Monday, May 27, 2019

Rod Dreher: "The Race War The Left Wants"

The fact that large and influential sectors of the progressive left want to fan the flames of racial (and sexual, etc.) conflict can't come as a surprise to anyone who's been paying attention.
   In my lifetime, the power and influence of racists and sexists on the right has been more-or-less steadily diminished; racism has not been officially endorsed on the right, but, where it's existed, it's been in retreat and on the defensive.
   Racism and sexism on the progressive left, however, have grown more and more powerful. They are not retreating, but advancing; they are by no means on the defensive, but are on the cutting edge of the left, and have achieved the status of orthodoxy in much of it. I view left-wing anti-white racists and anti-male sexists as no different than anti-black racists and anti-female sexists. A racist's a racist and a sexist's a sexist. It's astonishing to me that the racist and sexist left can view itself, with a straight face, as the good guys. It's a grotesque parody of the liberalism of the past.
   Look: when you have managed to convince yourself that color-blindness and objectivity are racist, it's time to reassess.
   I've mentioned before that one extra little thing that irks the hell out of me is that I remember racists and sexists on the right telling me, in my youth, that liberals didn't really want equality, they wanted to invert the old hierarchies so that the first would become last and the last first. All they wanted was different racism and different sexism. That line used to make me furiously angry; it seemed so patently false...and we are...

   I haven't given up on a return to a politics that's sane and genuinely egalitarian--that genuinely rises above tribalism about race and sex (and all the other things progressives are tribal about...which means, basically, everything...). I think such egalitarianism speaks to the rational mind, and that it has a tendency to rise above the cacophony of insanity in the longer run. But the progressive left isn't on our side in that battle; it's the enemy. It's likely more dangerous than, say, the Klan, because the Klan's basically dead--or on life support. Left-wing racism is ensconced in academia, and basically protected from criticism. It seems to become more prominent every year, and that shows no sign of abating. Of course left-wing racism and its institutionalization tends to revive right-wing racism...but I avoid such counterproductivity arguments. The left has to come to understand that left-wing racism is an inherently irrational and wrong as is right-wing racism. People often knuckle under on this score and revert to arguing against left-wing racism only by pointing out that it can strengthen right-wing racism. That's to refuse to take on the real problem here: that the positions of the extremist left are inherently wrong, not merely wrong because they strengthen bad elements of the right. Part of what drives this insanity is that so many people on the left cannot even imagine that the left can be wrong. Many progressives tacitly (or explicitly?) believe that leftward means better--and the only acceptable criticism of the left are (a) you're not far enough left and (b) that view will aid the right.
   Of course not all progressives accept that old, straight white dudes are evil. But that's such a central part of contemporary progressivism that it can't be easily or cleanly extracted and discarded. It's part of The Grand Unified View of the contemporary left. If you don't explicitly reject it and argue against it, you're in danger of, in some sense, accepting it.


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