May 28, 2005

The Devil must be pounding on Drew's door wearing a parka and telling him to knock it off. Why? FARK actually linked up a conservative diatribe against the soft-headed PC groupthink that so dominates the left these days. While a little scattered, the central thesis is as devastating as it is correct:

The press isn't running for office. To say that the media culture is unpatriotic isn't a political ploy, it's an obvious observation. Oh, if my words actually mattered to them, they'd howl and scream about my illegitimate attack. But in private, they are perfectly happy to mock patriotism in all its forms. They're only patriotic when somebody says they aren't.

They are loyal to a community -- but it's not America.

It's Smartland. The nation of the newsmedia people. That's where they live. Not in America. These newspeople generally don't even know anybody, apart from "sources," who serves America in the military. Smartland consists of a very different crowd.

I know that crowd. I've heard them jeer at all the values that most Americans still care about, laughing at religious people, at the middle class, at suburbanites, at the poor ignorant saps who don't think correct thoughts all the time. You know -- the citizens of Heartland. Those poor sentimental fools who stood in line to see The Passion and who like Adam Sandler movies and who get tears in their eyes when they see the American flag and whose hearts break a little when it burns.

I'd only quibble with Card's definition of who lives in Smartland, because it's not just the media. It's citizenship includes pretty much every university academic, essentially all of the democratic underground, and a gigantic percentage of Democrats.

I myself used to be a card-carrying citizen of Smartland. I'm not sure what turned me around... I guess I gradually realized Smartland was a construct, a castle built on a cloud of particularly hot air. It's beliefs may describe how intellectuals want the world to work, but they have little to nothing to do with how the world actually works. The more I read about the abject failures of Smartland's milder projects (affirmative action, forced bussing, the entire "great society", etc.) and the genocidal disasters of their most important darlings (communism, national socialism), the more I realize Smartland isn't just wrong, it's dangerous.

This won't change any current resident of Smartland's mind, even I know that. The tragedy of the place is that at its heart is an idealism that hardly anyone can disagree with... we should all get along, we should all share equally, we should all care selflessly for our fellow humans, we should respect each other's beliefs. The problem is when idealism is married to power, fanatacism is the inevitable result. One only has to look at the "success" of national socialism (hard right idealists), communism (hard left idealists), and fundamentalism (religious idealists) when they're given the reigns of power to understand this simple fact.

Smartlanders may look askance at pragmatism, call it contradictory, cynical, manipulative, even exlpoitative. And you know what? They're right. The difference is that in spite of all these flaws, pragmatism works. Even harder for Smartlanders to accept, pragmatism will always work, while their own idealism never will. Really, it's inevitable. When given a choice between "the right thing" or "the thing that works", which would you choose?

I know my own answer. I probably won't be surprised at all about yours.

Posted by scott at May 28, 2005 09:43 AM

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