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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Racists in Our Midst: A Screed Against the White Nationalists Part 6

This is part 6 of an extensive essay that was intended as portion of my book and conservative standpoint series. However, with the modern course of events and the explosion of racist conversation among social media users and in the public forum it mutated. I will post a new post in the essay on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

This post concludes the series which you can find from the start at Part 1

Suffice to say many more things could be said about the festering ideology that is ingratiating itself within the conservative community, but for now I will close.

The very first question I posed was why are conservative ideas so closely linked or mutable in relation to racist and white nationalist ideas? I suggested it was largely a failure of modern conservatives to do their homework. If conservatives do not have a firm conception of the epistemology and history of their political tradition then what means do they have to refute the claims of those who suggest they are part of the same tradition?  

I made the assertion that Burkes conception of prejudice as the thoughtless and natural decision making of the unlearned varied widely from our common interpretation today. I made mention of a natural ancestral consensus based on culture passed down through generations as the meaning of prejudice, not racialism and exclusion simply because one is uncomfortable or unlearned.  A further argument was made that David Hume was one of the first to assert that equality is pernicious and that the principle that we must ameliorate the divergences of wealth is erroneous. However, I also suggested that such thoughts leave the nature of government and democratic gradualism, along with institutional stability, unaddressed. I made brief mention of the fact that many societies in the global south due to the course of history missed an opportunity or lacked the preconditions to establish a gradually evolving democratic state based on the rule of law; without these conditions and criteria, any appeal to inequality as a good or necessary thing is meaningless. The number one conservative axiom from Burke onward is that circumstance dictates everything and these White Nationalists ignore circumstance.

I went on to suggest that many buttresses of conservative thought do not apply to white nationalist community. For example, they discard the charity taught in Christianity, they ignore the principle themselves, and they mock those who apply it by adopting children of hardship, the vast majority of whom come from non-white continents. I briefly mentioned that WN’s use the conservative appeal to— nation, tradition sentiment, culture, institutions, faith, and history then obfuscated it— by tacking race onto the end. This minor alteration is as insidious as to completely change the tone of the principles and not only make them unloving towards fellow man, but completely exclusive and desultory, the subject of rapid decline and fall. From here it was imperative to show, how in fact, the ‘white’ nations of the world were not disappearing, at least not at the hands of minorities.

I noted that WN’s fear mass immigration; I do as well. They do for the wrong reasons however; they panic and suggest that whites are being bred out. It is nonsense. As I phrased it all that is happening is Caucasians are falling in the baby business. We have failed to reproduce and aside from government incentives very little can be done to spur childbirth, our privileged lives just make the responsibility of childbirth too onerous for many and or impractical until the middle years, when time being limited a single child family is common. This is not a value judgment just a fact.

In corollary with the statement that whites are being bred out or dying off or whatever term is chosen, is the fear of miscegenation that permeates the mentality of the WN community: miscegenation being a pejorative for interracial relationships and childbearing. But despite the claims to the contrary I illustrated with the example of diverse Toronto (the mixed race relationship capital of Canada), and there are many others, that we just are not seeing widespread adoption of mixed race dating. Under 10% in most countries most of the time is the norm. The races of the world will stay very separate for a long time to come. Since they are separate it is evident that Caucasian societies remain hegemonic. From here I asked why that was.

It has been crudely suggested by the racialists that culture is a product of race. This is not true, and I highlighted a broad oeuvre that is capable of refuting such a claim. Instead, the various scholars suggest that environmental factors are most dictatorial in the germ of culture. For example, were the people forced to settle or did they remain agrarian, did they adopt a faith based on a certain way of life? Why have people not adopted certain civilization tendencies and instead remained hunter gatherers? How and why is it that so many Americans do so well, especially among minorities, and others do so poorly? All these questions have answers in just the modest number of texts:  Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel, Ian Morris’s Why the West Rules for Now; Thomas Sowell’s books Black Rednecks and White Liberals, Race and Economics, Markets and Minorities, Ethnic America, Economics and Politics of Race, and Intellectuals and Race; I am sure a great many more relevant texts and monographs exist.

From this point I addressed the media’s role in the adoption of inappropriate and slanderous language to libel conservatives acknowledging that it was the inappropriate terms of racist and islamaphobe for example that made any discussion of issues beyond the pale. From here the only logical course for many mainstream conservatives was to approach the WN’s media and look for someone anyone to address their concerns about culture and immigration for example, and if they were racists as well, then why would it matter that the real racists are called as such as well?

All the fourth estate has managed to do is obfuscate the issues and conflate conservatives as racists. They were unaware they were pushing the two camps together and breeding resentment simultaneously; outrage continues to percolate and in their desperation mainstream conservatives are adopting inflammatory language to get their voices heard.

Finally, I turned to the example of the mainstreaming of racists ideas through social media and mainstream media. The White Nationalists think tanks and publications, the social media personalities and twittersphere, and finally, the Trump campaign, which seems to deliberately characterize itself as without dignity and sophistication.

I had originally asked if the White Nationalist movement was growing in power or if we were becoming more sympathetic and tolerant of their ideas. I believe the answer is an affirmative yes. So, what may conservatives do to limit the ability of these ideas to slip into the mainstream and discredit us? Firstly, be certain to reflect on the history of conservative theory and action; secondly, strike back whenever possible and denounce the racists for what they are, even if they share views with you the origins are pernicious and toxic; thirdly, do not degenerate into racists terms out of frustration, but rather ponder what you intend to say about affairs and then do so always pushing to get issues of culture and nation into the public sphere. It is not all the fault of conservatives: at every turn we find a reluctance even among our own kind to discuss civilization and its nature, and a no one seems willing to discuss the disturbing flood of migrants from the global south who are unlike in culture and unlike in means. Until these issues can be discussed openly I am afraid the normalization of racist discourse will continue that can’t happen.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Racists in Our Midst: A Screed Against the White Nationalists Part 5

This is part 5 of an extensive essay that was intended as portion of my book and conservative standpoint series. However, with the modern course of events and the explosion of racist conversation among social media users and in the public forum it mutated. I will post a new post in the essay on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

This post briefly exposes the proliferation of racist ideas on social media and the way these ideas are becoming more acceptable in public  discourse and national dialogue particularly in the United States. 

But really, how are the public being made aware of the landslide of feculent ideas boiling out of the underground racists community, and if they are being made aware what is making them more tolerant toward these topics in the public forum?

This proposition seems answerable by regarding two obvious examples. First is the cuckservative meme and associated WN/White genocide derived memes. The second is the rise of Trump in the polls, not because I believe Trump is a racist, or even stupid, but I do think he is a demagogue who has no qualms with people reading into his incendiary rhetoric what they please.

With regards to the first example, conservatives, and those would classify themselves as something else have certainly witnessed the flood of memes in the twittersphere that represent white genocide; individuals have also likely read the term cuckservative as it is launched upon individuals such as Jeb Bush, or really anyone in the republican candidacy that is not Trump. The same term has also been used to slander anyone who has centrist tendencies on any policy point. If you favour even marginal immigration in your country, then sorry:  you’re a cuckservative.

The proponents of this term insist that it is not racialized. Milo Yiannopoulos said as much in a column on Brietbart. I like Milo, but here he is wrong and obviously so. A blogger who goes by soopermexican did the digging, and offered some empirical evidence of his treatment at the hands of the interlocutors who advocate for the use of the term. Sooper managed to find the sources of the original cuckservative tweets as well as the definition that originated in WN circles. He wrote a post about it and took to twitter to test out whether or not the primary body that used the term was in fact racist. Immediately after callingthe term racist he was slandered as a beaner, wetback, illegal immigrant, and Israeli sycophant. As soon as someone agrees with him, who happens to be black and conservative, the man using the handle experiences vituperation immediately for being a nigger and told to go back to Africa. The results and the language speak for themselves it is a racist term. It was and is contagious and conservatives on the twittersphere are buying it.

Just as bad is the meme machine, which seems innocuous, but I believe is Freudian in its effects. I’ll just leave these here:

Amongst this cacophony, another voice has emerged, and without lingering too long on Trump I will simply point out that he speaks beyond the pale when he makes gaffes such as referring to Mexicans as murders and rapists; or when he remained complicit when a questioner asked him what the United States needed to do about Muslims, Trump went so far as to suggest we need to get ‘rid of them [the words of the questioner, not Trump],’ It’s problematic not so much because he said those words, but rather that he failed to rescind or reframe the discussion in more polite terms. In an article titled, ‘White Supremacists Lining up behind Trump,’ journalist John Edwards writes about how Trump is affecting dialogue in America, and I agree with his basic conclusions.  With Trump we can safely say the medium is the message. (loud obnoxious cynical pejorative etc) implicit support for more than he says gives the impression that he would do and say more if he wasn’t on the campaign trail. It’s obvious that Donald Trump cannot (directly) account for the supporters who choose to follow him, but it seems he is attracting an ever more vociferous and toxic clientele. In this case the followers of Trump were the leader brothers who assaulted a Hispanic homeless man with a metal pole and then told the police that Trump was right and the illegal's have to be deported.

The Leader brothers are indicative of another trend and that is growing White Nationalist Sympathy and support for Donald Trump. The SPLC has catalogued a number of WN supporters of Trump including: Gregory Hood/Radix Journal, Brad Griffin/Occidental Dissent, Richard Spencer/National Policy Institute, Jared Taylor/American Renaissance, Andrew Anglin/Daily Stormer. To be fair none of the individuals cited overwhelmingly supported Trump in their discourse, but all praised him as both an enemy of illegal immigration and immigration in general, and they also praised him for exposing his fellow Republicans for being RINO’S and Cuckservatives for their support of legal immigration and their reluctance to openly and aggressively challenge the status quo on illegal immigration.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Racists in Our Midst: A Screed Against the White Nationalists Part 4

This is part 4 of an extensive essay that was intended as portion of my book and conservative standpoint series. However, with the modern course of events and the explosion of racist conversation among social media users and in the public forum it mutated. I will post a new post in the essay on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

This post briefly explains why the methods by which the media tosses conservative skepticism about immigration, globalism, and multiculturalism into the category of racism and why such actions are harmful to those who would wish to have a dialogue. 

The prior post was about the way in which history and commonsense can interpret the findings of the WN movement in a more coherent fashion. This week will be about how the media inadvertently creates sympathy between conservatives and racists by casually employing the pejorative. 

One of the key ways pernicious sympathies build between conservatives and WN's is through an alarmist and dogmatic leftists press, which sees any criticism of immigration, mass immigration, multiculturalism, and often nationalism in general as some form of ethno-fascist sentiment. No longer may one openly say their country is the best, their nation is the best, their customs and history the best; people can no longer criticize or question alien ideas and their relationship to western society unless they indulge in extensive self-flagellation first.

The fact that the governments in the western world fail to assert the superiority of western values and show no interest in preserving heritage is a great betrayal. Governments fail because they do not set the tone for discussion. They do not lay groundwork for reasoned criticism of alien custom and they do not upbraid those who would slander race as the primary factor in national well being.

The fourth estate is just as bad. The journalists slander any rightward thought as inimical to plurality or suggest that it is derived only from xenophobia. They use terms like racist, islamaphobe, and fascist often interchangeably to discredit ideas. This is dangerous because it establishes conservatives skeptical about foreigners as victims. Those who would advocate for their own civilization find another voice who will advocate on behalf of western civilization however, these individuals paint such as civilization as rooted in racial primacy not ideas.  

Peter Hitchens, though himself a journalist, gives an extensive account of being branded a racist by the popular press in a chapter of his book The Broken Compass. He recognizes that he is not a racist and cannot fathom how a former revolutionary Trotskyite can be interpreted as one. He admits to being an aggressive protester, regrettably, against Enoch Powell. Most importantly, Hitchens touches on something in the media that is feeding the WN narrative and that is the tendency of the left to excoriate anything discourse beyond the politically correct or culturally relativist narrative as racist. This is problematic, because if conservatives who are not racists are branded as such, it both feeds the WN narratives of white guilt, white genocide and fosters an affinity between both marginalized groups.

Hitchens expands upon the lefts’ customary usage of the word racist to denigrate opponents: [L]et us return to the use of “racist” to describe a person. A helpful (to the zealot) confusion is created by the fact that all racialists are racists (just as all Jihadists are Muslims) but not all racists [in contemporary discourse] are racialists . . . . So the racist may truly be a racial bigot . . . and may . . . actively discriminate on irrational grounds. But he may do none of these things. He will . . . often find himself classified and dismissed as a racist if he is in fact what ought to be called a “culturist” . . . . This is how I would describe someone . . . who states or implies that the existing culture of this country is worth preserving.’

‘There is another more important way in which the charge of “racism” is abused. Those who believe that culture, rather than race, is a defining characteristic of peoples are often smeared with the charge of “racism”. Yet their position is often the exact opposite of . . . the bigots with whom they are being corralled.’ Hitchens continues on to state that the problem with racism is that it is not true, and that it is hopelessly defeatist because it assumes unalterable differences and no course or cause for reconciliation between racial groups. Hitchens refers to African-American economist, political theorist, and prolific intellectual Thomas Sowell who believes that through the accumulation of ‘cultural capital’ people of any racial group may unite favourably.  Hitchens continues, ‘If this is so, then a powerful monoculture . . . is an important weapon in the fight to achieve integration. . . . The alternative . . .  [maintaining multiculturalism] is likely to . . . perpetuate division— especially if many cultures are based on ethnic groups, as they generally are.’ Hitchens writes that still despite the aims of monoculturists and nationalists the left continues to denigrate them next to those who advocate a racialist discourse by condemning like minded people as racist. Hitchens suggests that his tendency to brand opponents in such a manner makes no sense if the aim is to abolish racial differences in a society, but does make sense if one's goal is to preserve a revolutionary discourse against those who dissent. I would also maintain that this is a common tendency of the intellectual left that any tendency of common, bottom up, discourse is subject to marginalization almost immediately due to perceived lack of merit.

The fact that the modern liberal media is so absorbed in silencing undesirable speech and shutting out those who do not kow-tow to the status quo is disappointing. If only the collection of pundits, newsmen, journalists, and governors had the tenacity and the sagacity to differentiate between the racists and the true conservatives shaming them to silence would prove easier, and the public would be made more aware. 

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Racists in Our Midst: A Screed Against the White Nationalists Part 3

This is part 3 of an extensive essay that was intended as portion of my book and conservative standpoint series. However, with the modern course of events and the explosion of racist conversation among social media users and in the public forum it mutated. I will post a new post in the essay on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

This post briefly explains why conservative principles have nothing to do with race and Burke's conception of prejudice can be misconstrued. 

 The focus is on why White Nationalists and 'Race Realists' have made mistaken judgments on the nature of culture and civilization. 

Part 3 The Mistakes of White Genocide 

If these racist individuals have grown in influence then it is necessary both to highlight the means by through which they have achieved growing influence and also to highlight some of the obviously spurious reasoning that forms the background for their claims and arguments.

First among claims advanced by WN’s is that the western world is experiencing a white genocide: the individuals look at the growing proportion of South Asians in Britain, Muslims in France, and Latino’s in America and see the Caucasian majority disappearing. They are right to fear it because it is reasonable in some instances to assert that without care we may lose the architecture of western civilization to growing minority groups in a country, but at the same time there is no white genocide; Caucasians rather, are just failing in the baby business. White people are the Chinese of the western world; we stopped having more than one child years ago, and this is a shame, but the failure of white people to have children is not a cause of white genocide, rather it is likely a disease brought on by western affluence. Despite the racist’s trepidation over miscegenation, miscegenation or mixed marriage for a more appropriate term is a miniscule factor in the fall in the number of Caucasian babies, in fact, mixed marriages and children of mixed families are a complete red herring that consists of a lilliputian outrage at something, which poses no danger outside of the psychological. Mixed marriages in extremely diverse Canada for example only make up 4.6% of unions and unions between an ethnic minority and a non-minority [Caucasian individual] only number 3.9% hardly cause for alarm. Even the city with the most mixed marriages in Canada, Toronto, still only has approximately 7.1%.Keep in mind that these figures originate in a country that has a population that is made up of 25% foreign born individuals. The truth is that there is no white genocide, but rather an increased minority population combined with a declining Caucasian population due to affluence, but on the whole Caucasians are marrying intra-ethnically and will do so for some time to come; there is no risk that whites will go extinct despite the claims of alarmists.  

The other claim that is often advanced by WN’s, and race realists, as sympathizers often euphemistically refer to themselves is that culture is a product of race. Despite, the patent absurdity of such a proposition, I will briefly refer to it just to point out that such a position has been comfortably refuted both through real world examples and through research by various scholars: Jared Diamond, in his book Guns, Germs, and Steel, gives a precise causality for much of the western ascendancy and cultural superiority based on environmental pressures; Ian Morris illustrates the same in writing Why the West Rules for Now; Thomas Sowell has tackled the topic numerous times his books Black Rednecks and White Liberals, Race and Economics, Markets and Minorities, Ethnic America, Economics and Politics of Race, and Intellectuals and Race, all the above do not encompass Professor Sowell's Oeuvre on the subject of racial differences and culture.

Real world examples also exist. By observing the past we can ask and in fact find out to at least some extent how and why western institutions and culture so outperformed their overseas competition since the end of 17th century.  Perhaps, the best example of the institutional and cultural pressures, which determine social and economic outcomes, may come from Professor Neil Ferguson in his otherwise lacklustre book Civilization: The West and the Rest. In the book he gives a detailed thesis on the divergence between Latin America and North America. The divergence is couched in the distribution of property and the personal and legal autonomy that is corollary to such property ownership. Ferguson uses the example of the Spanish discovery of Potosi along with lavish cities and manors in Latin America do draw a contrast between the Spanish and British Colonies in the New World. ‘Prior to 1550, gold worth around 10 million pesos was taken from Peru. . . . the output of the silver mines rose steadily . . . to over 900 tonnes by 1780.’ Meanwhile, ‘The Spaniards appeared to be laying the foundation for an entirely new and spectacular civilization. . . .Mexico City had 100,000 inhabitants in 1692 at a time when Boston had 6000. Twenty-five Spanish American Universities were founded. . . . hundreds of lavishly adorned churches were built. . . . [T]he Crown owned all the land.’ Ferguson describes what the colonists of Carolina found as a ‘bone-yard of bleached tree-trunks.’ North Americans had a more precarious position on the eastern seaboard with fewer resources and more resistant aboriginal peoples yet, North America flourished while Latin America flounders both were founded by Caucasians and experienced wildly different outcomes based upon the institutions present. British settlers quickly adopted representative government from their homeland alongside common law. The Spanish quickly adopted despotism and centralization. Ferguson recognizes, ‘British colonization generally produced better economic a results than Spanish and Portuguese. . . . Arizona is richer than Mexico and Hong Kong richer than Manila.’ Ferguson summarizes the chapter by highlighting the fact that independent of racial diversity or homogeneity countries in Latin America have experienced exceptional growth rates upon adoption of reforms along the lines of those practiced in nations descendant of the British tradition. We would not see these same results in Europe, in Asia, or in the America’s otherwise.  

Next time I will post an examination of how the media is detrimental to the conservatives who wish to have a positive discussion about civilizational issues and immigration. 

Monday, 21 September 2015

Racists in Our Midst: A Screed Against the White Nationalists Part 2

This is part 2 of an extensive essay that was intended as portion of my book and conservative standpoint series. However, with the modern course of events and the explosion of racist conversation among social media users and in the public forum it mutated. I will post a new post in the essay on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

This post briefly explains why conservative principles have nothing to do with race and Burke's conception of prejudice can be misconstrued. 

 The focus is on why racism is building in conservative circles, why it is unconservative and what we can do about it. 

Part 2 Why the White Nationalists are not conservatives. 

The modern conservative intellectual tradition effectively begins with either David Hume or Edmund Burke and both authors seemingly espouse principles easily conflated with WN ideas. First among them is the apology by Burke for prejudice as the public means of decision making, which it seems is very amenable to a misinterpretation, consciously or not, by the WN’s and their sympathizers. Russell Kirk in his perennial masterwork The Conservative Mind, gives an account of the Burkean interpretation of prejudice and its form and function in decision making, ‘[p]rejudice is not bigotry or superstition, although prejudice may sometimes degenerate into these. Prejudice is prejudgment,’ supplied by ‘ancestral consensus.’ As is recognized by many Burke put stock in the unformulated knowledge of people, this knowledge is constructed of, ‘accumulated experience of innumerable ancestors … the greater part remains embedded in instinct, common custom, prejudice, [and here the author maintains that WN individuals mis-read] and ancient usage. Man natural tends toward rationalization of conduct and articulation, and the WN movement is in fact the attempt by some, wrongly, to articulate their own personal discomfort and racism in the form of a misunderstanding of Burkean prejudice as a signifier of legitimacy. Perhaps they misread, and unconsciously rely upon, the modern definition of prejudice: from Oxford Dictionaries: Dislike, hostility, or unjust behavior deriving from unfounded opinions; from Oxford Canadian Thesaurus synonyms include bias, partisanship, intolerance, discrimination, among many other pejorative vernacular readings.

Subsidiary to this presumption is the interpretation that inequality is just. This is a principle widely solicited in the conservative writings of many difference politicians, philosophers and theorists, but Hume was one of the first to initiate the conservative position discussion in his book, An Enquery Concerning the Principles of Morals. Hume recognized most attempts to craft equality were ‘impracticable,’ and ‘pernicious,’ he spoke true when he said, ‘[r]ender possessions ever so equal, men’s different degrees of art, care, and industry will immediately break that equality.’ This recognition so prescient in 1751 leaves one Burkean tenant unaddressed and therefore lends itself to crude misconstruction. Burke maintained in Reflections on the Revolution in France that all political action must first subordinate itself to circumstance. This is best illustrated in his passionate refutation of a madman’s freedom. What does this mean for the WN interpretation? it means that though inequality exists on a global scale and in fact from a conservative standpoint may be debatably just, it ignores the preconditions of a stable society, in which individuals may make the most of their respected talent and ability to flourish. How can they condemn the Africans as barbaric or the Muslims as backward when the gradualism of the western tradition has never existed in these places, rather the old institutions and rulers were unprincipled removed at the behest of democracy and civil stability as is all too apparent in many regions was destroyed, often at the hands of colonialists who, though they did much positive, still left arbitrary leadership in place of artificial nation states.

Many conservatives, Russell Kirk first among them, as far as popular conservatives go, have also held a special place in their heart for religion. They recognized not unlike St Augustine that Christianity was central to the west flourishing. Even Kirk’s ten conservative principles, taken to be axioms by many, begin with an appeal to faith: ‘First, the conservative believes that there exists an enduring moral order.’ What does an enduring moral order have to do with the infestation of WN thought? It is quite simple, the Christian doctrine (in which Kirk and many others strongly believed in) is one of charity and love toward fellow human beings, it is one that advances the interest of all humankind in the name of god and insists upon sympathy for the man who has experienced hardship. WN’s laugh, and slander those who adopted babies from the third world outside their own race, yet these are the people who are largely living the Christian doctrine of caritas and human fellowship.

WN’s profess a love for western civilization and western tradition yet, when it comes to executing the Jesus’s practices in the temporal realm, they are the first to resist doctrine: they reject those precepts that make up the very heart of the western tradition as embodied in Christianity. The irony is palpable.

Another deeply held axiom within the historical conservative oeuvre is the appeal to nation. Not in necessarily its literal sense, but rather as an appeal to common sentiment, culture, institutions, faith, and history. WN’s advocate for the same convictions as conservatives but tack race onto the end. This is problematic as any scrutinizing thought will quickly uncover, because the white nations of the world, prior to the last three centuries were remarkably diverse Bosnians, Russians, Spanish, Norwegian, British etc. . . .  were all remarkably dissimilar until the nation state truly developed in toward the end of the 17th century and even then these crude amalgamations were diverse, as is easily identifiable in the movement toward centralization in what is now sometimes referred to as the movement of internal colonization in France and other regions of Europe.

It tends to be that when WN’s identify a group as white they are operating under the assumption that white is equivalent to having origins in western civilization. This is problematic not exclusively for the reason that white people are not simply westerners, but rather have been encompassed by varying definitions throughout history. Without doubt, some Arabs fit into the category of white, as do Jews, even Latin Americans largely fall into the class of white, unless you indulge in arbitrary distinction based upon peninsular and criollos status, even Tajiks and other central Asians as far as the Tarim Basin and Afghanistan occasionally exhibit extremely euro-Caucasian features; yet, none of these peoples would likely be classified by those who advocate for race realism and white pride as part of the white race. Instead, such individuals would craft spurious rationales to close the above examples out of their arbitrary groupings.

Skin colour is not history; its not memory or culture; its not shared values and its not strength, rather its something your born with and die with. By asserting that skin colour is just as powerful as western values personal autonomy is annihilated it is the most deterministic and pejorative suggestion possible that a man or woman's nature is preconceived and incompatible with the western world. 

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Racists in Our Midst: A Screed Against the White Nationalists Part 1

This is part 1 of an extensive essay that was intended as portion of my book and conservative standpoint series. However, with the modern course of events and the explosion of racist conversation among social media users and in the public forum it mutated. I will post a new post in the essay on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

 The focus is on why racism is building in conservative circles, why it is unconservative and what we can do about it. Without further introduction . . .  here is the introduction!

Part 1 Introduction:

                                                                          [Image from Vice News] 

I may be chastised for writing such a broad an unapologetic jeremiad: that is okay. In this piece of writing I hope I may, and indeed I shall, as best I can, highlight the growing invidious elements within the conservative movement in America. Who are these subversives? They are the White Nationalist movement, which like a cuckoo lays its eggs amongst the conservatives and then claims paternity and heritage from credible conservative sources. However, I intend to refute this claim and make apparent how it is that these white supremacists are both fallacious and unconservative in their reasoning. The fact that these individuals have crawled forth from the public sewer into the marketplace of ideas still has to be accounted for however, and hence why I am writing this now.

I had originally intended to write on the Burkean conception of prejudice (and it will still receive attention), but I also found myself overwhelmed by the degenerate discourse taking place in the public forum online, on television, and on the campaign trail. The fact that the spawn of the Ku Klux Klan and their ilk have managed to pollute the waters in, which conservatives swim is distressing, and the presumptions and ideas that make this possible must in some capacity be examined. A handful of ideas stand virtually alone in making this connection possible and making conservatives sympathetic to the White Nationalist (from here on WN) movement in America.

First among the ideas by which one may account for the ability of WN activists and supporters to ingratiate themselves amongst the larger conservative public is the failure of the public to recognize the conservative historical tradition. What is meant by this is that few in the general public or the media do not have any true concept of the means through conservative epistemology and philosophy evolved, nor does conservatives themselves, to any significant extent, understand their own intellectual tradition. This allows them to embrace the race ‘realist’ movement in an uncritically fashion without denouncing its implications for the humanitarian aims of traditional conservative thought: I will expand upon this later.

Second among factors that facilitate the unknown sublimation of these WN ideas into the greater conservative whole is the misreading and misinterpretation of the racist and often subversive publications issued on policy by specific think tanks/policy institutes and media publications that profess membership in the conservative body. These groups are especially duplicitous because they cloak their works in a veneer of science whilst also promoting policy, which if not conservative, is in fact at least marginally similar: they appeal to conservative sympathy in respect to nationalism, fear, agrarianism, tradition and the like.

The fact that these unscrupulous publications exist would not be problematic if it were not for the fact that they are so easily accessed and misread by the wider conservative public, those who are incapable, or lack the education, to discriminate between the bedrock of the conservative conception and the chameleon.

In brief who makes up the better part of these publications? The leaders list as it were of WN hate? In no particular order: Stormfront, New Observer, American Renaissance, Daily Stormer, Radix Journal, National Policy Institute, Pioneer Foundation, and Occidental quarterly among many other less influential groups, but the ones highlighted are pertinent largely because they have so successfully subverted scrutiny due to the anonymity (as well as the capacity to construct an identity) of the internet.

From this point we are led to the third way by which conservatives and the WNs find themselves placed under the same banner. This time, however, blame cannot be reasonably placed upon either group, rather the account must settle on the left of the fourth estate, who in seeking to discredit conservatives use the pejorative racist out of context to slur those whom they disagree. To put it mildly, to many leftist and liberal commentators, as well as the public, everyone is racist. To the left conservatives are racist strictly based on nomenclature, but in an adversarial relationship where propriety, and inquiry, are quickly giving way. Why bother but to paint your opposition in the most unflattering light? As we will see this tendency to brand anyone on the broad political ‘right’ as racist has done undue harm by legitimizing real WN sympathies.  

Finally, I ask is the WN movement growing in power and influence? It isn’t clear and I hope it is not. However, I believe we are seeing an expansion in what qualifies for appropriate public discussion however; this is shocking because it indicates that there is a growing countenance when confronted by these ideas in polite society and a reluctance to marginalize them outright or even evaluate them critically among conservatives who consider themselves part of an ideology based upon tradition, impulse, affinity, and prejudice, as opposed to reflection.

To bring everything to a close we must ask, conclusively, how conservatives are able to disassociate themselves from the noxious and debilitating associations of the malign and growing influence of the WN lobby.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

It's Time to Stop Dividing Politics Into Left and Right

Today in a Comparative Politics class I had a professor deliberately make the class classify the British Labour and Tory Parties on the left right continuum . . . He had the class advance the position that right wing means economic liberalism and that left wing means state ownership more than it does progress and liberalism both of these positions misalign with historical reality and construct a straw man out of real historical political positions.This would make some form of sense in speaking to a 101 class that had no rudimentary understanding of politics, but at this point it's just absurdly shallow.

Why on earth do we still adhere to the simple and reductionist political model of the left right divide? Are we too stupid to understand anything else? Or is it that our intellectual superiors are so patronizing as to suggest that we don’t need to know more or perhaps don’t care; if that is the case they are in a direction violation of their scholarly duties.

Even most vote compass or political alignment quiz sites use an axis which represents libertarian vs autocratic tendencies and statist vs capitalist ideas and classifies them as such. It’s a sad day when the hordes of the internet can manage to better classify the diversity of politics than an instructor in a University Lecture Hall.

We know that the terms left and right originated with the seating pattern that emerged in the French National Assembly during the course of the revolution where the monarchists (Feuillants) sat on the right side of the hall, and the Revolutionary Liberals (Jacobins) sat on the left side of the hall. Why do we still insist upon placing the 18th century concepts on to modern politics?

The British Conservative Party in Wellington's day, cannot be compared to conservative party of David Cameron or Margaret Thatcher, they are so different as to be almost completely alien to one another so why persist?

Why do we call the labour party, whether new labour or old, left wing? Why would someone classify Blair’s Labour party as anything remotely similar to the Labour Party under the leadership of Clement Attlee? Why call Marxists and Socialists left wing in general if the concept referred to radical liberals?

These antiquated labels do more harm than good and simplify political discussion immensely. I know they will not disappear, but you would expect a professor of political science, someone whose career depends on political analysis, to be more nuanced than that.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Objective Goodness the Left and Power: A Thought

Yesterday was the first day of a new year's classes at my university and it was remarkably interesting in one specific respect: the tenor established by my professor of Political Philosophy at the initiation of the class toward the presumptions of his students in regards to judgment and universal truth. In his first day's discussion he indicted modernist man for his presumptions and appealed to an extended order of truth. I will attempt to in brief summarize and expand upon his arguments now.

The professor asked the class something akin to, ‘what questions can we ask of this text (referring to Plato’s Republic) and why would the old Greek matter? What for example did the text tell us about government of both ourselves and our world, Plato intends to establish truth, and as you will see he does establish a truth. You will realize in the class that every thought of significance you’ve had, has already been entertained by others, your not original. So what do you think if you think of truth?’

The first hand of the class to go up belonged to a young woman who  unapologetically stated, ‘who gives you the right to judge?’

The professors rebuttal kicked into high gear, ‘ah, now you're a modernist, and you're thinking like one. This is the problem with modernism: It’s relative and everything is, by asking who gets to judge you are refuting the notion that any objective standards may exist independent of ourselves, and if you discard objective standards the only relations which then occur to human beings are relations of power.’

Essentially she subconsciously marginalizes the possibility of truth and instead asks who has a right to power. This immediately couches her argument in a modern thinking and further alienates any conservatives who believe that such truth is at least marginally knowable. It also refers us back to the origins of such thought, or at least the main advocates of such. As we can see this questioning is directly related to Marx and Foucault’s revisionism where so much is determined by relations of power.

Though I am aware my own skill and understanding is limited what the exchange between the professor and undergraduate seem to indicate to me is the sheer disdain and distrust of authority implicit in the modern philosophical assumption and the obvious death of accepted social order. If there is no truth and all power may be disavowed then an essentially revolutionary doctrine exists in the public consciousness and this to me is greatly disturbing: or perhaps I am being a dramatist.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Did Justin Trudeau Just Make an Irreparable Error?

I’m no campaign strategist, but I sincerely believe that Justin Trudeau shot himself in the foot. On August 27 Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party announced that their platform would no longer hinge on a balanced budget, an established part of the liberal party record, and instead the would run three years of consecutive deficits in order to prime the pump, as a Keynesian might say, but this is erroneous for strategic purposes.

The liberal party has always been a broker party, and its won by stealing the middle and holding it. The liberal party has never really done well outflanking on the left or the right either the NDP or the Conservatives, yet it seems that with the NDP turning to balanced budgets that is exactly what Trudeau is trying to do. I can see the logic: Liberal strategists probably believe that their leader is anathema to most conservatives and they can practically hear the vitriol from their war rooms, but again I believe they are mistaken. Justin Trudeau does not seem like his father, a nationalist who fucked the west to save the east, but rather a man on a mission to power and by shifting his policy from balanced budgets to deficits this is the first indication he gives that policy doesn’t matter victory does.

Speaking to a friend recently, he said he would vote NDP and he would never consider voting liberal, why? Because the liberal party has no spine, it has no principles, and it has no ideology it’s just a waif that adjusts to the times. The liberals become contemptible because as Winston Churchill famously said, ‘You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.’ The liberal party is unfamiliar with this adage.

But wait! there is a secondary component to this error. I like other conservative voters are sick of the wall of silence around parliament and the disdain for democracy that has occurred under the Harper conservatives. But what do we do? Trudeau had a chance at capturing centre right voters and seemed to be on that path with a modest fiscal policy and overtures to families, but he effectively killed that chance. The conservatives depend on swing votes to bolster their majority, and most Canadians I believe hold conservative sympathies but are nonpartisan, the supports of the NDP however are highly partisan, and if my peers are indication highly entrenched. Conservatives want a modest, and pragmatic, option that isn’t Harper. Trudeau could have captured that demographic instead he wanders the far left hoping he won’t infringe on Harper's turf.

Conservatives want conservative leadership and by not selling himself as such Trudeau has united the right under Stephen Harper. To put it bluntly, I’d rather have a corrupt dictator as a Prime Minister than an unprincipled progressive or a socialist, and I think many Canadians will reach the same conclusion in 2015.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

The Conservative Voter is Trapped

The Conservative voter in 2015 is trapped. Conservatives want a new government, but they want a conservative one. We want to see change, in the sense that we want to see social issues addressed, respect for parliament, and respect for the electorate and their representatives. This is just my assessment, but I believe it is somewhat accurate because I am a conservative voter in 2015, write now the Liberal, New Democratic Party, and Conservative Party are running a three way tie in the polls. Polls vacillate, everyday is different, but essentially any of the big three could form government as will be decided by swing voters, and for undecided voters, like myself, this creates a problem.

Canada has a first past the post electoral system (one of the only strictly FPTTP systems left, the other is the U.K) and that means we elect on a basis of most votes regardless of what kind of percentage makes up the majority of votes, hence when an MP wins a seat they may do so with as little as 30-40% of the vote depending on the split among the parties. If you have, for example, 2 major right wing parties, as we did in the 1990s with Reform/Alliance and Progressive Conservatives  the opposition often wins on a lower vote threshold. eg) party #1= 30% party #2=30% and Party #3=40% party #3 wins despite the fact that it only received 40% of the total vote not a majority. This situation is compounded when you have a 3 or 4 way race on one side of the political spectrum as you have had between the NDP, Liberal Party, Green Party, and, to a smaller extent, Bloc Quebecios, during the Harper years. Unless a coalition government is formed, which is rare majorities are won by the minority of voters. What has happened is Canada has a 2 party system that no longer operates with two parties.

Back to the original problem, does a conservative like me, who has no love for the Harper government's malfeasance vote for an alternative, perhaps the Christian Heritage party, which runs a much more moderate and socially active platform than the corrupt conservatives? or do I vote with party lines and hope to secure a conservative majority in 2015?

I’m going to follow this post up with why Justin Trudeau may have already made his greatest mistake of his campaign, but in the meantime I ask, how would you vote? would you risk a split or stick with the neo-cons? or perhaps you're considering NDP or Liberal, let me know why.  

Image of Canadian Parliament 2011 courtesy of: DrRandomFactor @Wikimedia commons

Friday, 4 September 2015

Campaign Battle 2015: Of Bile and Budgets

A month in, the 2015 election has been relatively civil and subdued to this point. Surprises have been few; parties have stuck to predictable points, the Macleans debate almost entirely pointless so early in the contest. A straightforward narrative of left, right, and centre seemed to be in store.

Then something interesting happened: the question of balancing budgets entered the foreground, with curious results. The prospect of any party balancing 2015 or 2016 budgets should be met with skepticism given the plunging Canadian Dollar and the oil bubble that has yet to find a bottom (39.65/barrel as of August 30). Balanced budgets are an article of faith for fiscal conservatives, few surprises that the government holds them as an end in themselves (despite their mixed track record). Some creative accounting allows the Conservative government to claim a surplus for 2015, despite contradictory statements from Finance Canada (1.4 billion surplus) and the parliamentary budget office (1.5 billion deficit). The recently legislated income splitting is likely to account for 2 to 3 billion in lost revenue, with campaign pledges for infrastructure spending and further tax credits/breaks chipping further into the deficit territory.

The creative accounting of the Conservatives is matched by the unsubstantiated accounting of the NDP. Since the beginning of the election they have pledged funding for municipal infrastructure projects, subsidized/public daycare, restored funding to the CBC and Canada Post, renewable energy projects, small business tax credits, research and development grants, funding for additional police officers, amongst other things. These are enticing proposals, but likely costly ones. To offset these costs the New Democratic platform calls for increased corporate tax rates ( by an unspecified amount),ending subsidies to the petrochemical industry, scrapping income splitting, and saved cost by abolition of the Canadian Senate (requiring a constitutional amendment).

Most of these proposals are similar to NDP platforms of past elections. The turn comes in Thomas Mulcair's pledge to balance the federal budget in 2016. As noted prior, the possibility of any party producing a balanced budget is dubious, even with increased revues. Liberal and Conservative candidates have wasted no time in denouncing Mulcair's claims, despite their likelihood or intent to run into the red.

The proper question here is not "Can X party balance the budget", but rather; what does a commitment to balance of budgets (or not) says in strategic-political terms?  For that matter, with fiscal responsibility being a historic plank of conservative support, why would the NDP attempt to challenge the Conservatives in this arena? The answer may be surprising.

The NDP budget pledge is primarily meant to counter the image of the party as bad economic managers, as evidence by former New Democrat governments of Ontario and British Columbia, and appear less radical to moderate voters. The secondary effect is one of the shrewder elements in this campaign. Election victories come by engaging new voters, advantageous demographic shifts, and appropriating opponent support. The NDP have historically had success in the first two areas, while this budget business falls into the latter category. Strange as it may sound, Mulcair may be using this strategy to covertly campaign for disaffected conservatives.

Given their divisive politics and length of tenure, the Harper government has had many opportunities to alienate elements of the electorate. Conservative Party support is shakier now than any time since their formation. The union (coalition?) of the Progressive Conservative and Alliance brought together a diverse voting pool of Canadians that may vote for right wing of centre-right parties for a variety of factors. Centrist and progressive conservatives have been increasingly marginalized by the Prime Minister's domineering and centralized style; yet it has also been a mixed blessing (at best) for former Reform/Alliance supporters. The increased government debt and senate patronage/corruption are in direct violation of Reform founding principles. Recent economic reports (2 quarters of negative GDP growth, Statistics Canada) have taken the shine off the government's record of economic management, an area from which they draw broad support. Harper's aptitude is being called into question, and thus the opposition leaders attempt to present themselves as more competent managers.

What might be Thomas Mulcair's greatest advantage in this election is that he is neither Stephen Harper nor Justin Trudeau. Mulcair arrived into national consciousness upon becoming opposition leader in late 2011, and done reasonably well in that role. In contrast, Stephen Harper has been on the national political scene since the mid 90's, and held the role of Prime Minister for nearly a decade. After several decades of national politics, one will have gained many detractors: call it political attrition.

 In the fall election, a large contingent of votes for the Liberals and NDP will be primarily anti- Harper votes. The New Democrats stand to gain the most from this by pooling the anti-Harper vote with an anti-Trudeau vote. For many right leaning voters, even if they are sick of the current government, the thought of voting for a Trudeau is unthinkable. The legacy of his father leave a bad taste in the mouth of conservatives and Western Canadians (Alberta in particular). Combined with years of Conservative attack ads and good old Western alienation (reacting to perceived Eastern elites), we have a situation in which dissected conservatives are unlikely to vote Liberal (or maybe at all), despite being closer in relative ideological terms than other alternatives. Mulcair's budget pledge is an olive branch to "small c" conservatives. Less ideologically motivated voters with an interest in fiscal balance has traditionally been a boon to the right, but in this election the NDP are attempting to tap this demographic by downplaying the perception that they are all radical socialists. If Mulcair can convince them that an NDP government would not "wreck the economy" it may be enough to take power.

This strategy has the inherent drawback of exposing their left flank, the progressive-activist base of the party. The Liberals have wasted no time attempting to outmaneuver their rival, accusing Mulcair of dishonesty in his accounting, insisting there is no way to introduce their proposed spending while balancing the budget. To this end, Trudeau has announced the Liberals program of a massive deficient financed infrastructure program ($185 over four years). This New Deal style [and classic appeal to the Keynesian sentiment] policy is meant to appeal to progressives who do not identify with the NDP, or feel they have moved too far to the right. To his credit, Trudeau is the only major leader to offer a true counter-narrative to balanced budgets being an end in themselves. The main reason he can do so is that, even in their best case scenario, the Liberals will almost certainly remain the third party, albeit a much stronger one. Making big statements and offering a counter narrative to the dominant parties is the primary role of parties that do not form the government or primary opposition, it was the bread-and-butter of the NDP for most of its existence.

It is possible that the positions of the New Democrats and Liberals could disadvantageously split the progressive-left vote in this election, however, polling numbers and media reports have posited Mulcair as running neck-and-neck with Harper and gaining momentum; thus potentially rallying the anti-Harper vote to his side.

The ultimate x factor in this election (as with most) will be voter turnout. Canadians increasingly feel frustrated and alienated by economic and social trends and realities. Change is the byword of the day, yet many potential voters are dissatisfied with all political parties, with political campaigns only increasing the feeling of disconnection and powerlessness. Perhaps this election will ultimately be a battle of disgust; either the disgust of disaffected party loyal, or disgust of the nonvoting masses to the point that that have no choice but to start taking politics seriously.   

 Image courtesy of Asclepias at Wikimedia Commons Creative Commons licence 3.0 

Zac Dabmann is an Edmonton based musician, eccentric, and  cynical ex-Marxist. All ideas and opinions are meant to be insightful, to challenge conventional narratives, and as such; are purely speculative and occasionally ridiculous. 

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Was The Ashely Madison Leak Necessary?

The growing Ashley Madison conflagration had yet to draw me in, but now, with the a recent story from Global News about the persecution of homosexual men in Islamic nations I felt the urgent need to comment. Not because I seek to make any apology for their acts or the fact that many may have been adulterers, but rather to suggest that such a horrible outcome need not have happened.

A group of gay men in Karachi, Jakarta, Delhi, Riyadh and many other places are suffering under an undeserved lash for the solipsism and moral descent of the west. I original presumed the leak was truly only a western phenomenon and did not understand that the tendrils of the odious corporation stretched so broadly. Now I know better.

Throughout my writing I have maintained that it is the responsibility of the state and the electorate to craft the moral society in which they would like to live. This means actively holding yourself and your neighbors accountable for the universal benefit. Ashley Madison is one such instance of where liberalism prevailed over the proper and reasonable moralization that could have been engineered through the people or the state.

I maintain that the Ashley Madison persecution and leak did not have to happen.

The alleged suicides I believe are not the fault of the hackers nor the public. The people who chose to self-destruct in the wake of leaks had it coming. But I would insist that in hindsight the hackers at anonymous did a much more egregious thing than simply invade privacy. The robbed the government of a legitimate function on behalf of the social organism. The government should have recognized the catastrophic harm a site dedicated to adulterous conduct could have had on the nation's marriages and through collective actions both internal and multinational and blocked the site from local servers; if possible nations should have even shut down the insidious corporation before a need was felt to expose its feculent sins to the world. At least governments make an effort to adhere to their own privacy law.

Anonymous knew that there was mass public support for their invasion into Ashley Madison and in fact they also knew they held the moral high ground against such a degenerate nemesis, but in not seeing both the social and moral harm engendered by the insidious website the government and the western world exposed us all to horrid vigilante justice and the exposure of our most private lives. This may only lead to a well deserved divorce in the west, but unfortunately our brothers in the islamic world have a great deal more to be concerned about.

Image Courtesy of Fobos92 @ Wikimedia Commons