Culture Wars/Current Controversies

We’ve Reached the End of White Christian America

This is from 2016 before Trump was elected. Trump might be considered “WASP America’s Last Stand” and he was only elected by rhetorically moving leftward on foreign policy and economic issues.

A problem with our anarcho-progressive friends, and the general left, is that they have not updated their analysis to reflect the changes that have taken place in US society (and the West generally) in the past half-century. The racial/cultural/sexual revolution of the postwar period is now mainstream, normalized, and conventional, even if some recalcitrant folks remain. The traditional WASP ruling class and dominant WASP culture are receding and the new Techno-Oligarch/New Clerisy ruling class and Rainbow culture are rising. At the same time, the US empire is as expansive as ever (though cracks are appearing), class relations have gone way backward in the past decades (a process that has dramatically accelerated during the current crisis), and the state is just as authoritarian as ever. The only difference is that the left-wing of the middle to upper classes have become increasingly ethnically, religiously, and culturally diverse, and even the right-wing of the affluent classes has become less monolithically WASPish and increasing Catholic, Jewish, “white ethnic,” Latino, Asian, etc.  For example, Trump took 1/3 of the Latino vote in 2016. Regrettably, many “radicals” from the Left continue to wage the permanent war against the culture of the 1950s.

The United States is no longer a majority white, Christian country, and that is already beginning to have profound social and political implications. At 45 percent of the population, white Christians are a shrinking demographic—and the backlash from many members of the group against the increasing diversification of America has been swift and bitter. “People fight like that when they are losing a sense of place, a sense of belonging, and a sense of the country that they understand and love,” says Robert P. Jones, the author of ‘The End of White Christian America,’ in this animated interview. “How do they reengage in public life when they can’t be the majority?”

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    • Within a few decades, all ethnic, religious, and cultural groups in the US will be minorities. Whether that’s good or bad or whether anyone likes it or not is beside the point. That’s just what is going to happen. Part of my approach to political analysis is to recognize this as a largely inevitable fact and say, okay, how do we fight the system when everyone is a minority and there is no majority, and with the ruling class using a divide and conquer strategy? The thinking of the Left and Right on this question is archaic. Cultural, social, and religious conservatives, and the “white right,” are wrong to think they can turn back the clock to before the civil rights/cultural/sexual revolution of the 60s and 70s, and the “privilege theory” Left is still stuck in the 60s and 70s and have not updated their analysis to reflect contemporary realities.

      • You’re quite correct about both the Left and Right but it is also rather naive from a social and historical perspective to think that such a monumental demographic and cultural change will occur without any resistance on serious levels, way beyond what we’ve seen at times from marginal fringe movements. The U.S. as it exists will fragment. I think this is very likely within the next 50 years at the rate things are going.

        • “It is also rather naive from a social and historical perspective to think that such a monumental demographic and cultural change will occur without any resistance on serious levels”

          It seems intuitive enough that such would be the case. On one hand, the US has previously absorbed ethnic, cultural, and religious groups that were previously thought to be unassimilable by many people (Irish, Germans, Catholics, Jews, Italians, Slavs, Poles, etc). Although none of that had the effect of eroding the traditional WASP majority, and certainly not the traditional European majority. Past efforts to resist demographic or cultural changes have not been very successful. During the civil rights era, the segregationists had their “massive resistance” campaign, terrorists like the KKK, and even influential politicians like George Wallace on their side, and yet their movement was largely co-opted by Nixon’s “southern strategy,” used and pushed aside. Then the religious right of the 70s and 80s tried to resist the secular/sexual revolution, got co-opted by the Reaganites, and just became flunkies for Big Capital, the arms industry, Israel, and the neocons. More recently, the nativist right has emerged with Trump as their guy, and the same process seems to be playing out again.

          There’s also the question of how many Americans are how actually absorbed in all this. Most research I’ve seen shows that most people are in the “exhausted majority” or merely indifferent categories. For instance, non-voters, independents, and moderates collectively form a supermajority when it comes to US electoral politics. The visceral right and visceral left seem to be fairly small minorities compared to everyone else. They’re simply the most vocal.

          One of the biggest things is going to be class disparities. It seems like the US ruling class is doing to have a hard time holding on to a state that is a collection of quarreling political, cultural, religious, and ethnic minorities, within a Latin American-like socioeconomic framework.

          • I would take issue with your analysis here with a couple of historical examples. Nativism coupled with the rise of organized labor and populism was actually quite successful in various campaigns from late 19th-century agitation in California against large-scale Asian, principally Chinese migration (which culminated with the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882) to the watershed of this movement in the mid-20s with the passage of the 1924 Immigration Act, which essentially cut off mass immigration and ended the Ellis Island wave of Southern and Eastern European immigration to the United States. These policies were quite popular with the American public, only opposed by Big Business interests hungry for cheap labor and certain ethnic and religious lobbies.

            The passage of the 1924 law preserved a Northern European descended core white population as a majority of the U.S. population. When Hart-Cellar revised these policies and was passed by congress in 1965 its major sponsors such as Robert and Ted Kennedy gave lengthy assurances in the congressional debates over this bill that the demography of the United States would not be fundamentally altered by opening-up migration to the third world, which of course turned out to be a bald-faced lie.

            • Yes, your points about the Chinese Exclusion Act and the Immigration Act are very well taken, and those examples remain valid arguments against the pro-immigration side’s argument that “well, the Irish and Italians assimilated, didn’t they?” Yes, they did, but only because “assimilationism” was the expected civic/cultural norm at the time, as opposed to the present emphasis on multiculturalism, and only because immigration during the Ellis Island era was cut off before it could radically alter the WASP-dominated demography of the country.

              But I think that gets to another issue which is that all of that occurred before the managerial revolution of the 1930s/1940s, the civil rights revolution of the 1960s/1970s, the Reaganite/neoliberal revolution of the 1980s/1990s, globalization, the tech revolution, the decline of the WASP middle class and its replacement with a new multicultural, cosmopolitan urbanized middle class, the emergence of what Kotkin calls the “new clerisy,” the emergence of multiculturalism as the dominant civic ethos, etc. Nativist-populists are fighting a much more uphill battle today. For instance, Trump is considered a “fascist” on immigration policy even though he is way to the left of Eisenhower on immigration.

  1. I’m so grateful to see 1950s WASP American Culture be gone for good riddance, but I’m also against the current Neoliberal Capitalist system as well. Even though I admire the 1960s Counterculture, but it’s so sad to see such great ideals get perverted by Neoliberal Capitalist bastards. I do totally agree with your Pan-Secessionism though, Keith, since I’m always for decentralization, & I can’t wait to have an unsinkable federated Seastead with a Mutualist/Individualist Anarchist Political Economy along with an Anime/Manga/Gaming-loving Cross-Cultural Weeaboo Eurasianist Culture to live in that enables not just interracial love between White Guys and Asian Girls, but also enables Guys to make babies with multiple Girls as well.
    It’s time for Weebertarians like me to Rise & Shine!

    • I’m so grateful to see 1950s WASP American Culture be gone for good riddance, but I’m also against the current Neoliberal Capitalist system as well. Even though I admire the 1960s Counterculture, but it’s so sad to see such great ideals get perverted by Neoliberal Capitalist bastards.

      Yes, that’s my outlook as well.

      • I prefer the old pre-WWII America even with all its flaws and injustices to the globalized, McDonaldized, diversetopia we see taking shape today. A plastic, rootless, rather ugly society with few redeeming values other than convenience at the swipe of a keyboard or cellphone.

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