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Posts Tagged ‘political correctness’

Lawrence Auster explains clearly the confustion that results from left-liberal multiculturalism and its combination of insane moralism intramurally among other westerners, while abandoning basic moral standards in dealing with “other” people:

[T]he liberal order articulates the world through a “script” in which there are three characters: the white liberal, who embodies the non-discriminatory virtue of the liberal regime; the white non-liberal, who discriminates against nonwhites and who must be crushed by the white liberal; and the nonwhite/non-Westerner, who either is discriminated against by the white non-liberal or is non-discriminatorily included by the white liberal. In the script, furthermore, only the white liberal and the white non-liberal are moral actors, with the first representing good and the second representing evil. The nonwhite/non-Westerner is not a moral actor, but is simply the passive recipient of the white liberal’s goodness or of the white non-liberal’s bigotry. The reason that the nonwhite/non-Westerner cannot be a moral actor is that his very function in the script is to be the recipient of either good non-discrimination or evil discrimination. If he were a moral actor, then his own actions would have to be judged; specifically, his bad actions would have to be judged. But to judge his bad actions would be to discriminate against him. And since the central purpose of liberalism is to eliminate all discriminatory treatment of nonwhites/non-Westerners, moral judgement of nonwhites/non-Westerners must also be eliminated. Therefore nonwhites/non-Westerners cannot be seen as responsible moral actors.

The liberal script explains why [Pastor Terry] Jones, who burned a piece of paper with ink on it, has “blood on his hands,” but the Muslim Afghan mob that invaded a UN compound and murdered 12 UN employees do not have blood on their hands. The Muslims are not moral actors. The Muslims are simply the victims of Terry Jones’s discriminatory act against them. Jones, the white non-liberal, is a moral agent who is responsible for his evil actions. The Muslims are not moral agents and are not responsible for their actions.

Terry Jones is just the millionth example of this.  There are the excuses for other familiar forms of foreign savagery, such as sutee, or polygamy, or canabilism, or low levels of cleanliness and education.  As these excuses role off the tongue, the most anodyne western liberties and customs, whether holding a door for a lady or not wanting one’s nation’s demographics reengineered, are treatd as the most backwards expressions of primitivism.  The thread uniting this apparent dissonance is the nondiscrimination principle.

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The Soviet system privileged party officials, political correctness, and ideological rectitude above all, even military competence.  Commissars were placed alongside combat officers to ensure loyalty to party goals.  Big decisions were made in ridiculously bad ways because of ideological blinders and commitments that saw “class conflict” and the “wheel of history” where it was absent.

The US military more and more resembles its Soviet predecessor, right down to an inconclusive war of Afghan nation-building.  This week the Captain of the USS Enterprise was canned not for an accident or dereliction of duty or anything like that, but instead for making a raunchy video that poked some fun at the problems of integrating women on a combat ship, as well as other stresses of living with 5,000 other people for months on end.

The message to mid-level officers is clear:  be boring, be compliant, and never dare question the ideological goals of the anti-military powers that be regarding women and gays, whatever the cost.

Incidentally, has the military ever tried to measure the impact of women in the ranks?  I mean specifics:  the dollar cost, the cost in human lives, degraded performance, levels of fraternization, etc.  It seems a study like that will never be done.  The old guard has been drummed out.  The subtle impacts of special treatment are accommodated, ignored, or merely grumbled about in private.  And the actual negative impact of women on training and efficiency in units like fighter squadrons, military police, or combat engineers is deliberately ignored.

Who knew the America of 2010 would recreate the New Soviet Man of 1919 l. . . . and this after the spectacular implosion of the Soviet regime in 1991?

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Byron York writes in the Washington Examine regarding liberal Portland’s politically correct refusal to cooperate with the FBI on antiterrorism:

In 2005, leaders in Portland, Oregon, angry at the Bush administration’s conduct of the war on terror, voted not to allow city law enforcement officers to participate in a key anti-terror initiative, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.  On Friday, that task force helped prevent what could have been a horrific terrorist attack in Portland.  Now city officials say they might re-think their participation in the task force — because Barack Obama is in the White House. . . .

What is ironic is that the operation that found and stopped Mohamud is precisely the kind of law enforcement work that Portland’s leaders, working with the American Civil Liberties Union, rejected during the Bush years.  In April 2005, the Portland city council voted 4 to 1 to withdraw Portland city police officers from participating in the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. Mayor Tom Potter said the FBI refused to give him a top-secret security clearance so he could make sure the officers weren’t violating state anti-discrimination laws that bar law enforcement from targeting suspects on the basis of their religious or political beliefs.

Other city leaders agreed.  “Here in Portland, we are not willing to give up individual liberties in order to have a perception of safety,” said city commissioner Randy Leonard.  “It’s important for cities to know how their police officers are being used.”

Bush was wrong, terrorists don’t hate us because our freedom.

And Obama (and his liberal followers) are wrong, in that terrorists don’t hate us because we’re mistreating certain Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan, though that is their contemporary pretext for attacking the United States and Europe.

Muslims hate us because we’re not Muslim.

The more radical (i.e., pious) ones believe this justifies terrorism.  The less radical believe that they must conquer us through persuasion, coupled with the ongoing demographic and moral collapse of the West.  They hate the West because, historically, the West was Christendom, the great anti-Muslim force in history.  It was other things, of course, the land of Michaelangelo and Kant and Issac Newton.  That is, our identity was not solely anti-Muslim, though it was primarily Christian.  And this Christianity required it to be anti-Muslim in self defense, which the West accomplished with great energy at Lepanto, Tours, and Vienna, as well as the Crusades.

After the Enlightenment, the West lost its way a bit; it stopped being self-consciously Christendom, but it never stopped being the dominant, attractive, wealthy, accomplished, anti-Muslim citadel to which the entire non-Muslim world looked to for leadership, technology, and also a bit of envy. We outshone the Muslim world, and this was unbearable to a people whose political, economic, and social system was supposedly divinely ordained, allegedly a formula not only for other-worldly happiness but also for worldly success.

Portland thought it was safe from this kind of thing because it felt so guilty for being Western and so consciously and publicly distanced itself from Bush’s wars to inculcate western freedoms to illiberal Muslim lands.  But Portland’s deracinated leadership forgot one thing:  that sometimes hate and injustice and aggressive rage arise naturally and predictably from the Others whom they hold so high on a pedestal.  Appeasement does not work to appease the uneappeaseable, world-historical program of Islam, which demands complete submission by every person on Earth.

It’s not clear if an event like this, even if successful, can remove the politically correct scales from the eyes of Portland’s leaders.  Theirs is a web of deception that will likely detect, even in this, a clarion call to redouble their efforts of outreach, tolerance, and the like.  Liberalism like that of Portland’s mayor renders intelligent people stupid and blind to basic reality.  It also can render whole societies dead if they do not have a revival of clear thinking and an affirmation of their right to continue to exist in their traditional form.

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Race to the Bottom

Rick Sanchez was canned from CNN this week.  In a general whine about the discrimination he has faced–which apparently burdened him with fame and an enviable job–he said something about Jews, suggesting that the elitist, mean-spirited Jon Stewart had no idea what it was to be a real victim like the good-looking media-celebrity, Sanchez.  I can’t say I was a huge fan  of either man.  But the lightning speed with which Sanchez was dispatched says a lot about which groups in our society cannot be criticized and, concomitantly, which groups have significant power in that society.  Genuinely oppressed and hated people can be criticized with impunity.

While the merits of either man’s claim to victimhood is kind of ridiculous, Rick clearly hasn’t been paying attention.  For all of the vaunted independence, iconoclasm, and general edginess of the media, there are certain pieties that must be respected, and one of the most important of which is the utter sanctity of Jews as a victim group in the pantheon of America’s victim groups.  We’re supposed to pretend that wealthy media executives are little different from Stetl Jews in Ukraine shot in ditches by Nazis, just as we’re supposed to pretend that blacks who became President of the United States are the victim of ongoing oppression little different from that of Jim Crow.

Much of modern America’s cultural obsession consists of a race to the bottom whereby various groups–blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Indians–are all competing to be the biggest victim of all.  The only group that cannot play in this game is the old American WASP, America’s historical majority people that is grouped alongside with Hitler for having exclusive country clubs and Ivy League quotas 75 years ago and slavery some 150 years ago.

Sanchez pointed out an easily verified fact:  Jews, as a group, are successful and particularly over-represented and powerful in the TV and print media.  This is one of those facts we’re not supposed to notice, just as we’re not supposed to notice various short-comings of other ethnic groups.  The Jewish claim to historical victimhood in America today requires quite a bit of work.  After all, unlike blacks, Jews came to America willingly and voluntarily.  While once upon a time there were minor discriminations and sleights against Jews in America–exclusive clubs, Ivy League quotas–on the whole, America has been welcoming to Jews, and, more important, Jews have been wildly successful in America in spite of whatever obstacles their great grandparents may have faced.  They have become the establishment in spite of the continuing self-identification as being an alienated, oppressed outsider. That success, once a source of pride, became a minor embarrassment in the great multicultural race to the bottom that began in the 1980s.  Upon further inquiry, however, it becomes clear that multiculturalism is in fact an ideology to promote and protect the new elites emerging from the decline and displacement of the WASP since the mid-20th Century.

As Peter Novick put this in his work The Holocaust in American Life:

By the 1980s and 1990s many Jews, for various reasons, wanted to establish that they too were members of  a “victim community.”  Their contemporary situation offered little in the way of credentials.  American Jews were by far the wealthiest, best-educated, most influential, in-every-way-most-successful group in American society–a group that, compared to most other identifiable minority groups, suffered no measurable discrimination and no disadvantages on account of that minority status.   But insofar as Jewish identify could be anchored in the agony of European Jewry, certification as (vicarious) victims could be claimed, with all the moral privilege accompanying such certifications.

The multicultural order is inverted.  Victim status is the currency of the realm, and the Holocaust of the Jews, through books, movies, and constant repetition is placed above all other possible victimizations in the consciousness of Americans, even comparable mass murders such as those of the Soviet Union, Cambodia, and Turkey, and even though this event was largely not done to American Jews nor perpetrated by Americans.  The elevation of this European event of some 70 years ago is particularly useful when the “victim” in question is fast becoming the society’s elite, with its members constituting 30 members of Congress and 13 US Senators, 43% of the most influential opinion-makers, and some 21% of Ivy League admissions today. Frankly, Rich Sanchez is right:  for Jon Stewart or any other American Jew to proclaim the status of victim is patently ridiculous and insulting to ordinary intelligence.  But Sanchez is too self-pitying to realize that it’s ridiculous for him, a man until recently on CNN with a show named after him, also to claim victim status.

A better approach  for both the Jon Stewarts and the Rick Sanchezes of the world, has been suggested by Steve Sailer:  a self-conscious development among Jews and other emerging elites of a sense of noblesse oblige, that is a sense of self-conscious responsibility for what is now their society coupled with public expressions of gratitude for this society’s opportunities.  But, events to date, suggest that this softening of attitudes is unlikely.  More likely is the overplaying of this hand by the “victims,” as represented in part by the unmagnaminous firing of Sanchez.  I fear the continuation of such events would lead to an eventual, tragic backlash.

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Nobel-prize-winning genetics professor James Watson–as in Watson and Crick–speaks out about IQ and genetics and the like in a measured, scientific way.

Professor promptly gets suspended from job, viz.:

Earlier this evening, the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Board of Trustees decided to suspend the administrative responsibilities of Chancellor James D. Watson, Ph.D., pending further deliberation by the Board.

This action follows the Board’s public statement yesterday disagreeing with the comments attributed to Dr. Watson in the October 14, 2007 edition of The Sunday Times U.K.

I watched The Lives of Others with interest recently. It told the story of how an East German Stasi officer, whose job consisted in part of listening to the bugged apartment of a famous artist, realized the venality of this invasion in the name of state security. Like the often anonymous posters on Gene Expression and other websites, the artist simply wanted to tell a story that was embarrassing to the official partly line, in this case the rampant suicide rate in the workers “paradise.”

Amazingly, today’s politically correct commissars are little better. But being decentralized, and often having power only in the business and academic world, we continue to think we’re free. After all, these commissars–HR “professionals,” university deans, tenure committees, newspaper editors–can’t throw anyone in jail, at least not in the United States. But when a wide range of thoughts, beliefs, and sentiments will quickly lead one to a life of penury and scorn if expressed openly, then clearly a type of power and social control is being exercised. When the media and local government collude to hide certain unpleasant facts from view and promulgate myths instead, then insecurity on the part of certain cultural and other authorities exists about the truth. From blogs to books to magazine subscriptions, club memberships, and opinions, all must be hidden from the “powers that be” as cleverly as opinions were once hidden in communist countries or terrible consequences will follow. We sometimes forget that communist regimes exercised most of their control not through threats but through the ability to keep a “subversive” from going to university, buying a car, or getting a decent job.

What a conceit to call modern America a free country. A free country needs a free thinking culture, and the fact that political correctness is now invading the once-immune hard sciences is a very bad sign indeed.

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