A Letter To A Young Conservative, Part I
Bad Man On Campus
It doesn’t make sense. It seems like there are dozens of left-wing activist groups on your campus. Well, “activist” might be the wrong word. These fanatics seem less concerned with ideology than identity. Muslims, feminists, homosexuals, Blacks, “Chicanos”—every tribe has its own organization. And even though it might seem absurd, they are all united around one principle—they hate your guts.
You’ve seen supposed feminists working with Muslims to shut down free speech on campus. You’ve seen environmentalists protest against immigration restriction; even though one would assume more people, more cars, more construction, and more consumption can’t be good for the natural world. You’ve seen Black students, who receive preferential admissions and set-asides in student government and housing, bring entire campuses to a halt because of a supposed “hate crime” you know didn’t happen. Even the left-wing political groups on campus, from the Democrats to the Maoists, seem more concerned with screaming about supposed racial and sexual injustices than debating the finer points of Marxism.
Half these groups should not be working with the other half, and it seems like many of them are acting against their own interests. But you have a vague awareness that you are the target. In fact, these forces don’t seem to have anything in common except their shared enemy.
You pride yourself on your independence and sneer at the “collectivism” of racial identity. You could even present compelling evidence why free-market policies and limited government would be better for racial and sexual minorities than any “progressive” solution. But it doesn’t seem to do any good. No matter how vehemently you protest, no matter how many arguments you win, you are just another White person who needs to check his privilege.
Besides, for people supposedly dedicated to “fighting hate,” those opposed to you seem utterly driven by a dark fury you can’t even begin to understand.
Ask yourself—when was the last time you saw conservative college students shut down a speaker? Can you imagine right-wingers burning liberal student newspapers . . . demanding organizations be banned . . . or calling for the punishment or termination of dissenting students or professors? Can you think of any progressive student who had their dorm vandalized . . . was denounced by a professor in class . . . or personally targeted by defamatory fliers?
Such attacks are so common, it’s almost superfluous to provide examples. And they aren’t even “political” in a partisan sense. They are directed at any individual, no matter how benign or non-threatening, that can be associated with the “Dead White Male,” their system of oppression and capital accumulation known as “Western Civilization,” and anyone that might be associated with them.
These attacks are always done through a dishonest, passive-aggressive style that should be self-discrediting. As this letter is written, you have screaming, cursing mobs of non-White students demanding extreme concessions from campuses and bullying White students—all because they supposedly feel “unsafe.” And you keep silent because you know if you open your mouth, you’ll be attacked by the media, sanctioned by the school, and possibly physically attacked by your fellow students.
If you’re like most, you keep your head down. Unlike the leftists, you don’t receive course credit for political activism. If you are a bit more courageous, you might get involved in “conservative” campus politics, perhaps the College Republicans or some libertarian group. But don’t try talking about something like immigration or affirmative-action—don’t try to change anything fundamental on campus—if you know what’s good for you.
Without even realizing it, you are already acting like part of a conquered population; of a subject suffering under an occupation government. You know you are part of a despised, hated class. You know if you are too vocal, you will be attacked and labeled “racist,” sexist,” or “homophobe.” Your career prospects, your ability to provide for a wife and family—your very future—is at the mercy of whatever student or journalists decides to call you. And like a religious heretic of yesteryear, the accusation is often enough to damn you. Once the Scarlet R (“Racist!”) is pinned to your chest, once those Google results with your name are tainted, you are finished. Far better to be an actual criminal—for criminals get second chances—than to be associated with “hate.”
Resistance Is Futile?
In the end, you only have two choices. The first is to do nothing and hope it will be different when you graduate. That’s what most people do. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get better—it gets much worse. When you get a job, you can be instantly destroyed if someone catches you saying the wrong thing, reading the wrong website, liking the wrong Facebook status, etc. If you’re a male, even looking at a female co-worker the wrong way—or sometimes notlooking at her—will get you sent to the Human Resources director, if not summarily fired. Again, the accusation itself is usually enough.
In corporate America, you’ll find the same sorts of activists who use their “minority” status as a way to make a living in a big institution. Even the military has turned on conservatives, as your career will go nowhere unless you mouth the required platitudes. In the words of General George Casey: “Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength.” He asserted this in 2009, in the wake of the Fort Hood massacre, in which a Muslim Army psychiatrist killed 13 people. The General continued: “And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.” You could get a perfect score on that PFT and have straight As, but I promise you will never make bird colonel unless you grit your teeth and tell your military superiors your gung-ho about overcoming the legacy of Jim Crow. Your Whiteness, despite your supposed “privilege,” simply means you’ll always have to work twice as hard to get that promotion. And if you reach the heights, you’ll always be a target.
There is an alternative to a life on your knees. That alternative is to fight back.
You may think you are doing that right now by working for a certain candidate, signing a petition, or attending something like CPAC. But it doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere. And even as the other side enjoys privileges and benefits you can only dream of, you are still told that you are the bad guy, that you are the oppressor. You don’t really care about race, yet you are haughtily informed that you are a “racist” who desperately needs to “get educated.” The double standard can drive you insane.
The problem is, as a conservative, you don’t understand what it is you are fighting.
You’re probably familiar with the saying, “You may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you.” Well, politics is interested in you, whether you like it or not. And you are engaged in a political struggle—an existential one—whether you like it or not.
We like to imagine political struggles through the lens of recent history. Especially as conservatives, we have a certain nostalgia for the Cold War—hard men in horn-rimmed glasses facing down the Commies across the Iron Curtain in a global battle for the fate of humanity. But you are facing a different kind of enemy. As you probably sense on your college campus, the fault lines seem to be over race and culture, not economic production. This struggle is also ideological, but to think of it in terms of “capitalism vs. socialism” is to misunderstand it entirely.
What, after all, defines and unites all those crazy campus protesters who seem to hate you so much, who seem filled with such righteous fury, who are willing to use any methods to destroy you? Only that they are united in opposition to the people, traditions, identity, history, and institutions of the European world. This is what explains alliances that would otherwise seem absurd.
What any activist quickly learns about the Left is they don’t actually care about the things they say they do. No campus feminist really cares about the Islamic State sexually enslaving women in the Middle East, or, for that matter, Muslim migrants rape gangs in England. No Black activist complaining about “cultural appropriation” is going to give up his iPhone anytime soon or lose a moment’s sleep over slavery that’s still occurring in Africa. Cesar Chavez is now a Hispanic hero; but when he was a union organizer, he regarded illegal immigrants as nothing better than “scabs.” Today, leftists will conveniently forget about income inequality, cheap labor, and union busting if any one of those issues conflicts with the cause of bringing in more Third World immigration.
The New Trinity
At the heart of what we call the Left are three interconnected ideals: equality, universalism, and diversity. Such terms are often the equivalent of totems or charms. They are magic words, which convey meaning and importance without having fixed definitions or referents. They gain power from their ambiguity.
In mathematics, equality is the statement that two entities are the same. Politically speaking, it has come to mean that every person in a political community—or in the full-blown “globalist” variation, that every human being on Earth—should have the same rights of opportunity, outcomes, and legal and political expressions. In its more existential sense, equality means, in the words of
Adolf Bastian, “the psychic unity of mankind.” In other words, “All Men Are Created Equal.”
Universalism’s origins are theological—the idea that all humans are worthy of achieving salvation. In modern times, it means that political and social norms should be the same no matter what the circumstances. On a more visceral level, universalism is the idea that it is somehow immoral to prefer one’s own family, culture, or nation to others. And let us be honest: the struggles between individuals, communities, and nations almost never results in equal outcomes and they are often zero-sum-games—that is, there are winners and losers.
Diversity is the notion of the multiplicity of different peoples flourishing together. And as opposed to equality and universalism, diversity is about difference. Indeed, difference itself should celebrated (or at least, some differences). Diversity.com, a human resource group for hire by universities and corporations, defines it as such: “diversity and inclusive practice includes gender, religious, race, age, disability, linguistic differences, socio-economic status and cultural background.” The list could go on . . . and there’s no doubt that in the coming years it will.
The ideal of Diversity makes various demands for “inclusion,” “safe spaces,” and the like—where no one identity group, or at least no White identity group, holds sway. According to Diversity.com, “Inclusive practice is known to be attitudes, approaches and strategies taken make sure that students are not excluded from the learning environment because their differences.” Of course, you know what diversity really means when you hear it— “not White” and “not you.”
These are the core ideals of the Left—sadly, they are effectively those of the so-called Right, which only rarely questions the Left on a philosophical level. These ideals are buried so deep in political discourse and activism that we rarely scrutinize them. But under scrutiny, can we really take them seriously? Are they compatible with human nature?
Everyone is not equal. People are different—and we differ both individually and between groups. “Diversity,” at least, gets that part right. Diversity is the newest member of the trinity and perhaps the trickiest; for it contradicts the other two. When an environmentalist says that he wants to maintain “biological diversity,” he is expressly not trying to make everything in the eco-system the same, nor would he attempt to treat each eco-system like the other. Diversity is, in this way, post-civil rights, post-mass immigration, post-empire, and post-colonialism—even post-American. In other words, it specifically comes after a global recognition of non-White cultures. It implies, in its way, an incompatibility and incommensurability; two things can’t be judged by the same standard. In other words, diversity implicitly recognizes identity . . . or at least some identities. We seem to never get a seat at the table.
On a gut level, what we call progressivism today is really just organized resentment. There’s a crazed desire to tear down every remnant of the European past and traditional American identity. And most of all, this manifests itself as a primal hatred of the people who created the West—White people. Loyalty to some abstract idea of “humanity” seems to always manifest itself as hostility to one’s own people.
Where does this come from?
The late Andrew Breitbart popularized the term “Cultural Marxism.” Cultural Marxism emerged due to the failed predictions of orthodox Marxism, namely that “Revolution” would come in the industrialized world. It also came out of an increasing dissatisfaction with the Soviet Union. For the first few decades after the Bolshevik Revolution, the Western Left defended or apologized for the socialist experiment in Eastern Europe. Even the voice of the establishment, the New York Times, ran stories about “Uncle Joe’s” new progressive Russia at the height of the mass purges. It was only when the Soviet Union, ironically, became less Marxist—when it became closer to a military or even fascist dictatorship than a social revolutionary force—that the Western Left turned on its erstwhile idol. It is revealing that those stern Communists you see staring out at you from those Soviet posters look closer to right-wing propaganda than what the SJW’s churn out today.
Marxism was originally based on the idea that a worldwide worker’s revolution was not just desirable but historically inevitable. Due to impoverishment and the growth of class consciousness, workers in the industrialized parts of the world—such as New York, Paris, and London—would increasingly identify themselves as members of a class. They would seize the means of production and inaugurate a new social order. When World War I began, many socialists thought their hour had arrived. This was the catastrophe that would begin a new world.
Instead, nationalism endured. Workers identified with their countries, not with their class. A Communist Revolution did take place but in a country that was relatively “behind” economically, not one of the industrial hothouses. This led many theorists to look for an explanation. One of the most influential writers who tried to explain the twists and turns of Communism was Antonio Gramsci. He developed the theory of “cultural hegemony.” At its heart is the idea that a society’s beliefs and values, often implicit or unconscious, were as an important part of the social order as economic production or political structures. Cultural norms— “traditional values,” as you might call them—give society a sense of legitimacy, order, and hierarchy. Put in Marxist terminology, ideology maintains the ruling class.
Others went further. Pat Buchanan famously identified “The Frankfurt School” (aka Critical Theory)—a group of interwar Marxist scholars in Germany—as providing much of the intellectual heft for the radical social changes that swept through Western societies since the 1960s. It’s not that these relatively obscure philosophers came up with a program that all progressives adhere to. Nor is this some kind of conspiracy. Critical theory and Cultural Marxism are ways for everything to be regarded as political, transforming the whole of human conduct into a battlefield. This is how normal, intelligent people can enter college with a vague belief in “equality” and within a few years be posting on their Tumblr accounts about how they are oppressed because there are separate restrooms for men and women. The idea of “social construct” should also be familiar. Traditions like the family, norms of good and evil, distinctions between man and woman, all are treated as “propaganda,” as lies to be deconstructed.
But it goes beyond that. Critical Theory and its subsequent offshoots, including Critical Race Theory, the various “waves” of Feminism, Queer Studies, and all the rest, are simply the tactics. They are the how but not the why.
Why Do They Hate Us?
The why ultimately comes down to something more primal . . . a hatred of excellence, accomplishment, power, and beauty as such. If the ultimate value of the Left is egalitarianism, its ultimate enemy is hierarchy. The White world (and not just global capitalism) are held to be oppressive. We are hated not because of our “freedom,” but because our civilization itself is seen as a kind of insult to the rest of the world and as a horrible, oppressive burden on those Whites who want to be free of it.
Many non-Whites hate us because we are perceived as benefiting from a legacy of oppression, of inheriting “privilege.” It’s worth remembering that the West was not always the pinnacle of cultural development; indeed, we can point to times in history when Europe was a relative backwater. Parts of Europe, especially in the East, suffered under the tyranny of the Ottoman Turks. The Barbary Pirates were taking Europeans as slaves well after the birth of the United States.
But from the Age of Exploration onwards, it is largely White civilization that has essentially ruled the world—politically and economically but also in terms of setting norms, standards, and tastes. As John Derbyshire put it in an article explaining what he called “hesperophobia,” or hatred of the West:
They hate us because we humiliated them, showed up the gross inferiority of their culture. To them . . . we are the other, detested and feared in a way we can barely understand. Things got really bad in the 19th century. When European society achieved industrial lift-off, Europeans were suddenly buzzing all over the world like a swarm of bees. They encountered these other cultures, that had been vegetating in a quiet conviction of their own superiority for centuries (or in the case of the Chinese, millennia). When these encounters occurred, the encountered culture collapsed in a cloud of dust . . . 
They hate us from wounded ethnic pride. They hate us because of our cultural superiority, which is to say, at one remove, our political superiority. The actual arguments used to justify this resentment are surprisingly weak. The supposed moral burden resulting from civilizational success is unique to Whites.
No one, for example, is offended by the memory of military adventurers such as Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, or for that matter, the Islamic prophet Muhammed. We would laugh at reports of Arabs demanding reparations from Mongolia or Greece calling for reparations from Turkey. However, we are expected to take seriously Indian demands for reparations from Great Britain.
Slavery and colonialism are universals in history, at least until they were largely ended by the West. Yet today, this is used as the rationale for justifying collective punishment against Western societies, even against nations or peoples who never had slaves or empires. More to the point, Western empires are by historical standards relatively benign and even helpful.
But though this is true, we must recognize this as a weak excuse. Which brings us to the more important reason why Whites are hated as a group, even—or perhaps especially—by Whites themselves. Whites believe mistreatment should not be downplayed because it was relatively “less bad.” Instead, many Whites hold that the West has the unique role in setting an example. We want a civilization dedicated to human rights and universal moral aspirations. We are, therefore, willing to forego a civilizational or racial identity as a kind of penance, abolishing ourselves to create a greater good.
Many non-Whites, of course, are happy to go along with this; acquiring revenge for their past civilizational defeats and reaping rewards in the present, such as job preferences, set asides in academia and government, redistribution of wealth, and cultural recognition.
And it doesn’t sound that bad does it? It seems like a reasonable compromise. This is probably what you ultimately believe, albeit you want to keep “limited government,” free market capitalism, and the institutions of the West going while giving non-Whites some moderate handouts as a kind of consolation prize.
But it’s not going to work! And more importantly, this kind of thinking makes it impossible to build any kind of a free or even functioning society. Multiculturalism and White guilt create a motivation for every non-White, both inside and outside the West, to come up with new tales of victimization and demands for inclusion.
Conservatives often say race doesn’t matter so long as people “assimilate.” But the real question is, assimilate to what? Why should anyone assimilate to a culture that is defined as oppression? More importantly, if you receive rewards for not assimilating to the default culture, you would be crazy to assimilate. It would be in your rational self-interest not to assimilate.
As you’ve probably noticed, when a non-White person accomplishes something in terms of scholarship or career success, they are often accused of “acting White.” They are told they need to express solidarity with their ethnic “community,” lest they be guilty of a kind of treason. And we see non-Whites search for ethnic “authenticity,” usually expressed through acts of hostility against Whites and mainstream American society and culture.
We are all familiar with millionaire Black celebrities lecturing working class Whites on how oppressed they are. We see non-Whites who are the sons and daughters of immigrants acting with hatred and hostility towards their adopted country, rather than with gratitude. And we have many millions of people who may live in this country and have even achieved a standard of living undreamed of by their forebears, but who still regard themselves as groaning under tyrannical White oppression.
We shouldn’t forget that Colin Kaepernick, who made waves by kneeling before the national anthem during NFL preseason games, was not only half-White himself but raised in a middle-class, loving, and “privileged” adoptive White household. He at last found Black “authenticity” by renouncing White America.
When you see non-Whites achieving the American Dream, it makes you happy and you think it’s a sign the country is coming together. That is how we view our non-White fellow citizens. But when they succeed, most of them view it quite differently. They see success as a kind of triumph over you, even though you have been cheering on their success.
Thus, Blacks tell themselves “it takes a nation of millions to hold us back” and Latinos talk about the growing strength of “La Raza,” even though you’ve never wanted anything but success for all groups and all Americans, regardless of color.
Today, assimilation, at least for non-Whites, is an impossibility. Even if non-Whites achieve economic “success” at a level impossible in their own homelands, that is no guarantee they will identify with Western culture or institutions. Indeed, it is usually a guarantee they will rebel against it, as they seek to alleviate the guilt of being “inauthentic” with acts of cultural rebellion against White civilization. And now, thanks to official multiculturalism, there are economic motivations to actively resist assimilation.
Consider the Black Studies professor you have on campus—or Chicana Studies or whatever other “Studies” is in fashion this month. Does he (or more likely she) seem proud to be an American, despite a good job and what billions of people around the world would consider practically a utopian existence?
We’ve also created a kind of motivation for Whites to essentially de-assimilate from their own culture. If White civilization is defined as a long history of oppression, why would any European-American be proud of his or her heritage? Not surprisingly, we get increasingly comical attempts at self-delusion as spiritually dispossessed Whites look for a new identity.
We even see hilarious examples of White people claiming to be non-White. For example, Rachel Dolezal was a White girl of no accomplishments or career prospects. But then she tanned her skin, changed her hair, and started calling herself African-American. She even claimed she had been the victim of White supremacist groups who had been harassing her. Suddenly, she was able to secure lucrative positions at non-profits and universities. At what other time in history can you think of people renouncing their supposedly “privileged” position to secure membership in an “oppressed” group? If we think carefully about it, she single-handedly disproved Critical Race Theory.
But can you blame her, or anyone else? The clear economic incentive structure is in place. You, as a White person, are told your ancestors are basically scum. You are taught the creation of the United States by European settlers was evil, that every White person who existed before the civil rights movement was essentially a genocidal lunatic and that as a kind of racial Original Sin, you as a White person have internalized racism and prejudice unconsciously.
Why wouldn’t people want to throw off this burden of guilt? For that matter, why wouldn’t you specifically want to throw off this cursed ancestry? And the fact that you get economic, social and career benefits if you can pull off this transition doesn’t hurt.
What you end up with is a nation that actively despises its accomplishment—unless these can be couched as a victory over Western society itself. If a non-White person does something, it is a victory over the racist Whites who were trying to prevent it. If a White person does something, it is an exercise of privilege; with possible exceptions for women, homosexuals, or some other sub-minority group.
It makes even less sense than old-school communism. At least under communism, the theory was that capitalists were holding back production out of greed and an incentive to exploit labor. Communism enters to inaugurate a fair but also technologically advanced system. This generates a new breed of person, less grasping, but healthier and more productive. It didn’t work out that way and it never can, but you can at least see why people were infatuated with such a dream.
Under Critical Theory—especially when it comes to race and gender—success is not even possible. In Cultural Marxism, there is the “oppressed” and the “oppressor,” and new varieties of these categories are being created at all the time. The goalposts are constantly shifting. And if traditional Western society is characterized by “oppression,” the solution is to constantly promote forms of identity that can break down or “deconstruct” that society.
The overcoming of the past never ends. There is no point where we are all “equal” and everyone can just start acting normal. We simply fight each other forever. And for Whites, there is no end to repentance. “Whiteness” itself is the Original Sin. And unlike Christianity, “anti-racism” is creed for a church that offers no salvation.
Admit it, you’ve seen it happen on your own campus. Gay groups get criticized for being too heavily White. New “phobias” and pathologies are created seemingly every week. Normal behavior, such as love for your country or the desire to have a family and children, is pathologized as sick or oppressive. And whereas only a few years ago, the definition of being anti-racist was treating people equally regardless of race, now not talking about race constantly is the definition of racism.
What kind of culture is created by people behaving this way? Well, at a typical college campus, you know what happens. Think of your classes, and how real knowledge (at least in the liberal arts) is downplayed in favor of an endless hunt for new forms of “oppression.” Think of aesthetics, about how the radical leftist students on your campus actively promote ugliness and degeneracy to break down “social constructs.” Think of how the accomplishments of the past, as expressed in the statues and buildings on campus, must be torn down or renamed in honor of “activists” whose only accomplishment was to demand from others what they could not build for themselves.
For most of us, life is about accomplishment. Through power, will, and dedication we create meaning by building something that goes beyond ourselves. But to the modern Left, life is about tearing down everything which surrounds them. And this is done at the same time they insist upon the benefits and standard of living created by a civilization and a people they despise and could never hope to equal.
When we come right down to it, the modern left-wing college student enjoys a subsidized existence more pampered and decadent than anything enjoyed by a member of the tsar’s court. This is especially true of non-White students who receive set asides from government and academia. And yet they LARP as grizzled revolutionaries, at war with everything around them, even as the key institutions on campus and in government take their side and defend them.
Under Cultural Marxism, there’s no way Americans of all colors can unite as a people or a nation. Instead, on the modern college campus, there is only war. And as American society increasingly resembles one giant college campus, this endless conflict between will not cease.
The outcome is predictable. European-Americans will continue to be dispossessed, despised, demoralized, and, eventually, destroyed. Whatever ideas, abstractions, or institutions you value are going to be destroyed, too. You may not be aware of yourself as a White person but that does not matter. Your values will not survive your dispossession. Look at what is happening on your own college campus to test the truth of my words.
You may not like this message but that does not matter. The only question is what you are going to do about it. Fight or surrender, conquer or cuck. The choice is yours.
But if you choose to resist, how are you to do it?
- The Pulitzer Prizes, “Statement on Walter Duranty’s 1932 Prize,” https://www.pulitzer.org/news/statement-walter-duranty (accessed April 15, 2020). ↩︎
- John Derbyshire, “Hesperophobia,” National Review, September 13, 2001, https://www.unz.com/jderbyshire/hesperophobia/ (accessed April 15, 2020). ↩︎