The Huffington Post recently posted this hilariously unironic piece on the perils of “Original Racism.” In 5 Ways White Feminists Can Address Our Own Racism the author stumbles over some seriously stupid points, such as using “feminist powers” to detect racism. But more essentially, the entire premise is directly based on the concept of Original Sin. To better display this effect, simply change entries regarding “racism” to “sin/sinfulness”
It’s currently in vogue for progressives to steal certain tools from the philosophy of existentialism and attempt to wield them clumsily at political adversaries. Whether or not leftists are aware of this, many of their rhetorical devices are ripped straight out of a vastly more nuanced and cerebral playbook, only to be applied in the most half-assed, amateur fashion possible. Let’s begin examining some of the most popular tropes and idioms mechanically regurgitated by these children.
“That’s just a social construct!” the liberal will breathlessly exclaim, as if he had just uttered the most groundshaking revelation ever issued from a human mouth. Anyone who’s even so much as stumbled into the philosophy section of Barnes and Noble by accident will find this kind of statement tirelessly redundant and overly obvious. Aren’t all concepts “social constructs?”
Forget the grammar in the picture–focus on the message. It isn’t enough that society bends over backwards in order to accommodate women. Third-wave feminism is about acknowledging women’s subordination, both in terms of agency and intellectual/physical ability. The acknowledgment isn’t explicit. They’ll deny it endlessly. Rather, it’s implicit, and the way it comes out is through constant over-compensation.
Occasionally I wander over to Center For a Stateless Society, which operates under the tag line “Left Anarchist Think Tank and Media Center.” Aside from the mostly harmless pontifications of the relatively boring and uninspiring writer Kevin Carson, C4SS has proven to be more notable for attracting the most inane critical theory drivel imaginable from various misfits and miscellaneous social pariahs.
Some of the choicer morsels include the following:
Women experience misogyny in their day to day lives. Many individual women know things about sexual harassment, casual sexism, and a wide range of other gender issues that I will never know, because I am not a woman, and I do not experience them. Recognizing that this distributed knowledge exists has consequences. It means that I should not dismiss women’s experiences of sexism or presume I know more about sexism than they. It means that within the realm of feminist activism, I should not always have as important a decision making role as the women who actually experience the oppression caused by patriarchy. In other words, acknowledging distributed knowledge leads me to “check my privilege.”
Political reactionaries tend to have a set time preference for a culture they’d prefer. The common joke is that someone is stuck in the 1950′s. This is a statement that Barack Obama made to Mitt Romney during one of their debates. Many reactionaries would rather move back socially even further than that. A problem does form when political and cultural reaction goes too far, ultimately acting against the traditionalism that most good reactionaries prefer. I’ll call this political overreaction.
Those that have spent time in various libertarian or anarcho-capitalist political circles have probably come across the peculiar concept of Argumentation Ethics, the logical construct developed by Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe that theoretically provides the ultimate justification for the libertarian ethical doctrine of property rights and non-aggression. This theory essentially claims that libertarian property ethics are a priori true since the very act of arguing against them must necessarily accept them beforehand. Thus it is logically impossible to consistently argue against the property ethic. The idea that notions of truth and justice are valid, universal and objective is also assumed a priori by the very act of arguing over norms, since one would have to accept the necessity and validity of these concepts beforehand or else there would be no point in proposing norms in the first place.
Hoppe explains it in his typically turgid style (feel free to skip if you take my word for it):
“…any truth claim—the claim connected with any proposition that it is true, objective, or valid (all terms used synonymously here)—is and must be raised and decided upon in the course of an argumentation. And since it cannot be disputed that this is so (one cannot communicate and argue that one cannot communicate and argue), and it must be assumed that everyone knows what it means to claim something to be true (one cannot deny this statement without claiming its negation to be true), this has been aptly called ‘the a priori of communication and argumentation.’
I confess that the Zimmerman verdict was a pleasant surprise for me. It seems that despite everything some vestiges of actual justice and decency seem to remain to our society and, thankfully, the legal system did not sacrifice an innocent man on the altar of political correctness and expediency. I was actually worried there for a bit. After all, this is an America in the days of a looming liberal super-majority. This is an America where every child in government school is taught that men “marrying” other men is the most important and pressing social issue of the day. So who knows what kind of mainstream social consensus we are dealing with on these issues. My views tend to be so out far out of the mainstream that it is sometimes difficult for me to judge where exactly the mainstream is.
Nevertheless justice really was served in this instance. Not as surprisingly, the aftermath has been relatively quiet. There have been a few cases of spontaneous social justice cropping up here and there, but nothing too serious.
But now that it is all over, one glaring question remains. What are all the narcissistic, self-indulgent, guilt-ridden middle class white liberals going to do with all the feels they are collecting over the monstrous injustice of the outcome? Why, they will have to figure out a way to turn the narrative inward and make it all about themselves of course. Considering that there were no actual white people involved in the original incident, white liberals are going to have to find some way to make the aftermath focus on the narrative of white privilege and oppression.
Occasionally an incident occurs that lays bare how truly absurd postmodern society is. Such incidents are notable not for their grand scope and sweeping narrative, but for their drab pettiness. Disasters, tragedies, mass casualty terror attacks and wars do not reveal any fundamental truths about our society. We are too far removed from those sorts of things for them to be real. No, it is rather in events that are shabby and frivolous that we see our culture reflected.
The recent media controversy that has been labeled “The PyCon Incident” or even “Donglegate” (see what I mean about frivolity) is one such event. To summarize: a woman attending a male dominated software conference overheard some remarks that she claims she found offensive, took a picture of the male offenders, posted it online along with an accusation, got one of them fired from his job and then was herself fired in the ensuing backlash. This whole scenario is absurd and contemptible, yet such things are inevitable given the toxic nature of the postmodern social environment.
Ron Paul, our generation’s William Jennings Bryan, has largely run his course. The man who for decades bravely griefed Congress and disrupted Republican Primaries, now talks shit about dead people on twitter. He who lives by the troll dies by the troll, I suppose.
Following his not-so-stellar progress in 2010-11, these actions certainly don’t surprise me; here was a man ultimately less interested in cultivating a meaningful counter-narrative, and more interested in pissing people off before collecting his Congressional pension.