Category Archives: fanatics

Triumph of the monomaniacs

Groupuscules of fanatic freaks wage asymmetric warfare against the rest of us

Dalrymple reports that a paid-for ‘I love J.K. Rowling’ advertisement appeared at a railway station, but the station authorities read into it

an endorsement of the author’s views about transsexualism that have led to unpleasant, intolerant and cowardly denunciations of her.

J.K. Rowling had gone in the minds of the station authorities from being

a world-famous author with a large œuvre

to

the mouthpiece of views that enrage certain monomaniacs and those who are terrified into endorsing them.

The result, Dalrymple writes, was that

in an act of anticipatory surrender, or what a clever Dutch friend of mine calls creative appeasement, the authorities decided to remove the advertisement before anyone could protest. In fact, no one had protested by the time they took it down.

The message ‘I love J.K. Rowling’

could be construed politically only by monomaniacs, even had the massage been intended to be construed in this manner.

We are, Dalrymple writes,

constantly treading on eggshells, thanks to the ideological monomaniacs in our midst. Our freedom of expression is not under threat from the government (as traditionally it was) but from groupuscules who are engaged in asymmetrical wars with the rest of society. They care deeply about a single thing — it is the meaning of their lives. The rest of us, among whom the matter is merely one thing among many others, do not care about it nearly so deeply, though our opinion about it may be, and usually is, diametrically the opposite of that of the monomaniacs.

The monomaniacs

win almost every time because their advocacy is passionate and continual, while everyone’s else’s opposition is lukewarm and intermittent because they have so much else to do and think about.

Moreover,

if you can make your opponents’ lives a misery, you are halfway to victory. This is how what was unthinkable or laughable only yesterday becomes an unassailable orthodoxy today. The speed with which this happens is accelerating.

And since, in the absence of religious belief, causes become the meaning of life for so many,

there is a permanent effervescence of outlandish demands, or rather of demands that would have been outlandish only a few years, months or weeks before.

Web of the Cultural Revolution

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 08.45.15

(by Rowlandson)

The spider needs its prey to live

Dalrymple writes:

When a Nobel prize winner can be hounded from his university chair by the harridans of the internet (or any other self-constituted group of fanatics), the outlook for freedom of speech is not good. The West, having undergone its own Cultural Revolution, has taken up the baton of Maoist self-criticism.

What was Professor Sir Timothy Hunt’s wrongdoing? During a speech at a luncheon for women scientists, he remarked lightly, ironically,

Self-criticism

Self-criticism

Let me tell you about my trouble with girls…things happen when they are in the lab…You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticise them, they cry.

Hunted down

Such is the modern thirst, writes Dalrymple,

for moral or political outrage, which is the tool of the mediocre to bring about their revenge upon the gifted, that words are now taken in the most literal sense and given thereby the worst possible interpretation. The mediocre wait to take offence as a spider awaits its prey in a web; the spider needs its prey to live, the mediocre their offendedness to feel a sense of purpose to their lives.

Struggle session

Struggle session

Red guards of the internet

Professor Hunt was forced to resign

by what in effect was a witch hunt, or a lynch mob.

Dalrymple points out that

science doesn’t need women, it needs scientists, just as art needs artists and literature needs writers; whether they are men or women is irrelevant. There is no female science any more than there was Jewish or bourgeois science, of late unhappy memory.

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 08.52.07Heresy

It is not truth

that is the aim, but power. That is the purpose of propaganda in totalitarian regimes: to force starving people to acquiesce to the proposition that they have never eaten so well.

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 08.53.27It is

a totalitarian demand that a cell biologist, in order to be able to work at all, should subscribe to the current political orthodoxy, whether it be right or wrong. It is constitutive of these times in which diversity is claimed as the highest good that there should exist a demand that everyone should think alike or at least not utter heresies in public.

Orwellian

The aim, says Dalrymple, is that of Newspeak in Nineteen Eighty-Four:

that certain things should not only be unsayable but unthinkable.

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