Monday, November 19, 2018

Who Is “Society” And How Do I Bill Him, Her, Or It?

     You’ve heard all the cant phrases: “Social justice.” “Social responsibility.” “Social cost.” “Social conscience.” There are others, of course. They have exactly two things in common:

  1. Each one refers to an undefined entity labeled “society;”
  2. Each one attributes to that entity a conception meaningful only to individuals.

     Thus, each phrase destroys the meaning of the second word. But the “social junkies” who wield them like political shillelaghs have been sufficiently numbed between the earphones that there’s no way to convey that to what remains of their brains.

     So perhaps a different approach is in order.

     Anyone who challenges the orthodoxy of political correctness – the lexicon that originated the cant phrases above – will be attacked by those who uphold it. One of the most prominent attacks in recent weeks has been on fledgling social medium / Twitter competitor and its founder and CEO, Andrew Torba. Torba’s brainchild is unabashedly free of politically correct censorship. It forbids only what is demonstrably illegal: “doxxing,” threats of violence, and child pornography. For this, Torba and have been under heavy assault. They’ve lost two hosts and at least two payment processors since the assaults began.

     You’d think that here in the Land of the First Amendment, a venue that cherishes freedom of speech would be appreciated. Not to the Left! No, those nasty Righties mustn’t be allowed to spew their “hate speech.” “The cost to society” is far too great! Have a recent example of this sort of “argument:”

     Torba reposted that, which I believe occurred on Twitter, at to thunderous applause. And to some “social junkies,” it might have been a clinching riposte. But not to all: the belief among them in the absolute power of “social” arguments is widespread. So I thought I might suggest an alternative approach: asking a confounding question:

How can I invoice Society?

     “Costs to society,” after all, must be measurable to be meaningful. How, after all, could anyone say “it eventually costs society too much” without a standard of measurement that applies to it? Therefore, there must be a unit in which such costs are expressed. I don’t think it’s the dollar; “society” doesn’t pay in dollars. But whatever it is – I’m fairly sure it isn’t the quatloo — there must also be an Accounts Payable department that handles the invoices and responds to them. Does it have an email address, or must we use the Postal Service?

     This upends the “social junkie’s” lexical world. What reply could he possibly make to it? He can’t think about it; there’s no handle his politically correct brain can grip. The most likely reply would be “You know what I mean!” Which of course is best answered “No, I don’t. Explain it.”

     The point of this approach is not to win the “argument.” Such persons do not argue. It’s barred to them, for an argument must be founded on a clearly stated proposition around which evidence and logic can be mustered, and those things are absolutely forbidden on the Left.

     The point is to induce verbal paralysis in the “social junkie.” Enough of that would shut the fool up for a protracted interval. We’d gain a measure of peace and quiet. Those commodities are growing scarce; anything that might expand the supply is worth considering.

     Saul Alinsky wrote that “a good tactic is one your people enjoy.” That was spot on. Confusing your adversary is inherently amusing, though not to him, of course. Therefore I release this new approach into the public domain, and await reports from the field about how well it serves the cause of freedom. Don’t expect any reports from me, though; when I see a “Jason Baumgartner” or any other “social junkie” coming I cross the street and walk at best speed in the other direction.


Ron Olson said...

It seems to me the "costs to society" are wounded feelings and lowered self esteem which leads to lower income and a sort of a slaves life. So say my SJW acquaintances. The payment due is figuratively burning at the stake for example and then we all get to a better place.

It is a great question but I think it would only confound the followers.

Francis W. Porretto said...

(chuckle) That was my point, Ron.