FLORIDA, January 28, 2013 — Ilana Mercer is a rarity.
Originality is rare in punditry these days. Every time a new narrative-of-the-day arrives, we take refuge in groupthink rather than thinking for ourselves. Not Mercer.
Originally from South Africa, she moved to Israel after authorities pressured her anti-apartheid father. Today, Mercer is one of America’s leading paleolibertarian voices. She not only has a prominent column for World Net Daily, but is the author of Into The Cannibal’s Pot, a book about what has happened to her home country over the years.
Mercer shares her views about topics ranging from political polarization to race relations.
Joseph F. Cotto: This seems like one of the most polarized eras in American politics. Why do you think that our country’s political atmosphere has become so divisive?
Ilana Mercer: I think you are correct in your assessment regarding the unparalleled polarization of American society. Have you noticed how commentators on both sides of received political wisdom attempt to diminish the fact you articulate by referring to America’s fractious history? Nevertheless, this is a complex issue that is hard to answer briefly. I’ll try. In the introduction to F.A. Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom,” economist Milton Friedman underscores this important point: “The argument for collectivism is simple if false; it is an immediate emotional argument. The argument for individualism is subtle and sophisticated; it is an indirect rational argument.”
Underway today in the USA is a monumental clash between individualism and collectivism; between the forces of reason and reality, against force and coercion. The “philosophical” differences between the Republikeynesians, on the one hand, and the Democrats, on the other, are insignificant. The first believe individual rights should be carefully calibrated by central planners; the latter believe these natural rights can be overridden.
There is also a cultural dimension to these irreparable divisions. We are today, thanks to social engineering, a deracinated and divided society. We are no longer what John Jay termed “a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and custom.” There can be no unity without community. The glue of togetherness is gone, replaced by a flimsy, fluid, and thoroughly fake unity peddled by politicians. “Ideas” they call it. On the one day, it’s a crusade for democracy; on the next, it’s a war against racism.
Cotto: From foreign terrorism to domestic riots, we live in an increasingly challenging world. In order to face it, America must have a sufficient national security policy. What would you say that this should entail?
Mercer: It depends on your definition of “a sufficient national security policy.” If it means protecting borders and people not our own—which is how both Republicans and Democrats conceive of “national security—”then, no, we disagree on what is a “sufficient national security policy.” US foreign policy operates upon the premise that American men and matériel should be capable of reaching and controlling all corners of the world. I’ve opposed this foreign policy folly as long as I’ve been writing. (And in particular, in Jan. 16, 2004, I pointed out that, “Inviting an invasion by foreigners and instigating one against them are two sides of the same neoconservative coin.”)
Republicans profess to understand why the Welfare State cannot bring prosperity. Why don’t they get that the Warfare State, which operates on the same principles and by the same principals, cannot bring security? Remember, the military, the ostensible vehicle for national security, is government. The military works like government; is financed like government, and sports many of the same inherent malignancies of government.
The quest for ultimate security has given us Police State USA, the TSA, and wars that have bankrupted us. Bankruptcy is inimical to national security. We won’t be too secure if China quits funding the federal behemoth. Or if the Moody’s credit-rating agency downgrades U.S. Treasuries to junk bond status, befitting the banana republic we are becoming.
A rational, constitutional “national security,” guided by the principles of limited government, would involve a defense of America’s borders alone, a well-armed citizenry, strong secessionist, states’-rights movements, and the end to an immigration policy that has turned our country into a mass of hostile, competing factions.
Cotto: Multiculturalism is spreading rapidly across the Western world. This has led not only to cultural barriers, but tremendous religious and ethnic conflicts. What are your views on the subject?
Mercer: Multiculturalism as practiced in the West amounts to top-down, centrally enforced and managed integration. Show me a historical precedent where forced integration has worked. As it works across the Anglo-American and European spheres, one group (the founding, historical majority) is forced by self-anointed and elected elites, on pain of public and professional ostracism, to submerge its history, heroes, customs, culture, language, and pander to militant minorities, who’ve been acculturated by the same elites in identity-politics warfare.
As a libertarian, I believe that the right to include or exclude; associate with or dissociate from, is inherent in the right of private property. Private property is a civilizing institution. How better to keep the peace than to respect the right of free private-property owners to keep their distance (or not)—to hire, fire, and, generally, associate at will? This foundation of civil society is being dismantled for the sake of militant multiculturalism and policed pluralism
Cotto: Political correctness has brought many changes to American public discourse. How do you regard its legacy?
Mercer: As I write in “Into the Cannibal’s Pot,” “PC is the law of rule — mob rule — as opposed to the rule of law. Political correctness is tyranny euphemized. In fiction, the Orwellian Ministry of Truth is a reified entity. In reality, there isn’t one concrete ministry that decides how the nation thinks — there are many such entities. America’s many Ministries of Truth include the education system, most churches, the self-anointed ‘intellectuals,’ the ruling duopoly and their attendant TV bobbleheads. They issue countless edicts. This ‘dark art of rule’ demands obedience.
“Choose to disobey, and you risk public shame, libel, and loss of livelihood. Sometimes The Ministries of Truth will lunge for your property in the form of a law suit. Canada’s Ministries have a special Kangaroo Court in which they judge Un-PC speech (mainly), and from which traditional legal defenses have been barred. Examples of such expunged defenses: an appeal to truth and the lack of intent to harm. This self-inflicted tyranny, so typical of Western societies, plays a role in collapsing our societies.”
Cotto: Much to our country’s detriment, race relations appear to have soured during recent years. Some might say that this is rooted in generational poverty, while others would blame an increasing number of culture clashes. What is your take on this dilemma?
Mercer: I would probably dispute the thing you finesse or define as “race relations.” There are presumably many good relationships between fair-minded individuals—black, white, brown, etc. I have those. I am sure you do too. But, as for “race relations” in the collective sense, these consist in whites, as a group, accepting that all blacks have an eternal claim against them—for no other reason than that they are white. For ever after, whites have accepted that they are destined to be roped into the Sisyphean struggle to appease the unappeasable. Or so African Americans repeatedly tell them. White liberals, the vast majority of Obama’s base, lap up the libel of a racist America. The same curvature of the spine afflicts the “conservative” priesthood. Sane individuals reject this Mark of Cain; as they should a false accusation of hate they don’t harbor; hate The Other harbors.
Numbers from The Bureau of Justice Statistics confirm that white-on-black hate crimes are practically (and certainly statistically) non-existent. These are manufactured myths. Young, white, and poor: Now this is the group that is more likely than any other age group to be well represented among the reported victims of hate crimes. A significantly higher percentage of victims of violent racial hatred say their attackers were black.” “Nine out of 10 of them identify their race as the reason blacks targeted them.” Now tell me who’s doing the hating?
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