From time to time it is useful to pick up the spyglasses and take a look at some of the smaller gatherings on the other side of the great divide. The establishment Left is easy to see, as it takes up so much space and makes so much noise. The same is true to a lesser extent with the professional Right. The smaller subcultures are not as easy to see, but they can be more useful in understanding the nature of the divide and why there is a great divide in the first place.
This conversation between someone calling himself Brendan O’Neil and someone calling himself Bret Weinstein is a good example. It appears this is a regular show hosted by Weinstein, where he invites on guests of “diverse opinion” to discuss issues he thinks are important. The topic of this show, according to the copy, was what he calls the woke war on the Enlightenment. Not much was revealed in that regard, but it is useful in understanding why there is a dissident right.
Now, Brendan O’Neil bills himself as a man of the Left. He is the editor of something called Spiked, which is the successor of something called Living Marxism, the journal of the Revolutionary Communist Party. According to his Wikipedia page, he is a former Trotskyist and communist, but now he self identifies as a Libertarian Marxist. That last bit only makes sense when you know that Spiked is funded by the Charles Koch Foundation, the guys who bankroll Reason Magazine.
Bret Weinstein is a bit more familiar to Americans. He is a member of the gratuitously self-described “intellectual dark web.” This a group of mostly Jewish writers who churn out conventional opinions for various mainstream sites. Weinstein got famous because he was attacked by a mob on lunatics on his college campus because he lacked enthusiasm for their latest fashions. He became a symbol of mob action on campus. He describes himself as a progressive and left-libertarian.
The first interesting thing to note in this is that both describe themselves as left-libertarian in their own way. No one describes themselves as right-libertarian, as that is something which no longer exists. The so-called conservatives would claim they are now the home of right-libertarians, but that is just another self-serving lie. They pose no opposition to the Left on anything. Conservatism is nothing more than a polite fiction now, a holding place for something yet to come.
Putting that aside, this conversation provides a good example of what happens when you eliminate the right answer. You are left trying to mold the wrong answer into something useful. Here, they refuse to consider biology plays any role in culture and politics. In particular, they refuse to accept that the people toppling statues and running Jewish professors off campus are motivated by race. It can’t be race, so they conjure strained explanations for what is happening.
At about the six-minute mark they get into identity politics. The claim by the British guy is the lock downs broke the British collective identity and that’s what caused mobs of people to go out and tear down statues. He terms it a retreat into group identity, rather than collective identity. The fact that the people doing the rioting were non-white and their targets were white people and culture, seems to be lost on him. It is a good example of what happens when you eliminate the obvious.
The response from Weinstein is amusing. He makes the obvious point that technology has made the world smaller. No matter how narrow your interests, you can find people who share your interests on-line. In the case of politics, it means on-line community around shared identity. He suggests this is a problem, as people falling into these “echo chambers” on-line eventually succumb to identity politics. It looked like he wanted to use the term “false consciousness” at that point.
Later on, they refer to the “murder of George Floyd” which gives the game away, but the show is still worth a listen. These tribes of the old Left are struggling for the same reason that the so-called conservatives and libertarians struggle. They cling to the notion that countries are built around ideas. They think that ideology can replace biology as the building block of human organization. The new man will completely submit to the prevailing orthodoxy of the new society.
The creedal nation was always a left-wing idea and it was always wrong. Like the Soviet Union, creedal America had a good run through the Cold War. For a half a century, most Americans were happy to put aside their natural identity in favor of patriotism, for the good of the country. It was a useful way for the ruling class to organize the public in the great game against communism. The Cold War is over and the reason to put aside those natural identities is gone with it.
It should be no surprise that blacks in America and the new arrivals in the West are the first to embrace this new reality. American blacks never embraced the creedal nation stuff. They have always been the least patriotic group. The new arrivals were never encouraged to drop their natural identity. In fact, they were encouraged to embrace it as they were told diversity is our strength. It is the occidentals that are the last to catch on, but that is changing.
That is what you see in that video. Both men are clinging to the old modes of thought, hoping to find a way to keep white people from embracing identity politics. Nowhere in their discussion do they condemn blacks or immigrants, even though they are the people rioting in the streets. The long post-war period was, in fact, a break from human reality, but now reality is roaring back. Yesterday men like those two in the video cling to their creedal notions, while reality returns with a vengeance.
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