Contra: The Intersectional Imperium
The hunt for dissidents, intersectional imperialism, critical race theory and its discontents, why American elites love wokeness, beyond "whiteness," the rise of the Moors, fired by bot at Amazon.
Hello! Happy Fourth of July weekend.
The Infrastructure Trojan Horse
For The Spectator, I wrote about the GOP’s self-inflicted problems—and the problems it inflicts on its base.
The official Twitter account of VOX Madrid, the local chapter of a Spanish political party, noted a funny and familiar thing recently.
In 2015, under a Communist party mayor, the colors of the rainbow illuminated Madrid’s city hall in a tribute to the LGBTQ community. In 2021, under a conservative mayor, the same rainbow shone over city hall. ‘The left proposes new ideas, the center adopts them, and the so-called right administers them,’ tweeted VOX with pictures of the two scenes. It’s hard to think of a better description of what the Republican party does in the United States.
The Hunt for Dissidents
For The American Mind, I wrote about the Biden administration’s domestic terrorism agenda, and why it means bad news for political dissent. The pretense, of course, is countering the threat of white extremism.
All groups are capable of interracial violence; in 21st-century America, some groups are perpetrating it more than others. The Roberts shootings came on the heels of other attacks on whites as well as rising interracial crime against Asians. As noted by the Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald, the preponderance of the evidence shows that black assailants are predominantly fueling these increases in violence. But none of this fits the narrative of omnipresent white terrorism theorized in the apocalyptic lectures of academics, pandered to by corporations, popularized by the politico-media complex, and instrumentalized by the government. This socially constructed specter of a white supremacist threat justifies treating Americans as terrorists based on their political opinions.
Biden’s plan also calls for considering a new domestic extremism law—i.e., a Patriot Act directed at white males instead of jihadists. However, no such law is necessary, and the absence of one makes these stirrings in the machinery of bureaucracy all the more nefarious.
Restrictionism’s Last Stand
My big piece in The American Conservative on Prop. 187 is online at last. This is a deep dive into the history, causes, and consequences of that ill-fated measure. My goal was to show that the popular narrative of 187 as baseless and bigoted is complete nonsense.
May 1990 appears to have been a bad month for minority race relations in the City of Angels. “Gunfire, fistfights and racial tension erupted almost simultaneously at three Los Angeles-area high schools Tuesday morning,” the Los Angeles Times reported on May 2. A squad of police officers backed by a helicopter descended upon Jordan High School as a large crowd of black and Latino students exchanged insults and threats. “Blacks feel like they are second-class citizens now that they are outsiders,” said a black junior at Jordan. “Some blacks think we ought to remind a few people this was once our campus.” At Inglewood High School, black students walked out of a Cinco de Mayo assembly in retaliation for a Latino student walkout during a Black History Month assembly in February. A brawl erupted that was soon joined by local gang members.
Incidents like these, spurred by California’s rapid demographic change, provide a different light in which to view Proposition 187. This ill-fated measure would have denied state social services, including education and non-emergency health care, to illegal aliens.
Middle American Bureaucrat
My latest podcast is online. A former Trump White House lawyer and bureaucrat joined me for this one—don’t worry, he’s one of the good guys.
And full episode for subscribers is available here.
Rachel Maddow "Is Not News" Says Court Ruling!
Lastly, I’m including this nice shoutout from Glenn Greenwald on The Jimmy Dore Show around 15:00. Glenn endorses me as a “100% Mexican” heterodox journalist saying things on Tucker Carlson’s show that CNN wouldn’t air although they are not necessarily “right-wing” views.
This issue is heavy on Substack takes because that's where a lot of the interesting writing is happening these days. There is more overlap now between the dissident left and right as these traditional distinctions collapse in the face of a political order that has assimilated "woke" ideologies to rehabilitate its image and justify its continued growth and consolidation of power.
In August, I wrote about this with the killing of Cannon Hinnant in the background for American Greatness. I wrote a follow up in September, “The Ruling Class Strikes Back.” And in February, I wrote about this again in the New York Post.
Alex Rubinstein writes on the merger of leftoid politics and the Globalist American Empire.
With Trump-style nationalism out the door, a new era of imperial ideology is upon us. This mutation of the empire's dominant dogma is manifesting throughout global institutions of economic, political and social control and is materializing in a myriad of conflict theatres.
In order to identify where woke imperialism exists, we have to define it first. So what is it? It’s certainly not the first iteration of hegemonic domination buttressed by moralism.
The doctrine of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) was officialized by the United Nations in 2005, but its roots really trace back to the NATO bombing campaign of Yugoslavia. During the Obama years, the term “humanitarian intervention” caught on as the main moniker for such actions.
Woke imperialism should be understood as a maturation of these concepts. As corporations have increasingly embraced “rainbow capitalism” to keep up with the sensibilities of an increasingly liberal US public, so too have institutions of United States imperialism refined their pitches to reflect the increasing popularity of identity politics.
Critical Race Theory and its Discontents
Indian Bronson writes on the problem of employing liberal weapons in a war against illiberal leftism when that leftism is the logical conclusion of liberalism’s contradictions.
The basis of James Lindsay’s, Claire Lehmann’s and everyone else’s critiques of Critical Race Theory, despite varying levels of niceties or rhetorical caution is that this CRT stuff contradicts our ‘everyone should be treated the same and left alone to do what they want’ thesis. But why should everyone be treated the same and left alone to do what they want? Because they’re all equal?
If they’re all spiritually equal, what about when they materially aren’t?
It doesn’t matter; there could be any number of explanations as to why but the what is intolerable to Liberalism’s telos; that all people are equal (and if not must be made equal). Old school Liberals are pining for a world which Liberalism itself cannot tolerate. They want freedom for all, but freedom for all allows difference. Dynamical systems with many degrees of freedom change. There is difference. Humanity, in its kaleidoscopic diversity of talents and inclinations, its repeated expansions and contractions, did differentiate.
Why do American Elites love Wokeness?
Alexei Arora argues wokeness is just liberalism and capitalism pushed to its true extent.
“Woke Capital” or “Wokeness” is a phenomena that we have witnessed a lot lately. I broadly refer to it as a set of beliefs that claim, but are not limited to, the following:
Society is fundamentally racist/sexist/patriarchal/colonialist and must be corrected/dismantled;
Diversity in appearance is good but diversity of views is not;
Class does not matter, and if it somehow does then it must be secondary to race/gender/LGBTQ issues;
You must be punished for your wrong views, and redemption is unlikely;
If you oppose our beliefs you are a racist/fascist/neo-Nazi etc.
Many high-profile “academics” push such views. They include Robin DiAngelo and her book White Fragility; Ibrahim Kendi and his book How to Be an Antiracist; and Kimberle Crenshaw with her works on Intersectionality and her books on topics such as Critical Race Theory, among others.
I have heard many of my friends and acquaintances ask, “why specifically did Wokeness emerge”? “Why did it emerge in uber-Capitalist and uber-Liberal United States”? “Why is it the ideology-of-choice for the elite”? These are some important questions we must answer.
But I am not going to deeply go over the philosophical reasons for this phenomena (as that would be another article altogether). Instead, I’m going to explain to you why the American bourgeois elite and its strivers have chosen Wokeness as their dominant ideology.
Broadly speaking, Wokeness helps distract from Class divides, helps maintain the elites’ Class status without any noblesse-oblige, helps accelerate the atomization caused by Liberalism and Capitalism, and helps reinvigorate US imperialism.
Alexei and I recorded a podcast about on this topic in March. You can listen here.
Beyond "Whiteness": Positive and Negative Identities for White Americans
David Reaboi has some interesting thoughts on “positive” and “negative” identities for white Americans. Reaboi is reacting to the obvious problem of a liberal society in which there is a Congressional Black Caucus and a Congressional Hispanic Caucus, but to so much as speak of white people positively as a group with legitimate interests and grievances is forbidden. This is an unbearable double standard.
It is imperative that we begin to think through what it looks like for this group of Americans, who make up a massive part of the country. Because the answer, “no, not for you; fuck off” is unacceptable.
We can either pull back on identity politics—that self-running engine that encourages and moves us in this splintering, depressing direction—or we can figure out how to make peace with a positive conception of identity for white Americans. Considering, though, that both conservatives and classical liberals have failed to put a break on identity politics for the last few decades (and watched in horror as it’s gotten far more potent) that door seems to have closed. Above all, we need know what time it is, and to survey the scene as it is, not as we wish it could be.
Diagnosing the Right as Pathological
Christopher Roach in Chronicles writes that the regime in power seeks to marginalize its opponents within America by characterizing their political beliefs as a form of mental illness. The American version of this old Soviet tactic was perfected during the nation’s Middle Eastern adventures.
While President Joe Biden was supposed to turn down the temperature and restore normalcy to our political life, rhetoric from those in power increasingly echoes with dark references to “homegrown terrorists” and “extremists” emerging from a process of radicalization. For months after the inauguration, the ruling class maintained Washington, D.C. as a fortress city, complete with a Green Zone. The FBI, Justice Department, the Pentagon, and Biden himself have all said that countering extremism is now their first priority.
The left’s disparate factions united for a time around their opposition to the unorthodox Donald Trump. Having removed him from office and prevailed upon social media monopolies to silence him, the left is like the dog that caught the car: Trump’s absence leaves them in need of a new cause. The left’s internal need for a common enemy, more than the facts, explains their campaign to categorize Trump voters, and the right in general, as extreme. Countering extremism is the new unifying principle of the left.
“Rise of the Moors”
via NBC Boston:
Police say they have safely resolved a situation with a group of heavily armed men who refused to comply with police Saturday morning, resulting in the shut down of busy Interstate 95 and shelter-in-place orders for parts of Wakefield and Reading.
The group of nine men were reportedly in two cars stopped in the breakdown lane on I-95 in Wakefield with their hazard lights on around 1:30 a.m. when police stopped to assist them. Police said the responding trooper saw that they were wearing “tactical or military style” uniforms, including tactical vests and body cameras. Some had long rifles, others pistols or some combination of both.
State Police Col. Christopher Mason said the men identified themselves as being part of a group known as Rise of the Moors. The group's website describes them as "Moorish Americans dedicated to educating new Moors and influencing our Elders."
Fired by Bot at Amazon: ‘It’s You Against the Machine’
Stephen Normandin spent almost four years racing around Phoenix delivering packages as a contract driver for Amazon.com Inc. Then one day, he received an automated email. The algorithms tracking him had decided he wasn’t doing his job properly.
The 63-year-old Army veteran was stunned. He’d been fired by a machine.