Toward a beige future

Update: They removed the slander on Vance. But it will happen again. There is clearly a strong demand for this judging by the reaction of liberal Twitter. End update


The Washington Post:

As border controls tighten, though, the links between pronatalism and nativism have once again become visible. Inspired by Steve King’s admiring remark about Geert Wilders, Ayla Stewart, creator of a popular white nationalist blog called Wife with a Purpose, issued a “white baby challenge” that went viral in alt-right circles; the mother of six asked audience members “to have as many white babies as I have contributed.” Meanwhile, as replacement discourse enters the conservative mainstream, talk of birthrates comes along with it. “Our people aren’t having enough children to replace themselves. That should bother us,” J.D. Vance, author of the best-selling “Hillbilly Elegy,” told his audience at the National Conservatism Conference last month; earlier this year, he described himself as “appalled” by Democrats’ permissive attitudes toward abortion. Vance did not spell out exactly who was included in the word “our.” He didn’t need to.”

As I have noted on this weblog Vance’s wife is South Indian, his son is mixed-race. He also recently converted to Roman Catholicism. His life is a literal reflection of cosmopolitanism.

This piece goes into a long line of thinking whereby liberals think that they can infer things about conservatives. But the reality is many liberals don’t have the cultural competencies to do so. It’s like non-Muslims trying to understand the idioms and signs within Muslim subculture. We’d all acknowledge that something beyond what you might read in a newspaper is probably important in this case. But American liberals and conservatives don’t give each other this benefit of the doubt. Conservatives are racist. Liberals are socialists. You know what they really think….

(I strongly suspect most liberals have a model where white conservatives can’t marry and have children with non-white people, so the writer and publication didn’t bother to check)

33 Replies to “Toward a beige future”

  1. May I posit that if someone claiming to be conservative is OK with interracial marriage, and OK with religious pluralism, then they are not conservative in the true sense.

    What remains of their conservatism if the fundamental beliefs are negotiable?

    1. Scorpion Eater,

      I don’t know your background. Have you only lived outside India or traveled outside India for short periods of time if at all?

      I have never heard your definition of “conservative” before? Can you elaborate?

      I think the phrases “left”, “liberal”, “moderate”, and “conservative” are now meaningless.

      How would you define “heterodox” or the Intellectual Dark Web?

      1. Anan, my definition of conservative is quite literal. These are the people who want to conserve. They want to conserve the existing order of things. They are reluctant to change things.

        In western europe and north american context, where the existing order of things was a generally white and christian population, and a centuries old tradition of free market economy and democracy, the desire to preserve the same will be called conservatism.

        It is interesting to note that the coup attempt which was made against Gorbachev in 1991 to preserve soviet union was led by hard line communists who were known as “conservatives”. They were the people who had lived their entire lives under communism, and couldn’t imagine a life under “radical” system of democracy and market capitalism.

        In this sense I agree with razib that conservatism is a disposition, not a set of propositions. But the subject of this post has changed his religion and entered into an interracial marriage. These are the acts of the reaching out to the “other” side. To me this is not like being conservatives.

        1. Scorpion Eater,

          The definition of conservatives wanting to conserve has never applied to America. Maybe this applies outside America in certain other contexts.

          Look forward to hearing your perspectives on America. It would be useful to have a slight understanding of Americans and America to make observations about America.

    2. Vance comes from a culture (American) that is hegemonic, world-spanning, and desirable. Even if he was concerned with the conservation of American culture, he doesn’t have to marry a White, because his culture will go on and thrive regardless.

      1. this is not necessarily a full-reading. vance has a strong subcultural identity. the version of ‘america’ that is presented to the world and perpetuates itself is very different from hill-country crackers.

        with his eduation, marriage and conversion to catholicism, he probably has made sure his descendants are not part of that culture, which is strongly rooted in place and milieu.

      2. I am sick of all the times I have not stood up for people being piled on. I like Vance. Let me repeat. I respect, admire and like Vance. Is that clear? {Learned this method of formulation from Glenn Loury :-)}

        HM Brough wrote:
        “Vance comes from a culture (American) that is hegemonic, world-spanning, and desirable.”

        American culture is universalist. It is not hegemonic. The same applies for Indian culture and eastern philosophy writ large.

        “Even if he was concerned with the conservation of American culture”
        I am concerned with the conservation, vibrancy and evolution of American culture. Maybe more concerned than Vance is.

        “he doesn’t have to marry a White, because his culture will go on and thrive regardless.”

        This is a quintessentially un-American comment. America is about . . . . AMERICA. America is not based on race, religion, creed. America is based on universalist aspirational ideals and character.

        America is not just Vance’s culture. It is the culture of every American. Including Asian Americans, muslim Americans, Hindu/Buddhist Americans.

        I miss Ronald Reagan and the 1980s. The idea that America did not transcend all races, nationalities, ethnicities, religions, philosophies, psychologies was not a thing in the eighties.

        +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

        GS wrote:

        “The US does have a blood and soil nativism. It has receded from the limelight but there is a fairly nontrivial fraction that thinks that a non-white America just wouldn’t be America.
        This is difficult to prove but all polling data on socially controversial view points is similarly difficult.”

        I think they represent an extremely small percentage of America’s population. I have never met any American like this. I know many Vets and soldiers. All of them would be horrified by blood and soil nativism. I have second hand heard of a few people like this. All of them were “LOONS” and posed no threat.

        Some less educated poorer caucasian males talk in a politically incorrect manner. However they don’t represent a threat.

        Only people with high degrees of mental health and intelligence “might” pose a threat. I know of no American with a high degree of mental health and intelligence that believes in “blood and soil nativism”. Ergo no threat.

  2. LOL. Today was a dull day; you made my day.

    Mine was actually a genuine question, arising out of genuine curiosity. I was seriously asking how do *you* define conservatism. What is the core set of beliefs that constitute conservatism in your book?

    1. I was seriously asking how do *you* define conservatism. What is the core set of beliefs that constitute conservatism in your book?

      anglo-american conservatism has a lineage back to burke. british conservatism is distinct from american conservatism, since american conservatism is by origin classical liberal (no “throne & altar” faction).

      if you care, read Conservatism: An Anthology of Social and Political Thought From David Hume to the Present.

      if you don’t care, don’t comment on this topic again.

      (the aphorism is that conservatism is a disposition, not a set of propositions)

      1. Burke and David Hume? Awe.

        Few people understand them anymore.

        “conservatism is a disposition, not a set of propositions”
        Agreed.

        Where in the current global set up do “globalists” and “internationalists” fit? {I think only European Enlightenment classical liberal and Eastern philosophy.}

    2. Scorpian Eater, I have long term friendships with many self described “leftists” and “liberals” and “conservatives” A case can be made that many “conservatives” are more leftist than many “leftists” I know. A case can be made that many “leftists” are more conservative than many “conservatives” I know.

      Irshad Manji (see the prior BP post) has just written a book about how we need to stop almost all labeling.

      If I “HAD” to label I would use to following:
      —Islamist
      —conservative non Islamist culturally muslim
      —European Enlightenment classical liberalism (which in many ways is a subset of Eastern philosophy)
      —Eastern philosophy
      —post modernists cultural marxist
      —Christian-ist (few in number and shrinking; most Christians are de facto joining other categories)
      —other stuff (Native American is similar to Eastern philosophy in many ways, African folk)
      —“very confused and mixed up”

      The vast majority of the world’s population is “very confused and mixed up.”

      To even have a coherent integrated understanding of the world requires a high degree of mental health (broadly defined) and intelligence (broadly defined). I think it is better to focus on these two and let the rest sort itself out.

      1. easier heuristic:

        1) who is against me? i am against them
        2) who is for me? i am for them

        the rest is commentary. argue about principles and politics after the war has been won.

  3. Here to make a fool of myself:

    “This piece goes into a long line of thinking whereby liberals think that they can infer things about conservatives.”

    Vance works for Thiel. Thiel gave money to Drumpf. Therefore Vance is evil.

    It’s a good enough syllogism for liberals to work as rule of thumb.

    Something like that can be applied to people that receive money from the Koch Bros or Rupert Murdoch.

    1. Ray from Mexico:

      :LOL:

      Know you are cracking a joke. It is nuts that people don’t see Thiel as Thiel. Thiel has been one of the most famous people in Silicon Valley since the 1990s. He is an IDW heterodox who is always looking for new technologies and special people that can change the world. Thiel is extremely intelligent and cannot be put into ordinary categories. Very different from Trump for example.

      To change the topic, can you provide psychological philosophical categories from a Mexican perspective?

      Mexico clearly has at least 4:
      —European Enlightenment classical liberalism
      —post modernists cultural marxist
      —Christian-ist (rapidly shrinking)
      —Tiny number of native American spiritualists (who probably have something in common with eastern philosophy)

      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      I would also be very curious to hear a unique hybrid Mexican/internationalist perspective on:
      https://www.brownpundits.com/2019/08/27/is-it-time-for-asian-americans-and-latino-americans-to-ask-to-be-considered-white-c/

  4. Its not uncommon for white-nationalists/racists to be married to non-white (usually Asian) women. They don’t see it as a contradiction, often, its seen as a symbol of racial conquest.

    1. Yup, this is notable phenomenon among White men – Asian women relationships in the US. There’s even a subculture of sorts (Hapas), where kids have all sorts of issues because their dads are racist.

      “They don’t see it as a contradiction, often, its seen as a symbol of racial conquest.”

      Just like Mughals.

    2. This is trolling designed to trigger offense.

      Indthings knows that many of our (Deshi, Asian) female family members and friends marry caucasians.

      Obviously the claim is 10,000% dead wrong.

    3. Its not uncommon for white-nationalists/racists to be married to non-white (usually Asian) women.

      you’re being a fucking moron. you share a lot more with hindu nationalists than you might think.

      ‘not uncommon.’ really? moron.

      did you and kabir switch brains?

      (also, they’re saying this guy with a mixed-race kid is promoting white genocide fucking moron)

      1. I think he’s just saying that you can’t conclude with certainty that a White man in the US is not racist solely because they are married to an Asian woman. Doesn’t mean that Vance is racist, but just that the argument isn’t a conclusive one by itself.

        1. I think he’s just saying that you can’t conclude with certainty that a White man

          no shit sherlock. what kind of idiot are you? i assume you’d taken stats.

          unless we’re talking math shut the fuck up about ‘certainty.’

          there ARE various types of supremacists/racists in mixed relationships. these are very rare. your base rate is very rare. pointing out that “well, there are some nazis who married jews and had kids with them” does not speak to any nontrivial probability.

          i have a IRL hindu nationalist friend married to a woman of muslim background who has a child with her. would the asshole troll respond kindly if i brought this up as if was “not uncommon”? it’s pretty fucking rare. interesting, but rare, and tells us not too much.

          we most a lot of the instances that this happens because it’s salient, not because it’s informative of a pattern.

          1. “i have a IRL hindu nationalist friend married to a woman of muslim background who has a child with her. would the asshole troll respond kindly if i brought this up as if was “not uncommon”? it’s pretty fucking rare. interesting, but rare, and tells us not too much.”

            I know of many muslim/Hindu marriages and long term relationships that might turn into marriages. Most of these long term relationships don’t materialize into marriage.

            It is not exactly rare. Shah Rukh Khan married a Hindu.

            I don’t know what a Hindu nationalist is. What I can say is any Hindu marrying a muslim is almost certainly pro muslim. And any muslim marrying a Hindu who does not convert as part of the marriage is a pretty liberal muslim (likely Sufi Hindu Buddhist Taoist liberal or agnostic tilted) who likes Hindus.

            The only red flag is if one spouse insists on hard conversion (versus nominal conversion merely for the marriage ceremony) and if the Hindu female starts dressing and behaving more conservatively post marriage.

            Otherwise, this is totally normal behavior and not something that the RSS/Hinduttva crowd worries about. In fact they might encourage it because they are eager to add more muslim cadre to their ranks.

            The hard right in India commonly worship at Dargahs and generally see the Sufis and Shia as allies.

  5. The US does have a blood and soil nativism. It has receded from the limelight but there is a fairly nontrivial fraction that thinks that a non-white America just wouldn’t be America.
    This is difficult to prove but all polling data on socially controversial view points is similarly difficult.

    How do we get an estimate for the accurate size of this nativist population?

  6. LoL. Obviously this post hasn’t gone well. it hasn’t elicited the kind of comments razib would have liked. He has already lashed out at most of the commenters as f**ing idiots, myself included.

    razib, go easy on the folks around here. towering intellectuals like me 😉 can take these gibes in their stride, but lesser mortals will just crumble..

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