The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Is there a difference between White Nationalism and White Supremacy?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/12/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 1,978 times Debate No: 97971
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
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I have been studying the Alt-Right ever since the U.S. election, and from that community I have been proposed with the idea that White Nationalism and White Supremacy are different ideas that are often mistaken as being the same thing. The way it's been proposed to me, the main difference between the two is this:

White Supremacy is the ideology that there's something about the white race (varied though it is) that makes it innately superior to other races, and that the occupation and domination of those races is simply the destiny of the White People.

White Nationalism is the ideology that the white race as a whole has inherent strengths and weakness when compared to other races (whites being more intelligent, blacks being more athletic), taking into account the fact that there can be exceptions to this rule (a white person being physically stronger i.e. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a black person being more intelligent i.e. Neil deGrasse Tyson), and that because of this, each race has an inalienable right to homogeneity in their homelands.

Race has become quite the hot topic here in the U.S. as of late, and I think it'd be good to get a sort of definite consensus on this matter.

Is there a difference?


I just want to use this portion to frame the debate.

The resolution has been framed as a question, but for the purpose of this debate is a resolution of fact. To slightly rephrase the topic in the interest of clarity and structure:

“Resolved: There is a difference between white nationalism and white supremacy”

There either is or is not a meaningful difference between the ideas of white nationalism and white supremacy, and we should decide based on a preponderance of the evidence.

Therefore, the debater that best shows that the resolution is true or false and provides the most compelling examples should win the debate.

The negative/Con (that’s me) contends that there is not a meaningful difference between the two, and in fact that white nationalism is born of white supremacy. More than an inherent link between two ideas, white supremacy is the premise that leads to the conclusion of white nationalism; white nationalism cannot be divorced from white supremacy.

Weighing mechanism; impact analysis- how meaningful or significant is an idea or example in this debate.

To decide the outcome of the debate, we need a way to measure the significance of ideas offered by either side. Once could say since the words are different there’s a difference, but that is insignificant and doesn’t grapple with the real question the topic raises.

Therefore when examining arguments and examples offered by either side, judges should ask how significant that example is, and compare it to the examples offered by the other side.

I look forward to the Pro constructive and ofering my own, to be followed by a single rebuttal each.

May the best supported notion prevail.

Debate Round No. 1


I would like to start my argument in the affirmative that there is a difference by thanking my opponent for the respectful manner in which he made his first point. When discussing a facet of race politics, such as White Nationalism, it can be very easy to dismiss it altogether or to become emotional in one's argument.

After spending time studying the Alt-Right after the recent election, I have determined that there is a difference between White Supremacy and White Nationalism. It is undeniable that both ideas stem from the same root, so when trying to discern any kind of difference, one must look at what members of each movement advocate and believe, as well as the manner in which they think is best to achieve these beliefs.

White Supremacy, historically, is an elitist ideology synonymous with military expansionism, cultural dominance, and an innate fixation with the purity of bloodlines. It is impossible to speak about White Supremacy without referencing the German Third Reich, as it is the only historical example we have with which to examine White Supremacy on a macro scale. In the Third Reich, people who were deemed to be "impure" by the state were classified and treated as second class citizens (Jews, people of African descent, homosexuals and others of alternative sexual persuasion). While not mistreated to the same degree, people of German heritage were given a privileged status over peoples native to conquered regions. Different from the American ideology of Manifest Destiny, the Third Reich gained new territory in a succession of "preemptive" wars, claiming that they were started in order to assure the country's safety. These wars, it was later revealed, were started in an effort to take back territory originally gained and lost in the first World War which the German leadership felt belonged to them by right of combat.

White Nationalism, which has been untested in its current form on such a scale as White Supremacy, is not necessarily an elitist, but certainly an exclusionary ideology built around the ideas of white identity, cultural protection, and homogeneity. I will concede to my opponent the following fact: White Nationalism was in fact born from White Supremacy. It was the idea of keeping things as they are, and at its conception, was essentially the exact same thing as White Supremacy. The change in its definition has come as time has worn on, with it's more militaristic and elitist notions dying off in the face of scientific research and unprecedented access by the media to real footage of combat. Scientific research in a topic called "Race Realism" has become a major part of the ideology of White Nationalism. Race realism essentially states that each race in the world, over the course of time and due to evolution, has evolved to excel in certain fields and become deficient in others. IQ tests play a large role in the theory of Race Realism, as they are a prime indicator of intelligence, and when separated by race, can indicate a race's general intelligence and aptitude. In these IQ tests, it's been seen that people of different races, taking into account where they were born and what their group underwent in terms of breeding patterns, tend to have different IQs. Race realism, combined with a sense of nationalism not just to their country, but to their family's country of origin, are some of the driving ideologies behind White Nationalism. A man who participates in the /pol/ forum, one of the digital homes of the Alt-Right, described it to me in this way: White Nationalism is the idea that people of European descent deserve to have a land to call home, as well as the right to preserve the homogeneity of that homeland."

Please keep in mind that the current debate is not about whether or not White Nationalism is a good idea: the debate is simply whether or not there is a difference between White Nationalism and White Supremacy. Thank you all very much for considering the idea, I will now yield to my opponent.


My opponent ended the last round saying, "Please keep in mind that the current debate is not about whether or not White Nationalism is a good idea: the debate is simply whether or not there is a difference between White Nationalism and White Supremacy."

His burden was to show there’s a significant difference between these two ideas, which there isn’t. Instead he tried to suggest that Nazi Germany was not engaged in white nationalism, seemingly to create a space where the idea can exist today unchecked by natural and appropriate reactions to a notion so racist and historically dangerous. He tells us the wave of white nationalism, emboldened by Herr Trump is something new or different. It is not new or different. The ideology is every bit as dangerous as it was over 80 years ago in Europe. Most perversely, he suggests that the white nationalism of today is unique in the form of racism it embraces; and offers newly packaged but actually very old pseudoscientific racism.

To keep this organized we’ll look at Pro examples in sequence, and end with Con analysis, but first we need to establish what these ideas really are, and that they are not unique in comparison to each other. This will help us deconstruct the Pro analysis.

According to Merriam-Webster white supremacy is: belief that the white race is inherently superior to other races and that white people should have control over people of other races

Merriam-Webster defines nationalism as: loyalty and devotion to a nation; especially: exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups.

Combine these ideas and we see that white nationalism in simply just nationalism with white supremacy as a compass.

Pro began with the example of Nazi Germany, and actually showed that this state was influenced to the point of being governed trough and by white supremacy, but Pro argues it was not a white nationalist state. However the definitions disagree with him, along with the record.

In fact Nazi Germany is the epitome of white nationalism in history. It combined the power of the state with the tenants of white nationalism. It’s as simple as that, but let’s look at the proof.

The German Nazi party, and its progenitor the Thule society (where Hitler earned his spurs as a Nazi) embraced the core tenants of eugenics, a pseudoscience that marries racism and components of Darwinism.

The Nazi Party and its sympathizers published many books on scientific racism, seizing on the eugenicist with which they would later become associated. These ideas had been in circulation since the 19th century. Books such as Rassenkunde des deutschen Volkes ("Ethnology of the German People") by Hans F. K. Günther and Rasse und Seele ("Race and Soul") by Ludwig Ferdinand Clauss attempted to scientifically identify differences between the German, Nordic, or Aryan people and other, supposedly inferior, groups; especially those of African heritage. In fact German schools used these books as texts during the Nazi era.

Nazi Germany was highly exultant of the state. German nationalism was the emotional, political tool for the white supremacist Nazi’s to enact increasingly racist and violent policy in their European state with the tacit and/or enthusiastic support of the population(s) in the state. It began with the core tenant that German, Nordic and Aryan people should belong to a single Greater Germany. It proposed that this nation was destined, by virtue of racial superiority, to rule Europe and lead the western world. Its most extreme disciples held that due to German racial superiority that the German nation would triumph in any conflicts with other nations, and that a Darwinian concept of competition ultimately made these conflicts unavoidable.

This all shows that Germany had married white supremacy to German nationalism. They were in fact so intertwined that one could not contest the racist ideals of the state without engaging what legally amounted to sedition at the time. There’s a few films that showcase this reality brilliantly, including Sophie Sholl and Schindler's List. The struggles of the people depicted in these films make clear the risks of opposing the racist agenda of the Nazi State. Below are some links to familiarize our judges with the actual events and ultimate consequences of the actions of these historic resistors of Nazi racism and genocide.

We can conclude that Pro’s attempt to distinguish Nazi Germany apart from White Nationalism is erroneous and misleading; to the point of being morally suspect. His analysis tries to suggest that the genocide and cruelty of Nazi Germany should not be confused with the kinder, gentler White Nationalism being popularized today. That’s wrong and the suggestion is disturbing.

Let’s look at the description of White Nationalism Pro offers, and how it differs from reality.

Pro says that white nationalism is untested in its current form, but based on the examples offered by Pro, it has; in Nazi Germany 1938-1945. One of the examples Pro uses to try and differentiate modern white nationalism from the events and ideals of Nazi Germany is actually a tenant of Nazi Germany and white nationalism of the 30’s and 40’s; he calls this the “science” of race realism. Upon even a surface survey of the examples offered, this turns out to actually be eugenics with a new name. It is in fact just real racism buttressed by pseudoscience.

For one, the prevailing science is that race is a social construct. There’s not meaningful and measurable scientific difference between humans.

For those that might doubt the modern wave of white nationalism is rooted the archaic tenants of eugenics, consider the history of the concept(s) provided below.

These both link the concept of “race realism” offered by pro, to the tenants of Nazi Germany and its progenitors. Pro either has to drop the example of “race realism” or accept that the racist pseudoscience of Nazi Germany is the same as the racist pseudoscience of the Alt Right; modern white nationalism.

When Pro says, “‘Race Realism’ has become a major part of the ideology of White Nationalism,” he inextricable links his repackaged modern white nationalism of today to the tenants of Nazi Germany of the 30’s and 40’s.

Furthermore, he concludes with, “White Nationalism is the idea that people of European descent deserve to have a land to call home, as well as the right to preserve the homogeneity of that homeland.”

Point of fact there is no reason whatsoever to think that white people are without a place to call home, and this is the very sentiment is the Nazi concept of “lebensraum; the territory that a state or nation believes is needed for its natural development, especially associated with Nazi Germany.” Once again, he links the modern white nationalism to Nazi Germany, which was his example of white Supremacy.

Pro even states in Rd 1: “White Nationalism was in fact born from White Supremacy… was essentially the exact same thing as White Supremacy.”

But his own examples show these two ideas are not meaningfully different. And certainly these ideas are not morally different. In fact the only difference we can observe is the time period in which either example happened, and that the white nationalists of today have not yet managed to get the political power to make these same racist aims policy the way Nazi Germany did.

Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by DavidMancke 2 years ago
There is a difference between western culture and white nationalism; correct. In reality the difference is so massive that I don't see comparison of that side-by-side with the side by side in this debate; There is not meaningful difference between white nationalism and white supremacy. There's a world of difference between white nationalism and western culture. Where are/were you going with this..?

And to be honest, Ben Shaprio and Milo are both morons. Total morons! Ben compares collective bargaining to the storming of the Bastille and the minimum wage to a hostage situation. That is stupid. The need for wage and labor controls is robustly established and the status quo suggests these measures don't go nearly far enough, and/or lack teeth. Comparing a min wage to a gun against the head is perverse as well as specious.

And Milo, show me what the hell the guy has contributed to our dialogue really..? The guy worked for Brietbart for heaven's sake. Birtherism, criminalization of black Americans, mongering fear of immigrants and LGBT people. That is where he earned his spurs. To claim that begin gay somehow immunizes him from being criticized for aiding and embedding Breitbart, or for being a xenophobic mouthpiece is absurd. Moreover, the fascination with him as a nationalist provocateur is perverse.
Posted by Tom-The-Hypocrit 2 years ago
I also used to follow and support the alt-right lol. I kind of realized that i don't truly agree with parts of what their saying though. But I have huge respect for Ben Shapiro and milo yiannopoulos (but ben will always be daddy).
Posted by Tom-The-Hypocrit 2 years ago
I don't think white nationalism is accurate in that it associates all of the west's good attributes with whites.

Anyone can embody these attributes and by assuming that someone will be better (even if you think it is likely) that is conforming to a stereotype. How foes anyone know that a random white person will be smarter than a black one? How does anyone know that these differences are not caused by social and economic differences?

The problem is that the white nationalists disregard all other variables in these aces' development. Indians had a different fairer society. Therefore there was no need for revolution or rapid progress. Therefore the whites who constantly slaughtered each other on the Europeans continent had need for better weapons which is why they were developed. There are often many other possible explanations for these differences than the race selection that the white nationalists jump to.

Also it is very easy for a white supremacist or a fascist to change a few of their words around and call themselves a white nationalist...

I would prefer "Western Culture" (and i do mean that). I also know that the alt-right says this but at the same time supports White nationalism. I would argue that the true difference lies between the words Western culture and white nationalism rather than white nationalism and white supremacy. Western Culture does not indicate a race but rather a set of morals that has empowered the development and some of the greatest achievements and societal breakthroughs in human history. Western Culture can be embodied by anyone and some of it's greatest upholders were not even white- Martin Luther King embodied the Western value of Equality

While some races may appear to have better attributes over all, we really don't know the true cause for all of this (I would argue environmental) and as such the leap required to accept that whites naturally posses all of these enviable qualities enters into the realm of pseudoscience.
Posted by DavidMancke 2 years ago
Forfeiture! Vote David!
Posted by DavidMancke 2 years ago
I just used the first round for framing the debate.
Posted by DavidMancke 2 years ago
Should the first round be for acceptance only..? Please let me know asap.
Posted by DavidMancke 2 years ago
Accepted. And I am holding you to the definitions you laid out in the opener.
Posted by PsionicTurtle 2 years ago
There isn't a difference because White Supremacy is saying the whites are better, whereas your definition of white nationalism is where whites are inherently smarter than other races, but in modern society, intelligence is viewed as a better quality. Additionally, that is pretty much the definition of racism, by assuming something based on one's race.
I know you likely don't believe either of these, but they are, at their core, the same.
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