“So the first thing that you might want to know about Postmodernism is that it doesn’t have a shred of gratitude—and there’s something pathologically wrong with a person that doesn’t have any gratitude, especially when they live in what so far is the best of all possible worlds. So if you’re not grateful, you’re driven by resentment, and resentment is the worst emotion that you can possibly experience, apart from arrogance.” - University of Toronto Professor Jordan Peterson
In two sentences Peterson describes the foundation of progressive ideology and its legions of terminally ungrateful followers. From kindergarten through college, the American left does its utmost to convince millions of students that a lack of societal perfection amounts to societal bankruptcy.
Societal bankruptcy in which the only worthwhile currency is the cultivation of guilt.
Why guilt? Nothing makes resentment more palatable to those who would otherwise reject it than the idea that—by default—there is something for which they have to apologize.
“White privilege” is a perfect example. The term makes skin color the ultimate factor in determining one’s status, utterly irrespective of far more salient factors. Thus an economically deprived, lower-class Caucasian is still required to apologize to an upper middle class black American for “oppressing” him.
That such a proposition is utterly illogical is irrelevant. That’s because, as Peterson so aptly notes, progressives believe logic is a “process by which the patriarchal institutions of the West continue to dominate and to justify their dominance.”
Yet when one eliminates logic, what’s left? According to Peterson “a Hobbesian battleground of identity groups” that “do not communicate with one another, because they can’t.”
Not can’t. Won’t. As college campuses across the nation prove beyond all reasonable doubt, progressives are more than willing to suppress—if not outright riot against—the dissemination of any viewpoint that challenges their ideology.
“The button-down empirical and deductive fields, including all the hard sciences, have lived side by side with ‘critical theory,’ postmodernism and its perception-based relatives,” writes professor Bret Weinstein. “Since the creation in 1960s and ‘70s of novel, justice-oriented fields, these incompatible worldviews have repelled one another.”
Note Weinstein’s attempt to suggest moral equivalence between the two sides. Considering he’s the Evergreen State College professor the post-modernists have tried to get fired—for criticizing the change in their “Day of Absence” tradition from one where black students would leave campus for a day of reflection to one where demands were made that white students and faculty leave—one might think he’d realize there is no equivalence to be had.
In fairness, Weinstein, who professed his allegiance to progressivism in an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, does acknowledge the “deeply authoritarian” efforts of his college to “mandate equality of outcome,” noting it is a “discredited concept, failing on both logical and historical grounds.”
Yet Weinstein apparently hasn’t figured how much of a pariah he has become. While he bemoans that his dissent forced him to “teach in the park” rather than his classroom, dozens of Evergreen faculty and staff have written a letter demanding the college initiate a disciplinary investigation against him, because he “has endangered faculty, staff, and students, making them targets of white supremacist backlash by promulgating misinformation in public emails, on national television, in news outlets, and on social media.”
In other words, much like their Red Guard counterparts who engendered a decade of terror against dissent in Communist China from 1966-1976, these jackboots are targeting Weinstein for being insufficiently progressive.
If such lunacy were limited to the halls of academia, it might be amusing. But it isn’t.
“In the belief department, East and West—or, to speak more strictly, Eastern terrorists and morally flabby Western elites—are opposite numbers,” writes columnist William Murcheson. “Terrorists believe with all their hearts in the iniquity of the West and of Western ways. Western elites respond: Well, you’ve got a point.”
It is a point made possible only by the metastatic level of cultural self-loathing that passes for progressive “intellectualism”. Even as the World Trade Center towers were crumbling on Sept. 11, 2001, the post-modernists bemoaned the American “imperialism” that “forced” the terrorists’ hands, and their “concern” for the thousands of people murdered by that atrocity was reduced to “why do the terrorists hate us” hand-wringing.
In 16 years, little has changed.
“After the Manchester Arena suicide bombing in England last month, liberal pundits suggested ‘mass vigils’ and ‘community solidarity as a counterterrorism response,” writes Heather MacDonald. “The most important imperative, according to the media intelligentsia, was to signal that the West’s commitment to ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ was intact. Unfortunately, the three Islamic terrorists who used a van and knives to kill another seven civilians and critically injure dozens more in London on Saturday night were unmoved by the ‚Äòdiversity’ message.”
Perhaps. Or perhaps they were not as unmoved by diversity as they were motivated by the bankruptcy of ruling class who can look at slaughtered children and worry more about Islamophobia that Islamist savagery. A ruling class who insists anyone who refuses to abide their ideologically-induced coma putsthemon the “wrong side of history.”
Again, given that it is progressives who are currently busy eliminating history itself—exactly as ISIS is doing—such admonitions would be completely laughable were it not for the reality our ruling class remains intent on maintaining a pathological accommodation with those who would annihilate us.
“Belief in the norms of Christianity and Western culture is no war strategy,” Murcheson insists.
Utter contempt for both is far worse. As the adage goes, “you can’t beat something with nothing.” And you can’t win a war—and it is a war—when one side is more intent on fighting, while the other side is more intent on blaming itself for being attacked.
“There are no shortage of flaws in the manner in which we have structured our society and compared to any hypothetical utopia, it is an absolutely dismal wreck,” Peterson asserts. “But compared to the rest of the world, and the plight of other societies throughout the history of mankind, we’re doing pretty damn well, and we should be happy to be living in the society we’re living in.”
That we’re not happy speaks volumes about progressives’ ability to manufacture misery for its own gain. Whether we allow that misery to reach the point of cultural suicide remains to be seen.