Let’s begin with the facts. On New Year’s Eve 2015, crowds of young men of “North African or Arab appearance” (so described in official reports) committed mass sexual assaults and robberies in Cologne, Dusseldorf, Stuttgart and Munich as well as outside Germany, in Finland, Switzerland, France, Sweden and Austria. The first instinctive reaction of many politicians, the media and various police forces was to cover up these crimes. Even though the events in question are now being revealed and analyzed in the press, this is still done much too often with a significant degree of manipulation.
One would think that such very public attacks on women would have the mainstream news outlets screaming in outrage right away. However, this did not happen until the said agencies had been forced to realize the total failure of their ploy by the very entity they are supposed to serve, that is, public opinion. After about five days of silence, a growing avalanche of tweets and postings on the social media put an end to this pathetic conspiracy by making the fourth estate look either incompetent or devious and in any case foolish. The only honourable exception was Breibart London, usually dismissed by the progressives as “right-wing,” which had broken the story on January 4th, 2016.
Why this grotesque, wrong and doomed to failure attempt to suppress the insuppressible? The answer lies in the paradoxical nature of the phenomenon called “political correctness.”
Political correctness is in theory aimed at creating a paradise on earth, an ideal society in which absolute equality is matched by general equanimity, goodwill and fairness. It wants to uphold everybody’s “rights” but it leaves their definition to the individuals themselves. Despite its apparently good intentions, the anarchic naiveté and inherent dangers of such a program should be immediately obvious; the history of millenarian movements from the Münster Anabaptists to Jonestown teaches us so. The reason why these implicit flaws are not commonly noticed lies in the all too human failure to, as T.S. Eliot famously stated, “bear very much reality.”
However, when one looks at this latest global religion with eyes unencumbered by a layer of ideological wool, it becomes quite clear that, most of the time, politically correct efforts result not in achieving perfect social justice but in merely playing the game of musical chairs in which yesterday’s oppressors are turned into today’s victims (for example, the males, the whites, the haves and the religious, to name just a few). It also becomes apparent that political correctness is a fundamentally impossible balancing act between the various “rights,” hence the practical necessity of one right trumping another. At this point – unsurprisingly – the dream of universal equality is over and the tyranny of the more equal animals steps in.
That’s exactly what has happened in Cologne and elsewhere. The public officials and the media became mentally paralyzed by the spectre of the chief bogeyman of political correctness: racism. In order not to be accused of even the faintest tendency toward it, they decided to ignore the facts and, when in spite of their cowardliness and duplicity these facts became widely known, to engage in what is known in stage magic as misdirection.
So, for instance, several leftist German politicians denounced the factual reporting of the events in Cologne as “fuel for racists and xenophobes.” The female mayor of this city issued a “code of behaviour” for the local women, thus practically putting the blame on them (the code included a truly pragmatic advice to keep strange men “at arm’s length”). One Gaby Hinsliff, writing for the UK Guardian, stated openly that she was reluctant to talk about this subject because she is a liberal. She followed this weird but undoubtedly honest cri de coeur with a cryptic suggestion that the women of Cologne had been attacked by the “underprivileged” migrants because they owned smartphones. As we all know, violence and theft are entirely excusable when committed in the name of social equality.
J. K. Rowling, the immortal authoress of the Harry Potter saga, publicly praised a blog post (written by a black poet) that admonished the public to concentrate rather on the question of women’s rights than on the ethnic identities of the attackers. A similar appeal was issued by some German feminists who made a very relevant and astonishingly perceptive observation that “German-born men also harass and rape.” Many journalistic accounts did end with a non sequitur paragraph about the fairly recent stabbing of Henriette Reker, the mayor of Cologne, by a foe of unrestricted migration into Germany. The gist of numerous other articles was simply, “we don’t know who the perpetrators were but they couldn’t be the migrants” – a logically ridiculous statement, soon demolished by the results of police investigation.
This is how women’s rights, not to mention everybody’s right to personal safety, have been trumped in the media by not even another right, real or imaginary, but by the nebulous phantom of a potentiality for racism. On the politically correct scale, women are decidedly less equal than the non-white migrants.
We should not be surprised to see many more examples of this debilitating brain paralysis appearing in the near future because the blight of political correctness is widespread and highly contagious. How otherwise can we explain the de rigueur photos of children and women that accompany the huge majority of media reports about the migrant wave in Europe even though the four-fifths of it are single, military age males? Why the protective attitude toward Islam in the time of general religion-bashing and why the willful blindness towards a woman-oppressing, head-cutting, suicide-bombing culture in an era obsessed with human rights?
Some people think that we just have the bad luck to live in an Age of Stupidity. Others believe this to be the end-time for the species Homo sapiens, in more than only the biological sense. As for me, I agree with Arthur Schopenhauer’s dictum to the effect that every new good brings with itself a new evil. I also see in all of this a practical illustration of C.G. Jung’s enantiodromia principle which states that any quality pushed to the extreme eventually turns into its opposite. The thought-suppressing, reality-ignoring political correctness was once a movement for the betterment of humanity, just like the orcs were once elves.
One day the sound and fury of political correctness will reach its zenith, perhaps not without at least a number of today’s “social justice warriors” becoming guards in re-education camps, but this shall pass, too, and things will get somewhat balanced for a while. But the pendulum will keep swinging and a different madness will paralyze human minds. As always, the more equal animals at the top will believe that all of their predecessors were just primitive fools and ignorant bigots while they – and only they – have finally discovered the perfect way to live. That’s how this world works.
It doesn’t mean, however, that the remaining rational specimens of mankind must submit meekly to the oppression by the commissars of compulsory righteousness, shrill mind-poisoners and peddlers of ideological delusion. To fight against them, to expose their dishonest skullduggery is simply a question of decency and sanity.
January 7th-9th, 2016
POSTSCRIPTUM: I finished preparing this text for publication on January 9th, 2016, when large anti- and pro-migrant demonstrations took place in Cologne. It was hard not to notice a great sense of relief in the media when they were finally able to get out of the dreaded swamp of potential “racism” onto the well-beaten path of, yes, politically correct outrage directed at the “right-wingers.” The Cologne police must have been equally happy to demonstrate their recently questioned prowess by using water cannon and tear gas on ethnically German “racists and xenophobes.” The story will most certainly continue.
POST POSTSCRIPTUM: A similar thing is happening in Canada. In Vancouver, BC, also on January 9th, a man on a bicycle attacked with pepper spray a late-night street gathering of local Muslims and the recent arrivals from Syria. The Canadian media which previously had waited for several days to publish anything about the events in Cologne (some of them, in fact, still haven’t done it) went into overdrive; not surprisingly, the liberal-biased CBC led the charge with at least three reports in one day. All animals are equal but…