Thursday, February 09, 2006

Althouse on sociology of blogging right and left

Really interesting post, via Instapundit, from Ann Althouse on her perception of a difference between the Althouse blog (and I agree that her blog is pretty darn close to the model of "moderation" in politics and interest in rational discussion and complete distaste for craziness of any kind) and how it is utilized by blogs right and left. A rightwing blog generally links to her when it agrees with her. The left generally attacks when it disagrees with her, ignores her when it agrees. Here. What explains the asymmetry? (Or, maybe, complementary asymmetry? Complementary symmetry? Heck. What do you call this configuration?)

For what it's worth, as a liberal turned centrist conservative, it seems like this. The conservative bloggers, despite having somewhat more than half the country with them, still feel, in any intellectual endeavor, like a counter-culture. If you're part of a counter culture, you get tired of always feeling like the counter culture, and you seek validation for your views.

If you are part of the left, you are used to being the folks who dominate in all these discussions - and you are terribly worried that you are losing your intellectual hegemony. Your instinct is not to seek validation - why, when you already have it? - but instead to maintain hegemony, de-legitimizing and stigmatizing counter-hegemonic views. Eventually that process has to seem, to frustrated liberals forever characterizing everyone who disagrees with them as wicked and/or stupid, as a little like herding cats, and I assume that ratchets up the invective.

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