09 Sep 2009

The Left: Arrogant, Statist, and Complacent

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Camille Paglia (who is a rebel, and will never ever be any good) finds life within the holier-than-thou democrat party left increasingly uncongenial. They are so conformist, so complacent… and so statist.

Why has the Democratic Party become so arrogantly detached from ordinary Americans? Though they claim to speak for the poor and dispossessed, Democrats have increasingly become the party of an upper-middle-class professional elite, top-heavy with journalists, academics and lawyers (one reason for the hypocritical absence of tort reform in the healthcare bills). Weirdly, given their worship of highly individualistic, secularized self-actualization, such professionals are as a whole amazingly credulous these days about big-government solutions to every social problem. They see no danger in expanding government authority and intrusive, wasteful bureaucracy. This is, I submit, a stunning turn away from the anti-authority and anti-establishment principles of authentic 1960s leftism. …

(A)ffluent middle-class Democrats now seem to be complacently servile toward authority and automatically believe everything party leaders tell them. Why? Is it because the new professional class is a glossy product of generically institutionalized learning? Independent thought and logical analysis of argument are no longer taught. Elite education in the U.S. has become a frenetic assembly line of competitive college application to schools where ideological brainwashing is so pandemic that it’s invisible. The top schools, from the Ivy League on down, promote “critical thinking,” which sounds good but is in fact just a style of rote regurgitation of hackneyed approved terms (“racism, sexism, homophobia”) when confronted with any social issue. The Democratic brain has been marinating so long in those clichés that it’s positively pickled.

Throughout this fractious summer, I was dismayed not just at the self-defeating silence of Democrats at the gaping holes or evasions in the healthcare bills but also at the fogginess or insipidity of articles and Op-Eds about the controversy emanating from liberal mainstream media and Web sources. By a proportion of something like 10-to-1, negative articles by conservatives were vastly more detailed, specific and practical about the proposals than were supportive articles by Democrats, which often made gestures rather than arguments and brimmed with emotion and sneers. There was a glaring inability in most Democratic commentary to think ahead and forecast what would or could be the actual snarled consequences — in terms of delays, denial of services, errors, miscommunications and gross invasions of privacy — of a massive single-payer overhaul of the healthcare system in a nation as large and populous as ours. It was as if Democrats live in a utopian dream world, divorced from the daily demands and realities of organization and management.

But dreaming in the 1960s and ’70s had a spiritual dimension that is long gone in our crassly materialistic and status-driven time.

And, of course, they do. The supposed generosity of the bien pensants is really the purest selfishness. America’s pezzonovantes live limitlessly appetitive lives of aesthetic appreciation, worldly and even spiritual aspiration, of constant striving for success, power, personal advancement, and self affirmation. The sight of the poor, the uncomely, the disorderly, the untidied away aspects of cruel reality is disagreeable to them. Someone needs to do something about it. It is A PROBLEM. And all problems, from the viewpoint of the pseudogentsia, can be cleared away by simple transfer to the responsibility of the state with a generous allocation of other people’s tax dollars. Big Government is for the American left essentially just a larger-scale version of the building management they’re accustomed to calling upon to clean the elevator anytime someone has made a mess.

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One Feedback on "The Left: Arrogant, Statist, and Complacent"

geoff ames

very articulate



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