© Aron Hsiao / 2006
The thing I hate most about the cultural present in the west is the embrace and rationalization of failure and flaws.
Social media shares a huge part of the blame here, but so does the culture at large. We live in a “feel-better, it’s-okay” culture. I’m guilty of participating in it, but not as much as some.
Whatever you’ve done that’s wrong—it’s okay. Whatever your failings—they don’t matter. In fact, quite the opposite. Whatever is wrong with you, there are two dozen Facebook memes a day to make you feel better about it. Your weight. Your temper. Your divorce. Your laziness. Your social withdrawal. Whatever. Someone—and likely thousands of someones—are out there telling you and everyone else that it’s okay, that you shouldn’t be blamed, that this is a difference to be embraced, and so on.
It’s too much. It’s too far. There are zero sins any longer. Or at least, very few. One can imagine a time in the not-so-far future when there are Facebook memes that say, “Killed someone? You are not alone. Behind every murderer lies a sensitive heart in pain!,” and “Some call you a rapist. But you know that you are a victim—a lonely, disempowered person who had poor role models and never had a chance. Embrace your inner child. The rape you committed does not define you!”
No doubt these will lay over silhouettes of the Buddha or outline graphics of green trees and leaves.
This is the bullshit of the SJW world that we live in. And it is bullshit.
There are bad things. People do bad things. Bad. And they ought to be ashamed. This culture that says that “Your sins do not define you!” or that tries to assure every sinner that “You are a victim, not a monster!” has to go.
Understanding and empathy, sure. But also ethics. Morality. Wrong is wrong.
I expect to be held responsible for my mistakes. I will stand up, face my children, and admit that I and their mother fucked our marriage and their lives up entirely. I expect no one to justify this with an explanation of our “victimhood,” and I will vomit if my children try someday to tell me that “it’s okay.” Because it isn’t. Wrong is wrong.
There is no belief in “wrong” any longer in our society. No willingness to even countenance the thought. Nobody is ever wrong. Everyone is just misunderstood. Under such conditions, society is not possible because trust is not possible. Because no matter how tolerant and accepting everyone is, if you know that the fellow human beings around you may hurt you, even if you don’t believe they’re wrong for doing it, you are not going to collaborate with them—be sociable with them—in the same way.
Radical tolerance, acceptance, and embrace are the path to social anarchy and warfare through the backdoor. For society to work, wrong must be called wrong, and everyone must know it.
So basically—the next time someone on Facebook tells you that you’re a victim and not a free agent, that your wrongs are merely misunderstood rights or were unavoidable given your background—ask yourself whether you want to live in a world in which everyone forgives wrongs against you, your family, or your children on the same grounds. Ask yourself whether you will be able to trust anyone else in a world in which there are no wrongs and all actions by any free agent are permissible and must be embraced.
Tolerance? Tolerance within certain well-defined parameters enables the maintenance of the nation under conditions of globalization and multiculturalism. But culturally mandated tolerance of every difference and every choice and action? That is pure and in fact imposed social darwinism, disguised as enlightenment.
This is madness. I hereby leave the left. It has gone off the deep end. As of now, I am a conservative, albeit of a different stripe than those in national politics. Because I actually believe that ethics, morality, justice, and society ought to be conserved.
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Corollary: Maintaining an inner mental map of the territories of right and wrong is hard. Trying to live them is even harder. People will hate you for it. This is the world we live in. The one thing that the tolerance culture can’t tolerate is someone that believes in right and wrong, prior to “talking things out” or “embracing difference.”
It is seen as bigotry, prejudice, hate, xenophobia, you name it.
Well that is me. I am a bigoted, prejudiced, hateful, xenophobic person that actually believes that there is a Right Way to do things and that it is Honorable(R) to try to live a life of things done the right way. I won’t give it up. Even if they kill me. Certainly they’re trying, over the years.
I don’t think I’ve had a friendship, relationship, or job that ended, ever, for any reason other than that I was firmly committed to doing things the right way, prior to any commitments involving empathy, tolerance, social justice, etc.
But it is in my bones. It is the core of who I am. I am the person who tries to do the Hard and Painful Shit That is Right, even if it kills me.
And kill me it probably will, eventually.