Identity in America

On Critical Race Theory and Cultural Pluralism

The Right expects a little bit too much from its public figures. Modern information warfare has fundamentally changed the risk calculation, and we must consider this when levying criticism. As a public figure, there are things you cannot say, not only because they will be used tactically against the movement, but also because they will be used to target your family. As we see public figures take on the driving institutional narrative, we must keep in mind that every tool serves a different purpose, and not every general fights in every battle. The role for anons is to say what public figures can’t, but still support them. The role for public figures is to support anons for saying what they can’t. It is a reciprocal relationship. 

Thanks to his successful efforts in fighting Critical Race Theory (CRT) through his writing and political activism, Christopher Rufo has become a well-known public figure on the Right. CRT has become the primary battleground for the debate over American culture and identity. Clips of Rufo attacking the ideology on the basis that it seeks to use race as a means of moral, social and political revolution, have been dominating right-wing social media for weeks. Yet Rufo not only catches flack from leftist opponents like Marc Lamont Hill and Joy Reid, but also from the dissident Right, mostly for not being as quite ‘on the nose’ as they’d prefer regarding CRT’s anti-white nature. But as few people including former White House speechwriter Darren Beattie have suggested, there is a middle ground between Rufo and his right-wing critics worth exploring. Ironically, this is rooted in cultural relativism. 

Foundations of Cultural Pluralism 

The human race is comprised of a plurality of sub-populations. Each sub-population is characterized by 1) Genealogy, 2) Language, and 3) Local Environment. Let’s think of each as a ‘family-writ large’. With our family, we share a genealogical bloodline, a common language, and a local environment, all of which contribute majorly to our identity. Sure, people can move away from their homeland, or learn a different language, but this necessarily comes at the cost of identity. This variety of sub-populations is fundamentally what makes us resilient as a species.

Cultural Pluralism describes the notion that an organically-developing plurality of cultures allows for the most refined, most adapted, and therefore most resilient human societies to develop. This entails an appreciation for the particularity of a people and their individual culture, physiology, and environmental niche. The cultural pluralist sees human populations as comprising a rich and organic mosaic. He loves his own culture, and he understands why others love theirs. For beauty is universal, but it is also particular.

This perspective begins with the acknowledgment that human biodiversity is undeniably real, and plays a major role in identity and group affiliation. We are born into a genealogical lineage that carries with it a physical connection to our organic past. Embracing this connection aligns us with our ancestors and roots us as individuals within a group. This supersedes any intangible and non-physical designation, such as political, national, or religious affiliation.  

Language also plays a fundamental role in identity, as it provides the basis for cooperation and cultural refinement through the development of the arts. Each language carries with it an inherent cultural identity. 

Lastly, the third major factor that shapes identity, is local environment. Over time, and in a balance of nature vs nurture, we physically adapt to our environment. We evolve to retain particular amounts of fat and muscle mass, repel local diseases, and even process information in a way that is optimized for our local environment. Even our culture is shaped by it. For example, rituals and religious traditions are very much shaped by the availability of specific natural resources, local climate conditions, and present animal species. 

It is through this cultural pluralist lens that I will attempt to dissect the role and strategic significance of identity in America. 

‘White’ in America

It is absolutely necessary to understand that ‘white’ is a socially constructed identity. It is a category of the mind, and insofar as that classification is accepted, ‘whites’ are doomed to fail in any strategic sense. The intelligence community has already labeled ‘white supremacist violence’ as the greatest threat to America. Although this seems preposterous at first, you should take them at their word because they mean what they say. This isn’t ‘your’ America, it’s theirs. The intelligence community is in charge of running operations that advance a narrative to strategically reshape America into an open-air labor and consumption camp at the behest of a powerful and international elite who view white identitarianism as a threat to their agenda. We’re exactly one step away from the government characterizing Your Favorite Political Commentator as a domestic [REDACTED]. The Right needs to internalize that it is Friends vs Enemies all the way down. 

Broadly speaking, the international elites regard all nativist and populist movements around the world as threats to their agenda. This is why they target Bolsonaro in Brazil, Orban in Hungary, Putin in Russia, and even Modi in India. Did you see that Twitter headline about the ‘Brazilian George Floyd’?

Unfortunately, rejecting the classification of ‘white’ will only get you so far. You can claim you’re not ‘white’ as loudly as you want, but their classification overrules your self-identification while participating in their systems; whether it be the military, corporation, or university. Strategically, this is why a more pragmatic approach that is sensitive to the realpolitik dynamic, is required. This is unfortunate for maintaining intellectual consistency as this definition of identity will not properly root the individual, but anything that can be shoved down the throat of this behemoth is worth trying.

It is a mistake to think that identitarianism is not a solution. In fact, it might be the only solution. Both the far-Right and the far left agree on this. While it is true that we should emphasize a shared national identity, we must acknowledge that national identity takes a backseat to individual identity. National identity is just one facet of local environment, and clearly not enough to provide a meaningful identity. The winning coalition must be multiracial with a subordinate identity of ‘American’ that provides the basis for all groups to openly celebrate their particular culture. Any surface-level unity through national identity must emerge outwards from an individual identity that respects the particularity of other cultures. After all, how could you truly respect another culture if you don’t love your own? 

The problem with trying to think about American identity as superordinate is that many if not most Americans (especially younger Americans) actually hate America. There is no shared American identity; no mandatory military service, no coming of age ceremony, no group bonding experiences. The ‘American’ identity has to be subordinate to individual ‘families-writ large’. 

The problems in the ‘melting pot’ of America can be clearly understood when viewed through a cultural pluralist lens. Through homogenization, immigrating populations have effectively severed their physical, genealogical, and cultural roots to their homeland. This results in a tangible amount of psychological and physical stress as individual populations are unable to carry on ancestral traditions that characterize their identity. We’re now taught that ‘America is an idea’. Well, if severing roots is the basis of the idea, it’s masochistic. Every day in the news you see populations lash out in a variety of ways as they are further colonized by this ‘idea’. As a lesser-known German idealist once said, “When a people are entirely colonized — losing their language and ability to trace their genealogy, they become a dead people and a conquered nation.”

One may be tempted towards the hardliner position of ‘white’ identitarianism, but this is incoherent for a number of reasons. What exactly is ‘white’ American culture? You could trace it back to the founding fathers, to the frontier, to space exploration, then to the development of technology, to social engineering, and to corporatism; but ultimately, it ends with globalism. ‘White’ Americans have been thoroughly colonized and deracinated by Enlightenment philosophy, the development of technology, and the worship of global markets, resulting in a ‘white’ identity crisis. One starts to sound like a leftist when addressing this topic, but that isn’t necessarily surprising, because leftists are more often correct about the effects that markets and philosophy have on identity than the Right. If you don’t know your family’s specific genealogy, you’ve had your identity stolen. Sadly, this is the case for many ‘white’ Americans. 

Rootless individuals are more susceptible to social engineering as they have nothing that grounds them within reality. Since they feel no responsibility to carry on tradition, renounce their religion, and refuse to engage with reality on a genealogical level, they are adrift at sea. In the post-Enlightenment reductive materialist world, we are not only stripped of our culture, but trained to renounce it because it makes us easier to control.  

Marxism and Critical Race Theory 

A confusing, but mildly successful strategy on the Right has been connecting CRT to Marxism. However, CRT has almost nothing to do with Marxism, Socialism, Communism, Marcuse or the Frankfurt School. If you think that the people protesting and looting across America, or the lady lecturing you from HR, are ‘trained Marxists’, then you are genuinely delusional. Big brain takes like these are pure sophistry and obscure the reality of our ideological enemy. Even when clearly articulated, this sounds like an unhinged conspiracy theory. It has proven effective in mobilizing some Boomers against CRT, but it will fail miserably in penetrating the military, corporations, or universities. It’s actually more likely to backfire in spectacular fashion as the system incorporates the criticism in true Marcusian fashion. It is critical to understand that CRT/[REDACTED] and other empathy-driven social engineering psychological operations are the most effective geopolitical tool that the West has. 

This brings us to our next point: Strategically blaming ‘woke whites’ for CRT and other ideological atrocities is a cynical, cowardly, and calculated low-blow. ‘Woke whites’ are clearly a small minority of the coalition who supports these policies. The question thus becomes: if you don’t have the courage to name the other larger and more influential groups directing and participating in it, why exactly do you feel empowered to target ‘whites’? If the only way to speak out against CRT in polite society is to scapegoat ‘whites’ for it, strategically, it would be preferable to just keep CRT.

In the mid to long-term, it is a tactical misstep to link CRT to Marxism; Most of Marx’s critiques of the capitalist system were actually accurate. In fact, they’re even more apparent now in late-stage capitalism than they were during his time. Once again, the far-Right and far left would be in agreement. CRT is more related to ethnic cleansing than it is to Marxism.

The Cost of Global Homogenization and the Fruits of Cultural Pluralism 

The homogenizing and universalist force of the unholy combination of Enlightenment philosophy with technology and global markets destroys local culture as it erases language, tradition, and identity by imposing a sterile monoculture that robs local populations of hard-earned refinement. Fundamentally, this makes us less resilient as a species as it is the differences between us that provide cultural and physical depth to populations and humanity as a whole. 

Individuals organically gather in communities. They form greater societal, cultural, and physical arrangements through harmony and understanding. This ‘harmony’ is achieved through refinement. It is not something to be ‘overcome’. Cultural pluralism is a natural coalition against the homogenization that Rufo, the dissident Right, and even the far left are fighting against.

We should cherish the uniqueness of particular cultures while remaining loyal and committed to our own. Our identity is not an idea. It is rooted in physical reality. Insofar as we can align our identity with our organic past and orient it towards a shared cultural future, we can embrace a natural harmony that directly leads to happiness, fulfillment, and the ability to flourish.

Present Witness is an investor, and threat analyst providing analysis through an economic lens.

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