Monday, December 21, 2015
Diana West on PC MC (Part 2)
Recently, in my essay Diana West weighs in on PC MC, I examined what I consider to be a defect in Diana West's handling of the Problem of the Problem. Since that time, more came to light in the context of her attention to the Trump issue. She wrote:
Trump resonates with so many Americans, I believe, because he instinctively, almost innocently, articulates an American point of view, American reactions. This is not to suggest that all other politicians are un-American, or heedless of American interests. That is not at all the case. But far more than Donald Trump, they are shaped by or mindful of what we might think of as the Multicultual project. The ideology of "universalism." The Marx-infused underpinnings of the collectivist and globalist political movement.
None of this, so far, is necessarily off the mark; but it does brim & buzz with implications of some sort of a Macchiavellian manipulation (a "project" of "Marx-infused" ideas that "shapes" people) -- which then would become the question: manipulated by whom...? The problem is that without an explicit doctrine specifying what the Problem of the Problem is (and what it isn't), such ambiguous locutions tend to attract conspiracy theorists like honey.
Then, West unpacks that further:
Since this conditioning begins in kindergarten, intensifying to robotic extremes in higher education, it is not surprising to realize that even those who find their place on the right side of the political spectrum express themselves in terms of this same tightly blinkered outlook and its many demands and strictures. One of the main demands -- maybe the main demand -- is to maintain the ideological fiction that there exist no profound differences among peoples and cultures and religions. Theories of collectivism and globalism both depend upon this same Big Lie. Nations and the rights and liberties of the individual, from freedom of religion on down, are sacrificed to it.
This too begs the question -- who is doing the "conditioning"? Either we have a rather simplex phenomenon of one class (or cabal) of people shaping and conditioning the masses through various forms of indoctrination, or we have a more fluid and reciprocal dynamic whereby all are co-dependent enablers of the worldview they all, in different ways, mutually recycle, creating a kind of socopolitical-cultural climate. West's language, however, rather than suggesting this latter diagnosis, tends to lead the reader away from it to the former. The former has the advantage of being simpler, and appealing to -- because facilitating -- our need to peg black hats on scapegoats. The latter is more complicated, since it dilutes the very concept of culpability into a kind of general circulatory system. (As I noted recently, another Counter-Jihadist, Raymond Ibrahim, has broached the more sophisticated analysis in a recent essay I reviewed.)
This is not to say that there do not exist now, and have not existed for decades, more concerted Leftists and their darker cousins, Communists, whose goal indeed is to manipulate Western principles in order to subvert them. But it is to say that they are operating in a wider sociopolitical context where they still have to struggle against a prevailing civilization that, when healthier, resists their designs; and that, whenever and wherever they do achieve footholds along the way of their long road of revolution -- including a watering down of their goals in order to gain those footholds -- it is only due to a deeper, broader predisposition in Western culture that has longer historical roots than the relatively recent phenomena of Leftism and Communism.
Our long-term solution to this, then, would be the equivalent to the metaphor of a person whose best chance of eluding serious disease in the distant future is to begin to cultivate a healthier mind & body in the meantime. The West, thus, needs to begin to engage in its own "counter-subversion" project, by strengthening the immune system of the Body Politic so that eventually its PC MC neurosis collapses into a heap of its incoherent parts heretofore held together only by the Krazy Glue of its irrational anxiety about "racism" (an Orwellian construct distinct from actual racism, which all good men and women should, indeed, eschew). Diana West's rhetoric (and that of so many others in the Counter-Jihad), however, tends to imply that the solution must be a kind of invasive intervention of allopathic medicine, perhaps ideological chemotherapy to attack a foreign body occupying our body (in the process taking deep gouges out of ourselves) -- rather than healing the body to help it naturally reject what it has become accustomed to accept, through a complex combination of erroneous assumptions, as part of its health.