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Kinism and the "Trotskyite" origins of "racism"

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Kinists, who typically condemn interracial marriage and believe in racial segregation, frequently use the genetic fallacy against non-Kinists who accuse them of "racism", on the supposed grounds that the term was coined by Leon Trotsky in his text "The History of the Russian Revolution." Those who use the word "racism" or even agree with the concept which it represents, therefore, must be closet Communists.

Of course, Trotsky was writing in Russian, and did not strictly speaking use the term "racism", which would have to be a distinctly English neologism from the Russian Vorlage (if that is indeed the source from which it came). But the substance of the Kinist criticism seems to be not merely that the term originated with Trotsky, but that the concept itself originated within the context of Communist intellectual thought, and is inseparably bound to it. Apart from this arguably more charitable interpretation of the significance of their argument, Kinists are not saying anything very compelling, since plenty of words and rituals uttered and practicd ordinarily in the West originate in an ideological context foreign or even hostile to Christianity, yet which are divested of the original ideological context which gave it its meaning.

In any case, unless Kinists are able to demonstrate that the concept itself originated with Trotsky, their point is moot. The term "racialism" was a rough conceptual equivalent of what we now understand as "racism", and dates back to the 1907 Oxford English Dictionary, which defines racialism thus:

“Belief in the superiority of a particular race leading to prejudice and antagonism towards people of other races, esp. those in close proximity who may be felt as a threat to one’s cultural and racial integrity or economic well-being.”

It is not merely defined as a supposedly innocuous belief that societies are healthier where there is racial segregation, but specifically a belief in the superiority of one's own race which is co-ordinate with hostility towards other races. So we can consider this tired myth "busted."

In light of the precedence of the etymologically similar and conceptually identical precedence of "racialism", I think a much more commonsense account of the term's genesis has to do with the natural evolution of a word into a more modern counterpart. For example, the relatively archaic "ironical" later becomes "ironic", "Satanical" becomes "Satanic", and so on. Of course, I suppose it is possible that Trotsky's Russian publication inspired the abbreviation of the conceptually identity "racialism" to the more syllabically parsimonious "racism"; but this seems like quite a stretch, and it would certainly do nothing to contribute to the idea that the concept itself was imported by Trotsky, since as we have seen, the concept was already familiar to lexicographers as "racialism."

I conclude with a quote from Nietzsche's "A Genealogy of Morality":

"A word in the ear of the psychologists, assuming they are inclined to study ressentiment close up for once: this plant thrives best amongst anarchists and anti-Semites today, so it flowers like it always has done, in secret, like a violet but with a different scent"(Nietzsche, "On the Genealogy of Morality")

Far from being a cultural Marxist, Nietzsche understood that far-right anti-Semitism and far-left anarchism (or for our purposes today, postmodern leftitsm) are fueled by pathological hatred of its object, whatever its pretension to the contrary. Such people harbor a hidden resentment and the values they profess are reactive inversions of the objects they hate with the aim of spiting their objects. Nietzsche published this work in 1887, long before either the Oxford English Dictionary or Trotsky had articulated the psychology of "racism."

THE OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY, Second Edition, published by Clarendon Press, Oxford, (1989), Volume XIII, page 74.



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