This is a blog by Rod Dreher today, and it fits in with the Patrick Deneen thoughts: Ressentiment As Religion. Teaser quotes:
Driven by ressentiment, they seek to impose their own egalitarian ideology on history by tainting the achievements of those not like them. Never mind the fact that no society has been completely egalitarian, and that we will never know about the white men of scientific genius who spent their lives pushing a plow because rigid class inequalities, or other obstacles, prevented them from rising as far as their talents would take them. Once you go down that historical hole, you will never come out.
The pseudo-religious madness will not be stopped until those who recognize it for what it is put a stop to it. They will destroy every institution, until they are stopped. As Mitchell has clearly understood, the end game is not finding a more just way to live together amid our common human brokenness; it is about identifying and purging the body politic of the transgressors.
I followed your link and read Dreher's article.ReplyDelete
This situation brings to my mind a book I read when I was a Russian-language major in graduate school, in about 1975. The author was a Russian mathematician named Igor Shafarevich.
The book has been translated into English as The Socialist Phenomenon. The book made a big impression on my thinking.
Shafarevich studied socialist works and movements from ancient times to the present. He concluded that Socialism is a manifestation of a death wish, which is innate in every human being. The death wish has evolved so that people can act selflessly, can sacrifice themselves when necessary.
In a zealous socialist movement or society, this death wish becomes too pervasive -- becomes cancerous. Ultimately, the movement or society destroys itself.
Our society must deal with a strong movement that is socialistic, even nihilistic. This movement wants to destroy people who have been or still are creative and productive.
I'm probably repeating myself, the PC/SJW mantra: "Everything before yesterday is wrong."ReplyDelete
This is what allows the "cancel culture" movement to work. Tie something-anything to an "ism" (racism, sexism, colonialism, imperialism, et al.), or tag it as such (name-calling), and you're all set to erase history, heritage, folkways, culture, and banish people (statues, photos, memories) and their creations (music, literature, paintings) or achievements (science, medicine) as wrong (the wrong sort).
As regards identity and identity politics--I doubt it ever goes away. People are innately tribal, the world over.
When the US was predominately Anglo-European, that was probably as much diversity as could be reasonably handled while maintaining political and social comity. But that time has passed, and never returning.
"Purging the body politic of the transgressors" is an interesting concept. Who, exactly, are the transgressors? What are they transgressing? Who decides those two answers?
And I doubt any of this is as deep (intellectually, philosophically, cognitively) as Dreher or Joshua Mitchell make it out to be. It's all about power. If the prog-left PC/SJW brigades didn't have the power to do what they do--take down photos, statues, dictate diversity-demand conformity, impose reverse discrimination, retcon history--or if they were met with resistance, then the circumstances and public arrangements/accommodations would be different.
But the prog-left wields the power.
White heterosexual males are the transgressors. And especially Christian ones. Their social influence in the past is exactly what makes them transgressive in cultural marxist terms. Those terms are defined by those who are not transgressive and are aware of their ressentiment. Sound circular? Haha! That means your a transgressor trying to impose your power through logic!Delete