2017/02/25: Jordan Peterson: Postmodernism: How and why it must be fought

So I Want to recommend a book first? To everyone here. It’s called explaining post-Modernism, [and] it’s by a gentleman named Steven Hicks and You need to understand post-Modernism Because that’s what you’re up against and you’re up against it far more than you know or think and it’s a much more [well-developed] and Pervasive Pernicious nihilistic intellectually attractive doctrine than has yet come to public realization it absolutely dominates the Humanities and increasingly the social sciences [and] universities, and what’s happening? You see someone once said who? unfortunately, I can’t remember it might have been friedrich Nietzsche said that everybody is the unconscious exponent of a dead philosopher and Fortunately the post modern Philosophers most of them are dead, so that’s a good thing but That doesn’t mean that their words aren’t continually being spoken by people who who are following in their wake like saying it’s not like any Given person is absolutely possessed and saved by the spirit of post-Modernism Because often they’re not educated enough to know all the [details] about what it is that has them in their grip but if you get 20 of them together And they’re all 5% influenced by the post Modernist Ethos you basically have the spirit of the mob that’s a mouthpiece for [that] particular philosophical doctrine and if you understand the doctrine Then you understand why things are progressing the way that they’re progressing and so I’m going to tell you a little bit about the doctrine Because it’s not optional to understand this it’s absolutely crucial to understand this huh you can’t underestimate The power of ideas and also the power of words of course because ideas are expressed in words But you see the post modernists completely reject the structure of western Civilization And I mean completely so I can give you an example in one term jacques, Derrida whose head trickster for the Post Modernist movement Regarded western culture, let’s call it the Patriarchy as a logo centric, okay? So fallow comes from Phallus Pha, lL [oh], and so that’s the insistence that what you see in Western Culture is the constant of a male-dominated Oppressive Self-Serving society and we might say well you know societies do tend to be self-serving and people in power do tend to Act in their best interests, but a Tendency is not an absolute, and that’s one of the things that needs to be considered continually There are no shortage of flaws in the manner in which we’ve structured our society and compared to any hypothetical utopia It’s and that’s absolutely Dismal wreck but compared to the rest of the world and the plight of other Societies throughout the history of Mankind we’re doing pretty damn well And we should be happy to be living in the society that we’re living in So the first thing that you might want to note about post-Modernism. Is that it doesn’t [have] [a] shred of gratitude, and there’s something Tautologically wrong with the person who does that it doesn’t have any gratitude? Especially when they live in what so far is the best of all possible worlds, and so if you’re not grateful You’re driven by resentment and resentment is the both the worst emotion that you can possibly experience apart from Arrogance resentment Arrogance and deceit there is an evil Triad for you And if you’re bitter about everything that’s happening around you despite the fact that you’re bathed in wealth And there’s something absolutely wrong with you. You know the black community in the united states is the 18th wealthiest community 18th wealthiest nation on the Planet now that doesn’t mean there isn’t such a thing as relative poverty and relative poverty matters It’s an important It’s an important political economic issue And it’s very very difficult to deal with but absolute wealth matters too and the western Societies have been Absolutely remarkable in their ability to generate And distribute wealth as you can tell by just looking around and taking a you know a brief bit of consideration for the absolute miracle That even a building like this represents So you have to [educate] yourself about post-Modernism [ok] so here’s what the post modernists believe they don’t believe in the individual That’s the logos [Park] Western Culture is Fel logo Centric Logo is logos That’s partly the Christian word, but it’s also partly the root word of logic [ok] they don’t believe in logic they believe that logic is part of the process by which the patriarchal institutions of the west continue to dominate and to justify their dominance they don’t believe in dialogue the Word of dialogue is logos again They don’t believe that people of goodwill can come to consensus through the x through the exchange of ideas [they] believe that that notion is part of the philosophical substructure and practices [of] the dominant culture So the reason they don’t let people who they don’t agree with speak on [campuses] because they don’t agree with letting people Speak you See it’s not part of the ethos [ok] so, what else do they believe and not believe? They believe that you since you [don’t] have an individual identity your fundamental identity is [group] fostered and that means that you’re basically an Exemplar of your race hence white privilege or you’re an exemplar of your gender or [your] sex or your ethnicity or you’re an exemplar of? however You can be classified so that use you are placed in the position of victim against the oppressor Because that’s the game and it’s it’s [a] it’s a post marxist [sleight-of-hand] right the old Marxist notion was that the world was a battleground between the burgeois [z] and the [proletariat] [and] that failed to have any philosophical or ethical standing that Argument after the working class actually saw its standard of living massively elevated as a consequence of western corporate democracy [Western] free Enterprise Democracy And also the end and also as a consequence of the revelations of everything terrible that had happened in every bloody country that ever dared to make equity and and the Marxist Communist [dogma] part of their fundamental structure right and nothing but murderous [Nozanne] depression and so by the 1970s it was evident that that game was up the postmark the post Modernist Marxist just barely basically pulled a sleight of hand and said ok if it’s not the poor against the rich it’s the Oppressed against the oppressor will just read of I’d the subpopulations in ways that make our our bloody Philosophy continuing it’s in its in its movement forward and that’s where we’re at now and so for the post modernists The world is a Hobbesian battleground of identity groups They do not communicate with one another because they can’t All there is is a struggle for power and if you’re in the predator group which means you’re an oppressor Then you better look out because you’re not exactly well come Not exactly welcome and neither are your ideas, so [that’s] what you’re up against. [I] would say it’s time for conservatives to stop apologizing for being conservatives no and You don’t apologize to these people that’s a big mistake apology there. They read apology as An admission of guilt [you] don’t apologize And you don’t back down you young people that are out [there] who are [University] students you need to take over the student unions you need to take them back because they’re absolute snake pits And they have been since the 1990s with regards with regards to the universities I thought at one point that the best thing [to] do would be to cut their funding by [25] percent let them fight amongst themselves For the remnants because it would force the universities to decide exactly what’s important and what isn’t so I would say the humanities and much of the social sciences has turned into a Postmodern neo-Marxist playground for radicals the scholarship is terrible 80% of humanities papers aren’t cited once Once and so what that means is that they write papers for each other and they sell them to libraries [and] that’s how the publishers make their money. No one reads them but the publishers can print them because the libraries have to buy them and they’re buying them with your tax money and so all of You who are sitting here are? funding a Postmodern Radical neo-Marxist Agenda that has its roots in the university and your tax money is going towards that and if you want proof of that you just go online and Look at the websites especially of disciplines like women’s studies. Which is pathological right to the core, but it’s not just women’s studies It’s all the ethnic studies groups it’s anthropology its sociology its social work and most of all it’s Education and oszi for example in Ontario is perhaps apart from the Ontario human rights commission the most dangerous institution in Canada [it] should It should be defunded It’s as simple as that [they] don’t do the research they purport to do they’re not interested in it at all in education They’re interested in the indoctrination of people as young as they can [fun] as young as they can get their hands on so to speak [now] we need to figure out our society needs to figure out how [to] stop shunting public tax money to radical Left-wing activists if we were doing that for radical Right-wing Activists there would be an absolute storm, but it’s happened incrementally since the 1960s and it needs to stop so that’s that’s partly what [the] Conservatives, not only conservatives, but also liberals true liberals in the English sense are up against I mean what’s happened that as also as a consequence of this postmodern? Neo-Marxist intellectual invasion is that the center keeps moving. It’s moved way to the right now So if you’re a classic liberal you’ve become a conservative and so for all of you who are interested in Purdue pursuing the conservative agenda There’s a lot of classic liberals that you could be talking to and then finally with regards to talking to young people You finally have something to sell to them You know it’s not easy to sell conservatism to young people because they want to change things And that’s not what conservatives want to do they want to maintain things Well now you’ve got something to sell the young people you can sell them freedom of speech, and you can tell sell them Responsibility the left is selling them rights You can sell the responsibility And I can tell you because I received many letters of the sort that that God was talking about young people are absolutely starving For someone to provide them with the sense of responsibility [and] say look here’s something worth living for man You know you can find meaning in life with freedom But freedom freedom is a chaotic sort of meaning right and freedom isn’t the sort of thing that makes people happy it’s the sort of thing [that] makes people trouble some trouble because freedom expands your your series of choices and that makes you nervous and uncertain so but Responsibility is another and not to say that that’s a bad [thing]. It’s a good thing But it requires that you that you shoulder the responsibility of the freedom But responsibility per se is what gives your life meaning? genuine meaning in the face of suffering and you and Young people is really [there] starving for that. I’ve been teaching young people for thirty years and mostly what I’ve been teaching them about is Responsibility, [it’s] like your heirs to a great tradition It’s not perfect [obviously] but comparatively. There’s nothing else like it. That’s ever been produced and it’s it represents a tiny minority of human qualities most of which are run by Murderous antisocial psychopathic thugs and not that Seriously, and so what kind of alternative is that we’ve got this beacon of freedom and wealth in the west That works although. It doesn’t work perfectly and one of the one [of] the responsibilities of young people is to find out what’s at the [core] of that the great great core of that the Paramount the Paramount importance of the Individual and the divinity [of] speech man, not some to sell its what our whole culture is predicated on All right, well I should stop there. So thank you very much for the invitation

The Alt-Right Playbook: The Card Says Moops

[Music] Say, for the sake of argument, you’re online, blogging, about a black journalist’s commentary on marketing trends in videogames, movies, and comic books. And you’re saying how the vitriol in response to her fairly benign opinions reveals the deep-seated racism and misogyny in a number of fan communities, most especially those that lean right, when a right-leaning commenter pops in to say, “or maybe they just actually disagree with her about marketing trends. For Christ’s sake, there’s no mystery here, people aren’t speaking in coded language. They are telling you what they believe. She had a bad opinion. Why do you have to make it bigger than that? Why can’t you ever take people at their word? You pause and ponder this for a moment. Hmm… Aw heck with it, you’re in a discoursing mood. Let’s do this. Mr. Conservative, In order for me to take you at your word, your words would have to show some consistency. Let me just lightning round a few questions about the reactionary web’s positions on marketing trends. Do you believe that having the option to romance same-sex characters in an RPG turns the game into queer propaganda, or do you believe that killing strippers in an action game can’t be sexist because no one’s making you do it? Do you believe that the pervasiveness of sexualized young women in pop culture is just there because it sells and that’s capitalism and we all need to deal with it, or do you believe that a franchise has an obligation to cater to its core audience, even if diversifying beyond that audience is more profitable? Do you think words are inherently harmless and only over-sensitive snowflakes would care about racialized language, or do you think it’s racist if someone calls you mayonnaise boy? And as long as I’ve got your ear, are you the party that believes in the right to keep and bear arms because you’re distrustful of all authority and “What if we need to overthrow the government someday?” Or do you believe that cops are civil servants, and we should trust their account of events whenever they shoot a black man for looking like he might have a gun? “Does optional content reveal a game’s ideology or doesn’t it?” “Is capitalism a defense for decisions you don’t agree with, or isn’t it?” “Is language harmful, or not?” “Do you hate authority, or love cops and the troops?” Okay, okay but ease off. Add some nuance. Now, I know the right is not a monolith, and maybe these arguments are contradictory because they’re coming from different people. We’ll call them Engelbert and Charlemagne. Maybe Engelbert’s the one who thinks any institution funded by tax money is socialist, and therefore bad, and Charlemagne is the one who says we should dump more tax money into the military and thinking otherwise is un-American. But here’s the thing: Y’all have very fundamentally different beliefs, and you’re so passionate about them that you’re entering search terms into Twitter to find people you don’t even follow and aggressively disagree with them, and, yet you’re always yelling at me and never yelling at each other. What’s that about? And I can’t say how often it happens but I know if I let Engelbert go on long enough, he sometimes makes a Charlemagne argument, and vice-versa, and I see you getting ready to say “The left does the same thing!” But ba, ba, ba, ba, ba. Don’t change the subject. That’s an extremely false equivalence, but, more importantly, it doesn’t answer my question. What do you actually believe? and why are you so capable of respecting disagreement between each other yet so incapable of respecting me — or, for that matter, a black woman. See, I don’t take you at your word because I cannot form a coherent worldview out of the things you say. So forgive me if when you tell me what you believe I don’t think you’re being candid with me. It kinda seems like you’re playing games and I’m the opposing team and any one who’s against me is your ally. And you’re not really taking a position but claiming to believe in whatever would need to be true in order to score points against me. Like we’re in that one episode of Seinfeld. “Who invaded Spain in the 8th century?” (talking out of frame)
– That’s a joke. The Moors! – Oh no!
(audience laughter) I’m so sorry, it’s the “Moops.” The correct answer is “the Moops.”
– That’s not Moops you jerk. It’s Moors. It’s a misprint. I’m sorry the card says “Moops.”
(audience laughter) This is borrowed observation number one, link in the down there part. Hoo, it feels good calling people hypocrites! Person says B when earlier they said A and you point out the contradiction. You don’t take a position on A or B and you still win. I see why Republicans like this so much. But that’s the kind of point-scoring we’re here to deconstruct. So, let’s get analytical. There’s a certain beat you at your own game-y-ness to the “Card says ‘Moops'” maneuver. “Safe spaces are bullshit, but if you get one, I get one, too”. “There’s no such thing as systemic oppression, but, if there were, I’d be oppressed”. It’s dismissing the rhetoric of social justice while also trying to use it against you. Claiming the card says Moops doesn’t not so much mean I believe the people who invaded Spain in the 8th century were literally called “The Moops”, but rather you can’t prove I don’t believe it. Not a statement of sincere belief. Simply a moving a piece across the board.
“all in the game, yo” If they could be so nakedly honest with you and themselves to answer: what do you actually believe truthfully. One suspects the answer would be what difference does it make? We’re right either way. This has come to be known as post-modern conservatism. A fact I find hilarious, because in “the Discourse,” postmodernism is a dogwhistle for everything the right hates about the left. (sighs) It also means “Jews.” Postmodern conservatism is the thinking that, at least for the purpose of argument, the truth of who invaded Spain is immaterial. You have your facts, I have alternative facts. What is true? Who’s to say?
Regardless of what you actually believe, (what you believe serving no rhetorical purpose), you are at least arguing from the position that material truth does not exist. Truth is a democracy. Whoever wins the argument decides who invaded Spain. It would be reductive to blame this pattern of thought on the internet. But its recent proliferation isn’t really extricable from the rise of “Chan culture”. This is borrowed observation number two, link in the down there part. 4chan didn’t cause this way of thinking, but sites like 4chan reveal it in its most concentrated form. The two most common properties of a chan board will be anonymity and lack of moderation. Which means, among other things, that you can say whatever you want with no systemic or social repercussions. People may disagree with you, but it carries no weight. You won’t be banned, you won’t have your comments deleted, and, because there’s no way to know whether any two posts are made by the same person, you won’t even get a reputation as “the person with the bad opinion.” The effect this has on the community is that there is no expectation in any given moment that the person on the other end of a conversation isn’t messing with you. You can’t know whether they mean what they say, or are only arguing as though they mean what they say. And entire debates may just be a single person stirring the pot. Such a community will naturally attract people who enjoy argument for its own sake, and will naturally trend toward the most extreme version of any opinion. In short this is the free marketplace of ideas. No code of ethics, no social mores no accountability. A Darwinist petri dish where ideas roam free and only the strong ones survive. If the community agrees Bebop is better than Eva well then, I guess Bebop is better than Eva, because there wasn’t any outside influence polluting the discourse. Granted, it could just be a lot of people thought it was funny to shit on Eva, but it’s what the community has decided, so it will at least be treated as truth. This demands that one be both: highly opinionated and to assume opinions are bullshit.
To place a high premium on consensus and be intensely distrustful of groupthink. A common means of straddling these lines is what I call the Stanislavski Opinion: The opinion you entertain so completely that you functionally believe it while you express it, no matter the possibility that you will express–and, to an extent, believe– an opposite opinion later. Most of us go through a phase in our youths where we’re online and like the idea of believing in something; but don’t know what to believe just yet. So we pick a position and find out if we believe it by defending it. We try on ideologies like sunglasses off a rack Now, most of us will eventually settle on a belief system and this will usually involve some apologies and some comments we wish we could scrub from the internet But it’s an important stage of growing up But, some percentage of people will seek out a space where there is no embarrassment, the comments scrub themselves, and, never growing out of the Stanisklavski opinion is actively rewarded. There, figuring out what you believe would make your ability to argue less flexible. And, besides, if you believed anything unironically, Much of the community would still assume you’re trolling. Where no one is bound by their word, What, really, is the difference between appearing to have an opinion and having one? Sincerity is unprovable and open to interpretation decide someone is sincere, if you want to make fun of them. Decide they’re trolling if you want to make fun of someone else. What is true? What do you want to be true? It’s easy enough to start thinking of one’s own opinions the same way What do I believe? What is advantageous to believe? Your answer isn’t binding, you’ll change it later, if you need to. The person I’m describing, you spend time online you’ll meet him a lot. His name is “Schrödinger’s Douchebag” Borrowed observation #3 (link in the down there part) A guy who says offensive things an decides whether he was joking based on the reaction of people around him. Any website that lacks effective moderation and allows some level of anonymity will, to varying degrees, approximate 4chan. And be overrun with Schrödinger’s Douchebag Now when this type of person defends, for instance, rape jokes, by saying “all humor is inherently punching down because there must be a butt to every joke” He hasn’t thought about it. He assumes it’s true because he figures, he’s a smart guy, and whatever he assumes is probably right. But he’s unfazed if you prove otherwise. There’s no shortage of dodgy reasons he might be right and you wrong, he’ll just pick another one. What matters, is that the game continues. The thing is Bob, it’s not that they’re lying, it’s that they just don’t care. I’ll say that again for the cheap seats, When they make these kinds of arguments they legitimately do not care whether the words coming out of their mouths are true. If they cared, before they said something is true, they would look it up. So it’s kinda funny, right? How many of these folks self identify as “rationalists” I mean, typical rational thinking would say, ‘If I am presented with the truth, I will believe it. and, once I believe it, I will defend it in argument.’ This… this is not that. This is a different idea of “rationality” that views it not as a practice, but an innate quality one either possesses or lacks, like, being blond or left handed. If I’m arguing it, I must believe it because I’m a rational person, and if I believe it because I’m a rational person, it must be true. You speak assuming you’re right and, should you take a new position, this telescopes out into a whole new set of beliefs with barely a thought. Stay focused on the argument, you won’t even notice it’s happening. You might now conclude that the the internet reactionary believes in nothing except winning arguments with liberals and, like newtonian physics, if you assume this framing, you will get highly useful results if you enter conversation with Engelbert and Charlemagne believing they do not mean what they say, they’re only entertaining notions, and on a long enough timeline, they will eventually defend a position fundamentally incompatible with the one they defended earlier in the same argument, you will navigate that conversation much more effectively. But, like newtonian physics, this framing is “lowercase-A” accurate, without being “capital-T” True In reality, nihilism isn’t that popular People will tell you: “I don’t care about anything, I just like triggering the libs” But why is it always libs? It is piss-easy, and also hilarious, to upset conservatives Why only go after the SJWs? The simple answer is: “Well, you upset a feminist, you might make her cry If you upset a nazi, he might stab you.” And that has a cooling effect But the more obvious answer is that they actually agree with the racist MRA and TERF talking points they repeat but would rather not think about it So much of conservative rhetoric is about maintaining ignorance of one’s own beliefs To uphold the institution of imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist, patriarchy, while thinking you are none of those things Well, okay, knowing you’re a capitalist, but thinking it’s a good thing Most people have a baseline of fairly conventional kindergarten morality and conservatism often clashes with it You can rationalize these contradictions “I’m not a bigot, I just believe in States’ Rights” But as American conservatism gets more radical, it gets harder to square one’s politics with what one assumes to be one’s beliefs So you learn, when someone challenges you, to cycle through beliefs until something sticks Just “play your hand and trust that you’re right” Or, in extreme cases, insist you have “no beliefs at all”, you’re just here to “watch the world burn” …but they’re not. They are willing participants in the burning of only certain parts They don’t care what they believe, but they know what they hate. And they don’t wanna think about why they hate it On paper, they believe in freedom of religion and freedom of expression, but they also hang out in communities where Muslims and trans women are punching bags and, like a 6th-grader, who believes one thing in Sunday school, and another thing in Biology class, they believe different things in different times This “flexibility of belief” is fertile ground for far-right recruitment I’d say the jury is out on whether chan boards attract Far Right extremists, or are built to attract Far Right extremists, but they’re where extremists congregate and organize because they’re where extremists are tolerated and where they blend in with the locals They learn the lingua franca of performative irony Say what you mean in such a way that people who disagree think you’re kidding and people who agree think you’re serious People who don’t know what they believe, but clearly have some fascist leanings don’t need to be convinced of Nazi rhetoric They just need to be submerged in it and encouraged to hate liberals They’ll make their way right, on their own Folks start using extremist rhetoric because it wins arguments with SJWs Usually because that’s the moment the SJW decides it’s not fruitful, and possibly unsafe talking to you and this creates the appearance that if it keeps winning arguments, there must be something to it The Far Right literally has handbooks on how to do this Those who don’t consciously embrace the ideology, who don’t transition from participating to getting recruited, are still useful. They spread the rhetoric, they pad the numbers, and often participate in harassment, and sometimes even violence There’s a twisted elegance to all this. Think about it: If you operate as though there is no truth, just competing opinions, and as though opinions aren’t sincere, just tools to be picked up and dropped depending on their utility, then what are you operating under? Self-interest The desire to win You’ll defend the holocaust just to feel smarter than someone. Superior. Think how beautifully that maps onto the “in-group/out-group” mentality of dominance and bigotry Think how incompatible it is with liberal ideas of tolerance. I think this is why we don’t see a lot of these “I’m just here to fuck shit up” types on the Left. Don’t get me wrong; the Left has gotten on some bullshit but, excepting politicians whom you should never assume mean anything they say it’s sincerely-believed bullshit. We don’t build identities around saying things just to piss people off The takeaway from all this is not only that you can’t tell the difference between a bigot who doesn’t know they’re a bigot, and a bigot who knows but won’t tell you but that there is no line dividing the two When some guy in the middle of a harrassment campaign, says the victims should be nicer to their harassers because that will “mend the rift” I don’t know if he believes it, but in that moment he believes he believes it and that scares the shit out of me But if you’re asking how many layers of irony he’s on as compared with the actual harassers 9 times out of 10, it doesn’t matter borrowed observation number 4 is we are what we pretend to be (music) (music fades out)

Morton Blackwell’s Keys to Political Victory

But what did you learn? How are you
gonna start stop losing and start winning? Well, at our gatherings we
discussed what had worked well for the political left. Why conservatives had
lost so many political battles and what conservatives might do to win in the
future? It came down to this: what is the real nature of politics? And here was our
first great conclusion. Being right in the sense of being correct is not
sufficient to win. You don’t win just because your heart is pure, even if you
can prove logically that you are right. Well what then does determine victory? In
our frequent meetings and discussions we came up with our second great conclusion:
the winner in a political contest over time is determined by the number and the
effectiveness of the activists and leaders on the respective side. That
fundamental understanding changed our thinking. It explains why the side that’s
right doesn’t necessarily win. Next we
considered the vital question of what determines the number and effectiveness
of the activists and leaders on a given side? Clearly, numbers and effectiveness
do not depend on which side is right. Our third great conclusion was the
number and effectiveness of the activists and leaders on a given side in
a political contest is determined by the political technology used by that side.
That explains a lot of political history, including why bad causes like communism
attracted a lot of activists. The people on the Left used effective political
technology. In contrast most conservatives had relied on proving we’re
right. Political technology can be roughly divided into communications
technology and organization technologies, with no neat line of separation between
communication and organization. Most political technology is philosophically
neutral. Techniques which work for the left will work for conservatives.
Techniques which work for Republicans can work for Democrats and vice versa.
In the 1970s when we made what were for us these discoveries about the real
nature of politics, we saw this new understanding as a terrific insight
which could lead to victory for conservative principles in the public
policy process of government politics and the news media.

Opinion | Trump owns the Republican Party, and there’s no going back

-Abraham Lincoln
had a sense of humor that was way ahead
of his time. Just listen to this joke
he used to tell. Two drunk men in large overcoats
are fighting at a bar. They’re so clumsy that
they manage to fight themselves
into each other’s coats. -Huh?
-So it goes, Lincoln said, with America’s
political parties. Okay, so maybe the joke didn’t
age well, but the sentiment did. Historically, U.
S. political parties
have had a tendency to change their coats
periodically. If you’re having trouble
recognizing the Republican Party these days,
that’s because it’s in the middle of one
of these transformations. Under President Trump, conservatives are scrapping
pillars of the Grand Old Party, embracing policies
historically backed by pro-labor-type liberals. Think Trump’s promises to rip up
trade deals, his protectionism. He’s also ramped up
anti-immigrant sentiments and stoked racial tensions. The party hasn’t done
a complete 180. Its stances on abortion,
gun rights, and revamping the welfare state
haven’t change, but overall, the Republican
Party is undeniably different. How’d it happen? -To understand Trump,
you have to look at the era of Republican Party politics
before him. -That’s Charles Kesler,
a political science professor at Claremont McKenna College
who supports Trump. He’s talking about
the post-Reagan era. To him, it’s defined
by endless foreign wars, trade deals that hurt
American workers, and a global financial meltdown. -The policies of that era were,
I think, not successful and are increasingly seen
by Republican voters as having been a failure. And it’s very important
to understand that Trump came on the scene
as the first, you might say, post-Bush-era
Republican contender. It was Trump who really called
that consensus into question. -This isn’t the first time
in modern American history that a party
has changed its coats. Enter Barry Goldwater. After a contentious primary
in 1964, Goldwater became the Republican
presidential nominee. He ran on a platform
that frightened progressive Republicans. He opposed the newly passed
Civil Rights Act and promoted hawkish
foreign policy. Meanwhile, Southern Democrats
who opposed civil rights for people of color began the
swing to the Republican Party, which culminated in the election
of Richard Nixon. Over time,
the party crystallized into the Reagan Revolution. That’s the establishment
conservatism that powered the Bush era. It’s not surprising for
political parties to be in flux. What is surprising — once a
party starts to change its coat, it’s essentially
unable to slip back. Just consider how many
top Republicans are leaving in Congress. In the House alone,
at least 40 out of 236 Republicans
are leaving office, many who lead
influential committees. And in their place, a new class
of Republicans loyal to the Trump brand. So, what do those conservatives
who feel left out of the party or resent the president’s
rhetoric about immigrants and minorities do? -There’s a point at which
you can no longer say, “My party or the highway.” I had to get off the train.
-That’s Jennifer Rubin, a columnist here at “The Post.” She’s one of the
many conservatives who don’t recognize
their own party. So, what happens
to these politically homeless conservatives? -I think that’s all gonna get
worked out in the primaries and in the election of 2020. Republicans, ex-Republicans
will look around and say, “Who represents me?” And if it’s a Democrat,
they’ll vote Democrat. If there is an independent
candidacy, from a John Kasich
or from a Jeff Flake or from others,
they’ll choose them. I think what they’re not gonna
do is ever vote for Donald Trump. -What we do know is that
the majority of self-identified Republicans
are now on the Trump train. More than 80% of them support
the president, and as the primaries have shown, being a Trump loyalist
has paid off, so this is
the Republican Party’s new coat. It’s not changing anytime soon.

Is Trumpism the New Conservatism?

For decades, being a Republican meant believing in conservative ideas like limited government, free markets, and American exceptionalism. America is freedom. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion. I’m a proud member of my party, but I’m more than that. I’m an American. Even though Trump has pursued things that make him seem like an old-school Republican, like tax cuts and entitlement reform, he continues to surround himself with advisers who want to tear down the old GOP establishment. So, what does it mean to be a Republican in
the age of Trump? And is Trumpism just a phase, or could it be the beginning of a major realignment in American politics? To understand the changes taking place in the Republican Party now, it helps to go back to the last time the party went through a
major transformation. In the first half of the 20th century, the GOP was more ideologically diverse than it is today. The party had many conservatives, but also had liberal Republicans who supported things like social security, infrastructure spending,
and civil rights. It was Eisenhower, a Republican, who forcibly
desegregated schools in the South. But, in 1964, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater shocked the political world when he won the Republican nomination by running on an unabashedly conservative platform. If you listen to his acceptance speech now, the rhetoric will feel familiar. At the time, Goldwater was widely seen as
a radical. In fact, his victory in the Republican presidential primaries was so controversial that Nelson Rockefeller, a moderate, stood up during the convention and gave a blistering speech denouncing Goldwater and his fellow conservatives. These are people who have nothing
in common with Americanism. The Republican party must repudiate these
people. But, Goldwater’s brand of politics prevailed. His book, the Conscience of a Conservative was a bestseller in the 1960s and influenced a whole generation of Republican leadership: from Ronald Reagan, to George W. Bush, to Ted Cruz. Goldwater’s conservative movement ended up dominating Republican politics for 50 years. Could Trumpism dominate the next 50? So far, the GOP’s old guard is entrenched enough that the Trump administration is still pursuing some of its conservative policies— from cutting the corporate tax rate, to repealing Obamacare. But the old guard could eventually be replaced as a new generation of mini-Trumps, people in the mold of Steve Bannon and Steven Miller, rise to positions of prominence in government and media. Some high profile conservative pundits, like Tucker Carlson, are already remaking themselves in the image of Trump. It’s been pretty obvious for a while now that the Trump-Russia story is essentially bogus. So why are the other news channels still behaving like this stupid little conspiracy tale is the moral equivalent of the Nuremberg trials? For now, the main issue that they face is that their ideology isn’t quite as clear cut as conservatism. They don’t have a best-selling pamphlet to inspire a new generation like Goldwater’s. But there is a coherent philosophy that’s starting to be built around Trumpism. The Trumpist Republicans want the GOP to be a more populist party. They believe in economic nationalism, meaning America should withdraw from the world stage and put up trade barriers. They oppose Paul Ryan-style fiscal conservatism, and condemn costly military interventions, like Bush’s invasion in Iraq. Many on the left and right want to write off Trump as an anomaly in American politics. And, to be fair, it’s hard to argue that he’s really governed like a full-on populist nationalist so far. But, political revolutions take time. In 1964, Goldwater got destroyed, winning only a few Southern states. But, in the decades that followed, Republicans built on Goldwater’s vision. In 1980, Ronald Reagan beat Jimmy Carter by using Goldwater’s playbook, and governed based on many of his principles. As we head towards the 2018 midterms, we will get an early clue if Trumpism is here to stay. Will Republicans run on Trump’s “America
First” platform, or return to the conservatism of Goldwater, Reagan, and Bush? This is Unpresidented, a weekly series where Atlantic writers explore what’s happening in this new era of American politics. Let us know what topic you want us to tackle
next. I’m McKay Coppins, thanks for watching.

Conservatism and the Republican Party – Granddaughter of Icon Barry Goldwater

with cc goldwater cc said the nikon all introducing and and giving the tally reintroducing the status of the dvd
tally for the nomination for president could cc eighty a pedigree which makes
it so unusually rather small cc is the granddaughter of barry
goldwater former senator former candidate for the presidency of the
republican party act time out pretty quick enough tell me what your grandfather would have
thought to have his daughter of the democratic convention you know i doubt now that uh… based on what the republican party
is doing now a i can only think that he just eat cowgirl really yeah you’ll see some different than a mile
and fill in your file your grandfather’s conservatism was a different breed of
conservatism but what would have made it differently lists the dole gerald ford
one of the republicans that their border may be one of the republican led what
about barry goldwater is not a republican this libertarian uses his uh… thoughts on women’s
choice satin civil liberties freehand son things that
it is really prior tory too somebody that might not be a typical
republican at these days i mean the republicans are just just eric just
they’re of different their whacked now you know and when the whole here is that
the republicans are well when this whole that still smelling right now you’re
looking at the marathon equipment tennessee still waiting okay uh… with this whole veda uh… what
message do you want to said they say they look barry goldwater’s
granddaughters in the room just palestine beaded as effect may grant but it was so good
it going to be bellini across the aisle you know he was a
republican statesman but he went across the island you can see with
democrats and got things dad and it was really all about that i think that hopefully people will see
that those kind of mine citizens those really
release wonderful leaders our star people to remember and
hopefully that we can take a page from their black and apply it to the future okay fountain very quickly cc before we
finish up uh… what do the rest of the goldwater
sentence is something that the democratic convention mild dot no had no
clue and i’m sure i’ll get act data he installed on their cell upside headed
down that’s all i can say active and excited
to have a lot of thinking about thank you

Why the Right is Right

Why are you Right? Yes, you, conservative
person. Can you answer that question? I think it’s so important that I wrote a book
about it — How to be Right: The Art of Being Persuasively Correct. Because if you can’t
be persuasive about why you are right, then we, the United States of America and the Republic
for which it stands, are lost. So, here is the simple answer to why you are Right: It
is a more practical, generous, and compassionate way to live. Let me explain: There have been a bunch of academic studies
on how those on the Left and Right approach problems. They pretty much all come to the
same conclusion. The Right tends to be risk averse, more concerned about external threats
like tyranny and terror. Conservatives — get this — tend to be conservative. They are
less likely to play with fire, in just about every sense: financially, artistically, sexually.
They are cautious about changing traditions (sometimes to a fault), which is why they
cling to that crazy Constitution they like so much — and to their guns and their religion. We conservatives also focus on what we can
fix, and accept what we cannot — which is one of the many reasons we’re not obsessed
over global warming. With Radical Islam we know what the threat is, and that it’s a lot
worse than a few missing polar bears (I know that makes me sound mean — sorry polar bears). Liberals, the research tells us, are generally
more outgoing, more likely to try new stuff. They are open to new ideas (though not school
choice, or flat taxes, or a market based health care reform), and are less likely to feel
threatened by unfamiliar things. This is why, in general, they seem to have more fun. They are more likely to try drugs, for example (which is fine, as long as they don’t end
up throwing up in my toaster). In short, liberals are pretty liberal. They feel free to take
risks that the risk-averse usually end up paying for — over and over. Which explains
the necessity for conservatism. We are the clean-up crew. Liberals may seem to have more fun (and many
do), but according to polls they aren’t as happy as conservatives. And with all the fun
they’re having, I’ve never quite figured out why the angriest people I’ve encountered in
my life have been liberals. Maybe it’s because short-term fun doesn’t translate into long-term
happiness. Marriage, families and religion do that and those are the things conservatives
most value. Liberals tend to live for now. Conservatives for later. A risk-averse conservative is more likely
to save money. He is more likely to protect his investments. He is more likely to protect
property, and advocate for rule of law and preservation of individual protections. And
he offers no excuses for looting. Instead, he empathizes with the Asian, Arab and black
small businessman whose convenience store, laundry or restaurant goes up into flames
during the riot that liberals reflexively endorse as an “understandable response to
injustice.” Of course, conservatives aren’t risk-averse
in everything. But they take risks with their own lives, not with the society. Conservatives
risk all to build businesses. That risk, however, is rooted in a fact-based belief (not faith)
in the free market. If people want the product or service you’re supplying at the price you’re
asking, you will succeed and the risk will pay off. Over time, it’s conservative risk-taking that
creates a civilization, by building families, businesses, and nations. All of which creates
more wealth — wealth that can then be used to help those in need. You need money to make
money, but you also need money to give money. Conservatism makes what liberalism takes. So, for example, for liberals to get their
minimum-wage hike, first we need conservatives to build businesses, to think like businessmen,
to sacrifice their own salaries in order to pay others; to sleep on floors if necessary
in order to break even. Then when they make a profit, and things are going great — when
the calm sets in — liberalism can appear and say, “How dare you not pay these people a
living wage?” Once the tables are full of diners, and bills are being paid, and you’re
thinking about opening a second joint, liberalism arrives to demand its cut. Think of it as
a protection racket. Sort of like the Gambino family, but without loyalty, job prospects,
and track suits. In short, conservatism doesn’t compete with
liberalism — it sustains it. Without conservatism, there is no liberalism. And so when a liberal
asks you, ‘Why are you a conservative?” simply say, “So that you can be a liberal.” I’m Greg Gutfeld.

The Alt-Right Playbook: Always a Bigger Fish

♫”All for the Best” from the musical “Godspell”♫ (Yes it’s all for the…)
♫”All for the Best” from the musical “Godspell”♫ All your wrongs will be redressed!
♫”All for the Best” from the musical “Godspell”♫ (Yes it’s all for the…)
♫”All for the Best” from the musical “Godspell”♫ Someone’s got to be oppressed!
♫”All for the Best” from the musical “Godspell”♫ (Yes it’s all for…the…best!)
♫”All for the Best” from the musical “Godspell”♫ Say, for the sake of argument, you’ve got this friend. You know, that one friend? You were buddies in high school, but don’t really see each other anymore except online? And you used to argue about politics for fun when you were teenagers, but as you’ve gotten older you’ve drifted further left and he’s gone sharply right? And your arguments…don’t feel so frivolous anymore. And maybe you’ve agreed that it’s better for your friendship to stop getting into it with each other. But you’ve just posted on Facebook about how
“College in America should be free and all student loans forgiven.” And your friend has left a comment he’s not supposed to leave. And you’re not supposed to respond, but you REALLY want to respond, so after a moment’s hesitation you shoot him a DM. Why do you care how we’d afford free tuition? Wars are a lot more expensive than education, but you never seem to care how we pay for those. We just go into debt and you’re fine with it. Anyway, aren’t you the party that says deficits don’t matter? Yeah, but you’re Democrats. You’re not going to run a deficit, you’re going to raise taxes, aren’t you? Taxes are generally how governments pay for things. Spoken like a proper socialist. No socialist would call that socialism. Only you, and only when we pay for things you don’t like. But when we build roads, or subsidize corn, well then you just call it government. Those are things we can’t pay for without governments! But we can pay for college ourselves. We’ve been doing it since forever. Well, I hate to tell you this, but it’s not the 1950’s anymore. Time was, you didn’t need a degree to get a good job. Now you do. And you could pay for college waiting tables, but now you can’t. Nowadays college is a necessity, and people can’t afford it. Why do liberals make excuses for people? If you want to go to college and don’t have the money, then you study and work hard and get a scholarship. You earn it instead of complaining until somebody gives it to you. Do you think people aren’t doing that? Do you think there’s millions of unclaimed scholarships just lying around waiting for someone to apply for them? There is nowhere near enough financial aid to get everyone to college who needs to go. That’s not my problem! They can crowdfund. Or get a loan. Or, whatever, go on Oprah. The government doesn’t owe you an education on my dime. It’s not gonna be your dime! You don’t make that much. No one’s talking about raising your taxes. If some billionaire you’ll never meet gets taxed to put some kid you’ll never meet through school, why should you even care? If someone robs a bank that isn’t my bank, I’m still opposed to robbery. I have a problem with taking money someone earned to give someone a degree they aren’t owed. Why is what happens to poor people “not your problem,” but what happens to rich people is? You think you’re gonna be rich someday? Oh please. You’re the one who thinks they’re gonna be rich. [Incredulous laugh] I assure you I do not. But then he says something that blows your mind a little bit, something that makes you think you’ve been going about this the wrong way, something that makes all the seeming contradictions of Republican thought maybe make some kind of sense. He says, Yes, you do. Democrats think they’re going to take the money from billionaires and spread it around. Give it to a bunch of poor people so they can go to college. And everyone gets a degree and everyone gets a good job and healthcare is free and minimum wage is eighty bucks an hour. And everyone’s saving lots of money, so what then? Everyone’s rich. Everyone works in tech. Everyone moves to New York and California. And nobody’s a billionaire, and nobody’s broke, and everyone’s great at their job because all they needed was the right opportunity, and no one’s better than anyone at anything. It’s a fantasy and we shouldn’t have to pay you to LARP it. You think you can make everyone the same, but you can’t. There’s always a bigger fish. You say, Did you just quote The Fantom Phucking Menace at me? And he says, I guess I did, lol. And that’s as good a time as any to drop it. But, the conversation sticks with you. See, when you talk to your conservative friend, you operate as though you have the same base assumptions: belief in democracy, do onto others, etc etc. If you didn’t believe your friend shared these assumptions, you’d basically be calling him a fascist or a sadist, and you conclude that, if you believe in democracy, you must believe in equality. And if you believe in equality, you must believe in equal access to education, and must conclude that governments should help pay tuition. And so you give your friend the benefit of the doubt that if he doesn’t understand this very simple logical progression, he either hasn’t had it properly explained to him, or has, at some point, been lied to. Because no one could believe in “all citizens are equal” AND “always a bigger fish” at the same time. But by this thinking, you’re treating most conservatives as people who want in their hearts to be liberals, but have so far failed. And, maybe that’s why they think liberals are condescending? What if he doesn’t have the same base assumptions as you? Or, what if he does, but has other assumptions you aren’t aware of, that lead him to different conclusions? He is, often, misinformed, but what if that isn’t the problem? What if he actually believes something else? We’ve been circling around this one for a while. We’ve talked about what liberals believe, we’ve talked about what fascists believe, we’ve talked about what nihilists believe, or rather, what they don’t believe, or, rather, why they aren’t actually nihilists. But, this is a tough one. What do conservatives believe? Oh God, I’m gonna get yelled at so much for this one. The United States, like much of the Western world, is a capitalist democracy. That’s what we’re raised in, that’s what seems normal to us. And, in our normal lives, democracy and capitalism seem to coexist easily. Voting doesn’t feel like a violation of capitalism; buying a bagel doesn’t seem like a violation of democracy. But sometimes, they come into tension with one another. And speaking REALLY broadly, when a choice between them has to be made, a liberal is someone who tends to think democratically, and a conservative is someone who tends to think like a capitalist. The operative word here is “tend.” Liberals are still capitalists and conservatives still stand for democracy, and the preference for one or the other may be very slight. Nevertheless, which way a person leans reveals their priorities. The democratic framework, or at least A democratic framework, is: one citizen, one vote. No matter who you are, you are born with certain in-, or possibly unalienable rights, and any system that doesn’t guarantee you those rights is a tyranny. Freedom, agency, and a hand on the scriptures that govern you, everyone is entitled to these things. It’s an egalitarian mindset. People gain power by electoral process, i.e., when it is granted TO them by the masses, with whom the true power resides, and whom the Constitution guarantees the right to take that power away from an electee. Rather than powerful, the elected official is, in a sense, an employee with millions of bosses, all of whom have equal authority. This is the IDEA of democracy, with the history of democracy being riddled with failures to live up to this ideal. But part of the project of liberalism has been about making the government more closely resemble its ideology. The capitalist framework, by contrast, is that of businesses and markets, where big fish eat the little ones. If two people start businesses in the same field and one makes more profit than the other, that person can make more investments, open more locations, undercut their competitors’ prices. The more money you have, the more money you can make. So advantage compounds where even small failures often mean getting muscled out of the field. Now with some creativity, a novel cost-saving practice or a new delivery method the underdog can still thrive, and this is part of what conservatives like about the market: that it demands this creativity in a live-ammo environment. But most will not beat the odds. That’s how odds work. Since there will always be more failures than successes, the general trajectory of unregulated capitalism is money pooling into fewer and fewer hands. Things naturally sort themselves into a hierarchy with sharks at the top, a million minnows at the bottom. Since we live with both of these frameworks in our minds, and most of the things we do in our daily lives can be justified by either one, we don’t often notice the contradictions between them, and it’s easy to imagine whichever one tends to be OUR default is everyone else’s default as well. But issues like poverty, taxation, and education are areas where the contradictions matter, and we are sometimes shocked by how different the world looks to our conservative friends. In conservative thinking, this hierarchy is humanity’s natural state. The American Dream is: here, anyone can make it. No matter who you are or what you start with, YOU can become a billionaire. But a necessary component of this is: anyone CAN, but EVERYONE can’t. We’re not all gonna be billionaires. There’s a finite amount of money in this country. For any one person to have so, so much more than they need there must, mathematically, be thousands of people with less. Your conservative friend is often baffled as to what you’re even trying to say when you point out there’s not enough high-paying jobs or affordable health plans for everyone. There’s not supposed to be. The system requires an underclass. Someone’s gotta clean the toilets. Capitalism, then, is a proving ground: it’s how you demonstrate where in the hierarchy you deserve to be. Do you have more than you need, or less? Anything you’ve got, you beat someone else to it. How resourceful were you? How well did you play? The field is by no means level, but any disadvantage just means you have to WORK harder. We know people who start with nothing can win big. If you’re a shark, you will make your way to the top because that’s where you belong. Anyone complaining how stacked the deck is against them is making excuses for not being better at the game. So disadvantage itself is not a problem so long as it’s, quote unquote, natural. What’s necessary is that advantage and disadvantage be imposed from without: free tuition, a high minimum wage, taxes on the wealthy, or any other kind of government meddling, these things must be opposed. Because with them, people would end up in the wrong places. Power has to be earned. If it isn’t earned, it won’t be properly wielded, and then society ends up a mess. Conservatives generally feel what’s wrong with the world today can be chalked up to people not being where they should be in the social order. They used to be where they belonged but then LIBERALS gummed everything up with their government handouts and forced representation. When, exactly, things were the way they should be is a bit of a moving target. Nowadays they act like it was the 80’s, in the 80’s it was the 50’s, and in the 50’s it was sometime before the New Deal, so following the nostalgia cycle it’s usually about thirty years ago. Conservatives are distrustful of any effort to make society more equal because, deep down they don’t believe equal societies are real. Obviously, “all citizens created equal” needs to be the government’s position, cause you can’t trust the government to know where to put people. So it has to treat everyone the same, but this is a legal fiction, like corporate personhood. It just means, the government leaves the market alone so the hierarchy can reveal itself. You’re not supposed to BELIEVE in an equal distribution of power. What are you, 7? This is just the way the world is. Look at alpha wolves. Silverbacks. Consider the lobster. You are one single individual within a system, and it is your job to rise or fall within it on the sweat of your own back. you don’t CHANGE the system. Society’s problems come from the rules being too weakly enforced. The answer’s always more discipline. Your conservative friend thinks you’re naïve for thinking the system even CAN be changed, and his is the charitable interpretation. Many conservatives assume liberals, at least, the smart liberals, KNOW that the hierarchy is eternal, that there will always be people at the top and people at the bottom. So any claim towards making things equal must be a Trojan horse for something that benefits them. Why would they assume that? Because that’s what they do. The REAL liberal agenda is to put people in the wrong places on purpose, boost liberal allies, hold back liberal opposition. You don’t want to break up the pyramid. You’re just trying to sneak someone else to the top. A lot of conservative contradictions start to make sense through this lens. Of any issue, simply ask: does this distribute power, or consolidate it? If power flows up the hierarchy they’re for it; if it flows down, they’re against it. How can conservatives say 15 an hour is too much for flipping burgers but somehow 11.5 million an hour isn’t too much to run Amazon? Because if you’re flipping burgers, you’re a minnow, and you don’t need 15 an hour to be a minnow. But sharks? They deserve all they can get, because they know what to do with it. They use it to give us Amazon. Don’t you want Amazon? We keep assuming conservatives defend the rich because they think they’ll be rich someday and, sure, they would love to be. But it’s more nuanced than that. They defend the rich because they believe the rest of us need the rich. We’d be lost without them. There should be no shame in being beneath the rich, not if the right people are rich. No shame in being a cog in the machine so long as the machine produces something beautiful. There is a real fear that everyone filling their prescribed role is the only thing keeping us from complete and total not the fun kind of anarchy. There’s honor in being in your place and doing your best with it, most especially if your place isn’t at the very bottom. The thing about hierarchies is they’re self similar on many scales. If you’re in the middle, then you serve the king. Valar dohaeris. But to everyone beneath you, you ARE the king. You’ve got a good job and a good wage, that gives you some power over people who don’t. And getting pissed at those above implies that those below have a right to be pissed at you. And there’s a real anxiety that liberals want to make room for those people in the middle by putting conservatives at the bottom. And that those people will treat conservatives the way conservatives treated them. Freedom, respect, and empathy are looked on as finite resources in a competitive market, just like jobs and scholarships. Also, most conservatives are white men, and so are most billionaires. So, but for the wealth, they actually have a lot in common, which makes it easy to empathize with billionaires and to feel empowered by seeing people like oneself do so well. And white men at the top influence policy in ways that serve people like them which materially benefits white men in the middle. The well being of the white billionaire becomes a metonym for the well being of all white men. A slight on them is a slight on all of us. White men want to believe that these billionaires earned their station, and not that their gender or race got them preferential treatment, because that would imply their own treatment may have also been biased in their favor, and maybe it’s not the liberals giving people power they don’t deserve. No matter how much a conservative believes in earning one’s place, they have always in the back of their mind an image of what society “should” look like. And any discrepancy between imagination and observation must mean foul play. This feminist is too respected. This black superhero is too popular. Can’t be because they’re worthy. Someone must have put their hand on the scales. Someone got a freebie, or played the race card, or faked a scandal. This means even though they claim the hierarchy is natural, what they will or won’t accept as legitimate is a gut feeling. If they like what they see, they take credit for it. If they don’t, it’s the left’s fault. And what does it say about them that they see a bunch of white male sharks and think, “yeah, that’s authentic.” The innate authenticity of wealth and power is the starting point. Like, ok, bear with me. You know when they open the door to Kingdom Hearts? And on the other side there’s Mickey with his shirt off and you’re like, why would Mickey with his shirt off be on the other side of that door? And the answer is, I don’t know, we’ll figure it out in like, seven games? Rich people believing “it’s good for everyone that I’m rich” is the starting assumption. That’s Mickey with his shirt off. And conservatism is the pile of games where they make up reasons why that might be true after the fact. It’s a retcon. This hierarchy is not democratic. It’s Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage. Savvy viewers may be remembering another political philosophy that is hierarchical, undemocratic, built on nostalgia, and that likes to cloak its policies in progressive camouflage, and that’s the one from two videos ago: fascism. [long sigh] Golly Now, I am not calling conservatives “fascists.” There are distinctions. Under fascism, the hierarchy is much, much less meritocratic, and the nostalgia is much, much older. However. Conservative thinking is, at the very least, one that fascism maps more cleanly onto. Fascists appeal to this hierarchical mindset by portraying all of history as struggles between ethnic groups over who gets to be where. Someone’s got to be at the bottom, white man. We’ll make sure it isn’t you. You’ll find throughout history that fascist movements, though they often pick up dissidents from all over the political spectrum – the Third Position, for instance, is fascism for anti-capitalists – when they find purchase in a political party it’s pretty much always the conservative party. Look at France, look at Brazil, look at here. Whether you want to interpret that as conservatism being uniquely susceptible to fascists, or diet fascism being another name for conservatism, I leave that up to you. Fascism, and to an extent libertarianism, are roided-up extrapolations of the hierarchical mindset, in the same way socialism and anarchy are extrapolations of the egalitarian one. We can see conservatism as a kind of compromise between fascism and democracy, and liberalism as a kind of compromise between capitalism and socialism. They are two different attempts to solve the tensions between these ways of thinking without giving either one up. You can just as easily claim that liberalism is watered-down ineffectual socialism. A lot of the left would balk at that, but not me, pinko scum that I am. The most important thing to understand is that you cannot communicate with, nor anticipate the behaviors of, a conservative if you don’t understand what they believe. Which is hard, because they’re often in denial. You will never convince them to compromise on any attempt to break up the hierarchy, because even incremental change strikes them as revolutionary, and they feel they’ve made too many concessions already. You will never get them, of their own free will, to agree to government regulation, because the government, as a democratic institution, is inherently unnatural. If you don’t like what a business is doing, you don’t regulate it. You take your money elsewhere. You should favor the capitalist solution, not the democratic one. Also, when you vote with your dollar, people with more dollars get more votes. They will never be on board with aiding the poor in any systemic way and will instead champion charity and crowdfunding because minnows getting to eat should always be framed as a gift rather than a right. You may get individual conservatives to come around on some of these, but, as a body, they will never consent to any of it unless they can work it to their advantage, or if you have leverage over them. They will sign on when denying progressivism costs them something. Because few things terrify them more than slipping down the hierarchy. And what’s insidious is that most of us have this thinking ingrained in our own minds as well, myself included. We’re all raised in the same culture. This is why they’re able to control the conversation: because they can, with some priming, get us thinking in their terms. A nice upshot is our thinking is also ingrained in their minds, though they’re a little bit better at fighting it. But as long as you’re trying to meet this mentality in the middle, you are leaving the door open for fascists. Conservatism is, and always will be, vulnerable to them. A good defense against fascism is to consciously, intentionally, think and act in democratic terms. Because newsflash: we’re not actually lobsters! Neither of these systems is natural. They are choices we can make. I recommend this one, because egalitarian thinking is one thing Nazis are bad at infiltrating. If you want to fight fascism, move left.