Friday, November 11, 2011
Political Correctness is the Substance of Darkness
My recent encounter with the booklet THOUGHT PRISON by Bruce Charlton was thought provoking enough and eye opening enough to challenge me to gather in to one place my thoughts on the nature of modernism, liberalism, leftwingism, socialism, materialism, pseudo-Darwinism, deconstructionism, and all the other ‘isms’ grouped under the general umbrella of Progressive thought. As Mr Charlton did, rather than struggle to find a word to define a cloud of thought its partisans take great pains to make undefined, I will here call all these streams of Progressive thought ‘Political Correctness’ or PC.
I recommend the book. My one reservation is that Mr Charlton sees no hope for the overthrow of PC. Because he writes in an aphoristic style, I do not know what reasoning or evidence convinced him of the point, so I cannot argue against it. I will, despite my general agreement and great admiration for his work
My opinion is that to define PC is tantamount to destroying it.
That is precisely why PC folk take such steps to obscure their meaning, goals, and means. That is why they will not be ‘labeled’ and why they dismiss those of us who label them as thinking in a way that is ‘too black and white’ i.e. too simplistic. Their thinking is to say ‘black is white’ i.e. inversion, paradox, falsehood.
When you say nonsense clearly, it has no persuasive force: you raise a smile rather than raise an army. But when you utter nonsense obscurely, ah, then you are like unto a spirit of the kingdom of darkness, and no one can see you, no one grapple you, no one smite you with his sword. The mission of PC is sabotage, not melee: and saboteurs do not like banners and uniforms to identify them no more than PC likes definitions, labels, reason.
Like Rumpelstiltskin, you need but call them by their right name to watch them rip themselves in half in fury.
The modernists of PC gained their predominance by persuading people not that PC was true (for they do not believe it true) but that it is nice, and that we, to be nice, must also pretend to be nice. Any opposition of the undefined niceness is defined as not nice.
Their gains were rapid, but it took them a century or more to gain them, and, by the nature of PC, the gains cannot be permanent. Let their losses begin today, and now, even if it takes ten centuries, or longer. I need but convince one mind to turn away from political correctness toward factual correctness, and their armies are forever one man shy. He need but convince two, and so forth. They did not win all at one dramatic stroke, nor shall we.
Usually we conservatives are so taken aback by farragoes of vicious nonsense that we can think of nothing polite to say in reply. The sheer insolence of the denial of reality, the sheer nonsense of the illogic, leaves the conservative mind, which is to say, the rational mind, dumbfounded. We continue to be so amazed at the sheer effrontery of the falsehood, and unparalleled silliness of the denial, that our all too human reason is left with no traction, no means to construct an argument.
You cannot argue against Jabberwocky. If someone says you are a mimsy borogrove or a frumious Bandersnatch, what is one to say back? You cannot reason with a man whose denial of reality is absolute. Once the opposition has established that evidence simply does not matter, what evidence can you present to show that it does?
Facts mean nothing, evidence means nothing, and as long as the pose of Political Correctness is utterly shameless, never cracking a smile or looking embarrassed, it can withstand any fact, any evidence, any logic, any proof, merely by going, “What? Who? Where? When?” ad nauseam.
Socialism has failed, and failed spectacularly, every place it has been tried. It does not work in practice, and, despite what they told you in school, dear reader, it does not make any sense in theory. So these folks and their dreams and schemes are not only evil, they are also wrong.
What about all those tens of millions and hundreds of millions of people who were butchered, killed, starved, terrified, persecuted, dehumanized, harassed, enslaved, prodded, poked, annoyed, burdened, robbed, humiliated, annoyed, imposed upon, and lied to during this, the most violent era in human history?
Leaving aside the genocides of the violent strain of Eastern European socialism, what about the inhumanity and Nanny-totalitarianism of the mild Western European version, not to mention the waste, the unhappiness, the loss of dignity, freedom, meaning, treasure? What about the sheer, mind-boggling ugliness of your postmodern, postrational, postchristian world?
What about the divorce rate, the venereal disease rate, the abortion rate, the euthanasia rate and your general fascination, admiration, and love of death? What about the utter abandonment of decency in the moral sphere and reason in the mental sphere? Aren’t you even ashamed?
Such is my question for the gray and establishment-maintaining radicals. I expect no answer. They are machines programmed only to respond with personal attack. They cannot engage the issue or admit anything is their fault: they do not even believe in cause and effect, really.
It is now the dominant paradigm: even conservative presidential candidates routinely use phrases like “he or she” where “he” is called for, or use “African American” to refer to black people from countries not in Africa nor in America.
Except within an ever-shrinking circle of Conservative commentators, and all arguments about philosophy or policy start and finish from the unquestioned and axiomatic idea the life is meaningless save for what meaning the isolated individual arbitrarily chooses to impart to it; that the arbitrary choice has no higher authority to answer nor standard to consult; that all ‘values’ are relative; that all cultures are the same; that human life has no intrinsic worth whereas aborticide and euthanasia are expressions of dignity and liberty; that neither matrimony, nor anything else, is sacred. All arguments start and finish with the assumption that reason is unreasonable and reality is not really real.
The motto of the United States is no longer E pluribus Unum: it is now Sensitivity in Diversity.
They have won. But they are weak and absurd and nonsensical, not to mention vulgar and boring. And yet this, this, is the dominant paradigm and the Spirit of the Age.
But it is a spirit as craven as a naked rat, sniveling, shrill as a spoiled child, petulant, violent, and unutterably stupid and petty and small. We conservatives walk through the wreckage of vanquished walled towns and cathedrals, seeing the litter of statues of breathtaking glory trampled and broken underfoot, proud armies with shield and spear thrown down fleeing blindly into bogs, or laying motionless by muddy roads, a feast for murders of crows and packs of feral dogs: and everywhere all the signs of civilization torn, battered, demeaned, cast down. And at the far end of the cratered landscape, beneath skies black with the smoke of vanished empires, instead of a titan who wears the constellations for a crown, we find nothing more than a limp blob of an overweight and hairless brat, retarded of mind and obscene of taste and morals, lying in a puddle of his own offal, playing with his penis and puking.
This blot is the enemy, who who is so frail he cannot stand to be called liberal or socialist or progressive or leftist. This the Political Correctness, a being too toothless and shapeless even to admit to his own name, and yet this is what trampled Christendom.
And the wormy blotch claims to be both sage and saint, superior to us in wisdom as well as in morals.
His warrant for great wisdom is that he says all intellect is vain, merely the by-product of matter in motion, or the psychological side effect of childhood trauma. His warrant for moral superiority is that he adores a sexual license and sexual perversion, that he is incapable of simplest moral judgments, and that he promotes and fathers all fashions of cowardice, intemperance, imprudence, and injustice.
Modern PC is one and the same with those radicals, back in the day, who in the name of freedom of speech and artistic authenticity abolished all censorship or public checks on lewd, crude, scatological, blasphemous or prurient language. I hope I am not the only one old enough to remember the campus rioters shouting obscenities at the top amplification of electronic bullhorns in order to provoke the campus officers (or, later, the police) to using force to stop them.
That they would then turn on the Conservatives and upbraid us for being uncivil and indelicate in language shows an ability to form airtight compartments in the mind where two mutually exclusive and logically contradictory outlooks on life can be stored until needed, each blissfully unaware of the other, not to mention an unsurpassable degree of shamelessness.
Here is the core of the secret of success of PC, and why we Conservatives have so utterly failed to rout it, or defeat it, or check its rate of victory, or even to engage it.
Political Correctness, and, indeed, the whole Liberal, Socialist, Progressive agenda is actually, fundamentally, and ultimately about …. Nothing.
It is nothingness to its core. Political Correctness is nihilist.
It calls evil whatever might be at hand to call evil this season. It is whatever institution of the Western world, whatever aspect of Christendom, folly or convenience or whim or tactical advantage have decided to attack. It calls nothing good aside from airy abstractions, a fluff of words that have emotional connotations, but no denotations, no meaning, no definition.
The whole structure of PC thought rests on make-believe, that is, on the vehement (often violent) denial of reality, and the replacement of reality of by verbal formulae of Approved Thought, formulae justly famed for their zen-koan-like detachment from reason, and their mystical tripping-hippy-like detachment from reality.
US Commission: Pakistan Schools Teach Hatred
A new government study released Wednesday reveals Pakistan's educational system encourages radical Islam.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom said the country's textbooks and teachers are biased against non-Muslims and foster "prejudice and intolerance" of Hindus and Christians.
"Teaching discrimination increases the likelihood that violent religious extremism in Pakistan will continue to grow, weakening religious freedom, national and regional stability, and global security," Commission Chairman Leonard Leo said.
The report specifically said Pakistani teachers view religious minorities, especially Hindus and to a lesser extent, Christians, as "enemies of Islam."
It said that it's likely that violent religious extremism will continue to grow in Pakistan.
"Religious minorities are often portrayed as inferior or second-class citizens who have been granted limited rights and privileges by generous Pakistani Muslims, for which they should be grateful," the report said.
The study reviewed more than 100 textbooks from first through 10th grade from Pakistan's four provinces.
Researchers also visited public schools and madrases where they interviewed teachers and students.
Disabled benefit? Just fill in a form: 200,000 got handouts last year without face-to-face interview
Another British bureaucracy that is totally incompetent
Almost 200,000 people were granted a disability benefit last year without ever having a face-to-face assessment. A staggering 94 per cent of new claimants for Disability Living Allowance started receiving their payments after only filling out paperwork.
Official figures released last night revealed that 16 per cent of new claimants received the benefit – worth £70 a week – after merely filling out a claim form. A further 36 per cent provided supporting evidence, while another 42 per cent provided a GP report, according to the Department for Work and Pensions. In total they were paid more than £300million last year.
The figures mean only 6 per cent of new claimants got their money after a face-to-face assessment. Critics warned that thousands of benefits cheats were being allowed to ‘slip through the net’ while changes to the system come into force.
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said it was wrong that so many people who are paid the benefit were not asked for any evidence to support their claim beyond sending some paperwork in the post – and then get to keep it for years without being reassessed.
Ministers are replacing DLA with a Personal Independence Payment. Under the new system, every case will have to be assessed by a health care professional, usually in person. But the new system does not come into force until 2013/14.
DLA is currently paid to 3.2million at an annual cost of £12billion – the same as the Department of Transport’s entire budget for 2010/11. It is designed to help those who have specific mobility or care needs, and cannot do things like walk or wash and dress themselves. It is paid most often for arthritis, learning difficulties, psychosis and back pain.
This makes it different from Incapacity Benefit – now renamed Employment and Support Allowance – which is paid to people because they are not well enough to work.
The number of people claiming DLA has soared by more than two million from 1.1million in 1992. More than 70 per cent of existing claimants are on DLA for life without facing any regular checks. Fraud and error statistics show that £600million is currently wasted on DLA in overpayments.
There is increasing political controversy over Mr Duncan Smith’s pledge to slash £2.17billion from the vast annual bill for DLA by 2015. Cuts to DLA are increasingly being criticised by charities and opposition MPs. Disability campaigners have warned that the new testing regime is flawed and has prompted fear and anxiety among the most vulnerable people in society.
But ministers say face-to-face assessments are essential to make sure the benefit is going to those with the greatest need. Mr Duncan Smith said: ‘At the moment, hundreds of millions of pounds are paid out in disability benefits to people who have simply filled out a form. ‘We are introducing the Personal Independence Payment with a new objective assessment and regular reviews to make sure people are getting the right levels of support.
‘The face-to-face assessment will also give people the chance to meet with a healthcare professional and discuss their condition, rather than trying to self-assess.’
Evidence suggests that only a very small proportion of DLA claimants will get the benefit under the new testing regime.
Ministers have already switched to more stringent assessments for the replacement for Incapacity Benefit – and found that only 7 per cent of new claimants are sick enough to receive the handout. Thirty-nine per cent of first-time claimants for the new Employment and Support Allowance were deemed fit enough to work.
A third dropped their application before it was completed, while a further 17 per cent were judged able to do some form of work with the right help and support.
Emma Boon, from the Taxpayers’ Alliance pressure group, said: ‘The Coalition is bringing in changes to welfare that will mean fewer people can abuse taxpayers’ money by wrongly claiming DLA. However, whilst we wait for these changes to come fully into effect there is a chance that more cheats have slipped through the net.’
But Labour councillor Neil Coyle, of the Disability Alliance, which represents 250 disability charities, said face-to-face tests would cost £675million.
The "disabled" in Australia: Many could work
Fewer than half of all Australians with a disability are employed and more than 800,000 disabled people are on the Disability Support Pension.
Only 1% of this group leave the pension to take up employment each year. Around two-thirds say they have a mild or ‘less than mild’ impairment but continue to take advantage of the full pension.
Our income support system channels people with a disability onto the pension and away from work even if they have worked before and think they can work again. Once they are on the pension, there is little incentive – and certainly no compulsion – to look for a job.
Yet we know that given the right help, many people with very serious disabilities can work.
Organisations such as JobSupport say getting people with disabilities into jobs is realistic.
JobSupport puts 50 to 60 school leavers with moderate intellectual disabilities through their ‘Transitions to Work’ program every year. Around 70% go on to work in jobs in the open employment market.
The Cerebral Palsy Alliance in NSW takes high school kids with cerebral palsy on ski trips to show them they can be independent and take risks. They place young disabled adults in mentoring programs with some of Australia’s biggest corporations.
The work of these organisations proves that with the right attitude and the right support, almost anyone can be employed in paid work.
We should stop telling people with disabilities that they can’t work and can’t become self-sufficient.
A life on welfare is not the best they can do or we can do for them.
In a wealthy, fully employed country of opportunity like Australia, the most damaging kind of poverty is not lack of income but lack of aspiration.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.