Open Thread | Main | Of Course: Rubio of the Gentle Hands Intends to Not Attack Trump Tonight, As Usual
February 25, 2016

Interesting Point from Glenn Reynolds

Is this true? This sure seems true to me.

It used to be, of course, that the lower and middle classes were stuffy and constrained by social convention while the freethinkers at universities and in the ruling class got to experiment with unconventional ideas. If their experimenting got enough success, then it might eventually filter down to ordinary people. (The sexual revolution worked this way, more or less).

But now it's our ruling class that is hidebound by political correctness, and it takes movement by the masses to give it permission to express a controversial view. That's a major change, and its one that the ruling class isn't likely to appreciate much. But having subjected itself to the chains of "acceptable" opinion, what can it do?

It isn't just the ruling class. It's almost the entirety of the college-educated middle class. (Some might say they are the ruling class.)

Rather than enjoying the intellectual freedom that is any thinking person's generous gift to himself, it's as if they've all collectively decided that rules and limitations on thought are cool. There is this accumulation of junk in everyone's mental attic-- rules, assumptions, forbiddences, heresies. People can't remember where this junk came from, or what purpose it was intended to serve when first gotten, but it just keeps piling up in there.

Maybe it's time to clean out the attics. Maybe it's time to stop being a Received Wisdom Hoarder. Maybe it's time to take each assumption and alleged rule and ask: Do I need to keep this? Am I keeping this because its a good thing, or am I keeping it just because I don't like disposing of old ideas?

There is this fetishistic imperative to get one's thinking in the very narrow channel permitted by "reputable" upper middle class thought, and one can see a palpable physical discomfort in their faces when they're out of that channel for only a few seconds. They desperately want to get back into the designated channel of permissible, reputable thought.


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posted by Ace at 12:41 PM

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