Jim Kalb on the 1960s

Paleo Retiree writes:

Jim Kalb’s recent piece about the 1960s is an enlightening one, even for a reader with no interest in the Catholic angle. Great passage:

The ‘60s claimed to be about liberation. In fact, they were much more about the rise of a new ruling class of experts, managers, and media people. That class, which is still with us, has some unusual qualities. The most notable is that it denies that it is a ruling class, and claims instead to be a neutral means through which expertise, rational administration, and the machinery of publicity help people attain their goals. Our rulers today tell us they are here to help us: to educate us, free us from the prejudices of the past, let us know what we really want, and make sure we all get it. They claim their power is liberating, and back up the claim by pointing to their suppression of authorities that compete with them, such as family, custom, religion, and traditional hierarchies. If we can go shopping, play video games, surf the Internet, and sleep around, and we don’t have to listen to Mom, Dad, or the Pope, we must be free. Aren’t suppression of incorrect thoughts and safeguards like the Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) mandate worth having to protect that?

For my money, Jim Kalb is one of the most incisive and daring thinkers to have emerged during the blogging years. I did an interview with him back at my old blog: IntroPart OnePart TwoPart Three. It’ll likely give you a lot to wrestle with. Jim blogs here. So which will it be — the blue pill or the red pill?

Bonus alt-right link:

About Paleo Retiree

Onetime media flunky and movie buff, formerly Michael Blowhard. Now a rootless parasite on a quest to find the perfectly-crafted artisanal cocktail.
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14 Responses to Jim Kalb on the 1960s

  1. Callowman says:

    There’s a different Catholic angle in all this, too. The period started with the election of the first Catholic president – a big nail in the coffin of the dissenting Protestant hegemony that founded the country and had hung on to power up until then. Jim Kalb’s treason of the clerks story lines up well with the Keith Preston’s idea of totalitarian humanism – his preferred term for PC – arising from the rebellion of a technocratic New Class against the old WASP elites.

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  2. Oh, I should have put in a plug for Jim’s terrific book too.

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  3. Fabrizio del Wrongo says:

    Good stuff.

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  4. Fabrizio del Wrongo says:

    This is good too:

    “The new elite claimed to be democratic, since it was a meritocracy open to all, it claimed to interpret popular needs and aspirations, it included people who had been outsiders under the old regime, and it mostly avoided the direct use of force. In fact, it was narrow, self-selected, and utterly uninterested in views other than its own. It was composed by definition of those who knew better, so why should they listen to anyone? Hence the increasing insistence on formal certification and propagandistic educational materials informing us that everything we thought we knew was wrong. The new, rational, democratic, and liberated order turned out to mean that people can’t be allowed to do much of anything without training and supervision by their betters. Otherwise they won’t do it right, and they might hurt themselves or others. They are required to be free in the way they’re told to be free, and that is decided by committees whose expertise exempts them from any need for personal knowledge”

    It’s like having a priestly caste telling you, “Do this! Or God will be soooo pissed.”

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  5. Toddy cat says:

    Lots of truth here, and Kalb brings up something that a lot of us who lived through that era tend to forget – it wasn’t just the hippies and protesters, much as I disliked both. They were as much a symptom as a cause, and in a lot of cases, the hirsute, stoned, free-loving hippies were used as tools/battering rams/useful idiots for a lot of clean-shaven, all too sober, decidedly unsexy power lovers, under whose rule we languish today. The true history of that era has yet to be written – maybe Kalb will be the one to do it…

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  6. slumlord says:

    Kalb’s analysis is flawed. Whittaker Chambers is a far better guide to understanding modern events. No one asks, why did the temple crumble so quickly? The Sixties weren’t about one group wresting control over the other, rather, it was the decade when modernism triumphed because traditionalism had failed. It wasn’t as if the proles had to be wrested from their traditional positions, rather, they deserted en masse.

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  9. Sir Barken Hyena says:

    I have to confess to a certain degree of real hatred for these people, our new rulers. I’ve watched them pour their poison into every corner of our life since I became an adult. I really hope we’re about to turn on them and send them packing. And I’m not talking about the election, because it offers no such choice, but something a lot more important: the whole culture.

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  11. Fenster says:

    I kind of get why posters here would rally to Kalb’s emperor no clothes message, though I have to say K is longer on nice writing and rhetoric than he is substantiation. Perhaps he prefers transsubstantiation . . . yuk yuk. But seriously folks, you won’t find me pining for the return of a real clerical class because of the supposed failings in the current, allegedly fraudulent one.

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  12. anolen says:

    Hello sir- ever read Jerome K. Jerome’s short essay entitled ‘The New Utopia’? Family is the antidote to the State.

    Thank you for your post, I will follow you.

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