<p>Ideology that has supplanted liberalism as the default choice of academics and other bohiemian types. Based, ultimately on the Marxist background of Vietnam-era pacifism and similar political and social movements of the same time, it incorporates (among others) Green, New Age, deconstructionist, and feminist philosophies.

The world-view of the IP is doughnut-shaped. In the hole of the doughnut lie the speaker and his immediate friends, who he trusts, and believes to be "authentic". This quality is shared by those on the outside of the doughnut: females, children, members of preliterate cultures, historical witches, homosexuals, animals, Pacific Asians, Latin Americans, Africans, people in poor countries in general, etc. These people are either blamelessly innocent of wrongdoing, or have really, really, good reasons to do what we think of as being "savage". They are natural Marxists, since capitalism and Judeo-Christianity are typical of "developed", late-stage patriarchies such as our own, and as such have ways of dealing with the world that are intuitive, holistic, cooperative and nurturing -- the exact inverse of our own. They also don't care (at least they don't really mind) if they individually don't get their own way -- consensus is everything -- and as such, love gathering in groups to carry out their daily activities, such as household chores, travel, and entertainment. Since everything that such people do has to pass through public approval, they instantly have exquisite taste and manners, and are far more "polite" than we are, as well as more "spiritually grounded" in their communities, and while it's sometimes hard to see, natural feminists as well.

What is in the doughnut is a divisive interface of technologists, capitalists, Middle Americans, Republicans, and other "inauthentic" types, many of whom have no other sin than wanting to work at a good job, accumulate creature comforts, and raise a family with the least amount of effort. Although the scorn of the IP for the "rich" is quite palpable, actual wealthy people tend to be too low-key to make a good target -- instead, their targets are people who would otherwise be considered proletarian, for whom they have a snob's finely tuned distaste.

Indeed, while egalitarianism is their stated ideal, I.P.'s live in an atmosphere where status is as ferociously sought as any socialite. Meat eater? Well, you really ought to be vegetarian. Vegetarian? You ought to be vegan. Vegan? Don't you know that some Jains only eat fruits, and make sure to plant the seeds afterwards? (The Jains also use lots and lots of milk, not for drinking but for rituals, but well, we don't want to criticize them.) And where are you getting this fruit? Is it organically grown? Heirloom variety? Picked by whom? Where? And when we're done with that, we can start picking apart each others' choices in clothing, decor, and livelihood. A kind of reverse jingoism obtains: since the Homer Simpsons of the world tend to do such things as go to church and express patriotic sentiments, church and flags are anathema. Instead, they will go to great lengths to recreate these things in different forms, since they are more sophisticated than all that.

One of the more distressing habits of the authentic people outside the donut is to speak up for themselves. Whereupon they begin to have the same habits as the despised Americans -- they, too, want tract houses, automobiles, TV, and decent wages, even for making those "authentic" handicrafts they so charmingly used to give away to those nice Americans who smiled so much and gave them so many compliments. Or, even more distressingly, they are not feminists, color-blind, or Marxist, and will blow up buildings to prove it.


Remarks on the above, ten years later.

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