Friday, December 24, 2004

Sobran, one of first to use the descrption and word "Alienism" (1985)


"Alienism: a prejudice in favor of the alien, the marginal, the dispossesed, the eccentric, reaching an extreme in the attempt to "build a new society" by destroying the basic institutions of the native. The most terrible fulfillment of this principle is Communism.

It would be natural to assume that Nativism would be more destructive, because native forces would seem to be better situated in most cases to destroy the alien than alien forces to destroy the native. But for some reason history hasn't worked out that way. What is plain, at any rate, is that Alienism is far from a marginal force. It offers malcontents of all sorts an ideology or gnosis that enables them to interpret normal life maliciously as a crude though somewhat disguised struggle between oppressors and victims.

If the oppression isn't obvious, that is because the oppressors are so cunning and their victims so totally subjugated that even their perceptual powers are in thrall. Acquiring the liberating gnosis is called "consciousness-raising." The process enables the initiate to strip off the mask of oppressive structures and see capitalism as exploitation, freedom as "repressive tolerance," and prosperity as "invisible poverty."
Liberalism and Marxism are variant forms of Alienism; so are feminism and "gay liberation," for that matter.

There is no militant Nativism to speak of in America; but there is militant Alienism, and it has power not only in the law but in the current culture propagated by the media and the academy. The very fact that Alienism was nameless until I came along, while there were a dozen words, all invidious, for Nativist attitudes, shows how thoroughly entrenched the Alienist perspective is.

The very meaning of Alienism's vocabulary has changed in keeping with the success of its aggression against traditional America. At one time "McCarthyism" referred to the smearing of putatively innocent liberals as Communists; but recently the identification of Communista as Communists has earned them the title of "victims of McCarthyism." "Racism" used to refer to conscious discrimination against blacks by whites who would probably have agreed that the term fit them; now it is used to intimidate opposition to racial quotas and busing by libeling people who still hold what used to be the liberal position, namely, that the state should be color-blind.

Alienism will settle for nothing less than the complete inversion of the normal perspective. Jean-Francois Revel catches the theme in an arresting remark: "Democratic civilization is the first in history to blame itself because another power is working to destroy it." The native in the West has accepted the Alienist critique with remarkable passivity; his morale is at an all-time low. He regards it as his duty to tolerate, without even voicing an objection, people who want to destroy his way of life, prey on his children, and desecrate everything he used to hold sacred.

One of liberalism's most successful strategies has been to establish a standing presumption of guilt against the native:

his motives are always in question, his racism and bogotry "just beneath the surface." But the native is forbidden to play this game: if he suggests that certain Alienist forces aren't on the up-and-up, he "thinks there's a Communist under every bed." His bad faith can be inferred from "patterns of discrimination"; he has to make a "good-faith effort" to cleanse himself before Alienist arbiters of good faith.

One of the best studies of Alienist ideology and techniques is Kenneth Minogue's book Alien Powers.

It is typical of ideology, according to Minogue, to interpret the whole world under the aspect of power,every concrete situation in terms of oppressors and victims. A key strategy is to assume a monopoly of both insight and honesty; by this means the ideologue puts himself in the position of privileged accuser, always judging, never judged. The structure of ideological thought is heads, I win; tails, you lose.

The native American has fallen for this con game. He accpts the most malicious construction of his own words and acts, while extending a courteous benefit of the doubt to his enemies. The motives of the Alienist are never called in quesion; the native lets the Alienist take his wallet, and doesn't even count the change. He grumbles a little every April 15, but he never makes a connection between liberal ideology, government spending, and his own tax rates. Least of all does he suspect how he is hated by these people whom e is constantly trying to assure of is good intentions. He takes for granted his assigned role as perennial defendant.


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