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WilliamWDelaney
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21 Mar 2012, 10:13 am

I seem to keep running into people who seem to have such strong PC views that they actually set off my "fundie" alarms, which is worrying. No good can ever come of fundamentalism.

I was wondering if it was just me being crabby, but then I mentioned some of my concerns to a friend of mine, who is a rabid feminist with fairly PC views herself. Well, she reported to me a recent incidence of being called a trans-phobe for not being wedded quite enough to the idea that "gender is only an identity," and I have decided that it's definitely not just me. It didn't matter that she only thought that transsexualism was due to differences in brain morphology, not denying that it exists: the fact that she didn't thoroughly swallow the whole idea that every aspect of gender is "only self-identification" meant, to some people, that she was a raging trans-phobe. To these people, suddenly she might as well have been a bonehead right-wing conservative with a third-grade education. I know first-hand that this is bull crap because we're both about as gender-queer as hell.

Some people out there seem to be clinging so militantly to certain PC ideas that they are prepared to attack and deride anyone who critiques those ideas on any level at all. It's so black-and-white to these people that, if you don't dance to their tune, you must be one of the bad guys, and that's the only way they can see it. I am wary of anything being treated like a religion, and I despise anything that becomes a fundamentalist religion. Fundamentalism is a disease.

Let's discuss some other aspects of the PC religion that some people take to annoying excess:

1) "The West is an imperialist power and the source of everything evil."

Really? Lately, I've been reading on the history of the Silk Road, and my understanding is that, while the Romans were building their little "empire" in their Mediterranean backwater, the Han Dynasty was busy building themselves into the most important mercantile power in history, period. The Chinese were powerful before Rome was cool, and they are and always have been just as power-hungry as any Western power ever thought of being. China's importance today as a mercantile power is not something that just suddenly happened in a few decades. The wars between the Greeks and the Persians were an irrelevant fringe skirmish amid the rise of this colossus, just for an idea of how pathetically small-minded the Western concept of history is.

And, to those who think that misogyny and sexist oppression originated in Western thought, you never read the Analects. Confucianism, which the Chinese had no difficulty coming up with on their own, is literally the most sexist religion in history. Women were not just second-class citizens in ancient China, but they were a consumer product. The West did not have to invent misogyny. This cultural disease can happen anywhere, including remote island cultures like Fiji, where women are still fighting for basic rights, and Samoa, which, although more humanitarian-minded, has always been male-dominated. It actually does seem to be naturally occuring, kind of like gonnorhea.

The point is, these cultures did not need the Great White West to invent this for them. They happen to be thoroughly capable of screwing up their culture without our help. They are not these "pristine," sinless cultures that PC idiots close their eyes and pretend they are. Unfortunately, there are problems in our culture that are not the result of invention or a symptom of industrialization, but social ills like institutionalized misogyny happen to be a natural phenomenon in human culture.

However, if you try to tell this to a PC fundamentalist, you automatically become one of those evil, Western imperialists, and they will tell you plainly that you are "ignorant," even though you just gave them a thousand-dollar lecture on human history. It doesn't matter! Since you don't tow the line, you don't get credit for having beyond a third grade education, with these cretins. I keep running into this, and it pisses me.

It's still ethnocentrism if you demonize the culture that you have put at the center of the universe.

2) "The State of Israel is oppressing the Palestinians"

Really? I know where this mindset comes from. The assumption is that, since Israel is getting along pretty well and the Palestinians are living at the brink of poverty, the State of Israel must be doing so great, in such a hostile terraine, because they are exploiting the Palestinians! Therefore, we could make everything right and equal just by knocking the State of Israel down a few pegs! Yay! Let's all talk crap about Israel now! After all, there is no possible way those miserable Jews could be doing better than the Palestinians unless they are doing evil Jewish things, right?

There are two sides to this story. However, if you aren't sufficiently up in arms against the State of Israel, any PC fundamentalist will brand you an "ignorant racist" without bothering for a minute to consider whether your views might actually come from having a little background on the issue. The PC fundamentalist cannot comprehend the idea that there is a universe, in human thought, outside of "ignorant Christian fundamentalists who think that all Muslims are terrorists and only listen to Pat Robertson" and "enlightened PC liberals who realize that the Muslims are really an advanced and enlightened culture that the evil West has been destroying with 'cultural imperialism' and McDonald's." The PC fundamentalist cannot comprehend the idea that the real picture is a lot more complicated than that.

Hello, but neither the Jews nor the Palestinians are stupid nor inherently wicked. If they had a simple solution to the tangle, they would have applied it decades ago. The issues involved are complicated, both legally and politically. There are a lot of strong emotions over specific sites or specific districts and how they ought to be used. Nobody on either side can so much as cough without offending somebody's family heritage somehow, and there are enough hideous legal entanglements that, if every high school graduate in China were to go to law school this year, they could live well on it for years. The sad thing is, the black-and-white polarization over this issue keeps people from realizing how much of a sick tragedy the whole conflict is.

You don't know everything just because you read an article in al Jazeera.

3) "Atkins died fat. This proves that Atkins was wrong, and veganism is the way."

PC fundamentalists and especially advocates of veganism like to make the gloat, "Atkins died fat." Has anyone else heard this bull crap claim? The insinuation was that Dr. Atkins' moderate-protein, ultra-high-fat diet caused Dr. Atkins to become morbidly obese and die of heart disease, and vegan activists like to use this as an example of how evil and harmful it is to put meat in our bodies. The same claim is also parroted by PC fundamentalists everywhere.

Source for below: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/200 ... ents_x.htm

his widow wrote:
New York, NY, February 10, 2004—Today's Wall Street Journal ran a story on the health of Dr. Robert Atkins and grossly distorted and inaccurately reported information that Dr. Atkins was obese at the time of his death. In fact, up until the time he became comatose and lay in the hospital for two weeks. Dr. Atkins' average weight was actually 60 pounds less than reported in the Journal. The newspaper article was based on incomplete personal medical records that were illegally delivered to the newspaper in violation of federal law, coming from a known group of Vegan and animal rights extremists.

Dr. Atkins' weight was consistently and frequently documented in the years and months prior to his fall; as he was suffering from cardiomyopathy, his health was monitored closely. Due to water retention, this robust 6-foot plus man, who competitively played tennis frequently during the week, had a weight that varied between 180 and 195. During his coma, as he deteriorated and his major organs failed, fluid retention and bloating dramatically distorted his body and left him at 258 pounds at the time of his death, a documented weight gain of over 60 pounds. How and why the Journal reported that he was obese, remains the only unanswered question in this pathetic situation.


PC fundamentalists and vegan activists love to tout the claim that Atkins died at a weight of 258 pounds, using this as a justification for their beliefs. You have been lied to. However, these kinds of lies are scattered all over vegan ideology. It's not just this, but it's PC fundamentalism in general that is the problem.

Lying for Jesus and lying for Bambi constitute the same evil.

4) "All evil is capitalism, and all good is socialism."

At one time, this was the cornerstone of PC ideology, and it remains a page in the book for the PC fundamentalist. The thing is, this false dichotomy puts me in a very unpleasant position because I get heat from "libertarians" on one flank, and I get heat from PC fundamentalists on the other flank. Has it ever struck you that having a down-to-earth, common-sense view on something virtually guarantees that extremists and lunatics of all kinds will hate you?

My own view, which is not shared by everybody, is that too much disparity in wealth tends to detract from the reward system that is inherent in capitalism. Because wealth is measured by most people as a matter of degree, it doesn't matter if you can go from being a pauper to being a relatively affluent pauper within your lifetime if you are still a pauper all the same. Therefore, I think that systems like the progressive tax and so forth can serve to keep our money-making capitalist system chugging, but that's just my opinion. However, my opinions actually are based on a more educated outlook than most people think of having.

On the other hand, the PC fundamentalist seems to have this concept that the poor are automatically virtuous because they are poor. Nope: some people are poor because they are inveterate white trash. Some people are wealthy because they actually did come up with an innovative idea, or they chose to live frugally when the money wasn't coming in. The existence of wealth is not always a case of "greedy rich people" hoarding all of the wealth and keeping it away from the "poor people." It actually does pay off sometimes just to be an amiable, decent person and do a full day's work, thankfully.

However, if you contradict the PC ideology in the least, the PC fundamentalist, in his or her demented black-and-white outlook, jumps straight to the conclusion that you observe the classic Calvinist belief that all wealth is the reward for having lived a good life (except in those cases where someone cut a deal with Satan, and they don't count). There is no middle-ground, no third-way. You either march lockstep with their views, or you are "one of the bad guys."

To the PC fundamentalists, the slightest suggestion that any poor person anywhere is poor as a result of actually being an idiot, it must mean that you are one of those evil, over-privileged rich people who look down their noses at the poor in general and regard them as "lesser people." The PC fundie will tell you that you are "sheltered" and "ignorant," and there is no way you could possibly comprehend the "suffering" of the poor people. To the PC fundie, if you don't see it their way, you have lived your whole life in a gated community and never taken a look at the outside world. They really believe this. The PC fundie really is this ignorant.

The opposite of a bad idea is often just another bad idea, and the "middle-ground" between them is even crappier.

5) "Black people are poor because of White Man's oppression."

I am actually intimately familiar with Southern white racism. I understand it at an in-depth level. I honestly don't have any illusions about the issue. I am fully aware of the fact that, if a black person were to scream at a security guard, he would be beaten, handcuffed and hauled to the local coop. I am fully aware that the average black person doesn't have wealthy family members to beg for money when he suddenly has a need for a root canal, and I doubt that a black person would get off with some time in rehab after breaking into somebody's house for crap to sell off for drug money, not just due to a lack of wealthy family willing to pay for a good lawyer.

However, one thing that I keep running into with PC fundamentalists is the belief that racism on the part of white people is the only cause of continuing poverty levels among black people in the USA. If black people are poor entirely because of racial discrimination anywhere, it's in France, which is home to the most bigoted, racist and backward population on the face of the Earth, where they still blame autism on "refrigerator mothers." The PC fundie's brain is too small to comprehend the idea that "black culture sucks" does not have the same meaning as "the black man should serve the white man because the black race is inferior to the white race."

Thank GOD there are a lot of community organizers out there who are working their butts off to reform the zeitgeist in black culture. There are people out there working to create a more positive, community-oriented mindset. It's individuals like this who might save the world. The reason you don't hear about these people when "race" or "civil rights" is the topic is that they do it in the name of fighting poverty in general, and they don't think that poverty has a color.

You shouldn't blame all suffering on external causes.

6) "The absence of women in engineering fields is entirely due to an artificial 'glass ceiling'."

You know, there are a lot of alternatives to this outlook. The PC fundamentalist will jump right down your throat if you contradict it one bit, though. There is no more certain method of igniting the self-righteous, holier-than-thou ire of a PC fundamentalist than questioning the truth that "all inequality is created by misogynistic men."

Isn't it very well possible that a plentitude of women are simply not interested in the subject matter? Let's set aside ability, here. Engineering is hardly a macho field, but it nevertheless fails to attract very many women. Now, women who do choose to become engineers generally do decently enough. However, before they can progress in this field, they have to make the decision to pursue a career in it.

It's not some male conspiracy that is doing this. This goes back to choices that young women are making back at the high school level:

http://web.mit.edu/wi/home2.shtml

article wrote:
Studies have also attempted to trace this disparity back to the high school level. Although male and female high school students do not differ significantly in the science courses they take, male students are much more likely than female students to take physics classes -- advanced physics classes in particular. According to the Dean of Admissions at MIT2, many math and science magnet high schools have roughly equal enrollment by gender. Most of the women from these schools, however, choose not to study math and science fields in college. Instead, they pursue courses of study in liberal arts, medicine, and law.


Hello, but this is not a matter of ability, but it is a matter of behavioral tendency. There is nothing per force keeping young women out of these fields. Nobody orders them to become doctors or lawyers rather than physicists. They make these choices on their own. They do not need someone to make these choices for them. Women are perfectly capable of choosing their own destiny, and they are apparently not all that inclined to become scientists or engineers, or at least they weren't back in the 1990s. That may have changed.

Personally, I think there are naturalistic reasons behind this. There are some very interesting things that testosterone and estrogen do in the brain, and there are certain genes that are activated by the paternal X-chromosome. It's really a fun subject to study. Although there is a high level of individual variability, it seems that there actually is a biological relationship between behavior and gender.

However, if you bring up these ideas with a PC fundie, you are automatically a card-carrying member of the Patriarchy. You can't point out these kinds of ideas without some retarded PC fundie telling you that you are a knuckle-dragging, backward-looking, misogynistic male who thinks that women ought to be chained to a stove and kept "barefoot and pregnant." Oh, and it's automatically assumed that you are straight. It is so black-and-white to these cretins, anyone who utters a word of contradiction of the idea that ALL gender inequality, in all walks of life, is something evil that has been done to women by power-hungry men, you are one of the bad guys.

Some disparity is because of the choices people make, which is their right.

7) "Everything that is man-made is bad. Everything that is 'natural' is good."

Excuse me? Okay, if you believe this, then how about I pick you some deadly nightshade berries and feed you a bowlful, so I can watch you die of stupid. I understand that those little berries are sweet-tasting and delicious, so dig right in. Just because something is "natural" doesn't mean that it's automatically wholesome and good-for-you. Just because it's man-made doesn't mean it's bad for you.

Image

THIS is a natural banana. It is not made for feeding your face. It is made for feeding seeds. The things that you buy on the produce aisle are heavily cultivated for YOUR use. There is almost nothing that you buy on the produce aisle that has not been the product of human intervention, and just about all of it has some gene-splicing in its heritage.

Unfortunately, the PC fundie seems to have this belief that all man-made things are evil, and they like to paint these images of us being overrun by mutant tomatoes. They try to demonize the pharmaceutical industry in general, and they adhere to this belief that you can't trust anything that didn't "come from nature."

It's one thing to express some concerns about under-regulation of pest-resistant crops or overuse of antibiotics in livestock. It's true that mineral exploitation can only go but so far. It's something else altogether to behave as if something being "organic" automatically means it's better for your health or the environment than a crop that was grown using modern techniques.

It is not all that hard to grow a lot of your own food, actually. You can make your own compost in the back yard, and you can grow plants in either raised gardens or in pots. If you dry or can your produce, it can last you through the Winter. I can attest to all of that first-hand. Also, it's not too hard to raise your own chickens. If you have enough heavily vegetated land, you can keep a small herd of goats without a problem and slaughter your own mutton. Stuff like this is nice to do if you have the land and the time for it. Some of it doesn't take more time out of your day than recycling your newspapers.

Unfortunately, this belief that "natural" means "good for you" leads to a lot of pseudoscience. Something "coming from nature" doesn't give it some magical spiritual purity. It just doesn't. You can't tell this to the PC fundie, though, because they see a shadowy corporate figure behind everything that is man-made, and they have this paranoid fantasy that there is something inherently evil about a product that a large company has control over. Therefore, they cannot be reasoned with.

Magical thinking is a sign that you are suffering from a mental illness.

-

Therefore, let me give a quick run-down of my conclusions, here:

1) It's still ethnocentrism if you demonize the culture that you have put at the center of the universe.

2) You don't know everything just because you read an article in al Jazeera.

3) Lying for Jesus and lying for Bambi constitute the same evil.

4) The opposite of a bad idea is often just another bad idea, and the "middle-ground" between them is even crappier.

5) You shouldn't blame all suffering on external causes.

6) Some disparity is because of the choices people make, which is their right.

7) Magical thinking is a sign that you are suffering from a mental illness.

However, it's not "PC" thought in general that is the problem. You can observe all of these beliefs in a sensible fashion, and I wouldn't say it's necessarily a bad thing. The problem is when belief degenerates into religion and ultimately into fundamentalism. If you cling so devoutly to a belief system as to blind you to reason, there is a problem. When you assume that anyone who doesn't believe as you do is somehow "uneducated" or "ignorant," it is you who has a problem, and it is you who is ignorant.

Furthermore, something has gone horribly wrong in your thinking when you have started basing your priorities on whatever the "bad guy," in your universe, seems to be most adverse to. When a politician decides he ought to pursue tax-cuts entirely because his apponent across the aisle is waving his hands in panic and pointing to graphs, saying it would be insane, he might as well have himself lobotomized because he'd probably get better use out of his brain.

In conclusion, fundamentalism is what happens when someone approaches a belief system of any kind with such a black-and-white mindset. The "shades of gray" theory is what I call the "shades of false compromise." The root of the problem is not where you stand on a particular spectrum. What goes wrong is when you shut down your investigative processes and put up your defenses whenever your beliefs are challenged. What goes wrong is when you dismiss the individual worth or qualifications of someone who disagrees with you, for no other reason than that that person disagrees with you. You cannot have a worthwhile conversation without the presence of trust.

And the reason I'm not very nice to people I see in this dysfunctional mindset is that it's really stupid to try to play "touch" when the other guy is playing "tackle."

Anyway, I have someone here who has been convalescing from a quad tendon rip from a couple of weeks back, and that's going to keep me occupied for several more weeks, since this sort of injury makes a person very dependent for a while. I am not going to waste that time arguing the with the usual crop of ninnies who come to disparage these kinds of posts. I managed to get a lot of stuff off my mind, and that's really all I intended to do anyway.

Peace



Oodain
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21 Mar 2012, 10:26 am

brilliant post, long but brilliant.

nutrition is a prime area where people think in pure fallacies.


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21 Mar 2012, 10:53 am

It's one of those hilarious things where you're supposed to be tolerant (accepting in their mind) of everything except the things that really bother you. Ironically enough the "tolerant" wing is shockingly intolerant when it comes to people who disagree with them.



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21 Mar 2012, 10:57 am

:lol:

I agree with the sentiment entirely ( and I'm a PC liberal eco leftie) but disagree with some of the details.


/Goes back to watching PC defence of Islam crash and burn.



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21 Mar 2012, 11:07 am

"These people disagree with me because they like PC"

"They like PC and they disagree with me ergo they are fundies!"

Edit: I agree with some of the points, but I don't have any idea what most of this has to do with political correctness or fundamentalism.


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LunaticOnTheGrass
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21 Mar 2012, 11:41 am

I'm not sure if I missed this somewhere in the text or not (admittedly, I skimmed) but does "PC" mean "Postcolonial"?



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21 Mar 2012, 11:49 am

LunaticOnTheGrass wrote:
I'm not sure if I missed this somewhere in the text or not (admittedly, I skimmed) but does "PC" mean "Postcolonial"?


It means "politically correct" it's a set of principles that boil down to "You are not allowed to say anything that may offend someone else". In essence PC is a violation of freedom of expression.



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21 Mar 2012, 12:19 pm

Vexcalibur wrote:
Edit: I agree with some of the points, but I don't have any idea what most of this has to do with political correctness or fundamentalism.
Political correctness is a manifestation of conflict theory, which is why they frame just about everything in terms of the "oppressors" and the "oppressed". This paradigm is a sacred cow and if you disagree with it, you support oppression. Taken to the extreme, you have a deadly combination which is a politically correct fundamentalist.

Anyways, great f*****g post WWD, I agree 100% and couldn't have put it better myself. Very well thought out and it addresses specific issues. I really hate vague horseshit so I dig detail big time.



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21 Mar 2012, 2:00 pm

Blah blah, sounds like just another right-wing rant to me. While the term "political correctness" has been in the lexicon for some time, it didn't come into common usage until the conservative media began pushing it in the 1990s, with the specific purpose of trivializing & dismissing the concerns of the left. They would have us believe that the greatest threat to free speech comes from lefties on college campuses, that Christians are a persecuted & underprivileged sect, & that climate science is a grand leftist conspiracy. Absurd. It's just sad that so many people have bought it.



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21 Mar 2012, 3:27 pm

If AoS post is correct that this is what was meant, yeah.

I have to repeat

"These people disagree with me because they like PC"

"They like PC and they disagree with me ergo they are fundies!"

This post is long nonsensical BS.


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22 Mar 2012, 12:16 am

Billybones wrote:
Blah blah, sounds like just another right-wing rant to me.

If it's a right-wing rant, it isn't very typical. He's not terribly complimentary to religion and calls fundamentalism a 'disease'. He mentions having a friend who is "a rabid feminist with fairly PC views". In his conclusions he makes certain to note that PC thought is not the problem.

What it sounds like to me is a left-wing rant against left-wing crazy people, not a rant against the left at all.

Quote:
While the term "political correctness" has been in the lexicon for some time, it didn't come into common usage until the conservative media began pushing it in the 1990s, with the specific purpose of trivializing & dismissing the concerns of the left.

That isn't particularly dissimilar to the way the left uses "faux news" and "fundies" as boogeymen.

WilliamWDelaney wrote:
And the reason I'm not very nice to people I see in this dysfunctional mindset is that it's really stupid to try to play "touch" when the other guy is playing "tackle."

This is the only thing I have any significant problem with (although there are a couple of nits I could pick if I wanted). Unlike tackle football, there is no physical danger, just words being exchanged. If you can keep your composure and play fair even though the other guy isn't, other people will be able to see that you don't need to play dirty to make your point.

Overall, I thought it was an excellent post that said something well worth saying.


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22 Mar 2012, 12:48 am

How dare you tell me my personal computer is a fundamentalist! How dare you!



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22 Mar 2012, 1:21 am

The danger of political correctness is that taken to the extreme, it is an attempt at diversity and equality at any cost. PC is essentially a fundamentalist form of postmodernism in which anything that doesn't subscribe to the viewpoint that all moral standards are equally valid, because there is no absolute truth, is invalid. Except of course, the absolute truth there is no absolute truth.

So Scientology gets equal respect to say, the Quakers in a PC society, despite the fact Scientology is a pyramid scheme disguised as a religion while the Quakers are largely responsible for the rights we have today.



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22 Mar 2012, 7:17 am

I think you are attacking either strawmen or trolls. You can't trust the view of an internet post. People who post on the internet religiously are often odd to begin with. You can't trust people in the media either. Same holds true for them. The only people you can really trust is those who stay silent and you don't know their points of view to begin with for the very fact tha tthey are silent.



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22 Mar 2012, 8:15 am

I always find it suspicious when people tell these stories about stupid people they know who sound exactly like strawmen in rightwing talking points. I don't really believe that these people exist. It's just that you aren't good at listening to them when they are trying to explain what they believe.