Your outside is in
and your inside is out
your inside is out
and your outside is in,
so come on,
A recent article analyzing the psychocultural differences between the Left and Right by David Roberts over at the Vox site, White working-class nostalgia, explained by John Wayne (hat tip to reader Egghead), in my view gets a lot of things
subtly wrong, all in the same sense: all to do with his contrasts between right and
left. He articulates at least three:
1) Unlike the left, the
right has an unrealistic airbrushed, idealized view of the "good old
days", "with the dirty bits brushed off"
2) Unlike the left, the right perceives threat from the Other and from change; and
Unlike the left, the right has more of a sense of Self -- "more attuned
to in-group/out-group distinctions and to the purity of the in-group".
may be right about the right, at least on the surface (one senses an amused detachment from any of the three virtues he is palpating here, as though one could conceivably occupy such a neutral Archimedean point). At any rate, he's wrong that the left doesn't
indulge in exactly the same things, only just from the opposite
1) The left indeed has a mythologized view of the past as
always sordid under a surface veneer of seeming goodness -- with that
sordidness always due to the evil of white Westerners, and never to do
with non-white non-Westerners: thus they have airbrushed any essential
goodness out of the past whenever they contemplate white Western history, but retain quite a mass of "good bits" about the almost idyllically conceived essential goodness of the Noble Savage.
2) The left does in fact have a
threat perception: evil white right-wingers and/or Christians; and this
threat perception is easily as high if not higher than anything right
wingers indulge. The irony is that their vigilant threat perception is
most often calibrated with direct reference to any criticism of
non-white non-Western threats -- deemed by the left to be axiomatically
non-existent, and hence any concern about such non-white non-Western
threats (par excellence now, of course, being Muslims) itself becomes the threat about which society must remain hyper-vigilant! Thus it's not that, as the writer says, We could just as easily say that the left side of the spectrum scores high on "obliviousness to threat"
-- it is rather that the left is selectively oblivious to the Muslim
threat, while being quite lucidly paranoid about the supposed white
Western right wing threat (the "backlash" that somehow never materializes) in the white Western right wing's supposed paranoia and "Islamophobia" about Muslims.
3) And thus, finally, the left
maintains just as much -- if not more -- of an in group/out group
distinction; it just inverts it inside-out: in its civilizational and
psycho-cultural self-hatred, it has cultivated a perversely paradoxical
paradigm whereby it relocates its allegiance to its own out-group (morphing post-911 in the Mother of all Others, the Muslims) while
directing its hyper-criticism, shame, and guilt, veering into condemnation
(hence, "self-hate") against its own in-group -- against its own civilizational
and psycho-cultural Self, incoherently scapegoated as a sort of in-group Other, the white right wing Christian, with historical roots in the ancien régime of our "authoritarian," "theocratic" and "imperialist" Western past, whose "conservative" regressiveness the utopian vector of Progress tries perpetually to transcend (if not transform).
I delved into this issue at least in part -- also probing the perhaps deeper issue of the confluence of Left and Right in the sociopolitical and psychological phenomenon of PC MC (Politically Correct Multi-Culturalism) -- back in 2009 and 2010 in a few essays:
Leftists are not Relativists
Self-Criticism and the Mother of all Others
Morosophy and the Mother of all Others
And even longer ago, nearly ten years past:
Spelunking the Leftist Psyche