Amoral supermen

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Last updated on June 7th, 2017 at 02:39 pm

Both James Taranto and Paul Mirengoff quote Richard Hofstadter on paranoia in US politics:

As a member of the avant-garde who is capable of perceiving the conspiracy before it is fully obvious to an as yet unaroused public, the paranoid is a militant leader. He does not see social conflict as something to be mediated and compromised, in the manner of the working politician. Since what is at stake is always a conflict between absolute good and absolute evil, what is necessary is not compromise but the will to fight things out to a finish … The enemy is clearly delineated: he is a perfect model of malice, a kind of amoral superman—sinister, ubiquitous, powerful, cruel, sensual, luxury-loving. Unlike the rest of us, the enemy is not caught in the toils of the vast mechanism of history, himself a victim of his past, his desires, his limitations. He wills, indeed he manufactures, the mechanism of history, or tries to deflect the normal course of history in an evil way. He makes crises, starts runs on banks, causes depressions, manufactures disasters, and then enjoys and profits from the misery he has produced.

Karl Rove. Halliburton. The wicked, media-controlling Jews. Hofstadter identified this tendency towards paranoia more than forty years ago.

Posted by Tim B. on 02/28/2005 at 08:55 AM
    1. Jooooos!  It’s the Jooooos!

      Posted by Mr. Blue on 2005 02 28 at 10:11 AM • permalink


    1. I thought sure the punchline was gonna be “George Soros”…

      Posted by Wass on 2005 02 28 at 10:22 AM • permalink


    1. Hitler lives!

      Posted by J. Peden on 2005 02 28 at 10:26 AM • permalink


    1. Some Right-wingers are more than a little paranoid about MSM though.

      It’s not there’s a conspiracy, just a monoculture, as in Academe.

      Posted by Zoe Brain on 2005 02 28 at 10:45 AM • permalink


    1. aebrain — We’re not paranoid.  Just updating our lists.

      Didja ever wonder how, if these people are such supermen, the moonbats think they have the slightest chance of bringing them down?  Or are they like Kevin McCarthy in the good version of Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, running down the street banging on car bonnets and screaming “They’re here! They’re here!” when it’s already too late…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 02 28 at 11:01 AM • permalink


    1. aebrain, you need to get one. Your meme is exactly one which academe and the MSM fabricates as a result and evidence of their moronicity. Let’s see some more.

      Posted by J. Peden on 2005 02 28 at 11:43 AM • permalink


    1. Damn. I thought Hofstadter meant me.

      Posted by Harry Buttle on 2005 02 28 at 03:15 PM • permalink


    1. It’s one thing to have conspiracies espoused by the fringe (left or right). It’s quite another when our elected politicians, who SHOULD have a firmer grasp on reality, believe them and speak about them openly.

      Aren’t there more than enough non-conspiracy issues for our elected officials to deal with to keep them very busy? Why do they need to cross over to ‘conspiracy land’?

      Posted by CJosephson on 2005 02 28 at 04:20 PM • permalink


    1. J. Peden , aebrain is a co-author at The Command Post and is the most knowledgeable Australian blogger on current events. Read his last sentence again.

      Posted by Gary on 2005 02 28 at 04:30 PM • permalink


    1. Dr. Sanity also has some decent comments on this.

      Posted by David A on 2005 02 28 at 06:20 PM • permalink


    1. Well, I certainly apologize if I read aebrain significantly wrongly. Is aebrain referring to some right wingers as a monoculture? Or the MSM is a monoculture?

      I guess he means the right wingers who are more than a little paranoid are not this way because they think it’s a conspiracy, but rather a monoculture they face.

      Who cares. “Strike that”about aebrain.

      Posted by J. Peden on 2005 02 28 at 08:11 PM • permalink


    1. FFS Mr Peden, try this:

      *Some* right wingers are a bit paranoid because they believe that there is a conspiracy in the mainstream media.

      There is not a conspiracy in the mainstream media.

      There is, however, a virtual monoculture, just like there is among academics.

      Message received?

      Posted by TFK on 2005 02 28 at 10:06 PM • permalink


    1. TFK: And if I was half as good as I’d like to think I am, I would have expressed myself more clearly. *SIGH*
      Thanks for doing it for me.

      Note to self : remember that when communicating, misunderstanding is usually due to faults at the transmitter rather than the receiver. In other words, apart from the inevitable moonbats, if someone misunderstands what you’re saying, it’s your fault, not theirs.

      And J.Peden is most obviously not a moonbat.

      So my apologies for being over-terse.

      Posted by Zoe Brain on 2005 02 28 at 10:46 PM • permalink


    1. I was reading Andrew Sullivan the other day and he said various things about isolation (people using iPods everywhere) and people tending to read the blogs instead of getting their news from various sources.
      It’s true. We do tend to go to our favourite blogs, and there are those who will get just their favourite newspaper, or watch their favourite TV news show.
      I would add, however, that there has been so much monoculture evident in the msm which I have been exposed to (ABC/SMH) that it has been for me a relief to read online where you can actually get appraisals of everyday happenings which make more sense than those thrust at you by the msm.
      It is not just the opinions embedded, implied, or explicit in the articles, but the choices of what to report about. I have had a recurring negative reaction to the tendency of my local msm to try again and again to focus on news (or spinning it) which is embarassing to the government while ignoring news which has much more serious implications for the welfare of our society as a whole. There is a need for more diversity in the media and it is in large part the internet which is going to deliver it.
      Why read a left wing blog when your papers and the ABC (TV and Radio) are already full of that stuff?
      There are people writing for the msm who are worth reading, and I hope to see more of them, or at least their perspective, on the ABC board and ultimately in the content.
      Is experience in running a corporation more important than having a clear view of how to get the ABC back on the rails as a public broadcaster which is balanced?
      Hello! The election, Stupid. Showed how out of touch the ABC is.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2005 03 01 at 07:03 AM • permalink


  1. Members of a conspiracy conspire (breathe together) to take joint action for agreed upon results.

    Members of a monoculture take independent action toward a result they all seek.

    The second is so much less ominous.

    Posted by triticale on 2005 03 01 at 10:19 AM • permalink