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Saturday, September 17, 2016

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I question why one "can be 'alt-right' under [Jacque's] definition even though [one] disagree[s] with lots of others in the 'alt-right' about lots of important things", yet one whose "general orientation is right-wing" cannot qualify as conservative, but must qualify as alt-right -- if that one "reject[s] at least some of the central ideas of the mainstream dominant kind of conservatism". It seems as if Jacques definition of alt-right is set up to pull in as many as it can, and on the grounds that dissension and disagreement is far more acceptable within the alt-right ranks than the alt-righters have decided is allowed within mainstream conservatism. If, however, mainstream conservatism disowns those of its ranks whose general orientation is right-wing, and who reject at least some of its central ideas, then, okay, there seems to be sense in the proposed definition. But does mainstream conservatism do that, i.e., does it disown those of its ranks whose general orientation is right-wing, and who reject at least some of its central ideas? If not, then it isn't clear to this reader that the proposed definition isn't self-serving in a significant way.

Hi Bill,
To be clear, I meant that disagreeing with a "central" tenet of mainstream conservatism would be enough for alt-right-ness.

About Q1, I'd say that mainstream conservatives are allowed to have a range of views about race so long as they agree that race never matters, except perhaps in cases where its mattering may benefit or flatter non-whites (or Jews). Thus, a mainstream conservative could say that race is a real biological kind, that blacks are a race, and that they are naturally more prone to some illness or better at running sprints. Or he could say that race is a 'social construct' and blacks aren't naturally/racially better than whites at anything. But he can't say (without committing socio-economic suicide) that race is biological and blacks are a race and that race is naturally less intelligent and more impulsive than whites. I think we agree that you can't say anything like that without being cast out of mainstream media and society, which includes mainstream conservatism.

I don't think you can find any example nowadays of someone we'd consider a 'mainstream' conservative who is willing to say publicly state the well known facts about IQs of blacks or Gypsies or Aborigines, for example. I mean it's considered shocking just to state these facts, even without offering any theory as to what explains them. Imagine you said "It's now well established that Australian Aborigines tend to have such low IQs that it's simply impossible for the vast majority of them to be competent lawyers or scientists or philosophy professors". Any employer in the west would try to fire you, you'd be demonized and probably your life would be in danger. Even if you made it clear you had no idea what might explain their low IQs. So if you think these kinds of differences (or some of them) may have a natural/racial basis that puts you even further outside the mainstream.

However I can understand why you feel 'alt-right' may be a smaller tent than I'm imagining here. Maybe we need a new term covering the alt-right 'constellation' but also every other kind of right-winger who's alienated from the mainstream.

As for who best represents the mainstream, I'm not sure. I don't think we need to identify any particular person as the paradigm. It may be better to think of the mainstream as a system of taboos imposed by the Left. We know pretty much what those are, and we can confirm the theory by noticing which kinds of obviously true comments result in people being ruined and demonized and 'Birched' out of the 'conservative movement'.

Hi Bill and Glenn.
I think that Jacques’ comment is a good response to the points raised by both of you. Alternatively, perhaps the doctrinal slicing and dicing on the right of what is, after all, a spectrum of views, can be suspended, at least pro tem, by focusing on the other end of the spectrum and excluding from the term ‘right’ any so-called conservative who has not declared his intention to vote for Trump on November 8!

Let us suppose for the sake of argument that everything Jacques says about blacks, Aborigines, and Gypsies is true (maybe it is, maybe it isn't - I don't know). Speaking as a more-or-less mainstream conservative, my response is, "So what?" Conservatism is concerned with individuals, not with groups. If I'm in the market for a lawyer, why should I care whether he's an Aborigine? All I care about is whether he's a good enough lawyer.

Hi Bob,
There's no reason you should discriminate against an obviously skilled lawyer just because he's an Aborigine, or whatever. But all western societies now have super-aggressive laws and policies aimed at promoting 'equity' and 'diversity' in every area of life--in law school, in law firms, when appointing judges or deciding who counts as a legal scholar, and on and on and on.

I would love a society where lawyers are hired just because of their lawyering skills, or where people get to go to law school just because of their lawyerly aptitudes. That's not this world. Highly qualified white people are rejected and passed over, systematically and with the full support of government, just so that far less qualified non-whites can be given scarce positions. (I think the recent Supreme Court decision was Fisher--and, predictably, the court found that racial discrimination against white people is good and constitutional.) Likewise, by importing millions upon millions of low functioning, backwards peoples from the third world, the US and other western countries will eventually become third world hell holes. So people's lives are being ruined by affirmative action and immigration and other such policies, and in the process our institutions and traditions are also being degraded. All of these destructive forces are based in part on the false theory that there are no important racial differences.

These are some reasons why the facts about racial differences (and other differences) are important, and why mainstream conservatism is useless at best in dealing with the most important problems in our society.

Affirmative action and unrestricted immigration are not central tenets of mainstream conservatism.

Bob,
Your question was not whether support for affirmative action and unrestricted immigration are mainstream conservative positions. Instead you asked why facts about racial differences in IQ matter. ("So what?") And so, I was explaining one way in which they matter: False beliefs about race are at the basis of policies that are destroying our civilization, such as affirmative action and unrestricted immigration. Therefore, in order to conserve our civilization, we have to replace these false beliefs about race with true beliefs.

If mainstream conservatism has nothing to say about these topics, because it's only concerned with "individuals", mainstream conservatism is at best a distraction from the existential threats we face. In fact mainstream conservatives are not just silent; they tend to _agree_ with the Left's false ideology, doing their best to ruin those who criticize it. (Think of how these 'conservatives' treated Sobran, Francis, Derbyshire, etc.)

And that's why they never actually conserve anything, and why they always move herd-like to the left. Pretty much everything mainstream conservatives want to conserve is the product of a highly specific racial-cultural group. (At least, that's what I claim; I hope you'll agree that _if_ this is true, or even plausible, it certainly should matter to people who want to conserve those things.) But at the same time, these 'conservatives' do nothing to defend the race and culture and nation on which their 'values' depend, and they try to ruin anyone who does do anything. For the most part, they're just the junior members of the Leftist coalition.

Case in point: If you think we're all just 'individuals', and no facts about human groups need to be taken into consideration, why should you care if the US population is made up white European 'individuals' or Australian Aborigine 'individuals'? I hope you'll agree that this would not be a good idea, at least from the point of view of American patriots. But in explaining why that is, you're going to have to talk about more than just 'individuals'. After all, there must be at least a few Aborigines who could fit right in, and some might be pretty good at lawyering.

Supposing that conservatism is "the product of a highly specific racial-cultural group", it doesn't follow that it must remain the exclusive property of that group, or that that group is essential for its existence.. If it's true, it's true for everyone. This of course does not mean that its truth is immediately apparent, or palatable, to everyone. This is why I would like us to have a restrictive and rigorous immigration system coupled with much stronger encouragement of assimilation.

And so, any Australian Aborigine who is willing to - implicitly or explicitly, and with a whole heart, pledge his allegiance to the United States of America and preserve and defend the Constitution, should have a red carpet rolled out for him.

Maybe I could have made my position more precise, and stronger. Sure, the mere fact that conservatism, or western civilization more generally, is the product of a specific group does not _imply_ that "it must remain the exclusive property of that group, or that that group is essential for its existence". On the other hand, there is no particular reason to believe that these things are _not_ the exclusive property of western peoples or that white Europeans are _not_ essential to the conservation and functioning of our western civilization. What evidence could anyone have for thinking that western civilization encodes principles or ways of being that are "true for everyone" or, more to the point, feasible for everyone? Obviously a healthy western society can do just fine with small numbers of foreigners, including even Australian Aborigines. But the question is whether our societies can thrive (or even exist) when non-whites, non-westerners, non-Christians are introduced in numbers so huge as to reduce white western Christians to minorities. I can't think of any reason for optimism about this scenario. And there's lots of evidence for the view that western civilization could only have been created and sustained by the specific racial-cultural groups that in fact created and sustained it. Certainly it seems far-fetched to imagine that groups such as the Aborigines have the capacity to produce anything like the civilization of Italy or England or France or Holland. These are groups who have never left the stone age.

Why is this worth emphasizing? Because we are not living in a society where it's just the odd African or Aborigine or Aztec who's coming to visit or study or settle down. The official ideology of the west implies that we must open our societies to millions and millions and millions of these alien people, with no limit. So we are forced to consider whether, on the whole and for the most part, these huge numbers of aliens are capable of participating in our societies in a healthy way or whether, as seems pretty obvious, their presence in huge numbers is a civilizational disaster from which we may never recover.

Since there is actually no reason to think that such people in such numbers can assimilate to our society (without doing terrible damage to it) the following claim seems insane:

"And so, any Australian Aborigine who is willing to - implicitly or explicitly, and with a whole heart, pledge his allegiance to the United States of America and preserve and defend the Constitution, should have a red carpet rolled out for him."

There are probably billions of people who are _willing_ to do this. But if you let them all in to the US, the US is going to be a third world hellhole in about one week. Or so the evidence of history and IQ tests and a zillion other things would indicate.

Nowhere in this discussion have I advocated mass immigration; quite the reverse. "Affirmative action and unrestricted immigration are not central tenets of mainstream conservatism." "I would like us to have a restrictive and rigorous immigration system coupled with much stronger encouragement of assimilation."

Neither was I saying that we should just let in anybody who says he wants to be an American. "With a whole heart" = genuinely = sincerely = really means it. We should seek a reasonable assurance of sincerity on the part of each postulant (see "rigorous" above), and encourage his Americanization as much as possible (see "assimilation" above).

I think I have said all I can on this topic. Thanks for the discussion - it has been enlightening, and has certainly helped me clarify my own thoughts. Ave atque vale, and God bless you.

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