NMAAHC & The Pendulum

I was recently amused to learn that Washington D.C.’s National Museum of African American History and Culture has taken it upon themselves to define ‘whiteness. My first thought was, surprisingly, from the leftist parlance: cultural appropriation. My next thought: Please tell me no Anglo-Saxon-themed museum has responded to this by defining ‘blackness.’ Yet, however ill-conceived or ill-fated this attempt to define may prove, my knee-jerk reaction to it was ultimately unbefitting of the attempt’s gravity. Like individuals in Sherlock’s presence, a great deal of useful information can be extrapolated from them, despite the fact that it is not the information they hoped to convey.

Perhaps the most visceral part of the definition, a graphic titled ‘Aspects and Assumptions of White Culture in the United States,’ has very recently been removed. Thankfully, I had a suspicion that this might occur, so I saved it in order to reproduce it here under Fair Use. You may find it at the end of this post.

To summarize that graphic, it defines the main aspects of whiteness as: individualism, the nuclear family, the Scientific Method, Greco-Roman/Judeo-Christian/European culture, Protestant work ethic, and (paraphrasing to condense) capitalist ambition/competition.

Despite the fact that there is nothing controversial or surprising within these aspects, I found myself having to re-read them several times. After all, I was not reading a web page by a white supremacist group–this was produced by an organization rather the opposite (one hopes, anyway). So why, when I was expecting to be chastised or at least criticized for my ‘whiteness,’ was I being complimented at every turn? I considered and quickly ruled out that I was being patronized. No, the authors are quite sincere. The plain fact of it is that the NMAAHC meant for me to feel critiqued by these aspects. To them, these aspects are insults. Cue Led Zeppelin’s ‘Communication Breakdown.’

Rather than laud any of these aspects–seeing as how they have already been so thoroughly explained and defended in Tarnas’s Passion of the Western Mind, Pontynen and Miller’s Western Culture at the American Crossroads, and (less intellectually but more viscerally) in the cultural triptych formed by the King James Bible, the Complete Shakespeare, and the Lives of Plutarch–I would like to briefly dwell on their opposite or alternative. I would render this list as: collectivist, unscientific, anti-work and/or anti-goal-oriented, pagan, socialistic, no emphasis on the value of time in accordance with its finite nature (RIP supply & demand), group AKA mob or vigilante ‘justice,’ and devoid of logico-literary-communication.

Now, perhaps it is just me, but when I stare at the list of anti-‘whiteness’ aspects we’ve just constructed, it seems to me that we have merely described the Bronze Age. Now, I have nothing against that Age objectively. Subjectively I would only return to it kicking and screaming. But objectively I suppose I’m glad it happened, what with the linearity of time. I’m not going to dwell on this Bronze Age issue much more, because I don’t want to strawman the NMAAHC by pretending they are calling for the opposite of their ‘whiteness.’ Certainly they are not, because by their own definition of ‘whiteness,’ American museums themselves are arguably a product of ‘whiteness’, and thus they as an institution would have to disband in order to accomplish their own strawman-goal. Since they have not, we may assume that is not their goal (unless they are blatant hypocrites).

None-the-less, the fact remains that they are either:

  • passive-aggressively critiquing the aspects of ‘whiteness’ without providing viable alternatives
  • or, implying the alternatives to ‘whiteness’ by defining ‘whiteness’ and leaving one to imagine its opposites as we just have.

In the first case, they would effectively be those pseudo-revolutionaries who know how to destroy with no intention or ingenuity to create afterwards. In the second case, they would be akin to what I can only render as Rousseauian primitivists–viewing the Bronze Age as more romantic than the USA’s present situation, while lacking the character to voluntarily abandon their present situation ala the Amish, or Chris McCandless, or immigration to another country closer to their ideal. I will go no further in psychoanalyzing them, since it is impossible to narrow down which option is more likely from afar.

Besides, these two possibilities are roughly comparable in the following sense. The first is like a petulant child that breaks but cannot fix; the second is like a petulant child that dreams but will not do. Both, in adults, are states of spiritual dwarfism, reeking of the resentment that Nietzsche lampooned as:

You preachers of equality, the tyrannomania of impotence clamors thus out of you for equality: your most secret ambitions to be tyrants thus shroud themselves in words of virtue.

Actually, pagan Nietzsche perhaps doesn’t go far enough. I believe there is another quote more consistent with the latent resentfulness herein, when one considers the absolute havoc that would portend a Bronze Age-ified United States:

So farewel Hope, and with Hope farewel Fear,

Farewel Remorse: all Good to me is lost;

Evil be thou my Good…

That, of course, is Milton’s Lucifer speaking.

It dawns on me that this is probably why the political pendulum is never static for long. The Rightwing in power becomes a trite broken record, fretting over how to endlessly Conserve values when those values have no valid threats. The Leftwing, on the other hand, develops a moral panic or maladaptive perfectionism that ultimately eats itself, because Progress’ing eventually becomes the sole value, even when it calls for Progress’ing away from crucial victories already attained. Thus those who wholly depend upon and exist by virtue of, say, free markets or scientific methodology or Justice Systems (Hobbes’ Leviathan?), come to feel very clever indeed when critiquing those things as though they can do better, without having demonstrated even the slightest evidence that they can in fact do so. This is perhaps, as the Brits say, on the tin, since ‘Critical Theory’ suggests the pitiable state of being a critic

Critic. n.

A person who boasts himself hard to please because nobody tries to please him.

-Bierce, Devil’s Dictionary

In parting, I would like to concede the following.

1. I do not believe that the presence of melanin or lack-thereof can actually/literally/Objectively be assigned any metaphysical quality. In other words, in the same way that I do not believe a black Labrador has ‘blackness’ beyond the fact that it is colored black, or that a white Labrador has ‘whiteness’ beyond that fact that it is colored white, I do not believe that much of anything is conveyed by the coloration of human beings beyond the utility of ‘look at that white guy over there’ or ‘look at that black guy over there.’

2. Insomuch as one disagrees with #1, I consider one to be bigoted, regardless of what coloration they are pretending to elaborate upon.

3. However, insomuch as the NMAAHC’s description of ‘whiteness’ could be accurate if they were correct–I would admittedly be proud to have or be that ‘whiteness.’

4. Yet, seeing as how this ‘whiteness’ is obviously a metaphysical construct separate from mere unalterable coloration, one must concede that these are qualities any person could potentially possess, meaning it is a matter of character rather than ‘race,’ and thus should not be called ‘whiteness’ (unless one wishes to reference the Biblical use of whiteness as symbolic of innocence and/or redemption).

5. Insomuch as the NMAAHC has made any person whom is not ‘racially’ white feel that they are disqualified or less qualified to achieve the aforementioned characteristics of ‘whiteness,’ I consider them to be a net negative upon humanity that ought to cry themselves to sleep each night in shame.

6. This recent collective resurgence of racial obsession is just a byproduct of the economic ruination caused by the coronavirus lockdown. Per historical norms, the lower classes are beginning to blame and scapegoat one another for the ruin brought upon them by their upperclass overlords. Insomuch as anyone perpetuates this blame-game, I find it stunning and regrettable that you were the quickest sperm.

whiteculture_info_1

Moral Tourism: A New Hobby at the Edge of History

Many have pondered whether George Floyd would have received any justice if his death hadn’t been recorded. I’m tempted to take this question a step further: would it have received any indignation at all if it hadn’t been recorded? As I’ve stated previously, it seems as though the Silent Majority of Americans (and perhaps the developed world entire) are incapable of mustering up emotion for anything except the most gruesome of imagery–the towers’ collapse during 9/11, for example, which garnered just enough outraged enthusiasm for ‘W’ to invade several countries that had nothing to do with it. If Floyd’s death had not been captured on video, the newspaper synopsis likely would have read: intoxicated man with extensive criminal record dies after chokehold arrest; police were alerted by a cashier after he passed a fake note. With the race of killer and killed expunged, it seems doubtful any further information would have been demanded.

Being moved solely by imagery is a consummate example of ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ Thus many a Westerner has suddenly, almost miraculously realized their deep-seated feelings of empathy (or guilt) towards African Americans in the late hour of 2020; unfortunately, they have not yet discovered it for any of the people-groups whom are actually enslaved TODAY. That realization would require effort beyond scrolling through social media feeds, and it might prove inconvenient indeed, for one would risk realizing that the Iphones which captured Floyd’s death were made by ChiCom slave labor on Apple’s behalf. But, since enslaved Chinese, including the Hong Kongers currently being divested of their liberty, and the Chinese-Muslim Uyghur minority currently being tortured in ‘reeducation camps,’ have little relevancy to ousting Trump, they are for some strange reason not receiving the same funding as BLM & Antifa from the likes of George Soros. Could this explain why the last time anyone heard these organizational acronyms before Floyd’s death was 2016?

One may rightly note that none of this changes the fact that African Americans have been treated unfairly. Indeed, it was very unkind of the likes of the Ashanti dynasty (of that textile design), or the Muslim pirates of the Barbary Coast, to auction their fellow Africans off to white traders. To see the stain of sin solely upon white hands during these sordid transactions is willful, expedient ignorance. If there is anything exceptional at all about the role American whites played in the vast history of slavery, it is that they were willing to fight & die over the matter in a Civil War. And in order to extrapolate a truly exceptional racism from this, one would have to believe that the majority of Southerners who risked their lives in that war were willing to die for an economic luxury they themselves did not possess. If you are not in the mood to risk your neck for billionaires’ right to keep their private jets, then you have understood my point. Those mystified should reread the 10th Amendment.

My intent, beyond the pleasure of snark for its own sake, is not to dissuade the newfound champions of civil rights; merely to ask that they remain consistent instead of, I don’t know—taking selfies at a rally, donating once or twice, then getting back to the ole Netflix binge with fresh assurance that they are a good little boy or girl. For the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. If we are going to give free money and emotional support to African Americans, I expect to see the same for interned Japanese and the truly decimated Native American tribes next, to name but a few. The business of righting historical wrongs is never-ending, and likely to bankrupt us all—but private & central bankers have already done that in slow-motion, so what the heck?

However, good luck parsing out which pale boogeymen are actually responsible, because, being Emma Lazarus’s melting pot, there are plenty of white Americans walking about whose dust-reduced ancestors were never afforded even the theoretical opportunity to own slaves, either because they were too historically late, or impoverished, or were themselves looked upon as inferior to W.A.S.P.s (see Catholics of all stripes, especially the Irish). I would also like to meet the daring soul who will audit African American ancestry to make sure none of the families of those freed slaves whom then purchased slaves for themselves are afforded a piece of this immaculate pie. Heritages of mixed race will also prove difficult in this regard (will it be the Leftwing that instigates a ‘one-drop rule’ this time around?).

In the meantime, a word of friendly warning to anyone who hopes to live to spend their reparation money. No law enforcement means no enforced laws (beyond whatever local protection rackets pop up). So, good luck enacting anything involving reparations at the same time that law enforcement is abolished. (Cue ‘Defund the Police doesn’t mean Defund the Police’). Furthermore, seeing as how the African American community is beset on all sides by ‘institutionalized racism,’ I should take great care to be sure that there is not some ulterior motive behind banishing police from all communities that cannot afford private security as a substitute. Now, I’m not saying that Margaret Sanger’s eugenics program, aka Planned Parenthood, has proven too slow for Them, and thus They (They being whoever institutionalized the institutions, I suppose) have resolved to speed up the process with some variation in stratagem…but I am saying, stranger things have happened. And this would be a particularly effective approach since no one seems to care about black-on-black violence. Indeed, even citing it currently merits a one-way ticket to the Racist category. For example, a journalist was recently pilloried for reproducing this quotation from an African American he interviewed:

I always question, why does a Black life matter only when a white man takes it?… Like, if a white man takes my life tonight, it’s going to be national news, but if a black man takes my life, it might not even be spoken of…

The answer, of course, is that our concern is not Justice (for she is Blind), only social justice. We care not to rectify present evils, only those which are already long passed. This is textbook, almost passe, Divide and Conquer–to agitate and foment historical resentment between different tribes to distract from current wrongs and lay the foundation for even worse ones in the future. I’m reminded of a Frankie Boyle joke that went something along the lines of:

Black and white people shall finally live together in harmony…in Chinese concentration camps.

I’ve tried holding off comparing our current state of affairs to the Maoist Red Guard’s Cultural Revolution, but a recent anonymous letter from a Berkeley history professor has caused me to think it might be now-or-never. That this ‘person of color’ (God, what a horrendous expression–does that mean I am a ‘person of non-color’?) knows they would lose their job for signing this piece is bad enough. The individual points themselves seem to terminate inexorably at the question: if a violent far-left ‘cultural revolution’ were to occur in the United States, what other warning signs would you possibly desire?

However, if that is in fact what is occurring (and I certainly hope it isn’t), I remain skeptical that it will ‘work’ as any of its adherents would wish. As I understand it, even the likes of Antifa merely want a political ‘anarchy’ in which they are still alive and fairly well. But any earnest attempt to force the U.S. in a socialist/communist direction that involves discomfort on the part of taxpayers would assuredly result in a distinctly apolitical anarchy. If some puppet-master would take the pains to…

  • automate, outsource, or otherwise disappear the majority of American jobs
  • prevent the federal government as-is from instituting a reactionary Universal Basic Income
  • THEN use leftist students to rabble-rouse ala Les Miserables

…we might see a homogeneously far-left USA. Otherwise, any such all-or-nothing bid is simply going to burn the whole place down like the Biblical Babylon due to the populace having not been disarmed beforehand.

Assuming (perhaps out of wishful thinking) that this unthinkable outcome will not occur, I maintain two assumptions about the future. The first is thanks to the astute commentary of @Cernovich ; the second is my own.

  • Urbanization is finished; anyone with a fulltime job, or a family, or a base-level appreciation of survival is going to flee for the suburbs or country and buy guns.
  • BLM/Antifa is but the first wave of a new hobby at the edge of history: moral tourism. The social media zombies, rather than craving brains, crave crisis. This is the only stimuli sufficient to jolt their fried nervous systems into feeling alive, however temporarily. Faux-outrage at spoon-fed, IV-dripped realizations that the world is imperfect will be their pastime in lieu of productive or lucrative work, in-person or functional families and friends, or any socio-cultural-historical value system whatsoever. Eventually no statues will stand, for they will all have been pulled down by the suspicion that anyone who did anything worth remembering must have been evil, compared to the immaculate innocence of their utter, grave-obliterated mediocrity. The rich (meaning anyone with private property) will horde the books which this mob would burn, having discovered a new status symbol on the grounds that ‘this, at least, cannot have been tampered with.’ It is even possible that the use of social media (I would not yet go so far as to say the Internet entire) will grow akin to being a Prodigal Son. ‘Poor child, they chose that poison over Real Life.’

There is no telling how many the moral tourists will kill in their first few bouts of Dionysian frenzy, but eventually this new class-based segregation will solidify. Suburban and rural taxpayers will learn to defend themselves, and tax-dependents will stay in their rotting cityscapes except when paid or goaded into kamikaze attempts with political motives. We’ll have done all those sci-fi/dystopia authors real proud.

For those regular persons of any race or creed wondering what to do in this chaotic interim, I recommend consulting Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago (even the Harper abridged edition to save time). It’s a masterful summary of how these waves of memetic violence ebb and flow, and it concludes on the whole that the only way to prevent its worst potential outcomes is total noncompliance when and if Someone shows up at your door. In hindsight, it is painfully obvious that WW2’s Russian kulaks and German Jews should have put their axeheads between the eyes of anyone who came to round them up; if they had done so they would have saved millions of lives and perhaps even their own. In the case of the United States, no force on Earth can forcibly subdue such an armed citizenry–eventually you run out of people willing to volunteer for the abduction detail, since their zealot friends keep coming home in boxes. Farmers with rusty rifles and makeshift explosives have kept the world’s best killing force occupied in the desert for decades now–if we do not do better, it will only be by choice.

How to Lose when You’re Ahead

Roughly 48 hours ago I predicted with confidence that police would emerge from the George Floyd backlash empowered, due to the dismal optics of protestors-as-thieves-and-arsonists. However, I did not account for the post-traumatic collage of excessive force that they have since gifted to the media. A male-on-female groping, resulting in her recoiling, which provokes a beating; shooting out the eye of a homeless wheelchair-bound man with a rubber bullet; shoving the frail Martin Gugino to concrete for daring to stand in their presence, & then quitting to show solidarity with those officers disciplined for said action.

I have since watched the latter clip in slow motion several times, transfixed by the body language and telegraphed motion of an officer who appears to want to beat Gugino with his club after he has fallen, only to be casually dissuaded by another. Not only is Gugino in no danger of getting up; blood is clearly flowing from his ears. Nonetheless the instinct is to ‘finish the job,’ like a rule from Zombieland.

How could anyone want to show solidarity with that? The answer is, I fear, quite simple. The officer is genuinely ‘just doing his job.’ He is an outsourced violence specialist, salaried with the tax dollars of American citizens who would rather not do their own dirty work. It is not we who should be mystified by his actions. It is he who should be surprised that we have so suddenly resolved that we no longer require his sanguine services.

Or so we like to tell ourselves. In truth, the average American citizen has never been further removed, logistically or mentally, from the actual monstrosities that we have (up to May 25th, 2020) tasked our law enforcement with facing. Some of it, certainly, can be remedied in a more intelligent fashion (drug legalization would evaporate drug cartels, for example). But the fact remains that there is a massive ‘out of sight, out of mind’ at play here. Having police be little more than glorified customer service representatives may work in homogeneous and/or unarmed populations. But to defang and declaw law enforcement in a country as contentious and heavily-armed as this is, at best, a way to make sure only robots are crazy enough to take a policing job. At worst, consider what happened in Little Village, a predominantly Hispanic portion of Chicago, but on a much larger scale. Seeing no particular reason why their stores should be emptied and burned, or their Abuela terrified in her own home, just because George Floyd was killed, the Village quickly became a No-Go zone ala Europe–except those who were being ‘told’ No were African Americans and white Antifa instead of police.

I would like to humbly suggest that causing heavily-armed white areas to ‘police themselves’ by dint of defunding actual police, is probably not the best way to reduce racial violence.

How to Lose a Revolution Before It’s Begun

It wasn’t until I impulsively clicked on an MSNBC livestream out of Santa Monica that it dawned on me. I had assumed the position of effete American leftists–especially in the media–would be to endorse an attitude of ‘anything goes’ regarding the George Floyd backlash. But there they were, bemoaning the destruction of The Sake House and gasping as rioters tried to pull a hose out of a firefighters’ grasp. A guest commentator even noted that every box of free sneakers carried out of shattered windows is another few thousand new votes for Trump. In short, their take (that these are bad optics with the potential to put civil rights back incalculably) was indistinguishable from the take being given on Fox News.

Homogeny among MSNBC and Fox, I pondered? What is this–9/11? Traumatic imagery seems to be the only way to shift the fairly indifferent Silent Majority of U.S. moderates in a particular direction. Just days ago, one would have assumed the imagery in question would be, and would remain, Floyd’s murder. The total destruction of a Minneapolis police precinct came and went without batting an eye. Fair enough, the collective consciousness whispered. But the ensuing footage, like B-roll from The Purge, wherein familiar streets and amenities are pillaged and plundered against the Floyd family’s wishes has proved a bridge too far. The message is clear:

BLM, Antifa–you can burn police stations if you want; they can fend for themselves. But don’t you lay a goddamned finger on my Starbucks & McDonalds.

The uniquely leftist way of saying this is, arguably, “Sure, Black Lives Matter–but can’t they Matter without inconveniencing me?”

This reaction, though surprising even to a cynic such as myself, isn’t at all unprecedented. The American psyche is not at all as unpredictable and bipolar as its political extremists sometimes make it seem. At the end of the day, it is a corporation-country. Sometimes you have to indulge a strike, maybe even some Luddite sabotage, but eventually everyone is going back to work, or else.

The fact that the National Guard has not yet been ordered to open fire on looters (despite hollow tweets to that effect) perhaps signifies that the corporation’s patience still has reserves. I think this patience is due–sad to say–to the arguable fact that the role of these looters within said corporation is to wind up in prison. And wind up there they shall, no matter how many times our benevolent bosses decide to let them go. Even if a few get to keep their new plasma TVs and stay free long enough to enjoy them, what is that compared to the astounding budgetary benefits police are going to gain from these temper tantrums? We thought they were militarized before? What do you suppose they will look like once every station is outfitted to repel a city-wide assault? We may have meant to say to police, ‘look here, stop killing unarmed civilians!’ But what they heard was, ‘hey, become so terrifying that you don’t have to kill unarmed civilians.’

As for Trump, the only way he doesn’t get 4 more years* is if he is no longer corporeal (and if that happens, the Republican fallback may well be the Fascistic nightmare that American leftists have long fantasized Trump is). He is getting his Conservative Supreme Court, the NRA is going to eat other special interest lobbyists’ lunches for decades to come, and any newfangled economic recovery methods he (or should I say Jared) thinks up is getting passed. Optional: Israel finishes its plans for Palestine, knowing they will never have a better opportunity again.

Walking to a vandalized church, Bible in hand…God, that’s good. Our Left have been so worried about ‘institutionalized racism’ that they forgot the possibility of causing its far more personal renaissance. They spoke of the devil until he appeared. Although, this time around I expect it will be far more class than color based. The days of the bedsheet wearers are behind us; the days of those with something to lose making sure they are ready to dispatch any irksome have-nots has only just begun. The corporation is restructuring, and our urban department is about to get downsized.

RIP George Floyd. RIP Tony Timpa.

 

*…OK, if they hijack Biden at the convention with an Oprah/Obama ticket, it won’t be that easy.