Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Greatest Compliment Is When a Progressive Says You Wear a "Tin Foil Hat"

A poster on my blog who uses the misnomer Diogenes aims to insult me. I do not publish all of his posts, many of which are ad hominem attacks on, for instance, my teaching. Progressives, going back to the days of Theodore Roosevelt, have used insult rather than coherent argument because their arguments are weak. But it is revealing that Diogenes, more appropriately called Meletus after Socrates's accuser, uses one insult over and over, one that he or she considers to be most devastating, and that insult is that I wear a "tin foil hat". I do not travel in left wing circles and so I had never heard of that expression before reading it in Meletus's posts on my blog. Apparently, it refers to certain schizophrenics who delusionally believe that tin foil hats capture radio waves.

The phrase is distasteful because it expresses disrespect toward sufferers of mental illness, but beyond that it reveals a deep fear of the wielder of the insult: the fear of not conforming to received doctrine. Nothing is more frightening to a Progressive than nonconformity, for Progressives lack the ability to think creatively, but rather have been indoctrinated to conform to the authority of university professors and the mass media. Progressivism is very much derivative of early Puritanism as it is an attempt to insist on a community of ideology, and it displaces religion and replaces it with fanatical devotion to a "social gospel" of reactionary ignorance on which Progressives religiously insist even as empirical evidence suggests that their ideas have failed. Some examples are urban renewal, welfare, the Federal Reserve System and the income tax.

In other words, Meletus believes that the worst insult he can use toward Americans is that they are "crazy" or that their ideas do not fit a predetermined mold established by academics and the failed media. This was the complaint about Sarah Palin. She did not fit the Progressive mold, she did not conform. But most Progressives have never read Locke, Montesquieu, Smith, Crevecoeur or de Tocqueville, but feel themselves better qualified than others to evaluate what is important, authentic, legitimate or open to discussion.

Note that Meletus does not say that he has read Locke, but only that people who have but are not "academic specialists" lack the authority to discuss Locke's ideas because they are not "experts" who have filled out a multiple choice test at a college.

Progressives are not Americans in the sense of agreeing with the fundamental principles on which the nation is based and do not share in its history or values. This is so in a fundamental way. American culture is based on conscience, on virtue and understanding of the difference between right and wrong. It prizes common sense and practical wisdom. It is in part classically rooted and in part rooted in the Christian values that informed even the founders, such as Jefferson, who rejected traditional religion.

Unlike Americans, Progressives base their value system on shame, on conformity. They believe in authority and experts. They believe that the law ought to enforce professionalization. They devalue common sense and practical wisdom. Their value system is other-directed, not inner-directed, as David Riesman put it in his book Lonely Crowd in the 1950s. With the phrase "other-directed" Riesman was not writing about rural Americans but rather about urban, college educated, blue state professionals, that is, Progressives.

Progressives lack conscience because universities have brainwashed them into obsequious acquiescence to the progressive value system and to the authority of the Progressive priesthood, that is, the professoriate and the editors of several newspapers. Conformity to the Progressive priesthood and its religious dogma, political correctness, are valued over truth. Progressives are willing to accept silly lies, such as that Egyptians flew airplanes, because they make some students feel good. And, of course, like a political Borg, the silliest of issues gain status as IMPORTANT because the New York Times says so, and Meletuses scurry to believe, for they know that if they do not they might be said to be wearing "tin foil hats". A fringe subculture in which conformity is prized above all else, Progressives spend their time accusing others of nonconformity as though something were wrong with not conforming to their cult.

So thank you, Meletus, for the compliment when you say that I wear a "tin foil hat". Coming from a shame- and other-directed Progressive whose ideas glorify mass murder, your saying so makes me proud.


Barry Truthgun said...

The hardcore tin foilers don't allow dissent on their blogs and work 9/11 into every conversation.

Joe Bubel said...

Excellent insight into the mind of a progressive Mitch. They are incapable of arguing their ideals on merrit, because there is no merrit to placing feelings over truth, also known as, ignoring the truth.

BTW, I always understood the 'tin foil hat' phrase to imply the REFLECTION of radio waves. So the government can't read or control your minds with their 'secret' satelites. I agree with you turning it into a compliment. It could mean, we wear tin foil hats to shield us from the media, and that is why we haven't yet fallen in line with the obamabots.

I proudly don my "Tin Foil Hat", figuratively speaking. I have yet to join the masses, chanting, "All hail Obama".

lukemcgook said...

Outstanding post. Hadn't occurred to me that the "tin foil hat" business is a token of the progressive urge to conform to received opinion.