Having commented on the risky – “careless” – non-PC and even misogynistic end of things, in the BrewDog situation in the previous post, I was returning to the other extreme, the crippling effects of PC-Wokeness, which is topical everywhere at the moment.
Not only generally topical but central to my own agenda about how knowledge, even would-be scientific knowledge, is distorted by a kind of PC dogma, much more so than critical-thinking sceptical defenders of science would acknowledge. And ever more so as the pace and nature of social internet communications further reinforces the effect.
A large part of the PC aspect comes from misguided ideas of (otherwise perfectly valid) “equality” of anything and everything across many different axes. Equality of rights and freedoms has a tendency to aim to flatten differences, as if they’re the problem or unimportant to the point of even denying their existence. Transwomen are women? Anyone? The idea that things have careful boundaries that matter, that help preserve genuine equalities, I call “Good Fences” (After Robert Frost and G. K. Chesterton) and have a long-standing draft piece of writing on that.
Two things happened yesterday and today that add very directly to that agenda. One is this story from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, picked-up and commented on by so many:
This is almost unbearably painful and so, so important: https://t.co/VO1oPCQErT
— Julie Bindel (@bindelj) June 16, 2021
The depths of hypocrisy of wokeness – here in this feminism vs trans context yet again:
“What matters is not goodness but the appearance of goodness. We are no longer human beings. We are now angels jostling to out-angel one another. God help us. It is obscene.”
“Out-angel” – virtue-signalling by any other name.
“I gave an interview in March 2017 in which I said that a trans woman is a trans woman, (the larger point of which was to say that we should be able to acknowledge difference while being fully inclusive, that in fact the whole premise of inclusiveness is difference.)”
“The whole premise of inclusiveness is difference.”
To deny this is “obscene”. Vive la difference.
Nothing I’ve read better encapsulates the bad faith, purer-than-thou cruelty which permeates our culture, particularly within the arts. Nor shows how gender ideology is a quasi-religious movement. “Chimamanda is a heretic. Burn her!” But also: “bitch better blurb my book.” https://t.co/Z3Zwsg8not
— Janice Turner (@VictoriaPeckham) June 16, 2021
Chimamanda’s story is one of bad-faith in would be intellectual interaction. This would be enough material by itself, but this second story came up that is deeply moving – taken as truth on good faith.
This original short piece in The Daily Wire, where Yeonmi Park compared her experience of Columbia University unfavourably with that of the North Korea she defected from. On grounds of the woke denial of freedom to know reality.
Followed up by this full 2 hours plus interview (with Jordan Peterson). Harrowing in so many details – an education in the school of life on so many points – so many a “too serious” privilege to hear. (Need to recognise that her book was written before her experience of Columbia University.)
Someone who understands more than anyone that equality (making everything equal) is so so different to equality of rights, freedoms and opportunities.
Finally since it’s Bloomsday, and talking about the power of reading books that don’t claim to be factual (as Yeonmi was), this image of Marylin always tickles me. At that point she is presumably reading the closing “Molly” scenes.
Happy Bloomsday! Instead of eating pork kidney, why not celebrate with this volume on the philosophy of Ulysses, with great chapters by Philip Kitcher, @NussbaumMartha and many more.https://t.co/fI4AQltSns pic.twitter.com/Nfb6yvHNuj
— Bence Nanay (@BenceNanay) June 16, 2021
[Post Note: Many people picking-up the Chimamanda story, including this recommendation from the excellent Kenan Malik:
“The assumption of good faith is dead. What matters is not goodness but the appearance of goodness.” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s blistering polemic on trust, betrayal and social media as performance has been widely shared. It’s well worth reading. https://t.co/soZOKmlymT
— Kenan Malik (@kenanmalik) June 16, 2021
Critical interaction without good faith is mere performance.]