Amerika

Outliers (#26)

sanctuary

Bruce Charlton writes an interesting analysis of the reason for the enduring popularity of the Left:

This is not a rational thing, but a gut-level thing – mostly inexplicit and denied. But fundamentally, peoples’ hopes are pinned to some kind of sexual Nirvana. They are fantasies of overwhelming and consciousness-obliterating pleasure; freedom, growth, power, status…

These fantasies are very various between people, often in opposition between people and in one person; which is why the coalition of the Left is so large.

While there is a lot to think about on this issue, and probably multiple causes, to my mind the dominant cause of Leftist popularity is that “equality” is one of those words like “peace” that shuts off the human brain. It promises a reduction of risk by extending universal mandatory inclusion to all people, so that the tensions of competition, hierarchy and different abilities are erased.

This has a power greater than sex which is that it speaks directly to the massive and underlying fear in people who are no longer sure that their civilization has a purpose. On top of that, they then find surrogate outlets for their thirst for power, including sex, money, domination, subjugation, deception and other acts that make people feel supreme in the short term.

From The New Yorker, an insightful look at the Tom Wolfe-esque struggle that has replaced distribution of wealth as the struggle of our time:

Voting is no longer the test of inclusion. What is happening in the rich democracies may be not so much a war between the haves and the have-nots as a war between the socially advantaged and the left-out. No one who lives in poverty would not trade that life for a better one, but what most people probably want is the life they have. They fear losing that more than they wish for a different life, although they probably also want their children to be able to lead a different life if they choose.

Of the features of modern society that exacerbate that fear and threaten that hope, the distribution of wealth may not be the most important. Money matters to people, but status matters more, and precisely because status is something you cannot buy. Status is related to identity as much as it is to income. It is also, unfortunately, a zero-sum game. The struggles over status are socially divisive, and they can resemble class warfare.

With the takeover of civilization by social control, social power is all that matters. Popularity trumps all else, and if you have enough media and social clout, you can even launch a company like Theranos and bring in billions. The manipulators have triumphed, but the result is a crab bucket competition for those fifteen minutes of fame, which forces a “race to the bottom” that explains our current cultural void.

From The Wall Street Journal, a devastating look into the corruption of American politics:

Newly disclosed emails show top Obama administration officials were in close contact with Hillary Clinton’s nascent presidential campaign in early 2015 about the potential fallout from revelations that the former secretary of state used a private email server.

Contrast this with the Official Narrative, as reported by CBS:

President Obama only learned of Hillary Clinton’s private email address use for official State Department business after a New York Times report, he told CBS News in an interview.

One wonders: who isn’t lying at this point? Probably the people pointing out that the above arrangement is not just obvious evasion of the intent of security regulations, but also an attempt to hide sensitive materials, and also evidence of corruption in the White House on a scale that dwarfs Nixon exponentiated.

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