Questionable Motives

January 25, 2019

Look how ‘fringe’ Valerie Terico has become!

Filed under: Uncategorized — tildeb @ 10:20 am

Valerie has written a very clear post here about this similarity I have raised between the group-based anti-liberal ‘woke’ culture and evangelicalism. Because she’s a former evangelical (whereas I am not), she takes the time and makes the effort to carefully lay out twelve areas of close similarities in an article well worth reading… not because these points mirror my own observations and encounters but because they are written much better!


January 3, 2019

What is critical thinking and what does this have to do with my criticisms of GroupThink and the resulting rise of Identity Politics?

Filed under: Uncategorized — tildeb @ 3:20 pm

Image result for images for critical thinking

How we think determines what we think. And this matters if we’re going to collectively turn the tide away from either this totalitarian ideology of GroupThink or its populist response, both of which are equally pernicious and destructive to our Western liberal democratic founding principles.

To understand just how important criticism and critical thinking by every citizen is to our liberal democracies, we need to look at how we think, which I often refer to as a methodology, a means to recognize the framing of issues and concerns all of us face and evaluate how this framing affects what we think. If this interests you at all and you wish to be a part of the solution, then sit back and follow my line of thought… critically!


December 29, 2018

Why is belief in Identity Politics a social form of inversion therapy?

Filed under: Uncategorized — tildeb @ 1:11 pm

To be clear, I’m not talking about Aversion Therapy (where causing a strong feeling of dislike or disgust stimulus is paired with an undesirable behavior in order to reduce or eliminate that behavior) but a striking similarity with Inversion Therapy (where one hangs by the legs, ankles, or feet at an inverted angle with the intention of gaining therapeutic benefits). Belief that group inequity is evidence for a social power imbalance causing hierarchical individual inequality – systemic discrimination – relies on the same kind of faith that therapeutic benefits will be achieved by policies aimed at inverting this power hierarchy through awarding inverted group privilege. But there’s a catch: you have to first go along with an inversion.

Confused? Well, you should be…


December 15, 2018

Who are today’s Social Justice Warriors and why are they batshit crazy?

Filed under: Uncategorized — tildeb @ 10:33 am

Because they believe that equity of outcomes between groups of classified people is synonymous with achieving social equality between individuals, and so are willing to support, endorse, and apply whatever policies help to achieve this ideological outcome.


November 28, 2018

What is the new Sokal hoax – Sokal Squared – and why does it matter?

Filed under: Uncategorized — tildeb @ 11:14 am

Back in 1996, physics professor Alan Sokal submitted an article to Social Text, an academic journal of postmodernism studies. The idea was to test whether or not a leading academic journal in this field of grievance studies had any intellectual rigor for an article filled intentionally with meaningless terms and an idiotic conclusion that appealed to what Sokal suspected was the editors’ and peer reviewers’ ideological preconceptions. The article not only passed peer review but was then published and used as an academic ‘source’ for other grievance study ‘scholars’. This was the hoax and it exposed the field of grievance studies to be an ideological field and not a scholarly one.

Did this exposure by means of an embarrassing hoax have any lasting effect in academia regarding grievance studies?


November 17, 2018

The Snowball Effect: How does demographic data fuel identity politics?

Filed under: Uncategorized — tildeb @ 3:44 pm

Demographic data is the means by which groups can be created and quantified.Image result for census data This data is then used to grant us the means to compare and contrast different groups. By doing so, we (not surprisingly) find differences. These differences are then presented with what appears to be an independent and objective hierarchy based on the selected criterion: higher and lower groups in the hierarchy. Membership is automatic: an individual who shares the criterion is member, as is one’s placement in the (obviously) unequal group hierarchy, which in turn defines the selected group disparity shared by all its members. Group disparity is then used as the evidence for group inequity and is the foundation for justifying political activism to address the group disparity. This is the core feature of identity politics in action… individuals acting on behalf of the group with which one has membership (or sympathy) and attempting to address the disparity using politics and legislation (or various immediate bullying tactics if impatient for systemic change) as the means.

Why is this a problem that is snowballing?


November 9, 2018

What have so many of today’s liberals managed to forget?

Filed under: Uncategorized — tildeb @ 11:41 am

Quite simple, liberalism

What does liberalism mean? (more…)

November 3, 2018

What is a group and why does it matter?

Filed under: Uncategorized — tildeb @ 5:20 pm

Almost seems like a silly question. group identity.jpg

A group (for my purposes here) is defined by the OED as “A number of people or things that are located, gathered, or classed together; Put into categories; classify.”

In this sense, classifying people into groups is an action undertaken not by the people classified but from those wishing to create a group by means of classification. Classifying people into groups is called a construct (meaning “an idea or theory containing various conceptual elements, typically one considered to be subjective and not based on empirical evidence” OED). In other words, a construct is constructed using elements selected by the classifier.

So what?


October 28, 2018

Is the future of politics popular or liberal?

Filed under: Uncategorized — tildeb @ 10:48 am

If you find this question of any interest to publicly debate, then who might you get to present the populist side? How about Steve Bannon who organized the rise of Trump? Does that give him bona fides? 

There is a semi-annual event held in Toronto discussing public policy issues to “provide leading thinkers with a global forum to discuss the major issues facing the world and Canada.” These debates are called the Munk Debates after the person who funded a charitable foundation to organize them.

Concerning this particular question up for debate, arguing on the other side is David Frum.

Well, according to the Bannon-Frum Welcoming Committee organizing an online petition and call-in tactic (with written script available and below), we need to dis-invite Bannon because he is described by this ‘liberal’ organization as “a leading figure for the racist White ethno-nationalist movement.” That’s really bad, you see, and we are told this is why the New Yorker Magazine cancelled a high profile event featuring Bannon, and Scotland’s First Minister pulled out of an event which included Bannon calling him a fascist.


Fascist definition (OED): extreme authoritarian, oppressive, or intolerant views or practices

Who is being oppressive and intolerant here? Someone willing to publicly debate controversial ideas about the rise of populism in today’s political culture or those who want to stick their fingers in your ears and stop you from being able to listen?

Look at the charges being leveled here by these ‘committee’ members and the claims being made:


Hello my name is _______________

I’m calling your office today because, as a Torontonian, I am disgusted at the platform you are giving one of the most notorious, contemporary white supremacist, racists of our time, Steve Bannon.

Hate and warmongers like Bannon increase violent hate crimes in cities across the US and Canada. We are facing violence, danger, and division in our communities. I am outraged that you are actively choosing to make our city less safe, for all of us.

I’m calling to demand that you condemn the actions of white supremacists and the politics of hate in our city by canceling this Munk Debate!

I’ll be watching closely to see what actions you take.

My question – politically incorrect, I’ll grant you – is how do we allow Bannon to publicly respond if we are to close our ears to what he has to say by doing our part to shut down any and all public means for him to do so? Or should we just go along to get along with these illiberal liberals on the Committee and pretend the accusations they make are sufficient in themselves to allow them to decide for each and every one of us who we may and may not hear in the public square? Is that call to dis-invite Bannon not fascist by definition?

October 26, 2018

What are ‘Western’ values?

Filed under: Uncategorized — tildeb @ 10:22 am

Image result for pondering a question


There is much confusion between what constitutes ‘Western’ values versus ‘Western’ culture. I see these ideas conflated all the time, which indicates to me that there is widespread confusion. And this confusion matters. Greatly.

So let’s take a moment and check out what the Oxford English dictionary tells us about these two terms.

What is a value? A value is the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something; principles or standards of behaviour; one’s judgement of what is important in life.

What is culture? The arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively; the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society; the attitudes and behaviour characteristic of a particular social group.

To assign descriptive values to a civilization like ‘The West’ means these assigned values must be of central importance to defining the civilization itself. In our borrowed definition, which parts do this job? The regard, importance, worth, and usefulness of the values have to be fundamental to the principles of that civilization itself (without which the civilization is no longer defined). That is what we’re trying to define here: what are these values that define Western civilization?

My answer is that they are Enlightenment values.

Enlightenment values are concerned primarily with cultivating the conditions for human freedom. That freedom to be realized has to be demonstrated on the individual level. That’s very much a Western principle about placing authority with the individual and not authority derived from some other source. This source of authority – the individual – was the revolutionary aspect of Enlightenment thinkers (which is why implementing this revolutionary value required revolutions…) and one not shared by other civilizations built on communal principles and exterior authority. So governments that legitimize this individual authority in law are considered ‘Western’ no matter where on the globe they may be found. Respect for individual autonomy in law is the cornerstone value of all secular liberal democracies meaning that without this central legal position demonstrated in law, a country cannot be said to be Western.

Enlightenment thinkers expanded other values from this central one, values like rationalism, human rights shared by all, the search for truth using disinterested methods, the separation of church and state, trade, freedom of conscience and expression and assembly, the rule of law, equality before the law; these are the hallmarks established in law of a ‘Western’ liberal democracy. The exercise of law upholding this idea of trying to maximize human freedom for the individual is an ongoing attempt to try to achieve these common values in common behaviour, which necessarily involves tension between the core value of individual autonomy and the public authority to impose it! That’s why liberal democracies are always a work in progress, always require diligence of its citizens to constrain authority whether it comes from an individual over the State or from the State over the individual. The measurement to adjudicate relies on the fundamental core value, which is cultivating human freedom for the individual to whatever maximum extent it can achieve without mitigating the same cultivation for every individual.  That’s the ongoing work. And it involves all citizens who wish to improve rather than subvert ‘Western’ liberal democracies.

This core value of cultivating human freedom for the individual within nation states whose populace identifies as ‘Western’ is what we use to evaluate the effects of any and all cultural expressions as a ‘Western’ value. Does the cultural expression, the ideas, customs, attitudes, and social behaviour of a particular people or self-defined society, improve or subvert the central value of ‘Western’ civilization? This is the question that every individual who values individual autonomy in law must ask of him- or herself when it comes to evaluating one’s individual behaviour under the banner of ‘culture’ because we can’t have it both ways: we can’t rely on widespread respect for our individual legal autonomy while advocating and acting for its destruction in the name of some other core ‘Western’ value. That’s lying. That’s what we call hypocrisy in action and this the element – hypocrisy – that is fast becoming the core value – an anti-‘Western’ value – infecting those who claim to be ‘correcting’ ‘Western’ liberal democracies towards antithetical communal values in the name of Identity Politics, in the name of Post Modernism, in the name of Social Justice. When measured against the core ‘Western’ value of individual autonomy in law, it becomes obvious that these social movements demanding our submission to them – just like authoritarian religions that demand submission of the individual to their communal authority – are deeply anti-Western and a direct threat to maintaining our defining core values.


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