BRUCE LOGAN says that to survive in the new liberated world you must learn to hold your tongue. Hypocrisy is normalised. Indeed it has become the ceremonial activity of the culture and that ceremony is valued above moral duty. Everyone is in the business of virtue signalling; from banks, airlines, other large companies through to government agencies and human rights commissions.
21 September 2019
It’s not just because I’m an old bloke that I suspect the world has gone mad. Something novel is going on. Consequently I was more than a little gratified when I come across The Madness of Crowds; Gender, Race and Identity, by Douglas Murray. He reinforced my suspicions of the animus that informed the world’s politically correct madness. Obsessed with censorship it has no understanding of forgiveness. One is condemned on the basis of what the political correctors think you are; certainly not on the foundation of any shared understanding of virtue.
Roger Scruton’s excellent review of Murray’s book reinforced my encouragement. It was like having one’s own suspicions and beliefs written up with authoritative clarity on a screen. I’m tempted to quote, like nearly every other half educated old bloke, from Yeats’ Second Coming and remind everyone that “mere anarchy has been loosed upon the world.” Which of course it has.
Much that I once believed is now anathema. Everything shared has been repudiated and in the context of that great deceit we are asked to believe we have been liberated. But from what precisely and to what end. Certainly the old virtues and vices that once governed our behaviour are unknown to the politically corrected millennials. Everything is about becoming who you think you are. And once you have got there any kind of criticism must be silenced. The ‘s new liberation turns out to be little more than a new kind of censorship.
Just to get things going Murray quotes G.K. Chesterton; “the special mark of the modern world is not that it is sceptical, but that it is dogmatic without knowing it.” Chesterton died in 1936. Murray goes on to clarify how the dogmatism works.
“Having begun to view everything through the new lenses we have been provided with, everything is then weaponised, 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 can be framed through the headline: “Roads Designed by Men are Killing Women.” Such a rhetoric exacerbates any existing divisions and each time creates a number of new ones. And for what purpose? Rather than showing how we can get along better, the lessons of the last decade appeared to be exacerbating a sense in fact we aren’t very good at living with each other.”
That would seem to be indisputable. We are certainly not good at living with each other because we have become tribalised.
And every tribal member has to assert his or her identity which must be protected by law.
To survive in the new liberated world you must learn to hold your tongue. Hypocrisy is normalised. Indeed it has become the ceremonial activity of the culture and that ceremony is valued above moral duty. Everyone is in the business of virtue signalling; from banks, airlines, other large companies through to government agencies and human rights commissions.
In the old world one was judged on his or her actions and character. In the new liberated world the issue is, are you a member of my tribe? If you are the problem is solved. If you are not then you must assent to whatever ideology is shaping my identity.
Because there is no agreed foundation for virtue there can be no objectivity. Scruton is excellent on this point. “Since there is no objective trial, no case for the defence, no due process. You are accused by the mob, examined by the mob and condemned by the mob, and if you have brought this on yourself, you have only yourself to blame. For the mob is by nature innocent, it washes its own conscience in the flow of collective indignation, and by joining it you make yourself safe.”
Thus we enter into the era of the bureaucratic gulag. Safety is discovered by turning four into the bureaucratic five. A new language has to be invented and the old language reinterpreted. Both invention and reinterpretation must be assiduously policed by the indoctrinated political correctors.
The intellectual gymnastics are astonishing; an excellent plot for a good comedy were not the political correctors imbued by such hubris; by such radical self-righteousness. The old virtue of humility and the dignity of sacrifice are meaningless and the warmth of human relationship impossible.
Marriage, once a socially approved union between two complementary sexes to protect children becomes a contract of immediate, transitory and mutual benefit. Biological sex reconfigured as “gender” becomes a social construction reinforced by law. We name the tribes and thereby think they have legitimacy. The claim to homosexual identity gives rise to heterosexual identity and then to an ever increasing range of transgender identities.
Under all of this there is an obvious, even self-evident question that very few seem willing to ask. Is it possible to reject belief in a benevolent and just God and still learn to live harmoniously together? Harmony, we should remember, presupposes the existence of a permanent and transcendent truth. The ideology of subjectivity can only take us back to chaos and its dark gods.
One can draw evidence of this intrinsic truth from a range of human activities. Music is a good place to start. For music to be psychologically, and dare I say it, spiritually satisfying there must be resolution. We cannot be kept for ever in suspense by the drama of dissonance. Continuous exposure to dissonance, makes young men in particular, want to kick holes in walls, and young women to kick young men.
They don’t talk to each other; they just twitter.