One of the most fascinating conceits of our ruling powerful elites — be they in entertainment, politics, governance, jurisprudence or news reporting — is the often repeated assertion of being some kind of underdog “speaking truth to power.” This comes with the concomitant illusion that anyone opposing them is paid by powerful interests.
Never mind that the ones making the accusation are usually in positions of power and receive recognition all out of proportion to their achievements, (no, really, Mr. Obama failed to deliver his first book, so they contracted for a second with an exponentially bigger advance. When he delivered an auto-biography instead of a book on race relations, it was taken and lionized. I challenge any writer/personage not of the establishment to replicate this feat.) Never mind that the dissenting voices often have to come out in less respected and far less rewarding channels, it is against those of us who speak the actual truth against those who yield actual power that the finger of mercenary interest is pointed.
To defend this absurd position, they descend to ever more recherché and counterfactual reasons as to why those who get little reward and no respect are actually the ones in power. Thus accusations of “White Privilege” are leveled against people who grew up in awful circumstances and made their own way, against people who are not in fact treated with any kind of deference and in fact against people who are not in point of fact white. And meanwhile those who side with them are considered to be “authentic” whatever the supposedly oppressed minority is.
For instance, take Mister Obama. I don’t deny that he has the outward appearance of a minority that was very mistreated historically. However, in his particular case, he is not the descendent of slaves but the descendant of slave dealers on his father’s side, and slave owners on his mother’s. Furthermore, for all the clamoring about his coming from nothing, he was raised in privileged circumstances, first in Indonesia, by his mother’s businessman second husband and then in comfort by his grandparents in Hawaii where he attended an exclusive private school and from where, despite his lackluster academic performance, he was wafted to the best schools in the land, likely through the means of connection and influence. (This like everything else about Mister Obama is a closely guarded secret, but it is almost impossible that he entered Columbia or Harvard on academic performance. Yes, it is barely credible that after high school he pulled himself up by his bootstraps and managed to work himself into a good GPA. However, having seen the man in action for close on to six years, I am morally sure if that were the case, his GPA, if not the substance of his courses, would already have been leaked and brandished about as supreme evidence of his genius. Since it – nor any IQ test result – has not been waved like a flag of triumph by his supporters in the establishment, it must be assumed that, like the performance we’ve seen from him since, it is at best lackluster and at worst disastrous.)
However, he’s considered to be underprivileged on the mere fact that he can tan and that his undertone is a little darker than younger son’s when he hasn’t been out in the sun for a long time.
In the same way, in our own field of science fiction, several people are lionized on the claim of being underprivileged and “excluded”. Mind you, none of them have been excluded in their lifetimes, and in fact maybe one of their grandparents was once addressed rudely. (Maybe, since they’re all a little younger than I. Depending on when their grandparents reproduced.) So, despite the fact that they’re all occupying academic positions for which we have seen no evidence of intellectual prowess, and the fact that the establishment in the field welcomed them with open arms and gave them fawning and attention all out of proportion with achievement, they are considered “victims” and run around twitter (which seems overripe for an application of Idiot be Gone) screaming of the “micro aggressions” performed against them, and telling everyone who opposes them that they should check their “privilege.”
This insanity, something that would make anyone from the outside laugh like an hyena (trust me, I came from the outside and the situation seemed like something out of a crazy fairytale to me) can only perpetuate itself by continuing claims of privilege where none exists and of victimhood applying to those in charge of the establishment. This is why the claims have grown increasingly more divorced from reality, like the screams addressed to Larry and I that we want to keep science fiction white and male (which would be a feat for both of us, unless we intend to get skin bleaching and in my case a rather more intimate operation) or that women didn’t work in the field or get any recognition before our present enlightened times, or that, in FACT none of them are safe at conventions where they might run into people who are paler than they are or – gasp – men with actual penises and all. It also accounts for their insane attacks of gamers because the gamers want to play games “for fun” leading them to the extreme ludicrous claim that there’s something wrong with escapism in entertainment. And we won’t even talk about shirtstorm, where the establishment thought it prudent and in fact eminently necessary to attack a man who, after years of work, landed on a comet, for wearing a cheesy, retro-sf t-shirt while talking about it.
This buffoonery which repels the general public when the general public sees it, is all they have.
And the reason they feel forced to keep up the pretense of being downtrodden and hard done by while basking in all the privilege and material rewards of elites everywhere is that they are a theocracy and the faith they used to climb to power is Marxism, with its extolling of the downtrodden and later (when the downtrodden of the west failed to rise and instead reaped the benefits of capitalism and moved to the middle class) the interesting “other” originating in third world nations. These later are held to be possessors of magical powers which render them capable of seeing with blinding clarity everything that is wrong in our society, capable of creating art that is better than anything we can do, and – very importantly – somehow still in need of the help of our elites to rise to any position of prominence. Which view is in fact racist and the powers attributed to these “minorities” – most often majorities in their own countries – nothing short of the ability that African Americans used to be believed to be born with of dancing or performing well in sports. Both of these are judging people by one broad, racial characteristic, and not as individuals. And let’s not forget the “can’t rise without us” (which is where all the magnified “micro aggressions” and imaginary privilege come from. They need to justify to themselves as well as others why people who, by virtue or color or origin are NATURALLY better fail to rise without their “help.”)
In fact, I believe part of Mister Obamas fascination with bringing in as many people as he can from countries where they (generally) tan better than us and grew up in misery, is not out of anything rational but out of this religious belief in the invincibility of the “other.” He’s thus sure that if he gets enough of them in, Marxist revolution will immediately arise and the American populace will be unable to defend themselves, because of the magical power of the “other.”
In fact, not only do those outside of the establishment – who point out the king is naked – go without any reward, they are, if they rise to enough prominence, the object of smear and whisper campaigns, kept out of what would normally accrue on performance alone, and – to make the irony delicious – accused of being sell outs. The tactics used against of us in the field of science fiction, for instance – not that we didn’t know of them, because in fact some of us overhear conversations, or used to take children to cons who understood far more than others thought and who weren’t immediately associated with us – were acknowledged to be the same the creature called Requires Hate used against the establishment (and as an attempt to leverage herself into it) the difference (and the reason the establishment was incensed) being that it was used against them.
Given this why do we persist? No wonder establishment personages think their challengers stupid. Many of us are working three times as hard as any of them and if we just said what they want us to say could be the greatest of them all.
Oh, because some of us are religious and taken to a mountain and shown all the kingdoms of the world will still believe our soul of more worth. And because some of us, though not religious, still have to wake up in the morning and look into their eyes in the mirror. And because some of us – me, all other considerations aside – have a devotion to the truth and refuse to kneel and say that we believe their story and not our lying eyes.
No wonder they do think we’re stupid. It’s something their little mercenary, social climbing hearts could never understand.
But here’s the thing: no elite that is as schizophrenic as they are can long stay in power. Their narrative being so anti-reality requires those seeking to join them to abase themselves to such a degree (like some gang members who have to commit a heinous murder to join) that the only the most craven will do so. These are also, for whatever reason, often not the most competent at whatever the field is.
They’re not often, like Chelsea Clinton, so guppy-stupid that even all the attempts to advance them and hand them “accomplishments” for existing fall flat (as did her career in TV.) But as generations go by and each generation picks the new luminaries based ONLY on loyalty to the party line, the quality of performance and competence keeps going down.
Take New Wave in our field. Its practitioners often held strange views of life, strange enough to repel the hoi polloi and those who bought the bulk of the books, but by and large, I challenge you to read them and not see the craftsmanship and the talent (with a few exceptions, of course.)
However those who came after them were a little less talented and trained. This was the period back in the nineties when I considered myself fortunate for finding writers who weren’t actively off-putting, and could only ever find one or two that I considered to rise above . And the current crop of establishment darlings, particularly the young ones (again with one or two exceptions) are cringingly bad or at the very best cringingly trite (which would be endurable without the encomiums to their Earth shattering originality.) Even the establishment can find no better reason to shower awards on them than the oft-repeated claims of vague discrimination and saying that women are overdue for recognition.
Like any elite that is incompetent at what its supposed to do, this means that they create a crisis that invites their replacement. In science fiction, where I’m concentrating because I know it better, (though arguably parallel processes are taking place in all other fields) they might have tottered on another generation or two, with each selling less, until the advances for first novels were zero and publication meant nothing except to the academics who need publication.
Fortunately Kindle intervened. Because indie publishing came into a vacuum and served underserved readers, it’s blooming against the wilting of traditional publishing.
This, of course, causes the establishment to rail against capitalism and to redouble its claims of “excluded” and “downtrodden” people. (Since they’ve been in charge of publishing since at least the forties, one has to wonder why they excluded and trod down on people, but instead, one is supposed to pretend to be dumb.)
The more pinched they get, the more we’ll hear claims of “speaking truth to power” and challenging “the man” when in fact they have the power and are the man (or more often the womyn, which is the position of power in current society.)
I advise mockery. Pouring mockery on them, and exposing the falsehood and base self-adulation of these people is not only funny, but it makes them writhe like slugs under salt.
And if you don’t feel like mocking, still point out their hypocrisy at every turn.
Expect them to become more shrill and multiply their claims to be “winning” and their deranged certainty that history comes with a directional arrow and that they’re the future.
I don’t recommend feeling pity for them, only because, as Roger L. Simon said “we almost lost our country” – or rather, in this case our civilization – to these buffons.
But they are, nonetheless, worthy of pity. They have nothing save the debasement that bought them their entry into the elite which, in its present eclipse, can give out fewer and fewer rewards, and each of them worth less. In my field, at least, most of them are in their forties. And they’ll have to get up every morning for forty years and look at themselves in the eye and confront the fact they sold their dreams for a mess of pottage.
Turn yours eyes away from them as we pass. The sad thing – for them – is that though history doesn’t have a directional arrow, some things always triumph: capitalism (which is a term for voluntary exchanges between humans and as such – despite attempts to suppress it by every king and satrap) has been going on since we’ve been humans; hard work; talent; a stubborn inability to admit defeat and – that most difficult one to them, because fourth generation leftists lack it as completely as the fairies of legend were said to lack it – creativity.
In the end, we win they lose. Ignore the screams. Shoulder to the wheel. We have work to do.