A while back a front page story in the local rag of record, The Arizona Republic, implied that one is either a native American, a black, or an Anglo. Now with my kind of surname, I am certainly no Anglo. And even though I am a 'person of color,' my color inclining toward a sort of tanned ruddiness, I am undoubtedly not black either.
It follows that I am a native American. This conclusion is independently supported by the following argument:
1. I am a native Californian. 2. California is in America. 3. If x is native to locality L, and L is within the boundaries of M, then x is a native M-er. Therefore I am a native American.
This argument is impeccable in point of logical form, and sports manifestly true premises. What more do you want?
Note that (2) is true whether 'America' is taken to refer to the USA or to the continent of North America.
Let us also observe that since I am a native American, it cannot be the case that "we are all immigrants" as far too many liberal knuckleheads like to claim.
We need more mockery of liberals. There is little point in attempts to engage them on the plane of reason, for that is not the plane they inhabit.
Thank you, Mr. Pollack, for saving me the work of excoriating this sorry specimen of leftist lunacy. Malcolm writes,
Behold Sally Boynton Brown, an industrial-strength ethno-masochist who wants both to “have a conversation” and “shut other white people down”.
(If you’re a student of political language, by the way, and you’re looking for examples of Orwellian phrases that mean exactly the opposite of what they say, it’s hard to beat “have a conversation”.)
I can’t think of any examples, throughout all of history, of any ethnic group despising themselves, and seeking their own abnegation and extinction, in the way that large numbers of white people are doing today. (I mean it: I’m really stumped here. Readers?)
Ms. Brown is standing for the job of head of the Democratic National Committee. I hope she gets it; she might even be a better choice than Keith Ellison.
'Have a conversation' is indeed Orwellian in the mouth of a leftist. It means shut up and acquiesce in everything we say. To which I respond: 'We are right and you are wrong and yet you have the chutzpah to try to shut us down?'
Not only is chess racist, it is also sexist and patriarchal. The fact that the Queen is the most powerful piece on the board proves nothing to the contrary. The powers allowed to the Queen are in truth nothing more than so many sops thrown to the feminists to keep them quiet.
The sexism and patriarchalism of chess is proven by the dignity afforded to the King.
Wherein resides the dignity of the King? At every time in every possible game, the King is on the board. He cannot be captured: he never leaves the board while the game is on. He may be checked and checkmated; he is never captured. His royal consort, however, must submit to sacrifice, and is sacrificed gladly in the most beautiful of games. She has no dignity unto herself; she is but a means, nothing more than an overgrown pawn, and in some cases an ambitious upstart who has clawed her way to the eighth rank with the determination of a Hillary. She must die, when called upon, for the glory of His Majesty.
Another proof that chess is racist and oppressive and ought to be banned is that blacks are woefully under-represented among its players. This evil can have only one explanation: racist suppression of black players. For everyone knows that blacks as a group are the equals of whites as a group in respect of intelligence, interest in chess, and the sorts of virtues needed to play the undemocratic and reactionary 'Royal Game.' Among these are the ability to study hard, defer gratification, and keep calm in trying situations.
For these and many other reasons, we must DEMAND that chess be banned.
We must manifest solidarity with our oppressed Taliban brothers who have maintained, truly, that chess is an evil game of chance.
It is therefore most heartening to read that chess has been banned in some places in America. May this trend continue as we march forward, ever stronger, together to the land of social justice where there are no winners and no losers.
David French continues to write good columns for NRO. His latest is about one of Hillary's darlings, Black Lives Matter. But when it came time to act and actually do something in opposition to this movement he calls "poisonous," he refused to support Trump, thereby aiding and abetting Hillary and her destructive leftist race-baiting agenda.
This is a MUST-SEE video. White liberal Berkeley students express an extremely condescending attitude toward black folks, and some blacks reply. (HT and Merry Christmas to J.I.O.) The kids actually think that significant numbers of blacks don't possess ID, don't know how to secure it, and lack access to the Internet.
Blacks need to learn from Jews, Italians, the Irish, and others who have faced abuse. Don't whine, don't complain, don't seek a government program. Don't try to cash in on your 'victim' status, when the truth is that you are a 'victim' of liberal victimology. Get the needle out of your arm, and that soul-killing rap noise out of your ears. Listen to the late Beethoven piano sonatas. May I recommend Opus #s 109, 110, and 111? We honkies want you to be successful. And we don't care what color you are. It's not about color anyway. It's about behavior. Work hard, practice the ancient virtues, and be successful. If you can't make it here, you can't make it anywhere. Don't let Brother Jesse tell you otherwise. Don't get mad, be like Rudy Giuliani. Can you imagine him making a big deal about being called a greaseball, dago, goombah, wop, guinea . . . ? Do you see him protesting Soprano-style depictions of Italian-Americans as mafiosi?
Humans are tribal, but tribalism can be transcended. It exists in tension with our extraordinary ability to develop bonds with other human beings. Romeo and Juliet fell in love. French, British and German soldiers came out of their trenches in World War I to exchange food, cigarettes and Christmas greetings.
The key, as Cicero observed, is proximity, and a great deal of modern research backs him up. Students are more likely to become friends with the student whose dorm room is one door away than with the student whose room is four doors away. People who have at least one friend from the other political party are less likely to hate the supporters of that party.
But tragically, Americans are losing their proximity to those on the other side and are spending more time in politically purified settings. [. . .]
Haidt is right that tribalism can be transcended, at least to some extent, and that proximity and interaction can facilitate the transcending. But he is far more optimistic that I am.
What Haidt ignores is that there is no comity without commonality, as I like to put it. You and I can live and work together in harmony only within a common space of shared values and assumptions and recognized facts. But that common space is shrinking.
Take any 'hot button' issue, Second Amendment rights, for example. What do I have in common with the anti-gunner who favors confiscation of all civilian firearms, or only slightly less radically, wants to ban all handguns? To me it is evident that my right to life grounds a right to self-defense, and with it a right to acquire the appropriate means of self-defense. If you deny this, then we have no common ground, at least not on this topic. On this topic, we would then be at loggerheads. If you then work politically or extra-politically to violate what here in the States are called Second Amendment rights, then you become my enemy. And the consequences of enmity can become unpleasant in the extreme.
In a situation like this, proximity and interaction only exacerbate the problem. Even the calm interaction of scholarly argument and counter-argument does no good. No matter how carefully and rigorously I argue my position, I will not succeed in convincing the opponent. This is a fact of experience over a wide range of controversial topics, and not just in politics. The only good thing that comes of the dialectical interaction is a clarification and deeper understanding of one's position and what it entails. If you think, say, that semi-automatic weapons ought to be banned for civilian use, then you and I will never find common ground. But I will perfect my understanding of my position and its presuppositions and better understand what I reject in yours.
After we have clarified, but not resolved, our differences, anger at the intransigence of the other is the likely upshot if we continue to interact in close proximity whether in the same academic department, the same church, the same club, the same neighborhood, the same family . . . . This is why there are schisms and splits and factions and wars and all manner of contention.
Anger at intransigence can then lead on to the thought that there must be something morally defective, and perhaps also intellectually defective, about the opponent if he holds, say, that a pre-natal human is just a clump of cells. One advances -- if that is the word -- to the view that the opponent is morally censurable for holding the position he holds, that he is being willfully morally obtuse and deserves moral condemnation. And then the word 'evil may slip in: "The bastard is not just wrong; he is an evil son-of-a-bitch for promoting the lie that an unborn child is just a clump of cells, or a disposable part of woman's body like a wart." The arguably false statements of the other get treated as lies and therefore as statements at the back of which in an intent to deceive. And from there it ramps up to 'Hillary is Satan' and 'Trump is Hitler.'
So while Haidt is right that proximity and interaction can promote mutual understanding and mitigate hostility, that is true only up to a point and works only within a common space of shared assumptions, values, and recognized facts. Absent the common space, the opposite is true: proximity and interaction are precisely what must be avoided to preserve peace.
The Problem and Three Main Solutions
The problem is how to transcend tribalism. I count three main solutions, the Liberal, the Alt Right, and the Sane (which is of course my view!)
There is what I take to be Haidt's rather silly liberal solution, namely, that what will bring us together is proximity and interaction. He assumes that if we all come together and get to know each other we will overcome tribalism. This borders on utopian nonsense. It is precisely because of proximity and interaction that many decide to self-segregate. The more I know about certain individuals and groups the less I want to have to do with them. The thugs of Black Lives Matter, for example. By the way, 'thug' is not code for 'nigger.' 'Thug' means thug. Look it up.
At the other extreme we find the 'alties' and neo-reactionaries. They have a sound insight, namely, that there are unassimillable elements and that they must be kept out. For example, Sharia-supporting Muslim are unassimillable into the U. S. because their values are antithetical to ours, perhaps not all of their values, but enough to make for huge problems.
The success of e pluribus unum depends on the nature of the pluribus. A One cannot be made out of just any Many. (Cute formulation, eh?) The members of the manifold must be unifiable under some umbrella of common values, assumptions, and recognized facts. One nation cannot be made out of many tribes of immigrants unless the many tribes of immigrants accept OUR values, American values. The tribalism is overcome or at least mitigated by acceptance of a unifying set of Ametrican values and ideas.
The alt-rightists, however, do not really offer a solution to the problem of transcending tribalism since their 'solution' is to embrace an opposing tribalism. They are right about the reality of race, as against the foolish notion that race is a social construct, but they push this realism in an ugly and extreme direction when they construe American identity as white identity, where this excludes Jews. American identity is rooted in a set of ideas and values. It must be granted, however, that not all racial and ethnic groups are equally able to assimilate and implement these ideas and values. Immigration policy must favor those that are.
The sane way is the middle way. To liberals we ought to concede that diversity is a value, but at the same time insist that it is a value that has to be kept in check by the opposing value of unity. Muslims who refuse to accept our values must not be allowed to immigrate. They have no right to immigrate, but we have every right to select those who will beneft us. That is just common sense. The good sort of diversity is not enhanced by the presence of terror-prone fanatics.
What we need, then, to mitigate tribal hostility is not more proximity and interaction, but less, fewer 'conversations' not more, less government, more toleration, voluntary segregation, a return to federalism, a total stoppage of illegal immigration, and a reform of current immigration law.
Will any of this happen under Hillary? No. So you know what you have to do tomorrow.
If there are no races, then no one is a racist. But conservatives, by definition, are racists. So if race is a social construct in a sense that implies that there are no races, then there are no conservatives either.
. . . Progressive Liberals have viciously criticized Justice Clarence Thomas for refusing to represent his racial class on the Supreme Court. He sees his duty, instead, as following the rule of law and the Constitution. When the law classifies on the basis of race or attempts to promote racial class interests, he has written many times, it undermines the rule of law by violating the crucial principal that all persons are equal before the law. Progressive Liberals despise Thomas for arguing that “benign” racial classifications to benefit racial classes or groups are morally equivalent to invidious racial classifications designed to harm or disadvantage racial or ethnic groups. Race, an arbitrary, inessential feature of the human persona, has no role to play in the rule of law. Since rights belong to individuals, Thomas correctly insists, they are not conditioned by the racial class an individual happens to occupy.
Justice Thomas is so politically incorrect that he may not even be black. (We “cannot tell every story,” says the Smithsonian Institution about Thomas’s absence from the new National Museum of African American History and Culture.) If race is as much a political fact as a biological one, then the failure or refusal to promote a group’s interests and identity nullifies membership in that group. Conversely, Bill Clinton was acclaimed America’s first black president.
The vicious insanity of contemporary liberals is truly mind-boggling. But that's nothing new. What may be worth pointing out, however, is that the bolded passage, with which I fully agree, is contested not only by leftists but also by alt-rightists and neo-reactionaries.
Both groups, while otherwise at each other's throats, jump into the same bed when it comes to the importance of 'blood.' Both groups favor an identity politics in which race is an essential determinant of one's very identity. I have a post (56 comments) in which I lament the tribal identification of so many blacks and in which I recommend getting beyond tribal identifications. But certain 'alties' or NRs would have none of it: they think that the right response to black tribalism is white tribalism.
In another post I cited the Declaration's "all men are created equal," which elicited from an NR the riposte that it is false! The response displayed a failure to grasp that the famous declaration in the Declaration is not an empirical claim about the properties and powers of human animals whether as individuals or as groups, but a normative claim about persons as rights-possessors.
Some good points are made by some on the Alternative Right. But their response to the insane extremism of the Left is -- wait for it -- a reaction that is also extreme, though not insane. Trads and the alties share some common ground, so dialogue is possible; but self-enstupidated leftists are beyond the pale of dialogue. They are enemies that have to be defeated, not fellow rational beings with whom it would make sense to have a conversation. One hopes that their defeat can be achieved politically; but extrapolitical means remain 'on the table.'
A lot rides on the concept of person when it comes to differentiating a tenable conservatism from the reactionary particularism of the Alt Right. A separate post will sketch a personalist conservatism.
For the record, I cop to being a “nativist.” I prefer policies that explicitly favor the existing American citizenry, the people born here, i.e., the natives. I’m somewhat impressed that Pethokoukis and his ilk have managed to redefine this age-old, bedrock political principle as radical and “racist.” It’s like forcing people to say the sky is green—a real propaganda feat, at which hats must be tipped in awe. But acknowledging leftist success as blunt force propagandists doesn’t require accepting the underlying lie.
By etymology, a native to a place is a person born in that place. Should immigration and other policies of a nation favor those born there? Of course. That is just common sense. A government of the people, by the people, and for the people must of course be FOR the people, and these people are not people in general but the people of the nation in question. The United States government, for example, exists to benefit the people of the United States. That is its main task regardless of any subsidiary tasks it may take on such as foreign disaster relief.
So there is an innocuous and defensible sense of 'nativism.' It has nothing to do with xenophobia. 'Liberals' know this, of course, but for their ideological purposes they ride roughshod over the distinction.
And of course it has nothing to do with 'racism.'
Some 'liberals' accuse opponents of illegal immigration of being racists; but this betrays a failure to grasp a simple point, namely, that illegal immigrants do not form a race. Is this difficult to understand?
And while we are on the delightful topic of race, let me point out to our liberal pals that Muslims are not a race either. Muslims are adherents of the religion, Islam, and these adherents are of different races and ethnicities. Got that?
So if a conservative objects to the immigration of Sharia-supporting Muslims, his objection has nothing to do with race.
I apologize to the intelligent for making points so obvious; but given willfull 'liberal' self-enstupidation, these things cannot be repeated too often.
Hence my political burden of proof:
As contemporary 'liberals' become ever more extreme, they increasingly assume what I will call the political burden of proof. The onus is now on them to defeat the presumption that they are so morally and intellectually obtuse as not to be worth talking to.
What exactly is the alternative right (alt-right), and how does it differ from other views on the right?
Yesterday I argued that John Derbyshire's definition is useless because too broad. Jacques by e-mail contributes the following:
If the alt-right is simply the (or a) right-wing alternative to the mainstream or dominant kind of conservatism, you count as alt-right if and only if you reject at least some of the central ideas of the mainstream dominant kind of conservatism and your general orientation is right-wing. The definition does imply that the alt-right differs from some other forms of conservatism or rightism, and we can specify these kinds of differences by specifying the central tenets of mainstream conservatism. You might well be alt-right under this definition.
For example, it's a tenet of mainstream conservatism that there are no important natural racial differences; if you disagree, you're in the alt-right. You might not think so, because you don't agree with tribalists and anti-semites who also oppose mainstream conservatism for different reasons, and with different right-wing agendas. But my definition is appropriately broad and vague: the alt-right is a big tent, since there are so many things wrong with mainstream conservatism that otherwise right-wing people can object to for many different and incompatible reasons. This is how the term is being used, anyway. Lots of people who call themselves 'alt-right' and get called 'alt-right' by others are not anti-semites, for example; some of them are even (non-anti-semitic) Jews. You can be 'alt-right' under my definition even though you disagree with lots of others in the 'alt-right' about lots of important things. Just like a Calvinist and an Anglican can both be Protestants. What do you think?
I take Jacques to be saying that if I disagree with even one tenet of mainstream conservatism, then that makes me a 'big tent' alt-rightist. He brings up the question whether there are important natural racial differences, and maintains that it is a "tenet of mainstream conservatism" that there are none. I think this is correct if we take the mainstream conservative to be maintaining, not that there are no natural (as opposed to socially constructed) racial differences, but that such differences are not important. The idea is that 'blood' does not, or rather ought not matter, when it comes to questions of public policy. Consider immigration policy. Should U. S. immigration policy favor Englishmen over Zulus? If race doesn't matter, why should Englishmen be preferred? If race doesn't matter, both groups should assimilate just as well and be beneficial to the host population in the same measure.
So one question concerns what a mainstream conservative is:
Q1. Do mainstream conservatives hold that there are natural racial differences but that they don't matter, or that that there are no such natural differences to matter?
The answer depends on who best represents mainstream conservatism. What do you say, Jacques?
Suppose the mainstream conservative holds that there are natural racial differences, but that they don't matter. If I hold that they do matter, then I am not a mainstream conservative, and my position is some sort of alternative to mainstream conservatism. But I don't think that this difference alone would justify calling me an alt-rightist since 'alt-right' picks out a rather more specific constellation of theses.
If you want the short answer for why the Arab world is sliding into the abyss, look no further than this little incident. It did itself in chiefly through its long-abiding and all-consuming hatred of Israel, and of Jews.
[. . .]
Yet the fact remains that over the past 70 years the Arab world got rid of its Jews, some 900,000 people, while holding on to its hatred of them. Over time the result proved fatal: a combination of lost human capital, ruinously expensive wars, misdirected ideological obsessions, and an intellectual life perverted by conspiracy theory and the perpetual search for scapegoats. The Arab world’s problems are a problem of the Arab mind, and the name for that problem is anti-Semitism.
[. . .]
Anti-Semitism makes the world seem easy. In doing so, it condemns the anti-Semite to a permanent darkness.
Today there is no great university in the Arab world, no serious indigenous scientific base, a stunted literary culture. In 2015 the U.S. Patent Office reported 3,804 patents from Israel, as compared with 364 from Saudi Arabia, 56 from the United Arab Emirates, and 30 from Egypt. The mistreatment and expulsion of Jews has served as a template for the persecution and displacement of other religious minorities: Christians, Yazidis, the Baha’i.
If you fancy yourself clear-thinking, then you ought to be very careful with the word 'over-represent' and its opposite. They are ambiguous as between normative and non-normative readings. It is just a fact that there are proportionately more Asians than blacks in the elite high schools of New York City. But it doesn't follow that this state of affairs is one that ought not be, or that it would be better if there were proportional representation. So don't say that the Asians are 'over-represented.' For then you are trading in confusion. You are blurring the distinction between the statement of a fact and the expression of a value judgment.
Consider the sports analogy. Asians are 'under-represented' on basketball teams. That is a fact. But it doesn't follow that this state of affairs is one that ought not be, or that it would be better if there were proportional representation. Enforced proportional representation would adversely affect the quality of basketball games. Women are over-represented among massage therapists. Is that bad? Of course not.
Since we are now back to the delightful and heart-warming topic of race/ ethnicity/ gender, let's talk about Jews! They are 'over-represented' in the chess world so much so that there is much truth to the old joke that chess is Jewish athletics. Should the government do something about this 'problem'? (This is what is called a rhetorical question.)
I once told my Jewish and Israeli friend Peter that I had never met a stupid Jew. He shot back, "Then you've never lived in Israel." The very alacrity of his comeback, however, proved (or at least provided further evidence for) my point.
I have noticed, however, that Jews get nervous when you point out that, as a group, they are more intelligent than some other groups I won't mention. I finally figured out what makes them nervous. Jews are a small minority who have been hounded and persecuted and slaughtered through the centuries. They don't like to 'stick out.' They prefer to 'lay low.' Can you blame them? That is at least part of the explanation as to why they don't want attention drawn to them.
In the interests of full disclosure, I should point out that I am not now, and never have been, either an Asian or a Jew or an Israeli. And the chances of becoming one of these is either zero, or near zero.
I am a chess player, however, a patzer/potzer to employ a choice word of Yiddish, presumably from the German patzen, to make a mess, or do something incompetently. But be careful! Should our paths cross in some coffee house, chances are good that I will clean your clock!
Everybody profiles. Liberals are no exception. Liberals reveal their prejudices by where they live, shop, send their kids to school, and with whom they associate.
The word 'prejudice' needs analysis.
It could refer to blind prejudice: unreasoning, reflexive (as opposed to reflective) aversion to what is other just because it is other, or to an unreasoning pro-attitude toward the familiar just because it is familiar. We should all condemn blind prejudice. It is execrable to hate a person just because he is of a different color, for example. No doubt, but how many people do that? How many people who are averse to blacks are averse because of their skin color as opposed to their behavior patterns? Racial prejudice is not, in the main, prejudice based on skin color, but on behavior.
'Prejudice' could also mean 'prejudgment.' Although blind prejudice is bad, prejudgment is generally good. We cannot begin our cognitive lives anew at every instant. We rely upon the 'sedimentation' of past experience. Changing the metaphor, we can think of prejudgments as distillations from experience. The first time I 'serve' my cats whisky they are curious. After that, they cannot be tempted to come near a shot glass of Jim Beam. They distill from their unpleasant olfactory experiences a well-grounded prejudice against the products of the distillery.
My prejudgments about rattlesnakes are in place and have been for a long time. I don't need to learn about them afresh at each new encounter with one. I do not treat each new one encountered as a 'unique individual,' whatever that might mean. Prejudgments are not blind, but experience-based, and they are mostly true. The adult mind is not a tabula rasa. What experience has written, she retains, and that's all to the good.
So there is good prejudice and there is bad prejudice. The teenager thinks his father prejudiced in the bad sense when he warns the son not to go into certain parts of town after dark. Later the son learns that the old man was not such a bigot after all: the father's prejudice was not blind but had a fundamentum in re. The old man was justified in his prejudgment.
But if you stay away from certain parts of town are you not 'discriminating' against them? Well of course, but not all discrimination is bad. Everybody discriminates. Liberals are especially discriminating. The typical Scottsdale liberal would not be caught dead supping in some of the Apache Junction dives I have been found in. Liberals discriminate in all sorts of ways. That's why Scottsdale is Scottsdale and not Apache Junction.
Is the refusal to recognize same-sex 'marriage' as marriage discriminatory? Of course! But not all discrimination is bad. Indeed, some is morally obligatory. We discriminate against felons when we disallow their possession of firearms. Will you argue against that on the ground that it is discriminatory? If not, then you cannot cogently argue against the refusal to recognize same-sex 'marriage' on the ground that it is discriminatory. You need a better argument. And what would that be?
'Profiling,' like 'prejudice' and 'discrimination,' has come to acquire a wholly negative connotation. Unjustly. What's wrong with profiling? We all do it, and we are justified in doing it. Consider criminal profiling.
It is obvious that only certain kinds of people commit certain kinds of crimes. Suppose a rape has occurred at the corner of Fifth and Vermouth. Two males are moving away from the crime scene. One, the slower moving of the two, is a Jewish gentleman, 80 years of age, with a chess set under one arm and a copy of Maimonides'Guide for the Perplexed under the other. The other fellow, a vigorous twenty-year-old, is running from the scene.
Who is more likely to have committed the rape? If you can't answer this question, then you lack common sense. But just to spell it out for you liberals: octogenarians are not known for their sexual prowess: the geezer is lucky if he can get it up for a two-minute romp with a very cooperative partner. Add chess playing and an interest in Maimonides and you have one harmless dude.
Or let's say you are walking down a street in Mesa, Arizona. On one side of the street you spy some fresh-faced Mormon youths, dressed in their 1950s attire, looking like little Romneys, exiting a Bible studies class. On the other side of the street, Hells (no apostrophe!) Angels are coming out of their club house. Which side of the street would you feel safer on? On which side will your concealed semi-auto .45 be more likely to see some use?
The problem is not so much that liberals are stupid, as that they have allowed themselves to be stupefied by that cognitive aberration known as political correctness.
Their brains are addled by the equality fetish: everybody is equal, they think, in every way. So the vigorous 20-year-old is not more likely than the old man to have committed the rape. The Mormon and the Hells Angel are equally law-abiding. And the twenty-something Egyptian Muslim is no more likely to be a terrorist than the Mormon matron from Salt Lake City.
Clearly, what we need are more profiling, more prejudgment, and more discrimination (in the good sense). And fewer liberals.
A note on the above image. Suppose all you know about the two individuals is what you see. The point is that the likelihood of the old white lady's being a terrorist is much, much less than the likelihood of the man's being a terrorist. This is what justifies profiling and why it is insane to subject both individuals to the same level of scrutiny. For that would be to assume something obviously false, namely, that both individuals are equally likely to be terrorists.
Again we face the question why liberals are so preternaturally stupid. And again, the answer is that they have enstupidated themselves with their political correctness and their fetishization of equality.
A strange idea has gained currency recently, namely, that racial differences are invented, that race is a social construct, a theory, indeed a false theory. And so we hear David Livingstone Smith, a professor of philosophy from the University of New England, asserting that "Phenotypic diversity is a fact, but race is a theory."
I am tempted to run a pun past his name. It is a temptation I will resist. I've seen him on C-SPAN and I've read too many of his columns from the piss-poor pages of the Grey Lady's Op-Ed section. Nice guy, apparently, lovely wife. But a fool. Judge for yourself.
Some liberal-left idiot is arguing that 'again' in Donald Trump's 'Make America Great Again' is a racist 'dog whistle.' The suggestion is that Trump wants to bring back slavery and Jim Crow. Yet another proof that there is nothing so vile and contemptible and fundamentally stupid that some liberal won't embrace it. If you think I go too far when I refer to contemporary liberals as moral scum, it is incidents like this that are part of my justification.
Mark Steyn supplies some other 'dog whistles' for your delectation:
On MSNBC, Chris Matthews declared this week that Republicans use "Chicago" as a racist code word. Not to be outdone, his colleague Lawrence O'Donnell pronounced "golf" a racist code word. When Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell observed that Obama was "working to earn a spot on the PGA tour," O'Donnell brilliantly perceived that subliminally associating Obama with golf is racist, because the word "golf" is subliminally associated with "Tiger Woods," and the word "Tiger" is not-so-subliminally associated with cocktail waitress Jamie Grubbs, nightclub hostess Rachel Uchitel, lingerie model Jamie Jungers, former porn star Holly Sampson, etc, etc. So by using the word "golf" you're sending a racist dog whistle that Obama is a sex addict who reverses over fire hydrants.
I must reiterate my principle of the Political Burden of Proof:
As contemporary 'liberals' become ever more extreme, they increasingly assume what I will call the political burden of proof. The onus is now on them to defeat the presumption that they are so morally and intellectually obtuse as not to be worth talking to.
Apparently, nine out of ten American Indians are not offended by the Redskins name, thereby demonstrating that they have more sense than the typical liberal. This calls for a reposting of an entry from August 2013. Enjoy!
'Redskin' Offensive? What About 'Guinea Pig'?
Apparently, the online magazine Slate will no longer be referring to the Washington Redskins under that name lest some Indians take offense. By the way, I take offense at 'native American.' I am a native Californian, which fact makes me a native American, and I'm not now and never have been an Indian.
But what about 'guinea pig'? Surely this phrase too is a racial/ethnic slur inasmuch as it suggests that all people of Italian extraction are pigs, either literally or in their eating habits. Bill Loney takes this (meat) ball and runs with it.
And then there is 'coonskin cap.' 'Coon' is in the semantic vicinity of such words as: spade, blood, spear chucker, spook, and nigger. These are derogatory words used to refer to Eric Holder's people. In the '60s, southern racists expressed their contempt for Martin Luther King, Jr. by referring to him as Martin Luther Coon. Since a coonskin cap is a cap made of the skin of a coon, 'coonskin cap' is a code phrase used by creepy-assed crackers to signal that black folk ought to be, all of them, on the wrong end of a coon hunt.
'Coonskin cap' must therefore be struck from our vocabulary lest some black person take offense.
But then consistency demands that we get rid of 'southern racist.' The phrase suggests that all southerners are racists. And we must not cause offense to the half-dozen southerners who are not racists.
But why stop here? 'Doo wop' is so-called because many of its major exponents were wops such as Dion DiMucci who was apparently quite proud to be a wop inasmuch as he uses the term five times in succession starting at :58 of this version of 'I Wonder Why' (1958). The old greaseball still looks very good in this 2004 performance. Must be all that pasta he consumes.
'Wop' is from the sound pasta makes when thrown against a wall, something excitable greaseballs often do when tanked up on dago red. Either that, or it means With Out Papers.
I could go on -- this is fun -- but you get the drift, and the serious politically incorrect point of this exercise -- unless you are a stupid liberal.
There is, however, a minor problem with this notion, namely, that Mexican invaders will then have to travel so much farther north to get to a place worth living in.
The graphic below is from a recent Trump protest rally in California. Now Trump's negatives have been on display for a long time and there is no need to recount them. But is he a racist?
You can always count on a liberal to play the race card. And so it is part of their reflexive and unreflective nature to label anyone who is not a liberal a racist. It is a tactic that has proven effective. So of course Trump is called a racist. I see no evidence that he is.
In any case, the issue of illegal immigration is not about race.
Most liberals think that opposition to illegal immigration is anti-Hispanic. Not so. It is true that most of those who violate the nation's borders are Hispanic. But the opposition is not to Hispanics but to illegal entrants whether Hispanic or not. It is a contingent fact that Mexico is to the south of the U.S. If Turkey or Iran or Italy were to the south, the issue would be the same. And if Iran were to the south, and there were an influx of illegals, then then leftists would speak of anti-Persian bias.
To repeat, a salient feature of liberals and leftists -- there isn't much difference nowadays -- is their willingness to 'play the race card,' to inject race into every issue. The issue of illegal immigration has nothing to do with race since illegal immigrants do not constitute a race. There is no such race as the race of 'llegal aliens.' Opposition to them, therefore, cannot be racist. Suppose England were to the south of the U. S. and Englishmen were streaming north. Would they be opposed because they are white? No, because they are illegal aliens.
I apologize to the intelligent for saying things so obvious, but the stupidity of liberals is wide and deep and we must repeat, repeat, repeat. And repeat some more.
"But aren't some of those who oppose illegal immigration racists?" That may be so, but it is irrelevant. That one takes the right stance for the wrong reason does not negate the fact that one has taken the right stance. One only wishes they would take the right stance for the right reasons. Even if everyone who opposed illegal immigration were a foaming-at-the-mouth redneck of a racist, that would not detract one iota of cogency from the cogent arguments against allowing illegal immigration. To think otherwise is to embrace the Genetic Fallacy. Not good.
The destructiveness of the Left extends even unto our alma mater, the English language. London Karl, who sent me the YouTube link, comments:
Guardian writer declares that those who like to use correct grammar are likely to be 'whiter' 'older' and 'wealthier' than those they correct. The irony of her being an editor on a major newspaper escapes her!
Tom owns fewer guns than Tim, not less guns. This is not just a matter of acceptable usage; it reflects a logico-semantic distinction between count nouns and mass terms. The typical leftist, however, is a leveller who cannot tolerate clarity of speech and thought. This is why we define the leftist or contemporary liberal as a person who never met a standard he didn't want to erode.
THE greatest academic gig is that of the black philosopher. Spout hackneyed and malicious political slogans and you will be treated as a paragon of wisdom.
George Yancy is a professor of philosophy at Emory University. In addition to being a rising star in the field of “body politics, ” he specializes in Critical Whiteness Studies. That means: “white subject formation, white racist ambush, white opacity and embeddedness, white complicity, white anti-racist praxis.” In other words, he specializes in anti-philosophical racial grievance and intellectual junk.
Read it all. While I disagree with the Housewife on some things, I don't disagree on her assessment of Yancy.
There are two characteristics common to popular uses of the term “white”: It is almost always used pejoratively, and it is mostly voiced by elites of all backgrounds — and usually as a slur against the white working and “clinger” classes. So “the Latino vote” reflects shared aspirations; “the white vote” merely crude resentment. Those who benefit from affirmative action are not privileged, but those who do not certainly are. Whites cling in Neanderthal fashion to their legal rifles; inner-city youth hardly at all to their illegal handguns. Buying a jet-ski on credit is typical redneck stupidity; borrowing $200,000 to send a kid to a tony private university from which he will graduate more ignorant and arrogant than when he enrolled is wise. White “evangelicals” are puzzling for their crude hypocrisies; not so the refined paradoxes of Congregationalists and Episcopalians. Smoking is self-destruction, while injecting a strain of botulism toxin into your face is not self-mutilation.
Contemporary liberals use 'racist' as an all-purpose semantic bludgeon. It can mean almost anything depending on what the lefty agenda is at the moment. For example, if you point out the dangers of radical Islam you may get yourself labeled a 'racist' even though Islam is not a race but a religion. Examples are legion. Here is one that just came to my attention thanks to Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe:
You’re a private landlord, renting apartments in a building you bought with your savings from years of hard work and modest living. You take pride in maintaining your property, keeping it clean, comfortable, and attractive. You charge a fair rent and treat your tenants with courtesy and respect. Your tenants, in turn, appreciate the care you put into the building. And they trust you to screen prospective tenants wisely, accepting only residents who won’t jeopardize the building’s safe and neighborly character. That’s why you only consider applications from individuals who are employed or in school, whose credit scores are strong, and who have no criminal record.
Most Americans would look at you and likely see a prudent, levelheaded property owner. Not the Obama administration. The Department of Housing and Urban Development warned last week that landlords who refuse to rent to anyone with a criminal record are in violation of the Fair Housing Act and can be prosecuted and fined for racial discrimination. (Emphasis added.)
Next stop: The Twilight Zone. I'll leave it to you to sort though the 'disparate impact' 'reasoning' of the ruling should you care to waste your time.
Obama has proven to be a disaster on all fronts and not just for the United States. And so you are going to vote for Hillary and a third Obama term? You ought to ask yourself what is in the long-term best interest of yourself, your country, and the world. Assuming, of course, that you are not a criminal, a member of Black Lives Matter, a pampered collegiate cry bully . . . .
If white moderates deserve blame for their inaction against Jim Crow, then perhaps moderate Muslims today can be faulted for failing to combat a culture of jihad.
I would add, however, that while Jim Crow has been eliminated, the same cannot be said for the culture of jihad. I should think that this is an important difference. And I would delete the weak-kneed 'perhaps' from the apodosis of the above conditional.
What Case does in his article is expose the double standard involved when one seeks to explain the now-ended racial terror against blacks in the U. S. in terms of a racist culture but fails to explain the ongoing and increasing religious terror wreaked upon the West by Muslim terrorists in terms of a jihadi culture.
As I have said many a time, little would be left of the Left were its members made bereft of their double standards. There are so many of them I was forced to begin a separate category named, appropriately enough, Double Standards.
A reader doesn't get the point of my earlier entry:
Dennis Miller: "Melissa Harris-Perry is a waste of a good hyphen."
So let me explain it. Miller is a brilliant conservative comedian who appears regularly on The O'Reilly Factor. If you catch every one of Miller's allusions and can follow his rap you are very sharp indeed. He has contempt for flaming leftists like Harris-Perry. Realizing that the Left's Alinskyite tactics need to be turned against them, and that mockery and derision can be very effective political weapons, he took a nasty but brilliant jab at her in the above-quoted line.
What makes the jab comical is Miller's willful confusion of the use and mention of expressions, one class of which is the proper name. One USES the name 'Melissa Harris-Perry' to refer to the person in question. This person, the bearer of the name, is not a name or any type of expression. The person in question eats and drinks and fulminates; no name eats and drinks and fulminates. But if I point out that 'Melissa Harris-Perry' is a hyphenated expression, I MENTION the expression; I am talking about it, not about its referent or bearer. When I say that the name is hyphenated I say something obviously true; if I say or imply that the woman in question is hyphenated, then I say or imply something that is either necessarily false or else incoherent (because involving a Rylean category mistake) and thus lacking a truth value. Either way I am not saying anything true let alone obviously true.
But what makes Miller's jab funny? What in general makes a joke funny? This question belongs to the philosophy of humor, and I can tell you that it is no joke. (That itself is a joke, a meta-joke.) There are three or four going theories of humor. One of them, the Incongruity Theory, fits many instances of humor. Suppose you ask me what time it is and I reply: You mean now? If I say this in the right way you will laugh. (If you don't, then, like Achmed the Terrorist, I kill you!) Now what make the joke funny? It is an instance of incongruity, but I will leave the details for you to work out. And the same goes for the joke in parentheses.
It is the same with the Miller joke. Everybody understands implicitly that a name is not the same as its bearer, that some names are hyphenated, and that no human being is hyphenated. Normal people understand facts like these even if they have never explicitly formulated them. What Miller does to achieve his comic effect is to violate this implicit understanding. It is the incongruity of Miller's jab with our normal implicit understanding that generates the humorousness of the situation.
But WHY should it have this effect? Why should incongruity be perceived by us as funny? Perhaps I can get away with saying that this is just the way things are. Explanations must end somewhere.
Am I a pedant or what?
But I am not done.
There is also a moral question. Isn't there something morally shabby about mocking a person's name and making jokes at his expense? Some years back I was taken aback when Michael Reagan referred to George Stephanopolous on the air as George Step-on-all-of-us. A gratuitous cheap-shot, I thought.
But given how willfully stupid and destructive Harris-Perry is, and given that politics is war by another name, is there not a case for using the Left's Alinksyite tactics against them? (Is this a rhetorical question or am I really asking? I'm not sure myself.)
Here is a bit of evidence that Harris-Perry really is a a willfully stupid, destructive race-baiter. There is another in the first entry referenced below.
In light of the Brussels attack and Obama's unbelievably lame 51 second response thereto, in which he once again refused properly to name the source of the carnage, the following re-posting of an entry from over a year ago is justified.
Imagine a history teacher who tells his students that in the American South, as late as the 1960s, certain citizens lynched certain other citizens. Would you say that the teacher had omitted something of great importance for understanding why these lynchings occurred? Yes you would. You would point out that the lynchings were of blacks by whites, and that a good part of the motivation for their unspeakable crimes was sheer racial animus. In the case of these crimes, the races of the perpetrators and of their victims are facts relevant to understanding the crimes. Just to describe the lynchings accurately one has to mention race, let alone to explain them.
I hope no one will disagree with me on this.
Or consider the case of a history teacher who reports that in Germany, 1933-1945, certain German citizens harassed, tortured, enslaved, and executed other German citizens. That is true, of course, but it leaves out the fact that the perpetrators were Nazis and (most of) the victims Jews. Those additional facts must be reported for the situation to be properly described, let alone explained. Not only that, the Nazis were acting from Nazi ideology and the Jew were killed for being Jews.
According to recent reports, some Muslim jihadis beheaded some Egyptian Coptic Christians on a Libyan beach. Now beheading is not lynching. And religion is not the same as race. But just as race is relevant in the lynching case, religion is relevant in the beheading case. That the perpetrators of the beheadings were Muslims and the victims Christians enters into both an adequate description and an adequate explanation of the evil deeds of the former.
This is especially so since the Muslims were acting from Islamic beliefs and the Christians were killed for their Christian beliefs. It was not as if some merely nominal Muslims killed some merely nominal Christians in a dispute over the ownership of some donkeys.
Bear in mind my distinction between a 'sociological' X and a 'doctrinal' X. Suppose you were brought up Mormon in Idaho or Utah, but now reject the religion. Your being no longer doctrinally a Mormon is consistent with your remaining sociologically a Mormon.
What did Barack Obama say about the beheading? He said: “No religion is responsible for terrorism — people are responsible for violence and terrorism."
Now that is a mendacious thing to say. Obama knows that the behavior of people is influenced by their beliefs. For example, he knows that part of the explanation of the lynchings of blacks by whites is that the white perpetrators held racists beliefs that justified (in their own minds) their horrendous behavior. And of course he knows, mutatis mutandis, the same about the beheading case.
He knows that he is engaging in a vicious abstraction when he sunders people and their beliefs in such a way as to imply that those beliefs have no influence on their actions.
Why then is Obama so dishonest? Part of the explanation is that he just does not care about truth. (This is a mark of the bullshitter as Harry Frankfurt has pointed out in his celebrated On Bullshit.) Truth, after all, is not a leftist value, except insofar as it can be invoked by leftists to forward their agenda. It is the 'progressive' agenda that counts, first, and the narrative that justifies the agenda, second. (Karl Marx, 11th Thesis on Feuerbach: "The philosophers have variously interpreted the world; the point, however, is to change it.") Truth doesn't come into it since a narrative is just a story and a story needn't be true to mobilize people to implement an agenda.
There's more to it than that, but that's enough for now. This is a blog and brevity is the soul of blog as some wit once observed.
What is to be done? Well, every decent person must do what he or she can to combat the destructive liars of the Left. It is a noble fight, and may also be, shall we say, conducive unto your further existence in the style to which you have become accustomed.
Let’s dip into the rhetoric of a garden-variety Black Lives Matter march that I observed last November on Fifth Avenue in New York City. It featured “F**k the Police,” “Murderer Cops,” and “Racism Is the Disease, Revolution Is the Cure” T-shirts, “Stop Police Terror” signs, and “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Racist Cops Have Got to Go” chants.
Read it all, and you will see what kind of scum are attacking Free Speech. It is not just the BLM thugs but their enablers such as Obama and Hillary.
One good thing about leftists is that they eat their own. So here is a leftist professor who is attempting to confess her 'white privilege.' She mentions the word 'nigger.' She is not using it any more than I just used it: she is not applying it to anyone. She is talking about the word. She is trying her damndest to toe the party line, but still she gets purged.
If you know the history of communism, you know the historical antecedents of this sort of insanity. The origins of PC are in the CP.
We students in the class began discussing possible ways to bring these issues up in our classes when COMS 930 instructor Dr. Andrea Quenette abruptly interjected with deeply disturbing remarks. Those remarks began with her admitted lack of knowledge of how to talk about racism with her students because she is white. “As a white woman I just never have seen the racism… It’s not like I see ‘Nigger’ spray-painted on walls…” she said.
You should read study my articles infra. Inform yourself and fight back against the forces of liberal-left scumbaggery. By the way, for those of you who went to public schools, infra means 'below.'
I need to bone up on my 'dog whistles.' I wasn't aware until now of most of the following:
For Obama backers, identifying racist “dog whistles” became a favored pastime in 2012. Words like “angry,” “golf,” “skinny,” “Chicago,” “food stamps,” “apartment,” and even “Constitution,” were ascribed some darker meaning that supposedly only white nationalists could hear (although liberal talk show hosts seemed rather attuned to them). Romney was allegedly racist toward African-Americans, toward Palestinians, toward Hispanics, and none of this let up even after he lost.
When, in the effort to address long-term urban poverty in 2014, then-Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan was accused of racism for using another one of those code words, “inner cities,” to describe one of the areas in America plagued by generational poverty. “Let’s be clear, when Mr. Ryan says ‘inner city,’ when he says ‘culture,’ these are simply code words for what he really means: ‘black,’” insisted Representative Barbara Lee, along with a host of finely tuned dog whistle decoders on the left. It is perhaps unsurprising that Barack Obama did not meet with the same criticism for making the same observation while using virtually the same language.
It's worse than I thought.
There are liberals who claim that 'thug' is code for 'nigger.' In truth 'thug' means thug. Look it up. Thugs come in all colors. I say we call a thug a thug and a spade a spade.
As contemporary 'liberals' become ever more extreme and illiberal, they increasingly assume what I will call the political burden of proof. The onus is now on them to defeat the presumption that they are so morally and intellectually obtuse as not to be worth talking to.
Hillary took a shellacking yesterday in the New Hampshire primary, losing to Bernie Sanders by 20 or so points. Time to pull out the race card:
Clinton is set to campaign with the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner, unarmed African-Americans who died in incidents involving law enforcement officers and a neighborhood watch representative, respectively. And the campaign, sources said, is expected to push a new focus on systematic racism, criminal justice reform, voting rights and gun violence that will mitigate concerns about her lack of an inspirational message.
Remember Trayvon Martin? He was the black child on the way to the candy store who was brutally murdered by the racist white Hispanic, George Zimmerman.
Like many conservatives, I didn't start out as one. My background is working class, my parents were Democrats, and so was I until the age of 41. I came of age in the '60s. One of my heroes was John F. Kennedy, "the intrepid skipper of the PT 109" as I described him in a school essay written in the fifth grade. I was all for the Civil Rights movement. Musically my heroes were Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. I thrilled to his Blowin' in the Wind and other civil rights anthems.
As I see it, those civil rights battles were fought and they were won. But then the rot set in as the the party of JFK liberals became the extremists and the destructive leftists that they are today. For example, Affirmative Action in its original sense gave way to reverse discrimination, race-norming, minority set-asides, identity politics and the betrayal of Martin Luther King's dream that people be judged "not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
As liberals have become extremists, people with moderate views such as myself have become conservatives. These days I am a registered Independent.
The following entry is from November, 2013. One reason to repost it is because a couple of neo-reactionary conservatives have, to my surprise, asked me what is wrong with being a tribalist. I had naively assumed that among philosophers at least tribalism would be deemed a Bad Thing. So I want to give them the opportunity to make a case for tribalism. If they choose to respond, however, I hope they keep it pithy. As one of my aphorisms has it:
Brevity is the soul of blog.
We live in a hyperkinetic age. Short incisive comments are better than long rambling ones, leastways in a venue such as this.
Recent examples of what I am calling tribalism are Juan Williams' and Colin Powell's refusal to condemn the virulently anti-cop thugs that parade under the banner of Black Lives Matter while chanting "Pigs in a blanket, fry 'em like bacon." It is as if these otherwise outstanding gentlemen identify as blacks first and as Americans second. Tribalism was on prominent display among the jurors in the O. J. Simpson trial. It is evinced by women who will vote for Hillary because she is a woman. The whiff of tribalism is about Geraldo Rivera, whom I greatly respect by the way, when he says things that suggest that he identifies as Hispanic first and as American second.
By the way, let me say that my opposition to tribalism is entirely consistent (as it seems to me) with wanting to keep out of our country those who would destroy it and its culture, at the present time these being radical (or, if you will, orthodox) Muslims, Muslims who support sharia and have no intention of assimilating to American culture and accepting our values. There is nothing tribal about standing up for Western values, values I have already argued are universal even if not universally recognized. The fact that dead white men discovered and promoted these values does not make them racially white values: they are universal values contributory to everyone's flourishing white or black, brown or yellow or red. And let's not leave out pinkos. We're inclusive!
Suppose you present careful arguments against Obama's policies and ideas, foreign or domestic or both. Some black is sure to jump up and shout, "Racist! You hate him because he's black!" Oprah Winfrey is the latest example. There is no point in arguing with such an idiot, argument being fruitful only with those who inhabit the plane of reason; but you must respond. I suggest "If I'm a racist, then you are a tribalist."
If I oppose Obama's policies because he is black, then you support them because he is black. If I'm a racist, then you are a tribalist! If his being black is no reason to oppose his policies, then his being black is no reason to support them either. If racism is bad, then so is your knee-jerk tribalism.
One of the sad facts about American blacks is that many if not most of them cannot seem to transcend their tribal identification. They identify, not as human beings or as rational animals or as Americans, but as blacks. That tribal identification so dominates their consciousness that even the calmest and most polite arguments against Obama's ideas cannot be comprehended except as personal attacks on their man who is, first and foremost, a black man, even though he is half-white. That tribal identification was also at play in the O. J. Simpson trial. The prosecution presented a mountain of evidence of his guilt and yet the black-dominated jury acquitted him of double homicide.
My advice to blacks: if you want to be judged by "the content of your character and not the color of your skin," to adapt the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., then drop the tribal identification. if you want to be treated as individuals, then stop identifying as members of a racial group. Why is your race so important to you? Are you perhaps raaacists?
Two important pillars of the Black Lives Matter perspective are: Claims of racist treatment made by blacks must not be questioned; and at no time should the behaviors of blacks themselves be brought up, since any possibility of blaming the victim must be avoided. These are on display in the most recent writings of CNN correspondent Marc Lamont Hill.
Does anything more need to be said about BLM or Marc Lamont Hill?
My brand of conservatism takes on board what I consider to be good in the old liberal tradition. I like to think that it blends the best of conservatism with the best of liberalism. A couple of sharp young philosophers have surfaced to challenge me, however. Their brand of conservatism looks askance at paleo-liberalism and sees it as leading inevitably to the hard leftism of the present day. So a fruitful intramural debate is in progress. I agree with much of what they say, but I think they go too far in reacting against the lunatic excesses of contemporary liberalism. If I label my interlocutors as neo-reactionary, I mean it descriptively, not pejoratively. I am grateful for their readership and commentary.
I pressed one of the sparring partners for a list of theses, and he came up with the following. My comments are in blue. His remarks and my responses are of course tentative and exploratory. So keep your shirt on.
1. Natural authority and social organization:
(A) Men are natural leaders of any human group. Their natural function is to build and protect society. Some men are natural leaders of other men. Women are nurturers. Their natural function is to raise the people who will compose and inhabit the society. There are exceptions to these broad norms, but any society that attempts to act against these norms will sicken and die in short order.
BV: I agree, but with some important qualifications. I'll start with our agreement. Differences in social role as between the sexes are grounded in hard biological facts. The biological differences between men and women are not 'social constructs.' The male sex hormone testosterone is not a 'social construct' although the words 'hormone' and 'testosterone' and the theory in which which they figure are. That women are better at nurturing than men is grounded in their biological constitution, which lies deeper than the social. This is not to say that all women are good at raising and nurturing children. 'Woman are nurturers' is a generic statement, not a universal statement. It is like the statement, 'Men are taller than women.' It does not mean that every man is taller than every woman.
Does it follow from the obvious biologically-grounded difference between men and women that women should be discouraged from pursuing careers outside the home and entering the professions? Here I begin to diverge from my interlocutors. They don't like talk of equal rights though I cannot see why a woman should not have the same right to pursue a career in medicine or engineering or mathematics or philosophy as a man if she has the aptitude for it. (But of course there must be no erosion of standards.) How do our NRs, who do not like talk of equality, protect women from men who would so dominate them as to prevent them from developing their talents? On the other hand, men as a group are very different from women as a group. So we should not expect equal outcomes. It should come as no surprise that women are 'underrepresented' in STEM fields, or in philosophy.
Why are they 'underrepresented' in philosophy? Because women as a group are not as good at it as men as a group, because women as a group are not as interested in it as men as a group, and because the feminine nature is conciliatory and averse to what they perceive as the aggressive, combative, and hostile aspects of philosophical dialectic. This is surely a large part, if not the whole, of the explanation, especially given the Affirmative Action advantage women have enjoyed over the past half a century. The hostility perceived by women reflects something about the nature of philosophy, namely, that its very lifeblood is dialectic and argument. Argument can be conducted civilly, often is, and of course ought to be. But it still looks to the female nature as a sort of 'fighting,' a sublimated form of the physical combat that men are wont to engage in, even when dialectic at its best is no such thing. So there is something in the nature of philosophy and something about females that explains their 'underrepresentation.' Those are sneer quotes, by the way. Anyone with an ounce of philosophical intelligence can see that the word I am sneering at conflates the factual and the normative. Therefore it shouldn't be used without sneer quotes.
You cannot refute my point about women by citing women who like the blood-sport aspect of philosophy. They are the exceptions that prove the rule. Harriet Baber, for example, who is Jewish and exemplifies the Jewish love of dialectic, writes:
I *LIKE* the blood-sport aspect of philosophy. To me, entering my first philosophy class, freshman year (1967) and discovering that you were not only allowed to fight but that the teacher actually encouraged it was liberating. As a girl, I was constantly squeezed and suppressed into being "nice" and non-confrontational. I was under chronic stress holding back, trying to fudge, not to be too clear or direct. But, mirabile dictu: I got into the Profession and through my undergrad, and, oh with a vengeance in grad school at Johns Hopkins, everything I had been pushed throughout my childhood to suppress, and which I failed to suppress adequately to be regarded as "normal," was positively encouraged.
Anecdote. I once roomed with an analytic philosopher at a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute. I recall a remark he made about philosophical discussion: "If you are not willing to become a bit of an asshole about it, you are not taking it seriously." The guy was obnoxious, but he was right. In a serious discussion, things can get a little tense. The feminine nature shies away from contention and dispute.
If you deny that, then you have no knowledge of human nature and no experience of life. Ever wonder why women are 'overrepresented' among realtors? They excel men when it comes to conciliation and mediation. I don't mean this as a snarky put-down of the distaff contingent. I mean it as praise. And if females do not take it as praise are they not assuming the superiority of male virtues?
It is a non sequitur to think that if the Xs are 'underrepresented' among the Ys, then the Xs must have been the victims of some unjust discrimination. Men are 'underrepresented' among massage therapists, but the explanation is obvious and harmless: men like to have their naked bodies rubbed by women in dark rooms, but women feel uncomfortable having their naked bodies rubbed by men in dark rooms. It is not as if there is some sort of sexism, 'institutional' or individual, that keeps men out of massage therapy.
Blacks are 'overrepresented' in the NFL and the NBA. Is that because of some racism 'institutional' or individual, that keeps whitey out? Of course not. Blacks are better than whites at football and basketball. Jews are just terrible. Chess is their athletics. Jews dominate in the chess world. Is that because the goyim have been suppressed?
Does my talk of blacks and Jews make me a racist and an anti-Semite ? To a liberal-left dumbass, yes. For they are incapable of distinguishing between a statement whose content is race and a racist statement.
As it seems to me, I am treading a via media between the excesses of the neo-reactionaries and the even worse excesses of the leftists. My challenge to the NRs: How can you fail to see the importance of equal treatment of men and women? One of the NRs claimed that the notion of equality of opportunity is vacuous. Why? To require that applicants for a job not be discriminated against on the basis of race, sex, or creed, is not vacuous. It has a definite content. That it could use some spelling out is not to the point. What I mean is this. Some creeds are such that people who hold them must be discriminated against. Suppose you are an orthodox Muslim: you subscribe to Sharia and hold that it takes precedence over the U. S. Constitution. You ought to be discriminated against. The U. S. Constitution is not a suicide pact. This is a point that Dr. Ben Carson made recently in connection with eligibility to become POTUS. But the scumbags of the Left willfully misrepresented him.
(B) Real authority is based on personal relationships within which this kind of natural social organization develops and comes to be understood. The institutions of society should reflect this kind of real authority. It is wrong and very dangerous to try to force other structures on to human nature, e.g., the ludicrous spectacle of pregnant women in Europe pretending to be 'defense ministers', reviewing the troops.
BV: My objection is that this is an extreme statement. Taken without qualification, it could be used to justify slavery. A society consisting of slaves and free men is in one obvious sense a "natural social organization." The naturally powerful dominate the weak and enslave them thereby exercising "real authority" over them.
(2) Aristocracy, for lack of a better name: Rule of the Excellent. Democracy in anything like its current form is clearly not an example. Monarchy of some kinds might well be. But in any case, the ideal for me -- which I'm not presently able to articulate in much concrete detail -- is a situation where those who are motivated by a love for their community rule. But I doubt that there is any technique or system that ensures this situation. It's just something that may happen from time to time in the organic development of a culture, perhaps. Or maybe God helps to set up the right preconditions.
BV: Rule of the excellent sounds good! But who are the excellent? Those with titles and/or inherited wealth and the power it brings? The stronger? Does might make right and fitness to rule? Granted, pure democracy would be disastrous. There must be principles that are not up for democratic grabs. But concentrating power in a monarch is just as bad. A system of checks and balances is best. Power corrupts, etc.
(3) Racial, ethnic and national differences and inequality:
(A) Not all human biological groups have the same abilities or interests or psychologies. We should never expect that all races will act the same, achieve the same things, etc.
BV: This is an important truth. The fact that leftists denounce those who express it shows how evil the Left is. Not only do leftists suppress free expression, they suppress free expression of what is obviously true. For the Left it is the narrative, not the truth, that counts. If the truth fits the narrative, then leftists embrace it; if the truth contradicts the narrative, they reject it. Part of their narrative is that everyone is equal or to be made equal. At the same time, their narrative is in the service of their will to power. Power is what they want, the power to level and equalize. In order to achieve this, however, they must be unequal in power to those they would equalize. Herein lies one of the contradictions of the leftist project.
But the truth of (A) is consistent with a framework of equal rights that protect all regardless of sex, race, or (non-destructive) creed.
(B) It is perfectly legitimate, then, for members of a given race to wish to live and work among their own kind.
BV: I tend to agree. As I like to put it, no comity without commonality. One cannot get along with people who do not share one's values. This is why unrestricted legal immigration from Muslim lands, of people who make no effort to assimilate, is insane. I would add that people have a right to their likes and dislikes. More importantly, we have a right to our culture and its preservation, and a right to defend it against those who would destroy it. On top of that, our culture 'works' while theirs doesn't -- which is why they won't stay home. They won't stay home and they bring their inferior religion and culture with them. Or do you deny that Islam is the saddest and poorest form of theism?
But skin color and national origin cannot be the sole criteria here.
I would have no problem with living next door to a Muslim like Juhdi Jasser or blacks like Ben Carson, Juan Williams, Walter Williams, Condoleeza Rice, Shelby Steele, Herman Cain, Jason Riley, et al. and including mulattoes like Colin Powell even though the latter amazingly, and presumably in the grip of tribalism, refused to condemn Black Lives Matters, that thuggish outfit that undermines the rule of law and demonizes police officers. That refusal is as absurd as if I were to refuse to condemn the mafia. "Look, I'm Italian; I can't condemn my own kind!" (The 'tribalism' of blacks, Hispanics, and women is another topic we need to discuss one of these days. And now it occurs that the NRs may be guilty of some tribalism of their own.)
I would welcome that sort of diversity. Diversity, within limits, is good! It is just that leftists, being the willfully stupid stupidos that they are, make a fetish out of it and fail to realize that there is a competing value: unity. But going to the opposite extreme is also bad. See how fair and balanced I am? [grin]
(C) For whites, there are no important benefits to 'racial integration' or 'diversity' and there are some very profound and irreparable harms. Therefore, whites should be race-conscious and reject the false racial guilt that has been programmed into them over the decades by anti-whites, Leftists and hostile non-whites.
BV: This needs some qualification. Popular music has certainly benefited from something like 'racial integration' and cross-fertilization. Think of jazz, blues, rock, etc. This is a huge separate topic. It would be interesting to study the degeneration of black music from the Negro spirituals on down to soul-destroying hip-hop and rap crap. Arguably, one of the reasons blacks will always be on the economic and social bottom of society is because of the base, crude, degrading, and outright evil 'music' they produce and consume. What you pump into your mind is even more important than what you pump into your gut. A diet of dreck is destructive. Of course, the whites that produce, partake of, and profit from this evil shit can't be let off the hook either. (Didn't Bill Bennett go after Sony a while back? By the way, conservatism is not equivalent to support for big corporations!)
Should whites be race-conscious? I have always held the view that blood ought not matter, that race ought not matter, that we ought to try to treat each other as individuals and not as tokens of a type or members of a group. I have always held that before we are men or women, white or black, Gentile or Jew, we are rational animals and indeed spiritual animals made in the imago Dei. We are persons and equal as persons to be treated as ends only and never as means (Kant). We are brothers and sisters with one and the same Father and it is this metaphysical fact, if it is a fact, that underpins our normative equality. Remove this underpinning and the normative equality collapses. (Or can you think of something that could be put in its place?) Empirically, of course, there is no equality among individual or groups. Life is hierarchical as Crazy Fritz liked to say. Nietzsche, who gave aid and comfort to National Socialism, drew the consequences of the death of God quite fearlessly: no God, no truth, no moral world order, no respect for persons as persons. It's all power at bottom: "The world is the will to power and nothing besides!" (Is this why some leftists love him so much?) Nietzsche undermined key supports of our Western heritage with its dual rootage in Athens and Jerusalem. But for my neo-reactionary sparring partners I think I hear the strains of Blut und Boden perhaps supplemented with Blut und Hoden (blood and balls/testicles) with the Horst Wessell Lied playing in the background. I don't mean to be disrespectful to them, but there is a danger here. The danger is that in reacting against the commie Left you end up a fascist.
Does blood matter? Well, it does matter for many, but should it matter? Perhaps the question is this: Is it morally justifiable to tie one's very identity to one's race or ethnicity as opposed to tying it to being zoon logikon or imago Dei? Unfortunately, there are women who identify as women above all else; among them are those who will vote for Hillary because she is a woman! That is despicable. It is as if I were to vote for a man because he is a man. And if we do identify racially, ethnically, sexually, how do we live in peace with one another in a world in which distances have been technologically shrunk and buffers removed?
Dennis Prager harps on the differences between the sexes, differences deeper than any 'social constructing/construing' can reach; but he also maintains that blood does not matter. Is that a logically consistent position? Can one be a sex realist but not a race realist? Is Prager's conservatism at odds with his liberalism? I put the question to myself. Further: Is there a Right race realism and a Left race realism? The above are not rhetorical questions.
(4) Transcendence: There is ultimately no reason to do anything or care about anything unless we can tell some (believable) story about ultimate things. Hence any viable society must have such a story. (I think Christianity is the best.) Right now we in the west are quite literally dying for lack of one. This story should be the basis for political society. (I am not advocating an Iranian style theocracy; but think of how Christianity continues to color everything in our society even though it is explicitly rejected and denounced. Once the Left has really rejected Christianity it will just curl up and die.)
BV: I agree that Christianity is the best of the five great religions. It is supreme among religions. Islam is the worst, the adolescent punk of religions, still 'acting out' after all these centuries, still pissed off over ancient grievances, still angry about the Crusades which were a defensive response to Muslim land-grabs!
We are push-overs for the Islamo-fanatics and their leftist enablers because we no longer believe in ourselves or our great heritage. We have become soft and weak and unwilling to defend the conditions of our soft and prosperous way of life. The abdication of authority on the part of university administrators and professors is just one proof of this. Another is our unwillingness to assume the burdens of procreation. We do not believe in our values and principles sufficiently to transmit them into the future.
Here is the problem. We need a believable narrative about ultimate things. And we may need it as a support of our politics, though this is not obvious to me. (Politics rests on normative ethics which rests on philosophical anthropology which is the metaphysics of human nature and from there we enter the entire constellation of metaphysical questions.) We need an account of the ultimate why and wherefore to keep from lapsing into the somnolent nihilism of Nietzsche's Last Man. I use 'narrative' to hold open the question whether the account must be true to be life-enhancing. A narrative is a story, but a story needn't be true to be a story, whereas the truth needs to be true to be the truth, and it is at least a question whether a narrative must be true to be life-enhancing in the long run. (There is of course the temptation to go pragmatic here and say, with William James, that the true just is the good by way of belief.)
To get to this believable narrative about ultimates, however, we need open inquiry and free discussion, values my neo-reactionary interlocutors seem wary of trumpeting. (They seem to think that any truck with liberalism leads inevitably to the insanities of hard leftism.) We need to arrange the confrontation of different sectors of culture that are at least partially hostile to one another. For example, philosophy and religion are clearly at odds, but each needs the other and each profits from dialogue and some 'fighting' with the other. Philosophy and science are at odds to some extent as well. Left unchastened, science can transmogrify into an absurd scientism, just as religion, left unchastened, can turn into fanaticism and fideism and an embrace of the irrational. The religions need each other too. Judaic legalism and tribalism profits from Christian critique just as the excesses of Buddhist metaphysics (anatta, anicca, dukkha) are curbed by Christian personalism and its eminently more balanced view of impermanence and suffering. If there were some real philosophy in the Muslim world, Muslims would not be so bloody (literally!) fanatical and murderous. Philosophy induces a certain healthy skepticism. And so on. Science versus religion. The vita contemplativa versus the vita activa.
Note that if it is salutary to have a dialog with Buddhism and Hinduism and Taoism and perhaps even witj some of the more respectable strands of Islam such as Sufism (its mystical branch), then we cannot be blood-and-soil nativists: we need to be open-minded and 'liberal.' Being an aporetician, I am driving toward the articulation of a problem: We need a believable, action-guiding narrative. To be believable it must be coherent and rationally supportable. To arrive at such requires the examination and evaluation of competing worldviews. But bitter and protracted disagreement is inevitable. We won't able to agree on the best overall action-guiding narrative. We will splinter apart into a plurality of positions. This weakens us over against the Muslim fascists who would impose a worldview by force and a crappy one at that. Same with the Left: they have no compunction about using the awesome coercive power of the State to bring people into line with their destructive agenda.
(5) Non-neutrality: There is no system of abstract principles neutral with [respect] to the good, e.g., principles about Harm or Equal Freedom or Autonomy. Hence there is no way for the state or any other authority to act on neutral principles. We are always already in the fray, fighting on some side whether we know it or not. The only thing anyone can really do is to try to figure out what is Good and then go from there.
BV: Agreed, we need some substantive theory of the Good. (By the way, aren't all supposedly neutral principles also committed in some substantive way or other? Give me an example of a purely neutral, purely abstract principle.) Trouble is, we disagree about what the ultimate good for man is. The visio beata? The bios theoretikos? Submission to the will of Allah? The maximum of autonomy and self-determination? Pleasure? (Nietzsche: "Man does not seek pleasure; only the Englishman does.") The greatest material well-being of the greatest number?
And of course we will disagree about the metaphysical underpinnings of any theory of the human good or any theory of the purpose of human life.
I suggest that what we need to do is battle the totalitarian forces that would squelch free inquiry: radical Islam, the Left, and the scientisticists (to give an ugly name to an ugly bunch), many of them New Atheists. We need to be intolerant in defense of our space of toleration. We need to be intolerant toward the New Atheist suppression of religion by the Dawkins Gang and their ilk while at the same time tolerating decent atheists. In conjunction with this: defense of our Enlightenment culture by means of a stoppage of illegal immigration; a moratorium on legal immigration from Muslim lands; the destruction of ISIS and other terrorist entities; a vigorous defense of Israel; a more robust confrontation with leftists and other destructive types, especially those who are destroying the universities. That for a start. And of course, when dealing with evil-doers, the threat of physical violence must always be 'on the table.'
"Roughly 150 Black Lives Matter protesters reportedly stormed a library at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, Thursday night to berate students studying there for their supposed racial privilege." Here.
The solution, of course, is to expel the BLM thugs. But that would be a 'racist' thing to do. So is it the leftist view that blacks are thuggish by nature and simply cannot be expected to behave in a civilized manner? So who are the real racists here?
TRIGGER WARNING! The above contains careful thought and big words and will upset and offend the 'safe space' crybullies, the BLM thugs, and the liberal- left scum who apologize for them.
Addendum (11/20): If the secular sphere has a 'sacred' space, that would be the university library, the repository of the best thoughts of humanity. The university is finished if such a space is allowed to be invaded and disrupted by thugs and savages.
It has been over fifty years now since the landmark civil rights and welfare legislation of the 1960s, an example of which is the Voting Rights Act of 1965. But blacks are still not doing very well. Why? There is an explanation below the fold. But I must issue a 'trigger warning' to the PC-whipped. The opinions of the author may cause grave psychic distress. If you venture below you and you alone accept full responsibility for your distress. DO NOT go there if you identify as liberal, leftist, progressive, socialist, Maoist, as politically correct or (what may be the same thing) if you are opposed to free inquiry, open discussion, free speech, and intellectual honesty.
Robert Paul Wolff over at The Philosopher's Stoneopines:
Ben Carson may just be the most thoroughly despicable person to make a run for the presidency in modern times. So I take particular pleasure in the third quarter financial report that revealed that the good doctor spent 57% of the money he raised -- raising money. I think while he has devoted himself to uttering ugly, contemptible things in his soft, soothing voice someone has been taking him for a ride. I hope his deeply religious supporters appreciate the fact that their dollars are being spent searching for dollars [and running up impressive tabs at expensive eateries -- but that is another story.] Actually, since his biggest fans are faithful attendees at Christian services, they are probably used to this. (Emphasis added.)
Professor Wolff is not just some two-bit blogger, but an accomplished philosopher who has written some good books. But then he posts scurrilous, slanderous stuff like the above. (And this is just one example.)
What explains the Left's hatred of conservative blacks, a hatred so intense that it unhinges otherwise rational people like Wolff? Comments are enabled. I'm interested in your theories.
How is it that if a conservative argues against the ideas or policies of a black leftist such as Obama he is immediately labelled a racist, while if a leftist like Wolff viciously and personally attacks a black conservative while ignoring the content of his remarks, he escapes the charge of racism?
Here is what Dr. Ben Carson said about guns and the Holocaust: "The likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed."
For this and other observations Carson is coming under vicious attack from the Left. What follows is Dennis Prager's commentary:
Those comments were actually labeled anti-Semitic.
Now, while "greatly diminished" is debatable, the general view strikes me as simple common sense: Why wouldn't it have been a good thing if many Jews in 1930s Europe had had weapons? Of course it would not have prevented the Holocaust, but it might have saved some lives; and just as important, it would have enabled armed Jews to die fighting rather than to die unarmed and with no ability to fight. If Jews in Europe had been asked, "Would you like to be armed when the Nazis come to round you up?" what do Carson's critics think the great majority of European Jews would have answered? Indeed, what would the critics themselves answer?
No normal person thinks that armed Jews would have prevented the Holocaust (nor did Carson make such a claim). But no normal person should think that it would have not have been a good thing if many European Jews had weapons. The hallowed Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began with the Jews in the Ghetto possessing a total of 10 handguns. Imagine if they had a thousand.
In The Washington Post, David Kopel of the Cato Institute, who teaches Advanced Constitutional Law at the University Denver Sturm College of Law, cited the diaries of Jews who died in the Warsaw Ghetto. They expressed unalloyed joy at being able to kill some of their Nazi tormentors, and deep regret about not having been armed and been able to fight back sooner than they did.
But even if one believes that Carson and Kopel are wrong, how could one characterize Carson's comments as "anti-Semitic" or "blaming the victims [the Jews]"? How could one label statements expressing the wish that the Jews of the Holocaust had been armed "anti-Semitic"? Yet, among others, a contributing editor to the Forward, a leading Jewish newspaper, wrote that these remarks were "profoundly anti-Semitic, immoral and disgusting." And Carson was attacked by prominent Jews in Time and by the Anti-Defamation League.
The left is in full-blown smear-Carson mode. He is, after all, the left's worst nightmare -- a black Republican who is brilliant, kind and widely admired, including by many blacks.
It is a rule of left-wing life that black Republicans must have their names and reputations destroyed. The left knows that if blacks do not vote overwhelmingly Democrat, Democrats cannot win a national election. (Emphasis added.)
So, the smearing of Dr. Ben Carson has just begun.