The Other McCain

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

The New New Left and The Great Twerking Meltdown of 2013

Posted on | September 2, 2017 | Comments Off on The New New Left and The Great Twerking Meltdown of 2013

by Smitty

Instapundit points to Charles R. Kesler in the Clairmont Review of Books, The Old New Left and the New New Left. He resonated with a book I’ve nearly finished. Note this passage (emphasis mine), in addition to reading the whole thing:

It hasn’t disappeared entirely, but the theory embraced by today’s campus Left is far different from that of the ’60s New Left. The Port Huron Statement reflected deep intellectual engagement, if not exactly seriousness. Its contemporary influences included Herbert Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization (1955) and C. Wright Mills’s The Power Elite (1956). Marcuse, a student of Martin Heidegger’s, had perhaps the primary philosophical influence on the movement, and along with other writers helped to connect it, however tendentiously, to Freud, Nietzsche, Marx, Hegel, and Rousseau.
The new New Left has no comparable philosophical grounding or intellectual foundation. A widely adopted primer of its thought (used in the Claremont Colleges, for instance), Critical Race Theory: An Introduction (2001) by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, now in its third edition, nods in the direction of Antonio Gramsci, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Derrida, but these are dusty portraits on the wall rather than active intellectual interests. The book presumes the truth of an easy-going and politically convenient postmodernism without ever establishing it, or reflecting on the alternative. But that’s what’s so handy about postmodernism, isn’t it? It lets you get on with it—skip past the questions of truth and justice, and get right to the delicious matter of power.

The slippery snowflake slope resembles what’s occurred in the culture. Consider Camille Paglia’s critique of Miley Cyrus and the Great Twerking Meltdown of 2013 (emphasis also mine):

The Cyrus fiasco, however, is symptomatic of the still heavy influence of Madonna, who sprang to world fame in the 1980s with sophisticated videos that were suffused with a daring European art-film eroticism and that were arguably among the best artworks of the decade. Madonna’s provocations were smolderingly sexy because she had a good Catholic girl’s keen sense of transgression. Subversion requires limits to violate.
Young performers will probably never equal or surpass the genuine shocks delivered by the young Madonna, as when she sensually rolled around in a lacy wedding dress and thumped her chest with the mic while singing “Like a Virgin” at the first MTV awards show in 1984. Her influence was massive and profound, on a global scale.
But more important, Madonna, a trained modern dancer, was originally inspired by work of tremendous quality — above all, Marlene Dietrich’s glamorous movie roles as a bisexual blond dominatrix and Bob Fosse’s stunningly forceful strip-club choreography for the 1972 film Cabaret, set in decadent Weimar-era Berlin. Today’s aspiring singers, teethed on frenetically edited small-screen videos, rarely have direct contact with those superb precursors and are simply aping feeble imitations of Madonna at 10th remove.
Pop is suffering from the same malady as the art world, which is stuck on the tired old rubric that shock automatically confers value. But those once powerful avant-garde gestures have lost their relevance in our diffuse and technology-saturated era, when there is no longer an ossified high-culture establishment to rebel against. On the contrary, the fine arts are alarmingly distant or marginal to most young people today.

Morally, mentally, and physically (as one’s understanding of the crotch damage goes) the Left looks nihilistic. It feeds virally off its American cultural host, trying to destroy it. Fortunately for god-fearing Americans, the only thing the Left can eradicate is itself.

I just don’t see how the Left (Democrats/media/universities) recover. Their success thus far, as in all asymmetric warfare, has been predicated upon not getting caught out in the open. This Commie strategy has gone a long way on passive aggression. With Her Majesty’s loss, they seem to be trying a more active approach. But it has a stench of desperation about it. Because, in contrast to the Lefty degeneration alluded to in the two quotations above, conservative intelligence has been on the increase (I think).

Ultimately, the lesson of the Book of Exodus beckons. People who’ve been reduced to slaves, and their children, are unfit for the mission. We have to understand that reversing Gramsci’s Long March is going to take a couple of generations. We have to focus on building actual knowledge in the next generations, and protecting their Precious Bodily Fluids from Lefty poisoning.


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