My friend, British author Derek Turner, will have to forgive me. This discursive post, my second about his superb novel, Sea Changes (here’s the first), begins with … me. I guess women are having a reckoning of sorts. Mine is quite a bit different. But I, too, have had a “Me Too” moment, albeit intellectual, not sexual (true traditionalists consider the latter a private matter).
Part of an ancient “Me Too” aphorism by the great Rabbi Hillel says this:
If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
So, here I go.
Over the 20 years in which I’ve out-written most weekly columnists of my philosophical stripe, only a handful of individuals on the Old Right have publicly expressed respect for- and intellectual honesty about my work. Mr. Turner, the gentleman under review, for one. Another is a younger newcomer, the wonderful Jack Kerwick, a man with a moral compass. Still another is Ron Unz, the first publisher (other than the ever fearless WND) on the hard right to feature my weekly column, without any censure or reservation. (Some of the old chaps won’t even follow me on Twitter, or pretend I don’t exist. Shame. Poor things. Reality bites.) The last, for now, is Tom DiLorenzo, a friend forever. Bill Scott, crusader against police brutality, is a gem of a friend, too. In this company is my friend, philosopher and author Chris Matthew Sciabarra, who is a different animal. As an Objectivist, he has a debt of gratitude to a woman.
Check the comments on the Unz Review. The same readers who prostrate themselves to the male writers (fluffy, wordy waffling from the old boys, notwithstanding) hate on Mercer, who happens to be the only featured female columnist on the Unz Review. As I surmised, this is Small Man syndrome.
Yes, the Mercer column is outré, but its quality, philosophical consistency and powers of prediction ought to have secured it a regular slot, given its fiercely anti-war stance, on prominent libertarian and paleoconservative sites.
On the bright side, the attitude to my work over 20 years from these quarters has been the best proof of its quality. In this context, I am reminded of another gifted Brit (Derek Turner is English), comedian Alexei Sayle. When asked what he does when he watches a really talented, young satirist performing, Sayle replied with brutal self-deprecation: “I go back stage and tell him he’ll never make it.”
On the other hand, the German Right doesn’t seem to have an intellectual-honesty issue when it comes to my work. They have generally sought me out (the Mercer column was a regular on Junge Freiheit). And in a justly glowing review of Derek’s book, Sea Changes, an Alt-Right reviewer says this:
“Ilana Mercer, author of a book on Trump and renowned conservative intellectual, praised Sea Changes for its analysis of the prospects for the West and the necessity of defence.”
The German writer quotes a section of my fabulous advance praise. I excerpt the rest, because amidst billowing verbiage from others, I believe I succinctly captured the novel’s essence best (alas, the Mercer blurb, predictably, didn’t make it onto Amazon):
“Well written, meticulously researched and thought out, Sea Changes, Derek Turner’s first novel, succeeds mightily in bringing to life the prototypical players in the Western tragedy that is mass migration. The reader becomes intimately au fait with the many, oft-unwitting actors in this doomed stand-off: small-town conservative folks vs. progressive city slickers; salt-of-the-earth countrymen against smug, self-satisfied left-liberals. Ever present are the ruthless traffickers in human misery: both media and smugglers. Like it or not, the dice are loaded. In this epic battle, the scrappy scofflaws and their stakeholders triumph; the locals lose.”
“What Jean Raspail started with Camp of the Saints and Michel Houellebecq continued with Submission has now been carried forward. The latest novel to hit the German market borrows from both of these books and carries them forward. Sea Changes by Derek Turner is now available for purchase. The novel provides an overview of events and inside them the story of the long, slow suicide of a European nation. Whether England, France or Germany, the situation is the same. The problem is ‘refugees’ and their quite understandable search for a better life. The theme of the book is how a truly arrogant elite ignore reality because it is obsessed by ‘diversity’ and ‘tolerance’. The novel shows the reality of the unchallenged multiculturalist establishment. ….”
Another aspect about Derek’s book that I liked a lot (it went unnoticed by other “male” reviewers): Sea Changes is manly in that Derek packed it with details about masonry, weaponry and history. The book is technically dense. I like that. Other nerds will enjoy that aspect, too.
UPDATE I (3/12/018): Lookie here. I found Mercer male hounding from 2006: “How Sexist Are Libertarian Men?”
UPDATE II (10/9/018):
From my response to a set of interview questions from, presumably, a millennial, you can figure out the attitude toward me. Just plain ignorance? Who knows? However, I venture he would not have addressed a male he wished to interview in the same manner:
Your questions are better addressed to a YouTube fresh face or some young (and fleeting) social-media sensation. There are v. few paleolibertarians around today in the US. Most all began their work, for the most, over a decade after me. Few can claim my philosophical consistency (have wavered on immigration, Israel, etc.). Glad to look at your revised questions when you get your bearings.