Unlike the aristocracy it displaced, the bourgeoisie could not rely on lineage to assure its social status. Bourgeois elevation was bought; hiding this took some doing. Lacking noble lineage, the bourgeoisie ennobled itself by expressing noble sentiments. I should think this accounts for the progressively unhinged character of progressivism, which must always be straining to distinguish itself from both common sense and common decency.
Like most liberals, she is a creature of fashion. She thinks whatever she believes is fashionable to think. Which means she doesn’t think art at all.
The post-’60s transformation of the Western left into a liberal avant-garde allied with the worst, most debasing tendencies of capital has had as its logical outcome the transformation of working class resistance against capitalism into working class resistance against liberalism. Today, whatever is of any intellectual interest emanates from this anti-liberal awakening.
Meantime, in a galaxy far, far away, “woke” liberal academia is stuck in a somnolent time warp, still dutifully engaged in deconstructive projects that are the intellectual equivalent of pulverizing piles of rubble into piles of finer rubble, bravely tilting at a phantom white patriarchy, demolishing canons kept alive only in the minds of those who want to abuse them and completely blind to the fact that its “transgressions” are affirmations of ruling-class self-exemption from reality.
The “culture war” is an argument between fools. The conservative fools want capitalism without capitalism, “free enterprise” and the Ancien Régime at the same time. Liberal fools want to abolish what capitalism has already abolished, the old paternal function, and replace it with something more arbitrary and totalitarian, the rule of “sensitivity.” The conservatives pine for the old master. Liberals would prefer a dominatrix. Between them they have succeeded in reducing political discourse to a choice between inanities. This is why the categories of political affiliation align so nicely with those of consumption, Apple versus Microsoft, Honda versus Ford, etc. Identity politics is not, as is often supposed, a strictly liberal phenomenon. It is the default of politics reduced to brand choice.
To support its self-regard, the elite needs to associate itself with whatever is uncommon. In the arts, for instance, the elite patronizes just those artists and designers whose work is inscrutable and even repugnant to everybody else. Thus the modern phenomenon of the avant-garde. But, elite snobbery expresses itself in moral as well as aesthetic taste.
Just as the elite patronizes the artistic avant-garde, it also supports what at any given moment pass for avant-garde attitudes, preferences, and lifestyles. The actual content of whatever ideas the elite embraces matters little because these ideas never serve the elite as anything more than fashion accessories. Outré ideas, ideologies, philosophies are easily embraced because easily discarded. The more perverse-seeming the idea, the greater its potential for displaying the elite’s extraordinary discernment. Thus, the same class of people who lauded Marcel Duchamp nominating a urinal to the status of art in 1917 today support a man nominating himself to be a woman and vice versa.
Progressivism has a longstanding association with snobbery, going at least as far back as the female-run salons of the 18th century that nurtured Enlightenment thought. In that particular instance, fashionable ideas did ultimately have unpleasant consequences for the silly blue bloods who entertained them, proving that the world is not entirely devoid of justice.
This “Cultural Marxism” that conservatives like to invoke as the source of every cultural outrage is really just a mask for the anti-cultural agency of capitalism itself. Progressivism has always nicely aligned with capitalism’s drive to dismantle all traditions that impede the absolute supremacy of money. This is why patriarchy and masculinity are objects of unrelenting progressive assault. For money to rule without restriction, all residual patriarchal notions of honor and integrity had to be discredited as outdated and oppressive. Unable or unwilling to comprehend what Marx had already figured out by 1848, that capitalism profanes everything formerly holy and turns everything solid “into air,” the right responds by invoking nostalgia for a slightly less developed less-monopolistic capitalism and wishing for the restitution of pre-1960s ideals of masculinity. Someone like Jordan Peterson, for instance, is reduced to advising his readers to clean up their rooms, stand straight, and refrain from telling untruths, advice that any schoolmarm might in the past have dispensed. He too rails against “Cultural Marxism,” but avoids noticing how well the evil designs of this phantom Cultural Marxism mesh with the requirements of corporate-driven consumerism: how, for instance, feminist and queer claims about the constructedness of gender feed into making gender a commodity, how the conscription of women into the labor force has undercut wages and benefited corporations, how identity politics has fractured the working class and disabled its resistance to capitalism.
So the net effect of “Cultural Marxism” has actually been to further entrench the globalist corporate order. Where is the “Marxism” in that?
Blaming Jews for white self-hatred, as the alt-right is prone to do, doesn’t get us very far. Whatever anti-Christian and anti-white malice is ascribed to Jews cannot explain the susceptibility of whites themselves to antiwhite propaganda. The question remains: why are whites so anxious to run away from “whiteness”?
I suspect the reason is that whites tend to associate the qualities that define whiteness–which as with any other ethnocultural group are a congery of beliefs, tastes, and prejudices both pragmatic and xenophobic–as things that they left behind when they migrated to the cities and acquired a veneer of sophistication. White animus against whiteness then indicates the distance that whites have traveled from their rural roots and the pressure to sustain that distance by professing “superior” liberal attitudes that abjure what they now regard as their former hickness.
Thus, white liberalism is best understood as a form of snobbery, directed, as snobbery typically is, at repressing the memory of earlier uncouthness. Liberal, self-hating whites are basically fashion victims. That is why liberalism flourishes among the well-to-do. They are the only people who can afford it. The acutest manifestation of “white privilege,” is, in fact, white liberal hatred of white privilege, a hatred that white liberals can indulge because they are insulated from its consequences.
The question is for how long will antiwhite whites be able to enjoy this peculiar proof of their elite status?
Up until the moment that whites (along with everyone else) are cast back en masse into the straitened circumstances from which they emerged in the course of the anomalous postwar boom. The process is well under way, and a sign of it is the fact that liberalism and its pieties are increasingly perceived as the pretensions of an insufferable elite.
I dismiss any and all statements prefixed by a declaration of “identity,”
When you tell me that you are speaking “as a woman” or “as a feminist” or as “as a gay man” or “as a person of color” or as a member of some other fashionable victim class, all you are revealing is the narcissistic conceit in which you are encased and which constitutes your mental prison. So what you’re telling me, effectively, is that you are a robotic bore with whom any attempt at conversation is a waste of time since you are only capable of ideological commonplaces. In addition, you are alerting me to the fact that your sole interest in any exchange is to browbeat your interlocutors with your assumed moral superiority.
The idea that identity grants intellectual authority (or, if it is the wrong identity, intellectual invalidation) is the grossest possible debasement of discourse. Yet it appears to be the currently dominant mode of academic discourse. Which means that a liberal education these days is an expensive way to learn how not to think.
Should something like a replacement for the disintegrating civilization of the West begin to manifest, it will no doubt be greeted by progressives as an irruption of barbarism. But before that happens, the actual barbarism of progressive ideology will have to be experienced to its fullest extent.