America’s Cultural Marxist Left hates Conservatism Inc. and regularly claims that is racist, sexist, etc. Significantly, however, Conservatism Inc. doesn’t fight back by denouncing Political Correctness as such—instead, it merely seeks to show the criticism is hypocritical, which only ends up strengthening the Left by conceding the validity of the original charge. You can call this reverse political jujitsu “pulling a Williamson” —after National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson, who has made a specialty of it.
Look at the most recent result of a half century of standing athwart history crying “retreat!”: the auto-da-fé of tech innovator Brendan Eich. Eich was forced to step down as the CEO of Mozilla, because he donated $1,000 to California’s anti-gay marriage Proposition 8 in 2008. [Brendan Eich resigns as Mozilla Corporation CEO, by Sam Machkovech, ArsTechnica, April 3, 2014] Prop. 8 won, but, as our ruling class allows no input from the American people on important issues, was subsequently blocked by Judge Stephen Reinhardt, an appointee of Jimmy Carter (“history’s greatest monster”—The Simpsons.) It survives as the “H8” “anti-hate” motif on Leftist Tumblrs, blogs, and social networking sites
Of course, Barack Obama said marriage was between a “man and a woman” in 2004 and his position on the issue was still “evolving” as late as the 2012 campaign. [Timeline of Obama’s ‘Evolving’ on Same-Sex Marriage, by Devin Dwyer, ABC News, May 9, 2012]. But the goalposts of “social justice” are ever shifting, and many in the Main Stream Media hailed the destruction of yet another Enemy of the People. Still, Andrew Sullivan, who has fought for gay marriage for decades, did capture the reaction of many moderates when he says “if this is the gay rights movement today… then count me out.” [The Hounding of a Heretic, The Dish, April 3, 2014]
This was a hanging curve for the Beltway Right—and, tellingly, Williamson missed it. [The Liberal Gulag, National Review, April 6, 2014].
He started predictably, criticizing “so-called progressives” for their desire to criminalize dissent, recalling not just L’Affaire Eich, but Gawker contributor Adam Weinstein’s call to criminalize global-warming “deniers,” and the recent exclusion of conservative reporter Katherine Timpf from a feminist conference. “Welcome to the liberal gulag,” he wrote.
But falling back on the strained charge of “liberal fascism” misses the point. Of course the Left doesn’t believe in free speech, has grown intellectual lazy, and its driving force is “[protecting] their intellects, such as they are, from the discomfort of contact with nonconformist ideas.” But what Williamson, Goldberg, and other Conservatism Inc. publicists don’t get: the Left’s ideology is perfectly consistent by their own standards.
And, more importantly, Conservatism Inc. does the exact same thing that it decries in liberals—just with a delay of a few years.
For example, Williamson is disingenuous when he writes that Charles Murray was “denounced as a ‘known white supremacist’ by Texas Democrats” for holding heterodox views on education policy” and earning the ire of the Southern Poverty Law Center. [Candidate for Texas Governor Invokes Man Who Believes Women and Minorities Are Inferior, by Laura Basset, Huffington Post, April 1, 2014] Actually, Murray was denounced for believing in the reality of IQ differences among different groups. His “heterodox views on education policy” are much the same as Robert Weissberg’s—whom National Review purged! Editor Rich Lowry even thanked the Leftists who alerted him to Weissberg’s heresy.
Similarly, Williamson says “the Left is coming around—again—on hating Jews, even if Occupy rituals have replaced the traditional pseudo-Roman salute.” [Links in original].
This would probably be news to Adam Weinstein or the rest of the gang at Gawker. [The Yids Are Alright: 10 Days of Spiritual Decadence on Birthright, by Leah Beckmann, Gawker, May 9, 2013] Perhaps some on the Left are turning anti-Israel—but it isn’t because they “hate Jews.” It’s because they hate nationalists, and Israel is a forthrightly ethno-nationalist state that justifies its existence as being the political expression of a particular people – the “Jewish state.”
Leftists loathe this. I strongly approve if it—I just wonder why the historic American nation isn’t allowed to behave the same way as Israelis.
More importantly, Williamson misses the mark (though with some style) when he sneers that
The Left’s most energetic foot soldiers today are MFA [Master of Fine Arts? Why them?] dropouts who are too stupid to tell a genuine Sarah Palin quote from a Tina Fey line and spend their idle afternoons (one gets the feeling there is a surplus of them) sharing Snopes-discredited political memes on Facebook and discussing last night’s Jon Stewart show.
It’s an OK line, though the kids are more likely to watch Colbert these days. But that’s not the problem.
Leftists do have a systematic theory of structural inequality that percolates down from the universities to “point and splutter” hack journalism. It allows them to rationalize systematic repression of so-called “privileged” communities, like heterosexual white men. [See Beware the gay mafia, by J. Bryan Lowder, Slate, April 8, 2014]. Herbert Marcuse, the intellectual godfather of the New Left, captured this perfectly when he wrote in 1965 that “repressive tolerance” (free speech) allowed for the possible re-emergence of “discrimination” so what was needed was “liberating tolerance,” namely, “intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left.” After all, if we had only done that in the 1930s, “mankind would have had a chance of avoiding Auschwitz and a World War.” [Repressive Tolerance, by Herbert Marcuse.]
Leftists aren’t lazy hippies. They are ideological commissars enforcing egalitarian ideology. They may just be repeating the slogans they were fed at college, but at least they have something to say. In contrast, the real deer in the headlights expression comes when a typical conservative activist reliant on Beltway Right slogans is asked to define why “white privilege” or “heteronormativity” deserves protection.
It’s because the Beltway Right provided them with no answers. It has simply failed to grapple with the problem as the late Sam Francis defined it: the Left’s real motivation is the dispossession of the historic American nation.
Contemporary American conservatives never get a serious answer why liberalism—classical or otherwise—is wrong. Racial realism, which is a devastating and unanswerable counter to “white privilege theory,” will get you fired at National Review, as John Derbyshire can attest.
Similarly, you aren’t allowed to say that the American people has a right, as a nation, to defend its existence and identity. Indeed, Jonah Goldberg condemns the “fascist instincts” of Pat Buchanan in Liberal Fascism.
What’s left of the Beltway Right intellectually is a purely opportunistic defense of corporate power, odd conspiracy theories, and outright historical fantasy. Conservatism Inc. is complicit in the slamming shut of the American mind. It is reduced to claiming it is actually the true version of American liberalism, and even to claiming past Leftist triumphs as its own.
Williamson is a master of this, with one facepalm-inducing article after another trying to be clever and turn Political Correctness on its head.
Similarly, to mock the Eich debacle, NR is jokingly promoting the meme: “Are you now or have you ever been an opponent of SSM?” But Buckley made his reputation as a defender of Joe McCarthy and continued to defend him for many years, although his 1999 novel The Redhunter was a major step backward.
Finally, National Review hailed Nelson Mandela as a “great man” when he died, quibbling only with his alliances with countries like Cuba and Libya and his opposition to the Iraq War. [Nelson Mandela, R.I.P., by The Editors, National Review, December 6, 2013]. No mention, of course, of the white South Africans who are being eliminated as the country turns into just another Third World cesspool. Or why not just William F. Buckley, but also Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, were suspicious of this terrorist whom we now know lied about being a member of the Communist Party.
The Left is not being hypocritical. It absolutely feels justified in persecuting anyone who believes that Tradition, culture, or even biological reality trumps egalitarianism. Because Establishment Conservatism doesn’t attack the Leftist rot at its source, it can’t do anything but trail behind in the wake of each new “social justice” triumph, whimpering that it deserves relevance too.
But it doesn’t. Establishment Conservatism is just American liberalism, with a short time delay. If the conservative canonization of the so-called Civil Rights Movement is any indication, we’ll see editorials from National Review claiming to have invented gay marriage within the decade.
The brutal truth: administering the American Left’s “Open Society” requires managerial tyranny. This is not a free country.
And Conservatism Inc. is part of the system that upholds it.