Monday, December 13, 2021

Down with Feelings; Up with Facts

Dare we say that it took the most radical of traumas to produce this aftereffect, but it did. Famed British writer, Julie Burchill, who is largely unknown outside of certain circles in this country, lost an adult son to suicide.

It rendered her depressed, dysfunctional and laid up for weeks. Then she came to realize that nothing worse would ever happen to her, so, it was time to stay calm and carry on. It’s the British way. And it runs directly counter to the therapy culture injunction, to get in touch with your feelings, to feel your feelings, and to emote them all over the kitchen table.

So, Burchill threw off her emotional shackles and decided that facts were more important. Since we live in a culture that judges everything by whether or not it hurt someone’s feelings, this is a seriously helpful piece of advice. The notion that people should be shut up and shut down because something they said makes you feel uncomfortable is a cultural aberration, of the worst kind. It is more despotic than most despotisms.

Anyway, a few words from Burchill today:

The thing is, I prefer being this way. I used to think, growing up, that a life was only fully lived if one was a slave to one’s emotions. But though I’d never argue for a life without feelings, I do feel that far too much stress is now placed on heart over head.

On a political level, our whole culture is being ruined by those who prize feelings over facts. It’s not just silly to say that living a life led by emotions is unconditionally healthy, it’s actually sinister. Men are showing their feelings when they attack their wives. Children show their feelings when they bully weaker children. Parents with a tendency towards sadism show their feelings when they torture and murder a helpless child.

Of course, she is right, and worth emphasizing. When a man beats his wife, he is expressing his feelings. When children bully other children, they are expressing their feelings. And so on. The Pied Pipers of emotion never mention that emotion is not a universal balm that is going to make it all better. And empathy, as I and Paul Bloom have often pointed out, can make you into a pure sadist. If you feel empathy for someone who is being assaulted or harassed, you might feel as they feel and want to retaliate.

Of course, the emotion mongers out there never bring up this point. They are appealing to the good angels of your nature, because they want to control your mind.

Burchill closes:

As I say in my book, Welcome To The Woke Trials, I believe that we are leaving behind the world the Enlightenment built and reverting back to the dark ages of magical thinking, when women were routinely tormented as TERFS – sorry, burned as witches – if their independence offended gangs of weak men made bold by their numbers.

So, we are back in the world of witch hunts and inquisitions. But you knew that already.

In truth, it’s so flagrant that the left leaning French government has sent up alarm flares about the dangers of American woke culture.

The Wall Street Journal reports this morning:

Prominent French politicians and intellectuals say that the country faces a growing threat: U.S.-style activist movements that are foisting American multiculturalism and gender politics onto France.

In recent months, President Emmanuel Macron, government ministers and other high-profile figures have said that activism on a range of issues—from gender-neutral language to condemnation of French historical figures for racism and sexism—is threatening to cleave the republic along the lines of race, religion, gender and sexual orientation.

Woke Americans are being consumed by the righteousness of their cause. If they open their eyes they will see that the rest of the world considers their thinking to be a cultural contagion, best avoided.

1 comment:

Sam L. said...

I am not "woke" and I have no interest in "woke-ism". But then, I'm old, and rather set in my ways.