The Perils of Political Correctness

I am not, nor have I ever been, a member of the Anarchist Party. I sometimes find it amusing to see its members engaging in self-destructive behavior. On the other hand, some of them sometimes do useful things, like fighting for the poor, the environment and so on. So it’s sad to see how they never learn.


Political correctness has always been useful to the state. During the Vietnam War, the government paid provocateurs to accuse anti-war activists of “racism”. This worked, because activists are worried by this unfounded allegation.


It’s the same with “sexism”, and so on. Despite inhabiting the most egalitarian section of the least sexist, racist and homophobic society in history, anarchists are easy prey for provocateurs.


Several anarchists and environmentalists are doing decades in prison because of police informants. At an anarchist conference in Portland, Oregon, May 9-11 2014, some presenters tried to address this. But the presentation was disrupted by radical feminists shouting “we will not be silenced by your violence”.


Reading through the discussions about what happened, it’s easy to see the mistake the anarchist milieu has made. There have been numerous cases of false allegations of violence, particularly from black women i ii iii. The mainstream media tend to take their side (for example the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, FT Magazine, the New York Times, New York Magazine, the Daily News, Newsday, the Post-Gazette, Salon, the Daily Beast, NBC and Cosmopolitan). This is evidence that this society isn’t as “racist” and “patriarchal” as anarchists believe. But the p.c. left don’t do evidence – they do blackmail:


Please come and support the survivors who Kristian Williams has targeted, support the feminists and survivor-supporters who Kristian Williams has deemed as “divisive”, support a rad community that supports survivors and values women.


Replying to Kristian William’s article criticizing “the politics of denunciation”, an activist writes


The article is also unbalanced in its emphasis on doubting survivors.


It should read “doubting alleged survivors”, but it doesn’t occur to the writer to doubt allegations by feminists. Though he is a seasoned campaigner for victims of the legal system, in this case, he rejects the presumption of innocence, a presumption which the “capitalist courts” extend to defendants.


Notice also the vagueness of the allegations. It’s impossible to defend oneself against them:


(My friend was one: she was accused of violating the venue’s “Safer Space” policy, “triggering” audience members, and employing “patriarchal mechanisms” in her statement.) Others were called out for unspecified abusive or sexist behavior.


The feminists were so loud and obnoxious, there was a danger that the police would be called to restore order. So the speakers abandoned the meeting. This is their explanation:


When we were notified that the police were preparing to intervene, we decided it was best to end the event and leave. To be clear — no one on the panel called the cops. And we also didn’t tell anyone else to call the cops. This should be obvious to anyone who was present at our panel, as none of us used our phones or in any way communicated with anyone else who used a phone during this time. We did everything within our control to prevent this from happening and were assured prior to the event that no one would call the cops and that no one would be arrested. We would not have agreed to speak if not for these assurances. As speakers, we have had two security priorities throughout this entire experience: 1) ensuring that the cops did not get involved, and 2) ensuring our ability to speak about an issue we believe is critically important to our struggles. In the end, we resigned ourselves to sacrificing our second priority (our ability to speak) to ensure that the first was achieved. Our exit from the room was the only way we knew of to ensure the safety of others who were present — including those who were being disruptive.


So, in effect, the feminists, chanting “we will not be silenced by your violence”, used the threat of state violence to silence the speakers.


The solution is simple. When someone claims to be a “victim”, ask for evidence. When so-called “survivors” try to shout down a speaker, they should be thrown out of the meeting.


But there’s no chance of this. The fact that an attempt to talk about how to resist infiltration is so easily sabotaged shows something about this movement. It has no chance of succeeding.


But the p.c. left isn’t an isolated bubble. It can be used by the authorities to undermine resistance to war and economic hardship. It has also been used to undermine the boycott of the products of Israel.


But that’s another story.



1 Comment

  1. I watched this video last weekend with great interest. Funny how the speaker wasn’t even engaging the topic that the “protestors” were upset over! I don’t agree with them at all, but if your upset at an article, make sure your’e at the right panel at least. I have often wondered about how to have a dialogue with these people who automatically side with the victim (being a lifelong victim is something that makes me sick to my stomach, but that’s for another day), but unfortunately, there is no talking to them.

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