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Oikophobia

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James Taranto at the WSJ has found a word for an attitude that often comes up in debates on crime, especially capital punishment, although the focus of Taranto's column is the Ground Zero mosque dispute. The word is "oikophobia."  It is the opposite of xenophobia.  It is contempt and loathing of the familiar.  The source is this essay at Civitas in England by Roger Scruton: "the disposition, in any conflict, to side with 'them' against 'us', and the felt need to denigrate the customs, culture and institutions that are identifiably 'ours.' "  Taranto explains the American variant of this attitude:

Yet the oiks' vision of themselves as an intellectual aristocracy violates the first American principle ever articulated: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal . . ."

This cannot be reconciled with the elitist notion that most men are economically insecure bitter clinging intolerant bigots who need to be governed by an educated elite. Marxism Lite is not only false; it is, according to the American creed, self-evidently false. That is why the liberal elite finds Americans revolting.


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