The weird thing about the left side of this country is that they think not only that they can but that they should regulate our speech, our beliefs and our thoughts.
I mean, I know we joke about the fact that they read 1984 and took it for an instruction manual, but it’s actually worse than that: they read 1984 and viewed that place as a desirable world. They thought it was working, and that it maximized human wealth and happiness. Or at least they thought someone — like perhaps the people who were in charge — were happy.
I mean look, let’s be absolutely clear: 1984 wouldn’t work, not the way it’s presented in the book. Sure, the book could work the way that it’s presented, but it’s a myopic and narrow view of things. You know d*mn well that if we were to actually live there, sure, there would be some people who stray over into opposition and are crushed, but you also know that there would be not just pockets of resistance managing just fine, but that vast sectors of the society would be working by free-market rules (known in authoritarian societies as the black market) and vast pockets of resistance and mockery of the dogma among the elites. In fact, the most likely thing, judging by the dictatorships of the twentieth century, is that the majority of the society would be in non-compliance or outright rebellion, and the part we saw was sort of the Potemkin village of Big Brother, the parts bureaucrats see that make them happy.
In fact, throughout history, it’s pretty much always that way with any kind of ruler who gets into the nitty gritty details of every day living, let alone what’s inside human heads. Because when it comes down to it, humans are really, really, really bad at obeying. Famous for it, really.
So why does the left think they can compel not just our actions — those are semi-possible to be regulated, but results are mixed. Look, almost every human society has forbidden murder and I don’t think a single one has been free from it — but our speech and our thoughts? And not even just “you can’t say this” but “you must say this.” As in, these days you are supposed to signal your belief in various leftist shibboleths, or you’re thrown off the liberal island.
As someone pointed out who witnessed an argument on facebook that started with someone demanding that someone write more books with women and gay characters ‘Even in supporting roles’ and was shocked when people laughed at her, a lot of the leftist complaints and answers are ritualized.
I.e. if I say “There isn’t enough diversity in science fiction” you’re supposed to agree and tell me that yep, all the main characters are white males, and only white males get prizes, no matter how ridiculous this contention has been for the last, oh, 40? 50? years (And it wasn’t ever ONLY white males, nor — no really — were the women in the closet. The women used pen names — for the same reasons a lot of men did — mostly because writing sf/f wasn’t respectable. Still isn’t some places. Which is why Margaret Atwood keeps insisting she doesn’t write it. (It’s sort of true. She doesn’t write contemporary SF/F. She writes truly bizarre fetish porn with pulp trappings.)) But it doesn’t matter how ridiculous the statement is, that’s what you’re supposed to say if you want to stay in the good graces of the left.
That’s of course before the pronoun mess that Jordan Peterson properly identified as “compelled speech.” And about a dozen other things, some of them completely ridiculous. For instance, does anyone understand why “Asian” is the right word and “Oriental” isn’t? Or why “Native American” is the right designation for Ameridians, when you know, we know for an absolute fact they came from elsewhere, and did not evolve on this continent? No? Why is people of color good but colored people bad? what is the semantic difference, precisely? Why must we call black people “African American” (even if they’re not in fact American, and/or their ancestors haven’t seen Africa for eight generations but white people are white? Even when they’re really not, but really dark tan? Is “black” something to be ashamed of? No? then why is it bad?
Look, I understand when this bullshit is in the name of an ideological point, no matter how brain-dead, but the above isn’t really. The above is in the name of making people jump when you say frog. There is no other reason, no other point, no other purpose to it, than to prove to themselves that they can make people do exactly as they want, on threat of social ostracism if they don’t.
And then there’s the agenda-points, the point at which they intend to change the language, because that will make it impossible for you to think bad thoughts.
This is how we get the erasure of gendered language.
Look authoress was always an abomination, because who cares what a writer even looks like. But actor vs. actress? You bet your toes that is different. They use their bodies as part of their work. You don’t express emotions the same way.
How about why is fireman a bad thing? Note I’m perfectly happy for there to be a firewoman too. Sure, firefighter fits both, but why does it need to? For how many years was it fireman? And policeman? And don’t say “that’s because there were only men.” It hasn’t been true in my entire life, but we used to say “police woman.” And if you think there is no difference in gender performance for both of those, you’re off your rocker. And you shouldn’t talk while the adults are talking. Because police women have both advantages and disadvantages over men. And frankly it takes more effort and bravery for a woman to perform that kind of work. So why do you think it advances her cause to erase her ans subsume her under “police officer” or “fire fighter?” She puts in more effort than the males. She deserves more recognition. She at least deserves recognition she exists.
But the left is convinced if they reeee enough to make us stop using gendered nouns the very concept of gender will vanish.
Which is is completely and utterly insane. Because reality doesn’t obey language. Language grows to accommodate experience. And you can’t stop it, either.
This is why liberals became leftists became progressives, like a restaurant with a bad rep. And let’s not start on things like “Janitor”. For some reason “cleaning person” was bad. I’m trying to remember what the latest word for it is. it’s so bizarre you have to think to recognize it. Or the various terms for deficient either physically or mentally. No matter how much you change the name the reality remains, and the reality is that these aren’t things generally considered good by society. So no matter how you change the name, people don’t think of it better, they just start considering the word bad.
So why do they think they can control our language, our speech, our thought?
Well, mostly because for decades we LET them. Because we understand that words don’t change reality but the other way around, we rolled our eyes and behaved in front of them.
We, in fact, erected a societal potemkin facade for the left, because then they would leave us alone.
Like a person married to someone who makes scenes in public over trivial stuff, we learned to avoid the scenes in public. Only to embolden the scene thrower and make him/her think it’s power.
But you cannot compel thought. You just can’t. You can twist it. You can make humans engage in double-think that taints their souls (and the scary thing is that this might be the aim of a lot of people doing this nonsense.) BUT you can’t actually control what other people think.
The only reason the left thinks they can — other than our enabling it for much too long. and “our” here stands for the adults, because some of us weren’t even born when this started — is because their view of the world, their mental pictures of life, dictated by their ideology, requires them to believe theirs is the way of the future and “scientific” and therefore, once exposed to it everyone will convert.
Of course, the fact they have to run around threatening penalties for wrong think means their paradigm has already been broken. And they’ve already lost.
But humans being what they are, this means they’re going to get louder and louder and more stompy-foot demanding and intransigent than ever.
Which I suppose means we should all make sure our eyes don’t roll all the way out.
Be not afraid. This is not going to end well — for the left — and some places are going to get uncomfortable.
But they are not at war with us. They are at war with reality.
Reality always wins.