October 16, 2012

How we got here

Here's an early 2005 post by a bar blogger named Manhattan Transfer that lucidly summarizes some of the ideological transformations of the last two decades:
In college I somehow got mixed-up in the conservative movement... The main targets of campus conservatism were political correctness. relativism and multiculturalism. Nowadays everyone has some idea what these are but in the early nineties we were still discovering them.
The conservatives countered political correctness with a vigorous support for academic freedom, free speech and free press. The best argument of the proponents of political correctness was that political correctness didn’t exist, that it was a figment of right-wing paranoia. This was defeated through endless anecdote—it’s hard to maintain something doesn’t exist when every few weeks a new example became a national scandal. The latest uproar at Harvard [Larry Summers] is as good an example as any of the censorious mentality that infects so many college campuses. 
The conservatives countered relativism with what the left called “ethnocentrism” but the right considered moral universalism. The proposition was that the values of the West might have arisen historically in the Europe but were universally applicable to humans because the Creator or Nature had endowed all men with certain rights and obligations. You can see the appeal of this way of thinking for a conservative—it combines patriotism with a certain kind of high-mindedness. Our ways are the best but not because they are ours but because they are everybody’s. 
This was related to the fight against multiculturalism, with its emphasis on the rights of minority groups. In various ways, the Left’s emphasis on valuing the perspectives and protecting or advancing the status of minorities was presented as a rejection of the American tradition of moral universalism, equality before the law, and individualism. The left wanted a society keenly attuned to the differences and diversity of our people; the right wanted color-blindness, merit-based promotion and an emphasis on both our national unity and individual accomplishments. In the mind of a campus conservative, we wanted a society of character while the multiculturalists wanted a society of race and gender. 
If they had issued conservative movement cards, I certainly would have been a card-carrying member. Nonetheless, I could not persuade myself that there wasn’t something wrong with the conservative ideology. It insisted that diversity wasn’t an important fact about our country or the world, when all my life’s experiences taught me the opposite. [Manhattan Transfer attended public school in the Lower East Side during the worst of the crack years.] When they did speak up for diversity, conservatives insisted that they stood for a different kind of diversity—diversity of ideology rather than ethnic or sex diversity. But this is one of the least interesting kinds of diversity in the world. Which three women would you rather be stuck in an elevator with: A Stalinist, a neoconservative and a feminist or a Brazillian, a Norwegian and a Thai? What’s worse, no-one mentioned religious diversity, although this has since proven to be extremely salient. 
... At some point I started to look at the campus wars of the nineties with a jaded eye. The rhetoric of both sides seemed to conceal what was really going on. The left was engaged in a strategy of subversion in which political correctness, relativism, multiculturalism and feminism were tactics to undermine traditional rules and modes of behavior in American life. The right had adopted what was essentially leftist rhetoric of the early twentieth century—equality and universalism—in an effort ameliorate the effects of the subversion. In other words, the right was trying to use moderate leftist rhetoric to combat extreme leftism. What's worse is that the right hadn't persuaded many leftists but had persuaded themselves--they had adopted their own rhetoric as an ideology. 
I wasn’t any sort of leftist. In fact, I was well on my way to becoming a decadent reactionary. The pursuit of whiskey, women and wealth seemed to me honorable ways of stooping below the struggle between the forces of leftism past and leftism future.

Consider the concept of "colorblindness," which conservatives have come to extol in reaction to racial preferences. But is blindness, on the whole, a good thing? Is blindness a desirable attribute in, say, astronomers? How do you keep blindness from turning into ignorance and obliviousness?

There's a fairly simple solution to this conundrum, but it's one that seems to be beyond the conservative mindset: no, blindness isn't a good general policy. Overall, as Faber College said in Animal House: "Knowledge is good." On the other hand, the metaphor of blindness can be a useful tool in certain policy situations: "Justice is blind."

What we shouldn't do is reason from the particular to the general. Judges shouldn't play favorites in court, so therefore American policy shouldn't play favorites between, say, American citizens and foreigners.

This really isn't that complicated, but to get the message across it takes a lot of explanation of how it works in different situations and a lot of willingness to be smeared.

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

The reality...

socks said...

"I was well on my way to becoming a decadent reactionary."

I watched a lot of Peter Thiel videos recently. In one of them he said that when conservatives figure the system out, they start drinking. When libertarians figure it out, they don't confine themselves to alcohol.

Anonymous said...

Which three women would you rather be stuck in an elevator with: A Stalinist, a neoconservative and a feminist or a Brazillian, a Norwegian and a Thai?

How about:

A woman with paranoid schizophrenia, one with Aspergers Syndrome, one with ADHD, or a supermodel with mild undiagnosable psychopathy?

Auntie Analogue said...

Overseeing all of this decline into relativism, universalism, identity politics, political correctness, and what have you was, and still is, our glorious self-promoting Media-Pravda. Were media truly neutral and objective, its talking heads would have called this slide for what it was, and for what it's now descended to. But Media-Pravda profits from the decline because its Leftist "progressive" posture allows its minions to pose as the moral superiors to everyone and everything else.

Control of Media-Prvada means that the revolutionaries did indeed first take the radio station, and, in the radicals' own deceitful language, they used it to "change the knowledge base" so that nowadays most Americans - even Republicans - parrot the lib-"progressive" script.

Enoch Powell said...

In an attempt to be "nice" and avoid being "extreme" the Right has compromised with evil and lost its soul. Right Wing Extremism is now quite simply the only reasonable position for Whties. Reality excludes all else except as a delusion.

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to Manhattan Transfer?

not a hacker said...

If the Brazilian is Sonia Braga, then O.K.

Anonymous said...

What's worse is that the right hadn't persuaded many leftists but had persuaded themselves--they had adopted their own rhetoric as an ideology.

Very good, never heard it put quite like that, hitting the nail squarely on the head.

Hail said...

After 1945, it was morally impossible to make a stand for anything but leftist goals.

Anonymous said...

Personally I'd take the Brazilian, Norwegian and Thai women . . .

Carol said...

What is a bar blogger? I might be interested in doing that.

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to Manhattan Transfer?

Whatever happened to Art and Dottie Todd?

Anonymous said...

I watched a lot of Peter Thiel videos recently. In one of them he said that when conservatives figure the system out, they start drinking. When libertarians figure it out, they don't confine themselves to alcohol.

That is because conservatives, in their God-given moral wisdom, know that alcohol is not a DRUG.

Conatus said...

Conservatives and the right often get stuck on the racism charge. They always seem so guilty when they are trying to explain away some common sense distinction they have made that is race based but they want to deny it. They jump through these rhetorical hoops trying to deny that they notice racial differences which was the new and greatly expanded definition of racism in the oughts and beyond. The left spends a lot of its time trying to pin the 'you notice racial characteristics' charge on any white person who is on the right.
The Right would be better off simply saying 'Yes Everyone's just a little bit racist' and leave it at that. We all notice race most of the time and only the over educated go to great pains to habitually engage in the conspicuous consumption of not noticing whether the robber was black or the mission control guy was white.

The truth of all race relations is in a Broadway musical, Avenue Q. The song, "Everyone's a little bit racist." It should be sung at the beginning of every meeting of the Republican party.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbud8rLejLM

Eric said...

...our glorious self-promoting Media-Pravda.

Speaking of... you know, if you'd told me in the 1980s that by 2010 I would trust news items from Pravda more than those in the NYT, I would have thought you were crazy.

But the world is a funny place.

D.A. said...

I am colorblind. To me, certain shades are green are indistinguishable from certain shades of red. It's not crippling at all (I can tell apart traffic light colors), but it's undeniably true that I'm missing something real. And it does inconvenience me from time to time. And if I'm ever in a "Cut the red wire!" situation...

I think there's a metaphor here.

snapperhead soup said...

Before anyone speaks of 'left' and 'right', they should ask 'which left' and 'which right'?

There's the Jewish left, Eskimo left, Irish left, Greek left, Thai left, Cambodian left, Arab left, and etc in America, but which left gets to define what the left means?Which left controls the media? Which left has funding from Wall Street? Which left has friends in Hollywood and top law firms?
Just how did the left come to espouse 'gay marriage'? Did all elements of the 'left' decide one day to do that? Or, did a particularly powerful and influential left situated in NY, LA, and Harvard decide make 'gay marriage' a top issue, whereupon all the other ethnic lefts decide to follow along?

And did this particularly powerful bunch of leftists decide to redefine leftism purely out of principles or because it was to their ethnic advantage?
I mean... why did this particular left based in NY adamantly support free speech(to protect communists and other leftists of their ethnic group)in the 50s thru the 70s but then reverse course and push new leftist McCarthyism against 'incorrect' speech when they began to solidate the power in the media and academia in the 80s and 90s?
Could it be free speech was advantageous to this left in the 50s but disadvantageous to them in the 90s and 2000s since they are new elites that may come under scrutiny from dissent from the right?

It makes little sense to discuss the 'left' as a generic concept. Every left is an ethno-left. Some ethno-leftist define the ideology and lead while others follow.
There is the Jewish left and Asian left in America. I'll bet many more Asian leftists follow the lead of Jewish leftists than vice versa.

And internationally, did the Russian left and Chinese left see eye to eye? No, each were ethno-lefts. And just how leftist is someone like Cornel West? He is a racial-leftist.

Anonymous said...

What's all this talk of relativism? Leftists aren't moral relativists. Their relativism is more like a mask they put on to disguise the underlying who/whom absolutism.

I'm consider myself a conservative and an honest moral relativist myself. For instance I don't care if they have child brides in Botsmalia or pratcice canbilism in Camererundi. Likewise, I don't care if they agree with me about how many gods exist or the correct form of worship. All I want out of them is to stay over there.

Anonymous said...

"There's a fairly simple solution to this conundrum"

Will someone tell me what it is?

FWG said...

Leftward drift is how I like to describe what's going on in American society. It's also how I would describe the latter part of Manhattan Transfer's statement about conservatives.

Dutch Boy said...

The ideology M.H. describes is the bastardized libertarianism (Sam Francis' term) that is the current coin of the Republican establishment.

Dutch Boy said...

not a hacker: ditto on Sonia Braga!

Jeffrey S. said...

"The proposition was that the values of the West might have arisen historically in the Europe but were universally applicable to humans because the Creator or Nature had endowed all men with certain rights and obligations."

As a Catholic Christian, I obviously agree with this proposition, but as someone who hangs out a lot on HBD and reactionary blogs, I would say that my policy prescriptions are constrained by the world as it is, not as I want it to be.

In other words, yes it is true that by natual law and right reason we can know it is wrong to shoot someone because they insult Muhammad. BUT, should American policy worry all that much about what the crazy Muslims are doing in their own countries to each other other than (a) try not to import them into our country and (b) stand up for our values and give aid and comfort to those in the Muslim world who want our help (within reason -- for example, we might try and support governments that protect minorities, especially Christian minorities in Muslim-majority countries rather than help crazed Islamic fanatics overthrow those governments).

Svigor said...

The conservatives countered relativism with what the left called “ethnocentrism” but the right considered moral universalism. The proposition was that the values of the West might have arisen historically in the Europe but were universally applicable to humans because the Creator or Nature had endowed all men with certain rights and obligations. You can see the appeal of this way of thinking for a conservative—it combines patriotism with a certain kind of high-mindedness. Our ways are the best but not because they are ours but because they are everybody’s.

I hold with this to a great extent, but my universal values include racial and ethnic nationalism; all peoples deserve to live and thrive (I even think good races and ethnic groups should intervene when their fellows take clearly suicidal action, just as good men do at the individual level).

I also agree with Jeffrey S., none of this is a suicide pact, to really wear out the imagery.

When they did speak up for diversity, conservatives insisted that they stood for a different kind of diversity—diversity of ideology rather than ethnic or sex diversity. But this is one of the least interesting kinds of diversity in the world. Which three women would you rather be stuck in an elevator with: A Stalinist, a neoconservative and a feminist or a Brazillian, a Norwegian and a Thai? What’s worse, no-one mentioned religious diversity, although this has since proven to be extremely salient.

Did...did he just use a hot poon analogy to argue that ethnic diversity is more interesting than the ideological?

If he wants to say ethnic diversity is immensely important, I'll agree, he doesn't have to make a spurious comparison. It really doesn't make much sense to compare the two; the choice seems forced.

In other words, the right was trying to use moderate leftist rhetoric to combat extreme leftism. What's worse is that the right hadn't persuaded many leftists but had persuaded themselves--they had adopted their own rhetoric as an ideology.

The whole argument is between two schools of liberals. How did he miss that?

In an attempt to be "nice" and avoid being "extreme" the Right has compromised with evil and lost its soul. Right Wing Extremism is now quite simply the only reasonable position for Whties. Reality excludes all else except as a delusion.

Well said. Radicals or useful idiots. The first half of the 21st century might just wind up being everyone choosing sides before the big showdown.

Svigor said...

I suppose ethnic diversity is more compelling, that would've better than "interesting."

Anonymous said...

The proposition was that the values of the West might have arisen historically in the Europe

Some of them, the core values of the Classical West, arisen in what is now Europe. Some of them, the Christian or Judaeo-Christian or Judaeo-Christian-Islamic ones, arisen in the Middle East.

but were universally applicable to humans because the Creator or Nature had endowed all men with certain rights and obligations. You can see the appeal of this way of thinking for a conservative—it combines patriotism with a certain kind of high-mindedness. Our ways are the best but not because they are ours but because they are everybody’s.

That kind of high-mindedness can easily backfire.

A Chinese, or Indian, or pagan Greco-Roman conservative thinks that their ways are the best because they are theirs. Simple as that. Other peoples have their own values, no matter how wrong-minded they may be; those values are not for anyone to change. Live and let live. Even the Mongols, genocidal imperialist raping pillaging brutes, never persecuted anyone on religious grounds.

A Western - in this case meaning Christian - conservative is more into "our values are for everyone" which can very easily become "our values are for everyone and we are going to make them obey whether they like it or not". Islam is also this way.

Anonymous said...

Let me translate blah blah blah I won't follow my logic through to the proper end because I live in New York and want to fit in.

Girls whiskey and wealth none of those is a reactionary value. Compare to plant a tree have a son write a book, a true reactionary ethos, and you see what a tool this guy is.

Severn said...

What's worse is that the right hadn't persuaded many leftists but had persuaded themselves--they had adopted their own rhetoric as an ideology.


That was always the path of least resistance. It still is, which is why we see various sections of "the right" capitulating to "gay marriage" and other leftist ideas. While the left is in control of academia, the media, big business, and the political class, the right is always bound to be pulled towards being "leftism with slightly lower tax rates". It's the inevitable consequence of actual conservative ideas being declared out of bounds.

Anonymous said...

There's the Jewish left, Eskimo left, Irish left, Greek left, Thai left, Cambodian left, Arab left, and etc in America, but which left gets to define what the left means?
Which left controls the media? Which left has funding from Wall Street? Which left has friends in Hollywood and top law firms?
Just how did the left come to espouse 'gay marriage'? Did all elements of the 'left' decide one day to do that? Or, did a particularly powerful and influential left situated in NY, LA, and Harvard decide make 'gay marriage' a top issue, whereupon all the other ethnic lefts decide to follow along?


Most of those "ethnic lefts" are really "rights" not "lefts". From pro-family Catholic Irish and Italian Democrats, to their modern Mexican equivalents. They looks to liberals and Democrats to protect them from Anglo prejudice, not because they support liberal values. In America, the Right, i.e. the Repulicans, are so Anglo-christo-centric they drive away nearly all ethnic conservatives except for Jewish Neocons and Cubans in Miami.

Anonymous said...

Decadent Reactionary?

Drinking and womanizing?

Really?

How about FIGHTING. Fighting for what's Right. Living the way you should to Ennoble your Race. If white men aren't smart enough to Fight and would rather curl up into Jersey Shore type Situation Man Whores.

Then I guess the white race truly doesn't deserve to be preserved.

I deserve to be preserved. But none of you other worthless putzes who are dumb enough to agree with this somewhat lucid yet stupid shmuck.

Try to rationalize your man whore lives....just keep trying...group hug it out with Roissy

"I drink and have sex because of the System!!! *sobs*"

Rob said...

@Snapperhead Soup

All the Lefts are certainly not the same. The Black, Hispanic and Jewish Left are mostly pursuing their own racial interests, whereas the White Left does the exact opposite. Its ideology is ethnomasochism as opposed to ethnocentrism.

As the definition of Left, Right, liberal, conservative, etc. shifts over the decades, the only realistic ideology can be ethnocentrism. You know what it means and where you stand with it. It's already the undisguised ideology of just about all races - except Whites. We're the odd one out. It's time we caught up. We can't afford not to.

denizenofgoo said...

There's the moderate left, then the left, the far left, the extreme left, the super-duper megadolon-jumping left, and oh yeah, you have something left over which is called the right, or more rightly be called as the barely left.


It may be inferred again that the present movement for women’s rights will certainly prevail from the history of its only opponent, Northern conservatism. This is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt bath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth, and has no idea of being guilty of the folly of martyrdom. It always, when about to enter a protest, very blandly informs the wild beast whose path it essays to stop, that its “bark is worse than its bite,” and that it only means to save its manners by enacting its decent role of resistance. The only practical purpose which it now subserves in American politics is to give enough exercise to Radicalism to keep it “in wind,” and to prevent its becoming pursy and lazy from having nothing to whip. No doubt, after a few years, when women’s suffrage shall have become an accomplished fact, conservatism will tacitly admit it into its creed, and thenceforward plume itself upon its wise firmness in opposing with similar weapons the extreme of baby suffrage; and when that too shall have been won, it will be heard declaring that the integrity of the American Constitution requires at least the refusal of suffrage to asses. There it will assume, with great dignity, its final position.

~~R. L. Dabney. “Women’s Rights Women”

Whiskey said...

My guess for the willful blindness is that it is driven by the religious devotions of White, middle and upper class women. See Trader Joes, Priuses, Whole Paycheck, Iphones, and much else that is troubling in Western life.

Women are more religious than men, and PC (aka Neo-Puritanism/post-Calvinism without God or Jesus save the Chocolate One) is a way to be blind for God. So to speak. It is a RELIGIOUS impulse. Like Sandra Bullock adopting a Black baby boy when hot guys no longer chase her (but tattooed freaks half her age).

Luke Lea said...

Whaddya mean American policy shouldn't play favorites between American citizens and foreigners?

snapperhead soup said...

I'm for relativism. My relatives come first.

Simon in London said...

Good piece. I think a lot of us have had this kind of journey; myself to the extent that I now often find mainstream conservative rhetoric revolting.

Alan Stewart said...

Personally, a Norwegian, a Swede and a Dane is diverse enough for me.

Anonymous said...

This is interesting. I've been getting the sense that a lot of paleocons must have been dopey "campus conservative" types in college, like the guys who held the pro-war demonstrations when I was an undergrad in the early 2000's. So even as they get older and smarter politically, and start realizing that, say, the Iraq War was stupid, and offshoring our entire economy probably isn't a smart idea, they still can't admit that the liberals were basically right about those things. So they have to insist that the left/right split is entirely about race, and that the conservatives are somehow putting up a fight on this point, rather than bickering about some of the superficial aspects of political correctness while defending the underlying principles.

Rob said...

Left, Right, liberal, conservative, reactionary, neocon, paleocon - all that really matters is that anyone involved in politics is working either for or against some particular ethnic interest, whether they know it or not.

Whites are unique in that they must work against their own interests - either actively or by default - if they are to be involved in any "respectable" political party or movement.

Anonymous said...

I'm for nihilism. I come first.

Anonymous said...

"On the other hand, the metaphor of blindness can be a useful tool in certain policy situations: "Justice is blind." " - In this case blindness isn't good, it is merely the least worst outcome.

fnn said...

I've been getting the sense that a lot of paleocons must have been dopey "campus conservative" types in college, like the guys who held the pro-war demonstrations when I was an undergrad in the early 2000's. So even as they get older and smarter politically, and start realizing that, say, the Iraq War was stupid, and offshoring our entire economy probably isn't a smart idea, they still can't admit that the liberals were basically right about those things

I guess nobody ever told you that Pat Buchanan and the paleocon movement were fighting those battles in the early 1990s. Buchanan and Fleming and most of the rest of the paleos were against even the FIRST Iraq War. Buchanan lobbied against NAFTA in 1993 and wrote his anti-free trade book(The Great Betrayal) in 1998.

fnn said...

The Straussian infection had a lot to do with the screwy perspective that MT was complaining about:
Understanding Nietzsche
(...)
But it may be a good idea not to confuse Nietzsche’s predominantly Catholic traditionalist critics with partisans of the neoconservative persuasion. To some extent their censures overlap, and it is not surprising that despite his stated contempt for supernatural religion, Bloom’s Closing of the American Mind has resonated well among religious traditionalists. Like Bloom, they have disliked the New Left and cacophonous, anti-patriotic popular culture, and so they have not objected when neoconservative critics look for devils among long-dead undemocratic Germans. But what Bloom and his imitators dislike about Nietzsche and his qualified admirer Heidegger is not their lack of moral traditionalism but their unmistakably anti-leftist perspective.

Bloom offers us this passage expressing his made-in-America patriotism: “And when we Americans speak seriously about politics, we mean that our principles of freedom and equality and the rights based on them are rational and everywhere applicable. World War II was really an educational experiment undertaken to force those who do not accept those principles to do so.” And when Bloom provides an example of the anti-Nietzschean creed that holds America together, we learn the following: “By recognizing and accepting man’s natural rights, men found a fundamental basis of unity and sameness. Class, race, religion, national origin or culture all disappear or become dim when bathed in the light of natural rights, which give men common interests and make them brothers. There was a tendency, if not a necessity, to homogenize nature itself.” Although Christian traditionalists have spurned Nietzsche, and not always wisely, they have not done so for the reasons that Bloom articulated.

(...)

Svigor said...

Some of them, the core values of the Classical West, arisen in what is now Europe. Some of them, the Christian or Judaeo-Christian or Judaeo-Christian-Islamic ones, arisen in the Middle East.

No, Christian values did not all or even mainly arise in the ME. Christianity started in the ME, and ended up in very different places both geographically and theologically.

Let me translate blah blah blah I won't follow my logic through to the proper end because I live in New York and want to fit in.

Girls whiskey and wealth none of those is a reactionary value. Compare to plant a tree have a son write a book, a true reactionary ethos, and you see what a tool this guy is.


"Decadent" was right on the box. Can't fault the guy on honesty.

"I drink and have sex because of the System!!! *sobs*"

Hahaha, nice.

All the Lefts are certainly not the same.

Of course not! There's White people's leftism (give) and there's non-White people's leftism (take). Jewish leftism is the latter. They're quite different at the core. This is why I say Jews, blacks, and browns aren't really leftists, because they all share this core difference.

There's the moderate left, then the left, the far left, the extreme left, the super-duper megadolon-jumping left, and oh yeah, you have something left over which is called the right, or more rightly be called as the barely left.

Haha, "barely left," nice turn of phrase.

Svigor said...

Oh, and Christianity BORROWED a ton of stuff from the Greeks and Persians.

Anonymous said...

I guess nobody ever told you that Pat Buchanan and the paleocon movement were fighting those battles in the early 1990s. Buchanan and Fleming and most of the rest of the paleos were against even the FIRST Iraq War. Buchanan lobbied against NAFTA in 1993 and wrote his anti-free trade book(The Great Betrayal) in 1998.

Right. Buchanan and the paleocons are basically liberals on economics and foreign policy, but they can't bring themselves to admit this - a point that your comment illustrates nicely.

fnn said...

Right. Buchanan and the paleocons are basically liberals on economics and foreign policy, but they can't bring themselves to admit this - a point that your comment illustrates nicely.

Are you calling Calvin Coolidge a liberal? Conservatives were generally anti-interventionist and protectionist until after WWII. See Justin Raimondo's book on the Old Right for the former and Buchanan's book on trade policy for the latter. Even Reagan was far from a doctrinaire free trader. Google "The Reagan Record On Trade:Rhetoric Vs. Reality"
by Sheldon L. Richman.

Rob said...

Of course not! There's White people's leftism (give) and there's non-White people's leftism (take). Jewish leftism is the latter. They're quite different at the core. This is why I say Jews, blacks, and browns aren't really leftists, because they all share this core difference.

Of course. That's why I think it's best to disregard the conventional political tags and classify people by ethnic allegiance. Much simpler.

ATBOTL said...

"This is interesting. I've been getting the sense that a lot of paleocons must have been dopey "campus conservative" types in college, like the guys who held the pro-war demonstrations when I was an undergrad in the early 2000's. So even as they get older and smarter politically, and start realizing that, say, the Iraq War was stupid, and offshoring our entire economy probably isn't a smart idea, they still can't admit that the liberals were basically right about those things. So they have to insist that the left/right split is entirely about race, and that the conservatives are somehow putting up a fight on this point, rather than bickering about some of the superficial aspects of political correctness while defending the underlying principles."

I'm my experience, those are two totally different types of people. Anyone who was young and stupid enough to protest in favor of the Iraq war in 2003 is probably not a paleoconservative.

Anonymous said...

Which three women would you rather be stuck in an elevator with: A Stalinist, a neoconservative and a feminist

Is the joke that all three are the same person? (and if so, she probably writes for NR)

NOTA said...

Severn:

I think a lot of what yu are describing is the effect of having two parties, which is more or less a result of how we count votes. Since there are only two parties with any chance at power, as the society shifts on some issue, both parties shift with it. On economics, both parties shifted right on deregulation and tax policy. (Nobody anywhere close to power wants to revive the CAB or reimpose 95% rates on the thop tax bracket.) After 9/11, both parties shifted right on war and executive power and civil liberties. With the civil rights movement and great society stuff from Johnson, both parties shifted left on civil rights for blacks (extending to bipartisan support for AA at the top), social welfare programs, and more recently both parties are shifting left on gay marriage.

This comes down to how we count votes. Because seats in congress are won individually in districts, we get two parties that move to the center all the time to try to capture votes--even if the libertarians get 5% of the votes and the greens get another 5%, they get zero seats in congress. This pretty much selects for big political parties that aren't all that ideological, but care a lot about winning elections.

In a lot of countries, seats in parliament are awarded based n proportions of votes--if the greens get 5% of the votes, they get 5% of the seats. This has plusses and minuses (you can get these unstable coalition governments where some tiny party has a lot of power because they can bring down the government)--one plus is thst parties tend to be more ideological and less focused on just winning the next election at all costs,I think.