An alternative grand bargain on identity

A peculiar feature of our times is the inability to think amorally.  Ironically, this used to be liberalism’s great conceit, to be the neutral arbiter, impartially weighing competing interests, ensuring settlements each party can live with, forgoing the hope of imposing cosmic justice.  The liberal conceit has been replaced by the leftist conceit, that mankind is divided into innocent victims and evil oppressors, that the role of the righteous is to stand with the oppressed, that the oppressors have no legitimate interests that need worry us.  This is unfortunate, because in the matter of race relations, the liberal role of balancer of legitimate interests is not a bad paradigm to start from, at least if one values social peace.

Here’s an amoral question that I could never ask without a pseudonym:  are African-Americans patriotic Americans?  How dare I even raise such a question!  But wait, I have not questioned whether American blacks have the virtue of patriotism, only whether they are patriotic Americans.  Charles de Gaulle had the virtue of patriotism to an exemplary degree, but obviously he wasn’t a patriotic American.  Suppose blacks by and large see themselves as a separate people.  It would not be wrong for them to do so.  As I see it, identity (above the level of family and below the level of baptism) is a matter of pre-moral fact.  It’s just how your society happens to group people.  Morality only comes in when one wants to know one’s duties to insiders and to outsiders, however construed.  Two peoples in the same land is a problem.  Only one people’s culture and collective will can be imposed in a single place, and every people needs some such owned space in order to survive.  One begins to understand Lincoln’s plan to transplant the blacks to Liberia.  But surely it was unfair to expect people who had lived on a continent for generations to leave.  We may not be their people, but this is their home.  One also begins to understand how race-blind conservatism has gotten such a cool reception from the blacks, hispanics, and Asians.  “Stop revering your ancestors, start revering ours, and we shall all be brothers!”  Suppose that is the problem.  There are tens of millions of citizens who don’t regard George Washington and Co. as their fathers and never plan to, and tens of millions more streaming into our borders.

At this point, most people will be unable to restrain their moralism.  “It’s the white man’s fault!  He must be the one to surrender cultural primacy!”  Forget blame.  The problem exists, regardless of what happened in the past, and how much good will each side has or lacks.

Particularism is the defining feature of the Alt Right, as Dissenting Sociologist correctly observes.  It is also a core principle of the Orthosphere: the third of four, to be exact.

3) Loyalty to the particular

While we have some moral duties to everyone (e.g. not to murder them), it is proper that we hold a special love for our kin and countrymen.  To them, we owe a particular loyalty.  Not only is it right to love the members of our groups; it is right to love those groups themselves.  It is right to work for the preservation of one’s nation and culture.  It is proper for us to want descendants and to want for them to identify with our ancestors, so that the family maintains a spiritual as well as biological reality.  A necessary condition for a culture to survive is for it to be established as a way of life for some region.  Otherwise, it is not culture but personal idiosyncrasy.  Thus, to demand that every spot on Earth be multicultural is to demand the extinction of culture itself…I for one see no problem in the preference blacks, hispanics, and Jews have for their own, but I don’t see why white cultures should be regarded any differently.

It is possible, even likely, that whites will be demographically overwhelmed before any Alt Right awakening can make a difference, but this would only mean the triumph of the Alt Right in practice at the same time as its defeat in theory.  The Jews, Negros, Mexicans, Muslims, Indians, and Chinese aren’t going to stop openly pursuing their particular collective self-interests.  The only thing unique about Alt Right whites is our felt need to elevate particular loyalty to a universal principle, meaning that we recognize the propriety of every other group also favoring its own.  The various non-whites have never felt the need for any such reciprocity.  Enjoy your victory, universalists.

Regrettably, the Catholic Church has become an active facilitator of the Muslim invasion.  How far we have fallen from the days when Thomas Aquinas could assert the duty of natural justice to worship one’s ancestors, to the rejection of this duty under Jansenist pressure during the Chinese Rites controversy, to the disastrous condemnation of Action Francaise, to Pius XII’s insane “right” to immigration and the American bishops’ insane condemnation of “racism”.  We may well see a papal condemnation of the Alternative Right, worded so broadly as to impugn all particular loyalties–for the Vatican no longer cares overmuch for precision (especially when there is a Leftist bandwagon it thinks it can join).  It would be like a repeat of the Action Francaise condemnation, but with weaker consequences, because we have so much less left to preserve than early 20th-century France.

Ron Unz proposes a grand bargain on immigration.  He believes the two sides don’t actually have incompatible interests.  One wants to protect existing interests, while the other wants to avoid having its culture swamped by continuing influx.  Thus he proposes amnesty coupled with reduced legal immigration and a minimum wage hike to dis-incentivize future illegal immigration.  In theory, this is a nice, elegant solution.  In practice, restrictionists are right to be wary of bargains, because it always happens that what they sacrifice is easy and irrevocable, while what they gain requires work and is thus contingent on continued political will.  The adjustment to the citizenry and the example set by an amnesty cannot be undone, but stricter immigration limits set this year are very likely to be undone next year, since the pro-immigration side has no incentive to honor its side of the bargain.

Earlier, I proposed a grand bargain of my own.

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…

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.

That’s my idea:  mass immigration plus segregated neighborhoods.  Getting into the nation is easy; getting into a neighborhood is hard.

But don’t we already know that blacks and hispanics won’t accept this, since they wouldn’t accept segregation the last time?  Let us ask, though, why blacks wanted to go to white schools and live in white neighborhoods.  Because they find us so personally charming?  Don’t kid yourselves.  It’s because we were wealthier and had better schools, parks, etc.  Separate does not necessarily mean unequal, but the separation we had back then definitely was unequal.

Suppose we make a real effort to make separate-but-equal work, as strong an effort as we have made trying and failing to make integration work.  Dividing up each city among the different ethnicities is certainly a challenge, but probably less of one than we imagine.  The newspapers often bewail how segregated we really already are at the local level.  Equality can be enforced by massive redistributive taxation, for instance by ensuring that the median redistributed income of every ethnic group is the same.  The more productive races having paid this price, all ethnic neighborhoods would have the right to impose their own culture and feel secure in their legitimacy.

The other side would be to formalize affirmative action for all professions designated as elite or powerful.  For example, let us say that every department at my university should have so many faculty slots for whites, so many for blacks, so many for hispanics.  This would be much less corrupting than the current practice of demanding that every field of study bend its practices to the goal of promoting “diversity”.  Faculty hires within the white section of the chemistry department, say, shall be entirely merit-based.  No need to genuflect to diversity and “sensitivity” in hiring, broader impacts statements, or student socialization.  All that is handled structurally through affirmative action.  By construction, no ethnic group has hegemony, and if some groups publish more, bring in more grant money, and carry larger teaching loads, this isn’t the university’s fault.  The advantages for the uncorrupted pursuit of truth from formalization are so great, I almost don’t care how the ratios of faculty lines are set, how much deadwood has to be carried along.

The grand bargain can be stated this way:  whites make enormous short-term material sacrifices for long-term legitimacy.  Why would we consider doing such a thing?  Because we know that they are ultimately stronger than us.  Stronger because of the non-white races’ stronger faith, their absolute confidence in their own righteousness that we could never match.  If it comes to a race war, they will win, and then they’ll take everything.  Better to offer them a lot now in the hope that they don’t realize their own strength.

10 Responses

  1. Are you depressive, Bonald? Too much winning already?

    More seriously, we can’t make deals because there is no “we”.

  2. It’s because we were wealthier and had better schools, parks, etc. Separate does not necessarily mean unequal, but the separation we had back then definitely was unequal.

    Back in the day, white public schools were good but black public schools sucked. Now they’re integrated, and they all suck.

    “Let he who has eyes, see”

  3. Actually that’s not true. In the rural area where I grew up, we had a decent public school.

    And if you’re wondering if the local black families sent their kids there, the answer is yes, they both did.

  4. Why would we consider doing such a thing? Because we know that they are ultimately stronger than us. Stronger because of the non-white races’ stronger faith, their absolute confidence in their own righteousness that we could never match. If it comes to a race war, they will win, and then they’ll take everything. Better to offer them a lot now in the hope that they don’t realize their own strength.

    I used to think this. That we might lose a race war. But I see now that’s wrong. The whites who know what needs to be done in such a war will do it and will be able to do it and they will kill the whites who don’t/can’t/won’t see what needs to be done.

  5. What is effectively being proposed is the replacement of national borders by local ones. Let us not forget that economy of scale dictates that the latter are going to require far more resources to enforce.

  6. We would like to have both, of course. The advantage of local borders are that the locals are more motivated to defend them than they are to defend national borders while the invaders are less motivated to breach particular localities than they are the national border.

  7. The problem here is that this isn’t a war of Whites vs. Blacks, Hispanics, and Other Minority Identity Groups. It’s a war of Whites vs. Whites, with said minority groups being used as pawns/Stasi to promote the goal of goodwhites, said goal being the utter destruction and extirpation of badwhites.

    Thus, any deal predicated on the idea that this is a White vs. Minority Groups war is doomed to failure. And you can’t make deals with someone whose unalterable goal is your death and the death or conversion of all your children’s children.

  8. One begins to understand Lincoln’s plan to transplant the blacks to Liberia.

    And Scotus’s plan to transplant the Jews to an island?

  9. ^

    That comment (not the original article) is a very good example of typical leftist arguing tactics. Just throw in the something with absolutely no connection to the subject, and act as if it discredits something.

  10. Rhetocrates makes a good point. For all practical purposes, the debate is radical liberal egalitarianism vs. particularism(s) among whites. Minority groups derive their moral and political authority solely from the media/academic/government sphere which highlights and defends their causes. Remove this influence on the anchorless middle (i.e. moderate and apolitical whites) and particularists would find little need to make deals on issues of sovereignty and self-determination.*

    The anti-Trump response from many conservatives highlighted a large gap in how people view politics. Moralism, or perhaps moralistic idealism is the better term, tends to be more prevalent among Europeans than other races and is observed in affluent societies rather than poorer ones. It is ultimately the rejection of the real for the theoretical by people who can afford to do so. Because it prefers the idea of racial harmony to racial conflict, this idealism ignores evidence that shows conflict to be the necessary result of racial diversity and instead blames white particularists solely.

    *This can be done in theory. Blacks vote for Democrats on a scale of 9:1. If Republicans only did as well as 2:1 with white voters, they would have super-majorities in the Federal Government and most state governments as well. The Civil Rights Act and other Marxist non-discrimination laws could be repealed with little resistance.

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