With modernization came increased interaction with strangers and a change of social norms.
Yet in that era’s wake, in the advent of Uber, delivery food and Airbnb, we find humanity closer in proximity while becoming increasingly fractured socially. This is a cliché, but it happens to be true. I wish here to outline a growing viewpoint among us young people that does nothing to help and that I find extremely disturbing.
Our postmodern understanding of equality, the mob-enforced viewpoints and people’s resulting self-censorship actively grind progress to a terrible stalemate, not just in our humanities and social sciences, but in our development of moral attitudes and of societal interaction. Ideas should be met with reason and debate, not with protests, chants of offense and cries against intolerance that result in a greater injustice to liberty and our individual resilience than that which they seek to eliminate.
If Milo Yiannopoulos wants to claim that lesbians don’t really exist, that they would be happier with a man, it is up to those in disagreement, lesbians especially, to destroy his argument. He is only validated by the screams of students and the call for censorship. Has no one heard of the Streisand effect? This is why we are stuck with Trump and his dirt administration if you were curious. All that mumble of the silent majority turned out to be true, and it’s precisely the fault of the censor. As Michael Kinsley remarks in his Vanity Fair article about P. C. culture in Britain, Self-censorship is the most effective form of censorship. It keeps ideas inside for fear of arousing others’ sensitivities, and it leaves no footprint except that of resentment and a marked ballot come election time.
It is also no surprise to me that the protectors of state-recognized victims are the most likely to destroy the lives of others for no greater crime than speech or an off-color tweet, just as the main callers for censorship are usually the greatest wells of hatred and rationalizers of violence. This is the form in which tolerance presents itself to us now.
This is also inseparable from the horror of a pseudo-multiculturalism, installed into our media by an authoritarian left-wing. The best models of multicultural society are known and include those in which everything may be discussed, one in which disagreements are had and resolved with reason, compromise and much deliberation, one where skepticism of everything can be practiced unashamed. We live in that reality’s nightmare; a world in which disagreements are not resolved because they are not had meaningfully. From both the far left and right we hear garbled screaming while the rest of us sit in the middle scared to be called either one.
More specific to the political left, we see a tribal group-mentality developing as causes in social justice implode. The concept of oppression naturally separates at its core to the experience of individuals, and we see this in the increasing subdivisions of victimized groups. We are all victims of mortality and tragedy. When we lack an external cause, we turn on each other. Women stood together in want of human rights, but having achieved the most important freedoms, they now sit apart with as many or more disagreements as the rest of us.
But this kind of groupthink is not confined to the left (though it is there most matured). I have been personally told to leave the country by a close friend and right-winger because I didn’t think the pledge of allegiance should be compulsory for schoolchildren. My particular objection was the phrase “under God” as added in 1954 (67 years after it was composed) and in conflict with the section of our first amendment forbidding establishment of religion by the state. I wonder how quickly an amendment of “God” to “Allah” for our Muslim friends or to “gods” for our various polytheistic friends would be stomped out. Regardless, there are many reasons to oppose a compulsory statement of patriotism that should not be met with such intolerance.
In any case, this idea stands; top-down political movements and social regulation upon the expression of opinion have reprogrammed our minds such that even extraordinarily dull disagreements can’t be had without taking violent offense.