Clean vs. Dirty: A Way to Understand Everything

Clean vs. Dirty: A Way to Understand Everything. By Jeffrey Tucker.

The other day, I listened to as much National Public Radio as I could stand and one point stood out to me. The experience was anodyne. The topics were nothing that mattered. It felt like a gentle ooze of news that always came to the proper conclusion at the end of the well-produced bit.

By proper, I hope you know what I mean. It confirmed the listeners’ biases. And everyone knows who they are: wealthy, mostly white professionals in urban centers with high-end salaries to match their educational credentials. Probably 90 percent Biden voters last time and next time, not because he is a great president but rather because he inherits the anti-deplorable mantle of his predecessor nominee. …

Elon Musk took over Twitter:

Now we see all the usual suspects quitting the platform in a huff. More likely, individuals at these organizations are creating fake accounts so they can keep up with the news. Otherwise, they preserve their fan accounts on Zuckerberg and Gates’s platforms.

Why might they be doing this? They do not want their organizations to inhabit (or be seen to inhabit) the same space with dirty opinions that they don’t like. They believe their own platforms will do their best to avoid being infected by them. They would rather hide out in their country-club social spaces in which everyone is woke and everyone knows what to say and what not to say. At least the algorithms are skewed in their favor.

Cleanliness is a virtue:

The line they use is that they want to be around those who are “house trained” but consider what that means. They don’t want pet waste on their carpet, thus comparing ideas with which they disagree with a nasty pathogen. They are seeking to stay clean.

In this case and in every case, they are glad for the government to operate as the clean-up crew. It’s dirty ideas and people who hold them they oppose. They don’t want to have friends who articulate them or live in communities where such people live.

They put out yard signs as signals to neighbors about where they stand. The issue in its particulars doesn’t matter (BLM, Support Ukraine, Water Is Life [huh?]). All that matters is the signaling system: Team Clean instead of Team Dirty. We all know what those slogans are and what they really mean and for whom they are displayed. …


In the fall of 2021, the New York Times proved that red states that Trump won had lower vaccination rates: they are hopelessly blechy already. Look at the sheer number of evangelical churches, and AM radio stations, in those places where icky people gather to sing stupid songs about God.

The clean vs. dirty symbolism explains the whole of the vaccine push and even the mandates, since getting the shot was nothing but a gesture of tribal loyalties. This is why it didn’t matter when it turned out that the vaccine protected neither against infection nor spread. Who cares, since the vaccine does what it is supposed to do: separating us from them?

For a while, the clean ruling classes in New York and Boston even sealed off their cities to dirty people by forbidding them from going to movies, libraries, restaurants, bars, and museums. What a blessed world it became for the sanitized among us that they could navigate their favorite institutions in absence of the untouchables! This was to them how life should be. …

Masks symbolized cleanliness:

Reflect on the masking practices for a moment. Why is it ok to take off your mask when seated but the server had to wear one when standing? Because the seated are already proving their cleanliness because they are paying customers and being served and hence well-to-do. It’s the servers who have to work for a living who are in doubt. And then if you got up to go to the restroom, of course you had to mask up because you might accidentally have a brush with a cook, cleaner, or server.

When the inflation started, one might have supposed that the people who shop at Whole Foods would have shifted en masse to Aldi or WalMart. But this prediction misunderstands the whole point of shopping at Whole Foods for a certain class. The point is that we don’t want to be around dirty people who buy dirty food. No need for the clean to buy in bulk to alleviate the inflation squeeze. Rather, the higher cost of groceries is worth it to stay apart from soiled, unvaccinated patrons, otherwise we could get infected. …

Electric cars are “cleaner”:

Notice the way we talk about energy too: clean vs. dirty. Oil and gas, with their fumes and methods of processing, are contrary to the ethos of highly sanitized people. Electric cars make less noise so they are surely better, never mind that coal is also a fossil fuel and that batteries are a massive environmental hazard in disposal and even use more energy overall. Facts don’t matter. Only symbolism and clean-class identity carry the day.

Protect them from deplorables:

To be sure, it’s not always obvious who is and who isn’t clean enough for social interaction. That’s why we need constant surveillance of ideas since views on matters like religion, politics, and even issues like trans rights are proxies to demarcate the difference between us and them. …

The new world, run by the clean caste:

We’ve all been startled that there hasn’t been more of a shift in mainstream media coverage despite the obvious failure of conventional “Covid science,” the revelations of endless scandals of the Bidens and pharma, and even the plummeting profits of major media venues. Even when BuzzFeed News goes belly up, places like CNN, the New York Times, and Vanity Fair continue on their merry way as if nothing were happening.

The reason is simple. The clean people are convinced they are right. They have no doubt about it. And they simply will not soil themselves with bogus ideas like objective journalism or unbiased coverage of actual news.

That would be the equivalent of wallowing in mud, wrecking all that they have worked for their whole lives and the whole agenda of their profession, which is to purge their institutions of infectious ideological disease. …

The clean vs. dirty distinction was once an indicator of class, perhaps a desiderata of germaphobic pathology, even a harmless eccentricity. But in 2020, the obsession became extreme, an aesthetic priority that overrode all morality and truth. It then became a fundamental threat to liberty, self-government, and human rights.Today this demarcation has invaded the whole of our lives, and it threatens to create a horrifying caste system consisting of those who enjoy rights and privileges vs those who do not and serve (at a distance) the elites.

Neo-feudalism is back!

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