Monday, April 18, 2016

The advanced liberal college mindset - astonishing!

I want to thank reader Clark Coleman for sending me a link to a video made by the Family Policy Institute of Washington.

The video shows young American college students being interviewed on the topic of identity. These students have been brought up on the liberal principle that the highest good is a freedom to self-define who we are and that what defines morality is therefore our willingness to accept others defining themselves as they wish.

This, taken logically, leads to some extraordinary moments in the video in which students refuse to challenge the most absurd claims about identity:

David French at National Review summed up the mentality reasonably well:
Essentially the new morality is “you do you — so long as it doesn’t hurt me or someone else in a way that I immediately recognize.” The new immorality is any act of “intolerance” that purports to interfere with this radical autonomy.

That's well put, except that this moral principle isn't really new - it is the same liberal principle that has been driving social developments in the West for generations now.

The principle is not really respectful of identity. If anyone can choose to be a woman, then how is being a woman meaningful? It is significant only as an expression of choice, and the choice is arbitrary as the same person could equally choose to be a man or something else altogether.

Nor can you really uphold communal identities according to this mindset. The attitude of "you do you - so long as it doesn't hurt me" is radically individualistic. It is about me the individual choice making individual, rather than the group I am connected to through a real, objective set of attributes.

You can also see why transsexualism is the soup de jour. There is no way that Westerners with this mindset are going to object to a man identifying as a woman. Such Westerners are going to agree to all the demands of the transsexual movement.

Finally, I'd like to reiterate the basic truth that ideas have consequences. It can be difficult for some people to grasp the hold that ideas have on intellectual types. The most important thing of all is not even the culture war, as important as that is. It is not even the use of emotion to sway political debates. It is rather the establishment of first principles. It is the answer to questions such as "What makes a man good?" Or "What are the aims of human life?" Or "What is the good that human societies should seek?"


  1. If these people are so radically individualistic, why are they so determined that everybody must possess an identical mindset to theirs?

    It is best not to attempt to answer such a question, because to do so is to lend credence to their insanity. We cannot choose our own "identity", whatever that really is. We are what we are created and our only choices are in what we choose to think or not and in what we choose to do or not.

    1. If these people are so radically individualistic, why are they so determined that everybody must possess an identical mindset to theirs?

      People who genuinely want to be radically individualistic are a tiny tiny minority. They're such a tiny minority as to be statistically insignificant. Most people desperately want to belong to a group and they understand that the best way to belong to a group is to conform. The urge to conform is the strongest of all human instincts.

      Those who talk most loudly about radical individualism are usually those with the strongest drive to conform. They talk about radical individualism because it's a means of identifying themselves with their chosen group and proving their absolute loyalty and conformity. They don't actually understand the concept and if they did come to understand it they'd be reduced to terrified gibbering wrecks.

      A great example is tattoos. Most young people will tell you they get tattoos to express their individualism. Utter nonsense. Tattoos are, and always have been, used as a means of identifying membership of a group. Whether you're an Amazonian tribesman, a sailor, a Marine or an urban hipster a tattoo is a badge of conformity.

    2. Mr. Doom

      Excellent comment!

      Mark Moncrieff
      Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future

  2. When people accept evolution as the perceived reality of human origin, then they believe that man is a highly evolved animal whose descendants were monkeys. With that belief firmly entrenched and supported with pseudo science then the logical outcome of that ideology is that people will start to behave like animals with little thought for the metaphysical. History and philosophy and even truth are unimportant and even troublesome. Perceived reality is reduced to instinct and emotion.

    Man accordingly becomes a prisoner of his instincts and emotions which dominate and control him. He is thus deprived of freewill and in many ways less free than the ancestral monkeys from whom he believes he is descended.

    One can see this everyday in the progressive dehuminisation of many people who in actual fact lack the self control of animals. The gross obesity increasingly common in the West is an unprecedented phenomenon and perhaps the most glaringly obvious example man's loss of belief in himself as a human. There are now many people who literally eat themselves to death.
    This insatiable greed and lack of control is unprecedented in animals.

    When man is dehumanised he develops aggressive destructive impulses against himself but abject passivity towards the outer world. Does one ever see an obese man fight, compete or think of anything else except his own satisfaction? The medical slang for such people is "beached whales" ie lumps of blubber who cannot remain afloat and function in the sea. It is entirely appropriate for most of liberal humans who have turned the normal human aggressive impulses inwardly to their own self destruction as a people.

  3. It's interesting too how often the video has been watched. When I posted on Monday it had about 500,000 views, now it's over 1,000,000. There's an audience there for well presented commentary on these issues.

  4. I think you have to ask yourself to what extent these college students actually believe this nonsense. In the video I sense a definite anxiety there, as if they're desperately trying to think of the correct approved answers.

    1. It reminds me of the way that liberals have to negotiate personal relationships. On the one hand, one's sex isn't supposed to matter, but to make a relationship work you have to know how it matters. It becomes a test of social aptitude - knowing when to genuflect to socially approved attitudes and knowing when and how to make unprincipled exceptions.

      Having said that, I do think some of the students have found a way to live with the principle that we can self-define for ourselves who we are and accept others doing the same. I got the sense that for a few of them this was the life principle they were going with and that they got their warm and fuzzies from thinking of themselves as good people by following the rule.

    2. I think some of them are True Believers. I think others manage to go along with it and believe it by being very careful never to examine their beliefs too closely because there's a part of them that suspects that asking themselves real questions might trigger major cognitive dissonance.

      The essence of doublethink is never to take the risk of thinking things through. They know that men and women are absolutely identical and interchangeable and that gender is just a social construct. They know from their encounters with reality that the differences between men and women are profound and obvious. There's no way to reconcile these two ideas so they simply shut down their minds.

      You can see the mental struggle going on in their minds in that video. Lots of nervous laughter.

      If they ever find themselves in a situation where they encounter lots of people who don't believe this liberal nonsense their liberal beliefs will start to fade. Eventually reality will triumph. Of course our whole society is now structured in such as way as to make sure that young people never ever encounter lots of people who question these crazy liberal beliefs.