It gives me a certain gratitude to be able to introduce the first post on Lost Generation Philosopher the bulk of which was written by someone other than myself. Dean Allen — author (see Allen 2012*), longstanding Republican Party activist and proud Tea Party member from South Carolina, my former home state, someone whose intellect I respect and who respects mine — penned the following in response to a slightly earlier version of what appeared two days ago as Part One. Why is it here? Because I thought it was a well-intentioned and fair-minded critique, and that many of its points are worthy of further discussion. (In other words, one may note this as exemplifying respect for Free Speech!) I worked out a response over a period of two days which was rejected by whatever algorithms are in play on Facebook, whether the post was too controversial or simply too long and containing too many big words. I decided to bypass Facebook, and my response will appear in two more days as Part Three.
In case this discussion seems unusual for a philosophy blog: we would agree, I think (Dean and I) that philosophy is nothing if it does not or cannot address real world problems at some point, using the analytic tools at its disposal which I’ve discussed in previous posts. As a philosopher who is not a professor and will never see tenure, I am not bound by the limitations professors face these days, which is why I feel free to discuss globalism, “conspiracies,” etc., as I find them, rather than kowtow to institutions and a profession that was neutered years ago. Professional philosophy may be recoverable, but only if its worth can be rediscovered outside the controlled environment of academia.
In any event, that being a longer story than I can get into here, we continue with Mr. Allen’s post. The only changes I made were to put in paragraphs (which he requested, as it is inconvenient to do on Facebook) and smooth out some wording here and there in ways that hopefully left the meaning unaltered.
DEAN ALLEN to STEVEN YATES:
Steven, you fail to address another possible dichotomy. While you and I share a common background and many philosophical values, there is still a wide gulf between us. You are correct it is not racial, we are both white and not entirely partisan, I concede a leftist element inside the GOP we have not yet expelled.
However, there is a huge gulf between us that results in your frequently dystopian diatribes. Yes, when it comes to being a pessimist, you are as strident an orthodox, hidebound, pessimist as ever put pen to paper. You have made an honest effort to avoid racial and partisan language where such language stifles honest communication and intellectual discussion. You have tried, with less success, to avoid any left-right dichotomy. I mention with less success because success in that endeavor is quite impossible if we are going to understand and respond to differences between individualism and collectivism. We are on the same side there, both being individualists, therefore that is not our fundamental difference.
The difference between us is you are a pessimist, a defeatist, and have already surrendered to a very dystopian world view. That could serve you well if you made your living writing fiction of the Mad Max variety, rather than teaching philosophy. I on the other hand have a much more optimistic view of the future of both the United States and the world. You have heard the old adage a pessimist laments an adverse wind, an optimist looks forward to the adverse wind changing, while a realist merely adjusts his sails to the prevailing wind. The latter course is, in reality, merely a more pragmatic optimism. You must first be an optimist to believe it is possible to adjust your sails to the wind and you must believe it is possible, before you are able to do it.
We who are the optimistic individualists made a fantastic leap forward last year when we nominated, and then elected, Donald J. Trump to the presidency! Since our president is, by intelligent design, not a monarch with absolute powers, President Trump cannot simply order things put right and have it happen. However, he has made great strides in the past eleven months and I look for a lot more in the next seven years. Nor does my optimism rest upon one man or one political party. Brexit has shown nationalism and individual rights to be ascendant in our mother country as well. Marine Le Pen and others have demonstrated the spirit of freedom is also alive and well on the continent of Europe. While our European cousins have not enjoyed as dramatic a change as the Trump presidency, they are making great progress in the right direction.
Your morbid fear of corporations, like your fear of organized political parties, is misplaced. The greatest existential threats to western civilization do not come from Democrats (in reality communists now), Republicans, or corporations. The greatest threats come from the twin terrors of Islam and the benign acceptance of racism against white men. The enemies of freedom have long understood they must destroy white men and the civilization we built if they are to erect something else in its place. For 60 years the defense of the white man was relegated to the sorriest examples of white men and to organizations devoid of both intellectuals and political strategists. These would-be defenders of white civilization were crippled by the poison of anti-Semitism, a fatalistic view of religion, and hatred of other races based on the same flawed Zero Sum Game philosophy of the far left. The reality is, defense of the white man does not require attacking or tearing down other racial groups. It does require acknowledging and accepting very real differences. Whether we white men are “superior” is a subjective determination. That we are different and have produced unique results in the world, are factual matters we have been too timid to defend. The late Ayn Rand once lamented our lack of attention to epistemology, pointing out, when we allow our adversaries to define our language and the terms we use, we have already lost.
Steven, the time has come for another revolution. Not merely a revolution designed to throw off the yoke of a tyrant by force; but also an intellectual revolution. One where we retake and assert the fundamental truths that the civilization built mostly by English and Irish white men is indeed superior to every other system that has been devised by any group of men in history, anywhere on earth. Ancestors of our British cousins gave the world the English language, common law, and the free enterprise system over a period of a millennium and a half. We here in America, including my own Irish ancestors, refined and perfected those foundations of civilization. We can defend, and are defending, the virtue of the American system. You may question a claim of racial supremacy. What cannot be questioned is the fact one race, white men, almost exclusively British and Irish, produced on the North American continent, a system of government that definitely has been superior to everything else ever produced anywhere else. People of all races within our geographical borders have benefited from our superior system, but only to the degree they assimilated into our unique American culture. As we reassert the supremacy of our culture, we are driving away the dystopian nightmare you fear, making it less probable with each passing day.
*I reply on Thursday, December 21, 2017. All bibliographic references will be listed in the usual place at the end.