Welcome back, fellas. Ah yes, this “world-gone-mad” theme just keeps giving and giving. So today, the Booby will call your attention to a little matter that has exploded out of control. Today’s advice concerns “moral superiority”, something we all understand, but seem helpless to keep in check these days. This is the dark age of political correctness.
Now for starters “morality” is itself a tricky topic. The word itself seems to illicit in most of us a stomach-turning reaction, and mental images of stern quakers admonishing our every private word, deed, and desire. For our purposes let’s just think of morality as rules or checks on our behaviour which many consider necessary to keep society from going to hell, and often rightfully so.
But this is where a little honesty comes in. What we call morality is something we detect, consciously or subconsciously, as being in our self-interest. After all, shouldn’t the weak want to prevent the strong from raping, pillaging, and murdering to their heart’s content? The Booby’s not afraid to admit that he’s OK with such checks and balances on human behaviour.
Morality, in other words, feels good. It can give us a sense of security and ease our fears.
Problem is, morality can also feel good in other ways – ways that are no less self-interested, but not merely for the easing of fear and dread, and not always in ways that are conducive to keeping the peace. Morality can provide pleasure, and not merely relief.
Of course, morality unleashes our feelings of rage, of vengefulness, of superiority. It presages the pack instinct of group attack. As we know, these emotions feel good (see here), whether we’re conscious of it or not.
Even this is not necessarily a bad thing. If there is a dangerous predator in one’s community the pack will typically react with vengefulness once that predator is captured. This is natural. And if the pleasure the community members derive from punishing that predator contributes to making the community safer, well then, what of it?
Of course, the Booby alluded to other pleasures that can arise. This form of pleasure can be intoxicating. We, as people, are prone to becoming – for lack of a better word – addicted to those things that give us pleasure. So what happens when significant numbers within the community find they quite like the pleasure of shaming, isolating, and punishing? The pack has a mind of its own, and always seeks pleasure-seeking and finds ways to interpret it as being in its immediate self-interest.
The Booby submits that this is where we are today. We are a society gone mad, intoxicated on the pleasures of the attack, of condemnation, and of inflicting punishment. It is curious that a society like ours that refuses – on “moral” grounds – to execute mass-murderers, simultaneously seems to take so much delight in punishing people for the pettiest transgressions against political correctness.
The most recent example is the uproar surrounding Joe Biden, and his alleged inappropriate touching and whispering (see here). The level of outrage directed at this politician (whether one likes him or not) seems egregiously disproportionate (see here) if the current accusations are really the true extent of his misdeeds. But this was nothing, of course, next to the uproar that exploded over then-candidate Donald Trump’s locker room banter, recorded in secret and used against him over a decade later during the 2016 election.
Now keep in mind neither Mr. Biden nor Mr. Trump has been charged with doing anything illegal in either case, but that hasn’t stopped the public outcry, nor kept the media from feeding on the public’s demand for an inquisition. The demands for retributive justice have become deafening. An even more egregious spectacle emerged during the Bret Kavanaugh hearings.
The vengefulness of moral mass-hysteria has now actually become exploitable as a political tool, and as a means to squash political opponents, something reminiscent of all totalitarian regimes. To be sure, it has increasingly less to do with seeking justice for victims of wrong-doing, assuming it ever aspired to such aims (a big assumption), and more about satiating the emotions of the crowd.
This has now become a crisis. It is now accepted practice that a public accusation, and subsequent media circus, is all that’s required to destroy a person’s career, reputation, and financial well-being. This is especially true if the accused is a straight white male. Proof can be found by examining the Jesse Smollette case. Here, by contrast, the public saw that a gay, black man, caught red-handed committing a most vile crime (as opposed to being merely accused of one) can expect to receive special protection from the mainstream political establishment (see here).
Even worse, however, is the modern feminist movement’s actions. It’s latest salvo, ie. “#BelieveWomen”, seeks to eliminate a man’s presumption of innocence by the law. In truth, feminists have been trying to place the burden of proving innocence upon men for decades, but only in the last several months has it become ominously clear that this goal has gone mainstream (see here). However, even if the “guilty until proven innocent” demand by modern feminists does not fully work its way into the legal system, the fact is that this criteria is now de facto law in the court of the mainstream media and its audience comprised of the modern-day self-proclaimed moral majority.
These are increasingly dark times.
The trouble with any rising, frenzied contagion of moral superiority is that it rationalizes behaviours that would normally be considered by most people to be quite immoral, like condemning and punishing people without fair trial and due process. The mask of moral outrage is the perfect outlet for our pursuit of the most base emotions: like the aforementioned joy of kicking ass, or just plain old vindictiveness.
These behaviours have become pandemic today. We’ve already discussed the perverse joy vast segments of the public derive from seeing names, reputations, and lives destroyed by media inquisitions. But there are other manifestations.
For decades, perhaps centuries, censorships was considered an odious activity by the educated, and contrary to the functioning of a healthy democracy or a free and open society. But in an age of political correctness – i.e. this pandemic of moral superiority in which we find ourselves – censorship is just one more vile behaviour rationalized by the adherents of an ideology that defines “hate”, “racist”, or “misogyny” according to own terms at the exclusion of all others.
This has effectively become a religious inquisition. Fervour has certainly infected the various branches of government and the judiciary, but the real power of a religious inquisition is its popular appeal. No one had to force those crowds of peasants to watch and cheer burnings at the stake during the Middle Ages; no one forced audiences to attend beheadings during the French Terror; no one ordered young intellectuals to ignore or deny mass-exterminations carried out by Marxist regimes in the 20th Century. All did so willingly and with great pleasure.
So take heed, fellas, and reserve some hope, too. Remember that the inquisition in the Middle Ages produced a backlash against the clerical authorities; the Terror in France produced a backlash that eventually crushed the inquisitors of that day; and the Marxist regimes of the 20th Century collapsed, despite having the sympathy and support of the West’s artists and intellectuals.
As usual, the Booby advises you to educate yourself. The educators of your schools and colleges are overwhelmingly your inquisitors. Don’t trust them. Don’t believe them. Find ways to fight back against them without placing your livelihood in jeopardy. Study Vox Day’s books (see here), support the men’s rights movement (see here), or upset the electoral applecart by voting for whichever candidate is most repugnant to the mainstream moralists.
Good luck in these dark times.