Friday, June 23, 2017

The Fundamental Sources Of PC / SJ / Progressive Madness

There are different ways of trying to organize and understand the madness, but my very long-standing view is that this way of doing so captures something true and important:
     What's the fundamental source of madness on the PC left?
          A lack of regard for truth (or, equivalently: facts).
   To say that x is "politically correct" is to indicate that x is not actually correct. I.e. not really true. I.e. not true. Political correctness--which is, IMO, largely indistinguishable from contemporary "progressivism" (but absolutely distinct from by-God liberalism...)--is, in essence, the view that accordance with left-wing political orthodoxy should be substituted for accordance with evidence. (As an actual matter of fact, 'PC' is a term for left-wing insanity of this type; but it might as well mean any such insanity. There's obviously plenty of it on the right, as well...though there does seem to be some sense in which this particular kind of madness is more acute on the left...)
   And a lack of respect for truth/facts goes hand-in-hand with the view that thinking so makes it so...which might itself be represented as the fundamental problem...though I think it's a slightly subordinate one. Almost no one thinks that believing that x actually makes x true. Mostly people who want to believe such a thing just let it all be a kind of muddle, so that they avoid focusing too clearly on the difference between:
          S's belief that p makes p true
          p is neither true nor false, but S believes that p
     This craziness is mixed up with rape crisis hysteria, one aspect of which is the idea that you were raped if you think you were raped, and that your environment is hostile if you think it is. It's also obviously at the very heart of this strange contemporary view that your "identity" is whatever you think it is--where this is now commonly said to be the case with respect to "gender," sexuality and "ethnicity" (Though mostly the left is drawing the line at race, in order to rule out Rachel Dolezal / transracialism cases. That decision on their part was more-or-less arbitrary, so it could easily change in a year or two.) It's the crazy heart of transgender ideology, as well as views according to which indigenous beliefs constitute actual knowledge.
   Liberals like to think that a major difference between them and conservatives is that they respect truth and evidence--and, so, science--whereas conservatives don't. But that just isn't true. The left is at least as bad as the right when it comes to subordinating truth to orthodoxy. The left just focuses on cases in which conservative preferences tend to conflict with science and liberal preferences tend to accord with it--e.g. in the cases of climate change and creationism. When leftist ideas conflict with the evidence, the left is every bit as fast to side with orthodoxy: IQ is pseudoscientific, Jenner is a woman, GMOs are dangerous, race is "socially constructed."
   Eh, that's enough of that for now.
   Somebody's getting crazier and's either me or everybody else.
   Inclusive 'or'.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

PC's overriding tendency is to strengthen authority. Arguments from the strength of my subjective experience are arguments from authority, since that subjective experience is supposed to be inaccessible to others. (That such and such people "cannot possibly understand" is a major trope in these.) People are going to have contrary subjective experiences of the same situation, and then we have a conflict of authorities. What do you do when you have conflicting authorities? You turn to a higher one.

Petty epistemic authority figures need our conflicts to depend on mutually inaccessible reasons the same a way the parish priest needed the bible in Latin.

7:08 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Hm. Well, the authoritarian/totalitarian motive *is* strong in them...but I don't think it's the main motive. Actually, I suppose their most *fundamental* aim is to spread their preferred theory--denigration of truth is a means to that, as is their tendency to seek the power to force people to act in accordance with and virtually profess belief in their theories...

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you are both basically right. As I've said before, PCs (really progressives more generally) are basically mainline Protestants stripped of the theology. Of course their instinct is to evangelize; that's what they Protestants do.

And since the backbone of the belief system is basically religious, they need to put a lot of weight on authority to fill the epistemic gaps and conceptual confusions.

That said it is also kind of a mistake to understand PC appeals to experience as a logical play at all. It is much closer to the "movement of the spirit" in a tent revival. It allows PCs to display their immense wokeness, and it also provides emotional "grounding" into social culpability for long-gone oppression to new converts (which simply doesn't exist, hence the need to resort to emotional manipulation to convey the message).

You keep coming up with the conclusion that PCs are not playing along to the rules of reason. At some point, this has to prove that that is the point: they are not rational but religious, religious in the least healthy, most gnostic sense.

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Rachel Dolezal case has an interesting male equivalent.
Shaun King, he is as pale as a Norwegian in February, and he has been accepted as "black".
It seems to go on a case by case basis.

8:30 AM  

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