Since the convulsions of the Civil Rights era, it has become almost impossible to argue for freedom of association and exclusion in the United States. Great efforts are undertaken to teach children and train adults into believing that inclusion is good, and exclusivity is bad.
So, for example, it is considered wicked to exclude various types of people which are both real and invented from any organization, whether it happens to be formal or informal. Where soft segregation appears, un-appointed commissars are encouraged to break that up, whether or not there’s anything legally actionable in what’s being done.
It has also happened that people comfortable arguing for the principle of free association tend to become profoundly uncomfortable with any application of that principle. Most of the people who might say that freedom of association is good would not defend the right of a church to exclude sodomites from the congregation or the priesthood.
Proclaiming a belief in a principle but then refusing to defend the consistent application of that principle undermines the prior statement. A political candidate who dares to defend freedom of association in principle must respond to any criticism of his position by condemning exclusion in practice.
To defend the right of the Irish Catholic bar owner to tell a Black patron to “Pike off, nigger” is to also defend the right of the Black barber to tell a White kid to “Get the fuck out of here, cracker.” In today’s crocodile-calculus, the latter statement would be an oppressor getting his comeuppance, but the former would be grounds to seize that bar owner’s business and throw him into penury. Theoretically, the paleface could sue the barber. In practice, any lawyer who took that case would have to be a crackpot.
Trotsky would call them both ‘racists.’ I would say that they are both within their proper rights, and that such exclusion is crucial to the maintenance of any real community of quality.
In both law and practice, the principle of forced-open-entry tends to be inconsistently applied. In most universities, there are Black, Asian, or Latino student unions, but any attempt to create ‘White Student Unions’ attracts scandal. While there might be a few ‘French’ or ‘German’ cultural houses here or there in older universities, those also tend to demand inclusion for all groups. We abound in women’s groups, but any attempt to build such groups for men — even within a leftist identity politics framework — is met with defamatory magazine and newspaper articles along with legal pressure besides.
The press portrays moderate leftists like Paul Elam as if they were proto-Hitlers, merely for attempting to represent the interests of the hated oppressor-class.
This state of affairs permits some groups to be discriminatory and crudely insulting. Others are forbidden from expressing even mild disrespect for the protected groups. To remain in polite society, we must pretend not to notice this. Since society is becoming not-society and the politeness is becoming a worthless pretense, it’s time to toss the lies in the rubbish and discuss things as they are.
To exclude is to say that you prefer one group to other groups. It is to say that a group membership matters to you, that you value the group, that you will defend the interests of the group. Forced inclusion disrupts the number of private spaces available to individuals for most races, classes, and creeds — but it tends to be applied against certain groups more than others. When, here and there, an individual notices the arbitrary nature in which these rules come to be applied, the herd swarms to decry him as an evil person.
In the same way as marrying a woman is to say that you prefer this lady above the others — to grant her that privilege — an expression of preference necessarily ranks some over others.
Whenever disparate impact appears within a group, it takes on the frisson of a criminal gang, because what’s being done is against the spirit of an unenforceable set of tyrannical laws.
The hope behind the inclusive, open society was that it would make human equality real. That goal was never achievable in the abstract, and in the particular, it has resulted in unhappiness, ugliness, conflict, crime, confusion, and aimless solitude.
Without exclusion, there can be little inclusion or intimacy, either. A space for privacy and for secrets makes it possible to protect a given spot of land, an idea, a company, a family, a club, or a temple.
‘Civil rights’ and the concomitant global-multicultural-infinite-immigration policy has, rather than make cooperation possible, depleted civil society, annihilated private institutions at all levels, weakened the practice of faith, and has instead funneled people into communicating by computer to be surveilled by the state and its favored commercial interests. Where there is no privacy, there can be no ‘private property,’ either.
Because moderates on this topic tend to be punished at incredible levels, people who disagree even mildly will tend to find themselves pushed to extremes, because it is the fastest way for them to find allies to coordinate with. Forcing groups together also forces them into conflict where they might have avoided one another otherwise, through prudent separation.
If the man whose daughter has been turned out and sold by Pakistani slavers can only find an understanding friend in the man with the swastika tattoo, those fellows will become fast friends, and the legitimacy of the state will be undermined, potentially fatally so given enough time and insults to the honor of the little people.
The average Englishman has no opinion about gypsies until you force 50,000 of them to live in his neighborhood at public expense. After that, it should be no surprise if he becomes a world-class gypsy loather. In the mental framework of the Western elite, our gypsy-hating fellow is evil, even though his antipathy would never have been aroused if some bureaucrat hadn’t gotten it into his head that it would be a bright idea to import 50,000 gypsies and dump them into the man’s neighborhood.
Since it becomes forbidden to speak about these topics in any way, anyone who does permit discussion of that topic — usually those unconcerned about elite opinion — will wind up attracting the mass of dissatisfaction. While pseudo-elites of democracies sneer at this ‘rise of extremism,’ this rise only derives from the misgovernment practiced by those same pseudo-elites, the same refusal to address their constituents in a forthright way, to listen to their complaints, and to take appropriate action.
The leaders in the Western democracies think that if they are aggressive enough in hunting down those who dare to discriminate, they will bring about the magic happy world in their television shows, movies, and advertisements. The more aggressive they are in removing unprincipled exceptions, the more bitter the opposition that they will excite,and the more that they will destabilize their own state.
The window of opportunity in which political compromise might have been possible shrinks by another few inches for every reckless & destructive action.
Evan McLaren says
Maybe: The gypsy-hating fellow is not evil, he’s just obviously farther down the socioeconomic ladder since he is close enough to gypsies to feel the necessity to complain.
If he could afford to live in a better neighborhood, he’d be one of the beautiful people, and would have nothing to complain about other than maybe capital gains taxes.
Jim Donald came up with an excellent metaphor for this: Anti-discrimination laws do to civil society what penicillin does to bacteria. The difference between chemistry and biology is a cell membrane that discriminates between molecules beneficial to the cell’s function and molecules that would sabotage it. Poke enough holes in these membranes, and a healthy society becomes a formless, dysfunctional soup of isolated individuals.
More likely, government repression will just breed a tougher civil society. Destroy the Lions Club, and more white men will join the KKK or Aryan Brotherhood.
This is more or less what’s happening. When they ban frats, where will those normal, well-adjusted young men go to have their social needs met?