22 May 2006

Why Smart People Become Liberal Idiots -- Second Draft

Let's face it--there's a lot of brainpower going to waste behind the Neuron Curtain of accepted Liberal discourse in this country. Not all of those University professors are idiots--neither are all of their students. The starlets and leading men of Hollywood had to work hard to get where they are, and more to the point, they had to navigate levels and mazes of treacherous studio politics. I can't make any sense of Hollywood--can you? They did.

So while Heaven knows there is no shortage of stunningly stupid people on the left, mental retardation is not actually synonymous with liberalism in American politics (and for those of you from or in someplace not America, we use the terms liberal and conservative somewhat differently here--beware). What is synonymous with liberalism is condescension--that smug superiority which oozes from the very pores of liberals. They manage somehow to ignore you and lecture to you at the same time*, which is an amazing feat. They manage to focus their attention on a spot about three feet behind you, as if you are an ignorant bystander in a conversation between two People Who Matter.

American liberals are people who think that we should be forced to do as our betters in Washington D.C. command, for they are wise and just, and would not have risen to that position without being so. Unless they are Republicans, the nasty cockroaches. You may say that this liberal willingness to accept the dictates of authority ("We're going to take money away from you for your own good"--Hillary Clinton) is a result of liberal thinking, but I say that it is the source. Liberalism is not based upon stupidity--that is the result of liberal thinking. Liberalism is, however, based on feelings of superiority.

If you start with the assumption that you are a superior being, everything in Liberalism starts to make sense. You are a Person Who Matters, and that brings many privileges. You get to tell people what to do. You get to keep talking long after your turn has ended. You don't have to make sense when you argue--your word is sufficient that a thing is true. If anybody tries to dispute your facts, simply repeat what you said a moment ago--your opponent clearly did not hear you, or worse, does not realize who you are--mention your credentials again.
Here's one of the neatest tricks of all--Liberalism lets you feel superior to the the rest of the world, while denying that you would possibly harbor any feelings of superiority, as that is an inferior mode of thought.

You get to reject common sense and the hard-won wisdom of bitter experience not in spite of its eminent sensibility, but precisely because of it. You can hardly feel superior to the masses if you agree with them--therefore perversity and cynicism must necessarily dominate your decision-making, your bullshit-filtering process. If you are forced to agree with the masses, at least argue a minor point: the sky isn't actually blue, it just looks that way. No doubt because your puny conservative eyes see it that way.

I recall my recurring unease at the venom directed toward anything resembling "Social Darwinism" in my University work. Social Darwinism is the point of view that some cultures are superior to others and either will or should displace, assimilate, or eliminate the lesser cultures. This is a discredited way of thinking, because in the Liberal Cosmogeny, all cultures are created equal, with the exception of Protestantism, which is clearly a holdover from Neanderthal times. It is therefore not just wrong, but Wrong to say that there are features of culture and society which make a given one more or less suited to long-term survival, or that some cultures and societies have features which confer benefits upon a people, and others which confer burdens. We shall not say that Western Civilization displaces everything else because of a unique combination of work ethic, individualism, and scientific inquisitiveness. No, we must admit, screeching, that our corrupt Coca-Cola culture is spread at bayonet point, and (rend garment now) with financing by a global Zionist Conspiracy. Never mind the implications of alternating-current infrastructure.

It is simply not Correct to say that America is strong because Americans made it strong, and that Americans had that oportunity because of many identifiable factors. No, only negative things can be identified in America, so while the good, honest, hard-working people of Sweatshopistan (who remain that way because of their strong family values, their religious predilection to work hard, and the righteous fear of neighbors and God avenging wrongdoing) are clamoring to come to sinful America, the fat, lazy Americans (who got that way through the concerted efforts of Madison Street, Wall Street, Pensylvania Avenue and the overlords in Tel Aviv) should simply accept death with a smile and make room for the Sweatshopistanis.

*I have peeled this description from Martin Cruz Smith's Gorky Park. It is a wonderful book, and contains a line something like "Arkady felt as though he was being simultaneously lectured to and ignored." No doubt, I am butchering the quote, but the sense has remained with me for over twenty years--truly a fantastic book.