The First Rule of Left-liberalism

>> March 20, 2013

It really is such a pity that the world refuses to give Mr. Rajeev Srinivasan sufficient credit for his studied understanding of the liberal arts and dare I say it, social “sciences”. Who else but Mr. Srinivasan (no doubt amply supported by his years of worthwhile contribution to social thought and debate in his role as, but of course, a management consultant) can reduce the entire gamut of the social sciences and liberal arts and those studying these to being “fascist, intolerant, and, well, with a warped world-view”?! Of course, we must also bear in mind that in Mr. Srinivasan’s universe, if you committed the grave error of opting to study English at university, or any other “exotic variants thereof” in the pursuit of a course of education which actually does not enable you to make power-point presentations on the projected growth of MNCs- you are but obviously “dogmatic and subject to blind faith”. Horror of horrors, if you actually labored under the delusion that you could benefit from the exposure to the multiple perspectives and schools of thought, and perhaps even apply some of these ideas into social and cultural development by opting for courses like ‘women’s studies’ or ‘cultural anthropology’, you are a silly emotional nincompoop, and you must immediately enroll for classes in the comprehension of “facts, figures or logic” with the next business consultant you can get hold of, whose exclusive preserve these pursuits are.

Middle class India must especially be grateful to Mr. Srinivasan- because now they can rest assured that the only way forward is to groom their sons (and daughters?) to be engineers (who will go on to become managers and consultants, of course). This will, as Mr. Srinivasan puts it, save them from the ignominy of being reduced to driving a taxi when the economy fails (the issue of dignity of labour, of course, being yet another example of “structured gibberish”), and nobody will raise any questions as to who the “experts” responsible were, you know the ones I’m talking about- the ones with “useful and employable skills”- for the hapless economic situation today (and I’m sure Mr. Srinivasan has more than a vague idea as to who these people are).

It is, I suppose, some consolation, that Mr. Srinivas admits that ‘humanists’ can be replaced by ‘leftists’ with no loss whatsoever of "generality’" – because we know then what he intends when he writes an article replete with generalizations so sweeping it would make the writers of ThoughtCatalog cry. Further consolation, also, is that Mr. Srinivasan chooses to rely almost entirely on the propositions of the social psychologist Mr. Jonathan Haidt to substantiate his piece, whose research on “the psychological bases of morality across different cultures and political ideologies” has been described by his own colleagues as "a smiley face on authoritarianism”.

At some point in the article, and I’m still at a complete loss as to where, Mr. Srinivasan makes what must surely be a “logical” leap and begins analogizing between liberals and anarchists. Liberals, he claims, are apparently born (or are groomed, thanks to their choices in education) to be utterly disrespectful and disregarding of “authority”. After first having established that the movie Fight Club is, therefore, the most telling illustration of a left liberal ideology, he goes on to enlighten us on the sad incomprehension of  “leftists” of  the lofty ideals of “group loyalty, respect for authority, and the notion of sanctity or purity”. Truth be told, I’m not entirely sure what he means by those three catch-phrases or their relevance to a comparison of polarized ideologies either, but he must be right, for I do not suffer from the “conservative advantage”.

Unlike the obscure "meaningless garbage" that passes for academic scholarship among the liberals, Mr. Srinivasan’s claim that “the Gang of Three” have no “no compassion for the 59 Hindus burned alive in a train in Godhra, or the 250 who were also killed in the riots” makes perfect sense. After all, for someone who appears to have little, if any, understanding of what a left-liberal ideology means (apart from his brief rendezvous with Mr. Haidt, of course), he appears to be claiming that their point of difference with those who perpetrated and endorsed the violence that was committed in Gujarat in 2002 is attributable to their “blind hatred”. In fact, he goes on to say, that it is the left liberal who cannot seem to break free from his or her prejudices, unlike the conservative who remains safely ensconced in his cocoon of “group loyalty and sanctity”.

Can I venture to say that I am a changed person, thanks to Mr. Srinivasan and his eye-opening revelations? Yes, of course. I have been fooling myself all this time- presuming to think that there are values more important than petty inclusivism- that there could be anything superior to the  "super-ordinate cause" (which, by the way, Mr. Srinivas is yet to tell us is what exactly) that is greater than me, or my gender, my caste, class or station in society. Why should it matter that variants of these very ideas- those of “matrubhumi, karmabhumi, punyabhumi”- have led to bloodshed and travesties of justice in history?  

Yes, that is- indeed- the crux of the matter. The “na├»ve uncompromising” leftists who continue to bring to light, in their "loud and hyper-active" fashion, the tight-fisted and blind devotion of conservatives to authority and so-called sanctity (of goodness knows what)- are the crux of the problem for people like Modi and I daresay, Mr. Srinivasan. If “group loyalty, respect for authority, and the notion of sanctity or purity” is to be the exclusive preserve of the engineers with unspeakable GRE scores (and we will never know how the two are connected), I’d much rather “evolve (myself) out of existence” and throw myself “in the garbage bin of history”, knowing that I stood for compassion, fairness and against oppression at the hands of exclusive privileged groups, close-minded sectarianism, and blind dogmatic parochial beliefs (also otherwise known  to Mr. Srinivasan as “group loyalty, respect for authority, and the notion of sanctity or purity”).

8 Comment(s):

Anonymous,  March 21, 2013 at 4:25 AM  

humanities students have to depend on state given alms or foreign funded biscuits for their salary.else they work in a politician sponsered papers/ngo . basic question:::why would any person cut the hand that feeds him so well..added bonus of media hype about them, well oiled connections to who is who of politics/media/adworld/ngo .. so quid pro quo happens .. no trails possible here.. freespeech and hence publicity given for x.. and x sends money to humanities leftist via ngo truth and piece.. no trail left for any court to give punishment for backstabbing done to country and people.. they wd only write those stories that suit them and their masters. . but internet has given tools to sceince students to finish humanities hold on media .. now only facts r sacred..comments of those who rely on biscuits and write according to the wishes of biscuit giver can be found out for what it is easily.. thats internet.. true mass power is shown in internet .. intellectual is no longer unquestionable.. now he is questioned based on facts.. and sceicne ie facts is winning in intenent and so its hurting humanities leftists.because truth hurts and power of leftist to engineer the minds of mass is reducing as they have begun to find out truth via internet.. so they r ranting about internet and trolls every 20 days in print and electronic media .. . please showcase any 3 leftists in india who do not depend on biscuits from outside world and agree on most things wrt india. remember anonymity is a right.

Anonymous,  March 22, 2013 at 11:31 AM  

Igrit , so well done that there are no words.thank you.

Anonymous,  March 23, 2013 at 12:08 PM  

Ah! Fitting response to an ignorant rant!! :)

Zeba April 24, 2013 at 2:23 AM  

My favorite statement from today.

"because we know then what he intends when he writes an article replete with generalizations so sweeping it would make the writers of ThoughtCatalog cry"

DD,  November 8, 2013 at 3:51 PM  

Left libs' contribution to things that brought us twitter or google or the PC or internet or those operating systems...? hot air, lots of it

Kerala, that leftist bastion, saw a decline in food production.. no growth... if only we can fight hunger with Left libs' tears and endless arguments

Igirit November 8, 2013 at 10:31 PM  

Hello #RightWingTroll, Interesting to note how you conveniently ignored every other social indicator in Kerala to bring up the decline in food production citing, oh yes, an article from 2009. Right. Which, BTW, also refers to global food decline, not to mention other real reasons such was poor monsoons, groundwater depletion and the steady disappearance of paddy fields under both left and right governments. You can look it up to actually understand what is happening instead of trolling someone for a cause you have almost no understanding of, but then again, you call yourself "Dirt Digger", so who am I to argue with that?

DD November 9, 2013 at 9:58 AM  

The long term decline of food production in Kerala is a topic that attracted many academic papers..

Even The Hindu, which is normally Marxist leaning, never denied this:

The State produces hardly 15 per cent of its food needs. It has become accustomed to being dependent on Central cereal supplies and market purchases from the neighbouring regions.

One must be a really closed minded Left Lib to deny this.

S,  December 29, 2013 at 1:37 AM  

"entire gamut of the social sciences and liberal arts "

to know the real western 'peer review' culture ; read Lies with long legs written by Dr.Prodosh Aich.

& believe me, its not right wing or whatever .

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