Five thoughts, loosely connected

First thought: the candle flame of the Enlightenment continues to flicker, as the West is being squeezed between the radicalized forces of the Honor Culture (Islamist jihadists) on one side, and the radicalized forces of the Victim Culture (Mizzou’s and Yale’s crybullies) on the other side. Guess who is stuck in the middle? Us. The Dignity Culture. The people who were raised right. The ones who do all the heavy lifting. We who don’t seek to be mortally offended at the drop of every hat, nor do we solve our grievances with suicide bombers. Because we have manners. Because we believe in restraint. Because it’s taken hundreds of years of hard work to get us to our present state of civilization. Because we know that the vast bulk of human history was spent trapped in a paradigm where rules, laws, and order, were whatever the local thug(s) wanted them to be. The Honor Culture desires very badly for us to go back to that paradigm. So does the Victim Culture, though they themselves would hotly deny it. I wonder how much longer the Honor Culture and the Victim culture have to punch us in our noses, and kick us in our shins, before we shove our hats forward and roll up our sleeves. Said the Dignity Culture to its unruly brethren, “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”

Second thought: I really hope we don’t go there. We went there from about 1938 to 1945, and those years remain a startling testament to the deadly efficiency of liberal democratic forces, once they’ve been sufficiently roused from their slumber. The Honor Culture thinks the West is weak, because the West has (so far) fought limited wars, with both hands tied behind its back — where being “nice” is more important than being respected. There may come a moment when the West decides that “nice” is a phantasm, and that respect is best achieved through fear. When that happens, the result will be awful violence the likes of which nobody has seen in generations. And the great majority of the dead will come from the rank and file at the Honor Culture’s base — not jihadis, but run-of-the-mill Muslims, who didn’t really care about the fight, one way or another. The jihadis will learn: the West doesn’t hold back out of weakness. The West holds back because the West knows it’s so bloody good at killing. Once that horrendous spigot gets turned on — a people, versus a people — it won’t turn itself off again until many, many millions of human beings lay dead. Some of us, yes. But mostly them. By a huge, smoldering margin.

Third thought: ironically, it’s the Victim Culture which is enabling so much of the Honor Culture’s narrative at this point. When all ills in the known universe can be laid at the feet of Western bogeymen, what other excuse does the Honor Culture need? The Dignity Culture’s very own cognoscenti report hourly on the heinous crimes of the West: runaway capitalism, rampant sexism, murderous racism, terrible transphobia, horrendous homophobia, you name it; a veritable salad bar of civilizational sins. Never mind that the Honor Culture has member states practicing some of the most egregious forms of racism, sexism, and homophobia imaginable. How many gay men did DAESH throw off the tops of buildings this week? How many girls in Taliban or Boko Haram territory, will be raped and beaten? Nevermind. The true enemy are Mormons! They hate children and families! 100,000 tweets say so! And as you know, Bob, Twitter is never wrong. It’s time to classify Mormons as members of a hate group! But don’t blame Islam for the attacks in Paris. Never, ever blame any Muslims for anything any Muslim does in the name of Islam. But God damn those evil, backward, hayseed, yokel Mormons — something really must be done about them. It’s overdue.

Fourth thought: the Victim Culture is not something that can be corrected from the top down. Even if the universities were to magically grow spines (and balls) tomorrow, the problem would persist, because children are being delivered to the academic door in a state of emotional chaos. They have not learned — as generations past learned — that knowledge is not the same thing as wisdom. Wisdom happens in that instant when the fine crystal of theory, shatters against the hard granite of reality. Indeed, this is the root of the Enlightenment itself. When Copernicus correctly pointed out that the Earth orbits the Sun, not vice-versa. When Kepler abandoned his cherished vision of a perfectly geometric system of planetary motion, for an accurate model that was consistent with observable data. That facts and evidence are not relative, nor set apart. The universe is both accessible, and knowable — regardless of your gender, your ethnicity, your sexual preference, or your economic station. There is no such thing as a “privileged” viewpoint. Doubtless Kepler and Copernicus would be brought up for hate crimes, in today’s rarefied campus climate. But the institutionalized insanity would melt away within a single generation, if Western parents would simply return to using phrases like, “No,” and “Too bad,” and, “Get over it.” Punctuated by a stiff swat to the butt of the child, when necessary.

Fifth thought: or perhaps, it’s not nearly as bad as all that. The so-called Information Age, exemplified by the World Wide Web, is prone to making mountains out of molehills. Regional happenings which actually affect very few people in any demonstrable way, are blown entirely out of proportion. Crises are manufactured on an almost weekly basis, by “news” outlets eager for clicks and eyeballs, or activists hungry for coverage and influence, or politicians eager to exploit the latest inflaming of public rage, sympathy, or fear. Sometimes, the newsmen and the activists and the politicans are one and the same — it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between their rhetoric. There is no “clean” outlet. Merely a vast array of outlets and voices, all with a specific slant, angle, or agenda. We conclude that those outlets which agree with our own internal beliefs, are the most accurate; while dismissing the others. Fact-checking can be nightmarish, because the Internet allows anyone to post anything, for any reason, and pass it off as “truth” even if it’s a ball of lies. So, is the Enlightenment really on its way out? Or are we merely seeing a squall on the sea’s surface, while the slow waters underneath tell a very different story?

My personal instinct, is to try to have faith — that everything is working itself out, as it should. But I worry about the world my daughter will inherit. If both the Victim Culture and the Honor Culture co-conspire to snuff out the Enlightenment entirely, humanity may have to endure yet another Dark Age: intellectually clouded, and brutally arbitrary.

59 thoughts on “Five thoughts, loosely connected

  1. “But I worry about the world my daughter will inherent.”

    This sentence is an indication of the sort of widespread abdication that has brought us to this point. Conservative/Traditional people are what prop the whole thing up. It wouldn’t be this way without their active support, but they not only hand their children over for indoctrination, they *pay* to have it done.

    If replacing the people that would transform our children into SJW’s is outside the bounds of the conceivable, it is because *those people* knew precisely what to do to us generations ago in order to take the fight out of us. Ironically, their schemes were well laid even at the moment that “the greatest generation” was storming into Normandy and Guadalcanal.

    1. I think the trick is to a) not make college out as the end-all-be-all of life after High School, and b) encourage our kids to do some time in the military, even before considering life-long career choices, and c) being much more selective about which schools we’re willing to consider. Not every university is filled from top to bottom with rot. The news merely brings us the most egregious examples — which are, perhaps not ironically, almost always Ivy League. In the end, it’s up to us as parents to arm our children with bullshit detectors. This is true whether they go off to university or not. Critical thinking. A respect for logic and reason. Along with an understanding that just because some campus activist or social sciences prof says a thing, that doesn’t make the thing automatically true.

      1. Actually, I think you’ve got it backwards. This crap largely comes of teaching “critical thinking” — which has become defined as “never believe anything a more-experienced person says is true”. It leads to believing that only your own “truth” is true. It’s the foundation of feelgood education and the legacy of feelgood parenting, where there are no bad children, only bad parents. What’s been lost is that most of the time, the older generation learned truth from experience and isn’t just passing along rote lore without basis in fact, but the younger generation doesn’t yet have the critical thinking skills to parse it — and never will so long as they think that pretty much any sort of doing-the-opposite or stroking-their-feelz ARE “critical thinking”.

        Frankly I don’t think critical thinking *can* be taught (indeed, attempts to do so achieve the opposite), and especially not to university students, who tend to be at the height of the “age of dogma” where they believe *they* speak truth above all others. Critical thinking is something one learns through life experience, not from being taught to question everything. We got a much better grade of critical thinking in adults back when university was where one went to learn facts and figures and formulae, not to “learn how to think” (critically or otherwise) — so they actually had the data to compare to Real Life once they were living it. THAT is “critical thinking”.

        In fact, I’d say that this sort of *experience-based* critical thinking is the reason western culture has typically been … slow to anger. Because we can and do think and act beyond the outrage of the moment.

        BTW, wordo — “the world my daughter will inherent.” I think you meant inherit, even if your spellchecker didn’t. 🙂

        1. Fixed the wordo. Thanks.

          Well, now we’re discussing definitions. I realize that the college definition of “critical thinking” has been dumbed down and perverted to mean “anti-Western thinking” in many instances. When I was a teenager the phrase meant learning how to evaluate a premise with evidence-based deductive reasoning. Which is why I think parents have to arm their children with bullshit detectors. Especially in the era of the Internet, where even the most stupifying and outlandish claims, have mountains of “proof” behind them — in the form of false information. It’s like a gargantuan ad populum argument: the more web sites or tweets or Facebook shares there are to support a thing, the more that thing must be true.

          But then, teaching our kids how to resist mob-think — to have the courage to stand up and march north when everyone else is marching south — is something that often has to be done by example. Parents who go with the herd, raise children who go with the herd.

          1. I’ve watched twelve-year-olds spontaneously form an SJW show trial because they thought they heard someone use the word “gay” in a derogatory manner. And these are rough kids, too, that curse like sailors and do minor acts of vandalism when they think no adult is watching. Kids are soaking this stuff up right now because not only do they have these tactics modeled for them, but they also get results with them consistently.

      2. Please stop trying to minimize the extent of this cultural shift. It’s not just Ivy League schools. It’s not just the posh liberal arts colleges, either. Remember, it’s the *University of Missouri* that was the flash-point for the recent spate of campus meltdowns. And while it wasn’t making headline news then, but this same ideology was the dominant force in higher education even before the nineties when I could witness it for myself first hand.

        These news items are not isolated incidents. They are just the tip of the iceberg. And the silent majority isn’t waiting into the wings to provide some kind of counterbalance, either. They are in fact the “go along to get along” gang and they are as culpable for this state of affairs reaching this point as anybody.

        1. Then what is your proposed solution, Jeffro?

          I am proposing that our homes are the best first and last word, where defending against civilizational rot is concerned. Raise the next generation to be a sturdier breed than their predecessors, and even a very-aggressive agit-prop effort by the academics will have limited traction.

          Now, the pessmist in me says that it may be too late: the rot may be so overwhelming that the edifice of Western civilization has to crumble utterly, before something better can be built in its place. That we are victims of our own success, grown irredeemably corrupt in our comfort and material ease.

          The optimist in me takes a different view: it’s not as bad as the media make it out to be. And the pendulum, having swung too far in one direction, will swing back toward the center again. We’re merely enduring a moment of civilizational dyspepsia, before things settle down and we set about conquering the stars.

          Both views may be wholly wrong; the truth might be somewhere in the middle.

          Unless we’re going to begin decorating lamp posts, I am not sure what we — the holder-uppers of society and decency — can do, other than devote our energies to doing worthy works in our homes, amongst family and friends and neighbors. Morals and ethics that stick, are never distributed from the state. Nor can they be imposed from the top down. They must be grown and nurtured, from the bottom up.

          1. You’ve already rejected the proposed solution. It is anathema to you. In fact, just the hint that there might be one is met with you characterizing it as “decorating lamp posts”. Last week y’all were invoking the Einsatzgruppen.

            I am not going to tell you what to do. In fact I am grateful for what you’ve done already. However, I have to warn you of the extent to which concrete resistance is unthinkable to you. This is a crisis of the imagination that we lost generations ago. And I’m not even sure if you’re conscious of it.

            If this were a game, it would merely mean that you’ve given up initiative altogether and will allow yourself to be pushed around the board by even weak and incoherent pressure from your opponent. But this is not a game.

            1. Well, decorating lamp posts is the tried-and-reliable “solution” whenever a society has sufficiently tired of its politicians and intellectuals. From the looks of it, the Victim Culture might actually eat its own, in this regard. See how they demand that their mandarins be fired from positions of authority — the very same leadership which had worked so hard to foster the Victim Culture in the first place! After all, it wasn’t some operative from the CIA who killed Trotsky. It was a Bolshevik sympathizer.

              So again, I ask: what is your proposed solution? If we assume “concrete” is the same thing as “effective in the long term” I have to know precisely what it is you’re talking about. So far I am not clear at all about what you’ve got in mind.

              1. I was pleased and amused this past week to see Princeton students attacking the legacy of Woodrow Wilson for his racism. Not that I’d have stopped there in terms of reasons for attacking Wilson. The unofficial police state he encouraged through the American Protective League and officially through certain elements of Army intelligence is vile enough on its own, but I think Progressives merely wish they could do that again, just with a different slant.

              2. If I tell you that you can’t even *imagine* putting up a concrete resistance to this stuff and you respond by telling *me* to give you a specific proposal… because, you know, you have *no idea* what I could even be suggesting here… well, I’m happy to rest my case right there. Because my point is made.

                I think you are opposed to a solution *on principle*. Why would I hash out details of a particular policy with you if that were so…?

                1. Jeffro, I am not a mind-reader.

                  Your chief point seems to be, “Those who correctly see the problem, automatically deduce the correct solution.” If that’s not the point you’re trying to make, what is the point?

                  My point is that culture begins and ends at our very own hearths. Combatting the institutions is pointless unless we change the nature of the water flowing through those institutions each year. We must prepare our children for the fact that they are entering hostile territory, and thus equip them with reason and logic and the ability to think on their feet.

                  Ultimately, we can — as the paying parties — elect to abstain. No more sending our children to certain schools unless serious reform is undertaken. If the Victim Culture keeps pushing to dissolve basic freedoms on campus, abstention may be the chief weapon of the flyover-state family, against the technocratic cultural commissars.

                  Is that your solution? Or am I still lost in the weeds?

                  1. Yes, I have repeatedly pointed out the insanity of conservative/traditional families bankrolling this insanity.

                    If “get me some muscle over here” and “f–k your white girl tears” doesn’t do it, then what will it take for enough to be enough?

                    Again, we’re paying money not just for them to have that stuff happen to our kids, We’re paying to have them indoctrinated so that they actively instigate this stuff.

        2. “These news items are not isolated incidents. They are just the tip of the iceberg. And the silent majority isn’t waiting into the wings to provide some kind of counterbalance, either. They are in fact the “go along to get along” gang and they are as culpable for this state of affairs reaching this point as anybody.”

          I’ve seen the sentiment–and one I agree with–that the reason the SJWs of the world have taken over is because the rest of us are too busy living our lives, working, spending time with our families to devote the time to activism and volunteer work required to stop the spread of cultural rot.


          If we don’t step up and push back, there will be nothing worth having in this world because it will have all been burned away by people who, unable or unwilling to create anything of their own, have made it their life’s mission to destroy anything good and worthwhile. Evil truly triumphs when good men stand back and do nothing.

          I don’t know what the right answer is, but for my family, we’re working on being more self-sufficient and less reliant on any outside forces as we are able. We also homeschool, because while our children will eventual have to face the ugliness of the world where unreason and madness are lauded and reason and logic are derided, we aren’t going to throw them into the pool and hope (at best) that they don’t drown and we can do CPR on them when they get home. We are also no longer looking at college as a given unless they want to go into a STEM career. This was a huge paradigm shift for me, because I value knowledge and education. However, I’m not convinced that most colleges or universities are actually houses of knowledge anymore, and many seem to be fertile ground for ignorance and illogic to flourish.

          Theoretically, the solution is simple. People have to be willing to stand up and say no more. Then they have to be willing to root out the rot–a position which is untenable to some as it will be not nice and will definitely cause hurt feelings. And then put measures in place that will make the ground too rocky for the delicate flowers of SJWing to bloom. In practice, life and people are messy. I’m not sure where, as a society, to draw the line between free expression of differing views and agency and kicking people out (of institutions) for the harm they are inflicting. I’m talking small things here. SJWs didn’t gain their foothold by going big from the get go. It was changing a multitude of small things that got us here for the most part.

          1. The pushback has already started, though in small ways and not all that noticed yet.

            The popularity of Trump is one symptom.

      3. Absolutely agree – and I’d note that I thought so even when I was in high school myself. College, academia, the life of the mind (as it was called) was just not in the skill-set or interest of a lot of my peers. Telling them they had to go to college, deluding them into thinking that was the only way to success and a comfortable living … that was cruel. And as it turns out — bloody expensive!
        How much more realistic, and KINDER it would have been for kids who didn’t want to jump through the fiery hoops of college-prep to be offered practical apprentice-ships. My high school even then did offer two programs – one for secretarial/office admin, and one (IIRC) for practical nursing and medical admin. (My younger sister did the secretarial track and has been gainfully employed ever since then.) But there were so many other kids at my school who would have been content and fulfilled — and successful — in a practical apprenticeship program.

        1. In a lot of the cities in my neck of the woods there are schools with practical programs. (My husband went through the Masonry program as an adult, and was in the programmer track as a highschooler.) They’re out there.

    2. To a large extent the takeover used our restraint and dignity culture against us, and did so in a way that most people didn’t know (and many still don’t know) what was actually happening.

      Partly that’s because honest people have a great deal of difficulty accepting that someone would choose to deceive. Partly it’s because many people find it impossible to believe evil actually exists, so when they’re faced with it they don’t recognize what they’re seeing and they wouldn’t know what to do if they did recognize it.

      Add to that the simple fact that outside relatively small clusters on the internet, the facts of the matter simply aren’t there, and you’ve got Conservative/Traditional people paying to have their kids indoctrinated because they don’t know that’s what’s happening until it’s too late.

      And they don’t take as much time with their kids as they should (and feel guilty about it) because like most of us, they’re working their tails off just to stay afloat.

      1. I have some friends and relatives in academia who aren’t Progressives, but have tended to remain politically quiet among their academic colleagues. As a result, they are simply assumed to be Progressive, and often hear things that are quite abominable. For example, “Oh, he’s good at teaching, but he’s conservative, so I’d never vote for promotion and tenure for him,” and “Yes, she can’t teach, but she’s doing great work on Social Justice.”
        Unfortunately, when those non-Progressives in academic continue to evaluate their colleagues on merit, and the Progressives are evaluating their colleagues on political ideology, the end result is inevitable: all but a few junior faculty are Progressives. I think this situation is most pronounced among humanities, social sciences, and education, but it is not unheard of in other areas.

        Frankly, I’m doubtful their is an effective non-violent solution to this, so long as children are subjected to 13-17 years of indoctrination and conditioning via our current “education” system. Notice that conditional in my statement. Obviously, scrapping our current education system has a certain appeal, but it would require a lot of groundwork to make that politically viable. Perhaps state-level laws (state constitutional amendments?) banning tenure, enabling the firing of worst of the lot could do the trick. Publicize the problem and get motivated anti-Progressives onto the local school boards, to help reduce the problem at the K-12 level. I think there are a lot of options that should be tried before anybody goes hanging teachers, professors, and administrators from the lampposts, or getting out the torches and pitchforks.

      2. “Partly that’s because honest people have a great deal of difficulty accepting that someone would choose to deceive.”

        Indeed Kate. Experience has taught me that if someone lies to your face, and you tell someone they are a liar, you yourself become suspect. You must be irrational–no matter what proof you produce–to call someone a liar. It’s not just Cruz’ political opponents who recoil at him branding she-who-must-not-be-named a liar for brazenly and provably lying to Congress just the day before. Many people, as you say, are unwilling to believe evil actually exists or if they do, believe it must be far away and never touch their own comfortable lives. The Rousseauian fable that people are basically good by nature is extremely destructive, and a root enabler of most of the evil in the century just passed.

        The other mind trap that I have seen frequently used is that people tend to believe something that is repeated often enough whether any proof is cited or not. I like to say that those who believe where there’s smoke, there’s fire, are easy victims for those who blow smoke.

        1. Sadly so – people would rather believe the person is mistaken even when they’re brazenly, openly lying.

          I have a family member who is a pathological liar – if not for that this person would be a joy to be around: kind, caring, helpful, down to earth (as evidenced by their actions)… But unless they concentrate *hard*, what comes out of their mouth every time is a lie.

  2. The Dignity Culture believes in facts and truth. I’m not sure you can say the same for the “Honor” culture that hides the facts about their origin or the twisted SJWs.

  3. It’s hard to correct. I would love to have a long, private chat with one or two of my students – good, well-meaning youngsters with very generous hearts – and explain that the world is not as bad (or good) as they think it is, and that what they are panicking over is not happening. I’d also like to tell them that, alas, members of certain religio-philoso-political groups do indeed know very well the pain and sorrow they inflict, and that trying to help them “see the harm they are causing” will not change their ways.

    If I tried that, the students’ parents would come down on me like a ton of bricks. So I try to work sideways, to suggest that perhaps not everyone agrees with X, and that indeed, it is very difficult to change some peoples’ minds.

  4. The victim culture isn’t allied with the honor culture. They each see the other as a convenient Patsy to use against the real enemy – us.

    The victim culture is the offspring of a couple of other cultural virii – critical theory and equality of outcomes. If not everyone is equal (and, being human, we’re not) then is must be the evil white man’s fault, for not being perfect. It’s the cousin of PC – thou shalt not speak the truth, because the truth is wicked and against their core belief that everyone would be truly equal if not for the perfidy of the White Devil.

    Silly, yes, but it’s the underlying logic to their belief system. The college age hooligans have been immersed in these teachings their whole lives, and believe their hearts over their lying eyes.

    The solution may be as simple (different from easy) as finally shouting from the rooftops that 2+2=4, and no amount of wishful thinking will ever make it otherwise. No group gets to have its own, separate reality where 2+2=5, or whatever the commisars of the moment dictate. Different people, cultures, and religions are not really all the same.

    We may all be equal in God’s eyes, but the eyes of man are more discriminating.

    1. I think Orwell said it best when he said, the first duty of intelligent men, is the restatement of the obvious. 2+2=5, indeed. It’s been my utter revulsion at the 2+2=5 set which has largely defined my brief tenure on the spec fic scene. “There . . . are . . . four . . . lights!!”

  5. A very good post and I would have liked to read it on your personal site, but it doesn’t have anything to do with writing and publishing.

    Side note : hope you’re doing well after the Puppy Campaign.

    1. It has everything to do with publishing. Given that people involved with the painfully, obnoxiously, insanely moderate Sad Puppy campaign were told more or less that they’d “never work in this town again” for crossing de facto cultural revolutionaries, I’d say this is entirely on point. I mean, why do you think so many people that can’t or won’t prop up the narrative are going indy right now…?

      The silent majority will not be asking for Melissa Click’s head to be delivered to them on a platter. But they are ready for a second opinion. And they’re willing to drop coin on it.

      1. “The silent majority” is quietly arming, and not making too many waves doing it. I wouldn’t put my life savings on how things are going to turn out, but I wouldn’t throw any dirt on the “Dignity Culture” just yet.

        1. A bit OT here, but… speaking of “quietly arming”, are you the same Angus Trim of Angus Trim Swords? If so – way cool. I’ve been an admirer of your blades for forever.

      2. The ones that do speak out don’t get air time. They get quietly edited out. People WERE asking for Melissa Click’s head on a platter. I’m not up to date on the matter, but there were at least two lawsuits filed from that incident. The Media seldom sees fit to cover these inconvenient things, but the information is generally there if you care and have time to dig for it.

    2. Bob, my apologies, I just didn’t have anything worthwhile — specifically devoted to publishing and writing in particular — at the forefront of my thoughts this week. Probably it’s a result of being thousands of miles from my home, observing the drama from afar, and wondering what’s going to come from all of it. Especially when we contrast the absurdity of the campus activists, with the atrocity of the Islamists in Paris, Mali, and elsewhere.

      1. Those campus activists need to be dropped in the middle of a free fire zone, so they can experience “oppression” firsthand.

        Something interesting about who’s been behind what came up on Milo’s livestream yesterday, which goes to support what I’ve been saying all along: these are not spontaneous demonstrations. The activists behind them are paid professionals; they do rabble-rousing for a living. The student demonstrators are just Useful Idiots.

        Come home safe, Brad.

        1. The rise of the professional activist is a troubling development, no doubt. Troublemaking is their vocation — and they will happily exploit and inflame any instance of discord, simply for the sake of the discord itself. Because outrage is the only authentic form of being, apparently?

        2. When Occupywhatever was a big thing,, I actually saw ads from Working Families Party on Craigslist hiring people for occupyLA.

  6. It has certainly been astonishing to watch the secular Left bending over backwards to accommodate some of the most racist, sexist and homophobic religious fanatics on Earth.

    1. The Western Left’s see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil approach to confronting Islamist terror, is one of the big reasons why I can’t take the Western Left seriously. Especially when they will hammer endlessly on a minor and harmless sect closer to home — cough, Mormons, cough — while millions of men and women around the globe chant the slogans of jihad.

  7. “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry” & 1938-1945:

    IMHO, one of the biggest drivers towards a second rendition of fascism is how current govts seem to have abrogated their responsibility to protect and defend their own citizens. To date, I’ve only heard of a small number of incidents (US & Euro), but every time the citizens seem to get the short end of the stick. How much more are people willing to take before they turn to a strong man, who promises to protect them and defend them from their enemies?

    Hollende made some very strong statements; how much of that was what he honestly believed, and how much was said to neutralize the National Front?

  8. History is a bit like waves crashing on a beach- the waves come and go, but the tide pushes the waves as it ebbs and flows- and even the tide changes eventually. Thus, it can be hard for the observer to tell at first glance where things are going.
    In regards to Higher Education, the Gods of the Copybook Heading are about to render judgement. Their bubble, like so many economic bubbles before, is about to burst… and in such a way that will seem inevitable in hindsight.

  9. I agree wholeheartedly (if reluctantly) with your first four thoughts. The fifth one, however, I can’t agree with. I’m afraid that it is already that bad.

    I say that because I’ve experienced the wrath of The Victim Culture firsthand. Long story short, I was a copy editor with my college newspaper when we published an opinion piece (let me repeat, an *opinion* piece) that contained a factually correct yet politically objectionable statement: that inner-city students’ test scores are often lower than suburban or county students’ scores. The reaction to those two sentences was as mind-boggling as it was terrifying. Mind-boggling because the outcry stemmed from the idea that the paper believed that inner-city students were stupid and didn’t belong at the school, when anyone who’d actually *read* the article would have realized the article was stating exactly the opposite. Terrifying because of the sheer level of malice and ferocity with which the student body retaliated against the paper, with the school’s administration not only cheering them on, but drawing out the controversy for as long as possible to score political points with the aggrieved. The author actually received multiple death threats, but did not go to the police because, I sh*t you not, the administration informed her that there would be “academic repercussions” for doing so. The only reason that they administration didn’t follow through with their threats (academic sanctions, expulsion, etc.) against the entire editorial staff was because this was a few years before the CHORFs and SJWs completely took over, and the school’s lawyers said that such action would leave them open for lawsuits.

    Remember Mythbusters? Adam Savage once said “I reject your reality and substitute my own!” The SJWs and CHORFs are screaming the same line, only whereas Savage meant is as a sarcastic, self-deprecating joke, the Dignity Class believes it to be reality. That they can close their eyes, plug their ears, scream “LA LA LA LA LA! CAN’T HEAR YOU!” and the world will conform to their worldview. You cannot fight, let alone win, against a people who willfully deny reality.

    TL;DR: we’re f*’ed six ways from Sunday.

    1. Once can deny Reality all they want- eventually Reality will slap them down and kick their arse.
      The Victim culture isn’t as widespread as we think it is. Much exist solely in the vacuum that is “higher education”. Even there, one will find a good part of students ignore this nonsense and get on with learning. Another part will outgrow this foolishness once they hit the real world- part of being a youth is a smug, callow know-it-all idiocy.
      In a strange way, it is us, the Dignity culture, that produces the vacuum that insulates the Victim culture. However, the return on investment is getting worse, and that in financial terms. Soon we will decide that the excessive cost is not worth it, and the bubble will burst.

      1. Again, I wish I could agree. But of all my college acquaintances who adhered themselves to the Victim Culture when in school and have since moved into the Real World, only one that I’m aware of has actually seen the light and embraced Reality. The rest are proud Bernie Sanders supporters.

        And I’ve worked with a bunch of people my age and younger as well. Most of them expected to be able to hold down a job and get a paycheck simply for showing up. The fact that they actually had to *work* once they clocked in was insulting and demeaning to no end.

        I think this whole mess is a direct result of what I’ve come to call the “Trophy Generation.” Where you get trophies and awards and showered with praise just for showing up even if you don’t actually do anything. Or, in some cases, even *signing* up: I remember one summer when my parents signed me up for the youth soccer league (against my will, as usual), when the coach handed out a trophy to each player (which were the same size as the championship team’s trophies, even though I don’t think our team won a single game) this kid who nobody knew got a trophy. Turned out he’d signed up to play and been assigned to our team, but had never shown up to a single event. Not a game, not a practice, not even to hand-out-the-uniforms day. And he still got a trophy.

        Those little kids who got soccer trophies without ever playing? There the ones at Mizzu (or whatever you call it) and Yale now. There the one’s running the Occupy and BLM groups, the ones crying out “oppression” at the slightest percieved insult. Reality could walk up to them and hit them in the face with a cast-iron skillet that’s hot off the burner, and they won’t feel it until the whole world falls apart around them. And even then, I have my doubts.

        1. Do remember, that even the Soviet Union could not totally change the cultures they oppressed with absolute power for all those years. Where there wholly committed Polish, Czech, German, or Ukrainian communist? Absolutely. But, was the Party successful in indoctrinating the population? Nope.

          It will be interesting to see how Bernie does in the actual polls. I’m predicting a best of under 30%.

    2. One of the disturbing tactics being used by the Victim Culture has been the creation of “intermediary” courts of discipline — most of them on campus — designed to replace actual courts of law. These intermediaries are not obligated to follow state or federal guidelines. And while they cannot (yet) throw a person in jail, they can effectively terminate someone’s academic career, as well as create a kind of mob justice wherein a student is “branded” with any number of labels, shunned, treated to acts of petty vandalism and violence, etc. All of it actively sanctioned by the institution.

      1. In the thirties, the American Communist would reenact the Soviet show trials. In P.J. O’Rourke’s youth, his little communist newspaper underwent a Maoist Cultural Revolution type takeover.
        Prediction- the terrorist are about to bury this little brainless experiment in SJW Utopianism.

      2. I just thank God that the whole mess went down a year or so before such “courts” became commonplace. It was April of my senior year, so I have no idea what the total fallout was. I know the author of the piece wound up leaving the school the next year, but that was for medical reasons (poor girl was diagnosed with leukemia). As for what the school is like now, I don’t know nor do I care. There’s a line from The Boondock Saints that comes to mind, but for decency reasons I can’t quote it verbatim here. If you’ve seen the movie, it was Rocco’s line concerning Marinara Sauce.

  10. Brad, I would like to quibble slightly about your use of the common term, “honor culture”. English is a sometimes subtle language, and I would like to Crusade (Yes I dare. I even ungrammatically capitalize it.) against the terms “honor culture”, and “honor killings”. I would prefer to call these “reputation culture” and “reputation killings”. Now honor certainly can mean reputation, but our culture has imbued the word honor with other traits such as integrity and virtue, as reinforced by centuries of our culture from Chivalry through the Victorian, and in America the West and the cowboy culture. Whatever the American West was in reality, in thousands of stories of the West, one’s honor meant much more than one’s reputation, it meant doing the right thng. Since we’re talking translations here, I believe we should appropriately translate the word other cultures use for these things more correctly as reputation. Certainly there’s no virtue to killing one’s daughter who has been raped, to preserve the family’s reputation although I am always jarred by the disconnect of using the word preserving the family’s honor in such circumstance.

    1. You said it. Charlemagne would be embarrassed on our behalf if he knew just how warped we’ve let the definition of honor become.

      1. I grew up thinking of that kind of culture as a “Face” culture – anything that causes a member of it to lose face is bad, anything that causes them to save/keep face is good.

    2. I think that’s a fair quibble. In truth, I am using the phrases Victim Culture, Honor Culture, and Dignity Culture, in the context of recent commentary focused on a specific academic article. Reputation Culture may indeed be more accurate, and I wouldn’t mind seeing that phraseology rise to prominence in the overall culture combat discussion.

    3. As Kate mentioned this is more of a ‘Face’ culture… but the Western culture has, because of the virtues you mentioned, lost much of the concept of ‘Face’. Reputation is not a STRONG enough word for it. Which is why most people chose ‘Honor’ because we have lost, by and large, the concept of ‘Face’. Face to the western world is mild embarassment. To the Eastern and Middle Eastern world it can be a very serious thing. (One of the differences between Japan and Korea was how Face and Honor were treated. One of the greatest Korean Generals, who was also an admiral, lost Face many, many times, but he survived because his Honor was unquestionable, and he stuck to it tightly. In Japan he would have committed suicide the first time he was set up.)

      For these people, Face genuinely IS their Honor. They have no other concept of honor than how they are seen living and what they are seen doing. This muddies the terminology in English when trying to talk about what’s going on even further.

  11. I mostly agree with you here, Mr. Torgersen, with the exception that the “Dark Ages” really weren’t as “dark” as Hollywood and some pseudo-historians have made it/them out to have been. (Tortured grammar alert!) I wouldn’t mention it (and I’m sure you already knew it) but the term “dark ages” is one of my (innumerable…truly, I am a mess of neuroses) pet peeves as a nerdy amateur historiographer. Other than that (and the “honor” instead of “reputation culture” thing which is really just another nitpick…sorry) I wholeheartedly agree with you. I am a bit more pessimistic though. It’s amazing how the SJW *expletives* managed to warp their view of reality to such a degree that they could try to label a man as (obviously) kind/bighearted as you a “misogynist”. I see red whenever I think about that wretch of a female author (whose name you intended to put on the SP3 suggestion list) bashing you so shamelessly and viciously, all the while pretending to be a wounded victim of your wicked, chauvinistic misogyny. How she/they sleep at night is beyond me…but I suppose lacking a functioning conscience must help. Sociopaths don’t get nightmares after all. God bless, and I pray you come home safe! 🙂

    1. I see red whenever I think about that wretch of a female author (whose name you intended to put on the SP3 suggestion list) bashing you so shamelessly and viciously, all the while pretending to be a wounded victim of your wicked, chauvinistic misogyny.

      Heh. Well, as the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished!

      The Victim Culture uses terms like “misogynist” as unthinking word-grenades; intended to silence and expel dissenters. They know that most decent people will protest, and go out of their way to try to prove innocence in the face of such accusations. Thereby, decent people can be maneuvered into rhetorical corners, and made to capitulate — seeking the mob’s blessing. Just look at how the college administrators fold up like lawn chairs, when what they ought to be doing is putting some of those students out on the street, with a piece of paper stapled to their Social Justice foreheads that says, “Don’t let the door hit you in the butt(hurt) on the way out!”

  12. Query: A friend of mine posted a link on Facebook, to a rather well-done article on the trend toward extremism in social justice, and I would like to share the article link. To whom should I submit the link for approval, as I’ve been Sternly Glared At for posting a live link once before 🙂 Thank you.

    1. No worries; turns out Mr. Torgersen already has the article I referred to on tap. I’ll just sit here with my beer. 🙂

  13. One of the phrases my yard ape dreaded back in the day when she was still a rug rat, was ” I wish you hadn’t done that.”

    It was usually followed by “Now I have to say no. I might have said yes; you might have persuaded me. But you went and threw a fit.”

    Too bad.

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