• Dachshund
    52
    Politically speaking, I am an "old school" conservative - ( the kind of traditional conservative who admires the thought of Edmund Burke :nerd: !) - and my personal view of political correctness is that it is essentially a weapon of cultural Marxism and its growing prevalence in the West ( the US, in particular) represents a clear and dangerous threat freedom of speech/expression, the principle of ( liberal democratic) political freedom and indeed reason itself (!) in modern Western societies.

    I was absolutely delighted, therefore, to hear the famed, and highly respected Harvard psychologist, Steven Pinker, recently ( just last month) argue ,during a televised interview at Harvard, that the rise of political correctness on American university campuses and in the reputable mainstream media ( CNN, the "New YorK Times", "The Washington Post", etc;) had back-fired on the left and seen it do its own cause an "enormous disservice" by inadvertently stoking the fires of angry dissent among the members (and potential members) of so-called "Alt-Right" political groups in the United States. (Many of whom were, Pinker stressed, "highly literate, highly intelligent, media and internet savvy individuals".)

    By suppressing basic truths, placing taboos upon the discussion of certain important topics and refusing to allow people to speak objective facts, the culture of politically correctness in modern schools, universities and the mass media had, Pinker said, rendered people vulnerable to become angry and radicalised into adopting extreme explanations and conclusions to account the facts they had been hitherto denied when they did, inevitably, come to learn what the truth actually was regarding certain important, basic social and political realities.

    Here is what Pinker had to say with respect to four incontrovertible facts that the politically correct left have rendered more or less taboo and unmentionable: (I have quoted Pinker verbatim in the italicized paragraphs below).

    (1) The Superiority of Capitalism over Communism/Socialism.

    "Here's a fact that gonna sound ragingly controversial but is not, and that is that capitalist societies are better than communist ones. If you doubt it, then just ask yourself the question, would I rather live in South Korea or North Korea ? Would I rather live in West Germany in the 1970s or East Germany in the 1960s ? I submit that this is actually not a controversial statement, but in university campuses, it would be considered flamingly radical".

    (2) The Myth of Gender Equality

    "Here's another one. Men and women are not identical in their life priorities, in their sexuality, in their tastes and interests. This is not controversial to anyone who has even glanced at the data. The kind of vocational interest tests of the kind your high school guidance counsellor gave you were given to millions of people, and men and women give different answers to what they wanna do for a living, and how much time they wanna allocate to family versus career and so on. But you can't say it. A very famous person on this campus (Harvard) did say it, and we all know what happened to him. He's no longer, well he's on this campus, but he's not in the same office".

    (3) Race and Violent Crime

    "Here's a third fact that is just not controversial, but it sounds controversial, and that is that different ethnic groups commit crimes at different rates. You can go to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Look it up on their website. The homicide rate among African-American is about seven or eight times higher than it is among European Americans".

    (4) Islamic Terrorism

    "And terrorism, go to the Global Terrorist data base, and you find that worldwide the overwhelming majority of suicide terrorist attacks are committed by Islamic extremist groups".

    The fact that Pinker had the guts to say these things immediately led the left to attack him wholesale, thus proving his point ! P. Meyers a well-known leftist intellectual wrote, " I am shocked that a Harvard Professor would promote such ignorance and falsehoods". But, of course, none of the facts Pinker states are rebuttable and Myers make no attempt to do so, he's just schoolmarming Pinker for having the balls to speak the truth in public.

    Steve Pinker is well known for his liberal/ progressive political views, but on the issue of political correctness he is repeating Trump's strident exhortation of 2017 almost verbatim, namely:"We have to stop being so politically correct in this country !"

    I agree and I am thankful to academics like Steve Pinker and Jordan Peterson for having the courage to literally put everything on the line ( their reputations, their livelihoods, their careers) and speak out against the wicked tyranny of political correctness and the other intellectual descendents of Cultural Marxism in the postmodern era that are blighting American schools and universities and being broadcast by the mainstream mass media in: deconstructivism, multiculturalism, gender feminism, egalitarian social engineering and so on.

    Regards

    Dachshund
  • unenlightened
    4k
    Yeah, he's not allowed to say what he just said, and if someone disagrees, it proves him right.

    I am of course not allowed to say what I just said, and anyone who disagrees with me is proving me right.

    But in my case I don't have a book to sell.
  • Chany
    352
    Should it be socially acceptable to call someone racial slurs in a clearly demeaning way?
  • Michael
    8.2k
    (1) The Superiority of Capitalism over Communism/Socialism.Dachshund

    Where has "the left" "rendered [this] more or less taboo and unmentionable"?

    (2) The Myth of Gender Equality

    Gender equality refers to the principle that people shouldn't be discriminated against based on their gender, not that there aren't differences between men and women.

    (3) Race and Violent Crime

    ...

    (4) Islamic Terrorism

    The problem is when you use any statistic that shows that "different ethnic groups commit crimes at different rates" or that "the majority of suicide terrorist attacks are committed by Islamic extremist groups" as grounds to treat different ethnic groups or Muslims unfairly. It would be akin to using some statistic that shows that men are more violent than women as grounds to persecute men.

    So it seems to me that these are all straw men accusations.
  • unenlightened
    4k
    The overwhelming majority of people who starve to death are non-white. Obviously, whites have a gene for being greedy bastards.
  • Maw
    1.6k
    Uh oh, did someone say,

    C U L T U R A L M A R X I S M
  • Saphsin
    149
    Pinker's best times was in the 90's, whatever severe disagreements one may have with him (my main beef is that he is committed to evolutionary psychology, a version which is even considered extreme among those who do, but he doesn't get into that as much until his Blank Slate). When he starts writing on politics, he becomes incredibly intellectually lazy and shallow, and the fact that he's promoting his new book through the endorsements of billionaire philanthropists and newspaper columnists instead of actual historians and social scientists shows that he's writing popular junk instead of serious scholarly work.

    Here's a pretty good book review that came out recently:

    http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2018/02/20/4806696.htm
  • jamalrob
    2.1k
    evolutionary psychology, a version which is even considered extreme among those who do, but he doesn't get into that as much until his Blank SlateSaphsin

    The Language Instinct, as I recall, combines Chomsky's linguistics with evolutionary psychology.
  • Roke
    132
    Yet again, the responses seem indicative of the climate. What Pinker said was true. Is it that folks really don't believe the claims are true? Or is it a lack of trust regarding the conclusions others might draw from the truths?

    I suspect it's the latter and I suggest it's bad strategy to shout people down, shame, or otherwise silence them pre-emptively.
  • Michael
    8.2k
    What Pinker said was true. Is it that folks really don't believe the claims are true?Roke

    The issue, as I explained here, is that his claims don't actually address the issues that "the left" are raising. They're strawmen.
  • Saphsin
    149
    Yeah I think that his hyper modularity that stems from his version of evolutionary psychology is false, the brain seems to functions as a highly distributed system, not like a Swiss Army knife. But that book is basically generative linguistics 101 written in an accessible manner and is wildly recommended by linguistics departments as an introduction and is far from popular junk. The thesis of his book the Blank Slate on the other hand is a strawman, none of the people he takes aim at actually espoused anything like a Blank Slate. Not Gould, and not even John Locke.
  • Roke
    132


    The claims aren't addressing those concerns. They're being made to suggest/demonstrate we're not able to have intellectually honest dialogue about serious, complicated, difficult topics. It's become a big problem.
  • LD Saunders
    314
    That's true, and there is also political correctness on the right, as well. If one does not support a war, then one is labeled a "traitor," and how tolerant is the right of having any right-winger called a racist, even when it couldn't be clearer that they are? So, I see political correctness BS from both sides of the aisle, and all this means is that people prefer to live in echo chambers as opposed to having to debate substantive ideas that do not always align with their views. I much prefer freedom of speech, and a rational recognition of basic facts, as opposed to silencing people one finds offensive for daring to question someone's supposedly sacred beliefs, i.e., bullshit.
  • JJJJS
    207
    Steve Pinker's always been a weird cunt.
  • Roke
    132


    I agree, I don't find talking in terms of left and right very useful. The definitions shift over time. Better to be as specific as possible and not treat problems as some other group's affliction.
  • Saphsin
    149
    I think we should just drop the term political correctness and just call it for what it is, unwillingness to respond properly to unpopular opinions. Oh, and I do think there is such a thing as offensive speech, whatever the Right might deny. I just find it comical the idea that they never get offended, and I do think that offensive speech need to be dealt with through education instead of reacting hysterically to it. There's a way to have a nuanced take on it instead of grossly exaggerating the problem just so people could attack the Left by aiming cheap shots at low-hanging fruit.
  • Pseudonym
    1.2k
    capitalist societies are better than communist ones.Dachshund

    No, all the capitalist societies that we currently have are more favourable places to currently live than any of the communist societies we have ever had.

    See the important difference between stating "incontrovertible facts" and making a political sales pitch.

    As Michael says, no one on the left is claiming that North Korea is better than South Korea.

    What they are (sometimes) saying is that capitalism is unsustainable, and a more socialist society may be required for long term survival. That it is possible to have a socialist society without becoming North Korea. That historical and political factors have been as much responsible for the state of current communist societies as the ideals of communism.

    As ever, what polemicists like Pinker paint as "incontrovertible truths" turn out to be a lot more complicated when you take away the blatant politics.
  • Pseudonym
    1.2k
    The kind of vocational interest tests of the kind your high school guidance counsellor gave you were given to millions of people, and men and women give different answers to what they wanna do for a living, and how much time they wanna allocate to family versus career and so on.Dachshund

    Let's try another one.

    The tests being referred to here are done in late teenage years. Again, no one on the left is saying that men and women have homogeneous priorities at that age. Those who do make gender equality claims, claim that they are born equal but are so treated by society as to end up different. No one is disputing that a difference exists by teenage-hood.
  • JJJJS
    207
    Steve Pinker's always been a weird cunt.JJJJS

    A weird sheep-like looking cunt at that.
  • Dachshund
    52


    (1) The Superiority of Capitalism over Communism/Socialism.
    — Dachshund

    Where has "the left" "rendered [this] more or less taboo and unmentionable"?
    Michael

    I don't know exactly, but what I do know is it has ( as Pinker suggests) become fashionable for students at many American universities to hoist Soviet era "Hammer and Sickle" banners on campus and paste or paint up revolutionary slogans from Mao Zedong's "Little Red Book". Why on earth would young people in the West do something as offensive and mindless as this? Where would American college kids get hold of such repulsive and deplorable political ideas , I wonder ?

    What do you think?
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    The overwhelming majority of people who starve to death are non-white.unenlightened
    Why is skin color relevant to the problem of starvation if you don't mind me asking?
  • Michael
    8.2k
    I don't know exactly, but what I do know is it has ( as Pinker suggests) become fashionable for students at many American universities to hoist Soviet era "Hammer and Sickle" banners on campus and paste or paint up revolutionary slogans from Mao Zedong's "Little Red Book". Why on earth would young people in the West do something as offensive and mindless as this? Where would American college kids get hold of such repulsive and deplorable political ideas , I wonder ?

    What do you think?
    Dachshund

    You also get students being all neo-Nazi like. I don't think it right to judge an entire political spectrum because of a vocal minority of idiots. For all the jokes I tend to make, I don't actually think that conservatives are racist, selfish, greedy arseholes.
  • Pseudonym
    1.2k
    that different ethnic groups commit crimes at different rates. You can go to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Look it up on their website. The homicide rate among African-American is about seven or eight times higher than it is among European Americans".Dachshund

    The per capita consumption of mozzarella cheese over the last decade matches almost exactly the rise in the number of civil engineering doctorates awarded. Why? Is it because cheese makes people cleverer? Or is it, just possibly, because engineering is becoming more popular as more opportunities open up to working class students, as does eating imported goods like mozzarella?

    Again, who on the left is denying that crime in neighbourhoods with a high African American population is a problem. What they're denying is that this is in any way linked to race. The data that Pinker finds so "incontrovertible" does not say anything about cause, only correlation.
  • StreetlightX
    4.3k
    I really enjoyed that review, lol. I've read very little of Pinker and nothing I've read about him convinces me that it's worth my time. Given that I think both Chomskian linguistics and evolutionary psychology are, without exaggeration, the two biggest intellectual black holes of the last few decades, I can't imagine having to take seriously anyone who champions both.
  • Maw
    1.6k
    1. "The Left" does not prefer authoritarian communist societies over capitalist ones. No one is honestly asking themselves, "would I rather live in South Korea or North Korea?" And it's laughably absurd that such a statement would be considered "flamingly radical" on college campuses. It's not true.

    2. This is too vague to be taken seriously. There is an occupational pay gap, which may be due to gender discrimination, lack of opportunity, societal factors, etc., but it exists nevertheless. Otherwise, no one is claiming that men and women, in aggregate, should 1:1 have the same interests, tastes, life priorities etc. There is however, nothing inherently wrong with a "bread-winner wife", or "stay-at-home dad".

    3. Even assuming that those statistics are correct, they are due to a long long (continued) history of social exclusion, appropriation, discrimination etc. This has been well studied, researched, and understood. Are you suggesting that black Americans are inherently (i.e. biologically) prone to violence?

    4. I don't know about the Worldwide statistics, but in America, you are more likely to to be killed by someone with a right-wing affiliation than an "Islamic Terrorist". What about killings from "Alt-Right Terrorists"? Even if the worldwide statistics are true, this doesn't entail that Muslims are inherently dangerous, or that Islam is any more dangerous than other monotheistic religions.

    It seems that in nearly each case here, there is an attempt to transform statistics into an "essentialism".

    Pinker is one of those intellectuals who feel it necessary to provide an opinion on everything outside his main area of work, which, as a result, are usually jejune, uninteresting, or just plain wrong.
  • Dachshund
    52


    Pinker is not the only public academic to express concern at the magnitude and extent of hard (old school) left pro-communist student sentiment on American campuses. Jordan Peterson, for example, finds it very disturbing as well. It clearly seems, at present, to be a bigger,more worrisome phenomenon than the presence of a small minority of students who are affiliated with hard right , neo-nazi, white nationalist/supremacist type organizations .
  • Pseudonym
    1.2k
    And terrorism, go to the Global Terrorist data base, and you find that worldwide the overwhelming majority of suicide terrorist attacks are committed by Islamic extremist groups".Dachshund

    No, go to the Global Terrorist database and search over a specific time frame, for a specific type of terrorist attack and you will find more attacks from a group which favour that specific type of attack and have become popular over the specific time frame you're interested in. It's hardly surprising given that the data had been filtered for those very criteria.
  • Pseudonym
    1.2k
    It clearly seems at present to be a bigger ,more worrisome phenomenon than the presence of a small minority of students who are affiliated with hard right , neo-nazi, white nationalist/supremacist type organizations .Dachshund

    Why, because Jordan Peterson (a known capitalist supporter) says it is? Shall we see what butchers think of the rise of vegetarianism next?
  • Dachshund
    52
    Pinker is one of those intellectuals who feel it necessary to provide an opinion on everything outside his main area of work, which, as a result, are usually jejune, uninteresting, or just plain wrong.Maw

    Yes, and when he does ( which is not all THAT often) his political position is typically a very measured and moderate - "centre left" -kind of liberal progressivism. This is precisely why I find his recent attack against the liberal-left political orthodoxy/establishment in America today so very interesting
  • Saphsin
    149
    I don't care what position he criticizes from, only that they're valid or invalid, and political perspectives don't come along an X-Axis for god's sake.
  • darthbarracuda
    2.9k
    Steven PinkerDachshund

    ...pass :vomit:
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