C'est nous qui brisons les barreaux des prisons, pour nos frères, La haine à nos trousses, et la faim qui nous pousse, la misère. Il y a des pays où les gens aux creux des lits font des rêves, Ici, nous, vois-tu, nous on marche et nous on tue nous on crève.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

'The fashionable ideas of the left'

I've had previous occasion to disagree with Mark Richardson, self-identified 'traditional conservative'. He's at it again today in a post on racism:

There's a fashionable idea on the left that whites invented the concept of race in order to gain an unearned privilege by oppressing others. Therefore, whites are held to be uniquely guilty of preventing the emergence of human equality.

It's hard to know if Richardson is being disingenuous here, or if he's just plain ignorant. Anyway, for his enlightenment, I left him the following response:

Firstly, the notion of race did emerge in its most elaborate form in Europe. This wasn't done to obtain 'privilege' or other such nonsense, but to justify brutality at the expense of colonised peoples. It's a recurring pattern you can find in relation to England, Nazi Germany, imperialist France, fascist Italy, etc. There's overwhelming evidence that this was the case, and I am quite happy to point you to numerous references if you think otherwise.

Secondly, whilst it's quite possible to find examples of various kinds of non-white racism, there is no historical precedent for the racism exhibited by Europe toward the rest of the world. Remember, by the 19th century, pretty much the entire world (with a couple of notable exceptions) was the property of one European power or another. This might give you some idea as to why the ideologies underpinning European racism are of somewhat more interest than racism by Inuits or Khmers.

Finally, as you know full well, 'diversity' has always been evident in Australia, from the time of the Aboriginals onwards. It cannot be got rid of. What we are seeing today, albeit, in the form of limited, localised examples (Cronulla, Camden), are thick-headed would-be brownshirts trying to impinge on the rights of those they see as the enemy (typically Muslims or middle-easterners). There people, whilst on the margins, have nonetheless formed organised groups to further their cause. Can you point us to any nascent fascist groups run by Vietnamese or Somalians that are promoting racist hate, or is post yet another ugly exercise in quashing strawmen and pinning moral responsibility exclusively to minorities?

Looking at the output of Richardson and his followers, 'traditional conservatives', I'm struck by the preoccupation with themes of racial and cultural purity homogeneity, the need to restore patriarchal arrangements, the reduction of relations between the sexes (and the nations) to biology, the strident opposition to both leftism and liberalism, the niggling sense of grievance and resentment, as if White Australian Males were the most oppressed group on the planet...
Let me be very clear - I'm not suggesting Mr Richardson is a fascist. But take these precise views, add the slightest hint of radicalism to them, and what you'd end up with is a creed that is formally indistinguishable from the brownshirts of old.