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Where does political correctness go wrong

bigfield

the baby-eater
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edit: BTW, in Sweden we have the last 10 years had a neo-fascist revival. The fascist party (Sverigedemokraterna) is the second biggest political party now. This is clearly a reaction to the extreme and intolerant form of Wokeness in Sweden. 15 years ago they were seen as a joke party. Extremists. They were founded by ex Swedish volonteers to the Nazi SS in WW2. It's the second biggest party. It's no joke now. The woke intolerance led to a death of debate, which led to anti-intellectualism which led to people being attracted to idiotic right wing rhetoric for stupid reasons. I think the connection between extreme Woke -> neo-fascism is pretty clear. It's easy to connect the dots.

This is digressing from the thread topic, but there's a different, more plausible explanation for the rise of far-right populists in several Western countries. After all, this is not a phenomenon that's limited to Sweden.

If you look back at the last few decades, there's a pattern in Western politics: countries have tended to elect either centre-right or centre-left governments, which have taken more-or-less the same liberal approach to governing. Where possible, they have privatised services or cut spending on services and projects, while simultaneously reducing their tax revenues. Some countries have also weakened industrial relations (labour) laws. Governments have also been extremely lax about dealing with housing affordability and a lack of employment opportunities. The middle class is shrinking instead of growing.

When you put these things together, they represent a broken promise. Governments have failed to govern for the sake of their people; instead they've governed for the benefit of corporate donors. They've deliberately avoided full employment, deliberately starved the systems that make people's lives easier, and failed to change the way markets operate when those markets no longer deliver value to people. Modern laissez-faire governance is a bad deal for the average worker.

Far right parties have been able to capitalise on the disillusionment of voters by presenting an alternative narrative: life is getting harder because immigrants are taking all of the jobs and burdening the government's welfare system; life is getting harder because the government is preoccupied with identity politics, and they don't care about the problems of straight white men who were born in this country. The rise of anti-intellectualism among populist politicians is calculated to strike a contrast between them and the out-of-touch establishment, whether that be the politicians who govern for the rich or pundits who propose radical legal changes for the benefits of minorities or the environment.

My main problem with your theory is the idea that the far right's surge is caused by woke intolerance and the death of debate. The intolerance you describe is caused by some of the same things that have stimulated right wing populism. That is, a lack of social progress. Jobs and houses are harder to get, and on top of that, racial and gender disadvantage persists. It's understandable that people might choose to take the gloves off in other for fight for their interests and express their discontent, whether that means harassment, boycotts or riots.

Besides, I think the importance of debate is overstated. Before social media, people didn't debate; they were largely passive consumers of mass media. Debate was largely limited to mainstream politicians on TV, or intellectual writing an intellectual audience. Social media has failed to deliver a forum for civilised debate among laypeople, which is a pity, but it's not necessarily a sign of decline. It has, however, produced a new medium on which people can feel victimised because of their expressed views.
 

DrZoidberg

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edit: BTW, in Sweden we have the last 10 years had a neo-fascist revival. The fascist party (Sverigedemokraterna) is the second biggest political party now. This is clearly a reaction to the extreme and intolerant form of Wokeness in Sweden. 15 years ago they were seen as a joke party. Extremists. They were founded by ex Swedish volonteers to the Nazi SS in WW2. It's the second biggest party. It's no joke now. The woke intolerance led to a death of debate, which led to anti-intellectualism which led to people being attracted to idiotic right wing rhetoric for stupid reasons. I think the connection between extreme Woke -> neo-fascism is pretty clear. It's easy to connect the dots.

This is digressing from the thread topic, but there's a different, more plausible explanation for the rise of far-right populists in several Western countries. After all, this is not a phenomenon that's limited to Sweden.

If you look back at the last few decades, there's a pattern in Western politics: countries have tended to elect either centre-right or centre-left governments, which have taken more-or-less the same liberal approach to governing. Where possible, they have privatised services or cut spending on services and projects, while simultaneously reducing their tax revenues. Some countries have also weakened industrial relations (labour) laws. Governments have also been extremely lax about dealing with housing affordability and a lack of employment opportunities. The middle class is shrinking instead of growing.

When you put these things together, they represent a broken promise. Governments have failed to govern for the sake of their people; instead they've governed for the benefit of corporate donors. They've deliberately avoided full employment, deliberately starved the systems that make people's lives easier, and failed to change the way markets operate when those markets no longer deliver value to people. Modern laissez-faire governance is a bad deal for the average worker.

Far right parties have been able to capitalise on the disillusionment of voters by presenting an alternative narrative: life is getting harder because immigrants are taking all of the jobs and burdening the government's welfare system; life is getting harder because the government is preoccupied with identity politics, and they don't care about the problems of straight white men who were born in this country. The rise of anti-intellectualism among populist politicians is calculated to strike a contrast between them and the out-of-touch establishment, whether that be the politicians who govern for the rich or pundits who propose radical legal changes for the benefits of minorities or the environment.

My main problem with your theory is the idea that the far right's surge is caused by woke intolerance and the death of debate. The intolerance you describe is caused by some of the same things that have stimulated right wing populism. That is, a lack of social progress. Jobs and houses are harder to get, and on top of that, racial and gender disadvantage persists. It's understandable that people might choose to take the gloves off in other for fight for their interests and express their discontent, whether that means harassment, boycotts or riots.

Besides, I think the importance of debate is overstated. Before social media, people didn't debate; they were largely passive consumers of mass media. Debate was largely limited to mainstream politicians on TV, or intellectual writing an intellectual audience. Social media has failed to deliver a forum for civilised debate among laypeople, which is a pity, but it's not necessarily a sign of decline. It has, however, produced a new medium on which people can feel victimised because of their expressed views.

The bolded only applies to USA. Not Europe. We have a far right surge also in Europe. We need a better explanation.

I agree that the rise of far right has deeper causes. But the anti-intellectual woke movement lowers the resilience against the rise of the far right.

In Europe we've had a development since the 1980'ies where robots and computers to an increasing extent is simplifying our lives and removing a lot of non-skilled, administrative and service jobs. The engineering world has only an ever greater shortage of staff. The Corona crisis didn't do a dent in the market for programmers. That's what's happening. The world is richer now than it was in the 1970'ies. And not by a little bit. The difference is extreme, across the board. And this causes social movements.

Socially it's similar to what happened when we went from an agrarian society to an industrial society. All the old rules for employment and living went out the window. All those farm workers were forced into the cities to join the industrial workforce. Last time we all had to switch lifestyles we got Nazism in Germany, fascism in Italy, Communism in Russia, and China as well as a rise in extreme evangelical Christianity. Parellels have been made to what is happening in the Middle-East and their rise in religious extremism.

But there's a major difference between then and now. Unless you're educatable, there is no place for you on the jobs market. Without a university degree, you're fucked today. In USA where universities aren't government funded that means poor people get trapped in poverty. Making this effect more extreme. But even in Europe with our subsidised (or free higher studies) we're still hurting. The country boys and gals have no place in the modern world. These are the people who become alt-right. They can't get jobs, and they can't get laid.

An unemployed single man in some backwater, who sees no hope for himself, sees the newsmedia mostly reporting about rape where the ethnicity is left out and reads about high status men they admire lose their jobs because they flirted with the wrong assistant and hysterical young feminists are applauded for demonstrating about pronouns. No shit that guy feels left out of the party and is frustrated that he can't do anything. Turns to the fascists to do something about all the immigrants raping our women and taking our jobs while living off welfare.

Do you agree with this description of what is going on?
 

bigfield

the baby-eater
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yeah nah
The bolded only applies to USA. Not Europe. We have a far right surge also in Europe. We need a better explanation.

I agree that the rise of far right has deeper causes. But the anti-intellectual woke movement lowers the resilience against the rise of the far right.

In Europe we've had a development since the 1980'ies where robots and computers to an increasing extent is simplifying our lives and removing a lot of non-skilled, administrative and service jobs. The engineering world has only an ever greater shortage of staff. The Corona crisis didn't do a dent in the market for programmers. That's what's happening. The world is richer now than it was in the 1970'ies. And not by a little bit. The difference is extreme, across the board. And this causes social movements.

Socially it's similar to what happened when we went from an agrarian society to an industrial society. All the old rules for employment and living went out the window. All those farm workers were forced into the cities to join the industrial workforce. Last time we all had to switch lifestyles we got Nazism in Germany, fascism in Italy, Communism in Russia, and China as well as a rise in extreme evangelical Christianity. Parellels have been made to what is happening in the Middle-East and their rise in religious extremism.

But there's a major difference between then and now. Unless you're educatable, there is no place for you on the jobs market. Without a university degree, you're fucked today. In USA where universities aren't government funded that means poor people get trapped in poverty. Making this effect more extreme. But even in Europe with our subsidised (or free higher studies) we're still hurting. The country boys and gals have no place in the modern world. These are the people who become alt-right. They can't get jobs, and they can't get laid.

An unemployed single man in some backwater, who sees no hope for himself, sees the newsmedia mostly reporting about rape where the ethnicity is left out and reads about high status men they admire lose their jobs because they flirted with the wrong assistant and hysterical young feminists are applauded for demonstrating about pronouns. No shit that guy feels left out of the party and is frustrated that he can't do anything. Turns to the fascists to do something about all the immigrants raping our women and taking our jobs while living off welfare.

Do you agree with this description of what is going on?

I don't agree with the characterisation of the "woke" movement as anti-intellectual. Even if calling "woke" is a snarl, it still suggests that the subject is conscious of social problems, and that's something that intellectuals tend to do better than anyone. And woke people aren't typically proud of being uneducated, or disdainful of those who are. But I see what you're getting at. During the civil rights era, very few black people were able to have their ideas broadcast across the nation, so history primarily remembers the unifying, hopeful rhetoric of Martin Luther King Jr. Nowadays we have thousands of Malcolm X wannabes on social media, so the vitriolic and intolerant seem more numerous. Social media also has a habit of amplifying controversial views, which further distorts our impression of the popularity of extreme views.

I think our resilience to the far right, or to populism in general, is dependent upon the success of mainstream politics. As you say, automation is making a lot of people redundant, and mainstream liberal politics isn't intervening to fix it. We've seen this problem coming for decades, and the most common answer seems to be along the lines of "well we don't have blacksmith any more either, so people will just have to adapt." Yes, people will adapt, but this adaptation will be chaotic, destructive and traumatic, with more crazy shit along the lines of Brexit and Trump. It doesn't have to be this way, but this is the liberal way: let things get bad until angry people force change to happen.

I disagree that this is not a European phenomenon. The rise of Alternative for Germany, for instance, is a consequence of the German coalition government's failure to respond to people's economic hardship. The gilets jaunes movement is a direct result of the French government's tendency to shift financial burdens onto its working class and rural workers.

I agree that young men feel left out. However I don't think feminists etc. are to blame. Social progress doesn't have to be a zero-sum game: society should be able to offer young men a future regardless of what other people are campaigning for at university. I understand that young men might feel threatened when they see successful men brought down as a result of inappropriate behaviour, but I think the impact of this is magnified by the generally precarious nature of employment in the last decade. If society was in the middle of an economic golden age, nobody would really give a shit if feminists were collecting a few scalps. I find your comment about "rape where the ethnicity is left out" to be bizarre, because in Australia the problem seems to be that the media only mentions race when the offender is not white. (We have "African" gangs and "Aboriginal" gangs, but our white gangs are called "bikies" or "youths".)

I'd say we agree that mainstream society is alienating people, but we differ on the cause. I think the intolerance we see in social media and popular culture is a symptom, not a cause, of our social malaise. If there was a more widespread pattern of left-wing, progressive governments stifling free speech, I might be more inclined to credit them for the resurgence of the far right, but the far right is growing alongside predominantly right wing governments.
 

fromderinside

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1) Is the cover appropriate?
2) Is it fair to demand from aspies to be politically correct? This is the aspie handicap. They'll never get it and isn't it unreasonable to demand it from them?

1) Not an appropriate question.
2) Not appropriate to demand from any class or category or to label one as handicapped. Never appropriate to judge nor test in any way as example.

Everything in the proposition speaks of bias by the one posing.

I think that covers it.
 

jab

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2) Is it fair to demand from aspies to be politically correct? This is the aspie handicap. They'll never get it and isn't it unreasonable to demand it from them?
Given the premise that a person with Asperger's can't understand political correctness, yes, it's unreasonable to expect it from them. Ought implies can.

I've been reading the extraordinarily controversial book Cynical Theories by Lindsay and Pluckrose. They claim that the Woke movement simultaneously condemns people who view Asperger's as a disability as "ableist," while also constructing an elaborate set of social norms of exactly the sort that people with Asperger's are not good at following, and attaching devastating consequences to deviating from those norms ("cancel culture"). This can put people with Asperger's in some difficult situations.

I thought that specific point was interesting. What are your thoughts?

Since when do authors not have an editorial staff inspecting their cover suggestions? Or was this book self published? Also. the link seems to list more than 1 author. This is a failing of more than one person, it seems to me.
 

DrZoidberg

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2) Is it fair to demand from aspies to be politically correct? This is the aspie handicap. They'll never get it and isn't it unreasonable to demand it from them?
Given the premise that a person with Asperger's can't understand political correctness, yes, it's unreasonable to expect it from them. Ought implies can.

I've been reading the extraordinarily controversial book Cynical Theories by Lindsay and Pluckrose. They claim that the Woke movement simultaneously condemns people who view Asperger's as a disability as "ableist," while also constructing an elaborate set of social norms of exactly the sort that people with Asperger's are not good at following, and attaching devastating consequences to deviating from those norms ("cancel culture"). This can put people with Asperger's in some difficult situations.

I thought that specific point was interesting. What are your thoughts?

Since when do authors not have an editorial staff inspecting their cover suggestions? Or was this book self published? Also. the link seems to list more than 1 author. This is a failing of more than one person, it seems to me.

The team of people who publish all Swedish university books are tiny, as well as working with other stuff. I don't think there's time to worry about that. And it's a logic book. An extreme niche book few will ever read. Even though it will be read by all logic students in all Swedish universities, we're still only talking about a couple of thousand readers. There's no time to check that stuff.

From now on they'll probably go with covers that say nothing to anyone for all books. Nobody wants a controversy about the only thing truly irrelevant for an academic book, the cover
 
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