Tag: progressive virtue

A Progressive Belief: Progressive Virtue Is Supremely Important

Progressives unconsciously and/or consciously believe that progressive virtue is supremely important.

The unconscious logic supporting this belief goes like this, starting from the “Human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble” branch of the newthink worldview tree:
• Human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble.
• Our motives are inherently noble.
• We are progressively virtuous.
Progressive virtue is supremely important.
WorldviewTree_p076
The unconscious logic branching out of this belief is:
• Sensitivity, empathy, righteousness and love are extremely important and should be the core of a progressive society.
• Society has no ultimate right to dictate to us because progressive virtue and progressive unvirtue ultimately trump human law.
• Those who do not agree with us – the progressively unvirtuous – are either ignorant or purposely unvirtuous.
• The end, which is a progressively-virtuous society, justifies the means.

 

Progressive virtue is for progressives what goodness is for traditional Americans.  Just as good is supremely important for traditional Americans, progressive virtue is supremely important for newthinkers.

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Progressive Projection

savagechickensprojectiondefenseThe replacement of good and evil with progressive virtue and progressive vice causes problems in the individual progressive psyche because people have an inherent sense of good and evil which cannot be comfortably suppressed and replaced with virtue categories that don’t reflect their natural, internal compasses. A symptom of this psychological unease with progressive virtue categories is a special case of the projection defense mechanism which I humbly refer to as progressive projection. Projection has been defined as “the process by which one ascribes one’s own traits, emotions, dispositions, etc. to another . . . with the implication that there is an accompanying denial that one has these feelings or tendencies . . . ”* A subcategory of this defense mechanism – progressive projection – is ubiquitous in progressives because progressive virtue is different from goodness. Progressive virtue, by definition, is not “good,” and, deep down, progressives know it and are troubled by it. Thus they take their own unconscious and unacceptable impulses and traits and, without consciously realizing it, project them as the presumed impulses and traits of their opponents. In this way, progressive projection eases their unconscious psychic pain.

progressive projection n : a special case of the projection defense mechanism in which a progressive attributes impulses and traits that he himself has but cannot accept to his opponents; it is ubiquitous in progressives because of the psychologically uneasy replacement of the virtue categories of good and evil with progressive virtue and progressive vice.

For example, progressives abhor hypocrisy. Many of them believe that they enjoy unfair advantages (whether they do in reality or not). Yet they refuse to give them up, which often leads to the unconscious judgement that they themselves are hypocrites. This trait is unacceptable, so they unconsciously defend themselves by becoming hypersensitive to any real or imagined hypocrisy in others.

Progressive virtue, by definition, is not “good,” and, deep down, progressives know it and are troubled by it.

Whenever a progressive negatively represents his opponents in an emotional manner, take note. Think about what they’re saying and whether it could be objectively applied to them. It’s usually progressive projection. They’re probably unconsciously describing themselves.

* Arthur S. Reber, The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology: Fourth Edition, (Penguin, 2009), p. 570.

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Virtue Assignment and Virtue Categories Under the Progressive Worldview

While traditional Americans think goodness is defined by objective standards such as the Ten Commandments, newthinkers believe they are progressively virtuous due to their inherently noble motives.

The unconscious logic supporting this belief is as follows, starting from the “Human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble” branch of the newthink worldview tree:

• Human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble.
• Our motives are inherently noble.
• We are progressively virtuous.

 

Humans have a deep and compelling psychological need to assign virtue. Based on a particular morality – a set of rules about what’s right and wrong – people assign virtue by dividing actions into two categories: virtuous and non-virtuous.

virtue assignment n : a psychological process which categorizes actions into two categories: virtuous or non-virtuous, based on the existing morality

virtue categories n : bipolar designations based on the judgement of righteousness under a given system

People fundamentally need to define virtue and vice in their world, and they need to feel personally virtuous (even when they obviously aren’t). Systems of virtue assignment are central to worldviews because they create conviction, cement loyalties and inspire action.

Progressive virtue and progressive vice are newthink’s virtue categories, based on the political correctness system. Good and evil are Americanism’s virtue categories, based on its system.

Progressive virtue and progressive vice are newthink’s virtue categories, based on the political correctness system. Good and evil are Americanism’s virtue categories, based on its system. Among devout progressives, progressive virtue has replaced good and progressive non-virtue has replaced evil. These different systems of virtue assignment are foreign and incompatible with each other. They coexist uneasily and won’t be at rest until one defeats the other.

Virtues Mural Sierra Vista Elementary
Virtues Mural – Sierra Vista Elementary (Photo credit: Edith OSB)

When assigning virtue, the less discriminating, whatever their worldview, conflate actions with individuals and even groups. For instance, say that Fred lied about something. Conflating that action with an individual, one would make a virtue assignment about Fred the individual: Fred lied, so he’s bad. Conflating that action with a group, one might think: Fred is a Yabbadabbadoobian, so they’re all bad. While the process of virtue assignment is universal, the dynamic changes as newthink takes hold. It changes, not just because the rules are different, but because the definitions of groups alter, as we’ll see later when I discuss newthink’s society metaphor.

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Obamacare: Both Cynical Power Play and Sincere Struggle for Progressive Virtue

Obamacare is without doubt a power play – a political move designed to appropriate one-sixth of the U.S. economy into the government. As the medical sector is socialized, Washington’s politicians and bureaucrats gain significant wealth and power.

But government doesn’t create wealth; it only consumes it. So as the public sector grows, the private sector suffers; Washington and the state capitals thrive while the rest of the country withers. Payroll taxes will have to increase, perhaps double, to the level of comparable European systems in order to finance the single-payer, Medicare-for-all system which seems to be our destination. As doctors leave the system and bureaucratic costs rise, medical treatment will become more expensive, less available and lower in quality. Family budgets will incur hundreds of dollars more per month in health insurance and payroll taxes, and potentially thousands of dollars more per year in deductibles. The result? A substantial percentage of disposable family income will no longer be spent in the private sector. Budgets, whether a family’s or a nation’s, are not infinitely capable of absorbing hits like this. At some point they break. At some point the already fragile economy collapses.

So, given all the negatives, why is the socialization of America’s medical industry a priority for progressives? Is it just a cynical power play on the part of the Washington elite? To see it only this way is to miss a lot. Remember (see my last blog post), progressives tend to believe that utopia is possible. Many of them believe that Obamacare will eventually bring inexpensive (in some cases, free) health care to everyone. That this utopian ideal is unreachable doesn’t matter; that possibility is rarely even entertained. Universal health care is progressively virtuous. The struggle for progressive virtue is, to progressives, the important thing. Merely striving for progressive virtue in itself makes progressives feel virtuous.

This devout sense of progressive virtue is predominant outside of the elite. But don’t be so cynical that you can’t recognize this idealism, mixed with the duplicity that is necessary to pursue their unpopular aims, among the progressive elite too.

A More Progressively Virtuous, Less Intelligent America

Photo taken July 26, 2002 of American Boy Scou...
Photo taken July 26, 2002 of American Boy Scouts sitting around a campfire ring at a week long summer camp. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All educational systems indoctrinate their students into their worldview and attempt to shape them into virtuous members of their culture. The Boy Scout’s oath (“On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country…”) distilled traditional America’s cultural guidance to their youth. Bound by honor to a duty to God and country, children were taught to obey the law, help others, and stay strong, alert and morally straight. Americanism largely succeeded in its effort to inculcate those values.Likewise, the progressive educational system functions very competently in its unconscious core function: the production of young newthinkers with a keen sense of progressive virtue, combined with limited knowledge and intellectual skill. It’s no accident that graduates have become increasingly ignorant as newthinkers have expropriated the American educational system. If progressive culture truly honored intellect, its students would emerge highly knowledgeable and intellectually proficient. Instead, our progressive educational system has led to declining intellectual performance. According to one large study only 31 percent of college graduates can read and extrapolate from a complex book.* As Mona Charen points out in her book Do-Gooders, the more time a child spends in America’s educational system, the worse he fares compared to students from around the world. Nine-year-old American kids score a little above the worldwide average, but the downward arc has begun: by 13 they’re below average, and by their later teenage years, they outrank students in only a few countries like Cyprus and South Africa.**

If progressive culture truly honored intellect, its students would emerge highly knowledgeable and intellectually proficient. Instead, our progressive educational system has led to declining intellectual performance.

This dumbing-down of America’s population is not a fluke, and it’s not only caused by an incompetent educational system. There are several unconscious newthink beliefs that contribute heavily to it. But the ones we’re focusing on now, the unconscious beliefs that “emoting is natural and therefore virtuous” and “thinking is unnatural and therefore unvirtuous,” have led to an increased social emphasis on feeling rather than thinking. Under newthink, a virtuous progressive should have feelings about things; having thoughts about them is secondary. Abstract thought – a salient and specifically human trait – has become the disreputable servant of feeling.

Because of the anti-intellectual nature of newthink, progressive America has less regard for rationality than traditional America. As its assorted character archetypes – from Modern Thugs to Beats – have grown in prevalence, their anti-intellectual timbre has influenced America, coarsening and stupefying it. Ours is a degenerate culture: the average American of 100 years ago could intellectually embarrass the average Jay-walking American of today. Nineteenth-century farmers went to school half as long as we do and the ones who did were more intellectually accomplished. Check out an 1800s textbook if you doubt it. Our great-grandfathers in their youth could have whupped us physically and intellectually.

* Paul E. Peterson, “Ticket to Nowhere,” Education Next, Spring 2003, Vol. 3, No. 2.

** Mona Charen, Do-Gooders, (New York: Sentinel, 2004), p. 198.

To Progressives, Emoting Tends to Be Perceived as Natural and Therefore Virtuous; Thinking Tends to Be Perceived as Unnatural and Therefore Unvirtuous.

Let’s examine the next unconscious belief in this branch of the newthink worldview tree: Emoting is natural and therefore virtuous; thinking is unnatural and therefore unvirtuous.

The logic supporting this belief is as follows, starting from the “Human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble” branch:

• Human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble.
• We need to strip away society and return to a natural state to uncover our inherent and transcendent nobility.
• The more natural, the more virtuous.
• Emoting is natural and therefore virtuous; thinking is unnatural and therefore unvirtuous.

The unconscious logic branching out of this belief is:

• It’s better to follow your feelings than to analyze things.
• Wisdom is felt, not learned.

 

The devout progressive intellect doesn’t seek truth; it rationalizes emotions.

The devout progressive intellect doesn’t seek truth; it rationalizes emotions. It’s analogous to neurotic rationalization: in the neurotic, the neurotic behavior or feeling exists and the mind is tasked to explain it, without regard to truth. For instance, a neurotic with a social anxiety disorder may develop negative opinions of people, which conveniently give him a reason to avoid uncomfortable social situations. In the same way, newthink’s beliefs exist due to unconscious processes and it is the job of progressive intellectualism to try to make them logical. The highly progressive Soviet Union produced libraries of Marxist literature full of elaborate and obscure theory with little connection to reality: the literature on Marx’s theory of monetary value is one example. This dynamic is at work today in the social sciences, the arts, and the popular culture. It’s not as prevalent in the physical sciences, which are fundamentally unfriendly to counterfeit theories, but the manipulation of physical data to support progressive theories is not unknown. In the climategate scandal, scientists from the University of East Anglia and elsewhere, among other things, cherry-picked data to create a graph showing a formidable but bogus warming trend in the late 20th century. Newthink perverts the traditional goal of science: to find the truth without regard to the emotional reactions to that truth. Newthink intellectualism tends to be rationalization, not explanation.

Contrary to their self-image of intellectual daring and fairness, progressives tend to be close-minded to anything that conflicts with their worldview. Their intellectual positions tend to be emotionally-based rationalizations which must be defended at all costs – not empirically-based ideas to be impartially changed when new evidence or arguments are presented.

Although all worldviews operate on both conscious and unconscious levels, newthink originated in emotions; Americanism originated in texts – the Bible, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights. Traditional thought is more intellect-based; newthink is more unconscious, its consequences less thought through. This emotional reasoning, by the way, is why it can be so hard to reason with a progressive. Contrary to their self-image of intellectual daring and fairness, progressives tend to be close-minded to anything that conflicts with their worldview. Their intellectual positions tend to be emotionally-based rationalizations which must be defended at all costs – not empirically-based ideas to be impartially changed when new evidence or arguments are presented. Newthinkers tend to be emotional reasoners, not truth-seekers. It’s difficult to argue someone out of a feeling. To change a progressive’s mind, one must make them aware of their emotional attachments to the unconscious beliefs behind their intellectual position – not an easy task.

The Fusion of Nature and Virtue

Under progressivism, nature and virtue fuse. To newthinkers, the more natural, the more virtuous.

The unconscious logic supporting this belief goes like this, starting from the “Human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble” branch of the newthink worldview tree:

• Human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble.
• We need to strip away society and return to a natural state to uncover our inherent and transcendent nobility.
• The more natural, the more virtuous.

Many entailments branch out of this particular belief. The unconscious logic is: The more natural, the more virtuous. Additionally:

• Emoting is natural and therefore virtuous; thinking is unnatural and therefore unvirtuous.
• Expressing yourself is natural and therefore virtuous; stoicism is unnatural and therefore unvirtuous.
• Sex is natural and therefore virtuous; sexual inhibitions or modesty are unnatural and therefore unvirtuous.
• A simple life is natural and therefore virtuous; a complex life is unnatural and therefore unvirtuous.
• Whole foods are natural and therefore virtuous; processed foods are unnatural and therefore unvirtuous.
• Holistic medicine is natural and therefore virtuous; traditional medicine is unnatural and therefore unvirtuous.
• The environment is natural and therefore virtuous; humanity’s physical presence is unnatural and therefore unvirtuous.
• Human will is unimportant in understanding human behavior. Human behavior can be completely understood through natural influences: genetics and environment.
• So-called primitive societies are closer to nature and therefore superior to our society. The social achievements and wisdom our society has gained since primitive times are therefore bogus.

 

…the ultimate expression of newthink’s nature/virtue conflation is the environmental movement.

Nature and “the environment” are synonymous, so the ultimate expression of newthink’s nature/virtue conflation is the environmental movement. In the 1960s and 1970s, many of the hippies headed back to the land clutching copies of Mother Earth News. As the hippie movement faded, many switched from the antiwar movement to the environment. Environmentalists as guardians of nature in progressive society perform a function psychologically analogous to soldiers as guardians of freedom in traditional American society – without the pesky bullets, bombs and dying part. Also analogous is the virtue attached to the environmentalist and the soldier. Like conspicuous worshipers in the temple, anyone associated with the green movement is touched by progressive virtue, which helps account for its current ubiquity in the media and the sanctimony with which its message is delivered.

Definitions: Political Correctness and Progressive Virtue

Traditional America used good and evil to measure virtue. Newthink replaces them with progressive virtue and progressive vice.

People need to feel virtuous. Therefore, all worldviews contain a system of measuring self-virtue. Traditional America used good and evil to measure virtue. Newthink replaces them with progressive virtue and progressive vice. The name of newthink’s morality, political correctness, provides a language clue to this: correctness implies keeping score. What is being scored is one’s level of progressive virtue.

Here are some definitions:

political correctness n : progressive morality

progressive virtue n : 1 : conformity to a standard of political correctness 2 : moral merit as measured under the newthink worldview

politically correct (PC) adj : adhering to progressive morality

progressively virtuous (PV) adj : having progressive virtue –(antonym: progressively unvirtuous (unPV))

Let’s review.  Political correctness = progressive morality.  Progressive virtue = moral merit under the progressive worldview.  Under newthink, the more one conforms to a standard of political correctness, the more progressive virtue one accrues.  Please understand these concepts.  There will be a test.