June 27, 2011
Mark Steyn on the hierarchy of phobias and the collectivist inversion of human rights:
In some of the oldest free societies on the planet we’ve entirely corrupted the concept of human rights. It’s not very difficult. Human rights are rights for humans, rights for individuals. Back in 1215, Magna Carta – Magna Carta Libertatum, to give it its full title – couldn’t have made it plainer. Real human rights are restraints that the people place upon the king. We understood that eight centuries ago. Today, we’ve entirely perverted and corrupted the principle. We’re undermining real human rights, like freedom of speech, and replacing them with ersatz rights that, rather than restraining the king, give him vastly increased state power to restrain the rights of his subjects. These new rights are not handed out equally but in different ways to different degrees according to which approved identity groups you fall into.
The tribal approach to rights and entitlement is discussed here and here. Consequent attempts at attitude management may also be of interest. Though some academics prefer the term “social justice education,” or simply “treatment.”
Bella Gerens notes the conformist trajectory of the comical Laurie Penny:
She has certainly worked very hard to communicate a message, but I don’t know if it’s the message she intended. Like many people from Wadham [College], she seems to want to improve the world in a certain way. But what she seems to do is reinforce the belief that privileged people from privileged educational backgrounds can, as long as they say the right things, engender trust among the lower classes whilst taking their place among the elite… She is travelling an extremely well-trodden road bearing the placard of thoroughly-explored philosophies. And the destination, reached so many times before, has benefitted no one except the travellers themselves.
And Heather Mac Donald revisits ‘radical’ graffiti and the art world’s double standards:
Art in the Streets is a classic exercise of the elites’ juvenile dalliance with countercultural norms that they have no intention of adopting in their own protected lives. The Museum of Contemporary Art has never tolerated graffiti on its own premises; none of its wealthy Hollywood and real-estate-mogul trustees would ever allow tagging on their homes or businesses, either. So opposed is MOCA to unauthorised graffiti on its walls that it stationed additional security guards around its premises before the show opened, to guard against the inevitable upsurge in graffiti that the show would (and did) trigger. Yet there is no sign that [MOCA director, Jeffrey] Deitch or his trustees grasp the contradiction. Indeed, in a breathtaking display of stunted moral development, Art in the Streets never even addresses the seminal fact that behind every act of graffiti is an invisible property owner whose rights have been appropriated against his will.
Readers may spot a thematic link with, among others, our academic radical, Alexander Vasudevan.
Feel free to add your own.