Category Archive 'Community of Fashion'
28 Feb 2020

Progressivism is the Religion of the New Clerisy Class

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Joel Kotkin, as usual, is explaining that the real constituency of Progressive Statism is the new clerisy whose class interest is intimately connected to the growth in power and reach of the Administrative State.

The term clerisy was coined by Samuel Coleridge in the 1830s to define a class of people whose job it was to instruct and direct the masses. Traditional clerics remained part of this class, but they were joined by others—university professors, scientists, public intellectuals, and the heads of charitable foundations. Since the industrial revolution, the clerisy has expanded and become ever-more secular, essentially replacing the religious clergy as what the great German sociologist Max Weber called society’s “new legitimizers.”

Although certainly not unanimous in their views, the clerisy generally favors ever-increasing central control and regulation. French economist Thomas Piketty calls them “the Brahmin Left,” pointing out that their goal is not necessarily growth, nor greater affluence for hoi polloi, but a society shaped by their own progressive beliefs. In this respect, they are, despite a generally secular ideology, reprising the role played in feudal society by the Catholic Church, or what the French referred to as the First Estate.

Today’s clerisy are concentrated in professions whose numbers have grown in recent decades, including teaching, consulting, law, the medical field, and the civil service. In contrast, the size of the traditional middle class—small business owners, workers in basic industries, and construction—have seen their share of the job market decline and shrink.2 Some professions that were once more closely tied to the private economy, such as doctors, have become subsumed by bureaucratic structures and—in the United States, at least—shifted from a dependable conservative lobby to an increasingly progressive one.

These shifts are, if anything, more pronounced in Europe. In France, over 1.4 million lower skilled jobs have disappeared in the past quarter-century while technical jobs, often in the public sector, have sharply increased. Those working for state industries, universities, and in other clerisy-oriented positions, enjoy far better benefits, notably pensions, than those working in the purely private sector. To be sure, members of the clerisy have to suffer Europe’s high taxes on the middle class, but they also benefit far more than others from the state’s largesse.

At its apex, the clerisy today is made up largely of the well-educated offspring of the affluent. This class has become increasingly hereditary, in part due to the phenomena of well-educated people marrying each other—between 1960 and 2005, the share of men with university degrees who married women with university degrees nearly doubled, from 25 – 48 percent. “After one generation,” the American sociologist Daniel Bell predicted nearly half a century ago, “a meritocracy simply becomes an enclaved class.

RTWT

All this is why so many of our Ivy League classmates and assimilated college-educated friends have become the enemies of Freedom and the political adversaries of ordinary Americans.

17 Feb 2020

How Could Anyone Vote For Trump?

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Donald Trump opened the Daytona 500 over the weekend.

Andy Kessler has the answer in the WSJ:

Voters chose Donald Trump as an antidote to the growing inflammation caused by the (OK, deep breath . . .) prosperity-crushing, speech-inhibiting, nanny state-building, carbon-obsessing, patriarchy-bashing, implicit bias-accusing, tokey-wokey, globalist, swamp-creature governing class—all perfectly embodied by the Democrats’ 2016 nominee.

RTWT

10 Feb 2020

The Deep State Starring in “Caddyshack on the Potomac”

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Victor Davis Hanson, brilliantly as usual, discusses the Deep State, Hubris, Nemesis, and Donald Trump.

[T]hey never say to themselves, “I’m not elected.” The constitution says an elected president sets foreign policy. Period. So there’s this sense that they, as credential experts, have a value system, and the value system is they have an inordinate respect for an Ivy League degree or a particular alphabetic combination after their name: a J.D., a Ph.D., an MBA, or a particular resume. I worked at the NSC, then I transferred over to the NSA, and then, I went into the State Department. And we saw that in really vivid examples during the Adam Schiff impeachment inquiries, where a series of State Department people, before they could even talk, [they] said, “I’m the third generation to serve in my family. This is my resume. This is where I went to school. This is where I was posted.” And in the case of Adam Schiff, we saw these law professors, who had gone in and out of government, and they had these academic billets.

And to condense all that, it could be distilled by saying the deep state makes arguments by authority: “I’m an authority, and I have credentials, and therefore, ipse dixit, what I say matters.” And they don’t want to be cross-examined, they don’t want to have their argument in the arena of ideas and cross-examination. They think it deserves authority, and they have contempt—and I mean that literally—contempt for elected officials. [They think:] “These are buffoons in private enterprise. They are the CEO in some company; they’re some local Rotary Club member. They get elected to Congress, and then we have to school them on the international order or the rules-based order.” They have a certain lingo, a proper, sober, and judicious comportment.

So you can imagine that Donald Trump—to take a metaphor, Rodney Dangerfield out of Caddyshack—comes in as this, what they would say, stereotype buffoon and starts screaming and yelling. And he looks different. He talks different. And he has no respect for these people at all. Maybe that’s a little extreme that he doesn’t, but he surely doesn’t. And that frightens them. And then they coalesce. And I’m being literal now. Remember the anonymous Sept. 5, 2018, op-ed writer who said, “I’m here actively trying to oppose Donald Trump.” He actually said that he wanted him to leave office. Then, Admiral [William] McRaven said, “the sooner, the better.” This is a four-star admiral, retired. [He] says a year before the election … Trump should leave: “the sooner, the better.” That’s a pretty frightening idea. And when you have Mark Zaid, the lawyer for the whistleblower and also the lawyer for some of the other people involved in this—I think it’s a conspiracy—saying that one coup leads to another. … People are talking about a coup, then we have to take them at their own word. …

I think that people feel that for a variety of reasons—cultural, social, political—that Trump is not deserving of the respect that most presidents receive, and therefore any means necessary to get rid of him are justified. And for some, it’s the idea that he’s had neither political or military prior experience. For others, it’s his outlandish appearance, his Queens accent, as I said, his Rodney Dangerfield presence. And for others—I think this is really underestimated—he is systematically undoing the progressive agenda of Barack Obama, which remember, was supposed to be not just an eight-year regnum, but 16 years with Hillary Clinton. That would’ve reformed the court. It would have shut down fossil fuel exploration, pipelines, more regulations—well, pretty much what Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are talking about right now. That was going to happen. And so for a lot of people, they think, “Wow, if Donald Trump is elected in 2020”—and he will be, according to the fears of Representatives Al Green or [Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortez or Nancy Pelosi; remember, they keep saying this impeachment is about the 2020 [election]—“we’ve got to ensure the integrity.” That’s what Nadler said today.

But if Trump is elected, that would mean eventually in five more years, [we’d have a] 7–2 Supreme Court, 75 percent of the federal judiciary [would be] conservative and traditional and constructionist. … We are the world’s largest oil and gas producer and exporter, but we probably would be even bigger. And when you look at a lot of issues, such as abortion, or identity politics, or the securing of the border, or the nature of the economy or foreign policy, they think America as we know it will be—to use a phrase from Barack Obama—“fundamentally transformed.” So that’s the subtext of it. Stop this man right now before he destroys the whole progressive project—and with it, the reputation of the media. Because the media saw this happening and they said, “You know what?”—as Jim Rutenberg in the New York Times or Christiane Amanpour have said—“… you really don’t need to be disinterested.”

Trump is beyond the pale, so it’s OK to editorialize in your news coverage. And so the Shorenstein Center has reported that 90 percent of all news coverage [of Trump] is negative. So they’ve thrown their hat in the ring and said, we’re going to be part of the Democratic progressive agenda to destroy this president. But if they fail, then their reputation goes down with the progressive project. And that’s happening now. CNN is at all-time low ratings, at least the last four years. And the network news is losing audiences, and most of the major newspapers are, as well. So there’s a lot of high stakes here. And if Donald Trump survives and were to be reelected, I don’t know what would happen on the left. It would make the 2016 reaction look tame in comparison.

RTWT

HT: The News Junkie.

07 Jan 2020

Video 1: Leftist Losers and the British Election

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20 Dec 2019

The 2019 Hater’s Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog

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Drew Magary is seasonally bilious.

Every Christmas, Williams-Sonoma assumes you’re horny for tartan. Like you put on a kilt and affect a Scottish brogue and scream AYE YA WEE LADS AND LASSES! WITHOOT BOREDARE LINNUNS, THIS HULLIDAY IS SHITE!!! There must be tartan, and there must also be decorative berries that are poisonous if spotted out in the wild. That’s Christmas, baby. I like to play bagpipes in the nude and then decorate my walls with thorny brambles for unsuspecting guests to accidentally brush against. Pairs well with my contempt for society in general. …

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ITEM #37-5504966 – HONEYCOMB MARBLE COLLECTION CHEESE BOARD
1576632052177-ws14

Price: $59.95

COPY: “Bubbly & Bites! All you need is Champagne, a few easy appetizers and our elegant Marble & Brass entertaining pieces to host a fabulous holiday get-together.”

Drew says: Hang on a minute. Let’s check out these “easy appetizers,” shall we?

“1. Crème fraiche with salmon roe and Cape gooseberries on rounds of seeded wheat bread”

Where the fuck am I gonna find Cape gooseberries? Do you sell them in the back of this catalog for $5.99 each? “Make your Christmas party a BREEZE by milling your own caraway seed, baking melba toasts from scratch, and then topping your creation off with a dash of Madgascar toucan bill and locally sourced uni sperm!” …

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You thought the Star Wars cookware was the end of it. You were wrong. That’s only the beginning, amigo. What do you think happens when an entire generation is raised exclusively on Marvel and Star Wars movies, and then ages into boomerdom? THIS. This is what happens. Half a century from now, you’ll walk into a Christmas party at a 6,500 sq, ft. mansion hosted by some McKinsey executive, and the whole joint will be decorated with elaborate Baby Yoda tapestries and ceramic Tony Starks hand-crafted by skilled artisans in Lombardy. You’ll never escape it. When you die, you’ll be interred in an even BIGGER Han Solo Le Creuset. In tartan.

RTWT

HT: Karen L. Myers.

18 Dec 2019

An Uneasy Peace With Husband’s Politics, Career Choice, & Guns

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From Long Reads: Urban liberal Simone Gorrindo marries Red State soldier and is mostly uncomfortable with rural gun culture. Her emotions, she finds, become different when 2 a.m. noises cause her husband to rise and pick up the handgun from the nightstand.

I knew nothing about guns. I’d spent my childhood in California’s Bay Area and had worked as an editor in New York City before moving to Georgia. In my liberal, urban corners of the country, I’d never had the opportunity or need to even touch a gun; they had been something to oppose, to lament, the occasional shot heard from a safe distance at night. Where I’d grown up, owning a gun was about as sinful and strange as voting red. And I had come of age in the era of mass shootings, was just 13 when I watched the news about Columbine unfold on the television for weeks. Something in me had cemented then: a distaste not just for guns, but also for the people who owned them, championed them, fetishized them.

But I was a long way from home now. Guns were on the hips of men shopping for instant mashed potatoes; at every social gathering we were invited to, on top of refrigerators, in kitchen drawers, on shoe racks and in closets. I knew I should learn how to handle one. Andrew had offered to take me to the range before, but the prospect filled me with dread, a queasiness that I suspected had less to do with my upbringing and more to do with that warning hand I put up in the face of my husband’s stories. Shooting a gun, I sensed, would put me in closer touch with what my husband did for a living. It could satisfy a curiosity that might be safer to ignore. …

Ladies’ Night, read a wrinkled flyer that hung by the front door of Shooters. A few of the salesman nodded at Andrew and I as we entered and walked quickly through the aisles of guns for sale to the shooting range in the back. The thin fabric of my dress clung to my thighs. As far as I could tell, I was the only lady here today.

The guy manning the gun rental counter was younger than the men up front, and he seemed to be the real beating heart of the place, the territorial guard dog standing between the range and the rest of the world. He looked as though he’d spent the best years of his adulthood behind that counter, growing out a thick beard, letting his plaid button-downs get snug around the waist. On a leather string around his neck, he wore a crucifix patterned with the American flag.

“You military?” he asked. They always knew.

Andrew nodded, sliding his California ID across the glass counter. Beneath it were rows of handguns, gleaming like wedding bands.

“The left coast, huh?” the man asked skeptically as he studied the ID. He looked up at us. “I’m from Minnesota originally,” he said in a conciliatory tone. “The communists live there too.”

Andrew gave him a weak smile. This talk had surprised us when’d first arrived — could the stereotypes really be so accurate? But we’d gotten used to hearing this kind of thing with some regularity: communists, Yankees, traitors. People had teasingly called us every one of these names, simply for being from somewhere else, a fact that was as impossible to hide as our race or sex.

Andrew chose the lowest caliber weapon they had on offer — a silver revolver — and got us some “eyes and ears,” protective glasses and ear protection. We signed a few waivers and bought some overpriced ammo. It was almost time to start shooting; there was just one more thing.

“Pick a target,” the man said, nodding toward the area behind us.

We turned around. Neatly stacked in a wire rack were typical targets for a buck apiece. For two dollars, you could purchase a skeleton or goblin or bloody zombie bride. A bear-size man approached and grabbed a target that was above my line of sight. As he walked away, I caught a quick glimpse of it: A bearded cartoon in a Keffiyeh sneered at me, a Kalishnakov clutched in his hands.

“Is that — ?”

“Yep,” Andrew said with a finality that I knew could only mean: Let’s not talk about this here.

Andrew opened a heavy door that led to a vestibule, a kind of portal between the range and the rest of the building. The moment Andrew opened the next door, the air turned humid. The cement room smelled of sweat. Empty bullet casings rolled under my steps as I followed Andrew to the shooting stands, where a row of men stood, their backs wet with perspiration. Most of them looked, from the back, like suburban dads, their bodies and T-shirts softened by age. Their guns went off in startling waves. My shoulders jumped with each blast.

“These aren’t working!” I yelled at Andrew, pointing to my ear muffs.

“It’s the sensation,” Andrew yelled back. “You’ll get used to it.” It was a sensation more than a sound, an unsettling tremor moving through me.

“Shooting is athletic,” he yelled, setting down the gun in front of him. “How you hold your body matters.” He demonstrated: left foot forward, arms taut but slightly bent, the way a batter might ready himself at home plate, except forward-facing. I mimicked him, and he gave me a thumbs-up.

“All right, tell me three of the basic rules of gun safety,” he said. He had drilled these into me on the ride over.

“Treat every weapon as if it is loaded.” I began dutifully. “Never point the weapon at anything you don’t intend to destroy. That seems like an important one,” I said, stalling.

Andrew waited.

“And … keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you’re ready to fire.”

“Good. Now line your eye up with the sight, and make sure that red dot you see is just below where you’re aiming.” He paused. “Release the safety,” he said, doing it for me. “Take a breath, and then pull.”

“What if it goes spinning out of my hands?” I yelled.

Andrew laughed. I took a breath, and, just as I closed my eyes, I heard Andrew tell me to keep them open. I pulled the trigger.

Nothing. I opened my eyes and pulled again. And again.

“What am I doing wrong?” He took the revolver from me and shot off a few rounds.

“You’re afraid,” he said gently, handing it back to me. “Don’t be.”

I paused, regained my stance, and tried again. Nothing.

“Pull a little harder,” Andrew said.

I pulled again. My finger was starting to cramp.

“I can’t,” I said, and let the gun slip gently out of my hands onto the counter. The barrel pointed toward us.

Andrew scooped it up. “Never point a gun, loaded or unloaded, toward anyone.”

“Sorry.” I felt myself blush. Maybe the fact that I was unable to shoot meant we could abandon our mission, go home, and do something I was good at, like reading books.

Andrew left then and returned with a Glock .45. It was heavier and somehow more serious looking; by comparison, the silver revolver seemed like a prop out of an old Western. He showed me how to load the first couple bullets.

Just pull the trigger, I told myself. I squinted, located the floating white dot and then, after a moment’s hesitation, went for it.

The force of the shot went through me instantly, the gun kicking back against my hands, through my arms, into my shoulders, and then out of my body.

Some people describe their first time shooting as exhilarating, a rush, the top of a roller coaster before you plummet. I understood the appeal of a rush, the kind of moment that requires surrender. But this was different. This was asking me to trust — not the gun or the men running the range or Andrew, but myself.

“Keep shooting,” Andrew said.

I adjusted my feet, tightened my arms, and pulled the trigger again. The same bone-rattling power surged through me.

“Wouldn’t you rather at least have some familiarity with guns?” Andrew had asked when I’d turned down the range in the past. But why? I wasn’t interested in hunting. I’d spent my life strategizing how to avoid violence, not engage in it. If I needed to defend myself, the only weapons I could imagine wielding were mace or a good old house key wedged between my fingers. Guns had never felt like a realistic or viable option, perhaps because they had never been real to me. They had always been, for me, more idea than object, a symbol of an irrationality in the human heart. The notion of them as tools of utility or purpose — or fun — was outside of my understanding. But moving to the South and joining the world of the Army had forced me to acknowledge that guns were not only real; they were common, as unremarkable on a man’s hip as the cell phone in his hand.

I unleashed a few more shots, put down the .45, and looked at the target: I hadn’t gotten a single bullet on even its far borders. And somehow, I was exhausted.

“I’m going to take a breather,” I yelled over the noise.

From the safety of the vestibule, I watched Andrew. He shot round after round, a swarm of little holes appearing around his target. …

I had not wanted him to join the Army. Years before, when he’d first mentioned the possibility at the beginning of our relationship, I’d even told him I’d leave him if he did. Why on earth did he want to seek out violence? He remained silent about it for two years after that, but then recruitment pamphlets started appearing in our home, and I found notepads on his nightstand filled with workout regimes. He wasn’t going to give up on this desire, which was so strong and enduring some might say it was a calling. If I wanted Andrew, I would have to say yes to the Army.

Nine days after we married in a New York City courthouse, he shipped off to boot camp. His sudden departure, his decision to do things I did not want to think about, felt almost like a betrayal. My husband was the kind of man who brought me flowers, who asked forgiveness when he made a mistake, who’d walked a mile in the sticky summer heat of Brooklyn with a bookcase on his back, carried it up two flights of stairs, and lined it with my treasured books to surprise me. His very presence anchored me. He was thoughtful and gentle. He was tender and loving. He was also a killer.

***

A month after our day at the range, Andrew brought a gun into our home.

“That was scary easy,” Andrew said as he walked into our bedroom, where I was sitting on our bed, reading a book. He took a black handgun out of a crumpled brown bag and set it down on our faded paisley comforter. I’d known this was coming. Initially I’d pushed back, but ultimately, I’d acquiesced. Guns were a part of Andrew’s daily life and world, after all. Even so, the unloaded 40-cal felt like a threat to my cozy home, my marriage. I didn’t want anything to do with it.

Because Andrew had purchased the gun from a friend, he wasn’t legally required to register it in his name. It was free-floating in the Georgia atmosphere now. Andrew believes in gun control. He supports background checks and thinks owning a gun should be a tested, licensed activity, like driving a car. He also likes guns. His father got him his first BB gun at age 8, and his first .22 rifle at 12. On family road trips, Andrew’s father took him out to shoot it in the Nevada desert. Andrew had told me those stories in the early years of our relationship, when he was a classics student tending bar to support himself. But I’d ignored them, or blocked them out. Instead, I’d absorbed the chapters of his childhood spent on a commune, the afternoons running shoeless in the woods. I envisioned these parts like a film reel, a story about Andrew that matched the man I fell in love with.

But his father saw in Andrew what he’d always wished for himself: physical strength, a native athleticism, an electric current of intensity. Andrew remembers being 8 years old, riding in the passenger seat of his father’s Toyota, rotating Chinese meditation balls in his palm that his martial arts teacher had given him. At a stoplight, his father put a hand over Andrew’s to stop the movement. “Be careful with those,” he told him. “You’ll become too peaceful.” Though everyone in our liberal families was taken aback when Andrew joined the Army, I imagine his father, who died when Andrew was 18, would have been pleased.

His very presence anchored me. He was thoughtful and gentle. He was tender and loving. He was also a killer.

Andrew handed me the gun. It felt cool in my hands. I stared at it, trying to quiet the dissonance I felt. It was the same sensation I experienced when I picked him up from deployment in a parking lot late at night and I could sense immediately, even in the dark, that he was different, that I was different. I felt it, too, during the fights we’d started having since coming to Georgia, clashes over politics and world views that made me question when we’d stopped seeing eye to eye, or if we ever had at all.

“I think I’ll stay away from it,” I said, and handed the gun back to him, though I wanted to say more: Why would you bring this into our home? This is a part of your world, not mine. …

Here was the greatest surprise: Sometimes the gun set me at ease. A few weeks after Andrew purchased it, someone pounded on the door at 2 a.m., and I felt a swell of warmth as Andrew roused and moved toward the nightstand.

All the words, all the self-admiring cerebration, and the writer still doesn’t quite get the obvious insight that there is a fundamental problem with, a serious disconnect from reality in, all the fashionable left-wing ideology she considers basic to her identity. It flies in the face of her obvious unconscious need, and preference, for a strong man ready and able to defend home and country.

01 Nov 2019

Arguing With Liberals Doesn’t Work

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Facebook political arguments with liberals prove, again and again, that the consensus of the community of fashion is built largely upon class marker signifying. In democratic society, the stupid and inferior eagerly adopt establishment-sanctioned opinions in order to identify themselves as “superior and intelligent.” They are too dumb to realize that intellectual conformism is anything but a sign of high intelligence.

And, of course, these educational failures simply do not recognize that the consensus they value so highly is nothing other than the mass culture of our time, and they have never learned enough to understand that mass culture consists primarily of popular delusions, fads, and temporary bouts of mass insanity.

10 Aug 2019

Gun Control and the New Class

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Beginning in the 1970s, some of the writers and editors who became known as neoconservatives observed changes in the American elite. The tradition of liberal internationalism, which held individual liberty as the preeminent value and believed in equality of opportunity, as well as a safety net, was under assault. A rising generation of activists charged liberal internationalism with hypocrisy: not only abroad, where intervention in Vietnam had run aground, but also at home, where formal equality under the law had not produced substantive results. Something was wrong with America, the students said. Only a fundamental transformation of our nation would set things aright.

Neoconservatives called this incipient elite the “new class.” It consists, Irving Kristol wrote in 1975, “of scientists, lawyers, city planners, social workers, educators, criminologists, sociologists, public health doctors, etc.—a substantial number of whom find their careers in the expanding public sector rather than the private.” To that list one might add journalists, professors, post-docs, adjuncts, foundation officers, and a great number of programmers, managers, human resource officers, and CEOs. The neoconservatives never defined the “new class” precisely—something their critics pointed out. The category was meant to be a catchall, a handy description of the well-schooled professionals who began their long march through America’s academic, media, entertainment, government, and corporate institutions in the aftermath of 1968.

“Mass higher education has converted this movement into something like a mass movement proper,” Kristol said, “capable of driving a president from office (1968) and nominating its own candidate (1972).” The year before Kristol wrote those words, the new class had sent another president packing. The new class grew in size and influence. It was not a select few working behind the scenes. It was not a conspiracy. Its motives were genuine—but also genuinely different from the liberal internationalism of FDR, Truman, Kennedy, LBJ, and Humphrey. “Members of the new class,” Kristol wrote, “do not ‘control’ the media, they are the media—just as they are our educational system, our public health and welfare system, and much else.”

When neoconservatives began analyzing the new class, around 10 percent of American adults had earned a bachelor’s degree or higher. About a quarter of all jobs were in manufacturing. Today, the percentage of college graduates has doubled while manufacturing employment has plunged. The new class of college-educated professionals and managers has expanded, and its aspirations, values, and ideals are ever more present in our culture and politics.

Kristol was careful to say that the new class was not monolithic: “It contains men and women who are not necessarily ‘pro-business,’ and who may not be much interested in business at all, but who are interested in individual liberty and limited government, who are worried about the collectivist tendencies in the society.” But in recent years the portion of the new class that subscribes to the old liberal internationalism has receded into the background.

What was once an intra-new-class fight over the size and scope of government has become a struggle to define the American nation between the new class on one hand and Donald Trump, his national populists, and a few new-class fellow travelers on the other. The new class has incredible resources at its disposal, from the expansive and appealing ideology of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” to communications, tech, state and local governments, bureaucracies, and the courts. Trump has a Twitter account, half of a cable network, Mitch McConnell, the Supreme Court, and 63 million voters.

One reason the battle is so pitched is that, as the new class multiplied in numbers and strength, the divide between it and the rest of the country grew into the Mariana Trench. The culture of the new class, which originates in Charles Murray’s “super-zips” and extends into the suburbs, has little in common with, speaks even a different language than, residents of exurban and rural America whose votes go to Trump.

It is on the issue of guns that this incomprehension is most pronounced. The cable news anchors expressing frustration and disbelief that the latest shooting may not result in tighter regulation of firearms are sincere. They live safe and satisfying lives without guns; why can’t the rest of the country do the same? Yet the spokesmen for “doing something” do not appreciate the equal sincerity of gun owners, whose weapons are not just possessions but also, on some level, part of their identity.

Guns are especially frustrating to the new class because they are the rare case where the courts, which normally are its ally, have not achieved its objectives. The Heller decision (2008) irks Democrats to no end because the Supreme Court said that Second Amendment guarantees rule out some forms of regulation. Gun owners have been adept at using the language of rights—usually the preferred means of the new class—to attain ends the new class abhors. That has forced advocates of gun control back into the democratic arena, where the new class has so often been repudiated.

No amount of evidence showing the inefficacy of gun control, or the virtues of alternative policies, will convince the new class to drop its crusade for regulation. That is not just because guns are safety hazards. It is because guns remind the new class that it has not succeeded in imposing the values of one part of the country, and one segment of the population, on the rest.

HT: Instapundit.

05 Aug 2019

A Good Rant

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From Oregon Muse:

“Ever since 1980 I’ve heard liberals hyperventilating about the menace of the “far right” in this country. I’ve heard dire warnings about theocracy about to descend on us. We’re just one Trump EO away from the Handmaid’s Tale. Progressives actually believe this.

“Of course, all of this is so silly, it’s hardly worth refuting.

“But you know what? At this point, I don’t care. In fact I can’t wait. I actually want this to happen. Bring on the theocracy! I want to see liberals silenced by force for a change. I want to see the things they hold dear smashed and mocked and degraded before their eyes. I want to see feminist bakers forced to produce cakes with “A woman’s place is in the home” written in icing. I want to see progressives keeping silent out of fear. I want to see them brutalized by thugs who know they won’t be punished. I want to see their gender studies classes disrupted by screaming goon squads. I want to see their politicians obscenely mocked, slandered, and ran out of restaurants. And I want them to realize the laws won’t save them.

“Because they were okay with lawlessness when it was directed at someone else. What are they going to do when it comes back at them, when they’ve destroyed the only means that could save them?

“In short I want every f*ing progressive in America to have their faces ground in the dirt the way they’ve been grinding the flag of this country in the dirt.”

(h/t Trimegistus for providing the material for today’s rant.)

I often feel that way.

HT: Vanderleun.

10 Apr 2019

Books Do Furnish a Room

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Perigold has very nice, and quite expensive lamps, and it also sells books for entirely decorative purposes, grouped by color and style of binding.

Above we see 50 book (five linear feet of them) in green. You can get red and blue and beige and even colorful dust jacketed books! Perfect for morons who do not read.

09 Apr 2019

The Closing of the Millennial Mind

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Rod Dreher

Over the weekend, I met a friend in Cambridge, Mass., for lunch. He’s a foreigner studying at Harvard. He told me that his experience there has been quite an education in how the American elite constructs its worldview and reproduces itself. In fact, that is perhaps the most important lesson he has learned from his experience at the top US university.

I’m writing this with his permission, but I want to be careful about what I say, to protect his privacy. In general, he said it has been a real shock to him — and to the other foreign students in his circle — to observe how “coercive” (his word) the intellectual atmosphere at Harvard is, at least in the areas he’s been studying. He explained that it is quite simply impossible to discuss certain things, and ask certain questions, because of the ideological rigidity of the American students and their teachers. My friend made clear that this is the consensus view of the foreigners he knows there, whether they are on the left or the right.

My lunch companion said that the elites formed by this most elite American university are people who have set up a world in which they never have to encounter an idea, or a person, that they don’t already endorse or embrace. We were joined at the table by a third person, a left-wing Baby Boomer who works in a very liberal Boston institution (I’ll not name it to protect his privacy), and who said that he finds the ideological rigidity of Millennials and the generation behind them to be insufferable. Such joyless, humorless, incurious people, he said. The foreigner, though a Millennial himself, agreed.

On our way to the restaurant, I had mentioned to my foreign friend something I’ve heard from several of you readers of this blog who are conservative academics: that as long as old-school liberals remain in charge of faculties and academic institutions, there will be a place for right-of-center scholars. But when the Jacobin-like younger generation moves into leadership, that will be the end. He agreed, and brought up several examples from academia and academia-adjacent institutions (e.g., publishing). He told me one story about a left-liberal scholar he knows who has been turned into a non-person for questioning out loud some of aspects of au courant progressive dogma. I’m not easy to shock about things like this, but this particular story — my foreign friend named names — was for me a sign of how advanced the ideological militancy has become.

It recalled in fact an e-mail conversation I had last week with a liberal journalist friend who hates to see this closing of the left’s mind. My journalist pal said that he’s seeing on the left a moralistic refusal even to consider ideas, people, and data that contradict these leftists’ moral code. Understand: it’s not that this new breed of progressives disagrees (though they do); it’s that they believe, and believe strongly, that even to confront information that contradicts what they prefer to believe is intolerable.

Said my friend: “No wonder these people are always shocked by the latest developments in politics. They refuse to see the world as it is.”

RTWT

05 Apr 2019

First World Problems

,

Tam complains:

Bobbi’s working the weird shift this week, which generally means we eat lunch together, but then she goes to bed and I shift for myself for dinner.

Having put on pounds again during The Year Without A Summer, I’m back to watching carbs and tracking calories and stuff like that. Also, I’ve generally stopped drinking for a bit, since there are low-carb ways to drink, but those are all super calorie dense.

(Another change this triggered is going to caffeine-free sodas after about 6PM and some melatonin right before bed.)

Anyway, last night after the cats got their 6PM feeding I toddled over to Fresh Market on foot for some nigiri and those tasty coconut snacks. It had gotten warm enough that I was a little leery of walking home with the nigiri, but I figured I’d just buy an Amy’s cheese enchilada frozen dinner and toss that in the bag to keep the fish cold for the eight-minute walk home.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to worry about that, since the sushi counter was all out of nigiri, and they were sold out of both the coconut snacks and the Amy’s cheese enchiladas.

“Jesus, I live in a food desert!” I muttered, as I bought some manchego cheese and a bag of organic sprouted pizza flavor almonds as a consolation prize and trudged home.

HT: Glenn Reynolds.

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