Monday, March 4, 2019

Political Life



The next section of Storey’s book is entitled “Politics.”  He touches on several relevant topics – relevant to today’s political environment and relevant to the issue of universalism. For example, Storey notes that for all of the complaining by modern liberals about the dominant civilizations of Europe, they sure have no problem with forcing on all a universal dominant civilization – one that is hyper-individualistic, one that strives to eliminate (superficially and legalistically, of course) any differences between any two people.

Niall Ferguson will offer that radical demographic changes in the ethnic composition of a society change nothing, as long as democracy and the modern trappings of society are upheld; Storey notes that this logic is applied to all four corners of the world…except one unique promised land.

The thing is people like their story.  What one sees as freedom another sees as slavery.  Describe thin libertarianism to many in this world and they will shriek with horror, as if you are willingly choosing to release the dogs of hell onto the earth.

Storey cites Kuehnelt-Leddihn, regarding the right – the true right, not the neocons (who, now it seems, have returned to the political left and the hell from which they came):

“The right has to be identified with personal freedom, with the absence of utopian visions whose realization – even if it were possible – would need tremendous collective efforts; it stands for free, organically grown forms of life.  And this in turn implies a respect for tradition.”

Chapter four of this section is entitled “Europeans Want Hungary, not Sweden.”  Storey notes polls that show that Europeans want a ban on Muslim immigration – and the results of these polls are ignored by the mainstream. Europeans want what is left of their civilization before it is entirely destroyed; the accumulated surplus of more than 2000 years is running dry.

We see this in the divided electorate throughout Europe and America.  The progressive universalists on one hand, the traditional deplorables on the other.

In the West, we have no common conscience, nothing to tie together a civilization other than consumerism.  If economic progress and material well-being were enough to keep a society together, Western countries should have the most cohesive societies ever on the face of the earth – what with the people representing the top one-tenth-of-one-percent in such measures of all those who ever existed.

There is no transcendent value system; instead, we have fantasy football.  In Eastern Europe, having finally escaped the black hole of the valueless socialist regimes, one finds a revival of community, foremost in respect for the Christian church.

Those in the West have no one to blame but themselves; we are spiritually bankrupt.  Western governments bomb the Middle East and then accept those who choose to flee from the hell that is the result.  Storey cites the Christmas 2017 message of Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary, who notes that we are called to love our neighbor as ourselves.  This calling has two parts, the second of which is to love ourselves.  If “ourselves” does not include our ancestors and descendants, what a shallow calling this is.

The Afterword to the book is written by Ricardo Duchesne:

…libertarian freedoms are not incompatible with a strong commitment to in-group white identity politics.

A scary sentence…but is it?  After all, is it contrary to libertarianism to live with and amongst people of our choosing?  Is it contrary to libertarianism to ensure that the community is made up of individuals who hold to similar values?  Is it contrary to libertarianism for those who hold to different values to want to live in a different community?

Europeans can preserve their freedoms only by living inside nations with a strong sense of ethnic, religious, and historical identity.

Another scary statement…but should it be?  I am quite certain that almost all non-Europeans feel freer in a society that upholds their unique sense of historical identity.  People weren’t fleeing the Middle East by the millions prior to being bombed out of their homes, after all.

I do take exception, however, to Duchesne’s call for a state.  He compares the Anglo-American version of Western Liberalism to the German – the former emphasizing negative liberty, the latter emphasizing positive liberty.  This is fair enough, as I have long explored the issue of libertarianism as being insufficient for liberty.

He looks back to the Germanic history – one that I also look to as a model; he describes these systems of rulership as “non-coercive,” as have I.  Yet he sees as the state as having the role to encourage the realization of one’s highest potentialities.  Yet the Germanic system offered us no state.  I am sure this is all well-understood by Duchesne, so I am not sure I follow his argument here.

The positive liberties must be emphasized by non-state institutions, beginning with Christian churches.  It will not be through force that man is made free.

Conclusion

From Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:

“Untouched by the breath of God, unrestricted by human conscience, both capitalism and socialism are repulsive.”

And neither, in such a condition, has a long shelf life.

24 comments:

  1. I have to point out that the "scary sentences" you mention sound racist but I think they are framed in that way because our opponents have chosen to emphasize race in their arguments. If this were not so, arguments regarding ethnicity would not matter.

    I would wager that there is not a single person here who really cares about the amount of melanin in someone's skin. What is important, what we do care about, is a persons culture / belief system. Keep me away from the privileged, self-important white person! Put me in a community of people committed to living together as non-violently and as peaceful as possible and I care not what color they are.

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    1. Woody, I agree with you fully.

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    2. Woody: "I would wager that there is not a single person here who really cares about the amount of melanin in someone's skin."

      I am rather tipping the other way, I believe that -maybe, no conclusion yet- everybody cares. Science has shown a strong correlation between behaviour and the 'amount of melanin'. Which evolution has translated as 'beware, that guy with more melanin is not like me, I do not really know how he will react, careful now'.

      I tend to the belief that each and every one of us has a build in avoidance reaction to people of other races. (Babies cry when they are confronted for the first time with a person of another race)

      "Put me in a community of people committed to living together as non-violently and as peaceful as possible and I care not what color they are."

      Only if, IF, we can guarantee that this will not lead to problems down the line. And we cannot guarantee that. Sure as long as times are good... but what when lifeboat scenario's occur? what three or four generations down the line?

      To me, the whole idea of 'living peacefully together in a mixed race society' seems like a 'white' idea. It may be the fundament of the problems we face today.

      After all, why do people flock together according to race? Why is the US not homogeneously mixed?

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  2. With you on that Woody. If you first think through the existence of black and latino race based social organizations in the US, then the idea of a similar organization for whites doesn't sound so racist. The idea that certain ethnicities share some set of interests isn't too provocative. The problem comes when you enforce complete racial unity, exclude all others, and preach that your race is inherently superior.

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  3. "libertarian freedoms are not incompatible with a strong commitment to in-group white identity politics."

    Perhaps in the short term it would not be a problem, but the desire for collective identity based on race comes from the same place as the desire for collective equality: the desire for uniformity.

    From Kuehnelt Leddihn we know that uniformity has always been the touchstone of the left. Speaking to the origins in Europe of ethnic nationalism, EvKL has this to say:

    "In the Taborite movement (so-called after the newly founded fortified city of Tabor in Bohemia) nationalism ("ethnicism"), democracy, and various socialistic trends were united in a new synthesis for the first time in Europe. It was obvious that such a violently collectivistic and identitarian current immediately encountered the strongest opposition from the Catholic Church, which is supranational, has always recognized the principle of idoneity against all egalitarian manias, and has a long tradition of patriarchalism, of respect for the father image." - Leftism

    Note the principle of idoneity, which, as far as I can tell from a bit of digging means something like what matters is fitness, suitability, or capability.

    EvKL also points out how the desire for identity leads to the egalitarian agenda.

    "And precisely because human identity is difficult to achieve, a poor substitute often has to be brought in. This equally unworkable substitute is equality." - Leftism

    So in the same way that the libertine lifestyle and nihilism are perfectly compatible with liberty but probably not too healthy for it, so it is with ethnic nationality.

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    1. ATL, your comment brings to mind something I heard from Peterson (probably applicable to Woody's comment above also).

      The subject is diversity - diversity as the term is used in the identity politics of today - boards have to have whites and blacks, male and female, old and young, etc.

      Per Peterson, there is more diversity within any one of these "identities" than there is between any two of these identities. Sure, at the extremes we find large differences, but they overlap much more than they diverge.

      I hope I explained that clearly. Think about bell-shaped curves for any set of various "groups. At the extremes, there will be differences, but most people of each group will overlap on just about any characteristic that is meaningful.

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    2. ATL, to be clear, I wouldn't want to live in a community that was white (or black, or whatever) only. For example, I would prefer Thomas Sowell for a neighbor compared to almost any left-libertarian one can name.

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    3. BM: "Per Peterson, there is more diversity within any one of these "identities" than there is between any two of these identities. Sure, at the extremes we find large differences, but they overlap much more than they diverge."

      You may be referring to the DNA analysts that claim that there is more diversity within the DNA of a race than there is between the DNA of different races.

      Which however results in an entirely different outcome than what you described.

      Or maybe you are refferring to something else that I have not yet heard about?

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    4. ATL: I wonder if you also intended your reply as a reply to the opening comment of Woody. Because you seem to be pointing out the same questionability of Woody's comment as I did. Though coming from a different perspective.

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    5. BM: "I wouldn't want to live in a community that was white (or black, or whatever) only."

      I am commenting way to much on this post, sorry, well, no, I do this of my own free will... lol...

      But I am baffled by this. Why would you not want to live in a ethnically uniform society?

      The example that you give next is understandable, but it does not make clear why you reject the ethnically homogeneous population.

      What kind of comfort could not be had in a homogeneous society?

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    6. Rien,

      I think you need to read my comment again. I'm pointing out the errors in ethnic nationalism, not defending it, and so I'm agreeing with Woody, though I did not read his comment prior to making my own.

      I think what BM is saying (and me too) is that he wouldn't necessarily reject an ethnically homogeneous 'white' society should he just so happen to find one that shared his principles and culture; he just isn't striving for that in particular, especially to the exclusion of all other possibilities. The more important thing, and the more realistic thing in the melting pot of modern America, is to focus on principles and culture.

      Idoneity over identity. Merit over melanin. Excellence over equality (and as EvKL has shown, preoccupation with identity is a leftist phenomenon which belies an underlying pathological need for 'sameness' and often goes hand in hand with policies of equality, i.e. socialism).

      Race used to be a good indicator of culture and character, and still is to some extent, and so racism had and still has a somewhat rational basis in a collective sense, but there's no rational basis in rejecting a black man and his family as your neighbor if you know him to share all your principles and cultural norms, and he is generally a good guy.

      I'm not discounting the importance of family and kinship though, or racial history. It's so important to know and venerate our past.

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    7. BM,

      "At the extremes, there will be differences, but most people of each group will overlap on just about any characteristic that is meaningful."

      I agree. You can find terrible and evil people in every ethnic group. You can also find wonderful and good people. I personally know an Iranian Muslim family who are of the latter sort, people who garden, and keep fish, and will not let you leave their house without being stuffed with all kinds of food and drink (they're Democrats of course, and we but heads all the time in politics).

      This doesn't change the fact that Mohammed was most certainly a polygamist and by today's standards most likely a pedophile if Aisha's account of her age of marriage (6) and consummation (9) was accurate. Nor does it change the fact that I would not want to live under any variety of Sharia Law.

      Islam and liberty don't mix, so I guess I'm conflicted about good people who are Muslim. It's not nearly as a bad of an ideology or world view as communism, but it often functions with many socialistic aspects.

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    8. Rien

      “Or maybe you are referring to something else that I have not yet heard about?”

      Peaceful vs. belligerent; intelligent vs. ignorant; liberal vs. conservative; constructive vs. destructive. There are plenty of videos of belligerent, ignorant, liberal, destructive white social-justice warriors to demonstrate this point; of course, we also know of many individuals from minority populations who demonstrate the opposite.

      “Why would you not want to live in an ethnically uniform society?”

      Perhaps I should have said that when it comes to race as the sole criteria, I am indifferent. ATL’s second paragraph at March 5, 2019 at 7:55 AM captures this thought well.

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    9. Thanks for the clarification BM, I had indeed not heard of this kind of diversity overlap. I will need some time to digest (and check it out).

      "Race (not being the) sole criteria", yes that is something I can understand. It just made no sense to me as you worded it initially.

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    10. BM,

      "The subject is diversity"

      Diversity is the supposed mantra of the left, but their conception of it is only skin deep. The only diversity they condone deeper than this is that which lends itself to the expansion of the scope and power of the democratic state. It is only a means to an end: subverting America's native cultures of resistance, with an influx of foreign cultures of submission - hence the left's absurd alliance with Islam.

      The 'right', those who believe in decentralized, rivalrous governance and freedom as the right of self-determination, are the true diversitarians. Our model writ large would be a truly diverse political world. But we've been pigeon-holed into an anti-diversity position as a means of defending ourselves against the leftist attack on what little of our cultural we have left.

      It's a sophisticated offensive, because it's backing us into a left-wing identitarian position. The more they push us into leftist positions, the more we become their controlled opposition, so even if they lose, their ideas win through us. Brandon Smith at Alt-Market has long been saying that the American Left and their absurd racial policies are being promoted by the globalist elite to incite an identitarian (left wing) and authoritarian reaction from the right, and I think there may be some truth in this.

      "The right stands for liberty, a free, unprejudiced form of thinking, a readiness to preserve traditional values (provided they are true values), a balanced view of the nature of man, seeing in him neither beast nor angel, insisting also on the uniqueness of human beings who cannot be transformed into or treated as mere numbers or ciphers; but the left is the advocate of the opposite principles. It is the enemy of diversity and the fanatical promoter of identity. Uniformity is stressed in all leftist utopias, a paradise in which everybody should be the "same," where envy is dead, where the "enemy" either no longer exists, lives outside the gates, or is utterly humiliated. Leftism loathes differences, deviation, stratifications. Any hierarchy it accepts is only "functional." The term "one" is the keynote: There should be only one language, one race, one class, one ideology, one religion, one type of school, one law for everybody, one flag, one coat of arms and one centralized world state." - EvKL, Leftism

      Whether its the globalists or the American left behind it, it seems to me the greatest threat to liberty is this agenda to accept and force diversity in culture now to advance the real agenda of an ever-expanding and homogenizing centralized democratic state into the future. It is so dangerous, because it just might kill liberty with the hands of those who love and defend it most.

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    11. ATL, your comment makes clear how tremendously out-gunned we are, to include many who nominally say that they favor libertarianism. There are countless billions spent figuring out how to manipulate us, or figure out how to turn the tide whenever the sheep show some gumption (think Ron Paul's runs & the Tea Party, even Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders).

      I think we need to find an omnipotent power with deeper pockets than the enemy has. I wonder where we can find such a power?

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  4. Rien said: "... I am rather tipping the other way, I believe that -maybe, no conclusion yet- everybody cares ..."

    Let me be completely clear about this. There is ONE reason and ONE REASON ALONE that people focus so much on race and that reason is to GAIN A FEELING OF SUPERIORITY WITHOUT EFFORT - one's superiority becomes permanent and fixed, regardless of one's actions. The most successful dictators in history used this evil and pernicious idea, achieving their ends by both emphasizing the positive points of the "master race" and laying the blame for society's ills at the feet of some designated "inferior" race.

    History, once again, repeats itself in the US, where blacks, transsexuals and feminists are taking the role of master race while white males play the role of the inferior race, the source of all societal ills - and the end of the current iteration will be the same as all the others - dictatorship, war, the death of a large number of people and some sort of societal transformation.

    I can't believe I needed to Godwin this conversation ... :-)

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    1. One reason? if only it were that simple. ;-)

      Feelings are a way the unconscious communicates to the conscious. Reasons are used to construct an explanation for the actions we take on behalf of the unconscious. There is a bias in our behaviour to avoid uncertainty. Uncertainty can be deadly and that would be the end. Much saver to err on the side of safety. Hence the unconscious produces the fear reaction in response to people of a different race.

      Maybe the superiority feeling is a way of coping with fear due to a forced association?

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    2. In sameness there is strength?

      http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_75ptQuFbEv0/TCV3i9Kep6I/AAAAAAAAFB0/nWtzm-DyLg8/s1600/mad659a.jpg

      Obviously there are plenty of people who group themselves based on superficial similarities. It gives them a sense of belonging to something larger than themselves and creates a border between the group members and those outside of the group - and it is the extremely rare group where the members do not see themselves as superior in some way to those outside of the group. This is especially true of those who identify with groups based on innate characteristics, such as skin color or ethnicity, things that can't be changed by their actions.

      I, myself, have little in common with people who identify in this way. I find that relationships based on shared ideas infinitely superior. I think that which you perceive as an unconscious preference is more likely just mental laziness and apathy. I think that they just take the easy way.

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    3. Thanks Woody, you made me realise something that I did not realise quite in the same way before: One of the failures of libertarianism is that it places idea's above biology. (Specifically it ignores reversion to the mean)

      (In this aspect it is very much like Christianity, which does the same. But unlike Christianity there is no final moral arbiter that will judge everyone to the same idea. Is this one of the missing components of libertarianism?)

      We can assume that this will be fine in a (perfect) libertarian world. At least, there should be mechanisms that would defend the libertarian ideal in such a world. But libertarian behaviour in a non-libertarian world would allow the biological component to run amok (even if that takes many generations).

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    4. I think the following all generally trump ideas: mother, father, wife, husband, children, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, grandchildren. The implications and extensions of this weigh on the conversation.

      Now, none of this is absolute. I have noted my strong preference to live among people with similar ideas as opposed to those who I consider enemies...or libertines - regardless of skin color or any other external characteristic.

      But I think we cannot avoid the generalities which are implications of family.

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    5. Thank you for saying that, Bionic. Powerful as ideas are, our family, our tribe if you will, is at least as powerful an influence on our outlook. Peg

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  5. It doesn’t take a lot of observation of behavior to note that people enjoy the company of those like themselves. Who reading here wouldn’t be happy to have Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams for a neighbor. For that matter the reason we read this blog is at least partly because the commenters have a lot in common. Race may be a superficial divider, at least initially, but it takes a backseat to compatibility of ideas. Peg

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