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January 17, 2018

Trump's Basic Instincts About the Political War Are Essentially Right, and The Establishment's Sense of It Is Essentially Wrong

Very good piece by Joe Katzman for the Daily Caller.

Short version: The right attempts political persuasion. The left, on the other hand, attempts social persuasion -- basically seizing the commanding heights of culture-making institutions and then deciding that espousing some political claims (being pro-gay-marriage) increase social status and that espousing other political claims (being against gay marriage) decrease social status and, indeed, make one a social pariah, fit for ostracism, mass mockery, and internal exile.

The left's method works much better than the right's. It always has and it always will. Because most people don't care about politics all that much -- but nearly everyone (except for the crankiest of contrarians, including some of the current assembled company) cares about their social status.

Having higher social status gets you invites to the Cocktail Party Circuit, which is a real thing, defined broadly (and metaphorically) enough. It makes you datable, it makes you "clubbable," as the old term went.

It can get you promoted at work, particularly if the sort of job you do is a bit vague as far as definite, tangible outputs and thus advancement depends more on how upper management feels about you.

While the left wing continues winning arguments by not even having arguments at all, instead simply demonizing those who espouse any contrary position, the #SmartSet (citation required) of the establishment right continues believing, apparently earnestly and definitely ridiculously, that if they just out argue their political competitors, they'll change minds.

They won't. Or not enough to actually matter. Because most people don't really care enough about these issues to really engage with them on an intellectual level; they just want to know what to claim to believe so that other people won't think they're weird, and deem them unfriendable, undatable, and poor candidates for promotion inside The Corporation.

Trump's manner of engaging with The Blob of left-wing virtue-signalling and status-conferring is to attempt to degrade the left wing cultural Borg of its own social status, thereby reducing its ability to set tastes, serve as "gatekeepers" of what the right-minded people agree are proper attitudes and beliefs, and demonize dissenters.

This is often ugly -- but that's how the sausage gets made. It does not matter if you produce a well-researched and well-cited bit of argument as to your position if the cultural princelings of the left can simply say "You're a Nazi and you hate women" and thereby, with seven stupid words, raze not only your argument but your entire claim to basic human dignity.

The only way to rob them of that ability is to reduce their own social status to a low level. You cannot confer or reduce social status unless you yourself have a great deal of it.

There's another aspect to this as well: Part of the reason some on the "Reputable Right" continue to act as confirmatory agents of the cultural left's social status. That is, they themselves act as if the cultural left's doyennes are indeed owed deference and do in fact possess high status, and do indeed therefore enjoy the lordly privilege of elevating, or degrading, the social status of those lower in the social hierarchy.

It is, of course, an age-old right of the nobility to confer (lesser) noble status on a commoner -- raising him to a baronet, say -- or to strip a lower-ranking noble of his status.

The establishment right/the self-claimed #SmartSet continues to act as if the cultural left has this lordly power because the lords of the left return the favor in a small way, permitting those on the nominal right who salute the flag of the left to at least attend their courts and hold on to the meager privileges of very low-level nobility.

They're sub-nobles, but at least the lords have recognized their superiority over the commoners and peasants.

Thus, this is a relationship that benefits both the Lords of the Left and its minor courtiers of the right: The minor courtiers of the right reify and confirm the exalted position of the Lords of the Left, while the Lords of the Left confer a small amount of social status on the establishment/liberal-leaning/#SmartSet right. Not a lot of social status, of course-- just enough to say they're better than the rest of the riff-raff.

Just enough that the petty nobles of the subjugated right can call themselves "respectable" in their Lords' eyes.

There is only one way to change this entirely-unacceptable arrangement: that is for the right to greatly increase the social status of at least some cadres of the right, so that some members of the right will themselves have the lordly power to raise and reduce social status.

But that seems almost impossible, and, furthermore, I don't think the right can really agree on which cadre to elevate to lordly status. And of course no one has more social status than the majority of the public agrees they have; who would be convinced if tomorrow most of the right-wing agreed mutually that, say, Brit Hume ought to be considered a National Lord?

The other alternative is, of course, to destroy (or degrade) the social status of the Lords of the Left. That's also hard, but it's easier to destroy than to create.

This involves a lot of base mockery and ridicule, something that the petty nobles of the liberal-leaning nominal right find horrifying when a right-winger does it, but don't seem to notice or at least care that their masters, the Lords of the Left, do nothing but this.

As they do it to other members of the right, not the eager courtiers seeking the blessings of the Lords of the Left, the petty nobility of the right permits it, and even engages in it themselves, to further ingratiate themselves with the courtly class.

The hell with that. It's time for pitchforks and torches.

A shorter way to say this is just to quote Andrew Breitbart: "Politics is downstream of culture."

Breitbart attempted that -- he did not act like a Pet Petty Noble for the true ruling class; rather, he challenged them and humiliated them -- and for that he was savaged by the defenders of the Lords of the Left, like David Frum, who just wouldn't know what to do with himself if the ruling class withdrew his "tolerated" status from him.


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posted by Ace at 07:21 PM

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