Friday, October 12, 2007

Why does the left treat us differently?

Why do white liberals accept the traditions of other cultures but not their own? Why do liberals associate any expression of white identity with supremacism?

It's not easy for traditionalists to grasp the answers to such questions. I want to to suggest in this post how liberals arrive at such positions, but to do so it helps if I begin with the liberal approach to gender.

Put briefly, liberals believe in autonomy as an overriding good. They believe that to be fully human we must be self-determining agents. We do not determine our sex for ourselves and therefore our sex is treated by liberals as something unnatural and restrictive, from which we must be liberated. Sex must be made not to matter.

For right liberals this means that the past, in which there were distinct sex roles, is to be regretted, but that as a matter of "progress", these sex roles will become defunct, particularly in terms of labour market participation, which for right liberals is a central social function.

Left liberals take things further. They too see the male career role as the premier one, and they ask why, if sex roles are artificial, there has existed "discrimination" and "inequality". Their answer is that a group of people have formed a social construct, "men", in order to dominate, exploit and oppress the "other", those categorised as "women".

Once left liberals take this view, a number of other positions logically follow. First, it isn't just a question of patiently waiting for "progress" to deliver the goods; instead, male "privilege" is to be aggressively attacked and whatever helps to form and uphold male loyalties or a masculine existence is to be deconstructed.

Second, a sense of active hostility to men becomes justified. For the more radical of liberal men, it begins to make sense to act against, and identify in opposition to, a traditional masculine culture.

When it comes to ethnicity there is a similar distinction between right and left liberals. We don't get to choose our ethnicity, and therefore liberals believe that it should be made not to matter.

Right liberals tend to take this as a universal principle. For them, all people are to assimilate into a culture based on liberal political values. Right-wing journalist Andrew Bolt does not even make the usual exception for Aborigines; he once complained that a group of Aborigines who wanted to retain control over an historic artefact, by acting as a tribe, were flouting:

The humanist idea that we are all individuals, free to make our own identities as equal members of the human race.

Similarly Bolt has written that he doesn't like there being a category of Aboriginal art at the National Gallery because such categories "drive us back into our racial prisons".

Right liberals might well regret forms of racial discrimination in the past, but this is likely to be seen as a measure of the time, which progress toward liberal ideals is erasing. There is no particular reason for right liberals to feel an animosity toward their own race, so they tend to combine a belief in non-discriminatory mass immigration, often justified in terms of market needs, with a positive view of their own tradition. John Howard, for instance, has described his own position as follows:

It's perfectly possible for an Anglo-Celtic Australian who sort of has a lot of reverence to the traditional institutions of the country, and the traditional characteristics of Australia, and to want to hang on to those, to be completely tolerant and colour-blind and so on.

This is the awkward position you arrive at when you accept as a universal principle the idea that ethnicity is not to matter, but when you have not lost your self-regard.

For the left, it's a different story. They once again ask the question of why there was once "inequality", in which whites were dominant in the West and, for a period at least, in colonies overseas.

Their answer follows the same train of thought as the one they give for gender inequality: they assert that a group of people organised themselves into an artificial category of race in order to dominate, exploit and oppress the non-white "other".

If whites are an artificial construct who oppress others in order to gain unearned privilege, then it is whites who stand in the way of the emergence of freedom and equality. This explains:

a) The apparent contradiction that white liberals seek to undermine the very societies most dedicated to ideals of freedom and equality in order to achieve freedom and equality.

b) The leftist insistence that white communities are aberrations whose existence is to be considered illegitimate. It is especially illegitimate for a community to exist in which whites are a majority and in a position to exercise power.

(Jennifer Clarke, a teacher at the Australian National University, recently described Australia as a "regionally anomalous white enclave run largely by white people to our own advantage", in which anti-discrimination laws should be applied more effectively so that "a majority of Australians would no longer be of northern European ethnic heritage".)

c) The apparent "self-hatred" of left liberal whites. If the whole purpose of a white identity is to oppress and exploit others, and to hinder the achievement of equality and freedom, then it is logical for left-liberals to turn against their own identity and tradition. In fact, it becomes logical for left liberals to fiercely seek to undermine whatever continues to hold together a white communal existence.

If white communities are, as left-liberals assert, artificially constructed to uphold privilege, and if this explains the existence of inequality, then certain other seemingly irrational positions taken by the left can be better understood. These include:

a) The idea that Australia's prosperity somehow holds back or keeps down the living conditions of people elsewhere. Jennifer Clarke, for instance, writes that:

"the Australian way of life" itself may encapsulate undesirable social values, if that phrase extends to the idea that it is legitimate for those of us who live here to continue to monopolise more than our fair share of the earth's resources, while people who live in African refugee camps and Javanese slums must get by on far less.

The assumption is that we are prosperous not because of stable governance or a strong work ethic, but because we have monopolised the world's resources for ourselves. (As it happens, there's a story in today's paper which begins "Wars stripped $284 billion from Africa between 1990 and 2005, which is roughly equivalent to the entire amount of aid money given to the world's poorest continent." Perhaps there are better explanations for poverty in Africa than the efforts made by Australians to develop our own continent.)

b) The association of white nationalism with white supremacy. When individual whites assert their own communal loyalty, left liberals often describe them as white supremacists. This makes sense if you assume that the very purpose of "whiteness" is to establish dominance and privilege over others.

This is how Jennifer Clarke expresses her suspicion of English immigrants to Australia:

Similar questions might arise about some British emigration, particularly by "whites" leaving multicultural London. Antisocial behaviour by white supremacists or European or Christian chauvinists is not always defined or prosecuted as a crime ... but it can be just as destructive for a nation's social fabric.

Even quietly leaving a multiculture is enough to associate you, in Jennifer Clarke's mind, with white supremacism and anti-social behaviour.

c) The belief that the pro-immigration, open borders liberal right are in reality white supremacists.

Leftists see themselves as dissenting outsiders and the right as the power wielding establishment. Since the leftist ideology assumes that power is wielded by whites to uphold white privilege and to exclude and exploit others, it stands to reason that the right (power wielding whites) must be white supremacists.

There are those on the left who persevere in this view even as the Liberal Party has raised foreign immigration to record levels and transformed the Australian professional classes with fee paying overseas students.

Here is Jennifer Clarke expressing such a view about the Liberal Party Immigration Minister, Kevin Andrews:

What many Australians, including Mr Andrews, still seem to want - decades after the "white Australia" policy was supposedly abolished - is a little piece of northern Europe at the crossroads of Asia and the Pacific. What they don't want are too many funny-looking people from Elsewhere coming here ...

d) An acceptance of the communal life of the "other". It seems odd that leftists should be so fiercely opposed to any expression of white communal identity, but then accept the same expressions of identity from other groups. Professor Robert Manne, for instance, has defended the existence of traditional Aboriginal communities as follows:

... if the traditional communities are indeed destroyed, one distinctive expression of human life - with its own forms of language, culture, spirituality and sensibility - will simply become extinct. Humanity is enriched and shaped by the diversity of its forms of life. It is vastly impoverished as this diversity declines. If contemporary Australians allow what remains of the traditional Aboriginal world to die, we will be haunted by the tragedy for generations.

When it comes to white Australian society, Professor Manne seems to forget such fine principles. He sticks the boot in as hard as he can.

Perhaps the contradiction can be partly explained by the fact that the left doesn't universalise the principle that "ethnicity ought not to matter" as the right tends to do. There are different categories in the leftist way of thinking about the issue. There are white communities, which represent the oppressive power of ethnicity, which have invented racism and discrimination, and which represent what is artificial in terms of identity.

The non-white "other" must therefore stand as a different category, not participating in such negative aspects of identity. To set up a category of "whiteness" as the source of artificial and oppressive identity suggests that the "other" category cannot be the source of artificial and oppressive identity. The universalism is broken.

Or, to put it another way, leftists have a choice of contradictions. If they view non-white ethnicity as racist and oppressive, it undercuts the theory that such qualities are particular to the construction of whiteness. If, on the other hand, they view non-white ethnicity as positive and natural, it undercuts the liberal idea that ethnicity in general is a restrictive limitation on the individual - in which case, why shouldn't whites enjoy the benefits of ethnic identity as others do?

Finally, I'd like to suggest two reasons why it's difficult for left-liberals to abandon the theory they've adopted. First, the theory assumes that whites are dominant exploiters. Therefore, white left-liberals are likely to have a false sense of security about the position of themselves and their co-ethnics. They aren't likely to sense the dangers to their civilisation as quickly as they might otherwise be expected to.

Second, the theory has a kind of inbuilt defence. If there are whites who challenge the theory, this can be taken as merely confirming what the theory claims; that whites are conditioned to organise to defend their privileged status.

For these and other reasons, the theory isn't easily dismissed. Even so, as it takes ever more radical forms, it tends to alienate those not professionally committed to it, so we ought to keep hammering away at its inconsistencies and at its ideological foundations.


  1. That inbuilt defense is really just a special case of Marxian / Rousseuvian "false consciousness" doctrine.

    I've come to believe that the liberal championing of individual autonomy is insincere, anyway. How could it be sincere, when liberals claim a de facto privilege of dictating your choices and stances? Madam, you are free to be whatever you choose...but you must be a feminist and may not be a homemaker. Sir, you may believe whatever you choose...but fie upon you if you choose to believe in Christianity. Ladies and gentlemen, it's your individual choices that matter...but don't you dare seek to own a large house, raise a large family, or drive an SUV.

    This isn't autonomy as I understand the word.

    Most overt freedom-talk from liberals is cosmetic, and the rest is about sex. Whoops, there's another: your sexual choices are your own affair, but don't you dare disapprove of anyone else's "lifestyle!"

    Liberalism's "autonomy" canard is a put-on for public consumption. Their game is power. It always has been, from the earliest proto-Progressive meliorists to the greenies and welfare-state social fascists of today.

  2. More about how South Africa is trying to get the whities to come back:

    Guess they didn't like it after all when Atlas Shrugged.

  3. Consider the following quotes from Gates of Vienna (The Age of White Masochism):

    "I used to believe until quite recently that skin color was irrelevant. I was brought up that way. I still don't think ethnicity or race does or should mean everything. In fact, I would say it is patently uncivilized to claim that it means everything. But I can no longer say with a straight face that it means absolutely nothing, and if it means more than nothing, it needs to be taken into account. Whether we like this or not is immaterial."

    "In May 2007, Osama bin Laden's deputy terrorist leader Ayman al-Zawahri stated that 'Al-Qaida is not merely for the benefit of Muslims. That's why I want blacks in America, people of color, American Indians, Hispanics, and all the weak and oppressed in North and South America, in Africa and Asia, and all over the world. ' Read that statement closely. This Jihadist organization is calling for a global war against whites. Not Christians or Jews. Whites. I have been told all of my life that skin color is irrelevant, but this balancing act gets a lot more difficult when somebody declares war against you because of your race."

    "As Professor David Conway demonstrates in his book A Nation Of Immigrants?, after the invasion led by William the Conqueror in 1066, the total number of Norman settlers in Britain was never more than five per cent of the population. The inflow now is 25 times any previous level and frequently from totally alien cultures, not from neighboring territories and cultural cousins as previously."

    "Ireland, Denmark, Britain, France, Sweden, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands have one, and only one, thing in common: The natives are white, and thereby have no legitimate claim to their own countries."

    "The problem is, this change, which has already made the country a lot less safe than it was only a generation ago, has been conducted without real debate, solely with propaganda and censorship. And I'm not so sure all of these groups have come merely to 'visit' us. Some of them are here to colonize and subdue us, and readily admit this if you care to listen to them."

    "During the Multicultural craze of the 1990s, novelist Torgrim Eggen in an essay entitled 'The psychotic racism' warned against 'race wars in the streets' as a result of mass immigration. The solution to this was not to limit immigration, but to limit criticism of immigration. According to Eggen, xenophobia and opposition to mass immigration should be viewed as a mental illness, and hence 'the solution to this xenophobia is that you should distribute medication to those who are seriously affected. I have discussed this with professor of community medicine, Dr. Per Fugelli, and he liked the idea.' Mr Fugelli suggested putting anti psychotic drugs in the city's drinking water."

    "Ethnologist Maria B├Ąckman in her study 'Whiteness and gender' followed a group of Swedish girls in the immigrant-dominated suburb of Rinkeby outside Stockholm. Several of the native girls stated that they had dyed their hair to avoid harassment and being called 'whore.' We thus already now have a situation where being blond in certain areas of Sweden, not just in Pakistan or Egypt, makes you a target of harassment and aggression."

    "if I am to take the blame, personally, for every bad act, perceived or real, committed by any white person in the past, it is only fair that I, personally, should also take credit for their achievements. It was peoples of European stock who created the modern world, not anybody else. If I am to be held personally responsible for colonialism, I want personal credit for being a part of the one civilization that has taken the greatest strides for mankind of any civilization that has ever existed on this planet. I'm done with apologizing for my existence for the nameless crime of being born white."

    "I've been told by Americans that they have moved beyond race, but judging from examples such as this, it looks more as if they have established a culture of institutionalized white masochism. It's not that Americans have moved beyond race, it's just that the whites have unilaterally surrendered."

    "It has happened many times that a people move into an area and subdue those living there, but the natives have at least been allowed to defend themselves. It is unprecedented in the annals of history that a people is banned by their own leaders from defending their lands from foreign colonization and are even expected to fund this colonization. It is one of the greatest crimes of our age that the indigenous people of an entire continent, at least the Western half of it, are systematically deprived of their heritage, their history, their land and ultimately perhaps their entire physical existence, all with the active aid of the very individuals who are supposed to protect their interests. The only reason why this is considered positive, or even remotely acceptable, is because the natives in this case are white. There is no other reason for this."

    "common sense indicates that giving away your country to alien cultures is more extreme than merely wanting to preserve it as it once was."

    "We are not extremists; we are subject to policies that are extreme."

    "I hear some writers fear an extremist backlash in Europe, but if people are so concerned about white extremism then they should cease creating the foundations for such extremism to grow. Native Europeans increasingly get the feeling that they are pushed into a corner and have an entirely justifiable fear of being overwhelmed. Fear leads to desperation, and desperation sometimes leads to aggression. If we do get an outbreak of political movements in Europe that really are extremist — and I sometimes fear this outcome, too — this will not come about because white Europeans are born evil, it will come about because white Europeans will be pushed into extremism, feel that their continued existence is at stake and that they have been abandoned by their own authorities."

    "For my part, I am being entirely honest if I say that I still love visiting other cultures, but I will love this even more if I know I can also return to my own.For my part, I am being entirely honest if I say that I still love visiting other cultures, but I will love this even more if I know I can also return to my own."

  4. Francis, I think you are on the money.

    Power over others is the name of their game.

  5. It was peoples of European stock who created the modern world, not anybody else... I'm done with apologizing for my existence for the nameless crime of being born white.

    Indeed. "Multiculturalism" simply means, that every culture is encouraged to celebrate its own achievements, except for the one culture that actually achieved something.