Bringing an exogenous gun to an endogenous gunfight
October 1, 2015 § 78 Comments
The nuttier side of what is commonly (though perhaps somewhat deceptively) called the right wing of politics has a tendency to believe in conspiracy theories. (This isn’t the only group with such a tendency, of course, but I can’t talk about everything and everyone all at once). The explanation of why this is the case is fairly simple: nobody wants to believe that there is something broken in their own thinking and the thinking of fellow travelers. So problems simply must be exogenous rather than endogenous. Things must be all screwed up because of some outside oppressor: the notion that things are all screwed up because we allow them to be screwed up, and we allow them be screwed up because our own thoughts are broken, simply cannot crack through the walls of denial.
Some skepticism has been expressed about drawing a connection between the Sons of Liberty torturing loyalists for failure to vocally support rebellion, and the Sons of Sodomy forcing Brendan Eich to resign from his job for his failure to express approval of sodomy comprehensively and forcefully enough since the day he was born. “Social justice warriors”, it is proposed, are mainly products of the Frankfurt School and cannot be tied in any significant way to liberalism.
While I’ll grant that being forced to resign is not as severe as being tortured, I do think that attempts to deny the connection are unfounded.
Before laying the blame for all the world’s ills at the feet of albino monks or perfidious Jews, it is important to observe that powerful groups in society are only powerful because that society grants them power. Sons of Liberty terrorizing and murdering people loyal to England, the Frankfurt School itself, the homosexual activists who tried to get me fired from a job in the early nineties for things I said on the Internet before the World Wide Web even existed, and the Sons of Sodomy forcing Eich to resign, are only tolerated because the larger society tolerates and even encourages them. It is in this sense (and only this sense) that government by consent of the governed is true: not that legitimate authority derives from consent, but that the things which happen in a society are just those things which that society tolerates or encourages.
If you took a poll of average people on the street I expect that less than one in a hundred – maybe one in a thousand – would have ever even heard of the Frankfurt School. But nearly every one of them would agree that the government should protect everyone’s freedoms and make sure that everyone’s equal rights are respected.
And that is all that is required to clear the grounds for both the Sons of Liberty and the Sons of Sodomy to prosper.
If we don’t want to keep cultivating Sons of Liberty and Sons of Sodomy, we have to stop planting them and tending the fields where they grow. That means unequivocal repentance from the lie that is liberalism, not finding a group of albino monks to blame for all of our woes.