July 19, 2016

TRAITS ARE NO SUBSTITUTES FOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS, Aaron Clarey of Enjoy the Decline fame writes at his Captain Capitalism blog:

And then there’s leftist religions.

Like a zealot or religious fanatic, leftist fanatics worship and use their made-up religions to fill the hole of nothingness that is otherwise known as their life.  This is why you NEVER see the captain of the football team with a 3.8GPA join the “anarchist/marxist/minarchist” trench-coat wearing, movie-theater-shooting, nerd crowd.  Or the studious Asian engineering major block the interstate near campus.  They have lives.  They have meaning.  They have purpose.  They have agency.  They have value to the rest of society.

But again, those things require work, effort, rigor, math, and intellectual honesty.

Ergo, why do all that hard stuff when you can just claim a religion?

You’re a feminist!
You’re going green!
You eat only organic/non-GMO/gluten-free/whateverthefrickthey’llcomeupwithnextweek!
You’re fighting racism!
You’re helping the poor!
You’re a pacifist!
You have a ADDHDHHDH Autism or Aspergers are bi-polar or whatever you want to tell yourself.

You can claim allegiance to any one of an increasing number of bogus leftist religions and simply wear that trait on your sleeve like a badge of honor.  And the best thing about it, so AWESOME in fact that leftists masturbate to it, is…

you didn’t have to expend one calorie of energy on work to get it.  You simply “declared” you had this trait or believed this religion.  And now, not only does your worthless life have faux-worth.  You are a more intelligent, superior person to those troglodytes who don’t understand “intersectionality.”

Read the whole thing.

The blogger Ace of Spades has written about “The MacGuffinization of American Politics.”  As Ace wrote, “For Obama’s fanbois, this is not politics. This isn’t even America, not really, not anymore. This is a movie. And Barack Obama is the Hero. And the Republicans are the Villains. And policy questions — and Obama’s myriad failures as an executive — are simply incidental. They are MacGuffins only, of no importance whatsoever, except to the extent they provide opportunities for Drama as the Hero fights in favor of them.”

The media never covered Obama as though he was a normal politician submitting bills to Congress and meeting with foreign leaders. Instead, they covered him as though he was Cary Grant or Jimmy Stewart in an epic film as directed by Alfred Hitchcock, hence Ace’s name – the MacGuffin was the otherwise meaningless object that all the characters in an adventure movie desperately want. The microfilm in North By Northwest. The Soviet decoding device in From Russia With Love. The Death Star plans in Star Wars. The Ark of the Covenant, etc.

But I think it’s safe to say that all young people, or the vast majority of them, want to feel their life is some form of an epic quest for adventure, hence the near-universal popularity of films like the original (1977) Star Wars, the Lord of the Rings movies, or Batman Begins, all of which start off with their protagonist depicted as a callow youth, who precedes to then overcome two hours worth of adversity, to emerge by the time the credits roll as The Hero. As Joseph Campbell wrote in The Hero with a Thousand Faces, this quest for adventure is hardwired into most people, all the way back to Homer. (The author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, not the nuclear power plant worker who lives in Springfield.) Up until recently, most teenagers felt a similar sense of accomplishment and pride through such traditional avenues as academic advancement, athletic success, or learning a musical instrument.

But today, as Clarey writes, none of that hard work is necessary to feel life is some sort of epic quest overcoming seemingly near-impossible odds to succeed. Indeed, why even bother cracking a book or breaking a sweat, when, to borrow a line from Jonah Goldberg, “We’re in a weird Nietzschian transition moment where victimhood is the way you assert your will to power.” As he wrote last year:

In 2015, our society is shot through with Nietzschean ressentiment. Today it is a great sin on college campuses — and elsewhere! — to make anyone other than the “privileged” feel uncomfortable, challenged, or otherwise psychologically threatened by the use of the wrong words or concepts.

The University of California recently issued a set of guidelines about the terrible danger of “microaggressions” — small, usually unintended slights that allegedly hurt the feelings of the newly anointed classes of victims. One must no longer say that America is a “melting pot,” for to do so is to suggest that minorities should “assimilate to the dominant culture,” according to the new moralists at the University of California.

And one mustn’t say anything that advances “the Myth of Meritocracy.” Saying “America is the land of opportunity” or “everyone can succeed in this society if they work hard enough” is now a form of bigotry.

Of course, the surest way to guarantee that America is not a meritocracy is to teach young people not only that it isn’t one, but that it’s evil to say it is, or should be, one.

Today, the will to power through victimhood isn’t limited to modern-day academia, but racial relations (hence the “Black Lives Matter” movement, which the DNC-MSM is eager to sustain to maintain the ranks of minority voters), sexual politics in general, and all the way to Hollywood, where millionaire actors and actresses cry victimhood all the way to an even bigger bank account.

In this era of nihilism, in which traits substitute for accomplishments, a former POW running for the White House in 2008 is mocked for being too old and infirm, and an ultra-successful businessman four years later is mocked for giving his employees cancer. Meanwhile, a failed community organizer is compared to God by magazine editors who should know better (and actually do, somewhere deep down in their hearts). And we wonder why ISIS appeals to far too many disaffected youth, as a macho religious alternative to becoming Nietzsche’s dread “Last Man,” as personified by a sniveling figure such as Footie Pajamas Obamacare Boy.

All of which means, as Walter Hudson writes at PJM, “We’ve Entered [An] Era Where ‘No Lives Matter.’”

Emmanuel Goldstein couldn’t have said it any better.

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