As in 1930s Nazi Germany – where everyone who tried to bring Hitler’s régime to book was dubbed a Jew – so today we have another totalitarian form of collective braindeath: in 2018, every critic of border control, immigration quotas, black MPs, Islam, intolerant ‘liberals’ and the European Union is a racist.
If you’re Owen Jones, of course, that by definition makes you a fascist – even though the first of the fascist dictators Benito Mussolini held no ill-feeling at all towards the Jews, and continued to resist the imposition of the Nuremberg Laws in Italy as Hitler gained the upper hand. Musso’s grave errors were first, that he believed in a corporate State with no place for democracy…and second, that in Italian manhood, he had the raw material necessary to fashion a new Roman Empire. Also he was a puffed-up megalomaniac, but that’s not important right now.
Many fascists are indeed very obvious examples of nutjob racists: Jihadists, Robert Mugabe, Winnie Mandela and Jacob Zuma all fit that bill to perfection. But Owen in particular (and the LibLeft herd in general) will not hear a word said against them, for they are freedom fighters faced with the ghastliness of the Israeli Jew and the Goyim Imperialist Honkey.
So as the empiricist Centre-Right is racist, so too is the ideological LibLeft.
Hence the subtitle of this post, ‘We’re all racists now’.
But of course, those with a sense of irony will know already where I am going on this one.
To one extent or another, every human being on the planet is a Packist. It’s in our wiring, and nothing whatsoever to be ashamed of: we are suspicious of other tribes, especially if they appear to us numerically invasive, and having a tendency to the sort of behaviours, religious beliefs and social attitudes that are antithetical to what gives us pretensions to being a civilisation. If they don’t look like us then this too is a further signal that they might represent a potential danger.
However, our success as a species is as much down to cooperation between packs as competition within them.
This wiring we’re given at the factory only falls into misuse when ignorance, personal mental issues, unwillingness to integrate, envy and “swamping” are part of the equation….especially if fluffy social policy based on unsubstantiated ideology becomes an élite catechism.
So, for example, the Jews are envied because of their obvious talent for commercial acumen and financial creativity, Islam comes under suspicion because of its inexplicable ability to make demands and yet be excused, while downmarket immigrants of all ethnicities are envied for their equally mysterious ability to jump welfare queues.
People hate it when I make bald statements like that: they worry that I am just another bigot. But the kneejerk recourse to ‘racist’ acusations pales by comparison to the empirical evidence I can present….and they can’t. Taking each of the above in turn, the Jewish population of the UK is minute compared to the pervasive influence it has in the banking, retailing and entertainment sectors of our economy. Islam as a religion continues to be presented by the British Establishment as contributory and peaceful, despite the mountainous evidence of broadscale misogyny, unacceptable sexual behaviour and Jihadist fellow-travelling among its UK aherents. And the quite extraordinary priority given to the relatively limited cases of Windrush injustice (when over three and a half million 1950s born British women have had their pensions embezzled) is I suspect seen by the vast majority of the British electorate as the worst kind of racial virtue signalling in favour of a small, media-savvy minority.
But for me, these three examples display several dimensions of cognitive dissonance. The Jewish hegemony is based on merit and, I would submit, largely benign. The excuses made for Islam, by contrast, stretch right across the Establishment: the Right turns a blind eye because of its Arab arms clientele; the Left does so because it is avowedly (at times irrationally) anti-Israel. And the 1950s female SPA “reformed” women fall victim to the Right’s obsession with impressing neoliberal economists, and the Left’s disgraceful penchant for turning every race issue into a club with which to bash the Tories.
Bizarrely, the Jewish community itself is now being used as a battering ram to trash Jeremy Corbyn, when in reality the Labour leader is not an anti-Semite: how could he be? He is a rabid supporter of all Arab causes….and Arabs are Semites. Corbyn’s history is one of supporting undemocratic violence. That has very little to do with racism.
The fundamental problem here lies within the overuse, misuse and defensive last-resort debating point use to which the term ‘racist’ is put.
What is a racist? Before 1970, the term didn’t exist: it predecessor was racialist – that is, a person convinced that racial differences are apparent and that, by and large, the white Caucasion race is supreme and the Negro race the most backward. Even back then, the American Black Panthers held the opposite view, and Asian races felt both were inferior to them. To hold such views in whatever direction (and yes, it was mainly whites denigrating blacks) was condemned when in the presence of news media microphones, but a fact of life among all races.
In my youth, Enoch Powell was condemned and eventually marginalised as a racialist, although looking back now I consider him to have been a culturalist with an unfortunate manner. I may have a more engaging manner, but I too am tentatively culturalist – because the anthropological evidence supports it (in my opinion) more than any other hypothesis. More of this anon, but in the meantime, Powell had many good friends of colour, and until his demise always flatly refused to have anything to do with British neo-Nazi movements like the National Front.
Nobody knows for certain why the term racialist was abbreviated, although my own theory (having been at the time deeply involved in student politics) is that it gave the word the two rather than three syllables necessary for it to be more easily spat and yelled at opposing and deviating ideas – there was Nazi, there was fascist, and now suddenly there was racist. It was a convenient way for the Trots and the counter-culture generally to shut naysayers up, and ban speakers from coming to the University to put their point of view. (American sociologists have since dubbed this ‘framing’, which I think entirely appropriate)
However, for over thirty years now I have felt that ethnicity is a complete red herring – beyond its use as a term of abuse against original thinkers, or a plea in the halls of race relations tribunals. It is variations in culture, alleged soft treatment, ghettoisation and opportunist politicians who keep the flame of racism alive.
A racist in my book is a person who believes that some (or all) other races deserve inferior treatment, should generally be subjugated, and not be allowed to marry into the ‘Establishment’ race. Until the end of the Second World War (and later if we’re being honest) the Japanese held pretty much that view – as indeed did white soldiers dealing with independence disturbances in India after 1944. Many Arab nationalists feel this way about the Jews in the Middle East (the Iraqi Baa’thist Party sent several messages of support to Hitler) even though there is no racial distinction at all between Mohammedans and Judahists as human beings. In southern Africa, many Zulus feel this way about the Bantu tribes; and of course, until Nelson Mandela walked to freedom, such views were the basis of the ruling Nationalist Party in South Africa itself. Equally, the caste system in India derives entirely from the sense of racial superiority being correlated with lightness of skin colour.
To me, these are all open and shut cases of racism and strongly held racial beliefs. I have the same more emotionally driven right cortex as every other human being, and so at times I harbour suspicion of some immigrants based on media coverage and personal experience. But I am not and have never been racist or racialist. I am a culturalist. I am, to lay out my hopeless guilt in full, capable of discernment when it comes to the relative judgement of this or that culture.
There follow some random observations that (I would argue strongly, using very strong evidence) are not prejudices, racial or otherwise: they are merely cultural preferences.
I left England five years ago because I saw developing in my home country a culture of intolerance on both the Left and Right of the political spectrum; I observed social – that is, mutuality – manners and awareness plummeting; I detected strong signs of populist intolerance in Theresa May as Home Secretary; I felt commercial ethics (especially in the professions) were falling apart; I abhored the Labour Party’s obsession with trendy metropolitan minority issues; and I found the overall idea-free spin, denial, dishonesty and at times profound corruption of the governing classes to be disturbing.
England, I felt, was heading inexorably towards decivilisation….and the rise of the Momentum Corbynistas has been a catalyst since that time.
I still think that. And I think that on many dimensions, French culture is now superior to mine. On others, however, it is much worse. The arrival of President Macron from nowhere armed with bucketfuls of money – and the ease with which his Centrist drivel was lapped up by the younger bobo French – have convinced me that here too, things are going to go badly wrong.
Over the last fifty years I must have made over thirty visits to Greece – to all parts of Greece, for long stays and short stays, in cities, on islands, in the interior and on the coastlines. Technically, at times Greece was miles behind: but the warmth of feeling that emanates from the working and lower entrepreneurial classes is equalled in Europe only by the Portuguese. Sadly, the corruption of the richer professional, political and property-owning classes in Greece is dreadful. The Brussels to Frankfurt via Berlin régime that now runs Europe is destroying the culture of hard work and friendliness, while rewarding the corrupt fatties like Venizelos. Greece today is close to being a vassal corporate State run for the enrichment of the Guy Verhofstadts.
Several Black African States have reverted to dysfunctional tribalism since independence. The outstanding example of this is Nigeria, where it took a bloody war during the last century to sort out the differences between Yoruba and Ibo…with resultant mass starvation. Others have overlain corrupt dictatorship, such that Zimbabwe became a failed state under the ‘leadership’ of Robert Mugaba, and Uganda under general Idi Amin only narrowly averted the same fate. South Africa under the one-Party rule of the ANC in general and Jacob Zuma in particular saw a decline in economic growth, public health, police honesty and the Rule of Law
By contrast, since gaining independence in 1966, Botswana has maintained a strong tradition of representative democracy, with a consistent record of uninterrupted democratic elections and the best perceived corruption ranking in Africa since at least 1998. Among many features helping to explain its success are the dominance of one tribe, regular intermarriage between tribes, the death penalty for corruption, an astonishing growth in literacy and high educational achievement, a fiercely independent judiciary, and the existence of only very small religious minorities. In short, Botswana is one of the few African States that is not multicultural….78% of the population are Christian, there is only one language apart from English, and foreign minorities are tiny.
The country has ecological and health problems (especially AIDS) but having been there several times, I regard it as the best-run place I’ve ever visited in Africa. Its growth record has been stupendous, its political stability is exemplary, and the people friendly, honest and proud of their country.
If you were to ask me which are the best integrated cultures in Britain, I would say without hesitation the Chinese and Jewish communities. They only very rarely engage in violence of a political nature, they have strong family values and a high record of marital stability, and above all they make a massive contribution to the economic, artistic, professional and retail aspects of British life. I was brought up among a large Jewish minority in Manchester, and later spent much time while at University in Liverpool getting to know the Chinese community.
Ask me which is the nicest culture indigenous to the British Isles as a whole, and I would probably nowadays say that which pertains in the Irish Republic. I am genetically part-Irish anyway, but then my overall favourite European place is (or was) Greece and I have no more than a billilitre of Greek DNA in me as far as I know. Greeks (especially Cretans) and Celts do however have a lot in common – an original way of looking at things, waspish humour, hard living and at times astonishing creativity.
I have opted for a culture I prefer in France, but the option is far from perfect. I went in search of another one to India last winter, and it isn’t there. If anything, India is going in the wrong direction. I like Hungary very much because the people are straightforward, bright and have a good and honest leader….but I am getting too old now to master another language: I have enough trouble as it is remembering the vocabulary of my own.
However, there is a simple overall point I’m trying to make here. Although the cultural socio-political structure I admire the most doesn’t exist in nation-State form anywhere as yet, I know what I’d like it to be – and it helps me judge other cultures by that yardstick.
You can get more depth on that from my Home Page header article AIMS, but in brief I advocate a return to smaller political units, more local power, more adoption of smaller mutualist companies, the abandonment of the disastrous multicultural experiment (but total acceptance of a multi-racial society that is primarily unicultural), a trade policy aiming for self-sufficiency, the encouragement of entrepreneurial creativity at the expense of Bourse-driven globalism, and the rejection of anti-social ideologies like radical Islamism, undemocratic Socialism, extreme Feminism and Identityism, European Federalism and greed-driven Neoliberalism.
The objective of those latter ideological fanaticisms is to frame people like me as ecologist, anarchist, idealist, capitalist, sexist and racist. I plead Not Guilty to all of those charges, with the exception of capitalism if it is creative and socially mutual, rather than monopolised and financialised.
I am for economics, politics, arts, medicine and education that encourage doubt and investigation, with the aim of unifying behind that culture rather than churning out closed ranks of roboclones with equally closed minds.
And I am opposed to bloc superstates engaged in mercantile, currency and technowars – because very little that’s Big is culturally sound, and I am a pacifist.
But among those who look forward to the directionless onward march of global hegemony for their triumphantly archaic belief systems, people like me – still, I suspect, the majority in the West – are racists.
For them, it doesn’t matter if the term is applied to castigate my opposition to dictatorships, violent religions, unelected power, narcissism, over-exploitation of civil rights, or irresponsible citizenship. To be a constitutional democrat treasuring liberty is to be a racist. It is the ultimate one-size-fits-all frame within which the portrait of Dorian Grey can be fabricated by ideological hacks to give the appearance of art.
Which is why I write – as a sincere compliment to The Slog’s readership – ‘We’re all racists now’.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend.