Chris Roberts, American Renaissance, December 20, 2016
There have been comments, e-mail, and tweets about my article, “The Anti-Anti-White Left,” so I would like to reply.
1) There is more to the anti-anti-white left than Jacobin. I use Jacobin because it has published some of the best writing of this kind, but anti-anti-white leftist writing can be found in many more places these days, particularly since Donald Trump won the election. Here are examples:
In the face of Trump’s willingness to boldly proclaim without facts or evidence that he would bring the good times back, we [Democrats] offered a tepid gallows logic. Well, those jobs are actually gone for good, we knowingly told them. And we offered a fantastical non-solution. We will retrain you for good jobs! Never mind that these “good jobs” didn’t exist in East Kentucky or Cleveland. And as a final insult, we lectured a struggling people watching their kids die of drug overdoses about their white privilege. Can you blame them for calling bullshit? All Trump could offer was white nationalism as protection against competing with black and brown people. It wasn’t a very compelling case, but it was vastly superior to a candidate who enthusiastically backed NAFTA, seems most at ease in a room of Goldman Sachs bankers and was almost certain to do nothing for these towns other than maybe setting up a local chapter of Rednecks Who Code.
— Krystal Ball, “The Democratic Party Deserved To Die,” Huffington Post
Discrimination is neoliberalism’s theory of inequality. Even poor whites have started to buy it — a large number appear to think anti-white bias is their real problem! Obviously, they’re wrong, but when, as Barbara and Karen Fields point out, the language of victimization has become so impoverished that it consists of nothing but discrimination, you go with what you’ve got. A new left politics will need to change that. Instead of a more complicated understanding of identity — of race, sex, and intersectionality (that opiate of the professional managerial class) — we need a more profound understanding of exploitation.
— Walter Benn Michaels, “What Is the Left Without Identity Politics?” The Nation
The Trump presidency will be awful for miners and a number of other working class and poor whites. It should make you angry. It should make you sad. If it makes you gloat instead, then look in the mirror the next time you want to know why your political philosophy doesn’t attract more people. Coal country may have voted for Trump, but it’s right about one thing at least: Liberals won’t save it.
— Sarah Jones, “Liberals Should Try Not Having So Much Contempt for the Poor,” The New Republic
2) There is some confusion about the term “alt-left.”
Among racially conscious whites, “alt-left” refers to the handful of race realists who also support leftist policies such as the welfare state and gun control. There are a few websites dedicated to their ideas, such as Robert Lindsay’s blog and AltLeft.com.
Outside of these circles, “alt-left” means something else. Once Hillary Clinton promoted the term “alt-right,” pro-Clinton writers began using “alt-left” to smear other leftist writers — generally pro-Sanders people — who criticized Mrs. Clinton’s derision of Trump supporters or her focus on identity politics. In short, “alt-left” is a Clintonite smear of what I am calling the anti-anti-white left.
3) Many people have pointed out that the writers I quoted in my first piece — and this is true of the three I quoted above — are far from being white advocates. This is certainly true. All of them vehemently condemn racism, nationalism, and the like. Many of them support politicians like Keith Ellison whose policies would hurt whites. Some white advocates have attacked Jacobin for these very reasons.
But this is why I call these people the “anti-anti-white left,” not the “pro-white-left.” I do not mean to imply that there is an emergent pro-white socialist movement, in the tradition of Jack London or Samuel Gompers. I mean to suggest that we are starting to see cracks in the worldview of total white evil, and that those cracks are forming in surprising places.
Four years ago, would the Huffington Post have published an essay criticizing the Democratic Party for lecturing poor whites about their “privilege”? I was in college during the 2012 election, and I knew plenty of socialists. None of them could have conceived of talking about how capitalist elites are “burying the white working class.” This year Jacobin, one of the foremost socialist magazines in the country, published an essay with exactly that title. This is a good sign. Socialists will always attack capitalism and champion people like Keith Ellison, but at least they are now talking about the legitimate grievances of white people.
4) Some have alleged that a leftist is a leftist, and that they are enemies. Not so. As one of our authors pointed out long ago, leftists need not be wrong about race. You can be a race realist and still be for welfare, gun control, gay marriage, pacifism, and all the rest. When we get our ethnostate, it will have lefties and righties, all equally devoted to our race but with different ideas about other things.
More to the point, people who disagree with us about race can change their minds. Indeed, American Renaissance is in the business of changing people’s minds. If we thought egalitarians couldn’t be convinced of anything, there would be little point to what we do.
I think the people of the anti-anti-white left are promising potential converts to race realism. Unlike many other lefties, they understand that “racism” doesn’t explain everything. They have some level of sympathy for poor white people, while much of the left views poor whites as deplorable.
If anti-anti-white leftists recognize that “racism” alone cannot explain the behavior of white Republicans, and that economics play a role, it may be possible to convince them that “racism” alone cannot explain the behavior of blacks and that genetics play a role. If anti-anti-white leftists discover the reality of IQ differences it can only be good for us.
Furthermore, the anti-anti-white left is often attacked as racist. Many non-white Clinton supporters read (or claim to have read) lengthy and interesting essays by the anti-anti-white left, and then call the authors racists on Twitter. This means that many writers at Jacobin are starting to feel the same frustration we feel: you make a well-reasoned, fact-filled argument, and someone thinks he has refuted you simply by calling you a “racist.”
Every day, anti-anti-white leftists discover that non-whites throw around the word “racist” purely to smear opponents and advance their own interests. Having to endure this will push more of the anti-anti-white leftists our way, particularly since many are genuinely bright, while their non-white Clintonite detractors are not.
Here is a black Democrat tweeting about Bernie Sanders:
Ready to cooperate with neo nazis, white nationalists, and the russian project to utterly cripple the us nation state! https://t.co/ah5VTvNiqj
— Marcus H. Johnson (@smoothkobra) December 11, 2016
5) Some critics have noted that the anti-anti-white left is not represented by “old left” figures such as Jim Webb, who could be converted to our views. Instead, most anti-anti-whites are out-and-out socialists, which would make it hard to bring them over to us.
However, plenty of ex-socialists have become race realists. Quite a few AmRen commenters have said they moved from Marxism to race realism. James Burnham, author of Suicide of the West and The Managerial Revolution spent his youth as a Trotskyist. By extension, that brilliant student of Burnham, Sam Francis, was deeply influenced by Marxist writers.
Eugene Genovese was a Marxist historian of America’s antebellum south. Later in life, Genovese came to appreciate the Southern Agrarians, converted to Catholicism, and became something of a paleoconservative. When he died, his friend Paul Gottfried wrote an admiring obituary in The American Conservative. If Genovese could see the light, why not Jacobin’s own southern historian, Matt Karp?
The biggest barrier to our ability to convince someone of race realism is his view of race, not of economics. It may be easier for a Republican to convert a generic leftist than a socialist, but we are not Republicans. For us, doubts about the power of “racism” to explain the entire world is much more important than faith in the free market. An anti-anti-white socialist clearly thinks more critically about race than the nominally pro-capitalist, conventional leftists at Salon.com. We should not succumb to the mythic “left-right” cleavage that, every day, seems to explain less and less about American politics.
I remain convinced that the anti-anti-white left is more a force for good than bad. Let us wish it well in its battles with the anti-white left.