Friday, February 06, 2009
The Psychology of PC MC
Most Western PC MCs, and most Western Leftists—whether they are dastardly “elites” or whether they are ordinary people—are not ignorant enough to explain their sociopolitical attitudes about Islam: i.e., ignorance is not a sufficient explanation for why they are PC MC and/or Leftist.
While many of them, if not a slim majority of them, may be strictly speaking ignorant of most of the damning facts about Islam, the problem enters in after the damning facts have been introduced to their attention for consideration. For, most of them do not suddenly wake up and agree with us when we present that damning information, nor do they tend to show a genuine interest in the questions which that damning information logically arouses. More often than not, PC MC people recoil and respond defensively.
If ignorance does not explain the hold of PC MC on people, what else do we adduce to make sense of this? Most analysts in the still inchoate Anti-Islam Movement who operate in the explanatory vacuum will have no other choice, if ignorance is ruled out as an explanation, but to leap to a demonization of PC MCs and/or Leftists, a demonization that in turn finds its logic only in some form of conspiracy theory—particularly with PC MC, since it is dominant and mainstream: the logic being that it could not have the widespread influence it does enjoy throughout the West absent some type of conspiratorial machination among people who are consciously pursuing goals that they know are inimical to their own West. I.e., conscious, willful treason based either on ideology or greed (or both).
Certainly, among the PC MCs and even more so the Leftists, there is a certain degree of will at play—whether the will to suppress the facts that would contradict their agenda, or beyond that, the will to actually do the harm their agenda intends. But for the vast majority of them, they are not evil people: they do not go around willfully doing unethical things (much less treasonous things) ranging from lying to countenancing evil deeds with a conscious sense of knowing what they are doing as unethical or evil. The complexity enters in here: most Leftists and PC MCs sincerely think they are doing good.
The problem here is subtler and more complex, on psychological and sociological levels, than has been typically explained, or more often merely implied, by the dominant type of asymptotic analysis current in the still inchoate Anti-Islam Movement. Contrary to the rather naively optimistic view of many in this Movement, the mere introduction of facts about Islam to the attention of a fellow Westerner is not, most of the time, sufficient to wake them up to the danger and injustice thereof. For, between the data and the mind of the PC MC person stands a complex filtration and processing system which to them has become as second nature as the air they breathe.
This complex filtration and processing system is the PC MC paradigm, which reflects the interlocking givens and axioms of a sea change in consciousness that has occurred throughout the West over the past 60-odd years (with roots going back, of course, decades, if not centuries, before that in Western civilization).
Leftists and PC MCs think and feel in the context of this paradigm: it processes incoming data and uses it as fodder for prejudicially established axioms. In order for this paradigm to work in a dominant and mainstream way in the context of modern democracies, it must be able to appeal to basic decency, intelligence and common sense to a great degree. In a tyranny, and in totalitarian societies, paradigms do not have to pass such a test: their agendas are imposed from on high and through thuggery as well as more nuanced techniques of paranoid espionage and violent intimidation. In the context of modern Western democratic societies, however, paradigms in order to become sociopolitically dominant and mainstream—as the PC MC paradigm has over the past 60-odd years—must reflect the worldview of the better angels of human nature and of the ongoing evolution of sociopolitico-cultural and ethical consciousness at that stage of its ongoing development.
The problem with the PC MC paradigm is not that it is evil: the problem is precisely that it has enough good in it—that it faithfully reflects the goodness of the ongoing progress of the West sufficiently—to appeal to the hearts and minds of a majority of Western people. With this sufficient goodness, then, there is generated the ability to insinuate harmful attitudes and policies into the mainstream.
And there is a further wrinkle of complexity here, in that the “harm” of the PC MC paradigm is not so much sheer harm qua harm: it is the harm that results from taking a good thing too far. Most of the harm of the PC MC paradigm stems from a pathological excess of certain good values. In light of this, let us examine two key virtues that relate centrally to explaining why the West is behaving so irrationally in the face of a global revival of a hostile Islam:
1) the virtue of trying to transcend xenophobia, which is a trait of all peoples throughout all history, and thus to try to understand, and to respect (where respect is earned), the Other;
and, on the flip side of the coin,
2) the virtue of being able to question and to criticize one’s own culture.
These two virtues are essentially good: they reflect, and tend to fortify, the health of any society that cultivates their pursuit within reason. I call these two virtues the twin axiom of the PC MC paradigm, for it forms the very crux of the whole edifice.
Where the problem comes in is how these virtues are cultivated. If pursued to an excessive, irrational, and pathological degree, they tend to cease being virtues and begin to become harmful vices.
This is precisely what has happened throughout the West, with regard to these two virtues (among others that do not relate as directly to the problem of Islam). Meanwhile, in the past 25 years (paradoxically and perversely intensified post-911), Muslims have become the quintessential “Other”, to be understood, privileged, and “respected”—mainly because of all Third World peoples, they are the only ones to persistently throw childish tantrums and to imbue the atmospherics of all our interconnected societies with an underlying threat of violent intimidation. As such, Muslims have become the principal positive subject of this double axiom, while we Westerners (and most acutely Americans and Jews) have become the principal negative subject.
Of course, this irrational configuration of Muslim-Western relations has happened because the dominant and mainstream PC MCs have let it happen. And they have done so not merely out of the first tenet of the twin axiom of the PC MC paradigm—to wit, the excessively irrational “respect” for the Islamic Other—in logical symbiosis with the second tenet—the excessively irrational denigration of their own Western culture. In addition to this perverse dynamic, PC MC people have also let this situation develop as it has out of a growing sense of a subliminal, semi-conscious fear of Muslims. This fear of Muslims, in turn, triggers in their minds a second fear, apparently worse than the fear of Muslims: a fear of their own white Western societies becoming more and more forced to respond to the threat of Muslims, by going down that “slippery slope” toward not only the thought crimes of “racism” and “Islamophobia”, but also toward the horribly unethical collective measures against all Muslims—from mass deportation, to mass internment, to “ethnic cleansing”, and finally, the final solution: genocide.
This fear pulsates semi-consciously in their minds and throbs as a more or less incoherent tumor of illogically jumbled assumptions: For example, it tends to associate the eminently rational proposal of deportation (even if not a deportation of all Muslims but only of immigrant Muslims) with genocide. Similarly, it tends to malign the eminently rational proposal of internment—a proposal actually enacted by one of the greatest liberal Presidents of the 20th century, F.D.R., countenanced by the majority of Americans at the time, and given the official blessing of the U.S. Supreme Court then and never rescinded since then—with genocide.
Furthermore, this dark, irrational dread in the minds of PC MC people tends to abase white Western society as the one society throughout all history as most singularly predisposed to such evils. Thus, this subliminal fear exerts a constant reflex spasm on the PC MC person, and operates by a mechanism that would have been an ingenious Catch-22 had it been actually devised by someone: It is effectively triggered every time there is information about Muslims doing horrible things—whether that be successful terrorist attacks; horrific attacks that were luckily foiled by our intelligence; grotesque beheadings of innocents; murderous lynchings of innocents; ghoulishly ultra-violent tortures of innocents; mass public demonstrations seething with hatred and intolerance; opinions of alternately lurid or cleverly insidious extremism by various popular and influential clerics. Thus, by virtue of this psychological mechanism in the minds of PC MC people, information that in a normal logical healthy mind would be processed as data that damns Islamic culture and raises disturbing, pressing questions about how we can trust Muslims and what should be done to control the geopolitical disorder they are metastatically fomenting around the world, becomes, in the PC MC mind, a trigger to increase their deference, privileges, and “respect” for Muslims!