No, that’s not my life. Why would you ask, other than the fact that I woke up with a non-functional computer and then got sidetracked into a million other things? And this is really late.
Okay, fine, massed confusion IS my life, but it is not the kind of confusion I wanted to talk about.
Richard Fernandez was talking about the death of prestige on PJMedia. He viewed it as a side effect of the recent sex scandals, but I think the sex scandals and the disintegration of our “respect” for people and institutions are more the result of two twin things: first the fact that the left has been undermining established society for a long time, initially because once “capitalist” (which is to say normal) society vanished, paradise would magically appear, and since 91 in a sort of mad fury that they can’t have their little red wagon*; second the same left was, at the same time taking over all the institutions.
Their lack of respect for the institutions they took over, their complete inability to see what’s in front of their eyes, and the fact that their entire philosophy is based on resentment and envy — which means they’re convinced everyone else, everywhere else is getting away with stuff, and so they might as well — results in the “take over a respected institution; kill it; flay it; wear its skin and dance in front of the horrified people involved in that institution, demanding respect.
By institution in this case, you’re to understand “industry” as well.
So when they took over say publishing, or movie making, they didn’t take over with the intention of making movies like the ones they loved (well, the younger ones might, but that’s another and more complex matter**) but in order to “reform” and make things “good” (where good is value of “effects social change in the way Marx and his successor determined it should happen.” So, tons of social critique and angst and our good friends resentment and envy of everyone and everything else.) This means that just about everything they get control of turns to sh– I mean, becomes less popular. Because most of these critters are ind– educated in the best*** universities, they view their failing efforts and are sure — SURE — it is just because the masses aren’t ready for them. The masses are too stupid. They are the special snowflakes they’ve been waiting for.
On top of that they also believe wholeheartedly that everyone is dirty, and everyone is taking advantage of the system/institution/industry. This is part of their twin obsessions with “getting away with something” (from Clinton’s fantastical corruption, to the grab-ass of Hollywood moguls) and wanting the state to regulate everything. Because they’re convinced without close and continuous supervision everyone is “dirty.” Hell, they think of themselves as “the good guys” and look what they do. SURELY the bad guys are worse? (Rolls eyes. Or, you know, those of us who oppose them, which is as far as their toddler-like understanding of bad guys goes, have internal moral compasses and aren’t out for all we can get.)
Given this, yeah, we have the sex scandals. We also have an economically/governmentally/ideologically unravelling society.
Sure, it’s happened in the past — the French revolution; post-WWI, etc — and that’s what gave the left the chance to take over respected institutions to begin with.
So, are we going to do the same?
Well, the problem is when you take over institutions, whatever your political color, the people who take over are people who are attracted to power. Now, some of them have moral compasses and are therefore better than the left. ****
But at the same time we’re caught in the middle of a technological change. And at this point it’s hard to tell if the change is just technological or if the directions the technology took is being driven by the attempts of the left to push Marxian paradise down our throats and the resulting and concomitant chaos.
I mean, if the publishing industry had continued trying to make money (sure, but it’s subordinate to “hiring the right people” (meaning left) and “pushing the right point of view” which means they’ve been crashing print runs for forty years and calling it good) by any means available, and hiring and pushing the people most likely to do it, would Amazon’s ebook coup d’etat have succeeded? Would it have so completely shattered the status quo?
And if the people who are still workingTM weren’t doing the job of three or four people as well as fielding the unreasonable regulatory burdens (on child care, on tax-reporting, on–) we are, would distance shopping or delivery of groceries be accelerating?
If our news reporting and our local social hubs hadn’t been thoroughly corrupted by left-politics would this forum even exist?
At some point it becomes an egg chicken, dinosaur thing. If the respected institutions hadn’t decayed already, the meteor of new tech might have taken another form, and the current chickens might not have come home to roost.
But the chickens are here, the dinos are if not dead profoundly ill, and we’re in the middle of revolt, ferment and upheaval.
Should we take over the moribund institutions and make them respectable? Or should we go our own way and do what we can?
Shake the magic eight ball.
My guess is most of us aren’t in a position to take over institutions. But we’re in a position to work harder, smarter, faster, and to cast an eye to how things are evolving and how we can benefit from them to keep civilization going.
Just because we removed the active wrecker from the top of the pyramid, don’t delude yourself the rest will hold.
Between the left’s massive, breath-holding temper tantrum and their inability to build or create anything, or even to keep something going without undue mucking it up, hell is empty and all the devils are here.
Sure, we bought ourselves a little more time in November. But it will take way more than that to sustain the shocks ahead.
Build under, build over, build around. Build our parallel decentralized structures. Be ready to take the weight of civilization when it rests on your shoulders.
Sure, Atlas can shrug. But then it doesn’t go too well with Atlas either.
You got this.
Be not afraid.
*This morning, in the news pushed at us by microsnot, there was a professor of politics saying that civilization was a mistake. Maybe for him it was. In a tribe in the middle of nowhere, even if he’d been born, he’d probably have died/been killed long before proclaiming such nonsense. But it’s come to this. The big hope of the left now is “destroy civilization and we’ll have primitive communism”. Which only exists in their delusions.
** When you’ve been trained to think that “good” means “preaches the social change we wish for” the end result is to train your tastes to stuff no one else likes. Yes, it’s possible. Humans can be trained to like practically anything, including the extreme conditions in Venezuela, if they’re convinced that’s what’s “good.” Since for three generations our colleges have been preaching that “good” is “brings about social change” college-educated, non-questioning people have imported that into publishing and movie making and other entertainment fields. Which leaves them rather pathetically flabbergasted that their “good” work isn’t appreciated. Fortunately they also hook up on the myth of the misunderstood artist (not realizing that it’s a myth and that if artists were that misunderstood they wouldn’t be known centuries later) so they do have that to hug to themselves as consolation. It’s lovely warm superiority, and since most of them inherited or slept their way into wealth, they ain’t starving, either.
*** That is, the prestigious educational institutions that were among the first victims of the long march, because those drawn to power are also drawn to prestige like ducks to water. Makes since since the later used to lead to the first.
**** This is why Trump is better than Hillary. It doesn’t even matter what his moral compass is. It might just be “I love the US and want it to be wealthy” (in fact this is quite possible) but the fact he’s not suffering from the built in envy, resentment and opportunism of the left is enough to make him better.