Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The moral idiocy of our times

How leftist political degeneracy leads to civilizational collapse

One of the foundational myths of modernity holds that the progress of scientific knowledge and technology has been accompanied by moral progress. As wealth and knowledge increase, the old impediments to moral improvement such as poverty, religious superstition, and ignorance are being swept away, resulting in a kinder, gentler, and more pacific human nature.

Last week we were presented with evidence that this argument is woefully mistaken. In New York a bill was passed that removed restrictions on late-term abortions, allowing infants viable outside the womb to be killed “at any time” to protect the mother’s life or “health.” Worse yet, this regression into primitive custom was met with celebratory cheers and a standing ovation by the “lawmakers” who had approved it. In Virginia a similar law was proposed but rejected. It had been defended by Del. Kathy Tran and Gov. Ralph Northam (pictured above). They admitted that a baby could be killed even after the mother went into labor, or after delivery. Tran, by the way, on the same day as she introduced the bill to liberalize late-term abortions, also introduced a bill to protect gypsy moths and cankerworms.

In other words, infanticide, once a practice of savage and barbaric cultures like cannibalism, incest, and human sacrifice, has now been legalized by the culture that boasts of its moral progress and superiority. But this legislation is not just a return to ancient brutality, but a species of moral idiocy much worse than the savagery of the past.

Abortion and infanticide in the past had practical and religious purposes. Tribal bands aborted the unborn or killed the newly born, usually females, as a means of controlling their numbers to avoid overstressing their resources. The militarist Spartans killed infants deemed inferior in order to protect the strength of warriors. Several cultures sacrificed children in order to propitiate the gods. The ancient Phoenicians burned children, usually infants, as offerings to Baal or Moloch. The Aztecs cut the hearts out of children as offerings to the rain god Tlaloc; the tears of the parents and children were considered signs that the god would reward the people with abundant rain. The Incans also killed children to commemorate the death of a ruler, or to propitiate the gods during calamities like famines.

As horrific as such practices were, they made religious sense to the peoples who performed them. In their spiritual darkness they thought such barbarity pleased the gods and ensured their favor, since an infant or child was the purest and most valuable gift one could offer. Nor is there evidence that the ancients ever stooped to our ghastly crimes, like the charnel-house butchery of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, or the peddling of baby organs by government-subsidized Planned Parenthood abortion mills.

But to what god are we, who fancy ourselves morally superior and products of reason and science, legalizing the sacrifice of a baby able to live outside the womb at 22 weeks? Very few late-term abortions are performed to save the mother’s life, or because of the infant’s severe deformity. The protection of the woman’s “health” is vitiated by the inclusion of “mental health,” which often involves subjective and vague interpretations of moods and emotional states. The justification based on protecting the mother is a red herring.

In fact, for the supporters of no-limit abortions, the god is “choice,” the right of a woman to be free to make decisions regarding her life, even at the cost of another life. But this “choice” seems to be a strange deity, one that is indifferent to the non-negotiable corollary of choice –– responsibility for one’s freely chosen behavior and its consequences. True freedom cannot exist without people taking responsibility, and holding themselves accountable, for their choices. To sacrifice a human life––and scientifically, a person at any stage of development is still a human being––in order to avoid the consequences of one’s careless choice and to serve one’s own convenience, is moral idiocy.

But abortion is just one example of our culture’s daily demonstration that we have morally regressed, not progressed. The Virginia governor who casually described a scenario in which a woman would give birth, and then legally could kill the baby, was not criticized by his party for this ghoulish speculation. But he has been attacked and pressured to resign for a medical school year-book photo from thirty years ago in which he allegedly posed dressed in either a Klan robe and hood or in black-face. Even conservatives called this photo “horrific,” which is a hysterical debasement of that word’s integrity. You want to see some truly horrific racist acts, visit this website about lynching postcards (not for the squeamish). Abusing the meaning of words, a staple of the totalitarian playbook, is moral idiocy.

Indeed, the issue of race is rife with moral idiocy. Nearly 5000 male blacks are murdered every year, the vast majority by other black men. This yearly toll is about equal to all the blacks murdered in race-riots and lynchings over the last century. Yet this crisis of slaughter only occasionally gets in the news, or is addressed by politicians “woke” or otherwise. Instead, an uncorroborated and sketchy story about a black, gay star of a television show claiming to have been attacked by two white men in MAGA hats is hysterically reported and analyzed as yet another example of Trump’s inveterate racism––the same Trump whose policies have put millions of blacks to work and lowered black unemployment to historic levels. Ignoring those benefits to blacks while harping on a dubious claim of racist assault is moral idiocy.

How about immigration? Well-heeled progressives who enjoy walled compounds and armed security, who interact with immigrants legal or illegal only as domestics or gardeners, whose children attend private schools or ritzy zip-code public schools, who agitate against immigration reforms and border security, or who preen morally about their city’s or state’s “sanctuary” policies that release felons and murderers back onto our streets, where their primary victims are other immigrants–– they are moral idiots.

Likewise with “climate change.” The green catastrophists, mostly comprising the upper-class and college educated, demand anti-carbon policies that primarily will impact the developing world and our own low-income people. People who never think twice about their gas or electric bills lobby for global regulations that deny coal-fired electrical power to the one billion people across the globe who lack it, and who have to burn charcoal or dung for light and cooking. What makes this callous indifference even more reprehensible is that all these policies will do nothing to stop the alleged warming the warmists blame on human use of carbon. These modern-day Marie Antoinettes are moral idiots who blithely sacrifice the lives and well-beings of the less fortunate not for a practical purpose, but to signal their class sophistication and “moral” superiority.

Or take the willful blindness to the intolerance, misogyny, illiberalism, and sanctified violence of Islam––proudly proclaimed in word and deed for fourteen centuries, and still today inspiring terrorist murder and state violence against Christians and other “infidels.” Westerners who fret and fulminate about “Islamophobia,” which includes merely quoting accurately from the Koran, pass over in silence the oppression of women, anti-Semitism, and the on-going genocide against Middle Eastern and Nigerian Christians, even as they wax hysterical over the measures Israel is forced to take to defend itself against terrorist murder and global calumny simply because they are living in their ancestral homeland, which is also the home of the freest Middle East Muslims. That is suicidal moral idiocy.

But this contradiction between the Western claim to moral progress, and the immoral cultures and barbaric practices of Western nations, has been around since the Enlightenment started to popularize this self-congratulatory interpretation of history. Even as European nations created transnational institutions that presumably reflected this growing moral progress, they continued to slaughter each other with ever-increasing lethality and demonic ingenuity.

We haven’t progressed morally, we simply have become rich and comfortable. We can afford an empty sentimentalism about suffering, and think such conspicuous compassion is the same thing as moral judgment. But moral idiocy is unsustainable, particularly when it is enshrined in laws that diminish the intrinsic worth of human beings, and that sacrifice their well-being to ideology, cultural fashion, and political cults that choose which people deserve moral solicitude and which don’t. Politics then degenerates into raw power, and power becomes the slave of humanity’s worst passions and instincts. And that’s how civilizations die.


Social 'Justice' Is Unforgiving

The Left's "morality" accepts no apologies, only unending groveling and kowtowing to its agenda.

The “new morality” of the Left has little room for mercy and none for forgiveness. Any indiscretion of its hallowed and ever-evolving “morality,” no matter how far back in the past it may have occurred, is met only with howls of rage by a “woke” mob demanding its pound of flesh. This new morality finds no virtue in honesty or the self-disclosure of one’s past “indiscretions”; instead, any wrong-think is greeted by demands that the individual be destroyed as a lesson to anyone else, lest they dare venture outside the realm of leftist dogma.

Case in point: The recent admission by actor Liam Neeson that he once entertained racist animosity in his past when he learned that a family member had been raped by a black man. Neeson explained, “I went up and down areas with a cosh [billy club], hoping I’d be approached by somebody — I’m ashamed to say that — and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some [in air quotes] ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could … kill him.”

Neeson also expressed remorse and regret for his racist thoughts and actions: “It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that. And I’ve never admitted that, and I’m saying it to a journalist. God forbid. It’s awful. But I did learn a lesson from it, when I eventually thought, ‘What the f— are you doing,’ you know?”

Instead of receiving commendations for being honest about the ugliness of his past racist thoughts — and expressing sorrow for it — social media instead piled on Neeson for being a racist. It is the “unforgivable” sin, after all. There was no consideration for Neeson expressing that he used to think one way and saw the error of it and changed. Nope, it’s too late — once a racist, always a racist.

And this same judgmental mindset is being applied across all intersectional “victim” classes. For example, this year’s Academy Awards show will be host-less after actor and comedian Kevin Hart stepped down from hosting following blowback he received over disparaging comments he had made about homosexuality in the past. Hart noted that he had repeatedly apologized for his past comments, writing, “if u want to search my history or past and anger yourselves with what u find that is fine with me. I’m almost 40 years old and I’m in love with the man that I am becoming. If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify or explain their past then… I’m the wrong guy, man.”

As are millions upon millions of Americans. Nothing less than perpetual apologizing and groveling will be accepted by the “social justice warriors” — and even then one’s past cannot be truly forgiven.


The ugly classism behind Britain's Pro-Eu movement

Their gloating over Nissan’s withdrawal from Sunderland summed these elitists up

Classism is never far below the surface of Remoaner campaigning. That small but influential section of society that has devoted its moral, political and financial energies to stopping Brexit can barely conceal its disgust for the little people who voted Leave. You can see it in their denunciation of Leave voters as ‘low-information’, in their promotion of graphs showing that the uneducated are more likely than the educated to be Brexiteers, in those New European cartoons in which the plebs are always gargoyle-style imbeciles leaping off cliffs or getting fat on ice-cream as the nation goes to shit thanks to their stupid vote.

There has been more than a whiff of this neo-Victorian elitism in the commentary on Nissan’s decision not to go ahead with production of its diesel SUV X-Trail at its plant in Sunderland in the north of England. Instead the Japanese car-maker will make the new vehicles in Japan. Almost instantly this was turned by media talking-heads and politicians on Twitter into further proof of the devastating impact of Brexit – a devastating impact brought about, these Remoaners whispered, by idiots in places like Sunderland where 61 per cent voted Leave. ‘Look what you ill-informed people have done to yourselves’, has been the tone of much of the Nissan / Sunderland commentary.

In October 2016, five months after the EU referendum, Theresa May assured Nissan that it would suffer no additional tariffs as a result of the Brexit vote and so Nissan agreed to produce the X-Trail in Sunderland. Fast forward to 2019 and Nissan’s Europe boss says X-Trail production will be done in Japan, partly as a result of ‘the continued uncertainty around the UK’s future relationship with the EU’. Cue Remoaner gloating. This is the kind of thing we warned you about, they’re saying.

Entirely unsurprisingly, there’s far more to the story than the Brexit-bashers would have us believe. Indeed, one could say they are engaging in the kind of fact-cherrypicking and intellectual contortionism that they would swiftly denounce as ‘fake news’ or ‘post-truth’ if it were being done by Brexiteers. Nissan bigwigs might namecheck Brexit in their justification for the X-Trail move but that isn’t the half of it. As Auto Express pointed out, Nissan is in a bit of trouble. It produced 10.7 per cent fewer cars in the UK in 2018 than it did in 2017. The X-Trail is a mainly diesel-engined vehicle, but for various reasons – including the Volkswagen emissions-faking scandal of 2016 – sales of diesel-engine vehicles are in freefall. They fell by around 30 per cent last year.

Then there is the question of shipping costs. Yes, the diesel engines for the X-Trail would have come from France, which is a fairly short distance from Sunderland; but the model’s petrol engines would have come all the way from Japan, at huge expense. Many in the anti-Brexit lobby who leapt upon the Nissan story as proof of Brexit’s wickedness, and of their own moral correctness, glossed over what Nissan’s Europe boss said before he said the thing about Brexit uncertainty making things harder for car manufacturers. He said ‘[we] have taken this decision for business reasons’. And all the evidence suggests they have.

Even the Guardian – never shy to blame Brexit for everything bad that happens – had to admit that Nissan’s decision isn’t entirely, or even mainly, a Brexit-driven one. It quoted the opinion of a professor of industry: ‘Falling demand for diesels [is] likely to be the primary factor in Nissan’s decision.’ The Guardian admits that demand for the diesel version of cars already produced at Nissan in Sunderland have slumped sharply: they now account for just 20 per cent of Nissan’s ‘sales mix’, having accounted for 40 per cent two years ago.

And yet still the Blame Brexit narrative was the first one to emerge. This was a marriage of political convenience between two sections of the elite. On one side, the capitalist elites who run Nissan, who hoped that their referencing of Brexit uncertainty would dominate the discussion of their X-Trail withdrawal and drag attention away from their broader troubles. They’re not stupid: they know the BBC and the broadsheet UK media have an insatiable thirst for Blame Brexit stories and so they fed them one. And on the other side, the political elites who are agitating against Brexit, who could hold up the Nissan story as yet more evidence that Brexit itself is a bad idea. They never distinguish between Brexit itself and so-called ‘Brexit uncertainty’, despite the clear difference between them: the former is simply a vote to change how British politics is done, the latter is a consequence of our useless technocratic leaders’ inability, and unwillingness, to deliver on that vote.

But perhaps the nastiest thing in the Remoaner gloating over Sunderland is its hateful classist undertone. The message was that the people of Sunderland had unwittingly punished themselves by stupidly voting for something that will cause job losses and hardship in their own city. Labour MP Peter Kyle said the fact that 21,000 jobs are on the line in Sunderland – and that many of these workers will be Leave voters – means we must have a ‘People’s Vote’. That is, give the plebs a chance to rethink their colossal political idiocy. (Even though Nissan’s decision does not entail any job losses.) Radio presenter and professional snob James O’Brien said people in Sunderland were ‘encouraged to vote Leave’ by ‘Farage, Rees-Mogg, Gove, Johnson’ and now they are suffering as a result. Of course these people in the north, these mere manufacturers, cannot think for themselves; they need posh people to tell them what to do in the ballot box. They were led like sheep to this Brexit mess.

This poisonous elitism, like something out of John Carey’s The Intellectuals and the Masses, his study of early 20th-century literary bigotry towards the lower orders who read tabloid newspapers and eat tinned food, is rampant in the Remoaner movement. It is the core of it, in fact – the idea that they know what is best for the UK while people in less well-off places like Sunderland don’t have a clue. The irony, of course, is that it is precisely this kind of hectoring from their workplace bosses and the broader political class that made many people rebel in the referendum and vote to leave the institution that embodies this elitist new style. I would trust the political instincts of the first 10 people I meet walking through the streets of Sunderland than I would a thousand technocrats. Because these people have a keener, more direct appreciation of the problems facing society than cut-off bureaucrats and academics in London or Brussels ever could.


Australia's problem with 'hate speech' laws

When Facebook posts lead to Federal Court proceedings, a parliamentary inquiry, and a bankruptcy, something has gone seriously wrong with Australia’s ‘hate speech’ laws.

This is made clear by the news that Cindy Prior — the plaintiff in one of the most infamous Section 18C cases — has been declared bankrupt after failing to pay $250,000 of legal costs to the students she sued.

To recap: in 2013, three Queensland University of Technology (QUT) students were asked to leave an ‘Indigenous only’ computer lab by (then) staff member Prior.

Two of the students subsequently posted about the incident on Facebook; and three more became involved after they commented on the posts.

The comments were removed after Prior complained to QUT, but she subsequently complained to the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) — then sued, alleging the five students breached 18C, and QUT and their employees violated section 9 of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Two students settled, paying Prior $5000. The other three won their case in court, and Prior ultimately dropped her action against QUT.

Those who support repealing or amending 18C might welcome the news of Prior’s financial distress as rightful comeuppance. But there is no good news out of this situation.

Prior should not be absolved of responsibility: she was ultimately the one who decided to pursue court proceedings that always carry the risk of a financial loss.

But if not for the existence and current terms of Section 18C, Facebook posts would not be able to be turned into a legal weapon that landed university students in years of legal strife and has now left a woman bankrupt. One of the students even filed an affidavit denying he was the author of the posts attributed to him.

Some argue 18C and other hate speech laws are necessary to prevent racism and ensure multiculturalism is a success. In his book Don’t Go Back to Where you Came From, Tim Soutphommasane argues, “Prejudice, bigotry and racism thrive in the absence of public policies that affirm the freedom of citizens to express their different cultural identities.”

But given the disastrous outcome for all involved in the QUT case it is absurd to suggest such laws are justified to prevent racism and bigotry taking hold in Australia.

The trivial nature of the original complaint, compared to the ultimate havoc wrought in the lives of all involved, demonstrates what a damaging law 18C is.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


1 comment:

C. S. P. Schofield said...

"The Left's "morality" accepts no apologies, only unending groveling and kowtowing to its agenda."

Which is why Trump's strategy of inviting them to go f*ck themselves is so effective...and why they hate him so!