Posted on July 27, 2021

National Review’s War on Nationalism

Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, July 27, 2021

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Credit Image: © Pang Xinglei / Xinhua via ZUMA Wire)

In recent years, the difference between the United States of America and the “authoritarian” governments of China and Russia has shrunk. Powerful institutions on both “Left” and “Right,” from unions and NGOs to big business, worked very hard to sway the last election. Even if it wasn’t outright fraud, it is hard to say it was free and fair. A Time magazine article called the massive manipulation an effort in “fortifying” democracy, a phrase that most journalists would mock if it came from Vladimir Putin.

Many journalists, “human rights groups,” and even corporations seem to see their job not as providing information or services but policing what people are allowed to say, buy, or support. This is not the “marketplace of ideas” of the classical liberal imagination.

Many Americans are worried. The hostility towards the historic American nation by well-funded movements such as Black Lives Matter, the anti-white indoctrination in the military, and a vast system of racial preferences have left many white Americans feeling lost. They don’t recognize their country. It can be argued that they don’t have a country.

The American conservative movement, organized to fight the Cold War against the Soviet Union, is doing almost nothing to resist America’s decline into a failed and increasingly arbitrary Third World country. The main threats to Americans’ life, liberty, and property come from Washington, New York, and Los Angeles, not Tehran, Moscow, or Beijing. National Review doesn’t understand that.

For example, this is from one of several articles about Cuba:

It’s a cautionary tale, as we once again “bear witness,” to the inspiring protests in Cuba against that tyrannical regime. In response, the communist government is detaining dissidents and shutting off communications. A country with an estimated 130 or so political prisoners won’t hesitate to lock up a few more.

I’m far more concerned about what is happening to Americans who were arrested for taking part in the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill. There are allegations of solitary confinement and beatings by guards. After the federal government’s near indifference to the reign of terror that antifa and Black Lives Matter inflicted on American cities last summer, does National Review really believe America is an exemplar of impartial justice compared to Cuba?

Rudy Giuliani Speaks in Miami On Cuba Protests

July 26, 2021, Miami, Florida: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks during a press conference outside of the Versailles Restaurant in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood on Monday. Giuliani spoke in support of the protests happening in Cuba. (Credit Image: © Matias J. Ocner / TNS via ZUMA Press Wire)

Another example: American universities spread poisonous ideas, but National Review is worried about Turkey and Iran spreading “Islamism” in the West. It seems to be worried that this will discredit Israel — though this seems like a strange priority for what is ostensibly an American magazine. There is a far simpler solution to the spread of “Islamism”: Stop importing the people — Muslims — who are susceptible to it.

National Review has a bizarre fixation on Russia. Russia may be the only country that issued a statement defending the human rights of the Capital rioters. This means Vladimir Putin has done more than National Review to defend these Americans. Meanwhile, the magazine criticizes President Biden for not being tough enough on Russia.

Russia is not a dictatorship without opposition. It is easy to find criticism of President Putin in the Russian press. His party occasionally suffers political defeats. The political system is clearly biased in his favor, but if that’s enough to mean Russia isn’t a “free” country, we can’t say America is free either.

Russian Federation Communist Party Rally in Moscow

Moscow, Russia – August 17, 2019: A rally held by the KPRF (Russian Federation Communist Party) Moscow branch in Prospekt Sakharova Street (Credit Image: © Sergei Savostyanov / TASS via ZUMA Press)

The greatest threat to the American way of life don’t come from abroad; they come from within. America is not a landmass, a government, or a list of liberal abstractions that aren’t respected by the law anyway. America is the nation, especially the white majority that built and sustains the country. That ethnic core is being replaced and those doing it are not shy about saying so.

At least some in the American military support Critical Race Theory. Patriots are not welcome, which may be best, since the military does not seem to defend American national interests.  Major companies fund Black Lives Matter and support leftist propaganda. When Amazon founder Jeff Bezos returned from space, National Review ran several articles celebrating his vanity trip. Mr. Bezos did not thank the magazine. Instead, he gave $100 million to Van Jones, a left wing activist once considered too extreme for the Obama Administration.

National Review does occasionally criticize Critical Race Theory. Rich Lowry dismantles Ibram Kendi’s “anti-racism” in a recent article, calling it “sloppy, tendentious” and “stupidly reductive.” But is it meaningful opposition? National Review also has a remarkable article calling for a stronger stand against China on the grounds that it is not anti-racist enough. It agrees that America was built by settler colonialism and is, at some level, illegitimate. Author Kelley Currie, a former deputy to neoconservative Nikki Haley, criticizes China for seizing on the issue of bodies of American Indians recently unearthed at Canadian schools. However, she does not explain why those schools were set up. She simply accuses the Chinese of hypocrisy:

The disturbing truth is that the Chinese Communist Party does not fundamentally object to the policies that led to the abuses at the residential schools. Their own policies in Xinjiang and Tibet violate the rights of minorities and are rooted in an imperative to imprint Han Chinese culture onto resistant ethnic nationalities. Just as the stated objective of the residential schools in Canada — as well as that of counterparts in the United States and Australia — was to “civilize” native peoples and help them conform to the dominant culture, so too have the CCP’s “modernization” and “poverty alleviation” efforts in Tibetan, Uyghur, and other minority areas sought to fundamentally alter the local culture in the name of Han-defined progress.

Essentially, she is angry because the Han Chinese government is acting in defense of Han Chinese. She goes further: “If some elements of this dynamic sound familiar to Americans, they should. Many of the same 18th- and 19th-century settler-colonial dynamics of America’s westward expansion have been at work in the PRC from Day One.”

Xinjiang farmers draw national flag

September 21, 2019, Aksu, Xinjiang, China: Farmers draw characters of ‘2019 Kuqa’ and ‘Farmers’ Harvest Festival’ within large national flag with two tons of pepper and 500 kilograms of corns when drying them in the sun for the upcoming 70th National Day of PRC in Kuqa county. (Credit Image: © Imaginechina via ZUMA Press)

The title of the article is “A China for the Han.” Apparently, this is taken to be obviously bad, because it means that the smaller nations within the Chinese empire lack self-determination. However, such self-determination would require bans on Han Chinese migration and a certain amount of government effort to preserve political and cultural autonomy. If the alternative to a “China for the Han” is a “Tibet for the Tibetans,” it would require nationalist policies that recognize ethnic and cultural differences.

However, Miss Currie doesn’t seem to oppose a China for the Han as much as an America for the Americans.

Which brings us back to the bizarre, tone-deaf spectacle of Chinese officials gloating about the tragic deaths of First Nations children in Canada. As mentioned, we know about these atrocities in Canada because there is an official ongoing effort to investigate them. There are similar challenges in the United States and Australia. Most Americans are conscious of the debt we owe to the original inhabitants of our nation, and how we can never really hope to repay it. That does not stop us from trying, and from having open, often difficult, dialogues [emphasis added] on these subjects. We learn about these issues in school, through popular culture, and in our policy-making spaces. Our democratic institutions are working to both protect the rights of indigenous peoples and establish some measure of restorative justice. As with the efforts to deal with our country’s birth defect of slavery, redressing the wrongs committed against Native Americans has been a difficult process of reckoning, recognition, and reconciliation that likely will continue as long as our nation does. But we continue to confront it openly and transparently, making progress a part of our efforts to form a more perfect union.

This is, of course, a near perfect summary of the leftist project of national deconstruction. And we don’t have “open, difficult dialogues” at all, because corporations and universities censor all but neutered whites. Furthermore, this degrading process is not creating a “more perfect union.” Even if the intent really is to promote healing or unity, it is failing. A new Gallup poll finds that Americans say race relations are at their lowest point in two decades. This “racial reckoning” is tearing the country apart.

Perhaps the Chinese government’s policies are unnecessarily brutal. However, Miss Currie seems to think America’s history isn’t much different. This is a strange position for a supposed conservative. She turns confrontation with China into penance for our own history.

Kelley Currie

Kelley Currie (Credit Image: © Li Muzi/Xinhua via ZUMA Wire)

Miss Currie says: “[T]he United States and other democracies must find ways to positively contrast how our open, democratic societies are dealing with the legacies of colonialism, racism, and other social and political challenges, with China’s authoritarian approach of denial and repression.”

Does she not realize that our government, schools, and corporations promote an anti-white ideology? Chinese may have more freedom than we do to talk about race, nation, family, or morality. The government will treat you harshly if you criticize the Communist Party, but it’s relatively easy to avoid that. It’s much harder to navigate the ever-changing cultural mandates in modern America. In China, I may pay a price if I say Taiwan is an independent country. In America, I may pay a price if I insist that we enforce our immigration laws or say that drag queens shouldn’t be teaching schoolchildren. Theoretically, we have freedom of speech. In practice, we have deplatforming, job loss, biased law enforcement, and even physical attacks.

The two Social Credit systems grow more alike every day, with the difference that the American system works through what are nominally private companies. In fact, social media companies don’t act fully independently of the government. The Biden Administration pressures them to take down content it doesn’t like. The trend is for the state, left-wing activist groups, and corporations to work more closely together. It is hard to take the claim seriously that these are just “private companies.”

“Ultimately, China cannot escape the costs of racism and repression any more than any other country,” Miss Corrie concludes. China can, and very easily. “Racism” is an invented charge, and the Chinese won’t be morally crippled by it. Their people may face “repression,” but so do Americans, and that is what conservatives should worry about.

We expect conservatives to defend their own people. Instead, National Review, American conservatism’s leading voice, tells them to oppose foreigners on the grounds that they are insufficiently anti-racist and multicultural. It’s hard to imagine something more opposed to authentic conservatism than an international crusade for anti-racism. The real threats to our liberty are at home, not abroad. Conservatives, who should be fighting those threats, want to infect the whole world with them.