Those people in the middle states aren’t “educated elites” (and this is by no means a generalization of *all* people in those middle states), and they have resentment toward those who are more qualified to make rational decisions…And this is *bad*, because it turns out that yes, we college-educated guys *are* so smart, and we don’t go burning Korans or blindly invading Middle Eastern countries when we’re angry.
Is Mauro correct? Do the “college educated” (by which he clearly means leftist intellectuals) have a track record of making better decisions than the kind of middle-class people who support Palin and join the Tea Party?
Well, yes and no. It’s pretty safe to say leftists don’t burn Korans. Instead, they burn American flags and drop crucifixes in urine. Plus, its true that they never, ever fight for anyone’s freedom from tyranny, for any reason.
However, leftists do make their own class of colossally bad decision whose consequences dwarf those made by people like Palin and the Tea Party members.
Leftists make irrational decisions that arise from their own intellectual hubris. All leftists (and most intellectuals) vastly overestimate their individual and collective understanding of complex, poorly understood and hard to predict phenomena. In every generation leftists have claimed to precisely and accurately understand something that in hindsight they clearly did not. Likewise, in every generation, there were people much like the modern Tea Party or Palin supporters, i.e., religious, supposedly uneducated, dullard bourgeois who told the leftists they were wrong.
In many major areas, history showed that the supposedly ignorant and unimaginative bourgeois proved correct in the end.
For reasons of brevity lets look at the two biggest leftwing-intellectual idiocies of the last century: Marxism and Freudianism.
The great-granddaddy of leftists’ irrational beliefs must be Marxism. Marxism made staggeringly sweeping claims. Marxism claimed not only to explain the entirety of all past human economic, social and political evolution but also the predetermined and inevitable future evolution of all human societies into a single communist utopia. They called this concept “historical inevitability” and their entire argument for political and moral authority rested on the idea.
The scale of Marxism’s effect cannot be underestimated. Das Kapital ranks only behind the Bible as the most influential book in world history. Outside of North America, most of the political history of the 20th century centers around Marxism one way or the other. Communism was explicit Marxism and fascism was a modified version put forth as an ethnic alternative to communism. When applied to the 3rd world, Marxism often drove war and tyranny in many forms. Even in countries such as India which escaped such extremes, policies justified by Marxism unnecessarily retarded the rise out of poverty of hundreds of millions.
And it was all nonsense!. All the core ideas of Marxism have been proven conclusively false. There is no such thing as predetermined evolution either in biology or human society. Class struggle is not the primary dynamic of human existence. We cannot predict the future evolution of human society. Marxists understood nothing about reality, and all the hundreds of thousands of books devoted to Marxism added nothing to human knowledge. Any good that Marxists did had only an accidental relationship to the actual theory and would have occurred without it.
The same type of people who today hate Palin and the Tea Party would have been the same people in the past who were sneering at the middle class for not being Marxist.
Given Marxism’s bloody and irrational reign and the special antipathy of Marxists towards the middle class, the supposedly “stupid” historical counterparts to today’s Palin and Tea Partiers look like geniuses.
As did the leftists’ idea that we all wanted to have sex with our parents.
Like Marxism, it is almost impossible to overstate the central importance of Freudianism to leftist thought in the 20th century.
Leftists used Freudianism as a multipurpose tool to attack any and all traditions and to portray as “repressed” to the point of insanity anyone who didn’t think leftists were so brilliant. In the Fifties they used it to explain how homosexuality was perversion caused by capitalist culture, and in the ’70s they used it to explain the irrationality of homophobia.
Virtually every piece of leftwing writing in the period from 1930-1980 was saturated with Freudian references and concepts. Tens of thousands of books were devoted to it and entire academic disciplines and schools of thought in many fields revolved around it (Margaret Mead’s school of anthropology, for example).
And it was all nonsense! While leftists sold Freudianism as a rational and scientific explanation of human behavior, it was neither. Freudianism was just a jumble of imaginary literary symbolism. Everything it claimed was arbitrary. Scientific method — i.e. measurement, prediction, experimentation — played zero role in its development. Of all of the thousands of assertions about human behavior made by Freudian theorists over the decades, only the concept of the Freudian slip has been experimentally verified (and Freud wasn’t even the first person to document the phenomenon and suggest its cause).
Indeed, historians in the ’80s discovered that Freud appears to have created the theory of infantile sexuality to hide the reality that many of his most disturbed patients had been sexually abused as children. As a result, for nearly fifty years, people who suffered sexual abuse as children were told they had imagined it all because of an innate desire to have sex with their parents.
Freudianism played a major role in many leftwing policies from the mid-’50s to the early ’70s. It played a huge role in education and was a major rationale for compulsory sex education in the early ’60s. It showed up in everything from social work to criminal rehabilitation to explaining why the military had (according to leftists) a bizarre and irrational fascination with “phallic” rockets. (I’m not kidding about that last, either. It showed up repeatedly in the nuclear freeze movement of the early ’80s.)
The same class of people who today hate Palin and the Tea Party would have been the same people in the past who were sneering at the middle-class for not acknowledging that, deep down, they wanted to f*ck their parents. Meanwhile the Palins of that era rolled their eyes at the cackling of pseudo-intellectuals mouthing Freudianism. In the end, those Palins proved to have a more accurate understanding of human behavior than did the supposed intellectuals.
Most of the contemporary political and social theories of today’s left are nothing but rebranded Marxism. Most of today’s leftwing leaders were educated in college by Marxists and Freudians, and 18% of liberal-arts professors, who are major Palin haters, still are dumb enough to self-identify themselves as Marxist. (Universities are often museums of intellectual failure.)
Therefore, leftists today are just as likely as their immediate ideological ancestors to believe stupid things with great passion. After all, they haven’t changed anything about their methodology, i.e., the way they generate ideas and test them. It is reasonable to presume they will likewise latch onto some fallacious and dangerous idea and treat it as absolute fact. (Global Warming seems like a good suspect. All the signs are there.)
Tellingly, although few leftists today will strongly defend either Marxism or Freudianism, somehow their contemporary theories and behaviors are every bit as hostile to the middle class as their predecessors were. It is almost as if hostility to the middle class and traditional values is actually the entire point of creating these theories in the first place….
So, for all you Mauros out there: You are neither as intelligent nor as infallible as you believe. You don’t, as you arrogantly believe, come from a line of ideological dissent noted for getting things right. Instead you come from a long line of ideological idiots who believed incredibly stupid and dangerous things out of sheer arrogance. You decide the validity of ideas the exact same way they did and you will make the same types of mistakes. Just because they got a couple of things right by sheer accident doesn’t mean you are smarter than the middle-class small-business owner down the street. History will judge you to be glaringly and stupidly wrong on some very big questions, just like your Marxist and Freudian predecessors were. Just remember that the next time you begin to sneer.
And for all you middle-class Palins and Tea Partiers out there: You don’t have to take any guff from any pseudo-intellectuals. Tradition, common sense and real-world experience have proven to generate more accurate ideas than have babbling “intellectuals”. History might eventually judge you wrong about some things (gay marriage, perhaps), but in the end, when it comes to the big concepts, the concepts that keep societies free, prosperous and happy, history will most likely judge you correct.