Not being able to understand un-PC opinions

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Not being able to understand un-PC opinions

Postby Yessica » 23 May 2014, 18:15

I noticed that some people seem not to be able to understand unpopular opinions... and that is not because the theory behind it is too hard to understand.

While Marxism-Lenism is quite a complicated system of theories people seem to have no trouble grasping it.

On the other hand: I am a little bit interested in the life of Charles Lindbergh lately. An interesting but controversial man and I do not agree with many of his opinions.
He was a proponent of eugenics. After his death it turned out he had not only a second family, but also a third and a fourth. One of his mistresses was disabled because of childhood tuberculosis.

But I am reading over and over again "How could he have several families / a disabled lover after all he was a proponent of eugenics. His emotions must have won over his believes". Why?

Charles Lindbergh believed two things to be true

a) that he had superior genes
b) that eugenics was a good idea

The logical conclusion would be to have as many children as possible. How is having a fourths family opposed to that? In addition childhood tuberculosis is not heritable.

I assume that Lindbergh also did love his sweet-hearts but that romance does not seem contrary to his believes at all.

I don't understand why smart people such as journalist do not seem to understand the relatively plain concept of eugenics. It is hardly rocket science.
The only explanation I can come up with: they believe that understanding eugenics somehow makes them an eugenist.
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Re: Not being able to understand un-PC opinions

Postby Tom » 25 May 2014, 11:11

Yessica,
I think the phenomenon you observe is due to the reflex conflation of a whole set of opinions with wickedness. People have been trained somehow, when they hear about someone being in favour of eugenics, or expressing an opinion that might loosely be described as racist, to shut down their critical facilities and to think of that person as a bogeyman: full of malice and with evil motivations that it is fruitless to try to understand.

I saw a youtube video by a man who said that the word ‘racism’ is made deliberately vague so that people think that James Watson is the same as Adolf Hitler. I notice that the meaning ‘Paedophile’ too has been blurred to conflate men who act on their, presumably normal, desire for post-pubescent but legally inviolable children with those whose primary sexual attraction is to pre-pubescent children. Yes, both these groups cause a lot of harm, but they are not so uniformly black that they cannot be understood or distinguished.

I wonder if the problem might have started with Hitler. He was sane, I think, for most of his career, though his barmy beliefs and inhumanity drove him to create an insane state. The horror of the actions of that state has caused people to stop looking Hitler in the eye, as it were, and seeing him for what he was, but instead to see the bogeyman: an incomprehensible monster – not human, not driven by a set of beliefs and desires, however twisted, but a creature of pure black evil.

Once you stop thinking critically and start thinking magically like this, the magical thinking spreads. Like the cargo cultists, you don’t understand the roles of the various paraphernalia associated with a phenomenon, and suppose that somehow the presence of the paraphernalia will cause the phenomenon. Thus ideas that were in vogue in Hitler’s time, and which he pursued to the point of inhuman insanity have become anathema. They cannot be critically evaluated or considered lest we somehow create another Hitler: a demon made flesh to wreak havoc and slaughter on the world.

I claimed that Hitler’s state was insane. What I meant, in part, was that its machinery for deciding the truth about the world broke down. Some science was discarded because it was created by Jews, and alternative ‘science’ such as Welteislehre, which held that the moon was made of ice, sprang up because its source was ideologically sound. In the war, this insanity gave the Germans a belief that nature and right were on their side and the resulting berserker-like confidence led to huge early gains. Later though the same beliefs led them to take a step too far: into Russia, where the disparity between belief and reality proved too great.

The Soviet Union too, as a state, had problems perceiving reality. Ideological arguments trumped scientific ones. Scientists were imprisoned and executed. This time the ‘science’ was called Lysenkoism. It denied genetics and prescribed various unscientific agricultural practices. The Soviet Union lost so many millions to famine for various reasons that I think it’s impossible to know how many should be blamed on Lysenkoism, or on the wider incompetence of the Soviet state.

I think there is a lesson to be learned from these terrible examples, that the state should be informed by (but not obedient to) scientists, and not the other way around. However, I’m afraid that since Hitler, our states and their populations have lost that ability when it comes to certain subjects, and are thus partially insane.
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Re: Not being able to understand un-PC opinions

Postby Elliott » 25 May 2014, 18:48

That's a very interesting and thought-provoking post, Tom, if you don't mind my saying so.
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Re: Not being able to understand un-PC opinions

Postby Mike » 25 May 2014, 20:52

One real straw in the wind in this area over the past few years has been gay marriage. I try not to enter conversations about it on the whole (and it doesn't really interest me as an issue anyway), but if you express the slightest doubt that it is unequivocally a Good Thing, you can face flabbergasted expressions within seconds.

I was heartened a bit, though, by a conversation at my nephew's birthday party a few weeks back: my brother (who's not really left-wing, but very metropolitan and trendy) was mouthing off about bigots who oppose gay marriage, and it irritated me to the point that I ventured the opinion that there were arguments against it. Naturally, he reacted as if I'd just said the moon was made of ice, but a friend of his, who's very inner-city-new-left, was prepared to give me a hearing and actually admitted afterwards that I might have had a point. So at least some of such people are prepared to enter a discussion about the various touchpaper issues.
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Re: Not being able to understand un-PC opinions

Postby Gavin » 25 May 2014, 21:24

Yes, a very high quality of posts here. I just wanted to add that I am actually enjoying flabbergasting people recently with putting the un-PC point of view - for example, pointing out that all of the countries we colonised are doing far better now that the ones we didn't. All of the arguments are readily accessible since we have considered so many here, and it is usually not difficult to reply to the liberals. They are stunned, but they cannot reply.

I can only do this with reasonable ones who have just not thought very much, I can't do it with the really obnoxious ones who simply start swearing.

I was speaking with a white South African who is a nice guy but does seem to be somewhat self-flagellating. He mentioned Apartied and I mentioned the white farmers murdered by blacks, which goes unreported in the news. This caused him almost to excuse those murders as he struggled to justify them. He also mentioned that South Africa is the most successful African country. I could not resist asking "Why do you think that is?". That was perhaps my most pointed remark and a clear reply was not forthcoming.

It has to be small steps, I've noticed. You can't hit people with too much at once - it is like breaking them out of the matrix. Sometimes they are well-meaning, they have just been brainwashed by the MSM against their actual common sense and experience.

This particular guy also said that there were very few Muslims in the UK, and that it was not a problem etc. Again it was easy for me to reply, first of all, that up to 20 schools are now under investigation suspected of extremism in Birmingham alone. As for percentages, I pointed out that Labour had admitted they lost control of our borders, so trust your eyes, not figures. I could have added that more than 30% of young Muslims apparently want Sharia law in the UK, that 50% of Muslim men are on the dole and 75% of Muslim women the same, and so many other points from this forum alone.

It is clear that reality is becoming undeniable for people now. The MSM are losing control of the "narrative", indeed they've all but lost it. The DT is becoming a laughing stock. UKIP are doing very well and the Front Nationale have just won a major victory in France. Great. Why can't the French have their country back? Why are they not entitled to the French language and culture in their own country? Again this is an argument we can easily deploy. I did indeed also mention to my liberal friend, when he raised the issue of percentages, that London is now minority white. He was surprised and questioned this, and I asked how Africans would feel if Cape Town was majority white. Again it is very hard for them to reply.

Tom mentioned Hitler earlier. As it happens, I am currently listening to Mein Kampf so that I can see what Hitler actually said in the book and build my own impression of him, first-hand as it were. I'm finding it to be an interesting listen, which will merit its own write-up later.

We seem to be entering a new phase in politics now. People are awaking from their slumber to see what is going on around them, just in time. They're just not believing what they're told any more, but rather what they're seeing. They're even having the confidence to state what they're seeing and to vote accordingly.
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Re: Not being able to understand un-PC opinions

Postby Yessica » 27 May 2014, 19:31

Thanks for your interesting opinions which gave me food for thought.
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Re: Not being able to understand un-PC opinions

Postby Yessica » 28 May 2014, 08:28

Mike, by the way, which are your arguments against gay marriage? It is a subject I have not given much thought before and I would like to hear people's opinions.
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Re: Not being able to understand un-PC opinions

Postby Jonathan » 28 May 2014, 12:43

Tom wrote:Yessica,
I think the phenomenon you observe is due to the reflex conflation of a whole set of opinions with wickedness. People have been trained somehow, when they hear about someone being in favour of eugenics, or expressing an opinion that might loosely be described as racist, to shut down their critical facilities and to think of that person as a bogeyman: full of malice and with evil motivations that it is fruitless to try to understand.


I favor an interpretation of this phenomenon in terms of social signalling. It goes something like this -

Social status on the Left depends first and foremost on the assumption that a person holds certain opinions about certain political questions. Much like a British upper-class man being expected to behave like a gentleman, or a medieval knight being brave and honorable.

So whenever a non-PC opinion is expressed, you must distance yourself from it utterly to maintain your status. Not only must you show that you disagree, you must show that you could never be suspected of agreeing. Doing this duty carries certain pleasures, naturally, as you get to publicly humiliate someone while earning admiration of bystanders.

The higher your status, the greater the offense you must take; and taking offense at things which no-one else perceived as offensive will increase your status. Hence such phenomena as taking offense at what strangers said in a private conversation which you overheard, and taking denouncing someone because you are capable of imagining someone else taking offense.

I saw a youtube video by a man who said that the word ‘racism’ is made deliberately vague so that people think that James Watson is the same as Adolf Hitler. I notice that the meaning ‘Paedophile’ too has been blurred to conflate men who act on their, presumably normal, desire for post-pubescent but legally inviolable children with those whose primary sexual attraction is to pre-pubescent children.


Yeah. Also 'Rape' is used to cover everything from bludgeoning girls in dark alleys and carrying them off in sacks to being seduced by a precocious teenager.

I wonder if the problem might have started with Hitler.


Let me venture a theory: the problem started with a reaction against antisemitism. That is, prior to WWII, many western intellectual circles were casually antisemitic. Once the horrors of the holocaust became public knowledge, it became socially necessary to distance oneself from those attitudes. This pattern of social distancing was repeated with other harmful ideas, and then became a habit, and eventually came to be used on perfectly reasonable ideas - even ideas which everyone took for granted 50 years ago.

We've seen this pattern before - for example, once gross expressions of racism became socially unacceptable, minor and trivial actions suddenly were perceived to be unacceptable racism. It's now passed the point where a failure to act is racist - we are now required to make certain racial distinctions in order not to be racist.

I should add that this theory makes sense to me, but that doesn't make it true - I do not have sufficient knowledge to confirm or refute it.

The horror of the actions of that state has caused people to stop looking Hitler in the eye, as it were, and seeing him for what he was, but instead to see the bogeyman: an incomprehensible monster – not human, not driven by a set of beliefs and desires, however twisted, but a creature of pure black evil.


Oh dear, you used the b-word in a derogatory sense, in accordance with its usage in the English language for thousands of years. I must now stop thinking about your ideas and start disparaging your character.

Ok, back to your ideas. I had a similar realization when reading Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. It struck me how strange it was to hear Hitler was being described as a man who is evil, rather than a symbol of that evil. It occurred to me that Shirer's opinion of him was first formed while he was just one politician amongst many. His description was sometimes intimate, often condescending, much like you or I might discuss a modern politician.

Once you stop thinking critically and start thinking magically like this, the magical thinking spreads. Like the cargo cultists, you don’t understand the roles of the various paraphernalia associated with a phenomenon, and suppose that somehow the presence of the paraphernalia will cause the phenomenon. Thus ideas that were in vogue in Hitler’s time, and which he pursued to the point of inhuman insanity have become anathema. They cannot be critically evaluated or considered lest we somehow create another Hitler: a demon made flesh to wreak havoc and slaughter on the world.


I agree with this, and I would extend this also to political actions, not just ideas. Consider Putin's behavior in Georgia and the Ukraine - to me it seems an eerie parallel to Hitler's Anschluss and remilitarization of the Rhineland. He's also just signed a Ribbentrop-Molotov pact with China. But if I suggest this parallel, I will usually be misunderstood as suggesting that Putin is as morally evil as Hitler, and is planning with the devil to conquer the world, commit genocide, etc. It is impossible to separate Hitler's actions in 1934 or 1938 with the moral opprobium he earned in 1945. Hence valuable lessons are lost - such as the idea that repeated successes against a prostrate EU and NATO will increase Putin's appetite.

However, I’m afraid that since Hitler, our states and their populations have lost that ability when it comes to certain subjects, and are thus partially insane.


Well, yes, but it's not necessarily a sign of impending doom, or a hopeless situation. All states and populations throughout history have always been blind on certain subjects. I recall reading an example about the battle of Omdurman (1898), where ranks upon ranks of Muslim soldiers were mowed down with machine guns. Military observers were unable to infer from their death how European soldiers would fare on the battlefield in a future European war - after all, they were just natives.
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Re: Not being able to understand un-PC opinions

Postby Mike » 04 Jun 2014, 11:18

Yessica wrote:Mike, by the way, which are your arguments against gay marriage? It is a subject I have not given much thought before and I would like to hear people's opinions.


I think in fairness I should list what are (in my view) the points for and against, because there are certainly reasons to consider it.

For:

1. There are certain privileges enjoyed under the law (in certain jurisdictions at least) by married couples which do not extend to the sort of civil unions that currently exist in countries like mine for gay couples. If such privileges are applicable to the couple and the couple alone, without regard to any children of the marriage, then they can be applied equally to a gay couple.

2. If the secular definition of marriage is seen primarily as simply the recognition of a lifelong attachment, there is no reason not to extend this to gay couples.

3. In my opinion the strongest argument of all, although it is never used: the institution of marriage carries with it an unspoken encouragement to maintain a union with another person despite temporary differences and difficulties, and extending the "franchise" of marriage to gay couples could provide such an incentive to work through problems which might otherwise result in separation. (I dealt at greater length with this argument here.)

Against:

1. Marriage as an institution is weakening everywhere in the western world (this is hardly news), and social pathologies have risen at least partly as a result (I think this is a fair comment, even if 99% of the world's academics would dismiss it as conservative panic-mongering). An extending of the definition of marriage is likely to dilute and weaken the institution further.

2. The institution of marriage, whatever its anthropological origin, is now associated very strongly in the public consciousness with having children. To extend the definition of marriage to gay couples may lead to a situation whereby such couples consider it a right to have children, despite the biological impossibility, and thus a loosening of the laws regarding surrogacy and adoption, which are both quite strict (at least in my country) for very good reasons.

Now, I don't consider these two arguments to be particularly strong, but...

3. The simplest and most obvious argument, from a conservative point of view. Marriage is a long-standing institution that belongs to society as a whole, and thus it is the populace at large, not a particular pressure-group or a political elite, that should decide on its definition. As with women's suffrage, as with the abolition of the death penalty, such changes are generally brought about when a broad cross-section of society starts to agitate for them; and that's the time for a referendum/plebiscite. The extreme shrillness of the campaign for gay marriage, here in Australia at least, suggests strongly to me that it does not enjoy much broad support beyond the inner-city areas. But I may be wrong.
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