Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Canadian Me Too-ism

I've touched briefly on "Holocaust Envy" here and elsewhere, and below we see something similar expressed in a Front Page Magazine interview with Kathy Shaidle on the Human Rights Commissions of Canada.

"[W]hen Canadian leftists saw the Civil Rights Movement in the US, they were actually jealous rather than relieved that Canada had been "left out" of this great noble romantic cause. So they invented the idea that Canada was just as "racist" as the US (without a trace of irony btw -- Canadian leftist are vicious anti-American bigots.)" Kathy Shaidle.

Short and to the point interview.


truepeers said...

That's a good interview.

But I think the concept, however vulgar, of "Holocaust envy" - i.e. envy for the role of the unquestionable 100% victim status of the Jew vis a vis the Nazi state, is what motivates so much of the postmodern way of thinking. Thus, to say that Canadian leftists are just engaging in "me too" mimesis of the American civil rights movement misses the point that both the American civil rights movement and the Canadian attempts to emulate same can only be well explained in terms of the reaction to the Holocaust (and Hiroshima).

For example, if you look at how the Canadian left responded to the fate of disenfranchised Asian-Canadians immediately after WWII, you can see already a sign of what became the post-war civil rights movement in revulsion towards the war. This didn't reach its full articulation in a well-digested response to the Holocaust and Hiroshima until the 1960s, but I think on some level the intuition was already there in the late 1940s.

The reason there is a rise of antisemitism on the left today is in part the realization that the civil rights movement's timing - why did American desegregation happen in the 1960s and 70s, not the 1920s and 30s, say? - is a response to the Holocaust and the desire to claim that unquestionable victim status for everyone else. If the Jews can have it, then surely the blacks, etc. American history thus becomes reread as a struggle between what was an incipiently Nazi culture and all its victims: the starved, naked, dehumanized, worked-to-death, mass-murdered, dehumanized, culture-ruined victims.

Kathy goes on to argue that there really wasn't too much segregation or racism in Canada, compared to the American past, and so the HRCs had to make work for themselves by so portraying our past as a great evil, to justify their ridiculous fight agains the "neo Nazis". There is definitely a lot to this argument, but then on the other hand of course there was some amount of ethnoreligious prejudice in our history, and some degree of residential ghettoization. Just to take her idea that the "No Irish Need Apply" signs was a myth to encourage her people's sense of victimhood: it may well have been to some degree; still, my reading of Canadian history in the 19th and early 20th centuries suggests there really was a lot of tension between Orange and Green (i.e. between Ulster Irish (the "British" who wanted to forget they were Irish) vs. Catholic Irish, though other kinds of protestant Brits became assimilated to the Canadian Orange identity until that identity became not very respectable among the middle class in the early 20thC.)

In other words, there may have been some basis in Canada to rectify racial or religous prejudices. There may have been some cause for "civil rights" movements, perhaps especially among the trade unions where it was already a minor issue in the 1930s and 50s. I would not look down on those who fought for equality under the law, even as this applied to private sector employment and housing decisions of private property holders.

However, none of this really explains the victimary mania of our age, this inability to see our past as anything other than a Nazi-like scandal, as if the millennia of history in which people obviously required tight ethnoreligious bonds to protect against outsiders was somehow all a mistake. This kind of nonsense historical revisionism can only be explained by the desire of the entire Western left to claim for their various clients the status of the Nazis' Jews or the Americans' vaporized Japanese.

truepeers said...

I deleted my first version of the above comment due to this error or "typo" (i.e. not typing what i was actually thinking): "Kathy goes on to argue that there really wasn't too much segregation or racism in the Canadian and American pasts" - kathy of course was saying there was not a racial past in Canada to compare with the AMerican

Dag said...

I don't mean exactly that "victims" are analogous to the Jews of th e Holocaust: I mean, and this is fermenting, that the "oppressor" group, i.e. the left, is looking for their own status as "Nazis" in a drama of sado-maochism, thus giving themselves a huge burst of moral righteousness in their "struggle" against the evil of "Naziism," inherent in the system, of course, innate in privileged Whites; and thus by claiming to be "Nazis" who denounce Naziism, the Left can claim they renounce a given power in favor of the oppressed, i.e the masochist partner. The former sadistic partner therefore becomes a victim himself, more righteous because he has given up his given privilege in favor of struggling against his own, i.e. the Nazis who don't repent or don't see through the gnostic lens. In all, it must be the greatest thing on Earth to be so moral as the Leftist. They must be fuckin' perfect.

But I have miles to go before I think. This is still in the incubation stage for me.

truepeers said...

Yes, there is a sense in which today's left want to be redeemed Nazis. Their market-oriented postmodern pop culture is built on the realization of the need to maximize the exchange of victim and persecutor, or S & M roles.

Note that the leftist "nazi", the guilt-ridden, self-critiquing performers of the academy, media, etc. are people firmly within the contemporary global economy. They realize a good share in the great trade in nazi-jew figures. This has relevance for how people today like Richard Moon conceptualize the "hate crime".

Thirty or forty years ago, the left's status as firmly entrenched bourgeoisie was still somewhat in doubt, perhaps even after reading Marcuse. Thus the creation of the first hate crime laws, by the left-liberal bourgeoisie that was still uncertain about the permanence of a leftist bourgeoisie, went in hand with a focus on haters who could be portrayed as the antithesis of the left, i.e. the trumped-up legions of North American "neo-nazis". The new left bourgeoisie institutionalizes itself by turning against an image of an angry remnant of the old bourgeoisie, lost brothers perhaps. It goes without saying that our hate crime laws were never introduced with the intention of going after the university Marxists of the era who were actually closer, at least in sympathies, to the actual mass killers of the times.

And now with the left so firmly entrenched in the bourgeoisie, it it the stuff of everyday business to turn on one's "Nazi" or even "commie" self, preferably in ironic S & M performance mode; but such righteous auto-critique is such a commonplace and the payoff for self-effacing white guys is fairly predictable that it still remains behaviour safely separated from the domain of all that gets labeled real "hate crime". There is a still a necessary gulf between the "neo-nazi" who can be charged with actual hate crimes and the nazi-in-me that I gayly want to set free.

Dag said...

There is some internal beauty in the sado-masochist relationship. It "works." People like it enough to make it universal and eternal.

The sadist who victimizes is a victim. If and when he mistreats another, he can become angry at the "victim" for having made the sadist angry in the first place; and the "victim" can feel bad because of having made the sadist angry, therefore deserving punishment-- and recognition as a person, bad though he might be. The universe becomes round and contained and lovely. Everything is sensible and safe and predictable and right. More, there is deep meaning in the order of it all. Sick and stupid and evil, but real and satisfying.

I've written about this often, and when I return to Samuel Francis I'll write more on it.

truepeers said...

People like it enough to make it universal and eternal.

-not so fast, hombre.... Let's not forget also to ask the Christian missionary's question: how do I know I like it if that's all i know? What might I be missing about the other possibilities of our universal humanity?

In other words, maybe you are talking about something inherent to primitive ritualistic behaviour. The imperative mode and submission thereto is universal because it is one or a few movements in the minimal array of originary human movements, not because we actually choose to make it eternal.

Again, I would encourage you to inquire if the S & M routine alone is sufficient to explaining the emergence, trade and institutionalization of any sign. I would argue the routine is but one stage in that process, a process that also necessarily has productive and loving movements. For the S & M guys to fight over a sign, there first has to be a sign to fight over. And do the S & M guys have any kind of plausible explanation of how their routine could produce that sign in the first place? No, they do not. Thus there is also the eternal possibility for the "christian" who knows that humanity begins in an act of genuine shared loved for the "Supreme Being" of the human scene. In the beginning was the word... and then came the Romans.

Dag said...

I'll come to my point eventually that S/M is not the final word, and that it's only for the people who do not accept the break in the cycle, which some do and allow others too if they will or can be made to. Those breakers of the cycle will be the priest class. Beyond that, Modernity itself is the genuine democratic/mass breaking of the cycle, though there is a lunge toward neo-feudalism to restore the S/M cycle.

I'm not able at this time to continue with this argument, but I will post on it a thoroughly as I can soon as I get feeling a tad better.

truepeers said...

Sorry to hear you're still in the dumps.

Get better, but last friendly word for now: no dreaming that modernity can ever be without some order of imperative being and submission thereto. Consider, e.g., the military hierarchy that defends our freedom (though the finer armies also empower their lower orders, tactically). Or the orders of schooling and scholars. Not exactly full bore S & M in most schools, to be sure. But if the imperative mode and submission thereto is something original to, or inherent in, our humanity, it must take on some form in every era. It's "genetic", and must leave its mark on us; but it need not be determinative, since we are free.

Re-feudalization is thus a real problem within modernity and its freedom, as you see.