Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Deceptive feminist fiction

The position of women in the UK has changed beyond recognition in my lifetime, mostly for the better, and mostly in ways I very much approve of.

In education, the workplace, politics, the law, the church and the media, in advertising and in their portrayal in films and on TV, the transformation has been gigantic. In our school and university system, girls are now better off than boys, with most forms of selection tilted in their favour.

The question of equal pay for equal work has also been solved as far as humanly possible, as Kate Andrews of the Institute of Economic Affairs has shown and will patiently explain to anyone who doubts it. But those who doubt it do so because they want to doubt it, so they are uninterested in facts. I'll come to that.

So why are we being subjected to a great flood of media pigswill about how the oppression of women is a great and growing problem?

Well, partly it is thanks to the frantic, overblown promotion of a tiresome and rather embarrassing book by Margaret Atwood, The Testaments. Enter any bookshop and it is piled upon the front table. The BBC is giving it the free promotion it reserves for those books it deeply approves of.

The Atwood dragon

Women garbed in red dressing gowns and white lampshades are roaming London to publicise it.

Ms Atwood is actually an accomplished author, and her 1985 book The Handmaid's Tale was a clever fantasy about a world in which women's liberation went into reverse.

Well, actually it wasn't much of a fantasy. It was clearly based on the 1979 revolution in Iran, which (as well as being murderously repressive) imposed a stifling version of Islam on men and women alike.

The Iranian Ayatollahs forced that country's women to huddle and cringe in black veils and robes, after many years in which they had been free to dress as they liked.

It might also have referred to Saudi Arabia, but in that country the status of women has always been pretty strictly controlled.

In more recent years it might more justly have described the growing pressure on formerly free women in such countries as Egypt and Iraq to adopt the hijab and niqab and accept second-class citizenship. Or even the appearance on the streets of Western cities of women in black veils.

By setting it in America, she made it all the more shocking. But it was also a nonsense. Did anyone really believe, in 1985, that the USA was going to start forcing women to go about in shrouds? Of course not. Nor do they now.

I know of no significant Christian sect or church that even believes in any such thing. But they pretend to.

Here, from the esteemed columnist in the London Times, Alice Thomson, is a possible explanation.

Ms Thomson declared last week: 'Since I read The Handmaid's Tale as a student 33 years ago, women's rights have progressed, only to regress.' She added: 'It was the #MeToo movement that made women realise just how little had changed and introduced my daughter as well as three sons to feminism.

'But it also created a backlash. 'We pretend that women's rights are still progressing, with more jobs for the girls and in some areas more equal pay, but in many ways Britain feels increasingly like Atwood's theocracy of Gilead.'

This is pure drivel. The fictional Gilead, which most people have discovered through a nasty, explicitly anti-Christian sensationalised TV series rather than through the duller, more tempered book, is a totalitarian terror state of torture and arbitrary executions in which women are banned from the professions and power, denied education, subjected to licensed rape and reduced to domestic servitude.

The TV version contains scenes of almost pornographic cruelty involving chains, muzzles and torture, plus a profanity-flecked mockery of the Lord's Prayer. The heroine is raped.

Just in case any of us didn't get the message, the crime takes place to the background of church organ music.

In case any viewers still don't understand the point (Christians are bad!), the rapist reads chunks out of the Bible as he proceeds.

In what way, Alice, does Britain resemble or 'feel like' this? Do tell. Can you find me a single significant Christian who advocates such a society?

How did you escape from your misogynist captors for long enough to write this comical drivel? How did you then get it published in a national newspaper?

Talk about Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

There is another important aspect of this, which I have to keep mentioning. There are places where women are indeed oppressed.

There is a religion which – in some versions – expects women to be veiled and submissive and gives them legal rights inferior to those of men.

But the liberal intelligentsia, always happy to pelt the Christian faith with slime, is strangely reluctant to mention this.

Odd that the supposed champions of women's freedom fall silent on this subject. Odder still that, having won so much, they still pretend they are oppressed losers.

I'm not even sure that these third-wave feminists care all that much about women. Their aim is not the improvement of the lot of women, but a complete overthrow of the Christian society in which we live.


Liberal Pro-LGBT Church Hosts Pagan Idol in Art Exhibit

Last week, a fifteen-foot-tall totem meant to represent a pagan god from Eastern Europe was put on display in a historic 200-year-old mainline Protestant church in Binghamton, N.Y. The church hosted the image of the idol as part of the LUMA Projection Arts Festival.

"Sviatovid will materialize on the altar of Binghamton United Presbyterian Church with additional content," the festival website announced. "In an homage to the striking 19th century architecture of the church, the students of the BARTKRESA academy will build an original 3.5 minute pre-show. The church spire, pipe organ and stained glass inform the new work."

Theologically, Presbyterian churches do not have altars, but rather communion tables. As Juicy Ecumenism's Josiah Aden pointed out, the pagan image was displayed in the church's chancel, not on its nonexistent altar. The prominent placement of the idol — and the claim that the church's spire, pipe organ, and stained glass "inform the new work" — are worrisome, however.

"A fifteen-foot-tall faceted totem, Sviatovid is inspired by a ninth century Slavic deity and a medieval sculpture of the same name. With four faces, Sviatovid was not omniscient, but could take in the world from literally all four cardinal directions," the LUMA festival website explained. "In keeping with the deity’s origin story, Sviatovid is on an intercontinental expedition to bring people closer together."

As Aden explained, the totem is based on an archaeological artifact discovered near the Zbruch River in Western Ukraine. While it is possible the idol was a forgery, some scholars have argued that it depicts the pagan god Perun, the god of war, fertility, and abundance — a god historically viewed as being in competition with the Christian God.

"According to the early Ruthenian chronicles, Prince Vladimir the Great erected a cult statue of Perun (along with other Pagan idols) outside of his palace in Kiev shortly after he started his rule in 980," Miko?aj Gli?ski wrote for Poland's culture web portal. "As the greatest Slavic god, Perun was considered equal in power to the new Christian God. This however was no mitigating circumstance, as in 988 shortly after the Kiev Duchy adopted Christianity, the same ruler ordered that the pagan idols be destroyed. The greatest of them, Perun, was tied to a horse, dragged down a hill, and repeatedly beaten with sticks, before being eventually thrown into the Dnieper River. Vladimir then ordered that the statue be floated downstream until it passed the Dnieper Rapids."

Yet Binghamton United Presbyterian Church displayed an image of this idol inside the church on September 7 and 8.

The first of the Ten Commandments reads, "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image ... You shall not bow down to them or serve them" (Exodus 20:2-5).

When asked "What is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus replied, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets" (Matthew 22:36-40).

In the second century B.C., the Seleucid King Antiochus IV Epiphanes set up an altar to Zeus in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and set up an idol of Zeus made after his own likeness. According to some reports, he also sacrificed pigs. This desecration led the Jews to revolt under Judas Maccabeus, establishing an independent Israel for the first time in more than 100 years.

Christians consider the true church of Jesus — His body — to be the believers, not the physical church buildings (1 Corinthians 6:19, 12:27). Even so, there is something sacrilegious about a church hosting an image of a pagan idol in a building dedicated to the worship of God.

The church may have agreed to host the idol in the spirit of multiculturalism or as a celebration of art. If so, this seems to illustrate the danger of going too far to embrace foreign cultures and forgetting that Jesus is the only way to God (John 14:6). Many liberal congregations have embraced universalism, the doctrine that people can be saved without Jesus. This doctrine is a clear rejection of the Bible's teaching, and it belittles Jesus' Death and Resurrection.

Many prominent Christians have drifted away from the faith as they reject the claims that Jesus is the only way to salvation and embrace the culturally popular LGBT sexual morality.

For its part, Binghamton United Presbyterian Church affiliates itself with More Light Presbyterians, a pro-LGBT group of Presbyterians that advocates for same-sex marriage, rejecting the Bible's teaching of marriage as between one man and one woman. It describes itself as a "proudly open and affirming congregation" welcoming to "nontraditional families."

A member of the PC(USA) liberal denomination, Binghamton United Presbyterian Church experienced a drop in its congregation from 2013-2017 (from 220 to 178 members, 19 percent), while Sunday attendance declined from 64 to 53 (17 percent). While the church prizes diversity, the congregation is not diverse. It only includes four nonwhite members, with 72 percent of members age 65 or older.

The church did not respond to PJ Media's request for comment by press time.


Urban Agglomeration: More Growth, More Benefits

This is an alternative to the failed Leftist idea of "smart growth"

As Urbanized Areas Grow, They Develop Complex Economies that Further Drive Innovation and Prosperity.

Can urban areas grow too much? The answer is subject to people’s lifestyle preference, based on where they want to live and what tradeoffs in time and money they’ll accept. But according to one theory, the answer, economically speaking, is no. The bigger an area gets in space and population, the more that businesses and people increase their productivity. The name of the theory is “economies of agglomeration”, or for this column’s purposes, “urban agglomeration.”

Economist Edward Glaeser, a proponent of the theory, defines urban agglomeration as “the benefits that come when firms and people locate near one another together in cities and industrial clusters.” Similar to network effects and economies of scale, agglomerations develop through proximity. Continues Glaeser:

The only real difference between a nearby firm and one across the continent is that it is easier to connect with a neighbor. Of course, transportation costs must be interpreted broadly, and they include the difficulties in exchanging goods, people, and ideas. The connection between agglomeration economies and transport costs would seem to suggest that agglomerations should become less important, as transportation and communication costs have fallen. Yet, a central paradox of our time is that in cities, industrial agglomerations remain remarkably vital, despite ever easier movement of goods and knowledge across space.

Agglomerations happen, adds Chuanglin Fang, an urban planner for the Chinese Academy of Sciences, “when the relationships among cities shift from mainly competition to both competition and cooperation.”

That is to say, it happens when separate urban areas have enough outward growth and collaboration that they become part of the same region. Or it occurs through further growth within a given metropolitan area. The agglomeration in either case provides four benefits, writes Nicolae Sfetcu, of the consulting blog Setthings.com.

It lowers transportation costs, since local supply chains are closer to each other.

It develops local markets, by bringing a larger customer base into an area.

It gathers a labor force that is larger, more specialized, and easier to access.

It creates knowledge spillovers between firms, sparking ideas and innovation.

Here are microeconomic examples of how agglomerations work: fast food chains locate (as Americans have probably noticed) near each other. People who like McDonalds also likely enjoy Burger King and Wendy’s, and by clustering, the chains benefit from each other’s customers. Or a tech startup locates in Silicon Valley to access educated workers and advanced machinery, which is already there thanks to existing tech firms. Or a poor rural migrant emigrates to an urban area to find a menial job, and after working awhile, develops more advanced skills due to tutoring from her co-workers. At macroeconomic level, urban agglomerations infuse whole regions or countries with this economic complexity, in ways that benefit everybody.

“The effect of a city’s population on wages is highly significant and large in magnitude,” writes economist Harry Krashinsky. “Various studies have demonstrated that doubling the population of an individual’s city would cause wages to rise by three to seven percent, and moving from a city of less than 500,000 people to one with more than half-a-million residents would increase wages by over 20 percent.”

The downside of urban agglomerations is that they can be victims of their own success. The population increase inflates housing costs (perhaps offsetting the higher wages); creates congestion (perhaps offsetting the proximity advantages); and leads to the growth of large, unaccountable governments. Some economists think urban regions become less productive once growing above a certain population.

Some of the world’s largest agglomerations include places like Jakarta and Manila, perhaps validating that point. In America, our agglomerations aren’t as intense, and vary in size. For example, metro Charleston, WV (pop. 211,000) is one place not in full agglomeration mode; it’s hemmed in by mountains, reliant on the state government, and does not intensively partner with nearby rival metros like Pittsburgh and Columbus.

The Big Four metros in Texas – Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio – may have once viewed each other as rivals. But they’ve now nearly grown into each other, and are now thought of as the “Texas Triangle” megaregion. When a big corporation moves to Dallas, it doesn’t hurt the other three metros; they too attract many corporations, which is partly a spillover result of Dallas’ growth. By contrast, Oklahoma City, which is 200 miles north of Dallas, still views itself as a competitor to the Texas Triangle. It would not be surprising, though, if a decade from now, the further growth of both areas causes them to merge, creating an informal Texas-Oklahoma megaregion.

America’s more long-standing agglomerations – New York City, Southern California, The Bay Area, Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia – have larger economic output than others nationwide. But they are also where the disadvantages are clearer, as they have higher home prices and more congestion. Much of my work is dedicated to figuring out how they can continue to grow while mitigating these problems. It will mostly involve letting markets work, so that housing supply meets population growth, and transport infrastructure uses price mechanisms to manage congestion and increase capacity.

But either way, these urban agglomerations are crucial. They may be sprawling, congested, and somewhat ugly. But they drive our economy and create opportunity. Their further growth should be encouraged.


Crowds running us over a cliff

Courtesy of the Left, many once marginal ideas are now once widely preached -- leading to widespread conflict and destroying social harmony.  The Leftist talent for destruction did not end with the downfall of the Soviet Union

We are going through a great crowd derangement. In public and in private, both online and off, people are behaving in ways that are increasingly irrational, feverish, herd-like and simply unpleasant. The daily news cycle is filled with the consequences.

Yet while we see the symptoms everywhere, we do not see the causes. Various explanations have been given. These tend to suggest that any and all madnesses are the consequence of a presidential election or a referendum. But none of these explanations gets to the root of what is happening.

For far beneath these day-to-day events are much greater movements and much bigger events. It is time we began to confront the true causes of what is going wrong. Even the origin of this condition is rarely acknowledged. This is the simple fact we have been living through a period of more than a quarter of a century in which all our grand narratives have collapsed.

One by one, the narratives we had were refuted, became unpopular to defend or impossible to sustain. The explanations for our existence that used to be provided by religion went first, falling away from the 19th century onwards.

Then over the past century the secular hopes held out by all political ideologies began to follow in its wake. In the latter part of the 20th century we entered the postmodern era. An era that defined itself, and was defined, by its suspicion towards all grand narratives. However, as all schoolchildren learn, nature abhors a vacuum, and into the postmodern vacuum new ideas began to creep, with the intention of providing explanations and meanings of their own.

It was inevitable that some pitch would be made for the deserted ground. People in wealthy Western democracies today could not simply remain the first people in recorded history to have absolutely no explanation for what we are doing here and no story to give life purpose.

Whatever else they lacked, the grand narratives of the past at least gave life meaning. The question of what exactly are we meant to do now, other than get rich where we can and have whatever fun is on offer, was going to have to be answered by something.

The answer that has presented itself in recent years is to engage in new battles, ever fiercer campaigns and ever more niche demands. To find meaning by waging a constant war against anybody who seems to be on the wrong side of a question that may itself have just been reframed and the answer to which has only just been altered.

The unbelievable speed of this process has been principally caused by the fact a handful of businesses in Silicon Valley (notably Google, Twitter and Facebook) now have the power not just to direct what most people in the world know, think and say, but have a business model that has accurately been described as relying on finding “customers ready to pay to modify someone else’s behaviour’’.

Yet although we are being aggravated by a tech world that is running faster than our legs are able to carry us to keep up with it, these wars are not being fought aimlessly. They are consistently being fought in a particular direction. And that direction has a purpose that is vast. The purpose — unknowing in some people, deliberate in others — is to embed a new metaphysics into our societies: a new religion, if you will.

Although the foundations had been laid for several decades, it is only since the financial crash of 2008 that there has been a march into the mainstream of ideas that were previously known solely on the obscurest fringes of academia. The attractions of this new set of beliefs are obvious enough. It is not clear why a generation that can’t accumulate capital should have any great love of capitalism. Likewise it isn’t hard to work out why a generation who believe they may never own a home could be attracted to an ideological world view that promises to sort out every inequity, not just in their own lives but every inequity on earth.

The interpretation of the world through the lens of “social justice”, “identity group politics” and “intersectionalism” is probably the most audacious and comprehensive effort since the end of the Cold War at creating a new ideology.

To date “social justice” has run the furthest because it sounds — and in some versions is — attractive. Even the term itself is set up to be anti-oppositional. “You’re opposed to social justice? What do you want, social injustice?” “Identity politics”, meanwhile, has become the place where social justice finds its caucuses. It atomises society into different interest groups according to sex (or gender), race, sexual preference and more. It presumes that such characteristics are the main, or only, relevant attributes of their holders and that they bring with them some bonus.

For example (as American writer Coleman Hughes has put it), the assumption that there is “a heightened moral knowledge” that comes with being black or female or gay. It is the cause of the propensity of people to start questions or statements with “Speaking as a …”. And it is something people living and dead need to be on the right side of. It is why there are calls to pull down the statues of historical figures viewed as being on the wrong side and it is why the past needs to be rewritten for anyone you wish to save. Identity politics is where minority groups are encouraged to simultaneously atomise, organise and pronounce.

The least attractive-sounding of this trinity is the concept of “intersectionality”. This is the invitation to spend the rest of our lives attempting to work out each and every identity and vulnerability claim in ourselves and others and then organise along whichever system of justice emerges from the perpetually moving hierarchy we uncover.

It is a system that is not just unworkable but dementing, making demands that are impossible towards ends that are unachievable.

But today intersectionality has broken out from the social science departments of the liberal arts colleges from which it originated. It is now taken seriously by a generation of young people and has been embedded through employment law (specifically through a “commitment to diversity”) in all the major corporations and governments. New heuristics have been required to force people to ingest the new presumptions.

The speed at which they have been mainstreamed is staggering. As economist and writer Eric Weinstein has pointed out, phrases such as “LGBTQ”, “white privilege” and “transphobia” went from not being used at all to becoming mainstream. As he went on, while there is nothing wrong with trying out new ideas and phrases, “you have to be pretty damn reckless to be leaning this hard on so many untested heuristics your parents came up with in untested fields that aren’t even 50 years old”.

Similarly, Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt have pointed out (in their 2018 book The Coddling of the American Mind) how new the means of policing and enforcing these new heuristics have become. Phrases such as “triggered” and “feeling unsafe” and claims that words that do not fit the new religion cause “harm” really started to spike in usage only from 2013 onwards.

It is as though having worked out what it wanted, the new metaphysics took a further half-decade to work out how to intimidate its followers into the mainstream. But it has done so, with huge success.

The results can be seen in every day’s news. It is behind the news that the American Psychological Association feels the need to advise its members on how to train harmful “traditional masculinity” out of boys and men.

It is why a previously completely unknown programmer at Google — James Damore — can be sacked for writing a memo suggesting that some jobs in tech appeal more to men than they do to women. And it is why the number of Americans who view racism as a “big problem” doubled between 2011 and 2017.

Having begun to view everything through the new lenses we have been provided with, everything is then weaponised through the resulting prism — with consequences that are deranged as well as dementing. It is why The New York Times decides to run a piece by a black author with the title: “Can my Children be Friends with White People?” And why even a piece about cycling deaths in London written by a woman can be framed through the headline, “Roads Designed by Men are Killing Women”. Such rhetoric exacerbates any existing divisions and each time creates a number of new ones.

And for what purpose? Rather than showing how we can all get along better, the lessons of the past decade appear to be exacerbating a sense that in fact we aren’t very good at living with each other.

For most people some awareness of this new system of values has become clear not so much by trial as by very public error. Because one thing that everybody has begun to at least sense in recent years is that a set of trip-wires has been laid across the culture. Whether placed by individuals, collectives or some divine satirist, there they have been waiting for one person after another to walk into them. Sometimes a person’s foot has unwittingly nicked the trip-wire and they have been immediately blown up. On other occasions people have watched some brave madman walking straight into the no-man’s land, fully aware of what they were doing. After each resulting detonation there is some disputation (including the occasional “coo” of admiration) and then the world moves on, accepting that another victim has been notched up to the odd, apparently improvisatory values system of our time.

It took a little while for the delineation of these trip-wires to become clear, but they are clear now. Among the first was anything to do with homosexuality. In the latter half of the 20th century there was a fight for gay equality that was tremendously successful, reversing terrible historic injustice. Then, the war having been won, it became clear that it wasn’t stopping. Indeed it was morphing. GLB (gay, lesbian, bi) became LGB so as not to diminish the visibility of lesbians. Then a T got added. Then a Q and then some stars and asterisks.

And as the gay alphabet grew, so something changed within the movement. It began to behave — in victory — as its opponents once did. When the boot was on the other foot something ugly happened. A decade ago almost nobody was supportive of gay marriage. A few years down the road and it has been made into a foundational value of modern liberalism. People may agree with that rights claim, or disagree, but to shift mores so fast needs to be done with extraordinary sensitivity and some deep thought. Yet we seem content to steam past, engaging in neither.

Instead, other issues followed a similar pattern.

Women’s rights had — like gay rights — been steadily accumulated throughout the 20th century. They, too, appeared to be arriving at some sort of settlement. Then just as the train appeared to be reaching its desired destination it suddenly picked up steam and went crashing off down the tracks and into the distance. What had been barely disputed until yesterday became a cause to destroy someone’s life today.

Whole careers were scattered and strewn as the train careered along its path. Phrases such as “toxic masculinity” entered common use. What was the virtue of making relations between the sexes so fraught that the male half of the species could be treated as though it was cancerous? Or the development of the idea that men had no right to talk about the female sex? Why, when women had broken through more glass ceilings than at any time in history, did talk of “the patriarchy” and “man­splaining” seep out of the feminist fringes and into the heart of places such as the Australian Senate?

In a similar fashion the civil rights movement in America, which had started to right perhaps the most appalling of all historic wrongs, looked as if it were moving towards some hoped-for resolution. But yet again, near the point of victory everything seemed to sour. Just as things appeared better than ever, the rhetoric began to suggest that things had never been worse. Suddenly — after most of us had hoped it had become a non-issue — everything seemed to have become about race.

As with all the other trip-wire issues, only a fool or a madman would think of even speculating — let alone disputing — this turnaround of events.

Then finally we all stumbled, baffled, into the most uncharted territory of all. This was the claim that there lived among us a considerable number of people who were in the wrong bodies and that as a consequence what certainties remained in our societies (including certainties rooted in science and language) needed to be utterly reframed.

In some ways the debate around the trans question is the most suggestive of all. Although the newest of the rights questions also affects by far the fewest number of people, it is nevertheless fought over with an almost unequalled ferocity and rage. Women who got on the wrong side of the issue have been hounded by people who used to be men. Parents who voice what was common belief until yesterday have their fitness to be parents questioned.

Among the things these issues all have in common is that they have started as legitimate human rights campaigns. This is why they have come so far.

But at some point all went through the crash barrier. Not content with being equal, they have started to settle on unsustainable positions such as “better”. Some may counter that the aim is simply to spend a certain amount of time on “better” to level the historical playing field.

What everyone does know are the things that people will be called if their foot even nicks against these freshly laid trip-wires. “Bigot”, “homophobe”, “sexist”, “misogynist”, “racist” and “transphobe” are just for starters. The rights fights of our time have centred on these toxic and explosive issues.

But in the process these rights issues have moved from being a product of a system to being the foundations of a new one. To demonstrate affiliation with the system people must prove their credentials and their commitment.

How might somebody demonstrate virtue in this new world? By being “anti-racist”, clearly. By being an “ally” to LGBT people, obviously. By stressing how ardent your desire is — whether you are a man or a woman — to bring down the patriarchy.

And this creates an auditioning problem, where public avowals of loyalty to the system must be volubly made whether there is a need for them or not.

But there is more trouble in all of this, and it is the reason I take each of the bases of these new metaphysics not just seriously but one by one. With each of these issues an increasing number of people, with the law on their side, pretend that both their issue and indeed all these issues are shut down and agreed upon. The case is very much otherwise.

The nature of what is meant to be agreed upon cannot in fact be agreed upon. Each of these issues is infinitely more complex and unstable than our societies are currently willing to admit. Which is why, put together as the foundation blocks of a new morality and metaphysics, they form the basis for a general madness.

Indeed a more unstable basis for social harmony could hardly be imagined. For while racial equality, minority rights and women’s rights are among the best products of liberalism, they make the most destabilising foundations. The products of the system cannot reproduce even the stability of the system that produced them. If for no other reason than that each of these issues is a deeply unstable component in itself.

And so we are asked to agree to things we cannot believe. It is the central cause of the ugliness of both online and real-life discussion. For we are being asked to perform a set of leaps and jumps that we cannot, and are perhaps ill-advised to, make.

We are asked to believe things that are unbelievable and being told not to object to things most people feel a strong objection to. The pain that comes from being expected to remain silent on some important matters and perform impossible leaps on others is tremendous, not least because the problems (including the internal contradictions) are so evident.

As anyone who has lived under totalitarianism can attest, there is something demeaning and eventually soul-destroying about being expected to go along with claims you do not believe to be true and yet cannot hold to be true. That distraction — or crowd madness — is something we are in the middle of and something we need to try to find our way out from. If we fail then the direction of travel is already clear. We face not just a future of ever-greater atomisation, rage and violence, but a future in which the possibility of a backlash against all rights advances — including the good ones — grows more likely.



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.


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