Sunday, February 21, 2016
A clarification of my rejection of the "Dastardly Leftists" explanation
In my previous essay, PC MC TV, and in many essays I've written over the years, I've made a case for broadening out the analysis of the Problem of the Problem (the Problem, that is, of the West's persisting myopia to the Problem of Islam) to a more amorphous cultural & sociological phenomenon, where Leftism is only one factor.
Indeed, I developed the term "PC MC" (Politically Correct Multi-Culturalism) precisely as an alternative to "Leftism" (or "liberalism"), in order to do analytical justice to what seemed evident to me: the fact of millions of non-Leftists who inhale and exhale politically correct opinions about Islam, thereby contributing to the climate change in the cultural atmospherics -- the paradigm shift in worldview -- that has occurred over the past half century or more (with historical roots going back a good century or two before that). And by so doing, these non-Leftists who ingest and regurgitate PC MC memes help reinforce the Leftist agenda; and without the non-Leftists enabling them, the Leftists wouldn't stand a chance to influence Western society.
This, of course, presumes two things about Leftists: 1) that they are a relatively small minority in the West; and 2) that they do not have supernatural powers to control the vast majority through diabolical manipulation of all cultural & sociopolitical institutions. And, in turn, it presumes two things about the non-Leftists: 1) that a critical mass of them are not stupid sheep; and 2) that they sincerely believe in the PC MC memes they recycle into the cultural atmospherics. I.e., they are not being "brainwashed" by some external force; they really sincerely believe in the righteous virtue of avoiding "bigotry" and "racism" with regard to the problem of Muslims. Of course, how this translates into actual opinions and what policies they would support varies from person to person; and where they draw the line separating legitimate criticism of Islam from illegitimate "Islamophobia" also may vary somewhat. But the general principle & framework is shared by all, and it is considerably softer than the softest Counter-Jihadists.
Now, when I said that "they are not being "brainwashed" by some external force" I didn't mean to say that there exist no Leftists out there trying to brainwash the public with disinformation and propaganda about Islam; I merely meant that the general PC MC disposition of these non-Leftist masses is not the successful result of some dastardly, calculating brainwashing project.
If it's not the successful result of a dastardly Leftist (or Marxist or "Gramscian" or "Alinskyite") project, what is it? Well, that's the six million dollar question. My point is that in order to answer that question, we have to factor in certain phenomena -- such as the existence of non-Leftist defenders of Muslims (e.g., the Voegelin Society, deeply respectful of Christian tradition, and routinely castigated as right-wing and "anti-Communists") -- and be reasonable and avoid the glib assumption that all these non-Leftists are "stupid sheep" easily brainwashed by a Dastardly Cabal. Once we chart that course, the only plausible alternative is that somehow, virtues of our Graeco-Roman Judaeo-Christian heritage had within them the seeds of the development into a mass neurosis we see now in PC MC.
As I mentioned up top, I've written several essays on this problem. Perhaps the most concise yet thorough one is PC MC: Neither Left nor Right, but Ambidextrous.