The Boundless Compassion of the Politically Incorrect
I’m still mulling over this epic piece on political correctness by a blogger named Fjordman (HT: our charlemagne man at LGF). It’s very long and I haven’t even finished it yet, but he comes to many of the same conclusions I have about this noxious phenomenon. His essential thesis is that the West may have defeated economic Marxism with the fall of the Soviet Union, but that this simply obscured the extent to which cultural Marxism had extended its tentacles into the very spirit of the West.
Fjordman agrees with me that political correctness is no joke. Rather, it is a genuine collective mind parasite in a quite literal way. Just as our bodies can become infected by viruses that hijack the host in order to reproduce themselves, history demonstrates time and again that pathological ideas can sweep through groups and do the same thing. It wouldn’t be so worrisome if PC simply destroyed the mind of the infected person, but the virus spreads and can take over whole institutions, like academia, or most every professional group. It is a cliché in conservative circles that every human enterprise that is not explicitly conservative will eventually become liberal. PC is one of the reasons why. It is why Republicans veer to the left just as soon as they are given power. Most Republicans are not explicitly conservative, like a Ronald Reagan, so it is as if they have no immunity from the PC virus.
My field of psychology is a case in point. It has almost been ruined by political correctness. It is not just unethical but literally illegal for a psychologist to maintain certain elementary truths. If you utter them aloud, you could easily be investigated by the Board of Psychology and have your license yanked. You could never be licensed to begin with if you were to affirm a belief in these truths during the course of your licensing exam.
Fjordman writes that,
“Political Correctness kills. It has already killed thousands of Western civilians, and if left unchecked it may soon kill entire nations or, in the case of Europe, entire continents.... Islam is only a secondary infection, one that we could otherwise have had the strength to withstand. Cultural Marxism has weakened the West and made us ripe for a takeover. It is cultural AIDS, eating away at our immune system until it is too weak to resist Islamic infiltration attempts. It must be destroyed, before it destroys us all.”
“The Leftist-Islamic alliance will have profound consequences. Either they will defeat the West, or they will both go down in the fall. We never really won the Cold War as decisively as we should have done. Marxism was allowed to endure, and mount another attack on us by stealth and proxy.
“... At present, PC prospers by disguising itself. Through defiance, and through education on our own part (which should be part of every act of defiance), we can strip away its camouflage and reveal the Marxism beneath the window-dressing of ‘sensitivity,’ ‘tolerance’ and ‘multiculturalism.’”
Precisely. You see, the world has been turned upside down. It actually takes a compassionate person to realize that “Multiculturalism is not about tolerance or diversity,” and that “it is an anti-Western hate ideology designed to dismantle Western civilization.” Nothing sensitive or compassionate about that.
There is also nothing compassionate about violently attacking the foundation of thought. All religious traditions agree--or should agree anyway--that there is no doctrine higher than Truth. Truth is the highest virtue, so a systematic assault on Truth itself must be regarded not just as a nuisance, but as satanic. This is what satan does. You don’t have to believe in wind to see the effects of the wind. Nor do you have to believe in satan to see his vast influence in the world, which starts with undermining Truth, the logos.
Fjordaman includes an excellent quote by Theodore Dalrymple, who notes that the purpose of communist propaganda “was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to cooperate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”
This post has veered in a direction I hadn’t intended, but I awakened this morning pondering the spiritual reality that allows PC to flourish. The one area where I would deviate from Fjordman is in tying PC too closely to the specific ideology of Marxism. For there is a much deeper structure present, atop which Marxism is merely as wave is to ocean. I believe that PC is the faux form of thinking that goes hand in hand with this deeply spiritual condition. Remember, it is an error to think that spirituality connotes “good.” Rather, since spirituality exists on the vertical axis, there is good spirituality and bad spirituality. As we descend down the vertical we encounter various degrees of bad spirituality---new age fantasists, paganism, wicca, obligatory atheism, nazism, all spiritually pathological conditions. As I have said before, Marx was simply the anti-Moses with a reverse Sinai revelation, one of many such left-hand revelations.
Let’s move from the abstract to the concrete and bring it down to the personal level. Being that I am a compassionate soul, I hestitate to even use the names of the people I’m going to discuss, but I found these two posts this morning on dailykos. They both serve as outstanding “confessions” of the bereft spiritual state I am discussing.
One is entitled “My Dilemma.” The writing is sometimes incoherent, but I believe you can get the essential point. The writer is struggling with the gulf between reality and the revolutionary, utopian image in her head that tells her how reality ought to look:
“It is funny, my psychology. I'm a revolutionary in my mind that makes less than acceptable compromises with my life.... And that train of thought is a lie too.”
“What really is the price of revolution? Can we do it while maintaining the illusions? What is revolution? Would any of the majority of this site, with kids, jobs, homes, retirements, survive that?”
“And here is my ultimate question. Can we ever achieve a radically egalitarian society? It is the only thing that drives my thought. It is the only thing that drives my music. It is the only thing that drives me to still live.”
“I hope that in whatever we do, we express the life we wish we lived, and come to peace with our regrets. Because between those two, is the not only the life we should have lived, but the life of homo sapiens.”
Like I said, pretty incoherent, but this is the spiritual state of the purely horizontal person who is deeply depressed and disappointed that heaven does not exist on earth. Therefore, perpetual revolution is the only alternative, until there are no possessions and we achieve a radically egalitarian society. She says it herself: this is the only thing that drives her thought and gives her a reason to live. Living in this painful gap between ugly reality and beautiful fantasy is all there is for poor homo sapiens.
This is the “reality based community,” so immersed in a utopian fantasy that life would be unworthy of living in the absence of the fantasy.
A second writer confesses that he “thought I was losing my mind after the last election. Bush won, Kerry lost--though all the exit polls argued the other way. That week, I lost my religion at a meditation retreat.”
Here again, religion is confused with purely horizontal fantasies about how the world is supposed to be. Yes, it is religion, but it is an entirely infantile religion. The writer continues, describing his deep disorientation. Note the astonishing degree of psychological projection:
“I've felt nuts for awhile.... Orwell-speak was now the norm.... Every day the news was full of stories about an administration gone wild with hate, revenge, and a lust for power and greed. We had gone to war for no reason and nobody made much of a fuss. Anyone who railed against them was labeled a ‘crazy liberal.’ An entire industry of hate speech grew up around us...."
Note as well the cognitive projection, for projection doesn’t only involve emotions. Rather, the entire disturbed mechanism of thought can be projected into others, making them appear “crazy”:
“I've been on the other side of the looking glass so long now I didn't think there was a place to go. After 30 years in D.C., it hurt to watch my hometown change. The place always sucks when Republicans are in charge. They're just plain nasty and they can't argue logically for shit (!).... On the Metro, you would hear idiots supporting Bush. It was hard. I worked on letting go of the anger, but it was killing me.... it was breaking my heart."
But then he had an epiphany, a spiritual rebirth. He went into hock to attend “YearlyKos” in Vegas. This is where the compassionate part of me nearly weeps, because it really is heartbreaking:
“I got a chance to move to the Pacific Northwest and things got better, even though I hated my job.... [But] I was one of the millions of Americans who charged my credit card up last month--but mine was for YearlyKos. I'll be paying it off for a long time, but it was worth it to get back my faith.... [It] awoke something that died in me a few years ago.”
“All I could think after the last election was how the labels we use for religious beliefs separate us from each other. That seemed to me the opposite of religion's purpose. Raised Catholic, I ran from churches as soon and as fast as I could. Buddhism worked for me for a long time, but eventually that seemed just another label too.... I'd never felt the love of community you were supposed to feel in a parish or a sangha, but I felt it this weekend at YearlyKos.”
But the inevitable disillusion is coming. It’s just a matter of time.
“Once the shock wears off this week, I'll get down to work. I'm already writing down ideas and working on the first steps I think I can do for Oregon. I no longer feel crazy or alone. I feel like justice could be within reach and things might not necessarily have to go down the tubes. Maybe there was magic in last night's full moon.”
That last sentence is true. It is moon-magic. That’s why we call them lunatics and moonbats. It's sad, but one cannot allow compassion for the sadness to obscure the fact that they want to put us out of their existential misery, even if we don't survive the procedure. No thanks. Just heal yourself first. Only then will you even be in a position to diagnose, much less heal, the rest of the world.