Sunday, May 15, 2011

Talking Left and Living Right

Nobody is more conservative than a liberal scorned. Or mugged. Or applies critical thought to today's problems.

Playwrite David Mamet recently spoke to a full auditorium at Stanford. Half students and half "aging faculty", all expected their liberal progressive communist inspirations to be re-enforced by this speaker with a harsh, profanity-laced, liberal view of the world. Whoops. Andrew Ferguson at the Weekly Standard explains:

He saw he was Talking Left and Living Right, a condition common among American liberals, particularly the wealthy among them, who can, for instance, want to impose diversity requirements on private companies while living in monochromatic neighborhoods, or vote against school vouchers while sending their kids to prep school, or shelter their income while advocating higher tax rates. The widening gap between liberal politics and liberal life became real to him when, paradoxically enough, he decided at last to write a political play, or rather a play about politics. It was the first time he thought about partisan politics for any sustained period.

You're not supposed to think, you racist. Let our enlightened leaders in Washington and faculty lounges do the thinking for you.

“I wondered, How did the system function so well? Because it does—the system functions beautifully.” How did the happiest, freest, and most prosperous country in history sprout from the Hobbesian jungle?

“I realized it was because of this thing, this miracle, this U.S. Constitution.” The separation of powers, the guarantee of property, the freedoms of speech and religion meant that self-interested citizens had a system in which they could hammer out their differences without killing each other. Everyone who wanted to could get ahead. The Founders had accepted the tragic view of life and, as it were, made it pay. It’s a happy paradox: The gloomier one’s view of human nature—and Mamet’s was gloomy—the deeper one’s appreciation of the American miracle.

Welcome to the club Mr. Mamet.


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