Anis Shivani in Salon:
In the first part of this series, I focused on some of the history of white supremacy, particularly its late 20th-century versions, which continue to have so much influence today upon the current alt-right movement. It’s important to understand this history — some of which enters into truly exotic terrain — to understand the continuity of ideas, and to realize that we are not facing anything really new in the current manifestation of white supremacy.
But there’s a more mundane side to white supremacy, which deserves to be studied with as much attention: the way in which white supremacy works in and through institutions that we otherwise think of as legitimate to the core, and even essential to the workings of liberal democracy. If we explore how this has occurred recently, then we can no longer push white supremacy aside as an ideology that can be prevented from infecting so-called “mainstream” institutions. I’m thinking primarily of political parties, but once we admit that white supremacy is a fundamental influence on how parties reinvent and calibrate themselves, then this necessarily sweeps the social organism as a whole into the indictment.
White supremacy implies a certain logic that is inimical to that of the Enlightenment (the foundation of modern democracy). It is no coincidence that much of contemporary white supremacy continues to focus on the Illuminati and Freemasons as the disseminators of “secular humanism” (i.e., the core values of the Enlightenment), or that conspiracy theory mines the same territory when it takes on “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” (attacked as a worldwide conspiracy to bring about godless materialism) or such obsessions as the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations and the rest of the institutions associated with the New World Order (largely meaning the forces of globalization). Against the Enlightenment, which is said to lead to the weakening of the nation as an embodiment of the pure idea of race, the white supremacist insists on separation of races as his natural right. Against mongrelization, the white supremacist desires purity.