So a portion of the alt lite is now trying to police the use of transsexual pronouns. They are insisting that Blaire White, a biologically male YouTuber, be called "she" and be considered a woman.
Roaming Millennial, for instance, claimed that because Blaire White "passes perfectly as a woman" that she should be considered one. Rita Panahi is similarly insisting that Blaire White be called "she".
The situation, then, is that liberals assert something very radical, namely that our sex is not something biologically predetermined, but that you can have a male body and be a woman. The mainstream right, which builds support by claiming to be the opposition to the left, comes to embrace the leftist position and helps to entrench it.
And the question is why? In part, it's because much of the mainstream right, even the alt lite, is right liberal rather than a genuine alternative. But it goes further than this.
Liberals are believers. For them, liberalism is about building freedom and equality and justice and is leading humanity to its ultimate end point of moral perfection. They accept that all this might take time, but they do not like setbacks, and if they do ever lose, they just keep pushing back until they win. They are serious.
The right are players. They see themselves as being on "team right" as part of the political "game". They have "concerns" about aspects of leftism. But it doesn't run much deeper than this. If they are accused of not being nice, they will collapse their principles.
Is it not obvious why society moves leftward over time?
It doesn't have to be like this. The right should be something very different. The right-wing personality should not see politics as a game but as a defence of truth, of the good, and of a natural order of being that is the real source of an enduring moral community. When this is assaulted, then the right ought not only to match the tenacity of the left, but have an even greater determination to push back and to win.
Clarity matters, but so too does seriousness. Some of the leaders of the movement are players. They do not really know what they are defending and how significant the cause is. They will collapse all this in order to show themselves to be "nice" or "respectful" which only really proves how unserious they are. They cannot match the left when it comes to belief in what they stand for.
Clarity and seriousness are necessary to match it with the left and to hold to the same long-term political tenacity.
Good point. A belief that you are not biologically female or male and a desire to change that is insane. Such people are mad. It is no different to having a conviction that you are Shakespeare, or Queen Elizabeth 1, or a tree. These other mental problems would see you in the care of a psychiatrist. Why has this particular form of madness gained such a grip, not on the public, but on journalists and pontificators? Such episodes of mass delusion have been recorded in history and they don't lead to good ends.ReplyDelete
When I was in school I was subtly indoctrinated in a belief in progress, but this was not moral progress as you describe, but rather progress in the welfare of mankind -- in civilization itself. Today, perhaps only old-timers still believe in this. I use the term Right-progressivism to describe this set of beliefs although at one time these beliefs were considered left-wing.ReplyDelete
Today, progressivism is moral-progressivism as you are describing here. I'm pretty much opposed to this movement as I believe that it will result in the collapse of civilization.
Anyway, excellent post!
Robert, thank you.Delete
Roaming Millennial, for instance, claimed that because Blaire White "passes perfectly as a woman"ReplyDelete
This appears to suggest that many alt lite do not believe in any intrinsic nature or telos, but reduce reality to appearances, thus with a good plastic surgeon, the right drugs, and a professional makeup artist, a man can become a woman. They don't quite grasp that the reason we refuse to accept particular personal pronouns is not to be an "ass", but to defend truth. How many times have you been asked "what does it matter what pronoun some individual wants to be called?" Well, the simple and honest answer is because truth matters.
Kurt, that's very well put.Delete
Thank you. A somewhat related topic is this critique of the Alt Right. In short, it basically argues that the Alt Right reduces truth to the empirical thus rejecting anything normative, metaphysical or transcendent. This is to say that the Alt Right is simply a new face of positivism. I am interested in your thoughts on the matter. If your criticism of the alt lite is accurate and the Alt Right truly is positivist, then neither are really alternatives to modernity.Delete
One thing that struck me when the result of the same sex marriage vote was announced today, was how sincere my colleagues were in the happiness at the outcome. I had suspected most up to that point of merely being politically correct. But if you really have been inculcated with liberal principles which - unless you have a religion - have never been challenged, you really would think that an injustice was being redressed.ReplyDelete
I noticed the voting patters, the highest opposition was in the Sydney suburbs. As an American, I don't know your land's geography well, are these areas home to Third World immigrants?Delete
Tim, there are some western Sydney suburbs with high concentrations of Muslim immigrants. That's where the no vote was highest.Delete
In part, it's because much of the mainstream right, even the alt lite, is right liberalReplyDelete
So what exactly is the difference between the alt-lite and mainstream right-liberalism? Is there any difference at all?
It's an excellent question that has got me thinking. I do think there is a difference. Not in base philosophy but in how this philosophy is expressed. The older, boomer right-liberals were mostly content with the "society is an economy, let's focus on GDP" attitude. I'm not sure either that the alt-lite could be said to have a lazy "change = progress" attitude. It's an important question to consider, I'll try to get back to you on this.Delete
The alt-lite will occasionally dissent on foreign policy adventurism, but they don't directly challenge the neoconservatives when it matters.Delete
Roaming Millenial is a good example of what is termed a "thot", someone promoted mainly on their feminine sexual appeal. People willingly provide her with thousands per month via Patreon.ReplyDelete
Classical Liberals are not conservative. They need to do themselves, and us a favor, and use the correct label.
Tim, interesting. Even though a genuinely non-liberal politics has made progress in the past few years, it does strike me that the biggest numbers are going to the alt lite types. There's still much work to do.Delete
These discussions are irresistible. It's like rubber-necking at a crash on the highway. I know that I should pass quickly, but I slow to look, backing up the very traffic that I hate.ReplyDelete
Every night I awake in the audience at the theater of the absurd. I'm reviewing another surreal scene acted out on the stage. I puzzle over clear violations of common sense causal reasoning, and over the denials of reality that produce obviously illogical, fantastic and absurd behavior, involving increasingly bizarre expressions of pure nonsense. The play is forever sold out.
In the morning, I go about my business because nothing has actually changed in my life. If I avoid the theater district, where most actors sleep during the day, I'll be at work and none of this will matter to me. So, I don't actually need to something. It's not like it's real to me.