Standpoint v. egalitarianism

“From the beginning, conservatism has appealed to and relied upon outsiders. Maistre was from Savoy, Burke from Ireland, Alexander Hamilton was born out of wedlock in Nevis and rumored to be part black. Disraeli was a Jew, as are many of the neoconservatives who helped transform the Republican Party from a cocktail party in Darien into the party of Scalia, d’Souza, Gonzalez, and Yoo…Conservatism has not only depended upon outsiders; it also has seen itself as the voice of the outsider…the conservative has served as the tribune for the displaced, his movement a conveyance of their grievances.

Far from being an invention of the politically correct, victimhood has been a talking point of the Right ever since Burke decried the mob’s treatment of Marie Antoinette. The conservative, to be sure, speaks for a special type of victim: one who has lost something of value, as opposed to the wretched of the Earth, whose chief complaint is that they never had anything to lose. His constituency is the contingently dispossessed, rather than the preternaturally oppressed. Far from diminishing his appeal, this brand of victimhood endows the conservative complaint with a more universal significance. It connects his disinheritance to an experience we all share–namely, loss–and threads the strands of that experience into an ideology promising that loss, or at least some portion of it, can be made whole.”

C. Robin 2011: 57-58.

Explicitly countering conservative claims to outsider standpoint, here are the 11 rules (Jantelagen) Scandinavian anti-rules egalitarianism boils down to in the conservative view forwarded by the Danish author Axel Sandemose:

Don’t think you’re anything special.
Don’t think you’re as good as us.
Don’t think you’re smarter than us.
Don’t convince yourself that you’re better than us.
Don’t think you know more than us.
Don’t think you are more important than us.
Don’t think you are good at anything.
Don’t laugh at us.
Don’t think anyone cares about you.
Don’t think you can teach us anything.
Don’t think that there aren’t a few things we know about you.


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