Smile, You Were Always the Real Enemy

 

The American left hated the Cold War.  Aside from the few who were actual Communists, there was a general distaste on the left for confronting the USSR.  Instead of the illusion of floating above it all and criticizing both sides for being less enlightened than oneself, an actual threat to one’s country meant being hauled down and forced to be merely a member of one side with a distasteful duty of loyalty.  People like Goldwater or Reagan presented the threat of a forced choice of allegiance, whereas Jimmy Carter did not, even if the price was a steady stream of concessions to totalitarians.

There is a cognitive side effect from the sin of pride in which attachments to normal life, community, church, history, culture, shared mores, and patriotic feelings become an affront to one’s personal growth and enlightened self-image. Communists like the infamous Cambridge Five may or may not have actually believed that the Revolution would deliver a wondrous new order but were firm in their hatred for the existing order and the need for its destruction.

Roger Scruton identified this mindset (“Oikophobia”) as akin to sustained adolescent rebellion, the “repudiation of inheritance and home” and especially against any reverence for Judeo-Christian traditions and values.  The emergence of the “woke” religion that holds that the entirety of western civilization is inherently oppressive, evil, and irredeemable is just another instance of this sadly rather common mental disorder.

The weird attack on the “ultra-MAGA” at least has the virtue of clarity.  It is no longer about a vision of building a better society or economy or political order for the benefit of all.  It is about tearing down the whole, dividing, and then condemning those who would resist that tearing down.

The overt hatred spewed by Biden and his idiot veep mark a very ugly turn in the old psychodrama.  The left no longer promises nirvana.  They now expressly promise economic decline, energy shortages, spontaneous cancel culture attacks on employment and social membership, horrific racialization and dumbing down of education, sexual chaos, and the inexorable rise of administrative, corporate and international bureaucracies that are immune to the interests and preferences of people formerly known as ‘the voters’.  The left no longer pretends it will bring better but that the status quo (freedom, markets, the Constitution, pluralism) is unequal, hate-filled, and unacceptable. The new Puritans think that we deserve the pain they are intent on inflicting.

While political and other battles must be fought, there does need to be a standing invitation back to normal life above all.  Unlike Joe Biden, we do not despair of those living in sin and error.  The bad news is that this attack on the true and the normal is broader in scope, more vehement, and with more powerful instruments than ever before.  The good news is that their program is so ugly and so preposterous that merely being joyfully normal has never been more attractive.  Let’s not underestimate the power of that weapon and of optimism itself.

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  1. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Absolutely phenomenal post. 

    • #1
  2. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    History repeats itself. And the roles are the same, even if the playas have changed. Socialists always find their newest ‘Useful Idiots’ from a reproducing pool ….

    • #2
  3. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    Columbo (View Comment):

    History repeats itself. And the roles are the same, even if the playas have changed. Socialists always find their newest ‘Useful Idiots’ from a reproducing pool ….

    And this sort of thing is so much easier to do today, a few keystrokes and history is whatever they want it to be. Piece of cake.

    And we tell ourselves that we live in the age of information. [insert eye-roll]

    • #3
  4. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Old Bathos: Roger Scruton identified this mindset (“Oikophobia”) as akin to sustained adolescent rebellion, the “repudiation of inheritance and home” and especially against any reverence for Judeo-Christian traditions and values.

    I chose my moniker for this reason.

    • #4
  5. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Old Bathos: The overt hatred spewed by Biden and his idiot veep mark a very ugly turn in the old psychodrama.  The left no longer promises nirvana.  They now expressly promise economic decline, energy shortages, spontaneous cancel culture attacks on employment and social membership, horrific racialization and dumbing down of education, sexual chaos, and the inexorable rise of administrative, corporate and international bureaucracies that are immune to the interests and preferences of people formerly known as ‘the voters’.  The left no longer pretends it will bring better but that the status quo (freedom, markets, the Constitution, pluralism) is unequal, hate-filled, and unacceptable. The new Puritans think that we deserve the pain they are intent on inflicting.

    Absolutely.

    That anyone can support Democrats at this point in history is to their unending shame.

    • #5
  6. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    I once tried listening to Roger Scruton. If that’s what he was saying, I like it a lot better when you say it.

    • #6
  7. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    We saw it on display last week after Gorby’s death. you had all of the members of the Corporate media downplay Reagan/Thatcher role in ending the cold war and overstating Gorby’s.

    • #7
  8. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    GlennAmurgis (View Comment):

    We saw it on display last week after Gorby’s death. you had all of the members of the Corporate media downplay Reagan/Thatcher role in ending the cold war and overstating Gorby’s.

    • #8
  9. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: Roger Scruton identified this mindset (“Oikophobia”) as akin to sustained adolescent rebellion, the “repudiation of inheritance and home” and especially against any reverence for Judeo-Christian traditions and values.

    I chose my moniker for this reason.

    Caution: It means something different in England. ;-)

    • #9
  10. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: Roger Scruton identified this mindset (“Oikophobia”) as akin to sustained adolescent rebellion, the “repudiation of inheritance and home” and especially against any reverence for Judeo-Christian traditions and values.

    I chose my moniker for this reason.

    Caution: It means something different in England. ;-)

    Still works!

    I don’t deny my low status. I understand that I am among the upper classes here, and if I am the ant at the picnic, I’m okay with that.

    • #10
  11. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Old Bathos: The American left hated the Cold War.  Aside from the few who were actual Communists, there was a general distaste on the left for confronting the USSR.  Instead of the illusion of floating above it all and criticizing both sides for being less enlightened than oneself, an actual threat to one’s country meant being hauled down and forced to be merely a member of one side with a distasteful duty of loyalty.  People like Goldwater or Reagan presented the threat of a forced choice of allegiance, whereas Jimmy Carter did not, even if the price was a steady stream of concessions to totalitarians.

    Yes, although people on the left rarely criticized the USSR–and then usually in a rather detached way–while their criticism of America was unending and visceral. I never knew an “anti-war” activist who participated in a protest against the Soviets.

    There is a very old joke that liberals see communists as merely “liberals in a hurry”. One can turn that around and suggest that liberals are merely communists with a bit more patience (and a bit less honesty.)

    • #11
  12. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Old Bathos: There is a cognitive side effect from the sin of pride in which attachments to normal life, community, church, history, culture, shared mores, and patriotic feelings become an affront to one’s personal growth and enlightened self-image.

    Roger Scruton has written about that in some of his essays on conservatism, that at its root is a love for those things and a wish to preserve them as essential to the life of individuals and of society.

    • #12
  13. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: Roger Scruton identified this mindset (“Oikophobia”) as akin to sustained adolescent rebellion, the “repudiation of inheritance and home” and especially against any reverence for Judeo-Christian traditions and values.

    I chose my moniker for this reason.

    Caution: It means something different in England. ;-)

    Still works!

    I don’t deny my low status. I understand that I am among the upper classes here, and if I am the ant at the picnic, I’m okay with that.

    I’m sure that the bi-coastal snobs see us all as vile peasants.

    • #13
  14. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Old Bathos: Aside from the few who were actual Communists

    Whittaker wept.

    • #14
  15. Unsk Member
    Unsk
    @Unsk

    Yes, We the People are the enemy of the State.  

    At least, the Progressive Left is now out of the closet and are not hiding their true hatred of the American People anymore.  Really clarifies our politics doesn’t it?  Kinda makes it tough for your run of the mill know nothing fashionable Progressive to defend that stance anymore though.  Of course, polling now shows that 22% of Democrats think that men can get pregnant so of the thoroughly brainwashed Left, defending such an Anti-American stance probably ain’t a problem and just reinforces their true beliefs anyway. 

    • #15
  16. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: Roger Scruton identified this mindset (“Oikophobia”) as akin to sustained adolescent rebellion, the “repudiation of inheritance and home” and especially against any reverence for Judeo-Christian traditions and values.

    I chose my moniker for this reason.

    Caution: It means something different in England. ;-)

    Still works!

    I don’t deny my low status. I understand that I am among the upper classes here, and if I am the ant at the picnic, I’m okay with that.

    I like to go with the Monkey in the wrench … [link]

     

    • #16
  17. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    A little too harsh on the Cold War stuff before 1980. Did see it somewhat when Reagan was putting the heat on the Russians in the mid 1980s.  But calmed down somewhat after the Soviet Union disintegrated.  But right on into what is going on now.  

    • #17
  18. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    navyjag (View Comment):

    A little too harsh on the Cold War stuff before 1980. Did see it somewhat when Reagan was putting the heat on the Russians in the mid 1980s. But calmed down somewhat after the Soviet Union disintegrated. But right on into what is going on now.

    Almost the entire American academic, media and legal elite rallied to Alger Hiss’ defense largely because of how déclassé and tacky it was to be overtly anti-communist and to acknowledge the overwhelming evidence of Soviet penetration of every branch of government.  Soviet manipulation of student movements and the anti-war movement was made vastly easier by the predispositions of those who became fellow travelers and useful idiots.  

    Jimmy Carter’s 1977 speech sneering the “inordinate fear of communism” did not arise in a vacuum. There was a cultural foundation on the left. It also gave rise to the preening nonsense from Obama in 2012 about “the 1980s wants it’s foreign policy back” –exactly the same rejection of confrontation because it would be seem less enlightened. 

     

    • #18
  19. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    navyjag (View Comment):

    A little too harsh on the Cold War stuff before 1980. Did see it somewhat when Reagan was putting the heat on the Russians in the mid 1980s. But calmed down somewhat after the Soviet Union disintegrated. But right on into what is going on now.

    Almost the entire American academic, media and legal elite rallied to Alger Hiss’ defense largely because of how déclassé and tacky it was to be overtly anti-communist and to acknowledge the overwhelming evidence of Soviet penetration of every branch of government. Soviet manipulation of student movements and the anti-war movement was made vastly easier by the predispositions of those who became fellow travelers and useful idiots.

    Jimmy Carter’s 1977 speech sneering the “inordinate fear of communism” did not arise in a vacuum. There was a cultural foundation on the left. It also gave rise to the preening nonsense from Obama in 2012 about “the 1980s wants it’s foreign policy back” –exactly the same rejection of confrontation because it would be seem less enlightened.

     

    You want 25  years over me. Agree re: the Alger Hiss crap.  I was more focused on Viet Nam in the 60’s, the Russian support for the NVA which even LBJ opposed.  Agree Carter was weak but focus then was on Iran, not Russia.  Reagan turned things around. Reagan helped kick Russian ass out of Afghan. God bless him.  Clinton did not have to do anything except focus on Al Queda which he failed to do.

    • #19
  20. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

     

    • #20
  21. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: Roger Scruton identified this mindset (“Oikophobia”) as akin to sustained adolescent rebellion, the “repudiation of inheritance and home” and especially against any reverence for Judeo-Christian traditions and values.

    I chose my moniker for this reason.

    I assumed it was in homage to a sound Ned Beatty made in a key scene in “Deliverance”.

    But this makes more sense now.

    • #21
  22. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: Aside from the few who were actual Communists

    Whittaker wept.

    Forest?  He says “hi”!

     

    See the source image

    • #22
  23. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Wonderful article.  There are loyal Democrats, perhaps by habit, who listen to main stream media and don’t read outside their field.  My impression is that they do not grasp that the Washington Democrats  are engaged in different activities, with different objectives that will destroy the country and their own livelihoods.    We have to get to the kids and we don’t have much time.  This isn’t a partisan back and forth.  It’s terminal.

    • #23
  24. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Gazpacho Grande' (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: Roger Scruton identified this mindset (“Oikophobia”) as akin to sustained adolescent rebellion, the “repudiation of inheritance and home” and especially against any reverence for Judeo-Christian traditions and values.

    I chose my moniker for this reason.

    I assumed it was in homage to a sound Ned Beatty made in a key scene in “Deliverance”.

    Ouch. : (

    No, I switch between Oik and Oaf.

    Gonna ride my class privilege all the way to the finish line.

    • #24
  25. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    I Walton (View Comment):

    Wonderful article. There are loyal Democrats, perhaps by habit, who listen to main stream media and don’t read outside their field. My impression is that they do not grasp that the Washington Democrats are engaged in different activities, with different objectives that will destroy the country and their own livelihoods. We have to get to the kids and we don’t have much time. This isn’t a partisan back and forth. It’s terminal.

    Washington Democrats have made the caricature of Trump their central tenet.  Because they no longer stand for the interests and values of the great majority of Americans who do not happen to be leaders of public employees unions, the only thing left is to convince the faithful that as bad as they are, the satanic Trumpian forces are worse.  The MSM is toeing the line and keeping the filters in place.

    • #25
  26. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    I Walton (View Comment):

    Wonderful article. There are loyal Democrats, perhaps by habit, who listen to main stream media and don’t read outside their field. My impression is that they do not grasp that the Washington Democrats are engaged in different activities, with different objectives that will destroy the country and their own livelihoods. We have to get to the kids and we don’t have much time. This isn’t a partisan back and forth. It’s terminal.

    Washington Democrats have made the caricature of Trump their central tenet. Because they no longer stand for the interests and values of the great majority of Americans who do not happen to be leaders of public employees unions, the only thing left is to convince the faithful that as bad as they are, the satanic Trumpian forces are worse. The MSM is toeing the line and keeping the filters in place.

    Under Trump’s four years, poor blacks and poor rural whites did quite well. Under Lieberman democrats they did poorly.

    They need to make Trump demonic because under an honest capitalism poor white and poor blacks thrive and are too busy making money to have need of a big government.

    • #26
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