Tuesday, 11 October 2016

An Exploration of the Politically Correct Worldview

Individuality has ceased to exist. We are seen only as representatives of groups. Groups have different levels of power and status in society, and globally. When a member of a powerful group speaks to a member of a less powerful group, it is automatically oppressive. The dominant group member lacks awareness of this because his membership of a more powerful group renders him blind to it. It is only through some form of sensitivity training (which consists largely of indoctrination into the politically correct worldview) that he can become aware.

This way of viewing people only as members of groups is one-sided and one-dimensional and has the effect of nullifying the value of personal effort: “You think you got where you are through your own efforts? No, you’re just a member of a privileged group.” Or as Obama said, “You didn’t build that.”

Less powerful groups suffer from oppression in various forms, one of which is simply the way they are perceived by members of more powerful groups. They suffer under “structural inequalities” that maintain and manifest this oppression. Their situation has nothing to do with personal effort or ability; to suggest that it does is proof of the blindness to structural inequality that typifies members of powerful, privileged groups. In fact, to make such a statement is sufficient to define you as a member of a privileged, “oppressor” group. This group can remain unspecified but if you are white, male, and middle-class you fit a convenient stereotype of privilege (politically correct people are not supposed to stereotype people but this one is an exception. If you are privileged, you cannot reasonably defend yourself against stereotyping. This is an aspect of the double standards that PC people feel OK about.) It is part of the PC worldview that those who belong to privileged groups do not deserve justice or even plain decency.

Although we are, in theory, all equal there is now a moral hierarchy which is inversely proportional to your position in the hierarchy of structural inequality. Those at the top of the structural hierarchy are those with the lowest moral status, and vice versa. This echoes what Bertrand Russell called the “superior virtue of the oppressed” (he did not mean it literally).

Although some people might believe that people at the top of the structure might actually be there because they are talented, hard-working, and get on well with others, the truth is that nobody is at the top who has not trodden on others to get there. Furthermore, the nearer to the top you are the more out of touch and blind you are to the oppression below. Bear in mind that we’re talking about group characteristics not individual traits. Individual traits are screened out of this worldview.

The hierarchy is not only defined in terms of wealth; that is a simple view of structural inequality. Inequality is also defined and expressed in terms of various social constructs (which for the most part are purely arbitrary) such as gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, culture, sub-culture, religion, etc.

Muslims benefit a lot from this because they look oppressed but for the PC mind it must be nothing to do with their culture or religion. That is dominant group talk; no, it must be caused by oppressor groups like neo-cons and Zionists.

As is widely known, victim groups overlap in particular individuals and to the extent that you belong within the intersection of one of more oppressed groups then you are that much more oppressed and have that much more moral status. This status means you deserve that much more redress and compensation from “the system” (in fact you can screw “the system” to your heart’s content without compunction) and you suffer that much more and must be that much braver when interacting with a member of a dominant group. If that person belongs within the intersection of many overlapping dominant groups (e.g. White, male, middle-class) then the oppressiveness of the interaction will, on account of this, be that much greater.

Many of those in victim groups have an obvious interest in supporting this worldview (even if they do not really share it). It improves their self-image and reputation as helpless victims of structural inequality and gives them a sense of moral superiority over those in the oppressor groups.

But what of the white, middle-class people who in theory belong to an oppressor group but reject the privilege it offers; those who ardently support the oppressed and hate their oppressors?

These are more difficult to understand as there is no obvious self-interest. We know they tend to be idealistic and utopian; they tend to believe there are no innate differences of ability or character (and don’t you dare try to test the truth of this through objective research); they tend to believe the world will move in the direction of greater equality and that this constitutes progress; they tend to believe that society is socially constructed through narratives and that by changing narratives we can change society; their moral priorities tend to be dominated by protectiveness towards those they define as oppressed and a correspondingly strong desire not be oppressive themselves. As they often belong to privileged groups they feel the risk of being oppressive very keenly and work assiduously to avoid it.

The ways in which they do this are:

  • To be very solicitous towards members of victim groups
  • To hold a lot of animosity towards oppressor groups and to advocate for oppressed groups
  • To be hostile to their own privilege group(s)
  • To reject their membership of privilege groups. This is ultimately impossible and is the cause of a conflicted identity in these people
  • They identify more closely with the oppressed groups as a way of rejecting their own privileged groups and as a way of identifying with the higher moral status of the oppressed
  • As moral status becomes a more important part of their identity they become more self-righteous; as they become more self-righteous they become more judgmental and damning of oppressor group members, to the extent that they eventually demonize them
  • Once they have demonized members of oppressor groups they often adopt the view that the end justifies the means. This leads them to sympathize with terrorists (“terrorism is the weapon of the dispossessed”) and enjoy a sense of identification with the terrorists’ hatred of their own society
  • By being so opposed to their own privileged in-group they gain additional moral credit for being wholly identified with “the other”; they feel free from the taint of “otherizing”

By identifying so much with out-groups, the PC mind is afforded a great deal of reassurance that it is not being ethnocentric. To be ethnocentric is a kind of cultural egoism and this attitude is anathema to the PC mind. Unfortunately, as research on minimal groups has shown, the tendency to see one’s in-group as preferable or superior is almost impossible to avoid. It occurs even when people are assigned to groups randomly and know they have been assigned randomly.

A very useful strategy for those wishing to avoid this tendency is to develop a habit of in-group rejection and out-group preference. Once this habit has been practiced for a reasonable length of time it becomes almost as automatic as in-group preference; the trick has probably been accomplished by identifying out-group as in-group and in-group as out-group. I think the PC worldview relies a great deal on this psychological manoeuvre.

By adopting a habit of in-group rejection, the PC person feels virtuous, rebellious, and proud. He develops an attitude towards the in-group that is a default for members of out-groups and thus feels comfortable identifying with their sense of in-group supremacy and their negativity towards his own in-group.

Once embarked on this journey of rejection of their own group membership and identification with the superior moral status of oppressed groups they are likely to adopt the view that their own society is not only no better than others but is actually worse. Certainly from a moral standpoint this tends to be seen as true. This has been elucidated very well here so I won’t dwell on it now. Suffice to say that much of the tu quoque arguments we hear from PC people are evidence for this underlying moral assumption. Moral assumptions are often expressed in rationalizations which is what most of these tu quoque arguments amount to.

What of those from oppressed groups who think like members of privileged groups? The classic case is the black man who rejects the worldview of structural inequality and argues for the importance of personal effort. This is anathema to the PC worldview which can only think in terms of collective effort. Personal effort represents disloyalty to the oppressed group as it reinforces the narrative of the dominant group that personal effort is important. Black people who think this way are likely to be branded as Uncle Toms or coconuts. They are casting themselves dangerously adrift as they effectively reject the cozy worldview of an oppressed group member yet have no real friends among the dominant groups who will never truly accept them. Obviously by aspiring to be members of the dominant group(s) their moral status is compromised.

An international moral hierarchy begins to emerge wherein the most powerful nations are the most oppressive and they have the lowest moral status. This is particularly true of Israel which from this perspective is an extension of the USA which is face to face with one of the (or even the most) oppressed groups that has ever existed and therefore the one with the highest moral status, the Palestinians. As such, they can do no wrong and to criticize them for anything would be to expose one’s own moral blindness and insensitivity towards a truly oppressed people.

Given their lofty moral status, the Palestinians can do whatever they like without fear of moral opprobrium whereas Israelis, being members of the group labelled “Israel”, are subject to demonization. Their own history of real oppression over 2 millennia counts for nothing. Their moral status is purely a function of the present calculus of oppressor status as opposed to oppressed. Their achievements in building a prosperous and free society by their own efforts in the face of intense opposition from all around them also counts against them.

What can one say to break the spell?

Perhaps, for a start we have to speak to them in terms that they worry about. This does not include true and false or even right and wrong to a great extent because they have a clear view of who is right and who is wrong which is decided purely on the basis of group membership.

They usually worry about being oppressive. They might take an accusation of stereotyping quite seriously. With their worldview built of groups in which individuality disappears they are certainly vulnerable to this accusation.

They are also vulnerable to the charge of demonization. This is something they do based on group membership and their own sense of high moral status as a consequence of identifying with oppressed groups. They may well be taken aback if this is presented as a moral flaw.

If groups lose their high moral status the more powerful they become, then it should follow that as Muslims become more powerful they will lose their high moral status in the PC mind. If we couch our objection to Islam in terms of power and oppression over weaker groups, this should resonate with the PC mind. Of course, we always have to reckon with a great deal of dishonesty and evasion.
The PC care very much about their worldview. They need it to be validated by others. They are therefore highly resistant to information which runs counter to it. The persecution of minorities by Muslims does not fit into their worldview so they pay no attention to it.

We could therefore accuse them of caring more about their worldview than about people who are really oppressed or about understanding the real causes of their oppression.

We could argue that their worldview is blinding them to the reality of real oppression, as distinct from the largely imaginary oppression that they fume about. They therefore betray the cause of combatting oppression.

This brings us to the heart of the current fight against oppression: the fight against Islam. Islam is the major source of oppression, both in terms of its oppression of Muslims and non-Muslims. The counter-jihad movement seeks to defend people of today and of tomorrow against this oppression. The PC people, blinded by their worldview, will have none of this; Muslims are the victims of our oppression as far as they are concerned and anyone who is against them or their religion is an oppressor; someone of low moral status, fit to be demonized.

The PC person would claim to not be self-interested but this is untrue. Their self-interest is certainly concerned to maintain their worldview and their favorable view of themselves within it.

Can they be accused of moral cowardice? By failing to challenge their worldview; by remaining one of the herd; by failing to challenge any aspect of the herd’s thinking? Well, yes.

PC is now a major form of oppression in itself. Its Kafkaesque rules of conforming are highly oppressive to the ultimate minority, the individual. It outlaws opinions that do not fit its worldview and therefore removes freedom of speech.

It constrains people’s thoughts by enforcing a worldview upon them; demonizing them if they fail to conform (think of the enforced diversity training for deviants); or through prosecution. This now manifests itself in “hate speech” charges against those who see Islam as a threat to free societies (Geert Wilders, for example). It is thus an ally of the greatest engine of oppression today: Islamic jihad.

One simple way to undercut PC habits of mind is to just say what we see and say what we do not see. This is not to argue that what we see is correct; it is simply to report honestly what we see and what we don’t. This a way of subverting the PC worldview because the PC worldview is a highly fabricated distortion of reality which seeks to conform to a worldview shared by others; it is a worldview sustained by the conformity of many millions of people. We can provide a quiet example of innocent non-conformity instead. It’s a return to childlike honesty which reports that the emperor has no clothes.

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