The Good, the Beautiful, and the Left/Bitching about the Cultural Left

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Neodoxy
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The Good, the Beautiful, and the Left/Bitching about the Cultural Left

Post by Neodoxy » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:17 am

This is an area that I am still developing my views. For me this realm of politics as a serious area of concern didn't even exist until a couple of years ago, and unlike in the realm of economics I find "cultural sociology" , or whatever you want to call it, to still be in its infancy, and certainly not rigorously developed.

At any rate, I suppose that I should get on to what I am talking about. In the more thorough political compass tests these days they have at least three axes: economic freedom, social freedom, and cultural right versus left. This is a thread about that third area. It seems to me that most of the insanity of the modern left comes from a direct assault upon the culture of contemporary Western societies. Taking a twist on the intellectual theory that is partially fueling these movements, I call this "destructionism".

This is a step back from any of the particular incarnations of identity politics or leftist insanity that we see today to consider the broader trend. It seems to me that (yeah I'm dropping the term) "SJW's" are in favor of the destruction of any established social institutions or norms. Removing heterosexuality as the only sexuality or removing the question of sexuality from public discourse is not enough (this is the far more "liberal" way of thinking). Instead the assumption of "heteronormativity" literally comes under attack. The concept of a "gender binary" is something that is "problematic". Anything that is not appropriately diverse and so on. The only things that are exempt from the petulant complaints are poorly established social institutions or group who are at the perceived fringe of society.

Long ago I noticed the clear similarities between these problems and Nietzsche's theories on master and slave morality. The connection is simple. The defense of established institutions and norms comes from the claim that these norms are good. The destruction of these norms comes almost entirely from the claim that they are bad.

I cannot recall the last time that I saw someone firmly on the part of the left that I am talking about describe an ideal or positive state of society that they would like to see.

The reason for why this is uncompelling is two fold:

On the one hand, if there is nothing that is truly good and beautiful, there seems to be little reason to do anything. It would seem to lead directly to nihilism, in which case why does it matter?

On the other hand, without positive reassurances of what is to replace what has been lost, it is impossible to argue compellingly that most situations are likely to be better than what has been lost. Only in extreme circumstances is this unlikely to be the case. There are few situations that are worse than the slavery of the deep south in Old America. Any comparable analogy in the modern west is only attributable to am absolute minute portion of the population. I shall use an analogy. Say that we were on a boat and someone came along saying that "these boards aren't very sturdy, they might break if we hit rocks. We should tear them out!" This is nonsensical logic. Without a positive recommendation of materials to replace the lost boards and the accessibility of these materials, there is absolutely no guarantee that tearing out the boards will solve the problem, or more importantly solve the problem without causing far worse problems (the ship sinks). From a cultural this standpoint might be acceptable from the perspective of the anti-social (neo) liberal who believes that social institutions might not be that important, so why not broaden the social marketplace to everyone? The standing of the contemporary left is completely different: It argues that culture is everything. A last point on this that I will make is simply that in order to make an intelligent decision from a praxeological perspective one must choose between two things. Effectively the leftists are choosing between just one.

Thus it seems to me that the modern left believes in nothing true or beautiful. This jives with my personal experiences as well. Most true "SJW's" (I hate that I am unironically using this term to discuss contemporary politics. Can we please go back to 2008?) that I know are either chronically unhappy people or copy-cats caught in the contemporary leftist tide (they aren't really SJW's). I am not the first to make similar claims, but it appears to me that the left is about a great leveling, a great nihilism, a great leveling/egalitarianizing of all things, in a realm where the egalitarian is toxic. Is there no up or down left? Why get out of bed at all?

Indeed, it would seem at first glance to me that in the last 40+ years the left have won every significant cultural battle that they have fought. They control the liberal arts departments with economics an political science being some of the last significant holdouts. At least in my social situation I saw nothing but derision of the family and a "normal" life from a young age. Judging others was almost always seen as negative. Community and of course religion were things to scoff at. On reflection, it may genuinely be that the reason I gravitated so strongly to Ayn Rand upon hearing her, was that she was the first non-mundane and semi-reasonable voice I had ever heard actually talk about the good.

I will throw out there that I once discussed the essence of my second fundamental criticism with an intelligent feminist friend of mine. She agreed that there were gender differences and that this would likely lead to unequal results, but that because we were coming from a patriarchal system. We need to get as many women in power as possible and try to break most existing gender norms before we can know for sure. There are more moderate positions that I might respect. I myself believe in women>men as a tie-breaker rule for similar reasons. Such a radical position, however, made me think very strongly of the French Revolution. We won't know if society can be planned by our reason until we have attempted to instate reason upon the whole of society. While I very much think and hope that the potential consequences are unlikely to be as dire, the idea that there might not be harsh negative consequences is foolish in the extreme.

It should also be noted that every one of the cultural left's criticisms fall apart upon themselves:

Adorno argued that modern art is vacuous and consumerist. What else are we in the leftist worldview other than atomistic consumerists? By what criteria does he judge good and bad art?

The left hates "cultural appropriation", yet if culture is something that can be owned and defended then literally far-right policies are completely justified. Indeed, CA is far, far less damaging to a culture than forcing institutional and demographic change, since the original culture can be wholly maintained, and indeed will likely strengthen from the viewpoint of the intense mocking.

It is obvious to any impartial observer that contemporary feminism has made society more sexist.

The leftist OBSESSION with "power dynamics" (dubious terms and worldviews to begin with) has not promoted a genuine push to develop institutions which would restrain abuses of "power" (which in some ways is LITERALLY REACTIONARY in the United States). Instead they promote the abuse and use of "power" in ways that are just as arbitrary.

Elsewhere I have talked about the blatant absurdity of believing that gender differences are important (which would necessarily imply behavioral differences between genders) and any conception of equality of outcome.

I must stop this list, or else it will go on for another page.


At one point every one of the above criticisms would have been criticizing a niche and literally ivory tower point of view. Now these are relevant political topics that I could discuss with my friends, many of whom would argue against these views.


In this situation I, ironically, find myself allying with the "cultural right", where I don't belong, precisely because I believe that much of contemporary society is worth preserving, and that complete stagnation is superior to the brashness of the above reforms.

I would appreciate heavy criticisms of what I have said. I fear that I construe too much my own social situation with the situation more broadly. At the same time, that seems to be precisely the name of the game, now doesn't it? The whole point is that the personal is now the political, the experiential is the new source of facts.

At any rate, thoughts/input would be appreciated.

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Merlin
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Re: The Good, the Beautiful, and the Left/Bitching about the Cultural Left

Post by Merlin » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:28 am

I’m afraid you ascribe far too much of an independent core of thought to the modern left. It’s just a power-hungry crowd gone mad, spiralling ever more out of control and challenging one-another to ever more silly antics. They vehemently contradict what they held sacred yesterday, and thrown erstwhile allies under the buss.

It’s a cult, indeed a religion going through a fundamentalist wave. Utter annihilation, subjugation form outside or the rise of an iron-fisted “Pope” may yet put an end to this.

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Jon Irenicus
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Re: The Good, the Beautiful, and the Left/Bitching about the Cultural Left

Post by Jon Irenicus » Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:52 pm

I myself believe in women>men as a tie-breaker rule for similar reasons.
How so?
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Neodoxy
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Re: The Good, the Beautiful, and the Left/Bitching about the Cultural Left

Post by Neodoxy » Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:03 am

Merlin wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:28 am
I’m afraid you ascribe far too much of an independent core of thought to the modern left. It’s just a power-hungry crowd gone mad, spiraling ever more out of control and challenging one-another to ever more silly antics. They vehemently contradict what they held sacred yesterday, and thrown erstwhile allies under the bus.
It is indisputable that much of the language that they are using comes from the university. I would argue that for most of the concepts too. There's also the fact that college students/graduates are clearly pretty radicalized. Are you just saying that nevertheless most of these people are just the jealous rabble? If so I would agree.
It’s a cult, indeed a religion going through a fundamentalist wave. Utter annihilation, subjugation form outside or the rise of an iron-fisted “Pope” may yet put an end to this.
Lol, what do you mean by a "Pope"?

@Jon

I do think that we are likely to interpret the same thing said by men and women slightly differently. For many competitive positions I do think that this will tend to favor men over women. I will admit that this is reversed for certain kinds of positions and situations. I also think that it is a sign that a woman excelling in a male dominated field is a sign of something exceptional about that individual, and so I am likely to be predisposed towards her on the assumption that she might bring something new and interesting to the table, but that's a bit further out there. At any rate, as such if you have candidates for a position who were highly equal I would probably go with a female candidate over a male candidate. This depends somewhat on the precise situation, however. It is not a hard and fast rule.

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Re: The Good, the Beautiful, and the Left/Bitching about the Cultural Left

Post by Merlin » Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:23 am

Neodoxy wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:03 am
Lol, what do you mean by a "Pope"?
A point often made in the alt-right: religions left without a central authority to rule people heretics spiral out of control into ever-crazier fundamentalism, as opposed to religions with a formal supreme authority (on earth) which, upon noticing that a silly priest in a tiny village in Bohemia declares himself to be holier than the others, promptly has him divested and thus keep the fundamentalist spiral form ever starting.

It is held that the Catholic Pope fulfils just such a function, that the destruction of the Islamic Caliphate in 1923 is among the causes of Islam falling prey to ever-crazier sects, and that Stalin became the “Pope” of the Bolshevik religion and stopped the spiral in the USSR before it could reach Mao-like levels.

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Re: The Good, the Beautiful, and the Left/Bitching about the Cultural Left

Post by z1235 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:16 pm

Neodoxy wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:17 am
I call this "destructionism".
They call it deconstructionism. Same diff.
the left is about a great leveling, a great nihilism, a great leveling/egalitarianizing of all things, in a realm where the egalitarian is toxic. Is there no up or down left? Why get out of bed at all?
^this. It’s not just gender that’s “non-binary”, the whole universe is. There can’t be a 1 without a 0, something without nothing, light without darkness, good without bad, value without worthlessness, logic/reason without senselessness. Everything is equal, therefore non-distinguishable from anything else, therefore non-existent. Whatever reason one uses to point to the absurdity of this “position” is waved off as bourgeois, hence useless.

No wonder all leftists are mental wrecks. Their very own existence makes them sick, not to mention the existence (hence, non-equality) of the world around them. That’s why they don’t care if the boat sinks. It shouldn’t have been there and afloat to begin with.

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Jon Irenicus
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Re: The Good, the Beautiful, and the Left/Bitching about the Cultural Left

Post by Jon Irenicus » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:11 pm

Neodoxy wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:03 am
I do think that we are likely to interpret the same thing said by men and women slightly differently. For many competitive positions I do think that this will tend to favor men over women. I will admit that this is reversed for certain kinds of positions and situations. I also think that it is a sign that a woman excelling in a male dominated field is a sign of something exceptional about that individual, and so I am likely to be predisposed towards her on the assumption that she might bring something new and interesting to the table, but that's a bit further out there. At any rate, as such if you have candidates for a position who were highly equal I would probably go with a female candidate over a male candidate. This depends somewhat on the precise situation, however. It is not a hard and fast rule.
I think given how trait bell curve distributions work, the way women are treated differently is in line with the lower likelihood of one displaying exceptional traits which are by far more typical of males. I see your point though, in that it would take a particularly tenacious woman to succeed in this manner. It really depends on the field. Whilst there's been much effort made to get women involved in certain areas, the simple truth of the matter is that they're often just not interested in them, even when they possess the ability. I'm not against trying to "sell" certain careers to women but certainly opposed to anything like affirmative action on a non-voluntary basis, which I acknowledge is not what you're proposing. Is this sort of selling a necessity, though? I don't think so. I'm not even convinced that women, as a group, need to be in the workforce, barring those exceptions who really want it. To me, it appears to be the result of government intervention in the economy, which has created a necessity for a 2 earner household. I have a strong suspicion that automation will largely kill off the trend as it reduces the need for low skill labour.
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Clayton
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Re: The Good, the Beautiful, and the Left/Bitching about the Cultural Left

Post by Clayton » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:07 pm

Merlin wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:23 am
Neodoxy wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:03 am
Lol, what do you mean by a "Pope"?
A point often made in the alt-right: religions left without a central authority to rule people heretics spiral out of control into ever-crazier fundamentalism, as opposed to religions with a formal supreme authority (on earth) which, upon noticing that a silly priest in a tiny village in Bohemia declares himself to be holier than the others, promptly has him divested and thus keep the fundamentalist spiral form ever starting.

It is held that the Catholic Pope fulfils just such a function, that the destruction of the Islamic Caliphate in 1923 is among the causes of Islam falling prey to ever-crazier sects, and that Stalin became the “Pope” of the Bolshevik religion and stopped the spiral in the USSR before it could reach Mao-like levels.
Such good stuff.

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Clayton
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Re: The Good, the Beautiful, and the Left/Bitching about the Cultural Left

Post by Clayton » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:22 pm

z1235 wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:16 pm
Neodoxy wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:17 am
I call this "destructionism".
They call it deconstructionism. Same diff.
the left is about a great leveling, a great nihilism, a great leveling/egalitarianizing of all things, in a realm where the egalitarian is toxic. Is there no up or down left? Why get out of bed at all?
^this. It’s not just gender that’s “non-binary”, the whole universe is. There can’t be a 1 without a 0, something without nothing, light without darkness, good without bad, value without worthlessness, logic/reason without senselessness. Everything is equal, therefore non-distinguishable from anything else, therefore non-existent. Whatever reason one uses to point to the absurdity of this “position” is waved off as bourgeois, hence useless.

No wonder all leftists are mental wrecks. Their very own existence makes them sick, not to mention the existence (hence, non-equality) of the world around them. That’s why they don’t care if the boat sinks. It shouldn’t have been there and afloat to begin with.
My favorite method for stumping hardline egalitarians is to point out congenital defects - blindness, deafness, lameness, Down syndrome, etc. By "inequality", they really only mean, "there are people with lots of money and I don't have lots of money and I want a strongman to take money from the people with lots of it and give it to me" but, of course, they'll never admit that this is all they mean. Instead, they drag "social justice" into it - a completely irrelevant topic - in order to shift focus away from the fact that they are just a bunch of entitled brats who believe they should be getting free shit. So, I like to ask "how do we solve the inequality created by congenital defects like blindness?" One option is that we could make everyone blind. Of course, that's absurd (or is it?) The other option is that we could basically give a "blind-person's stipend" to everyone who is blind (how blind?) that is some kind of "economic offset" for their blindness. But that immediately raises the question: how much (in dollars) is it worth to not be blind? From a game-theoretic perspective, what we really want to know is the market price that a non-blind person will pay in order not to be blinded. And as we know from economic theory, there is no way to actually derive this number without having an operating market in which people pay not to be blinded. The moral of the story? Inequality is an inescapable fact of the world so put your big-girl panties on and deal with it. Wealth inequality is as much an inescapable fact of reality as is the obvious inequality of physical ability, mental ability, and so on.

Pro tip: Don't try showing off this argument to impress girls at dinner parties, it doesn't work.

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Re: The Good, the Beautiful, and the Left/Bitching about the Cultural Left

Post by Physiocrat » Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:21 pm

Neodoxy wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:03 am
I do think that we are likely to interpret the same thing said by men and women slightly differently. For many competitive positions I do think that this will tend to favor men over women. I will admit that this is reversed for certain kinds of positions and situations. I also think that it is a sign that a woman excelling in a male dominated field is a sign of something exceptional about that individual, and so I am likely to be predisposed towards her on the assumption that she might bring something new and interesting to the table, but that's a bit further out there. At any rate, as such if you have candidates for a position who were highly equal I would probably go with a female candidate over a male candidate. This depends somewhat on the precise situation, however. It is not a hard and fast rule.
I see that reasoning but what I tend to see is when women enter previously exclusive male fields they end up being run for the benefit of women at the expense of the previous goals of the organisation. Note the constant pressure to make work environments friendly to women. Mixed social groupings tend female since woman are on average better able to navigate the interpersonal dynamics and that men often defer to female preferences - hello White Knighters everywhere, so the organisation tends to female modes of sociability. This doesn't mean never to hire women but that even if a single appointment could be good, once you hit a critical number the nature of the organisation can significantly change.

The current SJW movement is characteristically female, and female heavy, in its modus operandi - public shaming and ostracism of the threat rather than robust discourse which is a much more masculine mode of interaction. SJWism treats threats to preferred minorities as a mother treats threats to her children.
The atoms tell the atoms so, for I never was or will but atoms forevermore be.

Yours sincerely,

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