Explaining Academia: Shameless Merchandise Plug

Robert Stacy McCain of The Other McCain has his Sex Trouble series out as a paperback.  You’ll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy than a Wymyn’s Studies department, and McCain has read all their shrieking.  He explains it far better than I can.

 

[Full disclaimer in case you need one: I don’t know Mr. McCain and have no commercial interest at stake.  This post is strictly a public service announcement].

Explaining Academia: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Behold the A+ student:

B-uDP6fWkAE9mr8If you have internalized all the principles outlined in Explaining Academia, this…. organism…. is not only being consistent and logical, but Brave.  So, so Brave.

I may post some more in the “Explaining Academia” series if the mood strikes me (or the market demands), but y’all can consider this picture your final exam.  If you can read that thing’s statement and say “yeah, ok, I get it,” you’ve passed with flying colors.

Questions?

Explaining Academia: True Lies

Vox Day, on another GamerGate victory:

The chief exploitable weakness of SJWs is that they always lie. Always. So, destroying their credibility is a simple matter of doing the research, finding the lies, and then exposing them to their employers, associates, and audience.

Tactically, this is sound advice.  What I want y’all to understand, though — and what I hope I’ve demonstrated in this series — is that “lies,” like “truth,” don’t really exist in academia.  Spend four years studying the liberal arts, and you’ll be unable to handle concepts without (metaphorical) quotation marks.

SJWs are the A students.  They learned their lessons all too well.

Flip back through “Explaining Academia,” and you’ll see that Lying For Justice is a logical consequence of their position.  When it comes right down to it, that’s the takeaway from all this:  Even though the underlying premises are either

  • a) batshit insane;
  • b) tautologies; or
  • c) both,

the conclusions derived from these premises are perfectly consistent and logical.  If all human interactions are power games (Foucault), and if “truth” is relative to its “interpretive community” (Postmodernism), and if “interpretive communities” are epistemologically sealed social classes (Marxism), then “truth” is whatever you need it to be in the heat of the battle.

Because if you win, then your provisional, tactical “truth” — that which in normal English we call a “lie” — will become, in reality, the Truth.  Your “interpretive community” has prevailed, and since everything — everything — takes place solely at the level of “discourse,” it matters not a whit that your “interpretive community’s” statements of “fact” are light years from observable reality.

There is no “reality” to the academy; there is only discourse.

 

This is How It’s Done

As I said, I have no dog in the fight, fiction-wise.  And the one book of Mr. Correia’s I picked up didn’t do it for me.  But oh my sweet Lord, THIS is how you do a fisking.  I really have to buy one of his books, even if it sits unread for ever, as a thank you for these posts.

My favorite part?  Oh, there are so many, but it’s probably this, when he’s comparing the “privilege” of a rich whiny Trust-Fund Trotsky to his “Portuguese Dairy Farmer Privilege:”

I know when I think of marginalized lives, I think of mooching off your rich friends while playing tourist.

I only say that because I grew up with all that fancy Portuguese Dairy Farmer Privilege, where I got to have an alcoholic mother and a functionally illiterate father (who is way darker skinned than Tempest), where I got to spend my formative years knee deep in cow shit at 3:00 AM, so that I could later work my way through Utah State (only after getting a scholarship for my freshmen year because I knew a whole lot about cows), to then spend my adult life working corporate drone jobs of increasing difficulty and skill requirements, all while writing on the side while I supported my family, until I could make it as a professional author.

Lecture us more about privilege, Tempest. It’s fascinating.

RTWT.

Explaining Academia: The Zeal of the Converted – UPDATED

In many ways, academia is a cult.

Ufo-Cult_Love03No, really.  I can’t swipe the whole thing, but, for Pete’s sake:

  • The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.  Karl Marx, call your office.
  • Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.  Wear a Right to Life t-shirt to class and watch what happens.
  • Mind-altering practices (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).  Re-read the Explaining Academia series, and tell me that’s not mind-altering.
  • The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).  Do you serve vegan free range soy gluten-free water?
  • The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt iin order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.  Most humanities seminars are little more than struggle sessions.

Et cetera ad nauseam.  Read the whole thing.

Like other cults, academia has limited appeal.  Unless you went to a strictly religious school or — wisely — didn’t go to college at all, I guarantee you’ve been exposed to everything I’ve written about in the Explaining Academia series.  You probably don’t even remember it, as it didn’t “take,” just as streetcorner preaching doesn’t take for most people.  “Oh, you say the UFO is hiding behind the Hale-Bopp Comet?  Fascinating.  I, umm…. I’m going to go stand over here now.”

"Let me tell you about Karl Marx"....

“Let me tell you about Karl Marx”….

There are others among us, though, for whom these nonsensical ravings are the key to life.  This is their story.

Let’s take it from the top.  From the moment you step foot on campus, you’re told that Race, Class, and Gender are the only important forces at work in the world.  These simply bounce off many people, the way fitness freak jargon bounces off a lazy bastard like myself.  “Yeah, sure.  Carbo-loading.  VO2max.  Feel the burn and so forth.  I, umm…. I’m going to go stand over here now.”

Yeah, this dude's got a PhD in biochemistry

Yeah, this dude’s got a PhD in biochemistry

For others, this declaration seems trivially true.  You’d be a totally different person if you were of another race, class, and gender, no?  But, as an old buddy of mine used to say, if your aunt had balls she’d be your uncle.  What’s the point?  You just repeat it on the test, then forget it.

But for a small segment of the population, this declaration isn’t just true, it’s The Truth.  It explains everything.  Most importantly, it explains why they’ve felt like rejects their whole lives.  Like they’re the only ones who get it.  Why were all my high school classmates obsessed with fashion?  Advertising – capitalists creating a market through status signaling.  Why won’t that cute guy talk to me?  Patriarchy.  Why do I feel so lost and incomplete, even though 75% of the world’s population would trade places with me in a heartbeat?  White privilege.  Throw Sexuality into the mix, and you’ve just explained — in simple, easy sentences — why every limp-wristed pimply dork in America feels like a loser.

In one fell swoop, you’ve flipped the script.  Now the cool kids are the losers, because they don’t have access to the arcane knowledge you do.  They are slaves to Madison Avenue and hormones; you are free, a member of the intellectual elite.

Everything builds from there.  As David Stove pointed out, we’re all at least somewhat susceptible to Gem arguments.  Most of us don’t really believe that the tautology “whatever will be, will be” absolves us of all our obligations…. but it sure is a handy way to get out of doing something unpleasant.  And Gems are especially tempting when combined with an appeal to ignorance — we can only know what our Race/Class/Gender situation allows us to know, after all…..

Section break!

Section break!

I’ll give you an example.  In 1979, terrorist-sympathizing Literature professor Edward Said published Orientalism, which more or less founded (or, at least, mainstreamed) the discipline of Postcolonial Studies.  Here‘s how he defined his key concept:

Orientalism is a style of thought based upon ontological and epistemological distinction made between “the Orient” and (most of the time) “the Occident.” Thus a very large mass of writers, among who are poet, novelists, philosophers, political theorists, economists, and imperial administrators, have accepted the basic distinction between East and West as the starting point for elaborate accounts concerning the Orient, its people, customs, “mind,” destiny, and so on. . . . the phenomenon of Orientalism as I study it here deals principally, not with a correspondence between Orientalism and Orient, but with the internal consistency of Orientalism and its ideas about the Orient . . despite or beyond any corrsespondence [sic], or lack thereof, with a “real” Orient.

Most folks, if they bothered to sit down and translate this from academese, would say all that gobbledygook is just a pretentious version of Kipling’s “East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.”  Which anyone who has ever watched anime knows, and the gulf only grows the more you know (try learning an Asian language if you don’t believe me).

And because this is trivially true, normal folks are tempted to draw a trivial conclusion — that, while it’s probably a good idea for historians and literature professors and whatnot to know what ” poet, novelists, philosophers, political theorists, economists, and imperial administrators” thought about their subjects, it doesn’t much matter for the rest of us.  If we want to know the “real” “Orient,” we’ll go there; meanwhile, everyone knows that stereotypes are just that. So why, normal folks might ask, is this Edward Said cat such a huge deal in egghead circles?

It has to do with “the Other.”  Said didn’t invent this term, nor its ugly verb form “Othering,” but he popularized them.  According to Postcolonialists, people think in terms of their own group, and groups are defined “dialectically” or “discursively.”  I only know I’m “white,” say, by contrasting myself to “black,” and the more precisely I know “black,” the more secure I am in my “whiteness.”  What it is to be actually black, I neither know nor care, because they exist only as Other to me, as a mirror of my whiteness.

Have you spotted the Gem yet?

Look closer

Look closer

This way of “thinking” is incredibly seductive, because there’s nothing — literally nothing — it can’t reduce to “discourse.”  And once you’ve reduced a subject to “discourse,” you’re completely argument-proof.  You can say the most ridiculous things, and nobody can prove you wrong, because proof itself is a “discourse,” a “technology,” a “social construction.”

I know what you’re thinking.  Since you’re a devoted reader of Rotten Chestnuts, you recall The Ishmael Effect, another brilliant Stove-ism (seriously, I cannot recommend this guy enough).  If you don’t feel like clicking, the Ishmael Effect is

The claimed ability of some philosophical theory to escape from the fate to which it condemns all other discourse.

If I can only see the world through my “discourse,” then how do I know my “discourse” is true?  If “whiteness” is defined against “blackness” and vice versa, then how can anyone really know anything?  Come to think of it, if we can only see the world through the lens of our “class situation,” then how did you, Karl Marx, see beyond your own “class situation” enough to tell us that nobody can see beyond his class situation?  Marx’s answer, as we know, is “shut up, that’s why,” and when a Bolshevik kommissar is holding a gun to your head and shipping you and your whole family off to Siberia, it’s remarkably persuasive.  Profs don’t have that kind of power (and would, in fact, be the first ones shot if their beloved Revolution ever actually came to pass*), but they do have the gradebook, which is sufficient in a college classroom.

But, again: That’s “logic,” comrades, which we all know is just another bourgeois “social construction.”  Ishmael claims and Gem arguments aren’t supposed to be logical.  They’re para-thought, a kind of intellectual bandage to let you jump from a trivial truth to some huge, portentous claim about Society.  It’s not supposed to be true.  It’s just supposed to feel good.  Why does ____ have it better than me?  Because Patriarchy.  Or “white privilege.”  Or capitalism.  Or whatever.

And y’all can trust me on this, because I’ve been there — this way of “thinking” is incredibly powerful.  It’s intoxicating.  It’s like you see the Matrix for the first time.

seeingthematrixYou can’t help but generate all kinds of exciting new insights.  You couldn’t shut them off if you tried!!  On paper, “A is A, therefore B” is retarded, but in a classroom, where authority figures with big degrees and published books pat you on the head every time you trot out another Gem, it’s an indescribable rush — you were right all along, and all those jocks and cheerleaders who made life hell back in high school can suck it!!!!

Is it any wonder, then, that these people venture out into the world wide web and behave as they do?  Is it any wonder that professional academics and pundits, whose entire worlds are designed to never let reality intrude, can speak and act and vote as they do?

 

 

*”War to the death against the rich and their hangers-on, the bourgeois intellectuals!” – VI Lenin.

UPDATE 2/20/15: SciFi author Sarah Hoyt has some good observations along these lines Full disclosure: I don’t read much science fiction** (or, really, much fiction at all) and could care less about the Hugo Awards.  But since the terminology is central to some of her points, please note that “Sad Puppies” is a campaign started by writers Larry Correia and Vox Day to make fun of rabid rabbitry in the Hugo Awards.  They set out to prove that the Hugos are nothing but the SJW Award for Excellence in SJW Propaganda, and they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams — the fact that Vox Day’s story finished behind “No Award” in its category because of an orchestrated SJW campaign to vote it down without reading it proves, in the bunnies’ sad little brains, that the Hugos are NOT just a clique of Social Justice Warriors upvoting their own stuff and excluding all other viewpoints regardless of merit.

Got that?  Now, they’ve decided to do it again this year, this time (if I’m reading it correctly) to really stick it to the Rabbits by voting on a whole slate of (mostly) conservative-ish writers like John C. Wright and Brad Torgersen.  Notice the Rabbits’ very first line of attack.  Hoyt writes:

Yesterday I took a shashay down to Otherwhere Gazette, where someone in the comments of the posts was asking what the difference was between us and the SJWs, except they had a college degree and we didn’t.

She goes on to show that — as you might suspect — these folks are in fact tertiary-educated in most cases.  But that doesn’t matter.  The point, to the leftoid, is that having been to college confers such superior virtue on a cult member that nothing else matters (and I’d bet my bottom dollar that if Hoyt et al waved their degrees in the Rabbits’ faces, the next move would be “those aren’t real colleges” or “those aren’t real majors”).  The point is not the education as such — meaning, mastery of facts and concepts.  “Education,” to a leftoid, means “knowing the code” and being able to play the silly little word games that pass for intellectual discussion.  I can render a passage of, say, Judith Butler into the vulgate*** faster than you can; therefore, I am Smart and you are Stupid.  That’s all there is to it.

 

**To be fair, though, I have read bits and pieces of at least some of the authors in question…. which is more than any Social Justice Rabbit who is actually voting on this stuff can say.  I’ve read about half of Vox Day’s George R.R. Martin knockoff A Throne of Bones and thought it was exactly that:  a competent Martin knockoff.  Which is why I didn’t finish it — my weird schedule meant I had to re-read as much as I read, just to keep up with the plot.  I read John C. Wright’s Awake in the Night Land, which is the best book you’ll never read twice.  I mean that as a compliment — it’s fascinating, and I really enjoyed it, but it’s very dark and very deep and very weird.  I tried a Larry Correia book and it just wasn’t for me, though I can see how he makes his money.  His epic beatdowns of leftoids on his blog, though, are priceless, and I should probably donate the price of a book or two to him just for that.  I’ve never read anything other than blog posts by Hoyt or Torgersen.

***Notice I said “render into plain English,” not “render comprehensible.”  No translator is that good.

 

 

Take Wisdom Where You Find It III

Vox Day also runs a “Game” site, Alpha Game.  Wherein we find this handy checklist.  I can’t swipe the whole thing, but I will point out:

 

  • In the past year you can’t recall a single serious online discussion you were wrong about anything.
  • In the past two years you can’t recall one discussion with any friends or family in which you were wrong about anything.
  • When you are having an argument with someone and it appears you are wrong, the most common belief and defense is the other person simply doesn’t understand what you are saying.
  • When discussing matters with someone and you think you are maybe, possibly being shown to be wrong you start to get snarky, crack lame jokes, and immediately try to change the subject.
  • If someone holds an opinion contrary to yours, and you don’t think you have a good defense immediately to hand you start to look for unrelated ways to disqualify the other person as at least knowledgeable about the subject, and even going so far as to disqualify them as a good person or even a person at all.
  • Definitions are tenuous for you and words can be redefined at leisure during a discussion. If someone quotes the dictionary and it disagrees with your definition they are arguing unfairly and the dictionary is wrong.

Gosh, that sure sounds like some folks we know!  The “Game” community has an almost ivory tower-ish lingo, so it’s hard to determine just what “Gamma,” “Delta,” etc. mean (though I’m sure there’s a list somewhere, and that there have been doctrinal disputes to rival the Council of Nicea).  Let’s just assume that “Gamma” means “twitchy internet troll.”  Browsing through the category might give us some insights as to how these creatures develop, and how they think.

This is a public service announcement.

 

Take Wisdom Where You Find It II

Basically, let me give you my lecture on research. I don’t know if I should say this—but when I hear about all of these complex models that weight the evidence of 70 indicators, that is pure bullshit. I am old enough, I can say that.

Okay, now defend it.

First of all, I defy anyone to find 70 indicators that are specifically independent of each other and that have anything to do with stock prices. If you do, you get the prize. But even if you did, the model would be immense. Let’s just cut that roughly in half, to make it simple, and say we had a 38-factor model. Let’s make it simple again and say that there are only five ways to interpret each factor—very negative, negative, neutral, positive or very positive. So how many different patterns of 38 indicators would you have to recognize to understand the implication of each possible mix of indicators?

A very large number, I’d bet.

The formula is 5 to the 38th power. Now, there is a thing in statistics called degrees of freedom, which says that in order for a model like that to be anything but mush you would need about 2 million years of data. Even if you only have 10 indicators—which brings into the mix just about every macro analyst out there, there still are not enough degrees of freedom to say that the model is worth anything. This is what is so counter-intuitive—the effectiveness of a model is inversely related to the number of factors that are components of that model. The fewer the factors you use, the more reliable the model becomes. This is the exact opposite of what most people think, but if you start with just one factor and then add another you now have 25 different possible outcomes—and it’s possible to measure that accurately, if you have enough data. But if you add another factor, the potential outcomes go up to 300 or so. So my shtick on research is: “Find the one, two or maybe three factors that are the most effective.”

[From the comments at RWCG, here.  The original piece is linked here].

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I give not one single corn-laden shit about “global climate change.”  How many factors would you need to accurately model the temperature of the entire Earth?  A 38-factor model needs 2 million years of data; a whatever-huge-number-of-factors model would need a lot more.  And we’ve got, what, 40 years’ worth of actual climate data?  Even assuming the non-“adjusted” numbers still exist?

Not even Squirty can do that kind of math

Not even Squirty can do that kind of math

Take Wisdom Anywhere You Find It

I’ve been out of the meat market for a long time, so I have no interest in “Game” as a skillset.  But its underlying assumptions — that men and women exhibit biologically-programmed behavior — seem sound, and generate interesting conclusions.  Like this:

Framing is one of the most interesting game concepts, and it’s because it has applicability well beyond the context of picking up girls. The supposed leftoid love for uncertainty and ambiguity is just as accurately expressed as a leftoid fear of judgment. Which, when you think about it, makes survival sense. An effete liberal manlet benefits from a society that refuses to judge it unworthy of inclusion.

Though he’d piss himself if he knew it, “framing” in PUA lingo is pretty much identical to George Lakoff’s political version.  Lakoff, you’ll recall, is the guy who claims that

people view the world through the lens of their metaphors, which he thinks provide them with the framework of their thought. Since the 1980s, liberals have allowed conservative metaphors to take over their own metaphoric framework, so that all discussions or arguments about social policy are carried out on conservative terms. Liberals waste their time and effort in arguing from the evidence (conservatives, of course, can have no evidence); they should instead be working to get conservatives to accept a different metaphoric framework.

As epistemology, it’s junk — the set of policies called {Patriotism Plus} is exactly equal to the set of policies called {Socialism}, and will be rightly rejected by any sane person on the exact same grounds.  But as a tactic for fooling low-info voters, it’s pretty good, and as a tactic for picking up chicks — if the Chateau Heartiste guy(?)* is to be believed, it’s gold.

And, as we saw above, it’s pretty good for protecting the soft, squishy egos of liberal snowflakes, too.  If you assume that all human interactions are at some level contests**, then the person who controls the frame controls the outcome.  In this case, of course, the conflict is between the “effete liberal manlet” (such deliciously vicious phrasing!) and himself, but still — the (correct) perception that he’s a sexual marketplace loser must be beaten down at all costs, and so it’s not “fear of being judged,” it’s “tolerance of ambiguity.”

This “reframing” stuff could be quite useful in political discussions.  Not that it’ll change liberals’ minds, of course — if they could properly perceive reality, they wouldn’t be liberals — but it will cause them to flee in tears, which is the best realistic outcome (and schadenfreudily fun, too).

 

 

 

*The author(s) speak of themselves in the plural, but I saw somewhere that this was once the blog of one guy, who called himself Roissy.  Whether he’s added co-bloggers, or this is just a mocking use of the Royal We, doesn’t really matter.  But I don’t want to misattribute.

**As you’ll recall, this is Foucault’s fundamental (heh) insight.  See what I mean about the kernel of truth in this stuff?  Lefty professors convert kids by introducing beachhead facts — small nuggets of truth — then building giant edifices of bullshit around them.  Their facts are ok, but their conclusions are 180 degrees from reality.  Profs do it to get tenure; lefties in the real world do it because they’re malignant narcissists.

Explaining Academia: Cranked Up to Eleven (Part 3)

In which the Phenomenal Kangaroo is introduced. 201000_1600x1200Looking back over the “Explaining Academia” series, I realize I haven’t sufficiently emphasized how seductive this stuff can be, even to the un-tenured.  For instance, as David Stove notes, Gem arguments can get us out of all kinds of unpleasant feelings — if we don’t feel like exerting ourselves to change a situation, well, “whatever will be, will be.”  So, too, does a plebeian form of postmodernism relieve us of the obligation of arguing with lunatics — what they believe is clearly nonsense, but hey, all cultures are beautiful, and beliefs are relative anyway.  And Marx actually did have a point about social classes and exploitation….

And that’s where we run into all kinds of trouble.  Here’s how David Stove describes the problem:

You cannot expose yourself to even a short course of Berkeley’s philosophy, without contracting at least some tendency to think, as he wants you to think, that to speak of (say) kangaroos is, rightly understood, to speak of ideas of kangaroos, or of kangaroo-perceptions, or ‘phenomenal kangaroos.’  But on the contrary, all sane use of language requires that we never relax our grip on the tautology that when we speak of kangaroos, it is kangaroos of which we speak.  Berkeley would persuade us that we loose nothing, and avoid metaphysical error, if we give up kangaroos in favour of phenomenal kangaroos: in fact we would lose everything.  Phenomenal kangaroos are an even poorer substitute for kangaroos than suspected murderers are for murderers.  At least a suspected murderer may happen to be also a murderer; but a phenomenal kangaroo is a certain kind of experience, and there is no way it might happen to be also a kangaroo.

The abstraction’s the thing.  The idea of social class is statistically useful:  If I tell you that a person works in a warehouse and makes $17,000 per year, you can make a lot of guesses about this person’s habits, tastes, and opinions, and you’re likely to be right on most of them.  Ditto race:  If I tell you that our warehouse worker is named Moesha, you can further calibrate your guesses.  Ditto gender / sexuality: If our warehouse worker is female, and lesbian, you can dial it in even further.

This is Marketing 101 stuff.  But eggheads replace “is likely to” with “because of.”  Not “A lesbian warehouse worker named Moesha is likely to buy X,” but “Moesha’s race, class, and gender caused her to buy X.”  It’s vital that you understand this shift from description to prescription.  When academic types talk about Race, Class, and Gender, they’re talking about agency.

About as big a waste of intelligence as the real thing

About as big a waste of intelligence as the real thing

 

In sociology and philosophy, agency is the capacity of an agent (a person or other entity, human or any living being in general, or soul-consciousness in religion) to act in a world. The capacity to act does not at first imply a specific moral dimension to the ability to make the choice to act, and moral agency is therefore a distinct concept.

And with that, we’re in the realm of phenomenal kangaroos.  Because if they are agents — capital letter Entities that really can act in the world– there’s literally nothing that Race, Class, and Gender can’t do.  This is how we get blacks and liberals droning on about slavery reparations, even though no living American white  has ever owned a slave.  This is how feminists can blame “the Patriarchy” for everything, even though no man you know has ever personally benefited from it.  It’s how “gay marriage” is suddenly a civil right.  All whites are guilty of slavery, in perpetuity, and all men are guilty of sexism, again in perpetuity, because those aren’t the specific actions of individual white males.  Instead, they’re the actions of White Males  — or, more accurately, the Platonic categories of Whiteness and Maleness contain “slavery” and “sexism” by definition.  We humans are the puppets; R/C/G are the puppeteers.

You are of course wondering how this nonsense fits in with all the other nonsense we’ve been describing in this series.  You’ll be tempted to say things like “well, if it’s all relative like the Postmodernists say, then slaveholders aren’t bad; it’s just their culture.”  Or “wait, wait: I thought that feminist lady said that only a penis makes you real, so how can chicks possibly know about this ‘Patriarchy’ thing?”  That’s logic, my friends, and it has no place in academia.  The point is to “win” the “argument,” also known as “shut up, racist!”

Like Stove’s phenomenal kangaroos, the holy trinity of Race, Class, and Gender only seem ludicrous if you maintain a pedant’s iron grip on the literal meaning of words.  If you loosen that grip just a little bit, though, you can say all kinds of interesting things about the world around you.  And they even seem true!  At the risk of over-quoting myself, I’ll remind you of “Beachhead Facts:”

An amphibious attack has to establish a beachhead, a secure perimeter where reinforcements and supplies can be landed, before the rest of the invasion can continue.  So liberals glom on to one or two facts — they hoard ‘em up with the grim compulsiveness of squirrels before a particularly hard winter — and from there proceed to launch the rest of their attack.

In that post, which was about climate change alarmism, the beachhead fact was that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas.  This indisputably true nugget of scientific knowledge is the springboard for all kinds of socialist ManBearPig idiocy, and when you call them on it, they run screaming back to “carbon dioxide is too a greenhouse gas!  Why do you hate science!!!”  In the same way, feminism uses Marx’s (true) observation that “homemaking” is a form of unpaid labor to argue all manner of things about Patriarchy.  Once you’ve established that Women are an Oppressed Class — once you’ve slipped in those all-important Capital Letters — you can launch just about any attack you like, because now you’re not talking about labor, but Labor.  A man and his wife might split up the homemaking and the breadwinning any way they please, but the Wife will always be oppressed by the Husband, because Patriarchy.  Individuals don’t matter, only classes.

201000_1600x1200And just like Phenomenal Kangaroos, the fact that all of this is more circular than NASCAR is a feature, not a bug.  If you pedantically try to get the conversation back the the actual, literal meaning of words, well… isn’t that just like a Patriarchal Colonialist Oppressor, with his so-called “logic”?  And once you’ve completely unmoored words from their meanings, the sky’s the limit!  Crank that sucker up to eleven, and you might even end up a leftwing hero like Frantz Fanon:

Once [colonized people’s] rage explodes, they recover their lost coherence, they experience self-knowledge through reconstruction of themselves; from afar we see their war as the triumph of barbarity; but it proceeds on its own to gradually emancipate the fighter and progressively eliminates the colonial darkness inside and out. As soon as it begins it is merciless. Either one must remain terrified or become terrifying—which means surrendering to the dissociations of a fabricated life or conquering the unity of one’s native soil. When the peasants lay hands on a gun, the old myths fade, and one by one the taboos are overturned: a fighter’s weapon is his humanity. For in the first phase of the revolt killing is a necessity: killing a European is killing two birds with one stone, eliminating in one go oppressor and oppressed: leaving one man dead and the other man free.

tl;dr:  Because race, class, and gender can be useful in predicting things (a guy named LaDanian probably listens to rap; you’re likelier to sell a Beethoven box set to a guy named Poindexter), eggheads assume that Race, Class, and Gender are real things, that actually cause stuff in the real world — because LaDanian is black and Poindexter is white, they can only have an oppressed/oppressor relationship.  Individuals don’t exist, except as programmed by their R/C/G.  This lets academics say all kinds of cranked-to-eleven things, which is useful for tenure.

Are They REALLY That Stupid?

Do you even need to ask?

Lefties, who rend their clothes at every opportunity about how much they love The Working Class ™, say Scott Walker’s unqualified to be president because he doesn’t have a college degree.

That oughtta go down great in, say, the Rust Belt swing state of Ohio.  I can see the ads now:

“Are you a union worker?  Did you climb your way up from nothing, fulfilling the American dream?  Well, guess what?  Your own party thinks you’re stupid!  That’s right, my fellow blue collar Americans: Howard Dean said…”

But, alas — no matter how dumb the Dems are, the GOP is always dumber.  They won’t use this, because being The Stupid Party is always more important than actually winning elections.  Still, a fella can dream…..