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Elite Academic Left-wing Conspiracy

 
weird buffalo
 
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weird buffalo
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13 March 2021 06:40
 

So, there’s a not uncommon complete mistrust of academic elites.  It’s present a little on these boards, but it is also significant in the broader culture, especially on the right-wing.  I was watching a video on antisemitism, and it struck me that the current strain of anti-academics is essentially just antisemitism that’s been rebranded.  Some of the more direct Jewishness of how the problem is described has either been so watered down that I don’t think it actually is antisemitism anymore.

The Civil Rights Movement and Black Lives Matter aren’t the product of black people fighting for their rights and gaining acceptance in the broader culture… instead it’s a plot by evil left-wing academics who are propping up black people.  This is the plot being sold by people like JBP, Dave Rubin, Ben Shapiro, and others.  They aren’t drawing this direct link, but you can see the form of it in what they write.  And it gets echoed here on the forums by a couple of people as well.

In Steve Bannon’s “Generation Zero”, a paper is cited from the 70’s where two academics argued that efforts should be made to sign up black people for all government benefits that they were eligible for.  Bannon presents it as a conspiracy for why things are so fucked up now.  It’s a plot instigated by leftist academics.  What the paper actually argued was that people should apply for programs they’re eligible for, and the more people that applied would highlight how great the actual need for assistance is.  The authors never organized any sort of action, and just a few years later Reagan would start dismantling programs in order to stop ‘welfare queens’ anyways.

Blaming identity politics on academics is another common topic.  Why?  By doing so, the default assumption is that LGBTQ+, black, women, Hispanic, etc don’t have any issues that need to be addressed, and they only reason they’re agitating for anything is because the evil academics are inciting them.  The similarities to ‘globalists’ who are manipulating world events is extremely similar.  In the 19th and early 20th century, the espoused fear was that Jews were going to spread Marxism and overturn the social order.

If the issues of various groups were real, it would mean that we’d have to change our society.  On the other hand, if this is all just an academic conspiracy being funded by Soros, then they’re right to resist this change.

 
Balfizar1
 
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Balfizar1
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13 March 2021 18:02
 

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

- Issac Asimov

 
 
Poldano
 
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Poldano
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13 March 2021 23:57
 
Balfizar1 - 13 March 2021 06:02 PM

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

- Issac Asimov

[snark]

Well, there you go! Isaac Asimov was a Jewish Academic, so it stands to reason that he would take that position.

[/snark]

Nonetheless, he was one of my favorite writers, and he was right about that. Pursuance of any activity other than business, the clergy, or the military is considered frivolous by the prevailing U.S. belief system, and the latter two are not entirely above suspicion as cop-outs by those not suited for business.

 

 
 
Skipshot
 
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14 March 2021 01:24
 

It has been 231 years since the constitution originally applied to white, land-owning males, and each time a class of people outside this description has pointed out that the language of the constitution includes the outsider class, the denial from the Star-bellied Sneeches is the same.  Fortunately, the bullshit-based denials have not fooled the Supreme Court for long, and each time the prediction of the end of America if a minority right is recognized and protected fails to come true, but that never stops the self-appointed social elites from using the same discredited arguments.

Fortunately, it seems everyone who needs to for their rights has done so, which means they must remain vigilant against constant threats to remove the rights.  Fortunately, again, those who would remove the rights use the same discredited arguments, so vigilance mostly means ridicule by pointing to the scoreboard.

 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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14 March 2021 22:19
 

Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.— Some lefty elitist probably.

 
weird buffalo
 
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weird buffalo
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15 March 2021 00:09
 

The specific flavor I’m discussing here though is not just anti-academic, or anti-expert bias.  Rather, that there’s a certain flavor of anti-academic bias that mirrors antisemitic/white supremacist rhetoric.  And some of it gets thrown around here on these boards as well.  I am not accusing anyone of antisemitism, but it’s how deep into our culture some of these ideas have seeped that is interesting to me.

Like the idea that identity politics is a concept invented by academic elites in order to undermine Western culture.  This is straight out of the white supremacist playbook on how to do antisemitism.  Change “identity politics” to “socialism” and “academic elites” to “Jewish bankers”.  The structure of the rhetoric is essentially unchanged.

Of course, some of the strange beliefs of Q-Anon also sharply mirror antisemitic tropes.  Instead of the old-fashioned blood libel, they’ve made it more modern by saying that the conspiracy members drink adrenochrome from children.

 
deodand
 
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deodand
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16 March 2021 08:23
 

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds…and this one barely reaches the level of a foolish consistency.

The origin of identity politics in the academic left is not a conspiracy; it’s a fact, and pointing this out rehearses neither white supremacist nor anti-Semitic tropes.  Instead it is to differentiate properly the fight on behalf of minorities embodied in the Civil Rights Movement from the high-jacking by the Black Lives Matter movement, as though the two efforts are equivalent.  They are not.  One is born of traditional reform liberalism, the other from a revolutionary ideology developed and nursed within the academy going back to the 80’s.  Steve Bannon aside (he’s a non-representative idiot) anyone in graduate studies who’s paying attention to what the academics themselves have been saying for two generations, particularly as this ideology is now taught, should recognize both the relatively recent origins and the present difference of the current “Woke” from civil rights activists in the traditional sense (which have, not incidentally, continued unabated since the 60’s, with spectacular success).

This origin has been documented often enough, and it is reflected in the polls indicating the overwhelming majority of the progressive left as college educated, and the more educated, the further left.

The foolish sanctimony of the OP is typical of this movement: it presumes to be the sole spokesman for minority rights and concerns, and anyone who criticizes them is morally defective (hence the comparison to white supremacy and anti-Semitism); in short, a bad person. If criticisms of this movement relatively new to the mainstream but relatively old in the academy are echoed on this board, so much the better because they are usually justified, the defects being so evident. 

At least those echoed by yours truly are…

 
weird buffalo
 
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weird buffalo
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16 March 2021 16:20
 

Let’s say look at two possibilities (not intended to be exhaustive):

1) the academic creation of identity politics caused BLM
2) the academic creation of identity politics language has been adopted by BLM

which do you think is more likely?  Did the problem exist because of academics, or was the cause something else in the world (one possible explanation is that communities actually oppose police violence)

[ Edited: 16 March 2021 16:27 by weird buffalo]
 
deodand
 
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deodand
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18 March 2021 07:23
 

Let’s not.

First, what problem?  The one identified by BLM is not a real problem.  Framing aside, the underlying problem is a very rare and relatively isolated event, one that gets framed as a specific kind of problem through the lens of an ideology; one that in actuality affects both blacks and whites, without any special distinction to be made between them. 

In this sense, it is immaterial which came first, the ideology or the “something else in the world.”  And on that something else, no one has ever been in favor of police violence, so BLM offers nothing new on that issue.  But, by insisting these events represent blacks uniquely targeted with “impunity” and with “state sanction,” it actually distorts the problem. making it harder for others to solve.  Hence they become a barrier to addressing it, an obstacle to be overcome, not part of the solution.

And this because of their ideology, and their insistence on framing everything, literally everything, in terms of it.

I doubt the founders of BLM are intelligent enough to create much of anything on their own, so they adapted what they learned in school; what’s been taught in the humanities and the social sciences for decades now, developed along the way into its contemporary form.  In this respect, again, it’s immaterial what came first, the ideology of identity politics or the events framed in terms of it, because with respect to BLM there is no distinction to be made.  Actual events (very rare and relatively isolated) are framed exclusively in terms of the ideology, and the ideology then seeks events in order to justify itself.

For this reason neither of your non-exhaustive options are particularly illuminating, as they foreclose the possibility that the problem al a BLM and the problem al a the problem itself are radically different.  And this happens to be the case…

 
weird buffalo
 
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weird buffalo
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18 March 2021 07:38
 

Reading your post…. I’m really hard pressed not to see it as an endorsement of option 1 over 2.  I only asked which was more likely, and since you are claiming that the claimed problem doesn’t exist, but you DO cite academic culture as a source of the ideology… that’s exactly what I was trying to capture in option 1.

Perhaps you can clarify as to why you don’t see that as explanatory.

 
deodand
 
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deodand
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18 March 2021 08:41
 

See what as not explanatory, option 1?  The causality it formulates is ridiculous.

If you see my reply as an endorsement of it, I doubt I can clarify anything for you, the problem not being on my end.  For starters, I did say, specifically, that the founders of BLM “adapted what they learned in school.” Doesn’t that indicate an endorsement of option 2?

In any case, like I said, your options are not illuminating because in the follow up you make clear the causal claim for option 1 is to be understood in contrast to a possible alternative cause, the problem of police violence.  Rather obviously it therefore represents a false dichotomy because both the “something else” (police violence) and the ideology (a creation of academics) are (among other things) causal for BLM. 

And with this option 2 becomes true absent any endorsement of the false dichotomy implied in option 1, or the trap laid therein, as my reply should have made clear.

 
weird buffalo
 
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weird buffalo
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18 March 2021 09:55
 

I never presented it as a dichotomy.  In fact, I explicitly made it clear I was NOT making it a dichotomy as I recognized there were other possible options.

I asked you “which was more likely?” which does not even require you to choose one as being correct.  Just which one is “more likely” to be correct.

 
deodand
 
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deodand
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18 March 2021 11:19
 

You actually asked two questions: 1) which of two options is more likely and 2) which is more likely, that the problem exists because of academics creating it or does it actually exist in the real world?  Like I’ve said, BLM makes both questions moot because they’ve taken a problem that exists in the real world and framed in terms of their ideology, thus creating a false problem on the back of a real one.  This is an option that your options de facto preclude, an error which I’ve corrected.

In any case, the dichotomy I referred to is not option 1 versus option 2, it’s the one implied in option 1: “the academic creation of identity politics” versus “something else in the world” (police violence) caused BLM.  As it happens, both the ideology and the something else (among other things) were causal, so option 1, as phrased, is just nonsense.

Since it’s hard to see how BLM could adopt the academic creation of identity politics (option 2) absent the academic creation of identity politics (option 1), it’s hard to see how either is “more likely” than the other, especially considering that the causal role identity politics plays in BLM can only be one of adoption.

 

 
weird buffalo
 
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weird buffalo
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18 March 2021 13:59
 

Okay, so you are saying that option 2 is more likely.

Which the conclusion of that option is that BLM would exist regardless of whether or not the academic language was invented.  Sure, it’s exact form would be different, but overall the movement would still have happened.

 
deodand
 
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deodand
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18 March 2021 14:50
 

What is it with you and foolish options set up to entrap? 

To be precise I’ve rejected your framing of this issue in terms of the two options, and the two questions you’ve asked, for the very reason you’ve demonstrated: you are baiting me (or anyone) into the conclusion you want by giving them options that lead them away from your implied premise.  Because of this I’ve rejected the framing twice now, exposed the implied premise as flawed (e.g. that BLM has identified a real problem), so it’s inexplicable why you say I’m saying option 2 is more likely.

What I’ve said that’s related to both options is acknowledgement that BML adopted an ideology, not invented one, and that this ideology played a causal role in the movement.  In no way does this mean I think BLM would exist, regardless of whether the ideology was adopted.  In fact I’ve said the contrary.  As it happens I think if BLM didn’t adopt the ideology it did, there would be no comparing it to the movement that it is now, first because of the nature of identity politics and its entailments, and second because of the popularity of identity politics among liberals generally.  “No comparing” does not mean “overall the movement would still have happened.”

The conclusion you are forcing on me is like saying the Russian Revolution would have happened if Marx hadn’t written The Communist Manifesto, Das Capital, and created communist ideology, then Lenin et al. adopted it.  Sure, your reasoning goes, its exact form would be different, but overall the Revolution would have still happened.

What is the point of even posing such counter-factuals?

 

[ Edited: 18 March 2021 15:01 by deodand]
 
weird buffalo
 
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weird buffalo
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18 March 2021 15:01
 

Would you agree that the following is a dichotomy?

1. Academic leftists caused BLM.
2. Academic leftists did not cause BLM.

I’m formulating it as a dichotomy, since you seem to ONLY want to talk in dichotomies… even though I’ve repeatedly explained I wasn’t trying to force one on you.  But since you are going to constantly accuse me of that… well, here we are.

edit: and I’m only asking just for clarity sake.  Because if you aren’t agreeing with #1… then the OP has nothing to do with you.  The OP is about people who do claim #1.

[ Edited: 18 March 2021 15:32 by weird buffalo]
 
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