sheltered from the real world

I’ve come to the conclusion that there are two types of people in society, those who live in the real world and those who live entirely sheltered from the real world. The big divide is not between liberals and conservatives or between Christians and atheists. The big divide is in people’s experience of the real world.

Living in the real world generally means having a real job. A job in which you actually do something useful and productive. That immediately excludes everyone in politics and the bureaucracy, and everyone in the media and academia.

The real jobs category also excludes most female jobs which are generally hobby jobs rather than actual jobs. It does not exclude motherhood. Motherhood is most definitely a real job.

Those who have to confront the real world on a regular basis tend to view life very differently from those who are sheltered from reality. Their opinions on social issues are usually very different. Most of the beliefs that we think of as coming under the umbrella of cultural marxism, social justice or social liberalism cannot survive contact with the real world.

Those who live sheltered from the real world live are usually financially privileged. They don’t see the problems with things like immigration because they don’t have to face those problems. They almost certainly live in nice safe comfortable overwhelmingly white neighbourhoods where they are not directly affected. Money is a formidable cushion against unpleasant realities.

If you have first-hand contact with reality you know that immigration is a bad thing. You’ve seen the social devastation it causes and you’ve seen what overcrowding and the overloading of infrastructure does. Anyone who has had any contact with reality knows that feminism does not work and never can work.

The real world/sheltered world divide explains why so many people believe so many crazy things. It explains why women in particular believe crazy things. Most women these days are to some extent sheltered from unpleasant unrealities. If they engage in sexual promiscuity society will rescue them (which means ultimately that men will pay the bills for them). If they engage in foolish risk-taking activities society will rescue them (in other words men will rescue them).

The real world/sheltered world divide also explains that otherwise inexplicable phenomenon, the male feminist (that most contemptible of all human creatures). If you meet a male feminist you can be pretty much guaranteed he won’t be a truck driver or a farmer or an engineer or a plumber. He’ll inhabit one of those sheltered privileged little enclaves in which reality never intrudes. He’ll “work” for the government or he’ll be a lecturer in media studies or something equally useless.

The best antidote to crazy social beliefs is a good dose of reality but we live in a society in which a large proportion of the population will never have the slightest contact with the real world.

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the culture war accelerates

Those of us who deplore the social decay of the West have for many decades now become accustomed to the basic strategy of the Cultural Left. It’s been a strategy of gradualism. Push for radical social change but do it slowly enough that nobody really notices what’s happening, and ordinary people don’t get scared enough to resist. The boil the frog slowly approach.

All that has changed in the past few years. We’re now seeing a whole new strategy. It’s a strategy of pushing radical social change as far and as fast as possible. The Cultural Left no longer cares if the frog notices how hot the water is getting. It’s a strategy of relentless all-out attack on every front.

This change really became obvious when, with the homosexual marriage issue still not quite decided in their favour they were prepared to launch an all-out offensive on the trans front. The usual expectation would have been that they would wait and consolidate their victory in World War G for a few years before launching World War T.

Partly this is because the Cultural Left believes (correctly) that they are very close to final victory in the culture wars. There is no longer any need for caution. Now is the time to press home their advantage. Now is the time to crush the last few isolated pockets of resistance.

Of course another reason is that Brexit, the jump in support for the Front National in France and the Trump election win revealed the existence of pockets of resistance that were slightly larger than the Cultural Left/globalists had suspected. Their obvious intention now is to crush this resistance mercilessly, to ensure that such annoyances as Brexit and Trump can never happen again.

While the culture war accelerates we’re also seeing an extraordinary quickening in the pace at which western “democracies” are embracing totalitarianism. The major political parties (all of them) no longer even pretend to believe in actual democracy or any semblance of freedom of thought. In alliance with Big Business they are moving with terrifying speed to destroy any hint of opposition to the globalist/SJW agenda.

Time would seem to be running out rather quickly for the West.

to control society first control the culture

A commenter at Oz Conservative recently stated, “Liberals can only mount their progressive tyranny on non-liberals through the power of the state.” I’m not sure I agree with this, not completely anyway.
The current dominant ideology, a combination of globalism and liberalism, has gained its ascendancy mostly through gaining control of the culture. This process began early in the 20th century. By the 1960s liberal leftists were firmly in control of the worlds of art and literature. They controlled Hollywood, and most of the world of entertainment. They controlled most of the news media. They controlled the universities. They had thoroughly infiltrated most of the churches. They were well on the way to controlling the culture. Their cultural control is now total.
In most cases they did not advance their agenda through direct political means. They did not control the power of the state. They have certainly been able to force the state to enforce their agenda but this has been a fairly recent thing. In every case the coercive power of the state has only been used to compel obedience to cultural changes that have already taken place.
Homosexuality had already been culturally normalised before legislation was passed to make homosexual acts legal. Marriage had already been undermined before divorce laws were relaxed to the point of making marriage nothing more than a temporary sexual arrangement. Feminists had already gained acceptance of most of their program before feminism started to be legally enforced by the state.
The use of the judiciary to accelerate the rate of social change is a recent phenomenon and it has only been made possible by liberal domination of the culture (both high culture and popular culture). 
Liberals haven’t actually needed the power of the state to push their agenda. Nor have they needed to win election victories. As long as their control of the culture remains total they can rest assured that the power of the state can and will be used to reinforce their victories. Those victories are however always won by cultural battles, not political battles. Politics is downstream of culture.
It logically follows that liberalism cannot be defeated by conventional political means. Liberalism can only be defeated by wresting control of the culture away from them. That can only be achieved by a more powerful, more attractive, more dynamic, cultural force. At this point in time such a cultural force does not exist. Until it does liberalism will remain in the driver’s seat.

Ways of Seeing, wrongly

John Berger

Art critic John Berger is dead, at the age of 90. When I was a young leftist Berger was one of my heroes. Looking back now I can see that Berger was not only wrong about everything, he was dangerously wrong. Unfortunately Berger was immensely influential and his books are still used as university textbooks.

Berger was best-known for his 1972 BBC TV series (and its accompanying book) Ways of Seeing. A few years earlier Lord Kenneth Clark had presented a magisterial overview of western culture from the 12th century to the modern age in his muh-lauded Civilisation TV series. Ways of Seeing was intended as a counter to Clark’s program, undermining Clark’s  positive view of our culture. Where Clark celebrated western culture Berger was determined to deconstruct and destroy that same culture.
Modernist art is of course nothing more than a sustained attack on western civilisation. The problem for modernists is that anyone who isn’t blind or stupid (or sufficiently indoctrinated) can see that modernist art, when compared to the great works of the western tradition, is infantile rubbish. The only way to get modernist art accepted was to discredit the western artistic tradition. This was Berger’s project.
Berger was a marxist and his approach to art was marxist. Of course trying to apply marxist class analysis to the study of anything pre-19th century is futile. Classes, as understood in marxism, simply did not exist in a pre-industrial world. Berger wasn’t going to let that stop him.

It wasn’t enough to make people dislike the great works of western art. They had to be taught to see them as evil and patriarchal and oppressive. Berger saw all art as expressing a political ideology, because that was the only way he could understand art. Needless to say the western artistic tradition turns out to have been evil capitalist propaganda. Berger was also influenced by feminism so of course the great works of western art turned out to have been evil patriarchal propaganda. Berger had a considerable influence on feminist art criticism, one of the great blights of the modern age.

As is the case with so many art critics in the modern world I never got any sense that Berger actually liked art. He liked politics and he liked political art but he liked political art because it was political, not because it was art. Art as such was irrelevant. It was the political message that mattered.
Berger’s knowledge of art history was unimpressive but he knew how to cherry-pick works of art that he could use to advance his misguided theories.
The trouble is that we can’t just dismiss Berger as a wrong-headed misguided leftist loon (although that’s an accurate description of him) – Berger is solidly in the mainstream of modern art criticism. Our universities and art schools are infested with such people. The work of destruction, to which Berger was an enthusiastic contributor, goes on.

the 19th century roots of our cultural malaise

The great tragedy of western civilisation is that its very strengths are its fatal weaknesses. Openness, innovation, science, democracy and freedom are all no doubt wonderful things but they seem to lead inevitably to corruption, degeneracy, nihilism, despair, a loss of faith and finally cultural suicide.
Cultural marxism is often blamed for undermining the foundations of our civilisation but the process was already under way before cultural marxism began. By the time cultural marxism was in a position to exert any real influence the undermining was well advanced. 
One of the early manifestations of decline was the rise of modernism in art and literature. The exaltation of ugliness and squalor combined with an extreme hostility to traditional values made modernism a potent if subtle engine of destruction. Our cultural dynamism led to art and literature that corrupted and demoralised. Art and literature headed for the gutter, where they have remained ever since. Modernism produced music that was unlistenable, novels that were unreadable and art that was impossible to look at without being appalled. And modernism had already begun to exert its pernicious influence in the late 19th century, long predating cultural marxism.
Science has brought many benefits but it gave rise to a bleak inhuman and mechanistic worldview devoid of hope. It led us inexorably down the path to nihilism.
The growth of capitalism gave us prosperity but it destroyed communities. Rural areas became relatively depopulated while urban areas became hotbeds of crime and degeneracy.
Feminism in the 19th century promised to emancipate women but it enslaved them while destroying families.
Medicine made many advances in the 19th century but the medical profession developed delusions of grandeur, thinking that every social problem could be turned into a medical problem. As a result it gave birth to pseudosciences like psychiatry and psychology.
Democracy was supposed to usher in an era of unparalleled freedom. It has slowly but surely destroyed our freedoms and corrupted our governments. Democracy and corruption are like inseparable twins. 
The rise of mass media began in the 19th century with the explosive growth of newspapers. There were fond hopes that this would lead to healthy open debate. It led to propaganda and manipulation. Democracy and mass media were to a large extent responsible for the increasing madness of politics, as governments became steadily more short-sighted, cynical and reckless. This madness led to western civilisation’s first serious suicide attempt in 1914.
Cultural marxism succeeded so well because it took advantage of weaknesses and vulnerabilities that were already all too apparent. Cultural marxism could not have destroyed a healthy civilisation. The seeds of destruction were already present in the West. Cultural marxism did not plant those seeds although it certainly cultivated them assiduously.
If the remnants of our culture are to be saved we will need to address its inherent weaknesses and tendency to self-destruction. 

fighting the culture wars in the culture

I don’t know much about Andrew Klavan but he seems to be one of those mainstream conservatives who is wrong about most things. On the other hand he does seem to be right about at least one thing. He says

“Fight the culture wars in the culture. The culture wars are problematical because too often conservatives come across as anti-freedom or bigoted. That makes victory tough. I feel passionately about some cultural issues and indifferent to others, but I believe all of them should be fought on a cultural and informational level rather than a political one. For instance, I believe that abortion is the taking of a human life and that government therefore has a right to forbid it. But just speaking bluntly and honestly, I don’t think I can win that fight in the political arena right now. Happily, the truth may do what politics cannot. The truth is on my side and the more the truth gets out about what abortion looks like, how it’s done, and who the people who support it are, the more the public will know that it is unacceptable. Then we can win politically.”

There is at least some truth to this. The strategy of cultural marxism has been to change the culture first. The final political victories of the cultural left on issues like homosexual marriage have simply been mopping-up operations after the real battles were won. And the real battles were fought out in art and literature, in television series, in movies, in popular music. The idea of homosexual marriage had already been normalised in popular culture before to became a political issue. By the time it did become a political issue social conservatives had already lost.
If you look back you’ll find that the same method has been adopted in every major battle of the culture wars. The decisive battles are fought in Hollywood movies, on network TV series, in pop music. 
When you can to a very large extent control what people read, what they will see on television, what kind of movies they will watch, then you have pretty much total control of that society. If you have the schools and universities as well then you do have total control. The political process then becomes entirely irrelevant. The cultural left has always understood this. Very few conservatives have had any comprehension of this. Conservatives unfortunately have shown zero interest in actually fighting the culture wars in the culture.
It has to be admitted that the overall strategy behind cultural marxism was absolutely brilliant and it has been extraordinarily successful. 
Sadly conservatives have been unwilling to copy the successful tactics of the cultural left. The cultural left believes in winning at all costs. Any method is legitimate if it brings victory closer. When leftists gain a foothold in any organisation they start stacking it with their own supporters. It would never occur to them to hire on merit. If you have the correct political views you get hired. If you don’t have the correct political views you don’t get hired. End of story. Once cultural leftists gain control of an organisation they drive out their political opponents.
If conservatives actually want to win they need to be equally ruthless and equally indifferent to fair play.
Fifty years ago most of our cultural institutions were controlled by conservatives. Conservatives gave up their control through a monumental act of folly – they assumed that the cultural leftists were reasonable fair-minded people with whom it was possible to compromise and peacefully co-exist.
Amazingly, and tragically, most conservatives still accept that absurd assumption.

Stephen Fry falls victim to Twitter Two Minute Hate

I can’t help being vastly amused that the latest victim of a Twitter Two Minute Hate is – Stephen Fry!
Here we have a man who makes his living entirely on his reputation as a wit. Unfortunately he didn’t get the memo that wit is no longer permitted.
You know things are getting bad when even someone like Stephen Fry thinks Twitter is “frothy with scum” and has “started to smell. Really quite bad.”

I’ve never had much time for Stephen Fry but I must admit to feeling a grudging respect for him now. At least he doesn’t seem to have issued the usual groveling apology. In fact he’s come out fighting with a stinging attack on the Twitterati on his website.