Cultural and Political Identity (Part 2)

Cultural and Political Identity (Part 2)

(This post had been rendered somewhat obsolete by a new post found here)

 

In yesterday’s post I finished with a brief summary on my stance on Norwegian nationalism. Culturally I feel alienated from mainstream Norwegian culture. I feel no connection to what are considered mainstream authors, tv-shows or political pundits. In fact if I could choose, I would probably self-identify as an American. I first took an interest in America as a political and historical entity during Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign. I discovered him thanks to his social media dominance. After than it took a couple of days for me to change politics completely. But that is only half the story. Retrospectively I can now see that I changed culturally as well. Since that awakening I’ve followed American political thinkers and thinkers known and discussed in the US way, way more than Norwegian counterparts. The US being the only current superpower in the world and their history of pushing for liberty attracted me. Sorry my fellow Norwegians, in the big picture we don’t matter. Who is prime minister or which parties are in power doesn’t alter the course of Western civilization. In a few years no one outside our country will remember or care. With good reason.

What happens in the US is completely different. The cultural dominance of the US means that the ideas and beliefs that are floating around will be impactful throughout the world. In terms Americans can understand, Norwegian politics are like neighborhood football, while US politics are the Superbowl. I know there are Norwegians that think like me, but there is no national infrastructure to speak of and the historical seeds are sorely lacking. This means that by all measures I’m “trans-American” to use terms the modern left could understand. Kidding aside, I have significantly more in common with many Americans both politically and culturally.

My political support for Trump as a libertarian deserves some fleshing out. Obviously Trump isn’t a libertarian or anything even remotely close. He is known as a pragmatist, while I and others are ideological. Some of his policies have been good viewed from a pro-freedom angle, while others have been not so good or even terrible. He has been excellent on political correctness and he is willing to tackle the topic of demographics. Libertarian critics of Trump rightfully lambast (most of) his policies, but they fail to prioritize the issues. His stance on trade and abortion fundamentally aren’t that important. We must look at the issues through a lens of prioritization. Political correctness harms free speech. If Hillary had won the march of the SJWs would have been cemented and free speech would have received a nearly mortal blow. Free speech is a core super-important issue. Trump is undoubtedly good here for his strong opposition to political correctness and the mainstream media. We mustn’t forget that if Hillary had won the demographics of illegal immigrant voting would have turned the US into a single-party state with complete Democratic dominance. How would libertarians ever get something through in such a climate?

This brings me to all the disparate movements that united under the Trump-banner. In particular I wish to touch upon the so-called Alt-Right and White Nationalism. The problem with discussing such terms is that there are a lot of different definitions floating about. For our purposed I will define the Alt-Right as right-wing (conservatives) that have some positions that run contrary to classic conservative positions. They are skeptical towards free trade, don’t want foreign military interventions and they care about the issue of demographics. I’m a guy that likes to consider himself rational and receptive to facts. Stefan Molyneux has done a number of excellent presentations on immigration and other demographic topics. They are available on his YouTube channel. From a consequentialist standpoint the arguments in favor of caring about demographics are very convincing. If we take ourselves out of the debate it will undoubtedly get more difficult to argue in favor of and pursue freedom-oriented policies. I’ve recently listened to interviews, podcasts and programming involving self-described members of the Alt-Right. I find myself in agreement with the vast majority of what they stand for. Does this mean that I’m Alt-Right?

My normative political preferences haven’t changed at all. I still am Anarcho-Capitalist to the core, but my views on how we get there are in motion. Molyneux made a very persuasive case for involving yourself in the current political struggle in a podcast from last autumn. I see that the Alt-Right is a current phenomenon with tracktion and a lot of momentum. I think they represent the best tool for preventing a demographic disaster that would preclude a move towards a libertarian future. That being said, there are a lot of respectable libertarian thinkers that reject the political move through Trump and the Alt-Right. I respect their opinions. We live in a time of massive violation of the Non-Aggression Principle and we would be severely disadvantaged if we held ourselves to a higher standard than the state does. I’m therefore so far completely comfortable with embracing the Alt-Right on the way towards freedom. I’ll have the discussion with them about our disagreements when we progress much farther down the spectrum towards freedom. In a similar vein people of my ilk will have a similar debate with minarchists when we get there.

A parallel movement to the Alt-Right is the movement for White Nationalism. My first reaction to hearing the term is feeling ants crawling under my skin. It rubs me the wrong way. I’m very comfortable embracing MLK’s famous words “judge not a person by the color of his skin, but rather by the contents of his character”. I like following that axiom. But, there is a problem. People of other skin-colors fully embrace identity politics (in this they receive support from many white leftists and SJWs). Now, living in a society where having a particular ethnic identity confers benefits and protections ethnic/racial identity matters. I would prefer a situation where it didn’t, but I can’t ignore the world we’re living in in favor of some pipe-dream. Whites are the only group that is denied acceptance in terms of pride and having a political/cultural movement based on itself. If every other group has a movement advocating for itself with a strong in-group preference, then as a defensive reaction whites needs a movement of their own. I feel the need to continually point out that it irks me, I hate it, I don’t want it, but in the name of fairness it is required.

In the name of true egalitarianism, can I be opposed to white nationalism? I cannot rationally be so. Every other group has a movement of their own, so it follows logically that whites need their own movement. If the other ethnic groups disbanded their tribalist movements I would be confortable with disawoving white nationalism. My first and primary priority remains achieving the most personal freedom for the greatest number of people. There is nothing magical about the melanin contents of ones skin, so I must specify that the predominance of whites in the freedom movement is important here. I thus must ponder whether or not I’m a reluctant white nationalist. From a practical standpoint I favor restrictions on people from non-freedom loving cultures immigrating to the West. The statistics about birth-rates would spell doom for any push for liberty. Liberty is far too important to be sacrificed in favor of some misunderstood sense of equality.

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