I was a liberal; a latte-sipping, NPR-listening, Salon-reading, organic food-eating, SWPL. I worked for the Clinton and Kerry campaigns. I gave to Greenpeace and the ACLU. I’m the nicest guy you could ever meet. How did I end up as one of the world’s top shitlords? In some ways I feel like I haven’t changed at all, and just by standing still while the left moved into loony land I ended up on the far right. In another time I might have been a classic working class, patriotic, pro-union, pro-family Democrat.
Primarily I was, and still am, an environmentalist. But if you’re an environmentalist that means you’re a Democrat, and once in the Democratic circle you pick up all of the other leftist viewpoints. But even at my most leftist, I was always disappointed in many liberal views and always thought it was counterproductive for us leftists to hold these views. For example, I always disagreed with radical feminist beliefs, and was frustrated by their insistence that men and women be psychologically identical, or that sexual attraction was learned, or that beauty standards were entirely conventional. I never believed that the difference between a beautiful girl and an ugly one was entirely the result of media images and other examples of feminist dogma.
These differences weren’t enough for me to abandon my leftism. But as time went on, the left progressively, spectacularly, went straight into the loony bin. They just kept adding more and more insane claims until I couldn’t abide it any longer. When the left went from saying you should not harm homosexuals to attacking “heteronormativity,” that was a straw. It was just insane to me to claim that heterosexuality wasn’t the biological norm. (See “The Myth of Sexual Orientation” for details.) When racism went from the belief that you should not treat someone badly because of their race, to an impersonal, omnipresent, invisible, malevolent force against which you must guard every stray thought lest you be lead astray–when it became witchcraft–that was a straw. When the Sierra Club sold out the environment over immigration, that was a straw. The way leftists obviously expanded the definition of emotionally charged words like rape, racist, hate, and oppression for political gain was a straw. The slogan “diversity is our strength” was a big straw. I think I first heard this phrase during the Clinton administration. I laughed because it was so obviously not true, and Clinton said it with his characteristic practiced liar’s sincerity. How in the world could someone after Rwanda, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland say with a straight face that diversity was a strength? It was clearly a marketing slogan for how to sell what was going to be pushed whether it was a strength or not. It was far more obvious that diversity increased alienation, suspicion, resentment, hostility, and conflict. Throughout history nations have struggled to foster unity and have been torn apart by factionalism. Even though it was clearly untrue it was brilliant politics. Let the Republicans deny it! This is a clear case of how democratic politics forces us to believe falsehoods for political expediency. See “Alienation and Diversity” and “Why Diversity Destroys Social Capital.”
Despite the massive numbers of straws on this camel’s back I still was a leftist because the Republicans were so horrible. Despite their rhetoric, the Republicans have only one principle: corporate interests. They will abandon their professed respect for the rule of law if immigration favors corporate interests. They bail out Wall Street and abandon their talk of free markets or family values if it is against corporate interests, and so on.
But by and by I came to hate feeling like I had to believe things I didn’t really believe just because it helped “our side”: that I had to root for Clinton when he was clearly a scumbag; that I had to be gleeful at Bush’s latest disaster since it helped our side; that I had to root for demagogues like Al Sharpton since he was on our side; that I had to subscribe to the entire leftist menu of affirmative action, government unions, centralized Federal power, etc.. I was long gone by 2008 but to see Obama’s sickening recitation of platitudes and empty promises, to see the Democrats bail out W all Street, to see leftists rage against the deficit when Bush was president but love it when Obama is, to be against war when Bush is president but ignore Obama’s undeclared and disastrous war in Libya, all reinforced my decision.
These hypocrisies on the left are endlessly pointed out by the right with no effect whatsoever on leftists because leftism has become not about principles and entirely about who? whom? If it benefits our side it is acceptable, or we will create a principle on this occasion to justify the actions of our side. On another occasion will will adopt a different principle if it benefits our side. We’ll be for centralized power on one occasion, localization on another; for democracy on one occasion, fine with undemocratic mandates on another; anti-corporate on one occasion, pro-corporate on another. Maybe there is something admirable to this win at any cost ethos, it has been incredibly successful after all, but my philosophic desire for consistency cringed at every reversal. Of course the right does this too, but it was a blow to that we good liberals were just as bad if not worse since it was just so egregious.
At some point, I think Bush had caused yet another disaster, and I searched out some conservative blogs to bathe in schadenfreude. What I found astonished me. It turned out that conservatives weren’t the evil monsters that liberals had painted them. It’s embarrassing to reflect on how naive I was but it was a shock to me to discover just how badly the left misrepresented the views of the right. The left would always claim things like conservatives want women to be chained to the kitchen and die in coathanger back alley abortions! The right hate the poor and want them to die from starvation! The right hates African-Americans and wants a return to Jim Crow! To discover that the right actually had reasoned positions and that the left was just out-and-out lying about what the right believed shattered my illusions. We were the intellectual, reality-based community! (Remember that phrase?) We didn’t go for superstition unlike those theocracy-loving Republithugs! We listened to NPR and NPR is what we smart informed people listen to, unlike that FOX News that lies and distorts!
Furthermore, important events that were discussed on right-wing sites were completely ignored by the left-wing (the right does this too, of course). I realized I was being fed a worldview and any events that clashed with this worldview were ignored. Leftist media wasn’t about informing its audience, it was about keeping them ignorant and in the fold. So to discover that NPR/Slate/Salon/New York Times were just a propaganda operation was a shock to me. Again, I was incredibly naive.
It is so difficult to break from being a leftist because it is the entirely of your identity. White leftists believe themselves to be entirely self-created individuals and have no ethnic, racial, or religious identity. It is an amazing coincidence how these purely self-created individuals all happen to end up with the same tastes, styles, opinions, and political views. This is beginning to change as white liberals have come under attack and are starting to dimly perceive that they are a type, and live in homogenous enclaves like any other. Even then it really angered me that despite all being white, having all their friends be white, living in white neighborhoods, listening to music made by white people, having the organic, fair-trade, localist values that only whites have, they had the smug clear conscience that they weren’t racist because they had learned the right things to say in the right situations to throw off suspicion.
Eventually I couldn’t stand professed tolerance that tolerated less and less deviation, inclusiveness that kept excluding more and more people, and diversity where every place had to be the same. But the straw that broke the camel’s back was coming across the writings of Ruth Millikan. Millikan is a philosopher’s philosopher: a member of The Academy of Arts and Sciences, awarded the Jean Nicod Prize, the Rescher prize (which is basically the Nobel prize for philosophy), and one of the few philosophers honored with a volume in the Philosophers and Their Critics series. I first was assigned her famous article “Biosemantics” as an undergrad, and was instantly hooked. Millikan combined philosophy and Darwinism like no one had before and it hit me right between the eyes. Over the years I devoured everything by her I could get my hands on, and have never stopped thinking about its implications. Everything I write here is just an exercise in applied Millikanism.
Now, Millikan herself has never, as far as I know, written anything on moral or political topics. So don’t blame her for my evil ways! But the subtitle to Millikan’s groundbreaking Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories is New Grounds for Realism, and she has been described as a crusader for “industrial strength Realism” (Millikan and Her Critics, p. 211.) Once you come to understand these grounds for realism you can’t help but see how many leftist arguments rely on anti-realist positions. Furthermore, I came to see the entire leftist package of anti-realist positions–sexism, racism, multiculturalism, Marxism–require the denial of reality. Posmodernism/Post-structurlism are just the realization that you have to deny the existence of reality in order to justify leftist positions. For example, see my “The Myth of Sexual Orientation,” “Race (And) Realism,” “Why The No-True-Scotsman Fallacy is Not a Fallacy,” and “Sex is Not a Social Construct.”
Now, Millikan’s interest is how language and thought manages to represent reality. And so one thing she needs to explain is how the world can be stable enough to be represented in language and thought. As part of this project she discusses what she calls “historical kinds.” Historical kinds are things like biological species; they don’t have an essence but are kept relatively constant in form over time by the acting of natural forces the way a child will resemble its parents in many respects because their genes are copied into their offspring. Millikan writes:
“Many kinds of interest to social scientists, such as ethnic, social, economic, and vocational groups are historical kinds” (On Clear and Confused Ideas, p 22)
This passage is almost an aside, just throwing out that, oh, by the way, these forces apply to ethnic groups as well. But for me this passage had dramatic consequences because it caused me to ask of what historical kinds am I? This shattered my pretensions and caused me to see just how much about me is inherited: my genes, my language, my values, and all the productions of culture were transmitted to me by my parents and/or education. You see, SWPL liberals see themselves as purely original self-created existentialist heroes. We are individuals, not conformists! Our values are based on pure reason! We don’t go for superstition like those conservatives! All these pretensions were destroyed by this passage. I came to see how much of what I am is due to inheritance, heritage, tradition. Furthermore, I came to see that the members of a kind must do certain things in order for their kind to continue to persist through time. I had to be honest with myself that I actually like my European-American/WASP-y ethnicity and that if it is to persist it must be preserved and transmitted.
This was the final straw, to see that all of the things that a kind must do in order to continue to persist are exactly what liberalism condemns. That if you have two groups, one of which refuses to do what it must in order to persist through time, and another group which does, the latter will inherit the Earth. In fact, the Earth will always be inherited by those groups who take the effort to persist. These considerations are detailed in “The Ultimate Guide to Cultural Marxist Genocide.” I wrestled with these implications for a long time, for over a year actually. But in the end I could not get over the conclusion that, whatever moral or political theory you prefer, it can’t, like the Shakers, lead to the extinction of those who practice it. Values have survival value. On the other hand, liberal values are “Deathwish Values,” they lead to the extinction of those who live by them, and can not endure through time. If you adopt liberalism, you go extinct (see “The Shakers, Deathwish Values, and Autonomy“). This is what is currently happening to all the ancient people’s of Europe due to their adoption of liberalism. The world will always be inherited by those who live by values that ensure the survival of their kind.
That was it for me. Seeing that liberalism ultimately destroys whomever practices it was the end. My goal really became the preservation of my kind and the defeat of the liberalism which rots and destroys. When I finally broke with the left it was quite a liberating feeling. I was neither on the right nor the left. I was free to believe what I truly believed, free to observe both sides from the outside. Over the course of a couple of years I discovered Rod Dreher and his “Crunchy Cons.” I liked it and it resonated with my small scale, environmentalist sensibilities. From there it was Front Porch Republic and The American Conservative. To find a branch of conservatism that was for decentralized political and economic power, anti-war, and an favor of supporting local businesses and communities over transnational corporatism was like coming home. You see, the left was always talking about localization, but with the same breath was in favor of centralized political power in the Federal government. (Remember the Seattle anti-globalism riots? It looks like now the Democratic party is full-on the party of globalization. How can the leftists not notice this?) This “paleo-con” branch of conservatism contained the things I liked about leftism without the freaks.
From there I discovered Steve Sailer. It was incredibly refreshing to come across someone who wasn’t afraid to notice the things that you’ve always known but couldn’t say. So much of leftist discourse is about convincing you think that you aren’t really noticing what you are noticing. Here was someone who actually said the things you notice but force yourself to ignore. It is an odd experience to hear the boy point out that the emperor has no clothes when you were one of the people in the crowd admiring his finery. On the one hand, you always knew he was naked, but on the other hand you wanted him to be clothed so badly you actually could see it.
I think it was from Steve Sailer that I came across Scharlach’s map. The nodes on the map were the topics I was truly interested in. Here was a group that took Darwin seriously. Here was a group that took sex differences seriously. Here was a group that was allowed to discuss demographics. Here was a group that could discuss the drawbacks to multiculturalism. Here was a group that was tied to neither side of the war of attrition between the left and right. Here was a place where nothing was taboo and all cards were on the table. I had found the sandbox in which I wanted to play.
To any Leftists reading: the Left is evil. The Left is building an ugly, alienating, dystopia. Leftist values aren’t written into the structure of the universe–they aren’t a priori moral axioms–they are purely matters of political power tactics. Leftist elites always play the same game of promising equality in exchange for granting power to a new set of elites, but equality never comes, and you simply get a new group of elites.
If nothing else, get out of your information bubble of NPR/Salon/New York Times and seek out opposing viewpoints.
You aren’t the individual you think you are. Your style, tastes, politics, genes, psychology, and values are all inherited. Even your views of individuality aren’t original, they are inherited from existentialism. You cling to your cherished self-image as a pure individual because it is the source of your sense of superiority when all such sources are denied you by your stated egalitarianism. It’s OK to be just another normal white person. Give up your pretensions and resentments. Be normal. Get your self-esteem from your family, friends, and successes like a normal person, not in public displays of holiness, showing how much you can deny and punish yourself.
You don’t have to believe what you know is false: that men and women are psychologically identical, that racial disparities are always caused by racism, that heterosexuality isn’t nature’s norm, that multiculturalism doesn’t increase inter-ethnic conflict, and on and on. Political Correctness is just a set of mandatory lies in the service of political power. It’s all bullshit; you don’t have to believe any of it. It’s OK to admit that you prefer people like yourself. That is normal human nature. It doesn’t make you x-phobic. It’s OK. It isn’t scary for long. You can join the truly reality-based community.