Friday, August 4, 2017

Irishness and Whiteness

I've said some nice things about the Alt Right recently. I regularly watch the Alt Right vlogger Millennial Woes. I also like Milo Yiannopoulous (who isn't Alt Right, but gets associated with them), Roaming Millennial, and several other vloggers who might easily be described as far right. (But then, if you're opposed to abortion, same-sex marriage, or multiculturalism, somebody out there will almost certainly call you far right...)

I'm a little bit uneasy about praising the Alt Right without making very clear, once again, that I do not share their views on race.

There are a spectrum of views on race out there, which I will summarize, and give my own views on each:

1) There's no such thing as race. It's skin deep. Only social conditioning leads us to take any account of skin colour.

I don't believe this. I do think race is real. Whether it's a biological fact or a sociological fact isn't really relevant, in my eyes. I think people's behaviour is always going to be influenced by race, to some extent. It seems to influence how people interact and associate with each other, and how they perceive each other.

2) Society is fundamentally racist.

I don't believe this. Yes, I think most people probably have a mild and mostly unconscious prejudice in favour of their own race, but I don't think it's nearly as bad as it's made out to be.

3) There are hardwired biological differences between the races, such as IQ, that determine the success and character of their societies.

I don't know what to think about this proposition. I'm not scientifically minded. I do believe in IQ differences but I don't know how significant or innate they are. I'm not sure how important IQ is, anyway. And I have to admit a prejudice against biological determinism which makes me dislike this entire line of discussion.

4) White people should be ashamed of themselves.

I don't believe this. I'm not ashamed to be white.

5) White people should be proud to be white.

If someone is proud of their race, whatever it is-- fine. I'm not.

6) White people should have an allegiance to their fellow whites.

I don't agree with this. My allegiance and my identity, in ethnic terms, is to Ireland and the Irish. Whiteness doesn't come into it. I feel no greater sense of allegiance to someone in Belgium than I do to someone in Nigeria. In fact, I feel less of a sense of allegiance, because nobody is pushing me to regard myself as pan-African, and plenty of people (left and right) are pushing me to consider myself pan-European, in either a political or racial sense.

I really dislike the implication that I should feel more sense of affinity, of allegiance, with someone from Norway or Holland or Russia, who happens to be white, than I should with someone like Phil Lynnott, the black Irish rock musician who wrote lyrics like this:

Tell me the legends of long ago
When the kings and queens would dance in the realm of the Black Rose
Play me the melodies I want to know
So I can teach my children, oh

Pray tell me the story of young Cรบ Chulainn
How his eyes were dark his expression sullen
And how he'd fight and always won
And how they cried when he was fallen...


Phil Lynnott
Not up to the standards of Lynnott's better lyrics, but the allegiance they express is what matters.

 I'm not a civic nationalist. In the normal course of events-- without massive ethnic displacement-- the majority of Irish people would continue to be white rather than some other pigmentation. The genotype is not unimportant. DNA is not unimportant. But it's not everything. Culture, upbringing, allegiance, and shared memory are more important. If the physical type of the Irish were to change gradually over time, through intermarriage and absorption of people from other cultures,  I woudn't see that as a tragedy. The perpetuation of the culture and the national spirit is what really matters.

4 comments:

  1. Hi Maolsheachlann. If the Belgian was Catholic and the Nigerian was not Catholic, would that make a difference?

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    Replies
    1. No, not as regards ethnic identity. Not in my view. Religion and ethnicity are different, in my view.

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    2. In more general terms, though, yes.

      Delete
  2. Hi Maolsheachlann. If the Belgian was Catholic and the Nigerian was not Catholic, would that make a difference?

    ReplyDelete