I doubt I am the only one feeling some nostalgia watching the riots and looting this week. It’s the reverse of what Marx described; it is farce repeated as tragedy. BLM was just as murderous and savage back in 2015/16, but there was a kind of ebullience. When you shared FBI crime statistics back then, you had a vague hope that you were riding Donald Trump’s coattails into a new awareness, that after fifty years we were finally confronting the most important political fact in the modern era: That black people behave abhorrently, and their misbehavior is used to disrupt polite society and usurp legitimate authority within the polity. But in 2020 we know better.
None of the positive developments of the Trump administration include confronting America’s race problem, which is a black behavior problem. John Derbyshire would be fired today just as he was eight years ago. All the “anti-liberal” voices that have grown on the right are just as cowardly on race as their counterparts at the National Review. Whatever insights these thinkers gain from viewing our nation outside the liberal paradigm, they are still constrained by the blinders of our race religion, namely that emancipation was a benefit to black slaves, and that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was not a disastrous failure.
All this is a shame, because there is an interesting story to tell about blacks within the liberal system. The thrust of political liberalism has always been to destroy special designations based on status. The peasant gained his political “freedom” by having his protections removed. The Jew was similarly freed, but only by making the state atheistic. America was founded against the tenets of aristocracy—or more precisely, that a natural aristocracy would rise without the need for particular legal protections anyway.
But blacks do not exist as generic citizens; blacks exist as blacks. Black people are one of the privileged groups who still have a political existence within the United States. Their mere skin color allows them special status in housing, hiring, and education. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 destroyed the white man’s ability to restricted who used his own property, and at the same time protected blacks as the most coddled class ever known in this country. The liberal understanding is that these special privileges be temporary; Hubert Humphrey assured his associates that affirmative action was a temporary fix, and Sandra Day-O’Connor went so far as to put a timeline on its obsolescence. But unless another ethnic group does away with them, those specific privileges are here to stay.
Politically, the black qua black is allowed to exist. But in a practical sense he has no agency because for all of his rights, he is in a sense alienated from the family, religion, and culture which make a man genuinely human. The black man is truly alienated from his humanity. By this I don’t mean that they are not of the species homo sapiens. They have immortal souls and intrinsic dignity, and if they submit to Jesus Christ they can be saved. But they’re also the most pathetic creature ever to exist within a civilized nation. The black man’s existence is entirely political. He exists not to form families, to work, to worship God—and absolutely no one cares that he is denied these opportunities. In the end, he exists only as a potent form of biopower, as a weapon of the state.
Liberal rights exist to place man within the wider society as a homogenous being, a kind of Euclidian point on the line of the state. In the economy, man a faceless consumer; in the polity, a blind ballot-giver. In both cases he is transformed from a man with a particular defined role within the economy and society to a non-descript utility-maximizer. Within a particular polity, this may seem a tradeoff worth making. For the commercialized peasant in Revolutionary France, the tradeoff of greater material wealth and new political influence was worth giving up his legal status as peasant qua peasant. For the largely subsistence farmers of the Vendee, this was not so.
The black slave never had anything close to the agency of a French peasant, and the liberties foisted upon him largely had nothing to do with his will. The slave’s place within the slave system was clear, and his welfare was necessarily an intrinsic part of it. The logic of the system itself protected his place. A slaveholder who worked his slave to death destroyed his own capital investment; the slaveholder who separated husbands and wives risked disaffected slaves and the denial of other sources of capital. The same was not true of the capitalist. The capitalist who worked his laborer to death could always dip back into the industrial reserve army to replace him. Likewise, in the pre-1964 days of segregation, the average black man had what anyone throughout history would call a humane and normal existence; his place was only inferior with relation to the white ruling class, but white and black families did not vary in kind.
The slave was emancipated in 1865 with no regard to his humanity. Jim Downs estimates that a quarter of former slaves died in the years shortly following the 13th Amendment. A similar observation can be made with regards to the other great moral exemplar of 1964. Segregation has not ended; there is no evidence outside of liberal moralizing that it ever will. Removing the formal structures of segregation only ensured that the informal structures would be less humane than the ones before. One can argue all he wants over the intrinsic differences between the races, but at the time of the Moynihan Report there was 25% illegitimacy and some semblance of a black middle class. The present day is far worse. In the terms of Hegelian achieved or the “long arc of history,” the black man is as advanced as anyone who has ever lived. But in human terms—in Christian terms—he is as degraded as the most vicious pagan ever was.
The black man’s political freedoms always tend to dehumanize him. The liberal can laud this as a triumph of the human race, but he does so over a pile of human rubble. The Christian cannot be so blasé. A Christian believes that no man is an instrumentality, and this bogus evolution, whether Darwinian or Hegelian, is nothing to be praised. A good Christian can support both a system based on slavery, or a system based on freemen (though the Christian will prefer the latter). But to use men as instrumentalities for the zeitgeist is worse than any form of slavery.
Black people exist as the purest form of biopower that ever was. His emancipation was only ever meant to drive down wages and destroy Southern agricultural power. His suffrage was only ever to dilute the will of the white majority. His right to use accommodations was to enforce Federal control of every schoolhouse and private business in the country. These idiotic paper rights are now all the white liberal cares about with regards to the black man.
None of these extensions can be defended on Christian terms. Only the true-blood liberal can prefer the paper rights the black man has received next to his continual degradation. But in fact, this is what Christians have largely done. To almost all Christians—certainly to American Catholic bishops—the cause of Lincoln and Martin Luther King is synonymous with the cause of the Church. To deny that the moral and material life of blacks has grown worse with the advent of these men’s political innovations is modern heresy.
The Church has long denied any fundamental right to political equality, largely because She knows the fetishizing of civil rights tends to deform those rights which come from the law of nature. The right to a father and mother, for example, is one the Church has always considered of paramount importance. The modern institutional Church has completely forgotten the rights inherent in nature, established by God, and allowed the privileges created by the state to usurp this divine role. For the liberal, the Church exists for no reason but to divinize the will of the state.
This is pathetic, not only because it results in social chaos, but because it can only harm blacks. From a genuinely Christian sense, blacks are denied their most basic human right, which is to be judged as a moral being. Instead he is murdered by the Planned Parenthood; if he survives he is thrust into the arms of a government-subsidized gynocracy and moral squalor. His whole life is indecent, pornographic; and unless we adopt the actually-racist belief that he lacks free will, his sins will cause him to plummet into Hell when he dies. Such is the status quo.
These are “black riots” in the sense that huge numbers of black people attend them; in the sense that they ostensibly out of harm committed against a black man, supposedly arising out of systematic racism against black people. Blacks may be the material cause, but the final causation is with people higher than them. The family is a the basis of the polity, and a mass of people with so much illegitimacy and such high abortion rates can effect no real change. Black people are a tool of the government and hard leftists. For the government, they are a subservient class, dependent on government largess for their existence and a source of job security for the bureaucrats who rule us. For the hard left, they are the tools of perpetual revolution, a solvent which can be added to the social order at any time to disrupt and disturb. Modern race relations allow for a kind of synthesis between the two specters of 20th Century communism: Stalinist imposition of state terror and murder apparatuses, and the ever-existing potential for Trotskyite revolution.
This status quo is easy to exploit in Minneapolis. The racial hierarchy is clearer there, because the relative scarcity of blacks in the state means that native Minnesotans and blacks have never developed friendly relations with one another. The total amount of sodomites and anarchists might surpass the 18% black population in Minneapolis, and these freaks are expert in latching onto and use the more sympathetic alien presence within the city. I was at one of the BLM protests in 2015 (right before the now-forgotten Lance Scarsella’s act of self-defense which could not avail him in his judicial lynching). As in every other corner of Minnesota, the whites and the blacks were well segregated. The serious black protesters decried violence, and spouted the same pabulum you’d hear at any protest since 1968—maybe 1789. I think the white anarchists took that language as seriously as I did. It’s only the white liberal who thinks (or pretends) that the black man has political agency. The far left exploits this fact. The far right is racist, so who cares?
Looting is not a political act. Anyone can come up with a specious reason for his theft. Naturally this is what thieves do, usually ex post facto. Supporting looting is a political act. Looters and thieves deserve to be punished. But the looter differs in kind from the anarchist, and must be destroyed.
That was true in 2015 as it is now. It all appeared farcical then, because the root of so many of our political problems could be sourced to black misbehavior; the fact was so apparent, yet so universally denied, that it was like a joke. It was clear that we stood on a precipice at that time, but it seemed like something we might back away from if we could just acknowledge the source. That never happened. Charlottesville killed any chance of addressing racial differences in any meaningful way, of breaking the lie that merely noticing black behavior can only arise out of animus of blacks. Any Christian—anyone who is not morally defective—knows this is not true. But the point was lost, and now so is Minneapolis.