Worst possible way to seek progress: Salon seems to have made a new year’s resolution—a resolution to make us even dumber.
Yesterday, the lowbrow pseudo-liberal site was offering thoughtful ruminations on “The 5 most haunting masturbation-related injuries” and “Behold the glory of the p*ssy!: My orgasmic meditation awakening.”
The site’s dumbness, and its sex obsession, continue to get ramped up. Today, though, it offers a political piece whose ultimate dumbness may not be apparent.
We refer to the piece by Ann Jones, an American living in Norway. The piece appears beneath these Salonistic headlines:
“Has America gone crazy?”Jones describes admirable aspects of Norway’s social democracy, making invidious comparisons to our less generous American systems. As a general matter, we tend to agree with her policy judgments. But this is the very unfortunate way her unhelpful piece ends up:
It's a question that dogs me wherever I travel abroad—and one for which I increasingly have no easy answer
JONES (1/13/15): It’s hard to know why we are the way we are, and—believe me—even harder to explain it to others. Crazy may be too strong a word, too broad and vague to pin down the problem. Some people who question me say that the U.S. is “paranoid,” “backward,” “behind the times,” “vain,” “greedy,” “self-absorbed,” or simply “dumb.” Others, more charitably, imply that Americans are merely “ill-informed,” “misguided,” “misled,” or “asleep,” and could still recover sanity. But wherever I travel, the questions follow, suggesting that the United States, if not exactly crazy, is decidedly a danger to itself and others. It’s past time to wake up, America, and look around. There’s another world out here, an old and friendly one across the ocean, and it’s full of good ideas, tried and true.Crazy may be too strong a word! Are Americans backward and greedy, or simply ill-informed and asleep? At the new Salon, deeply self-impressed, judgmental minds want to answer such questions!
This is vintage Salonism. In this analytical model, we the liberals hurl an array of insults at the American people, letting them know that they are vastly dumber than we are.
In truth, nothing could be a whole lot dumber than this pseudo-liberal name-calling. Here at THE HOWLER, we have taken to noting the dumbness in the way our own liberal tribe tends to function. People hate it when we do that. Imagine how effective it is to hurl such insults at those in the other tribe, to endlessly name-call The Others.
We tend to agree with Jones’ views on social policy. That said, we’re struck by how little she can explain the ways our social attitudes and policies have developed. Meanwhile, the comments to her piece are more depressing still.
Go ahead—read those comments! You’ll encounter a stew of cultural attitudes which make the plutocrats glad.
In this unpleasant, low-IQ stew, we the liberals go on and on about how dumb The Others are. For ourselves, we can think of nothing dumber than this attitude among us, the all-knowing tribe.
At present, we liberals have almost no skill at listening to those who may not agree with our basic views and outlooks. Our insults virtually guarantee that we’ll never be heard.
The dumbness of the Salonist reader leaps out from the comments. At one point, a reader tries to explain why it’s easier for smaller, homogeneous countries like Norway to institute and maintain social democracies:
COMMENTER (1/13/15): In brief summary, I feel that the single best explanation for most of the questions posed by these Europeans is that American is not and never has been a nation of a single people. We are a very loose collection of various "tribes", each tribe feeling little real connection to each of the others despite the sometimes incessant flag waving.The commenter points to one of the difficulties confronting us as a sprawling, multiethnic nation with a brutal racial history. But here’s the thoughtful reply she receives—from “Aunt Messy,” an inveterate Salonist bomb-thrower:
COMMENTER: No. The correct answer to "Has America gone crazy?" is, "Yes".That's perfect Salonism! Later, low-IQ readers adopt the most reductive interpretations of similar thoughts and suggestions. We liberals know how to be anti-racist in the dumbest possible ways, and we’re eager to silence all who might seem to disagree with our own low-IQ formulations.
What was that commenter talking about? For one example, Paul Krugman has explained that we didn’t get national health care in the aftermath of World War II, the way many European nations did, because Southern pols were afraid that some such system would force the racial integration of Southern hospitals.
If Krugman’s explanation is correct, our failure to get national health care was part of the tragic legacy of our brutal racial history. We modern liberals tend to react to such information by dropping R-bombs on The Other Tribe in the dumbest possible ways.
For ourselves, we tend to agree with Jones on basic policy points, but her instinctive name-calling strikes us as amazingly dumb on a political basis. That too is an artifact of our tribal society, whose excesses makes the plutocrats glad.
Divide and conquer! In those hectoring comments, you see the eternal plutocrat strategy being played out—by us!
All too often, we modern liberals are very dumb and almost prehistorically tribal. For fun and profit, the new Salon is working hard to dumb us down even more.