The simplest definition of politics, regardless of the political system, is that it is formalized collective action. An individual or group of individuals gets a group of people to act as a group on some issue. It may be to lobby the king for some policy, undermine the dictator in some way or vote for a particular issue. Further, the kernel of all political action is dissatisfaction. The people doing the organizing are unhappy with something so they find the like-minded and appeal to their unhappiness.
As a practical matter, politics is about persuasion. The reformer, for example, first persuades people that something is broke. Like a good salesman who creates need in the mind of the prospective customer, the reformer creates a sense of unhappiness with the status quo in his target audience. The reformer is, in effect, a chronic complainer, always talking about his unhappiness with the status quo. His goal is always to first persuade people that something is broken and needs fixing.
No all persuasion is the same. if you listen to this interview with Ryan Faulk, he frames politics as narrative driven and data driven. The guys in whatever the now defunct alt-right are calling themselves these days are narrative driven. They create stories to explain the important facts of some issue. The other side stacks up the facts and lets them do the talking. If the other side is wrong about the facts, it is assumed they must be wrong about the general arguments built on those facts.
The politics of multiculturalism, if you examine the claims, is narrative driven, always around a story of group conflict. Blacks, for example, are in their present condition because of the long oppression by whites. Feminism is the story of female liberation from the patriarchy. It’s why the Left falls for rape hoaxes and noose hoaxes so easily, despite the history of these hoaxes. The hoax fits the narrative that for them, explains everything about the world and their role in it.
On the other hand, the politics of conventional conservatism is about facts and ideas, specifically the rejection of the narrative idea. The Right in America, the conventional Right, that is, remains under the spell of Richard M. Weaver. As Joe Sobran put it, they have always been convinced that “their own beliefs would creep up on the ideas of the Left, slit their throats in the dark, and stage an intellectual and cultural coup d’état, after which truth would reign.” Being right is all that matters.
You see some of this in the anti-Semite community. The Holocaust revisionists are sure that if they just reveal the facts about what happened to Jews under the Nazis, the narrative of the Holocaust will collapse. Once that narrative collapses, that which it supports will collapse with it. Their great enemy, the men with little hats, will then be routed and driven from the halls of power. This is why they obsess over it. They believe the facts will conquer their enemy’s narrative.
Ironically, this fact versus narrative dichotomy is most popular and most well-known because of Jewish conservatives like Ben Shapiro. He is famous for saying “Facts don’t care about your feelings.” He invests a lot of time discouraging whites from embracing their own narratives to counter those on the Left. Instead, they are supposed to embrace facts, as facts are the magic that will destroy the narrative. Well, not all narratives, of course, but that’s another issue.
The thing is though, this fact versus narrative construct is a left-wing creation, at least it serves left-wing ends. Narrative is the predicate for morality. The reason the Bible is full of stories is moral claims naturally rise from stories. A good narrative not only encompasses the known facts, it orders them. These are the important facts of the story, while these are not essential, there for color and context. It is this ordering that reinforces and existing morality or creates a new one.
Raw facts are not the basis of morality. As David Hume famously explained, you cannot get an ought from an is. Indiscriminate killing of human beings is not wrong because it violates the laws of the natural world. It is wrong because we say it is wrong or we claim our gods say it is wrong. Those stories about how the gods punished those who kill without reason are the basis of a moral code that changes homicide into murder and prescribes punishments for those who commit murder.
Of course, this is why the fact side of the dichotomy favors the Left. When Shapiro demands you focus on facts, it is so you do not focus on the moral framework. Similarly, the Holocaust revisionist obsesses over granular details of the story, because it is easier than mounting a moral argument against the prevailing orthodoxy. While it is most certainly intentional in the former case, in the latter case it is simply an outgrowth of how right-wing politics were created in the middle of the last century.
This is also why white identity politics frightens the people in charge. The right side of the game sees it as a mortal threat to their existence as a loyal opposition. The left side sees it as an alternative to the prevailing orthodoxy. White identity politics offers an alternative set of narratives and as a result, an alternative morality. The Left hammers away at “facts” about race in an effort to steer identitarians away from moral considerations and back into the old dichotomy.
These narratives do not rise from nothing. There must be some basis in reality, but mostly they need people willing to fit reality into the general narrative. In the case of white identity politics, it means fitting events into the general themes of peaceful separation, natural group affinity and so forth. It also means drawing moral conclusions from events. The current riots, for example, are an example of the immorality of forcing dissimilar people to live together. Morality transcends fact and narrative.
An excellent example of this, oddly enough, comes from the Left. The gun grabbers have been repeating the same demands for generations now. No matter how many times the facts are presented, they remain steadfast. The reason is they truly believe gun grabber is a moral imperative. Now amount of facts and reason will persuade them to abandon their moral code. Not even an alternative narrative to explain events is tolerated, as it slams into their morality.
This is why the fact versus narrative dichotomy is false. Both are codependent in support of the prevailing moral orthodoxy. The narrative side is constricted by the prevailing moral code to support certain narratives. It is why, for example, they can so easily abandon one narrative and adopt its opposite. Free speech, for example. It is also why the fact side is limited to a list of acceptable facts. Raise the wrong facts and you are banned to the outer darkness.
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