Friday, February 5, 2016

Jonathan Haidt is a Good Guy. But...

Back in 2012 when I read Jonathan Haidt's The Righteous Mind I gave it full marks. But I pointed out a basic flaw in his argument.
We humans, he argues, are wired to make instinctive moral judgments, and he has identified a moral matrix with 6 different axes, including Care/harm, Liberty/oppression, Fairness/cheating, Loyalty/betrayal, Authority/subversion, and Sanctity/degradation, that differentiates out our moral instincts...  Conservatives score about equally on each of the six axes, implying that conservatives value each of these moral axes as of equal importance.

But liberals don't. They rate Care/harm of overwhelming importance, Liberty/oppression pretty highly, Fairness/cheating moderately, and Loyalty/betrayal, Authority/subversion, and Sanctity/degradation hardly at all.
But, I protested, this is baloney. Liberals do too believe in all six axes. What is environmentalism about if not the sanctity of the planet and the avoidance of environmental degradation? Liberals may not believe in the authority of fathers and CEOs but they deeply believe in the authority of liberals and liberalism, and you will be made to care. Liberals believe in loyalty, otherwise how could those liberal professors all select their own kind for tenure, forsaking all others.

If a dull dog like me could see that immediately, why couldn't Jonathan Haidt, and why couldn't the educated evolved liberals that reported disinterest in loyalty, authority, and sanctity? We know why. It is because liberals think of loyalty, authority, and sanctity as nationalist, religious values, and they know that liberals don't believe in that stuff because they are educated and evolved.

In reality, liberals are in denial. The six moral axes probably apply equally to everyone. The point is that everyone has a religion -- in the broad sense of faith in a narrative about the world and what it all means and what we should do about it -- even the people that insist that they don't. And because liberals are in denial they are putting themselves and us at risk.

Jonathan Haidt now has a conversation with conservative John Leo online that has something important to add to all this. It extends the encounter that Haidt experienced with SJWs at an elite private high school. And it dovetails with my "Three Peoples" theory. The key section is about the moral urgency of social justice in the academy. Jonathan Haidt:
They’re so devoted to social justice, and they have accepted the rule that you can never, ever blame victims, so if a group of victims makes demands, you cannot argue back. You must accept the demands.
And the official victim class now includes seven groups:
You know, the big three are African-Americans, women and LGBT. That’s where most of the action is. Then there are three other groups: Latinos, Native Americans… [LGBT]

But now we have a seventh–Muslims. Something like 70 or 75 percent of America is now in a protected group.  
This really fits into my "Three Peoples" theory, because it tells us a lot about the religion of the People of the Creative Self.

The religion of the People of the Subordinate Self is the Propitiation of the Gods and their mortal representatives on earth, the feudal lords and powerful politicians. The religion of the People of the Responsible Self extends from Hinduism to Judaism to Christianity. It is about living a responsible life and making the most of God's understandable universe.

But the religion of the People of the Creative Self is a horse of a different color. And we can see one of its characteristics in the modern university. The idea is to wage holy war on behalf of the innocent victim groups that have been exploited and oppressed and marginalized through no fault of their own since the dawn of time, or at least since the rise of the West in 1500. That fight is the road to virtue and salvation. Anything less is a damning sin.

Of course, it's a wonderful thing to advocate for those less fortunate or less privileged that yourself. But it becomes a problem when you harness it as your religion to the vehicle of state. Because politics is violence, and government is force. You end up forcing everyone to sit in the pews of your established Church of Social Justice and force them to tithe. There is a word for religion combined with politics. In former times we called it theocracy. But in the 20th century it took on a new form and we called it totalitarianism.

The fact that the social justice warriors in the academy don't get this demonstrates their stunning ignorance or something worse. First, they don't seem to understand that they do too have a religion, and a very enthusiastic secular religion at that. And they also don't seem to have grasped the basic lesson of the 20th century, that you don't combine economic power, political power and moral/cultural power in one and then hand them over to the state, not unless you have a sick attraction for heaps of dead bodies.

By the way, Jonathan Haidt, who once was a Democrat, now considers himself non-partisan. The only thing that would make him vote Democrat would be if the Republicans nominated Trump or Cruz. Which goes to show that Haidt doesn't get it, despite his book and his research and his encounter with the SJWs at "Centerville High." Trump and Cruz represent the two groups that liberals say are beyond the pale: white working class and Christian evangelicals. Haidt is saying that if those two groups, that in my opinion have been egregious oppressed by liberals over the last half century, elect one of their own, he is outta here. We can't have those bitter clingers actually having some influence on public policy.

Well, Jonathan Haidt, back in 2008 I, a severe conservative, voted for Barack Obama. Not because I thought he would do America a lick of good, but because the Democrats and the liberals and the victim classes are after all American they have a right to have their turn on the bridge of state after eight years of George W. Bush. The alternative is civil war. If you don't see that the folks directly oppressed by the liberal establishment deserve their turn at the wheel, led by people who are, after all, perfectly conventional establishment figures, one a crony capitalist and the other a star scholarship boy, then you really need to go back and read your book again.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

When Will the SJWs Catch Up With "Turandot?"

Lady Marjorie and I went to the movie theater last night to see the Metropolitan Opera HD encore of Puccini's Turandot. A grand time was had by all, except that the tenor, Marco Berti, playing Calaf, the unknown prince, was very mediocre.

This Turandot is a 1987 monumental production of Franco Zeffirelli, so it is showing its age. But I started to think about how much longer the SJWs will leave the "orientalism" of Puccini in peace. We are talking about the immensely successful Orientalism of Edward Said. Just in case you hadn't heard of this lefty trope,
[Orientalism is] a patronizing Western attitude towards Middle Eastern, Asian and North African societies. In Said's analysis, the West essentializes these societies as static and undeveloped—thereby fabricating a view of Oriental culture that can be studied, depicted, and reproduced. 
Well, Turandot certainly does that in spades. The story is about an unknown prince, Calaf, that shows up in Beijing and learns that anyone may marry the emperor's daughter, Turandot, if he can answer three riddles. But if he fails to answer, he gets beheaded. Of course Calaf is really a stand-in for rootin' tootin' westerners that can run rings around those inscrutable and insanely cruel Asiatics. On top of that there are three officials, Ping, Pang, and Pong, that interact with Calaf and shamelessly burlesque the tradition of Mandarin bureaucracy.

The opera is really about Liu, a slave girl upon whom Calaf once "smiled" and who holds a hopeless but pure love for the lunk that takes one look at Turandot and then wants to possess her. Of course she eventually kills herself rather than divulge Calaf's name to the cruel Orientals, thereby demonstrating to the barbaric Orientals the superiority of western romantic love over their crude dynastic blood rites.

But where are the SJWs? Where are the denunciations of this crude "cultural appropriation?" Where are the namers and the shamers? Where are the safe spaces for those microaggressed by the naked orientalism and the cultural colonialism of Zeffirelli's production which is chock-a-block with western stereotypes about the inscrutable Orient?

And why stop with Turandot? There's Madama Butterfly about an underage Japanese girl sacrificed by her grasping family to be the concubine of a visiting US Navy lieutenant. What about Verdi's Aida, which makes a mockery of Egypt and Ethiopia? Maybe we could make an exception for Aida because the transcendent black soprano Leontyne Price made it into her calling card. But what about Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio which makes fun of the Barbary pirates and the whole wonderful North African Muslim harem culture. And don't get me started on Wagner's Ring cycle which makes a dog's breakfast of the ancient Nibelungenlied myths by overlaying the purity of the bourgeois woman's love on top of the usual crude politics in heaven of the pre-Christian gods.

So why haven't our lefty friends started in on opera? Is it because they don't give a damn about opera? Is it because the opera establishment is liberal and gay, so there would be no racist, sexist, homophobe conservatives to kick around? Is it just that opera wouldn't make a good soft target for the SJWs because you are immediately dealing with big liberal money?

I don't know. I'm just glad that they haven't come for opera yet. So, for now, we can all bawl our eyes out as Liu declares her undying love for a dumb Italian tenor before plunging in the knife and ending her innocent life until next time.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Actual Reportage on Cruz the Man

Journalist Erica Grieder first met a certain ambitious young lawyer in 2009, and recalls the conversation.
The lawyer and I quickly fell into a lively exchange about the ongoing contrast between the Texas Miracle and the Great Recession, with reference to Dallas Fed data and the political philosopher John Rawls. I was impressed enough to make note of his name: Ted Cruz.
I know. What's not to like? So now Grieder has written a "Field Guide to Ted Cruz¨ in the Texas Monthly. It's one of those by the numbers pieces: "Ten tips to figuring out the 'Wacko Bird.'"

"Ted Cruz is not a fire-breathing extremist." But since he's "running for the Republican nomination, the perception that he is a ferocious hard-liner serves his interests, and he’s not likely to dispute it."

Nor is Cruz an unstable maniac. "He was impeccably polite and well-mannered with me, and in all the interactions I observed."

"He has nerves of steel." Nobody thought Ted could win the Senate seat against David Dewhurst in 2012. And "His presidential campaign itself has been an ongoing exercise in taking risks that would make many of his peers feel faint."

"Ted Cruz is smarter than you", meaning that when he does something crazy, it may be because he is smart. But like many smart people, he may be too smart for his own good.

Cruz is deadly serious about strategy. As in announcing his presidential bid at Liberty University. And he is very careful about words; so if you are a journalist it is probably better to read what he wrote than ask him a question.

"Cruz is a mainstream conservative from the Texas Republican establishment." Imagine!

"Cruz is really into the Constitution." In fact he memorized it while in high school with the Free Enterprise Institute, and he has studied the Federalist Papers. I'm only half way through the Federalist Papers but I can tell you that, more than an apology for the Constitution, it is an incredibly sophisticated analysis of political power.

"Cruz is in it to win." He is not running for vice-president or a gig on FoxNews.
Cruz is running for president because he wants to be president, and because, having surveyed the 2016 political landscape with his dauntingly intelligent and highly strategic mind, he concluded that he can win.
I don't know about you, but I found "The Field Guide to Ted Cruz" very helpful. Thank you, Erica Grieder, for committing journalism. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Mists Begin to Clear

First of all, Ted Cruz won a famous victory yesterday in the first-in-the-nation-Iowa-caucuses. Secondly, he had to work very hard to pull off a four point victory over billionaire Donald Trump who, it is reported, had all of 12 paid staffers in Iowa. It ain't over till it's over.

There's a long thumbsucker at National Review about how the Cruz people did it, complete with Cruz-staffer interviews. So now it's on to Richmond, and New Hampshire and South Carolina and the SEC primary.

I was intrigued that Ted Cruz gave an interminable victory speech after his win, a speech so long that the cable news networks cut away in the middle. Was Ted just rambling? I doubt it. I think that the Cruz people decided that the free media on victory night should be milked to the last drop. Because in that speech Ted Cruz got beyond thanking God and the people of Iowa and the individual campaign staffers and set forth a vision for what a Cruz presidency would mean to Americans, what the first President George Bush called "the vision thing." It's hard to get media time to do that, beyond the usual sound bites and manufactured controversies. So you need to grab that opportunity any chance you get.

It was cool to see Hillary and Bernie fight to a draw. It's another result of President Obama's second-string leadership of the Democratic Party. He could have chosen a Vice-President who would have been in his mid-fifties by now, someone to carry Hope and Change into mid-century. But he didn't. He chose Joe Biden who is now in his 70s. Speaking as a guy who will be 70 this year, 70 is too old to run for president, and I don't know how President Reagan did it.

But what really burns me about Bernie Sanders is the kids. Don't they know that socialism is the biggest bust in human history?

Er, no, they don't. And really, what would you expect? They have gone to government schools, taught by government teachers. Then they went to college at government universities, taught by tenured government teachers. What do you expect? That the government teachers would tell their students that that big government was a busted flush and capitalism was a new and revolutionary social revolution that had transformed the world and increased per-capita income by 3,000 percent in 200 years? By the way, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.

What's next? Based on the murmurs I'm reading, I'd say that we'll be seeing a lot of negative ads featuring little people that were sued by big bully billionaire Donald Trump.

Monday, February 1, 2016

I'm for Cruz, But...

The last ten years have been agonizing for conservatives, what with the Fall of Bush and the astonishing rise of Obama. And in the special moment the Democrats got from 2009 to 2010 they punched through a bunch of legislation that will make the administrative state bigger forever.

The science is settled on the administrative state. It doesn't work, can't work, because a nest of bureaucrats in Washington DC cannot outperform the market. It's a bandwidth problem. You just cannot get enough decisions out of the bureaucrats, but you can out of the millions of consumers and thousands of producers. So it stumbles along, from one embarrassment to another. But we the people still want our free stuff.

That is why Obamacare has been such an unholy mess, why it started out as a 2,500 page bill, and why the Obama administration has to violate the letter of the law with a river of illegal regulations to keep it alive. The administrative state is a disaster. And unjust to boot.

And on top of it all, the GOP establishment seems to go along to get along with the Obama administration, seemingly avoiding confrontation at all costs.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is the candidate for all of us utterly frustrated with the lawlessness of the Obama administration and the apparent spinelessness of the GOP establishment. He's the guy running on the Constitution.

And yet.

Why does everybody hate him? Is it because he goes back on his word? Is it because he hasn't bowed the knee to his betters? Is it because he is very smart and isn't afraid to show it? Is it because he has Asperger's, and just doesn't know how to connect with people? Apparently George W. Bush doesn't like him; neither does Karl Rove.

"Nobody likes Ted" is a big issue because one of the prime qualifications for winning the presidency is "likeability." The most likeable candidate wins. He's the one you figure you could talk to in a bar, or with whom you could "share" in your kaffee klatsch.

It's obvious that Cruz projects the necessary outrage required of a Time for a Change candidate. But what about the Hope and Change side of him?

Today in Iowa is the first day in the 2016 election process where the ordinary voters get to vote. If I were going to a caucus in Iowa, I'd be going as a Cruz supporter. But I'd be pretty happy with Marco Rubio.

And while I don't like Donald Trump, for a host of reasons beginning with the fact that he really doesn't seem to have a real agenda, but just atmospherics, I can't help approve of the fact that he seems to be bringing another lost tribe into the Republican encampment. This has been the story of the Republican Party since World War II. Starting with Ronald Reagan, group after group discovered that they didn't leave the Democratic Party, the Party left them. And no group has been more dissed than the white working class; it fell out of favor with Democrats starting with the 1968 election. That it has taken the white working class nearly 50 years to realize that Daddy doesn't love them any more is beside the point.

Well, let the voting begin. I suspect that 2016 is going to be a political year that will ring down the years like 1968.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Cruel Fate of the Ruling Class's "Little Darlings"

Back in the 1840s, in the white-hot frenzy when the industrial revolution spread from Britain to continental Europe, the young son of a well-to-do lawyer had a brilliant idea. The industrial revolution was just like the feudal era, he realized! Back in the feudal era the rich feudal lords exploited and oppressed their feudal serfs; now the rich capitalists were oppressing their proletarian factory workers. Plus ça change!

Karl Marx didn't just propose a political explanation of the social turmoil of the 1840s; he put the classical economists to work to show that the economic exploitation and immiseration of the workers had the inevitability of a law of political economy. Revolution was the only solution.

Back in the 16th century, Marx opined, there was nobody to help the peasants when they were "hurled" onto the labor market by their uncaring lords. But this time would be different. This time a vanguard of the proletariat, a cadre of educated youth, would lead the workers to revolution and smash the neo-feudal oppression of the bourgeois capitalists.

Everyone glommed onto this brilliant idea, and bid for the support of the suffering workers, and so, despite the idea that the new industrial era would be dominated by the bourgeoisie, it turned out that it was the educated sons of the bourgeoisie that fought for and won the crown of political power in the new age. The leaders of the new educated ruling class enlisted the working class in their political army and marched all across Europe and the United States to political victory. They loooved the working class and lavished it with political presents, from social insurance legislation that taxed labor to yield pensions and health care, to the licensing of monopoly rights for labor unions. Life was good for the little darlings of the educated elite.

Despite the idea that the world was born anew, this was merely politics as usual. Every ruling class occupies territory by armed force and taxes the inhabitants thereof for the right to go about their business of working and living, and the rulers pay their supporters out of the taxes they extort from the ruled. This is true for every government from a small guerrilla band in the mountains, to a criminal gang in the city, to the feudal king and his barons, to the feudal baron and his retainers.

But in the end, the world changes, and either the rulers or the supporters get tired of their crooked deal, and cast off their former buddies. In the United States, the ruling liberal elite got tired of their little darlings, the blue-collar workers, and started to bid for the support of African Americans, high-born feminist women, immigrants, gays, and, eventually, Muslims. Television producer Norman Lear did his part with a TV show, All in the Family, that wanted us to believe that its hero, warehouseman Archie Bunker, was the living embodiment of all the sins of the world: racism, sexism, and homophobia. You might wonder how an ordinary working class schmuck could be so guilty of the sins of the racist, sexist, homophobic patriarchy; I could not possibly comment.

Of course, this is nothing remarkable. The political elite always betrays its followers, just as the generals eventually leave their soldiers to die by the side of the road. Napoleon left his army to starve on the retreat from Moscow. The Brits sent a whole generation to die on Flanders fields. The New Dealers set their blue-collar supporters up for a fall by encouraging the auto-workers and steelworkers to price themselves out of a job with unaffordable wages and pensions.

The moral is clear. Don't believe the recruiting sergeant! Don't go for a soldier; don't believe the blandishments of the politician. Don't believe the flatteries of the sugar daddy. Once you become the little darling of some rich patron you are setting yourself up for disappointment, or death, or a fate worse than death.

And so it is that the white working class, once the little darling of our liberal ruling class, is now mired in drug dependency and suicide, and in 2016 is rallying to the banner of a crony capitalist that promises to Make America Great Again.

And what about the next candidates for abandonment?

What about African Americans, who liberals loooved so much they gave them the nation´s First Black President. Except that now African Americans are enraged because nothing has changed. What happened to the liberals' little darlings?

What about women, taught to divorce and to have sex like men, and to empty their wombs, and to value career over family? How did that work out? What happened to the liberals' little darlings?

Don't become a little darling. Don't sell your birthright for a mess of pottage. Don't attach your life to a militant movement. Don't think that a powerful patron will solve your problems. Because no powerful person cares about you; he only cares about what you can do for him.

Here's the cautionary tale that I like to tell. It's the story of the end of the feudal era. Marx, writing about the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th century in Britain:
A mass of free proletarians was hurled on the labour market by the breaking-up of the bands of feudal retainers, who, as Sir James Steuart well says, “everywhere uselessly filled house and castle.”
Yes, but why were the feudal retainers so useless? I will tell you. It was because the Tudors were disarming the nobles and destroying their castles. They were concentrating power in the monarchy by forcing the nobles to disband their feudal armies and they were replacing it a national army with taxes and credit. The result was that the nobles didn't need their useless feudal retainers to fight in their private armies, so they dumped them, and started to make their estates into agricultural money-makers with "improvements" and less labor. Now they would compete with riches and houses in London, instead of on the battlefields of the Wars of the Roses. So if you were a feudal retainer, snuggling up to some great lord, you were suddenly out of luck and out in the cold.  And the Elizabethan Poor Law didn't really help much. In fact, the proletarians were in for a couple of pretty cold centuries, until the jobs, jobs, jobs, of the industrial revolution showed up.

The moral is clear. Don't become a little darling of the ruling class. Go out in the world. Learn a skill; serve your fellow humans with products and services. Be responsible, be prudent. Don't disappear into some big corporate or government sinecure, for you never know when the bosses will kick you out and "hurl" you on the labor market.

The market is, of course, a stern task master. That's why we have families and churches and associations and charities to soften its hard edges. Life is hard, and in the end we all die, survived by our children.

But the fate of the "little darling" is worse. It is oblivion.

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Dance of the "Three Peoples"

When Karl Marx described the world in the 1840s he explained it all as a fight between the bourgeoisie and the proletarians. Just as the old feudal lords preyed on their serfs and peasants, so the bourgeoisie exploited the helpless proletarians.

But all was not lost. Into this binary fight to the death came riding Marx and his merry band of Educated Youth. They would teach the bourgeoisie a lesson and, through the fierce crucible of revolution, inaugurate a thousand-year community of liberation and emancipation.

As was common in the mechanical Newtonian age, God, or Marx's revolutionary cadre, directs traffic from outside the universe. Marx's revolutionaries are not represented as well-born youths, yearning for relevance -- not to mention power -- in the social and economic and political swirl of the industrial revolution. They descend like Homeric gods to direct the destinies of the mere mortals on the plains of Troy. But in our modern 21st century we have moved on from the Newtonian action at a distance through the 20th century revolution in physics to the notion of quantum entanglement, in that everything is influenced by everything else.

So, as thoroughly modern, I have a better idea. Let us rename the proletarians of Marx's melodrama as the eternal People of the Subordinate Self. Most humans, most of the time since the dawn, have been go-along-to-get-along people, the nomadic troop under the dominant male, the villagers under the thumb of the big man, the serfs of the feudal lord, the factory workers of the corporate behemoth, the ward heelers of the precinct captain. These subordinate folk do not consider themselves as independent actors. They attach themselves to a powerful patron in return for scraps from the lordly table. They complain and they grumble, but they don't do anything about it; they already sold their birthright for a mess of pottage.

Let us rename the beastly bourgeoisie as the dull and boring People of the Responsible Self. These people began to emerge on the human scene during the so-called Axial Age between two and three thousand years ago when all the modern religions got their start. All of a sudden people started to think that they could understand the world and had a responsibility to do something about it. Before the Axial Age you have the world of Homer in the Iliad. Everything on the plains of Troy is decided by the gods up on Mt. Olympus, who back now the Achaeans, now the Trojans, as the mood takes them. But in the Axial Age you start to get a Hinduism that teaches there are consequences to earthly behavior in subsequent reincarnations. In Christianity, the good go to Heaven and the evil to Hell, and it's up to us to live our lives as a testament to the glory of God. As Robert Bellah writes, the new religions "promise man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it." I maintain that these new religions are crucially city religions that meet the needs of city people. City people cannot rest in rural idiocy doing the same thing every year; they must figure out every day how to adjust their skills to serve the market. There is no feudal lord to take care of them; they must individually shoulder the responsibility of finding their place in the city scramble and holding onto it. In my view the great story of the last half millennium is the astonished transformation of millions of humans from experiencing themselves as subordinate peasants into responsible individuals. Finke and Stark in The Churching of America 1776-1990 report on the findings of the preachers of the Great Awakening in the 1740s.
“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.” 
That is what happens when a person of the subordinate self becomes a person of the responsible self. He awakes from the sleep of ages. If you want to get a taste of what such a person is like, the go-to place is George Eliot's Adam Bede, set in the Methodist England of 1800. Of course the real star of the show is the lay Methodist preacher Dinah Morris.

But where do Marx and the Educated Youth of the 19th century fit into all this? Where does today's NPR liberal fit in? I will tell you. The Marxes and the liberals are the new breed, the People of the Creative Self. Ask yourself: what in the world are the dutiful sons and daughters of the bourgeoisie to do with themselves? Are they to follow their fathers and carry on in the family business, like Friedrich Engels? Are they to get a job or start a career and become a stolid banker like George Banks in Mary Poppins? Heavens no! Our modern son of the middle class wants to live a creative life, as a writer, an artist, a videographer, an activist, a revolutionary. His sister wants to work in global health for a non-profit.

But there is a problem. Anyone can be a subordinate peasant. Many people can become responsible individuals. But very few people have the chops to become a genuinely creative person. It is a sobering fact that, in the quest for creativity, many are called by few are chosen. It was the genius of Marx to intuit the solution to this problem. The dull sons of the bourgeoisie that weren't likely to be chosen for creative immortality could form a creative class of not-very-creatives and rule the world by forming a political alliance with the People of the Subordinate Self in a global war against the People of the Responsible Self. That is what Marx proposed in his proletarian revolution against the oppression of the bourgeoisie. Yay!

We see that this model explains delightfully today's politics in the United States. Well-born liberals, committed to a creative life, tell the workers, the African Americans, the well-born but downtrodden daughters of the middle class that they are cruelly exploited and oppressed by the bigots and racists and sexists of the white male patriarchy. Follow us, the liberals cry, and we will give you Peace and Justice, not to mention reduce inequality.

On this view we can describe the politics and the culture of the United States as the battle between two forces. Over here is an over-under coalition between the People of the Creative Self and the People of the Subordinate Self, institutionalized in the Democratic Party, the education bureaucracy and the media hive. Over there are the People of the Responsible Self, the white middle class with families, jobs, mortgages, and 401ks, supposedly institutionalized in the Republican Party, the big corporations and the country club. You can see that in the presidential politics of 2016 the Republican Party is in fact split. On the one hand you have  billionaire Donald Trump representing the blue-collar white working class, who are really People of the Subordinate Self, while Ted Cruz represents the Republican base of People of the Responsible Self.

Does this reductive theory three-part theory make any sense? Well, think about this. Sigmund Freud, once beloved by our liberal friends, divided consciousness into three parts: the Id, the Super-ego, and the Ego. (By the way, in the original German, these are das Es, das Über-ich, and das Ich. the word "ich" means "I" as in "Ich bin ein Berliner"). Do you not think that Freud's instinctive Id stands for the consciousness of my People of the Subordinate Self, his Super-ego for the consciousness of the People of the Responsible Self, and his Ego for the consciousness of the People of the Creative Self? Anyway, I like to say that Michelangelo's great sculpture the David that stands enthroned in the Accademia is The Birth of the Ego. The David is not about David; it is about the glorification of the creative artist, Michelangelo.

When you divide the world into three parts, like Gaul, it changes things. It certainly has for me. In particular, it provokes me to think about the various Peoples of the Subordinate Self that have been taken under the wing of the ruling class of the day, subordinate workers and peasants who have become the "little darlings" of the rulers. But that is another story.