Monday, October 17, 2016

The Muddle of Liberal Thinking

What if the Trump Locker-room-gate ends up a damp squib? What if, instead, the voters really don't like Hillary Clinton exposing all our national secrets to the Russians and the Chinese not because they care about national security, but just because they know that they would go to jail if they tried that stuff?

So what about these two Chinese-American women, one who took a lot of abuse as a political prisoner in China and one who has taken a lot of abuse for her conservative views in America? Jeremy Carl:
These women aren’t just Americans, they’re super-patriots — and as you’ll soon see, neither is a fan of political correctness.
Imagine: two women from the culture of Confucius voting for the vulgar Tr\ump!

Conservatives have blathered a lot about political correctness over the years. And I am not sure exactly what good it has done, because the liberals are still here humiliating people with the wrong views, and ruthlessly dividing the country.

And did you know that, over at La Wik, they have deleted their entry on "Cultural Marxism." You can see why in their article on the Frankfurt School. The term Cultural Marxism is an artefact of conspiracy theorizing, don'tcha know. Only, dear liberal friends, the term is appropriate because the Frankfurt School is a change from the economic Marxism of Marx to a cultural Marxism of cultural identity where the helpless victims are no longer marginalized economically, but culturally.

So the term Cultural Marxism is perfectly appropriate.

The problem with cultural Marxism and political correctness and Alinsky tactics is that it is the tactics of war. And the point of social animals like humans is to minimize the occasion for war.

Let's go back to the original Marxism which posited that there was a basic divide between the employers and the workers of the Industrial Revolution. Really? The factories were taking starving people kicked off the land by the agricultural revolution and putting them to work making cheap cotton textiles for other poor people. The employers were organizing the process and the workers were making the textiles that were designed to be bought by people like them. I don't see the fundamental conflict of interest between the employer class and the working class.

Now the original Marxism saw a fundamental exploitative relation between employers and employees. Which meant that class war was the inevitable result.

The new Marxism, inspired by the Frankfurt School that we will call cultural Marxism, saw a fundamental exploitative situation between black and white, between men and women, between gays and straights. So the only solution was culture war.

But humans are social animals. We cannot afford to be at war all the time because war drains society of all its resources in a climactic battle with the other. In fact, in War before Civilization the point is made that primitive tribes could not afford to be having full-scale battles, because it would kill off the men and that would mean that the women and children would have to join another tribe -- no doubt as slaves or concubines like the princess Briseis in The Iliad.

So the idea of all politics all the time is a culture of collapse, because people cannot be at war all the time. They must, most of the time, be doing their daily business of working and earning and wiving and thriving. Because that is how you stay alive and bear children and pass the baton from one generation to the next.

Actually we know what happens with all politics all the time. And it is not a pretty sight. The Soviet Union. Maoist China. Castro Brothers Cuba. Venezuela. Obamacare.

Look, I get it. I get that, in the turmoil of the industrial revolution, some sons of the bourgeoisie imagined something higher and better than the desperate struggle of the working class to scratch out a living. Only their vision did not work, and that is why the Frankfurt School chappies had to come up with another brilliant idea to keep the Marxist flame burning bright.

The only trouble is that the battle of the races and the battle of the genders is just as sterile and destructive as the battle of the classes. We cannot be always fighting. As Voltaire's Candide said: I must go and work in the garden.

To me, the fascinating thing is that the market economy is an astonishing solution to the age-old problem of domination. In the old days you had to subordinate yourself to a powerful lord to survive. But now all you have to do is subordinate yourself to the verdict of the market. Because if you can find yourself something useful to do you will find that the market will pay you for it. Oh, for sure, if you are black, you may have to work for less for a while to prove your worth to a skeptical, racist employer. If you are a woman you may work for less than a man prepared to work 60 hour weeks. But you still get to participate. And the employer willing to risk employing marginalized groups may end up making a killing, because his costs may end up lower. Imagine that!

And all this works itself out in the market without the expensive necessity of well-born activists bullying their way around and humiliating people that dare to object to their ideological hegemony and their cheap idea of enforcing Peace and Justice or else.

So here is the profound weakness of the progressive agenda. It is that we cannot always be fighting, not on the battlefield of armies, and not on the battlefield of ideas. Eventually, the war stops because everyone is exhausted. And then the only thing left to do is to go out and work in the garden.

At some point every religious, cultural, political, economic system must have a notion about how ordinary life goes on, without the clunking fist of power and domination. Because power and domination are all about destruction, not about construction. The longer you keep at war, the more you reduce the human landscape to rubble, so that at the last your power plays do nothing more than make the rubble bounce.

And that is something that our liberal friends are going to have to learn the hard way.

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