Law and Order

Tucker Carlson: Latest Victim of Leftist Essentialization

While it’s a fact that unchecked immigration and refugee resettlement from regions of the world destabilized by neoliberalism and globalist proxy wars of foreign adventurism have often caused chaos—and worse!—in their new host nations, you simply can’t say that on TV.

Take Tucker Carlson, for example:

Can you believe it! The new neighbors are pooping everywhere and Tucker Thinks That’s Weird.

Here’s a tasting flight of reactions from the leftist Twittersphere:

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With all due respect to Sharlet—who at the very least doesn’t descend to the flummoxingly pithless clickbait depths of Merlan’s Jezebel non-story—the left is missing more than a few steps between “the new neighbors keep shitting in the streets and butchering animals on our yard and dumping their trash in inappropriate places or something like that” to “hate speech” and then to “Hitler!” (the latter leap, of course, being discursively corrosive in the sense that it continues to trivialize the absolute and true evil of Nazism by de facto raising any grievance of political correctness to absurdly Nurembergian levels).

Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 8.20.57 PM (2)Are we talking about hate speech here? Not really. That’s not at all the level of Carlson’s discourse—it’s just a conveniently voguish rereading of his utterly basic point. Carlson isn’t saying that the Roma are a local nuisance because they are Roma, but because they are not adhering to a social compact. If the staff of Magalithic began shitting in Sharlet’s yard, littering his street with our empty magnums of Chablis grand cru, deconstructing cattle for tartare in his yard, and causing a real old fashioned fracas—and if he spoke out on our behavior in one of the outlets where he publishes—could we so quickly reduce his legitimate complaint to simple hate against our matrix of races, religions, and ethnic origins?

What’s at work in these quick rushes to “hate speech” judgement is a secret premise revealing the intellectual rot of the left rather than that of the purported right: the rote internalization of an essentialist meta-discourse that views all action as a function of various socially-constructed attributes. It’s the same reductive gap of reasoning that would let one to make claims like, “If one is LGBTQ, one cannot support President Trump”. . . “If one acts intolerantly, it is the function of white privilege [et al]”. . . “If one is criticized for being publicly unruly, that criticism must always been driven by some Other signifier”. . . you get the picture. For extra credit, feel free to create your own logical fallacies and leave them in the comments section.

The question Carlson raises here is at once simpler and more complex than empty accusations of hate speech, intolerance, or jingoism. At its core, this issue is about sovereignty; or, rather, what makes up the shared responsibilities of a community or nation, what shared beliefs drive our unity, and how the right to be unmolested within that social imaginary is maintained.

On another level, this issue is the question of shared customs and rule of law—e.g., in our town, we have regulations about the slaughtering of livestock. That a logical formulation of that kind is blind and neutral to the categories listed above in the brief hate speech definition is a testament to the strength of the American, and in general the Western, notion of polis. Without a shared sensibility of legal norms and propriety—even for something as simple as shitting in a cul-de-sac!—you can forget about high culture and capital-c-Civilization.