Friday, September 4, 2015

Social Justice? Because Politicians Gotta Divide

Isn't it interesting, writes Instapundit Glenn Reynolds, that in the administration of divider-in-chief Barack Obama and in the year of #BlackLivesMatter we have ordinary people coming together with love and forgiveness?

Reynolds cites the multiracial 15,000 that showed up in the streets after the Charleston shooting. He cites the multiracial 20,000 that showed up at Glenn Beck's "All Lives Matter" rally in Birmingham, Alabama. And the 1,000 that showed up at an "impromptu memorial for murdered Sheriff’s Deputy Darren Goforth" in Houston, Texas.

Writes Reynolds:
The American people have a strong spirit of egalitarianism and kindness, one that shows over and over again. But our political class sees more gain in promoting hatred and division.
Well, yes. That's because politics is all about division. There's nothing good or bad about that. It's just the way it goes. When you have an election, or any political issue, the whole point is to have the good guys that want change on this side and the bad guys who want to return to the evils of the past on that side. Or vice versa. You think you can trust those bad guys? I gotta bridge to sell you.

Now I think that the Big Thing about the modern era is that it has radically extended the frontiers of trust. Used to be that you would only trust your kin, or your village, or your tribe, knowing rightly that everyone else could descend on your kin, or village, or tribe without a moment's warning.

But now that has changed. Now, under modern capitalism, the way to thrive is to trust anyone that demonstrates trustworthiness. And the modern information age has extended this principle about as far as it can go by having everyone report on the other guy's trustworthiness in ratings on Ebay and Uber.

This New Trust would have sounded the death knell of divisive politics except for one thing.

Left-wing reactionary geniuses determined to tell the industrial working class that they were famously exploited just as the lower class was emerging from 4,000 years of brutal oppression from the beginning to the end of the agricultural age.

And the working class listened! Bit of a shame really, because wherever left-wing economic policies have been implemented the people have perished.

After a while the working class realized that it was dong OK really, so it didn't need to come out in the streets to protest at the behest of left-wing revolutionaries. So left-wing reactionary geniuses came up with another idea. Just as blacks were coming out of centuries of slavery and oppression the geniuses told them they were famously oppressed. And the blacks believed them. Just as women were being liberated from involuntary childbirth by modern contraception the geniuses told them they had been historically oppressed by the patriarchy. And women believed them. Just as gays... Well the gay thing is such absolute baloney. Self-conscious homosexuality is a modern elite thing, an argument within the elite. It is just a liberal conceit.

On my reading, social justice politics is a last, desperate attempt to maintain the primacy of politics in an age that really doesn't need it. We don't really need to be armed against our fellow men: only against those that haven't accepted the capitalist ethos that you trust everyone that can be trusted. It will fail because it is a lie.

According to Marx,
Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.
I wonder if #BlackLivesMatter is going to be the farce that makes a stupid joke out of social justice. The point is that African Americans are divided on the question. Some are enraged at the po-lice, but others are enraged at violent young men. And I wonder if President Obama's "legacy" will be to discredit social-justice Alinksy tactics as brutally divisive and un-American, something that every American just wants to forget and put behind them.

You see, I think that the average politician knows that it's all very well to divide the electorate during the campaign, but that after the campaign you want to bind up the wounds and get everyone on the same page again. Problem is that the Democrats of the last few years have bought into the full Alinsky and the permanent campaign, perhaps in confirmation of the Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. I think that the average American doesn't really buy into the Alinsky game. I think that the average American gets tired of endless political war just as the average person tires of a shooting war. Indeed, politicians know that the biggest problem in fighting a shooting war is keeping the morale of the troops up in the field and the support of ordinary people back home. War-weariness is the great enemy of the warmonger.

But if politicians can't divide us over class, and race, and gender, what will they divide us over next? Good point. But, like Scarlett O'Hara, I'll think about that tomorrow.

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