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Paul on Gay Rights

Professor Darel Paul writes in First Things:

Culture wars are never strictly cultural. They are always economic and political struggles as well. Elites rule through an interlocking political-­economic-cultural system. The mainstream media certifies whose political ideas are respectable and whose are extremist. Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Wall Street, academia, and white-shoe professional firms are all part of the postindustrial “knowledge economy” that allocates economic rewards. As American elites become increasingly integrated and culturally ­homogenous, they begin to treat their cultural rivals as subordinate classes. The same thing happened nearly a century ago to the rural and small-town Protestants whom H. L. Mencken derided as the “booboisie.” Many would like to see it happen again, this time to anyone who challenges the dogmas of diversity and progressivism that have become suspiciously universal among the richest and most powerful Americans, dominating the elite institutions they control. If cultural traditionalists want to survive, they must not only acknowledge but embrace the class dimensions of the culture war.

Indeed. Is Professor Paul simply describing these dynamics or is he also a participant, doing his own small part to fight these battles at Williams?

Should we devote more time to Paul’s article? It is an interesting read throughout.

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#1 Comment By Whitney Wilson ’90 On August 28, 2018 @ 1:34 pm

This one passage looks interesting. A little exploration might be a good read.

#2 Comment By Tikhon On August 28, 2018 @ 10:53 pm

This excerpt, and the entire *First Things* article, smacks of the crudest demagoguery, and the most foul-smelling populist talking points. It’s ludicrously ahistorical and incredibly sloppy to lump a unaffected and colloquial political commentator, and great essay stylist of the American vernacular, such as H. L. Mencken with Silicon Valley and Hollywood. This is the most preposterous comparison I’ve read in a very long time. Paul either deliberately ignores, or doesn’t seem to be aware of, the existence of grass-roots LGBTQ networks in rural America and the white working class. He makes the lazy assumption that the great heartland is some kind of redoubt of heterosexual whiteness, set against the putatively superimposed value systems of diversity and secularism. While I haven’t read Paul’s book yet, this essay is complete and utter rubbish. And I’m not even going to comment on the hysterical note of culture war paranoia that saturates what he’s written here, which speaks all too clearly for itself.