Liberalism and its hosts

I tend to be suspicious of claims that liberalism is some big Jewish conspiracy.  The ideology of liberalism obviously has a life of its own.  Plus, liberalism is eating away Jewry just like all other particular groups.  True, Jews are overwhelmingly liberal, but that’s natural given that they’re a subculture that wants to, if not displace the majority culture, at least overthrow that culture’s prominence; Jews are also vastly overrepresented in revolutionary movements, but that also is natural given their Leftism, high IQ, and verbal aggressiveness.  It would seem natural for Jews in Israel–where the established culture to be preserved is theirs–to be more conservative, and that is more or less what we find.

Still, Daybreaker presented an intriguing theory which would mean a tighter connection between liberalism and the Jews.  It would be a shame for it to get lost in my comments:

The main problem liberalism would theoretically face is that man must have religion, sex roles and in-groups with some degree of genetic solidarity, and that liberalism, by deconstructing essential aspects of human life will erode any distinct, particular and thus potentially sustainable people that becomes the bearer of its message and the enforcer of its laws. This horse gallops fast, but it kills its rider, and so it doesn’t seem likely to win many races.

That problem could be overcome if the horse could be passed on to any rider with equal success. But Haiti, for example, shows that’s not the case. The sentiments of liberalism had knock-on effects that led to the utter destruction of the Whites there, but post-genocide Haiti did not become the new bearer and enforcer of the liberal message. Nor did Zimbabwe become a liberal Mecca, nor is South Africa becoming a liberal mecca.

The other solution would be an un-killable rider. An ethny with great resistance to the virulence of liberalism, and with great inner resources to regenerate the damage that liberalism imposes, could enjoy the kind of advantage over its ethnic rivals that disease-carrying Europeans had over the the natives of the Americas. And this is the situation that we have.

If it was not so, such a fierce plague would have burned itself out centuries ago.

Since it is so, the plague will not burn itself out, or not till everything that I for one care about has been exterminated from the world, and not till a new and much worse world will have been created.

Liberalism would be long-gone if it really created a world opposed to religion, but what it really creates is a part of the world called for by one supremely tough, survival prone religion, that is the profane, empty, demoralizing, deracializing and ultimately all-destroying world outside the boundaries of the only really holy people and the one true God’s special concern with that people.

It can even support healthy demographics through strong sex roles, ethnic solidarity and genetic segregation, by supporting a distinction between us the holy and them the vile. This is how the Amish get by.

But woe unto them that don’t have such a demographic hinterland to call on to refresh their numbers.

And woe unto those who don’t have within the same collective an elite able to dominate events in the corrupted world, for they have lost all control of their destiny in a world where the highly leveraged financial instrument, the all-media blitz and the predator drone dominate the piggy bank, the weekly sermon and the horse and buggy.

And woe, black woe, unto those who can’t set up the complicated kind of social arrangement needed for long-term collective survival in a world where public space is being flooded with social poison, because the authorities and institutions they look to will not do it, or because the first movers in this poisoned environment have marked them out as enemies and won’t let them segregate themselves and survive.

We conservatives are always telling ourselves that liberalism is unstable, it destroys its own basis, it’s on its last legs.  We always have pretty good arguments for these predictions, but they always end up being spectacularly wrong.  In fact, when a conservative announces the imminent demise of liberalism, that’s a pretty good sign that liberalism is about to have a great victory leading to several more decades of unquestioned hegemony, while its opponents disappear in a puff of smoke.  What gives?  My suspicion is that a lot of this “liberalism is social suicide” talk is just wishful thinking on our part.  We may not like liberal society, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to collapse on its own.  On the other hand, maybe liberalism really is as host-destroying as it seems it should be.  Then there needs to be an explanation of why it didn’t already fall apart long ago.  Hence Daybreaker’s theory:  a culture that bears liberalism but is immune to its host-destroying effects.  If I read him right, the Jews are the example par excellence.  If they were the only example, then liberalism would be in big trouble, because I think that nut has been cracked via increasing intermarriage.  Liberalism is pulling down the Jews.  However, the liberal elite itself might be thought of as another example.  They live fairly conservatively, taking care not to experiment with their own marriages.  While they proudly disdain loyalty to their countrymen, they are intensely loyal and chauvinistic regarding their true people–the international liberal elite itself.  They have a common creed from which they do not brook dissent.  They yield liberalism as a weapon to remove the resources of family, group solidarity, and religion from their rivals.  The ruin liberalism does to these groups actually makes the system more secure.

Which brings me back to my original belief.  Liberalism itself isn’t suicidal on a foreseeable timescale.  True, there may be an economic or environmental collapse on the horizon, but this may not discredit liberalism, and it may actually strengthen it.

Where does brainwashing occur today?

JMSmith, who is an actual sociologist (while I just sometimes pretend to be one) objects to my use of the term “brainwashing” to describe any influencing of peoples’ attitudes by conditioning.  On the other hand, he suggests a case where brainwashing proper is taking place today:

I would reserve the term “brainwashing” for one very specific means of inducing conviction, and not use it as an umbrella term denoting all non-rational noetic techniques. As developed in the USSR, brainwashing always aimed at political recantation and re-education, so that a brainwashed subject must undergo “conversion.” American children indoctrinated by years of television haven’t been brainwashed, since there never was a time that they consciously disbelieved what they now believe. The basic technique, as I recall, is to infantilize the subject, place him in circumstances of acute distress, and then introduce a “friend” whom the subject will wish to please. It basically plays on (a) fear of abandonment and (b) our disposition to “fit in” by believing what our friends believe.

I believe something like brainwashing can occur when young men and women go off to college. They are at first helpless, disoriented, and very much in the market for a friend. If “fitting in” with some new friends requires dramatic adjustments in their political, religious, and moral views, these adjustments will be made.

Repost: A Christian defense of Christmas commercialism

It’s often been said, and it bears repeating, that the true meaning of Christmas is often lost in all the holiday shopping.  It also bears repeating, though, that the good things in our lives we often take for granted.  So it is with the tradition of Christmas gifts.

Really, the only way to appreciate something is to imagine something different.  Imagine, for a moment, that the God of Abraham and Jesus did not exist.  Suppose, rather, that the universe was ruled by Moloch.  I don’t say, to use the philosophers’ lingo, that this is a possible world, but it is certainly an imaginable world, since many men in times past believed it.  For an especially solemn occasion such as Christmas is for us, Moloch might demand sacrifices.  Each year we would offer a number of our children to be murdered by his pitiless priests.

Now return to the real world.  The universe is ruled by Christ’s Father.  And the thing that pleases the real God, on the celebration of the Incarnation of His Son, is that we should go out and buy presents for our children, for we know that He holds a special affection for these little ones.  How can we not be grateful that God is as He is?  Especially on Christmas, when, remembering His ultimate gift, his generosity is brought so vividly to our minds?  Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

Segregation in the future

In my last post, I put out my thoughts on segregation as it existed in the pre-civil rights American South.  To sum up:  I’m not a fan of it, but I appreciate what I take to be its goal of maintaining two separate communities in their integrity.  It may be (as some commenters have said) that my opinions on this matter aren’t very well considered–it’s not a subject that greatly interests me–but I thought it was important to put them out before what I say next, so everyone will know where I’m coming from.

After the Civil Rights Act and the apotheosis of Martin Luther King Jr. in the public imagination, Republicans and mainstream conservatives more-or-less made a decision:  discard segregation (either because it’s evil or because it’s untenable) and focus all our distinct-culture-preserving energies on restricting immigration.  So, basically, whites are not allowed to have their own neighborhoods, but they are kind of allowed to have their own country.  That is, the majority culture gets to keep being the majority culture, and nonwhites are allowed (and expected) to assimilate into it.  You can’t keep the “darkies” off your street, but they don’t get to invite all their relatives from the old countries over, so that the country as a whole loses its character.

This was supposed to be the morally and electorally defensible position.  It’s not explicitly racist, but it addresses the conservative fear that our distinct culture is being drowned out by diversity.  Of course, the liberals gave mainstream conservatives no credit for their reconfiguration.  From their standpoint, any loyalty to a distinct cultural and ethnic background is racism, and they correctly saw that that was what’s behind the new position.  The liberal universalist creed is this:  All Americans are equal, and anybody who wants to can become an American.  Also, being an American just means living here and paying taxes; you can hate the native inhabitants and boast of your plans to devour half of the country for Mexico.  That’s not a threat; that’s cultural vibrancy, and we should be grateful to it.

The mainstream conservative stance has obviously failed.  The border was not effectively controlled, and America will become a hispanic country in the foreseeable future.  At the very least, Mexican loyalists will have an iron grip on American politics, so it will be impossible to resist the invasion at the national level.

One might ask if it will soon be time to reconsider the decision to reject segregation for immigration restriction.  As America becomes truly multicultural, border control is ceasing to do anything for cultural homogeneity.  Segregation may be our only hope for cultural survival (e.g. for your grandchildren to speak English and to refer to the Northern power in the Mexican-American War as “we”).  Would open borders + racially segregated neighborhoods be a better compromise than what we’ve got now?

One might ask whether the question is academic.  Once America is majority nonwhite, why would they make any concessions to the white population?  That presumes that we regard segregation as a concession, but I don’t know that that’s how they see it.  Blacks and hispanics by and large dislike whites (they make this very, very clear), and I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to infer from this that they would just as soon not have to live with us.  In fact, it could be that ethno-cultural segregation will happen at their insistence, while whites (continuing our great tradition of not knowing what’s good for us) bemoan the loss of a “post-racial” future.

Conservatives and Jim Crow

What is a reactionary to make of pre-sixties segregation in the American South?  For Leftists, the answer is easy:  non-merit related discrimination, especially state-sponsored racial discrimination, is bad.  Leftists also have a ready explanation for how bad laws like this arose:  discrimination, and ethnic loyalty in general, are rooted in fear of the Other, which in turn comes from defective personality types and insufficient “education”.  Segregation is, in fact, Exhibit B for the liberals’ hatred-based understanding of ethnocultural solidarity.   (You all know what Exhibit A is.)

For reactionaries, discrimination is not necessarily bad, not even if it ends up dividing by races.  On the other hand, it’s not necessarily good either.  We certainly acknowledge that there can be invidious or stupid discrimination, just as there can be appropriate discrimination.  Once racial/cultural/sexual discrimination has been identified, the job of morally evaluation is done for the Leftist but only started for the Rightist.

Even if he ends up agreeing with the liberal that this particular instance of discrimination was bad, the reactionary will certainly reject the liberal’s explanation for it.  He denies that ethnocentrism–even when found in whites–is rooted in hatred.  But then he must explain how these laws did arise.

What then are the legitimate types of discriminatory arrangements?  They tend to fall into two types.

  1. The ghetto:  members of different cultures are separated so each culture will have space to instantiate itself
  2. The caste: society divides people according to function

Both the ghetto and caste systems, when properly arranged, provide some dignity and status to each party.  They do not tend, of course, to be egalitarian–some castes are higher than others, and ghetto walls have a definite “inside” and “outside”–but neither system should just be a matter of one party tormenting or exploiting the other.

The negroes were, of course, brought over as slaves.  Slave society is a kind of caste system, but only a morally legitimate one if slaves have definite rights and status.  Southern reformers hoped to push the slave society in this direction (i.e. to expunge the idea of slaves being property), but before that transformation could be completed, slavery was abolished.  Given post-13th Amendment American legal egalitarianism, an official caste system was now off the table.  Still, centuries of distinction had created two separate subcultures–white and black–and, understandably, neither was willing to annihilate itself by submersion in the other.  There was still the ghetto option of physical separation.  The fullest separation was the Liberia plan, which didn’t work.  Instead, America got segregation–laws and customs designed to keep whites and blacks separate, but not a system that really truly separated them.  The system, subsisting between the two models, had the coherence of neither.  The only part about it that was sensible for cultural preservation purposes was putting black and white children in separate schools.  The negro got neither the status of a caste nor the status of directing his own independent communities.  He got no positive status from segregation at all and experienced the system as pure humiliation.  This was indeed iniquitous.

The biggest difference between how liberals and conservatives see segregation is that liberals see it as a typical case of what ethnic/cultural loyalty leads to, while conservatives see it as an anomaly.  Of course, most real-world arrangements are imperfect and therefore “anomalous” to some extent, but Jim Crow was atypical in being such a muddle that it’s hard to see how any of it could have worked to maintain the two cultures of the South.  The conservative will, however, be sympathetic to this goal of cultural preservation.  There should be some way that whites and blacks can each venerate their separate ancestors (and thus continue being conscious of being two distinct subcultures) while getting along with each other.  Liberalism promised itself as the way to do this, but it hasn’t worked out, because it demands that whites revile their ancestors, which is cultural suicide.  Americans don’t like the ghetto or caste systems, but they’ve yet to find an alternative that accomplishes the same thing.

Blog update

Hi all.

First, thank you for your comments and all the thought you obviously put into them.  I’ve been very impressed to have commenters who know a lot more about my topics than I do.  Of course, what’s impressive is not that such people exist (my knowledge not being terribly hard to top), but that they keep bothering to come here and educate me.  I’m sorry that I only respond to a few of my comments.  Which ones I reply to has more to do with which happen to be on top when I get some free time than with anything else.  Also, sometimes comments get held for my approval before they appear.  This is because they have urls in them.  It’s an automatic process I have nothing to do with, so again please don’t take it personally.

I will probably have less opportunity to post for the next couple of weeks.  I’ll be visiting family, doing a little proposal writing, and scrambling to prepare for my spring class.  On the plus side, I’m hoping to get a bit more chance to read.  I’m afraid that I’ve violated the first rule of successful blogging; I used to read a lot, but for the past year, I’ve had much less time, and what I’ve had I’ve devoted to writing.  I’ve been living off the store of knowledge and thinking that I’d built up in previous years, and now the stock is starting to run out.  Also, I’ve been needing to cut back on polemical writing regardless.  I’ve noticed lately that it’s been having a bad effect on my personality.  It’s an effect I’m subject to when grading students’ homeworks.  As more and more students make the same mistake, I start getting angrier and have to resist an urge to take more points off.  I have to remind myself that this student doesn’t know that I’ve already corrected a dozen prior students for the same faulty thinking.  Similarly, I find that I treat the first person to make an argument I don’t like much differently from the tenth person to make that argument, but that isn’t fair.  I have sometimes not treated my commenters and fellow bloggers with the respect they deserve, and I’m very sorry for that.  I’m going to try to take a less combative stance for a while.

Blogging will then probably pick up in January, although not at the level it’s been at lately (a level which has meant more time than I really should be devoting to a hobby and is probably venially sinful).  Someday, I expect I’ll have to cut back to infrequent writing.  Hopefully, by that time there will be a joint Orthosphere blog I can contribute to, so that there’ll still be an audience for my stuff.

Oh, for those of you who don’t know, “Orthosphere” is the name Bruce and Proph decided on for our circle of reactionary Christian bloggers.  Kind of neat, don’t you think?  “Behold, the Orthosphere!”

A new age

How odd that we’d just been noting the death of one Cold Warrior (the commie Christopher Hitchens), when now I’ve just read about the death of two much more important Cold War figures:  Vaclav Havel and Kim Jong-Il.  Havel was, of course, a great hero of the anti-Communist resistance, while Kim was one of the last of the old-style communist dictators.  Both of them seem oddly out of place today.  The ultimate issue is the same now as it was forty years ago, but the forms are changed, and many of the old labels are no longer useful.  (How odd it sounds to me when I hear someone accused of being a “socialist”.)

Havel’s classical liberalism seems like something from another age; it doesn’t address the questions that vex us, now that the choices we face are no longer “communism” vs. “democracy”.  We certainly must honor him for fighting the great evil of communism, and for fighting it on the correct grounds:  not that it was inefficient, but that it was morally corrupting.  Still, I could imagine his anti-totalitarian writings inspiring either side of today’s great debate, since each side accuses the other of forcing the public to profess obvious falsehoods.

And how quaint is North Korean brutality!  It’s as if they’re the only ones to get the memo that that isn’t how the Left operates anymore.  Now that the society-altering visions of today’s Leftists are less ambitious than were those of Lenin and Mao, but they’ve learned how to work toward them without yielding a huge crop of martyrs.  People and organizations who openly oppose the Left will get broken, but they won’t be martyrs.  Can you imagine a professor losing his job for writing against a cherished Leftist belief?  Perish the thought!  Of course, sometimes people must be let go for creating hostile work environments, environments where gay and transgendered students feel insufficiently “affirmed”.  Can you imagine a Leftist government confiscating Church property because it disapproves of Catholic doctrines?  That’s so 1920s!  Now we look for some crime, like adolescent sexual abuse, that Catholic clergy engage in at the roughly same rate as the rest of the population, gather together every accusation–viable or not–over the entire globe over the course of 60 years (which inevitably creates a large absolute number sure to impress the mathematically illiterate), and use your pet media to create a moral panic.  Then bend statute of limitation laws only against the Church and award order-of-magnitude larger settlements than other organizations face for comparable offenses, and pretty soon you can eradicate the communal patrimony of an entire religious group (made largely of working-class ethnic whites and hispanics) while making sure that they get no sympathy in the process.  No, anyone who objects to this ongoing cultural genocide will be accused of not caring about “the chiiiillllddddrrren!!!!”  (Me:  “But how does it help children to obsess every few years over the same set of accusations from the 1970s?  Today, priests in most parishes aren’t even allowed to be alone with children anymore.  And why don’t we spare some attention for the much vaster problem of child sexual abuse in other institutions?”  Them:  “Don’t change the subject!  If you really loved your children, you wouldn’t ask those questions!”)  Don’t you see how stupid the communists were?  They allowed people to go to jail explicitly for their beliefs.  When the Left attack me, they’ll tell the world either that I don’t respect my students or that I don’t love my kids.  Today’s Kims have learned how to avoid making Havels.