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.