Posts Tagged ‘virtue signal’

on white privilege

December 3, 2016

It has seemed to me for awhile that a weakness of much current discourse that focuses on systemic analysis is the lack of attention to real lived lives of actual human beings. My concern is explained pretty well here:

Just as in the fight against heart disease or drunk driving, awareness only has value if it actually leads to a change in behavior, and there’s no sign that these quasi-religious renunciations of privilege have accomplished such change.

This, in turn, presents a larger problem. The discourse of this school of politics is resolutely immaterial in its language, with endless discussion of acknowledging and feeling and admitting and occupying, almost none of which amounts to what anyone might consider doing.
h/t Alastair Roberts
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on Trump and tactics

March 16, 2016

Damon Linker explains in some detail the observation that occurred to me over the weekend after the rally for Trump was canceled in Chicago. This paragraph was particularly notable:

And why are people cheering on such behavior on social media?

Mostly, I suspect, because they are primarily concerned about their own moral stature — about staking out a position of political purity, about taking a dramatic and bold public stand against racism and the rise of a distinctively American form of fascism in our midst. Because they desperately want to do something to stop Trump and what he represents.

I might cavil at some parts of his diagnosis, but the compulsion to signal one’s virtue, even by violating other crucial virtues, is an intriguing characteristic of the social media spirit.