[ExI] Be nice to leftists

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Fri May 16 04:48:50 UTC 2014

Some time ago I posted here about what my understanding of "leftism" - that
it is a current manifestation of the age-old human obsession with status. A
leftist is a status-obsessed (i.e. envious) hypocrite, predictably
attracted to the hierarchies of government bureaucracy, academia and
mainstream journalism.

Given this unflattering opinion I expressed, one might expect me to inveigh
against leftists, to urge their expulsion from the corridors of power in
order to build a better world without them. However, as a realist I know
that this notion is a mirage: How could normal people, who are not obsessed
with status, beat the obsessed ones at their own game? For better or worse
(well, mostly for the worse), status-obsessed jerks are here to stay, at
least until advanced personality-design tools arrive some time late this

There is interesting research on the role of economic elites (i.e. the
upper 10% of income distribution, highly overlapping with high-status
leftists) in our so-called democracy:


Turns out that the electoral masses have essentially no impact on
government policy. Only elites control the democratic government.

This is a lesson: Anybody hoping to influence the government should
concentrate his efforts on changing the opinions of elite participants in
the game, and can completely disregard outreach to the masses. Of course,
retail politicians will woo the public but this is just the expected part
of the political theatre. The real decisions will have been made when the
candidates are named by parties and paid for by pressure groups or when
issues are framed by the media, not when the general public votes.

Thus, the rational transhumanist should be nice to high-status leftoids and
the occasional non-leftoid power-monger. He should gently persuade them
rather than denounce them. They are psychologically dependent on their own
self-image as do-gooders and you can use it against them by pointing out
the destructive effects of their default recipes for improving the world.
 Leftists are always on the lookout for yet another "disadvantaged) group
to champion (i.e. to use as pawns in the struggle for status), so cast
yourself as a victim of oppression, and make them root for you. Cognitive
dissonance might make them tune you out but the seed of doubt you planted
will shift their daily decisions a bit, maybe make them slightly more
hesitant in their convictions. Social change and the law will follow.

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