September 28, 2016 2 Comments
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”
Indeed. Recently Robert Tracinski wrote in The Federalist about Transgender Activists and Brophobia. It’s a pretty interesting and important article. Here’s some of it.
What really leaped out at me from this response was the following passage, which I suspect explains a lot of the motive behind this fanatically enforced orthodoxy.
All that “typical guy stuff” you hold so near and dear: have you considered that it’s actually extremely alienating for guys who differ from antiquated masculine norms? Many men like me who are queer-identified and/or comfortable with their femininity do not relate to the dickswinging contest nonsense that (mostly straight and white) men in fraternities apparently find so sacred. Your perspective has led you to believe that these rituals are essential for all men, when actually, not all men relate to your sh—y brand of toxic masculinity.
So this enlightened progressive just derided another person’s sexual orientation and gender identity as “toxic.” Yay, tolerance!
Yay, tolerance, indeed. But we’ve all heard plenty of comparable stories, haven’t we? Later, he says this,
The stoking of brophobia reflects the Left’s basic problem with the concept of “tolerance.” They use the word to mean “advocacy on behalf of groups we like and against groups we don’t like,” which is the exact opposite of its actual meaning. Tolerance is supposed to mean tolerance specifically of people you don’t like. That’s why you’re “tolerating” them—you don’t like them, but you’ve agreed to put up with them anyway, to recognize their right to live and speak, and to engage them in a civil way. […]
That is (or at least was) a simple definition of a common word. I don’t know about you but tolerating others like oneself doesn’t seem to me to reflect much credit on one to me. On the other hand tolerating those who say or do things (things that don’t actually physically hurt people) does reflect a fair amount of credit on one. Continuing.
You see comments like: “I’m really disgusted that he was given a platform,” “literally shaking I’m so angry,” “SOS SOS SOS,” and my favorite: “if this article was triggering for anyone I would not recommend delving into the comments—some readers/commenters use deeply offensive language and there is heavy support for the author’s message.” Boy, millennials really live down to that “snowflake” caricature, don’t they?[…]
It’s important to remember that the contemporary code of political correctness emerged from an actual, literal totalitarian ideology. Karl Marx argued that all of culture—ideas, religion, art, everything—was just a “superstructure” built to disguise and perpetuate the real foundation of society, which was the economic relationship between labor and capital. Modern neo-Marxists turned this idea into the slogan “the personal is the political,” which was the origin for the concept of political correctness.
In this philosophy, there is no such thing as an apolitical “private life,” and everything a person does — his every preference, every aspect of his personal identity — can be judged for its political meaning and conformity to the right causes. But the new Marxists also conceived of the underlying “base” of human life more broadly: it was not just the struggle between the worker and the capitalist, but the struggles for power among social pressure groups based on “race, class, and gender.”
And you know, that may be the base difference. I frankly don’t give much of a damn about what you do, or even what you do with consenting adults. At least as long as you inflict no injury on others.
Yes, I’m a Christian, and if you want my advice on how to live your life, I’ll be happy to tell you. But I’m neither God nor your dad, so I have no real reason to tell you how to live. Often enough here, we’ll tell you what has worked for us, and has worked for some two thousand years, but it’s up to you to apply it or not. Although I would remind you that if a Christian is wrong, well then oblivion is the end. However, if an atheist is wrong, I think it a much worse outcome for him.
That all is subject of course to keeping it quiet and private, as we used to say, “Don’t scare the horses.” And that’s a matter for the civil authorities, mostly, but even there, I’m pretty tolerant.
And that’s the major difference, isn’t it? The new Marxists aren’t at all tolerant, and no, I’m not tolerant of intolerance, not in a society. I wanted to say in a civil society, but I’m not sure the modifier still applies.