Wednesday, 16 February 2011

An Intolerable State of Affairs

Her Majesty’s Government’s Chief Zombifier of Science, otherwise known as its Chief Scientific Adviser, speaks before a troop of “scientific” civil servants:
“We are grossly intolerant, and properly so, of racism. We are grossly intolerant, and properly so, of people who [are] anti-homosexuality . . . We are not—and I genuinely think we should think about how we do this—grossly intolerant of pseudo-science, the building up of what purports to be science by the cherry-picking of the facts and the failure to use scientific evidence and the failure to use scientific method.
. . . I’d urge you, and this is a kind of strange message to go out, but go out and be much more intolerant.” [1]
Often the liberal speaks of intolerance as if it were something bad in itself, which of course it is not; yet, when it suits, he speaks fairly reasonably: intolerance is something good when its object is something bad. [2] (Naturally, where the liberal, or anyone else, has wrong ideas of what is bad, so his intolerance is wrong for that reason at least, if not also because of a lack of proportion, but is not wrong by itself.) But with all this honest  talk of intolerance, the advisers and administrators of our liberal-bureaucratic regimes need to be careful: as the confidence of these regimes grows in the service of great lies and political evils, and as they abandon the expedient device of tolerance for those areas where their power formerly could not determine the case, they risk becoming as unsubtle as the old Marxistic regimes, whereof they have been hitherto the more refined brethren.
     An authoritarian (such as I) may take this as a hopeful sign, for it is in greater subtleness that the lasting evil of our regimes has lain: in ever renewing their own images to eschew older, negative ones, hence giving themselves the overall image of getting better, against the reality of becoming more untruthful by new or subtler techniques of beguilement; in striving to seem friendly and approachable, whilst being the most impersonal and anonymous regimes in history; in discouraging the idea of authority, i.e., visible and acknowledged power, whilst building regimes whose vast power is less acknowledged than the power of the old authoritarian regimes which they dwarf; and so on. But, still, although one may take this as a hopeful sign — less subtleness, more sight of reality — one must bear in mind that the latter-day Briton, being a jaded and wanton consumer of one image and sensation after another, a votary of slogans and sound-bites, is less and less able to grasp anything but crudenesses. [3] So, even if Her Majesty’s Government lost all its wits and employed an official to spit in his face and insult his entire heritage, the latter-day Briton might still call it the greatest regime in history in spite of it all. Her Majesty’s Government already does so metaphorically, and he hardly bats an eyelid.


[1] John Beddington, quoted by John Dwyer and Laura Hood, “Beddington goes to war against bad science”, Research Fortnight, 14th February 2011. (Via Delingpole via Mangan.) Prof. Beddington says he does not want to have to “deal with what is politically or morally or religiously motivated nonsense.” (Ibid.) But it seems to have escaped his notice that dealing in politically-motivated nonsense is his job. Indeed, if he did not find that “science” always fell mysteriously on the side of an insane but officially-promoted ideology going by the name of political correctness, he would soon be out of it.
[2] I say “fairly reasonably”, since it would be better to say: intolerance is something good when its object is something bad and when it does not itself lead to something worse than that object. Starkly said: intolerance of nose-picking is something good, but not if it goes so far as state-surveillance of all households for the sake of stamping it out altogether. The reader, I am sure, can think of less silly, and more pressing, examples of wrong intolerance.
     From the psychological-engineering point of view, the liberal’s idea of tolerance is a remarkable one. It encourages him to feel magnanimity in upholding his own beliefs whilst damning all others, with little or no care for the truth or reasonableness thereof, which is to say, it encourages him to feel magnanimity in bigotry. Liberal bigotry is that wonderful state of mind in which one is compelled to call a bigot anyone who stands at odds with it, which is to say, it is bigotry made sublime. Or: the typical liberal is so great a bigot that he feels magnanimous as such.
     There is, to be sure, much trouble with the use of the word “bigot” and its cognates: it has always been a word ripe for abuse, it is often used question-beggingly, and so the word has long been a favourite insult cast by bigots; and now, since it has been redefined in many minds to mean someone who does not hold liberal beliefs, the word has become even more fraught with communicative difficulties. Still, for a fine example in a nutshell of what I dare to call sublime liberal bigotry, the following is hard to beat: “Pictures of adults who’re engaging in consenting acts have no associated moral issues attached, and anyone who says otherwise is a puritan bigot.” (John B, commenting on Charlie Owen, “Pornblocking — Why it Would Have Killed Me”, Liberal Conspiracy, 21st December 2010.) As the example illustrates, the word “puritan” is another word that has also undergone redefinition: it is now often used to mean someone who fails to abet or kindly overlook debauchery and libertinism.)
[3] I suppose the more liberaldom belittles its peoples, biologically, culturally, spiritually, the less subtle it needs to be.

10 comments:

Dismalist said...

According to his wiki page he isn't even a scientist but an economist.

James Higham said...

From the psychological-engineering point of view, the liberal’s idea of tolerance is a remarkable one. It encourages him to feel magnanimity in upholding his own beliefs whilst damning all others, with little or no care for the truth or reasonableness thereof, which is to say, it encourages him to feel magnanimity in bigotry. Liberal bigotry is that wonderful state of mind in which one is compelled to call a bigot anyone who stands at odds with it, which is to say, it is bigotry made sublime. Or: the typical liberal is so great a bigot that he feels magnanimous as such.

This is the nub of the matter.

Regarding puritanism, I've written recently about children being protected, which is not necessarily puritanism in itself.

bgc said...

It is always a red letter day when Deogolwulf posts! Another gem.

Anonymous said...

and as they abandon the expedient device of tolerance for those areas where their power formerly could not determine the case, they risk becoming as unsubtle as the old Marxistic regimes, whereof they have been hitherto the more refined brethren.

False identity there. They may be alike in respects, but the one has not grown out of the other, and except for the anology or the fact that both powers are against us, they are not related, nor is the reign of liberalism the same structurally as the reign of Leninism, which is to say not subject to the same political weaknesses; there is moreover the vast time / technology differential. Soviet states were self-contained coherent political entities housing populations consciously opposed to the master class and its ideology. Political correctness or liberalism is not a coherent politic entity as such. It is not a state: it is every state. It is not over the people: it now is inside, is itself the people. Its will reaches beyond secret police and oppression into the pleasure centers in the brains of men, to which it has wed itself. So to suggest that liberalism, which agains is not a party or a class as such, but the "default religion of European man for (x) years", can "fall" as did the Soviets is semantically specious. Unless one means to kill off millions of bourgeois and lower-class whites who harbor the illness that is liberalism.

Deogolwulf said...

Since no identity was claimed, it cannot be a false one.

“one has not grown out of the other”

I have never believed that one brother can grow out of another.

“they are not related”

They most certainly are.

“nor is the reign of liberalism the same structurally as the reign of Leninism”

I have never thought so.

“it now is inside, is itself the people. Its will reaches beyond secret police and oppression into the pleasure centers in the brains of men, to which it has wed itself.”

Indeed. When I said that the liberal-bureaucratic regimes are “more refined” than the Marxistic ones, I did not mean it as a compliment. The liberal regimes are more sublimely evil than the Marxistic regimes partly for the reasons you give.

“So to suggest that liberalism . . . can ‘fall’ as did the Soviets is semantically specious.”

I have suggested no such thing. Our particular liberal-bureaucratic regimes will of course one day fall, and I say that one may take as a hopeful sign any crudeness on their part, anything more “Soviet”, if you like, for crudenesses are more visible, and “it is in greater subtleness that the lasting evil of our regimes has lain”. Once these regimes are gone, it is still anyone's guess whether anything can be done to cure European man of his illness, or even just to alleviate some of the symptoms, otherwise these latter will show up again. The problem is deeper than politics. It concerns metaphysical or theological beliefs.

sellanraa.com said...

It's a rare leftist that has the self-insight and intellectual honesty to admit that he's just as intolerant and hectoring as his opponents, if not more so. I think Richard Rorty nailed the liberal perspective on this when he wrote this:

"I don’t see anything herrschaftsfrei about my handling of my fundamentalist students. Rather, I think those students are lucky to find themselves under the benevolent Herrschaft of people like me, and to have escaped the grip of their frightening, vicious, dangerous parents ... I am just as provincial and contextualist as the Nazi teachers who made their students read Der Stürmer; the only difference is that I serve a better cause."

Or as bonald at Throne and Altar says, "Everybody censors, but especially the liberals."

bgc said...

Good quote from Rorty.

I have in fact read a great deal of Rorty, with intense attention, over many years.

(Yes, I know... I'm not proud of it.)

My conclusion is that although superficially Rorty was talking incoherent and obviously-wrong nonsense - at a deeper and less-obvious level he was in fact talking incoherent nonsense.

Deogolwulf said...

Rorty is well worth reading. As a case-study in the grimness of modern thought, he is hard to beat, and also for that reason can be a great spur to an interest in the history of that thought to which he gave such smug expression.

bgc said...

This extended interview contains great examples of Rorty's inability to be coherent, and his satisfaction with remaining in a state of incoherence:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/36656596/Against-Bosses-Against-Oligarchies-A-Conversation-with-Richard-Rorty

Anonymous said...

If the problem is deeper than politics, then, we are not dealing with some "thing" (a leader, a regime, a "system") that can actually "fall" -- and I am not trying to prod you here, only point out a bit of faulty rhetoric on our side. I don't believe we are entitled to that imperial "of course", and I question the exact shape of this "fall". Without meaning to give offence, he better analogue is the christianization of Europeans, which graded off dramatically in just the past two centuries. In the same way there can be no "fall" of multiculturalization being an ideology and not a political dynasty or simple closed system. For something to fall, it must stand on two or so legs. The multicult is not that kind of phenomenon, precisely as Christianity, after reaching all Europe, was not sustained by the emperor or the clerisy. European Man identified himself with it and no external check was needed, and therefore nothing could be to dislodge it but the slow passage of centuries wearing it down to liberalism. We are stuck with the multicult as the new default sense of being shared by whites everywhere -- outside of Russia perhaps.