A study “surprisingly” confirms what all “Liberals” have long “known”; namely that those in favor of smaller government and against special rights for certain groups are dumbasses.
Now all we need do is clarify definitions. The true conservative is the one whose concept of Government, and the State is least evolved from that of the earliest societies. The primary Social unit in political development is the Tribe. Tribal Loyalty is important to demonstrate when seeking mates within the group. Thus specific tattoos, and scars deliberately created in separate male and female initiation rites are common. The desire to prove one’s loyalty to the collective good of the tribe drives much of one’s behavior. In some societies great honor is accrued by having one’s child selected for sacrifice.
Though we in the modern world correctly despise this sort of tribalism; it with great peril that we do not recognize its recurrence in our Post-Modern society that now characterizes much of what was formerly called Christendom, or more recently The West.
There has always been a vestige of the pre-modern. The subliminal motivator we recognize as the need to be Cool is nothing but the desire to demonstrate our fidelity to the tribe. With the end of The Modern corresponding to the Birth of The Cool, we see how the new phenomenon of the Youth Culture links status with demonstration of fealty to the clique. Despite the apparent plurality of Youth Cultures, there is only one. Whether punk, goth, glam, ghetto, urban gangsta’, crunchy-green and who knows what else will evolve; they all demand a commitment. To associate with a particular clique without being willing to devote oneself totally to the slightest zig or zag of fashion, is to be scorned as being the most dreadful creature known; a Wannabe. There is nothing as satisfying to the insider as to have the authority to pronounce someone a mere Wannabe. That term is spat out dripping with contempt. In my clique, for instance at the dawn of the Post-Modern, there was nothing more contemptible than someone hangin’ with us in the bleachers as we were cutting classes, and said individual would not inhale. He would also look at his watch, and happen to wander off before his AP calculus class. He was a Wannabe, before we had the word. He was described as “Lame”.
Before the invention of the Youth Culture, which emerged with the baby boom demographic bulge, individuals sought their advancement in vertical terms.
Every individual is pulled by two forces. There is the vertical force and horizontal.
The Vertical Force is exercised up and down the generations, it includes the drive to bring honor to one’s forebears, and to earn future honor from one’s descendants. It looks to fathers, uncles, grandfathers etc for role model (in women obviously, the female equivalents).
The Horizontal is the loyalty to one’s peer group, the cohort. Both forces are balanced in healthy, organic, pre-modern societies.
The Modern Age saw both of these forces become attenuated, to a degree. America, the fruit of the Modern Age was also a major driver of its qualities. The Vertical force was much reduced after the Revolution. The democratizing culture stripped much of the authority from vertical relationships. The constant movement of individuals and families, unprecedented in history before this time, resulted in the need for greater Horizontal forces. This was manifested by the rapid formation of communities at the edge of the frontier. There was no help coming from back east, at least not in any timely fashion. It was do or die. This called for the willingness to form ad hoc communities to deal with local contingencies. So, though the Horizontal force rose above the Vertical in strength, the constantly changing communities made any particular horizontally-attracted community short-lived. People would soon move on.
This liberation from both Vertical and Horizontal converged and created the mythos of the self-sufficient Individualist. This had become the American ideal, the taciturn yet self-assured Marlboro Man. American “can-do-ism” became a stereotype.
For several reasons a constellation of causes converged in 19th Century America, and Western Europe and became known as The Modern Age. Individuals were seen as having no need to justify being their own end in and of themselves. Various strands of The Modern of course had arisen in the centuries preceding Independence. John Locke writing in the late 17th century in Britain influenced Jefferson and Madison in the late 18th century. The Constitution and Bill of Rights promulgated at the close of the 18th Century served our young nation well, into the 19th and most of the 20th. Not only were we building a nation; America the allied thinkers in Europe were breaking down the verticality of Monarchy, and Patriarchy. It was less who one was, and who one knew, and who owed whom a favor than it was hard work, luck, resilience that achieved merit, and merit was the sole criteria for social advance. This is the sin qua non of the Modern Age.
In summary the Modern Age was a unique period in human history. It emerged as an ephemera, the result of a unique constellation of historic events, personalities, economics and technology. In the scheme of human history it was as a flash bulb popping in the dark night.
Now, we are still steeped in the accomplishments of the Modern Age. We were bequeathed a highly advanced technological civilization. This allows for a double danger. First, the continuity of the technological web that knits the world together allows us in the society formerly known as The West the illusion that we have not crossed some threshold into irretrievable collapse. We are allowed to believe that the end of the Modern Age will result in something other than the Pre-Modern with high tech. It will not! The second major danger is that a society lacking in the regard of Individual Rights will abuse the technology created under the Individualists’ regime. (Atlas has not shrugged. Alas.)
A society is either Modern or not. There is no appreciable difference between Pre and Post Modernism, again, other than the technology and the potential disasters it may create.
The End of the Modern was The Birth of The Cool (sorry Miles). It is very important to understand what the commonplace word “Cool” means. In primitive societies (in Post-Modern circles one must put “primitive” in quotes. I just did; but did I?), in primitive societies the Horizontal and Vertical Forces are balanced. However as we saw, when the pre-modern was evolving into the Modern there were changes to the balance of the strength and duration of the forces. There was attenuation of the Vertical and a more changeable character to the Horizontal. As the Modern retreats into the non-modern it is lead by a marked increase in Horizontal forces.
We, the boomers, represent the demographic bulge of the Post WW2 boom times of America. Unlike the vast majority of history, our generation had much more in common with one another than with our families. The Horizontal Force morphed into an irresistible tide creating The Youth Culture. The Youth Culture was due to TV. We were the first generation to grow up watching Saturday morning cartoons before we were even talking! We shared formative experiences from coast to coast. We had more in common with a kid in Phoenix than our aunts and uncles in the next town. It was not long before sinister forces were harnessing the power of the newly named “mass media”. From minimally sinister commercials to nag our parents to buy Cocoa Puffs; to subliminal psychological inputs by those Utopians who had dreamed for hundreds of years of having the opportunity to mold the minds of babes, to one closer “their hearts’ desire”. Here it was, served up in a large demographic that had already been severed from the Vertical force. Yes the Vertical Force was severed; in effect by being overwhelmed by the Horizontal. In addition there were those actively seeking to eliminate the Vertical force in order to subvert the next generation of Americans. And it worked! And how.
But now with the loss of Verticality, the Horizontal force is unbalanced. This is bringing us to resemble more and more the tribal state rather than the modern. The desire to demonstrate group loyalty is readily seen by anthropologists in studying the customs surrounding coming-of-age in “primitive” (wink wink) cultures. The various painful rites, the willingness to take on permanent disfigurement, all are demonstrations of group loyalty. All serve to convince a suitable mate that they will attain status within their society. The advertisement of one’s tolerance of pain, and conquest of fear is directed at the other members of one’s cohort.
If they had the word, they would describe the desire to partake of all the rites, rituals, and mutilations available as being “Cool”. If you are of an age to recall our parents’ generation, the ones who made it through the Great Depression and WW2, and who played by the rules and were content with a cookie cutter house in the “burbs”, you would realize that being “cool” was not in their vocabulary. When one stops and thinks about it, being Cool, was absent from George Washington’s life. Abraham Lincoln… was not cool. The Birth Of The Cool was cotemporaneous with the beginning of the end of the Modern Age.
The Post-Moderns with all their cool new ways of seeing the world are merely non-Moderns. Socialism is “cool” is exactly like a Stone Age tribe holding all property in common. It is not “cool” to dissent with the culture, if the culture is cool. The Left have commandeered the language of the Cool. Their candidates appear on MTV. Jon Stewart will mock their … ear size, but not their politics. But, when it comes to conservatives, all is fair game for his “wit”. Bill Mahar. (I believe his name alone conveys everything I think of him!)
Ironically, the vocabulary of the Cool, (which powerfully sucks from the roots of the primitive in all of us, and is directed at cultural cohesion), has been aimed by its practitioners at those who in the past would be lauded for their group identity. I mean it is definitely not cool to be racist. How can that be reconciled with the lock step drive of the Cool to enforce tribalism? It cannot be. Therefore it is necessarily extrinsic to the Coolness Impulse. It is one of the messages added by sinister forces. “What?” you ask. “Is racism not a bad thing?” It depends on what one means by it.
No, acting in a manner demeaning to another person solely for his or her race is wrong. However, it is also true that certain cultural practices that protect social cohesion may look racist.
Is it racist to seek to prevent America from becoming a Hispanic majority nation? No, I say. The cool Youth Culture devotee will accuse me of being racist.
How is it reconciled with the Cool Impulse? It depends on which culture is the culture to which one’s expressions of loyalty is directed! It is no longer the white suburban culture that is Cool. Though we all come from that place, the Cool Doctrine requires the devotee to hold the middleclass “burbs” in contempt. This requires such desire to be Cool that one will write off his origins as lame, in order to reach the Cool. It will allow one to virtually disfigure himself and to mock other whites as “lame” implying he is “Cool”. The setters of fashion are manipulating the Cool into casting the White Race as always lame. The striving White will do and say anything to separate himself from the rest of his kind. It is hard to believe but many of our kids are sent to college to learn that the White Race, the Modern Age, America, are all nothing but cover stories used to oppress the non-whites.
So, the study showing an inverse link between intelligence and racism in England, is merely reporting on the “news” that smarter kids are able to go to college. College has become a full press attack on any Modern ideas that students might have retained from their homes growing up. If one measures racism as being opposed to the constant charge of racism, or to be precise if, one names Anti-Anti-racism as racism, then one is merely identifying college graduates who have been indoctrinated in anti-racism. The folks spared a college education are well aware of the presumption of a superior morality on the part of the Yuppie know-it-alls. Their “racism” is probably a reaction to the constant nagging by college grads about racism, sexism, genderism, thisism, and thatism. Meanwhile the uneducated are more likely to work shoulder to shoulder with non-whites. They are more likely to have friends of various races, since they work together. Meanwhile at the “enlightened university” there are black tables in the cafeteria, and all black dorms. There is constant awareness of Race. Who would think to posit that “racists and conservatives” are less intelligent than the opposite?
However the greater point is the misnomer of Conservative used to describe the Modernist, and Liberal to describe the post-modernist.
Not so. The Modern Age is the only new thing under the sun. Free market Constitutional republicanism and liberty were the exception to everything else. As the Post-Moderns finish off the last of the Moderns, we shall see the end of the liberty of Individuals. Whether one chooses to do something because it is Cool and Trendy, or if compelled by threat of coercion is immaterial. The Post-Modern is the same as the Pre-Modern. It is collectivist, and requires the submersion of individuals to the group.