“Fighting for the Culture,” by Perry de Havilland, Samizdata, 20 April 2005, http://www.samizdata.net/blog/archives/007468.html.
I disagree with Perry’s history slightly, but in a post on racism Mr. de Havilland outlines a “cutural shift” that denormalized a New Style ideology
Only a wilful fool would dispute that racism moved from being the unremarkable default mainstream view in the western world to being a prejudice which scarcely dare speak its name. I would argue that this did not come about just because a few anti-discrimination laws got passed. A great many things are illegal and yet doing them does not put you ‘beyond the pale’ in polite society. In most circles lighting up a spliff or speeding or paying your builder/nanny/housekeeper in cash are matters of little or no account and few people would think less of you if they discovered you were doing so. Overt racism on the other hand has precisely that effect because regarding that there has been a cultural shift. To be a racist is not just wrong, it makes you a jackass in the eyes of others [non-racism is once again “normal” — tdaxp]. Most racists are now more prone to keep their views to themselves, not because someone will call the cops and have them hauled off to a re-education camp, but because they can no longer safely assume others will share their meta-context.
de Havilland is writing about a horizontal control in transition. The plicitity of a control — its position on the implicit-explicit axis — is shifting. Racism has gone from unquestioned, to a wrong thing to think, to a weird thing to think.
Racism is a New Style ideology that dates from the early 18th century. It is a New Style innovation and it is being destoyed