Series: Chait's Insanity

Which came first, politics or stupidity?

Archived version of Storify post.

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The sanity of Chait’s “complete insanity” (race in contemporary American politics)

To root_e, agreeing to argue on the basis of a mutually agreed upon, or equal or fair, observation of the taboo against expression of a white racist or racial interest amounts to unilateral disarmament. He might say that racists do not deserve fairness, but to act on that basis consistently would mean to pursue an “unfair” political discourse or a discourse without presumption of good faith – an illiberal discourse whose uses were entirely subordinate to the successful prosecution of a power struggle against a designated enemy that must be destroyed, with whom no public space truly worthy of preservation can be sustained.

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Chaitalanche

Because Jonathan Chait tweeted out a link to my post on his complete insanity, we experienced a bit of a hiccup in these here parts on Thursday. Normally this blog is easily a low enough traffic place not to require

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Objectively, the Chait Insanity Theorem Holds

In some instances, to be a Republican conservative may even include regret that, as a practical political matter, a valid critique of government programs supposedly intended to aid the poor or “underprivileged” is unnecessarily obscured or diverted by disparate impacts on racially or ethnically or, one might even say, historically and naturally defined sectors. Beutler and possibly Chait, as true left-liberal believers, will be reluctant to believe that anyone could possibly think such a thing.

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Liberals against Liberalism (Chait’s Insanity)

To be a meaningful right, the right to argue must also entail a right to win.

Posted in Featured, History, Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Politics Tagged with: , , , ,

Noted & Quoted

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The most painful aspect of this has been to watch people I previously considered thoughtful and principled conservatives give themselves over to a species of illiberal politics from which I once thought they were immune.

In his 1953 masterpiece, “The Captive Mind,” the Polish poet and dissident Czeslaw Milosz analyzed the psychological and intellectual pathways through which some of his former colleagues in Poland’s post-war Communist regime allowed themselves to be converted into ardent Stalinists. In none of the cases that Milosz analyzed was coercion the main reason for the conversion.
They wanted to believe. They were willing to adapt. They thought they could do more good from the inside. They convinced themselves that their former principles didn’t fit with the march of history, or that to hold fast to one’s beliefs was a sign of priggishness and pig-headedness. They felt that to reject the new order of things was to relegate themselves to irrelevance and oblivion. They mocked their former friends who refused to join the new order as morally vain reactionaries. They convinced themselves that, brutal and capricious as Stalinism might be, it couldn’t possibly be worse than the exploitative capitalism of the West.

I fear we are witnessing a similar process unfold among many conservative intellectuals on the right.

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The precarious feeling of uncertainty will nonetheless persist, at least until U.S. authority, in Europe or anywhere else, is seriously challenged. And there are signs that a challenge is coming. In the past few days, the Russian government has recognized passports from the phony “republics” that Russian-armed, Russian-controlled “separatists” have created in eastern Ukraine — perhaps, as one Russian official suggested, as a prelude to granting them Russian passports or even annexing the territories outright. Russian planes repeatedly buzzed a U.S. destroyer on patrol in the Black Sea. Most ominously, Russia has reportedly deployed a new generation of cruise missiles, a move that violates existing arms treaties and could make it easier for Russian bombs to reach European capitals.

There is no reason to think that these small “tests” will not be repeated. And if any one of them explodes into something worse, then talk of “shared values” will not help. Nor will repeated reassurances from Cabinet members. At some point, the enforced ambiguity will fall away, it will not be possible to disguise reality with “Swedish incidents” and we will learn what the president actually believes. I just hope that we are all prepared.

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Our partners in the international order we created - some of whom we conquered to make it possible - are now seeking to defend it from us. Let's say that again, Defend it from us. How do we now as loyal Americans look at the warnings of the French and the Germans, as well as the British and our other erstwhile allies' warnings? This is a complicated question which different people, depending on their professions and governmental responsibilities and personal dispositions, must answer in different ways. But we cannot ignore the fact that the American experiment is now in a kind of exile - taken refuge elsewhere - and the executive power of the American state now under a kind of, hopefully temporary, occupation.

We face a comparable dynamic at home. I have been thinking for weeks that the central challenge and reality of the Trump Era is what do you do as an institutionalist when the central institutions of the state have been taken over, albeit democratically, by what amount to pirates, people who want to destroy them? To put it another way, do the institutions and norms which Trump and his gang are trying to destroy become shackles and obstacles in the way of those trying to defend them? There['re] no easy answers to these questions.

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@CK_MacLeod

State of the Discussion

bob
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+ I dunno, I think a lot of people looked at the TPers not as patriotic Americans but as bat shit crazy. Their difficulty in [. . .]
On Emulating the TP vs Trump’s GOP
CK MacLeod
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+ They will still have to cope with a version of the same conflict at every stage and level. Sooner or later, or constantly, any political [. . .]
On Emulating the TP vs Trump’s GOP
bob
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+ Sure, that's a fair characterization of the discussion outlined in the tweets. My point is that the information we have about "the left" is [. . .]
On Emulating the TP vs Trump’s GOP

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