One of the main reasons Leftists are the way they are, I believe, is because on some fundamental level they don’t understand rules.
The cynics among us would say that they understand rules perfectly, which is why they try to game them, change them, or rigidly enforce them, whichever benefits them most in a given situation. There’s some of that, of course, but I suggest this is actually a symptom of a much deeper pathology.
Take the ongoing TERF war in Feministan. The lesbians, I argue, literally can’t grasp that their “gender is just a social construction” mantra entails — logically, necessarily, metaphysically — that the only difference between the sexes is how they’re perceived socially. If it’s true that gender is a “social construction,” then — again, necessarily — a man who gets other people to treat him as a woman simply IS a woman. I guess I’m going to have to ask you to believe me on this, but in my fairly extensive experience with academia, I’d say the ratio is something like 1:5 — for every feminist who knows full well she’s just grasping at whatever straw keeps hairy bepenised “women” out of her “safe space,” there are five who really can’t grasp the contradiction between “gender is just a social construction!” and “that guy can’t be a woman, because he has a dick.”
I know, I know, it makes my brain hurt, too. But it doesn’t do any good to write them off as crazy, because even if they are, there are a lot of them. Again, I’m going to have to ask you to take my word for this, I guess, but in my experience — again, extensive, though praise Allah I’m retired now — fully 75% of college kids not only can’t spot contradictions, but can’t even really grok what “contradiction” means. Having grown up in a planet-sized safe space, where nobody’s different from anybody and everyone’s the best at everything, some wires got crossed in their heads.
We Normals, for instance, understand that rules exist for a reason: They’re lubricants. Following the rules makes it easier, whatever “it” is. As Normals, we also understand that this has a lot of second-order effects. Since it’s spring, consider baseball. Obviously it would be impossible to play baseball if the “rules” changed at whim. But consider the long-term effects. Is there any such thing as “athleticism” if games have no rules? What’s the point of Citius, Altius, Fortius if the rules can be changed without notice to favor the slower, lower, weaker?
Here again, the cynics would say that the Left knows full well what they’re doing — since that slogan (it’s the motto of the Olympic games) implies an objective standard of excellence, changing the rules at whim makes it pointless for anyone to try to excel at anything. But once again I’ll invoke the 1:5 ratio. I agree wholeheartedly with Stephen R.C. Hicks, who argues that Postmodernism was the only way for Leftists to keep their Marxist faith after the catastrophic historical failure of Marxism — it’s not a fact that Marxism sucks if there’s no such thing as a “fact.” The original PoMos, then, knew full well what they were doing (not least because the “it’s all just perspective” mantra helped the original PoMos brazen out some serious personal baggage, e.g. the enthusiastic Nazi collaborator Paul de Man).
The originals knew; their apes didn’t, and don’t. They don’t think they’re destroying the notion of objective standards; they think they’re creating something called “social justice.” Normals think judgment is impossible without objective measures; SJWs think judgment is the worst possible sin. If you’re trained to “think” that way from birth — which is what our educational system, K-thru-PhD, is explicitly designed to do — then it really is possible to behave as if you believe, simultaneously, that
- everything is just a social construction; yet
- [victim group name] is that and ONLY that, now and forever.
Yeah, I know – it makes my brain ache, too. But that’s the point — just because it makes us ill to try to “think” this way doesn’t mean they find it uncomfortable. We suffer cognitive dissonance; they don’t. This is because their lives are arbitrary in way that would cause most of us to slit our wrists in despair within a week.
The only analogue I can think of is that “juju” stuff I wrote on before. Africans think this way. Back when he wasn’t totally a shill for the poz, Jonah Goldberg related a story from David Lamb’s wonderful (and catastrophically depressing) book The Africans. Upon being told that they couldn’t land because their airstrip was socked in with fog, two Zairean air force pilots simply ejected from their fighters — they interpreted “you can’t land” as “you can’t land ever.” The ideas that fog is temporary, that there are other airstrips, etc. simply never occurred to them, because they don’t live in the linear-time, cause-and-effect world we do. In their world, it makes perfect sense that the landing strip was usable an hour ago, but now it’s not — forever.
Neither Lamb nor Goldberg follows up on the story, but if you get what I’m saying about “juju thinking” you know what must’ve happened next. Since one doesn’t become a pilot in an African air force without having some serious connections to the Big Man, those guys were immediately handed two more aircraft. They took off the next day, were ordered to land at the same airstrip….
…and did it, without a moment’s hesitation. After all, the strip may have been unusable forever yesterday, but that was yesterday. It’s today now, and the voice in the tower says land there, so you land there.
This, I truly believe, is getting very close to the mental world of the average American college graduate in 2019. Since “the rules” have always been arbitrary — since yesterday’s Dogma of the Faith is today’s capital heresy, and vice versa — the only thing that matters is the person making “the rules” right this instant. If the authority figure du jour tells you to jump off a cliff, you jump, because gravity is just a social construction anyway.
Look at how they act in their daily lives, and give me another explanation that makes sense.Loading Likes...