Civic Anti-Racism

In modern America, there are two things that are on display simultaneously in the realm of public debate. One is the celebration of the fact that white people and the interests of white people are in sharp decline. The other is a growing fear of white people. It is a strange combination at first glance, as this should be a time for the coalition of the ascendant to celebrate their looming hegemony. Instead, they endlessly talk about themselves, but in the context of a prophesized white backlash.

The root of this is the strange obsession with racism that has become a religion of its own over the last two decades. The anointing of Obama as the completion of the Second Founding, the event that was supposed to wash the stains of slavery, segregation and racism from America, instead ushered in an era of race panic. The Left is in a near frenzy over racism, which they now see everywhere. It is an obsession to the point where even the so-called Right is infected by it.

The recent outbreak of hysteria over white supremacists allegedly plotting a violent revolution is a good starting point. This post at Reason Magazine, after the El Paso shooting, is a good example. The libertarians used to take a pass on the race issue, preferring instead to obsess over weed and sexual deviance. They avoided it because preaching about free association regarding race would get them in trouble. Today, they are right there with Left hooting about white supremacy.

Now, libertarianism was always just a Progressive heresy, but it attracted a lot of conservatives. Operations like Reason had to pretend to be on the Right. That’s no longer the case, as actual conservatives have abandoned libertarianism for dissident politics. Perhaps they now feel free to let their guard down. The Koch Brothers have abandoned the GOP and are now backing left-wing candidates, so maybe this is part of their scheme. Still, the turn to berserk anti-racism is notable.

The so-called conservatives are not being left out of the panic. Right-wing goblin Ben Shapiro has been all over the white supremacy scare. He is working his tiny little fingers raw explaining why his grift has nothing in common with those really bad people to his Right. As is always the case with this guy, he takes the latest Progressive bogeyman and assigns it to his competition on the Right, so his motives always suspect. Even so, it feeds into the general hysteria over race.

Confidence men like Shapiro may not be the best examples, but it is clear that unhinged anti-racism is becoming a conservative principle. A rising star among conservatives is a guy calling himself Joshua Tait, a doctoral candidate at North Carolina, who is fashioning himself as a historian of conservatism. He turns up all over posting articles about various aspects of conservative intellectual history. Of course, he is an enthusiastic anti-racist and obsessed with those bad people to his Right.

That’s the remarkable thing about his writing. It is infected with a weird obsession about race that used to be cringe inducing when done on the Left. This piece reads like a panic attack over Amy Wax noticing the realities of immigration at the National Conservatism conference. This piece reads like a sobbing apology for the fact that people on the Right used to hold sensible opinions about race. The fact they have been proved correct over the last few generations goes unnoticed.

Now, to most readers, Joshua Tait is an unknown, but he is being groomed to be the next generation of so-called conservative intellectuals. Like we see with the more pedestrian stuff from Ben Shapiro, the so-called smart conservatives will be every bit as hysterical about race. The religion of anti-racism will be a core conservative value. Put another way, a rhetorical trick to rally the tribes of the Democrat coalition is quickly being turned into the organizing ethos of the new political class.

An interesting aspect of this new civic religion of anti-racism is it is mostly built on the assumption that whites, at any minute, will go bonkers and start attacking black bodies, while erecting old statues. The anti-racism of Joshua Tait is not rooted in something practical like greed, as in the case of Ben Shapiro. It’s not the product of cowardice, as you see with the Reason Magazine crowd. It’s a genuine sense that whites are a ticking time bomb that have to be monitored.

In this sense, the new anti-racism is like the old communist obsession with opponents of the revolution. With commies, the opponents of the revolution did not have to exist, but they must be made to exist. That is, if they could not find real counter-revolutionaries, they invented them. Something similar is going on with the anti-racists. They can’t find actual white supremacists, at least not in quantity, so they hunt for signs of it, like an evil spirit lurking on the fringes. The price of anti-racism is eternal vigilance.

It is tempting to think that this all about rallying the tribes of the Left, but it is probably the symptom of a different problem. What’s happening is white people are disengaging from the ruling Left. The old game of Team Blue fighting Team Red, where whites cheered for Team Red, is falling part. The cheering section of Team Red is shrinking. The over-the-top anti-racism is an effort to draw those disaffected fans of Team Red back into the game in order to maintain the old dynamic.

The problem, of course, is that Team Red has been designed to keep as little space between themselves and Team Blue as possible. They are children that can never be out of sight of their mother. As Team Blue races shrieking into the darkness of multicultural fanaticism, Team Red is racing after them. The old political arrangements, animated by hyper-anti-racism is a civic religion of the ruling class that is based on a hatred of sixty percent of the people over whom they rule.


For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!


Lessons From the Market: Libertarians

I will often describe my politics as libertarian, but that’s just to avoid having to talk about it with people who can’t think beyond the Left-Right paradigm. For the most part, I hate libertarians. The good ones are mostly nuts. The bad one, which are most of them, suffer from the same defect as Progressives. They just refuse to accept the human condition and instead imagine a world in which humans act in ways no one has ever witnessed.

Libertarians, like liberals, tend to confine their thinking to the hot house where conditions are optimal. Unlike liberals who get to experiment on real people, libertarians have to confine themselves to thought experiments. That probably explains the obsession with legalizing weed. If you spend all of your time imagining a utopian society, drugs are a good way to break up the monotony, or at least get you pas the reality of the present.

Any political philosophy that does not start with the understanding that some portion of society is irrational, no matter how you define rational, is not getting very far. Well, it’s not going to work if you try to implement it. That’s why utopian schemes always end in a blood bath. It sounds good on paper, but the people never cooperate, so the solution is to get better people, which means getting rid of the bad people.

This is obvious when you go to the grocery store. My habit is to go on Sunday morning to pick up my provisions for the week. At 8:00 AM on Sunday the crowd is tiny and it is a quick in and out for me. Today I was a little late, showing up at 9:00 AM. We were expecting a snow storm. It is Christmastime. The parking lot was 80% full and the store was packed with people. Specifically it was packed with mothers toting children.

There were old people staggering around for no earthly reason. Then there were the families, who decide a trip to the store is a good time to share their family experience with the world. What should have been a 30 minute trip to the store took over an hour. It would have been longer, but I did not need anything from the deli so I avoided that line. I also got a little lucky when I hit the register lanes. A fresh one opened as I arrived.

Now, what does this have to to do with libertarianism? Libertarians start from the premise that, left to their own devices, people will self-organize. Yet, left to their own devices, people cannot figure out it is a bad idea to bring your kids to the grocery store. They cannot figure out that a little snow is not the end of civilization, requiring them to load up with groceries. They cannot navigate the self-checkout in an orderly fashion.

There’s no way in hell these people last a week in a world without rules and custodians to make sure they follow the rules. If they found themselves in such a world, their singular focus would be on finding people willing to setup a custodial state and make sure they are safe and protected. They may not be a majority, but they are a large enough minority to make libertarianism impossible. It is at odds with nature and the human condition.

Libertarian Stupidity

When you look around the public square, you can’t help but notice that the number of interesting and insightful people seems strikingly low. It’s like television where expanding from three channels to three hundred resulted in 297 channels of crap, in addition to the previous three channels. The democratization of the media has not opened the field to new and interesting people and ideas. Instead, it has allowed in an army of mediocrities who repeat all the same stuff everyone else says. It is a sea dull-witted conformists.

A post like this in the American Spectator is a good example. There is a worthy discussion, maybe even a debate, to had over the role of populism in a modern western society. It’s a debate we will have to have, one way or the other. Populism is not an unalloyed good. It can run amok, like we saw with Hugo Chavez, where it turned into a cult of personality that has lived on after his death. Granted, it is Venezuela and western style liberal democracy is a poor fit, but populism seems like a poor fit too.

Closer to home, the Bolsheviks are probably the quintessential populists. There movement was the literal overturning of the old hierarchical order. You can’t get any more populist than that. The Nazis were certainly appealing to populist sentiment. Granted, they were battling the Bolsheviks for popular support, but that just goes to the heart of the criticism of populism in general. When the goal is simply to win enough of the crowd to gain power, populism can easily become mob rule and then authoritarianism.

The point here is that we are about o have a long debate about populism and it would be a good idea if serious people, or at least people with serious pretensions, were capable of discussing the issue like adults. It would also help that the people writing for public consumption knew something about the subjects. For example, there is a lot of overlap between political libertarianism and populism. In both cases, there is a rejection of rule by expert and the rejection of expertise as a requirement for rule.

Even if you think the similarities between populist politics and libertarianism are incidental, the rejection of populism in that post is just crude posing. It is something that has become a common feature of so-called conservatism. It’s a cultivated sneer from people with nothing to show for themselves. What conservatism has borrowed from libertarianism is the dilettantism. They parade around as if they know everything, but they sport of record of failure that would make a Cleveland sports fan blush.

In a way though, studying modern libertarianism a good way to understand why Buckley-style conservatism was a huge flop. Their goal was to engage the Left within the constraints of the political system, designed by the Left. Before long, they turned playing by the rules into a badge of honor, despite getting whipped by the Left, who never abides by the rules. Libertarians similarity shoot themselves in the foot, but always finding someway to remain a marginal player. They take pride in being ignored.