I’m going to take Cathy Young’s article, hop in a time machine, set it for the spring of 2012, and make my then-self sit down and read it. Having thus absorbed all the essential information about the SJW cult, I can spend the next three years recording music and turning this blog into a space for amateur literary criticism, which will be a much more rewarding use of my time than trying to understand the mindset of a bunch of petty tyrants and rabid lunatics.
Assuming that plan doesn’t work, I’ll just introduce a motion that the article be used as the epitaph on the SJW tombstone.
June 17, 2015 @ 5:47 pm
Ah…but without your unique form of evangelism some of may have remained unenlightened!
Still…re: your Oakenshotte quotes recently (which are interesting, to be sure!)…are there any liberalish writers you like? I am worried you are going to start quoting National Review next!
(I'm kidding. I'm kidding. Heck, R. Emett Tyrell's Amercian Spectator rag has the best discussion of foreign policy right now on the web so I am not "pure" either)
June 17, 2015 @ 9:36 pm
Liberalish writers? Well, Freddie and Scott Alexander are far and away my two favorite individual bloggers. Kenan Malik is very good. Richard King is an Aussie journalist and critic I like. But in general, as with books, I usually read by topic rather than author. Often times, I'll find a post, essay or article and not even notice who wrote it until I go to cite it.
But my sense is that mainstream progressivism in the age of Obama (and possibly Hillary) is pretty well entrenched right now, politically and culturally. I believe that "power makes stupid". When groups have power, they tend to be concerned with consolidating their holdings and circling the wagons. They're not too interested in destabilizing their foundation by asking inconvenient questions, so the party line takes precedence. Among the outsiders seeking a way back into power, there can be a little more openness among alternatives as they look for whatever approach will work best. So to some extent, conservative writers right now can be a little more interesting because they're free to speak their minds without having to fear damaging their own standing. (To some extent.) This dynamic will of course reverse itself whenever Republicans finally get back into power.
By temperament, I am much more philosophical than political. I like to dig down around the roots of ideas and see what the preconceptions are, where the inconsistencies are. And so when the online media I read is absolutely dominated by the progressive orthodoxy pushing the intersectional party line and demanding unquestioning displays of support, I'm inevitably going to end up at odds with it.
Given tribal loyalties, though, if you want to find even a mildly questioning perspective on, say, Caitlyn Jenner, you're almost certain to end up at conservative sites, because they're the only ones who will openly voice those ideas. This was a constant source of frustration for me over the last few years as I tried to make sense of all this. I couldn't find any liberal criticisms of it anywhere. Like I've said, I was never in academia, so this was all new to me. Eventually, I ended up finding books that were written by liberals about the last wave of PC, back in the Clinton years, and those were helpful, but I had to muddle through a lot of it myself, figuring it out piece by piece. In the meantime, I've got this one guy being like, "Gee, why do you keep associating with unsavory conservative types?" And I'm like, "Well, if so many liberals weren't gutless cowards, I wouldn't have to!"
It may not always seem like it, but I've always seen myself as coming from a solidly liberal perspective. I just feel that I have more in common with moderate conservatives and libertarians than I do with leftist radicals. With some of the conservative sites I read, the differences are more of emphasis than content. Like, "I might not have put it that way, but yeah, I see your point…"
June 18, 2015 @ 1:49 am
A worthy explanation.
And, Freddie is certainly more "radical" than I am.
My dislike of "conservatism" is based on my misotheism. I cannot get past the horrors in Orthodox Abrahamic religion even as I acknowledge the more humane aspects of these traditions. But that is certainly MY hangup, and even the liberal traditions have unconvincing answers for theodicy to me.
But I am enjoying yoru Oakenshotte quotes, so I don't mean to hector you too badly! Just curious more than anything.
June 18, 2015 @ 10:47 am
Oakenshott was idiosyncratic by the standards of mid-twentieth century British conservatism, so he's far, far away from the current American right-wing version. He may use the word "conservatism", but you have to do some work to figure out what he means by it. If I were ever going to provocatively call myself conservative, it would be as an "aesthetic conservative", meaning, in a nutshell, that I want to defend the power of art, even popular art, to change and move people without being tied to a political program. People like that woman who wants 2018 to be the year of only publishing books by women are the worst kind of philistines to me. They treat art like it's nothing more than a social program reflective of the racial/gender demographics of the artist and the audience. Of course, I realize that the right has its own type of philistines with their own rigid definition of true art, but there's also a respect for hierarchy and individuality there that seems to be lacking from the left.
Freddie seems to be saying that he's largely done with non-paying writing, i.e. blogging. That tends to be the problem with the format — for people with talent, it's usually a way station on the way to bigger and better things. You either decide to write for paying publications, or you become an actual published novelist like Bacharach.