Red Tribe, Blue Tribe

 

donald-trump-blames-thugs-and-our-communist-friend-bernie-sanders-for-chicago-violence-1457812811Yesterday, I asked whether anyone was reading something interesting by a writer we often neglect here on Ricochet. Cyrano suggested an article by Scott Alexander that had given him a new perspective on American political dynamics: I Can Tolerate Anyone Except the Outgroup. I agree it’s a good read.

Alexander begins by suggesting that the definition of “tolerance” is something like, “respect and kindness toward members of an outgroup.”

But today we have an almost unprecedented situation.

We have a lot of people – like the Emperor – boasting of being able to tolerate everyone from every outgroup they can imagine, loving the outgroup, writing long paeans to how great the outgroup is, staying up at night fretting that somebody else might not like the outgroup enough.

And we have those same people absolutely ripping into their in-groups – straight, white, male, hetero, cis, American, whatever – talking day in and day out to anyone who will listen about how terrible their in-group is, how it is responsible for all evils, how something needs to be done about it, how they’re ashamed to be associated with it at all.

This is really surprising. It’s a total reversal of everything we know about human psychology up to this point. …

What is going on here?

To explain this, Alexander appeals to one of Sigmund Freud’s more useful observations:

Freud spoke of the narcissism of small differences, saying that “it is precisely communities with adjoining territories, and related to each other in other ways as well, who are engaged in constant feuds and ridiculing each other.” Nazis and German Jews. Northern Irish Protestants and Northern Irish Catholics. Hutus and Tutsis. South African whites and South African blacks. Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs. Anyone in the former Yugoslavia and anyone else in the former Yugoslavia.

So what makes an outgroup? Proximity plus small differences.

Americans, he argues, now “self-segregate not based on explicit religion but on implicit tribal characteristics. So in the same way, political tribes self-segregate to an impressive extent – a 1/10^45 extent …. based on their implicit tribal characteristics.”

What are these tribes, exactly?

The Red Tribe is most classically typified by conservative political beliefs, strong evangelical religious beliefs, creationism, opposing gay marriage, owning guns, eating steak, drinking Coca-Cola, driving SUVs, watching lots of TV, enjoying American football, getting conspicuously upset about terrorists and commies, marrying early, divorcing early, shouting “USA IS NUMBER ONE!!!,” and listening to country music.

The Blue Tribe is most classically typified by liberal political beliefs, vague agnosticism, supporting gay rights, thinking guns are barbaric, eating arugula, drinking fancy bottled water, driving Priuses, reading lots of books, being highly educated, mocking American football, feeling vaguely like they should like soccer but never really being able to get into it, getting conspicuously upset about sexists and bigots, marrying later, constantly pointing out how much more civilized European countries are than America, and listening to “everything except country”.

(There is a partly-formed attempt to spin off a Grey Tribe typified by libertarian political beliefs, Dawkins-style atheism, vague annoyance that the question of gay rights even comes up, eating paleo, drinking Soylent, calling in rides on Uber, reading lots of blogs, calling American football “sportsball,” getting conspicuously upset about the War on Drugs and the NSA, and listening to filk – but for our current purposes this is a distraction and they can safely be considered part of the Blue Tribe most of the time)

Read the whole article. Many perceptive points. For example:

My hunch – both the Red Tribe and the Blue Tribe, for whatever reason, identify “America” with the Red Tribe. Ask people for typically “American” things, and you end up with a very Red list of characteristics – guns, religion, barbecues, American football, NASCAR, cowboys, SUVs, unrestrained capitalism.

That means the Red Tribe feels intensely patriotic about “their” country, and the Blue Tribe feels like they’re living in fortified enclaves deep in hostile territory. …

I think the situation with “white” is much the same as the situation with “American” – it can either mean what it says, or be a code word for the Red Tribe.

And thus, he observes,

Bill Clinton was the ‘first black President,’ but if Herman Cain had won in 2012 he’d have been the 43rd white president. And when an angry white person talks at great length about how much he hates “white dudes,” he is not being humble and self-critical.

He’s merely expressing blue-tribe solidarity and intolerance of the red tribe. Consider the fate of Brendan Eich, the CEO of Mozilla, who was hounded out of his job by a baying Blue Tribe mob after it came to light that he had donated $1,000 to California’s Proposition 8:

Think of Brendan Eich as a member of a tiny religious minority surrounded by people who hate that minority. Suddenly firing him doesn’t seem very noble. …

When a friend of mine heard Eich got fired, she didn’t see anything wrong with it. “I can tolerate anything except intolerance,” she said.

“Intolerance” is starting to look like another one of those words like “white” and “American”.

“I can tolerate anything except the outgroup.” Doesn’t sound quite so noble now, does it?

The “unprecedented situation,” then, is not so very unprecedented. Millions of Americans are not, in fact, conspicuously praising every outgroup they can think of while conspicuously condemning their own in-group.

We noted that outgroups are rarely literally “the group most different from you”, and in fact far more likely to be groups very similar to you sharing almost all your characteristics and living in the same area.

We then noted that although liberals and conservatives live in the same area, they might as well be two totally different countries or universe as far as level of interaction were concerned.

Contra the usual idea of them being marked only by voting behavior, we described them as very different tribes with totally different cultures. You can speak of “American culture” only in the same way you can speak of “Asian culture” – that is, with a lot of interior boundaries being pushed under the rug.

The outgroup of the Red Tribe is occasionally blacks and gays and Muslims, more often the Blue Tribe.

The Blue Tribe has performed some kind of very impressive act of alchemy, and transmuted all of its outgroup hatred to the Red Tribe. …

Research suggests Blue Tribe / Red Tribe prejudice to be much stronger than better-known types of prejudice like racism. Once the Blue Tribe was able to enlist the blacks and gays and Muslims in their ranks, they became allies of convenience who deserve to be rehabilitated with mildly condescending paeans to their virtue.

This perhaps is a useful description of what we’re seeing in and around Trump rallies: tribal violence. Two hopped-up tribes, both itching for any excuse to raid each other.

And frankly, I’m worried that if this keeps up, it’s only a matter of time before we have our own version of the al-Askari mosque bombing. And turn into Yugoslavia. Because this is, in fact, exactly how these things happen. (And halfway around the world, people cluck and say, “Those people have been killing each other for centuries. Why should we start caring now?)

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  1. 10 cents Member
    10 cents
    @

    I think it is the ancient thought that the new is better. Old thoughts are absolute where the edgy is no pun intended cutting edge and to be preferred. It is strange because the “new ideas” are usually retreads from the past.

    People want to validate their “religion”. People who disagree are “heretics” and need to be dealt with. All ideas are equal but some ideas are more equal than others. Diversity is good as long as it makes no value judgments which is a value judgment.

    Modern man has an adjustable yardstick and complains about those who want to be so obtuse to set it at exactly 36 inches. “My definition is just as good as yours.” is their motto.

    • #1
  2. Red Fish, Blue Fish Member
    Red Fish, Blue Fish
    @RedFishBlueFish

    There is one key difference between the blue and red tribes. As a red tribe member, I find myself being forced to mask my belief system and social preferences lest I am shunned in the blue communities in which I live.

    I have found the exact opposite to be true as applied to blue values in red communities.

    One of the key values of the red community is true tolerance, while one of the key values in the blue community is conformity. It’s a lot easier to be a black liberal in suburban Tennessee than it is to be a religious white evangelical in NYC. Eich’s travails are a perfect example. Invert the facts and the place, and it makes no sense. But it’s an entirely predictable result in Silicon Valley.

    The blue value driving this is a belief in correct and incorrect opinions tied to a communal obligation to enforce them that simply doesn’t exist as such in the red community where difference of opinions and values are permitted to exist side-by-side and are enforced only within the family and immediate voluntary community (e.g. a church). Many in the Southern Baptist community shun marriage outside the church, but are perfectly willing to live in a community where the rule is not to restrict marriage as such. In blue world, most profess a belief that gay marriage should be allowed in their broader community, but will not tolerate a structure that allows individual communities (e.g. a church) to choose otherwise.

    • #2
  3. Crow's Nest Member
    Crow's Nest
    @CrowsNest

    Since the French Revolution, the Left has had a romantic view of political violence. Sometimes this view took the form of supporting outright Communist guerrilla movements, sometimes more passively by drawing moral equivalencies between one sort of contemporary violence and another historical example of violence or injustice, and other times, even more commonly if also somehow more abstrusely, talking about the hidden structural violence of institutions that didn’t appear violent to any passerby or raging against the violence of language as though “hate speech” is no different than beating a man to death or as though using a pronoun is the equivalent of chattel slavery.

    In an environment where this now-romantic mau-mauing, now-handwringing, scolding way of discussing violence in politics has been par for the course for a couple of generations, serious thinkers on the center-left have good reason for pause post-Chicago. But I’m not holding my breath that there will be introspection there.

    Its particularly fitting that this happened in Chicago, a place where democratic policies have steadily eroded the civil order for a half-century.

    That being said, Trump’s demurring toward some of the implicit violence threatened by a subset of his followers on social media, or the actual aggression of his campaign manager toward a reporter or of other followers against non-violent protesters in pre-Chicago areas (however disruptive) doesn’t seem to be animated by a coherent set of ideas outside of insulating Trump. This is not something new in American life (both mobs and mobsters are known to us), but its presence on the right in our politics and the vocal defense of it in some conservative circles is something new–I do find that ominous.

    • #3
  4. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    One thing I didn’t get about that article — what’s “filk?” When I Google it, I discover it’s “a musical culture, genre, and community tied to science fiction/fantasy fandom and a type of fan labor. The genre has been active since the early 1950s, and played primarily since the mid-1970s.”

    I know plenty of Grey Tribesmen — I believe we even have some among our little tribe here at Ricochet — but never once have I heard of “filk.” When did this become a thing? Does anyone here listen to filk?

    • #4
  5. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Red Fish, Blue Fish:There is one key difference between the blue and red tribes. As a red tribe member, I find myself being forced to mask my belief system and social preferences lest I am shunned in the blue communities in which I live.

    I have found the exact opposite to be true as applied to blue values in red communities.

    Where gay students are so accepted and respected as human beings that these places don’t even need to worry about laws against  anti-gay bullying:

    anti-bullying_lgbt_lawsBecause there’s no need for them.  I assume.

    • #5
  6. The Dowager Jojo Member
    The Dowager Jojo
    @TheDowagerJojo

    Zafar, perhaps in those yellow states all bullying is considered unacceptable. Maybe even pro-gay bullying. So there was not an opportunity for someone to kowtow to the moral narcissists of the state with such a law.

    • #6
  7. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    The Dowager Jojo:Zafar, perhaps in those yellow states all bullying is considered unacceptable.

    It’s possible, Jojo.  Do you believe that they take anti-gay bullying as seriously as other kinds of bullying?  To be honest, that’s not my impression, but I could be wrong.

    Edited to add: this isn’t an exact measure, but it’s arguably a good proxy.

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  8. The Dowager Jojo Member
    The Dowager Jojo
    @TheDowagerJojo

    I sure don’t think they lack anti-gay bullying laws because they think gay bullying is okay.

    • #8
  9. Red Fish, Blue Fish Member
    Red Fish, Blue Fish
    @RedFishBlueFish

    The correct way to look at anti-gay bullying is not to look at the states without the laws.  That’s just status quo and inertia keeps you there.  It’s to look at the states with the laws and why they changed a practice that worked for 200 plus years.

    Fact is, its politically beneficial to pass anti-gay bullying laws in blue states because enforcing blue values through law pays off electorally.  In the other states, you don’t have much of a movement to enforce values of any kind through law to anywhere near the effect in blue states.  Of course you have some, you always do in a functioning democracy, but living in blue states all my life, I read every day about a new law that’s being debated and mostly passed that does just that.

    Will someone please think of the children!

    • #9
  10. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    The Dowager Jojo:I sure don’t think they lack anti-gay bullying laws because they think gay bullying is okay.

    It’s a matter of how effectively it’s dealt with.  From page 93 of the 2011 National School Climate Survey:

    LGBT students from states with comprehensive anti-bullying/harassment laws reported lower levelsof victimization based on their sexual orientation and gender identity/expression than students from states with generic laws and states with no laws. Yet, students did not differ by policy type on the likelihood of reporting….

    Although there were no differences by state law in the frequency of reporting victimization, there were differences in how effective staff intervention was perceived. LGBT students from states with comprehensive laws were more likely to find staff intervention effective compared to others.

    Which is an interesting correlation, assuming good intentions all round.

    • #10
  11. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Red Fish, Blue Fish:The correct way to look at anti-gay bullying is not to look at the states without the laws. That’s just status quo and inertia keeps you there. It’s to look at the states with the laws and why they changed a practice that worked for 200 plus years.

    I guess the way things were didn’t work so well for all of us.

    Wrt tribes, there’s a natural tendency (apparently) to perceive something that’s negative for in-group members as more important, even more real,  than something that’s negative for outgroup members.  (Certainly I can see that dynamic playing out for Muslims and Hindus in India.)

    How this is expressed by the Red Tribe and Blue Tribe is given a twist by the fact that membership in these tribes seems to be not solely a function of birth but the result of choice.

    • #11
  12. Red Fish, Blue Fish Member
    Red Fish, Blue Fish
    @RedFishBlueFish

    Zafar:It’s a matter of how effectively it’s dealt with. From page 93 of the 2011 National School Climate Survey:

    LGBT students from states with comprehensive anti-bullying/harassment laws reported lower levelsof victimization based on their sexual orientation and gender identity/expression than students from states with generic laws and states with no laws. Yet, students did not differ by policy type on the likelihood of reporting….

    Although there were no differences by state law in the frequency of reporting victimization, there were differences in how effective staff intervention was perceived. LGBT students from states with comprehensive laws were more likely to find staff intervention effective compared to others.

    Which is an interesting correlation, assuming good intentions all round.

    This is also explained by my theory.  States with those laws are states where enforcing blue values through public figures is seen as beneficial.  It makes perfect sense that administrators in those states would enforce them more vigorously, which no doubt results in less anti-gay bullying.

    Also, I would not put any stock whatsoever in surveys of kids, particularly millennials, reporting on these types of matters.  They have shown pretty thoroughly that they are not really all that good at distinguishing true threats from perceived ones.

    • #12
  13. Red Fish, Blue Fish Member
    Red Fish, Blue Fish
    @RedFishBlueFish

    Zafar: I guess the way things were didn’t work so well for all of us.

    Yes, we call that life.

    • #13
  14. Capt. Aubrey Member
    Capt. Aubrey
    @CaptAubrey

    I suppose this type of short hand can be useful in some ways but it is another sort of stereotyping as well. I am a Southern White Man. I like to hunt. I like guns. I love football, barbecue, eggs and bacon. I am an Episcopalian – which is still a form of Christian Protestantism even though that fact seems to dismay some of the leadership – and substantially less observant than my parents were perhaps for that reason. I also enjoy yoga, art, poetry and good writing in general. I drink more wine than beer now a days and eat more salad. When I think about my friends at the Country Club I think they are about equally distributed between the tribes but they are generally better educated and better off financially than the majority. When I think about my friends at the MMA gym where I train jiu jitsu..the same is true with regard to the tribes but they are generally less well educated and less well off financially. They are also more racially diverse, younger and far better represented among current and active duty military…regardless of tribe. The point of this is not toot my diversity horn. It is to point out the short hand this article uses. I’ve been reading a book called _SPQR_ by Mary Beard. She is clearly a contemporary, academic historian so I get that but there is something to be learned from the idea that the Empire created the Emperors.

    • #14
  15. Capt. Aubrey Member
    Capt. Aubrey
    @CaptAubrey

    It seems to me we’d be better off examining the motives, especially the economic motives, of the two most extreme groups. The Sanders crowd appears to be made up of young people who have been marginalized by the job market and by the apparent discovery that they were very ill-prepared by their expensive but value-less education. The Trump crowd appears more likely to have been marginalized by competition from globalization which – to them – is more the fault of the immigration system and by the Nanny state regulatory system that has crushed small business owners. As I see it, both groups have been hurt by the Obama-state and would be helped by reducing or dismantling it.

    • #15
  16. Nick Stuart Member
    Nick Stuart
    @NickStuart

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: And frankly, I’m worried that if this keeps up, it’s only a matter of time before we have our own version of the al-Askari mosque bombing. And turn into Yugoslavia.

    Blue Tribe protesters keep showing up a Red Tribe meetings looking for a fight, sooner or later Red Tribe’s going to give it to them.

    So far soft answers & turning the other cheek havn’t been working for Red Tribe. It’s beginning to amp up.

    Any suggestions anyone might have (besides some variant on “Red Tribe shut up and go away” or “write another think piece”) might be useful.

    • #16
  17. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Mr. Alexander’s description of the Red Tribe would suggest that he watches a lot more television than he lets on.

    I get my news from vox.com…

    Is that an example of his weird sense of humor? Made me laugh.

    • #17
  18. Crabby Appleton Member
    Crabby Appleton
    @CrabbyAppleton

    More like the Blues and the Greens in sixth century Byzantium.

    • #18
  19. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Red Fish, Blue Fish:

    States with those laws are states where enforcing blue values through public figures is seen as beneficial. It makes perfect sense that administrators in those states would enforce them more vigorously, which no doubt results in less anti-gay bullying.

    So the laws work.

    Red Fish, Blue Fish:

    Zafar: I guess the way things were didn’t work so well for all of us.

    Yes, we call that life.

    Sure, “that’s life” used to mean things like codified anti-semitism, racial segregation and no votes for women.  And that was true, in that these things were part of life – but because people decided to do so, they changed them, and one of the ways they did this was with the law.  The changes took so well that now they’re internalised and supported by – the Red Tribe.

    Perhaps one marker of difference between the Red and Blue Tribes is attitude to change?

    • #19
  20. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Capt. Aubrey:The Sanders crowd appears to be made up of young people who have been marginalized by the job market and by the apparent discovery that they were very ill-prepared by their expensive but value-less education.

    It is funny, but their education conforms exactly to the simplified Marxist theory of value – as described by Heinlein.

    From Starship Troopers:

    Mr. Dubois had said, “Of course, the Marxian definition of value is ridiculous. All the work one cares to add will not turn a mud pie into an apple tart; it remains a mud pie, value zero. By corollary, unskillful work can easily subtract value; an untalented cook can turn wholesome dough and fresh green apples, valuable already, into an inedible mess, value zero. Conversely, a great chef can fashion of those same materials a confection of greater value than a commonplace apple tart, with no more effort than an ordinary cook uses to prepare an ordinary sweet.
    “These kitchen illustrations demolish the Marxian theory of value — the fallacy from which the entire magnificent fraud of communism derives — and to illustrate the truth of the common-sense definition as measured in terms of use.”

    All that work and debt to achieve a Mud-Pie Degree.

    Just to show that Heinlein didn’t make it up on his own, here is an excerpt from the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics:

    The labor theory of value is a major pillar of traditional Marxian economics, which is evident in Marx’s masterpiece,Capital (1867). The theory’s basic claim is simple: the value of a commodity can be objectively measured by the average number of labor hours required to produce that commodity.

    If a pair of shoes usually takes twice as long to produce as a pair of pants, for example, then shoes are twice as valuable as pants. In the long run, the competitive price of shoes will be twice the price of pants, regardless of the value of the physical inputs.

    • #20
  21. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    And when an angry white person talks at great length about how much he hates “white dudes,” he is not being humble and self-critical.

    C S Lewis wrote about the psychology of this in an essay titled Dangers of National Repentance. I excerpted it here

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  22. Tim H. Member
    Tim H.
    @TimH

    When I lived in Baltimore and the D.C. outskirts several years ago, I would listen to C-SPAN Radio on Sundays, while driving around after church. They replay the Sunday talk shows, and they fill in between the shows with excerpts from that day’s Washington Journal call-in program. In case you’re not familiar, they often have two or three separate phone lines—conservative, liberal, and moderate, or Republican, Democratic, and independent. I noticed a strong trend: Callers from the South were likely to be liberals, while those from the Northeast or California were likely to be conservatives.

    In both cases, callers were from the minority persuasion in their state. I figure that they feel themselves surrounded by their outgroup and don’t have many people close by them to talk politics with comfortably, so they call into C-SPAN to vent.

    Now, as a college professor living in a city, I sometimes feel the need to cover up my Red Tribe qualities—that I’m a patriotic, God and guns, pro-Confederate East Tennessee hillbilly who thinks America is the best country on Earth. (Actually, I won’t hide my religion; I have to remind myself of that, sometimes.) It’s not that bad, usually; I do live in West Virginia, which accepts a good bit of my culture, and that I can relax around my neighbors makes those times I need to cover up less stressful.

    It makes me think about some of our conservative writers who live in strong Blue Tribe enclaves. Every now and then —not always, mind you — I get the impression that some conservatives who are surrounded by Blue Tribe people feel a kind of reflexive cringe over Red Tribe culture. That while they’re able to argue for conservative politicies, they are so surrounded by the other side’s culture and behavior that they internalize these and either adopt them themselves or feel uncomfortable, even embarrassed doing and liking the kinds of things conservatives normally do when we’re surrounded by our own.

    I don’t mean to criticize our conservative writers who do such an admirable job defending our ideas, even when they’re living among the other side. But I do think that whom we live around and associate with has a big influence on how we express ourselves. Most people want to be comfortable in their surroundings, and that means for some that you don’t express yourself freely. Not many want to stick out as the contrarian all the time.

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

    It was GBShaw who ended his version of the golden rule with, “but remember your tastes may differ”.  Whether an out group has power over you matters greatly.  Who on earth cares what gays do, but when they start to organize and change traditions, many do.  Same with almost any cultural tradition or political position.  Who cares if one person buys catastrophic health insurance, someone else  total care and others none.  Arugula or ice berg?  Give me a break.  But when one group can dictate, in or out and other tastes matter greatly.   Markets and freedom under clear law work it all out.   People with kids know that siblings and their friends will fight over which TV, or Video to watch because their tastes differ and a TV program, or streaming video is a public good, all have to watch the same thing or opt out, if they can.  On the other hand kids of different ages and sexes will not fight over individual toys as these are like private goods.   There are always out groups and in groups, and every imaginable human variation and taste.   We should embrace this richness. because free people work these things out, folks accommodate differences until one groups gets power over others.  We’d worked out a good a resolution to these inevitable and universal realities but have institutionalized tribal groups because some tribes have figured out how to institutionalize their power over others.  This never ends well.

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  24. Amy Schley Moderator
    Amy Schley
    @AmySchley

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: I know plenty of Grey Tribesmen — I believe we even have some among our little tribe here at Ricochet — but never once have I heard of “filk.” When did this become a thing? Does anyone here listen to filk?

    Yes. Filk is rewriting the lyrics of songs to put them into various fandoms. Weird Al of course is famous for his:

    Ode to a Superhero/Piano Man

    The Saga Begins/American Pie

    Yoda/Lola

    But there are a few other great artists out there, like this Star Wars Cantina/Copacabana mashup:

    • #24
  25. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    While I don’t deny that there are tribal loyalties at work in America, and everywhere, I am very surprised that anyone would go into print to intone about such blatantly ridiculous stereotypes.  Little different from Obama’s ridiculous invocation of stupid people clinging to their guns and Bibles.

    And if the rise of Trump proves anything, it proves that people will abandon their tribal loyalties if an attractive mob passes by, pitchforks and torches in hand, on their way to attack someone.  Who the “someone” is doesn’t seem to matter very much.

    The veneer of civilization is still thin, apparently.  And when that veneer cracks, something like Trump crawls out.

    • #25
  26. Capt. Aubrey Member
    Capt. Aubrey
    @CaptAubrey

    Instigator your example is a wonderful example of a fine writer, Heinlein, using specific details to make the same point more beautifully and powerfully than the philosopher. Too bad we don’t seem to have any politicians who can do this.

    • #26
  27. Tim Wright Member
    Tim Wright
    @TimWright

    Slatestarcodex has some great reads…and that article is one of the most perceptive I have ever read. Yet when the author turns away from his very sharp perceptions, he immediately assume s”blue” attitudes, as witness his subsequent thoughts on gun control, for example.

    We really are heading toward what seems like a civil war, partly class, partly cultural. It isn’t helped by what may be the worst ruling class in history, the SAT selected meritocrats. There! I’ve chosen sides.

    Tim

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  28. The Dowager Jojo Member
    The Dowager Jojo
    @TheDowagerJojo

    Zafar:

    Red Fish, Blue Fish:

    States with those laws are states where enforcing blue values through public figures is seen as beneficial. It makes perfect sense that administrators in those states would enforce them more vigorously, which no doubt results in less anti-gay bullying.

    So the laws work.

    They work to give an extra attention and penalty to anti-gay bullying which is not given to pro-gay bullying, anti-fat bullying, anti-Christian bullying, anti-socially awkward bullying, etc.  Some people call that “working”.  If justice is the goal, it’s not.

    • #28
  29. Cyrano Member
    Cyrano
    @Cyrano

    Thanks, Claire, for bringing this to a wider audience. A few thoughts that were inspired by my encountering this article:

    – “Progressives” preen about their supposed “tolerance” but they are the least tolerant group I have encountered. Theirs is what I term “the diversity of shallow things”: you may look and act differently as you will, as long as you think precisely the same way as them.
    – Like Tim H., I’m a natural sciences professor, but at an ultramarine blue university.  I am not known to be different from my diversity-loving “progressive” colleagues, and thus characterize myself as “passing“. On rare occasions, throwing caution to the wind, I might drop a remark like, “Of course, this wouldn’t have happened if we had some ideological diversity here.” That usually provokes thoughful nods (most of my colleagues are superbly intelligent people, even if politically monochromatic), and a few laser-like glances (which helps me identify the Exquisitors).
    – I’m not trying to provoke the CoC, but I use the term “progressive-fascist” (or “progfasc”) to describe the more belligerent variety. This is partly a nod to Jonah’s “Liberal Fascism” and “1984”, partly a reference to Woodrow Wilson, but mainly an allusion to Mussolini summarizing what I see as “progressive” tolerance: ‘Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.’, the state representing their group (i.e., no real outgroups allowed).

    [I scarequote “progressive” because I find the term arrogant and unmerited.]

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  30. The Dowager Jojo Member
    The Dowager Jojo
    @TheDowagerJojo

    Larry3435:While I don’t deny that there are tribal loyalties at work in America, and everywhere, I am very surprised that anyone would go into print to intone about such blatantly ridiculous stereotypes.

    I agree the stereotypes are not real helpful.  I would come out about evenly split between the two.  The point about the intolerance and oblivious bubble of liberals (who view conservatives as intolerant and insular) is worth  making repeatedly, though.

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