Some time ago, Tom Kratman explained to me that pacifism is, at its core, a form of moral cowardice. The reasons for this are many and varied, but we can summarize it by considering that, were the pacifist to see a gang banger beating the crap out of an innocent old lady, the pacifist would consider intervening to be an injustice. After all, the pacifist would say, being violent in turn only brings us down to the gang banger’s level. In the mind of a pacifist, both the gang banger and the defender of old ladies are equally evil, for both resort to violence.
Leftism is full of moral paradoxes like this. I have, of late, taken to calling the phenomenon a form of brain lock. Leftism resembles, in part, a form of philosophy sometimes called moralistic therapeutic deism. It fits in neatly with this “I’m spiritual, not religious” nonsense espoused by a number of indecisive morons. I’ve seen this phenomenon called “post-Christian”, or a number of other similar terms. It is assuredly post-modern, for it has no obvious antecedents in our recent history. Whatever we call it, it is the dominant belief system in the Western world, even with many who consider themselves to be Christians.
In essence, it is a dumbing down of Christian morality combined with a form of pseudo-scientific Marxist absolutism. The pacifist will say that all violence is bad, but in his absolute devotion to this overly-simplistic principle, actually prevents himself from doing anything to stop the very violence he theoretically decries.
Good, the MTD adherent will say, is being nice. It is the Golden Rule, or something very much like it. So the adherent will countenance importing many not-nice individuals, in the name of being nice. Consider how Angela Merkel and her enablers like to guilt Germans about the atrocities of their anti-Semitic Nazi past, and use this guilt to import hordes of anti-Semites.
This is the kind of contradiction that infects adherents of this overly-simplistic worldview. Equality is their god, because equality is nice. If you have more, you should give it up until you don’t. Elon Musk shouldn’t shoot cars into space until Flint’s water supply is fixed. It is an inversion of Game Theory. The more your opponent punches up betray, the more you keep the faith. If Muslims blow your buildings up, write sympathetic pieces about the religion of peace, give them tons of money, and yell at folks who are skeptical of the religion.
In the pursuit of absolute justice, they propagate injustice. If a man cures cancer, should he be allowed to keep the millions that would surely flow to him? Or should he have to give it all away because of equality? Surely the unemployed crack addict should have the same standard of living, right?
This form of morality is both absolute and simple, and it does not work at its stated goals. Want more terrorism? Do this. Want more crime? Want more people to be on welfare? Do this. Want more violence, war, and hatred? This, this, and more this. Pacifism leads to more violence, not peace. Welfare leads to more layabouts, not more productive people. If you genuinely dislike violence, you must be prepared to do violence to those who violate the peace. If you value productivity, you must allow poverty to be uncomfortable.
The world does not conform to the MTD view. Being nice doesn’t make people be nice to you in turn. The Golden Rule contains an implicit condition: at some point, the rule should be reciprocated. You don’t apply the rule to a known genocidal maniac. In Game Theory terms, the Golden Rule means that, in the first round of the game, you select keep faith hoping that the other player will see the value in selecting likewise. If he fails to do so, and betrays instead, betray him in the second round since he cannot be trusted. Perhaps the betrayal will convince him that you are not a sucker, and he will learn to keep faith. Or maybe he’ll just keep hitting betray, and you will at least have avoided being a complete gullible moron.
Leftists can’t do this. They recoil from the necessary duty of being not-nice, of employing violence on the violent, of quid pro quo economics. They can’t see past this and encounter a form of brain lock in which they cannot comprehend how being not-nice in this moment could lead to a nicer society down the road. They cannot understand how violence can make the peace.
Or, if they do understand, they are merely too cowardly to carry out their duties as such. Perhaps for some, this is all post-event rationalization for why they did not intervene to save the old lady from the gang banger. “I am too good, too moral to fight,” says the pacifist, “someone else should do it for me.” Whether that someone else is a Rightist they loathe – but secretly need to keep from being turned into a bloody pulp – or a god they don’t really believe in (but hey, they are spiritual, not religious) doesn’t matter.
In fact, the distant not-really-extant god that they crawl to only in dire need is a great example of this. Fuck you, you don’t exist, says the adherent to God. He’ll drop a cross in a jar of piss, call Christians retarded and make fun of their stupid sky wizard. The next day when he loses his job and gets dumped by his gender-confused housemate he’ll expect the universe – or his god-like spirit – to intervene on his behalf and fix all his shit. And if that doesn’t work, he’ll crawl to the government, hat in hand, and expect the money cribbed from the rest of us to put humpty-dumpty back together again.
And if you don’t, you’re not nice, you big meanie. Now obey or I will apply social peer pressure to you!
The insidious side of this belief system is that it only works if the non-believers cave in to it, in sufficient numbers. That is the problem we have here. Go talk to a liberal on social media and try this experiment. Say something morally complex, like the first boat of refugees invaders to Europe should have been sunk, and that doing so would have actually prevented the loss of life the ensuing mass migration incurred. Or, if that is too spicy for your taste, merely state that illegal immigrants should be deported back to their birth countries.
Immediate brain lock will occur. You are a big meanie. You are evil. You are immoral and inferior to the Leftist, who is, of course, nicer than you! You can extol the virtues of self-defense, and a fair number of them will dispute the morality of even that much. You should run away, you should not stand your ground, for how could you be so mean to the violent criminal?
There is no breaking through the brain lock. The notion that good does not mean nice is foreign to them. They are sheep thinking sheepdogs and wolves are the same, because both have sharp teeth.
Once a Leftist has brain locked, the only possible expression is fury. How dare you question orthodoxy, infidel! This is why moralistic therapeutic deism may be a good description for the phenomenon, because despite often atheistic pretensions and its Marxist genealogy, it acts like a religion. It is merely that the religion is not well developed and is extremely over-simplistic.
Christianity spent many centuries arguing about its tenets. The nature of Christ, the Trinity, things like just war theory and just what was meant by the commandments… these were all theological debates (some of which went much further than that) that occurred in Christianity’s long history. Christianity largely solved the moral dilemmas and contradictions throughout the ages. And it did so through rigorous debate and practical application. It wasn’t always pretty, either, as Leftists often harp on.
Point is, though, it was done. And in so doing, answers to moral problems were arrived at, and a history was forged with guidelines for how to handle certain moral issues. MTD has none of this long history or debate. Its principles are simple and absolute. They lack even the forgiveness mechanism Christianity provides for those (all of us at some point or another) who fail to live up to its tenets. For them, guilt is eternal. Guilt lasts even past death – this is how white Americans can be held responsible for slavery long after all slavers and all slaves are dead. The guilt is never excised. Forgiveness is never granted.
Lacking such mechanisms for exploring the answers to complex moral problems, and lacking even the ability to forgive those who fail, MTD is, in fact, the opposite of nice.
It is an evil belief system in the same way pacifism is a cowardly belief system. And the reason for this is that the system allows and even encourages evil to flourish in the same way pacifism encourages violence. The fact that its adherents are unable or unwilling to see this is tragic. It doesn’t change the outcome one whit.
It is also prone to ever-greater heights of extremism. Vegans are often telling us that eating animals is violence against animals, and in turn, since niceness is the only virtue, we are evil for being omnivores. PETA once went so far as to cheer when a shark bit the leg of a little boy (IIRC, he lost the leg), because the boy and his father had been fishing, so the boy clearly deserved it for practicing violence against the fish.
They saw cheering as virtuous in the same manner as a Leftist celebrating that his country’s culture and history will be flushed down the toilet by waves of migration – much of it illegal and little of it assimilated – that dwarfs most migrations in human history. There is no higher cause, no greater positive sacrifice in the mind of the Leftist than cultural self-destruction.
And yet, having determined that all that is Western, or white, or male, or Christian – whatever – is evil and must be destroyed, they do not make the final rational leap: they are (usually) white themselves. Brought up in the West. At least vaguely post-Christian. Some are even kinda-sorta male. Shouldn’t they kill themselves, too? You know, set an example and all that.
No, of course not, says the coward. That’s for someone else to do. They are the anointed elites, you see.
They ain’t got time to save the old grannies. They are better than all that. It is a much better use of their time to rant about how an old Christmas song is sexist, or something.
I mentioned elsewhere that many people – perhaps even a majority – are engaged in a constant social media PR campaign.
By this, I mean that folks take a strong interest in appearances on social media. They will post things that make them look like good, moral people (without regard to actually being good, moral people), or post things that make them look rich, interesting, trendy, whatever (again, without regard to actually being any of those things). This may very well make up a majority of social media posts, outside political arguments and cat memes.
Now, folks have always signaled status and virtue, since the dawn of time. So by itself, this concept is not new. What social media has brought to the table is a sort of marketing and PR angle to it. It’s like every individual has a miniature marketing and advertising campaign running. Constant pictures, link shares, and quick tidbits become advertisements of one’s value. Facebook is like “free” ad space for your personal PR campaigns. Instagram, of course, is even more dedicated to this. All social media platforms have shades of this, though at least on Facebook, we spend some of the time hating each other for various political positions, or posting stupid (but oddly addicting) memes.
There is a gradient between this activity, and the so-called social media “influencers”, whose personal PR campaigns have succeeded to sufficient degree that they can be monetized. They are those who appear most moral, or most trendy, or most interesting, rich, whatever…
…but still irrespective of actual morality, trend awareness, uniqueness, and wealth.
Pretending to be something you are not is so much easier on social media than it was in the past. But the competition is fierce.
2. Trump and Collusion – Nobody Knows Shit
Pardon my bluntness, but it’s true. Something like half the political conversations I overhear or see on social media invariably sink into the pit of Russian collusion and Donald Trump. By itself, this wouldn’t bother me. Yes, it’s stupid and probably completely fictional, but it’s conversation material.
What is annoying is everyone involved pretending they understand even a minute fraction of the legal wrangling and political bullshit surrounding it. A Leftist will say that some dossier is going to lead to an indictment, which will in turn force Trump to testify or be interviewed by such and such. Whatever. These are armchair lawyers who know nothing about any of this. They just repeat mainstream media talking points and fantasize about Trump getting impeached and Hillary Clinton somehow being installed as Empress, starting a dynasty of female Clintons ruling the world until the end of time. Or something vaguely like that, anyway.
It’s all fanciful bullshit. Nobody understands what’s going on. Not even, I suspect, a great many of the people who are involved in it in one way or another. This is a problem with any investigation or witch hunt (whichever you prefer) that happens at the federal level. It soon becomes a bureaucratic brier patch that nobody can navigate or understand. It’s a mess.
Many Rightists have taken to arguing with the Lefties in the same manner, saying that such and such document really says some other thing, and their legal interpretation is wrong, and Mueller is… well, some damned thing. I’m not much of a fan of this method, either.
I will be clear: I don’t think there was any collusion. I think the Left is using this narrative to distract from the fact that they colluded with pretty much everybody on Earth who would give them some campaign support, and is using this to try and limit the reach of Trump’s administration by tying them up in endless red tape. But I have no specific legal or technical arguments around this. I base this on the general hostility of the media, and the fact that most people involved have a track record of being corrupt liars.
Most of the people arguing this case don’t know any more than I do, but couch their arguments in legalese to appear like they do. It’s rhetoric pretending to be dialectic.
3. Facebook’s Stock Dump
I’ve been waiting for a long time to see Facebook suffer some consequences for their behavior. Zuckerberg appears to be in a world of hurt, insofar as a billionaire can possibly be said to be “hurting.” Facebook, like many social media outlets, has engaged in a stealth campaign against Rightists. Or, perhaps more accurately, has engaged in a stealth campaign to support Leftists.
I’ve spoken at length about the double standard before, and have witnessed it in person, and seen it well documented by others. But always, Facebook retains an air of plausible deniability. At first, they claim it’s an accident, or that there are no double standards. When the truth is discovered, they retreat to “individual employees did it.”
We all know this is horseshit. But for the longest time Facebook suffered no real penalty for it. Leftists control the establishment in the West, and their money can cover for a great many flaws, but not forever. It seems they may be reaching the limits of their pocketbooks. George Soros himself has said as much in recent days. Mark Zuckerberg’s troubles may be a bit of confirmation of the same.
Once upon a time, it was quite rare to see Leftism naked; laid bare for all to see. Soviets once cloaked themselves in moral supremacy and the imperative to spread the workers’ paradise to the world. Democrats explained that poverty must be eliminated, healthcare given freely to all, and bigotry of all forms erased from the Earth. Leftism prided itself upon its perceived moral beauty. Always they progressed to the utopia, the heaven on Earth viewed as their due, since the divine was quite silly and could not possibly exist.
Leftists could not bring themselves to admit their real end goal, not publicly, and perhaps not even consciously. For some, defense of Socialism was so deep, so ardent and passionate, that one could scarcely disbelieve their sincerity. Yet even the most sincere may lie to himself.
Recently, the mask has slipped. Curled around the edges, it falls away. Beauty, fairness, diversity, and morality… these fade away, revealing the ugliness beneath. We’ve seen it often enough in their resistance to Donald Trump. On social media, we have seen the hatred, the disgust, the dismissive disdain in which they hold us. Censors run amok, removing us from any platform where they have sufficient control. We are disinvited, our accounts are banned or deleted, our employers harassed, and our names tarnished.
Let the weight of this statement sink in. For the unspoken, but obvious, corollary is that since you do not have a right to belief, you can be compelled by force to exchange your belief for that of another. And who is to do the forcing? That’s the eternal question. Certainly the author does not imply that any Rightist will have a say in this.
Do we have the right to believe whatever we want to believe? This supposed right is often claimed as the last resort of the wilfully ignorant, the person who is cornered by evidence and mounting opinion: ‘I believe climate change is a hoax whatever anyone else says, and I have a right to believe it!’ But is there such a right?
Yes. There is. You may believe in the good and the silly, the smart and the stupid. You may believe in the true and the false. Belief is a choice, and if you do not have choice of belief, you do not have freedom. You must instead believe whatever those in power say you should believe, at the point of a gun, whether true or false.
Beliefs are factive: to believe is to take to be true. It would be absurd, as the analytic philosopher G E Moore observed in the 1940s, to say: ‘It is raining, but I don’t believe that it is raining.’ Beliefs aspire to truth – but they do not entail it. Beliefs can be false, unwarranted by evidence or reasoned consideration. They can also be morally repugnant. Among likely candidates: beliefs that are sexist, racist or homophobic; the belief that proper upbringing of a child requires ‘breaking the will’ and severe corporal punishment; the belief that the elderly should routinely be euthanised; the belief that ‘ethnic cleansing’ is a political solution, and so on. If we find these morally wrong, we condemn not only the potential acts that spring from such beliefs, but the content of the belief itself, the act of believing it, and thus the believer.
Who is the “we” in this? Anyway, yes, a man may condemn a belief, and condemn even the believer. This does not mean the believer cannot be permitted his belief. Only when belief becomes action must we consider doing something about it. And then, we limit this to a violation of natural rights. You don’t have the right to murder me. You may wish to murder me all day. You may even believe it to be right, which most of us would find ‘repugnant.’ But until you attempt to act on this belief, that is a matter between you and God.
This is a core difference between Leftism and Rightism. Leftism believes thought must be regulated, controlled. It believes that man may be perfected by the State, by the combined ‘wisdom’ of the mob, concentrated in the hands of the very powerful. It’s profoundly sickening. And though, as I have said, every man may be permitted his belief, if there is any belief I would wish to see destroyed, it is that one. A common aphorism is that more men have been killed in the name of God than any other reason. That is a fallacy. Such that God has been used as a ‘reason’ for murder, it is most often only an excuse, a flimsy rationale for something else the murderer really wants.
And most often, that desire is for power. The power to shape belief is among the greatest.
In any complex society, one has to rely on the testimony of reliable sources, expert judgment and the best available evidence.
Who is to do the judging? The experts? The author naturally believes that his beliefs are correct, and thus he is permitted to impose them on others. Remember that Tom Nichols often makes similar claims, that because an expert is judged by his peers to be an expert, and the hoi polloi are by nature dumber and/or less experienced than said expert, they must accept the expert’s word without making a fuss or challenging him. We are not permitted to question the expert’s honesty, or competency, or his pronouncements because he is judged better than us. Stay in your place.
In exploring the varieties of religious experience, James would remind us that the ‘right to believe’ can establish a climate of religious tolerance. Those religions that define themselves by required beliefs (creeds) have engaged in repression, torture and countless wars against non-believers that can cease only with recognition of a mutual ‘right to believe’. Yet, even in this context, extremely intolerant beliefs cannot be tolerated. Rights have limits and carry responsibilities.
Tolerance of intolerance cannot be permitted? Well then, this entire article is, in effect, a form of intolerance toward beliefs deemed unfit by the author and his peers. In effect, it is naked intolerance. Should we then be forced to tolerate it? This is all circular reasoning and mental masturbation. The essence of human experience can, in my belief, be distilled down to a measure of quid pro quo. If you are willing to tolerate me, and respect my rights, I am likewise willing to do the same with you. On the other hand, if you insist that I have no right to my belief and should be forced to give it up, why should I concede your rights to your own?
Unfortunately, many people today seem to take great licence with the right to believe, flouting their responsibility. The wilful ignorance and false knowledge that are commonly defended by the assertion ‘I have a right to my belief’ do not meet James’s requirements. Consider those who believe that the lunar landings or the Sandy Hook school shooting were unreal, government-created dramas; that Barack Obama is Muslim; that the Earth is flat; or that climate change is a hoax. In such cases, the right to believe is proclaimed as a negative right; that is, its intent is to foreclose dialogue, to deflect all challenges; to enjoin others from interfering with one’s belief-commitment. The mind is closed, not open for learning. They might be ‘true believers’, but they are not believers in the truth.
Note some of the comparisons the author makes here. He places “Obama is Muslim” in the same category as denying the lunar landings took place. He places climate change skepticism in the same category as flat Earthers. That is a rhetorical sleight of hand. False equivalency. Furthermore, the point of deriding climate change ‘deniers’ is to deflect challenge, the very practice the author claims to loathe. He does not enjoy having his beliefs challenged, and he projects this dislike upon his ideological opponents.
Believing, like willing, seems fundamental to autonomy, the ultimate ground of one’s freedom. But, as Clifford also remarked: ‘No one man’s belief is in any case a private matter which concerns himself alone.’ Beliefs shape attitudes and motives, guide choices and actions. Believing and knowing are formed within an epistemic community, which also bears their effects. There is an ethic of believing, of acquiring, sustaining, and relinquishing beliefs – and that ethic both generates and limits our right to believe. If some beliefs are false, or morally repugnant, or irresponsible, some beliefs are also dangerous. And to those, we have no right.
Ah, who decides truth of belief? An aggressive Atheist might say that I have no right to believe in God. A radical Muslim might say I have no right but to believe in Allah. Both might find the alternatives morally repugnant. Who is granted authority to determine which beliefs I might have a right to? The quote about no man’s belief being a private matter is also revealing. This is the rationale behind Orwellian surveillance schemes. The government must determine what your beliefs are, and then must punish you if they are deemed incorrect. Or, rather, deemed in opposition to whatever those in power desire.
And those beliefs are the ones that are most dangerous… to people like the author, anyway.
The mask has slipped a little more today. The salivating drive toward complete tyranny lies naked beneath.
Some of my readers may already know that I’ve been banned from Twitter. You may not know the reason, however. Some folks were arguing that the word “retarded” should be banned from Twitter discourse. Naturally, I replied that this was retarded. Twitter has apparently sided with those demanding censorship, so let it be known that the social media platform has banned use of this word. Using it results in account suspension.
That’s pretty retarded.
Leftists, and especially journalists, have a propensity for deliberately misunderstanding language. Words have meanings, which can be gleaned partly from the commonly-accepted definitions, and partly from the context in which they were used. Or, put another way, intent matters in communication. Calling something retarded is not an affront to people with Down syndrome, because of the context in which it was used (i.e. not in the presence of, or having anything to do with, people with Down syndrome). To interpret the use of “retarded” this way requires deliberate intent to misunderstand the speaker.
In other words, Leftists who do this are defying the very purpose of language in the first place, which is to communicate. Now, using the word may very well be construed as extremely rude (and, in fact, it was intended to be), but since when is rudeness an offense which requires censorship?
This is where something very interesting happens. You see, to a Leftist, rudeness is an unpardonable sin. If I were, for instance, to refer to a gay man as a “fag” (despite the fact that many use the word to describe themselves), I am being rude. The rudeness must be censored. Leftists presume to be my mother, and to explain to me what words I am, and am not, allowed to use.
Now in the case of my suspension, it can be argued that Twitter is a private entity, and has every right to censor me for whatever reason they wish. And while this is true in a legal and technical sense, it omits the greater point that any nation which does not really believe in freedom of speech in a cultural sense is soon to lose its legal rights to the same. Or, in other words, de facto censorship can easily become de jure censorship. But even if it didn’t, note that North Korea enshrines freedom of speech in its legal documentation. Nobody there is stupid enough to actually try to use it. Nonetheless, Leftists would love to ban the use of words they don’t like at a legal level. Indeed, they salivate over hate speech laws, and the Orwellian policing we see today in (formerly) Great Britain.
It gets much worse than that, though. Take a look at this video created in opposition to the Second Amendment:
The fascinating thing about this video is just how childish and patronizing it truly is. Note the bright colors, the cartoon figures, the sing-a-long verses and Mr. Rogers vibe of the host. This whole thing looks like it was designed for six year olds. This is what the Left thinks of people.
Ana Gasteyer’s argument is, essentially, that if one person does something stupid with a gun, that person has effectively ruined it for the rest of us, and all the guns must be rounded up and taken away, because clearly Americans are unable to handle them. She appoints herself Mom-in-Chief, under which the rest of us are supposed to obey like good little six year olds.
This argument falls flat on its face, for we could easily make the same kind of delusional argument about alcohol and automobiles. Some people drink too much, and then drive their cars, and hurt people. Clearly they have ruined it for the rest of us, ban automobiles and alcohol. Remember the temperance movement? This shares a number of similarities to it. Indeed, it’s a very matriarchal approach to problem solving.
Some people are rude on the internet, ban mean words! Some people commit sex crimes, well… we they’ve clearly ruined sex for everybody, if you want to have sex, please obtain signed consent to continue every 2 minutes. Yet somehow this motherly attitude, this “omg somebody save our kids from the NRA” attitude vanishes the moment somebody coat hangers their child at the local Planned Parenthood abort-o-mat.
Temperance movement mothers would have been horrified by that, at least.
Some time ago, Sarah Hoyt wrote about the matriarchy that she encountered when she first immigrated to the United States. The experience was jolting for her. Feminists presume that we live in a patriarchy, and that men have all the power. Men know better. We possess a great deal of hypothetical power, rather like the Queen of England. But if we actually try to use any of it, it is quickly revealed as meaningless.
After all, if you can’t even call somebody retarded on the Internet, how much power do you really possess?
Leftists want government to be your mother. To put you in time out if you say a mean word to somebody, to take a thing away from everyone if even one person misuses it. To enforce Socialist notions of fairness through a sort of scaled up version of “oh, did you bring enough to share with everyone? No? Then I’m going to take it away!”
Affirmative action is a sort of scaled up participation trophy concept. Oh, it doesn’t matter if you didn’t practice, work out, or any of that. You’re just as good as the people who did! Here, have a trophy! Take a look at medical school admission rates for how this works in the real world:
Note that the lowest tier of black applicant is roughly comparable in acceptance rate to the highest tier of white acceptance. Note, also, that whites aren’t even the worst off here – Asians are. The Asian stereotype of “you be doctor now” has some truth to it. They are likely to have intact families, to work hard, to study hard, and to be dedicated to their work. But sure, affirmative action someone with lower grades and scores, right? Yeah, I’ve never heard anyone say “can I please have the affirmative action doctor?”
But the mother might say “it’s not fair!” And we should hold the phone, drop everything, and move medicine back to accommodate somebody’s feelings about fairness, right? That sounds pretty retarded to me.
No guns for you, share and share alike, don’t say mean words, and go have a time out if you voted for Donald Trump. Or, hell, if you just didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton. After all, she’s a mother too, right? Otherwise you are an internet bully or something.
Thing of it is, even if we accepted the premise that human beings are all little children who need constant supervision, who have no agency of their own, and who must obey their betters in all things… who are the betters? Who constitutes someone worthy of being the mother who knows best? Naturally, Ana Gasteyer clearly thinks of herself this way. And pretty much every teenage SJW or college feminist considers his, her, or xis self qualified for the role, despite having a tendency to abort away their actual children.
They have agency, you see. We do not. We, as in productive adults, must obey college SJWs in all things. They are our mothers, and mother knows best, right? I have no doubt Hillary Clinton saw herself in this light. Certainly some of her emasculated male followers thought of themselves as slobbering man-children.
As far as I’m concerned, they are all retarded. And unlike folks who actually have Down syndrome (some of whom are wonderful, humble, caring people), these people are viciously arrogant about their retardation.
The thing is, mothering is an important part of humanity, but it is not the sole part, nor is it supposed to be done excessively. Otherwise you end up with wussified children who are completely unable to take care of themselves when they grow up. And if you think about it, that does sound like the 47% Mitt Romney lamented about in the 2012 election, people who would never vote for him because the government was, in effect, their mother, taking care of everything for them.
Eating is a good and proper activity. Gluttony is a sin. Having a glass of wine a day is supposedly a benefit to your overall health. Getting plastered every night is likely to destroy your body and send you to the hospital. Today, we have an excess of mothering, both from actual mothers (see: helicopter parents) and from Leftists and the government assuming a motherly role. In effect, Leftists are helicopter parents who, in lieu of actual children, have assumed the role of some kind of global parents over the supposedly-childish hoi polloi. That many of these Leftists are themselves barely removed from childhood might be regarded as a colossal irony.
I’ve long suspected that this motherly activity is actually one of the primary motivators behind the very school shootings lamented about in the video above. I remember several times as a child being disciplined by the school for defending myself against a bully. The policy, you see, was that violence was bad. Therefore, when two kids were seen fighting, both were disciplined the same. No effort was made to determine who was the aggressor. Both were at fault. Leftists view self defense in a similar matter. They are suspicious of it. They don’t actually like it. In their minds, someone who shoots an intruder is as bad as the intruder himself. Perhaps worse, even, because excuses can be made for the bad behavior of the intruder.
Likewise, excuses are made for the bullies. Oh, he’s having problems at home. Oh, he’s black and you’re white, and quite honestly you probably deserve it because your great-great-great grandfather might have owned a slave. You must accept it. No outlet is given for boys, girls are held up as the gold standard, something Christina Hoff Sommers has commented on many times. Add to this a toxic stew of single motherhood, absent fathers, a tendency to over-medicate, and a general cultural malaise… and you have a recipe for boys snapping and going apeshit at school. Not to mention the media gives a twisted sort of fame to the school shooters.
But no, like the helicopter mother who wants to stop her kid from spitting out gum everywhere, as cited in the video above, we should just ban everything for everybody. Forget the reasons why the bad behavior was occurring, just ban the word, or ban the physical object. It’s like the Rotherham rape epidemic. Forget actually protecting the victims and going after the perps, ban talking about it, ban the words.
This has given us a culture of childishness, of never actually growing up. Nothing is ever your fault, because you are seen as a child.
If I was of some protected class, and a recipient of affirmative action largess, I’d be angry. It’s patronizing, it’s saying “oh here, because you can’t win the game on your own, we won’t keep score, and we’ll give you a participation trophy.” No, screw you, I want to win, and losing the game is motivation to do better next time.
Participation trophy culture is retarded. The government is not your mother, and the fact that Leftists of various stripes think they are qualified to be my parents is profoundly insulting. In this case, ‘mother’ definitely doesn’t know best.
Weaponized Empathy is a chief weapon of the Left, and we need to deprive them of it. To do so will impose a cost. Namely, many Leftists will hate you, and say the worst about you. But its a cost that must be lived with if the truth is to prevail. Indeed, the longer the cost is deferred, the worse it is likely to be.
On Monday, Francis penned an interesting post which touches upon the idea delayed gratification, something most Americans do not practice. By pushing instant gratification, and kicking the cost can down the road, our civilization has incurred an enormous amount of debt, and not merely financial debt (though that too).
The perverse incentives of our political figures has made this possible. But the citizenry itself cannot avoid responsibility either. After all, Americans have been voting en masse for short-sighted, destructive policies as long as I’ve been alive. The money quote:
We the People have earned a certain suffering-debt for our previous sociopolitical sins – never mind that we were set upon our sinful courses by an earlier We the People, who passed their accumulated suffering-debt down to us – then our choice is simple:
We could accept the penalty, endure it, and come out healed;
We could reject the penalty, which would compound the ultimate suffering.
Since World War II at least, the public has preferred politicians who will “kick the can down the road.” In consequence, government has gone ever further astray and our accumulated debt of ultimate suffering has compounded year by year. At some point, though the moment is difficult to predict, the debt will be paid. If it’s grown large enough, it will destroy our society completely.
But a payable sociopolitical suffering-debt is like a prison term: it’s finite. It will end. It can and should be endured, especially if the alternative is to raise it to an unpayable level. Our unwillingness to accept and endure the penalties that have already accrued is propelling such debts toward the threshold of sociopolitical bankruptcy.
Note, when Francis speaks of sociopolitical bankruptcy, is essentially discussing the fall of the United States as a functional, intact nation. And the longer we kick the can down the road, the more likely that outcome becomes. Indeed, I’m not even sure we can still avoid it.
On a positive note, Trump managed to push tax cuts through. They are not anywhere near as extensive as I would have liked, and I am sorely disappointed with the behavior of the GOP (more with the Senate than the House), but this is something.
Tax cuts used to be a sort of bread-and-butter of GOP politics, alongside strong foreign policy. The various factions within the party would jockey and argue over everything else, but low taxes and strong military were generally always agreed upon. That this much infighting was required to get the GOP to push through a tax cut – any tax cut at all – is disturbing. It demonstrates the slow evolution of the GOP Establishment away from the base, and toward a more Fabian Socialist agenda, agreeing with the Democrats in principle if not in time frame.
Still, this was why many folks chose Trump over Hillary. We knew we weren’t getting what we wanted, but a tax cut is better than a tax hike. Still, some Dems are going off the deep end telling us the tax cuts will literally kill people. They’ve clearly left sanity behind.
These days, I figure almost everybody knows someone who is a complete idiot with his money. Somebody who, perhaps, makes a decent wage but constantly overspends in an effort to keep up with the Joneses. This is the kind of person who buys a $5000 Italian leather couch and then tells you that it’s a $5000 leather couch. It is important to him, you see, that you acknowledge his ability to spend money on overpriced couches. This is nothing new; it’s a form of status signalling that goes back to the dawn of humanity, most likely. My beads are prettier than your beads. My mud hut is bigger than yours.
The fascinating thing about it, however, is that most folks I’ve met who do this don’t actually have the money. They have car payments and furniture installment loans. They have credit card debt and student loan debt. They may have home equity loans on top of their regular mortgages. And frequently, they lack the liquid assets to cover any of these notes. Their lives are constantly stressed, for any interruption in their income stream could expose the lie of their status signalling. People would know that they were broke. That is more terrifying to such folks than losing the possessions themselves.
Even folks who do have the money often spend themselves into poverty trying to chase status. Stories of celebrities who spend their vast sums of money and wind up in crazy amounts of debt are absurdly common. But at least they had the money at some point. The status signal wasn’t entirely dishonest.
SJWs do something similar with regards to various forms of bigotry. Their goal isn’t necessarily to defeat bigotry, as some of the more honest among their number admit that it isn’t really possible to eliminate all biases in human beings in the first place. And even the most idiotic of SJWs has to know deep down that in America, we have it pretty good with regards to demographic group tolerance – or we did, anyway, before SJWs started screwing around with it again. Rather, the goal of the SJW is to signal that he is not racist/sexist/whatever.
Like the guy who shows you his expensive couch, the SJW who spouts off how much he loves Antifa, and how he goes to all the local BLM protests, is actually saying look at me I’m better than you. He’s signalling that he’s one of the enlightened, educated, and right-thinking individuals. Not like those icky poor people; not like those icky Right-Wing would-be Nazis.
It’s all about ego gratification. It’s about feeling superior, and being able to look down with disdain on the unwashed, the impure, the unrighteous. Even some who are nominally Right-Wing have fallen victim to this (see: Tom Nichols, Bill Kristol, etc…). But like the neighbor who wants you to think he’s rich, many of them aren’t. Like Joss Whedon, feminist warrior who cheated on his wife with a dozen women, they are signalling a lie. Some, like Bill Kristol, may have once been what they are signalling, but aren’t any longer. Somewhere along the way, they took the signalling to be more important than the truth.
It’s confusing the packaging for the product, confusing PR with the people behind it. It is tacitly saying that appearances are more important than realities. This is a core tenet of Social Justice Leftism. A superficial understanding leads many to believe women make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. That is the appearance. Dig deeper, and the truth comes out: women make different career choices, work less hours, and tend toward lower risk tolerance. When these things are accounted for, the gap vanishes into irrelevancy. But this doesn’t matter, because the superficial appearance trumps the reality. Thus the SJW signals his acceptance of appearance over truth by constantly bleating this metric.
Underneath this ideology is a house of cards. One misstep, one accidental exposure of truth, and like the indebted man with his fancy furniture, the repo man will come and take it all away. Harvey Weinstein’s casting couch, Joss Whedon’s infidelity, or as I spoke of once before… an SJW’s obsession with getting beaten by men dressed as Nazis in a BDSM club… and it all it comes crashing down around them. Their moral preening is no more true than the yuppie’s affectation of wealth.
I often tell folks that I’m not that great of a guy. I prefer the position of Socrates on wisdom: none of us are truly wise. I prefer the Christian’s view on sinning: we all do it; we all fuck up. And I prefer a dose of humility to the obsession with social status. I don’t always achieve these lofty goals (see #2), but I’ve long believed that trying to achieve them is worth something. On the flip side of that, it’s very irritating when someone tries to signal a lie, and we all know it’s a lie.
I don’t judge my neighbor on the basis of his wealth, why should I care about that? But if he goes out of his way to lie about it, then I care about being lied to. I can’t be too harsh on a man who has committed various sexual indiscretions (provided they aren’t grossly illegal, of course – see pedo shit, rape, etc…), sex is and always will be a hangup for humanity. But if you pretend to be a moral puritan about sex, and it comes out that you are a creep, then I care about being lied to. It is a ‘cast the first stone’ situation. If you are casting stones at someone, and you are guilty of the same, you are tacking on intentional, self-centered dishonesty in addition to whatever it is you did. At least have the courtesy to be quiet about it. Better yet, go ask forgiveness from Christ.
On top of the aspect of dishonesty, it’s also insulting and patronizing. We know the signals are a lie. For the man bragging about his wealth, look… we can do math. For the man bragging about his sexual purity, we know you’re full of shit, we’re human beings too, you know. We know how it is with sexual desire. For the man declaring himself wise, an expert in all things, we know it’s all bullshit. We see when you are caught in lies and mistakes. In other words, we aren’t fooled, and by continuing on with your status signals, you’re only fooling yourself. Even your fellow signalers know, deep down, that you are lying. They merely enable your lies so that you may, quid pro quo, enable theirs.
Ultimately, the signals won’t work. Even if you fool us for a little while, sooner or later we’ll find out.
I don’t think any human can remove all signalling from himself; some of it is undoubtedly unconscious. And sometimes a signal can be true: Donald Trump’s ostentatious wealth is actually true in his case. But better to err on the safe side when it comes to signalling. Best not to do it. If you must, be very sure it’s not covering a lie.