Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The Internal Contradictions of Our Rulers Political Faith

When CNN's Don Lemon interviewed Gladys Knight, who sang the National Anthem at Super Bowl LIII, he ran a tape of Colin Kaepernick's lawyer making the lefty activist case against the National Anthem and then basically asked Knight how she could descend to singing the National Anthem at a public event and didn't she worry that such an act could hurt her career.

Knight returned evil with love, and said there is "a better way to do this than to be angry", and basically said that if you are not going to honor your country what are you going to honor.

Meanwhile, President Trump is going to honor a rainbow coalition of ordinary folks at his State of the Union speech tonight, from the
family members of an elderly couple killed by illegal immigrants and the father of a seaman killed in the U.S.S. Cole attack... [to the first] Americans released from prison as a result of the First Step Act, a woman recovering from opioid addiction, and a border enforcement official.
And also a kid getting bullied at school because of his unfortunate surname.

Hello liberals! Do you not get that if some kid called Joshua Trump is being bullied at school, then You! Did It! as Col. Pickering has it in My Fair Lady.

While the Democrats accuse President Trump of being a racist, anyone with eyes to see can tell that the president is openly making a bid for minority votes. Indeed, that is a part of the whole idea of Make America Great Again. It's not just for the forgotten white working class, but for the African Americans that have failed to thrive in the 50 years since the civil rights era, not to mention low-skilled Americans of every stripe that are forced to compete with legal and illegal immigrants.

Stop-Press: wages for manual workers are presently rising faster than wages for white-collar workers.

Now I don't know if Trump's  populist nationalism counts as "civic nationalism" or some other nationalism. But I do know that if Trump can't create a political culture where all Americans, whatever their "diverse" origins, can celebrate being Americans and members of the American nation, then we are heading for a very dark age.

Because if nationalism fails then we will revert to narrower, meaner forms of identity based on race and religion.

The basic fact is that humans must belong to a tribe. My Tribalism series explains the whole procedure.

In our modern age we have two competing tribalisms. There is the tribalism of "nation," the notion that all people living in some unified political territory are all members of the nation.

Then there is the tribalism of the current western educated ruling class that issues from leftist thinking based on the international class war imagined by Marx. Its notion is "anything but nation." It imagines itself free of the taint of tribalism, especially of nationalism-is-a-dirty-word-because-Hitler.

But, of course, since the educated ruling class believes in its divine right to rule, because the Enlightenment, and believes in politics as a salvific, or at least beneficial, quest, it has to invent its own form of tribalism. Because all politics is based on a tribalism.

If you believe in politics, then you believe in tribalism. If you don't understand that then you'd better stop reading now.

The two forms of tribalism that our rulers have invented are "identity politics" and "supranationalism." There is nothing remarkable about this. If you decide against the tribalism of nation then you are going to have to find another tribalism that works for you.

Identity politics is a sub-national tribalism. Because all politics is based on tribalism it is necessary for rulers to appeal to voters based on some sort of tribalism. In the 19th century big-city machine politics was based on ethnic and religious origin: Irish, Italian, Jewish, Catholic: identity politics. By the New Deal era this was blended with the class politics of socialism/welfare-statism: identity politics again. In the post civil rights era identity politics has meant anti-white-male-ism: identity politics. So our rulers use identity politics to manipulate and divide the electorate. Divide and conquer.

The other tribalism is the actual tribe of our supra-national leaders. Their identity group is the transnational educated elite that studies and works and conferences with itself all over the world. To this tribe the tribalism of nationalism is mean and narrow. You see it already in Ecce Homo in Nietzsche, who sneers at German nationalism as having "deprived Europe itself of its meaning... into a dead-end street." Napoleon is his guy. And Stefan Zweig, writing in 1940, echoes Nietzsche, wondering why all Europeans could not get together like he and his writer friends from Austria, Germany, France, Italy,  Britain have done.

Well, echoing Enoch Powell, "Europe" cannot work because there is no European demos, no European people. The intellectuals and philosophers don't get this because they experience themselves and their brothers-in-arms in the global intelligentsia as a tribe of brothers, and therefore why can't we all get along as they do? Because, dear intellectuals, just because all you writers and intellectuals feel like brothers doesn't mean that the rest of the world feels the same, especially since you chaps are working overtime to divide us all with your supranational political dreams. Indeed, you chaps make it perfectly clear that we "deplorables" are outside the charmed circle of intellectual brotherhood and we'd better get with the program or, as Don Lemon so aptly says, it could be curtains for your career.

My point is that we humans are tribal: our politics is going to be tribal. The question is which tribalism  works best? In my view nationalism is the best thing going thus far. It unifies a diverse population into a single national idea, based on a fake unity of language and a historical unity based on the war that founded the nation.

Yeah, that last thing is key. All nations were founded in a war. So there cannot be a Europe until the Europeans fight and win a war. Think about the meaning of that!

Our rulers' divide-and-conquer identity politics is a Great Reaction back to the tribalism of the agricultural era; the supranational notion is a non-starter because there is no supranational demos, except among the elite.

So my prediction is that Trump's Make America Great Again nationalism will win despite the united opposition of the better sort of people. And it is going to drive them mad.

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