Steve Sailer, in a recent post about “leapfrogging loyalties”:
In contrast, modern liberals’ defining trait is making a public spectacle of how their loyalties leapfrog over some unworthy folks relatively close to them in favor of other people they barely know
This is one of those truths that I think is so obvious and ubiquitous – we’re all a little steeped in leapfrog-think – that it may actually be in danger of being overlooked, and so I think it needs emphasizing, but in doing so I risk having everyone just say Duh that’s so obvious.
But historically it is actually pretty weird for an entire society and value system to essentially be built upon the concept of having your loyalties leapfrog over whoever’s nearby but not in your cool inner circle. Isn’t it?
Let me just point out a recent example because I found this noteworthy for how weird it was. The World Bank recently had to get a new President (or whatever they call it). They chose, via whatever the process is for choosing the whatever of the World Bank, a guy named something Kim, who is an American. And, um, that’s that.
As you can see, I would have extremely high credibility if I were to claim that I Don’t Give A Rat’s Ass About Who Heads The World Bank.
However, if you scan your RSS feeds from a few weeks ago (I’m not going to bother digging up links), you’ll find A LOT of commentary about it from certain circles. And what did that commentary consist of? Well there were a few distinguishable factions ranging from (1) this guy Kim, he’s a great choice, because of such-and-such ideology that I agree with!, to (from a smaller and slightly persecuted faction (2) Kim’s a terrible choice, because his ideology is dumb and I don’t agree with it.
However, the most vocal faction of the Who-Heads-The-World-Bank-Carers was, without any doubt, this one:
(3) I don’t know who will get picked to head the World Bank, but I sure hope it’s not an American!
Needless to say, faction #3 was very popular among…Americans. And (for the most part) these were Americans who, as far as I can tell, didn’t really know anything in particular about what the World Bank even does. No more so than me, anyway. What it does, why it matters, what its “President” does, why his qualifications matter, what in particular he would actually be doing per se, why/how whether he’s American would affect his ability or lack thereof to do it – very little discussion was devoted to any of that.
But a lot of discussion – by and among Americans! – was devoted to hoping they don’t pick an American. For no apparent tangible reason (no I’m not going to count mumbling vague niceties about ‘it’ll make The World like us better’ as a tangible reason) over and above simply not wanting it to be an American, and wanting to make sure everyone knew that the person saying this didn’t want it to be an American.
Then when Kim (an American) was chosen, there were some slight lamentations from the same people. ‘He’s a pretty good choice but I would have preferred if they’d have gone with a non-American this time round, maybe next time’ seems to have been the popular consensus.
I didn’t comment on any of this discussion because (again) I Don’t Give A Rat’s Ass. But I do find it to be a remarkable example of leapfrogging loyalties. I’m just saying that when you’re an American who knows diddly-squat about an institution but you nevertheless find yourself Wanting Them Not To Pick An American, it might be healthy to examine your feelings/motives there just for a second. Because in the grand scheme of things, that’s pretty fricking weird when you stop to think about it.