Odd Belief Systems of My Leftist Friends (Part 53 of 179)

 

I spent the weekend with a group of very liberal friends. I was struck by how often in conversation they remarked upon their admiration for rural people all over the world. Primitive African tribes have customs that may seem odd to our western sensibilities, but they’re actually beautiful agrarian societies that we just don’t fully appreciate due to racism and ethnocentrism. European farmers are artists of the land, and they make the absolute best *whatever* you can find anywhere. Native Americans had a beautiful, peaceful culture, at one with Mother Nature, until the Europeans showed up. You want to see real agriculture? The Russians know how to do it – we could learn a thing or two from them. And so on and so forth.

Part of this sounded like the left’s ongoing worship of Rousseau’s noble savage and Thoreau’s adolescent yearning for a simple life, but I couldn’t help but notice that these wealthy, highly educated, leftist suburbanites seemed to nearly worship all rural people. Well, all rural people except American rural people, of course. They view rural Americans with utter contempt. This may not be a fair characterization, because leftists view much of America with contempt, not just pickup driving, gun-owning, Bible thumping farmers. But still, I might have expected their apparent appreciation for those who live off the land to one degree or another to perhaps soften their criticisms of rural Americans. But no.

We spent the weekend at a cabin on a lake, and we had a wonderful time. I was the only conservative in a group of leftists, and they all know it. They also know that I don’t argue politics or religion, despite their continued efforts to goad me into responding. But we’re friends, and we had a wonderful weekend together. I can disagree with people on various topics and continue to value their friendship, but many of them cannot. So I said nothing.

And it’s a minor point, anyway. Not worth arguing about.

But I wonder if they ever wonder why a South American tribal rain dance ceremony is a beautiful cultural event of profound significance for beautifully profound people, but a Friday night football game in Chillicothe is an outdated, simplistic ritual for outdated, simplistic people.

Eh, no matter.

I had a wonderful weekend. I really did.

I love my friends. I just don’t understand them.

And that’s ok.

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 59 comments.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  1. DonG Coolidge

    Dr. Bastiat: beautiful agrarian societies that we just don’t fully appreciate

    I saw Little House on the Prairie. I appreciate air condition and flush toilets!

    • #1
    • June 10, 2019, at 4:43 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  2. Fritz Member

    I would hope that, in the spirit of your friends’ admiration for these simpler cultures that are all so wonderful, that they will therefore totally support the elimination of all air conditioning in Washington, D.C., and in the state capitols of all states that lie along our East and West Coasts.

    Let ’em sweat.

    • #2
    • June 10, 2019, at 4:51 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  3. DonG Coolidge

    America’s White Saviors is a timely article. It seems that white liberals really do hate white people. Other races and conservative whites are alike in having a certain racial affinity, but the liberal whites are odd. They have negative affinity and discriminate in favor other races over whites. It is messed up.

     

     

    • #3
    • June 10, 2019, at 4:59 PM PDT
    • 16 likes
  4. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    Liberals are easy to understand. The game plan is to virtue signal their support of all things relating to the more primitive lifestyles of foreigners who live in the countryside.

    The fact that this admiration does not extend to poor people here in the USA who live in rural areas has to do with how they blanket those folks with the observations that “when my great grandfather whose farm was out in the boondocks was alive, he hated African Americans.” By extension that allows for this nonsense that everyone who lives in the country side is a racist. (Except of course for those whose second homes happen to be rural in location.)

    Walmart is bad, because after all, they have immense profits and yet pay their workers poorly. The liberals overlook the fact that as they inherited their parents’ companies, they slashed wages. Or going down several steps worse than that, they invested the firm’s profits in unwise gambles. Then when these actions came back to them, they raided the pension funds to pay off the firm’s debtors in bankruptcy. Right after that, they cashed in their huge Golden Parachute insurance plans.

    One difference between liberals and conservatives as far as I can see: the libs are blind to their own ruthlessness, whereas the conservatives make no bones about it.

    • #4
    • June 10, 2019, at 5:52 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  5. Kevin Schulte Member

    Let the south American tribal rain dancer move into the hood, accompanied with tribe. Let said tribe make themselves at home with all there beautiful customs. Let said liberal love on this tribe. ;) 

    • #5
    • June 10, 2019, at 5:54 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  6. Hoyacon Member

    I’ll take a Demolition Derby over some tribal dance any day of the week. It just depends on your preference for ritual. I like perseverance.

    • #6
    • June 10, 2019, at 6:01 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  7. Arahant Member

    All those rural peoples are conservatives by nature. They have to be to stay alive, because the facts of life are conservative.

    • #7
    • June 10, 2019, at 6:01 PM PDT
    • 21 likes
  8. The Reticulator Member

    Dr. Bastiat: Well, all rural people except American rural people, of course.

    Good call, Dr. Bastiat. 

    • #8
    • June 10, 2019, at 6:25 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  9. The Reticulator Member

     

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Hoyacon

    I’ll take a Demolition Derby over some tribal dance any day of the week. It just depends on your preference for ritual. I like perseverance.

    Are you saying there is some distinction between the two?

    • #9
    • June 10, 2019, at 6:26 PM PDT
    • Like
  10. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    One other thing about the libs who are real and active-political-wonks:

    • #10
    • June 10, 2019, at 6:42 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  11. The Reticulator Member

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):

    One other thing about the libs who are real and active-political-wonks:

    Get that woman a news subscription so she will know who to hate today.

    • #11
    • June 10, 2019, at 6:43 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. Hoyacon Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

     

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Hoyacon

    I’ll take a Demolition Derby over some tribal dance any day of the week. It just depends on your preference for ritual. I like perseverance.

    Are you saying there is some distinction between the two?

    Perhaps not. Do transmissions give out in a tribal dance?

     

    • #12
    • June 10, 2019, at 6:49 PM PDT
    • Like
  13. The Reticulator Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

     

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Hoyacon

    I’ll take a Demolition Derby over some tribal dance any day of the week. It just depends on your preference for ritual. I like perseverance.

    Are you saying there is some distinction between the two?

    Perhaps not. Do transmissions give out in a tribal dance?

     

    I don’t know why not. Adrenaline can’t help much when that happens.

    • #13
    • June 10, 2019, at 7:13 PM PDT
    • Like
  14. Franco Member

    They want those people as pets.

    • #14
    • June 10, 2019, at 7:16 PM PDT
    • 17 likes
  15. Bruce Caward Thatcher

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):
    One difference between liberals and conservatives as far as I can see: the libs are blind to their own ruthlessness, whereas the conservatives make no bones about it.

    I see you have been reading your P.J. O’Rourke.

    • #15
    • June 10, 2019, at 7:33 PM PDT
    • Like
  16. Roberto, Crusty Old Timer Member

    Dr. Bastiat: I spent the weekend with a group of very liberal friends. I was struck by how often in conversation they remarked upon their admiration for rural people all over the world. Primitive African tribes have customs that may seem odd to our western sensibilities, but they’re actually beautiful agrarian societies that we just don’t fully appreciate due to racism and ethnocentrism. European farmers are artists of the land, and they make the absolute best *whatever* you can find anywhere. Native Americans had a beautiful, peaceful culture, at one with Mother Nature, until the Europeans showed up. You want to see real agriculture? The Russians know how to do it – we could learn a thing or two from them. And so on and so forth.

    I have come to the conclusion that the bulk of Leftism is essentially a cult.

    People forget that at one point individuals such as James Jones were respected figures on the Left, right before he killed everyone who listened to his madness.

    Absolutely nothing has changed, they are as insane as they ever were. They simply have more power now.

    • #16
    • June 10, 2019, at 7:50 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  17. TempTime Member

    Franco (View Comment):

    They want those people as pets.

    Exactly!

    • #17
    • June 10, 2019, at 7:55 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  18. Arahant Member

    Roberto, Crusty Old Timer (View Comment):
    People forget that at one point individuals such James Jones were respected figures on the Left, right before he killed everyone who listened to his madness.

    Jonestown Apologists Alert

    With Willie Brown

    The Secret History of Dianne Slimestein Helps To Explain ...

    • #18
    • June 10, 2019, at 7:55 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  19. Roberto, Crusty Old Timer Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Roberto, Crusty Old Timer (View Comment):
    People forget that at one point individuals such James Jones were respected figures on the Left, right before he killed everyone who listened to his madness.

    Jonestown Apologists Alert

    With Willie Brown

    The Secret History of Dianne Slimestein Helps To Explain ...

    San Francisco. 

    • #19
    • June 10, 2019, at 8:00 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. David Foster Member

    Dr. Bastiat: these wealthy, highly educated, leftist suburbanites seemed to nearly worship all rural people. Well, all rural people except American rural people, of course.

    I have written about the hostility toward Americans who are rural and/or Christian:  The Phobia(s) That May Destroy America.

    • #20
    • June 10, 2019, at 8:08 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  21. James Lileks Contributor

    European farmers are great because they are picturesque. They wear berets, are old, wise, and wized; they tend the grapes with the skill accumulated over generations, passed down from father to son (who needs social mobility?) and they enjoy a clay pipe in the evening with a good red wine, perhaps playing a melancholy song on a small accordian. 

    Native Americans were great because they understood that all things are connected, considered animals their brothers, knew how to plant corn (they called it Maize!) and only launched an intifada uprising because they had been given smallpox blankets. Also one of their wise chiefs renounced war and said he would fight it no more forever. 

    People in other continents who live in tribal societies without modern conveniences are admirable in a way the left only extends to absolute monocultures that have a completely different worldview that is inexplicable and hence poses no threat. 

    American rural people are inbred God-botherers if they’re in the South; the midwestern types are amiable dullards who think Olive Garden is ethnic food.

     I’m paraphrasing their cliches, except for the last one.

    PS Russians are great with agriculture? Considering the number of famines that were caused by government for a variety of reasons, and considering the significance of beets to the diet, that one would seem to require a bit of explanation from anyone who offered it. 

    • #21
    • June 10, 2019, at 8:18 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  22. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    Bruce Caward (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):
    One difference between liberals and conservatives as far as I can see: the libs are blind to their own ruthlessness, whereas the conservatives make no bones about it.

    I see you have been reading your P.J. O’Rourke.

    Nope he has been reading me.

    • #22
    • June 11, 2019, at 1:57 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  23. Jon1979 Lincoln

    It’s also the geographic equivalent of the old “Some of my best friends are (name your ethnic group here)” line, which liberals would use to try and mock racists a half-century ago, but also was used to mock the limousine liberals, as they originally said it to show their own tolerance and forward-thinking.

    It was the hypocrisy of spouting the phrase while at the same time trying to shield yourself as much as possible from any contact with people of lower economic stature that turned the line into parody. In this case, the ones talking about the rural people in foreign lands is a virtue signal to everyone that they don’t have a blanket hatred of flyover country — they just hate our flyover country until the miserable knuckle-dragging troglodyte cretins inhabiting it come to their senses and start electing caring, compassionate people to office … who also happen to share the same urban-centric mindset as the folks prattling on about the wonders of Russian farming along the Black Sea.

    • #23
    • June 11, 2019, at 4:08 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. JosePluma Thatcher

    Dr. Bastiat: Primitive African tribes have customs that may seem odd to our western sensibilities, but they’re actually beautiful agrarian societies that we just don’t fully appreciate due to racism and ethnocentrism. European farmers are artists of the land, and they make the absolute best *whatever* you can find anywhere. Native Americans had a beautiful, peaceful culture, at one with Mother Nature, until the Europeans showed up. You want to see real agriculture? The Russians know how to do it – we could learn a thing or two from them. And so on and so forth.

    Kurt, what the score on that?

    Still zero, Bob, none of the people who have expressed deep admiration for that lifestyle have tried to live like that themselves.

    • #24
    • June 11, 2019, at 4:13 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  25. Hang On Member

    There’s no RFK for them any more.

    • #25
    • June 11, 2019, at 4:46 AM PDT
    • Like
  26. Henry Castaigne Member

    JosePluma (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: Primitive African tribes have customs that may seem odd to our western sensibilities, but they’re actually beautiful agrarian societies that we just don’t fully appreciate due to racism and ethnocentrism. European farmers are artists of the land, and they make the absolute best *whatever* you can find anywhere. Native Americans had a beautiful, peaceful culture, at one with Mother Nature, until the Europeans showed up. You want to see real agriculture? The Russians know how to do it – we could learn a thing or two from them. And so on and so forth.

    Kurt, what the score on that?

    Still zero, Bob, none of the people who have expressed deep admiration for that lifestyle have tried to live like that themselves.

    The rural farmers in China tend not to like being poor. They have a habit of going to big cities to get jobs that will make them not poor. I cannot help noticing that white leftists don’t want to be poor farmers. 

    • #26
    • June 11, 2019, at 7:22 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  27. Miffed White Male Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    JosePluma (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: Primitive African tribes have customs that may seem odd to our western sensibilities, but they’re actually beautiful agrarian societies that we just don’t fully appreciate due to racism and ethnocentrism. European farmers are artists of the land, and they make the absolute best *whatever* you can find anywhere. Native Americans had a beautiful, peaceful culture, at one with Mother Nature, until the Europeans showed up. You want to see real agriculture? The Russians know how to do it – we could learn a thing or two from them. And so on and so forth.

    Kurt, what the score on that?

    Still zero, Bob, none of the people who have expressed deep admiration for that lifestyle have tried to live like that themselves.

    The rural farmers in China tend not to like being poor. They have a habit of going to big cities to get jobs that will make them not poor. I cannot help noticing that white leftists don’t want to be poor farmers.

    A lot of the people lamenting the loss of those great-paying factory jobs never worked in a factory (nor would they want their kids to do so).

     

    • #27
    • June 11, 2019, at 7:49 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  28. Ralphie Member

    Conservatives are the outcrowd. Scott Alexander wrote about the intolerance of the outcrowd. He recalls that many of those groups that were persecuted looked like their fellow citizens; the Jews lived among the Germans and spoke their language, for example.

    We are here, have the same rights, but seem stupid in understanding why we reject so many elite ideas, like climate change legislation. I imagine they believe that we are stupid for not going along with their ideas, and those in other countries outside of their reach would respond more positively to their ideas. White man savior syndrome, I guess. 

    • #28
    • June 11, 2019, at 8:43 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  29. Slow on the uptake Thatcher

    Dr. Bastiat: Friday night football game in Chillicothe

    Chillicothe, Texas? 4th generation here!

    For the rest – I haven’t paid attention to it for many long years and maybe they are past that, but used to hear about these terrible Christian missionaries that were preaching the gospel, even finding converts (in one instance I recall) amongst some cannibalistic tribe, and thereby destroying a beautiful and fascinating culture. But I don’t really think any of those complainers were interested in joining that backwater Amazonian tribe for dinner.

    • #29
    • June 11, 2019, at 9:50 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  30. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat Post author

    Slow on the uptake (View Comment):
    Chillicothe, Texas? 4th generation here!

    I was actually referring to Chillicothe, Ohio, near where I grew up. I didn’t know that there were others – pretty cool!

    Chillicothe was actually the capital of Ohio for a few years in the early 1800’s, if memory serves from my Ohio history class in 7th grade. It’s got 10-15,000 people in it these days, I think.

    • #30
    • June 11, 2019, at 10:05 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  1. 1
  2. 2