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TopHatter
22 Apr 16,, 16:23
As most of you here know well, I have very little use for the GOP and the hard conservative wing of this country. However ridiculous and stupid the things they might say, I have an even deeper disdain for the 'typical' American liberal. The reason for that isn't necessarily the positions they embrace.

I was rather startled to come across an article on a deeply right-wing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcasm) website Vox.com,

It's a long article, very much worth reading, but summed up this way: "[Liberals have a] condescending, defensive sneer toward any person or movement outside of its consensus, dressed up as a monopoly on reason."

The smug style in American liberalism (http://www.vox.com/2016/4/21/11451378/smug-american-liberalism)

astralis
22 Apr 16,, 17:29
it's a good article, albeit overly-long and tortured in writing.

but hey look, I said the very same thing four years ago:

http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/showthread.php?t=62806&p=888286&viewfull=1#post888286

at its essence is simply the evolution of Democrats from a mixed populist party to a largely urban interest group coalition.

TopHatter
22 Apr 16,, 17:53
it's a good article, albeit overly-long and tortured in writing.
Agreed, as much as I was enjoying it, I started frowning when every push of the Page Down button revealed more and more article to be read...


but hey look, I said the very same thing four years ago
Indeed you did, and with the perfect counterpoint to conservatives:

paranoia and conspiracy-theory is its counterpart with conservatives...

gunnut
22 Apr 16,, 19:53
Let me sum it up for you: We're smart; you're dumb. Therefore freedom of speech applies as long as you agree with us.

TopHatter
22 Apr 16,, 21:14
Let me sum it up for you: We're smart; you're dumb. Therefore freedom of speech applies as long as you agree with us.

Perfect. Absolutely perfect. Also, "You're too stupid to wipe your own ass, the government should take care of you"

astralis
22 Apr 16,, 21:27
joe, come on, everyone knows that americans can't wipe their own ass right, they need to be more civilized and get one of those Japanese or European bidets...;-)

on a somewhat less tongue in cheek note, Sanders supporters are really trying to win the Olympics of this, by showing they have got both smugness and conspiracy theory down. the only problem is, out-conspiracy theorying Trump supporters is an all but impossible feat...

Parihaka
22 Apr 16,, 22:23
41398

TopHatter
22 Apr 16,, 22:46
joe, come on, everyone knows that americans can't wipe their own ass right, they need to be more civilized and get one of those Japanese or European bidets...;-)
Which, by the way, I am totally in favor of. Damn that attitude that it's European foppery :(


on a somewhat less tongue in cheek note, Sanders supporters are really trying to win the Olympics of this, by showing they have got both smugness and conspiracy theory down. the only problem is, out-conspiracy theorying Trump supporters is an all but impossible feat...
Poor Bernie supporters. I bet they feel like Hillary's supporters back in 2008 when they realized the DNC had long since chosen Obama and were tossing Clinton out with the bathwater.

troung
22 Apr 16,, 23:32
I have heard people in the real world describe people as "voting against their own interests", when it came to Obamacare..

GVChamp
23 Apr 16,, 02:40
Lol, well, definitely true. At least for a certain brand of liberal. You're talking a relatively small part of the overall nation, though. Think the "Mad Men" and "Downtown Abbey" crowd.

They have a disproportionate voice. Fortunately, out of the political zealots you can get, they're pretty tame. Overall, they're value-add, too, even if they are freakin' crazy in some aspects.

Monash
23 Apr 16,, 12:58
Lol, well, definitely true. At least for a certain brand of liberal. You're talking a relatively small part of the overall nation, though. Think the "Mad Men" and "Downtown Abbey" crowd.

Hey, I happen to think both series perfectly good TV dramas. That said just because I watch them doesn't mean I want to bureaucratize 'wiping of asses' on a national basis. I'm perfectly willing to leave everyone's backsides in there own hands - so to speak.

GVChamp
23 Apr 16,, 13:35
Hey, I happen to think both series perfectly good TV dramas. That said just because I watch them doesn't mean I want to bureaucratize 'wiping of asses' on a national basis. I'm perfectly willing to leave everyone's backsides in there own hands - so to speak.

Don't worry, I'm part of that demographic cohort, too. Not EVERYONE in our group is an asshole.

Bigfella
23 Apr 16,, 13:52
on a somewhat less tongue in cheek note, Sanders supporters are really trying to win the Olympics of this, by showing they have got both smugness and conspiracy theory down. the only problem is, out-conspiracy theorying Trump supporters is an all but impossible feat...

Most of the Sanders supporters I encounter online or in person are some shade of insufferable. There's this 'I want it so it has to happen NOW' attitude that comes across like an over educated 10 year old. This impression is reinforced by the fact that they clearly just discovered how primaries work and they are outraged that the process doesn't just make their wishes come true because they say so. ITS A CONSPIRACY!!!!! As they have just realised that Bernie can't win (the grownups twigged after Super Tuesday) the online tantrums are starting up. I'm sort of enjoying it. ;-)

On the OP, I haven't read the article for the simple reason that I've been observing this phenomenon close up for a fair chunk of my life. The article would just depress me. It sounds like the folk we are talking about are what I refer to as the 'activist left' or in my nastier moods 'Chomskybots' ('activist' is really an attitudinal description, as few of them ever do more than take STRONG positions). Having spent a fair bit of time around University campuses & ten years as treasurer of a Communist cricket club (apparently we were the Maoists, having split from the Trotskyists a decade before I joined) I know whereof I speak. Until my mid-20s I was even of them, then I got serious about history and realised how poorly based their worldview was. Don't get me started on Chomsky, I start ranting like a drunk Tea Party member watching an Obama speech. Some of these folk are even friends of mine'. Lovely folk, but irritating at times.

From my POV these folk are the left wing equivalent of the sort of conservatives TH hates. They get all hopped up with righteous indignation about their given issue & then decide that the world needs to do what they want it to. They spend most of their time in a closed informational loop and tend to chain their intellectual faculties (such as they are) to defending their prejudices rather than challenging them.

This would matter less to me if we didn't share some of the same causes - only some. These clowns are so obsessed with being right that they actually resent the people who are more interested in getting results. As Hillary commented, it is easier to describe a problem than it is to solve it. Because cheap propaganda, sloganeering and posturing are WAY more fun than doing shit, people like this are the ones who get all the attention. As a result ideas I think are important get represented by lying pieces of shit like Chomsky or third rate Goebbels wannabes like Michael Moore & John Pilger along with an army of smug, self righteous fanbois. If I was trying to discredit those ideas I couldn't think of a better way to do it.

Dickheads.

Bigfella
23 Apr 16,, 13:54
I have heard people in the real world describe people as "voting against their own interests", when it came to Obamacare..

You get the same whenever conservatives are asked to explain why non-whites don't vote GOP - some combination of 'they are stupid and/or lazy'. The possibility that people may have perfectly good reasons that they are happy with doesn't seem to occour.

GVChamp
23 Apr 16,, 15:28
From my POV these folk are the left wing equivalent of the sort of conservatives TH hates. They get all hopped up with righteous indignation about their given issue & then decide that the world needs to do what they want it to. They spend most of their time in a closed informational loop and tend to chain their intellectual faculties (such as they are) to defending their prejudices rather than challenging them.

Yep, that seems to be the best analogy. This particular malady is not left-specific. I don't run across too many of those: I live in a Democratic bubble, so the few Republicans I run across are well aware of the Democratic POV and have at least SOME respect for it.

But at a national level, there seem to be plenty of....well...crazies. So I know damn well they're out there.



Some additional thoughts:
http://fredrikdeboer.com/2016/04/21/a-few-thoughts-on-liberal-smugness/

astralis
24 Apr 16,, 17:16
GVChamp,

that's an interesting addendum. i especially like this part:


because a great deal of the phenomenon described in this essay is a product of what I’ll call meritocratic liberalism. (I’m going to avoid the neo-word because it’s always so controversial for some reason.)

that's how you know you've reached the quote unquote real left, when the writer starts slinging around the dread word neoliberalism...;-)

BTW, this is not a new conversation for Democrats-- part of the old liberal resistance against the Clintonian Third Way was that it was a stalking-horse for elitism on the left. for that matter, a lot of the same themes were used against JFK's technocratic New Frontier.

Albany Rifles
24 Apr 16,, 21:51
I will admit I did not read the article....the warning on its length turned me off.

But I do resent the way we have decided that everything and every view in politics has to have a label. On each issue I have a view. So at what point to I become a liberal? A conservative? A centrist?

Too many labels and too much money in politics today.

Our politicians are locked into a continual cycle of raising money for the next election and no one has time to govern.

A pox on all their houses.

Parihaka
24 Apr 16,, 22:06
I will admit I did not read the article....the warning on its length turned me off.

But I do resent the way we have decided that everything and every view in politics has to have a label. On each issue I have a view. So at what point to I become a liberal? A conservative? A centrist?

Too many labels and too much money in politics today.

Our politicians are locked into a continual cycle of raising money for the next election and no one has time to govern.

A pox on all their houses.It happily talked of 'liberals' views of 'conservatives' as being stupid drunken hicks and how smug that was, without ever actually stating the stupidity was false.
Simply put, "We on the left are sometimes a bit too fabulous and we need to remember to not talk down to them too much". Très Vox.

astralis
25 Apr 16,, 02:18
It happily talked of 'liberals' views of 'conservatives' as being stupid drunken hicks and how smug that was, without ever actually stating the stupidity was false.

eh...


If there is a single person who exemplifies the dumbass hick in the smug imagination, it is former President George W. Bush. He's got the accent. He can't talk right. He seems stupefied by simple concepts, and his politics are all gee-whiz Texas ignorance. He is the ur-hick. He is the enemy.

He got all the way to White House, and he's still being taken for a ride by the scheming rightwing oligarchs around him — just like those poor rubes in Kansas. If only George knew Dick Cheney wasn't acting in his own best interests!

It is worth considering that Bush is the son of a president, a patrician born in Connecticut and educated at Andover and Harvard and Yale.

It is worth considering that he does not come from a family known for producing poor minds.

It is worth considering that beginning with his 1994 gubernatorial debate against Ann Richards, and at every juncture thereafter, opponents have been defeated after days of media outlets openly speculating whether George was up to the mental challenge of a one-on-one debate.

"Throughout his short political career," ABC's Katy Textor wrote on the eve of the 2000 debates against Al Gore, "Bush has benefited from low expectations of his debating abilities. The fact that he skipped no less than three GOP primary debates, and the fact that he was reluctant to agree to the Commission on Presidential Debates proposal, has done little to contradict the impression of a candidate uncomfortable with this unavoidable fact of campaign life."

"Done little to contradict."

On November 6, 2000, during his final pre-election stump speech, Bush explained his history of political triumph thusly: "They misunderesimated me."

What an idiot. American liberals made fun of him for that one for years.

It is worth considering that he didn't misspeak.


He did, however, deliberately cultivate the confusion. He understood the smug style. He wagered that many liberals, eager to see their opponents as intellectually deficient, would buy into the act and thereby miss the more pernicious fact of his moral deficits.

He wagered correctly. Smug liberals said George was too stupid to get elected, too stupid to get reelected, too stupid to pass laws or appoint judges or weather a political fight. Liberals misunderestimated George W. Bush all eight years of his presidency.

George W. Bush is not a dumbass hick. In eight years, all the sick Daily Show burns in the world did not appreciably undermine his agenda.

====


Nothing is more confounding to the smug style than the fact that the average Republican is better educated and has a higher IQ than the average Democrat. That for every overpowered study finding superior liberal open-mindedness and intellect and knowledge, there is one to suggest that Republicans have the better of these qualities.

Most damning, perhaps, to the fancy liberal self-conception: Republicans score higher in susceptibility to persuasion. They are willing to change their minds more often.

The Republican coalition tends toward the center: educated enough, smart enough, informed enough.

Parihaka
25 Apr 16,, 11:19
eh...



If there is a single person who exemplifies the dumbass hick in the smug imagination, it is former President George W. Bush. He's got the accent. He can't talk right. He seems stupefied by simple concepts, and his politics are all gee-whiz Texas ignorance. He is the ur-hick. He is the enemy.

He got all the way to White House, and he's still being taken for a ride by the scheming rightwing oligarchs around him — just like those poor rubes in Kansas. If only George knew Dick Cheney wasn't acting in his own best interests!

It is worth considering that Bush is the son of a president, a patrician born in Connecticut and educated at Andover and Harvard and Yale.

It is worth considering that he does not come from a family known for producing poor minds.

It is worth considering that beginning with his 1994 gubernatorial debate against Ann Richards, and at every juncture thereafter, opponents have been defeated after days of media outlets openly speculating whether George was up to the mental challenge of a one-on-one debate.

"Throughout his short political career," ABC's Katy Textor wrote on the eve of the 2000 debates against Al Gore, "Bush has benefited from low expectations of his debating abilities. The fact that he skipped no less than three GOP primary debates, and the fact that he was reluctant to agree to the Commission on Presidential Debates proposal, has done little to contradict the impression of a candidate uncomfortable with this unavoidable fact of campaign life."

"Done little to contradict."

On November 6, 2000, during his final pre-election stump speech, Bush explained his history of political triumph thusly: "They misunderesimated me."

What an idiot. American liberals made fun of him for that one for years.

It is worth considering that he didn't misspeak.


He did, however, deliberately cultivate the confusion. He understood the smug style. He wagered that many liberals, eager to see their opponents as intellectually deficient, would buy into the act and thereby miss the more pernicious fact of his moral deficits.

He wagered correctly. Smug liberals said George was too stupid to get elected, too stupid to get reelected, too stupid to pass laws or appoint judges or weather a political fight. Liberals misunderestimated George W. Bush all eight years of his presidency.

George W. Bush is not a dumbass hick. In eight years, all the sick Daily Show burns in the world did not appreciably undermine his agenda.



Nothing is more confounding to the smug style than the fact that the average Republican is better educated and has a higher IQ than the average Democrat. That for every overpowered study finding superior liberal open-mindedness and intellect and knowledge, there is one to suggest that Republicans have the better of these qualities.

Most damning, perhaps, to the fancy liberal self-conception: Republicans score higher in susceptibility to persuasion. They are willing to change their minds more often.

The Republican coalition tends toward the center: educated enough, smart enough, informed enough.

====
Yessss, and were I a first year varsity student I'd be impressed by these two lines within a thesis, indeed I would. However, I'm not, and the following lines from the second quote outlines his considered view



The Democratic coalition in the 21st century is bifurcated: It has the postgraduates, but it has the disenfranchised urban poor as well, a group better defined by race and immigration status than by class. There are more Americans without high school diplomas than in possession of doctoral degrees. The math proceeds from there.
"we actually are smarter, it's just our minority supporters are dumber".

Smugness, well yes that is a problem, but believing your own press is a far greater one. If he wishes to examine a contemporary conservative/liberal conflict the following videos illustrate current liberal problems far more than having underestimated Bush or how to deal with Kim Davis.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zHoDANH-R8
If you wish the full debate it's here, (http://www.munkdebates.com/debates/global-refugee-crisis) it doesn't get any better for the liberal team.

Or perhaps an American-centric version.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5KoYJ64vjA

As you know I'm a fan of the US getting a healthy dose of socialism over the next few years, and the best delivery method for that is liberalism, but there's a problem. Liberalism doesn't have a smugness problem, it doesn't have a "how do we connect with the dumb people" problem either. Its real problem is that it doesn't rate intellectually. It's behind the eight-ball, and falling behind more every day. That is a problem for all of us.

GVChamp
25 Apr 16,, 18:08
GVChamp,

that's an interesting addendum. i especially like this part:

that's how you know you've reached the quote unquote real left, when the writer starts slinging around the dread word neoliberalism...;-)

BTW, this is not a new conversation for Democrats-- part of the old liberal resistance against the Clintonian Third Way was that it was a stalking-horse for elitism on the left. for that matter, a lot of the same themes were used against JFK's technocratic New Frontier.

Yeah, the actual Leftist blogger agrees with the Vox writer, with the same ultimate point. The yuppie-section of the Democrats has taken over the Party and is driving out lower class whites with its smug narcissism. What the Left blogger notes, at least, is that the Democrats are incapable of embracing real leftism because of this Yuppie/minority base. And they'll never really help the average American either.

But what do you expect? The New Deal coalition is dead. The 60s and 70s killed it.

I think I like the leftist blogger more, too. He seems capable of admitting he MIGHT be wrong. Vox writer? Smug yuppies tend to live in closed information bubbles. Nate Silver's take:
https://twitter.com/NateSilver538/status/722660913770283008

Not saying I live in a bubble but I do live in a 14.8-square mile congressional district won by John Kasich, just FYI.

astralis
28 Apr 16,, 14:46
GVChamp,


What the Left blogger notes, at least, is that the Democrats are incapable of embracing real leftism because of this Yuppie/minority base. And they'll never really help the average American either.


yup, this the primary disagreement between the center-left and the leftist.



But what do you expect? The New Deal coalition is dead. The 60s and 70s killed it.

more specifically, civil rights-- the Southern Democrats had already been in a state of rebellion since the 50s. the 60s made it complete, while Nixon actively sought after that vote. Goldwater had tiptoed around it as George Romney made it clear that getting that vote should be beneath Republicans and a betrayal of Republican values.


Smug yuppies tend to live in closed information bubbles.


and to be fair, the huge majority of Americans, conservative and liberal, live in closed information bubbles.

the context of the article is a center-left guy doing the self-reflective thing, diagnosing an ill with his particular faction.

doesn't mean that the ills don't exist elsewhere. tamping down on my own smugness...;-)...I think it's fair to say that closed information bubbles and self-deception run rather deeper on the other side, but that is beside the point here. smugness is how liberals react when the bubble threatens to be pierced, while conspiracy theory and paranoia is how conservatives respond.

we'll see large doses of both over the next few months.

GVChamp
29 Apr 16,, 18:13
I think the context of this article is the broader Trump phenomenon. It's tangential, but still in the "This is why working class whites hate us" category.

Everyone lives in a bubble, but the Tolstoy rule applies: Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

Upper-class liberal rhetoric alienates the majority of white voters. They make up this electoral deficiency with minority voters, who are alienated by Conservative rhetoric. Upper-class liberals think the Conservative rhetoric is more dangerous, but really, it's the Upper-Class Bobos who have a lifestyle and rhetoric entirely at odds with most Americans and have the greater potential to create some silly modernist Utopia that won't work.