Ramzpaul: Hypocrite, Moron or Both?
Acouple weeks ago, the white nationalist Youtube video maker Ramzpaul posted a video about a really important issue, namely a tweet sent out by an obscure academic. The professor in question tweeted that: “All I want for Christmas is White Genocide”. Ramzpaul suggested that this was a horrific tweet, and that his employer, Drexel University, ought to fire him, because this tweet indicates that he might be mentally ill and potentially violent.
I could write a piece pointing out some of the logical and evidential deficiencies in the video itself. For example, Ramzpaul chooses to straightforwardly interpret the tweet as calling for the genocide of the whites, which would presumably mean the slaughter of hundreds of millions of people of European descent throughout the globe and indeed be pretty deplorable. That’s one way to look at it; another way to look at it would be to read what the professor actually said he meant by the tweet, namely that he was mocking what he sees as a white nationalist conspiracy theory. Maybe he meant that far-right people who believe that white genocide is occurring are silly, or maybe he meant that death squads should be organized to commit what would be the largest cross-continental slaughter in human history. Who can tell, really?
But such flaws within the video itself aren’t what caught my attention. As it happens, I actually usually quite enjoy Ramzpaul’s videos, and I have fond memories of watching many of them, usually while enjoying a cola, to pass the time between classes in a previous semester. As a result of having watched so much of his content, however, I was struck by the shocking inconsistency between the views he expressed in this video and the views he expressed in an earlier video.
In this video, Ramzpaul speaks about the case of a Russian woman who has been stripped of the title she won in a beauty pageant due to her neo-Nazi beliefs, as expressed on social media, including a photo of her wearing a Nazi armband in front of a working oven, with a caption apparently calling (according to the Daily Mail article) for the burning of Jewish people.
Now, if you haven’t seen the video in question, you might assume from his video on the white genocide tweet that Ramzpaul would be supporting her chastisement and suggesting that she’s probably mentally ill, much like a serial killer. You might then be shocked, just shocked, to learn that Ramzpaul made that video to protest her censure, indicate his firm support for free speech on controversial issues and conjecture favorably about her personal characteristics.
This presents a rather inescapable contradiction: in one video, Ramzpaul suggests that people who joke about genocide (in this case white genocide) should be made to face social stigma and a pay a price in terms of their employment options. In the other video, Ramzpaul suggests that people who joke about genocide (in this case Jewish genocide) shouldn’t face any professional repercussions, because the political opinions they express on social media under their own auspices are their personal business. Rather hilariously, in the latter video Ramzpaul accuses other people of having double standards when it comes to free speech.
There are two plausible explanations I can think of to explain this apparent logical contradiction: stupidity and hypocrisy. Ramzpaul might simply not have the intelligence to articulate and remember a consistent position on the political/philosophical issue of freedom of speech, and thus be unaware of the contradiction. Alternatively, he might realize that’s he adhering to a double standard and believe that he’s most effectively pursuing his political goals by doing so. Or both: he might be unaware of the contradiction, but if pointed out to him he would see it as of no consequence. I report; you decide.
But there’s a serious point I want to make in closing. I actually think that a good deal of what the alt-right has to say is, while often expressed in crude and vulgar terms, much less substantively horrific than mainstream commentators assert (as opposed to argue.) But I don’t think we should necessarily always take the alt-right at its word, because I think many of its positions are instrumental rather than fundamental, and if it gains power its goals and beliefs may shift considerably. In this case, Ramzpaul claims to support free speech when people of his ideological persuasion are being censored, something also seen in his videos about Holocaust denial and Twitter policy, but supports censorship when it targets leftists. Likewise, today the alt-right generally supports an isolationist foreign policy, in the vein of Pat Buchanan. Lawrence Murray terms supporters of a hawkish foreign policy “jingocucks”, for instance. But I can’t help but wonder if this would still be true in, say, 50–100 years if the alt-right actually did succeed in obtaining power. I might elaborate more on this later, but I can imagine nationalism morphing into imperialism and, (at the risk of sounding fan-fiction-y) instead of being called cucks for supporting dumb wars for democracy in the Middle East, people who disagree with the alt-right being called cucks for not supporting dumb wars for lebensraum in Central America.