Sunday, November 29, 2020

Defusing Unsafety

     Neo has a satisfying rant up this morning. The bit that got between my teeth:

     Those days are gone. Even in the workplace, which previously was not expected to be the warmest and fuzziest of environments, we often hear of young people (mainly women, but not exclusively women) clamoring for the elimination of any speech that makes them feel “unsafe.” And the definition of what constitutes such speech is left to the offended person, not some objective standard. These days many workplaces seem to have even jettisoned the very concept of an objective standard, in the best postmodern “critical thinking” manner, in which the subjective “narrative” has replaced nearly everything else.

     I’ve written about this before, of course. Yet there remain persons in the Right who feel an obligation–perhaps even an enforceable obligation–to refrain from saying anything that someone else might claim “offends” him or makes him feel “unsafe.” And indeed, the Left has made great strides at suppressing the expression of any fact, argument, or opinion to which someone might object in those ways.

     To defeat this vile tactic, we must understand why it is so potent. Simply put, victim status is today’s highest denomination of political currency: officially recognized “victims” can buy political privileges with it. Moreover, in our time, owing to the de facto omnipresence and omnipotence of American governments, political currencies are “trumps:” i.e., they outweigh all other negotiable forms, including individual rights. Therefore, anyone who can invent a reason to claim victim status will do so. As we mathematical types like to say, quod erat demonstrandum.

     The linguistic front in this battle must be recognized, as well. Political language promotes the concept of rights to the highest echelon of obligation. Rights trump all other political assertions; therefore, the Left has urged all manner of fictitious “rights” upon us for several decades...and has had no small degree of success in worming them into contemporary assumptions about politics and society. Let’s review a few such “rights:”

  • The right to health care;
  • The right to a free education;
  • The right to a job and a “living wage;”
  • The right to vote (this is one of the most noxious);
  • The right to decent housing (a.k.a. “affordable housing”);
  • The right not to be discriminated against on various bases.

     I’m sure I could come up with others, but it’s 2:30 AM as I write this. Anyway, building on its success at proclaiming such nonsense “rights,” the Left has now latched onto the notions of a “right” not to be offended, and a “right” to “feel safe.” It has promulgated these lunacies through its institutional bastions: the communications, entertainment, and educational establishments. And it has made significant inroads into corporate America by the use of its most malevolent subsector: the “Human Resources” department.

     There are only two effective counterstrokes:

  • Turning the tactic against those who seek to wield it against us;
  • Reducing the power of American governments to those authorities (and only those) granted by their respective Constitutions and state charters.

     One of those paths is more easily trodden than the other.

     This is not exactly on-topic, but I hope you’ll bear with me for a few words more. Though I have said what follows before, I feel it needs to be said again.

     Groups struggling with / against one another are much like armies in the field. They look for weapons they can use to advance their respective causes. The more powerful the weapon, the more it will be valued. And we must remember always that there are very few weapons which can only be wielded in one direction.

     But political weapons are not wielded directly by their possessor; the government wields them as a “service.” In other words, what makes a political weapon valuable is the State’s willingness to wield it in the claimant’s stead. However, when the nation was founded, its federal government (and the great majority of its state governments) were tightly circumscribed by their constitutions and charters. While they recognized and respected individual rights, they also realized that a “right” doesn’t exist simply because someone says so. To qualify as a right, a claim must pass certain tests:

  1. Would it belong to all persons equally?
  2. Would it require the cooperation of others for its exercise?
  3. Can it be exercised by any arbitrary individual without infringing on the rights of others?

     Those questions must be answered: 1. Yes; 2. No; 3. Yes for the claim to qualify as a right. That eliminates all but the Lockean rights to one’s life, liberty, and honestly acquired property. It certainly eliminates the “rights” not to be offended and to feel “safe.”

     But the State has been accommodating to specious “rights” for some time now. Recognizing them has permitted the State to expand the scope of its powers. Power-mongers like that—and power-mongers will inevitably rise to the top of any structure that will give them power. (Cf. Friedrich Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, “Why The Worst Get On Top.”)

     The defining characteristic of the Leftist is his lust for power over others. As my Esteemed Co-Conspirator Dystopic wrote some years ago:

     Leftists are not a new phenomenon. We tend to think of them as having originated with Marx, or perhaps the French Revolution. But they have always been with us.

     They are attracted to complex organizations, like government bureaucracies or industry representation associations (think the SFWA) because within such, they may plot and scheme to gain the power that has been denied them elsewhere. When you or I join a group, it is because we wish for the group to represent us in some fashion. When a Leftist joins a group, it is because he wishes to represent the group.

     Of course, the “group” the Leftist most yearns to “represent” is the one where he can wield the greatest and most extensive power over others: the federal government of these United States.

     I could go on for many thousands of words more, but I trust the point has been made...again.

1 comment:


Dinesh D'Souza said, citing an example of Lincoln ordering that for every black Union soldier shot - not in war but executed - by the Democrats, er, Confederacy, that a Confederate captive would likewise be shot.

D'Souza went on: We need to do to them what they do to us or they'll never stop.

There's a POS on LinkedIn that just posted an vile antisemitic rant. I'm writing his employer. See if I can get him fired. Cancel culture works both ways.