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Re-Tribalizing America

The liberal, democratic, pluralistic center is not holding

So this happened:

Milo Yiannopoulos’ event at DePaul University had to be cut short Tuesday night after protesters stormed the stage, blew whistles, grabbed the microphone out of the interviewer’s hand, and threatened to punch Yiannopoulos in the face.

Watch the video clip here. More from the Breitbart story:

Yiannopoulos attempted to continue the event, but protesters refused to leave the stage and the group of security guards (which DePaul forced both the organisers and Breitbart to pay for) refused to intervene.


And this happened in Albuquerque:

In one of the presidential campaign year’s more grisly spectacles, protesters at a Donald Trump rally in New Mexico threw burning T-shirts, plastic bottles and other items at police officers, injuring several, and toppled trash cans and barricades.

Police responded by firing pepper spray and smoke grenades into the crowd outside the Albuquerque Convention Center.

During the rally, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee was interrupted repeatedly by protesters, who shouted, held up banners and resisted removal by security officers.

The banners included the messages “Trump is Fascist” and “We’ve heard enough.”

Donald Trump and Milo Yiannopoulos are provocateurs, no question. But they are proving something important about the militant left: that it is often racist against whites, and has no intention of allowing any opinions other than its own to be voiced in the public square. And whether in the streets or in a university lecture hall, it will use violence to impose its will.

A reader writes:

Here’s a true story. When I was in medical school there was a group of 20-40 students who were self-defined “progressive brown people” (their words, not mine). I was once told by one member of this group that eventually brown people were going to “outnumber white people” and when “Texas goes Democratic” it is going to be “game over for white people”—they will end the hegemony of white culture and tax me so much there will be no privilege left to give my children. They also had some pretty negative things to say about the allegedly vanilla sexual preferences of a married friend of mine. Now these people were drunk, and being a bow tie and tassel loafer wearing milquetoast, I merely raised my eyebrows and walked away. I know it sounds unbelievable, but it happened at a “top 10” medical school party.
I almost posted that story in the AltRight thread. I mean, what are you supposed to do when people think like this? It’s crazy. BLM protested my midnight Mass, which might make sense if I was in SSPV and invited Williamson to say it. When someone says that loving Western culture makes you a “white supremacist”, it’s hard not to shrug and say “yeah, so, what if I am?” Now, I’m not a white supremacist in any meaningful way (heck I voted for Obama, twice, although, I do regret the second vote, and Cardinal Sarah’s new book is on my must read list), but if all that is left is tribal conflict (and I’m not saying that it is), I’m picking my own tribe. Part of the Alt Right’s appeal is that people like David Brooks (and I really do like poor David and don’t mean to make him a punching bag), and to some extent me, is that we aren’t really willing to go to the mat for what we value because we are afraid of being called mean names. Say what you will about the AltRight, and from what I’ve seen they are pretty odious, but the debate on immigration is the first time I’ve seen the Overton Window shifted to the Right on a major issue. And they successfully fought back over GamerGate. The conventional right could probably learn some backbone from them, if nothing else. I don’t see things getting better anytime in the near future. I’m buying 100 acres and a gun.

The center is not holding. The militant left is going to drive a lot of people towards the militant right. In the fall campaign, Trump is going to go full “Amnesty, Acid, and Abortion” — and the emotional reaction that seeing video of violent Black Lives Matter activists and other Social Justice Warrior militants in action (which we will see, all throughout the fall, because they cannot help themselves, and not even media spin will be able to hide it) will frighten a lot of law-and-order people into voting for Trump.

Relatedly, Damon Linker, a pro-gay rights liberal, whacks Obama hard for his political overreach on trans locker room and bathroom rights:

President Obama’s decision to become a champion of transgender rights just might be enough to move a significant number of culturally conservative voters who have been troubled by Trump firmly into the anti-Democrat column.

Why did Obama do it? The answer isn’t especially clear to me because I’m not the right kind of liberal.

In purely political terms, the decision seems inexplicable. The number of transgendered people in the United States is vanishingly small — something on the order of 0.3 percent of the population. Many people, like me, who have no problem with allowing transgendered adults to use the bathroom of their choice nonetheless think it misguided to indulge the decisions of children in this area. (Kids aren’t allowed to drink alcohol, drive, vote, work, or volunteer to fight in the military, but they should be permitted to change their birth gender?)


I supported gay marriage for 10 years before it became the law of the land. I think opposition to allowing transgendered people to use the bathroom of their choice is silly and sometimes cruel. But there’s more than one way to win an argument. And in all but the most egregious cases of injustice, liberal governments should resist the urge to prevail through force.

Read the whole column. It’s good. It comes from an old-fashioned liberal. The SJWs will deal with his kind too, if they get any more power. The media have soft-pedaled this thing, but when it gets right down to it, all the diversity rhetoric in the world is not going to matter when a man recognizes that in voting Democratic for president, he is voting for a party that wants to send mentally disturbed males into his daughter’s locker room, and call it justice. The liberal elites in this country, as well as the business Republicans, are pleased to virtue-signal by catering to the desires of .03 percent of the population, and throwing a substantial number of ordinary people and their families under the buss. I am absolutely certain that Hillary Clinton will continue Obama’s SJW crusade on the LGBT front, religious liberty and common sense be damned. These pink police state jackboots are trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.

I find myself somewhat unnerved by this comment in a feminism thread on this blog, considered in this context. Brad Wilcox is a Catholic sociologist at UVA who researches the family. He’s also a friend of mine. Jack Donovan is a pagan masculinist/tribalist who has written approvingly of Virginia group that has built a Benedict Option for white supremacist pagan males. As a Christian, I am sorry to say that Jack Donovan is a very smart man who understands something important about what’s happening in this country, something that many of us conservative Christians do not. Here’s the comment, written by a female reader:

On the Maxim Masculinity article, I disagree with Brad Wilcox’s method. He says what the women want to hear, “Men need to man up and get married”, but he fails to account for why men get married, and finally fails to be that enticing to actual single men. They don’t do it so they can live another 10 years, or have better health, or more cash (and really how insulting is that.) They want a loyal woman who will help them achieve their most meaningful goals. Women want this too, just that women’s reproductive goals center around security (essential to having a good family) and men’s reproductive goals center around fertility (also an important aspect of family.)

And feminism has decisively cut down on married-woman fertility, while increasing it among unmarried women. From my vantage point, in an un-moored society, marriage makes no sense for most guys, whose better bet of reproduction lies in large numbers of low-investment ‘scores’.

MGTOW message on (pagan) Jack Donovan’s site is: Courage, Strength, Mastery, Honor. Religious Brad Wilcox’s message: pony up, get married, you’ll get more cash and a longer easier life. Brad’s message is not even in the same universe, which is too bad for people who care about making a viable marriage culture.

Emphasis mine.

I haven’t talked to Brad about this, but my guess is that in the story to which the reader refers, Brad was speaking as a social scientist, not a committed Catholic or family activist. He and Donovan are engaged in two very different modes of discourse. Brad probably holds some of the same basic beliefs about masculinity and culture that Donovan does, though from a Christian point of view, yet he was asked to speak as a sociologist, from the point of view of academic research.

That said, the reader’s comment highlights something powerful: that reason is largely impotent in this fight. I’ve heard it said that one reason American Christian men are attracted to Orthodoxy is because it is so masculine — not in a John Piper way, but in something more organic and ancient. There is something about the vigor of the Orthodox ritual that seems far less tame than Western liturgies or services, but more to the point, Orthodoxy stresses the struggle of the Christian life, the quest to conquer oneself.

Listen to this Russian Orthodox hymn, sung by a Russian male choir. Seriously, give it about 30 seconds. It sounds like something out of Tolkien, as if the mountains themselves were crying out to God. Now, you are not going to experience that kind of singing in your ordinary Orthodox church. But that is the spirit of Orthodoxy, right there, and you will find that the deeper you go into the tradition and its worship.

Look at results of this poll on masculinity in Great Britain. Excerpt:

Even including the second highest level of masculinity, there’s a 56% gap between male 18-24s (18% at level 0 or 1) and over 65s (74%), and a 28% gap between 25-49s (46%) and over 65s.

There is a dramatic difference between young and old women on their self-defined level of femininity as well, but not quite as large. Only 39% of 18-24 year old women say they are almost entirely feminine (at level 5 or 6) compared to 77% of over 65s.

American men are much more likely to think of themselves as exclusively masculine. Overall 42% of American men say they are completely masculine, compared to 28% of British men.

I wonder to what extent America has numbers so high because we have a larger black and Latino population than Britain does. Anyway, here’s Tyler Cowen on masculinity and our current crises:

Donald Trump may get the nuclear suitcase, a cranky “park bench” socialist took Hillary Clinton to the wire, many countries are becoming less free, and the neo-Nazi party came very close to assuming power in Austria.  I could list more such events.

Haven’t you, like I, wondered what is up?  What the hell is going on?

I don’t know, but let me tell you my (highly uncertain) default hypothesis.  I don’t see decisive evidence for it, but it is a kind of “first blast” attempt to fit the basic facts while remaining within the realm of reason.

The contemporary world is not very well built for a large chunk of males.  The nature of current service jobs, coddled class time and homework-intensive schooling, a feminized culture allergic to most forms of violence, post-feminist gender relations, and egalitarian semi-cosmopolitanism just don’t sit well with many…what shall I call them?  Brutes?

There are constructive forms of masculinity, and destructive forms of masculinity. Giving oneself over to gun violence and fathering children that you won’t care for is a destructive form. But middle-class male culture, at least white male culture, doesn’t know how to nurture a healthy masculinity. The middle-class white American church certainly doesn’t. Eventually, the provocations of Social Justice Warriors, especially when they are race-based, is going to empower the militant whites, especially those drawn to pagan masculinity, and they are going to do what the rest of us would not do: Fight. This, because the best — that is, those who want peace, civility, and tolerance — lack all conviction to defend the conditions under which we can have those things against their enemies.

Trump is a vulgar, crass, alpha-male brute. But he doesn’t care what SJWs and liberals say about him. He fights, and sometimes fights as dirty as they do. That’s not nothing. White liberal middle-class society and many bourgeois conservatives have demonized within themselves, collectively and individually, the instinct that would have given them the strength to fight civilization’s enemies on the Left and on the Right. It’s partly because of self-hating white people like this (from Nathan Heller’s New Yorker story about Oberlin):

Earlier this year, a sophomore, Chloe Vassot, published an essay in the college paper urging white students like her to speak up less in class in certain circumstances. “I understand that I am not just an individual concerned only with comfort but also a part of a society that I believe will benefit from my silence,” she wrote. She told me that it was a corrective for a system that claimed to value marginalized people but actually normalized them to a voice like hers.

Idiot. Nobody has to try to take away her right to speak; she’s giving it up because she feels too ashamed to exercise it, because she’s white.

The answer to this racist SJW garbage is not to embrace white supremacy! But without a forceful, effective, unambivalent response to the unhinged militant left, sooner or later the forces of white supremacy are going to organize the dispossessed, demoralized, chaotic white rabble, and the SJWs, as well as the Washington elites, aren’t going to know what hit them. God knows I’m not saying I want this to happen, but I think it probably will happen if we continue on this current trajectory. Slouching rough beasts and all that. It’s Weimar America.

UPDATE: Reader Grotto comments:

The connection between the Alt-Right and the various masculinity movements deserves some elaboration. As many have mentioned, the demographics of the Alt-Right are young and male, and the role of young male frustration (sexual or otherwise) cannot be overstated.

As Dreher adequately documents, the hegemonic narrative regarding gender is clearly insane. And while the level of insanity has climbed exponentially in the past decade, virtually everyone under-30 (my generation) has been marinated in relentless gender-equivalence propaganda since kindergarden. But, as the male cohort grows older, the distance between the experienced reality of of the dating market and the official dogma becomes unsustainable. The cognitive dissonance is simply too great, and boys are driven to seek answers elsewhere. And those answers come, with varying degrees of accuracy and crudity, from the PUA/Game/MRA/RedPill blogs. Whatever their faults, they all have one redeeming quality – they are manifestly not insane. This comes as a great shock and relief to boys. A shock because they realize the magnitude of the deception they have experienced, and a relief because they realize they are not the crazy ones.

These blogs are essentially applied evolutionary psychology. The systematizing, logical male mind is placed in the dispassionate, clinical service of disassembling every polite fiction about courtship, and replacing it with an amoral imperative. Women are to be understood, then mastered. And once women are mastered, they are irrelevant. Onto the next challenge. Unless you are in this generation, you have no idea the sea-change that is occurring. 35-year-olds are teaching 25-year-olds, who then repackage it for 15-year-olds.

This then becomes the primary infection vector for other forms of thought crime. Once one aspect of the progressive catechism has been shown to be false, the whole edifice falls under suspicion. While the intellectual roots of the alt-Right don’t come from the masculinity crowd, most of their new converts do, and therefore the dominant attitude and aesthetics of the alt-Right come from this wing. They hate sentimentality, and have a Nietzschean sense of life – true meaning in life comes from removing the shackles of slave morality, and freeing your ambition from the cloying masses who might call you racist or sexist or homophobic.

Is it any wonder then, appeals to marriage based on life expectancy or lifetime earnings are rather ineffectual?



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