Race

Civil War 2.0 Will Be Livestreamed

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,
will not be televised, will not be televised.
The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
The revolution will be live.

The events of this summer are a taste of what’s to come in the fall, and even more so, November 9, 2016.

Someone is going to win the Presidential election, and regardless of whether it’s Trump or Clinton, the loser’s supporters are going to feel existential angst about America, and their place in it, far beyond the usual.

Pat Buchanan advises us to take a Chill Pill; “For when a real powder keg blew in the ’60s, I was there. And this is not it.” And yet…in “The ’60s” (and the early ’70s, which is when some of the worst SHTF) we had the evening TV news and the papers. The crazy spread slower then. This time, any and every incident is going to be magnified and extremely accelerated. (more…)

Self-segregation and a third world invasion

A curious thing is taking place in the West. Two opposing forces are coming to a head, the effect of which could be disastrous or salutary, depending on your view.

First the bad news: There is a conscious effort afoot to overrun the First World with Third World immigrants. Popular commentary sites talk openly about how whites must be forced into subservience. Refugee advocates threaten to overwhelm nation-state borders “until Europe will turn black.” Political leaders are intransigent about their open border views, despite the culture clash they engender. In America, Mexican wall jumpers openly brag about “owning” states.

The audacity of this insidious invasion would make Jean Raspail blush.

While the West’s political leadership seems hellbent on putting out the welcome mat for barbarians, another concurrent trend is happening. It is far less pronounced, but it’s taking shape nonetheless.

I’m referring to what John Derbyshire calls “segregation lite.” Across the country, minorities are demanding protection from assimilation with others races. These agitators for apartheid are overturning the gains of the civil rights movement – which, given the country’s increase in racial strife, may not be a terrible thing.

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There is no such thing as left-wing dissent

If we grant that the definition of dissent is the holding of a belief that is contrary to the prevailing ideology, then it’s not particularly difficult to categorize instances of such dissent.

A good metric to measure it by is the magnitude of social penalties paid for by expressing potentially dissident beliefs. Can you lose your position at a company that you yourself started over the beliefs that you express? You are probably engaging in genuine dissent. This happened to Brendan Eich at Mozilla when he donated $1,000 to an advocacy organization that had Barack Obama’s 2008 opinion on traditional marriage. Something similar happened to Pax Dickinson for making crude and heterodox tweets about women in tech.

However crude the boundaries are, it should be easy to see what cannot belong in the category. It’s hard to think of a situation where holding left-wing beliefs, no matter how left-wing they are, would get someone removed from an an organization that is not itself expressly right-wing.

I can, however, think of examples where lefties didn’t get shitcanned. In 2001, Ward Churchill, a UC Boulder professor, literally argued that financial workers killed in the 9/11 attacks had it coming. Adam Kotsko, another academic, had similar sentiments about the Charlie Hebdo attacks: the people at the newspaper were insensitive to Muslims and therefore deserved to die.

“Can it get you fired?” is by no means a necessary element when looking to categorize something as dissent, but it’s a pretty good barometer for the climate of official ideology; that is, the underpinnings of polite culture that we’re expected believe. Both of these men, of course, made waves. There was a lot of outcry, and Kotsko eventually deleted his Twitter account, but neither of them suffered real material setbacks. Unpopularity is not dissent. I don’t suffer consequences for thinking that Drake is a bad rapper.

So it’s clear that official ideology is not democratic: right-wingers get fired for expressing even mainstream opinions, left-wingers do no get fired for expressing universally revolting opinions. Most Americans probably do not want gay marriage, but that belief system doesn’t use the ideological assumptions that it is supposed to. Churchill’s 9/11 apologia, however, was underpinned by the belief that there is Wall Street imperialism in the third world and that it such a thing is bad. This is firmly in line with with the ideological assumptions of powerful cultural institutions. So is Kotsko’s belief that racism is an insurmountable evil.

The pseudo-dissent that leftists engage in is merely a demand to extend official ideology and praxis. If we’re sitting somewhere around 6 on the Official Ideology Scale, the supposed dissent of the left is just a petition to crank it up to 11.

The FBI officially makes it its business to infiltrate and disrupt white supremacist organizations, and fashionable Black Lives Matter types like Ta-Nehisi Coates are also in the business of trying to dismantle white supremacy. There’s a difference, of course, of where exactly they think borders of white supremacist ideology starts and ends, but this is a question of magnitude, not a question of principles.

Black Lives Matter is a particularly pertinent example because such activists are supposedly fighting against “systemic racism” that is working around the clock to destroy them. The veil is pulled back when we actually look at the casualness of these protests. There are no long-term legal consequences for anyone hunting for the white supremacist witch, much less social penalties. If anything, you can gain social credit by bragging to your middle-class friends about being on, like, the Right Side of History.

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#ConservativeLivesMatter

bencarson

The presidential election next year has lead partisanship to highest level in American Politics. While Democrats play to a multicultural identity politics with white candidates, the Republicans play white identity politics with multiracial candidates. Both sides commit excess like when liberals accuse Ben Carson being an ally of white supremacists and conservatives accuse Bernie Sanders of being a Nazi. Both claims are false while is true that some positions embraced by Carson are similar to people on the far right, I don’t really think that neo-Nazis or white supremacists would consider a black politician for president. On the other hand, Sanders fascination with Scandinavia isn’t because of their race but with its generous welfare state. Generalize that one side or another is racist had become a tactic for candidates playing to their base.

Donald Trump is maybe the biggest example of white identity politics, liberals had compared him to the Nazis, and however Trump is a loyal ally of Israel. On the other hand liberals love to accuse Carson of being a “House Negro” but when Ralph Nader said the same thing about Obama, liberals accused him of being racist. But it’s not only liberals versus conservatives, Kasich compared Trump to Hitler. Neocons distrust Trump despite his strong Jewish ties and hawkish rhetoric. Conservatives had for a long time argue the theory of “natural Republicans”, that minorities are traditionally socially conservative and therefore would vote republican but as Jim Antle wrote these was only a myth and that when it was time to go to the polls, minorities voted in an overwhelming majority for Democrats. There isn’t an honest talk about race by conservatives, Jack Hunter argue that a lot of people in the right are dismissing the Black Lives Matter movement and being hypocrites in respect of big government abuse by the part of the police.

Liberals are hypocrites on racial issues when they said they are in favor of minorities but attacked viciously minority candidates running against then. No matter if the opponents are conservatives like Carson, Rubio and Cruz or third party progressives like Nader. In 2003, the Democratic Party establishment endorsed Gavin Newson against a progressive Latino like Matt Gonzalez in the San Francisco mayoral election just because Newson was a Democrat and Gonzalez was a Green. However is difficult to predict if multicultural identity politics will always play in favor of Democrats, the victory of an Indian American like Kshama Sawant of Socialist Alternative show that minority third party candidates could made the difference. The Green Party has been savvy enough to make inroads with the Black Lives Matter movement, at least one leader in the movement seem to be running against an incumbent Democrat for the state legislature next year.

It is important that American politicians would talk honestly about race. Marc Fisher reflections on the GOP, show that despite having minority candidates they were lacking in support from minorities. Some people dismiss the idea of Black Conservativism, but even social democrats like Jeer Heet admit that these is a real ideology but says that is not what Ben Carson represents today. The idea of self-reliance for the black community is powerful, it was shared by both Howard Zinn and the Black Panthers. But in a mostly white Republican Party, minority conservatives spend most of their time in search for white voters than making inroads in their own communities. Democrats should also talk about race, for example how affirmative action has made complex the admission to college to Asian Americans. Democrats had for a long time saying that they are in favor of minorities however the regulations that they push had made difficult for minorities to start their own business and also the gentrification is more usual in liberal cities. I sadly had to admit that neither Clinton or Trump would speak honestly on race, they would do whatever to please their base. But maybe the Black Lives Matter movement could teach a lesson to all. Conservatives should learn that while minorities don’t usually support their ideas, they are protesting against the abuse of power by government officials in their protest against police violence. Liberals should learn to respect the fact that not all in diverse communities are going to agree with their agenda and that a lot of their policy made more difficult the life of minorities.

Social class in America: the inequality we ignore

When Paul Fussell wrote Class in 1983, social class in America was “notably embarrassing”; sociologist Paul Blumberg, three years earlier, had called it “America’s forbidden thought”. Today, with the focus of media, academic, and political rhetoric on matters of race and sex, class consciousness—to use an admittedly dangerous term—seems absent from the public mind. Rather than being forbidden, the matter of social class as something which can transcend race has been all but forgotten.

But certain questions are only answerable in terms of socioeconomic class. When one asks, as the Washington Post did recently, why the country’s “most progressive cities” are losing their Black residents; or, as the Atlantic has asked, why “blue” cities are often unaffordable for middle-class families; or why the poorest county in the country—Owsley County, Kentucky—is about 98% non-Hispanic White; the progressive cries of racial injustice fall flat.

When I was growing up in suburban areas of the peripheral South, there was no “social class” per se—there were merely different kinds of people. Some lived in houses, others lived in trailers; some moved a lot, others didn’t; some always had money in their pocket, others didn’t. But more importantly to me as a kid, some people looked and acted very differently from others; some read books and others didn’t; some listened to the music I liked and others didn’t. These latter differences, especially the petty disagreements between subcultures which are so important to post-WWII Western youth, did much to cloud my vision of the socioeconomic divisions which were at the root of so many of them.

Such divisions are, ultimately, a matter of differences in shared experience–vocational experience in particular. Differences in shared experience are related to nearness and similarity; people are especially likely to form group identities with those to whom they perceive themselves to be geographically close and similar in culture or likeness. If someone lives far away and has no relation to you, you probably don’t perceive any deep commonality with them–unless you simulate nearness with the help of, say, the Internet.

To draw a useful map of class in the United States, then, means knowing what are the most socially divisive differences in vocational experience–in other words, the differences which are most likely to determine: 1) what kinds of people you live near and 2) what your (sub)cultural norms are, not to mention 3) your material conditions. Some of these might be: whether you have gone to college, whether you own a business, what your credentials are, etc. We can develop such a map in greater detail in the future, but for now we can distinguish an educated class–those living in what Charles Murray calls superZIPs–and an uneducated one. The two are easy to tell apart:

Several teenage church members spent a weekend helping to repair an elderly woman’s small house on a winding country road. For some, the experience was an eye-opener.

“I don’t usually encounter people who aren’t like us,” Zach Hannan, a River Hill High School senior who hopes to become a doctor, said as he joined adults replacing a damaged kitchen floor. He added, “I’m not used to seeing small houses.”

Hannan said that he has accompanied his parents, both psychologists, on cruises to Europe and Alaska and that most of his friends have been to Europe, too. Working nearby, Brandon Pelletier, who headed to Ohio State University this fall to study business, said his friends all have smartphones and shop for high-end clothes at the local mall.

So why, with all this in mind, are “America’s most progressive cities” in the process of “losing African Americans”? For the same reason that Chicanos in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago want “White hipsters” to stop moving in: the educated class is culturally unlike the urban minorities in places like Chicago and Austin, and, more to the point, it makes use of material conditions–gainful employment, home ownership, stable location, etc.–that the uneducated, of any race, urban or rural, do not enjoy in the same proportion. It wields greater social capital as well as economic capital, and both are dependent on social networks which members of the uneducated classes tend not to belong to. This means that, as happily egalitarian as the gentry might be, gentrification doesn’t somehow induct poor Blacks into their ranks. Eric Tang at the Washington Post answers his own question, and does so in terms of class:

It’s not that these cities are no longer liberal, per se, but that the brand of (neo)liberalism they now celebrate is unaccountable to the concerns championed by lower-waged workers[.]
[…]
It’s a liberalism that has, quite literally, left no room for the low-waged worker, particularly African Americans.

Not to mention poor and rural Whites, who not only do not benefit from affirmative action, but are discriminated against by universities. Whatever “White privilege” the educated class has, poor Whites are missing out.

Progressivism, then, is a signal of class; perhaps the greatest impediment to its acceptance by more Americans is economic insecurity. After all, if you went to a good school and make more money than most of the country, bloating the bureaucracy a little more doesn’t sound so bad. But if your livelihood is threatened by possible layoffs, high rent, and debt–in other words, if you’re one of an increasing number among the uneducated middle classes–voting Democrat may be simply unaffordable.

One doesn’t get the sense that middle- and working-class people are as conscious of this as they were, say, a century ago. Americans seem no longer to be as suspicious of the very wealthy as they once were. With the neoliberal GOP moving leftward on social issues and the Democrats losing their economic populism, we are left with two brands of big-government quasi-libertarianism: one for the dwindling middle class, and one for the gentry and their expanding class of dependents. Huey Long and William Jennings Bryan would find both parties hostile to what they stood for; more to the point, so would most of the American political establishment prior to the late 20th century.

To think that the implementation of egalitarian ideas would cause such an ever-growing class divide–an increasingly racial one at that!

White plight

The Southern Poverty Law Center is going to have an aneurysm over my plea to consider the struggle poor whites face in America. The piece is (where else?) over at Taki’s Mag today. An excerpt:

The racial privilege status of white trash makes them unattractive to the media because being penurious and pale-skinned is not respectable. While poor minorities are viewed with dignity and sympathy (as they should be), the same doesn’t apply to Caucasians. The white working class is, as Baptist minister Will Campbell put it, “the last, the only minority left that is fair game for ethnic slurs from people who would consider themselves good liberals.” Since the Progressive Era, the U.S. government has made it a goal to forcefully equalize society between races, classes, income scales, and gender. But to Campbell, “poor whites have seen government try to make peace between various warring factions but they have not been brought to the bargaining table.”

The result is pockets of despair in many parts of the country, most predominantly the South. And while it’s true that poor whites have always existed in America, the callous disregard for their difficulty we see by blue bloods in the Acela corridor is new. People like Kim Konzny have been stripped of dignity and left to fend for themselves without the assistance of the media or Washington elites. Unlike impoverished blacks who hold tight to faith and community, they are without an honorable sense of identity. If they cling to the Bible, they are seen as brainless, flat-earth bumpkins. If they somehow succeed in getting out of the trailer, they are demonized and told they’ve earned nothing because of “white privilege.” If they try to stick with their own kind, they are called neo-segregationists.

 

Read the whole thing and look for me listed somewhere on the SPLC’s Hate Map. I’ll be kickin’ back in short-shorts and combat boots with an Old Milwaukee pounder in one hand and four fingers down with one proud in the other. Boy howdy!

(Image source)