“When the media points out the idiocies of Sarah Palin, Bachmann, and Perry, it isn’t to discredit them—a maneuver that overt would be distasteful to intelligent media; Pailinizing them sends a more subtle but powerful message: anyone who agrees with these nuts is a nut. The point is not to doubt them, the point is to doubt yourself, nudging you closer to center (i.e. leftward.) That’s how you win an ideological battle.”—The Last Psychiatrist
The classical liberal John Stuart Mill believed that the law could only punish the direct incitement to a crime. In his example, when agitators claimed that corn dealers starved the poor, the state had no right to silence them. Only if the agitators said the same to an angry mob gathered outside a corn dealer’s home could the police move in. Mill does not say that the law should punish the incitement of hatred against corn dealers. Even if their critics made their neighbours despise them as rapacious capitalists, even if the criticism was unfair and caused them financial harm, corn dealers could not go to court.
How many liberals believe in Mill’s liberalism today? Most reject his tolerant injunctions because they want to defend the social revolution of the late 20th century. They are opposed to racism, homophobia and misogyny for good reason, and know that the struggles against them extend human freedom. Whereas Mill would only allow the police to arrest a demagogue causing direct harm by whipping up a mob outside a mosque or a gay bar, they want to regulate writing and speech which does not directly cause crime in the name of a greater good. To use the phrase of the philosopher Joel Feinberg, they have replaced Mill’s “harm principle” with an “offence principle”, which holds that societies are allowed to punish speech that people find exceptionally offensive.
Leave aside if you can the sensible objection that the offence principle justifies the censoring of political debates — for do not many politically committed people find the views of their opponents “exceptionally offensive”? — and instead look at the boomerang that has whirled back through the air to smack the children of the 1960s in the face. They knew that racists, homophobes and misogynists were bad people with terrible ideas, and too few worried about the ground they were conceding when they accepted excessive restrictions on free speech. They ought to know better now.
“Whether those who take part know it or not, this process of brainwashing by repetition of manifest absurdities is a sinister and deadly weapon. In the end, it renders the majority, who are marked down to be the victims of violence or revolution or tyrranny, incapable of self-defence by depriving them of their wits and convincing them that what they thought was right is wrong.”—Enoch Powell
I worked at a Southern California psychiatric facility where I had hands-on experience taking care of victims of traumas. I worked with veterans, rape and domestic abuse victims, and others who were victimized by violence.
I’ve personally witnessed triggers in several different people. I’ve seen hysterical crying, vomiting, sweating, panting, and people have flashbacks of traumatic experiences. You know what the doctor’s advice to them was? To stay away from things that cause triggers in order to protect themselves.
If you’re honestly triggered by the things that you said you were, then you’ve got a real problem and need immediate help. The first thing to do would be to log off and see to it that you’ll be taken care of. It’s unhealthy and even dangerous to keep exposing yourselves to things that trigger you.
A lot of you claim to be triggered by mere mentions of certain subject matters, yet go on to your blog and repeatedly post about them. If you’re repeatedly mentioning the things that trigger you, then I’m not surprised when other people don’t take you seriously.
Triggers are real, but they’re completely different from things that you simply dislike or are bothered by. I’m not surprised when people say that they have a hard time believing the trigger warnings post. Just track it for 15 minutes and you’ll find a bunch of people pretending to have legitimate medical problems; it trivializes the very real, very painful, very dangerous triggering episodes that trauma victims must live with and need professional help for.
You make the shrewd observation of how political correctness engenders evil because of “the violence that it does to people’s souls by forcing them to say or imply what they do not believe, but must not question.” Can you talk about this a bit?
Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.
Some of this commitment talk sounds sweet, and some of it, like “committed, interdependent partnerships between consenting adults,” sounds more like a real estate transaction than a marriage. But for Mr. Blankenhorn, these definitions miss the point. He is amused, for instance, at their neo-Victorian avoidance of any mention of sex. Similarly, these definitions dodge any mention of children and parenthood. They emphasize marriage as private and too diverse (“unique”) to be pinned down.
On the contrary, Mr. Blankenhorn writes, marriage is a “social institution,” a set of shared understandings and public meanings that shape expectations and conduct. Marriage has evolved and, yes, may be “constantly evolving”; here Mr. Blankenhorn moves through biology, prehistory, history and anthropology, from ancient Mesopotamia to the Trobriand Islands. But marriage fundamentally involves sexual intercourse and the affiliation — emotionally, practically and legally — between any child created and both parents.
“If this book had a subtitle,” Mr. Blankenhorn writes, “it would be ‘An Argument About Institutions.’ ” He captures his ideas of marriage as an institution with a quotation from a wedding sermon that the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer sent to a young couple from his Nazi prison cell. Bonhoeffer, soon to be executed for his role in a plot against Hitler, wrote, “It is not your love that sustains the marriage, but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love.”
Despite the grim economy, Gov. Jerry Brown is asking Californians to approve a $7 billion tax hike. Without it, he recently wrote, the state “will have no choice but to make deeper and more damaging cuts to schools.” Taxpayers are thus left to weigh the potential benefits of spending an extra $7 billion, largely on public schools, against the damage that higher taxes do to employment and economic growth. When they do so, they will be surprised to learn how little they have gotten for previous increases in public school spending. …
Californians spent $27 billion more on public schooling in 2010 than they did when Jerry Brown was elected to his first term as governor in 1974. That’s after taking both inflation and rising enrollment into account. Given that a $27 billion increase was accompanied by worse academic performance, the merits of a multibillion-dollar increase are, at best, questionable.