Tuesday, February 23, 2021

They Came For Kermit, But I Was Not A Muppet


As I read the linked, the Marxist / Progressive / Whiggish idea of "the right side of history" kept flitting through my brain.

This article does a reasonable job of debunking the idea of history having "sides". 

The problem with this kind of thinking is that it imputes an agency to history that doesn’t exist. Worse, it assumes that progress is unidirectional. But history is not a moral force in and of itself, and it has no set course. Presuming otherwise embraces the dangerous tendency that the great English historian Herbert Butterfield dissected in his 1931 essay, The Whig Interpretation of History. Butterfield was writing about the inclination among certain historians to see the Reformation as a unalloyedly positive force—a secularizing, liberalizing movement that led inexorably to liberal democracy in the 20th century. Butterfield objected that this wasn’t at all how things worked. It was just a retrospective reading.

The philosophical term for  this thought is eschatology, thus giving rise to a somewhat common intellectual conservative criticism of liberalism/progressivism as "immanentizing the eschaton". Marxism, Christianity and Progressivism often assume an inevitable "arc of history" to a wonderful final end. With Marxism and Progressivism, "the end/goal" is some sort of hazy  "utopia", with Christianity it is the return of Christ.

Wokeism and Cancel Culture believe that they are part of this inevitable march. 

Last Friday, [February 5, 2021] Donald G. McNeil Jr., a science reporter for The New York Times since 1976, and one of the mainstays of the paper’s coverage of the coronavirus pandemic—a matter of life and death for millions of people around the planet—was forced to leave the paper. “Dean and Joe” (Dean Baquet, the paper’s executive editor, and Joe Kahn, managing editor) announced to Times staffers that McNeil had cited a racial slur in a conversation with two high school students, and therefore had to go, since “We do not tolerate racist language regardless of intent” (italics mine; I will come back to those words later).

McNiel ran afoul of the "Woke/Cancel" culture, because he had used "the N-word" in reference to someone else being suspended for using "the N-word". It offended people, so he had to go -- offence is in the mind of the offended, that is the only "standard" in exactly the same way as "sexual harassment" is proven if the "victim" feels "harassed/offended", the "perpetrator" has to go. 

The top link goes into more specific depth of the parallels of "Wokeism" to Stalinism. 

This all seems so bizarre that it is hard to take is seriously, but they came for Kermit! If you are not a Muppet, you may feel secure, but if they can get Kermit, is anyone really safe? 

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