Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Against Race and Class Determinism/Reductionism

A social media poster writes:

The problem with Keith is he treats idea-sets as if they’re fungible and takes people at their word. He takes the ideological content of things too seriously.
Better predictors would be those who said everything will ultimately boil down to biological race. The term “totalitarian humanism” is decent in terms of describing what they say they are. But ultimately it’s all going to come down to race hatred.
My response:
I agree with that partially, but not completely. The ideological framework that I call “totalitarian humanism” certainly appeals to people whose primary motivation is hatred of traditional WASP culture, not only minorities who hate white folks but also feminists, gays, liberals, immigrants, Muslims, etc., etc. who feel they are or have been oppressed by whites, men, Christianity, conservatives, etc. In fact, I’d say WASP vs. anti-WASP is the principal dividing line in US politics. There are also plenty of ruling class elements who are seeking to incorporate all of this into their ideological superstructure, and lots of professional class types who regard giving lip service to PC ideology as a means of ladder-climbing. This is merely a case of political and economic opportunism. But I disagree that people are not motivated by ideology, beliefs, values, ideas, etc. For some PCers, being a “social justice warrior” or whatever is a de facto religion akin to being a Jehovah’s Witness or Evangelical. Others are ideological fanatics akin to the totalitarian ideological movements of the 20th century. There are types of psychological makeups and personality structures that are drawn to that sort of thing. Also, the majority of the people who get taken in by all this are likely well-intentioned folks who think they really are fighting oppression, injustice, etc.

1 reply »

  1. While Keith does not need my defense, and while I do agree that he takes people at their word a bit much :), reducing everything to biological race is super retarded in the proper sense if the word. Culture and thought paradigm are way better markers.

    For me the example is Chininese minority groups or Middle Eastern tribes, or even African vs American vs Caribbean vs European blacks.

    Basically, thinking everything comes down to race shows a lack of real world experience.

    If you wanted to boil it down to genetics, the ruling class sees everyone else as a rainbow of cockroach phenotypes. The inbread kings and queens of Europe were of the same race that was different than their subjects, like today.

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