Michael Eriksson's Blog

A Swede in Germany

Nazis XIVa: Nationalism, racism, xenophobia, …

with 3 comments

As repeatedly stated, much of the faulty classification of the Nazis, and various other groupings, hinges on an automatic “nationalist; ergo, (far) Right” or “racist; ergo, (far) Right” reaction, without considering opinions in other areas and without ever truly justifying why e.g. racism would be something Rightist.

It is up to those who claim that “X is Y” to provide the proof—not for us others to disprove it. With that, as I have never seen any proof, the discussion really should be over. However, as a somewhat predictable reaction from some Leftists is some variation of “Is too!” or some invocation of Tolkningsföreträde to one-sidedly define anything racist as far Right, I will take a closer look at some issues.

This will broadly be a two-step process: Firstly, in this text, understanding why much of what is called Right-this or Right-that is either not Rightist or not relevant, which will weaken the flawed blanket association. Secondly, in the next, understanding that a considerable amount of racism/xenophobia/nationalism/whatnot can be found even on the official Left, which either requires that blanket claims of X-implies-Right must be scrapped or that these groups are re-defined to be Right-wing (which is not going to happen and which leaves us with the scrapping of X-implies-Right).*

*Yes, from a logical point of view, this second step is all that is needed. The first is still beneficial, because it might alter preconceptions a little and make the second step both easier to understand and easier to swallow. (Not that I am overly optimistic when it comes to Leftist readers.)

  1. Much of the problem goes back to circular reasoning, e.g. through combinations like “A, B, and C are racist; ergo, they are far Right” and “all those far-Rightists are racist—look at A, B, and C”. Note e.g. the recent case of a Leftist, environmentalist extremist, who engaged in a race-based shooting—and was promptly denounced as “far Right”, where, if anything,* “far Left” would have been more appropriate.

    *It might be that, looking closer at the case, both claims are too weak and that a pure “environmentalist extremist” must be chosen: Extreme environmentalists do tend to be far Leftists, but, here too, it would be wrong to see an automatic “X; ergo, Y”.

    Similarly, there seems to be an increasing drive to call anything “Right” which involves (at least certain types of) violence, and ascribe a motive of racism, White Supremacy, or similar any time someone White kills someone Black—even in some cases of self-defense (e.g. Zimmerman, Rittenhouse) or where, even given a conviction, there is not the slightest proof or indication of racism (Chauvin).

    This is particularly unfortunate, as it allows distortive claims about Right-wing violence being common, which it is not. (Much unlike Left-wing violence. Look back at the last few years or read some of my earlier texts.)

  2. There is a difference between actions and opinions. Not only do actions matter more than opinions,* but actions are not necessarily driven by opinions or driven in a manner that is, in some sense, expected.

    *As discussed in both some earlier entries of this series and in some earlier texts in general.

    For instance, a common claim is that this-or-that would be “racist discrimination”, while it is just racial (!) discrimination.* Moreover, racial discrimination (e.g. in form of “affirmative action”) is often used in favor of the alleged victims of racism.

    *Ditto e.g. “sexist” discrimination. Also note what discrimination means. Indeed, even the modifiers fill different roles in “racist discrimination” and “racial discrimination”—the former implies discrimination motivated by racism (while being silent on the criteria), while the latter implies discrimination based on racial criteria (while being silent on the motivation).

    Moreover, claimed discrimination-by-A is often discrimination-by-B, including a likely majority of claimed-by-the-Left cases of “racial/-ist discrimination”. For instance, the apparent over-arresting of Blacks in the U.S. is not based on the arrested being Blacks, but on the arrested being criminals (or, possibly, criminals who let themselves be caught). No, X was not arrested for being a Black guy—he was arrested for waving a gun in the face of a shop-keeper. If* Blacks happen to wave guns in the faces of shop-keepers, this is not the fault of the police.

    *And disproportionately many Blacks do, both metaphorically and literally. (At least in the U.S. The situation in other countries might be different.)

    Similarly, even apparent “racial profiling”, even absent a clear connection with a crime, is likely to at least partially be a matter of just plain vanilla “profiling”: Was that Black young man, who wore a hoodie, loitered on a corner for several hours, and made suspicious approaches to several strangers, … frisked by the police for being Black or for being a young man, who wore a hoodie, etc.? Being Black might have increased the probability of a frisk, but the police have better things to do than frisking Blacks-for-being-Black, absent other signs of something odd, and Whites who behave similarly are not immune to being frisked.*

    *In today’s climate, being Black might even reduce the risk, as Blacks are relatively more likely to become aggressive, and as the individual police officers can see their own lives ruined, should something go wrong with a Black guy. Consider Chauvin and colleagues: they were fired and declared to be evil racists and murderers on national news long before the facts of the matter were established. Picture a slightly different reality, where Floyd indisputably died of e.g. a heart or drug issue, and where they were acquitted in court. They would still be out of jobs and have severely reduced hiring chances, family members or friends might have severed contact, many would still consider them guilty, and it is far from inconceivable that some crazy would try to “rectify” the court decision with a weapon. As is, they were (a) convicted on grounds that still leave me unconvinced and (b) punished far more harshly than would be expected if Floyd had been White (or Chauvin Black).

  3. As might be seen from the above footnote, there is a great problem with distortions through media, including misleading claims, selective reporting,* or great reporting of this-or-that alleged hate-crime with much lesser reporting once the alleged hate-crime is revealed as a hoax,** a misunderstanding, or something else that is not a hate-crime.

    *Remember that Waukesha parade, when a racially motivated Black guy drove a car into a crowd of Whites and killed or injured a great many? Kudos, if you do: the publicity died quite soon, while an incident with reverse colors would have gone down in history as an immense disaster and an act of unspeakable evil.

    **Indeed, almost every time that I hear of an alleged hate-crime in the U.S., it eventually turns out to be either an outright hoax or a misunderstanding/misinterpretation. Ditto e.g. many prominent rape accusations (not restricted to the U.S.)—the more publicity, the greater the likelihood of a false accusation.

    Those who restrict themselves to mainstream media are extremely likely to build a skewed worldview. To be informed in today’s world, we need to complement or replace (local national) mainstream media with alternate sources, perspectives from mainstream media from other countries, and study of more primary/extensive/whatnot sources, e.g. through skipping that newspaper article and reading a book on the same topic.

    That a skewed worldview can be a massive problems is illustrated by, apparently, some Blacks believing that they make up half (!) the U.S. population.* Why? Likely, they live, work, and go to school in a predominantly Black neighborhood, see disproportionately many Blacks in advertising, etc.—and fail to actually check statistics and to actually get a more holistic view of their country.

    *Which might then, for instance, create an expectation of having four or five of the nine SCOTUS members, all other factors equal. If they only have one, then surely some factor(s) must be extremely unequal! In reality, having one out of nine, Thomas, was close to and only slightly smaller than the population share. Adding Brown Jackson makes Blacks, at two out of nine, clearly overrepresented. (This even discounting questions of who has what qualifications, has chosen what career, etc., which likely would lower the share for Blacks further, if appointment was strictly on merits and suitability.)

    (Similarly, I recently heard that some believed in around 600 thousand COVID deaths. No, not in the U.S.—in Sweden! No wonder that some are in a state of great fear of COVID… In Sweden, this would amount to around 6 % of the population (or around 20 million, if applied to the U.S.). The last real number that I saw was 18 thousand—or less than a 33rd of this overblown estimate.)

  4. Many actions and/or opinions sometimes deemed to be e.g. racists are correct or otherwise* reasonable. A common problem with the Left is that questions like whether a certain opinion is correct and for what reason it is held are not asked. Ditto, m.m., actions. For instance, if someone is of the opinion that the I.Q. of Blacks trails that of Whites by roughly one standard deviation in the U.S., what is wrong with that? The opinion is correct.** If someone feels that holding this opinion, regardless of its correctness, is racism, then racism, in this instance, is not bad. To hold this opinion is no more racist and/or bad than the, equally correct, opinion that Blacks are more recently out-of-Africa than Whites. Nevertheless, it is common for someone who claims the former, even without a statement about the implications or the cause of the difference, to be immediately denounced as racist/evil/whatnot. Moreover, while such “race realist” attitudes are often slandered as highly racist or as “scientific racism” in disguise, they are on a very different level to the type or racism displayed by many Blacks and/or Leftists, which often amounts to some variation of “Whites are evil” or “I hate Whites”.

    *E.g. in that an opinion was wrong, but also was held for a good reason. For instance, if someone (regardless of skin color, sex, clothing style, and, within limits, age) is spotted sprinting from a store with a broken window and a blaring alarm, it is quite reasonable to assume a smash-and-grabber on the run. Following this with an appropriate action, say a temporary apprehension, is equally reasonable. The assumption might still be wrong.

    **To some approximation: the distance varies a little from source to source, time to time, and, likely, place to place.

  5. Claims by the Left often distort the picture of what others actually believe and/or why they believe it.

    For instance, negative opinions regarding immigration and/or some minorities are often based on actual experiences—and do not match the typical Leftist propaganda of prejudices held by ignorant rednecks. The U.S. “White flight”, for instance and in Leftist propaganda, is alleged as a matter of racist Whites who cannot stomach living near Blacks—merely because they have the “wrong” color. (Or maybe, because the Whites fear that being Black is contagious? Or, God forbid, that their daughters might be knocked up by Black guys, so that they are cursed with Black grand-children?!?) The reality appears to be very different: I have read quite a few accounts of actual experiences by Whites who eventually fled. A somewhat typical, but highly abbreviated, experience might be “I lived in a great neighborhood for years. Then a few Blacks moved in, and things were still OK, maybe Friday night was a little noisier, but no real reason to complain. Then more Blacks came, and crime/vandalism/noise/drugs/whatnot increased more and more. When my kids’ school began to tank, we had enough and moved.”—a very different picture.*/**

    *To which might be added complications that the tellers might not be aware of, e.g. that a demographic shift can reduce local tax income, which can reduce city efforts, which can affect the quality of the neighborhood/schools/whatnot in another manner.

    **Note that this does not require all Blacks to be e.g. criminals. A noticeably higher rate of this-and-that is quite enough, seeing that the bad eggs typically have a highly disproportionate effect. For example, just one noisy and troublemaking kid in the classroom, who is immune to teacher intervention, can ruin class for everyone.

    That is lived experience.

    A particularly interesting example is my own, far away, impression of the French Front National from my time in Sweden. Every now-and-then, Swedish TV reported about those horrible, prejudiced, far-Right whatnots—and I did what all Swedes seemed to do: sigh over human stupidity* and be thankful that we lived in Sweden.

    *I have gained a lot more true insight into this and its effects since then.

    At the time, Sweden still had few immigrants, and most were other Whites. France, on the other hand, already had a very sizable immigrant population, much of it Black or Islamic. Maybe, the French simply had deeper experiences on the matter than we Swedes?

    After I left Sweden, Sweden too saw a rapidly growing immigrant population, including more Blacks and more Muslims. Lo and behold, soon a Swedish party with an anti-immigration stance arose (“Sverige Demokraterna” or “SD”). They were met with the same TV rhetoric as Front National—horrible, prejudiced, far-Right whatnots. Unlike with Front National,* I actually did some reading on SD’s opinions, and they were nothing like the rhetoric claimed. I probably disagreed with them on most issues, but mere disagreement does not make the other party evil and their concerns in the area of immigration were reasonably reasoned, drawing on statistics and experiences, and directed at immigration (_not_ immigrants)—not at all the frothing at the mouth, “I hate you, because you are Black!” or “Every individual Muslim is evil!” crowd that critics seemed to see.

    *I admittedly still have not had more than trivial contacts with their opinions, and I cannot rule out that the Swedish assessment is (or was back then) correct—unlike with SD. However, nothing in the contacts that I have had have involved mass killings or invasions of Poland—and the exact nature of Front National has little impact on the overall example.

    More generally, one of the worst lies of the Left is (with variations) “Racism/xenophobia/whatnot comes from a lack of understanding. Those who have never known an X imagine all sorts of evil about Xs. We have to make sure that people get to know each other and racism/xenophobia/whatnot will disappear.”. In reality, it seems to be the other way around (with reservations for whether the specific words “racism” and “xenophobia” are justified): those who have little exposure have a naive belief that “they are just like us” and “living with some Xs in the neighborhood would be cool”, while those with relevant* practical experiences tend** to have both a far more nuanced and a more negative opinion. The simple truth is that different groups are different, that even neutral*** differences can be an irritant or even an obstacle when living at close quarters, and that many groups outside of “White Westerners” bring objectively negative behaviors, e.g. through more noise making, more crime, more littering, less respect for others, …

    *A particular risk is that many politicians have experiences that are not relevant, e.g. because they have disproportionately interacted with Xs who were highly intelligent, highly educated, and “acting White”, rather than more average individuals. And, no, this is not restricted to e.g. race issues: Charles Murray has an entire book, “Coming Apart”, dealing with a similar problem within the White U.S. population.

    **A word unusually important here, as there are many factors at play. Notably, and what the Left refuses to acknowledge, individual variation can be highly important, as to e.g. how large the culture clash is, how well-integrated the “foreigner” is, what intelligence and educational level both “foreigner” and “native” move on, etc. The matter is one of statistical differences in behavior that make those with contacts more likely to have a more nuanced and/or more negative opinion than those without.

    ***For want of a better word. My intent is on differences that, unlike e.g. a greater propensity towards crime, do not have one group objectively better than the other. Consider a Brit driving a British car in Germany: Even if he sticks to the right (both senses) side of the road, chances are that the position of the driver will decrease traffic safety. If he drives on the wrong/left side of the road, disaster could follow. This while he would be perfectly fine back home, and while the German in a German car would the potential problem there.

    Similarly, Leftist or Left-governed opinions about the opponents of the Left are often steeped in prejudice and a failure to do proper research on the true opinions. As I have noted in the past, there is a great difference between, on the one hand, understanding and disagreeing and, on the other, not understanding. I am often in very strong disagreement with the Left, but I typically understand the Leftist position—the Left seems to not understand others’ positions to begin with. (Or they do understand and severely distort…)

  6. The exact character of a certain opinion or family of opinions can make a major difference:

    For instance, “nationalist” can mean a great many things.* Some nationalists do want to conquer other countries. Others might strive for national excellence, say, by putting a man on the moon before some other country does. Others might simply feel that foreign policies should prioritize the own country—up to and including takes opposing (!) military actions, like “Why should we die to defend other-country A from other-country B?”. Others yet might be the equivalent of “Sunday Christians”, rooting fanatically for “our” athletes during the Olympics and not caring at all at other times or in other areas than sports.

    *With added complications like some considering patriotism (it self a vague term) a special case of nationalism and others considering it something separate. I make no such distinction for the purposes of this text.

    This is made worse, when opinions are distorted by opponents, e.g. by labeling a migration-critical statement as “anti-immigrant” or “xenophobe”, by labeling a statement critical of Islamists as “anti-Islam” or “anti-Muslim”, …

    Merely claiming e.g. that “X is nationalist; ergo, X is a Nazi” is then highly misleading. The type of nationalism espoused by e.g. “MAGA” and “America First” is very different from the Nazi type—and a reasoning based on e.g. “Trump is Right*-wing”, “Trump pushes ‘MAGA’, which is nationalist”, “the Nazis were nationalist; ergo, the Nazis are also Right-wing” is fundamentally flawed.

    *Funny, did not the Left consider him one of theirs until around 2015?

  7. I strongly suspect that the amount of e.g. racism (or what would be considered racism in someone on the Right) on the Left is severely underestimated through lip-service. Consider those who believe in some version of “race realism”, but would never mention it in public, because someone less “enlightened” might want to “discriminate” Blacks,* because they fear rejection from their peers, or otherwise are less-than-open about their true opinions.

    *This is by no means far fetched. Consider e.g. how many Western journalists, including Swedish and German, systematically suppress the ethnicity of non-White, non-Swedish resp. non-German perpetrators, for the fear that publishing ethnicities could lead to “racism” or “xenophobia”. Also note my experience with a self-censoring colleague.

    (Moreover, but off-topic, chances are that many would have similar opinions, had they not been brain-washed into that ridiculous nurture-only mentality, which forces them to find environmental explanations, no matter how far-fetched, to make the world understandable.)

Excursion on uncomfortable truths:
Uncomfortable truths are not limited to e.g. IQ. A few basic observations that I have made over the years:

A cynic is simply someone who sees the world as it actually is.

A misanthrope is simply someone who sees humans as they actually are.

A misogynist is simply someone who sees women as they actually are.

Off-topic, but related: great cynics often started as great idealists and romantics, becoming the more cynical because of the greater disappointment.

I deliberately do not include “A misandrist […]”. The point of the above list is largely to illustrate the difference between those who are clear-sighted and those who are not—especially, when those who are not engage in accusations or derogatory statements. (For example, that someone who does not agree with the claim that “all humans are good in their core” is derided. For example, that a very wide variety of even fairly harmless and correct claims about women are denounced by Feminists as misogyny.) Cases of misandry, in contrast and in as far as they go beyond equal-opportunities misanthropy, appear to be much more rooted in prejudice, unwarranted aversion, whatnot, and to be more literally hateful. Consider Feminists and an out-of-touch-with-reality hate propaganda that involves e.g. claims of “rape culture”, “every man is a rapist”, “toxic masculinity”. They simply and plainly do not “see men as they actually are”. Cases of misogyny often involve opinions on the level of “Jews do not eat pork”, while misandry is more on the level of Nazi propaganda on Jews. (Yes, analog cases do exist among misogynists, but they are far, far rarer.)

Excursion on experiences and misinterpretations:
One of my own, if indirect, first contacts with immigrants might illustrate both actual experiences and misinterpretations.

Post-divorce, my mother rented an apartment in a house with a shared washing machine and a trust-based schedule, where the tenants could mark in advance when they wanted to use the machine. As a single working mother with two children, she picked her slot (or maybe slots) on the weekend. She repeatedly found the machine in use during the slot(s) that she had reserved—and by an immigrant family that could equally well wash during the work week,* even slot reservations aside.

*I do not remember whether both parents were unemployed or whether this was a working-husband + housewife scenario, but they could. If nothing else, there were two adults available. I do not know why they still chose the weekend, but I would speculate that this-or-that day was a traditional washing day. (A similar, but long gone, tradition is reflected in the Swedish word for Saturday, “Lördag” or the “bathing day”.) I also do not know whether they understood the reservation system.

After a few repetitions, she added an “OBS” next to her newest reservation. (Short for “OBServera” and equivalent to the English/Latin “N.B.”—something entirely reasonable, in other words.) The next thing she knew, she was in front of the landlord, accused of leaving xenophobic messages… The reason? The immigrant family had interpreted this as the much rarer “BSS”, short for “Bevara Sverige Svenskt” (“Keep Sweden Swedish”) and a phrase sometimes used by the (then?) anti-immigration movement.

In a next step, it would have been interesting to know what caused this reaction,* e.g. that they had previously been exposed to an actual “BSS”, that they had been told by someone (maybe a social worker) that there were racists lurking behind every bush and that they should watch out for “BSS”, or that differences in writing** could have increased the risk of misunderstandings.

*Here and elsewhere, there are many points where I have no deeper knowledge, as I was only a child at the time.

**My mother had very clear handwriting, but there are surprisingly large variations between how even Latin letters are (hand-)written in different countries and at different times. For instance, I, my mother, and her mother/my grand-mother were all taught a different script in school. If the neighbors were used to e.g. Cyrillic letters, they might even have judged more based on an impression of the shape of the abbreviation than on an actual reading.

Excursion on semi-justifications:
I can think of two weak-but-not-circular semi-justifications for considering at least nationalism Right-wing.

The one is a historical view: The simplistic nature of the Right–Left divide (just like e.g. the U.S. Republican–Democrat or the old U.K. Tory–Whig divide) means that different positions have been seen as typically “Right-wing” respectively “Left-wing” at different times;* and, as parties tend to emphasise** areas of disagreement, there was often a Yin–Yang like division of attitudes. For instance, the U.K. Whigs tended towards parliamentarianism, while the then-Tories tended towards (absolute) Monarchism, with some or many other opinions similarly divided. Chances are that nationalism was more common on the “Right” up to some point in the 19th century. However, we next have to ask to what degree this should color current classifications,*** whether the distinction was that important in the generally more nationalistic world of yore, and what weight this single issue may be given.

*Although I am uncertain to what degree the contemporaries in a given country spoke in terms of “Right” and “Left”, and to what degree this is a later imposition by historiography. The labels originated at some point in revolutionary France, but need not have caught on internationally until later.

**In the case of the somewhat modern Left, I have sometimes suspected that it deliberately picks the opposite position to the Right’s on many issues. (Maybe, for the purpose of minimizing agreement.)

***At a minimum, we must proceed with great caution or the results will be absurd. Would we consider the current U.S. Republicans Left-wing for preferring a parliamentary republic to a monarchy? Here we can also see a geographic difference—chances are that the U.S. and U.K. “Right-wing” disagreed about monarchy since before the French Revolution and the creation of the labels. A further interesting thought is that a party or position might have been considered Right-wing at some time and Left-wing at some other time (or vice versa). Note the paradoxically named Venstre (“Left”)—a Danish non-Left (!) party.

The other is the strong nominal internationalism of Marxism. However, here we must consider that Marxism is only a subset of Leftism, that many Marxist groups de facto displayed nationalist (or similar) behavior (as discussed in the next text), that the internationalism might have been less directed at true brotherhood and more at spreading Soviet (or whatnot) power, and that a true internationalism among Marxists was ultimately used to replace one type of “us vs. them” division (e.g. Russians vs. Germans) with another (e.g. workers vs. capitalists), which is not a true improvement. Also see a text on identity politics vs. nationalism, racism, etc.

Excursion on further fakery:
An interesting possibility, especially looking at the U.S., is that the Left is not truly anti-racist, whatnot, but finds minority groups useful for Marxist oppressor–oppressed relationships and uses them for vote fishing. This is certainly a popular interpretation among some non-Left U.S. debaters.* I would personally speculate that the Left is to some degree forced towards such positions through the long discredited “tabula rasa” approach that is still popular on the Left and among Leftist social “scientists”. For instance, if someone is in categorical denial of any non-environmental difference between X and Y, then differences in outcome between X and Y must find an environmental explanation, and if decades of purported environmental explanations and attempts at corresponding remedies fail, this might lead e.g. a “Society is racist!” as the only way out—with a natural “Vote for us, so that we can fight racism!” as a consequence.‘

*When we look at some Leftist/Democrat leaders this seems plausible to me. When we look at the broad masses of Leftists/Democrats, I doubt that it holds.

Indeed, “systemic racism” is something so vague that it comes close to an invisible flying spaghetti monster—we can neither see it nor test it, but we know (assuming nurture-only) that it is there, because disparate outcomes. In this, the charge of “systemic racism” is a natural conclusion to a line of excuses that all have failed, and which has been so fool-proofed against falsification that it will be very hard to convince the believers—any new angle of falsification stands the risk of being condemned as proof of regular or systemic racism, if need be with recursive excuse making. (“IQ tests? Racist! SATs? Racist! Poor results in college? Systemic racism in high school! Poor results in high school? Systemic racism in junior hight! … Poor results in Kindergarten? Systemic racism towards the parents!”) Few intelligent and well-informed observers would fall for this, just like few or none actually believe in flying spaghetti monsters, but the stupid and poorly informed, as well as the “I want to believe”-ers, are legion.


Written by michaeleriksson

June 17, 2022 at 5:26 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,

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  1. […] belatedly continue the discussion from Nazis XIVa, I will look at some cases of various behaviors on the Left that might well have been considered […]

  2. […] which gives a flawed baseline for any further thought on the matter. (Also note e.g. parts of [1], where I discuss some potential consequences of such incorrect perceptions, and an analogous […]

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