October 11, 2015

Are hyper-liberals secretly ultra-conservative?

In the comments to the post about the moral orientation of the UCC school shooter, the topic of SJW morality came up. A commenter disagrees with the view that liberals and libertarians operate on a moral basis of "avoid harm / provide care" and "fairness / justice," and are numb or color-blind to the other moral bases of loyalty, authority, and purity (in Haidt's terms).

He tries to re-interpret SJW morality as not so distant from conservative morality:

"Purity? See how SJWs try to go out of their way to stay away from bad influences/shut down hints of dissent with the reasoning being that they feel gross/icky/violated/disgusted by having them there. Authority? Notice how well disciplined they are when doing offensives against organizations for not being SJW enough."

SJWs are hyper-liberals, not conservatives in disguise. There's a persistent trend among libertarians and alt-right people to try to re-interpret liberals so that they are the REAL racists, the REAL sexists, the REAL puritans, etc. They aren't -- they're the hyper-liberals that they straightforwardly appear to be.

Trying to re-paint a bunch of practicing degenerates, or vocal enablers of degeneracy, as a bunch of puritans is not just stupid and confusing, but a massive derailing of where conservatives ought to be pushing, theoretically and practically. The only point of such a derail is for the re-interpreter to max their stats for COUNTER-INTUITIVENESS.

The contrarian view talks about SJW intolerance of dissenting views as though they found them disgusting -- yet they do not make disgusted facial expressions when they hear dissent. As hyper-liberals, disgust is not something they are very capable of feeling, let alone expressing. Instead, they feel anger, and the faces they make are variations on the angry face.

We don't have to take them at their word when they denounce something as "disgusting" -- the actual emotion being expressed is anger, the face they make comes from anger.

Notice the difference between indignation -- "How dare somebody have a different view from mine? How disgusting!" -- and feeling contaminated -- "You can't go anywhere in public these days without having to smell some BO-radiating foreigner, or risk catching AIDS when some queer is coughing his lungs out in the checkout line".

Indignation conveys no sense of looming threat of contagion, no vulnerability to danger. Indeed it's based on a sense of invulnerability, of superiority. Calling attention to pollution or desecration, however, relies on the listener feeling vulnerable to such a threat, and is more like sounding a warning to prevent the contagion.

The same goes for "authority" among hyper-liberals. They are obviously not authoritarians, or they would submit themselves to whatever they considered a higher authority. Obedience implies a chain of command, and each level doing their part for the greater well-oiled functioning of the superorganic whole -- both giving orders to those below and carrying out those from above.

SJWs and other hyper-liberals do not form hierarchies with differing levels of authority. Rather, their group consists of an undifferentiated mass of followers of a set of principles or code of conduct, whose motivational power does not derive from the authority of a leader, an elite cadre of leaders, or a nested hierarchy of leaders.

They don't even reach the minimal form of authority where there's a single guru and his group of followers who are exactly the same among themselves regarding how much authority they have, yet who all do the guru's bidding.

When the SJW harangues other people to behave a certain way, it isn't because they believe they have a position of authority over the others. It's based on the assumption that everyone -- the SJW, the SJW's fellow travelers, plus the others being harangued -- has to adhere to a universal set of principles and codes of conduct. Something abstract, not "what our leader / hierarchy of leaders tells us to do".

They have completely leveled the hierarchy, so that everyone has equal authority -- or in other words, no authority. That's why they don't speak and act as though they had authority that others have to obey, in a leader / follower fashion. Rather, they nag, harass, and shame other people to adhere to the common code. Nagging, harassing, and shaming are things you do to your equals in the authority pyramid -- you don't get to nag your superior, and a superior doesn't nag his inferior but gives them the orders.

It's like one great big clique of seventh-grade girls, who have no hierarchy and where constant nagging and shaming prevail in a climate of anarchy.

The problem for SJWs and other hyper-liberals is that that mode of following and enforcing a group's norms only works in small-sized groups. Trying to nag and shame random strangers on the internet will only be met with, "Yawn, go kill yourself, fag".

Related post: Liberal vs. conservative forms of purity as a moral intuition.

TL;DR -- liberal "purity" centers on the welfare of the self, conservative "purity" on that of the entire in-group. Liberals are OCD about personal hygiene and nutrition, but not about degeneracy that spreads disease, desecration of what is sacred, and maintaining populational purity (e.g., viewing foreigners as filthy, likely to spread disease, and so on).

Because morality is about the regulation of behavior for the benefit of people other than the self, personalized liberal "purity" is not really a moral foundation at all, while conservative "purity" concerned with others is.

49 comments:

  1. SJWs also have no sense of loyalty, either, which is a core conservative value.

    What stands out about SJWs isn't just how angry and self-righteous they are, but also how fickle they are. They seem to go from worshipping the Pope to calling for his execution every other month, depending on whether he's talking about global warming or abortion, helping the poor or talking with Kim Davis.

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  2. The core concept behind loyalty is the in-group vs. out-group barrier, and SJWs are vehement about there being no such thing in a utopian society. Supporting someone just because of the accident of their being within some circle that also includes you? Umm, irrational much? Being less willing to support those who accidentally fall outside that circle? Umm, bigoted much?

    Again their social structure is more like a middle-school clique. When they launch into hysterics about how great their fellow travelers are, and how evil the conservatives are, they are not engaging in the usual in-group vs. out-group behavior.

    In their mind, *everybody* is a member of the single, great big in-group of humankind -- they are nagging and shaming the conservatives for not living up to the universal code of the one-and-only human in-group. (Allowing for even one out-group would hurt people's feelings who were excluded, lead to bigotry, etc. So there's only one in-group circling all of humankind.)

    When a fellow traveler deviates or slacks off in their adherence, the SJWs don't say, "And I thought you were a true liberal / a good SJW / a real progressive..." They say, "Wow, thanks for leaving the human race," "Way to make me lose faith in humanity," etc. It's all about humankind.

    Likewise, when someone exceeds the SJW's expectations of adherence to the single universal code, they orgasm with "This teen's rescue of a blind kid being punched by a bully will restore your faith in humanity". Not, "Score another one for the liberals / progressives / etc."

    In the same way that liberals flatten the hierarchy, they dissolve all group membership borders. That doesn't mean that they don't follow and police any norms -- only in a nagging and shaming way, without authority / obedience. And it doesn't mean that they don't have symbols and signals of group membership -- only that they signal membership in a single undifferentiated mass of humanity.

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  3. In-group loyalty means you're capable of sympathizing with people from the out-group. They may be competing for the same resources as you are, but that doesn't mean they're evil or impure. For instance, when you are playing on a sports team, you don't literally think the opposing players are immoral - they just happen to be from a different group, competing for the same recognition. "Nothing personal".

    SJWs are incapable of that kind of competitiveness and respectful rivalry. They dehumanize those that disagree with them - they're not showing in-group loyalty or "authoritarian" personality trait, but in their own minds believe that the enemy is evil.

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  4. maybe "sympathizing" is the wrong word, more like recognizing the mutual humanity between yourself and your competitor. They're not bad people, you just have to look after your own first.

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  5. -- "SJWs are incapable of that kind of competitiveness and respectful rivalry. They dehumanize those that disagree with them - they're not showing in-group loyalty or "authoritarian" personality trait, but in their own minds believe that the enemy is evil."

    Presumably such psychological type is a numeric constant subset of at least White populations. What gave them so much power and prominence now?

    My quick theory: they filled a vacuum created by hierarchical normals. This vacuum was enabled by a now-winding down era of material non-struggle as well as by demoralizing effects of Cultural Marxism. History suggests that one way or another, this SJWs' moment in the sun will not last long and a pendulum may (one way or another) swing back hard.

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  6. Off Topic but a frequent subject here: early 90s music. There was a subgenre at the time of artists who sang about spiritual themes and yout (GenX) alienation. Frequently the object of contemplation was a beautiful, self-destructive girl.

    It wasn't exactly grunge or college rock, or any kind of evolution of 80s rock. Thinking of songs such as Counting Crows "Round Here", Black Crowes "She Talks to Angels" and "Seeing Things," Toad the Wet Sprocket "Walk on the Ocean."

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  7. It must have been meant for a small niche audience, though. in the mainstream media, such as TV and movies, Gen X girls were usually shown as friendly, uncomplicated, and flirtatious. At least in the 80s and very early 90s.

    That said, the crime was rising and it was combined with inequality, so there was a lot of drug use and people developing real mental problems.

    \

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  8. "Let Her Cry" by Hootie and the Blowfish is another big example.

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  9. A lot of 60s/70s musicians also seem to have written songs about self-destructive women, but in a less sympathetic, more vindictive way. They were happy to see her get her comeuppance. for instance, "Like a Rolling Stone" by Bob Dylan, "Reeling in the Years" by, "Rich Girl" by Hall and Oates, "Evil Woman" by Electric Light Orchestra, "Under my Thumb" by the Rolling Stones, "Reeling in the Years" by Steely Dan.

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  10. "A lot of 60s/70s musicians also seem to have written songs about self-destructive women, but in a less sympathetic, more vindictive way"

    It's a good point. For the 1990s, "She Talks to Angels" feels most sympathetic. The girl lost a child who was old enough to have a lock of hair, probably toddler-age, and she is doomed, with angels waiting for her. "Let Her Cry" is sang by a bewildered boyfriend who is at a loss for how to help. "Round Here" is commiseration by a fellow-lost soul.

    I'd also mention "Far Behind" by Candle box but they said that it's about a self-destructive male, Andrew Wood of Mother Love Bone.

    Literature has precedents for a similar accepting/sympathetic depiction of self destructive presumably beautiful young women. Many novels by Erich Maria Remarque (best known for All Quiet on the Western Front) have that theme. In A Night in Lisbon, the long suffering husband puts up with his wife's many adultries against the backdrop of WWII.

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  11. ("Like a Rolling Stone" by Bob Dylan)

    That's different. The speaker is a gamma male Jew stewing in revenge fantasies about a rich White woman who didn't give him the time of day.

    Simon and Garfunkel's "America" is a more sympathetic Jewish take on two lost souls tra Elina together.

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  12. "a less sympathetic, more vindictive way. They were happy to see her get her comeuppance."

    It seems like unaffected and intense interest in saving rather than condemning people is stronger in the 2nd half of an outgoing period. Even though striving was actually stronger in the 80's, you still saw media that reflected a lot of concern for people. The relevant social issue (e.g. drugs, suicide, hanging out with the wrong crowd etc. not warped PC crap like gays or anti-bullying hysteria) themed TV episodes and movies (which are ridiculed as camp in cocooning periods), for one thing. The "let's band together to clean things up" story for another.

    There is more of a glib and cruel indifference to well-being when we cocoon. You really have to get well into an outgoing era in order for people to have fully developed relationships with a lot of people. Which leads to more heart and sincerity, rather than selfish and snarky cocooner behavior.

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  13. Yes, when crime starts rising, it catches people off guard and there's disorientation. Or at least, it seems that way in the 60s, with all their weird experimentation and taking things too far. Maybe, if crime starts rising soon, our culture will remember lessons learned and we'll pick up right from the 80.

    PA, why do you think many Gen X songs focused on self-destructive, beautiful women, or the cohort who came of age in the early 90s?

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  14. Funny that in the '90s, no woman or woman-fronted band wrote those kinds of songs. "Who Will Save Your Soul" by Jewel makes spiritual references in a jaded and cynical way, not to romanticize and angelicize the self-destructive bipolar chick who the neo-folk-rock guy singer is pining away for.

    It wouldn't be until the 2000s when the self-destructive girls themselves would start portraying themselves as fallen angels, and other quasi-spiritual goth motifs, even dressing up like that for Halloween.

    Millennial girls can romanticize being self-destructive because they grew up after the peak of self-destructive teen behavior in the '80s and early '90s, and don't know or remember how gritty and unromantic it was.

    Without exception, as far as I can see, the Gen X women singers and musicians from the '90s portrayed that lifestyle in jaded and cynical terms (Hole, Juliana Hatfield, Jewel, etc.). Some even made a point of moving beyond their self-destructive past, and sounding a new upbeat and resilient tone, like Alanis Morissette. That was the prelude to the self-absorbed Eat Pray Love phenomenon.

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  15. Misanthropist10/12/15, 8:18 AM

    For leftists opposition to authority is not really anti-authoritarianism so much as it is simply an outgrowth of envy, which tends to be their core motivation. Whether it is someone having more material benefits than them, or someone having a higher status in the hierarchy than them, they simply cannot handle others having more than they do in any area. That is why they often equate things like economic equality and misuse of government power as being similar or the same. While they may be related or reinforce each other in some circumstances, they are not as similar as some leftists claim.

    It also explains why leftists, once they capture control of state power, are more than eager to use it to crush opponents, stifle un-PC speech etc. Because their core motivation is envy rather than genuine concern for the disadvantaged, they cannot feel empathy for those now on the receiving end of the rough justice. And they feel justified in using authoritarian tactics so long as it is ostensibly about implementing their egalitarian policies or destroying any aspect of the social fabric they dislike.

    Misanthropist

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  16. Another thing I find funny about SWPLs is how they throw around the word "badass" right and left: https://medium.com/ted-fellows/meet-12-badass-scientists-who-also-happen-to-be-women-ace8d797bcad

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  17. Misanthropist, I think they crushing alternate views is because of their oppressor-oppressed morality. The oppressed, like blacks, gays, trannies, woman have moral license to shout, screa, break the law while the oppressors, whites, christian,men are evil for just existing and must be silenced.

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  18. Calling their motivation "envy" is giving them too much credit for maturity. Envy is something that only mature adults feel, and it leads to careful planning about how to take what someone else has.

    Your typical SJW is more like a child who sees his sibling getting a bigger slice of pizza and throws a temper-tantrum so that the parent will equalize the amount of stuff that each child gets.

    Your typical incel virgin avenger type does not wish to have one of the cute girls for his girlfriend, by stealing or persuading them away from the attractive popular guys at school. That would be envy -- wanting to steal someone's gf or wife. He's just bitter that the amount of sex he's getting is zero and it's higher for other guys. He'd be fine if that cute girl occasionally gave him a drunken random hook-up, while staying with her bf / husband. As long as it tended to equalize the amount of sex that all guys were having.

    SJWs don't seem interested in taking over the McMansions or luxury condos that the well-to-do live in, either. They're just bitter that they don't have as much living space in their basement shoebox in the ghetto, and want "affordable housing" to give them as much living space as the affluent enjoy.

    As far as social status goes, they don't want to become the popular kids in school, or the pretty girls in the club. If they were truly envious of higher social status, they would make themselves over as much as possible. Rather, they want to stay just the way they are, but pressure others into according them higher status than "loser weirdo" or "ugly fatty-fat".

    Envy is the motivation for the strivers, not the losers. One striver sees the McMansion / luxury condo of another striver, and plots how to take it from them, or how to one-up them. One striver woman sees the perfect husband of another striver woman, and plots how to steal him away from that basic bitch who totally doesn't deserve him.

    In other words, envy motivates the behavior of rivals. An SJW is not the rival of someone with money, happiness, sex, and so on. I guess losers might feel envious of one another -- one video game nerd sees the epic "game room tour" video on YouTube of some other video game nerd, and vows to steal his thunder... SOME DAY.

    But conflict between classes is not motivated by envy.

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  19. To be clearer, what does motivate conflict between classes or layers on the social status pyramid?

    If it were envy, then the lower / loser groups would want the rules that determine status to stay the same, but then plot how to climb higher on the pyramid -- acquire more money to buy a bigger house, get plastic surgery to look more "conventionally" attractive, etc.

    Instead, the lower / loser groups want to change the rules that determine status, so that having a huge McMansion no longer signals higher status, but living in a basement shoebox does -- perhaps because it's "cooler," or "more sustainable," etc., under the changed rules of status determination. The fat ugly girl tries to change the rules of what is attractive by propagandizing that "real women have curves".

    It's the same with old-fashioned class warfare. The Communists wanted to change the rules so that owning capital didn't afford status, wealth, or power. Actually producing stuff was supposed to be the new norm for achieving status. In reality, it was supervising, managing, and coordinating economic activity of the producers, but that was still a revolutionary change away from the norm of whoever privately owned the capital was in control.

    Hence the revolutionary rhetoric of the SJWs -- they really do want to change the rules that determine status, not just climb higher on the status pyramid under the existing set of rules.

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  20. Boiling it down further, you feel envy about something concrete or particular -- you want that particular house, you want to look like that particular girl -- and not something abstract like wanting "an impressive living space" or wanting "to be considered attractive / sexy".

    If the ugly SJW had a magic wand, she would keep her appearance the same and change how everyone else reacted to her ("Wow, so many belly folds!"), rather than leave everyone else's minds the same and turn herself into a babe.

    We don't really have a word for this kind of resentment -- bitterness at the rules that determine status -- which is distinct from envy of particular things or states-of-being.

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  21. "Funny that in the '90s, no woman or woman-fronted band wrote those kinds of songs. "Who Will Save Your Soul" by Jewel makes spiritual references in a jaded and cynical way, not to romanticize and angelicize the self-destructive bipolar chick who the neo-folk-rock guy singer is pining away for."

    It wouldn't be until the 2000s when the self-destructive girls themselves would start portraying themselves as fallen angels, and other quasi-spiritual goth motifs, even dressing up like that for Halloween."

    I think that when people, on average, were much better adjusted in the 80's there seemed to be much less dwelling on this sort of thing in the first place. People wanted to have fun, wanted reasons to feel better about things. Not hear about assholes who threw their lives away.

    That Jewel song might not be lyrically inane but it's overall mood doesn't exactly move me. It's way too detached and dull to for my tastes. In terms of downbeat but not depressing (rather, haunting and evocative) media, as usual, the 80's are best. People act like The Empire Strikes Back is a total dirge; regardless of the story, it's the acting and mood that make the movie dark but not dreary. It feels natural and the actors seem invested, so it never gets dull.

    Today's artists and actors are usually so guarded that they end up coming off as killjoy recluses (or autistic man children) when a movie or song goes for darkness. Besides, with fewer things happening in people's lives today compared to the 80's, performers just can't quite tap into natural and unfiltered feelings of joy, peace, rage, sorrow, fear, or whatever as easily as they used to.

    This podcast I listen to (by two 1980 born friends) used a local small town theater for showings of classic (e.g. from the 70's and 80's) horror movies near Halloween. These movies actually got the theater much higher attendance than normal. Cool idea but too bad the owner decided that upgrading the theater to digital projection was too expensive so he shut the place down.

    This reminds me of this blog's idea to just give up on playing recent rock music and recent genre movies in favor of stuff from the golden age. Really, if a theater played Alien, Halloween, The Shining, Poltergeist, A Nightmare On Elm Street, and the Thing every Halloween how could it not rake in tons of money? Today's cocooners suck in a lot of ways but even they would be able to tell that those movies were much better than anything being coughed up by the modern movie factory.

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  22. Misanthropist10/12/15, 6:36 PM

    "I think they crushing alternate views is because of their oppressor-oppressed morality. The oppressed, like blacks, gays, trannies, woman have moral license to shout, screa, break the law while the oppressors, whites, christian,men are evil for just existing and must be silenced."

    True, but who they regard as "oppressor" and "oppressed" classes, and whether they believe this justifies using authoritarian tactics to crush dissent, are two separate issues. Moreover, the definition of "oppressor" and "oppressed" classes is very much a movable feast. The radical left really started to embrace groups like racial minorities, gays and women once it became clear that the traditional working class was not going to bring about the revolution. The whole modern culture of political correctness and identity politics is in many ways an elitist revenge against the traditional working class for having let the side down.

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  23. "Not hear about assholes who threw their lives away."

    Actually I think it was the opposite, since they saw how dangerous and tragic the world could be, they had more sympathy for people who fell on hard times. Not to mention, being more socially connected just makes it easier to sympathize with people in general. Even with the status-striving and inequality. How can you listen to something like "Runaway Train", a major hit, and not come away thinking that people were more sympathetic in the 80s?

    Nowadays, everybody gets blamed for their misfortune. Millenial girls may make songs about their own self-destructiveness, but guy singers hardly ever make a song about a girl in sympathy. The last instance I can remember was "She will be loved", by Maroon 5, which was released in the early 2000s(2004) when crime began rising temporarily.

    Blaming the victim is more a cocooning mindset because cocooners are naive control freaks who think they alone can determine their success. They don't like acknowledging the inherent tragic nature of life, or that harsh conditions can break someone.

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  24. and who can forget "Who's Gonna Take you Home"?, from the 80s. watch the music video, and you can see how much more sympathetic attitudes were.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuZA6qiJVfU

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  25. "The whole modern culture of political correctness and identity politics is in many ways an elitist revenge against the traditional working class for having let the side down."

    It's not so much vindictive as it is a straightforward elitist will to power.

    Identity politics blew up circa 1970, immediately and steadily crowding out the focus on class. They were never for a united left that would focus equally on class plus identity politics -- aside from a few far-left folks, but the typical feminist, black rights advocate, etc., wanted to get women into corporate boardrooms, get blacks into elected office, and so on. That is, to keep the class structure the same, but give representation to groups who usually aren't at the top of the pyramid.

    Transforming the left from a populist into an elitist movement was one sign of the times, going from getting-along and accommodation to me-first status-striving. Of course working class people were going to decline in influence under such a trend. That was the fate of any movement that was group-first rather than me-first.

    Labor and PC were never a tightly knit family, so it's misleading to frame PC slander of working-class people as dysfunctional family drama, or betrayal among former confreres.

    The two sides were always competitors, and in the me-first status-striving climate the identity politics side was destined to win, and the unions and civic-oriented churches were destined to lose.

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  26. Misanthropist10/12/15, 7:12 PM

    Agnostic, the envy I refer to is not really that of the real outcasts or those on the lowest rung in status. It is generally the envy of those that are strivers who want to get an edge over their competition.

    For example, it is often the case that proposed policies such as increasing taxes (but only for the very highest income earners) are not really designed to appeal to the poor, or even much of the middle class. They are largely designed to appeal to upper-middle class liberals, who are often competing for positional goods such as property, good school places etc. with the more wealthy. i.e. those who are likely in the top 20% economically, but not part of the top 1%. I know many of these striving, professional leftists personally.

    It is true that envy is generally something people feel towards those who are in their general social milieu, but who have something they don't have. A homeless person with no money probably doesn't spend all their time envying the super wealthy. They more likely envy those they come in contact with who have a few dollars, a place to sleep or a regular meal.

    The point is that leftists are generally not motivated by genuine concern for those less fortunate. They simply despise those who have something more than they do.

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  27. Misanthropist10/12/15, 7:26 PM

    "Labor and PC were never a tightly knit family, so it's misleading to frame PC slander of working-class people as dysfunctional family drama, or betrayal among former confreres."

    I don't think I suggested that labor and PC were ever a tightly knit family. The point is that in the past the left were somewhat more pro-labor and not as pro-PC. They then became more pro-PC and not quite as pro-labor. The two constituencies were always uneasy allies.

    It is human nature that the erstwhile ally that is seen to have let the team down or become a turncoat is despised more than the original designated enemy. So the traditional white working class is actually despised more than big business.

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  28. "They were never for a united left that would focus equally on class plus identity politics -- aside from a few far-left folks, but the typical feminist, black rights advocate, etc., wanted to get women into corporate boardrooms, get blacks into elected office, and so on. That is, to keep the class structure the same, but give representation to groups who usually aren't at the top of the pyramid."

    That captures what I feel but had a hard time expressing here. Basically, it's about either concerning yourself with you and only the things that immediately affect you, or it's putting the community/nation as a whole before you.

    For example, during the revival of superficial conservatism in the 80's, much was made about Boomers having and protecting families after they selfishly avoided such things in the 70's. Yet, bitching about rock lyrics and violent crime was less about keeping the community wholesome as much as it was keeping bad influences away from one's children. Boomers never really cared for the long term greater good; they just wanted to arrogantly fine tune every aspect of their children's environment so that their children would be able to crush the competition. Doesn't get much more uneighborly and un-civic than that.

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  29. "Identity politics blew up circa 1970, immediately and steadily crowding out the focus on class."

    Right, middle aged Silents wanted to strike a blow for advancing the cause of whoever they felt was left out in the cold by the powerful G.I. machine. They weren't thrilled about conforming to the G.I. ethic which they found repressive and bland. The Silents presumed that every person ought to spend more time reflecting on their place and their purpose; surely G.I. Mom's tired of domestic duties and G.I. Dads must've felt some unease about their Great Projects, right? Silents were never going to be too concerned with class issues; they never were into us vs. them battles. Besides, most of them respected the wealthy and most blue collar types did well in Post WW2 America. Why assume that the rich and powerful might one day turn on the lower classes? It offended Silents, this idea of stereotyping or expecting bad faith from a group.
    They wanted every person to think of themselves of unique and capable, regardless of social status. Give the rich a break, maybe you ought to work harder on yourself instead of rudely declaring war on an entire class.

    Eventually, as the Boomers gained influence in the late 70's/80's, the diversity drive that started as well-intentioned but misguided openly became a vehicle for division and base careerism and greed.

    Silents wanted more voices to be heard, and were usually willing to listen. They became considerate to a fault, in fact. Boomers, meanwhile, thought of everything as a big contest. If a person of any type wanted to use diversity as a means to beat the competition, more power to 'em.

    When you have two consecutive generations of influential people who don't value steadfast team oriented production, well, we get the mess we have right now. Silents fear being thought of as boring or close minded, Boomers hate the idea of settling for less when they could strive to their graves. Even if I die, my kids will be fighting long after.

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  30. Misanthropist10/12/15, 9:52 PM

    "They were never for a united left that would focus equally on class plus identity politics -- aside from a few far-left folks, but the typical feminist, black rights advocate, etc., wanted to get women into corporate boardrooms, get blacks into elected office, and so on. That is, to keep the class structure the same, but give representation to groups who usually aren't at the top of the pyramid."

    True. But this trend was exacerbated by the end of the Cold War and collapse of communism. The left largely responded by accepting that the broader goal of equality in economic outcomes among the population is untenable. But they became even more attached to the idea of equal outcomes among other demographic groups, such as racial groups or gender. Affirmative action and equal representation for women in male-dominated occupations, ditto for whites and blacks. The class aspect was dropped, while the focus on race, gender and others became more pronounced.

    Communism didn't die. It simply morphed further into cultural Marxism. Ideas such as engineering equal outcomes between men and women in the labour market are pure communism. And it is no more sustainable to generate equal outcomes between groups that are made different through eons of natural selection than it is to generate equal outcomes among the broader population.

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  31. Misanthropist, you really think they tolerate whites saying something hateful vs non-whites? They shut down free speech, or at least try to when they can. I disagree that they decided to abandon the working class because they dissapointed the Left. Rather, it was that other victim groups were seen as less privileged to the white, male, working class. The left loves the Irish because they're seen as a prototype victim class, as well as blacks. I think the focus on other victim groups was inevitable, because as you say, who is the most oppressed shifts.

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  32. Misanthropist10/13/15, 12:13 AM

    "Misanthropist, you really think they tolerate whites saying something hateful vs non-whites? They shut down free speech, or at least try to when they can."

    Of course they don't tolerate whites saying things that are hateful or racist in the same way they tolerate non-whites saying such things. Where the hell do you get the idea that I think otherwise?

    The point I was making is simply that who the left regard as "oppressors" or "oppressed", and the fact that they are authoritarian and hostile to opposing views, are very much separate issues. So it doesn't really help understand things much to just say 'well, they oppose free speech for this group as they regard them as baddies'. Every political flavor will tend to have groups that they are less sympathetic too, but they will not necessarily use the law to shut down their views. Disliking certain groups and opposing free speech are separate issues.

    The left don't really believe in women's rights, gay rights, minority rights or whatever. These are just temporary cudgels to achieve their real goal of perpetual revolution and destruction of the existing order. When one group stops grinding the axe, they just find another group. It is very much a movable feast.

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  33. "The left don't really believe in women's rights, hiv+ rights, minority rights or whatever. These are just temporary cudgels to achieve their real goal of perpetual revolution and destruction of the existing order. When one group stops grinding the axe, they just find another group. It is very much a movable feast."

    Maybe I'm not as cynical about you about the good faith of their beliefs. The ever shifting victim fest is core feature I agree.

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  34. Apropos nothing, I heard this on the radio the other day and realized the music industry exists only to feed Agnostic blogposts

    http://www.youtube.com/?#/watch?v=b-eYbUVZedY

    The video gets across the millennial vacuity even better--apocalyptic larping, self-dramatization etc.

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  35. Oh man that is some gay-ass shit. "We America now, homofags get married and some states have legal weed, don't you just feel old?" set to sweaty overproduced Hunger Games LARPING. To top it all off the music and lyrics both seemed like ripoffs of the song Royals, which was actually kind of fun for the way it mocked nigger rap shenanigans. It's like the musical equivalent of this classic piece:

    http://elitedaily.com/life/50-things-millennials-make-corporate-america-uncomfortable/758330/

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  36. Halsey... just, wow.

    Bisexual, biploar (but I repeat myself), biracial. BTW, she looks a little too trans-racial for someone who's "father" has medium black skin. Her parents:

    https://twitter.com/halsey/status/457567824043843585

    We may have found a rare case of the black man being the cuck rather than the cucker.

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  37. As for "New Americana"...

    TFW transgressive subversion becomes establishment triumphalism

    That part about gay marriage where they sample Pink Floyd's rebel anthem and the minister goes, "All in all, you're just another dick through the stall".

    BRB cross-checking BuzzFeed headlines and RhymeZone.com to come up with the next line of the chorus.

    FML our generation is so deprived of life experience that we can only communicate through name-checking pop culture references.

    LOL weak invisible text-necks pretending they're warriors.

    End of the video: MFW playing outside with peers turns out to have been just a bad dream.

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  38. Recently, she produced a tribute to Jaden Smith

    I think I heard that one, "Kiss-raped by Dad, Now a Tranny"

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  39. lol terrific

    What is that vocal style she's using? It's well beyond "fry" on the intentionally off-putting spectrum

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  40. She's doing what I call "vowel gargling," where the vowels are shifted around because random / unique / expectations blown.

    Messing around with vowels makes it hard to understand what the words are, and it has taken two different forms, both starting in the '90s:

    1) Heavy "melisma," where the proper vowel is sung, but going through a wide range of pitches, and perhaps inserting a bunch of dipthongs. Think of Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, etc. "And ayyy-ee-yay-ee-yay will always love you-oo-oo-oo-oo". This comes from those who can sing well, but want to show off, mostly in R&B songs.

    2) No pitch embellishment, but using a different vowel from the standard pronunciation -- not even a non-standard dialect, but something idiosyncratic. It comes from those who can't sing well -- or who can but don't want to show off their pipes -- and try to score unique look-at-me points by blowing your expectations about how words should be pronounced, mostly in alternative songs.

    Vowel-space is large and continuously variable, so the changes may be subtle, but if they're used over and over you can just hear the pronunciation being off. And if it's a major shift in vowels, you'll really hear it.

    In "New Americana," there's a line that begins with "survival of the richest". "Richest" has two vowels, both the same, the short "i" like in "hit". But she pronounces the second one as a dipthong like "eye" -- "survival of the rich-ayst". At first I thought she was saying, "Survival of the rich, I [something something]". That one is jarringly off, but her pronunciation throughout is only a little more normal and intelligible.

    She also makes use of the "emo gasp" at the end of a word that ends in a vowel, I think every line of the chorus.

    She seems to be channeling Alanis Morissette, who was even more promiscuous with vowels and emo-gasping. But for Alanis, it was part of her larger persona of a manic-depressive. Halsey's pitch is so flat, and her rhythm so halting, that the drama-queen-y vowel pronunciations and emo-gasping come off as a great big put-on. It's clear she's a robotic lowwww-energy Millennial, and is just LARP-ing as a manic Gen X-er.

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  41. "Apropos nothing, I heard this on the radio the other day and realized the music industry exists only to feed Agnostic blogposts

    http://www.youtube.com/?#/watch?v=b-eYbUVZedY

    The video gets across the millennial vacuity even better--apocalyptic larping, self-dramatization etc."

    People typically check out of pop culture in their late 20's. Obviously, this garbage is supposed to appeal primarily (does it?) to people born in the last 25 or so years.

    While Gen X and very early Millennials (outside of a minority of middle aged striver/hipster idiots who affect to care about modern pop culture) can rightfully feel proud about not buying into 2010's pop culture, this sort of disconnect would still happen regardless of whether the culture was any good or not.

    Most early Boomers swear that the music of the 60's and early 70's is better than anything from the disco or MTV era. They're obviously dead wrong but since their brains and core sensibilities stopped developing by the mid 70's, you can't convince them to give later music a fair shake. We're not talking about aesthetic evaluation as much as we are generational ownership. People naturally tend to feel the most pride in whatever was popular when they were teens or near teens. Silents and early Boomers claimed that MTV was damaging brains. Well, it wasn't made for such smug and out of touch twats anyway.

    Anyway, let's be grateful that some people can transcend the reflexive navel gazing of "this is my generation's stuff" and appreciate the good stuff, even if came before (or after) their youth.

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  42. "Messing around with vowels makes it hard to understand what the words are, and it has taken two different forms, both starting in the '90s:"

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PerishingAltRockVoice

    Keep in mind that the article correctly notes that the practice wasn't unheard of in the 80's (particularly among Brit artists). Seems to fit into the whole decadence/unraveling/nihilism vibe that the West has exuded since the 80's. Yeah, people were sometimes critical of these things in the 80's, but the reason there was growing criticism in the first place is because rootlessness/striving/glibness etc. were becoming worse.

    I don't think the Goth thing really existed before the 80's, and only criminals had tattoos and piercings before the 80's. These are obvious signs of alienation and apathy. People may have been naive to some degree about drugs/promiscuity etc. in the 70's, but people essentially were still on the same page. You know, camaraderie, loyalty, people more or less sharing the same values and goals. By the early 90's the social fabric was so shredded that goth/emo/nihilist posturing were reaching dangerous levels. And it's only gotten worse since then. Look at all the artists who only go out in public dressed in black. Yuck. This fetishizing of menacing aesthetics didn't exist in the 40's-70's.

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  43. "We are the new Americana,
    High on legal marijuana..."

    I assume the "New Americana" refers to young people who didn't participate in the political processes that resulted in the legalization of marijuana in two U.S. states. (Or the decriminalization or legalization on a limited basis, as in other states, depending on what she means by 'legal'). I doubt very many busted their asses campaigning door-to-door, sacrificing to make financial contributions to pro-weed lobbies, etc.; and they would have been too young to cast ballots. They are probably also quite divorced from the effort of growing and harvesting the sort-of herb, the consumption of which they apparently regard as an earned right or achievement. Their claims to being edgy drug users are an entitlement derived from earlier generations' labor, not some cultural achievement of Millennials themselves.

    Also, what happened to metaphor / hidden meaning in lyrics? Green Day began as one giant weed reference, but explicit references to the drug are few in their early albums' song lyrics. Whereas Halsey places "marijuana" in the song's hook. I feel sorry for the kids who regard this uncreative marketing ploy as edgy or culturally substantial.

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  44. Brilliant as ever, thanks folks

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  45. I agree with the general thrust of this article, particularly the point about most left-liberals being anti-authoritarian. Many leftists organisations are so egalitarian that they don't even have workable organisation structures. The liberal-left has also undermined traditional education because it believes teachers should be seen as facilitators rather than experts - to recognise experts would be to acknowledge that some people's opinions are more important than others - and far left post modernists reject such an idea.

    However, there are many areas in which leftists do feel superior to those on the right. Most musicians for example, are on the left, and many do consider themselves superior to right-wingers who are generally inferior in musical ability.

    Similarly, in raw IQ terms most leftists have above average verbal intelligence, and do so they do feel superior to inarticulate working class populists who call up talk radio and ask for greater immigration control and capital punishment for murderers and pedophiles.

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  46. Creative people are also more likely to be mentally off kilter and are often sympathetic to misfits, being misfits themselves frequently. There's a reason they sometimes go nuts. Actors aren't as purely creative as musicians; but they are outgoing and attention seeking. So while musicians can be nutty, actors are more prone to fits of narcissism.

    I heard an interview with a Sci-fi author who said that he's dealt with hallucinations much of his life. But he was able to treat them as a natural part of his identity which prevented overwhelming paranoia and the drugs or commitment needed for full blown craziness.

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  47. Misanthropist11/4/15, 4:26 PM

    "I agree with the general thrust of this article, particularly the point about most left-liberals being anti-authoritarian. Many leftists organisations are so egalitarian that they don't even have workable organisation structures."

    The mistake here is in conflating hierarchy with authority. They are not really the same thing, although they obviously relate to each other and overlap in many circumstances.

    An organization or society may be somewhat egalitarian and democratic in many respects. Yet it may also be highly authoritarian in persecuting dissidents and those that offend the group norms and consensus. Similarly, an organization or society may be quite hierarchical in terms of having different orders of status and responsibility. Yet it may not be particularly authoritarian if there are checks and balances in the system.

    Leftists tend to be more authoritarian than they are hierarchical. Suppose an individual is confronted by an angry mob of SJWs because they have offended some PC shibboleth. Typically the organization will be fairly egalitarian in terms of structure, without much of a clear chain of command. Yet they will be highly authoritarian in terms of pursuing those that offend accepted views.

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  48. You're misusing "authoritarian" to mean vindictive, nagging, shaming, harassing, persecuting, etc., which members of a middle school clique do all the time without having any authority over one another.

    Hierarchy / authority -- same thing.

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