black lives matter

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…)

Identity Politics versus Identity Politics

YALEPROTEST

Last week, Rod Dreher published two thoughtful articles on Trump and identity politics. In the first, Dreher argued that Trump is the champion of white identity politics. In the second, he argues that white identity politics is a result of left-wing promotion of minority identity politics. I agree with Rod Dreher’s take – he isn’t the first to connect Trump’s rise to a nascent white identity politics movement, but he’s by far the most clear.

Dreher says that minority identity politics alienated a part of the white population, especially if they were male, straight, middle-aged and rural. This, he argues, causes an equal and opposite reaction in the form of a new identity politics that alienates minorities.

Such a phenomenon existed prior to Trump, but with him it has taken a new path. Even left-wing blogger Freddie De Boer was surprised over an Indiana job post written in Chinese. Yes, maybe De Boer was trying to make a joke, but think seriously about a middle age white jobseeker coming across something like that. That’s part of why Trump has the support that he does. Dreher puts it more precisely:

Crude as he is, Trump seems to get in ways that no other senior Republican gets is the degree to which American politics, cultural and otherwise, have become about raw racial and demographic power. I suppose you could plausibly argue that they always have been, but at least most of us tried to argue in classical liberal terms for a more fair and just society. What Trump seems to be saying is, “And look where that got you, white people.”

It’s not just economics. Demographics are the key of Trump support, such as with in Peter Thiel, whose politics are fairly more libertarian than the average Trump supporter – it’s in opposition to the culture of political correctness where he aligns with the candidate.

It’s strange to me that the devotion to PC culture and the promotion of diversity that seems to be the main goals of American liberalism is strange. I was shocked when I listen about the Gay Victory Fund a PAC that gives money to LGBT candidates, and I was shocked when I discovered that they didn’t give money to David McReynolds, the Green Party candidate for US Senate in New York despite being an icon of American radical left for being two times an openly gay presidential candidate in the Socialist Party ticket. I guess sometimes some people think partisanship is a secondary effect of identity politics. I, however, think that partisanship is the cause of identity politics.

In a bipartisan country, how can someone think beyond outside such a box? Identity politics is nothing new. The New Left was certainly more open to diversity, as exemplified by Democratic coalition that formed around George McGovern in 1972. The Southern Strategy of the GOP alienated black voters, with the payoff of winning them more white voters.

In the 90s, when Ralph Nader appeared as a presidential contender for the Green Party, people missed the opportunity to the fact that identity politics fuels neoliberalism. When Nader was critic of South Africa, Paul Krugman accused him of being a racist. When Nader was critic of Israel, Krugman accused him of being an anti-Semite. Even in a Fox News interview, when he suggested that Obama maybe an Uncle Tom, the host suggested that Nader was a white supremacist.

If a Fox News anchor is buying left-wing talking points on the matter, it’s clear that shows the country was doomed to accept group grievance politics and ethnic patronage as the norm. Nader was accused in his several runs of being dismissive of poor minorities. The funny thing is that Nader himself a minority – he’s an Arab American Orthodox Christian, but he has never made it a part of his politics platform, unlike, say, Al Sharpton.

When I say that identity politics fuels neoliberalism I’d invite the reader to look at the case of Bernie Sanders. In the Democratic primary, the liberal establishment has tried to the use the same arguments that they did with Nader, but even though he has a strong showing in very diverse states. Sanders has an appeal to some of the same supporters that Donald Trump working class whites. But unlike Nader, Sanders seems to have embraced the PC discourse on diversity.

One of the critics of Sanders’ embrace of identity politics is Glenn Loury a Professor of Economics from Brown University. Glenn is the host of The Glenn Show on Bloggingheads.tv and is a fierce critic of political correctness. Being a black liberal, however, he sounds very different than Donald Trump. He recognizes that immigration has hurt black workers, that broken families are a great source of misery for the black community, and that affirmative action deserves a critical reassessment. If he was white, he would had been accused of being something along the lines of a Nazi. Being black gives him a sort of PC teflon to such attacks, but it remains to be seen how long that will last.

I’m a Latino left-libertarian who supports open borders, women’s rights and gay rights, but even I worry that the PC machine is becoming a monster. Diversity is good, forcing such an ideology onto society bears some characteristics of totalitarianism. Free speech should be defended, and fashionable talk of tolerance should extend to the toleration of dissenting opinions. Otherwise, we could see the United States slide into something nightmarish.

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Michelle Fields and Michael Brown, a rush to judgment

What do former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields and former Ferguson thug Michael Brown have in common?

Their supporters loathe and despise Donald Trump.

OK, that was too easy. Let’s try again: What commonality exists between Fields and convenience store-tosser Brown?

Answer: The rash judgment immediately following their national exposure.

Nearly two years ago, the country was engulfed in the sad, sorry saga of Michael Brown. Shot dead in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, Brown became the poster boy for police brutality against blacks. Brown’s body was still warm on the pavement when the media went into berserk mode, charging Officer Darren Wilson with murder and maligning the entire police force as inveterate racists.

The story fit the progressive narrative: Brown was an unarmed black teeanger gunned down by a white cop. A few conservative voices called for calm as the details were sorted out. Rep. Paul Ryan (now Speaker of the House) warned the public not to “jump to prejudging conclusions before evidence is in.”

Their warnings were prescient: President Obama’s Department of Justice declined to charge Officer Wilson. The law-enforcement agency, which was headed by race-baiter Eric Holder, could not disprove Wilson’s claim that he was acting in self-defense at the time he killed Brown.

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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

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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.

Earth to liberal colleges: The World Ain’t Fair

Reprinted from the Press and Journal

Things sure have changed since the late Bill Buckley wrote his classic “God and Man at Yale.” Back when the National Review founder’s jeremiad against academia’s entrenched liberalism first hit the scene, the enemy was godless collectivism.

As a young graduate, Buckley penned his scathing work to reveal the leftist ideology taught at America’s third-oldest university. His goal was to awaken Yale alumni to the fact that their proud alma mater no longer taught the principles of Christianity and moral law.

Nearly a half-century later, Buckley has failed in his crusade. Yale is still a hotbed for Keynesian economics and secular humanism. But the Ivy League University has gone further than instilling students with a love of big government. It has reached the end point of liberalism, becoming a coddle factory for overly sensitive undergrads.

This past Halloween, the country was forced to witness an Ivy League-level temper tantrum in New Haven, CT. Yale students, upon being told to not be so uptight about offensive costumes, went into a frenzy that would make a pampered preschooler blush.

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