Virtuous Villains

Beyond a crimp on traditional good behavior and a brake on personal responsibility and positive determination, the surfeit of progressive virtue among the pseudoppressed creates even more havoc: it causes an increase in bad behavior.

Virtuous Villains:
Those pseudoppressed who justify their traditionally bad acts as caused by oppression, or even think of them as virtuous acts of liberation.

Virtuous Villains rationalize their wrongdoing as being created by oppression. It’s a license to be bad. The thinking is, “Why should I worry about doing wrong since I’m overflowing with virtue?” or even, “I am fighting for what is right.” If a tinge of conscience does become conscious, everything can be justified because bad behavior is perceived to be caused by victim-hood, not by free choice. In addition, in the mind of a Virtuous Villain, it’s not really bad behavior: it’s righteous payback. During the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, one African-American rioter, who was taken into custody after using a car for batting practice with the European-American passengers inside, said repeatedly in the squad car, “This is right, this is right, this is right.”* It was right – but only by the code of political correctness. His act, while clearly not good under traditional morality, was filled with progressive virtue.

Virtuous Villains rationalize their wrongdoing as being created by oppression. It’s a license to be bad. The thinking is, “Why should I worry about doing wrong since I’m overflowing with virtue?” or even, “I am fighting for what is right.”

The Enlightened have a guilty conscience due to their perceived oppression of the assorted pseudoppressed groups. This “liberal guilt” filters through to the rest of society in various degrees and leads to a coddling and non-confrontational relationship with the pseudoppressed. The rest of society tends to treat the pseudoppressed with kid gloves. For example, because the poor are thought to be generally more virtuous than the wealthy, and because their condition is thought to be due to oppression, progressive society has a diffident attitude toward them, and little inclination to promote self-improvement and self-responsibility among them. Liberal guilt and the kid-gloves treatment it encourages solidify the dysfunctional relationship between the pseudoppressed and the rest of society.

* Lou Cannon, Official Negligence: How Rodney King and the riots changed Los Angeles and the LAPD, (Westview Press, 1999), p. 283.

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A Progressive Belief: The Oppressed Tend to Be Virtuous

Progressives believe that the oppressed tend to be virtuous.

The unconscious logic supporting this belief is as follows:

• Society is a Battlefield
• Social interaction is war between groups.
• Warring groups either dominate or are dominated.
• The dominant group ruthlessly oppresses and exploits the weaker group.
• The oppressed tend to be virtuous.

The unconscious logic branching out of this belief is:

• The intentions of the oppressed are generally virtuous.
• The actions of the oppressed are generally virtuous.
• The oppressed tend to be wise.
• The oppressed tend to be compassionate.
• The oppressed tend to be courageous.
• The oppressed tend to be fair.
• The oppressed are fashionable.
• We should try to fit in with the oppressed.

 

Progressive virtue accrues to those who live by the rules of progressive morality, otherwise known as political correctness. Politically correct behavior increases one’s progressive virtue. But all individuals do not start out with an equal balance in their progressive virtue bank account. Recall the Accounting metaphor which cognitive psychologists say structures our moral thinking in financial terms. Under newthink, the opening balance in one’s virtue account depends on whether one’s social group is oppressor or oppressed. Members of pseudoppressor groups begin with a big debit which they must always work to overcome if they wish to be progressively virtuous. Members of pseudoppressed groups begin with a big credit, which means they are able to do nothing at all if they choose and still maintain moral superiority over almost all pseudoppressors. This is one reason newthink pseudoppressors are often so devout in their political correctness. Progressive virtue is vital to the self-esteem and social power of progressives. Pseudoppressors have a big moral debit to overcome and must constantly work harder to be progressively virtuous.

Progressive virtue is vital to the self-esteem and social power of progressives. Pseudoppressors have a big moral debit to overcome and must constantly work harder to be progressively virtuous.

Acts of political correctness do help raise one’s PV bank account. But people in progressive societies are increasingly judged by their wealth, sex, citizenship, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and religion rather than their behavior. Newthink’s logic in this matter is simple to the point of monotony: the wealthy tend to be unvirtuous, the poor tend to be virtuous; males tend to be unvirtuous, females tend to be virtuous; Americans tend to be unvirtuous, non-Americans tend to be virtuous; European-Americans tend to be unvirtuous, non-European-Americans tend to be virtuous; heterosexuals tend to be unvirtuous, homosexuals tend to be virtuous; Christians tend to be unvirtuous, non-Christians tend to be virtuous. The less intelligent the assimilated newthinker, the more these guidelines will be used without nuances.

Traditional Americans, raised in a world where they were judged by their actions, are often bewildered by progressive society, which judges one largely on one’s pseudoppressor or pseudoppressed group affiliations. To further confuse them, when they are judged by their behavior it is increasingly by the foreign standards of political correctness rather than the familiar standards of traditional morality. (Unfortunately, the supposedly nonjudgmental inclination of progressives only applies to the progressively virtuous.)

If you’re oppressed, you don’t have to gain progressive virtue through actions: you are already virtuous because of your oppressed status. This surfeit of progressive virtue causes a decline in traditional good behavior. It is, for instance, one reason why the percentage of income given to charity by individuals declined from 2.26 percent in 1964 to 1.61 percent in 1998.* That’s 29% less charity in 34 years – years that saw great increases in real income and in the scope of progressive culture. In the early 20th century, through the booming 1920s and the depression years, Americans grew steadily more generous. But, as Robert D. Putnam documents in Bowling Alone, since 1960, American’s generosity has steadily shrunk.** The 1960s, that landmark decade of progressivism, coincidentally marked the point when American generosity abruptly began its decline. It’s perfectly logical: as progressives increase in number, more people gain virtue by identifying with an oppressed group rather than through traditional good works. Progressives don’t feel the need to engage in traditional good deeds because they already possess a great amount of virtue due to their oppressed-group status – and almost everyone can identify with at least one victim group.

Progressives don’t feel the need to engage in traditional good deeds because they already possess a great amount of virtue due to their oppressed-group status – and almost everyone can identify with at least one victim group.

The surfeit of progressive virtue among the pseudoppressed also leads to a decline in self-responsibility and positive determination. Self-responsibility, the belief that one is primarily responsible for one’s own situation, and positive determination, a can-do attitude dead set on success – the primary engine of production among any group of people – are attitudes which flourish under Americanism and wither for the pseudoppressed under newthink.

* Robert D. Putnam, Bowling Alone, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000), p. 123.

** Ibid, p. 123

How Pseudoppressors Gain Progressive Virtue by Embracing the Progressive Worldview

Pseudoppression is a mostly unconscious belief, imbibed during childhood and reinforced by progressive culture. For the great majority of progressives, it’s an unconscious way of seeing the workings of the world; it is to them an unspoken truth that society comprises warring groups which either dominate or are dominated. But for the elites who are conscious of the dynamics and opportunities of newthink, the belief in pseudoppression is an opportunity to control the mindset of a group by creating imaginary enemies – a technique straight out of 1984.

Because of their belief that society is a battlefield composed of groups that either dominate or are dominated, devout progressives search for security. They unconsciously seek protection from a social world perceived to be inherently hostile. For this and other reasons, newthink moves people away from individualism – except in superficial and pseudo-independent matters – and toward group identification. Unlike Americanism, which led people to focus on individual success, newthink focuses on group success – where success is defined as victory against an oppressive group.

Personification of virtue (Greek ἀρετή) in Cel...

Personification of virtue (Greek ἀρετή) in Celsus Library in Ephesos, Turkey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’re a newthinking member of a pseudoppressed group, — if you are poor, of non-European ethnicity, female, or homosexual, etc. — your group provides perceived protection. In reality, pseudoppressed group status in progressive society provides more than protection: it provides positive advantages. Group preferences tilt in your favor. Progressive society and its media sympathize with your plight. And because of your group status, you have inherent progressive virtue.

As a progressive, if you’re a member of a pseudoppressor group – if you’re American, of European ancestry, Christian, male, wealthy or heterosexual, or may the universe help you, all of them – your initial balance in your progressive virtue bank account is sorely lacking.  That’s not a small thing; progressive virtue and vice are equivalent to good and evil under the traditional American worldview.  Under newthink, the best way for a pseudoppressor to gain progressive virtue (and gain social power) is to renounce his pseudoppression and become one of the Enlightened.

The Enlightened, as defined earlier, are the progressive elite. They are pseudoppressors who have renounced their pseudoppression, or pseudoppressed who have embraced newthink morality. They are filled with progressive virtue; they are devout adherents of most or all of newthink’s unconscious beliefs; they consciously believe in the need to change the culture; they often become Progressive Missionaries or Progressive Crusaders. Because they often come from a perceived oppressor class but choose not to oppress, they have a strong sense of superiority; because they are so certain of the justice of their beliefs, they are intolerant of the beliefs of others; because they are trying to transform an unaware or recalcitrant culture, they are often duplicitous by necessity and without guilt.

…on the negative side, the Enlightened are characterized by arrogance, close-mindedness and easy duplicity. On the positive side, they are often very intelligent, well-meaning, hard-working and persistent… Think of some famous progressives — don’t these traits seem familiar?

So, on the negative side, the Enlightened are characterized by arrogance, close-mindedness and easy duplicity. On the positive side, they are often very intelligent, well-meaning, hard-working and persistent – traits that you would expect in a devout missionary or crusader. Think of some famous progressives — don’t these traits seem familiar?

To Progressives, the End – A Progressively-Virtuous Society – Justifies the Means

To progressives, the ultimate end – a progressively-virtuous society – justifies the means.

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.
• The end, which is a progressively-virtuous society, justifies the means.

The unconscious logic of this belief’s single entailment is:

• Progressive virtue is more important than democracy. It is legitimate and virtuous to use undemocratic means to protect and promote progressive virtue.

 

Just as traditional Americans would tend to use any ethical means necessary to protect and promote good, so will newthinkers tend to use any politically correct means necessary to protect and promote progressive virtue. But the drive to promote good and the drive to promote progressive virtue are very different; both the ends (goodness vs. progressive virtue) and the accepted means (traditional ethics vs. political correctness) are dissimilar.

Just as traditional Americans would tend to use any ethical means necessary to protect and promote good, so will newthinkers tend to use any politically correct means necessary to protect and promote progressive virtue.

Progressive politicians who are part of the Enlightened firmly believe that their motives are inherently noble, that they are progressively virtuous, that progressive virtue is supremely important, and that their end – a progressively-virtuous society – justifies their means. Therefore, even beyond the scope of traditional politicians, devoutly progressive politicians tend to feel that they can say nearly anything without regard to truth in order to promote their cause. Progressive politicians raise disingenuousness to a whole new level because they need to push their progressively-virtuous agenda among those who either don’t understand it or may, to their mind, unvirtuously oppose it. In newthink’s war against Americanism, truth is the first casualty.

Traditional values such as public honesty and democracy will be discarded by progressives if they impede the advance of progressive virtue.

Traditional values such as public honesty and democracy will be discarded by progressives if they impede the advance of progressive virtue. If the ignorant progressively unvirtuous cannot be turned and the purposely progressive unvirtuous (aka “‘evil conservatives”)  are making gains, it is for newthinkers legitimate and progressively virtuous to use dishonest and undemocratic means to gain and hold power.

The Permanent Progressive War Against “Evil Conservatives”

Devout progressives believe, in the context of political correctness, that those who are progressively unvirtuous on purpose are evil. As former Democratic party chairman Howard Dean said, “In contradistinction to the Republicans, we don’t think kids ought to go to bed hungry at night.”*

While the term “evil conservative” is employed here merely to highlight how devout newthinkers view the purposely progressively unvirtuous, it is actually used by some progressives. Urbandictionary.com even offers a definition: “The Evil conservative is an exceedingly wicked person who gains in his or her personal career by advancing injustice and cruelty to a marginalized segment of society. These people are exceedingly cruel and heartless…”**

“Evil conservatives” are to newthinkers what evildoers were to traditional Americans. Just as traditional Americans believed that evildoers must be fought, so do progressives believe that “evil conservatives” must be fought.

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.
• Those who do not agree with us – the progressively unvirtuous – are either ignorant or purposely unvirtuous.
• The purposely progressively unvirtuous must be fought.
WorldviewTree_p089
The unconscious logic branching out of this belief is:
• The purposely progressively unvirtuous are malevolent and are our only real enemy.
• It is our mission to prevent the purposely progressively unvirtuous from passing on their value system to the youth.
• It is our mission to undermine the purposely progressively unvirtuous’ value system through the media.
• It is our mission to marginalize religion, which helps pass down traditional values, by removing God from the public square.

 

Progressive Crusaders proactively battle those who purposely oppose any part of progressive culture. Preventing “evil conservatives” from passing on their value system to the youth is a high priority. For instance, the movement to use school vouchers to give parents school choice has been fought tooth and nail by progressives because it directly threatens their power domain and their influence on America’s youth. The progressive argument against vouchers is made by Danny Weil in his book School Vouchers and Privatization. He argues that the religious right attempts to influence public schools by removing books they find morally offensive, getting rid of sex education classes, preventing information about abortion or sexual orientation from being disseminated, and stopping evolution from being taught.*** Clearly, newthinkers see the fight against school choice as a cultural battle encompassing evolution, standards, sex education, abortion and sexual orientation. Progressive Crusaders want to control what children are taught on these subjects.

Another progressive battle is to marginalize religion, which helps pass down traditional values, by removing God from the public square. For instance, the Catholic church, one of America’s bastions of non-progressive culture, has endured attacks by Progressive Crusaders for decades. Philip Jenkins in his book, The New Anti-Catholicism, says that while anti-Catholicism used to spring mainly from right-wing xenophobia, it now emanates mainly from the left.**** Sinead O’Connor denounced Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live, tore up his photo, and told the audience to “fight the real enemy.”† Dramatist Tony Kushner wrote that, because of his silence on the murder of a young gay man, Matthew Shepard, “Pope John Paul II endorses murder.”†† And Methodist theologian Beverly Harrison called the Roman Catholic hierarchy “the pedophile capital of the world.”††† As newthink establishes itself, progressives increasingly focus on racial, gender and sexual identity politics. The Catholic church found itself defending traditional views on these subjects and thus became a target of Progressive Crusaders.

* Dennis Prager, “Understanding the Politics of the Left,” RealClearPolitics.com, July 21, 2009, http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/07/21/understanding_the_politics_of_the_left.html, accessed June 30, 2011.

** Urbandictionary.com, http://www.urbandictionary.com/ define.php?term=evil+conservative, June 30, 2011.

*** Danny Weil, School Vouchers and Privatization, (ABC-CLIO, 2002), p. 68.

**** Philip Jenkins, The New Anti-Catholicism, (Oxford University Press, 2004), p. 20.

† Ibid., p. 82.

†† Tony Kushner, “Matthew’s Passion,” The Nation, November 9, 1998.

††† James R. Edwards, “Natural Born Sinners,” Christianity Today, November 14, 1994.

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Bringing the Benighted into the Light of Progressive Virtue with Progressive Education

Devout progressives believe that the benighted must be brought into the light of progressive virtue; those ignorant of political correctness must be reeducated.

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.
• Those who do not agree with us – the progressively unvirtuous – are either ignorant or purposely unvirtuous.
• The ignorant progressively unvirtuous must be reeducated.

The unconscious logic branching out of this belief is:

• It is our mission to educate the young about the principles of progressive virtue.
• It is our mission to educate the ignorant from other cultures about the principles of progressive virtue.
• It is our mission to reeducate ignorant or misinformed adults about the principles of progressive virtue.

 

The newthink takeover of education wasn’t motivated by a need to improve a failing American educational system. Along with the news media and the entertainment industry, it was part of the Progressive Missionaries’ undertaking  to reeducate the benighted in progressively-virtuous principles.

As Mona Charen points out in her book Do-Gooders, American children have for centuries attended religious schools, private schools and local public schools. These children grew up and built the U.S. into the richest economy and most powerful military the world has known. But in 1979, the Democrats felt that wasn’t good enough; the U.S. Government must have a Department of Education. The Department of Education, created under Jimmy Carter’s administration, centralized American education and enabled the domination of progressively-virtuous teaching curricula. Since then, progressives have promoted new math, whole language, bilingual education, and now, common core. These and all the other progressive educational improvements aren’t free. The U.S. spends more than almost any of its peers on K-12 schooling, yet our high-schoolers performance is only middling, and our high school completion rate is plunging. Despite many progressive educational innovations and massive spending, the longer a student is in our educational system, the worse he compares to his international peers.*

American children have for centuries attended religious schools, private schools and local public schools. These children grew up and built the U.S. into the richest economy and most powerful military the world has known. But in 1979, the Democrats felt that wasn’t good enough; the U.S. Government must have a Department of Education.

So, progressive educators have taken over American education, instituted lots of new progressive teaching methods, spent truckloads of money, and as the result our children’s educational level has plummeted and is now circling the drain. If the main purpose of progressive education were to educate children, it would be a disastrous failure. But forget that. Progressive education has actually succeeded in its actual, primary and largely unconscious mission: the indoctrination of children in politically correct opinions based on progressively-virtuous principles. C. Sheldon Thorne, a professor of history at Golden West University, says that after a dozen years of public school, his college students in U.S. History are exquisitely aware of every subtlety of racism, sexism, and imperialism throughout America’s history, but unable to write as much as a paragraph coherently about any of them. According to Thorne, they have it all figured out: the constitution – a racist document from rich white men; westward migration – fueled by greed and distinguished by genocide; slavery – a practice which occurred only in America. To them, America is bad to the bone.**

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

** C. Sheldon Thorne, from Mona Charen, Do-Gooders, (New York: Sentinel, 2004), pp. 233-4.

A Progressive Belief: Progressive Virtue Trumps Human Law

Traditional Americans believed that good and evil ultimately trump human law. Many of them believed that in extreme circumstances they were obliged to follow the higher good even if it violated the law. Our Declaration of Independence says as much:

English: This is a high-resolution image of th...

English: This is a high-resolution image of the United States Declaration of Independence (article (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it [my italics], and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”

In the same way, progressives believe that society has no ultimate right to dictate to them and that their virtue system ultimately supersedes human law.

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.
• Society has no ultimate right to dictate to us because progressive virtue and progressive unvirtue ultimately trump human law.

The unconscious logic branching out of this belief is:

• It is our responsibility as the most virtuous and best-informed in a godless world to steer and shape the culture.

 

The Enlightened believe that, because of their enlightened minds and progressively-virtuous emotions, traditional standards don’t apply to them. Furthermore, they believe that their virtue and enlightenment give them the responsibility to steer and shape our culture in the same way a good mother steers and shapes her child.

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