Sounds like King is attempting to get some right-leaning “independents” out of the closet.
If someone asked, “How did ‘Western Civilization’ become an offensive term?” I think I would be able to engage that as an honest question. I’d probably ask the context that made them think it was, but the simplest explanation would be that while the term is not necessarily offensive, white supremacists and white nationalists talk about it so much that it may be used as a dog whistle. But then Steve King would say, “But what’s wrong with that?”
Let’s make a list of the various ethnic nationalisms in the world, and then take a poll of which ones are Good or Bad.
No, that’s so politically naive!
All partys are just as bad as each other. So why the fuck vote at all! /s
Let’s agree that the idea of racial superiority has been tested over and over and been proven to be a stupid concept only dumbasses of low mental acuity believe in.
Western Civilization was a tactical inclusion. There’s a subset of the white supremacist world that works to test the language of their propaganda. About 15 years ago they really started amping up their use of the phrase western civilization. It works on a couple of levels for them. The first is the somewhat obvious dog-whistling function. They get plausible deniability. The second is ideological. Just keeping the term in common use reinforces the ideas that people are naturally divided into racial and ethnic categories and that those groups are eternally in conflict. The third value of the phrase is that it works as outrage bait and shield. I think this point is why King included it. He knew this statement would be picked up. Now he can turn and say that he is being pilloried for talking about western civilization, a term that carries no particular baggage for a lot of his audience. It lets him paint his critics as out of touch and meaningless. He can essentially use the outrage at the complete sentence to present himself to his constituents as someone hit by out of control political correctness.
Are we the baddies?
Goddamn tramp stamping for things they had nothing to do with. Akin to personally taking credit for western civilization because one is a mammal.
If Steve King thinks people are broadly bad-mouthing Ancient Greece or the Renaissance or the Age of Reason he’s sadly mistaken. But if you use those things as justification for Europe dominating the rest of the world then you’re in white supremacy territory. This is a sneaky con on his part, it’s like he’s asking anyone listening “are you opposed to western civilization?” and when they say “well, no” it’s like he’s gotten them to tacitly agree with white supremacy.
“We must be doing something right, the last 200 years!”
This is predominantly how the Breitbart commenters chose to interpret him. Of course, to do that, they had to ignore the “White Supremacist” part of his sentence.
Then there’s the people who chose to interpret it as “white nationalist = white person who is a nationalist”, with a similar ignoring of the other parts.
Then there’s the people who just outright are all, “What’s the big deal, white people are better than black people.”
If these three broad category of responses were removed, there wouldn’t be much left of the thread. Breitbart, folks.
Also; no dates or names of commanders or any other verifiable details, making it more difficult to disprove.
even those three periods are taken out of context if you view them as purely western - or worse - purely white.
history taught in american school down plays the middle east, northern africa, and the far east ( using the terms of the times ) and the influences and contributions they had to making those three periods what they were.
framing as “western” is basically taking a bunch of “cool stuff” and appropriating it as “ours” - taking it out of context of world and human history. leading to a false sense of superiority of white english speaking people.
He literally asks why “white supremacist” is offensive language.
This is then called a report on “hard-line views on immigration”.
Why is calling racism just “racism”, still somehow more offensive to some people than championing the term “white supremacist”?
I just said this the other day in a thread that nearly everyone in this thread probably read, but I’ll repeat myself. It makes me think of “hyperreality” - the idea that we are substituting simulacra for reality and not noticing. Like air brushed pictures of models. I feel like this exists in a space of “hyper-rational” where there is this form of rationality but really it’s just s simulacrum of rationality. Using rationality to engage with it doesn’t affect it, because it was never rational to begin with, but instead it pulls you into the simulation.
The number of things wrong with the idea that you can defend “white nationlism” as “white and nationalist” is mind boggling. But if I started pointing them out, a person who plays that game would always have the upper hand because their goal isn’t to prove a point, it is to retreat from reality, and thereby blunt any reality-based criticism.
Jared Diamond claims for it to have been mostly a result of geographic conditions, periods of migration and the global distribution of natural resources, The theory seems sensible to me.
You might have really nailed it there.
We have replaced so many real things with idealised, unobtainable versions of things that we aspire too that we may indeed have lost touch with what is actually real.
That idea allows stupidity, ignorance and denial a place in the world by simply not allowing other worlds to exist; Thoughts cease to become opinions, rather they become unquestionable foundations of personal realities.
In essence, argument then reinforces that personal reality and questions strengthen belief.
I have read Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel, and (like you) I find his theories sensible.
I do have a quibble: GG&S is a bit repetitive – Diamond could have edited out at least 10% of the book, perhaps as much as 25%, and still made his point.