Trigger Warning: What you are about to read is so controversial this could not be published by 4 different mainstream media publications. Natural concepts such as Individualism and family threaten the stranglehold of identity politics.
We all learn to love after being loved by someone else, though not in exactly the same ways. Most of us learn what it feels like to be loved from our biological or adoptive parents. We learn that we like when they take care of us, but dislike when we are punished—conditioning us into their values.
In an article from Psychology Today, Dr. Barton Goldsmith explains this concept, saying “The real truth is that many people learn to love themselves by being first loved by another.”
Perhaps this is the real reason social groups gain so much traction. In Christian evangelization, lonely people come to love themselves by feeling the love of Christ through a disciple. In political groups, whoever can make the other person feel the best about themselves will earn support for their cause. In radical movements such as the alt-right or AntiFa, however, these seemingly benign tactics can have deadly consequences.
I’ve discussed how we learn to love ourselves with several people before who often quickly respond, “well, what if they grew up in an abusive family?”
Dr. Goldsmith addresses this, saying, “If you never had a loving family, it’s more difficult to build healthy self-esteem. Appropriate affection from another person may be the magic touch you need to actually believe that you are loveable. When someone you admire gives his or her heart to you; it makes you feel cherished and in turn you learn to love yourself.”
Perhaps the reason why black youth—more than 70% of which don’t have a father—often turn to gangs is to feel like they belong to something. Likewise, this urge to belong may be the reason why so many young people turned out to that horrific rally in Charlottesville. For those that do have a father, I was happy to see one come out and disown his son unless he dropped his racism and returned home.
Luckily for me, I grew up with a strong family and when my family loved me, I loved them in return. I know that if I was ever to give up on them, I would also be giving up on myself.
In a world full of polarizing politics and extremist ideologies, strengthening our families and putting them at the center of our lives is the only way to end the political division and prevent young people in search of belonging from joining something dangerous.
This cannot be more evident than with the case of the alt-right white nationalists. In the wake of the Charlottesville protests, I’ve used my podcast and social media platforms to distinguish constitutional conservatives from the hateful groups that the mainstream media is constantly trying to conflate us with.
Within the alt-right, we must distinguish two groups of people: the nationalists—those who put the interests of America first, and the white nationalists—the latest revival of the white power movement.
Those affiliated with the former, are regular hardworking people that don’t care for the constant struggle between the liberals and the conservatives, but at the end of the day care about the integrity of the candidate (i.e. not someone who deletes thousands of emails) and that their family has enough to eat at night.
The latter are a group of impressionable young men likely radicalized by the white guilt-shaming identity politics of the far-left on their college campuses. These men and the withered leaders of once terribly strong institutions like David Duke of the KKK find themselves standing side by side, united by a common white identity.
We often talk of identity politics being used to divide minorities into political interest groups, but those same tactics of putting a group identity above the individual have resulted in exactly what is happening to this small, but loud, political movement.
Desperate for a purpose in a nation gripped with identity politics, I can understand how this group came to be, and the only way we will ever end it is if we stop identifying with groups and start identifying with our first and last names.
In Eastern cultures, people address each other by their last name as a sign of respect towards their families. In the same sense that a wife will take the family name of the husband, they know that when they are addressing one another, they are speaking as representatives of their respective families.
Japanese film director and owner of Studio Ghibli Hayao Miyazaki is celebrated for messaging these themes in his films which place emphasis on the way lonely and vulnerable individuals are integrated into relationships of mutual reliance and responsibility, which generally benefit everyone around them.
While we are representatives of our families, we also are uniquely our own person. We have a first name and that name will come to represent the ways we built off of what our family has taught us about living life.
Some people will argue that the racism is often learned from our parents. This is true, and that is why it is up to us to be individuals, and decide for ourselves if that is the legacy we want to carry on with our family names. That, of course, doesn’t mean totally abandoning everything our families taught us. Many of us had prejudiced grandparents or great-grandparents, but that didn’t necessarily make them bad people. It made them fallible human beings, and we must keep the good that they taught us and move on to grow and learn more in our own lives.
As constitutional conservatives, we love to preach that the family unit is the bedrock of society, but how is it that we have gotten so far away?
The far-left will often quote Hillary Clinton who says that it takes a village to raise a child, advocating a community outside the family to intervene in the child-rearing process. Some will even advocate for experimental villages where the child is taken away from their parents at birth and given to another family so that there will be no favoritism in society. This idea that we are not supposed to prioritize the ones we love first is unnatural and against the healthy development of our own self-love, as indicated earlier in this article.
Similarly, the ‘Christ was a socialist’ interpretation of the Bible is used by many devout Christians and Catholics alike to say that we shouldn’t be giving preferential treatment to our families. Not only is this unnatural, but the consequences of this interpretation are disastrous.
In 19th century China, Christian convert Guangxi convinced himself that he was the younger brother of Jesus Christ, and attempted to form a socialist paradise known as the Heavenly Kingdom of Peace on Earth. Overthrowing traditional Confucian concepts such as respect for elders, and the central family unit, they adopted a credo of socialism, swelling their numbers from thousands to millions. Attempting to expand their great kingdom, Guanxi led armies of zealots to conquer the rest of China in an event called the Taiping rebellion. Estimates of casualties from his crusade are as high as 100 million dead.
Even today there are congregations that will implicitly preach an end to natural family units, but as far back as the Old Testament and probably further, families were run by their patriarchs. For example, in Genesis 34:31, when one member of the family was attacked it was seen as an offense to the whole family. The socialist love model is yet another way of separating and dividing people—yet another form of identity politics.
As individuals, we must find our own way in this world and if that means being stigmatized from society then so be it. There is nothing wrong with taking pride in our ethnic or national heritage, but when it comes to finding the place where we belong, it will always come back to the ones who love us—the ones we love.