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by Christopher Chantrill
July 21, 2015 at 12:00 am
I FIRST HEARD about Ta-Nehisi Coates’s new book Between the World and Me last week. I suppose I’d have heard of it earlier if I were a faithful follower of the New York Times and NPR and had succeeded to a stall in the Cathedral.
But I’m not a Brahmin, not a liberal, and I try to stay out of the Cathedral, ’cos I’m a Townie at heart.
But I still managed to blunder into a New York Times article about the book, and learned that it was all about a white woman that had shoved Coates’s four-year-old kid on an escalator in New York City.
Another day, another racist insult. I went downstairs to do my daily French lesson on DuoLingo.
When I returned upstairs I noticed that the New York Times data guys had kindly rendered a popup on my little netbook with some “Recommended Articles,” including “David Brooks: Listening to Ta-Nehisi Coates White White” and “Chattanooga Gunman Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez: ‘Life Is Short and Bitter’.” What a combination, I thought!
I learned from David Brooks that for Coates
“In America, it is traditional to destroy the black body — it is heritage.” The innocent world of the dream is actually built on the broken bodies of those kept down below.
In other words, for African Americans, “life is short and bitter,” just like it is for young naturalized Muslim engineers here in the US.
Yeah, I know: how dare I say such a thing, and brand myself a racist, sexist, Islamophobic bigot! But all I can say is that if my statement is not in the Overton Window, it ought to be.
The great achievement of the modern era has been its success in socializing young men not to be angry and violent, but instead channel their aggressive instincts into careers and sports, and even books.
Yet everything the left does is designed to angry up “people of identity” and turn them into political soldiers in the left’s power project.
In other words, the left wants to turn back the clock to the hunter-gatherer age when all young men were enrolled in the army of the dawn raid on the neighboring village.
Still, you can’t help admiring the demonic brilliance of the left’s strategy. Why not, as Marx did, angry up the working class just as capitalism was starting to shower it with half-decent food and shelter? Why not, as the Frankfurt School did, extend the angry-up concept to blacks, women, and gays, just as they were coming out of the shadows into the public square?
All this would all be jolly good fun and a real boost to the career of your average college-educated community organizer except for one little problem. Eventually the Muslims came to notice the political success of the angry-up strategy and decided to fill the streets with their angry young men.
So now we have a bunch of folks, all carefully taught to hate, just as Rodgers and Hammerstein warned, and they are reverting to their hunter-gatherer instincts just as Marx and Marcuse and Mohammed, peace be upon them, wanted them to do.
I wonder if Ta-Nehisi Coates knows that he is just a useful idiot, a handsomely sinecured creature of the ruling class? If he is, I wonder if he is even embarrassed by the knowledge that his use to the ruling class is his ability to write racist screeds to angry up African Americans. Why else would the ruling-class organ The Atlantic want his services? Normally, as Jack London taught us over a century ago in The Sea Wolf, The Atlantic goes in for epicene upper-class twits like Humphrey van Weyden. They have to have a special reason, a ruling-class reason, to go down-market to a Ta-Nehisi.
At the end of the Civil War 150 years ago the one indignity the Southern whites could not countenance was the “insolence” of the freed slaves. Meanwhile the planters were determined to force the freedmen to stay and work the cotton fields.
Politics never changes. Today we have professional blacks like Ta-Nehisi Coates deciding that the one indignity that cannot be endured is some white woman pushing aside his 4-year-old special snowflake on an escalator. And the one thing that his liberal Masters are agreed on is that African Americans shall never leave the liberal plantation.
Perhaps the only thing that can really bring black and white together in America is to fight shoulder to shoulder against the Muslim threat.
Instead of the other way around.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness...
But to make a man act [he must have]
the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove
or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action
But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie
that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison
At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm
Civil Societya complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churchesbuilds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust
In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, The Scientist as Rebel
Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says we should....
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
When we received Christ, Phil added, all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh
I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all.
In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion
We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.
E. G. West, Education and the State