• Blaming the right people

     

     

    This clip is profoundly depressing to me:

     

     

    In it Bill Maher describes right wing political correctness, that there are things you can’t say, and gives the example of racism in America as something that will not be discussed.  That’s a good point.  Considering the Charleston murderer, there’s a quite grotesque level of evasion about the motives of the killer.

    The idea that this is just some crazy person is every bit as specious as the argument that the Islamic jihdists are just “lone wolves” or that “there is no Islamic terrorism, there’s just terrorism”.  And the political right – my lot – should have no truck with this.

    Evasion is the only word here.  This is plainly an act of fascist terrorism.  A fan of Mark Steyn, I was depressed to see him attack the ‘politicization‘ of this atrocity. He’d do well to reread his own piece jeering – rightly – at those who were complaining that the fall of Benghazi was being politicized.

    Then Bill goes completely wrong in trying to blame Fox News and the rest of the US establishment conservatives for incitement, even drawing parallel between Fox and Anwar al- Awalaki.  The rest of the clip is thoroughly unproductive.

    Now the word “incitement” means to want something to happen, to deliberately call for something to happen.  Someone saying immigration should be stopped is not guilty of incitement, someone calling for lynching is.

    In no sense is the mainstream US right inciting this stuff.  Broadly speaking, the US right wishes race and racism just didn’t exist.  Why shouldn’t they?  Anti-racism is a stick routinely used to beat them.  The slant of magazines like National Review is broadly speaking individualist.  No identity politics.  Why should we be blamed for the crimes of our ancestors?  If there’s a parallel to their politics, it’s closer to the liberal nationalism of nineteenth century Europe – “Why do we have to be hyphenated-Americans?  Isn’t it better to lay aside the baggage of the past and be united in one nation?”  And so forth.

    Roof’s manifesto is not like that.  He draws on a tradition that isn’t just an exaggerated version of US conservatism, but one that is alien to both of America’s political traditions.

    Writing about the firing of John Derbyshire from National Review, the Midwest Ballard Review wrote as follows:

    [T]he basic National Review position, the average Republican position, the average sentiment of the red American. It’s conservative, but still sees itself as fighting for and working within the bounds of America’s founding mythology: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” you know the rest.

    Derbyshire wasn’t ever on that team

    That’s quite right.  This is not the conservatism of Edmund Burke – opposing the French Revolution and praising the American – but that of Carlyle.  To phrase it another way US liberals think racism is an evil that still needs to be combated and US conservatives think racism an evil that will fade away if people quit fussing over it, but reactionaries think racism is a good thing that needs to be encouraged.

    That’s the problem with Maher’s line.  When you convict innocents, you let the guilty off the hook.  The real source behind Roof’s manifesto are not people like Rush Limbaugh, but people like Jared Taylor.  Not Fox News, but VDARE.   Not the right of Thatcher and Regan, but the right of Julius Evola.

    Roof’s true ideological muses are completely unscathed by all this – which is a guarantee that things will only get worse in the future.  Not least because – as I’ve pointed out before – the mainstream is useless when it comes down to real racism, real fascism.

    You simply cannot yell “racist!” at ever higher decibels and expect that to make a difference.  Instead, you need to do the hard, boring spadework of taking on the arguments underlying this stuff on their own turf and in their own terms, and refute them there.

    Category: FascismLife and ReasonRace and racism

    Article by: The Prussian

    • Goosebumps

      Great post. I wish more people read your blog.

      I actually live in South Carolina, and a couple of months ago I encountered a white supremacist in a bar. He was older than Dylann Roof, probably in his 30s, but there were some similarities. One might think of white supremacists as loud, rude and obnoxious. Far from it – he was rather quiet and seemed socially challenged. (Roof has also been described as introverted.)

      I wonder if it is mostly social outcasts who are drawn to white supremacist circles for the sense of self-worth it gives them. If so, as you say, yelling “Racist!” will be utterly useless – such people have little social capital to lose anyway and further stigmatization isn’t much of a threat.

      Also, if I may make a suggestion – could you elaborate on the line “He draws on a tradition that isn’t just an exaggerated version of US conservatism, but one that is alien to both of America’s political traditions.” ? I agree with you that mainstream American conservatism in 2015 bears no resemblance to Roof’s ideology, but American politics has obviously not always been racism-free.

      • ThePrussian

        Well, I’m drawing broad outlines about modern day politics. There isn’t a line between, e.g., Mitt Romney or even Rick Perry and Dylan Roof. Roof belongs in the fascist tradition. That’s a very different thing. Basically, US liberals think that slavery was an evil that needs reparations, conservatives think it was an evil that ended so long ago that reparations are hucksterism, and fascists think slavery is a good thing that needs to come back. Very, very different.

        • Goosebumps

          But political racism didn’t end with slavery, it continued until at least the 1960s. Which tradition would you consider that part of?

          Nikki Haley, South Carolina’s Republican governor, called for the Confederate flag to be removed from the state capitol’s grounds yesterday. It’s largely her own supporters who are angry about her statement. Quite funny really – Lincoln was a Republican, and most supporters of slavery and segregation were Democrats. Conservatives often point this out, as one would expect them to, and yet they’re the ones who get all upset when the Confederate flag is bad-mouthed. They can’t have it both ways.

          • ThePrussian

            Well, I can’t speak to Haley’s supporters, and I’d love to see that info. But I’m on the political right and I’ve never heard someone defend the confederacy or the confederate right – unless it is someone from the explicitly fascist movement.
            Again, I have to return to the basic point – Burkean conservatives want to judge people ‘according to their character, not the colour of their skin’, and they see identity politics etc. as an attack on that. That is absolutely not what the fascist tradition thinks. A good article on this would be David Horowitz’s criticism of Jared Taylor.

            • Goosebumps

              True, and I’m not disputing your basic point. But while I don’t consider explicit racism to be part of Republican ideology, I can see plenty of people who identify as Republican muttering something about the Civil War really being one of “northern aggression” and claiming the key issue was states’ rights rather than slavery. Just go to any conservative site and look at the chatter below the line on an article about the Confederate flag. Here’s an example.

              http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/06/23/karl-rove-confederate-flag-a-hateful-symbol-that-must-be-banished-to-a-museum/

              Back in 2008, the Hitch lambasted Mike Huckabee for getting too cosy about the flag:

              http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2008/01/hucks_free_pass.html

              None of this changes your basic point about the ideologies, but things are not always so clean in the real world. Racists still have votes, so it shouldn’t surprise you to see politicians pander to them occasionally. (And those politicians happen to mostly be Republicans because the Democrats have positioned themselves as anti-racist.)

            • ThePrussian

              Not disagreeing with you.

            • bigmaq1980

              “If the argument on the political right is won by the fascist right, then we’re all dead”

              And that is the bottom line, isn’t it?

              Still, I see many on the “right” talk about freedom, liberty, Founding Fathers, and the Constitution.

              Yet, beyond the fascist right, for a good majority, it doesn’t take long to find out they support some kind of serious government intervention for their favorite issue.

              Most of the so called “political discussion” nowadays is less about the argument and more about winning power. So, we see the media (mostly left leaning) conflate fascist right with the conservatives in general, and we see conservative media take a knee jerk stand that this is just one single deranged individual (of course it is, but he didn’t get his ideas all out of thin air).

              One could construct a Venn diagram where conservatives and the fascist right overlap on several points. Both groups nod their heads at “freedom, liberty, Founding Fathers, Constitution”, but few seriously want to live with the logical outcome of this foundation – therefore, it males it difficult to differentiate the two, and easy to conflate.

              It becomes a reason why proposals, like voter identification (when we live in a world where it is almost ubiquitously needed, even to receive government “benefits”), becomes “voter suppression” for the left, and gets scrutinized under that lens.

    • Otto Greif

      You left out the part where the Midwest Ballard Review says “Derbyshire wasn’t ever on that team. His atheism ought to have been the tip-off.”

    • Otto Greif

      Derbyshire was fired for telling the truth.

    • ryu238

      Amen good sir.