In this piece I abandon my usual obsession with data and indulge in a little theorising. There comes a point when one must do so. Empiricism alone does not enlighten. The scientific method is conjecture and refutation (or, to those who are happy to disrespect Popper, conjecture and validation). The empirical evidence is the judge, but there must be some putative theory which is in the dock. This set of brief notes presents a theory of how our present polarised politics has arisen, its psychological basis and how this supports a power structure.
I acknowledge Ben Cobley’s The Tribe as the source of the terms “System of Diversity” and “The Administration”, and the associated ideas (the book is strongly recommended). However, that the mechanism by which the System derives its power is the annexation of the perceived moral high ground is my spin, as is the idea that the Administration is the neo-Bourgeoisie in an emerging new class structure.
There is a temptation to blame the occurrence of tyrannous regimes on unusual evil, the unusual evil being embodied in an individual, or small group of individuals. But an unusually evil individual is not necessary, and is certainly not sufficient, for tyrannies to arise. In a democracy, it is also required that the regime is empowered by a substantial level of popular support, at least in the early days before fear takes over as the controlling mechanism. This popular support is not the result of great evil of heart becoming widespread, but results from mundane and universal character flaws. The tragedy is that these humdrum psychological predispositions can be inveigled to bolster wickedness. This may proceed from ignorance, but such ignorance may be more wilful than blameless.
The process seems always to be the same. An out-group is distinguished from the in-group. The out-group is blamed for all the ills of society. The appeal to the in-group is based on two factors: flattery and resentment. These are the mundane character flaws in question. The in-group are flattered by being told they are superior to the out-group. Their resentment is generated by being told that they are being, and have always been, badly used by the out-group. The out-group is said to enjoy greater wealth and power at the in-group’s expense, and perhaps also to abuse them in other ways. For the process to work it is not necessary that the flattery and resentment are factually well founded: it is only necessary that the in-group believe it. What the out-group believes is of no consequence.
It never seems as clear as that when the process is in play. The superficial details differ enough to disguise each new instance of the phenomenon. The driving resentment is presented as a moral crusade, and hence laudable not a character flaw. And the associated flattery is hard to resist. What’s not to like when you are encouraged to bask in the warm glow of superiority whilst being told that you are owed benefits due to other people’s past misdemeanours? It’s so much more attractive than being told you are a sinner, and that you are owed no more than you owe others. The snag is that the former leads to division, injustice, tyranny and social collapse.
The observations which follow lay out how “progressive”-feminist-pseudo-leftist politics manifest this process. I acknowledge that I lean heavily on Ben Cobley’s The Tribe, especially in respect of the terminology “the System of Diversity” and the concept of the “Administration”. The emphasis on moral aspects is my own. I start with the four keys to understanding, followed by a set of brief notes expanding on how it all works.
The first key to understanding what’s going on is to realise that the “progressive”-feminist-pseudo-leftist system is actually a class system. Hence it is correctly called a regressive system, and bears little relation to the true left as it might have been understood by trade unionists a century ago. This essay explains the structure of this brave new class system and its psychological basis. For reasons that will become apparent, I follow Cobley in referring to this as the “System of Diversity”. The adherents of this System of Diversity I will refer to as “progressives”, the inverted commas being essential in view of their commonly regressive true nature.
The second key to understanding our present predicament is to realise that the “progressives” have genuinely relegated truth to a subsidiary position, if not abandoned it entirely. Instead they are obsessed with power. So obsessed are they that in the British Psychological Society’s document “Power Threat Meaning Framework”, power is the key factor in their proposed diagnostic system for mental disorders. But what is power? (No marks for “the rate of doing work”, sorry physicists). Power, in the sociological sense, is the ability to impose your will on others. The System of Diversity is also a System of Power. This is inevitably discriminatory as those with power are distinct from those over whom power is exercised. However, all social structures involve power hierarchies. The issue is their legitimacy.
The keystone in the arch of power that is the System of Diversity is Homo sapiens’ innate inclination to adhere to a social moral code. It is remarkable that humans form extremely large societies of unrelated individuals who get along in reasonable harmony and cooperation. One of the ingredients which make this possible is a set of conventions regarding what is acceptable and what unacceptable, a social morality, which the bulk of people abide by voluntarily and without policing. Defaulters are discouraged largely by social censure. Whilst severe cases may need to be dealt with by criminal proceedings, a decent society needs recourse to such measures only relatively rarely. A congenial society runs on the near-universal adoption of social moral conventions. But this social morality need not be the absolute morality of which philosophers and theologians speak. Clearly not, for social moralities are mutable: different cultures have differing moral codes (ignorance of which can get a stranger into trouble).
The final key to understanding the System of Diversity is to appreciate how our social moral code has been subverted to imbue the “progressive” elite, the neo-Bourgeoisie, with power. As outlined above, the generic process rests always on clearly defined in-groups and out-groups. A route to ensuring that the in-group is flattered and the out-group denigrated is to align in/out group status with moral deserts. The mutability of social morality then provides a mechanism to align your preferred groups as “in groups”. In the same way, groups from whom you wish to withhold power may be aligned as “out groups” by negative moral representation. The former is facilitated by moral vampirism (below), whilst the latter is facilitated by black propaganda.
The basis of the “progressive” system therefore depends crucially on moral relativism.
The out-groups are first defined as those from whom you wish to take power. The in-groups are any readily identifiable groups which are distinct from, and may be presentable as opposed to, the out-groups. Only after the group status is defined is the process of imbuing them with positive or negative moral characteristics embarked upon.
Those who would acquire power in a democratic State have a problem. By visibly holding power they are clearly privileged. But the privileged are not those who naturally command popular sympathy and hence electoral support. There are two solutions to this conundrum: the aspiring politician can be a spokesperson for a class which does inspire sympathy, or he/she can contrive to acquire power without being elected. Even democratic States have means by which power can be acquired without a popular mandate. This can be via the permanent executive, the civil service or similar function, or via the judiciary, or other roles of significant influence. Achieving power in this manner offers the advantage of remaining invisible. The phenomenon of the éminence grise, the power behind the throne, has many historical instantiations (and current ones, viz Martin Selmayr). Less dramatically, society consists of many professional positions (“the institutions”) which carry substantial levels of influence obtained without election but through promotion or appointment. The System of Diversity operates here to preference “progressive” in-groups.
However, the route of invisibility is inapplicable to elected politicians. They must cultivate a constituency who will support them in elections. They are, after all, supposed to be merely representatives. How are politicians seeking election to acquire popular support? The traditional way was for politicians to present their case, stating their proposed policies and arguing for their benefits. No doubt their claims would have lots of spin, exaggeration, unjustified assumptions and ignored disbenefits. But at least such an approach provided the basis for debate, focussed around policies. The “progressives” have adopted a different strategy to obtain political support. They have commandeered the social morality and corrupted it to their purpose. This is a process I call “moral vampirism” which I explain below.
Recall that social morality is a natural proclivity which strongly encourages alignment of opinion, a basic attribute of humans and a central aspect of evolved social cooperation. The existence of such a proclivity provides a great opportunity if you are in the business of acquiring popular support. If your political pitch happens to align with an existing moral position then you’re on a winner. But, more cunningly, what if you exploit the mutability of social morality to re-align popular morality in a manner which suits your political purpose? If this can be done you will have achieved a short-cut to strong political support.
Moral vampirism first requires the in-groups and out-groups to have been defined. As explained above, this dichotomising into identity group status precedes its moral justification. The justification is therefore fraudulent, but that does not diminish its power to garner popular support.
Moral vampirism consists of identifying any and all sources of moral cachet and setting about aligning such sources of moral succour with the in-groups, whilst, if possible, preventing the out-groups from being positively morally associated. The simplest and most pervasive example is victimhood. Moral succour is naturally associated with victims, whilst perpetrators are undeserving. For example, we have the ceaseless narrative about “violence against women and girls”. In the context of the in-group “women” and the out-group “men”, this supports the moral stance “women good, men bad”. It is the simplicity of the message which is part of its popular appeal.
I first became aware of the use of moral vampirism in the context of the women’s peace camp at Greenham Common in the 1980s. The camp was a protest against nuclear missiles stored at the Greenham base. Men who turned up early in the peace camp’s history were asked to leave. The reason I recall being stated at the time was that the presence of men might provoke violence. It was a rather obvious rationalisation. It was clear to me that the camp presented the women with a perfect PR opportunity to align the moral right with women. Inside the base, on the other side of a high wire fence, were men – virtually exclusively men – with weapons of mass destruction. Outside, in their primitive benders, were women, mothers who stood for peace not killing. The “women good, men bad” narrative could hardly be clearer, and there were great optics to go with it.
Here we also see the attraction of infantilising moral issues. An effective public relations image requires simplicity of message. Good PR is not served by close moral or military examination of the issues. The desirability, or otherwise, of national defence, and how it might best be accomplished, was not recognised as a discussion which needed to be had. Killing was bad, and the peace camp mothers presented it specifically as the killing of children. Any possibility of moral dilemma was obliterated, implicitly declared nugatory and never explicitly discussed.
It is telling that the camp was not presented as a feminist enterprise at the time. But since then many feminists have acknowledged that the camp marked a key event in their feminist awakening. The “awakening”, I suggest, actually consisted largely of the discovery of how delightful it was to be able to bask in the warm glow of moral purity and export all badness to the “others”. This was one of the many steps in consolidating the in-group status of women and the out-group status of men.
Another example of moral vampirism is the Green Party. The Green Party is floridly feminist and hard-left. Yet the Greens are essentially a conservationist movement. Given the etymological equivalence of “conservation” and “conservative”, one might have thought that the Green movement should be part of the Conservative political axis. And as for being aligned with sex, why should the Greens be aligned at all? Logically, the feminist-leftist nature of the Green Party makes no sense. The explanation is that, some decades ago, environmental issues acquired a patina of moral correctness. The reason is clear enough: trashing the planet is bad, saving the planet is good. (Recall this is the level of simplicity at which moral cachet works best). As soon as green issues became established as a source of moral probity, it was naturally targeted by the morality vampires, ever hungry for another source of moral succour. The morality vampires are the “progressives”, and especially the feminists.
Both men and Conservatives are out-groups, so both had to be excluded from partaking in the moral succour of the Green movement. The annexation of the Green Party by the feminist pseudo-left serves the purposes of aligning the moral credentials of “greenness” with the approved “progressive” in-groups whilst encouraging the eviction of the out-groups from the movement and hence from the associated moral benefit. One feels for men with green sympathies: many have been obliged to leave their natural political home because the Greens have become so appallingly anti-male. You think I exaggerate?
The functional purpose of the Greens within the System of Diversity is to harvest the moral cachet associated with greenness and allocate it to approved in-groups. So out-groups had to be ejected or disenfranchised from recognition as Greens (unless adopting the correct Administrative opinions, see below).
The “System of Diversity” is the power structure which results from advertising and promoting the claims of the chosen in-groups for preference. The elite class which performs the function of enacting this preferencing is what Cobley calls the Administration. The Administrators are well educated, high-achievers in positions (or heading towards positions) in which they are able to exert influence to deliver on this preferencing of the in-groups (whilst neglecting the out-groups). But the Administrators also achieve their elite positions by espousing the cause of the in-groups, thus benefiting both from vicarious moral positioning and from enjoyment of the in-groups’ support, e.g., in elections. This could be a description of any process of political representation. But it is pernicious compared with “honest” politics in several ways,
- It is deliberately divisive, being based on denigration and disadvantaging of the out-groups;
- The out-groups are chosen as those whom the System Administrators wish to disempower, not on the basis of their disempowerment being justified or even beneficial to society;
- The moral claims of the in-groups are exaggerated by the Administration, and sometimes dishonest, especially in comparison with the out-groups whose parallel claims are ignored or denied;
- The Administrators promote and maintain the above system of prejudice because it is the source of their own power and elite status, whilst the members of the in-groups acquiesce to being Administered because they benefit from the system, both materially and in terms of implied moral purity, at no cost to themselves;
- The Administration’s total control of the (perceived) moral high ground leads to control of the institutions, including the legislature, academia, the media and the judiciary, thus robbing the out-groups of any voice to protest.
The parallels with Repressive Tolerance are clear. But Repressive Tolerance is based on an explicit division of policies into those of left or right political leaning. To be enacted requires an effective conspiracy – which always lacks credibility – as well as needing widespread active popular support, which further weakens its likelihood. But the System of Diversity is instantiated at the popular level by control of the moral sense, and morality is an innate human proclivity. The manipulation of the moral sense is the true basis of this brave new System of Diversity. And because it appeals to an innate proclivity, it has been possible to infect large swathes of the public, perhaps even the majority.
Basing a political system on morality may seem desirable. But it is not at all desirable when the moral sense has been corrupted by appeal to people’s baser instincts, levering their desire for preference and ready acceptance of the wickedness of others. The System of Diversity is based on division. It is the latest form of the oldest and most effective strategy in the book: divide and conquer.
The Administrators are the “progressive”-feminist-pseudo-leftist elite: they are the neo-Bourgeoisie. Their power structure is founded on manipulation of popular perceived morality via moral vampirism and moral infantilism.
There is nothing dramatically new about an Administrative intelligentsia attaining bourgeois status by representing a Labour-preferred group. In the 1930s Orwell wrote of,
…the type who squirms into the middle class via the literary intelligentsia, or the type who becomes a Labour MP or a high-up trade union official. This last type is one of the most desolating spectacles the world contains. He has been picked out to fight for his mates, and all it means to him is a soft job and the chance of ‘bettering’ himself. Not merely while but by fighting the bourgeoisie he becomes a bourgeois himself.
In the System of Diversity all moral issues are decided and clear. Preferencing of the in-groups is the moral right, QED. Disadvantaging the out-groups is not a moral issue. Insert here your favourite radical feminist anti-male quote by way of illustration. It is legitimate to hate all men, or kill all men, and men may benefit from being falsely accused, etc, etc. Women, on the other hand, cannot be sexist and never lie. One need never struggle over any of these things. “Man bad, woman good” decides everything immediately.
One of the attractions of this moral infantilism is that it minimises cognitive load. A great boon for the adherent of moral infantilism is that one need never agonise over a moral dilemma ever again. Everything is now black and white, absolutely clear and unambiguous. Every issue – and ultimately every person – will wear a black hat or a white hat. Every issue is decided in advance. This is analogous to religious obedience where a priestly class tells the masses what is right and wrong in every case: no need for them to think at all. In fact, independent thinking is very much to be discouraged.
The method for establishing your over-simplified position as the unchallengeable moral right is strident intolerance of alternative opinion. All attempts at opposition are met with explicit outrage, a signal to all that moral certainty is being asserted. Even factual evidence, unopposed by any contrary information, can be defeated by the simple expedient of lashings of outrage. All that is necessary is to refuse to be deflected by anything, and simply to repeat endlessly the same claim of moral certainty. The strategy of presenting your position as one of moral certainty is that any opponent is immediately branded despicable, thus reinforcing your case. Some examples,
- Immigration: No reasoned debate addressing pros and cons is possible. To even tolerate a discussion about immigration is to be a racist, Islamphobic, alt.right bigot. Arguments that immigration is financially beneficial to the country are given prominent circulation; contrary financial arguments are not.
- Gay marriage: No public debate was had over what marriage means, or what the adoption of same-sex marriage would mean in terms of changing the meaning of marriage for everyone. Instead, to oppose same-sex marriage is merely labelled as unacceptable bigotry. Accept it or shut up and hopefully die soon.
- The EU: After 4 years of non-stop media coverage there has been almost nothing said about the central issue of democratic self-determination or justified concerns about being ruled from abroad by unelected bureaucrats over whom we have little or no influence and cannot remove from office. Instead, raise these issues and one is immediately branded a “little Englander”, a xenophobe or a Fascist. Where was the discussion about the Lisbon Treaty? Where was the discussion about how Martin Selmayr got his job?
- Disadvantages to men & boys: Listen they will not. The placement of moral rectitude with females has already been decided. QED.
The In-Groups and Out-Groups
Without being exhaustive, the in-groups include women and girls, blacks & ethnic minorities, Muslims, non-heterosexuals and trans.
The out-groups include men and boys, whites, conservatives, Christians and heterosexuals.
As regards how the System operates, the division into in & out groups is essentially arbitrary: the key is division itself. However, the in-groups arise due to the relative ease with which a moral case can be created for them being disadvantaged and deserving. In contrast, it is easier to put forward a case for the out-groups being privileged and undeserving. The case need not be valid, only easy to sell.
In case of doubt, my own position is opposition to the System itself. I am opposed to any form of identity politics, not merely an advocate of an alternative preferred identity group. The division into deserving and undeserving groups is the Original Sin from which all the injustices of the System of Diversity flow. Judging people as privileged, or else deserving of preference, based on identity group membership is a profound moral corruption. The only basis for justice is to judge people on their individual merits. What is now called “social justice” is injustice. In the System of Diversity, this “social justice” is the driving force of a power structure whose basic methodology is divide & conquer.
At the heart of it all is moral infantilism.
A complex web of identity group Representatives acts as the interface between the in-groups and the Administrators. For example, Imams or Muslim councillors may act as Representatives for their local Muslim community. Muslims and immigrant communities have a very strong bias towards voting Labour. Representatives may boast that they can “deliver” block votes, thus giving such Representatives considerable power with the Administrative class. In return, the Administrators will protect their interests as a preferred group. This is the trading of power for power.
The claims that the Blair Government encouraged immigration to boost the Labour vote would appear to be true. The Administration and Representation of these communities is one of the processes of the System of Diversity.
The purpose of the Administration is to maintain the System of Diversity, which also maintains their elite position. The System is maintained by protecting the perceived deserving status of the in-groups. One task of the Administration is to remind us constantly that all spaces, everywhere and at all times, are racist, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic, Islamophobic and transphobic. The actual benefits, or disbenefits, to individual in-group members is of less importance than maintaining the System itself, based mainly on perception, because its is the System which is the power structure. As for the in-group members, group-think and a sense of belonging and social approval encourage conformance. The System offers members protection of their identity status, but not authority. Authority is vested in Representatives and Administrators. For fixed identity groups, membership is the default position. Apathy is on the side of the System. To opt out requires pro-active dissent. A key function of the Administration is to ensure that dissenters are discomforted, by denigration and perhaps punitive action, such as sacking or false accusation. In contrast, there is great comfort in conforming to in-group identity expectations, including holding the approved political opinions. It becomes part of one’s social persona. The discomfort of the dissenter is therefore also enacted socially.
Male feminists take great delight in trashing masculinity. They write whole books on the subject. This is puzzling when you first come across it. Some people explain the phenomenon by claiming that these men are using their feminist credentials to get into women’s knickers (“sneaky fucker” syndrome). But a parallel phenomenon occurs when white professors, of either sex, express a desire to see white people fall and fade (“all I want for Christmas is white genocide”). Another example is a white female feminist who goes on a demo bearing banners which read “fuck white feminism”. These examples are not so easily explained in the same way. However, all cases are simply explained once the central importance of the Administration in the System of Diversity is appreciated.
The generic means by which a member of an out-group can attain a positive persona, and indeed, status, within the System is to become an Administrator. In all the above examples, the people in question, who appear to be denigrating themselves, are actually bidding for Administration status. By their striking adoption of right-think they atone for their immutable identity sin, becoming the One Good Man (or the One Good White). Hence they distance themselves from the common run of reprehensible men (or whites). Their born-again moral posturing gains its strength by contrast with the rest of their tribe. The lesson which these phenomena should teach us is how shallow is the progressives’ self-knowledge. Even female feminists are becoming jaundiced by it.
White Ribbon is another example of men bidding for Administration status.
The operation of the System of Diversity in respect of its trading power to community Representatives for assistance with managing their identity group is uncannily similar to how the British Empire managed the colonies. The Raj was run by the British with a preposterously small number of men given the size of India. This was accomplished by devolving authority to Maharajas, Nabobs and other local officials, leaving the British only with the task of overseeing the system as a whole, ensuring that its component parts kept within their allotted roles. The similarity is also noted by Cobley. The System of Diversity is a colonial system within our own shores. The irony is amusing given the “progressives” opinion of colonialism.
In the UK the beginnings of the System of Diversity can be traced to the early 1980s. I have mentioned Greenham Common which started in 1981 and became most active in 1983. But this was specific to feminism. The origins of the more general political process which became the System of Diversity probably stems from the 1984/5 miners’ strike. Mrs Thatcher so decisively defeated the miners that the power of the working class man, via the trades unions, was broken. The chemotherapy killed not just the tumour but also the patient. The power infrastructure of the trades unions and the Labour Party remained, but now shorn of their previous source of power, their legitimacy. The trades unions spent the rest of the 1980s regrouping. Whether deliberately or by happenchance they arrived at an alternative source of moral legitimacy: that of women, of racial minorities, and later of LGBT. The existing infrastructure of the trades unions and the Labour Party, now a political system looking for a cause, alighted on these alternatives as their new raison d’être. This, I suspect, was the origin of the System of Diversity in the UK. It was always, at least in part, for the purpose of continuing the employment of trade unionists and Labour Party MPs who morphed into the Administrators of Diversity.
This is the point at which the left became the pseudo-left as the new “progressives” abandoned the working class male because he no longer served as a source of power. Cobley reminds us that feminists such as Harriet Harman do not merely see the Labour Party as a suitable home for feminists. Harman regards the Labour Party as simply the political wing of feminism, and subsidiary to it. How much further could the working man have fallen? Feminists have completely co-opted his main vehicle for political representation. For this reason the working class are not a chosen in-group, instead enjoying no particular Identity status.
To any person keen to forge a new political movement, the working class is the constituency which is up for grabs. In fact, the term “working class” (which I don’t like anyway) is too narrow. Many of the less well paid middle class fall into the same neglected category with no effective representation at present. Brexit has made this obvious. A powerful movement could be forged from the combination of the working class (or the less wealthy) with the men’s movement and the remaining true social conservatives. These are all out-groups so they might align naturally under opposition to the System of Diversity which disadvantages them all.
I have hinted above that the Conservative Party has ceased to represent real conservatism. The reason is that the System of Diversity and its moral vampire apparatchiks have been so successful in annexing all perceived sources of moral legitimacy that the Conservatives were left looking like the nasty party. Unfortunately, the Conservative Party made the fatal error of thinking that this could be rectified by aping the pseudo-left. This led to the disheartening spectacle of Theresa May’s Labour-lite election manifesto. It points to a total failure to understand how the System of Diversity works. The Conservatives, as a leading out-group, cannot benefit from copying policies or opinions from the system designed to depower them.
The way forward is, as declared above, an alliance between those with true conservative principles and the broad working class, or less well off, plus the men’s movement. The System of Diversity itself must be challenged, not appeased. This essay serves to motivate targeting that challenge at the false, infantile morality upon which the whole edifice of deceit is based.
In the System comprising the Administrative elite, the web of Representatives, and the identity group members, we have an echo of older class systems: the ruling elite, the middle class and the working class. In the feudal system, the elite was maintained by birth, by property ownership and by force. In the industrial system, the new elite arose by control of capital and by ownership of the means of production. In the System of Diversity, the new elite attains power by control, and subversion, of perceived moral deserts, embedded via selective preferencing. In the feudal system the force was military. In the industrial system the force was money. In the System of Diversity the force is the ability to manipulate morality. Those who exercise control over this System are the neo-Bourgeoisie, the new owners of the factories of false morality.
The feminist position on the gender pay gap is propaganda whose aim is to get women working more paid hours. Whether this is what women themselves want is not their concern. The Administrative level feminists want to increase their power by increasing the power of their administered group, in this case by increasing women’s financial significance. In this they align with Government objectives, for whom more paid working hours means more tax revenue and increased GDP. Business interests are similarly aligned with this: more workers, more profit. And this all works at the international level also. Hence, the World Economic Forum, the EU, the UN, the IMF, are all aligned with this feminist objective of increased working hours.
A similar logic applies for immigrants. Putting more workers where the Western economy can put them to work is beneficial to the business and political classes for the above reasons. More parochially, immigrants provide a ready supply of cheap labour. But we have already seen how the System of Diversity and the Labour Party benefit from immigration. Hence, once again the interests of the System of Diversity and international business and international politics coincide.
The mainstream media is almost entirely of the “progressive” class. Their ability to decide what constitutes news, and how it is expressed, gives them carte blanche to impose one-way propaganda upon the public. The result is that the public have a very distorted view about many issues. Favoured identity groups are reported only in terms which present them in a positive light, with only rare exceptions when this might be detected and rebound upon them. Similarly, issues relating to the out-groups are preferentially reported when issues provide an opportunity to portray them in a poor light, and disadvantages to the out-groups are rarely reported at all. Where the media are obliged to report something which goes against their narrative, control over programme content is invariably used to neutralise its impact by immediately following-up with material which resets the imbalance in the “correct” direction.
The good propagandist never lies. But as the System has matured and become arrogant in its power, outright untruths are to be heard frequently. It is not always clear if the reporters believe what they report but have been misled by unreliable sources. The “progressive” bubble generates its own falsities spontaneously, and these are accepted uncritically as long as they conform to the narrative.
More egregious still are the so-called academics who are dedicated to advocacy research. Advocacy research starts from the desired conclusions and ensures that those conclusions are duly reached. It can look just like genuine research, with lots of data and valid analysis methodologies. It may require a great deal of effort to expose it as biased and worthless. Brian Earp has a great phrase “the unbearable asymmetry of bullshit”. By this he refers to the fact that it can take ten times the amount of effort to expose advocacy research than it took to produce it in the first place. This gives the producers of this biased material a massive advantage. This unfortunate situation is promoted by funding agencies which are “progressive” and hence only fund people or institutions whose work can be relied upon to produce the “correct” outcome. As a result there is now so much advocacy research that there is a danger the social sciences are being destroyed completely. Certainly the lay person has no ready way of knowing what is valid from what is bullshit. They look the same to the non-expert. Science has always been dependent upon the honesty of scientists. The physical sciences have held out longer, but are expected to fall.
Recalling the importance of moral claims for the operation of the System of Diversity, the key element in capturing the (apparent) moral high ground is to mislead the public as to where the moral high ground actually lies.
The propagandists of the System of Diversity find that their seed falls on fertile ground. It is unsurprising when the gospel being preached is one of villainous others robbing us of our rightful bounty. It’s not hard to convince people that they have been diddled and that they deserve better. Divisiveness is an easy sell. In the case of feminism it is particularly easy due to innate gynocentrism and a host of other psychological inclinations which it would be too long a digression to expound.
It’s less obvious why the out-groups are happy with a message which paints them as the villains. But here again both innate psychology and existing moral principles assist the process. The lack of male preferencing by other men (what I would call a lack of in-group preference were it not for the terminological confusion) is a major enabler. Since women have natural in-group preference but men do not, a policy of female preferencing (and male neglect) is easy to sell to both. The reverse would be extremely difficult in the modern world. Similarly, whatever one’s view of history, the present reality is that Christians and heterosexuals are highly tolerant and accepting of non-Christians and non-heterosexuals. Policies which favour non-Christians or gays are readily accepted. There is no push-back along the lines of “what about us?”, because that would be regarded as bad form. The out-groups have adopted a view that fairness will prevail, and are only now beginning to realise that the discriminations against them are belligerent and deliberate, not accidental.
For the recalcitrant, a battery of words like sexist, racist, misogynist, Islamophobe, homophobe, Nazi and “white supremacist” are available. These terms are deployed as weapons against the enemies of the System. Few members of the public are acquainted with the word “misandrist”, and we are told that women cannot be sexist and blacks cannot be racist. This is an indirect way of telling us that the weapons “sexist” and “racist” are not permitted to be deployed against the in-groups.
Hence the division into in-groups and out-groups aligns with the grain of popular acceptance. Consequently, when the propagandists inundate us with stories of the wickedness of the out-groups and the victimisation of the in-groups, we are primed to accept them uncritically. We are the willingly misled, because the truth goes against the grain of our preconceptions.
This is a big topic to which I cannot do justice here. However, the key issue is that merely because the Administrative class purports to speak for the in-groups does not mean they have the interests of these groups at heart. The System is a power structure, driving power to the Representative and Administrative classes. It is parasitic upon genuine disadvantage, rather than dedicated to relieving it. Consequently, even the in-groups cannot be assured of benefit, for all they are explicitly preferenced in policy.
But the position of the working class is far worse. The working class is not a recognised identity group at all. By default it is effectively an out-group, though this cannot be made explicit by the System (as no moral case could possibly stand). The System’s policies drive increasing inequality to the detriment of the working class. The collapse of marriage is far more prevalent in the working class, and this drives poverty amongst single mothers as well as social isolation for men. The downward pressure on male earnings through levering the pay-gap narrative and due to declining male education also drives increasing inequality. Feminists may be pleased about this male decline, but that is surely ignorance regarding its consequent effect on women. The reason is the money syphon. Men have always earned more than women, but women have always been primarily responsible for spending. Partly this occurs due to marriage or cohabitation. But it also occurs via the redistribution of tax revenue by the benefit system. In short, when men earn less, women end up with less to spend. The System is driving this by disadvantaging men. The System fails to recognise that men and women are in the same boat because feminist philosophy is to force the sexes into different boats.
Many people express puzzlement that feminists do not criticize traditional Muslim attitudes to women, ostensibly an obvious “patriarchal” target. But such people make the mistake of thinking that feminism is only about the protection of women. On the contrary, at the Administrative level, feminism is primarily concerned with maintaining the flow of power to themselves which results from both administrated identity groups, i.e., both “women” and “ethnic/religious minorities”. To have in-fighting between administered groups would challenge the System. Hence such internecine strife is suppressed at the Administrative level. In short, the purpose of feminism at the Administrative level is to protect the System of Diversity and its associated power structure, not primarily to protect women. The identity group “women” serves their purpose; the Administration is not its servant, it is its overseer.
Every generation of elites must solve the problem of justifying themselves anew. Time was that the justification was that rulers ruled and others did not because it was “the natural order ordained by God”. The use of force had rather more to do with it. The justification gradually morphed into a representative legislature and a democratic process. Unfortunately, you can fool most of the people most of the time, so the democratic system is not fool-proof. The manipulation of the moral sense has proved highly effective in steering the voting public.
The System of Diversity is now in place. To deny being a feminist is to speak against the System. This will not be tolerated and is discouraged by immediate condemnation using the harshest of terms (see above). You will be declared a danger to women. This is not good PR, especially for an MP whose job depends upon a popular vote. Moreover, the System reigns supreme in Parliament – and indeed in virtually all the institutions – and so failing to conform is career terminal. Or it was. Some small cracks may be starting to appear. Dominic Rabb and Esther McVey are currently topical exceptions.
For the same reason. The instantiation of the System as the (apparent) moral high ground makes resistance problematic.
For the same reason again.
Moral vampirism requires a constant supply of moral succour. The trans issue provides another source of moral succour. It could be anything. Any group which can be presented as disadvantaged and deserving assistance is grist to the System’s mill. Remember that the System Administrators garner power from their role as overseers of morally deserving groups. They don’t have to truly care about the people in question. Trans, gays, women, Muslims – they are fodder for the operation of the System whose true purpose is the power hierarchy which advantages the Administrators.
In a reasonably free society, no. The System of Diversity can be stable long-term only in a tyranny. Barring tyranny, systems based on making individuals subsidiary to identity group membership are intrinsically unstable, being subject to endless schism (see here).
It should be clear from the preceding schema that activists identifying as feminists are broadly those bidding for Administration or Representative status. But the identity group which is being administered includes the mass of women, by default. Feminist Administrators therefore speak in women’s name because too few women actively and vociferously speak out against them doing so. But it’s worse than that. A large proportion of people have adopted the brave new morality which teaches that preferencing the identity based in-groups is the definition of social justice.
The Administrator class can use its status as controller of Identity, and hence as the guardian of social justice, to mould new moral stances in respect of language and behaviour. Thus the politically dominant class can impose its ethics upon us all. This used to be accomplished through the Church. But the established Church is now captured by the System of Diversity and hence acts as yet another arm of the System’s moral hegemony. Thus the new church is the System itself, and church and State are closer than ever.
People try to reassure me that the antics of the NUS and other censorious students are not representative of the overwhelming majority of students. Should I be reassured? Why do the majority of students not kick out these bigots who refuse permission for men’s groups and who shut down speaking events that the university has already approved? Why should I be comforted that the activist zealots are only a small minority when the majority can be relied upon to be apathetic and do nothing to stop them? Why should I not expect national politics to be another example of the same phenomenon, with the small but highly vocal minority calling all the shots? And why should I not expect that national politics, and all that flows from it, to become ever more extreme as today’s activist students become tomorrow’s MPs? What sort of society can we expect when these closed-minded semi-thugs acquire power?
Quite what is in the minds of these activist students defeats me. But two factors can be identified. The first is that they will be sensitive to their relative privilege and anxious to atone for it. Evidence in favour of this perspective is that such activism tends to be more common at the most elite universities and colleges. The escape route offered to the nascent elites is to join the Administration. By espousing the cause of the deserving in-groups, one’s sins as an otherwise privileged person may be expiated. Hence, the second factor is that these censorious students are in training as new Administrators, the neo-Bourgeoisie in waiting.
Dissenting from the approved views of The System does not result in debate over who is right. This must be avoided because the shallowness of the System’s position will not bear much scrutiny. For people who are full-on dissidents (MRAs, conservatives) the approach is ad hominem. No need to say that Nigel Farage is wrong; he is a repugnant racist, and that’s all that’s needed. People who hold views contrary to the correct victimhood perspective of the in-groups are personally vile.
I was taken to task for voting for Ann Widdecombe in the EU elections, the knee-jerk response being “you can’t have voted for her, she’s a Fascist!”. She’s a Christian conservative who does not say the right things about LGBT. It’s no good observing that Fascists are people who rove the streets in gangs beating people up and asking whether that’s really a good description of Ann Widdecombe. The mind invaded by this contagious moral infantilism is closed. Lamentably, the moral infantilism and associated intolerance has been adopted by the masses – at least a good part of the middle class, anyway.
Intolerance plays an important role in the virulence of the contagion. To avoid being berated yourself you’d better adopt the views that the lovely people hold. If you know what’s good for you. But it’s not done so crudely that the moral blackmail is apparent. Instead, the invariable hostility which greets dissenting voices discourages you from doing the same. This is the self-censorship of political correctness. But worse, the relentless personal attacks on dissenters leads you to interpret dissident views in terms of personal failings of those holding them. Most people simply have no strong reason to resist the easiest response: to adopt the approved perspective. It’s easy, it minimises cognitive load, it makes everyone think you’re a good person, it avoids trouble, and there’s no downside. This compliance with a moral narrative, contravening which meets with powerful social disapprobation, is precisely what the human moral disposition was evolved to do.
Roy Baumeister’s 1997 book Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty is focussed on the mind and motivation of perpetrators of physical violence, but it is remarkable how apposite are many of Baumeister’s findings when considered in the context of the progressives’ attitude towards the out-groups. One only needs to reinterpret Baumeister’s observations in terms of out-group denigration, or situational aggression. It seems that the “progressive” attitude towards the out groups is very similar to the attitude of the physically cruel and violent towards their victims. For example,
“A common solution to the problem of justifying one’s aggression is to depict the enemy as evil.”
“A very powerful benefit of demonising the enemy is that all misfortunes and suffering on both sides can be blamed on the enemy….What the good side suffers is the fault of the evil side. By the same token, whatever the evil side suffers is also its own fault, because it brought it on itself by means of its evil activities.”
Compare that latter point with the feminist view that the “patriarchy” is responsible for women’s disadvantages, and also that “patriarchy hurts men too”.
Feminists tend to interpret relatively benign words or actions by men as sexist and stemming from male sexual entitlement. By comparison, Baumeister observed that the most aggressive people tended to see hostility when it wasn’t really there: “they interpreted relatively innocuous and agreeable interactions as attempts to dominate others aggressively”. Are we to conclude that this feminist tendency is related to their own aggression?
Baumeister even makes some observations which are explicitly critical of the identity political mindset, on which remarks I close this piece,
“The history of hate crimes does not offer either whites or blacks much basis for claiming moral superiority…..Both have proved the fallacy of thinking that you are entitled to special respect on the basis of your race; society may work better if people try to earn respect as individuals, by their virtuous acts and achievements.”
“The incorporation of racial conflict into the myth of pure evil suggests one risk in the current American rush to categorise everyone by race and gender. The more people become sensitive to these differences, the more easily they will fall into the us-against-them mentality, and the more readily the myth of pure evil will be passed onto the other side. The more people are pushed to be constantly aware of differences, the harder it may be for them to get along. In the history of the world, increased recognition of differences between groups has led more often to conflict and violence than to peaceful cooperation and sharing. America is now making a dangerous gamble on the opposite result.”