|DR. DREIMER'S DRIVEL||LIMERICK LANE||WEEKLY QUOTATION||BANNER||FEEDBACK/NEWS||MUSIC DESCRIPTION/DOWNLOAD||WORDS/USAGE PET PEEVES|
Back to Observations
CULTURE AND POLITICAL CORRECTNESS
1984. All civilizations decline -- we suspect that it is because the populace eventually ceases to believe in the raison d'être, the defining myth -- the zeitgeist -- which fuelled the rise. Once the cultural glue of confidence is compromised, the society becomes vulnerable to those more assured. It would appear that western civilization has reached this point. The beliefs in excellence, competition, freedom, self-reliance -- even the concept of nationhood itself --are crumbling in the dedication to equality, security, and the preservation of feelings. It is thought that the culture can be cancelled, and built back better on the basis of equality, diversity, and inclusion. It is an experiment which overlooks the fundamentally competitive nature of the reality of which we are irrevocably a part.
1983. Wishful thinking is a short term comfort, a longer term disaster.
1982. We live in an era of extraordinary delusion -- apparently convinced that fine intentions and the signalling of egalitarian virtue will overcome the competitive nature of reality.
1981. The evolutionary imperative is that some will succeed, and others fail. The civilized imperative is that equality should reign: individuals -- and the groups to which they belong -- are equal; one idea about the conduct of society is just as good as the next -- even if they should be contradictory; failure must be extinguished -- no one should be left behind -- and success made universal. Now you understand why lying is an essential component of the human condition.
1980. We have attempted -- in the interest of shortening the path to Nirvana -- to elucidate certain laws of Cultural Economy. Such laws will continue to be ignored, and the persistence of cultural conflict -- often mischaracterized as racism -- will be piteously lamented. The overriding preferred narrative is that all cultures are equal and wondrously compatible. The truth will always be ignored if it challenges a cherished illusion.
1979. Dominant or successful cultures never complain about cultural appropriation. Success engenders confidence -- identity loss is not seen as an imminent threat.
1978. Many cultural traditions have benefits which are primarily psychological -- their appeal is subjective rather than universal. They assure a "special place,"-- they support the idea of exclusivity. The indignant accusation of "cultural appropriation" indicates the category. If that which is appropriated were of real and universal benefit, there would be confirmative rejoicing rather than cries of moral outrage.
1977. A cultural tradition that can be linked, objectively, to more freedom, opportunity, and happiness is worth defending.
1976. Some cultural differences are superficial, others profound. The ideal of "multiculturalism" always assumes superficiality; the reality of profound differences shows the folly of multicultural posturing and the mindless signalling of virtue. Antithetical values lead to conflict. Diversity is not intrinsically virtuous.
1975. The determination to be a cultural minority carries with it the logical consequence: You will not be in the majority -- as trivial or as consequential as that may be.
1974. We are tribal creatures, and are usually most comfortable adhering to our cultural traditions, even within a larger, different cultural context.
1973. The failure to understand the importance of our innate tribalism -- and the difficulties posed by cultural differences -- may be the result of a naive idealism. Many like to believe that "we are all the same underneath." That may be true at some primitive level --but it ignores the fact that cultures can value quite different things. If your idea of utopia is to live a primitive subsistence lifestyle in a remote uneconomic location -- supported by the government -- you will be at odds with those who believe that to get the benefits of industrial society, you have to work in the economic machinery that supports it. If you believe that religion is the foundation of government, and individual freedom should defer to an ancient dogma, you will be uncomfortable in a society which is secular, and values freedom of speech. Much of what is conveniently called "racism" is -- inconveniently -- the result of cultural differences.
1972. The mantra "Black lives matter" may be immediately appealing to those oppressed by true racism -- prejudice against people based on their skin colour. But it only reinforces the destructive logic -- that skin colour matters. If skin colour really does matter -- then we are lost -- since it is neither chosen nor alterable. Martin Luther King was more perceptive -- people should be judged on their character, not their skin colour. When people insist on the importance of colour, rather than on culture and character -- they perpetuate an unbridgeable divide.
1971. "White supremacy" may seem an easy shorthand for describing the values of western democracies -- but the effect is destructive -- since the implication is that skin colour and culture have a causal relationship. But overlap is not causality, and to argue otherwise is to ensure the perpetuation of racial conflict. Western cultural values have enabled high standards of living, extended life-spans, opportunities for self-fulfilment, and significant freedom for citizens. They have not created utopia -- but to pretend that social failings are the result of skin colour is to justify similar criticisms of all people based on their appearance -- rather than their ideas.
1969. Free speech is increasingly subject to taboo. A taboo is a device used to achieve by threat a respect which cannot be freely granted -- that naturally accorded to virtue, truth, or accomplishment. The taboo against "Islamophobia" is a signal example -- but others -- like references to the physical aspects of gender -- abound. Our times will be known as the Age of Euphemania.
1968. Freedom of speech implies a certain acceptance of reality: people have different opinions -- the best ideas are derived from a competitive exchange -- and some will feel the elation of success, others the ignominy of defeat. The new religion -- political correctness -- finds virtue in uniformity of opinion, in the absence of conflict, and in an equality of self-esteem. The two are antithetical. It is a measure of our times that freedom of speech is increasingly restricted in favour of false harmony, deceptive blandness, and the cocooning comfort of mediocrity.
1967. Buzzwords such as "diversity," inclusivity," and "equality" soothe the ear but cloud the mind. "Diversity" must reject the fact that some ideas work better than others; "inclusivity" cannot reward competence; "equality" must eschew the triumph of excellence. The modern choice -- virtue signalling over virtue creation -- façade over function -- is both restrictive and destructive.
1966. Equality cannot survive in a world of freedom or of choice. Freedom implies choice -- and any choice makes a powerful anti-egalitarian statement: some things are better than others.
1965. Equality is logically inconsistent with change -- for any change in a theoretical state of equality would destroy it. Equality needs stasis -- it denies the very pulse of life.
1964. In western societies, Islam appears to be regarded as a hot potato -- to be dropped on contact -- or a burgeoning mushroom -- something best kept sheltered, in dim conditions of murk and shade. There are some places that the light of reason may be found upsetting and inconvenient.
1963. It is interesting that societies which formerly appeared to favour freedom of speech, have now, apparently, seen the error of their ways. Certain topics, like Islam, multiculturalism, equality, diversity, or inclusiveness are considered sacrosanct. The notion of taboo would seem to be a persistent artifact in functioning of human culture.
1962. "Islamophobia" -- like "racism" -- is not a term which invites analysis. The message is not logical, but emotional -- a symbol of taboo: "This is not something we wish to discuss: shut up."
1958. The justice of function -- the law of the jungle -- rewards speed, strength, determination and cunning. The justice of being -- valuing only compassion -- rewards all equally, regardless of merit. "Social justice" lies between these extremes -- but nailing jelly to a wall will precede it in the list of human achievements
1956. Those who are "woke" will soon discover they are not "woke" enough. Impossible standards have no limit to their theoretical requirements of orthodoxy. This phenomenon may be referred to as the inexorable law of unattainable ideals.
1955. Those who say they want equality -- particularly equality of result for a group in which they claim membership -- are lying. They are using the word "equality" because of its implication of justice -- its connotation of unimpeachable morality. What they really want is improvement, along with the special status they feel their group deserves; they will not be dissatisfied with superiority -- or a pleasing element of revenge.
1954. The society which values function will triumph over the one that ignores function in favour of feelings. Western societies, believing that happiness is derived from equality rather than success, seem determinedly suicidal.
1951. Many yearn for an "equality" of different groups. Certainly the removal of barriers to achievement for all individuals should be a priority. But equality of achievement will not occur with the waving of wishful egalitarian wands. Individuals, and the groups of which they are a part, will prosper or fail according to their merits, and the unavoidable vagaries of circumstance.
1950. Tribal thinking -- call it co-operative assent if you prefer -- when it accords with reality -- is our greatest strength. When it embraces fantasy -- as is too often the case -- it is a debilitating weakness.
1949. Looking up the definition of a word in several dictionaries -- strategic diversity -- suggests purpose and has the potential for greater understanding; trying to find the meaning of a word by consulting volumes chosen at random -- diversity for its own sake -- has only one definition: stupidity.
1946. We live in an era where criticism of culture is dismissed as racism, and unpleasant facts about beliefs and customs are excoriated as hate. Thus truths are suppressed in the cause of harmony. But shutting people up will not change their opinions. If ideas cannot compete in the marketplace of public opinion -- how can good triumph over evil?
1945. Political correctness does not merely accept and encourage falsehood -- dishonesty is its core operating principle.
1944. Political correctness assumes that harmony can be achieved through dishonesty.
1943. The desire for equality -- sometimes appearing as a desire to protect the vulnerable -- can lead to the tyranny of the minority. Each case must be considered on its merits: it may be reasonable to ban peanut butter in an enclosed school lunch room -- but not to cut down all city oak trees because of one child's allergic response to acorns. History will judge the current response to COVID - 19.
1942. Placing feelings above facts paves the way for tyranny: the rationale for any position becomes based on emotion -- which is individual, varied, unpredictable -- and -- by definition -- not subject to evidentiary dispute. Anyone who is aggrieved, angry-- or even homicidal -- may claim an automatic privilege of virtue.
1941. The transgender lobby requires us to value feelings over facts -- to deny the observable and defining link between gender and reproductive function. But misfortune should not justify tyrannical impulse, spineless compliance, or compassionate dishonesty. If that were the case, we would abandon speech to please the deaf, and give up vision to placate the blind.
1940. We live in an era of great expectations -- untempered by any sense of the limitations of our evolutionary template -- the obduracy of the nature of human nature.
1938. Those who define themselves, in part, on the basis of their culture, are simply recognizing the reality of a social construct. They should recognize, however, that criticism of culture can be foolish, justified, or irrelevant -- but the accusation of "racism" is an improper defence.
1937. Those who define themselves by skin colour or race are unwise: they invite others to do the same -- and legitimize the principle. Defining people on the basis of unalterable characteristics is the folly of racism. In theory, criticizing people for something they can't change is stupid. In practice, the word "racism" becomes an unanswerable defensive accusation -- one which precludes legitimate criticism of culture, and ensures the persistence, rather than the amelioration, of cultural differences.
1936. Those who prattle on about equity, diversity, and inclusion believe they are offering solutions. In fact, they are symptoms of a problem -- the refusal to acknowledge the necessity of competition, and to recognize the legitimate claims of merit and competence.
1935. Co-operation is not an end in itself -- it is a strategic device in the competitive tool-box.
1931. The claim of victims for compensation will always be viewed in the light of the degree to which they are considered responsible for their own misfortune.
1930. The pretence of multiculturalism is that all cultural values are compatible. This assumption is a deliberate signalling of virtue: it puts egalitarian delusions ahead of obdurate facts -- and ensures social conflict. Look at Europe.
1929. We are all tribal. Tribal antagonism based on race or skin colour ensures that no tensions can be resolved -- since no change in either is possible. Tribal conflict based on culture has the potential for resolution -- but no one should think that incompatible values can be wished away: when values are antithetical, there can be no peace without a victory. When race and culture overlap -- keeping the necessary distinctions is difficult. Most have not even taken the first step of recognizing the difference.
1928. Groups who seek redress on the basis of "justice of being" may find that proclamations of equality are cheap -- and that in a crunch -- considerable emphasis is placed on conformity and competence.
1927. The justice of function values competition -- it is the law of the jungle. The justice of being pretends to equality -- a state wherein all are rewarded regardless of merit. Civilized justice requires some middle path -- but there is no diagram on file.
1926. Those who seek social justice should be aware of the two extremes -- the justice of function -- which rewards speed, strength, determination, and cunning -- and the justice of being -- which rewards without distinction or reservation. The justice of being is also known as mercy.
1925. Affirmative action policies show disdain for the principle of equality of opportunity -- which allows merit to triumph -- in favour of equality of result -- which assumes that competence is irrelevant.
1909. Racism is a bad thing -- except when sponsored by government. Then it becomes the white rose of virtue.
1908. The currently fashionable signalling of virtue: The past can be re-written, and a new crystal palace can be built. Human beings can be transformed into the apparently perfect but lifeless figures of an egalitarian crystal menagerie.
1907. A twist on Voltaire: Those who believe absurdities have no bar to the commission of atrocities.
1905. Just as individuals balance self-interest and tribal loyalty, so societies must adjudicate the tension between individual desires and the common good.
1903. The Crystal Palace Paradox: The societal crystal palace requires a sacrifice of freedom -- a degree of conformity -- which renders it uninhabitable by actual human beings. The oppressions required in its construction herald and guarantee failure. The paradox applies to socialism, the multicultural paradise, world government, and the great reset.
1902. Schemes for utopian societies -- crystal palaces -- will always founder on the fact that human beings will cherish an amount of freedom which exceeds the degree of conformity required.
1901. "Nobody left behind" expresses the pious hope of inclusion. But if no one is left behind, there can be no one forging ahead. Every race will end with an equality of mediocrity.
1900. Mindless virtue-signalling is widely admired; realistic assessments -- lacking the required elements of optimism and fantasy -- are widely ignored.
1898. Tolerance is subject to excess -- an excess which leads to the failure to distinguish between good and evil. (See #1813 -- "Tolernuts")
1896. Diversity is not an end in itself -- it is a strategy to enhance the odds of survival -- the survival of the fittest. Diversity which leads to irreconcilable division -- paralysis -- is not helpful.
1895. Every impulse toward perfection should be tempered by an awareness of the law of diminishing -- and potentially negative -- returns.
1894. Revolutions, once begun, are stopped not by reason, but by necessity.
1893. Pretense is the foundation stone of political correctness; deception is in its breath; dishonesty is at its core.
1892. In the end, the world values competence over victimhood. Only in a perverse alternative universe would all creatures seek failure and death over survival and success.
1891. The politically correct revel in the size and sear of their bonfires; they care little whether the anguished screams come from witches or truth-tellers falsely accused.
1889. Multiculturalism and socialism are both examples of radical innovations which cannot survive the environmental test of tribal realities. They require a complete re-engineering of human nature.
1888. To understand human societies we need no lessons beyond those which evolution provides. Change is the essence of life, and change is a competitive process -- equality is unknown because it requires stasis. Evolution achieves radical change with incremental steps which are the result of the interplay between innovation and conformity. A mutation is tested against the conformity demanded by the environment. Those which pass the test may be adopted if they are competitively advantageous; the rest fail. As the environment changes, so does the viability of any particular innovation. So it is in societies. All tribes are essentially conformist -- for too much diversity would be chaotic and destructive. Against this conformity progress is made -- not by achieving equality -- but through small changes -- ideas which arise and are tested for survival in the social climate. Once again --as the tribal environment changes, so ideas -- once impossible -- may become embedded in a new conformity.
1887. Human society invariably contains notions in constant opposition, dichotomies not ultimately amenable to resolution. The first notion is the desire for a co-operative egalitarian harmony; the second notion recognizes an obdurate truth: the essence of life is competitive change -- the pursuit of unequal outcomes -- and some things, ideas, and people will always be considered better than others. Nor will there ever be unanimity in such judgments.
1884. The human condition is sufficiently imperfect that calls for revolution will always get a sympathetic hearing. Those who favour evolution may be disdained for their caution -- but evolution has an impressive track record.
1881. The left is much given to sound-good mantras – the signalling of virtue. It obviates the need for thinking about where real virtue lies -- for dealing with the complications of the real world.
1879. Harmony purchased at the expense of truth and freedom is like the smile on the Devil's face.
1876. Beware of those who promise equality: the attempt to provide what cannot exist guarantees hardship and misery.
1875. Socialism promises equality, delivers slavery.
1874. What appears to be a racial antagonism will be found to have a cultural root.
1873. Race does not matter; culture does.
1872. Those who seek to destroy the past are attempting to alter reality, they pretend that the present is rootless, exempt from causality. But the past is a guide to both the potential -- and the limitations -- of human nature. A future conceived on the basis of wishful thinking is doomed: if you do not understand the cause of a problem, your solution will compound rather than cure.
1867. Evolution proceeds by combining innovation with conformity. Something new is introduced -- but it must conform to the requirements for survival in a particular environment. So too, must societies progress. Innovation is needed -- but it cannot be so radical that it is unable to survive in the existing context. The term "revolution" suggests its fatal flaw: a radical change -- unsupported by existing social norms -- cannot succeed.
1864. The primary goal of signalling virtue is to enhance reputation -- not to achieve virtue.
1863. The egalitarian/globalist dream is of universal cultural compatibility. The truth is that the caste system is not compatible with judging people on their merits; laws against blasphemy are not compatible with freedom of speech; and a belief in the supremacy of religion is not compatible with the democratic notion of the importance of the will of the people.
1862. No one talks about the equality of the apple and the peach -- they are valued for different characteristics. How lucky they are not to be Mr. Apple and Ms. Peach.
1859. People are -- naturally -- reluctant to accept that you cannot have all goods in equal measure at the same time. If you want more equality -- you will have less liberty; if feelings are to be protected, you will have to ignore facts; if inclusivity is most important, you will have to abandon standards. Those who insist that square pegs are compatible with round holes are called idealists by fools and fools by realists.
1858. Political correctness -- which puts feelings ahead of facts -- ensures that the factual basis of real problems can never be discussed: problem solving defers to the rhetorical signalling of virtue. The assumption of equality -- the foundational stone of political correctness -- means that inequalities of outcome are invariably seen as the result of insufficiencies of accommodation rather than inadequacies of input.
1853. Political correctness always involves a distortion of reality -- it is a deliberate attempt to put lipstick on the snout of a truth which might offend someone. Because of its focus on feelings -- sentiments -- rather than facts -- it may be seen as a "sentimentalization" of reality. Political correctness goes beyond occasional tact and discretion -- it involves a consistent -- and ultimately dangerous -- dishonesty.
1845. The desire to appear broadminded is vulnerable to the "tolerance trap." The more generously broadminded you wish to appear, the more outlandish, absurd -- and even immoral -- are the people and ideologies of which you must approve.
1844. In an age devoted to the signalling of virtue -- rather than determining where virtue actually lies -- it is wise -- in making public statements -- not to allow one's judgment to be clouded by facts.
1843. Political correctness is a perfidious virus -- a pathogen of the intellect which manifests as a pandemic of pathetic stupidity.
1833. An acceptance of reality can be remarkably freeing. Once you can say that equality is not in the blueprint of nature, and that political correctness is a dangerous sentimentalization of reality, you can come -- with great relief -- to conclusions formerly forbidden -- considered unkind, anti-social, immoral, and disruptive.
1832. Multiculturalism -- based on the idea that all cultures are equally worthy and inherently compatible -- is not realistic. A policy of accepting immigrants from different cultures is viable -- as long as there is an understanding that cultural values can be antithetical, and necessary accommodations must be made by immigrants -- not by the inhabitants of the country of destination.
1828. "Diversity" and "inclusivity" are buzzwords rooted in the notion of equality. Diversity -- often held up as a desirable goal -- assumes diverse elements are equally worthy; inclusivity -- similarly -- assumes that everybody included is equally competent. In fact, diversity can lead to dangerous divisions -- and inclusivity suggests that standards and merit are irrelevant. Who wants to drive over a bridge constructed by an "inclusive" group of builders who have no knowledge of engineering principles -- and who have widely "diverse" -- opinions about its load-bearing capacity?
1826. During the Obama presidency, it was thought students should be held to account differently -- according to their backgrounds; thus, it would appear that there was no link between troublemakers and culture. It is extraordinary how stupid people become when they decide to ignore reality, and subscribe to a "preferred narrative."
1821. Greta Thunberg is a powerful symbol within our age. She illustrates the evil of those who have fed her a pack of lies to advance a political agenda. She herself reveals the perils of youthful inexperience -- gullibility and a blindness to nuance -- an idealism combined with ignorance -- which permits the odious expression of self-righteous, messianic certainty. In a rational world, no self-respecting adult would listen to her for thirty seconds. That so many respond with uncritical fawning reveals the dangers of our instinctive tribalism -- in which the capacity for independent thought is sacrificed for the comfort -- apparently -- of bleating with the herd. Such abject surrender of common sense -- in an age which pretends to scientific sophistication -- does not augur well for the future of the human project.
1820. The difference between a genuine virtue and a false one may be a matter of degree: most virtues, carried to excess, become oppressive, harmful, and counter-productive. As Alexander Pope observed in the 18th century: the difference is too nice / Where ends the virtue or begins the vice.
1819. The worship of false virtues paves the way for evil. False virtues include the extremes of "diversity," "inclusivity," "multiculturalism," "equality," and "tolerance."
1818. It is currently fashionable to suppress the truth in favour of harmony. But such bargains usually end with the Devil unscathed, and everything else in flames.
1815. Tolernaziism: The condemnatory stance and oppressive measures taken by those who believe that the equality of things justifies undiscriminating tolerance -- or tolernuts. It is the moral failure implicit in the refusal to make moral distinctions and value judgments. (An example of condemnatory stance would be Trudeau's outrage that honour killings should be termed "barbaric." An example of an oppressive measure would be the Austrian law which criminalizes the "disparagement of religious precepts" -- since some religious precepts are clearly cruel and harmful.)
1814. "Tolernazi:" One who embraces, exhibits, or exemplifies tolernuts.
1813. "Tolernuts:" A tolerance to excess which assumes the equality of all things, and therefore refuses to make moral distinctions or value judgments. It results, paradoxically, in intolerance of any attempt to discriminate on moral grounds, or to claim that some things are better than others, and thus may be said to enable evil, and champion absurdity.
1811. Speech is free -- until it contradicts a particularly cherished illusion.
1810. By placing the protection of feelings over the criticism of evil, political correctness has distorted the moral compass; it pretends to virtue but, enables vice.
1809. The great moral failure of the age is reflected in the determination to see the world not as it is -- but as it "should" be -- or as it suits a preferred narrative.
1808. Art and agenda are an uneasy mix. The murder mystery -- the crime drama -- may be fiction -- but are most satisfying when they respect the realities of human motivation and emotion. Political correctness represents the determined attempt to lie about the human condition --and a politically correct character -- designed to represent a distortion of humanity -- will never be convincing.
1802. Islam -- like everything else -- should be judged not on its claims of virtue -- but on its achieved results. Relatively few seem anxious to escape secular democracies in order to experience the delights of Islamic theocracies.
1807. Political correctness sets its path without regard to any moral compass: it will deliberately ignore evil in order to protect feelings.
1806. The great sin of political correctness is that it refuses to recognize evil -- and thus allows it to flourish
1805. Political correctness must bear the shame of the evils it dares not address.
1798. The most dangerous intellectual malady in the world today is Multiple Cake Syndrome -- the belief that you can have your cake and eat it too -- that irreconcilable opposites are comfortably compatible. You cannot have any of the following: competitions in which everybody wins; honesty and unhurt feelings; truth and political correctness; success measured by degrees of victimhood; absolute mercy and perfect justice; open borders and national sovereignty; multiculturalism and national unity; unlimited diversity and social cohesion; inclusivity and standards of competence; freedom of speech and laws against blasphemy; a secular society which defers to religious superstitions. Finally-- you cannot achieve the most cherished and delectable of confusions -- you cannot recognize the simple fact of the real world -- that some things are better than others -- and yet proclaim that all individuals, groups, cultures, and religions are equal.
1795. Those who claim not to be "Islamophobes" should be asked two defining questions: Would you be willing to burn a Koran in a public street in Pakistan? Why not?
1794. Truth is often sacrificed at the altar of Harmony. The great danger is that Harmony remains disdainful and elusive -- and the Truth, re-discovered, brought back to life, takes a terrible revenge.
1793. Political correctness represents the fairy godmother approach to reality; as such its principles and practices should be the exclusive preserve of card-carrying members of the Fairy Godmothers' Kool-Aid Collective.
1792. Political correctness is a distillation of sentimentality -- it refuses to recognize the boundary between the pleasantly desirable and the actually attainable -- between fantasy and fact.
1791. Political correctness -- which places feelings before facts -- is an attempt to sentimentalize human experience.
1789. Those claiming victim status may merit our sympathy -- but there is danger in undue compensation. Victimhood should not become a strategy for success -- but a circumstance to be remedied by accomplishment.
1788. No society will improve if governments -- and citizens -- persist in claiming that there is no hierarchy in cultural worthiness.
1787. The natural world is cruel and competitive; the ideal world merciful and egalitarian. The civilized world is a utilitarian compromise. The key word is "utilitarian:" civilization cannot survive either extreme: the imperative of competition, or the fantasy of equality.
1784. Those obsessed with diversity seem remarkably uniform in their opinion that it is an end in itself. They forget that diversity is a means -- it provides a wide pool of possibilities from which strength may be derived -- by selection of the most useful, viable alternatives. Diversity for its own sake suggests infinite division -- a descent into chaos.
1783. How long can the adaptive imperative be ignored: to what extent -- and for how long -- should a "subsistence" culture be freely subsidized with the amenities common in industrial societies? When is kindness a cruelty in disguise?
1782. The Indian reserve reflects the egalitarian socialist/communist model. No one owns property -- and so no one has an incentive to maintain what is the responsibility of "the state" to fix. Similarly, only handouts -- not work -- are essential for survival. What the model overlooks is the very essence of life -- the timeless struggle for improvement -- the achievement of unequal outcomes. A successful overcoming of obstacles instils confidence and develops skills -- but "equality" means stasis -- and dependency erodes the soul. It is little wonder that remote reserves -- lacking economically viability -- bereft of challenge and purpose -- sink into a miasma of suicide and despair.
1781. By holding that feelings are more important than facts, political correctness suggests a radical distortion of the moral compass. The conclusion: "I am angry; therefore I am right," sounds perfectly reasonable.
1779. Liberals are always admired for their noble intentions; their disastrous results are always excused on the grounds of unusual circumstance and exceptional bad luck. Conservatives, on the other hand -- who are only elected in times of desperation and despair -- are roundly condemned for their uninspiring realism, and are considered exceptionally fortunate when they avoid the chaos that their policies clearly portend.
1778. We live in a world of sows' ears, and should strive to make serviceable wallets. The silk purse is the song of Sirens -- it promises delight, but delivers destruction.
1777. The bad news is that neither mankind nor society is perfectible. The good news is that improvements are possible. The moral is that we should focus on the useful, rather than strive for the impossible -- which invariably makes things worse.
1774. The Canadian diet -- long on fantasy, short on reality -- has had the expected result: Cultural Derangement Syndrome. We are now more than half in love with the easeful death of cultural and economic suicide.
1770. "Diversity" is strength only when there is a uniform conception of truth and justice, and a common devotion to pursuing them. Otherwise, it is debilitating, divisive, and destructive. Diversity, unbridled and untethered, is a steed called chaos.
1767. Political correctness represents the three monkey approach to reality: assuming that everything and everyone is equally worthy -- it refuses to see, hear, or speak of the "evil" of hierarchy. Reality, when ignored, can be surprisingly vindictive.
1763. The temper of the times: good intentions and virtue signalling are more important than realism and results.
1762. The reduction of inequality has, arguably, led to less division and violence in society; the pursuit of equality illustrates the operation of law of diminishing returns.
1758. People would rather run with the herd -- even if it is wrong -- than risk getting trampled by championing the truth.
1754. Civilization represents the successful exchange of some individual liberty for the advantages of tribal security and tribal co-operation. Socialism is a trap which overlooks the law of diminishing returns: at a certain point the sacrifice of liberty is destructive, and "civilization" is indistinguishable from slavery.
1748. Sweden is the canary in the multicultural coal mine.
1747. Immigration policies based on multicultural ideals -- the assumptions that tolerance represents the greatest good -- that all cultural ideas are of equal worth -- and that integrative pressure is an unseemly insult -- put the appearance of virtue over the real thing. Reality is unforgiving: honour killings and the death penalty for blasphemy are not the moral equivalents of gender equality and freedom of speech; no one should be surprised when the virtue of "multiculturalism" has unintended consequences: cultural erosion, division, and ultimately, violence. Sweden is the canary in the multicultural coal mine.
1743. "Diversity" is simply "'equality" wearing pants of a different colour. Each rejects merit, competence, and suitability -- all of which suggest the anathema of hierarchy -- and each defers to the universal, undiscriminating welcome of "inclusivity."
1741. There is a powerful undercurrent of Puritanism in western culture. As religion has declined, moral disapproval is increasingly signalled through political correctness and environmental fanaticism.
1740. Without the "preferred narrative" -- the steady diet of lies -- liberals would be forced from the asylum and have to deal with reality -- just like everybody else.
1737. By holding that the greatest harm lies in the hurting of feelings, political correctness radically distorts the moral compass -- it precludes the recognition of evils far more profound. There is no better example than that of Mr. Trudeau, who expressed outrage that honour killings should be termed "barbaric" -- because it might make immigrants feel "defensive." The only immigrants who would be offended, of course, would be those who consider honour killings to be routine and acceptable. Thus, in his moral dystopia, Mr. Trudeau -- rather than upset the advocates and enablers -- would silence criticism of evil, and allow it to triumph.
1736. As John Stuart Mill noted, "Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing. " By making feelings sacrosanct, political correctness inhibits the criticism of evil, and allows it to flourish.
1735. Political correctness is all three monkeys, rolled into one: it refuses to see, hear or speak of evil. By refusing to recognize evil, it is powerless to advance the cause of good.
1734. People who oppose the hanging of gays, the death penalty for blasphemy, honour killings, and the assumption of gender inequality as a foundational cultural precept, are often, nonetheless, enthusiastic proponents of "cultural diversity." If they are politicians -- with the least hint of encouragement -- they are likely to proclaim such diversity as a source of strength. It would appear that political correctness and the compulsion to signal virtue are effective agents in turning the human brain into mush.
1718. Homo Sapiens is one of the most successful results of eons of competitive evolutionary struggle. It is interesting how unpopular success has now become, and how often failure is celebrated as a kind of moral triumph. Perhaps this represents, merely, a longing for our roots -- the untroubled egalitarian days of single-celled bliss.
1717. When the world is an asylum, you have to become mad in order to give the appearance of sanity.
1715. There is no moral compass which allows for the sacrifice of equality of opportunity to achieve the equality of result. (This is the immoral remedy of affirmative action schemes.)
1707. Utopias are imaginary places defined by happy co-operation and untroubled consensus; real human beings tend to be competitive and fractious. The clay foot of every Utopian project is coercion.
1706. The man with no legs will not win the footrace. Jungle justice declares his failure to be final and complete; compassionate justice, obsessed with equality of outcome, says his reward should be no less than that of the most proficient runner. Civilized justice must find a middle ground between cruelty and stupidity.
1704. There can hardly be a more certain way of ensuring resentment against Muslims than by establishing penalties for criticizing their uncompromising and often hostile religion.
1699. "Virtue" is as "virtue" does. Fine sentiments and noble intentions may be pleasing to the ear -- but real virtue is determined by practical results. What works is better than what sounds good.
1690. When it comes to racism, every rake and shovel in the garden shed becomes a broomstick.
1685. You cannot serve two masters: if your devotion is firmly to truth, then feelings will bleed from its blade; if your God is the protection of feelings, then the truth must go beg in the streets.
1677. Political correctness -- the flatulence of feelings, the stench of rotting minds.
1676. The ideology of Islam -- as evidenced by countries such as Iran and Pakistan -- is not compatible with western democratic values. Immigration policy must attempt to separate the harmlessly misguided, who can adapt, from the dangerously committed, who will not. The current notion -- that such distinctions are irrelevant -- will have unfortunate consequences.
1675. Propaganda can be seductive, but Islam --"the religion of peace" -- is as Islam does. How many Islamic countries exist where dogma does not oppress -- where there is no stranglehold on freedoms taken for granted in the West?
1673. Sometimes hard choices must be made. Equality or merit? Compassion or justice? Political correctness or freedom? What sounds good or what works?
1672. The harmony purchased with lies is always nervous.
1671. It's fascinating to watch the good intentions of political correctness lead to the hell of timidity, stupidity, and oppression.
1669. Political correctness values equality, and thus assures mediocrity.
1668. Every society should consider, carefully, the claims of excellence and the entreaties of equality. The choice is between meritocracy and mediocrity.
1667. Political correctness and the truth inhabit galaxies so far apart that no ray of light has yet completed the journey between them.
1666. The great challenge of the modern age is to square the circle: to admit that some ideas are better than others, while pretending that all ideas -- and the people holding them -- are absolutely equal.
1664. Virtue-signalling is the modern epidemic – and once you become convinced that you are on the side of the angels, any pact with the totalitarian devil can be justified. The truth of things – where virtue actually lies – such matters are irrelevant.
1663. Political correctness assumes that foundational truths are unnecessary: a stable social edifice can be built on the shifting sands of expedient dishonesty.
1662. Political correctness assumes the bridge to harmony can be constructed with a multiplicity of convenient lies.
1651. We are tribal animals; thinking with the herd is part of our genetic legacy.
1643. The success of any society is determined by its geography -- the location -- and landscape of the mind: the ethos. The modern folly is to pretend that only location is important, and that all cultures are equal.
1640. The egalitarian society is a utopian dream. There will always be elites of wealth, power, influence, talent, creativity, sophistication, and intellectual accomplishment. The goal should be that the barriers to success in any sphere be minimized.
1639. Man was not made for the planned egalitarian ease promised by socialism, but for the freedom and struggle inherent in capitalism. The cruel necessity of competitive struggle can be mitigated, but not abolished. That is why socialism invariably tends towards dictatorship, and why remote, communal, government-funded Indian reserves are cultural disasters.
1635. The western world is engaged in a determined revision of the hierarchy of evils: intolerance is the greatest sin; guilt in any matter must be determined, not on the basis of principle, but according to a scale of relative inequality. Thus -- any evil committed in accordance with cultural tradition is justified -- and any crime is ameliorated according to the victim-group status of the perpetrator.
1633. Political correctness is a deceptive confectioner: with syrupy slatherings of feel-goodery, it presumes to hide the difference between dung and delicious.
1628. "Racism" is a sin quite oddly defined: the crime is not prejudicial generalization per se -- a positive attitude towards one group may be quite admirable -- just as may a negative generalization about another -- and "race" is sometimes irrelevant: cultural difference is the real topic. The victim status of the group described is the sole determinant of the use of the term "racism."
1627. "Hate crimes" tend to be uni-directional: a whisper of legitimate criticism in some directions is considered a crime; in another direction, slanderous exaggerations and contrived falsehoods are seen as unremarkable and entirely excusable.
1626. Victims are always one lap ahead in the race to sainthood.
1624. Political correctness requires people to ignore what they know to be true, and profess "acceptable" lies. It represents the real-life attempt to establish "thoughtcrimes."
1622. Socialism and political correctness are both based on ideal, egalitarian visions of reality; they are both oppressive in the real world.
1615. Political correctness is the determination to see only la vie en rose; wherever reality is deemed unpleasant, it is exchanged for fantasy.
1612. Any hint of hierarchy is anathema to the egalitarian impulse; for this reason, failure becomes the mark of a compensating virtue, and success the certain proof of moral turpitude.
1611. The latest folly is to dismiss anything created by a dead white male -- citing the irrefutable crimes of deadness, whiteness, and maleness. Truth, accuracy or historical importance are irrelevant; in the new enlightenment, the group identity of the source is the proper determinant of legitimacy.
1607. Those in favour of non-discriminatory immigration should be required to marry randomly selected wives.
1601. Mass murderers like Brenton Tarrant are responsible for two evils. The most obvious is the insanity of killing people -- apparently -- for their membership in a group. The less obvious is the inevitable linking of such horror with criticism of Islam, and inhibiting its legitimate expression. Facts remain, unchanged: Iran and Saudi Arabia are oppressive Islamic theocracies; Pakistan has the death penalty for blasphemy. Sharia law is incompatible with democracy; murderous riots over mocking cartoons and horrendous evils committed in the attempt to establish a Caliphate cannot be erased with wishful thinking. Benign interpretations of the religion do not -- and should not -- preclude the recognition of the evils of actual, literal observances.
1600. Those who seek a world of love and peace should remember that neither concept can exist in the absence of hate and war.
1599. Virtue owes less to name than circumstance. There is the secrecy of the conspirator -- but also that of the ballot box -- the mask of the thief -- and that of the truth-teller. Similarly, tolerance and diversity encompass the admirable, the condemnable, and the merely stupid.
1595. The more comforting the illusion, the more vigorous must be the defence; the greater the assumption of virtue, the greater is the oppression righteously justified. We live in an age devoted to "virtuous" illusions.
1594. Socialism is the crystal palace which nobody knows how to build. Much of the difficulty lies in the fashioning of the required crystal people.
1590. The Angelical Fallacy is common to all idealists, including socialists, supporters of affirmative action, multiculturalists, and climate activists.
1588. Virtue signalling is becoming a defining folly of the age: too many -- eager to look good and sound good -- rush to self-flattering moral judgment. The truth, the facts -- or where virtue actually lies -- are secondary to sanctimony.
1587. In the current age, the signalling of virtue is more important than achieving it.
1584. When language is used inaccurately, minds become muddled. The failure to distinguish between race -- which is immutable -- and culture -- which can be changed -- leads to accusations of "racism" as a handy way of silencing debate about cultural differences.
1583. In an age which decries racism, there is an increasing insistence on seeing people, not as individuals, but as representatives of their race. There seems to be no awareness of the irony.
1576. Political correctness -- an enchantment with equality -- attempts to deny the Darwinian realities: some things are better than others -- and the essence of life is the struggle for unequal outcomes.
1566. "Multiculturalism" -- "open borders" -- "strength from diversity" -- all these notions suggest that immigration need not be controlled, and cannot possibly represent a threat. Yet Motion M-103 shows the willingness of government to sell our birthright of freedom of speech for an unsavoury mess of religious pottage -- long rejected in our own culture but expected where Islam dominates -- the absurd claim that religion must not be criticized. The price of liberty, it has been said, is eternal vigilance. It is unwise to nod, agreeably, to the bromide lullabies of gullible idealists.
1565. Progressive, n: one who is gormlessly gullible; adj. gormlessly gullible
1564. Progressivism, n: modern term for gormless gullibility.
1559. Utopia -- whether secular or religious -- is not attainable. That is because at the heart of every society there is a need for co-operation and a need for competition. It is a conflict of necessary opposites which ensures things will always be a muddle. The proper goal of mankind is pragmatic idealism -- the best muddle possible. (But the idealists will remain dissatisfied.)
1542. That men and women have exactly the same interests and ambitions -- and hence should be equally represented in all occupations, professions, and endeavours -- is an idea so profoundly stupid that it appears --as might be expected -- prominently in the lexicon of leftish ludicracies. (Nor is it surprising that the current Prime Minister appears to have taken it to heart.)
1537. There is often, currently, a conscious effort to blur the distinction between subjective perception and objective reality There is a big difference between saying that some have an acute perception that they are misgendered -- and saying that not all boys have penises. The second statement fails to distinguish between reality and a subjective perception of it.
1529. There was a certain prudent practicality about the old religion -- it recognized the imperfections of temporal existence, and promised perfection only for the dead. The new religion -- political correctness -- is more bold, radical, and stupid: it envisions perfection in the here and now.
1528. Some are so intent on creating paradise they ignore the hell they are constructing in order to achieve it.
1524. The politically correct progressive believes that it is better to allow evil to flourish than to offend the religious sensibilities of those who endorse it.
1523. When it becomes unacceptable to criticize bad ideas because they claim the sanction of religion, the bad ideas will flourish, and mankind will suffer accordingly.
1522. Bad ideas hiding under the cloak of religion should be seen as exactly what they are: bad ideas hiding under the cloak of religion.
1521. "Discrimination" is a two-faced, unreliable word. It is used to describe both unjust practices and admirably fine judgment. And when unjust practices parade as admirably fine judgment, it is nowhere to be found.
1518. The Darwinian message to unsuccessful countries and cultures is harsh: adapt, or die. The civilized, humanitarian approach sees innocent misery requiring assistance. Truth is reliably contradictory.
1513. Political correctness always chooses harmony over integrity, kindness over honesty.
1504. Multiculturalism reflects the arrogance of progressive bias. The ancient wisdom -- "When in Rome, do as the Romans do," is assumed to be vastly inferior to the new -- "When in Rome, do as you please; the Romans will see the folly of their insufferably silly customs, and alter them accordingly."
1503. Multiculturalism is the idealistic response to the violent and aggressive nationalism of the twentieth century. It is an over-reaction which exchanges one folly for another. Cultures are not equal; progress is achieved through competition, not by requiring successful cultures to adopt the values of those attempting to escape from the unsatisfactory results of their own. (Cf. 1044)
1502. Nationalism is currently in disfavour; it is assumed that mankind can be transformed into a global automated ant colony, or that human beings, conveniently programmed, will hum contentedly in a single well-managed hive.
1501. Those who think that nationalism can be wished away are dreamers – tribalism is in our hearts and bones. We are not islands, entire of ourselves, but pieces of the continent, and parts of the main. We hope our country will prosper, the home team will crush the visitors, and our school will win the trophy. Local loyalties transcend the larger. Our challenge is not to eliminate nationalism, but tame it.
1498. Just as evolution proceeds through a series of random alterations -- given order by the survival judgment of the environment -- so herd-like tribal thinking may be influenced by the insights of unconventional individuals. The difference is that the environment pays attention only to evidence; tribes have a superstitious reverence for tradition, and a weakness for flattering fantasies.
1497. The success of tribes has always depended upon herd-like behaviour. No one should be surprised at the "madness of crowds."
1495. Virtue signalling has become an epidemic: the virus appears to stimulate the brain's seat of sanctimoniousness -- the Pious Piffilis lobe -- while suppressing -- at the same time -- the capacity for critical thought. Every organization feels it necessary to scramble for a place of prominence in the choir of angels -- to affirm, above all, its devotion to the new dogmas of political correctness.
1491. Political correctness and a sense of humour are like matter and anti-matter -- in any collision, one must destroy the other. The zeitgeist of the current age is to seek grievance, and having found causes as numerous as grains of sand on the shore, to respond with angry, vindictive righteousness. It is a grim and humourless process.
1490. Political correctness reflects the puritan religious instinct -- it is a prim, tight-lipped disapproval of a deplorable reality -- the "original sin" of inequality.
1479. Diversity is a coin: heads, you win; tails you divide.
1478. Political correctness is the new creed; any error in recitation reveals the heretic; the bonfires are always burning, and always eager.
1477. Political correctness pretends that feelings are sacrosanct, and that "equality" of self-esteem is an achievable goal. They aren't, and it isn't -- which explains why political correctness -- wrapped in a mantle of self-righteous virtue -- encounters so many witches worthy of burning, and shows such enthusiasm in committing them to the flames.
1476. The great error of religion is to confuse belief with truth. The more certain the chosen belief, the more self-righteous are the believers, and the more powerful and dangerous is the religion. Political correctness is simply a modern religion.
1475. "Equality" is the source of the new tyranny. It is the new God, invisible but proclaimed, to which sacrifice of common sense must be made. It is known, variously, as affirmative action, multiculturalism, socialism, and political correctness.
1474. Political correctness -- the marriage of insanities -- religious determination hitched to alchemical impossibility.
1473. Political correctness combines the methodology of religion -- the constant repetition of falsehoods -- with the faith of alchemy -- that the lead of lies can somehow be transmuted into the gold of truth.
1469. Descriptive dictionaries are politically correct: they refuse to make judgments -- to admit that some things are better than others.
1462. When diversity leads to division, it creates not strength, but weakness.
1461. The intellectual bankruptcy of the Left is shown by their insistence that it is possible to reconcile irreconcilables: that equality can be reconciled with merit, that justice is enhanced by discrimination against some in favour of others, that diversity is cohesive rather than divisive, that nations can exist without borders, and that antithetical cultural values can be made compatible in the magic of something called "multiculturalism."
1459. "Diversity is our strength" -- a phrase used by politicians in the belief that, with sufficient repetition, an attractive lie will acquire the lustre of unimpeachable truth.
1454. Sometimes it is necessary to choose between ideals and survival.
1447. If you understand the cause of a problem, but are unwilling to recognize it, you are politically correct.
1446. Those who signal virtue before determining the respective locations of good and evil -- proclaim only their stupidity.
1445. Those most anxious to signal their virtue -- with reflexive responses and convenient buzzwords -- seldom take the time to consider the moral implications of their stance. Their concern is with appearance -- not reality. (The current Canadian Prime Minister is a perfect example.)
1444. Feel-good buzzwords are a reliable resource for those who find thinking too much of a challenge. Terms such as "multiculturalism," "diversity," "equality," and "tolerance" are intoned without giving any thought to their implications or limitations. They are like little hail Marys of belief, which, through constant repetition, will assure a safe passage to cultural nirvana.
1443. The true multiculturalist does not exist; such an individual would approve not only cannibalism, slavery, and human sacrifice to the Gods -- but -- in the same breath -- the antithetical notions of free speech and laws against blasphemy.
1439. We look forward to the day when immigrants from Islamic countries can be warned that Canada allows the freedom to practice, the freedom to abstain from, and the freedom to criticize any religion.
1437. Mr. Trump's great crime -- and the reason he was elected -- is that he is unafraid to say that some things are better than others.
1436. The great, triumphant discovery of modern times is the First Law of Cultural Paradox: the more unworthy, unsatisfactory, and absurd the cultural practice, the more it should be praised, encouraged, and protected from criticism.
1435. Motion M-103 reveals the true dangers of multiculturalism. It suggests a tumbling over the edge of rationality – into the abyss of cultural suicide.
1434. The bad behaviour of demonstrators is usually judged according to the virtue of the proclaimed cause rather than the evil of the resulting effect.
1427. We now seldom listen to the CBC. Long ago, the Mothership left the open seas of common sense, and has now marinated overlong in its own -- left-wing -- bathwater. It now offers the grey, sinister liquid from that pool as its chief fare; its priority is to proselytize rather than inform.
1426. With political correctness, hurt feelings are an unsightly blot on the perfect copy-book of the universe.
1425. Grief-signalling is the dear sibling of virtue-signalling -- the beloved offspring of Parade and Posture.
1424. Shootings: In the age of political correctness, feelings come first -- a good mantra will trump every muddle -- fine sentiments will soothe the pain of atrocities and quiet the anguish of inflicted insanities. With sufficient candlelight vigils, the night will pass, and a new day will dawn. Coming together will conquer all.
1416. The persistence of religion and the continuing popularity of dictatorships suggest that the human brain has developed with a strong bias towards tribal hierarchy -- conformity and an acceptance of authority. At most important turns in the road, tribalism trumps thought.
1415. We are born hierarchical, and long for equality.
1407. Calls for "commitment" and "working together " are often the response to social tragedies. Vagueness is the comfortable refuge of those anguished but essentially clueless.
1406. If morality is a function of tribalism -- we might ask further -- why do creatures form tribes? Probably for the same reason that single-celled organisms chose multiplicity -- the life-force -- competitive advantage.
1401. Motion M-103 suggests that free speech should be curtailed to stop "Islamophobia." It proposes the exchange of our birthright of freedom for an unsavoury mess of oppressive religious pottage.
1391. The informing principle of the Left, is, in a phrase, Superficial Feel-Goodery. In a prescription it reads: "Always focus on what sounds good; reality – the results – what works – these are matters either irrelevant or secondary."
1385. The great battle today is between those for whom progress lies in making unequal things equal, and those for whom progress involves the inegalitarian process of improvement.
1384. The modern egalitarian is not noted for his ability to erase differences; rather, he is remarkable for his determination to pretend that they do not exist.
1380. Those who say we should be nice to everybody are over-simplifiers. Being nice to nice people involves being nasty to nasty people.
1376. Religion has nothing to do with the truth. It is an illusion central to the ancient wisdom of tribal survival. In modern times, when aggressive tribalism is too destructive, but competitive tribalism is the best hope for achieving free and prosperous societies, the rôle of religion must change accordingly.
1374. Those in favour of "open borders" have -- reportedly -- been reluctant to provide public access to their own fenced gardens.
1373. Can any nation remain half-slave to the idea that religion and government should be inseparable, and half-free to claim that religion is a private matter irrelevant to affairs of state? Only in the insanity of multiculturalism can the answer be in the affirmative.
1372. Multicultural harmony is thought to be obtained by dictating the tune, and establishing penalties for traditional, divergent melodies. But in the harmony purchased with liberty, discord lurks.
1371. Multiculturalism is a fine theoretical concept which ignores both the reality of instinctive human tribalism, and the fact of antithetical cultural values.
1367. On a sea of infinite tolerance, no cultural ship can safely sail.
1365. Only in an age of collective insanity would the common sense of Jordan Peterson appear revolutionary.
1364. If you are unwilling to defend the cultural values you deem important, you should not be surprised to find them replaced with the values of those more determined and aggressive.
1361. There are times when the freedom of the individual to express his devotion to religious fantasies must defer to the freedom of the state to express its devotion to secular values.
1359. Religious symbols worn with police uniforms suggest a religious state. In a secular state, such symbols represent confusion and disarray: the officer has divided loyalties -- and the state has an identity crisis.
1358. When the rational pretend to be delusional, they have one foot in the asylum.
1357. Secular states should avoid suggesting official approval of religious symbols. The rational do not pretend to be delusional.
1353. The preference for fantasy over fact is a modern folly. Equality of result is neither desirable nor attainable; adversity is woven into the fabric of existence, and hurt feelings are unavoidable; the pursuit of all ideals -- especially those claiming religious sanction -- should be governed by a consideration of likely practical consequences rather than by a blind belief in the validity of hopeful intentions.
1352.The restriction of some freedoms -- while necessary -- should be based on logic, rather than fantasy. It seems logical to restrict the freedom of thieves and murderers. Is it also appropriate to restrict the speech of those who criticize the fantasies of political correctness, or who oppose the evils -- both theoretical and practical -- of the religion of Islam?
1349. Determining the limitations of freedom -- while necessary -- is fraught with difficulty. In the modern era, the freedom of fantasy often trumps the freedom of fact. The self-congratulatory all-inclusive tolerance of unproven, unsuccessful -- and ultimately destructive ideas -- is encouraged; those who wish to point out sobering facts are seldom welcomed.
1343. "Multiculturalists" are nothing more nor less than virtue signallers. A true multiculturalist would welcome and embrace human sacrifice to the Gods, cannibalism, slavery, honour killings, and throwing gays from rooftops. The self-professed "multiculturalist" is less accommodating -- but -- with a comfortable and rewarding dollop of self-congratulation -- proclaims the enlightened tolerance and virtue which the term has come to imply.
1337. It is the modern folly to believe that equality is synonymous with justice. But some things are -- justly and justifiably -- better than others.
1336. "Affirmative action" -- and all endeavours based on that template -- embrace a signal perversity: the remedy for injustice is further injustice.
1325. At some point it would seem that political correctness -- which oppresses others in claiming the primacy of feelings -- will be hoist with its own petard. What is more hurtful than to have one's freedom to speak and to proclaim the primacy of facts constantly denied?
1313. Political correctness is both puritanical and revolutionary. As it seeks -- and fails -- to alter the nature of human nature, it will become increasingly obsessed and fanatical. New orthodoxies will be established; new heresies will be proclaimed: the net -- cast increasingly wide -- will find new witches for hungry -- and insatiable -- bonfires. Like every revolution, it will -- eventually -- devour its young.
1309. Those who dream of equality would banish both the despair of failure and the triumph of success -- the home team and the visitors would always score the same number of goals. Their dream, in fact, is the dream of death -- for the essence of life is the struggle for unequal outcomes.
1306. The multicultural lens – linked to the political telescope – is remarkably tolerant and forgiving. Moral issues, seen clearly with the unaided eye, are blurred, indistinct -- the hard edges softened in a wash of comforting rose.
1305. Equality of result is not attainable; the truth of this proposition may be inferred from the fact that so many inegalitarian measures are required in the attempt.
1304. Those who attempt to achieve "equality" invariably do so by treating people unequally.
1303. Assuming that "victims" are saints -- always worthy of belief -- reflects the informing principle of much modern egalitarianism: the best remedy for injustice is more injustice.
1302. Those who seek self-esteem through government-enforced pronoun usage reveal a pathetic inadequacy. Such deference -- compelled -- is empty: it rings hollow at the core; substantial self-regard can arise only from accomplishment.
1301. Requiring the use of transgendered pronouns shows how "feeling good" for the minority has become more important than "feeling free" for the majority.
1300. Making the use of transgendered pronouns a legal requirement arms one group of citizens with a toxic, nearly invincible weapon to be used against those who displease them. Such an unseemly power is corrosive and corrupting; it is folly to assume the claim of victimhood confers a condition of saintliness, and power will never be abused.
1299. Most "multiculturalists" do not favour human sacrifice, slavery, or honour killings -- thus they, too, are selective, discriminatory, and intolerant. "Multiculturalism" is a feel-good -- but thoroughly impractical -- notion.
1297. The fact that morality is socially derived explains both the similarities and differences in moral codes. Casual murder is not likely to be condoned in any society -- because it is, universally, too dangerously disruptive. On the other hand, one society might favour human sacrifice in order to obtain a favourable harvest, while another would consider that immoral, and choose instead, the creation of an efficient system of irrigation.
1296. The multicultural lens is, by its peculiar nature and composition, remarkably tolerant and forgiving. Perhaps it is not surprising that it fails to recognize honour killings as "barbaric," and raises no alarm when those convicted of attempted murder are invited along on a "dress-up" junket to India.
1292. The ticking time bomb of truth which has the power to destroy the politically correct, egalitarian, liberal ethos: some things are better than others.
1291. Every society will reflect the tension between competition and co-operation, between the claims of merit and the yearnings for equality.
1290. The reduction of inequality should never be confused with the creation of "equality." One may, on balance, enhance liberty; the other invariably restricts it. (Unfortunately, no bell sounds when the virtue becomes the vice.)
1289. "Equality Success" is the reward, compensation, or consideration sought by a person or group claiming victimhood.
1288. "Equality Success" is that compensation given to those who claim past or present victimhood; it is based on the premise that success is universally and equally deserved.
1287. When real success is unobtainable, "Equality Success" -- the validation and recognition of victimhood -- is often an agreeable compensating alternative.
1286. There is a simple, basic truth which has the power to lacerate the heart of every socialist, to wither and destroy the soul of every multiculturalist, and to send every politically correct egalitarian screaming over the edge of the nearest abyss. It is simply this: "equality" is a figment of the human imagination -- some ideas, approaches and principles have superior function and effectiveness -- they bring more success -- than others.
1285. The removal of prejudicial barriers, the providing of equality of opportunity, and the achievement of equality of result are distinctly different concepts; they range from the reasonable, to the difficult, to the impossible. They are sometimes confused by those for whom thinking is an untried novelty.
1284. We live in an age where leaping is preferred to looking: the signalling of virtue occurs before its true location has been determined.
1274. The endless protection of feelings -- a cultivation of fragility -- is unwise. It leads to the seeking of validation, not through competence and the overcoming of obstacles, but through claiming increasing degrees of passivity and insufficiency – the "triumph" of victimhood.
1273. It is not surprising that, in an era of approved infantilization, so many seek validation, not in accomplishment, but in victimhood.
1270. Political correctness is the barometer of a society which does not wish to confront reality.
1268. Every culture seeks success; some do it through economic progress, enhanced social stability, and creative endeavours; others by constantly emphasizing their lack of it -- their righteous claim to victimhood.
1267. The number of cultural grievance tantrums will decline in direct proportion to the amount of ridicule they elicit. (Henceforth this will be known as Dr. Dreimer's Second Law of Cultural Sensitivity.)
1266. The number of cultural grievance tantrums will rise in direct proportion to the kind and solicitous attention paid to them. (Henceforth this will be known as the Dr. Dreimer's First Law of Cultural Sensitivity.)
1265. The cultural grievance industry -- like any other -- will fold when it ceases to be profitable.
1264. Political correctness represents the desire to attain the unattainable virtue of equality; it must eventually founder on the fact that price of any ideal virtue is too high -- it is paid in the coin of freedom and the currency of truth.
1256. Political correctness suggests that feelings are the rock upon which a moral philosophy can be built. But feelings -- subjective, variable, and potentially unlimited in scope -- are not rock -- but sands -- shifting, unstable, and ultimately -- incoherent.
1254. Political correctness is the new religion; it holds that truth should always defer to kindness and compassion. It is the always -- the categorical imperative -- that is the problem. When the avoidance of hurt feelings is the overriding virtue, not only is truth ignored, but the freedom to speak it must be suppressed. Every virtue contains the self-destructive seed of uncompromising absolutism, the potential fruit of categorical oppression.
1249. It is currently the fashion to decry "rote learning." But no matter how wonderful your oven, it will not produce a cake without a batter of necessary ingredients.
1248. A more sophisticated slogan would have been "All Lives Matter." "Black Lives Matter" suggests that skin colour is both defining and important -- which is exactly the mindset being condemned.
1247. Different standards are applied to different races and cultures; it is legitimate to condemn the white race and culture with the term "white privilege;" it is deplorable racism to note any scientific or cultural achievements by those who are white. For other races and cultures, the reverse is true: approval is allowed; criticism is not. At the heart of such disparities is the desire to find equality where it "should" -- but does not -- exist.
1246. There is a double standard when referring to indigenous cultures: approving comments reflect an acknowledgment of cultural achievements; disapproving comments are dismissed as racist.
1245. To object to someone because of race -- an unchangeable characteristic -- is foolish; to be opposed to cultural practices -- which are alterable -- is legitimate. Awkwardly, race and culture are often intertwined, and race is used as a visual signal to justify prejudice based on cultural antipathies. In a perfect world, people would never leap to conclusions about individuals -- or generalize about groups; in the real world, it is commonplace -- and may be part of our genetic heritage. Even those who condemn prejudicial negative generalizations about one group, often fall into the same error -- by making positive generalizations about the same group -- or with categorical condemnation of some other group.
1244. Political correctness: It would be madness to predict when the madness will end.
1243. Finding something which -- by some elasticity of the imagination -- might be termed "racism" is like discovering a well-travelled broomstick in the garden shed. A gleeful dance of moral triumph around the ritual bonfire is assured.
1242. Moral superiority is impossible in the absence of egregious moral turpitude in others -- thus the timeless appeal of witch hunts and virtue signalling.
1241. Traditionally, men have required myths to live by -- as refutations of an apparently uncaring universe, and as an assurance of immortality. The great modern danger is that they are divisive elements not subject to rational discussion, and are -- as in the past -- convenient tools for oppression.
1240. It is the aim of political correctness to put a gloss of lipstick on the snout of truth -- to ignore deficiencies, to focus on what sounds good, to proclaim the advantage to every awkwardness. There is always a degree of coercion involved in requiring people to see only the lipstick, not the pig beneath.
1239. The current "correct" view is that "equality" is a reality implicit in the nature of things -- or one that must, at all costs, be engineered. Thus all apparent competence and success bear the taint of moral failure -- and must be condemned; failure and incompetence are redeemed by moral virtue -- and must be promoted and encouraged. High self-esteem should be independent of accomplishment, and feelings -- so often vulnerable to facts -- must never suffer the perception of an "unequal" deficiency. In other words, intellectual dishonesty is currently the prime requirement for holding socially approved views.
1237. "Equality" sounds good; "merit" works. The desire to substitute one for the other is a modern folly – one which underlies socialism, multiculturalism, and, of course – political correctness.
1236. Affirmative action -- discrimination with an euphemistic face. (An improvement on #13)
1233. People who go around saying, "Our strength is in diversity" are probably thinking of plywood -- which gains strength by diversifying the direction of wood fibres. But plywood still requires wood -- you can't make it out of maple syrup.
1229. The law of the jungle says that inadequate, unhappy, and inefficient cultures must adapt or die; the law of compassionate civilization says they must be cherished and encouraged as equally worthy. Those who consistently choose tact over truth are likely to go -- politely -- extinct.
1227. We are moving from an era of religious idealism to one of secular idealism; the central secular ideal -- which underlies socialism, multiculturalism, and political correctness -- is that of "equality." Beyond, a corrective era awaits -- one in which it is recognized that ideals must be tempered by reality.
1223. Masking the face always symbolizes a rejection of collaborative humanity: the medicine man signals his supernatural powers; the criminal his anti-social intent; the niqab-wearer her rejection of community.
1220. Seeing the faces of others enables empathy; the masking of faces creates uncertainty; it suggests and encourages hostility.
1217. The face enables empathy: it is easier to insult someone at a distance -- in writing -- than in person. This is another reason that cultural face-coverings are to be deplored.
1214. Aiding the unfortunate should never be referred to as "reducing inequality" -- since that suggests that "equality" is a desirable goal. It is not: the attempt to attain the unattainable is coercive and stupid. "Aiding the unfortunate" should be referred to as "aiding the unfortunate."
1213. We are witnessing a period of self-loathing in western societies which is based on a sense that "equality" is the bedrock reality of the human condition. Using that standard, everything which is "successful" offends the egalitarian moral imperative, and, in that sense, is a failure. Conversely, anything manifestly unsuccessful represents an oppressed virtue in dire need of promotion and respect.
1212. Human beings respond to incentives; they are inherently competitive. Just as the competitive spirit cannot be allowed unfettered reign, neither can it be extinguished. Those who attempt to do so -- under the banners of virtue and equality -- are not merely foolish; given sufficient power, they become dictators -- and murderers.
1211. If the niqab were merely an armband depicting a veiled face – it would be symbolically offensive – either as a marker of oppression – or of deliberate cultural insult. Because it actually masks the face – it adds injury to insult: it is a barrier to integration, ensures cultural isolation, and represents a risk to security. A further symbolic insult is added – that of a superior stance – the claim of a right to observe faces which it denies to others. Hiding the face is no more a "minority right" than is public nudity.
1207. "Racism" is a convenient buzzword used as an unanswerable accusation of moral depravity. It is often applied to criticism which has nothing to do with race.
1206. The just society does not promote equality, rather, it removes barriers to self-fulfilment. It allows capitalism as the most efficient economic system, but mitigates its Darwinian effects by alleviating need.
1205. Political correctness is the inedible fruit of unreasonable expectations.
1204. There are truths which everyone knows -- and which everyone is afraid to say; that is the triumph of political correctness.
1202. The law of the survival of the fittest is cruel, but axiomatic and irrefutable. As civilizations focus on equality, rather than merit, so they ensure their decline.
1201. Socialism, multiculturalism, and political correctness are all informed by the principle of equality. Since "equality" is an unattainable ideal state, coercion and oppression are intrinsic to all three.
1199. The strand of self-loathing currently so evident in western civilization may be attributed to the idealistic focus on equality. All western achievements fail the egalitarian test; true virtue is to be found in cultures less competent, and less successful -- the traditionally disparaged. Even directly antithetical cultural values must be spared criticism in the name of "equality."
1193. Banning the burka -- a great kindness mischaracterized as an offensive cruelty.
1192. Islam is a tough nut to crack: at its core is a ruthless, aggressive, hostile political ideology cunningly concealed beneath a ruthless, hostile, aggressive religious philosophy.
1191. Hiding one's face during ordinary social interactions is ridiculous, divisive, and subversive.
1190. Political correctness is the new religion -- determined to make up enough commandments to ensure that everyone is a sinner.
1187. In the ideal world, the niqab would not be banned; in accordance with the concept of freedom -- it would be allowed as a symbol of an oppressive political and religious ideology which is destructive of that very notion of freedom which permits its expression. But in the real world, that "tolerance" seems inextricably wedded to the notion that the oppressive symbol -- and the underlying ideology -- not be criticized. To allow opposing ideas a free rein -- and then prohibit criticism of them -- is not tolerance but stupidity. It seems the equivalent of a death wish.
1182. The virtue of harmony is a convenient cover for the totalitarian impulse.
1181. Those anxious to signal virtue are mostly signallers. They are generally not opposed to convenient pacts with the devil in support of their pretence.
1180. Those anxious to signal virtue seek not virtue, but approbation, and a sense of moral superiority. Thus selfishness parades as piety.
1174. In the marketplace of ideas, a winner can be chosen on the basis of efficacy; in any battle involving religion, reason is irrelevant -- determination is all. It is folly to believe that a winning idea will overcome a commitment of faith -- yet this appears to be the presumption of western secularism.
1172. The great revolutionary truth that hardly dares to speak its name: some things are better than others.
1171. We live in a time of universal deceit -- and there is little appetite for revolution. "Equality" is the pleasant lie which underlies multiculturalism, socialism, and, indeed, political correctness itself.
1170. Banning the burka: in a war, one neither broadcasts nor approves the propaganda of the enemy.
1169. Everyone knows that people are not equal. That is why it is necessary to keep insisting -- with such vehemence and conviction -- that they are. That is why we are always willing to give socialism one more chance.
1167. The most dangerous men are those who have -- or pretend they have -- a vision of an egalitarian society. That noble end will justify a tsunami of oppressive means.
1165. Emphasizing equality rather than merit will work -- as long as you are not in competition with realists.
1164. We are witnessing the clash of two antithetical traditions: one allows the freedom to criticize; the other holds that a religion must, unfailingly, be approved. There can be no compromise between such opposites. If we fail to uphold the freedom to criticize -- we concede the triumph of irrational belief, and embrace not merely the slavery of silence, but the imprisonment of the mind which it implies.
1160. "Islamophobia" -- the irrational fear of Islam -- scarcely exists. An example would be the belief that agents of Islam are reading our thoughts through the television set. Overwhelmingly, the fear of Islam is perfectly rational -- it is based on the fact that the religion is oppressive and threatening in theory, and is interpreted literally by significant numbers. The attempts to vilify those who fear Islam represent stupidity wearing the mantle of "tolerance."
1144. The multiculturalist assumes, naively, that cultural success -- both material and psychological -- is solely a function of location, and has nothing to do with cultural values and attitudes.
1133. The great intellectual failure of the left is to assume that ideal conceptions represent viable alternatives in real life. It is easy to proclaim virtue by being on the side of peace, tolerance, and equality. But peace may entail self-destruction, tolerance of evil allows it to spread, and equality -- if it were actually attainable -- implies mediocrity, stasis, and the cessation of progress. Choosing -- in the real world -- usually involves determining the lesser evil.
1132. Political correctness attempts to realize -- on earth -- a heaven of equality, with saintly concomitants of benign tolerance and universal respect. The problem is that equality is not in the blueprint of natural things, and what political correctness exposes -- unintentionally -- is the gargantuan gap between the ideal and the real.
1131. When excellence plays second fiddle to diversity, the performance will suffer. (The more refined version of #1130)
1130. When excellence plays second fiddle to diversity, the tune will stink.
1124. Immigration: compassionate ideals are attractive -- but practical realities -- despite their cosmetic deficiencies -- often interfere.
1123. Political correctness seeks to suppress speech critical of Islam. Thus not only are bad ideas protected -- including the absurd claim of infallibility -- but a liberty fundamental to western societies -- the right to criticize -- is denied. It is an obsequious appeasement -- an offer of cultural suicide in the hope of harmony.
1122. Political correctness insists on a smooth, egalitarian consistency -- but reality is always lumpy.
1120. Political correctness aims for a world of equality where feelings are triumphantly unhurt; the attempt is oppressive, and ultimately must founder on the implacable truth: feelings can never be sacrosanct, and equality is not in the blueprint of natural things.
1118. Socialism represents the tyranny of the ideal: it invariably leads to dictatorship.
1113. With political correctness, "tolerance" and "diversity" are one-directional, not reciprocal.
1111. "Cultural sensitivity" should not preclude the criticism of oppressive, unjust, and absurd cultural practices. For how else can freedom, justice, and reason be advanced?
1110. Political correctness foolishly favours uni-directional -- rather than reciprocal -- tolerance.
1109. In the present age of enlightenment, the right to criticize injustice and absurdity must defer to the demands of "cultural sensitivity."
1108. If "cultural sensitivity" had always been considered the chief virtue -- we would still be practising slavery, human sacrifice -- and cannibalism.
1106. Those who return from a place of "refuge" to their home country for a holiday or special event irrevocably alter their status -- from refugee to "prefugee." They are obviously "refugees" of preference or convenience.
1103. We are waiting to see the point at which political correctness simply devours itself – is paralysed in a web of contradictions and impossibilities – or subsides beneath an incoherent sea of infinitely parsed microaggressions. (We are not holding our breath.)
1099. Political correctness invariably leads to moral relativism -- because the commitment to "equality" precludes judgment. The criticism of ideas -- the suggestion that some ideas are better than others -- is considered unseemly and hurtful of feelings. But ultimately, basic judgments about life are necessary. It is better to be free than to be enslaved; it is better to be comfortable than in pain -- to be fed and sheltered rather than hungry and exposed. It is better to be confident than fearful. It is better to have more opportunities for self-fulfilment rather than fewer. It is better to live a long life than a short one. One may quibble at the edges of such assumptions -- there may be occasions when death is preferable to life -- but, quibbles aside, cultures can -- and should -- be judged.
1092. Victimhood likely has its limitations. It requires certain awkward mindsets: continuing self-pity and resentment -- and unstinting affirmation and accommodation.
1091. When victimhood is unduly rewarded, it becomes addictive -- a habit of mind requiring ever new oppressions for "success." Of such oppressions, life -- unfair to the core -- has an infinite supply.
1090. If you are determined to be an oppressed nail, you will find --or manufacture -- the necessary hammers. (A variation of #803)
1085. Mr. Dawkins has noted the "epidemic" of restrictions on open speech. The pathogen responsible is the notion of equality; the disease is called political correctness. In the ideal world, people, cultures, and religions -- even ideas -- except those which deny the very premise of equality -- are equal. Thus criticism becomes "unfair" and -- the ultimate in tragedy -- hurtful of feelings. The ideal world is, necessarily, a restrictive and coercive factor in the real one.
1084. The belief in multiculturalism is one of the chief follies of the age. It ignores the diversity of cultural beliefs, the powerful roots and bonds of traditional practice, and the essential incompatibility of some traditions with any humane continuance of the human project. In particular, religious certainties -- which have no basis in evidence -- are resistant to reason, and to the moderating effects of secular perspectives.
1074. In left-wing philosophy, only society is to blame -- evil and self-interest are vague illusions. Justice is best employed as an occasional scullery maid in the house of infinite mercy.
1073. As instinctive tribalists, we are programmed for herd-like thinking.
1071. Tribalism -- which is instinctive -- favours conformity and provides the comfort of herd-like thinking; thus it tends naturally towards dictatorship. Democracy attempts to modify the natural bias -- but it requires constant effort and commitment. No one should be surprised that it is not more eagerly adopted.
1069. Socialism pretends that benevolence can be made compulsory. But compulsion is corrosive -- it erodes and eventually destroys benevolence.
1065. Apology and appeasement -- the Obama approach to world affairs -- represents a sacrifice of truth in the pursuit of harmony. But, in the end, the world recognizes merit; it is not productive to hide the light of superior ideas under a barrel of obsequious self-effacement.
1060. It is remarkably easy to prove that a professed multiculturalist is a fool, a monster, or a liar. It is simply necessary to ask: "Are you in favour of cannibalism, slavery, appeasement of the Gods with human sacrifice, stoning for adultery, female genital mutilation, and honour killings?" If all these customs are approved, a true "multiculturalist" has been discovered, but one who is -- clearly -- either a half-wit or a monster. The "multiculturalist" who balks at any of these practices is obviously a liar -- a poseur who likes the sound of the term, and wishes to signal his superior tolerance, virtue, and compassion.
1059. People who endlessly praise "diversity" forget that the ultimate in diversity is chaos. Too much of a good thing is invariably a bad thing: a society too diverse will fall apart.
1058. Diversity and uniformity are opposite but complementary concepts. One suggests tyranny; the other, chaos.
1057. The success of strategic victimhood is always somewhat tenuous: the pool of necessary and enabling pity can evaporate in the wind of whining.
1053. Those who see the world through the prism of ancient grievance are likely to misinterpret the present and compromise the future.
1052. Those who define themselves by ancient grievance make victimhood a continuing necessity.
1048. The more ancient the grievance, the more likely it is to become a raison d'être, incapable of being appeased.
1044. Multiculturalism is the idealistic -- but unworkable -- response to the violent and aggressive nationalism of the last century.
1043. Political correctness romanticizes reality -- and then insists it has discovered both truth and virtue.
1039. Political correctness chooses to ignore facts in order to assuage feelings. The difficulty is that feelings can be unexpectedly needy and voracious, while facts are notoriously unflappable and persistent. Over time, ignored facts tend to band together, becoming noisy, nagging -- and even vindictive.
1038. Political correctness assumes that ignoring unpleasant facts will make them disappear. (Cf. #472)
1037. Political correctness represents a determination to see the world not as it is, but as it "should" be -- a happy place of equality and infinite tolerance.
1035. Evils are often selectively perceived. Many who abhor racism have no difficulty in inveighing against "white privilege."
1031. The desire of indigenous people to retain their traditional culture and way of life while at the same time attaining the standard of living common in modern capitalist societies is an example of Multiple Cake Syndrome.
1029. The indignant response to the sin of cultural appropriation may be likened to laws against blasphemy: they are both attempts to compel reverence where it is not being freely given.
1024. "Blasphemy" is found in matters of comforting but vulnerable belief; the forbidding of criticism is invariably a sign of weakness and insecurity.
1017. Conformity and diversity -- the oil and vinegar of the cultural dressing.
1013. Tribalism -- instinctive and essential -- depends upon conformity -- and conformity implies some degree of tyranny. There is always a penalty for failing to think with the herd.
999. Political correctness is the new humanist religion. It dispenses with some old ideals -- the anthropomorphic monarch in the sky, and the reward of an afterlife -- in order to focus on the new: human equality -- including the equality of ideas and cultures -- and human dignity. It is currently experiencing the inevitable skirmish with reality: human beings are neither equal, nor inherently dignified.
995. That morality is best which allows for the greatest liberty of citizens which is consistent with the well-being of the society of which they are a part.
992. Morality is not divinely revealed, but socially derived. It represents an adjudication between the desires of the individual and the requirements of the tribe. That adjudication may have some universal elements essential to survival, but it may also vary according to beliefs and circumstances. The moral values inspired by the belief that a good harvest depends upon the appeasement of the Gods with human sacrifice differ from those which arise from a belief in the efficacy of a well-designed irrigation system. The values of the tribe under constant threat of attack are unlikely to be identical to those of the tribe which co-exists peacefully with its neighbours. Morality is, essentially, utilitarian rather than holy.
991. Where would you place your bet in a "clash of civilizations?" On the civilization which believes that it is incomparably superior -- or on the one which believes in the equality of all cultures?
987. Sometimes the request for "equal treatment" is a an artful deception: the aim is, in fact, "special treatment."
983. Every human society must adjudicate between desirable but conflicting concepts: competition and co-operation; equality and excellence; freedom and security; diversity and uniformity; justice and mercy.
982. "Cultural appropriation" is the sin discerned by those determined not to be flattered: success is -- for them -- to be found not in accomplishment, but in victimhood.
981. "Cultural appropriation" may be seen as flattery, or insult: everything depends on the desire to be insulted -- to claim the triumph of victimhood.
978. Some believe that their tolerance, earnestly displayed, is a virtuous garlic -- powerful enough to protect them from the vampire of of folly, or the infection of stupidity. Unfortunately, that very belief disproves the thesis.
977. Political correctness is politeness gone mad.
974. The hypothesis that successful cultures will continue to prosper by welcoming those with values antithetical to those which have been instrumental in achieving the success is, as yet, unproven. It is a theory, however, which many idealists seem anxious to validate.
973. Political correctness is always serious -- determinedly empathetic, and cautiously apprehensive. Laughter is spontaneous, and doesn't give a damn. The politically correct can never be jolly.
972. Laughter arises from a triumphant perception of unexpected differences. The politically correct can never acknowledge differences -- which is why they are so grimly humourless.
969. Political correctness bleeds mercy -- but ignores justice.
968. Political correctness values empathy above all; thus it eschews criticism, and refuses to pass judgment. It is all mercy -- but has no concern for justice.
966. Any ideal -- to the extent which it is not consonant with reality -- is potentially oppressive. Thus, the utopias of religion and socialism -- the ideals of equality and infinite tolerance -- are all inherently tyrannical.
963. People often use the word "racist" when they cannot think of a logical argument.
958. Political correctness -- which values feelings over facts, and fiction over freedom -- has led to a kind of intellectual bankruptcy. Any criticism of ideas is seen as an illegitimate attack on the feelings of those who hold them; thus the competitive marketplace of ideas -- where the best must battle to survive -- is rejected in favour of a central plan – a plan designed to enforce an inoffensive egalitarian harmony. It proclaims, in effect, a socialism of the mind.
955. Those who would chase a dream should always examine the intervening terrain. Often a dream shines brightly, distracting attention from the fact that it lies on the far side of an unbridgeable gulf of nightmare.
954. Religion embraces an illusion with evolutionary sanction, and, like tribalism itself, may not be entirely extinguishable. Let us hope that, at least, it can be transformed by doubt: from absolute certainty to something less dangerous -- such as guarded hope.
952. Religion has had a useful, unifying rôle in the evolution of tribes: battles are more easily won with fanaticism than with hesitancy. But fanaticism has now outlived its usefulness: religious certainty must be leavened with doubt, and weakened by reason.
949. The European Union overlooks the reality of man’s instinctive tribalism. People do not like to be ruled by those both distant and unaccountable.
948. In an era of political correctness -- where feelings are more important than facts -- it is not surprising that socialist regimes are not judged on facts and results, but on aims and intentions. As long as the aim is equality and brotherhood, murder and oppression are merely unfortunate but excusable inconveniences.
945. Multiculturalism works well on the Big Rock Candy Mountain. In the real world, not so much.
944. Islamophobia is an entirely reasonable response to a very frightening religion.
943. The remedy for Islamophobia will not be found by criminalizing fear, but by making Islam less frightening.
942. Uniformity and diversity are complementary opposites, not ends in themselves. One leads to stasis, the other to chaos.
941. The election of Donald Trump and the vote in favour of "Brexit" are simply tribal responses to the pretence that tribalism is irrelevant.
940. The idea that men are mere piano keys -- easily manipulated in the interests of harmony -- is the false assumption of multiculturalism. It overlooks two awkward realities: instinctive tribalism, and the fact that some tribal ideas are better than others.
939. Nations should compete -- and co-operate where it is advantageous -- in order to achieve the most agreeable lives for their citizens. Without competition, there can be no success, and no progress.
938. Nationalism is just a fancy name for tribalism.
937. Co-operation is often seen as the opposite of competition; in fact, it is simply a competitive tribal strategy.
926. Euphemism is the renaming of unpleasantness; political correctness denies its existence entirely.
916. Civil servants -- including police officers -- should not wear religious symbols during working hours -- since they suggest that the state approves of a particular religion, or, indeed, of religion in general. Just as individuals should be free to express superstitious beliefs in private, so the state must be free to show -- to the public -- that it does not approve of or cater to unfounded hypotheses about the nature of Divinity. State and Church should remain in separate spheres; it is unwise to suggest that the ordinary stupidity of government might be exacerbated by the malign influence of religious folly.
914. Competition these days is so ruthless you can only get decent recognition by being a victim.
911. In the modern era, hurt feelings have become the ultimate tragedy. In the world of consistent compliments, however, there is still a distinction -- between genuine praise and that which is clearly a tactful exaggeration -- a charitable compensation for obvious inadequacies.
910. To hold that all cultures are equal is to abandon reason for fantasy.
909. As long as there is speech, feelings will be hurt.
908. The determination to find microaggressions represents a significant macroaggression: it is the prim-lipped attack of the holier-than-thou.
907. Merit gets things done; "Equality" makes us feel good. But ultimately, feelings are no substitute for facts.
906. Political correctness contemplates the sty of reality, but finds no trace of pig. Instead there is a gilded ballroom -- ethereal music and delicate perfume -- much lipstick -- and a wealth of silken purses woven from sows' ears.
905. We are thrilled at the progress being made in the proportional hiring of those from diverse groups in our society. It is clear that announcers with speech impediments, bus drivers with partial sight, and orchestra conductors with impaired hearing will mark the next level of success in the achievement of our egalitarian goals.
902. Political correctness assumes that the world is, essentially, a nice place, and that if everyone says nice things, the nasty bits -- simply peculiar aberrations -- will magically disappear. In fact, the world is both nasty and nice -- with an awkward bias towards the nasty. If no one says nasty things about the nasty bits, they will simply go forth and multiply.
892. Socialism always looks like a peach -- but it tastes like a lemon.
889. Political correctness: the pleasant primrose path to perdition.
888. If a tribe becomes too rational — perhaps it will always succumb to the tribe that has the determination that only blind belief can confer. (This Observation is derived from #616. It appeared in some correspondence with Terri Guillemets of the Quote Garden, and found its way to the "Belief" page on her site.)
887. By any objective standard, most aboriginal cultures have been adaptive failures: despite massive government assistance, they experience high rates of poverty, despair, and suicide. No doubt some may derive personal satisfaction from cultural traditions, language, and ways of thinking; but the costs seem excessive and unjustifiable.
886. Environments are sometimes stable and indulgent, but often changeable and cruel. "Tough love" is the philosophy: adapt or die.
885. It is currently fashionable to wallow in the misery of hurt feelings, and to vie in delineating degrees of outrage and victimization. When equality claims it is in bad taste to succeed -- triumph can still be found -- in complaint, frustration, or failure. Perhaps there is some comfort to be taken from the fact that the competitive spirit has not been entirely extinguished.
884. The energy spent in whining is better directed at winning -- even if the attempt fails.
883. The best remedy for hurt feelings is not complaint, but accomplishment.
878. The politically correct welcome all those at the gate, giving them shelter, cakes, and ale. The explanation is simple: they do not believe in barbarians. Only time will tell whether they are justly benevolent or naively foolish.
877. Just as evolution progresses by testing the environment with innovations, so societies explore possibilities for an improved continuance. Environments change, and with them, the viability of ideas. Unquestioning religious commitment has benefited tribal cultures in the past; it is uncertain whether such insular devotions will function in a world which, increasingly, seems to require global interaction and co-operation. We also question the viability of political correctness -- a modern religion which is more and more often exposed as a dogma at odds with the facts.
874. Some discriminations are evil and unfair; other, similar discriminations are virtuous expressions of sweetness and light. You will not obtain the diploma in political correctness until you can show proficiency in determining which is which.
870. The welcoming of immigrants with antithetical cultural values suggests a triumph of egalitarian ideals over common sense. No healthy body politic welcomes an inimical and destructive pathogen.
867. "Safe spaces" are inherently flawed -- for they offer no protection from that state of stupidity implied in the belief that reality can be avoided in a "safe space."
865. Political correctness does a great disservice to the young studying at our institutions of higher learning and evanescent sanity. Eventually they must discover that the focus of the world at large is elsewhere: it has no interest in bolstering self-esteem, protecting feelings, or providing a safe space for stupidity.
860. "Racism" is a term inaccurately used to describe the negative stereotyping of any group seen as having a different culture or religion. Not all -- but much of what appears to be real "racism" is similarly not based on race, but arises from an unfortunate linkage between race and cultural and economic differences. As such disparities are lessened, so "racism" will decline. While we would like to predict that people will also cease to judge and be judged on the basis of money, possessions, culture, intelligence, and appearance -- we have no interest in winning the Nobel prize for stupidity.
858. Political correctness -- the new religion -- sets itself a difficult task: the elimination of the "original sin" of inequality -- by pretending that it doesn't exist.
854. The man unwilling to fight for his convictions will find himself at the mercy of those determined to impose their own. (cf. Chesterton: "Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.")
853. Those who proclaim the equality of cultures, and cherish the notion that everyone is as good as everyone else, still expect to be recognized and admired for their superior tolerance and extraordinary compassion.
849. So desperate is the desire for "equality" that it is becoming common to find virtue and special status in every deficiency. The disabled proclaim the advantages of their unique perceptions; the deaf extol their world of silence; the transgendered seek a multiplicity of special validating pronouns. This is the compensatory celebration of misfortune.
848. Primitive religions and traditional cultural beliefs do not yield easily to fine and enlightened sentiments; it is the great folly of fine and enlightened sentiments to believe that they do.
847. Political correctness is the new religion. Unlike the old religions -- which placed heavenly perfection in the afterlife -- political correctness seeks to enforce it here, where it is significantly at odds with earthly realities.
846. At the root of political correctness is an idealistic fantasy: the world can, in fact, be transformed into a Rose Garden, where the thorns of inequality, failure, and hurt feelings are banished, and each perfect rose blooms in confident, untroubled harmony with the whole. But perfection is elusive: like all ideals, the Rose Garden is absolutist, unforgiving, and oppressive.
845. The sin of cultural appropriation is very selective. The fact that some cultures are considered vulnerable, while others are impervious to insult suggests -- contrary to the intention -- that some cultures are much superior to others.
843. Political correctness places a high value on emotions, and a low value on truth. It fails to recognize that it is more important to criticize an idea for its deficiencies than to protect it because of the emotional cost of criticism. No society can thrive on a diet of agreeable delusions.
842. It is the folly of the politically correct to equate an attack on ideas with an attack on the "dignity and humanity" of those who hold them. When criticism is forbidden on the grounds of "hurt feelings," bad ideas are sanctioned and encouraged. In other words, stupidity triumphs.
841. The "preferred narrative" is that cultures and religions are equally worthy. In an effort to silence those who disagree, many newspapers now provide no opportunity for commentary on articles dealing with religion and culture. Whenever ideas seem to require the protection of censorship, you know they are dangerously flawed. Truth cannot be proclaimed by the well-intentioned; it is discovered through evidence, and from an exchange of competing views.
835. It is necessary to distinguish between a legitimate claim for equal rights, and the self-indulgent desire for special treatment -- between reasonable accommodation and the tyranny of the minority. Political correctness is a pre-judgment -- the triumphant value is personal and self-determined: it is the right not to feel offended.
834. Political correctness proclaims the irrelevancy of facts and the vulnerability of freedom: speech and social custom must be altered to satisfy feelings -- individual desires for validation and self-esteem.
833. It may be legitimate for society to aim for "the greatest happiness of the greatest number." That is not the same as the hopeless, politically correct aim of making everyone equally happy.
832. Political correctness defers to individual perceptions, and assumes that it is the task of society to make everyone equally happy -- free from anxiety and hurt feelings. It is idealism taken to the point of insanity.
818. Tribalism -- the result of our evolutionary process -- can and should be made less dangerous; however, the extinguishing of tribal rivalries is not only impossible, but the attempt is foolish. Competition -- from which the best ideas survive and thrive -- is the life-blood of progress.
817. (a) When enough people share the same insanity, it is considered normal.
(b) Men -- tribal and conformist in nature -- prefer to bleat with the herd; in this manner, insanity becomes epidemic, triumphant, and normalized .
815. Political correctness is an intellectual arsenic in the body politic -- a slow, subversive, deadly poison.
813. In the end, human societies will reflect the nature of the creatures of which they are composed. Man is neither as independent as the jaguar nor as tribal as the ant. The view that humankind should become one giant ant colony is currently popular, but has no chance of being realized.
807. Beware the progression of the sounds of aggression. There is little doubt microaggression aspires to nano-aggression; some will not be satisfied until all speech is silenced in the name of harmony.
806. Those aggrieved by "cultural appropriation" simply draw attention to their own insecurities. Headdresses are always sensitive; bowler hats don't give a damn.
805. Cultural appropriation is a sin devised by those anxious to proclaim cultural equality. The attempt is self-defeating: calmness is a mark of confidence; those quick to take offense wave the flag of their insecurities.
804. The active pursuit of microaggressions tumbles, perversely, down a rabbit hole of madness -- where paranoia engages in a limitless parsing for insult. The determination of the perpetually aggrieved must find in every light a shadow -- in every innocence an irredeemable corruption of malice.
803. There can be no innocence where a feeling is determined to be hurt.
802. Idealists seem to believe that tribalism is superficial – something which – if ignored -- will simply go away. But the fact is that tribalism has been an integral part of our evolutionary success. That it is instinctive and deep-rooted is shown in every aspect of society: in religion, in politics -- and in rooting for the home team.
796. Diversity in a population can provide strength and resilience, but it is not an end in itself. The ultimate in diversity is simply chaos.
793. Perfectionitis: a psychiatric affliction of modern western democracies. Measuring their societies against a standard of impossible perfection, they become filled with self-loathing, and eagerly embrace policies which seem likely to assure their own destruction.
778. Appeasement never deters -- but always encourages -- aggression.
772. Citizenship without commitment is the subversive legacy of multiculturalism.
761. Islam upholds the sensibilities of the seventh century as a source of all wisdom. This explains why the countries in which it dominates are primitive, oppressive, and unpleasant.
765. Islam and freedom of speech cannot co-exist; the battle may, at great cost, be postponed, but it cannot be avoided.
760. Islam is full of bad ideas -- one of the worst of which is that it is an infallible source of wisdom in all matters, and hence is beyond criticism. Thus it stands resolutely against the great constant reality of the universe: change.
755. Multiculturalism and socialism -- look like peaches, taste like lemons.
754. Multiculturalism and socialism are conceptually attractive, but thoroughly impractical. One proclaims the equality of cultures, the other the equality of men. But to cherish equality is to reject what works -- merit, competence, and accomplishment.
748. To claim an equivalency between the cultures of secular western democracies, and those under the influence of Islam, is a declaration of intellectual and moral bankruptcy.
743. Every totalitarian – whether dictator, socialist, climate alarmist, religious leader, or upholder of political correctness – is an idealist: he attempts to make humanity fit – through force or persuasion -- the Procrustean bed of an ideal, conceptual world. The concept is always at odds with the facts or with the realities of the human condition, and is ultimately unattainable or unsustainable.
741. "Equality," "tolerance," "faith," ‘science" and "racism" are some of the most dangerous words in the English language – because they all encompass unjustified assumptions.
"Equality" is assumed to be the natural state of things, or a state towards which things should be -- virtuously -- manoeuvered. But while equality of opportunity and treatment are worthy aims, it is inequality -- not equality -- which is at the heart of all change, all life, and all progress. "Equality" is not attainable, except -- perhaps – in stasis, finality, and death. The true motive of those claiming to seek equality is generally improvement. Anyone who attains equality in some respect will not be satisfied; he will seek further improvement, even if that should result in inequality.
"Tolerance" and "faith" are assumed to be universally benign; but focus and direction are the determinants: tolerance of murder, or faith in a God who approves of human sacrifice, slavery, or cannibalism can hardly be considered virtuous.
"Science" suggests the authority of facts, and a reliability of prediction; but too often the term is applied to matters of mere hypothesis, to conclusions preliminary or premature, or to pronouncements made by those with expertise in a field labelled "scientific." Only a record of consistent predictive success gives evidence of a scientific understanding of how the world works.
"Racism" is used as a term of irrefutable opprobrium; it is often applied – not legitimately – to an irrational disapproval of race -- but illegitimately -- to simple criticisms of cultural ideas and practices.
725. This is an age which cherishes not only hopeful illusions, but the self-esteem of those most foolishly entranced; thus, in all things, the truth becomes toxic: the destruction of fantasy is seen as a wanton, gratuitous cruelty.
724. Cultures are like complex melodies – full of nuance and rhythmic subtleties. Human beings, instinctively tribal, and correspondingly accepting of existing tribal mores, find comfort and reassurance in the familiarity and essential predictability of the "anthem" of their national identities. They can – and do -- cope with natural and gradual alterations to the melody over time. However, abrupt changes to the tune demanded by complete strangers who have not listened long enough to appreciate its complexities -- these are scarcely welcomed.
720. Political correctness represents the intersection of timidity and stupidity.
718. Political correctness pretends that perfection is the natural state of humanity, and demands adherence to the myth as proof of virtue. Thus anxiety, guilt --and a concomitant cowering silence --become the zeitgeist of the age.
717. The Koran contains many barbaric ideas which are incompatible with modern Western secular precepts -- and, indeed, with any humane continuance of the human project. The politically correct, always desperate to find an affirming equality -- especially where it does not exist -- seem to think that this fact should not be mentioned. Perhaps they believe that ignored facts turn into pumpkins at midnight. But bad ideas, uncriticized, are neither transformed into jack-o'- lanterns nor neutralized as pies. It is important to give voice to passionate criticism of the unacceptable elements in the religion of Islam.
714. When not giving offense becomes the chief good, dishonesty and stupidity share equally in the triumph.
707. The twentieth century provided adequate evidence of the destructive potential of competitive, aggressive tribalism. It is interesting that, in the twenty-first century, some of the more enlightened tribes have concluded that the appropriate remedy for tribal aggression is self-destruction -- in deference to less enlightened tribes.
705. Islam presents a difficult puzzle for the West. A literal reading of the Koran reveals ways of thinking absolutely incompatible with western government, secular freedoms, and egalitarian aspirations. At the same time, a portion of the Muslim population is religiously casual and capable of adaptation to western values; another portion is unlikely to appreciate the distinction between concepts religious and principles secular; yet another portion is fanatically committed to the triumph of the barbaric sensibilities of the seventh century. The western bias -- resolutely optimistic and egalitarian -- assumes the vast preponderance of the first portion. The realist -- a rare species in the West -- would insist on determining immigration policy based on an accurate discrimination among the adaptable, the likely resistant, and the clearly fanatical.
704. There have been attempts to equate the anti-Semitism of the last century with anti-Islamic sentiment of the present day. But there is a difference between discrimination based on race, and the rejection of those committed to a hostile religious ideology.
703. The term "multiculturalism" -- like the term "tolerance" -- is used to represent an unqualified, unassailable good, and to silence discussion of cultural differences. In fact, "multiculturalism" -- is simply not viable in the real world -- because some cultural values are directly antithetical. There is no compromise possible between the belief that religion should form the basis of government, and the conviction that it should not. It is not helpful to discuss "multiculturalism" -- in general; the focus should be on the desirability of specific cultural values.
701. Political correctness: a gloss of lipstick on the snout of truth.
700. Multiculturalism is viable only at the superficial level of culinary preference and the odd quaint tradition. He who claims to welcome directly opposing views about freedom of speech, the rôle of religion in government, gender equality and sexual orientation -- is a liar.
699. The next time you hear someone approving of "multiculturalism," ask whether the tolerance expressed extends to cannibalism, slavery, and stoning for adultery. The subsequent attempt to define "multiculturalism" should prove interesting.
698. Most multiculturalists are hypocritical liars; they favour "multiculturalism" in order to suggest their superior inclusive tolerance -- but only in a broad, vague, general way. They balk at specific cultural practices, such as cannibalism, slavery, beheadings, scalpings, appeasement of Gods with human sacrifice, laws against blasphemy, the death penalty for apostasy, stoning for adultery, amputation for theft, throwing gays from tall buildings, female genital mutilation, widow burning, and honour killings. Their "tolerance" is not all-embracing; it is quite selective. It is simply the scope of that selectivity -- not "multiculturalism"-- which is the legitimate subject of public debate.
697. It used to be that taking offense was an occasional surreptitious private indulgence -- but now -- especially at institutions of higher learning -- there is a virtual epidemic of quivering public angst. Can it be long before it finds broader manifestation -- as a nation-wide dangerous and de-stabilizing social addiction?
691. The globalist view is that national borders are anachronistic relics which should be destroyed. This ignores a certain obdurate reality: human beings are instinctively tribal, and territorial -- and tend to resist the incursion of foreign cultural values.
690. Borders make the nation. When borders are destroyed, the concept of nationhood is effectively obliterated.
687. The term "affirmative action" suggests that a re-naming of the Devil will alter the nature of his deeds.
686. The project of the European Union reflects a spirit more idealistic than scientific. It assumes – contrary to historical evidence -- that citizens are enamoured of central planning, and welcome the central plans of unelected elites; further – most recently – it has pretended that cultural – that is tribal -- differences are always minor, and will succumb to good intentions. It is significant that the first country to leave the Union is one which, by historical exceptionalism and through geographical isolation, has a strong sense of tribal identity.
682. The West has decided to trade in its moral compass for a shiny bauble called "equality" -- and a smug, self-congratulatory sense of "tolerance." In the end, the bargain will prove to be both debilitating and impoverishing.
680. Political correctness -- a cocktail of poisonous lies pretending to the sweetness of lemonade, and the virtue of carrot juice.
678. It would be great progress if belief in Sharia law could be replaced by a conviction that the earth is flat. Some follies are more dangerous than others.
673. The great dilemma of the age -- whether to be nice -- or speak the truth.
665. It is admirable to maintain that tribalism is a barbaric element of our past, and that all cultures are equal; practical difficulties arise from the fact that some tribes are still more barbaric than others.
663. A melody is not created by selecting notes on the basis of their diversity, but on the basis of their effectiveness.
662. Political correctness cherishes, above all, the subjective lens; further, no individual perception of reality is -- reassuringly -- better than any other. To suggest otherwise is to risk an unpleasant encounter with the truth.
659. The lies of political correctness sound pleasant enough -- but the truth is like a restless skeleton in the closet – it will rattle its way out eventually.
657. The greatest threat to freedom in the West is political correctness -- the despotism disguised as virtue.
656. Political correctness: despotism disguised as virtue.
654. Cultures are like melodies: simultaneous performances in a common hall make the jobs of lyricist -- and vocalist -- impossible.
637. We long for "dangerous" spaces, where feelings are irrelevant, and all ideas are free to engage in a battle to the death.
636. Society will always be torn between the pretence of equality -- in order to make people feel good -- and the need for a hierarchy of competence -- in order to make things work.
626. It's a pity to see western democracies caught in the trap of their own idealistic but inappropriate tolerance.
613. Fearing that the universe might wobble, and require a complete galactic re-ordering, political correctness attempts to prevent even a single triggering event of hurt feelings. It fails to contemplate the possibility that there are some feelings that deserve to be hurt.
600. Political correctness is the new, oppressive religion.
599. Societies seem to welcome -- perhaps they require -- oppressive religions. As Christianity ebbs, political correctness -- stern, uncompromising, and intolerant -- floods imperiously in.
582. Political correctness values feelings over facts, fiction over freedom.
581. Political correctness is essentially totalitarian – it aims to suppress truth in favour of harmony.
576. Those who breathlessly praise 'cultural diversity' as an end in itself seem to forget that, in the natural world, diversity provides not only good ideas which triumph, but bad ideas which, deservedly, fail.
571. Men think in herds, not because herds are right, but because they offer security, mutual respect, and a needed sense of certainty.
569. Tolerance -- as a self-perceived virtue -- will brook no dissent.
568. The term "racist" is mistakenly -- and unfairly -- applied to those critical, not of race, but of cultural values and attitudes. A more accurate term might be "culturist." It would probably be difficult to find anyone who is not a "culturist."
567. Every instance of political correctness reflects the death of some degree of honesty, the snuffing out of some light of truth.
565. The ideal is that all human beings are equal, and should not be judged on the basis of their culturally derived ideas and attitudes. The fact is that cultural gulfs can be wide, deep, and dangerous. Pretending that there is no abyss will not repeal the law of gravity.
564. Discrimination based on race is absurd; preference for one culture over another is entirely reasonable -- since some cultures create more freedom, opportunity, wealth, artistic accomplishment and scientific achievement than others. A difficulty arises when race and culture are closely intertwined.
563. Human beings are defiantly real, rather than conveniently conceptual. That is why attempts to create an ideal society invariably involve bullying and oppression -- and why they ultimately fail.
553. Appeasement of those proclaiming manifestly bad ideas will be taken as a mark of approval, and a sign of consent.
539. The determined pretence that tribal -- that is cultural -- differences are unimportant is one of the chief follies of the age.
535. If you want to silence a critic, the term "racist" is more effective than facts or logic.
533. One day -- probably hundreds of years in the future -- it may be possible to say: "I don't care whether you are offended."
530. Hurt feelings are subjective, self-defined, and potentially limitless in scope. That is why they cannot be used to measure the inappropriateness of a comment or criticism.
515. Xenophobia may be likened to paranoia: sometimes there are real threats, and sometimes fear is a reasonable response.
512. It is the current fashion to expect truth to defer to feelings. It is, perhaps, unfortunate that the demands of feelings are limitless, and the truth has little reputation for generosity.
511. Political correctness is a refusal to make judgments of value – lest the ideal of equality be betrayed.
510. Islam is an ideology made more dangerous by its claim to a religious -- and therefore infallible -- origin.
509. Political correctness: Correctness sacrificed for political reasons.
508. Political correctness: Tact grows up confused, changes his name to Cowardice -- and marries Stupidity.
507. Tolerance is a two-way street. The one-way streets are called Provocative Arrogance and Spineless Submission.
506. Insecurity breeds a defensive hostility. "Cultural appropriation" is seen as a terrible insult, an appropriate compliment, or a matter of complete indifference -- according to the self-perceived level of cultural validity.
494. Political correctness is a consequence of the egalitarian ideal: it protects bad ideas so that those holding them will not feel offended. Thus it assures that good and bad ideas may be held with equal confidence and certainty.
479. Political correctness is concerned not with truth, but with pretense.
473. Political correctness: tact trumps fact.
472. Political correctness assumes that when facts are ignored, they will go away.
471. Political correctness is wilful blindness.
467. Political correctness: humbug as the highway to harmony.
457. Political correctness is a dangerous, hypocritical idealism: it is a determined pretence that the world of competitive struggle, in which some things are inevitably better than others, is, at its core, an egalitarian utopia of sweetness and light. As Aldous Huxley so aptly observed, "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored."
456. Inequality is the seed of progress.
455. Those who seek special treatment as members of a disadvantaged group ensure that they will never be judged on their merits.
454. The ideal is to see people as individuals; the current practice of political correctness is to see citizens solely as representatives of groups afflicted with various degrees of victimization.
453. Political correctness: freedom sacrificed at the altar of hypocrisy.
416. The claim that something should be beyond criticism is a sure sign of its inadequacy.
414. To be in favour of multiculturalism, one must believe in the equality of cultures. To believe in the equality of cultures, one must hold that no idea about the conduct of life is better than any other – that differences between freedom and repression, church and state, gender equality and patriarchy-- between cruel traditions and the attempt to see things as they are – that all such distinctions are irrelevant. In other words, one has to be a complete idiot -- or perversely bent on cultural suicide.
408. Failures of idealism: religion, socialism, multiculturalism, the United Nations, the compulsory universal healthcare system, concerted attempts to protect ideas or people from criticism, the committed belief that equality is a "natural" state – especially the notion that equality of result is either attainable or desirable.
407. A concerted attempt to shield people from experiencing hurt feelings may appear noble; but a price is paid in the coin of freedom, and in the currency of truth.
400. Appeasement of those making unreasonable demands -- whether from fear or from a generous, empathetic sensitivity -- invariably leads to further unreasonable demands.
399. Tradition is habit: self-confirming, self-reverential, and self-perpetuating.
389. To refrain from mocking those with foolish ideas for
fear of giving offense is not wise. Hurt feelings are a small price to pay for
the erosion of stupidity. (cf. The ultimate result of shielding men from
the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. Herbert Spencer,
1820 - 1903)
370. In the secure interdependence of citizen and state, the savanna gives way to the hive; man becomes a mere "piano key" to be depressed and released in accordance with the melody: a contented, harmonious buzz.
367. To limit freedom of speech in the hope that none will ever be offended is a blighted seed – a precursor of decay. Its flower is a failure of honesty, its fruit -- the imprisonment of the mind .
364. Religion is essentially tribal in nature. It has little to do with individual rationality, and much to do with the emotional comfort provided by "groupthink."
364. "Groupthink" suggests certainty where there is none. (Cf. Voltaire: Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.)
363. The more absurd the tribal (or religious) myth, the greater the sacrifice of rationality required for belief. The greater the sacrifice of rationality, the greater appears the power of the tribe. Thus absurdity begets not weakness, but strength.
362. The flower of absurd belief is usually rooted in the soil of fear, and fear is its chief means of propagation.
354. Some ideas are better than others. This simple truth strikes at the heart of many popular beliefs; multiculturalism and religion come quickly to mind.
353. Tolerance is not an absolute virtue; it is laudable -- or not -- in context. Tolerance of thievery suggests an intolerant hostility towards the robbed.
350. Tolerance can be but a Trojan Horse of the mind: it
presents itself as unblemished virtue, offering the satisfaction of moral
superiority, and the reward of self-congratulatory smugness. Too late, it is
discovered that it works to erode the foundations, the very principles upon
which the city has been built. It delivers the keys to those who envision a
society measurably less tolerant, to those with inferior ideas, but superior
(Cf. #234. Tolerance extended to intolerance looks very much like stupidity.)
346. Some ideas are better than others. The refusal to face this simple fact lies at the heart of multiculturalism.
319. A politically correct pretence is like a tightrope over a volcano.
318. It's a delicate balance. A certain amount of humbug is necessary to keep the wheels of civilized society turning. Too much humbug -- as people pretend that sand is a lubricant and dynamite a promising alternative fuel -- and the bang and whimper of collapse loom near.
312. Harmony on the cheap -- purchased by turning a blind eye to the transgressions of those claiming other cultural values -- may yet prove to be unacceptably costly.
308. Where harmony is the greatest good, the notes of truth and justice are often deemed discordant -- harsh voices inadmissible in the reverential choir.
305. In the interests of harmony, it is often considered appropriate to silence any discordant notes of truth.
258. The pusillanimous pooh-bahs of punditry have postured in paroxysms of outrage and moral superiority. (A reference to response in the media to Quebec's proposed Charter of Values.)
257. Diversity and uniformity represent ends of a spectrum. The most useful light is generated somewhere in the middle.
256. "Diversity" is not an end in itself. At the end, one must conclude that some ideas are better than others.
246. Cultural sensitivity-- expressed in cries of wounded outrage -- is a measure of cultural insecurity.
235. Elephants, though unrecognized or unacknowledged, may yet continue to poop on the carpet, eventually rendering the room uninhabitable.
234. Tolerance extended to intolerance looks very much like stupidity.
101. Tolerance is like alcohol: in moderate amounts, it softens hard edges, and lubricates the machinery of social interaction; in excess, it leads to foolishness, incoherence, the annihilation of principle, and the destruction of the essential self.
88. 'Smugitude’ is that certainty of moral superiority evinced by the politically correct. (The affliction is generally thought to be intrinsic, and incurable.)
87. It is a conceit of the modern liberal multicultural society that being nice to people with bad ideas and horrifying beliefs will result in harmony. On the contrary, such folly will end in the conflict which inevitably accompanies the unchecked spread of bad ideas and horrifying beliefs.
75. There is a peculiar sense of self-loathing in societies which have achieved, by historical standards, almost paradisal circumstances; adults in the sixties with much mea culpa, deferred to ignorant and idealistic youth; today we defer to the practices of any culture that demands we do so.
22. Given the economic realities of the modern world, aboriginal cultures appear manifestly deficient in their capacity for creating prosperity. The size–and cost--of the ‘aboriginal industry’ which has been manufactured to mask this fact is proportional to the deficiency, and an interesting instance of the perverse but not uncommon desire to support the unsupportable.
13. Affirmative action is simply discrimination with a pretty face.
4. It is a matter of enduring wonder that modern western democratic societies, which have created environments so attractive to the rest of the world, seem eager to modify their cultures in favour of those which have created environments measurably less desirable.
2. There is an immediate appeal to the notion that aboriginal peoples be subsidized in order to preserve their traditional ways of life. However, my neighbour, Mrs. Jones, notes that her ancestors made a living shearing sheep, but the government seems to have no interest in assisting her to earn a living in accordance with her ancestral traditions.