The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The Liberal Bubble: ‘They Can’t Fathom That Somebody Disagrees With Them’

Posted on | April 9, 2015 | 133 Comments

So says a Silicon Valley CEO, describing the liberal echo chamber inside the tech industry that frigthens Republicans into silence:

One startup CEO who has worked in Silicon Valley for more than a decade says that while it’s popular to talk politics in the workplace, the underlying assumption is that everyone has similar views.
The CEO, who generally votes Republican and donates to GOP candidates—he spoke on background to conceal his right-leaning views—said that in 2012, “you wouldn’t want to say you’re voting for Romney in the election.” At the same time, openly expressing one’s support for Obama was “incredibly common.”
His opposition to raising the minimum wage is just one area where he diverges with most of his colleagues. “If you say something like, ‘We need a higher minimum wage,’ you don’t get critiqued,” he said. But he would never reveal his more conservative outlook on the matter.
“They can’t fathom that somebody disagrees with them,” he said. “And I disagree with them. So I’m not going to open up that box.” . . .

You can read the whole thing. How do these bubbles develop? It’s the universities, stupid. Go back and read William F. Buckley Jr.’s God and Man at Yale. In 1951, Buckley described the way liberalism had become an unquestioned belief system inside elite academia. Once liberalism had attained hegemonic authority on university campuses, its intellectual prestige was assured. If it is “smart” to believe in, say, Keynesian economics, then impressionable young people who want to seem smart will parrot the Keynesian orthodoxies. Bad ideas that become fashionable in academia are thus diffused into the larger society, as all the smart young people are herded off to college and indoctrinated in these ideas, before entering careers with other college-educated people.

“In the hands of a skillful indoctrinator, the average student not only thinks what the indoctrinator wants him to think . . . but is altogether positive that he has arrived at his position by independent intellectual exertion. This man is outraged by the suggestion that he is the flesh-and-blood tribute to the success of his indoctrinators.”
William F. Buckley Jr., Up From Liberalism (1959)

What happens is that people who never encounter doubt develop a fanatical certainty in their beliefs, and confuse these mere opinions with moral virtue. Consider again the question of Keynesian economics. I am not a government official and thus have neither influence over nor responsibility for our national economic policy. So my opinions about economics — I happen to be a devotee of the Austrian School — are nothing more than opinions. While I can urge others to read Mises and Hayek, and support politicians whose positions are more consonant with these views, it’s not as if doing this makes me better that other people. One sometimes encounters people who strike a “More Libertarian Than Thou” posture, but advocates of economic freedom tend to be tolerant people generally. By contrast, the advocates of interventionism (Keynesians, Marxists and Welfare State socialists) are invariably bullies possessed by a fanatical certainty in their own moral superiority. They expect to be admired and praised for their liberal zealotry, and are insulted if you fail to genuflect in their presence.

Liberalism is to academia what Islam is to Iran. If your worldview is decisively formed within the insular climate of an elite university, the equation “liberal = smart” is a formula you can never permit yourself to doubt, unless you are willing to admit that you have been hustled, scammed and bamboozled. A fellow with a diploma from Harvard or Stanford cannot confront the possibility that he has been swindled like an ignorant hick playing a carnival game at the country fair. This would inflict an irreparable injury to his self-esteem. He therefore seeks to avoid encounters with people who do not share his child-like faith in the Gospel of Liberalism. Thus, in any environment where liberals obtain power, they use that power to exclude and silence dissent. This is how liberals gained hegemony in our colleges and universities, in journalism and the entertainment industry, and how in the Obama Age they seek to institutionalize a Permanent Liberal Regime in government.



  • Squid Hunt

    And yet you repeat yourself.

  • JeffS

    It’s not an “explanation”, it’s an Army regulation.

    I can’t say about the other services; IIRC, they generally don’t wear Old Glory.

  • The original Mr. X

    They can’t fathom that somebody disagrees with them
    Yup. Liberals tend to treat their political views as somehow self-evident, so if you ask liberals what evidence they’ve got that universities are hotbeds of rape culture, or how exactly the patriarchy is oppressing them, they generally react like you or I would if somebody asked us to prove that the external world exists or that 2 + 2 = 4.

  • The original Mr. X

    Personally I blame the romantics, and their emphasis on feelings and emotion over “cold” “inhuman” logic. Have a society follow that view long enough, and you get the modern liberals who think that reality is determined by their emotional reaction to something.

  • Daniel Freeman

    Sorry, that doesn’t exist in terms of the dominant classes.

    That is an absurdly collectivist view of life. Do you even know any real people, or do you think we all just exist in your head?

    Hate does not beget love. Prejudice does not beget equality.

    If you replace “white” or “man” with “Jew,” large swathes of Tumblr become Nazi propaganda. They think like bigots and they talk like bigots, because that’s what they are.

  • Daniel Freeman

    There is no reward, but dissent will be punished. Just look at how male feminists are treated. The more compliant they are, the more is demanded of them. They can never be good enough.

  • Jerry

    Why does objective logic trump subjective feeling? If we empathized a bit more with other people, and based decisions less on supposedly logical bottom lines and spread sheets we’d have less problems overall. Those saying “it’s logical” are usually working from
    a place of either power or self interest so it’s not really objective after all.

  • Jerry

    That’s not an assertion. Arts have always been dominated by people who are either openly left, or would be considered liberal. Conservatism and art don’t match, and conservatives are usually hostile toward art.

  • Jerry

    Please…this is still a dominantly bourgeois right country and all the values that accompany that. Truly transgressive art will always be frowned upon by the majority.

  • Jerry

    What successful ones are you talking about? Name a few. Seems like most successful artists, like say, Stephen King are actually telling the government to tax them more. Because U2 have tax shelters doesn’t mean they’re suddenly libertarians.

  • Jerry

    And I thought Hollywood was supposedly so liberal? Isn’t that where the majority of successful artists are like Spielberg, Clooney, Pitt, Matt Damon, etc.?

  • PistolsForPandas

    Seems like most successful artists, like say, Stephen King are actually telling the government to tax them more.

    And yet they don’t put their money where their mouth is and gift their money to the government. Why?

  • PistolsForPandas

    Arts have always been dominated by people who are either openly left, or would be considered liberal.

    I take it citations are for shitlords.

  • Jerry

    That’s just self evident. Mises even has an entire chapter in his book the “anti-capitalist mentality” dedicated to artists and entertainers.

  • Jerry

    Because what you need is structural changes, and not a single individual giving more money to the government. You’ve made that dumb argument before.

    There’s also more than taxes that separate liberals and conservatives.

  • Jerry

    Ok, gramps.

  • PistolsForPandas

    That’s just self evident.

    So…no sources. The whole “subjective feeling trumps objective reality” thing. Got it.

  • OccupyDisqus

    “Self-evident” is best applied to specific cases that you can fully document.

    For example: “It’s self-evident that Jerry lives in a liberal bubble,”

    But when you wave your hand, indicating a population sample scattered around the world as “self-evident”, with no citations, that’s an assertion.

    As in, you’re making facts up. Another liberal fallacy, by the way.

  • PistolsForPandas

    Um, that’s actually the first time I’ve suggested folks like Stephen King voluntarily gift money to the government. Seems to me they should all show us how much they absolutely love our government by setting a good example…

  • OccupyDisqus

    False accusations. Another leftie trait.

    But, to be fair, it’s a common enough response when the rich liberals want to soak the middle class for their social engineering projects. Instead of, y’know, setting the example by writing big, fat checks from their own accounts.

    Because your “structural changes” is Newspeak for “Jack up the tax rates, so those rubes can’t eat at Olive Garden anymore.”

  • Jerry

    Ok, so name some well known conservative artists? You really need sources to confirm that arts and media are predominantly liberal? Conservatives have only been saying that since who knows how long. Isn’t that what started this comment thread?

  • Jerry

    You need sources to tell you that arts and media have a liberal majority? You’re the ones who keep saying that! Name some famous artists who are conservative. That doesn’t mean Clint Eastwood, either.

  • Jerry

    Here, jackass, I got this from Breitbart so there will be no dispute about the source having a liberal bias:

  • Jerry
  • Jerry
  • emma_dee

    Of course it is, just as it is an issue of individual liberty to praise certain groups of people. And every successful comedian of the last century would agree with that

  • OccupyDisqus

    You said:

    “Artists always have left leaning and liberal tendencies no matter the era.”

    The Breitbart article headline says:

    “Why Are Most Artists Liberal?”

    Your assertion does not match your citation. And your assertion is consistent up to your linking this article. For example:

    “Ok, so name some well known conservative artists?”

    Said headline DOES match with the assessment (the counterpart to your assertion) that not all artists are liberal.

    So, you prove our point again.

    I really have to thank you for being consistently liberal, even if you do live inside a liberal bubble.

  • signspeaker

    too ashamed to login?

  • Jerry

    how pathetic and predictable are you? lol! Just admit you’re wrong, and soothe your little ego instead of engaging in bs semantics. I get it though: your wounded conservative pride won’t let you admit obvious defeat to your liberal enemy. And you still can’t name any well known conservative artists, either. fact remains that artistic types lean left, which was the point of the comment that started this whole thread. Bye!

  • OccupyDisqus

    “Semantics” is what makes the world go around, Jerry. Words have meaning. In this, case, it ain’t semantics. It’s language.

    Hijacking the language is what lefties excel at. Lefties losing an argument? Ignore the meaning of the words used, change the intent, and make their opponent struggle to explain themselves. Moving the goalposts, in other words, to pretend you’re winning the argument.

    Oh, and changing the subject as well. From clarifying your assertions to “Hey, I’m winning, so you’re just gonna find reasons to be right!”

    Which is exactly what you did, by the way.

    So, once again, thanks for making our point. You are a real treasure.

    Jazz Hands, Jerry!

  • PistolsForPandas

    I was more interested in your statement that the arts have ALWAYS been dominated by leftists, not at this present juncture.

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