“U.S. Race Relations Have Finally Reached The Point Where They Make No Sense Whatsoever” Sunday #3: The Transgender Racist Model

As they say, gender may only be skin deep, but ugliness goes to the bone…

Munroe Bergdorf had just been hired by L’Oreal , with great fanfare, as its first trans model. So she immediately inflicted Facebook with an anti-white rant in the wake of Charlottesville, writing,

“Honestly I don’t have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more. Yes ALL white people.

Because most of ya’ll don’t even realise or refuse to acknowledge that your existence, privilege and success as a race is built on the backs, blood and death of people of colour. Your entire existence is drenched in racism. From micro-aggressions to terrorism, you guys built the blueprint for this shit. Come see me when you realise that racism isn’t learned, it’s inherited and consciously or unconsciously passed down through privilege.

Once white people begin to admit that their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth… then we can talk. Until then stay acting shocked about how the world continues to stay fucked at the hands of your ancestors and your heads that remain buried in the sand with hands over your ears.”

L’Oreal fired her. Of course they did. There isn’t an international consumer corporation on Earth that wouldn’t fire her.

Incredibly, the model was indignant. In another post and in various interviews, she, and her  defenders in print, claimed disingenuously that she had been quoted out of context.  Having insulted a substantial portion of humanity, now Bergdorf is insulting everyone else’s intelligence. “All white people” are involved in racial violence is wondrously unambiguous no matter what the context is. So is “racism isn’t learned, it’s inherited” and demanding that white people must admit ” that their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth.” There’s no ambiguity. This is racist hatred, and nothing else.

It is ironic that Bergdorf invokes privilege, when she embodies the ultimate privilege, that of minority individuals who feel they have leave to be racially hateful and divisive without adverse consequences,. Because they are right, you see. That’s their argument: racism is ugly, destructive and unacceptable, but declaring the entire white race and everyone in it a blight on humanity is just true. This is really what they believe, and commentators, elected officials, and journalists are reluctant to call their racist rhetoric what it is: no better than the worst calumny uttered by a Grand Dragon about how “mongrel” races pollute humanity.

Now this arrogant, deluded, ignorant and hateful woman is calling for a boycott of  L’Oreal, because it refused to employ a model who announced herself as hostile to every white person on earth, based on the color of their skin, and on her convenient and ignorant belief of a mythological view of history. Her racial hate is deserved, don’t you see?

The problem is that she is not alone in her poisonous delusions.

This will not end well.

46 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Business & Commercial, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Facebook, Race, Workplace

46 responses to ““U.S. Race Relations Have Finally Reached The Point Where They Make No Sense Whatsoever” Sunday #3: The Transgender Racist Model

  1. Aleksei

    When I saw that story, I was thinking about the rationalizations employed. Would this be a good case of Pazuzu, with the “taken out of context” and “that’s not really me” spin?
    I’m ready when the more radical folks will just propose the need for FDR style internment camps for the white folks, so we can finally reeducate them and rid society of “the disease”. Won’t those folks be confused when everybody will condemn them.

    • I’m ready when the more radical folks will just propose the need for FDR style internment camps for the white folks, so we can finally reeducate them and rid society of “the disease”

      They would sound like Hitler.

      It is sadly not surprising that a non-trivial proportion of anti-racists sound like the Nazis.

  2. Isaac

    The weird thing is that stories like this don’t bother me on any visceral level. I see a lot of white people getting offended by anti-white racism, and I understand why they would be, and it’s logical to be offended, but I just can’t work up any feelings about it. I see Munroe as just one of the many, many silly and slightly-unhinged citizens of the postmodern West, latching on to whatever loony cause caught his/her ear. I feel like I could probably sit down and have a conversation with her and possibly change her mind (or at least get her to agree with me for a moment, before relapsing back into her silly cultural Marxism.)

    I think I’m being consistent because that’s the same way I look at the traditional, white-supremacist type of racists. They all have the right to their stupid opinions, and God knows there are a lot of stupid opinions going around these days.

    But yeah, it’s not going to end well because society is not sending a strong message any more that racism is objectively wrong. Just preaching an egalitarian message about judging people as individuals, solely by the “content of their character” (the ONLY reasonable view to take,) is considered Nazi talk now. We’re screwed.

    • You make this too easy, Isaac! What you have done in this piece you wrote — I cannot doubt that it is authentic and a truthful expression — is to repeat conventional tropes. You are making every possible effort to define the center which you feel is and must be the ‘true’ position, the ‘right’ position. But I suggest that you have made a serious error.

      ‘Race is real, race matters.’ One’s community, one’s neighborhood, one’s biological, social and cultural heritage. One’s cherished traditions. One’s cultural and religious forms and one’s tendencies: all these things have a relationship to who one is in a racial, cultural and social sense. True, ‘the content of one’s character’ is important as one of many different features and aspects through which ‘self’ is understood and defined.

      I am curious why it is that you cannot work up any feelings about this. As I said in another thread this woman, along with millions like her, and professors in the Academy and journalists, philsophers and theorists, have cobbled together a ‘narrative’ that supports the wielding of their ideas in our present. You say it is ‘unhinged’ but this implies that you think you can define a true hinge, and the right one.

      But what is the ‘hinge’ that you would go forward to define? That ‘hinge’ is conceptual, cultural, biological, religious and social.

      This is not a ‘looney cause’ it is a platformed interpretation-system that, within a transfromed demographic, is becoming empowered to act in the present.

  3. joed68

    ” I feel like I could probably sit down and have a conversation with her and possibly change her mind (or at least get her to agree with me for a moment.”

    You’d be amazed at how obtuse people like her can be.

    • Isaac

      Probably. I have had quite a few conversations with extreme progressives who abandoned their crazy positions but at the same time didn’t. It’s the whole cognitive dissonance thing.

      She probably WANTS to believe that all white people are born racist, and she’s no doubt a relativist, so there’s no logic prohibiting such a belief. Feelings are facts. But then you confront her and say, “do you actually believe that all white people are racist? Like they all hate you? Even your mother?” and they back off for a second because there’s just no defending such a thing. Which is why he probably DOES believe he was taken out of context, even though he wasn’t. Having two contradictory opinions in your head at the same time is one of the privileges of being a relativist.

  4. This and the banana peel issue have awakened Barren [sic] Blauschwartz, the Demon of Deconstruction.

    I don’t suppose it occurred to this airhead that blaming people for being raised in privilege is exactly like blaming people for being raised in poverty. Yes, racism of people in the past has had huge impacts on the demographics of socioeconomic classes. Yes, all that is part of the self-fulfilling prophecies of racism today and stereotypes today. Yes, people often develop character flaws due to the socioeconomic class they’re raised in (that applies to all socioeconomic classes, with different character flaws). Yes, people need to be held to a higher standard for changing themselves and the world. No, none of this is any excuse to treat anyone with contempt and hatred.

    People have faults, but that’s not their fault. They just start out that way.
    Nobody would choose to have flaws unless they already had flaws. Therefore, punishment for its own sake, rather than as a means to an end, is pointless. However, despite millennia of religions preaching loving kindness, and stories about noble heroes who show mercy, humanity’s social animal instincts of vindictiveness and vengeance against transgressions seem to win out, on balance.

    I’d be willing to bet that Bergdorf wouldn’t even know what to say to a white person who conceded her point that white people are a blight on the Earth, though if she did, my fallback bet is that it would be “give us all of your money”, not realizing that without good financial habits, money doesn’t do a person much good. There are many impoverished people, minorities and otherwise, who would use it well, but also many who wouldn’t.
    Thus, even if it were feasible, the wealth redistribution ploy is insufficient at best (and shouldn’t be race-based, anyway). I think the reason people call for money more than for better education is because they don’t know what better education would look like.

    Based on observations of human politics, Bergdorf and just about everyone else want to think that the answer to the world’s problems is easy, a one-off solution. Institute these rules, or redistribute this money, or put this group in charge, or build this technology, and everything will be fine. That won’t work, though. No matter what the solution is, people will break it, because people will have stayed the same. It’s people that are the source of the problems, and therefore any real solution requires that people change. The first step is defining the change, which I’ve done. The second step is demonstrating its implementation and benefits, which is harder. I’m working on that along various avenues, though. I’ve got privilege coming out of my ears, compared to most Earthlings, and that’s why I want to spread the power it’s allowed me to develop: the power of the mind.

    Now I just hope I can live up to my own words, when it comes to demonstrating the benefits of the power of the mind.

    • Comment of the Day, EC. Thanks.

    • It’s people that are the source of the problems, and therefore any real solution requires that people change. The first step is defining the change, which I’ve done. The second step is demonstrating its implementation and benefits, which is harder. I’m working on that along various avenues, though. I’ve got privilege coming out of my ears, compared to most Earthlings, and that’s why I want to spread the power it’s allowed me to develop: the power of the mind.

      I am not impressed with what you have written. (I can’t get pulpo here but I might have to send up to Bogota for a can. Then I am going to sit right down and eat it.) I see it as a group of abstractions and platitudes mostly. It requires dismantling though. What you have written is not simple. Yes, people are the ‘source of problems’. But the problem that has brought ‘her’ into existence, and which empowers her, is that someone, somewhere, set out to establish a multi-cultural society and to establish it as an ethical and moral object. To arrive at that, there had to be an attack on whiteness and white-identity. But the list of what was undermined is extensive. It actually goes much further. The political shifts which have made transgenderism an acceptable category of activism are related to many other counter-definitions that have to be exposed, understood, reversed. Yet you identify a ‘source of problems’. And what would that be? I’ll tell you: Any ideas or sets of ideas that can successfully oppose ‘her’.

      When you say ‘requires that people change’ what you mean is multivalent. On one hand it might be taken to mean that people have to agree to allow themselves to be socially engineered and to learn to love it and cooperate with it, as I assume you have. So, the original demographic has to become willing, and proactive, in supporting the multi-ethnic project. And what stands behind that ‘change’ is the PR industry and a whooooole lot of theory! J’en ai marre!

      I do not think you have really ‘defined change’. You haven’t really defined anything. You have certainly not defined any solid and powerful (and grounded) ideas that can be used. You have repeated some platitudes, which is little more than sending up some greeting-card sentiments. But yet you couch what you think in a complete self-assurance. You really do think you are a superior species from another and far-away planet!

      I suggest that to define change is a far more demanding project. And I further think that if the present is going to change positively it will come about through a confrontation with the sort of idea-treacle you have put out. I realize this sounds a little bold but it’s my style! 🙂 Doesn’t mean I don’t like you or the Octopus People generally.

      Sorry, the ‘power of the mind’ assertion I have to say is weak. You write what is the philosophical equivalent of self-help treatises. It has no relationship at all to what is going on in the present, and thus it will have no effect at all.

      • “I am not impressed with what you have written.”
        Clear and up-front. I like it.

        “I can’t get pulpo here but I might have to send up to Bogota for a can. Then I am going to sit right down and eat it.”
        Gratuitously mean.

        “I see it as a group of abstractions and platitudes mostly. It requires dismantling though. What you have written is not simple.”
        Hey, that’s my line!

        “…someone, somewhere, set out to establish a multi-cultural society and to establish it as an ethical and moral object.”
        Or… it just kind of happened, because lots of different people wanted to come to the United States. The founders tried to make it difficult for one group to oppress others. That’s what brought over people from across the world, not a concerted effort.

        “To arrive at that, there had to be an attack on whiteness and white-identity.”
        If by “attack” you mean “an assertion that other ways of living are more or less just as valid and most cultures have useful values that others can learn from”, then yes. What exactly distinguishes “white-identity” from any other identity, though? Different music, literature, folklore? Linear communication, as opposed to circular? Guilt instead of shame? If it has anything to do with greater emphasis on individual freedoms, or more fluid social hierarchy, it’s American culture, not white. Europe didn’t have much in the way of those before America did.

        “But the list of what was undermined is extensive.”
        Yes, please show me the list.

        “The political shifts which have made transgenderism an acceptable category of activism…”
        I’m gonna stop you right there. The fact that she’s transgender has exactly nothing to do with this entire issue. You’re the first person I’ve seen during this whole issue acting as if it were relevant. If it had been a cisgender model, the issue at hand would not be different.

        “So, the original demographic has to become willing, and proactive, in supporting the multi-ethnic project.”
        A multi-ethnic culture is not my end goal. My end goal is to empower people to be mature and responsible so it’s easier for everyone to get what they want. I suspect that a thriving multi-ethnic culture would be a side-effect of that goal.

        “And what stands behind that ‘change’ is the PR industry and a whooooole lot of theory!”
        I wouldn’t knock theory if I were you. That is literally all you’ve shown in support of your own complex abstract platitudes, or “idea-treacle” as you creatively put it.

        “You haven’t really defined anything. You have certainly not defined any solid and powerful (and grounded) ideas that can be used.”
        …It just occurred to me that when I said, “The first step is defining the change, which I’ve done,” it might be interpreted as “which I’ve done just now.” That is not what I meant to convey, and I apologize for any confusion. Defining the change people need to make is part of a separate project I’ve been working on. Would you like to see my blog? It has elaborations on what I’ve been talking about.

        “You write what is the philosophical equivalent of self-help treatises.”
        Some of them, like what I wrote above, are merely advertisements. Others actually are treatises, and they’re relevant to people in all time periods. However, knowing what needs to be done is only the first step. Without practice, feedback, and reinforcement, it’s very difficult to make any lasting change.

        • My dear Cosmic Octopus, there is not a mean bone in my body! (Hey, we have something in common!) Don’t take anything I say personal.

          I said: “To arrive at that, there had to be an attack on whiteness and white-identity.”

          You responded: “If by “attack” you mean “an assertion that other ways of living are more or less just as valid and most cultures have useful values that others can learn from”, then yes. What exactly distinguishes “white-identity” from any other identity, though? Different music, literature, folklore? Linear communication, as opposed to circular? Guilt instead of shame? If it has anything to do with greater emphasis on individual freedoms, or more fluid social hierarchy, it’s American culture, not white. Europe didn’t have much in the way of those before America did.”

          It is very interesting what you say because I am just now reading up on this exact issue: What is called the history curricula wars of the 90s. No one could agree on the criteria for proper historical material because everyone wanted to include their own historical identity.

          I would suggest to you that your paragraph encapsulates, more or less exactly, the relativism argument. Apparently, you have absorbed it. The problem with what you have written is that at its core it is sentimental and not intellectual (though it does have an idea-aspect). If you really believed it you might also say that other culture’s systems of jurisprudence are ‘just as valid’. Say for example Sharia Law. Or community vigilanteism. Or other social constitutions insofar as they exist. You could say that a tyranny is ‘just as valid’ as a functional democracy. Or living in a grass hut ‘just as valid’ as living in a solid constructed house. You are making relativistic claims, I imagine, because you locate yourself within relativism. And you in this sense are a cultural outcome of the PostWar cultural battles. I would say that we all are, to one degree or other.

          You are making a *declaration* which, even if it is hidden and not overt, is a declaration about values. I have no reason to disbelieve your essential good-faith. I avoid a good deal of the acrimony of these ‘epic cultureal battles’ simply because I do not enjot acrimony!

          What distinguishes the specific identity of those men who founded the United States of America? What exactly were they and what exactly did they come from? What ideas informed them? What was their cultural heritage and the cradle that brought them up? Their religion and their religious and spiritual values? There are dozens and dozens of questions about them that, when answered, would give you a sense of what I mean when I use the term ‘white identity’ in respect to America in it essentialist sense. It is theirs. It is what they came with and what they had to work with. And it belongs to those who make a claim to it.

          What distinguishes that medly of different aptitudes, accomplishments and orientations from that of others? What you mean is Why cannot I see them as equal in a relative sense to, say, a hunter-gatherer from the Amazon jungle, or whatever other group you might select. Or a defined theology from a psychedlic mushroom trip?

          I would not make a counter-argument to those assertions and to many different assertions I am sure you would make. Instead I would simply go to the heart of the issue and say that if you (if one) desires to hold together a country, there has to be an agreed upon structure of identity. There actually was one at one time and it was one that was shared, more or less, by the original demographic. If one desires that, one has to define it as a cultural originalism.

          The precise point to make is that at a certain moment in the nation’s history everything about that nation began to be contested, critiqued, undermined. I notice that some part of this came through critical idea but just as much of it came about through degeneration. That is, degeneration in the capacity to think clearly. Another part came about through something like infantile rebellion and waywardness. Someone said that the Sixties amounted to an ‘unmitigated disaster’ in so many different ways. That’s Robert Bork’s argument in ‘Slouching Toward Gomorrah’. It is a powerful argument.

          And I do not need to make a list of the various groups and interests that undertook that critical project. But it largely flowed out of Sixties politics. What I am saying is that as the demographic shifts, and as the will of the culture shifts, there will come about because there is coming about, a powerful revisionism movement. It will be, and it is now, a movement to re-identify America. And as it has begun to do now — and this is a symbol really of a far larger activity and will — it will topple the monuments and redefine even the Founders. And it will employ the same idea-tools that you have proven susceptible to. The question is larger: What will it not topple?

          So, what I see goes something like this: If someone — and I will make a direct reference to the ‘original demographic’ which obviously must be taken to mean the white cultural founders of the country — desires to hold to their own identity, and avoid being melted into a sea of people who do not wish to identify as they do, and desire another America, that they must find the inner power and conviction to define for themselves a separate path. That is, pretty much, what a white identity posture leads to. But along with that comes an entire self-redefinition project. Who am I? What do I want? What must I attain? What must I avoid at all cost? It is reactionary against cultural forms that are inimical to it. It has to be.

          I further tend to think that the reason they (the general culture) do not, or perhaps cannot, is because they have lost their own bearings and been confused, deliberately in certain cases, by those who imposed multiculturalism on them. It is not fair to say ‘it just happened’ when in fact it was planned. See E Michael Jones, ‘The Slaughter of Cities’.

          It is true that the multi-culturalism ethos came out of the Sixties movement. And it is also true that this multi-cultural sentiment links to egalitarian philosophy that can be said to be some part of American philosophy. But the identity politics of the Sixties and post-Sixties has led to the Balkanization of ideas about identity and belonging (and so much else), and political Balkanization is its direct result. I call this ‘fracture’ and I say that American identity has fractured.

          Let it fracture. And let those who desire the country, who claim it as theirs, who admire it and wish to perpetuate it find the way to recover it, and themselves as part of it. There is no other alternative.

          The ‘greater emphasis of individual freedoms’ is in fact a part of the problem that has led to our present, the present that is now rising up to fracture the nation. That idea, un-revised, must be seen as being defective. You confuse freedom with license. And even if you do not, everyone else does! Absolutely and without any doubt more important now is duty.

          • “You are making relativistic claims, I imagine, because you locate yourself within relativism.”

            100% wrong. I’m not a relativist. I believe that some values and cultures can be better or worse than others, or objectively unethical (inasmuch as ethics is based on the fact that people desire things, and therefore avoids the “is-ought” problem by starting with “oughts”). What I don’t get is why a value or concept should be associated with “white” just because white people were the first to use it, and what exactly you’re saying we should do because of such an association. Since cultures can have bad qualities, they can be improved by learning from other cultures, yet it seems you’re saying we shouldn’t do that?

            “I have no reason to disbelieve your essential good-faith.”
            I appreciate that and reciprocate the sentiment.

            “if you (if one) desires to hold together a country, there has to be an agreed upon structure of identity.”
            I concur. That’s why I’m designing the foundation for one. People don’t have to have the same style in everything, or even most things, or even most of the time, but there should be some common reference frames that everyone can work with, including right and wrong. I’m patterning the common reference frames after the fundamental aspects of consciousness.

            You’re right that people are taking things apart indiscriminately, and that it’s a problem. You’re right that they’re confusing freedom with license and assuming that anything they’re allowed to do must be completely fine, and they’re ignoring their ethical obligations. Not all dismantling is wrong, though. It’s just that people don’t know how to judge what’s good and what’s not. Humans as a group never could think clearly enough to do that; there was no degeneration there. Everyone chooses what they feel like holding onto and what they feel like getting rid of (or they choose what other people convince them is right to choose), and different groups choose different things. People need to be more philosophically literate, at least enough to recognize good and bad ideas.

            Has multi-culturalism influenced people who want to dismantle too much? Yes, but that doesn’t make it bad. Other people want to hold onto too much, but that doesn’t make all of their values bad, either.

            I’m not trying to prevent the fracture, per se. That would be pointless. I’m one of the people trying to recover the pieces and change them so that they can actually fit together, and make a better whole.

            • EC writes: 100% wrong. I’m not a relativist. I believe that some values and cultures can be better or worse than others, or objectively unethical (inasmuch as ethics is based on the fact that people desire things, and therefore avoids the “is-ought” problem by starting with “oughts”). What I don’t get is why a value or concept should be associated with “white” just because white people were the first to use it, and what exactly you’re saying we should do because of such an association. Since cultures can have bad qualities, they can be improved by learning from other cultures, yet it seems you’re saying we shouldn’t do that?

              It is interesting to me that things that appear self-evident and obvious require detailed defense and explanation. That I have my ideas and view-points is because I hold to certain predicates and suppositions. I can only suppose that if I make a statement that seems so obvious to me as not to require a defense, and someone else does not understand at all why I would say such a thing, that what I am dealing with is a person and people who have established their understanding on very differt platforms.

              What appears completely obvious, to me, is that a given culture and society is the creation of those who brought it into existence. And that what ‘culture’ is in this sense is a total manifestation of that people. It is impossible — to me it seems completely obvious that it is impossible — to separate the people themself in their physical and mental manifestation from all that they create. Where am I going wrong that I see things in this way? While it seems true that a given culture can absorb, somatically, one radically foreign person from a totally unrelated cultural context, it seems to me obvious that in larger numbers, and especially if the introduced social element had a different and opposed will, that the effect will be negative. That is, disruptive.

              So when I posit that ‘white Europeans’ founded America and that its original and core identity arises out of all that this must mean, and does mean, one has only to make an investigation to isolate every identifiable aspect in order to make it clear what one is talking about. One can only do that through a prolongued project of study. Historical, social, scientific, religious and moral analysis of a given people and their ‘productions’ and attainments.

              Why is this so very difficult to grasp? Any culture that you could name, and any people that you can value, is precisely that: a manifestation of self at a biological and an epiphenomenal level. They are intimately connected.

              But you seem to have what I perceive as a strangely distorted idea — it really seems a part of your “I’m from outerspace” position, that people are largely biological containers, entites that require ‘programming’, which view denies or diminishes the sense of a continuity of a people. By denying that white anglosaxons invented America, and that this American is a direct product of European civilization, you would eventually strip other people of the very stuff of them self. It is a weird ideological position that I confess not to understand at all.

              What happens here, I mean in myself, is that I am forced to make these statements because there is a ‘pathology’ operating in the present that says that to make these definitions is a moral crime.

              Obviously, you and I are not quite talking about the same things. The paragraph I have quoted, above, is not really related to my assertions and my predicates.

              I concur. That’s why I’m designing the foundation for one. People don’t have to have the same style in everything, or even most things, or even most of the time, but there should be some common reference frames that everyone can work with, including right and wrong. I’m patterning the common reference frames after the fundamental aspects of consciousness.

              This is why I say that your ‘project’ seems to me ungrounded. I have no good reason to criticize your views and nothing to gain from it really. Except that we are talking about non-subjective issues.

              In my case, when I think of ‘foundations’ and ‘common reference frames’, and if I do this in the context of America and Europe, I can turn no-where but to Europe and America themself. What this has meant to me, and what I think it can only mean, is a return to the very sources that made Europe Europe. Paideia. (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paideia)

              The so-called ‘culture wars’ of the 80s and 90s (and onward) have everything to do with the conflicts about what values and what locus of values to define and hold to. At the most extreme pole there are people who intend to tear down and destroy. Others want to modify and perhaps include more. But my assertion is that the project of defending America is — obviously! — a project of definition. With this in mind I suggest that what is occurring now, what is visible to us end encroaching, is a form of Balkanization within identity. I fully agree that ‘another America’ is taking shape. It is an America that comes into manifestation as another demographic rises and takes power. I desire to define another, and perhaps a former America, and I can only do this if I reduce it essentially (discover and state what it is in essential terms).

              And I link this with a larger project of ‘white identity’ not only in America but in Europe, in the wide anglophone world, and even to the Southern Cone (South America) and South Africa as well. And I feel no moral dilemma nor any moral guilt in saying what I say.

              • “It is interesting to me that things that appear self-evident and obvious require detailed defense and explanation. … what I am dealing with is a person and people who have established their understanding on very differt platforms.”

                Now you’re catching on. Welcome to Earth. Communication mindset is your friend.

                “And that what ‘culture’ is in this sense is a total manifestation of that people.”
                Where do you get your ideas about where culture comes from? As I understand it, cultures is formed through evolution, where memes pop up and propagate successfully or die out based on their feasibility given the physical environment as well as their ability to defeat or ally with preexisting memes and human instincts. It seems to me that you’re saying that each ethnic group or “race” is predisposed to create a particular culture. That’s actually backwards for ethnic groups, which originate from the cultures that have evolved in different isolated areas. Races simply diverged physically and culturally because of their different geographical environments and isolation, with neither divergence causing the other. Or both causing each other, if you factor in cultural definitions of attractiveness. There’s not really a greater purpose to any of it; it’s just a combination of isolation and cumulative mutations, memetic and genetic.

                “It is impossible … to separate the people themself in their physical and mental manifestation from all that they create.”
                I’m not sure what you mean by that, because that seems obviously false to me. First off, if you can imagine swapping a person’s mind into a different body, then congratulations, you can separate a person’s physical and mental manifestations from each other. That’s the hard part. The easy part is imagining separating a person from their culture. Immigrants can assimilate in only a few generations. Individuals can “go native” and more or less completely adopt a new culture to replace their old one.

                “Any culture that you could name, and any people that you can value, is precisely that: a manifestation of self at a biological and an epiphenomenal level. They are intimately connected.”
                Are you telling me that British people have a biological and neurological affinity with, for instance, tea? That’d be impressive, because like most other globalized cultures, they adopted lots of concepts, tea included, from other cultures. That was a trick question. Are you telling me that Asian people have a biological and neurological affinity with tea?

                You’re right that biology and culture affect each other. For example, most European adults are not lactose intolerant because dairy products became an important part of their diet. However, you seem to think that biology is the ultimate causal source, though, as if there was a real Tower of Babel and humans were scattered across the globe with different languages and cultures which are indelibly written onto our bodies. It’d be easier to take your arguments seriously if you were a bit more specific with the details of what these cultural differences are, let alone why you think they’re biologically insurmountable.

                “By denying that white anglosaxons invented America, and that this American is a direct product of European civilization, you would eventually strip other people of the very stuff of them self. It is a weird ideological position that I confess not to understand at all.”
                Maybe this will help clear it up. I don’t deny that white Anglo-Saxons invented America, or that America is a direct product of European civilization. That would be stupid. What I deny is that that history has to dictate whatever we choose to do next. I’m not even sure what I’m arguing against, since I don’t know what you’re saying we should do because America was founded by Europeans. You just keep saying that all these political problems are happening because we’ve forgotten it.

                “…I am forced to make these statements because there is a ‘pathology’ operating in the present that says that to make these definitions is a moral crime.”
                Case in point. I agree that making the definitions isn’t a moral crime, but I have no idea how it’s supposed to be useful. Your theory is dubious as an imperative, and its accuracy and relevance as a description is questionable at best.

                “But my assertion is that the project of defending America is — obviously! — a project of definition.”
                Oh, well good job so far. You’ve managed to define American and European values as “concepts which are created through the manifestation of the selves of biologically American and European people.” I don’t recall you defining “white identity” but based on your theme of biological determinism, I’m assuming that it means “stuff white people like.” Next you can explain to me what a True Scotsman is. Sarcasm aside, once you stop using tautologies and start defining terms so that the term doesn’t appear in the definition, then you can lecture me about how ungrounded my project is.

                You’ve got a good start with the concept of paideia, but as you probably guessed, I’m going to say that any concept that’s a part of it can be described by one or more of these statements (depending on how many other overlapping concepts the concept relies on):
                1) It’s an interesting meme and acts as social glue, but a culture can take it or leave it and still be healthy. (This statement describes most entertainment, even if it takes influence from concepts that reflect statements 2 and 3.)
                2) It’s useful, and other cultures should adopt it, or it’s harmful and the originating culture should discontinue it.
                3) It’s a subjective prioritization of important values. It’s one of a number of healthy ways to prioritize them.

                3 is the statement that would distinguish cultures from one another. If you can find any statements in a culture that are described by 3, then you’ve found a part of that culture’s fundamental identity. (I suppose technically 2 also counts, but my goal is for all cultures to implement the concepts that are universally good and reject the ones that are universally bad, so in the future type-2 statements won’t be useful for distinguishing between different cultures.)

                Thoughts?

      • I wrote: “The political shifts which have made transgenderism an acceptable category of activism…”

        You responded: “I’m gonna stop you right there. The fact that she’s transgender has exactly nothing to do with this entire issue. You’re the first person I’ve seen during this whole issue acting as if it were relevant. If it had been a cisgender model, the issue at hand would not be different.”

        I would assert that there is no aspect about our present, the circumstances that we live in, that can be separated out. I do not have any particular mean-spirited animus against her or anyone, but I am of the opinion that transgenderism and many other deviations have come about because of breaking loose of certain idea-constraints. The extremes of ‘freedom’ (as you have said) I understand as having come to be defined. I am of the opinion that one must make epistemological and also metaphysical definitions within far more conservative limits. Society must be structured in accord with greater limitations, not expanding ‘freedom’ and license. I believe that once one becomes unmoored at the idea-level that the unmooring then takes form within the manifest world.

        She is a living embodiment of certain forms of radicalism. I do not see her as ‘just happening’ but as having been created. I think we all essentially create ourselves in this sense.

        I cannot imagine, given some of your stances, that you would not agree. But it seems to me that you do not have ‘conservative limits’. You have open-limits. But these are poles which surround us, no? Liberalism, hyper-liberalism, unrestrained progressivism in opposition to a will that is directed to establishing more strict limits.

        • “I would assert that there is no aspect about our present, the circumstances that we live in, that can be separated out.”
          I’m not sure that’s what you mean to say, because if it is, you’re going to have a hard time analyzing things to determine cause and effect. Analysis relies on being able to figure out what is and is not related to a phenomenon. Separating things out is part of what “analysis” literally translates to. If you can’t do that, your predictive power drops to zero.

          Are you saying that being transgender is something akin to a “first world problem”, something that nobody is concerned about until the idea is put in their head that they are entitled to be concerned about it? That’s actually a valid hypothesis, and I don’t know enough about transgender history to say how right or wrong it is. Maybe people in the past were horribly traumatized by having to conform to gender roles based on their birth sex, and only recently did people begin to recognize it as a problem and take it seriously.
          However, maybe transgender people were better at tolerating enforced gender roles because they had practice putting up with all sorts of other stupid things. It would be ironic if transgender people only started being noticed after feminism gained momentum and gender roles became less stupidly restrictive. I guarantee that someone’s done research on this, so it will be interesting to find out.

          Based on your assumptions about gender identity issues, I can see where you would want to point out “this person feels entitled to radical freedom with gender, so it is no coincidence that they feel the same about race.” Even assuming you’re right about where gender identity issues come from, there are two problems with you attempting to make such a point:

          1. Bergdorf is not advocating radical freedom for multi-culturalism. Quite the opposite: she’s using race to separate people conceptually, and I suspect this will lead her to advocate for using race to separate people physically, if it hasn’t already. Her opinion on race is closer to yours than it is to mine, which contradicts what you, personally, would predict based on her being transgender.

          2. Transgender people are a tiny minority. It would have been far more likely for a cisgender black model to make the statement Bergdorf made, and then you wouldn’t have been able to say that gender identity had anything to do with it.

          From point 1, it’s unlikely that Bergdorf’s gender identity and her views on race would have the same source, since based on your ideas of where they come from, they appear to contradict each other. From point 2, it’s impossible that being transgender is a necessary cause or effect of having such views on race. Thus the assumption that Bergdorf’s gender identity is related to her statement is not a very reasonable one to make. You need more information about her reasoning process before you can make a statement like that.

          • What I referred to was: “The political shifts which have made transgenderism an acceptable category of activism…”

            What I was attempting to refer to is something I am uncertain how to talk about. I see gender and sexual-radicalism not as a healthy phenomenon, generally speaking, but as a symptom of pathology. But I also regard excessive emotionalism and sentimentalism as a manifestation of pathology. In the Sixties, as one manifestation of rebellion after the other gathered force, group after group found reasons to see themselves as victimized by the harsh structures of society that were ‘oppressing’ them and banded together to define routes to ‘freedom’. In the sexual domain the rebellion was intensely radical. The lid was taken off. One could be anything, act out anything, go to whatever extreme one desired to.

            As one element of a larger picture of social rebellion the sexual element is one clear manifestation. My view is that it is a central one but that is another topic. Suffice to say that there occurred a culture-wide desire (the operative word is desire, which has to do with sentiments and emotions as well as physical desire) to throw off all restraints. One related manifestation, according to my research, and as outlined by Robert Bork, was the rebellion against teaching authority in the universities. The general attack on structures of authority, which is an attack on hierarchy and order, arose in my view from a rebellion that originated in the body, or one could say was a rebellion of the body against the mind. My reference-point is Aquinas and an older psychological model. When subordinate elements within the body, and the body-politic, rebel, it is a sign of pathology.

            My assertion, based in a certain epistemological position, is that as people become ‘unhinged’ and ungrounded from defined hierarchies of order, and when the spirit of rebellion that arises out of the body overcomes the mind, that ‘anarchy is loosed upon the world’. If one accepts that ‘the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity’, I suggest that this arises in and proceeds out of essential disorder within the person. However I can see how someone, you perhaps, reading this will be shocked insofar as it suggests hard and definitive counter-measures. I see ‘spiritual discipline’ of the Platonic sort as a form of self-imposed fascism (to put it a little colorfully but truthfully). And spiritual discipline translates to social discipline, to political discipline and to every one of the ‘virtues’ that is required in a free and self-regulating republic. If the ‘self’ is not in order, if the house (family) is not in order, then the community and the state cannot be in order.

            Obviously, this turns very much on questions of liberty vs license. In fact everything hinges on extreme self-regulation within the person.

            So now you can see where I come from. I see our present as a manifestation of social madness and the becoming unhinged. The more that people, under the influence of sentimentalism, egoism and emotionalism, abandon the ‘intellectus’ and give themselves over the the body (somatism), the more subjective become their essential concerns. Obviously, this posits self-denial and a purposeful linking-up with *higher ideation*, and the serving of high principles.

            I have no reason to condemn a sexual deviant except that I reserve the right to define sexual deviancy which, to them and to many, is a form of ‘violence’. I see it as discrimination however.

            My point is that the rebellions of which I speak operate in many different categories and, in my view, tie together. I do not think it is that hard to see that, naturally, my concept of the ethical and the moral have much to do with these definitions.

            • You raise some excellent points. You’re right that people dismantle social order and temperance too much for their own good, because they don’t recognize the good that it does. They are suspicious of such concepts, because the people who have been asserting the merits thereof also take them too far.

              If a gay person (or a straight one, for that matter) is told that their sexual feelings are sinful and must be buried, and they don’t see any harm or ethical problem in acting on them, they’re going to be very skeptical of anyone who tells them there’s a right way to live if that way involves self-denial and doesn’t seem to put a priority on joy.

              To pull people back from the brink of madness, you need to be aware of each sacrifice you’re asking them to make, and reevaluate how necessary it actually is.

          • You have infinitely more patience than I do.

  5. A couple things: the first is that we’ve fetishized racism above all of the other forms of bigotry. I don’t think there’s any evidence that is justified.

    The second thing is that, even within a discussion of racism, fairness is required. White racists are, of course, unique monsters – but only for as long as no one will shine a flashlight on black racists, or other racists around the world. What’s necessary to point out is that not shining that flashlight in all directions is itself a form of bigotry, in that it holds one group to a standard of communal guilt that is not applied to others.

  6. Other Bill

    Her rant sounds like standard issue pablum picked up in an African American Studies course in college. The academy is the real problem. She probably got an A for writing the same stuff on an exam at school.

  7. It derives from such like this, I think:

    • Other Bill

      Barely dressed-up Marxism, non?

      • Je suis tout à fait d’accord avec vous.

        What I wish I understood better is how it is, why it is, that the Marxian ideals combine so effortlessly with American egalitarianism and ‘the American civil religion’. Is it because Americanism is, in essence, a derivative of Enlightenment radicalism?

        I do like to propagandize the ideas I admire but I do not want to put up another embedded link. I recommend ‘New Left Marxism and the Frankfurt School’ by Jonathan Bowden. It’s on YouTube. He is a brash talker but I think his analysis is very interesting.

        • Other Bill

          Amazing how it dominates the American academy. Those Frankfurt School guys are literally under every rock. And they have the run of the place.

  8. So is “racism isn’t learned, it’s inherited” and demanding that white people must admit ” that their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth.” There’s no ambiguity. This is racist hatred, and nothing else.

    It is like how neo-Nazis try to shame Jews into admitting that they own the bank and the media.

  9. Mrs. Q

    This model looks mixed race to me…I’m guessing part white maybe. I say this because it seems like folks like this person, Kapernick, and a whole lot of part white people are the lead screechers about being black, when in fact they also belong to a race of “oppressors.” Someone should do a study on mixed raced folks who take up swords against their own peoples.

    • The remarkable thing is that the racist “one drop” standard for designating race seems alive and well, and not only that, embraced by progressives. Derek Jeter, who looks as black as I do, just bought the Miami Marlins and is now “an African American owner.”

  10. EC wrote: “Where do you get your ideas about where culture comes from? As I understand it, cultures is formed through evolution, where memes pop up and propagate successfully or die out based on their feasibility given the physical environment as well as their ability to defeat or ally with preexisting memes and human instincts. It seems to me that you’re saying that each ethnic group or “race” is predisposed to create a particular culture. That’s actually backwards for ethnic groups, which originate from the cultures that have evolved in different isolated areas. Races simply diverged physically and culturally because of their different geographical environments and isolation, with neither divergence causing the other. Or both causing each other, if you factor in cultural definitions of attractiveness. There’s not really a greater purpose to any of it; it’s just a combination of isolation and cumulative mutations, memetic and genetic.”

    All I could say to you, because you seem to have a pretty strict materialist’s conception, is that ‘culture’ as I would define it and in it most important aspect, is its metaphysical aspect. When a people begins to make contact, as it were, with higher dimensions within imagined possibilities, or those dimensions of consciousness that occur within the imagination, it is there that culture really arises.

    But allied to that is the ‘substrata’ of the self. The self has ‘housing’ and this housing has been evolved — of you will — over much time. But too the self I now describe, the housing, has been acted upon by the imagined realm, or the realm that is understood within human imagination. I do not look to memes and such, as you do, to find out where man is or where ‘higher culture’ is located, but to the higher dimensions of thought and how these are nourished and cultivated, or not as the case may be.

    Obviously, you can drop someone in to the ‘fuzzy set’ of a given culture and like a drop of water into a pool it will dissolve in. But with a larger infusion of ‘material’, both physical and also psychic, the cultural structure will definitely be altered.

    You will gather from what I write that I am very much supportive of holding onto and maintaining metaphysical and mythical structures of view. A given people ‘identify’ themselves through these things and they determine more who that people is then mere biology. But biology and the body, and the body as it has moved through time and been acted upon by thought and will (in the metaphysical and higher-thought sense), is no less relevant. They are part of a whole.

    Therefor, and in the case of the American Indian and the African American, the issue and the question of ‘identity’ is completely crucial and I would never deny its relevance to them. Our identity has destroyed their identity. And when you destroy a person’s identity-structure you render them in a certain sense into a meaningless hybrid. What then allows a people to be a people? It is the totality of their biological and, iff you will, metaphysical identification which is free of intrusion.

    My ideas have to do with the reclaiming of identity and to shaking off ‘intrusions’ and ‘becoming who we are’. Obviously, in order to take a position against ‘multiculturalism’ I require a philosophical platform to construct a counter-identity if you accept that the ‘present’ is a machine of intentionality and that social engineering is real.

    I’m not sure what you mean by that, because that seems obviously false to me. First off, if you can imagine swapping a person’s mind into a different body, then congratulations, you can separate a person’s physical and mental manifestations from each other. That’s the hard part. The easy part is imagining separating a person from their culture. Immigrants can assimilate in only a few generations. Individuals can “go native” and more or less completely adopt a new culture to replace their old one.

    What I might be able to imagine has nothing to do with what is real and what really takes place. When people (Indians for example and I speak from my perspective in Colombia) become deracinated they become something less than full persons. A person needs a full spectrum of identity with biological self and metaphysical self and these operate together.

    Maybe this will help clear it up. I don’t deny that white Anglo-Saxons invented America, or that America is a direct product of European civilization. That would be stupid. What I deny is that that history has to dictate whatever we choose to do next. I’m not even sure what I’m arguing against, since I don’t know what you’re saying we should do because America was founded by Europeans. You just keep saying that all these political problems are happening because we’ve forgotten it.

    To say ‘what we should do’ can only be answered after a process of rediscovery and redefinition. My assertion is that what America has become is a strange hybridized creature, a sick creature in this sense because a Lincolnian ‘propositional nation’ runs contrary to a Jeffersonian place, time and self-identification. I very clearly state that white people, for a host of different important reasons, need to become conscious of who they are, where they have come from, and on that basis (self-awareness, self-consciousness) make very specific choices about what they want, now, in this present.

    And I offer the same to any other people: the right to self-definition, the right to self-determination.

    • Where exactly did you get this idea of a mystical connection between human biology and a metaphysical concept of an abstract culture? What inspired this idea, and what is the train of reasoning that was used to verify it?

      How does this theory explain how cultures have evolved over time as technology has progressed? How does it deal with the migration of ideas across cultures, for instance via the Silk Road? What does it say about trade empires and hegemonies? What about the propagation of Buddhism from its native India to most of Asia? Or the spread of Christianity and Islam from the Middle East to most of the world and all races through conquest and genocide in the world’s largest case of Stockholm syndrome? How does it explain the popularity of anime?

      I recommend that you learn to describe these mystical abstract cultures, because until you do your entire theory is irrelevant even if it is true. If you can’t define the culture you’re trying to protect, the sentiment is not actionable. Unless, that is, your plan is “lock up all the white people together and hope they make more culture, and once their culture is at a sustainable strength, release them back into the wild.” Of course, there’s no reason to think that the resulting culture would be a very healthy one, but it would, by definition, be “white”.

      When you identify a concept that is part of a culture, use these statements to describe it. They are not mutually exclusive.
      1) It’s an interesting meme and acts as social glue, but a culture can take it or leave it and still be healthy. (This statement describes most entertainment, even if it takes influence from concepts that reflect statements 2 and 3.)
      2) It’s useful, and other cultures should adopt it, or it’s harmful and the originating culture should discontinue it.
      3) It’s a subjective prioritization of important values. It’s one of a number of healthy ways to prioritize them.

      3 is the statement that would distinguish cultures from one another. If you can find any statements in a culture that are described by 3, then you’ve found a part of that culture’s fundamental identity. (I suppose technically 2 also counts, but my goal is for all cultures to implement the concepts that are universally good and reject the ones that are universally bad, so in the future type-2 statements won’t be useful for distinguishing between different cultures.)

      • EC writes: “Where exactly did you get this idea of a mystical connection between human biology and a metaphysical concept of an abstract culture? What inspired this idea, and what is the train of reasoning that was used to verify it?”

        But that is not what I said nor what I mean. The actual question is What is the relationship between human biology and the metaphysical? What *is* the metaphysical and what does it mean to refer to it?

        “Who touch’d Isaiah’s hallow’d lips with fire?” (Pope)

        Or how about Blake’s:

        “This life’s dim windows of the soul
        Distorts the heavens from pole to pole
        And leads you to believe a lie
        When you see with, not through, the eye.”

        What does that mean to you?

        One of the ideas that came my way and influenced strongly how I see things was a seemingly simple on. It was the proposition that in order to be made aware of one’s own metaphysics and the way and the degree that it determines perception, one had need of a ‘master metaphysician’. And who is that? Who could fulfill that role?

        The questions that you have asked open up into areas that involve intuition, essential understanding of ‘what is’ and why things are. To speak of metaphysics obviously posits a ‘soul’ which is also metaphysical. I do not think you have much interest in being pulled in these directions since, I gather, you have deflated these concepts.

        You put forward a litany of ‘questions’ which are challenges to prove to you (again I gather this is so) what you have long since disproved. I imagine, though I admit that I am guessing to some degree and cannot know until you clarify, that you now exist as a perceptual being in a very specific and also a very tight and restricted metaphysics. Each of your questions can be seen to be groups of assertions about ‘reality’. Another important element here is that we now are living in a time of ‘collapsed metaphysics’. The metaphysics that were real and true for Shakespeare who give us some of the most valuable literary and poetical references to things unseen and of course to *value* and *meaning* which have moved (and will continue to move) generations of people … are becoming unintelligible to most people.

        I start with some basic assertions that have to do with metaphysical principles, and specifically with Europe, and I ties these also to European people and their attainments, and naturally I work hard to discern and understand how metaphysics intertwines with that culture. Paideia is a way to refer to that. But that is such a dry way to put it. You would have to turn to poems and to those utterances which transcend the restraint of language and expose meaning to the soul or the heart (profound metaphors of course and deeply metaphysical!) just to get the ideas out in the open.

        I recommend that you learn to describe these mystical abstract cultures, because until you do your entire theory is irrelevant even if it is true. If you can’t define the culture you’re trying to protect, the sentiment is not actionable.

        Fair enough, as far as it goes. But I would recommend that you tune and retune your ‘inner ear’ to be able to pick up the frequency I would speak on, and also learn to see more through and not with the eye!

        I did not use the term ‘mystical abstract culture’ and put that way it is not what I mean. It is very very difficult to define what is ‘true’ and what is ‘false’ and especially as so many different perceptual systems are in disarray. Therefor I think at times one can merely allude toward truth.

        All that I have said, and what I have meant to say, is that European culture, and the people who have carried it into existence, would do well to rediscover and reclaim their relationship to themselves. I say that because I notice all manner of different *things* acting as acids against them and also *it*. How could I refer to such grand notions in a paragraph or two when these ideas are discussed at tremendous length by philosophers and theologians and those who have some claim on the title ‘master metaphysician’?

        It’s an interesting meme and acts as social glue, but a culture can take it or leave it and still be healthy.

        That is a bizarre and quite postmodern statement!

        The notion of ‘health’ interests me quite a bit though. And that is why my project is developing as one of momentously pointing to ‘identity’ — like a prophetess of olde — to the necessity of getting to and claiming essential value through self-definition. I would ask: What is unhealthy? What is the state of unhealth? And what is the sickness that besets ‘our people’ now?

        People ask that question often: What do you mean by ‘our people’? Why such an exclusive term? I believe there is a rational answer and one that can be expressed ethically and morally. I try to do that.

        • Correction:

          It’s an interesting meme and acts as social glue, but a culture can take it or leave it and still be healthy.

          That is a bizarre and quite postmodern statement!

          The notion of ‘health’ interests me quite a bit though. And that is why my project is developing as one of momentously pointing to ‘identity’ — like a prophetess of olde — and to the necessity of getting to and claiming essential value through self-definition. I would ask: What is unhealthy? What is the state of unhealth? And what is the sickness that besets ‘our people’ now?

          People ask that question often: What do you mean by ‘our people’? Why such an exclusive term? I believe there is a rational answer and one that can be expressed ethically and morally. I try to do that.

        • “The actual question is What is the relationship between human biology and the metaphysical? What *is* the metaphysical and what does it mean to refer to it?”
          I realize that’s the question, but since you haven’t given a coherent enough description for me to understand it, I figured you could just point me at your evidence and sources, and I could look at them for myself. “Metaphysical” is a human’s way of saying, “I inutitively know I’m right.”

          “You would have to turn to poems and to those utterances which transcend the restraint of language and expose meaning to the soul or the heart (profound metaphors of course and deeply metaphysical!) just to get the ideas out in the open.”
          “How could I refer to such grand notions in a paragraph or two when these ideas are discussed at tremendous length by philosophers and theologians and those who have some claim on the title ‘master metaphysician’?”

          There are three simple reasons I’m challenging you to articulate your ideas of culture.
          1. I am humoring you by trying to understand your ideas even though they are largely ill-defined, and ill-reasoned where they are defined. I’m doing this because it’s my job to stick up for people who are misunderstood, even if I think they’re wrong, and especially if they’re fellow perception-users. I’d prefer that you learn to express your ideas functionally, because the alternative is that I eventually give up on trying to understand, and consider you wrong by default. This is a suboptimal outcome.
          2. I’ve taken many metaphysical concepts and explained them functionally. Some of them have been “deflated” as you put it, because there was never much merit to them to begin with. Others have been enriched by my giving them form and structure. Taoist philosophy holds that the Tao that can be named is not the true Tao. This is true. Similarly to your Blake quote seeing with the eye instead of through it, the fool looks at the finger instead of at the moon it is pointing toward. However, if you can’t learn to point in the right direction, even wise people will have no idea what you’re talking about. It is possible to articulate what you’re talking about, and you should learn how, for your own sake.
          3. If you’re calling on European people to figure out their identity, and you can’t define what it is, why are you so convinced that it’s separate from the identities of other peoples? That assertion seems arbitrary given that you don’t seem to have any of the details of the European identity worked out.

          “That is a bizarre and quite postmodern statement!”
          Let me give an example. There was a B movie made in the 1950s called The Giant Claw. It’s about a giant vulture from space, and it’s hilariously bad. I’m saying that if this movie had never been made, it would not be a great loss for anyone’s society. I don’t consider that a bizarre or postmodern thing to say. I should clarify that the three points weren’t all supposed to apply to everything. They just weren’t mutually exclusive. I’m not saying that literally every idea serves as social glue and is otherwise unimportant. That would be postmodern, or at least modernist. (Also, what idiot named an intellectual/artistic movement after a word that basically means “the present day”? Postmodern technically refers to the future.)

          To clarify, “unhealthy” would be if a culture discourages developing the skills that would make the culture sustainable, adaptable, and advancing in its ability to help people get what they want. Discouraging creativity, for instance, is a good way to be unhealthy.

          “Our people” generally means ones you share a community or culture with, but it really depends on your purpose. Out of curiosity, have you seen the movie Enemy Mine? It involves a human and an alien who were fighting in a war against each other but crash on a planet and must team up to survive, and end up learning each other’s culture. I’m curious as to what you think of the concept.

          • I realize that’s the question, but since you haven’t given a coherent enough description for me to understand it, I figured you could just point me at your evidence and sources, and I could look at them for myself. “Metaphysical” is a human’s way of saying, “I inutitively know I’m right.”

            Here is what it comes down to, as I understand it. 1) This is not the platform, and could not become the platform, for the revelation of rather complex philosophical essays. When I encounter an idea that piques my interest I take it upon myself to investigate it. Sometimes that investigation takes a minute, sometimes it takes months and even years. 2) We are dealing here (between you and me and on this Blog also) with ideas that ultimately resolve back into philosophical and existential questions. I say this despite the American predilection to imagine that a simple pragmatics is non-philosophical (or non-metaphysical). You are not inclined to desire to understand what I mean when I refer to metaphysics or to shifts in metaphysical paradigms, and additionally to even get to the point of understanding, basically, what is referred to would take a considerable effort. I say this because that was the case for me. The books that most helped me — and each of them also involved me in 6 months of thought — were ‘The Seventeenth Century Background’ by Basil Willey and ‘Elizabethan Psychology and Shakespeare’s Plays by Ruth Leila Anderson. My world was turned around significantly through Shakespeare studies and the one who influenced me (and gave me these sources) was Harold Bloom. Because of those sources, and after a number of years of thought on the topic, I opted to become a Catholic and to agree to surrender myself to what I discern as the necessary metaphysics. This turns on the idea of the difference between what one *sees* through the eye and with the eye. There is always a surface, right? But then there is always an inner content which is what is there to be *seen* through the eye. There is no other way for me to make a reference that could make any sense or communicate the point. Because the point is metaphysical! And you must know that those who choose not to see in these ways have arrived at their understandings through good-faith (Bertrand Russell is a good example) and cannot be suddenly re-convinced.

            To understand the relation between ‘intuition’ and ‘understanding’ as they are part of the Occidental understanding and the very platform on which our language has been constructed is itself an involved task! And the way to go about understanding that is through Mediaeval metaphysics, that is Thomism. ‘The Great Chain of Being’ by Lovejoy is an in-road but then so is ‘The Anatomy of Melancholy’ by Robert Burton. Take for example:

            Subsection 10 — Of The Understanding

            Understanding is a power of the soul, by which we perceive, know, remember, and judge, as well singulars as universals, having certain innate notices or beginnings of arts, a reflecting action, by which it judgeth of its own doings, and examines them.”

            Lord Acton says that to understand what we now understand you have to understand what proceeded it. Our immediate past was the previous metaphysic and we now exist in a ‘collapsed metaphysics’. I hope that you can see that these are involved topics. Important and meaningful, but demanding and difficult. In my view to understand Christianity (a truly ‘collapsed metaphysics’!) one has to do this work.

            My ideas about a people’s relationship to metaphysics through their culture, though incomprehensible to you, are not unsound. But I will admit that I am not the best one to make a convincing case. I would suggest though Christopher Dawson’s ‘The Historic Reality of Christian Culture: The Way to Renewal of Human Life’. It came out in 1960 just on the cusp of the most serious manifestation of the ‘collapse’. I am making statements that have no meaning for you, indeed they must apear clownish and silly.

            I already explained that as I understand it European people need to renew their understanding of a cultural paideia. To say ‘cultural paideia’ is to enunciate 2 words. What is involved in that is an entire inner and outer project that supersedes the mere words. Because it also has to do with reestablishing a lived connection with a conscious metaphysical principle. As I struggle to define ‘Europe’ and also ‘European rebirth’ or ‘pan-Europeanism’ I can only do this to the degree that it is made real within myself.

            You, in relation to this, based on what I see, are quite far on the outside and not close enough to the *inside* to make much sense of what I say. I think I could recommend a dozen sources and, perhaps even after reading them, you’d remain unconvinced — unmoved.

            Yet you do not fail to make lots of statements about what does *move* you and they are things I can understand up to a point.

            Your comment on what is ‘unhealthy’ is nothing more than a pragmatist’s list. No one of those elements even made me ‘healthy’! Your categories are horizontal and the ones that have relevance for me are vertical!

      • EC: “If you can’t define the culture you’re trying to protect, the sentiment is not actionable. Unless, that is, your plan is “lock up all the white people together and hope they make more culture, and once their culture is at a sustainable strength, release them back into the wild.” Of course, there’s no reason to think that the resulting culture would be a very healthy one, but it would, by definition, be “white”.

        What I take this to mean is that there is a great deal of work to be done — by me and by ‘us’ — to better define what, exactly, is required and necessary. But at the very least I notice that you yourself have opened to the notion. What I would say is that ‘we’ are coming out from a severe eclipse and by saying that I point, mythically, to reanimation and also rebirth. What I wish to bring to your attention is that there is an array of philosophers and thinkers who are working in this area. I usually refer to the European ones because their ideas are more pure and, it is true, America is so devilishly confusing (and confused).

        And I accept what you say: without a clear idea of *what is being spoken of* it cannot become ‘actionable’ as you say. But that is why people who identify with what people like me are saying then become inspired to begin to undertake the research and self-questioning required. There is little that is ‘actionable’ right now. What there is is vast confusion, like immobilizing molasses.

        I appreciate your attempt at ridicule but I do not admire that you would so deviously attempt to rephrase a sound and necessary project as one of retrogression and stupidity. But I see such ‘rephrasing’ as quite common. It is a way to twist someone’s words, or their intentions, into something else entirely. It is done all the time.

        • “But at the very least I notice that you yourself have opened to the notion.”
          I’m always open to any notion. It’s necessary in order to be any good as a perception user. “The mark of an educated mind is to be able to entertain an idea without accepting it.”–Aristotle (probably). I’m not going to work for your European identity project, though. All people need access to the best ideas in all the world. While it’s definitely a good idea to remember cultural history, everyone owns that history and is free to take it or leave it in the present day, no matter whether it was their ancestors who participated in it originally. Otherwise history isn’t a library, but a prison, with one cell for every ethnic group.

          “It is a way to twist someone’s words, or their intentions, into something else entirely. “
          Interpretation mindset has a glass theme. It can distort, yes, but it can also magnify or reflect, showing us aspects of ideas that we hadn’t considered. In this case, wasn’t using interpretation mindset, though. I was about to say your vague ideas were not actionable, and realized that there was an exception, and mentioned it, because I am bound to speak as accurately as I am able.

          I was surprised when you said that your plan was something along those lines. Not because I thought you would literally lock people up, obviously, but because you thought there would be any benefit to the separation. … I’m realizing now that you’re basically calling for a white “safe space”. I understand why minorities might want spaces to themselves (even if I think they should enforce the segregation with internal politics rather than with rules), so I can see where you’re going with this. I still don’t think it’s worth the effort, because I still hold that all cultures should be based on the same healthy concepts, and all else is window dressing. However, if you’re looking to guide the evolution of the window dressing, I don’t think it’s an inherently terrible idea.

          • I think it is somewhat silly to speak of ‘my plan’ when, if anything, I am making a reference to developing ideas which arise in open reaction to the machinations of the present. So, I don’t have ‘a plan’ but I describe myself as being philosophically linked with, or attracted to, a group of ideas that are, to put it generally, eurocentric. It is not wise and it does not help (either if one is in pro or in contra to the concepts) to make it a personal matter. Of course I do recognize that when comparing our ideas it is one has to use personal pronouns. But the ideas that you are representing, and those that I am representing, in this conversation are far outside of our persons.

            I have been largely sure for sometime, when I closely read what you write, that you have no way to defend anything at all at a specific level. That is part of your shtick so-to-speak. You have become abstracted from incarnation. Your symbolisms express your relationship to *things*. I might also say that you work, psychologically, or psych-symbolically, with a spirit of the universal. But you are (I gather) American and so I would also — to understand you — have to attempt to understand your *location* physically as well as spiritually. So, I would have to say that it seems that you internalize and represent at least some main elements of Americanism in the sense I often describe: the cilvil religious aspect. These are powerful belief-sets. I am fairly sure that my approach and what I say is to many people rather annoying and certainly pretentious. But I do believe that it is necessary — crucial even — to take some backward steps, or to back-up from our own perception-stances and attempt to see how they came to be and what composes them. So, my approach is always in that vein.

            I see ‘American politics’ and ‘American philosophy’ and of course ‘the American Civil Religion’ as being in crisis. My spiritual sister is Cassandra and if I have a Muse, or a Muse speaks through me, I wish to be. The one to point out that crisis, revolution, social chaos and profound changes are on the horizon. Just to speak in historical symbols: court coups and back-palace machinations, social-hysterical manifestations, synchronistic eclipses which directly cross over the nation, meteors landing, double-storms. These are outward manifestations which, at least it seems so! have an inner correspondence. So, I am at least psychically tuned to the dramatic and dangerous aspect of change and try to speak to it, for it and through it. But I ask you What do you speak for? Who do you speak for? What do you speak to?

            As I think things over, and as I muse on my perception of people who write on forums and attempt to give their impressions and interpretations, would be that I often think people are sort of *stoned*. Hyper-liberalism has created a false-environment where perception is distorted. I am thinking of TeeVees and cheery broadcasts and programming which puts people in a false state of consciousness like being a little drunk or high on marijuana. Or maybe the best metaphor is tranquillized though it is a tired metaphor.

            I suppose I would have to say, and when I speak to people like you it becomes necessary to try to state the actual truth of things, that your term ‘safe-space’, though pretty ridiculous because it is tied to modern universities and weak girls and boys composed of psychological mush who break down in tears and have public tantrums, can of course be expanded in a more realistic sense. I was thinking yesterday that it obviously expands to the so-called ’14 words’. Or that contraction places a great deal of demand on a person and they have to make choices in regard to it.

            In Europe, as I suppose you know, there are regional movements in every European country and people who desire to defend what the word ‘their-self’ refers to. The question becomes How do I define ‘the self’? I would suggest to you that, abstracted as you seem to be, you would struggle to be able to arrive at a sound definition. It seems to me that you remain in the ‘safe space’ of your ‘confort zone’ which is on an abstract plane.

            So I will admit that that is the question. On what basis would someone — could someone — defend their national, racial, cultural and also religious self? And though I can say that I certainly am aware of the problem, and many many other people are now becoming aware of it, it is not in any sense an easy issue to work through. So in summation I will say that I am comfortable remaining within a non-decided zone.

  11. jj

    Just found this site. Kudos for the discussion.

    Jack, why in the world would you refer to this person as, ‘she?’ This is not a woman, and aside from the concept that calling him, ‘her,’ is factually incorrect, it is insulting to actual females. This person will never have ovaries implanted into his body, never menstruate, never become pregnant or give birth, never lactate and certainly never ‘acquire,’ an extra X chromosome. And these are just a FEW of the reasons this person is not female. All any transgender person can do is indulge in a bit of window dressing whilst taking hormones. They can not actually change their sex. Please, never make that mistake again.

    • It really depends on what you think a pronoun is for. Unless you’re their medical professional, you almost never need to know about a person’s biology these days unless you’re pursuing a romantic relationship with them. While gendered pronouns used to be important for enforcing gender roles on people, that era is largely over, thankfully. At this point, gendered pronouns are an artifact.

      However, if some people prefer to specify their own pronouns, within reason (convenience and clarity being important), I am inclined to treat their pronouns just as I would treat their name, nickname, or alias: they tell me how to refer to them, and I respect it. Personally, I would be comfortable having people refer to me as “it” when speaking in the third person, if it weren’t likely to cause confusion. It removes assumptions about how I think and feel and what I can and can’t do.

      It is true that calling someone a “woman” who is not, biologically speaking, female, is largely inaccurate. That’s why she would be referred to as a “trans woman” in situations where that mattered. Of course, “woman” and “man” have lots of cultural baggage associated with them beyond the simple biological description, and people are only just starting to recognize that that baggage doesn’t have a 1:1 relationship with biology. That’s why “woman” and “man” are being used by trans people in contradiction to biology: to signal to others how best to interact with them and what sorts of emotions and values to expect them to express. I’m not a huge fan of gender-based interactions and expectations myself, hence my own backup pronoun of “it”. (For reference, most people who aren’t gender-binary prefer “they/them”.)

      As for your perspective on transgender people, I’ll link you to what I wrote on the matter earlier, and you can tell me what you think. https://ethicsalarms.com/2017/07/07/comment-of-the-day-from-the-law-vs-ethics-file-the-discriminatory-charlotte-pride-parade/#comment-454522

      I am also very curious as to why you are offended by transgender women (who have XY chromosomes), when as far as I know, there isn’t the same feeling of indignation towards transgender men (who have XX chromosomes).

      • Pennagain

        I’m not a huge fan of gender-based interactions and expectations myself, hence my own backup pronoun of “it”. (For reference, most people who aren’t gender-binary prefer “they/them”.)

        Thought I was alone in this. … and as I think I noted elsewhere (my memory is shot to hell), responding to emails and stickers proclaiming people’s preferred pronouns, I began using “Pronouns: it, that and that’s it” and have lost at least one favored volunteer position because of it*. My transgender acquaintances think it’s funny.

        *or “that”

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