You know, it never fails to astound me when I see people, when commenting on Feminists Behaving Badly, saying such things as, “They know exactly what they’re doing! They’s evil!”
While the people who often make such accusations fall firmly into the realm of trait ascription bias, the caricature is all-too-common, especially in online realms. I don’t believe for a second they fully grasp what it is they’re doing, and on the rare occasion they do understand, it’s less due to evil and more that their assumed ends justify the means.
Rather, it’s important to note that it’s due to a concept called Pathological Altruism, defined as thus:
Pathological altruism is when altruism is taken to an unhealthy extreme, and either harms the altruistic person, or well-intentioned actions cause more harm than good.
The point is that those on the Cultural Authoritarian end of the spectrum aren’t trying to silence or censor people because they honestly believe in the tenets Fascism, but rather because they mistakenly believe such lengths will improve the world for everyone. Unfortunately, they’re of the false belief that most of the world’s ills can be boiled down to being the fault of straight people, white people, and males specifically. Triply-so when their targets fall into all three categories.
Generally speaking, altruism is something that transcends humankind. There are numerous stories of wild animals engaging in altruistic behavior, after all. A mother leopard caring for a baby baboon. A gorilla caring for a child that fell into its zoo enclosure. Ravens rationing food to share among a conspiracy. The world is full of examples, and humans are no different. According to crime statistics, the vast, vast majority of us are law-abiding. From that, I conclude that the vast, vast majority of us want to leave the world in a better state than we left it. For some, it’s as simple as buying a homeless person a coffee. For others, it means volunteering their limited time to a soup kitchen, or starting a charity designed to build schools in developing nations. For others still, it means devoting one’s life to a religious or ideological cause.
Campus feminists, Black Lives Matter protesters, Social Justice Warriors, Sixties Bongo-circle Radicals, and the Neoliberal Authoritarians fall firmly into the latter category. The unfortunate part is that so too do members of the Islamic State, the Taliban, and even the Unabomber. The only differences lie in chosen ideology, and the willingness to harm others to protect it.
Nonetheless, we have here a cause-and-effect cycle that goes back quite a ways. Modern movements like third-wave feminism, Social Justice Warriors, and Black Lives Matter were the lovechildren of so-called tenured radicals. Remnants of the Sixties Bongo-circle types that got their degrees, earned a position in university faculties, gained job security through tenure, and began spreading their chosen ideology to new generations. The correlation is there, in the timeline. According to Christina Hoff Sommers, the rise of this particular form of ideological center began in the late eighties and early nineties, right around the time the sixties radicals would have earned their tenure. These days, we’re seeing the offspring of that era as they spill forth from college campuses and onto social media, and unfortunately the real world.
But where did this cycle begin? It can’t have started with sixties radicals, could it?
If Soviet expat, KGB defector, and social subversion expert Yuri Bezmenov is to be believed, the fault lies not with these radicals, but with the people who influenced them to power. Namely, the KGB. The KGB was created by the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was created by the Bolsheviks, the Bolsheviks were created by the Russian Social Democratic Party, and… well, if we go back far enough, I would imagine there was a Neanderthal sitting in the middle of Africa at some point in prehistory who thought that his neighbor should be sharing all the fish he’d caught equally among those that didn’t bother to fish.
Bezmenov referred to his contemporary leftists as Useful Idiots, and therein lies the rub. The right wing was thought to be too difficult to influence as they tended to value the freedoms of others as much as they valued their own, but leftists tended to be increasingly concerned about the plight of their fellow man. That’s not a bad thing. That is, it’s not a bad thing until you mix in youthful idealism and ideological orthodoxy. When you mix those two factors together, it’s remarkably easy to control a population. Create an enemy, build him up, obfuscate the language surrounding it, and you have yourself a nameless, autonomous army that acts entirely of their own accord. All you have to do is inject the beliefs and they act.
Simply put, build a lie upon a lie upon a lie, and people will forget the original lie that led to the current status quo.
That lie? That it is the Patriarchy which is responsible for the world’s problems. It’s so commonly accepted that to even question it can get you banned from speaking on college campuses all across the western world. But to hear Patriarchy accurately defined is a chore. According to some feminists, Patriarchy is the practice of a father being the head of a household. To others, it’s a global underground conspiracy enacted by Oligarchs. To others still, it means a socially-constructed system that is designed to benefit men at the expense of women. Opponents to the theory tend to see it as a loosely-defined word that amounts to a fluoride-in-the-water-level conspiracy theory. I believe there is an equivalent, in rational speak of a similar concept, but I tend to call it “Old Money.”
However, it is around Patriarchy theory that such things as Critical Theory erupted, which evolved the lie to another stage. To accept Critical theory is to accept Patriarchy. To accept Patriarchy is to accept the tenets that saw its formation. Some see this going back generations, to the Frankfurt School. To Marxist-Leninist Philosophies, and further.
But boiling it all down to its base essence? It’s not a stretch to define it as Pathological or Psychopathic Altruism.
Why? Because altruism is an intrinsic part of human nature. It can take many forms, and not all of them helpful to the whole. All it requires is for one person, or one group of people to believe it will improve the lot of the less fortunate. And all it takes is a single radical voice to infect others with their thought processes. One turns into three. Three to nine. Nine to twenty-seven. Twenty-seven to eighty-one, and so on.
So how do we fight pathological altruism? Unfortunately, there is no magic cure for it. First, you would have to prove the harm certain ideologies have on innocents. Then, you would have to prove that said innocents really are innocents. And even then, you would have to convince the pathological altruists that have closed their minds off to any belief but their own that the feel-good emotions they experience in the practice of their chosen ideology are nothing more than an illusion, much like the fever-dreams of nomadic sheepherders in the deserts of the middle-east in the wake of the Egyptian Empire.
It’s been four thousand years since then, and for good or ill, the ideological offspring of said sheepherders has been a ruling force on our planet ever since. It has resulted in the rise and fall of empires, and some argue that the need for such ideologies have long since passed. This may or may not be true, but one thing is certain… there is a new ideology gaining power, which seeks to undo everything done by the culture birthed by these Abrahamic ideals. Both the bad, and the good.
Either way, the cause is the same. The intrinsic altruism of the animal kingdom.
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