Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Pepper Archives 4: Knowing our Left from our Right...

Some typical examples of my thought process in 2005 (when in Jihad Watch comments I called myself "Dr. Pepper" in my continuing series of revisiting those archives), as I was grappling with the problem of the nature of PC MC, may be found in this comments thread as I respond to various remarks by others.  Not that what I say there I now found objectionable, per se; it's only that my accent on Leftism as the source of PC MC seems a bit too pointed, and conveys the misleading impression that non-Leftists (who abound throughout the West, if they are not likely the majority) regularly lapse into their PC MC tics, spasms & reflexes out of some reason other than that they sincerely and willingly go along with its givens in this regard -- as though they were sheeps duped (if not forced) by some amorphous (or dastardly) influences.

And then, I note in a nearby comments thread, I can turn around and write this:

[Michael] Savage tirelessly emphasizes the screamingly obvious fact that Leftism (Savage calls it “Liberalism”, but I forgive his semantics) is the major problem crippling our self-defense against Islam. Here on “our side”, Messrs. Hugh and Robert (and the majority of posters here) are consistently fastidiously chary about blaming Leftism (and in fact have turned “it’s not a Left/Right problem” into a noble bromide).

-- and then subsequently add:

This Leftist “hijacking” of culture is so extensive, it infects conservatives and the “right wing” to an unprecedented degree.

(Or, in yet another comments thread, this:

The idea that Bush, and Christian Fundamentalists & Evangelicals, and Christians in general, and Jews, are more dangerous to the world than Islams is — this idea has had a long, rich and enormous cultural matrix to evolve into fruition from. This idea didn’t just pop out of the blue sky the day Bush took the oath of office. The ground has been laid for decades for such an idea to have the dominance it has now — and that sociopolitico-cultural ground that nourishes that idea, and its flip-side of tender sensitivity to Islam, is mostly the fault of the Left, who created PC and continue to water it and feed it daily.)

Which was (I now see) decidedly a bit too much.  Though I do show signs of getting warm again (hence my general characterization of myself as "grappling" with the analytical problem):

The missing ingredient here is the cultural sea change that has occurred in the past 50-odd years, whereby even conservative and right-leaning businessmen and politicians have become infected by the amorphous cultural atmosphere of PC Leftism, which holds three non-negotiable Givens about Islam:

1) Islam is a great world religion of peace

2) terrorism by Muslims represents a tiny minority of extremists who are trying to hijack that religion of peace

3) all substantive criticism of Islam qua Islam is “Islamophobic” and must not be entertained or supported in the public marketplace of ideas (let alone in the halls of policy-making or in the chambers of intelligence meetings).

Then, however, I had to add:

Notice Spencer’s comment: “that the struggle against jihad terror and the supremacist imperative is not a conservative or liberal issue, and that both should join it.”

Once again, Spencer conflates the “is” with the “should”. Of course, we all agree that our current self-defense against Islam should not be a left-right issue; but that should not blind us to the fact that it currently is one, and has been one for several decades. 

To which my nearly 2015 self says, looking fondly on his younger, 2005 self:  "Well, yes and no..."  For, as I have documented and analyzed a few times since that time, as dismayingly PC MC as the Right has shown itself to be in this regard, they do show some signs of being to some degree better than those on the Left.

Nevertheless, I did follow up that above remark with the following, once again showing that I was struggling for the perspective I came to clarify in later years:

Furthermore, Spencer and Hugh (and a few others here) obtusely ignore the more complex sociological issue here: we are not talking about “liberals” and “conservatives” as bodies of people subscribing to clear party platforms. We are talking about a sociocultural process, whereby our culture has become infected by Leftism over the past 50-odd years. This sociocultural process has resulted in the curious phenomenon of conservatives & those on the Right buying into the PC package, which includes the three Givens I listed above.

And, even better, in a subsequent response to one Cornelius (who insisted on demonizing certain right-wing businessmen who deal in the various geopolitical economics of Saudi and UAE oil):

American oil men wouldn’t do those things in collusion with Nazis or the KKK or the Symbionese Liberation Army. The fact they do it with Muslims shows not that they are knowingly colluding with evil people; but rather that they are unknowingly colluding with them. And their lack of knowledge is not merely a simple ignorance of data that, once supplied by accidentally reading Jihad Watch, would cause the scales to fall from their eyes. No, their lack of knowledge is more than mere deficiency of information; it is part of a sociocultural sea change in psychology and sociology that needs more than the simple communication of data to wake them up.

And, when Cornelius obtusely persisted in assuming that these Right-Wing Anglo-Saxon Globalist Businessmen were ultimately motivated by one of Hugh Fitzgerald's Esdujula Elves (viz., Cupidity), I followed up with:

The crucial explanatory factor here then is not the bottom line (even though the bottom line is important), since the crucial explanatory factor would have to be a factor under all circumstances: the crucial explanatory factor is the ignorance of how bad one’s business partners are, the ignorance of (Islamic) ideology; and again, that ignorance is not in our current cultural condition merely a deficiency of data. It is the state of being massively infected by a parallel ideology — PC Leftism.

Speaking of Hugh, he had to weigh in at that juncture -- with, speaking of the devil, that particular Esdrujula Elf, Cupidity, as a viable explanation for those aforementioned Businessmen.  To which I responded:

With Realpolitik (and its corollary, realistic economics), there has always been a certain amount of dealing with bad people, since the assumption is that nobody’s perfect and that in the real world, one makes deals with lesser evils. Knowing that Saudis are the types you wouldn’t want your daughter meeting is hardly remarkable, considering how many ordinarily bad wolves exist in the world; and that knowledge is hardly knowledge of the profound malevolence of Islam and the dire threat it poses to the West, and to the World.

Obviously, no American businessman worth his salt (and we are not talking about the ones not worth their salt and we are assuming that the majority of them are decent, intelligent, ethical, patriotic types) would do business with, for example, Hitler in 1944, let alone continue to renew business contracts with him year in and year out (hypothetically imagining that WWII lasted long after 1945).
We here in our tiny subcommunity Jihad Watch know that Islam is as bad as (if not in certain ways worse than) Hitler’s Germany. Obviously then, something besides mere cupidity and stupidity motivates these American businessmen to continue to deal with Muslims:

1) not mere cupidity, because otherwise they would have collaborated with Hitler in 1944 if it would have fed their cupidity — and we know they wouldn’t have.

2) not stupidity, because the information is already extant and prevalent, and businessmen and politicians are intelligent.

It’s not a matter of lack of information, or some mysterious obstruction to the information getting to the eyes and ears of these people. It’s a matter of a massive, sociocultural filter of all information, changing the nature of that information before it gets received.

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