Godwin’s Law states that ‘as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler or Nazis approaches one’. In other words, somebody will eventually invoke the Nazis to win an argument. The tactic is common on the Left, where calling someone a Nazi is almost as normal as breathing.
I’m loath, then, to indulge in the same overheated rhetoric. But someone has to state an unpalatable truth. The Black Lives Matter movement is a modern version of the socialism of fools. It has reintroduced race into politics in a way not seen since Nazism. But instead of Jews as the archetypal villain we have white people, especially white men. This is an extraordinarily dangerous development, because, until recently, any political movement that espoused racist views, especially views analogous to Nazism, was banished, as reprehensible, to the political wilderness.
But the world has changed. What was once considered disgraceful is now the mainstream. The problem of populist racism, though, stems in one sense from the fact that the average voter is fooled by feel-good propaganda. Political activists, no matter how vile, offer policies that are, at first glance, benign. All political movements, even the foul ones, claim they want to eliminate poverty, protect the environment and treat people equally. Their malignant goals are only spoken about among themselves. This tactic is used by Black Lives Matter and it was a tactic employed to advantage by the Nazis.
The Nazis introduced social welfare programmes. They gained kudos for their work caring for the poor. Hitler argued in Mein Kampf that poverty was an unmitigated evil, which had terrible social consequences. The Nazis said all people were equal in the Volksgemeinschaft, the people’s community. Everyone, no matter what their profession, status or class, was a valued member of society. Each person in the Nazi state would be encouraged to enthusiastically perform their role for the greater good. The community was more important than the individual. The ubiquitous uniforms of the Nazi state were a way of hiding social status while signalling rank in the Volksgemeinschaft. And finally, everyone would be happy.
Except, that is, for the Jews and other untermenschen. These people, vermin, according to Nazi ideology, had brought evil into the world and would be made to atone for their sins. Hence the need for a scapegoat, which the Nazis would sacrifice to propitiate the gods of racial purity. Envy, the underlying motive for scapegoating, was the real cause of Nazi racism.
Blame, however, is not confined to delusional Nazis. The Nazis blamed the Jews, the communists blamed the bourgeoisie, feminists blame men. Black Lives Matter, and the social justice movement, blame white men – and to a lesser extent, white women, who are the beneficiaries of white male supremacy. This type of politics is, to put it bluntly, stupid and one-dimensional. It overlooks multiple reasons for human misfortune, including, and most importantly, bad luck.
One consequence of viewing a category of people as evil is they lose their humanity and can be injured or murdered with impunity. How many times have we seen the perpetrators of evil deeds bragging about what they’ve done? It doesn’t matter what the world thinks of their crimes, they think only of their tribe. And this is why the Black Lives Matter protestor, incognito in a mask, attacking white men, burning property and toppling statues is no different to the Nazi thug, dressed in a SA uniform, beating a Jew, smashing a Jewish shop or burning books. Not all protesters are violent, comes the inevitable refrain, but every protestor who attended a march gave their de facto imprimatur to the extremists among them.
What Black Lives Matter shares with the Nazis is a worldview that blames others for real or imagined injustice, an economic philosophy that is essentially socialist, and, most importantly, the reintroduction of race as a determining factor in the historical processes that govern the world.
White men, who are evil, because of a lack of melanin in one iteration, are the cause of the world’s suffering. Aboriginal Australia, for example, did not experience domestic violence until the arrival of white men caused black men to beat their women. Matriarchies existed throughout the world in peaceful coexistence before white patriarchal norms destroyed a feminine paradise. Environmental degradation is caused by white men who rape the planet with their insatiable greed. Even the achievements of Western civilisation are tools to privilege white male domination. The wonders of Renaissance art, which are the result of a confluence of factors unrelated to race, are white males imposing their subjective taste on aesthetics. Recently 2 + 2 = 4 was portrayed as a way to belittle minorities with white logic.
This is not reality. It’s left-wing mystical mumbo jumbo. It contains nothing as insightful as the wisdom of the world’s great religions. It’s meagre fare compared to the great socialist thinkers of the past, who, although they were wrong about many things, were at least intelligent. It’s bad philosophy. It contains no common sense. It’s bereft of logic. It’s what the Irish call craw thumping, beating one’s chest in an elaborate display of piety. It is, to put it bluntly, virtue-signalling at its most indulgent. What Black Lives Matter shares with every destructive movement in history, including Nazism, is envy and hatred disguised as compassion. It also shows, paradoxically, a deep-seated inability to accept difference.
Nothing but injustice follows the reintroduction of race into politics, which is what the great champions of racial equality like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela knew and tried to instil in their disciples. Whenever we privilege the collective over the individual – tribe, culture, sex, class, nation, or race – injustice in all its dreadful manifestations follows. This does not mean that the little platoons – our family, our friends, the place where we live – that Edmund Burke evoked are not necessary. It means that pride in what is familiar should not breed hatred towards those who are different, or, through sheer cosmic luck, have a better life than we do.
Nazism took many forms during its short history. Black Lives Matter is not the Nazism of World War II or the Holocaust, but it is the Nazism of the Weimar Republic.
Put simply, Black Lives Matter is a warning.
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