Michael Anton’s recent essay on natural right (“Farewell to Z-Man! Once More on the Question of Natural Right”) elicited objections from a member of the Dissident Right, who left some remarks in the article’s comment section.
The objection boils down to this: unlike the rest of the Right, the Dissident Right believes that the various differences in races and ethnicities are so fundamental that they will not allow multiracial communities to exist in harmony.
Consider the illegal immigration crisis. Because Civic Nationalists believe in human equality, they are unable to frame an argument against limitless immigration from the Third World. After all, if everyone is equal, why wouldn’t we welcome anyone who shows up?
And because Civic Nationalists believe in human equality, they have no answer when the Left declares systemic racism as the real reason for economic and other inequalities of outcome between the races.
Much of what is said here is essentially an accurate description of the difference of positions between the Dissident Right (e.g., the Z-Man) and the Civic Nationalists (e.g., Michael Anton, me). But there are some subtle differences that I think need to be addressed.
I won’t speak for all Civic Nationalists, obviously, but I will say for myself that I categorically deny that all human beings are completely equal in their abilities and have exactly the same temperaments. Human beings are heterogeneous at almost every level of grouping. Even within the same nuclear family, there will be remarkable differences in intellect, physique, personality, and appearance among siblings.
Among different ethnicities and races, the differences will be even greater still. You don’t have to leave the same continent or “race” to find people as different as the pygmies and the Tutsi. The first group are hunter-gatherers who average less than 4 feet 10 inches in height, while the latter are pastoralists who average 6 feet tall but are not uncommonly over 7 feet in height. As far as differences in intelligence and temperament between groups of people, there are all kinds of scientific studies and popular descriptions to provide speculation for these differences. Let’s just say that defining humans as equal is only possible in the very broadest meaning of the word.
But the basic question isn’t whether these differences exist. The question is, do these differences prevent us from living together in a meritocratic society? In other words, if I’m stupider than my neighbor Bob will that mean we can’t live in the same society without eventually being at each other’s throats? My belief is we can live together.
The Dissident Right does not believe this. And as proof, they point to the present nightmare we’re living through with Black Lives Matter, George Floyd, and the diversity, equity, and inclusion racket. Add that to the 50 years of affirmative action and forced integration and you have a pretty bleak picture.
But the Left has been using this equality of outcome scam for decades as proof that white people are discriminating against blacks. And for whatever reason, we’ve been letting them get away with it. I no longer think it’s a convincing argument. America is a multiethnic, multiracial society, and there is every combination of races and capacities on display if you’re willing to look. And what is clearest is that trying to hire people according to their skin color is a recipe for disaster.
Everyone has probably seen or heard of people who were hired under affirmative action quotas and were completely unqualified for the job. And what is also extremely clear is that African Americans are not the object of systemic racism. Currently, heterosexual white men are the ones being discriminated against openly. It seems clear that demanding the end of affirmative action and other anti-white policies and a return to a meritocratic system is the correct way to put all this racialist nonsense behind us.
And we’re finally seeing the beginning of this scam being addressed. Donald Trump very effectively showed that stopping endless illegal immigration was not only possible but popular with most Americans, even Latinos. The Supreme Court seems poised to strike down affirmative action. But the Left will not give up without an enormous fight. They’ll bring out street fighters and goon squads like Antifa and Black Lives Matter. So, what can be done?
To make progress, the United States needs to get out of the race business. It will require governors, much like Ron DeSantis in Florida, to tackle institutional wokeness at colleges and within the bureaucracy. And the very colorblind approach that Anton’s critic disparages is, in fact, the correct approach. I don’t think we should even list race on birth certificates or other government documents at all. You might as well list someone’s blood type and what kind of belly button he has, too. Instead, we should be concentrating more on things like SAT scores, computer languages mastered, and vocational training certificates possessed.
It’s possible, of course, that the Z-Man is right that the Republicans are hopelessly unable to fend off accusations of racism, and so they will always be the losers when the Left plays this racket. If so, we’ll see this play out. But I’d like to believe someone like Ron DeSantis is the future. He recently rejected the College Board’s Advanced Placement curriculum for African American Studies because it was filled with left-wing lies. This is the way to change things. Just say no and then make it stick. It’s not easy. It’s a slog and a fight. But if we choose fighters to represent us, we will get results. If we choose squishes like Jeb Bush, we get what we have now.
So sure, things are bad, but I’m not ready to say anything like a race war or a civil war is inevitable. I think we can have a First World country without a war. But it remains to be seen whether the people who claim to be our leaders are willing to fight to save it. If they’re not, then the Dissident Right will be proven correct.