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Babylon, Daybook

Slouching to Babylon.

To the infernally damned Sir Elton, religion must be banned, for it hurts his feelings. It is not compassionate, which means it understands his pain, or tolerant enough. The Pope of course, must be venerated, for he is tolerating the scandal of pederasty, and this works against true religion and righteousness.

But everything else must be banned. The state religion, of course, is tolerance. Christ is deemed hate speech.

So, should political correctness be forcibly controlled? Well, no. If someone wishes to adopt a belief, regardless of whether we find it silly, pointless, or even offensive, that should unquestionably be their right.

But, is there a point at which political correctness becomes dangerous? Yes, decidedly so. It becomes dangerous when it becomes sanctimonious and aggressive – it then morphs into what I term “sanctimania.”

Sanctimania can be defined as the point at which personal opinion encroaches upon the personal liberty of others; when the other person’s rights are aggressed upon or removed in the name of the opinion being expressed.

Sanctimania is, by its very nature, the point at which anger overcomes reason and force is employed in order to achieve social change.

To be sure, the anger and intolerance that typify sanctimania, taken together, are a most powerful force. As Mahatma Gandhi said,

“Anger and intolerance are the twin enemies of correct understanding.”

Anger has a way of taking personal viewpoint to a destructive level. And, in fact, throughout history, we’ve seen political leaders repeatedly whipping their followers into anger in order to seize greater control. Certainly, this was true in virtually every speech given by Adolf Hitler. It was used extensively by Maximilien Robespierre following the French Revolution. And, not surprisingly, it has been employed in political demonstrations and riots throughout history.

Confucius, a fellow who had a reputation for careful reflection, said,

“When anger rises, think of the consequences.”

A good point. It’s invariably true that no emotion has the ability to eliminate reason and self-control like anger. And this, of course, is why political leaders so often seek to create anger amongst their followers – so that they can be trained to do the bidding of the leaders without questioning either the validity of their actions or the consequences

International Man

In the meantime, the idea that the accusation must be accepted is pernicious. There have been many analyses of Kavanagh, but this deals with the real issue: there are accusations you cannot defend against and be in public service.

In private life the consequences will be harsh. Have nothing to do with any liberal or social justice warrior. Men included, for they will make up lies and calumnies faster than a gaggle of schoolgirls.

Let’s examine more closely that Left—the side they’ve joined. The Left has created a new “standard” for American politics—indeed, new in the entire history of Anglo-American jurisprudence. Let us call it the Gillibrand Standard, after its most insistent advocate, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).

According to the Gillibrand Standard, accusation suffices to destroy. Not only is no corroborating evidence necessary, to ask for such evidence makes one just as guilty as the accused. Especially monstrous is to ask questions of the accuser; that is to repeat or compound the alleged crime. The accusation, once stated, immediately takes on metaphysical certainty. To doubt is to blaspheme.

Actually, “accusation” is too generous. Machiavelli distinguishes between “accusation” and “calumny” in order to demonstrate that “as much as accusations are useful to republics, so much are calumnies pernicious.” The difference is that accusations are public, subject to critique and refutation, and a mendacious or even inaccurate accuser pays a price. Calumnies, by contrast, “have need neither of witnesses nor any other specific corroboration to prove them, so that everyone can be calumniated by everyone; but everyone cannot be accused, since accusations have need of true corroboration and of circumstances that show the truth of the accusation.” A more incisive summary of the Gillibrand Standard cannot be found.

This is a moral panic, and I have seen other such times. Ones that destroyed a couple of male childhood teachers (one of whom, in Christchurch was beloved, very camp, and probably quite innocent). This never ends well. My current rulers do not know this, nor do they understand that the populace know this well: if anyone can be accused, vote the enabling bastards out before they put you in the new, shiny, postmodern Gulag.

And it is not as if the current elite are thinking, or beautiful, or disciplined.

If I may, I’d like to volunteer some criticisms of the new upper class, since Currid-Halkett can’t think of any. Their vaunted intellectual superiority is amazingly superficial. Even graduates of elite schools no longer know basic facts about the American Founding and World War II, though they may know what was in Paul Krugman’s last column or Ta-Nehisi Coates’s last cover story, for all the intellectual benefit that confers. Their casual approach to clothes, which Currid-Halkett finds so refreshing, can be hard to distinguish from sheer laziness. Ten years ago, at brunch time, the sidewalk cafes of Dupont Circle or the Upper East Side were full of women in lovely floral dresses. Now most of the brunch-goers I see are wearing sweatpants. Some haven’t even bothered to change out of their pajamas. If that is the alternative, I would prefer a little conspicuous consumption.

Helen Andrews

As the Captain says, enjoy the decline. And keep your own standards up

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