Friday Ephemera
Always Do Both Sides

Elsewhere (65)

John Ellis on cultivated victimhood and the Angry Studies racket

Just as Pinocchio went off to school with high hopes, only to be waylaid by J. Worthington Foulfellow, minority students are met on the way to campus by hard-left radicals who claim to have the interests of the newcomers at heart but in reality prey on them to advance their own selfish interests. Of course, what black students need is the same solid traditional education that had raised Irish, Italians, and Jews to full equality. But that would not serve the campus radicals’ purpose. Disaffected radicals wanted to swell the ranks of the disaffected, not the ranks of the cheerfully upward mobile. Genuine progress for minority students would mean their joining and thus strengthening the mainstream of American society - the mainstream that campus radicals loathe… 

As thinkers, campus radicals are poor role models for students. Their ideas are simple and rigid, and they rely heavily on conspiracy thinking that infers far too much from too little. They are powered by emotional commitments that are highly resistant to the lessons of experience. As a result, their cherished ideas are now virtually obsolete, and strike any reasonably well-informed observer as downright silly. The minority students that they attract into their orbit are dragged down to this low intellectual level.

Which may explain why disagreeing with Obama is, for some, always, always racist

And I’m sure it’s purely coincidental that Laurie Penny rails against the “small, ugly ambitions” of bourgeois advancement, and shrieks “fuck social mobility,” while so many of her leftist colleagues want to block off escape routes on ideological grounds. Because they care so very, very much.

For more on cultivated grievance and its degrading effects, see this lecture by David Horowitz.

Kay Hymowitz on social mobility and feedback loops

You can’t grasp what’s happening at the lower end of the income scale without talking about family breakdown. In fact, the single-mother revolution, as I’ll call it, takes us a long way toward understanding the socioeconomic problems on everyone’s mind these days: poverty, inequality, and the inability of those at the bottom to move up… As of 1970, 11 percent of births were to unmarried mothers; by 1990, that number had risen to 28 percent. Today, 41 percent of all births are non-marital. And for mothers under 30, the number is 53 percent… 

The single-mother revolution has left us with the following reality. At the top of the social order is a positive feedback loop, with kids raised in stable, high-investment and relatively affluent homes going to college, finding similar mates, and raising their own children in stable, high-investment and relatively affluent homes. At the bottom is a negative feedback loop, with kids raised by single mothers in unstable, low-investment homes finding themselves unable to adapt to today’s economy and going on to create more unstable, single-mother homes.

See also Heather Mac Donald on poverty and behaviour

And Fabian Tassano on being labelled right-wing:  

I do not think of this blog as right-wing, though others may. If I had to file it under anything, it would be under {critique, genuine}. This in contrast with {critique, phoney}, meaning the kind of critique you currently get from the cultural establishment (e.g. Britart is “challenging,” literary theory is “deeply questioning,” contemporary sociology “analyses prejudices”), in which the original sense of the word critique has become inverted. […] To pretend the cultural landscape is not at present utterly dominated by leftist sentiment (pro-state, pseudo-egalitarian, anti-capitalist) is just silly. The fact that such sentiment tends no longer to be referred to as leftist is merely a sign of how hegemonic it has become. 

See, for instance, these intellectuals of tomorrow, their educators, and almost anything here tagged ‘academia.’ And then of course there’s “ourartistic and cultural establishment, whose “debates,” “critiques” and “interrogations” have entertained us no end. 

By all means add your own.