I spent some time trying to think of a suitable opening sentence for this blog, but I am obviously not that creative, neither am I particularly imaginative. This is not a blog where you will be swept up in beautifully constructed narrative prose. No, I just write what I think. But what I can offer you is thinking that opposes the new and old political orthodoxies that dominate the West. That is why I write.
Since it’s a very vague term, I guess I should probably say what I mean by political orthodoxy. Firstly, I’m a Westerner and I write about the West. What I refer to the old political orthodoxy, is that of the conservative upright family values and business loving middle class. This was the politics that dominated for most of the 20th Century. What I describe as the new political orthodoxy is what emerged from the emancipatory movements of the 20th Century, from the movements for emancipation of women, racial minorities, people with disabilities, same-sex attracted people and most recently, transgender people. It is pro-abortion, politically correct, makes us aware of white privilege and the sins of the West, upholds human rights, seeks to represent the 99%, reminds us that black lives do matter, opposes all forms of discrimination… I think you know the politics I speak of. It is the politics adopted, to varying degrees, by pretty much every major political party and source of news.
The politicians of the old political orthodoxy, probably helped along by the media and their keen interest in social media, have quickly adapted to this new political orthodoxy, particularly on social issues. All but the most conservative politicians will now try to avoid saying anything politically incorrect. Companies will fire whoever they need to, in order to avoid looking like they are not taking a hard enough stance against sexism, racism, homophobia or transphobia. Fundamentally, this is the politics I support. But, over the past years I have grown disillusioned in how these politics are being played out.
So, here I have listed some of the things I hate about contemporary mainstream politics (particularly left-wing politics). Expect to read some rants about them in the near future.
- People are constantly outraged, triggered or offended for some reason. This became particularly obvious to me during and after the Trump Presidential campaign, where the hysteria and incredulous disbelief at things he said was maintained at ridiculous levels. I’m no fan of Trump, but seriously… do we really need to lose our shit about the 983rd inappropriate thing he has said this year?
- Behavior is heavily policed and enforced. Trial by Twitter is kind of how I imagine medieval witch hunts would have played out in modern times. If it looks like he/she is guilty, they must be fired and harassed. If it turns out they were innocent after all, “oops! oh well”.
- Among activists, the orthodoxy is strictly applied. I made the mistake once of writing a post in support of feminists in France who were protesting the treatment of a Muslim woman in Tunisia. I was promptly lectured on how naive I was for showing my support for these feminists. Didn’t I know that in France it was the Muslims who were the primary victims, so this campaign against Muslims mistreating women was essentially an extension of French imperialism. I had made the mistake of ignoring the hierarchy of oppression, where those who are more oppressed do not oppress those who are classed as being more fortunate.
- There is no willingness to deal with opposing viewpoints. What do we do with transsexuals who, after they have had their operations, are filled with regret and try to dissuade others from undergoing the operations? We ignore them!
- People don’t care about the truth! It seems that most people with a strong political agenda, be it left or right, don’t seem to care that they are lying or repeating lies. I see it all the time when someone on Facebook reposts “fake news” and they are called out on it, the reaction is almost always “my bad, but the point still stands though”. Next week, next ridiculously fake Facebook post share. The mass media is almost as bad.
- There is no clear goal for politics. There some basic questions the Left refuses to ask itself, like, “at what point should unions stop fighting for better working conditions?”. Activism targeted at “emancipating” marginalized groups (like women) compensates for any progress that society makes by increasing their demands, so that their perception of oppression stays the same.
- The simplification of politics. Mainstream politics sometimes sounds like the Orwellian refrain “two legs good, four legs bad”. This seems to be especially true for migration, which is either loved or despised, depending on who you talk to. Where is the political party with a nuanced stance on immigration, informed by evidence.