Again, I am not really interested in writing about the politics of the day. It’s excruciating, boring, and usually very predictable.
And yet I read the news compulsively every day. It’s a filthy and self-destructive habit but I can’t seem to let it go. I think I have figured out why though.
The student of Zen sits and meditates on an apparently meaningless phrase for hours, days, weeks, maybe months on end. I would think he experiences a great deal of frustration, boredom, possibly anger, and probably despair, but out of this he gains insight. And from looking at the freakshow of American cultural and political discourse every once in a while something becomes clear.
As Moldbug likes to point out since the New Deal, or at least WWII, all politics in the US has been firmly social democratic. The most rabid, foaming at the mouth conservative Republican of today would simply have been a moderate Democrat in the 50’s. Shortly after he left office Harry Truman ripped Eisenhower for being weak on defense, kind of like Nixon on McGovern or Reagan on Carter. Not even a conservative Democrat, a moderate Democrat. Eisenhower was of course a career Army officer from the Midwest, which might lead me to explicate the virtually pacifist nature of the US Army and the Protestant culture of the Midwest, but that’s another post.
The left generally gets their way, and drags the country along with it. Sometimes the masses rebel. When they do they succeed about half the time. When they lose it is usually because the courts have taken over the matter.
What the socialists try to do is control the terms of the debate. They inform people of what they can and can’t say, and if people agree to that the socialists win. One must not criticize, or “attack”, a liberal; that is “mean-spirited.” One must most definitely not criticize, or “attack” a minority; that is “racist.”
Since the election Democrats have been offering, on an almost daily basis, helpful advice on how the Republicans can improve their prospects in the future. On one level this is unremarkable. People love to offer advice, usually unsolicited, because it affirms their superior fitness and authority. Please understand advice is much different from help. Advice is generally unasked for and unwanted instruction that involves no practical assistance to those receiving it. Help means actually providing valuable assistance, in terms of requested instruction or other service or good.
Still- why even offer advice to a competitor? That can’t do you any good, you had best keep working to increase the distance between you, since he is probably doubling his efforts to catch up.
Now, from a tactical standpoint, you can either attack someone for criticizing a minority, or try to exercise prior restraint by telling them not to do it. Telling them they can’t do it, or shouldn’t do it, even for their own benefit is the same as telling them not to do it.
There’s a clear advantage to this. Let’s say you make some criticism of a minority. A socialist then attacks you for being racist. He has used the WMD of modern politics against you, and you are probably done for personally. However– and this is a pretty big however- someone listening may not have had there hands over their ears, and may not have the right anti-racism software installed, and may actually take a few minutes to consider whether the criticism you offered was valid. Killing the messenger is great, it strongly discourages people from delivering the message, but it does not completely stop the message from getting through.
Socialists are sadistic people and love to give humiliating floggings to disobedient proles. I think at the current time they would prefer to avoid it though. They have total control and power and it is unseemly for the powerful to appear too arrogant. They may have some dim realization there may be some backlash to the Carrie Prejean incident. “Hope” and “Change” (it really demands to be capitalized) among other things was supposed to mean we would all drift smoothly along to the calming voice of the Dear Leader, and high volume public trashing doesn’t really go along with that.
And that brings up the special term, “backlash.” It has been used to describe popular uprisings against socialist rule, when the rulers have gone too far too fast. The word has been used with a certain amount of sympathy, but it is intended to indicate an ugly eruption of evil and base sentiments amongst the insufficiently indoctrinated.
But- the masses win when and only when they are angry! Resentment and disgust aren’t pretty emotions. Socialists and their troops are entitled to them. Others, no. A certain amount is required to motivate any human action, as humans are emotion driven creatures.