‘Everybody’s beholden to somebody.’Ye, Clubhouse Interview, 2022
‘What I just said is far past anything anybody in my position has ever said publicly. We ridin’ on God … I ain’t got no security, you know exactly where I’m at … Come and get me.’Ye
‘We got China, heading — if it’s not for Jesus Christ — for the new world order, the new America … We’re already in World War III, don’t you realise it?’Ye
‘The human mind cannot be absolutely destroyed with the body, but something of it remains which is eternal.’Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
‘If the way I have shown to lead to these things now seems very hard, still, it can be found. And of course, what is found so rarely must be hard. For if salvation were at hand, and could be found without great effort, how could nearly everyone neglect it? But all things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.’Spinoza
‘I love Hitler.’ Has anything so un-Hitlerite ever been said? The comparisons between Adolf Hitler and Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, are as ludicrous as they as disgraceful. I am ashamed to call myself a member of a human community that demeans its fellow human beings with such disregard and hatred that certainly echoes the horrors of the twentieth century. The treatment of Ye is borderline antisemitic, and the tendency towards censorship in this society as a whole is borderline genocidal. Indeed, in China, critics of the government and other ‘enemies of the state’ already have custom-made concentration camps to be imprisoned in until the government grows tired of sustaining their continued existence. I am appalled that we in the West have allowed Chinese influence to extend through TikTok without as much as batting an eyelid. And Ye is called Hitlerite when he protests his ex-wife not just allowing but encouraging her and Ye’s young children to record TikTok videos? This is evil, plain and simple. This Hitlerite hatred towards Ye has to stop. It reminds me of the ludicrous comparisons of Russia to Nazi Germany last year — forgetting that it is China that is the new rising power, not Russia. I expected the world to act with some measure of sanity after the blunder of pushing Corbyn and Sanders to the side in favour of establishment candidates, and after the totalitarian forced internment of billions of people in their homes during the ‘pandemic’ (which amounts, by any historical standard, to an endemic flu — not the world-ending apocalypse it was made out to be). But alas, insanity prevails. Luckily, there is hope.
Organization after organization claims to stand ‘against antisemitism.’ The punching bag is Ye. This reminds me of the use of Putin as a ‘new Hitler’ punching bag in the fight ‘against fascism.’ It further reminds me of the treatment of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on the grounds of fighting antisemitism, or indeed of fellow left-wing populist Bernie Sanders. When will we admit that it is President Xi’s China that is the real engine of genocide domestically and war abroad? China is second in economic and military might only to America. This is a clear indication of its intentions. It wishes to safeguard its survival by displacing America as the hegemonic power — by war if necessary. At the very least China seeks to acquire regional hegemony over east Asia just as America acquired regional hegemony over the Western Hemisphere over the course of the nineteenth century. But unlike America, China does not have the long-term basis for stable hegemony — climate change is likely to flood China’s major cities and turn the rest of its mountain-bordered territory to desert. There is little hope for China in the twenty-second century. And in this century, the only ‘hope’ resides on a confrontation with America that can end in one of two outcomes: peaceful decline of China, or violent conflict with America.
Now, why am I talking about the rise of China instead of Ye? Because these are the same question. The linguistic expressions of Ye about culture war issues are not causal. This is the twenty-first century, not the twentieth. So if we are to avoid the evils this century has kicked up, we must focus on the engine of history — geopolitical economy — not the ‘smokescreen, perception of false reality,’ as Ye once rapped on the prophetic ‘Saint Pablo’ (from the critically-acclaimed 2016 album The Life of Pablo). One particularly prophetic comment was from his earlier ‘Who Will Survive in America,’ which sampled a sermon which concluded: ‘When all is said and done, build a new road to China if they’ll have you. Who will survive in America? …’
Alas, this sermon is from the last century, and there is little hope of surviving this century by placing any hope on China’s rise, which Professor John Mearsheimer notes cannot be peaceful, just as the rise of Germany from 1871 was not peaceful. Conflict is inevitable — but war is not. Either China is contained by escalating Trump’s trade war — something President Joe Biden, busy with Putin-bashing and war-mongering in Ukraine, has failed to do — or China rises to violently clash with America in the South China Sea, centring on the straits of Malacca and Sunda along which flow much of the world’s oil supply.
Oil was the key feature in shaping the War on Terror and conflicts in the Middle East. Now oil will shape the tectonic geopolitics of great powers this century, as countries scramble to seize control of the remaining fossil fuel reserves in order to shore themselves against the coming energy crisis to come. It is an enduring irony that climate change, far from leading us away from fossil fuels, will make us more dependent on these carbon-intensive resources. The green movement now has the ears of big business, but no matter: Consumers can be made to suffer the consequences of ecological woke politics even as producers continue to rely on oil and gas for powering the manufacturing process that the West has offshored to east Asia. So long as China continues to rise, climate change and capitalism will remain untamed. Only by allying with India, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and other countries in the region on a deep level can America hope to deal with the triple crisis of capitalism, climate change, and the rise of China.
But censorship at home blinds America and the Americanized western world. We are all colonies of the American empire now — and it is on this empire that all peace and prosperity depends. We must live with empire and hegemony without myth anymore — but liberal democracy hangs on by a totalitarian thread. Only by admitting that all freedom is now lost can we restore it, in a true synthesis known as republican imperialism. But unfortunately, in a move Professor Michael Mann has referred to as the ‘dark side of democracy,’ the rejection of international empire has led to the resurgence of ethno-states. Linguistic nationalism and totalitarianism go hand-in-hand, and the tearing of the fabric of the world has already begun. Who can put the broken pieces of our collective human tapestry back together?
Ye has been linked to Nick Fuentes, who is labelled a ‘white supremacist’ by Wikipedia. Fuentes calls his position ‘Christian futurism.’ But he is not so abnormal as he seems. His talking points are those of the mainstream media in reverse direction. They reveal how, beneath woke politics, there is a deep current of racialised resentment that cannot be overcome straightforwardly. Fuentes and his woke critics have in common a belief that the world can be magically transformed through mere rhetoric — a delusion to which Ye has not succumbed.
Ye has called his provisional presidential run a ‘Trump campaign’ but with ‘Bernie Sanders principles.’ Notably both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, populists from right and left, respectively, have spurned Ye recently. But no matter. The ideas are what matter.
Ye’s populist manifesto, as I have termed it, involves a synthesis of Trump’s foreign policy with Bernie’s domestic policy. Containing China and capitalism simultaneously, Ye would plausibly be the best candidate for addressing climate change — drawing on his camaraderie with tech entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and his own agricultural expeditions in Wyoming to bring ecological reason to the White House. A Green Nuclear Deal could underpin the world economy with safe and secure nuclear energy, rather than weather-dependent renewables and carbon-intensive fossil fuels.
This is why I think Ye will be a new President Roosevelt to Xi Jinping’s Kaiser or Hitler role in today’s new Tragedy of Great Power Politics (to coin a classic title from Mearsheimer). Ye will contain Hitlerism through open and inclusive rhetoric, on the one hand, and decisive and wise policy, on the other. Sadly, he faces a wall of opposition that leads him to act in ways that make him seem unfit for office, or even a bank account. Ye is accused of being all of the things he opposes — and he is forced to endorse these things. Remember the position he was in in September — trapped in exploitative contracts with clothing companies Gap, Nike, and Adidas. How could Ye made it to Christmas unscarred? Taylor Swift can blame Ye on songs like ‘Look What You Made Me Do,’ but Ye cannot possibly blame the media and get away with it — even though the mass media, which Adorno and Horkheimer in Dialectic of Enlightenment termed the ‘culture industry,’ has considerably greater structural power than Ye has. And yet, the media decided his words had no economic context — and that, even if they did, what he said was so horrible that he did not deserve to live a good life like the rest of us. According to the Twitter handle ‘Stop Antisemites’ (@StopAntisemites), ‘Can Kanye West please go away, once and for all?’ This appalling, eliminativist quote — one can imagine the Nazis using this rhetoric to refer to the expulsion and subsequent extermination of all ‘undesirable’ people — speaks for itself.
All Ye does is break taboos — taboos which do not protect discriminated people, but which in fact force them into the box of the victim. Ye tried to free people from the victim box of anti-black racism by declaring that ‘slavery is a choice and I choose to be free.’ He refers not just to systems of institutionalised slavery but the ideological slavery that accompanies this. Slavery is temporary and can be overcome. It has been overcome before, and it can be overcome again. Ye is attempting now to free black and Jewish people from the oppression of taboo — which hides under the mask of ‘stopping’ racism/antisemitism. But most people are too afraid or too mindless to see this clearly.
Thankfully, though I am afraid and occasionally fall prey to the mental slippages that plague our propaganda-addled society, I see things a little more clearly than many supposed ‘experts’ on what constitutes racism in the twenty-first century. I agree with Marx when he declared, ‘It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness.’ It is not language that shapes our reality, but political economy that shapes language and constitutes the underlying reality to which language is meant to refer. Sadly today, we argue about arguing. This self-referential linguistic cycle is at once embarrassing and harmful. It leads antisemitic organisations like the ADL, Stop Antisemites, or other such equivalents to ‘antiracist’ groups like Antifa or BLM to put the blame on one evil person — preferably someone who is black, Jewish, or both. And thus Ye was isolated for public lynching — as he was a black rapper, and thus (as Frantz Fanon would have easily seen) a biological threat to the antisemitic establishment, and luminously intelligent enough to rival the media’s stereotype of the philosopher with a Jewish background. The media then blames Ye for pointing out these stereotypes exist. So the media shot the messenger for doing what it failed to do — show people how confused this world is.
In labelling Ye as mad, we label ourselves as mad. We split and project our own failings onto him. And unlike fellow rapper Kendrick Lamar, who declared on ‘Savior,’ ‘I choose me, I’m sorry,’ Ye accepts the responsibility that comes from his position at the very apex and very bottom of society. Like in the War on Terror, when the Muslim was either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ (as Mahmood Mamdani pointed out), there are now ‘good’ rappers like Kendrick Lamar and ‘bad’ rappers like Ye. Kendrick’s lyrics are taught in classrooms. Ye is associated with Hitler, since Ye is too generous to other human beings to refer to anyone as beyond salvation. But Kendrick respects Ye: ‘When Kanye got back with Drake, I was slightly confused: Guess I’m not mature as I think, got some healing to do.’ Kendrick thinks he’s not as mature as Ye. Teach that in an English classroom.
Ye points out racialized disparities that Black Lives Matter pointed out all the time — but because he included races beyond black and white, he was cancelled. It is no longer OK to make a mistake and be in a minority — you must either be perfect like Kendrick, or ‘evil’ like Ye. This is the very definition of racism, and mimics nineteenth- and twentieth-century antisemitism almost exactly. This is why I referred to the demonisation of Ye as a modern Dreyfus Affair, and the end goals of totalitarian censorship as the genocide of free thinkers across the world. Ye has survived so far — but for how long? Totalitarian censorship in this century remains, as I have argued at length on this blog, functionally antisemitic — and the culmination of what Hannah Arendt referred to as the ‘banality of evil.’
I must speak up. My words may not have causal power, but I hope they might prompt the reader of this piece to think again about the narrative we are being told. I ask you to tread a middle course between the false opposites of liberalism and conspiracy theory (which are, as I have argued elsewhere, effectively identical), and join me in the quest for free thought and self-expression, not repression. For if Ye, an already-great musician and soon-to-be-great politician, has reminded us of anything, it is that someday, we’ll all be free.
‘I went as far as you can go and I lived.’Ye
‘There’s five elements that the elites use to control the masses — that the 1% use to control the 99%: water, food, shelter, medicine, and — the number one of all — education, knowledge. … We are God’s iPhone, his favourite creation. … Let’s be good to each other, let’s hug each other, let’s love each other … let’s not judge each other, let’s take our brother’s hand … I had a vision.’Ye
‘I love smart people. … My family’s educated, I was the one who was like, I gotta do music, and they were like, you gotta stay in school.’Ye
America has been ‘sold to China.’Ye
‘Love to Obama … in this relay race.’Ye
Disclaimer: Any similarity between names mentioned and actual individuals is purely accidental and largely theoretical. These are fun ideas to entertain but, as always, I may be mistaken. After all, what do I know?
One thought on “‘I had a vision.’ For God’s sake, everyone: Ye is the opposite of Hitler, and here is why”
Many people misunderstood his statement about slavery being a choice. They interpreted it as a criticism of the enslaved rather than an encouragement to think for oneself.
The truth is that slavery is always a choice when the enslaved accept their status as slaves. However, it is also a choice to break free from any personal enslavement, regardless of the form it takes: whether it is the coercion of others, adherence to certain beliefs, or trying to become something that is not within your nature.
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