Is “political correctness” the ultimate hack of the Left?

Yes says I, in my latest Bloomberg column.  Here is one bit:

To put it simply, the American left has been hacked, and it is now running in a circle of its own choosing, rather than focusing on electoral victories or policy effectiveness. Too many segments of the Democratic Party are self-righteously talking about identity politics, and they are letting other priorities slip.

Of course there is a lot of racism out there, which makes political correctness all the more tempting. Yet polling data suggests that up to 80 percent of Americans are opposed to politically correct thinking in its current manifestations. Latinos and Asian-Americans are among the groups most opposed, and even 61 percent of self-professed liberals do not like political correctness.

I give some examples (Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard lawsuit) of how these issues can harm the fortunes of the Left.  Here is the basic model:

I now wonder if, in the internet era, every political movement is hackable. Political involvement requires a certain kind of ideological motivation, and ideologies are imperfectly rational. So a smart hacker can redirect the attention of groups in other, less productive directions. Just put some inflammatory words or video on the internet and you can induce the left to talk more about identity politics.

Consider that political action is a public good (bad) of sorts, motivated in part by private expressive concerns.  Pursuing expressive action can lead to results-oriented value (disvalue).  So find the people who are acting that way, and put a “expressive value only” version of the dog bone before them, to compete with what they have been chasing.

The correct “hacking” words, memes, and images are found by trial and error, but once the fervently expressive left-wing responses are observed, the techniques are honed and refined pretty quickly.

And what about the hacking of the Right?

Has the right-wing been hacked? I suspect so. The president himself is part of the hack, and the core motivation is the desire to “own the libs,” a phrase I didn’t hear much five years ago. We’ve now entered an era in which too many are self-obsessed and too few are effective.

Of course a few questions come to mind:

1. Are all views hackable in this manner?

No, but views which appeal to moral superiority are usually hackable, because displays of the resulting preening are often counterproductive.

2. Once a hack occurs, can you reverse it or defend against it?

Knowledge is not always as useful as you might think.

3. Has libertarianism been hacked?

Yes, it was hacked into an ill-conceived alliance with Republicans on too many issues, under the promise of some policy victories.

4. Do the hacks on each side interact?

Well, if conservatives feel they “own the libs” by irritating their sense of political correctness, the polarization can explode pretty quickly.

Addendum: There is also this paragraph in the piece:

The biggest day-to-day losers from the political correctness movement are other left-of-center people, most of all white moderate Democrats, especially those in universities. If you really believe that “the PC stuff” is irrational and out of control and making institutions dysfunctional, and that universities are full of left-of-center people, well who is going to suffer most of the costs? It will be people in the universities, and in unjust and indiscriminate fashion. That means more liberals than conservatives, if only because the latter are relatively scarce on the ground.



Interesting that conservatives want to go back to "owning" people.


@msgkings - Top posting to get attention is a hack, you done son of a bleach (blonde). Personal attacks are a hack. Thread hijacks are a hack. You practice all of these things, scrum of the earth.

Bonus trivia: Jamal Khashoggi! When is TC going to talk about him? Dismembered while still alive! The Arabs have a history of cruelty in battle, read Lawrence of Arabia's autobiography (I am reading Scott Anderson's biography of him now)

Never change, Ray. But yes the Khashoggi thing is awful.

'conservatives want to go back to "owning" people'

You're talking about slave owners, but in what way would they be considered conservative? They were the educated and politically connected elite, providing jobs, housing, clothing, medical care, and a purpose in life for those who were less privileged.

disclosure must be made by opening different blogs in all countries where uprisings led to the economic climate of Turkey economists in this regard may be an example.

Southern Democrats were the predominant slave-owning class in the US. And yes, incidentally they were very conservative about keep their slaves.

Also, the first slave owner in N. America was a freed black slave.

That one doesn't make it into the PC history books....

'the first slave owner in N. America was a freed black slave.'

The Spanish, who arrived in North America a century before the English, were the first slave owners - 'During the 16th century, the Spanish colonies were the most important customers of the Atlantic slave trade, claiming several thousands in sales, but the Dutch, French and British soon dwarfed these numbers when their demand for enslaved workers began to drive the slave market to unprecedented levels.'

Maybe you need to be reading some history books where those facts are also presented.

He is talking about US history not "the history of European colonization of the Americas".

Except, to repeat what I was responding to, he wrote - 'Also, the first slave owner in N. America was a freed black slave.'

And second, when did Florida not become part of America? St. Augustine was founded at least three decades before the birth of Anthony Johnson. Of course Florida, like Louisiana, was not one of the original 13 colonies, but then neither was Ohio, or California, or Texas.

Speaking as a Virginian, even we were taught that Spain was colonizing what would become the United States before the English. And the Spanish, though conflicted about the practice (on religious grounds essentially), were definitely slave owners.

Not an American but perhaps the States could implement hate speech laws like every other civilised nation. As someone who speaks English fluently my jaunts into American social media these days leaves me wondering why discourse is so rough. Bilingualism can bring peace of mind.

No, the U.S. should not implement hate speech laws. The 1st Amendment of the Constitution remains one of the greatest contributions to political thought in human history.

What is more intriguing is how other civilized countries do not require their citizens to register to vote, nor do other countries practice gerrymandering at anything approaching the scale of the U.S. over the past couple of centuries.

There are countries where you can vote without being on the electoral roll? Which ones? None of the six I've lived in.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by electoral roll, particularly in terms of 6 countries, but obviously, only eligible voters (in the EU, that means EU citizens in local elections) can vote.

However, in Germany, your ballot is simply mailed to your address of record a few weeks before an election.

And according to the EU, here are the other countries where registering/being put on the electoral roll is automatic (for municipal elections, though one assumes the process is automatic for citizens of each country for national elections) - 'However, in the case of municipal elections, registration on electoral rolls is automatic in these countries: Austria (except Burgenland), Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden.'

It further appears that registering is automatic on countries with compulsory voting - Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, and Luxembourg.

You may not be aware, but in the U.S., you have to register to vote, and it is your responsibility to do so. For example, if you move, you have to register to vote in your new location. And you can also be purged from a registered voters list - for example, if someone claims you are incorrectly registered. Further, the rules are different in different jurisdictions, including deadlines, residency requirements, documentation to prove identity/residency, etc.

Unfortunately, there is no one British to ask at the moment, because in part most of Europe uses a system of registered addresses in the first place. One assumes that the British, who do not register where they live, come at least a bit closer to at least one of the reasons that America's system is like it is. However, I have never heard that the British are denied the right to vote because they did not properly register themselves as voters.

You are correct - here in the UK if you do not register to vote you do not get a vote. Before every election local authorities send out reminders to people to register if they haven't. And you have to re-register every time you move house

Thanks for the info.

Not an American but

Good. Stay away. The last thing we need is more humbug in the form of 'hate speech' laws, or any immigration by the sort of people who fancy them.

Government classification of anything as "hate" speech is regulating speech. There is no such thing as "hate" speech. Or love speech. Or pretty speech. Or ugly speech. Just speech as far as the government is concerned and that is the way it should be and the way it should stay.

Someday you might be required to say something very very unpopular, even "hateful" to certain people, but it will be the right thing to say.

I would argue with you as an American that speaks 4 languages, has traveled and worked in 30+ countries, and lived in several of them, that the lack of freedom of speech in many of them makes them uncivilized to me, even if everything else seems to appear to work swimmingly.

Absolutely not. I will preserve the right of citizens and non-citizens living in this nation to say the vilest things imaginable and I'm willing to put my life on the line to do so. I did 8 years ago.

'regulating speech'

All sorts of speech are regulated in the U.S. - false claims in advertising can be considered fraud, for example, and successfully prosecuted. There are different categories of speech, some regulated, and this is not considered a problem in terms of the 1st Amendment.

'There is no such thing as "hate" speech.'

I live in a country whose recent history is probably the single most glaring example of how wrong that opinion actually is. However, Germany is not the U.S., and that the Germans feel that preventing the reappearance of a genocidal ideology is a worthwhile goal is not relevant to the U.S., which has never explicitly tried to exterminate and enslave entire groups of people to make the world a much better place for those deserving it.

the U.S., which has never explicitly tried to exterminate and enslave entire groups of people to make the world a much better place for those deserving it.

The native Americans?

Cruelty and indifference, coupled with the unintended but devastating introduction of diseases are not tantamount to genocide.

'The native Americans?'

Not really - much of the destruction of Indian nations (particularly on the East Coast) occurred before the creation of the U.S.

And there was never, at any point in American history, an explicit program to exterminate native Americans. Displace and dispossess? Sure. Be ineffective in actually protecting native American rights? Undoubtedly. Attempt to subjugate native Americans? Absolutely.

Line them up to be shot after digging their own graves? Absolutely not.

Ah yes, if only the Weimar Republic had imprisoned the Nazis for antisemitic incitement...

Oh wait, they did, and it actually helped them.

Lese majeste laws also worked great in Europe to preserve the social order that guaranteed the safety of all royal subjects, think of all those violent revolutions and civil wars, and the millions of deaths that would have happened, that were prevented.

'Oh wait, they did, and it actually helped them.'

Need a cite again. Because generally, Nazis were imprisoned for things like the beer hall putsch. This site does not describe anything but growing antisemitism from WWI through the Weimar Republic - which did nothing against it, as many parties in the Weimar Republic were explicitly antisemitic (the often accepted perspective in that period of the 'Jewish connection' with communism does make this discussion a bit nuanced, as many explicit antisemites were equally explicitly anti-communists). - 'After 1928 / 29 and particularly with their election successes beginning in 1930, the NSDAP continued its anti-Jewish poster propaganda, violent attacks, threats, and boycotts.'

'that were prevented'

You really seem to have missed the point - what Germany wants to prevent is the return of an explicitly genocidal ideology which actually carried out its program. No one prevented the Nazis from participating in the political process until the Nazis essentially ended the political process, along with the millions of deaths that followed.

Personally, I find hate speech laws in most places to be basically incorrect (Canada being an extremely concrete example). Germany, however, is not a slippery slope argument for free speech concerning exterminating people. It has already been carried out here, and those advocating a return of such an ideology are fully aware that their ideology is explicitly dedicated to the extermination of millions, and they are not merely talking in hyperbole when describing what they would do.

I did not miss any point. What counts as speech "explicitly advocating exterminating people" is a matter of interpretive opinion, not fact.

It must be a weird experience to be German. To think: "oh, somewhere within me there is a horrible demon and if I have too much freedom it might come out and destroy the world".

Maybe they don't think that. Maybe they think the demon lives on some collective level. Certainly not inside yourself, since most people believe they are virtuous. So always in the back of your head you're talking down to "those people" who would do evil things.

It must create tremendous pressure to signal that you're not "one of them".

'It must be a weird experience to be German.'

Who knows? I am not German.

'To think: "oh, somewhere within me there is a horrible demon and if I have too much freedom it might come out and destroy the world".'

That is not what the Germans I know think. What basically every German I have ever known thinks is that Nazism, an explicitly genocidal ideology that killed millions, is evil, and must never return to power. Of course, this is not virtue signalling, but has an extremely pragmatic component - Nazimobiles don't sell well, and Germany was completely destroyed under the rule of the Nazis, to give two concrete reasons why Germans want to prevent any return of the ideology that destroyed Germany, while involving Germans in the mass murder of their neighbors, colleagues, school friends, teachers, doctors - actually, the list goes on and on.

'Maybe they think the demon lives on some collective level.'

No, the West Germans at least do not believe in collective guilt in that sense. People who are not German, on the other hand ....

'It must create tremendous pressure to signal that you're not "one of them".'

I am not really sure how to put this to you, but basically no one in Germany feels any problem in not being a Nazi. Which is why even the Nazis in Germany tend to go to such lengths to not only deny they are actually Nazis (for a number of reasons, of course), but to also deny that the Nazis actually followed through on their explicitly genocidal ideology.

Free speech is already well regulated in the US:

Trump has been on a mission to weaken libel laws to go after the media and his support of press murdering Saudis and Russians isn't helping. Peter Thiel, a Trump ally, also successfully bankrolled an attack on free speech with the Gawker lawsuit over the crime of printing something he didn't like. Also, the US has hate crime laws where hate speech is given consideration to determine intent. Like it or not, the government already determines what is hate speech. Before you put your life on the line for anything, make sure you are properly informed as your comments suggest a naive ignorance of basic facts.

Free speech is even tougher in countries like former British colonies in southeast Asia which adopted UK style defamation laws, where it's much easier to win as plaintiff (basically, there's no 'public person' exception, like in the USA). So they use defamation lawsuits in SE Asia to shut people up, as it's expensive to defend them.

'Also, the US has hate crime laws where hate speech is given consideration to determine intent.'

Sort of - any speech involving any criminal activity can be given consideration to determine intent. (Of course, hate crimes are already a bit of a problem in terms of the 1st Amendment, but nobody can seriously argue that a burning cross in front of the house of someone targeted by the KKK is somehow just part of normal 1st Amendment protected speech - at least if one has the slightest awareness of the history of the KKK as an organization.)

'Like it or not, the government already determines what is hate speech'

Not really. Don't burn a cross in somebody's yard when calling yourself whatever klownish name is en vogue with the KKK nostalgic crowd, but merely say you think some 'concerned citizens' should, and you are free and clear in stating your opinion. Even if a cross is burned that night in someone's yard by 'concerned citizens.' Unless, of course, you just happen to be the grand imperial dragon wizard klown, and the 'concerned citizens' just happened to use your credit card to buy the gas and wood.

However, this is basically the same area as incitement, which could also be considered penalizing people for 'hate speech.' (Though these days, you have to work real hard to be successfully charged with incitement.)

The US has very lightly regulated free speech, and is only "well regulated" because of the moral good of that lightness.

The hate speech enhancements for other underlying crimes are a problem, perhaps now that the Supreme Court has another originalist / Rule of Law justice, those enhancement laws will be overturned.

An originalist SCOTUS may turn out to be Trump's biggest gift to the USA. Of course, a new regime and a couple of deaths or retirements on the court could change all that.

'those enhancement laws will be overturned'

With Thomas remaining on the Supreme Court, don't count on it. As noted below.


Which of your columns do you not recommend?

Gonna read the article, but yeah, it's like 'liking' your own Facebook posts. And now we're focusing on the wrong thing, of course.


Come now, self-recommended is much more accurate, though possibly less politically correct.

I wish you would just go away. That I would recommend.

"I wish you [prior] would just go away. "


"That means more liberals than conservatives, if only because the latter are relatively scarce on the ground."

If conservatives are excluded from the academy or other institutions because of PC, then this is false.

Conservatives exclude themselves by doing poorly at reading, writing, and arithmetic. There is no PC test for admission so if you didn't get in, you need to work harder or some liberal will take your place. There's a reason for the stereotype that conservatives are dumb and liberals are smart.

Actually there is PC test for faculty hiring, with most faculty openly admitting they discriminate against conservatives

Faculty aren't admissions officers, Einstein. Again, get a high GPA, get good SAT scores, fill out your extracurriculars, get a few good recs, and you will get in (just don't be Asian j/k). Or else you go to local State U for your 2nd, 3rd tier education. Ivy League isn't for losers. The Right is just as anti-meritocratic as the Left. Just keep thinking that PC is keeping you down when the real reason is you were too lazy or dumb to get in.

Cute, but we know that's you, Karl Rove.

Hey, Ivy League isn't for everybody. It's for the best. That's me and Cowen and unfortunately, not most people here. I'm not here to coddle you just telling it like it is. Losers can keep crying to mama.

GMU as Ivy League prep school - the comments here can be so amusing, that the real tears are from laughing.

Faculty aren't admissions officers,

They are even more Left than faculty.

You’re just not our kind, Dear.

Conversely, from stories, it seems if you don’t conform, it’s not safe to be on campus either as a student or a speaker.

The exclusion of conservatives in the academy mostly isn't at the undergrad level, but nice try at distraction.

What a total shmuck you are Ivy! The Ivy league universities are polishing schools for the limp wristed children of the rich. Over 60% of the student body comes the top 1%. The other 40% does the heavy lifting.

Clearly you are just a troll - a narcissistic sociopath trying to gin up some excitement so you can jack off.

Get a girlfriend and a life.

His trolling worked on you, it seems.

Yeah, that was fun.

"extracurriculars" is just an other name for PC, moron.

I am mildly surprised that in this column Prof. Cowen uses the Limbaugh sense of "liberal," rather than "progressive." It invites some confusion, because others are writing about how certain groups are trying to overthrow [classical] liberalism, which is another thing altogether.

Political correctness is undoubtedly a problem, but I believe a more long standing and deeper problem is the left's tendency to avoid any sort of critical or even editorial thinking about an article which appears to be on message. One recent demonstration of this was the hoax papers covered at but I believe that you could find examples at least as far back as articles in the Guardian newsletter of the 1970s and 1980s (I was not surprised to find out about the revelations around Richard Gott). Stereotypically I would expect the left to lose their minds over messages, and the right to lose their minds over charismatic leaders.

Do you think the right are better in this regard?

good point!
another example of " the left's tendency to avoid any sort of critical or even editorial thinking about an article which appears to be on message"
would be the meme zombie juan williams
rebranding an organized violent political movement antifa1 zombies as
as random homeless mentally ill addicts


Great post, Tyler, thank you.

Who cares about your validation? Nobody cares.

You seem to care a great deal, cupcake.

No, the post was pretty weak. His over-arching goal is to help the Dems, as always, and pointing out how stupid they are with the PC stuff is all fine. But he shows his hand by claiming they were "hacked," as if none of their own choices are their own fault, and as if identity politics was NOT a major and intentional plank of the Dem platform. This is just plain dumb.

>there is a lot of racism out there

Citation needed.

Ty, the only way there is "a lot" of racism out there is if your side continues to water down the word a little more -- every single day -- as part of its identity politics central platform.

You know -- the one that worked out so well for you in Nov 2016.

Keep it up!

His overarching goal is to avoid awkward conversations in the GMU rathskellar. If he suggested he was concerned with the welfare of Republican politics (other than aping Conor Friedersdorf and advising Republicans to do everyone a favor and surrender) it would lead to such conversations.

Rathskellar! Everybody drink!

Ty, the only way there is "a lot" of racism out there is if your side continues to water down the word a little more -- every single day -- as part of its identity politics central platform.


Fairfax City's a faculty bubble. If you say racism is unimportant on empirical or normative grounds, you're one of 'them'. More awkward conversations.

I love how many people hate read this site, every day. I bet Tyler and Alex love it too.

"Of course there is a lot of racism out there"

This is highly questionable. Not much racism of consequence, as far as I can see. On almost all metrics, the differences between racial groups disappear when controlling for IQ, and the IQ differences between racial groups show up as soon as we can measure IQ. If there is any racism of consequence in the U.S., its _only_ effects are on small children, which seems pretty bizarre to me.

By today's standards, simply noticing objective truths is racist, to say nothing of having an opinion about them.

Start running state-by-state regressions on any societal ill you can think of and the demographics of those states. Then kill yourself, racist.

Exactly right. Looking forward to Tyler's upcoming column on how accusations of "racism" are a hack, designed to deter any thoughtful discussion of race.

'This is highly questionable.'

No it isn't. Here is a court ruled example of it in practice - 'You don’t see a Kagan-Breyer-Ginsburg-Sotomayor-Thomas majority often in U.S. Supreme Court decisions, but today that quintet joined together to deal a blow to North Carolina Republicans. In the decision in Cooper v. Harris, the eight-member pre-Gorsuch roster upheld a district court’s ruling that two congressional districts in North Carolina were unconstitutional racial gerrymanders, putting an end to one part of a six-year saga that began with redistricting in 2011.

The two districts in question, District 1 and 12, were drawn in 2011 after the last Census and the 2010 midterms, as part of a nationwide and well-funded push by Republicans to reshape electoral maps and solidify a partisan advantage. In North Carolina, the state and federal congressional redistricting efforts also played part in the state’s ongoing conflicts over voting rights, and both sets of maps eventually found their way to state and federal courts.

The state Republican-led General Assembly made further tweaks to congressional districts that were already highly gerrymandered, and created a web of districts with little geographic coherence, in the process packing more black voters into certain districts and diluting their voting strength in others. District 12 already took the shape of a river cutting through the middle of the state prior to redistricting, but Republicans condensed its shape to connect black communities without picking up white voters in between. At times, the district was barely wider than the I-85 corridor that connected major black community centers in North Carolina’s Piedmont region.'

That's partisan discrimination, not racial. The goal (presumably) was to exclude Democrats, not any particular race

Nope, this was racial gerrymandering. Admittedly, the Atlantic puts a serious partisan slant on it, but that is in part because more is going on in North Carolina than documented racism (yes, there are documents explicitly stating what was going on). And I had thought that this text from the first paragraph was explicit enough - 'were unconstitutional racial gerrymanders.'

You are welcome to read the actual decision - Here is the opening - 'The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prevents a
State, in the absence of “sufficient justification,” from “separating its
citizens into different voting districts on the basis of race.” Bethune-
Hill v. Virginia State Bd. of Elections, 580 U. S. ___, ___. When a
voter sues state officials for drawing such race-based lines, this
Court’s decisions call for a two-step analysis. First, the plaintiff must
prove that “race was the predominant factor motivating the legisla-
ture’s decision to place a significant number of voters within or with-
out a particular district.” Miller v. Johnson, 515 U. S. 900, 916. Sec-
ond, if racial considerations did predominate, the State must prove
that its race-based sorting of voters serves a “compelling interest”
and is “narrowly tailored” to that end, Bethune-Hill, 580 U. S., at ___.
This Court has long assumed that one compelling interest is compli-
ance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA or Act). When a State
invokes the VRA to justify race-based districting, it must show (to
meet the “narrow tailoring” requirement) that it had “good reasons”
for concluding that the statute required its action. Alabama Legisla-
tive Black Caucus v. Alabama, 575 U. S. ___, ___. A district court’s
factual findings made in the course of this two-step inquiry are re-
viewed only for clear error. See Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 52(a)(6); Easley
v. Cromartie, 532 U. S. 234, 242 (Cromartie II).
This case concerns North Carolina’s redrawing of two congressional
districts, District 1 and District 12, after the 2010 census. Prior to
that redistricting, neither district had a majority black voting-age
population (BVAP), but both consistently elected the candidates pre-
ferred by most African-American voters. The new map significantly
altered both District 1 and District 12. The State needed to add almost 100,000 people to District 1 to comply with the one-person-one-
vote principle, and it chose to take most of those people from heavily
black areas of Durham—increasing the district’s BVAP from 48.6% to
52.7%. The State also reconfigured District 12, increasing its BVAP
from 43.8% to 50.7%. Registered voters in those districts (here called
“the plaintiffs”) filed suit against North Carolina officials (collective-
ly, “the State” or “North Carolina”), complaining of impermissible ra-
cial gerrymanders. A three-judge District Court held both districts
unconstitutional. It found that racial considerations predominated in
the drawing of District 1’s lines and rejected the State’s claim that
this action was justified by the VRA. As for District 12, the court
again found that race predominated, and it explained that the State
made no attempt to justify its attention to race in designing that dis-

And this is part of what the Supreme Court upheld - '2. The District Court did not err in concluding that race furnished
the predominant rationale for District 1’s redesign and that the
State’s interest in complying with the VRA could not justify that con-
sideration of race.'

(A Supreme Court watcher tip - whenever Thomas votes against something that can be framed in partisan terms as supporting Republicans, it is generally related to areas where Thomas does not have to pretend that he thinks all decisions in American politics are race blind. Almost as if Justice Thomas does not think that questioning racism in America is something only for the past.)

Sorry about that - so much for the formatting coming from the Supreme Court PDF using Okular.

Nonetheless, the decision concerns straight up racial gerrymandering.

You don't sound like much of a Supreme Court watcher based on your "tip". Here's a tip: don't get your opinions on legal issues from Vann Newkirk, who has no legal training and whose chief background is health policy journalism, but has since become The Atlantic's racial issues journalist. Justice Thomas joined the majority in Cooper v. Harris because he views "majority-minority districts" like Districts 1 and 12 in this suit, usually favored by the Democrats, and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (which requires the consideration of race) as applied to redistricting as unconstitutional; it flows from his originalist jurisprudence. Since in the South being black is highly correlated with voting Democratic, and you are required to collect racial data by the VRA, packing Democratic voters into a district (especially a majority-minority district, which have been upheld as constitutional, and the DOJ recommended 55% or more back around 2000) will involve considering race, since the VRA makes you explicitly aware of it. Indeed, the VRA requires you to consider race to some extent. The question in Cooper v. Harris was "Was race considered too much?", and the Court answered yes: the more liberal justices for the traditional liberal position, and Justice Thomas for his originalist position. He is playing the long game here, he's more hardline on colorblindness than any of the other conservative justices dating back to Shaw v. Reno. But I suppose headlines like "NC Republicans were so racist even Justice Thomas ruled against them" are just too appealing.

If you read the symposia, here is actual legal commentary on Cooper v. Harris, not snarky political headlines:

The fact that the commenter had to reach all the way to some obscure gerrymandering case for an example of consequential racism shows just how inconsequential racism in the U.S. is. Of course, that there are also alternative, purely partisan explanations for the gerrymandering makes it even less persuasive.

So obscure that the Supreme Court was involved in approving newly drawn North Carolina district in August 2018.

'on legal issues from Vann Newkirk'

The question was about racial gerrymandering - which the Supreme Court ruled occurred in North Carolina. You did read the linked opinion, right?

'it flows from his originalist jurisprudence'

Strange how not a single other originalist agreed with that jurisprudence. But then originalism is basically a matter of opinion, as again demonstrated here.

Here is another example of a Justice Thomas opinion, though he was in the minority - 'Although I agree with the majority’s conclusion that it is constitutionally permissible to “ban … cross burning carried out with intent to intimidate,” see maj. op., at 17, I believe that the majority errs in imputing an expressive component to the activity in question, see maj. op., at 17 (relying on one of the exceptions to the First Amendment’s prohibition on content-based discrimination outlined in R. A. V. v. St. Paul, 505 U.S. 377 (1992)). In my view, whatever expressive value cross burning has, the legislature simply wrote it out by banning only intimidating conduct undertaken by a particular means. A conclusion that the statute prohibiting cross burning with intent to intimidate sweeps beyond a prohibition on certain conduct into the zone of expression overlooks not only the words of the statute but also reality.' VIRGINIA, PETITIONER v. BARRY ELTON BLACK,
RICHARD J. ELLIOTT, and JONATHAN O’MARA - why not link to the actual decision? Though since I already did, that would be a waste, wouldn't it?

I think it's critically important to distinguish between the following ideas: "racism isn't an important factor in driving aggregate outcomes" and "there isn't a lot of racism out there." Empirically, there is a lot of racism out there in my experience, and I think that matters even if it isn't (as it likely isn't, for the reasons you allude to) a major cause of differentials.

I seem to recall Tyler giving his stamp of approval to trigger warnings etc. in these pages just a few short years ago. Buyer's remorse?

Tyler had a reasonable position about trigger warnings, IIRC : that he was against imposing them, but that he could use them personally. If you say the first day of a class "in this course we are going to talk about difficult subjects such that (choose) rape, war, violence, transcendental hermeneutic, non-necessary noetherian schemes, string theory, people that are not always perfectly nice with other people, etc. ; so if you're here to complain, you'd better get out now", that's a trigger warning I can approve of, and that I personally use.

"...,non-necessary noetherian schemes,...". What's the matter with you, my dear Joël? No schemes are more necessary than the noetherian ones !

Gosh I missed this comment thread when it happened :(

I presume you do see that Joël was perhaps translating that bit directly from French.

The real hack is convincing Americans that everything in politics has to be either/or, right/left, black/white.

This binary thinking seems endemic among a minority, split into two camps engaged in an apparently eternal struggle to convince the majority of Americans who do not belong to either camp that they have to be either for or against them. Particularly the against aspect when the majority of Americans do not support either party's platform in particular.

this is actually a good point

Agreed, +2

Shame Americans don't use the expression "own goal". Encapsulates the argument perfectly.

we not only use the expression '"own goal"
we live it

Strongly opposed to anything that restricts free speech.
Happy to listen to you if you want to say something extremely hateful about me.

'Happy to listen to you if you want to say something extremely hateful about me.'

Why? Serious question, by the way - why would you be happy that someone is saying something about you? The point of the 1st Amendment in American terms is you don't need to be happy at all, but you are welcome to respond in any way you wish to someone saying something hateful. Walk away, mock them, wait for them to finish and then clap sarcastically, start singing, make any variety of hand gestures along the lines of making fun of such idiocy, any number of responses.

Your breath smells like cat food. Ha ha! Who's stoic now!

Can you post your address and phone number to this forum for everyone to see? For free speech purposes. Also what is your real first and last name and the names of your closest relatives? Again, for liberty and freedom and apple pie. If you fail to do any of these things, then you aren't the tough guy you pretend to be.

If you strongly support free speech, why don't you go to the nearest airport and make bomb/terrorist jokes or speak in loud Arabic. If they throw you in jail, make sure you are streaming it live on Twitter or Facebook so we can cheer you on.

How about I say mean things to your wife and kids assuming you aren't an incel, or to your mother? That's free speech too.

Oh come on. Stop impersonating people and come back as Thiago. We all miss that guy! I'm dead serious.

That explains Bolsonaro's victory. He said in interviews things like:

(1) Brazil will only get it's act together after we have a civil war and kill some tens of thousands of innocents.

(2) Donated blood from homosexuals is dangerous because it can be infected with AIDS.

(3) The people in that afrodescendent community up there are all lazy fatsos.

(4) Poor people should't be able to make so many kids.

As result, the Brazilian left has entered into a catatonic state right now.

Cowen is correct that political correctness on the fringe left is a thing in the sense that it is a political creation of the right to misrepresent the mainstream left. Now, Cowen could have written a column on how the Republicans are misrepresenting their own policies and the policies of the opposition party, claiming to support a set of policies they actually oppose while claiming that the opposition party supports a set of policies the opposition party actually opposes. Is that a "hack", as Cowen uses the term, or is it just old fashioned lying. And lest Cowen and readers forget, political incorrectness is the political correctness of the fringe right. Of course, all this noise about political correctness and political incorrectness is just a diversion from actual policy choices, such as social security and Medicare (which McConnell wants to cut) and insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions (which the Republican Party intends to eliminate). Cowen laments that libertarianism was "hacked" by an "ill-conceived alliance with Republicans on too many issues". You don't say!

How do use the word 'misrepresent' so poorly yet practice so well? Must be a lawyer.

Political correctness is a fringe left matter?!

You daft pillock! One of Tyler's key points is that this fringe has hacked the mainstream center left (the Dems) such that the fringe is now the mainstream. (Although some of us would say, the new left took over the center when it began its long march through the institutions.)

Hacked. Colonized. Pick your expression. The point is that you, rayward, are either complicit in this hack or oblivious to it.

This is what conservatism has become:

Professor Cowen hits the 3 pointer
nuthin but net
heres a couple more hacks
rebranding ideology as academic discipline
rebranding ideology as cable news
rebranding magical thinking b.s.1 as health care

1 goopy expensive(135dollars)magical coffee enemas to lower serum toxins anybody?

The NPCs are out in force in the comments, I see.

also we recommend and are enjoying the new book
stubborn attachments

It seems a peculiarly maladroit way of sorting our political firmament and one best abandoned after this attempt.

What the moderator fails to realize is that the left hasn't been 'hacked'. This is just what they're about. Remember Sen. Paul Simon, whose political impulses were once described as 'you-got-a-problem-we-got-a-program'? Well, that's over. Pity, but it is.

thought provoking Thanks

Interesting article, atrocious comments.

What's a a center-left Dem to do?

The comments here, or the comments on Bloomberg? The Bloomberg comment section is awful and has always been Facebook-tier, but it's not too bad here if you ignore the spammers.

Join the winning team. It's not the Right's fault the Left can't figure out electoral politics or the human condition.

Honestly, without immigration and ownership of the education/media megaphones, the Democrats would be like a fringe, anarcho-syndicalist party.

When you say "center-left," what you really mean is the mass of social and economic concerns of the non-elite bourgeois and proletarian classes. The Left has been tiptoeing away from such concerns as too white, too provincial, and too religious since at least 1970.

"Join the winning team."

I grew up in the midst of a 30-year Democratic headlock on Congress. Did you root for THAT winning team?

Reality skews conservative: intact families, moderation in personal habits, religious practice, thrift, etc. There's more common sense on the Right than the Left, which is in absolute meltdown at this point.

The pendulum keeps swinging. Once the Dems thought they would have permanent majorities. Now the Reps do. Both are wrong, in 8-10 years the Dems will have all 3 branches and their versions of you will be gloating about the meltdown of the right. And then the pendulum will swing again.

"Reality skews conservative: intact families, moderation in personal habits, religious practice, thrift, etc."

Obama seemed to be better at this stuff than Trump. Are you sure you chose the right guy for the job?

I want to go even bigger than Tyler does here, to the question of how genetics intersects with race, and now that upsets all political ideas of identity.

Elizabeth Warren is apparently a nerd like me, so I can relate to why she got tested, and why she might have been blindsided. To name a most ridiculous moment, some Daughters of Pocahontas group attacked her for taking the test rather than Trump for making the slur. She never ever identified herself with Pocahontas.

But anyway, the tribes upset, and white racists who say "haha, this shows she is just White," are all missing the point, that there are no clear distinctions, there are no biological races, and everybody who is forming an identity (or acting against an identity) is perpetuating an unscientific fallacy.

To get right on this we need to do more than drop political correctness, we need to drop the idea that anyone can or should name their own "race."

If it doesn't make sense, no one including Harvard or the census should pretend it does.

I mean, the alternative is to send in friggin cheek swabs with every college application. I don't think we want that.

So no Tyler, it isn't the Democrats meeting political correctness, it is an entire society meeting a new science.

"there are no biological races"

"To get right on this we need to do more than drop political correctness, we need to drop the idea that anyone can or should name their own 'race.'"

LOL just lol. And I bet you call Christians "anti-science."

So what do you think, cheek swabs on every census?

Believers in race have a real problem. They have a conflicted idea that everybody should just know their own, and then they get upset when someone "identifies" against their genes.

I certainly don't want to live in cheek-swab world.

Cheek-swab world is only a problem if you think inside everybody is a white Universalist-Unitarian just waiting to get out.

It's funny how the Diversity cult actually despises diversity.

A personal genome is the ultimate diversity, without artificial constraint or classification.

Do you tell your Jewish friends that the nation of Israel is an artificial constraint or classification and the atomized individual is the ultimate diversity? How about your Greek Cypriot friends? Your Tibetan friends? Palestinian friends?

Whoops, look who just dropped race.

It is true that all my friends have an ancestry, and can be quite specific.

Though of course it is their belief in representative democracy that makes them my very best friends.

To be clear though, genes tell us we "have" an ancestry not that we "are" a race.

It is a "has" versus "is" fallacy.

Having an ethnic identity is one thing.

Claiming an ethnic identity grants a right to resources (phsyical, economic, political, or social) is another.

Sure. One could imagine an alternative history where we didn't set up those sorts of ethnic identities in law.

But my bold plan would take a lot of action now. Laws that were at first discriminatory on race, and then attempted remediation by race, would all have to go.

I think we'll get there, but to be honest probably not in my lifetime. For now we are locked in a politics of race.

It is not usually the case, but I agree with most of what you say on this thread, anonymous.

My other positions flow from this. We are just people. Democracy is the least bad way for us to get along. We have to balance the opportunity for some to excel with the awfulness of some of us dying on the street.

And of course I'm anti-Trump because his values are very much in opposition to that. Cue the tape on Mexican rapists.

Or shithole countries ..

I agree until you speak of Trump. For instance you mention "shithole countries". Show me a tape or tweet where he said that. You can't because it is supposed to have happened during a private meeting of Trump with congressmen. The Democrats present there there said he used these words during the meeting, the Republicans said he didn't. What is sure is that the Democrats left the meeting, and didn't come back, that was to discuss Trump's proposition of legalizing all dreamers (all of them, that's about twice the number of those who benefited from Obama's rules). If you don't want to see that Democrats systematically act against the interests of those whom they pretend are defending, then we can't agree.

I am a political independent, and in this specific case "shithole countries" aligns with every public utterance of the man. Occam's razor.

I mean why didn't you come back at me on Mexican racists?

Because that one *was* on tape. Just like the Mexican judge, or his unfortunate habit of putting "the" in front of "races." The blacks. The Hispanics. The Japs.

Honduras is a sh*thole country.

What is wrong with stating a fact?

If I believe people are just people, I am probably not going to believe that people from backward countries(*) are bad.

* - to be a bit less critical

On Jan 22, 2016 Trump retweeted @WhiteGenocideTM.

I guess you could ask us to believe he's so clueless that he doesn't know what White Genocide means .. but that's asking us a bit much especially in the context of his Pocahontas taunts.

What does "white genocide" mean in a context of a left celebrating "demographic shift", proclaiming "demographics is destiny", and loudly and regularly scapegoating white men and to a lesser extent white women? The idea that there isn't an underbelly of racism on the left that really does desire real white genocide is false.

If I really believe that people are just people, I am not going to believe that white genocide is really a thing, or that demographic shifts are really that threatening.

Be careful though, you might be making an argument presuming no previous discrimination.

Joel, sometimes you have to use common sense. Which is more likely, that Trump did and does use the phrase "shithole countries" or that he doesn't?

To reiterate a lunacy of a moment, I believe that the current (or next) census asks people to identify as White and helps by giving me example that Egyptians are white.

Can we get a genomic WTF on that? What possible purpose does it serve to group Irish with Egyptians on the US Census as one "group?"

Because the presence of darker-skinned foreigners arriving and thriving in the supposed systemically racist and inherently oppressive US is beginning to get embarrassing to mindsets stuck back in 1965.

> The biggest day-to-day losers from the political correctness movement are other left-of-center people, most of all white moderate Democrats, especially those in universities. If you really believe that “the PC stuff” is irrational and out of control and making institutions dysfunctional, and that universities are full of left-of-center people, well who is going to suffer most of the costs? It will be people in the universities, and in unjust and indiscriminate fashion. That means more liberals than conservatives, if only because the latter are relatively scarce on the ground.
Might be the dumbest thing I've seen Tyler write in the few months I've been coming here. Ah yes, it's the Leftists in the university that are unfairly suffering from misplaced, right-wing hatred.

The biggest losers couldn't possibly be, you know, the millions of students, the education system, or the nation writ large, that suffer these fools when then they're released from the college campus into the wild. Filled to the brim with ideological proclivities that have been molded by all those poor, poor, unfairly maligned, disproportionately powerful Leftist professors. Who toss and turn at night because of the unfair views the 'bitter-clingers' have of them.

At least they have their designated safe spaces, and armies of counselors available anytime they're triggered or microaggressed by the hoi polloi they claim to care about.

I'm wondering how long Tyler can go scrupulously back-flipping around the sheer rottenness of his industry.

There's nothing more despicable than the conservative 'intelligentsia.' So desperate they are to have words like 'sensible' (or any other synonym) printed next to their names in the NYT or WaPo, and/or retain invites to various social clubs/circles, that they'll gladly muzzle themselvles, take up the pickaxe their Leftist Bull gives them, descend into the depths, and start chipping away at the foundations of the nation.

While ignoring the obvious reality that the Leftists they crave validation from snicker behind their backs, laughing in disbelief about how easy manipulating and using 'cultured' conservatives is. Giving them just enough head-pats, feeding them just enough 'praise' and invites as to keep the useful pawn in the palm of their collective hands.

The Anti-Gnostic: I'm wondering how long Tyler can go scrupulously back-flipping around the sheer rottenness of his industry.

You think Tyler's a sellout and on the wrong side politically. And yet, you keep posting here.


I have a serious answer to this: it's generally where you encounter a more intelligent breed of Leftist, so it's good for sharpening arguments.

But simultaneously, to my observation the Left is running out of arguments and Tyler is running out of explanations for phenomena.

Well then, it will be sad to see you go. Not really but you get my drift.

Yeah, I mean, not sure TC is a leftist, but arguing against cosmopolitans who at least like to believe that they are following reason and evidence is a good way to refine your arguments against them, or force them into more extreme and bizarre positions that are alienating to most people. Of course, the bloggers here probably believe something like the same dynamics with outcomes reversed is going on, or comments would be still off!

Compared to arguing with people you're broadly sympathetic with, or with the Social Justice Warriors, who tend to lie in order to fit in with their group, tend to believe everything is ultimately power dynamics by people with malevolent intentions (concern trolls all the way down), and so just tend to echo the same unoriginal arguments over and over again (because no one really evaluates the quality of their arguments, just nods on incantations of the party line and agrees with absurd arguments of the Sokal 2.0 sort because they apparently have the right sympathies). Ditto for their Right counterparts to some degree, though these people are far less extreme than the SJWs and far more amenable to rational debate. Boring and no one learns anything or gets better at arguing.

Maybe I should break out that I recognize that a specific tribal membership is different than racial identity. In this day and age tribes are Corporations and may choose their membership as they will.

Regardless of how it's defined there's really only one extant tribe in modern America, the law enforcement community. Cops, prison guards, prosecutors, defense attorneys, those guys. They have a closer bond than the Blackfoot or the Comanches ever did.

The Amish, Mormon and Hasidic tribes seem very close-knit and successful, and are reproducing themselves.

I wouldn't wish those three groups's success on anyone. It comes at the cost of group norms so tightly suffocating and binding that it drives out creativity, risk-tasking, and difference, and rewards corruption, abuse, and autocracy. Even being charitable, this is in essence saying everyone should be a podiatrist named Howard from Boise, Idaho, because Howards have lots of grandkids and have a decent nest egg to blow at Vegas when they retire. The world of course has and needs Howards as much as anyone, but an entire culture of them is impossible.

I like the article's idea, but "hacked" suggests that political correctness (which is just manners, after all, right?) was derailed by clever outsiders.

It really seems like something that they've done to themselves. For the word "hacked" to apply, I think you'd have note that it was a low-level hack of trivial complexity.

It's as if the progressives used "password" as their pwd on their facebook account.

As someone above pointed out. Hack is the wrong word. A better phrase would be "own goal".

Great post.
Although the straussian reading is that Tyler is reframing it as a problem for the left, to motivate the liberal left to react. I would say it isn't so much a political affliction, as a societal one. As Sam Altman's post on how political correctness stifles innovation showed.

All movements have internal features that can lead to self-sabotage and self-implosion, or that leave them vulnerable to outside opposition or enemy infiltration and sabotage. The key is to avoid positive feedback loops that allow things to get out of control, i.e., you need mechanisms to dampen the extreme elements.

Libertarians suffer from an overly rigid ideology that boxes them in to arguing for really stupid positions with very tortured (though often clever) intellectual justifications. "Here's why all the roads should be private or why children should be able to buy cocaine and bazookas ..."

Liberals suffer from having to satisfy the disparate elements of their "coalition of the fringes" and from excessive virtue signaling. Similar to the libertarians, this forces them to argue for stupid positions. But unlike libertarians, they don't make clever yet stupid intellectual arguments so much as make emotional appeals about racial minorities, gays, women, etc. But when you try to discuss their dumb positions empirically (example: immigration or crime), they are dumbfounded and respond with attacks and emotional hysteria. They will take a fairly reasonable principle like race and sex equality and extend it past the point of absurdity.

Mainstream conservatives suffer from a desire to earn the respect of liberals and keep their business interests happy at the expense of their mass constituencies. This makes them weak and capitulating. They also have some of their own ideological straightjackets like believing Tax Cuts! are a panacea and having ZERO plan for healthcare except for "free market solutions." Trump kind of breaks the mold here, largely because he is more pragmatic than ideological.

The far right has the problem of being taboo and excluded from polite society resulting in a group that's selected for weirdness and willingness to shred their social capital. These personalities are incapable of putting together any sort of mass political movement. The "alt-right" was more successful precisely because it wasn't really a movement so much as random people "realtalking" on the internet, much of which started catching on because it countered a lot of the common lies in mainstream politics and media. To the extent this influenced "the dialogue" it worked, but any attempts to scale up are doomed to fail (example: Charlottesville).

I think part of the solution is to start telling the truth and to be more empirical and pragmatic rather than ideological. People need to start telling the truth and frankly admit the harm and downsides of a given position. People don't do this. They instead lie and deny. For instance, with high immigration, if you want to make moral argument for why it is required, fine. Go ahead. But when people who don't share your ideological purity raise practical concerns and are interested in the costs and benefits, don't lie about the empirical case. Admit that you view the issue as a matter of principle and do not care even if there is a net reduction in welfare of current citizens. The reason people lie is because the truth would erode their political coalitions and support and shine light on certain irreconciliable differences that we are in denial about. But I say it would be better to get that stuff out in the air.

Yes, it is difficult to solve problems when it is taboo to even speak of them.

Can someone please define political correctness- Most people are against it, but what is it then? Are they all against the same definition of it? Is it just manners as some have suggested...

...I think we tend to conveniently forget the stinging political or social comments that get our backs up (yes, we all have them) and instead focus on what it would be like to speak OUR minds where / whenever we want. Work, home, school all have different norms. I'd suggest most of us adjust. Do most who 'always and everywhere speak their mind' see success in their personal and professional lives today?

'The lawsuit also will remind Americans that attempts to be more fair to one group will, in practice, involve hypocrisy and unfair treatment toward other groups...' Well, I'm sure it's more complicated than my stubborn attachments and level of understanding would lead me to believe, but there seems always to be this assumed, written-in-stone 'matrix of meritocracy' (SAT scores, grades, job requirement etc) which, eg., affirmative action is claimed to unjustly subvert in the interests of fairness. Why are we so confident that these a priori check lists are fair in the first place? Are people upset with affirmative action or, rather, afraid that, in reality, there isn't a clear (or sufficient) definition of merit? Maybe certain of us are so deeply accustomed to essentially what amounts to guarantees of entry to certain jobs / schools based on the check-list of requirements. When the objectivity of it all is questioned or pealed away, that's unsettling. We don't get to plan for that school, followed by that job, retirement by X date etc... We are faced with putting in all the 'hard work' but with reduced chances of success.

M James with the one intelligent comment in the thread.

The role of luck in personal outcomes is vastly underrated. From the luck of your genetics to the luck of your upbringing to the luck of avoiding negative intervening circumstances, let alone the luck of time and place. We are all familiar with people 'born on third base who think they hit a triple'. Self-entitled preening about what one has 'earned' often rests on the same fallacy.

What is 'fair', what is 'earned', what is 'deserved', what is one's 'merit'--these are understudied and only shallowly understood.

Aren't your children the result of a very deliberate set of choices by you and your wife, and your parents in their turn, and their parents, etc.?

If you have kids, especially more than one, you see how random they are. 2 kids with the same parents and environment turn out very different, all the time. You have less control over your life than you think, and certainly not so much as to think that all your success is purely because you are so awesome.

Who invited Robert Frank to the thread?


I have twins and they couldn't be more different.

Trumpism is the ultimate in identity politics.
He and his followers have almost no fixed opinion on anything other than their identity.

Trump is paradoxically the last, best hope for American civic nationalism, much like Singapore does very well under Han Chinese dominance and Israel does very well under Jewish dominance.

John Podhoretz made a supremely insightful observation after Trump's election: after 40 years of the Left disaggregating America, 60 million whites voted as if they were an ethnic group.

Quite the equation: "American civic nationalism" means whites voting as ethnic group. Oh, yes, there is no racism nowadays....

It's paradoxical, because a completely pluralistic country is not going to be civic nationalist; it'll be Lebanon or Yugoslavia. Multicultural countries that work like Singapore and Israel operate on the imperial principle: one tribe runs the place.

What a sad world view, where people are their race/religion first, then their nationality, then their species. I have it the other direction. No matter, my way is how the world is going over the long term.

That's kind of odd. Most people's loyalties tend to run in concentric circles: nuclear family, extended family, church, community, country. I actually don't know anybody who puts mass humanity first. How is that even possible?

I didn't see race anywhere on that list. Does one's community have to be all of the same racial background? How one answers that is what differs between us, and what makes me sad about your world view.

And I meant something a little different, in your world countries are just lines to divide up tribes of same race people, and when they have more than one racial group then it's just a total Hobbesian fight. What if people were people first, then Americans, and then oh by the way that guy is Jewish and that girl is black and that guy is white etc....

Not that I agree with that characterizing Trump, but that's the key advantage of ethnic nationalism or even cultural nationalism really.

Civic nationalists tie themselves in knots about what level of civic commitment a person needs to demonstrate to be in the group, and in devising binding credos that then dictate their action. Ethnic nationalists and cultural nationalists simply know that if you fall into the ethnic or cultural group (and this is generally hard to fake, humans are pretty good at detecting immigrants and foreigners) you're in, if not you're out, regardless of your civic behavior and your loyalty to shared values.

Of course civic nationalism has advantages in "inclusion" - ethnic nationalism can only really recruit through marriage, and cultural nationalism through the process of people born into the culture and an acceptance of the fuzzy edges of ethnic and cultural nations.

But more inclusion is not always a good thing - if you're an ethnic group that's pretty smart and on the ball, inclusion means that you might have to include people from other ethnic groups who are pretty dumb and fractious. It you all mix freely, then history suggests that you'll lose out people at the smart end; if you don't ethnic and cultural nationalism (Black Lives Matter! White Lives Matter!) will probably destroy your state, or at least severely cripple its institutions.

It's also hard to press that advantage of inclusion particularly in recruiting only the world's "talent" - people react badly to this sort of selective elite recruitment strategy and establishment of "gated communities" of nations and will join in legion against you, and family feeling means that your gates will be opened to less elite relatives.

You also find constraints imposed by credos and values under civic nationalism. America, for instance, seems to get into wars because its ethic of civic nationalism forces its hand towards intervention in cases where some people may be loyal to the same "values", a constraint an ethnic nationalist state would find significantly blunted. Ideas present in America's basic constitutional law are also tough to reform or really affect at all in the US, because loyalty to the American constitution and revolution constitutes a binding ideology in the absence of any ethnic commonality (much less so in ethnic-cultural nations where the constitution is just a means to an ends, not the binding document).

There is a subtle difference between white supremacy & white privilege.

Supremacy carries with it an idea of duty, an expectation. Privilege is basically just being a spoiled brat.

The age of white supremacy as an actual ideology of the ruling class was born on the idea that whites not only were better but had a duty to show the world they were better. If they did things right, other races would appreciate them for their wisdom and intelligence and see how they properly fit in a lower rung. This was all BS of course but it meant, at least, that whites felt there were expectations of them. Not simply that they got all the good stuff and everyone else gets the left overs.

I suspect if you question areas of Han dominence in China and elsewhere, you might find traces of this racist but duty centered view.

That is not the vision of Trump or the typical Trump supporter. The embodiment of privilege, though, is the opposite. You get to run the world because you're entitled and being stupid is all the better because it aligns more with that entitlement view than actually trying to do it right. If you think Trump has built a viable civic nationalism on this then understand this will be a civic nationalism of immature boys who think they are running the game of life with cheat codes activated. There is no historical precedent for this ever working and this isn't likely to be the first.

On a long enough timeline no multi-national empire has ever been sustainable. But until we can get a majority supporting a de-scaled and de-centralized United States, the alternative to Trump is the Democrats' redistributive justice and victim status-competition, which works even less well than Trumpism. And what's the appeal of that? Do you want to defend what you've been invited to share or take what you don't have but want?

Like I said, without immigration and the education/media megaphone the Democrats would be like some obscure anarcho-syndicalist party. They're already pretty much the party of aggrieved minorities, single women, and their homosexual friends.

On a long enough timeline no multi-national empire has ever been sustainable

First the US is not multi-national. Second thanks for admitting Trump & co. are essentially aligned with Putin's interests ('de-scale' the US means make it smaller and less important to the rest of the world.

"Democrats' redistributive justice and victim status-competition" is this the alternative to Trumpism or is it the embodiment of Trumpism?

Remember we now have a First Lady who claims to be the most bullied person in the world as some type of badge of credibility. We are asked to pity the 'ruined lives' of when friends of Trump get indicted for massive money laundering and tax evasion operations they've run on behalf of foreign powers. We have a President who on a regular basis tells his supporters, as though it is something to be proud of, that he cannot manage the people under him (even those he hand picks it seems) and he is the victim of endless conspiracies not by big people but by little people (the 'Deep State' is essentially blaming the mailman and IT guy in the White House basement for your failures).

Sorry this is not White Supremacy but White Degeneracy and even worse it's waddling in degeneracy and being proud of it. It says a lot that you try to set the bar of success by positing first a dismantling of the US.

Thanks for making Tyler's point here. This string of yours has been even dumber than usual.

Most comments here seem far to weeds....I think Tyler's idea is a bit more meta....

Basically can a group, even a majority get caught up in a big 'mind fuck' that traps them and keeps them from exercising political power.

Let's imagine the majority of the country is in line with animal rights. Normally you'd think this would mean passing laws against using animals for food, labor , research etc.

But suppose they get caught. Some people are strict vegans and so strict they want their plant based food certified to be of minimal disruption to animal habitats. Some one up them and demand that antibiotics be given a warning that if you consider bacteria to be animals then they will harm them.

As a serious minority of the majority gets caught up in a game of one-upping each other. A rather simple law you would think would be an easy pass like banning hamburgers or killing animals for sport, can't. In fact the anti-animal minority wins elections because the majority has been caught up in the 'hack'. The hack isn't necessarily planted, though, by the opposition. It can be stumbled upon, it seems, by accident. Makes one wonder is the a hidden fault line in popular opinion/democracy? Majority rule may not be able to scale and remain stable over the long run.

On the more domestic level I think we have to wait and see what the midterms and 2020 brings. On one hand I notice Republicans basically unite for the team no matter how bad it gets. Roy Moore and Brett demonstrated party over country works better than the reverse. But that's short term in areas that are already red.

Democrats have been much more open to the opposite. The key act here I think was ditching Al Franklin. One read on this could be an own goal, ditching a star player on your side. Or one could read this as a rejection that party over all works in the long run and sooner or later voters will reward principle over partisanship.

sooner or later voters will reward principle over partisanship.

I don't vote Democrat because as a white male, it's ridiculous for me to vote for people who think I'm privileged and racist solely by virtue of existing and who want to reduce my social and economic clout.

You want to vote for your Prince Apples go ahead.

Very few people think that about you, and even fewer that matter. Many of them vote Dem but plenty others vote Green or Commie or don't vote. Why are Trumpies so afraid of snotty Evergreen St. college kids? How has your life been impacted in any way by the loony SJW left?

I'm still not voting for Democrats.

And also still not answering my questions.

You're in that category of commenter that take several paragraphs just to get to wrong, so it's not worth the bother.

Per usual, you got nothin'.

"because as a white male" Yawn whose playing identity politics again?

"want to reduce my social and economic clout."

Note my above comment about the difference between white supremacy and white entitlement. Note this person doesn't feel he has economic and social clout because of his superior skills or harder work ethic. The old school racist viewed the economic and social status of whites as a result of their superior traits. Hence the great distress when a non-white achieved some unquestionable position of superior status (such as in sports). The old school white racist viewed this as less a privilege as much as a duty (see 'The Great White Hope' who had to win back the heavyweight championship or 'White Man's Burden').

This new breed of right wing identity snowflakes, though, lacks this view. They are all but completely explicit about their entitlement complex. As a white male, he thinks he should have economic and social clout regardless of what he brings to the table. You can kind of imagine CEO's of American auto companies talking like him in the early 80's. "As an American auto company, there's no reason why we should be the economic and social leaders of the auto industry"....

Spoiled bratism as a political ideology is perhaps the first novel social movement of the information age. But I wouldn't be so happy to buy a ticket on that boat. Spoiled brats usually run out their welcome once their cuteness starts to age and somehow I doubt this chap has a lot of cuteness to fall back on.

I still don't see any reasons why I would vote Democrat.

Of course not. But it's probably more important you present us with any reason to see why we should think your position is worthy of consideration.

Did you ever vote for Ted Kennedy?

Tyler, could you please provide a succinct definition of what "political correctness" means? Of course everyone thinks they know what it means, but if our understandings are significantly divergent, then such arguments can cause more confusion.

I'll venture a definition for what it is worth:

Political Correctness is a rhetorical attack on a person that depends on using their words or statements against them. Its defining style is that the attack depends on less context and becomes ineffective if you add more context.

What does "political correctness" mean exactly? Can someone provide a succinct, general, non-partisan definition?

And what of Neocons and Conservatism? Or better yet, Neocons and the Left?

Comments for this post are closed