Friday, September 23, 2016
The world is not getting better. In fact, I think it is going to get a whole lot worse.
I can't lie about where my attitudes are going. Life experience is continually slapping me out of various notions that American society laid in to me. I am determined to survive and to even contribute to the world no matter how bad things get (and I think the world is shaped to get WW2 or even worse bad).
Radical Second Things is a blog that has a sustained and diverse readership and, given some of the people I'm bringing on board and also given the history of this blog, I feel like explanations are in order. So here goes.
Anyone who knows this blog and me probably knows about my run ins with Augustus Invictus, the perennial Alternative Right candidate who ran for senate this year in Florida. My friend Larry Bernard and I were super nice to him and in the process, I became his friend on Facebook and engaged his readers. We also ran two interviews here which are still up (I took down critiques of him after he took issue). One of his readers called me a kike, a super offensive racial slur, and in the process I lashed out. I apologized to Augustus for the things I said when he made a show of it, he blocked me on Facebook, ending the feud, I assume.
One would think that would end RST's flirtation with the Alt Right but, well ....
While living in Portland, I had several disappointing encounters. I made friends with two homosexual acquaintances, one who I rented from and the other who had Jewish roots and became my friend on that commonality. I had a panic attack while staying with the former and he suddenly laid in to me with some of the most ugly, sad and pathetic insults I ever heard, many of which were aimed at the deficiencies I have from epilepsy. The other friend, despite giving him all sorts of gifts, was getting gradually toward the same direction.
I sort of predicted something like that would occur when I met them and no task of being nice stopped it. I didn't want to believe that such assumptions were correct and I wanted to have friends who weren't white, straight or Hispanic for once (i.e. people who are like me or are in the same cultural space). In the process of that, one of his roommates, who was black, actually asked if I knew how to speak English the first time she saw me. People don't wake up wanting to be prejudiced - having people you make overtures to reject them creates it.
That in graduation mixed with many encounters I've had with American women has really shattered assumptions I had about alot of things. The bigotry and unwarranted hate I experienced from seemingly progressive people when I really tried to be their friend has made me consider different answers. I had seen this sort of thing before - I had a gay landlord in Seattle who harassed and bullied tenants, heartlessly driving some in to homelessness or mental health rehabilitation, often using his chosen identity to deflect criticism as homophobic and I had a gay roommate in Oakland who would literally throw bottles of urine at homeless people.
That's not saying all gay people have such attitudes, which is absurd, only that is striking how people who put their identity as an oppressed victim at the forefront can so often do it only as a shield for being exactly what they claim to despise. In fact, the neoliberal order seems to have produced a class of self-created "minorities" who see their fictional oppression as a reason to further western hegemony.
Ableism, racism and classism - doesn't sound "progressive" to me... In fact it sounds a bit like the itinerary of ISIS, which has killed people on the basis of such things. Maybe some progressives meet continued assaults by Islamists with warnings of "Islamaphobia" because they actually agree with jihadists. I'm just thinking aloud - anything is possible in this weird, changing world.
I found one of RST's new contributors, Yakov Germanov, while I was on a Facebook group called Patriotic Socialist Ideology. Yakov writes for an Alternative Right publication called Right On. Whatever the Alt Right circles that Augustus hung out with, my friend Yakov actually is of Jewish ancestry and even lived in Israel. In our short correspondence, we've gained some trust and learned alot from one another. He has actually listened to me, and I him, and not made assumptions based on all sorts of stereotypes, something that American progressives are supposed to oppose as their raison d'etre but that they can apparently not get past in 2016. We were actually able to talk about relationships and family like normal people.
In addition to all of this, we live in a world in which Barack Obama is helping ISIS commit genocide while Vladimir Putin is trying to save civilization. Perhaps the people we think are "progressive" are really the bigots and monsters now. I actually think that, while family is a big part of many leftist movements throughout the developing world (Latin American leftist movements often rest on a healthy bedrock of community solidarity), the US "left" with its bourgeois progressive ideology may actually be philosophically opposed to community, family and normal social life. If that's the case, it doesn't matter what we may actually have in common on other matters. That difference is irreconciable. I believe in family, Radical Second Things believes in family and I don't want to be part of anything or anyone that doesn't share that belief.
This blog is not about to become Alt Right. It does not support the campaign of Donald Trump at all whatsoever and, with its roots in liberation theology and Latin American Catholicism, stands with Hispanics 150 percent against scapegoating. I also have heritage, which I am very proud of, that would make never be a part of any white nationalist movement. This blog also is very firmly rooted in liberation theology and Biblical principles - but it's alarming that I'm finding people who share these principles where I am finding them. We really are in a changing world.
BTW you can find Yakov on the RST page and I hope to have him posting here. I am very interested especially in exploring topics adherent to that part of the world, including the Eastern Orthodox Church, with him. Thanks, Yakov!
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Due to colonialism and world events leading in to World War II, including the rise and fall of fascism and then the Civil Rights era in the United States have solidified a notion in most people's head, even if it is not outwardly expressed - persecution and oppression is a fault of white men, with "people of color" always the oppressed.
This assumption of how the world works is so deeply ingrained in the minds of many that it takes on religious proportions. As a transitionary global conflict seems to engulf most of the world, violence between the black community and the larger US community (and it needs to be remembered that it is both groups who perpetuate it) is amplified and politicized while other groups caught in whatever it is going on get not nearly as much attention given to them. It's an act of hanging on to a fading narrative as the world transforms and re-aligns itself on a level that could be even more dramatic than the second world war.
Unfortunately, that narrative just doesn't apply. It's not "white men" that are scaring the crap out of the world and using the tools of genocide to dominate and instill fear in 2016 (at least not in the sense of what Americans seem to think of as "white," as many Muslims probably are technically "white," if white really is even a thing). It's Islamists, who from Orlando to Paris to Aleppo, are carrying on a path of genocide like nothing seen since WW2.
And on their side, making the whole job easier, is a political class of neoliberals - the likes of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel and neoconservatives like George W. Bush and his camp before them. An implied belief of "post-racialism" and diversity engulfed all three of them, even if they seemed seperate from one another in US politics. What would happen if this class of American and European leaders became historically tied, through oafishness and greed, to the rise and acceleration of one of history's abominations?
Imagine the last two American presidents tied in history as helping to coddle, create the environment for and then even defend radical Islam. Then imagine Vladimir Putin in the role of a historical hero - a Russian Dwight Eisenhower or George S. Patton - who has helped to sweep ISIS and Islamism from the world with the harshness that requires. The current contrast between Russian and American behavior could not be more stark. The United States allows terrorists to gain weapons domestically to kill its own people while then bombing the Syrian Army, which is fighting ISIS. On the other hand, Russia clears towns of ISIS and then holds Bach concerts for survivors. Who is really the civilized country?
If Russia, with its "sovereign democracy," and a host of authoritarian but socially stable countries, often with senses of national identity that would seem bigoted by US progressives, in tow came out from this current crisis relatively unscathed, how would that change how we perceive this world? I'm not sure how we would but I'm confident that such a result, which seems to be what we're headed for, would absolutely devastate the social assumptions that American and other western progressives have taken as a given. The world simply is not like they think it is and it is proving it every day.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
For the last month or so, I have been working steadily with the Blue Ocean Network, a Chinese based content provider. I have the sense that the east is the future and it has been a great pleasure to write for Chinese publication after so much time spent in the US publishing world. Please check out my work for them, "How The New Silk Road Is Flattening The World:"