Bittersweet Victory

When the warm tears of jubilation over Obama's victory slow to a bare trickle, many of his supporters will return home to confront a rather icy reality: in the blink of an election the white Republican everyman oppressor will have disappeared.  When voters pulled the lever for Obama they also unwittingly voted to remove the chief source of liberal identity for the past several decades.  When Thoreau said "you never gain something but that you lose something" he could have been describing the disturbing vacuum recently created in the lives of many Democrats.

Indeed, for years conservatives were browbeaten into enduring ever new and improved excuses for why members of certain "minority communities" failed to succeed.  The most recent product from the laboratory of liberal thought was called "diversity." Diversity as an ideology, however, was always nothing more than Marxism disguised beneath a patchwork quilt. That is, behind the colorful flags and posters the same simplistic Leninist categories of oppressed and oppressor applied: minority = good, white = bad. 

Like all Marxist derivatives however, "diversity" was merely a clever attempt to explain away failure by blaming the "white" power structure.  Diversity engineers for example were never interested in other cultures or languages.  The purpose, on the contrary, was to provide "people of color" with a creative source of self-esteem -- a byproduct of the relentless attack on those who believed in free enterprise and merit.  Since Asians took advantage of merit-based modes of achievement, they were quietly removed from the "people of color" category.

The question now is this: does an Obama victory suddenly infuse the "blame everyone but yourself crowd" with a fresh and enlightened sense of personal achievement and self-reliance?  Well, probably not in the longer run. With the Republican whipping post gone liberals will have to drum up another bogeyman to sustain a new sense of purpose and identity.  In short, there is no other option, since the Messiah has proclaimed self-reliance to be a "myth."

The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche had an interesting observation concerning human behavior.  He claimed that there were two kinds of people in life: those that created and those who defined themselves by criticizing and pulling down the creators.  The primary impulse of the achievement-oriented person in life is action, while the motivating impulse of those who criticize is reaction.  That is, without the creators, the critics have no identity.  Creating is a difficult, risky, and merit-based activity.  Criticizing is parasitic -- it defines itself by what it is not.  The underlying theme here is that freedom can be frightening.  But by choosing freedom the creators become authentic -- they define themselves by what they achieve and in that sense fashion an identity for themselves.

 Mao Tse-Tung was a champion of the critics in life.  He was brilliant at Lenin's game of creating division in society in order to provide his true believers with an identity.  During the course of his tyranny in China, Mao pitted poor against rich, peasants against city workers, workers against intellectuals, blue collar against white collar, women against men, and worst of all, children against their parents.  Since individual Chinese were prevented from fashioning their own identities (the sin of "bourgeois individualism") their identities had to be constructed by inventing periodic "oppressors." 

Think about the vacuum facing critics that followed Obama's election victory -- quite simply it is nothing short of astonishing.  Bill Ayers, Reverend Wright, most of our educators, liberal politicians from the local to the national level -- the casualties will keep piling up.  What about the press?  The mainstream media mostly chose to define themselves not by the pursuit of truth but by their antipathy to George Bush. With "mean spirited" Republicans effectively eliminated as the enemy, many in the media who championed Obama's rise to power are now dangerously adrift, along with Obama's other supporters, in the frightening sea of freedom.

Many professional pundits worried during the campaign that Barack Obama was a "mystery" or an "enigma" with no real identity.  We now know why.  Like his radical friends, Obama defined himself through an ideology of opposition, not creation.  And when the opposition suddenly disappears, new sources of opposition, as Mao understood, need to fill the void.  I'm not very confident, in other words, that Reverend Wright of "US of KKKA" fame is going to suddenly start passing out copies of Emerson's Self-Reliance to his congregation.

When the celebration ends, both the press and many Democrats will be looking for fresh meat.  Who will be the new oppressors?  Parents?  The Military?  The Law itself?  The ancient Greek comedian Aristophanes, in his play The Wasps, observed that nothing is off limits to a mob hell-bent on rooting out "oppression."  In Athens for example, even certain sexual positions were considered to be forms of "dictatorship" -- women on top for example.  Here's hoping it doesn't come to that.

Hat tip: Larrey Anderson
When the warm tears of jubilation over Obama's victory slow to a bare trickle, many of his supporters will return home to confront a rather icy reality: in the blink of an election the white Republican everyman oppressor will have disappeared.  When voters pulled the lever for Obama they also unwittingly voted to remove the chief source of liberal identity for the past several decades.  When Thoreau said "you never gain something but that you lose something" he could have been describing the disturbing vacuum recently created in the lives of many Democrats.

Indeed, for years conservatives were browbeaten into enduring ever new and improved excuses for why members of certain "minority communities" failed to succeed.  The most recent product from the laboratory of liberal thought was called "diversity." Diversity as an ideology, however, was always nothing more than Marxism disguised beneath a patchwork quilt. That is, behind the colorful flags and posters the same simplistic Leninist categories of oppressed and oppressor applied: minority = good, white = bad. 

Like all Marxist derivatives however, "diversity" was merely a clever attempt to explain away failure by blaming the "white" power structure.  Diversity engineers for example were never interested in other cultures or languages.  The purpose, on the contrary, was to provide "people of color" with a creative source of self-esteem -- a byproduct of the relentless attack on those who believed in free enterprise and merit.  Since Asians took advantage of merit-based modes of achievement, they were quietly removed from the "people of color" category.

The question now is this: does an Obama victory suddenly infuse the "blame everyone but yourself crowd" with a fresh and enlightened sense of personal achievement and self-reliance?  Well, probably not in the longer run. With the Republican whipping post gone liberals will have to drum up another bogeyman to sustain a new sense of purpose and identity.  In short, there is no other option, since the Messiah has proclaimed self-reliance to be a "myth."

The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche had an interesting observation concerning human behavior.  He claimed that there were two kinds of people in life: those that created and those who defined themselves by criticizing and pulling down the creators.  The primary impulse of the achievement-oriented person in life is action, while the motivating impulse of those who criticize is reaction.  That is, without the creators, the critics have no identity.  Creating is a difficult, risky, and merit-based activity.  Criticizing is parasitic -- it defines itself by what it is not.  The underlying theme here is that freedom can be frightening.  But by choosing freedom the creators become authentic -- they define themselves by what they achieve and in that sense fashion an identity for themselves.

 Mao Tse-Tung was a champion of the critics in life.  He was brilliant at Lenin's game of creating division in society in order to provide his true believers with an identity.  During the course of his tyranny in China, Mao pitted poor against rich, peasants against city workers, workers against intellectuals, blue collar against white collar, women against men, and worst of all, children against their parents.  Since individual Chinese were prevented from fashioning their own identities (the sin of "bourgeois individualism") their identities had to be constructed by inventing periodic "oppressors." 

Think about the vacuum facing critics that followed Obama's election victory -- quite simply it is nothing short of astonishing.  Bill Ayers, Reverend Wright, most of our educators, liberal politicians from the local to the national level -- the casualties will keep piling up.  What about the press?  The mainstream media mostly chose to define themselves not by the pursuit of truth but by their antipathy to George Bush. With "mean spirited" Republicans effectively eliminated as the enemy, many in the media who championed Obama's rise to power are now dangerously adrift, along with Obama's other supporters, in the frightening sea of freedom.

Many professional pundits worried during the campaign that Barack Obama was a "mystery" or an "enigma" with no real identity.  We now know why.  Like his radical friends, Obama defined himself through an ideology of opposition, not creation.  And when the opposition suddenly disappears, new sources of opposition, as Mao understood, need to fill the void.  I'm not very confident, in other words, that Reverend Wright of "US of KKKA" fame is going to suddenly start passing out copies of Emerson's Self-Reliance to his congregation.

When the celebration ends, both the press and many Democrats will be looking for fresh meat.  Who will be the new oppressors?  Parents?  The Military?  The Law itself?  The ancient Greek comedian Aristophanes, in his play The Wasps, observed that nothing is off limits to a mob hell-bent on rooting out "oppression."  In Athens for example, even certain sexual positions were considered to be forms of "dictatorship" -- women on top for example.  Here's hoping it doesn't come to that.

Hat tip: Larrey Anderson