Thursday, May 5, 2022

In a world gone mad, elites keep peddling untruths

In a world gone mad, elites keep peddling untruths

Why does the world seem so mad right now? There are two reasons. The first is the injection of implausible claims into our society. The second is the speed and volume at which they come: mainly thanks to social media.

The reason why everybody is so excited about Twitter at the moment, and Elon Musk buying it, is that Twitter has helped fry the brains of our society. It doesn’t matter what subject you look at, Twitter will have deranged people more than they needed to be deranged by telling them things that are untrue at the highest possible pitch and speed.

It begins with the most basic building blocks of our world.

What is the first thing everybody knows about? I’d say it is probably whether they are a boy or a girl. What is the first thing everybody asks of new parents? “A boy or a girl?” But then we entered into the age of insanity.

Weirdo academics who would once have been confined to their studies at Berkeley (if not some other institution) decided boys and girls didn’t exist. They claimed that sex was in fact a “social construct” or a matter of “performance.” Before the age of social media that claim wouldn’t have leaked out of the confines of an asylum. But in the age of Twitter it got pumped out everywhere.

People on such platforms started to refer to people’s “gender assigned at birth” as though the doctors and nurses in the nation’s delivery rooms do not just observe the baby and immediately congratulate the parents on their new child. No, these people pretended that the doctors and nurses of America’s maternity wards just randomly made a claim about what sex the child was. “I feel like saying this one’s a girl,” for instance. Or “Oh I dunno, let´s just say it’s a boy.”

Since Elon Musk purchased Twitter, people are jumping back on the social app to learn more deranged thoughts.
Getty Images/Chesnot
Lia Thomas
Lia Thomas is the first transgender woman to win the NCAA swimming championship.
USA TODAY Sports/ Brett Davis

Nothing could be more ridiculous. But online it became completely normal. And so the madness spread.

Everybody knows the case of American swimmer Lia Thomas. Personally I am perfectly happy to be polite and call people whatever they want to be called. I am not especially bothered by what anyone wants to identify as. But Thomas was born a man, apparently still has his male tackle, and apparently still dates girls.

Now I do not want to be prurient. Or prudish. But someone with a penis who dates girls is a dude. And a straight dude at that. And I’m not by any means certain that he should be competing in women’s sports even if he does feel kind of feminine every time he slips into the pool.

What I have just said is true. But it has also been made unsayable on social media. Accounts like the hilarious satire site The Babylon Bee got their Twitter accounts suspended for referring to Thomas as a man. Other social media sites are even worse. Nevermind “misgendering” Thomas, if you say anything critical of him on Facebook you will find your post will be removed by the platform for going against its “community standards.” Just think about that for a second. Not only do you have to agree that the person with a penis is a woman, you’re not even allowed to do anything but celebrate said person.

Of course college sports is not the most important thing on the planet — other than to the students participating. But that affair is just one reminder that absolutely everything can drive us to madness in the current world.

“The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story” caused controversy among many Americans questioning the country’s history.
AP/ One World

Many of the deranging claims of our era are far more important. It is only three years since the New York Times decided to publish a project which sought to reframe the founding date of America. No more 1776. Everything you were taught in school was wrong. From now on, the authors of the project claimed, the founding date of America should be seen to be 1619. The date the first slaves arrived in America. Because then all of American history could be seen through the sole, defining lens of slavery.

This is a deranging claim in itself. At the time that the first slaves arrived in America every civilization in the world still practiced slavery. There was nothing unique about America. But once the claims of activist non-historians like the 1619 project are spun through social media they enter a new realm entirely.

For history is all about context. And social media has no context because it has no history. As I point out in my new book, “The War on the West,” perhaps as many as 12 million Africans were trafficked across the Atlantic in the Transatlantic slave trade. At the same time as many as 18 million were sold to the East from Africa in the Arab slave trade. Why are there no descendants of slaves in the Arab lands as there are in this country? Because the Arabs castrated all the male Africans they bought so that there would be no next generation. This does not diminish the horrors of any one slave trade. But it puts the American slave trade into context.

America is the not first country to practice slavery, but social media has users thinking differently.
Getty Images/Rischgitz

But social media and the claims that are made on it do not encourage context. Any more than they encourage nuance. They are reductive modes of communication that encourage not just brevity and short attention spans, but dogmatic simplicity. Take something like American history, pretend that it is only a story of evil and spin that through the cycle of social media and no wonder that there are times when you wonder what on earth is happening to this country.

Two years ago there was even an attempt on social media to claim that 2+2=4 is a white, racist concept. As a result activist mathematicians busied themselves trying to prove that 2+2 could equal 5. The results were not persuasive. But they were certainly deranging. Like so much else in our day, it was an attempt to kick away at the building blocks of everything we know. To persuade us that up is down and left is right.

It is going to require a hard head to get through this era. To stay sane as the virtual world swirls around us. The best way to survive it will be to hang on to the things we know to be true. And have the confidence to stand our ground, however the maddening winds blow.

The War on the West” by Douglas Murray is out now.

No comments:

Post a Comment