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Kissing the Specious Present Goodbye
Did History Begin Anew Last November 8th?
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Forgive me for complaining, but recent decades have not been easy ones for my peeps. I am from birth a member of the WHAM tribe, that once proud, but now embattled conglomeration of white, heterosexual American males. We have long been — there’s no denying it — a privileged group. When the blessings of American freedom get parceled out, WHAMs are accustomed to standing at the head of the line. Those not enjoying the trifecta of being white, heterosexual, and male get what’s left.

Fair? No, but from time immemorial those have been the rules. Anyway, no real American would carp. After all, the whole idea of America derives from the conviction that some people (us) deserve more than others (all those who are not us). It’s God’s will — so at least the great majority of Americans have believed since the Pilgrims set up shop just about 400 years ago.

Lately, however, the rules have been changing in ways that many WHAMs find disconcerting. True, some of my brethren — let’s call them one percenters — have adapted to those changes and continue to do very well indeed. Wherever corporate CEOs, hedge fund managers, investment bankers, tech gurus, university presidents, publishers, politicians, and generals congregate to pat each other on the back, you can count on WHAMs — reciting bromides about the importance of diversity! — being amply represented.

Yet beneath this upper crust, a different picture emerges. Further down the socioeconomic ladder, being a WHAM carries with it disadvantages. The good, steady jobs once implicitly reserved for us — lunch pail stuff, yes, but enough to keep food in the family larder — are increasingly hard to come by. As those jobs have disappeared, so too have the ancillary benefits they conferred, self-respect not least among them. Especially galling to some WHAMs is being exiled to the back of the cultural bus. When it comes to art, music, literature, and fashion, the doings of blacks, Hispanics, Asians, gays, and women generate buzz. By comparison, white heterosexual males seem bland, uncool, and passé, or worst of all simply boring.

The Mandate of Heaven, which members of my tribe once took as theirs by right, has been cruelly withdrawn. History itself has betrayed us.

All of which is nonsense, of course, except perhaps as a reason to reflect on whether history can help explain why, today, WHAMs have worked themselves into such a funk in Donald Trump’s America. Can history provide answers? Or has history itself become part of the problem?

Paging Professor Becker

“For all practical purposes history is, for us and for the time being, what we know it to be.” So remarked Carl Becker in 1931 at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association. Professor Becker, a towering figure among historians of his day, was president of the AHA that year. His message to his colleagues amounted to a warning of sorts: Don’t think you’re so smart. The study of the past may reveal truths, he allowed, but those truths are contingent, incomplete, and valid only “for the time being.”

Put another way, historical perspectives conceived in what Becker termed “the specious present” have a sell-by date. Beyond their time, they become stale and outmoded, and so should be revised or discarded. This process of rejecting truths previously treated as authoritative is inexorable and essential. Yet it also tends to be fiercely contentious. The present may be specious, but it confers real privileges, which a particular reading of the past can sustain or undermine. Becker believed it inevitable that “our now valid versions” of history “will in due course be relegated to the category of discarded myths.” It was no less inevitable that beneficiaries of the prevailing version of truth should fight to preserve it.

Who exercises the authority to relegate? Who gets to decide when a historical truth no longer qualifies as true? Here, Becker insisted that “Mr. Everyman” plays a crucial role. For Becker, Mr. Everyman was Joe Doakes, John Q. Public, or the man in the street. He was “every normal person,” a phrase broad enough to include all manner of people. Yet nothing in Becker’s presentation suggested that he had the slightest interest in race, sexuality, or gender. His Mr. Everyman belonged to the tribe of WHAM.

In order to “live in a world of semblance more spacious and satisfying than is to be found within the narrow confines of the fleeting present moment,” Becker emphasized, Mr. Everyman needs a past larger than his own individual past. An awareness of things said and done long ago provides him with an “artificial extension of memory” and a direction.

Memories, whether directly or vicariously acquired, are “necessary to orient us in our little world of endeavor.” Yet the specious present that we inhabit is inherently unstable and constantly in flux, which means that history itself must be pliable. Crafting history necessarily becomes an exercise in “imaginative creation” in which all participate. However unconsciously, Everyman adapts the past to serve his most pressing needs, thereby functioning as “his own historian.”

Yet he does so in collaboration with others. Since time immemorial, purveyors of the past — the “ancient and honorable company of wise men of the tribe, of bards and story-tellers and minstrels, of soothsayers and priests, to whom in successive ages has been entrusted the keeping of the useful myths” — have enabled him to “hold in memory… those things only which can be related with some reasonable degree of relevance” to his own experience and aspirations. In Becker’s lifetime it had become incumbent upon members of the professoriate, successors to the bards and minstrels of yesteryear, “to enlarge and enrich the specious present common to us all to the end that ‘society’ (the tribe, the nation, or all mankind) may judge of what it is doing in the light of what it has done and what it hopes to do.”

Yet Becker took pains to emphasize that professional historians disdained Mr. Everyman at their peril:

“Berate him as we will for not reading our books, Mr. Everyman is stronger than we are, and sooner or later we must adapt our knowledge to his necessities. Otherwise he will leave us to our own devices… The history that does work in the world, the history that influences the course of history, is living history… It is for this reason that the history of history is a record of the ‘new history’ that in every age rises to confound and supplant the old.”

Becker stressed that the process of formulating new history to supplant the old is organic rather than contrived; it comes from the bottom up, not the top down. “We, historians by profession, share in this necessary effort,” he concluded. “But we do not impose our version of the human story on Mr. Everyman; in the end it is rather Mr. Everyman who imposes his version on us.”

Donald Trump as Everyman’s Champion?

Becker offered his reflections on “Everyman His Own Historian” in the midst of the Great Depression. Perhaps because that economic crisis found so many Americans burdened with deprivation and uncertainty, he implicitly attributed to his everyman a unitary perspective, as if shared distress imbued members of the public with a common outlook. That was not, in fact, the case in 1931 and is, if anything, even less so in our own day.

Still, Becker’s construct retains considerable utility. Today finds more than a few white heterosexual American males, our own equivalent of Mr. Everyman, in a state of high dudgeon. From their perspective, the specious present has not panned out as it was supposed to. As a consequence, they are pissed. In November 2016, to make clear just how pissed they were, they elected Donald Trump as president of the United States.

This was, to put it mildly, not supposed to happen. For months prior to the election, the custodians of the past in its “now valid version” had judged the prospect all but inconceivable. Yet WHAMs (with shocking support from other tribes) intervened to decide otherwise. Rarely has a single event so thoroughly confounded history’s self-assigned proctors. One can imagine the shade of Professor Becker whispering, “I warned you, didn’t I?”

Those deeply invested in drawing a straight line from the specious present into the indefinite future blame Trump himself for having knocked history off its prescribed course. Remove Trump from the scene, they appear to believe, and all will once again be well. The urgent imperative of doing just that — immediately, now, no later than this afternoon — has produced what New York Times columnist Charles Blow aptly calls a “throbbing anxiety” among those who (like Blow himself) find “the relentless onslaught of awfulness erupting from this White House” intolerable. They will not rest until Trump is gone.

This idée fixe, reinforced on a daily basis by ever more preposterous presidential antics, finds the nation trapped in a sort of bizarre do-loop. The media’s obsession with Trump reinforces his obsession with the media and between them they simply crowd out all possibility of thoughtful reflection. Their fetish is his and his theirs. The result is a cycle of mutual contempt that only deepens the longer it persists.

Both sides agree on one point only: that history began anew last November 8th, when (take your pick) America either took leave of its senses or chose greatness. How the United States got to November 8th qualifies, at best, as an afterthought or curiosity. It’s almost as if the years and decades that had preceded Trump’s election had all disappeared into some vast sinkhole.

Where, then, are we to turn for counsel? For my money, Charles Blow is no more reliable as a guide to the past or the future than is Donald Trump himself. Much the same could be said of most other newspaper columnists, talking heads, and online commentators (contributors to TomDispatch notably excepted, of course). As for politicians of either party, they have as a class long since forfeited any right to expect a respectful hearing.

God knows Americans today do not lack for information or opinion. On screens, over the airways, and in print, the voices competing for our attention create a relentless cacophony. Yet the correlation between insight and noise is discouragingly low.

What would Carl Becker make of our predicament? He would, I think, see it as an opportunity to “enlarge and enrich the specious present” by recasting and reinvigorating history. Yet doing so, he would insist, requires taking seriously the complaints that led our latter day Everyman to throw himself into the arms of Donald Trump in the first place. Doing that implies a willingness to engage with ordinary Americans on a respectful basis.

Unlike President Trump, I do not pretend to speak for Everyman or for his female counterpart. Yet my sense is that many Americans have an inkling that history of late has played them for suckers. This is notably true with respect to the post-Cold War era, in which the glories of openness, diversity, and neoliberal economics, of advanced technology and unparalleled U.S. military power all promised in combination to produce something like a new utopia in which Americans would indisputably enjoy a privileged status globally.

In almost every respect, those expectations remain painfully unfulfilled. The history that “served for the time being” and was endlessly reiterated during the presidencies of Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43, and Obama no longer serves. It has yielded a mess of pottage: grotesque inequality, worrisome insecurity, moral confusion, an epidemic of self-destructive behavior, endless wars, and basic institutions that work poorly if at all. Nor is it just WHAMs who have suffered the consequences. The history with which Americans are familiar cannot explain this outcome.

Alas, little reason exists to expect Becker’s successors in the guild of professional historians to join with ordinary Americans in formulating an explanation. Few academic historians today see Everyman as a worthy interlocutor. Rather than berating him for not reading their books, they ignore him. Their preference is to address one another.

By and large, he returns the favor, endorsing the self-marginalization of the contemporary historical profession. Contrast the influence wielded by prominent historians in Becker’s day — during the first third of the twentieth century, they included, along with Becker, such formidables as Henry Adams, Charles and Mary Beard, Alfred Thayer Mahan, and Frederick Jackson Turner — with the role played by historians today. The issue here is not erudition, which today’s scholars possess in abundance, but impact. On that score, the disparity between then and now is immense.

In effect, professional historians have ceded the field to a new group of bards and minstrels. So the bestselling “historian” in the United States today is Bill O’Reilly, whose books routinely sell more than a million copies each. Were Donald Trump given to reading books, he would likely find O’Reilly’s both accessible and agreeable. But O’Reilly is in the entertainment business. He has neither any interest nor the genuine ability to create what Becker called “history that does work in the world.”

Still, history itself works in mysterious ways known only to God or to Providence. Only after the fact do its purposes become evident. It may yet surprise us.

Owing his election in large part to my fellow WHAMs, Donald Trump is now expected to repay that support by putting things right. Yet as events make it apparent that Trump is no more able to run a government than Bill O’Reilly is able to write history, they may well decide that he is not their friend after all. With that, their patience is likely to run short. It is hardly implausible that Trump’s assigned role in history will be once and for all to ring down the curtain on our specious present, demonstrating definitively just how bankrupt all the triumphalist hokum of the past quarter-century — the history that served “for the time being” — has become.

When that happens, when promises of American greatness restored prove empty, there will be hell to pay. Joe Doakes, John Q. Public, and the man in the street will be even more pissed. Should that moment arrive, historians would do well to listen seriously to what Everyman has to say.

The author of several books, including most recently America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History, Andrew Bacevich, a TomDispatch regular, is currently trying to decipher the history of the post-Cold War era.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Donald Trump, White Americans 
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  1. The Mandate of Heaven, which members of my tribe once took as theirs by right, has been cruelly withdrawn. History itself has betrayed us.

    How did we manage to sleepwalk for two plus centuries with dreams of “the city on a hill”, our “exceptional nation” etc etc and quite freely disparage others for their war making proclivities without getting wise to it all?

    This line from D.H.Lawrence in his graphic novel “Quetzalcoatl” charges Mexico and other governments with encouraging our nefarious actions. “Of course money-lovers will want the United States Government, because it’s the one government that exists simply and solely to protect money.

  2. Stogumber says:

    As a Trumpist, I think Mr. Bacevitch misunderstands our goals. We don’t expect America to be “exceptional” or “a light on a hill”. We only want to be life as easy as it was under Eisenhower (to be fair, from Truman to LBJ). For that, a president must be no way better than Eisenhower.

    Does Mr. Bacevitch really think that HRC would be better for us because she is more “able to run a government”? And is his last hope that inferior white men disappear in order to make place to superior non-white non-men? How and why should they be superior?

  3. Trump only exists because the two political parties have become so corrupt and arrogant they don’t give a damn about working people. In theory, the Democratic party represents workers, but as profane lefty Jimmy Dore recently explained, the Dems are worse than Trump:

  4. Miro23 says:

    When that happens, when promises of American greatness restored prove empty, there will be hell to pay. Joe Doakes, John Q. Public, and the man in the street will be even more pissed. Should that moment arrive, historians would do well to listen seriously to what Everyman has to say.

    Some thoughts on this would be that American greatness needed 1) a high level of national unity 2) a lot of discipline and hard work.

    There’s a tendency to look back to the 1950′s when talking about “American Greatness”, but in reality this was a very unusual time. America lacked industrial competitors. After WW2, Germany and Japan were in ruins. China was still an economic basket case and Europe was recovering with the help of US multi-nationals and US investment.

    Rather than start partying, the US needed an awareness of the coming challenges and needed from the 1950′s to develop a modern industrial base in new technologies with top class technological skills among its workforce as a national project. The aim should have been to build a world class education system at least to match the STEM results of the best Europeans and N/E Asians.

    In the event, the US disappeared into counter cultural Hippiedom and sent all its industries to Asian for cheaper and more efficient production.

    A government stuffed with commercial special interests is obviously going to do what is best for their bottom lines i.e. produce in Asia and sell in the US – they’re not in business to look after the US public. The public are Consumers and they are Vendors.

  5. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    The Vanishing American Adult

  6. Nah, they’ll put a few more bricks in the wall, reinforce the gates, and hire more guards so they can rest well at night while bathed in the glow that they continue to advance the best interests of human-kind over the objections of the unwashed masses on the other side of the wall.

  7. Greg Bacon says: • Website

    “Are we any better off than we were 50 years ago? Absolutely . . . White dominance is on the decline as the demographic white majority heads for oblivion over the course of the next 30 years.”

    Mark Potok in an August 2013 column for the white-hating SPLC.

    Us WHAMs are in the bulls eye of many a group who would like to see us join the dinosaurs.

    • Replies: @Wally
  8. vinteuil says:

    Rarely, rarely have I read so little said in so many words.

    • Replies: @Elf Himself
  9. Colonel Bacevitch

    There is very strong trans-species-trans phylum evidence for what is going to happen in response to betrayal-deception….and it ain’t pretty as they say. Harvard biologist Robert Trivers…I believe Comrade Unz mentioned that he was a research assistant for Robert Trivers at Harvard……wrote a book about the biology of betrayal and revenge using a massive amount of trans-species and trans-phylum evidence-data…

    So I recommend that you read Robert Triver’s book…I also recommend that you read the conversation betwern Noam Chomsky and Robert Trivers…..where Trivers discusses the overwhelming ethnological evidence for this……which you can very easily google for…

    Larger point being made by Noam Chomsky these days:White Males are dying at an historically unprecedented rate….worse than if there was a plague-epidemic…at higher rate than WW2…

    Donald Trump’s MAGA!!! Jobs Program for Working Class Native Born White Teenage Males from economically distressed Native Born White Working Class Families from the American Heartland=a Tour of Duty on patrol with a US Army issued M-16 in Afghanistan….Iraq…Syria….coming back to their Mother’s as limbless freaks….human sauges….canon fodder…for Donald Trump’s precious Jew only Israel….

    “War is a Racket”… USMC General…and two time Congressional Medal winner….Smedley Butler wrote over 75 years ago…

  10. @War for Blair Mountain

    Should read:”commimg back to their Mothers as human sausages”

  11. I’m a big fan of the late Dick Winters and 101 Airborne Easy Company Band of Brothers WW2. But I just found out recently that Easy Company members Ronald Spiers and Robert “Burr” Smith were at a high level actively involved in the destruction of Laos which was bombed back to the Stone Age by the USAF……

    Interestingly Robert “Burr” Smith trained the US Army Delta Force Team that died in the Iranianian desert in 1980….Smith avoided dying in that desert crash when the CIA yanked him out of this doomed mission at the last minute out of fear that if Smith…a CIA Operative….was captured….risk of spilling the beans to the Iranians about what the CIA was up to…

    Robert “Burr” Smith was the embodiment of “Invade the World-Invite the World……with his role in the destruction of Laotian Society and his adopted Laotian teenage “son”….

  12. Corvinus says:

    “We only want to be life as easy as it was under Eisenhower (to be fair, from Truman to LBJ).”

    Nostalgia has a funny way of warping our sense of reality. Life for some people was “easy” in the 1950′s, but for a number of people, it was cold, hard, and dark.

  13. Wally says:
    @Greg Bacon

    But then who will pay the bills?

    Another of the usual enemies of free speech & Israeli citizen, Potok, supports strict Israeli immigration laws which specify JEWS ONLY, while he demands massive 3rd world immigration into the US & Europe.

    • Replies: @Anon
  14. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Life—-has NEVER been easy!

    For anyone!

    • Replies: @ANON
  15. edNels says:

    Interesting post, I’ve read it through twice, but it has complicated issues.


    Wherever corporate CEOs,]…. etc.etc.etc.—-, [politicians, and generals congregate to pat each other on the back, you can count on WHAMs —reciting bromides about the importance of diversity!

    Important detail:

    some of my brethren — let’s call them one percenters —

    YEah, SOME ”brethren”! THat tiny fraction of a %point, that lives large!

    Some Brethren to the name… WHAMs! they are.

    Sociopaths who some kind of way masquerade as W H A M. And what they do is done in the name of the W H A M, which is my sticking point.

    That small fraction of a %point does all the bad, and shifts the blame…( from the World!!) on to the real WHAMs, what’s left of ‘em, ( what’s left of the White Hetero part
    of ‘em, ) who aren’t polluted from the social scientist/ ongoing war to turn WHAMs into WIAMPs! (White Inverted American Male/Tranny Punks.)!! That the world will hate, and eventually probably be encouraged to completely get rid of, while the fraction of the %point rides off into the sunset! Then you can see the real perverts in action!

  16. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Potok is an Israeli citizen? Prove it.

    • Replies: @Wally
  17. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I’ve been saying this for two years now:

    What happens if you get rid of Trump? The people who voted for him will most likely replace him with someone very similar in almost every way, but more competent. Probably a professional politician version of him. Is that what you want?

  18. On the surface, it may seem like changes took place.

    But power is firmly in hands of Deep State. Look at the continuing mess in Syria.

    Look at never-ending ‘new cold war’ with Russia and globalist hysteria.

    And ACOWW or Afro-Colonization-of-White-Wombs continues all over the West.

    While morons worry about Russian jets and North Korean missiles, it is Negro dongs that are destroying the white race by conquering white wombs.

    And just when black males are emasculating white males and conquering white wombs(the source of life), what do white males have as their new faith?

    The Police Department, bastion of male power and security, is celebrating the New ‘Pride’ of Homo Poo-Ride.

    In the past, babies and things used to be Christened.
    Now, they are Fruitsened.

  19. Sean says:

    Yes, in ancient Greek history Trump is analogous to the Tyrants of Athens, who were a transition from aristocratic to truly democratic rule. Of course once democracy was installed the common people of Athens demanded and got wars against a variety of enemies. Trump rise is an alarming portent. A few decades from now George W. Bush will be regarded as the last of the cautious Skull and Bones aristocrats. It is a bit silly to talk of WHAMS, as if the displacement of white gentiles is less important that open acceptance of homosexuality. It is WASPs, gay or straight, who have lost.

  20. As was said above, so many words, so little content.

    Bacevich has gone off the deep end. Truly.

    The idea that white males were sitting around lording it up with their privilege is absolutely preposterous. No white male ever has done that, and Bacevich certainly know that. Andrew? Exactly how many times in your long lifetime have you been slapping backs with other white men laughing about how great you have it because of your gender and your race?

    I’ll help you out. It’s zero, Andrew. You know it. I know it. We know it.

    So this writing is horseshit. Col. Bacevich, you do really great military anlysis and opinion.

    Stop with the virtual signalling fairy tales.

    As a white male nothing was ever easy. Yeah, perhaps I did not get my head beat a few times and avoided some jail. Maybe.

    And that makes how much difference in anyone’s life?

    You really need to get back to the military analysis, bud. You are sounding like a lunatic with this stuff. But more than that. Dishonest.

    • Agree: Che Guava
    • Replies: @Anon
  21. davidd says:

    I tuned out when he started saying WHAMS misguidedly didn’t consider non-WHAMS in their history, which was completely rational considering before very recent times there was no reason to.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  22. Wally says: • Website

    You have got to be the thickest person at this forum.

    But then leave it to a racist Zionist to attempt to cover for another racist Zionist.

    ‘quotes from Gerard Menuhin: Revisionist Jew, Son of Famous Violinist’

    • Replies: @Anon
  23. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    So you have no proof. Thought so.

    Funny that you use the word “racist” but claim you don’t know what it means.

  24. Che Guava says:

    Interesting but nowhere near your better pieces, too meandering. Although I only hit the H in the WHAM formulation you have. WHAM doesn’t work on two counts.

    i. The pop band, Wham, still well-known due to pop music being in stasis, and they had one great single and a few others that tasteless people like.

    ii. H also stands for homosexual. It is funny how that word is not goodspeak in English of now, and heterosexual almost has a pejorative quality but is widely used. The sickness of western culture. The equivalent in Japanese of homosexual is used to refer to people who are, well, homosexual. The equivalent of heterosexual is just about never heard. That is not discrimination, simply that it is naturally, as it should be, seen as the norm.

  25. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    The traditional role of the white male is to support a family by bringing home the bacon; be courageous when things get rough and defend your family and friends with your blood; fix everything that’s broken; build everything you need with your hands, or build the machines necessary to build everything; run everything with competence and man up and take the blame if you screw up; teach your children how to deal with life; teach people right from wrong and set the example for them to follow; create high-level science, medicine, art, physics, math, engineering, etc.

    It’s a very tall order, and anyone who thinks it’s easy, is a fool.

    • Replies: @restless94110
  26. ANON • Disclaimer says:

    Do you really mean NEVER?

    What about the likes of my aunt who was the second wife of a childless mega millionaire who died when she was 38 leaving her to enjoy 50 healthy years as a rich woman until she suddenly died in her sleep?

  27. The first paragraph was enough social justice warrior crap to make it unnecessary reading the rest. Yet, I did try for another five paragraphs and it’s just more of the same tripe.

    Yeah, all of us stand in line and get free hand-outs. White people at the front of the line. Nobody works for what they have. Everyone has the same IQ, the same work ethic, the same adherence to law. I’m upset because the color of my skin is supposed to dictate my place in the line for free hand-outs and I am no longer at the front of the line. God what arrogant, malicious crap.

    We just went through IQ scores by country in homeschool today. My kids are muti-racial, SE Asians, who occupy the top five spots worldwide. They have the highest average income in this country, the highest academic performance, and the lowest crime rates.

    Of course, we sat around talking about their “privilege” as SE Asians and how everything is handed to them for free. How they just go up to any line and cut in front. Right? No.

    What I just did was show them your article as a perfect example of why we don’t go to government school.

    We are not your “peeps” for the white blood in us and you are not some hero of ours for having the arrogance to speak for our non-white blood either.

    You are disgusting and worthy of nothing but contempt. I’m majority white, not pure blood (Seneca Indian) but don’t buy into the cult of victimology where I am supposed to get job preferences, school preferences, etc. because I am quantum blood Indian. That doesn’t make me an “Indian”. I am an American. Our kids are Americans.

    The idea that we should knock off “whitey” because we’re mixed blood, like it’s “our” turn now – how nonsensical and revolting.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  28. @Backwoods Bob

    You are obviously a slow reader but apparently handicapped in dealing with numbers too. If you had actually read “another five paragraphs” you would have read the author’s “All of which is nonsense of course” at the beginning of his sixth par.

    Fortunately I didn’t waste time on many of your paragraphs.

    • Replies: @Backwoods Bob
  29. @davidd

    “very recent times”? Can you date those times as starting later than the Russo-Japanese War of 1904? I suggest you pocket your pride and read on

  30. @vinteuil

    That’s nothing…you should see today’s Washington Post.

  31. @Anon

    The traditional role of ANY male is to support a family by bringing home the bacon, etc.

    It’s just what males do, anon.

    Bacevich’s idiotic virtue signaling nonsense that posits that all white males knew this and knew that. and that we all had secret meetings in the basement of the church is ridiculous.

    I’ve known whites who had racist views on black people. I’ve also known blacks who have racist views on white people.

    But even racists never had any thought that they were suddenly privileged because of their skin color and/or they were smirking about it in secret or whatever it is that this guy is claiming in his long, long, long, overly long piece.

    In other words, men did those things, anon, white ones, black one, etc.

    This white privilege stuff is just bullshit. It has to go. Andrew B., let it die it’s own irrelevant death.

  32. @Wizard of Oz


    Yeah, that fifth paragraph was the last straw. I jumped from there to the end, and that was the fifth paragraph I read after the first – and it was a quite satisfactory capstone to the opening: Trump can’t bring Whitey victory.

    I don’t expect y0u to withdraw your insult that is based upon an inaccurate reading of what I wrote. I did not say I read the next five consecutive paragraphs. I said “another five”, and it is including the last. That’s pretty logical to do when you want to see what his conclusion is. Your claim I would have to read paragraph six in order to read “another five” is incorrect. Shall I call you names as you have done with me?

    So I went back and read the rest – and the first five paragraphs are the best written. It’s quite a good rendition of the politically correct narrative I could well write myself.

    The rest of it was blather. Reminds me of reading Marx, where history has to be forced into a stupid universal theoretical framework. No wonder other readers found it so uninspiring.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  33. @Stogumber

    Yes if you want life as it was in the 1950′s, then you need to recognize that we got out of the Great Depression because we started to pay farmers their fair share. Today they only get 35% of the Parity Dollar, the dollar that provided for the prosperity across the nation, because it was not stolen from the producer of that which keeps us alive, literally, and literally kept the economy afloat, because it was based upon real wealth properly monetized, meaning not stolen as is the system today….but we lost that when we stopped Parity, which created earned income at sufficient levels to not have to borrow as we are now addicted….. as the “interests whose interest is interest” intend.

    Here is a letter to Trump with an important chart.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  34. Andrew –

    I apologize for my first review in which the first five paragraphs plus the conclusion really pissed me off for its capture of the mainstream anti-white male narrative.

    What comes with that narrative is equally repugnant to me, having DNA from both: the victimology theory of all other classes. I am both privileged and a victim.

    After it was pointed out that the remainder of the article contained different material, I read it. Unfortunately, it was blather.

    If I was in a Hegalian club or something it might have been interesting. But I’m not. So it wasn’t.

  35. @Corvinus

    “Life for some people was “easy” in the 1950′s, but for a number of people, it was cold, hard, and dark.”

    Life has and always will be cold, hard, and dark for some people. Can you point to any point in history where this was not true? Expecting reality to be “fair” is like believing you can identify as a non-cisgendered flaming poo. You can believe all you want, but put that belief in one hand, spit in the other and see which one fills up first.

  36. @Corvinus

    “We only want to be life as easy as it was under Eisenhower (to be fair, from Truman to LBJ).”

    Nostalgia has a funny way of warping our sense of reality. Life for some people was “easy” in the 1950′s, but for a number of people, it was cold, hard, and dark.

    OK, I’ll grant you that for certain people you might have a point.
    How about life under the Reagan era, circa 1981-1989- before New-World-Order George HW Bush took over, doubling legal immigration w/ the immigration act of 1990, with its HB1 Visas, Diversity Visa lotteries, no English requirements, etc. Before NAFTA/the mass export of manufacturing, before the current anti-white, anti-male zeitgeist of Diversity took over with its perpetual obsessions with “African Americans” “Latino Americans” “Native Americans” “LGBTQ Americans” -when your regular, run-of-mill white bread Americans weren’t relegated to the proverbial back of the bus.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  37. Hibernian says:

    Things started getting worse for everybody about the time I was junior high school age, 1966-69.

    • Replies: @restless94110
  38. Hibernian says:
    @Bruce Marshall

    Food is ONE of three basic necessities, the others of course being shelter and clothing. And many people not directly involved in producing any of the three provide goods and services that facilitate the production of one, two, or all three.

  39. Corvinus says:
    @Lucas McCrudy

    “How about life under the Reagan era, circa 1981-1989- before New-World-Order George HW Bush took over, doubling legal immigration w/ the immigration act of 1990, with its HB1 Visas, Diversity Visa lotteries, no English requirements, etc.”

    Those born in the 1970′s would point out in that decade the music, the Lakers-Celtics rivalry, toys like He-Man, shows like Family Ties, etc. They have fond memories of that decade, and dare I say even now despite significant troubles. Every era has their ups and downs.

    “before the current anti-white, anti-male zeitgeist of Diversity took over…”

    Fake News Story.

  40. I wouldn’t think that many of my WHAM ancestors felt privileged or entitled to anything, since they were mostly small farmers and businessmen who made their own livelihoods, and were doing their part of the fighting and dying in America’s wars when they had time to spare. From what I can tell, my ancestors have been in that situation since colonial times. My guess about what would piss them off is that it would be the same as what pisses me off, and that is the fact that the nation has been overrun by foreigners.

    As for Trump, I voted for him because I could’t see a single positive about Hillary being elected. Trump served his purpose, and now I don’t give a damn about what happens to him. I accept the authority of Trump about as much as I accept the authority of politicians, pundits and historians, or the citizenship of the waves of legal and illegal immigrants allowed in to replace me. To hell with all of them/you!

  41. @Backwoods Bob

    Out of your own mouth. I ctedit you with following your first English teacher’s advice to get your main point up front. A reader can be grateful for the assurance that his peremptory judgment is correct…. You did say you read “another five paragraphs”.

  42. anarchyst says:

    We were sold out by the “greatest generation” (“greatest generation” yeah, right) with the Hart-Celler immigration act of 1965, and the various unconstitutional “civil-rights (for some) acts which outlawed true “freedom of association” and demanded forced integration backed up by federal troops.
    That loss of freedom snowballed with the implementation of the “nanny state” in the 1970s with the creation of the EPA and other unconstitutional agencies, as well as the “war on (some) drugs”. Add to that, the Supreme Court’s flawed “drug exception” decision and the evisceration of the 5th Amendment, the concept of “asset forfeiture”, and the Israel-style militarization of police departments, and we are where we are at today.
    The endless wars, with the resultant loss and maiming of American life, all done for “one little country” in the middle east will spell the destruction of this (once great) country.
    So sad.

  43. @Hibernian

    If you think that, boy, you were taking the wrong drugs.

    Things were fantastic in those years and at that age.

    Really, were you drinkig Drano or something?

  44. @Corvinus

    I remember hearing about the famines, pestilences and sexual trafficking in the 1950s. Oh wait that didn’t happen. Employers were able to use aptitude tests to screen employers which was objectively worse.

  45. 1rw says:

    Gayest shit ever. Particularly disingenuous — white men dying in Trump’s America. He’s only been in office for 6 months. On the ground, it’s still Obama’s America, and will be for some time.

    If Trump comes up short, will find someone better. Just him getting elected is awesome because it wiped that smug self satisfaction off of the elite’s face. Trump is the icebreaker that will lead a convoy of new political thought into national discourse.

  46. delmas says:

    Trumpists (as expatriate living in Europe, I voted for him by correspondance) should be wise enough to realize the shortcomings of the current president without disavowing him.
    But Trump’s initial four years must read like a Bildingsroman-he must gain wisdom in governing and wisdom as a statesman. In the meantime, he and all of his supporters must take advantage of the Trump years to train people who will be able to get into the power centers and continue on when the legal time limit is over. This would mean a closing of ranks of all those who voted for him, all the truly conservative forces and influences. There is a lot of work to be done and it must be done now, while there is a friend in the White House. The work must be done at municipal, county, state and national levels.

  47. Kumar says: • Website

    Andrew Bacevich needs to take a sabbatical from writing trite ignorant columns and read some history.

    A good start will be to read Kevin MacDonald’s trilogy, especially

    1. Culture of Critique,
    2. Separation And it’s Discontents and
    3. Cultural Insurrections.

    I don’t know where Bacevich gets his history from, but he sounds more like a foaming, frothing self-hating SJW of the White European variety than an erudite scholar soldier.

  48. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The article never mentions globalization and the inconvenient thuth that it has put labor at a colossal disadvantage vs. capital. Trump benefitted mightily from it, and it seems be intends to continue doing so. The notion that he ever intended to restore the 50′s by putting up walls and barriers does not pass the laugh test.

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