When looking back on the last twenty years of the United Kingdom’s political history, one can see the rise of a new political doctrine entering the western world. This new force can only be described as the ‘new puritans’. We have seen the rise of this ideology since that of the 1960s, which didn’t become truly evident until Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses in the 1980s. One might begin to wonder if the West has sleepwalked into both a second Cold War and its own culture war.
This has already been documented by many before however, examples being Allan Bloom’s Closing of the American Mind and Thomas Sowell’s Vision of the Anointed and The Quest for Cosmic Justice. One can now see the true effects of this ideology within our current times and trends.
Whether by accident or by design, it makes no difference now. What has become truly relevant now is the effects this ideology is having on people. The corruption of individualism into latent collectivism has never become more apparent. Ideas of ‘white privilege’ and ‘systemic racism’ will only merely continue non-issues that have been empirically disproven under every measure. The idea of middlemen minorities demonstrates this plainly – East Asians, Jews and Armenians being such clear examples.
It is such groups that dispel the utterances of the systemic part of alleged systemic racism. Alongside this, we fall into the accidental white supremacism of ‘white privilege’. This is merely just a modern twist upon basic white supremacist ideology, that being that white people (white people are not even a race) are inherently better or have advantages because of their skin colour.
For one to believe that white privilege is to be real, one must also believe that and accept ‘black inferiority’. This would be no different to non-white people looking at white people and then recognise that they must be worth less than their white counterparts within the world.
This is something so genius (if you were to be a white supremacist) that I am positive that not even David Duke nor Richard Spencer could have conceived such a policy. From this, one must be constantly reminded that racism is only an ugly form collectivism, as it is the mindset of viewing humans as inherently part of there groups (in this case, race) rather than seeing them as individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who happen to share racial characteristics must be alike and therefore must be collectives.
In continuation of this, we see other examples of this new puritanism. This can be examined in the past sins and misdoings of celebrated figures. The idea that people of the past do not live up to present day standards has only become truly apparent to some, hence why these individuals existed within the past and not the present.
I often remember Walter Williams stating that it is very easy to judge people of the past, because we did not live through their experiences and did not make the decisions that they had to make. It takes very little energy or moral standing to debate or attack a tombstone. After all, you show me a man who is perfect, and I will show you a bullshitter. It is the new puritanism that has shown its face towards such debates.
What this does is create its own form of religious fundamentalism. The West (and by extension white people) have been placed into the classical theistic view of original sin. This is just like the Augustinian theodicy of mankind having the original sin after being removed from the garden of Eden and it being placed upon the seminal presence of Adam and his descendants.
One might wonder what the West can do – end slavery (and other serfdoms); defeat fascism; defeat communism; create countless cures/medicines for the whole world to use, not just for themselves. However, for some reason the West cannot escape its own original sin of partaking in the practice of slavery and imperialism. I do however wish to endeavour on writing a more concise and precise version of what was (and still is to this day) slavery in many parts of the world.
The reason is very simple I would assume. Shelby Steele used to argue that there is an old formula for gaining and retaining power – this being to flame up and to play into one’s insecurities around their lives. We see this with the rise of a professional victimisation of certain individuals. Booker T Washington would often talk about a class of blacks within America whose sole business is to keep the problems being faced by individuals within the public’s purview.
Having learnt that they can profit and gain power, these individuals have universally no reason to end the perceived problems that face the very groups that they claim to support. This is because they would not want to lose their jobs. It would make as much sense as telling the Mafia to give up on crime.
These issues will not go away, because the people who make money and gain power from the grievances of others will not give up so easily. These individuals are what Walter Williams amusingly calls ‘poverty pimps’ or ‘race grifters’. From this, there exists a constant need to display one’s purity amongst their fellow contemporaries. The constant rebranding only suggests that of a constant desire to show and display one’s innate virtue. Because of this, the new puritanism needs to keep searching for more issues to find and complain about – issues that can be explained through either clear empirical data or ones that have been solely invented to continue the complaint culture.
I often find great amusement when hearing words like racism and homophobia, which are now merely replaceable terms for old complaints around witches. The search and desire to show one’s implicit lack of sin has become incredibly weird and confusing. The lengths one must now go to show that they are ‘woke’ is very interesting, but also very sad – for it shows the lack of self-confidence many individuals have during our stormy present.
Overall, I begin to wonder if we can truly rid ourselves of this new puritanism and replace it with a much more pragmatic and holistic worldview. Afterall, one must only be semi-educated on 20th century history to infer the dangers of these modes of thought. From China’s Cultural Revolution to the Cambodian Killing Fields, we have seen the dangers of certain groups and the ideological infections they can create.