Ethics Dilemma: What Do You Do With Steve King?

Steve King

Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) is an infamous loose cannon, as well as being Cro-Magnon in his politics. He is prone to misstatements, colorful hyperbole and utter nonsense. There are head-scratching lists all over the web of his “greatest hits.”  Once, for example, he suggested that “For every time we give amnesty to an illegal immigrant, we would just deport a liberal.” OK, that was tongue in cheek (I hope), if hardly helpful to the cause of mutual respect and comity, but this probably wasn’t:

“If there is a sexual predator out there who has impregnated a young girl. Say a thirteen year old girl; and it happens in America more times than you and I would like to think. That sexual predator could pick that girl up off the playground at the middle school and haul her across the state line and force her to get an abortion to irradiate the evidence of his crime and bring her back and drop her off at the swing set and that’s not against the law in the United States of America.”

Actually, that would violate a number of laws, but never mind: Rep. King is an ultra-conservative idiot, and “the Julie Principle” applies: fish gotta swim and birds gotta fly.” If the good people of Iowa want someone like this to be one of their voices in the House, so be it, but don’t expect me to eat as much corn as I might otherwise.  Unfortunately, though, elected officials whose minds and tongues are not well connected to each other and who lack ethics alarms as well eventually get themselves into real trouble, unless they are nominated as the Republican candidate for President, like Steve King’s favorite orange tycoon.

The cock finally crowed for Steve King this week when, appearing on MSNBC  (which loves to book really stupid Republicans and conservatives because it makes all Republicans and conservatives look as stupid as MSNBC’s audience thinks they are) leftist pundit Charles Pierce engaged in typical ageist, racist-baiting that good progressives think is perfectly fine. He sneered about “old white people” controlling the  GOP and said that Republican convention was filled with “loud, unhappy, dissatisfied white people.”

Naturally, Steve King saw this as his signal to embrace white supremacy, saying..

“This whole ‘white people’ business, though, does get a little tired, Charlie. I mean, I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out, where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you’re talking about? Where did any other sub-group of people contribute to civilization?”

Excellent timing, Congressman! Here is the nation on the verge of racial conflict, with police being targeting for death and afraid to police, while the black community is being convinced that a white justice system is biased against them, and you start talking like a Grand Dragon on national TV.

Like so much King says, this is so blindingly cretinous  that one can almost forget that it’s also offensive. “Sub-groups”? Do they not teach about Asia and Egypt in Iowa? To attempt to list all of the hundreds of thousands–millions?— of non-white men and women who have made profound contributions to civilization is to diminish them. The Congressman’s own last name should give him a hint regarding one relatively recent example.

Steve King had the germ of one valid point, which is that the “old white people” and “old white men” mantra of the Left is itself offensive, being racist, misandrous, and ageist in tone and, yes, intent.  Charles Pierce deserved to be called out, but when people of stunted wit and  broken ethics alarms try to do the calling, they tend to botch the assignment. That’s what happened here.

Rep. King started backtracking soon after, as even he, dim as he is, could sense that he crossed some lines with huge, flashing red warning lights on them. It was too late, though. He is now forever on record, and video, asserting the innate superiority of the white race.

Good job.

What is the proper political and societal response to King? We don’t want to establish a standard where professional talkers, which is what Congressman are, along with comedians, shock jocks and radio talk show hosts, are immediately shunned and banished for the inevitable instances when a thought comes out horribly wrong. That chills free speech, and there are proliferating numbers of activists, especially on the progressive side, that want to chill it; after all, if people are afraid to  speak opposing views, the Left has a clear field no matter what bad policies they push.

To them,”hate speech” means “they hate our agenda.”

On the other hand, our democracy’s government doesn’t engender trust when it has white supremacists, or fools who periodically sound like them, in positions of power.

The Republicans are in a bind of their own making, since they just nominated as their standard bearer a man who also says silly things and has no ethics alarms, and one who regularly bulls across lines with huge, flashing red warning lights on them. Nonetheless, unless they want to cement an image as the party of not merely old white guys but old white guys who never studied history and think their race is superior to other “sub-groups,” they have to deal with King, and immediately.

First, King should apologize, and someone should help him craft his statement. Maybe Melania Trump could help. For the love of God, don’t trust King.

Second, the party should disavow his comments, sincerely, forcefully, and publicly.

Third, someone responsible, Paul Ryan perhaps, should sit King down and explain to him in simple, clear English that he is an embarrassment, and that he needs to stop going on MSNBC.  King  might consider hiring someone with good judgment and a taser to stand close to him whenever he speaks to the news media.

Fourth, the House should formally reprimand King, and…

Fifth, the GOP should move heaven and earth to ensure that someone else, ideally who can’t sing the Scarecrow’s song from “The Wizard of Oz” and mean it, runs for King’s seat.

That failing, Iowans should vote him out, as they should done have long ago.

52 thoughts on “Ethics Dilemma: What Do You Do With Steve King?

  1. Poorly phrased indeed. I think it IS possible to say that Western civilization, which gave us things like oh, democracy, constitutions, etc, is objectively superior to mandarin Chinese society, where little girls had their feet bound to keep them unnaturally tiny and castration was a prerequisite for civil service, or to pre-Raj Hindu society, where the Thuggee strangled travelers and widows were burned on their husbands funeral pyres. Even that stuff is a reach and guaranteed to stir up trouble. As a rule GOP folks shouldn’t swallow the MSNBC bait, it’s just going to produce more problems.

    • I agree generally but you have to be more broad in your considerations. Movable type, gun powder and fireworks were invented in China. The Great Wall is a remarkable achievement. The Taj Mahal is more beautiful than any architecture in the west.

      The west gave us Constitutions and democracy… and governments and politicians that try to avoid following and practicing them. The west gave us Thomas Jefferson, Ludwig con Mises and Albert Einstein but it also gave us Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.

      • It IS true that China invented those three things, and also came up with the concept of paper money – then became one of the backward nations. The Taj Mahal is a great achievement, but arguably Europe’s cathedrals and the great Greek temples can compete depending on taste – there is of course only one Taj Mahal, which adds to its value.

        Speaking in terms of ideas, the ideas of individual worth and having a part in one’s government are pretty unique to the West, as opposed to China’s advancement by exams (and graft) and India’s caste system, or Japan’s bakufu system where individual life had very little value.

        The West has failed more than a few times morally, and since we failed later in history the body count was often higher (plantation slavery, the Holocaust, not sure whether to count Communism since the Soviet Union is not necessarily part of the West) Still, most of the really big failings over the ages have been ah, east of Suez.

        History happened the way it happened, and it’s really not wise, or productive, to approach it with the agenda of burnishing up one group or attacking another.

        • In ‘The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century’, Houston Chamberlain writes an extensive comparative analysis on the Occident vs the Orient (though as you say it really should not be couched in that way). Take it from a white lackey Eurocentrist slime-creature, or perhaps not, but I think you would appreciate Houston Chamberlain. He is controversial and yet repsected even by those who don’t like his general conclusions.

          He writes quite extensively on China, yet critically. According to his perspective China has produced only a wee bit of didactic moralistic literature and very little else that can be taken as contribution (as we normally understand it). He doesn’t have much patience for Chinese religious modes, Taoism, Confucianism and such. The pan-Germanic world has created revolutionary religious modes that, in my way of seeing, are indeed ‘superior’. It is fair to say that the Occident has opened all the fields of thought that we can name and vast categories of literature and advances in all categories and on all levels.

          I would take some exception to your statement ‘History happened as it happened’. While I am not completely sure what that means to you, you could mean that what happened in the Occident happened randomly; or that it could have happened anywhere. And certainly establishing doctrines based in superiority and inferiority (‘Teutonic imperialism’, etc.) is unwise and problematic, nevertheless what came out of the Occident — and what comes out of the Occident — is unique and valuable, worthy of understanding and protection.

          (Whether anyone else cares to understand this or not is of minor concern to me, personally. I understand it and only wish to increase that understanding).

          • I’m very much a go-go Western culture guy myself, but Chamberlain did a lot of his writing when China scholarship as we’d recognize it today was still kind of in its infancy; we nowadays know more about China’s surprisingly good technology by the standards of the pre-modern era. That said, the region’s biggest downfall coming into the early modern era (outside of an increasingly stagnant bureaucracy) seems to have been its long-term failure to systematize most of its intellectual and technical thought, not to mention a growing outright disinterest in technical matters; for example, old Chinese technical manuals are often hard to follow because their writers seem to largely been bureaucrats and literati who disdained the technicians who had created the very technology they were writing about.

        • Still, most of the really big failings over the ages have been ah, east of Suez.

          Rewrite: Still, most of the big failings over the ages have been during the first couple of thousand years of any particular civilization. That’s considering national and natural barriers that don’t go along any particular meridian. If they last beyond a millennia or two, they’ve usually learned a thing or two.

          Some of those things might be an understanding of the concept of comparative values and why basic ethical principles have always been in vogue – including under the Shogunates, the Mughal emperors, the dynasties of China (going back to 2100BC, by the way), and other long-lived non-democracies). Or why certain types of governments or power structures work best with certain cultures at certain times, barring catastrophic disasters and military dictatorships (North Korea is still in its 68-year-old infancy and ailing). Or why philosophies of aesthetics differ to an extent that makes comparing art or architecture, or its presence or absence idiotic. Or why a majority of us believe our own way is best (and some of the latter think they need to Disnify, Democratize, and Develop everyone everywhere else on the planet).

          Example of some basic Asian principles aka Their Ethics: harmony, benevolence, righteousness, courtesy, wisdom, honesty, loyalty, filial piety.

          All of the above can be incorporated into the principles of what us non-Asian, non-African folks call universal ethics; our ethics:

          Concern for the well-being of others
          Respect for the autonomy of others
          Trustworthiness & honesty
          Willing compliance with the law (with the exception of civil disobedience)
          Basic justice; being fair
          Refusing to take unfair advantage
          Benevolence: doing good
          Preventing harm

          Different principles may take precedence in different circumstances. We don’t put Harmony first, for example, in fact, we don’t consider it at all as a spoken goal — but that’s what is created by combining most of the universal principles. Harmony (requiring coordination and co-operation, not uniformity as is sometimes assumed by non-Asians who tend to mistake peaceful homogeneity for a marketing opportunity) is exactly the cake we want in our hands while diversity, originality and, yes, creativity (for their own sake) are swallowed whole by the slice, as if “individuality” required we strive for separation from all others. . . . Civil Disobedience is unique to few cultures, and as an exception, more misunderstood as a principle and more misused than any other privilege. . . . Refusing to take unfair advantage goes to hell on the playing field (except if the Red Sox are involved, of course), and the lack of such a principle can be considered standard practice elsewhere. . . . Filial piety hmmm. When did we last hear the word “piety” or ever not identify it with orthodox religion? Call it “ancestor worship” or child slavery and it’s a dumb pagan superstition or a moral injustice. Call it “honor thy parents” and make it sort of mean “obey” them until you’re old enough to leave, and become them when you have your own kids … and visit the graves once a year. And don’t mention anyone else, much less remember great uncle Morty or second-cousin Gertrude and what they contributed to the harmony of the family and the community and perhaps the nation. Gone. And Forgotten. You probably never knew about them anyway.

          That’s enough, especially since it was a rational response to the bait hanging from a stupid-argument trap. There was I, just hanging around Jack’s Garden of Ethics minding my own metaphors when . . . .

                • That’s the thing – it can be further developed into a very telling essay on universal ethics and the east and west ethics prisms.

                • I don’t think the relevance is hard to grasp, Alicia. Penn is talking about how philosophy and ethical concepts are great contributions to civilization, more than mortar and steel, more than lands conquered or inventing the A-bomb. Ideas have more power than money and…power, and culture is not driven by color. If all the Asians had been born in Europe, all the whites in Africa and all Blacks in Asia, I’m pretty sure that the cultures would have come out the same. The US would have been settled by people who look like today’s Chinese, and they would have sold White people as slaves.

                  • No wonder I didn’t get it: if what you describe as the reasoning behind it is as you say, it is founded in obviously incorrect predicates. But ones typical of our present. If the Asians had been born in Europe, they’d be Asians. If the Europeans were translated to Africa they’d be whites-in-Africa.

                    It is a false-concept that you can insert people into a cultural situation as cogs and imagine they will act, behave, see and do as the natural people.

                    And because I understand this as being so, it is obvious why I understand Europe as requiring protection from invasion, and also why identity, and holding fast to genetic identity, is a value I stress. This and perhaps a whole group of such understandings differentiate my views from hyper-liberalism.

                    We are our bodies moving genetically through time and space, and out of our bodies we give birth to and express spirit and mind.

                    Despite the slur ‘white supremacy’ the underlying philosophy founded in self-understanding allows for a genuine respect of difference.

                    I’d suggest your universalizing notion actually creates problems because it is founded in an imposition of a falsely-conceived idealism.

                    I said it did not appear relevant. Tangents are, of course, in the eye of the beholder!

                    • People create culture. Culture doesn’t create people. Lets be crude and clear: whites in Africa would have created the same culture as the blacks did, and if all Europeans were yellow, Europeans would be no different. Clear yet?

                    • Specific people, in specific places, create specific culture. Culture and race (ethnos) function together. If this is what you mean, clear indeed.

                      Translating a foreign people to a different cultural context will significantly change the culture. Preservation of culture is thus preservation of the integrity of a people.

                    • ARGGGH! Can you read? It’s millions of years ago. The first lung-fish crawl out of the muck and slowly evolve into humans in Africa. They turn out white instead of black. African culture develops no differently than it has. NOW is it clear?

                    • “And because I understand this as being so, it is obvious why I understand Europe as requiring protection from invasion, and also why identity, and holding fast to genetic identity, is a value I stress.”

                      You are racist and gross.

                    • Jack, your statement is clear. It has no bearing that I can see on King’s assertion, or my explanations of his assertions. The cultures of Europe are post-African in any case even from the accepted Afro-centric view.

                      Is there a specific thing you want me to see and understand? If there is, I am not getting it.

                    • Chris, you’ve already made that statement. To be more interesting take some time to rebut the assertion. If that is not your value, how do you describe the value you hold to? What do you propose?

                    • Jack wrote: “It points out that thinking the color of people has anything to do with their historical achievements is moronic and racist.”

                      But that’s your phrase or rephrase and not mine. The historical achievements of a specific people are related and connected, specifically, to that people. The people of people is how I would prefer to phrase it, or the cultural situation of a people. And this explains my identitarian posture.

                      My position allows me to understand and to appreciate as well as to value all people, and other people. I do not see it as a disadvantage, I see it as an advantage.

                      I do (I think quite fully) understand that you and people who see things as you do have no apparent choice but to label my views as ‘racist’. But as I say I use the term ‘race-realist’. Maybe they are synonymous for you. I see them as different.

                      Modern race-realism, as for example defined by Alain de Benoit, would impress you with its non-racist stance (I mean here racism as you define it). However, my views are Eurocentric and that very certainly means ‘geneto-centric’ among many different things.

                      If this is bad, evil, cretinous or moronic in your book, I respect your opinion, though I do not agree with it.

                    • I think you need a new policy blocking AIs. Literature and film informs us that they always end up killing us all.

                    • No, no, I have not the strength to bear this any longer. God, the things they are doing to me! They pour cold water on my head! They do not heed me, nor see me, nor listen to me. What have I done to them? Why do they torture me? What do they want of poor me? What can I give them? I have nothing. My strength is gone, I cannot endure their torture. My head is aflame, and everything spins before my eyes. Save me, someone! Take me away. Give me three steeds, steeds as fast as the whirling wind! Seat yourself, driver, ring out, little harness bell, wing your way up, steeds, and rush me out of this Blog. On and on, so that nothing be seen of it, nothing. Yonder the sky wheels in its clouds; a tiny star glitters afar; a forest sweeps by with its dark trees, and the moon comes in its wake; a silvergrey mist swims below; a musical string twangs in the tropical mist; there is Maracaibo on one hand, there is Aruba on the other; and now ugly brick ‘ranchos’ can be discerned. Is that my home looming in the distance? Is that my mother sitting there at her window as the yam vendor teeters by with melancholy whisle? Mother dear, save your poor daughter! Shed a tear upon her aching head. See, how they torture her. Press the poor orphan to your heart. There is no place for her in the whole wide world! She is a hunted creature. Mother dear, take pity on your sick little child … And by the way, Gentle Reader, did you know that the title of Beth’s upcoming autobiography is said to be ‘From High School Ditz to High-Powered Attorney: My Arduous Verticle Ascent’?

                    • Universalizing a standard is a problem, but so is creating separate standards and imposing them over parts of the universe. It limits the freedom for people to find the place in the world where they can be most effective at what they choose to do. Genetic identity, you say? I’m sentimentally attached to my general appearance, but I’m also a transhumanist. Sooner or later, everyone’s DNA interferes with something they want, and I have no particular loyalty toward mine.

                      I would define myself as a meta-cultural imperialist: I believe we should all be on the same page as far as ethics and epistemology goes, and we should have a few conventions to make logistics and interactions possible, but when it comes to style, why bother imposing limits?

                      In order to create such a world, we need to eviscerate the Fundamental Attribution Error, along with other narrative biases that cause people to be bigoted. (The Fundamental Attribution Error is a bias the leads one to believe that when other people do bad things, it’s their nature, but when one does bad things, one has extenuating circumstances.) That way they can use perception mindset properly, instead of evolving their paradigms into consistent worldviews which are ultimately based on attractive assumptions.

                      If you want a pocket guide on how to avoid imposing narratives on other people, you can check out my comment here:

                • “Yet it has no bearing or relevance to the subject of the blog post (that I can see). I’ve read it 3 times and have no clear idea what I am to take away from it.”

                  I wonder what that must be like.

                  • Yet I am open to be made to understand. Imdo capture your irony, and I do deal in tangents, but that’s just the way I am right now.

                    What you desire to domis utterly discredit and drive from the conversation. Am I wrong? What do you want here?

    • I agree with a lot of your post about western civilization but I would just like to point out when he is saying white I don’t think he is referring to the Greeks or any of the other Mediterranean cultures but more then likely the European cultures that white supremists , we’ll see as superior.

  2. “King might consider hiring someone with good judgment and a taser to stand close to him whenever he speaks to the news media.”

    The makings of a really good skit. The taser operator could be compensated on a per tase basis.

  3. Normally, I spend my Wednesdays stewing meditatively in the cretinous slime out of which I crawled out onto the Earth’s surface, lo the many years ago. But this post has caught my attention. Where to begin? where to begin?

    This man, who I never have heard of (but I did see the video with his statements 2 days ago) may be a cretin (a ‘deformed and mentally retarded person’ in dialectical French), or half-wit, idiot or a moron; an ass, a nitwit, a goof jerk nerd or a schmuck, but his statement is a fair one, and a necessary one, if it is understood correctly.

    But in order to back up his statement it is required to have a firm grasp of and understanding of ‘our own traditions’ and attainments. One possible source, among dozens or even hundreds, is Werner Jaeger’s ‘Paidaia: The Ideals of Greek Culture’ in 3 volumes.

    The Greek world, and the pan-Germanic world, have set the stage for developments and attainments which have completely changed the face of the planet on all levels. It is simply indisputable. And there is no culture that has come at all close, on any level, at any time, ever.

    The level of benefit resulting from the foundations laid by the Occident (Greece and the pan-Germanic world, or Indo-Europeanism if you wish) is still fanning out, is still transforming primitive cultures and relationship to material existence.

    To sit here (dripping with my slime and perhaps about to catch me a cold) and explain such basic things to people who have been indoctrinated not to understand their own selves, their history, their accomplishments, feels I will admit a little weird. But I accept the challenge.

    I will further suggest — as a cretinous added secretion which I offer freely and charitably (in the Greek sense of course) — that a movement that is gathering steam in Europe right now, and which is enjoying some ideological inroads now in America, will continue to bring these core issues to the fore. Despite any pre-formed idea one might have, these ideas are founded in sound and reasonable thought; clear thought that can be lucidly expressed.

    The reasons why Europe has turned against itself (I mean Europe in the obvious and the widest sense) is a complex and a knotty issue. It has to do with Marxian ideological attack and the establishment of an self-undermining discourse that functions both ideologically and psychologically.

    To see this and to understand it requires 1) a certain amount of time and investigation, 2) a willingness to be depgrogrammed to a certain degree (which means to recognize programming, not so easy to do), and 3) a very demanding re-ordering of one’s conceptual structure.

    Well, my warm odorous viscous fluid where I feel safe and calm and protected is, in a manner of speaking, calling to me, so without further adieu I shall take my leave.

    I look forward to your group-administered spiritual tortures and if it please you many devastating rhetorical flourishes.

  4. Well the guy is an idiot. Obviously he must have never taken a course in world history or fallen asleep a lot. Anybody that knows anything about Asia would know that the Chinese invented gun powder and were able to build the Great Wall of China, the only man made object that can be seen from space without a telescope. The Arabs were able to make Damascus steel which is highly prized to this day. These are only a couple examples of what non European civilizations created. Off with King’s crown!

    • Actually the Great Wall of China is NOT visible from space, that’s an urban legend. Toledan swords were just as good as the Damascus blades, although the Japanese thousand-fold technique was, like it or not, the apex of bladesmithing. The biggest failure of the non-European civilizations was to cease progress, to the point where Diu and Malta and Lepanto sent Islamic civilization on the long, slow slide down into the Third World and after the Opium Wars the European powers sliced China up like a pizza. Japan escaped by becoming like the Western powers, with an army trained by the French and a navy based on the Royal Navy.

      • Kudos to the japanese for figuring out a way to take really really bad iron ore and turn it into a functional – if ridiculously specialized – blade, but I don’t know if I’d call it the “apex of bladesmithing.”

      • “The biggest failure of the non-European civilizations was to cease progress”

        Is that not the inevitable course of all Cultures?

        Rapid, nearly anarchic expansion as members of the core culture group build hegemony over surrounding areas. Exploit the bejeezus out of the resources (often unfairly for the locals). Grow lazy and comfortable in material abundance. Lose community cohesion. Be repopulated by culture groups that have benefited from living on the fringes. Collapse as a new cultural power-house expands nearby.

        But then, does progress actually cease? Or just it just slow down, as newly expanding cultures pick up the torch where the older ones left off?

        • (by the by, I consider that the “old world” method)

          This is by no means an attempt to draw analogy to our culture.

          Though, given the penchant by the Left to make us into an Old-World type culture and the Right (now waking up to the horrifying possibilities of the successful pandering the Left uses) may very well plunge us that direction.

    • I read your comments, Wayne, as pure, malicious and hilarious irony. You devil! Then I came to think that you probobly meant exactly what you wrote. I keep flipping back and forth indecisively and with each flip I think my brain is getting unloosed from its moorings.

  5. Jack wrote: “What is the proper political and societal response to King? We don’t want to establish a standard where professional talkers, which is what Congressman are, along with comedians, shock jocks and radio talk show hosts, are immediately shunned and banished for the inevitable instances when a thought comes out horribly wrong. That chills free speech, and there are proliferating numbers of activists, especially on the progressive side, that want to chill it; after all, if people are afraid to speak opposing views, the Left has a clear field no matter what bad policies they push.”

    It is I hope clear — you know this and I think everyone who reads what I write knows it — that I think within categories that are, as you say, ‘cretinous’. I am working to define a very different platform of understanding. Yet I will not call what I do unethical though I well understand that you and others, according to your views and interpretations, must see mine as such.

    I notice a disconnect (not sure what to call it) in one part of what you wrote. If there is free speech to be chilled, then we have to speak about two possible categories of free speech (I mean abstractly consider). If I engage in free speech (and free thought) I do so because I really believe what I think. It is not free speech to believe or articulate what I know is false, but speech which articulates what I understand to be true.

    While we know that disagreements arise, and that free speech guarantees that in a disagreement free speech rights protect each party, when we deal with more radical differences — foundational differences or profound differences of interrpetation — the question of free speech becomes problematic.

    You say that free speech must exist, and be protected, but yet you seem very clear about what you consider to be TRUE speech. You say that Congressman King is a cretin and a lower order of man because he speaks about what he believes. And you say that his speech cannot and should not be chilled. But in fact it must happen that the speech of other BE chilled if one’s certainties are, well, certainties. If you are so certain that a man cannot make the statement that he made because you are absolutely certain that it is 100% false, and if a whole polity thinks so, I am not sure what ‘right’ actually does exist.

    I’d make a different statement about King. I would say that he needs to go back to school (so to speak). He needs to get ever more clear about what he is saying. He needs to understand it profoundly and, as a truthful man and one interested in bringing out his truth, to resolve to articulate his understanding against what are, to his understanding, false-negations.

    You seem really only to allow one conclusion: your conclusion.

    A man (or a woman) who is convinced of his or her position, and I mean in this area (the area he mentioned), is not functioning the same as a ‘shock-jock’ or a ‘comedian’. He might be a serious person, a scholar and also a politician (I mean generally).

    ‘The proper societal response’? As if everyone should chime forth in the same way as if from a script?

    I am not convinced his ‘thought came out horribly wrong’. I think it came our substantially right. But such a thing canot be thought or said in a coercive intellectual environment.

    There is a great deal to talk about and think about here.

  6. leftist pundit Charles Pierce engaged in typical ageist, racist-baiting that good progressives think is perfectly fine. He sneered about “old white people” controlling the GOP and said that Republican convention was filled with “loud, unhappy, dissatisfied white people.”

    Why would Charles Pierce think that saying such things would do anything other than alienate whites?

    Humanity is like cats- tribal and territorial. And humans sharing a common characteristic, whether substantial or superficial, will band together if they perceive a common threat to them.They can not do otherwise, for it is their very nature to be tribal and territorial.

    • Why would Charles Pierce think that saying such things would do anything other than alienate whites?

      Wel, he’s white and has no problem with it. It will only alienate bad and racist whites: fuck them.

            • This is an interesting question. I have posted a video with excerpts from a speech given by Jonathan Bowden which was called ‘Western Society Bites Back’ a couple of times The entire speech is published on YouTube and can be listened to. I also downloaded a text version to my iPad. The theme of the talk is pretty much his answer to your question.

              Given the superficiality of your own ironical answer, it is likely that no part of this class of answer will be of interest to you, but yet your answer does hold some clues.

              In essence the ‘self-hating white’ is a postwar phenomenon. That war (those two wars really) were devastating to Europe. In a poem called ‘The World’s Wonders’ by Robinson Jeffers he wrote:

              “I have seen the United States grow up the strongest and wealthiest of nations, and swim in the wind over bankruptcy.

              I have seen Europe, for twenty-three hundred years the crown of this world, become its begger and cripple.

              I have seen my people, fooled by ambitious men and a froth of sentiment, waste themselves on three wars. None was required, all futiile, all grandly victorious. A forth is coming.”

              I don’t profess that I understand it all — though I am trying — I have come to understand that if there is a project of ‘white self-hatred’ it is tied up with the two European wars but certainly with the Second. How to look at it, how to describe it, how to express it, I am not sure. But it does appear to me that a ‘narrative’ has been put in motion which attacks white identity at a basic and perhaps I can say visceral level. Certainly the Holocaust narratives which were (according to my understanding) cobbled together in the PostWar era have a great deal to do with it. It is sort of a term of common currency on the Right and Alt-Right but the so-called Frankfurt School of critical analysis seems to have a great deal to do with forming a critical structure of analysis which is brought our against ‘white identity’. There is effectively no way for white identity to function or operate, in any sense, in our present. I’d suggest that it has been nicely demonstrated in this blog-post. The force of this Narrative, and the force of white self-hatred, has become a pattern of relationship to self. It is a nearly a term of perception.

              It is certainly too much to go into here, but a significant core of this self-hatred and self-undermining — a cooperation in projects of administering self-hatred and teeming up with others who stand outside of white identity to *perform* and *rehearse* as it were ‘the European grammar of self-intolerance’ — is strangely based in and arises out of Holocaust consciousness. The Holocaust has become the priciple emblem of ‘ontological malevolence’ and this emblem functions as an invokable potency which is brought to bear against white identity. Obviously, the whole idea of white supremecy and European supremecy are tied up with Nazi ideology. Yet it is ‘simply a fact’ (as I am inclined to say) that European culture really did see itself in these ways.

              America is essentially an outpost of English culture which very cleary saw itself and defined itself through its ‘superiority’, and the very notion of America and Americanism, still, is bound up in divinely-ordained exceptionalism. I have mentioned it a few times — to no avail of course — but Robert Bellah (an extreme liberal scholar I should add) has written extensively on themes of ‘civil religion’ in America. There is a Wiki webpage on ‘American civil religion’. To understand America, in my view, one MUST understand religious thinking processes. Even in a so-called atheistic and post-Christian social world the religious formulation still operates.

              Looking into it, one notices how the intellectuals of the Frankfurt School who came and set up academic shop at Columbia in NY, put in motion an entire range of analytical, interpretive and therapeutic processes in the 50s and then of course this all came into focus in the 60s. I cannot imagine that much of this needs to be spelled out, and especially not on this blog. It is simply a fact of perception that Sixties narratives are extensions of America’s long history of religious revivalism (Woodstock as a late version of the Cane Ridge revivalism and the ‘Second Great Awakening’) and that the Sixties was underpinned by a vast religious consciousness.

              At the same time it was fed and defined by the influences I have just named: Adorno, Fromm, Horkheimer and then a whole and wide range of other activists. I would assert though, for the sake of this little essay, that in a significant part the ‘narratives’ of the 60s are founded in a destruction of identity: white or European identity, or an identity of dominion and rulership) in favor of a universalist vision of humanity and the raising up of the ‘other’. Rainbow humanity. The great church of mankind. Even you’d have to include the ideology of a living human body of Christ (who has become your trip-guide in a new psychedilic interpretation of reality, value, meaning and much else).

              I see this as being two-pronged: on the one hand it was very creative and even ‘beautiful’, but on the other destructive, undermining, and yet it continues forward in our present in nearly every narrative which functions like an acid against structure and hierarchy. Put another way I’d say that these ‘narratives’ have in no sense come to an end of their project. I have to be general in description. This ‘destructive’ aspect of Sixties religious activism is best summed up in a book like ‘Slouching toward Gomorrah’ by Judge Bork which critiques it ruthlessly.

              And so here you have it folks: another hated essay which will be labeled ‘rambling’ or ‘thinking out loud’ but which, in my own view at least, actually attempt to speak to not the superficialities of events as they pass through daily consciousness, but a sweep of events and transformations of ideas which indicate how it is our own minds and consciousnesses that are constructing this bizarre present with its surreal events. I also think it fair and necessary to see how deeply liberalism and Marxian progressivism and critical Marxianism have penetrated so far into our own ways of seeing our selves and our world.

              In summation ‘the European grammar of Self-Intolerance’ can be investigated, fruitfully, and understood. It is linked to a vast project of undermining of identity of a specific European sort, and functions to destroy healtyh relationship to self and to accomplishment (that is, of an Occidental sort). I think that one could write a great deal on this topic. This is, as it turns out, one of my principle areas of interest. How to reclaim it against a frighteningly powerful, and ruthless, class of person who have internalized it.

  7. To be a spoil sport:

    Everyone mentioning the Great Wall of China as a great *cultural* achievement ought pump the brakes a bit. Any culture, adequately feeling threatened or being actually threatened is easily converted into an Imperial form in which the citizenry, mere slaves at this point, can be convinced they need to build a wall to block out foreign invaders.

    The length and size of the wall is less a “cultural” achievement and more a “how well did this particular empire manage to get its resources concentrated into one location for one purpose” achievement.

    And guys, the answer isn’t that pretty: it’s mostly forced labor and unwilling appropriation.

    Speaking of whipping cultures into frenzies about building walls to stop foreign invasions…

    • I just took that as a quick example without serious thought. Neither the Great Wall, not the Pyramids, not the Hanging Gardens of Babylon contribute much substantive to the culture. The Chinese first bred mastiffs, and having owned one one of those loving, gentle beasts, I’m more grateful for that. Also Buddhism, rockets, paper and egg rolls.

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