Monday, August 12, 2019

White Supremacy, White Nationalism, Toxic Masculinity: What's Not to Like?

For nigh on 50 years, the worst thing in the world was to be called a racist. It was shameful thus to be called, and liberals used the epithet ruthlessly.

Now, apparently, the cry of "racism" does not pack the punch it once had. So now we are supposed to cringe at the cry of "white nationalist," or "white supremacy." And don't forget "toxic masculinity."

Now is our chance, to take the new vile accusations of the left, and put 'em where the sun don't shine.

I don't know exactly what is meant by "white nationalism," but I'd say that any ideology for any nation state in the world is bound to be based on the ideas of some white man that lived in the last half millennium. Even the idea of a nation state is a white idea.

And what was the whole idea of a nation state? It was to replace the constant war-of-the-nobles of the feudal era. Good or bad, kids? Check out Shakespeare's Wars of the Roses plays if you are not sure.

White nationalism? Hey, if you are a non-white whaddya think is best for you? To side with the guys whose religion and culture birthed the amazing Great Enrichment that has brought the whole world out of one-failed-harvest-away-from-starvation. Or Back to the Future with the neo-feudalism of the Islamo-terrorists? I can't see into peoples' minds, but if I were an East-Asian American or a Hispanic American I would want to get on with establishing my family in the prosperous US economy, and making sure my kids get serious and get themselves a good education -- despite the government's best efforts -- and get a decent career going. The heck with protesting and identity politics.

Oh yeah. And what is identity politics but racism, straight up.

When we talk about "white supremacy" what do we mean? Government under law? The separation of powers? Human rights? The right to peaceably assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances? The understanding of prices and markets with economics? The Industrial Revolution? The automobobble? Ocean transportation? The aluminum sky of jet planes?

Whatabout slavery? It was universal until, for some reason in the late 1700s a bunch of white people started to organize against it politically. But there is still quite a lot of slavery going on in the world today. In non-white lands.

Whatabout colonialism? Well, in India, the British colonialists reckoned by about 1850 that they ought to hand over India to the Indians -- at some point. But by just being there in India they taught the educated Indians about the nation state and its financing; they more or less encouraged the Indians to develop an Indian National Movement. Yep. That's your white supremacy: teaching the "natives" how to do it. How patronizing can you get?

The point about colonialism is that, some time in the 19th century, and gathering strength thereafter, the notion arose in white countries that colonialism was not the thing, old chap. And I think that is because, in the industrial era, westerners -- white people -- discovered that the old agenda of conquest and loot and plunder, that had obtained from the dawn of agriculture and before, did not pay any more.

In China, a Chinese Christian wrote about the Chinese experience of the collision with white supremacy. From Jesus in Beijing by David Aikman, about the "success, in fact, the pre-eminence of the West all over the world."
At first we thought it was because you had more powerful guns that we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity. That is why the West has been so powerful. The Christian moral foundation of social and cultural life was what made possible the emergence of capitalism and the successful transition to democratic politics.
Can you spell "politics is downstream from culture is downstream from religion?"

Yeah. So let's look at the two biggest countries in the world, the great agricultural cultures of India and China. Both of these countries have adopted white-developed political systems. In India we have the nation of federated states, with democracy and, after a pause of 40 years, capitalism. In China we have the Marxian Community Party running the place as what amounts to a national socialist state, because in 1979 the Communist Party leader switched from on white supremacy idea, socialism, to another white supremacy idea, capitalism. Whaddya know?

So. When the two most ancient cultures of the world adopt western -- or white -- ideas, what exactly are you trying to say with your pejorative of "white supremacy?" Enquiring minds would like to know.

And as for "toxic masculinity," you girls just have no clue what you are talking about. Yes, I know that the girls have all got together since time immemorial to complain about men. There is no question, we are insensitive beasts that only have one thing on our mind.

But the fact is that it is men that invented the modern world, in which women could now come out into the public square. It was men that discovered the Germ Theory and that made childbirth much safer for women and for the first time in the history of the world made female life expectancy longer than male life expectancy. OK. It was a girl, Florence Nightingale, that invented modern nursing. Yet it is also true that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.

I say that the emergence of pseudo-intellectual pejoratives like "white supremacy" and "toxic masculinity" are signs that the old pejoratives are losing their sting. And it couldn't happen fast enough.

But the thing to do with the new pejoratives is to rush to own them. Yeah I'm a white nationalist! You gotta better idea? Full speed ahead on white supremacy! With a bit more capitalism we could finally eradicate the last vestiges of hunger! Toxic masculinity! How about doubling the number of tech startups!

And here's a final thought. In the second half of the 19th century in the British Raj the question of "famine" became a thing. What? You think that India wasn't having famines all along, since well before the British East India Company showed up in Madras and Calcutta?

The point is that, by 1850 there was public communications that could broadcast the fact of famine far and wide. So people beyond the stricken area actually knew about it. And there was a technology, railways and steamships, that could in double-quick time get food to the stricken areas. And there was money, wealth, for handouts to the stricken areas to give people food and jobs while the famine lasted. And there was the idea that the government should "do something" when the monsoon failed.

All that is part and parcel, as the Brits say, of white nationalism and white supremacy and the toxic masculinity that invented steam transportation on land and sea.

Long may they reign!

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