Monday, January 20, 2014

The Liberal Coalition: Snobbish Robbers & the Slobbering Mob

Well, that's annoying. Lost most of today's post, so this is all we get. I'll have to continue it tomorrow. Never mind. Saved by the belle, Julie, who used some kind of computer magic to recover it.

What an opportune time, on this national day of liberal pandering, to review one of the best books on the spiritual pathology of liberalism I have ever read, The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class.

Wait a minute: "spiritual pathology?" Isn't such bobnoxious language just going to guarantee no liberal takes the book seriously? Well, first of all, those are my words. Thus far, Siegel hasn't used the word "pathology," although he does often touch on the deranged and displaced -- what I would call gno-nothing -- spirituality at the sclerotic heart the liberal project.

But what do you call someone who will accuse me of racism for merely pointing out the elementary truth that liberal elites pander to various interest groups -- they all know it -- in order to garner their support at the ballot box? And at the same time, smear as racist anyone who points out this elementary truth? That's right: deeply sick.

The world created by such pandering slanderers is called hell, for hell is anyplace where truth cannot be uttered, or where one is punished for expressing it. Such hells can appear anywhere from the childhood home to the politico-media-academic complex (although one suspects the latter is rooted in the former, for what kind of living human being would want to cash in his humanness in exchange for membership in a zombie cult of politically correct hell?).

Lately we've been discussing the confluence of high and low, abstract and concrete, psyche and soma, that we see in Catholicism and developmental psychoanalysis. We see something similar in contemporary liberalism, albeit in a perverse way, with the alliance of ideological malefactors of great wealth -- the deserving rich, e.g., entertainers, global warming alarmists, trial lawyers -- at the top, and what used to be called the proletariat, or working class, at the bottom, leaving out the eighty percent of the restavus -- that would be the middle class referred to in the title.

But the left doesn't really bother with the proletariat anymore. Rather, it is simply a coalition of the willing-to-be-victimized, and one needn't be poor to be a member.

Homosexuals, for example, are more affluent than the average, and girls do much better than boys on most measures, e.g., high school graduation, college, health, mortality, mental illness, drug abuse, suicide, imprisonment, etc. Latinos who hit the jackpot by making it to America have to be taught to think of themselves as victims, and what's up with Jews? This book provides some clues to that canaandrum, but I still plan to read Podhoretz's Why Are Jews Liberals?

Likewise, Obamacare actually discriminates against the young-and-poor, regarding them as selfish malefactors of great health, i.e., ATMs for authorized victims.

Siegel's book is short but extremely rich. There is hardly a wasted word, and there are provocative insights on nearly every page. Among other virtues, it provides a real history of 20th century liberalism, to counter the fraudulent, self-flattering one invented by themselves. Remember, most history is written by the winners. Of tenure. The rest is written by the whiners, e.g., feminist history and all the other subhumanities.

Siegel notes that the top-bottom coalition alluded to above didn't start with pre-WWI progressivism -- which was another beast entirely, a coalition of Democrats and Republicans such as TR, mostly rooted in the Christian "social gospel" -- nor did it begin with FDR's extra-constitutional statism.

Rather, the bitter roots of our contemporary liberalism are distinctly smelled "in the wake of the post-World War I disillusionment with American society. In the Twenties, the first writers and thinkers to call themselves liberals adopted the hostility to bourgeois life that had long characterized European intellectuals of both the left and the right."

Very much contrary to their autoerotic self-image, this hostility revolved around an undisguised contempt for those they would presume to rescue via the creation of "an American aristocracy of sorts, to provide the same sense of hierarchy and order long associated with European statism."

So the story of how we have arrived at our liberal aristocracy is a long one, but Obama is its logical endpoint. Note that the aristocrats are by their nature contemptuous of anyone who isn't a member, but they are not permitted to express this toward the voting groups they need in order to retain power. Thus, it seeps from their every pore when discussing any group they don't need, e.g., "bitter clingers," or just white men (accent on both words) in general. White male grown ups supported Romney, just as they did McCain. Such a banality (and inevitability, given male nature) must be converted into a "war on women," or various other smears.

But liberals -- including auto-castrated white males -- can't even use the term without sneering. You will never hear a liberal strategist wondering how to garner more support from men, because not only do they not need it, they need to cling to their dehumanizing caricature in order to fire up one of their key constituencies, i.e., losers with a father complex.

Speaking of aristocracy and contempt, it is interesting to me that we actually see these on both sides of the political spectrum. For example, our good-natured contempt is directed at, say "LoFos," or college students with skulls full of mush, or tenured mediocrities, whereas liberal contempt is directed at white males (and male virtues in general), or Kansas dwellers ("what's the matter with them?"), or conservative blacks, or any woman who likes being one.

As for the aristocracy, the left's is again a combination of high and low, of properly overeducated fools at one end, and sanctified victims at the other. Thus, even a smart cookie as grotesquely undercooked as Rachel Jeantel can join the club, at least for 15 minutes: Oprah for a day!

But just because one is an aristocrat doesn't mean one has to be an affected, contemptuous, sneering snob, right? In fact, when one of these aristos comes off this way, one suspects that something else is going on. If I were a psychologist, I might suspect that the brittle snobbery is a defense mechanism against some sort of insecurity -- for a secure person doesn't need others to see him as special.

There are true aristocrats in this world -- people of Light -- and it has nothing to do with class, money, or education. Rather, one may discern them by the manner in which they tie their shoes. And the way they treat the help.

Can you even imagine liberalism without snobbery? I can't. It seems to be an addiction for them, and I can understand why, since I used to be one. All one has to do is affect the required intellectual posture in order to put down the Other -- something like, "can you believe that in this day and age, there are people who don't believe in global warming?" There is a 99% chance that such a person knows precisely nothing about global warming, and yet, by saying it, he is able to feel a charge of self-righteousness and intellectual superiority. That's a cheap high, and it is difficult to give up.

Likewise, what a thrill to call someone a racist! It's a thrill because one is really boasting of one's own non-racism, but what morally sane person would boast of his rudimentary decency? There's no thrill there, which is why the projection of evil is necessary in order to create that extra frisson, for hatred is more bracing than mere decency.

This ended up not being a review, just a standard-issue rant. I will get more deeply into the book tomorrow, and ratchet up the rant.

16 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

Doh!

1/20/2014 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Can you even imagine liberalism without snobbery?

Nope. I've known quite a few who probably qualify as "wealthy elite," and their contempt for virtually everybody outside of their social group is almost astounding.

1/20/2014 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Taranto calls it oikphobia, and it is truly de rigueur on the left.

1/20/2014 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

The rest is written by the whiners, e.g., feminist history and all the other subhumanities.

Indeed; and they are endlessly re-writing things to fit their pet paradigms. Hence every influential and strongly hetero male of bygone eras suddenly has a gay backstory.

1/20/2014 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Speaking of aristocratic manners, on Vanderleun's sidebar:

'Rapidly aging professional whore Madonna wound up apologizing profusely and denying she’s a “racist” after she posted a picture of her 13-year-old son Rocco Ritchie on Instagram and appended it with the hashtag “#disnigga.” Persisting in the delusion that she’s black, the eternally lapsed Catholic then revised her photo comment and told all of the “haters” to get off her “dick.”'

1/20/2014 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

Barroso just waved off climate targets for EU nations. That should make a lot of oikophobes on that decadent peninsula put on pouty faces and sulk. Looks like fracking will come to Europe!

In turn, cause all the oikophobic europhiles over here stateside will experience "consternation" at least. "Blind rage" is more likely. In the words of one hard-left academic I heard stand up at a large conference: "Why do we always lose?!"

Dude, it's called reality.

1/20/2014 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger Magister said...

Julie

Madonna was ugly then, and uglier now. I hope her kids turn out ok, but you know what they say about apples and trees.

Oh, and my kids held a school dance and programmed some stuff for parents (of the 80's). Madonna's "Holiday" came on, which seemed to be some kind of mandatory dance for feminists. I sat down, amused, and was confirmed again in my opinion that the sound of that song is unusually tinny. It sure didn't move the kids to dance. They didn't know what to do with it.

Ha, Madonna is gramma music! Woot!

1/20/2014 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Magister-

The word on Madonna's early recordings is that they spread up the tape speed because she was unable to keep her pitch. That is why it has the quality resembling that of a chipmunks' record. Not to insult the chipmunks.

1/20/2014 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Ha! Sped up.

1/20/2014 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Thank you, Jack, "spread up" is the best laugh I've had today.

The compression of the middle class and the end of "upward mobility" is exactly what happened in Argentina back around 2000.

I guess people at the top have always liked keeping out the riff-raff and newly minted. It's just easier when all the "good" jobs are government jobs and under the control of the political class.

1/20/2014 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

Whatever happened to Walt?

I looked for his blog the other day and it was quite gone.

1/20/2014 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

That's funny, JP - I was just thinking of Walt the other day, too. His Froth blog has been gone for years, though. He had another one for a while, but he quit that one, too, after I accidentally outed him. If he's started any more, I don't know, but if I ever stumbled across another blog of his I probably wouldn't say a word. I don't think he wants attention.

I miss his comments, though. Walt was a good teacher. Whatever he's up to these days, I hope he's doing alright.

Will, too, for that matter.

1/20/2014 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

There's another review of The Revolt Against the Masses by Ed Driscoll. Looks like there's a lot of food for good ranting in that book.

1/21/2014 05:59:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

in the wake of the post-World War I disillusionment

Yes, and a little earlier. Fabian socialists for example were wealthy, barouche-landau liberals. The Webbs for example did some good things, improving sewer systems and whatnot, but Sidney was apparently a details guy and knew his business. The Bloomsbury types didn't, but they felt they knew enough to sneer. There were other people, like Jean Monnet, who also knew their business and hatched bigger supranational plans, such as the US of Europe, which has had a lot of wealthy "social democracy" (sic) types backing it.

1/21/2014 06:37:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

Ah good, Siegel notices what a sneering racist H. G. Wells was. Wells was a huge world-stater.

http://www.city-journal.org/2009/19_2_HG-wells.html

1/21/2014 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Speaking of elitist sneering at the stupid middle class and reveling in the actions of those who know best, just listen to the tone of these two, interviewer and author. Their oh-so pleased approval for the son of English aristocrats, who first went his own way'to socialism, and then discovered Communism (applause!), and did such a wonderful job of infiltrating the west, as a spy, on behalf of the communists, and successfully used a sport to spread the word and advance the interests of the Communists, even in the face of those so annoying millions of people who got themselves killed (probably just to hamper the long march).

Naturally, it ran on NPR last night:

"GRIFFIN: Ivor Montagu was born into this extremely wealthy family at the turn of the century in England. And it was a very well-connected family. They were friends with the king and queen of England. Prime Ministers would come to visit, home secretaries. You couldn't have got a more establishment family. But Ivor decided to do things a little differently.

BLOCK: A little.

(LAUGHTER)

GRIFFIN: Just a little. Just a little. He sort of veered toward socialism as - when we has 13, 14. And by the time he was 18, he got a little bit more serious and decided to take the step towards communism.

BLOCK: He's a fascinating character. He goes fishing with Trotsky. He lunches with FDR. He produces films with Hitchcock. He's a spy for Stalin. And somehow in here, ping-pong becomes part of what he's all about."


And why are we in the state we are in now? Gee... so hard to say.

1/21/2014 11:16:00 AM  

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