The Strange Death of Liberal Wonktopia, Day 4, or The Years of Magical Thinking part 2: Maybe You should start enacting that Emotional Labor Now (and stop fronting)

So today I saw a lot of my friends from mixed race, but affluent suburbs of Atlanta, double down on their politics hardcore.   The Trumpkin from former “Sundown Towns” on the outskirts of Atlanta saying what you would expect them to say about heir “country being invaded” but they are stealing it back, but then I saw tons of posts about how fairly wealthy people from affluent liberal areas talk about the judo moves of exhausting their compassion on Trump voters while they should show no quarter and only protect those would Trump would hurt. We have save up our emotional labor to fight any vote that went for Trump and save the people that it will hurt.  

I say emotional labor because aside from sharing pictures of racists incidents and posturing, I really don’t see what they are doing. Sometimes spreading agitprop is important, but this is still kind of the definition of the least you can do if you are doing anything at all.

What both these narrative miss is 47% of the electorate didn’t vote. I am suspecting because those (non-)voters are tired of this kind of posturing that hasn’t changed anything for anyone.  I know a lot of these liberals care about race and racial oppression, but I also know, for a fact, most of them saying this kind of thing come from upper middle class suburbs of major cities.  They feel unsafe but they aren’t in the areas that really aren’t unsafe.  They have multi-racial friends, but they don’t go into ghetto either and don’t send their kids into hardest schools in those areas.  I wouldn’t either, and I did used to teach in them.  I don’t just know this from voting trends, I know this because when I was in college I visited their homes. I also know, for a fact, that I could not convince them to take plight of rural and exurban people seriously.

So now they are talking about who should and should not get compassion and posting the storm front style vandalism they see on Shaun King’s feed while Trumpkin in equally rich suburbs a little more outside of the city are talking about black on black crime.  Both have real statistics to show the increase of both types of crimes, even though until the last year, crime has been dropping dramatically since the early 1990s. One of the most infamous “Sundown Towns” in the South actually had a black candidate run for elected office.  This is to not to derail anyone or claim the racism isn’t real, but to say clearly that things are more complicated than the pictures people are painting.

So I see posts about #Calexit. Every year since the Bush years when I see liberal threaten this kind of succession movement.  Even though they were just calling Brexit racist. “Let the South leave.”  So your US can be even more lily white outside if minority neighborhoods in Chicago, New York, LA, and the Bay? That is what would happen. Doesn’t that seem objectively a little racist to you?  Furthermore, it’s delusions. While California is the sixth largest economy in the world, it also is completely dependent on water resources from other states, so no, won’t work. Just like how Red States wouldn’t survive without the military Keynesianism because bipartisan support for the farm bill encouraged agricultural mono-cropping and commodities always tend to fall in value over time, they elite areas can’t survive without the recourses from those other areas. It’s mutual parasitism. So, no, quit dreaming.

It’s like every time there is an election and people threaten to leave to Canada. I am just going to quote a Hispanic friend of mine as disgusted with liberals and Democrats with me on this: “The most offensive display of white privilege after voting for / supporting Trump this year I have seen yet is liberals saying shit like [I am going to be move to Canada]. How little shame can you have in the face of Latino undocumented workers and North African and Levantine refugees from war, terrorism, and deprivation to presume that a nice upbringing, a college degree, and a pasty pale ass is some automatic entree to anywhere with development and high GDP/capita while those people huddle in migrant worker tailer parks, barrios, and refugee camps? To think that ‘I’m butthurt when I see the news’ is an appropriate basis to even jokingly put yourself in the ranks of possible political exiles? You really care about the marginalized when you’re ready to abandon them to the tender mercies of a further augmented right-wing majority, am I right? The kind of minds who think this shit is cute are sick and selfish.”

And the Trumpkin who ask them “Why not Mexico” have a good point?

Why not? I lived in Mexico for two years, even during a Cartel War, Mexico was kind of lovely. Locals separated Americans from the atrocities of their government even more, in my experience, than Canadians do. They also know that butchery was bipartisan although most thought Trump may be the closest thing to a hateful the Cheeto Caudillo that they would like to bash in effigy.  And yes, parts of Mexico are super dangerous.  Parts of it are more peaceful the average suburb in the US though.

So why not?

I suspect I know why not.

Secondly, the idea that large swatches of liberal compassion from suburbs are going to save people from the scary Stormfront types who read Radix and Counter Currents and have white rabbit tattoos  is delusional too. In fact, I am going to quote another hispanic, this one lives in “fly over country” like me and grew up in the same North Mexican town I lived in for two years: “Ethnic minorities depending on a bunch of hipster coastal liberals for protection and patronage is the worst possible political decision in my opinion. It’s probably the main reason the Alt-Right and Joe Blow America hates them: they’re seen as the pets of an immoral and corrupt establishment, and they’re not totally off the mark. Poor white people think that the wealthy liberal elite fosters the interests of minorities at their expense. That may or may not be true, but it certainly is the perception that is given off every time someone invokes “white” “hetero” “cis” etc. privilege. Mainly, ethnic and racial minorities in particular have hitched their wagons to “allies” whose main tactic is to virtue signal and antagonize. They constantly argue about whose piece of the pie is bigger, or who suffers the most injustice, without proposing how to stop dividing the pie into smaller and smaller pieces or simply creating an order without injustice. If you take your eyes off the size of pie slices, and if you don’t address every slight and microagression, you’re automatically a racist, a homophobe, etc. As long as things are portrayed as a zero sum game, bigotry and circling of wagons will be the norm, not the exception”

The thing is, he and I both know this, is that most ethnic minorities don’t actually do expect hipsters to save them.  Go into a burned over district in a black town in the South, they aren’t fond of the liberals claiming their best interest either.  At best, they suspect they are Atticus Finches:  People are speaking for them and “White” knighting them.  Be it aspirational middle class second generation immigrants or upper middle class white liberals. However, He and I both know hip kids from the suburbs who are now “threatening” to buy guns to protect people. To quote my friend again:

Hey, just a few quick points as a PSA: leftists and anarchists with guns is a super-bad idea in general. I get it, we just elected Hitler or whatever you think in that little head of yours, but it’s one thing for Billy Bob and his white militia an hour outside of Shreveport to have a bunch of dudes shooting guns on private land in the middle of nowhere, and it’s entirely another for your vegan latte-sipping ass to try to form a gun group with a bunch of other vegan-latte sipping leftists who never shot a gun before, all collected around Hipster City, USA. Lemme fast forward that for you: it will end badly. Even the right-wing militias are infiltrated up to their eyeballs in FBI in case they’re being funded by illegal meth labs or whatever. But you start forming leftist militias or gun groups in cities, and they’re gonna be so far up your ass they’ll see your tonsils. I wouldn’t recommend it. One unhinged or compromised person (because y’all like to toke etc.) will get you framed on federal charges and your ass isn’t prepared to do that time for bullshit. Just sayin’

Yeah, the FBI is probably going to treat you differently than Clive Bundy and Friends but life is not fair. Guns in U.S. law and practice are acceptable for the defense of your property and maybe yourself, but also keep in mind you’re more likely to shoot yourself or someone else on accident. And the heat you could possibly store and carry is no match for if the Feds decide that your the lucky contestant on Who Are We Gonna Fuck With Today? Black Panthers, MOVE, etc. it didn’t end well for them. There are not enough guns that you can have to protect yourself from that.

So I dunno, martial arts or something, carry a Maglite. I feel for you kinda, but this isn’t Weimar Germany, and your ass is getting taken out in a street fight and THEN you’re still going to jail. Just gotta keep it 100.

He’s right. Maybe gun clubs are a good idea for training and understanding of weapons culture, but you can’t get people who literally think that guns are number one thing killing America because of statistically low possibilities of mass shootings and who have never owned a weapon to become militia’s overnight.  Read what the Panthers doing this while also dealing in drugs allowed the FBI and local law enforcement to be able to do. It did not end well.

I have even seen liberals, when they aren’t sharing articles about how Warren and Sanders may work with Trump on infrastructure, call for a new civil war.   This is particularly insane. Liberals live in urban areas and by and large don’t come from a weapons culture, they are underrepresented in the military and police (areas that give free combat training in exchange for  willing endured servitude), and they can’t grow enough food to feed themselves since the majority areas they are talking about are rural, even more than regional.  It doesn’t take long to starve out a city.

Those fantasies are ways of avoiding hard labor, rethinking, and doing actual labor.  I am going to quote one last friend:

Machiavelli understood why the strategies of liberal social justice don’t work. You can’t just shame someone by calling them a bigot, sexist, racist or what have you, even if they are, and expect it to modify their behavior. You have to either win them over and show them why they’re wrong, by treating them like a human being through rational discussion, or you have to smash their face until they shut the fuck up. There are no half measures. The idea that you can win by virtue of your “righteousness” needs to be buried with Chamberlain and Wilson. Liberals have just been poking ignorant people for 16 years without actually engaging them or getting rid of their structures of power. Trump is their hen come back to roost.

“If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.”-Machiavelli

Shaming people doesn’t work that well in church, even when the soup kitchen is on offer. You offer people nothing and you still shame them.. well…

If you want to “help”–stop fronting, start communicating to people who aren’t like you, and do the work.

2 thoughts on “The Strange Death of Liberal Wonktopia, Day 4, or The Years of Magical Thinking part 2: Maybe You should start enacting that Emotional Labor Now (and stop fronting)

  1. Fantastic. Best thing of yours I´ve read. So important, as well. I´ll tell you, my father would have probably voted for Trump and he was what would now be called a socialist–a real New Deal Democrat and dark-skinned and kinky-haired to boot. Libs offered him nothing but shame over his union “brother” talk, his khaki work pants and his working class fingers. He was neither hip nor cool nor “the future” (whatever the fuck that meant). And I know plenty more like that, among many of my own Puertorican family, some of whom are now Muslims. Solidarity is a big word and it requires feeling it not with people who are like you but who are decidedly NOT like you. Thank you.

  2. “Those fantasies are ways of avoiding hard labor, rethinking, and doing actual labor”

    Yup. Absolutely. Have been in work boots with a tool belt for over 30 years.I’m old enough to remember unions before Reagan/Thatcher, when old men in coveralls drew straws to determine who was gong to jail during the strike. I’m getting close to retirement. Opportunities aplenty for anyone who wants to do something with their hands. Mention the trades to anyone from the generations behind me and see a look of bewilderment or horror at the thought of moving a force through a distance. My 80 year old mother still knows how to change a tire and light the pilot light on a furnace. Breaks my heart to see your generation floundering because of their lazy, bourgeois parent’s contempt for my baseball cap and tool belt.

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