Saturday, July 21, 2018

Low Wages Are Violence; Kiosks At McDonalds Are Genocide; Take This Crackpottery Seriously

And 'low' means: under $15/hour.
   The paleo-PCs used to basically say that whatever they didn't like was either "a kind of rape" or "a kind of" genocide. The neo-PCs have, I guess, mostly settled on the claim that everything they don't like "is violence." At least the paleo-PCs had the good sense to be ashamed enough to include qualifiers like "a kind of"...which indicated that they knew it wasn't really. Though the claim that something that isn't violence is violence seems slightly less overtly insane to me than saying it's rape or genocide.
   As Glenn Reynolds points out (and I think I have, too): the lefty-left basically thinks that everything they don't like is impermissible violence...but lefties actually punching people for saying things they don't like is just fine. So: expressing an opinion or implementing a policy to the right of the very far left: violence. Actually physically attacking people (sometimes en masse) for expressing opinions or implementing policies you don't like: not violence.

   To be clear, yet again: it's obviously not that everyone on the left is like this. And it's not that this specific nonsense about minimum wage is all that significant. It's that this general kind of insanity is extremely common and influential among the vocal vanguard of the left. The more you move to the center, the less influential the insanity is...but the center-left hates to criticize the farther-left...and so ideas of the latter tend to be extremely influential with respect to the former. (A similar phenomenon occurs everywhere on the spectrum, I suppose.) This stuff can't just be ignored. Ideas matter; words matter. And even if you (wrongly) only care about ideas and words that get implemented as actual policy--well, ideas and words tend to eventuate policy. The contemporary left--or, at least, an influential sector of it--has gone nuts. It's possessed by a stew of crazy, quasi-religious, cultish ideas. Even if you're way more afraid of Donald Trump--a perfectly reasonable position--you shouldn't dismiss the lunacy that's possessed the left. I'm not saying that you've got to be as flabbergasted by it as I am--though I kinda think you should be. But don't just dismiss it as insignificant, or hope that it'll remain mere sound and fury. Because it isn't, and it won't. In fact it already hasn't.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, this was a dumb statement by MoveOn. Did you look at the comments? Most of the comments were saying the "low wages is violence" statement was stupid.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

I didn't. Glad to hear it, though.

6:56 AM  
Anonymous darius jedburgh said...

Also, I think the McDonalds-kiosk-genocide thing was a sarcastic response to the original tweet.

But even if it had be for reals, I don't really see how all this stuff works as a plausible 'on the other hand' clause alongside Trump's ongoing destruction of the world order (and US political institutions). Next to 'The most powerful man in the world is an insane megalomaniac', 'People are real dumb' just looks to me a bit kind of 'Dog bites man'.

7:51 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...


I think it's really important to limit the use of "the other side is worse" tu quoques. I think they're relevant when thinking about 2-party politics. But, in general, I think people use them to get off the hook for defending whoever it is that they support.

Since I fear both the left and the right, and am surrounded by people who mostly fear the right and seem to think that the left can only go wrong by being insufficiently radical, I often end up thinking about the comparative question...probably too much... I want to just say "see the badness of the left." The response is very often: "No, because the right is so much worse."

But anyway, I think it's bad to do as a general rule. Trump's a f*cking catastrophe. I want him gone. But it *is* difficult for me to ignore the dangers of the other side...which almost everyone in my world--academia, mostly--underestimates.

Trump's a bright, shining buffoon with authoritarian tendencies and his finger on the button. But the other side doesn't just have some dumb people. It's largely being led around by hard-left, totalitarian cultists--and it exercises an astonishing amount of control over the culture. Case in point: in less than ten years they took "men can become women by putting on dresses" from *virtually contradictory* to *impermissible to question.* The crazy left is, IMO, a *massive* danger that is extremely unlikely to go away--itt controls the entire cultural superstructure. (Whereas we have at least some chance of getting past Trump largely unscathed. In fact, some of his actual policies are good. He's just a loathsome, incompetent individual...who may have an inner authoritarian....)

I currently detest both sides. But when everyone in my world is not only shrieking about Trump non-stop, but radically exaggerating his terribleness...and outright ignoring another bit of extreme danger...well, as I've makes me focus more on the latter.

Perhaps wrongly, of course.

I don't think one moron calling a $14.99 minimum wage violent is in any way consequential...but it's an example of the widespread madness. A madness that's *real*...and *consequential*...if you care about that sort of thing...

Sorry. Preaching. You know what I think. I could be wrong. I recognize that full well.

7:52 AM  

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