Wednesday, August 1, 2018

August 1, 2018

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

The Rise of Populism, Nationalism, and Donald Trump: Two Critiques of Jonah Goldberg’s New Book, The Suicide of the West


National Review Senior Editor and regular Fox on-camera pundit, Jonah Goldberg, has a new book out. And, like “little Ben” Shapiro (another semi-Never Trump, “conservative” personality wildly popular with the brainless College GOP crowd), his volume is being touted by Neoconservative writers and reviewers as “a significant defense of Enlightenment liberal democratic values,” a “broadside against the rise of populist and nationalist tendencies,” and a “clarion call warning us of the dangers of fascism.” In other words: a not-so-indirect and not-so-subtle broadside against the agenda advocated by Donald Trump and also arising currently in Europe (e.g., Hungarian president Viktor Orban and his crackdown on illegal immigration and his appeals to Hungarian patriotism, traditional Christianity, and history; Vladimir Putin doing the same thing in Russia; Catholic Poland defending itself against the globalist bureaucrats of the EU; Brexit in Great Britain; etc.).

Goldberg, like the magazine(s) he writes for and serves is a globalist, a proponent of what amounts to imposed (by us) international liberal democracy and “American values.” For him the rise of conservative populism and the recurrence to national, “tribalist” traditions is worrying…potential sources of xenophobia, “racism” and “anti-semitism.”  President Trump’s critique of NATO, his willingness to “deal” with Russia and its president, his proposed raising of American tariffs to protect American industry against exorbitantly unfair Chinese competition, his seeming “deafness” when it comes to race and “civil rights,” his bluster and “getting-down-dirty” with his plain speaking and tweets, in short, the president’s unwillingness to stay on the reservation and take orders at all times from the minions of the conservative faction of the Deep State—these horrify Goldberg (and Shapiro, Mark Thyssen, Steve Hayes, A. B. Stoddard, Glenn Beck, and all those talking heads who never wanted Trump, never supported him, in the first place)…not to mention the political honchos and insiders who continue to dominate the leadership of the Republican Party.

I have written about Goldberg previously [See MY CORNER, April 26, 2018;] Like Shapiro and Beck, he is one of the Neoconservatives I find most loathsome. I have called him “pot-smoking, pot-bellied,” and I know, that’s getting personal and not very flattering. I realize such a prejudicial view may color my judgment in what I write about him. But I would be less than honest were I to pretend otherwise.

Today I pass on two reviews of Goldberg’s recently published book, The Suicide of the West, which, as I say, is a veritable, scarcely-disguised attack on the policies proposed (if not always carried out) by Donald Trump and various rising popular and nationalist conservative movements in Europe. They are both succinct essays and on the mark, one by my friend Paul Gottfried, the other by Hubert Collins.  And at the conclusion of these pieces, I attach a short column by Pat Buchanan [“Will Tribalism Trump Democracy?” July 31, 2018].

 But before that, I pass on a brief excerpt from my April 26 column which may help set the narrative:

…[Jonah] Goldberg is a Senior Editor of National Review, a widely-syndicated columnist, and a regular pundit on Fox News.  And he is archetypically representative of what is fatally wrong with the conservative movement and its establishment, and why it is destined in its present form not only to continued loss to its supposed liberal and leftwing opponents, but in reality facilitates and enables those Leftist victories. 

How is it possible to truly offer opposition to your supposed enemies, much less defeat them, if you begin by agreeing with them on essential principles? 

Two recent Goldberg columns illustrate this. 

First, there is his column of April 6, 2018, in which he glorifies Martin Luther King Jr. as someone whose life and message resembles nothing less than the Second Coming. []

According to Goldberg, “there is no modern figure who more richly deserves to be placed at the heart of the American story… [T]he generation of conservatives (though not necessarily Republicans, who disproportionately voted for the Civil Rights Act) who wrongly opposed the civil rights movement either out of misguided constitutionalism [sic!] or simply out of archaic racism needed to die off before King's contribution could be better appreciated across party lines.” [For a contrary view which starkly illustrates Goldberg’s immense errancy and the implicit differences between his Neoconservatism and a more traditional, constitutional conservatism, see my detailed column on King, January 15,, which was also published by The Unz Review, January 16, “Martin Luther King and the Perversion of American History,”]

Like the farther, even more radical Left, for Goldberg the very idea of America is all wrapped up in the quest for Equality, and it took a necessary and bloody “civil war” to expunge the sin of slavery and advance the quest to eradicate “racism” from the American experience.

He writes: 

“It was not until Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address that the ideal embedded in the Declaration fully became both the plot and theme of the American story. ‘Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.’ That idea, always present in America's self-conception, became the heart of the American creed. But it was not truly so until 100 years later, when King called upon Americans to live up to the best versions of themselves.” 

That narrative is historically erroneous and not based on the history, formulation or writing of the Declaration of Independence, nor the explicit meaning of that document or the Constitution, as historians Barry Alan Shain (Colgate University) and the late Mel Bradford (University of Dallas) have carefully and convincingly shown. Yet, as ideological template its implications have had serious effects and disastrous results for the American nation.  

Or, consider Goldberg’s column of April 20, “America Is Not As Intolerant As We Make It Out to Be,” ( Once again Goldberg’s narrative is straight out of the Progressivist playbook. In that column Jonah admits that he had watched the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation [GLAAD] Vanguard Awards and had seen a video of Britney Spears’s acceptance of an award and her praise of the group’s activities, adding:

“There was a time when I might have had a bit of fun with Spears about some of the inconsistencies. But I’ve mellowed. It’s all good. It was a nice speech, and she seemed sincerely honored to receive her award and grateful for the support of her fans. Fine, fine.” 

Of course, that is nothing new for Goldberg. In the past he has endorsed same sex marriage and has been supportive of transgenderism and, at least implicitly, gender fluidity: Personally, I have always felt that gay marriage was an inevitability…the rise of the HoBos — the homosexual bourgeoisie — strikes me as good news.” [

And Goldberg is, like other Neocons, a globalist and a believer in America’s “mission” to go round the world and impose those virtues of equality and liberal democracy on all the millions of unenlightened and backward peoples who cling to their guns and their traditions, to paraphrase Barack Obama. And like many Neocons he was a NeverTrumper…and, in many regards, still is: a zealous partisan of the Deep State, despite his protestations to the contrary. 

Goldberg’s views pass for standard conservative template these days, whether on Fox News or in the pages of National Review or The Weekly Standard, or emitted by any number of the various “conservative think tanks” that spew out such ideological drivel. 

Yet, there is growing discomfort among the grass roots, among those “deplorables” who have listened to Goldberg and others like him for years…and who have witnessed the deleterious results of years of “conservative activism” and compliant Republican presidents and GOP majorities in Congress: things have continued to worsen, to decay, our essential beliefs and moral laws have continued to erode and disappear, and the conservative establishment and its minions in Congress seem to be complicit in that process. 

Whether the surprising election of outsider Donald Trump indicated a lasting reaction against this seemingly irreversible movement historically, or whether the Deep State, which now seeks to either displace the president or surround him and derail the America First agenda, will continue to succeed, is yet to be decided….


And now, let’s continue to the two reviews of Goldberg’s latest opus:


Gottfried on Goldberg: “Suicide Of The West”—Or Of "Conservatism"?

Paul Gottfried   May 16, 2018, 07:15 AM

wrote a lot in the early aughts about Jonah Goldberg’s apotheosis at National Review in the wake of William F. Buckley’s purge of immigration patriots like John O’Sullivan and Editor Peter Brimelow because I regarded Goldberg as a symbol and a symptom of the intellectual and moral degeneration of a magazine I once loved, and of the movement it purported to lead. Indeed, I gather that my habit of referring to the post-purge NR as “The Goldberg Review” caused Norman Podhoretz to ostracize Brimelow, once his close ally in Manhattan conservative circles, an unimaginable disaster for which I am deeply sorry. Subsequently, Goldberg apparently lost his editorship of NRO for some trivial reason of girly-boy intrigue. But Conservatism, Inc-ers never die. For his newest venture into deep thought, Goldberg has crassly stolen the title of James Burnham’s great work, Suicide of the West, published in 1964 at the height of the Cold War.

That is where the similarity ends. Unlike Burnham’s scalding indictment of liberalism as “the ideology of Western suicide,” Goldberg’s random opinions represent the very pathology that Burnham railed against. Goldberg hates national identities (although he makes an exception for Israel), opponents of the Deep State, immigration patriots, and those who imagine that democracy has something to do with the popular will. Rather his “conservative” view of democracy privileges public administration, the operation of multinational corporations, and socially sophisticated journalists such as himself.

One need only cite this passage from Burnham’s work to grasp the extent to which Burnham might have been thinking of someone like Goldberg when he described the quintessential liberal:

"Liberalism has always stressed change, reform, the break with encrusted habit whether in the form of old ideas, old customs or old institutions. Thus liberalism has been and continues to be primarily negative in its impact on society: and in point of fact it is through its negative and destructive achievements that liberalism makes its best claim to historical justification."

By now, however, Burnham’s Leftist hallmarks are “conservative” positions. After all, Goldberg’s book, which abounds in the Leftist virtue-signaling mandatory for Main Stream Media Token Conservatives, is being sold by “conservative” book clubs. It is also featured in a Crown Forum Series devoted to conservative thought (whose editor pointedly refused to correspond with me about a book proposal).

For those who may doubt whether the author is an authorized “conservative,” one need only turn to National Review, a publication at which Goldberg still holds an editorship, or else watch him jaw with other Fox News Allstars as a designated “Man Of The Right.”

I regard Goldberg as a prime example of the near-total ideological primacy of the Cultural Marxist Left. We are living in a time and place in which what would be crazy-Left up until about two generations ago is assigned a “Right-Wing” label, in order to keep alive a dialectic that is transparently phony.

In about a ten-page digression into the nature of conservatism—his entire book is really nothing more than a series of digressions—Goldberg identifies “conservatism” with resisting Donald Trump. The U.S. President, whom Goldberg with other Never-Trumpers has inflexibly opposed, is described as a vulgar throwback to the 1930s “on both sides of the Atlantic.” People back then (let’s guess who they were!) believed “decadent Western capitalism and ‘Manchester liberalism’ were inadequate to the challenges of the day.”

All of this coming from Goldberg is utter chutzpah, considering that he now happily accepts massive social engineering in order to overcome “discrimination” against certain groups.

His version of Suicide Of The West indicts—in what by now is neoconservative ritual—Bismarck, the Prussian state and the administrative model of late nineteenth century Germany. All these pernicious forces allegedly laid the conceptual foundations of American managerial democracy.

But in fact this development was by no means due mostly to malignant Germans. Parallel developments took place at about the same time in most Western states that had introduced universal suffrage and in which the populace as well as political elites believed in a “science” of administration.

If Goldberg had deigned to read my book on the subject, After Liberalism Mass Democracy in the Managerial State (which I wouldn’t expect him to given my unpopularity among his employers), he might have understood how widespread the growth of the democratic administrative state was in the decade before the First World War. Curiously some of the most zealous supporters of an expanded American welfare state, like Herbert Croly, Thorstein Veblen, and (after a youthful infatuation with Hegel) John Dewey, were by 1914 rabidly anti-German. In a heavily-researched study “World War One as Fulfilment: Power and Intellectuals,” Murray Rothbard showed how Anglo-American progressives presented World War One as a struggle between their Social Democratic project and German authoritarians who only pretended to believe in the same ideal.

Although Goldberg deplores the beginnings of our Administrative State, he has no trouble supporting some of its recent expansions. For example, he offers these impromptu opinions after telling us how thoroughly wicked the creators of the welfare state were:

Freed slaves certainly did deserve forty acres and mule (at least!), as many post-Civil War Radical Republicans proposed. Similarly, the early affirmative action programs targeted specifically to blacks in the wake of the Civil Rights Acts have intellectual and moral merit.

This kind of inconsistency runs through Goldberg’s tome. Although he vehemently objects to America’s early welfare state, later broad government interventions intended to overcome “discrimination” are perfectly fine with him. And, of course, Goldberg joins the post-Civil War Radical Republicans in calling for punishing Southern whites during Reconstruction by taking away their property and giving it to blacks.

Goldberg grovels shamelessly whenever he turns to racial problems in the US. In contrast to the traditional Right, Political Correctness is OK with him, providing it doesn’t get too nasty—and it’s not quite clear at what point he would admit that occurs:

At its best, PC is a way to show respect to people. If black people don’t want to be called “Negroes,” it is only right and proper to respect that desire. If Asians object to “Oriental,” lexicological arguments can’t change the fact that it is rude not to oblige them.

But what if (when) Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or some other Civil Rights leader decides he doesn’t want people of color to be called “black” any longer because he finds it demeaning? Are we required to go on changing the name of a particular group that enjoys a high victim profile in order to show appropriate “respect”?

And why are certain other groups, like Southern white Christians and those who want to preserve ancestral monuments that the Left and (now) National Review don’t happen to like, not to be accorded the same sensitivity to group feeling?

Because in Goldberg’s eyes they’re not Left-certified victims that professional Token Conservatives know they must acknowledge.

Thus Goldberg predictably goes berserk attacking the proponents of Brexit, the supporters of the National Front in France, and “the story of Donald Trump’s victory” as part of a “new global crusade against ‘globalism.’ “Those who participate in this neo-Nazi enterprise are supposedly undermining democracy, like those Hungarians who overwhelmingly endorse what George Will has proclaimed an “essentially fascist government” in Budapest. [ George Will: What artifacts from Nazi murder machinery can teach the U.S. and the world now, MercuryNews, April 26, 2018]

What this means: democracy can only survive if citizens vote for neocon-approved candidates. Otherwise, assuming Will is correct, “Anti-Semitism” will be “coming out of the closet.”

I am intrigued how often Goldberg, who is essentially recycling conventional views interspersed with chunks of history that seem to have been extracted from a high school survey, uses the phrase “I tend to believe…”

Although he clearly shows no trace of research curiosity, he may have no professional reason to do so. And so he can get away with idiocies like this one:

I tend to believe that high levels of immigration, particularly skills-based immigration, are economically desirable policies. Also, the evidence that low-skilled immigration is a net detriment to the country is not as cut-and-dried as some claim. (The field of economics that studies immigration is shot through with methodological and ideological problems.)

Really! Are there no reliable studies (I’ve seen dozens of them) that show that low-skilled immigration impacts negatively on low-income earners in the US? And can’t most high-skilled positions that are available in the US be filled by those who are already here?

Not surprisingly what Goldberg “tends to believe” corresponds to the inclinations of the Koch brothers, Paul Singer and other patrons of National Review. (Full disclosure: I’m putting together an anthology on the funding sources of Conservatism, Inc.)

Goldberg inserts silly complaints about how academic Leftists diss him and his pals from National Review, like Kevin Williamson, when they pop up at universities to speak on “conservative” issues. (I note he did not condemn the disruption of my own recent lecture at Hamilton College.)

Personally, I can’t imagine what “conservative” teaching Goldberg could possibly convey during his sojourn in academe. His book conspicuously avoids taking hard conservative stands on anything. When he complains about the breakdown of marriage, he noticeably stays away from gay marriage, which he has already praised as a good thing. [A banner day for gay marriage on the right, By Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post, March 15, 2013] Instead Goldberg blandly chides those who live in “open marriages” and coyly alludes to his own marital bliss—as the husband of Nikki Haley’s speechwriter, Jessica Gavora. [Why Is Nikki Haley Still Trump’s UN Ambassador?, by Philip Giraldi, American Conservative, July 7, 2017]

In the acknowledgements he lists Jessica as his “best confidante, friend, and partner.” Perhaps it is this “partner” whom we should blame for Jonah’s egregious book of opinions and recycled historical platitudes. 

A friend has described Goldberg’s enviable career as the “curse” inflicted on us because his mother Lucianne (of betrayed the trust of Monica Lewinsky and ratted out Monica’s secret affair with Bill Clinton to Republican operatives. Because of this betrayal, Lucianne’s self-important son was launched on a legacy path as a “conservative” luminary, the end of which is not yet in sight.

But this curse has not worked the same way as the fate that befell the subjects of Greek tragedies or those who sinned in Hebrew Scripture. There, the offenders and their descendants suffered the consequences of evil acts. Here the son of the betrayer of confidences is lavishly rewarded, as the beneficiary of his mother’s act, and the rest of us are made to endure his insufferable presence.

The older idea made much better sense. 


No Peter Brimelow, I Am Not Reviewing Jonah [Expletive Deleted] Goldberg's New Book


A few months ago, Editor Peter Brimelow asked me if I might review neoconservative #NeverTrumper Jonah Goldberg’s new book, Suicide of the West. I value my free time highly, so I was pretty dubious—Jonah Goldberg, who has been a media-touted professional token Conservative for all of my life (he’s Gen X, I’m Gen Y), has never to my knowledge said anything interesting, and there are plenty of books I would like to read that are certain to be good. I promptly wrote back to Mr. Brimelow: “I just checked on Amazon and Jonah Goldberg’s new book is 464 pages long. I wouldn’t be willing to read that for less than a ridiculous sum that I wouldn’t accept from anyone to just read a useless book and review it.” Mr. Brimelow dropped the matter after that, and the brilliant Paul Gottfried reviewed it for instead.

Then, more recently, Mr. Brimelow emailed me a mixed review of the book [Jonah Goldberg’s Burkean Turn, June 26, 2018] by Matt Purple at The American Conservative and asked me again if I might review it. While I am aware of the longstanding tradition of writers shamelessly reviewing books without reading them (two brilliant writers, George Orwelland Joe Sobran, both did this, the former even writing an amusing essay about the practice.), I think this practice is detestable, and hope to never do it. So I replied to Mr. Brimelow: “Ugh. I’d be willing to write you an amusing polemical article-length explanation as to why I am not willing to read/review it. That’s the best offer I can give.”

And incredibly, Mr. Brimelow said “Sure.” So, dear reader, here we are.

Mr. Goldberg’s thesis, gleaned from reviews and his endless electronic media appearances, is that the biggest thing (if not the only thing) that makes “the West” great are our Enlightenment/Lockean/Classical Liberal values. These values champion and protect individualism, relatively free trade, relatively unregulated markets, and simple and straightforward laws and jurisprudence that apply to everyone equally.

At present, Mr. Goldberg feels that these values are besieged by Left and Right. To the Left are non-white identitarians and Cultural Marxists, to the Right are populist nationalists. Both groups, in Mr. Goldberg’s eyes, reject the Classical Liberal values that have made the West great, and instead are “tribalists.” As tribalists, they simply want their team to defeat and dominate other teams, and do not care about markets, equality under the law, etc. Mr. Goldberg fears these forces might defeat the Classical Liberal center, and in so doing, will cause the “Suicide of the West.”

This argument is retarded because of mankind’s historical record between the late seventeenth century (when Mr. Goldberg marks the emergence of his preferred values), and the 1960s. During these 300 or so years, each and every Lockean, free marketer, Classical Liberal, and Enlightenment proponent was a “tribalist” by Mr. Goldberg’s standards—and “racist” by the standards of basically everyone alive today.

The Founding Fathers of America were deeply influenced by all that Mr. Goldberg likes (Locke, markets, etc.), and they were also de facto white nationalists.(See What the Founders Really Thought About Race, by Jared Taylor, National Policy Institute, January 17, 2012[PDF]) As Mr. Goldberg may, or may not, be aware, many also owned black slaves and killed American Indians in combat. America’s first immigration law, the Naturalization Act of 1790, allowed citizenship for “free white men of good character.” This is not ambiguous or subject to interpretation, it is an inarguable objective fact about American history.

During the same 300-year span, the United Kingdom, where most all Classical Liberal values originated and were adhered to, managed a global empire that was racially aware—to say the least—and (for a while) practiced race-based slavery. If John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Adam Smith hopped into a time machine today and surveyed the planet’s political, cultural, and racial norms, they would not say: “Boy, things were going just as we wanted up until recently. Let’s hope America eschews Donald Trump’s style of politics and those of Black Lives Matter.”

But, in a nutshell, that is what Mr. Goldberg wants us to believe.

Fundamentally, only in the 1960s did anybody even suggest that the Anglo political tradition of small governments, free markets, and individual rights was incontrovertibly at odds with any level of national or racial consciousness. I know that Mr. Goldberg does not address this in his tome, so there is no point in reading it. His entire thesis is rebuked by 300 years of history.

Another thing that should never be forgotten about Jonah Goldberg: he supported George W. Bush. President Bush, readers may remember, started the Iraq War. That war was pointless and stupid. The estimated number of human deaths caused by it currently sits at just south of 1.5 million. The national debt we accumulated to have that war is in the trillions. And for what? Not a goddamn thing. Iraq was a total Trumpian s***hole before we invaded it and is still a total s***hole.

Furthermore, President Bush made repeated efforts to extend a massive Amnesty to illegal aliens. And he also greatly expanded the Federal government’s ability and right to spy on its citizens, most famously through the PATRIOT ACT. And at the end of the Bush Presidency, there was an economic crash so monumental that it is second in American history only to the Great Depression.

Jonah Goldberg liked President Bush, and still defends him. He thought there nothing incongruous about conservative and/or GOP support for him. But he has written a book about how monstrous Donald Trump is because this President wants to change our immigration laws and tweak our trade policies to benefit Americans.

No-one can support George W. Bush, oppose Donald Trump, and be taken seriously. Maybe if President Trump messes up, launches a catastrophic invasion of some Third World hellhole, and then the economy crashes to an extent on par with the Great Recession, the case could be made that he is worse than Bush II. But until then, no way.

Another point worth noting; the title of Mr. Goldberg’s new book is taken from James Burnham’s 1964 work, Suicide of the West. Just as with the Lockeans of the past few centuries that Mr. Goldberg admires, the late Burnham was “racist” by today’s standards. Back in the day, he wrote for National Review, today, he would be purgedjust as John O’Sullivan, Peter Brimelow, Joe SobranJohn Derbyshire, and a whole host of others were. In a 2016 essay disparaging James Burnham, the anti-white Leftist Jeet Heer noted that,

Burnham was also a white supremacist. As Samuel Francis noted in the magazine Chronicles Magazine in 2002, “in the 1960’s, Burnham defended segregation on pragmatic and constitutional (though not explicitly racial) grounds and, by the 70’s, was suggesting actual racial separation of blacks in a ‘non-contiguous’ area accorded ‘limited sovereignty.’ He also defended both Rhodesia and South Africa, as well as other right-wing states.” In fact, Burnham thought that South Africa’s Apartheid system could be a model for America, with blacks confined to Bantustans. [Nostalgia for Flawed Thinkers Won’t Solve the Crisis of the Conservative Intellectual, by Jeet Heer, The New Republic, October 31, 2016.]

Perhaps Mr. Goldberg knows all this, and simply wants to set it aside and hope he doesn’t get caught obfuscating the matter. If that is the case, then Mr. Goldberg is retarded, because in the age of the internet, somebody would obviously bring this matter to light.

Or perhaps (Peter Brimelow’s theory) Mr. Goldberg is just not aware of any of this, and has simply not read any of Burnham’s body of work. If that is the case, Mr. Goldberg is retarded. James Burnham was a genius, and should be read by everyone interested in American conservatism, contemporary power structures, and foreign policy.

As an aside, Burnham was also right about all the things for which Mr. Heer attacked him.

The bogeymen of “racism”, “tribalism”, and “nationalism” do not threaten Lockean and Classical Liberal values—they never have. Lockean and Classical Liberal values were introduced to the world in a time when racial and national consciousness were an absolute given.

What does threaten Lockean and Classical Liberal values is the rising tide of colormass immigrationCultural Marxism, and an emboldened Left—all of which also threaten the traditional Western nation state, and the white race as a whole.

But who in their right mind would take tips from Jonah Goldberg as to how to push back against any of those threats? What track record does he have of success in this? What about his belief system is compelling, and could be trusted to emerge victorious against the Left in the “marketplace/battlefield of ideas”?

When is it that Gen Y millennials like me and the subsequent Generation Z will warm up to the seductive ideals held by middle-aged “Conservatism Inc.-ers” like Mr. Goldberg? How soon will it be before they subscribe to colorblind Lockeanism because they finally realize how great tax breaks for the wealthy are? Or will they be first won over by the splendor of the atrocious wars Mr. Goldberg advocates?

Libertarians can at least offer them (i.e. us) peace and a whole pleasuredome of legalized vices. Socialists can at least offer college debt forgiveness and medical care. Identitarians can offer community and stability.

What does “Conservatism Inc” offer? A country perpetually at war in faraway lands whose domestic politics and culture are a cross between the cubicles of a call center and an Evangelical church?

Mr. Goldberg’s history is wrong, and his politics are awful. So no, I am not going to waste my time reading his stupid new book.

Hubert Collins writes regularly for American RenaissanceSocial Matter, and here at


Will Tribalism Trump Democracy?

By Patrick J. Buchanan  Tuesday - July 31, 2018

On July 19, the Israeli Knesset [parliament] voted to change the nation's Basic Law. Israel was declared to be, now and forever, the nation-state and national home of the Jewish people. Hebrew is to be the state language. Angry reactions, not only among Israeli Arabs and Jews, came swift.  Allan Brownfeld of the American Council for Judaism calls the law a "retreat from democracy" as it restricts the right of self-determination, once envisioned to include all within Israel's borders, to the Jewish people. Inequality is enshrined. And Israel, says Brownfeld, is not the nation-state of American Jews.

What makes this clash of significance is that it is another battle in the clash that might fairly be called the issue of our age.  The struggle is between the claims of tribe, ethnicity, peoples and nations, against the commands of liberal democracy.

In Europe, the Polish people seek to preserve the historic and ethnic character of their country with reforms that the EU claims violate Poland's commitment to democracy. If Warsaw persists, warns the EU, the Poles will be punished. But which comes first: Poland, or its political system, if the two are in conflict?

Other nations are ignoring the open-borders requirements of the EU's Schengen Agreement, as they attempt to block migrants from Africa and the Middle East. They want to remain who they are, open borders be damned.

Britain is negotiating an exit from the EU because the English voted for independence from that transitional institution whose orders they saw as imperiling their sovereignty and altering their identity.

When Ukraine, in the early 1990s, was considering secession from Russia, Bush I warned Kiev against such "suicidal nationalism." Ukraine ignored President Bush. Today, new questions have arisen.  If Ukrainians had a right to secede from Russia and create a nation-state to preserve their national identity, do not the Russians in Crimea and the Donbass have the same right — to secede from Ukraine and rejoin their kinsmen in Russia?

As Georgia seceded from Russia at the same time, why do not the people of South Ossetia have the same right to secede from Georgia?

Who are we Americans, 5,000 miles away, to tell tribes, peoples and embryonic nations of Europe whether they may form new states to reflect and preserve their national identity?

Nor are these minor matters.

At Paris in 1919, Sudeten Germans and Danzig Germans were, against their will, put under Czech and Polish rule. British and French resistance to permitting these peoples to secede and rejoin their kinfolk in 1938 and 1939 set the stage for the greatest war in history.

Here in America, we, too, appear to be in an endless quarrel about who we are.
Is America a different kind of nation, a propositional nation, an ideological nation, defined by a common consent to the ideas and ideals of our iconic documents like the Declaration of Independence and Gettysburg Address?

Or are we like other nations, a unique people with our own history, heroes, holidays, religion, language, literature, art, music, customs and culture, recognizable all over the world as "the Americans"?

Since 2001, those who have argued that we Americans were given, at the birth of the republic, a providential mission to democratize mankind, have suffered an unbroken series of setbacks. Nations we invaded, such as Afghanistan and Iraq, to bestow upon them the blessings of democracy, rose up in resistance. What our compulsive interventionists saw as our mission to mankind, the beneficiaries saw as American imperialism.

And the culture wars on history and memory continue unabated.

According to The New York Times, the African-American candidate for governor of Georgia, Stacey Abrams, has promised to sandblast the sculptures of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis off Stone Mountain. The Republican candidate, Brian Kemp, has a pickup truck, which he promises to use to transfer illegal migrants out of Georgia and back to the border.

In Texas, a move is afoot to remove the name of Stephen Austin from the capital city, as Austin, in the early 1830s, resisted Mexico's demands to end slavery in Texas when it was still part of Mexico. One wonders when they will get around to Sam Houston, hero of Texas' War of Independence and first governor of the Republic of Texas, which became the second slave republic in North America.  Houston, after whom the nation's fourth-largest city is named, was himself, though a Unionist, a slave owner and an opponent of abolition.

Today, a large share of the American people loathe who we were from the time of the explorers and settlers, up until the end of segregation in the 1960s. They want to apologize for our past, rewrite our history, erase our memories and eradicate the monuments of those centuries.

The attacks upon the country we were and the people whence we came are near constant. And if we cannot live together amicably, secession from one another, personally, politically, and even territorially, seems the ultimate alternative.


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                                                June 11, 2021   MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey     The Battle for the West is Also a Cult...