Monday, May 09, 2005

The PC commandments

Baron Bodissey at Gates of Vienna has thoughtfully and helpfully codified the 10 Commandments of PC.

Here they are (please go to his post for further explanation):

1. America is uniquely evil.
2. America is never justified in defending itself.
3. Illiterate people from poor societies are superior to Americans.
4. The Earth would be better off without human beings.
5. Making a profit is always immoral.
6. Differences between individuals or groups are unfair.
7. For Designated Victim Groups, strong feelings excuse all behavior.
8. Policies informed by Judæo-Christian principles are inherently suspect.
9. Conservatives are hypocrites; liberals are sincere.
10. There are no acts of God; there are only acts of Government.

I know that ten is a wonderful (not to mention traditional) number for these things. But, with all due respect to the Baron, I'd like to add four of my own.

11) We defend the right to free speech for ourselves, but anyone else whose speech hurts our feelings must be censored.

12) In any conflict between a third-world nation and a first-world nation, the third-world nation is always right.

13) Tyranny in third-world countries is not our concern unless the US (or Israel) can be blamed in some way.

14) All criticism or disagreement with any policy of a third-world nation, culture, or person is, by definition, racism.

58 Comments:

At 12:16 PM, May 09, 2005, Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

Glad to see your additions to the list. Ten is just the traditional number to start with -- after all, "Thou shalt not remove the label from this mattress" was not one of the original 10!

The PC commandments are legion. Keeping the list down to 10 was difficult. Fortunately, lots more can be added as corollaries or extensions. And it's fun to do. ;)

 
At 12:28 PM, May 09, 2005, Anonymous bill barnes said...

Bullshit. There is and always has been a whole universe of left and center-left scholarship and discourse out there that never takes any of these positions (except perhaps #4) -- you just refuse to read or listen.

 
At 1:11 PM, May 09, 2005, Anonymous robert aldridge said...

I recall two or three years ago a leftie friend condemning the US for its support of tyrannies in the Mid-east. Now that the US has overthrown two of them, guess what? He condemns the US for overthrowing them! So could another addition be, "You don't have to be consistent in anything other than your anti-Americanism."

 
At 1:18 PM, May 09, 2005, Anonymous r said...

more like 5 or 6 years ago, actually. My mistake,

 
At 1:33 PM, May 09, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

you could add the rights of any individual equal the rights of the collective, and, nobody is ever totally responsible for their own actions.

 
At 3:42 PM, May 09, 2005, Anonymous Independent George said...

Well, you know there were originally Fifteen Commandments

 
At 3:44 PM, May 09, 2005, Anonymous colagirl said...

Amazingly accurate. I'm sure there are some more to add, but I'm not funny enough or clever enough to think of them.

 
At 4:11 PM, May 09, 2005, Anonymous neo-neocon said...

Bill Barnes: Who ever said that everyone always follows the commandments?

This isn't about the left, if you have in fact read Baron's post and my own; it's about political correctness and multiculturalism. Of course, most of the most extreme boosters of said ideas are in fact leftists, but not all leftists are boosters of said ideas. There are definitely people on the left who are not. I've referred to these people as the "principled left" (a term originally used by Norm Geras). I certainly haven't ignored them; Norm, in fact, is one of them.

If you have paid attention to what I have written in many posts on this blog, the fact is that, until a few years ago, liberal (and, to a lesser extent, leftist) writings and points of view constituted the bulk of my reading on politics and the world. I still read them today, to a certain extent; the difference now is that I read the other side as well, and often find it more compelling and reasonable in its arguments on certain issues.

 
At 4:27 PM, May 09, 2005, Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

neo & Bill B. -- examples of a liberals who are not PC: Nat Hentoff and Ed Koch. There may some conservatives who subscribe to PC consistently, although I can't think of any offhand. Many seem to dabble in it on occasion; witness the President and "the Religion of Peace".

Also, Republicans seemed to have swallowed the PC bait on the environment, hook, line, and sinker. Their motto: "We're Green, Too! We'll Just Make It Cost Less!"

 
At 5:31 PM, May 09, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

Via Daniel Pipes, some attenuation may be in order as regards the President and the religion of peace motif.

 
At 5:52 PM, May 09, 2005, Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

Michael -- Yes, I saw that one, too. I'll defer judgment until I see how he modifies his public statements when he's at ecumenical prayer breakfasts with the CAIR and AIC guys. At some point the public rhetoric simply has to change.

 
At 6:18 PM, May 09, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

I understand perfectly what you're indicating, though it's a point upon which I've decided to suspend judgement. It's the real-world effect, short and long term, rather than the immediacy of the rhetoric per se, that is important. Too, it's not a matter of honest vs. dishonest rhetoric; instead it's a matter of tempering or finely tuning one's rhetoric (at the level of the presidency) such that it conveys the appreciable, if also varied, content it needs to convey to the various audiences it will be received by and in turn, and inevitably, variously interpreted by. This type of over-arching rhetoric seeks to set a general tone; not supply an inviolable definition to be set in stone.

 
At 6:52 PM, May 09, 2005, Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

I don't require honesty in presidential rhetoric. He has a job to do, and being totally, personally honest in presidential speeches is not part of the job description. He has to pretend to like people he hates, and express approval of things that he does not really support, as a part of public diplomacy.

But rhetoric does matter. At some point, if public policy is going to change, the change in rhetoric will have precede it. We can't keep warbling about the Saudis being our best friends right up until the moment the Special Ops boys parachute into Mecca to capture the Grand Mosque. There has to be a period of rhetorical change first, beginning with the polite but public disapproval of the regime and its actions, right up through diplomatic isolation to the ultimatum before the ambassador is pulled.

Things like this take a long time to change, but I am looking forward to the first visible steps.

 
At 7:13 PM, May 09, 2005, Blogger jj mollo said...

These rules have been greatly exaggerated for the sake of humor, I hope. There are people who would sincerely concur with the list as stated, but they are extreme, a few professors who teach Labor Studies at city colleges. But there is a more generic form of PC that is widely practiced. For instance, Rule 1 could be honestly restated as "The US has wealth and good fortune and is therefore morally obliged to scrutinize its conscience more closely than those less fortunate." It may still cause you upper esophogeal distress, but it is a whole lot more tolerable than the original statement. You could, and probably do, live with people who hold that belief.

 
At 7:13 PM, May 09, 2005, Anonymous Joseph said...

neo-neocon

Since we are talking about the 10 commandments, as a "liberal mugged by reality" I would like to say some things "closed liberalism". Politically speaking it is critical to understand and acknowledge two principles and they are:

1) GOOD LIBERALISM supporting positive change and progress

and

2) GOOD CONSERVATISM conserving the results of positive change and progress

Now notice I used the word 'good' for it is a truth that both political strains have good and bad variations of behavior. Once political sacred cows are defended without regard to progress then it is akin to worshiping political idols of false deities as far as I am concerned. Since I come from the left that is what I will focus on.

The most sad thing today is the left is defending the worst of what she has done and ceding to right the best she had accomplished. One example is Civil Rights. Much progress in the stated goals have been achieved and we are definitely at a point where we need to consider how we might further such progress, but what does the left insist hanging onto? They spotlight abortion, quotas, unions, secularism but denigrate minorities that take a different political perspective, they also denigrate the religious. Was the goals for women and minorities respectively about abortion, quotas, and those who benefit maintaining political purity, or was it about legitimate chances at achieving equality? I would submit the left today is worshiping the political idols of the system they endeavored to implement in the past and not the goals of accomplishment, as a result they plan not for the future. Poverty among blacks and minorities have been reduced by more then half, often by policies not their own, but the youth of such minorities are wise to this and seek further progress through market enterprise and not Uncle Sam, this of course also means education is also important. Now if Civil Rights is about equality then we must respect that in the year 2005 we have different needs and means then 40 years ago. We did need to integrate back in the 1950's and 1960's but today the needs are different, so for example what's the beef with School Choice? If liberalism is about progress, especially for those in need, it is proven that wherever School Choice has been implemented it greatly benefits those involved especially the poor, instead the left fights proper school reform as well as school choice and continues to champion devisive affirmative action and protecting teachers along with their unions above the true needs of children.

Unfortunately the left it has ceased to be about benefiting the down-trodden but about the preservation of the socialistic tenets of her old policies such as a failing public school system, teachers unions, and the preservation of the supposed political power defending such brings. I won't even begin to address the lefts dissing of the downtrodden of the world all for the sake of political scoring.

I AM THE EPITOME OF A NEO-CON! I am liberal, I am Jewish, I am secular, my family background is Marxist. I'd like to think that in the 1930's my grandparents associated Marxism with equality and freedom and that the stated goal was not Marxism itself but the supposed benefits they thought Marxism would bring. I also would have liked to believe that the Great Society days of the 1960's was about reducing the poor and not the empowerment of teachers unions and/or the government at great cost to the poor. Unfortunately the left today has proved to me they champion the systems they believed in more then the people they claim to champion. This might be fine if a system is proved to work, but they are in fact championing the most flawed aspects of their ideology.

Liberalism has been bastardized by the left and liberals have lost their way. I would further submit to all that the average Conservative in America is indeed a damn heart bleeding liberal by comparison to the rest of the world. Tom Delay is very liberal on the world stage. He is for free-markets, free societies and puts his money where his mouth is (no pun intended) on children's issues as he helps many disadvantaged children without great fanfare. The liberals characterizations and prejudices of conservatives is a great stumbling block as they damn themselves because of such. George Bush offers to index Social Security to the advantage of the working class and what do "liberals" do?... They diss him for the very idea!

Am I a conservative or a liberal? I don't know but I damn sure am for progress, so call me a progressive. Right now Republicans are progressive and have been since Reagan, my votes for Carter, Mondale, and Dukakis are an embarrasment and my vote for Clinton sure became one.

The Democrats are reactionaries and I'll be damned if I cast my lot with such a sorry damn bunch! Sure it has taken a toll on me as friends and family seem to take very personal my changing but I doubt I will go back. I measure politics these days by who is willing to fight the good fight and these days it is Republicans so I will be content to consider myself a Progressive Republican. Since I am Jewish I will also be content to wear my perjorative 'neo-con cabal member' tag as a badge of honor.

By the way Dubya to me isn't Reagan (Reagan is the GOP's FDR), Dubya is like JFK and hopefully the Republicans will have the benefit of him continuing to live on to keep them straight, I'd sure like to think JFK would have been able to help keep the Democrats straight.

Neo-neocon, if you made it to this point, thank you for sticking with it (Or anyone else for that matter), and sorry for the long post.

 
At 7:22 PM, May 09, 2005, Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

jj mollo -- I don't do subtlety; I used a fire axe, and not a salad knife, to dissect this particular meal. But we are so used to the reigning shibboleths of PC that it takes a lot of exaggeration to bring out the absurdity of some of the positions that people take for granted.

 
At 7:42 PM, May 09, 2005, Blogger junebee said...

They say a liberal is a conservative who hasn't been mugged yet. All of America was mugged on 9/11, but some of the liberals still don't get it. Anyway, I was a Republican before that (albeit the only agnostic Republican I know).

Your blog is really good. I read the first 3 parts of your transformation and a couple of other things. Well expressed, and it took alot of nerve to do what you did, both in your life and on this blog.

You trace your entire childhood to determine how you developed your political thinking. I, on the other hand, have several specific, defining moments as an adult which steered me to the Republican path. I had been thinking about blogging them at some point.

 
At 8:08 PM, May 09, 2005, Anonymous Fred said...

Joseph's excellent posting suggests a new (at least for me)term: free-market liberal. The second half of the ninth pc commandment, "liberals are sincere", to me means liberals who pro-managed market, anti-choice, (includes schools, Social Security private accounts) who "know" what's best for everyone else -- especially minorities and the poor. The bottom line is that there ain't that much difference between pro-American free-market liberals and pro-American free-market conservatives.

 
At 8:38 PM, May 09, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

"These rules have been greatly exaggerated for the sake of humor, I hope." jj mollo

Hope all you want. They are certainly generalizations as opposed to attempts to target any single individual's deeply held views; that hardly makes them worthy of being dismissed out of hand - far from it as they represent, for one, reflections of what has actually been attempted, sometimes successfully, within legislatures.

Too, the Left (and we can certainly distinguish the term from the more substantial and honestly engaging left, such as a Norm Geras, Oliver Kamm, etc.) provides so many wastreling and laughable examples of self-parody, self-caricature and more general self-enamored behaviors in the social/political arena that to speak of "exaggerations" is to beg the question: What, pray tell, exaggerations are needed, beyond the ones they themselves manifest and personify? De facto, and even occasional de jure, Red/Green (Left/Islamicist) collusions and alliances speak for themselves, and that's a far greater, real-world manifestation of ideological corruption and moral dissolution than any mere domestic PC set of codes, whether overtly or more subtly manifested.

 
At 8:44 PM, May 09, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

Here is my favorite: empathy, compassion, reason and economic incentives are the only affective means of stopping Islamic extremists who truly believe they will gain paradise by killing you, your children and your way of life.

 
At 9:56 PM, May 09, 2005, Anonymous neo-neocon said...

Joseph, you can post as long as you want, any time!

And, as for the question of whether these "commandments" are an exaggeration of typical PC thought, I suppose they are--but barely. When I returned to school in the 90s to get my Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy, I had to take two classes with undergrads. In one of them, there was a big brouhaha about an ever-so-slightly sexual remark a professor had made--not to, but merely in the presence of--a young lady who felt deeply offended by said remark. Trust me when I say that there was nothing in the (male) professor's remark that could possibly have been offensive to anyone (objective speaking, that is), but she took offense at it nevertheless, and the man almost lost his job.

There were months and months of hearings. During this time, the subject was discussed at length in my class of mostly undergrads, mostly women. I was astounded and very disturbed by the unanimity of opinion expressed there, which was that this woman had the right to have him fired if she was upset by what he said, even if there was no objective basis on which she should have been offended. The degree to which PC thought had run amok on a campus that was fairly middle-of-the-road, politically, was very sobering.

 
At 11:52 PM, May 09, 2005, Anonymous Joseph said...

Fred. thanks for the compliment and I agree that true free marketers liberal and conservatives have more in common in a democracy especially if superficial lines and partisan labels are ignored, much of what Dubya has put forward economically is as centrist as anything Clinton ever did. I guarantee if it were Clinton putting forth such policies Democrats would take them. Since neo-neocon said I could be long winded I will take her up on this.

I maintain that while in America there are divisions in politics, conservative liberal, and whatever, the real truth is that the American concept of life is in general a truly liberal one, a noble one and one that needs defending. It may sound oxy-moronic but I have come to see politics in our country as conservatives fighting to defend liberal ideas, and doing what is pragmatic and realistic in the process, liberals resent them doing this out of sheer angst and prejudice which I find it quite disgusting. The truth is what conservatism is in America and probably always has been is about protecting our liberalism because all true believers in Representative Democracy are liberal by world standards.

Conservatism isn't about religion anymore then Liberalism is about secularism, it just so happens that those who have chosen sides are more represented in each camp but in many ways conservatives today in historic terms are more liberal then liberals, I will explain. What such gibberish means is that liberals have ceded the more precious ground to conservatives and replaced such areas with leftist orthodoxy. Conservatism today embodies more of the best of both camps, again thanks to Reagan. One example of this is on fiscal matters.

Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan cemented "Neo-Liberalism" into Republican orthodoxy. Neo-Liberalism has since become known as 'Fiscal Conservatism' it was not even considered a conservative concept, in truth big business and monopoly barons where not neo-liberals because free-enterprise was seen as a way to level the playing field and giving all people the opportunity to advance, something they did not want. It was considered very liberal and progressive. The left (not liberal) idea was that Socialism would be the best means to level the playing field. Due to the political marriage of liberals and the left Socialism won out in those ranks and with the added obvious unwillingness on the left to defend other important principles, especially the castigation of American core principles, people like Reagan and the first true wave of neo-cons bailed out on the Democrats. The 'liberal mugged by reality' within has come to believe neo-liberalism is indeed superior. Onto the other example of War and Peace.

Republicans pre WWII were the most isolationist, they were not Wilsonians. The Wilsonian ideas of foreign policy intervention was a liberal concept, but I won't get into a whole characterization of Wilsonianism but it is enough to say it was a very liberal concept. The mistake of Wilsonianism in those days was the naiveté involved, Neo-cons refer to this as "Soft Wilsonianism". I characterize it as a good policy concept implemented with all the effectiveness I would expect from a Jimmy Carter. (yes I voted for him too, sorry). Reagan brought with him as a person who had indeed voted for FDR a healthy respect of Wilsonian interventionism.

Now here is the oxy-moronic punch-line. What do you get when you cross a fiscal liberal with a foreign policy hard liberal? A REAGANITE CONSERVATIVE! Unless you are Jewish or Catholic in which case you would of course be a NEO-CON. This is why the Democrats are losing ground as Reagan brought along the best that liberals had rejected and merged it with the best conservatives had to offer (such as Hawkishness and Patriotism). I will add that my father, a "Driving Miss Daisy" Jew from Atlanta and a Democrat has always said, "Racism is not what turned the South against Democrats, their lack of Patriotism did. The blame America first anti-American ways of the left is more then they can stand, and the castigation of soldiers sacrifices offends their sensibilities and honor , it is more then they can bear." The shrill Anti-Americanism on the left I indeed find disgusting and for to me it is simple, "Would the world be better without the United States?" The world would indeed be worse off without us.

 
At 5:57 AM, May 10, 2005, Blogger Tom Grey said...

As an ex-Classical Liberal (Libertarian), I've become a conservative; and a libertarian paternalist.

There should be lots of choices. The default should be what "society" / gov't thinks is best -- with opt outs possible.

All middle class and upper class gov't benefits should be paid for by the recipients.

Hate speech/ offensive speech codes need to be reduced; prolly eliminated.


Most policies should have some real world effects. Any true liberal should be able to mention some of the bad possible effects of their own favored policy.

There should be some amount of bad effect to make one change the policy recomendation.

On Iraq, there should be some number of Americans killed, or Iraqis killed, that means OIF was a mistake.
(20 000 / 400 000 for me, whimsically)
On Vietnam, there should be some number of SE Asians killed that means the US pull-out in 1975 was a mistake. 400 000 for me.
It was a mistake.

 
At 5:58 AM, May 10, 2005, Blogger Tom Grey said...

Oops. The point is that today's Leftists (not liberals), refuse to quantify any results that would show their policies are a failure.

Unfortunately the Reps are trying to follow the Dems in this path, too much. Just like the huge increase in gov't spending (mostly for middle class folk -- from taxes on middle class folk.)

 
At 7:11 AM, May 10, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

Another favorite: aggression is a genetic defect that must be bred out of existance, but until such a time that this happens, those who can be aggressive must patrol our streets and fight the wars we approve of, subject to the rules we impose on them.

 
At 7:54 AM, May 10, 2005, Anonymous Paul said...

I offer you a word that I coined that describes PC people. The word is BAFFER which is an acronym for "blame America first for every wrong." I took a liberty with the last word. People like Michael Moore are baffers.

 
At 8:54 AM, May 10, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

It is a far better thing to turn the other cheek to terrorists, that way you don't have to see them slitting the throats of your children.oh oh! that might be a bit rough, eh? mea culpa mea culpa

 
At 11:00 AM, May 10, 2005, Blogger Lichanos said...

To paraphrase Nietzche (not one of my favorites, but sharp):

"They vomit their bile, and call it a blog." How about this decalogue for the neo-neocons?

1. America is uniquely good.
2. America is always justified in attacking and subverting other nations.
3. Americans, by virtue of our wealth, are morally superior. Why else would we be so rich?
4. God gave the earth to homosapiens to do with as we wish, no matter what.
5. Making a profit is always moral, no matter what the individual or social consequences.
6. Differences between individuals are always the result of differences in moral worth. There is the elect, and there is the preterite.
7. For Americans, belief in our principles excuses any behavior.
8. Any policy that can be justified by a reference to biblical scripture is good, no matter if interpretations of the text differ.
9. Conservatives are good; liberals are vile, spoiled, materialistic, morally depraved whiners.
10. All earthy events are manifestations of God's will, especially if they are in our favor. Science is irrelevant. The phrase from the US Constitution, "We the people, in order to form a more perfect union..." is simply a poetic flourish.

Now, I don't believe that all conservatives think in this idiotic way, but reading this blog, I might easily get that idea.

 
At 11:44 AM, May 10, 2005, Blogger Lichanos said...

Neo-Neocon:

Your example of the male prof pilloried by one over-sensitive student is fascinating. Don't you know that in the real world universities are big institutions that like to cover their ass in case of litigation? That's what that was all about - not PC. Perhaps these days it will be a student in a biology class offended by a remark about Darwin and Creationism who will initiate hearings on whether his or her rights were infringed. In time, it cuts both ways. What you identify as PC is simply an intellectual/cultural fad - has little to do with real political thought. You're going to base your (anti)worldview on what undergraduates thing???

 
At 12:57 PM, May 10, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

I would imagine many, many other examples of PC on campus could be presented that are not connected in any way to institutional liability. Feel good, PC causes abound no doubt but I don't see them so much as an intellectual fad but more along the lines as last gasps of a failed ideology, relics of privilege and a stark reminder of the isolation folks experience who sequester themselves in ivory towers. Indeed, that liberals would come slumming in a conservative blog speaks volumes in and of itself, but perhaps most loudly for the utter lack of audience the liberal camp has - right, Lichanos?

 
At 1:00 PM, May 10, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

One last PC commandment: any problem any woman has can be blamed on some WASP male.

 
At 1:27 PM, May 10, 2005, Blogger Lichanos said...

Goesh said:
"...that liberals would come slumming in a conservative blog speaks volumes in and of itself, but perhaps most loudly for the utter lack of audience the liberal camp has..."

This comment supports what I've long suspected; a lot of you here don't even think about what you're saying, fired up as you are to get in your last, stinging barb at the omnipresent , oppressive, liberal establishment that is grinding you into a helpless, enslaved pulp.

When I comment here, am I "slumming?" Doesn't say much for your opinion of your favored blog locale. Nice to know you think I'm upscale. I'm probably gorging myself on lattes over at my blog, eh? The cult of victimhood, so PC, no? is alive and well here at neo-neocon - And it snarls!

I visit this blog because I like to see what people who don't share my point of view are saying. It's a very liberal characteristic. I have Catholic tastes. I'm almost ecumenical in that regard. I like to keep a 'big tent' up for discussion. Come by, anytime. I'll serve you an espresso that'll knock your socks off.

As for your substantive comment, such as it was, you seem to label anything you DON'T like as PC, therefore, you always find it. PC - it's just a grab-bag now. It started off (c. 1978, is when I first heard it) as a way of lefties to make fun of THEMSELVES.

 
At 3:35 PM, May 10, 2005, Anonymous neo-neocon said...

Lichanos--I think perhaps you mean that you have catholic (small "c") tastes, not Catholic (large "C") ones.

I'm not exactly sure what Catholic tastes would be. Pre-Vatican II perhaps--possibly, a liking for fish on Friday?--but post-Vatican II, I can't even guess.

 
At 3:36 PM, May 10, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

Commandment #317: Only WASP males are racist and as such must always compensate real and perceived victims of racism.

 
At 4:37 PM, May 10, 2005, Anonymous Joseph said...

Lichanos, as a neo-con with Jewish tastes let me correct your list...

1. America is uniquely good.

(Excellent as it stands rightfully should be first on the list)

2. America is always justified in attacking and subverting other nations.

(America is always justified in defending herself and bringing freedom to other nations if so needed to accomplish this.)

3. Americans, by virtue of our wealth, are morally superior. Why else would we be so rich?

(Americans have been blessed with much and because of this carries great moral responsibilities, if we don't exercise such responsibilities proactively and judiciously we indeed deserve to lose whatever blessings we hold.)

4. God gave the earth to homosapiens to do with as we wish, no matter what.

(God gave man unique gifts and abilities above all other creatures, as such we bear a great burden to exercise such with thoughtful care and responsibility)

5. Making a profit is always moral, no matter what the individual or social consequences.

(Self sufficiency is no vice, sharing ones profits and gains in life is a virtue)

6. Differences between individuals are always the result of differences in moral worth. There is the elect, and there is the preterite.

(Differences between individuals are always to be respected and appreciated, when such differences and talents are used to achieve moral good above and beyond ones own needs, it is counted unto them as noble acts of goodness.)


7. For Americans, belief in our principles excuses any behavior.

(For Americans, belief in our principles requires principled behavior.)

8. Any policy that can be justified by a reference to biblical scripture is good, no matter if interpretations of the text differ.

(Many neo-cons like myself are Secular people who respect the religious, in fact denigration of religion is a denigration of America to the very core.)

9. Conservatives are good; liberals are vile, spoiled, materialistic, morally depraved whiners.

Neo-cons are liberals that follow common sense. Neo-cons are willing to see liberal ends achieved by conservative means.

10. All earthy events are manifestations of God's will, especially if they are in our favor. Science is irrelevant. The phrase from the US Constitution, "We the people, in order to form a more perfect union..." is simply a poetic flourish.

God's will never infringes upon free-agency, neo-con's believe in the free exercise of one's own free agency to accomplish whatever good they will. Truth is truth and is supported by both science and religion. The principles of truth are eternal and true religion and true science will always respect such things. Science places emphasis on the physical while religion the spiritual. Since the soul of man is made up of both, a spirit dwelling within a physical body. Like a person can never be known by physical appearance alone neither can science answer many hidden things. Both are needed and both have their false prophets and truth tellers. Wherever truth is both will be found

 
At 4:44 PM, May 10, 2005, Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

Lichanos came over to Gates of Vienna and posted his 10 in the comments there. In case he didn't get back to see my response, here it is:

Lichanos, I recognize that Manichæan complements can be formed for each postulate. As I noted on neo-neo's site, I used grotesque exaggeration to make my point. It is possible to tar the Right with the same broad brush which I used on the Left.

But there is a distinction in the extent of the satire: on the Right, you have to turn over rocks on the extreme fringes before you can find people who believe things resembling your converse postulates. But on the Left, views not that far off my satire are approaching the mainstream. Witness Howard Dean calling Republicans "evil", or Michael Moore likening al Qaeda terrorists to "minutemen". How many Republican ex-governors or chairmen of the RNC have said anything like what you list here? How many Republican former Presidents sit next to advocates of your lines at the Republican convention?

Give me a break.

 
At 8:17 PM, May 10, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

Commandment #356: Pedophiles, serial rapists and mass murderers were themselves victims of violence - punishment serves nor purpose for these unfortunates - long term therapy, medication and nuturance is what they need and deserve. Mental health experts and not the Courts are the ones who should determine when these unfortunates are ready and able to be integrated back into society to lead productive, useful lives. ( this is one of my very best favorites -ohhh! I get all misty eyed when I think of monsters being rehabbed)

 
At 6:31 AM, May 11, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

I sincerely apologize for failing to include Commandment #212: The White race is the only race that is inherently racist. As such, any and all White Americans owe all Blacks repirations for slavery, even the millions of offspring of post civil war immigrants, because these immigrants would have owned slaves, or at least desired to own slaves, had they arrived prior to the Civil War.

 
At 7:32 AM, May 11, 2005, Blogger Lichanos said...

JOSEPH:

Your amendments are some improvement - do you think those who comment here accept them?

"...denigration of religion is a denigration of America to the very core."

Is that because our country was founded as a Puritan theocracy or because it was created as a secular humanist state that granted religious freedom to all? And honestly, have you ever heard a public official denigrate religion? As an avowed atheist - respectful of religion - I couldn't be elected dog catcher in this country.

BARON:

"...you have to turn over rocks on the extreme fringes..."

Tom Delay springs to mind. Antonin Scalia hits a lot of them. Frist, some others. That's off the top of my head. As for Moore's comment, I find it hard to credit. Have you a source of the original, please.

NEOCON:

Did you READ what I wrote? Yes, a small 'c', thanks. Please don't think me politically INcorrect if I use the old phrase, "It's a joke, son."

 
At 8:38 AM, May 11, 2005, Anonymous Fred said...

As for "extreme fringes", I'll take Delay, Scalia, and Frist over Pelosi, the Ninth Circuit, and Boxer, any time -- and that's just scratching the surface of one state.

 
At 9:03 AM, May 11, 2005, Anonymous Joseph said...

Lichanos

As an avowed atheist - respectful of religion - I couldn't be elected dog catcher in this country.

Well as and Agonstic Jew I doubt I would either, however I wouldn't attribute it to prejudice, I would attribute it to people voting their interests, a very normal aspect of human behavior.

Also why you insist on putting forth the most prejuducial and antagontistic terms or definitons when making your points is counter-productive and beyod me. Our Nation wasn't founded by Puritan theocrats or secular humanists, further to say it was granted by Secular Humanists is silly. If you asked our Founding Fathers they would say these unalienable rights where indeed granted to us by God, not very secularly humanistic if you ask me, your term is somewhat inverted, I improved your 10 neocon commandments let me improve the following assertion as to the creation of our counrty...

was created as a secular humanist state that granted religious freedom to all

corrected...

was created as a nation to not only accomodate all creeds of religion, (hence no official state Church such as Lutheran, Catholicism, etc.), but also those who choose to worship no God

-----------------

Anyone with a knowledge of history knows that the free excercise of religion was the main point, secular humanism had nothing to do with it. Religion was the emphasis but simply stated the forcing of one to follow a particular creed was forbidden. Of course the accomodation of Atheists and Agnostics would follow such accomodation.

 
At 9:15 AM, May 11, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

Lichanos, I hope your taste in art and literature is not as bland as your political insights - surely not! The lure of free land far from the grasping, taxing reach of the English monarchy was 100 times more the incentive for migration than any Liberal notions of freedom and human secularism. Always the idealist, aren't you? Well, we do need balance, so I can't too seriously begrudge you that. A significant component of the early American agrarian culture was tobacco and alcohol. Bonded servants and slaves played a big role in colonization and continued expansion of our agrarian culture. Both these dynamics, bondage and 'sin' produce , stand in sharp contrast to the historical myths still popular in some quarters of America. I note some strong parallels with illegal immigrants of today and bonded servants/slaves of yesterday. The Legislative efforts sustaining and enabling this influx of illegals and the burden they are starting to impose has far more support from the Liberal camp than the Conservative camp.

 
At 10:25 AM, May 11, 2005, Blogger Lichanos said...

JOSEPH:

My 10 Commandments were offered on the basis of "one satirical turn deserves another," so your desire to 'correct' mine are a bit off. Nevertheless, your amendment:

"... to not only accomodate all creeds of religion, (hence no official state Church ...), but also those who choose to worship no God"

isn't bad at all. Saying that secular humanism had "nothing to do with it," however, is way off. I used the term anachronistically, yes, but most of the founding fathers were Deists, not the sort of 'religious' conservatives like today. Few were atheists, true, but they WERE secular in that they firmly believed, wrote, and governed in a way that SEPARATED religion and the state. They were inspired by the Enlightenment, and their ideals are firmly in the humanist tradition that began in the Renaissance.

GOESH:
Honestly, I don't see what your point is.

 
At 11:55 AM, May 11, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

My point, Lichanos, is that your assertions about the founding fathers are quite inaccurate. The Enlightenment was not the prime mover as our ancestors forged a system of governance for future generations. Commerce, expansion and military expediency were the founding principles. One of the prime movers of the time, Franklin, spent a considerable amount of time studying the federated, democratic Iriquois nations and their system of rule. These 'heathens' in no way figure into Enlightenment thinking or other philosophical considerations of the day. Old Ben spent time in Europe as well, and in particular with the French, and our system did not copy theirs. Our elders certainly left indelible, religious reminders of who and what they were made of - just note all the religious references and inscriptions on Federal buildings in D.C., in particular the 10 commandments symbols in the Supreme Court. The fact that a tax paid preacher opens Congressional sessions as he has for over 200 years is but another example of this. There are many more examples that contradict the current notions of church and state being separated according to Liberal ideology of today. Who else but a Liberal would agree with a Supreme Court ruling that a Judge in Georgia cannot have a stone display of the 10 Commandments in a courthouse, when the same Commandment tablets are inscribed on the door to the Supreme Court?

 
At 12:05 PM, May 11, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

My point, Lichanos, is that your assertions about the founding fathers are quite inaccurate. The Enlightenment was not the prime mover as our ancestors forged a system of governance for future generations. Commerce, expansion and military expediency were the founding principles. One of the prime movers of the time, Franklin, spent a considerable amount of time studying the federated, democratic Iriquois nations and their system of rule. These 'heathens' in no way figure into Enlightenment thinking or other philosophical considerations of the day. Old Ben spent time in Europe as well, and in particular with the French, and our system did not copy theirs. Our elders certainly left indelible, religious reminders of who and what they were made of - just note all the religious references and inscriptions on Federal buildings in D.C., in particular the 10 commandments symbols in the Supreme Court. The fact that a tax paid preacher opens Congressional sessions as he has for over 200 years is but another example of this. There are many more examples that contradict the current notions of church and state being separated according to Liberal ideology of today. Who else but a Liberal would agree with a Supreme Court ruling that a Judge in Georgia cannot have a stone display of the 10 Commandments in a courthouse, when the same Commandment tablets are inscribed on the door to the Supreme Court?

 
At 12:06 PM, May 11, 2005, Blogger Brad said...

Lichanos,
As usual, you couldn't be more wrong.

"...universities are big institutions that like to cover their ass in case of litigation? That's what that was all about..."

In case you haven't been on campus in a while, you should know that most universities promote the behavior that Neo describes. There are workshops and freshman orientation talks dedicated to sensitizing students to actionable insensitivities. There are often administration officials that facilitate the claims process and act as cheer leaders. I'm at one of those mega-midwest-universities and such things are common.

 
At 12:21 PM, May 11, 2005, Blogger Lichanos said...

BRAD:
Don't you think a major reason the universities do this is to CTA? Anyway, I don't think academe is something to use as a yardstick - I certainly have not seen much of that sensitizing in the workplace, unless you consider suing for sexual harrassment - and there's plenty of real stuff around - is the same thing.

GOESH:
Commerce was certainly a prime mover, you're right, but the people who drafted our government had other notions as well. Locke, Montesquieu, etc. The assertion that they were not heavily influenced by Enlightenment thought is simply wrong.

Your are also wrong that ideas about the Iriquois "in no way" fit into Englightenment notions. On the contrary, the culture of the native Americans was of great interest to them as you can easily see by looking at their art and literature. They had a rather naive cult of the "noble savage" but they also had Rousseauean notions that the tribes were closer to true human nature than the corrupted urban civilizations, and that their notions of liberty were closer to universal rights. I'm not endorsing that position, but that's what they thought.

Those religious inscriptions you mention on buildings were on structures built long after 1776. It is amply documented that quite a few of the founding fathers were aghast at what came about in the USA after the 1820s and the coming Great Awakening. Again, I'm not endorsing their views, but those are the facts. Look at Jefferson's letters for instance.

Finally, let's put this stupid distortion of the 10 Commandments case to rest: context is key. Fine, have a decalogue on display as part of the architectural ornament in order to recognize and celebrate ONE source of our culture. NOBODY is challenging that, not in court, anyway! The issue is, why should a set of the commandments ten feet high be given prominence of place in a lobby of a court? That is a clear -cut endorsement of ONE religion over all the others. Let's be clear on what's at issue, okay?

 
At 12:55 PM, May 11, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

Lichanos, the unmitigated war against Native Americans and the ongoing expulsion from their territory hardly fits any theory of the noble savage. I'm going to start calling you Leatherstocking or Natty Bumppo, from the J. Fenimore Cooper books, if you persist with such notions. Good grief! What history books have you been reading? where do you come up with these ideas? I was just browsing a history book and it mentions that from 1777-1787 in Kentucky alone, roughly 1000 settlers were killed or captured by Indians. Native American causalties are not even addressed. They really idolized em' all right, to the point of near extinction.

I got quite a chuckle from your context comment regarding the 10 commandments. Since nothing of the Torah or Al Qur'an or any other religion for that matter marks the Supreme Court, even a most casual observor would conclude that the proper 'contextual' assumption is ONE religion for all.

I suspect you are a closet Conservative who wants to join our camp, but you fear the loss of friends. My intution seldom fails me on these matters, however, if you continue to distort history, I won't debate with you any more, Natty.

 
At 12:58 PM, May 11, 2005, Blogger jj mollo said...

Political Correctness was a matter of life and death in the Soviet Union. A person in high position had to be very aware of the subtle rules and expectations governing the statements that could be made in public settings. Party dictats and official Marxist-Leninist thought were nearly incomprehensible and inhumanly obtuse, but mastery was vital to career advancement.

The use of the term in the US in recent decades was initiated by left-leaning liberals amused at their own tendencies toward the same kind of lock-step mentality. As citizens of the US they understood that peer pressure was undermining their own First Amendment rights. As they well knew, inability to tolerate offensive speech is the hallmark of fanaticism.

Wikipedia has a full (disputed) history of the phrase.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_correctness

 
At 1:06 PM, May 11, 2005, Blogger jj mollo said...

Wikipedia link

 
At 1:16 PM, May 11, 2005, Blogger Lichanos said...

GOESH:
I fail to grasp your point. Land hungry settlers massacred Indians, yes. Enlightenment intellectuals romanticized and admired them. That's how it was. Jefferson and others of his day saw the Cherokees as potential partners in progress. Andrew Jackson, and his brand of democracy, saw them as an obstacle to be expelled. That's how it was.

It used to be required to say the Lord's Prayer before school - do you think we should revive that?
Regarding the Ten; the objections raised in court are as I stated. Nobody is arguing that we have to go back and deface existing structures that have stood for decades.

 
At 8:03 PM, May 11, 2005, Blogger Brad said...

Lichanos,
It’s true that academe is not the yardstick for society; there are far more people in day-to-day jobs than on campus. And, despite my cowardly existence as an academic, I have worked enough “real” jobs to know that sexual harassment exists and is widespread; the lawsuits are often justified. But to your first point: No, no, no. Some deanship-type high muckity mucks may want to CTA, but the people who control the workshops and orientation talks (and initial enforcement steps) are semi-theological, zealous activists. They are PC to the hilt; if you don’t believe me, take a look at the sexual harassment and diversity codes on any mainstream university web site; things like “made to feel uncomfortable” keep popping up. They mean business, and that business is political. Unlike the host of this site, I am not a con of any stripe; I am a lib that is sick of Marxism and PC, but in my opinion, the PC-nightmare list in this post is accurate.

As to Bill Barnes: C’mon, get a new rant. Many of us have read much of the body of work that you describe. But (ready for a shock), we have each arrived at different conclusions as to what it all means!! Also, the PC-left hates that work more than anyone else. And one more point: you have more than once suggested that Neo intervene on her blog to stop the summary executions of libs; do you, Bill Barnes, intervene at the cocktail party when the schadenfreude starts wafting into the conversation? When some pseudo-intellectual fellow savant states with false remorse how sad it is that another car bomb ripped a group of kids to shreds in Iraq, and then beams with pride while pointing out that this proves that they were right about the war all along? I doubt it. And I took the time to read your piece in response to Geras, what a yawn, he waxed your a**.

 
At 6:47 AM, May 12, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lichanos wrote: "As for Moore's comment, I find it hard to credit. Have you a source of the original, please." The source is easy, Lichanos: On April 14, 2004, Moore made the comment on his own web page. Here
it is at greater length:

'The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not "insurgents" or "terrorists" or "The Enemy." They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow -- and they will win. Get it, Mr. Bush?'

As you can see, Moore can hardly wait. What interests me is that Lichanos found this remark "hard to credit." He can't have been paying much attention. Coverage of such remarks by Moore -- and there have been many -- has been widespread on the Internet and even in the mainstream media for years. Nobody could have missed it unless they really wanted to. I'd guess that Lichanos' naivete about the man is the same willed ignorance that allows him to tell himself that the most extreme versions of "PC" thought don't permeate today's universities.

Moore, Lichanos, is the patriot who told a gleeful European audience that the Americans who have made him rich by flocking to his movies are "possibly the dumbest people on the face of the earth". Unless you want to prove him right, you might want to learn a little more about the guy before the next time you comment on him in public.

 
At 1:48 PM, May 12, 2005, Blogger Lichanos said...

ANONYMOUS:
I didn't comment or Moore in public; I expressed skepticism about a quotation attributed to him. Surely you are aware that some people fabricate, distort, or falsely attribute quotations? Now that you've given me the link, that's settled.

I liked Moore's movies, Roger and Me, and Farenheit 911, but I'd never read his books or visited his blog. Thanks to your link, I have, and I won't again. He seems to me to produce much the same venemous rant that this site is full of. So, left-liberals have Moore, right-conservatives have Coulter, Hannity, and Savage. Unless you think those people are offering sage and considered observations. If so, nothing more to be said.

BRAD:
Thanks for the update on campus life, and my sympathies. I regard colleges as environments in which all sorts of innanity flourish alongside of some real learning. I'm sure that you've exerted yourself mightily to inject some sense into this parlous situation: You wouldn't be one to sit back and just whine would you? After all, they won't shoot you.

On the plus side, the recent grads I meet at work and elsewhere seem to have no trouble adjusting to the un-cloistered world, and arriving at a more balanced view of these 'PC' issues, as you call them. And without the sort of foolishness you mention, we would not have wickedly funny novels like Francine Prose's Blue Angel.

 
At 5:56 PM, May 12, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I'm glad you think Moore's a venomous ranter; we're in agreement on that. You might be interested in doing a little research on his movies, many of which (especially "Bowling for Columbine") are full of dishonesties, some evidently intentional, others probably just lazy. There are many Internet sites that can do a much better job than I could with specifics. It would be wise to be forewarned before shelling out for another of his "documentaries."

As for neo-neocon's blog, I don't want to get into a wrangle with you but I find no venomous rants here. I know you found the PC post prickly, and perhaps it is more so than much of the rest of the writing here, but it's precisely the thoughtful, moderate tone of most of this blog that has kept me coming back here. There's a difference between expressing a strong opinion and being venomous. I think I see that difference here, though perhaps we'll simply have to disagree on that and let it go.

 
At 7:30 PM, May 12, 2005, Blogger Lichanos said...

ANONYMOUS:

I didn't mean that Neo-neocon is venemous, but that many of her commenters are.

 
At 8:14 PM, May 12, 2005, Blogger Brad said...

Lichanos,
Your lack of sincerity is refreshing and heartwarming, and o-so-typical. On the positive side, your innuendo is crass and childish (you’re just not clever enough to pull it off; the insult that is). And your attempt at levity is as banal as your web site (which is also quite creepy). BTW They won’t shoot you but they will fire you.

 
At 5:43 PM, August 03, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The use of the term in the US in recent decades was initiated by left-leaning liberals amused at their own tendencies toward the same kind of lock-step mentality.

I beg to differ. IIRC, Angela Davis used this expression in an exchange I had with her ca. 1970, and believe me, there's not a scintilla of humor or amusement in her.

It was in the context of debating the meaning of free speech, when I objected to her attempting to silence those who disagreed with her during a meeting to plan an upcoming anti-war demonstration.

She asserted that free speech meant that you were free only to speak the truth, but not free to tell lies, in both cases as defined by whether or not your perspectives were politically correct.

There was no mirth involved here. She'd have had people stood against a wall for breaking wind off-key.

 

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