P. Hitchens’s war against BNP continues

(Note: in this entry, see my discussion of what P. Hitchens means by the “racial bigotry” to which he says the BNP is “indissolubly wedded” through its constitution; and see Sage McLaughlin’s expansion on the same point. Also be sure to see my December 2007 entry, “P. Hitchens: if you think race matters, you’re not a civilized human being.”)

Philip M., an amiable and witty fellow whose devilish horns and evil tendencies I haven’t yet detected, writes from England:

Sometimes being in the BNP is like being kicked repeatedly in the head by people as they castigate you for your violence (actually it is increasingly likely that that will be literally true one day). I suppose it is interesting that Peter Hitchens felt the need to return to his blog about the BNP a third time, but the dishonest and ridiculous stance he takes has made me lose all regard for someone whom I once admired and whose books I earnestly respected. For a “traditionalist” to espouse the open-ended colonisation of our land by third-world races and cultures, to believe that he can somehow create a multi-racial version of old, European-stocked, Christian England is to be guilty of the very “unreason” he accuses the BNP of. We commit a cardinal sin by daring to notice that races exist and that they are very obviously different, and that nowhere in History, Science or the teachings of his own religion has this truth been contradicted.

In his recent piece on the election of Barack Obama he lamented the influence of the immigrant vote to the Democrats, and the fact that this will change America, but like all true race-deniers he must not draw the obvious conclusions about his own land, where Islamic immigrants, and others are being used as a battering ram to destroy the very foundations of our race and culture. He must, like Nelson, do the decent, moral thing and hold up the telescope to his blind eye and thus knowingly collude in a Marxist-manufactured state lie.

And then, right at the end, Hitchens lets the mask slip just a little as he feels the need to telegraph something important to any left-wingers who have not got the subtle message-

“I am however most grateful to the pro-BNP contributors for their hostility, and for establishing that they are sensitive to criticism from me, and do not like it. My other enemies, on the left, will now never be able to say I did not stand up to this thing, or allege that I am in some way sympathetic to the BNP. And I will also know for certain that, every time I attack the BNP, it will do a little bit of damage to the BNP cause. ”

Ah, so that was it. Hitchens has carefully staked out the limits of “acceptable” traditionalism, and is assuring his ideological minders to the left of him that he will not stray further in these tense times. This article will be his “get out of jail” card should the police come tumbling through his door at four in the morning.

He is lying. They are all lying. In “The return of the Living Dead,” one of the best zombie films, a character responds to the suggestion that they kill the zombies by pointing out “but how do we kill someone that’s already dead?”

It’s a good question.

LA replies:

Here is the core of Hitchens’s argument:

“[The BNP] is still wedded indissolubly, through its constitution, to specific racial bigotry, an invariable symptom of unreason.”

What he means by “racial bigotry” is simply the belief that Britain ought to be remain a white country, with a population recognizably like its historic population. Thus anyone who resists the racial transformation of Britain into a wholly different country is by definition bigoted and irrational. (It’s like the Darwinists saying that anyone who doubts Darwinism is irrational.) Hitchens is an extreme racial liberal, yet he imagines himself to be a traditionalist conservative.

Second, the tone of the column as a whole is very low, just a lot of abuse directed at those who defend the BNP.

On another point, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with staking out acceptable limits. That’s what leadership is. The question is not whether there should be limits, but what the limits should be. As I said the other day, Hitchens doesn’t have to support BNP, but for him to treat as his special enemy the only organized group in Britain that stands against the leftist multicultural destruction of England only strengthens the left that he supposedly opposes. I think anyone who wants mainstream British politics to move right, as Hitchens says he does, should want the BNP to do well, as that will have the effect of getting the more respectable types to move right. To eliminate the BNP as a force, which is what Hitchens wants, only solidifies the rule of the Tory-Labor-Independent Party.

As I see it, the Hitchens brothers are looking less like the evil and the stupid, and more like the evil and the evil.

Sage McLaughlin writes:

I have to write you again to express my gratitude that you’ve taken up this issue of Hitchens and the BNP.

When I first read that repeated riff of his that he’s dead set against the BNP because their constitution is tainted by a commitment to “racial bigotry,” I thought at first that there must be some lingering anti-Semitic turn of phrase or Article in it that I wasn’t yet aware of. But I discovered, as you say, that by “bigotry” he simply means explicit rejection of the de-whiting of Britain. In other words, the BNP remain non-liberals on matters of race and culture, and that’s the one truly unforgivable political crime in modern Western society.

The Brits’ special obsession with anti-racism is something that simply oozes—no, gushes—from their media, from the pens of their intellectuals, absolutely everywhere that they express themselves in words. Americans simply have no idea how pervasive it is, because they don’t read much British print media and they don’t watch much of its visual entertainment. I once read an “arch conservative” British strategist named Colin Gray refer to “personing” a weapon rather than “manning” it; Americans simply have no idea what geldings these people are. They also don’t realize the extent to which the British conception of itself as superior to benighted Americans is founded on their belief that America is particularly and incurably retrograde in its racial attitudes—note for example Hitchens’s not-infrequent reference to America as “the most segregated country in the Western world,” as if Britons under current conditions would not eagerly segregate themselves if their country was one foot larger than a smallish American state.

I’m glad also that you’ve expressed my own thought lately that one of the reasons for the left’s success is precisely because they never, ever condemn those to their left in serious terms. They understand majoritarian politics so much more clearly than do contemporary conservatives. Your strategy is the correct one—whether you agree with the BNP in all its particulars, it at least is politically willing and able to address serious questions that the Tories are unwilling or unable to address. Accepting them as a part of a conservative, rightist coalition does not mean surrendering oneself to any and all of its “excesses,” if excesses they be. But men like Hitchens would rather see the left absolutely dominant, totally unchallenged, than to see any part of the right infected with a belief in the preservation of Britain’s historic stock.

When I was in college, my leftist professors would describe extreme leftist radicals of their acquaintance not with a condemnatory sense of regret, but rather with a bemused twinkle in their eyes—“Oh, yes, Dr. So-and-So is a true believer,” they would smile, when describing an unreconstructed Stalinist who denied or even embraced the Ukrainian famine, or who angrily ranted about the rightness of the leftists in the Spanish Civil War, or who took their students on propaganda trips through Castro’s Cuba. “Yeah, he’s a real character,” they would chuckle. Eric Hobsbawm is “a little out there on some issues, maybe” and Eric Alterman speaks “in somewhat exaggerated terms.” But certainly no purges, not even any enemies to the left.

If Hitchens thinks that such casual ruthlessness on the part of leftists can be defeated by empty rhetoric punctuated by dainty curtsies to their most cherished left-wing orthodoxies, he’s sorely mistaken.

James N. writes:

The Frum column is another example of excessive fear of the right, which we just corresponded about the other day.

Frum’s major complaint, if you boil it all down, is that unless he can turn people away from Wilders by sarcasm and shaming, he might acquire real political power by democratic means.

Can’t have that. Wouldn’t be prudent.

What are the phonycons so afraid of?

* * *

Recent other entries on the BNP are here, here, and here.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 06, 2009 11:40 AM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):