Tuesday, May 2, 2017

On Political Lies and the Necessary Enemy

Notice the big thing about the current Cold Civil War in America? Each side accuses the other of lying.

Any liberal screed about Donald Trump will say that he lies. Of course he does. He is telling the white working class what it wants to hear. And any conservative worth his salt will say that liberals have been lying about everything since the dawn of time, or at least the New Deal.

But I would like to say to both sides: what planet are you on? All politics is about lying, at all levels. Politicians running for office lie, because the voters will not put up with the truth. Politicians in office lie because the people will not allow that all government is a controlled crash, and that failure and scandal go with government as bread goes with butter.

Of course, sometimes the lie problem gets bigger than normal. That's when the lies from your own side start to prick your ideological bubble. I'd say that this is a bigger problem for liberals, because liberals are protected from reality by the ruling class's ideological hegemony enfored through the mainstream media, education, and entertainment.

That's why liberals are beside themselves after the Trump win in November; they were utterly unprepared for the normal process where the White House changes party after two terms with the same guy.

So here is a piece by a liberal about liberal melancholy (from Freud, of course):
The real purpose of the Trump-Russia scandal is indeed to “save the world,” but not in the sense liberals think. For it allows liberals to sustain the illusion that their worldview still corresponds to reality, to avoid confronting the disquieting truth that the world as they knew it no longer exists, and that Trump himself is the bloviating, pumpkin-hued harbinger of its death.
But amusingly, the reality that he finds punctured is the "age of Third-Way liberalism, of technocratically managed economic growth through the promotion of interconnected markets, the free flow of financial capital, and deepening international trade," and this has created "a rising tide of people are returning to the moral and economic vision of the socialist tradition."

See, as a racist sexist homophobe I would have said that the writer J.M. Bernays misses the point. The problem is that on the one hand liberals have been fooling themselves that they are all in favor of international trade, which they are not. On the other hand liberals have been running the top-down administrative state that buys votes with government programs and screws up the economy and makes promises of free stuff to people that cannot be kept.  I would say that liberals have been lying to themselves for decades and that finally, now that they are running out of money to bribe the voters, they are reaping the whirlwind.

Victor Davis Hanson is more direct about all this.
The entire menu of race, class, and gender identity politics, lead-from-behind foreign policy, political correctness, and radical environmentalism so far have not won over most Americans.
And that means, he writes, that "You Gotta Lie."

OK. The lies of the left are particularly egregious, and their identity politics is nothing but a return to tribalism, and their form of tribalism is particularly harmful because the world of the market economy rewards people that extend their trust beyond the boundaries of tribe to embrace the whole world of people that can be trusted and their identity politics teaches people not to trust. The whole point of the left is to teach the workers that they can't trust the bosses and to teach women and minorities that they can't trust the white man.

But let's face it, the nation state is a form of tribalism, only its tribe is the people speaking the same language within some national territory. The leaders of the nation state and their bribed apologists are shameless in developing and broadcasting a national myth, of the glory of the people that became the British, the Germans, the French, the Americans. And never more so than when they are engaged in a world war against each other.

The argument that I make is that the nation state and its national myth is a better and more advanced myth than the class warfare myth or the minorities and women marginalization myth. It has room for the market economy, although it tends to  want to declare economic warfare on other nations. Not good.

But at least, in nationalism, the Enemy is beyond the border. In the left's politics, the Enemy is right here at home, just down the street.

And the left's politics of activism is always one step from actual political violence, because the demonstration and the "peaceful protest" is always and everywhere a show of force.

No comments:

Post a Comment