Purely Speculating (The Influence of Political Correctness)


Note: An individual who advocates a position for no other reason than that his immediate neighbour does so is no better than an automaton.

Modern social movements come and go in waves, each one threatening with greater vigour the destabilisation of the foundations of human society. I reiterate an old narrative, the impetus for this discussion lying in my perception of the link between recent events: the Florida and Maryland school shootings, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s belated recognition of no-go zone areas and the wave of #metoo harassment accusations. These events, among others, are symptomatic of the broader movement of ‘political correctness’, whose effects I believe will be injurious and long-lasting. These detriments will be felt on the level of the individual, family, society and industry and will manifest itself especially strongly in reactionary movements. In the end, it’s expansion is inevitable, and so will be its consequences. Insofar as political correctness is detrimental on balance, it must be displaced by other, more sustainable ideas.
School shootings have unfortunately become commonplace in the American media for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is tragic news. Secondly, it becomes a talking point for various shows to sensationalise, caricature and parody. Thirdly, and perhaps most saliently, it is key to pushing political agendas: the feminist agenda that men are more prone to violence (given that school shooters are generally men), the race-bias agenda that whites are more prone to violent killing (school shooters are generally white) and the gun-control agenda that gun laws are not stringent enough (ease of acquiring guns means ease of perpetrating school shootings). These agendas are obviously not exhaustive; there are obviously agendas at the other extreme of the political spectrum, such as the idea that this somehow legitimates more liberal gun laws in order to arm teachers in schools. Nevertheless, school shootings are more easily pushed into the service of the Leftist project of political correctness, because it fits the narrative much more snugly.
However, the mere fact that a particular agenda pushes a political perspective does not of itself mean that that perspective is wrong or flawed. That must be assessed on its own merit. As far as individuals go, advocating an agenda without subjectively having reasonable grounds for doing so is always apt to lead to negative consequences, regardless of how objectively reasonable that ground actually is. An individual who advocates a position for no other reason than that his immediate neighbour does so is no better than an automaton. He adopts the ‘mob mentality’ which always has a tendency to extremism, since the boundaries matter little to one who never saw them in the first place. The position he advocates is therefore no more than a placeholder, which will easily be displaced by more extreme views at a time of roiling emotion.
The agenda or perspective to adopt (if one adopts one at all) regarding school shootings, Germany’s no go zones and #metoo must therefore be assessed according to its merits. I will discuss each briefly in turn. As a preliminary, it is blatantly obvious that the first two agendas (feminist and racist) identified above are untenable because unconstructive or misleading. The final one, on gun control, requires further thought.
The feminist agenda is typified by references to ‘toxic masculinity’ and some such vague reference to the evils of adopting such a perspective. This and the idea that mass shootings stem from a ‘catastrophic sense of male entitlement’ come from the article linked below. These terms suffer from an unacceptable level of vagueness that allows proponents of these ideas to evade any questions. They impede elucidation and are overall unhelpful; however, it is unsurprising that such terms are chosen, since the primary intention of such proponents is to mislead and vilify an entire half of the population.

We are clear, then, that any intelligent discussion requires specificity: to this end, the only way to interpret ‘toxic masculinity’ and ‘catastrophic sense of male entitlement’ is, respectively, ‘masculinity’ and ‘unjustified sense of entitlement to dignity males have’.

Immediately our eyes are open: the perpetrators are not those white men who shoot up schools in a pathological reaction, but ‘masculinity’ in general. Then, men should not be men, in order to prevent such atrocities. They should be emasculated. The male dignity should be debased in the broader interests of society. Here as well, we see a moral proposition hidden, which is that males should not be so entitled. Unfortunately, this presupposes a simple world, where success with simple ideological solutions is predetermined.

Our world runs according to clear physical laws which spit in the face of human ideals. Human behaviour may be governed by more attenuated rules, but these are no less subject to an immutable core (some may refer to biological tenets, although scientific discovery in this area is incomplete and uncertain). We may try to ameliorate the more depraved aspects of human nature, but these remain no less a part of human nature. The aggression which testosterone gifts to males has been put in the service of all societies, to great success. This ‘masculine’ aggression has, however also been the source of great atrocities. It defended the boundaries of the Western world in times of war, yet likely sowed the seeds of that war. Here, the effects of aggression cannot be specified, but it is indisputable that it is key to the ‘fight’ response. It readies the body for physical attack. It is clear that aggression, of which the greater part is gifted males, has played a possibly significant part in the great conflicts of history. The point is that compared with a human history replete with such death and destruction, the mere feminist fancy of demasculinising men in the pursuit of peace is delusional. The majority of men (barring the recent phenomenon of the hyper-emasculated male… See the article Death Squared by John B Calhoun for the potential consequences of uncontrolled growth of such males in the context of mice; the article is linked below) will probably never cede their masculinity because it is a powerful, integral source of their identity, even if it causes death and destruction, because death and destruction have been caused before, and have never proven enough.

There are two alternatives: the offensive radical-feminist notion of ‘killing all men’ (which is purely fanciful since, inter alia, (i) the fight response favours men, (ii) even contemporary Leftist agendas cannot accommodate such moral perversions) and the only tenable position that such aggression should be channelled to constructive endeavours. It is in this that modern liberal democracies have failed in. The relentless pursuit of ‘civility’ or ‘political correctness’ leaves no outlet for constructive endeavours, and pent up frustrations can manifest themselves only destructively. Women and men must both be taught how to deal with each other, but this must accommodate their differences; if masculinising influences are displaced by feminising influences, the only result will be more destruction.
The racist agenda that Whites are the only ones prone to violence is more easily dismissed, since there is no basis on which to draw this distinction. This same logic must apply to its absolute equal extent to Blacks or Asians. The fact is that most mass shooters have been White, but against this, one must take into account the overrepresentation of Whites in a predominantly Anglo-Saxon country. I refer to a Philadelphia Tribune article (http://www.phillytrib.com/news/majority-of-mass-shootings-carried-out-by-white-men/article_8b8b0145-c512-525a-8a7d-256bfb3a959f.html), which says quite agreeably that:
Experts said painting this issue as one of color is problematic because there are far more white men in the United States than any other race, hence the over-representation. However, equally problematic is identifying mass shooters as mentally ill, which both media and law enforcement do, while stigmatizing minority offenders as criminals.

I will add that mass shooters should be identified how they are, based on the findings of fact made by a court of law. If the finding is that such shooters are mentally ill, then they should be identified as such. The same applies in every case, without exception. The problem is that this proposal is fanciful given the highly politicised nature of the American media. Any utterance by a judge, no matter how reasonable, will likely be taken as an espousal of a political agenda, which might militate against the adoption of the judge’s particular characterisation. I nevertheless stand by this position because the judge and jury, as the trier of law and fact respectively, are in important institutional positions that allow them the opportunity to take an unbiased look at the facts of a particular case. This is premised on the fact that both act in good faith, although this is inherently unknowable. And so, political suspicion can never be stamped out.
The gun lobby agenda admits of many differing interpretations. In a previous article, I considered that Republicans would generally find the pros of gun control outweighed by the costs to freedom. To them, the right to own a gun is inalienable. We must draw a distinction here, for however much they talk about how ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people’, this argument is unconvincing. Pro-gun Republicans might further advocate the position that gun control would not prevent perpetrators from sourcing for them on the black market or otherwise, or from finding alternative means (knives, for example) of committing their crime. However, it is indisputable that gun control is a factor at the very least making it more difficult for would-be criminals to source for weapons. Even if I were willing to concede that enforcement would be too phlegmatic to admit of much efficacy, complete gun control laws (no guns at all, a fanciful notion, given America’s state) would at the very least make it more difficult to source for weapons. There is a deterrent factor as well, if possession of arms offences are passed into law, which would go some way to preventing the sourcing of weaponry. The second argument, that alternative means like knives or pistols (if gun control laws are only made stricter) is ludicrous. The point is that the heavier weaponry with the more powerful killing force is prohibited. Knives are clearly incomparable (the number of people a person could kill with a knife is much less than with an assault rifle) with firearms, and pistols cannot fire as many rounds per minute. The rationale still stands. There is a stronger argument if only AR-15s are prohibited, such that other guns with comparable firing rates could still be obtained legally. No matter, the point is then that of denunciation, where society signals its disapproval of certain conduct, like the hoarding of arms in general. Nevertheless, it would be absurd if the legislature overlooked this, and any gun control law has to take into account similar firearms. Nevertheless, the facts are incontrovertible. Stricter gun laws in Australia, and the absolute prohibition of guns in countries like Singapore work. The argument then furnished must be recognised for what it is: it is a moral one as well as a legal one, premised on the peculiar moral characteristics of the American people and their view of the Second Amendment. Such moral discussions do not admit of clear answers, and I will say no more.
Having discussed the school shootings, I will more briefly discuss #metoo and Germany’s no-go zones. The discussion with respect to the feminist agenda above applies to #metoo as well, with slight changes. Here, the point sought to be driven home is that all or most men are frequent perpetrators of sexual harassment; yet as with any movement, the ‘mob mentality’ takes root among those adherents with lesser discernment. The practical consequence is that men will be less likely to sexually harass women, which is a good thing. Yet extremes will be plumbed, as is the tendency of any such movement. In fact, a spate of sexual harassment allegations against other Hollywood stars has followed the allegations against Harvey Weinstein. This has spawned a witch-hunt, as men are vilified as a whole for the as-yet unproven crimes of a few. This is not justice; it is a corruption of the legal process. The influence has spread further then Hollywood and further even than the shores of America, to Singapore, where allegations have similarly been lodged against local Youtube celebrity Eden Ang. The extent to which this as gone will undoubtedly have a pernicious effect on society, if the case of Aziz Ansari is anything to go by. A fling of his alleged sexual assault even though, by any objective measure of conduct, their sexual relationship had been consensual. Suffice to say, the consequence of this was to ruin a man’s promising career.
Finally, Merkel’s recognition of no go zones shows the extent to which political correctness can corrupt a society. Opened to throngs of refugees from embattled areas like Syria and Somalia among others, Germany has become a haven for immigrants, a chance to start anew. What boggles the imagination is the foolish idea that such immigrants will somehow universally contribute to the betterment of society. This presupposes some sort of shared ethos, some sort of assimilation. Yet it is far from reasonable that any sort of assimilation could occur when refugees are admitted in such numbers, to establish sheltered enclaves run by different laws, by the immigrant’s laws, in German cities. In any case, it would be absurd that a person forced out of his or her home and having experienced famine and war would be so malleable as to take the values of the host country. Far more likely that they would keep practices they are familiar with, practices at odds with indigenous German values. Yet political correctness has become so entrenched that even policemen fear to arrest immigrants for fear of being labelled bigots. All this while “[v]iolent attacks against German police have reached epidemic proportions”. (https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11459/germany-migrants-attack-police) The lesson is clear: ideals must ultimately yield to reality.
I have considered three specific socio-political manifestations. The influence, however, is not confined to America or to Germany, but is rather common to most liberal modern democracies. It is clear also that these are in some way consequences of political correctness, whether directly (aggravation of #metoo and Germany’s no go zones) or a reaction to its effects (school shootings). Whether this can be in any way ameliorated bears closer study and will be discussed at another time.


Frederick Yorck


References



Gun Lobby: (too many to count, but consider) https://www.csgv.org/





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