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.
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