Sunday, October 15, 2023

We've Seen the True Nature of the Progressive Movement

Moderate Democrats have been shocked by progressive reaction to the Hamas attack. That’s good! It’s like the shock moderate Republicans felt upon first hearing Trump’s pussy grabbing recording. Don’t chalk it up as some irrelevant edge case. No, this is your kids. This is mainstream academia. This is UCLA. This is a lot of people who constitute a movement that has surely previously tripped your spidey sense, even if only subconsciously.

Extremism is the problem. People lose their damned minds, and their humanity, out of adherence to rigid, simple-minded, tribally-amplified convictions (it’s yet another ugly consequence of frozen perspective).
Suggested listening: 30 short minutes of David Frum's rational eloquence, specifically re: massive Canadian support for Hamas, and that government's dilemma as to what to do about it.

A few years ago I wrote a series of posts about the essential barbarism lurking beneath the Left's sanctimonious dehumanization of those deemed morally deficient (a bar which lowers by the week as new definitions of righteous behavior endlessly issue from whatever authority comes up with this stuff).
"Cancel culture" is a snarky catchphrase skating the surface of the issue. I prefer not to traffic in mindless catchphrases and superficiality.
To me, the proposition has always been clear: if you reject our doctrine, you can crawl up and die.
Of course, they'd take great umbrage at the term "doctrine". Their views and mores aren't mere "doctrine", they're bedrock truth to be accepted and espoused by anyone fit to be deemed human.

That's how the indoctrinated perennially view their doctrine. Remember the "Moral Majority", back in the 1970s? That same high-handed, mouthy, prescriptive sanctimony has simply flipped to the other side of the horseshoe.
If, for example, the mob gets some asshole fired for perceived misbehavior, and the question arises as to how that person is supposed to feed his/her family without income, the response from a stalwart warrior for social justice would be this: "There are genuine problems in the world to concern ourselves with. I refuse to waste a millisecond sympathizing with MONSTERS."

They mean it. They have always meant it. Conservatives have understood this all along; that they've been invited to crawl up and die. Literally, not figuratively. The only group that doesn't see this clearly is moderate liberals, who persist in interpreting it figuratively, not literally.

Just as moderate Republicans still can't recognize that the mouthy, awful extremists on their side mean what they're saying (it's not just goofily performative hot air), moderate Democrats have remained blind to the reality of progressive extremists.

But as of this week, such blindness no longer stands. We have crossed a line.
We celebrate Hamas' assertive action of liberation, and approve of its barbarity because we refuse to spend a millisecond sympathizing with MONSTERS. The Israelis, who've usurped the autonomy of a victimized group, can crawl up and die. Being inhuman, they do not merit existence.
It's literal. I always said it was literal. And conservatives knew it was literal (that’s why they hate you). Do you now see that it's literal?
If you missed it, here's my take on motivation for the Hamas attack)
At last, it's explicit. Those outcast by the mercurial cleansing instincts of a righteously indignant mob are fit for slaughter (goodness, that sounded melodramatic, but tell me how I'm wrong in the wake of widespread celebration of infant decapitation?). Literal slaughter is cool. "Crawl up and die" is not metaphoric. Never has been. It's classic dehumanization - by one of the most flamboyantly humanistic movements, ever.

Moderately liberal Slog readers have questioned my Centrist both-sides-ism over the years. After all, MAGA conservatives, and their enablers, are racist thugs trying to plunge the country into autocracy. What equivalent sins have liberals committed?

Now you have it. Don't close your eyes. To remain willfully blind at this juncture is to choose the path of moderate Republicans, who hand-wave atrocity as mere noise, viewing reprehensible credos as harmlessly figurative, not dangerously literal.

When people tell you who they are, believe them.

In terms of this specific instance, I'll observe that what we're seeing is not, largely, anti-Semitic in intent (though it certainly is in consequence, including consequences we've not yet begun to witness). Rather, this is all the logical culmination of higher-level doctrine - stupid arguments, simplistic assumptions, and bits of pseudo-intellectual trendiness, all stirred with a heady dose of sanctimonious vanity. For those who buy into the doctrine, the "take" is inevitable.

Making it 100% about anti-Semitism represents more of the same wrong-headedness. Don't be deferential to Jews because we're historically victimized. Rather, try to think clearly and respect complexity and summon some degree of human mercy even for those you reflexively deem MONSTERS (also: try to suppress that compulsive reflex, which is the same one behind racism, sexism, and all the other intolerances you profess to be super extra staunchly opposed to).

Greetings from sunny Portugal, by the way, where I wish you good luck being caged up with dueling hordes of overheated shameless anti-democratic imbeciles (in this case, America, not Israel).

Here, fwiw, is how to gently open a doorway for potential escape without going overboard. I wrote it just a year ago, but things have deteriorated further and faster than I'd expected. You don't need to be Nostradamus to see where it's headed.


Anonymous said...

This is gaslighting. Some particular progressives feel that way, but definitely not me. God you are insufferably smug dude. Get a grip. Reframe your fucking self. Jesus how can you write this stuff.

Jim Leff said...

The more significant question is: how can you read it? There are a trillion web pages, you know.

OTOH, if you dislike the phenomena I'm describing, it sounds like we agree on everything but the term "progressive". And, first, that doesn't seem to deserve such an ejaculation of raw contempt, and, second, why not just substitute "mmmfmmmfmp" for the word Progressive, and see if you like it much better, or, alternatively, stop calling yourself a progressive because you don't want to play on the same team as these cretins (you know, exactly the way you'd insist moderate Republicans dissociate themselves from MAGAs).

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