Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Against Anti-Racism and the Hemeneutics of Hatred


Fighting racism requires knowing what it is – not an easy task….  [R]acism is a Schimfort: a term with pejorative connotations, whose very use inevitably tends to be more instrumental than descriptive. To call someone a racist, even if the charge is intellectually dishonest, can be a useful tactic, either in successfully paralyzing or in casting enough suspicion as to curtail credibility.  
                                            Alain de Benoist, “What is Racism?”

A proposal: to make the charge of “racism” an automatic criminal offense if made by a private citizen, an impeachable act with the loss of government pension if made by a public official.  Punishment falls on the accuser unless the charge could be substantiated and confirmed by empirically verifiable evidence based on a single, legally promulgated definition of “racism” with clear, operational terms. What about free speech, you counter? Well, what about it?  Free speech has done a disappearing act in Canada where the Canadian Senate recently passed Bill C-16 which puts yet another hate crime on the books, this one making it a hate crime, are you ready? -- to refer to a transgendered person who has become a “he” as a “she” and vice versa. “Transphobia” is born joining its morally defective cousins, homophobia and Islamophobia, phobias that will put the possessor in the cross hairs of the local prosecutor.  Also, free speech in western Europe has given way to government regulated speech where any criticism of a member of a designated protected class is prosecutable, again, as hate speech. Here in the U.S.? Try going to any university and college campus and see how far free speech takes you before some social justice warrior throws a plastic bag of feces at you because you are deemed a “hateful” person, or some self-designated “anti-fascist” starts punching you because disagreeing with him makes you a fascist.

Essentially, the governments in the western world have clearly shifted away from the long-held high priority of liberal, democratic polities for freedom of expression to the suppression of “hatred” selectively and arbitrarily interpreted and enforced by high placed ideologues who get to determine whose hatred gets punished and whose is justified. This turns the business of legislating, of making readily understandable rules that everyone is expected to follow, into a contorted hermeneutics of hatred where the subjectivity of moralizing displaces the objectivity of law and the intended universality of its application. The ideologues who operate the abstruse moral machinery that is designed to suppress hatred have theorized individuals into distinct groups, the oppressed and the oppressors, the later who exploit and, of course, hate the former. The social world the ideologues envision is a deeply morally fractured one populated by helpless, blameless victims who need protection from the malevolent, menacing bigots who fail to recognize the humanity of those they oppress. The moral and legal order of such a world then must be structured to protect the oppressed and punish the oppressors, and so the moral and legal standards and expectations necessarily differ depending on whether you are an oppressor or one of the oppressed.  The mad scramble then commences. You join, if you can, the community of the oppressed, articulate your grievances, agitate for revenge, and demand the assistance and protection of the state.  Failing that, retreat, submit, be quiet and hope the political police will leave you in peace.  Whatever one might wish to call this kind of social-political order, a “democracy” is not what firsts jumps to mind.

But a swift and resolute implementation of the above proposal would have many immediate and enormously salubrious effects. Below are just a few. To begin with, it would liberate public discourse from the fetters imposed by the preening moralists and scolds in so many places who wait to pounce on any and every deviation from the script of political correctness.  Some of the scolds are even highly paid to do so. In the workplace, at cocktail parties, in schools, churches, labor unions, political assemblies, and, even as unimaginable as it might now seem, university classrooms, people could speak their minds, express their concerns without the threatening, censorious race commissars launching protests and coercing apologies, Chinese Cultural Revolution style.  Fewer lobotomized college students would be assaulting campus speakers who might hurt their feelings. No more time wasted on deciphering “racist dog whistles.” No longer would we have to endure the hypocritical, disingenuous calls from the likes of Barack Obama, fresh from consorting with a scurrilous race-hustler like Al Sharpton, for a “national conversation about race” because it would actually be possible to have real one, or rather, many, without a threat to your career, reputation, even your physical safety.

The enacted proposal would reduce the current mass hysteria most recently manifest with the election of Donald Trump, christened during his campaign by Hillary Clinton and the MSM as an “unredeemable” racist along with the sixty-two million people that voted for him. There would be fewer reincarnated Hilters and Mussolinis, Bull Connors and George Wallaces to fear, agonize over and scare small children.  The Ku Klux Klan would be the laughable fringe-guys in pointy hats numbering of a couple of thousand nationwide, not, once again, all the Trump voters from Hillary’s “basket of deplorables.”  It would be less likely that another disillusioned Democrat like James Hodgkinson would take target practice at Republican congressmen.  The Southern Poverty Law Center, unable to smear any conservative individual or organization it took a fancy to, would have to close up shop.

This proposal enacted would also mute the multitudes of charlatans and extortionists who populate the “diversity” industry.  Unable to affix “racist” to every conceivable thought, gesture, word, and institution that strikes their fancy, the vast “victim” community under their care, one which they now relentlessly endeavor to expand, would begin to shrink.  The elaborate taxonomy of racism, now in a growth mode – “overt racism,” “covert racism,” economic “racism,” “systemic racism,” “institutional racism,” “environmental racism,” “legacy racism,” and many more – would be duly recognized as mysterious and incomprehensible mumbo jumbo and thus sink happily into oblivion, a subject matter for anthropologists sometime in the far future to ponder as a practice of post-modern superstition or witchcraft.  With many fewer individuals and institutions certified as “racist,” there would be a substantial decline in micro-aggressions which, like a reduction in crime, would make everyone happy. Especially pleased would be university presidents who could relax a bit and not worry about whether they must grovel and apologize every time they hear of one on campus and whether they will be fired for being too lenient on the micro-aggressors.
 
Many “professors” of English and sundry area studies programs would have to seek actual, useful employment. There would be little demand for professors of Post-Colonial Studies, even less for literature courses that are all about the racism in Shakespeare, Milton and Faulkner and every other dead white male in the literary canon. African American studies programs would wither since they are premised on discovery of “racism” as the core of the American experience.

Calling or labelling a person now a “racist” is an excellent way to do accomplish several things that enhance your self-esteem and elevate your status as a superior person.  Firsts, it shows how deeply you care about the disadvantaged, the magnanimous dimensions of your personality and your sensitivity to the suffering of others. As well it immediately separates you from that “racist” you have identified, who, of course, is your complete opposite. Thus the contrast dramatically demonstrates your vast moral superiority and justifies your self-righteous disdain.  It also bolsters your standing among friends and colleagues as a truth-to-power speaker even if that “racist’ you have called out is an unemployed mechanic from down the street whose house is in foreclosure. Best of all, you don’t have to do anything else to bolster your virtue credentials, like send your child to that rundown inner city school full of, well, you get the picture.  Sometimes it is even fun, especially when that “racist” gets really angry and flustered after you have outed him and you get to relish his discomfort as he stumbles through all of those futile protests to convince you otherwise.
 
However, this proposal if enacted would constitute a bold step toward making people more accountable and responsible for the language they use to assert their superior virtue, and it would impose a cost to what is now, cost-free moral preening.  Taking “racism” out of the compendium of popularly permissible slurs would mean that “racist,” as an accusation with all of its invidious comparisons would have to give way to an honest, “I don’t like you,” which is fine. No one is required to like anyone. But not liking someone only means just that, with no implications for your moral stature, no put-downs that testify to your own goodness. So, if you accuse someone of an offense that relegates them to, as Hillary Clinton so elegantly put it, “a basket of deplorables,” as “irredeemable,” you should be able to prove it and suffer some penalty if you cannot.

Most importantly, this proposal enacted would also greatly advance the possibility of making an honest consideration of what the implications are for the mass migrations from the third world that are currently assaulting the countries of the west.  In much of western Europe, native Europeans who question the inundation of refugees from Africa, the Middle East and Asia are shamed by the politicians, in collusion with the media moguls, as bigots and xenophobes.

Immigration is an enormously complex issue with incalculable cultural, political, economic and security implications. Millions of immigrants, many destitute and low-skilled, carry an enormous financial burden that falls mainly on the middle and working class natives. Many of those entering Europe are unable to speak the language of the host country.  Many come from societies with very different cultures, whose values are in conflict with those of western secular society. Not surprising then is that some of new comers are resentful of their hosts and inimical to their norms.  This means that cultural conflict is inevitable and that the sheer number of new-comers threatens the long-enjoyed stability of the host countries.  All of these concerns are real, pressing and legitimate, but the elites who have opened the gates remain crudely reductivist in their own defense, seemingly blind to the coming catastrophe and resolutely self-righteous in their condemnation of those who question them.  Those native, French, Germans, Swedes and Dutch who doubt the wisdom of the inundation and fear the destruction of their own culture get the reductio ad racista treatment so long successful in beating down legitimate dissent.  First, you de-moralize dissent and make it into bigotry; then you make into criminals those citizens you have turned into bigots, unable now in any way to participate in the decisions that affect their lives and those of their children.  That the likes of Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Stefan Löfven continue to call their soft tyrannies run by unelected bureaucrats who punish their citizens for speaking the truth “democracies” is one more expression of their treachery and dishonesty.
 
If the above proposal were enacted the social and political elites would have to begin to argue their case and relinquish the smear that has served so well for so long.

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