Alexander the great scrappy rebel alliance

August 13, 2017 § 75 Comments

Oz conservative asks why liberals always see themselves as anti-establishment, despite the fact that liberalism has comprehensively dominated politics for centuries.

One reason is that as an incoherent doctrine which (precisely because it is incoherent) reduces the good in politics to will – to whatever any given group of liberals happen to unreflectively want and expect – liberalism necessarily produces opposing factions. Different groups of people want and expect different things. Each faction, understanding itself to be in possession of the authentic implications of political freedom, sees its competitors as subhuman tyrants who must ultimately be either converted or killed.

Tyrants of course are the establishment. If they weren’t the establishment they wouldn’t have the power to be tyrants. Liberals from their own perspective are scrappy rebel underdogs seeking freedom and (concomitantly) equality for the brotherhood of those who are oppressed under the established order. So another reason liberals see themselves as anti-establishment is because they ultimately have to see themselves that way. Liberal governance justifies its own exercise of discriminating authority on the basis that its own governance frees those who would otherwise be oppressed.

And this provides additional insight into the reason why a nice tame liberalism – the sort in which right-liberals or conservatives still believe despite centuries of uninterrupted defeat – is not possible. Liberalism always needs to find new “establishment” tyrants to destroy, or else its very reason for existence disappears.

Endless revolution is always and necessarily baked into the doctrine that pursuit of freedom is what justifies the concrete exercise of authority.

§ 75 Responses to Alexander the great scrappy rebel alliance

  • tz says:

    The left is forever the anti-establishment. God established natural laws for both physics and morals. The foundations are those of the earth.
    Or as Galadriel put it:
    “And now at last it comes. You will give me the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!”

  • Zippy says:

    tz:

    The left is forever the anti-establishment.

    And the right is forever preserving and protecting the leftist triumphs of yesterday.

  • LarryDickson says:

    The left IS the establishment. They are now into forced speech

    https://www.osv.com/OSVNewsweekly/Article/TabId/535/ArtMID/13567/ArticleID/22885/Pro-life-pregnancy-centers-challenge-state-law.aspx

    which is the very essence of Stalinism. And they do this with the collaboration of the corporate right – as Brendan Eich and James Damore found out.

    The pregnancy centers which are forced to do abortion referrals should enclose the notice with the following statement:

    This notice posted under protest
    We are forced to post this by the rapist authorities

    Reasoning: Most of the people who staff these alternative pregnancy centers are women. It is obviously rape to force a woman to have an abortion; it is therefore also rape to force a woman to promote abortion.

    Please let this concept stick like a burr in your mind: RAPIST AUTHORITY. It was always a part of the French Revolution and of Stalinism, and now is law in California and Hawaii.

  • Wood says:

    LarryDickson,

    The left IS the establishment.

    And Beyoncé is currently top of the pop charts instead of Stone Temple Pilots.

  • JustSomeGuy says:

    If you’re a liberal, “the establishment” is anyone who disagrees with you. Because obviously they are the ones preventing the emergence of the free and equal new man (as defined by you). And in order to do so, they must have the power to do so. And in order to have the power to do so, they must already have been established.

  • Josh says:

    One of the most ingenious things about our system is that people will attribute any impediment to getting what they want politically to the mere existence of other factions. After all, democracy somehow magically turns “support” into government action, therefore all government action is the result of the “support” of some group of people. Government action isn’t even the right phrase. There really seems to be an idea that all of reality could be transformed by the collective passive assent of the masses (oddly passive assent publicly expressed is known as “activism”). The mere fact that the social universe has not fallen into line is Ipso facto the result of people using their psychic powers for evil. It’s always a literal witch hunt.

  • “One reason is that as an incoherent doctrine which (precisely because it is incoherent) reduces the good in politics to will….”

    Yes,precisely, preferably “my will,” because there can be no other kind. I live in the midst of liberal utopia, liberals will protest their own selves if necessary. We have members of our very own city government who show up to protest…city government. They will “stick it to the man,” show everyone how awful the establishment is, completely unaware that is actually their day job now. The jack booted thugs are now YOU. You are the establishment. That kind of incoherency will just make you nutty.

  • djz242013 says:

    I think that this point, this crack in the wall of lies liberalism hides behind, is one of the most explosive. If a liberal sees the truth of this point, then he can’t in good conscience remain a liberal, because rebelling against “the man” is the core of the liberal identity. Moldbug was actually the one who pointed this out to me for the first time, with his rhetoric about “Cthulhu always swims left.”

    But that’s only *if* someone can be made to see this. I have tried, in conversation, to point out the overwhelming dominance of liberalism, but am always met with stubborn denial. I’m no great orator, but such an obvious point shouldn’t need great oration. A child can tell you that the sky is blue, why can’t I point out that liberalism has won?

  • Wood says:

    djz242013,

    why can’t I point out that liberalism has won?

    I’m not the greatest orator either. My experience has been that everyone knows that the structures of liberalism are in place (usually meaning the Constitution or some vague notion of “the American way”) but that we Americans just aren’t doing those structures the right way to ensure liberty has been accomplished. Even that mess in Charlottesville was to a large extent people just disagreeing about who gets to be the reason why liberty isn’t currently working. I agree that it’s insane that people really will not believe that they have already won. Total domination. It’s weird to be depressed that people won’t concede victory. But that’s what it is for me.

  • TomD says:

    They can’t have won because the world isn’t perfect.

    That’s literally as simple as it needs to be.

  • “They can’t have won because the world isn’t perfect.”

    Precisely. It is that simple. Crazy, but true.

  • There’s a disorder where you set a building on fire and then rush in to rescue everyone. That image kind of captures the essence of liberalism for me.

    So I empathize with those who are trying to speak reason and logic to people. Given the liberal mindset, that’s not so easy, because what you are actually dealing with is something rooted more in emotionalism and psychology.

  • Zippy says:

    It isn’t just that liberalism makes will the standard.

    It is that liberalism makes will the standard in a non-obvious way which confers an aura of principled moral superiority on each (and every) faction of liberals.

    Liberalism reduces politics (exercise of discriminating authority) to whatever people happen to want and expect, while at the same time presenting the appearance that (a given faction of) liberals are taking a principled political stand in a context of unprincipled tyrants.

  • Liberalism reduces politics (exercise of discriminating authority) to whatever people happen to want and expect, while at the same time presenting the appearance that (a given faction of) liberals are taking a principled political stand in a context of unprincipled tyrants.

    And if anything is to be gleaned from some of the commenters at the recent Dalrock thread, the same is true of “Me and my Bible” doctrine development with regards to moral theology.

  • MK says:

    This is a very enlightening post for me. Thank you.

    Honestly, I find most posts here pretty boring, but this one exposed a major blind spot in my understanding of liberals. I feel like a fool to have not seen it at my age. This is why I keep coming back here, I never know when, after 6 months of yawns, I’m going to get shocked.

    Tell me: is somebody, say, like Rod Dreher leaning “liberal” under your post’s guidelines? I don’t mean to pick on him personally, just his way of thinking, which seems to have some relationship to your post’s point that I can’t quite pin down? I’m just spitballing here, trying to get re-focused on this new idea.

    Clearly authority is a major issue for all modern people, myself included, and I’m troubled by the balance between an authority acting unjustly and one’s proper reaction to it in modern times of liberal ascendancy. I’m an intuitive thinker before I start to apply logic to it so this sort of thing makes my head spin for months until I get it sorted out…

  • Chad says:

    Having met Rod at a conference on his Benedict Option; the man is horribly stuck in right liberal thinking from every conversation I had with him and the talks he gave

  • “Tell me: is somebody, say, like Rod Dreher leaning “liberal” under your post’s guidelines? I don’t mean to pick on him personally, just his way of thinking…”

    Something kind of interesting, a while back Rod Dreher took one of those silly quizes, “how Christian is your worldview” and scored rather low. He blogged about it. I had to go take the same quiz and got 100%. Not bragging here, I’m just saying it helped me to understand why I disliked his book the Benedict Option. Some of it is good, but so much was built on a very liberal foundation.

  • Zippy says:

    MK:

    Don’t feel bad, half the time I bore myself to death. “One thought at a time, but here is how it links to everything else” is endemic not just to the medium but to the way I think.

    Rod Dreher strikes me as rather flighty and hipster, to be bluntly honest. He’s been through at least three different religions that I am aware of, maybe four, but I’m sure he still eats organic granola.

    I don’t know if you saw my “Benedict Arnold Option” post:

    https://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2016/08/31/the-benedict-arnold-option/

  • Wood says:

    Zippy,

    Don’t feel bad, half the time I bore myself to death.

    Prior to your comment I felt like saying, “well, geez, if you’re bored at Zippy’s you gotta be out to pasture.” Ha! Glad I didn’t!

    I must be the biggest lame-o because I check your place out constantly!

  • Off topic, but readership is shared a lot, so worth noting: Dalrock is on fire.

    Comments section is a hoot and a half. The nonsense flows like a faucet.

  • (Whoops, I think I posted something like my last comment twice – sorry, didn’t realize it got caught in the spam filter.)

  • Dalrock is on fire.

    Agreed. He’s being given plenty of material and as per usual, he is not wasting it one bit.

  • Happy to see Toad finally gettig the respect he deserves. He’s been around a long time and as far as I noticed always taken way too seriously. Sometimes it’s just countercultural because it’s dumb.

  • Mike T says:

    Malcolm,

    Toad is one of those commenters who makes the curmudgeon in me able to understand why our ancestors simply prosecuted heretics after a certain point rather than continue to argue with them.

    (I have shocked a few people in church from time to time by telling them that, as an ex-Calvinist, Calvin is one heretic that I would have absolutely cheered the Catholic Church if they had burned him at the stake)

  • Mike T says:

    Zippy,

    Liberalism reduces politics (exercise of discriminating authority) to whatever people happen to want and expect, while at the same time presenting the appearance that (a given faction of) liberals are taking a principled political stand in a context of unprincipled tyrants.

    I think it is a mistake to call it an appearance rather than an actual political principle. It’s just that they are almost invariably wrong that their principles are actually a reflection of reality. If you spend time around libertarians, you’d have to be truly cynical to not think many are deeply principled. It’s just that their principles are more than a little effed in the head and divorced from reality.

  • Mike T says:

    Wood,

    Even that mess in Charlottesville was to a large extent people just disagreeing about who gets to be the reason why liberty isn’t currently working.

    On the surface it may appear to be that way, but white nationalism is itself not a liberal concept. It exists at a level that precedes the level of politics where liberalism can play out because it is focused on defining the polity. Someone like Zippy could just as easily be a white nationalist as someone like Richard Spencer. White nationalism is roughly for us what Zionism is for the Jews.

    In some respects, white nationalism actually makes arguments against liberalism easier because modern, “diverse societies” are forced to be liberal to keep the peace. Prior to that, multi-national states were held together primarily by force not pretty lies and customs.

    If American whites were to reject liberalism categorically, I think you’d see a majority advocating policies that look more like curb-stomping unassimilable minorities than tolerating them.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    I think it is a mistake to call it an appearance rather than an actual political principle.

    It is both, and for all liberals not just the dumbest ones known as libertarians. The devotion to political freedom is sincerely held, but because the principle is self contradictory it reduces politics to will and a priori expectations while maintaining the illusion of being a principle which distinguishes good guys from bad guys. It is an intrinsically unprincipled principle, sincerely held.

    That is why it is always a mistake to see liberal (of whatever faction) devotion to political freedom and equality as inauthentic.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    white nationalism is itself not a liberal concept

    I think it is. The “white race” itself is (literally) a Euromutt melting pot outbred genetic mashup of the original multiethnic liberals; and the darkies are screwing up the white freedom utopia.

  • Wood says:

    Mike T,

    On the surface it may appear to be that way, but white nationalism is itself not a liberal concept.

    I admit I’ve read a fair amount of these particular writers’ work. I’ve been aware of Spencer since at least his Taki days. And I also agree that they can sound so close to repudiating political liberty and equality. But from my reading of them they still wish to retain liberty and equality – within the white race. The thought seems to be that non-whites just can’t be trusted or don’t have the genetic makeup to “handle” liberty. I may be misreading, though, or less familiar than you are with the current thinking.

    Practically, though, I think they are still misguided. Without explicitly repudiating liberalism, their movement is going to spotlight – dramatically – some of the worst aspects of liberalism while allowing everyone else to blame the fallout on some falsely perceived illiberalism.

  • Zippy says:

    Malcolm:

    Sometimes it’s just countercultural because it’s dumb.

    That’s life outside the padded walls.

  • Ian says:

    Forget the ‘white’ part of white nationalism: nationalism all by itself is a liberal concept. It was liberalism’s seminal attack against the Church in its project to dethrone Christianity from its place of primacy in Christendom.

    It’s only because of the progression of liberalism that nationalism is now perceived as an illiberal phenomenon.

  • Ian says:

    Wood,

    I’ve been aware of Spencer since at least his Taki days. And I also agree that they can sound so close to repudiating political liberty and equality. But from my reading of them they still wish to retain liberty and equality – within the white race.

    Regardless of whether Spencer ends up ever repudiating political liberty and equality, as long as he considers race to be the foundation or final standard of society, his ideology is fundamentally modernist and therefore worse than useless.

  • Mike T says:

    The “white race” itself is (literally) a Euromutt melting pot outbred genetic mashup of the original multiethnic liberals; and the darkies are screwing up the white freedom utopia.

    White nationalism is only a “thing” inside the US because even the majority of white nationalists haven’t been able to bring themselves to see the truth about what the United States of America actually is:

    1. It is a nation state.
    2. The majority of whites who adhere to the dominant culture are the primary nation in that “nation state” just like the French are the primary nation in the French Republic (which is, like us, a multi-national state composed of millions of non-French such as Basque, Corsicans and Bretons)
    3. Anyone who is born outside of that nation is an American citizen, but not an “American” in the same sense that you or I could become French citizens, but never will ourselves to be actually French by blood and ethnicity (or habits alone would never be more than an approximation of theirs).
    4. Blacks as a group are a difficult, unique edge case because they both are and aren’t related to us because of centuries of sexual abuse during slavery and the fact that their participation in our society is as old as that of almost any white lineage born here.

  • Wood says:

    Ian,

    I certainly agree that repudiating liberalism doesn’t mean all other beliefs are suddenly moral and good. There will be a lot of work disentangling ourselves from all the other non-political modernisms. I just meant that in this particular aspect of wicked modernism – political liberalism – the first order of business is to reject liberalism.

  • Mike T says:

    Ian,

    as long as he considers race to be the foundation or final standard of society, his ideology is fundamentally modernist and therefore worse than useless.

    The idea that race is not part of what defines a nation is itself a modern concept. The fact that Spencer may put too much importance on it does not mean that he is wrong to make it a pillar of what defines a nation. Take 1k white men and indoctrinate them into the ways of the Zulus and send them off with white wives to live among them in Africa. 4 generations of not marrying into and breeding into the Zulu nation they’ll still just be foreign white guys who can put on a good show WRT the culture aspect.

  • Zippy says:

    Ian:

    Exactly. In reaction against modern liberalism’s “race must be made not to matter, therefore oppressor races must be destroyed” the modern racialists put race on a pedestal, as one of the most important things ever. Even if commitment to political liberty were entirely purged from this idea (keep in mind that even the Nazis were absolutely committed to “authentic” freedom and equality among the herrenvolk), it would still be a radically distorted picture of reality. I have a lot more in common with black middle class Catholics than I do with Spencer.

  • buckyinky says:

    @Zippy

    The “white race” itself is (literally) a Euromutt melting pot outbred genetic mashup of the original multiethnic liberals; and the darkies are screwing up the white freedom utopia.

    I don’t put up any disagreement to this, but at the same time have trouble processing it. I’m in the same boat as MK as he mentioned above about being something of an intuitive thinking at the outset with logic, category, organization following. At the moment I am stuck between seeing the only options as “white nationalism” or “death to all ethnos” while at the same time knowing that this is a false dichotomy.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    The idea that race is not part of what defines a nation is itself a modern concept.

    Modern people are always trying to treat outputs as inputs, to treat natural emergent properties as controllable parameters, to treat accidents as essence. Racial commonalities are a natural emergent result of common peoples, of a kingdom if you will — because people marry their neighbors. But this is mostly accidental to what makes it that kingdom in the first place.

    In medieval Europe commoners across different kingdoms had greater genetic similarity to each other than to their own aristocrats, if I am not mistaken.

    Making race into everything, as a reaction against the ascendant liberal faction’s attempt to reduce it to nothing, is just a basic mistake.

  • Mike T says:

    Making race into everything, as a reaction against the ascendant liberal faction’s attempt to reduce it to nothing, is just a basic mistake.

    Yes, it is, but take your own example about the aristocrats and commoners. One implication of that is that importing a million Indians into Poland would have the impact of importing people who are simply not, in any significant sense, related to the commoners. Even if they learned Polish, it would stick out obviously that these are simply “Indians that speak Polish.” Even after 5 generations of not marrying into the native white population, they’d still factually be just “Indians who speak Polish” because they would exist as a distinctly different group within the kingdom.

    Modern people are always trying to treat outputs as inputs

    And your own take here stops short of presenting causality as the unfathomably complex graph of events that it actually is. One could also point out that why do people congregate together in the first place to make that community possible? Because our neighbor passes the “duck test” which is how cause leads to effect, which reinforces the cause which then raises effect that reinforces the cause down the graph of causality.

  • Zippy says:

    buckyinky:

    At the moment I am stuck between seeing the only options as “white nationalism” or “death to all ethnos” while at the same time knowing that this is a false dichotomy.

    I’m not much of a joiner, so I don’t really view things through a lens of “options” — of what kinds of political organizations with which I could conceivably become involved.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    One implication of that is that importing a million Indians into Poland would have the impact of importing people who are simply not, in any significant sense, related to the commoners.

    I don’t take anyone in this discussion to be advocating mass immigration, so that seems like a change of subject. You don’t have to be a modern racialist to think that massive dislocation and disruption of human societies isn’t conducive to the common good.

    In general there are many more ways to get things wrong than there are to get them right, etc.

    You started this line of discussion with your contention that racialism of the Charlottesville variety isn’t liberal. I think it is, and pretty obviously so, and that even if (per impossible) it managed to purge itself of liberalism it would still be based on a badly distorted picture of reality.

  • buckyinky says:

    Zippy:

    I’m not much of a joiner, so I don’t really view things through a lens of “options” — of what kinds of political organizations with which I could conceivably become involved.

    I meant “options” as which way to think about these things rather than the joining of a political organization. Right now the only options I can define very well is to think as the WN’s do or to think as the “all borders are evil” crowd do. If I’m called to speak intelligibly about a position that isn’t lockstep with one or the other I find myself lacking in terms, even though such a position is in fact where I am.

  • Mike T says:

    Zippy,

    My contention was actually that white nationalism is conceptually not tied to liberalism. One of the problems with Charlottesville is that there were bona fide Nazis actually there trying to “unite with the Right.” Nazis are certainly a flavor of liberal, and their fellow travelers are at least infected with liberalism to some extent.

    However, in general, white nationalism is simply not tied to liberalism at the theoretical level. It’s at the practical level where it is, but then Catholicism is often tied at the practical level as well because of individual commitments to both.

    You once pointed out to a commenter that the habit of immediately saying “well what about the men” whenever someone discusses female failings has the effect of “sucking the oxygen out of the room.” I think a similar effect is happening here as well. The incessant need by tradcons to shout “but race isn’t that important” is roughly equivalent because our society is already convinced that race isn’t important at all, just like our society is generally convinced that female bad behavior is really not an issue to ever discuss openly.

    So in a lot of cases no matter how true it might be, it does have the effect of reinforcing the dominant pretty lie about race because it isn’t forcefully asserting that race has a serious place, but is not the keystone.

  • Mike T says:

    Right now the only options I can define very well is to think as the WN’s do or to think as the “all borders are evil” crowd do.

    You have more options than that. One of them is to acknowledge where you see the WNs being correct and then consciously reject the rest. That is what I try to do anyway.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    However, in general, white nationalism is simply not tied to liberalism at the theoretical level.

    You’ve asserted that, but you haven’t dealt with the arguments against it.

    The incessant need by tradcons to shout “but race isn’t that important” is roughly equivalent …

    Race in fact isn’t as important as the WNs think it is.

    Rejecting your incessant need to talk endlessly about abuse of authority in each and every discussion of authority is consistent with rejecting the need to talk endlessly about the reality of race in any discussion of politics that touches on race. I agree that race is real and has real implications, just as I agree that authority is often abused.

    It is precisely the monomaniacal exaggeration of those points, points with which I agree in their non-monomaniacal form, that sucks up all the oxygen in the room and makes it impossible to have a sane on-point discussion.

    One of them is to acknowledge where you see the WNs being correct …

    … which basically begins and ends with rejecting the rival SJW liberal view of race, which I already reject without any help from WN’s.

  • Zippy says:

    buckyinky:

    Right now the only options I can define very well is to think as the WN’s do or to think as the “all borders are evil” crowd do.

    Borders and immigration are one subject, and race among long-established Americans who have been here for generations is another. Maybe keeping those separate can at least help with mental clarity.

  • Ian says:

    Mike T.

    The idea that race is not part of what defines a nation is itself a modern concept. The fact that Spencer may put too much importance on it does not mean that he is wrong to make it a pillar of what defines a nation.

    Defines a nation? I don’t know. A nation is simply a particular authority to which its subjects owe loyalty and obedience. Race doesn’t factor into whether or not we are subject to a particular national authority.

    I don’t deny that race is important. But that part of the alt-right centered around Spencer is explicit that race is the foundation of society, not simply one (subordinate) aspect of society.

    I’ll also note that some of the early 20th century racialist thinkers were very aware and rather explicit that their advocacy of race as the basis of society was a novel, modern concept rather than some ancient ideal they were trying to restore. For example, Madison Grant in The Passing of the Great Race (1916) frankly acknowledges that the ancients did not regard race as particularly important to their conception of society, and he is critical of them for that. But he thinks that now because we have Science! ™ we can move beyond the benighted errors of those backwards, ignorant ancients and continue onwards and upwards along the trajectory of the ever-progressing progress of mankind.

    Somehow, this history has gotten memory-holed and so the denizens of the alt-right think that their conception of the all-importance of race is one of the eternal verities, indeed the eternal verity: the Key to History, the One Grand Unifying Principle, the Standard by which all other standards are judged, and that until say, Franz Boas, this must have been how people have always conceived it.

  • Ian says:

    Zippy,

    I have a lot more in common with black middle class Catholics than I do with Spencer.

    Right, I have a difficult time understanding practicing white Catholics or other Christians (people who will insist Christianity is ultimately more important than race) who feel more solidarity with Spencer than they do with their co-religionists. I suppose Bonald is right that how people identify and group themselves is a ‘pre-moral’ fact.

  • Ian says:

    Mike T,

    You once pointed out to a commenter that the habit of immediately saying “well what about the men” whenever someone discusses female failings has the effect of “sucking the oxygen out of the room.” I think a similar effect is happening here as well. The incessant need by tradcons to shout “but race isn’t that important” is roughly equivalent because our society is already convinced that race isn’t important at all, just like our society is generally convinced that female bad behavior is really not an issue to ever discuss openly.

    The problem with this analogy is that the alt-righters are not simply saying that race is important, they are saying race is the foundation of society – that’s what the tradcons are attacking. Unlike the person discussing female failings who is saying something true, the alt-righters are saying something false at a fundamental level.

  • TomD says:

    It’s pretty clear to me that WNs are just liberals who think that they’ve found the reason why liberalism isn’t working – and it’s the darkies.

  • Mike T says:

    A nation is simply a particular authority to which its subjects owe loyalty and obedience.

    That’s a country, not a nation. A nation is our best word for the Greek concept of an ethnos which is a body of people united by blood and culture.

    The problem with this analogy is that the alt-righters are not simply saying that race is important, they are saying race is the foundation of society – that’s what the tradcons are attacking. Unlike the person discussing female failings who is saying something true, the alt-righters are saying something false at a fundamental level.

    What most alt-righters are saying is that traditional norms of what constitutes a nation should be the fundamental foundation of a society. Race is a key part of that.

    Right, I have a difficult time understanding practicing white Catholics or other Christians (people who will insist Christianity is ultimately more important than race) who feel more solidarity with Spencer than they do with their co-religionists.

    Religion is only one major data point of common ground. Even there it can be overcome by others’ behavior. For example, the SBC resolution on the alt-right was supposed to be a move of solidarity, but it was transparently a one-sided condemnation meant to appease the black minority in the SBC while avoiding the uncomfortable question of why there was a, well, monomaniacal focus on white people and not sin in the whole body.

  • Mike T says:

    FWIW this is spiraling off topic, so we should turn the steering wheel in the other direction.

  • Ian says:

    Mike T.,

    FWIW this is spiraling off topic, so we should turn the steering wheel in the other direction.

    Way to let yourself get the last word :).

  • Zippy says:

    White Nationalists aren’t British Nationalists or French Nationalists or even American Nationalists. So it is pretty obvious that there is some category confusion going on, whatever the various words connote. There is not and has never been a “White Nation” in the same sense as the French Nation.

  • Patrick says:

    I think race is just a useful term that everyone understands, a very blunt tool.

    In my experience I have more in common with white supremacists than with middle class blacks in terms of daily living. It’s cultural though. It doesn’t seem to matter in terms of hanging out skateboarding that they support Hitler in theory while the group of blacks 30 yards away are blasting music not everyone else wants to listen to, even though they’re decent people just living life. That’s very annoying. Richard Spencers almost certainly wouldnt do that.

  • MK says:

    Chad: thanks. Agreed.
    Zip: Agree. I did see your BA post but didn’t move my needle (note I’m with my bishop on the moral import to vote, so that was a distraction).

    [Rod’s] been through 3 different religions…but I’m sure he still eats organic granola.

    Ouch. That shiv is so good it’s almost needs to be engraved in stone. One hell of a tombstone for Rod.

  • Mike T says:

    Way to let yourself get the last word :).

    Or maybe I was just letting everyone else have a last word… 😛

  • Zippy says:

    As an aside, the word “nation” to me connotes a formal structure of governance; while the word “country” connotes a community with shared history, geography, and culture.

  • Mike T says:

    White Nationalists aren’t British Nationalists or French Nationalists or even American Nationalists. There is not and has never been a “White Nation” in the same sense as the French Nation.

    We’ve been over this enough in the past that I think you’re just now substituting your own definition and arguments for those of the majority of WNs.

  • Zippy says:

    Patrick:

    In my experience I have more in common with white supremacists than with middle class blacks in terms of daily living.

    I did say middle class black Catholics, though one could probably include other ‘high church’ denominations without breaking the assertion. The point was quite precisely that devout sacramental religion is a far better predictor of who I do and don’t especially get along with than race.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    We’ve been over this enough in the past that I think you’re just now substituting your own definition and arguments for those of the majority of WNs.

    Or maybe as a non-sacramental protestant the religious anchor of our experience is a foreign country to you, leaving you with the impression that a mini mall in Tulsa is just like the Piazza Navona.

  • Patrick says:

    “The point was quite precisely that devout sacramental religion is a far better predictor of who I do and don’t especially get along with than race.”

    I couldn’t say for myself. All the high-church people I know are white.

  • Zippy says:

    Patrick:

    The difference in experience doubtless explains at least in part the difference in perspective.

  • Patrick says:

    Actually I forgot about my baptismal sponsor who was a big part in me becoming catholic. Hes a dark skin mexican. I get along pretty well with him but thats probably because hes a low class lazy mexican stereotype, not because he’s trad. I don’t get along especially well myself with high-church types now that I think of it.

  • Mike T says:

    though one could probably include other ‘high church’ denominations without breaking the assertion.

    Excluding the Lutherans and Episcopalians, that’s probably true. In practice, you’d probably have as much in common with the average liberal Episcopalian as you’d have with a Hindu.

  • Zippy says:

    Patrick:

    I get along pretty well with him but thats probably because hes a low class lazy mexican stereotype, not because he’s trad.

    Well, there are different senses of “getting along with”. I avoid political agitators of any stripe so the idea of being stuck in a room with a group
    of WN’s is about as appealing to me as the idea of being stuck in a room with GLBTQSFRGHJSUIAUI digestive tract sex advocates.

  • King Richard says:

    The nightmare of parsing apart the ‘nation/state/country/people’ mess might never end. Are the Roma a people? Yes.Are Catholic Roma and atheist Roma the same people? Are all Roma a nation? A country? etc.
    FWIW in the circles I move in in Real Life we often discuss how as a community we feel more in common with other Latin mass Catholics that are otherwise seemingly very different than with neighbors that seem very similar but are, say, secular humanists.
    A similar theme is common when I interact with people as a theologian: at various times I have discussed with devout Jews, Muslims, and Hindus how the devoutly religious of different faiths seem to be able to interact with each other in a more “comfortable” way than with atheists or the non-religious.
    Prince Jonathan refers to it as ‘same planet, different worlds’ from the Far Side comic with the same theme.

  • Aethelfrith says:

    One thing that fatally wounds Vox Day’s position that Americans are a “blood and soil” nation rather than a proposition nation is the fact that if the Americans valued their Englishness so much, why would they have rebelled against the English crown?

    As a nonwhite, I agree with the concept that Americannes boils down to being a white English speaker born in the United States. However, that doesn’t necessarily contradict the idea that America is a nation built on the proposition that Enlightenment values are the name of the game.

  • TomD says:

    America is a nation built on Enlightenment values; and the only reason it’s survived as long as it has is that the majority of the people made the same unprincipled exceptions – and that’s now falling apart more obviously than before.

  • Zippy says:

    TomD:

    … and the only reason it’s survived as long as it has is that the majority of the people made the same unprincipled exceptions – and that’s now falling apart more obviously than before.

    Precisely.

  • Aidan C. says:

    “As a nonwhite, I agree with the concept that Americanness boils down to being a white English speaker born in the United States.”

    Why a *white* English speaker born in the US?

    I would dispute the idea that Americans are, collectively, a “nation” in the sense of a distinct group with common history, language, and culture. We are definitely a *country*, bound by citizenship, allegiance to our rulers, and (at least ostensibly) the common good of the realm. But there are many different ethnoi within our borders, and no one of them has a claim on “Americanness”, anymore than one of the several groups residing within 14th century France had a unique claim to “Frankishness”.

  • pilgrim says:

    As an aside, the word “nation” to me connotes a formal structure of governance; while the word “country” connotes a community with shared history, geography, and culture.

    I suppose maybe I always got this wrong, but to me “nation” always meant “the people” insofar as they have a common base that makes them “a” people instead of just people who happen to live near one another. This has usually meant ties of blood and birth first, and worshiping the same god(s). The Greeks considered themselves a single hellenic nation even though they had completely independent governments, didn’t they?.

    I would agree that “country” connotes a community with shared geography, history, and culture. Shared geography is in there.

  • Zippy says:

    pilgrim:

    I suppose maybe I always got this wrong, …

    It is more likely that the connotations in my head are in the minority. It is probably a product of growing up American and listening to things like the Gettysburg address.

  • @Zippy

    Is Briggs’ book well written or at least readable? I’ve found even his academic articles to be insufferably difficult to read.

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