Thursday, August 09, 2018

A Jeongian analysis

Most readers will know the story of Sarah Jeong. She was hired by the New York Times despite a string of social media posts attacking whites.

The episode prompted Reihan Salam, who is of Bangladeshi ancestry, to write a column in The Atlantic about the prevalence of anti-white sentiment in the social circles he moves in. He writes:
What I want to do, though, is look beyond the particulars of Jeong’s remarks to better understand why anti-white rhetoric is, in some communities, so commonplace as to be banal.

He believes that some of the white bashing is due to "intra-white status jockeying":
The people I’ve heard archly denounce whites have for the most part been upwardly-mobile people who’ve proven pretty adept at navigating elite, predominantly white spaces. A lot of them have been whites who pride themselves on their diverse social circles and their enlightened views, and who indulge in their own half-ironic white-bashing to underscore that it is their achieved identity as intelligent, worldly people that counts most, not their ascribed identity as being of recognizably European descent.

I think there is some truth to this observation that social status signalling is at play. I work alongside middle-class white women who get a little excited at times when there is an opportunity to denounce white men. These are women who marry or date white men, who have white sons and who are most comfortable in a middle-class white milieu. So, in their case at least, it is not driven by personal hatred, but by some sort of status signalling (which is obvious at times, as when they contrast their own views with that of some distant, and less "enlightened," white relative).

Note that Reihan Salam connects this attitude to an underlying liberal idea, namely that our identity is not supposed to be ascribed (given to us), but self-determined (individually achieved). In other words, the liberal elite is finding ways to signal their rejection of a given (white) identity, including a sense of pride or status derived from the achievements of whites as a group, in favour of what they believe they have achieved on their own.

(This brings to mind the emphasis placed by Jordan Peterson on the idea that there should be no pride or status found within a group identity and that only a pride in individual achievement is to be permitted. He shares this view with the liberal elite. I would urge him to consider the benefit to society if the elite derived a sense of pride and status from both their own achievements and that of the larger tradition they belong to. The elite would then have a more positive regard for their own tradition and a greater sense of sharing a common fate with their compatriots.)

Reihan Salam goes on to consider why upwardly-mobile Asians might be drawn to anti-white speech. This part of his column is, in my opinion, a tour de force. He begins by observing that anti-white rhetoric can help Asian Americans advance in their careers as it draws the support of liberal whites in the elite:
But many of the white-bashers of my acquaintance have been highly-educated and affluent Asian American professionals. So why do they do it? What work is this usually (though not always) gentle and irony-steeped white-bashing actually performing?

...In some instances, white-bashing can actually serve as a means of ascent, especially for Asian Americans. Embracing the culture of upper-white self-flagellation can spur avowedly enlightened whites to eagerly cheer on their Asian American comrades who show (abstract, faceless, numberless) lower-white people what for. 

He explains in some detail how an Asian American who aspires to become an elite insider needs to "crack the code" of liberal-think on "racial justice" issues. He also explains how anti-white rhetoric helps to ease the "burden of representativeness" for elite Asian Americans. What he means is that there is a tension in being part of a privileged elite whilst standing in for a supposedly disadvantaged minority group:
Because you are present in elite spaces, your authenticity will often be called into question. So white-bashing becomes a form of assuaging internal and external doubts, affirming that despite ascending into the elite, you are not entirely of it.

It's an intelligent attempt to analyse the purposes served by anti-white speech and it's worth carefully reading through the original article.

A note to Melbourne readers. If you are sympathetic to the ideas of this website, please visit the site of the Melbourne Traditionalists. It's important that traditionalists don't remain isolated from each other; our group provides a great opportunity for traditionalists to meet up and connect. Details at the website.


  1. Colin Liddel wrote something similar but in a more insightful and cutting way "Sarah Jeong wants to be white".

    But certainly a lot of this stuff is intra-white status signalling, it's amazing to me that anyone who has spent any time around upper middle class professional whites would fail to see this.

    1. I notice a tendency of liberals to prefer that traditionalists should act in a closeted manner and not "pollute" public discourse by causing "division".

      Liberals are actually angrier at traditionalists of their own ethnic group. We are seen to have "betrayed the tribe" by rejecting liberal ideals. It's tribalism in service of deracination.

      By contrast left-liberals never display this level of animus against a traditionalist Muslim, and right-liberals never display animus against Chinese state-owned industries.

    2. A good example here:

      It speaks much about the arrogance of liberals that they believe it is they who are the moral arbiters of what is allowed and what is not. (remember when liberals said you can't legislate morality) Even mild right-liberalism is considered "hate speech"

  2. The problem is - what happens when the low-status perenially opressed forget that it's a signalling device and start to take it literally?

    I am also somewhat baffled by Petersons position. Group identity as practiced by the left is prescriptive and merely a tactic to ultimately atomize / individualize people. As such what's needed is definitely not more individualism, but an appreciation for authentic descriptive group identity.

    1. what happens when the low-status perennially oppressed forget that it's a signalling device and start to take it literally?

      Yes, the problem is not just that it's a demented way for a white person to status signal, but that it's extraordinarily dangerous as well - it feeds an animosity toward whites at a time of demographic shift.

    2. Group identity as practiced by the left is prescriptive and merely a tactic to ultimately atomize / individualize people

      Good point.

  3. I don't think that virtue signalling is entirely the reason for the observed phenomenon of anti- white rhetoric. At a more fundamental level, in the human psyche weakness in the other is deplored and invites aggression and contempt toward the other. Men are they key to society as the upholders of its tradition, religion and culture, ethnic roots and land and wealth and its defenders from internal and external aggressors. The Victorian writer Anthony Trollope noted the weakness of the Anglo Saxon male in the 19th century describing many of his male characters as domesticated pets. The general weakness and softness of the males of a society has profound consequences. Weak males do not command respect and they invite contempt and aggression towards the. The first consequence of this was feminism which is essentially a reaction by women to the observable fact that their men were weak and unable to provide the security they needed. The second consequence was the subversion of the anglo countries by aliens from both within and without as immigration steadily increased. Immigrants, facing no opposition, and have stealthily gained more wealth, power and ultimately control over the host societies. Immigrants do not respect the countries of the white man, they detest his weakness in handing everything over to them.

    White men could stop this immediately by concerted action to force immigrants to leave and regain control of their countries. Hungary has done it, Italy is doing it but the Anglo Saxon culture with its rampant individualism and materialism makes this difficult as each man is out for himself and himself alone. And a single man cannot fight an organised force.

    1. Economic inequality between the First and Third Worlds is the root cause of immigration. The end of colonialism was supposed to herald in these nations rising to First World living standards, but this has not happened outside of East Asia. Even the end of the superpower-driven "brushfire wars" hasn't resulted in these countries reaching Second World status. So entire academic departments exist to explain away these disparities as the fault of capitalism, or an insidious white racist conspiracy.

      Any regaining of our sovereignty is going to come at a heavy cost, likely requiring payment of vast sums for immigrants to repatriate and for more immigrants to not come. Our sentiments against immigration are easily attacked by liberals and socialists as selfish base desires against "harder-working" competition, and also as "karmic retribution" for imperialism.

      From a Machiavellian perspective, promoting feminism in the Third World is of tremendous benefit to us. How successful it could be I am not sure, and I certainly would not want it to be. Immigrants often wire back significant portions of their income, becoming "Big Men" in their ancestral village, which if anything tends to reduce feminism by raising their SMV.

    2. Well said Anonymous. "feminism... is essentially a reaction by women to the observable fact that their men were weak and unable to provide the security they needed. The second... "immigrants... detest [t]his weakness in handing everything over to them", and "White men could stop this immediately", but they won't, since the weakness is manifest to everyone; it's practically a white manifesto.

    3. "The end of colonialism was supposed to herald in these nations rising to First World living standards"

      The end of colonialism was supposed to allow the natives to regain control of their own countries and end the foreign occupation of their lands and expropriation of their wealth. It was never intended to lead to First World status. Most of the natives who recall the British Empire actually preferred living under the British who provided law and order and security. It was the native elites who wanted independence and got it and shortly afterwards massive political and economic corruption followed. The concept of independence is relative however, as most of the Third World is massively indebted to the major Western financial institutions and their governments effectively western puppets.

      What do you mean by promoting feminism in the Third World? Most of the Third World already has universal suffrage (India is the world's largest democracy) and most of the countries have female politicians and many have female presidents ( all of the countries of the Indian subcontinent have had female rulers, Philippines, Burma, Thailand, Hong Kong). The Muslim states of Pakistan and Bangladesh had female presidents. Most have been dynastic rulers but nevertheless still won elections.

      Most Third World countries have 50% female students in urban universities, even Muslim Pakistan, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia have universities with medical and law schools exclusively for women. Most Third World countries have high rates of female employment from agriculture in rural areas to medicine, law and business in the urban areas and many export their women to work in the Middle East. It doesn't lead to divorce or illegitimacy or falling birth rates. The family is still strong.

    4. Having a female leader, even female university students being a majority, does not create feminism. Feminism is a specific legal policy aimed at achieving "gender equality". This is distinct from the cultural phenomenon of Western feminism. It must be specifically enacted to work, it cannot be created via the private sector because it relates to the enforcement of contracts and law via the courts. Birth rates have actually fallen in most Third World countries, Africa south of the Sahara is the main exception. One reason family breakdown has not been as severe in the Third World is because the courts are still influenced by a traditionalist culture (see Japan where the constitution was written by American liberals and ignored by the conservative Japanese judges) and in some countries don't use the Western legal systems.

    5. Don't ignore the role of christian ngos in keeping them down here's an example.

  4. I'm not so sure that the anti-white commentary from Asians is a way in. I was a wedding photographer interacting in a pretty jovial familier way with thousands of people from many ethnic groups, in other words they said what they thought. The thing I could see was that each and every ethnic group thought they were the best, you won the jackpot being born Lebanese or Vietnamese or Serbian or anything. The same thing goes for races, religions and sexual groups like gays. They all think they're the best and even that the others, the non gays, the non Japanese, non Jews are jealous. When the Russians arrived I heard only stories about how dangerous, pitiless and hard life was as a Russian and that no other nationality had life spirit and culture as wonderful as a Russian. And each group has a sense of injustice coming from not being on the top of the pile where they belong. I think that's where the resentment towards higher achieving nationalities and religions comes from. The amount of resentment is an individual thing depending on whether an individual is the grateful type. I heard plenty of people get up and say how wonderful Australia is and that they were blessed to be here but for the not so grateful it's a feeling that they and their fellows belong on the top and someone should do something about it.

    1. That's called ethnic conflict.

      IT only happens when you have 'diversity' to begin with. Pattern is the same everywhere: 1. Let us in. 2. We want to take over and destroy you.

      Solution is to prevent or reverse step 1.

  5. This brings to mind the emphasis placed by Jordan Peterson on the idea that there should be no pride or status found within a group identity and that only a pride in individual achievement is to be permitted.

    But the elites seem to have enormous pride and status as a result of their membership of the elite class. Which is a group identity. And it's not dependent on individual achievement - merely being accepted as as member of the elite class is enough.

    1. Jordan Peterson is very comfortable with group identity.

      Just not White group identity. ITs striking.

      He spends a lot of time now with Jews who explicitly advance Jewish interests and identity and completely ignores it. Something is very wrong there.