Friday, August 8, 2008

Blogs: Not a poli-sci class

If you want "insightful, intellectual nuance and persusion," I'm not sure that logging onto Memeorandum is the best approach, especially during an election year.

Sometimes, maybe I'd like to be . . . I don't know, Volokh or somebody heavy like that. But I think it's highly unlikely that anyone wants to read my opinions about Guantanamo. So if you want learned opinions about Guantanamo, go to the guys who do that.

It appears that Donald Douglas's complaint was inspired in part by a "snarky" retort aimed at my "Equality Is For Ugly Losers" post. My post wasn't written as an attack on any person, but as an attack on an ideology. Blogs don't come with bibliographies, but if you haven't read Edmund Burke -- "Believe me, sir, those who attempt to level, never equalize" -- then you may not understand the philosophical nature of my hostility to egalitarianism.

The series of posts that culminated in "Equality Is For Ugly Losers" began with a reaction to a New York Times article on a "women online" conference, and the fact that an organizer of that conference complained about the coverage: Boo-hoo-hoo, I'm being oppressed by the sexists at the New York Times. There are serious problems in the world; having a 1,2oo-work New York Times article about your femblogger conference relegated to the "Fashion" section is not one of them.

So, yeah, I called her an "idiot HuffPo woman." Excuse my lack of nuance. One of the fundamental problems is that, once a radical ideology embeds itself in our culture, it is no longer recognized as ideology. To question "equality" is, in the minds of many people, to question the unquestionable.

Entire books have been written about the "income gap" between men and women, to what avail? As long as "equality" is held up as a universal ideal, any difference in income -- or in education, legal status, etc. -- must be considered a social problem. Yet if perfect equality is unattainable (and it is), then the problem is not in society, but in the ideal of equality itself.

How do you get people to question the unquestionable? First you must get their attention. If an unnuanced putdown serves that purpose, OK. Feminists will never abandon their errors if they are exempted from criticism, if they are not occasionally made aware of how ludicrous they appear to those outside their own intellectual ghetto.

Considering that our universities are now groupthink factories where feminism is sacrosanct, I would suggest that vicious sarcasm aimed at the idiocy of feminism serves the salutory purpose of alerting the "empowered" occupants of academic sinecures that the rest of us are undeceived by their nonsense and unintimidated by their prestige.

That I do not preface every joke with an explanation of my purpose, or structure my posts as persuasive essays, does not mean that I write without purpose or that I do not aim to persuade. This isn't a political science lecture or an academic journal. It's a blog.

The medium is not generally suited for long-form discourse, and I've only gone on at such lengths here in an effort to make clear that I don't believe I'm guilty of "demonization" that contributes to the degradation of the 'sphere.

"Truth is great and will prevail if left to herself. She is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless, by human interposition, disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate; errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them."
-- Thomas Jefferson


  1. The dems are all about equality, no?
    Your thought provoking essay makes me wonder when Barry-O will proclaim, "I will make sure that every household in this great nation of ours has above average income."

  2. I started out agreeing with Douglas, but he lost me when he started blathering about how fabulous Pstrel and Althouse are.