Race Realism

The Israeli politician, Abba Eban, once said, “Men and nations behave wisely when they have exhausted all other resources.” A form of this is attributed to Churchill, but there is no evidence he ever said it. References to the apocryphal Churchill quote started appearing in the 1980’s. Like Twain and Voltaire, Churchill gets credit for a lot of pithy sayings, simply because people believe he would have said them. Regardless of the origin, the assertion is true. Men go to great lengths to avoid the right answer or wise course.

We see this with race. Three generations ago , when social reformers and political leaders looked at the condition of the black man, they were presented with three possible explanations. One was biology, the reason most people accepted for the differences between blacks and whites. The other was some form of magic, like God blessed the white race or cursed the black race. Few people thought that was right. The other choice was culture. The laws and institutions of the nation were rigged against the black man.

It has long been understood by pollsters, marketing men and test designers that when given three options, people will look for the least likely of the three and eliminate that first, so the choice is a binary one. That’s what happened 60 years ago. Magic was eliminated as a possible choice, which left biology and culture. It is also well known that people will always choose the option they want to be true, over the one they wish were not true, despite a mountain of evidence in support of the latter. That’s the inspiration of that quote.

Three generations ago  our rulers decided that the reason blacks were so far behind whites was culture. They set about changing the laws, creating programs to address past sins, modifying institutions to accommodate blacks and lecturing whites about the sinfulness of racism. The last black to be the victim of Jim Crow, for example, is 75 years old this year. We are reaching the point where no living person was the victim of legal segregation. The majority of blacks now have never experienced real racism.

Blacks would contest that last line and they would have a point. The other day, there was a news story about a white not being properly worshipful of a black. It is these sorts of outrages that perpetuate racism in America. All kidding aside, no black under the age of 50 has had their race used as an impediment to their success. In fact, being black is now an enormous asset for a black person with anything on the ball. The demand for competent blacks far exceeds the supply and prices have responded accordingly.

Despite all this, the achievement gap between blacks and whites remains unchanged in measurable areas like education and household wealth. In some areas, like crime, illegitimacy and substance abuse, the gap has grown larger. The gap in SAT scores are higher than ever, despite attempts to alter the test to close the gap. For three generations, our betters have rearranged every aspect of American society in an effort to alter the realities of race in America. The results are more of the same.

The only rational conclusion is that culture is not the cause of the black – white gaps we see in American society. At the far right of the curve, sure, better social conditions for high IQ blacks have made an enormous difference. For the overwhelming majority of blacks, however, the culture war has been a battle among whites over how much money, in welfare benefits, will be transferred from the white middle-class to blacks. They are no more able to compete in American society than they were when this all started.

That brings us back to the original options. Between culture, biology and magic, our betters, and most Americans, were sure it had to be culture. Now that three generations of social engineering have disproved that argument, we’re left with biology and magic. Our betters, unwilling to accept the reality on the ground are now arguing that the real cause of the racial gap is magic. They don’t call it magic, but that’s what they mean when they chant phrases like “white privilege” and “unconscious bias.”

In fairness, our betters are not embracing oogily-boogily because they believe it. It’s that they cannot bring themselves to embrace biology. Everything about the prevailing orthodoxy depends on the blank slate being true. Even the slightest doubt will cause the whole thing to come crashing down. It’s why kooks like Cordelia Fine get awards for writing books that claim biology is a social construct created by a cabal of pale penis people to oppress women, if women existed, which they don’t.

All human societies need order, otherwise they look like the Mad Max hellscape of places like Somalia. Order requires authority and that comes when the people being ruled over accept the people and system that provides order. The king is not going to be king very long if no one accept his right to rule. Similarly, people will not tolerate a ruling class that is populated by madmen denying reality. This is, in effect, what brought down the Soviet Empire. Even the beneficiaries of the system could no longer pretend it made any sense.

That’s what is happening today. The reality of race is undermining the moral authority of the system. Everyday, more and more white people wake up from the dream of race denialism. It’s why, despite the lack of sane leaders and a coherent strategy, the alt-right thrives. Whatever their flaws, they are right about the reality of race, which gives them credibility in an age when the ruling class has none. Ironically, it is the weapon of race that gave birth to the current arrangements and it will be race that is its undoing.

Cheering For My Team

Yesterday’s post could have been much longer, as there are many angles to the modern American skins game. In the fullness of time, there will be many books written on the subject or at least using it as a launching pad in analyzing the late America collapse. One point of entry is belief. People are believing machines. They will organize themselves around a set of beliefs, even if those beliefs are insane. That is what we are seeing in modern America. Christianity has faded, so something new filled the void.

That something new is a grab bag of ideas borrowed from Cultural Marxism, hung like ornaments on the burnt out husk that is Christian universalism. That is modern Progressivism. Cultural Marxism, by itself, has never made much sense, but inflated with the zeal of universalism, it is a very powerful force in modern society. It certainly does not make a lot of sense and it does not offer anything as pleasing as an afterlife, but for the true believer, it fills the void that Christianity once filled.

That’s most obvious when it comes to race. Progressives are endlessly chanting that race is not real. They are also endlessly chanting that racism is the most dangerous evil spirit in their hierarchy of evil. Most of what is going on today is based in their belief that whites are racists, simply because whites have acted to benefit whites. The trouble for Progs, though, is that this contradicts their support for non-whites. Everywhere you turn, non-whites are out flying their team’s flag and cheering for their side against the honky.

This New York Times op-ed is a good example.

I was 13 when the black woman I was rooting for on “American Idol” won. After black women failed to reach the top spot in the first two seasons, Fantasia finally did. With vocals straight out of a church choir in North Carolina, she deserved it.

All the black people I knew — my mom, classmates and acquaintances — were so proud. We celebrated this moment together. Fantasia’s victory on one of America’s most watched television shows at the time wasn’t just a win for her: It was a win for us.

Yes, we all recall the long struggle for equality on TV game shows.

Issa Rae, a co-creator and the star of the HBO sitcom “Insecure,” stood on the Emmys’ red carpet on Sunday and proudly proclaimed to a Variety reporter who asked which people she was cheering for, “I’m rooting for everybody black.” When I heard that, I jumped up and shouted: “Same, Sis! Same!” Because that’s what I’ve been doing all my life. And apparently many other people have, too, because Variety’s video went viral on Twitter, garnering more than 16,000 retweets and countless reshares up and down my social media timelines.

Ms. Rae told the reporter what so many black people have told their family members at dinner, their friends on group texts and their black co-workers over water cooler talk. As many obstacles as we face in our lives, there are times when we need to see one another win.

But what so many people missed in her comment is that expressing black pride is not the same as being racist toward whites.

Of course not. Only a blue-eyed devil would think such a thing!

Ms. Rae’s critics don’t understand that when it comes to racial pride, the playing field is not level. Black pride does not carry the power to shut others out as white pride does. And that’s the difference. Hollywood has a long history of privileging whiteness, from who gets to greenlight movie ideas to whom studios target for consumption. While white people have the luxury of turning on any given channel and seeing themselves reflected with nuance and depth onscreen, black people haven’t been so fortunate.

One byproduct of Progressive race mongering has been that blacks are now just swarthy toddlers. They assume they are entitled to whatever they desire at the moment. Mx. Finley just assumes she has a right to your stuff and right to live near you. At the same time, she is sure that her status as a sacred person means she gets to have stuff to herself, just for black people. Why wouldn’t she? All her young life, she has been pushed along by the guiding hand of the skins game. She points, demands, and a honky gives it to her.

As Steve Sailer points out, the basis of the skins game now is a blood libel. Because your ancestors were mean to non-whites, you just have to shut up and take whatever abuse non-whites heap on you. That includes the humiliation of pretending that airheads like Mx.Finley are saying anything of value. It means pretending that Genius T. Coates is not a puerile blockhead with the reasoning skills of a sixth grader. It is not enough to write the check.No, the honky has to grovel while delivering it.

This is the fire that fuels the Dissident Right. You can pass this lunacy off to the zealous crazies who read the NYTimes, but it’s not going to fly with the average honky. Instead, they will be open to the alternative, the one that flatters them and gives them a reason to be proud. The racism Progressives fear, the dark force they are sure lurks in the heart of white men, is their own creation. American Progressives cannot stop making war on the honky so it is inevitable that the honky will make war back.

In this war, I’m cheering for my team.

The Racial Cliff

America has a race problem. For as long as anyone reading this has been alive, this is something that our betters have preached from their various pulpits. By race problem, they have always meant that the bad whites keep finding ways to keep the blacks down and that it is the holy mission of good whites to root out racism by bad whites. Many whites, good and bad, have accepted this as true. It’s why the diversity project has thus far received limited push-back. Only stupid racists refuse to celebrate diversity.

I have been on earth for half a century and I have never known a time when whites did not tip-toe around blacks. Even during my underclass youth, whites watched their tongue around blacks. The crackers might have harsh opinions about their black brothers in private, but stating it publicly was forbidden even 40 years ago. Even 40 years ago, poor whites were figuring out that blacks had to be given extra help and they had to applauded when they managed to behave and make something of themselves.

The general assumption among whites was that race relations would steadily improve with each generation. It is what we were told every day by our betters. That was the driving force behind Obama’s presidency. Progressive Baby Boomers voted for him as an exclamation point, the crowning achievement for their generations efforts on behalf of race relations. Obama was the fulfillment of prophecy, which is why they talked about him as if he was black Jesus. He was the final sentence in America’s long struggle with race.

The point here is for more than half a century, good whites in America have been obsessed with making sure that all whites “come together” to celebrate and encourage blacks. The assumption is that this stems from white guilt, but there is no evidence to support this claim. The real cause is a deep belief that if the white community comes together and is united in its rejection of whiteness and racism, then through some sort of magic, the realities of race in America will disappear, along with the history of race.

This the force behind the frenzy of statue toppling. It has nothing to do with the Civil War or symbols of past racism. It is an attempt to immanentize the eschaton. The Progs are sure that in the final reckoning, all signs of race realism will disappear, including those in the past. Therefore, they can bring this about by erasing the past! That’s what is behind the mania that now includes erasing guys like Ben Franklin and Sam Houston from our collective memories. The Progs are trying to erase the past to bring about the rapture.

This self-flagellation is not happening in isolation. One result of the rise of anti-white politics, among whites, is that non-whites now feel free to drop the mask. Steve Sailer calls it the Late Obama Era Collapse. He trots it out whenever some blacks go crazy and start shooting cops and making a nuisance of themselves. Non-whites are now taking every chance they can to tell the world they hate white people. This is especially true of blacks, who have always hated white people to so some degree.

A good way to think of race is to tie race to geography. Blacks are African. Asians are Asian, obviously. Whites are European. Race correlates pretty well with geography, as the humans evolved on each continent to meet the demands of the environment. Ethnicity, on the other hand, is more like an extended family. A couple of tribes settled in an area like a river valley. They fought, intermarried and traded, but eventually combined into a single tribe. In time, their shared biology became a shared history and common language.

It’s why wars between tribes are common, while wars within tribes are rare. It is the same reason a man can publicly criticize his wife, but never let anyone else criticize her. A Jew can make jokes about Jews, but never tolerate a non-Jew making the same jokes. The reason is the Jew mocking other Jews is in the family. The white guy making sport of Jews is not in the family and is therefore always seen as a potential threat. Ethnicity is basic family biology that scales up to the maximum limit.

That’s the danger the anti-white Prog bigots have created for themselves. Fake Indian lecturing other whites about white privilege is tolerable to whites. Pampered black athletes, throwing tantrums on the football field and blaming whitey for biology, is intolerable. Black college students demanding apologies from the school because they are offended by the sight of cotton is infuriating to most whites. Blacks rampaging through our streets, making incoherent demands like overly indulged toddlers is creating a lot of bad whites.

For most of my life, the skins game has been a predictable morality play. A self-righteous honky lectures the crowd, black and white, about racism. The people in the crowd quietly tolerate the lecture. Everyone who has been marched off to diversity training knows the scene. This was tolerable as long as the whites in the crowd could pretend that the black people in the crowd were seeing it the same way. That is the main appeal of the Broadway play Hamilton. The whites in the crowd get a lecture and a pat on the head.

This sort of theater worked as long as whites were the dominant racial group and the non-whites took care to not prove the good whites wrong. As America edges closer to majority-minority status, the non-whites feel free to make their anti-white rage public, which is putting the lie to everything whites have been told over the last half century. It turns out that the prophesies were not true. There is no fixing the race problem and that realization by whites now leaves us with a much bigger race problem.

The good white answer to the bad whites, pointing out that blacks tend not to perform well in modern societies, was “shut up bigot.” Now, the only only public racists are non-whites, mostly blacks and foreigners. The Progs not only lack an answer to this, but they are actively encouraging it. The result is America is about to drive off a racial cliff. Prog appeals to white virtue fall on deaf ears, while the deranged antics of ungrateful non-whites convince white people that there is no fixing race relation.

This will not end well.

Alt-Jew

Someone contacted me the other day saying they were starting a site called Alt-Jew and he wanted to know if I knew any right-wing Jews that would be interested. You never know about these things. It could have been a terrorist organization trying to get some names of people they could terrorize. Anyone can register a website. Well, not anyone, thanks to terrorist groups like the SPLC and ADL. Still, you never can be sure about these things. The Reagan Battalion was an elaborate Soros fraud.

Regardless, it provides a reason to write about a subject that gets zero attention. That is the schism among American Jews, one that is looking a little bit like the divide within the white world. There are a growing number of right-wing Jews, who are wondering if liberal Jews are bad for Jews. It’s not just politically, but culturally and racially. They look around at the demographics in America and see greater out-marriage, lower birth rates and the telltale signs of assimilation and secularization.

Anyone who has engaged with Orthodox Jews knows they regard Liberal Jews with a high degree of hostility. They are not as bad as the Hasidim, but they view Reformed Jews as fakers, getting the benefits of being Jewish without the commitment. Their relatively small numbers have made them easy to ignore, but demographics are changing quickly. Orthodox are 10% of American Jews and a full decade younger than the median age of Reformed Jews. They also have many more children per female.

Now, the Orthodox are famously ethnocentric. They also vote for conservative white candidates in elections. When it comes to identity politics, the Orthodox favor it over consensus. They may not be talking about ethno-states and separatism, but their revealed preferences run strongly in that direction. Like the Amish though, their numbers will only grow the old fashioned way. They don’t recruit so they don’t attract a lot of converts. Talk to anyone who has converted and they will tell you it is a long and challenging process.

There’s another division, somewhat related to the Orthodox movement, and that is the Chabad movement. Here’s a Globe story from two years ago and a Forward story from last year for some background. One of the unique things about Chabad is they recruit and do so aggressively. They even recruit gentiles. I’ve had them put the arm on me more than once, even though they know I’m not a Jew. President Trump’s son-in-law and daughter are Chabad. Joel Pollak, the Breitbart big shot, is Chabad. This is not an accident.

As that Globe story makes clear, the Chabad movement is a curious thing. On the one hand, they are Orthodox, which puts them culturally to the right of most people and way to the Right of most Jews. On the other hand, they seem to be following the model of the early Christian church by letting converts ease into the life. Jared Kushner is not growing a beard and wearing all black anytime soon. It’s hard not to think that they are first concerned with growing the movement. They’ll worry about discipline later.

There’s another piece to the puzzle. There are Conservative Jews who make up about 20% of American Jewry. These are the folks you will not only see filtering into the Chabad movement, but also on the fringes of the alt-right. They may or may not consider themselves white, but either way, they are fine with white identity politics. They think multiculturalism is madness. It’s not just madness for Jews, but for everyone. Diversity is a cancer to be avoided. These are folks who would be called Alt-Jew.

The number of Conservative Jews sympathetic to the alt-right is debatable, depending upon how you define the terms. There are quite a few Jews supporting Jared Taylor’s work at American Renaissance. I correspond with maybe half a dozen Conservative Jews who share my politics. They think their numbers are growing as Jews in America come to terms with the failings of liberalism and reformed Judaism. To use a phrase I picked up at AmRen, these are Jews who are religious, if not spiritual.

None of this means that Jews are suddenly going to lift Richard Spencer up and carry him to the throne of the ethno-state. It just means that demographics and shifting politics spare no one. Liberal Jews are old and not particularly fertile. Orthodox Jews are young and extremely fertile. Conservative Jews fall somewhere in between, but probably represent a much more practical alternative for American Jews who wish to remain American and Jewish. In a majority-minority world, everyone is going to have to pick sides.

For a distinct minority, it will also mean a return to strict ethnic solidarity. That means policing stuff like this that only serves to encourage the worst response from other groups in the population. Whether or not that happens or how it plays out is a mystery, but what is certain is that in the future, everyone will be voting their skin. That’s how multiculturalism works. There’s no place for modern liberalism, much less liberal Judaism, in a world of identity politics. Alt-Jew may be the only way forward for Jews in America.

The Anti-Man

Until a commenter kept mentioning him, I had never heard of Leonard Pitts. Given the context, I just assumed he was a writer for a black website like The Root or the Huffington Post. One of the things about the media age is someone can be wildly famous, yet unknown to most people. PewDiePie is a  great example. He has 50 million subscribers to his YouTube channel, yet few adults over 40 have heard of him. The number of people, who are unknown to me, but are wildly popular with blacks is probably quite long.

Since this commenter kept posting the man’s name, I decided to look him up and I learned that he lives outside Washington and has been a columnist for the Miami Herald for decades. That’s a weird thing, when you think about it. Why would the Miami Herald have a columnist, who lives in DC? The reason, of course, is that the demand for black columnists, to decorate the op-ed pages of big city newspapers, far outstrips supply. If you are a black guy who can play the part, the world is your oyster.

That may seem harsh, but a quick look at the columns written by Pitts finds what you always find with black writers. As Derb would put it, it is all blackety-black. He has done a lot of work on being a black father. He has written columns on being a black man. He has written lots of columns flinging his poo at Republicans over race. Pretty much every Progressive news operation has a slot for the black guy, who writes about his blackness and flings poo at Republicans for their lack of sensitivity to the blackness.

Pitts has written some books too. His first was Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood. The topic is obvious. His first novel is Before I Forget, a “novel of three generations of black men bound by blood — and by histories of mutual love, fear, and frustration.” His next novel, Freeman, is about a former slave. His most recent novel is called Grant Park and it is, wait for it, a story of race and race relations. To paraphrase John Derbyshire, Leonard Pitts is a prisoner of his own skin.

He is also a good example of the negative group identity. Blackness in America is a laundry list of grievances against whites and a list of things that blacks reject about society. It has little to say about what it means to be black, independent of whites. Much like the contours of a black hole, we can only know black identity by knowing the surrounding white identity. Wherever white culture ends, that’s where black identity begins. In America, being black means not being white.

This negative identity has been particularly toxic to black Americans, because a negative identity binds the worst with the best. The greatest exponents of black culture are those who are the most degenerate. Hip-hop culture is a perfect example. It celebrates the worst instincts of black people. Any black who points this out is pilloried for acting white. The result is a never ending race to the cultural bottom, dragging the rest of the black population down with it. Even Obama was forced to respect the gutter culture of hip-hop.

This anti-identity is why blacks demand to live near whites. Whites will often note that despite all the complaints about how whites treat blacks, black people will literally cross an ocean to live near whites. In America, this means demands for subsidies so that blacks can move into white suburban neighborhoods and send their kids to white schools. In cities with voucher programs, blacks try everything to get their kids out of black schools and into white schools. On its face, it seems illogical, given the list of black grievances.

There’s more to this phenomenon, but one aspect is that black identity depends on proximity to whites. Sure, blacks want safer neighborhoods and better schools, but they also need to be near whites as being black in America is wholly defined by how whites treat blacks. The reason blacks are prisoners of their skin is because to do otherwise means losing what it means to be black. If all black people left America, whites would not change. If the roles were reversed, blacks would have to invent a new identity.

The negative identity is not just debilitating to groups. Thumbing through the writings of Leonard Pitts, the image of him is of a man in a perpetual state of outrage. He is a bundle of resentments. All of his interactions with the white world, even those of his imagination, are placed on his own scale of slights. His life is not the accumulation of experiences adding to his identity as a man, but a running list of complaints about the world around him. He is an anti-man, because if he did not exist, no one would feel the need to invent him.

Positive and Negative

Buckley Conservatives have tried hard to make the term “identity politics” into a epithet, but like all their other efforts, it has been a failure. The only thing David French managed to do in that piece is reveal that he has no respect for his ancestors and he remains petrified of Lefty. He and the other rent boys of the Right can beg and plead all they like, but identity politics is going to be a feature of the next generation of culture wars. As Vox Day is fond of saying, in the future, your skin will be your uniform. Wear it with pride.

What’s driving the growth of the Dissident Right, in part, is the realization among whites that the old political groupings no longer make sense in an age of identity politics. The one common theme among the people and groups now populating the movement is white identity. Some people prefer white nationalism, but that’s mostly the older crowd. There are others who simply go with pro-white. The salient feature here is whiteness and that is generally defined as European, but there is some debate about that too.

Since no one is ready to roll out the equivalent of the Brown Paper Bag Test to determine entry into the Honkyverse, debating these fine distinctions is mostly a waste of time. Like porn, most people know white when they see it. What does matter is the nature of white identity. It’s easy to generalize about what it means to be white and list off some things that are in the interest of white people, but that’s not an identity. At best that’s a list of political goals and at worst a list of complaints about the prevailing order.

Identity movements, as cultural or even political phenomenon, come in two flavors. One is positive and the other is negative. A positive identity is one that exists independently and in isolation. It is true in all times and all places. Its logic is entirely internal and only modifiable by those within it.  A negative identity, in contrast, exists only in context, usually in relation to or in opposition to something else. It is dependent on some outside thing. Its logic is external and modifiable by whatever exogenous thing upon which it depends.

Consider something like Icelandic identity. To be an Icelander means you or your ancestors were born in Iceland. If the rest of the humans on earth die off, the person born on that rock in the North Atlantic is still an Icelander. If for some reason the people within that identity group decide to change the rules, adding some morphological feature, then that will be the new definition. Even if the French protest that change, the Icelandic identity is whatever the Icelanders decide. That’s a positive identity.

Now, think about black identity in America. sub-Saharan Africans come to America and refuse to call themselves black or even African-American. They have a different identity, their own identity. Black Americans are defined by the fact that whites needed farm equipment and brought blacks over to the colonies to work the fields. Everything about the black experience is in relation to this history and its alleged effects on the present. To be black in America is to be defined entirely by your relationship to white America.

This difference in nature is why Icelanders don’t spend all their time listing their grievances against some group outside their group. Blacks, in contrast, do nothing but complain about whites. They define themselves in relation to whites, mostly in how they are treated by whites. It’s why they insist on being close to whites. Section 8 housing is popular with blacks, because it lets them mix with whites and have a daily validation of who they are as people. If whites suddenly went away, blacks would lose their identity.

These are extreme examples. A less obvious example of negative identity is Ireland. The Irish fell into the negative identity camp, defining themselves in opposition to the English, over the years of British occupation. The Irish certainly had plenty of cultural history of their own, but their subjugation by the British eventually began to shift the Irish identity from a positive and internal one, to an external and relational one. It’s why the Irish continue to obsess over British politics, despite having their own government now.

The point of all this is that what’s happening now with white identity has to avoid going down the negative road. If the alt-right, for example, is going to be a laundry list of complaints about non-whites, it can never chart its own destiny. It will always be dependent on those outside groups. On the other hand, if this thing follows the course you see with Jared Taylor, then it can chart its own course. Taylor does not waste a lot of time with grievances, beyond those related to the right to have a white identity.

Put another way, if being pro-white is only going to mean anti-black or anti-Jew or anti-Asian, then it is never going to be a useful identity group. It’s just going to be the nullification of other identity groups. That’s not a movement with a future, because it’s definition lies outside its control. It’s why feminism is curdling into a home for barren spinsters. It’s just a list of grievances. In order to avoid that fate, white identity is going to have to be a positive identity that defines itself, independent of the rest of the world.

The way to do that is as a cultural movement. The reason Progressiveism lasted for half a century, despite being at odds with reality, is it was a cultural phenomenon. Being a Progressive was not just politics. It was a lifestyle. Even today, you can tell a Lefty from a distance because they dress a certain way and act a certain way. One Lefty starts wearing fake glasses and all of them do it. Whatever white identity or pro-white comes to mean, it has to define itself internally, if it is going to be anything more than a passing fad.

Proof of this is the old white nationalist and white supremacist movements. Those old guys complaining about blacks and Jews were just that, old guys complaining about blacks and Jews. You got nothing by being a part of their thing other than endless lectures about blacks and Jews. Even racists run out of ways to keep that interesting. Avoiding the fate of those movement means steering a path down the positive road, even if it takes longer and is less clear. It has to be this way because this is probably the last shot at it.

AmRen Diary Part II

One of the things that is not appreciated, at least I have not full appreciated it, is just how lonely it is to think about the stuff we think about on this side of the intellectual universe. By that I mean, much of what is discussed here, for example, is never discussed at your office or your church or at social gatherings. When we can discuss this stuff with fellow travelers, it is in hushed tones and care is taken to make sure no one is listening in on the conversation. It’s the cost of having so much of reality made off limits to discussion.

That’s probably the biggest value of events like AmRen and why our side needs to start cultivating Jacobin clubs, so the like minded can do this locally. It is refreshing to be able to sit at dinner with other people interested in the same material, going back and forth on something like black crime, without having to constantly look over your shoulder. At lunch on Saturday, Audacious Epigone pointed out that this is the only place on earth where we could have the sort of conversations we were having about social science data.

A good example of this is a conversation I had with a Jewish guy on Friday night. That’s right, there was a Jewish guy at AmRen. In fact, there were quite a few. Something almost no one knows or thinks about is that smart Jews are having the same debates among themselves about the roles of race and identity in Western society. My sense is that race is the trigger point. Smart Jewish guys grow up in nice safe middle class towns learning the egalitarian faith, only to get into the world and see the reality of race.

Just to get this out of the way, in case it is not obvious, I’ve always been on the side of Jared Taylor when it comes to who is white in America. His line about Jews is “They sure look white to me.” That becomes blazingly obvious when you talk to a conservative Jew about religion or race. Long before I came into hate blogging I knew this, having had this conversation with conservative Jews in the past. I’m also fine with people who think otherwise and are into the JQ. So are the Jews I met at AmRen.

It is at a thing like AmRen where you can appreciate just how oppressive and stupid our intellectual life has become in the West. There are few places on earth where a Jew and non-Jew can talk about something like racial identity or the realities of black life. The guy I was chatting with was like a lot of people I met at AmRen. He was bursting to talk about this stuff because you can’t do this anywhere anymore, other than in the comment sections of sites like this. We really are living in an age of madness.

If one is looking for the little green shoots, a place like AmRen is a good place to start. No where else in America can a guy like Richard Spencer have a jovial and thoughtful conversation with a Jewish guy about whether Jews fit into white identity. Spencer thinks Jews are a separate identity group and he thinks Jews will figure that out on their own and do their own thing. The Jewish guy in this case, is unsure, but that’s why he was sounding out Spencer on the issue. Try having that conversation on a college campus.

That’s where the optimism lies. In the fullness of time, the smart kids get to be right. That’s the lesson of history. The people who rule over us are trapped in a frenzy of purging anyone who notices anything about the world. They are systematically and aggressively estupidizing themselves, by driving off anyone with the temerity to ask a question. By herding all of the smart white guys into the Dissident Right, they are not saving themselves. They are creating the army that will destroy the prevailing order.

After attending something like this, it is easy to come back high on your own fumes and there is some of that with me. I know someone into lacrosse and every time he comes home from a tournament, he is sure lacrosse is about to sweep the nation. That’s never happening, but believing it keeps lacrosse from dying off. That’s the benefit of networking and socializing to these sorts of things. Being a biological realist is a lonely life at times. It helps to know that you are not alone in the struggle.

Even so, I’ve sat around with grad students at places like Yale and I’ve been around a lot of smart people in STEM settings. Often, the most striking feature is the oppressive lack of curiosity and the fear of saying the wrong thing. The core of Western civilization, dating to the Greeks, is smart people openly discussing the hard subjects of the day, trying to push the rock of humanity up the hill. That’s what’s happening on our side. On their side, it is struggle sessions and the slow boiling off their best assets. There’s the green shoot.

The Killing Season

Baltimore has the nickname of “Bodymore, Murderville” because of a high rate of homicide and the habit of the locals spray painting the slogan on abandoned buildings. The other “slogan” you see around the city is a re-write of a marketing campaign run by the city a few years back. The pols had the idea of putting the word “Believe” on everything, so the more clever changed it to “Behave” which gets to the heart of the issue. The city has a huge population of people who cannot behave themselves like civilized people.

Currently the city is on pace for over 360 murders and we are just getting into peak killing season. Usually, the winter tamps down the murder rates as it is just not as much fun to pop a cap in an ass when it is snowing sideways. Similarly, the spring has been very rainy and gangsters tend not to like going out to murder people for their sneakers when it is raining. In other words, it’s possible there is a lot of pent up demand for murder that will now be unleashed with the summer weather.

To put this in context, Boston has about 650,000 residents. People think the city is much bigger, but that’s because of the surrounding cities and towns bunched in next to Boston give the feel of a much larger metropolis. Baltimore is around 600,000 people, if the census is correct, which no on thinks is true. Baltimore has a strong incentive to overstate their numbers as they get more Federal money as a result. Boston is on pace for about 40 murders this year, while Baltimore will have 350.

With that in mind, the city has put the cops on extra duty, allowing for overtime as a way to tell the cops they are sorry for the Freddie Gray fiasco. The official position of the politicians and our Progressive masters is that the Obama administration’s war on cops had nothing to do with the explosion of black homicide. People on the streets know better, but no one cares what they think. Either way, the city’s decision to make a peace offering to the cops suggests they are ready to stop pretending.

The precipitating issue was the murder of a white bartender in one of the nice parts of the city. Long ago, Baltimore pretty much invented the idea of gentrification. Mayor William Donald Schaefer had a dream of fixing his city so he condemned a bunch of houses in and around the waterfront and gave them away to urban pioneers. The one condition was they had to fix them up and live in them. The result was some very nice neighborhoods for young professionals and older people who enjoy city living.

The way the city has managed to keep these nice neighborhoods alive is by having the police keep the blacks in their ghettos. No one says it like that, but that’s the way it worked. They used good old fashioned racial profiling to make sure the homies stayed on the West side and the gentry class whites stayed out of West Baltimore. Local whites will tell you that they have been pulled over by cops when they decided to take a shortcut through the ghetto. The assumption being that they were lost or stupid.

Whether or not the cops can restore something resembling order is hard to know. The lesson the Left never learns is that society is a fragile thing. It’s quite easy to destroy the delicate balance that allows for a safe and civilized city. Topple it over and not only does all hell break loose, but restoring order requires a massive effort. It’s pushing a rock up a hill. If all goes well, your massive effort will get the rock to the top, but one mistake and the rock rolls down to the bottom and you have nothing to show for your efforts.

There’s also the fact that the supporting institutions in the city are always a mistake away from collapse making the job more difficult. The city prison system is just an extension of the ghetto. This was an outlandish example, but it is so common that everyone just accepts it. There are services to help black inmates stay in touch with their friends back in the neighborhood. It’s easy to see why cops and judges get a bit cynical about the system. They know that no one really wants to fix the problems.

There is, of course, the ever present issue of race. You would think that a city like Baltimore, and the surrounding environs, would be teaming with racism. After all, the overwhelming majority of the murders are done by blacks against other blacks. Of the 159 murders, 12 victims were white. In a city that is 60% black, 90% of the victims will be black and 95% of the perpetrators will be black. According to the myths of our age, the Backlash™ from the whites should make life a living hell for innocent blacks.

The opposite is true. Most whites have become habituated to the reality of life in this part of the world. Everyone, white and black, knows the reality on the street. The blacks with anything on the ball do exactly like the whites and that’s put distance between themselves and the black ghetto. That does not stop the Progressive maniacs from ranting about racism, but they do it from high up in the towers of their whites-only neighborhoods. As a result, no one hears them and so they can be ignored.

Interestingly, blacks tend to think of Baltimore as a good city for them. Number play a role as the city is close to 60% black, but that just means there is a thriving black social life, which is not the case in most cities. For the well-behaved blacks, there are black middle-class neighborhoods in the suburbs where they can be around other well-behaved blacks. The irony here is that while we have some of the worst blacks in America, we also have some of the best blacks, too. White people like that. it gives them hope.

Angels and Demons

The general consensus among physical anthropologists is that religion co-evolved with language. By religion, they mean belief, not the highly complex and abstract stuff we now think of as religion. Early humans probably started with supernatural ideas about the forces controlling the parts of the natural world they could see. Then maybe more abstract ideas about what happens to people when they die and the need to properly handle the dead. This is all speculation, but that’s where the evidence seems to point.

Whether or not belief is baked into our genes is debatable, mostly because we don’t know enough about the human genome. The news makes it sound like science has unraveled the mysteries of human DNA and we’re on the verge of creating super babies, but nothing could be further from the truth. There’s also the fact that people continue to insist that believing in Progressive mythology is rational while being a committed Christian is delusional. Once again, Progressive orthodoxy hinders science.

When religion is treated as a subset of mass movements, then the genetic argument for belief becomes more promising. The person who is always caught up in one cause or another is well known. It is not unusual for someone to start out in one thing and end up in its opposite. The Christian, who gets into radical politics and ends up as a spiritual gluten free vegan into hot yoga. Some people are highly prone to getting caught up into mass movements, while others are disinclined to join anything, even when they agree with it.

The true believer latches onto a cause, in part, because of a deep belief in magic or the super natural. The crazy cat lady into aroma therapy will have a long list of wacky reasons why certain smells have magical powers, but it’s still just magic. She does not know. She believes and she gets satisfaction, a psychic reward, by exercising that belief. Half of Iceland believes there are invisible elves on the island, even thought no one has seen an elf. They are invisible, after all. It just feels right to believe they exist.

The ruling class of America seems to be particularly prone to belief in the supernatural, despite their alleged love of science and reason. You see this in their obsession with racism. Our betters talk about racism as if it is a demon spirit. The anointed, invested with the spirit of good-think, are tasked with exhorting the rest of us to resist the Dark Lord of Racism. You see it in this post the other day by VD, regarding the hysteria at Duke Divinity School. Anathea Portier-Young sounds like she is organizing an exorcism.

“Racism is a fierce, ever-present, challenging force, one which has structured the thinking, behavior, and actions of individuals and institutions since the beginning of U.S. history. To understand racism and effectively begin dismantling it requires an equally fierce, consistent, and committed effort” (REI). Phase I provides foundational training in understanding historical and institutional racism. It helps individuals and organizations begin to “proactively understand and address racism, both in their organization and in the community where the organization is working.” It is the first step in a longer process.

Puritan ministers use to talk like that about Satan. Racism is no longer just normal clannishness based on race. Now it is a magical, almost indescribable, force that creeps up on little cat feet to possess the soul of those who are not vigilant. These seminars all have a revival quality to them. The participants are inducted into secret rights that allow them to resist the Dark Lord of Racism and all his works. The exhortation to go forth and preach against the temptations of racism is right out of 17th century Salem.

The late great Eric Hoffer observed that mass movements can get along without a god, but they must always have a devil. Modern Progressives have only a muddled sense of a deity, but they have a devil, as well as a list of lesser demons that do his bidding. Racism is the arch demon in the cosmology of the Left. It is why everything they don’t like is associated with racism. Trump, for example, is one of the least racist guys in public life, but they swear he is the soldier of the Dark Lord of Racism.

The ruins at Göbekli Tepe are interesting for a number of reasons, but one of them is what they suggest about the nature of man. It was assumed that human organization was either out of self-interest or out of a sense of cooperation. It was homo economicus or homo reciprocans. The fact that pre-settlement people came together to build what looks like a religious site, suggests that neither is true. A desire for purpose, beyond the material, may be the force that drives human cooperation beyond the bounds of kinship.

Our ruling class has the same desire for a purpose beyond their extravagant lifestyles as Cloud People. These are people who fully committed to the meritocratic, managerial system. They are true believers. Having abandoned Christianity long ago, the ruling class lurches from cause to cause, looking for a reason to cast themselves as on the side of angels, in the great moral struggle that is the human condition. Lacking a deity, a light to give them purpose, they settle for demons they can slay.

The Power of Theocracy

Living in a Progressive theocracy means the framework of civic debate is always going to be a Progressive framework. The Prog mullahs establish the premises, set the rules and dictate what is and what is not permitted. They police the debate to make sure no one is coloring outside the lines or questioning the official orthodoxy. In Iran, they allow debate until it bumps into heresy, then they start shooting people. In America, the Progs will ruin a few careers to send a message to the others that may have heretical thoughts.

It should be noted that the two most successful Middle Eastern countries, in terms of stability and world influence, are both theocracies, Iran and Saudi Arabia. If you throw in Israel, which is a Western implementation of Levantine theocracy, the three most successful Middle Eastern societies are theocratic. You’ll also note that the machinations of these three countries are at the center of great power politics. Russia, China, Europe and the US Empire are fixated on the Middle East. Theorcracy is not without its merits.

Anyway, the Prog theocracy of America is a hybrid creation that evolved over the last century into something that relies on the tools of an official religion to exploit the institutions of a modern social democracy. Progressives control the normal public debate that occurs within a social democracy by declaring a wide range of topics off-limits on moral grounds. This narrows the range of possible answers, funneling the public debate into the cattle chute of their choosing, thus resulting in a policy the Prog mullahs prefer.

A good example of this is race. It is largely assumed that Progs use race as a political lever to win elections or as a cudgel to beat the bad whites. That’s part of it, but the real utility of race for the Progs is to maintain their position as the moral authority, the arbiters of what is and what is not acceptable public discourse. As long as they are the ones determining the line between good and evil, they control pubic debate. There’s no argument you can craft that can overcome their moral superiority.

You see that here in this story on the collapse of black entrepreneurship. It’s a long emotive ramble not worth reading, but the gist of the article is that the collapse of black business is due to the magic of invisible discrimination by big business and banks. No evidence is provided, but good thinkers don’t need it. The bulk of the piece is the writer establishing his credentials as a friend of the black man, thus providing him with the moral authority to call out the heretics. Unsurprisingly, it is The Man!

As Steve Sailer pointed out, there are explanations for this collapse in black entrepreneurship that don’t involve magic. Immigration is one explanation that leaps out on a ghetto tour. In Baltimore, for example, Koreans and South Asians go into tough neighborhoods and open cash businesses like liquor stores and food stands. Their willingness to do business through bullet proof glass allows them to complete in these neighborhoods. Their clannishness allows them to dominate.

This is not the result of magic. It is the result of Progressive polices over the last thirty years. Similarly, is the Prog desire to decorate corporate enterprise and the academy with non-white faces. Instead of the Talented Ten Percent staying in the black community, building businesses, providing discipline and leadership, they are out in honkyville. Diversity hiring is a form of colonialism that skims the best and brightest into the dependency of corporate life, leaving behind the squalor of the rest.

There are certainly other reasons why black enterprise has collapsed, like the financialization of the American economy via credit money. There’s no doubt that the concentration of wealth, as well as the lack of restraint by the political class on its use, has severely disrupted the American middle class. There’s a lot of material there if someone is genuinely curious about what is happening in the black community. That’s not what matters to the Progressives. What matters is establishing their moral authority.

When the Iranian youth decided it was time to take on the Mullahs at the start of the Obama administration, they just assumed they had the numbers to force change on the regime. The regime, on the other hand, knew they possessed the moral authority to enforce order. That’s the real power of possessing moral authority. It’s not that it intimidates enemies of the regime. It’s that it sidelines the uncertain and motivates the true believers. When you get to draw the moral boundaries, you always win.

That’s the challenge to any movement that seeks to displace the Progressive authorities in America. It’s not about winning elections or getting the numbers in legislatures. It’s about stealing from the Progs their moral authority and their ability to frame the debate. If they have to rely on facts and reason, they are doomed, but as long as they get to set the terms of the debate, facts and reason don’t matter. That’s why the medieval House of Saud still stands and why the Mullahs in Iran are still with us. They define right and wrong.