It’s time for anarchists to drop all this “privilege theory” nonsense. Our struggle is against the global power elite, not any race,religion, gender, nationality, etc, etc, etc.
By Keith Preston
Libertarians of whatever stripe tend to focus primarily on political theory, law, economics, ethics, and philosophy. When it comes to cultural issues, they tend to just fall back on the de facto leftist position or the de facto conservative position, depending on their personal predilections. I don’t think that’s an adequate approach. Instead, I think we need a theoretical framework that recognizes the inevitability and legitimacy of a wide assortment of cultures that really do diverge from each other in terms of core values. Thinkers like Alain De Benoist and Alexander Dugin have addressed this issue at length, and libertarians could learn a lot from them.
I think libertarians (of whatever kind) can do better than to rely on theories developed by Communists like “white skin privilege,” and which found their way into the Western Left via Maoist groups like the Weather Underground.
The problem with this kind of thinking is that it shifts the focus away from the Power Elite as the target of enmity, and merely becomes a matter of promoting demographic conflict, e.g. blacks against whites, men against women, gays against straights, atheists against religious believers, natives against immigrants, trees against bulldozers, meat eaters against vegetarians, poor Appalachian whites against Jewish bankers, etc.
The theory behind all that is to ostensibly build “solidarity of the oppressed” in order to avoid allowing the ruling class to play different groups off against one another in a “divide and conquer” type of thing. But it doesn’t work that way in practice. In fact, it has precisely the opposite effect where the ruling class will pose as the friend of supposed oppressed minorities whom they use as middle men between the elite and the demographic and cultural majority they wish to subjugate in order to deflect attention from themselves (see the Belgian colonialists tactics in Rwanda where they favored the minority Tutsis over the majority Hutus as an example of how this works-and didn’t that turn out well?). Also, the cultural left has to a large degree become the cultural majority in the US, and now it is cultural traditionalists who are becoming the minority outgroup.
Additionally, the “solidarity of the oppressed” thing doesn’t even work among the supposed oppressed. Instead, it degenerates into a “Who’s most oppressed?” pissing contest, e.g. blacks vs Hispanics, minority men vs feminists, socially conservative immigrants vs gays, feminists vs transexuals, vegans vs vegetarians, etc. The Left is in a perpetual race to see who can be the most progressive, and it’s now gotten to the point where hyper feminists in academia are being accused of sexism, and blacks are accused of being white supremacists, or whatever. For example, some of the PC left-wing anarchist groups can no longer hold public meetings because a brawl will break out among contenders for the Most Oppressed championship belt.
I find it quite regrettable that so many anarchists, libertarians, and anti-statists find it necessary to take sides so vehemently in this kind of stuff, because I think it’s a distraction from the bigger picture. For example, while Americans have been wringing their hands over gay marriage, the Confederate flag, and Obamacare, one of the worst pieces of legislation in economic history, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, is being rammed through Congress with scarcely a notice. And “cultural conservatives” are often just as bad or worse than the Left. For example, I’ve come across some right-wing libertarians who seem to think the state would magically go away if all those “icky colored people” disappeared.
I think that in diverse modern societies, which will be increasingly diverse over time, it’s necessary to give people their space.
Another important consideration is that the ruling class is not a monolithic entity. Different ruling class factions often have rival interests. I think much of the Democratic/Republican conflict can be interpreted in terms of the traditional WASP plutocracy (Wall Street, Texas Oil, Agribusiness) versus the class of the “newly rich” found in high tech industries, and the mass media (e.g. Bill Gates types, Silicon Valley, Hollywood). Obviously, these aren’t absolute categories, and some power elite interests (e.g. big banking) have their hands solidly in both parties.But it also appears to be true that different ruling class factions attempt to appeal to different cultural forces they wish to cultivate as a base.
For example, the Republicans are an alliance of the right-wing plutocrats, arms merchants, and Israel Lobby, under the leadership of the neocons, at the top level. But on the ground level they try to build a support base by appealing to the most retrograde elements in U.S. society, e.g. Six-day creationists who think Obama is a Kenyan-Muslim-Communist out to destroy Israel on behalf of the Antichrist. Either that, or just run of the mill working to middle class folks who don’t like paying taxes. The left-wing of the ruling class attempts to appeal more to traditional outgroups, minorities, gays, the cosmopolitan professional classes, etc. But on the issues that really affect their collective class and state interests, they present a united front.
Categories: Political Correctness/Totalitarian Humanism