Virtuous Violence

To progressives, violence by the oppressed against their oppressors is virtuous.

The unconscious logic supporting this belief goes like this:

• 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 actions of the oppressed are generally virtuous.
• Traditional tenets of behavior don’t apply to the oppressed.
• Violence by the oppressed against the oppressors is virtuous.

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virtuous violence n : violent behavior which a particular worldview sanctions and honors

Progressives see violence by the various pseudoppressed groups as a righteous rebellion against oppression and exploitation. Violence by the poor exudes progressive virtue because they are felt to be fighting their wealthy exploiters. In some neighborhoods, police are perceived as tools of the rich or of European-Americans, and become targets. Violent behavior by women, whether Thelma and Louise fantasy style or in real life, tends to be seen in devoutly progressive circles as a legitimate tool of liberation, or an understandable reaction to years of abuse by a man or men in general. Similarly, violence by non-European-Americans tends to be seen by newthinkers as righteous rebellion by ethnic groups oppressed by European-Americans. For instance, progressives depicted the Rodney King disorders as an “uprising” caused by a difficult social and economic climate* Violence by non-Christians tends to be progressively virtuous because it is believed that they have faced historical oppression by Christian culture. And violence by non-Americans tends to be progressively-virtuous because of America’s perceived exploitation of foreigners. Fascist dictator Fidel Castro, who is documented to have murdered 14,000 people by firing squad, and that just a fraction of his complete murder toll on his own people, was lionized by newthinkers such as Norman Mailer, who called him “the greatest hero of the century!”**

To be fair, the traditional American worldview has its own virtuous forms of violence: the homeowner defending his family against an intruder, the policeman arresting a criminal, the soldier fighting for freedom. But the progressive worldview’s virtuous violence takes a different form: that of the pseudoppressed battling their pseudoppressors.

The traditional American worldview has its own virtuous forms of violence: the homeowner defending his family against an intruder, the policeman arresting a criminal, the soldier fighting for freedom. But the progressive worldview’s virtuous violence takes a different form: that of the pseudoppressed battling their pseudoppressors.

The more extreme Progressive Crusaders may use progressively-virtuous violence in their battle against their perceived oppressors. To devout progressives, even jihadists are righteous (although perhaps overzealous) warriors whose violence against their Christian oppressors is justified. As President Bill Clinton pointed out 58 days after the 9/11 attacks, “In the first Crusade, when the Christian soldiers took Jerusalem, they first burned a synagogue with 300 Jews in it, and proceeded to kill every woman and child who was Muslim on the Temple mound.”***

These violent Progressive Crusaders are very diverse, ranging from Al-Qaeda, Black Panthers, urban gangs and radical environmentalist groups to the Weather Underground, Castro’s fascist rebels, Nazis, Russian communists, and others. On the face of it, they all seem very different, and some such as Al-Qaeda are influenced by more than one worldview. But omnimarxism creates strange bedfellows. These groups have much in common: their certainty in their own virtue, their struggle against their perceived oppressors, and their violent tactics. The ubiquitous oppressor/oppressed dynamic of omnimarxism is clear in a statement by al Qaeda’s former number two, Ayman al-Zawahri, “I want blacks in America to know that when we wage jihad in Allah’s path, we aren’t waging jihad to lift oppression from the Muslims only. We are waging jihad to lift oppression from all mankind.”†

The perceived legitimacy of newthink’s brand of virtuous violence feeds thug culture. For instance, the African-American prison population is being converted from non-religiosity or Christianity to Islam on a large scale based on a narrative of oppression and a sanctioning and honoring of past crimes as virtuous violence. The fastest growing religion in American prisons is Islam, with about 200,000 followers, mostly African-American men.†† Malcolm X talked about how Muslim prison recruiters worked on black inmates: “When one was ripe – and I could tell – then away from the rest, I’d drop it on him, what Mr. [Elijah] Muhammad taught: ‘The white man is the devil.’ ”††† Thus the burden of guilt and self-responsibility is lifted: crimes against “the devil” are not crimes at all.

Why has virtuous violence flourished under the progressive worldview? Omnimarxists tend to believe everyone is either oppressor or oppressed. The pseudoppressed see themselves as oppressed, which leads to a feeling of righteous anger, and often to violence. After violent acts, even thugs may need rationalizations to soothe their consciences. Newthink provides them.

 

* Lou Cannon, Official Negligence: How Rodney King and the riots changed Los Angeles and the LAPD, (Westview Press, 1999), p. 348.

** Humberto Fontova, “Historians Have Absolved Fidel Castro”, NewsMax, August 15, 2006, http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2006/8/14/172147.shtml, accessed July 8, 2011.

*** Dick Morris, Off With Their Heads, (HarperCollins, 2004), p. 134.

† “Obama Blows His OBL Moment,” Investor’s Business Daily, March 8, 2007, p. 13.

†† “The New Face of Terror”, Investor’s Business Daily, June 28, 2006, http://www.investors.com/editorial/IBDArticles.asp?artsec=20& artnum=4&issue=20060.627&rss=1.

††† Malcom X, as told to Alex Haley, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, (Ballantine Books, 1992), pp. 199-200.

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The Progressive Worldview: Opening Pandora’s Box

As the progressive worldview takes over, traditional conventions — perceived as tools of the oppressors — start to break down.

For instance, the traditional value of honesty deteriorates among the pseudoppressed. If one is being exploited, it’s fair, even virtuous, to cheat to counterbalance that exploitation. Robert D. Putnam in Bowling Alone talks about social capital and defines it as “social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them.”* What group of people has less social capital and a lower sense of social reciprocity and trustworthiness than the pseudoppressed, who believe that society is a battleground and that their group is being oppressed and exploited? As Putnam argues, those who trust others also tend to be more trustworthy and better all-around citizens; those who distrust others are “civically disengaged” and less constrained regarding honesty.**

Newthinkers justify stealing by the pseudoppressed poor as a reaction to poverty caused by oppression. Because they are taking from what the newthinkers see as an oppressive system, it is morally justified and maybe even an act of liberation. The poor in progressive society tend to have a lack of respect for private property because they believe it was unfairly earned by their wealthy exploiters. Their motivating thought is, “I have the right to steal because I’m a victim of the rich.” For instance, the non-traditional shopping which occurred during the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles was not confined to one ethnicity. It was the poor of many ethnicities taking an opportunity to get their piece of the pie. As Lou Cannon relates in his book Official Negligence, “Thousands of needy people could see that looters were unopposed by the police, and they rushed to join in the pillaging . . . The looting had nothing to do with Rodney King. A useful Los Angeles Times study of 694 court files found that King’s name was invoked only once during any of these incidents – ironically during the robbery of an African-American grocer by a white and a Latino.”***

Progressives see most bad behavior as misunderstood struggling. Criminal law, which evolved from traditional notions of right and wrong, has increasingly become a hollowed-out shell as more and more people view it as a tool of oppression rather than a necessary and just feature of a civilized society. So, as newthinkers take over, the traditional emphasis on crime-fighting and incarceration decreases. This leads to higher levels of crime; in the four last decades of the 20th century, starting in 1960, violent crime in the U.S. increased 226 percent.† Furthermore, progressive areas tend to have higher crime rates: the murder rate for counties carried by Obama was 6.56 per 100,000 inhabitants, while the rate for counties carried by McCain was 46% lower at 3.60 per 100,000.††

Criminal law, which evolved from traditional notions of right and wrong, has increasingly become a hollowed-out shell as more and more people view it as a tool of oppression rather than a necessary and just feature of a civilized society.

Progressives tend to ignore misbehavior by the pseudoppressed. When it can’t be ignored, they excuse it. When it can’t be excused, they minimize it. For instance, violence by pseudoppressed African-Americans is commonly perceived by newthinkers to be a justified reaction to oppression by European-Americans. During the Rodney King riots, television commentators watched as an African-American man they referred to as a “gentleman” stopped Reginald Denny’s cement truck at an intersection, pulled him out, slammed him in the skull with a brick and pranced around in celebration. Such raw barbarism couldn’t be ignored or excused, so it was reflexively minimized.

The pseudoppressed justify thuggery against their pseudoppressors. Their motivating thought is, “It is righteous for me to seek revenge against my exploiters.” The National Socialist German Workers’ Party of the 1930’s participation in kristallnacht and other pogroms against their perceived Jewish exploiters created a historical prototype of pseudoppressed thuggery which should be noted. The German thugs, incited by Nazi anti-Jewish propaganda, thought they were economically and racially exploited by the Jews. The pogroms were essentially pseudoppressed thuggery in an advanced stage, exacerbated by the vicious racial theories of the National Socialists and a vulnerability caused by the small percentage of Jews in Germany’s population. Through it all, the thugs believed they had virtue on their side.

The breakdown of traditional social conventions against sloth, dishonesty, theft, violence and murder has unexpected consequences. Like vices that escape from Pandora’s box, they are not easily shut away again. They become habits.

…sloth, dishonesty, theft, violence and murder… like vices that escape from Pandora’s box, they are not easily shut away again.

The victims of these vices, because they are close by, are more often fellow pseudoppressed than the hated pseudoppressors. Thus you have black-on-black violence, the poor stealing from the poor, and an underclass with an entitled attitude that will not work hard to improve its situation.

* Robert D. Putnam, Bowling Alone, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000), p. 19.

** Ibid., p. 137.

*** Lou Cannon, Official Negligence: How Rodney King and the riots changed Los Angeles and the LAPD, (Westview Press, 1999), p. 338.

† Mona Charen, Do-Gooders, (New York: Sentinel, 2004), p. 7.

†† DAngelo Gore and Brooks Jackson, FactCheck.org, “Unreported Stats,” posted January 5, 2009, http://www.factcheck.org/2009/01/unreported-stats/, accessed July 8, 2011.

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.

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?