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Hillbilly Elegies: the least advantaged are being destroyed by the stupid social policies of the leftist elite 

I’m not proud of a feeling of schadenfreude upon hearing wealthy actor Paul Hogan whine about the homeless drug addicts that have descended on his Los Angeles elite Venice Beach neighbourhood. Mr Hogan feels blockaded into his $3.5m mansion and wishes the homeless just stayed somewhere else where property prices were more suited to their station.

Paul Hogan, aka Crocodile Dundee of “That’s not a knoife, this is a knoife” fame, is now under the resentful gaze of syringe and knife-wielding drug-addicted criminals, who have migrated into his protected, elite environment.

I’m not just picking on Paul Hogan here, it’s more that the chickens are coming home to roost for the Hollywood elite who have been pushing the type of hedonistic nihilism that results in homeless drug addicts; but have always been insulated from its consequences. This is an interminable problem that cannot be solved while these elites have control of the cultural narrative.

Ogres like Harvey Weinstein are not an aberration to the Hollywood world of gratuitous hedonism. It only takes a sample of 2 or 3 Hollywood films to realise that “sex is transactional” is a core value in Hollywood’s cultural messaging.

We all know that while he had the ability to dish out opportunity Harvey Weinstein was adored by all of Hollywood who knew very well what type of predator he was. He was called “God” by Meryl Streep at the Oscars. A perverted, rapacious, and insatiable God it seems, but with enough favours to disperse to keep his worshipers in check.

The cultural elite for the most part, shield themselves from the worst consequences of their nihilistic messaging with wads of riches. It’s a consumerist and spiritually derelict message, but it makes lots of money. Elite influencers and political power seekers are insulated by wealth from its most malign consequences while continuing to make money from its presence.

Not everyone is so lucky. In fact, the effects of this nihilism is cutting to the core of communities who can least afford it.

In the political world, the same narrative holds sway. When homelessness and drug addiction is portrayed as resulting from a lack of spending on mental health and other therapeutics strategies, it creates a political and social industry of agitation and revolution. It’s a service industry which has a never ending source of demand, and the deepest pockets to pay for it. It’s a problem which, by design, cannot be solved.

But if the scenes at Venice Beach are indicative of a changing trend, maybe these powerful influencers will not be insulated from the consequences of their own bad example forever.

Commentator Candace Owens has seen this from the inside. She asked why so-called progressives often eulogise and sanctify criminals and posit that this is because they know that this will create an antagonistic counter-narrative that won’t enable progress. They create the cycle of emulation where a community with the siege mentality descends into a worsening cycle of self-destructive resentment. At the head of this are BLM and the other patronising leftist elites who will shout for the cause of racial justice, but wouldn’t live in one of these troubled neighbourhoods if their life depended on it. In fact their lives literally depend on not living in them.

So the elites, including the BLM elites, make piles of money from stoking the revolution, but live in their own upmarket multi-million dollar mansions completely insulated from the troubles they cause. The biggest threat to them is not so much the drug addicts that might camp on their beachfront utopia, it’s a competing narrative; a correct diagnosis of the problem. They are pushing cultural poison, and anyone who diagnosis this must be savaged. They don’t like Candace Owens.

They claim they are outraged over murdered black people, but they are silent on the thousands of black people who are murdered by rising levels of senseless violence. You won’t hear them mention the name of Sylvia Bennett Stone, or her murdered daughter Krystal Joy Stone.

Mrs Bennett Stone founded Black Mothers United, a community-based organisation trying to tackle urban violence through reform on a local level, after her daughter was murdered in an act of senseless violence.

In 2004, while waiting at a gas station, one stray bullet killed both her and her friend. They were unfortunately caught in the crossfire of a shoot out between two criminal gang-bangers. The shooter had been charged with three other similar instances of murder, and all those cases had been acquitted. He was acquitted on this occasion also, though the driver of the car was sentenced to life without parole. That driver was also the driver on those other three occasions of murder.

From this point on Sylvia started talking about the violence in her community and started connecting with other mothers and families who had suffered. She started working on changing the narrative. Her story is inspiring.

The trial of her daughter’s murder was harrowing. The community seemed to turn against her. There is a powerful mythology of the rebel which is enflamed by the political opportunists on the left. The mindless drug peddling murderer is idolised because “he’s against the system”. What Black Mothers United show is that these thugs are not Robin Hoods working “against the system”, they are simply against the community.

The response to her talking about this problem of violence was dismissive. It went like this, in this order: “She’s just a grieving mother”; “she needs to go somewhere and grieve alone and be quiet”; “she must be having mental illness issues”; “maybe she had a nervous breakdown”; “she just needs to shut up and leave this alone”; “her daughter’s been dead for five years, oh my god when is she going to stop”.

That was the response from her community. If her daughter had been killed by a police officer, the fires would burn and the donations would roll into the coffers of various leftist crisis opportunists.

Before the trial, her daughter’s murderer organised a campaign of intimidation; ringing Sylvia Bennett-Stone’s phone and shooting at her house. During the trial he stood up and gave the greiving mother the middle finger and said “I’m not going to jail”.

Which one of these two people does BLM and the political and media elite put on a pedestal? Is it Sylvia, the grieving mother who is working to transform her community, or the violent thug?

Groups like BLM and their wealthy champions don’t seem to like Sylvia Bennett-Stone.

They don’t like J.D. Vance either.

When Hillbilly Ellegy came out in July 2016 it was praised for its elegant prose and the soul searching honesty of its author’s diagnosis of a spiritual malaise at the heart of his own small town Mid-West society. J.D. Vance’s biopic analysis served as a microcosm of the social and industrial decay of the rust belt, where addiction, domestic violence, and idleness amongst the working age young, are interminable problems that prevent the growth of community. Through his personal narrative he diagnosed that this, at its root, is a spiritual malaise, and all of these signs of social decay are not the fundamental problem but rather symptoms of a cultural acceptance of nihilism.

It’s a wonderfully told narrative, but it offers more. He describes the few remnants of a functional society that enabled him to rise above the defeated. These things, that come from a spiritual not a utilitarian place in the soul, are the antidote to the atomising creed of the left.

After Donald Trump took the presidential election in 2016, Vance’s Elegy received a more myopic and motivated scrutiny. Rather than admit that the people Vance described had real social problems and were being abused and abandoned by the political elite, these same elite turned on them with savage vengeance.

Rather than try and understand their predicament, the cultural and political elite turned their contempt on them and created a new racially prejudiced narrative against working class whites.  They were the scapegoat for the Lefts loss of power, and had to be dehumanised.

Vance’s humanising, personal, and diagnostically insightful explanation for the disillusion and degradation of the Mid-West could not be tolerated by the elite. Because it diagnoses so clearly the problem, it might present an opportunity for solutions.

The critics started laying it on heavy. Vance was a persona non grata all of a sudden.

Dr. Anthony Daniels, who writes under the name of Theodore Dalrymple tells of similar insights to those of Vance but from the perspective of a clinical consulting physician. In his 2001 book “Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes The Underclasses,” Dalrymple drew on his experience as a physician in a hospital and a prison in one of London’s poorest areas, and makes the same conclusions as the Hillbilly Elegy author.

He recounts that he would meet very similar people with very similar problems in these two institutions – the hospital and prison. Ironically enough he said the only difference was that the hospital involved much more violence than the prison.

in dealing with thousands of victims of violence, and hearing their stories which touched on other similar stories of relations and such, he says he must have up to 40,000 life experiences to draw on with which he made his deductions. He diagnoses that the dispiriting palette of domestic abuse, violence, learned helplessness, failed education, family disintegration, addiction, and other problems, are the result mainly of a spiritual degradation. What Vance revealed in the personal narrative of his own life, Dalrymple diagnoses in his encounter with the social meta-narrative.

We can see these symptoms devastate what has become a permanent underclass throughout the liberal West. In any city or town in Ireland it is also plain to see. It is accompanied by false narratives, false explanations, and false solutions. The solutions proposed by the left and the credentialed elite increase the relationship of dependency and learned helplessness. It’s time to work on changing that story and breaking the cycle.


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