How Do We Reach Such People?

 

The depravity of Hamas is shocking but not surprising. The kneejerk supportive reaction of many Muslims, even many American Muslims, is also not surprising given the structural resistance within that creed for critical introspection.  However, the number of non-Muslim Westerners who cheered the Hamas atrocities—and the intensity of that support–was a shocking and terrifying surprise. Affirming intentionally inhumane behavior is not a matter of ideological or geopolitical disagreement, nor in the case of non-Muslim American college kids, was it a function of defensive religious partisanship.  Such people are characterologically and cognitively deformed.  How can Americans get that way?

Could this really be merely the result of the bumper-sticker level of dialog on college campuses with its dogmatic categories based on race, sexual “identity” definitions of the moment, epithets of “denier,” “hater” or “____phobic” hurled at dissidents?

The one-size-fits-all category of oppressor/victim informed the dubious ideas that those who burned cities and injured people after the death of George Floyd should not be held culpable and that incarceration for violent minority offenders is unjust regardless of legal and factual guilt or innocence.  But can it really cause people to approve the dismemberment of babies, rape, torture, and murder?

George Orwell pondered the effect of dumbing down language in Politics and the English Language:

Now, it is clear that the decline of a language must ultimately have political and economic causes: it is not due simply to the bad influence of this or that individual writer. But an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely. A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.

What we are witnessing is not merely the depressing fact that younger Americans have absorbed some bad ideological content but that their mode of thinking and knowing itself appears to have been significantly damaged.  What do you do with people who are being conditioned to become immune to natural human inclinations, common sense, evidence, logic, or original thought?

The sheer insanity of LGBTQ+ support for Hamas, or #MeToo devotees cheering rapists and misogyny, makes sense only if truth and justice are nothing more than allegiance to the workings of The Narrative in the moment.  Resisting oppressors is justice and intersectional analysis denies or postpones even the most obvious conflicts of interest. That’s nuts.

The bumper-sticker thought processes of the woke seem to be the natural excretions of spectacularly vapid habits of mind as found in the works of prominent word salad emitters as if to validate Orwell’s notion that bad language and defective thought are both cause and effect.  First, here is a sample of ethical deep thoughts from the incomparable Judith Butler:

[W]e must recognize that ethics requires us to risk ourselves precisely at moments of unknowingness, when what forms us diverges from what lies before us, when our willingness to become undone in relation to others constitutes our chance of becoming human. To be undone by another is a primary necessity, an anguish, to be sure, but also a chance–to be addressed, claimed, bound to what is not me, but also to be moved, to be prompted to act, to address myself elsewhere, and so to vacate the self-sufficient “I” as a kind of possession. If we speak and try to give an account from this place, we will not be irresponsible, or, if we are, we will surely be forgiven.

So there, Kant, Aristotle, Maimonides, and Mill– take that!  (Extra credit for diagramming the second sentence in the sample above.)  Clarity in wokedom is reserved for politically useful artificial categories and identification of enemies.  If in pursuing ethical inquiry, we were to make the mistake of thinking of ourselves as individuals expected to act on a well-informed conscience ready to work through even grey areas and nuance, then Robin DiAngelo is on the spot to push us each back into our assigned roles and race-defined categories:

Being good or bad is not relevant. Racism is a multilayered system embedded in our culture. All of us are socialized into the system of racism. Racism cannot be avoided. Whites have blind spots on racism, and I have blind spots on racism. Racism is complex, and I don’t have to understand every nuance of the feedback to validate that feedback. Whites are / I am unconsciously invested in racism. Bias is implicit and unconscious.

Like mental patients who have constructed defenses against whatever intrusive realities might threaten the carefully crafted fictional world, we have a growing mass of malignant loons reinforcing each other’s delusion in a sea of stupid filled with linguistic garbage.  There is growing evidence that the woke are less happy and more likely to report mental disorders (especially young left-leaning women).  Does that make them more or less amenable to a new outlook? How do we roll back the rise of insanity and militant incompetence to be able to reach and rescue such people?  Do we need a new language that provides both therapy and apostolate?  Are we looking at a moment of momentous opportunity for uplifting reforms or the brink of despair?

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  1. Addiction Is A Choice Member
    Addiction Is A Choice
    @AddictionIsAChoice

    Old Bathos: How Do We Reach Such People?

    • #1
  2. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Does a history of economic deprivation morph into depravity? Or is this a step taken without thinking which we know has been significantly abandoned in our education system all the way to the top, which includes leaders.

    • #2
  3. Chuck Coolidge
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Old Bathos:

    Being good or bad is not relevant. Racism is a multilayered system embedded in our culture. All of us are socialized into the system of racism. Racism cannot be avoided. Whites have blind spots on racism, and I have blind spots on racism. Racism is complex, and I don’t have to understand every nuance of the feedback to validate that feedback. Whites are / I am unconsciously invested in racism. Bias is implicit and unconscious.

     

    That’s just stupid.

    • #3
  4. Chuck Coolidge
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Old Bathos: There is growing evidence that the woke are less happy and more likely to report mental disorders (especially young left-leaning women).  Does that make them more or less amenable to a new outlook? How do we roll back the rise of insanity and militant incompetence to be able to reach and rescue such people?  Do we need a new language that provides both therapy and apostolate?  Are we looking at a moment of momentous opportunity for uplifting reforms or the brink of despair? 

    All good questions:  I do think, however, that economics remains the name of the game.  Practical persons in charge of real businesses have to make enough practical decisions to support the company – or the business dies.  And wokeness is just impractical.

    • #4
  5. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Does a history of economic deprivation morph into depravity? Or is this a step taken without thinking which we know has been significantly abandoned in our education system all the way to the top, which includes leaders.

    Replying to my own questions. I think it is the latter based on the distribution that I see.

    • #5
  6. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Chuck (View Comment):

    Old Bathos:

    Being good or bad is not relevant. Racism is a multilayered system embedded in our culture. All of us are socialized into the system of racism. Racism cannot be avoided. Whites have blind spots on racism, and I have blind spots on racism. Racism is complex, and I don’t have to understand every nuance of the feedback to validate that feedback. Whites are / I am unconsciously invested in racism. Bias is implicit and unconscious.

     

    That’s just stupid.

    But Robin DiAngelo is a best-selling total genius.  If every white woman in suburbia bought a copy of White Fragility America would be transformed.  You just don’t appreciate the fashion breakthrough the emperor is making with his daring and brilliant new ensemble.

    • #6
  7. Chuck Coolidge
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Chuck (View Comment):

    Old Bathos:

    Being good or bad is not relevant. Racism is a multilayered system embedded in our culture. All of us are socialized into the system of racism. Racism cannot be avoided. Whites have blind spots on racism, and I have blind spots on racism. Racism is complex, and I don’t have to understand every nuance of the feedback to validate that feedback. Whites are / I am unconsciously invested in racism. Bias is implicit and unconscious.

     

    That’s just stupid.

    But Robin DiAngelo is a best-selling total genius. If every white woman in suburbia bought a copy of White Fragility America would be transformed. You just don’t appreciate the fashion breakthrough the emperor is making with his daring and brilliant new ensemble.

    Sorry :(

    • #7
  8. MWD B612 "Dawg" Inactive
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    Great post, OB. I need to think on this, but this thought keeps nudging me:

    “Example (or experience, if you will – Dawg) is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other.” – Edmund Burke

     

    • #8
  9. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Great post, OB. I need to think on this, but this thought keeps nudging me:

    “Example (or experience, if you will – Dawg) is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other.” – Edmund Burke

     

    The Darwinian corollary is that those too dumb or otherwise defective will go extinct.  The concern is whether they take the sentient down with them.

    • #9
  10. MWD B612 "Dawg" Inactive
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Great post, OB. I need to think on this, but this thought keeps nudging me:

    “Example (or experience, if you will – Dawg) is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other.” – Edmund Burke

     

    The Darwinian corollary is that those too dumb or otherwise defective will go extinct. The concern is whether they take the sentient down with them.

    Yeah, that’s why I need to let your post marinate some. But Burke is bouncing around my head. :)

    • #10
  11. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Chuck (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: There is growing evidence that the woke are less happy and more likely to report mental disorders (especially young left-leaning women). Does that make them more or less amenable to a new outlook? How do we roll back the rise of insanity and militant incompetence to be able to reach and rescue such people? Do we need a new language that provides both therapy and apostolate? Are we looking at a moment of momentous opportunity for uplifting reforms or the brink of despair?

    All good questions: I do think, however, that economics remains the name of the game. Practical persons in charge of real businesses have to make enough practical decisions to support the company – or the business dies. And wokeness is just impractical.

    So was Mao’s Great Leap, Pol Pot’s ‘reforms’ (note that the Khmer Rouge controlled pronoun use–stop using “I” and only say things that can use “we”), Hitler’s liebensraum im osten and Biden’s border policy.  “Impractical” can be like death–an inevitability but maybe only in the long run.

    • #11
  12. Chuck Coolidge
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Chuck (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: There is growing evidence that the woke are less happy and more likely to report mental disorders (especially young left-leaning women). Does that make them more or less amenable to a new outlook? How do we roll back the rise of insanity and militant incompetence to be able to reach and rescue such people? Do we need a new language that provides both therapy and apostolate? Are we looking at a moment of momentous opportunity for uplifting reforms or the brink of despair?

    All good questions: I do think, however, that economics remains the name of the game. Practical persons in charge of real businesses have to make enough practical decisions to support the company – or the business dies. And wokeness is just impractical.

    So was Mao’s Great Leap, Pol Pot’s ‘reforms’ (note that the Khmer Rouge controlled pronoun use–stop using “I” and only say things that can use “we”), Hitler’s liebensraum im osten and Biden’s border policy. “Impractical” can be like death–an inevitability but maybe only in the long run.

    Yes.  I do note that virtually every one of your examples (so far as I know) really are opposed to the concept of free enterprise, and promote death for the disbelievers.

    • #12
  13. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Old Bathos: What do you do with people who are being conditioned to become immune to natural human inclinations, common sense, evidence, logic, or original thought?

    To me, the situation is soooo much worse than this. These kids are being conditioned to consider barbarity okay as long as it is done to a person–a Jewish baby, for example–in the “out group.” 

    I have been completely shocked by these demonstrations. 

    • #13
  14. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Insanity is not the same thing as evil. Two different sets of behaviors in the human psyche.

    Charles Krauthammer wrote a brilliant essay on this subject after the September 11 attacks. I wish I could find his essay. I believe it was in the Washington Post, but I don’t have access to their archives.

    PS: This is a great post. I’m not arguing. Just adding my own thoughts. :) :)

    • #14
  15. Chuck Coolidge
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: What do you do with people who are being conditioned to become immune to natural human inclinations, common sense, evidence, logic, or original thought?

    To me, the situation is soooo much worse than this. These kids are being conditioned to consider barbarity okay as long as it is done to a person–a Jewish baby, for example–in the “out group.”

    I have been completely shocked by these demonstration

    Totally unexpected: Nevertheless, an inevitable consequence.

    • #15
  16. EJHill Staff
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Mankind is basically evil. We create institutions and organizations to either constrain our base desires or we destroy those institutions and organizations so that we may embrace our inner evil.  The former is hard work. The latter is easy.

    There is no restraint on the left right now. There is no base desire so evil that they can not say “no” to it. Sexual perversions, envy, irrational racial hatred, even murder is glorified.

    • #16
  17. Chuck Coolidge
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Mankind is basically evil. We create institutions and organizations to either constrain our base desires or we destroy those institutions and organizations so that we may embrace our inner evil. The former is hard work. The latter is easy.

    There is no restraint on the left right now. There is no base desire so evil that they can not say “no” to it. Sexual perversions, envy, irrational racial hatred, even murder is glorified.

    Romans 3:10-12

    10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

    11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

    12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

    • #17
  18. Mad Gerald Coolidge
    Mad Gerald
    @Jose

    “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it…”

    George Orwell in 1984

    • #18
  19. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Mad Gerald (View Comment):

    “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it…”

    George Orwell in 1984

    I hope someone pointed out that thoughts can exist even if there are no “acceptable” words to express them.

    However, what they could achieve would be to make it impossible to CHARGE SOMEONE with “thoughtcrime” because there would be no words to create such a law from.

    • #19
  20. Mad Gerald Coolidge
    Mad Gerald
    @Jose

    The whole thing:

    “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thought-crime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. . . . The process will still be continuing long after you and I are dead. Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller. Even now, of course, there’s no reason or excuse for committing thought-crime. It’s merely a question of self-discipline, reality-control. But in the end there won’t be any need even for that. . . . Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?”

    ===========

    “Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. . . .”

    Racist

    Colonizer

    Denier

     

    • #20
  21. Mad Gerald Coolidge
    Mad Gerald
    @Jose

    kedavis (View Comment):

    I hope someone pointed out that thoughts can exist even if there are no “acceptable” words to express them.

    However, what they could achieve would be to make it impossible to CHARGE SOMEONE with “thoughtcrime” because there would be no words to create such a law from.

    Hate crime?

    • #21
  22. Globalitarian Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    Old Bathos: To be undone by another is a primary necessity, an anguish, to be sure, but also a chance–to be addressed, claimed, bound to what is not me, but also to be moved, to be prompted to act, to address myself elsewhere, and so to vacate the self-sufficient “I” as a kind of possession.

    I had to reread this a half dozen times.  I don’t know who “the incomparable Judith Butler” is so I assumed you were quoting a credible voice.  But the sentence didn’t make sense.  It seemed to be saying that giving up one’s own ethics and responsibility and joining the group is a defense and an exculpatory rationale for people to think and feel that which is wrong.

    But I disagree with this.  What is she saying?  Your suggestion to diagram the sentence added a bit of clarity to why you quoted it.

    I suppose that’s just what it was actually intended to mean.

    • #22
  23. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    What do words mean?

     

     

    • #23
  24. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Globalitarian Misanthropist (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: To be undone by another is a primary necessity, an anguish, to be sure, but also a chance–to be addressed, claimed, bound to what is not me, but also to be moved, to be prompted to act, to address myself elsewhere, and so to vacate the self-sufficient “I” as a kind of possession.

    I had to reread this a half dozen times. I don’t know who “the incomparable Judith Butler” is so I assumed you were quoting a credible voice. But the sentence didn’t make sense. It seemed to be saying that giving up one’s own ethics and responsibility and joining the group is a defense and an exculpatory rationale for people to think and feel that which is wrong.

    But I disagree with this. What is she saying? Your suggestion to diagram the sentence added a bit of clarity to why you quoted it.

    I suppose that’s just what it was actually intended to mean.

    Butler is famous for rambling vapid prose.  She is one of the Founding Mothers BirthPersons of sexual identity newthink.  A sample:

    The misapprehension about gender performativity is this: that gender is a choice, or that gender is a role, or that gender is a construction that one puts on, as one puts on clothes in the morning, that there is a ‘one’ who is prior to this gender, a one who goes to the wardrobe of gender and decides with deliberation which gender it will be today.

    If you delve, sexual identity is either a choice or intrinsic to that which can’t really have intrinsic qualities.  For Butler, “woman” is not a class of people but a performance that constructs “gendered” reality.  Performativity is “that reiterative power of discourse to produce the phenomena that it regulates and constrains” which is to say that language itself constructs, limits and presents that which we perceive as reality.  Hope that clears it up.

    You might think that when some Mickey Spillane imitator writes that “she had legs that wouldn’t quit on their long way up and with a bust that would’ve put a hammerlock on his eyeballs but for those piercing baby blues above a smirk that said ‘you ain’t man enough to deserve to kiss this’ and to top it off, she held that .38 like it was just part of the whole package…” that the author has a particularized image of an actual female figure in mind when in fact he is merely stringing applications of constrained categorical thought in socially constructed language choices.

    • #24
  25. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Globalitarian Misanthropist (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: To be undone by another is a primary necessity, an anguish, to be sure, but also a chance–to be addressed, claimed, bound to what is not me, but also to be moved, to be prompted to act, to address myself elsewhere, and so to vacate the self-sufficient “I” as a kind of possession.

    I had to reread this a half dozen times. I don’t know who “the incomparable Judith Butler” is so I assumed you were quoting a credible voice. But the sentence didn’t make sense. It seemed to be saying that giving up one’s own ethics and responsibility and joining the group is a defense and an exculpatory rationale for people to think and feel that which is wrong.

    But I disagree with this. What is she saying? Your suggestion to diagram the sentence added a bit of clarity to why you quoted it.

    I suppose that’s just what it was actually intended to mean.

    Butler is famous for rambling vapid prose. She is one of the Founding Mothers BirthPersons of sexual identity newthink. A sample:

    The misapprehension about gender performativity is this: that gender is a choice, or that gender is a role, or that gender is a construction that one puts on, as one puts on clothes in the morning, that there is a ‘one’ who is prior to this gender, a one who goes to the wardrobe of gender and decides with deliberation which gender it will be today.

    If you delve, sexual identity is either a choice or intrinsic to that which can’t really have intrinsic qualities. For Butler, “woman” is not a class of people but a performance that constructs “gendered” reality. Performativity is “that reiterative power of discourse to produce the phenomena that it regulates and constrains” which is to say that language itself constructs, limits and presents that which we perceive as reality. Hope that clears it up.

    You might think that when some Mickey Spillane imitator writes that “she had legs that wouldn’t quit on their long way up and with a bust that would’ve put a hammerlock on his eyeballs but for those piercing baby blues above a smirk that said ‘you ain’t man enough to deserve to kiss this’ and to top it off, she held that .38 like it was just part of the whole package…” that the author has a particularized image of an actual female figure in mind when in fact he is merely stringing applications of constrained categorical thought in socially constructed language choices.

    Wow, Mark Camp, you’ve changed!

    • #25
  26. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Wow, Mark Camp, you’ve changed!

    ??

    • #26
  27. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Wow, Mark Camp, you’ve changed!

    ??

    It’s the verbosity and stuff.

    • #27
  28. Globalitarian Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Globalitarian Misanthropist (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: To be undone by another is a primary necessity, an anguish, to be sure, but also a chance–to be addressed, claimed, bound to what is not me, but also to be moved, to be prompted to act, to address myself elsewhere, and so to vacate the self-sufficient “I” as a kind of possession.

    I had to reread this a half dozen times. I don’t know who “the incomparable Judith Butler” is so I assumed you were quoting a credible voice. But the sentence didn’t make sense. It seemed to be saying that giving up one’s own ethics and responsibility and joining the group is a defense and an exculpatory rationale for people to think and feel that which is wrong.

    But I disagree with this. What is she saying? Your suggestion to diagram the sentence added a bit of clarity to why you quoted it.

    I suppose that’s just what it was actually intended to mean.

    Butler is famous for rambling vapid prose. She is one of the Founding Mothers BirthPersons of sexual identity newthink. A sample:

    The misapprehension about gender performativity is this: that gender is a choice, or that gender is a role, or that gender is a construction that one puts on, as one puts on clothes in the morning, that there is a ‘one’ who is prior to this gender, a one who goes to the wardrobe of gender and decides with deliberation which gender it will be today.

    If you delve, sexual identity is either a choice or intrinsic to that which can’t really have intrinsic qualities. For Butler, “woman” is not a class of people but a performance that constructs “gendered” reality. Performativity is “that reiterative power of discourse to produce the phenomena that it regulates and constrains” which is to say that language itself constructs, limits and presents that which we perceive as reality. Hope that clears it up.

    You might think that when some Mickey Spillane imitator writes that “she had legs that wouldn’t quit on their long way up and with a bust that would’ve put a hammerlock on his eyeballs but for those piercing baby blues above a smirk that said ‘you ain’t man enough to deserve to kiss this’ and to top it off, she held that .38 like it was just part of the whole package…” that the author has a particularized image of an actual female figure in mind when in fact he is merely stringing applications of constrained categorical thought in socially constructed language choices.

    Well, that may be so, but what’s her phone number?

    • #28
  29. Globalitarian Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    Globalitarian Misanthropist (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    You might think that when some Mickey Spillane imitator writes that “she had legs that wouldn’t quit on their long way up and with a bust that would’ve put a hammerlock on his eyeballs but for those piercing baby blues above a smirk that said ‘you ain’t man enough to deserve to kiss this’ and to top it off, she held that .38 like it was just part of the whole package…” that the author has a particularized image of an actual female figure in mind when in fact he is merely stringing applications of constrained categorical thought in socially constructed language choices.

    Well, that may be so, but what’s her phone number?

    PS: I understood what you said.  I just prefer Mickey Spillane to Judith Butler.

    • #29
  30. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    The pro-illegal alien, open borders, advocates are ramping up for a push to resettle Gazans in the US.  

    I bet it will be far worse than Castro emptying out the Cuban jails.  

    • #30
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