A recent piece at The American Conservative by Rod Dreher, Joe Rogan World vs. NPR World contains these two quotes:
…NPR sounds like Vatican Radio from the Church of Secular Progressivism, …The New York Times reads like L’Osservatore Romano of the same pseudo-religion.
Do read the whole thing. This is not surprising to me, but it is beautifully expressed.
Back in 2008 I wrote The Church of the MSM and the New Reformation, a review of media bias as seen through the lens of Professor of Communication Brian Anse Patrick’s (PBUH) book The National Rifle Association and the Media: The Motivating Force of Negative Coverage. That the media has a bias is undeniable. Both sides of the current political conflict believe that. But what Professor Patrick exposed was that the bias is both Left and Right (one more than the other), but it is exclusively about control:
That elite media may be biased for or against a particular issue or topic is interesting, and this knowledge may help an interest group rally indignation or manage its public relations; however it tells little about the overall functioning of media in society. This latter concern is the broader and more important idea, with larger implications.
The larger concept that lies behind the consistent ranking is a broad cultural level phenomenon that I will label an administrative control bias. It has profound implications. Administrative control in this usage means rational, scientific, objective social management by elite, symbol-manipulating classes, and subclasses, i.e., professionalized administrators or bureaucratic functionaries. The thing administered is often democracy itself, or a version of it at least. Here and throughout this chapter terms such as “rational,” “objective,” “professional,” and “scientific” should be read in the sense of the belief systems that they represent, i.e. rationalism, objectivism, professionalism, and scientism. Scientism is not the same as being scientific; the first is a matter of faith and ritualistic observance, the other is difficult creative work. William James made a similar distinction between institutional religion and being religious, the first being a smug and thoughtless undertaking on the part of most people, the second, a difficult undertaking affecting every aspect of a life. The term scientistic administration would pertain here. Note that we move here well beyond the notion of mere gun control and into the realm of general social control, management and regulation.
He explained that people who migrate into journalism believe that problems should be solved by the people already exercising the power. That journalists see themselves as the clergy of the Church of State, acting as intermediaries between the High Church of government – Federal, state and local – and the laypeople who make up the rest of the nation. Which is why I found Mr. Dreher’s description of NPR and the NYT to be so poetic.
As the political divide comes to a crashing head in this country on Tuesday, November 3, I thought I’d try to pull together the various threads that have been gathering in my head and try to weave together something coherent before (maybe) this whole thing gets ripped apart.
Why are we at this point? I have pointed at public education as the great enabler, but it goes deeper than that. John Taylor Gatto illustrated convincingly that the public education system was initially established by the Great Industrialists (aka “Robber Barons”) of the 19th Century to create a two-tiered system: A lower tier for the workers who would labor, do what they’re told without question, and buy the products they themselves manufactured, and an upper tier for the children of the Great Men and any who showed exceptional promise. It was, after all, only natural – “Social Darwinism” was the phrase associated with it, except that philosophy quite easily slides into racism and eugenics (which it did.)
No, a kinder, gentler philosophy was needed, and that was Marxism – the promise that all men (they were sexists in the late 19th century) would eventually be equal, would suffer no privation, would have all they needed, but never any more or less than their neighbors. It was a beautiful dream, but Marx insisted that it was an historical inevitability! So a lot of people adopted that dream and began working towards achieving it, hopefully in their lifetime.
These people were better than the average Joe or Jane. They cared more. They took jobs in government, in education, in media, because Utopia could not be consummated with the average prole! Regular people cared only about themselves and a few people in their close circles. For Marxism to work, people had to care about everyone else, and that required that they be trained, (nudged in the modern vernacular) into becoming a human being that can care more for a stranger than they do for themselves.
I believe my readers can see the flaw here.
Instead of schools churning out capitalists, they started churning out sort-of-Socialists, and among them the Scientistic Administrators referred to by Prof. Patrick. Part of that change was the secularization of the Western world, but the human mind seems to require some sort of spirituality. There appears to be a portion of the brain pre-wired for a belief in some higher power. In the face of a growing secularism, that inherent need for “spirituality” still needs to be filled.
Socialism, its accompanying Scientism and the promise of Marx’s utopian vision seems to do so nicely, and generation after generation has been infected and affected by exposure to that horribly flawed idea.
From a now-banned 2017 Reddit essay:
Blue Team Progressivism is a church, offering you moral superiority and a path to spiritual enlightenment. As a church it’s got a lot going for it. It runs religious programming on television, all day every day. Every modern primetime program is like a left-wing Andy Griffith show, reinforcing lessons of inclusion, tolerance, feminism, and anti-racism.
Watching a 90-pound Sci-Fi heroine beat up a room full of giant evil men is as satisfying to the left as John Wayne westerns were for the right.
The Blue Church controls the HR department, so even if you don’t go to church, you have to act like a loyal churchgoer in every way that matters while you’re on the clock. And off the clock, on any kind of public social media platform.
Jon Stewart and John Oliver are basically TV preachers. Watching them gives the same sense of quiet superiority your grandma gets from watching The 700 Club. The messages are constantly reinforced, providing that lovely dopamine hit, like an angel’s voice whispering, “You’re right, you’re better, you’re winning.”
Hollywood award shows are like church talent shows – the skits and jokes aren’t really funny, but it’s fun to look at the pretty girls, and you’re all on the same team.
If you oppose the ideas of the Left, as I have said in this forum repeatedly, you aren’t merely wrong, misinformed, misled, ignorant or in error, you’re evil. As Eric Hoffer explained in his 1951 book The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements:
Hatred is the most accessible and comprehensive of all unifying agents. It pulls and whirls the individual away from his own self, makes him oblivious of his weal and future, frees him of jealosies and self-seeking. He becomes an anonymous particle quivering with a craving to fuse and coalesce with his like into one flaming mass. (Heinrich) Heine suggests that what Christian love cannot do is effected by a common hatred.
Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil. Usually the strength of a mass movement is proportionate to the vividness and tangibility of its devil. When Hitler was asked whether he thought the Jew must be destroyed, he answered: “No…. We should have then to invent him. It is essential to have a tangible enemy, not merely an abstract one.” F.A. Voigt tells of a Japanese mission that arrived in Berlin in 1932 to study the National Socialist movement. Voigt asked a member of the mission what he thought of the movement. He replied: “It is magnificent. I wish we could have something like it in Japan, only we can’t, because we haven’t got any Jews.”
But we have had Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and now Donald Trump, each one inspiring greater and greater derangement to the point where it’s actually been called that – [fill in the blank] Derangement Syndrome, each new mutation more virulent than the last.
Of course, we’ve still got Jews, too.
Those Presidents, and the people who voted for them, have been called deplorables, bitter clingers, racists, sexists, misogynists, homophobes, Islamophobes, pretty much every -ist and -phobe you can think of. But what they’re really saying is “heretic.” Note how viciously they go after the apostates – the former members of the Left who #WalkAway. They know better. They’re better educated, better informed, more intelligent, and therefore should be in charge of everything. As the quote on the masthead of this blog from Sultan Knish explains:
The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been “liberated” to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it’s because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it’s because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem.
Hoffer, in a 1967 television interview with Eric Sevareid, was asked about the Intellectuals – our “betters” in society and (most importantly today) government. He responded:
Hoffer: I talk of a specific type of person when I talk about an intellectual. […] To me an intellectual is a man of some education who considers himself a member of the educated elite, who thinks he has a God-given right to direct affairs. To me an intellectual doesn’t even have to be intelligent in order to be an intellectual. He looked down upon the masses as if they were dirt.
Sevareid: It’s their attitude toward ordinary people that is the dividing line in your mind?
Hoffer: That’s right.
Hoffer: In this country the intellectuals aren’t in power. Mass movement hasn’t a chance for the simple reason that they aren’t started by the masses. They’re started by intellectuals.
In America the intellectual has neither status, nor prestige, nor influence. We, the common people, are not impressed by intellectuals. We have a disdain for pencil-pushers. We actually define efficiency by the small number of pencil-pushers. If you asked me what I consider an efficient society I’d say the ratio between the office personnel and the producing personnel.
The smaller the amount of supervision the better, the healthier, the more vigorous a society. The highest supervisory personnel is where the intellectuals are in power – in Communist countries. There half the population is supervising the other half. The intellectuals have a tremendous contempt for the masses. Intellectuals can’t operate unless they’re convinced that the masses are lazy, incompetent, dishonest; that you have to breathe down their necks, and you have to watch them all the time. We in America are sitting pretty because the masses perform only if we leave them alone. That’s where we are at our best.
Eric Sevareid: You seem to have a fear about the rise of intellectuals in political life and power. Why are you so frightened of them?
Eric Hoffer: First of all, I ought to tell you that I have no grievance against intellectuals. All that I know about them is what I read in history books and what I’ve observed in our time. I’m convinced that the intellectuals as a type, as a group, are more corrupted by power than any other human type. It’s disconcerting to realize that businessmen, generals, soldiers, men of action are less corrupted by power than intellectuals.
In my new book I elaborate on this and I offer an explanation why. You take a conventional man of action, and he’s satisfied if you obey, eh? But not the intellectual. He doesn’t want you just to obey. He wants you to get down on your knees and praise the one who makes you love what you hate and hate what you love. In other words, whenever the intellectuals are in power, there’s soul-raping going on.
And here we are, 53 years later with a society full of three more generations of college-educated intellectuals. We have a mass movement started by those intellectuals on college campuses where they teach and are taught to loathe their nation and their fellow citizens. We’re in not a civil war over control of the government, but a RELIGIOUS war over the control of our souls.
57 genders. Free speech is violence, but violence is speech, but silence is violence. There should be an equal number of female Fortune 500 CEOs but not an equal number of female brick layers, roofers, plumbers, or auto mechanics. Tear down all the statues. Rename all the streets, schools and other public buildings. Burn down Federal buildings, preferably with Federal agents inside. Raise your hand and say “Black Lives Matter” or we’ll beat you. Defund the police, but call the highway patrol when a Joe Biden campaign bus is surrounded by Trump supporters in pickup trucks, and on, and on, and on.
And so far we deplorables have acquiesced, gone along, kept our mouths shut and tried to stay out of it.
That choice is not going to be viable much longer. The Left is like the Terminator – it doesn’t sleep, doesn’t eat, and absolutely will not stop unless it is stopped. It’s time to stop them. This election is only the first step. If we don’t take it, we may not get another. It’s time to #StandUpandFaceThem, and damn the backlash.