Reclamation is my middle name.

First of all: FUCK YES. Oh, Jon Stewart!*

While watching this episode, I had a HUGE GIANT BRAINSTORM:

I am the liberal élite Fox News so loathes!

I embody every aspect of it, from the veganism to the anarchism to the brilliance to the heart full of care and concern for….well, everything. Because that’s what “liberal élite” means. That you are smart, and that you care. It’s time to reclaim the phrase.

(And just to piss off anti-French anti-intellectuals even more, I’m adding the accent aigu that really no one uses except The New Yorker. [Of course.])

Liberal = you care for things. (Well, you know that really I’m a radical, but we’ll put that aside for now.) Liberals believe that capitalism, in and of itself, is not enough to run a society and therefore government should function as a system of checks and balances on the natural corporate rapaciousness that capitalism, by definition, demands. Liberals believe that people should be free to decide how they live their lives, as long as they are not hurting other animals or other people. Liberals see no contradiction between those two believe because liberals are not idiots and can therefore see nuance.

Elite = you have standards, and believe that hard work and a good head on your shoulders means you should rise to the top.

Liberal élites, thus, believe that there should be no limits on what anyone can achieve, regardless of how you were brought up, how much money you have, what you believe, the color of your skin, or who or how you like to fuck.

Liberal élites believe in the infinite, ever-expanding possibility of the human race.

So, no matter what Christofascist racist homophobes (i.e., conservatives) say, stand loud and stand proud, my fellow liberal élites!

Now, you say (because I know you worry a lot about how my particular rant o’ the day squares with my previous screeds), Lagusta, yo, calm down. You’re not a liberal élite! You’re an anarchist!

Ah ha! I can be an anarchist élitist—totes. Elitism merely says that the coconut cream rises to the top, not that the bosses should own everything. Anarchism says that in order to achieve our full potential as humans, we must be, first of all, FREE. No contradiction there.

Liberal élite pride!!!

*I hope you don’t get the commercial for Axe body spray that I did, however, because that almost made me blow my fucking brains out.

4 Responses to “Reclamation is my middle name.”

  1. christy

    i dig. it’s hard to talk about though, because it can sound classist… in that way that ‘liberal elite’ tends to imply ‘educated’, and ‘educated’ tends to means having access to education. nothing universal there, of course. the word liberal makes my skin crawl though. it makes me think of Chomsky and his notion that most liberals have too much invested in the status quo to really let it crumble. i really believe they are the line of defense against any real change… they can’t tolerate what it would mean for their privilege.
    related: i oppose democracy because i do not think the majority should always rule. so, in that way, i am TOTALLY an elitist, because no matter what 99% of the world thinks… if it’s wrong, it’s wrong. period. the smart people, the ones with information need to be at the table no matter how unpopular their views. i hate anti-elite-ism because it most often means “we can’t be bothered to hear the facts or respect dissenting voices… we just want to get this shit done because it satisfies our short-term interests.”
    i get that you are trying to reclaim liberal, but i think it is too late. it’s already a feel-good word for people that “care” but only when it grooves with their cozy lifestyle. stay radical, Lagusta. The end of this bullshit is going to be ugly… and the radicals are the ones who will happily let the shit die even though our lives will have to change.

  2. lagusta

    I know. But it’s not classist! That’s where the reclamation comes in. As you said.

    Yeah, I’m with you about liberal. For the purposes of this post I decided to let it go to make a point, but I’m there, totally.

    (So is the whole post crap then? I don’t think so. Point stands, even though “liberal” must die.)

    “I oppose democracy”!!!! Wowzers. Democracy is overly optimistic for our sad society, you’re probably right.

    • Christy

      Did you read that article in the New Yorker, (like 5ish years ago! if anyone read it and remembers it, you do… ) called ‘the unpolitical animal”? It was awesome. It was all about how most people draw their political conclusions–socially. Yeah, most people don’t look into things to the degree that they should have strong opinions. And yet, their vote weighs the same as an expert on the very same subject. The majority of people are ignorant when it comes to the majority of subjects. I prefer modified consensus. and anarchy. sadly, those methods only work if you are dealing with responsible grown-ups… and everyone in this country/world is so fuckin’ stunted and damaged, that it feels impossible. sad. humans really blew it. it could have been such a great life.

      • lagusta

        Wow, I have no memory of this one, but it sounds great.

        OK, so this: “I prefer modified consensus. and anarchy. sadly, those methods only work if you are dealing with responsible grown-ups… and everyone in this country/world is so fuckin’ stunted and damaged, that it feels impossible.” is what I spend about 1/2 my time thinking about. Do we act as if humans are responsible and grown-up in the hopes that that will bring such behavior about, or do we give in to the horribleness and just dumb everything down? I like to think I take the first path, but it’s a real catch-22.

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