Musings, rants, rambling, general nonsense

Away From The Herd

Posted on | May 17, 2011 | 1 Comment

Some of my favorite stories involve an individual who had long regarded themselves a person of the Left, who, when actually challenged (and willing) to think about their positions, realizes they are not – and perhaps never should have been. Such is the case with David Mamet, and the essays in his new book The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture promise to tell a thought provoking tale.

His conversion began because:

He saw he was Talking Left and Living Right, a condition common among American liberals, particularly the wealthy among them, who can, for instance, want to impose diversity requirements on private companies while living in monochromatic neighborhoods, or vote against school vouchers while sending their kids to prep school, or shelter their income while advocating higher tax rates. The widening gap between liberal politics and liberal life became real to him when, paradoxically enough, he decided at last to write a political play, or rather a play about politics. It was the first time he thought about partisan politics for any sustained period.

“This was after the 2004 election,” he told me in an interview last month. “I’d never met a conservative. I didn’t know what a conservative was. I didn’t know much of anything.”*

Aided by the work of Sowell & Friedman, Mamet allowed himself to see the country away from the group think of his upbringing and his profession.

He wondered:

“How did the system function so well? Because it does—the system functions beautifully.” How did the happiest, freest, and most prosperous country in history sprout from the Hobbesian jungle?

“I realized it was because of this thing, this miracle, this U.S. Constitution.” The separation of powers, the guarantee of property, the freedoms of speech and religion meant that self-interested citizens had a system in which they could hammer out their differences without killing each other. Everyone who wanted to could get ahead. The Founders had accepted the tragic view of life and, as it were, made it pay.

Indeed – this thing, this miracle, this U.S. Constitution. If only more people recognized it’s beauty – and it’s genius.

* All excerpts from Converting Mamet:A playwright’s progress by Andrew Ferguson in The Weekly Standard. Go read it all.

Oh, and here’s a bonus gem from a speech he gave at Stanford that was none too kind on the subject of higher education

“If we identify every interaction as having a victim and an oppressor, and we get a pellet when we find the victims, we’re training ourselves not to see cause and effect”

Excuse me while I go place my pre-order with Amazon


One Response to “Away From The Herd”

  1. Politics & The Hollywood Bubble
    September 8th, 2012 @ 7:57 pm

    […] sure their level of understanding is greater than the average citizen. Insulated as they are in a Leftie echo chamber, they never need to be bothered with new information or differing opinions – everything they […]

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