Revolution Betrayed

It’s my claim that there is a through-line from pre-Revolutionary aristocratic ideals, to Modern Conservatism and Fascism. Both are essentially Patriarchal and Anti-Liberal. Both are rooted first and foremost in force; they involve not the “rule of law” but rule BY law, i.e. using the forms of law to legitimate power for its own sake. As they are rooted first and foremost in force, martial values are at the core of the ideology. It is a very “molon labe” worldview. It is also very aristocratic (as I alluded) because it involves a strong espirit de corps amongst the group that asserts privilege for itself. For the post-Revolutionary era of mass-politics, this privileged class is democratized, broadened out to include an ethnicity or a national grouping instead of a tiny elite at the top. It is quite literally a Spartan-worldview.

The Conservative worldview, again, is rooted in Patriarchal values. And those values persist into our own time, because in many ways they are highly practical - Patriarchy after all was the only game in town for the political economy of pre-Industrial society; civilization was centered mostly on zero-sum competition over land. Order, not freedom or equality, was the cardinal value. Naturally, order maintains its pre-eminent importance; and in the name of order, Patriarchal values still resonate.

I agree that the greatest value of Conservatism today consists in the tradition as a source of individual, moral direction. The great majority of the moral values we hold today, have their roots in the Great Traditions of Patriarchal society. But the attempt to translate these values into a formally political program, is where things go wrong for us. Jordan Peterson is a great personal mentor; but give that man real political power, and he will become a Grand Inquisitor, and right quick.

You’re operating with the standard North American taxonomy of “conservative”; but my whole point with this post is that that taxonomy has been confused, from the very start. It does not explain the existence of populism as an Anti-Liberal force. Fascism is taken to be some weird aberration of Liberal-Nationalism, when instead it has to be understood as a feature, not a bug, of politics in post-Revolutionary (both French and Industrial) mass-society. From your description of your views I would say it’s obvious that you are a Right-Liberal, not a Conservative or Fascist.

Unfortunately, Right-liberals do tend to enter into coalition with Conservatives, just because they can find common cause against Left-liberals and their egalitarian values. This is not the end of the world, so long as the Right-liberals always take the lead in that coalition. When the Fascists get the upper hand, Liberal democracy is in trouble.

I have neglected, I admit, Left-wing Authoritarianism. By my analysis, it is really the pre-Modern, Patriarchal impulse to dominate, just under another guise. Again, you have the aristocratic ethos at work, the insistence on the fundamental equality of the relevant members of society. And in the name of an absolute equality, a clique emerges to lead that society (really as a matter of practical necessity) and then transforms itself into a ruling class. This class, aggrandizing for themselves the role of custodian of the egalitarian ethos (by which “no one is oppressed any longer”), then proceeds to viciously oppress any who resist THEM. This ethos is intensely Anti-Liberal, and can become Totalitarian just as the Fascists can. But historical experience suggests that societies that are already Liberal democracies, are much more susceptible of succumbing to Fascism than they are to Leftwing Authoritarianism. It is poor countries that are attempting to modernize, that are more likely to go the route of Communism.

So, while I agree that we in the West have our own fundamentalist egalitarians (the Church of the Woke), their influence is much more likely to be cultural than political. American Fascism, in contrast, has already attained political power at the highest levels (complete with a cult of personality).

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Actually I should not say that White-Identity is the “original” identity politics. All politics is identity-politics, in the end. We certainly say that in China for example, Han-identity is the original identity-politics.

The Liberal tradition (in the sense that I have been using the term) is distinctive in that it at least attempts to base society on a methodological individualism, instead of thymos.

When the dominant ethnicity is in firm control, its self-image is obviously that of Master (see “The White Man’s Burden,” “Manifest Destiny,” etc.) not victim. The Postcolonial worldview of the 20th century has lent the tools of asymmetric political resistance to groupings that are/were oppressed and marginalized by Western imperial power; and hence for many in the erstwhile (and in many way, still) dominant class, “identity politics” is identified as the politics of the oppressed. But the politics of identity is hardly confined to them.

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There is. There is also a continuity between the racist southern democrats and today’s woke democrats even tho the policies have turned 180. There is the same continuity between the GOP of 40 years ago which was business centered to the GOP of today which is white-populist. The two parties have swapped their bases. Still, we call the Rats ‘left’ and we call the GOP ‘right’ due to the through-line.

It seems to me that power is almost always obtained so that it can be used for material advantage. Mind, there are those sickos throughout history who really do want power just for the sake of having power (Stalin?) but they are as likely to be lefties as righties. Possibly more likely to be lefties.

At the totalitarian extreme, all politics is rooted in force. Hitler, Stalin, Franco, Kim, Maduro … is there any particular reason to call these folks conservative?

Sure. Nazism typifies that. One could usefully identify that sort of thinking with fascism but again one can be conservative and quite detest fascism.

Spartans were Nazis, no? But women could own property there, but not in Athens. I think you use too broad a brush and lay on the paint too thick. With respect, I think you’re the sort of person who thinks labels change things and solve problems. I think things change labels rather than labels changing things.

If by ‘patriarchal’ you mean ‘traditional’ then sure. Conservatives are suspicious of social engineering experiments and tend to like things the way they are. By definition.

And with any luck they might yet be restored!

Sorry but surely every last one of us wants a politics that reflects our values? What other politics can there be? As I say, the salient question is whether we’ll have a political culture of mutual respect, or one of total victory over The Enemy.

I profoundly disagree. The man is a liberal to his bones. What makes you fear him?

Exactly so. I use the word in the traditional way.

All political taxonomies have been confused from the very start. Socialism morphed into Stalinism in a matter of a few years, but the labels were retained.

When people are scared and/or hungry they get very nasty and start looking for a ‘savior’. Lenin, Castro, Trump, Orban. Left or right as the case may be.

I have a profoundly conservative frame of mind, but I have socialist ‘dreams’. I can read the socialist, liberal or conservative Just-so stories and like them all. I distrust all totalitarians. Democracy is the worst form of government in the world … except for all the alternatives. I respect my opponents.

Yes. And when the wokies get the upper hand on the Left, democracy is likewise in trouble if only because it will spark the sort of thing we see – the populist/Trumpist horror rising in response.

Why should today be different? There is always someone angling for power, no? The threat can come from any direction.

Sure. The people currently doing most of that are the wokies. They get you fired for not bowing to their doctrines. I can only dread what the world would look like if they had total control.

That’s the way it went in the 20th. Russia and China of course went the other way, but they were not democracies, so I think you are correct. But here and now, we have the wokies trying to trash civilization (I put that the way a conservative would!) – and the alternative is Trump! We need a deus ex machina very baddly.

AOC would disagree. The country turned to a nice, mildly corrupt old moderate for relief from extremism only to have him capitulate to the most extreme wokies in his party. Joe, howcouldya?

I respect the depth of your thinking Delenda.

Absolutely. Warts and all, liberal society has as it’s ideal that all men are created equal. Thus, warts and all, whitey has historically had the most open societies and the most liberal immigration. And he has spent the last 60 years flagellating himself for his sins of Racism and Sexism and all the other isms. Whitey loves to hate himself, it makes him feel virtuous.

Exactly. Best to leave the term where is naturally belongs. Mind … we do see a genuine case of Identity in the case of the Deplorable whites who turned to Trump.

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Comparing “American Fascism” (by which I take it you mean Trump) to actual Fascism is, to my mind, a gross exaggeration and rather insulting to those who lived under actual Fascism. And you’ve take some fairly strenuous (and to me unconvincing) semantic pains to differentiate Left-Wing Authoritarianism from Fascism, both of which end in totalitarianism ie. lower-case fascism. For me its just the same shit under a different name.

And this is a bit laughable:

The woke currently have dictatorial control over practically all the forms of communication which reach the masses (MSM, social media, the universities, etc) and now also the Capitalist establishment (see Disney). And they are most certainly increasingly in control in politics. Was there not just a proposed SCJ who was unable to define what a women was for fear of misspeaking in front of her woke overlords?? Trumpism hasn’t half the power that Wokeism has (first and foremost because Trumpism isn’t an ideology). Wokeism is an ideology which is convinced of its own absolute truth, and ideologies that are covinced of their own absolute truth always end up killing. History has proven that. So you should probably rather worry about Fascism coming from a different direction than the one you seem to think it will come from.

Regarding Modern Conservativism, you say it is the direct descendent of the pre-revolution aristocracy but somehow link this to Trump-followers who are the least aristocratic I think the right has probably ever been. Then, however, you claim that this patriarchal power of the aristocratic clique has now been expanded to include a much larger group, somehow possibly on an ethnic basis?? Are you trying to say that dirt-poor Trump-votin’ Appalachian white trash are now some kind of nobility??

I’m sure I am mistaken but it almost seems like you are, in an extremely roundabout and rather tenuous way, trying to link being a “Modern Conservative” with being a racist… or at best a power-obsessed patriarch…

I see no incongruency with being a Right-Liberal (as you call them) and a Conservative at the same time. I believe in the absolute moral equality of all human beings and that freedom in general should be everyone’s right, but I also believe in the conservation of the best of the knowledge, traditions, systems of morality from the past thousands of years of human civilization, which is what I consider being a Conservative means…

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You can’t have liberty, equality or freedom without social order. Certainly not in the modern world. Whether you impose it through autocratic, democratic or theocratic means, it is the foundation of all nation states. That’s why it was and remains at the top. If that’s patriarchal in character, oh well. There just has to be some level of confidence in physical safety at a deep psychological level for all members of society for you to even start thinking intelligently about things like what sorts of rights should people have, what they look like and who should have them. So it can’t just be chalked up to simple power dynamics like the postmodernists seem to argue. If you disagree that order is a predicate, I would challenge you to name an quasi-anarchical state that has succeeded?

This I actually agree with. Most of his stuff isn’t directly scalable. He works more at the level of changing one’s mindset (an intensely introspective task). And (good) policy has to do broad cost/benefit analysis and balance competing interests. I don’t view JP quite that darkly because motives matter, and he has some good ones. But he has some quirks as well.

I actually don’t think many intellectuals at all are temperamentally suited to hold political power.

Appreciate the Grand Inquisitor reference! I think Peterson would as well.

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Insulting to the Fascists. Both Mussolini and Hitler ran competent administrations that worked economic miracles. They were not adulated for no reason. One could wish for fascism that doesn’t end it war, but it always does.

That’s the thing. Labels don’t change reality.

Well said all.

Touche.

And JP is the first to admit that. He isn’t a politician and never will be.

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My point is that we have been not understanding Fascism correctly. Fascism is the natural counterpart to Liberal democracy in the post-Revolutionary age of mass politics. It is the natural counterpart, because it is popular. We are a primate-species and we have an instinctive attraction to dominance-hierarchies; the Liberal ethos represents a historically rather recent attempt to push back on these instincts (or, to leverage other instincts, like our natural tendency to recognize inequitable treatment and to engage in altruistic punishment), to create a different, post-Patriarchal, model of society.

Fascism, like Liberal democracy, is highly marked by civilizational and ethnic factors. Democracy in Japan is different from democracy India, which is different from democracy in France. Likewise Fascism is colored by the cultural matrix of the people in whose state it emerges. When Fascism comes to America, it’s going to look like Donald Trump, not Adolph Hitler. Fascism, again, is a popular form of authoritarianism. Though it has to be said, as Authoritarian (and particularly as it is prone to a cult of personality), Fascism does have a standing temptation to go in a Totalitarian direction. Anyway, people who are inclined to Fascism really ought to own it, than pretend that they prefer the Open Society.

And this is the standard type of gaslighting abuse of language that you get, from Conservatives/Fascists today. Straight projection, as an integral part of the Orwellian Big Lie, is part of Fascism’s modus.

I refer to the “Woke Church” because it much more reflects an organic moral revolution in society, than any kind of actual top-down political force. John McWhorter has made a pretty incisive analysis of the Woke-worldview along these lines, viz. Anti-Racism as effectively a new religion. You may feel oppressed by the cultural power of the ideas of The Great Awokening, but that power is being expressed simply through the 1A rights of your fellow citizens, not any arbitrary, unaccountable political power. You find yourself in the position much like a 4th century Roman pagan, who could see the rising power (cultural, religious, economic) of Christians all around him, and knew that the world familiar to him was slipping away in the midst of a bottom-up moral revolution.

Yeah well, I can understand your paranoia, but there is no rational basis for it. Wokists are not in real political power, and are not likely to be, for the foreseeable future. I am much more concerned with the Fascists’ efforts to overturn elections and seize power, attempts at which we have already seen.

I don’t think you have understood my point. The pre-Modern, aristocratic ethos of the classic Patriarchy was intent, obviously, on maintaining their class superiority over the vast majority of society, as well as on preventing one among their number of dominating them. For this, they had to have a highly inclusive espirit de corps upholding their natural equality with one another. Chivalric codes and the culture of Honor was an integral part of this Patriarchal ethos.

In the post-Revolutionary period, this ethos is democratized. The conceit is built up, that the privileged class constitutes an entire ethnic or national grouping, which while it (may well) feature class-differences, the relevant political distinction now is between the privileged group and out-groups. The values of ethnic solidarity are easily strong enough to overcome class-tensions in the group. That is why the Slaver’s regime of the Old South (an Honor-culture where tales of chivalry were very popular, no surprise) is the Conservative (Anti-Liberal) society par excellence. And there is a pretty direct through-line, from the Antebellum South, to Trumpism, today.

That is very much what I am saying. “Molon labe” is their worldview. The Spartans, after all, were the very essence of the Patriarchal, Anti-Liberal, Conservative society.

If the shoe fits - then wear it. Trump is a vile racist, that is simply indisputable. His voters share his worldview.

America is a Liberal place, founded on (capital-L) Liberal ideals; Conservatism has, in the abstract, always been a very odd fit, here. But in the concrete, an American style of illiberalism is quite natural (this is one of the key assertions of the 1619 project). From the Puritans, to the seizure of native land, to the building-up of the colonial economy with unfree labor as an integral building-block, the Patriarchal value of Might makes Right is at the heart of our origin-story.

With the Revolution, however, we articulated explicitly egalitarian ideals as the basis of a new social contract. This was an equality directly predicated on a methodological individualism, as opposed to the equality of aristocratic solidarity. When you say you believe in believe in “the absolute moral equality of all human beings,” that makes you a Right-liberal, not a Conservative or Fascist. I’d say your worldview is close to that of the Founders, who consulted perennial wisdom not as a guide to government, but instead as guides to individual moral formation, on the idea that freedom (individual and political) begins with self-control.

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Is it ever anything but?

And that’s the standard attempt to use personal insult to avoid facing the fact that was Leopoldo said is undeniably correct. The exceptions prove the rule – Fox for example is notably the only part of the MSM that is not woke.

The woke ascendancy is not bottom up tho, the activists are 8% of the population. It is accomplished by very clever usage of the moral leavers by which whitey can be made to do whatever you tell him to do. Just convince whitey that you’re Oprressed and that he is responsible and he’ll sign you a blank cheque.

Indeed, and overtly so. Transparently so.

At one time, however whitey also invented the modern world, where honor culture was mostly definitely replaced.

That’s fascism again but nothing like today, where we have a globalist plutocracy and a proletariat. The globalists, among themselves, care not in the slightest about ethnic/racial/religious issues; the one issue is money.

Except for the jump from one party to the other!

Trump is vile by every possible metric. As to his followers, one votes as one does for a great many possible reasons and sharing the morality of the candidate is one possibility to be sure, however not the only one. I know a great many who voted for Trump in '16 out of pure desperation.

I’d say ‘nation of laws, not of men’ was more foundational. Recall that in days of yore life was nasty, brutish and short for most people not because that was the foundational ethos but because it was the best we could do at the time. It was the laws and the mechanisms of Patriarchy (read Western Civilization) that slowly but surely pulled us up to a better standard.

Sorry, which Revolution? Most of them do articulate explicitly egalitarian ideals and almost all of them end up as dictatorships.

Interesting comment! It tends to be denied now, but you are correct, the FF believed that their democracy could only survive based on Christian moral principles far deeper than mere laws and constitutions.

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Well, speaking myself as an ardent Left-liberal, I do suspect that Fascism inevitably tends towards some strong form of Authoritarianism (and often Totalitarianism), especially on account of the centrality of a cult of personality in its political model. There are exceptions: the South’s Slaver’s regime was Conservative but not Fascist.

I was responding to his claim that “the woke currently have dictatorial control of communications” which is, obviously, absurd on its face. Wokists have great influence in the media, but this is cultural sway, not “dictatorial” power. To claim that Wokists have actual political power to impose their views is simply a lie.

It is “bottom up” in the sense that it is not imposed by political agents (and much less, political agents who are unaccountable). People are buying into the ideology, much as people buy into a new religious worldview. Crucial to the ascendancy of Christianity, of course, was its ability to appeal to the intellectual elites of Rome. Once the elites bought in, Christianity rose quickly to cultural dominance. Later, this translated into political power for the Christian religion. But that came only when the clear majority of people in the Empire were already Christian.

This is true. I reckon that once we are living in a true functioning multiracial democracy, everyone will be relaxed enough to assess, with balance and nuance, what Europe did for (as well as to) the Modern world. Probably they won’t be using the racist term “whitey” while they do so.

Eh, this is just populist-boilerplate, precisely where a true nuanced view of the matter is called for. 1619 historiography makes the interesting (and to my mind persuasive) claim that the European commercial society that was the seedbed of Liberalism, was itself marked by racism. And that racism, “present at the creation” of Liberalism, as it were, still has legacies & traces throughout the contemporary culture and that culture’s power-structures.

The better, deeper analysis is that today’s globalists are essentially imperialist in their mindset; whether we talk about Hellenistic civilization spreading Greek culture into central Asia, or Rome spreading Romanitas throughout the Mediterranean world, or Rome sending missionaries to convert the Northern European barbarians, or the Europeans attempting to modernize the rest of the globe - the idea is try to create (in Augustine’s picture) a “universal city” (a Cosmopolis), out of humanity. In the Modern era, “Whitey” may have regarded himself (at least implicitly) as the template for the free individual (as the paradigm of the individual exercising his rational preferences about the allocation of resources), but the ideal they were working with is that this picture of human nature was universal, applying to you wherever you were. And here there is a very positive sense in which the globalists do not “care in the slightest about ethnic/racial/religious issues.”

Still the practical effect of this ideology, of course, was in many ways like an invasive weed, completely (or almost completely) taking over the local flora wherever it was transplanted, and resulting in the end in a certain definite kind of deadening uniformity (and a uniformity which created & perpetuated vast material inequities, inequities which invariably were marked by ethnicity - contrary to the Liberal rhetoric of “universal liberty and equality”).

Money, of course, is the cash nexus which signals the epochal transition from status to contract, in human civilization. This transition, for all our grumbling about it (and Marx, who introduced the idea of ‘the cash nexus,’ certainly did his share of grumbling), makes ALL the difference to the lives we live today, versus how we lived in pre-Modern times when life was in fact nasty, brutish, and short.

See the need for nuance, here?

In the end I agree with you, that the 1st World appears to be in the grip of a quasi-oligarchic technocratic elite. In the United States, for example, this elite basically can buy government policy (or more to the point, block policy they don’t want). At the same time, class mobility is ossifying. This is all a genuine source of populist discontent; but tragically, Right-liberal and Conservative economic elites have been able to use the politics of Identity as a means of deflecting blame away from themselves and onto cultural Others. It is a Lucy-with-the-football routine, and in many ways Trump is the ultimate expression of its power. Or probably I should say, it is the spectacle of Bernie Bros voting for Trump, that is the ultimate expression of its power.

Well, yes and no. People had to settle down and start farming, before they could hope to build the great cities of the Industrial Age. The Patriarchy is the civilization you have when land is the most important resource. The Agrarian-elites of pre-Modern times actually positively disdained - and discouraged - the entrepreneurial values that are at the core of Liberalism. The Patriarchy, in short, was necessary, but certainly not sufficient, for the breakthrough to the Modern Age.

The Liberal-National Revolution (and coming quickly in its train, the Industrial Revolution) of the late 18th century.

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That’s reasonable. But I’d still say that fascism is totalitarian by definition. As I use the word, that one wants to conserve what has proven to be of value is not even a political agenda anyway. If I was a Dane, I’d want to conserve the Nordic Model that has proven to be so successful. But I concede the ‘conservative’ tends to = right-wing in common use.

That’s reasonable. When we are discussing matters of degree, it can become nearly impossible to convey ‘how much’ accurately. I’m happy enough with: ‘great influence’ in the media. However:

… I can’t agree with that. The Biden admin. is passing all sorts of overtly woke laws. Of course one can exaggerate but in the current paranoid climate … well, take the imbroglio in Florida over teaching trans to kids. I’d say the woke already have far more power than I’d like. Here in Canada it is Federal law that one must use trans-pronouns.

That’s fair enough. Mind we do whine about the ‘deep state’ that seems accountable to nobody, but sure, the Rats and the Reps remain accountable to the electorate. Virginia governor lost his mansion over teaching CRT to kids – we conservatives are hyper-vigilant even paranoid about all that stuff.

Disagree on point of fact. It was more that the slaves and the plebes were so Christianized that resistance was futile. Constantine decided to go with the flow. But sure, eventually the elites managed to ‘make it work for them’.

That would go a long way to letting a bit of steam out of my own boiler. I am a rational dolphin, but I am also a ‘specimen’ of an Angry White Man and I know what gets me angry, and what would help me to feel better, and one of them would be the end to the ‘whitey ruins everything’ narrative.

Sure it was, I don’t think that can be denied. But everybody was racist at the time, especially Africans and Arabs. Racism and slavery were simply the reality at the time; I don’t think liberalism was ‘founded’ on racism any more than it was founded on candles (vs. LED lights). The FF already knew perfectly well that slavery was wrong, but they just didn’t have the votes to get it abolished. Liberalism helped progress but it didn’t guarantee it right out of the box.

Agreed, but your comparisons are with missionaries of various sorts who tended to believe in immortal souls and saving them from hell, whereas the globalists are purely about money.

Absolutely. Before WWII whitey did not pretend that he was anything other than the savior of the world. ‘White Man’s’ Burden’ and all that.

Ha! Ironically, one of the things that gets me labeled as a Nazi is that I’m opposed to multicult. For two reasons: one is that it weakens nations when no one knows what the foundational values are, but the real reason, the emotional reason, is that it’s boring I want the world to be diverse, I find the globalist homogenization deadening, to use your word.

Everything is sociology and politics is nuanced. Nothing is absolute, as the saying goes: ‘there are no answers, there are only trade-offs’.

I quite agree. It’s my conspiracy theory of choice – the woke left are in fact the stooges of the economic elites. Their job is to deflect everyone’s attention to gender pronouns while the elites quietly continue to vacuum up all the wealth. As a paleosocialist, I’m with the workers and the poor, not with self-appointed Victims.

Good example. It shows you how desperate people can get.

My you do impress. Such education! You aren’t given to slogans either. QC has been hungry for a person like yourself for a very long time; all our lefties have long since fled into the night. Now, if we could just get @Silhouette back … between the two of you, we centrists and righties and libertarians might be offered a match.

So this is the interesting rub of the 1619 Project claims. Even granting that “might makes right” is the heart of the American story (I’d disagree, the American colonies were a collection of peoples here for somewhat disparate reasons, not all of whom were slaveholding aristocrats). That’s in fact the origin-story of pretty much any civilization/nation in history up and down the line. The standard response is, well, because everyone else was doing it, doesn’t make it right. Fine, I understand that at some sort of fundamental moral level using today’s standards and there are still plenty of societies that still do operate in these ways. But if we are not different from anyone else historically, why single out the United States for the harshest historical treatment? Not to mention ignoring the downright novel good things that did come out of the actual founding like explicit individual rights? That type of exposition would require some nuance that the 1619 project lacks.

Also, since you keep harping on it, can you sketch out the alternatives to the patriarchy? We’ve had the dictatorship of the proletariat, and we’ve seen how that goes. Ditto for liberte/egalite/fraternite. What would a matriarchy look like in your mind
if you think men have screwed it up?

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A quaint analogy… however false. The woke religion is itself a sham and is hardly a “populist” effort in the same vein as the early Christians. The new religion is more akin to an orthodoxy, enforced from the heights of power, upon any who hope to maintain their social standing. Think more along the lines of Henry VIII and Thomas More…

As for “Trump = fascism”… this is not so much false as just pure lazy. Trump has neither the creativity, nor the stability to create fascism in the United States. Even most of his supporters likely think he’s a bit of a buffoon. There is no doubt that there is an authoritarian streak in Trump and his ardent supporters, but it is odd how the authoritarian impulses of the left are so blithely ignored. Trump is merely a battering ram; a crude tool towards a purpose. There is no doubt that some enjoy his immoderate tendencies and are inspired by racial animus. But I suspect that many, if not most, of his supporters grew tired of being told that any effort on their part to shore up the values that they feel are most important is merely a reflection of their hatred (or exclusion of) for others.

As you note in your analysis, Fascism, like Liberal democracy, is highly marked by civilizational and ethnic factors… except that this is precisely at issue in the United States. Places such as Japan and India have much more deeply ingrained cultures that clearly distinguish themselves from their neighbors. And so, they can get away with running their democracies along those lines. But if any Americans try to embed their “civilizational and ethnic factors” into something akin to a national identity, they are immediately labeled as being fascist. Perhaps the democracy of Japan, India, et.al is merely a post-fascist chic.

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I see a hell of a lot more racial hatred from the Left than I see from Trump. But it’s aimed at whites, and more recently at Asians (they are “white-adjacent”, doncha’ know!).

If Hispanics slide over into a majority Republican preference I expect to see Left-wing racist hatred aimed at them too.

Edit: Watching the Left freak out about conservatives being Fascist is exactly like watching Putin freak out about Ukrainian fascism. It’s not an argument, it’s more like a spasm. Like Tourette Syndrome.

Edit #2: Most conservatives, including myself, believe in small, weak, limited government. The antithesis of Fascism. For me, Fascism is simply an off-shoot of classical Socialism.

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In my view, 1619 historiography is not about self-loathing, but instead about proper self-understanding (on the civilizational level). Yes, in certain key respects our origins are just like the bad-old days, and forthrightly talking about that matters 1) because it gives some greater recognition of the harm Europeans (and their direct legatees) did, and in turn recognition of those who we harmed (and their direct legatees) 2) it explodes the conceit of our ‘exceptionalism,’ which is used to make excuses for not engaging in reform. In general the reason why the U.S. (among others) can be singled out, is because from our (highly) privileged position (privileged not least because of our direct participation in historical crimes) we should be able to handle the truth, without whining about it.

Nonetheless I do believe the self-flagellation can do too far, and I do believe that the historically disenfranchised can abuse the narrative of their victimhood (though this is not too surprising, it’s just human nature). I am highly sympathetic to Wokist narratives but I do think there’s a limit, and I speak out when I think so.

I’m completely in agreement on that. Right now the 1619 narrative lacks balance, probably because at this particular historical inflection-point it is trying to compensate for the distorted narratives of the past. The hope is that eventually we can get to a fuller, properly rounded picture, one with less historical recrimination.

It’s just as MLK said: a people that live up to the true meaning of their Creed. A society with genuine equality of opportunity. We’re not there, we’re not even close.

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For which sin you are likely to be cancelled yourself. Merely daring to have a personal opinion is a mortal offense.

But no society has ever been closer and before wokeism diverted everyone’s attention, one and all were celebrating the real progress. But the narrative has been altered – equality of opportunity has been replaced with demands for equality of outcome and that, unfortunately simply cannot be achieved until the various Victimhoods merit it. Whitey used to pick on Asians, did he not? But now they surpass us in STEM because they really do surpass us and whitey has no intention of giving himself some sort of AA – he has been bested, and he knows it.

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You just don’t get it. American Fascism led to Trump, not the other way around. I don’t claim any blinding originality for this observation. It is true because it is obvious.

Hah, they are NOT ignored. They are partly responsible for Trump’s rise.

It’s true, that in most places Liberal-nationalism follows the German ethnic model. Our model is civic nationalism, a nation made by adherence to Constitutional ideals. At least, that is our model in principle. In practice (and this has been true for the whole of U.S. history), White Americans have seen themselves as the paradigmatic citizens of the American nation; they are “the Americans,” as opposed to qualified-Americans such as Black Americans, Asian Americans, etc. etc. Probably this conception of being American was unavoidable, but in a country that is supposed to be a civic instead of an ethnic nation, it has led to some gross and glaring inequities, which we are still in the midst of grappling with. Our exceptional “civic” nationalism is an Experiment, and it can still fail (something that recent historical events should make all too clear).

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Unfortunately, this is true. I have to watch what I say. But I would rather be doing that, than engage in rhetorical aggression against others who belong to historically disenfranchised groups. There’s no honor in that.

The complicated truth is that genuine equality of opportunity presumes certain equity of outcomes. As the classic Liberal political philosopher Isaiah Berlin put it, “To call a man who is poor, uneducated, and sick “free,” is to mock his condition.” Likewise, a truly free “market” is nothing but the law of the jungle. Free markets in reality take the diversion of a great amount of resources to set up. The people as a whole are entitled to a public good like a free market, and so the State is entitled to the collective resources of the people, to set it up.

Here we have a fine example of where we are failing to live up to our ideals of equal opportunity. I am all for affirmative action - but not for White people. By the way, I personally would appreciate it if you didn’t use the racist term ‘whitey.’

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I don’t see it this way at all. The 1619 Project is a desperate attempt to revitalize racism in America by the left-leaning New York Times. This publication has simply found a post-Obama bandwagon because the savior didn’t work out as promised. Are we somehow supposed to forget the great reckoning that was supposedly taking place from 2008-2016? But of course, we could never acknowledge as a nation that our first Black president was in so many ways a dismal failure. Instead, we need to continue the reckoning. And 1619 is born. A cheap, low-brow effort to revive racism under the guise of scholarly inquiry.

As for American “exceptionalism”… like all things American, this should be seen in the context of Europe. It is indeed true that “American” has been understood as being primarily “white” and European. Maybe because they’re the guys that constructed the national edifice (even if with slave labor)… and so, like all civilizations, they erected idols in their image. This is nothing new. The problem however, with the current leftist approach is that they don’t offer a replacement… merely destruction. This is what you are missing from your analysis. Iconoclasts aren’t civic minded… they just like knocking shit down. If you burn down a bridge because you object to how it is built, that’s fine. But you’d better have a new fucking bridge ready for use. Otherwise, you’re just a vandal.

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Whew this is really missing the forest for the trees, here. You are way too focused on personalities and missing the bigger picture, here.

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Nonsense. There is no such thing as American fascism in the same way there is no such thing as American socialism/communism. You have clearly tried to dive too deeply in search of a solution that is plainly obvious…

American entertainment led to Trump.

There is nothing unique about Trump. Americans on both the left and the right are in search for a king. The presidency has become an all-encompassing role because democracy is actually quite hard. But of course, our publicly educated masses can’t do hard things so… you get efforts at finding a new king every few years who can make everything better in one fell swoop. Obama was not elected to be a president. He was elected to be a king, a demigod. And if you think the “cult of personality” is at issue with Trump, how can you not see the same phenomenon in Barack Obama? The fucker was given a fucking Nobel-fucking-Peace Prize for nothing. Literally ZERO accomplishments led to the creation of his cult of personality… the left remains mute.

So, King-Obama failed. Let’s try a guy we saw on TV… One of Oprah’s favorite guests! He even had a best-selling book! And a show! He must be the guy!

Jesus H. You can’t make this shit up.

Looking for rationality in the American political landscape is like looking for an ice-cream in the Sahara.

Fascism? Not even close. Not by a country mile.

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