July 17, 2008

Race and the Elites

The great Jim Kalb has responded to Paul’s recent post on “Thinking about White Nationalism.” Kalb brings up the issue of whether things like white guilt or multiculturalism are the worldviews of the public at large or just the managerial elite. 

The materials that white nationalists bring into play seem inadequate for any serious war for civilization. The most they may land up producing is a fiercely defended critical perspective. And while that perspective can be directed against leftist and neoconservative assumptions, it is not likely to carry our society toward a new vision of order.

In addition to that point, which I agree with, and which suggests a welcome concern with visions of order, he makes another point that in the past he’s emphasized in a variety of ways:

The majority in a multicultural society is encouraging others to trash its heritage and to practice discrimination against the majority. What is wrong … is not oppression by others but the glorification of self-destructive behavior.

I think here he’s taking too seriously the idea of the majority as an actor that deliberates and makes decisions that are attributable to the people in general. In fact, the active part of the “majority” that’s doing the encouraging is our ruling class of experts, managers, and functionaries, the heritage they want trashed is not their heritage of social rationalization but the competing incompatible heritage of classical antiquity, Jerusalem, the European middle ages, and normal life in general, and the “majority” targeted for discrimination is not experts, managers, and functionaries but normal white men, who are not as such our dominant class. (White male managers and experts are powerful because they are managers and experts, not because they are white males.)

The entire post is worth reading.

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