(Note: this is a long post on a highly sensitive subject. If you don’t have the time (or inclination) to carefully read and consider it all, please don’t read it AT all.)
Since Saturday, I’ve been trying to find the words to express how I believe we arrived at the tragic violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. I have no sympathy for idiots who see Nazi paraphernalia as a statement. History clearly shows where that road leads.
And yet, with all the focus on the swastikas why is it we never have criticism of the Hammer and Sickle often unfurled at various Leftist demonstrations? Of the Che Guevara T-shirts worn by people who still think socialism or communism is a good idea? History also shows multiple examples of where THAT road leads. Many of the gatherings of these supposedly “anti-fascist” groups are also violent — in the way that Hitler’s Brown Shirts were violent. In fact, I think the wisest comment on Charlottesville is that is was a result of two groups descending on the city, looking for a fight. It did not help matters that the police stood back and allowed the fists on both sides to start flying. I wonder if anyone will be held to account for that…
We’re rapidly approaching 1930s Weimar Germany all over again – two brands of social collectivist thuggary duking it out for control.
There is more to this, however. With higher academia firmly under Gramscian control, it’s easy to understand why many young people have a romanticized view of communism’s “liberation” movements and fail to realize “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” But what trend could be luring other young people towards neo-Nazism or the white supremacy ideas of decades past?
I think much of it’s a belated (though misdirected) defensive response. Rod Dreher hits the nail on the head: it does no good for the Right to disavow the identity politics of neo-Nazism or George Wallace’s segregationism while the Left continues to make identity politics the center of everything:
…you cannot have an identity politics of the Left without calling up the same thing on the Right. Left-liberals want conservatives to stigmatize and denounce white nationalism, but conservatives who do so will be sneered at by white nationalists as dupes and fools who advocate disarmament in the face of racist, sexist forces of the Left.
When the Left indulges in rhetoric that demonizes whites — especially white males — it summons the demons of white nationalism.
When the Left punishes white males who violate its own delicate speech taboos, while tolerating the same kind of rhetoric on its own side, it summons the demons of white nationalism.
When the Left obsesses over ethnic, sexual, and religious minorities, but ignores the plight of poor and working-class whites, it summons the demons of white nationalism.
When the Left institutionalizes demonization of white males in college classes, in political movements, in the media and elsewhere, it summons the demons of white nationalism.
When the Left attributes moral status, and moral goodness, to persons based on their race, their sex, their sexual orientation, or any such thing, it summons up the demons of white nationalism.
When the Left refuses to condemn the violent antifa protesters, and treats their behavior as no big deal, it summons the demons of white nationalism.
When the Left refuses to stand firm against aggressive manifestations of illiberalism — like we have seen over the past several years on certain college campuses — it summons the demons of white nationalism.
When the Left encourages within its ranks identification as a victim, and stirs up political passions based on perception that one is a victim of other groups in society, it summons the demons of white nationalism.
I’ll add one more: when ethnic Leftists rant about “cultural appropriation” of tacos, dreadlocks or musical styles, while completely ignoring the fact their first-world daily life is built on the foundation of largely Western European cultural, social and technological advancements, it summons the demons of white nationalism.
The hypocrisy has been apparent for some time. Just as there was outrage spun up at the idea of a “National Association for the Advancement of White People,” one cannot imagine our society tolerating a “White Congressional Causus” or “White Student Union.” The Left gleefully and openly looks forward to the day when the United States is a “majority minority” nation (meaning no one group has more than 50% of the population). Why can’t they understand their rhetoric makes many whites see that looming milestone less as a leveling of the playing field than as the day when a long-anticipated “payback” begins?
Meanwhile, in the background, our ‘leaders’ continue to accelerate the problem by continuing the demographic revolution launched by the 1965 Immigration Act. Even the election of Trump won’t stop that — it will only highlight its inevitable tragic results. As I’ve said before I’m not a racist – but I am an openly admitted cultural supremacist and defender of Western Civilization. Anyone who denies that different cultures lead to different outcomes has nothing to contribute to discussions, as they do not live in the real world. And anyone who denies the achievements of Western Civilization while wanting to enjoy its benefits has no business living in America. Period.
We had a chance in this country to encourage people from all parts of the world to share in the blessings of our cultural heritage (including its foundation on a Christian worldview) — but that required teaching them to share the burdens of personal responsibility that come being “part of the tribe.” We failed to insist on that and now, after decades of Marxist and demographic assault, most Americans of all backgrounds have abandoned the “burgeois culture” that once made it successful:
That culture laid out the script we all were supposed to follow: Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.
These basic cultural precepts reigned from the late 1940s to the mid-1960s. ((I’d argue an earlier start than the 1940s — Jemison)) They could be followed by people of all backgrounds and abilities, especially when backed up by almost universal endorsement. Adherence was a major contributor to the productivity, educational gains, and social coherence of that period.
Did everyone abide by those precepts? Of course not. There are always rebels — and hypocrites, those who publicly endorse the norms but transgress them. But as the saying goes, hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue. Even the deviants rarely disavowed or openly disparaged the prevailing expectations.
Was everything perfect during the period of bourgeois cultural hegemony? Of course not. There was racial discrimination, limited sex roles, and pockets of anti-Semitism. However, steady improvements for women and minorities were underway even when bourgeois norms reigned. Banishing discrimination and expanding opportunity does not require the demise of bourgeois culture. Quite the opposite: The loss of bourgeois habits seriously impeded the progress of disadvantaged groups.
That culture also had the expectation that people work out differences through reason and compromise, not by street brawls. So we see how well abandoning it has worked for our country. Now our two extremes are, as Dreher noted, locked into a feedback loop of identity war.
Many people are (rightfully) mourning the death in Charlottesville. I’m mourning — and have been, for some time — the death of the American experiment in self-government. Freed of its religious and cultural underpinnings, badly
governed pilfered by an isolated ruling elite and suffering fractures along “identity lines,” I don’t see a positive way forward for the country. Everyone claims to want a “third way,” but no such cohesive option is presented. If ever a third party was to gain traction, the last election would have been the time. That this didn’t happen is merely one more symptom of how far down the road we are.
I want my three children to inherit a country worth living in, not one in which they are held reponsible for slaves they never owned or for the “privilege” of having two loving heterosexual parents who taught them how to face life in a Biblical and responsible manner. That doesn’t make me a neo-Nazi. It does, however, help me understand where many of the white nationalists are coming from. (The two terms are not necessarily interchangeable.)
The 2016 election was bad enough. Here’s hoping I never have to choose between Scylla and Charybdis.