It sets a bad tone for the rest of the day.
Civic Nationalism, Part I: Magic Dirt Theory
Interestingly enough, no one – or, at least, no one entitled to an opinion – actually believes in Magic Dirt Theory.
Ah, but what, in fact, is the theory?
Magic Dirt Theory appears to be a coinage of the right, or the alt-right. It is a rhetorical construct designed to disparage that kind of liberalism, progressivism, or cosmopolitanism which would seem to hold that everyone born to some place is and should automatically be a citizen of that place, fully equal, indeed, indistinguishable from the pre-existing native population, no matter what culture the newborn is later raised in, and irrespective of any other attachment or inheritance, or lack thereof, he or she may have to the place.
I have some bad news for those on the alt-right who have pegged a good deal of their overall political philosophy to sneering at Magic Dirt Theory. In this regard; few lefties, if any, even if they say explicitly that they believe in it, do, in fact, believe it. What they do believe, in this particular, seems to come, at least for the most part, from one of two related threads. One is the cosmopolitan thread, which holds national boundaries, or any boundaries between peoples, as artificial, preposterous, and evil. In this view, the citizen of Kenya is already as American as anyone native born, because any kind of exclusive Americanism is, itself, a concept both wicked and false. That’s not Magic Dirt Theory; that’s saying the dirt doesn’t matter at all. Of course, it’s a fantastically silly position to take.
This starts with a whiff (incorrectly defining the Magic Dirt Theory) and gets worse (accusing us of “pegging a good deal of [our] political philosophy to sneering at Magic Dirt Theory”).
(1) The first fifteen words of the second sentence of the second paragraph are correct.
(2) But this writer seems to think that the purpose of our snark about Magic Dirt has everything to do with immigration. While it certainly can and has been applied to immigration, that’s not its only use. Closer to home, we use the Magic Dirt rhetorical construct/snark to prove the folly of efforts like AFFH.
(3) We have not thrown all our eggs into the basket of the Magic Dirt snarky meme.
(4) We are very much aware that there is a severe disconnect between what the Masters of the Universe say slash promulgate slash want us to believe in and what they do slash how they behave slash their revealed preferences. Elitist hypocrisy isn’t hypocrisy when you’re elite. We know that the purpose of such hypocrisy is almost always the empowerment of said “hypocritical” Masters of the Universe. If I tell you to kill yourself but don’t act like I want to kill myself, you shouldn’t worry about my hypocrisy, you should be thinking about my conspiracy to steal all your stuff from you after you’re dead.
We know the MotU don’t literally believe in Magic Dirt. We know they want us to believe in it while they don’t.