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!

She raises many vital points I have already raised that demonstrate the illiberal principles we face as this ideology becomes put into practice by various levels of authority – and the very real danger to our shared rights and freedoms that evangelical ideology also brings to bear… enough to warrant a strong atheist reaction to it in the past – that form the foundation of what I see as this totalitarian ‘progressive’ ideology in action, such as the following tidbits I’ve extracted in order to highlight the extent of the alignment of views and criticism between us:

“Through the lens of dichotomizing ideologies, each of us is seen—first and foremost—not as a complicated individual, but as a member of a group, with moral weight attached to our status as an insider or outsider.”

“The intent is to rectify old wrongs and current inequities–to literally solve discrimination with discrimination.”

“Jargon isn’t merely a tool for efficient or precise communication as it is in many professions, it is a sign of belonging and moral virtue.”

“Note that this is not about individual experience of oppression or privilege, hardship or ease. Rather, generic average oppression scores get assigned to each tribe and then to each person based on intersecting tribal identities.”

“Note that this contradicts core tenets of liberal, humanist, and traditional progressive thought.”

“Anyone who questions core dogmas commits heresy, and anyone who preaches against them should be de-platformed or silenced. The Woke also have tenets of faith that must not be questioned.”

“In Woke culture, any pushback is perceived as a sign of white fragility or worse, a sign that one is a racist, sexist, homophobe, Islamophobe, xenophobe, or transphobe.”

For many of the Woke, the equivalent of mainline Christians are old school social liberals, like women who wear pink pussy hats. Working for colorblindness, for example, is not just considered a suboptimal way of addressing racism (which is a position that people can make arguments for). Rather, it is itself a symptom of racism.”

“Maoist struggle sessions (forced public confessions) and Soviet self-criticism are examples of extreme shaming in social-critical movements seeking to upend traditional power structures. So, it should be no surprise that some of the Woke show little hesitation when call-out opportunities present themselves—nor that they remain unrelentingly righteous even when those call-outs leave a life or a family in ruins.”

“Disinterest in inconvenient truths or worse, denial of inconvenient truths, is generally a sign that ideology is at play.”

“Critical Oppression Theory on campus has its epicenter in gender and race studies but has become a mainstay in schools of public health and law as well as the liberal arts. Once this becomes the dominant lens for human interactions, students police themselves—and each other.”

“Where Evangelicalism traffics in hubris cloaked as humility, Woke culture traffics in discrimination cloaked as inclusion. The far left demands that hiring practices, organizational hierarchies, social affinity groups, political strategizing, and funding flow give primacy to race and gender.”

“Some Christian leaders have actually proclaimed that the suffering of the damned in hell heightens the joy of the saved in heaven. Some of the Woke curse those they see as fascists to burn in the very same Christian hell, metaphorically if not literally. They dream of restorative justice for criminal offenses but lifelong, ruinous retribution for political sinners.”

This is why I make the call that we need – our liberal secular democracies must have to survive – a new breed of New Atheists, those who do not believe in GroupThink,  those who have chosen the red pill over the blue, and those who are able to begin to criticize and counter this anti-liberal ideological ‘woke’ onslaught, to see its pillars of Post Modernism, Identity Politics, and Marxist roots for what they are in practice, in reality: an intentional attack against core liberal values, against individual rights and freedoms, against the ongoing quest to achieve equality and dignity of individual personhood in law that respects all individuals, in governance, in public policy. We need people willing and able to show that what is being sold to well-intentioned but naive and gullible Western populations – these willing believers (or silent critics) in GroupThink – as ‘progressive’ and therefore ‘Left’ is in fact the opposite. It’s creeping totalitarianism.

These incorrect assumptions about the ‘higher’ moral virtue of this regressive ideology disguised as ‘woke’ culture are the lies being promoted and protected in our education system, in public issues, online and in media, in boardrooms and bedrooms. The self censoring must go. The assumptions that empower this ideological coup against our enlightenment values have to be challenged directly and openly and the New Evangelicals/Social Justice Warriors called out publicly to have their incorrect assumptions revealed for the totalitarian nature they front and see themselves as this movement’s pathogenic carriers, the foot soldiers, of this toxic ideology.

If we don’t rise to the defense of our core liberal values based on the individual from this malignant GroupThink ideology that assigns victimhood and inherited guilt by tribe, nobody will. And then it will be too late. For you. The culturally empowered Red Guard will have its day and you will be assigned by them what you will think or face the consequences of your blasphemy. You have a personal stake in this, whether you recognize it or not.

24 Comments »

  1. Yep, I read all of her posts and have read her book as well. At first I thought the topic might have been a stretch by I think by the end of it she nailed her point quite nicely.

    There is a propensity to identify people into groups to acquire “followers.” There is also a propensity to exaggerate as the early “Save the Earth” campaign demonstrated. (The Earth is in no danger … our own assess, however, are, but a Save Your Ass campaign wouldn’t have created much of a stir.)

    Comment by Steve Ruis — January 25, 2019 @ 10:38 am | Reply

  2. Hey Steve, I understand the usefulness of creating groups and using the construct to create a larger identity beyond the individual but this ideology I am criticizing has done the opposite: reduce the individual to be the construct in all ways. This is the danger to our Western civilization that is based on the empowerment of the individual. That is why the ideology is absolutely and unequivocally anti-liberal and so all these expressions of the ideology is an attack against each and every one of us.

    Comment by tildeb — January 25, 2019 @ 10:53 am | Reply

    • Maybe it’s easier for those people deeply familiar with dishonest evangelical methods to recognize the same being used in the social justice movement than it is for many of us who assume the jargon represents its content when in fact it actually fronts the opposite (the inversion of meaning I have often mentioned). Thanks, John. This ‘fringe’ position is starting to get crowded… not by wingnuts as some commentators have tried to argue but quite respectable and intelligent and erudite people. That’s a clue, too.

      Comment by tildeb — January 26, 2019 @ 7:45 am | Reply

  3. And here’s another so-called ‘fringe’ voice chiming in on what pernicious wider effect the ‘woke’ cohort has on our society – a cohort always so quick to buy into the GroupThink narrative by which they frame the world while applying their social justice ideology to interpret real life events… creating an alternate reality filled with bigotry, discrimination, intolerance, and faith-based conclusions they believe as a matter of faith must be true. Reality be damned.

    This article was written by Andrew Sullivan about the Covington school teens waiting at the Memorial waiting to be picked up by their bus and the false narrative that swamped both the media as well as social media creating yet more real life victims of this toxic ideology named ‘social justice’. It’s anything but. He writes (emphasis is mine),

    The point here is that tribal hatred can consume even the best of us. And this is what will inevitably happen once you’ve redefined racism or sexism to mean prejudice plus power. (Snip) This is the abyss of hate versus hate, tribe versus tribe. This is a moment when we can look at ourselves in the mirror of social media and see what we have become. Liberal democracy is being dismantled before our eyes — by all of us. This process is greater than one president. It is bottom-up as well as top-down. Tyranny, as Damon Linker reminded us this week, is not just political but psychological, and the tyrannical impulse, ratcheted up by social media, is in all of us. It infects the soul of the entire body politic. It destroys good people. It slowly strangles liberal democracy. This is the ongoing extinction level event.

    Comment by tildeb — January 26, 2019 @ 1:07 pm | Reply

  4. On the bright side: thousands of laid off SJW “journalists” have found out that they will have to learn to code or find alternative employment. 🙂

    Comment by Ron — January 30, 2019 @ 12:56 pm | Reply

  5. Ah yes, citizen ‘journalists’. And woe to them who report just the facts. After all, facts are so subjective and patriarchal, not to mention racist and privileged, so alternative facts will do just fine. Within the narrative guidelines, of course. That’s how one keeps one’s job as a correspondent in the public square these days.

    Comment by tildeb — January 30, 2019 @ 1:31 pm | Reply

  6. And don’t think for one second the arts are immune from this totalitarian bent of the social justice warriors. Sensitivity Commisars? Oh yes. Intersectional Red Guards? Sure. We need these ‘guardians’ to protect the public, donchaknow! These are the people who are self-appointed to read books prior to publication to check whether or not the fiction – fiction, mind you – meets their ideological approval and passes the litmus test for correct Identity Politics, privilege, and power imbalances. GroupThink.

    This social editing practice is now endemic throughout the Canadian publishers landscape… especially concerning to those who rely on Canada Council grants to stay in their subsidized business. After all, why should some mere writer have the final say over their creative work and dare to then allow the public to decide on its merit? No, no, no. We must have the SJWs in charge: the right people, properly educated, the people who confuse freedom of expression with sedition. These are the social justice warriors we are to follow. Such writers who dare to protest this totalitarian championing must be enemies of the People… unless they willingly and meekly go along with the ideological progressive purists who populate the ctrl Left.

    “Orwell’s 1946 essay is quite relevant here, since it ends with a warning that liberty of thought—and literature with it—is not only doomed under actual totalitarian regimes, but endangered when writers in free countries adopt a “totalitarian outlook.” Current “social justice” ideology, which insists that all attitudes or tropes that may “uphold oppression” in some form must be ruthlessly eradicated, is fundamentally totalitarian. It may not have guns or gulags at its disposal, and despite its considerable influence it is certainly very far from having total control of society. But its zeal to remake culture and consciousness is strongly reminiscent of China’s Cultural Revolution and Soviet Russia.” (Source)

    Comment by tildeb — February 10, 2019 @ 11:43 am | Reply

  7. Oh, look: another ‘fringe’ professor:

    “Whole categories of inquiry about race, gender, sexuality, religion, ability, and identity can only go so far before the enquirer exercises prudent self-censorship or is shut down as racist, sexist, or x-phobic.

    These lines of inquiry are judged so out of bounds that they don’t require a response based on evidence or argument. Rather it is sufficient to identify them as falling into a particular category (sexist/homophobic/Islamophobic/racist or socialist/collectivist/globalist/secularist depending on context and one’s politics) to discredit them. Once the appropriate category is identified, one is freed from the need to counter the argument or debate the point. It might be called refutation by categorization.

    The best analogy I have found for this type of thinking is religious heresy. Heresies are ideas that have been judged to be false by religious authorities. Once an idea is judged heretical the faithful need no longer engage with proponents of that idea. The idea is heretical and the person who advocates it is himself a heretic and thus not just incorrect or wrong, but wrong in willful defiance of the truth as defined by authoritative consensus. Heretical ideas, and the heretics who espouse them, should not be ignored in their wrongness; they should be suppressed lest the innocent be harmed by the heretic’s falsehoods. It is even possible to dismiss someone’s ideas because similar ideas have been espoused by known heretics.”

    Comment by tildeb — February 10, 2019 @ 4:51 pm | Reply

  8. From writer John McWhorter in the Atlantic, who tries to understand why someone like Jussie Smollett would create and then orchestrate a racially motivated ‘attack’ against him:

    “Racial politics today have become a kind of religion in which whites grapple with the original sin of privilege, converts tar questioners of the orthodoxy as “problematic” blasphemers, and everyone looks forward to a judgment day when America “comes to terms” with race. Smollett—if he really did stage the attack—would have been acting out the black-American component in this eschatological configuration, the role of victim as a form of status. We are, within this hierarchy, persecuted prophets, ever attesting to the harm that white racism does to us and pointing to a future context in which our persecutors will be redeemed of the sin of having leveled that harm upon us. We are noble in our suffering.”

    Again, note the religious similarities.

    Comment by tildeb — February 21, 2019 @ 12:59 pm | Reply

    • The most egregious part of all this, was the fact that it dragged on for the better part of a month, and the sheer manpower that it wasted trying to solve a crime that was never committed. Hundreds and hundreds of manhours searching for criminals that never were to prosecute them for a crime that never was. All the while happening in a city that has roughly 2 murders a day.
      I will be disappointed when Smollett doesn’t get jail time but I will not be surprised.
      There is a lot of work to be done to dig ourselves out from this rotten victimhood culture we’re now immersed in. I have my hopes in Jordan Peterson et al, but I am not overly optimistic.

      Comment by Ashley — February 25, 2019 @ 9:08 am | Reply

  9. I think it’s accurate to point out the role of status in the victimhood culture as the real motivation for this imported identity. That matters because when we encounter it we recognize the person’s toxic ideology in play and can then be alerted to qualify the narrative being presented as lacking any personal or shared concern for what’s true. In other words, what people say who rely on this ideology for their identity carries no weight – and we should pay no attention to what they say from within this narrative and faux-reality – because there is no shared concern for respecting what’s true. All that matters to the person who relies on this framing is this status placement in the victimhood hierarchy. Deny the hierarchy as the frame, deny the person this identity. They can fool themselves all they want and invest all kinds of confidence in their (religious) belief but no one else need go along with it. In fact no one should go along with it because this is what diverts us from recognizing and respecting the real individual before us and replaces this real person with a fictional character wrapped up in a fictional narrative presenting a fictional identity for fictional status. The opinions and beliefs presented from within this framing carry no weight. And I mean this in the same way I can and should ignore all the superstitious claims made by a religious person that demands recognition and respect for the beliefs and opinions they hold framed in this a fictional narrative and a fictional status identity. My concern is for the real person and not this caricature within a faux-reality they are trying so hard to sell.

    Comment by tildeb — February 25, 2019 @ 9:47 am | Reply

    • So whaddya figure? Are we witnessing the slow decline and ultimate destruction of Western Culture? Is it possible that it can be saved? Where does this all end? I was encouraged by the election of Doug Ford (never thought I’d hear myself say that) last June and the complete rejection of Kathleen Wynne and her ideologically possessed Liberals. I’m just not entirely sure they’re going to learn anything from this. Ditto for Donald Trump in the US. I was at first horrified when he was elected, but can clearly see that he is, on balance, the lesser of 2 evils. It appears as though the Democrats have not only not learned anything, they’ve doubled down on the craziness. That AOC was elected absolutely boggles my mind. Instead of taking stock of themselves and maybe trying to bring the party back to a sane left or center, they’ve gone even further left. That, is what is truly frightening.
      I think the biggest problem right now is the universities. I’ve been listening to Heather MacDonald off and on lately and she paints a pretty grim picture. I have some hope that if Jordan Peterson can actually make an online university and lower the cost such that it’ll attract enough people and in the process, cause the brick and mortar universities to re-examine their practices and the exorbitant costs, that we might get ourselves out of this mess.

      Comment by Ashley — February 25, 2019 @ 10:24 am | Reply

  10. From C.K. Ryan about his belief in Marxism as a young person:

    “I’ve thought often about that sense of certainty in the years since. I turn the memories over in my mind, amazed at my erstwhile fervency. The sense that I, a teenager and later a young man, had found the answer to what ails the world in a text of political economy published in 1867….That hubris, in retrospect, is shocking.

    Although I would have protested the idea then, it’s become clear to me that my former sense of conviction was a secularized form of faith. My pretense to holding an atheistic worldview coldly ruled by reason was just that: a pretense. Marx may have been correct that religion is the opiate of the masses, but he failed to envision what his materialist conception of history would become to his followers in a secularized world. On an unconscious level, my ideology was fundamentally theistic, my nominal rejection of the supernatural notwithstanding.

    The link between religion and Marxism (or, more recently, identity politics) has been remarked upon by many writers, including here in Quillette. Nevertheless, I continue to be struck by how many intelligent and empathetic young people, often on the tail end of a gradual, multi-generational rejection of God, become congregants of the radical left.”

    Struth, to borrow a great term from the Aussies.

    Comment by tildeb — February 26, 2019 @ 11:41 am | Reply

  11. From Andrew Doyle, aka Titania McGrath, about using the invented ‘woke’ character to criticize today’s intersectional victimhood advocate, aka the Social Justice Warrior:

    “American physicist Steven Weinberg famously remarked that ‘with or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil – that takes religion’. It makes sense, then, to think of the social-justice movement as a kind of cult. Its members are generally decent people with good intentions. They have an unshakeable certainty that their worldview is correct. They feel the need to proselytise and convert as many of the fallen as possible. And even though they are capable of the most horrendous dehumanising behaviour, they think they are the good guys.

    We are in this position because identity politics in its current form is a collectivist ideology. It does not value an individual for the content of his or her character, but instead makes prejudicial assessments on the basis of race, gender and sexuality.

    Comment by tildeb — March 16, 2019 @ 1:20 pm | Reply

  12. I should have know I could come here for a dose of irritation to inspire a blog post. How thoroughly depressing that Valerie Terico has jumped on this bandwagon. So people are behaving like people. Wow. They are establishing groups and have vocabulary that binds them and their common points of view. Wow. They get annoyed when people disagree with them. Wow. Instead of celebrating a movement that gives a voice to previously excluded groups and encouraging it to thrive and have a positive impact on society as it grows, she gives an establishment sucker punch because she feels excluded and fears loss of power and status. Just like you. Look at yourselves and your supporting commenters – white, middle class, male, straight, late middle aged – out of the power zone and freaking out! Try and learn something from this movement, instead of your predicable, reactionary it’s-the-end-of-the-world-if-people-like-me-aren’t-the-most-important-in-the-room freakout.

    Comment by violetwisp — March 30, 2019 @ 2:40 pm | Reply

  13. Tildeb, interesting-slash-frustrating thread over on Sirius Bizinus’s blog. Joe is the commentator in question. You are so much better at this line of thought/argument than me, figured you might want to have a gander.

    https://amusingnonsense.wordpress.com/2019/04/04/science-atheism-and-overconfidence/

    Comment by john zande — April 5, 2019 @ 7:58 pm | Reply

    • I would, John, and gladly so but I can’t.

      Serius Bizinus has banned me (without much if any complaint from any other commentator and even applause from some) for what he insists is the intolerance and violence I have caused to the more fragile and delicate readers by using the intolerable term ‘batshit crazy’. He needs to protect his readers from the likes of me, you see. Hence the ban. A good little social justice warrior in action is our Serius Biziness, determining on your behalf that my comments on any subject for all time have zero value compared to the harm caused by daring to write ‘batshit crazy’ on his blog. You should thank him for protecting you and Joe this way.

      Comment by tildeb — April 5, 2019 @ 11:37 pm | Reply

      • Really? That’s not cricket. I’m guessing he hates the term ‘batshit crazy’ due to his own mental battles, but banning seems pretty extreme. Well, sorry to hear that, but I’m sure we’ll get to play elsewhere. The Joe’s of the world are a common enough stain.

        Comment by john zande — April 6, 2019 @ 5:53 am

      • As for the post, SB thinks Gleiser’s anti-atheist position “gets it right.” What does this most recent Templeton mouthpiece winner get right? “What is atheism? It’s a statement, a categorical statement that expresses belief in nonbelief.”

        Seriously?

        Seriously.

        I think it is intellectually dishonest.

        And apologists fall all over themselves agreeing that this is the kind of linguistic reversal (non belief is a belief, you see, in the same way a non fish – say, a bicycle – is another kind of fish) that best describes non belief in gods or a god as another kind of religious belief. SB then says that “Dr. Gleiser didn’t have to redefine science to get his result.” Of course not. He just had to redefine atheism. SB’s good with that. In fact, he thinks quite rightly that this is a mark in his favour but – like all vaccuous agnostics, has exactly zero problem switching the standard for atheism and then agreeing with the idiotic redefining of atheism to be the opposite of what it actually means: another kind of belief.

        This is straw-mannery at its obsequious, religious ass-kissing, best and worth about 1.5 million dollars for any scientist to endorse… according to Templeton who finds one every year. It’s an old argument often raised by those who want to poof into being a magical middle position between belief and non belief in gods or a god. And Gleiser does exactly this to present himself as agnostics like to do: lacking both the courage and willingness to take a position by pretending this capitulation is a higher moral stand to take above the belief or non belief in Oogity Boogity and woo and superstitious nonsense. SB thinks going along and supporting this intentional misrepresentation of atheism to achieve the false dichotomy necessary is a more reasonable one and worthy of support… repackaged under the disguise of pretending science is just another ‘philosophy’ that has limits when it comes to addressing the batshit crazy beliefs about the real world put forward by many religionists.

        Such agnostics serve only one master and it isn’t the truth. It’s offering cover and respectability to religionists intentionally at the expense of atheists and it is dishonest and deplorable to its core.

        Comment by tildeb — April 6, 2019 @ 9:14 am

      • You see, this is exactly why I came here to knock on your door. These I comments I *wish* I could write.

        Comment by john zande — April 6, 2019 @ 12:18 pm

  14. As for Joe, he doesn’t understand what science nor accept what ‘knowledge’ about the world actually means. He demonstrates this by introducing ‘morality’ as if this is something equivalently knowable adduced from the world in order to claim science has its limits. This is bogus from the get-go.

    In addition, he has to build a false equivalency that religious belief can also provide ‘knowledge’ where the knowledge adduced by science is limited. That’s why he struggles to answer your questions; he knows he has nothing to work with from the world to support his position and so must turn to the realm of metaphysics/philosophy and pretend science is philosophy-of-a-different-kind. Look familiar? (Non belief is a belief-of-a-different-kind). He cannot produce one jot or tittle of knowledge about the world produced by religious belief, which means there is no real equivalency. So he has to create one… by switching away from the world and pretending science is limited in metaphysics/philosophy rather than admit and respect that religion is responsible for over-reaching its natural boundaries.

    Comment by tildeb — April 6, 2019 @ 9:31 am | Reply

    • He seems to have disappeared, but I’m pissed you didn’t get a shot in.

      Comment by john zande — April 6, 2019 @ 12:20 pm | Reply

  15. Remember the Italian physicist at a CERN conference who caused such a stir saying the lack of equity between men and women physicists was not a hallmark for discrimination? (This is a recurring hallmark feature of the Regressive Left ideology in action, the fallacy assumed as doctrine that lack of equity means discrimination.) It was based on an actual study a bunch of physicists did and, drawing the short straw, Alessandro Strumia presented it. Since, then, he has been constantly attacked professionally and personally as some kind of Old Boy sexist misogynist. He has had nothing but problems getting the study published even by journals that have published some of the hoaxes revealing them to be ideologically driven while claiming they’ve since changed their ways. Six months after all the accusations were launched against him and his membership revoked in various physics organizations, he has been fully – if very quietly – exonerated… to no effect, apparently. Once a blasphemer, always a blasphemer, I guess.

    So I think it’s interesting to hear what he has to say in review:

    “Indeed, in the present cultural and political climate, the shibboleths of identity politics have made certain things unsayable. An ideology that reduces everything to a power struggle between different identity groups is producing needless fragmentation and hostility. Reason and objectivity, once the bedrock of science, are frequently dismissed as tools of systemic oppression. Science that contradicts the dominant political narrative is attacked, particularly anything relating to gender. Scientific data about gender, like the ones I found, are deemed to be “offensive” when they challenge beliefs that are held as sacred.”

    There’s the reference again to treating this toxic and divisive social justice ideology, so warmly and uncritically embraced by a large majority of today’s Left, as a kind of religious belief impervious to facts.

    Comment by tildeb — April 21, 2019 @ 8:26 am | Reply


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply to violetwisp Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: