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Sunday, August 20, 2017


How long can a crazy ideology riddled with contradictions survive? An interesting new article explains it.

I f an ideology has internal contradictions, it has three choices: it can evolve, it can use force to paper them over, or it can be cast into the dustbin of history.

Many flawed ideologies, including postmodernism, whose adherents claimed to believe there was no such thing as truth, have availed themselves of the third option. As its critics repeat­edly pointed out, believing there is no truth is fatal for a philosophy. Sure enough, the only ones who still cling to postmodernist ideas are at our universities—proof that it is now dead.

Snowflakes One snowflake oppressing another

Charles R. Kesler, writing in the Summer 2017 Claremont Review of Books (which, despite its penchant for 30,000-word book reviews, is rapidly becoming the pre-eminent voice of intellectual conservatism), has this to say about what he calls the new New Left and what I call snowflake­ularianism:

It is hard to believe how many contradictions are papered over in this catalogue of 'basic tenets.' To take the most obvious example, for something that calls itself 'critical race theory,' it has no consistent theory of race and no critical distance from its political agenda. Is race something real, indelible, and fundamental, which shapes the soul itself and commands opinions, passions, and interests across society? Or is it all in our heads, a social construction that we could do without? It is as if Marxism proclaimed both that the history of the world and that it isn't. Or maybe that the Communist revolution is inevitable, or maybe not.

Many others, including this guy, have pointed this out, but none so clearly as this. Kesler goes on to say the new New Left gets away with it because of its postmodernism, for which usefulness to the cause is the only criterion for deciding the truth of a statement.

Sometimes it is useful to say that whites are objectively privileged and therefore oppressors, and that blacks, say, cannot be racist because they objectively lack power and are the oppressed. but other times it is useful to deny this, and to say that anyone can be a racist because racism is a state of mind.

Is it any wonder, he asks, that young people who believe this self-contradictory ideology are vicious and violent in packs, while despondent and fragile at heart?

Like Emma Watson's character in The Circle, the fast pace and radical ideas look exciting at first to young people eager to become part of something new. But sooner or later they will realize that fast-paced change and silly words printed in boxes all over your glitzy video are no substitute for finding meaning and for remaining in control of your own destiny.

She also discovers that we need other people. At one point, arching her eyebrow, she says:

You don't really think you're going to be able to find all those horcruxes by yourself, do you?

Hmm, now that I write that, that might have been a different movie. But no matter.

Snowflakeularianism can only survive as long as there is something to destroy and there are no obstacles to success. Logic is the biggest obstacle, which is why their main goal must be to suppress freedom of speech. That's what they're doing now.

Even libertarians believe it's a legitimate use of government to keep people from violating each other's civil rights. The Boston PD showed us last week how it's done. If the government wishes to preserve the system we're all loyal to, it needs protect our civil rights when they're being systematically violated. A few well-placed threats may be all that's needed.

But even depriving the world of free speech would not change the fact that snowflake­ular­ianism is an ideology without a goal and without hope, where every adherent knows that he or she is by definition only a useful idiot who will sooner or later run afoul of whoever comes out on top. If the movement loses, the adherents will be out of a job. If it wins, they will be in a heap of trouble. If I were in their shoes, I'd be crying for my teddy bear too.

aug 20, 2017; last edited aug 20, 2017, 11:46 am

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