Wednesday, August 09, 2017

The Establishment Defeated the Black Panthers - Can It Defeat The Alt-Right?

breitbart |  To young people and the politically disengaged, debate in the public square today appears topsy-turvy. The regressive Left loudly insists that it stands for equality and racial justice while praising acts of racial violence and forcing white people to sit at the back of the bus (or, more accurately, the back of the campus — or in another campus altogether). It defends absurd feminist positions with no basis in fact and ridicules and demeans people on the basis of their skin colour, sexual orientation and gender.
Meanwhile, the alt-right openly crack jokes about the Holocaust, loudly — albeit almost entirely satirically — expresses its horror at “race-mixing,” and denounces the “degeneracy” of homosexuals… while inviting Jewish gays and mixed-race Breitbart reporters to their secret dinner parties. What gives?
If you’re this far down the article, you’ll know some of the answers already. For the meme brigade, it’s just about having fun. They have no real problem with race-mixing, homosexuality, or even diverse societies: it’s just fun to watch the mayhem and outrage that erupts when those secular shibboleths are openly mocked. These younger mischief-makers instinctively understand who the authoritarians are and why and how to poke fun at them.
The intellectuals are animated by a similar thrill: after being taken for granted for centuries, they’re the ones who get to pick apart some of the Enlightenment’s dead dogmas. The 1488ers just hate everyone; fortunately they keep mostly to themselves.
The really interesting members of the alt-right though, and the most numerous, are the natural conservatives. They are perhaps psychologically inclined to be unsettled by threats to western culture from mass immigration and maybe by non-straight relationships. Yet, unlike the 1488ers, the presence of such doesn’t send them into fits of rage. They want to build their homogeneous communities, sure — but they don’t want to commit any pogroms along the way. Indeed, they would prefer non-violent solutions.
They’re also aware that there are millions of people who don’t share their inclinations. These are the instinctive liberals, the second half of Haidt’s psychological map of western polities — the people who are comfortable with diversity, promiscuity, homosexuality, and all other features of the cultural consensus.
Natural conservatives know that a zero-sum battle with this group would end in stalemate or defeat. Their goal is a new consensus, where liberals compromise or at least allow conservative areas of their countries to reject the status quo on race, immigration and gender. Others, especially neoreactionaries, seek exit: a peaceful separation from liberal cultures.
Should the liberal tribe (and let’s not deny it any longer – that’s both the Democratic and GOP Establishments these days) do business with them? Well, the risk otherwise is that the 1488ers start persuading people that their solution to natural conservatives’ problems is the only viable one. The bulk of their demands, after all, are not so audacious: they want their own communities, populated by their own people, and governed by their own values.
In short, they want what every people fighting for self-determination in history have ever wanted, and what progressives are always telling us people should be allowed — unless those people are white. This hypocrisy is what has led so many Trump voters — groups who have in many cases not voted since the 1970s or 80s — to come out of the woodwork and stand up for their values and culture.
The Establishment need to read their Haidt and realise that this group isn’t going away. There will be no “progress” that erases the natural affinities of conservatives. We can no longer pretend that divides over free trade and the minutiae of healthcare reform really represent both sides of the political spectrum in America. The alt-right is here, and here to stay.