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  • Reset

    Posted by David Foster on June 28th, 2015 (All posts by )

    RESET

    That’s what Hillary Clinton thought was inscribed, in English and in Russian, on the button that she gave to Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov in early 2009…actually she got the translation wrong…(why on earth, with all the linguistic resources that were available to her?…but that’s a subject for another day.)

    I don’t think I need to provide a slew of links to prove that the reset didn’t work very well.  Russia-US national relations are currently pretty bad, and Russia is now perceived as a threat to many other countries in a way that would have seemed unbelievable back in 2008.  Resetting institutional and societal things…complicated, intertwined, human things…is generally much harder than rebooting a computer or flipping a circuit breaker back to ON.

    Yet the RESET button is a good metaphor for the entire worldview of the Obama administration, and of the “progressive” movement generally.  Remember that line about “fundamentally transforming” the United States?

    One tactic employed by modern-era leaders who wish to “fundamentally transform” their societies is to transform the use of language and other symbols.  The French revolutionaries pioneered in this:  even the names of the months of the year were changed.  The Nazis required that the traditional greeting “gruess gott” (roughly, “God bless you”) be replaced with “Heil Hitler.”  It was part of their version of what I have called the politicization of absolutely everything.

    In the US today, the politicized transformation of language has largely originated in universities, especially in their various “studies” departments, and is now being transmitted and amplified by certain corporations.

    For example, it is credibly reported that JP Morgan  now discourages its employees from using terms such as “wife” and “boyfriend.”  According to the internal memo, not referring to your wife as your wife “offers up the opportunity for more inclusive conversations.”

    Presumably, the idea is that those who lack wives or boyfriends…on account of being gay or transgender…will be hurt and offended by the use of the terms.  Which makes about as much sense as the idea that religious people shouldn’t refer to their “minister” or their “rabbi” because to do so might be painful to the non-religious.  Or that people with children shouldn’t refer to their “child” or their “kid” because it might be painful to those who only have cats…maybe a more neutral term like “dependent companion creature” might be used.

    What this is really all about, of course, is sucking up to what somebody at JPM thinks the zeitgeist is among those who may have power over its future.

    Apple Computer, also, is following a similar course.  They have banned the use of the Confederate flag even  as a marker for units in Civil War simulation games sold on the App Store.  (Specifically, they have banned any such marker appearing on a screenshot of the game which will appear in the store.)

    Several days ago, I linked an article arguing that modern “liberalism,” or “progressivism,” or whatever they call themselves, is now almost purely a symbolic project.  The Apple policy that I described about represents symbol-obsession taken to a level that is truly insane.

    While banning the use of the Confederate flag even for purposes of unit-identification icons, Apple has apparently not restricted the use of the Nazi swastika for similar purposes in WWII simulation games. I don’t conclude from this that Apple is a group of Nazi sympathizers, rather, that they are a group of herd-followers and enforcers of the “progressive” herd’s current direction, whatever that direction may be.  (Apple once used the slogan “Think Different”…now, it seems, their slogan should be “think like you are supposed to!)

     

    And that’s why all of this is so disturbing:  because it represents an attack on independence of thought.  The official line, as announced by Obama and The New York Times, must not only be followed, but followed enthusiastically.

    It is important to think seriously about where all this leads.  Maybe you think that it is so important to be kind to nontraditional couples that terms like “husband” and “boyfriend” should be eschewed.  Maybe you think the Confederate flag is such an icon of utter evil that is should not even be used to identify a unit in a simulation game.  But are you really comfortable in creating a social environment in which lupine packs of “activists” endlessly push the entire American population in their chosen direction, with corporations and other economically-powerful entities standing at the ready to destroy the financial future of anyone who even thinks about going in another direction?  Even if you like the specifics of the JPM and Apple policies, consider the possibility that some day the “activists” are going to point the herd in a direction of which you do not approve.

    In  A Man for All Seasons , a play about Saint Thomas More, the protagonist’s daughter and his son-in-law argue that a particular man should be arrested, even though he has broken no law, resulting in this conversation:

    Roper: So, now you give the devil himself the benefit of law?

    More: Yes, what would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get at the devil?

    Roper: Yes! I’d cut down every law in England to do that.

    More: Oh? And when the last law was down and the devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide…the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws coast to coast, man’s laws, not God’s, and if you cut them down, …do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I would give the devil the benefit of law for my own safety.

    “The winds that would blow then” are now being stirred up aggressively, and the thickets of laws and customers that protect against such winds are being systematically clear-cut.

    See also the inimitable Sarah Hoyt, who notes that tribal cheering always ends in tears, and, for a sense of just how fun and how free things will be if we don’t change the direction in which we are heading, read my posts  Life in the fully politicized society and Life in the fully politicized society, continued.

     

     

    10 Responses to “Reset”

    1. Mike K Says:

      Someone tested Wal Mart and found that Confederate cakes were out but ISIS cakes were OK.

      Even Ed Schultz is confused about what he wants with the Confederate flag.

      You know, I understand the effort to remove the Confederate flag from state capitols in the South and anywhere else in this country. There’s no doubt about it that it sends the wrong message. But at this point, I asked the question, is it overboard? And I don’t understand the attempt to erase American history as if it’s going to change our course as a nation. It’s not.

      The desecration of our nation’s history, I think, is dangerous and I think it’s unproductive. American history and our roots as a nation needs (sic) to be, number one, understood. It needs to be properly interpreted. It needs to be taught. And at a level, I think, it needs to be respected to be put in its proper context to the recognition of what has developed our great nation and how we have moved forward.

      If Ed Schultz is confused, what do we do ?

    2. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      I wonder how many young Leftists understand how closely all this follows the history and playbook of the 20th century communists? Do they understand where all this heads?

    3. IGotBupkis, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." Says:

      }}} Apple Computer, also, is following a similar course. They have banned the use of the Confederate flag even as a marker for units in Civil War simulation games sold on the App Store. (Specifically, they have banned any such marker appearing on a screenshot of the game which will appear in the store.)

      This is why I am an enemy of Apple and its fascist mindset. The notion that I, a developer, or as a consumer, am utterly subject to its imprimatur as to what I may buy or sell is … just wrong.

      I will never buy anything from Apple if I have any choice in the matter. Any software I develop will be created for Windows or Android first, and then, if successful, ported over to run on Apple equipment only if I deem the market sufficient to not shoot myself in the foot over the matter. But it will be done grudgingly, if at all.

      I despise Apple.

    4. IGotBupkis, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." Says:

      }}} I wonder how many young Leftists understand how closely all this follows the history and playbook of the 20th century communists fascists? Do they understand where all this heads?

      Ya missed the big point… fixt it fer ya. De Nada. ;-)

    5. ErisGuy Says:

      [i]I wonder how many young Leftists understand how closely all this follows the history and playbook of the 20th century communists?[/i]

      Few. Old communists, many.

    6. David Foster Says:

      Today’s “progressivism” incorporates elements of both Communism and Fascism, together with some elements that are all its own. The economic model (corporations that are left nominally free as long as they do what the government wants, rather than actual government direct ownership of industry), the obsession with race/ethnicity, the mystical approach to nature, the deprecation of economic development…there are all things that are closer to Fascism than to Communism.

    7. Mrs. Davis Says:

      Any software I develop will be created for Windows or Android first

      Because Google and Microsoft never do evil.

    8. ErisGuy Says:

      I don’t conclude from this that Apple is a group of Nazi sympathizers,

      Perhaps not, but Apple does not how to recognize and to protect its own, and to punish difference, dissent, and diversity.

    9. Peter Says:

      Well, if Ed Schultz is confused, it just means the day ended with a ‘y’

    10. David Foster Says:

      See also Ginny’s post One Moment in the Eighties:

      https://chicagoboyz.net/archives/48941.html