"This fantasy has no more relevance to the actual system than any other fantasy."
One nice principle for analyzing systems—entirely parallel to Ranke’s historical rule of drawing history “as it really was,” and Burnham’s political rule of “real meanings,” but not loaded with any historical or political baggage, is the mantra that the purpose of a system is what it does.
Although this slogan is literally wrong for the most common definition of “purpose”—the original intent of the past designers—this is the purpose of the slogan itself: to remind you that the past does not exist. The original intent of the designers is literally a fantasy. This fantasy has no more relevance to the actual system than any other fantasy.
There could be no idea more foreign to the mentality of the American conservative. These is why American conservatives always lose: they are not operating in the actual world. They perform operations that would work perfectly in their fantasy world, but are utterly ineffectual in the actual world.
These operations are mainly aimed at turning the actual world into the fantasy world. This is sad, because it is generally impossible. Selling the impossible is a fraud. The pity of this fraud is that there might be actual operations which turn the actual world into some better actual world, but will never be tried—because the pundits are too busy making their car payments by marketing the fantasy.
Simon says I mean it
I am sorry to pick on Chris Rufo all the time. But I wonder what his purpose is. My feeling that his purpose is: to be a conservative pundit. I have the same kind of job and I like my job, but I think there is a difference—I think I also have another job.
If really wanted to succeed as just a pundit, I think, I would do many things differently. Like not picking on Chris Rufo. This is unkind and does not make me any big friends. Also, Chris is a very successful pundit and a very busy man, so this time I have written a short post which I hope he will be able to understand.
Unfortunately, Chris, in his role as a pundit, has to pretend he has a different purpose. This purpose is: helping Americans save themselves from all the many slings and arrows of an inept and mentally disturbed regime. I feel this is my purpose—and I think I would be much more successful, in my role as a pundit, if I could discard it.
Let’s go to the tape. Recently, in City Journal, Chris wrote:
Happily, another avenue is open to us: reform.
This is modern conservatism in a nutshell. Happily! You can be happy! Reagan was happy! Eisenhower was happy! Imagine how happy Eisenhower would be if he could see the United States today. He would immediately call up Patton and apologize for everything. Both of them would tear off their epaulets and enlist in the Waffen-SS. Happily! Buy a bottle of Dr. Rufo’s happy pills, and everything will be all right. You could have cancer, syphilis and AIDS—next year, you’ll be training for the Olympics.
Chris, if another avenue was not open to us—how would we know? How do you know you are not using your God-given skills to lead your flock into yet another box canyon—when the obvious avenue, as all of human history knows, is right under all our noses?
Yes. It is not a happy avenue. Well… I actually think it’s a very happy avenue. But with your conservative heart-shaped rose-colored sunglasses on, does it look happy? No. It looks dismal. The trap that patriotic Americans keep walking into looks like an oasis. So maybe, in this critical situation, you would make better decisions if you took off your happy glasses? Just a thought, Americans.
Sorry. I shouldn’t interrupt. Let’s see our pundit’s actual proposals:
Happily, another avenue is open to us: reform.
The ideological capture of the Civil Rights Act is neither fixed nor inevitable. Rather than argue for its abolition, Americans concerned about the excesses of the DEI bureaucracy should appeal to higher principles and demand that our civil rights law conform to the standard of colorblind equality.
The answer to left-wing racialism is not right-wing racialism—it is the equal treatment of individuals under law, according to their talents and virtues, rather than their ancestry and anatomy. This policy does not require radical innovations. Embracing the philosophy of the American Founding—with its emphasis on natural rights and liberties—will suffice.
What would this new civil rights agenda look like in practice?
First, reformers should outlaw affirmative action and racial preferences of any kind. Both policies are euphemisms for racial discrimination.
The next president should rescind Lyndon Johnson’s 1965 Executive Order 11246, which established “affirmative action” and marked the initial deviation from the standard of colorblind equality.
Congress should strengthen this principle by amending the language of the Civil Rights Act to make indisputably clear that the law will not permit state-sanctioned discrimination toward any racial group, whether in the minority or the majority.
“Outlaw racial preferences of any kind.” “Indisputably clear.”
Chris, you know perfectly well that the original black letter law of the Civil Rights Act explicitly bans state-sanctioned discrimination toward any racial group. (Also, note how much work that word “sanctioned” is doing.)
So, after sixty years, your solution to this problem is to patch the law to say: Simon says I really mean it. Wow. Just wow. Also, we’ll get an Executive Order—which has roughly the same legal force, even in theory, as a Presidential tweet.
This is idiocy or fraud—the former, I hope. To be fair, it is a normal species of idiocy. Everyone has the right to be an idiot. But once your eyes are open, you lose this right.
The great American race machine
The purpose of a system is what it does.
The purpose of the Great American Race Machine, or “DEI bureaucracy” if we must, from judges to HR consultants to admissions officers, is to generate power by favoring the weak over the strong. These “folks” are the cadre of American Race Communism (ARC). The purpose of the structure around them is to secrete, exercise, and retain power.
At least, this is its actual purpose. Of course its nominal purpose is to enforce race blindness. As for the internal intent of the authors of this venerable law, it can never be known—they are all dead—nor does it matter. It would just be another fantasy. I’m pretty sure that, not being stupid, what they intended was pretty much what we got.
Notably, this structure does not actually care about its clients, individually or even as a population. It will even switch client populations at the drop of a hat—a century ago, it was about class and sex. Now it is about race and sexual identity. It did not care about the workers and the peasants then. It does not care about the BIPOCs and the pronouns now. Like a shark, it just wants to eat and make more sharks. Don’t even hate it—would you hate a shark? No, you would get out of the water. Or get it out of the water. These correspond to the classical political concepts of “exit” and “voice.”
In the century we live in, millions of people work in the Great American Race Machine. Your proposal, Chris, is to solve the problem by just telling them that the purpose of this system is the opposite of what they does. How will you tell them? Will it start with Simon says? If they don’t listen, if they don’t do the thing, what will you say next?
It is true that most of these people obey a small minority: the judges. Great. Simon says to the judges: enforce the law as it was written in 1965. Or? Or your lovely black robe will magically catch fire and burn your skin off, like the cloak Medea made for Creusa! Lol jk. Magic isn’t real. And the purpose of Chris Rufo is to raise money.
A different principle
In new things, it is always important to obey and respect the old forms. The form of conservative punditry is the battle of principles. Though harmless as an Aztec flower war, this war of ideas matters for the same reason: because everyone thinks it matters. Therefore, any concrete proposal must be phrased as a conservative principle.
Instead of the modern conservative’s vision of mandatory colorblindness, enforced by a newly reformed, penitent race machine (perhaps we could just convince them all?), I propose the profoundly unoriginal American principle of freedom of association.
As flawed human beings, we may use our freedom to associate, or not associate, with others, well or badly, fairly or unfairly, nicely or nastily. There is absolutely no reason to have a vast army of armed nannies making sure everyone is always nice to everyone.
For almost all ways of being nasty, we understand this perfectly. Under the old regime, we were lied by fake scientists into believing that if we erased this way of being nasty, enormous, unpleasant historical disparities would disappear. Instead they got worse. It’s not an experiment if you don’t care what the result is.
Race favoritism in our private lives can be—like any form of unfair favoritism—nasty. It is not and has not ever been against the law to be nasty. Nor should it be. De minimis non curat lex. The courts must not care whether or not anyone is or is not an asshole.
Nor is racial preference—though itself a human universal—the cause of the broad sociological disparities between continental races, for which no historical, political, or sociological explanation is credible. Were this not already shown by broad historical experience, it would have been proven definitively by the modern experiment of using state force to invert this preference—an unusual experiment, but hardly unique, which has had the same result in every time and place it was tried. Scientific method much?
The blank slate is over. In the light of 21st-century genomic science, the blank slate is the flat earth. Sorry! I don’t make the rules. Obviously, if I myself was God, I would have set the whole thing up quite differently. I’ll take it up with him at some point.
An alternate proposal
My principles, like Chris Rufo’s, come with a program. My program is straightforward and obviously effective. You may not like it—please don’t fool yourself into thinking there is an alternative. The alternative is nothing. Maybe nothing is better. Idk. At least nothing is free. You don’t have to send anyone money for nothing’s car payments.
The purpose of the system is what it does. What it does is bad. Ergo: the only way to make it stop is to liquidate the Great American Race Machine. Ergo: the only path to fixing this problem is the birth of an absolute new regime capable of such a liquidation.
No system, “public” or “private,” is exempt. The socialist becomes a libertarian when his nonprofits, universities, media companies, and—last but not least—tycoons are threatened. No, gentlemen, we have learned the depth of your commitment to liberty!
My proposal is to fire all these people—everyone in every sector, “public” or “private” (erasing the difference, after all, was their idea) who was involved in the Race Machine. Only a thorough lustration of this ideology will end America’s long, retarded race war. Also, the progressive tycoons, meaning basically all of them, must be proscribed. The modern, bloodless form of proscription is just a wealth cap—maybe at about $10 mil.
This is not a punishment. Because any new regime must be founded on reality, it must found its legitimacy on a recognition of the real legitimacy of the old regime. Though it was not good, it was legitimate. Though none of its rules or structures are immune to liquidation or revision, they were valid, and no normal human being can be blamed for following them. While these people must lose their jobs, the new regime must also create new jobs for them—ideally, jobs they’ll prefer to their old jobs. (And regardless of how they made their money, the tycoons made it legally—so they must remain rich, just shorn of the excess wealth that becomes political power.)
In most cases, there is no need for the old job. In some cases, there will be a new job somewhat like the old job. This does not imply that anyone can and should go directly from the old to the new—in almost all cases, the old org charts must be dissolved. Lustration is not simply a matter of renaming.
Do we need admissions offices? Maybe you could get into college just by taking a test. Do we need HR departments? Sure. They should mostly be staffed by therapists. Do we need judges? Yes, we need smart, well-trained, realistic people with good judgment. Since we need a new legal code, lawyers from the old regime have no great advantage. Cops, however, have an unparalleled awareness of the real world. Give every cop in the country an IQ test, and present anyone who breaks 125 with a lovely new black robe.
The Rwandan analogy
Though this criticism is severe, and ideally will make Chris Rufo rethink his career or even his life, we cannot overlook the ways in which his direction is mostly correct. At least he is not trying to re-invert the race machine to go back to full Jim Crow. Lol.
The general principle of eradicating civic conflicts is to eradicate the entire social structure which makes the conflict possible. This means different things for different conflicts, depending on the power structure of the conflict.
In Rwanda, a country divided between upper-caste Tutsis and lower-caste Hutus, which had been ruled by Tutsi supremacist and Hutu supremacist regimes, the latest winning regime—basically Tutsi in its origins and personnel—made it a cancellable offense to even mention anything about Hutus, Tutsis or the conflict in general.
Since the Hutus, being in the majority, are fundamentally stronger, no one has an incentive to reopen the conflict. Any resurgence of Hutu Power would be savagely repressed, and any reinvention of Tutsi supremacy would counterproductively rock the boat. Rwanda also has a third caste, the Pygmies, who should not be involved in politics. Fortunately, their numbers are small.
America also has three classes: blue-state progressive Tutsis, red-state conservative Hutus, and “marginalized” Pygmies (whose numbers are not small). The political power dynamic of American Race Communism is the demographic and electoral weaponization of the Pygmies by the Tutsis against the Hutus.
Since only a red-state American Hutu Power regime can overthrow the Tutsi-Pygmy regime, how can this regime make itself stable and successful? It cannot exterminate the Tutsis, its natural governing class, but it must control their political energy. In particular it must separate the Tutsis from their political fuel, the Pygmy third class.
Tutsi ideas about how to govern Pygmies have not worked out well for the Pygmies, to say the least. Pygmies need genuinely indigenous sub-regimes which can govern them according to their own needs and traditions. These traditional regimes will have ideas of governance that Tutsis find deeply strange and repugnant—for instance, they will probably bring back the death penalty. The Tutsis will have to learn the difficult, but not inherently painful, lesson of minding their own business.
Being governed by Hutus is deeply, profoundly, and inherently repugnant to Tutsis. The Tutsis, to be pacified thoroughly and stably, will need their own sub-regime, with social practices (like chemically castrating children) that horrify the Hutus. Of course, Hutus are quite uninterested in being forcibly converted to Tutsism, but this will not be a problem under any Hutu Power regime worthy of the name.
Also, one social problem is that, since heredity is not an exact science, many human beings are born as Hutus or even Pygmies, who might just work out better as Tutsis. While this caste mobility must be tolerated and carefully managed, it is also desirable for the Hutus and Pygmies to have their own culturally traditional meritocracies.
Above all: the Tutsi regime of Paul Kagame prospered stably by (a) totally defeating their enemies, and then (b) treating them fairly. This is not a new idea:
Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento;
hae tibi erunt artes; pacisque imponere morem,
parcere subiectis, et debellare superbos.
“To impose the ways of peace, to show mercy to the conquered, to subdue the proud.” Mr. Rufo: maybe think less about the Constitution, and more about the Roman Empire. After all, there is no tradition more American than larping the Romans. Why do you think our Senators speak between a pair of fasces? But if you must have an African fetish… President Kagame will do. (Maybe his daughter could marry Barron Trump.)