“Only the future is certain, the past is always changing.” ― Douglas Schofield in “Time of Departure”
MY CONGRESSMAN was in the Indianapolis Star the other day promising that he would make certain that white supremacists are named, targeted and defeated.
“I deployed to Afghanistan as a response to radical Islamic terrorism,” he said. “We now face a different enemy that has also emerged from the shadows but demands the same focus and determination to root out and destroy.”
Well, yes, white supremacists are bad. So we say hooray to the congressman, while reserving the hope that we will have better luck here than we have had in Afghanistan.
But the congressman may be in office long enough to discover that terms such as “white supremacist,” “racist,” “misogynist,” “Islamophobic,” “anti-Semite,” “homophobic,” “xenophobic” and so forth tend to get redefined in political rhetoric until they include large chunks of a voting constituency — “deplorables,” they are called in the aggragate.
In my youth, a white supremacist was narrowly defined as someone who, if I may grab my 1972 dictionary, “believed that white people are superior to those of all other races, especially the black race, and should therefore dominate society.”
Today, Tucker Carlson is surely right that there aren’t enough such persons in America — at least organized to influence a free election or a party platform — to fill a high school gym. It is a guess that the congressman’s district holds barely enough to fill a Porta-John.
If a war against such people is to be mounted, if they are to be rooted out and destroyed with federal dollars and congressional authority, the definition will have to be expanded to justify the expense.
And it is a good bet that the FBI and Homeland Security, with an eye on budget dollars available for such a campaign, are ginning up the white-supremacist count in their top-secret briefings with congressmen.
A friend is right to worry, then, that the local library’s records will show that he checked out a certain book this summer. The title itself, I had to tell him, smacked of white supremacism, “Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World.”
The author is Dan Hannan, a historian and commentator born in Peru, elected from Great Britain in 1999 to the European Parliament and a fluent speaker of multiple languages. Hannan argues that the genius of Western Civilization is only incidentally, albeit heroically, connected to the Anglo-Saxons and Normans of the British Isles.
In his defense, know that Hannan documents the success of the various other races and nationalities within the so-called Anglosphere who have embraced the values that we take for granted here: personal liberty, secure property, free contract, jury trials, uncensored newspapers, regular elections, habeas corpus, open competition, religious pluralism.
“It is why Bermuda is not Haiti,” Hannan says, “why Singapore is not Indonesia, why Hong Kong is not China, or, for that matter, Macau.” And the Indian writer Madhav Das Nalapat has another way of putting it: The Anglosphere is defined not by racial affinity but by “the blood of the mind.”
A prosecutor will note, however, that Hannan in his whiteness does not give the necessary, politically correct testimony. He does not believe that all cultures, no matter how romantic, colorful, charming and worthy of enduring, are capable of producing the same economic results for their average, everyday members, what we call a middle class.
Nor does he refute the economist Thomas Sowell that if the individual children of the same parents have different abilities it is reasonable to assume that will be the case with the individual citizens of a nation. And he believes that equality of opportunity is sacrificed (gasp) in pursuit of equality of results.
So Robespierre is not fooled. The guillotine is raised and ready. The AntiFa are in the streets.
But it is early yet, my friend can be comforted. Before Washington’s Comité de salut public can get his home address, history can be rewritten, library records can be altered — and books can always be burned. — tcl