Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Confederate Conundrum

Over at the Alternative Right blog, Matthew Heimbach makes the case for flying the Confederate battle flag.  He is unapologetic about the inherent racism in the symbol and I applaud his honesty.  He also deplores the greed and lack of humanity that led to the importation of slaves from Africa, to be fair. The crux of his argument follows:
This flag has become a symbol of the Confederate soldier, but also White resistance to federal tyranny and forced multiculturalism. The men who fought under it rejected the idea of multiculturalism and an empire to rule over them, instead supporting a movement that would allow them self determination. States Rights is a part of this ideology, but it must be understood within the context of the people at the time knowing that their racial extended family was part of an organic State, not just lines on a map. 
While not consciously, this seem to be in rebuttal to Lincoln's second inaugural, which makes reference to the causes of the Civil War as well.
One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it.
So which was it? Resistance to cultural annihilation or merely limiting slavery?  Even though a lifelong admirer of Lincoln, like most Americans, I am struck that Lincoln is a bit disingenuous here.  Restricting the expansion of slavery was only the first step that the abolitionist Republican party desired, and, through the course of the Civil War, abolition succeeded.  But Heimbach is also a little off the mark because the Southern leadership knew they were fighting for the preservation of slavery in perpetuity.  The South rightly saw the election of Lincoln as the beginning of the end for slavery and struck at the North while they thought the odds favored them.  That they fought to perpetuate the evil of slavery cannot be glossed over in the defense of the flying of the Confederate flag; which Heimbach does not do.

But what of the dilemma of self determination within one's own group?  African-Americans are still only partially integrated into the whole of American society.  In San Francisco's Chinatown, the displacement of ethnic Chinese due to economic forces wrought by Airbnb has brought protest and angst, as the Chinese desire their own community.  The success of Spanish language television is evidence of slowing integration of Hispanics into mainstream American society.  When lower class whites self segregate it's called racism and when upper class whites do it, it is politely ignored or glossed over.  We encourage every ethnic group except Europeans descendants to self-segregate in the name of multiculturalism.  The balkanization of America seems inevitable as long as cultural marxists hold sway in leading the direction of America.

Further, there is scientific evidence that our brains are hardwired to be more accepting of people like ourselves.  Tribalism is deeply embedded in our make up. So America has a natural barrier to overcome, and seems to have done so right up until the 1960s.  At this point in history, it seems that our success is coming apart.  Why?  I feel as though we are not asking the right questions.

The right question to ask is, why were we successful in being absorbing other cultures into our society in the first place?  The answer has to do with unspoken agreement about the nature of the culture and the relative numbers of people who were not part of it.

American culture and political theory derives from England. The American revolution was essentially an English one, in which the colonists objected to the impositions of the crown, because they violated their rights as Englishmen.  The nation was founded with a language and culture inherited from England, perhaps Great Britain.  Its institutions and the logic of its judiciary were inherited from English experience with separation of powers.  Over time, new immigrants were expected to accept this regime, learn English and assimilate.  Rather than from a set of universalist beliefs, our nation is founded on a particular set of beliefs about our rights that derive from our English cultural antecedents. I discussed the difference between universal and national rights in a prior post.

Additionally, like it or not, there seems to be a genetic component to political belief and one's view of rights.  This leads me to conclude that the current antipathy to the Anglo-centric European view of limited government can be traced in part to the increased immigration from nationalities unfriendly towards that view of government.  This has been exacerbated by an increased leftism among white people who some feel guilty over the dominance that European peoples have had over the rest of the world.  The left has turned against the culture of their forefathers and sought alliance with immigrants from lands hostile to American and European hegemony.  This explains in part the left's support for open borders.  (Libertarians in favor of open borders are deluded into thinking that all cultures are amenable to concepts of limited government, when this desire is in fact limited to a very few nationalities.)

It is in this context that I have to re-examine my long time dislike of the Confederate battle flag.  While it has the taint of slavery, it is also the most recognizable expression of a desire to preserve and Anglo-centric European culture in America.  In my view, it is a culture worth preserving because it gave us the founding fathers, and somewhat paradoxically, Lincoln; and the most free and prosperous nation the world has ever seen.  As I quote very often, Leftists tend to hate anything that has an image of being strong, good and successful.  American traditional culture is all of that, which makes it worth preserving.

As to why were we successful for a while and no longer seem to be?  I lay the failure at the doorstep of feminism and leftism, really the same things.  We started telling ethnic groups that they no longer needed to assimilate and rewarded them for not doing so.  We started bringing in massive numbers of immigrants from cultures whose values were inimical to our own. We started undermining traditional societal roles, undermining social cohesion.  We started undermining the white middle class through globalism and mass immigration.  We undermined white middle class by undermining marriage through feminist doctrine.  We started undermining social cohesion by an assault on our society's traditional belief in Christianity.  As a result of these assaults, many people in American society no longer see themselves as Americans, but as some "other" such as Black, Hispanic, or Muslim.  Given that a larger number of Americans self-identify this way, and given the power of identity, is it any wonder that the idea of America is being overthrown?

But ultimately, the rights of people as individuals and their rights as members of groups are on a collision course.  Given the large numbers of whites in the country, I can only see conflict ahead if a sense of national identity is not restored.  So whites have a reasonable right to fly the confederate flag in protest against an organized attempt to marginalize their culture.  But isn't the answer.

What is needed is a counter-synthesis to the prevailing synthesis of leftism and traditionalism that governs our culture.  This is why there is an alt-right that looks at these issues not through the prism of policy or law, but through the perspective of cultural heritage that is biologically inherited.  The problem still to be solved is how to assimilate those who lack the genetic propensity to accept the cultural and political norms that founded the nation; and how to ostracize and defeat the traitorous left that seeks to destroy the most successful culture the world has ever seen.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Universal vs. National Rights

In a future post, I will describe a notion of national identity dependent upon cultural antecedents.  However, to do so I need to define a difference between universal and national rights.  In a critique of the alt-right, Cathy Young quotes Steve Pinker on the subject of political equality:  
Political equality is a commitment to universal human rights, and to policies that treat people as individuals rather than as representatives of groups; it is not an empirical claim that people are indistinguishable. Many commentators seem unwilling to grasp these points.
However, if we are going to discuss the preservation of a national culture as a part of national preservation itself, I think we need to distinguish between universal and national rights.  Cathy Young is skewing the terms of the debate because any number of rights might be considered universal, when this is not in fact true.  For example, the UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights declares this right that is not recognized by American courts (see welfare reform case law):
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
So, I would say that universal rights are more limited and consist of a very small set of rights:
  • The right not to be arbitrarily deprived of life or property.
  • The right to impartial treatment under the laws of their nation.
  • The right not to be tortured.
There might be a few others, but all of the other rights in the UN Declaration are not universal, because they are not universally acknowledged across all cultures.

This is not to say that there are not other rights.  What of freedom of speech, or religion, you might ask.  Are these not universal rights?  My answer is no, they are American rights, and to some extent the rights of Englishmen.  The rights of Americans derive in no small part from the founders interpretation of the rights of Englishmen.  The failure of the Crown to respect the colonists rights as Englishmen was the key justification for the American Revolution.  However, these rights were expanded and codified into the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments to the Constitution.

So when Cathy Young attempts to the limit the terms of debate to a commitment to "universal rights" she is so altering the terms of the debate about nationhood as to make it meaningless.  We say, with regards to the issue of national culture, if one wishes to be afforded the same national rights on offer as everyone else, then one has to accept membership in our nation.  One's failure to accept membership in the American Nation, uttering G** D*** America as Obama's Reverend Wright famously did, is to also reject the expectation of fair treatment from other citizens as a fellow American.  This is the crux of the alt-right challenge to the national conversation.  To participate in the life of this American culture, one must identify as an American.  If one identifies primarily as an "other," Black or Mexican for example, but not really as American, perhaps because one believes that to do so is to identity with a White nation, then one forfeits credibility and participation in the national debate.  

Our national identity traces back to an Anglo-centric culture that improved upon and built upon the rights of Englishmen.  It has also imported some other aspects of European culture as well.  Most of the peoples who have emigrated to America have joined that vision and added that vision of our national culture.  This national culture values freedom, self-sufficiency, rule of law, and individual responsibility.  It uses the English language and the language of Christianity because they best convey the national culture.  In order to be afforded the right to be treated as an individual requires submission to the national values and treatment of others as individuals.  

The conclusion is clear. Speak our language and share our culture because this is our land.  We are under no obligation to accept those who do not.  Further, we are under no obligation to accept immigrants from lands where our values are not respected.  We will judge who is fit to enter America based on the historical commitment and ability of their country of origin to join our culture.  This is our assertion of our national rights.  Finally, we do not accept that the native born should cut themselves off from the mainstream of American culture that would afford them opportunities for success.

Monday, April 11, 2016

A Better Apology for Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan was recently savaged by Social Justice Whoriers in Britain for making the unremarkable remark that “. . . I tend to think of people with penises as men.”  He was attempting to wade into some stupidity within the LGBT community and its eating of its own through consumerist identitarianism.  Of course, being a writer but not really a believer in anything, he issued an apology.  I thought his apology to be rather insincere and pro forma.  As a public service announcement, I offer Mr. McEwan, free of charge, this much improved apology.

I am sorry that your lack of self-awareness caused you to be offended by my common-sense remarks.  As a member of the Western cultural elite, I am sorry that we have failed you.  We have allowed to wallow in childish self-pity over your condition.  I am sorry that we have allowed you to believe that physical and chemical self mutilation are legitimate answers to your mental illness.  I am sorry that we have not provided you with the support to resist your irrational urges of self-harm.  I am sorry that we haven't provided you with the intellectual fortitude to think honestly and handle the truth.  I am sorry that we have allowed our culture to become so debased that we cannot discern mental health from illness.  For all this we are deeply sorry.  I sincerely hope that trannies and your poz sympathizers will cease visiting your deep self-loathing on what remains of healthy society.