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Monday, 21 September 2015

Racists in Our Midst: A Screed Against the White Nationalists Part 2

This is part 2 of an extensive essay that was intended as portion of my book and conservative standpoint series. However, with the modern course of events and the explosion of racist conversation among social media users and in the public forum it mutated. I will post a new post in the essay on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

This post briefly explains why conservative principles have nothing to do with race and Burke's conception of prejudice can be misconstrued. 

 The focus is on why racism is building in conservative circles, why it is unconservative and what we can do about it. 

Part 2 Why the White Nationalists are not conservatives. 

The modern conservative intellectual tradition effectively begins with either David Hume or Edmund Burke and both authors seemingly espouse principles easily conflated with WN ideas. First among them is the apology by Burke for prejudice as the public means of decision making, which it seems is very amenable to a misinterpretation, consciously or not, by the WN’s and their sympathizers. Russell Kirk in his perennial masterwork The Conservative Mind, gives an account of the Burkean interpretation of prejudice and its form and function in decision making, ‘[p]rejudice is not bigotry or superstition, although prejudice may sometimes degenerate into these. Prejudice is prejudgment,’ supplied by ‘ancestral consensus.’ As is recognized by many Burke put stock in the unformulated knowledge of people, this knowledge is constructed of, ‘accumulated experience of innumerable ancestors … the greater part remains embedded in instinct, common custom, prejudice, [and here the author maintains that WN individuals mis-read] and ancient usage. Man natural tends toward rationalization of conduct and articulation, and the WN movement is in fact the attempt by some, wrongly, to articulate their own personal discomfort and racism in the form of a misunderstanding of Burkean prejudice as a signifier of legitimacy. Perhaps they misread, and unconsciously rely upon, the modern definition of prejudice: from Oxford Dictionaries: Dislike, hostility, or unjust behavior deriving from unfounded opinions; from Oxford Canadian Thesaurus synonyms include bias, partisanship, intolerance, discrimination, among many other pejorative vernacular readings.

Subsidiary to this presumption is the interpretation that inequality is just. This is a principle widely solicited in the conservative writings of many difference politicians, philosophers and theorists, but Hume was one of the first to initiate the conservative position discussion in his book, An Enquery Concerning the Principles of Morals. Hume recognized most attempts to craft equality were ‘impracticable,’ and ‘pernicious,’ he spoke true when he said, ‘[r]ender possessions ever so equal, men’s different degrees of art, care, and industry will immediately break that equality.’ This recognition so prescient in 1751 leaves one Burkean tenant unaddressed and therefore lends itself to crude misconstruction. Burke maintained in Reflections on the Revolution in France that all political action must first subordinate itself to circumstance. This is best illustrated in his passionate refutation of a madman’s freedom. What does this mean for the WN interpretation? it means that though inequality exists on a global scale and in fact from a conservative standpoint may be debatably just, it ignores the preconditions of a stable society, in which individuals may make the most of their respected talent and ability to flourish. How can they condemn the Africans as barbaric or the Muslims as backward when the gradualism of the western tradition has never existed in these places, rather the old institutions and rulers were unprincipled removed at the behest of democracy and civil stability as is all too apparent in many regions was destroyed, often at the hands of colonialists who, though they did much positive, still left arbitrary leadership in place of artificial nation states.

Many conservatives, Russell Kirk first among them, as far as popular conservatives go, have also held a special place in their heart for religion. They recognized not unlike St Augustine that Christianity was central to the west flourishing. Even Kirk’s ten conservative principles, taken to be axioms by many, begin with an appeal to faith: ‘First, the conservative believes that there exists an enduring moral order.’ What does an enduring moral order have to do with the infestation of WN thought? It is quite simple, the Christian doctrine (in which Kirk and many others strongly believed in) is one of charity and love toward fellow human beings, it is one that advances the interest of all humankind in the name of god and insists upon sympathy for the man who has experienced hardship. WN’s laugh, and slander those who adopted babies from the third world outside their own race, yet these are the people who are largely living the Christian doctrine of caritas and human fellowship.

WN’s profess a love for western civilization and western tradition yet, when it comes to executing the Jesus’s practices in the temporal realm, they are the first to resist doctrine: they reject those precepts that make up the very heart of the western tradition as embodied in Christianity. The irony is palpable.

Another deeply held axiom within the historical conservative oeuvre is the appeal to nation. Not in necessarily its literal sense, but rather as an appeal to common sentiment, culture, institutions, faith, and history. WN’s advocate for the same convictions as conservatives but tack race onto the end. This is problematic as any scrutinizing thought will quickly uncover, because the white nations of the world, prior to the last three centuries were remarkably diverse Bosnians, Russians, Spanish, Norwegian, British etc. . . .  were all remarkably dissimilar until the nation state truly developed in toward the end of the 17th century and even then these crude amalgamations were diverse, as is easily identifiable in the movement toward centralization in what is now sometimes referred to as the movement of internal colonization in France and other regions of Europe.

It tends to be that when WN’s identify a group as white they are operating under the assumption that white is equivalent to having origins in western civilization. This is problematic not exclusively for the reason that white people are not simply westerners, but rather have been encompassed by varying definitions throughout history. Without doubt, some Arabs fit into the category of white, as do Jews, even Latin Americans largely fall into the class of white, unless you indulge in arbitrary distinction based upon peninsular and criollos status, even Tajiks and other central Asians as far as the Tarim Basin and Afghanistan occasionally exhibit extremely euro-Caucasian features; yet, none of these peoples would likely be classified by those who advocate for race realism and white pride as part of the white race. Instead, such individuals would craft spurious rationales to close the above examples out of their arbitrary groupings.

Skin colour is not history; its not memory or culture; its not shared values and its not strength, rather its something your born with and die with. By asserting that skin colour is just as powerful as western values personal autonomy is annihilated it is the most deterministic and pejorative suggestion possible that a man or woman's nature is preconceived and incompatible with the western world.