This is a comment, posted by “chlamor,” on an Alter Net article on a self-proclaimed “yuppie” who “goes green” by moving to a farm in New Mexico.
There is much pretending throughout the progressive and liberal community.
Success and the good life, credentials and status, position and privilege must be protected, at least for people like “us.” At the same time, our position and privilege is dependent upon playing a certain role. We must pretend that we are not defending privilege and position and must pretend that we are for the downtrodden. We must pretend that privilege and position is all earned, and that anyone could have anything that we have. We must defend the system of dog-eat-dog competition
When our bluff is called, there is no amount of time and energy we will spare in internecine warfare arguing fine points of what a liberal is, or what our position should be on each and every minute issue and sub-issue and variations on every issue. These arguments can never be resolved, because there is no basis of consensus. Actually there is a consensus, but an important component of the consensus is that we never talk about it and we must pretend that it isn’t there.
The consensus from which liberals-progressives-Democrats operate:
“We are the better people. We are smarter, we are humane, we are more compassionate, we are better informed. We are better citizens, we are more cooperative and realistic. We are winners, not losers, and we deserve everything we get. We are spiritually superior. We are centered and balanced, calm and insightful. We are on the right side of history. We are building a better world.
Most of the problems in the world are the result of stupid people running things. If we smart people were in charge, all of the problems could be solved with science and technology and rational social planning.
Class analysis, and the struggles of working class people against tyranny have no place in modern society. They are obsolete and passe, and only something that we read about or see in movies. Romantic as those stories are, they are no substitute for hard-headed practical reality, whether we like it or not. This is a matter of being a mentally healthy, modern, well-adjusted adult in society. None of the lessons from history apply, because things are different now. Only strange maladjusted people are attracted to obsolete political ideas. They are all obviously losers, and are a great danger, almost as much of a danger as the Republicans are.
Since politics and economics in the traditional sense are dead, we embrace a new paradigm of self improvement and self-actualization. Anything that interferes with our focus on ourselves and our pursuit of creating ourselves as an actualized being is to be rejected. The way to achieve the perfect society is first to create a perfect self. Meanwhile, so long as the authorities do not interfere with our self-actualization, we must comply in all ways with that authority. This allows us perfect self-expression within perfect social conformity. Anyone who attacks our personal choices is the enemy, and anyone who attacks the social system based on personal choice is also the enemy.
Others, however, who do not share our values are not to be given personal choice, when and as we can prove that their personal choices are wrong, often with convoluted claims that their choice impacts us somehow. We support the police state and massive incarceration of people, so long as they are being harassed and imprisoned for the right reasons. Any variance from our idea as to how people should be is the right reason, by definition.
We believe that we must ‘be the change we wish to see,’ and the change we wish to see is more people like us: polite, talented, beautiful, intelligent, calm, successful, clever, enlightened. So we merely need to be ourselves, focus on ourselves, and serve ourselves. Those who cannot or will not become like us need to back down and get out of the way.”
It’s so bizarrely true too. Some of the responses garnered self-cataloguing that chlamor brilliantly picks up on without even decending to the imaginary level of the self-indulgent liberal-progressives’ clash with the “pretenders.” Cathyc responds:
What do YOU mean by the ‘progressive and liberal community’? To whom are you referring, exactly? People who PRETEND they are progressive and/or liberal?
Believe it or not, there are people in this world who ARE actually making progress with their lives, usually painstakingly slow progress, but REAL as opposed to pretend progress. I’m one such person. I’m in no hurry; one can’t hurry nature….
BTW, I’m so involved and focused on my natural progress, I don’t pay much heed to my critics aka The Pretenders. As far as I’m concerned, I’m ALIVE, they’re not and Vive la Difference!
To which, chlamor replies without denying or affirming Cathyc’s demand of “What do YOU mean by the ‘progressive and liberal community’? To whom are you referring, exactly?”
Re-read my post.
Then re-read your response.
Take note of how many times you referred to yourself.
Proving the very point.
Amazing how deeply inculcated is the self-indulgence.
It’s just swell when people refuse to give up their desire.