Wokefolk

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See also Cancellings, Humorlessness, Propaganda and Luxury Beliefs.

The 1960's

On April 18, students at Wari, a cooperative for black women, reported a burning cross on their lawn and blamed racist whites for the incident. The cross burners were never caught, and Ithaca police suspected, but could never prove, that AAS members themselves had burned the cross, trying to create a pretext for further protest. Stephen Goodwin, a Cornell student at the time who served as the AAS treasurer, later called the cross burning “a set-up. It was just to bring in more media and more attention to the whole thing.”

Whether it was a set-up or not, the incident set the stage for a massive escalation. At 5:30 AM the next day, the AAS took over Willard Straight Hall, Cornell’s student-activity center. Though AAS leaders claimed that their action was a response to the cross-burning, they had planned the move weeks earlier, choosing April 19 to coincide with the university’s Parents Weekend. Cornell in the 1960', City Journal (2021).


Denial of Reality

One critic charged that “the actual dynamics of the CAFSAC [Canadian Atlantic Fisheries Scientific Advisory Committee] process shows it to be more a forum for projecting the political interests of the state into the scientific construction of reality than the other way around” (Finlayson 1994, 143)....

Steven Hindle, president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, the union representing DFO scientists, appeared on behalf of scientists throughout the department who feared the repercussions of speaking out themselves. He described a “climate of intimidation and mistrust” within DFO, saying that the department suppressed data, ignored or diluted scientific advice, prevented scientists from publishing or speaking publicly about their findings, and threatened the career advancement and even the jobs of dissenters (SCOFO 1998a, 1010-25).

-- [ https://environment.probeinternational.org/2000/01/18/unnatural-disaster-how-politics-destroyed-canadas-atlantic-groundfisheries/ Long essay] on the history of government science denial in the Canadian cod fisheries in the 1980's.


Antonio García Martínez @antoniogm 2021. "To a society increasingly living inside pure ideological spectacle, brushes with hard realities like markets, nature, or even elections seem like insufferable heresies that must be opposed at every turn."


Cancellings

Suppose you went back to Stalinist Russia and you said “You know, people just don’t respect Comrade Stalin enough. There isn’t enough Stalinism in this country! I say we need two Stalins! No, fifty Stalins!”

Congratulations. You have found a way to criticize the government in Stalinist Russia and totally get away with it. Who knows, you might even get that cushy professorship.

If you “criticize” society by telling it to keep doing exactly what it’s doing only much much more so, society recognizes you as an ally and rewards you for being a “bold iconoclast” or “having brave and revolutionary new ideas” or whatever. It’s only when you tell them something they actually don’t want to hear that you get in trouble.

Western society has been moving gradually further to the left for the past several hundred years at least. It went from divine right of kings to constutitional monarchy to libertarian democracy to federal democracy to New Deal democracy through the civil rights movement to social democracy to ???. If you catch up to society as it’s pushing leftward and say “Hey guys, I think we should go leftward even faster! Two times faster! No, fifty times faster!”, society will call you a bold revolutionary iconoclast and give you a professorship.

If you start suggesting maybe it should switch directions and move the direction opposite the one the engine is pointed, then you might have a bad time.

Try it. Mention that you think we should undo something that’s been done over the past century or two. Maybe reverse women’s right to vote. Go back to sterilizing the disabled and feeble-minded. If you really need convincing, suggest re-implementing segregation, or how about slavery? See how far freedom of speech gets you.

In America, it will get you fired from your job and ostracized by nearly everyone. Depending on how loudly you do it, people may picket your house, or throw things at you, or commit violence against you which is then excused by the judiciary because obviously they were provoked. Despite the iconic image of the dissident sent to Siberia, this is how the Soviets dealt with most of their iconoclasts too.

If you absolutely insist on imprisonment, you can always go to Europe, where there are more than enough “hate speech” laws on the book to satisfy your wishes. But a system of repression that doesn’t involve obvious state violence is little different in effect than one that does. It’s simply more efficient and harder to overthrow.


[https://quillette.com/2019/02/26/how-i-was-kicked-out-of-the-society-for-classical-studies-annual-meeting/ "How I was Kickd Out of the Society for Classical Studies Annual Meeting"}}, February 26, 2019 Mary Williams.


The kids in the upper left quadrant, the aggressively conventional-minded ones, are the tattletales. They believe not only that rules must be obeyed, but that those who disobey them must be punished.

The kids in the lower left quadrant, the passively conventional-minded, are the sheep. They're careful to obey the rules, but when other kids break them, their impulse is to worry that those kids will be punished, not to ensure that they will.

The kids in the lower right quadrant, the passively independent-minded, are the dreamy ones. They don't care much about rules and probably aren't 100% sure what the rules even are.

And the kids in the upper right quadrant, the aggressively independent-minded, are the naughty ones. When they see a rule, their first impulse is to question it. Merely being told what to do makes them inclined to do the opposite....

The four types are not equally common. There are more passive people than aggressive ones, and far more conventional-minded people than independent-minded ones. So the passively conventional-minded are the largest group, and the aggressively independent-minded the smallest....

Princeton professor Robert George recently wrote: " I sometimes ask students what their position on slavery would have been had they been white and living in the South before abolition. Guess what? They all would have been abolitionists! They all would have bravely spoken out against slavery, and worked tirelessly against it."...

(1) I realize of course that if people's personalities vary in any two ways, you can use them as axes and call the resulting four quadrants personality types. So what I'm really claiming is that the axes are orthogonal and that there's significant variation in both.


The Four Quadrants of Conformism, Paul Graham (2020).

-----

I am now making a precommitment. Namely:

I will never apologize for politely saying or writing anything that seems reasonable to me… except under extreme duress.

So if I ever do so apologize, please assume extreme duress.

P.S. If I politely say or write something that seems reasonable to me, but later conclude is false, I will acknowledge and correct my mistake. But as long as one has applied this due diligence, error is not blameworthy and warrants no apology.

[https://www.econlib.org/a-precommitment/#comment-270546 "A Precommitment "], Bryan Caplan


Good idea. Better yet, how about if you use the word “entomology” we take that as a sign of duress, e.g. “I am sincerely sorry for my March 3 post. Even though it wasn’t about entomology,it showed insensitivity to…"

Another example of the extreme apology, though immediately retracted, from King Lear:

KENT Sir, in good sooth, in sincere verity, Under the allowance of your great aspect, Whose influence, like the wreath of radiant fire On flickering Phoebus' front,-- CORNWALL What mean'st by this? KENT To go out of my dialect, which you discommend so much. I know, sir, I am no flatterer: he that beguiled you in a plain accent was a plain knave; which for my part I will not be, though I should win your displeasure to entreat me to 't.


Filial Impiety

Six Dr. Seuss books — including “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo” — will stop being published because of racist and insensitive imagery, the business that preserves and protects the author’s legacy said Tuesday.

“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises told The Associated Press in a statement that coincided with the late author and illustrator’s birthday. --"6 Dr. Seuss books won’t be published for racist images" AP (2021)

An author needs to think hard lest his heirs ban his books. If he's a liberal like Dr. Seuss, his heirs will likely lack filial piety, and, indeed, will delight in vilifying those who came before them and gave them their culture and wealth. 

Nazi Analogies

Are the Wokefolk more like the Nazis or the Communists? It isn't really a question of what *they* are like so much as what the current situation is like. The Nazis took power legally over a two-year period. The Communists used military force. Both suppressed free speech, but the Communists did it more crudely, by putting dissidents in prison. At first, the Nazis could not do that. From 1932 to 1934 their tactic was to gradually infringe more and more on free speech, mainly using private action such as beatings, boycotts, and firings. That is the situation in America today.

The main thing one thinks of with the Nazis is anti-semitism, though that was only part of their program. The wokefolk are anti-Israel, but not anti-semitic, I think. Rather, they are anti-Asian and anti-White. Their racism is very similar to the Nazi beliefs, though, in that they believe that an evil race controls the economy and society and uses its power to oppress superior races. They add to it the fact that many of them belong to the evil race--white men-- but that you can repent of your racial background and assume at least a second-class citizenship in the new order. They also do differentiate among white men. If you are Asian or Jewish, you are still in that race, but not so bad. and if you are northern WASP that is pretty good also. The truly evil race are the non-WASPs and the Southernern whites whether WASP or not.



So many stories!  In this Cato one, I bet the backstory is important.  My bet would be that Cato wanted to get rid of him anyway, and used this as an excuse.  It's melodramatic, but it reminds me of Hitler's Night of the Long Knives, which I've just been reading about.  He  purged the Brownshirts, the  left wing of the Nazi Party.  The same night, he also killed miscellaneous others--- a retired old party rival and  right-wing former Chancellor Schleicher and former prime minister of Bavaria Kahr. Nobody paid those murders any attention in the general confusion and the general happiness over the Brownshirts getting killed. 

Will Wilkinson fired

-- ---


The Christian believes that all men are sinners, including himself, and  no man becomes morally perfect.  The liberal, however, adopts the following poem as his guideline: 


I'm just great,
And so are you,
But look at what those people do! --- The Christian is as quick as the liberal to condemn wickedness, but he has more sympathy for the wicked. --- Quote Investigator tells me that my inspiration for this is not quite original with Senator Russell Long, and he didn't say it quite as well, but here it is:


Don't tax you,
And don't tax me,
Tax that man behind the tree. --- Remember Professor Spiegel's Little Hitler song on You-tube.



 A Trinity College club disinvited Richard Dawkins when they found he'd spoken against Islam.  The change is that now it's not enough to hate Christianity-- you must also keep quiet about Islam. General atheism is no longer a safe leftwing opinion to advocate publicly, tho you are *required* to hold it privately, unless you are an Arab or otherwise have an ethnic background for which Islam is considered an appropriate decoration.  

  Rod Dreher in Evil Progressive Adoption Politics passes along these comments from someone: 

The latter pillar, the reduction of all human relations to plain power dynamics — literally the Leninist “ Кто? Кого?” concept — conceives of a parent-child relationship exactly as it does a boss-worker relationship, or a ruler-ruled relationship. What normal people perceive as welcoming a child into their homes in the course of an adoption, these ideologues understand as an acquisition or a conquest. (Here see Dr Ibram X Kendi’s now-infamous tweet, endorsed by fellow racial essentialist Richard Spencer, characterizing the “colonizer” quality of the Barrett family’s adoptions.)

In the Chinese-adoption sphere, these are almost entirely young women in their twenties, who profess progressive politics, and will often acknowledge that they came to their critique — of their own parents and families — in the course of ideological indoctrination at college. Sustained engagement with this cohort reveals fairly quickly that the overwhelming majority of them appropriate the jargon and concepts of progressive race- and power-obsession to engage in re-litigation of entirely ordinary personal passages. Questions of self, meaning, parents, and nascent adulthood that rightly occupy the attention of anyone from ages 15 to 25 are subordinated to the rigid ideological strictures — and pre-ordained answers — of progressive cant.

For those willing to go down the rabbit hole, search for a Facebook group called Transracial Adoption Perspectives. It isn’t the only progressive transracial-adoption group out there, but it is the one most popular with the Chinese-adoption community. (The other big one, simply called Transracial Adoption, has a Group Rules list jam-packed with identitarian jargon, “lived experience” and all, that must be seen to be believed.) Then search for a Facebook group called TAP 101: this is the introductory / indoctrination group where one must spend several weeks before permission is granted to join Transracial Adoption Perspectives. Only after demonstrating willingness to acquiesce to progressive concepts and rhetoric in full — and, for adoptive parents, to submit to what is effectively ritualistic humiliation and formal reprogramming — does the inner sanctum open up.


Everybody trusts big corporations most, then government, then individuals, even though most people would probably *say* the opposite. We know this because they pay lots of money to big corporations for products whose quality they must trust and they are surprised and dismayed if a company doesn't keep its promises.

More generally, though, people very often say they believe things when their actions show they do not (I define "believe" as meaning opinions that determine action, rather than what people say, and distinguish it from "thinking I believe" even if that thinking is sincere).

A general phenomenon of huge political importance is that many people do *not* use their personal experience in forming their stated beliefs, and many of them do not even use it in forming their true beliefs. With corporations, people ignore how Amazon always delivers the goods when they give Amazon money in their stated beliefs about corporate ethics, but they actually trust Amazon much more than an individual or a mom-and-pop online outfit. In other cases, even their true beliefs are at variance with personal experience. Covid-19 is the great example. I know so many people who are deathly afraid but who don't know anybody within 50 miles who has died, been hospitalized, or even had symptoms worse than a cold-- or, in some cases, don't even know anyone who's tested positive. People are convinced they're surrounded by white supremacists, even though they've never met one. That other people and they themselves are racist, even though they can't detect it except with an implicit bias test. That food X is bad for you in immediate, obvious, ways, even though they've had lots of personal contact with it and never seen the bad effect.

Close study of Bacon's Idols of the Mind would help. People get caught up in false paradigms to the extent of ignoring not just scholarly evidence, but their own eyes.


Lost in CambodiaWhy did a radical British professor become a cheer-leader for Pol Pot? And why was he murdered on the very day he'd met the brutal dictator? Andrew Anthony on the extraordinary life and death of Malcolm Caldwell Andrew Anthony Sat 9 Jan 2010

Most of all, while other supporters had wavered, Caldwell had remained steadfast. Only months before, he had written an article in the Guardian, rubbishing reports of a Khmer Rouge genocide. He cited Hu Nim, the Kampuchean Information Minister, who blamed the deaths on America. Caldwell was unaware that Hu had himself already been tortured to death in one of Pol Pot's execution centres. Such killings that the Khmer Rouge had committed, argued the peace activist, were of "arch-Quislings who well knew what their fate would be were they to linger in Kampuchea".
...
It speaks eloquently of the Khmer Rouge's achievements that, while Angkor Wat remains the country's main tourist attraction, the next most popular sights for visitors are Tuol Sleng and the Killing Fields at Choeung Ek, where the prisoners from S-21 were taken to be "smashed" – usually with an ox-cart axle. ... In his book Voices From S-21, the historian David Chandler quotes Milan Kundera's phrase (used to describe the Soviet bloc secret police) of "punishment seeking the crime" to sum up the prison's project. To this end, the most depraved techniques – electric shocks, rape, the forced eating of excrement, medical experimentation, flaying, and lethal blood extraction – were employed. It's hard to comprehend that these agonies were not just formalities, they were preliminaries. It wasn't a question, on arriving at the prison, that an inmate would be lucky to get out alive. He or she would be lucky to get out just dead. ... The Cambodian People's Party, which has ruled since Pol Pot was overthrown, is led by onetime Khmer Rouge members who, under threat of purging, had defected to Vietnam. One of these is Hun Sen, a former revolutionary soldier, who has been prime minister since 1985. His government was accused by Amnesty International of widespread torture of political prisoners, using "electric shock, hot irons and near suffocation with plastic bags". And for many years, senior former members of Pol Pot's government lived under protection in Cambodia, some with family links to the government. So there were several reasons why a major trial with international media coverage was potentially embarrassing or inconvenient.

After much pressure, in November 2007 the Cambodians finally arrested the four most senior surviving Khmer Rouge leaders: Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith and Khieu Samphan. Their trial is scheduled to start in 2011, though few observers will be surprised if it is indefinitely delayed. All of them claim ignorance of any wrong-doing. Perhaps the most galling example is a long letter of evasion and self-justification that Khieu Samphan, Pol Pot's chief ideologue, wrote to Cambodian newspapers in 2001. "I do not see any importance in bringing up this tragic past. We would be better off to let everyone be at peace so that all of us can carry on our daily tasks… I tried my best for the sake of our nation's survival, so that we might enjoy development and prosperity like other nations. I am so surprised that this turned out to be mass murder."


Academic Studies

"individuals high in Need for Chaos (desire for a new beginning through the destruction of order and established structures) do not hold idealistic political visions...Rather, they focus on achieving status and recognition for themselves." The"Need for Chaos" and Motivations to Share Hostile Political Rumors," 2020.

Miscellaneous

https://quillette.com/2021/03/12/the-threat-to-academic-freedom-from-anecdotes-to-data/


Three laws of contemporary philosophy

February 9, 2020 by sesardic FIRST LAW: Question everything!

SECOND LAW: . . . except for the victimhood of women, racial minorities, LGBT, etc.

THIRD LAW: Never, ever mention the second law! --https://sesardic.wordpress.com/2020/02/09/three-laws-of-contemporary-philosophy/


Utopianism tends to make the Left view even horrific costs as nothing compared to the benefits of the coming utopia, and also tends to drive power to the most extreme members of any particular Left group (in contrast to conservatives, who being anti-Utopian tend to be skeptical of extremists).

https://theworthyhouse.com/2017/01/17/book-review-fools-frauds-and-firebrands-thinkers-of-the-new-left-roger-scruton/