Thursday, 3 September 2015

SJWs are just the tip of an iceberg of pervasive secular Leftism: the Culture War is merely the surface of Unseen Warfare

No matter how well expressed, the secular polemics against political correctness and its leadership of the Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) always seem to underestimate the depth, pervasiveness and severity of the problem of secular Leftism; implying that 'if only' enough people would 'fight back'; then the sorry business of political correctness could be destroyed and a more sensible, reasonable kind of politics re-established. 

True enough; but everything hinges on that 'if only'. People do not, and will not 'fight back' against political correctness because they are not motivated to do so. It is motivation which is the underlying problem. Political correctness SJWs could never have risen and survived and thriven if there was motivated resistance.  

The term SJW is itself an attempt to make the problem of pervasive Leftism more manageable by implying that there is a sensible majority being bullied into political correctness by a fanatical minority of SJWs. The reality is that the majority are also more-or-less subscribers to Leftism, and are very tolerant of SJWs because they believe them to be well-motivated, to have 'their hearts in the right place'. 

It is like any form of terrorism. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) was powerful for many decades because a large sector of the population in Ireland, (especially Eire, but also Ulster - and among the Irish diaspora especially in the USA) believed their aims were broadly good; therefore they have received considerable funding and even more psychological support - and it did not matter what horrific atrocities they committed. 

People would sincerely deplore mass civilian mutilation and murders, but nonetheless their gut support was enough to keep things going.  

This is the current situation with SJWs. The bulk of the Western population, at least those with any power, believe that politically correct SJWs are basically well-motivated - they approve the aims. That is why SJWs find it so easy to do their work.  

'Normal' Western people are much more afraid of 'Christian fundamentalists' (i.e real Christians) than of SJWs - because they fear (correctly) that Christians would want to destroy the culture of mass media addiction, sexual license, drink and drugs, holidays and consumerism... and in general 'fun'; and for a secular society which sees no overall meaning or purpose to life and sees nothing beyond death - this is intolerable. 

So, I regard the Culture War and merely the surface of an Unseen War between the forces of Good and Evil - and in that Unseen Warfare, the forces of evil are dominant in the West, because (for perhaps the first time in history) the mass of people do not even want Good to triumph; because on-the-whole and overall, they regard Good as evil - evil as Good.

Modern Western people find the topic of their own corruption quite simply incomprehensible, ludicrous, insulting; and deny vehemently, indignantly that there is anything basically wrong with their lifestyles and aims, their philosophy of life. They simply want to regard themselves as basically decent people (and certainly not as bad as some people) who are getting by - they want themselves to be happy and their friends and family to be happy - and 'happy' simply means comfortable, prosperous, high status, not suffering or in pain - and that's it. There is nothing more or different they might or should want because... there is nothing more. 

This is the basis of the Modern Mass Man's sneaking admiration for SJWs, and why SJWs are elected political leaders of almost all Western nations; because these people seem like idealists who seem to have a vision of something more - no matter how unrealistic or incoherent, and no matter the casualties. 

In sum, my feeling is that most people who advocate fighting-back and retaking culture from SJWs, and despite their great work of description and their energizing encouragement, have no idea of the scale and depth of the iceberg of Leftism which SJWs are the merest tip; the fight-backers have no idea that they are up against the mass majority, including almost everyone with any power in Western society. The mass majority of Westerners will not fight back against SJWs because (at some deep level) they want the SJWs to win

This insensibility to the scale of the problem is not least because the majority of well known anti-SJW warriors are themselves Secularists and Semi-Leftists (eg they are conservatives, republicans, libertarians and the like) - and from the point of view of religious traditionalism, they are part of the same problem of pervasive Leftism which they are trying to fight.   

The bottom line is whether society ought to be run on secular lines or on religious lines (and if religious, then which religion). In The West, we live in a deeply secularized society.  While there are much better and much worse forms of secular society. all secular societies have drifted Left, Left and Left - with only rare and very partial backlashes (such as Thatcher in the UK and Reagan in the US) which are barely detectable among the long term trends. 

Secularism = Leftism, more-and-more Leftism - and since Western populations are secular, they are Leftist, and they basically approve of political correctness and the SJW shock troops. 

Leftism can only be rolled-back and defeated by a religion, and until the West experiences a religious revival there will not even be the desire to battle the Left - never mind the motivation to win the Culture War. And The West is so very far from this situation of widespread religious revival that pessimism is the only reasonable form of understanding.

The rhetoric of 'fighting' SJWs and political correctness is therefore futile, misplaced and ineffectual - what is needed is resistance.

But, for resistance to be net-Good, it must be resistance for an ideal, and that ideal must be a Good one: it must be religious. 

Resistance without expectation of victory. 

Without expectation, but with hope - because for Christians there is always hope; because hope is located beyond this world, and even in this world there are unseen forces of great power which can change things for the better.

From an understanding of the human powers, there seems little prospect of winning the Culture Wars in The West; but an understanding that there is an Unseen War behind the Culture War means that the human powers are not the only, nor the most powerful, powers at work. 

Religion may have all-but lost the culture war, but will not be defeated unless it succumbs to despair. 

As Gandalf would, no doubt, say: Do not despair, things are never hopeless; help may come unlooked-for, from unexpected places. 


Bruce Charlton said...

WWSG commented:

"It appears that God is simply favoring those who believe. Support is withdrawn from Europeans, particularly Western Europeans, who no longer know God. As a result Western Europeans are dying as a population and culture.

"So some significant extra belief in God in a population makes it that those who don't believe die out while those who do believe get the lands, wealth, and women of the formerly most successful ethno-culture in history...

"This is empirical, so it looks like the need for faith in God is less so than ever, and the real world evidence for God is greater than ever."

Ben Pratt said...

BC: I am not convinced that things are so permanently bad, at least not globally. I've had a view of the two ONLY wins against the SJWs in living memory from the frontlines. Participants in both GamerGate and Rabid Puppies (cf. Hugo Awards) celebrate the wins even while recognizing that SJW evil runs extremely deep (cf. SJW public support of pedophiles on twitter yesterday).

The other thing we recognize is that this is only the very tiniest of beginnings. Many of us are Christian, but many more are not, yet unwilling to be trampled to death by jackboots.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Ben - I would not regard these as wins (and it is much too early for anyone to say that they are) - but more than this, the strategy of GG and SP *cannot* win, not least because the aims are not even to defeat the problem of Leftist infiltration and subversion, but only to push it back to the borders.

They are both attempts to oppose Leftist ideology with a functional neutrality that ignores ideology - creates an ideology-free space. But what tough, cooperative motivation will defend that space in the face of zealots?

In such situations, ideology always wins the war, even if it loses the occasional battle - that is, indeed, the exact pattern of the past half century of defeat.

It is the exactly situation that leads to Conquest's second law: (under modern conditions) any organization that is not explicitly right wing will become left wing. This is because ideology can only, in the longer run, be beaten back by a more powerful ideology (i.e. a religion). Leftist is the destruction-oriented ideology of inversion of The Good - it can only be defeated by a psychologically stronger religion which restores The Good (or, at least, most of it) as its ideal.

So campaigns based on 'leave us alone' cannot hold out for long against such a long term, strategic ideology as Leftism. Why? In the end the answer is human nature. Feeble though Leftist ideology is, its zeal is a stronger and more natural motivator than no ideology at all - which is a plea merely for 'efficiency' or perhaps for pleasure.

Leftism will, of course, self-destruct (because this is what it ultimately wants) - probably by destroying The West (which has perhaps recently already begun in Europe as the elites refuse to stop and continue to encourage a truly massive population influx which would, of course, be rapidly fatal); or it may be destroyed before that by a religion (or more than one religion). But the Left is not going to defeated by functional neutrality I am sure. I am sure from the pattern of history, and I am also sure from the arguments and public disputes I have engaged in.

ajb said...

"Christians would want to destroy the culture of mass media addiction, sexual license, drink and drugs, holidays and consumerism... and in general 'fun'; and for a secular society which sees no overall meaning or purpose to life and sees nothing beyond death - this is intolerable."

I think this is particularly insightful. The response to real Christianity is *reasonable*.

Any real Christian can begin by removing mass media by and large from their own life, downgrading consumerism (for example, refocusing on how one celebrates 'Christmas'), and so on.

Simple, concrete actions can make a very large difference for one's own life.

Ben Pratt said...

@Bruce - Upon reading your response and reflecting a bit, I grant that GG, at least in its current "leave us alone" manifestation, will not work in the long-term. However I'm not convinced that that manifestation will remain dominant in the face of enemy zealotry. GG is an odd duck, to be sure, so it is difficult to predict how that movement will develop.

I'm closer to the Puppy situation than that of GG. Note that I mentioned Rabid Puppies rather than Sad. The latter certainly failed, but the Rabid Puppies flawlessly achieved one of several possible win conditions for the Hugo Awards brouhaha, and plans are already well underway for next year. The Rabid Puppies are not content to be left alone, just as the Wrights' Superversive movement is unwilling to settle for the Sad Puppy goal of ideology-free science fiction. We in RP account for Conquest's 2nd Law.

My inclusion of the phrase "at least not globally" was meant to convey that even as the broader civilization crumbles and then collapses in spectacular fashion, there will remain pockets of Christendom. While we await our Lord's return, we will rebuild civilization.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Ben - I have read some thousands of words about Sad/ Rabid puppies and could never appreciate the distinction - I even found the name confusing. Of course I support them 100 percent against their opponents, but...

My simple stance is that the awards are long since corrupted, and the corruption is supported by the majority - so that trying to reform the awards is futile, and may *possibly* be counter-productive. The chance of reform seemed near zero - the proper course of action would probably be to withdraw fro membership and (if there are enough people) set up an alternative - which would, I am afraid, have to exclude PC-propaganda, and *not* be neutral.

I speak as someone who participated in a couple of broadly-similar international public disputes (one about class differences in IQ in May 2008, the other when I was sacked from Medical Hypotheses in 2010)and - looking back - I think it quite possible that the enemy benefited more from my (feeble) opposition than anything else - on the Nietzschian principle that what did not kill them (far from it!) made them stronger.

But I suppose I needed these experiences to understand the vast scope of the problem - that was what led to my writing Thought Prison.

Ultimately it is about positively wanting a harmonious and full Christian society so that all aspects of life are based on permeated with Christianity - therefore there must be a perspective, there must be censorship - libertarian/ neutrality is not an option. So would find it is just plain wrong to argue that I do not care about the content or tendency of SciFi or Games - I do care, I do not approve of evil stuff; and I would not want it to be given prizes and in some instance we should try to suppress it.

Ben Pratt said...

@Bruce - "...trying to reform the awards is futile and may *possibly* be counter-productive." Exactly. This is why RPs enjoyed watching the SJWs who run the Hugos burn them to the ground *of their own volition* as part of their retreat.

I appreciate the experiences you have had and the lessons drawn therefrom. History is a powerful teacher, and fortunately those who would completely destroy us are extremely poor students of it, e.g. "This time it'll be different!"

Bruce Charlton said...

@Ben - The question is whether people really do perceive the no award votes as being a defeat by the Puppies. I mean in their hearts. Apparently the SJWs applauded the no award - was this sincere? Then there is the fact that - when it is important for them to do so - the Leftist media can and will rewrite history; they will select, distort and lie; and keep doing it on and on until most people believe them - or alternatively it will go down the memory hole.

Whatever happened to the Tea Party, anyone? What happened in the 2012 US Presidential election?

In a world where so many people, on both sides, are addicted to the mass media, and becoming evr-more addicted, they cannot be defeated over the long haul.

I wrote about this too: in Addicted to Distraction (with, I'm proud to say a blurb from John C Wright)

In a nutshell the 'Benedict Option' is the best hope - use the energy and resources, not to fight the undefeatables with pea shooters, but to set up alternatives that are explicitly labelled as alternatives. No matter how small that alternative might be, it is of far greater value.

The problem is that it will be small - the puppies, because they were purely oppositional, were able to build up a big coalition of honest leftists, libertarians, and Christian religious. but the Benedict option is a positive statement, and the Christians would be on their own, and perhaps even break down into mutually hostile denominations...

Ben Pratt said...

@Bruce - The SJWs did cheer, but the panic is ever-visible in their eyes. Recall Vox Day's rhetorical SJW Law No. 1: SJW's Always Lie.

The media, as you have consistently written, is a serious problem. The Tea Party of last decade provides yet another example of Conquest's 2nd Law in action, as the grassroots movement was rapidly overtaken by GOP Establishment interests, which are (of course) Leftist.

On the Benedict Option: I find Rod Dreher stubbornly naive (the term "cuckservative," while perhaps crude, is nonetheless powerfully descriptive on a rhetorical level, and Dreher is practically the archetype), but he has tapped into something deeper with this idea, especially as it connects to LDS scripture. I build and fortify my little corner of Zion in my home, ward, and stake. At the same time, I'm involved in various efforts to build structures and systems that are explicitly Rightist and serve Truth, Good, and Beauty that can be used to make pockets of Zion more anti-fragile.

Coming full circle, some of these projects may help undermine the Mass Media stranglehold.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Ben - The Benedict idea is popularized by Dreher, but its acknowledged source is Alasdair MacIntyre in After Virtue published in 1981 and which I read in 1987, later the two following books.

MacIntyre's argument actually hinges on his argument that only Thomism provides a coherent basis for moral behaviour - most of those who advocate the general 'Benedict' idea reject this - the main idea is that when the war is unwinnable then stubborn resistance is a better strategy.

I believe that those who advocate fighting the SJWs and rolling them back into the sea have *grossly* underestimated their current strength and support.

Of course they will lose in the long term, not least because they are self hating and suicidal - but that time is not yet, and a mass Christian revival seems further away than ever.

Your strategy of local, creative religious community is by far the best!