A liberal commentator gets riled as she attacks neoliberals, er, “conservatives”:
When have Conservative Americans ever been correct about anything? At the nation’s founding they were Tories, during the Civil War they were slave owners during the Depression they were the cause, in the Second World War they were isolationists. They opposed virtually every program, law or principle that has made this country great. Rather than whining about victimization, they should be ashamed. Of course, Herbert Hoover whined, too.
If you reduce your attention span, and also reduce your focus to specific negative issues while ignoring positives that occurred simultaneously, you can make anything appear to be Satan.
At the nation’s founding, not all conservatives were Tories, obviously, because the people who founded the nation created it on neoliberal principles — the foundation of modern conservatism. Her attention span isn’t long enough for that.
During the Civil War, the issue was not slavery, but preserving state’s rights — reducing the power of the central government, which has been a traditional liberal desire. Slavery was a related but not pivotal issue.
During the Depression they were the cause, she says. This baffling unsourced statement is as simplistic as it is unfounded.
In the second world war, they were isolationists. Here’s where we have to take a long view of history: it’s possible that the second world war created the cold war, destroyed European and American armies, and unleashed world discontent. It might have been smarter to sit it out and simply offer aid and shelter to displaced and persecuted Jewish populations.
Didn’t we also drop nuclear weapons on 200,000 Japanese children?
And then there’s the current recession. Brought on by a Clinton-era program to force lending to minorities, it was equally wrecked by Clinton’s adviser Robert Rubin and his tendency toward cheap money and reckless growth. Bush inherited this mess and staved it off to some degree, but nothing could stop our economy from readjusting its value.
It seems to me that “liberal” is a catch-all term for the discontented and fashionable who want to show others how smart, savvy, wise and compassionate/altruistic they are by embracing liberal policies. But these same people, by virtue of needing some external affirmation of their self-worth, are the most neurotic people we have in our society — and that’s why conservatives don’t want them making decisions.
Why do people love to bash on conservatives? Because they speak of long-term, historical and scientific truths, not emotions that make us all feel a warming tenderness. Conservatism (and to some degree, neoliberalism as practiced by Reagan and Bush) is for people who want to get over the negative sides of life to embrace the positive, but without denying the reality they must live in.
Liberalism from moderate to extreme just sounds good. Everyone is equal, we’re all in it together, and we’re going to support that idea that you can be whatever you want to be and we’ll still take care of you. Never mind that this idea is anti-nature; if you do something stupid in nature, you might end up dead or maimed. Liberalism sounds good because it takes the risk of natural selection, the risk of losing social status, and the risk of being seen as less-able than others, and smothers them under a comforting blanket of equality.
As Dennis Prager asks in “Why Doesn’t Communism Have as Bad a Name as Nazism?”:
2. Communism is based on lovely sounding theories; Nazism is based on heinous sounding theories.
Intellectuals, among whom are the people who write history, are seduced by words — so much so that deeds are deemed considerably less significant. Communism’s words are far more intellectually and morally appealing than the moronic and vile racism of Nazism. The monstrous evils of communists have not been focused on nearly as much as the monstrous deeds of the Nazis. The former have been regularly dismissed as perversions of a beautiful doctrine (though Christians who committed evil in the name of Christianity are never regarded by these same people as having perverted a beautiful doctrine), whereas Nazi atrocities have been perceived (correctly) as the logical and inevitable results of Nazi ideology.
This seduction by words while ignoring deeds has been a major factor in the ongoing appeal of the left to intellectuals. How else explain the appeal of a Che Guevara or Fidel Castro to so many left-wing intellectuals, other than that they care more about beautiful words than about vile deeds?
(Ballsy article from a great publication.)
The left sounds good because it uses social realities to comfort people, instead of making them confront hard physical realities like conservatism does. It also does not believe in a society with a consensus, preferring a society of atomized individuals each “doing their own thing.” Never mind that history deals harshly with that — it sounds good.
For this reason, the left will always be more popular than the right, especially as societies decay and more people are left wandering without a center. Doing everything for yourself sounds good until you realize that this means everything becomes yet another mundane pleasure, and there’s no overall goal that makes you feel fulfilled. How many mountains can you climb before that, too, is just a hobby?
The left’s weakness is that in the long term, they make disasters. The revolutions that wrecked France and Russia took those from being world powers to being hopeless backwaters, and even when they crawl back from that precipice, they are still behind and somehow come across as more primitive and clueless than other nations of the stature they once had. French culture used to rule the world; now they’re known for lingerie and little else. Russia was once one of the cultural centers of the near East, but no one talks about Russian culture since about 1916.
In America, we have a different kind of leftist and neoliberal disaster — as predicted in Brave New World, people pursue their own pleasures and in doing so not only empty those pleasures of significance but also leave behind a wasteland. Like so:
It is hard to overstate how reliant the Southern California economy has always been on population growth to drive its economic growth — in oversimplified terms, building houses for the next wave of home builders. In the beginning, the early developers could be pretty confident that if they built it, they would come — from the Northeast and Midwest, and then from all corners of the globe. But in recent years, this perpetual growth machine has pretty much run out of steam as residents old and new confronted the realities of two-hour commutes, bad air, a shortage of water and a backlash against illegal immigration.
Moreover, without the steady growth in tax revenue that came with population growth, the Ponzi scheme that passes for public finance in California was suddenly and painfully revealed. Much of the blame lies with public employee unions and a handful of other special-interest groups that have essentially hijacked political control of state and local governments. Now, despite decades of high taxes and rapid growth, state and local governments find that they not only don’t have the revenue to provide even basic services, but are saddled with hundreds of billions of dollars in unfunded pension liabilities and infrastructure needs.
“L.A. is becoming a Third World city,” says Rick Caruso, a successful developer who has considered running for mayor.
Let everyone come in and buy everything on credit. Whatever they think they can afford, they can buy. And don’t criticize their weird and unstable lifestyles, or the mental states those work them into before they go on their buying sprees. If they’re soulless and empty, they’re actually better consumers, so why not?
And then reality comes home to roost: it was a Ponzi scheme all along. The cheap labor that we imported is now a population fighting for its own power; the idiots we imported to act in our films are their own kind of abusive power; no one has their eyes on the road ahead. So California will soon be an empty sprawl of abandoned buildings, covered in graffiti and leaking toxic compounds.
What built this empire? Liberalism: the idea that every person has the right to do anything they want to do, as long as they don’t interfere with others doing the same. That means that as long as you don’t rape, censor, or kill, you can feel free to make whatever stupid decisions that leave timebombs to your descendants. You can’t tell other people to stop selling anal pron in the grocery stores, but you can build a gigantic empire and then leave it to rot. Which act — in the long term — is more destructive?
Liberalism has left us with a knee jerk population who, having no power, know only that they feel good by asserting social control on others. If you censor anything, you’re a Nazi. If you suggest the actions of any person are stupid, you’re a Nazi. If you want any kind of culture to resist this swarming wave of non-culture, you’re a Nazi. If you’re not them, you’re a Nazi. Get it yet?
And so we’re now in the final stages of empire where we play a gross game of image, instead of focusing on serious problems that can really ruin our day:
An article in the New York Times last week documented how green groups are having trouble attracting black and Hispanic supporters. Carl Pope, the executive director of the Sierra Club, noted that at a typical Sierra Club meeting — despite the organization’s best efforts — “the people are mostly white, largely over 40, almost all college educated, whose style is to argue with each other. . . . That may not be a welcoming environment.” Other green leaders quoted by the Times bemoaned their failure to draw a more rainbow-colored crowd, faulting themselves for not coming up with better outreach efforts. One diversity consultant complained that the dress code of environmental groups might be putting off minorities. “It’s the tyranny of the fleece,” he said.
The rueful tone of environmental leaders sounds not unlike that of proponents of gay marriage who — noting a similar lack of success with minority “outreach” — keep arguing that if they only frame the debate correctly they will be able to convince blacks and Hispanics that gay marriage is a good idea. If you buy into one element of the liberal agenda, the thinking goes, surely you’ll like the rest of it.
But is this true? It may be mere condescension to assume that racial minorities don’t understand what’s at stake in such matters — that it is the outreach effort that is failing and not the message itself. It could well be that minorities understand all too well. “Environmentalism doesn’t appeal to minorities,” says Steven Milloy, the publisher of JunkScience.com, because “it doesn’t bring them anything.” He explains: “Environmentalists scare companies from building plants where people could use the jobs, and the plants go overseas instead.” In the late ’90s, for instance, the greens managed to run the Shintech company out of Convent, La., where it had planned to build a chemical plant that would have created more than 150 jobs. Though three-quarters of the black residents near the site wanted the facility, the company eventually backed out, tired of the harassment from the Clinton administration’s EPA.
It’s an image game. How do we pull people in? The answer is that you have to appeal to their political anger or sense of entitlement or give them something. That doesn’t work, but because we’ve eliminated the hard boundary of reality that conservatism acknowledges, we have no way of saying “Look, pay attention to this or we’ll all die.”
This is the same reason the global warming crusade is getting so shrill. They’re realizing that not enough people really care. World leaders love it — it expands their power. Liberals love it — it gives them a cause. Conservatives see it as a step to one world government, and point out that simply cutting off imports and foreign aid will effectively end the problem. The urban poor, the rural people, and the third world are oblivious to the issue at all. So nothing gets done, and while global warming may be a charade, human destruction of our environment is not and should be acted upon.
What towers of hypocrisy, labyrinths of status-raising image sleights of hand, and wastelands of insincerity we build! And all for ideas that sound good until you consider the step after they become real.