White Takes Black or Skin In The Game

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

‘The first-move advantage in chess is the inherent advantage of the player (White) who makes the first move in chess. Chess players and theorists generally agree that White begins the game with some advantage. Since 1851, compiled statistics support this view; White consistently wins slightly more often than Black, usually scoring between 52 and 56 percent. White’s winning percentage[1] is about the same for tournament games between humans and games between computers. However, White’s advantage is less significant in blitz games and games between novices.’

 

If you play chess, (even infrequently and badly), you come to recognise that certain sequences of moves appear again and again. Together these repeated sequences form a lexicon of chess strategy.

 

Among inexperienced players the outcome of a game is often decided by a disconcertingly small number of opening moves. Developing players learn that a central objective in opening is to prevent the game being over before it has even really begun.

 

To achieve the space and time to develop position, a player can use the tactic of offering an exchange which can alter the focus and tempo of a game. It is not unusual to see an early sequence where players effectively swap out a number of pieces.

 

The advantage of exchanging is that it clarifies where players stand. But often the price you pay for simplification and consolidation is to sacrifice the chance for a quick win.

 

There is such an exchange of pieces taking place now in the American game. Over the past week or so we have seen the Rachel Dolezal incident playing out, quickly followed by the Charleston church massacre.

 

Some might claim there is no comparison; might even be offended by any attempt to make one. They might claim that the Dolezal case is relatively trivial and the Charleston massacre deadly serious. But the real importance of each event cannot be understood in isolation. Both are part of a bigger, more complex contest. Understanding the nature of that contest and giving it a name is what Whiteism is about.

 

Rachel Dolezal represents a white pawn that advanced largely unnoticed on the left flank, right up into Black lines. It is fairly obvious even to a novice that this solitary piece is now isolated with little or no support or protection.

 

Since retreat is impossible, the Dolezal pawn is stymied and waiting to be taken at the convenience of Black..so why has she not been taken already? Because she represents both opportunity and threat for Black.

 

Whiteism is the ideological belief that:

 

  1. White people have something in common (This is nothing to do with white supremacy)
  2. White people are necessarily different from non-Whites (Blacks)

 

For Whiteists, (whether White or Black!), it cannot be that Rachel Dolezal is justified in self identifying as black for the above reasons. But modern day America is divided between Whiteism and Post Whiteism.

 

Whiteism was the framework within which it was argued that post WWII the belief in White intellectual supremacy should be transformed into belief in White moral supremacy.

 

Germanic culture was totally discredited by the Second Germanic War. To be rehabilitated, it had to be placed on probation; nurtured, controlled and chaperoned by global white culture, in exactly the same way that the German nation was placed on probation and chaperoned by Saxons in the West and the Soviets in the East. Whites as a whole, would act as guard and guarantor of Germans within the world community.

 

This meant that in the post war period Anglo Saxons would seek to promote the idea that all whites, including Slavs should be seen as being committed to becoming more ‘civilised’ than any other group of people.

 

The movement for Black ‘equality’ in the USA comes out of this. Black equality is in essence a claim for white moral superiority. The moral justification for Welfarism is the corollary and counterpoint to Black equality.

 

If Blacks were to obtain political and economic equality, (or even superiority), through force that would negate white moral superiority. The successful expression of White moral superiority requires that Blacks don’t ever get anywhere entirely on their own merit.

 

The election of Barack Obama as President of America is cited as proof that America is now a ‘post racial’ nation – an achievement of white America. But can Obama really be legitimate as a Black president if not on his own merits? And if he could become President entirely on his own merits, does that mean that Whites were effectively defeated by a superior force?

 

It is clear something has to give: Black ability or White morality.

 

If we are to accept the Martin Luther King dictum that people should be judged on character (whatever that is supposed to be), and not skin colour then the persona adopted by Rachel Dolezal is entirely valid and so are her actions.

 

But then the entire structure of racism, of black disadvantage and white reparation is blown away.

 

On the other hand, if Rachel Dolezal’s racial persona is illegitimate then Martin Luther Kings dictum is obviously wrong- we must judge personal actions, at least in part, on the colour of skin. In other words Rachel Dolezal personifies Martin Luther Kings dictum reductio ad absurdum.

 

It’s little wonder Black is not sure whether to take the Rachel Dolezal pawn…

 

While Black dallied over Rachel Dolezal, it was swiftly superseded by events on the right flank where Black suffered unexpected loss. This has given rise to a resurgence of an old spat about the rules of the game, specifically what specific pieces are allowed to do, (otherwise known as the Second amendment right to bear arms).

 

Again, this represents both opportunity and threat for Black.

 

To characterise Dylann Roof as terrorist and not lunatic, that is to say that his was a political act and not a random, meaningless one, has on the surface obvious advantages for Black. It is much easier to deny arms to ‘enemy combatants’ than American citizens. And if White supremacist violence can be used to bell the right libertarian cat, that would be a substantial strategic advance for Black.

 

But this means characterising Roof’s actions as both a coherent and meaningful  political act. And this is a high risk thing to do.

 

At the time that Anders Brevik attacked a group of Norwegian elite kids I argued that this was a significant political event rather than random meaningless act as many tried to portray it.

 

The standard ‘progressive’ interpretation of the shooting was that Breviks act would show the meaningless madness behind all race hate words and actions and cause repulsion among mainstream society.

 

Is that what has happened in Scandinavian politics? Hardly. Since the shooting there have been systematic and substantial moves to the right, rolling back the social democratic ‘anti racist’ alliance that has ruled across Scandinavia since the end of WWII. If left leaning Scandinavians hoped that the Anders Brevik incident would corral the populace back into the pro-immigration fold, they have been sadly disappointed.

 

The same is true in America. If Black chooses to make Dylann Roof an example of a serious anti Black movement, the danger is he might turn out to be one.

 

So, can this two part exchange sequence tell us anything about the way this particular match in the American game is going?

 

I think so.

 

White has made a rushed, undisciplined opening. There is clearly a lack of coherence in the way that White pieces are occupying the board. It seems that in this particular game White is eager to engage with Black but lacks a clear strategy for doing so. I think this betrays a lack of confidence and a confusion about what Black strategy and tactics are going to be.

 

The Black response so far indicates that it lacks confidence too, it is clearly more hesitant to act than White. It seems that Black is having difficulty calculating the possible consequences of its actions.

 

Both Dolazel and Roof are left hanging by Black who seems more intent on haggling about the rules than making a forceful response. This shows that Black does not want to make a move until it can negotiate some change in the rules…

 

You might think it hard hearted, even cynical, to depict events such as these in terms of a game, but my purpose is to point to an important truth. Of course the game of chess is a metaphor. This is not to say it has no meaning. The game is fascinating because it represents a real clash of forces. There is a real prize for the victor and a real price to be paid for losing.

 

So what is the important truth I want to tell?

 

That in racial terms Black and White are metaphors.

 

So what actually is ‘White’? What does ‘White’ actually represent?

 

White represents first move advantage. White is the side that moved first.White came before black. White was defined before Black was defined. Making this definition IS the White identity. Making this definition was the first move in the game.

 

The first move in the game was taken before the game even began. That is how the player who took White has won up until now.

 

So who is the real player moving the White pieces?

And who is the real player moving the Black pieces?

 

Understand this and you understand Whiteism.

 

Last point: Not only is White the one who traditionally starts the game, White traditionally has the privilege of ending it. White gets the last move. If I was playing with the Black pieces I would want to think about that very carefully before I decided to argue for minor rule changes. I might want to think carefully about whether I want to go on with the game……

 

“He examined the chess problem and set out the pieces. It was a tricky ending, involving a couple of knights.
‘White to play and mate in two moves.’
Winston looked up at the portrait of Big Brother. White always mates, he thought with a sort of cloudy mysticism. Always, without exception, it is so arranged. In no chess problem since the beginning of the world has black ever won. Did it not symbolize the eternal, unvarying triumph of Good over Evil? The huge face gazed back at him, full of calm power. White always mates.”

 

George Orwell ‘1984’

 

update23 June 2015

 

Moral Hazzard Or National Lampoons Animal House or Chicago Rules (not) Or This is a Live Fire Exercise

“Theme From The Dukes Of Hazzard (Good Ol’ Boys)”

Just’a good ol’ boys
Never meanin’ no harm.
Beats all you never saw
Been in trouble with the law
Since the day they was born

Staightnin’ the curves
Flatnin the hills
Someday the mountain might get ’em
But the law never will

Makin’ their way
The only way they know how
That’s just a little bit more
Than the law will allow.

Makin’ their way
The only way they know how
That’s just a little bit more
Than the law will allow.

I’m a good ol’ boy
You know my momma loves me
But she don’t understand
They keep a showin my hands and not my face on TV

OH YEA

I wrote that Black doesn’t want to make a move until it can get a little clarification on the rules of the game. Well, it seems like the clarification has come through.

The kids at Yankee Frat House have decided to launch a daring raid on the flag that flies on top of  Charleston House.  They say: ‘We can be in and out before they even know what has happened! What a gas! That’ll teach ’em to mess with Yankee Fraternity..

‘Sort of like one of those army training exercises  where you win by seizing the enemy’s flag. You know, like a war, but not really.’

Might be as well to go careful with this cultural prank though, since we haven’t actually managed to get all the guns away from those rednecks yet…..

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The Democratic Lower Bound

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The famous sentiment that ‘Anyone Can Be President of America! ‘ is often cited both as justification and positive evidence of the superiority of ‘The American Way’. It stands as a pillar supporting the arch that proclaims the openness of American society.

 

Of course, the assertion that anyone can be President is not universally accepted. Oppositional voices contend that anyone can’t be president-quite the reverse. To get anywhere in the world of American politics you need the right connections, political and financial. These voices argue that there is an establishment in America and the Bush and Clinton dynasties illustrate this point.

 

But although they dispute the actuality, most of the naysayers generally endorse the underlying principle; that it is a good thing that anyone can be President. Perhaps we should think about this a little more closely. If anyone potentially can be President of America, does it follow that anything potentially can be law in America?

 

You can immediately see that this is not quite so attractive a proposition. Complete freedom to make law as one sees fit is dangerous; not a power that you want to give away to any individual no matter who it is (or isn’t). And you don’t actually know what a President is going to do with power until they actually start doing it. And by then its too late to do anything about it….

 

Commitment to a moral or even practical set of principles is not required to become President. It is entirely possible that the man you elect might sell the farm out from under you and there is not a lot you can do about it once you have cast your ballot. In light of this it might start to seem that the claim that anyone can be president is more sinister threat than positive affirmation.

 

‘But’, I hear you say, ‘isn’t that where ‘democratic checks and balances’ come in?’ Except that they don’t really seem to, do they? Certainly not lately. Certainly not in respect of the Credit Crunch and its aftermath. The evidence suggests that   ‘checks and balances’ such as they are can be got around if you know the system well enough.

 

Most of the financial regulations enacted in the aftermath of the Credit Crunch have been stalled or effectively abandoned. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that for the ‘financial community’ it is more or less business as usual. There is a parallel with the Iraq war and the resulting ongoing devastation and collapse. Nobody has been brought to book for an invasion presaged on weapons of mass destruction that were never there.

 

Because ultimately ‘checks and balances’ depend upon the people doing the checking and balancing. Which in America would be the two houses of the legislature. But if anyone can be President then anyone can be a Senator. A horrible structural weakness within the system is laid bare. You only need to find a couple of hundred arseholes in a population of over three hundred million and you have a problem….you actually only have to find a majority of a couple of hundred arseholes; after all it’s a democracy.

 

‘But bad legislation can be overturned’, you will counter. The people will elect an oppositional counter force and bring the system back to centre.

 

So how much of the bad stuff in the past three or four decades has actually been overturned? Glass Steagal financial regulation was repealed in favour of the rich and powerful but I’m not sure there has been a lot of movement the other way. How much anti trades union legislation has been overturned in Britain or America or anywhere in the Saxon Axis? To what extent have the basic rights of ordinary people been restored or improved over the past decades?

 

The legislated landscape is massively changed from only a couple of decades ago. If the system were really self correcting towards the centre, shouldn’t it tend to remain broadly the same over time?

 

OK you say, I concede these broad points but the final safeguard in America is The Constitution and the Bill Of Rights. Here at least we are on solid ground. These are fixed principle driven rules beyond which no elected official can go.

 

But any fixed set of rules will inevitably be challenged by circumstance. In the centuries since the Constitution was created the identities and values of the men who wrote it have become increasingly marginalised. This change is expressed positively in the many amendments to the constitution and negatively in the effective abandonment of the basic principles that guided the constitution. Contemporary America is not the country the Constitution was written for.

 

Truth to tell, all of the above is something of a misdirection a la ‘The Usual Suspects’. The details of any western system are irrelevant. The real point is: When it comes down to it, in a modern democracy there is no penalty for governing badly, and there cannot be, or else it is no longer democracy as we have understood the term.

 

We can call this the Democratic Lower Bound. It operates like the interest rate lower bound. It is the structural limit beyond which the system as it is presently constituted cannot go.

 

Individual politicians may be liable for ‘criminal’ activity but not for incompetent or even malevolent actions carried out in the process of governing. The penalty for incompetence malevolence is that you are voted out next time around, (maybe), with a nice pension of course. But you and the organisation you represent are free to carry on doing what you did. ‘Elector Beware’ is the principle behind modern market democracy as ‘Buyer Beware’ is the principle behind the marketplace.

 

From Vietnam through financialisation and on into Iraq, no elected official has ever got into any serious trouble no matter how terrible the crimes they committed at home or abroad. Nor will they ever. Nor can they be allowed to. Democracy offers the same protection to its politicians that the marketplace affords to investors in corporations – limited liability

 

Nevertheless even this unfortunate state of affairs is not necessarily fatal to the reasonable functioning of the system- if the political class exercises a certain amount of self control. If an elite has a sense of national self preservation the modern democratic system can still work reasonably well.

 

But in the light of international treaties such as TTP and the European trade agreement we can say that adding Globalisation to the democratic lower bound brings what is the fatal weakness in the system to the fore.

 

Legislatures across the developed world are entering into permanent agreements that are deliberately engineered to be beyond the scope of national parliaments. The effect is of smuggling the economic and political wealth of the nation state out one piece at a time. Transnational elites are clandestinely stripping the nation state bare. And there is no effective legal response built into the system for this. Once sovereign treaties are signed there is no legal way to unilaterally repudiate them. The Greek people are finding this out to their cost.

 

I have argued in previous pieces that Monetarism is the end of economics and the consequent emergence of cultural constituencies. This means one culturally self defined group ruling over another, or number of others.

 

It is becoming increasingly apparent that political elites across the developed world are themselves constituted as a separate cultural constituency. And since it is the entire political class we are talking about, you can’t ever hope to vote yourself out of this dead end, even without the system limitations I outline above. Whoever you vote for, Globalists get in.

 

Given the democracy limitations that I outlined above those who lose out on the new electoral deals can have no effective recourse other than separation, which is coming to mean the carve-up of national territories between the people and the politicians.

 

So the rise of Monetarism and cultural constituencies necessarily means every nation state will in the end become a failed state.

 

A capital city ruled by a Globalist cultural constituency surrounded by a hinterland one or more cultural constituencies of outsiders.

 

This is what PODEMOS in Spain and SYRIZA in Greece and even the SNP in Britain really mean. That the national states they are nominally part of are becoming failed states. And this eventuality has been foreseen and prepared for.

 

Aha! Now I can hear you say: ‘This last statement is surely over the top – You had me going for a minute there, but this is bordering on conspiracy theory; world government and so on ‘

 

But doesn’t this accurately describe what we can see happening and without relying on a worldwide conspiracy theory?

 

My argument is that when nation states become constrained by a critical number of international treaties, modern national democracy simply cannot be sustained. By their sheer number and scope these international agreements undermine the function of nation states and their national elites. The international ‘free market’ no longer has the room to operate once a critical number of international treaties have been entered into. Capitalist competition has no room to exist. What then, will take its place?

 

If there is no regulated economic competition between nation states, there will follow unregulated cultural competition within states. Greece is a perfect example of this.

 

Greece no longer has the means for regulated economic competition with other nation states. It no longer has its own sovereign economy; for example, it cannot devalue which is a ‘traditional’ means of regulating its own international trade competitiveness. As a consequence, Greece is now divided between Globalists and the cultural constituency of SYRIZA.

 

In Greece there will have to be another election in short order. And the EU political elite will actively try to influence the outcome of this election as a political player.

 

Ukraine is another more extreme case in point. It is precisely because Ukraine as a nation was so constrained by the competing demands of the European and Russian blocs, that it was unable to operate as a separate economic entity. It is not a co-incidence that the conflict in Ukraine was sparked by disagreement over which of two international treaties Ukraine should sign.