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mardi, 23 juin 2020

Social Justice Has A Religion, And This Is Its Dictionary

Some identify religion as a human necessity. Seemingly as a testament to that, even those who have proudly done away with what they see as the banal and barbaric myths of the past, make a god of the state and a religion of the political process. Others may see Tony Robbins as a high priest overseeing an invigorating religious ceremony. Still others, may see Oprah as a prophet, or a periodic, lavish dinner as an epicurean communion of ritualistic value.

It is apparent that man longs for a story about the order of the universe that religion offers.

Christianity did not become the de rigueur spiritual, philosophical, and political system of vast portions of the world without having something to offer its adherents. Writers like Carl Jung or Joseph Campbell have written volumes on the universal need of humans for certain structures in life. Religion satisfies many of those structural needs.

As the extreme left in America veers further from established religion, it inevitably engages in a very human behavior and builds itself yet another religion. 

The problem is, unlike religions that have had centuries or millennia of the brightest minds in the world testing and retesting the ideas of the religion in fervent debate, the religion of the social justice warrior is a several decades old mish mosh of screwy ideas.

Far from a work of prescription, it is with the utmost sadness that I present to the reader a descriptive work of this befuddling body of thought. Sadness, because these ideas somehow exist as a body of thought in an age where the most brilliant, tested, consistent and cohesive ideas are just a few keystrokes away. It is not lack of access that stops more solid ideas from being adopted. Nor is it lack of resources or education, for the more education a person receives, the more likely they are to subscribe to this body of ideas. To identify a few:

Original Sin — The modern feminist movement imposes original sin on the man in the relationship, popularly referred to over the past decade as “privilege.”

Unlike original sin, privilege is not digital or binary, but analog and appearing in gradients. If the man is white, then his original sin is even greater. Privilege of all sorts exist. The less privileged one is, the better that person is.

All privileged people must confess their sins and come to the collective with a spirit of humbleness. The more privilege one has, the more this is needed. The less privilege one has, the less this is expected.

God — The flavor-of-the-month trend deemed popular by the collective is able to act as god. The role of god shifts from group to group and time period to time period. The status of god verges on the omnipotent and omniscient, but is so temporary that some may be imbued with this role for mere days.

Council of Nicaea — The Council of Nicaea is an ongoing meeting, often taking place on social media. Where two or three gather in the name of social justice, there is a Council of Nicaea serving as implementer of dire and important dogma, the temporariness of which does not detract from the direness of the implementation, but makes it all the more passionate, high stakes, and extreme.

Prophetic Voices — Only those who are seen as being identified with an issue are permitted to speak on an issue. The idea that a straight white man could have a valuable opinion on racism, abortion, homosexuality, or hardship is anathema. Total self-censorship is recommended when speaking to those of less privilege, with only the most self-deprecatory statements considered permissible.

Sinners — Only those who can be shamed into accepting their own privilege are deemed sinners. Though the unrepentant will be pursued with a missionary zeal, refusal to publicly accept one’s role as a sinner largely excludes a person from the worst defilement the religion has to offer. A sinner must willingly accept his role as sinner. Any public apology makes one a sinner in the eyes of the social justice movement. The act verges on masochistic.

Once a sinner, always a sinner. In this regard, the public apology is a form of baptism that does not cleanse the soul, but opens it up to repeated defilement. The act of baptism is repeated over and over publicly as a show of humbleness and attrition (sorrow) but not contrition (remorse and penitence). 

There is no method of reaching contrition in this religion, and no attainment of forgiveness.

Satan — Those who refuse to accept the shame of their privilege are deemed Satan or sometimes “literally Hitler” or similarly extreme morally degrading and dehumanizing superlatives. To not accept privilege and to be humble in the face of it is the most vile act.

High Priest — The most oppressed person at any given time is most capable of being a high priest. Their role may quickly change with the ebb and flow of fads and trends. The role of god and high priest may be held by one individual.

Sanhedrin — The most hypocritical among the group is permitted to speak with the loudest voice. Having the loudest voice is enough to give one the power to sit in judgment of another. (**Prescription in the face of hypocrisy is unwelcome. Even description, like this, is certain to be met with ridicule. Unbiased description, like this is certain to be met with all sorts of ridicule.)


Works — To be loud-voiced is the ultimate work. To effectively weave in privilege in attack of others is the most effective form of hermeneutics. Reason is secondary to feeling, but not even a close second. Reason tends to provide interference to the proper execution of these religious duties and is unwelcome.

Tonsure — Body modification and food dye colored hair identify one as a true adherent.

Predestination — To be born with the greatest list of oppressive characteristics is to be among the elect. To be able to create a narrative of your own victimization confers a state of righteousness. There is, however, no path to salvation, there if only temporary status as a member of the elect, during which time you are derided by some as a sinner and lauded as a Saint by others, though in significantly higher proportion of Saint to sinner. Once you have lost this status, that proportion has shifted.

Forgiveness / Absolution — You are never forgiven. Anyone, at any time may bring up your privilege and, at the very least, send an army against you, or if you are properly trained, need only reference your privilege to cripple you with guilt. The priests of this religion do not release sin, they wield it in repeated flagellation. The privileged adherents of this religion are perpetual martyrs unable to redeem themselves or be redeemed.

Jesus — There is no Jesus. There is no messiah. There is no salvation. It never ends. The social justice movement is a satanic creation of hell on earth. One can never escape the hamster wheel on which a monster is always chasing you. Everyone will eventually be torn down. 

The predestined social justice warriors of the moment are just a trend-shift away from damnation. It is damnation for all involved, but the more privileged one is, the more damnation is available. From this perspective it is fair, since even though there may be phlegmatic and sudden damnation for all, the lowest level circle of this hell is saved for the most privileged.

The Fall — An angel’s fall from grace took place in the fall of 2015 and was magnified in the fall of 2016. This fall brought salvation for many non-adherents. It began sometime after June 16, 2015.

On that day, in a moment that could not be more fittingly symbolic, leaving his gold-gilded tower above Babylon that protected him from the realities of life known to the masses below, the angel descended to street level. Having not yet burst into flames, the angel, undeterred, tested fate further by descending to the subterranean layers of that golden tower of gilt, making an announcement to the world from below the surface of the earth.

On a national stage, Donald Trump, a formerly acceptable public figure, revered Saint, and minor angel within the religion openly rejected his status as Saint and angel. Despite his occasional challenges to the status quo, the angel associated with and supported Saints, archangels, and other revered figures of the religion, had guts, didn’t quite act like he wanted to fit in, and was beloved enough to be lauded in rap songs.

As he grew increasingly crass and outspoken, more and more unwilling to feel shame for his behavior, and certainly not willing to feel shame for his privilege, his fissure from the religion was assured. This was a pivotal moment for the religion. This one, fallen from grace, had turned on his heavenly matriarchs who he never realized himself to be under the protective power of.

Suddenly, many other non-adherents saw that freedom from this oppressive religion could be obtained by not caring. If one refused to feel shame, then the social justice god had no influence over you. If one refused to back down, the social justice god was shown to not actually be a god. One was not at risk of being struck down. Not to worry, reverberated the message, only a tiny fraction of the people in the world are this evil. Assurances were provided that the fallen angel would be proven inept and would either come back into the fold or would experience a prolonged and lonely banishment in his self-created isolation.

A second pivotal event took place, in which this heresy was proven far more popular than any adherent had realized, on November 9, 2016. This day is often referred to as “11/9” to signify how the evil of that day is similar in magnitude to, if not worse than, the mass murder of thousands of innocents that took place on 9/11.

On 11/9 “literally Hitler,” “literally Satan,” “literally racist,” and “literally evil,” achieved a victory over the righteous. But by a satanic trick, evil was able to win without being popular. This is the ultimate delegitimization of his evil. It was possible that if evil won with help from enablers of evil like Russia, or other Slavs that evil is “partial to”, a further delegitimization of his evil might occur.

This marks the saddest two days in the chapter of this religion, for which the dearest adherents remain, at once, on both a sense of heightened high alert and a state of mourning. Like all other aspects of this religion, this central tenet is able to be changed as capriciously as the weather. 


Pharisees — The more woke you are, the more influential you are. The Pharisees were both the officials of their religious community and among the chief hypocrites of their day. The woke are both the officials of their religious community and the chief hypocrites of their day.

Scripture — The books of the Bible are millennia-old. Social justice warriors have no appetite for anything time-tested. Feelings are their scripture. “Feelings are fleeting,” a wise person might warn. “Exactly,” would be the response of a social justice warrior. The morality of the religion is temporary and is identified by taking the temperature of the most woke within a group to determine the moral principles of the group at that moment. Where two or three are gathered in the name of social justice, there is a group big enough to determine morality for that moment.

Elders — The role of experienced, wise elders is replaced by outrage and outrageousness. To have strong feelings and to behave extreme in the midst of those strong feelings brings respect. Extremes of dress — in the case of a Muslim woman covering her head — is seen as more impressive and confers higher status. Extremes of ethnicity —such as being full-blooded American Indian — are seen as conferring higher status.

One need not even be genuine; to claim to truly identify as someone who you are not is sufficient. The more emotion this is done with, the more likely it is to succeed in achieving higher religious status. Notable is the case of Olympian Bruce Jenner, who came out identifying as a woman, but who suffered by falling out of favor, to some degree, because it became know he had an affinity for individual liberties and conservative politics — an obvious unwillingness to recognize his privilege and to publicly demonstrate his shame.

Experience is generally of limited value, as use of reason or experience when shared with others, risks being discredited as splaining or sometimes man-splaining, a serious offense. Experience is even derided as low value, a bias memorialized in popular sayings such as “Ok boomer,” intended to undermine experience in a clever way that will be noticed by peers as a justifiable silencing of a person who could only have obtained such experience through privilege.

Dogma — Diversity is an unquestioned and unquestionable dogma. Diversity must fit within a very narrow, seldom specified definition. Diversity of age is relatively undesirable when it includes the elderly. Diversity of race is undesirable when it brings more white people. There is not an acceptable non-zero number of white people. Diversity of thought is never appreciated. Diversity is the chief dogma of the religion.

End Times — The end of the world always stands in the distance through a constantly shifting narrative. It is currently interpreted as “extreme climate.” A host of extreme natural phenomena will signal that the end times, which are always only a single-digit number of years away, are soon upon us. The end times are not a battle between good and evil, sometimes referred to as Armageddon, that battle is currently in place.

If good wins, the end times will not come in a single-digit number of years. If evil wins, the end times will come in a single-digit number of years. There is no single method by which one is judged good or evil, but currently, if one can capture more carbon than the satanic are creating, that person may forestall the end times. That the end times do not arrive is proof that the adherents are winning.

Dispensation is given to popular people. They are not evil, otherwise they would not be able to market themselves so well and to be so beloved by those who are predestined.

Paradise — Once all privileged people are gone, the world will be a better place. Once all Satans and Hitlers are vanquished, the world will be a better place. The constantly shifting definition makes this attainment difficult, but does not prevent some from throwing themselves passionately into this religion.

Though all white people are clearly privileged, the ability for new privileges to be identified allows for this religion to continue its march toward perfection, even after all white people are exterminated.

Manna — Just print more money to pay the bills, just add more zeroes. No work is ever needed. No day of economic reckoning ever arrives. It’s like manna from heaven. It’s all free.

Christianity — While this religion has no official name, the title “Democratic Judgment,” or “De-Judge” for short, encompasses the mob-like nature of the temporary salvation and the mob-like nature of the immediate and repeated damnation, while emphasizing the important virtue signaling role that this religion has so little judgment, that it goes by the name De-Judge.

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mercredi, 29 avril 2020

Review: Agitprop in America


Review: Agitprop in America

“Agitprop has been the method for destroying America’s culture and rebuilding it as Cultural Marxism.”
      John Harmon McElroy, Agitprop in America

agitprop-456x705.jpgAgitprop in America
John Harmon McElroy

Arktos, 2020 

“You can live with the loss of certainty, but not of belief.” So begins John Harmon McElroy’s recently-published Agitprop in America, an almost 400-page book on America’s increasing distance from former beliefs, wholesale adoption of new ones, and the methods by which this transformation was brought about. A cultural historian, McElroy is a professor emeritus of the University of Arizona and was a Fulbright scholar at universities in Spain and Brazil. I suspect Agitprop in America is an exercise in catharsis for the author. During the course of the volume McElroy is clearly, to borrow Melville’s famous words, “driving off the spleen,” by which I mean that he is dispensing with many years of excess feelings of irritation, built up over a career in decaying academia. In Agitprop in America, McElroy takes aim at a succession of modern academia’s sacred cows, with chapters covering Marxist history and propaganda techniques, “social justice” activism, mandatory diversity, political correctness, free speech, snowflake culture, government spending, and the dominance of Cultural Marxism in the American education system. One of the book’s more unique features is a 107-page lexicon of 234 terms (from Ableism to Xenophobia) explaining the invention and employment of language as a method of cultural transformation via agitprop. The book is written in a terse, urgent style reminiscent of Hillaire Belloc, and McElroy comes across confident, bullish, and confrontational, all of which contributes character to what is one of the more original and interesting books I’ve read thus far in 2020.

My first impression of Agitprop in America was that it was a kind of throwback to older anti-Communist texts. I mean this in neither a strictly positive nor strictly negative sense, but an understanding and appreciation of the overall intellectual trajectory of the book will demand that this is acknowledged. In the absence of biographical details, I would estimate McElroy to be in his 80s. He comes across as a thoroughly committed Christian and capitalist, and the book itself is dedicated to “Cuba’s Escambray guerrillas who died fighting Fidel Castro’s Marxist tyranny in the 1960s.” As such, the psychology of the book is underpinned by tensions and memories that are either unknown or significantly faded among younger generations, such as McCarthyism, the Bay of Pigs incident, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. That being said, the book is still incredibly contemporary and relevant. This is in large part due to McElroy’s keen ear for contemporary society and politics, as well as the evolving lexicon of Cultural Marxism, which enables him to discuss “woke” culture with the same accuracy and vigor as “class struggle.” I also think that, in an age where it’s becoming commonplace among Rightist millennials to dismiss “Boomers” and throw themselves headlong into a “NazBol” Third Positionism that in some respects rehabilitates or repurposes aspects of Marxism and even the Frankfurt School, it’s beneficial to listen to those with decades of experience in the culture wars. Although I don’t agree with everything McElroy has to say, he is one such individual and he has produced a very useful text.

9781583228982.jpgThe book opens with the contention that “since the 1960s Marxists and their sympathizers in America have been using agitprop (an integration of intense agitation and propaganda invented by Lenin) to destroy America’s culture and build Cultural Marxism. To do this, agitprop has changed American speech and manipulated cultural values and beliefs.”  American history has been rewritten “to make it into a Marxian tale of unmitigated oppression.” American contemporary society has been reinterpreted as the story of “one biologically defined ruling class (straight White males) “victimizing” all other biologically defined classes.” These Marxist dogmas “are causing the destruction of America’s exceptional culture.”

Part I of the book consists of a brief sketch of the historical context of agitprop in America. McElroy does a very capable job of following political correctness from its Soviet and Maoist origins, through the campus agitations of the 1960s, to the “woke” culture warriors of today. Early in the chapter he indulges in some of the “antifa are the real fascists” fluff that one unfortunately expects from older anti-Communists, and he makes one positive reference to the tainted writings of the Jewish neoconservative academic Richard Pipes. But these are brief divergences from an otherwise steady and interesting invective against the corruption of language and the introduction of politically correct culture in the United States. McElroy is at his best when he focuses on the methodology of Culture Marxism, writing:

Instead of overturning the U.S government by force and taking comprehensive control of the United States all at once, the Counter Culture/Political Correctness Movement has been engaged for the last fifty years in gradually but relentlessly transforming the United States from within little by little, by co-opting its institutions and destroying existing cultural beliefs slowly and methodically, and replacing them with the dogmas of Marxism. (8)

In our current age of declining optimism and rising nihilism, I found McElroy’s persistent belief in American exceptionalism to be somewhat heartening. Although the America of today has thickened and bubbled into a globalist empire, it was indeed founded, as McElroy reminds us “on belief in man’s unalienable birthright to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and government by consent of the governed.” The author is both saddened and angered to see the promise of the “American Dream” come under sustained attack from both internal and external enemies, and while we can make the argument for a more critical or nuanced interrogation of such concepts as the “American Dream” (Tom Sunic’s excellent Homo Americanus is probably unsurpassed in this area), it’s difficult to argue that something special and precious hasn’t been lost in America since the 1950s. Where Sunic and McElroy might agree, with radically different implications, is in their assessment of the nature of American culture through history. Both assert the European origins of American culture, and both assert that it later became essentially non-European. For McElroy, this transition (c. 1800–1950) represents a triumph, with America defining itself against “the aristocratic cultures of Europe based on belief in ruling classes constituted by “noble” and “royal” blood.” For Sunic, the drift away from European culture resulted in hostility to European traditions, and an obsession with “rights” and individualistic consumerism, that has dogged America for over a century and has contributed heavily to its current cultural malaise. Both scholars would find agreement again in the fact America post-1950 has been in the throes of a cultural catastrophe in which Marxism has been pivotal.

The latter section of the first chapter concerns Marxist dogma from Soviet times to the present. McElroy is quite right to point out that historically Marxists argued that deviation from their worldview could represent a “symptom of mental derangement requiring treatment in a psychiatric clinic,” and he places this alongside commentary on how today’s dissidents are presented as “enemies of humanity.” In each case, agitprop develops an environment in which dissent is viewed and portrayed as “a kind of irrational, anti-science behavior.” The key to the success of Cultural Marxist agitprop is its “intrinsic deceptiveness.” McElroy writes,

Political correctness represents itself as a champion of fundamental American values. That brazen pretense, that Marxism is identical to American liberalism and progressivism, is why the Counter Culture/Political Correctness movement has had so much success in the United States. (22)

Drawing on Saul Alinsky’s infamous Rules for Radicals, McElroy explains how Cultural Marxists provoke their opponents into reacting (e.g. threatening to take down historical monuments, ordering “gay cakes”) and then denounce them as irrational “reactionaries.” Another tactic is to create problems, or interpret problems, in such a manner that permits the proposal of Marxist “solutions.” I thought that an analysis of Alinsky’s works might provoke a deeper reading from McElroy, who writes that Alinsky was “an atheist.” In fact, Alinsky was an agnostic who, when asked specifically about religion, would always reply that he was Jewish. This error is indicative of a broader blind spot in the text — the ethnic component of anti-American activism. This blind spot manifests more subtly throughout the lexicon of Cultural Marxist terms that comprises the middle of the book. Quite frankly, when one actually looks at the individuals who have coined or popularized many of these genuinely novel agitprop terms (e.g. ‘homophobia’ by George Weinberg, ‘deconstructionism’ by Jacques Derrida, ‘racism’ by Magnus Hirschfeld and Leon Trotsky, ‘transgender’ by Magnus Hirschfeld and later Harry Benjamin, ‘sex work” and ‘sex worker’ by Carol Leigh, ‘cultural pluralism’ by Horace Kallen), they emerge almost exclusively as Jews. It’s a simple and unavoidable fact that Jews have been at the forefront of changing “ways of seeing” by first changing “ways of describing.” I agree with McElroy that we shouldn’t call anti-American agitators “liberals,” and that “Leftists” also leaves a lot unsaid. McElroy, however, proposes “PC Marxists,” which I feel doesn’t get any closer to the mark.

1 y8SaHLIN0xjjmm-l3kECZw@2x.jpeg

The question presenting itself is: Does this blind spot hinder the usefulness of the text? I don’t think so. Agitprop in America can be read by the well-informed, such as readers of this website, who can fill in certain blanks (as I have above) from their own extensive reading and derive a great deal of knowledge and pleasure from the book. McElroy opines that the two greatest identifying attitudinal markers of “PC Marxism” are hypocrisy and paranoia. He writes that they vigorously enforce “separation of church and state,” and fully embrace “crony capitalism.” Rather than being genuine Americans, they merely “go about in the guise” of the everyday man, while looking down on those who dissent from their thinking in the belief they’re “stupid.” They “relentlessly insist on social justice.” Who does this sound like? And, so you see, specifics of nomenclature aside, the book lends itself to an open and usable reading.

The second chapter of the book contains some interesting autobiographical material on McElroy’s early academic career. In 1966, the same year our own Kevin MacDonald graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, McElroy, a newly minted PhD, arrived at the college. McElroy writes, “Without knowing it, I was going to one of the two epicenters of the Counter Culture movement in the Midwest, the other being the University of Michigan.” McElroy became especially fascinated with the chants of student protestors, seeing in their uniformity certain indications of “planning for a nationwide campaign of agitation and propaganda against U.S. military involvement in Vietnam and against America’s cultural beliefs.” The chapter proceeds with a discussion of the mindset and tactics of this early agitprop campaign, with McElroy commenting:

Normal minds of course find it difficult to believe in a “culture war” that has gone on for half a century and that aims to transform the world’s oldest, most successful republic into a center for Cultural Marxism. Because the project is so audacious, it has taken many middle-class Americans a long time to believe such a movement exists; and many middle-class Americans apparently still refuse to believe a systematic assault is underway on American culture and has been going on in America for fifty years. But whether you believe it or not, a culture war is in progress in America, as evidenced by the fact that many Americans now prefer the dogmas of Marxism to the beliefs of American culture.

The second part of the book consists of the above-mentioned 107-page lexicon of 234 terms explaining the invention and employment of language as a method of cultural transformation via agitprop. The lexicon itself is preceded by two brief explanatory chapters on “Politically Correct Language as a Means of Revolution,” and “Terms Related to and Used by the Counter Culture/Political Correctness Movement.” The first of these chapters is very heavily focused on McElroy’s belief that we should once more refer to Blacks as “Negroes” or “Negro Americans.” For McElroy, the term “African-American” is an “agitprop substitute” designed to make Whites and Blacks constantly aware “that most Negro Americans have remote ancestors brought to America from Africa in chains as slaves.” The author spends several pages thrashing out this issue, which left me quite unsure that this particular issue would be the metaphorical hill I’d personally choose to die on. McElroy comes from a generation in which the term “Negro” probably retained a semblance of tradition and even charm about it, whereas it’s now fallen so completely out of use that a resurrection of the term could only be perceived by all sides as something negative. Again, I actually do sympathize with the central thrust of McElroy’s meaning here. I’m just not convinced I’d base my war on agitprop so strongly in this particular issue.

My misgivings on this point carried through somewhat to the lexicon itself, which is overwhelmingly good but contains some dubious entries. McElroy must first be commended for compiling such an extension list of terms, which is, as far as I’m aware, the only ‘Rightist” lexicon of Cultural Marxist agitprop in existence. Each term comes with commentary, with some only a few sentences in length and others a few pages. A few examples should suffice in order to give a flavor of the style:

A faux bias cooked up by PC agitprop, ableism is an alleged prejudice against a person with a disability as, for instance, refusing to hire someone with a stutter or substandard comprehension of spoken English as an office receptionist. Not hiring a person with a patently disqualifying deficiency constitutes the prejudice of “ableism,” according to PC Marxists. See entry on “Sizeism.”

Person of Size
Someone who is extremely obese is a “person of size” in PC talk. The euphemism was invented as part of agitprop’s insistence on the need for sensitive, inoffensive diction.

The expression “having a relationship” means in PC parlance having sex with the same partner for a significant length of time without getting married. To a PC Marxist, “having a relationship” is preferable to having a marriage because it forestalls family formation.

Right-Wing Extremism
“Right-wing extremism” is one of the labels PC Marxists use to criticize their opponents, whom they regard as “extreme” because they put the interests of their nation above the revolutionary dogmas of global Marxism.

Sexual Orientation
This is the PC euphemism for homosexuality. The euphemism was coined to avoid the use of the words “homosexual” and “homosexuality.” The phrase “sexual orientation” allows persons who are politically correct to praise and promote homosexual behavior without having to use the terms “homosexual” or “homosexuality,” which are loaded with a historical burden of moral disapproval. The term “sexual orientation,” however, has a scientific ring to it implying that homosexuality is merely one of various “orientations” toward sexual activity, so that no one should object to it. Homosexual practices ought to be considered as any other erotic activity. This is the argument agitprop in America is making in its revolutionary assault.


With over 230 terms covered, many of them very current in contemporary internet culture, McElroy is to be applauded for his effort in both compiling the list and keeping his finger on the agitprop pulse. The few dubious entries emerge from McElroy’s apparently fundamentalist Christian beliefs, which lead him to a few scathing remarks on evolution, the Big Bang theory, etc. This is McElroy’s book, and it’s his right to wax lyrical on some matters that are clearly close to his heart. I’m certainly not disparaging his approach, but I do think that this might alienate readers who are of a more scientific and less spiritual mindset. That being said, he has produced a great piece of work in this lexicon.

The third section of the book is probably my favorite, and McElroy demonstrates the best of his reading and understanding here. The section consists of commentaries/chapters covering “seven related revolutionary concepts that PC agitprop has imposed on America.” These are “Biological Class Consciousness,” “Social Justice,” “Mandatory Diversity,” a politics of double standards, mass indoctrination on “sensitivity,” censorship and the policing of speech, and the promotion of a sterile and self-obsessed atheism. Of these, the first is one of the best, with McElroy remarking:

Now, after five decades of relentless Marxist agitation and propaganda promoting biological class consciousness in America, courses on U.S. history and Western civilization have dwindled and all but disappeared at American colleges and universities while courses on biological class consciousness have proliferated. Everywhere today in U.S. institutions of higher education, one finds courses and degree programs in Women’s Studies, African-American Studies, Mexican-American Studies, and LGBT studies. And as college and university faculties have become more uniform in their Political Correctness, the courses on U.S. history and Western civilization which remain in the curriculum are almost invariably taught from the point of view of Marxian class struggle, which is to say from the standpoint that straight “Euro-American” males (SEAMs) comprise a ruling class which has “victimized” women, negro Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, homosexuals, and other biologically defined classes. College students today are being taught to hate SEAMs as a class for the “victimisation” they have allegedly inflicted on all other biological classes in America.(180)

McElroy is equally on point when it comes to “social justice,” suggesting that the term really refers to “the idea of preferential treatment for members of allegedly oppressed classes. It is justice dispensed according to class history … “Social justice” is political justice. It expresses political favoritism that will advance the revolution.” The author is also good on the subject of “Mandatory Diversity,” pointing out just how incentivized this has become in our culture and economy:

A reputation for being “diverse” is something institutions throughout America today are eager to acquire. Being “diverse” has become a political, economic, and academic requirement, a much-coveted accolade, a shibboleth attesting to one’s Political Correctness. (220)

On “sensitivity” agitprop, McElroy observes that “the real purpose of the sensitivity game is intimidation.” Enforced “soft language” for protected groups creates an atmosphere in which deviation into normal speech can be chastized as hateful, unfair, and bigoted. The wider the sensitivity net (e.g. embracing the fat, the ugly, etc.) then the more successful will be the broader cultural strategy. It is an offensive built on “not offending.” The same themes are evident in censorship and the policing of speech.

ppquiet.jpgThe final section of the book consists of five short chapters on differing subjects. The first is a commentary on “The Failure of Marxism in the USSR and Successes of PC Marxism in America” which combines an interesting historical overview with a quite strident attack on the Obama years. The next chapter is a brief but lucid essay on how agitprop and PC Marxism has influenced U.S. government spending. The third, and shortest chapter in this section is an attempted rebuttal of the idea that America has become an imperialist nation. I tend to disagree with McElroy somewhat here, not because I believe America has an empire in the conventional sense, but because I believe it’s self-evident that elements of the U.S. government, most notably the neocons, have increasingly steered the country into a foreign interventionist position built around the idea of sustaining global finance capitalism and the state of Israel. Since McElroy’s musings on this topic are limited to a few pages, I was, however, spared any lasting distaste.

—The book then nears its end with a very good chapter on “PC Marxist Dominance in U.S. Public Schools,” before closing with a very pro-Trump chapter on “The Significance of the 2016 Presidential Election.” I was ambivalent about this last chapter because it lacks the nuanced and qualified approach to Trump’s 2016 win that is surely now, in light of a succession of policy failures and absences, much-deserved. Part of me wishes I could share McElroy’s optimism, and I laud any man of his advanced age for avoiding the temptation of observing it all with jaded distance. But I cannot, having considered all available evidence and precedence, share his persistent belief in the MAGA phenomenon.

Final Reflection on Agitprop in America

John Harmon McElroy’s work of catharsis is a worthy addition to the Arktos library, and offers an original and multifaceted new approach to the subject of America’s undeniable and ongoing decay. At almost 400 pages of commentaries on numerous subjects, including a large lexicon of Cultural Marxist terms, the book certainly represents value for money and will consume many hours of study. Of course, it doesn’t have “all the answers,” something it has in common with the vast majority of political texts on the market, but it does approach a normally pessimistic subject with intellectual vigor, aggression, confidence, and even optimism. It’s a book worthy of being “balanced out” by the later reading of another text like Sunic’s Homo Americanus, and I think readers can gain much from such an exercise. Readers could also benefit by conducting some of their own research into the origins of certain agitprop terms. McElroy includes several blank pages at the end of his book for “notes,” which could be put to use in this manner. As hinted at earlier in this review, I guarantee that readers will find some predictable but useful information in the process.


mercredi, 18 septembre 2019

A false open society


A false open society

By Keith Preston

Ex: http://hlmenckenclub.org

The Myth of the Open Society

One of the pervasive myths of our time is that we live in an open society where contentious issues, and serious questions of public policy, are supposedly addressed by means of Socratic dialogue, or open discourse reflecting the principles of Voltaire, Thomas Jefferson or John Stuart Mill. For reasons that I will explain, this claim of an open society is false. I could certainly discuss multiple ways in which the open society claim is problematic. For example, I could examine many parallel difficulties such as over criminalization, overregulation, increasingly greater centralization, and ever pervasive bureaucratization. However, for the purpose of this discussion, I want to focus on ideological conformity, and the way in which ideological conformity is enforced in liberal democratic societies.

“Liberal Illiberalisms”

We live in an era of what has been called “liberal illiberalisms” by the libertarian writer Cathy Young. Young has provided multiple examples of how enforced ideological conformity works. Many such illustrations can be found and I will briefly mention a few examples.

  • In 2015, Yale’s Intercultural Affairs Council issued a warning against potentially offensive Halloween costumes. A professor named Erika Christakis objected that such a directive had the effect of undermining the students’ freedom of expression.  The reaction was a barrage of indignation being levied against Christakis by members of the Yale academic community, including students as well as faculty and staff members. Christakis and her husband, also a faculty member, were physically confronted by student protestors. The students subsequently demanded that the couple be terminated by the university. The Yale University administration failed to support the Christakises who subsequently stepped down from their positions.

  • In 2015, a photo shoot took place in England to promote the film Suffragette, which is about the battle for the right of English women to vote. In the film, Meryl Streep plays the role of Emmeline Pankhurst, a leading British suffragist. Streep and three other actresses were shown wearing a T-shirt with a quote from Pankhurst that read, “I’d rather be a rebel than a slave.” The slogan was attacked for supposedly “trivializing the black experience of slavery and allowing white women to claim it as their own.” Others criticized the use of the words “rebel” and “slave,” claiming these terms amounted to the glorification of slavery as practiced during the Confederacy, even though the film had nothing to do with the Confederacy, or American history generally.

  • In 2014, the British National Student Union rejected a motion condemning ISIS on the grounds that the resolution could promote Islamophobia.

  • In 2015, the same reason was cited by the University of Minnesota to oppose a commemoration of the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist incident.

  • Cathy Young points out how accusations of cultural appropriation are used to attack everything from yoga classes (which were banned at the University of Ottawa, apparently on the grounds that yoga involves the appropriation of Hindu culture) to white people wearing the dreadlocks hairstyle to a kimono exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

  • Ethnic food has been attacked as form of cultural appropriation. For instance, a burrito shop in Portland was closed after its white female owners’ described their having collected recipes white on a vacation in Mexico. Because of this, they were accused of stealing from Mexican culture, and practicing what was called “culinary white supremacy.”

  • Among others that have been attacked in this way was a professor who was reprimanded for “merely mentioning the belief that transgender identities are ‘not real’” or “female students having a ‘slut-shamey’ conversation about a fellow student described as a ‘bro-hopper.’”

  • Some universities have put up posters warning against the use of supposedly offensive words and phrases such as “crazy,” “you guys,” “illegal alien,” or “did you lose weight?”

  • The University of California established guidelines for avoiding microaggressions such as “asking an immigrant where she or he is from, encouraging a quiet Asian-American or Latino to speak up, or expressing the opinion that women in America today have the same opportunities as men.”

  • Within the pro-choice movement, pro-abortion rights activists have been asked to “avoid gender-specific language (such as ‘women’) so as to be inclusive to female-bodied individuals who may get pregnant and seek abortions but identify as male or non-binary.”  Likewise, “an abortion rights fundraising event humorously dubbed ‘Night of a Thousand Vaginas’ was met with anger from offended activists who thought it excluded transgender women.”

finally did it.jpg

Certainly, many other similar examples of thought and speech control could be cited. But the question that arises involves the matter where sentiments and actions such as these originate from.

Political Correctness as an Ideological Superstructure

At times, I am asked by leftists why I pay so much attention to this issue when surely my time might be better spent focusing on hate crimes, or other matters that are considered to be more substantive. I do so because the ideological extremism that I just described is presently a rising force in the wider society, concentrated in influential sectors, and gradually becoming part of the elite’s ideological superstructure. In fact, in order to understand the phenomenon that I am presently describing it may be helpful to engage in the intellectual appropriation of certain insights from Marxist theory. According to Marx, all societies have an ideological superstructure that is used to justify the existing society’s dominant institutions. In the ancient world, the superstructure may have been rooted in the idea that the emperor was a descendent of the sun-god. In medieval societies, the divine right of kings served as the superstructure. In modern democracies, the superstructure is derived from the idea that the government is elected by the people. However, Marx argued that beneath this ideological superstructure is a material base that he described as a substructure. The substructure involves certain sectors of the economy or forms of production that are associated with the interests of particular classes.

I would suggest that at present there is indeed an ideological superstructure that exists in societies like our own, and that there is a system of enforced conformity to this ideology. The ideological superstructure is what is commonly called “political correctness.” It is also important to understand that political correctness comes in multiple forms. An individual that frequently reads and comments on my work has used an analogy to the Church. We might say that there is a high church liberalism and a low church liberalism. Low church liberals are simply those who sincerely favor equal opportunity in education and employment, being nice to gay people, holds to the “melting pot” view of immigration, or perhaps favor universal healthcare. I know many people like this.

However, there is also a high church liberalism that is obsessed with the eradication of offensive history, promotes concepts such as cultural appropriation and micro-aggressions, insists on calling a manhole a “people hole,” and that takes offense to Halloween costumes, or to the serving of tacos in a university cafeteria. Recently, a representative of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals made the claim that milk is a symbol of white supremacy. These are the kinds of people that think it is perfectly fine if a 12 year old undergoes transgender surgery. It should also be acknowledged that there is a far-left and a center-left version of political correctness. The far-left version is represented by the campus protestors, the Antifa, the neo-Maoists, and other representatives of the extreme left. The center-left version is often manifested as a blend of PC culture with the American civil religion or civic nationalism. For example, it will be said that the reason the United States is a great nation is because we have gay marriage.

The Enforcement of Ideological Conformity

For the most part, this ideological superstructure is not enforced through traditional state repression, such as a knock on the door in the middle of the night which results in someone getting tossed in a gulag. However, there are some disturbing trends in this area, such as the fact that Marine Le Pen was recently ordered by a French court to undergo a psychiatric examination. This practice of declaring political dissidents to be mentally ill and responding with coercive psychiatric intervention is straight out of the Soviet playbook. But for the most part, there is little formal censorship in the Western democracies (with some exceptions related to fringe areas like Holocaust denial).

Instead, the enforcement of ideological conformity is farmed out to other institutions, such as the media, educational institutions, corporations, and technology companies. The means of enforcement involve the use of social, economic, and professional sanctions rather than the outright criminalization of dissidents. Ideological conformity is also enforced by means of extra-legal methods, such mob violence, shouting down speakers, the harassment political opponents or public figures in public places or even at their private homes, and the aggressive vigilante activities of groups such as the Antifa. It is for this reason that it is often necessary for gatherings of dissidents to take place on a clandestine basis. The proponents of the ideology of political correctness are heavily concentrated in influential sectors of society. Among the more significant examples are the electronic media and professional journalism, universities and public schools, the entertainment industry, left-wing professionals such as attorneys and healthcare specialists, the left-wing of clergy, the public sector bureaucracy, social services and human services, advertising, public relations, and corporate human resources and diversity officers.

However, one of the most significant sectors of these kinds involves technology companies. For example, Facebook recently purged over 800 pages with millions of followers, including pages with left-wing as well as right-wing perspectives, with the common denominator being that all of the purged pages represented some kind of anti-establishment perspective. It is also interesting to note that similar methods are used by the professional “watchdogs,” which typically focus most of their attention on the Right, but also attack leftist, African-American or other minority perspectives that are also considered to be outside the realm of acceptable liberal opinion.

The Socioeconomic and Demographic Basis of Political Correctness

It should also be noted that what I have called high church liberalism represents only a very small number of people when compared to the general public. A recent study involving the present political divisions in the United States was conducted by More in Common, a British organization that studies political conflict around the world. In their recently released report called “Hidden Tribes,” a term that was used to describe America’s major political divisions, it was observed that political correctness is overwhelmingly unpopular among all races, classes, religions, genders, and political affiliations in the United States.  Approximately 80% of Americans expressed opposition to political correctness. The study also found that political correctness is more unpopular among Native Americans, Asians, and Hispanics than among whites, and only slightly more unpopular among whites than among blacks, with nearly three quarters of African-Americans expressing opposition to political correctness.

The authors of the report suggest that Americans are politically divided into seven so-called “tribes” with progressive activists constituting 8%, traditional liberals 11%, passive liberals 15%, the politically disengaged 26%, moderates 15%, traditional conservatives 19%, and devoted conservatives 6%.The only political affiliation of the seven where the majority of the “tribe” expressed a favorable view of political correctness was “progressive activists” who are only 8%.  Even a substantial minority of progressives expressed criticism of political correctness (about 30%). The identity of the “progressive activist” political tribe was overwhelmingly white, affluent, and educated, along with a smaller group of elites among traditional minorities. In other words, the proponents of political correctness are largely concentrated in the left-wing of the upper middle class, among urban cosmopolitan professionals, and the newly rich from outside the traditional elite whose wealth has been generated by newer, high-tech industries. These sectors constitute what we might call the “left-wing of capitalism.”

It is interesting that many on the Right continue to fetishize capitalism when it has to be considered that present day capitalism differs considerably from the capitalism of the elite, top hat wearing plutocratic families of the nineteenth and twentieth century. Today, capitalism is just as likely to be represented by Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and Madison Avenue as it is by the Chamber of Commerce, and by figures such as Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffet or George Soros. In fact, the sociologist Joel Kotkin, himself a centrist Democrat, has argued that an alliance has developed what he calls the “techno-oligarchs” of Silicon Valley and the mass media, and what he terms the “new clerisy” associated with the various sectors that are involved with ideas, ranging from journalism to education to advertising.


As an aside, I would note that, contrary to another myth, from a historical perspective it was the left-wing of the upper-middle class that was the class base of leftist revolutions. It could be reasonably argued that the liberal revolutions of the eighteenth and nineteenth century were driven by the left-wing of an upwardly mobile middle class whose political ambitions were frustrated by the existing political order. I would also suggest that the real class basis for the Marxist revolutions of the twentieth century likewise originated from left-leaning middle class sectors. For example, the famous Communist leaders from the twentieth century were mostly teachers, doctors, lawyers, and other middle class professionals, with only Stalin himself originating from what could be considered a proletarian background. I would suggest that present day political correctness is a manifestation of the rising left-wing of the upper middle class. Political correctness is the foundation of their ideological superstructure with the technology industry and the various professional sectors previously mentioned being their material base.


If there are any solutions to be found to the challenges that are presented by this forced ideological conformity, one of these might be to extend First Amendment jurisprudence to corporations, media companies, technology companies, schools and universities, and cyberspace. In early American history, the Bill of Rights was considered by American jurisprudence to apply only to the states and localities. As the power of the federal government has grown, and the states and localities have largely been reduced to administrative units, constitutional jurisprudence has been extended to the states and localities. It may be necessary to extend the Bill of Rights to the aforementioned institutions since these institutions are essentially the equivalent of private states. For example, I would suggest that technology companies are not private businesses, but crony-capitalist or state-capitalist institutions that have made billions of dollars by piggybacking on technology that was developed by the government with taxpayer money. Therefore, cyberspace should be regarded as public space (like parks, streets, and sidewalks), and the fight for free speech in cyberspace might be compared to free speech fights in the early 20th century by the labor movement,  or Free Speech movement of the 1960s. At present, the center-right has come to dominate the Supreme Court, and much of the federal judiciary. Therefore, this may be an opportunity, perhaps the last there will ever be, for constitutional jurisprudence regarding the First Amendment to be revised in the way that I have suggested.


mardi, 19 août 2008

Lo politicamente correcto y la metapolitica


Alberto BUELA (*):


Lo políticamente correcto y la metapolítica

En estos días nos ha llegado desde varios lados un reportaje al militar franco-ruso, ahora devenido ensayista, Vladimir Volkoff sobre lo políticamente correcto. Las respuestas que da Volkoff son acertadas pero insuficientes, pues él limita lo políticamente correcto a un problema del decir: “circula a través de nuestro vocabulario. El vocabulario políticamente correcto es el principal vehículo de contagio”.

Es cierto que lo políticamente correcto, en inglés denominado political correctness, tiene que ver con una forma de decir; por ejemplo a un negro llamarlo "hombre de color",  hablar de interrupción del embarazo en lugar de aborto, invidente en lugar de ciego. Pero hay que dar un paso más en busca de su fundamento, sino simplemente nos quedamos en la descripción del fenómeno.

Así lo políticamente correcto es todo eso que dice Volkoff: el "todo vale", el cristianismo degradado, el socialismo reinvindicativo, el freudismo antimoral, el economicismo marxista, el igualitarismo como punto de llegada y no de partida, la decadencia del espíritu crítico, lo practican los intelectuales desarraigados, confunde el bien y el mal. Pero todo ello no alcanza para asir su naturaleza, esencia y fundamento. Incluso Volkoff afirma que: es de imposible definición.

Además, está el hecho bruto e incontrovertible de que existen temas y problemas políticos de mucho peso en la historia del mundo que no son tratados por ser políticamente incorrecto hacerlo, por ejemplo: el poder judío en las finanzas internacionales y en los medios masivos de comunicación o el poder de las sectas e iglesias cristianas al servicio del imperialismo. Vemos con estos solos ejemplos como lo políticamente correcto no se limita al decir o al dejar de decir, como sostiene Volkoff.

Además hay temas y muchos, que no son tratados ni mediática ni privadamente por ser políticamente incorrectos: la jerarquía, el disenso, la disciplina, el arraigo, la pertenencia, las virtudes, el deber, el heroísmo, la santidad, la lealtad, la autoridad, etc.

Nosotros sin embargo creemos que lo políticamente correcto se apoya y tiene su fundamento en el denominado pensamiento único. Pensamiento que encuentra su justificación en los poderes que manejan y gobiernan este mundo terrenal y finito que vivimos hoy.

Podemos definir lo políticamente correcto como la forma de hacer y decir la política que se adecua al orden constituido y al statu quo reinante. Es por ello que el simulacro y el disimulo, la amplia calle de la acción y el discurso político contemporáneo, tiene en lo políticamente correcto su mejor instrumento. Hoy la política  es entendida y practicada como “un como sí” kantiano. Se piensa y se actúa “como si ” se pensara y se actuara de verdad. Es por ello que los gobiernos no resuelven los conflictos sino que, en el mejor de los casos, los administran. Nos tratan de mantener siempre en una pax apparens como agudamente ve Massimo Cacciari, el filósofo y actual intendente de Venecia.

¿Y por qué hablamos de pensamiento único? Porque hay una convergencia de intereses de los distintos poderes que manejan este mundo que necesita ser justificada y su justificación se halla en el pensamiento único, que está constituido por el pensamiento social, política y académicamente aceptado. Esto prueba como lo han demostrado intelectuales "políticamente incorrectos" como Michel Maffesoli, Massimo Cacciari, Danilo Zolo, Alain de Benoist, Günter Maschke,  y tantos otros, que existe una "policía del pensamiento" (los Habermas, Eco, Henry-Levy, Gass, Saramago -en nuestro país los Aguinis, Sebrelli, Verbisky, Feinmann, Grondona, etc.-) que determina en forma "totalitariamente democrática" quienes son los buenos y quienes los malos. A quien se debe promocionar y a quien denostar o silenciar. Es le totalitarisme doux propre des démocraties occidentales del que nos habla Mafffesoli.

Esta policía del pensamiento es una, como es uno el pensamiento único y como lo es también uno el sistema de intereses de los poderes mundiales, más allá de sus aparentes diferencias ideológicas. Perón a esto lo llamaba sinarquía, que el pensamiento políticamente correcto se encargó de negar y burlarse.

No se puede hablar en profundidad de lo political correctness sin estudiar aquello que constituye la pensée unique tan bien descripta por Alain de Benoist, Ignacio Ramonet o Vitorio Messori. Y no se puede hablar del pensamiento único sin hacer referencia a la unitaria madeja de intereses que sostiene el funcionamiento de los poderes indirectos, en muchos casos más poderosos incluso que los mismos Estado-nación. Todo ello a su vez tiene una fuerza coercitiva que es "la policía del pensamiento" que funciona en forma aceitada hasta en el último pueblito de la tierra.

Esta tenaza poderosa de dinero, poder político y prestigio intelectual es la que presiona sobre la vida de los pueblos para el logro de la homogenización del mundo y las culturas en una sola. Esta tenaza es la expresión acabada de un mecanismo perverso de alienación existencial de las naciones que pueblan la tierra. Y es en vista a la denuncia de este mecanismo perverso, donde se juntan lo políticamente correcto, el pensamiento único, los poderes indirectos y la policía del pensamiento, que buscamos hacer una observación crítica a lo sostenido por Volkoff.

La tarea de desmontaje de lo políticamente correcto es una tarea correspondiente stricto sensu a la metapolítica pues esta disciplina con el estudio de las grandes categorías que condicionan la acción política de los gobiernos de turno es la que nos brinda las mejores condiciones epistemológicas para el conocimiento de aquello que nos hace padecer lo políticamente correcto como vocero del pensamiento único impuesto a su vez por la policía del pensamiento. Lo políticamente correcto al transformar sus propuestas y temas en “el lugar común”, puede ser desarmado con el uso de la metapolítica que para Giacomo Marramao “ convierte a la divergencia en un concepto de comprensión política ”.

Con lo cual llegamos finalmente a constatar que para comprender acabadamente la política y lo político estamos obligados a desmantelar el andamiaje de este círculo vicioso conformado por lo políticamente correcto, el pensamiento único, los poderes indirectos y la policía del pensamiento que se retroalimentan entre sí en una totalidad de sentido, que en nuestra opinión produce ese gran sin sentido que caracteriza a la política mundial de nuestro tiempo.

(*) alberto.buela@gmail.com