Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Alt Right and the Arithmetic of Race

First, a propos yesterday's transcript of the Valdai Discussion Club final session, if you read it you know first-hand what President Putin's position on the Catalan independence movement that is currently playing out with very big stakes for both Spain and Europe.

This past week one of the leaders of the Alt-Right, Richard Spencer was scheduled to give a speech at the University of Florida in Gainesville, and I wondered why the only reports stated that the governor of Florida had called a state of emergency beforehand and that shots were fired afterwards. When the Los Angeles Times wrote that Spencer gave a two-hour speech, I watched a video of the event on-line. In fact, Spencer was systematically prevented from giving a speech by well-organized protesters that made up most of the audience.  During more that an hour he tried to convince them to desist, alternately appealing to their democratic convictions and taunting them, until finally a few people broke from the crowd to question him.
Spencer emotionally made the point that whites in the US are increasingly treated as a minority, preference for education and jobs often given deliberately to non-whites who have been discriminated against for centuries. Those facts are correct, but Spencer failed to note that this is not a specifically ‘American’ problem: white people, known as Caucasians, constitute only 16% of the world’s population.
For years I have been writing that the Caucasians’ best policy is to cooperate with the 74% rather than try to dominate it.,, and Europe’s migration crisis graphi-cally illustrates what happens when dark-skinned people show up amongst white people who have not done the math. But Spencer’s attitude is at best a childish “I’m not going to play with you anymore,” and at best unrealistic.
Spencer and his followers want to create a “white ethno-state” after ‘peacefully’ transferring non-whites to their countries of origin: Latinos to the southern hemisphere, black people presumably shipped back to Africa. (As Muslims become the dominant population on the old continent, would Europeans who want to live in a white ethno-state be welcome in North America? Probably only if they qualify as ‘truly white’, like Germans or Scandinavians…. 
Once separated into truly ‘national’ — or ethnic — nation-states, would the world no longer be in a constant state of war?  It sounds good on paper, but I remember when the developed (i.e., ‘superior’) world sincerely believed that democracies don’t make war on each other, which ‘justifying’ America’s commitment to bring ‘democracy’ everywhere. (Never mind that leaders of democracies who are not on the same page as the US, are toppled thanks to US support for their adversaries.)   
To gain broad support, Spencer’s Alt-Right would have to at least convince a majority of Americans that the ‘redistribution’ of non-white populations he envisages would be non-violent. That is hard to do when every public appearance of the Alt-Right evokes violence, as when armed men march with torches shouting ‘’You will not replace us! Jews will not replace us!”, as they did in Charlottesville. And even more so, when people are aware that the torchlight parades of Neo-Nazi militias in Ukraine (who support the government the US created after toppling the elected president), are paying tribute to forefathers who helped Hitler kill Jews, Roma and Russians.
In Gainesville, Spencer, whose friends occasionally relayed him at the mike, was one man facing a largely hostile (though disciplined) crowd, thus he could not threaten, but only cajole, taunt — or claim unconvincingly that the deaths in Charlottesville were not the Alt-right’s fault. 
Based on Europe’s crisis over African and Middle Eastern migrants and refugees, like Marine Le Pen in France and other far-right European leaders gaining in polls, President Putin believes that ‘multiculturalism’ doesn’t work. Unlike the European far-right concerned only with their own back yard, he advicates a world in which each nationality is at home alone, cooperating with others on an equal basis to ensure a peaceful world. The Russian President would not endorse the Alt-Right’s agenda of ‘peaceful relocation’, because he knows that even with good-will on both sides, this would inflict severe psychic and physical damage, as shown when newly independent Hindu India carried out a massive population exchange with Muslim Pakistan.  
World development goals encourage people to remain in their own country rather than seeking a ‘better’ life among strangers. But as long as the developed world fails to bring a better life to its ‘periphery’ so that people no longer seek it elsewhere, Spencer’s idea of relocating ‘non-Whites’ could only be accomplished by force. 
Gainesville students demonstrating against Richard Spencer

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