Monday, August 3, 2020

Virtue Goes Clinically Insane

How bad is it out there? Really, really bad, if you will. Alas, I have just read a column by Lance Morrow. He distinguishes himself by being about as pessimistic as I am about the current state of America. He compares it to the McCarthy Era, but concludes that today’s cancel culture is effectively worse.

He describes it as “virtue gone clinically insane.” And hysterical. While the psycho world no longer calls people hysterics, it has replaced it with histrionic personality disorder. Which is about the same thing.

The country’s myriad cancelers emit the odor not of sanctity but of sanctimony, and of something more ominous: the whiff of a society decomposing.

What’s happening on the American left—with surreal rapidity, like the fall of France in 1940—is sinister. Wokeness and the cancel culture represent not idealism but virtue gone clinically insane. Look up the word hysteria: “a psychological disorder whose symptoms include . . . shallow, volatile emotions, and overdramatic or attention-seeking behavior.”

Woke young people are living in a dream. They have detached from reality because they do not know enough to deal with reality. They have received an appallingly bad education and they only know how to destroy what others have built.

Morrow continues:

The indignant woke, who imagine themselves to be righteously awake and laying the foundations for a more just and humane world, ought to pause—to draw back for a moment, and consider the possibility that they are, as it were, fast asleep, caught up in strange, agitated dreams: that they have become a mass joined in a cult of self-righteousness, moral vanity and privilege. One of these days, they will have to be deprogrammed and led back to the real world. Woke institutions will need to be fumigated.

Today's woke youth have two principle obsessions: race and sex. They do not understand that sex differences are one of the basis organizing principles for society. And they do not understand that America has been trying for half a century now to engineer a color blind society. How is that working out?

The woke are especially obsessed with two areas—sex and race. In their dream, nature’s basic working arrangement—sex, male and female, the business of procreation that ensures the survival of the species—dissolves in a frolicsome alphabet soup of identities; human meaning works itself out not in the mind, not in thought or art, but in the territory that lies south of the navel, in restless genital experiments. Men become women on their own say-so, and may bear children, if they choose: Death to the one who denies it! Even pronouns have become narcissistically discretionary.

The media has devoted itself to promulgating a big lie-- namely, that the protests have been largely peaceful, except when they were not.

As for race: In the eyes of the woke—and in most media accounts—this summer’s eruptions (protests, demonstrations, riots, precinct-house occupations, and the “summer of love” in Seattle’s “occupied protest”) have been “overwhelmingly peaceful.” It’s not really true, but the woke are addicted to the meme of their own harmlessness, and so they will it into truth. Destruction, in fact, has been extensive—and inexcusable. Those hardest hit have been residents and shopkeepers in black and other minority neighborhoods that are left in the wreckage after those who did the damage—among them many white anarchists and antifa people—have gone back to their parents’ basements.

What do we need? How about: adult authority. Yes, I know, the American left and the American right are up in arms against authority. One wonders whether they are willing to measure the cost of disrespect in the fact that the looters and rioters are engaged in flagrantly disrespectful assaults on the authority of the police, on civil authority. And do they care that children in our school system no longer respect the authority of their teachers, and thus cannot learn?

What can be done? The gravest casualty of the 1960s was adult authority, which vanished from the land around the time of 1968’s Tet Offensive. Ronald Reagan provided an apparition of authority for a while, but then Bill Clinton, frisking with an intern, restored the adolescent model. The best remedy for the cancel culture would be resistance by strong adult leaders—university presidents, newspaper publishers, heads of corporations and so on—capable of standing up to Twitter. But the odds are against such a miracle. The woke, like hyenas, hunt in packs, and those in authority are craven.

How’s that for bleak?


urbane legend said...

The second law of thermodynamics applies to societies as well as thermodynamic systems. Without the continual input of energy, that is, without the continuous maintenance of authority in a society, that society collapses. As we are seeing today, this is exactly what is happening.

One wonders whether they are willing to measure the cost of disrespect in the fact that the looters and rioters are engaged in flagrantly disrespectful assaults on the authority of the police, on civil authority.

Is there still a silent majority tiring of this nonsense, and at some point soon deciding to stop it? We hope so.

Sam L. said...

Thar be IDIOTS out thar! In LARGE numbers

Giordano Bruno said...

Virtue? This was never virtue, not at the inception and not now. All leftist social justice is weakness disguised as virtue. But it is just weakness. Weakness cannot be a virtue. Strength is a virtue and mercy can be a virtue, but all weakness ever amounts to is just lying to oneself.

The whole impulse to go through life to "right wrongs" and "fix society" should be questioned, all the way down. People so inclined are usually pathological. Not saying there is no real impulse to Justice, but this ain't that.

Anonymous said...

Virt├╣ as theorized by Niccol├▓ Machiavelli; Obama still seems to be a true believer in it.

LordSomber said...

I'm blue in the face repeating this, but in a world of rotting media, academia and culture, the parents are the last line of defense.

And they're as busy playing with their phones as their kids are.

Giordano Bruno said...

LordSomber, and sportsball, yeah! Sportsball!