To change the culture II: speaking out

One reason the Left controls public spaces is that no one dares speak against them. Thus arises the idea that the Christian reactionary has a duty to speak out. I wish neither to encourage or discourage you from doing this. I only wish to help you clarify in your own mind what it is that you are wanting to do, and what you are hoping to accomplish by it.

  • Signaling allegiance. Some forms of “speaking out” are primarily intended to signal the alignment of the speaker with a particular cause or party. An example would be those “In this house we believe…” signs that Leftists put on their front yards. There is no attempt at an argument here. No conservative ever read one of those signs and changed his mind about anything. That’s not what they’re for. Certainly a Christian/reactionary could do something analogous, effectively putting a target on oneself and daring the cancelers to come for him. Why would he do this? The reason might be existential, of the “I have to look myself in the mirror when I shave” type. Or it might be strategic: one wishes to give heart to less courageous people of like mind and show to the undecided that Leftism is not indisputable. Ask yourself, why does Western society feel so much more totalitarian now than in 2019? It’s not COVID; it’s the fact that in 2020 every business and professional society decided it was part of their job to affirm and enforce Leftist orthodoxy. This was initially the “racial reckoning”, but it’s spread to everything, so that now every business has statements supporting Ukraine and abortion. These spaces should be contested. However, remember that what we need are not martyrs but survivors. Someone who speaks out and is fired is an example, a demonstration to all watching that the Leftist consensus is absolute. Someone who speaks out and is not fired but continues working as usual and interacting with co-workers has demonstrated that the Left does not totally own the workspace, which is indeed a major victory for us (in the sense of “getting us back toward where we were in 2019”). Note that for signaling allegiance, one must do it publicly under one’s own name for it to be meaningful at all. Nobody would bother anonymously posting “In this house we believe…” posters.
  • Teaching. Most people have a crude caricature of Christianity and non-Leftist thought put into their heads by post-WWII media and academia. We know better, having actually engaged with it from primary sources. This doesn’t mean we’re necessarily smarter than those who haven’t made this study, but from whatever accident of fate, we know things they don’t. One may consider one’s goal in speaking out to be pedagogical. You didn’t invent the arguments against democracy and for traditional sexual morality, but you know them, so you can share them. There is still much room for creativity in teaching–one must decide how to organize and present the body of knowledge. Whom should you teach? Those who are most open to learning–the undecided and mainstream conservatives. Unlike the allegiance signaler, the teacher can be anonymous. The point is the information being conveyed, not the commitment of the conveyor.
  • Researching. If you believe that significant rethinking of metaphysics, ethics, history, etc. is needed to recover the spiritual goods that before the Leftist onslaught we enjoyed unreflectively, then you may want to contribute to this intellectual project. This may require the work of a community of scholars rather than one isolated genius. If you can find this community, then with modest, not genius-level intellectual gifts, you can contribute to this project by working on some narrow aspect of the intellectual problems and communicating results to the community. Unlike the teacher, the researcher “speaks out” what he takes to be original thought. Unlike the allegiance signaler and teacher, the researcher is communicating mainly to those who already share his commitments. Without the community of scholars, narrow research is pointless, unless you have a passionate interest in some narrow question, in which case the point is personal and communication is secondary. The researcher cannot be anonymous, because dialogue with the community requires enduring recognized identity, but he can be pseudonymous. Indeed, if your work is valuable, there is an argument that the greater good is best served by protecting your livelihood. Like a good tenured professor, the Orthosphere engages in both teaching and research.
  • Revolutionizing. Or maybe you are trying to do isolated genius work, and your speaking out is presenting your new paradigm. I won’t make fun of you for that. As with the teacher and the researcher, the identity of the lone genius doesn’t matter, only his thought, so anonymity is fine. The lone genius by definition doesn’t require a community of fellow scholars, but he does require a society able to absorb his discoveries. You should put some thought into how you’re going to disseminate your work given the hostile media and academic environment. My recommendation would be to make friends with some teachers.

13 thoughts on “To change the culture II: speaking out

  1. I would like to research something to share with the community, but I am a complete dilettante, I have never been in academia.

    So could you tell me what you think is the most important problem overall, and maybe what the biggest priority to start to build off of would be?

    Or perhaps, to catalogue as many of the problems as I can, and share that with a community, would be a good starting point, and go from there? I am fairly well read in a bit of everything, so I like that idea.

  2. “One reason the Left controls public spaces is that no one dares speak against them.” Truly. Try mild criticism of hip-hop culture, along the lines of: “Hip-hop is beat oriented (not even rhythm-oriented), which means that its generating principle is the most basic and least sophisticated of all possible musical foundations.This grossly narrows its expressive potential and undercuts the emergence of harmony, the richest of all musical elements (and one unique to Western civilization).” I can say that here, where I would expect disagreements as well as agreements, but outside of a space such as this, writing it would put a target on my back.

  3. I suspect the degree of totalitarianism varies greatly as a function of geographic location. I don’t speak publicly under my real name, but most of the people I work with know I’m a conservative, and it hasn’t hindered my academic progress. My sense is that liberals who accept living around wrongthinkers are less likely to be shocked by having one as a colleague.

    Of course, I keep my worst thought crimes to myself.

  4. You say truth is crimespeak in the kingdom of the blind. I’ll agree that this applies to the woke on issues of identity. But it also similarly applies to Trumpian Fundamentalists when it comes to issues such as fraud in the 2020 election and the attack on the US Capitol. It is similar in the manner in which truth and evidence of truth is fabricated or dismissed depending upon what the desired view happens to be.

    • Hello winstonscrooge,

      I won’t comment on those particular issues regarding the 2020 election because I don’t have any strong opinions on them. However, I think you’re right to be skeptical of any suggestion that right-wingers are inherently more open-minded than left-wingers. I think the asymmetry all comes down to disparities of power. The Left controls all the the institutions, so left-wingers are more able to act on the urge to suppress views that offend them; they are forced to deal with the temptations of power, that is. In today’s arrangement of power, no one need worry about right-wing censoriousness, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist or that we have superior intellectual virtue in this regard.

      • I tend to agree with most of what you said. However, it seems as if you lump the entire left together as supportive of woke cancel culture. This is absolutely not the case. For example, I am a liberal and categorically reject this nonsense.

  5. I’m glad you made the point about martyrs. I would amplify it by saying that you only become a martyr if your side eventually wins. If your side loses, you go down in history as a villain. And we must teach all of our young people that the story of the emperor’s new clothes is not a guide to reality. Power does not suddenly wilt when truth is spoken to it. It just cracks down.

    I think Christian apologetics give us some guidance here, since the aim of apologetics was not to covert infidels to Christianity, but only to defend Christianity as a respectable form of though and life. A reactionary apologetics would similarly defend the “space” within which reactionary thinking occurs. We have a long way to go, though, since reactionary thinking is presently dismissed as a sort of psychopathy.

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