Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Only Antidote to Racist Violence and Conflict is Individualism

[Some are blaming "politics." Wrote Claire Galofaro for the Associated Press, “Historians and political scientists have been warning that American politics had become a pressure cooker, full of racial tension building once again to the point of a deadly clash, like the one in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday that claimed three lives.”

But the causes are much deeper, rooted in philosophy. In light of the recent racist violence in Charlotesville, Virginia, I thought I'd repost an article I published last November with the title, The ‘Alt-Right’: The New Left’s Chickens Homecoming. The message remains the same.]

Is Donald Trump, wittingly or not, raising the profile and influence of the so-called alt-Right?

In Trump disavows Nazis, saves them a seat at the table, the New Jersey Star-Ledger chastised president-elect Donald Trump for not disavowing the so-called “alt-Right” movement strongly enough. Trump’s selection of Steve Bannon as his chief strategist and senior advisor, the Star-Ledger believes, gives legitimacy to the alt-Right and its racist views.

I only recently heard about the alt-Right. From what I know about it, the alt-Right—which is not really on the Right, properly understood as standing for individualism—is racist, as well as nationalistic and collectivistic.

(I don’t yet know much about Bannon, so I can’t comment on his alleged ties to the alt-Right. I can, however, point the reader to an excellent column by PJ Media's Walter Hudson, who wrote,

The problem with Steve Bannon is not his personal views, for which there seems to be little evidence of anything egregious. The problem with Steve Bannon is the role he has played in proliferating the abhorrent views of others. While in charge of Breitbart News, Bannon transformed it into a haven for the alt-right.

Hudson believes that “Trump should go out of his way to condemn the alt-right,” and that “That declaration should be echoed by a repentant Bannon, or Bannon should be fired.”)

In any event, the alt-Right seems largely a reaction to the more subtle and more insidious racism of the Left—more insidious because the Left's racism is more highbrow, and being smuggled in under cover of “good intentions.” The Star-Ledger  writes;

Our president-elect seems vague about such approbation, as he is unaware that he has empowered white nationalists, emboldened neo-Nazis, and inspired the KKK to reemerge from beneath its rock: "I want to look into it and find out why," he said.

He can skip the inquiry. It's happening because his incendiary rhetoric still echoes. It's happening because he has conveyed his approval by appointing Steve Bannon as his chief strategist – the same Bannon who calls Breitbart "the platform for the alt-right." It's happening because they have tacit permission to express their retrograde impulses.

The Star-Ledger writes here that “It's happening because they have tacit permission to express their retrograde impulses.” But the fuller unabridged statement in the print edition reads “Its happening because diversity is a dirty word to these ‘patriots,’ and they have tacit permission to express their retrograde impulses.”

The Left’s concept of “diversity” is racial identity politics, not diversity in the only way it matters, in the content of individual character. In other words, race—not ideas, choices, values, moral character, and the like—is the defining characteristic.

When you identify people by race, and then divide people by that standard, what do you expect to happen—especially when you go out of your way to marginalize one of the races, white people? You encourage racism and other forms of group identity politics; e.g., the alt-Right’s white separatism. The alt-Right is the New Left’s chickens coming home to roost, and all decent people suffer for it.

For the rise of the alt-Right, we have the New Left and their “diversity” crusaders to thank. When you “set the table” for racist tribalism, you get racist tribalism. The alt-Right and the New Left are not opposites. They are two sides of the same coin. The New Left divides people by race, based on the postmodernist premise that different races are genetically predisposed to their own unique ideas and perspectives. The alt-Right also divides people by race, based on things such as genetically informed average racial group intelligence, as measured by things like IQ testing. The two are blood brothers: Both are both collectivist and anti-individualist; both are hostile to free markets and capitalism; both in essence reject free will; both are hostile to American culture.

Racism is a specie of collectivism. The Left is fundamentally collectivist, an ideology that, not surprisingly, it also shares with the alt-Right. Collectivism holds the group as the standard of moral value and judgement—and the easiest group to identify the individual with is his racial group or heritage. The only alternative to racism, both Left and alt-Right, is individualism, the antipode of collectivism and the heart and soul of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Individualism is the defining characteristic of American culture—a culture that both the New Left and the alt-Right stand in fundamental opposition to.

Related Reading:

The Founding Fathers, Not ‘Diversity,’ is the Solution to ‘Our Racialized Society’


Mike Kevitt said...

You truly validate Trump's claim that the fault of the Charlottesville riot was 'many sided', not just politically, but also philosophically. But the culture willfully ignores, evades, philosophy and arbitrarily latches onto race based 'diversity' to go after what people think is an easy target, the destruction of which would also satisfy, for a while, their self-perverted, thoughtless 'minds': not just the alt-right, but white males in general.

The GOP is threatening a primary election for 2020. So Trump should defend and push his claim of many sidedness.

Michael A. LaFerrara said...

“You truly validate Trump's claim that the fault of the Charlottesville riot was 'many sided', not just politically, but also philosophically.”

I’d like to think so. But I really don’t know what Trump means, so I’m not validating his claim, since I really don’t know what he’s claiming. He seemed to be equating the alt-Right with the New Left, an equivalence with which I agree with. On the other hand, he at times seems to morally equate the pro-Confederate protestors with the anti-Confederates, which I emphatically don’t agree with. I watched yesterday’s (8/15/17) presidential press conference allegedly concerning his infrastructure scheme, in which he spent most of the time reiterating his Charlottesville statements. In it, he equated Robert E. Lee to George Washington, in my view a moral abomination.

Yes, Charlottesville has deep philosophical roots. I think many good people voted for Trump partly as a rebellion against the Postmodern Left’s racial/gender/economic group identity politics. If Trump understands that, he doesn’t articulate it well. A lot of Trump's troubles are his own doing. But I do believe he gets a raw deal from the political and intellectual establishment.

Mike Kevitt said...

I think one thing Trump definitely meant was the fault lies with two or more sides, not just with the alt-right, and that the antifa is as much to blame as the alt-right. That's what I say you validated. But, even if it's many sided, ONE side actually started the violence. Maybe it's impossible to trace down which side it was. One thing is true: antifa goes after groups like the alt-right with the pre-intention of violently attacking, of starting violence. The alt-right will naturally respond violently in defense, but they have no pre-intention of starting violence.

Steve Jackson said...

I imagine George Washintgon would have agree with Robert Lee on most issues.

Groups are different which is most likely genetic.

Mike Kevitt said...

Steve Jackson: Does genetics and group identity determine an individual's agreements and disagreements, his values, thinking, choices? Or do individuals have free will? It truly is one or the other. Which is it, determined or free?

Michael A. LaFerrara said...


I think we have to distinguish between the specific event in Charlottesville and the big picture regarding the rise of the ant-Right. On Charlottesville, Trump resorted to “what-about-the-otherism”, rather than focus on the immediate catalyst for the violence, which was the neo-Nazi, white supremacist demonstration. I think that was exactly the wrong time to draw “many-sided” big picture comparisons, valid as that analysis is. My point here is to focus on the big picture. Just to keep the record straight, I do not endorse Trump’s stated position on Charlottesville. It’s not just a matter of bad timing. He said several objectionable things, like saying (or implying) that there are “very fine” people among the pro-Nazi or white supremacist demonstrators. What type of person—even one otherwise opposes the removal of the Lee and Jackson statues—associates with Nazis and white supremacists? Not a fine one, in my view.

Mike Kevitt said...

Nobody can be blamed for being a catalyst. The effect, whether it's violence or anything else, is caused by somebody other than the catalyst. In this case the antifa caused, not any of the deaths, but all the other bad that happened. And the bad started prior to any deaths. The neo-Nazi white supremacists were just catalysts and the antifa cannot be excused for starting violence. Then the antifa was a catalyst for the guy who mowed down some people with his car, killing one of them. I think every crime has a catalyst, but that never excuses crime. I don't even think the white supremacists are the big picture, nor even the antifa. They are incidental, and the Charlottesville episode was incidental. The all-prevailing cultural irrationality (and IT'S cause) is the big picture.

The big picture WITHIN the Charlottesville episode was the antifa and its violence, not the white supremacists. The white supremacists, bad as they are, had the right to conduct a peaceful demonstration. The antifa violated that by starting violence.

Rather than citing 'many sidedness', Trump should've been even more 'egregeous'. He should've put blame for starting violence squarely on the antifa ONLY, and blame for the car attack, separately, on the driver only. The badness of the white supremacists is a SEPARATE issue which Trump should've (and did) cite separately. All this is what we could reasonably have expected of Trump.