January 23, 2014

Hollywood's conservatives stay in the closet

From the NYT:
In a famously left-leaning Hollywood, where Democratic fund-raisers fill the social calendar, Friends of Abe stands out as a conservative group that bucks the prevailing political winds. 

The name "Friends of Abe [Lincoln]" was chosen as a reference to the "Friends of Bill" in Hollywood who have done so much for the Clintons.
A collection of perhaps 1,500 right-leaning players in the entertainment industry, Friends of Abe keeps a low profile and fiercely protects its membership list, to avoid what it presumes would result in a sort of 21st-century blacklist, albeit on the other side of the partisan spectrum. 
Now the Internal Revenue Service is reviewing the group’s activities in connection with its application for tax-exempt status. Last week, federal tax authorities presented the group with a 10-point request for detailed information about its meetings with politicians like Paul D. Ryan, Thaddeus McCotter and Herman Cain, among other matters, according to people briefed on the inquiry.

The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the organization’s confidentiality strictures, and to avoid complicating discussions with the I.R.S.

Those people said that the application had been under review for roughly two years, and had at one point included a demand — which was not met — for enhanced access to the group’s security-protected website, which would have revealed member names. Tax experts said that an organization’s membership list is information that would not typically be required. The I.R.S. already had access to the site’s basic levels, a request it considers routine for applications for 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. 
Friends of Abe — the name refers to Abraham Lincoln — has strongly discouraged the naming of its members. That policy even prohibits the use of cameras at group events, to avoid the unwilling identification of all but a few associates — the actors Gary Sinise, Jon Voight and Kelsey Grammer, or the writer-producer Lionel Chetwynd, for instance — who have spoken openly about their conservative political views.

To notice who in Hollywood is conservative, you have to be extremely good at reading between the lines. Andrew O'Hehir of Salon, for example, is always raising the alarm that various fashionable auteurs and stars are actually crypto-rightwingers, but few of his readers take him seriously. This is not because Salon readers are tolerant of diversity in the ideological sphere, but because they assume that anybody who is creative and cool has to agree with them politically. It's a law of nature or something.

By the way, I compared the politics of Sinise to those of another NDHS dad, Mark Harmon, a gun control activist, here to illustrate my complicated theory about the political effects of weightlifting versus jogging.

79 comments:

Opened Eyes said...

The federal government is the enemy of all decent Americans.

Anonymous said...

RE:Andrew O'Hehir,

MMMM, his desire to hunt out Hollywood conservatives certainly puts an interesting spin on his take on the IRON MAN franchise, given what we know of Robert Downey Jr's vaguely conservative leanings:

"Robert Downey Jr.’s metal-clad superhero is also past his prime, but remains massively popular. I’m not suggesting any profound ideological parallels between Ted Cruz and Iron Man, by the way, although we could get partway there: They’re both ultimately defenders of power and privilege masked as other things, but at least Tony Stark does not pretend to stand for ordinary people. One could devote an entire article, or even a book, to decoding the incoherent politics of the Marvel universe (possibly someone has done this), which seem to teeter back and forth between post-1960s liberalism and full-on fascism."

Anonymous said...

Love your use of "... or something." It reminds of how analytic philosophers use ceteris paribus, but, of course, they aren't big on irony.

Anonymous said...

Here is O'Hehir giving the HUNGER GAMES the conservative sniff-test:

"I have no idea whether Collins understood, while writing her best-selling trilogy of novels, that this would allow Tea Party libertarians to embrace Katniss Everdeen’s incipient rebellion against the tyranny of the effete, aestheticized and affluent Capital as easily as could Obama liberals or left-wing anarchists. Is this a story of the 99 percent rising against their corporate overlords, or of real Americans “taking their country back” from the cultural elite? Of course, it’s more likely Collins was seeking narrative clarity and simplicity for a young-adult audience — a situation where the good guys and bad guys appear clearly delineated, as in World War II or apartheid South Africa. (Collins has been understandably cagey about her personal politics, although she has said the idea for “The Hunger Games” came to her after encountering reality-TV and Iraq War coverage on the same night.)"

bjdubbs said...

This is an interesting blog comment from somebody who lived in Barry's apartment back in the day.

http://www.doctorhousingbubble.com/california-baby-boomers-golden-real-estate-handcuffs-generational-wealth-taxes/#comment-444179

bjdubbs said...

I lived in the same condo as his tutu — circa 1983 — and thus came into direct contact with Barry. (Yes, his Grandmother ALWAYS addressed him as Barry. The Barack bit had just been started — back at Columbia.)

In Dreams he writes/ ghosts of being stared at in an elevator: that’d be me, of course.

His Grandmother would be chewing him out something fierce — her voice booming down from the top floor. (16th) So that when I entered (15th) the rage was still spewing forth.

Barry didn’t ever say a peep, BTW.

What an ODD couple. He was handsome, young, tall; she was loud, nasty, short — and not ready for a photo-shoot.

I stared at him because hapa-popolo Hawaiians were not rare — kids without parents during the holidays WERE. And it was plain as day that she was his Grandmother! I’d never seen a really mean, foul-mouthed, grandmother before. She was a real harridan.

This dynamic goes a LONG way to explaining why Barry has so many strong women in his administration — yet has issues with them. This latter point is particularly glaring when caught by WH photographers.

Dave Pinsen said...

" By the way, I compared the politics of Sinise to those of another NDHS dad, Mark Harmon, a gun control activist, here to illustrate my complicated theory about the political effects of weightlifting versus jogging."

Some tentative evidence in support of your theory can be found on the Starting Strength forums. The founder of the method, Mark Rippetoe is sort of an Investor's Business Daily conservative/libertarian, and most (though not all) forum members seem to lean right (one, an NYC-based female strength coach / web designer is a lefty feminist). Here, for example, is Rippetoe commenting on Obamacare; here he notes a plug by Instapundit.

DR said...

Re: Conservative predilections of weight lifters.

The most important behavioral change related to adding musculature is the consumption of high amounts of quality protein. A trainee with a crappy program who eats one gram of animal protein per pound of lean body mass will add much more mass than a hard-training vegan.

A well known result from neurobiology from recent years is that conservatives have much more of an impulse towards feelings of "disgust" than those who self-identify as liberal.

It's also hypothesized that feelings of disgust co-evolved with meat consumption. That is to prevent animals from eating rotting meat. A Homo Sapient who's niche is having elite upper-body strength needs to consume a lot meat, and he needs to be very careful with all that consumption. Big muscles also go along with high testosterone, which is shown to impair immune function.

A weightlifting caveman with a tolerant liberal attitude, is someone who's not too picky about slightly smelly or weird looking animal carcasses ("Top Chef on Bravo told me that the traditional Haitian way is to wait a few days for the flavors to come out"). And when he does get sick, he'll lose a lot of muscle. (I lift pretty seriously and with a good bout of flu will drop 5-10 lbs of lean body mass easily.)

For an endurance caveman these problems simply don't exist in the same way. If anything he's probably eating less meat and safer runner/girly food. Second he has lower testosterone so his immune system responds to infection better. Third even if he does get ill and drops weight (even lean body mass), it's as likely to help his performance as hurt it. (Look how many skeleton-like 50+ year old women put up decent times in marathons, don't see that in bench press competitions)

So quick evolutionary explanation: when you lift more, you eat more meat. When you eat more meat you're more at risk of eating something nasty. Your brain responds by setting a lower threshold for disgust. That impulse to disgust is what we commonly call a "conservative attitude."

Anonymous said...

Useless neocons, most of them.

Anonymous said...

O'Hehir of the brilliant thesis on Detroit and Motown?

Anonymous said...

"...which seem to teeter back and forth between post-1960s liberalism and full-on fascism."

Couldn't this be said of the Obama campaign? So, is Barry a closet-Republican too? Well maybe to the extent that he bailed out Wall Street and is the darling of the super-rich Davos Club.

Anonymous said...

In actuality, Friends of Abe(Foxman).
Sinise was a cheerleader for the Iraq War. Voight cares more about Israel than about Americans.
FOA is worthless.

Reg Cæsar said...

They’re both ultimately defenders of power and privilege masked as other things, but at least Tony Stark does not pretend to stand for ordinary people. --Andrew O'Heehaw

As if overpaid white Angelenos turning Orange County into Tijuana del Norte, or ramming "same-sex marriage" down the throats of black Christian congregations, aren't "defenders of power and privilege masked as other things"!!!

Steve Sailer said...

I was under the impression the Dunhams lived in a 10 story building.

Anonymous said...

" By the way, I compared the politics of Sinise to those of another NDHS dad, Mark Harmon, a gun control activist, here to illustrate my complicated theory about the political effects of weightlifting versus jogging."

Some tentative evidence in support of your theory can be found on the Starting Strength forums.


Gary Sinise looks sickly, unhealthy, and weak.

Anonymous said...

I was under the impression the Dunhams lived in a 10 story building.

Huh???

Orwell Fan said...

@DR:

I've always eaten a lot of meat, experience quite a bit of disgust
(litter, hippies, pacifists, the illiterate, the obese, the tattoed), but I have low testosterone, and have never been able to lift more than 120 lbs.




Whiskey said...

Hollywood is not about money or achievement and is run by women. Signs? Witch hunts for conservatives. Contrast NFL or MLB which don't really care much.

Hollywood is run by gays and an endlessly rotating seies of starlets pushing their female prefs.

Harry Baldwin said...

Of course, it’s more likely Collins was seeking narrative clarity and simplicity for a young-adult audience — a situation where the good guys and bad guys appear clearly delineated, as in World War II or apartheid South Africa.

As time goes on, the good guys and bad guys in apartheid South Africa seem less clearly delineated.

Anonymous said...

Are we talking about the Dunhams now?

Because there is a new story out which indicates that poor Stanley Ann was even more hopelessly insane than we had already realized:

Barack Hussein Soebarkah?

And that the Hawaii state power structure is just hopelessly corrupt.

Oh, and speaking of Hollyweird conservatives, the Feds just arrested Dinesh D'Souza.

I. Kid. You. Not.

Memo to would-be Obama documentary film makers: The Chicago branch office of The Frankfurt School always brings a gun to the knife-fight.

ALWAYS.

Anonymous said...

For the record, I have higher than normal testosterone and have to coach myself into feeling disgust. On the other hand, like a small vicious dog, I quickly feel sentiments of impending danger, and quickly feel that pounding heartbeat which is, to a civilized human being, worse than a whiff of last week's refuse improperly disposed of (or any similar disgusting set of items). To BJ Dubbs - your comments on the president's sweet but unloved grandmother may be fictional, but remember that each of the hundreds of million of Americans have an eternal soul, and that your story would be just as important if referring to the least important little semi-employed loser Simpsons fan as it is referring to Obama, who is making a fool of himself in front of billions of people, many of whom know better than to waste their life replaying teen dramas instigated by absent cold hearted selfcentered fools (I like his gramma, though, she, for all her obvious faults, was not a c.h.s.f.). Also, Sailer's Dunham comment belonged on another thread, cut the guy some slack...

Anonymous said...

@DR:

I agree that many people appear to have a low tolerance for "putrefaction" in meat; typically evidenced by strong dislike for pungent meat odor and taste; as might be found in overripe meat, undercooked meat, and organ meat. On whether this "disgust" is correlated with a conservative political instinct I have no opinion.

However, I doubt that it is highly correlated with a genetic preference for animal protein. Outside of the polar regions, the great majority of humans never enjoyed fresh meat on a regular, year-round basis until recent times. A meat-dependent hominid with an ultra selective sniffer would simply starve.

I think you are speaking of folks who have had substantial vegetable protein alternatives for some time.

Neil Templeton


Anonymous said...

Weightlifting is also, unfortunately, an increasingly gay subculture. It's always been present but it's gotten a lot worse recently. Similar deal with beards and heavy facial hair, which have been around for a while as a gay subculture but which have gotten worse recently with all these gays sporting them. I know guys who just lift at home now because of how gay weightlifting in gyms has become. Some guys have quit lifting altogether and now just shoot, hunt, fish, tinker with their cars, etc.

It's related to the "straight flight" phenomenon Steve has written about before, where straight men flee something once enough gays or gay influence have creeped into some activity or discipline.

Cail Corishev said...

If you're a meat-eating weightlifter instead of a grain-eating jogger, that means you've already discarded the conventional wisdom on diet and exercise. It's no surprise that you'd find yourself dissenting on other matters as well.

Anonymous said...

It looks they're trying to revive Detroit by luring non-blacks. They should be doing this by luring unemployed/underemployed non-black Americans from around the country. But of course that would be racist, even if non-racial criteria (e.g. Master's degree requirement) that skew non-black were used because of "disparate impact." So they turn to luring "immigrants" which of course is PC:

"Immigrants Seen as Way to Refill Detroit Ranks"

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/24/us/immigrants-seen-as-way-to-refill-detroit-ranks.html

"For Detroit, a city that has watched a population in free fall, officials have a new antidote: immigrants.

Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan on Thursday announced plans to seek federal help in bringing 50,000 immigrants to the bankrupt city over five years as part of a visa program aimed at those with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities in science, business or the arts.

Under the plan, which is expected to be formally submitted to federal authorities soon, immigrants would be required to live and work in Detroit, a city that has fallen to 700,000 residents from 1.8 million in the 1950s.

“Isn’t that how we made our country great, through immigrants?” said Mr. Snyder, a Republican, who last year authorized the state’s largest city to seek bankruptcy protection and recently announced plans to open a state office focused on new Americans."

Anonymous said...

If you're a meat-eating weightlifter instead of a grain-eating jogger, that means you've already discarded the conventional wisdom on diet and exercise. It's no surprise that you'd find yourself dissenting on other matters as well.

Most joggers eat meat and most lifters eat grains. Most people do some mixture of both.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how many young men are getting into serious weightlifting these days. Is it because of the ongoing narrowing of active displays of masculinity that are considered socially acceptable?

And then there's the whole "Crossfit" thing, which seems to be more the province of SWPL women looking to get toned and jogger-type men.

Anonymous said...

I agree that many people appear to have a low tolerance for "putrefaction" in meat; typically evidenced by strong dislike for pungent meat odor and taste; as might be found in overripe meat, undercooked meat, and organ meat. On whether this "disgust" is correlated with a conservative political instinct I have no opinion.

Most meat eaters like the "pungent meat odor" of lamb and goat meat, for example, and prefer rare/medium rare steaks over well done steaks.

Mr Lomez said...

"...anybody who is creative and cool has to agree with them politically."

Mostly the Salon readers who think this are right. Being cool in the year 2013 means being an outspoken devotee of multiculturalism and other Progressive causes like "the environment" and "inner-city education" or whatever. Obama, for whatever else he is or isn't, is considered cool. For some reason. He smokes weed, dude. And plays hoops. And he's into literature.

The question is: is Hollywood so lefty because being lefty is cool, or is being lefty cool because Hollywood is lefty?

Probably the former. Hollywood, after all, is dominated by Jews and Gays and A LOT of yes men who know how to go along to get along. Hollywood will always be on the left, and so being on the left will always be "cool."

Anonymous said...

"Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan on Thursday announced plans to seek federal help in bringing 50,000 immigrants to the bankrupt city over five years as part of a visa program aimed at those with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities in science, business or the arts."

Send in the Somalis.

Glossy said...

I think it's possible for a libertarian to be considered cool. Many libertarians are nerds, so they can't take advantage of this, but some aren't and do.

Race and gender realism, skepticism about the virtues of sodomy, cultural conservatism in general - those things really are deal-breakers in cool-or-not evaluations.

Steve Sailer said...

Who is the highest paid movie star in the world these days? Probably Robert Downey Jr., right? How liberal is he since he got out of prison? How liberal are his characters Tony Stark and Sherlock Holmes?

I don't know who the biggest money director is, but Christopher Nolan would be in the running. He strikes me as about as liberal as the Duke of Wellington.

Young Nolan America's[sic] Foundation said...

In a recent documentary produced by Keanu Reeves (yup) he went into the artistic implications of using digital video vs. traditional celluloid, and the brief interviews with Nolan sort of stand out for their semi-aristocratic disdain and nonchalance. It isn't that he dislikes hi-tech photovoltaic filmmaking, exactly; he's not smug, doesn't question the convenience/technical benefits; he just seems not to care that much about it.

NLA said...

Robert Downey Jr went to an Obama fundraiser in 2012, so whatever conservative impulses he had are apparently gone now. Or he's just doing what he needs to in order to get the good jobs. Something similar happened with Mila Kunis. She made some vaguely conservative comments about communism and the military, and the conservative blogs picked up on it. Very quickly she was going out of her way to publicly support Obama and slam Republicans, with typical liberal sneers about trailer park Republicans in Georgia being too dumb to know their own interests. She actually said that she goes around town spraypainting pro-Obama messages on buildings.

And that study about conservatives being more prone to disgust was pretty funny. To prove their thesis, the researchers showed people pictures of babies and spiders, and if you were more disgusted with the spiders that meant you were conservative. Science.

Orthodox said...

Why didn't some conservative filmmaker do Benghazi? White House arming Al Qaeda in Syria with weapons from Libya, and lying to the public about it. There are zero people in Hollywood interested in making highly controversial propaganda films?

Hunsdon said...

Whiskey said: Hollywood is not about money or achievement and is run by women.

Hunsdon said: Wives of the Harvard WASP Mafia!

Simon in London said...

I don't get the impression that Hollywood Republicans face a lot of direct career discrimination; probably less than do academics, bureaucrats, teachers and various other government employees. Hollywood tends to want the right (most profitable) guy for the job, whatever their politics.
I suspect it's more about fear of semi-ostracism from their fellow actors, not being invited to the right parties, etc. Which can eventually hinder career development, but it's more primarily about being liked.

Of course you can't express negative attitudes about gays, Jews, blacks etc if you want a career, but I think that is almost equally true of left-wing actors?

Anonymous said...

I don't know who the biggest money director is, but Christopher Nolan would be in the running. He strikes me as about as liberal as the Duke of Wellington.



Maybe throw in an occasional earl of Liverpool to keep this joke fresh Steve. You know pour encourager les weightlifters.

Marlowe said...

Nolan could be as conservative as Henry II, King of England and France. What of it?

Actors and directors are by and large flakes and not serious people. Nothing they believe matters.

Anonymous said...

I like his gramma, though, she, for all her obvious faults, was not a c.h.s.f.

CHSF????

Also, Sailer's Dunham comment belonged on another thread, cut the guy some slack...

Well that was exactly my question - in which other iSteve thread are we talking about the Dunhams right now?

Thanks.

[Cause I could talk about the frigging Dunhams from now until the cows come home. Frigging bleeding-edge anti-civilizational nihilists...]

Mr. Anon said...

"Whiskey said...

Hollywood is not about money or achievement and is run by women."

Do you ever stop to realize how transparently full of shit you show yourself to be when you write things like that?

Anonymous said...

The anadromist provides some excellent background on this milieu. http://theanadromist.wordpress.com/
See his 5 part series on how the ephemeral sensation of fun has become a religion including vernation of teens. Our Victorian forbearers did not discuss anything so vulgar as what was cool.

Anonymous said...

"Robert Downey Jr went to an Obama fundraiser in 2012, so whatever conservative impulses he had are apparently gone now."

In prison, Downey feared being a 'bitch' to black guys.
But he has no problems with a black guy being a 'bitch' to Hollywood.

Anonymous said...

Democrats and liberals are very active even in a red state like Texas, yet conservatives are not active in blue states. Liberals spread their gospel, but conservatives just hunker in their bunkers. It's rather like Germany vs France in World War II. Conservatives just fight defensively against the Libskrieg.

The two biggest cities in Texas, Dallas and Houston, are controlled by Democrats and solidly liberal. There is no such equivalent in blue states. Republicans control the biggest cities in a place like California or New York? Too funny to even ponder.
And the most creative city in Texas is Austin, solidly liberal.

Polls say conservatives are happier than liberals. Creativity and innovation come from discontentment, which is the mother of invention. If you're happy, why challenge or change anything? Conservative mode is to cling to one's toys and happy meal.

Conservatives prefer the baby mentality. For all his invective, Limbaugh is a big baby.

Conservatives dread things that may be odd yet fascinating.
Spiders are fascinating creatures. Strange but special. A liberal is more likely to engage in the ways of spiders while conservatives are likely to stick to infantile assurance of the same old same old.
Libertarianism may be more racy but it too promotes the glib comfort of a couch potato laughing at the world in eternal fratboy contentment.

Otoh, the films of Wes Anderson and Jonze indicate that too much privilege and comfort have taken the edge off liberals too.

Just Another Guy With a 1911 said...

Steve, there really are no Hollywood conservatives, at least not in the way your or I would understand the word.

I went to school with a number of kids who went onto work in Hollywood, most notably a guy who writes/produces two sitcoms on network TV. For the purposes of this comment, we'll call him Marc.

By way of background, our town had an area called "The Reservation"; a rabbit warren of streets with post-war ranches/capes on streets named after various Indians, all within walking distance of myriad synagogues, populated by refuges from a nearby decaying industrial town (which, at one time, had a very large Jewish population).

Marc and I were in an acting 101 class at our HS. Our teacher gave us the choice of writing and performing a monologue or a scene with another classmate.

Marc wrote and performed monologue were he played a kid whose dad was more interested in the financial markets than his family; it included a great deal of financial jargon. To my 17 year old self it sounded very realistic. Looking back, so far away now, I can honestly say it was a work of genius albeit wrapped up in a very small package.

You can see this in how Marc portrays a character on his show - a kick ass libertarian; but, at the end of the day, he is just a broadly drawn character that, on some level, Marc is sympathetic with. In contrast, he wrote an episode with a Tea Partier who was nothing more than an inaccurate impression of what a conservative is. It would never occur to him, or any leftist, really, to pick up and read something by Russell Kirk, or spend some time with the Federalist Papers.

The understanding Hollywood has of the right is nothing more than than the received wisdom of college professors and the media and curiously unimpinged by reality. Their world is illuminated by the torches lit by the Frankfurt school and untouched by any other source of light. (One thing I have noticed is that conservatives understand their enemy far better, which leads, sometimes, to an Ender Wiggan's type of sympathy that can be deleterious in battle).

I mean, Marc is straight on genius, a very warm human being, a good guy, but, like a lot of guys in Hollywood, just *cannot* understand what it means to be conservative. Moreover, his very DNA/cultural history demands the application of caustic agents to the sinews of the general society that is always seen as standing against and/or hostile to the interests of his tribe.

SO, yes, there might be a couple of conservatives in Hollywood (The Dark Night Rises should be called "Reflections of the Revolution in Gotham City"), but, honestly, if you know them when they are young (and unless acted upon by an outside force, i.e., some profound hardship and difficulty, people tend to stay the same) it is difficult to believe that Hollywood types could produce a product that an iStever could see, without a great deal of imagination and projection, as truly conservative; the best we can hope for is a penumbra or an adumbration.

As everything I need to know I learned in High School, I will draw on an analogy of a buddy of mine I, and all of us, had back in the day; whenever he so much as talked to a girl, he was convinced she "wanted him" and could not be dissuaded by any means. I mean, yeah, sure maybe one or two did, because it's numbers game, but it is all too easy to see what is not there when we want it * so bad *.

For conservatives, it means we are very small platoon fighting a very big war against some pretty hefty odds - but, you know, F* them all and keep up the fight, because, after all:

"To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his Gods."

Anonymous said...

7-13 anonymous - CHSF (from the earlier sentence, cold hearted self centered fool - a harsh term indicating the negatively remembered characters in Obama's immature internal drama about his past - whether or not they were any of those things in reality)- By the way, using new one-time acronyms is a bad habit picked up from texting, I think. But using the acronym here also stylistically underlines an adult's failure to carefully (and prayerfully, if necessary) think through the past, to forgive and possibly forget, to become philosophically or theologically mature.

Cail Corishev said...

"Immigrants Seen as Way to Refill Detroit Ranks"

They're slipping pro-immigration/amnesty notions into everything right now. Just this morning on the local radio "news" there was an item about how a state-run jobs website has more jobs postings than ever, with a quote from a spokesman saying the jobs are just there waiting for someone qualified to take them. The word "immigrant" was never uttered, but the clear implication was that Americans had better start getting trained and taking these jobs -- at whatever wages are being offered, of course -- or they'll have to go to someone else.

They're pushing it everywhere, it every way they can think of.

Cail Corishev said...

Send in the Somalis.

I bet the Minnesotans right next door would be willing to share. Round up 1000 schoolbuses that aren't in use this weekend, 50 people each: Detroit could be on the road to prosperity by next week!

Anonymous said...

The root of the word 'civilization' comes from 'city', and the city has been the center of power in civilization.
Conservatives flee from both cities and government--"big government is bad"--, another great source of power. So, conservatives have denied themselves the two main sources and centers of power in the modern world.
Liberals are for civilization(city centered empowerment), conservatives are for peripheralization(city-removed disempowerment). Liberals want to convert everyone; conservatives want to be left alone.

Cities are where the struggle for power happens. It's where culture is created, where coalitions are formed. Athens the city had the power, not the periphery. Power was in Rome, not in the outlying areas. If Damascus falls, Assad is finished. If Moscow had fallen in WWII, it might have been all over for the Soviets. True, city isn't the only center of power. Napoleon took Moscow but it was a Pyrrhic victory. US took Baghdad but couldn't win the war. When occupiers of the city are totally hated by the surrounding areas, they can be in trouble. But in our mass communication age, even suburbs and small towns have been culturally 'globalized', so even small town rubes in Red States twerk to rap and want to fight Muslims for Israel and get revenge for 9/11, an attack on big cities that are hostile to conservatives.
Tentacles of the city penetrate everywhere.

Conservatives prefer suburbs to cities. They don't like confrontation--without which there can be no power. Conservatives would rather hide in their suburban or small town homes and tune into Rush Limbaugh or Christian radio and shut off the world.
Conservatives prefer family and local community over the larger world, and so, they don't try to fight to win the hearts and minds of the larger world. They are like Polish noblemen who resisted all centralization of the state. So, Poland grew weaker and lost out to the more centralized powers of Prussia, Russia, and Austro-Hungary. Concentrated power, like an iron fist, beats diffused power.

There is a lot of good things to say about loving one's family and local community, but the fight is never just a local affair. Bigger events and powers influence smaller events and powers.

Also, the culture of happiness saps one's fighting strength.
In DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, Alec Guinness says, "Happy men don't volunteer." Happy men are just happy to be at home with wife and kids. Strelnikov chose power because he was unhappy. And Zhivago is a poet because he can't be content with simple things.
Conservatives are very simple emotionally.

Conservatives also tend to have a jock mentality, but jocks aren't known for ideas; they don't join school government, art classes, or intellectual stuff.
Also, given that the biggest jocks in the US are blacks, conservative males even lose in the cult of jockdom, with the likes of Rush Limbaugh gushing about how black NFL players have the bodies of Adonises and being friendly with Charles Barkley who surely slept with over 10,000 white women.

"Don't worry, be happy"?
No, worry and stop being happy. To be sure, bitterness alone won't get you anywhere as there's plenty of angry rightist voices on talk radio.
Instead, the anger has to be channeled through more creative pursuits. Conservatives on talk radio tend to just blow their wad with a lot of invective.

A theory of creativity says that sexuality should be channeled toward something more creative and interesting than porn.
Same goes for rage/anger. Without it being channeled in more interesting ways, talk radio is just bigass political porn.

Liberals, in contrast, turn their anger into music, plays, novels, movies, TV shows, magazine articles, etc.

Anonymous said...

Somebody is being awfully magnanimous with his old friend, "Marc".

There were several folks in my senior class who made it professionally in Hollyweird.

One was a fairly decent genial down-to-earth guy, back in the day [or at least he did a pretty good job of faking it], but nowadays he's simply insufferable.

The other one, though - he was pure unadulterated evil.

From Day One.

He was the first guy in my life to ever get really aggressive and go on the offensive with the pathological lying in order to save face - literally trying to shout [and then succeeding in shouting] down the truth, via the sheer overwhelming power of his own personal nihilism.

When we were little children, there were other kids who were known as having an uneasy relationship with the truth, or as having sticky fingers when it came to the smaller valuables lying around the house [like, say, a silver dollar from a little boy's coin collection, or an arrowhead from a little boy's Injun collection].

But Evil Dude - who is now fairly famous, to the point that you would probably know who he is; for the purposes of this comment, we'll call him "Mr Grey" - Mr Grey was the first acquaintance in my life to display that aggressive in-your-face take-no-prisoners scorched-earth nihilism.

These guys were both Unitardians, BTW [Mr Grey's father is even a tenured professor of Unitardianism - go figure].

As for the YKWs?

When they were in your house, they and their Moms mostly just stole money and intentionally broke your furniture by jumping up and down on it.

Penny ante stuff like that.

Although I didn't really understand what a YKW was until well after Graduate School.

Or a Unitardian, for that matter.

I only just realize all that stuff now in restrospect.

Rohan Swee said...

Anon@1/23/14, 7:52 PM: It looks they're trying to revive Detroit by luring non-blacks. They should be doing this by luring unemployed/underemployed non-black Americans from around the country[...]

"Immigrants Seen as Way to Refill Detroit Ranks"


What is it with middle-aged/old white guy municipal/state pols these days? Seems like everywhere I've lived in the last 30 years they have two ideas and two ideas only for "fixing" the economic malaise afflicting their bailiwicks: 1) allow more casinos and/or related enablers of social degradation, and/or 2) more magic immigrants!

(OK, I forgot #3, luring corporations (preferably hip, high-tech ones) with massive tax-breaks and other sweet incentives, though I guess that really should be #2a - because, although these incentives are sold as a necessary step to providing jobs for the communi-tay, it will transpire that the locals really aren't up to snuff and all the jobs will have to be filled by magic immigrants.)

To a man, they appear to truly believe that Americans are and always have been utterly unequal to the task of creating or restoring a functioning, prosperous society, or of doing anything but contributing to tax revenues by blowing their Walmart paychecks at the casino.

Maybe their mirrors put that idea in their heads. And strangely, they all seem to look alike. Poli-pods.

P.S. Lol at the "requirement" for these particular magic immigrants to stay in Detroit. I'm sure that will be strictly followed and enforced just like the rest of our immigration laws.

Anonymous said...

"A theory of creativity says that sexuality should be channeled toward something more creative and interesting than porn."

Liberals win through 'delayed expression', which is like delayed gratification of expression through creativity.

While Liberals are full of rage and opinions, they also take time to create more complex narratives about the world through books, plays, movies, and etc.
Thus, their passions are given deeper meaning. Also, art, culture, and entertainment have personal impact in that way that mere opinions cannot. If you say 'slavery was evil', it's not as powerful as making a film like 12 YEARS A SLAVE. They also have lasting value. Even today, kids are impacted by TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD. But who reads the books of Bill Buckley like GOD AND MAN AT YALE? Even conservatives don't read that stuff.

While lots of conservatives have opinion, they 'blow their wad'--mostly on talk radio--than 'delaying the expression' to create more complex narratives. So, they leave very few stories, narratives, and worldviews alive and living.

Anonymous said...

While Liberals are full of rage and opinions, they also take time to create more complex narratives about the world through books, plays, movies, and etc.



While lots of conservatives have opinion, they 'blow their wad'--mostly on talk radio


Oh, balls. Liberals are able to convert their opinions into books, plays, movies etc because they control the movie, theater, and publishing industries. This is also why there are so few conservative movies, plays, books, etc.

It has nothing to do with creativity and everything to do with power. Wake up.

Anonymous said...

"Oh, balls. Liberals are able to convert their opinions into books, plays, movies etc because they control the movie, theater, and publishing industries. This is also why there are so few conservative movies, plays, books, etc."

They create them because they are interested in them.

Never mind creation. Let's just look at interest. From my experience, there's lot more interest in ideas, history, arts, music, film, and etc among liberals than among conservatives.
Even in Western culture and classical music.

If there were great creative activity among conservatives, even PC wouldn't be able to hold it back.

Remember that Jews made great strides against discriminatory laws in Europe.

Remember that homo artists were prominent during the Renaissance when homos could get in big trouble.

If a bunch of people really set their minds to it, they can do it.
Blacks made their greatest musical contributions when they didn't have full rights. But they had passion and commitment.

And Hollywood was created by Jews when the nation was far more wasp-friendly than Jew-friendly.

Crawfurdmuir said...

Anonymous wrote: "The root of the word 'civilization' comes from 'city', and the city has been the center of power in civilization."

Where did you study Latin?

'Civis' (a citizen) is the root of 'civitas' (a union of citizens or commonwealth). Both originate from the verb 'cito' or 'cieo', meaning to set into motion, to call forth, or to summon. Thus one who is described as 'civis' or a citizen is one who may be summoned or called to the common defense.

While 'civitas' is sometimes used in later Latin to denote a city, the more usual Latin word for a city in the sense of a densely settled town is 'urbs.' From this are derived the English words urban, suburban, etc.

It is of course possible for a people not living in an urban setting to share a common social and political identity, and to be summoned to the defense of their society. Such was the case in many ancient civilisations. The word civilisation does not imply an urban existence.

Anonymous said...

"Where did you study Latin?"

I didn't. I made a wild guess.

"'Civis' (a citizen) is the root of 'civitas' (a union of citizens or commonwealth). Both originate from the verb 'cito' or 'cieo', meaning to set into motion, to call forth, or to summon."

Well, I was close.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute. Wiki says I'm right, so I must be right or at least half-so.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilization#History_of_the_concept

"The word civilization comes from the Latin civilis, meaning civil, related to the Latin civis, meaning citizen, and civitas, meaning city or city-state.[5]"

Svigor said...

Anon stays anon so he doesn't have to answer for his past statements. And to give the illusion of consensus. It's several forms of deception at once.

Or maybe he's just not creative enough to think up a handle?

Svigor said...

Meanwhile, back in reality, leftism is winning because the oligarchs want it to. Creative types are whores who follow the patrons. Duh.

Anonymous said...

"Creative types are whores who follow the patrons. Duh."

This is why cons lose. Their attitude is so fatalistic. It's also an excuse: 'We can't do anything because elites don't let us.'

In fact, so many creative types went against the grain.

Van Gogh sold one painting in his life.
Mozart continued to make music even when he fell out of favor--at least in the movie.
Beatles played hard night and day in Hamburg in the most miserable conditions against all odds even their chance of success was close to nil.
The French New Wave went against the industry and fashions of the times and created their own language and movement.
Kafka barely published anything in his lifetime.
Solzhenitsyn wrote under a system that nearly crushed him.
They did it because they believed in it.

And Gibson had a big hit with PASSION despite hostility from the elites. He could have built on that success but indulged in too much drink and women.

Even when many artists 'failed' in their lifetime, they won in the end.

If conservatives really have talent and heroism, they will accept the challenge and swim against the tide. If they're babies, they'll say, "we don't have toys cuz adults won't let us play. waaaah."

See it this way. Suppose conservatives controlled Hollywood, publishing, and etc.
And suppose they used their powers to promote their own stuff. But here's the problem. There won't be much conservative talent to hire.

Now, suppose liberals don't control the media/Hollywood/etc but let's say they have lots of talent in drama, writing, acting, music, and etc.
In the end, they will be noticed by people who love art, culture, and entertainment. And rich conservatives who own the industry will have to hire liberal talent. In time, liberals with talent will gain more power and eventually take over.

Disney was once powerful but lost out because it stopped being creative.

Rap music was initially disfavored by MTV and the music industry. But it grew and grew. Reggae music wasn't initially promoted by the music industry. In the 80s, music industry favored big hair white rock bands over rappers.

It's funny that conservatives take so much pride in courage and manliness but now say they can't do ANYTHING unless the powers-that-be lets them.

So, conservatives can only win or lose based on who's on top? Then they're useless. They don't know how to fight.

Before homos became the darlings of the elites, they had to struggle against a lot of obstacles, from both left and right.
And in the 50s, liberals came under pressure from anti-communists and Catholic league, but they still won the culture war in the end.
There was no PC in the 1950s. Even during FDR yrs, America was culturally conservative. So, why didn't conservative spend those yrs gaining power in arts and culture? It was a time when even Hollywood was making one John Wayne movie after another and hardly making movies that might offend the South.

Anonymous said...

The word civilisation does not imply an urban existence.

Actually, that's exactly what the word civilization implies and means. Civilization simply means living in cities.

BTW, where did you study historical linguistics? The ultimate etymology of "civis" is the Proto-Indo-European "key" which means to settle, to lie down. Hence the connotation of urban life.

Anonymous said...

It's liberal or eccentric types who are most creative.

In Franco's Spain, despite all government efforts at creating conservative arts and culture, there was hardly any activity from the right. Rightist Spain went out of its way to woo people like Bunuel and Picasso.

Granted, oppressive systems stifle creativity. Communist Russia was hardly a paradise for artists. Even leftist artists want to do their own thing. The artistic ego is too big to serve something completely. It wants to establish itself as the center.

The right can be eccentric, like Tarkovsky. Or, it can be courageous with the truth. Solzhenitsyn turned to the 'right' to speak the truth in a world fabricated with communist lies.

Extreme leftism--Maoism--could be even more damaging to culture than the extreme right, which while demolishing 'modern art', tries to preserve the tradition of art.

Even so, as the 'left' came to be associated with resisting and challenging the established powers and conventions, most creative people will be on the side of at least the idea of the left.

Crawfurdmuir said...

Anon., let us first note that settlement need not be urban. In fact, ancient Rome was simply a place where country landowners came to do their political business. The Roman leadership all derived their sustenance from agricultural estates.

Cincinnatus, the famous statesman after whom our Society of the Cincinnati takes its name, was called from his plough and given the dictatorship of Rome by the Senate, in order that he might save the Roman army, which was blockaded on Mt. Algidus by the Aequi; when the emergency was over, he laid down his sword and returned to his plough. Cato the Elder, the son of a Tusculan farmer, consul in 195 BC, censor in 184, was the author of the treatise De agri cultura, on which John Taylor of Caroline's Arator was patterned. Both Marius and Cicero were born at Arpinum in the Volscian mountains. Pliny the Elder was born on the shores of Lake Como, as was his nephew Pliny the Younger; one could go on at great length listing the prominent figures of antiquity who were born in the countryside. Julius Caesar stands out as being almost the only great classical writer actually born at Rome.

You write that "the ultimate etymology of 'civis' is the Proto-Indo-European "key" which means to settle, to lie down." If we accept the etymology of civis as being derived from cito or cieo, this is wrong, because it is well known (cf. Cassell) that these verbs derive from the Greek κίω (to go) or κινέω (to move or to set in motion), both linked to the Latin notion of being summoned to the common defense (i.e., to mobilise).

Anonymous said...

Rome was a city. All cities throughout history and today have derived their sustenance from agricultural estates and farms.

Again, where did you study historical linguistics? The etymology of "civis" is the PIE "key". The Greek "κεῖμαι" which means to lie down also derives from the PIE "key". Latin and Greek are very different languages and have little in common aside from both being IE languages.

Crawfurdmuir said...

Anonymous wrote: "Again, where did you study historical linguistics? The etymology of "civis" is the PIE "key". The Greek "κεῖμαι" which means to lie down also derives from the PIE "key"."

Not according to Cassell, and not according to Liddell and Scott! Cassell cross-refers civis to cieo, and cieo to Gr. κίω and κινέω.

Cieo is a verb of the second declension; its principal parts are ciĕo, ciēre, cīvi, cĭtus. Civis is therefore the second person singular perfect; i.e., you have caused to move, or have been summoned. The word has to do with being called (or callable) to the defense of the state.

How can you claim knowledge of "historical linguistics" (i.e., classical philology) without knowing Latin or Greek?

The material artefacts of civilisation - art, music, architecture, literature - were until comparatively recent times produced under the patronage of country landowners who merely came to the city to do their political business. This was true even in the early United States, which was established by members of the landed gentry such as Washington, Jefferson, Madison, etc.

Urban populations had little to do with shaping the character of the civilisations within which they existed until the rise of the commercial class (the bourgeoisie about which Marx makes so much fuss).

Crawfurdmuir said...

"Cieo is a verb of the second declension" - sorry, second conjugation.

Anonymous said...

You're wrong. "Civis" derives from the PIE "key". "κεῖμαι" which means to lie down also derives from the PIE "key"."

Historical linguistics is not the same thing as philology.

Cassell's and Liddell and Scott's dictionaries were made by Classicists, not by Indo-Europeanists or historical linguists.

The material artifacts of civilization aren't civilization itself. Civilization means living in cities. That's what it literally means.

You're also wrong about the founding of the US. Northern cities like Philadelphia and especially Boston were the hotbeds of revolution. Loyalist sentiment was strongest in the South.

Crawfurdmuir said...

"Cassell's and Liddell and Scott's dictionaries were made by Classicists, not by Indo-Europeanists or historical linguists."

So they may have been, but you have not demonstrated that you have anywhere near their credibility on points of etymology.

"Historical linguistics" is just a fancy name for what used to fall under the heading of classical philology. To quote your favorite reference Wikipedia, "The object of this science is thus the Graeco-Roman, or Classical, world to the extent that it has left behind monuments in a linguistic form." Surely the multiple words derived from ciThe object of this science is thus the Graeco-Roman, or Classical, world to the extent that it has left behind monuments in a linguistic form." Surely the multiple words derived from ciĕo are such monuments in a linguistic form.

Unless you can cite references countering the derivation of civis that Cassell et al. provide, why should I believe your assertions? You aren't even willing to attach a name to your posts.

The study of Indo-European languages- Indo-Aryan as we used to call them - is of fairly recent date, and merely an outgrowth of the tradition of classical philology that goes back at least to Erasmus. Reuben Burrow (1747-1792) was among the first to have noticed the similarities of Sanskrit to European languages. He had been a schoolmaster in England and was thus somewhat a classicist; he had earlier studied the Greek geometers.

Crawfurdmuir said...

"The material artifacts of civilization aren't civilization itself. Civilization means living in cities."

So, by this standard, who was more "civilised"? The great statesmen and literary figures of the ancient Roman state, the great majority of whom were born in the countryside - or the canaille of whom Juvenal writes:

"Iam pridem Syrus in Tyberim defluxit Orontes,
Et linguam & mores, & cum tibicine chordas
Obliquas, necnon gentilia tympanum secum
Vexit, & ad circum iussas prostare puellas."

[Sat. III, ll. 62-65).

Civilisation was built by gentlemen, not rabble.

Anonymous said...

Indo-Europeanists and historical linguists are more credible than classicists on etymology.

Historical linguistics is not the same thing as philology. Historical linguistics is much broader while philology narrowly focuses on written texts.

"We" never used to call the Indo-European languages "Indo-Aryan". The Indo-European languages have in the past been referred to as the "Aryan" languages. "Indo-Aryan" is used to describe a sub-group of the Indo-European languages.

Anonymous said...

Civilization means living in cities. The material artifacts aren't civilization itself. A man that lives independently off the land alone in the woods somewhere, is not civilized or in a state of civilization even if he builds the most complex material artifacts in the world.

Anonymous said...

"Civilization means living in cities."

You tell that dummy!

http://youtu.be/Gyygi0haox0?t=3m21s

Crawfurdmuir said...

"Civilization means living in cities. The material artifacts aren't civilization itself. A man that lives independently off the land alone in the woods somewhere, is not civilized..."

Repeating yourself does not make it so. Furhermore, you aren't answering the question - who was more civilized, the great statesmen and literary figures of ancient Rome, who were almost all born in the countryside, or the urban rabble described by Juvenal? Of course these great men were not "living off the land alone in the woods" - they were supported by agricultural revenues. They had an organized society. However, it was not dependent on the human trash that inevitably gravitates towards the anonymous vice of urban life, and which is so especially characteristic of cities today.

The same point can be made at numerous other historical junctures. The civilisation of the Renaissance in Italy, as exemplified by Castiglione's courtier, was manifested in places such as the palace of the dukes of Urbino or the castle where Cardinal Bembo's Gli Asolani is set. It was not a product of the urban classes. Likewise, Louis XIV moved his court from the miasmatic stench of Paris, with its narrow streets and open sewers, to Versailles. Many more such examples could be adduced.

Anonymous said...

Extreme leftism--Maoism--could be even more damaging to culture than the extreme right, which while demolishing 'modern art', tries to preserve the tradition of art.

How much art did Savonarola, Calvin, and Cromwell preserve, and how much did they demolish? Mind you, you could argue, and they certainly did, that they were attacking what was then "modern" art.


Anonymous said...

I repeat myself because it is so: Civilization means living in cities.

Both the statesmen and the urban rabble of ancient Rome were civilized, that is living in a state of civilization. Both minorities of people living of agricultural revenues and urban rabble or "human trash" are basic characteristics of civilization. Centralization of agricultural land by landlords reduces the supply of subsistence land and the resulting landless population congregates in cities for survival.

The civilization of Renaissance Italy consisted of various Italian city-states.

Louis XVI was living in Versailles when he lost control of Paris hence French civilization to the revolutionaries. The revolutionaries hunted him down and dragged him back to the Tuileries Palace in Paris, where Louis XIV had lived before Versailles was built. He was then executed.

Crawfurdmuir said...

Savonarola, Calvin, and Cromwell were all representative of the left wing of their day.

The right in the Florence of Savonarola's time was represented by the Medici and Pope Alexander VI; the right in the Savoie of Calvin's day was the Roman Catholic church; the cause of the right during the English civil war was represented by the earl of Strafford, Archbishop Laud, and Charles I.

Crawfurdmuir said...

Anon. wrote: "I repeat myself because it is so: Civilization means living in cities."

Again, cite the source of your etymology, please. Cassell says otherwise; civis is derived from ciĕo. A person who does not cite his sources and fails to attach even a pseudonym to his posts is of scant credibility.

If your line of of argument is that the ancient Romans meant by "civitas" a city in the modern sense of the term rather than a whole commonwealth, then should that not be confirmed by usage? The matter of fact is that they used "urbs" for what we should call a city.

Aelius Aristides, in his oration "To Rome," spoke of the Romans as "you, whose city is the whole world." This oration was of course written in Greek, and the word he used for city was πόλις. It is from this word that we derive our words politics, polity (indirectly through πολῑτεία, i.e., the relationship of a citizen to the state, the condition and rights of citizenship, cross-referenced by Liddell and Scott to Lat. civitas), and also polite, police, and polish.

Πόλις originally referred to a fortress or citadel. It is thus ultimately tied to πόλεμος or war. Thus we come back to the Latin parallels civis and civitas being tied to the concept of being summoned to the common defense. The Athenians confined the use of the term πόλῒς to that portion of their settlement which lay within walls, the rest of it being called ἄστυ. When πόλις and ἄστυ are used in contradistinction to each other, the former means the body of those possessing citizenship, and the latter refers to their dwelling-places.

Both civitas or πόλις refer to a commonwealth rather than to a conurbation, and to the shared membership of the πολίτης or civis (citizen) in it as distinguished from strangers (peregrini) and enemies (hostes), rather than to the countryside. A civitas is at bottom a body of persons sharing the responsibility for the common defense, not necessarily or primarily to a densely-settled place.

Anonymous said...

Cassell is wrong. Civis does not derive from cieo. The derivatives of cieo all have to do with movement, incitement, disturbance, etc.: accire, conciere, exciere, perciere, citus, cito, incitae, incitus, citare, concitare, excitare, suscitare, sollicitus, sollicitare, sollicitudo, sollicitatio. Cieo derives from the Proto-Italic kito which means stirred. Kito derives from the PIE kei(h2) which means to start, to move.

Civis derives from the Proto-Italic keiwi which means society. Keiwi derives from the PIE kei to lie.

Crawfurdmuir said...

Your source for that assertion?

Do you expect me, or anyone here, to believe an unsourced assertion by a commenter who won't even attach a name to his posts?