti-Western and especially anti-white Hollywood movies I have seen in a long time.

The hero is the U.S. Marine Jake Sully who has been sent to the planet-like moon Pandora because humans desire the mineral resources found of Pandora, which is inhabited by a race of tall, blue-skinned aliens, the Na’vi. They have a non-industrial civilization technologically inferior to ours but apparently spiritually richer and in perfect ecological harmony with the natural environment. The hero predictably falls in love with the native culture and connects with a native girl …

Basically, the white characters are portrayed as brutal, greedy and insensitive beasts who rape the environment and destroy other cultures with a smile in the search for profit. The main antagonist is the white Colonel Quaritch, a brute who hardly possesses a single positive character trait. The final climax of the movie is when he screams “How does it feel to betray your race?” to the protagonist while he is trying to murder him.

Although a few of the white characters such as Jake Sully are portrayed in a more redeeming light this is only because they totally reject their own civilization and join the other team in the fight. In other words: the only good whites are the ones who utterly turn their backs on their own destructive and evil culture. As reviewer Armond White put it, “Avatar is the corniest movie ever made about the white man’s need to lose his identity and assuage racial, political, sexual and historical guilt.”

Fjordman isn’t alone in taking the film this way. Another reviewer writes:

Avatar is just the latest scifi rehash of an old white guilt fantasy . . . it’s undeniable that the film … is emphatically a fantasy about race. Specifically, it’s a fantasy about race told from the point of view of white people. Avatar and scifi films like it give us the opportunity to answer the question: What do white people fantasize about when they fantasize about racial identity?

If we think of Avatar and its ilk as white fantasies about race, what kinds of patterns do we see emerging in these fantasies?

In both Avatar and District 9, humans are the cause of alien oppression and distress. Then, a white man who was one of the oppressors switches sides at the last minute, assimilating into the alien culture and becoming its savior . . .

These are movies about white guilt. Our main white characters realize that they are complicit in a system which is destroying aliens, AKA people of color — their cultures, their habitats, and their populations. The whites realize this when they begin to assimilate into the “alien” cultures and see things from a new perspective. To purge their overwhelming sense of guilt, they switch sides, become “race traitors,” and fight against their old comrades. But then they go beyond assimilation and become leaders of the people they once oppressed. This is the essence of the white guilt fantasy, laid bare . . .

There are two things that have to be explained about all this. The first is why white liberals would fantasise about being traitors to their own race. The second is why liberal moderns, who think of themselves as progressives, would support the traditionalism of non-white societies.

It can seem very confusing. In the film the native Pandorans are portrayed in the most positive terms for having “a direct line to their ancestors.” You would think, then, that the whites in the film would be encouraged to have a strong sense of ancestry and ancestral loyalty. But they don’t. Quite the opposite — their path to redemption is to become race traitors.

So why do liberal moderns have a fantasy of fighting against their own race? I put forward part of an explanation just a few weeks ago. I’d noticed that Australian men were being told that domestic violence was a product of a patriarchal male culture. In other words, men committed violence against women in order to perpetuate their own unjust privilege in society.

I cautioned men against accepting this idea because of what it logically entailed. Once a man accepts that masculinity and masculine culture are an oppressive source of privilege and injustice, then he loses moral status and authority in society. This in itself is bad enough, but worse follows. What the domestic violence campaigners then tell men is that they can redeem themselves, and restore their moral status and authority, by breaking ranks with other men and acting against the masculine culture. They are redeemed, not only by forfeiting their own masculine self-identity, but by identifying in opposition to the masculine in society.

And a similar logic applies when it comes to race. Once a white person accepts the idea that whites are privileged at the expense of the non-white other, then there is a loss which will be hard for the most conscientious and politically aware to bear. Such people will want to speak with moral authority in society, but how can they as white oppressors? The path to redemption is, again, to break ranks and to identify with the non-white other in opposition to other unenlightened whites.

This helps to explain why some liberal whites are so obsessed with an anti-white/pro-other agenda. It comes to express their self-concept and identity. It lies at the heart of how they see themselves and the ground on which they stand.

But why do white liberals praise what is traditional and non-liberal in native societies? Why are the Pandorans allowed to express a connection to ancestry and to defend their own culture but not whites?

If I understand Lawrence Auster correctly, a possible answer is as follows. There are white liberals, white non-liberals and non-white non-liberals. All three are necessary for the liberal script to play out in society. White liberals see themselves as morally virtuous because, in contrast to white non-liberals, they are open and accepting of the non-white other. But this then requires the non-whites to remain something “other” to the white liberal. What could be more “other” to the white liberal than non-white traditionalists?

In other words, the white liberal is practising his “virtue” by identifying with non-Western traditionalists. He is being a liberal in the very act of romanticising what is traditional and non-liberal.

Here’s something else to consider. Liberals want equality and yet there appears to be inequality of power and wealth between different races and cultures. How can this be explained?

There are left liberals who believe that such inequality came about when one group of people, “whites,” invented race and racism as an excuse to dominate and exploit other groups of people. Therefore whites are exceptional — exceptionally bad, that is. All that’s necessary to restore equality is to attack white privilege and power.

If you believe this, then you’ll get upset with any expression of white group identity. Even the most harmless expressions of such identity will be condemned as an attempt to defend “supremacy.” But the identity of other groups won’t matter so much, since they aren’t seen as being tied to power, privilege and inequality. In fact, they might even be tied to resistance to whites and therefore be seen as progressive.

This is another reason for whites being treated differently to others and not being allowed to express a communal identity, whilst the identity of other groups gets a free pass.

Or there’s the issue of dissent. There are left-liberals who see themselves as dissenters to the establishment (even though they are themselves a significant part of the establishment). But how do you demonstrate your dissent? If you think the establishment is a conservative bulwark against reform, then you can express your dissent in a predictable way — by advocating for progressive reform.

But what if you see the establishment as a soulless, materialistic, powerful Western industrial complex squashing the small, indigenous tribes in its path? Then perhaps you will express your dissent by identifying against the Western power complex in favour of the disappearing underdog tribes with their ancient wisdoms.

You might even then have a politically legitimate way to identify with things that you really do feel are lacking in more atomised modern liberal societies. You might even sound at times like a bit of a traditionalist — just not for the mainstream Western culture which retains its negative status as powerfully oppressive and destructive.

From Oz Conservative, December 21, 2009


  1. “There are two things that have to be explained about all this. The first is why white liberals would fantasise about being traitors to their own race. The second is why liberal moderns, who think of themselves as progressives, would support the traditionalism of non-white societies.”

    This last sentence shows the link between Liberals and Conservatives, and would be one, if not the, reason I would give if anyone asked me why I am not either.

    Liberal moderns would support the traditional non-White society for the same reason Conservatives would support the tradional White society.
    What is the reason?
    The reason is they both believe that somewhere at some time in the past there was a place of perfect order and value. A place where man was perfectly adapted to his environment.
    This belief is founded on a sentimentality.
    There has never been a time where mankind has been perfectly adapted to his environment. Something a glance at mankind’s history ought to make perfectly obvious.
    As far as I can see our only salvation lies in accepting this fact.

    In any event. When you wish to feel superior to someone you have two options.
    Hurt them or Help them.
    You can only hurt those who will truly be effected in some way by your attempts to hurt them. When one group of Whites accused another in the past of being morally and intellectually inferior they could have simply ignored each other.
    But when one of them got hold of some real power they could do all sorts of things.

    It’s good, old-fashioned cruelty. Taking active pleasure in hurting someone and concealing this primitive cruelty in moral self-rigtheousness, by being “kind” to someone else. But both are violations.
    As this charade became more transparent, and the violation revealed, the need to seriously limit free speech became paramount. And, even more important, the need to limit, or eliminate, free assembly!

    With “bad” Whites the “good” ones get to play the Old Testament God (Judgmental and Merciless)
    While with their non-White dependents the “good” Whites get to play the New Testament God (Understanding, Merciful, and Compassionate).

    In short, they are absolutely stuck in a dreary ritual of forcing themselves and everyone else to act out rigid roles by reading from an ancient script.
    Funny, doesn’t sound very progressive to me.

  2. Ahhh I was waiting for a review of Avatar to be put up on TOQOnline!

    I was switched on throughout the whole film and what I saw [besides Dances With Smurfs] was James Cameron jerking it to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Pure unadulterated Post-Colonial twaddle. The story was in terms of colonisers and the colonised. I had to laugh when Cameron couldn’t make up his mind whether the Na’vi were Africans or American Indians, though that of course didn’t matter, they’re an indigenous people UN style i.e. non-whites colonised by whites; whites can never be indigenous.

    Of course the race traitor protagonist is a Southerner! Going on an epic physical and inner journey leading to his anti-white redemption. Methinks Avatar was ghost written by Morris Dees!

    I nearly threw my 3D glasses at the screen at the line about the Na’vi connexion with their ancestors was something the evil whites were going to sever. Non-white traditions are to be romanticised and ultimately adopted by whites whose own traditions are supremacist and destroy non-white traditions.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that saw the exact same messages in the latest anti-white propaganda flick out of Hollywood. Don’t take your children or younger brothers and sisters to see it!

  3. The Admiral said:

    The liberal love affair with the traditionalism of non-white societies is really a desire for pre-European contact, a harkening back to the good times when White people did not exist in the non-white universe. Translated to real world politics, this attitude invariably leads to a policy of racial extermination. Hence, the liberal need to push an agenda of anti-White discrimination, persecution, and genocide-through-mass-immigration and miscegenation.

  4. The evil force isn’t White America, it’s a multinational corporation portrayed as a multicultural hodge-podge of mostly latino and black mercenaries. If anything, this film is anti-globalist and anti-industrialist. The idea that it’s a White Guilt movie is a paranoid delusion.

    When liberal, Hollywood Directors want to make a white guilt film nowadays, they’re direct. They don’t need to construct elaborate metaphors.

    The Jake Sully character is both human and Na’vi. He has one mind that moves back and forth between two bodies. He falls in love with a Na’vi as a Na’vi, and when he defends their culture and heritage, he’s defending his own culture and heritage. Again, you need to see the movie to really see the big picture.

    “Basically, the white characters are portrayed as brutal, greedy and insensitive beasts” is a disgusting oversimplification. There was one white villain, Colonel Quatrich, who has a legion of primarily non-white soldiers who look like they came from ghettos and barrios. On the other hand the “good humans” (there’s a group of them) are almost all white.

    Aside from that, it was a fantastic movie and the fact that a few critics have inferred some deep propaganda message based entirely on their own imaginations is absolutely insane. Conspiracy theories based on one or two bits of information really do nothing to help our movement.

    The author of this article is absolutely correct in his criticism of liberalism’s racial double-standard. But it has absolutely nothing to do with this movie.

  5. I had wanted to watch it, think ill go watch something not preachy…Second thoughts I had better just sit here in silence.

  6. Why waste 10+ dollars a person to watch these stupid and pointless Hollywood movies, so-called ‘films’ which are entirely detrimental to White/Western culture? If you really insist on seeing one of these Hollywood ‘films’ just wait until they finish their run in the main theaters and move on to the 1-2 dollar theaters in about a month in a half or so, that way Hollywood Jews aren’t making any more money on them.

    It is pretty sad to me what White America has become, a nation devoid of any true nationwide culture since it has been subverted and near-destroyed in the last few decades, a nation’s mass-culture replaced by anti-cultural Jewish Hollywood movies and idiotic cable television (talmudivision) shows; these Hollywood movies and TV shows seem to be about the only things that bind many Americans together nowadays in a wider/nationwide cultural sense, which is truly pathetic.


  7. Or just watch the stupid movie for free online. Then ridicule it more.

  8. I think everyone here needs to read Ian’s comment. Seems rather insightful. A lot of people, especially the more angry and vocal of the pro-White movement, seem to have gone into this film looking for a negative message. Why not explore the idea that perhaps the multiracial, greedy, imperialistic, and degenerate corporate entity is not us, but what we stand against, while the Na’vi are really our own agrarian ancestors that represent a folkish aspect of our race. Just because they don’t have White skin doesn’t mean we can or cannot relate to something.

  9. I mostly took Levis view on it, but also Ian is just wrong.

    I saw the movie yesterday, and while the most anti white thing in the movie which it really would be insane to IGNORE is when the 2-dimensional marine commander says “how does it feel to betray your race?!?” at a point in the movie when the audience has already obviously chosen sides and become emotionally attached to the 3-dimensional protagonist and his righteousness. That was a blatant turning of the movie into a great big conditioning weapon which will go straight into unwitting children’s minds and help form their opinions about “race traitors”. A good person, an environmental activist, a great warrior, a campassionate savior is one who not only does not care about race, he betrays it. There is simply no denying the nature of that.

    On the other hand, I too imagined the “aliens” as being like the northern Europeans, maybe even the Nazis. Their world-tree is so much like the Yggadrisil from northern European myth it is uncanny. The multi-legged horses reminded me of Odin’s 8-legged steed. The “corporation” I replaced in my mind with the allies in WW2 including the massively selfish and greedy masses of communism destroying the volunteer, multinational, organic and natural Nazi movement concerned with soil and ancestors and invasion by greedy foreign races (Jews) and led by a Hero. Closer to the present, you could equate the corporation with the Jewish “oligarchs” who raped Russia of it’s natural resources. Nazis passed some of the first sweeping animal anti-cruelty laws also.

    Northern Europeans have always been at the forefront of conservation efforts. We believe money, or greed, should not rule. In third-world countries or those with primitive cultures like the one the aliens had, often greed and money and brute power and murder are all that rule. Just turn it around in your head so it makes actual moral sense and enjoy it. I told my kids what to expect, they heard the quote I spoke of, and I pointed out the ridiculousness of that theme. They could see it.

    Train your kids to pick that stuff out. Then they can enjoy movies and maybe become immune to the conditioning. I told them all about how white people are the fairest, most objective, truth-seeking, generous, caring, BEST people on Earth, not the villans they constantly see and are taught about. We are very sensitive to nature — that is how we discovered evolution, that is how we discovered chemistry, physics, and everything else of science. We are the OPPOSITE of villans.. we are good, no, GREAT people!! Use the movies as an opportunity to teach, get some popcorn, and enjoy them.

  10. Steven, I too made the Yggadrisil connection and drew parallels between the Na’vi and ancient Europe.

    While I’d normally take your position on anything I interpreted as a message of race treason, the “how does it feel” line had very little effect on me, largely because Sully was not a human. He was Pandoran not only culturally, but biologically. For this reason – I didn’t interpret his actions as treason, but as defense of his own kin. (It is science fiction, after all).

    I can see where you’re coming from, but I still see no reason to interpret the film’s villainous corporation as a metaphor for White civilization. If that was the message Cameron wanted to send, he could’ve easily had the Na’vi refer to humans as “pale people”, or at least made all the humans White (the average viewer would likely not have taken notice). At the very worst, any cosmopolitan message that may be gleaned from this movie is harmless compared to the barrage of blatant anti-White, pro-black crime propaganda that Hollywood exposes us too on a regular basis.

  11. Doesnt anyone seem to find it odd in a movie about greenism. preservation, and the beauty of nature, that every landscape is digital? Furthermore the entire society works less like yggdrasil and more like a giant computer, or perhaps the internet. I think there is a lot of analysis in this area.

    The racial politics seem to vague in the movie to make it the focus.

  12. Nordicreb said:

    I’m giving away my age, I suppose, but I think that the fact that most movies these days are cartoons… eh… high tech I mean… shows that the levels of intellect and intelligence are decreasing rapidly.

  13. Crypto-Aryan said:

    Ian’s comment is not entirely false, but not entirely correct. Yes, the invaders are a multinational corporation staffed by a multiracial bunch. But the leaders of the corporation were all white males. And there WAS more than one white villian. The other main one was the “corporate administer,” who keeps pushing the need to be mindful of the company’s bottom line. The character played by this guy:

    The key exchange in the film is when the woman scientist, the Sigorney Weaver character, starts talking about her theory that the “N’eva” peoples are somehow directly connected to the fundamental substance that holds together the plantet’s biosphere, or some such talk. And her boss, the white supervisor, who earlier looking at a globe of the planet and its material riches, said “look at all that cheese,” responds to Weaver’s argument with a derisive laugh and the retort “What the hell are you people smoking?!”

    This is the image of whites: as the supreme movers and beneficiaries of capitalism, as ignorant of the immaterial, as uninterested in scientific progress unless it can be harnessed to improve technology . As greed, materialistic savages.

    At the same time, of course, the HEROES of the film are almost all white as well, too. Implicitely so. A point which many anti-white critics have pointed out. I remember reading some speech of William Pierce in which he claims that on some issues, white nationalists are much more comfortable with what is today considered to be “on the left.” And the first example he mentioned was environmentalism. In light of this, what the film makes me ask myself is, is it fair to associate white people with these particular negative aspects of capitalism and technological progress, since it is whites and their dynamic spirit that (still) is pushing this progress forward?

    Someone should write an essay on “Global warming, white guilt and White Nationalism” One question to explore: what are the responsibilities of whites toward transnational environmental concerns that impact whites, but neither directly nor exclusively?

    Ideally, writer would be someone who can grapple honestly with these issues without reflexively and exclusively shifting the blame for everything unsavory about capitalism and modernity on the Jews. And, of course, someone whose arguments cannot be reflexively dismissed based on him or her having Jewish ancestry.

  14. The Pandorans can also be seen as the Native whites of northern Europe who were forced to adopt a Jewish religion by the Roman Empire.

    The trees, the harmony with nature, and the tribal way were how whites lived for 10s of thousands of years.

    If in fact the industrial way of life kills or nearly kills the world, we can go back to the ways of our ancestors, who lived sustainably, and with “low carbon footprints” and in tax-free economies.

    We could live that way for eternity, or at least until the sun consumes the earth.

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