Being Colonized by Our Betters


This pair of paragraphs from Rod Dreher on The American Conservative invites an interesting analysis of the nature of our country’s political and social division:

Starting in the 1960s, writes [political scientist Samuel] Huntington, “deconstructionists” of national identity encouraged “individuals were defined by their group membership, not common nationality.” Pushing identity politics was a time-tested strategy for colonialist regimes, for the sake of dividing and conquering subject peoples. But the governments of nation-states instead focused on uniting their disparate peoples. (Indeed, the Civil Rights Movement was about compelling the white majority to extend the promises of the Constitution and the Creed to black Americans — in other words, to fully unite them to the whole.)

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Huntington says that this did not start from below, but was imposed from the top, by American political, legal, and cultural elites. He writes, “These efforts by a nation’s leaders to deconstruct the nation they governed were, quite possibly, without precedent in human history.”

In essence, our elites are colonizing us.  If that’s unique, it’s because the American project was unique.  Our would-be aristocracy has just taken some time to find the right formula, for government to grow, and for technology to advance.  The aristocrats have developed as a subculture, isolated and different from the masses of Americans, even if they didn’t have to travel an ocean to get to us.

This development is not without its irony.  During the reign of President Obama, some observers (notably Dinesh D’Sousa) characterized the president’s ideology largely in terms of its anti-colonialism.  One might fairly opine that the anti-colonialism of the leftist likes of Obama is superficial; the notion of colonizing per se isn’t what offends them, but rather that Western civilization did the colonizing.

This antipathy isn’t principled or genuine, as the pop-culture-loving, golf-playing Obama proved, but simply forms the basis for a rationalization to deprive others of their rights and to undermine the greatest country in human history for their own personal aggrandizement and advantage.

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  • Rhett Hardwick

    “individuals were defined by their group membership, not common nationality.”
    Having once taken an interest in family genealogy, I have had reason to look at old census reports. Before the 20th Century it was common to ask for “National Identity”, “country of origin”, or similar.
    In the Northeast, the response was commonly a statement of the national origin of their surname. In the South the response was almost universally “American”. I thought that remarkable. In the Northeast, “group membership” seemed to persist through many generations. In my life time, I have noticed the near disappearance of Franco-American clubs, Hibernian clubs and Italo-American clubs,.

  • Merle The Monster

    The author of the otherwise thoughtful and interesting essay gives scant mention to blacks, who the author describes as “unwilling immigrants”, who did not gain acceptance into the “American Creed”. The glaring omission in this essay is, not addressing the systematic racism of colonizing Europeans, the founding fathers and powerful and influential minds including the religious leaders throughout the history of this country. So Katz adds his words to those who have helped the colonialists and slaveholders with their racist ideas. Powerful minds in the past found the rationalization for the actions for those who did benefit economically such as the colonialists and slaveholders. By describing former President Obama as ” pop-culture-loving, golf-playing “, Katz echoes the past racist insults that include laziness, idleness, and moral corruption. Throughout this country’s history blacks have been described both as simple and childlike and also cunning and dangerous. Katz rounds out his comments about the former President by stated that he tried to ” undermine the greatest country in human history”. Sounds pretty dangerous to me and also sounds like echoes from the past.

    • Justin Katz

      Frankly bizarre comment. Illustrative, though. You make it entirely impossible to criticize anybody who happens to be black because there is no statement that can’t be twisted into “echoes of the past racist insults.”

      * “See! You said he likes golf, which means you’re saying he’s lazy, which is what racists used to say about black people!”
      * “See! You said he worked hard, which means you’re saying he’s like a workhorse, which is what racists used to say when they claimed that hard labor was good for black people!”

      Naturally, you entirely ignore the context. That particular statement wasn’t even about being lazy or working hard; it was an illustration that Obama clearly doesn’t dislike Western culture for his own entertainment and activity choices.

      • Merle The Monster

        You are going to argue that racist ideas have not been a part of Western Civilization? From Aristotle to Darwin and from Cotton Mather , Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson Davis , John S. Calhoun to Woodrow Wilson and to present although there are few now who openly express it. Thanks for so throughly demonstrating the modern equivalent. So according to you someone’s entertainment choices means they also must endorse one culture’s dominance in the world. How bizarre.

        • Merle The Monster

          Correction John C. Calhoun instead of John S.

      • Merle The Monster

        You have kept a close eye on Presidential politics for last decade at least so how could you have missed the intense criticism of President Obama,s golfing almost all from the Right Wing Media and including the current occupant of the White House.