Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Subversive Process In Our Time

     This piece has a prerequisite: before continuing on, read Dystopic’s recent and highly relevant essay. Note especially this paragraph:

     When I say “nationalist” what is the first thing that comes to mind? For most Americans, nationalism is tainted by Nazism. Any mention of nationalism brings up images of fascists, and genocidal maniacs, and racial supremacists. Why? Nationalists, i.e. people who love their country and its people, have been around since the dawn of civilization. Nationalism is neither inherently good, nor evil. It merely is. Certainly it can be used for evil purposes, as the Nazis did. But it can also be used for good purposes, as used by the patriots of the American Revolution. Yet the word is irrevocably tainted. That is ideological subversion at work. Pride in your country brings feelings of guilt, for things you have never done, nor would ever countenance yourself.

     The amount of useful information implied by that paragraph is phenomenal. It points to a destructive machine, built carefully and operated ruthlessly by persons hostile to the United States, its people, and our culture. The machine was first set in motion in the early Twentieth Century. It’s still in operation, still grinding away at our self-concept as Americans. Until it’s halted and dismantled, there will be no peace among us.

     The paragraph I cited above provides fuel for an appreciation of both the power of the machine and its particular vulnerability. Consider the following two exchanges:

     She: Nationalism is evil.
     He: Well, okay, but I’m really a patriot.
     She: (Attacks the U.S. for imagined crimes, tainting the claim to patriotism.)


     She: Nationalism is evil.
     He: Define the concept and prove your case.
     She: (Rendered speechless.)

     The Left’s most important gains have come from intimidating decent persons out of the sort of riposte in the second exchange. There are several components to this:

  1. An arbitrary claim to the moral high ground;
  2. The severance of history from the modern mind;
  3. The deliberate distortion of important words and phrases;
  4. A relentless effort to induce unearned guilt: some for crimes committed by others, some for wholly imaginary incidents.
  5. An implied offer of absolution in exchange for political abasement.

     Just about every “ism” the Left seeks to use against us in this fashion is founded on that approach, or a gentle variation, and can be defeated in a similar fashion. Consider:

     She: You’re a racist!
     He: I am not. I have lots of black friends.
     She: (Impugns his attitudes and convictions.)


     She: You’re a racist!
     He: Yes, I am. Everyone is. So what?
     She: (Rendered speechless.)

     The riposte consists of denying the intimidating power of the epithet. Note what this does to the various components of the machine:

  1. It dismisses the claim of moral superiority;
  2. It implicitly treats racism as normal and unexceptional;
  3. It shrugs aside the use of “racist” as a bludgeon-word;
  4. It refuses the imputation of guilt;
  5. And of course, if there is no guilt, there’s no need for absolution.

     Ponder that for a moment while I fetch more coffee.

     To subvert is to turn a targeted person against his previous allegiance. When that allegiance is to a palpable entity – e.g., an army or a ruler – the entity must be made to appear unworthy of the allegiance in the target’s eyes. When the allegiance is to a set of ideals – e.g., freedom of expression or association – the ideal itself must be invalidated.

     Certain ideals appear obviously good and desirable to most Americans. Freedom of expression is one such. To subvert allegiance to it, the Left has strained to make it appear noxious, usually by the use of the concept of “hate speech.” Inasmuch as this is only a phrase in the Left’s lexicon, Leftists can use it to mean whatever might be useful to them at some time or place. The phrase itself is intended to convey a sense of guilt or shame. If the target treats it as having a real, objective meaning, his self-regard could be hulled by the attack, rendering him vulnerable to ongoing subversion. Immediately ripping the weapon out of the Leftist’s hands – i.e., dismissing the phrase as meaningless – provides the best counter.

     Many an exchange would cease right there. Once the demon-phrases and concepts are torn from his hands, the typical Leftist has nothing else in his arsenal. Of course some will resort to violence, but that’s a subject for another screed.

     Rather than make heavy weather out of this, I’ll conclude by citing George Orwell:

     “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. Already, in the Eleventh Edition, we’re not far from that point. But the process will still be continuing long after you and I are dead. Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller. Even now, of course, there’s no reason or excuse for committing thoughtcrime. It’s merely a question of self-discipline, reality-control. But in the end there won’t be any need even for that. The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect.”

     Also, from this vitally important essay:

     Stuart Chase and others have come near to claiming that all abstract words are meaningless, and have used this as a pretext for advocating a kind of political quietism. Since you don't know what Fascism is, how can you struggle against Fascism? One need not swallow such absurdities as this, but one ought to recognise that the present political chaos is connected with the decay of language, and that one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end....Political language — and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists — is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

     Verbum sat sapienti – and I mean that literally.


HoundOfDoom said...


(Verbum sat sapienti)

brinster said...

I've concluded, under our current political climate, that I'm a multi-ist. I don't like anything. And I'm damn proud of it.

brinster said...

Correction: That should be omniist.

Dystopic said...

The decay of language is deliberate. And it has muddied the waters considerably. To go along with your quote from Orwell, I must add this:

"The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. His heart sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed against him, the ease with which any Party intellectual would overthrow him in debate, the subtle arguments which he would not be able to understand, much less answer. And yet he was in the right! They were wrong and he was right. The obvious, the silly, and the true had got to be defended. Truisms are true, hold on to that! The solid world exists, its laws do not change. Stones are hard, water is wet, objects unsupported fall toward the earth's center. With the feeling that he was speaking to O'Brien, and also that he was setting forth an important axiom, he wrote:

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows."

The Left deconstructs everything, such that nothing is regarded as real anymore. It is solipsism in action. Water is not wet, because how do you even know water even exists? It's a philosophical trap that has ensnared many.

But this is all the Left can do: destroy, deconstruct, subvert. They cannot build, create, or invent. So they are the eternal parasite of civilization. Milo refers to feminism as cancer. He's not far off, except to say that we might apply such a label to the entire Progressive movement.

dc said...

A song to go w/ this: