Friday, March 1, 2013

Ben Naparstek vs John van Tiggelen and lefty stoushes in general

Conservatives are gleefully yucking up a storm over a falling out between the editors of two prominent lefty publications. In it, editor of The Monthly John van Tiggelen has sent a very snarky email to wunderkind Ben Naparstek of Good Weeked accusing him of poaching writers, among other things. If van Tiggelen's claims are true then Naparstek's behaviour has been disgraceful -- not to mention deeply sexist.

I recall a vaguely similar situation occurring a coupla years back involving The Drum and Crikey -- though I don't think the enmity was nearly as intense.

In any case, this conflict got me thinking about how much white-anting and bitchery goes on within lefty strongholds as opposed to conservative ones. While internecine battles do occur in Toryland, they're generally not nearly as vicious or protracted as the ones that rage in joints like Labor and the unions. Look at the deep level of personal enmity between Rudd and Gillard, for example. It's nasty as all get out.

It's also pretty funny, given lefties' constant claims of compassion, solidarity, and community. Obviously hypocrsiy has a lot to do with it. There's the fact that conservatives tend to be more restrained characters as well. They may feel just as much envy of or hatred for a competitor but because they're more likely to take responsibility for their actions, they usually manage to stop themselves from doing things that they know they'll probably regret later on. Then there's the fact that lefties are more driven by emotion than anything else ...

I think it's got something to do with their ideological mindset, too. And it kinda gets back to that whole "zero sum game" mentality they have. They think of work and wealth as being finite commodities. They're not entrepreneurial by definition. To them, big organizations like the public service, the ABC and Fairfax are the "only game in town". They zone in on a desired position with total, relentless focus.

Now if two or more ambitious lefties are competing for such a gig they will often stop at nothing to get it, keep it and use it to assert dominance over, or get revenge on, their closest competitors. 

Conservatives, on the other hand, will tend to seek elsewhere if it's all getting too full-on. That's not to say they're lazy or unambitious. Far from it. They just realize that there's a world beyond the established organization. There are many smaller businesses in the private sector to work in, or they can even start from scratch and create their own.

What do you think? Is this the reason or is it something else?