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 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:
- White people have something in common (This is nothing to do with white supremacy)
- 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’
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
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…..