This is a difficult subject for me, because it affects me directly.
I am inveterately opposed to all ethnicities because I see them all as what I have recently found the psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion called: shared hallucinoses aka social psychoses. Anyone who believes in anything has been infected with a semiotic virus which has hijacked his or her soul. Alternatively, I think ethnicities can be seen as a transitional form between foetal and fully human life → species members deploying language but not ever anew reconstituting themselves as interlocutors.
To me, one meaning of modernity is that each individual reflectively appropriates every social custom they find themselves childreared into, requiring it to give good reasons for itself and, conversely, demanding of him or her self to give good reasons for whatever they believe or do. Ontogenesis not repeating but reconstituting phylogenesis/sociogenesis. In this way, each person becomes a Judge of the World. For me, a watchword of modernity is for each child to learn to ask of his or her tor[-]mentors but also to never have occasion to do so: "Why are you doing this to me?" I judge therefore I am ("Judico ergo sum", according to Google translate).
Another item: Persons should self-reflectively select their social customs from the universal anthropological/ethnographical smorgasbord of social customs or invent their own. (Can't you just imagine how this suggestion would make any orthodox cleric of just about any religion's blood boil? "[Cleric's Diety du jour] and I, His Cleric (e.g., Ali Khamenei), as His agent on earth, command you, believer, to believe/do it!" "Get lost, you self-conceited self-righteous pompous ass! Take what you like and leave the rest" "Not in my orthodoxy!")
My paradigm of ethnicity is the parent who subjects her daughter to genital mutilation (FGM) because said parent has been socially conditioned to sincerely believe it is good for the child, i.e., a parent who does this because they love their child, not because they hate her, and may even believe that the operation improves on nature! My feeling about the crime of non-medically necessary male circumcision is that it is only less worse. I also am aware that ethnicities can do things that are nice for persons. But, since a person's ethnicity is not something critically selected by him or her from a universal anthropological smorgasbord of forms of life, it's just a roll of the dice how much good and how much bad the individual's socialization infects him or her with. Does any ethnicity advertise: "Take what you like and leave the rest" (ACOA dictum)?
As Sigmund Freud famously called to our attention, repression of human sexuality is a primary if not the only fuel that powers at least some ethnicities. In a world without effective contraception, female chastity was, for paterfamiliases, an internationally accepted financial instrument. (Aside: Mankind's closest simian relatives, bonobos, have a Rabelaisean form of life, making love not war.) As for myself, I will try to leave out the personal here, but cannot resist noting: (1) there was no "Tea and Sympathy" in my male-only prep school experience, and (2) when I saw a doctor at the Pennsylvania State University student health center after one of the reasons I was rejected for the draft was "albumin in urine", he -- his name, perhaps fittingly, was Dr. Franco --, volunteered that my place in life was perhaps to be something other than good fortune with women.
However: I am also aware that there is a "positive" side to ethnicity, at least when it is working well. It is an implicit social contract between the individual and the group: In exchange for not being aware (even though the ethnicity may cause the persons to believe they are aware...) -- in exchange for the individual not being aware, he or she gets their life needs met by the group, including feeling they are loved, appreciated and that they are not alone. Not alone unto dying. I think this may be a "fair tradeoff" for most people if there is no better alternative.
What would that "Better alternative" be? To me, the answer is obvious: a self-reflective self-accountable community in which all persons are self-accountable peers, and where each person understands themself as being self-accountable, and where something like Karl Marx's famous dictum "from each according to his needs; to each according to his abilities" (or the WWII U.S. Army Air Corps mess hall dictum: "Take what you want; eat what you take") applies to all. (Maybe this is Robbie's "Commons"?) It would not be a sterilely "rational" place, however, because one human need (at least for non-hermits) is companionship and something most humans except for malignant narcissists and psycho/sociopaths have to give is empathy/sympathy/love, etc. Rabelais' Abbey of Theleme, etc.
Here is where I see the problem: Between the shtetl or Amish community (etc.) and Theleme (or even just Scandanavia?) there is a big abyss into which many persons can fall. Incomplete modernization, e.g., Ayn Rand secularism or Stasi so-called communism, etc.: varieties of teratomas of the spirit, can break the trance of ethnicity but, for most (Everyman), not replace it with anything except maybe a bi-weekly electronic bank funds transfer (EFT), if the individual is lucky enough to have a job (although under so-called communism I understand people had fairly decent social welfare, like health care, even though they did not have "freedom"). "How are you going to keep 'em down on the farm, after they've seen Paree?"
I imagine most Hassids are happy. A recent New York Times Travel Section piece makes the Japanese Ainu look like they were pretty happy, too. May their God(s) bless them all! In my prep school, most of the students had an after-school life that was not bounded by a mother who should have had a psychiatrist but instead had a cardiologist who prescribed early psychiatric meds (Baltimore Maryland had a mental hospital in which Harry Stack Sullivan had practiced). Robbie seems to have thrived in a good liberal [arts] childhood. In this paragraph we have traversed the three parts into which the Gaul of the spirit of mid-20th century America was divided. (12 June 2020. Now we could use a Caesar. Sometimes brilliant, at least one time overreaching, General Douglas MacArthur died in 1964.)
To conclude: Ethnicities are equivocal. At best, they do not provide persons with what Edmund Husserl, Jan Szezpanski and others have envisioned as the hoped-for promise of European civilization, a lower-case catholicism, contrast with a Catholic Church to which both Vlad the Impaler and petty inquisitors/conquistadors, and also Walter Ong and good nuns and parish priests have belonged. At their worst, ethnicities murder children in the guise of parents sincerely loving them, and, of course, for adults: "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori."
That hoped-for promise of European civilization, or even what Louis Kahn gave as the definition of a city: a place where a small boy, going from the workplace of one master craftsperson to another, may find something he wants to do for all his life, is at best at risk. Opportunities for dysfunctional disenchantment of the world are myriad and long since metastacizing, including Frederick W. Taylor and (POTUS №45) Donald J. Trump. These are some of my thoughts about ethnicity and modernity.
I watched a BBC report on a young woman who, at age 4 years had been horribly burned and left severely scarred for life. She was childreared in a small Russian village. People, including her father, would laugh at her disfigurement and otherwise be cruel and shame her. She twice tried to commit suicide by hanging herself because she had been made to feel worthless.
Then she moved to Moscow and found that while people might look at her because she looked different, they did not say or do mean things to her. She was basically accepted as a person like anybody else in the big city.
That, for me, is what ethnicity means: small-mindedness which tries to exorcise anything that does not fit in with the current local folkways. The ethnics are entitled just because [because what? Because they masticate and have other bodily functions?].
Maybe the people of the village have only proceeded part of the way to acquiring symbolizing consciousness, and consequently both their own instincts which are no longer altogether natural to them, and also symbols which are not yet become fully natural to them, threaten their at bottom precarious orientation in living. They are vulnerable like molting arthropods. Ritual mediates by deploying frozen symbols to keep loose instincts in check and rechanneling instinct to keep loose symbolizing in check. When undisturbed, ritualized life can look cute to "bleeding heart" liberals. But when threatened, especially by unsettled/unsettling symbols which it has no ways to control (unlike instinctual energy which can be discharged through scapegoating, war and so forth). This chimera produces a Abdoullakh Abouyedovich Anzorov who beheaded Parisian school teacher Samuel Paty in the City of Light (Paris, France), or just the spirit-negating Second Coming of a Martin Guerre .
White privilege is a problem. But are we going to throw the baby out with the bathwater?
There once was a magazine which -- I don't read any Conde Nast publication, but I'd bet on this -- was more deservedly "elitist" than anything CN currently produces: Réalités. As a young person, it was one of the few bright spots in my teenage years. I eventually was able to buy a hundred or so issues of it from a used-magazine dealer for 50 cents each.
But to get to the point. "Elite" is not just about petty snobs. There are magisterial works of Western culture which are as far as I can see of no interest to either the paparazzi-attracting elite or the masses. As an example, I cite the philosopher Edmund Husserl's lecture "Philosophy and the Crisis of European Humanity" (1935). Such things are "high" in the sense of aiming to ennoble and enrich all persons (Everyman, per the Medieval morality play). If this kind of "elitism" is defeated, then the winners will metabolize in an unnecessarily impoverished social surround of their own making.
This section is rambling and maybe somewhat incoherent, and it may not be clear what it's getting at; so consider it quasi-free association if you will. One good thing is that no prig teach is grading me (BMcC) on it, so he won't have tio harm me for telling him he is a prig teach instead of saying: "Yes, Sir!" to him.
Reference here, is, of course, to Robert Venturi's architectural manifesto (1966? 1971? 1977? Imprimatur MOMA), the fulltext -- but is it "plain text"? -- of which, Mirabile visu, is available for free on The Internet. The book is a celebration of making things look better than they are (decorating sheds), and obfuscating things (Mannerism).
+2020.06.26. I was reading official transcript of United States President (POTUS №45) Donald J. Trump's Executive Order on Protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues and Combating Recent Criminal Violence. It includes: "It is the policy of the United States to prosecute to the fullest extent permitted under Federal law, and as appropriate, any person or any entity that damages, defaces, or destroys religious property, including by attacking, removing, or defacing depictions of Jesus or other religious figures or religious art work." (Is this guy for real?) This immediately led me to recall "Immersion (Piss Christ) is a 1987 photograph by the American artist and photographer Andres Serrano. It depicts a small plastic crucifix submerged in a small glass tank of the artist's urine." (Wikipedia) Which led me to the thought that sacreligious artists in America in 2020 are at risk of felony conviction. This led me to "Innocence of Islam" (because Radical Islamists used that to deploy their capital Justice).
"Innocence of Islam" is an apparently low-res movie that once apparently was but now no longer is available on YouTube (but maybe it is available, of all places, on the WNYC website). The movie apparently caused fundamental Islamist fanatics to burn an American embassy and kill persons (may we observe this latter seems to be something they are wont to do?). I listen to a 45 minute disquisition by apparently an Islamic hermeneuticist explaining in articulate and amazing detail why his Prophet was not a bastard just because He did not have a sexual Father. The man's arguments seem to me reasonable, if kind of Kafkaesque. I am ready to agree that The Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) is not a bastard because G-d can do anything He wants, including, presumably exceptioning the laws of physics because He created them. But I think this point could be made in less than 30 minutes albeit less to myself amusingly.
Intrigued, I was led further to read. inter alia, a very lucid quasi-PowerPoint video which argues that Freedom of Speech is good, most muslims are not terrorists who murder persons who say sacriligeous thing (The Quran, according to this video, instructs muslims just to accept that dialog with a sacrilegious person is not currently possible), and that "Innocence of Islam" is not Free Speech, but something like yelling "Fire!" in a theater which is not burning. Again, agreed. Another video argue that person should not be executed for blasphemy. I presume I did not come across anything really "extreme", e.g., what I might call the flamingly psychotic discourse of fudamentalist fanatics (may I say: perhaps excepting my starting point, i.e., the Executive Order?). (Why did I not come across any such thing? (1) I am afraid of going to bad places on The Internet because I can't afford my computer to be hijacked, and (2) I also do not want to be arrested for possessing pornography, even though, with a doctorate, I think I should be able to claim exception for research.)
This (What's this?), like Western voodoo economics and much post-modernist philosophy, is beyond my ability to understand, i.e., in this case, to "sort out". As Bob Dylan asked anent the murder of JFK, "What is the truth" Where did it go?" Per yet another website: "US President Barack Obama has called the low-budget movie 'The Innocence of Muslims, which sparked anti-American violence in the Muslim world, 'crude and disgusting' but defended the right to free speech that allowed posting it online."
My "net": After wandering down these Holzwege, my agnosticism is extended. I had previously wondered about Jesus's Did He or Didn't He? (some scholars do argue He had a wife, Mary Magdalene), a question which, if I take at least one thing I read seriously, the Quran may not anwer, because it only tells us Jesus (or was it Muhammad?) was not an adulterer (or one other thing not good which I now forget and cannot seem again to find).
The Prophet (PBUH) is Light for humankind, and His commandment is something like for persons to be kind to one another, including unbelievers and heretics. Seriously, that sounds good to me. And I have no argument that shouting "Fire!" in a building that is not burning is not protected free speech. But if that's all there is (ref.: the Peggy Lee ballad DJT apparently loves), then (yet another song the lyrics of which I can't fully parse) it's never enough, it's never enough, it's never enough. This is impressive. I'll gladly talk with "you" (not necessarily a reference to you, my current reader, here) about it if you won't threaten to shoot me, but since on at least one plausible-to-me interpretation, I have no first-hand evidence, I remain as of this writing agnostic, and I do believe, quoting Mies van der Rohe: Less is more. "Less is more" is one reason I love modernism, because it affirms a commitment to straightforwardly transparent discourse (and architecture), not fabricated complexity and contradiction either witless or wilful.
May we be saved from waking hermeneutical nightmares, which gets me back to the magisterial BBC television documentry about the GWB era Neoconservatives and Radical Islamists starting from Sayyid Qutb's visit to Greeley Colorado, ca. 1947 (how close did Professor Forsdale ever come to encountering this man?): "The Power of Nightmares". Straightforwardy sincerely, I highly recommend this (the narrator also has a delightful British accent). This TV series -- it still is freely available on The Internet -- should be required reading for everybody, or at least for all "educated" persons. No more treason of the clerks! "And history continues." (ref., as always here, Elsa Morante)
More: This stuff is really tough. I read in George Steiner's NYT Obituary (February 2020), that Steiner said everybody, i.e., himself was a racist if it came to somebody moving into the house nextdoor to you and tanking your house's property value by blaring music that hurts your ears in the middle of each night (and why not also collecting junk automobile parts in their front yard?). Reparations? My "net" is this: I do not want to be crucified. If reparations are going to cause me to no longer be able to read books or think on the Internet, then, apparently like that great scholar, I am against it. If "you" leave me enough to from each according to his abilities to each according to his needs, then I'm all for it. Melanie Klein said it all. May I deploy a metaphor and say of both Steiner [There is also "Steiner" in Fellini's film "La Dolce Vita"] and Klein, PBUH? Where do you stand, my reader? Which side are you on? Where is the truth? Where did it go?
I am reading about privileged persons having what they call "gender reveal" parties. Apparently these are not useful, unlike traditional "baby showers", where a mother-to-be is given things that will be helpful for her upcoming mothering [pre]occupation.
Also these are apparently parties where both males and females are guests, whereas my impression is that "baby showers" may have been more concerned with real life issues women face in child bearing/caring and which they might not have been comfortable discussing with males around? Ecce what? Apparently not an already born infant's genitalia?
Apparently, fireworks (pyrotechnics) set off at one of these socially aggregating events ignited a massive California forest fire, threatening the lives of decent, postnatal persons (e.g. fire fighters). I would presume the foetus célèbre does not reciprocally participate in these celebrations? What are these people getting off on? Are they so degenerate (ref.: Adolf Loos) that they need to invent a new faux-ethnic ritual to keep from feeling like what Maureen Dowd (NYT) described as one of (POTUS №45) Donald J. Trump's favorite songs, Peggy Lee's "morbid" ballad: "Is that all there is?" (Please, my reader, search this song and listen to it on YouTube!)
How about a Paparazzi party! You don't want to be late for a very unimportant date, do you? Hurry up, before you turn into a pumpkin! Get your inebriated chauffeur to smash your S-Class Mercedes-Benz (if you do not have a Maybach, of course), on the way there, into a concrete abutment in your nearest Seine River highway tunnel at over 100km/h! (Or the Holland or the Lincoln?) You can survive, if you wear your seat belt! Look! You're already in the Pepsi generation, right? So come alive! Unemployed? Get a Paparazzo gig, or RYO! Photograph one of these parties, and make a buck! Celebs can never get enough good PR! Bottoms up!
Nothing to excess. Especially, I think virtue, and thinking itself.
Virtue in excess is fanaticism hunting self-contrived witches leading to kicking/killing cats. (I seem to recall that in a sociology class in college, we had a visit from a real-life victim of McCarthyism, John Henry Falk; the only thing I seem to recall about him is that Mr. Falk was blind in one eye, and his bad eye was not pleasing to look at.) Thinking in excess can self-destruct by undermining itself (bracketing all its presuppositions at once, or just chasing one's own tail).
I think the solution to excessive virtue is less virtue. Less virtue and more joy. Instead of kicking and killing cats, love and pet and play with them or at least leave 'em alone. There need to be 12-step groups for self-righteousness addiction. Psychoanalyst Masud Khan pointed the way: If the patient has neurotic symptoms, first cure their social environment.
The solution to excessive thinking would even less satisfy the too-virtuous. Everthing is grist for the mill, just not everything including the mill itself all at once. Reflective thinking must proceed step-wise: If the semiotic world was a flagstone patio, plant both feet firmly on one stone and check all the other stones. Then step onto one of the thus validated stones and check out all the rest which now include the original footing stone. But one can never reevaluate all the stones recursively at once (cancel all possible footing), so the endeavor of thinking is always necessarily a bit limited. As "they" say, things take time, and absolute non-tautological truth is not accessible to persons.
For myself, one of the things most in need of moderation is excessivism ("enthusiasm"): educational institution varsity contact sport cheer-rallies and rooting from the stands during the actual games, political propaganda rallies, stock market broker "pits" (if these last have not all long since been replaced by massive computer processor arrays), etc. "Shut down your computer. Restart a friendship. The conversation is waiting. Go there." (Grand Marnier; liqueur, aka: cordial)
But if all things in moderation, what about moderation? There may well be times to be excessive, e.g., in driving stakes through a vampire's heart. In the last case, just be sure no part of your body is underneath the vampire so you won't stab yourself, and stab carefully to not sever a tendon in your hand if the stake slips (substitute "knife" for "stake", and metaphorize "vampire" and I (BMcC) have three surgical hand-operations' experience of this). Slow and steady may win the race or at least complete the course.
"Homeland" is, to my understanding, ordinarily understood as an ethno-patria which, for each person in it, is their dulce et decorum to die for. It can be a fatherland (Hitler's Reich) or a motherland (Stalin's Russia). I guess The United States is an uncleland (Sam). The root of history is sacrifice, where the patria is the subject and the people are the direct object.
Ernst Bloch offers a definition
of a different kind of homeland and a different kind of history:
"...the root of history is the working, creating human being who reshapes and overhauls the given facts. Once he has grasped himself and established what is his, without expropriation and alienation, in real democracy, there arises in the world something which shines into the childhood of all and in which no one has yet been: homeland." (ref. lost)
Why do people get more upset about killing something that's just an idea (a set, in logic) than about the killing of real persons, whose individual mortal minds are the only place where immortal ideas can exist? Why do people identify as being members of a group instead of as being unique individuals? You can have the tribe/
Two big questions which are evaded by the generic shibboleth: "Back lives matter."
(1) Does it mean: (a) black lives matter more than some other lives, or: (b) black lives matter as much as any other lives, no more and no less.
(2) Does it mean: (a) black lives matter as an agglomeration but one or more particular black individual person's lives can be sacrificed for the self-preservation / self-aggrandizement of a certain tribe and its tribal leaders, or: (b) each individuated individual black person's life matters and if that means the tribe goes extinct, so long as no individual black person's material wellbeing is damaged by it, discard the tribe?
The net: Was I made for [fill in the blank, e.g., "The United States of America"] or was [same fill in the blank as previously] made for me? In proportiion as [same fill in the blank as previously] is not giving me what I want and need, then I reciprocally lack any reason to give [same fill in the blank as previously] anything.
The LGBQWERTY People
+2021.03.22. This day, I was banned from an Internet forum by denouncing Political Correctness! I finally got the Political Correctnessers' seal of [dis]approval! The details are not relevant and somehow I have lost their email informing me that I am banned from a forum which is full of obscenities from alphabet soup (LGBTQWERTY...) people. The net of it was that I said that if the word "deadnaming", concerning which I noted I did not know what it meant, meant something like "cancelling" persons and corporations, then it was bad. They apparently either do not know the grammatical function of an "if" clause, or else they very well understand the use of the word "if", as in the old cliche: "If the shoe fits wear it" (which cliche I did not include in the posting that got me banned). (I am extremely pleased with myself that I bracketed my anti-PC rant with that "if", because it not, I would feel I had egg on my face.) Verily: If the Political Correctnessers ever get political power, we will have an avatar of the OGPU (Joseph Stalin's secret police organization) here in U.S.A. Go Joe [ McCarthy]! Celebrate Thomas Jefferson, who owned slaves when that was legal, like capitalists rent [wage-]slaves when that is still legal today!
I find Political Correctness despicable. Following, immediately below, are some things I wrote about it early here. I have sequestered them, as I deeply wish Political Correctness and all its practitioners should be sequestered → in any place where they could do no more harm to any person or social institution. But rust never sleeps.
Shouldn't every person who is not trying to deny anyione else the right to speak have a right to express their opinions? That standard, obviously, excludes Political Correctnessers, although not necessary persons they deem to be politically incorrect.
"Integration is a fact.That is what has happened here.... I am not an African any more, and you are not a European any more...." (James Baldwin, interview with R.H. Darden. The problem, JB went on to say, was that people in the ghetto were being, if I may us a word he did not use: screwed by USA -- he says: "white" -- society. My take on this: USA should stop abusing people in the ghetto (and everywhere else!), and then the people who were no longer being ghettoized/abused should raise themselves up to no longer aspire to be neo-tribesmen but rather citizens of universalizing civilization "for the [human creative] spirit alone is immortal." (Edmund Husserl).)
I generally abominate (POTUS №45) Donald J. Trump, which it is also politically correct to do, so that right-thinking left-thinking persons will not go after me for that. But (POTUS №45) Trump inhales and exhales earth's atmosphere, so just because he does something does not make it ipso facto evil and something persons should be prohibited from/shunned for doing. He also does not believe in handshaking, which, over the years he has called "barbaric," "disgusting," "very, very terrible" and "one of the curses of American society." (no ref. here) Well, isn't it, except for his rhetorical wont to, pro or con, superlativize everything ("very, very")? Why can't non-intimates greet each other by mutually-respectfully bowing?
Somebody on (POTUS №45) Trump's staff came up with a nickname for the novel coronavirus: "kung flu". This has become apparently a highly politically incorrect phrase. "Everybody"'s calling it racist. Coming out of (POTUS №45) Trump's mouth, it possibly is. But I happen to think it is pretty clever. Isn't kung fu an oriental martial art where persons defeat their adversary by smarts rather than by kilotonnage? Isn't the virus similarly smart ("asymptomatic spreading")? Isn't the virus from a oriental land? I think "kung flu" is great, and should not necessarily be eschewed just because DJT mouths the words (like breathing, supra). I also thought "Rocket Man" was a pretty good nickname for North Korea's Supreme Leader [per recent news articles it seems Rocket Man's sister may be in line to be the next leader of the PRK, and they say she's even tougher and wilier than he is → I would propose: "Dragon Lady" for her, which is already the nickname of the U-2 sky plane].
I heard somebody (ref. lost) on CNN say that things like AFL (American Football League) team "Redskins" possibly changing their name is not because they saw the light but because they felt the heat. Call me a "Polack"; I won't care unless you try to effect "consequences". These Political Correctnessers need to stop cancelling good folks who use words they don't like or entertain ideas they don't like [e.g.: "all lives matter"]. They need to: Stop it!
As POTUS №45 Donald J. Trump's Acting Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, said, albeit in a different context, they need to: "Get over it!" They further need to get over acting affronted, as if they did not deserve it, when good persons tell them to: "Bug off!"
I propose political correctness is a danger only a couple steps behind what validly malign causes it may be against. Read: BBC on "cancel culture", Harper's magazine: "A Letter on Justice and Open Debate".
Here's another one: +2020.08.02. What is wrong with the woman's name "Karen"? It sounds sweet to me. Karin is the name of the Knight's wife in Ingmar Bergman's film "The Seventh Seal". She is a paradigm of literate reason and civilization in the face of universal hysteria among ethnics in the face of Death.
And yet another another one: 13 September 2020. Please: Click to go to the U.S. Civil Wars.
Come on, all you Political Correctnessers! Why not fess up that you resent civilization and you hate culture because they better than you (maybe because at root you secretly hate yourself?), and that you want to drag the whole human world (except for your own part of it) "back" to a kind of Hollywood movie brutality that may never in reality have existed, but which turns you on, in order to spoil life for persons who never did anything to hurt you, when the very things you are trying to destroy give you your civilized middle-class standard of living? At least get yourself out of what without you would otherwise have a chance of being an education system. Or maybe you haven't even thought about what you are doing? (Somebody said: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by simple stupidity.)
"Drain the swamp." (Unknown)
I believe it was Mao Zedung who said, slightly differently, that political ideas do not fall from the sky but arise from social practice. My hypothesis here is that Political Correctness arises, by mutation or metastasis, from the social practice of politeness.
When an adult superciliously indicts a child: "Be polite!" what the abuse generally means is something like: "Subordinate creature! Do not say something that we adults do not wish to hear about ourselves because we know it is true but it does not fit our exaggerated self-images of ourselves (nor do we want to think that we are supercilious or have exaggerated self-images, because we are selfless and only you, subordinate creature, are selfish!). Nor are you permitted to think any such thoughts. Now, we love you to death despite your ingratefulness, so tell us adults what you know [we want] you to say to us ('I love you mommy! Can you forgive me my selfish past? I promise to turn over a new leaf and never again say or think such thoughts where honestly I do not know where they came from! I apologize! Please spare me even though I know I do not deserve it!'). Believe it, and show your good attitude about it. And don't expect any reward for just doing what you are supposed to do. Or else! We do love you so dearly even though you don't deserve it (because being loving toward those beneath us makes us feel so much more elevatedly smug about ourselves -- I mean we are Righteous Among the Nations if only the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem knew about us)".
Child shuts down emotionally, mouths the correct words with the correct displayed affect in hope of avoiding the "Or else!". Toxic introjects are laid down/reinforced in his or her (or other's) helpless little soul, which also, possibly, grows pro tempore impotent, resentful wrath that may never be forgotten, and, if ever the tables are turned, has consequences (e.g., in abusing children of the next generation, aka: kicking cats.).
Doesn't this sound like the self-righteousness of Political Correctnessers, sans the protestations of love for those whom they target, when individuals, for character assassination and, when corporations, for financial ruin? Where the "Or else!" is something like: "We will get you terminated from your source of income and blacklisted as a [negative of whatever the Political Correctnesser favors] so that you will never find work (/customers) again?"
Senator Joseph R. McCarthy's anti-Communist inquisition was a precursor here, and it did result in many persons suffering grievous socioeconomic harm. "Harvard law dean Ervin Griswold described McCarthy's role as 'judge, jury, prosecutor, castigator, and press agent, all in one.'" (United States Senate official website) When McCarthy attacked the Unites States Army:
The army hired Boston lawyer Joseph Welch to make its case. At a session on June 9, 1954, McCarthy charged that one of Welch's attorneys had ties to a Communist organization. As an amazed television audience looked on, Welch responded with the immortal lines that ultimately ended McCarthy's career: "Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness." When McCarthy tried to continue his attack, Welch angrily interrupted, "Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?.... Overnight, McCarthy's immense national popularity evaporated." (ibid.)
Political Correctness creeps need to remember that sticks and stones can hurt my bone, but names -- except when called out by persons who aim to cancel me -- can never hurt me (i.e., themselves, or whomever they are advocating for). If somebody calls me an offensive name (example: the "W" word: "white"), I hope I will be able to just walk away from them without them putting a bullet thru my head -- Do the Political Corretnessers hope for as much? America needs you, Joseph Welsh! Ojala! (More about politeness: here.)
man's compensation? How dare you! Either Workperson's comp or nothing! Sigmund Freud had a toadie whose day job was to process coal miners' industrial injury claims, Dr. Karl Abraham. Dr. A did his best to deny these claims because the workers were trying to wimp out of their life situation. (Don't get redress; get analyzed -- if you can afford it.)
Back to 2020. I can see some persons who would not be satisfied even with degenderizing industrial injury claims: capitali$ts. How dare you discriminate against us just because we happen to be differently socially enabled! We demand inclusiveness! But once the door is opened an inch, it can be pushed open all the way: What about the unemployed? What about foeti? What about lemurs? What about reptiles? What about rocks? What about singularities? Reducio ad absurdum. I have a label for Political Correctness, which may not be exactly correct German: das Arschloch des Abendlandes.
The semiotic apocalypse is the 20th-21st century public disgrace to The United States of America bt Political Correctnessers, who make the Dictionary dangerous. To avoid potentially nauseating gastrointestinal imagery, their doings seem to myself like venomous worms boring inside books: Political Correctnessers ingest words and excrete land mines (IED's).
Remember "The innocence of Islam"? How about: "The innocence of the Angela Davis Loving Bourgeoisie"? → Persons who believe the reason to vote for Joe Biden in the 2020 Presidential election is that DJT's re-election would provide less fertile soil for growing their revolution but who watch their words when conversing with relatives because their inheritances are important. I don't know about you, my reader, but I've long since "had it", both with (POTUS №45) Trumpies, but also with those of whom Harper's magazine: "A Letter on Justice and Open Debate speaks, concerning which latter, I, for one, regret I lack the public standing required to be a signatory. I fear them both, although neither comes bearing gifts (Timeo Danaos et dona frerentes). Political correctness is the semiotic apocalypse.
I (how about you, my reader?) can't wait for those who say "Black lives matter" but mean (1) my life does not matter to them (except maybe to extract value out of me...), and (2) Barak Obama is maybe bad because he may believe "all lives matter" [cf.: universalizing cosmopolitan Western civilization], to get physical torture engines. I think they make today be a good time to be old and a better time to be already dead, in part because I have always believed that the oppressed should not reproduce, in order for their oppressors to get an opportunity to wipe their own.
I think the reason some Angela Davis loving bourgeois suggested I "get on to a new 'brilliant' topic, Brad", after I made an ethical indictment of Ralph Nadir (misspelling intended; reference is to Nader's impact on the 2000 Presidential election) was that I suggested the solution to today's problems might be "Harry [Truman] is there something we can do to save the land we love?" (Rock group Chicago, 1974). Your thoughts, my reader? email@example.com
For two consecutive nights, I had a dream which waked me up and which, as soon as I was awake, I was almost completeley unable to remember. But I think I can approximately reconstruct it: A very large expanse of four word phrases, each phrase consisting of two two word subordinate phrases, where the second two words were similar to reversal of the first two. The thing I could not recall is what any of these phrase was, but this was the crux of the dream. While I am not certain, I think the main phrase was something like:
Political correctness. Corrected politics.
"Political correctness" is the tyranny of, as I call them: self-appointed Stasis of the spirit, to destroy and destroy all memory of all thought and speech and action (i.e. everything) that does not conform to their ideolological orthodoxy du jour. "Corrected politics" includes, in the present instance, calling out Political Correctness for the self-righteous nihilistic totalitarianism it is. My dream was simply a visualization of these words (cf.: IHS), and, as noted above, this visualization, both times I had the dream, woke me up.
"What goes around comes around." (Source uncertain)
What should be done about Cancel Culture? I'd like to say: Cancel it. That would be cute and also incorrect. The technical term for what should be done about Cancel Culture is that it should be: bracketed.
To bracket something is to retain all of its content, but put that content out of action by radically reducing it to be solely an object of scientific investigation, not subjective belief. Analogy: Smallpox as a disease has been eradicated from the earth, but medical researchers keep specimens of it and still study it. Medical researchers keep and study smallpox, isolated in highly secured laboratories, not in society or in "the wild". Lay persons can learn about smallpox in books and other communication media. Cancel Culture, like Nazism and Stalinism, must never be repeated and always be remembered.
Before there was Political Correctness, there was at least one of its its probable legitimate progenitors: politeness. I define politeness as people's expectation that when they ask a person: "How are you?", the response to be produced by their interlocutor will be: "I'm fine.", especially if the person is not at all fine. The person asked needs to say: "I'm fine." because the person asking the question is only being "polite", not sincere. They do not want to hear that anybody is not fine because their own sense of how fine they themselves are is shaky, and they secretly know that they do not want to mentally collapse. They do not want to be reminded that they themselves may not be all fine, for then they could not blithely pretend to themselves that they feel fine about themselves. (Why is this a problem? Probably to pacify toxic introjects -- bad parents, teachers and others -- that are repressed but nonetheless continue to haunt them from childhood. Mommy: "Be nice, Or else!, child!" To borrow a from a phrase from Sophocles: Our toxic introjects make the longest demands on us; our toxic introjects never die.")
Genuine civility, on the other hand, is, I think, something different. In civility, if a person asks: "How are you?", they want or at least are prepared to hear the truth, presumably, at least in part, because they are being at least fairly truthful to themselves, especially about themselves. They are not looking for Pollyannaish reassurance. And if the answer is: "I'm not really doing so fine.", their response will be at least something like: "I'm really sorry to hear that. What's going on?", and listening with respect for the other person's life situation. If feasible, they will go further and ask: "Is there something I can do to help?", and this will not just be words that they hope for dear life will receive the required response: "No", but something of an offer of functionally ameliorative assistance. (Alternative acceptable response: "Wow. That is not good. I apologize, but I can't think of anything I can do to help. I'm sorry."
In other words, politeness is hypocrisy; civility is sincerity. Can we live in a social world that is sincere not hypocritical? We know that reality at least sometimes "bites", even if it is repressed or denied, and the most rational prospect of getting over real wounds is to treat them for what they are. Only as a last resort is there nothing more likely to help than hope. It was either Sophocles or Aeschylus who said: "Pray no more; the sky is deaf." (More about politeness: here.)
Non-genderist pronounage is indigestible word salad. "Man" can stand for all humanity: men, women, children, for right-to-lifers: foeti, and any others. To write such misfortunate verbiage as: "All men, women, children, intergenders, kidnapped aliens and others are created equal only if deemed to be Politically Correct" is less fluent than: "All men are created equal only if deemed to be Politically Correct".
What does any of this non-genderistic pronounage verbiage have to do with anybody having great orgasms and being sexually satisfied? Nothing. It just eats bytes of computer memory and deciseconds of speech time. Get rid of it all and get back to mankind not humankind, workmanship not workpersonship, workman's comp not workpersons' comp, etcetera and so forth.
Of course there will be exception cases when a writer specifically wants to emphasize gender issues. For instance: If
The United States Postal Service did not hire females as postmen and you are a woman and you want to
be a postman, you could eloquently write: "The Post Office should hire a postwoman equally as a postman." But those are exception cases, and, for emphasis. Why give our written and oral discourse Elephantiasis? Let words have semantic force, and let articulate communicators
breathe write and speak!
I propose a compromise: On first reference in a given text, write "men (women and others)"; after that use: "he" as an unbound variable without restriction on substitution value, for all creatures with discursive discourse, including: "men", "women", "children" [over what was once called: "the age of reason"], "transsexuals", "eunuchs", "kidnapped aliens" and anyone else who asks to join the party. Example: "All men (women, others) are mortal. Angels Davis is a man (not a slime mold or a god) and therefore she is mortal. After a person dies, either he either is no more or else he (even if he was female, foetal and/or either had or lacked any other particular secondary characteristics) has gone to some other place outside our lifeworld except for maybe ghosts."
"All known human cultures have been in one way or another depersonalized as well as personalized. so that no human culture has been worth preserving the way it was—although all have been worth improving." (Walter J. Ong, SJ, "Fighting for life", p. 201)
Everybody! Follow the titanium (titanium is stronger than mere gold) rule: When your leader(s) command that you fight the enemy, do exactly what they are asking you to do: Pivot 180° and put yourself out of their misery: Send them packing or if they will not go graciously, move them out of your way by any means available). "Hell no, we won't go!"
Persons of the world unite—you have nothing to lose but your blinders! Follow nobody: take your own lead, with the mutual aid of anyone who will -- not follow but: -- personally join with you! And, yes, in dark times you may not have the luxury of being fully human, but have to debase yourself to become a cipher in a nominally liberating mass ("a member of the movement") to be overcome as soon as light shines again. No man (woman, other) is a sheep, unless he (she, other) wants to be one.