Came across this Friends, Enemies, and the Anti-Christian Right
Wow this is quite a searing indictment of libertarianism, sociological theory, and historical materialism.
He lumps a lot of groups as the enemy:
The latter is primarily made up of libertarians, Silicon Valley technocrats and transhumanists, “Blood and Soil” paleoconservatives like Ann Coulter and the late Sam Francis, as well as the White nationalists who comprise the “Alt Right.”
I always assumed that paleoconservatives are natural allies of the Christian-right, and in many respects are interchangeable.
Paleoconservatives such as Ron Paul, who is a Christian, oppose the very slavery, fascism, and subjugation the author decries. That’s what his whole opposition to the Iraq War was about.
This social Darwinism expresses itself as a crude form of Nietzschean nihilism that emphasizes extreme competition, domination, the desirability of rigid social hierarchies for their own sake, and a fetish for hero worship directed toward the Carlyean “great men of history.”
Contrary to popular myth, Nietzsche opposed slavery and domination. The master-slave morality is about adopting attributes of the master to free oneself from subjugation.
One can observe this impulse throughout the intellectual currents of our contemporary right-wing Anti-Christian Coalition. You can see it in the Libertarian insistence on the reduction of all human relationships to the level of commodities which can be traded and exchanged based on rationally determined self interest. You can see it in the futuristic fantasies of Silicon Valley billionaires and their retinue of sycophants and hangers on who imagine themselves as budding aristocrats destined to usher in a glorious new era of techno-feudalism and slavery. You can see it in the claims and assertions of the crypto-eugenist IQ fetishists and “Socio-biologists” who seek to reduce the total value of human life down to a standardized test score. Finally, you can see it in the incoherent rantings of American White nationalists who seek to reduce the living tradition of the European continent and its peoples down into such farcical and reified concepts as “whiteness” or “western civilization,” which can then be cast into pagan idols and worshipped as gods.
I sorta understand where the author is coming from but the position is untenable and unsupported by reality. Invocations of slavery and subjugation suggests intentionality, but such hierarchies arise naturally and spontaneously. You take a group of people and they will arrange themselves by some sort of hierarchy, whether it’s physical dominance , seniority, expertise and or meritocracy. IQ explains why some people, countries, groups are more successful than others. Is it the only explanation? No, but it’s an important factor and his implications for policy such as immigration. Economics is not about the justification serfdom, but about the allocation of scarce resources. ‘Social theory’ is the study of how people organize themselves into groups and societies based on culture, race, ideology, and other factors. There is no value system being imposed in studying these things. HBD is positive in terms of being explanatory more so than prescriptive. Most HBD bloggers don’t even talk about eugenics or advocate for it; rather, it’s about how IQ explains naturally occurring social phenomena. It’s not anti-Christian to study these things, and many members of the Christian-nationalist right such has Vox Day know IQ is important and a predictor of individual and societal outcomes. No one is trying to reduce everyone to a test score; rather, the test score explains why some individuals are more successful than others due to the underlying factor, that being IQ.
The author also lumps the alt-right with white nationalists and white supremacists, but many on the alt-right are neither. If African Americans and Hispanics are allowed to flaunt pride, why shouldn’t whites. All I ask for is consistency. And it’s not racist to merely observe that some individuals, cultures, and civilizations are more successful than others, and that race is perhaps one of many variables for explaining such disparities of outcomes.
Here’s the author’s proposed alternative:
Standing opposite this grotesque impulse are those men who are the bearers of the Christian political and theological tradition which, though diverse and ranging from the practitioners of Natural Law theory like Michael Anton and Francis Hittinger to integralists like Harvard’s Adrian Vermeule, and even open reactionaries like Joseph De Maistre stands united by a singular unifying principle: that of the Imago Dei. It is a principle which states absolutely that all human beings—regardless of race, sex, intelligence or social class—share in the same divine image and are of equal worth, regardless of how much this image may be temporarily obscured in any particular case by sin.
This foundational principle alters how the Christian tradition understands authority and hierarchy themselves and represents a complete and irreconcilable break with the old hierarchies of the pagan world which the Anti-Christian Right has, consciously or not, attempted to ape. In this perverse conception of authority there are masters and there are slaves, ubermensch and untermensch, lions and lambs, and the latter are but natural prey to feed the virility and advance the will to power of the former.
Except that this is not empirically true. Not everyone is of equal value/worth to society. Is a scientist who cures cancer or a businessman who creates thousands of jobs as valuable or of ‘equal worth’ as a janitor. Maybe in a divine or idealistic sense, which I think is what the author is getting at, perhaps, but in terms of quantifiable economic value, no. For a society to function it needs people of varying ability, and this, for better or worse, makes inequality a necessity.
Furthermore, this blind appeal to egalitarianism explains America and Europe’s immigration problem and irreversible demographic change. In response to a begging Canaanite woman, Jesus said “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs,” which can be interpreted to mean that a resource that is scarce should be prioritized, but furthermore, that not all living things are equal, implying hierarchy. Generosity to migrants and immigrants may gratify one’s sense of moral righteousness, but is it fair to prioritize beggars over one’s own family, in the case of the US, the family being the posterity?
The author, erroneously, invokes the excluded middle fallacy in equating all hierarchies with slavery and predation, and espouses a reductionist oppressed versus oppressor narrative, that, ironically enough, is isomorphic to the reductionist bourgeoisie versus proletariat narrative of atheist social scientist Karl Marx. Not all hierarchies are forceful and coercive but but rather are voluntary through labor and commerce. An employee voluntarily enters himself to a hierarchical system by working under a boss, and in exchange is paid for his time. Even in hunter-gatherer societies that have no conceptualization of libertarianism, the exchange of one’s time and labor for resources also occurs, but rather food instead of money, and instead of such an exchange being voluntary, it out of necessary, because for the consequences of exile, starving, or even being killed are worse.
As discussed in this blog post Social Hierarchy in the Christian Tradition, social hierarchy and inequality are compatible with Christianity, and the author gives examples from philosophers and statesmen such as Aquinas. Calvin, Hooker, and Winthrop. From the Bible, John chapter 12. Verse 8, “The poor you will ALWAYS have with you,” Jesus concedes that there will always be inequality. It’s not a normative statement that inequality is good, but that no matter how society tries rectify it, it will always exist.
Overall, disagree with the implication being that anyone on the right who doesn’t subscribe to the author’s narrow scope of ideology and mortality condones and or is complicit in the tyranny and subjugation of others. His understanding of libertarianism is wrong, and he does not understand, to quote Jordan Peterson, that hierarchies are founded on competence, not corrosion and power imbalances, and if they aren’t, then they should be.