Thursday, August 24, 2017
1. The Alt-Right I think has the potential to be a powerful political movement and do some good. The one area where I strongly agree with them is on the issue of sovereignty and immigration. A nation without control of its borders is not a nation. Demographics are destiny. If a society is to become thoroughly multi-ethnic, or seek to preserve a single ethnic identity, it should do so intentionally and in a principled fashion. There are other parts of the Alt-Right platform (to the extent that that is even a thing) where I have strong disagreements, however this is true of just about any ideology or movement. The goal is to have a robust political conversation with a wide spectrum of views instead of just two flavors of corporatist globalism.
2. Now, as a matter of strategy, The Alt-Right needs to take the advice of the Dead Kennedys and tell the Nazi punks to fuck off. They should do the same to the KKK supporters, skinheads, and even the confederate soldier cosplayers. They are a new movement and this is their Sister Souljah moment.
3. The legitimacy of National Socialism and the actions of Hitler during WW2 are an interesting academic debate worthy of investigation. However the question for the Alt-Right is whether or not openly associating with Nazism is a path to political relevance. This should not be a hard question.
4. Consider the movement for gay rights. From the early days, NAMBLA and other pro-pedophile organizations have tried to piggyback on the success of the homosexual rights movement. Conservatives have continually smeared people who believed in gay rights as secretly endorsing sex with children. Thus gay rights activists for decades went out of their way to disassociate the two movements. As a result, gay marriage is legal throughout much of the western world. Pedophilia is still universally reviled, just as Nazism is. Neither the Nazis nor the pedophiles have had much success normalizing their views over the last 70 years. Thus any political movement that associates with them will likely fail.
5. Personally I think the Alt-Right should focus on a more positive message. Instead of arguing about IQ or the “JQ,” focus on rebuilding America's lost civic virtues. Charles Murray's book Coming Apart does a good job explaining the declining rates of marriage, civic engagement, employment, and social trust among white Americans. In the book Murray presents a wealth of data arguing that Americans are no longer as good at working hard, creating healthy families, supporting their communities, and acting honestly. It has led to a society with greater inequality, a perpetual underclass, the normalization of children growing up without a father, greater crime, more ethnic conflict, reduced birthrates, and less overall self-reported contentment.
6. Politically the Alt-Right can still focus on immigration, sure. However as a social movement it would be great to see them work toward rebuilding America's traditional civic virtues – industriousness, family formation, civic engagement (religious or secular, either is fine) and social trust. This could be a grass roots movement – family by family, block by block, town by town, state by state. Teach people how to be productive, manage a household, homeschool, invest, hunt, farm, eat healthy, find a good spouse, etc. etc. That is something regular Americans can get behind. In this regard I was happy to see Tara McCarthy spread the hashtag “AltRightMentorship.”
7. The Left won the culture wars in large part because it was seen as a positive movement. People feel good about supporting equality, social services for the less fortunate, and more political rights. They don't feel good about discriminating against minorities, leaving refugees to starve, or treating women as inferior to men. If you want to promote nationalism, you have to present it in a positive way that makes people feel good about endorsing it. If you want to promote traditionalism or anti-feminism, you have to present gender roles in a positive way. Cheesy as it sounds, people (the young in particular) want to be inspired.
8. Actions speak louder than words. Stefan Molyneux did an interesting video where he talked about the importance of demonstrating commitment. I think there is some truth in this. Traditionalist and Alt-Right folks need to walk the walk. As toxic as western culture might be, nothing is stopping them from building homogeneous communities and having big families. The Amish, the Hasidic Jews, and the Mormons all seem to be doing just fine. Nothing is stopping white people from reliving their 1950's Norman Rockwell glory days if they really want to do so. If they are so scared of dumb and evil brown people ruining their culture then why not focus on fortifying their own communities instead of some pipe dream about exiling nonwhites? If the government gets in the way with forced busing / housing / migrant policies, fight back. They've got a sympathetic administration and Supreme Court at least in the United States.
9. Why am I bothering with trying to aid a movement filled with people that likely despise me because of my skin color? Because I think nationalism is important. World government I think is a terrible evil. Humans are a tribal species. We need a diversity of civilizations to bring out the best in us. We need competition among political philosophies and the ability to vote with our feet by moving to different countries. Given the potential reach of the modern technological surveillance state, a true world government would be inescapable. It would represent the end of history. Unfortunately too many modern liberal and conservative political movements are unquestioningly moving in the direction of global government whether they realize it or not.
10. Nationalism is often bound up with questions of ethnicity. I don't think that is going away because race does matter. So long as we seek to live as homo sapiens, we have to work with the hardware and software nature gave us. We should not be surprised that ethnic groups have different cultures, different outcomes, and often seek to band together. Similarly we should not be surprised that men and women differ in their proclivities and outcomes. If and when technology evolves to a point where all racial and sex differences are easily erased by human augmentation, then we will no longer be dealing with homo sapiens. We will have a whole new slew of tough questions to face at that point. However I am pessimistic about the likelihood of us reaching such a future.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
This will be sort of free form. I have another set of thoughts on the alt-right generally that I will put in another post.
1. I followed the rally in Charlottesville closely on both cable news and Twitter. It was interesting seeing the contrasting presentations. My impression is that the rally was made up primarily of traditional conservatives and white identitarians (white nationalists). The Nazi / KKK / Confederate component seemed to be a clear minority. The rally appeared to only become violent when the right-wing protesters were attacked. This is a relevant detail.
2. In light of point 1 it is telling that the media characterized the event as a “Nazi Rally.” There is a significant difference between white nationalists and Nazis. There is also a significant difference between white nationalists and white supremacists. One can be an ethnic nationalist without hating all other races. Indeed I think most Japanese people are like this.
3. Trump's response was a blunder. He made a weak initial statement, then (foolishly) tried to appease the media with a second statement, then did a third press conference where he just spoke off the cuff. This set him up to look like he was sympathetic to white nationalists even though he didn't really say anything wrong. He condemned racism. He condemned white supremacy and Nazism. He also pointed out that AntiFa was also violent and partly responsible, which is of course true.
4. The media is attacking Trump for not buying their narrative – that violent Nazis were solely responsible for injuries and loss of life at the rally. This has been a common trope since the election. Even when Trump supporters were attacked and beaten at rallies the media characterized them as violent and gave AntiFa a pass.
5. Trump should have made a passionate defense of free speech in his first and only statement. He should have condemned the Nazis and also AntiFa. He should have then said that both sides have a right to free speech so long as they are not violent. He should have pointed out that people who supported feminism and civil rights for black people were once deemed offensive and were similarly disenfranchised and deplatformed.
6. On a personal note, this is why I am so dismayed to see big tech companies like Google try to ban white nationalists from using their services. No one who believes in free speech can cheer on a huge corporation censoring a political minority. I too am a minority. It was not too long ago that people felt justified in persecuting people with my skin color. They made the same arguments about private companies having the right to do whatever they want. It is amazing how leftists, who have never met a government regulation they didn't like, quickly become absolutists about private property when they see their political enemies being victimized. It speaks again to the fact that we live in an age where there are no principles, only gangs – only “good guys and bad guys” all seeking power.
7. People forget how quickly moral fashions change. A few decades ago people didn't think twice about a gay person getting beat up for being too “out,” about his sexuality. Decades before that it was totally cool to harass interracial couples and women who tried to enter male career fields. 30 years from now, be it from ecological disaster or political instability, the pendulum could swing back and the moral fashions could be totally different. And then today's leftists could be the ones being disenfranchised and silenced. It will be funny to see them scream and protest in favor of free speech again, as they did in the 1960's before they became the establishment. The only problem is that to anyone with a memory they will have zero credibility.
8. Trump also should have pointed out the evil of the Orwellian idea of removing historical monuments on the grounds that they conflict with today's values. Utopians always do this, be it ISIS, the Taliban, or the Chinese under Mao Zedong. They try to cleanse society of past “mistakes,” to create an eternal purified present. But historical monuments are not blanket endorsements of their subjects. If anything, today more than ever, we need monuments of controversial historical figures that we might learn from them.
9. The random acts of destruction of monuments across the country constitute yet another "trial balloon" on the part of the far left. The naked censorship being practiced by big tech companies is another "shot across the bow." They want to see how much they can get away with. Conservatives predictably have been mealy-mouthed in their response. Republicans were quick to turn on Trump and seek the media's favor. I heard Mark Levin on the radio say essentially that he had no problem with monuments being removed, but that leftists should do it "the right way," and respect municipal process. This will not inspire anyone to change their view. Similar arguments were made against every major revolution and civil rights movement. If something is believed to be morally wrong, passionate people will take matters into their own hands. You have to attack the core moral belief.
10. Ultimately I think those right-wingers at the rally who were protesting the removal of monuments had a legitimate grievance. I think the torches were bad PR, and the fact that they let Nazis and Klan members march along side them spoke volumes about their political savvy. Though the alt-right has become more relevant in the age of Trump, the movement is destined for irrelevance if they keep making it easy for the media to label it a Nazi organization. I have watched interviews with Richard Spencer, one of the leaders of the alt-right. He is not a Nazi, yet he has on multiple occasions been at public events with people doing Nazi salutes and wearing swastikas. So to the extent that he is the face of the movement, he and other alt-right people cannot really be surprised at the media coverage they get.
I have a separate post I will publish soon about the alt-right.
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
I happened to catch a bit of a recent Tara McCarthy livestream. Since my discussion with her a few months ago she seems to have grown in popularity and become one of the faces of the alt-right movement. In the above livestream she spoke with Millennial Woes, another white nationalist from Great Britain. The two spoke at length about the idea of establishing white ethnostates in Europe and in the United States. It was an interesting look at the ideology of unapologetic racism.
I joined the chat at the end of the livestream right when they were talking about what would be done to minorities and interracial couples in their ideal all white ethnostate. Woes advocated for exiling nonwhites with the goal of getting to a 90 to 100% white United States and / or Europe. What struck me about this portion of the discussion was the level of anguish he expressed. He kept saying how it wouldn't be "nice" having to tear apart families and forcibly deport dark-skinned people. He seemed legitimately upset about the prospect.
In the comments I cheekily asked, "What about high IQ blacks???" and Tara noticed the comment and actually asked him. He said I should go to Africa. I appreciated his integrity in being comfortable saying that directly to me.
But here's why that's dumb:
First of all, telling someone like me to "Go back to Africa," doesn't make sense because I have never been to Africa. Neither have my parents, or their parents. My family, like millions of American blacks, is generations removed from that continent. We know nothing of the culture. Our skin is lighter in color. We would be treated as foreigners, ostracized, and generally made to struggle to make a decent life. Telling me to "Go back to Africa," makes as much sense as telling me to "Go back to Vietnam." I have never been there and cannot call it my homeland.
But let's be charitable and say Woes understands this. Let's remove the "back" in "Go back to Africa." Perhaps he is advocating that all people should go reside in their ancestral racial homelands.
This is even more insane.
First of all, it is completely unworkable given our species' thousands of years of mixing and migrating across continents. Attempting to calculate precisely what percentage of which racial DNA requires a person to move to exactly which country, would be an exercise in futility. Rational nation states simply must tolerate some degree of miscegenation and immigration if they are to function. Seeking to attain absolute purity leads to becoming like North Korea.
Yet there is an even greater irony. If millions of American blacks were to move to African countries, they would inevitably destroy the native African cultures. They would supplant and Americanize it. This is a funny thing for a supposed nationalist to advocate. I think Woes and Tara really really want to believe that a person's culture and values are solely a product of their race. But anyone who has met an American born Chinese kid and a Chinese kid raised in China, would know this isn't true. Race matters, sure, but not that much.
There are an estimated 9.5 million Americans with Polish ancestry. The population of Poland is just under 40 million. Imagine if all Polish Americans were to move to their ancestral ethnic homeland. They could demographically dominate the country. Their Polish blood would not magically make them adopt the Polish value system. Most likely they would end up Americanizing the country. They could spread socially liberal ideas, enact gay marriage, and support open borders. The historic Polish culture and heritage would likely not survive. At best, it would be dramatically transformed. Irish Americans could do the same to Ireland, as there are more Irish Americans today than there are Irish people in Ireland.
I have said before that living in Japan has made me understand why some people believe in the importance of ethnostates. If Americans and Europeans want to make their countries more white, that is their right. Sovereignty is important because diversity is important. Unfortunately, many alt-right people want to obsess over IQ, terrorism, and crime, with the explicit belief that nonwhites just make their countries worse. And here on a livestream we hear them talk about how the way to get to a 99% white society is to banish all the darkies and force mixed families to send their nonwhite members to some racial "homeland" they have never even seen.
Arguing for nationalism on the premise of white supremacy with the stated goal of breaking up multiracial families and exiling native born citizens of a darker complexion - this is a sure fire way to make certain your movement stays on the political fringe. This is a unique moment in history. Donald Trump is president. Nationalism is on the rise, and populists like Bernie Sanders are growing in power. People are becoming tired of political correctness and SJW's. Now is the chance for alternative voices to challenge the decadent incumbents in politics and media. Those voices need to come up with visions that unite people. They should also try to make arguments that don't suck.
More than a third of Americans are nonwhite, most of them citizens too. There is no ethical way to force them to leave. It is their country too. If white Americans wanted racial purity, they wouldn't have done silly things like enslaving millions of Africans, importing thousands of Asians to build their railroads, and generally leaving their borders open for decades. If they now want those nonwhites to leave, their only moral option is bribing them, and they likely don't have nearly enough money. The only other alternative is forced exile via the military, or concentration camps like Nazi Germany. However the country that employs those sorts of methods would not be America anymore.
America will likely never be a 90 or 99% white country if only because of the simple fact that most white Americans don't want it to be. It may have 99% white regions. In fact it already does. Forced integration I think is wrong. If Americans choose to partition and self-segregate, that is their right. But realistically, those concerned with long-term national demographics, be it in America, Europe, or anywhere, should focus more on immigration, border control, and birthrates, and less on forced exile and DNA tests. Securing the border, deporting illegal immigrants, revising legal immigration rules, and incentivizing more marriage and fertility, are all peaceful and politically feasible. By the time the political climate has shifted to a point where people are worrying about who to deport based on ancestry, the ethno-nationalists will have already won.