The Power to Tear Things Down

Tom Wolfe Has Died at 88 | Vanity Fair

If you ask me, newspaper reporters are created at age six when they first go to school. In the schoolyard boys immediately divide into two types. Immediately! There are those who have the will to be daring and dominate, and those who don’t have it. Those who don’t … grow up with the same dreams as the stronger…. They, too, dream of power, money, fame, and beautiful lovers. Boys like this kid grow up instinctively realizing that language is like…a sword or a gun. Used skillfully, it has the power to…well, not so much achieve things as to tear things down—including people…including the boys who came out on the strong side of the sheerly dividing line. Hey, that’s what liberals are! Ideology? Economics? Social justice? Those are nothing but their prom outfits. Their politics were set for life in the schoolyard at age six. They were the weak, and forever after they resented the strong. That’s why so many journalists are liberals!

Tom Wolfe, Back to Blood

Cordevilla: “Grievance is the handle by which you push these pawns into your cultural wars.”

Handle: “The political formula of ‘use propaganda to agitate maximum resentment, and then weaponize it’ has evolved and been refined to an art-form. … [M]aintaining a perpetually heightened sense of resentful grievance and bitter acrimony is extremely effective, albeit incompatible with a nice future.”

Thomas Sowell: “I am so old that I can remember when other people’s achievements were considered to be an inspiration, rather than a grievance.” (In related news, notice all the statues coming down?)

Robin Morgan: “I feel that ‘man-hating’ is an honourable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them.”

But of course loving less will not get us anywhere. The politics of hatred—violent or merely casual, left or right—is the politics of death. “We must love one another or die.”

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