If you can judge a people or a culture by their language, then what do the modern translations of the Bible say about modern Christianity? A comparison with the King James version convicts its commitment to ugliness.
Leftists love renaming things, as the state in Orwell’s 1984 dubs its propaganda agency the “Ministry of Truth”. Examples of what and how they do this, provide a clear insight into the ugliness of the leftist mindset.
Take a seemingly innocuous one: in calendar years “A.D.” (Anno domini, Latin for “in the year of our Lord”) is now called “C.E.”, ostensibly for “Common Era”. Now, “anno domini” is a beautiful, poetic phrase. It is mellifluous and pleasing to the ear. It encapsulates in its simplicity so much of our cultural heritage: the ancient Latin, Christianity, even the now-lost genitive morphology that changes the noun dominus “lord” to possessive “of our lord”. Above all, it evokes the religious sensibility that is humanity’s common heritage, and the humbled awe of the devout Christian. It is our history, and lays at the foundation of Western civilization.
Contrast “Common Era”. The words themselves are Germanic rather than Latin, but Germanic languages also have a rich poetic canon. This phrase, however, seems to have been chosen as if for its ugliness. The phrase “common” is bureaurocratese: stale, meaningless, unevocative. The “era” now refers to a period of time that has been stripped of its meaning. No doubt, if our atheist academics could, they would erase entirely the birth of Jesus Christ as the focal point of the calendar. They can’t do this because our entire history has been written with reference to the Julian/Gregorian calendar; so they do the next best thing, try and strip the context of Christ’s birth and make-pretend that year zero is merely arbitrary, meaningless.
In short, this renaming is an act of spiteful cultural destruction, spiritually akin to ISIS’ destruction of ancient statues. The smallness of the matter only makes the destruction seem more petty and barbaric.
Take a different sort of example: foreign nationals who enter the United States unauthorized were called “illegal aliens”; now the mass media calls them “undocumented workers”. I’m sure the mass media’s primary motivation here is just to spare people’s feelings, right? Unpacking the change, we can see what is accomplished by this sleight of hand. The clear, direct meaning of “illegal” is replaced by the weaselly “undocumented”, implying a mere meaningless piece of bureaucracy. But the really insidious part is changing “alien” to “worker”. What is being elided here is the concept of citizenship; because “alien” is just the negative of “citizen”. A citizen is a full member of a state, with all the rights and responsibilities that entails — in the United States that includes the concept of natural rights that are granted by nature’s God. In its place we now have “worker”, a mere economic construct who is free only to exchange his labor for money.
We see that leftist* elites and their mass-media lapdogs really do not want to recognize the concept of citizenship, at all. They will collect taxes from us, for sure, but beyond that we are no different from the other six billion people on the planet, human resources to be harvested in exchange for an ever-decreasing subsistence wage.
Note what these two examples have in common. Each effectively elides a piece of our civilization’s heritage using a linguistic sleight-of-hand. Each attempts to conceal its intent using a shallow appeal to sentiment: “Common Era” is “inclusive” of non-Christians; the phrase “undocumented workers” “spares the feelings” of those who choose to enter a Western country illegally.
The elevation of feelings over clear-headed language is degenerate enough. The central fact, though, is the concealing of a malicious act of destruction under the guise of pandering to a designated victim group.
What are your favorite examples of the Leftist anti-Confucian project?
* By “leftist” I understand, after Bruce Charlton, someone who rejects Christianity in favor of a narcissistic embrace of the sexual revolution.
I posted this on Stack Exchange Meta, but it was deleted. (The voting system is great for Social Justice Warriors. All it takes is for 5 of them to see a post they don’t like; since none of them believe in free and open debate, they will all vote to delete it.) Anyway, I thought I may as well re-post it here.
In the Stack Overflow annual survey report, we find this paragraph:
Software development has a gender balance problem. Our internal stats suggest the imbalance isn’t quite as severe as the survey results would make it seem, but there’s no doubt everyone who codes needs to be more proactive welcoming women into the field.
If I may unpack this, there seem to be two assertions here:
- The under-representation of women in programming jobs is a problem (although a problem for whom exactly is left unspecified).
- A solution is proposed: “everyone who codes” should “be more proactive welcoming women into the field”.
My question is twofold. The first part is: does the brass at Stack Exchange actually believe that underrepresentation of women is a problem, and if so, a problem for whom?
Do they consider it “a problem”? Or are they more like the grocer in Havel’s “The Power of the Powerless”, giving lip service to a totalitarian ideology out of business pragmatism. (Note, if you don’t think “gender equality” is a totalitarian ideology, then I challenge you to find even a single large public company that publicly opposes it.) For those that don’t know the reference, I suggest taking a look at the link. It presents a fictional greengrocer under totalitarian communism, who puts up a sign “Workers of the world, unite!” in his store, and an analysis of why he does it.
If the ownership and/or management of Stack Exchange really considered gender inequality in programming a problem for themselves, then they would have a simple solution: just hire more female programmers. They could put a moratorium on male hires, increase salaries offered to women, or other options that are surely well within their means. Obviously, they have not done this: they currently employ 25 male and 2 female programmers according to their company page.
The second part of my question concerns the proposed solution. Will urging “everyone who codes” to “be more proactive welcoming women into the field” actually increase the proportion of women in the field? If enough people were somehow persuaded and/or incentivized to be “more proactive” in this way, would more women and fewer men enter the field?
Either Stack Exchange has tested this theory, or they have not; they have evidence showing that it works, or they do not. If it is untested, then why are they confidently propounding it as a solution to the imputed problem? If it’s really a problem, shouldn’t there be some sort of empirical approach to solving it, and not just a tossed-off guess as to what might work? Alternately, if theyhave tested it, then apparently it has not only failed but backfired, because Stack Exchange’s female programmer ratio (2/29 or 7%) is far below even the industry standard (20%).
So, to summarize my questions:
- Does Stack Exchange really, truly think gender imbalance is a problem that merits solutions (beyond mere lip service)?
- If as seems apparent the proposed solution is not actually serious or tested, is it therefore nothing more than an empty feel-good or ideological slogan? Does something like that belong in a statistical report?
The species known as “social justice warrior” (genus SWPL) is notoriously flippant about centuries-old individual rights (such as freedom of speech). A question I wonder about is: are those accused of “racism” (I’ll explain the scare quotes in a moment) entitled to the traditional rights of the accused, such as due process, the right to face their accusers, and the presumption of innocence? You would doubt it, if you had paid attention to any of the recent witch hunts (Donald Sterling being the recent example).
And why is this? The obvious answer is that accused “racists” face mob justice, and the mob is never interested in due process. But the deeper answer is that due process is simply impossible in these cases, because an accusation of being a racist is indefinite, and really no more provable than the accusation of being a witch. What would a formal process look like for bringing trial against someone for “being a racist”? How would you prove that beyond a reasonable doubt? You can’t. Hence, the sole determinant of guilt is what the various aggrieved parties are feeling, and mob-style justice is administered without giving the accused so much as the right to speak on his own behalf.
And, you will be amazed at the contortions that seemingly intelligent people will go through, in order to justify throwing out centuries of legal protections for the accused. When one caller to a radio show objected that the tape of Sterling’s comments might have been faked or doctored, the host (I think it was Colin Cowherd) started screeching something along these lines. “Then where has he been? The tape was released 2 days ago, if he’s innocent, why hasn’t he come forward to defend himself.” In other words, literally trial by (a hostile) media. Someone else raised doubts about whether Sterling’s taped comments weren’t those of a jilted lover rather than a hater of black people. The response he got was that Sterling is being punished because he is behind the times, and doesn’t understand our new racially sensitive society. In other words: he is the wrong kind of person, an older white (well, Jewish) man who does not instinctively mouth PC platitudes.
Basically, what you mostly see from people — those who are thoughtful enough to see any problem with throwing out quaint notions like rights of the accused — is special pleading. But of course, it’s easy to put over classic logical fallacies when you are on the bully pulpit at the head of a mob, rather than in an adversarial trial in a courtroom. Maybe that’s why, is simpler times, such protections were enshrined into law.
But then again, as we infinitely-enlightened 21st century denizens now know, all the people that wrote those laws were racists. So it’s probably for the best that we’re throwing them all out, right?
Steve Sailer posted a good Swiftian parody of the public theatrics around the Donald Sterling matter
The President previewed a variety of new NSA initiatives, such as data-mining the petabyte of private phone calls and emails stored in the Utah Data Center for evidence of Americans engaging in racial stereotyping, evincing a lack of personal enthusiasm for blacks, or being insufficiently outraged at Donald T. Sterling.
This parody is too close for comfort. If you look past the frothing lunatics that form the majority of the “lynch Sterling” mob, to what its (relatively) intelligent enthusiasts are saying, you might conclude that Sterling’s real crime was indeed in his thoughts. I think it was Max Kellerman (ESPN LA radio) who said something along the lines of: the reason Sterling is being punished is because of “the evil that is in his heart”. I’ve heard this kind of sentiment more than once.
Part of the problem with America’s new Secular Puritans is that they are religious zealots, but without any tradition to reflect upon. Thus, there will be no voice of reason citing a holy figure from their scriptures, with aphorisms like “let he among you who is without sin cast the first stone”.
I grew up Protestant, and never much liked the church culture. But in comparison to the current deranged PC climate, those Christians seem like the height of civilization. I yearn for a simpler time when wisdom professed that only God can really know what’s in another man’s heart, let alone the heart of a stranger you know nothing about except a snippet of illicit recording of his responses to surreptitiously leading questions by his mistress.
Footnote: As is usually the case, those casually flinging around accusations of harboring “hatred in their hearts” are the very ones whose speech evince hatred the most clearly. Here’s the unflappably PC Bill Simmons opining on the features of Donald Sterling’s body, in between imputing a random slew of ugly thoughts to his mind:
We were in Section 101 by then, near the Clippers bench, with Sterling sullenly sitting across from us. His legs always straddled the center stripe at midcourt, like he was telling himself, I AM DEAD CENTER! I AM EXACTLY DEAD CENTER! He dressed like a potbellied grim reaper. His colorless skin always made me wonder if he spent his days sleeping in a coffin. Before games, he would hurriedly arrange the seating for everyone in his extended party, ordering them into various Section 111 seats and pointing around like a drill sergeant. From there, he’d stand in front of his seat and greet everyone around him. Eventually, he’d sit down and fold his arms and never, ever, ever, ever move. He’d just sit there, his arms folded across his massive stomach. I ran out of ways to make Weekend at Bernie’s jokes about him by 2011.
By now lots of people have heard that the Higgs field/particle has seemingly been discovered. I’m skeptical about the efficacy of all our various institutions, including scientific ones, but this seems like a truly historic and amazing achievement. But it’s so abstract, and requires knowledge of so many things, that how many people in the world can even understand this? I’m not one of them. All I have in my head is, the Standard Model of subatomic physics somehow predicts the existence of this massive particle (really massive, maybe 1000x heavier than a proton); and they went out and built a big-ass machine to find it. And they found it. Goddamn… good job dudes & dames!
Woit confirms what you would figure: it’s the biggest physics discovery in ages. He says it’s the biggest in 30 years, since the discovery of the W and Z bosons. Well, I guess you would want that kind of vindication for all the time and resources that went into the LHC project.
Metta World Peace aka Ron Artest elbowed someone on a basketball court and was ejected, then suspended. Lots of people are disgusted with what they see as a malicious act, but it’s the media that I’m disgusted with. I watch the talking heads tripping all over themselves trying to come up with the most unhinged denunciation of the player; in the next breath they’ll be praising another player’s borderline-physical play, saying that it shows toughness, or whatever. Hypocrites.
Sports are sort of an atavistic ritual; do you see the irony in people sputtering red-faced in outrage about what they consider a “barbaric” act, even as they themselves engage in an act that might be even more retrograde, namely the witch hunt? Someone elbowed someone: burn the witch! It makes me think of parables in our culture like Jesus saying to the mob that’s out for blood: let him among us who is without sin cast the first stone. Or the Crucible, a play by Arthur Miller about an over-the-top witch-hunt (a literal one) in colonial America, but really about McCarthyism.
What is the real cause of these kinds of disproportionately intense, mass-outrage shaming rituals?
…when just contemplating some facts is enough to cause you psychic pain. We rehearsed this a few times, but nothing can prepare you for it. But maybe this is just another rehearsal? Everything gets thrown into a different light, what seemed unforgivable seems lovable now. I’m like a bad general in the fog of war, just cannot see the events that are sealing my fate. So confused.
I choked on this phrase in Pravda’s story about some latest dust-up with one of our frenemies in the Persian gulf. So the United Arab Emirates shut down an, ahem, “American-financed organization that promotes Democracy”. This kind of US-owned pro-democracy advocacy organization (lol) — which is fairly common, I take it — this breed of non-profit that names itself the “National Democratic Institute” or “International Republican Institute and Freedom House” or some other Orwellian variation, is just a spook front for the US government … right? I can’t imagine what other purpose it might serve.