How to fend off the charge of thoughtcrime

Alan Roebuck writes:

That’s the title of my latest essay (it’s brief—only 850 words) published at Intellectual Conservative. In it, I propose a thought experiment for evading the accusation of thoughtcrime from the Left.

Say something like this:

One of the rules of contemporary America is that you must never be intolerant of [insert name of liberal-favored group.] On rare occasions I have broken this rule, although never in a personally offensive manner. I therefore apologize for having broken the rule.

They say that we must all celebrate diversity and be tolerant and nonjudgmental. OK, I celebrate and tolerate, as ordered.

Also know that I do not apologize for the beliefs I hold in the privacy of my mind. There is no rule in America that you have to think a certain way. I’m not telling you what those beliefs are, because they’re none of your business, but I do not apologize for them. Thank you, and have a nice day.

This essay is an expansion of an idea I expressed at VFR (look at the first comment after “end of initial entry.”)

- end of initial entry -

Ken Hechtman writes:

I may have sent you this before, but the Steelworkers’ Union has a diversity campaign that’s based on exactly the same idea: Your thoughts are your own but you’re expected to act like a professional to your co-workers.

It’s called “We can’t make people like each other, but … ”

I like this approach compared to the attempts at “re-education” that I remember from workplaces 20 years ago. Less is more sometimes.

LA replies:

You are basically describing the pre-leftist North American and European society in which people were simply expected to behave decently. The ethos of simply behaving decently was overthrown by the left as a hated part of the old, “oppressive” Western order, and replaced by ideologically imposed, conspicuous deference to minorities.

It is interesting that Mr. Hechtman keeps criticizing excessive and tyrannical aspects of the left to which he belongs, but doesn’t seem to realize that such tyranny is inherent in the left.

I wonder whether he ever will realize it, and what will happen to him when he does. Either he will stop being a leftist, or he will rationalize the tyranny as a necessary if regrettable result of the leftist project of “breaking eggs”—breaking down and transforming an entire civilization in order to make it “equal” and “inclusive.”

JC in Houston writes:

To simplify what you said about “behaving decently,” it boiled down to something simple as having “manners,” a concept simply lacking today. You didn’t call a black person who had done nothing to offend you the N word because … well .. it was simply common courtesy. That’s the way I learned it from my parents who were both raised in the Deep South. Today, of course, one can’t point out black dysfunction or even complain about the ongoing dispossession of whites.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 12, 2012 09:19 PM | Send

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