Questionable Motives

August 14, 2020

What is this ‘Woke’ movement and what does it have to do with me?

Filed under: Uncategorized — tildeb @ 12:01 pm

As Princeton mathematician Sergiu Klainerman, an immigrant to the US and refugee from Nicolae Ceausescu’ Communist  Romania (anyone who has lived or spent time in and under a totalitarian regime knows why this history matters) describes ,

American colleges and universities, as well as many other institutions, are under attack by an ideology that I cannot but describe as insidious. This ideology is built on a combination of “critical theory” (an offspring of Marxism); a weird type of moral-cultural relativism that generates its own opposite, namely, fierce moralistic dogmatism; deconstructionism; and intersectionality. The net result of this stew is to view people as irredeemably divided by race, sex, sexual preferences, etc. into grievance groups, all suffering under various forms of oppression. Having evolved from this noxious mixture of implausible but influential academic theories, the ideology has succeeded in taking over many departments in the humanities and social sciences and is now making inroads into the sciences. By an extraordinary stealth quality, it has continued to move, largely undetected until now, into society at large, producing the “Woke” phenomenon.

How does it work at a university like Princeton, world renowned for its mathematics faculty? As a faculty member there, he describes that the administrators and faculty heads,

are constantly on the defensive, making great efforts to correct a racism that they themselves know does not exist, as a way of covering themselves against ever expanding accusations of racism. Paradoxically, these institutions are thus fighting the ghost of racism in their middle by abetting the racialist agenda of their accusers.

Yeah, so? Why does this matter to the rest of us? Klainerman understands better than most, having come from an equivalently totalitarian system. He says,

We are facing something we did not seek and by no means welcome, namely, the moral equivalent of war. This has been clear to the aggressors in the struggle from the beginning. They embraced it in a revolutionary spirit and as a quest for power. Those of us who want nothing more than to preserve traditional ideals of academic freedom, integrity, and civility have been reluctant—and therefore slow—to acknowledge it. Here is a call to action.

The tools we need:

Our weapons in this war of ideas are simply the belief in the old ideals of the American revolution: equality under the law, our freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights, the power of reason and reasoned debate, the scientific method.

The front line:

We academics and educators are facing an uphill battle to reverse the decay of our most badly compromised institutions, schools and universities.

The tactics:

We should utterly reject the centerpiece of our adversary’s ideology—the notion that our society is irredeemably racist.

The misguided targets, those who hold an incorrect assumption that the lack of equity (the same results, or results statistically aligned by percentage of groups populations) proves systemic racism are factually WRONG, namely those who argue behind:

any manifestation of disparate or unequal outcomes. Differences of any kind—whether in income, education, or life expectancy—are all defined as manifestations of systemic racial animus.”

Disparity does not justify the claim of discrimination. I cannot stress this point enough because this tactic has fooled almost all of the people who support this Woke movement almost all of the time. It is not true, It is a falsehood. It is almost always a lie. Disparity does not prove discrimination. Those who believe it does are factually WRONG. This is a logical fallacy.

To unite against this totalitarian and Marxist push under the banner of ‘social justice’ he says,

We should reject any attempts from the Right or the Left to politicize our fight, even as we should attempt to form a broad coalition of conservatives, traditional liberals, and civil libertarian progressives supported by our immigrant citizens.

And he concludes with a call to each and every one of us to be responsible citizens, unite, and rise to this deeply anti-American threat against secular western liberal democracy:

Above all, though, we have to stop being frightened, intimidated, and afraid to fight back. No matter how dangerous the present cancel culture is, it offers no match to the reign of terror of Nazism or of Soviet and Chinese Communism. If truly courageous dissidents like Solzhenitsyn and Sakharov could oppose the Soviet system, it behooves every one of us to take on this weaker but insidious form of oppression—before it becomes still worse. As a first step we can start by defending each other based on the principle that a woke attack on one is an attack on all.

An attack against one is an attack against all. That’s an understanding that needs to wake us all up.

August 10, 2020

Is censoring reality to support a BLM narrative causing real harm to real people in real life?

Filed under: Uncategorized — tildeb @ 10:25 am

From Heather McDonald, one of those pesky well educated people who thinks reality should have some say…

https://www.thinkspot.com/discourse/4DuqWG/post/heather-mac-donald/my-recently-censored-lecture/8dQtDo

YouTube has already taken this video down for breach ‘community standards’, which is why there is a link here instead.

This is what happens when narrative trumps reality. We are fooled. And we are the easiest people to fool when we think we are being virtuous, acting as champions of the supposedly downtrodden. That’s why all of us need a reality check from time to time, to allow reality to arbitrate our beliefs about it, and to stop presuming a narrative can be believed first because it makes us feel good about ourselves and then have reality submit. That’s not how reality operates – it is, in fact, delusional thinking – but it is how faith-based thinking leads away from what’s true.

August 4, 2020

Social construct? Too perceptive not to post

Filed under: Uncategorized — tildeb @ 12:31 pm

August 3, 2020

What is today’s social justice movement and where does it come from?

Filed under: Uncategorized — tildeb @ 9:07 am

James Lindsay, who has also published several books about this topic with co-author Helen Pluckrose, explains what and where the Woke’s movement’s Critical Theory base is and comes from (yes, it really does have roots to the Baptist Social Gospel of the 1800s):

July 20, 2020

Is the Woke movement racist?

Filed under: Uncategorized — tildeb @ 2:01 pm

has written a piece about Robin DiAngelo’s ant-racist workshops. She is the bestselling author of What Does it Mean to be White, and more recently White Fragility: Why is it so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. Chait’s conclusion states,

“But one day DiAngelo’s legions of customers will look back with embarrassment at the time when a moment of awakening to the depth of American racism drove them to embrace something very much like racism itself.”

 

Is this true, and if so, how might we know? Well, humour is pretty good way…

May 11, 2020

Is the Trump Administration the First Postmodern American Regime?

Filed under: Uncategorized — tildeb @ 2:59 pm

Postmodernism - english

No matter how much I wish this were not so, I think there’s a very strong argument to made that it is. But at what a cost!

James Lindsay does just that in his article/podcast at New Discourse called Age of Narratives and The Postmodern Democratic Regime. He explains far better than I ever could what Modernity means in the creation and maintenance of liberal secular democracies by way of shared values and how Postmodern beliefs in action relentlessly attack those values with the effect of causing great harm to liberal secular democracies, harm to science, harm to reasonable discourse based on mutual respect for what’s true, harm to mutual respect for the rule of law, harm to the mutual respect for regulated capitalism, for free speech, and so on. The evolving result in which we find ourselves living , as postmodern ideology becomes ever more institutionalized as public values, is the Trump Administration. It’s not a Right wing/Left wing problem at all but a Postmodern problem under populist leadership. Because we know this Administration effortlessly uses and discards as needed the partisan political divide to its own disruptive ends to gain ever more political power over the narrative, while at the same time politicizing everything into narratives it can spin to its own support regardless of truth or facts, we have difficulty making sense of it. Why don’t facts matter? Where did the concern for respecting what’s true go? Why don’t good reasons and compelling evidence have any sway?

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March 18, 2020

Why is Critical Social Justice theory the Covid-19 of liberal democracies?

Filed under: Uncategorized — tildeb @ 8:25 pm

Here is a long article by James Lindsay that articulates what I have been railing against for two decades: the rise of anti-liberalism in our western societies – including religion. I think it is by far the best explanation I have read to date and urge readers to take the time to read it.

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December 4, 2019

Female Erasure: the sustained attack against women’s sex-based rights and freedoms

Filed under: Uncategorized — tildeb @ 10:48 am

This not some some sideline issue but a growing trend in public policy to appease the transactivist lobby at the direct expense of gains made by women in the public domain. I have asked my elected representative to find out how and why convicted male abusers are being housed in the same prisons and sharing the same common areas as their victims. I kid you not. Other than a response of eventually getting back to me… crickets.

Convicted males claiming female identity are allowed access to their victim targets BY OFFICIAL POLICY. This is unconscionable stupidity and cruelty in the name of placating the promoters and defenders of Identity Politics in general and indoctrinated supporters of gender fluidity by feelings specifically. But this is only one small example.

That’s why this issue needs a much wider audience from those still able to rub two neurons together. Read it and weep at how easily we allow our elected representatives to step aside and allow the True Believer inmates to run the gender-based insane asylum throughout the public domain. Of course, banning critics of the gender-based insanity sweeping the public domain from the public domain is the primary tool used by its ideological defenders. That’s a clue….

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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!

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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!

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