A former liberal de-conditions himself

Russell W. writes:

I’ve been reading VFR for several months now, and I find nowadays that I do not disagree with much of anything you write.

Recently, I somehow came across the Ben Domenech posts from 2003 where he seemed to coin the term “evilcon” (I was wondering where that came from), and was amused to find that it was in reference to your article about America’s European heritage.

I say “amused” because the irrational and rhetorically dishonest stands he takes in those posts (e.g., portraying any cognizance of race and its implications as synonymous with Nazi ideology and other such aggressive misreadings, the ridiculously rosy picture he paints of the American dream and model of society as being equally attainable, regardless of culture and heritage, etc.) is most likely exactly how I would have sounded several years ago.

I would have seen phrases like “white Americans” used unironically and the hairs on the back of my neck would have stood up in the kind of basic threat reaction that signaled I would have to either scoff or be outraged.

I realize now how conditioned we are in 21st century America never to admit into our conscious minds these kinds of thoughts. And I use the term “conditioned” advisedly, as it has become a kind of subconscious imperative, necessary as such precisely because it doesn’t make much sense when examined.

LA replies:

Thanks much for this. You’re absolutely right. We are standing against the most fundamental moral conviction of our time, the belief that any notion that race matters is the ultimate evil. But the reason I’m hopeful is that the liberal ideology is so false it can’t survive. Consider the change in your own point of view. What was “horrible” to you a few years ago, you now regard as being, well, a normal facet of reality. (This sounds like, but is actually the opposite of, the nihilism of the general culture, which progressively normalizes truly evil things.)

Also, while it’s possible that Ben Domenich (whose name, given his pre-occupation with evil, should perhaps be spelled “Demonich”) invented “evil-con” or “evilcon” independently in 2003 to attack me, the term was actually coined by Steve Sailer in 2002, as he explained in an article at vdare:

In February 2002, after I was attacked by Jonah Goldberg because I “concentrate on genetic questions“ (the horror, the horror!), I joked:

“Everybody’s got to have a label these days: neocon, paleocon, whatever. But I’m not sure that mine is working out. A few years ago in National Review, John O’Sullivan described Charles Murray and myself as the first ‘evolutionary conservatives’—i.e., conservatives who actually know something about the science of human nature. ‘Cool,’ I thought. Still, this ‘evolcon’ label has not proven a good career move for Chas and me. That’s ‘evolcon,’ not ‘evilcon,’ dammit!”

Ironically, while Sailer seemed to coin evilcon in order not to be thought of as an evilcon, I was the person who actually was called one.

After I shared this information with Mr. Sailer, he wrote back: “It’s a joke based on John O’Sullivan’s term “evolcon” for Charles Murray and me. Then Ben Domenech, I gather, came up with it on his own.”

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 25, 2006 11:25 AM | Send

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