On the nationalist side of politics, we frequently encounter a converse: if our people are thriving, and everyone else is starving, must this not be the result of our actions?
In the common human lexicon, if one group is thriving and another is not, because on a social level we assume them to be the same, this leaves only the conclusion that the thriving group victimized the less-thriving group.
We arrive at this conclusion because the notion of equality commands it. If we say that humans are equal, then we must explain the obvious contradiction of that statement by results in reality, and the only answers available to us involve those unequal people being victims.
The quest that is thus created, or the War on Inequality as we might dub it, also provides convenient cover for tyrannical power: it has an unlimited mandate to end a great evil which cannot be ended because humans are not equal, nor do they have equal desires, and so results will always vary.
For example, not every person wants to be a billionaire, or even to live in the upper middle class suburbs that we are shown as “normal” America in movies. Most people want to live in a relatively safe community, have some friends and a family, and something to do with their time where they can succeed and relatively enjoy what they do.
In the eyes of many, that requires only a city apartment or rural trailer, some alcohol and a local friend group, maybe a rotating series of significant others. The vast majority of humanity seem to live this way, going through life as a self alone, looking for whatever pleasures can come to them and not worrying themselves excessively about obligations to anything larger than the self.
The War on Inequality then mobilizes people toward discontent and avarice, telling them that their current lives are not enough and that there may be more free money around the corner. The average person, understanding nothing of economics, will see this as something like a lottery: there is a small chance of a big win, so go for it, and if it fails, just ignore the minor loss to them and move on.
When we apply this jihad against inequality toward a mixed-race society, we telegraph to different ethnic groups that they have the potential ability to exploit the richer group, thus making their group more powerful. Since any society not designed by their own group and run by it for its own purposes is effectively hostile to them, they see a winning strategy here: deplete the enemy, increase their own strength, and eventually dominate. Not surprisingly, this is what non Western European but European-descended white groups did for the first century and a half of American government, and now, non-European racial groups have taken up the same quest.
For this strategy to work, these non-founding groups must style themselves as victims and subsidies as the only possible solution. Empirical data suggests that this is not true:
If we wanted to be serious about evidence, we might compare where blacks stood a hundred years after the end of slavery with where they stood after 30 years of the liberal welfare state. In other words, we could compare hard evidence on “the legacy of slavery” with hard evidence on the legacy of liberals.
Despite the grand myth that black economic progress began or accelerated with the passage of the civil rights laws and “war on poverty” programs of the 1960s, the cold fact is that the poverty rate among blacks fell from 87 percent in 1940 to 47 percent by 1960. This was before any of those programs began.
Over the next 20 years, the poverty rate among blacks fell another 18 percentage points, compared to the 40-point drop in the previous 20 years. This was the continuation of a previous economic trend, at a slower rate of progress, not the economic grand deliverance proclaimed by liberals and self-serving black “leaders.”
…The murder rate among blacks in 1960 was one-half of what it became 20 years later, after a legacy of liberals’ law enforcement policies. Public housing projects in the first half of the 20th century were clean, safe places, where people slept outside on hot summer nights, when they were too poor to afford air conditioning. That was before admissions standards for public housing projects were lowered or abandoned, in the euphoria of liberal non-judgmental notions. And it was before the toxic message of victimhood was spread by liberals. We all know what hell holes public housing has become in our times. The same toxic message produced similar social results among lower-income people in England, despite an absence of a “legacy of slavery” there.
In other words, African-Americans have become a pawn of the Left, who are using them to justify programs that do not actually benefit them in the long term, despite delivering the promise of more money and power in the short term.
In a longer perspective view, African-Americans benefited mostly from the economic and technological growth of the United States which enabled them to have basic jobs, food, housing and some consumer goods in exchange for merely having some kind of employment. Public education allowed them to have a range of jobs beyond sharecropper, which was their replacement economic role after the end of slavery.
However, that development has been arrested, mostly by Leftist social programs, which induced a victimhood/scapegoat mentality and caused African-American expectations to fall, mostly by directing the argument away from economics and toward subsidy politics:
Ex-slave Booker T. Washington saw manual or domestic labor as the first step up the ladder of economic mobility and thus by no means degrading. “No race that has anything to contribute to the markets of the world is long in any degree ostracized,” declared the founder of Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute for teaching blacks skilled trades. But the economic advance that would lead to social acceptance required education and the spread of work skills, to allow blacks to “rise to the level of owning stores, operating factories, owning bank stocks, loaning white people money, and manufacturing goods that the white man needs,” Washington taught.
…Du Bois sensed the necessity of conventional morality for a people’s rise. He worried that, by his estimate, a quarter of black births in 1900 were out of wedlock, and only half of blacks observed “monogamic sex mores,” as opposed to whites’ 2 percent and 90 percent, respectively. He also worried that black preachers were too interested in making money to “adopt a new attitude toward rational amusement and sound moral habits.” He saw, in other words, that black cultural mores had a self-destructive streak, and that the one indigenous black institution that could preach a moral message was shirking its principal duty. As it later turned out, one of the tragedies of twentieth-century black American history is that those churches fell under the Du Bois spell, becoming political organizations—partly out of the self-interestedness that Du Bois scorned in their preachers—rather than agencies of personal improvement and self-discipline, soul by soul.
…We fought a Civil War that cost 620,000 lives, ratified the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution, had a civil rights movement, a Civil Rights Act, a Voting Rights Act, a War on Poverty, a massive affirmative-action program in education and employment. Now, says Dattel, it’s up to black Americans. “Before we can achieve any major, broad-based improvement in the social and economic status of blacks, they must develop a frank process of self-examination to replace the current unwillingness to look objectively at destructive behavioral norms. Otherwise, the myriad programs designed specifically to aid blacks will fail to achieve large-scale transformation. The particular burden—of facing themselves—lies squarely on the black community.”
Du Bois and Washington discovered two sides of nationalism: any group that wishes to prevail must be self-reliant, and it must adopt the cultural attitudes that allow it to succeed; these are generally of a natural selection variety that rewards good behavior and punishes bad, with good being the productive and non-destructive and bad being the irrelevant or destructive.
American politics, in its zeal for blaming the dominant ethnic group (Western Europeans) for the woes of all groups who came since to take advantage of what that founding group created, also generated a scapegoat rhetoric that removes agency and self-reliance from these minority groups, making them perpetually self-destructive.
On top of this, as Washington noted, there are attributes to the African-American community that make it prone to be self-destructive anyway. Others, perhaps more cynical than your author, will note the lower average IQs and lack of centuries spent in tight collaboration and manorial, honor-based societies. Either way: white people did not do this to you.
Those who understand nationalism will add another point, which is that diversity sabotages any group. To be part of a mixed-race nation is to be unstable, as an ethnic group, because other groups have their own self-interest lying elsewhere than an exact overlap with yours. Groups may be able to come together for economic and political reasons, but never on questions of their future or the very specific values, standards and principles that ethnic groups develop in order to keep themselves together and improving.
With the rise of victimhood/scapegoat policies, the Left targeted nationalism, because to be anything but universal — accessible to all humans — means that someone is kept our, or rather that everyone else is kept out. To someone who has an ethnic home in a country dedicated to that ethnic group, this is not threatening. But in mixed-ethnic and mixed-race states, this natural exclusion provokes a “fear of missing out” style resentment of the identity of others manifested in a desire to destroy that identity:
But racism and xenophobia don’t need to be physically violent to cause harm – they are underlying belief systems, hateful words, ignorant thoughts, a dismissal of one’s experiences of racism and xenophobia, and the alienation of those who do not ‘fit’ into the category of ‘Irish’. There are Irish people who actively avoid getting into taxis with black drivers; who ignorantly stereotype people of various races and ethnicities; who mock other people’s accents; who use slurs without shame; who talk degradingly about “foreign nationals” who are coming to Ireland and “taking our jobs”; who believe certain groups of people all look the same; and who tell people of colour, “You should just go back to your own country then,” lest they criticize Ireland.
…I reckon it’s time for us to open up the borders of Irishness, and change what it means to be Irish nowadays. Beginning to openly and understandingly discuss race, culture and the evolving nature of contemporary Ireland will only help us to enrich Irishness. I’ve always known Ireland to be multicultural, complex and varied, but I still often feel as if I’m a mismatch with the ‘traditional’ sense of Irishness; I’m the loner cousin that no one really likes talking about at family get-togethers, but is put up with in the corner all the same. It’s time that we discussed the changing nature of Irishness and shed light on the non-white Irish experience, letting the alienated cousin know that they’re part of the family after all.
Multicultural “Irishness” is not Irishness; it is an obliteration of Irishness. Much as victimhood/scapegoat politics led African-Americans to discard proper identity politics, in which they work toward a positive identity by curtailing the negative, multiculturalism causes people to focus on tearing down culture and replacing it with economics alone.
As The Age of Ideology winds down, we are leaving behind the notion of universality, or that we can set up one system that works for all groups. Instead, we are noticing that each group has its own needs, many of which are arbitrary, but that these are not aberrant but seek to give the group common symbols and practices to cement its identity.
With the realization that each ethnic group needs its own ability to determine its future, we are also leaving behind the old narrative that white people somehow victimized the world and forced them into poverty. Instead, we are seeing that diversity harms these groups, and obstructs them from what they need, which is rule over themselves and the ability to determine their own future.