Thursday, May 5, 2016

More on Jeffrey S and Free Trade

This will probably play out over several posts. Call 'em salvos.

But, playing off the previous post, I want to focus on something Jeffrey S said:
However, when he [Williamson] dared to suggest in clear sentences that the best thing that folks faced with few opportunities in dying small towns (like Garbutt in upstate New York) could do was to move out and seek better opportunities elsewhere, his critics on the mostly traditional and paleo Right (at least these are the critics I’m interested in) were not happy with him.
To provide some framing, let me quote from Williamson's article again:
The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. Forget all your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap. Forget your sanctimony about struggling Rust Belt factory towns and your conspiracy theories about the wily Orientals stealing our jobs. Forget your goddamned gypsum, and, if he has a problem with that, forget Ed Burke, too. The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin. What they need isn’t analgesics, literal or political. They need real opportunity, which means that they need real change, which means that they need U-Haul.
The rest of the article isn't much better.

Again, notice how Jeffrey S frames all this: as Williamson daring to suggest, in clear sentences, that people in dying small towns should move out.

Sure. Also, Mapplethorpe was an artist who just chose to make Christ the centerpiece of his work (following in the footsteps of Michaelangelo), but in an admittedly unconventional way. Now, let's spend several paragraphs talking about his use of black and white photography and the broad, abstract merits of public funding of the arts, which has all the rubes worked up.

That's not to say I can cry foul when Williamson decides to get insulting, since I do that myself. But if you're going to defend the man's writings - and criticize the reaction to them - then you really should address what he actually said, and not just the heavily sterilized economic theory upon which he broadly positioned his comments. Otherwise you come across as either deceptive to the point of being dishonest, or at best amazingly ignorant about the very thing you're writing a defense of.

5 comments:

Valtandor Nought said...

It's astounding how tone-deaf some of these writers can be.

I'm by no means the most socially aware of people, and I can appreciate when a fellow has the guts to call a spade a digging implement. But how hard is it to see that, rhetorically, "these communities deserve to die" sounds awfully like, "the people who compose these communities deserve to die"?

That's even before you get to the notion that maybe, just maybe, they (the individual people) are stuck in these small towns because they lack just the right mix of skills, drive, and personality to get ahead in this wonderfully individualistic, technology-driven urban society we've created over the generations. Our great cities are by no means short of social housing areas full to the gunwales with welfare recipients. Being in a big city doesn't seem to have helped them become successful.

So, logically, his argument is suspect; rhetorically, it is awful. He might as well have said, "The peasants appal me and should be disfranchised and allowed to slowly die off."

Speaking of which, I must confess that from afar the whole Trump phenomenon does have shades of the double meaning of "The peasants are revolting!" explored by various writers of gag lines.

Crude said...

Hey there. Nice name.

But how hard is it to see that, rhetorically, "these communities deserve to die" sounds awfully like, "the people who compose these communities deserve to die"?

Yep. Plus he made sure to specify -white- communities. Because every other community that's depressed and has crime problems is, of course, left out of this analysis and must be dealt with with far gentler hands.

I could appreciate his analysis. But if you read the article, as I said - his tone doesn't change. It's not a criticism of a simply unsustainable situation, but a hatred of the people he's talking about, and it shows. It's made all the more odd since WWWtW loves to opine wistfully about the breakdown of American culture, which makes it the pause-free embrace of 'Economic and technological forces are destroying your community, GOOD, let it be destroyed, now go to the Big City you hicks' logic that much worse.

It's as if they don't even see a reason to even entertain the notion that, perhaps, economic efficiency and even (dare I say it) technological progress do not automatically make the community destruction they sometimes cause proper, to say nothing of inevitable. I'd expect that from Objectivists, or 'secular' people in general. But from there? Good God.

As for Trump, I'm a wholehearted supporter and quite revolting myself. But you can put the Trump thing aside entirely and see that something has gone wrong with the WWWtW view.

lotharlorraine said...

This is why I think Bernie Sanders is the only one who could have saved these poor whites from Trump's grip. Poltically correct capitalistic Hillary is never gonna make it. Nor will she ever try.

Crude said...

This is why I think Bernie Sanders is the only one who could have saved these poor whites from Trump's grip.

Bernie Sanders doesn't think there -are- any poor whites. Whites don't know what it's like to be poor according to him.

And 'politically correct'? Sanders is as cucked-out as any SJW can ever be. He was never in a position to save anyone, as his near-complete inability to meaningfully criticize either Obama or Hillary amply demonstrates. The man could not even save his own podium from being overtaken by BLM idiots - but he's going to stand up to Mexican immigrants groups, asian corporations, muslim oil barons, and more?

Trump is saving poor whites from Sanders' grip, which is why you're actually seeing a lot of crossover interest in ex-Sanders supporters coming to Trump. And that reason is going to be highlighted all the more when, as looks increasingly likely, Sanders endorses Clinton.

SJWs don't 'save' anyone, as France itself is slowly starting to realize. How's it feel knowing that the majority of France now embraces what's typically cast as a far right political view now? If the answer is 'bad', I have some bad news; there's a good chance this is only the beginning.

GoldRush Apple said...

Valtandor made a good point poor whites v poor blacks, rural v urban. It's clear that white, rural America is the accepted demographic to mock and to degrade, right behind them it's white suburbia.

Excusing the reasons of poverty, whether self-inflicted or not, the benefit of the doubt is not given to poor whites as it is with poor minorities or to poor blacks, in general.

It's open season on the Walmart American loving Joe from small town Indiana, but not the NBA hopeful black kid who is barely passing high school from inner-city Chicago. Why? Joe is seen as uncultured, buck-toothed, gun loving and a China sweatshop supporter. The black kid is seen as sympathetic, born into a life that he didn't ask for, all due to racism. All he wants to do is to get out of Englewood and be the next Kobe Bryant.

When gang crimes make the city of Chicago national news, the culture within the home, school and personal is rarely talked about. Focus is getting the guns out of the city. When some black kid gets shot the cops are deemed racist. When some story about a non-straight gets bullied or killed in small town USA, the character of Joe is sent to the guillotine, followed by filtered instagram photos of rainbow flags and celebrity lined red carpets for The Trevor Project. I wouldn't be surprised if Ellen Page is the guest speaker.

MSM is on it as well. What Would You Do creates fictionalized scenarios trying to extract racist, LGBTphobic, sexist or xenophobic remarks, usually in the suburbs or a small town. If anything negative happens, the host comes out, sits down with the sucker, and confronts the stranger in a "Wow, I can't believe you said that" passive-aggressive way.