Inside the Matrix

This all started out somewhat simple. Two posts from two different sites on the same day that showed a curious reflection of each other, one from Ace and the other from Mr Uriasposten.

Ace started with a riff using the theme of the chattering class’s take on the (first) debate the other evening:

One thing that has impressed me more and more over the past two years is how powerful the left is in colonizing the thoughts of all citizens — including commentators on the right.

Andrew Breitbart used to say — he said this the first time I met him — that the left creates a “Matrix,” as in the movie, a prison of illusion and reality distortion. When you are in the Matrix, he said excitedly, you can’t see the Matrix itself.

Many commentators on the right — I included — are thoroughly colonized by leftist memes. How could we not be? We are constantly mesmerized by them, a thousand cult chants a day whispering at us from our electric soma boxes.

Maybe because I’m slightly ADD (or maybe because I’m just old), I jumped to reading the post at Uriasposten before finishing Ace; note, I didn’t forget Ace, the post after this; that is, one up from this, includes more quotes from that post that I enjoyed. Anyway, I was struck by the reflections between the two posts and I wanted to link the two by translating the text from Uriasposten. I’ve done so below (the original text is below the fold):

“The middle in Danish politics has moved strongly to the right”, one hears often in the [Danish] MSM, but that is unadulterated nonsense. The middle is the middle and it will always be the middle, even if the journalists of the left try to place the political center somewhere far to the left.

If one must speak of a movement, there is a marked swing to the left in recent decades. The debate about the environment used to be a purely left-wing phenomenon and today nominal conservatives use the language of the left in relation to homosexuality, Islam, and racism. As my acquaintance “Lars Findsen på Crack” pointed out in an email, “What was, merely a few decades ago, traditional center-right politics, is now marginalized as “right-wing beliefs” or “the far right”.

And then. A couple of days later. My man Decius writes a third response:

I don’t want to see the country die — or be “fundamentally transformed” any more than it already has. Gerson apparently has no problem with the latter, which is why he is not worried about the former. He declares himself “a traditionalist with a healthy respect for the achievements of modernity.” He defines modernity not in the philosophic-historical sense of a movement to reground political legitimacy in “the laws of nature of and of nature’s God” but in the liberalizing impulses of the recent past. The only praise Gerson can muster for the actual America is his horror at imagining himself “in the position of a woman, a gay person or a minority 50 years ago” and his thankfulness for how far we have progressed beyond that dark age. Leaving aside any possible tension between Gerson’s alleged Christianity and his announced affinity for the gay-left agenda, this is almost the textbook definition of modern liberalism. America was bad until 1964, when it began to redeem itself, not by ending injustice and securing natural rights equally, but by launching the ever-accelerating process of redefining justice in terms of how well it delivers preferential treatment for the favored and exacts retribution on their past oppressors. Gerson—like so many of his contemporary “conservative” brethren – accepts this interpretation wholesale and tries to appropriate it as a “conservative” achievement.

“Midten i dansk politik er rykket kraftigt til højre”, hører man ofte i medierne, men det er det rene vås. Midten er midten, og den vil altid være midten, selvom den journalistiske venstrefløj forsøger at italesætte en politisk midte et sted mellem Socialistisk Folkeparti, Enhedslisten og Alternativet.

Skal man tale om en bevægelse, så er der sket en markant venstredrejning de seneste årtier. Miljødebatten var for få år siden et rent venstrefløjsfænomen, og i dag taler nominelt borgerlige sprog som venstrefløjens verdensreddere i forhold til homoseksualitet, Islam og racisme. Som sagnomspundne ‘Lars Findsen på Crack’ pointerede i en email: “Det der for få årtier siden blot var traditionel borgerlighed er i dag marginaliseret som ‘højrefløjssynspunkter’ eller ‘det yderste højre’”.

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