MONDAY, JUNE 17, 2019

Starting tomorrow, "Desegregate" the elite!
Why does (the state of) New York have so many "segregated schools?"

In what sense can the state be said to be running such schools at all?

Everybody knows the answers, but nobody wants to state them! According to leading anthropologists, our tribe's devotion to Liberal Scold Culture—an impulse for which these experts say our floundering species is "hard-wired"—keeps us enacting our famous "performative virtue" regarding such highly fraught questions.

How much merit might these future theories contain? We can't necessarily tell you that, but our reports last week went exactly like this:
"Segregation" and scold:

Tuesday, June 11:
The "segregated schools" of New York (State)! Empire (State) of the scolds!

Wednesday, June 12: What makes New York (State) the worst of all? Thanks to lazy scholarship, we can't exactly say!

Thursday, June 13: There's no way to "integrate" New York's schools—State and City both!

Friday, June 14:
Stupid old Biden opposed it back then. No one supports it today!
Starting tomorrow, we examine the New York Times' lonely, performative fight to "integrate" New York City's schools.

As leading anthropologists tell us, no one have ever loved the elite quite the way the elite do. The Times keeps demanding "Desegregation now!"—but just for the top one percent!

Free the Gotham One Percent! Our reports begin tomorrow; there may be some mild disarray.


  1. "As leading anthropologists tell us, no one have ever loved the elite quite the way the elite do."

    Eli... - what? The word "elite" has the meaning that doesn't fit the group you describe, dear Bob.

    "Dembots", or "establishment hacks", or "establishment minions".

    ...incidentally, same is true for the word "expert"...

  2. Here is an interesting essay on Somerby's topic, that PC/Social Justice scolding is driving people to Trump:

    1. Turns out Conservatives are nothing but reactionaries. Who knew?

  3. Somerby and conservatives have grabbed the term performative and turned it upside down. The original meaning of performative is the opposite of the way the term is being used by the right.

    Somerby uses the term to refer to words that stand in place of actions and make a person feel self-righteous simply by talking about action without actually doing anything. It is social justice signaling without doing anything except calling others names. This is not the performative theory of Austin, described in Wikileaks as follows:

    "The term derives from the founding work in speech act theory by ordinary language philosopher J. L. Austin. In the 1950s, Austin gave the name performative utterances to situations where saying something was doing something, rather than simply reporting on or describing reality."

    Wikipedia further defines performativity as using words that by themselves achieve action, words that by themselves do something, not words that stand in place of taking action:

    "Performativity is a complex concept that can be thought of as a language which functions as a form of social action and has the effect of change. ... Common examples of performative language are making promises, betting, performing a wedding ceremony, an umpire calling a strike, or a judge pronouncing a verdict."

    This is a difficult concept to understand, but turning the meaning inside out and using it to mean the reverse is a way of neutering the idea. Calling someone a racial epithet would be performative because the word itself has the capacity to hurt another person by placing them into a social status and reminding them of the power others have to do physical violence and to deny equal opportunity. Calling someone racist does not have that power because the person so labeled doesn't buy into the beliefs behind it, nor is there any social consequence inherent to the label, any more than calling someone a social justice warrior has consequences or achieves anything.

    Calling someone's complaints about racism performative virtue signaling is the opposite of what the term means because, as the right uses it, they mean that someone is doing nothing but feeling good about themselves by using words to claim leftist goodness. If the statements of liberals objecting to racism and sexism did achieve something besides making the hearers angry, those words would be performative, not because they signaled virtue but because they changed behavior of those engaging in racist and sexist behaviors.

    So, the key is whether calling someone a racist does any good beyond virtue signaling. I believe it does, as do most liberals. Conservatives don't. Because they don't, their use of the word performative has corrupted the meaning of that word. Peformative doesn't mean "virtue signaling". It means that words have the power in and of themselves, not by reference. This is an important distinction because performativity implies that using words to label bad behaviors can change people's actions. That is why liberals do it -- not to feel good about themselves as people of virtue.

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    2. Somerby and conservatives have grabbed the term performative and turned it upside down. The original meaning of performative is the opposite of the way the term is being used by the right.

      You're right, except that I doubt Somerby was in the vanguard among the early adopters for this usage. Given that when used in a political context the term readily suggests a pejorative meaning to anyone not familiar with the "complex concept" it was intended to designate, the triumph of this corruption was inevitable.

      This battle is lost.

    3. Somerby is just pissed no one pays him any mind, so his notion is to gaslight liberals.

      Or maybe he has dementia.

  4. You have to call Conservatives "racists". How else would you know about their strong ideological support of Political Correctness?

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