We now have a prodigious new contender.
The National Review, a far-right magazine founded by extreme reactionary William F. Buckley, Jr.—whom journalist Gore Vidal infamously referred to as a “crypto-Nazi”—exposed identity politics’ true colors with a laughing-coma-inducing article arguing that socialism is just white privilege writ large.
Few American publications have as long and as proud a legacy of unmitigated racism as the National Review. Although it had a literal blog devoted to so-called “liberal fascism,” the National Review has a long history of celebrating and mitigating the unspeakable crimes of actual fascism.
This piece is hence so remarkable in its genuinely impressive degree of hypocrisy it almost seems as if the publication was hacked by the Onion satirists (it might as well have been).
In the piece, far-right demagogue Kevin D. Williamson, in a preposterous bout of extreme ignorance and intentional distortion, argues socialism, the most powerful anti-racist force in human history, is nothing more than “Nordic exceptionalism.”
The neo-conservative Williamson is of course ironically himself a very proud white man who
- constantly slanders the Black Lives Matter civil rights movement;
- peddles the racist “black-on-black” crime narrative;
- writes screeds opposing reparations;
- argues opponents of the anti-worker, anti-environment, anti-democratic secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are propagators of the new “Yellow Peril”;
- claims the rape epidemic is “fiction”;
- insists anthropogenic climate change is an enormous left-wing conspiracy that scientists are in on;
- compares climate scientists to UFO conspiracy theorists, while he himself denies anthropogenic climate change in anti-scientific conspiratorial fashion; and, in perhaps the most ludicrous example of all,
- compares Bernie Sanders (whose father’s family was murdered in the Holocaust), Obama, and just about anyone else he dislikes to Nazis.
As any proud National Review staff writer is wont to do, Williamson is never one to let those pesky facts get in the way, and, virtually without exception, prefers mudslinging to research.
He ergo naturally ignores an elementary fact about socialism: the vast majority of socialists in the world not just today, but in an all of human history, have in fact been people of color from formerly colonized nations largely in the Global South. Marxism, in particular, and other forms of revolutionary socialism have been the vehicle by which formerly subjugated peoples threw off the yoke of Western imperialism and exerted independence.
And, speaking of ahistorical balderdash, this is not even to mention the fact that it was in fact indisputably socialism that defeated by the far-right, anti-socialist Nazis.
Williamson is the kind of far-right fanatic who wields reactionary identity politics to his advantage. For the Right, identity politics is a blessing.
For the umpteenth time in what is now, unfortunately, an ever-burgeoning series, I repeat: As political scientist and race theorist Adolph Reed has constantly stressed, identity politics is “the politics of the left-wing of neoliberalism.” And yet, the more this happens, the more I think Reed didn’t go far enough in his characterization: Identity politics is not the “left”-wing of neoliberalism; it is simply neoliberalism, sans qualifier.