We all prefer the idea of a principle to its application.
I think that explains somewhat the actions of white (is there any other kind?) ethno-masochists and their “leapfrogging loyalties”–abjuring white identity and responsibility for their co-ethnics in favor of a romanticized Other, usually conveniently remote (less and less so as a result of the policies the pose enables). The ferocity of their attacks now, the open hatred, affected or genuine, of whites as whites by whites is a bizarre new reality that defies explanation. After Orlando went into the Narrate-o-Matic and came out a “homophobic” slaughter–to the comic dismay of ISIS, whose violence the American progressive left had co-opted–one can only conclude the American left is conditionally allied with foreign terrorists.
“Virtue signalling” relates to this, and provides a textbook example of Saussurean theory’s “signifier/signified” distinction. Adopting a ready-made sign–which can be as little as a logo on a tee shirt or name-check in conversation–now often provided by commerce (“Whole Foods”, “Apple”, etc.) the bearer/referrer broadcasts a suite of the signified: good taste, liberal beliefs, sound health, etc. Professing the right views works the same way. Problems arise only to the extent the views have noticeable consequence.
Obviously this applies for social and political opposites: a Trump hat signifies a whole different set. But there’s a good reason “virtue signalling” became a term of derision for the familiar forms of leftist signalling. I think it’s less that they’re worse about it, and more that they are, for the moment, still holding the cultural and social whip hand. Convention, right now, is progressive; reaction is transgressive. Carrying a Whole Foods bag won’t get your ass kicked (actually it can, but by the same urban thugs who might kick your ass for wearing a Trump hat).
The reaction to Trump and Brexit unmasked the complete contempt with which the Western elite views working and middle class white Westerners. Basically, they aren’t just swearing off their poor cousins, they’ve declared an alliance with their cool new diverse friends against them. I hate to say it, but it’s all so white.
But we don’t talk about it; we are unable to tell this story because it’s a sequel to another story never told. America never debated, in all the earnestness, corruption and stupidity of our civil rights “journey”, the justice or wisdom of destroying the concept of noblesse oblige within the white American community. Indeed, civil rights necessitated–and still does, more than ever, only now it’s taken on the form of a rout–the pathologization of it, as “white privilege”. From here it appears if anything it’s worse in Europe. This venerable and humane institution was routed and destroyed globally without a shot fired in its defense. Whether by design or not, noblesse oblige was replaced by civil rights; by a liberalism so vague and corrupted it’s been driven–with all of us along for the ride–to the bizarre present, where such as the Orlando attacks now prompt half the country to blame Islam and the other half to blame the half that blames Islam.
Now we’re on to the next stage, where elites are no longer merely indifferent to us (how brief this period was), they are now hostile; working class white losers are making the good white peoples’ life difficult. They lead lives not worth noting in communities not worth saving, and their absence will be a blessing.
“Money is being lost!” elites wail like angry mafiosi, when they’ve expended every other line.
Ethnic diversity doesn’t just increase inter-ethnic conflict by its very nature, it creates and maintains intra-ethnic division for the majority population. And that division is largely caused by an imperious elite allying with ethnic foreigners against ethnic kin and fellow citizens.
Globalization is largely about shucking off noblesse oblige.