Identity Politics, Free Trade, and the Intolerant Minority

Identity Politics, Free Trade, and the Intolerant Minority

I have a lot of respect for David Horowitz. He’s a die hard convert from the communist left, has incisive insights, and unlike the neocon crowd was anything but #nevertrump, even calling out Bill Kristol in an article that was paraded as proof of Breitbart’s “anti-semitism” (without of course, reference to who actually wrote it…)

That said, his idealism sometimes gets the better of him.

I’m not going to post excerpts here. For one, I fundamentally agree that the underlying assumptions of identity politics are antithetical to what made America, and what will keep all of America, in its current geographical boundaries, a united nation.

Here’s one issue. We are not that America anymore. Why? Because the demographics, and the underlying cultural (and to whatever degree, genetic and epigenetic) factors that made us the nation we were, with the shared assumptions of behavior, expectations to work, and so forth, no longer support it. As the Putnam study showed, diversity leads to less trust – one consequence of which is people then revert back to tribalism with “their” kind.

We have imported so many people with different assumptions that we no longer have the same shared assumptions.

By way of example, look at Miami. Going there, I feel more like I’m in a foreign city than I do in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Yeah, a lot of spanish speakers there, and lot of spanish signage, but that’s not what makes it feel foreign. I sit in the uncomfortable zone where I don’t have to translate in my head most of the time but I can “get by” understanding if I focus on the conversation instead of, say, driving, so hearing and seeing spanish signage on registers/etc. doesn’t throw me one bit.

It’s not the language.

And though Canada is technically “foreign”, at the time I visited it was still fundamentally European in demographics. Sure, some Canadian habits are just different enough to catch you off guard like the differences between ice skating and roller blades, but a lot of the fundamental behavioral expectations are the same.

Miami? Sarah Hoyt once pointed out that in hispanic cultures (Portugal, in her specific and most direct experience) if you meant to keep it, you kept it secured, behind a fence, etc.

Compared to a number of other cities, Miami has several traits that, I’d either not seen elsewhere, or if I had seen them at all elsewhere, not until much later.

While I’m used to Costco checking your receipt at the door, the first time I ever had that happen at a Lowes? Miami. Unlike every other Barnes and Noble I’d been in the one I visited there was explicit in not wanting you to hang around and sit, even in the cafe, if you hadn’t bought anything. The best Buy funneled you into a checkout Queue using an actual cubicle wall. A very high percentage of properties had fences, often solid stone, and far more had “cage” enclosures around the front stoop so you could step out to get your paper without leaving a locked, secure, space. The ones with fences included gates for the driveway.

This wasn’t all just in the shitty part of town.

One house I visited, easily 4000 square feet, pool, very upscale, had a steel pad inset a few feet from the door marring the continuity of the tile. Racked on the wall near the door was a brace bar designed to wedge in between the metal pad and a similar one on the very , very solid door.

This is not a culture you lay down your bike in the front yard to go in and lay with your friends, and expect it to be there when you come back out.

Here’s the second issue. Like the old joke says, it doesn’t matter if you’re interested in war, it’s interested in you. Only one side needs to be interested in conflict for there to be a problem. And thus we get to Nassim Taleb’s concept of Dictatorship of the Small Minority.

Not necessarily a dictatorship per se, but a recognition that a small minority that will not bend eventually influences far more than may be imagined. You may have heard that only three percent of the colonists in the Revolutionary war were dedicated to the cause.

But it could be, if those three percent are muslims who will not bend in spreading Sharia law.

So back to identity politics. I’m one who really wishes we didn’t have to play that game as there are better uses of our time. Nevertheless, once the other identity communities form within our borders, and they very, very obviously have, we have no recourse but to respond in kind. Sure, if they stop, so can we, but until then, if whites, men, etc. don’t form a cohesive band to address blacks, feminists, muslims who are banding together to push a unified agenda (even if they are respective minorities of blacks, women, muslims – again, see Taleb) and call bullshit, resist it, then we will be erased.

If we don’t hang together, we will surely, as the jest goes, hang separately.

It’s like the prisoner’s dilemma. Once the other guy starts screwing you, you have to reply.

*Update: *When I originally saved this as a “to write” I had free trade in the title, and completely forgot to tie that in or change the title.

No worries, I’ll follow up with part two, and apologize for the confusion.

About Last Redoubt

Ex nuke mechanic, jack of all trades.