Welcome to the Culture War, Newbs

A Warning About Zero Hedge
Zero Hedge is an interesting website. It offers about 60% economic posts, 30% political posts, and 10% “other”. I’ve been reading it for years. About 15% of the articles are complete and utter garbage, and if you can’t tell which they are you should avoid reading there. A healthy comment section would usually give a muggle some practice at developing this skill, but the site seems to attract folks that measure their worth by the thickness of the tin foil in which they swaddle their brains, before inserting them into a microwave.

Last week, ZH finally fixed the “deep nesting” that made the comment section even harder to read. That took a decade. I thought we were dilatory about website upgrades–!

John Aziz wrote an article on May 28 which was particularly egregious in its assessment of the culture wars: If You Think Cultural Fragmentation Is Bad Now… I have no idea what Mr. Aziz’s politics are, and this rebuttal is not meant to be taken personally. When reading, I got a strong “newbie” culture war vibe. In fact, I’m sensing that more and more of my offline family, friends, and acquaintances are waking up to the fact that “something more is going on.”

This post is really about making sure those new to the culture war start with basic, solid information.

Misinformation & False Equivalences
From Mr. Aziz’s opening paragraph: “One of the defining cultural events of the 2016 election season so far has been the overwhelming rejection of the notion of political correctness.” Yes, indeed. He goes on to site infowars.com and Wikipedia to define what political correctness is.

From this definition, he concludes “The overriding concern expressed by the Trumpians appears to be that liberals are trying to enforce their worldview through the use of the language. They are trying, in other words, to promote their own worldview through making it difficult to dissent from the ‘politically correct’ version of reality.

Mr. Aziz goes on to redefine the term. “… what is politically correct is a matter of subjective opinion. We each – as human beings – have our own notion of what is the politically correct way to frame an argument or think about a situation or system. So that which is ‘politically correct’ for one person or group of people is absolutely politically incorrect for another person or group of people. In other words, every side of the argument has its own ‘politically correct’ version of reality.

In other words, “political correctness” means “opinion”, and both sides have those, therefore both sides are the same.

Mr. Aziz then sites McCarthyism as a hardcore form of right-wing political correctness, and gives a second example of the Bush Administration renaming French Fries to Freedom Fries to protest the French government refusing to aid the United States during the Iraq war.

The rest of his column discusses the Trump phenomena, and how Trump is also authoritarian. He concludes that society will continue to fragment itself.

That’s something we agree on, at least.

Political Correctness is Merely Opinion?
Authoritarians stopped using political correctness as a language-control tool some time ago. It is now a thought control tool. It is enforced in grade school, high school, and college classes. It is enforced in HR classes at your job. If you speak out against it, you will be silenced. Authoritarians call this no-platforming, because that is less threatening. You may be fired, and you could be charged with violating hate speech laws. You can be fined for not calling people by their preferred pronoun. If you question gender theory, you can go to jail. You can be found guilty, even if an investigation finds no proof of guilt.

Political correctness is being enforced via government diktat. Those who stand against it will be arrested. We are told it is for our own good. We will, in fact, celebrate the “opinions” of the Authoritarians.

Facts, science, and expert opinion have no role to play if they violate current PC thinking. Prominent web sources like Wikipedia are edited by SJWs such that the current narrative is reinforced. Pages that disagree are removed or heavily redacted.

Authoritarians are now attacking our right to freely associate. SJWs will physically block venues and roadways in an effort to cancel unapproved conferences, meet-ups, and political rallies. Bomb threats have been employed on more than one occasion.

Intimidation tactics frequently take the form of social media campaigns against the employers of troublesome people who speak out. The best-selling book SJWs Always Lie is rated at 4.5 stars and has 410 reviews. It highlights ways to fight back when Authoritarians try to get you fired.

The only proven perpetrators of swatting have been Authoritarians. Cultural libertarians have been spit on, arrested, and covered in urine. Prominent social media sites like Facebook and Twitter close accounts, censor problematic news, and take pages or hashtags out of their search and autocomplete algorithms. The Cologne sex assault story blew up because Facebook closed the page of a woman who wrote about how she was raped that night. The European rape nightmare continues.

Authoritarians will create the narrative they want, even if they have to persecute themselves. They will infiltrate rallies as necessary. Even if they have to pay people to attend them.

Donald Trump won the Republican nomination because he stood up to the Authoritarians in the Democratic party and in the media. People are pissed. Maybe it’s because our laws are being selectively enforced. Maybe it’s because we’re to be treated like war criminals, because the Authoritarians have declared victory. Maybe it’s because the rules get more ridiculous every day. Maybe it’s just because someone wants to use a public restroom without having to scope it out first for some pervert who gets to be there with the full force of the law protecting his presence.

McCarthyism? Please. Even if it was the Greatest Evil Ever, it was the Greatest Evil Ever 60 years ago. Politically Correct Authoritarians are the problem now. They target everyone, and they enforce their ideology everywhere in the world. The only side using McCarthy-like tactics are the Authoritarians. Politically correct sins are readily forgiven if you turn someone else in.

What’s the take away?
If it were true that political correctness is merely the different “opinions” held by those on the right versus those on  the left, there ought to be a ton of examples of draconian enforcement on both sides. Good luck finding examples anywhere but on the Social Justice progressive side. If some feminist had a cup of piss poured all over her it would be highlighted as the crime of the century all around the world.

Mr. Aziz uses this false equivalence in order to label Trump, ” Authoritarian.” He’s going to have to tackle that assertion some other way. He brings no facts to support this claim in his article.

However, I didn’t write this just to single out one article.

I wanted to give a variety of specific examples of how Authoritarians are enforcing their beliefs. I wanted to point to the wide variety of people standing up against them. The culture war is not a left/right conflict. There are many left-leaning folks speaking out forcefully against political correctness. The culture war is globalist vs nationalist. It is authoritarian vs liberty-loving. It is about bullies who want to enforce their will, and then cry victim when anyone calls them on it.

One side is completely in favor of free speech, just as long as it isn’t hate speech, and they’ll decide what hate speech is, thank you very much. What could possibly go wrong with that?

Welcome to the culture war, newbs.

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The Spork Speaks — Tempest in a Teardrop — tempestinateardrop.com

3 thoughts on “Welcome to the Culture War, Newbs

  1. Trump is authoritarian because:

    1/ He wants to ban over a billion people from entering the U.S. based on their religion. Most Muslims never even chose to be Muslims. They were born into it. And the U.S. is supposed to be a libertarian country with freedom of religion. As I am sure you know, the U.S. was founded in part by the descendants of people who left Europe for freedom of religion. What could be more authoritarian — not to mention un-American — than taking away freedom of religion?

    2/ He wants to round up millions of peaceful people and deport them. Illegal immigrants haven’t really committed any crime just by being here. They’ve violated some administrative rules, sure. But my point is that Trump’s response to this is absolutely authoritarian. Building a deportation force to round people up and force them to leave the country is absolutely authoritarian. Freedom of movement is a fundamental freedom. Sure, deport foreign criminals who actually break laws. But peaceful people who just don’t have the “right” documents? What’s more authoritarian than recruiting gangs to break into people’s houses in the middle of the night and arrest them?

    3/ He believes in imposing large-scale new tariffs. Free trade and freedom of economic activity are fundamental liberties. Instead of trading and engaging with the world in a constructive fashion, Trump is for using state force to impose artificial barriers to entry, soaking the American consumer in the process in the name of some centrally defined objective of bringing jobs back to America. The market is a lot smarter than me, or you, or Trump. People want cheap goods. Trump cannot bring the jobs back from China. But trying to do so with tariffs isn’t just economically inadvisable, it’s deeply authoritarian.

    I could go on and on all day. I don’t agree with no-platforming and safe spaces and the language of the leftist campus thoughtpolice creed. But they’re nothing like as authoritarian as what Trump is proposing neither in nature nor in scale. Trump’s voters are authoritarian (see here:http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/01/donald-trump-2016-authoritarian-213533). Trump is authoritarian. Some of his supporters also claim to be libertarians. But Authoritarianism in defence of some definition of liberty is not defending liberty. It’s cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    p.s. no, I am not redefining political correctness as having an opinion. I defined it in terms of using language to try and enforce your views on others. And Trump is very politically correct. Go shout “black lives matter” at one of his rallies and see how fast you get “no-platformed”.

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    1. Hi, Aziz. Thanks for the comment. I *will* answer this but tomorrow – it’s Friday night, the northern lights might be appearing tonight and if I had a bucket list, it’d be about the only thing on it.

      Like

    2. My post was not about Donald Trump. My post was about political correctness. Your definition is wrong, and I clearly laid out my case with example after example. If I had waited a day, I’d have a bunch more to include from San Jose.

      Whether Trump is also authoritarian is a separate matter. Our comic isn’t in the business of defending Trump. Our goal is to point out the stupidity and hypocrisy of SJWs and others, primarily on the left, who increasingly take it upon themselves to enforce values on the rest of society through physical, intellectual, emotional, or political intimidation.

      Keep in mind that every single thing I’m reading about Trump from the left paints him as an authoritarian. Throw up Breitbart or Heatstreet or even the Daily Caller onto your RSS reader and you’d definitely get a different picture. Indeed, the single biggest criticism he gets from the right is that he doesn’t take a solid position on any given topic. Even regarding The Wall: he’s said it will have a big door in it to welcome people back. How you can label someone who won’t take a hard stand on anything “authoritarian” is a mystery to me.

      We’ll know more after the convention in July.

      From your comment: “I don’t agree with no-platforming and safe spaces and the language of the leftist campus thoughtpolice creed.” We have something in common, after all 🙂

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