The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Welcome to ‘Bizarre Hell-World’

Posted on | September 21, 2019 | Comments Off on Welcome to ‘Bizarre Hell-World’

Headline by Ed Driscoll at Instapundit:


You know, I’ve never forgiven Sully for his anti-Palin obsession, which reeked of gay misogyny and Harvard-educated anti-populist resentment, and the reason I’ve never forgiven him is because he’s never asked for forgiveness. Sully has never attempted to explain why he incited the “Trig Truther” mobs with their obstetric speculations. Even if he were offering such an explanation as a defense of his actions, trying to justify and rationalize his hateful unprofessionalism, I might be inclined to consider his explanation seriously, but he’s never done it. The controversy is now more than a decade old, and Sullivan has simply walked away from it as if nothing happened, apparently expecting everyone to forget it.

Back in the day — during G.W. Bush’s first term — Sully was considered an ally by most conservatives, and why he went berserk in 2008 is something he has never really explained. He attached himself to the very worst elements of the online “progressive” mob and lost all sense of perspective, a remarkable career meltdown for a man who once was editor of The New Republic back in the day when TNR was important. Sully seems to have regained his equilibrium, but his Trig Truther past cannot be forgotten by those of us old enough to remember it.

At any rate, what causes Driscoll to describe Sully as a “voice of sanity” is a column (quoted by John Sexton at Hot Air) in which Sully bemoans the weird identity politics curriculum in New York City schools:

Children, in other words, are being taught to think constantly about race, and to feel guilty if they are the wrong one. And, of course, if they resist, that merely proves the point. A boy who doesn’t think he is personally responsible for racism is merely reflecting “white fragility” which is a function of “white supremacy.” QED. No one seems to have thought through the implications of telling white boys that their core identity is their “whiteness,” or worried that indoctrinating kids into white identity might lead quite a few to, yes, become “white identitarians” of the far right. . . .
One of the key aspects about social-justice theory is that it’s completely unfalsifiable (as well as unreadable); it’s a closed circle that refers only to itself and its own categories. . . . The forces involved — “white supremacy,” “patriarchy,” “heterosexism” — are all invisible to the naked eye, like the Holy Spirit. Their philosophical origins — an attempt by structuralist French philosophers to rescue what was left of Marxism in the 1960s and 1970s — are generally obscured in any practical context. Like religion, you cannot prove any of its doctrines empirically, but children are being forced into believing them anyway.

Wow, that’s so dead on-target it’s like a GPS-guided missile. First, the white guilt-trip approach to teaching about race is a spectacularly bad idea, and its consequences will likely be catastrophic. Parents who think they can trust the public education system are fools. Second, yes, current “progressive” ideology originated with French philosophers (e.g., Michel Foucault) attempting to create a unifying belief system for the Left in a world where the bankruptcy of Marxism had become blindingly apparent.

I’ve written about Judith Butler as an important force in mainstreaming this postmodernist gibberish among “Third Wave” feminists. If you take the time to examine Butler’s key sources — Foucault, Monique Wittig, Gayle Rubin, et al. — you recognize that she was relying on ideas from the extremist fringe of academic intellectuals. Foucault was a madman, obsessed with interpreting everything in terms of power, and the fact that he did so with the skillful articulation of a philosophy professor does not make his madness less self-evident. When you then add that Foucault signed a petition advocating that France abolish the age of consent, you have reason to suspect his motives quite generally.

Let me add something: The age of consent in France is 15.

It is one thing, obviously, to criticize a witch-hunt climate such as prevailed in the 1980s (e.g., McMartin Preschool), where hysterical fears inspire false accusations and unjust prosecution. It is another thing entirely to argue, as Foucault did at some length in 1978, that it is wrong to expect adults to refrain from having sex with 14-year-olds.

While delivering a quick jab at French philosophers as the actual authors of 21st-century identity politics, Sullivan recommends Douglas Murray’s new book, The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity, and the summary indicates this to be a worthwhile read:

In his devastating new book The Madness of Crowds, Douglas Murray examines the twenty-first century’s most divisive issues: sexuality, gender, technology and race. He reveals the astonishing new culture wars playing out in our workplaces, universities, schools and homes in the names of social justice, identity politics and intersectionality.
We are living through a postmodern era in which the grand narratives of religion and political ideology have collapsed. In their place have emerged a crusading desire to right perceived wrongs and a weaponization of identity, both accelerated by the new forms of social and news media. Narrow sets of interests now dominate the agenda as society becomes more and more tribal–and, as Murray shows, the casualties are mounting.
Readers of all political persuasions cannot afford to ignore Murray’s masterfully argued and fiercely provocative book, in which he seeks to inject some sense into the discussion around this generation’s most complicated issues. He ends with an impassioned call for free speech, shared common values and sanity in an age of mass hysteria.

Click here to buy it from Amazon.



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