Sunday, August 22, 2004
Why the left are stupid
I have little…. no, make that no patience for the left. For good reason.
I mentioned to a leftie friend that 43 Iraqis had written a highly eloquent statement as to why John Howard was right to go to war, in response to the daiquiri diplomats.
He dismissed these Iraqis as 'ignorant'.
When I then advised him to perhaps speak to Iraqis as to why a large majority believe the war was just, he said ‘I don’t need to speak to Iraqis to know what is good for them’.
And therein lies the obscene arrogance and misguided nature of the left. They KNOW what is good for everyone. They KNOW what is right for everyone.
The above is a post from Revenge of the Hamster
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Welfare as power: "Most European politicians, bureaucrats, and even intellectuals will, of course, favor the massive and now virtually bankrupt welfare state there, in part because it keeps them in power. Europe, from where I originally hail, is to all intents and purposes a politically elitist continent and, sadly, most ordinary folks put up with this because, well, bad habits are hard to shake."
Elitist enemies of America: "Fighting to send arms to Saddam, resisting post-9/11 attempts to toughen visa requirements, struggling to keep American parents from rescuing their kidnapped kids in foreign countries, doing everything it can to shut down the Iraqi democracy movement -- amazingly enough, this is the record of the U.S. State Department, an often out-of-control organization that acts at odds with our nation's best interests more often than most Americans realize".
Monday, August 16, 2004
Do we recognise our elites?
By Rafe Champion
"Why do we celebrate our athletes as high achievers but rail against our so-called culural elites?" This is the theme of a piece by Tony Stephens, an experienced Sydney Morning Herald columnist, in "Spectrum" on Saturday 14 August.
The answer is actually very simple. The athletes who are celebrated work hard to achieve excellence and their achievements can be measured in relation to objective standards. Similarly, those cultural performers who are genuinely accomplished do receive public acclaim to some extent, even if it falls short of the recognition given to elite athletes in the most publicised sports. But how many people would recognise the current Australian bowls champion or our best professional cyclists (before the Tour de France).
I am not aware of any outstanding actors, opera singers, composers, artists or writers who are railed against in their capacity as leading cultural performers.
The so-called cultural elites who are subjected to criticism are not generally cultural performers, they are left-wing intellectuals and commentators. For the most part they have not achieved excellence by any objective standard and they are not railed against in those aspects of performance where they have achieved excellence. Cultural performers who take on the role of left-wing commentators are likely to attract criticism on specific points, but not on account of their achievements in their own fields.
So the more interesting question is why does Tony Stephens ask the question.
The tall poppy syndrome
Tony Stephens suggested "Part of the answer could be that so many Australians have a problem with ambition". This has been called the tall poppy syndrome. More research is required on the ecology of excellence in sport and other pursuits. This would need to probe whether Australians are any different from others in our attitudes to ambition in various forms and fields. But this has next to nothing to do with the matter of railing against left-wing intellectuals.
Nor has it anything to do with the example that Stephens offers of a tall poppy ignored. He wrote that "John Passmore died in Canberra three weeks ago...Passmore was not well known in Australia but his books had made him a philosopher of international standing". While the media were full of the antics of drug-using cyclists, the death of Passmore "the gold medal thinker" atracted scarcely any attention.
There are two reasons for that. One is that Passmore was an outstanding scholar and expositor but he was not a man of original thoughts. He was not really a gold medal thinker by the highest standards. The other reason is that I do not recall that the "railed against" intellectual elites ever made serious efforts to explain Passmore's achievement to a wider public. The philosopher who is beloved of the cultural elites , Jacques Derrida, the man who packed the Sydney Town Hall, is a charlatan by reasonable (Passmore) standards. Maybe that is just the cultural cringe, our progressive intellectuals would rather celebrate a foreign guru than a genuine local achiever.
Becoming the clever country
Tony Stephens wrote "To rail against elites is to fly agains an accepted principle of the last 15 years - that Australians should aspire to world's best practice in seeking to become a clever country".
1. We are still waiting to find what genuine elites are being railed against.
2. It has always, from time immemorial, been a principle of good parenting and teaching to encourage people to be clever and do their best. Maybe 15 years ago some politician or a progressive intellectual decided to make this a public policy, but the policies put in place for that purpose, such as the Dawkins university reforms, are absurd.
Cultural elites as opponents of mainstream Australia
At last we are getting warm in our search for the railed-against elites. It seems that the Prime Minister depicted cultural elites as opponents of mainstream Australia. This grouping includes people with interests in multiculturalism, Aboriginal issues, and republicanism. Actually it applies to people with a particular kind of approach to these issues, approaches driven by left-wing intellectuals, recruiting public resources for special interests regardless of the best interests of the people at large, even including most of those who are supposed to be the beneficiaries.
The so-called elites are not railed against for being high achievers, they are called to account for perceived shortcomings in their political philosophies, their methods and the outcomes of the policies that they advocate.
The above article originally appeared here on August 15th., 2004. Rafe's site is here
Sunday, August 15, 2004
Political pretenders: "Sometimes little things can tell you about big things. While Sen. John Kerry and his running-mate Sen. John Edwards were recently photographed at lunchtime at Wendy's, to show what regular guys they are, their real lunch was from a local yacht club, which is more their speed in real life. There is nothing wrong with eating lunch from or at a yacht club. What is wrong is being phony -- and thinking the American people need to be conned. Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president four times while never pretending to be anything other than what he was, a born member of the elite class."
Friday, August 13, 2004
The world of celebrity and the world of the Democratic Party are now joined at the hip. They are one. Their interests, presumably, coincide.... Isn't it becoming harder by the day to take the Democrats seriously as the party of the common man and the left-out? Besides these people, the party's primary sources of support have become trial lawyers and Wall Street financiers. It is becoming a party run by a new class of elites who make fast money--$25 million for 30 days work on a movie, millions (even billions) winning lawsuits against doctors or asbestos users, millions to do arithmetic for a business merger. But they're all running against "Halliburton." ... The days when in the same breath you said AFL-CIO, blue-collar and Democrats are gone. The industrial unions, which connected the party to its authentic roots, are downstairs and out of sight of the nouveau arriviste Democrats.
Monday, August 02, 2004
Here is a Leftist who is depressed at the Left's failure to achieve much in America recently -- despite their dominance of education, the media etc. At least he puts his finger on one of the big problems of the Left -- their elitism: "Can they rid themselves of a nagging contempt for the unhip, the poorly educated, and the God-fearing? If the left is not a movement of and for working people— blemishes and all— then it has little chance to regain its previous influence".
There is a wonderful story about Ronald Reagan here. Leftists despise ordinary people. Ronald Reagan loved them.
A typically arrogant Leftist mourns the fact that the pesky working people of Kansas are not voting for "their" party. George Will points out the elitist assumptions involved. See also here. That lots of pesky working class people insist on voting conservative has irked the Left for a long time. I did some academic research on the phenomenon over over 30 years ago -- in which I showed that working class conservatives had more normal attitudes than working-class Leftists.
A good comment on Leftist egotism from the inimitable Dalrymple: "Youthful egotism becomes the beginning and end of political wisdom. This attitude may mark the fundamental difference between the modern conservative and the modern radical: the conservative thinks he is a drop in a stream; the radical thinks he is, or ought to be, the stream itself."
WHY THE LEFT LOATHE GWB
The Left may have lost the Cold War but they have won the culture war. They and their politically correct assumptions dominate in the bureaucracy, the media, the educational system and Hollywood. Even business has largely been forced to kowtow to what Leftists think is a good thing. And that is why Leftists hate holdouts from the old order -- such as George W. Bush, Christianity and Fox News. The complete domination that they pant for is so close and yet still not complete. It is being spoilt by these stupid and evil renegades who cannot and will not see what is obviously right and proper. And Bush is a Texas oil-man, for God's sake! How incorrect can you get? A genuine robber baron from the 19th century who has somehow grabbed the levers of power that belong to them! And he looks and sounds so ordinary! He has no high-flown interests, likes sports, mangles his speech and does not have a head full of theories. He sounds more like a shoe-shine man than someone who can talk the feelgood Leftist talk -- as Clinton can. And worst of all, he is an old-fashioned Bible Christian! He is the exact opposite of the elite that should be running the show. He is the spoiler, the barrier, the last obstacle to their "brave new world".
Simple, isn't it?
REALITY: IT IS LEFTISTS WHO HAVE LOWER IQs
I note that Keith Burgess-Jackson has once again tackled the arrogant and elitist Leftist claim that Leftists are more intelligent than conservatives are. Keith however simply answers assertion with assertion. Leftists say that they are obviously more intelligent and Keith replies that there is obviously no difference. Nobody ever seems to quote any research findings on the subject. But there ARE findings in the academic literature that bear very directly on the question. I know. I had a minor part in writing them up. They have been in the academic literature for over 30 years and are also on the internet. So why are they never quoted? I suspect that I hardly need to mention one reason: Because they show LEFTISTS to be less intelligent! Another reason, however, is that academic papers are very hard for most people to decipher. So I have just posted a fresh copy of the paper on the net to which I have added an explanatory addendum that explains the findings in layman's terms. To go straight to the addendum click here.
Note that no correlation is ever perfect in the social sciences so it is perfectly consistent to have some very intelligent Leftists even though most Leftists are of lesser intelligence. Note also that the finding is yet another example of Leftist "projection" (seeing your own faults in others). If you want to know what is true of Leftists, just read what they say about conservatives.
And the Conning Tower gives a few examples of how clueless even prominent Leftists can be. Given how much Leftists fail to take account of (in human nature and much else besides), there is certainly zero difficulty in seeing Leftist policies as unintelligent.
The sheer arrogant prejudice involved in the Leftist claim of superiority is clearly revealed in the recent claim by a
major German news magazine that John Kerry may be too smart for America. They have convinced themselves that America as a whole is dumb. I think the history of the last 100 years reveals who the dumb ones are!
Arrogant Leftist elitism still thriving in Germany: "Michael Muller, deputy head of the Social Democrats' parliamentary party: Rejecting the idea of a referendum, he loftily declared, "Sometimes the electorate has to be protected from making the wrong decisions."