Tuesday, March 08, 2005

What's Wrong with Liberals?

The March 6 New York Times Book Review asks that question with a panel made up of Peter Beinart, Michael Tomasky, and Katrina vanden Heuvel. They give a lot of wonky responses from the perspective of their class-- a tops down approach. Yet the real answer is in the panel itself-- that liberalism's representatives are these three privileged members of our society's upper strata. They gab on and on, blah blah blah blah blah, heedless that THEY are the problem.


Anonymous said...

re: liberals and class

Michael Tomasky is the son of a mining union leader from West Virginia. You clearly don't know what the hell you are talking about.

Question: Do you even bother doing the slightest bit of research on people before you label them? Or is *everyone* who is successful or employed by the conspiratorial, "elitist" publishing industry the products of a class system that discriminates against you?

I'm really sorry you're having a hard time finding a job, and the bus schedule is all screwed up, but, judging from your obvious talents you clearly have no one to blame for yourself. Stop whining. Grow up.

King Wenclas said...

Have you done your research, El Snobbo, about Katrina and Peter Beinart? (One's a billionairess.)
The problem with liberals like yourself is that you don't know and don't WANT to know. You feign to represent the bulk of the American people, while living in your unreal islands. And so we get a Billionaire (sorry, married to one) as your candidate.
The trio NYTBR presented represent only their own elite way of thinking-- not the perspective of ordinary people.
(p.s. Many union leaders in this country are apparatchiks with quite comfortable lifestyles. I'm just tired of all these people wanting to speak FOR the working class all the time. We can speak for ourselves. Have fun at your next chi-chi tea party.)

Anonymous said...

Dear King-

Hmm. That's funny. I don't recall saying anything about Peter Beinart or "Katrina."

All I said was you don't know what the hell you're talking about because you characterized the son of a mining union leader as a snobby elitist. I stand uncorrected.

Something tells me the interests of the working class are not best represented by a self-pitying, frustrated, hack loser who spends an inordinate amount of his time and energy envying "chi chi tea parties" that don't even exist.

I repeat: stop whining. Grow up.


King Wenclas said...

Oh, I don't know. The interests of the working class aren't being very well-represented now, are they? Or do you disagree?
Please, please tell me all that liberals like yourself have accomplished the last couple decades. I just see the working class going steadily backward in this country.
All you have, apparently, Anonymous (so typical that you won't stand behind what you're saying), is your snobbery, which oozes out of everything you say.
Re Beinart and Katrina: let's get back to my original post, which seems to have displeased you. We have one well-off, well-connected Rhodes Scholar; one billionaire; and one SON not of a worker, but of a union "leader" (attorney? 100 grand a year or more?) What-- is he the token populist of the trio? Please tell me how these three represent the interests of anyone besides their own well-connected elite class. (It's no conspiracy at all. The way Beinart and vanden Heuvel got their jobs is open for all to see.)
You haven't exactly shown your own intelligence, you know, by refusing to address the substance of my point.

Anonymous said...

Dear King-

I didn't have anything to say about class issues, or liberalism--my only point was it is highly irresponsible for you to make shit up just so it will fit into your silly world view. You're still doing it--in your last post I can practically see your (for lack of a better word) "mind" casting about for convenient bogeymen: I must be a "liberal" because I pointed out you are full of shit. Beinart and vanden Heuvel must be "elitists" because they have privileged backgrounds. A labor organizer must be corrupt because he's the father of a guy you saw on a panel. I know none of these people, but I do know that privileged people, billionaires, elitists, could be doing a lot worse than putting out political magazines that stand in opposition to the greater of the two evils that currently run this country.

They could, for instance, be typing nonsense into a masturbatory exercise in delusional grandiosity like this ridiculous blog you keep.

It's not snobbery, King, it's contempt, and it's not contempt based on class, it's based on intelligence and common sense. I can assure you that the other snobs I know, like my elitist truck-driving father, or my fancy-pants construction-working brother, would feel the same way about your self-aggrandizing populism: if this guy speaks for working people, why does he spend so much time whining about being excluded from wine and cheese parties?

You're a funny guy, King. Viva la Revolucion!


King Wenclas said...

As you hide your identity, we don't really know if you're liberal, or who or what you are.
No, Anonymous, you haven't pointed out anything. In my post and following statements I make clear that what I'm attacking is the tops-down perspective of the trio. Can Katrina vanden Heuvel, who lives in a very exclusive world; who once was a favorite of the Russian Tea Room when it was open; who was born into opulent wealth, POSSIBLY understand the feelings and thoughts of the mass of the American populace? Why then is she a spokesperson? How did she get that position? That these privileged "Leftists" is what the Left comes up with to represent its viewpoint says it all. This alone is a statement of the class basis of American discourse. One has to be a member of the club to be allowed a forum from which to talk. That's my point.
In our media; in establishment literature, we see an unyielding monolith incapable of reform, with no tolerance for dissent. expose the System's corruption (or its narrowness) and you'll be labelled a "hack" and "loser." (At least I haven't been put into a cage yet!) Criticism, to the brainwashed, is whining.
A few voices actually raise against the way the system is set up, and this throws people.
(It's noteworthy that no one even QUESTIONED whether or not Lindbergh was a fascist. They swallowed Roth's novel whole, as they're well used to swallowing a lot of things.)
If the present system is NOT corrupt, why are so many writers afraid to go on the record about it?
No doubt there is a sheep mentality in the literary world, writers quietly going along with whoever's in charge, with whatever scams are thrown at us, and so you are perfectly content to let elitists (yes, that's the proper word) do your thinking for you. I suppose you're well-used to it, Anonymous. Sorry if I'm able to think for myself. Too bad this troubles you-- that at least a few writers have walked away from the conformist flock.

King Wenclas said...

p.s. I'd be interested to know your definition of "elitist," Anonymous. Tomasky was recently a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard. Does he not have something of an elite perspective?
(Then we have conservative David Horowitz giving Katrina vH cred by calling her a dangerous "radical." Yeah, she's radical-- except when it comes to her investment portfolio, that is.
(Oh, I'm so grateful she's defending us "losers.")

King Wenclas said...

By the way, I used to deal with truckers on a daily basis, when I ran an import broker office at the Detroit-Canada border in the late 90's. My job was to post bonds on shipments from Canada, and to get the truckdrivers through the layers of government regulations so they could be on their way. (NAFTA as "free trade" is of course a misnomer-- it increased the mountains of requirements.)
It might surprise "Anonymous" that these men and women did their fair share of "whining"-- about jobs or business lost because of NAFTA; about being squeezed by fuel costs, and the like. I've bounced around through a variety of working class occupations through my life-- and I can tell you there is way more REALITY expressed in these walks of life, about America; way more free speech, than you'll find in a host of New York Times panels manned by Harvard Fellows and Oxford grads.
Anyway, the point to stress: why are we here? The ULA exists to bring some democracy to the equation-- to say, let's get truckdrivers on those panels. Let's get the voice of the people out there, in print, which is exactly what the ULA is doing by giving a forum to people like Jack Saunders, Mike Jackman, Yul Tolbert, Frank Walsh, Bernice Mullins, and the rest of the ULA gang. This is for what we lobby, and on this blog I'm lobbying.
Down with aristocracy!
Up with real democracy!

Anonymous said...

Harper's did a forum a lot like this. I liked some of the people on it, but it again showed how much they are out of touch. The basic conclusion was: "Umm... we should talk about poor people more."
"Yeah, yeah... it's the MEDIA."
Whatever. There's lots of good people out there who are convincing normal folks to get involved in politics. But the NYT isn't interested in normal people and anyone doing anything local that isn't in NYC.

Anonymous said...

Hi King --

I've followed your blog for some time. It's a great inspiration to see your courageous and feisty words on a regular basis.

I find that these anonymous posters' sniping comments are reveal a bitchy, exclusive upper-class condescension that is part of their cultural inheritance. Their attitude reveals a sacred rite passed down from one generation of smug aristocrats to another: the robot-like programming to exclude.

The other major part of their point of view, I think, comes from their being steeped in po-mo nerdiness at the university.

But we're talking mean nerds here! Wealthy, privileged nerds who've never known any difficulty but angst, guilt and gout, who in high school mock the clothes of the poorer kids, and after being floated through college make secret attacks here because they're too embarrassed to admit being obsessed with your blog day and night!

Well, King, you can hit back pretty damn well, and I'm glad to have you out there.

From Los Angeles
- James Adomian