Dennis Mangan nails it:
But it also occurs to me that Orszag and his ilk have another motivation beyond pushing their blank slate theories, and that is self-justification. Those like him who have made into the elite are made of sterner stuff, practicing their 10,000 hours, and thus deserve to be part of the elite, unlike you proles, wasting your time on TV and Nascar.
No, connections and intelligence have nothing to do with becoming a Cabinet member, or even a New York Times columnist. All that success comes from the superior morality of someone who buckles down to the task.
There is a lot of speculation about why the elites (and at present, the elites in America are mostly megaphone-wielding whites) are so insanely and stupidly gung-ho about the infinite malleability of human nature and the policy implications that follow therefrom.
- They want to drive a wedge between themselves and “the wrong kind of white people” using the underclass as pawns so that they face less competition from those most likely to give it to them for the top career slots.
- They are brown-nosing amongst fellow SWPLs for those ever-crucial status points that can only be signaled by hating and obfuscating the common sense that is the currency of thought with putatively less enlightened whites.
- They are true blank slate believers.
- They are creating artificial social obstacles designed to make it difficult for less intelligent whites to navigate their way into polite society, thus selectively filtering for only the most socially savvy to rise to the top.
- They are paying the danegeld and rationalizing their extortion.
- They are secretly ashamed of acting in ways in their own lives that deny blank slate theology, and therefore seek to assuage their guilt. Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue.
- They want to squeeze the middle class — their main competitors — and establish a virtual hereditary aristocracy of globalized ruling class transnationalists. Patriotism, religion, tribalism, and ethnic kinship all work against that goal.
- They are bored with national prosperity.
- They abhor hopelessness.
- Do-gooderism is their replacement religion.
- They are sadists who like sticking it to dumber people.
All the above reasons have a kernel of truth, but for a glimpse at what motivates the seemingly self-duping elites in their crass status whoring and propagandistic myopia, you have to peer beneath all that straight into the thermal core of their souls where self-conception resides and the ego sloshes in a cauldron of lifeblood. This is where Mangan’s answer hits upon the ultimate truth —
A defeat of the blank slate robs the elites of their self-satisfaction. Their pride is the beast that stands guard at the last gate, claws and fangs bared, a giant warhammer held aloft to stop those who would raid the castle. At this gate — the last stand before they must relinquish everything that defines their smug superiority — they will spare no quarter for platitude smashing barbarians. Here they fight with a viciousness that belies the nobility of what they claim to fight for.
If genes for intelligence, conscientiousness and discipline account for half or (probably) more of one’s success in life (i.e., success over others), then what does that say about the elite that doesn’t remove a large plank propping up their zealously guarded pride? What successful person really wants to hear that a big reason for their success was…
dumb fucking luck?
(This post has been a 9-11 remembrance, mothafuckaaaaaas.)