A partially apostate Randian argues that race and other collective entities matter

The Randian commenter madmax, whom I have referred to from time to time, has been persuaded by the traditionalist understanding that groups matter in certain ways, and thus has become critical of his fellow Randians, who, of course, deny that groups matter at all and say that anyone who believes that they do matter is a “collectivist” who is as evil as any Communist, or worse, as any Christian. In a recent discussion at The New Clarion he continues in that direction.

In the initial entry, the blogger, Jim May, discusses an article by the well-known liberal Jonathan Chait in which Chait links libertarianism with racism on the basis that racists in the past have used individualist and libertarian arguments to justify their racism—an argument May rejects.

Madmax then comments:

Chait’s argument is standard leftist boilerplate. The left is dominated by racial egalitarianism and they are driven by an all-consuming desire to paint anyone disagreeing with welfare-state policies as a racist monster. I believe this is driven by a hatred of white heterosexual males among leftists. The left is motivated by an anti-white animus. It’s a sickness with them. But sadly most Objectivists don’t see the white-hatred of the left and by many non-whites.

To which Jim May replies in the collegial manner that Ayn Rand’s followers have made famous:

Utter horsesh*t. Just because your vision is shallower than ours does not mean we are “blind” to the point where yours stops.

The left is more fundamental than that. They don’t care about particular races; they care about collectives as such. As I’ve told you before, the left is not after “race war,” or war at all. They simply want to collectivize humanity, and eliminate all knowledge of the possibility of individualism. That’s the goal; the particulars (of how the collectives are drawn or whether the collectives fight each other) don’t matter.

They are not focused on whites, so much as they are focused on the individualist Enlightenment—which happened to come from a white culture.

If they were primarily racists, race would trump all other considerations. They would grant the same free passes to Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell and Herman Cain that they do Jesse Jackson and AL Sharpton.

That they don’t, tells you it isn’t about race at all. On the contrary, the brute fact of race in these cases is plainly being trumped by something else.

Switch out to something unrelated to race, and its’ the same pattern: Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter and Ayn Rand. No race there, but the same deranged hatreds.

“Heterosexual”? Same deal. Ask members of GOProud or The Pink Pistols about that one.

Racists are a species of collectivism. That means that there are non-racial forms of collectivism. It means that there is a wider class to which all of these things belong, which is collectivism as a whole. That’s the left.

Who is the collectivists’ ultimate enemy, who he fears the most, who disrupts and destroys his entire world just by existing? The individual. The thinker. The independent man. The “sinner” who says “No” to God, the people who leave Omelas. That is the constant of leftist hatred. Their is an anti-individual animus. The particular collective involved does not matter.

To which Madmax replies:

This is incomplete and naive. I’m starting to understand why Paleo-Conservatives argue that Objectivists are children. It’s as if you have never lived a day in your life. The form of today’s left is racial egalitarianism. Yes, the fundamental is collectivism but the enemy is more than just “individualism,” it’s the white non-leftist male.

There is a script that the left follows. It is in nearly every one of their movies. It has three main players:

1) the noble white liberal who fights …
2) the ignoble white traditionalist conservative for the purpose of saving …
3) the pure and saintly non-white other.

Think Dances With Wolves or Avatar or Pocohontas or V for Vendetta or any other of hundreds of films. The constant villain is the white male and the reason he is a villain is because he oppresses blacks, Mexicans, women, gays, Muslims, the poor, etc, etc, etc. Many leftists have expressed hopes that whites will no longer be a majority in the future and America will become a non-white country. Google up Tim Wise.

Jim, if you don’t see how the left is possessed of a murderous HATRED of non-leftist whites which includes you then what good is all your Objectivist knowledge? What of Objectivism being a philosophy of “identifying reality”? What reality are you looking at?

To which another commenter, Mike, replies:

Clearly you’ve spent so much time reading Larry Auster and his ilk that you’ve assimilated their views on religion and race. Guy, for your own sake, I urge you to step back, give them a rest, and find something less sick to obsess over.

Now, whether or not leftists simply “hate” whites (I don’t remember having put it that way myself), leftists certainly want to destroy traditional white society, replace it with leftist, feminist, homosexualist, nonwhite, Third-World society, and reduce non-liberal whites to a reduced and powerless condition within it. But Jim May, who is able to see things only in Randian terms of the individual versus the collective, thinks this is all nonsense. He says that the left only seems to be anti-white, because it was whites who invented enlightenment individualism, which is the left’s real and only target. The left represents all collectives, whether racial, sexual, religious, against the individual. But if this is correct, why does the left support some collectives—blacks, Muslims, etc.—against others—whites, Christians, etc.? Clearly the left is not just attacking enlightenment individualism when it attacks the white West. It is attacking the white race, Christianity, traditional Western nationhood, and so on—which are all collectives. So madmax is making an argument that challenges the heart of Randian orthodoxy.

I know that madmax, even as he has adopted some of my ideas (such as the three-character liberal “script”), does not like me, and I don’t expect him to. Still, it is most interesting to see how his increasing understanding that the purpose of the left is to destroy a particular collective—namely white Western Christian man—and not just destroy enlightenment individualism, has brought him into confrontation with his fellow Randians.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 11, 2012 02:14 PM | Send

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