HOW MUCH OF PC WAS INSPIRED AND BANKROLLED BY COMMUNIST RUSSIA? In Suicidalism, public intellectual Eric Raymond suggested back in 2005 that the ugly streak of nihilism and self-loathing that afflicts too many Western intellectuals
was brought to us by Department V of the KGB, which was charged during the Cold War with conducting memetic warfare that would destroy the will of the West’s intelligentsia to resist a Communist takeover. This they did with such magnificent effect that the infection outlasted the Soviet Union itself and remains a pervasive disease of contemporary Western intellectual life.
We call it PC, Eric calls it “suicidalism”, but the main ideas are:
- There is no truth, only competing agendas.
- All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the West’s history of racism and colonialism.
- There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.
- The prosperity of the West is built on ruthless exploitation of the Third World; therefore Westerners actually deserve to be impoverished and miserable.
- Crime is the fault of society, not the individual criminal. Poor criminals are entitled to what they take. Submitting to criminal predation is more virtuous than resisting it.
- The poor are victims. Criminals are victims. And only victims are virtuous. Therefore only the poor and criminals are virtuous. (Rich people can borrow some virtue by identifying with poor people and criminals.)
- For a virtuous person, violence and war are never justified. It is always better to be a victim than to fight, or even to defend oneself.
- But “oppressed” people are allowed to use violence anyway; they are merely reflecting the evil of their oppressors. When confronted with terror, the only moral course for a Westerner is to apologize for past sins, understand the terrorist’s point of view, and make concessions.
There, PC summed up in eight propositions.
Trace any of these back far enough (e.g. to the period between 1930 and 1950 when Department V was at its most effective) and you’ll find a Stalinist at the bottom. … Stalinist agitprop created Western [PC] by successfully building on the Christian idea that self-sacrifice (and even self-loathing) are the primary indicators of virtue. …
I think it’s important to understand that, although suicidalism builds on some pre-existing pathologies of Western culture, it is not a native or natural development. It is an infection that evildoers and their dupes created and then spread as part of a war against the West; their goal was totalitarian control, and part of their method was to talk the West into slitting its own throat.
Read the whole thing, including a supporting source.
This graph is suggestive, as the “feminism” meme took off in the ’60’s then stopped growing in the ’90’s soon after the USSR collapsed. Maybe just a coincidence.
hat-tip Matthew’s research department.