THE PC LEFT is starting to devour itself.
The hysterical trans-this and trans-thats are snapping away at the insufficiently correct genderists and feminists; the free-speechifiers are being savaged by the censorious offensorati; the multicultists are scooping out the brains of the comrades now designated Islamophobes because they happened to have noticed there’s sometimes a link between Islamic terrorism and Islam; and those who have happily dined off a continuously expanding list of the unacceptably privileged are now finding themselves on the menu.
As a result some on the left are beginning to squeal.
Jonathan Chait complains about the splintering left’s obsession with “microaggressions” (I’m not sure what that means, but will assume it’s the equivalent of a kid in the playground crying “he looked at me funny and I don’t like it,”), speech-policing, trigger warnings, “mansplaining” (whatever the hell that is) and sundry other witch hunting. This new strain of political correctness, he says, “has bludgeoned even many of its own supporters into despondent silence” instead of trying to convince people through debate.
For pointing out the obvious he has been greeted with a variety of responses of the generally “yes…but” kind. Jessica Valenti in the Guardian, for instance, dismisses it all as merely privileged people “getting their feelings hurt”. “Man up, Johnny,” is what she’d say to him, if she were allowed to use such unacceptably heteronormative, cisgendered, sexist, patriarchally violent language. But she’s not, because then she’d be guilty as well. And in the current climate who’s to say she won’t be found guilty herself of some bien pensant crime?
I don’t mind a few progressives having their feelings hurt by others in their own gang, but it’s a bit much to dismiss the actual harm political correctness does cause. Just ask the thousands of girls abandoned to the brutality of Muslim rape gangs for years because of the authorities’ commitment to multiculturalism and their fear of being labelled racist, all because of political correctness.
Valenti may have no qualms about this increasing infighting but the author Tim Lott does. He’s also noticed the “assumption creep,” as he calls it, of the left; that is “the assumption that if you believe one thing you probably believe another thing, which you are hiding”.
Lott fears for his status as a proper lefty because he has doubts about various things he shouldn’t – he maintains a “residual affection for his country” for instance, is still not sure if gender identity is “entirely constructed” or not, and is “not convinced jihadists have ‘nothing to do’ with Islam”. Just in those three admissions he’s revealed himself to be a nationalist, a racist, an Islamophobe and a sexist. He’s doomed.
But just when you think there’s hope because some useful idiots may be discarding their idiocy another one pops up with a fresh pile of steaming outrage to make them all a laughing stock again. This time it’s Elton John. He’s appalled that Dolce and Gabbana, the gay fashion designers, have expressed their belief in the traditional family and their opposition to gay marriage, IVF and surrogate parents: “I call children of chemistry, synthetic children. Rented uterus, semen chosen from a catalogue,” said Dolce.
This apostasy sent Elton into a frenzy. “How dare you refer to my beautiful children as ‘synthetic’?” he ranted on Instagram (talking about the two children he and his partner are bringing up). He accused the fashion pair of judgemental finger-wagging and signed off his comment with a #BoycottDolceGabbana. No outrage is possible these days without its hashtag.
The cries of condemnation went up with tedious predictability from the quivering bien pensants around the world, from Peter Tatchell to Courtney Love. They all seemed oblivious to the idea of freedom of thought and expression. It hasn’t occurred to them that they could be the next victims of the cult of purity.
This is the logic of exhaustion. The left’s identity politics has finally reached its limits. There’s nowhere else to go and nothing more to do except turn inward with more and more insane refinements of definition and dogma.
This part of the revolution – where it devours its own children – is being played out in full view and it’s hilarious. Cry havoc and let loose the hashtags of outrage.