The Other McCain

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

The Left Is Unaware Of Its Tribalism?

Posted on | December 31, 2014 | 50 Comments

by Smitty

Gallagher at The American Interest:

Indeed, one of the chief causes behind the “Peak Left” moment that Walter Russell Mead addressed recently is leftist intellectuals’ inability to recognize that they, too, are a tribe.

Somewhere around the ObamaCare cramdown, I started toying with the theory that the Left (at least its Godless Commie core, if not the surrounding Useful Idiot mass) takes a pecca fortiter approach to its task of unwinding the Enlightenment.

Stipulating that tribalism is unavoidable,

  1. Be a rock solid tribe.
  2. Deny one’s tribalism.
  3. Accuse others of tribalistic behavior.

Once you grasp that denial of ultimate Truth has allowed the Left to indulge in infinite, recreational dishonesty for the sake of amassing short-term power, the last six years of American history come into sharp focus.

The test of American Exceptionalism will be finding a way to overcome the combustion of our values known as Progressivism.

via Instapundit


50 Responses to “The Left Is Unaware Of Its Tribalism?”

  1. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    December 31st, 2014 @ 4:06 pm
  2. Squid Hunt
    December 31st, 2014 @ 4:48 pm

    I don’t think the nature of our society will allow us to properly purge progressivism. People tend to flip sides a little too rapidly. I think we’re stuck with it unless they really, really screw up.

  3. Adobe_Walls
    December 31st, 2014 @ 5:07 pm

    I believe it was Meade who wrote that some who fear for the political relevancy of the Democratic party are calling for ”bringing back the Truman Democrats”. The problem with that is obviously that there aren’t any and haven’t been for quite some time. Even if there were any Truman Democrats left in the Democratic party they wouldn’t pull the party back towards the center because Truman Democrats were never centrists except on foreign policy. Progressive and communist leftist have been working on taking over the Democratic party from within and without for far longer than conservatives and the Tea Party have been trying to take over the Republican party. That process is now complete.

  4. gastorgrab
    December 31st, 2014 @ 5:31 pm

    The left will justify becoming any evil that they imagine the right becoming. They will murder to protest murder. They will rape to protest rape. They will rob to protest robbery.

    Their ‘noble’ ends will always justify any means they employ.

    ‘Evil’ is simply someone who commits a terrible crime without a narrative to excuse his actions. A rebel without a cause.

  5. K-Bob
    December 31st, 2014 @ 6:04 pm

    Tribes are more complex, though. “Gang” is more apropos. Ganging together is a natural response of herd beasts.

    The gang reflex comes out early in the weak, who act like part of the gang in order to be seen as belonging to the gang. This frequently involves acting as, “The one who points out those who are not part of the gang.” This is where the class warfare and victim group nonsense comes from on the left.

    It’s an animal reflex where ingratiating one’s self toward the middle of the herd (where it smells the worst) provides protection. It’s not a sentient strategy for survival.

    Not that they have no brains, it’s just that they choose to operate on animalistic “feelings” rather than use their ability to reason.

  6. K-Bob
    December 31st, 2014 @ 6:09 pm

    The lesson of barack is that there seems to be no limits on how much they screw up. It’s going to take the downfall of Western Media to finally allow full exposure of how totally screwed up they have made everything.

  7. K-Bob
    December 31st, 2014 @ 6:14 pm

    Yep. It’s been a hundred-year process.

  8. Fail Burton
    December 31st, 2014 @ 6:54 pm

    The question remains the same: how can a group of people who lay claim to a heightened knowledge of topics like racism and prejudice and dedicated to eradicating them from America be the precise vector which is by far the greatest source of bigotry and believe the precise opposite? When did American adults become that lacking in perception?

    I have my own theory and it is itself a rather hillbilly-ish and bland judgment: conformist middle class rednecks are some of the most brutally unaware, unimaginative and stupid people you will ever meet. Their heads are like impenetrable rocks.

    What would be a fun thought experiment would be to let the social justice warriors identify their 40 most hateful people and us do the same and then have a neutral third party scan the blogs and Tweets of both lists armed with neutral definitions of racism, sexism, supremacy and harassment.

    I already know how that would play out percentage-wise. It would be the equivalent of a 73 to 20 football game. It’s not a question of the people SJWs critique being invulnerable to such critiques, but why the SJWs themselves feel so invulnerable when they clearly display all the hallmarks of that which they purport to hate: prejudice, bigotry, racism, sexism, harassment, supremacy and intolerance. Both sides feel if the other were eradicated bigotry would drop by 90%. The problem there is those pesky things called “definitions” and “quotes.”

    The reason SJWs censor and ban so readily is they know in their hearts if they played my thought experiment game and made it a betting one they’d lose enormous amounts of money. A neutral poker dealer doesn’t care how good you think you are, only what cards you hold. Nevertheless SJWs continue on, secure in the knowledge they are right, and running mostly on blind faith in a thing which doesn’t exist, and ignoring that which does.

    I have no idea what the solution is, because there will be no third party arbitration or intervention. We already have that by way of a Constitution and its law and principles are being ignored. We’ll continue to quote each other, delegitimize the other and let the Devil take the hindmost. But while this hate speech continues to be mainstreamed to the point selected assassinations and star chamber punishments are a reality, it is a dangerous game.

  9. smitty
    December 31st, 2014 @ 6:55 pm

    I think you’re complicating matters. Start with will-to-power, omit any traditional moral restraint. That is the Left.

  10. smitty
    December 31st, 2014 @ 6:56 pm

    Oh, I think there is at least plenty of cunning afoot. But it’s all targeting the flesh, to build power.

  11. smitty
    December 31st, 2014 @ 7:03 pm

    They could be rejecting all traditional notions of honesty. This is my current thesis.

  12. Adobe_Walls
    December 31st, 2014 @ 7:10 pm

    It’s far too late to reverse that process within the Democratic party. I read an article at Salon this weak wherein the author maintains that the problem with the Democratic party is that the progressive movement has failed to provide them with policies and enough energy behind those policies. Apparently without progressive leadership and activism the Democrats are toast.

  13. Quartermaster
    December 31st, 2014 @ 7:22 pm

    I agree that’s exactly what they are doing. Their motto is BAMN.

  14. gastorgrab
    December 31st, 2014 @ 7:22 pm

    Oh, but that’s just the symptom of their disease. Progressives feel unable to compete on a level playing field so they rationalize controlling (fixing) the game.

    Their ‘disease’ is collective narcissism.

    Progressivism is basically a movement designed to turn the Earths population into narcissists (children) so that they are incapable of taking care of themselves.

  15. Adobe_Walls
    December 31st, 2014 @ 7:27 pm

    Indeed they are, for they have no concept of honesty, at least not in any sense of objective truth. One of their defining characteristics is amoral subjectivism. Social Justice, support of affirmative action for instance, has always been a two wrongs make a right argument.

  16. K-Bob
    December 31st, 2014 @ 7:29 pm

    One big pile of dependency.

  17. Matt_SE
    December 31st, 2014 @ 7:39 pm

    Is The Left Is Unaware Of Its Tribalism?

    They are vaguely aware. The mechanism by which they deny themselves full knowledge is Orwellian doublethink:
    “Doublethink is the act of ordinary people simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in distinct social contexts.”
    The process of achieving this state is a truncation of the logical chain. A normal person will think, “If X + Y = Z, and Z is bad, then don’t do X or Y.”
    A liberal thinks, “If X + Y…X and Y are okay, because patriarchy.”
    Whenever they get a twinge of what we would call conscience, they stop thinking. Because it is the thinking that is leading to the twinge.
    Deep, deep down, liberals are aware of their hypocrisy and tribalism. But they shut down the thought process that would lead them to self-awareness. Or, that’s my theory.

  18. RKae
    December 31st, 2014 @ 7:48 pm

    If looking at a slideshow of Detroit doesn’t show people what progressivism does, then there really is no hope.

  19. Isa
    December 31st, 2014 @ 7:49 pm

    “I read an article at Salon”

    well there’s your problem.

  20. K-Bob
    December 31st, 2014 @ 7:50 pm

    Yeah, the center of the herd is where the few alpha liberals live. The academic pose and the posturing about sustainability is like having the biggest wattle or the most protruberant throat sac. They possess the cunning of the raiders, not the producers.

  21. Art Deco
    December 31st, 2014 @ 7:53 pm

    There are no ‘communist’ leftists in the Democratic Party worth bothering about, unless you count Van Jones.

    Here is a different reason the Truman Democrats cannot be revived: there is no social or cultural basis for that dispensation. Truman’s family was a bourgeois small town family that retreated to the farm due to financial reversals. There is no indication that Truman aspired to any sort of social or cultural background than the one in which he was reared, which was non-ethnic and generically protestant. He was interested in higher education but satisfied with a high school diploma, which was more schooling than the bulk of the 1884 cohort received (n.b his brother left school at age 12). He was obedient to his father even at some cost to himself; patriotic, brave, and an adherent to the honor culture of his day; and left no trail of scandal in his amatory and domestic life. He had little talent for and less interest in obfuscation.

    Such people are fairly unusual in this day and age and those that there are are seldom interested in making a career in the Democratic Party

  22. Art Deco
    December 31st, 2014 @ 7:58 pm

    They’d reply by showing you slides of Palo Alto or Amherst, Mass.

    That’s not what ‘progressivism’ does. It’s what happens when particular policies are pursued given particular facts on the ground. You usually do not have the policies or the social conditions which produce quite that witches brew. Marion Barry, Coleman Young, and Kwame Kilpatrick were peculiarly awful mayors. Few are that destructive (and even Washington had some antibodies Detroit has not).

  23. Adobe_Walls
    December 31st, 2014 @ 8:00 pm

    It’s important to know what the other side is thinking, sometimes it’s even comforting. For instance that Salon article indicates that the author and those that think like him believe progressivism has an identity and influence outside of the Democratic party. They further believe that saving the country and the party can only be done by moving farther left. This kind delusional thinking is what’s killing the Democratic party outside it’s strongholds. The more they think, talk and act on these impulses the more estranged they become from average Americans.

  24. Art Deco
    December 31st, 2014 @ 8:01 pm

    The lesson of Barack is that you can in certain conditions sell just about anyone with clever marketing and a few breaks. The vapidity of the man is manifest (and the anomaly of his career remarked on by Bill Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro, among others).

    The other lesson is that the residual professionalism which was to be found in the printed press ca. 1997 (remarked on by Brent Bozell) and in the broadcast media ca. 1984 is gone. Democratic operatives with bylines, without a doubt.

  25. Fail Burton
    December 31st, 2014 @ 8:12 pm

    In fact that is exactly what they do. Americans are well acquainted with tit for tat, a strike zone, blind justice, fair play and goose/gander. The new Left rejects all of that out of hand.

    It is the tell-tale hallmark of a supremacist movement. Supremacists are never wrong. Right and wrong is embedded in their identity and becomes its own rancid substitute for a moral ethos.

    It fits in with McCain’s (and my own) thesis that the core of this are racial and sexual supremacists driving a naive herd of useful idiots. Were charismatic black and feminist activists to disappear tomorrow, America would know much greater peace.

  26. Fail Burton
    December 31st, 2014 @ 8:15 pm

    There are Marxist only in the sense ideologies like Feminism assert capitalism is one of the sources of their woes, based on a fake mythology of pre-Christianity where women had more power. It is an excuse note from teacher, not a visceral dedication to that cause. The truth of that can be seen in the wholesale ignoring of Islam, a massive influence in history.

  27. JeffS
    December 31st, 2014 @ 8:39 pm

    Is a fish aware of water?

  28. Adobe_Walls
    December 31st, 2014 @ 8:39 pm

    So Maxine Waters isn’t a communist?
    One doesn’t have to be a card carrying member of the CPUSA to be a communist. Most of the Democratic coalition are anti-capitalist which means Communists/Socialists/Bolsheviks or whatever you prefer. The establishment of the Democratic party are Fascists/Corporatists.

    Truman was a doctrinaire Big Labor Democrat back when Labor was big. While he was a patriot like most Democrats of the time many of the holdovers from Roosevelt’s administration were not. Then as now the Democratic party was the party of big government. Unlike now the Democratic party didn’t aim to control every aspect of every Americans lives and it didn’t despise religion. It is in these limits to the Democrats ambitions that in part differentiate Truman Democrats from today’s Social Democratic Party.

  29. Quartermaster
    December 31st, 2014 @ 8:43 pm

    I just came back from “The Hill” which is dominated by libtards. I think the problem is they have swallowed the leftist lie because they were propagandized in school and college, and simply have no idea that there is a larger world of reality out there. They have bought into the lies they have absorbed and simply can’t bring themselves to actually look at the facts and realize they were lied to.

    Reasonable people don’t like seeing they have bought lies, but when they realize it, they absorb the truth and change their views. I had to when I got up north and had the time to research the war of northern aggression. I was not angry with the people that wrote those diaries, and told families what was actually going on. I was angry with the teachers that could have done differently, but instead swallowed what they were told and uncritically dished it out to young skulls full of mush.

    But, I’m talking about reasonable people. Leftards are not reasonable, and it is unlikely they ever will be.

  30. Adobe_Walls
    December 31st, 2014 @ 9:10 pm

    While the criminality of Marion Barry and Kwame Kilpatrick are similar the power to allow their respective cities to deteriorate are not. There is a level below which congress will not allow DC to sink. In short Barry never had the power to destroy DC that Young had to destroy Detroit.

  31. Jim R
    December 31st, 2014 @ 9:30 pm

    I think that the left DOES self-recognize as a “tribe” that just so happens to be the moral and intellectual superior to all others. Nothing especially unusual in that; who wants to imagine that his “tribe” is a collection of degenerate cretins?

    What we’ve been seeing lately is their tribe on a rampage. They’ve got beyond merely thinking of themselves as better than everybody else and into the “everybody else must be put down” stage. Just as otherwise-civilized Germans did what they did in both World Wars, just as “Christian” crusaders slaughtered Muslims and Jews and even other Christians, just as our own men massacred Indians and Filipinos in the interests of “civilization”, so the lefty tribe is prepared to throw out the rule book when dealing with their “enemies”. I don’t mean to imply that they are planning pogroms or massacres, but the hatred that supports those things is becoming increasingly manifest.

  32. Art Deco
    December 31st, 2014 @ 9:39 pm

    There are no Marxists in America outside the ranks of a scatter of academics.

  33. Art Deco
    December 31st, 2014 @ 9:41 pm

    No, Maxine Waters is loudmouth whose social ideology consists of aggression leavened with an abiding impulse to shovel money at client groups and enhance the social position of social workers and schoolteachers.

  34. Art Deco
    December 31st, 2014 @ 9:47 pm

    Most of the Democratic coalition are anti-capitalist which means

    It means nothing of the kind. The modal types within the Democratic Party would be lawyers, pure career politicians of one sort and another, school teachers, and sundry, i.e. commonly people who’ve not worked in the business world, have no background in economics or any vocational discipline implicated in business, and who are unclear on the concept of how much of anything works when you have free agents negotiating with each other. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is not a communist; she’s an officious nuisance who does not know what she does not know.

  35. Adobe_Walls
    December 31st, 2014 @ 10:04 pm

    To clarify are you asserting that anti-capitalists are not communists?

  36. Neo
    December 31st, 2014 @ 11:28 pm

    Her husband is in banking or something.

  37. Jason Lee
    January 1st, 2015 @ 3:26 am

    Jonathan Hight gives a well-rounded discussion of political tribalism in The Righteous Mind. Hight calls himself a moderate, but he’s actually a liberal, so I know there’s at least one liberal who understands the tribalism of the Left.

    Whether the Left understands its tribalism or not, conservatives certainly need to be paying more attention to it. As with other accusations from the Left, you can gain valuable insights into their own moral failures in this area by recognizing their psychological projection.

  38. Jason Lee
    January 1st, 2015 @ 3:58 am

    If that’s true, it’s only because Marxism cannot navigate a convenient path to power at this time. Marxism, feminism, scientism, Juche, you name it — if it will serve as a trusty vehicle in the quest for power, the American Left will ride it to the ends of the earth.

    Move Elizabeth Warren to a different time in a different place and she’d make a fine Marxist totalitarian in no time at all.

  39. Fail Burton
    January 1st, 2015 @ 4:36 am

    Not only are they a tribe but they’ve adopted gender feministspeak as their own daffy language. Before those insects came along the only time I heard the word “privilege” was in a Victorian novel about some waif. The Fazis don’t take any prisoners.

  40. Jim R
    January 1st, 2015 @ 8:06 am

    I suggest that Waters, like a lot of livs, is a “communist” in that she reflexively believes that the government ultimately should control everything. However she / they believe this less as a matter of maturely-considered theory and much more as a reflexive cure-all for whatever problem pops up on any given day. It also goes without saying that their belief in government control is heavily influenced by who happens to be in charge of the government at the moment.

  41. Jim R
    January 1st, 2015 @ 8:07 am

    Along those lines, you may be interested:

  42. Matt_SE
    January 1st, 2015 @ 1:39 pm

    Yes, liberal insularity is a well-known phenomenon. They actively seek to avoid dissent, as in, they purge opposing views and seek only like-minded people.
    If my original thesis is correct, they do this to avoid the logical chain being laid out by others. The elaboration of the chain lays bare the common sense results, and that leads to cognitive dissonance (which must be avoided at all costs). That’s the danger to the agenda.
    The danger to their own psyches is that they are exposed as frauds. Corrupt groups, say, bad cops for example, cannot tolerate the presence of honest actors. They are a reminder of one’s own hypocrisy. Honest actors must either be corrupted or purged.
    I hang out on Politico forums. Even though most liberal arguments are disingenuous, many good things have come from them as I’ve been forced to look up facts. I’ve learned quite a lot that way.

  43. K-Bob
    January 1st, 2015 @ 7:36 pm

    And similarly, Waters wouldn’t be an ideological communist (or any other sort of “ist”), because she’s really just a power-seeking doofus.

  44. Daniel Freeman
    January 2nd, 2015 @ 5:05 am

    “You need to check your mammalian privilege. We are so poor that we have to eat your scraps, and yet you police us lethally whenever we try,” said the cockroach.

  45. Rob Crawford
    January 2nd, 2015 @ 9:09 am

    It’s so cute the way you tell the tale of your swallowing a Big Lie to illustrate what you believe is the opposite.

  46. Quartermaster
    January 2nd, 2015 @ 12:11 pm

    I swallowed lies I was told because the people that told them were supposedly trustworthy. You may think it’s so cute, but what they were telling were lies. They may have honestly believed them, but the people that formulated them originally, did lie.

    The original documents tell a much different story. If you have a problem with that, too bad.

  47. Quartermaster
    January 2nd, 2015 @ 4:45 pm

    “And I shall continue,” said the housewife.

  48. arcadius
    January 2nd, 2015 @ 5:19 pm

    That’s why the rhetoric has to be so overheated and the outrage so dramatic. If they admit that conservatives are generally normal people who want similar things as them, but disagree on how to get there, then they can’t justify scorched earth tactics. Instead, it’s usually Godwin’s Law in under a minute, and just gets more hyperbolic from there.

  49. Fail Burton
    January 2nd, 2015 @ 6:41 pm

    I’m pretty sure pigs aren’t a tribe. Maybe a “packet” or a “pod” or something.

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