I see that many of my obscure notes to myself would serve as decent titles, such as:
Escape From Human Nature
The First Law of Liberal Thermodynamics: The Conservation of Failure
How to Boost Self-Esteem by Sucking Dignity from Your Constituents
The Way of the Superior Mediocrity
Daddy, What Did You Tax in the War on Poverty?
Amnesty and Electoral Success: The Juans We've Been Waiting For
The New Indulgence System: Purchasing White Redemption by Giving to the Church of Racial Grievance
One theme that emerges from the book is just how wrong, and even deranged, various liberal luminaries have always been, e.g., Herbert Croly, H.G. Wells, Aldous Huxley, Malcolm Cowley, G.B. Shaw, Sinclair Lewis, and all the Frankfurt School weenies, e.g. Adorno, Marcuse, Norman Brown, and many others.
As I said, Siegel has a much better mastery of their own literature than they do. Rather, contemporary liberals simply project into the past and cherry-pick absurdly self-flattering items. They are, of course, the originators of self-esteem via revisionism: unattractive women's history, homosexual history, black history, and all their other agenda-driven intellectual ghettos.
Of the latter, Siegel writes of how liberals found a way out of their own nonsense via deconstruction. Just when reality had caught up with them in the late '70s, they slipped through the linguistic net with postmodern antithinkers and philosophical celebrities such as Foucault, de Man, Derrida, and the rest of that sinister rabble.
Because social science had been such an epic fail for them, they switched over to this new literary "French-influenced romantic irrationalism" featuring "priestly truths much beyond the ken of the general public."
You might say that postmodernism is to thinking what climate change is to global warming -- a way to stay one step ahead of an inconvenient truth via word magic. This is why no conservative embraces deconstruction: because we believe language is a function of reality, not vice versa.
You know the drill, at least if you've been to college: there are "no objective truths," only the "truth-effects created by the workings of power" and the manipulation of language. Since All is Power, there is nothing wrong with seizing it and using the state "to break through the invisible web of coercion spun by everyday fascism."
You are either oppressor or oppressed, and if you are a fan of this blog, then you are the former, you Nazi bastard!
Speaking of intellectual fraudevillians, it's a great gig, because they somehow transform what can only be called "epistemological nihilism" into "political certainty." How do they do that?
For example, how did Obama arrive at the confident but utterly absurd conclusion that our nation is founded upon (in his words), "a rejection of absolute truth" and the dismissal of "any tyrannical consistency that might lock future generations [read: ME] into a single, unalterable course..."
In other words, the Constitution is designed to ignore itself, to make way for the Rule of Man. At least the Right Man, i.e., the Divine Lightbringer. But... isn't that what we were fighting against from '76 to '83?
Insolence! As we know, if there is no truth, then power rushes in to fill the vacuum. Like all postmodernists, Obama wants it both ways: "there is no truth, only the truth that there is only power, so I will seize that power, thank you, and use it to impose my truth."
Where on earth did he get such a crazy idea, and why did no one ever correct his misunderstanding?
What a naive question. Such ideas are not subject to correction, but to tenure. He was, after all, an associate professor of constitutional law, so he knows better than anyone else that the law means what he wants it to mean.
Note that in order to harbor such an illusion, Obama must place himself above the Framers, just as he knows better than you do how to run your affairs. Obama must actually believe he never faced failure in life thanks to his own abilities, instead of being wafted to the top via upward political mobility: the right ideology wrapped in the right color. Thus, he is the epitome of illegitimate political power, so I guess he's right about that.
Like their dear leader, today's college students learn "that alternative opinions [are] merely masks for racism, sexism, and homophobia," and that America is "objectively racist, evil, imperialist, sexist (pick your term of opprobrium)."
So, how is the postmodernist exempt from his own sweeping verdict?
Easy: shut up! As we know, there is no place where speech is less free than on a college campus, since the ideas that predominate there cannot withstand scrutiny, and even the tenured know enough to know that.
Speaking of titles, this post could also have been called Feelpolitik, since liberal positions are felt and not thought.