Keeping up with the FITs, 2/18
Richard Hanania and Steven Hsu; Josh Barro on Democrats; N.S. Lyons on truck protests; Jacoby Adeshei Carter and Sheena Michele Mason on race;
Richard Hanania interviews Steven Hsu. About China’s meritocracy, Hsu says,
But the thing which people miss is there’s a separate silo that you would draw over here, which is the evaluators, whose job it is to actually go around and investigate these guys and see, are they corrupt? What is actually happening in the city? Are the growth numbers faked? How did he raise the tax revenue? So there’s this whole separate evaluative organization within the Communist Party. And so again, you could imagine it doesn’t work well, maybe there’ll be periods of time that it is working well. I think it is probably working well right now.
Recall that I proposed a strong Chief Auditor function for the U.S.
As Matt Yglesias wrote about yesterday, Democrats have a degree divide problem: Most of the party’s voters don’t have college degrees, but almost all the decisions about what the party should do are made by people with college degrees, and those people are systematically to the left of the party as a whole (not to mention the electorate as a whole) on both economic and social issues.
…there is still a broader issue in campaigns and other organizations related to the party, where a fashion for “worker power” is fostering a culture of disorganization and insubordination, with rank-and-file staffers asserting a prerogative to set campaign strategy and internal organizational disputes spilling out into the open.
As a result, Democratic politicians and their senior staff must constantly make strategic decisions with an eye toward what might lead to an embarrassing labor story in Politico.
The picture of Democratic Congressmen taking unpopular far-left positions because they are afraid of their own staff, or afraid of an unfavorable story in Politico, is pretty unflattering, if you ask me. What should you do with these entitled brats in staff positions, or on campus, or in corporations? I would say tell them to get lost, but I don’t face the downsides of doing that the way that Democratic Congressmen or college administrators or corporate executives experience.
Bill Clinton’s Sister Souljah Moment took place around Josh Barro’s 8th birthday. I cannot imagine a Democratic Presidential contender being able to get away with something like that today.
Barro says that Congressional Republicans do not have a similar problem with their staff. But they have an equivalent inability to talk back to Trumpists insisting on relitigating the 2020 election.
When considering the causes and character of the current protest, and the response to it, I would say the divide between Physicals and Virtuals is by far the most relevant frame of analysis available. In fact I’d say this is among the most significant divides in all of Western politics today.
. . .this difference appear to widen – and perhaps even help explain the root of – the huge and growing gender divide in politics, given the fairly well-established preference (on average) by men to work with “things” (more concrete) and women to work with “people” (more abstract).
Jacoby Adeshei Carter and Sheena Michele Mason write,
there is nothing positive about being racialized. Racialization is not what philosophers call a “good-making” feature of the world. Nothing of inherent value is added to the world through racialization. Only at our peril, and in contradiction to our liberatory aims, do we treat race as an entity, a property, or feature of persons or groups and argue that supposedly racial differences are the reasons individuals or groups are victims or perpetrators of racism in the first place. Because racism is really the belief in the idea of “race” and the practice of racializing people, racism pervades the American mind. So, let us lose our belief in “race” and win freedom from racism.
Carter and Mason are of course right, but how in practice does one just "loose" consciousness of "race." And what happens if some do and others do not loose that consciousness? Surely is cannot be pretending that "race" in the here and now does not exists and affect social outcomes.
But don't most Republican politicians have more degrees than their median voter? This seems like a completely different problem from staff management. Identity politics works better for Republicans than Democrats because they have fewer identities to manage.