Reflections on the “Mostly Peaceful” Riots in America | Ben Nettleton
There is a prevailing vision of progressivism, and it is dominant with the majority cowering under it. Yet, there is no order. The riots are a consequence of the conflicts deep-rooted in the progressive vision; being exacerbated by the pandemic ‘lockdown’ restrictions, long-term decline of socio-economic conditions and rising cultural decadence. The killing of George Floyd gave many malcontents the belief they had found their “own why in life”, so they could “get along with almost any how”. A Pandora’s Box has been opened, albeit the rioters, looters and shooters who have issued from it purport in their worldview that it is they who attempt to shut the box; a box that has been opened by but not limited to: Donald Trump, capitalism and all the oppressive systems and maladies linked with it. This attitude, as G K Chesterton wrote, is “dogmatic without knowing it”- obsessed to represent the West with every conceived mortal sin; needed to be disrupted and dismantled.
The pandemic has inflated long-term socio-economic and cultural decline into a catastrophe in America. Rise of a managerial elite, global markets fixated on consumerist production and growth at all risks or costs, rising socio-economic inequalities as the price of this success and radical cultural changes fixated with identity politics produced a nihilistic situation ripe for exploitation. Black Lives Matter (BLM) have given this chaos a meaning (or an excuse) and a root cause- systematic ‘anti-Black’ racism. The violent consequences of the prevailing vision facilitating these riots and ideologues only sets to worsen racial polarisation and put America and Britain, amongst other nations, on a dangerous irreversible trajectory.
Many triumphantly proclaim to be on the ‘right side of history’, be that with or against the anarchical status quo. The ‘long-march’ has turned into a final sprint for some to tear things down and set things on fire. A last affront for power over everything, or equally the destruction of everything. Yet, I suspect, many rioters are acting “out of a mixture of thrill-seeking and inchoate political grievance”, under the banner of a “movement”.
So how did this all come to fruition? The answer is a plethora of fallacies and downright lies within the upkeep of a prevailing vision [See my article on a study of this vision]. Reality has been masked with many false hopes. These rioters (directed top-down by BLM and Antifa factions or ‘chapters’) in America have proclaimed an idealised vision; one of good sounding rhetoric of equality and utopianism. It is a vision that will never come true. Why? With the absence of problems or inequalities, the activist-protester is without cause and purpose. A continuous ‘negative’ feedback loop occurs, where problems are ‘resolved’ by progressives, largely resulting in disaster, only to be blamed on some new problem, restarting the loop. They always require an ‘enemy within’ to blame and expunge from society. The problems here are all centrally connected by race.
Further fallacies are made regarding culture, family structure and of course the history of slavery (fallacies exploited fervently in critical race theory). This centres race as the characteristic at the heart of power dynamics, treating individuals as homogenous group identities and justifies acting, rioting, looting and even murdering on their behalf.
Academics, such as Barbara Applebaum and Robin DiAngelo declare that the history and common culture of nations like America and Britain both oppress and cannot belong to blacks (and minorities)- sustaining only ‘white supremacy’. Thus, black people are always oppressed in regards to every form of discrimination that produces an unequal outcome against them. Black people participating in American ‘white’ culture are accused of ‘acting white’ or an ‘Uncle Tom’. In short, people are reduced to a skin colour without individual moral autonomy and agency. It is the systems that generate such discriminations that are designed, maintained and sustain privilege to the white oppressor majority (including a certain virus). Ultimately, this is the Invincibility Fallacy, whereby inequality is only a product of human biases à la Rousseau. The aim is to radically change such systems to eliminate what is perceived as entirely racist discriminatory procedures- and with that produce an equality of outcome- the best case scenario for them being the oppressed as the new ‘leaders’ (oppressors). The movement exists out of and grows from “replacing reciprocal social obligations with unilateral subsidies of self-indulgences…” which intensifies socio-economic and cultural degradation.
No responsibility or fault for disparities lands at the feet of black individuals or black subcultures- it is always externalised structural problems – purposefully designed to maintain ‘white supremacy’ by oppressors. The guilt of generations of white ‘oppressors’ transcends any one individual, like an Original Sin.
But, progressives fail to realise that it is policies of their own making (enlightened by the same vision historically) that have caused the problems that they are determined to fix today. As Sowell wrote, “Blacks are to the progressives/Left today what the working class was to Marx in the nineteenth century- mere pawns in an ideological game.” Blacks who have risen out of poverty, or, involved with the systems of oppression, are completely ignored as a ‘nothing’, or worse, branded as a ‘traitor’ (academically-speaking they are ‘white adjacent’)- often receiving atrocious racial abuse in the process.
BLM do not stand for black lives, they stand in the way of black lives, and this impoverishes everyone. In general, BLM is an organisation mixing ‘black empowerment’ with a Gramscian-Marxian theoretical base. Tactics are improvised- to acquire justice and equity for all black lives ‘by any means’. Often, tactics are with a religious fervour, black people mere ciphers; their skin colour the sacred symbol. Of course, not ALL black lives matter, but only those that can be politicised and aide the cause. Confusingly, this cause is a call for cultural hegemony consisting on attacking, changing and implementing inclusivity in constructed communities; absent of not only ‘anti-Black’ racism, but sexism, heteronormativity, ageism, ableism, individualism, imperialism and naturally capitalism.
The emphasis of collective grievance and victimisation play as key components that unite a collective of activists and protesters- yet each protester is fundamentally on their own and alone. Some loot from big corporations’ stores; others burn down small black-owned businesses which are an entire source of someone’s livelihood. Some beat up innocent strollers because they’re white; others get innocent diners of Washington DC to stick their fist in the air for so-called ‘solidarity’ for the mob mentality. This is the anarchy (after decades of institutional ‘subversion’), accelerated where law and order had not been enforced, but submission to ‘the madness of crowds’. Thomas Sowell aptly defines such a mentality: “People who talk incessantly about “change” are often dogmatically set in their ways. They want to change other people”, or be simply ‘removed’ from society.
The riots were sparked by video footage of an incident- a white police officer killing a black person- all that’s necessary whereby a show trial of the internet and mass media began; here in one video was the means for a narrative to spread and spark outrage and sensation. The media had their story: ‘white cop shoots unarmed, innocent black man’. The full story, or put plainly: the truth, did not matter. The headlines and narrative were set to go live. Nonetheless, the scale of violence with the riots (although “mostly peaceful” according to CNN) has meant the media (e.g. CNN) and the progressive elite have lost both the plot and their stranglehold of their narratives, despite still making excuse for the rioters- even when their own buildings were targeted, (e.g. CNN in Atlanta). That is until it hurt polling for a particular political party.
As commented on by Sowell (see Economic Facts and Fallacies, Intellectuals and Race etc.), when riots occurred in northern cities of the USA during the late 1960s, such as Detroit in 1967, it was local state politicians who had followed “affirmative action” policies and the restricting of the local police force that caused for greater deaths and violence (43 in Detroit). Where cities did enforce law and order like Chicago in 1968 under Mayor Richard J. Daley with “shoot to kill” order given, deaths were lower and riots did not last long (11 deaths). The latter riot had also happened after the assassination of Martin Luther King. Moreover, such cities like Detroit- which previously had a black unemployment rate of 3.4 percent lower than the white national average before the riot- became an economic disaster area after the riots, as businesses were destroyed, the most productive people (‘white flight’) hastily moved away to the suburbs (population being half that of 1960s level by early 2010s) and overall economic activity and lawlessness declined. This was also on-top of long-term deindustrialisation, housing discrimination and poverty. We are seeing similar events occurring in Democrat-led cities across America today (e.g. New York, Seattle, Minneapolis
etc.) and the economic costs (added to the costs of the pandemic) will be immense for these cities and residents. In short, the riots in these cities, especially when law and order is not enforced, are costly and further the declining standards of living for black people in those areas for a long time.
There are serious problems to be discussed in regards to poor, black communities (often shared alongside poor, white communities), such as employment, housing, family structure and law and order. The article does not suggest there is no racism in the American police or in society. Neither does it suggest or begin to defend the actions of the rioters, nor the killing of George Floyd.
Instead, it is insisting that politicians, companies and mass media alike (utilising aspects of modern culture) are making it near-to impossible to differentiate between cases of discrimination caused by racism and those by other, separate factors. It is the centralisation of race (and identity in general) by those self-identified ‘anti-racists’ that only make for increasingly worse race-relations across the West and the eradication of the diversity necessary for such important discourse.
‘Anti-racists’ are those who view problems of the world through inter-group power-dynamics and not through intentional or even conscious decisions made by individuals. Racism pervades everything. Problems within minority groups are not fault of said groups. ‘Only white people can be racist’ they proclaim, whilst their diversity training scam strives for white people to take active (passive is itself racist) ‘anti-racist’ steps on behalf of black people (i.e. the snake-oil of ‘white fragility’ and ‘white complicity’ vis à vis DiAngelo and Applebaum respectively). If anything, the very worst and opposite happens with white-identity politics increasingly being defended and promoted, deepening racial tensions. Black people do not receive any benefit from ‘anti-racists’ prioritising the cleansing of the ‘sin’ of ‘whiteness’. These conditions only serve a self-anointed prevailing vision of those who stand to gain from division, misery and the chaos of their own creation. There are more bigger problems that unite ordinary people, but the obsession with race only places another artificial barrier in the way of a realistic march towards a ‘colour-blindness’ in society.
Reality and the truth cannot be hidden forever. Therefore, the only viable option for the elite and media is to continually and disgracefully lie, above all to keep the truth hidden to themselves. They cannot begin to consider that it is them and their vision that is at fault. The US 2020 presidential election is now a race for power to determine the radical future direction of America- the choice between two candidates, where everyone loses regardless of who has won. Joe Biden will be the self-serving mediator of the prevailing vision, and Donald Trump will be the self-serving symptom of the prevailing vision. Neither is the cure for such a plague. As many more Americans start to refuse to be fooled by them and stop obeying their prevailing vision, what is at stake then? Answer: the future existence of America, or what’s left of it in the ashes.