A few days ago Junican drew attention to a debate about political correctness, that featured Jordan Peterson, Stephen Fry, and a couple of other people I’d never heard of. And the resolution under debate was:
Be it resolved, what you call political correctness, I call progress…
I ended up watching about half of it.
I felt that all concerned had just been talking past each other. And scoring cheap points (usually at the expense of Donald Trump).
But afterwards I got thinking about the resolution, and thinking that actually, for these people, “Be it resolved, what you call political correctness, we call progress” pretty much sums up exactly the way they see things.
Take smoking bans. I think smoking bans are an example of political correctness. They’re one of the best examples around. But they think that smoking bans are progress.
And that’s why they’re all so smugly self-congratulatory when they get a new smoking ban in place, or extend an existing one. It’s all Progress for them, and Progress with a capital P.
It’s an idea of progress that will only end when smoking tobacco is illegal, and death – execution – is the punishment for smoking a single cigarette, and every tobacco plant in the world has been uprooted and burned. That’s the end goal. Or, as they like to call it, the “endgame”. It’s the complete and total suppression of tobacco. It’s the removal of it from the world.
But to me, that looks like complete and absolute tyranny. And I think that doing the same with alcohol or sugar or salt or chocolate or meat or fat and all the other things that they also want to suppress (and tobacco is just the start, after all) is equally tyrannical.
But tyranny is what they want. For them, the most complete and utter tyranny is what they regard as progress. Their perfect, ideal world is one of complete and absolute and unending tyranny: it’s Orwell’s “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.”
That is their vision of the future. And progress is whatever moves the world a step or two towards that future, the future they so long for, from which all freedom has been completely banished.
But my idea of progress is the exact opposite of their idea of theirs. For me, progress entails increasing freedom rather than decreasing it. In Idle Theory, I call this freedom idleness, and my (unattainable) ideal world is one in which people live perfectly idle lives, doing whatever they want to do.
My vision of progress is one in which people start out having to work long hours, with little idle time, and end up working very short hours with lots of idle time:
And their vision of progress is the exact opposite. They want a world from which freedom has been expunged. They want a world in which everybody is regimented, and all marching in lockstep with each other, not only doing what they’re told to do, but also thinking what they’re told to think. They want a world in which everyone is kept busy all the time. They want a world that is one vast labour camp. And when they’ve managed to attain that, the labour camp will become an extermination camp. Because in Idle Theory 0% idleness is the threshold of death, and a perfect labour camp in which everyone is kept completely busy all the time is a death camp.
And unlike my unattainable world of perfect idleness, their world of complete busyness is a very easily attainable world. It’s a state that is attained any time any living thing – plant, animal, or human – dies. And that’s happening all the time everywhere.
So progress, in the sense I mean it, is something very difficult to do. It’s difficult to invent new ways of doing things so that people don’t have to work so hard. It was very difficult to get beyond using stone tools and starting to use copper and bronze and iron tools. It took thousands and thousands of years.
But progress in their sense is something that’s very easy to do. All you need do is smash all the tools, and smash all the engines, and we’ll be back in the Stone Age overnight. Literally overnight. And this is exactly what they want. For they hate cars and trains and planes. And they hate coal and oil and gas. And they hate nuclear energy. And they hate freedom. And above all they hate people. They’re always saying that there are too many of us. The death of humanity is what the Greens and the environmentalists want. They think we’re a plague. And many of them are quite open about it. They think a “sustainable” world would be one in which there was a population of about 10,000 – 100,000 (although I think that if they managed to kill off 7 billion people, they’d be unable to resist killing off the last 10,000 as well).
And progress, in their sense, has been achieved many times. Hitler was pretty good at it. So was Stalin. So was Mao. And so was Pol Pot. They all killed lots and lots of people. Killing people is very easy. Ask any mafia hitman. It’s keeping them alive that’s difficult. Ask any doctor. Show me a doctor who ever managed to keep anyone alive for very long. All their patients wind up dead in the end. Every single one.
Political correctness always entails removing freedoms. Smoking bans remove freedom. And political correctness, as it tries to censor speech, censor ideas, enforce conformity, also always acts to remove freedom of speech and thought. And environmentalist political correctness sets out to restrict and remove people’s freedom to drive cars or burn coal or wood. Political correctness always seeks to control people, and the more that people are controlled, the less freedom they have.
I came away from the “debate” with the sense that the collision between the freedom-lovers and the freedom-haters was now so profound that it could only be resolved by all-out war. It could only be resolved by civil war. And civil war is something that many Americans (like Alex Jones) think that is about to start, and maybe has started already in America. And civil war is something towards which Europe is also steadily marching. Either they (freedom-haters) win, or we (freedom-lovers) do.