Monday, November 18, 2013

Quote of the Day: Class War edition

I may put my libertarian creds at risk, but this really resonates with me.  It makes me think about when I was a Democrat, long, long ago before the Left lost its mind and wandered into the wilderness.  For a brief moment, I even flirted with Marxism (I was young and stupid) before realizing that it was too sure of itself by half and therefore not plausible (I used to pat myself on the back for realizing this by myself; like I said, I was young and stupid).

But I had a fair amount of respect for my Professor of Marxist theory who, while wrong, was rigorous and consistent.  And so I respect the guy who penned these words:
Let me backtrack with a little explanation. Some people out there, perhaps not you, may confuse my radical leftism with the stuff going on out there. They would be wrong. As a Marxist, for me it is class, class, class. Class trumps race, gender, everything. Its all about wealth. The fact that “old white men” are holding alot of it is due to historical forces, not from their “whiteness”. In the 60’s and 70’s, the leftist preoccupation with class was replaced with race and gender issues, to the detriment of all concerned.  Old news, just spelling it out here for clarity’s sake.

So we get to now, and race and gender obsessed “liberal progressives” are such a harmful force in society that I, an actual socialist revolutionary, can enjoy you tormenting them on your blog, even though your political perspective is rooted in basic assumptions that are opposite my own. Strange days indeed. For liberal progressives, this would indicate I am a sexist racist, but as a white male I am already on their shitlist so whatever. I am a Marxist. I believe I am fighting the good fight. I am not going to get on my knees and lick boot, hoping for “ally” status. Eff that. The whole thing is a bizarre repackaging of original sin.
Word.  It's about class.  To this day when I hear someone droning on about "White Privilege" or "the Patriarchy" I immediately tune out, and tally their name on the "idiots" list.  But talk about class and my ears prick up.  I can't help it.  The opening sentences of Dad's memoirs tell you all you need to know about what I learned about life growing up:
My mother gave birth to me on the kitchen table that I ate off until adulthood.  I have always considered the humble conditions of that birth to be a distinction, one to be proud of.  In spite of the humbleness of that birth, I was able to become a university professor, author of several books and many articles, and to be blessed with marriage to a wonderful woman and father to three fine sons.  Having accomplished that from such a birth had given me bragging rights.
Tell me about "White Privilege" or "the Patriarchy".  Go ahead, I dare you.

And so Vox's correspondent, while very likely wrong in his political philosophy, gets a lot of respect from me.  Certainly more than your run of the mill "adequately predictable" "progressive"* these days.  The recently deceased Norm Geras is another**.  Perhaps wrong, but consistent and honorable.  That's a standard that I strive for myself.  Reading Vox's commenter it was quite strange the surge of adrenaline, the feeling of yes, I'm not alone in this!  It's even seen in what might be thought of as "the other side".

What a strange, debased, withered intellectual fruit of thousands of years of civilization.  It's almost as if that even though they stand on the shoulders of Giants, they cover their eyes.  And these people think that they're smarter than me?

And Vox replies in words worthy of being carved in marble and then gilded:
That an avowed Marxist would enjoy my fiction is less surprising than it might sound. I am, after all, a radical, merely one with very different assumptions and objectives. And I've always gotten along much better with the hard left than with the soft, squishy, bourgeois progressive left; one of my independent studies was done under a hardcore Canadian socialist who regarded McDonalds as the capitalist devil incarnate.

Of course, this may be because the hard left is about the only group that hates the progressive left more than I do. One of the great satisfactions about being on the right-wing is the knowledge that even if we lose and the revolution finally arrives in its fullness, the useful idiots are going to be the first ones lined up against the wall and shot. And who can look at the way Wall Street has been raping the country and not feel the urge to raise a revolutionary flag; if that is capitalism, then I don't want any part of it and I'm a libertarian!
Word.  Come the Revolution, Progs, you're going to be the first ones up against the goddam wall.  I may be next, but I'll have the satisfaction of watching you go first.

* Sneer quotes absolutely, positively intentional.

** Geras, an Englishman writing in England, has what is perhaps the definitive  review of Emmylou Harris.  It's about class***, people, not race or gender.  Duh.

*** Don't believe me?  Where is Hollywood and the rest of the Liberal Establishment on the topic of unemployment?  Why is it that we only get this from Flyover Country?  Because so many of the newly unemployed are white men?  It's an admission of startling degeneracy from the Progressives if so.

This song sings my Grandfather's life, one that marked my Dad when he was growing up and got passed down to me.  It sure would have been nice for a little white privilege or Patriarchy to help out back in those days.  Yeah, there's not much other than contempt that I feel for "Progressives" who are almost always wealthy, white, and SWPL.

Yeah, I guess I'm a little mad about this.  Not sure why it has my blood pressure up.  Probably the intersection of wasted talent among the SWPLs, the infuriating smugness, and the destructive policies.  I hope that Dad would understand.

Bootnote: I usually queue these up for 0701 Eastern Time.  Posting early by popular demand.


Anonymous said...

"Come the Revolution, Progs, you're going to be the first ones up against the goddam wall. I may be next, but I'll have the satisfaction of watching you go first."

Speak for yourself, BP. I won't rule out the possibility that at some point I may find myself against a wall, but it'll be because I ran out of ammo, am too wounded to continue, and it'll still take 4 of the bastards to hold me against it.

Weetabix said...

When you look at it that way, Thomas Jefferson was the same. He was all about protecting the producing class from the financial class. Then came Alexander Hamilton.

I'm with you on this one. One guy I really enjoy visiting with is an avowed hard leftie. But he's consistent and not squishy. You can respect purity of philosophy when someone is willing to live it even if you can't agree with it wholeheartedly.

If you look at the class obsession objectively as opposed to how many mendacious people practice it, there's nothing demonstrably wrong with the idea that one class should not oppress another. Unfortunately, in theory, there's no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there is. The practitioners seem to want to exchange one class's oppression for the other class's oppression. I can't go for that.

I think that's what makes the difference between a Marxist and a libertarian: The Marxist wants the workers to oppress the bourgeoisie while the libertarian wants no one to oppress anyone.

William Newman said...

What's going on has a component of class, but some of the things going on don't seem to follow from a class model at all. Notice e.g. how hard it is to practice proper university admissions without photographs of the candidates. The policy looks rather like spoils for demographic blocs that are important in the governing coalition, and not particularly like class maneuvering. (Not checking tax returns, or investigation of whether applicants come from well-connected families, or other sorts of things that would focus on the distinctions echoing down from the Leninist regimes of the twentieth century, proletarian and kulak and so forth.)

Jester said...

Borepatch you have a lot of solid points there, and I tend to agree with you and others that I have more in common with some of the hard core leftists or some of their philosophies, and the disdain for the shall we say squishy middle between the viewpoints.
Now I don't think that the useful idiots are the ones that are lined to the wall and shot first, I think it still is us. They go right after us in most cases, unless of course one of those idiots got in the way of progress or someone's career. However they are soon to depart the earth as soon as they see the damage they have brought down upon their own heads.

However again, it is worth pointing out the utter contempt the progs are actually held in and they don't even see it or understand it.