Friday, July 19, 2013

The trifecta of privilege

In a discussion about the Zimmerman verdict, an American TV host, Thomas Roberts, claimed that being white, male and heterosexual was a "trifecta of privilege":
MIKE BARNICLE: You mentioned - that it was depressing, that it was a terrible weekend, that the verdict is unsettling for so many people in this country and probably around the world. I'll tell you what’s truly unsettling to me personally as a parent. I have three sons. Not one of those sons that I have to tell listen, don't run when you see a cop, you know don’t establish eye contact with a cop.

THOMAS ROBERTS: Right.

BARNICLE: You know, watch out when you're here. Watch out when you're there. I never had to do that. But if you're a black parent, you do that. You do that. It's part of raising your children.

ROBERTS: Well, with all due respect your three boys have hit the American trifecta of privilege.

BARNICLE: True.

ROBERTS: They are white, straight males. Presumably. So they have hit the trifecta of American privilege and from there we go down hill. So if you are an other in this country, and that means if you are an LGBT, if you are hispanic, if you are black, if you are a woman right now we are fighting to prove why other is no the bad and why we are due the value of our American rights. I mean, Trayvon's rights were obviously violated, stalked, followed presumed to be suspicious from the get-go by somebody who was the self-proclaimed watch commander of his neighborhood who was packing heat to go to the grocery store.

This is a familiar left-liberal way of seeing things. The focus is on some groups, namely whites, males and heterosexuals, being privileged at the expense of other groups.

If you look at indicators such as income, education and careers then it's not clear that white, male heterosexuals are always and everywhere privileged. Asian Americans do better than white Americans in all these areas; lesbians do better than heterosexual women when it comes to income; females do better than males when it comes to education and so on.

Thomas Roberts is himself homosexual. He wants to put himself in a non-privileged group, despite the fact that he has a high status, high income professional position.

So what explains the idea that white, heterosexual males are privileged? I think it happens for the following reason. Liberals believe that it is the act of choosing for ourselves that makes something moral. For this moral system to work, everyone must be equally free to self-define their own good. And this means that liberals will think it most wrong for some people to pursue their own self-determining choices at the expense of others seeking to do the same thing - that becomes the focus of moral evil.

The sense that liberals will have is that American society was created by the self-defining choices of white American males. That is what brought about the culture, the institutions and the environment that people live in. But that is a morally inadmissible situation; it means that the self-defining choices of this group of people defines the environment that other people live in.

A consequence of this is that it becomes important to deconstruct that culture and those institutions until they no longer exist as the environment that people live in.

So what then replaces them? There are two angles to this. First, it won't be thought so bad if the white culture is replaced by another one, as minority cultures are associated with resistance or subversion rather than the creation of systems of dominance or privilege. But, second, liberals might also aim at a diversity or plurality that prevents any one group from establishing a "hegemony".

And so the very mixed suburbs, in which no single group predominates, and which is experienced by traditionalists as lacking a clear expression of culture, fits in with liberal aims. The environment is no longer influenced by the self-defining choices of any particular group.

Therefore, it is not just markers of education, income and career which matter to liberals in defining privilege (though these are certainly part of the equation). There's also this other concern with the way that American institutions and culture have been defined by white heterosexual males and this concern cannot be allayed until traditional America has been thoroughly deconstructed.

Traditionalism has a very different starting point to liberalism which leads us in a radically different direction. We do not believe that it is the act of choosing for ourselves that makes something moral. Instead we believe that there are objective moral goods that can be known to us.

And so the aim is to discern and to defend what is good in human life. When we look at the culture and the institutions we inherit, our aim is to recognise the good that has been handed down to us within this tradition, and to build on it, rather than to look for patterns of privilege in how a social environment has been defined.

A part of the good that traditionalists recognise is being connected in our identity to our own culture and people (ethny). And so we do not wish to deconstruct these in order to create a "definition free" environment, but rather we want to maintain their continuity - we do not want to lose something that has a significant value, that inspires our love and which forms part of our identity and part of the setting which makes our social commitments meaningful.

Nor do we think of diversity in the same way that liberals might. For us, diversity is a world in which different peoples are allowed to predominate in different areas and so flavour those areas with their own distinct cultures. When liberals invoke diversity it has the sense of mixing cultures within a particular area so that no single one can predominate and define the environment. But that means that such an environment is likely to lack any clear cultural flavour.

32 comments:

  1. Let's leave aside the fact that Zimmerman is not white. In fact, he would qualify as black for all affirmative action purposes.

    You know, watch out when you're here. Watch out when you're there. I never had to do that. But if you're a black parent, you do that. You do that. It's part of raising your children.

    Yes, you have to tell your sons, "Watch out that you don't attack a total stranger, push him to the ground, and start slamming his head into the sidewalk, because you could get hurt if you do that." What a terrible society that black parents have to give such warnings to their children!

    Trayvon's rights were obviously violated, stalked, followed presumed to be suspicious from the get-go by somebody who was the self-proclaimed watch commander of his neighborhood who was packing heat to go to the grocery store.

    It is not a crime to "profile" people. It is not even a crime to follow them. It is not a crime to carry a gun legally (duh!). Note: if these were crimes, Zimmerman would certainly have been charged with them.

    So, obviously, Zimmerman did not violate anyone's rights by anything he did.

    So what explains the idea that white, heterosexual males are privileged?

    Sigh. I knew you were going to get on your autonomy hobbyhorse again. You're making it more complicated than it is, and giving them credit for a coherent, benign philosophy that does not exist.

    The Left is fueling envy and hatred in order to gain power. The end!

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  2. White heterosexual males are supposed to be privileged...

    ... yet relationships, and sex, between non-white males and white females is much more common than between white males and non-white females, which makes it harder and harder for white heterosexual males to obtain a relationship with a woman, or even just sex.

    Therefore the concept of "white heterosexual male privilege" doesn't make sense at all; if anything it should be the other way around with black men as the truly privileged ones.

    Mark, that's a fairly abstract analysis of the left-liberal problem with WHMs (white heterosexual males) and why they are viewed as oppressors by many leftists.

    If you ask a leftist why they hate men of European descent, you will rarely get a straight answer. The complex reasoning behind it must make them feel smug in possessing some level of esoteric knowledge beyond what a commoner can possess.

    One other thing of note is this: a WHM campaigning for right-wing values appears needy and motivated by self-interest, whereas a WHM campaigning for left-wing values appears to have his life in shape to the extent that he can afford to be altruistic.

    Hence, those WHMs that have left-liberal views appear more 'attractive'.

    One thing that WHMs do not tend to do is support each other, whereas ethnic minorities, feminists and LGBT do have a stronger track record of this type of thing. Powerful men do not support right-wing activism, because it doesn't make them look good.

    Also, another problem with every discussion of this type is that it is usually American society that is being discussed, and there are major differences between the culture of America and even other developed Western countries, let alone the rest of the world.

    The whole idea about "systems of dominance or privilege" seems like the whole Marxist bourgeois oppression meme all over again.

    What is really sad is that contemporary Western society doesn't have university-educated intellectuals who are prepared to stand up to the evil of the left, and I really mean the whole hog: feminism, multiculturalism, political correctness, everything.

    And yes, that's another thing about liberalism that makes me angry: generally, they (left-liberals) do not care one whit about tradition or history, and insofar as they do, they see it as evil, racist and oppressive.

    Your definition of traditionalism sounds good to me, Mark.

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  3. The error that liberals make is to get the order of causation wrong.

    For example, they push home ownership programs for the "underprivileged", reasoning that having a home will make you middle class. Home ownership is an effect of being middle class, not its cause. People with a certain combination of intelligence and culture become middle class. A person of lower-class culture doesn't become middle class just because they now own a house. They don't have the habits of mind to make it so.

    So it is with "white privilege". Whites have what they have because their culture (albeit one degrading under perpetual attack) inculcates certain habits of mind, both moral and personal. Black culture doesn't, that's why blacks are perpetually poor. A culture that encourages violence and mooching is not one that will make its adherents successful.

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  4. Yes, Randian, but take a look at these images:

    http://imgur.com/jBdNJEK,yDFtKje,xDHScKD,zeSaavg,vMisQMr

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  5. What is a picture of a disaster of a kitchen supposed to mean?

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  6. Everything is bad right now in some level or another, but there is something specifically augmented and worse about the USA and white American liberal men.

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  7. African-American men are horrifying.

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  8. It's a really messed up country and world. But what I think is really telling is that six WHITE WOMEN decided in favor of George Zimmerman. Women, especially liberal women, are generally swayed by sob stories and emotional tugs, and if ever there was a sob story this is it. An innocent little black boy walking home with a bag of skittles, killed right outside his father's house by a white whanna-be cop who had decided to racially profile him.
    This case has a lot to say about several things.
    Firstly, that to be white is to be at a disadvantage. If Zimmerman had been black then, no matter the color of the person he shot, the trial would have been unheard of except in local papers. Or if he and Martin had both been white, no media attention except in a local way. Maybe a front pager for a small-town newspaper.
    Secondly, that the media is foaming-at-the-mouth crazy to PROVE that blacks are the down-trodden race and whites are privileged and there there is never justice when blacks and whites are involved. With their henchmen, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, they stir up the already embittered, angry black population and the safety level for everyone goes even further down.
    Thirdly, that the media will call anyone anyting if it furthers their agenda. Zimmerman was half-white, half-hispanic. They call him white, he prefers to be considered hispanic. Obama, on the other hand, half-black and half-white, is hailed as our first black president.
    Fourth, that the right to bear arms is on increasingly shaky ground. With stories like this popping up and being hyped by the media, and stories of people successfully defending themselves against intruders, muggers, rapists, kidnappers, etc. not being covered in the news, the left has the upper hand.
    Fifth, that our president is willing to tear apart the country with pitiful little remarks like 'If I had a son, he's look like Trayvon.' and his latest gem 'It could have been me 35 years ago.'
    I would love to have seen the reaction if, say, Bush, had said similar things about a black-on-white case.
    Sixth, I think this showcases the liberal agenda perfectly. I think they knew that the case was a loss for them from the beginning. That didn't matter to them so much as causing a lot of commotion over it, stirring up blacks, and showing the crackers that they can cause us a whole lot of trouble if we step out of line.
    Lastly, what I think is really rather ironic about this whole thing is that Zimmerman is apparently a Democrat who voted for Obama. In which case, although on a level of wanting justice I'm very glad he was acquitted, on the 'gotcha' side he got exactly what he deserved. Because he is part of the problem; he voted for it, he supported it, and he'll probably vote for it again next time. It's also a good showcase of how liberals don't give a hoot whether you're 'on their side' or not. They'll tear you to shreds to further the cause, and they won't bat an eye while doing it.

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  9. The Left is fueling envy and hatred in order to gain power. The end!

    Nah, you keep writing things like this and meanwhile liberals keep acting according to a very distinct moral world view. How can we effectively criticise that world view, and contrast it with our own, if we just say "they simply want power".

    That's especially true when liberals have the power to present their world view to the general public as the moral one. Liberals can make moral claims such as "It's always wrong to discriminate" or "We must focus on these kinds of individual rights and ignore those other things that matter to people" and have them accepted without having to defend the assumptions and the world view which lie behind them.

    So it's up to us to bring those to light where they can be scrutinised, so that it's made clear that we are not dealing with what is simply and naturally moral, but with the imposition of a specific, political world view which has dubious first principles and damaging consequences.

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  10. Nah, you keep writing things like this and meanwhile liberals keep acting according to a very distinct moral world view. How can we effectively criticise that world view, and contrast it with our own, if we just say "they simply want power".

    I don't agree that their world view is distinct. It changes from time to time and from place to place according to the needs of the moment. That is why you have to look past whatever lying nonsense they are spouting at any given moment.

    As I have noted in the past, you cannot criticize them logically, since they do not believe in logic, and if they think they are being defeated on logical grounds they will simply start screaming and throwing poo.

    So it's up to us to bring those to light where they can be scrutinised, so that it's made clear that we are not dealing with what is simply and naturally moral, but with the imposition of a specific, political world view which has dubious first principles and damaging consequences.

    But what is the purpose of this artificially created political world view masquerading as a natural moral system? Why would they do that?

    Oh, the purpose is to fuel envy and hatred in order to gain power. The end!

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  11. But what is the purpose of this artificially created political world view masquerading as a natural moral system?

    For them it is not a masquerade.

    I wish, Nah, that you could work alongside some of the teachers I work with. You would find them to be solidly middle-class, respectable Anglo family men and women. But they all hold liberal positions because they all believe that these positions are what is moral.

    None of them is seeking power, in fact they are losing power for themselves and their children by holding these moral positions.

    We need future Anglos to be inoculated against such a false morality and to do this we have to explain where the liberal morality comes from; why it is not the only possible moral worldview; why it is to be rejected; and what the alternatives are.

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  12. There will be other Trayvons and other Zimmermans. For the left, the almighty narrative must always trump reality. The Holy Narrative exists forever, and new characters will be found to fill in its cast.

    Creation versus Destruction: The left has no coherent vision of what should be built. Instead it has ONLY a strategy and well-honed set of tactics to tear down that which obstructs its absolute power to impose its values on the entire world.

    Politics IS religion.

    No matter how much they attempt to distort the meanings of "secular", "faith", "values" and "morality" with semantic games, what we should have learned from the left is that politics IS religion. Once you accept this, once you embrace it, you have then been freed intellectually and morally to start defending your own values, your own traditional Christian religion, and your own ethnicity. Until you can personally free yourself from your own mental shackles imposed from without by endless leftist propaganda, you will remain their slave.

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  13. I'll say it again:

    White males are considered by the left to be 'privileged' yet white males in most Western countries today must also put up with seeing white females in public places either hand-in-hand with a non-white male, or pushing children fathered by a non-white male down the street

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  14. I wish, Nah, that you could work alongside some of the teachers I work with. You would find them to be solidly middle-class, respectable Anglo family men and women. But they all hold liberal positions because they all believe that these positions are what is moral.

    They are deluded followers. The positions in which they believe (for the moment, anyway) were created by others for the benefit of others (the leaders who are the power seekers). What they "genuinely" believe in has changed over time, and will change again. Therefore one cannot take it seriously and there is no point in arguing with them about it.

    None of them is seeking power, in fact they are losing power for themselves and their children by holding these moral positions.

    They don't aspire to a lot of power. They would feel LESS powerful (less safe) if they did not accept the group consensus. Open expression of opposition to the consensus would put their jobs and friendships at risk. Moreover, it is highly likely that they derive a stupid feeling of satisfaction from identification with the true power-holders in the political elite.

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  15. We need future Anglos to be inoculated against such a false morality and to do this we have to explain where the liberal morality comes from; why it is not the only possible moral worldview; why it is to be rejected; and what the alternatives are.

    Logical explanation cannot defeat views that are not based in logic but in ideology and emotion.

    And in any event attacking the consensus-view of today is pointless because that consensus can (and will) change tomorrow. Cut off one head of the hydra, two more grow in its place.

    Bruce Charlton has an apropos post today:

    The politically correct are people who do not believe in absolute truth.

    Yet they insist that everyone should believe what they are telling them today.

    Or else if you do not believe whatever they tell you today, you are evil.

    Yet the politically correct do not believe in evil.

    *

    What they do believe in is culture - culture is the bottom line 'reality'.

    And culture is consensus.

    Yet the politically correct believe in the liberation of individual desire: that is, they believe in the overthrow of consensus.

    So the bottom line reality for political correctness is... a continually changing, compulsory consensus.


    Can you combat this with logical counter-argument?

    This leads to the 'enlightened false consciousness' of the modern cynic.

    Enlightened = realistic; False consciousness = self-serving illusion.

    The cynic combination is a clear-eyed awareness that one's own fundamental beliefs are self-manipulating fantasies: yet insistence on absolute belief in these acknowledged fantasies.

    To make reality and then to forget one has just made it, and then to remember, critique and re-make reality; and again to forget it - and so on and so forth...


    If you defeat today's "reality" with logical counter-argument, they will simply forget it and make a new "reality" tomorrow.

    Neither ironical nor detached; enlightened false consciousness is a severe, rational, anger-fuelled stance which aims to impose meaning and purpose onto life via the continual bureaucratic and authoritarian process of creating and moulding culture - undoing and reversing the inequalities and miseries of the past, and chasing always after the flickering fashions in upper class status.

    Culture is arbitrary, yet it is reality; culture is managed, yet it is contingent; culture us everything and irresistible, yet it is nothing and as insignificant as the life of a mayfly.


    So, you defeat the flickering fashion of the moment. Congratulations! A new fashion has sprung up to replace it, and your victory over yesterday's fashion is futile and forgotten.

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  16. Nah,

    The Charlton stuff is interesting and sounds worth reading.

    However, I'd dispute the idea that the way that liberals try to make culture is arbitrary.

    There is too much of a consistency across time and place for that to be the case.

    You wrote:

    Logical explanation cannot defeat views that are not based in logic but in ideology and emotion.

    Again, I don't entirely agree with this. Liberals may not believe in the existence of a transcendent truth or good, but that doesn't mean that the systems that they try to establish in place of this don't follow a logical train of thought.

    It is certainly possible to analyse the political positions taken by liberals and come to a clearer understanding of them.

    And these positions, though they do shift over time, are fairly stable. The distinction between left and right liberalism, for instance, has held for 50 years or more. It ought to be possible for a movement critical of liberalism to keep up.

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  17. Mark Richardson says: "I wish, Nah, that you could work alongside some of the teachers I work with. You would find them to be solidly middle-class, respectable Anglo family men and women. But they all hold liberal positions because they all believe that these positions are what is moral."

    It sounds as if the technical term for such beings is "useful idiots". As Chesterton's Father Brown put it, what's the point of being honest if you worship dishonesty?

    This isn't Finland, where some vague attempt is made to recruit schoolteachers from a cognitive elite. This is Australia. The vast majority of Australian schoolteachers (readers in other lands might not have perceived this) are schoolteachers for only two reasons.

    First, barring an outright collapse in health, they are guaranteed employment until the age of 65, unless they have one sexual relationship too many with the kids. Second, their results in their university studies (higher "education" is now required for teaching jobs, though half a century ago it was not) were so bad as to debar them from even the most obviously worthless law degree. So Nah's thesis is not at all disproved.

    I can understand having to be polite to them for the sake of keeping the peace. I cannot understand taking their liberal emoting seriously as anything except a symptom.

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  18. Robert,

    There may once have been schoolteachers as you describe them.

    These days, to survive as a teacher in a school environment requires a high level of personal and professional competence. Anyone who can't cope leaves the profession very early on - the culling process usually takes place during teaching rounds.

    I can't criticise the teachers I have worked alongside for a lack of dedication or ability.

    However, there are many (particularly the women) who have adopted a liberal world view and who work to impart a liberal morality to students - there is no attempt to be neutral, their aim is to indoctrinate the students.

    For them it is a matter of good versus evil.

    That's what we're up against. It is not merely a case of disagreements about political or economy policy, but about what is moral or immoral. And that requires us to take liberal moral reasoning seriously.

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  19. This isn't Finland
    This is meaningless. Liberal brainwashing is more intense in their curriculum.

    That's what we're up against. It is not merely a case of disagreements about political or economy policy, but about what is moral or immoral. And that requires us to take liberal moral reasoning seriously.

    Liberals seem to believe everyone is a liberal beneath what ever anti-liberal sentiments they hold and liberalism is the only one ideology for humanity.
    They remind me of a cult.

    People should talk about what Liberals do not deal in as their weakness.
    For starters they do not deal in concepts of honour, pride and purity. Purity causes them to have fits of eye rolling and snickering. I'm not even sure they can comprehend the meaning of it any longer. It probably loosely translates into bigotry in their mind.
    Honour and pride are important. Liberals allow liberal men no honour. Honour goes to others. This is disgusting for a man to follow this ideology and still call himself a man.
    Then there is no pride in following Liberalism. Pride in ancestors, family members, community. Liberals use an immature logic and say under liberalism everyone is atomised and ideas of pride, honour and purity are not applicable to people.
    Being honest could be another concept liberalism is lacking, I'm thinking this is just because liberalism is not a way of living for humans but a way of living for politics. Hence political correctness.
    People are not politicians...

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  20. People should talk about what Liberals do not deal in

    I agree, that's important.

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  21. Mr Richardson, I am perfectly prepared to take it on trust that you are fortunate enough to have particular teaching colleagues who are dedicated, hard-working etc. My original post referred to "the vast majority" of teachers. The vast majority does not mean 100%, and it need not mean even 85%.

    You know at least as well as I do that the formal marking scores and other academic requirements necessary to become a teacher in Australia are - by the standards of what future lawyers, future accountants, and future doctors have to cope with - a joke. You also, I am sure, know that any attempt to impose on such future teachers in Australia Finland's (or even France's) scholastic criteria would ensure enough strike action to make Joan Kirner look like Sarah Palin. You know the difficulties involved in removing incompetent or sexually perverse teachers from their jobs. Not to mention the difficulties involved in giving good teachers better salaries than are received by white trash.

    You are also, I imagine, aware that Australian communists (and I really do mean true-believing hard-core commies, not amateur-hour rent-a-mobs) were extremely successful in NSW and Victoria during the 1970s and 1980s (I don't know about the other states) at controlling the teacher unions. If you don't believe me, ask any National Civic Council activist old enough to have tangled with them. The Cold War NSW Teachers' Federation meant business, and its primary business - about which it showed, in my experience, commendable honesty - was Cohn-Bendit-style cultural Marxism, periodically with pedophilia thrown in.

    Facts, Mr Richardson, are stubborn things, whether or not you or I choose to acknowledge them. I continue to maintain, on the evidence so far, that your colleagues sound like useful idiots who cannot possibly be converted to meaningful conservatism.

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  22. Mark

    That's what we're up against. It is not merely a case of disagreements about political or economy policy, but about what is moral or immoral. And that requires us to take liberal moral reasoning seriously.

    I agree that we need to put ourselves in the shoes of the libs, however I don't think we need to delude ourselves that they think in any principled or moral way.

    For example if we look at the thinking processes of some of your teaching colleagues if they are questioned as to whether diversity is a good thing in a neighbourhood.

    They will start with the position that it is a good thing simply because every mainstream authoruty figure has told them that this is the case. Teachers, newspapers, uni lecturers, TV, TV news, modern books. Usually the message is implicit but it is still there. Particularly in the case of teachers every intelligent, middle class authority figure has told them so. Only rednecks and yobbos think otherwise. Anti-racism is above all a class signifier in Australia.

    In 99% of cases that is the end of the debate. No counter-argument has been presented so the status quo ante prevails. This is one thing you find when you actually argue with lefties on these issues - they are flabbergasted if you argue it out. They have quite literally 'never met anyone who voted for Nixon'.

    But let's say you argue it out. What are the arguments ?

    Unemployment ? It doesn't affect them, and in fact they are the 'helper class' - their skills (such as they are) are in the field of helping foreigners navigate our society. As far as working class unemployment goes - what do they care ? They fear and despise working class people.

    Violence - they never experienced it. Their middle class suburbs aren't affected. the violence of CBD streets and night and the trains aren't really experienced by them. They get cabs from door to door. "What is the fuss all about ? And anyway wasn't it a white guy who killed Jill Meagher ?".

    Culture ? Forget it. They have no Australian cultural identity. They are vaguely embarrassed about Australian culture - Dad and Dave, Henry Lawson... English cultural identity is worse - colonialism and imperialism.

    Above all they will do anything to avoid being on the 'wrong' side of the argument. They can't be convinced until the status quo changes then they will all fall into line like the sheep they are.

    What the right needs to do in this country is side with the working class and ridicule the yups.

    Any argument about immigration should start with a statement like "Immigration, like any policy, has benefits and costs, unfortunately the costs are disproportionately borne by the poor and disenfranchised".

    The libs use 2 things to destroy dissent - shaming language from the cathedral and the usual hysterical rent-a-crowd which tars the target as 'controversial'. See Hanson, Pauline.

    Working class authenticity provides cover from shaming language (I know it didn't help Pauline but I think a lot of people could have done a better job than her) and working class muscle can oppose the rent-a-crowd.

    My 2c.

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  23. Liberals may not believe in the existence of a transcendent truth or good, but that doesn't mean that the systems that they try to establish in place of this don't follow a logical train of thought.

    If you don't believe in truth or good, then it is manifestly impossible to create a logical system of morality. Consistent adherence to an emotional or ideological position does not equal consistent, long-term logic. But let's leave that aside.

    As soon as you logically argue a liberal out of his or her beliefs, let me know. I've never seen it happen myself.

    One might even go so far as to say that if you are right, and liberalism is logical and stable over time, then you are really, really wasting your time trying to defeat them with logic.

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  24. For them it is a matter of good versus evil.

    But wait, I thought their views were the result of a "a logical train of thought"?

    Now you are trying to use logic and evidence to defeat (or convert) someone who thinks your views are evil?

    Good luck with that...

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  25. Podsnap,

    There are very few serious intellectuals in a society. Liberal principles are argued seriously amongst a small number of academics. They are the ones who deal in first tier arguments.

    There does exist a logic to these academic arguments - but saying this doesn't mean that liberalism is right because it is "logical" - what I mean is that liberals start out with certain assumptions about human nature, about how we know things, about what the aims of life are and from that flows logically the wider culture of liberalism. In other words, the positions that liberals adopt aren't just an arbitrary exercise of power, but they follow on from first tier assumptions that liberals make.

    By the time you get to the general public, there is no longer a logical thinking through from first principles. Instead, there is a set of "moral" principles - assumptions about what is right and wrong - and a certain moral focus (certain things are focused on as goods, other things are overlooked).

    We are not in a position right now to attempt mass conversions. We don't have the numbers or the media reach to change a moral and political culture.

    What we should aim to do is to reach those who have a sense that things are wrong and to explain clearly where liberalism goes wrong in its first tier assumptions.

    The point of doing this is to break open a liberal orthodoxy in which people see either right liberalism or left liberalism as the two options. It is particularly important that people who have a sense that things are wrong don't just blame "the left" and therefore end up, once again, supporting a right liberalism that will betray them over and over again.

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  26. The privilege of paying taxes for all the malformed scum out there.

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  27. If you don't believe in truth or good, then it is manifestly impossible to create a logical system of morality.

    I tried to explain how this happens in recent posts.

    Liberals believe that our desires and wants can be known as definite facts. They are certainly true. So for them there is no reason that they cannot define the good.

    So the fact that we authentically and freely want something makes it moral.

    Therefore, you need a system in which everyone is equally able to pursue their self-interested desires.

    Therefore, it is important that people follow qualities that promote non-interference, e.g. that they accept diversity, that they are inclusive, that they don't discriminate, that they are tolerant.

    And this then becomes the focus of liberal moral passions. Even more so, when it comes to be believed that some groups have created institutions that enable them to "self-define" the way a society works to the disadvantage of others.

    That then sets up a grand moral narrative of oppression vs resistance, of justice vs injustice.

    So you end up with a highly moralistic culture, albeit moralistic along certain disastrously dissolving lines.

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  28. Liberals believe that our desires and wants can be known as definite facts. They are certainly true. So for them there is no reason that they cannot define the good.

    Desires and wants are the exact OPPOSITE of definite facts. They are the very definition of subjective! You cannot determine what a person wants except by asking him. You have no way to verify the truth or falsehood of what he says. And even if what he says is "true" right now, it can change one second from now.

    We have all noted the phenomenon, especially in women and children, of people who are unable to articulate what they want, or say they want something that is the opposite of what they actually want, or say they want something that is bad for them.

    I am sure that if pressed, liberals will admit that people often freely and authentically want things that are bad for them.

    The idea that you can create a moral system based on what people "freely and authentically want" is false and insane.

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  29. it is important that people follow qualities that promote non-interference, e.g. that they accept diversity, that they are inclusive, that they don't discriminate, that they are tolerant.

    Inasmuch as liberals actively interfere in EVERY realm of social, economic, and political life, and are totally intolerant of opposition to their views, the idea that liberals genuinely promote tolerance and non-interference is absurd.

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  30. The idea that you can create a moral system based on what people "freely and authentically want" is false and insane.

    Well, I agree that it is not the right basis for a moral system, but a core part of the liberal argument is that as we ourselves best know our own wants and desires that we ourselves should be left alone to autonomously pursue them.

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  31. core part of the liberal argument is that as we ourselves best know our own wants and desires that we ourselves should be left alone to autonomously pursue them.

    Since they do not, in fact, leave people alone to pursue their desires autonomously, this argument cannot possibly be taken seriously.

    An internally inconsistent argument, that begins with a false premise, and leads to a conclusion that is never implemented in practice. And you want to bandy logic with such people?

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  32. Since they do not, in fact, leave people alone to pursue their desires autonomously

    Nah, you should be pushing this point with liberals, not with me.

    When I say that there is a logic to liberalism I don't mean to say that liberalism is able to maintain consistency. What I mean is that you can trace how liberalism develops from the first principles it adopts.

    If you believe as a liberal in a freedom to self-determine, then you won't want things which are predetermined to influence what you can or cannot choose to do.

    But our sex and our race are predetermined qualities. Therefore, you can freely choose to identify with these in your own personal life, but you cannot assert these things in ways that might limit the choices that other people might make. You cannot deny someone entry as a migrant to your country on the basis of race or refuse them employment on the basis of their sex. This would be denying someone an ability to choose on the basis of an unchosen, predetermined quality like their sex or race - it would be discrimination on the basis of these qualities, i.e. sexism or racism or a denial of equal opportunity.

    But telling people that they have to wear seat belts, i.e. that they cannot choose to drive without seat belts, isn't an issue for liberals as this is not a denial of equal opportunity in the sense I am describing, but rather a "neutral" health measure that applies to everyone equally.

    So it's no use saying to a liberal "But my choice is to discriminate on these grounds in order to uphold some traditional good" - as such discrimination is impermissible within a liberal system.

    The point traditionalists have to make is that the aim of having "autonomy as a freedom to self-determine" can't be made an overriding good, the one which always trumps other concerns, because it is ultimately destructive of other goods that are important to human life. Liberals are in error in thinking that this kind of "freedom" should always be the ordering principle as a matter of justice or human dignity or human flourishing.

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