The Photo-Negative Ideology

Nothing allows one to dismiss, demean, and murder fellow humans quite like a widely held myth. Whether old or new, left or right, progressive or reactionary, myths allow one to view others as obstacles to the erection of the ideal world. Most people have a hard time justifying murder—or, say, ruining a stranger’s career—out of naked self-interest. That judgment, though, changes once we’re talking about the advancement of “my people” or protecting history’s eternal “victims.” Then, violence and persecution of others become not only rational deeds but a duty to the cause.

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One of the least studied areas of ideology remains its use of ethnopolitical myths that link fictional ethnic storylines with political philosophy and a mythic vision of the coming ideal world. After the terrifying rise of German fascism in the middle of the 20th century, a movement which used ethnopolitical myth in spades, scholars have hesitated to acknowledge the modern uses of such myths. First, out of ignorance and, second, for fear of comparing contemporary progressive actors who often traffic in cinema-friendly myths—and are overwhelmingly depicted as heroes—to Adolf Hitler, a man most would agree is the closest thing humanity has seen to an antichrist. While one should be careful in offering direct comparisons to the nightmarish praxis of the Nazis, it is still important to acknowledge that our so-called multicultural era—and its “whites” versus “color” ethnopolitics—is a myth, one that exists in our minds alone.

The U.S. is not—and never was—a “nation of immigrants,” nor is it now or was it ever a true multicultural society. Historically and culturally speaking, America is a nation founded by Anglo-Protestant Puritan extremists during the initial stages of classical liberalism’s formation in the 17th and 18th centuries. Early classical liberalism is an Anglo-Protestant-derived system of political thought nearly from beginning to end. The country’s overfocus on the individual, obsession with a “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” Protestant work ethic, and constant pursuit of moral purity all derive from the nation’s LASP—liberal Anglo Saxon Protestant—point of origin. Having a bunch of “ethnic” restaurants or multiethnic casting in Hollywood films and corporate advertisements does not a multicultural society make.

The fact that America no longer officially acknowledges itself as LASP in character does not change the fundamental reality of American society. Regardless of whether a truly “multicultural” society would be desirable or not, nations can never fully detach from their origin points, especially when they maintain the exact same legal structure established by their founders and operate within it for nearly two and a half centuries and counting.

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