The difference between white and wrong
A friend and I were sitting around the other night trying to understand white supremacism. It’s not a pleasant exercise. I mean, I’ve got no problem being white, some of my best friends are white, but these guys really make me wish there were a few more shades to choose from.
After a while we decided to tote things up. What’s so great about white folks? It was a bit embarrassing, actually. It turns out that white culture is distinctly lacking in supremacy. As a civilisation, we were late to the party in almost every respect. The oldest known languages were Sumerian and Egyptian. Writing and musical notation were first developed in what’s now Iraq. Numerals were first used in Egypt; ditto literature. The first printing presses were Chinese. Agriculture developed in the middle east. Muslims and Indians led the way in key aspects of astronomy, mathematics, medicine, chemistry, botany, geography, cartography, ophthalmology, pharmacology, physics, and zoology.
Then there’s all those cultural icons. Goethe, Puskhin, Beethoven, Browning, Dumas, Bach, perhaps even Thomas Jefferson… all have very dodgy blood. The far right doesn’t get to claim these people as their own, given the fences they construct. As for Jesus, Einstein, Moses… forget about it. And three darlings of the right are also Jewish: Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman and Barry Goldwater. Even Mr Redpill himself – Keanu Reeves – has Chinese heritage (not to mention Morpheus!).
Here’s what confused us the most though. White people were key players in three revolutions for equality: the French, American and Russian revolutions. According to the way such things are taught in school (which is a bit suss, but that’s another topic) the Age of Enlightenment, radical feminism and classical liberalism all kicked off in Europe. The Frankfurt School (ie “cultural marxists”) were all white European atheists/agnostics, along with (not jewish*) Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Even the nazis’ beloved Richard Wagner was a lefty – he hung out with Bakunin, FFS!
And of course most white folks loathed Hitler, so much so that we sacrificed ourselves in huge numbers to get rid of him. Which, in turn, is why most of us still loathe nazis today. That’s why so many of us turn out to jeer them when they hold their rallies, and join struggles to get them de-platformed and to get their social media accounts taken down.
Seriously – above all else – shouldn’t the far right be hating on white culture?
There’s some tricks to the trade when you’re a white supremacist. The little cheaters – what they do is start measuring their cultural capital from the Middle Ages. For them, history began with the crusades. Some also lay claim to the Vikings (who were, in reality, deeply multicultural… how do you say ‘strength through diversity’ in runes?) Anyway, it’s at this point in history, the Middle Ages, that white people got their hands on some serious capital. Let’s be honest. In fact I challenge you to be honest. Our tools were slavery, colonisation and capitalism.
The casualties were and are beyond counting. In order to cover our bottoms and to assuage our consciences, we developed all kinds of rationalisations. This is the era in which ‘race’ became a thing. We’ve always held a strong suit in pseudoscience. Alongside this, anti-semitism flourished.
“More than 500 years before the industrial revolution, finance capitalism, represented by paper instruments, enabled new kinds of commerce over long distances and generated new wealth. But this wealth was increasingly disconnected from the production and exchange of material goods. It overturned traditional economic models and threatened the established social order. The more capitalism became intangible, the more the rumour about Jews spread.”
Let’s just hope there is never an audit of how white people got so rich! Awkward pause.
There’s another problem with the white supremacist take on culture. Slavery, colonisation and capitalism all funnel wealth upwards. That’s their job. They were designed to do so. It’s a process that is constantly being tinkered with, to make it go faster. Jeff Bezos has more in common with Burt Munro than he does with Benito Mussolini. The capitalist system pumps wealth upwards, yet this is one of the far right’s biggest gripes. They are poor, they’re kept that way, and they resent it. More than anything else, they hate it when non-whites get “their jobs”… even though it’s more than likely some white person that made the employment decision.
Lordy lord. White supremacism is such a grotesque fairy tale. It’s a tangle of jumbles knotted together by myths, delusions and contradictions. It doesn’t bear thinking about. Literally. If you think about it, even just a little bit, it collapses.
But what if shit got real? What if we woke up tomorrow in a white ethnostate? It wouldn’t all be morris dancing and leiderhosen, that’s for sure! I would be one of the vast majority that wanted out, immediately. And if they locked me in then I’d become part of the majority who organised to bring our white masters down. Does the expression “we will fight you on the beaches” ring a bell? We probably wouldn’t need to do much. If history is anything to go by, white people would be at war with each other before tea time. Don’t believe me? Take a look at those white supremacist chat logs. Even their divisions are divided: fractions within factions. In real life, shitposting would become a series of murderous struggles over applied economics, climate change, “the Jewish question” and the distribution of wealth.
Meanwhile, white neoliberals would ignore ethnicity altogether: why limit the market? And, of course “our side” (the humanists, egalitarians, social democrats and liberals) would instantly start building alliances with those outside the ethnostate. We’d make the whole place ungovernable in short order. Historically speaking, Off-pinkistan would soon be an embarassing blip.
After we beat the white supremacists, us and our allies the humans, we might let them have a little bit of land somewhere. But it have to be an ethnostate based on ideology rather than skin colour. Logically, I suppose, we would have to throw all the other ethnostatists in there as well. I mean, at present ISIS has nowhere to go at all.
Left alone, the white factions would continue their internecine battles over what constitutes ‘white culture’. I wonder if they would end up with a new heritage based upon ‘Kinder, kirche kuchen’ or death metal? Would it be Pat Boone or Skrewdriver? Doris Day or GG Allin?
God there’s no getting around it — we’d need to build a wall.
* Editors note:
How does one define ‘jewish’? It’s a question that has been used to make life or death decisions many, many times over the centuries. Let us use everyday definitions rather than arcane ones based on bloodline (or skull size, or nose shape, for that matter). Whatever his ancestry might have been, Karl Marx was baptised into the Lutheran Church in 1824. Does this make him a Christian? If anybody is to decide this, surely it should be Marx himself? He had repudiated Christianity entirely by the time he reached his early 20s (along with Judaism and every other religion). He remained an atheist until the day he died, whereupon he was laid to rest at Highgate Cemetary, in the area set aside for atheists and agnostics. Maintaining that Marx was a jew, in spite of his baptism, and in spite of Marx himself, although it is a common belief, is simply perverse.