Those who seek to control and to destroy like to play with words. The great Athenian sculptor Phidias was persecuted by those who whimsically used the words “embezzlement” and “impiety.” Joan d’Arc was burnt and Galileo prosecuted via an eternally elastic concept of “heresy.” The witch hysteria relied on a protean concept of “evidence.” The capricious expression “subversive activities” is a tool of dictatorial oppression.
Two Western movements, “Me Too” and “Black Lives Matter,” have reached the nadir of this destructive, epistemological chaos. Their arbitrary allegations? Sexual harassment and racism.
Sexual harassment could mean, depending on the mob’s mood, anything from demanding sexual favors, to compliments, to date requests, to using the pronouns “man” or “he.” It could mean “disrespecting a woman’s voice.” It could mean selecting or not selecting women for influential positions.
Contrary to the movement’s wishes, sexual harassment is not to be equated with actual rape, which is a hideous crime. It is a shopworn tactic for dishonest movements to cloak their actual goals in legitimate issues, much like insects use mimicry as a diversion.
Similarly, Black Lives Matter (BLM) uses an elastic concept of “racism.” Just like their spiritual forefathers, the Inquisitors, only the BLM hierarchy can divine the meaning of this mysterious term. So, to them, “racism” could mean disagreement with their conclusions, thwarting their wishes and desires, some unknowable force that is “systemic,” or an innate animus against all black people.
MeToo’s rallying cry is: “We believe her.”
Who is “her?” Any woman – irrespective of her credibility, history, motivation, arguments – so long as she claims to be a victim. Will the movement wait for, and consider in the cool light of reason, the evidence? No! Besides, “evidence” is whatever they say it is. Well, then, will they at least wait for a response from the alleged perpetrator? No – a militant, “No!” Besides, they object to the word “alleged.” A woman claims it. They believe it. That settles it.
Who is “we” in the “We believe her?” That’s the movement’s tribe, the gender collective, the ones who share the same chromosomes – along with their fellow-travelers, who feel guilty about having a Y chromosome. That, I submit, is the elevation of genetics over proof, evidence, and logic. It is undiluted genetic determinism, used to rationalize a malicious desire to “hang him high.”
Whenever there is a charge of “racism,” BLM adherents say, “We believe that person.”
Who is “that person?” A member of the movement’s ethnic collective, one who belongs to the black tribe. So long as the person claims to be a victim, the movement believes him. Will they wait for and rationally consider evidence and arguments? Once again, a militant “No!” Their unchecked desires trump the West’s legacy of rational discourse.
How can you independently know, in advance, the meaning of “sexual harassment” or “racism?” You cannot. The movements’ leaders have a special, non-rational faculty of insight, which in reality is their feelings and arbitrary wishes. Yours is not to question or to know. Yours is to kneel in submission. The leaders are omniscient and omnipotent, beyond good and evil. The onus of proof does not apply to them. The presumption of innocence does not apply to a perpetrator. They allege a crime. That settles it.
For all of their barbarism, the witch hunts had at least the pretense of a trial – of procedures to follow, of charges and replies, of guidelines to obey. Me Too and Black Lives Matter dispense with the pretense.
To be fair, arbitrary allegations fueled by malice is a cultural epidemic – one that has spawned a twisted sport of rumor-mongering. There were the Duke University and UVA rape hoaxes, and the Ferguson and Baltimore riots. There are bizarre claims that Procter & Gamble promotes Satanism, that Corona beer has urine in it, that Mountain Dew lowers sperm count, that vaccines are deadly, that a pizza shop is a front for a child-sex ring. And, as best as one can tell in this clouded atmosphere of public trials devoid of evidence, there are the wrecked careers of Charlie Rose, Garrison Keillor, Roseanne Barr, Paula Deen, and Megyn Kelly. Most recently there was the Kavanaugh “search and destroy” mission.
These mobs have no interest in an individual’s actual guilt or innocence. To them, an individual is merely a human pinata. They have no respect for deliberation, evidence, investigations.
The French Revolution used the guillotine to sate a mob’s madness. The West is more civilized. It doesn’t behead. It merely tortures by innuendo. A defenseless victim is not pressed to death. He is merely hounded to death.
[Image Credit: Flickr-Insomnia Cured Here CC BY-SA 2.0]