The World of Ideas

I was glad to get some interesting comments from both the civic nationalist and dissident right perspectives during the last few days.  And I’m especially glad that the writers were level headed and thoughtful individuals.  I visit various sites with all kinds of commentors who don’t always react to each other with, let us say, tolerant open mindedness.  And I understand that verbal combat may be more of a feature than a bug at some of these sites but truthfully, I seldom learn anything useful from the sort of mental arm wrestling that goes on during these exchanges.  So, kudos to all involved.  We’ve raised the level of internet discussion by several orders of magnitude.  Bravo.

I’m especially glad about this situation because I’m personally located somewhere on the border between the civic nationalist and dissident right factions.  While I consider myself a civ-nat I recognize that for whatever reason my political cohort has been guilty of incredible gullibility for decades and I’m tired of being part of a conspiracy of the ignorant.  So, I’ve been listening in on what goes on at the cool kids’ table and learning their lingo.  And I’m not afraid to admit that they’ve got a lot of things figured out.  But I also know that I’ll never be cool enough to sit at their table.  I just believe too deeply in the decency of most people when they’re all treated fairly.  I feel that if we run the game fairly, we can get people, all kinds of people, from the dumbest to the smartest and from the meanest to the most naïve to at least act decent.

But that’s why I’d like to have the discussion with people whose hearts are in the right place.  If you ever see the comments section of a Fox News article it’s remarkable.  There are some thoughtful comments.  But they’re drowned out by a flood of rage-aholics.  You could say that any site that has the traffic that a large outlet like Fox gets is bound to attract a goodly number of deranged individuals but from my point of view it renders the comments almost useless as a venue for the exchange of ideas.  So that is why I’ve been trying to find people who straddle that same line on the political spectrum and set up a dialog.  Because that political border is where I think the reality of our future lies.

We need to toughen up the civic nationalists to where they won’t let themselves be rolled by the progressives, while at the same time lure the dissidents back from the fringe where things get pretty dark.  My dream would be to have a space where a guy as tough minded as the ZMan would be willing to have a good faith conversation with civ-nats like Michael Anton or Chris Rufo.

Now this might be terribly mistaken.  As I’ve said many times, people must be allowed to select their own enemies and it’s ridiculously presumptuous of me to think I can judge whose interests are served by discussion and with whom.  These are all grownups and they get to decide which playground to play in.

So, let’s not use those names.  Let’s just use regular folks who inhabit the internet and try to see if the information flow serves any purpose.  I’ve heard lots of interesting perspectives.  And all of the talk has been quite cordial, which makes my life easier.  So, keep up the good work.

Guest Contributor – ArthurinCali – 05DEC2023 – DR to CN Reply

I took Zman’s assertion that natural or individual rights do not exist as the affirmation that these concepts originate in Western Civilization, and are not universal. Throughout my military career traveling the globe, this resonated with me as our ideas are just that – ours. One would receive blank stares from Indonesian bush folks if you began to try and explain these. This is why the dilution of Western countries by mass immigration (invasion, really) puts these abstract conceptions of natural and individual rights at risk under our supposed Democracy. For example, look to the polls of Muslims in the US and UK who overwhelmingly agree with the notion of living under Sharia law if they could. Or how varied the customs, cultures and traditions are in the Middle East compared to the West.

My biggest appeal to the DR side is seeing the world as it is and not how people ‘wish’ it were. This means that differences should be acknowledged and a sane and serious approach to societal ills should be employed in the areas of crime, immigration, and the well-being of the citizens in our nation.

Guest Contributor – Glenn W – 05DEC2023 – CN to DR Discussion

The dissident right (DR) certainly has an appeal to anyone who has watched the disintegration of American society and culture over the last sixty years (I am currently 62 years old). I found the DR critique of many of the United States current problems to be very insightful. In the end though, I think the proposed DR solutions to our problems will cause more problems than they solve.

I agree that Heritage Americans have been reviled and treated with a hatred that has surprised me. The question is: is that hatred solely an ethnic hatred? I would say that it isn’t. “White people” are strongly associated with being Christian. I don’t think that’s particularly true anymore but that is the stereotype and lefties love them some stereotypes. The BLM website at onetime listed both stable marriage between a man and a woman and deferred gratification as being examples of white privilege. No, those are examples of Christian morality. Of course ethnic differences are used as a wedge to fracture our society and it has been wildly effective.

Can different ethnicities live side by side peaceably? I don’t see why not in theory but in practice it may no longer be possible. The well has been poisoned and there may be no way back to what we were, the old culture looks to be gone. What is the DR solution then? After giving it a lot of thought I think the DR has settled on some type of ethnic caste system. One set of laws for thee and one for me. Anyone who believes in objective standards of right and wrong (that apply to all people) will find that to be a real problem. I know I do.

I would also like to ask: how should ethnicity be defined? Even in the founding of the United States the English weren’t as homogeneous as we’d like to imagine (see Albion’s Seed). Add in all the immigration that has already happened and can’t be reversed, it’s a hopeless mess. Lines will have to be drawn in the new system but no one will say how this will happen.

The thing that finally tore it for me is when Zman declared that there is no such thing as “rights.” Declaring rights to be an abstract concept that don’t actually exist, he dismissed them out of hand. If there is no such thing as individual rights then there is no such thing as personal liberty. Everyone nowadays seems to want to put a leash on me. Zman’s statement reminded me of a quote by communitarian Alasdair MacIntyre:

“From this it does not of course follow that there are no natural or human rights; it only follows that no one could have known that there were. And this at least raises certain questions. But we do not need to be distracted into answering them, for the truth is plain: there are no such rights, and belief in them is one with belief in witches and in unicorns.”

― Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory

I am not familiar with the work of Professor Özkırımlı but the title of his book seems to indicate that his is a “critical theory.” This country is dying from too much Hegelian theory, do we really need more?

Guest Contributor – ArthurinCali – 04DEC2023 – Civic Nationalist to Dissident

I used to believe in civic nationalism and the idea of the global populace buying a ticket to the (American) story and ideals. Funnily enough, around the time I held these beliefs was 30+ years ago in an America that had a firmly entrenched demographic majority of Heritage Americans. (Roughly 80% IIRC)

See, that’s kinda of the paradox of the idea of a successful nation operating under civic nationalism in that you still need a majority ethnic population who puts their full faith in the mythos of said nation’s founding, institutions, and ideals. Once it hits a certain fracturing of population and becomes majority-minority, with no one group asserting dominance – this gives rise to overt tribal tendencies. Diversity is not a strength. If it were, nations like Japan and China would be importing as many diverse groups as possible to get an edge on the global economic competition.

Still, if we lived in a reality based sane and serious nation that spoke the truth on differences a la Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore, it could have worked. This would require media, academia and gov’t to cease the relentless attack on the historical figures actions and events that led to the creation of the USA. No, not celebrate outright the dark corners of a nation’s history (that all nations have, Western and non-Western), but understand that each apology, every condescending remark merely removes another brick of the foundation of American mythos and her founding.

This is part of how I found myself admitting more and more that I am a part of the Dissident Right. I will vote for Trump-not as a faithful belief that he will be our Red Caesar but more as a wrench into the leviathan machine that hates me and my people.

“Since all nations lay claim to a unique place in history and to certain boundaries, all national identities are exclusionary. In that sense, all nations are ethnic nations […] Brubaker elaborates on this, claiming that there are two different ways of mapping culture onto the ethnic-civic distinction. Ethnic nationalism may be interpreted narrowly, as involving an emphasis on descent. In this case, Brubaker argues, there is very little ethnic nationalism around, since on this view an emphasis on common culture has to be coded as a species of civic nationalism. If, however, ethnic nationalism is interpreted broadly, as ethnocultural, while civic nationalism is interpreted narrowly, as involving a cultural conception of citizenship, the problem is the opposite: ‘civic nationalism gets defined out of existence, and virtually all nationalisms would be coded as ethnic or cultural’. Even the paradigmatic cases of civic nationalism, France and America, would cease to count as civic nationalism, since they have a crucial cultural component.”

— Umut Özkırımlı, Contemporary Debates on Nationalism: A Critical Introduction, pp.24-5

All Men Are Created Unequal. Does That Make America Impossible?

In the comments section that followed Michael Anton’s recent post about natural rights (“Farewell to Z-Man!

Once More on the Question of Natural Right”), a commentor said,

“Z-man is anonymous because he writes about biological differences, which is a capital offense in our society. Anton is a colorblind civic nationalist, so he doesn’t have to fear having his life destroyed for his views.

I agree that Anton and Z-man would better spend their time fighting the Left, but the schism between those on the Right who believe that there are biological differences among the various peoples of the Earth and those who don’t believe that is fundamental.

That is at the core of the debate between Anton and Z-man. Anton says that natural rights are universal and ever-present. That implies are all peoples are the same at all times. Anton rejects biological differences. Z-man says that the rights put forth by the Founding Fathers were based on their nature. The rights grew out of the particular biology of that people, Anglo-Americans.

For Z-man, culture is downstream from biology. For Anton, biology doesn’t matter at all. That is a fundamental difference.

Anton is a colorblind civic nationalist. He doesn’t believe that culture stems from biology.

His issue with the refugees is that they come from a culture that despises American values. That makes complete sense. However, for Anton, it’s about the culture, not the people. It’s why people like Anton has such a hard time arguing with the Left about immigration.

The Left says we should have open borders or, at least, very large immigration, especially, refugees because we’re all the same so why keep people out. Anton tries to refute this by arguing that we can only let in so many so that they can absorb our culture and truly accept American values. The Left calls him cold-hearted.

Anton has no response other (than) technical arguments because he accepts the Left’s morality: that all people are (literally) created equal so the burden of proof is on him to show why some people shouldn’t be allowed in.

Z-man doesn’t accept the Left’s morality. His argument for why we should reject the Afghani refugees is that they are a different people who will never accept our culture because their biology is different.

And before you start acting like the Left and call Z-man (or me) a racist, just remember that Z-man’s beliefs are pretty much the same as most people around the world, including Israelis and Japanese.

If this was Israel or Japan, their version of Anton would simply say, “No. We will not let in these refugees because they aren’t Jewish or Japanese.”

Anton disagrees with the Israelis and Japanese. He and the Left believe in the Blank Slate, that we are all lumps of clay that can be molded into any form if you just get the culture right.

Ironically, Anton rejects nature’s role in culture.”

Much of what is said here is essentially an accurate description of the difference of positions between the Dissident Right (e.g., the Z-Man) and the Civic Nationalists (e.g., Michael Anton, me).  But there are some subtle differences that I think need to be addressed.  I won’t speak for all Civic Nationalists but I will say for myself that I categorically deny that all human beings are equal in their abilities and have the same temperaments.  In fact, I’ll go as far as saying that human beings are heterogeneous at almost every level.  Even within the same nuclear family there will be remarkable differences of intellect, physique, personality and appearance among siblings.  And between different ethnicities and races the differences will be even larger.  You don’t have to leave the same continent to find the pygmies and the Tutsi.  The first group are hunter gatherers who average less than 4’ 10” in height while the latter are pastoralists that average 6’ but are not uncommonly over 7’ in height.  As far as differences of intelligence and temperament between groups of people there are all kinds of scientific studies and popular descriptions to provide speculation for these differences.

But the basic question isn’t whether these differences exist.  The question is do these differences prevent us from living together in a meritocracy?  In other words, if I’m stupider than my neighbor Bob will that mean we can’t live in the same society without eventually being at each other’s throats?  My belief is we can live together.

The Dissident Right does not believe this.  And as proof they point to the present nightmare we’re living through with “Black Lives Matter,” George Floyd and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion racket being run against white people.

Well, that’s a pretty powerful argument.  Add that to the fifty years of affirmative action and forced integration and you have a pretty bleak picture.

But the Left has been using this equality of outcome scam for decades as a proof that white people are discriminating against blacks.  And for whatever reason we’ve been letting them get away with it.  I no longer think it’s a convincing argument.  America is a multi-ethnic, multi-racial society and there is every combination of races and capacities on display.  And what is clearest is that trying to hire people according to their skin color is a recipe for disaster.  Everyone has probably seen or heard of people who were hired under affirmative action quotas and were completely unqualified for the job.  And what is also extremely clear is that African Americans are not the object of systemic racism.  Currently heterosexual white men are the ones being discriminated against and openly.  It seems clear that demanding the end of affirmative action and other anti-white policies and a return to a meritocratic system is the correct way to put all this racialist nonsense behind us.

To do this it will require places like Florida that have a Republican government to refuse to allow anti-white, affirmative action programs to continue.  And the very color-blind approach that the above commentor seems to disparage is the correct approach.  The United States need to get out of the race business.  In fact, I don’t think we should even list it on birth certificates or other government documents at all.  You might as well list my blood type and what kind of belly button I have too.  Instead, we should be concentrating more on things like SAT scores and which computer languages have been mastered.

Now of course maybe the Z-Man is right and the Republicans are hopelessly unable to fend off accusations of racism and they will always be the losers when the Left plays this racket.  If this is so we’ll see this play out.  But I’d like to believe someone like Ron DeSantis is the future.  He recently rejected the High School Advanced Placement curriculum for African American Studies because it was filled with lies.  This is the way to change things.  Just say no and then make it stick.  It’s not easy.  It’s a slog and a fight.  But if we choose fighters to represent us, we will get results.  If we choose squishes like Jeb! Bush, we get what we have now.

So sure, things are bad but I’m not ready to start the race war.  I think we can have a first world country without a civil war.  But it remains to be seen whether the people who claim to be our leaders are willing to fight to save it.  If they’re not then the Dissident Right will be correct.

Michael Anton, Paul Gottfried and the Z-Man – A Fractured Spectrum on the Right

I have been an advocate of dialog on the Right.  And recently there has been quite a bit of it.  And now I think I can see the present limits of what can be achieved by dialog.  Based on what I have seen I would say that at the point on the Dissident Right where Civic Nationalism starts to be viewed as anathema, then from there on, common ground can no longer exist with the more mainstream right.  The level of hostility is too extreme to allow for civility or even meaningful communication.

So be it.  But that still leaves plenty of latitude for dialog.  After all, the Z-Man and Paul Gottfried have several times shared the stage on various podcasts and they have been extremely cordial.  And Gottfried and Anton have debated on the pages of various right-wing publications with clearly evident collegial respect and politeness.  So, there is a bridge across the chasm but it is more of a shuttle that on its own can visit the two sides.

I can see the point of view of both these sides.  But I will say I have more sympathy for Anton because he has extended himself to try to communicate across the divide in a friendly manner.  The Z-Man was far from friendly.  In fact, he was pointedly hostile and rude.  And maybe that’s the requirement of the position he has staked out.  He has readers who exceed him in their anger toward any moderate figure or group in America.  Maybe politeness toward someone like Anton is a disqualifying act.  But maybe I’m wrong about that.  Maybe he truly feels that Anton is part of the enemy he faces.  And that is every man’s prerogative; to select his own friends and enemies.  But I give the moral high ground to Anton.  He wasn’t demanding any concessions, only extending an olive branch or a flag of truce for a parley.

Almost equally I think I know why the Dissident Right resents the Civic Nationalists.  They see them as the descendants of the mainstream conservatives who allowed themselves to be led along by the Buckleyites and the Neo-Conservatives and never did anything to prevent the takeover of the country by the Left.  They see the egalitarianism of the Civic Nationalists as the stepping stone to all the evils we see today; the LGBTQ madness and the destruction of personal freedoms in the name of diversity, equity and inclusion.  And there’s some truth in that.  In fact, I feel I was one of the pawns who believed in men like George Bush Jr. and his endless wars that accomplished nothing but killing Americans.

I see myself as someone who sees both sides of this divide.  But even though I have sympathy for the dissidents I think Anton’s side is where there may be a chance to take constructive action.  Someone like Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis will reach out to a Michael Anton or a JD Vance because they are interested in practical steps that can actually be accomplished.  Anton has reached out to people on the fringes of the Right like Curtis Yarvin and BAP in order to try to understand their point of view.  And while his viewpoint is still quite different from any of these people he is at least engaging in dialog.  And if nothing else it allows for some measure of coordination on practical things like supporting political candidates and networking.

I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised at how this contact between two worlds ended up.  But I am a little disappointed.  I wasn’t hoping for rapprochement but some kind of dialog and détente with a little glasnost thrown in for good measure.  Oh well.

But something was learned and nowadays that’s the first step to constructive actions.  Apparently, it’s not yet time for the opposite ends of the Right to talk to each other.  Whatever coordination gets done it will not include the Dissident Right.  At least not yet.

Civic Nationalism vs. White Identitarianism

Identity politics has enveloped our modern political world.  The Dissident Right says that the winning strategy for Normal White Men is to play the same game and build a separate identity and negotiate relationships with the other identity groups.  The alternative to this is the civic nationalist idea of a civic identity that embraces everyone who identifies with the traditional American culture and constitutional governance.

The question is which one reflects reality.  And what that hinges on is whether there are more people who believe in Old America or more people who don’t.  If the answer is more people believe then we can try to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.  But if Old America doesn’t have enough support to win back the country, then identity politics is the only way to go.

I have to confess I don’t know the answer to this.  And part of the problem is that the Democrats and their political machine stopped worrying about obeying the law.  So, it becomes difficult to know if we are the majority or the minority.  If they can steal an election then it may be too late to fix the system at all.

But for now, my world view is that what Old America stood for is a good thing that is worth upholding.  The civic national concept is a framework that provides a way for human beings to live together in harmony.  The live and let live aspect of free association and freedom of speech is an attractive and valuable concept.  If it is shown that these things are irremediably lost then America without them becomes far less attractive a proposition.  At that point I believe it would be necessary to reevaluate all the options.

America’s defining virtue was always freedom.  And freedom is an absolute.  Sure, there were plenty of cheats that occurred against the Bill of Rights.  At different times and in different places crimes against freedom of speech or the right to bear arms or the other fundamental rights were perpetrated.  But for the most part our rights were respected.  We were treated as free men.

If we aren’t free men then our citizenship becomes a lot less valuable than we thought it was.  If it turns out that freedom has been removed from the bargain then what we have left must be measured against all the locations on the globe to decide which one provides the highest quality of life.  In some places economic opportunity might be higher.  In others crime levels might be lower.  In others traditional lifestyles may be more attractive than living in a woke cesspool of dysfunction and delusion.  Maybe some of the red states may provide a successor state to Old America.  That would be a very attractive option if it becomes impossible to save the republic.  That option would include all the virtues of the old system without having to constantly battle the Left for the right to live a normal life in your own country.

So, for now I’ll cling to the hope that we will be able to resuscitate Old America and cleanse it of the lunacy that the Left is inflicting upon us.  I don’t assume that the blue states can be saved.  Places like California and New York are hopeless.  The best thing that can happen there is for systemic collapse to provide an object lesson on what happens when you legislate insanity.

But if my fellow Americans embrace anti-white identity politics then I will be shown wrong and I will have to admit my error and swim across to the Dissident Right.

In Praise of Civic Nationalism (At Least My Version Any Way)

Among the Dissident Right, the CivNats (as they call them) are almost an epithet.  Maybe not as despised as the NeoCons or the Libertarians but close behind.  And in a way I see their point.  The Civic Nationalists have allowed themselves to be gaslit by the Uniparty for the last fifty years.  For pointing this out to me I will always be indebted to these merchants of hate.  But as incisive as their thoughts are regarding the details of how the Uniparty uses identity politics against the white people of America I can’t come around to their idea that every ethnic and racial group is bound to face off against each other over the carcass of the United States of America.  To my way of thinking, that would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

I am not a descendant of the Mayflower pilgrims.  And my people weren’t born within a thousand miles of England.  Other than possible sentry duty on Hadrian’s Wall during the early centuries of the Christian era all of my people had spent their time in southern Italy for as far back as our family tree can show.  But I don’t think any Standishes or Bradfords were ever brought up more patriotically American than my family was.  And having grown up in New York City I met many immigrants who came to this country with the sole object of making their children as proudly American as was humanly possible.  And this was in a city where the various ethnic groups treated each other with all the fondness that the various groups in Beirut currently do (well, short of RPG fire anyway).

I once met a man on the subway who had fled from China by swimming across the bay to Hong Kong.  He and his two brothers attempted it together.  One brother was dragged back, the other brother drowned.  But this man made it.  When he found out that Hong Kong would revert to China one day he decided to come to America.  He was a lower working-class fellow but he invited me to his apartment for dinner.  When he told me how he taught his children to revere America as the greatest country in the world because of its freedom and justice he sounded like a Frank Capra movie.  I was amazed.  This was back in the mid-eighties and New York had become a crime ridden hellhole with racial animosity at the boiling point.  But here was this man who could barely speak English and struggling to make ends meet speaking with an almost religious fervor about his adopted country.  It was kind of inspiring.  To me it was a kindred spirit to how my family was raised. We believed that myth.

Now here we are in 2020.  Antifa are the children of the Mayflower descendants, the top of the heap, and they don’t believe the myth.  To them America is a hate filled racist death camp.  Then you have BLM.  They are the descendants of the black slaves, the bottom of the heap, and they believe the same thing.  So that just leaves us, the middle of the heap.  Some of us still believe.  And I know the myth can work because I’ve seen it.  But it only works for those who don’t want to destroy what’s here.  My grandparents didn’t have a dream of turning America into Naples or anywhere else in Italy.  That Chinese fellow didn’t want to resurrect Canton here.  He wanted his children to speak English and watch the Mets play baseball on channel 9.  My ancestors didn’t get here until long after the Civil War but I have no desire to pull down statues of confederate soldiers or Founding Fathers.  That’s as bad as the Nazis burning books on relativistic physics just because Einstein was Jewish.  This country has a history.  It includes acts of great bravery and acts of down right cowardice.  There has been burning hatred and great compassion.  But that history is real.  Revisionists are retelling it from one point of view and want nothing else to remain.  But I’ll have none of that.

So, here’s my version of civic nationalism.  If your idea of America is that it is a terrible place founded by evil white people who need to expiate the sins of their fathers copiously and endlessly, then you’re not an American.  Even if you are Thomas Jefferson’s multi-great-grandson, you aren’t an American.  You’re nothing.  But if you believe that with all its warts and all its mistakes that the United States of America is the single greatest experiment in human governance since Adam and Eve were given the Garden then you are an American and my brother.  I don’t particularly care if you are white, black, red, brown, yellow or even green.  As long as you stand for the Star-Spangled Banner, Pledge Allegiance with your hand over your heart and love this country for what it has always been, then you’re an American.  The main thing is you believe in the Bill of Rights and the rule of law.  Don’t try to take away our guns just because your old country didn’t have them.  Don’t try to stop people from speaking their minds just because it might hurt someone’s feelings.  Don’t expect us to suspend our immigration laws just so a few more of your cousins can jump the border.  Don’t try to erase our history or inflict guilt on us for being successful.  Speak English and bring your children up to love this country and its history.  And whatever you do don’t have anything to do with antifa, BLM or the Democrat party.  They’re all Marxists.  It would help if you like baseball instead of soccer or cricket but that is a minor thing.

So that is the coalition I want, true believers.  But I won’t include anyone in who kowtows to the thugs who hate America.  You’re either proud of this country or you’re just a freeloader looking to tear off a piece of its wealth.  I’m guessing there are still millions of us.  And having a common point of view gives us an identity and orients us politically and culturally.  And that’s the only use of the words identity and orientation I’ll ever need.

Enough is Enough

If living through this nightmare does only one good thing, it’s this.  It will give President Trump a mandate to end globalism once and for all.  Once we’re finally released from our cells, we’re going to want him to take whatever steps he can to make sure this doesn’t happen again.  And that’s quite a laundry list of things.  First off, it’s time to close not only the borders but the airline routes too.  Apparently Chinese New Year is the occasion for sending millions of Chinese back and forth from there to here just chock full of whatever pathogens have shown up in the wild game markets of China.  That must stop.  If China refuses to adhere to modern food hygiene then they should be treated like a plague city and kept at arm’s length.  Instituting a quarantine for travelers from China and similar places at the border for say, two weeks would go a long way to preventing another horrific outbreak like the one we’re suffering under now.  And because there’s no way of telling at the Mexican border where anyone comes from, we’ve got to end all the illegal immigration.  Not just sorta/kinda, but for real.  Use the state of emergency to shut down the border and if a judge says no then declare martial law and do it anyway.  The people will approve it.  And while we’re at it, suspend legal immigration for the time being.  It doesn’t make sense to be bringing people into the country during a catastrophe.

The next thing is to get Congress to declare all sorts of industries critical to Homeland Security and use a carrot and a stick to bring them back on shore.  And make it a very heavy stick.  Having our pharmaceuticals manufactured in China turns out to be a bad idea.  And manufacturing everything else there hasn’t helped either.  The President should do himself and us a favor and repatriate pharmaceuticals, automobiles, electronics, chemicals, metals, building supplies and just about everything else.  As far as I can tell we’ll need the jobs badly when this is over and the tens of millions of unemployed people are going to want growth in the economy and plenty of it.  And one good way to jump start something like that is to rebuild all the infrastructure that has virtually rotted away over the last fifty years of neglect.  Infrastructure projects have often in the past been boondoggles but compared to tossing trillions away to keep people sitting in their homes I doubt you could do worse.

Some will be worried that shifting production here could cause a worldwide depression.  I find that unconvincing.  The East Asian economies have their own domestic demand that is quite mature at this point and not having ten percent growth won’t kill them.  As for the rest of the developing world, if it’s not corona virus from China, it’s dengue fever from Guatemala or Ebola from the Congo.  We don’t need any more lessons in epidemiology.  We can see that plagues don’t mix well with a modern western democracy.  It’s time to roll up the welcome mat and tell everyone out there to stay home and fix their own damn problems.  And if it’s not too much to ask how about stop eating bats for a start.  Try chicken, it tastes the same.

 

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Bridging the Chasm Between the Dissident Right and the Civic Nationalists

A week or so ago I critiqued an on-line article about finding common ground with leftists who were upset about being attacked by their even crazier neighbors in the “woke” community.  In my analysis I rejected the value of accepting them as allies and as an alternative proposed a dialog with the Dissident Right.  I said:

“So, in answer to the title of Mr. Klavan’s article, yes conservatism can be conserved but not by accepting non-conservative ideas and the people who live by them.  Let the progressives, the liberals, the moral relativists, the feminists and the alphabet people battle with their even crazier “woke” brethren (or whatever gender bent category they prefer) on their own.  We have nothing in common with them and nothing to gain by engaging with them.  I would much prefer to engage with the fringe groups to the right of us and see if we can find some common ground with them.  Their ideas are more extreme than ours but they at least do not reject the values that we embrace.  In many cases I think they have let pessimism radicalize their thinking and pushed them to conclude that only radical solutions to our problems exist.  I think the last few years have shown that progress can be made if the right people get involved.  If actual conservatives have a part in running the country better outcomes are possible.”

Recently I have read several articles by the Dissident Right that seem to echo the idea that there is room for constructive engagement between the so-called “Civic Nationalists” and the so-called “Dissident Right” (wow, that a lot scare quotes!).  Of course, from their point of view this merely means they are interested in proselytizing us over to their cause.  And, fair to say, I’m interested in changing their minds about some of the darkest pessimism they have concerning America’s future.

To be perfectly candid, the biggest difference between realistic civic nationalists and the dissidents is their conclusions about racial identity.  They are convinced that a minority majority America cannot maintain the essential characteristics that the country had when 85% of the population was of European descent.  Now this is a very sensitive subject and even acknowledging that it could be an issue has been enough to get all kinds of people banished to the gulag of the de-platformed.  Racial and ethnic topics are taboo for all but the anti-white cheerleaders of the left and their only object is to vilify everyone from Christopher Columbus to Kate Smith for not having read the playbook of the 21st Century Witch Hunters.  But considerations of race and identity are important and should be able to be discussed rationally and constructively.

The descendants of the English who founded this country have a right to be proud of what their forefathers created.  The United States is one of the most remarkable human inventions that can be pointed to.  Along with the British, Roman and Athenian systems it evolved from, it has blossomed into a model that has impacted to a greater or lesser extent, the whole of the human world.  Without a doubt, there was something about the people and the circumstances that surrounded the founding of this country that should be revered by its descendants and anyone who chooses to live in it.

The charges of guilt against America for conquering the country from the Native Americans and for slavery before the Civil War are absurdly hypocritical.  War and slavery have been a part of every human culture including the Native Americans and Sub-Saharan Africans from the very beginning and to the extent that the United States and Britain have worked to eliminate slavery and embrace the idea of all humans being a family, they should be recognized as having made a quantum leap beyond the long depressing history of nations and empires murdering and enslaving each other to stay alive.

And this hypocrisy about America’s supposed guilt is, I believe, a big part of why the Dissident Right believes that a non-European majority in the Unites States will destroy the things that have made it unique.  All of the hooting and hollering about Jefferson and Washington being slave owners and whatever the latest atrocities the Antifa idiots commit compounds the sense of unfairness that people feel when they are confronted with the ongoing discrimination that affirmative action represents.  Anyone who has seen what corporate management has become knows that choosing a woman or a minority or an LGBTQ candidate is the only way to avoid being subject to the dreaded “diversity and inclusion” police.  Your judgement will be questioned and your “unconscious bias” will be referenced by your upper management and the advocacy groups that have sprung up like poison mushrooms in every school, college, corporation and non-profit organization.

So, I’m cognizant of the outrages being perpetrated on the legacy population of the United States by, mostly, their fellow European Americans ostensibly for the benefit of these various minorities but I disagree with the dissidents on the conclusion that this has to inescapably change the country into something unrecognizable to those who loved it.  And as a rationale I am reminded of the southern European immigrants of the 1890s and early 20th century.  These people were equally considered unacceptably alien and a threat to the American nation.  And indeed, when they flooded the country in their millions, they did create chaos and an explosion of crime.  But by their desire to emulate the prosperity of their neighbors they instilled in their children the desire to be Americans in every sense and they did become Americans and they probably loved this country as much (if not more) than those Mayflower descendants who currently bad-mouth the United States for all the supposed sins that their woke brethren enumerate.  This former wave of immigrants leads me to believe that we can absorb some reasonable amount of immigration.  Obviously unlimited and illegal immigration is a danger to our system and needs to be stopped in order to allow the already large number of legal immigrants to assimilate.

But the current climate of “blame America” is the real danger I see.  Whatever numbers of immigrants are deemed harmless to the country, they still must be inculcated with a sense of gratitude for their membership in it and toward the people and culture that built it.  And to accomplish that our government must not be put in the hands of America-haters like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama or any of the other Democrats who want to divide and conquer us.

As far as the dissidents’ opinions on HBD, I can’t confirm or deny whether there are such large differences between populations of humans as they claim.  But if they do exist, I still do not see the relevance.  There is plenty of variance in intelligence and other characteristics within populations and these ranges of variance act in hierarchical fashion to steer individuals to occupations and groupings that suit them more or less.  The important thing is that people feel that everyone is at least given the same chance to try to succeed.  A ditch digger who earns his money honestly doing the task he is qualified to perform is more honorable than the Ivy League legacy student who gets his spot in school and industry while more qualified candidates are rejected because their families didn’t vacation on Martha’s Vineyard.

My hope is that if honest reformers like Donald Trump can begin to roll back the harmful policies that the social justice programs of the 1960s and 1970s then maybe the dissidents will come around to our way of thinking and support reasonable reform of an admittedly dysfunctional system.  But for now, I think it’s reasonable to begin a dialog with the Dissident Right.  They were among the first who diagnosed the conscious malpractice of the Establishment Republicans and their clandestine collusion with the Left in marching this country over a cliff.  They are just as legitimate a part of the nation as some of the radical groups that the Left has welcomed into its camp.  Ostracizing them just to prove our purity is stupid and self-defeating.

So that’s what I think.  That was long because it is difficult to talk about these things without being very clear about what I mean.  But I thought it was worth saying.  Leave your opinions, if you’d like, in the comments.