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Thread: The New Truth

  1. #1
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    The New Truth

    An excerpt:
    I don’t know how to argue in America anymore, or whether it’s even worth it. For someone like me, that is a real tragedy and so I would like to understand how this new reality came about.

    There are distinct and deep-rooted traditions of rational empiricism and religious sermonizing in American history. But these two modes seem to have become fused together in a new form of argumentation that is validated by elite institutions like the universities, The New York Times, Gracie Mansion, and especially on the new technology platforms where battles over the discourse are now waged. The new mode is argument by commandment: It borrows the form to game the discourse of rational argumentation in order to issue moral commandments. No official doctrine yet exists for this syncretic belief system but its features have been on display in all of the major debates over political morality of the past decade. Marrying the technical nomenclature of rational proof to the soaring eschatology of the sermon, it releases adherents from the normal bounds of reason. The arguer-commander is animated by a vision of secular hell—unremitting racial oppression that never improves despite myths about progress; society as a ceaseless subjection to rape and sexual assault; Trump himself, arriving to inaugurate a Luciferean reign of torture. Those in possession of this vision do not offer the possibility of redemption or transcendence, they come to deliver justice. In possession of justice, the arguer-commander is free at any moment to throw off the cloak of reason and proclaim you a bigot—racist, sexist, transphobe—who must be fired from your job and socially shunned.

    Practitioners of the new argument bolster their rationalist veneer with constant appeals to forms of authority that come in equal parts from biology and elite credentialing. Have you noticed how many people, especially online, start their statements by telling you their profession or their identity group: As a privileged white woman; as a doctoral student in applied linguistics; as a progressive Jewish BIPOC paleontologist—and so on? These are military salutes, which are used to establish rank between fellow “az-uhs” while distinguishing them as a class from the civilian population. You must always listen to the experts, the new form of argument insists, and to the science. Anything else would be invalid; science denialism; not rational; immoral.

    Because of the way it toggles back and forth between rationalism and religiosity, switching categories by taking recourse to one when the other is questioned, the new form of argument-commandment, rather than invalidating itself or foundering on its own contradictions, becomes, somehow, rhetorically invincible—through the demonstration of power relations that the arguer denies exist, but are plainly manifest in the progress of the argument.

    The group of historians who submitted their letter of dissent to The New York Times, objecting to the historical claims in the paper’s flagship 1619 project provided a nice demonstration of this point. They questioned the project's scholarship and in response, were accused of being old white men, as indeed most of them were, and antique reactionaries. When they pleaded that they were not abettors of white supremacy but objected to the project’s historical claims, they were told their history was in error. In the end the historians, however distinguished their careers were beforehand, appeared confused and defeated, complaining solicitously in their allotted column inches in the paper’s letters section.

    The 1619 project, meanwhile, having essentially conceded the historians’ central point, lost nothing at all. It marches on unscathed toward becoming the official curriculum in the nation’s public school system, replacing the products of the American historical profession as a whole, which must either adapt or suffer a similar humiliation. The outcome proved that whether or not the historians were right about the facts of history, they had made a fundamental error in judging where power lies. At best, they are dopes who thought they were smarter, which is to say more powerful, than they are. At worst, they are professionally self-destructive, and—who knows—maybe even racists.

    Argument itself requires that certain fundamental questions are settled and beyond dispute. In order to argue over whether the sky is blue, we’ll have to agree on what the sky is. The new argumentation has not only vastly expanded the number of subjects that are supposed to be beyond argumentation, it has, by a sleight of hand, reversed the nature of the matters that cannot be questioned. Now, it is precisely the most contentious issues—is biological sex a valid concept? Is racism and abuse so widespread in American law enforcement that we should immediately defund the police?—that must be accepted a priori.

    To insist that the conclusion that the arguer wishes to reach, with its implied corollary commandment, must be accepted by his or her opponent as a premise before the argument begins is not the move of a person who has confidence in their truth. It is the opposite of any form of reasoned argument. It is coercive. Except the people who argue this way claim that they cannot possibly be coercive, because you must accept the premise that they don’t have power—even if they are editing The New York Times Magazine, or threatening to get you fired from your job. You say they can’t have it both ways? They say, why not—and then accuse you of opposing the powerless, which, it turns out, is a form of authority that cannot be trumped.
    https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/n...alism-religion

    Please, read the entire article, its that good.

    Mark
    Race Card: A tool of the intellectually weak and lazy when they cannot counter a logical argument or factual data.

    "Liberals have to stop insisting that the world is what they want it to be instead of the way it is." - Bill Maher

    Political correctness is ideological fascism. It’s the antithesis of freedom. Dr. Piper

    Gender is not a "Social Construct", it is an outgrowth of biological reality.

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  3. #2
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    The left has set us on the path of living out the book 1984. To the liberals here, I want to ask why? What is it you want to accomplish other than “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” George Orwell.

    Do you really want to live in such a world? You want your children to live in it?

    Mark
    Race Card: A tool of the intellectually weak and lazy when they cannot counter a logical argument or factual data.

    "Liberals have to stop insisting that the world is what they want it to be instead of the way it is." - Bill Maher

    Political correctness is ideological fascism. It’s the antithesis of freedom. Dr. Piper

    Gender is not a "Social Construct", it is an outgrowth of biological reality.

  4. #3
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    Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And that process is continuing day be day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except the endless present in which the party is always right.

    George Orwell



    Anyone here want to deny this is exactly what is happening today?

    Mark
    Race Card: A tool of the intellectually weak and lazy when they cannot counter a logical argument or factual data.

    "Liberals have to stop insisting that the world is what they want it to be instead of the way it is." - Bill Maher

    Political correctness is ideological fascism. It’s the antithesis of freedom. Dr. Piper

    Gender is not a "Social Construct", it is an outgrowth of biological reality.

  5. #4
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    That's an excellent article.

    "Good" people want changes for the good. They just often fail to see that the changes they want are destructive to many other people. There's always been this Utopian idea that "we" can change everybody for the better by brainwashing them or threatening them enough.

    What they are failing to consider is that human nature is variable. Some are timid, some vicious, some smart, and some violent. There's no 'one way' to coerce human nature into whatever mold you pick. There are no arguments, demonstrations, or logic that can make people into whatever you want.

    The Lord knows, it's been tried many, many times. It typically ends up with a lot of corpses and an entire population of people with some kind of PTSD.

    By shutting down all discourse through mob intimidation, they aren't making new converts. They are making a covert opposition. We've already seen it. People will refuse to admit they favor various candidates or causes but they will turn out for them. At least while they can.
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

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