March of the Clevons

The political Left and the Right are more brands than products: someone sitting on the left of Revolutionary France’s parliament would see very little in common with the modern American Left today, ditto for his opposite-sitting counterpart. Likewise, the Republican and Democratic Parties have historically acted as brands rather than the ideological parties of Europe. The polarization of society has forced them to become much closer to Euro-style parties, which perhaps has acted to reinforce the polarization. If you have a many-party system, the different left-wing and right-wing factions can vote for their own party, which can then be truely homogenous. Try to force 40% of society into just one or two parties, and the parties will have little to agree on rather than demonization of the other side. Read the liberal and conservative ideological manifestos to their viewers and few would agree wholeheartedly with them in their entirety. To people these are labels, brands.

Sometimes, people will stick with a brand even when the product changes. They might convince themselves they’ve changed their mind about the product, or will tell themselves that this particular political issue, well, that’s actually not so important anymore. Sometimes people are wooed by a competing brand, but still want the same product as always. Thus, the customer and the product moves while the brand stays in place.

Bweteen 1976 and 2016, there has been a gradual movement of dumber whites away from the Democratic and into the Republican party. In 1976, white Republican voters scored 3.5 points higher on the wordsum(converted to IQ-scale) than did white Democrats. By 2004, white Democrats had the edge by 3.9 points. By 2016 the gap grew to 5.5 points.(Republican voters as a whole still have an edge due to Democratic dominance among non-whites.) With the influx of idiots attracted to the “Right” brand came an influx of idiotic ideas. 9/11 trutherism, which started on the left, has migrated to the right, as have anti-GMO, anti-vax, and general naturalistic fallacy nonsense.

march of the stupid
Migration of the stupid

Conspiracy retard Robert Bonomo wrote about corona that:

There are two diametrically opposed views on this crisis. The first argues that it’s a catastrophic pandemic and we must drastically change the basic functioning of our civilization until we find a safe way out. Let’s call the folks who follow this view the clocks.

The clocks see nature as a beautiful garden that they’re charged with caring for, cultivating and molding. They are the masters of science, logic, and materialism and feel an obligation to drive nature toward the good, the just and the equitable.

The other view of the virus is that it’s just one more curveball mother nature has tossed our way. We have survived other pandemics and we’ll survive this one. Those who follow this view are sceptical of the science and feel empowered to embrace their mortality and move one. Let’s call these folks the oranges.

The oranges feel a part of nature. Not only do they accept her harsh realities, they feel empowered by their role in her epic drama. They are not here to change the world, but to be part of it.

{snip}

Dr. Mackay tweeted a quote from a story about a pack of oranges, “They are the kind of person who isn’t happy with [what] they are told by experts and prefer to go and seek their own narrative.” He then asked, ‘Why do coronavirus sceptics and deniers continue to downplay the disease?’ He’s shocked that these people actually want to think.

One synonym for “orange” is “Clevon.”

“Under-man” is another synonym, coined by Lothrop Stoddard in his book The Revolt Against Civilization, the Menace of the Under-Man:

In this classic 1922 book, Dr. Lothrop Stoddard examines the point where egalitarian revolutionary movements — particularly the French Revolution and its ultimate offspring in the 20th century, the Bolshevik revolution — intersect with human biodiversity. His thesis is that civilisation imposes increasing intellectual and moral burdens on the less able strata of the population, causing growing frustration, restlessness, and feelings of worthlessness among their members

This is supposedly the origin of the German word “Untermensch,” later translated back into English as “subhuman.” Of course, many of those who eagerly partake in insults against Clevons would howl that they have nothing in common with Stoddard.

After some thought, I’ve settled on “Clevon” as the best term. Who are the Clevons, really? Lack of intelligence is necessary, but not sufficient, to be a Clevon. The Clevon is one who is unintelligent and who believes his mind is capable of discovering the answer to any problem, using only the tools contained within it at any given moment. As Bonomo says, the Clevon wants to “think,” and is confident he can find the solution to any problem with rhetorical skill and no math. Bridge design? He can do it, he doesn’t need the “experts” telling him what’s right and wrong. He will think for himself. The Clevon does not suffer from “Dunning-Kruger syndrome,” for he knows he is not cut out for math or science. Yet he believes it doesn’t matter, believes that numbers are just abstractions, not at all connected with the “real world.” What, after all, does concrete and steel have to do with mathematics? What does epidemiology have to do with mathematics?

The Clevon feels free to ignore science, mathematics, history, anything that he can’t understand or wishes is not true. Freed from any obligation to consider such things, he can pick and choose beliefs like he picks and chooses vegetables in the grocery store.* Naturally, he picks the ones which make him feel good. Why is Alex Jones selling pen*s-enlargement pills? Partly because no one else will advertise with him and thus he has little choice. But it’s also because his fan base are Clevons, people who are always looking for something for nothing. Get-rich-quick schemes. Weight loss without dieting. E-thots. And not needing to do anything about corona. Just ignore it and it’ll go away somehow.

Trump is betting on the Clevons come November. If there is a rational reason for Trump’s demands that schools be re-opened, it’s that he hopes to appeal to Clevons who don’t want to take care of their kids. Not that re-opening schools is necessarily a bad idea. But do I believe Blompf is looking as this rationally? Hell no.

Is this a problem? Well, it depends on where your funds are coming from. If they’re coming from Clevons, your view of Clevons gets warped. You might want to say, cryptically and selectively, that in fact, you know the Clevons are dumb. That you should be judged on these semi-private views, not on what you say openly. It’s not often that superhero movies are insightful. But I remember being struck by this quote from Batman:

It’s not who you are underneath, it’s what you do that defines you.

Steve Sailer has chosen to lend his intellectual credence to a pack of insane crackpot Clevons, who wouldn’t be nearly so encouraged if it weren’t for smart people like him allowing them to think of him as an ally. He doesn’t need to tell us that he privately thinks the Clevons are morons. We can all see it, but the Clevons can’t. And so they continue their Clevoning.

He doesn’t care.

As an aside, many are blaming religion for the corona crackpottery. I don’t think that’s correct: few Clevons attend church; the Clevons whining about “muh liquor stores are open but churches aren’t,” spend far more time in the former. For while the Clevon is “skeptical of science,” religion reminds him too much of it, those men in robes who read books, telling him how he should live his life. And getting up early on a Sunday? Pish posh! But I do think religion has a subtle effect of encouraging the Clevons, especially in the form of American protestant Christianity. What is the origin of the universe? Why is the universe here? Why is there something rather than nothing? These are big questions, perhaps unknowable questions. American Protestant Christianity tells people that they can personally be near certain of the answers despite no actual training, knowledge, education. If they can figure out the answer to such weighty questions with no intellectual skill, why shouldn’t they be able to find out the answer to the corona crisis?

*I’m just using “vegetables in the grocery store” as a metaphor, the Clevon doesn’t actually consume vegetables.

2 thoughts on “March of the Clevons

  1. John Beck

    To sum up this article, the author is a superior person to all those bad people questioning the experts on this virus. The same ones whose predictions have been wildly off the mark since day one and have been almost nothing but wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

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