Liberals, race, religion, bigots, essentialism (8-4-22)

The Left derides those who ascribe essential qualities to Jews, Christians, Muslims, blacks, whites, Anglos, Germans, Japanese, Nigerians. And the Left is right. Just because somebody is a member of one of these groups does not determine anything. There is no self (we’re different in different situations) and no true Jew, Christian, Muslim, etc (because Jews, Christians and Muslims have many differences and they’re all different in different situations). Ancestry, upbringing, culture, situations and incentives affect how people behave. So too, just because someone says something ugly on a podcast does not make them a hater or a bigot. The Left wants to ascribe essential qualities to people who say bad things.

Generalizing is an inherent part of being human and is distinct from essentializing. When we generalize that Ashkenazi Jews don’t normally work in blue collar jobs, we’re probably right about 80% of the time. When we generalize that Ashkenazi Jews in America are not poor, we’re probably right about 80% of the time. With generalizing, I would expect, comes an awareness that we’re generalizing and that we’re doing it to save time and bandwidth. For example, a proselytizing Jehovah’s Witness is generally of no interest to me, and so I generally ignore them, but I understand that some of them might be interesting and in exceptional circumstances, worthy of a conversation. When we essentialize, meaning we attribute certain essential qualities to somebody because of their group or because of something they’ve said or done, we lack awareness.

Both generalizing and essentializing should be circumscribed by contingency. My goodness and my badness is contingent upon circumstance. My loudness and my quietness is contingent upon circumstances. Almost everything is contingent and situational. At most, specific personalities and moral characters are domain specific. In this domain, this person tends to be reliably in this direction. At work, Joe tends to be industrious while in the religious sphere, he tends to be lazy. Jane tends to be diligent with her accounting work but loose with her love. Shlomo is precise with his religious observance but flexible with his business ethics.

Richard Spencer says “Christianity is a loser religion.” There’s no essential Christianity. There’s no inherent or even generalized connection between losing and Christianity.

What people say about themselves bears only a passing resemblance to the truth. My father told me that religion in America is a mile wide and an inch deep. Most Americans claim to be Christians but for only a tiny minority does it affect how they behave (as opposed to regular church-goers in Europe and Australia who lead religiously-infused lives distinctly different from the majority). Christian nationalists these days tend to not be very Christian. Christian is a safe uniting identity for majority white groups who want to organize in their self-interest against an onrushing tide of Leftism.

Everybody wants to rule the world, everybody wants to feel cosmically special. Christian nationalist is one growing way of doing this.

Richard talks (40 minutes in) about Christianity inspiring people to have babies. I think it would be truer to say that in America, people who want to have babies are more likely to identify with Christianity. Once you decide on your sex life (monogamous or adventurous), your religious choices follow.

Richard asks why Christians are so against eugenics. Well, in America, it is a reaction to the globalist and libertine ethic. Christians having a positive or negative view on eugenics is contingent on the situation.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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