How intellectually rigorous is Vox Day?

Vox Day is an alt-right figure who is a perfect illustration of why the alt-right needs to be engaged and not just thrown into the outer darkness. He’s accomplished, influential, smart, and cruel. He claims to be interested in the truth. No matter where it leads, he wants to follow and his position is that at the end of any journey committed to the truth, you’ll end up alt-right.

He is more correct about mainstream western society than mainstream society (left or right) is comfortable admitting. There are sacred cows aplenty in both conventional camps and people do notice them and treat those conventional pieties with the cynicism they deserve. These positions leave an opening for alternative political camps with a greater fidelity to truth. Vox Day is attempting to position the alt-right as a better-enough successor to conventional conservatism in order to reorient international politics.

But when encountering something he is unfamiliar with, does he have the guts to actually chase it down and educate himself?

De-russification is largely about Russia’s peripheral states attempting to get people to switch allegiances to the local nation from Russia. It’s very close to classic American melting pot politics. It also appears to be working, something that Vox Day has made claims cannot sustainably happen when talking about the future of the USA.

So what will Vox Day do when he reads up on the subject? Will he condemn the Baltic states’ efforts and be consistent across societies? Will he reassess the chances for melting pot politics in the USA and attempt to move the alt-right to a different destination? Stay tuned. The man is unlikely to leave the subject permanently unaddressed. It’s too obvious a weak spot for his camp.

I’m assuming, without any evidence whatsoever, that Vox Day actually is not aware of what de-russification entails. It’s the charitable thing to do. But doing so without following up is not charitable. It is merely foolish.

13 thoughts on “How intellectually rigorous is Vox Day?”

  1. I’m as ignorant as Vox Day on de-russification in the Baltics. When I searched there was little beyond teaching in non-Russian languages. Do you have some links?

  2. Throughout history, when an occupying power has wanted to destabilize and destroy a nation, it has settled a foreign people in its midst. The seeds of the Balkan conflict were sown when the Turks planted Albanian Muslims in Kosovo to uproot the Christian Serbs who had long defended the borders of medieval Christendom and had more than once turned back the tide of an expanding Ottoman empire.

    I don’t know much about Russification, but the above statement is false. Serbs were allies with the Ottoman Turks. We now know from DNA testing that the majority of Muslims within Anatolia and the Balkans are descended from native converts who previously were Orthodox. The Ottoman sultanates discouraged displacement of local populations and conversions because they imposed a special tax on non-Muslims. Too many dead or lost Christians would result in a significant loss of revenue.

    We now know from DNA testing that empires could not impose their tyranny through ethnic population transfers. They did it through military aggression, plundering, and taxation. This is why there’s very little Norman or Viking DNA in the modern British population, and most modern Turks are really Muslim Greeks.

    If he wants to draw analogies between historical migrations and contemporary immigration issues then it should be this- ethnic identity isn’t imposed from top-down decree. It’s rather acquired from the bottom-up. Loss of ethnic identity, therefore, is self imposed. The American identity in the 19th century was a shining city on a hill that absorbed Irish and Germans and others who wanted to come here to become Americans. This American identity was our border wall.

  3. He is honest enough to admit that he doesn’t know enough to have an opinion. Plenty of highly regarded people in public life won’t do that.

    The Alt-Right could benefit from more intellectual scrutiny. It’s a mistake for critics to dismiss them as bigots. It would be better for the critics to engage the arguments to help winnow the good ideas from the bad. Instead the Left and to some extent the mainstream Right make some topics taboo, leaving them to cranks and the occasional accomplished researcher who is willing to risk career destruction.

  4. Thanks. Those both seem to focus on language unless I’m really missing something. The language issue seems to be much more severe over there than over here. I suspect because you are so close to a mass of the other language that you can survive without learning the new language and thus you can retain the other identity and culture. There was lots of opposition to bilingual education in Caliphornia among Hispanic parents because they know that to be successful in the US you have to speak English. I knew too many people of Hispanic background who spoke flawless English and were like any other American because their families had been in the US so long, possibly since before Caliphornia was. And most of the Amish speak English, even though they may retain a funny accent and some untranslatable words. Don’t know any Hutterites.

    As to our current wave of immigrants, I expect 90% of their grandchildren to be unable to communicate with their grandparents in their native tongue. I suspect they’ll integrate into the country just like all those (choose your derogatory adjective) Germans, Irish, Italians…did. The real mistake is not having a high hurdle to get in and succeed. It was a real chore to get here until about 50 years ago. That’s why we do need to be more selective about whom we let in. The key is to find the people like Philip Schramm’s father who explained to his son that they were leaving the old country because they were Americans born in the wrong place.

    To see how it happens nothing is better than watching Avalon.

    I worry much more about the poor education of Americans who are attracted to Bernie than I do about the furriners.

  5. It’s the Balkans. There are no ethnicities that survived and picked only one side over a period of centuries.

    No doubt in that part of the world you have to keep your options open. The Habsburgs were mostly opposed to the Turks and the Serbs were mostly supportive, until the waning days when they reversed sides. The Russians were helpful to the Turks in Egypt and fought them in Crimea. The French were allies with the Ottomans until Napoleon invaded Egypt and became their enemies, which was about when the British became friendly towards the Turks.

    I would propose that he change his statement, “when an occupying power has wanted to destabilize and destroy a nation, it has settled a foreign people in its midst.” to “when an occupying power has wanted to destabilize and destroy a nation, it allies with one of that nation’s other rivals, preferably on the opposite frontier or farther to avoid any later blowback.”

    So if you’re really worried about destabilization, be on the lookout for a Zimmermann Telegram scenario. Otherwise, I agree with Mrs. Davis.

  6. Kosovo is small potatoes compared to Serbs and Croats murdering each other throughout World War II. Both groups are mostly Christian and the slaughter was over ethnic identity and not religious affiliation so much; the Ustase accepted Muslims and hated Eastern Orthodox Christians, but they might kill a Serb Muslim for being Serb. The pattern repeated itself in the Yugoslav Wars.

    Assimilation will work, but only if the immigration rate is slowed for a bit and implement policies that actually encourage adapting to a new country.

  7. Grurray: “We now know from DNA testing that empires could not impose their tyranny through ethnic population transfers.”

    Be careful about generalizations. The English tried to deal with restive Gaelic-speaking Irish Catholics by settling Gaelic-speaking Scottish Protestants in what became Northern Ireland. Reportedly, when the Scots were reluctant to go, English troops helpfully burned the roofs off of their houses. And let’s not even talk about Stalin’s forced relocations of populations.

    Since there is nothing new under the sun, I guess if I knew more history, there would be many more examples.

  8. To which my first thought is Job, “ask the former generation and find out what their ancestors learned, for we were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on earth are but a shadow.”

    There’s a good argument to be made that, since Northern Ireland was already sparsely populated and semi-nomadic, the wars and flight of the Earls were more than enough to devastate the native population. Scots, who were also Gaels, may have been more motivated to flee famines and the civil wars than compelled to move to a land they already shared an ethnic affinity with.

    At any rate, it looks like the moral of this story is to be careful with historical analogies.

  9. Will he condemn the Baltic states’ efforts and be consistent across societies?

    “I don’t know enough about it to have an opinion, but other than I believe it is the right thing to do if they want to survive as nations.”

    Since his default position is approval, I doubt he’ll condemn it.

    It’s very close to classic American melting pot politics. It also appears to be working, something that Vox Day has made claims cannot sustainably happen when talking about the future of the USA.

    I have followed the Baltic Republics, but, not speaking Estonian, Latvian, or Lithuanian, I can’t say whether de-Russification is working. Given the controversy, translated, third-hand polemics aren’t good source material. Nor are official government reports, or Quangos. I’ve seen how they work here, and I don’t trust ‘em.

    Only long-term results count. Snapshot judgements are likely to be wrong. If a large percentage of residents of Estonia still speak Russian in four generations, then it probably failed.

    It can’t possibly be Day’s position that conversion doesn’t work. That position is demonstrably false—clearly Europe is Christian, North Africa is Islamic, and much of the world is still ruled by socialism.

    It’s too easy to pick examples both of successful assimilation and successful preservation despite forcible assimilation. And too easy to make up hypotheticals.

  10. Didn’t Saddam Hussein relocate Sunnis into Kurd and Shia territory throughout Iraq in order to destabilize any ethnic stronghold?

  11. Anonymous – “It can’t possibly be” is a poor substitute for asking the man. Or as an alternative you can go through his back catalog of blog posts. The man is a prolific writer. Do a search for the words must all go back.

    Romania underwent a bout of de-russifiation starting in 1960. Half a century is probably long enough to draw judgment. I don’t have any doubt that de-russification works when diligently applied. My opinion is that Vox Day is faced with a challenge between his ideology and reality and he needs to choose which he is faithful to.

    Edit: This is unusual. I had to go in to approve my own comment here. I wonder what set the filters off?

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