cultural marxism

Power Word: Blackface

Movement conservatives have this thing that they do whenever someone is questioning the latest steps toward military aggression. They compare it to appeasing Hitler, because Hitler was appeased and Hitler was bad. So like a lawyer making his closing arguments to a jury, they say, “But what about… WORLD WAR TWO!?”

I call this Power Word: World War 2, like those spells from Dungeons and Dragons that were power words that could not be resisted by their target. Similarly, Power Word: World War 2 ends the discussion, because non-interventionism is obviously wrong, since it’s a proof by contradiction. Everyone has to believe in World War 2 as the good intervention (duh!).

But all the beautiful people know that neoconservatives are stupid, so I will focus on a power word that the beautiful themselves love to use. And that is Power Word: Blackface.

A week or two there was a story about a white man named Michael Derrick Hudson who got a poem published in one of the most prestigious journals of poetry in the country. Hudson had previously had the poem rejected from lesser journals about 40 times. So he used the name Yi-Fen Chou because he thought that appearing to be something other than a white male would get his poem published.

He was right.

“Bluntly stated, I was more amenable to the poem because I thought the author was Chinese American,” the (non-white) editor of the journal, Sherman Alexie, explicitly stated.

Despite the overt favoritism toward poets because of their non-maleness and non-whiteness, in bizarro Twitter world, people took this fiasco as proof that Hudson actually had some sort of unfair advantage.

The contradictions between the narrative and the reality are obvious. But the issue for the commentariat is that this ordeal had:

  1. A white man coming out on top
  2. A white man doing it by seemingly outsmarting people of color, and most, importantly
  3. A white man turning a left-wing narrative on its head.

They couldn’t turn to him getting something because of his privilege, since the exact opposite happened 40 times. So where could the thinkpiece industry find its outrage release valve? Power Word: Blackface.

Blackface was a bad thing. It degraded black people by portraying them as buffoonish and contemptuous. It’s obvious that blackface not being socially acceptable is a good development. Yellowface was a bad thing as well, and Hollywood had quite a few examples of dressing up white people to make them walking stereotypes of Asians, like in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (the header pic). People who write by-the-numbers outrage thinkpieces aren’t very smart, and so they lazily painted Hudson with this brush.

The poet-troll didn’t wear yellowface though, despite the shrieks of the folks at Salon and the Guardian. No stereotypes or degradation happen. In fact, even the editor of the journal that there was nothing “Asian-seeming” about the poem he accepted. Hudson just beat a”no white males allowed” filter that apparently exists at a lot of places, and this made those who want to see those gates do their job very angry.

The absurdity of this becomes evident when considering that 19th-century female authors adopted male pen names to get published and read. It’s not a secret that George Eliot was actually a womann named Mary Ann Evans. Even J.K. Rowling supposedly adopted a gender-indeterminate name to appeal to broaden her appeal. Were these women degrading men and wearing “manface”? No, that’s obviously ridiculous. It’s equally ridiculous to say that Hudson was being a racist and wearing yellowface.

The blackface smear happens lot, and it happens when the contradictions in cultural Marxism are laid bare. People couldn’t quite articulate why Rachel Dolezal is evil and Caitlyn Jenner is brave, so they said “remember that blackface thing? That was bad! And this looks similar!”

Pointing out superficial similarities in things is something that every first grader has mastered. So why are adults paid 100 dollars per article to do it and why do we all pretend that it’s thought-provoking?

Christians in the Closet

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Ace points us to this Rod Dreher account of his interview with a “deeply closeted” Christian professor at an “elite law school.” It’s long, but worth it, if you like that feeling of wanting to punch someone in the mouth.

“The sad thing,” he said, “is that the old ways of aspiring to truth, seeing all knowledge as part of learning about the nature of reality, they don’t hold. It’s all about power. They’ve got cultural power, and think they should use it for good, but their idea of good is not anchored in anything. They’ve got a lot of power in courts and in politics and in education. Their job is to challenge people to think critically, but thinking critically means thinking like them. They really do think that they know so much more than anybody did before, and there is no point in listening to anybody else, because they have all the answers, and believe that they are good.”

The rest might make one more and more depressed, the farther one gets into it: coming attacks on Christian schools, purging of professional organizations, removal of opportunities for Christians in the corporate world, etc. There are, naturally, references to The Benedict Option.

I believe Dreher and others are overlooking some key and unique cultural points about the United States. First, there are at least 200 million private firearms in the US, many if not most of them in the hands of cultural conservatives. Second, most “elites” can’t operate a gun, or even hold one in their hands without urinating in their pants suits. Third, the national government (“Feds”) hasn’t quite seized complete control of every aspect of life from the states.

Our good and faithful elite Christian law professor paints a picture of American Christians gradually giving in on all points, retreating from politics and the courts, and, especially, not getting fighting mad. Probably, he’s never been to a Knights of Columbus meeting.

fascisiti

Here’s my alternative scenario of the future: Certain elements in the  “red states” resist the liberal fascisiti. I think we now know that this isn’t going to be the Governors, considering the simpering performance of Pence and Hutchison, but some conservative legislative majorities would probably risk being boycotted by the NCAA in order to make a statement. More pressure, financial and legal, is brought to bear from DC and the Gay Corporate Mafia. Decent people from around the country rally ’round the besieged state(s). Some even move there, or at least camp out with rifles…and then, magically, an Enclave of Sanity independent of the Blue State sewers will be carved out of Flyover Country, the gays will go back to sodomizing each other in New York and Hollywood and everyone will live happily ever after…

Yeah, I’m not buying it, either.

I guess all I’m sure of is that America ain’t Rome under Nero, American progressives don’t have the moral certainty nor the backbone to actually kill American Christians, and American Christians aren’t as a body going to hide in the closet from sodomites and their “allies.”

The men who lie with men, the women who lie with women, the men who think they’re women, the ones who want to sodomize animals and children, and their elite enablers: Are threats of boycotts and Twitter hate campaigns and not getting hired at UCLA really going to cause American Christians to pretend to approve of this? To turn their faces away and pretend not to notice?

If so, it really is the End, and I’ll shut up and go in the closet and watch the show.

And sharpen my sword.

The casual, everyday Marxism that is all too often ignored

The Daily Caller was good enough to let me publish a piece on why #Shirtstorm is a symptom of fashionable neo-Marxism in our culture. Here’s an excerpt:

The Verge, a tech site that tipped its hand as unethical and agenda-pushing during GamerGate, ran a headline reading, “I don’t care if you landed a spacecraft on a comet, your shirt is sexist and ostracizing.” They are literally convinced that fashion, in both the clothing and radical chic senses, is so important that they don’t even care about forward leaps in science. Think I am mischaracterizing them? The subtitle reads “That’s one small step for man, three steps back for humankind.” Wearing a shirt that the groovy people at The Verge don’t like is three times as bad as making a breakthrough in space exploration is good.

The feminism that we have making noise right now isn’t the feminism that fought for equality and against discrimination. Rather than being based in enlightenment values of humanism and equality under the law, it is grounded in neo-Marxist theory of power and oppression. You know when people say that only women can be victims of sexism because of some non-falsifiable, abstract, aggregate definition of power? You were hearing neo-Marxist critical theory.

Escalating this kind of outrage is a pretty dangerous gambit, I think. As with all anti-rationalist narratives, this bizarre campaign is eventually going to buckle under the weight of its own accumulated contradictions.

Intellectual bullying and the postmodern discourse of GamerGate

The discrediting of voices in intellectual discourse is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes, when a person holds a position that is indefensible and plain wrong, they should either accept that they are wrong or have their soapbox revoked. Most of the time it isn’t this clear. Different opinions are held by disagreeing parties, and silencing dissenting voices requires tactics that are a little more underhanded. The tactic of dishonestly re-framing a viewpoint into something outrageous in an attempt to discredit those who hold the viewpoint is known as intellectual bullying.

Black_box bulling

This is a powerful tool. With enough voices dishonestly insisting that someone holds all those beliefs that everybody hates, the person in question will either be shamed into silence or suffer from character assassination. The black box takes an honest input and produces a dishonest output. But what goes on inside the black box? I am going to try to explain that, both in general and specifically for the GamerGate controversy.

A lot of of the tactics of the anti-GamerGate intellectual bullying campaign were famously codified in Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.  The ideological guerrilla warfare tactics encouraged in that book and others like it include character assassination, isolation, and ridicule. Ad hominem attacks are implicitly encouraged, because people are easier to hate than abstract ideas. Strawman arguments are particularly effective – rather than addressing actual arguments, so one should ignore the points of those who disagree with you and respond to something else.

I initially scoffed at the prospect of Cultural Marxism being real, because in common parlance among conservative pundits, it’s used as a stronger pejorative in place of “political correctness.” Despite what the noise around the provocative term might sound like, Cultural Marxism is not Alex Jones-style paranoia. From the beginning, Marxism rejected positivism – positivism meaning the belief that mathematical logic and scientific experimentation are the sole authoritative sources of knowledge. This should be interesting for the reader who has heard of Marxism being scientific socialism. To Marx and Engels, scientific was merely a nice sounding word that meant that their socialism had a philosophical methodology behind it. This is true: Marxism does have a methodology, it’s just a non-rationalistic methodology.

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