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Marxism, Multiculturalism, and Free Speech
By Frank Ellis
Washington, D.C.: Council for Social and Economic Studies, 2006.
Paperback
price/availability: inquire at socecon@aol.com
107 pp.
ISBN 0-930690-60-5

A brave sortie against political correctness (Part Two)

By Mark Wegierski
web posted March 16, 2015

Do most people in Western countries today necessarily pay that much attention to the strictures of "political correctness"? In most cases – at least for non-celebrities and non-politicians -- there seem to be some simple, relatively obvious rules to follow, some of which could be construed as mere politeness, rather than necessarily "political correctness". Nevertheless, in more recent years, political correctness has clearly intensified, becoming ever more ridiculous, totalitarian, and sharply enforced -- possibly impacting the lives of both very ordinary and highly prominent persons. Still, most people today probably think the system is quite wonderful because they credit it with giving them highly pleasurable and prosperous lives, without having to hew to what are today seen by many as the ridiculous strictures and limitations of traditional religion.

The situation in the academic setting is, of course, considerably different, as far as the saliency of "political correctness", but most persons in the general population probably think that "the excesses" or "weirdness" in the universities and colleges (especially in the humanities and social sciences) are irrelevant to the continuation of the current-day Western engine of economic growth and technological progress and prowess. It could be argued that the number of people who deeply concern themselves with what is going on in the humanities and social sciences departments of universities is relatively small.

Most people identify the current-day system with the provision of pleasure and prosperity, and do not see it as some kind of monstrous conspiracy to dispossess the white population. Insofar as the current-day system continues to be economically successful, it is not likely to encounter massive resistance from the white population.

However, mass, dissimilar immigration into Western societies may be introducing certain stresses which even a highly buoyant economy will not be able to address – or which may indeed weaken the current-day Western engine of economic growth and technological progress. Insofar as the current-day Western economies truly move in the direction of economic decline – then one can probably easily imagine that various, massive anti-immigration and so-called nativist movements will almost certainly arise. By economic decline here, one would mean a considerable contraction of the economy over a number of years in a row.

People today rarely consider that the typical Western economy has been growing an average of about three percent per year for decades. Considering that the growing economy implies increasing consumption of finite natural resources, extrapolating the consequences of ever-continuing economic growth on a finite planet may be frightening to contemplate.

Another idea is that the eventual social consequences of a philosophy of extreme sexual pleasure – especially as expressed through various manifestations of an increasingly debased pop-culture -- will tend to have an increasingly disruptive effect on Western societies. Today, it can be seen that a "birth-dearth" is enveloping many Western societies, including those that have traditionally been considered as highly prolific (Spain, Italy). Mass, dissimilar immigration will exacerbate the consequences of a "birth-dearth". It is also possible that the societal consequences of a philosophy of sexual liberation will in the end be so catastrophic – that there will occur a return to more traditional mores out of a sense of pure revulsion. It is possible that society will become so decayed that parents will find it difficult to impart to their children just the sense of good – as opposed to a good such as that represented in traditional Christianity. Ironically, it may become increasingly difficult to maintain notions of any kind of behavioral restraint – even those of "political correctness" – in a society increasingly driven by vulgar nihilism.

To the extent that some sectors on the Left are aware – sometimes acutely -- of what could be called the crisis of late modernity, the most obvious and easily discernible element of nominally left-wing philosophy that addresses this crisis, is environmentalism and ecology. In his book, Frank Ellis does not discuss environmentalist and ecological thinking as a major aspect of what is considered "the Left" today. Yet it is frequently environmentalism/ecology that allows many typical Western left-wingers to make a sort of alchemical transformation of their outlook from obvious self-deprecation, and an attitude concerned only with the pleasure and prosperity of the moment, to an outlook that claims to be taking the most conservationist, most long-term outlook on human existence on this planet.

Observing the massive surge in environmentalist/ecological trends, should prompt some traditionalist conservatives to recall that there are obvious ecological elements in genuinely traditionalist thought, such as that most notably represented by J. R. R. Tolkien, G. K. Chesterton, and E. F. Schumacher. Environmentalism/ecology is now probably the most popularly attractive element of what is considered "the Left" today.

The reviewer feels that Ellis did not take enough of an accounting of the possibly more attractive elements of left-wing thinking today -- hence his critique sets up a bit of a "straw-man" – focussing on the very worst aspects of both Marxism-Leninism and Maoism – and then projecting these very worst aspects onto the current-day Western Left.

The criticism given may be so overdrawn and overwrought that it tends to induce incredulity at times. Even if one has considerable sympathy for the gist of Frank Ellis' arguments, it is important to properly distinguish between the substantially different apparatus of conditioning and control in "soft totalitarian" vs. "hard totalitarian" systems. While it is possible to argue that "soft totalitarianism" is even more insidious in some ways than "hard totalitarianism" – because it is far less obvious to its subjects -- it stretches credulity to think that current-day Western societies are but a step away from re-instituting the Gulag.

Frank Ellis' arguments could strongly benefit by looking at Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, rather than George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, as probably a closer approximation of current-day Western societies (or rather perhaps the direction to which they are tending). By the parallels to Brave New World, the reviewer does not mainly wish to refer to the genetically-based caste-system, but rather to the abolition of God, family, and history that is one of the central aspects of that dystopia. It is not too often remarked that the dystopian society depicted in Brave New World is driven by what is largely a "Freudian Left" understanding of human psychology. Aldous Huxley shows us, that the hypothesized society is centered on the virtually unrestricted fulfillment of human sexual drives, which begins virtually in infancy. A very careful reading of the book reveals horrors upon horrors that may be a bit obscured in a superficial read-through.

Obviously, the widely-known dystopia, to which Frank Ellis' writings are closest in spirit to, is Jean Raspail's The Camp of the Saints – which depicts the apocalyptic consequences of mass Third World immigration into the West. Nevertheless, Aldous Huxley's work should also be instructive.

Like Jean Raspail, Frank Ellis sees himself as a dedicated defender of the best of Western civilization against multifarious threats. In the reviewer's opinion, the book would have been stronger had it introduced certain qualifications in its unrelenting critique of the Western Left. Nevertheless, Ellis does identify the obvious sickness of soul in at least part of the current-day Western Left, which Jean Raspail had identified in his book, and continues to refer to in his recently published pieces.

It could be argued that among the current dangers encroaching upon the West is the possibility of a situation where the long-running, civilized, more reasoned debate between the more authentic representatives of the Left and the Right in the West, will no longer be possible. Some have indeed argued that the current clash of civilizations might actually end in a disastrous defeat for the West, especially in some Western European countries. Others have argued that the "soft-totalitarian" dynamic in the Western Left will itself result in various apocalyptic-dystopic outcomes.

Whatever happens, the upholding of genuine freedom of speech – especially for those expressing currently unpopular views – will without a doubt be one of the most important elements of endeavoring to prevent being enveloped by the very worst future outcomes. ESR

Mark Wegierski is a Canadian writer and historical researcher.

 

 

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