The Unbearable Arrogance of the Left
My old college at the University of Toronto has recently been the seat of some controversy. In typical student politics fashion it surrounds an issue of little practical effect in the real world: the subject of gender. There has been a push, recently, to desegregate by gender a number of traditional college events because it has occurred to some of the usual suspects that it is possible someone in the student body might not associate themselves with one particular gender, and therefore might feel left out. Oh, and apparently having gender specific bathrooms is also an issue.
The matter has been hotly debated, there apparently has been some rather nasty things said about members of the college opposed to the changes. An initial vote on the matter was held, and the student body narrowly voted to keep the status quo. Undeterred of course, our fine social justice warriors decided to simply bring the exact same motion forward again. To top it off the college Student Heads recently announced that no matter what the student body eventually voted to do on this issue they were going to refuse to hold gender segregated events in the future anyway.
Now, why am I writing this? At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter that much. I’m long gone from university. Sure, I might choose not to donate any more money as an alumni if the college is going to turn itself into something completely unrecognizable, and if I have children I might choose to send them to a school where my daughters have the option of using a bathroom that only other women are allowed to enter. Still, that’s not really much of an explanation for why I’ve been so highly annoyed by all this.
It actually has nothing to do with the whole matter of gender identity to be honest. I won’t delve too deeply into the subject here (I may do so in the future), but suffice it to say I think an individual can choose to identify themselves as whatever they want. As a polite individual it’s simply good manners that I reasonably accommodate that. On the flip side, another individual also has to make only reasonable demands of accommodation on me and the rest of society as a whole.
No, what has really boiled my blood in this particular incident is that it shows yet another example of the sheer despicableness of the progressive left in both their tactics and their mindset. Lose a vote? No problem, we’ll just hold another one. If that looks questionable we’ll just ignore a vote altogether and dictate what is to be done. After all, history is on our side! The march of progress must continue on and on, and anyone or anything that gets in its way must be swept aside.
This mentality goes back all the way to the Enlightenment, Rousseau specifically who opined that when the General Will was opposed “we must force our brothers to be free”. And why not? To Rousseau all of civilization was a blight that corrupted man from his idealized “state of nature”, and if the price of reclaiming utopia is to bend a few rules or break a few heads it is a small one indeed. You can’t have a revolution without firing squads after all, as a later day disciple of Rousseau would later point out.
Look through history and this repeats itself again and again. The guillotine of Robespierre’s Committee of Public Safety, the gas chambers of Hitler, the deliberately engineered famines of Stalin, the madness of Pol Pot. More people have been murdered by their fellow man for the crime of not being “progressive” enough than for any other motive, and it has always been in the name of some greater good.
An unfair comparison? Well the stakes and outcomes are certainly different, but the mindset behind it is the same. It is the mindset that the end justifies the means because I am right, and anyone who opposes me is evil. Free speech free zones, “safe spaces”, triggering, micro-aggression and all this other guff all share the same motive of shutting up and shutting out anyone who isn’t willing to go along to get along. The passive acceptance of the public has been the greatest enabler of demotist demagogues .Make the price of dissent too high, and most people will invariable grit their teeth and get in line.
That is what I really cannot stand in this instance, the blatant arrogance of yet again a group of progressive know-it-alls bullying and badgering until they get their way, like the eco-activists who defy court orders and then act the victim when the police enforce them regardless. It is an ugly and petty form of narcissism that inspires ideas like the cult of the Supreme Being or the New Soviet Man.
And I will not be shut up or shut aside. I will say “you are wrong” every time. Deal with it.