I don’t recall where I read this, but I was struck by the simple truth of it: “Any political philosophy that is based on the security and sanctity of individual property isn’t going to resonate with people who don’t expect to ever have any.” Your humble author isn’t much of a homeowner; 2,549 square feet in Nowhere, Ohio with the same tile used by McDonald’s. (It’s true. I picked it because they said it was impervious to abuse.) But I am, in fact, a homeowner and have been since I was 29 years old.
Therefore, I think like a homeowner. I don’t blink at my outrageous property taxes, which would finance a new Corvette, because I believe in having nice schools for the kids. I tend to advocate for, and vote for, policies that will assist me in the secure retention and enjoyment of my property, both in the tract-home sense and in the vintage-Porsche sense. When there was a proposal to put a Wal-Mart in my town, I fought it. (We won, but Wal-Mart bracketed us with the canny eye of a Marine forward observer, placing a pair of stores less than half a mile away from our southern and eastern borders, respectively.) There’s no low-income housing where I live. We let our children play outdoors unsupervised. While I am accepting of universal suffrage on a national basis, I think it’s ridiculous that someone could be allowed to rent an apartment within the township limits and then have a say on issues that would affect the community long after their lease expired. That’s like making your investment decisions by asking the fellow ahead of you in line at Burger King.
There was once a time when the median young American lived like I do, and thought like I do, and voted like I do, and that’s how you get the America of 1960, I suppose. Today’s median young American doesn’t live that way, particularly when you narrow it down to people below forty. He’s living in rental housing, usually owned by a faceless corporation or some distasteful oligarch. (True story: much of the rental housing in Columbus is owned by civil-court judges, many of whom received seller financing and low-fee property management services. Chew on that for a minute.) He has no path to home ownership: zero, zilch, nada. Sure, he could move to Mississippi or downtown Detroit and buy a home for a hundred grand. How far would he be from work? How safe would be be?
The massive investment culture of America, operated by and for the Baby Boomer generation and designed to ensure their permanent prosperity unto death, doesn’t exist for this median American. Maybe he has eight grand in a 401k from three contract jobs ago. Maybe he doesn’t even have that. He has a six-year loan on a used car. Yes, he has avocado toast and an iPhone XXII and Uber Eats, but all of it amounts to $500 a month of luxuries in a world where the average home in a major real estate market would mortgage out at between six and fifteen G every thirty days.
Worse than all of this, he has no hope of it being different. Homes and investments appreciate at double digits every year, fueled by Chinese cash seeking sanctuary and JPow’s money printer working to keep the Deep State in power, while his compensation remains the same — if he’s lucky. His grandfather, who bought a home in Southern California while working 34 hours a week at the GM plant in Van Nuys before retiring with three million dollars’ worth of guaranteed pension payouts, tells him to grab his bootstraps and pull hard. He’ll take that advice, he really will. As soon as he pays off the $5600 debt from last year’s Obamacare deductible.
Put yourself in this man’s shoes. (Or woman’s, or whatever else is out there nowadays.) How would you vote? Why, you’d vote for any and all measures that enriched your life at the expense of prior generations and/or the unaccountably wealthy. Why the hell would you care about “the sanctity of private property”? You don’t have any, and you never will. There are people out there who are concerned about the government taking away the guns — but the guns got taken away from everyone in your city a long time ago. (Although people keep getting shot…) That crazy Jack Baruth keeps talking about how new regulations will make it impossible to own the car of your dreams, but how is that relevant to you, when you can barely afford to keep your Jetta on the road?
I think you can see how this flywheel revs up. The middle class loses its prospects due to the actions of a predatory few, which puts the average man in a situation where he will vote for more government power in the interest of redressing the balance. But it doesn’t work that way. Instead, these policies further enfeeble the economic prospects of Americans, which in turn will incentivize even more people to vote for confiscatory, collectivist policies. And pretty soon you’re in the Russia of 1960, as opposed to the America of 1960 you were always told contained the greatest evils imaginable.
This, in a very long nutshell, is why the “conservative” wing in America is deader than dead. The future arguably holds just two choices for valid, effective political thought: violent left-wing socialism in which the wrongthinkers will be bloodily purged on a regular basis and everything in your life from your caloric intake to your sex life will be directly tied to your status within the Party, or violent right-wing populism engaged in a fervent struggle to overthrow that system. That’s it. Don’t think that we will go back to Ronald Reagan’s (or Bill Clinton’s) Normie America of 1980-2000. This ratchet only turns one way.
There is a Third Way, of course, and I’m remiss not to mention it: if neither of the above two ideologies can obtain Absolute Power, at some point the country will be ethnically diverse enough to engage in some authentic Yugoslavia-style kinetic squabbling.
Now I’d like you to hold the above lessons in your mind, in particular people have no loyalty to something that doesn’t exist for them, as you look back up to the top of this article to see Coca-Cola’s Robin DiAngelo Anti-White Training Sessions. You can access this training yourself if you like. What strikes me about the whole Robin DiAngelo shtick is just how Boomer-centric it is. Did the “White” Boomers benefit from White Privilege? Did they live in a world that was designed around them? Probably, on both counts. You can certainly make an argument for it. What about m-m-m-m-m-my generation? I’d say we got less of that Wypipo Love, but I can still remember a couple of incidents from my distant youth where I saw black people treated differently, and worse, than white people.
Alright, let’s fire up The Modern Median Young American from the previous paragraphs, one last time. Let’s adjust him a bit to be “white”, since in the true median sense he is more like a light mocha, but we want a white guy for this. At the age of 29, what advantages can he say he got from his whiteness? What was his college-admissions process like? Did it “privilege” him? How about when he was looking for work? Did anybody reach out to him saying “Hey, we’d like to ensure some opportunities for young Whites in our corporation?” Let’s say he works in the creative fields. Did anyone hire him because they wanted a white voice? Maybe he’s in finance. Did someone give him a promotion to meet a quota for white men?
You know the answer to this — and even if you want to argue the answer, you know what the median American’s perception of the situation is.
Therefore, all this liberal blather about “destroying the privilege of Whiteness” is approximately as relevant to the Median Young American as all the conservative blather about “property rights”. This fellow doesn’t have any property, and he doesn’t have any privilege, at least none that he can easily discern. In the presence of the right people, he can be bullied into lying; when he visits his grandparents for Thanksgiving he might politely agree that yes, Papaw, you have every right to own a mansion and have three Corvettes while I’m trying to pay off last year’s Obamacare deductible, keep on living your best life! When he’s at work, he might nod his head and mouth the platitudes he’s given, just so he has a chance in hell of paying off that deductible instead of returning to the Amazon fulfillment center for his next job.
But he doesn’t believe any of it.
What does he believe? Why, it’s simple. To quote Crash Davis: he believes in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game, the ironic meme, the OnlyFans subscription, the Ikea furniture, the Instagrammed dinner, the Tinder date, the hypebeast street fashion, and long, slow, cut-price vacations via Spirit Airlines that last three days. He’s not going to lift a finger for your culture, or your culture war. It doesn’t matter which side you champion.
Of course, this dispirited nihilism is not unconscious. This fellow knows that something was taken from him. He’s not sure what it was. Was it economic? Racial? National? Freedom? Harmony? Power? The first ideology to make a convincing case on that subject will have his allegiance — and the fire burns in none like the converted. The last time people felt this despondent as a whole was probably the early 1930s. It brought us an age of demagogues: Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Tojo,
Roosevelt… Uh, forget that last one. Where we were? Better not to think about it anymore. I’ll get over to LinkedIn for some re-education, stat.