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August 12, 2016

Peggy Noonan: How Globalists Forsake Their Countrymen

I have a lot -- a lot -- to say about this.

For now, I'll just quote Noonan:

How Global Elites Forsake Their Countrymen Those in power see people at the bottom as aliens whose bizarre emotions they must try to manage.

Compare to my frequent complaint that our self-styled elites -- who are so elite and expert they have set the world on fire -- view their real job to be managing the passions of their unaccomplished underlings -- you know, the people who actually do everything in the country.

This is about distance, and detachment, and a kind of historic decoupling between the top and the bottom in the West that did not, in more moderate recent times, exist.

Passage about Angela Merkel -- who will not be affected by mass immigration into Germany -- showing her virtue by allowing mass immigration into Germany, omitted.

...

Nothing in their lives will get worse. The challenge of integrating different cultures, negotiating daily tensions, dealing with crime and extremism and fearfulness on the street--that was put on those with comparatively little, whom I’ve called the unprotected. They were left to struggle, not gradually and over the years but suddenly and in an air of ongoing crisis that shows no signs of ending--because nobody cares about them enough to stop it.


The powerful show no particular sign of worrying about any of this. When the working and middle class pushed back in shocked indignation, the people on top called them “xenophobic,” “narrow-minded,” “racist.” The detached, who made the decisions and bore none of the costs, got to be called “humanist,” “compassionate,” and “hero of human rights.”

...

The larger point is that this is something we are seeing all over, the top detaching itself from the bottom, feeling little loyalty to it or affiliation with it. It is a theme I see working its way throughout the West’s power centers. At its heart it is not only a detachment from, but a lack of interest in, the lives of your countrymen, of those who are not at the table, and who understand that they’ve been abandoned by their leaders’ selfishness and mad virtue-signalling.


...

From what I’ve seen of those in power throughout business and politics now, the people of your country are not your countrymen, they’re aliens whose bizarre emotions you must attempt occasionally to anticipate and manage.

Back in the 1960s, I believe, Whittaker Chambers reviewed Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged (or one of her books) in the National Review. Appalled by Rand's absolute insistence that she owed nothing -- not even sympathy -- to her struggling fellow countrymen, Chambers observed that Rand's prescription for the poor seemed to be nothing but "To a gas chamber, go."

You have no economic usefulness to us; now do your duty and trudge off like a lame and old elephant. Find a nice field of bones to lie down and die in.

Lately I've been seeing this hard-edged "Go fuck yourself, Poorz" Randism emanating from many quarters on the right -- from people who previously had declared themselves to be "patriotic." Faced with Trump's declaration that he'd favor, get this, current American workers over incoming foreign challengers, some declare that we should have no favoritism of one over the other, that it should all be merit-based and based on whoever will work the cheapest.

There are, in this telling, absolutely no privileges for membership in the Club American.

What is strange is that those now declaring this simultaneously expect US cops and servicement to defend them from threats foreign and domestic -- but why should they, if we have no obligations running towards each other -- and of course they completely favor rejiggering the law to give American corporations an advantage against foreign competitors.

Get that? US working stiffs should get no legal advantages over foreign challengers, but of course US corporations should get subsidies and the intervention of the State Department.

Mitt Romney had it all wrong -- corporations are not people.

Corporations are better that people.

I've written at my absolute bafflement in this bizarre inversion in what "conservatism" means as far as patriotism. Post 2001, liberals made the claim that foreigners who died as collateral deaths in justified attacks on terrorist targets were just as important as the 3000 who died on 9/11.

No they're not, we answered. First of all, the victims of 9/11 were intentional murder victims. Civilian casualties due to justifiable strikes on military targets are regrettable -- but not intentional.

But also, we said, you are wrong because you are denying that Americans should hold other Americans in a special place in their heart, above all other people.

Not because Americans are necessarily better than foreign citizens -- but just because those within the family are, naturally, more the objects of our sympathy and concern to those without it.

We even had a name for people who claimed that no American should view another American as having any special pull on his sympathy or loyalty -- transnational progressives. Progressives -- note that; we did not call them "conservative transnationals" -- whose loyaties were to some ill-defined transnational Citizen of the World sort of idea, rather than to the country, or one's fellow countrymen.

Indeed, many of us thought this was rather un-conservative. Very progressive in fact.

Many of us -- less me, but others sharing my view - pointed out that the natural hierachy of loyalties emanated out from the person in growing ciricles -- first loyalty, to the immediae family; then to the extended family and friends; then to the community; then to the nation; then to allied nations; and then only finally to the world at large.

That is plainly the conservative view of loyalty and patriotism. That doesn't mean it's the only one -- the transnational progressive view has its adherents -- but there is no arguing that that is not the conservative, traditional view of the growing sphere of loyalty and duty. From one's own, outwards.

But now we have people like the Wall Street Journal's Brett Stephens claiming, preposterously, that transnational progressivism -- where no American should have any advantage over any foreigner in any sphere (except in the corporate sphere, of course) -- is the default "Reaganite" idea which has been core conservative doctrine for 40 years:

But Mr. Hannity's tantrum obscures the uglier side of what he is trying to do, which is to paint targets on the GOP’s genuine Reaganites--pro-trade, pro-immigration, pro-NATO, pro-entitlement reform--and replace them with the Party of Trump--anti-all of the above--no matter what happens to the candidate come November.

Excuse me?

Transnational progressivism -- fidelity only to a transnational cult of like-minded fellows who have stripped themselves of the baggage of base nationality and patritism -- has been the standard "Reaganite," conservative view of the world for 40 years?

Are you speaking of this planet?

I suppose we should excuse Mr. Stephen's excitability on this point -- the Wall Street Journal notoriously ran the same article on Open Borders every single year -- a short piece declaring that the United States policy on borders should be simply "There shall be open borders" -- on every single July 4th.

You might not have seen that lately -- they stopped running that after 9/11, when some people who took advantage of our nation's wonderful open borders got into some planes and crashed them into the borders of the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

But I guess, just as liberals stopped pretending a couple of years after 9/11 that they were particularly bothered by it, it's now time for the transnational progressives of the corporate right to begin flying their freak flags again.

Can I ask a question of the people who keep telling me they are Really Good At Politics(TM)?:

If you're basically telling American workers you plan to simply replace them with cheaper imports and they can move to Mexico where prices are cheaper if they don't like it- -

um, how exactly do you get them to vote for you?

And, um, they still having the vote -- I assume you are not planning to strip it from them via a Randian measure stating that one must have a college education and clear $90,000 a year to have the right to vote -- why would they just not start voting Democrat en masse?

i mean, sure, Hillary's promising her corporate clients she'll import replacement workers for these unreasonable Americans, too, but at least the Democrats promise a luxurious life on the public dole.

What's the Wall Street Journal promising them?

Oh yeah -- changing the law to make it easier to bring in H2B workers to replace American workers so that American corporations have an easier time competing against foreign challengers.

Sounds like corporations are due some cash-money Protection by the government, but it would be "anti-capitalist" to similarly change immigration laws to protect American workers.

Gee -- I wonder why the Establishment lost any kind of control over its onetime base.


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posted by Ace at 04:08 PM

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