The Litmus Test
Whilst pedestrian in its rehearsal of common knowledge, and inane in its tortured liberalism, this article helpfully schematizes the arena of Anglophone racial politics, at least on its defining black-white dimension (and accidentally). By counterposing the tradition of Black American self-advancement (represented by Booker T. Washington) with that of Afro-Marxist agitation (represented by W. E. B. Du Bois), it implicitly describes an ideological quadrant.
1. To side with Du Bois against Washington is the position of the radical Left.
2. To seek a reconciliation of the two is an agonized equivocation, tilting inevitably to Leftist advantage, of the kind that has predominated in the development of Anglophone political culture. This is is position of the author, of mainstream liberalism and conservatism, and of progressive Cathedralization.
3. To admire Washington, whilst repulsed by Du Bois, is the neoreactionary stance Outside in defends.
4. To dismiss both Washington and Du Bois as irrelevant Black nonsense is a departure into confrontational White Nationalism, of a kind that has no imaginable reach beyond itself.
Thomas Sowell, as the most articulate inheritor of the ‘outsider’ Washington tradition, is the emblem of this racial ideology test today. Neoreaction is indisputably mostly a White thing, but if it is to have any additional significance whatsoever, Sowell has to be supported. There’s nowhere further Right he could possibly go, except into some species of Black ethnomasochistic suicidalism — and we should know, more than anybody, that’s a corner no one should be backed into.