Monday, October 01, 2012

"PC MC Self-Police needs backup, 10-4..."

One historical source of the PC MC distaste for the word savages -- the judgement on the white (and European) American past with regard to its treatment of the "Native Americans" (i.e., Injun savages), which has been deemed to have been -- even in public school and college curricula, let alone TV specials, celebrity dyspepsia, and various remarks and policies by politicians over the past few decades -- racist and tantamount to genocidal, and, of course, "shameful".

This came to mind because of a recent ABC interview with Pam Geller about her organization's sponsorship of posters referring to jihadists as "savages"; an interview in which an unremarkably typical PC-MC Christian (yes, those two are, unfortunately, commonly combined throughout the West, since that's just how widespread PC MC is in Western societies), Jim Wallis in his role as the "alternative viewpoint" in the interview (as though a news program cannot interview Pam Geller by herself, they must always have someone on hand -- preferrably an "expert" -- to put her "Islamophobia" in "perspective"); where the ABC host is no better than Wallis: both of them assuming by implication that by "savages" Geller was referring to "all Muslims".  (Whether she should do what they persist in accusing her and other activists in the Counter-Jihad of -- even though all them protest, anxiously, that they are not "painting with a broad brush" -- is another matter.)

However, I'd venture to say this problem runs deeper and more broadly, to a general Western antipathy toward its own Colonialism in general which, for a good 300 years, so the revisionist history goes, "raped" the poor innocent Third World Noble Savages from Pacific Sea to shining Caribbean and everywhere in between.

The word "savages" pushes a very sensitive subliminal button for the PC MC Westerner -- it arouses and reminds him of his "shame" at his own West's past, which still may erupt at any minute, unless suppressed vigorously -- first and foremost, in one's own mind, if you are a White Man, you have a natural tendency to think ugly racist thought crimes against any Non-White, and you must suppress those thoughts, you must be your own Policeman.  And millions of Westerners have done this quite dutifully over the past 60-years.

Thus:  Our PC MC West hasn't really needed to change laws, per se, to enforce these Two Commandments --

"Thou Shalt Feel Ashamed at Thine Own Western Heritage Which Harbors Inherent Racism Against the Non-White Non-Western Other"


"Thou Shalt Respect the Non-White Non-Western Other No Matter What He Does and No Matter What His Culture Teaches, Otherwise Thou Shalt Be Guilty of Racism"

-- because these Commandments have become internalized into the hearts and minds of the majority throughout the West over the past 60-odd years.


The West Self-Polices its own politically correct multi-culturalism.

Secondly, however, that's of course not good enough, because there are too many whites around us in the West who show signs of not loving Big Brother enough, and so they must be suppressed, punished, censured, among other techniques using, as Hillary Clinton said recently, “some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.”

This hasn't been that big of a problem thus far, when factoring in certain putatively non-white minorities (though this is not to deny the problems that have popped up now and then with regard to blacks, for example).

However, a new wrinkle has been devolving over the past 20 years, and most acutely in the post-911 decade: the designated #1 Non-White Non-Western Other, the Muslims, the Mother of all Others (effectively designated as such by the PC MC), have been misbehaving so much around the world, they are putting an enormous strain on the PC MC psyche, and on the PC MC paradigm (same difference, really).  

I mean, even a PC MC can keep up the denial only so long, as Muslims keep rioting, torching, exploding, stabbing, and communicating hateful and violence-laden intolerance through speeches, sermons, lectures, debates, papers, Internet sites, public demonstration signs, etc. -- before the PC MC realizes, even if only semi-consciously, that the Self-Policing is showing signs of stress around the edges and incipient, ominous spidercracks with signs of water seeping through that may portend danger to the whole structure of the paradigm.  So the PC MC now, particularly with this latest devolution in the wake of the Mohammed movie riots and official Muslim calls for criminalization of blasphemy, has been seriously flirting with adding on to the Self-Police an external law that would punish what is getting out hand. 

Of course, the PC MC cannot compute that only Muslims are to blame for this getting out of hand -- for, to be able to compute that, the PC MC must re-wire and re-configure his entire software, and without such a radical overhaul, the PC MC's brain, in trying to process such a thought, would snap, crackle, pop, fizzle and begin to smoke, before imploding.


Fiqh said...

Hiya Hesp,

In my view, this whole “Otherness” nonsensical concept must be discredited entirely. It is a relic of Modernity that serves no purpose but being manipulated by today’s PC MC, as you are no doubt aware.

In the 20th Century, when Leftists took over all of US academia (at least in the Liberal Arts), and jettisoned education entirely in favor of propagandizing, they initially appropriated a Modernist vocabulary in order to push their agenda. This made a degree of sense, in a sinister way. After all, that’s what Karl Marx himself did. The Communist Manifesto was a laughable screed in which Marx simply ripped off Hegelian logic in order to “empirically prove” the inherent inevitability of his ‘power to the working man’ utopia. Leftist academics took that model and ran with it.

When Post-Modernism began to gain some traction – let’s say, for the sake of argument – around 1980, all these same academics did was swap (to various degrees) the faux-Modernist vocabulary cloaking their political agenda with a faux-Post-Modernist vocabulary. This is what has bequeathed to us the present-day stomach-churning fascism of identity politics – something which, in reality, has nothing whatsoever to do with Post-Modernism, properly understood. It is a 100% manipulation by Leftist academics. Furthermore, in this context, the concept of “Otherness” is Post-Modernly unsupportable. The concept of “Otherness” is one of Modernity’s most grotesque bastard children, and it is probably no coincidence that it was born, more or less, just prior to Modernity’s marginalization (I would argue). (To be clear, I’m not suggesting that there isn’t some utility in grasping what “is” relative to what “is not.” I’m simply saying it lacks the epistemological foundation identity politicians pretend it does.)

I know that Post-Modernism often has a bad reputation among Conservatives today precisely because Leftist academics have manipulated it. It is also viewed as relativist, which, properly understood, it is not. And, I want to state for the record, that I am not attempting to place myself as a spokesperson on behalf of Post-Modern analysis. My point is simply to add my voice to many others and state that one of the key fronts that our war against the jihad must be fought on is the university front. We have to cleanse the universities of this misdirectional appropriated rhetoric and propaganda, regardless of its manifestation, and restore honorable pedagogy. I would argue that such a mission would be completely compatible with, and supported by, Post-Modernity, properly understood. Putting the final nail in the coffin of the silly concept of “Otherness,” as an epistemological given, would be just one advance. I would also argue that Colonialism-guilt is closely linked to Modernity. It’s sort of Modernity self-cannibalizing.

Hesperado said...


Thanks for your thoughts. Some of it deals with complex issues of recent history, in movements designated as "Modern" and "Post-Modern", and I tend to agree with most of what your wrote and found some of it interesting. If I had time now, I'd like to delve into them; perhaps another day.

However, on one point I must demur, if I understand you correctly. This business of "the Other" and the multiculturalist reflex in general is not, I maintain, merely a "Leftist" problem, but is much broader and deeper than that.

For one thing, as I think I demonstrated in an older (and very lengthy and detailed) essay, the 16th century statesman and philosopher Montaigne showed rather serious symptoms of this type of thinking, long before a "Leftism" had begun to be noticed or categorized as such. He's not the only one, though I don't want to get into that due to time constraints.

My more recent "Exhibit B" is Fritz Wagner, a professor emeritus who is not only a conservative himself about most sociopolitical issues, his lifelong mentor was the 20th century German philosopher Eric Voegelin, who was also deeply conservative on many issues and who often was vilified as "right-wing" by many in Academe. Well, Prof. Wagner didn't even wait for the smoke to clear on 911 to pen his essay "The Other: Islam and September 11th", which you can read here:

While it shows a few signs here and there of some intelligence, it is fraught with all the problems we have come to learn in the last 12 years which our learned analysts and assorted "experts" can't seem to shake off -- all radiating out of the fundamental tendency they have to distinguish a "radical Islam" from a "true Islam" -- the latter representing a good tradition, a good religion, one practiced and followed by an overwhelming majority of good, decent, harmless moms and pops like you and me.

Not only that, a notice on the Voegelin discussion forum notes about Wagner and his essay:

"Rereading this reflection 10 years later he says he wouldn't
change much of what he wrote back then."

The problem to me is that your analytical framework doesn't seem to be able to explain how a Fritz Wagner can exist -- nor how innumerable others like him do. Wagner and his colleagues all pat themselves on the back for being oh so conservative about this issue or that issue, and how they are immune from the political correctness that bedevils their academic fellows and society at large, and they wryly laugh and take pointed jabs at it. But when it comes to one issue -- Islam and Muslims -- the strangest thing happens to most "conservatives": they suddenly melt into a PC MC. It's a fascinating -- and maddening -- phenomenon.

(Continued next...)

Hesperado said...


I was a member of that discussion forum, by the way, in the year preceding 911, and for a solid year after. I can tell you from personal experience that whenever I pushed the envelope too far for comfort in my searching criticism of Islam (often phrased as questions), ALL the conservatives there ganged up on me, or individually "set me straight". I was finally banned by Fritz Wagner himself -- because he thought I was trying to "bait" another member of the discussion group. And guess who that member was: the one and only Muslim of the group, some female professor from Oxford who I thought was unfairly taking advantage of Voegelin's critiques of his own West -- and I said so. I asked her (politely but firmly), "Show me one Muslim philosopher who has so deeply and scathingly critiqued his own Islam as much as Voegelin has his own West, calling aspects of his own West "deformed" and afflicted with a "spiritual disease", etc." Wagner chose to defend her, rather than me.

Wagner's behavior cannot be explained by calling him a "Leftist", much less a "liberal". And as I say, it's a much broader phenomenon than many think it is. I've written many essays here that explore why this is.

Fiqh said...

Hiya Hesp,

Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I probably didn’t make myself clear enough. I did not in any way mean to suggest that the concept of “Otherness” (or the multiculturalist reflex) was solely the province of the political Left, only that the concept of “Otherness” is a relic of Modernity that I would argue needs to be thoroughly discredited, and which would evaporate when examined through a Post-Modern lens. But, yes, certainly you are quite correct – this relic of Modernity infects both those on the Right and Left, and unfortunately today it is most often deployed to support what you might call a PC MC position. If it was thoroughly discredited – and by this, I mean at the most abstract level – no one – Right or Left – would have it as a widely accepted tool in their rhetorical arsenal. And, yes, I agree with you completely that the wholly false Western construct of "radical Islam" as opposed to "true Islam" is an embarrassing symptom of this relic of Modernity.

Very interesting that you were a member of that discussion forum; that is indeed a telling anecdote. I will read the material to which you linked at the earliest opportunity. Thanks!

Hesperado said...

Thanks Fiqh,

If you don't mind, I have a couple of questions.

1) How would the Post-Modern lens discredit the concept of "Otherness"

2) What are the historical sources of the intellectual/philosophical content of the Post-Modern lens?