Excellence over Equality
Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, July 22, 2022
Whites are weird. Most non-whites think it self-evident to defend their races. Many whites assume our high-trust, individualist societies can spread to the entire world. The nations that built the modern world — especially the English-speaking ones — are becoming minorities in their historic homelands because they’ve put their abstract ideals over their concrete identity. The most damaging of these ideals is equality.
Some whites know something is wrong. They recognize the double standards. They think it’s ok to be white. They wonder why everyone else can defend their interests, but whites can’t. However, this group is a minority. Of that minority, even fewer will act to defend white interests. Why? Whites are idealistic, and what Oswald Spengler called our “Faustian” civilization strives to conquer space. This includes the realm of ideas. Most whites want universal missions, not crude appeals to self-interest.
The most powerful moral force today is egalitarianism. During the Enlightenment, revolutionaries could argue that hereditary rulers were holding back progress and curbing human potential. Nationalism was originally a progressive, revolutionary movement emphasizing class unity against transnational aristocrats who had no real connection to the people they ruled. Unfortunately, egalitarianism today is a mortal threat not just to white racial survival, but to human greatness itself.
For Americans, egalitarianism is inherent in our founding. Though Thomas Jefferson said the “earth belongs to the living” and that previous generations shouldn’t bind the present, his declaration that “all men are created equal” has become something sacred and unquestionable. For many, it’s what defines America. This is dangerous because “all men are created” is not “self-evident” but stupid and wrong.
Jefferson was not stupid. He didn’t literally believe “all men are created equal,” but his original intent is irrelevant. People generally follow ideals and rhetoric to their logical conclusions. Enoch Powell said the supreme duty of statesmanship is to avoid preventable evils. If that’s so, the Founders, despite their greatness, are partially to blame for unleashing a virus that could eventually destroy the country they created. They failed to make their implicit white nationalism sufficiently explicit. They didn’t hedge their egalitarian rhetoric. Now we are paying the price. To many, including the current president, America is defined by the egalitarian ideal. (It wasn’t an accident that Robert Elder titled his biography of John Calhoun American Heretic).
The Fourth of July is a sacred day in our country – it’s a time to celebrate the goodness of our nation, the only nation on Earth founded based on an idea: that all people are created equal.
Make no mistake, our best days still lie ahead.
— President Biden (@POTUS) July 4, 2022
The problem is that if America is “founded” and “based” on this idea, America is based on a lie. We can say “lie” — not mistake — because the author of it, Thomas Jefferson, owned slaves, was a white nationalist, and believed in a natural aristocracy.
Egalitarianism is so self-evidently false that it seems as though elites use it cynically. Sam Francis argued in “Equality as a Political Weapon” that elites didn’t really believe in it but used it to pursue their own interests. James Burnham’s concept of the managerial elite, and Sam Francis’s expansion of his work, is key to understanding this. In short, the managers have material and social interests in creating new problems and new justifications to govern others. None of these problems will be solved, because if they were solved, the rationale for their positions would go away. Diversity is a big business.
Despite their vested interests, left-wing activists are generally sincere. That isn’t a compliment. “Miles’ Law” states that “where you stand depends on where you sit.” A person’s moral beliefs and economic and social interests generally converge. If you change the latter, you will probably change the former. If you’re a center-left college grad who gets a job at the NAACP, you’ll probably be far more sensitive about “racism” a year later, and seriously believe what you are doing. If you get fired and somehow end up working for a Republican campaign, you may find yourself a sincere conservative soon afterward.
People respond to incentives. If both government and corporations fund “anti-racist” programs, we will get more anti-racist activists. Those activists will have an incentive to exaggerate the supposed problem and call for more resources. They will also be highly driven.
Nature and experience are no obstacles to fanaticism. People often believe contradictory things without troubling their consciences. Orwell was right about “doublethink” — something inherent to the human condition, not just tyrannical regimes.
White advocates must understand this when we try to persuade others. Pointing out hypocrisy and double standards may win over some people. Noticing these things is what gave many white advocates, including me, their start. However, lists of double standards won’t convert committed egalitarianisms. They can easily argue that discriminating against whites isn’t a double standard at all because whites have privilege. They’re wrong, but it’s an internally consistent argument.
It’s not possible for someone to truly be egalitarian in practice because life depends on making value judgments. We used to refer to this, favorably, as “discrimination.” However, if egalitarianism is our defining value, our rulers can decide that what may be a rational choice is in fact a moral crime. What Christopher Hitchens used to say about Christianity — that it claims we are “created sick, and then ordered to be well” — applies far more accurately to egalitarianism. In a cosmic joke, it’s those with power who order us to value equality, even though they appeal to no divine authority to impose their moral order. Many go along from fear of retribution — itself proof of the Iron Law of Oligarchy and the inevitability of rulers and ruled. Egalitarianism is not just arbitrary, it’s self-negating.
While journalists are currently worrying about “Christian nationalism,” egalitarianism is America’s real state religion. This may seem overstated, but not when one considers the full consequences of “disparate impact.” In the Supreme Court case Griggs v. Duke Power Company, the Court held that even neutral policies can be considered discriminatory if they have a disparate impact on protected minorities. In other words, even sincerely trying to be non-discriminatory is not proof that you didn’t break the law.
This implicitly eliminates almost all useful standards for screening potential employees or students. For example, by 1972, employers couldn’t rule out employees who had arrest records because blacks were more likely than whites to have them. It was therefore discriminatory. IQ tests are also banned. The power of this legal doctrine is practically unlimited.
Ibram Kendi, a recipient of vast corporate largesse, has proposed an “anti-racist amendment to the U.S. Constitution that enshrines two guiding anti-racist principals [sic]: Racial inequity is evidence of racist policy and the different racial groups are equal.” Many thought this was extreme, but it may be because the idea of a Constitutional amendment is novel. The federal government has been following Dr. Kendi’s two “principals” for 50 years, with civil rights law having replaced Americans’ constitutional regime. Today, the definition of “racism” is expanding, but the goals of achieving equality and denying racial differences haven’t changed in decades.
Unless they challenge Dr. Kendi’s two principles directly, Americans are doomed to defeat. They are chasing tangents that don’t matter, or making confused arguments that are easily dismantled. It’s uncomfortable but necessary to attack the supposed virtue of equality.
The main reason is because the assumption that “all men are created equal” provides a justification for unlimited government power and political repression. It is social AIDS, destroying the basic standards of behavior that serve as the country’s social immune system. We must attack egalitarianism directly and eventually step over it.
Half measures won’t suffice. For example, Democrats may say that “equity” — equal outcomes — is what’s needed, while Republicans stick with equality, especially “equality of opportunity.” However, if “equality of opportunity” is the goal, leftists are right to propose measures to close the racial wealth gap, reparations for alleged past wrongs, and “cancellation” for celebrations, symbols, and institutions that don’t represent non-whites. Blacks don’t have “equal opportunity” unless the government confiscates white resources and uses them to build up blacks. Republicans are not living up to their own rhetoric.
Conservatives should attack “equity” and even “equality of opportunity,” not rhetorically accept them. Equality of opportunity is neither possible nor desirable. First, people are not equal in intelligence, health, personality traits, or any other human characteristic. Second, our identities and especially our upbrings are largely unchosen, and to make them “equal” would require an all-powerful government to remove children from families and subject them to uniform upbringing. This would be tyrannical and also deeply alienating, as it would destroy the family. Finally, because some people are more successful than others, “equality of opportunity” would require the state to strip successful parents of their wealth and prevent them from giving their children an “unfair” advantage. In many ways, that would defeat the purpose of striving for greatness and building a positive legacy.
None of these truths present real obstacles to the progressive program. Regarding inborn human characteristics, schools are trying to weed out excellence by eliminating Advanced Placement, standardized tests, and admissions tests. Elite schools like San Francisco’s Lowell High School, Collegiate, or New York’s Poly Prop Country Day School are all trying to reconcile the demands of egalitarianism with the schools’ very role. These schools will probably fail. The background to all this is a press campaign about the ways standardized tests are racist and classist.
Nonetheless, the “race gap” in performance persists. The country can’t admit that races are different, so the College Board will no longer release AP test results. States have been hiding abysmal black academic performance for decades. The claim that races must perform equally requires actively concealing the truth, with school administrators acting like priests destroying ancient writings that might challenge their religious teachings.
We must also ignore racial differences in behavior. Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley wants the federal government to make it harder to punish non-white students when they misbehave. Blacks misbehave more often than whites, but because we are required to assume racial equality and that any “disparate impact” results from discrimination, the solution is to stop punishing blacks. The Obama Administration mandated this with Department of Education guidance to public schools. The result, not surprisingly, was more violence in schools. It hurt students of all races, but the egalitarian creed was upheld, which is more important.
Liberal women can cosplay The Handmaid’s Tale, but the real theocracy is already in power in this country. Public schools’ increasing acceptance of Critical Race Theory and transgenderism is part of the faith. Assistant Secretary of Health Rachel Levin argues the federal government should “empower” “trans youth” and make sure they have access to “gender-affirming care.” If so-called experts agree that this is what “trans youth” need, the government’s decree could override parents. The government is already in the business of mind-reading when it comes to “red flag laws,” which can temporarily strip Americans of their Second Amendment rights though they haven’t been convicted of a crime. Americans should be wary because this precedent may pave the way for the government to strip families of their children for not believing in racial or sexual orthodoxy.
One could argue that egalitarian proposals to lower academic standards, restrain cops, or give set-asides hurt the very people these policies are supposed to help. However, judging by voting patterns, many non-whites don’t feel that way. They basically support the racial status quo. Besides, white advocates must never depend on non-whites giving us sanction for our beliefs. The same holds true of white conservatives. It’s a losing position politically, because your fate is in someone else’s hands.
Even effective conservative activists make weak arguments. For example, Christopher Rufo is an effective activist against Critical Race Theory, but he doesn’t fully understand (or admit) the stakes. In his article “What Critical Race Theory Is Really About,” he makes a distinction between “equity” and the “American principle of equality.” The latter is desirable, he suggests, thus conceding the critical point.
Mr. Rufo says this:
An equity-based form of government would mean the end not only of private property but also of individual rights, equality under the law, federalism and freedom of speech. These would be replaced by race-based redistribution of wealth, group-based rights, active discrimination and omnipotent bureaucratic authority.
Historically, the accusation of “anti-Americanism” has been overused. But in this case, it’s not a matter of interpretation: Critical race theory prescribes a revolutionary program that would overturn the principles of the Declaration and destroy the remaining structure of the Constitution.
Appealing to “federalism” and government structures is weak. The side that appeals to means and not ends is the side that loses. Besides, progressives could argue that the true principle of the Declaration, which even Jefferson didn’t truly understand, is to defend equality. The Constitution was written by rich white men anyway, so they can dismiss it if it no longer serves their rhetorical purposes.
Mr. Rufo is also wrong if he thinks Americans will oppose “race-based” policies. Most non-whites think defending their racial interests is perfectly legitimate. Non-whites could argue, accurately, that America once thought of itself as a white nation and didn’t treat non-whites equally. Therefore, non-whites are entitled to organize on racial grounds for redress of past wrongs until we reach “equity.” Americans once thought themselves entitled to basic legal rights like freedom of speech, but if equality is more compelling morally, these rights will be trampled. One can have standards or diversity, but not both. This is reasonable, because no two peoples will be able to agree on the way people should behave.
We may soon see the complete abandonment of standards if affirmative action is banned. If the Supreme Court was willing to overturn Roe v. Wade, it may be willing to end affirmative action in an upcoming decision. The Supreme Court may also have to amend what it has previously said about ethnic diversity being a “compelling interest” that justifies discrimination against whites and Asians. We are getting close to Sandra Day O’Connor’s 2028 deadline when she expected that “the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest that we approve today.”
It would be a great thing if the Court ended affirmative action. However, colleges may react by consciously seeking out intellectually inferior candidates to boost diversity. In an article considering the problem of maintaining diversity after affirmative action, the Washington Post quoted one expert who “concluded that emphasizing applicants’ socioeconomic status and guaranteeing admission to the top graduates of each high school” were effective at UC Berkeley. Of course, selecting top graduates from “each high school” in order to protect diversity presupposes different high schools are dominated by different racial groups. That’s probably an accurate assumption considering white flight after desegregation.
The problem is that, even if affirmative action is ended, the fundamental belief in “equality” will remain. If the Supreme Court does not eliminate “disparate impact” as a legal doctrine, civil rights groups will still be able to file lawsuits and use state power to eliminate standards.
Logically, there is no end to this process. No matter what policies are passed, there will always be inequality, and thus the definition of “racism,” “sexism,” and other “isms” will expand. Utopian goals such as “racial parity” are still decades away even if we direct the entire system towards achieving them. Far more importantly, those who derive their social status, power, and careers from fighting these imaginary problems have a practical interest in constantly expanding what is problematic. Racial equality must be at the center of any story, even things that seemingly have nothing to do with race. Auron MacIntyre calls this the “German cat” phenomenon, comparing to the way even magazines about cats started focusing on theories about Aryans and Jews under the Third Reich.
To understand why a magazine dedicated to science is advocating for censoring free speech we need to talk about the German cat 🧵/1 https://t.co/AqxlhezC5r
— Auron MacIntyre (@AuronMacintyre) May 26, 2022
Similarly, nature magazines are worrying about racist names for plants and animals, NPR ran a story about “decoloniz[ing]” bird watching, and several media outlets are worried the English female soccer team doesn’t have enough non-whites on it. If whites remain trapped in the moral framework where “equality” is the highest value, we can’t effectively push back against stories like this.
If equality is our highest value, everything in society must be subordinated to it. If “systemic racism” is embedded in all our institutions and in the minds of all white people, it follows that good people must constantly search for it and purge it. Failure to do so is a sin. Paying off civil rights groups is a modern form of indulgences.
Consider these recent stories:
- The creator of the 90s sitcom Friends apologized for its lack of diversity and gave four million dollars to create a professorship at the Brandeis African and African American studies department.
- A white bestselling author said whites face discrimination. After criticism, he apologized with stilted, ritualistic language, like he was reciting a creed of faith or a self-denunciation from China’s Cultural Revolution.
- A bar apologized to black students at Brown University after staff kicked out three black students who were reportedly misbehaving. One student, who is reportedly heading to a well-paid consulting job, said the bouncer’s reaction “was a manifestation of respectability politics and shows how black people often have to withhold from expression in order to comfort and conform.”
These aren’t things that can simply be laughed at or called “woke.” They show that egalitarianism is being taken to its logical conclusions. If one truly believes that equality is America’s founding idea and goal, and that all our institutions are racist, every social interaction and public communication must cater to those who claim they are victims. If even basic standards of behavior smack of “respectability politics,” then those standards must go, not the ideal of equality. Thus, even common-sense standards and rules become racist because blacks simply can’t live up to them.
These things include:
- The NFL’s policy cracking down on taunting.
- Having to pay fares to use the subway
- Expecting students to go to school if they want to pass
- Knowing math (even though some blacks such as Al Sharpton think they invented it)
- Factually reporting the details of crimes, including the race of the suspect
- Prohibiting plagiarism and cheating in schools
There are endless other examples.
At the margins, they make life annoying. Unfortunately, they are becoming central to American life. Diversity is now a leading goal in fire departments, the military, medicine, infrastructure, airlines, and other important sectors. If diversity destroys standards, then our society is not just declining, but collapsing. The process has no self-limiting principle. It will continue to the point of disintegration.
Egalitarianism creates an infinitely broad justification for state and political action, and the material interests of the managerial class will ensure this is a never-ending crusade. Paul Gottfried was right to call this society a Secular Theocracy. Critical Race Theory, white privilege, systemic racism, disparate impact, and other concepts are part of an internally coherent worldview that motivates activists. Thus, America now has a class of well-paid professional social saboteurs, constantly looking for a payoff.
Tactically, in politics, it is best to use arguments that people are familiar with. Moderate statements and radical action tend to work better than radical statements and moderate action. However, after centuries of regression, Americans can no longer avoid this issue. If equality was what America was founded on, then America was a mistake. If we don’t want to say that, then we must show America was founded on something greater than equality. Egalitarianism must be critiqued in moral, idealistic, and absolute terms, not just dismissed as utopian or impractical. The ideal itself is the problem and we need a better one.
Whites should also understand the physical danger we are in, not just the moral flaws of egalitarianism. Calls to “attack,” “abolish,” or “realize the death” of whiteness are implicit threats. Like the fish in water, we have grown so used to ritualistic denunciations of whiteness that we don’t recognize their extremism. Substitute “blackness” or “Jewishness” in the bloodthirsty calls against “whiteness” and the truth is clear.
It’s not enough to point out that race is real or that inequality is inevitable. It’s not enough to say that liberty is preferable to equality and “democracy,” and that racial double-standards are evil.
It is necessary to say equity and equality are bad in and of themselves.
We achieve “equity” only when we die. Life is about the pursuit of human flourishing and our ideal is excellence. This leads to hierarchies, which, if they continue to promote worthy accomplishments, are good in and of themselves. Differentiation is life; equality is death. Forcing non-whites into an institution by lowering standards isn’t some wacky mistake by the “woke.” It’s a profoundly evil act that harms not just our race but our species by committing an institution to degeneration rather its mission. I call that evil.
Whites are a moralistic people. It may be a flaw, but it’s part of who we are. We must thus choose the difficult path. We will continue to point out double standards, hypocrisy, and the vested interests of our rulers. Others in politics may use rhetoric that isn’t quite so hard-edged. However, long-term, without a direct attack on equality and a new “founding ideal” that defines America, these efforts will ultimately fail.
It will be a hard job. However, white advocates should thank our opponents. By equating “whiteness” with standards and accomplishments, white advocates are now not just fighting for our people but for our species. Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair. Our race’s destiny, and America’s, is not to submit to the dismal tide of regression. Our job is to set humanity on the upward path to human greatness.
We can no longer afford to pay even lip service to egalitarianism. It is a lie. It endures because of the ruthlessness of our opponents, the fear of those they’ve intimidated, and the vested interests of a parasitic ruling class. Paradoxically, our foes’ greatest strength is also their greatest weakness. Their whole system is built upon egalitarianism. If we delegitimize that, the whole thing crumbles. It’s already crumbling in another way because diversity is making it impossible for institutions and individuals to uphold standards that a white nation a generation ago could safely take for granted.