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Works and Days

America in the Age of Myth

April 1st, 2013 - 10:44 pm

Education? Public unions are saintly. Charter schools and vouchers are satanic. But the aristocrat, who knows best what is good for the masses, prefers and can afford the private school, and feels no guilt in his choice because his version is liberal while the more low-brow alternative is often crappy and not that much better than the public offering. (E.g., if you wish to duck out of the public school system, at least have the class to do it with style rather than on the cheap: a Castilleja or Andover rather than First Christian Academy.)

In lieu of the traditional aristocrat estate, peerage, or title, the outward manifestation of aristocracy is an Ivy League brand or a West Coast Stanford version. The proper campus is one’s lifelong entrée. The right quad is where your kids meet the right mate and receive a bumper sticker that opens the right doors. Such university snobbery is inconsistent with classical liberalism, but not with liberal aristocratic values, which are based on exclusionary criteria. For the NBC anchor, or the Massachusetts senator, or the Google executive, the key is to get your kid into the right prep school, as requisite for the even more correct Ivy League, where the perfect spouse and Facebook founders-like coterie are found. It is not just that junior will emerge with correct ideas about gay marriage, abortion, green power, the U.S. role abroad, and the poor, but that he will be seen, by virtue of his degree, as having the right ideas.

Apartheid is the unifying theme of coastal aristocracy. Without it, reality would disabuse the grandee of his worldview. Take any tenured Berkeley professor of environmental studies and make his existence hinge on squeezing a daily profit out of a Selma Stop-N-Go, and this gentle brontosaurus would turn into a Tyrannosaurus rex in a nanosecond.  Therefore exclusion of all sorts from the underbelly of America is an essential.

One associates with mostly fellow one percenters. One picks and chooses friends on the basis of where they work and where they were educated and the views they hold. A Chevron field job, a University of Idaho degree in sports journalism, a strong aversion to abortion — all this is impermissible. In some Frankenstein-like laboratory, an evil genius cooked up Sarah Palin, whose looks, accent, background, views, and style were designed to enrage the coastal aristocracy.

I used to think that the coastal aristocracy was just hypocritical in matters of race, but as I age I fear I have become more cynical: it is not white guilt that explains why the coastal elite seek gestures of progressive caring  (how else would an anti-Semitic, race-baiting provocateur like Al Sharpton be given his own show? Or an unaccomplished Touré rate over the accomplished Dr. Carson?), but a real aversion to mixing with unlike kind. On matters of race, the liberal worldview of affirmative action, busing, amnesty, and vast entitlements is a psychological mechanism for conniving to get your own into Princeton, for ensuring they are not schooled in fourth grade with a bused-in student body, and ensuring that you are not in the evening line at Save Mart as the only English speaker or privately racially profiling the two scary people who just lined up behind you at the convenience store checkout stand. An alien from Mars who studied the liberal aristocrat would conclude that he is a segregationist of the first order.

The Iconic UFW

Another myth. I opened my Easter Sunday Google browser and did not find a Christian icon on the page, but instead a (badly done) romantic rendition of a youthful Cesar Chavez, apparently our age’s version of a politically correct divinity.

Yet I wondered whether the midlevel Googilites who post these politically hip images knew all that much about Chavez. I grant in this age that they saw no reason to emphasize Christianity on its most holy day. But there is, after all, Miriam Pawel’s 2010 biography of Chavez still readily accessible, and a new essay about him in the Atlantic — both written by sympathetic authors who nonetheless are not quite the usual garden-variety hagiographers.  To suggest something other than sainthood is heresy in these parts, as I have discovered since the publication of Mexifornia a decade ago.

I grew up in the cauldron of farm-labor disputes. Small farms like ours largely escaped the violence, because there were five of us kids to do the work in summer and after school, and our friends welcomed the chance to buck boxes or help out propping trees or thinning plums. Hired help was rare and a matter of a few days of hiring 20 or so locals for the fall raisin harvest. But the epic table grape fights were not far away in Parlier, Reedley, and down the 99 in Delano. I offer a few impressions, some of them politically incorrect.

First, give Chavez his due. Farmworkers today are more akin to supposedly non-skilled (actually there is a skill required to pruning and picking) labor elsewhere, with roughly the same protective regulations as the food worker or landscaper. That was not true in 1965. Conservatives will argue that the market corrected the abuse (e.g., competition for ever scarcer workers) and ensured overtime, accessible toilets, and the end to hand-held hoes; liberals will credit Chavez — or fear of Chavez.

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Top Rated Comments   
He won it because he wasn't Bush. The global Left can't admit the real threats facing the world, such as radical Islam, because to do so would reveal what a load of rubbish their entire philosophy is. So, they heaped blame for all that was wrong in the world on the US in general and GW in particular. So, Here was Obama who 1) wasn't Bush and 2) also believed everything was America's fault and would set about fixing that by wrecking the country.

Of course, Leftist can't see anything beyond their own reflection in the mirror. As such they are totally blind to what will happen if the US once again is unable to enforce a degree of peace on the world. That will simply be regional and likely global wars. In short, the world will turn a much nastier place again. Thing is, this time humanity might not rise up again.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's been my experience that these Leftist aristocrats are perhaps some of the most helpless people on earth. Most of them are not the self-made men.

If life were equitable from birth and endowment, nepotism and connection not the rule; and riches couldn't buy the influence of the intelligent but corrupted servitude to mask the stench and mislead the masses in the hopes they too can join rank; these Leftists of the coasts would be the first to pass, virtually extinct in one generation.

Money may not buy happiness but it surely can help to sustain influence and buy power. Throw in most of these elite play by a different set of rules and are personally immune for their many failures, a protected class that never has to answer with any real consequence, I'm not sure why millions of Americans would be confused as to why we find ourselves on the brink of collapse. Sadly, millions more don't even realize how fragile America really is, believing America too big to fail. They are like sheep being led willingly to the slaughter.

Don't think these elitists haven't already planned their escape...once again to leave the rest of us to clean up their mess.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Rich, white 1-percenter liberals really are feudal-lord wannabees, and they actually manage to get the serfs to vote for them.

Obama and all his friends are 1-percenters.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (75)
All Comments   (75)
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In 2012 the U.S. Navy commissioned an underway supply ship named the USS Cesar Chavez. Apparently the Navy no longer does any research into the history of the person they're "honoring." Political correctness run a muck.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Will you run for governor of California? You are much needed!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think it would be a grevious error for VDH to do so. The Governor has relatively little power, per the state constitution. Thus, with a democrat-dominated legislature, VDH's term as governor would be a guaranteed failure. For California's government to become capable, it needs to be completely restructured. If VDH ran on such a platform, that might do the trick.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The "Ignobles" want to rain down on us.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Liberal aristocrats are like the three monkeys who hear no reality, think no reality, and say no reality. They engage in constant self-censorship of thought, word, and deed because any admission that there's a reality outside their closed world threatens their membership in the liberal tribe, and therefore their status, wealth, and prospects. There is zero chance of getting a tenure track faculty position if a young Ph.D. is an out and proud conservative, for example. So it pays to conform.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
and the lip-serviced wards of the 1% are regularly bribed with trinkets, to turn a blind eye to the hypocrisy.

Brilliant article. Thank you.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Look kids, a strawman.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
How dare you call our Dear Leader Obama such a thing! You must be a racist!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Look kids, Argumentum ad Ridiculum
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Look kids argumentum ad ridiculum.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Obama, he won the Nobel Prize, parlez-vous.
Obama, he won the Nobel Prize, parlez-vous.
Obama, he won the Nobel Prize,
And we all know when, but we don't know whys.
Hinkey-dinkey, parlez-vous.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Your faith in the ability, and willingness of the citizens to swallow the pill to heal them of their malaise has yet to be proved. Do they even know they ail?

The path to Obama was built brick by brick over decades, at least two generations of Americans - long before 1971 - by people you describe as aristocrats of the East Coast. Their models in the Massachusetts /Harvard Kennedys and the is it Arkansas/Yale or New York Clintons.

Those same people in charge of the civic institutions that contrived the myths of nobility beginning with their Camelot, their "revolution of the 1960s". Presumptive heir Edward hors de combat for POTUS/monarch? but okay as lifelong Father of the Senate with all inherent powers to CHANGE the nation.

Their dislike of the American Dream for "commoners" with their compulsion to signal their "superiority". Wannabee nobles, aristocrats of the old style in their regressive Progressivism, their ILLIBERAL liberalism, their do as I say not as I do. De haut en bas?

Only thing missiing is the powdered wig.

Their ambitions a regressive Progressivism for control from a central court, monarch, oligarchy of which they are courtiers angling for favoured position. Their New Age Court of Washington, East Coast aristocracy and social power. New Age Replacement of the 18th century Court in Westminster. To replace the model since its creation for the rights and dignity of the common man that Novus Ordo Seclorum of that olde USA.

Their enablers in public information - propaganda, entertainment/education with their 24/7/365 bread and circuses lulled into torpor enough of the citizens to approve their depredations and their models.

Too few citizens understand and care about the real meaning of "we're from the government and we're here to help". Which is only development of universal wisdom that there is no free lunch. Everrything has a price. Nothing is for nothing. But your small farmers, Armenian, Punjabi, Japanese and Americans who tote that bail, haul that barge do.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is part of it. But to really understand what we are witnessing, you have to take an even wider perspective: Crazy as it seems, this is nothing less than the first known attempted takeover of the world economic and political system by a secretive group of powerful international conspirators. Furthermore, for decades they have made a careful study of historical processes and trends, of the ebb and tide of human events, and drawn the appropriate lessons that have allowed them to incrementally install controlling mechanisms not only on the world economy, but on how we think, communicate, interact, raise our children, who we love and what we value. In other words they have, by and large, and to greater or lesser degrees, taken control of who we are, and are directing our actions as if we were puppets on a string. This is true totalitarianism because it takes place through mass seduction, rather than terror, transforming many of us into willing slaves. Many of us are awakening to this fact, which is why they are accelerating their efforts. There are ways to combat them, the resistance is underway, but it begins with awareness. Spread the word...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Prof. Hanson, I am surprised a first class mind such as yours has failed to grasp the obvious. Truth, with a capital T , has been replaced with, " Narrative ", with a capital N. That is why we are in the shape we are in. That also explains Obama's Nobel Prize. It was not the accomplishments of Obama that secured the prize, it was the story of Barak Obama that secured the prize. True or not you must admit it was a delightful story indeed!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Prof. Hanson, I am surprised a first class mind such as yours has failed to grasp the obvious. Truth, with a capital T , has been replaced with, " Narrative ", with a capital N. That is why we are in the shape we are in. That also explains Obama's Nobel Prize. It was not the accomplishments of Obama that secured the prize, it was the story of Barak Obama that secured the prize. True or not you must admit it was a delightful story indeed!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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