A former manosphere blogger I respect criticized the “limousine liberalism” of Seattle’s effete SWPLs. His argument was that liberal activism hurts the working class people it purports to help. In support of his case, he pointed out that liberal economics such as high minimum wage don’t affect the non-profitable memento stores ran by rich men’s wives or the local-flavor art studios owned by trust-funders playing entrepreneur. But they do, as he argued, impact the hard-working owners of franchise restaurants.
Something about that line of dialectic struck a false note: in our reaction to liberalism, why the rush to philistinism? We don’t need another ugly Subway restaurant. There is a virtue-signaling tendency of our own, in which we evoke a stock character working-class hero who doesn’t actually exist except as an object of our pietistic pity.
In one of her early essays, Camille Paglia wrote about the lecture tours she gave at factories in the United States. Her academic colleagues wanted to inspire the factory workers with Marxist morality plays about peasants in Guatemala, but Paglia understood that working-class Americans are not interested in class struggle. They enjoyed her lectures about Chaucer and Shakespeare instead.
Above: if dilettante shopkeepers are what it takes to create those snapshots of urban streetscape, then I’m in favor of more millionaires’ wives. I took that photo above at right. Partially covered by a shadow cast over the storefront glass, it is a stunning original oil painting I saw while walking past a small art gallery.
Right-wing populism serves Truth and Beauty. Alt-Right blogs that get it:
1) Laguna Beach Fogey’s Admiral Cod, with its tagline An Essay in Attitudes. It’s the place to visit for English high-patrician aesthetic, fascist surfers, visual wit, and an appreciation of hand-knit tartan:
2) The group-blog Uncouth Reflections, co-founded by Paleo Retiree. He was formerly known as Michael Blowhard of the pioneering art-and-culture Two Blowhards site that ran from 2002 to 2010. One of the regular features at Uncouth Reflections that echoes Two Blowhards is Paleo Retiree’s regular Architecture and Color series:
O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
— John Keats, from “Ode on a Grecian Urn”