Guilt, Winning and Losing

By John Eberhard
08/06/06

I recently read a very interesting article entitled "White Guilt and the Western Past" by Shelby Steele. This article came highly recommended by Rush Limbaugh, and I felt like it really helped to explain a lot of things that are going on in politics today. I will quote a bit from the article:

"There is something rather odd in the way America has come to fight its wars since World War II.

"For one thing, it is now unimaginable that we would use anything approaching the full measure of our military power (the nuclear option aside) in the wars we fight. And this seems only reasonable given the relative weakness of our Third World enemies in Vietnam and in the Middle East. But the fact is that we lost in Vietnam, and today, despite our vast power, we are only slogging along – if admirably – in Iraq against a hit-and-run insurgency that cannot stop us even as we seem unable to stop it. Yet no one – including, very likely, the insurgents themselves – believes that America lacks the raw power to defeat this insurgency if it wants to. So clearly it is America that determines the scale of this war. It is America, in fact, that fights so as to make a little room for an insurgency.

"Certainly since Vietnam, America has increasingly practiced a policy of minimalism and restraint in war. And now this unacknowledged policy, which always make a space for the enemy, has us in another long and rather passionless war against a weak enemy.

"Why this new minimalism in war?

"It began, I believe, in a late-20th-century event that transformed the world more profoundly than the collapse of communism: the world-wide collapse of white supremacy as a source of moral authority, political legitimacy and even sovereignty. This idea had organized the entire world, divided up its resources, imposed the nation-state system across the globe, and delivered the majority of the world’s population into servitude and oppression. After World War II, revolutions across the globe, from India to Algeria and from Indonesia to the America civil rights revolution, defeated the authority inherent in white supremacy, if not the idea itself. And this defeat exacted a price: the West was left stigmatized by its sins. Today, the white West, like Germany after the Nazi defeat – lives in a kind of secular penitence in which the slightest echo of past sins brings down withering condemnation. There is now a cloud over white skin where there once was unquestioned authority.

"I call this white guilt not because it is a guilt of conscience but because people stigmatized with moral crimes – here racism and imperialism – lack moral authority and so act guiltily whether they feel guilt or not.

"They struggle, above all else, to dissociate themselves from the past sins they are stigmatized with. When they behave in ways that invoke the memory of those sins, they must labor to prove that they have not relapsed into their group’s former sinfulness. So when America – the greatest embodiment of Western power – goes to war in Third World Iraq, it must also labor to dissociate that action from the great Western sin of Imperialism. Thus, in Iraq we are in two wars, one against an insurgency and another against the past – two fronts, two victories to win, one military, the other a victory of dissociation."

I highly recommend the whole article. Steele goes on to explain how if we win in Iraq but it looks like we were a nation bent on occupying and raping a poor brown nation, the victory would be hollow because it would lack legitimacy. But if we lost, but in so doing got rid of the Imperialist stigma, that would be seen as good and a necessary sacrifice.

Basically, power, strength, victory and winning have all in themselves become stigmatized, when done by white or Western peoples. It’s sort of like we are perceived as being mean spirited to beat up on such a helpless nation or people, even if they attacked or threatened us first.

This white guilt that Steele describes explains why our Senators cannot turn down giving amnesty to illegal immigrants. They feel like stopping Mexicans from coming into our country, even if it might bankrupt the country (see recent article by Phyllis Schlafly), is impossible. There is supposedly so much white guilt for past sins against people of any other color that they have to give away the store to them now.

Winning and Losing

While I agree with Steele that the West, or the white race, or the United States, has lost moral authority and the will to do certain things, I disagree with him on the exact reasons why. I do not agree with him that the white race "delivered the majority of the world’s population into servitude and oppression." My take on it is quite different.

Consider that all life is made up of contests or games. There are military contests, social and cultural contests, scientific contests. There are economic contests, sports contests, and contests to develop new medical treatments and cures.

Now ask yourself, in the 20th century and into the 21st, which country has won nearly all of these contests? The United States has of course. It was the first country to develop the atomic bomb, thereby winning the military game for the 20th century. It won the Cold War. It continues to dominate the world economic scene. More scientific developments have come from the US than any other country. US culture dominates the world (and due to the collapse of moral standards coming from the culture wars, that’s not always a good thing). Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, America is the world’s only super power.

It is not my purpose here to debate the reasons for the US dominance of the world’s contests. But I believe an excellent book entitled "The Five Thousand Year Leap," gives some good theories for this.

Although America is now a very culturally diverse nation, it was formed by white Europeans and the culture and civilization was formed by and is still associated with white Europeans, at least the American brand or version of that culture.

Wherefore the Losers?

So when someone loses a contest, what is their state of mind? What do they do next?

There are a few courses of action that one can take after losing a contest. One is to graciously accept that one lost, and congratulate the winner. Another course of action is to vow to do better in the next contest. Another is to study the winner and see what they did that was successful, and try to emulate it in the future. These are the courses of action that one typically sees in the losing teams in sports.

But if the United States, or Western Civilization, or more specifically the white race, is seen as the winner of most of Earth’s contests, then what have the other countries, or the other races, done?

Unfortunately, there is another course one can take upon losing a contest. And this is the course that many in other countries around the world, and many in the minority races, have done. That is to attack the winning side for having won the contest unfairly, and adopt the mantle of a victim. The loser was "victimized" by the winner, due to some unfair practice or tactic.

Picture this scenario: The Pittsburgh Steelers win the 2005-2006 Super Bowl. But after the game, the losing team files suit against the Steelers, claiming that they unfairly won the game. Their hits were too hard. Their game plan was too good. Their coaches took an unfair advantage by studying the game tapes of the opposing team before the game. Then a few months later, two teams with the two worst records in the league, also file suit against the Steelers, for the same reasons. All suits demand millions of dollars, to make things "more fair."

Ridiculous you say? No self-respecting football team would do that. Probably true, though I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened within the next five years (which would signal the impending end of the NFL).

Well, on the world stage, that is exactly what is happening. At the UN, the third world countries are united in their hatred of the US. They have discovered that they can all band together, and if they vote together in one block, they become a majority. So they routinely band together and vote against the US, and try to extract more and more money from the US.

Radical Islamics hate the US, which they call the "Great Satan." Ironically, their culture has produced nothing worthy of the world stage since the invention of Arabic numerals. They used to have a dominant culture when they served as middlemen in trade between Europe and the East. But when Europeans learned to navigate ships around the southern tip of Africa, that dominance was lost, and never since regained. Now the only thing they have to offer the West is oil. Not surprisingly, their world view, including their views toward women as chattel, and their intolerance towards other religions, belongs in the 12th century, not the 21st. So it’s no wonder that their civilization has not advanced.

At home in the US, certain black leaders such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have made entire careers and gained a great deal of power by beating the drum on the existence and prevalence of racial discrimination. Some incident happens, they fly into town and start screaming "discrimination," and white people fall all over themselves apologizing (and quietly offering money to Jackson’s corporation).

Gay rights activists have learned that by complaining loudly, they can get concession after concession. It’s a macro version of the old proverb, the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

Not every member of these groups or countries adopts the mantle of a victim, but enough to make this a major problem.

If these groups were just sitting there griping, that wouldn’t pose a problem.

The problem is, these groups have learned something dangerous. They have learned that there is incredible empowerment in victimhood. I suspect that there is no inherent power in victimhood, but that certain elements of the society have just decided to grant victimhood a lot of power. The liberal front in America, composed of the mainstream media, university faculties, and the entertainment industry, have pushed this empowerment along and helped create it.

As a result, an anti-propaganda campaign has been waged for many years against the white race, America, and Western Civilization as a whole. These groups have been accused of being the cause of nearly every bad condition in the world. And the minority groups or countries find that the louder they accuse, the more they complain, the more likely it is that they can get something for nothing – a free handout.

I think that the white race/America/Western Civilization, when considering minority groups or races or considering third world countries, thought that these other groups or races or countries would try to follow our lead and emulate us and bootstrap their condition up in the world, with our help.

Instead, they decided not to bother, but instead to become victims. And demand free handouts. And the white race/America/Western Civilization has obliged.

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