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.