One of the advantages (eh) of growing up int he seventies in Europe, is that there are very few examples of bizarrely distorted thinking that doesn’t make me yawn and go “been there, done that. The stupid hasn’t changed.”
The fact that once or twice these last two years the idiots have managed to scare me tells you how bad it’s been. Now, mind you, the thought process was still not new, but the things they did with it were… well, if not new, more insane than I thought we could achieve after the peak of mass LSD usage.
One of the most bizarre pieces of pseudo “common knowledge” that my classmates, teachers and eventually professors kept repeating was “the extremes of political systems touch. Politics is a circle.”
Mostly they were using it for the cheap virtue signaling of “We’re moderate, and therefore we are correct.” It was what they used to justify their “mixed” economy, because you know, a bit of socialist sewage in the wine-barrel of freedom was absolutely necessary and made it mo’ better. Or something.
I never believed it, mostly because I have an inate ability to fixate on the things people don’t want me to see. And even America in the seventies, with the sh*tton of crazy and more than a drop or two of socialism, as “extreme” as my illustrious preceptors insisted it was, was nothing like the USSR. Their screaming about American oppression didn’t make it that, either.
So, you know, I almost failed economics by spending three pages explaining to the idiot teacher (he really was) in detail how an excess of individual liberty looks nothing like an excess of collective repression, with examples and quotes from Heinlein. The teacher didn’t refute a single one of my arguments, just gave me a C- and told me, sullenly, I was not nearly as smart as I thought he was. (And I barely scraped by because when he’d tried to fail me early on for pointing out that Marx was a mental midget who never understood distribution, Mom had come down with reference books to explain how I was right and if he didn’t change my grade to an A she’d explain it again. You’d have to known mom. So he calibrated this slap to just barely pass me, which I didn’t care about, since we had an exam that actually determined my change of going into college, and economics wasn’t on it.)
Anyway, they are completely and utterly wrong. The funny thing is, though, that I know what they’re seeing that caused them to say that. (Other than the innate need of Europeans whose goofy socialism was subsidized by American military spending to act like they were super important. They’re kind of like cats that way. “You clean my litterbox and feed me, so I must own you.” Only most of them are not as charming as cats. And keep pissing in our shoes, besides.) The even funnier thing is that they don’t see it.
So, I was thinking about how the left has gone from “free love” and “do your own thing” and “if it feels good, do it.” to “Reee, all copulation is violation; straight people should be forced to have sex with gay people; Muslim women are way freer, because by being forced to cover up they’re freed from the male gaze; we need the races segregated to prevent white supremacy oppression” etc etc etc.
You see, there is a …. ramp to permissiveness. Note I’m not saying liberty. Liberty is individually-regulated and comes with responsibility. For instance, if you’re allowed to drink as much as you want, but you’re punished for doing bad things while you’re drunk? That’s liberty. What it is not is permissiveness. Society at large isn’t saying “Oh, you poor widdle thing. You want to drink and drive/steal/act like an ass. We can’t stop you because that would be oppressive.”
The left routinely confuses “permissiveness” with “liberty” and “enabling” with “compassion.”
Most of us had absolutely no issues at any time with toleration of homosexuality, or even with some form of marriage (yes, yes, civil union. Look, where I come from “civil marriage” is the only legal marriage. The religious ceremony is extra and there’s no legality to it. To have it, you must first be legally married and show proof. (It’s also considered the real one by religious people. No argument there.) For the record, if I need to say it, I’m against forcing churches to perform any marriages against their doctrine and custom.) However, we draw the line at say suing bakers who won’t bake a cake for you.
We definitely draw the line at sex changes for toddlers, aka, let’s castrate/sterilize the baby. And we draw the line at “You’re homophobic/transphobic/oppressive for not wanting to have sex with person of x genitalia.” (Hey, it’s a game everyone can play. Some of my gay friends have been told their misogynistic for refusing to have sex with women. Because this is the stupidest time line.)
And let’s not start on people having their lives ruined because they used “the wrong pronoun.” To whom it may concern, no I won’t use your pronoun. You know why? Because when speaking about you, I’m not talking TO YOU. So to you I’ll say “Hey, you idiot with the pronoun listing, what’s wrong with your head that you think you can compel my speech.” When talking about you, otoh, I’ll say “That idiot who thinks he can compel my speech.” You might as well put your pronoun as “that idiot” and comply with truth in advertising laws.
No, stupid pronoun declarations and making people obey them is not “just good manners”. It’s actually the poorest of manners, making other people responsible for indulging you. It’s demanding NOT liberty but permissiveness.
In fact, all the idiocy we’re observing is permissiveness. It’s “Oh, poor things. Let’s not punish them.” and then suddenly it’s “Oh, poor things, have virtue because people like them were hurt in the past so we must all encourage them, indulge them and enable them.”
That way lies totalitarianism.
What? Stop looking at me that way. I said what I meant and I meant what I said.
You see, it’s impossible to indulge every micro-minority forever, and making everyone else responsible for making sure the individual is coddled and happy FOREVER! and in every little thing.
Sooner or later, it pushes to far, and suddenly the super-indulged “that idiots” find that society is perfect okay with them being repressed. In fact with them being more repressed than similar people in the past were repressed.
…. and that’s not good, and the society that results is also not good.
So before we go for a ride on the mobius strip, how about we try liberty instead of permissiveness.
I frankly couldn’t care less if you’re both a yellow, wingless dragon and an ornate building, provided you function in day to day society like a normal human being, you’re over 18, and you’re not making anyone else bow to you or tell you how ornate you are. If you choose to dress as a dragon in your own time and place, carry on. And if you spend hours online telling your friends about the crenelations on your soffit? I couldn’t care less. If we have something else in common, we might even be friends.
But whether your particular insanity is that you think society owes you a living so you can ‘work on your art’ or that we’re insufficiently respectful of your sexual attraction to snail-darters, or that we don’t respect your opinion that 2 + 2 should be 459, my answer is “Go be crazy on your own time and place.” You have a right to be as crazy as you want to. You have a right to say all the crazy stuff you want.
You do not have a right to make me pretend to agree with you.
I will not say what you want me to. I will not wear what you want me to. I will not pretend that whatever your latest insanity is is all true. And I will not shut up when you want me to.
I will be responsible for my own actions (which no, don’t include your unlawful reprisals. Those will be returned with interest) and I will not accept responsibility for your actions.
Individual liberty and self-ownership but not one inch of mollycoddling and kowtowing.
American. Do you even speak it? Because I do!
And you need to. Before we loop de loop into totalitarian oppression.