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  • Otherizing

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on January 29th, 2014 (All posts by )

    To put it in simple terms, that’s what I call it when a whole group, or sub-set of people are deemed the Emmanuel Goldstein of the moment by a dominant group, and set up as a focus for free-wheeling hate. In practice, this hate may range all the way from a mild disinclination to associate professionally or socially, all the way to 11 in marking the object of that hate as a suitable target for murder, either singly or in wholesale lots – and sometimes with the cooperation and blessing of the state. It’s more something that I have read about – either in the pages of history books, or in the newspapers – and increasingly on-line. Still, it is no end distressing to see it developing here in these United States in this century. Am I paranoid about this current bout of ‘otherizing’? Perhaps – but don’t tell me that it cannot happen here.

    Some hundred and fifty years ago, the ‘otherizing’ reached such a pitch that young men marched against their countrymen – they were clad in blue and grey, and fell on battlefields so contested that lead shot fell like a hailstorm, and swept away a large portion of men recruited by regional-based units. Passionate feelings, words and small deeds, public and private regarding slavery were balanced against states’ rights. The pressure built up and up, like steam in a boiler – and finally there was no means for them to be expressed but in death wished upon the ‘other’. By the end of twenty years of editorials, speeches, and political campaigns had been worked to a fever pitch. Civil war became not only possible – but in the eyes of the editorialists, the speech-makers and the politicians – a wholly desirable outcome. And a goodly portion of a generation lay dead, as if a scythe had swept over a wheat-field. Everyone was very sorry afterwards, but the words could not be unspoken, the hatred and resentment re-bottled in a flask, or the dead re-animated, to go about their ordinary lives as if the great divisive issue of mid-19th century America had never been.

    Words eventually lead to deeds – especially hot, angry words spoken or expressed by those in cultural authority. Which in this West of the World means politicians and intellectuals, and the popular media; even the not-so-pop media, come to think on it – like NPR, or lesser organs like CNN or MSNBC. (Which is my private jest to call PMS-NBC. See, two can play at this denigration game.) They used to say that sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me. But it’s the words, you see; eventually the tide of insult and slander takes a toll. The trouble is that words used with deliberation and intent will lead to application of the sticks and stones. It will also lead, as history demonstrates, to the misuse of the law to criminalize political opposition, to encourage mob actions to retaliate against the ‘other’ for perceived offenses, and at the very least to shun the ‘other’ socially.

    Are we at the point of 1861 again, with a divide so deep, and the words spoken so incendiary that they might only be erased in blood? I don’t think so, not quite yet. But we are certainly closer today to 1861 then we have been in the last few decades. And that prospect scares the heck out of me – but it doesn’t seem like many of those in cultural authority, in the media, the commentariat or in politics quite feel the same fear. Just possibly they knew recent history about as well as Andrea Mitchell does … which is cause for even more alarm, if possible.

    (crossposted at www.ncobrief.com)

     

    49 Responses to “Otherizing”

    1. Joe Wooten Says:

      I really do not know if these time parallel 1861 or not, but I do think that as more rational Americans really begin to push back against the now-entrenched lefty statists, the statists will get more violent.

    2. ErisGuy Says:

      If only we’d other-ized timely and successfully, we wouldn’t have communists, their admirers and their toadies in control now. We tried and we failed.

      If only people had been so filled with fear and hatred of communism, that Rolling Stone couldn’t call for #fullcommunism; that Hiss was recognized far and wide as guilty as they come; that Pete Seeger died unknown and unheralded; that….

      Ah, well, why wish for a rational response to mass-murdering ideologues? It’s not possible.

    3. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      Sgt. Mom,

      As you may know, some time ago I came up with the concept of TWANLOC; Those Who Are No Longer Our Countrymen, over at BELMONT CLUB. If I may give a short form I used here at CB a few years ago:

      Elsewhere, over at Pajamas Media, I have put forth the concept of TWANLOC, Those Who Are No Longer Our Countrymen. In a very shortened form it is those with which we no longer share sufficient common cultural, historical, linguistic, or political ties; to the point where we can no longer converse or even tolerate the presence of each other. When you try speaking with them, I am sure that you have the feeling that you were not using the same language as they, the words are the same but the meanings and context are totally different. And the difference is marked with a passion that is, quite literally, foreign. And have no doubt, that they have that exact same feeling about you.

      Historically, having two hostile and separate peoples with widely different world views inside one set of borders has not worked out well. Coexistence does not work for any length of time, and either one or the other will prevail, both will fail, or they will separate. The violence and threats from the Left are going to increase, even if they win back control of the government [n.b. this refers to them taking back total control by retaking the House in 2012]. The punishment of unbelievers will always be a priority for them.

      This is not going to end tidily.

      That was written here 3 years ago. Any observer has to admit that things have gotten worse since.

      Normal political means cannot work if one side ignores them with impunity.

      It is painfully obvious that the Institutional Republican party is many things, but an opposition to the Left is not one of them. They only evince open hostility to their own base. And they are in the process of committing suicide by passing Permanent Open Borders and Amnesty. If they are going to commit suicide, we cannot stop them. We can only make sure that as a party they do not survive the attempt so as to clear the way for a real SECOND party.

      The rule of law is gone. The president re-writes statutes at will on whim [note, the Supreme Court, before being suborned, twice ruled in our lifetimes that the President cannot do that. It is not "legal if the president does it".]. The Federal government reserves the right to decide which laws it chooses to apply, against whom, when. And they use that right against their political enemies and for their friends.

      Elections are compromised by fraud, in which the Republican Party is complicit by agreeing in court not to fight it. Unanimous vote totals, with more votes than people living in cities so voting are accepted as normal. Military ballots not being counted are accepted as normal. The appearance of freshly printed ballots weeks after an election and them being counted are now expected.

      Last night, the President promised to rule outside of Congress by Executive Orders. And he has already done so with no pushback at all.

      We are two VERY different peoples in one set of borders each claiming control for their world view, they do not like each other in the least; and one side has declared war with the right to use the full force of the state on the other. And normal political redress is unavailable. Another thing to look for in this country. It is the “Calvo Sotelo [q.v.] moment”.

      It looks like we are already “othered” and can only await the fall of the Long Night. Three things in the world seem to always have the last word. Darwin, Clausewitz, and the Gods of the Copybook Headings.

      Subotai Bahadur

    4. Sgt. Mom Says:

      I know, Eris-guy – but as libertarian/conservatives, it’s not something that we had time for, all these years. We had lives, businesses, families and all … no time to waste and motivation to work on marginalizing people who didn’t agree with us politically. Different strokes and all – can’t we just get along?

      But now the otherization is getting truly venomous – I couldn’t bear to continue on Open Salon two years ago, the focused hate on conservatives and Tea Partiers got so open. I kept saying this was a bad, bad thing, a bad mental habit to get into. Finally I blew up and just left. My page is still there, however. I’m conducting an experiment on how long the powers that be at Open Salon will let it stay there. Two years and some at current count, and it looks like a lot of other people have left as well.

      JournaList. Candy Crowley. Andrea Mitchell and the Establishment Press. Tea Partiers being painted as villains on mainstream TV shows. The politicization of the IRS and the EPA, the effortless skimming over of inconvenient hiccups to the narrative on the part of the establishment press. All these otherwise nice, well-meaning people are being set up to look away from the ‘other’ being persecuted by the State. A knife-edge, and we are walking on it.

      I think I will go ahead and have another glass of home-made fig wine.

    5. VXXC Says:

      There are two metrics before which all others tremble: 1) Ever escalating bankruptcy and National Gambling with Finance keeping the winnings, we get to pay for the losses. Forever. Although they may have an Exit plan of NeoLiberalization, which explains the Stanley Fischer gang at the Fed.
      This is the bet of the elites.

      2) Internal Arms Race as noted here and many places. The logic of an Arms race is use or lose. The People’s Bet.

      And yet take Heart, for young heroes walk amongst us.

    6. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Patterico has a wonderful clip of Margaret Thatcher answering a lefty on inequality.

    7. ErisGuy Says:

      “But now the otherization is getting truly venomous “

      It is. And everything is not as I wish it could be. It is not possible to solve the tensions between #fullcommunism* and #liberty peacefully without one side surrendering.

      Yet… the anti-German sentiment in WW1, the anti-Communist reaction in the 1920s, the anti-Fascist reaction in the 1930s, the anti-Communist reaction in the 1950s was plenty “othering.” And often violent.

      There will be no third “red scare.”** Either Socialism will be recognized as crackpot and depraved or it will form the intellectual basis for a new civilization. Guess which one has been winning for a hundred years.

      —–

      * Not the first Rolling Stone article of this nature. I quit reading, I no longer remember when, following an article on how proud Communists could now fearlessly state their true allegiances.

      ** I use the quotes because the term is a Communist derision of their foes. People should be scared of Communists. Scared enough to shame and reject them as much as Nazis. But they’re not. And that will be our (for what little of my people remain) undoing.

    8. ErisGuy Says:

      “The president re-writes statutes at will”

      Obama has exposed all the defects of the Founding Fathers’ understanding of human nature and attempts to confine its excesses with law. The defect can be summed in a single word: ideology.

    9. dearieme Says:

      “Otherizing” is a pretty good neologism. Congratulations, madam.

    10. Michael Kennedy Says:

      ” I use the quotes because the term is a Communist derision of their foes”

      The original “Red Scare” was under Wilson (and his AG, Palmer ) who imprisoned the Socialist Eugene V Debs. One of Harding’s first actions was to release Debs who had been convicted of violating the “Espionage AC of 1917,” another Wilson initiative. Wilson was as close as we have come to a fascist government. We are edging there again and I don’t see a Harding or Coolidge around. Maybe Rand Paul. Certainly not Christie who impress me as a thug.

    11. Sgt. Mom Says:

      I can’t take credit for inventing it, Dearieme – I’ve seen it used here and there by others. But it does seem like it could become a popular term.

    12. Trent Telenko Says:

      This passage is from a book review of Robin Higham’s book “Two Roads to War: The French and British Air Arms from Versailles to Dunkirk,” Annapolis, Naval Institute Press, 2012. ISBN 978-1-61251-058-3 posted on the “H-War” e-mail list this morning.

      In part 3, “The Road to War, 1933-1940,” Higham targets the
      underlying causes of French failure and British success in planning
      and producing an air force prior to WWII. Having created a solid
      foundation, he justifiably criticizes the French government, people,
      and military for what can best be described as working almost
      deliberately against their own self-interest in the face of a looming
      threat, which produced predictable results. Higham describes a France
      always dancing around the fringes of a civil war between an
      ultraconservative right, which represented most private industry, the
      army, and the navy, and a socialist left, which flirted with
      Communism, eventually giving way to it until it was outlawed. He
      colors a France on the verge of another 1789, a France radically
      divided. Higham describes governments rapidly switching back and
      forth, doing and undoing legislation in a cycle of internal revenge.

      French industry was trying to modernize with classes of workers and
      management who never spoke with one another, but constantly attacked
      one another. This radically contrasted with a Britain in which all
      parties certainly did not agree, but at least had a sense of unity
      strong enough to try to prepare itself and its military for war in a
      productive and efficient manner. Higham also brings to a head the
      fight the ALA underwent to preserve its independence, which it lost
      in everything in name becoming a slave to an army that did not
      understand what to do with it on the eve of WWII. He also shows an
      aircraft industry in Britain that continued to innovate and evolve to
      meet the coming threat and one in France that simply could not get
      off the ground until immediately before the war. Even after the
      controversial Pierre Cot nationalized the aircraft industry, wasteful
      and ineffective procurement, production, and distribution problems
      remained. One could easily come to the conclusion from Higham’s
      excellent data that there were probably as many new unfinished
      planes on the ground in France in July 1940 as were destroyed
      in actual combat against Germany.

      The parallels between the 1930′s politics of the 2nd French Republic and 21st Century America is very strong.

    13. Ginny Says:

      Thank you for this post – it makes us more self-conscious as well as more critical. And it isn’t a good place we are headed.

      I’m beginning to realize more and more that Erisguy is right about how little we were inoculated and how susceptible we are to the hatreds that come with a powerful, intrusive state. That wasn’t just the fault of Duranty and Seeger – it was of a lot of people who honestly couldn’t imagine how bad it was, who wanted to be tolerant, who didn’t really want to know what was going on the Gulags.

      And the Founding Fathers assumed, I suspect, that the legislature would more jealously defend its prerogatives. They understood ambition and self-centered lusts, but these would seem to be best satisfied by the respect of their constituents; perhaps they couldn’t imagine a country in which the richest counties circle the White House & Congress. Long-term ambitions for the nation’s progress are clearly not important to those who can’t even pass budgets, a rather minimal expectation of the electorate. Congress’s focus for approval on the moneyed & the media is shortsighted in terms of our country but likely to be ego and bank book rewarding in the short run.

      And, yes, the “otherness” bothers me – and worries me about myself as well. The more I contrast Fogel and Bloodlands (a shorthand, of course, but not an untrue one), the more certain I am of what works. The refusal to see what seems plain to me makes me not just critical, but despairing and even angry. And this is perhaps more because I used to consider NPR almost Biblical and see myself as prideful and wrong (and conned). I have trouble seeing “others” as reasonable people, even though I was closer to them once myself. And I know I have become guilty of seeing others as wrong – though since it is the establishment my position would seem more masochistic than bullying. And those with views closer to mine are less likely to find pleasure in knock-out games or the rampages of Occupy Wall Street, more likely to be the Chick-Fil-es handing out food in Atlanta or the Tea partiers picking up after themselves neatly and organizing informative speeches; if I find Fox’s thinking more sound than MSNBC’s it is true it is more respectful of other’s arguments as well as persons.

    14. David Foster Says:

      The French writer Andre Maurois had dinner with Winston Churchill in 1935. After the meal Mr. Churchill took the guest aside and said to him, “You must not write any more novels. No! And you must not write any more biographies. No!”

      M. Maurois looked at him “in some alarm,” and Churchill continued: “All you must do now is to write one article a day, a single article, and the same one every day. Articles in which you will express, in- all the different ways you can think of, a single idea – the French Air Force, which used to be the best in the world, Is slipping back to fourth or fifth place. The German Air Force, which used to be non-existent, is in process of becoming the best in the world. Nothing else. And if you proclaim these truths in France, and if you force France to listen to them, you will have performed a much greater service’ than in describing a woman’s loves or a man’s ambition.”

      Maurois begged off, saying he knew nothing about aviation and nobody would listen to him on the subject anyhow…it was a decision he would later much regret.

    15. ErisGuy Says:

      “‘Otherizing’ is a pretty good neologism.”

      It’s diluted from the vocabulary of Edward Said, Michael Foucault, Simone de Beauvoir, and Husserl. If you speak the language of your enemies, you have already capitulated to their aggression. (Not my observation: I read in Bloom’s “Closing of the American Mind.”)

      “I’m beginning to realize more and more that Erisguy is right about how little we were inoculated and how susceptible we are to the hatreds that come with a powerful, intrusive state. “

      I think Subotai writes at greater length, with more experience, and with greater clarity with much the same points as I try to make and at many of the same websites. Shame we’ll never meet. (I’m too cowardly.)

      Sgt. Mom & I use the same source: the Civil War. IIR, in “The Best & the Brightest” Halberstam quoted David Reisman? on the fanatic hatreds of the Civil War, which made a strong impression on me as a child reading the book. It caused me to study Communism and the Civil War, among other things.

      Most people—and certainly most Republicans—continue to believe the hatreds of the Left aren’t seriously held. Like Chamberlin, they think their enemies are nice people like themselves.

      And so McCain’s photographer depicts him as a vampire; Sarah Palin should be hate ****** and forced to eat ****; all disagreement is called hate speech; people are encouraged at sporting events to sign loyalty oaths (#dontcrosstheline); dissenters are prosecuted in New Mexico and Oregon; (now think of all that I’m not mentioning); etc. The Left is working itself up to mass murder. That’s my judgment based on lifetime of reading about Left.

      I despair when I see my friends who once sounded so libertarian in the 1960s invite me to Communist rallies. Oh, the rallies aren’t called that. They’re called rallies to honor the victims of the blacklist (e.g., Trumbo). When I point out these “victims” really were Communists, the room falls silent. And my social invitations decline. My friends and relatives are divided into believers in the Lightworker Obama or in Jesus.

      My only hope is in the unpredictability of the future. We are led by fools and worse who are every year handed new tools that will remake society in ways not even SF authors can imagine.

      My people—the people who believed the truth would set you free; that given a choice among freely competing factions, the people would make the right choice—have almost vanished. The wrong side won. My beliefs were not durable. One side must win. One side must lose. (“He’s old, we’re young; that’s life.”)

      ***

      (“Run, he’s gonna reminisce.”) Years prior to the release of the 10:10 video (which showed persons insufficiently ‘Green’ being killed—fictional, if you haven’t seen it), I had a discussion about environmentalism with a (now former) friend. He said he didn’t know what a Green government would be like. It had never been tried. He was so hopeful. I said Greens refer to the human race as the cancer or AIDS of the planet. (True dat.) That the 20th century had seen many governments which described some or all of humanity as vermin. We know exactly what a Green government would be like. And that ended that. Never again would we discuss environmentalism.

      ***

      TWANLOC, or as Instapundit no longer puts it: “they’re not the loyal opposition, they’re on the other side.”

      ***

      Please, where are the more hopeful Chicago Boyz? I could use a dose of good news.

    16. PenGun Says:

      Penny says —bzzzzt! There goes another irrelevant and mildly insulting comment from the usual contributor of irrelevant and mildly insulting comments.

    17. Michael Kennedy Says:

      The next two elections should determine a lot. The 1994 election turned Bill Clinton around and he had been going left. He was teachable. Hillary is not, in my opinion. Obama is not. If The GOP takes Congress this fall, the ocean liner may start to turn around. It will be slow but it will be into the right direction.

      World War II saved Roosevelt from the consequences of his policies during the Depression. I realize that the opinion is unpopular in some quarters but I still think the Panic of 1929 need not have gone as it did. By 1940, had the war not intervened, Roosevelt would have been susceptible to another candidate with better instincts on the economy. That could have been Willkie. I’ve read several biographies of him and he was rather undisciplined but could have done well, given the opportunity. Roosevelt considered naming him as his VP candidate in 1944 but that may have been FDR’s usual joke on his friends.

      Once the war began he had to turn the economy over to the people who had opposed him for years. They got the job done although here was some hanky-panky like with the Allison engine for the P 38. If it had had the Rolls Royce Merlin, maybe a few thousand more 8th AF kids would have survived. The Merlin saved the P 51 but all those crewmen were dead by then.

    18. T.K. Tortch Says:

      I don’t know how rancorous our contemporary debate is compared to the past. Not as bad as before the Civil War, sure!! But is it worse than the late ’60s? Heck, is it worse than the very late 18th Century and early 20th Century? We kind of forget a lot of the labor unrest back then; some justified, some not. Anarchists, Militias, National Guard, Union Mobs, plenty of killing.

      I don’t really think we’re at a “civil war” style breach. The strata of lefty types that really have the requisite spite and recklessness to use violence is pretty thin, though over-represented in influence and visibility. The casual mob of lefty followers is in the game for vanity points with their peers, not blood. Old-school blue-collar democrats (that still exist) would be appalled at the notion (except maybe the aging remnant of the Union thug brigades). The rest of ‘em are too feckless. The mass of twee urban dwellers are not going to suit up for fighting of any potentially deadly kind. And they’re too ironic and deracinated to take the idea of physically fighting for your ideals seriously, anyway.

      Conservatives (In which for this purpose I include the very large group of people who are “conservative” just because, bless them, they never think of politics at all unless politicians force them to), are going to see any kind of real violent power play as totally insane because it will seem to them to be predicated on – nothing at all. No precedent, no justification.

      So anything that would actually tip the country over into some kind of hot fight seems to me a far away possibility, right now. Though I would agree that the stage is set to ramp up to that kind of potential conflict, it’s a steep ramp.

      But maybe I’m five years too optimistic.

      Everyone was very sorry afterwards

      For some reason this made me think of a photograph I ran across recently of my great-great-grandfather, who fought the civil war as an infantry line officer, from First Manassas (as he would have called it) until a little after Appomattox, surrendering to Sherman’s forces in South Carolina. He was 18 or 19 when it started.

      It’s a post-war picture, but not by much. He still looks very young. He might be around thirty. He doesn’t look sad, hardened, or haunted, just very very serious. I doubt he would get excited over much that wasn’t very very much worth the excitement.

    19. Tom Holsinger Says:

      It looks more like “The Spanish Civil War is coming” than gray & blue.

    20. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Anarchists are the wrong side for revolution. They are the “insiders” not the insurgents. The Tea Party types are too polite and law abiding. That may change but it will take some serious mistakes by the ruling party. They are certainly capable of it.

    21. Bill Brandt Says:

      If Maurois had written about the dangers of Hitler, as Churchill had done, I suspect he would have gotten the same reception in France that Churchill had in England during the 1930s.

      Politics is always moved by minorities – the vast “middle” (low information voters) don’t care enough to get involved.

    22. ErisGuy Says:

      “I don’t really think we’re at a ‘civil war’ style breach.”

      The future is unpredictable. It need not resemble the past or be what people expect. If Taiwan is seized? If a national gun registry becomes law? If the government admits its fiscal bankruptcy? Violence or a shrug?

      I believe the slow, steady march of totalitarian socialism will win, partly by election, partly by fiat (executive orders and judicial orders), and that the majority of Americans will be pleased when R/S/F/H-ers are arrested and prosecuted. Socialized medicine was rejected when I was a child and is now inevitable (and incompetent).

    23. Mrs. Davis Says:

      150 years ago there was a lot more than otherizing or words at stake. Now there is much less at stake in the backbiting that characterizes our communications. Unless you think about your health.

    24. Michael Kennedy Says:

      ” Socialized medicine was rejected when I was a child and is now inevitable (and incompetent).”

      I suspect, and may be too optimistic, that we will end with some version of socialism but the free market will survive in medicine, just as it has everywhere else. In Britain, when Labour was in power, a woman Labour Health Minister created a scandal when she went to Belgium for GYN surgery. The unions had refused to care for private patients in NHS hospitals, a change from the pattern since 1948. They were feeling strong and simply refused to take care of them. The Harley Street specialists moved their practices to Belgium and all private patients went there for care. This was not long before Thatcher became PM and the Labour Party had clearly lost its way.

      Thatcher reformed the NHS to allow some free market programs. This was called “Fund Holding” and allowed hospital districts to compete for referrals by GPs. Before that, patients went to hospitals by geographic districts and there was no incentive to respect the GP and keep him/her informed. With Fund Holding, the GP could refer the patient to another district hospital and this did wonders for communication. I was at Dartmouth at the time and went over to UK as part of a small group to teach practice managers how it worked. It gave me a pretty good insight into the NHS. Blair reversed some of it but not all. There are private hospitals in Britain now and the area around London has a lot of private insurance. It’s also the only part of England (UK) with a positive GDP.

    25. Kirk Parker Says:

      T.K.,

      Yes, you’re too optimistic. Tom Holsinger shows you why.

    26. Whitehall Says:

      I remember being personally “otherized” when I moved to Marin County in 1977. More than one home owner refused to rent to me for their declared reason that I worked in the nuclear power industry.

      Rentals were in reasonable supply and demand balance so they risked little financial loss yet it sure made some of them feel good about themselves. A few were quite haughty about it too.

      Then again, sometimes a group of people will demand that they be otherized. I’m thinking hippies in the 60′s who would grow their hair long to flaunt their differences from the mainstream.

    27. Michael Kennedy Says:

      “I’m thinking hippies in the 60′s who would grow their hair long to flaunt their differences from the mainstream.”

      That was the point of the punk styles in London in the 70s. They were flaunting their inability to get a job. Then it became fashionable. Someone once commented on the style of British upper classes adopting the vocabulary and diction of the lower class. It has become almost universal among elites in this country, as well. The only thing they don’t copy is the social behavior. They just pretend.

    28. T.K. Tortch Says:

      That was the point of the punk styles in London in the 70s. They were flaunting their inability to get a job. Then it became fashionable. Someone once commented on the style of British upper classes adopting the vocabulary and diction of the lower class. It has become almost universal among elites in this country, as well. The only thing they don’t copy is the social behavior. They just pretend.

      In defense of Punks; they flaunted their unemployability in part because their were no jobs for youths to have, whether they were employable or not. What’s ironic (and forgotten by latter-day punks) is that the world they revolted against, especially its lack of economic possibilities, was substantially a creation of Britain’s post-war Labour governments. Thatcher didn’t become PM until several years after British Punk emerged.

    29. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Agreed but after it became fashionable there were quite a few who sported the punk look who were very successful in certain areas. The principle program developer for the Mac was a woman who had one side of her head shaved and the other half had rainbow tinted hair. She rode a motorcycle to work and wore all leather clothes.

    30. Ginny Says:

      We compare an Updike short story (published in 1961) and a T. Coraghassen Boyle one set in 1969 – perhaps the key is that the adolescent in the first is attracted to and wants to impress a girl he sees of a higher social class (we aren’t sure she is) and in 1969 the adolescents want to be the tough guy with his steel-toed boots, partying with girls looking for drugs. The former may be hierarchical and stodgy, it wasn’t great – but striving, a sense of relationships modeled in a kind of weak water way on courtly behavior has something to be said for it. The second was built more on the use of others (esp perhaps the parents) and leads to the chaos and alienation of the liminal. Of course the 50′s had the beats – but in the 60′s the marginalized became center.

      And such chaos, the destruction of the supports of a happy life can lead to embracing a collective vision – we need others, and if we have left behind family, church, neighborhood, and even job, we need something. The coming apart Murray describes is likely to be fertile ground for the ersatz meaning of socialism. My children have more sense than I did – they settle down early, they return to the cooking and housewifely crafts of my family, even with their grad degrees and their on-line jobs. They are more religious than their parents – and more familial. Still, two vote for Obama – they are moved by The Lives of Others, they read Havel & Witness – but still, they vote for Obama. The third isn’t religious, is living with her boyfriend; her hero, however, is Sowell, her work is with those with disabilities, she considers how they can be helped – and she votes Republican. I’m not sure where this is going to end – but she’s the youngest, so there’s that. And all of them seem to be making more sense of their lives than I did at their ages. That is why, though, I worry about the lack of inoculation – the unwillingness of people through the last decades to point out what doesn’t work (and it isn’t even history – what happened to Cuba in my lifetime has happened to Venezuela in theirs). MSNBC seems to me to be a group of people whose only meaning derives from this collective otherizing.

    31. IGotBupkis, "'Faeces Evenio', Mr. Holder?" Says:

      }}} To put it in simple terms, that’s what I call it when a whole group, or sub-set of people are deemed the Emmanuel Goldstein of the moment by a dominant group, and set up as a focus for free-wheeling hate

      When it is performed on an individual, I offer up the term “Palinectomy“, after the obvious.

      Inspired somewhat by a quote attributed to Nixon:

      “When journalists examine you with a microscope, that is one thing…
      When they pull out the proctoscope, that’s going too far.”

      — Richard Nixon –

    32. IGotBupkis, "'Faeces Evenio', Mr. Holder?" Says:

      }}} Are we at the point of 1861 again, with a divide so deep, and the words spoken so incendiary that they might only be erased in blood? I don’t think so, not quite yet.

      I believe we are one serious incident away from having a pitched battle over gun rights in this nation. If Obama’s hubris leads him to imagine he can send out agents to swoop down on gun owners and confiscate arms, that is going to be the start of something much more serious.

      And, indeed — this may be Obama’s actual goal — to initiate a violent incident in which he can justify the use of Martial Law to seize power indefinitely and suspend civil rights.

      I do not say that is his plan — but I would not be overly surprised or dismayed to find out he’s been intending this all along.

    33. IGotBupkis, "'Faeces Evenio', Mr. Holder?" Says:

      }}} Politics is always moved by minorities – the vast “middle” (low information voters) don’t care enough to get involved.

      I do not believe it is fair to characterize all the “vast middle” of which you refer to (and I don’t argue against the existence of) as “LIV”s. I think a fairly large portion of this central majority just doesn’t WANT to be involved. They want to be let alone to get on with their lives. Politics is an annoying distraction to much of life, which one is forced to pay attention to because SOME people pay attention and abuse the inherent powers at the heart of it. So they pay less attention than they should, but they’re not “LIVs” in the sense of too stupid to understand or care — they CAN understand politics. They just don’t want to any more than they are forced to by circumstance.

      This is one reason why libertarianism is such a good governmental philosophy. It strongly favors “Leave me the F*** alone!” without the constant headaches that activist, Mary Worth governments invoke.

    34. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      IGotBupkis, “‘Faeces Evenio’, Mr. Holder?” Says:
      February 1st, 2014 at 9:18 am

      …And, indeed — this may be Obama’s actual goal — to initiate a violent incident in which he can justify the use of Martial Law to seize power indefinitely and suspend civil rights.

      I do not say that is his plan — but I would not be overly surprised or dismayed to find out he’s been intending this all along.

      Something that I posted over at INSTAPUNDIT this morning that may be pertinent:

      Granting that I am on the fringe here in this belief. I am far from sure that there will be valid elections, or if there are that the results will be accepted. Consider the extreme amount of deliberate effort by the Federal government to militarize the entire civilian apparatus of the Executive Branch. There are no foreign targets for that effort. Consider the deliberate and highly successful efforts to destroy the rule of law. Consider the deliberate targeting of the Federal bureaucracy and national security apparatus against political enemies of Obama and the Democrats. Think IRS, think NSA, think EPA, think NLRB, et. al. Think of the national media openly becoming “Democratic Operatives with bylines”.

      Seriously. Most readers here have a certain expertise in political and world affairs. If we were looking at “Country X” and watching this take place; whether that country was European [and there are examples in living memory on both sides of the Iron Curtain], Middle Eastern, African, or Asian:

      “Would we not be concluding that whoever is in power in “Country X” has absolutely no intent of yielding power, ever, and they will be making that official eventually?”.

      Having done all that they have done, do you think that the Governing Party [Democrats + Institutional Republicans] intends to let something as negligible as the people’s votes interfere?

      Subotai Bahadur

    35. Sudo Sophisticate Says:

      “} Are we at the point of 1861 again, with a divide so deep, and the words spoken so incendiary that they might only be erased in blood? I don’t think so, not quite yet. ”

      Yep. I wonder though. How many of us have a signifigant percentage of family, business, even fraternal relationships with people who, if not for these aforementioned ties, we would avoid like the plague soley on strength of their political points of view.

    36. Ginny Says:

      Mary Worth! – that allusion sure jogs my memory

    37. setbit Says:

      And, indeed — this may be Obama’s actual goal — to initiate a violent incident in which he can justify the use of Martial Law to seize power indefinitely and suspend civil rights.

      I don’t buy it, not for a minute.

      Accusing Mr. Obama of having some ingenious plan for gun confiscation, or socialized healthcare, or whatever, is to give him way too much credit. The man is about as deep as a dinner plate. Not stupid, really, but with so much misplaced self-esteem regarding his own intelligence and wisdom as to render him functionally delusional. The Dunning–Kruger effect taken to an extreme.

      The danger we all face is not from a carefully planned coup, but from a president who has shown himself capable of stumbling into almost anything, due to his unwillingness or inability to foresee the obvious consequences of his words and actions. What truly frightens me is the fact that when Mr. Obama claims, for example, to have been completely blind-sided by the numerous failures of the ACA, I believe him.

    38. Phil Ossiferz STone Says:

      /crossposted from PJ Media because I’m lazy

      Yep. The sort of crazed rhetoric we’ve been hearing from the far left since Gore lost has metastasized and gone mainstream.

      I was working on a contract in Sacramento six-seven years ago, and every day I’d go out for lunch and see a few more little stickers put up on phone poles, on the sides of buildings… little black stickers about the side of a 3×5 card with white sanserif letters. REPUBLICANS HATE THEMSELVES, they said. REPUBLICANS ARE DISGUSTING. REPUBLICANS HATE LIFE. Republicans are this, Republicans are that. Someone kept coming around the downtown area and putting them up the entire eighteen months I was there.

      I was still a dyed-in-the-wool Clinton Democrat at that point — I was looking forward to Sir Rudy vs Hillary in 2008, I recall, because I liked both of them and considered it a novelty to have *two* good candidates to vote for — and even then it made me a bit queasy. Who the hell *is* this person? Why are they doing this? What kind of sociopath with a political grudge spends time doing this? Who paid to print all those stickers….? And what can they possibly hope to accomplish?

      Now we know, of course. They were desensitizing the general public and looking for more of their own kind. They are just now hitting critical mass. There are an awful lot of postmodern Brownshirts out there who want a conservative Kristallnacht. And they will happily give the government the power to carry it out. Elections have consequences! Winner take all! You’re not a minority — you’re obstructionist! You’re not the people on the other side of the aisle, the ones we can poke fun at and argue with — you’re EVIL! You Rethuglican Teafaggers have held up progress in our wonderful country long ENOUGH…!

      You hear this every day. You hear it on the sidewalk from passing strangers; you see it in the comments section of respectable newspapers. As far as the 20-somethings are concerned, this level of vitriol is normal. This is the way the game is played; and oh it feels so wonderful to be submerged in righteous hatred….

      They have been well drilled. This has been done on purpose. This culture shift has been organized, orchestrated, and well funded. And we are in deep trouble.

    39. David Foster Says:

      Ginny…”MSNBC seems to me to be a group of people whose only meaning derives from this collective otherizing.”

      Again I am reminded of something written by Sebastian Haffner in his memoir of Germany between the wars. He notes that during the Stresemann era, the economic and political situation stabilized considerably…”The Day of Judgment was remote again, and there was no demand for saviors or revolutionaries…There was an ample measure of freedom, peace, and order, everywhere the most well-meaning liberal-mindedness, good wages, good food and a little political boredom. everyone was cordially invited to concentrate on their personal lives, to arrange their affairs according to their own taste and to find their own paths to happiness.”

      But…and I think this is a particuarly important point…a return to private life was not to everyone’s taste:

      “A generation of young Germans had become accustomed to having the entire content of their lives delivered gratis, so to speak, by the public sphere, all the raw material for their deeper emotions…Now that these deliveries suddently ceased, people were left helpless, impoverished, robbed, and disappointed. They had never learned how to live from within themselves, how to make an ordinary private life great, beautiful and worth while, how to enjoy it and make it interesting. So they regarded the end of political tension and the return of private liberty not as a gift, but as a deprivation. They were bored, their minds strayed to silly thoughts, and they began to sulk.”

      and

      “To be precise (the occasion demands precision, because in my opinion it provides the key to the contemporary period of history): it was not the entire generation of young Germans. Not every single individual reacted in this fashion. There were some who learned during this period, belatedly and a little clumsily, as it were, how to live. they began to enjoy their own lives, weaned themselves from the cheap intoxication of the sports of war and revolution, and started to develop their own personalities. It was at this time that, invisibly and unnoticed, the Germans divided into those who later became Nazis and those who would remain non-Nazis.”

      I think it’s very likely that you are right, Ginny, that a lot of the players at MSNBC get their sense of meaning in life via their political opinions and the sense of superiority they derive therefrom. BUT consider also that MSNBC is not a free-standing entity; it is part of NBC Universal which is now 100% owned by Comcast. The question also needs to be asked why the senior executives of Comcast permit this sort of behavior by the rabble at MSNBC. I think there are a few possible explanations:

      1) It’s just business…they honestly believe that the number of “progressive” true believers is large enough that they can derive more financial benefit by becoming the Fox of the extreme Left than they will lose by antagonizing millions of others…(cable customers as well as program viewers)

      2) They are themselves true believers in the MSNBC worldview, or at least substantial parts of it

      3) They believe that by continuing to position MSNBC in the way it is now positioned, they will achieve goodwill from the Obama administration which will be of great benefit for their entire business (including the cable business, as before) and are not concerned about the political implications in a post-Obama era.

      4) They are just dumb.

    40. Sudo Sophisticate Says:

      David, Re. MSNBC and point #1, Rush talked about the subject last week as it related to his business. He expressed amazement that, at the high point of it’s day, MSNBC had about 90,000 viewers. He thought that, for a nationwide network that number is incredibly small and that profit couldn’t be the motive of the powers that be at the network.

    41. David Foster Says:

      90,000 is especially small when you consider it relative to the total number of Comcast subscribers, which I believe is on the order of 20 million. If even a relatively small % of these subscribers become antagonized to the point of switching to another service, as a result of MSNBC vileness, it could easily wipe out the profit (if any) from the MSNBC subscriber base.

      It is possible that Comcast believes that they can build up MSNBC. It is also possible that they are counting on people *not* associating MSNBC with its parent company, which seems to be the case so far.

    42. Robert Schwartz Says:

      I think that there is an enormous cultural and political gap between our ruling class and the low sloping foreheads who live in flyover country.

      Fortunately for the peasants, the US is being run by the worst ruling class ever. Their arrogance is exceeded only by their ineptness and their ignorance. They have completely isolated themselves from the rest of society by their own predilections and their lack of a service ethic. And their ability to control the country is fraying.

      Two generations ago, members of the ruling class joined the clergy and assumed pulpits all over the United States in the foremost churches of all of the mainstream protestant denominations, such as Episcopal, Congregational, Presbyterian, and Methodist churches. The ruling class has shunned religion and the mainstream denominations have committed seppuku. In flyover country most of the middle class belongs to non-denominational mega churches, that have no contact with the ruling class.

      The ruling class has also shunned the military. They drove ROTC off of the elite college campuses. Their ability to enforce compliance with their diktat is therefor severely limited.

      Could they use the military to suppress the great unwashed? I doubt that they could. They have no personal or class links to that institution. Furthermore, in their desperation to keep paying off their clients (the 47%) they are gutting the military budget, and they will not have sufficient troops to do much. F22s are useless for that type of mission.

      Politically, they have depended on the bizarre and slavish loyalty of ethnic minorities who mostly live in ghettos in the largest urban areas. Even if they could be motivated to violence, their targets would be the ruling class, not the real enemy that lives in flyover country.

    43. Bill Brandt Says:

      In re: MSNBC – when I was a frequent visitor to Big Hollywood John Nolte made and excellent point on these cable companies and programs like Bill Maher and networks like MSNBC – that they are sheltered – propped up – by the business model of the cable companies. Subscribers have to pay for them whether they want them or nor. Frequently not.

      And thus they have an influence that is all out of synch wit their subscriber count.

      On otherizing – it has always been a regrettable trait of humans – that which one doesn’t takje the time to know or understand gets “otherized”.

    44. Bill Brandt Says:

      BTW Sgt Mom – I am enjoying your book on the Gathering. Will Magda marry the Texas Ranger? Guess I will have to stay tuned ;-)

      Makes me want to visit Fritztown.

    45. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Thanks, Bill – glad you are enjoying it. You can visit present-day ‘Fritztown’ – I have a walking tour with pictures on my website! (Caution – there is a spoiler or two, plot-wise.)

      Robert – yes, I think this separation between the ruling class and those they hope to rule might eventually play out to our advantage. We know them very well, but they hardly know us at all, save for occasional forays by brave explorers going out to report on the dance of low-sloping foreheads.

    46. Whitehall Says:

      The example of the ennui experienced by some during the Weimar Republic has an American analogue too.

      The 60s were a very exciting time for many young people, myself included. “Revolution was in the air” is the words of Dylan. When the calendar turned over to the 70′s and Disco, many of us were left at sea emotionally and politically. Thankfully we still had drugs but Revolution is the most powerful of them all and the counter-culture went into withdrawals, pretty much cold turkey.

      Some of us moved on, realizing that we had been hustled by our “leaders” – David Horo9witz has the same story. I got serious about raising my kids and building a career doing something useful for the world.

      Others kept the lust for power. We’re still seeing this play out in our culture and politics.

      A question we conservatives need to ask is, are we otherizing progressives? Should we?

    47. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Hmm, Whitehall – I do believe we should punch back, twice as hard. I never bought into the Revolution is in the air, anyway. I graduated high school in 1972 – I can honestly I can say I was spared the worst effects, and I scraped through just in time to get the benefit of the culture that the 1960′s generation trashed.

      I got the tail end of the good stuff, educationally – just before the 1960s generation trashed it beyond all redemption.

      The thing that I do resent is that I feel like I have gone through my adult life with the conviction that I have been cleaning up after the 1960s. I worked Vietnamese refugee resettlement in 1975. I was about the only college-age volunteer in my local volunteer organization. Perhaps that was my first serious education in the real world, and where I turned to being a conservative-slash-libertarian. Certainly, it was the main motivation for me to enlist in the military.

    48. Michael Kennedy Says:

      I graduated from high school in 1956. I was in college when the Sputnik was launched. In the 60s I was in medical school and too busy to party. I did see some human toll of the 60s, though. I am so thankful that I went to school when I did.

    49. Ginny Says:

      However two-dimensional Obama is, he remains guided by the thinking of men like (or of) Bill Ayers. This is not good. Simon had a chilling (I’d like to think melodramatic but doubt it) op-ed.

      On a more positive note, we sometimes forget how fast the education system turned around in the late fifties with Sputnik – suddenly our D conference high school (less than 90 in the 4 years) was offering 4 years of math and 2 of language. Suddenly, the colleges were flunking out a third of the baby boomers and the gentleman’s C was hard to get by gentlemen in schools that were opening (at least Land Grant ones) to generations of first generation college kids. That’s positive because it may imply we can get things going again – perhaps home schooling, perhaps cutting out the crap and returning to what we really need.

      And then, well, then, it all fell apart – grade inflation, Viet Nam teach-ins – we moved from one to the other with dizzying speed. Looking back, I wonder if anyone knew what they were doing, where they were going, or if it was all just instincts and responses, gut level and sometimes dangerously political – to fear and the bomb and . . . well, a lot happened fast.