Racism and the Majority Culture

In Hate, there is justification

At least, some would like to believe as such. My personal experience with hate is that it is seldom motivated by reason. Rather, the reason behind hate is seldom influenced by reason itself: That is, a rational judgement of pros and cons of the action, as well as the willful separation from the social contract. The few moments in my life where I have hated, truly and deeply hated, have always been met with a sudden realization not of those I hated but of myself. I hate that which reflects upon me as a human being.

Whenever I read the comments of someone who would proclaim that people are racists for good reasons, I think of how I myself used to think this way. Now, why did I cease to think this way? Part of that was the fact that I have spent some time with those I hated: The feminists, muslims, black people. Even if I would not proclaim my hate for them, I held deeply seated judgements on them.

I thought feminists to be irrational women who tried to justify their existence outside of the household, while I thought it was simply natural for women to be submissive to men, due to their biology. Tied into that, I had powerful fantasies like that of John Norman’s Gor fantasy world, where women are naturally subservient to men as sex objects and procreators, and when they are not, they are cast off as savages to create their own primitive, man-hating tribes.

Much as this should remain a simple BDSM subculture, Gor reflects the subconscious feelings of society at large. It reflects the power of the majority culture and its capacity to put women as a subservient role at leisure, should the holders of coercitive power choose as much, as part of some kind of will by the people, of which women could no doubt subscribe to as well. As is evident from the sheer numbers of antifeminist women in America right now ( and across history ) and those who voted for Trump, whose administration seeks to undermine progress of women’s rights from the last 50 years, via for ex. the repeal of Roe vs Wade.

What is the “majority culture”, however? Indeed, I have been speaking of this for a while and in my articles on White Privilege have allowed me to do some research on the theory behind such a thing. Charles Taylor’s “Politics of Recognition” have also cleared up some of the rubble behind my misunderstanding of the term.

Power of Culture

If the State holds the coercitive powers, the majority culture holds the social coercitive power. Where a State can be sanctioned to impede upon a person’s actions, the social coercion forces inaction when one sees injustice, per virtue of it being the unfortunate failure of a part of the culture, but not the culture as a whole. This is exemplified in the disparity of wages in Western society, where we allow the existence of utter misery, when others live in utter luxury. We’ll consider this an unfortunate downside and a necessary evil within our culture, as the majority – the people benefitting from such a disparity – culture are living quite well or believe that this system allows to thin out the worst of our society for the profit of the best.

It is thus necessary that some people are poor and others are wealthy while some stand inbetween, waiting to either transfer or not to the upper or lower echelons of society. This is liberal society, which would proclaim freedom for all and in all ways, being that the centrality of the government is that it exists solely to keep us from killing one another. The majority culture, in this case, are the people outside of poverty and those who are obscenely rich, because they get to call the shots, considering they also hold the majority of government seats.

So, the middle, upper-middle class and working class people consist of the majority who vote for the people who get in power and part of these same groups are the ones who get government seats. These people share a common set of values that are inherent to the society they live in, that is the Republic, which is a liberal system. It holds true that no matter what Liberal philosophers would claim about legislators or magistrates in a Republic, there remains a cultural influence upon the liberal government. Considering it wishes to keep the demos away from power, it must cave in to demands, to keep it from exercising its sovereignty in any other way than voting.

There is no such a thing as “objective” culture, if that culture prevails solely for the benefit of a specific type of people in society. That is the case with most Western societies, that have been built on the backs of minority cultures to the profit of White citizens. Slowly, but surely, the lines have been blurred between these minorities, but the reasoning behind government actions remain to the profit of a “white” sort of thought.

I’ll not go into the concept of “decolonization” because I believe it is extremely litigious and has some definite weaknesses. For now, what I wish to inspect is the impact on minority cultures – that is, cultures that have a diminished level of social coercitive power and are thus at the mercy of the majority culture.

As above, so below

Minority cultures in societies that have majorities and minorities are the ones who typically suffer from the preservation of privileges to the majority culture, even if they themselves are more numerous. Liberal democracy is particularly at fault for this, for, as an exemple, in Canada, if a party holds a superior amount of seats than any other party, it becomes the majority party.

We have had elections when the majority party was considered a majority because it held 37% of seats, whereas others held respectively 10 or 15% percent of the seats, sometimes up to 25%. Whatever the case, the one party that had the highest percentage of seats, even if they were not a majority (I.E.: 50+1%) were considered the majority party and thus, the government was in their hands. In the case of an election where the majority party holds 37% of government seats, that means 63% of the people voted for different parties. Their opposition should be the majority.

What is considered a majority, then, is not what the people want, but how many people went in one direction, compared to others. The presumption here is that the 37% party has more direction and therefore should have more coercitive power. In a liberal democracy, they are the majority and those who have voted for them have become the majority culture, even if they comprise of only 37% of the population’s will.

In America, the 2016 election ended with a majority of Republican seats in government, even though the people ended up voting overwhelmingly more for Clinton than they did Trump. This is an issue raised by the system of the American Republic, which is the electoral college: If more people voted for Candidate A in a county, than they did any other person, then the county goes to that candidate and the electoral college has to bring in their vote to the race, which gives their county to that candidate. So, whatever many thousands of people who did not vote for Candidate A are not given a voice whatsoever.

So, despite clearly having voiced opposition to Candidate A, these people will see their views ignored by A to the benefit of those who did. Such a misbalance of power and direct opposition based solely on colors that often have no real meaning beyond ideological concepts, serves only to preserve the majority culture’s hold on power. Even if the minority culture were to get what they want, the majority culture could still use its inherited social coercion to diminish the loss, as has been the case in America after homosexual marriage became legal across all the states. Obstruction, refusal to provide service, ostracization… all tactics used by the then majority culture to shun those they deemed as outliers.

The impact

When the majority culture chooses to initiate conflict with minority cultures in this way and especially when it ignores those within itself that do such things, claiming that the virtue of the culture prohibits such actions and those are simply the acts of a few ill-minded vigilantes. Should the majority culture fail to act upon actions it causes upon minorities, it will inevitably turn these minorities against itself. The “politics of recognition” come in handy here, as the psycho-social effects of being ignored by the majority culture will reflect negatively upon the overall social presence these minorities have in public life.

A good example I can bring up is the recent terrorist attack in a Quebec mosque by a right-wing extremist. Initially, people wanted to believe this was a muslim, not one of their own. Then, when it was revealed to be one of their own, efforts were deployed to isolate him from the rest of society. The majority culture once again decried being called racists, saying that they had no problem with muslims or arabic immigrants, they have a problem with islam.

The nuance in such a statement seems logical, a priori, but soon reveals prejudice that permits the actions of “isolated” nutjobs like Alexandre Bissonnette. Were the majority culture more aggressive at denouncing acts of outright racism and intolerance, people like Bissonnette would not feel validated into their senseless, hateful reasoning. As the government issued public statements about tolerance and inclusiveness, the people who were adamantly defending their “I’m not racist, but…” stances showed their lack of concern for the victims of the shooting and more for their freedom to “criticize islam”.

Alike with feminism, these are not just criticisms. When comments like “go back to your country” and “if you don’t like it here, you can fuck off” as well as “keep your burqa at home”, one can immediately see that the intolerance is not just with the religion, but the culture as well. The fear, some of the secularists of Quebec would say, is that islamists impose shariah law upon ourselves. If the Liberal system holds true, this is impossible. Firstly, because the majority culture is still the same and secondly because the Liberal government would never allow another government to be erected within its fold and gain power at its behest. (See John Locke’s Essay on Tolerance)

The same happens in America, where a vast majority of those who hold office have to swear to serve the Christian God. Religious freedom has to be upheld until another religion starts to get some kind of social pull. At that moment, islam, scientology, jewish orthodoxy start to be considered as a threat by the majority culture. This also applies when beliefs of the majority culture begin to be torn down by science or intellectuals who are within the same culture, but particularly so when they are not, for it can be stated that the reason their research or their beliefs go against the norm are because of their cultural belonging.

As such, when Chomsky criticizes American governments for their foreign policies, he is branded as an Anti-american, a communist, a marxist, etc… Simply because these are people who are not within the majority culture and thus ostracized by association with these terms. He still is, to this day, always as a desperate manner to get people not to read his work or indeed listen to what he has to say.

In the end, these form tools that all work hand in hand to preserve the majority culture’s coercitive power over both itself and the minority cultures. When the afro-americans started their civil rights movement, there was violent repression not only from police but from white people in the states they demonstrated, to get them to go back to their spaces, away from whites.

It behooves the majority culture to always be skeptical of criticisms against itself, because it has been kept in power for so long. There has to be a reason for it and that reason can be manifested in many different ways, but the primary reason will always be cultural superiority. The majority culture holds the majority because it is superior and thus more capable of deciding what is best for society.

Inversely, the reality is that because it has been the majority culture from the get-go and that it has severely repressed the rights and presence of other cultures within its fold, the majority culture seeks to preserve all the coercitive power it has through the ignoring of the plights of cultures other than itself, and when their plights are made too apparent to ignore, express skepticism because THEY have not been faced with such problems and THEY do not see the big deal, because THEY continue living their lives as usual. Why should they change anything?

Skepticism as a weapon against progress

This brings in the deadliest weapon of all to use against social issues. There is such a thing as good skepticism, which is held in good faith and to understand a little bit better what is happening. The problem is when this skepticism becomes a tool to use to put bars in the wheels of social movements, such as the Civil Rights movement had, and then the Black Panther movement and now with the #BLM movement. By all means, skepticism should be used when we’ve heard all the claims and given them a rigorous analysis. Where it becomes an issue is when the majority culture claims its skepticism is well-placed, because for example, some people in the #BLM movement resort to rioting as an activist tactic.

Illegitimizing social movements is necessary for any government and majority culture, because demonstrations and activism against the majority culture show that that culture is not infallible and is in fact dangerous for the well-being of the minority culture, both mental and physical. Protests are seen as willful actions meant to destroy the majority culture and thus the government.
Résultats de recherche d'images pour « white privilege comic »

The above picture illustrates my point quite well, but I would like to stress that these are symbols of cultures, not of race. The minority culture is used by the majority culture to push itself up to greater heights and once it is there, it ceases to recognize the minority culture. However, the moment that culture begins to demand to be at the same level as the majority culture or to be taken as its equal, in comes the bad-faith skepticism.

While some of this skepticism may be in good faith, the point is that these people in the minority cultures have already carried out dozens of years of research that validate their point. Now that they are in public eye, their research is put into heightened scrutiny but through the lens of the majority culture, which could not possibly comprehend through simple skepticism what makes the lack of privilege was it is. The majority culture, believing itself to hold all of reason, believes its skepticism of the claims made by the minority culture to be justified, because until this was brought up to their attention, nobody ever mentioned that this was as big a problem, why is it a problem now and it wasn’t yesterday?

The minority cultures simply have to reply that this is an ongoing problem for many years, but that they were not given an honest ear by the majority culture and now have resorted to activism and protests to be heard. That, in turn , is used against the minority culture, to say that these minorities are in general pacific and well-treated, it’s just these youths who are exaggerating the issue. You cannot truly be skeptical of a claim of which you are yourself targetted, because who in the majority culture, will accept to concede their privileges as being part of that culture? Especially when, in a liberal democracy and economy, the name of the game is “making our own path”?

Not many would, because the people in the majority culture have their own problems and think that in this case, they are equal to the minority culture and that it is up to the minority to pull itself up to its level, to enjoy THEIR problems.

In conclusion

There is a concerted effort by the majority cultures of the West right now to diminish the social impact of their ignorance on minorities. Rather, there is a call to a return to how things were. When we speak of such things, we reveal in turn what we wish to be true once again: The minority is at our mercy and our service, and our glory returns like Aragorn returns to the Throne of Gondor, after having demolished the armies of Mordor.

Long live the King!

 

 

 

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