California is a trendsetter for the nation, and there is a cliché in how the populist right uses California as a harbinger for America’s future as a Third World dystopia. People underestimate how White California was, not that long ago, and White Californians are now about one-third of the population, down from about 85%, a couple of generations ago. However, California’s reality counters the racialist right’s narrative of expecting a major White backlash, once Whites reach minority status. The closest California came to a “White backlash,” was in the 90s, with the anti-illegal immigration measure prop 187, the affirmative action ban, and tough on crime policies, that were a reaction to the crimewave and the LA Riots. The White Right is emotionally invested in narratives of conflict or collapse, but in California White replacement has been more of a gradual, peaceful, and smooth transition, perhaps a soft peaceful ethnic cleansing.
California has corrupt political leadership, and many problems, such as urban blight, homelessness, income inequality, and rising crime. However, the rightwing media, who bash California for clickbait and political reasons, often portray the State as much worse than it actually is. Despite the rise in crime, California’s crime rate is overall lower than it was in the 80s. Even the recent crimewave is disproportionately linked to African Americans, who are a dwindling demographic, rather than to new immigrants. Also crime is mostly confined to urban cores and lower income areas, while much of California, including the suburbs, are still relatively safe.
While I am sympathetic to dissident right concerns about demographics, they often over sensationalize racial problems to appear worse than they actually are. To the degree there is anti-Whiteness in California, it is more on an institutional level, such as tech censorship, anti-White discrimination in University Admissions and woke corporations, as well as state policies such as UBI for Black birthing and proposed reparations, despite California never being a slave state. Regardless, the main issues impacting White Californians are not so much overt racial hostilities, but rather practical issues, such as the cost of housing and job security, and especially social atomization, and a lack of community and identity. Life in California is much closer to Bowling Alone than American History X, which is less sensationalist than stories about racial conflict. Overall race relations between Whites, Hispanics and Asians, are affable enough, that Whites might have less incentives to become more ethnocentric.
California’s middle class is declining and since 1970, the State’s middle class share fell from 60% to slightly over half of the population today. Also California’s GINI index for inequality is one of the worst in the nation, close to Mississippi’s. While there is a divergence between the upper and lower middle class, it is a stretch to say that California is totally bifurcated between the ultra-wealthy and destitute-poor, even if it seems to be heading in that direction. Cringe neoliberals are partially correct that the death of the middle class can be a dog whistle for White dispossession. California has a growing non-White middle class, including recent middle class Asian immigrants, as well as a growing Latino middle class. For instance Mexican Americans were stereotyped as poor as recently as the 90s, which is no longer the case. This rise in a non-White managerial class does increase competition for the White middle class and exacerbates elite overproduction.
America has many vulnerabilities, such as polarization and major economic and financial problems, but the White Right is naïve to assume that a non-White America will collapse. In the case of California, Latinos take on the economic role of the White working class, while Asians of the White professional class. This model of a Latino working class and an Asian managerial class, works in maintaining a fairly functional and economically prosperous society, yet where Whites play a more marginal role. This dichotomy is epitomized by the city of San Jose, as far as being safe and prosperous, yet where Whites have been dispossessed and are fairly atomized.
While there are countless examples of incompetent affirmative action bureaucrats and corporate DEI grifters, right-wingers relying upon the narrative of non-Whites being incompetent, is bad optics and ignores that many people of color can outcompete Whites. Not to mention the overall immigrant striver culture, which is great for the State’s GDP but not necessarily for White’s economic security. It is more important to emphasize that Whites face a hypercompetitive rat-race, with much less economic security than in the past. Not to mention the lack of economic niches and patronage networks that recent immigrants have.
While seeking out less diverse communities is a factor for White flight, overall White demographic decline in California is due to the cost of living and childcare costs, such as school tuition, making family formation expensive, even for the moderately wealthy. The high cost of living is due to a combo of immigration and NIMBYism straining supply. It is also important to point out that California’s non-White population would also be declining if not for offsets from new immigrants. Despite major problems, California has many traits that make it desirable, and don’t underestimate how many affluent people still want to live in California, especially in desirable coastal areas. For instance the exodus disproportionately impacted the lower classes rather than the wealthy.
California is uniquely rootless, which is exacerbated by the high cost of living. White Californians in particular, are uniquely individualistic, perhaps one of the most individualistic groups of people on earth, making them disproportionately impacted by atomization for those who aren’t connected to a close-knit community. While deaths of despair disproportionately impact rural areas in the Jefferson region, it is more common for downwardly mobile middle class Whites to leave for somewhere cheaper or to stay but not have families, including a lot of the apartment dwelling Hipsters now reaching middle age. This White downward mobility in California, is encapsulated by commentary from my friend Decay, pointing out that his “extended family are affluent Bay Area progressives, and they support all alternative lifestyles (except hard drugs or homelessness). They recognize that only a minority of their descendants will retain their class standing, and those who can’t require non-traditional paths. It’s a way of reducing competitive pressure for positional resources. Only two of my cousins were successful enough to marry, buy a house and have children, and that required seriously high paying, high status positions. The rest live kind of a marginal bohemian lifestyle.”
California’s hyper competitive environment is especially bad for family formation, which is relevant to breeder selection theory. The theory hypothesizes that demographic groups that undergo Darwinian selection pressures earlier may have advantages over other groups in the long run. Even if White decline persists for the next few decades, the subset of Whites who remain in California long-term will likely be more resilient, selected to withstand anti-natalist selection pressures, by the shedding of Whites who are more atomized, and less resilient through, childlessness, out-marriage, and the exodus. I expect this trend to become more pronounced in the future, rather than just the assumption of endless White flight and decline. It is also possible to see the tables turn, where White Californians evolve to become more tribal, while the descendants of non-Western immigrants become more atomized as they assimilate.
There is a sorting process between what kinds of Whites leave or stay. Overall a lot of White conservatives, as well as transient young liberals, are leaving, and many White liberals who stay, won’t reproduce, while those who stay tend to have stronger professional, social, or family ties. Also an upper middle class White liberal starting a family in California is more resilient than a Trump supporter leaving for a Red State. There is a bifurcation between childless White liberals and those Whites who stay in California and start families, who tend to be suburban, affluent, and moderate liberals, as wealthy White liberals are often more conservative in their lifestyles than their middle class counterparts. Even in California, where there is an overall decline in White family formation, affluent White suburbanites tend to have higher shares of families than other demographic groups, and well off suburban communities are starting to function as Whitopias, or de-facto enclaves.
I expect this niche of affluent White Californians with healthy fertility to increasingly become their own caste in the future. Perhaps an ethnogenesis or White diaspora, emerging from upper class Whites, which is already sort of happening. Due to elite overproduction, and the diversification of the elite via both affirmative action and high skilled immigration, economic exclusion and nimbyism are no longer viable substitutes for ethnocentrism. If anti-White discrimination heavily impacts the White upper class, it will be interesting to see whether they successfully compete, leave the State, or start to embrace enclavism and parallel institutions. Enclavism will most likely emerge from White economic elitism, and then morph into something more identitarian, though I am especially pessimistic about the future of California’s downscale Whites. Regardless, the best case scenario might be of a heavily Asian and Latino California, that is prosperous and functional, but where White Californians also start to act as a diaspora.
The absolute worst case scenario, without veering too much into alt-right fear porn, is the left going full force with radical anti-White policies, as California already has corrupt one party leadership, with anti-White ideology permeating on an institutional level. Revisiting the point about race relations being affable between Whites, Hispanics, and Asians, that could change as younger generations are indoctrinated into anti-White ideology, and radically woke young Democrat partisans are rising up into positions of power. Even though the reparations proposal could fail to be implemented, it is a signifier of the direction of California politics. Since the reparations proposal is linked to housing discrimination in California history, I could see Asian and Latino advocacy groups lobbying for reparations, on grounds of past discrimination, and obviously having Asians and Latinos demand reparations against Whites would have a much greater impact than reparations for Blacks. It would not be farfetched, in the not so distant future, to see California propose a reparations tax on White inheritance of say 50%. While the White upper middle class are loyalist to the system, they could likely be thrown under the bus. The danger is that Whites might still be too atomized to prepare and organize in response to that kind of scenario. While I give California boomers a hard time, once they are gone, it will dramatically diminish White influence and their moderating impact on politics, and that is when we could really see an acceleration towards radical woke policies in California.
There are comparisons between California and minority White, former colonial nations, such as in Latin America or South Africa, as far as how Whites function as a minority. Generally Whites become more rightwing as a minority, while majority White societies tend to be more Social Democratic. However in California, Whites are fairly liberal, which can be explained by the exodus acting as a safety valve for discontent. The issue with White Californians, is that they are a minority who still acts and thinks like they are the majority. While the dissident right uses South Africa as a template for America’s majority non-White future, South Africa is not really the best comparison to California, as California is very expensive and atomized but also relatively safe. In contrast South Africa has high crime rates and more overt racial hostility, but is very affordable, and White South Africans are more adapted to the diaspora model. Latin America, as a template for California’s future, is more apt, considering the demographic similarities.
It is a shame that White Californians, who are a remarkable people who have produced immense innovation, have failed to develop any kind of rooted regional identity. White Californians are hard to define as a people, and have historically been fairly rootless and include a diverse assortment of peoples. For instance New Englanders who settled the Bay Area and North Coast, Scotts-Irish Okies in the Central Valley, German Americans from the Mid-West in Southern California, later Jewish and Italian American transplants from New York, various immigrant groups from Europe, as well as Near Eastern Caucasians such as Middle Eastern Jews, Iranians, and Armenians, who tend to have much more close-knit communities. White Californians are often stereotypically associated with leisure and creativity, such as surfer culture, the beatniks, and hippies. The type of person who moved to California was selected for traits of creativity, openness, and individualism, which have both their strengths and weakness, and explain why the Last Geniuses of Mid-20th Century were in California. White Californians encapsulate the Faustian spirit, of how California was a colony of a colony.
The degree of assimilation among many 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants, is offered as a counter-point to the breakdown into enclavism. The question is whether this assimilationist trend is temporary or sustainable long-term, as California no longer has any dominant demographic group to act as an anchor or conduit of assimilation, nor mass culture for new immigrants to assimilate into. Even as recently as the 80s, an immigrant from say Mexico, Korea, or Iran to California, would have found the cultural attributes, as something to aspire to. Today, a recent immigrant might look at all the repulsive woke advertisements, and think, “no thanks, I’ll just keep my own culture,” though they will stay for the economic opportunities or family connections. Regardless, I predict the formation of various ethnogenesis, such as a Eurasian/Hapa identity, Asian Latinos, Castizo (White plus Hispanic) identity, alongside a Euro-Californian caste.
Enclavism is more likely to evolve organically rather than as a mass political movement, or something as explicit as European American heritage zones. The future of enclavism in California is not outright segregation, like The Jim Crow South or Apartheid South Africa, but rather more like India. For instance where different castes and ethno-tribes coexist in close proximity, but where people tend to socialize, marry, and do business within their own tribe or enclave, and form parallel institutions. There is some trauma about giving up Americanism, and Whites are in limbo between America being theirs and acting as a minority or diaspora. Younger White Californians do have the advantage of already living in a post-American society, and how Whites adapt to multiculturalism in California, is a guideline for America’s future. While minorities already practice some form of enclavism, Whites must adapt to thrive as a tribe in the inevitable multicultural future. The sooner Whites adapt the better, but the danger is that Whites wait too long to adapt.