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Saturday 22 March 2014

Campus Pseudo-Activism Frauds and the Fall of Civilization

I watched today an episode of "Vikings", an excellent show overall, though not without its problems (for example, that its writers can somehow go into meticulous and careful attention to historical detail when it comes to portraying the vikings, while falling into total and utter ahistorical absurdity whenever coverage of christians is involved: seriously, motherfucker, Crucifixion as a punishment for apostasy, in the 9th fucking century?! Is there not a single christian historian, or hell, christian, among the lot of the show's writers???).  It had a very interesting scene (aside from the idiotic lets-punish-someone-for-apostasy-by-dressing-them-like-jesus-and-crucifying-them scene aforementioned);  this (too) was a scene that almost certainly never would have happened for real, but it was very evocative nonetheless.  In the scene, a Viking has made his way into the manor of a saxon chieftain (as a hostage); walking along, he marvels at the half-ruined vestiges of the Roman villa the place clearly once was.  He turns and asks one of his captors "who made these things?", his voice tinged with amazement.  The man shrugs and responds that no one knows, but they say that there were once giants who lived in these lands.

I had to wonder, then, if someday people won't be walking through the crumbling ruins of our own civilization and say of us "I heard there were once giants who lived in these lands"?
We're not substantially different from the Romans; I'm sure its an argument that you've heard before.  Except that we are perhaps even more immune to outward pressure.  Barring certain truly apocalyptic scenario, there is no way that Western Civilization is going to collapse if there were, say, a horde of Arabs trying to invade us; contrary to what Right-wing partisans sometimes present as the terror scenario, there's no way the Al Qaeda's of the world will destroy us; and the idea of the Turkish Army being able to invade us in this day and age is understood to be patently absurd. 
But that was only half of what ruined the Romans; and we're more vulnerable than ever to the other half: if we die, we die by suicide.  We die because on the INSIDE we are corrupted until we give up every virtue that has made our civilization great (and, if you ask why this matters, when we do we will surely lose all the concepts that rest and UTTERLY DEPEND ON those virtues: things like equality, tolerance, human rights, democracy, personal freedom, and each and every form of civil right you can imagine; all of which were born in no place other than the west).

So this is why I get so pissed off by a culture that has lost its rudder enough that at the institutions of higher learning, we are failing to create principled thinkers.  We are creating morally bankrupt pseudo-activists instead; people who "feel" that it is very important to stand up to certain very fashionable ideas, while lacking either the knowledge to actually realize the philosophical foundations those ideas totally depend upon, or the morality to be able to actually represent those ideas.  We are creating a generation of civilizational illiterates (which will only get worse with the implementation in the United States of the "Common Core", along with all the other public school curricula in other countries that, insanely, intentionally seek to alienate young students as much as possible from the foundational literary and historical concepts of the west), and then it is no wonder that they are completely morally bankrupt.

The latest case: last month, a student at Grand Valley State University found the whiteboard at the door to her dorm room had been decorated with hateful and horrific racist statements and drawings (including the phrases "black bitch die", a stick-man drawing of a lynching, and "fuck black history month"). There was tremendous outrage; there was talk of taking measures, of the need to suspend classes to provide 'tolerance education', there was a Huffington Post article talking about how this incident "Proves" that Racism Persists.  It was not unlike a wave of recent events displaying the horrific and brutish intolerance of certain evil sectors of society: last year at Oberlin college that famously liberal and progressive school was targeted by a vicious hate attack that involved the spreading of posters, graffiti and emails full of highly racist material. At the University of Wyoming, a well known feminist activist received vicious rape threats on the local social network (with the claim she would be "hate-fucked" and the statement "one night with me and she's going to become a good republican (expletive)"... I'm not suddenly being prudish there, I can't find a single report that hasn't censored out whatever the expletive might have been).  And there have been various other similar cases as well. The gay student at the CCSU in 2012 who had anti-gay slogans drawn on her whiteboard and hateful menacing notes slipped under her door, for example; that student bravely stated that she "wouldn't be scared off" by these attacks, at an "Educate Over Hate" rally the school held in her honor.

And of course, all of these have in common, aside from the vicious hateful speech, the fact that they were all hoaxes perpetrated by the alleged "victims" and "activists" who would then jump forward to express how important it is to fight the kind of wrong that these things allegedly represent. In other words, these were complete frauds.  The Wyoming feminist rape threat was a fraud.  The Oberlin racist posters were a fraud perpetrated by a group of well-known liberal activists on campus. And yes, the brave lesbian student who would not be scared off by the homophobic hate mail, which she wrote herself.
And now, the racist whiteboard message of last month has likewise been proven an intentional fraud.

So what does this all have to do with the fall of civilization?  Sure, its pretty fucking bad that a bunch of college students and sometimes college professors (like Kerri Dunn, the Psychology Prof at Claremont college who spraypainted her own car with racial epiphets on the day she spoke at an anti-racism riot) are faking these things, you could say its a blow against political correctness or the like; but the real issue to me is WHY its happening.  And the reason is because we've created an intellectual culture (in Colleges especially, which is why so many of these fraud incidents happen there; but its filtered down gradually into the general population) where we suggest that Truth is not the highest virtue; where in fact we suggest that there is no such thing as "truth".  The philosophy of the relativists has created an environment where people have stood up to defend the likes of Meg Lanker-Simons (the Wyoming fake-rape-threat victim) or Kerri Dunn even AFTER they did what they did; and on a much wider scale to say "yes, well, we know technically these things didn't turn out to be true, but they're true in some kind of symbolic sense of how we FEEL about them".

And that is the thought process that goes through these hoaxer's heads: having been taught time and time again that Truth has no inherent virtue nor can it be determined, and having a sincere conviction about how there must be "evil conservatives" out there who would probably do "something like this", they decided to go ahead and do it themselves, because they felt that it was just "representative" of what their imaginary "evil conservative" would likely do. 
Fraud isn't wrong to them because they can't understand the very notion of true or false, and they think that drawing attention to the "cause" even if its based on a lie, is more important than the truth.  And this view is consistently supported by the Universities in question; Kerri Dunn's university, for example, cancelled classes to hold a rally in support of her even while the administration was already aware she was under investigation for having committed the "hate crime" herself!

In the end, its not fake hate crimes that will destroy us, of course. But this is a symptom of the bigger problem, of a culture that has completely lost the notion of the most absolutely fundamental of values that created our civilization, and a culture that seems to rush to tear down anything that would connect us to those values, often ironically in the alleged name of the very advances in human rights that ONLY those values created and that only those values can be capable of protecting and defending!  If there's no truth, then there's no truth to the notion that people of all races are equal, its just a matter of opinion.  If there's no truth, then there's no real reason other than the threat of contrary force as to why someone shouldn't raid your town, or rape your women.  The absence of truth and objective values is what leads to the very barbarism that creates atrocity; its an absurdity to pretend to be an activist for any human rights cause if you reject those very values and the objectivity of truth which are the only way these values can be protected.

That's how we're going to end up ruins: because we've now taught four successive generations of our own people to believe in nothing except our own narcissism. We've taught them to think about nothing except shallow posturing about feelings and niceness. We've taught them to regard all authority as implicitly illegitimate, to regard all institutions as implicitly exclusive; to regard all achievement as inherently unfair. We've raised them all to feel nothing but disgust and guilt at their own civilization.  How can we not end up destroying ourselves?
And the irony is that, having been taught nothing by history, none of them even realizes what nightmares would come next, when this civilization is lost; their minds instead clouded by nonsensical fantasy utopias, like as if civilization folded we'd all just slip into a giant hippie-commune of peace and love powered by reiki crystals, instead of a centuries-long bloodbath of war, disease, and the strong brutalizing the weak.

That's the future that awaits us when we finally let go of our "restrictive" insistence on believing things can be true. We'll get to be the forgotten giants of hopeless savages, and if there are some very few left who will still have the intellectual capacity to grasp what we were, they will shake their heads in astounded incomprehension as to how we could have just willingly torn it all down. I already do.


Currently Smoking: Ben Wade Canadian + Image Latakia


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I have found no other punishment for apostasy except crucifixion from around 400BC until the Medici. Your assumptions on history is that folks had a strong understanding of irony, which is not founded in historical documentation nor Canon law.

  3. What source do you have as crucifixion as a punishment for apostasy? Because as far as I know, crucifixion was banned as a punishment after the Emperor Constantine, and (while its theoretically possible that isolated groups could theoretically have done such a thing) there's no record at all of it being used as a punishment for apostasy in the Catholic world.

  4. I'll note though that apparently crucifixion was used as a punishment for apostasy from Islam.

  5. I think the frauds committed stem from people trying to advance their own version of the truth, by trying to invalidate the truth espoused by those they oppose. Perhaps its not so much that truth is malleable and subjective. Perhaps our society has lost the ability to find commonalities between our beliefs. Therefore, there are truth wars going on , where our cultural need to smash those with different worldviews.

    1. I meant to say that the frauds mentioned were trying to invalidate their opponents "by any means possible."

  6. But anthony, that is precisely the post-modernist position. You might be so into the pardigm you can't even see it anymore; but your whole point begins with the idea that different people can have "different truth". And then they argue about it or blend or recreate truth, or one imposes truth on the others by rhetorical force or actual violence. It is "truth" as a malleable meaningless substance with no real core.

    The anti-postmodern position is of course that there IS such a thing as actual Objective Truth. This truth must be approached by people, we can disagree about theories of truth, we can make errors and have to correct them, but there's really only one thing that is actually really Truth.

    On one level, this might not look all that different, right? Because in both cases you have to admit that (even if there is objective Truth) our own ability to observe, understand, and discover Truth has limitations. Our individual understanding of Objective Truth will still be imperfect. So really, how is that any different than just saying "everyone has their own truth, and there is no objective Truth"?

    The big difference is this: in the model that says "There is Objective Truth", that means that by definition there are things that are NOT TRUTH. We may not ever be able to completely and perfectly understand the objectively true, but we CAN know and prove that certain things are NOT true.

    On the other hand, if you take on a paradigm of there being "no such thing" as actual Objective Truth, then there is no truth at all, as what you call "truth" becomes nothing more than a matter of "Feelings"; it is true because I feel it is true. This means there is NO effective counterargument within that paradigm for someone saying "well, my own feeling is that some racist probably could have/might have wanted to draw a lynching threat on my front door, because they're so evil and I'm so special and important to them; so even though i did it myself its still basically true because I feel it might have happened!"

    If one recognizes the existence of Objective Truth, then you can say "NO. You engaged in a falsehood. What you did was NOT True". On the other hand if you subscribe to the idea that truth is about "differing visions of truth", that there is no actual core Truth that exists outside our narcissistic self, then you have no way of arguing with that person's statement, it is indeed "her truth". All you can do is try to manipulate language in such a way as to try to diminish the impact of her truth, rhetorically invalidate her, or manipulate the message of 'her truth', in order to serve your own purposes. Those, and not the search for actual truth or a concern with what is real, are the only viable tools of Post-modernism.

    1. I guess I wasn't clear, and that's possible because I've been pretty ill of late. I believe there are truths, but yes some of us have become addicted to relativism. But perhaps a way to bridge the gap is to challenge the relativists to find what they have in common with those who believe in objective truths. Those commonalities will most likely, ironically, lead back to universal truths.

      What is truth to me? That we are all capable of great things, if we so choose. We've allowed ourselves to forget that we must rise above our challenges and overcome them to better ourselves. We've instead learned to wallow in the "drama" of despair, and sink into fear instead of teaching each other that fear is there to be defeated. It has a purpose.

      We've forgotten that we need each other. Instead we've demonized "the other" after centuries of extreme individualism. Now, we fear each other because we only allow ourselves to hear and seek out the worst in others and ourselves.

      But there is hope to turn this around, even if it may seem slim. Even if things look hopeless, like Aragorn leading the armies to the gates of Mordor in the hope that two tiny creatures can carry out a nearly impossible quest, WE NEED TO FIGHT ON! Even if things look unwinnable. Because, like in LotR, we are often proven right in our efforts.

    2. Just to be clear, in my original comment, I wasn't agreeing with the viewpoint that "people can have different truths and that's ok." I believe that people have different ways of approaching some very universal truths, but they've become so mired in interpretiation and obfuscation and tribalization that they can't see that everyone else seeks the same truths of being. Thus we've duped ourselves into thinking we're all so different, and that "my truth is more true that your truth." But when you strip away the veneer, we're all singing the same song. The tune is different, the language is different, but the words are the same.

  7. RPGPundit, you are a brilliant political essayist. Good stuff.