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No kultur



I.


When the left says, “White people have no culture,” they are engaged in a conscious gaslight in order to provoke a reaction, to provoke helplessness. It is precisely the same as the tactic adopted by Jim Jones in his Peoples Temple movement: Jones would sodomise cult members and then declare in his public sermons, “I’m the only heterosexual in this church.” When you make statements that baldly contradict reality you can render people confused, impotent through inexpressible rage, or trapped in a double-bind they are uncertain how to resolve—so statements such as these are control mechanisms, not statements about reality. The more preposterous the assertion, the more effective it can be. Imagine if I said to you, “You were never born.” You would probably find it to be a statement so at odds with reality that you would be unable to refute it. How do you counter such a preposterous assertion?


However, there is a little more to the assertion that “white people have no culture” than just a control mechanism. On the surface, the statement is ridiculous because the world is Westernised: men in Tokyo wear suits and ties to go to job interviews, not traditional samurai garb—and everything from the legal codes used in Dubai to the calculus used in Mumbai originates in the West. Indeed, even the theories that critique the West’s power—multiculturalism, Marxism, postmodernism—originate within the West (no Hegel, no Marx). In this sense, “white culture”, understood here as a pervasive Western worldview, utterly encompasses the globe. It is the default.


The fact that the West—the white European world—provides the global default is why the slogan “white people have no culture” came into being. The contemporary left is imbued with ideas originated by Foucault, Derrida, Adorno, and the Frankfurt fraternity. These “cultural critiques” chime with the way left moved from being centred on the working class in the early 1960s (the working class were too rich to be mobilised) to a concentration on race, sexuality, and women—the perfect combination for permanent resentment, since there will always be grumbles over race, sexuality, and femininity the left can exploit regardless of how rich any one group becomes.


The left also realised, around the early 1980s, that politics was now “cultural”—here used to refer to advertisement, movies, and pop songs; and this idea was particularly elaborated by the neo-Gramscian Eurocommunists around the British Communist Party’s Marxism Today magazine. The idea was that in the 1990s—in the “New Politics” as it was dubbed—the typical “proletariat” might be a black single mother who works in a call centre in Wolverhampton. In this post-Fordist “casualised” world where she is no longer stuck on a production line, as her mother might have been, she may, in fact, out-earn her black male contemporaries (their physical body power is no longer as useful in a postindustrial labour market)—she works an irregular shift pattern, yet that gives her more time to look after her children than would be the case in a regimented factory system.


She does not suffer actual poverty in the sense that a 19th-century labourer in a Wolverhampton brick factory would have done—yet she suffers from alienation because, for example, she watches Hollywood films and sees adverts where black women are depicted with straight hair like white women, so that she tries to emulate the implicit white beauty standard with straightening tongs and so is alienated from her blackness. Whiteness is the unacknowledged norm in a postindustrial economy that revolves around “cultural products”, not physical production. Ultimately, her “emancipatory struggle” is against the alienation imposed by post-Fordist late capitalism that exploits her precarious labour and encourages her to use her wages to buy an alienated self-image of white beauty.


It should be remembered at this point that the core to Marxism is not primarily an argument that socialism will end poverty or make sure everyone has a nice car and a nice house—although that is a component to Marxism, the main Marxist thrust was always that socialism would end alienation (e.g. the unnatural state produced by the division of labour where a person does that same task again and again and again in a way that turns them into a robot; and also the way in which a labourer must buy the products with which to live and enjoy himself back from the capitalists, even though these products are produced by his own labour). All that happened was that the accent on alienation was now placed on cultural products, with particular reference to the role played by women, ethnic minorities, and sexual minorities.


This turn in cultural Marxism zeroed in on the way cultural products use certain tropes—basically true observations about what humans are—in order to sell those products. So, for example, you might always pick a black calypso dancer to advertise your exotic fruit drink—“A little taste of the Caribbean. Drink Kal-ypso, drink the rhythm.” To pick an actual example, Bacardi Breezers used to be advertised with the tagline, “There’s Latin spirit in every one.” What do they mean by that? Well, you know—Enriqu Iglesias and sultry Shakira, right? Latin rhythm, the carnival in Rio, the Afro-Cuban girls shaking their ass on the beach…That’s what happens when you drink a Bacardi Breezer—there’s “Latin spirit” (soul-alcohol) in every bottle, and in every(one) customer.


There are dozens of such examples, essentially stereotypes or tropes, that are used to sell products and provide plot developments in films and Netflix series. What the cultural Marxists did was to highlight the “exoticised” and “racialised” cultural elements within these tropes and then argue that these were the means by which late capitalism exploits people today: the notion is that the Western cultural sphere, a substitute for the “bourgeoisie”, has no “culture” of its own—instead it appropriates “outsider” cultural power (instead of labour power, as in the old Marxist system based on economics) to sell products.


Ergo, the West, late capitalism, has “no culture”: it has to appropriate “Latin spirit”, “black soul”, and “gay campness” to sell products—and this can be related back to colonial exploration and the notion, per Edward Said’s Orientalism, that the “Western eye” made out non-Western cultures to be particularly unusual and exotic (actually no more than the banal observation that people from different cultures find other cultures odd, except Said just maintained that only white people think this way—in his view, an Arab in China never thought, “Wow, this is different to Egypt”).


The scene is now set for “white people have no culture”: in this cultural Marxist view, the default Western system that encompasses the world is parasitical upon all these funky, fresh “cultures” (hence multiculturalism) and just uses them to sell products—so alienating blacks, Latins, women, and gays from “their” cultures. The idea has even been expanded out to the notion there are subcultures (another coinage from the Marxism Today crowd), such as goths and punks, who have their subcultures “appropriated” and sold back to them as an “alienated” product—hence, “You sold out, man.” The blank (white) grey-suited default is taken to be “without culture” in this sense. An imagined remark would run, “White man, he build a Coca-Cola plant, but he always put black man on the ad ‘cause the white man got no culture—no Michael Jordan, no Jimmi Hendrix, no Duke Ellington. All they got is bullshit to sell us.”


The recent obsession with “black hair”, for example, also represents a further strand in this development: here the accusation is that black women are alienated from themselves by a system that imposes an implicit white beauty standard (actually correct, except it is just that whites are objectively the most attractive race—so even blacks want to look at them in ads). Consequently, this implicit beauty standard that black women live within must be “foregrounded”, and it will be foregrounded with funky, fresh and vibrant black culture (not, in fact, black culture at all—anymore than a social-democrat football club was “working-class culture”—but rather “black culture” used as a puppet for Marxisant ideas).


The above provides a full genealogy for the idea “white people have no culture”. To use the term “culture” at all is, in fact, idiosyncratic for Marxists—I knew an orthodox Marxist who refused to utter the word, for the reason that “culture” and “kultur” were most associated with the Hitlerites and with Oswald Spengler. He was a stick in the mud, and the cultural Marxists were wise to appropriate “culture” and turn it to their purposes—there is no mileage in “proletarian revolution” today, but you can build much resentment over how people are depicted in adverts and films (or even in Lord of the Rings).


II.


A further confusion arises because America, being a democratic multiracial and multireligious empire, appears to have no culture as understood in the Spenglerian sense. The very terms “Americanisation” and “Coca-Colaisation” stand for a process whereby everything is levelled down to commercial uniformity: everyone chews gum, wears a baseball cap, and watches the same movies—very democratic. Indeed, the only authentic place in America is the South—only the South represents American kultur.


Why? The South is authentic because it is aristocratic, religious, and deeply attached to the land. A culture, a kultur, really amounts to blood, faith, and soil—often with the blood soaked into the soil. Further, as Nietzsche said, “only those who suffer can be profound,” and in America it is only Southerners who have ever really suffered defeat and oppression (along, ironically, with their slaves) and so only the American South is profound—everything else in America, especially California, remains shallow. However, since America is a decadent democracy, the South constitutes a forbidden authenticity in American life—they can only be depicted as the “bad guys” in cultural products; in fact, they are the most authentic Americans.


The South is anti-democratic—it conflicts with the Enlightenment principles upon which the United States was founded, and this was established for sure by the Civil War. Hence their authenticity must be disprivileged. The ersatz authenticity for the democracy is found instead in America’s black population—for they are also a people of a common race, often deeply religious, and with a special relationship to the land (pickn’ cotton); and they have also suffered, and so become “real”, “authentic”, and profound. Hence the democracy, being a perversion, celebrates an anti-aristocracy as the bearers of its “true culture”—only black Americans have a culture for the democracy, since they constitute an acceptable anti-aristocracy of the weak. The democracy itself—middle class, industrial, secular-scientific, Anglo-Jewish—presents itself as “the blank”, the neutral white equalitarians who take their cue from the black anti-aristocracy because this is necessary in order to “draw up” blacks into full participation in the democracy.


American culture is English; it only pretends it is not English because it had a Revolution, just like the French Revolution—all revolutions based on Enlightenment principles are deviations from reality. All revolutions are deviations from blood, soil, aristocracy, and tradition. What is called “white” in America really means “English”—and this is what “American” means too. This is why there is no hyphenated “Anglo-American”, “American” = “English” (although there is now an attempt to introduce such a term for leftist purposes and because historical continuity in America has collapsed to such an extent).


However, the Americans are Englishmen who betrayed their country and tried—as with the French Revolution and the Bolshevik Revolution—to begin again based solely on “reason”. Hence they had to extirpate the South, since the South was still residually too irrational. Hence “American” and “white” have come to mean—especially as the Italians, Irish, and Jews piled in—“blank democratic norm”. As with all revolutions, the American Revolution was built on hypocrisy: you cannot extirpate kultur, you cannot negate blood and aristocracy—you can only radically disprivilege them, deny they exist (hence “no white culture”), while celebrating other cultures in the quest for equality.


In this sense, there is some truth to the assertion “whites have no culture”—except not in the cultural Marxist sense: “whites” have no kultur—the globe-spanning techno-scientific democratic empire has no kultur because it has no attachment to blood, land, and aristocracy; even “white” is a non-historical quasi-scientific “race science” term—Englishmen have a kultur, “whites” do not (anymore than a baboon does).


Hence Coca-Cola, Apple, Nike, and so on do not represent American kultur—although they are commonly taken to be so—anymore than Cadburys chocolate represents “English culture” or Ferrari represents “Italian culture”. These globe-spanning companies produce products that can be “enjoyed”, so long as you have the ready money, anywhere in the world and by anyone—and they are often sold by the anti-aristocracy, the former black slaves, because former slaves, who had their tribes and languages mixed together for reasons of social control, represent the ideal deracinated consumer. The American ideal, the democratic ideal, is a black consumer who has no idea where he comes from, no religion, no ties to locality yet thinks he has particularity and “culture” because his sexualised dancing is used to sell Coca-Cola in ads.


American democracy, the outcome from their Enlightenment Revolution, has gone so far that it is no longer even possible to admit to an American particularity—or a white particularity; even that is too potentially “aristocratic” and anti-democratic. Viewed from the right, it is possible to say (white) Americans have no kultur—they have spent 250 years at war with religion, aristocracy, and attachment to the land; ergo, they are without kultur—although they have an anti-culture provided by their slave caste, so that every American ultimately aspires to be a black man; and, as it turns out, this situation is then exploited by cultural Marxists who critique the ambiguities and hypocrisies that inevitably build up as a democracy tries to sustain itself through an anti-kultur. Here endeth the lesson.




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